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August 31, 2018

Guest column by man abused by Allentown priest: 'Silence and cover-up only allow abusers to continue their evil acts'

The Morning Call

August 31, 2018

By David Cerulli


In the wake of the recent release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sex abuse, it has become increasingly clear that victim-survivors must be given the opportunity to speak about their experiences if we as a society will have any chance of preventing this horror from happening over and over.

Abuse thrives in secrecy. It is time to end the secrecy and stop the abuse of children and the vulnerable.

To be sure, it is extremely difficult for survivors of sexual violence to overcome the shame and self-blame to speak about their abuse. It almost always takes years, and frequently decades, for victims of such violence to find their voices.

We as a society must not put unfair and unnecessary barriers in their way. To that end, we need to eliminate confidentiality agreements (also known as nondisclosure agreements) and eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes of sexual abuse.

My personal experience in the area of clergy sex abuse has come to the fore once again with the release of the grand jury report.

Opinion: Every attorney general in the country must force the Catholic Church to tell the truth

Boston Globe

August 30, 2018

By Walter V. Robinson

Walter V. Robinson is editor-at-large of the Globe. He led the Spotlight Team’s investigation that uncovered the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal.

[See also this column in the print edition.]

It is often said that for the Roman Catholic Church, rapid change can take decades. But who knew that law enforcement officials with subpoena power could be equally slow in recognizing their responsibility to bring into full light the hideous crimes by the church that have laid waste to the lives of tens of thousands of children?

Sixteen years later — too much later — it is now time for a full and final reckoning. In the wake of the Pennsylvania grand jury report, prosecutors in every state should finally find the backbone to force the church to tell the truth. The truth we can handle. It is the endless cover-up we must no longer abide.

Until recently, few could have credibly argued — as some are now trying — that Pope Francis and his point man on the sexual abuse scandal, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, should resign. They were, after all, the two men in the Vatican who seemed committed to cauterizing the wounds from a scandal that spools endlessly along. But in light of recent allegations about how, or whether, they dealt with the serial sexual misdeeds of Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, their reputations, if not their jobs, are in jeopardy.

Since 2002, when the scandal first broke open, attorneys general in just four states — Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts — and a handful of local prosecutors have used subpoena power to force the church to turn over complete records of clerical crimes. In 46 states, there has been no full accounting: The cover-up continues uninterrupted. It now seems likely that the crimes of several thousand more priests remain hidden.

The recent evidence is nothing if not gut-wrenching. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s grand jury scraped clean the records from six dioceses. Its report found that 301 priests had been credibly accused of sexually molesting more than 1,000 children and that — no surprise — the dioceses, all using the same playbook, kept it hidden for decades. It was the bishops who enabled and sometimes facilitated the abuse. I have interviewed scores of survivors of clerical abuse over the years, but reading the horrific details of sexual assault in the report left me choked up.

Is the Pope a Catholic?

National Review

August 29, 2018

By John Sullivan

Francis himself is accused of participating in the cover-up of abuse by priests.

No one can have much to add to NRO’s coverage of the crisis in the Catholic Church. Michael Brendan Dougherty, Kathryn Lopez, and other colleagues have covered all the shocking events fully and with a kind of angry or hurt conscientiousness: the nature and extent of the sexual abuse; the quiet shuttling of pedophile priests from one parish to another; the legalistic bullying and manipulation of victims and their families; the placing of the Church’s political and financial interests above justice and charity; the fact that bishops showed greater concern, even tenderness, towards clerical abusers than towards those they abused; and the repeated assurances that these abuses were being corrected when in fact they were being concealed and smoothed over. These revelations have been deeply disturbing, and anyone predicting them a few years ago would have been dismissed — as indeed some critics of the bishops were dismissed — as dealing in fantasies of sexual perversion and blasphemy.

Despite the sensational nature of the revelations, however, we all had the eerie sense that there might be worse to come. And it came last weekend in the form of the statement by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former apostolic nuncio to the United States, on the Vatican’s handling of sexual misconduct by priests that implicated Pope Francis and other senior churchmen in the concealment of such abuses. Archbishop Viganò’s allegations are, for the moment, allegations. But they are extremely serious ones — either a malicious character assassination of the pope and other senior churchmen or a deeply shocking revelation of corruption and wickedness at the highest levels of Catholicism. They are also sufficiently detailed as to be open to either refutation or confirmation by the bishops and Vatican officials accused or exonerated in them. Unusually for criticisms of the Church, especially such grave ones, they have received some support from leading clerics in America, Rome, and elsewhere.

The pope himself was “ambushed” by questions from the media as he returned from his visit to Ireland. His response, leaving it to the journalists to judge the archbishop’s charges for themselves, was ambiguous. He may have felt that the charges were self-evidently false and malicious and that it was beneath his dignity to respond to them. But he cannot leave it there. There is no way that the Church can avoid dealing with them promptly, openly, and candidly.

Australia abuse inquiry: Catholic Church rejects call to overhaul confession

BBC News

August 31, 2018

The Catholic Church in Australia has formally rejected a landmark inquiry's recommendation that priests should be forced to report sexual abuse disclosed during confession.

The five-year inquiry found tens of thousands of children had suffered abuse in Australian institutions. The Catholic Church had the most cases.

On Friday, Church leaders accepted most of the inquiry's recommendations.

But their stance on confession may set up future conflict with governments.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said breaking the seal of confession was "contrary to our faith and inimical to religious liberty".

"We are committed to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable people while maintaining the seal," it said in a statement.

New Catholic Archbishop is confronted by 93yo Eileen Piper over child abuse

The Age

August 30, 2018

By Ben Schneiders and Royce Millar

A 93-year-old woman publicly confronted the new Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne on Thursday with the harrowing story of how the clergy sexually abused her late daughter.

Eileen Piper, her face stricken with grief, presented Archbishop Peter Comensoli with a picture of her daughter Stephanie in her coffin after she took her own life in 1994. She was 32.

Twenty-four years later, Ms Piper says she is still seeking an apology from the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Comensoli, speaking at a Melbourne Press Club function on Thursday, walked from the stage to comfort the elderly Ms Piper, whose story was told by her lawyer Judy Courtin.

The church had not believed Stephanie’s allegations of rape and abuse at the hands of father Gerard Mulvale in suburban Syndal. He was later convicted of other sex crimes.

Catholic Church won't break confessional seal on child abuse, despite royal commission

ABC News

August 31, 2018

By Paige Cockburn

[See also the response of the bishops' conference and conference of superiors (this link brings you directly to the portion of the response relating to the seal of confession).]

Key points:
• Breaking the seal of confession would restrict religious liberty and not improve child safety, the Church says
• Voluntary celibacy for some clergy will also be examined
• The Church is considering making child sexual abuse a canonical crime, not a 'moral failing'

The Catholic Church will not accept the royal commission's recommendation to lift the seal of confession regarding child sex abuse, arguing it impinges on religious liberties.

Almost nine months after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse handed down its findings, the Church has delivered its formal reply.

It said it would not change secrecy rules, meaning clergy do not have to report abuse revealed in the confessional.

"This is because it is contrary to our faith and inimical to religious liberty," the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) said in their response.

Will more states follow Pennsylvania's lead and investigate priest sexual abuse? Here's what they say

USA Today

August 30, 2018

By Ed Mahon, York Daily Record

[Includes video: Lynne Abraham, the District Attorney in Philadelphia from 1991-2010, talks about her motivation behind exposing priests who abused children. By Jason Plotkin, York Daily Record.]

In wake of Pennsylvania's sweeping and landmark investigation into Catholic clergy members' sexual abuse of minors, some people want to see every Roman Catholic diocese in the country receive the same level of scrutiny.

One lawmaker has two reasons: Pennsylvania state Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Democrat from Muhlenburg Township, was abused by a priest in the Allentown Diocese when he was a child.

"I would love to see that happen," Rozzi said of 50 states worth of investigations in an interview with WHYY-FM, Philadelphia, a day after Pennsylvania's nearly 900-page grand jury report was released.

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests also have called for every state’s attorney general to follow Pennsylvania's lead and launch formal investigations into how U.S. bishops deal with victims and predator priests.

Abuse allegations against priest leave parishioners, Cocoa Beach residents stunned

Florida Today

August 30, 2018

By John McCarthy

Parishioners at the Church of Our Saviour and residents of Cocoa Beach were stunned to learn the church's new pastor had been removed following allegations that he molested a minor in Pennsylvania sometime before 2005.

The Diocese of Orlando, which includes Brevard County, announced Wednesday that it had "removed the priestly faculties" of the Rev. David Gillis after it had received notice from church officials in Pennsylvania that Gillis had been accused of sexual abuse of a minor there. A letter from the diocese said the allegations had "at least the semblance of truth."

The Diocese of Allentown said it had provided information to local law enforcement.

Gillis was named pastor of Our Saviour earlier this year.

Brooks Rampersad of Cocoa Beach is one of the church's parishioners who was shocked by the accusations.

"A number of people I know have been praying regarding the cover-ups in the ministry. I feel the sudden action in this case, on something that has been hidden for over a decade, is a good sign that changes are happening and God is listening to our prayers."

August 30, 2018

Former Maine bishop declines to resign over sex abuse

The Associated Press

August 29, 2018

A former leader of the Catholic Church in Maine says he won't resign as a bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, New York, over his handling of sex abuse allegations.

Bishop Richard Malone said Sunday the "shepherd does not desert the flock" during difficult times. Malone was accused earlier this month of protecting priests in Buffalo suspected of sex abuse.

Erie’s Persico backs compensation fund for victims


August 30, 2018

By Ed Palattella

Bishop joins top Pa. state senator in supporting a fund rather than a two-year window that would allow victims to sue in court no matter how old the abuse.

Erie Catholic Bishop Lawrence Persico on Thursday endorsed the proposal of Pennsylvania’s top state senator that Catholic dioceses statewide set up compensation funds for victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Persico’s statement, like the proposal of state Senate Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, falls short of backing a key recommendation of the statewide grand jury that released its report on the abuse on Aug. 14 — that the GOP-controlled General Assembly approve a two-year window that would allow victims to sue no matter what the statute of limitations or how long ago the abuse occurred.

Persico “is prepared to establish and fund an appropriate program that provides necessary relief to victims,” the Catholic Diocese of Erie said in a statement.

“In my statement to victims on Aug. 14, I committed myself and this diocese to assist in healing for victims and for the wider community,” Persico said in the statement.

“It is time to take action. We must do what is within our power to provide justice to victims. Therefore, I have directed our lawyers to collaborate with the Pennsylvania Legislature to develop an acceptable and appropriate program to make restitution to victims.

Ave Maria president denounces 'defiance' of pope by 'conservative Catholics'

Catholic News Agency

August 30, 2018

Jim Towey, president of Ave Maria University, said Wednesday that he unhesitatingly supports Pope Francis, in the wake of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò's call for the pope's resignation.

Archbishop Viganò, the emeritus apostolic nuncio to the US, alleged that Francis ignored sexual misconduct allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick (who resigned from the cardinalate July 28), lifting sanctions on the former Archbishop of Washington which had been imposed by Benedict XVI.

Towey's Aug. 29 statement “regarding the rift within the Church” characterized Archbishop Viganò's testimony as part of a “rift between Pope Francis and some conservative members of the Church hierarchy”, the “battle lines” of which were drawn “five years ago shortly after the Pope ascended to the chair of Saint Peter.”

Towey quoted the pope's 2018 apostolic exhortation Gaudete et exsultate, in which Pope Francis criticized "false prophets, who use religion for their own purposes, to promote their own psychological or intellectual theories. God infinitely transcends us; he is full of surprises.”

Affirming that God is full of surprises, the university president asserted that “the call for the Pope’s resignation by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is not one of them. Neither is the challenge to the Pope’s authority by Raymond Cardinal Burke, an American prelate who has consistently opposed the direction Pope Francis has led the Church on certain matters.”

Towey also speculated that Cardinal Burke “may still be smarting” from his 2014 removal as prefect of the Apostolic Signatura.

The Amazing Story of How Archbishop Viganò’s Report Came to Be

One Peter 5

August 28, 2018

By Steve Skojec

This report, originally published by Italian blogger, journalist, and author Aldo Maria Valli, tells the story of how Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former apostolic nuncio to the United States, came to publish his now infamous report about the cover-up of clerical abuse in the highest echelons of the Church and a hint of what it has cost him.

As Valli reports near the end of his story, Viganò told him he had “already purchased an airplane ticket. He will leave the country. He cannot tell me where he is going. I am not to look for him. His old cell phone number will no longer work. We say goodbye for the last time.”

In a report for EWTN, Catholic journalist Edward Pentin confirms this, saying Viganò fears for his safety and that his life is in danger.

A former apostolic nuncio, widely respected for his professionalism and decency, forced to go into hiding at age 78 for simply telling the truth about his fellow apostolic successors. There is perhaps more wisdom in this than there appears to be at first glance. Viganò’s colleague, Monsignor Jean François Lantheaume, whose job it was to inform Cardinal McCarrick of the news that Pope Benedict XVI had levied sanctions against him because of his abuses, said earlier this week, after confirming the veracity of the Viganò report:

Episode 24: Shaun Dougherty Unpacks the PA Grand Jury Report

The Speaking Out on Sex Abuse Podcast

August 30, 2018

By Shaun Dougherty

In 2012 Shaun Dougherty reported abuse he had suffered at the hands of a priest when he was between the ages of 11 and 13. An investigation opened and was handed over to the Attorney General's office. The Altoona-Johnstown Diocese report, which included Shaun's statements, was released in 2016 to the public. It spurred survivors from all over the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to report their abuse and ultimately led to the PA Grand Jury Investigation. This was the largest investigation into Catholic pedophile abuse in history. It uncovered over 350 pedophiles and over 1,000 victims.

Global groups call on Pope to release church files

Washington (DC)
ECA Global

August 30. 2018

Global groups call on Pope to release church files on former cardinal McCarrick and others.

Groups condemn false conflation of sexual orientation and sexual violence in former Vatican ambassador’s letter as “wrong and dangerous”.

Clergy sex abuse survivors and human rights attorneys today are calling upon Pope Francis to order the release of all church files related to all allegations of sexual violence, including by former cardinal Theodore McCarrick. They are also demanding the Vatican condemn any suggestion by any church official that links the sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults with the sexual orientation of either the victim or the offender.

“There is absolutely no link between sexual violence against children, minors and vulnerable adults and sexual orientation,” said Peter Isely, clergy sex abuse survivor and founding member of the global group Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA). “Making this false link is immoral, dangerous, and wrong,” continued Isely, a licensed clinical psychotherapist,who operated the only inpatient treatment center for survivors of sexual violence by clergy.

The call for release of church files was made by survivors and attorneys who lead three global groups concerned with the Catholic church abuse crisis: ECA, the Survivors Network of the those Abused by Priests (SNAP), and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). The news conference was outside the Vatican embassy, where documents that allegedly implicate the Pope in the cover-up of McCarrick’s offenses are thought to be filed, according to former Vatican ambassador Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

“The infighting between factions of the hierarchy does nothing to protect children around the world,” said Becky Ianni, board member of SNAP. “Any attempt by Viganò and others to use the abuse crisis and victims of clergy sexual abuse as leverage in the struggle for church power must stop.”

A turbulent time

OSV Newsweekly

August 29, 2018

By Brian Fraga

Accusation and revelations around Church's handling of abuse, cover-up take center stage

An earlier version of this story appeared here.

The already roiled landscape of the Catholic Church’s institutional response to clergy sexual abuse through the years ratcheted up again late Aug. 25 when, in a scathing 11-page written statement, the Vatican’s former ambassador to the United States accuses Pope Francis of ignoring concerns about Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and lifting sanctions against the former cardinal years before the public became aware of abuse allegations against him.

The letter was released while Pope Francis visited Ireland, which has also been rocked with its own abuse crisis. On Saturday, the pope addressed the crisis during a Mass at Phoenix Park in Dublin.

“Some members of the hierarchy didn’t own up to these painful situations and kept silence. We ask for forgiveness,” Pope Francis said.

Rain Dove Speaks Out About Why They Sent Asia Argento Texts to Police

The Cut

August 29, 2018

By Lisa Ryan

Last week, the New York Times reported that actress and #MeToo advocate Asia Argento made a deal to pay off a former co-star, Jimmy Bennett, who accused her of sexually assaulting him as a minor. Argento eventually denied the allegations, but texts purporting to contradict her denial were soon leaked. On Monday, actress and activist Rose McGowan revealed that the texts in question were between Argento and model Rain Dove, whom McGowan is currently dating. Now, Dove is speaking out about why they decided to release the text messages.

In a Wednesday morning statement, released to the Cut through a publicist, Dove confirmed that the text exchange was between them and Argento, and that they reported the messages to police. Dove said in the statement:

While the conflict may feel murky- the situation is cut and dry. An individual admitted to sexual engagement with a minor (according to the age stated by California) which is an illegal act that can qualify as statutory rape. As well as such they admitted to receiving continued nude images without reporting/blocking the account/written rejection/or action. When the individual made it clear that they were not going to be honest about their engagement, I turned in materials that may contribute towards an honest investigation. All victims deserve justice. Justice can rarely exist without honesty.

Vatican whistle-blower renews attacks on Pope Francis over disgraced cardinal as crisis in Catholic Church deepens

The Telegraph

August 29, 2018

By Nick Squires

A Vatican whistle-blower who has accused Pope Francis of having covered up sexually abusive behaviour by an American cardinal stepped up his attack on Wednesday, speaking from a secret location.

Archbishop Carlo Mario Vigano, a former Vatican ambassador to the US, has plunged the Catholic Church into crisis with allegations that the pope failed to act against Theodore McCarrick, a US cardinal, who was accused of sexually abusing young priests over decades.

Cardinal McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, resigned in disgrace last month, becoming the first cardinal to step down since 1927.

Archbishop Vigano, 77, released an 11-page document detailing the allegations at the weekend and called on Francis to resign.

He then went underground amid reports that he feared for his safety.

After days of silence he gave an interview, from an undisclosed location, to an Italian journalist, renewing his criticism of Francis’ papacy.

The man who has been protesting sexual abuse outside the Vatican embassy in DC since 1997


August 27, 2018

By Victoria Sanchez

John Wojnowski was a daily fixture protesting in front of the Vatican embassy for two decades. Now the 75-year-old man makes the three- to four-hour trip to protest sexual abuse and cover-up just once or twice a week.

Wojnowski said he was molested by a priest in Italy when he was a 15-year-old boy. It was more than 30 years later and after he became a citizen, he wrote letters to bishops and the pope about his case. He did not hear back.

“They knew that I would write but I would be too ashamed to do anything else,” he said.

In 1997, he did do something else and made protesting his daily mission.

NCAA clears Michigan State of wrongdoing in Larry Nassar scandal

Yahoo Sports

August 30, 2018

By Liz Roscher

Michigan State University announced on Thursday that it has been cleared of any NCAA violations in its handling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

Bill Beekman, Michigan State’s new athletic director, was notified of the NCAA’s decision in a letter from Jonathan F. Duncan, the NCAA’s vice president of enforcement. In the letter, Duncan said the investigation “has not substantiated violations of NCAA legislation,” and “that it does not appear there is a need for further inquiry.” The NCAA’s investigation is over.

The NCAA also cleared Michigan State of any violations in a second investigation into how the university handled sexual assault allegations against basketball and football players.

The NCAA investigation began in January, when it sent a letter of inquiry to Mark Hollis, who was Michigan State’s athletic director at the time, asking for a response to any violations it had committed while handling the Nassar sexual assault case. Hollis resigned three days later, which happened to be the same day ESPN released a report on sexual assault allegations against football and basketball players at the university. The NCAA later started a separate investigation into how university handled those allegations.

Michigan State responded on March 23, saying that it didn’t believe it had violated any NCAA legislations. The NCAA ended up agreeing.

Philly priest: I believe our faith will continue to be shaken | Perspective

The Inquirer

August 29, 2018

By Charles Noone

For the last five weeks, the Sunday gospels have focused on readings from the sixth chapter of John, which focuses on Jesus offering the bread of life and the gift of faith to his followers.

Not all of them were up to the arduous journey of faith and love to which Jesus called them. As a result, John writes, "Many of His disciples returned to their former way of life."

Their desertion rattled the faith of the few who remained.

"Do you also want to leave?" Jesus asked them.

The question stunned Simon Peter, one of the Lord's most beloved followers.

"Master, to whom shall we go?" he asked, bewildered. "You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God!"

Peter's crisis was that he could not return to his former life, yet his faith had been shaken to its core.

In a very real way, this is where so many Catholics are in the wake of the Pennsylvania grand jury report of sex abuse in six of the state's dioceses.

WALSH: If The Allegations Against Pope Francis Are True, He Is Morally Unfit And Must Resign

The Daily Wire

August 27, 2018

By Matt Walsh

A former high ranking official in the Catholic Church, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, claims that Pope Francis personally helped cover up the abuses of degenerate predator Cardinal McCarrick. Vigano spilled his guts in an 11-page report, which he says he is publishing now in order to "discharge his conscience" so that he can "present himself to God with a clean conscience." What follows from there is tantamount to a nuclear bomb dropped right on top of the whole network of cowards and perverts in the upper echelons of the Church.

Vigano spends the first half of his report accusing numerous cardinals and bishops by name. He reserves special (and deserved) scorn for Cardinal Wuerl, who covered up abuses in Pittsburg, saying Wuerl "lies shamelessly." He names a host of other top officials, indicting them as liars, conspirators, and deviants or defenders of deviants. Finally, he lands on Pope Francis himself.

Greenfield lawyer wants clergy abuse investigation

Daily Hampshire Gazette

August 28, 2018

By Diane Broncaccio

Greenfield lawyer John Stobierski, who has successfully litigated at least 80 cases of clergy sexual abuse, believes the Massachusetts attorney general’s office should investigate the Diocese of Springfield.

“My impression is that our attorney general needs to do an investigation of our area,” Stobierski said Friday. “Back in 2002, when the Boston Globe was reporting on clergy abuse, the attorney general did investigate Boston (diocese).” Despite Stobierski’s request, however, the attorney general refused to do an investigation on Springfield, Stobierski said.

“Our diocese is as ripe with that kind of activity as is Pennsylvania’s,” he said. “And, in our diocese, we’ve had an actual abuser leading the diocese and fighting our claims,” said Stobiersi, referring to the late bishop, Thomas Dupre, who was indicted on child rape charges in 2004.

Recently, a two-year grand jury investigation of sexual abuse allegations by Catholic clergy, and the systematic cover-up of such abuse, resulted in a 900-page report, listing 300 priests accused of abuse and 1,000 children victimized.

In Franklin County, one of the first major reports of clergy sexual abuse began with the 1991 arrest of then-priest Richard R. Lavigne, who pleaded guilty to molesting three boys at St. Joseph’s Parish, in 1992. Eventually, more claims were brought against Lavigne, with Stobierski representing many claimants.

Retired Supreme Court Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé's biography uncovers secret history of court

Globe and Mail

August 27, 2018

By Sean Fine

Never had a Canadian Supreme Court judge been attacked like this.

Claire L’Heureux-Dubé had just been publicly blamed – by a judge from Alberta’s highest court – for the high male suicide rate in Quebec. Compounding the insult, Ms. L’Heureux-Dubé had lost her own husband to suicide two decades earlier.

What happened next, within the court itself in that 1999 episode, is revealed in legal historian Constance Backhouse’s groundbreaking biography, Claire L’Heureux-Dubé: A Life, using documents from the personal papers of Ms. L’Heureux-Dubé, now 90.

Chief Justice Antonio Lamer chose not to speak up in her defence, prompting the fiery Ms. L’Heureux-Dubé to send a memo to all eight of her colleagues. Pointedly, she told them that Israel’s Chief Justice, Aharon Barak, had defended his court when it was under attack.

Senate GOP leader Joe Scarnati cautions against retroactive abuse claims

The Associated Press

August 29, 2018

The top-ranking Republican in the Pennsylvania Senate responded Wednesday to a sweeping grand jury report on the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic clergy by saying he opposes legislation to retroactively loosen time limits on lawsuits by the victims.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said such a change would violate the state constitution, and although he would support amending it, that is “an extended process and has no absolute certainty.”

It is a change in state law that bishops have successfully fought in recent years even as a handful of other states have opened such windows to let victims sue the church, raising the prospect of massive payouts.

Instead, Scarnati said, the church should set aside money to pay victims.

“The church needs to establish a victim compensation fund this year, to make restitutions to its victims,” Scarnati said in a statement. “Monies should also be utilized to prevent abuse from happening in the future.”

Pope Francis, it'll take more than a letter to fix this


August 21, 2018

By Carol Costello

Editor's note: Carol Costello is the host of "Across America With Carol Costello" on HLN. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. View more opinion articles on CNN.

Dear Pope Francis,

It is hard to be Catholic today. I know you finally spoke out to us -- in a letter -- about the horrific allegations of sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses. I've been waiting for days to find comfort from Rome. And you notably began your letter by quoting St. Paul: "If one member suffers, all suffer together with."

While I appreciate the words, I need to see action. I need to see real change.

We are suffering from disappointment so deep it is, for some of us, hard to believe in God. On Sunday, at my church, Sacred Heart Chapel on the campus of Loyola Marymount University, Father Allan Deck put it into words: "The emotional and sexual abuse and manipulation of others, especially little children, constitutes a gross rejection of the healthy and holistic love exemplified by Jesus and proposed by our Catholic tradition." (Full disclosure: My husband is President of LMU.)

And then he cautioned, "These terrible reports are not going to stop."

How a Stranger Helped Me Heal From Childhood Abuse

The Mighty

August 30, 2018

By Vanna Winters

When I was a teenager, I served at a small diner between college classes. I was painfully shy and found myself preparing to “go into character” each shift as I buttoned up my uniform and pinned on my name tag. One day, on a particularly busy lunch time, I found myself in the weeds trying to cover my section and the section of a co-worker who had called off. I remember double checking each order before I put it in, paranoid I would let something slip my mind.

A gentleman, watching me stare down at my notepad over and over, chuckled as he loudly, sarcastically exclaimed to me: “If this is too hard for you, sweetheart, maybe you’re not cut out for it.” My eyes welled up and I bit my lower lip in anger.

He didn’t know me. He didn’t know I was covering nine tables. He didn’t know I had worked a double the day before or that I had a second job after that. He didn’t see my backpack full of textbooks for college classes while all my peers were still in high school. He only saw what he wanted to see.

Former Missouri Catholic Priest Named in PA Grand Jury Report [Video]


August 26, 2018

A bishop from the Jefferson City Catholic Diocese agreed to cooperate with an investigation by the attorney general's office into potential sexual abuse by priests.Bishop Shawn McKnight said he sees the investigation as an op...

Facts and omissions of Viganò’s testimony against Francis

La Stampa

August 28, 2018

By Andrea Tornielli

A lucid reading of the former nuncio’s statement requesting the Pontiff’s resignation and its contradictory conclusions

“I believe that the Viganò press release speaks for itself, and you have the professional maturity to draw conclusions. With these words, addressed to journalists on the return flight from Dublin, Francis invited them to read the 11-page dossier dropped by the former nuncio to the United States, Carlo Maria Viganò, who asked for the Pope’s resignation, accusing him of having covered up the 83-year-old Cardinal Emeritus of Washington Theodore McCarrick, who had had homosexual relations with adult seminarians and priests. It is therefore necessary to start from a careful reading of the text, analyze it and separate the facts reported from opinions and interpretations. And above all from omissions.

The anti-Bergoglio operation

The clamorous decision of the Vatican diplomat to violate the oath of fidelity to the Pope and the official secret represents yet another attack against Francis carried out in an organized way by the same circles that a year ago had tried to arrive at a sort of doctrinal impeachment, after the publication of the exhortation “Amoris laetitiaˮ. Attempt failed. Viganò is in fact one of the signatories of the so-called “Professione” in which Pope Bergoglio is defined as divorce-friendly, and well connected to the most conservative circles overseas and in the Vatican. That it is not simply the outburst of a Church man tired of the rotten things he has seen around him, but of a long and carefully planned operation, in an attempt to get the Pope to resign, is demonstrated by the timing and the involvement of the same international media network that for years has been propagating - often using anonymous ones - the requests of those who would like to overturn the result of the 2013 conclave. This is attested by the same testimonies written in the various blogs by the journalists who published the Viganò dossier: always in the forefront in the defense of the traditional family, but careless to drop the bombshell on the very day in which Francis concluded with a great mass the international meeting of families.

The Culture War That Is Tearing the Catholic Church Apart


August 27, 2018

By Isaac Chotiner

How church rifts may have inspired the latest accusations against Pope Francis.

Carlo Maria Viganò, who was once the Catholic Church’s chief diplomat in the United States, wrote a letter this past weekend stating that Pope Francis and other Vatican officials were involved in covering up sexual abuse committed by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington. Not only did Viganò’s letter arrive in the midst of an already sensitive trip the pope was making to Ireland—which has seen its share of sexual abuse scandals—but it also represented another shot in the long war between Pope Francis and more conservative elements in the church, including Viganò himself. (Viganò, who has cast blame on gay people for the sex abuse crisis, has previously battled with Francis: He lost his job in 2016 amid anger over his handling of the pope’s trip to the United States, which included—thanks to Viganò—a meeting with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.)

Viganò’s specific claim is that Francis’ predecessor, Benedict XVI, punished McCarrick by refusing to allow him certain privileges and that Francis later reversed Benedict’s decision. In response, allies of Pope Francis have pointed out that that McCarrick’s supposed punishment by Benedict has not been proved, and McCarrick continued to do things like give homilies. The pope himself, departing Ireland, stated, “I will not say a single word on this. I think this statement speaks for itself, and you have the sufficient journalistic capacity to draw conclusions.”

To talk about what all this means for Francis and the future of the church, I spoke by phone with Massimo Faggioli, a professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University and a contributor to Commonweal magazine. During the course of our conversation, which has been edited and condensed for clarity, we discussed how Francis’ approach to the sexual abuse crisis is and isn’t distinct from Benedict’s, whether we should view the latest developments through the prism of a church culture war, and what the pope should do to respond.

Developing Story on the Church Scandal?

The Spectacle Blog

August 29, 2018

By Wlady Pleszynski

Our reporter George Neumayr reports that he believes he’s found the house where disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick lives. It’s near Tenleytown, near American University, in Washington, D.C. According to D.C. property records, it is worth $2.1 million. The archdiocese of Washington has owned the house since at least the days of Cardinal Baum.

George adds the housekeeper let him in, but proved none too cooperative. The question arises. Why would embattled Cardinal Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, play host to the man about whom he knows so little?

With Vatican In Turmoil Over Abuse Allegations, Questions Remain About What Pope Knew

National Public Radio

August 29, 2018

By Sylvia Poggioli

For centuries, the words "Vatican" and "intrigue" have gone hand in hand. But the Holy See's centuries-old code of secrecy ensured that scandals and conspiracies usually remained hidden behind the tall and sturdy Renaissance walls of the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, unbeknownst to the faithful masses around the world.

Now, in the era of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, mudslinging between rival church factions is being waged out in the open.

"It's as if the Borgias and the Medicis had Twitter accounts," Christopher Bellitto, a professor of church history at Kean University in New Jersey, told the National Catholic Reporter.

The power struggle has been simmering ever since the Argentine-born Jorge Maria Bergoglio became Pope Francis in 2013. He signaled a break with his two predecessors by promoting a message of mercy over strict dogma, of inclusion over punishment.

The anger of a traditionalist faction critical of the pope's more welcoming church broke out into the open for the whole world to see last weekend, with the publication by conservative Catholic media outlets of a bombshell letter by a former Vatican diplomat. The letter was released just as the pope was on a highly charged visit to Ireland — ground zero in the clerical sex abuse crisis.

Growing Catholic insurgency threatens top cardinal in Washington


August 30, 2018

By Daniel Burke and Rosa Flores

The attorney general for the nation's capital. The president of a Catholic college. Teachers at a celebrated Catholic elementary school. A former White House appointee on religious freedom. Even a popular priest in his own archdiocese.

It's not just how many people are asking Cardinal Donald Wuerl, one of the world's most powerful Catholics, to leave office. It's who.

Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, has spent more than 50 years climbing the ranks of the Catholic Church, building a reputation as a loyal churchman and fastidious teacher.

He is also known as a political moderate and a key ally of Pope Francis who sits on the Vatican committee that appoints bishops around the world and is one of only 10 American cardinals who could choose the next Pope.

But in the wake of a damning 900-page report by a grand jury in Pennsylvania and a letter from a former top Vatican official accusing Wuerl of covering up for his disgraced predecessor, the cardinal is facing increasing pressure to step down from his perch atop the church's hierarchy.

Archbishop who called on Pope to resign says corruption reaches the top


August 30, 2018

By Philip Pullella

The archbishop who sparked a crisis in the Catholic Church by calling on Pope Francis to resign has denied he was motivated by personal vendetta and said he sought to show that corruption had reached the top levels of the Church hierarchy.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano reads during the episcopal ordination of Auxiliary Bishops James Massa and Witold Mroziewski, in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., July 20, 2015. Picture taken July 20, 2015. REUTERS/Gregory A. Shemitz
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano has gone into hiding since conservative media published an 11-page statement in which he alleged the pope knew for years about sexual misconduct by an American cardinal and did nothing about it.

Vigano has been communicating through Aldo Maria Valli, an Italian television journalist who Vigano consulted several times before releasing his statement last Sunday when the pope was in Ireland.

Italian media has reported he was upset because he was never made a cardinal by former Pope Benedict or because Francis blocked his further advancement in the Church.

“I have never had feelings of vendetta and rancor in all these years,” he was quoted as telling Valli, who has been publishing statements from Vigano in his blog.

“I spoke out because corruption has reached the top levels of Church hierarchy,” said Vigano, a former Vatican ambassador to Washington.

The Vatican had no comment on the new accusations by Vigano.

Bishop O'Brien's Life Ends, While Survivors Of Abuse Demand New Investigations

KJZZ 91.5

August 27, 2018

By Holliday Moore

Less than two weeks after a Pennsylvania grand jury report revealed more abuse by priests, retired Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien of the Phoenix Diocese has died from complications of Parkinson's disease at age 82.

In 2002, O'Brien was head of the Phoenix Diocese, and Rick Romley was Maricopa County Attorney.

On the other side of the country, the Boston Diocese was roiling as five of its Roman Catholic priests were indicted for sexually abusing children.

Soon after those indictments, Romley got a tip while investigating similar abuse in Arizona.

It was, he said, "Information from a former priest that there were cover-ups that went up to Bishop O'Brien inside the Catholic Church."

O'Brien was ultimately granted immunity from prosecution after signing a document admitting his part in the cover-ups.

BREAKING: Vatican Source: Pope dismissed Cdl. Müller for following Church rules on abuse cases


August 29, 2018

A highly placed Vatican source told LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Gerhard Müller, together with his much-experienced three CDF priests, were dismissed by Pope Francis because they all had tried to follow loyally the Church's standing rules concerning abusive clergymen. In one specific case, Müller opposed the Pope's wanting to re-instate Don Mauro Inzoli, an unmistakably cruel abuser of many boys; but the Pope would not listen to Müller. In another case, the Pope decided not to give a Vatican apartment to one of Müller's own secretaries, but to the now-infamous Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, in spite of the fact that someone had warned the Pope about Capozzi's grave problems. The Vatican source also said that it was known to several people in the Vatican that some restrictions were put on Cardinal McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI, and he thereby confirms Viganò's own claim.

When LifeSiteNews reached out to this very trustworthy and well-informed Vatican source, asking him about the then-breaking Viganò story and the archbishop's allegations that Pope Francis knew of McCarrick's habitual abuse, he answered: “Cardinal Müller [as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF)] had always decidedly and most sharply followed up on these abuse cases, and that is why he was dismissed, just as his three good collaborators [the three CDF priests] were also dismissed.”

Ambushing Pope Francis: The Accusations of Cardinal Viganò

International Policy Digest

August 28, 2018

By Binoy Kampmark

“Now that the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy, my conscience dictates that I reveal those truths.” – Cardinal Carlo Maria Viganò, Aug 25, 2018

It could be called the apology drive, a journey of institutional contrition. Pope Francis’ Ireland trip has seeped with remarks of forgiveness, seeking understanding from those who found themselves victims of child abuse within the Catholic Church. “We apologise,” he told a church service attended by some hundred thousand at Dublin’s Phoenix Park, “for some members of the hierarchy who did not take care of these painful situations and kept silent.” He “wished to put these crimes before the mercy of the Lord and ask forgiveness for them.”

The Vatican, however, is sibilant with the calls of vipers, and the efforts being made within the organisation to out and implicate Pope Francis as a hypocrite in the business of targeting child abuse found form in Saturday’s note of condemnation by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. Viganò had cut his teeth as the Vatican’s ambassador to Washington, and has never warmed to Francis, an official he accused of nursing a “pro-gay ideology” receptive to homosexual clerics.

On Saturday, the National Catholic Register, amongst other sites, ran news of testimony purportedly written by the aggrieved Cardinal. The flashpoint here was the case of former Cardinal and retired archbishop of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick, who now stands as a gruesome personification of institutional climbing and abuse in authority.

Today’s Palace Coup News


August 28, 2018

By Mark Shea

Here is all we actually, documentably know.

A man with a huge grudge against Francis and various others in the heirarchy accuses the one guy who actually got rid of McCarrick of being The Villain and the Usual Suspects instantly start screaming “RESIGN!”

Me: I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around the concept that the guy who, by his own confession, knew McCarrick was an abuser and did not call the cops, but did celebrate a dinner honoring him as a Great Evangelist is now accusing the one guy who did get rid of McCarrick as the villain and everybody is treating the guy who protected McCarrick as the hero.

Twin Cities Catholics gather in prayer following Pennsylvania clergy abuse allegations


August 20, 2018

By Iris Perez

United by sadness and brought together by hope, Catholics from the Twin Cities metro area gathered outside the Cathedral of St. Paul to pray for the survivors of alleged clergy abuse in the light of recently surfaced allegations in Pennsylvania.

“It’s devastating to hear time and again how the church has failed our most vulnerable,” said Tucker Moore, a Twin Cities Catholic. “I think there needs to be a reckoning of bad actors.”

“There’s no other response than sorrow and grief because it’s terrible,” said Anne Morath, a Catholic from the Twin Cities.

The evening of prayer and reflection comes after a grand jury investigation last week unveiled accusations that more than 1,000 children had been abused by 300 “predator priests” in six Pennsylvania dioceses, across eight decades.

Priest abuse: Illinois, Florida, Missouri, New York looking into Catholic church

York Daily Record

August 27, 2018

By Ed Mahon

Prosecutors in Illinois, Florida, Missouri and New York are considering or pursuing investigations into Catholic dioceses.

The moves come on the heels of a Pennsylvania grand jury report that described more than 300 "predator priests" and more than 1,000 victims in six Roman Catholic dioceses in the state.

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests have said formal investigations are necessary in every state.

“We find in Pennsylvania that the church hierarchy will only report child sex abuse by … clergy when forced to by outside agencies like a grand jury,” the organization said in a news release.

“You can't protect kids in secrecy”: Local reaction to the Pennsylvania clergy sex abuse grand jury report


August 29, 2018

By Viviana Hurtado

Reforms to better protect children and vulnerable adults from predator priests has come in the form of grand jury reports like this month's report from Pennsylvania.

August began with the Boston Globe’s reports in 2002 which exposed decades of clergy sex abuse.

Spiritual and legal reckonings around the country and world followed. In addition to some changes to beef up laws like extending statutes of limitations, as well as legal prosecution of predator priests and their superiors who don't stop their abuse.

"The Church I don't think failed. The hierarchy failed. And clericalism is at the heart of the problem," said Lourdes University Emeritus professor Geoffrey Grubb, Ph.D.

Specifically, bishops who have been chosen not for their independence, but their submission to the authority of the Vatican, explained University of Toledo Catholic Studies professor Peter Feldmeier.

"What gets rewarded in the Catholic Church in the case of the hierarchy is less robust shepherds than lambs," observed Dr. Feldmeier.

Catholic board backs parishioner-led child sex abuse investigations

The Associated Press

August 28, 2018

A committee created by the Catholic Church specifically to prevent sexual misconduct by clergy on Tuesday issued a damning assessment of the failings to stem the abuse, calling it an “evil” caused by “a loss of moral leadership.”

The National Review Board called for an investigation led by parishioners, saying a new wave of abuse scandals point to a “systematic problem” and that the bishops themselves can’t be trusted to lead an investigation.

Some survivors of clergy sex abuse said the call was a disingenuous attempt by the church to get around a true independent investigation.

The board was formed in 2002 in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandal that started in the Boston Archdiocese and rocked the church globally. The committee said it was compelled to seek a lay-led investigation after recent revelations from a grand jury investigation into six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania and allegations that led to the resignation last month of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C.

Catholic church knew of abuse claims against paedophile priest Michael Shirres for 28 years

NZ Herald

August 29, 2018

By Mick Hall

The Catholic Church was aware of sex abuse accusations against paedophile priest Father Michael Shirres nearly three decades before he was finally withdrawn from public ministry.

Another victim of the disgraced Dominican theologian has come forward to say Shirres abused her and her sister in Auckland in 1966 and her parents reported it to a parish priest.

The Herald has confirmed that the priest then told the Dominican order's provincial - the most senior cleric in Australasia at the time - and that Shirres was later sent away from Auckland to live at Aquinas College in Dunedin, but continued to work with families and children for decades.

Shirres was exposed in the Herald last month (July 25) as a self-confessed paedophile who had abused Whangarei woman Annie Hill, 56, from the age of five.

American Catholics calling for immediate changes in church amid child sex abuse scandals


August 27, 2018

By Victoria Sanchez

American Catholics are calling for immediate changes in the church as the re-emerging international scandal of child sex abuse is causing some to speak out in protests.

The pope wrapped up a trip to Ireland this weekend. During the trip, he apologized for decades of sex abuse at the hands of priests and for the systemic coverup.

The Vatican’s former top diplomat in the United States claims Pope Francis was a part of sexual abuse allegation coverups and released an 11-page document accusing the Pontiff of turning a blind eye.

Former Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano accused several senior church leaders of covering up sexual abuse allegations linked to former Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. Vigano claims Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Pope Francis knew about allegations for years.

Catholic Diocese of Orlando removes priest facing child sex abuse accusation

Orlando Sentinel

August 29, 2018

By Jeff Weiner

The Catholic Diocese of Orlando announced Wednesday that it had removed from the ministry a priest facing an accusation of sexual abuse of a minor in Pennsylvania.

The Rev. David C. Gillis had been serving as parochial administrator for the Church of Our Saviour in Cocoa Beach before his his removal.

In a letter, the Rev. John Giel, chancellor of canonical affairs for the Diocese, said Gillis was facing an accusation of abuse involving a minor “that has at least the semblance of truth.”

“The safety and well-being of our vulnerable populations are very important to us,” Giel wrote. “… We pray for all victims and their families and for those involved in this situation.”

The removal of Gillis stemmed from an accusation currently being investigated by authorities in Berks County, Pa.

Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams confirmed his office was in the early stages of investigating the case. Gillis has not yet been arrested or charged, Adams said Wednesday.

'After disappointment of Pope's visit, I want Taoiseach to let me name my abuser,' says survivor

Irish Independent

August 29, 2018

By Shona Murray

An industrial school abuse survivor is calling on the Government to release victims from the non-disclosure agreement set up in relation to the Ryan Commission.

Michael O'Brien was brutally raped during the eight years he spent in St Joseph's Industrial School, Ferryhouse, Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

Mr O'Brien said he was disappointed following the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland and would now write to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and request he be allowed to disclose the main predator who raped him at St Joseph's.

He also wishes to reveal how much he received in compensation following his testimony - which is also included in the non-disclosure clause.

Mr O'Brien said the pontiff did not go far enough in remedying the Church's role in abuse and cover-up during his visit last weekend.

He told the Irish Independent: "I was disappointed but not surprised by Pope Francis's visit this weekend.

Bishop Won't Move Into $2.3M Silicon Valley Home After All


August 29, 2018

By Kate Seamons

Bishop Patrick McGrath says he realized he 'erred in judgment in the purchase'

Bishop Patrick McGrath's retirement digs won't be as posh as initially planned. In response to the backlash that emerged after it was revealed the Diocese of San Jose in California had purchased for him a $2.3 million five-bedroom home in the city, the 73-year-old has now said he will not move into what was described as a "Tuscan estate," reports the New York Times. He had originally justified the purchase, made last winter, by saying it was made using a fund that could only go to housing; that it was a sound investment for the diocese; and that he didn't want to live in a rectory where he might disturb the priests. But that's where he'll end up: "in a rectory at one of our parishes," McGrath said in a Monday statement.

"I erred in judgment in the purchase of a 5-bedroom home for $2.3 million," he continued. "I failed to consider adequately the housing crisis in this valley and the struggles of so many families and communities in light of that crisis." As for the fate of the 3,269-square-foot house, it will be relisted and sold, with any profits going to Charities Housing. "I assume full responsibility for this decision and I believe that the sale of the house is the appropriate action," McGrath said in his statement.

Greensburg Diocese Removes Priest After Sex Abuse Of Minor Allegation


August 29, 2018

Former Bishop's Name Also Removed From Diocese Facility

A priest in the Greensburg Catholic Diocese has been removed after a credible allegation of sexual abuse of minor was received.

According to a statement from the diocese, the allegation was made against Fr. Joseph Bonafed and dates back 28 years.

“My understanding is the Attorney General’s hotline received this report in April,” said Bishop Edward Malesic, of the Greensburg Catholic Diocese. “We received the report earlier this week from a person related to the survivor, and we took action immediately.”

Betsy DeVos's new college plan allows alleged sexual offenders to demand proof from their victims

Yahoo Lifestyle

August 29, 2018

By Elise Solé

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is introducing new measures to colleges and universities that would, among other changes, allow people accused of sexual misconduct to cross-examine their victims and request evidence.

According to the New York Times, which obtained the proposed rules, last fall DeVos rescinded a 2011 letter prepared by the Obama administration, which detailed how schools that receive federal funding should handle sexual crimes.

“The truth is that the system established by the prior administration has failed too many students,” DeVos said in September 2017. “Survivors, victims of a lack of due process and campus administrators have all told me that the current approach does a disservice to everyone involved.”

As the Times reports, DeVos’s rules would maintain much of the law under Title IX, a federal civil rights law, which protects students from sex and gender discrimination, along with sexual misconduct. However, there are notable changes.

Archbishop Viganò, the Man Who Called for Pope’s Resignation, ‘Disappears’

New York Times via The Daily Beast

August 29, 2018

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò—the man who sent shockwaves through the Catholic Church last week by accusing Pope Francis of covering up reports of sexual abuse among the U.S.’s church hierarchy and urging him to resign—has reportedly “disappeared.” Viganò, former chief Vatican diplomat in the United States, wrote the letter with the help of a conservative journalist last Wednesday. When it was released to the press Sunday, the archbishop took his leave, turned off his cellphone, and disappeared to a secret location for “his own security,” according to Marco Tosatti, the writer who helped him pen the letter. Meanwhile, Pope Francis, speaking Wednesday during his first public appearance at the Vatican after the accusations, lamented how Ireland’s church authorities failed to respond there to crimes of sexual abuse.

Top officials leave Buffalo Diocese posts amid turmoil

The Buffalo News

August 29, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

Buffalo Diocese spokesman George Richert is leaving the job, as calls intensify for Bishop Richard J. Malone to step down amid a scandal over his handling of sex abuse and sexual harassment allegations.

The diocese announced on its website this afternoon that Richert will step down as director of communications, effective Sept. 7.

Richert, a former television reporter, had been in the post since 2016. The announcement followed recent calls for Malone to resign from Rep. Brian Higgins, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, and others.

"I am extremely grateful to George for his counsel during his tenure with the diocese, especially in these tumultuous times," Malone said in the statement on the diocese's website. "George was a valued member of my leadership team, respected in the community, and a gentleman of high integrity. I wish him the very best as he pursues other opportunities."

GoFundMe campaign seeks to raise $5,000 for accused priest

The Buffalo News

August 29, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

An online effort to raise money for a Buffalo Diocese priest accused of inappropriate conduct with a child has resulted in three donations totaling $450.

A GoFundMe campaign that began in May on behalf of the Rev. Arthur J. Smith seeks to raise $5,000.

Bishop Richard J. Malone’s handling of the allegations against Smith, 72, are at the center of a firestorm of calls for Malone to resign.

Malone returned Smith to ministry in the Buffalo Diocese and wrote the priest a glowing recommendation for ministry outside the diocese, despite complaints from a school principal who had accused Smith of inappropriate “grooming” behavior with a male elementary student.

Without explanation, former Bishop Edward U. Kmiec removed Smith in 2012 as pastor of St. Mary of the Lake Church in Hamburg. Under Malone, Smith returned to limited ministry, and not as a pastor, until this past April, when he was put on administrative leave due to a child sex abuse allegation. A diocesan investigation determined that the allegation was substantiated, and Smith was removed from ministry in June.

Few bishops resign in the face of clergy sex abuse scandals

The Buffalo News

August 27, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

The odds are probably against Bishop Richard J. Malone resigning any time soon – based on the few examples of American bishops who stepped down after being exposed for covering up clergy sex abuse.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday became the latest elected official to call for Malone to step down over his handling of sex abuse and harassment complaints against Buffalo Diocese clergy.

But within Catholic tradition, powerful political leaders don’t determine whether a bishop stays or goes. Only the pope has that kind of authority.

While bishops can remove priests from ministry, they can't remove another bishop, said Catholic Church scholar Michele Dillon. And bishops stepping down prematurely was a “fairly rare” occurrence within the church, added Dillon, professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire.

Despite revelations of cover-ups of clergy sexual abuse in dozens of U.S. dioceses, just five American bishops or archbishops resigned in the past 16 years, according to the website BishopAccountability.org, which maintains a massive database of clergy abuse cases.

The Pope probably should resign


August 29, 2018

By Jill Filipovic

Editor's Note: Jill Filipovic is a journalist based in New York and Nairobi, Kenya, and the author of the book "The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness." Follow her on Twitter. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. View more opinion articles on CNN.

As long-simmering tensions in the Catholic Church again boil to the surface over allegations of child sex crimes, a prominent -- and controversial -- archbishop is calling for the Pope's resignation. Is the church confronting a coup, or is it finally facing a reckoning?

It's both.

Of course, the church needs to be held accountable for the scandal -- up to its highest leader. But there is little evidence that the new calls to oust Pope Francis are being made in good faith over genuine concern for children abused over decades -- or the culture of male impunity that enabled it.

No, this current wave of outrage is led by the conservative clergy, via a recent 11-page later from Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò -- the former top Vatican diplomat in the United States, who Francis chose to replace. Viganò alleges that a "homosexual current" led to the sexual abuse scandal and that Francis covered for a cardinal he knew was a "sexual predator." The Pope's response: "I will not say a single word on this."



August 23, 2018

By Briane Toale

The recent Pennsylvania grand jury report that covers six of the eight Catholic dioceses in the State of Pennsylvania names 301 “Predator priests” and over 1000 victims. The jurors themselves state that in their belief, they have not identified even half of the actual number of victims.

All around the globe for the past half-century, wherever an investigation of the Catholic Church has been undertaken, the same pattern of sexual abuse and cover-up is exposed, and the lengths that the Church’s hierarchy will go to to protect their own reputation and financial holdings is revealed, yet again.

This should come as no surprise. The Catholic Church has been dealing with the issue of the sexual violation of minors for nearly its whole existence. Catholic Church canon law regularly dealt with the issue of priests having sexual contact with young boys and other violations of celibacy. The Church’s own records over the centuries show these were not rare exceptions but reliable predictors of clerical behavior.

To be church together


August 21, 2018

Joan Chittister began writing about the issue of sexual abuse in 2002. In light of the recent release of the Grand Jury Report on Sexual Abuse of Children within Six Dioceses of the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania, we have excerpted from two of her articles that dealt with the issue.

I’m beginning to wonder if we’ve been overlooking the real meaning, the ultimate impact, of two of the most powerful lines of scripture: “And a little child shall lead them” or, alternatively, “Let the little ones come unto me.” Pedophilia, the abuse of children, has finally unmasked for all to see the operational principles of an organization that has been able for years to ignore, reject-- even disdain--the cries of multiple other groups of the ignored and abused.

In a church that newly calls itself “the people of God” but clearly still thinks of itself more narrowly in terms of the pre-Vatican II definition of the church—those faithful in communion with the local bishop who is in communion with the Bishop of Rome—hearing is not a strong point. In a church such as that, questions do not need to be addressed; they can simply be denied on grounds of “unity” or “obedience” or “faith.” But to ignore the questions of women was one thing; to ignore the children was entirely another. To dismiss married priests was one thing; to protect pedophile priests was another. To claim ultimate authority by the clerical one percent of the church was one thing. To reject the authority of the people in the pews who, the new Code of Canon Law says, have not only the right but the duty “to make known their needs to their pastors” is entirely another.

Here’s why the ethical priorities of the Catholic Church are so badly warped

Raw Story

August 29, 2018

By Valerie Tarico

As Pennsylvania investigators worked to confirm up to 1000 cases of sexual abusecommitted by Catholic priests, a panel of Catholic ethicist-theologians appointed by the bishops was also hard at work.

Like the Pennsylvania team, the panel serving the bishops sought to ensure that Church-affiliated institutions weren’t ignoring sexual evils. Good on them! you might think. They’re finally taking responsibility for the mess created by their obsession with priestly abstinence.

You’d be wrong.

Bad, Bad Birth Control

The goal of the panel wasn’t to investigate, punish, heal or prevent child sex abuse. It was to ensure that Catholic-controlled healthcare systems don’t look the other way while doctors and other care providers offer contraception, vasectomies, tubal ligations, or abortions (or sexual transition care or death with dignity).

The panel concluded that the bishops must prevent these evils in any institution where they have a say, including secular hospitals that have been acquired by or affiliated with Catholic healthcare corporations. In the past, mergers between Catholic-owned and secular hospitals have sometimes carved out separate legal entities to allow continued provision of reproductive and end-of-life services that are prohibited by the religious directivesgoverning Catholic healthcare “ministries.”

Scandal of the cesspit babies: Liam Neeson joins fight for Pope to confront truth about 800 children dumped in a mass grave by Irish NUNS as star makes film about tragic home for unmarried mothers

Daily Mail

August 25, 2018

By Sheron Boyle

Pope Francis was greeted by rapturous crowds as he toured the streets of Dublin yesterday at the start of his historic visit to Ireland – only the second ever to the country by a Pontiff.

It was a warmth that will no doubt have come as some relief, given the cold shadow of abuse now covering the Catholic Church. That shadow will be all-too apparent once again today when Francis travels to Knock and its famous shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

For Knock in the west of Ireland is just a short distance from another, darker landmark – a mass grave containing the remains of up to 800 babies and children at a former home for unmarried mothers in Tuam, Co Galway.

2 N.J. priests 'step aside' after sexual misconduct allegations

NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

August 29, 2018

By Kelly Heyboer

Two New Jersey priests have left their parishes in Hudson and Bergen counties while Catholic Church officials investigate separate sexual misconduct allegations that date back decades, an archdiocese official said.

The Rev. Gerard Sudol, priest in residence at Our Lady of Czestochowa Catholic Church in Jersey City, stepped down from his post last week, said James Goodness, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark. Sudol was accused of sexually abusing an altar boy while he was assigned to a church in Ridgefield Park in the 1980s and 1990s.

Sudol faced similar accusations in the 1990s but was permitted to return to working in parishes, church officials said.

Will we ever know the truth?

National Catholic Reporter

August 22, 2018

By Phyllis Zagano

Pennsylvania is bad enough. What if the other 49 shoes drop?

Will other U.S. attorneys general follow Pennsylvania's lead? Will they launch investigations? Will they rid of us these troublesome priests … and bishops?

Probably not. Even as we reel in heartsick disbelief at staggering stories, the problem's roots may be too deep.

We must assume decay began long before the Pennsylvania report's 1947 start date. In the U.S., as elsewhere, a generational infestation now exhibits its epic proportions. Too many priest-abuser's stories begin with their own abuse at the hands of a priest or priests.

Maybe we should have paid more attention to last century's priestly exodus. Many priests left to marry. Many others simply left. Why? Not all who remained are dishonest, but what honest man could maintain sanity and remain silent if he knew bishops and others hid more than simple shenanigans? For years.

After Pennsylvania, What Pope Francis Should Say in Ireland

The New Yorker

August 22, 2018

By James Carroll

Pope Francis will make a fate-laden journey to Ireland this weekend. On Sunday, when he addresses a throng of Catholics in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, he will recall the last papal visit to Ireland, that of John Paul II, in 1979. But another papal address of that year should also come to mind. In June of 1979, John Paul II spoke to more than a million Poles in a field outside of Krakow and set in motion events that changed history. But that was then. Nowhere is the difference between what the Polish Pope confronted and what the Argentinian Pope now faces greater than in Ireland, which is ground zero of the collapse of Roman Catholic moral authority. Polish Catholicism was ascendant as the Cold War was winding down; Irish Catholicism is buckling. The hospitable Irish will receive Francis warmly, but an undercurrent of heartbreak and anger will also greet him. What can he possibly say?

Just two weeks ago, a Pennsylvania grand jury found that, over the course of seventy years, three hundred priests abused a thousand young victims—and likely many more who have not yet been identified—with bishops resolutely protecting the perpetrators rather than the children. “This is the murder of a soul,” one victim testified. The Vatican responded to the revelations in Pennsylvania with an expression of “shame and sorrow,” words that Francis repeated on Monday, in an unprecedented letter to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, though neither statement moved beyond perfunctory generalities of regret. But in Ireland, the priest-abuse scandal—in 2009, it was revealed that bishops had colluded with the police in order to protect predators—rocked the nation as, perhaps, nowhere else.

Catholics deserve better than the excuses offered by the archbishop


August 29, 2018

By Cal Pfeiffer

Archbishop Kurtz’s offensive and insensitive comments in a recent Sunday edition of the Courier Journal proves he is part if the problem of deceit and deception by bishops covering for pedophile priests.

As stated in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury’s Report, “It seemed as if there was a script. Through the end of the 20th century, the diocese developed consistent strategies for hiding child sex abuse. While the patterns were fairly apparent to us from the documents, we also had experts review them: special agents assigned to the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group: Behavioral Analysis Unit III – Crimes Against Children.

The agents identified seven factors that arose repeatedly in the diocesan response to child abuse complaints:

First – Use of euphemisms: Mischaracterizations of assaults and misleading designations for the removal of priests for a complaint of child sexual abuse. Violent criminal sexual acts, for example, were often described as “inappropriate” contact or “boundary issues.” The temporary or permanent removal of a priest from service was often coded as “sick leave” or “leave.”

Curia ‘clarifies’ position on Felix Cini


August 29, 2018

The following is a statement by the Communications Office of the Archdiocese of Malta issued earlier this afternoon. I will comment on this in a separate post:

The Communications Office refers to articles published in the media over the last 48 hours about Fr Felix Cini, a priest of Maltese nationality incardinated in the Diocese of Grosseto, Italy. In view of the concerns that have been raised, the following clarifications ought to be made in the best interest of the community.

Priest convicted of molesting children is not a 'full-time priest' - Curia

Times of Malta

August 29, 2018

Vatican allowed Fr Felix Cini to remain a priest after two years in therapy

Fr Felix Cini, a Maltese priest convicted in Italy of molesting 17 children, is not a full-time priest and is not allowed to exercise his ministry in Malta, the Curia has said.

In a statement, the Curia said Fr Cini was also not allowed to be in contact with minors or to work in any parish.

“On occasions, Fr Cini requested permission to concelebrate mass. This was only granted in exceptional circumstances such as funerals of relatives and neighbours, and on special occasions. The last Mass he concelebrated was in May 2018,” the Curia said.

This follows media reports that Fr Cini, who was convicted in 2004 of child molestation and possessing child pornography, had concelebrated mass in Bormla and taken part in a Pentecost procession in May, accompanying children receiving their first communion.

Reports quoted the Curia as saying that the priest was in Malta to assist his ailing mother.

On handling part-time priests


August 29, 2018

The Church needed to manage the reaction to my blog post of two days ago reporting that a priest convicted of molesting 17 children and banned for life by a civil court from ever dealing with children was now working as a priest in Bormla.

I reported what they had told me when I published the first story, that he was only saying mass on “special occasions”. And today I carried in full their statement, which they sent out to all media, clarifying that Felix Cini is not, as reported by this website, working in Bormla parish “in practice as a full-time priest”. He appears to be working part-time instead.

I certainly agree that it is important that the facts are straight. But I think it is important to take into account what is not in doubt and has not be contested by the diocese today:

The Catholic Church must confess its sins. All of them.

The Week

August 30, 2018

By Edward Morrissey

In the 16 years since The Boston Globe conducted an award-winning investigation into child abuse in the local Catholic diocese, the church has found itself in a constant and recurring crisis over sexual abuse of children and seminarians. The crisis has stretched across three pontificates, numerous countries, and has involved an ever-expanding number of priests, bishops, and even cardinals. And it's only getting worse.

Over the last two weeks, we have seen why. Three responses from the church's leadership, in the U.S. and in the Vatican, paint the 2,000-year-old organization as still blind to its predicament — more caught up in politics than in resolution, and its ordained and laity more interested in fighting an ideological war than in demanding accountability at every level of the church.

The latest episode of this crisis started with a grand jury report in Pennsylvania that identified hundreds of alleged abusers within the Catholic Church, and the failings of leadership to put an end to it. The report itself is damning but complex, with outright villains and others who failed to confront evil forcefully enough. Cardinal Donald Wuerl came under particular criticism for failing to act, a charge that Wuerl decided to rebut at his current assignment in the archdiocese of Washington — by publishing a website called "The Wuerl Record." The website extolled Wuerl's efforts to curtail child abuse while serving as the bishop in Pittsburgh and his "work as a longtime advocate and voice on this issue."

Aly Raisman blasts USAG hire of former Larry Nassar defender: 'Slap in the face for survivors'

Yahoo Sports

August 29, 2018

By Jason Owens

On Tuesday, USA Gymnastics announced that it was hiring Mary Lee Tracy as the elite development coordinator for its women’s program.

During the early stages of the Larry Nassar scandal being exposed, Tracy, a coach and owner of the Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, spoke on Nassar amid news that a coach who had worked at her gym in the early 2000s was found guilty of multiple sex crimes against children.

Tracy defended Larry Nassar in 2016

While she condemned that man, Ray Adams, in an interview with WCPO in Cincinnati, she spoke well of Nassar, who was later sentenced to 175 years in prison for serially abusing hundreds of young gymnasts over the course of several years.

“My Olympians have all worked with Larry,” Tracy told WCPO in the Dec. 2016 interview. “We were all defending him because he has helped so many kids in their careers. He has protected them, taken care of them, worked with me and worked with their parents. He’s been amazing.”

At the time of Tracy’s interview, more than 50 gymnasts and patients had accused Nassar of abuse.

Where does the Catholic Church go from here?

The Week

August 30, 2018

By Rachel Lu

Has Pope Francis been knowingly complicit in protecting sexual predators? That's the question Catholics are debating this week, as the Church's summer of scandal bleeds into what promises to be a very interesting fall.

The controversy exploded anew this weekend after Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a retired Vatican nuncio to the United States, published a detailed letter claiming that Pope Francis had personally rehabilitated the disgraced Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, with full knowledge of his history of sexual predation. According to Viganò, Pope Benedict XVI had ordered the former cardinal to retire from public ministry. McCarrick lived some years in uneasy defiance of this command until Francis, having been apprised of the situation, went out of his way to release the former cardinal from the ineffectual sanctions and elevate him to a position of high visibility and influence.

If this account is true, it will spell the end of Francis' soft-liberalization agenda for the Church. Neither he nor his protegees will have any remaining credibility. Whether or not the pope immediately resigns, such a development would signal a new chapter for Roman Catholicism.

The Catholic world is still grappling with the staggering implications of Viganò's testimony, scrambling to determine whether the available evidence supports his claims. No significant holes have yet been punched in Viganò's account, though it is replete with references to people, dates, and documents. Francis' closest supporters have tried to present the retired diplomat as a disgruntled careerist lashing out against old enemies. It's clear enough that the whole affair is saturated in Church politics, but unfortunately, the pope's own credibility is presently quite thin.

Victim speaks out over alleged sexual abuse at hands of former St. Martinville priest


August 27, 2018

By Rebeca Marroquin

Although the name of a sexual abuse victim isn't normally released, Doug Bienvenu says he's speaking out for the first time in over 40 years because he feels it's time his story came to light.

"Some horrible things happened... This priest was molesting me, and this went on for quite a while," he says.

He tells us he was only 9 years old when he says he experienced sexual abuse at the hands of, now deceased, Father Kenneth Morvant of St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church.

"We were young, we were kids and we all wanted to be altar boys. We thought it was a cool thing and we got to get away for the weekends and spend the nights at the rectory where the priest lives," explains Bienvenu.

He alleges that once there, the priest would provide him with alcohol and claims Morvant would wait until Beinvenu was drunk to sexually molest the then, 9-year-old boy. He says this continued until one day it was too much for the boy to handle.

August 29, 2018

Cardinal insists Church will take ‘concrete action’ on abuse

The Irish Times

August 28, 2018

By Colin Gleeson Thurles

Senior cleric coy on whether allowing priests to marry might solve shortage of priests

A senior cleric has insisted the Catholic Church will follow up Pope Francis’ apology to victims of clerical abuse with “concrete actions” to ensure children are protected and perpetrators are held to account.

Some 55 per cent of Irish people believe Pope Francis “did not go far enough” when he addressed the issue of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church on his visit to the Republic last week, according to an opinion poll in The Irish Times.

Cardinal John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington, New Zealand, has said Pope Francis did “extremely well” in his handling of the clerical abuse issue during his 36-hour visit.

“I thought he did extremely well to address it at the beginning of the mass at Phoenix Park. He was up front about it. He apologised for it.”

Cardinal Dew, who was speaking to The Irish Times on the fringes of a pastoral conference on “the future of the Irish parish” in Thurles, Co Tipperary, also addressed criticism that the Pope failed to outline concrete actions to be taken.

“It’s hard to know what people actually want,” he said. “But I think now that people have been speaking about this, I’m sure there will be. I’m sure there will be some concrete actions taken.

Catholic young adults pray for survivors of clergy abuse, wounded church

Catholic News Service

August 28, 2018

By Matthew Davis

As the sun set Aug. 20, about 120 Catholics gathered on the steps of the Cathedral of St. Paul to pray for survivors of clergy sexual abuse and for a cleansing of the Catholic Church.

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Among them was Pennsylvania native Corey Furdock, for whom the grand jury report issued Aug. 14 detailing clergy sexual abuse claims in that state hit especially close to home.

"My childhood priest was on the list, and it [abuse] was speculated back when he was removed in 2006. He just kind of disappeared," said Furdock, 27, a parishioner of the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis.

"It's been really difficult," he added. "Here, it's a national headline that I think everyone can grieve [about], but being from there, having that relationship to the church ... it's painful."

The prayer vigil included evening prayer from the church's Liturgy of the Hours and petitions related to abuse survivors and the scandal.

Many attendees held candles. Most were in their 20s and 30s and came from parishes across the Twin Cities.

A group of young adult Catholics has been meeting for informal discussions in the wake of recent clergy sexual abuse revelations, including the Pennsylvania report, credible allegations of abuse against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, and accusations of sexual harassment against a former vocations director in the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, who died in 2008.

Those gatherings led a few attendees to organize the Aug. 20 vigil, after discussions sparked a desire to bring people together to pray for the abuse victims and the church.

They spread news of the event by word-of-mouth and social media. "We don't know where to begin. So join us for evening prayer and intercessions," began the Facebook invitation. "It will be a simple evening on the steps of the cathedral to pray for the Lord's healing, mercy, justice to be made present in these dark times. It is also an opportunity for us, as young adults, to band together and not be swayed by the evil that is so clearly present."

"The fact that there were so many people here, I think is a really huge sign of hope that people haven't become so bitter that they don't want to pray for the church anymore," said Jenny Lippert, 26, a parishioner of St. Paul in Ham Lake, about the vigil.

How the Media Fails Church Coverage

Commentary Magazine

August 29, 2018

By Sohrab Ahmari

Dissociation and projection.

The Catholic Church—the religious body which I joined in 2016 and which I affirm to be Jesus Christ’s One True Fold—is going through an ordeal. It is an ordeal, perhaps, of the kind that only comes about once every half a millennium or so. As a believer, my feelings seesaw between fear and joy. I fear for the future of the Church. I take joy in the long overdue cleansing, even if it means breaking the false truce between orthodox and heterodox forces in the Church.

The unbearable ugliness of the Catholic Church

The Week

August 29, 2018

By Damon Linker

How will the Roman Catholic Church survive the scandals engulfing it on every side?

It's a hyperbolic question, but one with a serious intent.

Of course the church will continue to exist in some form. Two-thousand-year-old institutions with a billion adherents and solid growth rates in the developing world don't disappear overnight, no matter how thoroughly corrupt they are revealed to be.

But in what form will it survive?

Four decades ago, Ireland was among the most homogeneously and fervently Catholic countries in the world. When Pope John Paul II visited in 1979, he was greeted by crowds of well over a million people. Last weekend, three months after the overwhelming passage of a referendum that repealed the pro-life provision of the Irish constitution, Pope Francis addressed a crowd roughly one-tenth the size.

What has changed? In the intervening years, Irish Catholicism has been crushed by an avalanche of scandals involving the widespread decades-long abuse (sexual and otherwise) of children in the country's schools and childcare system.

Sexual abuse within church adds to trauma of abuse


August 28, 2018

By Jalyn Souchek

Therapists for sexual abuse victims say abuse damages a person but abuse done so within a church only heightens the trauma.

Currently, the Vatican is struggling to respond to claims that Pope Francis helped cover up sexual abuse. He's accused or protecting American Cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, who last month resigned in disgrace. This all comes after a Pennsylvania grand jury report that detailed hundreds of pedophile priests and suggested victim numbers may in the thousands.

Allegations against the church are nothing new nor are they new to the state of Iowa. In Dubuque, the archdiocese has paid over $5 million in settlements to sexual abuse survivors from cases that spanned the 1940's to the 1970's.

"With all sexual abuse there's an element of power and control but then when you have the whole weight of the heighten of the church," Catherine Essers, a sexual assault therapist at Riverview Center in Dubuque, said.

Louis C.K. Hasn’t Earned His Comedy-World Redemption

The Daily Beast

August 28, 2018

By Danielle Tcholakian

The renowned stand-up comedian made what many have labeled a “comeback” performance on Sunday night. But he’s yet to atone for his sins—far from it.

After a fall from grace that continues to roil the comedy community, Louis C.K. took a nine-month sabbatical (a trip to Europe, as disgraced men do). This week, he returned to the Comedy Cellar, apparently unannounced, and did a set in which he discussed “typical” topics for him—“racism, waitresses’ tips, parades,” according to The New York Times. It appears he did not address his past misdeeds or any lessons he may have learned in his time out of the public eye.

It seems C.K. would like everyone to forget his transgressions. For the record, he masturbated in front of women with whom he worked. He asked them first, but acknowledged himself “that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question”—something many of his fans seem unable to accept. For the past nine months, his fans have continued to rage against the women who dared speak out about how he made them feel, how he took advantage of them, and how his power jeopardized their careers and their safety. Other than the lone statement he made in November 2017, he hasn’t spoken about the issue again—not to calm his raging fans, not to expound upon how wrong he was to get them to understand, not to share how he learned that what he did was wrong, not in any way at all.

Editorial: Bishop Malone should resign

The Buffalo News

August 28, 2018

News Editorial Board

Rejecting public calls to resign, Bishop Richard J. Malone on Sunday used a biblical metaphor.

“The shepherd does not desert the flock in a difficult time,” he said.

The sad truth is that Bishop Malone has lost his way, as well as his credibility, in his handling of abuse allegations against priests in the Diocese of Buffalo. It is time for him to step down. The diocese needs a leader who is not confused about the nature of the crisis enveloping the church.

To be clear, many of the sexual abuse scandals that have emerged in the past six months involved incidents that happened years or decades ago, well before Malone took over here. He has spoken of his desire to heal the past victims, and in March the diocese established the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, to give recompense to victims of priest sex abuse.

In an interview with The Buffalo News in June, Malone said “there’s nothing being hidden” from the public about abuse allegations.

Two Women Describe Louis C.K.’s ‘Uncomfortable’ Comedy Cellar Set


August 29, 2018

By Hunter Harris

As the New York Times reported, when Louis C.K. took the stage for a surprise set at the Comedy Cellar Sunday night, he was met with applause. The short set was his first appearance after he released a statement in November admitting to sexually harassing five women following a New York Times exposé. Two women who sat through C.K.’s set told Vulture that though the small venue’s audience was overwhelmingly supportive of the comedian, one joke about rape whistles was “uncomfortable,” and that there seemed to be a divide between how men and women reacted to C.K.’s presence.

The women were at the Comedy Cellar that night to see another comedian on the lineup when C.K. appeared onstage after a brief introduction from the night’s emcee. “It felt like he was being thrust upon the audience without telling them,” one woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told Vulture. “The audience was very loud when Louis C.K. walked in. They were clearly supportive and surprised when he showed up, but there were a number of women sitting in the front row,” the woman said. From her seat to the left of the stage, she could see a pair of women sitting stone-faced. Her friend, who asked be identified with the initials S.B., noticed the same reaction: “There were at least four to five females that I could see, and three or four of them were not having it. They were just looking at him, deadpan, straight, not having it.”

S.B. said the audience was mostly white, with lots of couples. Both women say the set was awkward, but the first woman was particularly upset by it. “It was an all-male set to begin with. Then, it’s sort of exacerbated by [C.K.’s] presence,” she said. “If someone had heckled him, I think they would’ve been heckled out. It felt like there were a lot of aggressive men in the audience and very quiet women. It’s the kind of vibe that doesn’t allow for a dissenting voice. You’re just expected to be a good audience member. You’re considered a bad sport if you speak out.”

Religion, abuse and the role of the secular state

The Guardian

August 29, 2018

Readers respond to Polly Toynbee’s claim that respect for the rights of religion has gone too far

Well said, Polly Toynbee (The culture of respect for religion has gone too far, 28 August). The dreadful deeds that have taken place in religious establishments responsible for teaching, instructing or caring for children over the generations is unconscionable. Under the badge of religious exceptionalism, evil people (mostly men) have wreaked huge damage on countless numbers of children, physically, emotionally and morally.

Now that the evidence of their misdeeds is being revealed, often through the bravery of victims who have succeeded in pulling back the curtain of secrecy and silence, we need to take a stand. We have acquiesced while the state stands back, allowing religion to occupy a place apart. Secular oversight is too often seen as unnecessary. We privilege religious schools, we take no interest in the fate of children consigned to their control, subjected to different codes of practice and, too often, the depredations of unscrupulous adults. We choose not to monitor the fate of children withdrawn from mainstream schools and educated in unofficial establishments, or “at home” by parents with religious intent.

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The Disclosure and Barring Service checks countless numbers of volunteers working with children in the open, public sphere, but sees no need to know what is happening in the private, religious domain. It’s time, as Polly Toynbee suggests, for us to rethink the religious presence in our legislature and be unequivocal as to the right of all children to receive the same level of protection decreed as necessary and required by the law of the land.
Gillian Dalley


• Polly Toynbee rightly highlights the shame of abuse within religious institutions, but takes the argument too far in launching a familiar attack on faith in general. She overlooks that many of the great social reforms have been led by religious figures, including William Wilberforce’s battle against slavery, Elizabeth Fry’s prison reforms and anti-apartheid campaigners such as Trevor Huddleston. Movements that have helped thousands of people have been founded out of the roots of faith, like the Salvation Army (William Booth) and the Samaritans (Chad Varah).

The NHS, whose 70th anniversary we mark this year, was inspired by the thinking of William Beveridge, but also influenced by the archbishop William Temple, who held this office from 1942 to 1944. Faith has and can be a catalyst, inspiration and motivator for social change.
Zaki Cooper

Trustee, Council of Christians and Jews

The culture of respect for religion has gone too far

The Guardian

August 28, 2018

By Polly Toynbee

Ireland’s confrontation with its dark past shines a searchlight on Catholicism. But all religions can be havens for abusers

The pope has flown home after a roughing-up in Ireland. Just a few years ago it was unimaginable that a gay taoiseach would dare berate a visiting pontiff face-to-face about the “dark aspects” of Ireland’s history and “brutal crimes perpetrated by people within the Catholic church”.

Leo Varadkar’s magnificent assault eviscerated his country’s past cultural capture by the church. “The failures of both church and state and wider society created a bitter and broken heritage for so many, leaving a legacy of pain and suffering,” he said. “It is a history of sorrow and shame.” The sorrow is not just for victims of monstrous priestly abuse, but the abuse of an entire society in thrall to clerical oppression: lives crimped, warped and blighted, no escape from the church’s domination of everything. The best Irish literature breathes that pernicious incense.

Pope Francis’s visit to Ireland had the opposite effect of the healing intended: it set a seal on the liberation of a nation broken free with its votes on same-sex marriage and abortion. Varadkar’s government plans to loosen the grip of the Catholic church over primary education, ripping out indoctrination by the roots.

The pope apologised for the “grave scandal”, for the failure “adequately to address these repellent crimes” that “remain a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community”. But the Irish horrors are beyond apology, the women enslaved in Magdalene laundries, babies snatched into forced adoption, and 800 children’s bodies dumped into a cesspit at a convent in Tuam. For thousands revealed to have been abused by Catholic priests around the world, whose crimes were covered up by bishops and the Vatican, no mere apology will do.

The pope’s ‘no comment’ on sexual abuse cover-up allegations isn't good enough

The Los Angeles Times

August 27, 2018

By Michaek McGough

Let’s stipulate, as the lawyers say, that an Italian archbishop had an ideological ax to grind when he claimed that Pope Francis lifted the restrictions his predecessor had placed on a cardinal accused of sexual misconduct. Go ahead and assume for the sake of argument that Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano — a former Vatican ambassador in Washington, D.C., — was disgruntled and out for revenge.

That doesn’t mean the pope can continue to refuse to comment on it.

Vigano accused Francis of reversing a decision by Pope Benedict XVI to impose limitations on the activities of then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., who according to news reports had a a 50-year history of sexual relations with male seminarians and young priests. (After a church investigation found credible an accusation that McCarrick also had abused a minor, Francis accepted his resignation from the College of Cardinals.)

The Pope and Credibility

The Wall Street Journal

August 28, 2018

By James Freeman

What does a good shepherd owe to his flock?

Pope Francis doesn’t have to run for re-election and the world’s Catholics cannot choose to recall him from office. But given a detailed public allegation last weekend from an archbishop in the church that the Pope ignored evidence of sexual abuse by a cardinal, the spiritual leader of more than one billion people perhaps owes his flock at least an explanation. So far, they’re still waiting for one.

Catholics are Facing a Very Real Emergency


August 29, 2018

By Mary Hunt

What's needed is a massive overhaul so that Catholic communities can be run by trained lay people rather than be ruled by incompetent and sometimes criminal bishops.

Catholics have a term for our current situation: in extremis. It means far out, near the end. For example, if an unbaptized baby is in danger of death and there is no priest to baptize, anyone can perform a valid and licit baptism. For all of the well-catalogued reasons of priest pedophilia, abuse of vulnerable adults, bishops covering up crimes, and now the ex-nuncio’s screed depicting dueling factions of higher-ups, the institutional church is in extremis. Extraordinary means are necessary not to save the institution but to give people their pastoral due. This is a Catholic Pastoral Emergency.

None of the however-well-meaning statements from church authorities has provided concrete, useful, outside-the-box solutions for Catholics who are grappling with the depth and breadth of clergy criminal behavior, its cover-up, and the morally tawdry crowd that’s airing their dirty vestments in public. While it will take years to absorb the depravity and deception, people have concrete pastoral needs today.

The primary concern ought to be for the victim/survivors and their families. It’s disconcerting to hear bishops continue to tell people to report crimes to church officials. If a child is abused, it’s a crime: report it to the police just as you would report any rape or robbery. Eventually, the institutional church may be involved, but it has proved itself incapable of handling such cases; the chances of being re-victimized are high and there’s no reason to put people at further risk.

Similar concern is for people in parishes whose priests and bishops were offenders. These folks have had their sense of church community shattered, their faith shaken. They’re questioning their deepest commitments and trying to figure their way forward. Again, Catholic priests are the last ones to consult. Catholic clergy have lost credibility. Insider arguments and jockeying for position have left even the most pious of Catholics disgusted. The priests’ training for and habits of handling sexual abuse are simply not up to the needs of their people. The pastoral problems are here and now. It will take resources from outside the Catholic Church to deal with them.

Catholic priest to lead Newark rally against church sex abuses

North Jersey Record

August 28, 2018

By Deena Yellin

A priest who says he was sexually assaulted three decades ago will lead a demonstration against church sexual abuses on Wednesday, in front of Newark's Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

The Rev. Desmond Rossi, a priest in the Diocese of Albany, said the aim of the "National Day for Reform" is to gather the Catholic community together for prayer and to plan for the future.

The event, called for 1 p.m., will include prayers for the health of the church, and a call for changes that will lead the church back to sanctity, he said.

Father Robert Hoatson, a former priest with the Archdiocese of Newark, said he's glad Rossi is having the event to push for change within the church.

Hoatson, who will be among the speakers Wednesday, said he's distraught that those who knew about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's alleged misconduct did nothing. McCarrick resigned from the College of Cardinals in July amid abuse allegations.

Catholic Church insiders are calling for Pope Francis to resign. Here’s why.


August 28, 2018

By Tara Isabella Burton

The internal politics informing the church’s reaction to the clerical sex abuse crisis.

Reeling from new claims of unfettered sexual abuse at the hands of priests and cover-ups by high-ranking officials, the Catholic Church is facing one of its most serious and divisive crises of the 21st century.

Last weekend, a former Vatican official, ex-papal nuncio Carlo Maria Viganò, published an incendiary open letter calling for Francis to resign for willfully turning a blind eye to ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s decades of sexual abuse and harassment against junior seminarians under his authority. (McCarrick has also been accused of abusing two minors; Viganò does not make any mention of those cases and does not imply Francis knew about them.)

Viganò claims that Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, had imposed sanctions against McCarrick, mandating that he carry out the remainder of his life in prayer and seclusion, only for Francis to lift the ban upon ascending to the papacy in 2013. During Francis’s papacy, McCarrick served as a trusted Vatican adviser and influential voice on both internal church appointments and global affairs.

Viganò’s letter contains serious charges. Fundamentally, it alleges that Francis was knowingly negligent in dealing with known abuse by a major Catholic figure. But reading between the lines, it’s also possible to see in Viganò’s letter a wider political concern: the accusation that Pope Francis’s liberal ideology and lax attitude toward homosexuality fostered a culture of sexual abuse, propped up by a gay lobby operating at the highest echelons of the Vatican.

Colonialism and the Crisis Inside the Crisis of Catholic Sexual Abuse


August 27, 2018

By Kathleen Holscher

The emphasis on largely white contexts in national media coverage of Catholic clerical sexual abuse in the United States obscures the ways race and colonialism have structured the crisis in other communities.

Like others who study American Catholicism, I’ve spent time recently with the Pennsylvania grand jury report naming credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The heavily publicized, 900-page document is a civic tour de force; it names 301 Catholic priests who, during the twentieth century, were employed across 6 dioceses in Pennsylvania. It records their alleged crimes—and those of bishops who protected them—in excruciating detail.

From the vantage point of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where I live and teach, the grand jury report provides not only a horrific portrait of some parts of Catholic life in a mid-Atlantic state; it offers reminders too of the devastating and often overlooked history of clerical sexual abuse here in the U.S. Southwest. New Mexico was arguably the epicenter of 20th century priestly sexual violence; several of the clergy named in the grand jury report made their way eventually from Pennsylvania to New Mexico. They came because, for much of the century, bishops from across the nation disposed of their worst offenders by sending them for “treatment” here. The priests came to the Via Coeli Monastery, run by the Servants of the Paracletes in the mountains near Jemez Springs. The monastery opened in 1947, and over the years more and more of its residents were men who, according to the congregation’s founder, were “addicted to abnormal practices” including “sins with the young.”

Many of the priests who moved to Via Coeli were eventually released into work with children and adults in New Mexico. The career of Fr. Edward Graff, detailed in the Pennsylvania grand jury report, exemplifies this pattern. Graff was a priest in the Diocese of Allentown for nearly thirty years. During his time there, the grand jury tells us, he “raped scores of children.” Eventually, in the late 1980s, Graff was removed to the Paracletes for treatment. Upon his release, Bishop Thomas Welsh of Allentown “authorized [the priest] to begin ministry to the needy in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico” under the continued supervision of the congregation. Archbishop Robert Sanchez of Santa Fe agreed, and granted Graff “limited faculties” to carry out work with the homeless and with AIDS patients in Albuquerque.

Pope Francis reportedly has no intention of resigning

Good Morning America

August 28, 2018

By Ben Gittleson and David Wright

Pope Francis has no intention of stepping down as he fights accusations that he protected a former archbishop accused of sexual abuse, Italian news agency ANSA reported, citing “close associates” of the pope.

The pontiff was “embittered” by a letter written by the Vatican’s former ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, in which the former diplomat accused the pope and his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, of knowing of abuse allegedly carried out by the former archbishop in Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the associates said, according to ANSA.

But, they said, Francis, 81, "is not thinking about resignation,” ANSA reported.

Catholic Lay Group Wants More Responsibility To Investigate Clergy Sexual Abuse


August 28, 2018

By Tom Gjelten

A group of Catholics empowered to advise U.S. bishops on their handling of clergy sex abuse is accusing the bishops of "a loss of moral leadership" and recommending that lay Catholics like themselves should henceforth be responsible for investigating clergy misconduct.

The National Review Board, a lay panel established in 2002 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a strongly worded statement that allegations against former Washington, D.C., Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and accounts of clergy abuse detailed in a recent Pennsylvania grand jury report reflect "a systemic problem within the Church that can no longer be ignored or tolerated by the episcopacy in the United States."

The NRB was created as part of the U.S. bishops' response to revelations in 2002 that Catholic authorities had covered up evidence of criminal sexual misconduct by Catholic clergy in the Boston area. The 11-member panel was supposed to work "collaboratively" with the bishops' Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, but the statement released Tuesday suggested that model had proved inadequate.

US cardinals defend themselves over cover-up storm


August 28, 2018

US cardinals defended themselves Monday against accusations of a Catholic Church cover-up on sex abuse detailed by a conservative bishop who has called on Pope Francis to resign.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, a progressive, expressed "shock, sadness and consternation" at the wide-ranging allegations, which he said "cannot be understood as contributing to the healing of survivors of sexual abuse."

"Together with Pope Francis, we are confident that scrutiny of the claims of the former nuncio will help to establish the truth," Tobin said.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a former Vatican envoy to the United States, said Saturday he had told Francis of the allegations against prominent US cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2013.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington -- who himself faces calls to resign for covering up abuse while formerly bishop of Pittsburgh -- denied any knowledge that his predecessor had been either sanctioned or accused of abuse.

"During his entire tenure as archbishop of Washington no one has come forward to say to him, 'Cardinal McCarrick abused me' or made any other like claim," said a statement from his archdiocese.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the questions raised by Vigano "deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence."

Louis C.K., Matt Lauer, and Aziz Ansari all resurface: Is it already comeback time for the men of #MeToo?

Yahoo Celebrity

August 28, 2018

By Taryn Ryder

Was there a Men of #MeToo conference we didn’t know about? Louis C.K., Matt Lauer, and Aziz Ansari — three stars who have grappled with sexual-misconduct scandals — reemerged within days of each other, perhaps with the hope of putting their respective allegations in the rearview mirror.

Louis C.K. made a surprise appearance at the Comedy Cellar in New York City on Sunday night, performing a 15-minute set that touched on what owner Noam Dworman called “typical Louis C.K. stuff” — racism, waitresses’ tips, and parades.

“It sounded just like he was trying to work out some new material, almost like any time of the last 10 years he would come in at the beginning of a new act,” he told the New York Times.

Explosive letter claims Pope Francis helped cover up cardinal McCarrick sex abuse

Yahoo View

August 27, 2018

“The corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy,” the Vatican’s former ambassador to the U.S. purportedly wrote in a letter calling on Francis to resign.

Presentan querella por abuso sexual contra presbítero suspendido de Puerto Aysén

[Sex abuse complaint lodged against suspended Puerto Aysén priest]

El Mostrador

August 29, 2018

Ayer se materializó el ingreso de una querella por abuso sexual contra el cura de Puerto Aysén Porfirio Díaz, por parte de María Fernanda Barrera, quien hace unos meses hizo pública esta denuncia. Según consigna Cooperativa, los hechos sucedieron en 2003, lo cual significa que la causa podría ser declarada prescrita. No obstante, según la abogada Betsabé Carrasco, la posible existencia de otras denuncias podría empujar el avance de la causa.

Justicia verá este miércoles recurso interpuesto por Precht contra Arzobispado de Santiago

[Court to consider appeal by Precht against the Archbishop of Santiago]


August 29, 2018

By María José Villarroel and Nicole Martínez

A las 9:00 horas la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago revisará el recurso de amparo interpuesto por el sacerdote Cristián Precht en contra del Arzobispado de Santiago y el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati, por la medida cautelar que lo obliga a residir en Santiago, mientras dure una investigación en su contra por el denominado Caso Maristas, lo que, a juicio del cura, afecta sus derechos constitucionales.

Desperté y lo vi desnudo: la cruda denuncia contra cura que habría embriagado a joven para violarlo

["I woke up and I saw him naked:" Former seminarian shares detailed accusation against priest]


August 29, 2018

By Nicolás Parra

Sin revelar su identidad -en sus propias palabras “por miedo y vergüenza”- el exseminarista que denunció haber sido violado por el investigado párroco de Hualqui, Reinaldo Méndez Sánchez, entregó un desgarrador testimonio y relata su verdad: fue obligado a embriagarse y durante la madrugada siguiente despertó cubierto de semen.

Sacerdote acusado de violación: Arzobispado penquista ratifica reapertura de investigación

[Priest accused of rape: Archbishop Penquista ratifies reopening of investigation]


August 29, 2018

By Nicolás Parra and Óscar Valenzuela

El Arzobispado de Concepción confirmó que se reabrió una investigación canónica contra del párroco de Hualqui, Reinaldo Méndez, tras la denuncia de un exseminarista por una violación que habría ocurrido en 2002 en la comuna de Santa Juana.

Iglesia suspende a excapellán de Carabineros y sacerdote de Talca por casos de abusos sexuales

[Church suspends two clergy members after sex abuse allegations deemed credible]

The Clinic

August 28, 2018

By EFE [news agency]

La Iglesia suspendió hoy a otros dos sacerdotes tras comprobar que los hechos relacionados con abusos sexuales en los que se habían visto envueltos en el seno de la institución son verosímiles. El primer caso viene consignado en un comunicado de la diócesis de Talca, donde se explica que con fecha 28 de agosto se ha decretado el cierre de la investigación previa efectuada por una denuncia de abuso sexual a un menor, que fuera recibida en contra del presbítero Luis Felipe Egaña Baraona.

Priests worry of a ‘2002 redux’

Boston Herald

August 29, 2018

By Sean Philip Cotter

Voice ‘frustrations’ at meeting

Catholic priests voiced their “frustrations and anxieties” over renewed church sex abuse scandal as Cardinal Sean O’Malley sought to address cover-up allegations to the clergy of the Boston archdiocese yesterday.

“Is this 2002 redux?” The Rev. Paul Soper, the archdiocesan secretary for evangelization and discipleship, said was the overriding concern of the approximately 300 priests who attended O’Malley’s meeting at St. Julia’s in Weston.

Soper was referring to the year the massive Boston archdiocese sex abuse scandal made worldwide headlines.

“They worry we’re falling into that kind of abyss,” Soper said of the churchwide scandal now exploding in Pennsylvania with allegations of official mishandling reaching Boston and even Rome.

O’Malley’s closed-door meeting at the church lasted more than an hour and a half. Priests speaking afterward said O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, gave his side of the story in the scandal involving the ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick — which he is alleged to have ignored. He had another archdiocesan official talk about the ongoing investigation into abuse allegations at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton. The meeting also included a town-hall section where priests were able to speak their piece, with many voicing worries or frustrations.

“It was a struggle for everybody,” said one priest who didn’t give his name.

How A Respected Jewish Educator Preyed On Children For A Half-Century


August 28, 2018

By Ari Feldman

By his own admission, Stanley S. Rosenfeld, a Jewish educator who worked primarily in New York City and Rhode Island, sexually abused “hundreds” of children — nearly all middle school-aged boys — during his five-decade career. From a beloved summer camp in New Jersey, to elite Orthodox schools in New York, to a small Conservative synagogue in Rhode Island, Rosenfeld assaulted and molested children with near impunity, charged with a crime exactly once.

Nearly all the people who knew him, including his victims, described him as friendly, pleasant and a good teacher. But his acts of sexual violence — ranging from genital groping to performing nonconsensual fellatio — marred the childhoods of people now between 30 and 76 years old.

The Jewish institutions that employed him are still reckoning with the aftermath.

So is Rosenfeld.

The Forward first published an article about Rosenfeld in July. At the time, it was not known whether he was still alive. The next day, this reporter located Rosenfeld living in a nursing home in Providence, Rhode Island. He is 84 years old.

Woman Formerly Known as "Jane Doe" Speaks Exclusively with WMAR-2 News [with video]

WMAR-2 News

August 28, 2018

By Christian Schaffer

Calls for Grand Jury Investigation into church

On a table inside Jean Hargadon Wehner's home in Howard County, sits a rock with the word "Courage" carved into it -- right next to a picture of Sister Catherine Cesnik.

“This is a woman who I felt should be spoken of, should be honored, should be discussed within the church," Hargadon Wehner told WMAR-2 News’ Christian Schaffer, in an exclusive interview.

In the 1990s Hargadon Wehner sued the Archdiocese of Baltimore, under the name of "Jane Doe.” Then last year she re-surfaced, in the Netflix series “The Keepers.” This is the first time since the release of that series that we are hearing from her.

Hargadon Wehner is featured prominently. She names the disgraced priest Joseph Maskell as one of her abusers, when she attended Archbishop Keough High School back in the late 1960s.

On the last day of school in the spring of 1969, Sister Cesnik asked Jean whether she was being made to do something she didn’t want to do, and whether priests were involved. And she said yes. The nun told her she would take care of it, and to have a good summer.

State attorney general: Pittsburgh Bishop Zubik 'not telling the truth'

Trib Live

August 28, 2018

By Wes Venteicher and Natasha Lindstrom

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro accused Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik of lying about an alleged cover-up of child sex abuse in his diocese and said bishops in Greensburg and Harrisburg fought to block the release of a grand jury report detailing abuses.

“Those insinuations are false,” Matt Haverstick, legal counsel for the Greensburg and Harrisburg dioceses, told the Tribune-Review late Tuesday. “The dioceses of Greensburg and Harrisburg have always supported the release of an accurate grand jury report. I’m not sure I can say the same thing about the Attorney General’s office.”

Shapiro fought to get the grand jury report released publicly two weeks ago. It contained allegations against 301 priests in six of Pennsylvania’s dioceses and efforts by church leaders to cover up the abuse.

He told the New York Times in a story published Monday that bishops of the Greensburg and Harrisburg dioceses worked “behind the scenes to shut the report down” while saying publicly that they supported the release.

‘Monsignor Meth’ fails drug test, may go back to prison

The Associated Press

August 26, 2018

Court records say a former Roman Catholic priest dubbed “Monsignor Meth” because he ran a meth distribution ring has failed a drug test and may have to return to prison.

The Hartford Courant reports that court documents show Former Bridgeport Diocese Monsignor Kevin Wallin recently tested positive for amphetamine at the facility where he’s been receiving treatment.

Probation officer Jose Vargas is urging the court to suspend Wallin’s supervised release.

“Mr. Wallin has rendered a positive drug test for amphetemine, failing to follow the conditions of supervised release by re-engaging in the illegal use of drugs,” Vargas wrote.

Wallin is expected to appear before Judge Alfred V. Covello on Aug. 30. His public defender didn’t immediately respond to an email on Saturday.

Wallin was sentenced to 65 months in federal prison and entered a supervised release program in November 2016.

Retired priest under investigation for child pornography, Archdiocese of St. Louis says

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

August 27, 2018

By Erin Heffernan

A retired Roman Catholic priest with the Archdiocese of St. Louis is being investigated in connection to child pornography, the diocese announced Monday.

Church officials were informed Friday that a retired priest had been discovered viewing what appeared to be child pornography and they immediately contacted police and the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, the archdiocese announced in a statement.

Rep. Higgins on bishop's statement: 'You don't need a task force, you need a strike force.'

The Buffalo News

August 26, 2018

By Mark Sommer

Too little, too late.

That was the view of two leading critics of Bishop Richard J. Malone's handling of the sex abuse scandal after he refused to resign Sunday and put forward remedies for the diocese to move forward.

"I believe the only appropriate course of action in light of the investigation, and the facts that have been revealed, is for the bishop to resign and allow a new leader to commence the reforms that need to be done," said Paul L. Snyder III, chief executive officer of the Snyder Corp., echoing an earlier call.

"It's an extraordinarily disappointing day in the history of our diocese," he said.

Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, also reiterated that Malone needs to resign.

Rose McGowan urges Asia Argento to 'Do the right thing,' believes she slept with Bennett


August 28, 2018

By George Costantino and /michael Rothman

Rose McGowan had some strong words for her #MeToo ally Asia Argento on Monday: "Do the right thing."

In a statement sent to ABC News, McGowan described the events leading up to her discovery that Argento had allegedly paid off actor Jimmy Bennett, who has claimed the Italian actress sexually assaulted him when he was 17 and she was 37, according to a report published by The New York Times a week ago.

McGowan, 44, writes that she learned of Argento's alleged sexual encounter with Bennett through her partner, Rain Dove, whom she'd introduced to Argento a month ago.

McGowan said that Argento, 42, revealed in a series of text messages to Dove that she had "indeed slept with" Bennett years back, and had "been receiving unsolicited nudes of Jimmy since he had been 12," but had not taken any action to stop Bennett from sending more.

A representative for Rain Dove confirmed that everything McGowan said in the statement was "factual," and said that Dove will soon put out a statement as well.

OPINION: By secular standards, the Catholic Church is a corrupt organization

CBC News

August 26, 2018

By Neil Macdonald

Federal authorities should treat it like one

WARNING: This column contains disturbing details

Imagine for a moment that a big, admired multinational corporation, one selling a beloved product, was employing large numbers of male pedophiles and rapists, operating in rings all over the world, and that their crimes had been uncovered in Australia, Ireland, Canada, the Philippines, Belgium, France, Austria, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Britain, Germany and the United States, and, further, that senior executives had systematically covered up and suppressed evidence, transferring and enabling hundreds of predators, betraying thousands of victims.

What would happen to the company is not terribly difficult to imagine.

At a minimum, the U.S. government would likely use its Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law to go after not only the rapists and molesters, but also the company's executives, up to and including its CEO if possible, seizing the company's assets and seeking the harshest possible prison terms. That's the sort of thing RICO was invented for. The company would almost certainly collapse.

But of course no company's warranty guarantees everlasting life, and no company maintains that its CEO is chosen by God.

Multi-Generational Incest in the Catholic Church


August 28, 2018

By Leon J. Podles

A significant portion of sexual abusers of boys in the Catholic Church – I would estimate half – fall into the pattern of multigenerational incest.

One case which I witnessed from various angles over forty years exemplifies this pattern.

In 1964 I entered Calvert Hall College High School in Baltimore, an all-boys’ school. So did Jeff (Jerome) Toohey. He was not in the advanced class, so I did not know him well, but we had many mutual acquaintances.

After high school Toohey entered the seminary for the archdiocese of Baltimore. He studied at St. Mary’s Seminary in Roland Park, near where I live. At that time Richard Sipe, a psychologist and later an expert in clerical sexual abuse, was teaching there. Years later Sipe told me that he witnessed Toohey being seduced by a member of the seminary faculty. The faculty member, whose name Sipe never told me, told Toohey that he had to get in touch with his sexuality etc. Toohey succumbed.

Ex-Catholic priest David Joseph Perrett charged with 30 more historical child abuse charges by Armidale detectives

The Northern Daily Leader

August 22, 2018

By Breanna Chillingworth

AN EX-PRIEST now faces more than 90 charges of historical sexual abuse of children in the New England after Armidale detectives laid 30 new offences.

The Leader can reveal David Joseph Perrett is now accused of molesting or abusing more than 30 alleged victims, all children over a 30-year period.

Armidale detectives – working as part of Strike Force Bennett – laid 30 new charges this month, as the now 81-year-old fronts court on Wednesday.

He now stands accused of 92 allegations upon children dating between 1960 and 1990.

The new charges include five counts of aggravated sexual assault; two counts each of sexual assault of a child category four, carnal knowledge of a girl under 10, aggravated indecent assault; 14 allegations of indecent assault on a male, three counts of buggery and two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Vatican knew of Pennsylvania sex abuse cover-up, prosecutor says


August 28, 2018

The Vatican knew of a cover-up of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania through secret archives that bishops in the state shared with church leaders in Rome, the state’s attorney general Josh Shapiro said on Tuesday.

Though Catholic Bishops in Pennsylvania systematically denied the sexual abuse of thousands of children over a 70-year period, they secretly documented the cases and often sent information on them to the Vatican, Shapiro told two national news shows.

Shapiro first made the allegations against the Vatican during an Aug. 14 news conference to unveil a report on a two-year investigation into how Catholic clergymen in the state allegedly groomed and sexually abused children.

August 28, 2018

Talca: obispado pide al Vaticano la derogación de la prescripción de presunto caso de abuso sexual contra religioso

[Diocese of Talca appeals to Vatican in sex abuse case]

La Tercera

August 28, 2018

By Carlos Reyes

Esto luego de realizar una indagatoria previa que estableció la verosimilitud de los hechos.

La diócesis de Talca informó el fin de la investigación previa por una denuncia de abuso sexual contra un menor que pesa sobre el presbítero Luis Felipe Egaña Baraona. La indagatoria concluyó que los hechos denunciados son verosímiles. Pero también se establece que dada la fecha en que habrían ocurrido los hechos, estos estarían prescritos.

Fiscal del caso Maristas e incautación de material eclesiástico: "No podemos aparecer frente al mundo no haciendo nada"

[Prosecutor of the Marist case on the confiscation of church documents: "We cannot appear before the world doing nothing"]


August 17, 2018

By Tamara Cerna

El persecutor Raúl Guzmán también aseguró que no se descartan nuevas citaciones por el caso, las que podrían llegar a tocar a los cardenales Francisco Javier Errázuriz y Ricardo Ezzati.

A días de haber liderado una seguidilla de allanamientos en distintos recintos ligados a la Congregación de los Hermanos Maristas, el fiscal a cargo del caso, Raúl Guzmán, se refirió a las criticas por una supuesta vulneración al acuerdo de colaboración pactado entre el Ministerio Público y los enviados del Papa, Charles Scicluna y Jordi Bertomeu.

Crisis en iglesia chilena: dos sacerdotes renunciados y otro suspendido por abusos sexuales en Puerto Montt

[Crisis in Chilean church: two priests resigned and another suspended for sexual abuse in Puerto Montt]


August 26, 2018

By ATON [news agency]

Los casos fueron hechos públicos por el arzobispado de capital de la Región de Los Lagos.

El Arzobispado de Puerto Montt hizo públicos tres casos de abusos sexuales a menores cometidos por sacerdotes de la arquidiócesis, dos de ellos ya fuera de la iglesia tras haber renunciado, y manifestó su disposición a colaborar con la justicia después de que la Fiscalía de Los Lagos inició las investigaciones.

Nuevo caso golpea a la Iglesia: sacerdote de Hualqui habría embriagado a joven para violarlo

[New case hits the Church: Hualqui priest accused of rape, forced drinking]


August 28, 2018

By Nicolás Parra and Óscar Valenzuela

Un hombre que denunció en 2015 al actual párroco de Hualqui por violación, entregó su testimonio y dijo que a la hora de llevar los antecedentes a la Iglesia Católica, fueron desestimados, por lo que acusó encubrimiento por parte de los sacerdotes a cargo de llevar adelante este tipo de casos. Actualmente el Arzobispado de Concepción le paga el tratamiento psiquiátrico al joven.

En Chile toman distancia de las “luchas vaticanas”

[In Chile, they distance themselves from the Vatican struggles]

La Tercera

By Sergio Rodríguez

“Queremos escuchar hablar más de Dios que de conflictos de poder”, dicen en Voces Católicas.

“Si bien somos mencionados como Iglesia chilena, para nosotros es un escenario difícil, porque esta carta se da dentro de una lucha vaticana de la cual somos ajenos. Sin embargo, las acusaciones son graves y se deberían investigar”. Así, con reticencia, se manifestó Juan Carlos Claret, vocero de la Agrupación Laicos de Osorno, respecto de la polvareda romana tras la misiva del arzobispo de Ulpiana, Carlo Maria Viganò, al Papa Francisco.

Answers Sought About Nun Named In Sex Abuse Investigation


August 27, 2018

New developments in WJZ’s investigation into systemic abuse at some of Baltimore’s catholic schools in the sixties and seventies.

Previously, WJZ’s investigation revealed that one nun must have known about the abuse — now the fallout from the investigation.

It’s a dark chapter for Baltimore’s catholic schools.

Father Joseph Maskell, a counselor at Seton Keough High School, is accused of molesting dozens of students.

WJZ’s investigation also revealed abuse at the hands of at least one other priest, police and a teacher at catholic community middle school, John Merzbacher.

Linda was one of Merzbacher’s victims: “I was in the 8th grade. Merzbacher kept me after school. He locked the door, he tripped me to the floor. He straddles me. He unbuttoned my shirt blouse. I was petrified and then I heard the click of the door being unlocked. In walked sister Eileen Wiseman and stood over both of us. Her comment to him was, ‘Oh John, I told you never to lock the door’. and she looked at me and said, ‘You are never to stay after school again’. (and she was a nun?) I thought this woman was going to save me when she came in the door and she did absolutely nothing.”

Des Moines bishop: No justification for clergy abuse, cover-up cited in Pennsylvania report

Des Moines Register

August 16, 2018

By Shelby Fleig

Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates on Thursday called the child sex abuse by hundreds of Pennsylvania priests, detailed in a 900-page report made public this week, a "great moral failure."

"There is no way that we can justify this, neither on the behalf of those who have committed the abuse among young people, nor the failure of our leadership in trying to protect them," he said.

Pates joined the Vatican in publicly condemning the report's findings of systematic abuse.

"We showed no care for the little ones," wrote Pope Francis in a letter Monday, almost a week after the report was released. "We abandoned them."

The product of a two-year grand jury investigation ordered by Pennsylvania's Attorney General, the report is one of the most comprehensive looks into such abuse by the Catholic church in history. In the report, at least 300 priests in six of the state’s eight dioceses are accused of abusing more than 1,000 children since the 1940s.

The report also says the Catholic Church engaged in a “systematic cover-up’’ by moving abusive priests from one parish to another.

Ten other state-level investigations — all on the East Coast — have documented similar abuse by clergy since 2002, according to BishopAccountability.org. Some victims' advocates are calling for attorneys general across the country to launch their own investigations.

Purging the Catholic Church's predatory priests

New Jersey Herald

August 28, 2018

By Michael Reagan

Am I the only Catholic who thinks the church needs to consider getting rid of the old guard -- all the way up to the Pope?

That may be the only way to finally purge the predatory priests who have been allowed to exist within the bowels of the Catholic Church for so long.

The church has been rocked in recent years by sexual abuse scandals in Ireland, Australia, Chile, Boston, LA ...

Then two weeks ago we got the shocking results of the country's largest investigation ever into the sex crimes of Catholic priests.

A grand jury in Pennsylvania identified more than 300 "predator priests" in six dioceses who over the course of 70 years had molested and raped nearly 1,000 children, mostly boys.

The bombshell report named the priests who had been caught abusing kids, and in graphic and sordid detail it described what they did -- again and again, even after their superiors learned of their molesting.

According to the grand jury report, the priests' serial sexual abuse was only possible because of a church-wide cover up that reached all the way to the Vatican.

Why it’s so hard to hold priests accountable for sex abuse

The Conversation

August 27, 2018

By Carolyn M. Warner

A grand jury report recently found shocking levels of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church. It uncovered, in six dioceses, the sexual abuse of over 1,000 children and named 301 perpetrator priests. It also found that religious officials had turned a blind eye to the abuse.

In response, Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, wrote a letter addressed to “the People of God,” saying,

Nuns, including one aged 93, are arrested over abuse allegations at notorious orphanage where they 'beat residents, forced them to eat vomit and ritually humiliated them for bed-wetting'

Scottish Daily Mail

August 23, 2018

By Graham Grant

- Police probing Smyllum Park in Lanark have arrested 12 people, including nuns
- More nuns reported to prosecutors amid a widening police investigation
- A further four have now been reported to the Crown Office, aged up to 93

More nuns have been reported to prosecutors amid a widening police investigation into claims of abuse at a notorious orphanage.

The Mail revealed yesterday that police probing Smyllum Park in Lanark had arrested 12 people, including nuns.

A further four have now been reported to the Crown Office, some of them nuns, with ages ranging between 71 and 93.

Police Scotland also disclosed that the 12 who have been arrested and charged consisted of 11 women and one man, aged between 62 and 85.

Yesterday a force spokesman said: ‘A further four individuals will be reported today. Inquiries are continuing.’ Claims of historic abuse at the home have come under scrutiny at the ongoing Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI).

Pennsylvania Was A Start. Now We Need Grand Juries For The Catholic Church In Every State.


August 27, 2018

By Paul Mones

Every Roman Catholic diocese and archdiocese must be held publicly accountable for their complicity in the sexual abuse of generations of children.

Ever since the Boston Globe’s 2002 revelations of widespread sexual abuse in the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, a wave of lawsuits have been filed against dioceses around the nation. The goal of these cases was to get justice for the physical and emotional suffering endured by victims of abuse and to reform the child protection practices of the church.

In most states, however, the church does not need to be the least bit concerned about being sued by abuse survivors or paying even a nickel for the devastation wrought by its criminal behavior. Firstly, it knows most victims of abuse will never reveal or report it. But more importantly, even if they do come forward, in all but a handful of states the justice system unfortunately operates to protect the church from being sued in the first place.

Most states, like New York and Pennsylvania, have draconian statutes of limitations that prevent a person from suing unless they do so within a few years of being abused. This means the system has no recourse for those who summon the courage to come forward years, and often decades, after the abuse took place — and keep in mind, the majority of people never report their abuse at all. And it is not only a victim’s embarrassment, confusion, and shame that prevents them from reporting. Church leaders, aware of their liability, have been repeatedly shown deliberately failing to disclose complaints against their own clergy to law enforcement and taking actions that stymie victims from reporting.

Clergy Abuse: Gut the Catholic Church's hierarchy | Opinion

Penn Live

August 28, 2018

By James Downie

Catholic priest abused five sisters in one Harrisburg family: Grand jury report

It seemed the news couldn't get more troubling for American Catholics, already inundated with new sexual abuse scandals ensnaring (in different ways) former Washington Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, his successor Donald Wuerl and hundreds of Pennsylvania priests.

Then, on Saturday, another hammer blow landed.

The Washington Post reports that "A former Vatican ambassador to the United States has alleged in an 11-page letter that Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis - among other top Catholic Church officials - had been aware of sexual misconduct allegations against former D.C. archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCarrick years before he resigned this summer."

It's the latest sign that the church likely needs nothing less than a complete overhaul of its hierarchy.

Let's be clear: The letter's author, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, is no fan of Francis.

Vigano "was recalled [by the Vatican] from his D.C. post in 2016 amid allegations that he'd become embroiled in the conservative American fight against same-sex marriage," and he has criticized Francis's papacy.

'JUST PURE EVIL': Dozens of siblings abused by predator Pennsylvania priests, report found

The Associated Press

August 28, 2018

It took 50 years, until the release of a landmark investigative report, for sisters Mary Robb Jackson and Cynthia Carr Gardner to realize that the parish priest in the Pittsburgh-area suburb where they lived as children had molested both of them, a couple of years apart.

The sisters’ discovery — during a long-distance telephone conversation between Massachusetts and Pennsylvania — added theirs to the cases of siblings cited throughout the state grand jury report on the sexual abuse of children by clergy within six Roman Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania.

The nearly 900-page report, released Aug. 14 after a two-year investigation, cited at least two dozen sets of siblings victimized by clergy among the scores of abuse cases it documented going back to the 1940s. Two of the cases involved five siblings.

Clergy members often won the trust of parents before going on to molest siblings, sometimes in a home while parents were present, sometimes on trips with the children, the report said. The priests then parlayed that trust into leverage against children, who were afraid to say no to an authority figure trusted by their parents.

Recent Missouri editorials

The Associated Press

August 28, 2018

The Kansas City Star Aug. 24

Josh Hawley warns Catholic bishops: 'If we get any pushback, we'll go to the public'

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley wants victims of sex abuse by Catholic priests to know that he is determined to learn everything there is to know about such crimes and cover-ups in this state. "They need to have confidence that this isn't a whitewash," he said in a Friday phone interview with The Star's editorial board.

Along with victims' groups, we called on Hawley earlier this week to launch a thorough statewide investigation of the kind recently completed in Pennsylvania, where more than 1,000 children were found to have been sexually abused by priests over the last 70 years. For all of those 70 years, that abuse was covered up and victims treated with stunning indifference.

Archdiocese opens up about damning clergy sexual abuse report, link to San Antonio priest

San Antonio Express-News

August 23, 2018

By Elaine Ayala

Since a Pennsylvania grand jury’s report on sexual abuses by Catholic clergy last week named a priest who later worked in San Antonio, the Archdiocese of San Antonio has received dozens of angry calls and emails.

Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller said people have registered scorn and resentment toward church leaders who knew of the abuses and systematically covered them up — but so far none have raised additional allegations against the late Father David Connell, he said.

García-Siller, in an extended interview, said he has been overwhelmed by his own sadness, anger and shame at the Pennsylvania report. Local responses to it, which the archdiocese asked for after it was released, have been difficult to take in, García-Siller said, but he has embraced the criticism because, “It’s a way for conversion and change.”

The archbishop was also emphatic this week about how such crimes must be handled.

Timlin told staff to report abuse, but he didn’t

The Citizen's Voice

August 26, 2018

By Borys Krawczeniuk

In July 1985, Diocese of Scranton Bishop the Most Rev. James C. Timlin issued a memo instructing priests and diocese staff to follow a law that requires reporting child abuse to a state agency.

Timlin then repeatedly ignored his own advice, according to a statewide investigating grand jury report that exposes decades of priests’ sexual abuse of children in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses, including Scranton. The Citizens’ Voice does not identify victims of sexual abuse.

In an eight-page written response to the grand jury, Timlin’s lawyers say he acted with his best judgment and his handling of clergy abuse cases improved as his understanding of medical science’s ability to identify and treat offenders evolved.

Catholic sex abuse: Pope critic Archbishop Vigano 'in hiding'

BBC News

August 28, 2018

A former Vatican diplomat who accused the Pope of covering up reports of clerical sex abuse has fled Italy in fear of his life, it is claimed.

In an 11-page letter published on Sunday, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano said Pope Francis knew about allegations against a US cardinal for five years before accepting his resignation.

Italian blogger Aldo Maria Valli says the archbishop told him before the letter emerged that he had "already purchased an aeroplane ticket".

Recounting a meeting between the pair, Valli describes what the archbishop told him, writing: "He will leave the country. He cannot tell me where he is going. I am not to look for him. His old mobile phone number will no longer work. We say goodbye for the last time."

Prosecutors launch statewide priest probe


August 25, 2018

By Joe Mahoney

LAW: Action follows revelation of reports of alleged sexual abuse in Pennsylvania

The group representing county prosecutors across New York says it will assist in a statewide investigation into alleged sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests.

The move comes after a similar review in Pennsylvania identified more than 1,000 such reports dating back 60 years.

District attorneys in all 62 counties are poised to assist in the probe launched by state Attorney General Barbara Underwood and will convene grand juries to delve into allegations “when necessary,” said David Soares, president of the District Attorneys Association of New York and the top prosecutor for Albany County.

But the organization representing Catholic bishops in New York said the focus of the probe is “insufficient,” contending it should also examine allegations arising from spheres unrelated to the clergy.

“While the Catholic Church has made major changes in its handling of abuse, we continue to see modern-day stories of abuse and cover-ups in education, the state foster care system, public university athletic programs and elsewhere,” said Dennis Poust, spokesman for the New York State Catholic Conference.

Following Clergy Report, PA Lawmaker Proposes New Penalties For Failing To Report Abuse


August 28, 2018

By Min Xian

Following the grand jury report on the alleged widespread clergy abuse in Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic Church, state lawmakers are pushing for reforms. State Representative Scott Conklin, D-Centre, introduced two new bills on Monday, which would demand greater accountability from religious organizations.

Taking into account one of the report’s recommendations, which asks the legislature to “clarify penalties for a continuing failure to report child abuse,” Conklin’s first bill would make it a first-degree misdemeanor, or a third-degree felony, if there’s reasonable cause to believe there’s more than one victim.

“In my belief, if that individual or that organization had knowledge of it, it doesn’t matter whether it’s today or a hundred years ago,” Conklin, the Democratic chair for the House Children and Youth Committee, said in a press conference. “They’re still responsible for allowing this to go on.”

Currently, a mandated reporter is required to report suspected child abuse. Failure to do so, under varying circumstances, could result in a third-degree felony or second-degree misdemeanor.

Sibling Sex Abuse Prevalent Among Victims of Pennsylvania Predator Priests, Grand Jury Report Finds

NBC 10

August 28, 2018

By Marc Levy

It took 50 years, until the release of a landmark investigative report, for sisters Mary Robb Jackson and Cynthia Carr Gardner to realize that the parish priest in the Pittsburgh-area suburb where they lived as children had molested both of them, a couple of years apart.

The sisters' discovery — during a long-distance telephone conversation between Massachusetts and Pennsylvania — added theirs to the cases of siblings cited throughout the state grand jury report on the sexual abuse of children by clergy within six Roman Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania.

The nearly 900-page report, released Aug. 14 after a two-year investigation, cited at least two dozen sets of siblings victimized by clergy among the scores of abuse cases it documented going back to the 1940s. Two of the cases involved five siblings.

Berks County man sues Allentown Diocese, citing sex abuse at school

Reading Eagle

August 28, 2018

By Karen Shuey

The Wyomissing resident alleges in the lawsuit that he was assaulted in 1989 by the Rev. Richard J. Ford, who died in 2005.

A Berks County man is suing the Diocese of Allentown for sexual abuse he says he suffered decades ago as a student at Holy Guardian Angels Regional School in Muhlenberg Township.

Albert F. Shore of Wyomissing alleges in the lawsuit that he was assaulted in 1989 by the Rev. Richard J. Ford, who has since died.

He is suing the diocese, asserting it allowed known pedophiles to remain in their positions and failed to report sexual assault by priests to law enforcement.

“I've been going through therapy for this for over two decades. I felt like it's time,” Shore said Monday by phone in explaining why he waited nearly 30 years to file suit. “I feel strong enough to really delve into the honest, brutal facts of this case, and I feel that the people I know have been affected, they too will have the strength to move forward.”

Allentown Diocese spokesman Matt Kerr said Monday that the diocese, which covers Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton and Schuylkill counties, had not yet seen the lawsuit.

UPDATE: Victim of St. Landry priest sues Lafayette Diocese

Lafayette Daily Advertiser

August 27, 2018

A teenager who has reported abuse by St. Landry Parish priest Michael Guidry has filed suit against the priest and the Diocese of Lafayette, a media outlet has reported.

The teenager and his parents — his father is a Diocese of Lafayette deacon — claim in the St. Landry Parish lawsuit that Guidry’s molestation of the teen has fueled the teenager’s alcohol abuse and put a strain on the family’s relationship. And although the Diocese has paid for the teen’s and family’s counseling since the allegations surfaced, the family claims a “high Diocesan official,” who’s also a priest, threatened to halt that treatment should the family sue.

The Daily Advertiser does not identify victims of sexual abuse.

Guidry, 75, served as priest of St. Peter Church in Morrow.

He surrendered in June at the St. Landry Parish jail and was charged with molestation of a juvenile or a person with a physical or mental disability and with contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.

Split Verdict in Duluth Priest's Lawsuit Against Abuse Accuser

Eyewitness News 10/13 ABC

August 24, 2018

By Baihly Warfield

A priest who sued a man accusing him of sexual abuse has an answer from a jury.

A jury decided Thursday that the accuser, who came forward Friday and identified himself as TJ Davis, did interfere with the Rev. William Graham's employment but did not intentionally cause emotional distress for the priest.

In 2016, Graham was named in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed by "Doe 446." The then-anonymous victim sued several parishes; Graham himself was not named as a defendant, but the Diocese of Duluth placed him on administrative leave as a result of the allegations.

Lawsuit filed against Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese, first since release of grand jury report


August 28, 2018

The first lawsuit against the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese since the release of the grand jury report into child sex abuse was filed Tuesday morning.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a victim who said he was 12 years old when the abuse by John Hoehl began in 1979.

Hoehl was employed as a priest, pastor and later as a high school headmaster by the diocese.

The report shows that more than 20 complaints of abuse by Hoehl were in diocese files, most of which happened during the period the plaintiff in the suit that was filed was abused.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, Bishop David Zubik and Cardinal Donald Wuerl are all named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Pennsylvania Considers Allowing More Victims of Sexual Abuse to Sue

The Wall Street Journal

August 27, 2018

By Jacob Gershman

Pending bill would temporarily waive civil statute of limitations for child sexual-abuse claims

The recent Pennsylvania grand-jury report detailing child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church could pave the way for granting adults who were victimized as children more opportunity to sue for damages.

Legislation pending in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives would temporarily waive the civil statute of limitations for child sexual-abuse claims, opening a two-year window for lawsuits that were previously time-barred. The House returns from vacation on Sept. 12 and it is expected to consider the measure.

Pennsylvania reopens investigation into decades-old clergy sexual abuse claim

CBS News

August 28, 2018

CBS News has learned authorities in Pennsylvania have re-opened an investigation into a decades-old case in which sexual abuse claims were made against a Catholic priest. A grand jury report released this month identified hundreds of abusive priests and more than a thousand child victims across the state.

This comes as Pope Francis faces a call to resign over a claim he knew about alleged sex abuse by a former American cardinal and allowed him to serve unpunished.

Over the past few weeks, CBS News has spoken with many alleged victims who, as adults, came to grips with what they say happened to them as children. Almost all report they were blocked from getting justice because the statute of limitations had expired, reports CBS News correspondent Nikki Battiste.

Pedophile priests and Servants of the Paraclete

Albuquerque Journal

August 26, 2018

By Mike Gallagher

Roman Catholic bishops in Pennsylvania used a treatment center in Jemez Springs for decades as a “laundry” to recycle priests who abused more than 1,000 children so they could return to their parishes in their diocese back home, according to a Pennsylvania grand jury report released this month.

Only one of the more than 300 priests mentioned in the grand jury report stayed in New Mexico, briefly, after being sent for treatment at the Servants of the Paraclete foundation in Jemez Springs that operated from 1947 until it closed in the 1990s.

Diocese: Priests with sexual abuse accusations were not monitored

The Beaver County Times

August 24, 2018

By Daveen Rae Kurutz

A spokesman for the Diocese of Pittsburgh said there was no formal process for monitoring priests accused of sexual abuse prior to the release of the grand jury report earlier this month.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct church that the Rev. Ernest Paone served at in the 1960s.

Dozens of Roman Catholic priests who had credible accusations of sexual abuse against them were not monitored by the Diocese of Pittsburgh once removed from the ministry during the past 70 years, diocesan officials admitted.

After a grand jury report detailed how more than 300 Pennsylvania priests in six dioceses — including 102 from the six-county Diocese of Pittsburgh — sexually abused more than 1,000 children, Bishop David Zubik, an Ambridge native, announced plans to begin monitoring the 22 living priests who were removed from ministry since 1976.

“There was no formal process for monitoring,” the Rev. Nicholas Vaskov, executive director of communications for the Diocese of Pittsburgh said. “This is a step that needed to be taken in keeping the safety of children in mind.”

As survivors find voice, church leaders wrestle with how to address issue

Catholic News Service

August 27, 2018

By Chaz Muth

Pennsylvania survivors of clergy sex abuse spent the week after the release of the grand jury report finding their voice as bishops and priests in the state wrestled with how to address the growing scandal.

Several of the survivors traveled around the state to speak publicly about their victimization at the hands of predator priests, many of whom said their "coming out" is liberating them from decades of shame.

Ed Rodgers of Bradford said he found the courage to re-emerge more than 20 years after he accused a priest of molesting him as a youth.

Though Rodgers, now 45, said he was publicly shamed by the Diocese of Erie, lay Catholics in his hometown and the state legal system in the late 1990s, he said a recent scathing grand jury report inspired him to break his silence.

A Pennsylvania grand jury report released Aug. 14 detailed more than 1,000 claims of sex abuse in six dioceses in the state going back 70 years and identified 301 priests and church workers who may have committed the crimes. The report also singled out some bishops for their improper handling of accused abusers.

A 12th catholic priest accused of sexual abuse

Pacific News Center

August 23, 2018

By Joycelynn Atalig

Yet another priest has been accused of sexual abuse, the late Father John “Jack” Nilan, the 12th priest named out of the Archdioses of Agana.

A release out of the Archdioses of Agana states, “With sadness once again, the Archdiocese of Agana acknowledges that a new allegation and lawsuit related to clergy sexual abuse has been filed in local courts this week. In the lawsuit naming the archiocese and Capuchin Franciscan order, a person listed by the initials J.E.L said she was sexually abuse by the late Father John “Jack” Niland in 1976 when she was 10 years old.”

The late Capuchin priest of the Agat Parish has been accused of exposing himself to the then 10 year old victim J.E.L. According to court documents, the victim was plaing alone on her family beach in Agat when she was allegedly approached by a heavy set American man wearing a priest collar who identified himself as Father Jack. Niland then allegedly asked her if she wanted to see his “gun” before exposing his genitalia and then masturbating in from of the 10 year old. In addition, according to court documents, Niland allegedly stated, “its like a real gun because it can shoot.” The victim then says that the late priest asked her if she wanted to hold it and because she did not respond, he allegedly zipped up his pants and told her that he will be seeing her at Eskuelan Pale Sunday School. The victim says, the incident caused her fear and anxiety when seeing Niland and she requests 5 million dollars in damages.

Banning Educator Accused Of Child Sex Charges Is A Priest

KGX News

August 27, 2018

By Skip Essick

A Banning school administrator who’s in jail facing child sex charges is a defrocked priest.

The Banning Unified School District says 55-year-old Charles Mayer is now on unpaid leave.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of L.A. says Mayer has not been in active ministry for nearly 20 years. Mayer was caught in a sting operation allegedly sending nude photos of himself to a person he thought was a 14-year-old boy.

Former altar boy says he stole thousands from archdiocese as payback for abuse

Fox News

August 27, 2018

By Ryan Gaydos

A former Pennsylvania altar boy who was molested by a priest as a child admitted in an interview Friday to stealing thousands of dollars in what he called payback for the abuse.

Mike McDonnell, now 49, said he was abused starting when he was just 10 years old. But the incident that changed him came when he was 12, McDonnell said, when he woke up to a priest molesting him in a bed he was forced to share with a clergyman, he told Reuters.

“From that day forth, I would never be that same child,” he said. “I went into shock mode and shut down. I would hold onto those secrets for 20-plus years.”

Split verdict in Duluth priest's suit against accuser

Brainerd Dispatch

August 24, 2018

By Tom Olsen

A jury's verdict has both sides claiming victory in the lawsuit that brought a prominent Duluth priest against a man who accused him of child sexual abuse.

The eight-member Duluth jury concluded late Thursday night that T.J. Davis interfered with the contractual duties of the Rev. William Graham when he filed abuse claims in May 2016, but that he did not intentionally inflict emotional distress on the priest.

Davis, who alleges that he was abused by the priest on three occasions in the 1970s, when he was approximately 15 years old, was ordered to pay Graham $13,500 in damages.

Graham, 68, was pastor at St. Michael's Catholic Church in the Lakeside neighborhood. He was placed on administrative leave immediately after the abuse allegations surfaced, and the Diocese of Duluth earlier this month announced that he had been removed from public ministry after an investigation determined that he was "credibly accused."


New Jersey 101.5

August 25, 2018

By Sergio Bichao

Catholic Church officials in New Jersey have paid tens of millions of dollars in the last three decades to men and women who have accused priests and clergy of child sexual abuse.

The exact number of victims and predators is countless because legal settlements often include confidentiality agreements and many victims may never come forward.

But a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark last week acknowledged that the five dioceses in the state have paid at least $50 million to settle sex abuse claims in the last 10 years.

Published reports for previous years accounted for another $10 million in settlements.

Sheriff: Former priest, current pastor among suspects accused of sex acts in Volusia parks

Click Orlando

August 24, 2018

By Emilee Speck

More than 75 sex acts caught on camera since May, Chitwood says

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood didn't hide his disgust Friday after the arrest of eight men caught performing sex acts at two public parts in the county, including a local pastor and a former Catholic priest.

"It's out of control," he said of the repeated acts happening in Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve and Sleepy Hollow Park.

After receiving complaints in May about men having sex in the two parks, Chitwood said his deputies set up cameras around the park, which captured more than 75 sex acts happening in the parks between May and August.

Deputies then conducted a two-day undercover operation this week during which Chitwood said some of the undercover deputies were propositioned walking on the trials at the parks and witnesses the sexual acts for themselves.

Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee removes prominent Pensacola priest

Pensacola News Journal

August 27, 2018

By Melissa Nelson Gabriel

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee said Monday that it has removed a well-known Pensacola priest from his office.

Sharmane Adams, spokeswoman for the diocese, said Bishop William Albert Wack had asked Monsignor James Flaherty to "step away from his duties" as the diocese's judicial vicar, director of office of the tribunal, director of the lay formation institute and director of priestly formation.

Adams said Flaherty was removed within two days after a fellow priest and two parishioners approached the bishop with "non-specific concerns."

"The issues were not mandatory to report because they were not involving sexual abuse of a minor," she said.

Buffalo bishop won't resign over handling of sex abuse

The Associated Press

August 26, 2018

The Roman Catholic bishop of Buffalo, New York, on Sunday rejected calls to resign over his handling of sexual abuse allegations against priests, saying: the "shepherd does not desert the flock" in difficult times.

Bishop Richard Malone said he is appointing a task force of clergy, lay people and "an elected official or two" to review how sexual abuse claims from adults are handled.

The diocese released a list in March of 42 priests facing sex abuse allegations. A Buffalo television station reported last week that Malone allowed one accused priest to remain in his parish and gave multiple chances to another who'd been suspended by the previous bishop.

Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley to meet with priests over abuse letter

Boston Herald

August 28, 2018

By Sean Philip Cotter

O’Malley, priests to meet today amid scandal

Cardinal Sean O’Malley will be meeting behind closed doors with priests from across the archdiocese today and Catholic activists say the clergy are expected to hit him with hard questions amid a growing church sex abuse scandal.

“He has created a crisis of confidence for both priests and the laity in the archdiocese,” said Louis L. Murray, a Catholic activist and president of the board of Boston Catholic Radio, who has spoken with a number of priests in recent days.

Family speaks of accused priest’s support, friendship

Times Leader

August 23, 2018

By Bill O’Boyle

For one area family, allegations of abuses committed by the Rev. Thomas D. Skotek stand at odds with memories of a priest who provided support and comfort during their toughest days.

In 1999, Leon and Susan Zimolzak of Town Hill, near Shickshinny, lost their son, Seth, to cancer after a five-year battle.

Skotek had been at St. Mary and Ascension in Mocanaqua from June 1999 to April 2002, where the Zimolzaks remain parishioners today.

They said Skotek got them through the loss of their son.

“If it weren’t for (Skotek) we would probably have left the church,” Leon said. “He was there for us during a very dark time in our life.”

Leon said he and Susan and their daughter, Erica Zimolzak Coe, still keep in touch with Skotek.

“We still consider him a friend,” Leon said.

Former Northridge Priest Accused Of Molesting Children

California News Wire Services

August 24, 2018

Charles Patrick Mayer served as priest at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Now he is accused of trying to lure an underaged boy.

A Banning school administrator accused of trying to lure an underage boy for sex is on "inactive leave" as a Roman Catholic priest and served for four years at a church in Northridge, according to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Charles Patrick Mayer, 55, of Menifee, is "not in ministry and living privately, since September of 2000 due to a failure to adhere to Archdiocesan policies concerning interaction with youth and young adults. The Archdiocese has no record of allegations of sexual misconduct by Charles Mayer," according to a statement from the archdiocese.

The statement, released Thursday, was part of a bulletin to parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Northridge, which was Mayer's first assignment as a priest after his 1996 ordination until 2000.

‘This is not Burger King:’ Larry Nassar’s request denied by Judge Aquilina


August 28, 2018

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina denied disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar’s request for a new sentence in his sexual assault convictions.

“This is not Burger King,” Aquilina said Monday. “He will not have it his way.”

In denying Nassar’s request, she didn’t feel there was an error in the sentence she issued.

Before Monday’s hearing, Nassar’s attorneys asked the Court of Appeals to stop the proceeding and allow them to appeal rulings that kept Aquilina on the case. The Court of Appeals refused to intervene.

Aquilina sentenced Nassar in January to 40 to 175 years in prison on seven first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges. The sentence came after seven days of victim-impact statements from 156 women and girls.

Indianapolis priest accused of beating his wife is sentenced to home detention

Indianapolis Star

August 23, 2018

By Holly V. Hays

The first married priest in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis will spend a year under GPS monitoring following his conviction in a 2017 domestic battery case involving his wife.

Luke Reese, who in June was found guilty of criminal confinement, domestic battery and battery resulting in bodily injury, received a three-year sentence on Aug. 17, court records indicate.

Two years of his sentence are suspended, leaving him to serve a year of home detention with GPS monitoring followed by a year of probation. As part of his sentence, he also will undergo a mental health evaluation and counseling.

A message left with one of Reese's attorneys was not immediately returned Thursday afternoon.

Reese was charged in October 2017 following a September altercation with his wife in which he was alleged to have locked her in the car and repeatedly hit her after finding his wife in a car with another man, according to court documents.

At one point, Reese is alleged to have taken her to Holy Rosary Church, where he served, and continued to strike her inside the church.

Former Charlotte priest named in explosive letter calling for Pope Francis to resign

The Charlotte Observer

August 26, 2018

By Tim Funk

A letter released over the weekend by the Vatican’s ex-ambassdor to the United States has identified a former Catholic priest who worked for a time in the Diocese of Charlotte as an alleged victim of sexual misconduct by a former cardinal, Theodore McCarrick.

In the 11-page letter, which is being called a bombshell and a right-wing attack on Pope Francis, Archbishop Carlo Vigano called on the current pope to resign. He charged that Pope Francis and other high-ranking officials in the Catholic Church covered up sexual harassment and abuse accusations against McCarrick long before they became public this year.

Among other things, McCarrick has been accused of sexual abuse of seminarians and priests when he was a bishop in New Jersey.

In Vigano’s letter, which was first published by conservative Catholic news sites, he said that his predecessor as apostolic nuncio to the United States had “transmitted” to the Vatican’s then-secretary of state in 2006 “an Indictment Memorandum against McCarrick by the priest Gregory Littleton of the diocese of Charlotte.”



NBC News

August 27, 20180

Pennsylvania authorities have opened an investigation into a Catholic priest who was accused of sexually abusing a student 30 years ago but was never questioned because too much time had passed since the alleged abuse, according to the district attorney.

The priest, Monsignor H. Desmond McGee, 71, was not one of the 301 “predator priests” accused of sexual abuse who were named in a recent bombshell Pennsylvania grand jury report.

But investigators in McKean County said Monday they decided to look into McGee after his accuser, Edward Rodgers, went public following the release of the report — and repeated allegations that the monsignor molested him when he was a student at Bradford Central Christian High School in Bradford, Pennsylvania.

Lehigh D.A. gets more information on accused priest

Republican Herald

August 27, 2018

By Peter E. Bortner

Already charged in connection with a purported indecent assault against a teenage girl, a Roman Catholic priest who lives in Pottsville might face additional scrutiny after his diocese forwarded an additional allegation to Lehigh County prosecutors.

The Rev. Kevin M. Lonergan, 30, who has been charged with corruption of minors and indecent assault in Lehigh County, had been investigated by the Northampton County Children and Youth agency while he was while serving at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church in Easton, the Diocese of Allentown announced this past weekend.

“Northampton County Children and Youth investigated and determined the concern to be ‘unfounded’,” according to the message from Matthew T. Kerr, the diocese’s director of communications.

Lonergan served the church in Easton from June 2014 until may 2016, and the report occurred during that period, Kerr said.

Catholic priest accused of sexual misconduct served at multiple Utah churches


August 27, 2018

By Cristina Flores

Father David R. Gaeta, the pastor of St. Peter's Catholic Church in American Fork who is accused of sexual misconduct with children, served at several Utah Catholic parishes since the early 1980s.

The recent accusations, which were reported to the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake last week, involve Gaeta's time at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ogden, where he served as a new priest in the early 80s.

Gaeta served in Ogden after he was ordained. He then served at the following parishes in Utah:

Police investigating retired priest accused of watching child pornography


August 27, 2018

On the heels of that letter directed at the pope, the investigation into sexual abuse claims at the St. Louis Archdiocese is developing.

We found out today a retired priest is accused of watching child pornography.

Fox 2’s Andy Banker has the story.

Italy journalist says he helped pen bombshell against pope

The Associated Press

August 28, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

An Italian journalist who says he helped a former Vatican diplomat pen his bombshell allegation of sex abuse cover-up against Pope Francis says he persuaded the archbishop to go public after the U.S. church was thrown into turmoil by sex abuse revelations in the Pennsylvania grand jury report.

Marco Tosatti said he helped Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano write, rewrite and edit his 11-page testimony, saying the two sat side-by-side at a wooden table in Tosatti's living room for three hours on Aug. 22.

Tosatti, a leading conservative critic of Francis, told The Associated Press that Vigano had called him a few weeks ago out of the blue asking to meet, and then proceeded to tell him the information that became the basis of the testimony.

Vigano's document alleges that Francis knew of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's sexual misconduct starting in 2013 but rehabilitated him from sanctions that Pope Benedict XVI had imposed. The claims have shaken Francis' five-year papacy.

Francis found a faith that is both strong and fragile in Ireland


August 28, 2018

By Inés San Martín

In the run-up to Pope Francis’s intense 32-hour visit to Ireland, the question was if a trip so short could have an impact on the mounting storm of clerical sexual abuse, both in the past two decades and in the past two weeks.

As he has before, Francis had to walk a tight rope - not because of the fear of repercussions for a community facing genocide, for instance, as in Myanmar - but because of the long history of pain caused by the Church in Ireland, the wounds of which were ripped open just before the pope arrived by revelations from Chile, the United States, and elsewhere.

Francis, however, also could not ignore the main thrust of his pastoral visit to the Emerald Isle: The Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families, which brought together thousands of families from over 100 countries. They too wanted to hear from the pope, and not exclusively about abuse and the Church’s response, but about family life and the challenges young couples face today.

Francis’s visit to Ireland was, in a way, two trips rolled into one, and the tone of his words and the reception he received demonstrated this, both at the events and in the streets: Thousands cheered him in a stadium on Saturday, but earlier in the morning the prime minister, Ireland’s first openly gay leader, didn’t shy away from listing the Church’s failures.

Archdiocese of Washington denies it was warned about sanctions against cardinal

Good Morning America

August 28, 2018

By Mark Osborne

The Archdiocese of Washington emphatically refuted claims it was aware of sanctions due to abuse allegations against its former archbishop, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, after a former Vatican official penned a letter making the accusation on Sunday.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former Vatican ambassador to the U.S., alleged that both Pope Francis and Pope Benedict knew that McCarrick -- who resigned as a cardinal in July after he was accused of abusing adults and minors -- was a "serial predator."

The Archdiocese of Washington released a statement on Tuesday saying Viganò's claims were "categorically" untrue.

"Cardinal [Donald] Wuerl has categorically denied that any of this information was communicated to him," the statement said. "Archbishop Viganò at no time provided Cardinal Wuerl any information about an alleged document from Pope Benedict XVI with directives of any sort from Rome regarding Archbishop McCarrick."

AG Shapiro: We have evidence Vatican knew of widespread clergy sex abuse

Penn Live

August 28, 2018

By Ivey DeJesus

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Tuesday reiterated on national TV that his office has evidence that the Vatican knew about the widespread and systemic cover-up of clergy sex abuse across the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania.

Appearing on NBC's "Today" show, Shapiro repeated the charge he made on Aug. 14 when he released the findings of a grand jury investigation into clergy sex abuse across six dioceses in Pennsylvania: that the trail of conspiracy at times led all the way to the Vatican.

"Church leaders would lie to parishioners on Sunday, they would lie to the public, they would shield these predators from the public but they would document all of it and place it in these secret archives, feet away from the bishops," Shapiro said.

Catholic Church sex abuse cover-up in Pennsylvania ‘went all the way to the Vatican’, says state attorney general

The Independent

August 28, 2018

By Chris Riotta

The prosecutor is not directly implicating Pope Francis, but claims the Vatican was aware of a systematic cover up

Pennsylvania’s attorney general has claimed to have evidence that the Vatican was aware of a systematic cover up for decades of sex abuse carried out by priests in the Catholic Church.

Josh Shapiro described the abuses dating back to 1947 found by a grand jury in an interview with NBC’s Today Show, including “a systematic cover up that went all the way to the Vatican”.

“I can’t specifically speak to Pope Francis,” the attorney general said Monday about whether or not the the pontiff was aware of the abuses. But, he said: “We have evidence that the Vatican had knowledge of a cover up.”

Cardinal Cupich one-on-one with ABC7 I-Team as church faces new clergy abuse crisis


August 28, 2018

By Chuck Goudie and Ross Weidner and Barb Markoff

In a wide-ranging interview on Monday afternoon, Cardinal Blase Cupich repeatedly said he hopes authorities focus on the victims of all abuse -- not just one sector -- and not just priests. Cardinal Cupich, the Archbishop of Chicago, discussed a new church crisis with Eyewitness News investigative reporter Chuck Goudie.

The I-Team last week broke the news that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan was convening a new investigation of how the Chicago Roman Catholic Archdiocese has handled priest sex investigations. This comes in the wake of a Pennsylvania grand jury report that revealed at least seven accused predator-priests with links to Illinois were among 300 clergymen called out by authorities.

Cardinal Cupich says archdiocesan officials "fully support" and are "cooperating fully" with Madigan's inquiry.

In a Catholic Church where even the pope covers for sexual abuse, everywhere is as bad as Boston

USA Today

August 28, 2018

By Brett M. Decker

A damning allegation from Catholic leader charges Pope Francis of covering for Cardinal McCarrick despite knowing about his sexual abuse record.

A report released this weekend by a former Vatican ambassador to the United States charges that Pope Francis knew about sexual abuse by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, removed a suspension placed on him by Pope Benedict, and proceeded to make the known abuser one of his most trusted advisors. Pope Francis “knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator, [but] he covered for him to the bitter end,” wrote Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, nuncio to Washington from 2011-2016, before demanding the pontiff resign.

The pope knew.

That is a damning allegation coming from a very senior church leader. It also corresponds to anecdotal evidence piling up against Francis. Earlier this year, Pope Francis attacked Chilean sex-abuse victims for “calumny” and defended the bishop who covered up for a pedophile priest. The pope ignored complaints about the enabling bishop before promoting him in 2015.

Vatican in turmoil amid growing Catholic Church sex abuse crisis


August 28, 2018

The Vatican is struggling to respond to claims that Pope Francis helped cover up allegations of sex abuse and protected American Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who resigned last month in disgrace. Bishops and members of the Catholic Church have been calling for answers since the bombshell Pennsylvania grand jury report that recently detailed decades of child sex abuse at the hands of priests. NBC News chief global correspondent Bill Neely reports for TODAY.

Why the Catholic Church is so slow to act in sex abuse cases: 4 essential reads

The Conversation

August 28, 2018

By Kalpana Jain

The Vatican’s retired ambassador to the United States, Carlo Maria Vigano, has accused Pope Francis and other officials of covering up that they were aware of sex abuse allegations against Theodore McCarrick, a former archbishop of Washington.

The accusation follows a grand jury report in Pennsylvania that revealed a long and shocking scale of sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Francis, who accepted McCarrick’s resignation last month, after an investigation found the allegations to be credible, has refused to comment on Vigano’s letter.

Scholars writing for The Conversation have pointed out the complex challenges facing the Catholic Church today and why, as a result, it has been hard to address the issue of clergy sexual abuse. Here are four highlights.

Catholics lash out at church leaders with their wallets

Market Watch

August 27, 2018

By Leslie Albrecht

After the report on systematic sexual abuse in Pennsylvania involving 1,000 children over 7 decades, some worry their donations have been enabling a culture of secrecy

Pittsburgh mom Derya Little is such a devoted Catholic that she wishes she could go to church every day.

But with four small children, she has to limit her Mass attendance to Sundays. Another key part of her faith is the $10,000 a year she and her husband give to Catholic causes. They adhere to a traditional definition of tithing and donate exactly 10% of their gross income to charity per year.

But this week she won’t be leaving a check in the collection plate at her church. In fact, none of the money she and her husband typically donate to Catholic groups will go to her local parish or diocese this year.

Little was so appalled by the Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing how 300 priests sexually abused more than 1,000 children and then bishops systematically covered it up that she can’t stomach giving anymore money to church leaders. Instead, she says, she’ll donate only to Catholic causes she trusts, like Ave Maria Radio and missionaries who work in her native Turkey.

Seattle Catholic pastor addresses sexual abuse news in sermon

KIRO Radio

August 27, 2018

By Dave Ross

In the Catholic church, priests are not supposed to use the pulpit merely to take stands on what’s happening in the news. They are directed to explain the gospel and apply it to current events, only if there’s a clear lesson there.

On Sunday, the long-time pastor of Seattle’s St. James Cathedral, Michael Ryan, turned to the Biblical story of Jesus falling asleep in his disciples’ storm-tossed fishing boat. From that boat, he moved to the latest sexual abuse allegations against the hierarchy of the Catholic church.

'I am sorry beyond words': Portland archbishop addresses sex abuse while diocese faces new lawsuit

The Oregonian/OregonLive

August 27, 2018

By Fedor Zarkhin

Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample got straight to the point Sunday at a special mass for victims of sexual abuse.

"I am sorry beyond words for what priests and bishops have done to harm the children of God," he said at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. "I am ashamed of them."

A recent grand jury report outlined decades of abuse by hundreds of Pennsylvania priests. The report has shaken the country's Catholic community, already facing regular revelations of sexual abuse.

Sample called for change. Incidents must be fully investigated, he said, and priests and bishops must be held accountable, "no matter how high this goes."

Should Pope Francis Resign Over The Church Child Sex Abuse Scandal? (Audio)


August 27, 2018

By Kareem Dahab

KTSA radio host Jack Riccardi discusses how Pope Francis now faces a crisis of credibility over the cover up of child sexual abuse accusations in the church.

Can Pennsylvania Catholics Reconcile Their Faith With The Church's Legacy Of Abuse?


August 27, 2018

By Mick Stinelli and Megan Harris

The faithful are still reeling from revelations unearthed a 900-page Grand Jury report implicating 300 "predator priests" across six Pennsylvania dioceses, including 99 in Pittsburgh alone.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington and his local successor, Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik, have both apologized in the wake of what Attorney General Josh Shapiro called a monumental coverup, but some wonder what concrete action will be taken to ensure the safety of children in the church.

Cardinal Wuerl: Protector of the flock or facilitator of abuse?

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

August 27, 2018

By Tracie Mauriello

He wanted to put the Pittsburgh Diocese on the map.

That’s what Donald Wuerl, now a cardinal, said when he became bishop of the diocese that baptized him and shaped his earliest views of what it meant to be faithful, to be moral, to be Roman Catholic, and to be good.

Thirty years later, everyone is talking about the diocese, but not for any of the reasons he envisioned. Pittsburgh is on the map now because of a sex scandal involving 99 priests accused of abusing hundreds of young parishioners over seven decades.

Cardinal Wuerl had become known as a gutsy but introverted leader who saved the diocese from financial disaster, elevated women in the church, created a well-read adult catechism, withstood downturns in Catholic school enrollment, held his flock together through tumultuous parish mergers, engaged with parishioners in ways predecessors had not, and handled delicate assignments.

Confidential Vatican papers outline how Churches handle sex abuse allegations


August 27, 2018

By Anne Emerson

Instructions from the Vatican detail how church officials should handle allegations of sexual abuse.

ABC News 4 learned more about these instructions when it was included as evidence in a new lawsuit here filed against the Catholic Diocese of Charleston.

The lawsuit accuses former Charleston Priest Fredrick Hopwood of sexually abusing a young boy.

Church mission of evangelisation further 'hobbled' by abuse revelations, says London Oratory provost

The Tablet

August 28, 2018

By Edward Kendall

'The Church has experienced a paradigm shift in which PR-speak has lost any power it might once have had to reassure'

The Provost of the London Oratory has said recent revelations of clerical sexual abuse has further "hobbled the church's mission of evangelisation".

Father Julian Large, former Fleet Street journalist and Provost of the London (or Brompton) Oratory writes that “the recent Grand Jury report on sexual abuse in America details events of such wickedness and depravity as to leave the most cynical tabloid reporter shaken.”

“That pastors who have been ordained to be the living image of Our Lord and Saviour on earth could deliberately do such harm to those little ones whose angels behold the face of their Father in Heaven defies words,” Father Large says in his most recent pastoral letter. He adds that the “resulting crisis of credibility which has hobbled the Church’s mission of evangelisation in recent decades can only have been exacerbated wherever the institutional response has been to issue defensive official statements crafted by expensive lawyers and spin doctors.”

“With the latest revelations, and the promise of worse to come, the Church has experienced a paradigm shift in which PR-speak has lost any power it might once have had to reassure,” he continues.

In light of such revelations the temptation for many might be to leave the Church. But Father Large reminds his readers that despite “the transgressions of Her members” the Catholic Church remains “the Mystical Body of Christ, founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of mankind. She is where we find saving truth in its fullness, and where we encounter Our Lord in the Sacraments and receive Him in His entirety in Holy Communion.”

‘Heartbreaking and infuriating’: Conklin proposes legislation after church abuse scandal

Centre Daily

August 27, 2018

By Sarah Rafacz

State Rep. Scott Conklin announced at a press conference Monday that he plans to introduce two pieces of legislation in response to the grand jury report, released Aug. 14, on child sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania.

According to the grand jury report, more than 300 “predator priests” sexually abused more than 1,000 children, and “we believe that the real number — of children whose records were lost, or who were afraid ever to come forward — is in the thousands.”

The grand jury investigated abuse in six of Pennsylvania’s dioceses (the Philadelphia and Altoona-Johnstown dioceses were the subject of previous grand juries).

According to the grand jury report, church leaders covered up the abuse, and, as a result of that, almost all of the cases are “too old to be prosecuted.”

At Mass In Dublin, Pope Apologizes For Clergy Sex Abuse Scandals


August 27, 2018

By Frank Langfitt

But his contrition was marred by a new allegation. An ex-Vatican official accused Pope Francis of ignoring for years sexual misconduct allegations against a U.S. cardinal, who has since resigned.


While speaking at a Mass in Dublin yesterday, Pope Francis made his most abject apology yet for clerical sex abuse and the church's mistreatment of women and children. Here he is through a translator.


Catholic Church faces ongoing sex abuse crisis


August 24, 2018

By Tara Isabella Burton and Daniel Hemel

Recent high-profile cases have cast a spotlight on a decades-long history of abuse, secrecy, and cover-up.

In August, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court made public one of the broadest-ever investigations into Catholic clerical sex abuse of minors in the US. The 1,400-page grand jury report, the result of an 18-month probe by Pennsylvania state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, names at least 300 priests accused of child sex abuse by more than 1,000 victims throughout the state.

Five years into Pope Francis’s papacy, the summer has been rocked by scandal for the Catholic Church. In July, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, among the highest-ranking Vatican officials in America, was forced to resign his cardinalship after accusations of sex abuse from both adults and children. And earlier this year, the Vatican’s highest-ranking official, Cardinal George Pell, took a leave of absence to face criminal charges of child sex abuse in his native Australia. These high-profile cases have cast a wider media spotlight on an ongoing story of abuse, secrecy, and cover-up that dates back decades.

Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal Keeps Parishioners From Mass


August 27, 2018

By Virginia Alvino Young

Right inside the doorway of Courey and Andy Leer's house just outside of Pittsburgh, you're met with a golden cross, some palms, "and then we have a little Mary holy water holder," said Courey, 31. "We got some holy water for our wedding but we never like replenish it. It just hangs out there."

The Leers are among a number of Catholics in Pennsylvania who told NPR and its Pennsylvania stations that they opted to skip Mass this weekend, following the release of a grand jury report alleging widespread childhood sexual abuse in dioceses across the state.

The Leers were both raised Catholic, and for the past few months were increasingly active in their parish, attending more weekday Masses and even starting a new ministry. While they each said their spirituality is personal, for them, being Catholic is really more about identity and culture.

"I think for the longest time it wasn't a matter of 'how does this make you feel, what's your relationship with Jesus?' It was just 'yeah, we're Catholic.' It's what we do. It's what our family does," Courey said.

Pope's alleged cover-up pivots on when, if sanctions imposed

The Associated Press

August 27, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

The archbishop of Washington on Monday "categorically denied" ever being informed that his predecessor had been sanctioned for sexual misconduct, undercutting a key element of a bombshell allegation that Pope Francis covered up clergy abuse.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl issued a statement after the Vatican's former ambassador to the United States accused Pope Francis of effectively freeing ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from the sanctions in 2013 despite knowing of McCarrick's sexual predations against seminarians.

Wuerl's denial corresponds with the public record, which provides ample evidence that McCarrick lived a life completely devoid of ecclesiastic restriction after the sanctions were said to have been imposed in 2009 or 2010. That suggests that Pope Benedict XVI either didn't impose sanctions or never conveyed them in any official way to the people who could enforce them - or that McCarrick simply flouted them and Benedict's Vatican was unwilling or unable to stop him.

The claims of the former Vatican ambassador, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, have thrown Francis' papacy into crisis, undermining once again his insistence that he is intent on ridding the church of sex abuse and cover-up.

His record has taken several hits of late, including his extraordinary misjudgment involving a Chilean bishop, for which he has apologized and taken measures to address. But the McCarrick case is something else entirely, implicating the powerful U.S. hierarchy and the Vatican itself.

The core of Vigano's cover-up charge against Francis rests on what sanctions, if any, Benedict imposed on McCarrick and what if anything Francis did to alter them, when armed with the same knowledge of McCarrick's misdeeds that Benedict had.

Priest named in grand jury report worked for Youth Education in the Arts


August 27, 2018

By Jaccii Farris

The Chairman of Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) confirms that one of the 300 priests named in the Pennsylvania Attorney General's grand jury report was a drum corps instructor for Cadets 2, a weekend-only touring branch of YEA!'s drum corps.

The board suspended Father Donald Cramer, who was a priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg, from all YEA! activities within 90 minutes, according to a letter from Chairman Doug Rutherford.

In a letter to the Corps, Rutherford said, "After verifying that Mr. Cramer was, in fact, the same person identified in the report, the board suspended him from all YEA! activities, all within 90 minutes. After reviewing the situation with the Board of Directors, staff and YEA! attorneys, we terminated Mr. Cramer’s contract on the third business day after the story broke without an investigation, as the grand jury report provided sufficient cause."

Cramer was in an online chatroom and communicated with an individual in Connecticut who was charged criminally for possessing child pornography, according to the grand jury report. In Cramer's online communications, he mentioned he wanted to go to Mexico where he could "rent" boys.

Cardinal O’Malley meeting with Boston-area priests to discuss church sex abuse scandal


August 28, 2018

By John Cuoco

Cardinal Sean O’Malley will meet with Boston-area priests Tuesday to discuss the re-emerging international scandal of child sex abuse in the church and reports detailing decades of apparent cover-ups.

The meeting is set to take place at St. Julia’s Catholic Church in Weston, where protesters are expected to gather.

This comes after Pope Francis visited Ireland over the weekend and addressed the crisis.

“We ask forgiveness for the times that, as a church, we did not show the survivors of whatever kind of abuse compassion,” he said.

Former Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano has since called for the Pope’s resignation, saying he told Pope Francis about sexual abuse allegations made against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and he did nothing about it.


Roman Catholic Man

August 27, 2018

Fr Richard Heilman

Statement from Bishop Robert C. Morlino of August 27, 2018, regarding ongoing sexual abuse crisis in the Church

In the first place, I would like to affirm my solidarity with Cardinal DiNardo and his statement on behalf of the USCCB, particularly in two respects: 1) In his statement, Cardinal DiNardo indicates that the recent letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó, former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, “brings particular focus and urgency” to the examination by the USCCB of the grave moral failings of bishops. “The questions raised,” Card. DiNardo says, “deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence. Without those answers, innocent men may be tainted by false accusations and the guilty may be left to repeat the sins of the past.” 2) And, Card. DiNardo continues, “we renew our fraternal affection for the Holy Father in these difficult days.”

With those convictions and sentiments, I find myself completely in solidarity.

However, I must confess my disappointment that in his remarks on the return flight from Dublin to Rome, the Holy Father chose a course of “no comment,” regarding any conclusions that might be drawn from Archbishop Viganò’s allegations. Pope Francis further said expressly that such conclusions should be left to the “professional maturity” of journalists. In the United States and elsewhere, in fact, very little is more questionable than the professional maturity of journalists. The bias in the mainstream media could not be clearer and is recognized almost universally. I would never ascribe professional maturity to the journalism of the National Catholic Reporter, for example. (And, predictably, they are leading the charge in a campaign of vilification against Archbishop Viganò.)

Having renewed my expression of respect and filial affection for the Holy Father, I must add that during his tenure as our Apostolic Nuncio, I came to know Archbishop Viganò both professionally and personally, and I remain deeply convinced of his honesty, loyalty to and love for the Church, and impeccable integrity. In fact, Arch. Viganò has offered a number of concrete, real allegations in his recent document, giving names, dates, places, and the location of supporting documentation – either at the Secretariat of State or at the Apostolic Nunciature. Thus, the criteria for credible allegations are more than fulfilled, and an investigation, according to proper canonical procedures, is certainly in order.

Catholic Church Clergy Sex Scandal: Even the Pope Can’t Stop the Bleeding Now

The Daily Beast

August 27, 2018

By Barbie Latza Nadeau

On his way home from Ireland last night, Francis was stunningly silent about what he knew about new allegations of past criminal sex abuse at the top of the U.S. Catholic Church.

Pope Francis has officially lost control of the American clerical sex-abuse scandal.

On the heels of the damning Pennsylvania grand jury report out this month, he now finds himself facing calls for his resignation over allegations that he was complicit in the cover-up of a different sex-abusing cardinal, this time Washington, D.C.’s Theodore McCarrick, whose abuse was apparently so well known that he once advertised in a church bulletin that young seminarians should seek him out. And now, a BuzzFeed News exposé published Monday about murderous nuns at St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Vermont is sure to feed the fire, or at least prove once and for all—lest anyone doubted—that clerical sex abuse in the Catholic Church is endemic.

Francis may actually be making things even worse by refusing to comment. He was widely criticized for his “no comment” remarks in the days after the Pennsylvania case. And last night on the flight back to Rome from Ireland, he did not deny claims of a cover-up involving McCarrick. Instead, he refused to comment once again.

“I read the statement this morning, and I must tell you sincerely that, I must say this, to you and all those who are interested: Read the statement carefully and make your own judgment,” the pontiff said, according to a transcript of the in-flight Sunday night press conference published on the Catholic News Agency’s website. “I will not say a single word about this. I believe the statement speaks for itself.”

Despite his assertions, Hochul and Higgins call on Bishop Malone to resign

Spectrum Local News

August 28, 2018

By Mike Arena

Add Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul to the list of elected leaders calling for Bishop Richard Malone's resignation.

She joins Congressman Brian Higgins, who was one of the first to do so. Higgins watched Bishop Malone deliver a statement Sunday, announcing he will establish a task force to review the handling of sexual abuse claims.

The congressman says Malone's comments only confirm he needs to step aside. Higgins says Malone waited too long to act, and has not properly protected children.

Hochul and Higgins are now calling for an external investigation of the Buffalo Catholic Diocese.

Road to Recovery, Inc. – P.O. Box 279, Livingston, New Jersey 07039 – 862-368-2800

Cardinal Sean O’Malley to meet with Archdiocesan priests in a parish, St. Julia’s in Weston, MA, where Cardinal Law sent Fr. John J. Geoghan, a serial pedophile priest, after Cardinal Law knew about Fr. Geoghan’s sexual abuse of children and where Fr. Geoghan continued to sexually abuse children – how insensitive to the Weston sexual abuse victims

Media Release – August 27, 2018

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who blamed his priest secretary, Fr. Robert Kickham, for supposedly not showing him an explosive letter regarding allegations of sexual abuse against Cardinal Theodore E. Mc Carrick, will hold a meeting with Archdiocesan priests allegedly to discuss the growing clergy sexual abuse crisis and other matters

A recent explosive report from former Papal Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, indicates that Pope Francis and many American Cardinals, including Cardinal Sean O’Malley, and Archbishops/Bishops were fully aware of the allegations against and disciplining of Cardinal Theodore E. Mc Carrick

After decades as a bishop in Florida and Massachusetts, Cardinal O’Malley has called for United States dioceses to work with local law enforcement officials in conducting grand jury investigations. Where has he been? It’s too little, too late


A demonstration and press conference calling on Cardinal Sean O’Malley to explain:

1) why he chose St. Julia’s Parish in Weston, MA as the location of his meeting with priests, particularly since the meeting will allegedly deal with the topic of sexual abuse by clergy, and since St. Julia’s Parish in Weston, MA was an epicenter of the scandalous sexual abuse of children by Fr. John J. Geoghan

2) what he knew and when he knew about Cardinal Mc Carrick’s sexual abuse of seminarians, especially since the recent revelations by a former Papal Nuncio that “everybody” in the Church hierarchy from the United States to the Vatican knew about Cardinal Theodore Mc Carrick.

3) why he is now calling on dioceses in the United States to cooperate with law enforcement officials in conducting grand jury investigations of those dioceses when he has not done so for decades. He must agree to release all files in the Archdiocese of Boston to law enforcement and abide by a grand jury’s findings.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018 from Noon until 1:30 pm (Press conference at 1:00 pm)

Meeting of priests (1:00 pm – 2:30 pm)


On the public sidewalk outside St. Julia’s Parish, Weston, MA, 374 Boston Post Road, Weston, MA 02495


Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., former priest of the Archdiocese of Newark who was ordained by Cardinal Mc Carrick in 1997 when he was Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, and who founded Road to Recovery, Inc. to help victims of sexual abuse and their families; and members of STTOP, Speak Truth to Power, who have demonstrated in front of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston every Sunday since 2002 to support victim/survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their families


See above


Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com

'If there's a God, why was my uncle abused by a priest?': Ireland struggles to keep faith in the Church

Yahoo News UK

August 27, 2018

Christopher Lamb watches a new Ireland try to come to terms with a Church beset by a child abuse scandal

Rising at the crack of dawn and braving pelting rain and driving winds, Irish Catholics made their way for a Mass with Pope Francis in Dublin on Sunday.

The hundreds of thousands of believers who turned out in Phoenix Park must have felt disconnected from a papal visit that was dominated by the sexual abuse scandal inside the Church.

Francis’ two-day visit to Ireland saw him come face-to-face with the rawness of the abuse crisis in the country that has become the Ground Zero for what is arguably the gravest crisis facing the Church in almost 500 years.

It was striking that when John Paul II visited Ireland 39 years ago, more than a million people turned out in Phoenix Park for the papal mass in what was the biggest gathering of people in Irish history. While organisers predicted 500,000 would attend Francis’ Mass, estimates put it the attendance figure at just 200,000.

Retired priest investigated for watching suspected child porn


August 27, 2018

By Rachel Menitoff

Investigators confiscated the retired priest's computer.

An investigation is underway after a retired priest was discovered watching what might have been child pornography, the Archdiocese of St. Louis said Monday.

The archdiocese was notified about the incident on Friday, Aug. 24 and reported the incident to police.

Investigators confiscated the retired priest’s computer.

Archdiocese of LA Under Fire for Past Abuse Allegations by Priest

KNX 1070

August 27, 2018

A Manhattan Beach woman who says she was sexually abused by a priest is calling out the Los Angeles Archdiocese for allowing him to keep ministering.

KNX reporter Margaret Carrero:

Several years ago, Kate Bergin sued the Archdiocese for allowing Father Nicholas Assi to remain in the ministry at different parishes after he allegedly touched her inappropriately while she was setting up Mass.

Today, he’s at St. Luke’s in Temple City.

Despite settling her lawsuit for about $100,000, Bergin felt a need to speak out because she believes there are probably other victims.

Investigation underway after retired priest found with suspected child porn


August 27, 2018

By Stephanie Baumer

The Archdiocese of St. Louis says a retired priest was discovered viewing what was believed to be child pornography.

The Archdiocese says the situation, which they were first notified about on August 24, was immediately reported to law enforcement, who then seized the retired priest’s computer. The incident was also reported to the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis says they are cooperating with authorities in the investigation.

Priest convicted of molesting 17 children permitted by Maltese church to say mass “on special occasions”


August 27, 2018

Felix Cini, convicted in 2004 in Italy for molesting 17 children and caught downloading child-porn on his computers by the police, has been permitted by the Maltese Curia to say mass at Bormla parish “on special occasions”.

These photos are from the mass and procession of this year’s Pentecost where Felix Cini and other priests led children who had participated for the first time in the communion ritual. The photographs carry the watermark of the parish church.

Bishop Schneider: ‘no reasonable…cause to doubt truth’ of Vigano revelations about Pope


August 27, 2018

By John-Henry Westen

Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana Kazakhstan, one of the most outspoken bishops in the world concerning the crisis of faith in the Catholic Church under Pope Francis, has written a document responding to the testimony of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.

Bishop Schneider says there is “no reasonable and plausible cause to doubt the truth content of the document of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.”

Archbishop Vigano, who served as apostolic nuncio in Washington D.C. from 2011-2016, detailed in an 11-page letter last week that Pope Francis covered up now ex-Cardinal McCarrick's abuse.

Bishop Schneider acknowledges that it is extremely grave and rare that a bishop would publicly accuse a reigning pope, but points out that “Archbishop Viganò confirmed his statement by a sacred oath invoking the name of God.”

Bishop Schneider's document is published in full below.


Texas Standard

August 27, 2018

By Joy Diaz

Plaintiffs in the case against priest Rudy Kos didn’t settle or sign nondisclosure agreements. That paved the way for more priest sex-abuse victims to come forward and seek justice.

Last week, a priest went missing from his Texas parish, and a U.S. cardinal missed his trip to Ireland with Pope Francis. Both have something to do with the latest revelations of pedophilia that continue to plague the Catholic Church. Over the years, some cases have gone to court but none has been as pivotal as the case that was tried in Dallas two decades ago.

Lawyer Windle Turley represented eight of the 11 plaintiffs in the case against priest Rudolph “Rudy” Kos.

Turley says Kos was allowed to go into the priesthood despite objections from the priest who ran his seminary. Kos went on to sexually abuse boys in several parishes in the Dallas area. His crimes included “grooming” boys from as young as age seven, and coercing them into performing various sexual acts. His abuse also involved plying the boys with alcohol and drugs. One boy committed suicide before the trial. Turley says he didn’t realize how damaging sexual abuse could be for a person, before he worked on this case.

“I wasn’t totally aware of how injurious sexual abuse is to an adolescent. It lasts, in most instances…for the rest of their life,” Turley says.

‘Tired of apologies’, abuse victims demand action, not words, from Pope Francis

France 24

August 25, 2018

Irish victims of child sex abuse by the clergy say Pope Francis will need to come up with more than an apology this weekend if he is to restore faith in a deeply tarnished Catholic Church.
Once a bastion of Catholicism, Ireland has changed dramatically since the last time a pontiff visited back in 1979 – when divorce and contraception were banned, gay marriage was unheard-of, and the Church’s grip on a deeply conservative society was near total.

As Pope Francis arrives Saturday in Dublin for a two-day visit, he's seeing a country led by a gay prime minister, where same-sex marriage was adopted by popular ballot, and in which a large majority of voters chose to revoke one of the world’s most restrictive abortion regimes earlier this year.

Tellingly, such sweeping social change took place despite stiff opposition from the Church.

The Pope’s visit, timed to coincide with the World Meeting of Families (WMOF), a global Catholic gathering, comes at a critical time for the Church in both Ireland and the wider world, with the Vatican mired in a string of abuse scandals that threaten to reshape Francis’s legacy.

Another Twist in a Complex Story

Commonweal Magazine

August 27, 2018

By Paul Moses

What Matters Most in the Viganò Letter

Much of the coverage of the letter from Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò concerning the cover-up of sexual misconduct allegations against Theodore McCarrick is focusing on Pope Francis’s potential role in it. That’s just the spin Viganò and conservative critics of the pope were hoping for. But in looking more closely at everything that Viganò alleges, Francis’s immediate predecessors don’t fare very well either: he depicts John Paul II as at best oblivious to the facts of the McCarrick case because of health reasons, and Benedict XVI as so ineffectual that the Curia didn’t bother enforcing the restrictions he allegedly placed on the cardinal.

Viganò’s charge against Pope Francis is not that he created the problem but that he failed to clean it up once he knew. Keep in mind, though, that McCarrick’s situation was one strand in a complex web of curial deceit that Francis inherited when he became pope. Many of the same people now seizing on Viganò’s claims against Francis had criticized the pope for being unfair, in their view, to curial officials his predecessors appointed.

Francis told the Curia about its fifteen “diseases” in a pre-Christmas greeting in 2014, a diagnosis that included “spiritual Alzheimer’s disease,” “rivalry and vainglory,” gossip and back-biting, hoarding material goods, and “the disease of persons who insatiably try to accumulate power and to this end are ready to slander, defame and discredit others, even in newspapers and magazines.” The problem with Francis has not been the diagnosis, but following through on a treatment plan.

Pennsylvania man, inspired by grand jury unmasking of pedophile priests, gets another shot at justice

NBC News

August 27, 2018

By Corky Siemaszko

The 45-year-old said he was treated as a pariah when he accused a priest of abuse in 1997.

Pennsylvania authorities have opened an investigation into a Catholic priest who was accused of sexually abusing a student 30 years ago but was never questioned because too much time had passed since the alleged abuse, according to the district attorney.

The priest, Monsignor H. Desmond McGee, 71, was not one of the 301 "predator priests" accused of sexual abuse who were named in a recent bombshell Pennsylvania grand jury report.

But investigators in McKean County said Monday that they decided to look into McGee after his accuser, Edward Rodgers, went public following the release of the report — and repeated allegations that the monsignor molested him when he was a student at Bradford Central Christian High School in Bradford, Pennsylvania.

Archbishop: Pope turned blind eye to 'serial predator' for years

ABC News Videos

August 27, 2018

Pope Francis said he'd read the document from his former ambassador to the U.S. who also called for the pontiff to resign.

Archbishop Carlo Vigano claims Pope Francis knew about sex abuse allegations

Yahoo View

August 27, 2018

Pope Francis faced a stunning accusation from a former Vatican official over the weekend. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who served as Vatican ambassador to the U.S., said in a statement that the pope knew about allegations of sexual abuse.

Questions raised about pope's alleged cover-up

Associated Press Videos

August 27, 2018

A letter written by the former Vatican ambassador to the U.S. is raising questions about whether the pope knew about sexual misconduct allegations against the former archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, but rehabilitated him anyway. (Aug. 27)

Letters to the Editor 8/26/2018

The Times-Tribune

August 26, 2018

Editor: The recent Pennsylvania grand jury report documents clergy sexual abuse and a related cover-up by bishops in six Catholic dioceses.

The similarity in cover-up behavior found in each diocese is shocking and obviously systemic. Most parents would never allow a child to be near a person who is a known sexual abuser or even suspected of being one. But, these bishops didn’t hesitate to do so.

Is Pennsylvania the only place where the Catholic Church has behaved so horrifically? Hardly. However, convincing documentation does not exist as clearly as it now does in Pennsylvania. Civil governments must take the lead, as was done in Pennsylvania, and do what the church won’t do. Many more grand juries need to be impaneled and empowered to find and declare the truth because without truth there can be no justice and without justice there will be no healing.

Readers Write: The case for a N.Y. state grand jury investigation into Catholic Church clergy sex abuse cover-ups.

The Island Now

August 23, 2018

By Brian Toale

The recent Pennsylvania grand jury report that covers six of the eight Catholic dioceses in the State of Pennsylvania names 301 “Predator priests” and over 1,000 victims.

The jurors themselves state that in their belief, they have not identified even half of the actual number of victims.

All around the globe for the past half-century, wherever an investigation of the Catholic Church has been undertaken, the same pattern of sexual abuse and cover-up is exposed, and the lengths that the Church’s hierarchy will go to to protect their own reputation and financial holdings is revealed, yet again.

This should come as no surprise.

California diocese buys $2.3M home for retiring bishop

Associated Press

August 27, 2018

The Catholic Diocese of San Jose has purchased a five-bedroom, $2.3 million home in Silicon Valley for its retiring bishop despite the 640,000-member diocese’s mission of charity and serving the poor.

August 27, 2018

La carta de Ezzati en la que pide llevar a la fiscalía caso de excanciller del Arzobispado

[Documents seized in raid include Ezzati's letters about accused priest Óscar Muñoz Toledo]

La Tercera

August 25, 2018

By Leyla Zapata

El documento sobre el excanciller del arzobispado fue incautado en un allanamiento dirigido por el fiscal Arias.

El pasado 13 de junio, el fiscal Emiliano Arias, en conjunto con el OS-9 de Carabineros, incautaron una serie de documentos en el Arzobispado de Santiago. La inédita diligencia se enmarcaba dentro de la investigación que el Ministerio Público lleva contra el excanciller de la arquidiócesis, Óscar Muñoz Toledo, quien se autodenunció eclesialmente, ante la Oficina Pastoral de Denuncias (Opade), por supuestos abusos. El sacerdote actualmente está formalizado y en prisión preventiva, en la cárcel de Rancagua.

Suspenden declaración de cardenal Ricardo Ezzati

[Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati's court hearing delayed]


August 20, 2018

La diligencia estaba planeada para el martes 21 de agosto, pero finalmente la Fiscalía accedió a una petición de la defensa.

El cardenal Ricardo Ezzati finalmente no declarará este martes 21 de agosto en la causa que lleva la Fiscalía de Rancagua por una serie de denuncias por abusos sexuales al interior de la iglesia chilena.

Aunque la audiencia estaba agendada para la tarde de mañana, el Ministerio Público —liderado por el fiscal Emiliano Arias— accedió a una petición de la defensa, que requirió revisar los antecedentes de la investigación.

Fiscal Arias fija en más de 100 las víctimas abusadas por religiosos y cuestiona eficacia de las investigaciones canónicas

[Prosecutor Arias says there are more than 100 victims of clergy sex abuse, questions effectiveness of canonical investigations]


August 27, 2018

By Leonardo Núñez

El persecutor abordó los avances de la indagación sobre abusos cometido por miembros de la Iglesia Católica y los antecedentes surgidos tras la incautación de documentos en los obispados.

El fiscal regional de O'Higgins, Emiliano Arias, se refirió esta noche a los avances de la investigación que dirige en contra de miembros de la Iglesia Católica chilena por abusos sexuales de menores, indicando que la incautación de documentos, producto de tres allanamientos a obispados, ha permitido no sólo identificar a víctimas, sino que también recopilar importantes antecedentes para las causas. En ese sentido, señaló que a la fecha hay 56 causas abiertas con más de 100 víctimas y 60 imputados, pero que estas cifras podrían ir aumentando, ello porque de forma espontánea se han acercado más personas para hacer denuncias.

Exnuncio acusa al Papa de proteger a Barros, Errázuriz y Ezzati

[Archbishop accuses Pope of protecting Barros, Errázuriz and Ezzati]

La Tercera

August 26, 2018

By Fernanda Rojas

El arzobispo Carlo Maria Vigano publicó una carta en la que acusa al Papa Francisco y a altos cargos del Vaticano de encubrir escándalos de abusos en Estados Unidos. Pero también lanza dardos contra el Pontífice por su rol en Chile.

US website adds seven names of Irish clergy to ‘abuse-tracker’ database

The Irish Times

August 27, 2018

By Sorcha Pollak

Irish data laws preventing full accountability for church sexual abuse, says victim group

The Catholic Church’s culture of secrecy, coupled with Ireland’s “strict protection around defamation and data protection”, is making it impossible to ensure accountability for crimes of sexual abuse, a victim’s support group has said.

Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of the BishopAccountability.org website which runs a public “abuse-tracker” of offending clergy, highlighted on Monday the Irish State and church’s continued failure in making perpetrators of sexual abuse accountable for their actions. Last week, the group launched the Irish leg of its online database which identifies 94 priests and brothers who have been convicted of sexually abusing children.

Speaking outside the former Magdalene Laundry on Sean McDermott Street on Monday, Ms Barrett Doyle announced that seven new names had been added to the database following Pope Francis’ visit to Ireland over the weekend. The names included in the database are just “a fraction” of the total number of abusers in the Republic and Northern Ireland, she said, adding that Irish data protection laws had prevented the group from adding additional names.

'Abysmal and appalling' - survivors of clerical abuse slam Pope's visit and lack of plan 'to address hurt'

Irish Independent

August 27, 2018

By Conor Feehan

Survivors of clerical abuse have branded the visit of Pope Francis as “abysmal and appalling” because he failed to identify an action plan about what he is going to do to address the issues of hurt caused by the Church in Ireland.

Speaking after the Pontiff admitted he was not aware of the Magdalene Laundries or the mother and baby homes, they questioned how he could be so out of touch with the deep pain and ongoing anguish that emanated from such institutions.

“It is unbelievable. It’s an inescapable reality and truth to us here in Ireland. No matter what happened he should have been fully briefed about what he was coming to regarding the pain and suffering here,” said Mark Vincent Healy, who was abused by two priests in his time in school in Dublin.

“One thing is for certain, he didn’t know. You can blame it on himself for not asking questions, or those who surrounded him. I can’t imagine that the Archbishop didn’t brief him, and there are other service providers to the Pope who are feeding him information on what he’s coming to in Ireland,” he added.

Campaigners urge Pope to deliver plan to tackle child abuse

Shropshire Star

August 27, 2018

The pontiff’s visit to Ireland focused attention on historic incidents of wrongdoing by clergy.

Victims of clerical sexual abuse have called on the Pope to deliver a plan of action to tackle child abuse scandals.

During his two-day visit to Ireland, Pope Francis begged forgiveness for the crimes of the Church.

But campaigners urged him to take that one step further and take concrete action to solve the issue.

Members of two global groups aimed at holding the Catholic church to account gathered outside a former Magdalene Laundry on Dublin’s Sean McDermott Street on Monday to give their reaction to the pontiff’s trip to Ireland.

Clerical abuse

The Times of Malta

August 27, 2018

By John Guillaumier, St Julian’s

Ongoing exposures of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests show there is a lot of corruption behind the ‘holy doors’.

In Chile, the police recently raided the headquarters of the Catholic Church’s Episcopal Conference, thus ending “the impunity of the Chilean hierarchy”, as Anne Barrett Doyle, of BishopAccountability.org, said.

In the United States, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, DC has been asked by the Vatican to cease public ministry after he was accused of molesting minors and seminarians. He is among the highest-ranking of the more than 6,700 Roman Catholic clerics in the US to be accused of sexually abusing children since the Church’s sex abuse scandal broke out in 2002 (BishopAccountability.org.).

The Latest: Pope gets lukewarm reception in Ireland

The Associated Press

August 27, 2018

The Latest on Pope Francis' trip to Ireland (all times local):

11 p.m.

Pope Francis is facing a lukewarm reception and scattered protests on his trip to Ireland.

Even his vow to rid the church of the "scourge" has been dismissed as a disappointment by some of Ireland's wounded victims.

But others who met with him in private say they're heartened that he would respond to their plight, including two of the thousands of children who were forcibly put up for adoption for the shame of having been born to unwed mothers.

Survivors of one of Ireland's wretched mother and baby homes plan to hold a demonstration Sunday at Tuam, site of a mass grave of hundreds of babies who died at a church-run home.

Francis isn't scheduled to visit, but he says the description of the site "still echo in my ears."

Time for Church in US to face up to crimes

Irish Examiner

August 24, 2018

The US report on child sex abuse and cover-ups in Pennsylvania has led to calls to extend time limits for more victims to bring cases to court, writes Bette Browne.

THE Pennsylvania probe of child abuse crimes and cover-ups that landed like a bombshell before the Pope’s visit here is far from over as US lawmakers fight for legal tools that would give victims more time to bring perpetrators to justice before the courts.

The Pennsylvania probe of child abuse crimes and cover-ups that landed like a bombshell before the Pope’s visit here is far from over as US lawmakers fight for legal tools that would give victims more time to bring perpetrators to justice before the courts.

Investigators and politicians in Pennsylvania are seeking to change time limits for prosecutions under US statute-of-limitation laws. If they succeed it will boost similar moves under way in other states, with potentially devastating consequences for the Catholic Church.

Advocates for victims have been pushing to amend these statutes for some time — after the Pennsylvania revelations, their campaign has become more urgent.

Shapiro deserves praise and thanks - not brickbats - for grand jury report | Opinion

Penn Live

August 27, 2018

By Jennifer Storm

Attorney General details abuse report findings

These are unprecedented times. Not because there were no victims within the church before today.

Not because there were no cover-ups, bribes, threats, secret marriages and divorces, private stashes of child pornography, golden crosses used to mark children who had already been groomed.

Because today, we stand with these courageous survivors. Today, we don't "play it safe" as Richard Lavinthal would have us do in his recent op-Ed for PennLive.

Today, the words of the grand jury ring around the world and shatter the darkness with the light of truth. Today, we are proud to be Pennsylvanians led forward in the fight for justice by our citizens, by our communities, by our Attorney General and his office.

Attempting to misrepresent or distract from the true purpose and message of last week's media release is a tried and true method of further silencing survivors. And we say no.

Former residents of a now-closed Catholic orphanage in Vermont say nuns killed and tortured foster children


August 27, 2018

By Kelly McLaughlin

- An investigation into Catholic orphanages in the US revealed systematic abuse that many children faced from nuns in the 20th century.
- Former residents said they were forced to kneel or stand for hours, were dangled outside windows and over wells, and were locked in cabinets and closets.
- At St Joseph's Catholic Orphanage in Burlington, Vermont, former residents say the abuse sometimes led to death.
- The investigation by Buzzfeed News comes weeks after a Pennsylvania grand jury report accused the Catholic Church of covering up the abuse of 1,000 children.

Former residents of a now-closed Catholic orphanage in Vermont say nuns killed and tortured foster children who were staying at the facility between 1930 and 1970, according to an investigation from Buzzfeed News.

The investigation reveals the systematic abuse many children allegedly faced from nuns at St. Joseph's Catholic Orphanage in Burlington, as well as other orphanages across the US.

It comes weeks after a Pennsylvania grand jury report accused the Catholic Church of covering up the abuse of 1,000 children at the hands of hundreds of priests across six dioceses.

$3.8 billion paid in lawsuits and claims over sex abuse allegations in Catholic Church since 1980s, group says


August 27, 2018

By Rosa Flores, Meridith Edwards and Susannah Cullinane

Since the 1980s, the Catholic Church in the United States and its insurance companies have paid out more than $3.8 billion in lawsuits and claims involving allegations of clerical sexual abuse, according to a monitoring group.

BishopAccountability, a non-profit that tracks allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, says the payouts involved cases filed by more than 8,600 survivors who were allegedly sexually abused by an undisclosed number of clergy since the 1950s.

Spokesman Terry McKiernan told CNN the number of associated clergy is difficult to calculate because some settlement announcements omit the number of predator priests.

The monies have not gone solely to survivors, McKiernan said. Attorneys get a cut, too. And not all the money comes out of the coffers of the Catholic Church, because the church maintains insurance policies that cover a portion of the settlement payments.

Horrifying BuzzFeed News report details unspeakable abuse and even alleged murder in Catholic orphanages

The Week

August 27, 2018

By Kathryn Krawczyk

Throughout the early 1900s in Catholic orphanages around the world, children were locked in cabinets and attics for days, government reports have found. They had to eat their vomit. They were sexually abused. Some were even murdered, former residents have said under sworn oath. And while these accusations have led to massive government investigations in Australia, Canada, and beyond, it's all gone relatively unnoticed in the U.S.

As Catholic priests and leadership undergo a reckoning amid a wave of child sex abuse revelations, attention has largely bypassed American nuns who also had power over children. But a report from BuzzFeed News detailing incredible physical, mental, and sexual abuse at Catholic orphanages might change that.

BuzzFeed News dug up evidence corroborating abuse allegations from children who once lived in orphanages across the the U.S. But the children of St. Joseph's Orphanage, run by sisters in Burlington, Vermont, were able to truly shed light on their stories with a 1996 court case uncovered by BuzzFeed News. Speaking to a lawyer, Joseph Barquin alleged that a nun forcibly fondled him under a flight of stairs, while other children were beaten or shaken into shock. Another former St. Joseph's resident, Sally Dale, recalled in a deposition the time she saw a child thrown from a fourth-floor window.

Morning Update: An Explosive Investigation Into Orphanage Abuse In The US

BuzzFeed News

August 27, 2018

By Elamin Abdelmahmoud

Nuns killed children, say former residents of St. Joseph's Catholic Orphanage

Good morning,

Take a deep breath, because this is an explosive and difficult story. Millions of American children were placed in orphanages. Some didn’t make it out alive.

After hearing whispers that seemed almost too awful to believe, BuzzFeed News investigative reporter Christine Kenneally embarked on a four-year-long journey to find out what really went on in these institutions. Today, BuzzFeed News publishes her special investigation, with a powerful video, revealing the systematic abuse and even the alleged murder of children by nuns.

Her searing report — part true crime drama, part ghost story — cracks open a secret history of American life, and adds a vast new dimension to the Catholic church’s mistreatment of children.

From a world shrouded in secrecy, she tells the story of Sally Dale, Joseph Barquin, Dale Greene, and other former residents of St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Burlington, Vermont, who somehow found the courage to come forward and tell the world what they had witnessed, begging to be heard and believed. The local Catholic diocese put up the fight of a lifetime.

We Saw Nuns Kill Children: The Ghosts of St. Joseph’s Catholic Orphanage

BuzzFeed News

August 27, 2018

This is the haunting story of children who survived horrors in American orphanages, and their fight to make the world believe them.

Nuns Killed Children, Say Former Residents Of St. Joseph’s Catholic Orphanage


August 27, 2018

By Christine Kenneally

It was a late summer afternoon, Sally Dale recalled, when the boy was thrown through the fourth-floor window.

“He kind of hit, and— ” she placed both hands palm-down before her. Her right hand slapped down on the left, rebounded up a little, then landed again.

For just a moment, the room was still. “Bounced?” one of the many lawyers present asked. “Well, I guess you’d call it — it was a bounce,” she replied. “And then he laid still.”

Sally, who was speaking under oath, tried to explain it. She started again. “The first thing I saw was looking up, hearing the crash of the window, and then him going down, but my eyes were still glued—.” She pointed up at where the broken window would have been and then she pointed at her own face and drew circles around it. “That habit thing, whatever it is, that they wear, stuck out like a sore thumb.”

A nun was standing at the window, Sally said. She straightened her arms out in front of her. “But her hands were like that.”

Is the church capable of fixing itself?

U.S. Catholic

August 2018

By Kevin Clarke

After this summer of sex abuse revelations, it is time for a relentless examination of institutional conscience.
This summer the revelations of past assault on children and harassment committed by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick roiled the U.S. church. Other exposés of abuses by individual priests and of institution dysfunction followed including the devastating grand jury report in Pennsylvania that named more than 300 priests who for decades abused thousands of children which six dioceses covered up.

They all make a mockery of clerical formation. In a moment unprecedented for the church, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of McCarrick from the College of Cardinals and soon after that of an Australian archbishop after his conviction for covering up the abuse of children. Will stories of other retired bishops or men in active leadership roles emerge as well?

A trying time for the faithful as Catholic Church faces new abuse scandals

Los Angeles Times

August 26, 2018

By Soumya Karlamangla and Victoria Kim

Olivia Vela sat in the courtyard of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Sunday as she waited for the 10 a.m. Mass to begin. After a decades-long absence, she said she returned to the church a year and a half ago after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Vela said she is now in recovery and started attending services again because she is so grateful to be alive.

But the 52-year-old nurse is still struggling to reconcile her beliefs with the sex abuse scandals that continue to plague the Catholic Church and the latest news that Pope Francis may have knowingly hid allegations about the now-disgraced American Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop in Washington.

“I’m trying to come back. I’m trying to come back,” Vela said, sounding weary.

Nuns recall abuses at St. Joseph's Orphanage

The Burlington Free Press

August 27, 2018

By Sam Hemingway

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was first published on May 17, 1998. The Burlington Free Press is republishing stories about sexual abuse that took place at the St. Joseph's Orphanage in Burlington in the 1950s and 1960s.

For the first time, nuns and priests have confirmed some children at the now-closed St. Joseph's Orphanage in Burlington were sexually and physically abused.

Their acknowledgments, made in sworn depositions, involve isolated incidents and are much less sweeping than the allegations of systematic abuse made by dozens of former residents of the home.

Nonetheless, the statements by four nuns and two priests who worked at the orphanage weaken claims by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington that abuse charges cannot be corroborated.

More than 100 former St. Joseph's residents have charged in recent years that they and others were beaten and molested, tormented and humiliated. Twenty-four have suits pending against the diocese and related organizations.

They found some support in court depositions filed last week. Monsignor Edward Foster, for example, worked at the orphanage as a seminarian in the late 1940s. The now-retired priest recalled a young boy, Roger Barber, who was brought to him by two nuns in 1947 or 1948. The boy's buttocks had been burned so badly by an orphanage janitor that he could not sit down.

For Catholic parents, choosing to raise kids in a church marred by sex abuse is a 'painful thing'


August 27, 2018

By Michelle Krupa

At night, when her young daughters want a special lullaby, they ask for the Celtic Alleluia, a hymn that most any cradle Catholic could sing by heart.

But in the mornings, as she drives to work, Susan Reynolds finds herself pondering how to articulate her role in a church again battered by revelations of its own clergy sexually abusing children as its leaders hid the alleged crimes.

"One of the most painful things is this deep question I have of: Do I trust my church with my kids?" said Reynolds, an assistant professor of Catholic studies at Emory University in Atlanta.
"And the answer right now is: Kinda, no."

Papal Visit: Pope 'moved and shocked' by abuse survivors

BBC News

August 27, 2018

The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland has said that Pope Francis was "moved and shocked" by his meetings with survivors of abuse.

On Saturday, in Dublin, the Pope spent 90 minutes with eight survivors, telling them he viewed clerical sex abuse as "filth".

Archbishop Eamon Martin said the encounters led the pontiff to write a "personal, handwritten" prayer.

Pope Francis made a two-day trip to Ireland over the weekend.

Church official urges Pope to resign over abuse cover-up

Al Jazeera English

August 27, 2018

A senior Vatican official has called on Pope Francis to resign, accusing the pontiff of failing to act sooner on sexual abuse allegations against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

'I will not say one word': Pope Francis stays silent over claims he covered up sex abuse

Yahoo News UK

August 27, 2018

By Christopher Lamb

Pope Francis says he will “not say one word” in response to explosive allegations from a retired Vatican official claiming the pontiff covered up sexual abuse and should resign.

Talking to reporters on board the papal plane returning to Rome from Dublin, the Pope dismissively said Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’s testimony “speaks for itself” and he urged people to read the material carefully and judge for themselves.

In the 11-page memo – released on Sunday during the Pope’s trip to Ireland – the former Vatican ambassador to the United States says he warned Francis about allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse by former Archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick.

The document was an unprecedented broadside against a pope from a senior figure inside the Church and included a long list of US and Vatican officials of being told about McCarrick’s behaviour.

“I will not say one word on this,” he told reporters during his in-flight press conference. “I believe the statement speaks for itself. And you have sufficient journalistic capacity to draw your own conclusions.”

The Church’s sex-abuse scandal hits home

Kitsap Sun

August 24, 2018

By Ed Palm

The Catholic Church’s sex-abuse scandal is back in the news — this time, bigger and more troubling than ever. On August 14, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court released the results of a two-year grand jury investigation revealing what the Washington Post has labeled a “criminal conspiracy” to cover up the abuse of “at least 1,000 victims” by “some 300 priests” in “six of the state’s eight dioceses.”

As a Catholic-school survivor, I’ve had more than a passing interest in this controversy and have even advanced my theory about why this has been happening (“The risk in the old Catholic ‘calls,’” March 13, 2016). More about that anon. My immediate concern is how this latest report hits home, geographically and personally.

Within a few days of Pennsylvania’s blockbuster report, all of us who had graduated from the Salesianum School for Boys in Wilmington, Delaware, received an email from Brendan Kennealey, the school’s current president. Kennealey revealed that two of the priests named in the Pennsylvania report were members of the religious order that had established and still oversees Salesianum, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales (OSFS), and that they had taught at the school. In the interest of full disclosure, Kennealey acknowledged that 12 oblates had been named in 34 lawsuits brought by 39 victims against the school and the Oblates. In 2011, the victims and the order reached a global settlement to the tune of $24.8 million.

If Viganò’s “Testimony” is true, Pope Francis has failed his own test

The Catholic World Report

August 26, 2018

By Christopher R. Altieri

The testimony Archbishop Viganò offers is neither perfectly crafted, nor immune to criticism, but it is wide-ranging, detailed, and devastating

The former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, has written a letter alleging systematic coverup of the disordered and abusive behavior of the former Archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, who has resigned from the College of Cardinals and awaits canonical trial on charges he molested at least one minor. Since that charge became public on June 20th, other accusers have come forward, some of them alleging they suffered abuse in seminary or as priests, while at least one other accuser — the first person McCarrick baptized as a priest — alleges his abuse began when he was aged 11 years.

McCarrick’s behavior appears to have been an open secret, though high-ranking prelates close to McCarrick claim they were unaware of any hint of impropriety. They include McCarrick’s successor, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, and Cardinal Kevin Farrell of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. The records of both men deserve the most careful and relentless scrutiny, but not here.

Here, the concern is the set of assertions Archbishop Viganò has made in his letter, in which he details a nearly two decades’ coverup of McCarrick’s misconduct. It involves three popes and three Secretaries of State, as well as at least a half-dozen other high-ranking Vatican officials.

Archbishop Viganò, who was Nuncio from 2011 to 2016, asserts that Cardinal Angelo Sodano, when he was Secretary of State under Pope St. John Paul II, knew of the allegations against McCarrick. Viganò strongly suggests Sodano was nevertheless instrumental in securing McCarrick’s appointment to the See of Washington, DC. Viganò speculates that Sodano would have been able to pass McCarrick’s nomination across the desk of the weak and sickly Pope St. John Paul II, from whom he would have kept information regarding McCarrick’s habits.

Pope in Ireland vows to end cover-up of clergy sex abuse

The Associated Press

August 25, 2018

By Nicole Winfield and Maria Grazia Murru

Pope Francis declared Saturday as he arrived in Ireland that he shares the outrage of rank-and-file Catholics over the cover-up of the “repugnant crimes” of priests who raped and molested children, and vowed that he was committed to ending the “scourge.”

Seeking to respond to a global outcry over sex abuse by priests, Francis cited measures taken by his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, to respond to the crisis. But Benedict never acknowledged the Vatican’s role in fueling a culture of cover-up, and Francis provided no new details of any measures he would take to sanction bishops who fail to protect their flocks from predator priests.

“The failure of ecclesial authorities — bishops, religious superiors, priests and others — to adequately address these repugnant crimes has rightly given rise to outrage, and remains a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community. I myself share these sentiments,” the pope said in a speech to government officials and civil authorities at Dublin Castle.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Church's top-down character keeps abuse concealed

ST .Louis (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

August 25, 2018

I am wondering if the long-standing and thorough concealment of clerical sexual abuse doesn't have a lot to do with the top-down character of the Roman Catholic Church.

Who appoints and promotes bishops? Well the pope does, or, maybe apostolic delegates and nabobs in the Curia tell him whom to appoint. In any case, in a top-down regime the main thing the higher-ups want from the lower-downs is no trouble.

If everything is running trouble-free, the lower-downs are assumed to be doing a good job. If there is any trouble, even the trouble of cosseted members of the laity or politicians among the clergy complaining against desperately needed reform, the higher-ups will wonder what the lower-down bishop is doing wrong, why things are getting out of hand. He must not be running his diocese very well if the Vatican is receiving complaints from big donors and ultramontane clergy. He must have no skill in the arts of secrecy if scandals in the diocese are getting into the local news media.

So, if his excellency wants to abide in the Vatican's favor, if he has dreams of advancement to a more prestigious see, if he wants to avoid early retirement, he had better get with the program and keep his diocese trouble-free whatever the price.

Daniel Sheerin • Kirkwood

Churches unite for prayer vigil for sex abuse survivors


August 25, 2018

By Priscilla Liguori

Instead of turning away from God during a time of hurt and sadness, the people at a prayer vigil in New Cumberland turned toward Him. The goal of the ceremony was to heal the community, broken by the truth exposed in the grand jury report on clergy sex abuse, released last week.

"Help us to live gracefully inside this tension," said Tina Moyer, who spoke at the vigil.

Eight local churches of different denominations prayed together for survivors of clergy sex abuse.

People in the pews of Baughman United Methodist Church wore white ribbons to support survivors and their families.

"What I saw tonight was everybody coming together," said Bruce Chambers, an Etters resident who went to the vigil. "Hopefully, in this whole situation with the Catholic Church, what we'll see is some changes."

Nuns were investigated when priests should have been

Pittsburgh (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

August 27, 2018

By Mary Lou Walter

Holy smoke! It appears that the ruby red Prada slippers that Benedict XVI wore are now on the other foot.

How ironic that members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops were complicit for decades about protecting known abuser priests. The same feckless organization, however, was totally enthusiastic to participate and endorse the Apostolic Visitation into America’s provinces of nuns — a witch hunt in every sense begun to ease the fears of U.S. bishops that the nuns were running amok, what with their abandonment of religious garments and living independently outside of convents, not to mention forming radical feminist ideas about their organizations.

What were the results of the investigation?

Cheyenne Police Seeking Help From Public On Church Sexual Abuse Investigation

Wyoming Public Media

August 24, 2018

By Kamila Kudelska

The Cheyenne Police Department is seeking information from any victims or witnesses of sex abuse crimes related to any church official.

It comes after a release from the Roman Catholic Diocese in Cheyenne with new information found in a sex abuse case involving Bishop-Emeritus Joseph Hart between the 1970s through the 1990s. The department has since re-opened that case which has been closed for 16 years.

The announcement comes just a week after a Pennsylvania grand jury released a report accusing 300 priests of sexually abusing over 1,000 victims across the state.

Spokesman officer Kevin Malatesta said this has nothing to do with the Pennsylvania case but it does speak to the nature of what is going on around the country.

Thousands gather at rally to honour victims of church abuse

The Times

August 27, 2018

By Katie O’Neill

Thousands of people who gathered in Dublin city centre yesterday to honour victims of clerical abuse were told they represented “the new Ireland”.

The Stand 4 Truth demonstration, organised by Colm O’Gorman, the executive director of Amnesty International Ireland and a clerical sex abuse survivor, began at 3pm, the same time as the papal Mass in Phoenix Park.

The singers Hozier, Mary Black and Brian Kennedy, and Marian Keyes, the novelist, were among those to take to the stage outside the Garden of Remembrance.

In Ireland, Pope Francis ashamed of church's failure to address abuse


August 25, 2018

By Sommer Brokaw

During a visit to Ireland, Pope Francis spoke Saturday about the Catholic Church's handlings of clerical abuse -- calling it a "grave scandal."

"I cannot fail to acknowledge the grave scandal caused in Ireland by the abuse of young people by members of the Church charged with responsibility for their protection and education," the Pope told political leaders and dignitaries at Dublin Castle.

"The failure of ecclesiastical authorities -- bishops, religious superiors, priests and others -- adequately to address these repellent crimes has rightly given rise to outrage, and remains a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community," he said.

"I myself share those sentiments."

Irish ruling class as much to blame for child abuse as church

Irish Central

August 26, 2018

By George Dillon

Yes, the church did wrong on child abuse and Magdalene Laundries, but there were plenty of Irish in leadership roles who turned a blind eye.

The Irish, from their ruling class right down to the general populace, have created a convenient narrative about these abuses.

In this account, no Irish person bears any guilt or responsibility, save the clerics who carried out the abuse.

That, of course, is self-serving garbage. The mistreatment and abuse could not have occurred without the aid of a whole network of lay people and government officials and politicians. These institutions where the young were mistreated were subject to regular inspection by government officials.

Area Catholic churches to hold sex abuse forum

The Courier

August 26, 2018

By Jerry Kopacek

The Catholic parishes in Waterloo will host a forum on the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church on Thursday.

The forum is an extension of the parishes’ Summer Forum Series and will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Church Hall at St. Edward Parish.

Dave Cushing, director of adult faith formation for the parishes, said the forum will offer local Catholics an opportunity to express their feelings and concerns about recent reports of extensive sexual abuse in the Catholic dioceses of Pennsylvannia and allegations of abuse against a high ranking retired American cardinal.

A panel of pastoral ministers will be present to respond to participants’ concerns. The panel includes the Rev. Jerry Kopacek, Mary Pedersen, Dr. Len Froyen and Joan Hoffmann.

Although most of the incidents reported in a grand jury report took place prior to 2000, Cushing said many Catholics have grave concerns about why the abuse occurred and why it was not revealed before now.

Commentary: Thank the law for revealing abuse, not the church

The Philadelphia Inquirer

August 26, 2018

By Maria Panaritis

Victims and investigators brought the truth out; Catholic leaders only protected the abusers.

Thank God for the criminal investigators and prosecutors.

Thank God for the grand jury subpoenas. For they extracted — like rotting teeth — clergy-abuse personnel files in unreachable corners of six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses serving 1.7 million people.

Thank God for the courage of the victims. For without them, Attorney General Josh Shapiro and his team would have had no real cause to root out and unveil decades of depravity and systemic abuse by clergy, overseen by complicit superiors.

Do recent developments in church sex abuse scandal finally open Child Victims Act to a vote?


August 27, 2018

By Michael Mroziak

In light of recent news involving alleged sexual abuse and how Catholic Church leaders have managed it over many years, calls are being renewed to pass the Child Victims Act in New York State. A State Senator who strongly supports the bill says the votes are there but the current leadership in that house won't bring it up for a vote.

The Child Victims Act would ease current statutes of limitation that currently give victims until the age of 23 to sue for justice in childhood incidents. It has stalled in the State Senate for a dozen years.

Pope begs forgiveness for 'state of shame' inflicted on Ireland


August 26, 2018

By Graham Fahy and Conor Humphries

Pope Francis on Sunday begged forgiveness for the multitude of abuses suffered by victims in Ireland at the hand of the church over decades as he concluded a tour of the once deeply Catholic country watched by parishioners and protesters.

After meeting privately with abuse victims on Saturday on the first papal visit to Ireland in almost four decades, Francis apologized to mothers estranged from their children in church-run homes, children abused by priests and those exploited in religious schools, calling it a “state of shame.”

“To survivors of abuse of power, conscience and sexual abuse, recognizing what they have told me, I would like to put these crimes before the mercy of the Lord and ask forgiveness for them,” Francis told a mass attended by more than 100,000 people at Dublin’s Phoenix Park.

“We apologize for some members of the hierarchy who did not take care of these painful situations and kept silent.”

Former Vatican ambassador says Popes Francis, Benedict knew of sexual misconduct allegations against McCarrick for years

The Washington Post

August 26, 2018

By Chico Harlan, Stefano Pitrelli, Michelle Boorstein

A former Vatican ambassador to the United States has alleged in an 11-page letter that Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis — among other top Catholic Church officials — had been aware of sexual misconduct allegations against former D.C. archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCar­rick years before he resigned this summer.

The letter from Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who was recalled from his D.C. post in 2016 amid allegations that he’d become embroiled in the conservative American fight against same-sex marriage, was first reported by the National Catholic Register and LifeSite News, two conservative Catholic sites.

The accusations sent a shock wave across the reeling Roman Catholic Church, but the letter offered no proof of its claims, and Viganò on Sunday told The Washington Post that he wouldn’t comment further, beyond confirming that he was the letter’s author.

Pope begs for forgiveness over clergy sex abuse scandal

New York Post

August 26, 2018

By Ruth Brown

Pope Francis on Sunday begged forgiveness for child sexual abuse in the Catholic church — a day after a former Vatican official accused him of covering up allegations against an American cardinal.

Speaking at the Marian shrine in the Irish town of Knock, the pontiff said the “open wound” of the scandal required the church to be “firm and decisive in the pursuit of truth and justice.”

“I beg forgiveness for these sins and for the scandal and betrayal felt by so many others in God’s family,” he told the tens of thousands gathered at the shrine, according to the Guardian.

“None of us can fail to be moved by the stories of young people who suffered abuse, were robbed of their innocence and left scarred.”

Bishop Malone's apology on abuse gets chilly response from parishioners

The Buffalo News

August 25, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

Parishioners of St. Mary's Church in Swormville responded to Bishop Richard J. Malone’s statement of apology Saturday with a mix of anger, disappointment and frustration over his handling of a sexual abuse scandal that has been unfolding in media reports for six months and now includes Malone’s cover-up of a priest who sexually harassed grown men.

“Words only,” said church member Jay Christopher of Clarence. “What that letter said was meaningless to me. I don’t need an apology. I need actions. Do something about it.”

Malone did not show up at the parish. He sent Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Grosz to read a 10-paragraph statement prior to a 4 p.m. Mass at St. Mary's. It came the day after a businessman and deacon of the church, a Catholic radio station and three public officials, including U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, called for Malone to resign.

“Let me be clear that the handling of claims from some of our parishioners – which you may have read about in news reports – has fallen short of the standard to which we hold ourselves and each other. We can and will do better,” Grosz said in reading the bishop’s letter.

The statement made no mention of the calls for Malone to step down.

If one member suffers…

The Times of Malta

August 26, 2018

By Andrew Azzopardi

There is no greater issue in the Catholic Church today than that of child abuse. The Church’s credibility and future depend on how this problem is handled and solved.

The Pennsylvania Grand Jury report detailing claims of sexual abuse of over 1,000 children by 301 priests makes for very painful reading. The accounts are truly horrific and display the pain and suffering experienced by victims. My thoughts are with all the victims, survivors and their loved ones. They have shown great courage by coming forward.

When examining the Church leadership’s response to child abuse cases it’s important to recognise that times have changed and what was acceptable decades ago is considered differently now. This does not excuse the mishandling of cases in the past but it’s important to keep a sense of perspective.

With this perspective in mind, I quote Cardinal Sean O’Malley, President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, who said: “The clock is ticking for the Church leadership to take action”. This is very true. The Church needs to take firm steps to acknowledge the wrongs of the past and make sure Church leaders take proper responsibility for whatever actions they take or fail to take. This needs to be done today without further delay.

The Pope’s Letter: what’s new?

The Times of Malta

August 26, 2018

The Letter to the People of God issued some days ago by Pope Francis in response to the latest developments in the unfolding sex abuse scandal crippling the Catholic Church in America is a remarkable document in many ways. Not surprisingly, it is also controversial. Some have hailed it as a turning point in the public pronouncements by the Church on this issue while others – including some victims – have dismissed it as more of the same.

The language and purpose of the Letter needs to be understood in the context of Pope Francis’s attempted reform of the Church. From the very beginning, Francis has tried to break the culture of ‘clericalism’, meaning attempts to maintain or increase the power of the religious hierarchy and to protect it from any accountability. This struggle has played out in multiple fora, such as in the Church’s finances, and in attempts to bring to justice high-ranking prelates who ignored, protected or perpetrated abuse.

This culture, and the resultant power struggles within the Vatican, was one of the drivers that led to Pope Benedict’s resignation. Pope Francis has regularly publicly admonished his top Curia officials, much to their anger and dismay, about the “cancer” of cliques and plots within the Vatican “that leads to a self-referential attitude” and the hoarding of money and power. Francis once compared the difficulties of reforming the Church to cleaning the Sphinx of Egypt with a toothbrush.

Pope Francis celebrates his final Mass in Ireland amid call for him to quit over clergy abuse

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

August 26, 2018

By Peter Smith

Pope Francis began his final Mass in Ireland on Sunday with a litany of repentance for victims of sexual abuse and of abuse “of power and conscience.”

And as the pope was seeking repentance, there was a call for his resignation from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who was the papal nuncio to Washington, D.C., before Francis recalled him in 2016.

The archbishop’s letter contended that Francis had allowed former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick to retain his influential role despite knowing for years of allegations of sexual misconduct against him. The cardinal was banned from ministry and resigned earlier this year when it became publicly known he sexually abused boys and exploited young adult seminarians.

Francis essentially fired Archbishop Vigano from his diplomatic post. The latter is part of a conservative camp that blames the pope for being part of a liberal group tolerating homosexuality in the church.

Cardinal Burke responds to former US nuncio’s explosive letter about Pope Francis


August 26, 2018

By John-Henry Westen

“The corruption and filth which have entered into the life of the Church must be purified at their roots,” said Vatican Cardinal Raymond Burke in response to a LifeSite request for comment on the release of Archbishop Carlo Viganò’s testimony. The 11-page letter issued by the former papal representative in the United States released to LifeSiteNews and a few other outlets is filled with revelations of scandals within the hierarchy.

“The declarations made by a prelate of the authority of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò must be totally taken to heart by those responsible in the Church,” said Burke. “Each declaration must be subject to investigation, according to the Church’s time-tried procedural law.”

Former Vatican ambassador says Pope Francis, Pope Benedict knew of sexual misconduct allegations

The Washington Post

August 26, 2018

A former Vatican ambassador to the United States has alleged in an 11-page letter that Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis — among other top Catholic Church officials — had been aware of sexual misconduct allegations against former Washington, D.C., archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCarrick years before he resigned this summer.

The letter from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who was recalled from his D.C. post in 2016 amid allegations that he’d become embroiled in the conservative American fight against same-sex marriage, was first reported by the National Catholic Register and LifeSite News, two conservative Catholic sites. The letter offered no proof, and Vigano on Sunday told The Washington Post he wouldn’t comment further.

“Silence and prayer are the only things that are befitting,” he said.

The accusations landed as Francis was wrapping up one of the most fraught trips of his papacy, coming face-to-face with the church’s damaged credibility in a country reeling from decades of abuse. In a Mass at Dublin’s Phoenix Park, Francis spoke in Spanish and asked for forgiveness for what he called “abuses of power, conscience, and sexual abuse perpetrated by members with roles of responsibility in the church,” according to a translation of his remarks by Vatican News.

“We ask forgiveness for some members of the church’s hierarchy who did not take charge of these painful situations and kept quiet,” Francis said.

7 I-TEAM: Buffalo Bishop Malone allowed Amherst priest to remain pastor despite abuse allegations


August 23, 2018

By Charlie Specht

Editor's Note: In March 2018, the Diocese of Buffalo released a list of 42 priests accused of abuse. 7 Eyewitness News has learned that two priests who were in ministry at that time were originally considered for inclusion on that list, but were removed before the list was made public.

This is the second part of a two-part investigative series on Bishop Richard J. Malone's handling of those priests.

You can read part one here

Kyle is a devout, faithful Catholic from Buffalo.

“I have a deep respect for the virtues of piety and obedience,” he said.

Which is why it almost pains him to tell the story of Father Robert Yetter, the longtime pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Swormville.

In 2013, Father Yetter offered Kyle what was supposed to be a helping hand. The young man was 25 and searching for answers in life when Yetter offered to take him to see “Captain Phillips” at the Walden Galleria cinema. The two planned to watch the movie and talk about faith over dinner at Jack Astor’s.

“This was my first opportunity to be able to really ask him some deep questions about the faith so that I could get some answers for what I was searching for,” Kyle said.

But then Kyle said something happened that he never expected.

“We were like lightly laughing about something that was mildly funny and then he just kind of finished the laughter and then just like slaps his hand right here,” Kyle said, pointing to his inner thigh.

His first reaction was to freeze.

Gozo Bishop threatens UK blogger with legal action


August 23, 2018

The Bishop of Gozo, Mario Grech, has engaged lawyers to threaten a UK Catholic blogger who commented on allegations already reported by Malta Today in 2015 with criminal and civil action.

The report concerns the case of Gozitan cleric Joseph Bezzina and the allegation Bishop Mario Grech shielded him from any consequence after allegations of abuse of pubescent boys. The blog by Catholic writer Mark Lambert, says the dossier about Joseph Bezzina’s case has “disappeared”.

Mark Lambert’s report also refers to the case of Dominic Camilleri that was convicted by a Malta church tribunal in 2003 but had still not been defrocked by 2015. This was covered in a Malta Today report by Jurgen Balzan from the time.

The blogger says these cases, and a claim by members of the Gozitan clergy that accuse Bishop Mario Grech of “professional misconduct”, raise uncomfortable questions about the Gozitan curia’s commitment to take action on child abuse.

In a letter to Mark Lambert, Mario Grech’s lawyer denies the allegations and threatens “civil and criminal procedures” against the author.

Lawmakers calling on Bishop Malone to resign


August 24, 2018

Several local lawmakers are calling on Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone to resign for his handling of the on-going priest sex abuse issue in the Diocese.

Several local lawmakers are calling on Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone to resign for his handling of the on-going priest sex abuse issue in the Diocese.

Congressman Brian Higgins tweeted Friday afternoon that Bishop Malone has exhibited poor leadership and knew about children and others put in harm's way, in calling for the Bishop's resignation.

Calls mounting for Bishop Malone's resignation


August 24, 2018

By Charlie Specht and Christine Streich

I-Team investigation revealed current cover-up

Calls are mounting for Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone to resign in the wake of a 7 Eyewitness News investigation that revealed a continuing cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

Three elected officials from South Buffalo -- the region's most heavily Catholic enclave -- including a United States Congressman, said Malone must resign immediately because he has lost the trust of much of the region's nearly 600,000 Catholics.

In addition, they are pushing for a criminal investigation of the Diocese of Buffalo.

Rep. Brian Higgins said, "Overwhelming evidence recently released clearly shows that Bishop Malone has exhibited poor leadership and knew about children and others put in harm's way. He must resign."

Calls intensify for Bishop Malone to resign over sex abuse scandal

The Buffalo News

August 24, 2018

By Dan Herbeck

Public pressure mounted on Bishop Richard J. Malone on Friday as a congressman, two other public officials and a prominent Buffalo businessman who serves as a church deacon called upon him to resign because of his handling of clergy abuse cases.

A Catholic radio station in Buffalo – WLOF-FM, Station of the Cross – posted a statement on its website, saying Malone "covered up for predatory priests" and should resign "immediately" as bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

Paul L. Snyder III, chief executive officer of the Snyder Corp., told The Buffalo News it is time for thousands of Catholics in Western New York to “rise up” and insist on changes in their church.

Snyder, a longtime church volunteer who serves as a deacon in his parish, said he believes that recent news reports about Malone’s handling of clergy abuse allegations show that he and other top diocesan officials have been involved in a “cover-up” and that it is time for Malone to resign.

In his letter to Malone, Snyder said the bishop's "conduct to mask the truth from our Community, demonstrates that you have been seriously negligent in your duties as the leader of our Diocese,” Snyder wrote to the bishop. “I … respectfully ask for your resignation from the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.”

Pope Francis Faces Lukewarm Reception in Ireland After Meeting Sex Abuse Victims

The Associated Press

August 25, 2018

By Nicole Winfield and Trisha Thomas

Pope Francis faced a lukewarm reception and scattered protests Saturday on his trip to Ireland, with even his vow to rid the church of the “scourge” of sexual abuse and his outrage at those “repugnant crimes” dismissed as a disappointment by some of Ireland’s wounded victims.

But others who met with him in private left heartened that he would respond to their plight, including two of the thousands of children who were forcibly put up for adoption for the shame of having been born to unwed mothers. They said Francis described the corruption and cover-up in the church as “caca” — translated by the Vatican translator for the English speakers as “filth as one sees in the toilet.”

The abuse scandal — which has exploded anew in the U.S. but has convulsed Ireland since the 1990s with revelations of unfathomable violence and humiliation against women and children — took center stage on the first day of Francis’ two-day trip. The visit was originally intended to celebrate Catholic families.

The Latest on Pope Francis’ trip to Ireland (all times local):

The Associated Press

August 27, 2018

11:59 p.m.

Pope Francis says parents of gay children shouldn’t condemn them, ignore their orientation or throw them out of the house. Rather, he says they should pray, talk and try to understand.

Speaking to reporters after closing out a Catholic family rally in Ireland, Francis said: “There have always been gay people and people with homosexual tendencies.”

Francis was asked what he would tell a father of a child who just came out as gay. Francis said he would first suggest prayer.

“Don’t condemn. Dialogue. Understand, give the child space so he or she can express themselves.”

Francis said it might be necessary seek psychiatric help if a child begins to exhibit “worrisome” traits, but that it’s something else if an adult comes out as gay.

He urged parents not to respond with silence. “Ignoring child with this tendency shows a lack of motherhood and fatherhood.”

He said: “This child has the right to a family. And the family not throwing him out.”


11:45 p.m.

Pope Francis is defending his procedures to hold bishops accountable for covering up priestly sex abuse, saying a tribunal isn’t necessary and that his ad-hoc approach works better.

Francis was asked en route home from Ireland on Sunday about demands from abuse survivors to implement his 2015 decision to create a tribunal section inside the Vatican to judge negligent bishops.

Francis scrapped the idea in 2016 and instead laid out legal procedures to use the existing Vatican bureaucracy to investigate complaints, and then for a college of legal experts to weigh in and advise the pope.

Francis said a full-fledged tribunal “wasn’t viable or convenient because of the different cultures of the bishops who must be judged.” Instead, he said the ad-hoc jury system “works better” and that “several” bishops had already been judged.

Pope Francis Asks for Forgiveness in Ireland

The Wall Street Journal

August 26, 2018

Pope Francis issued a sweeping apology for the sexual abuse charges surrounding the Catholic church at the end of his two-day visit in Ireland.

Former top Vatican official says pope should resign over abuse crisis


August 26, 2018

By Philip Pullella

Pope Francis said on Sunday he would not respond to a former top Vatican official who accused him of having known for years of allegations of sex abuse by a prominent U.S. cardinal, calling on the pontiff to resign in an unprecedented broadside against the pope by a Church insider.

Francis, speaking to reporters on the plane returning from a trip to Dublin, said dismissively that a statement containing the accusations “speaks for itself”.

In a detailed 11-page bombshell statement given to conservative Roman Catholic media outlets during the pope’s visit to Ireland, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano accused a long list of current and past Vatican and U.S. Church officials of covering up the case of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who resigned last month in disgrace.

In remarkably blunt language, Vigano said alleged cover-ups in the Church were making it look like “a conspiracy of silence not so dissimilar from the one that prevails in the mafia”.

“Pope Francis has repeatedly asked for total transparency in the Church,” wrote Vigano, who has criticized the pope before.

“In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church, his extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church, he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them,” Vigano said.

Protesting in Ireland leads Pope Francis to plea for forgiveness

ABC News

August 26, 2018

Pope Francis' visit to Dublin, Ireland, was met with harsh protesting and breaks from prepared speeches to ask for forgiveness on behalf of the church for its abuse of power, sexual assault and more.

Pope refuses to comment on claim he personally ignored abuse


August 27, 2018

By Catherine Marciano with Joseph Stenson in Dublin

Pope Francis has declined to comment on a claim he personally ignored sexual abuse allegations against a senior clergyman, after a visit to Ireland dominated by Church scandals.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a former Vatican envoy to the United States, said he had told Francis of the allegations against prominent US cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2013.

But rather than punish McCarrick, who was forced to resign last month, Vigano said Francis had lifted sanctions imposed on him by his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI.

Vigano called on Francis to resign in a letter published Saturday in the National Catholic Register.

He said the pope "knew from at least June 23, 2013, that McCarrick was a serial predator," adding that "he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end".

But the pope refused to address the brewing scandal on Sunday.

August 26, 2018

Pope Francis apologizes for Catholic Church's "crimes" in Ireland

CBS News

August 26, 2018

Dublin - Pope Francis issued a sweeping apology Sunday for the "crimes" of the Catholic Church in Ireland, saying church officials regularly didn't respond with compassion to the many abuses children and women suffered over the years and vowing to work for justice. Francis was interrupted by applause as he read the apology out loud at the start of Mass in Dublin's Phoenix Park.

Hundreds of miles away, somber protesters marched through the Irish town of Tuam and recited the names of an estimated 800 babies and young children who died at a Catholic Church-run orphanage there, most during the 1950s.

"Elizabeth Murphy, 4 months. Annie Tyne, 3 months. John Joseph Murphy, 10 months," the protesters said in memory of the children who were buried in an unmarked mass grave whose discovery was confirmed only last year.

Francis, who is on a weekend visit to Ireland, told the hundreds of thousands of people who turned out for Mass that he met Saturday with victims of all sorts of abuses: sexual and labor, as well as children wrenched from their unwed mothers and forcibly put up for adoption. Abuse allegations have taken their toll in the country, and church attendance has plummeted.

The last time a pope visited Ireland, homosexuality was a crime. Now the Irish prime minister is gay.

Washington Post

August 25, 2018

By Siobhán O'Grady


In 2015, when Leo Varadkar was serving as Ireland’s health minister, he came out as a gay man on national radio.

The country was preparing to vote in a same-sex marriage referendum, and Varadkar told the radio host that his sexuality is “not a secret, but it’s not something that everyone would necessarily know.”

He also said, “It’s not something that defines me.”

Two-and-a-half years later, Varadkar, whose father was an Indian immigrant, was named prime minister. He is Ireland’s first openly gay leader, the first leader from a minority background and, at 38 at the time of his appointment, the country’s youngest prime minister.

On Saturday, Varadkar welcomed Pope Francis to Ireland, a nation that has radically changed since the last papal visit, in 1979. At that tim, homosexuality was still a crime. Now, the country’s prime minister is gay.

York County DA: Evidence from decades-old clergy sexual abuse case likely destroyed

York Daily Record

August 22, 2018

By Geoff Morrow


No records exist at the York County District Attorney's Office in relation to a decades-old clergy abuse case referenced in the recently released Pennsylvania grand jury report, the district attorney's office said Wednesday.

The report on widespread child sex abuse at the hands of priests alluded to investigative records and evidence being forwarded to the York County DA's office in 1995, which was then investigated by the York City Police Department.

According to the grand jury report, the Diocese of Harrisburg turned over “photographic negatives and videotape cassettes” to the DA's office in 1995. The grand jury report details sexual abuse in six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania.

Allegations specifically about the Rev. Herbert Shank, one of more than 300 priests named in the grand jury report, were passed along in 1995 to York County law enforcement.

Pa. priest arrested for soliciting sex before diocese placed him in central Pa. church

York Daily Record

August 22, 2018

By Candy Woodall

There were several warning signs in the Rev. Francis Bach's past, but that didn't stop a diocese from assigning him to multiple churches in central Pennsylvania.

In 1967, he was "relieved of his duties" with a young adult ministry in Harrisburg.

That was a few years after he served at St. Patrick Catholic Church in York, where a man in 2016 said Bach abused him as an altar boy in 1960.

Ten years later, Bach had more blemishes on his employment history and more work in York. He's one of several examples in central Pennsylvania, according to a state grand jury report released last week on priest sex abuse, of the diocese shuffling predator priests, or "passing the trash."

'No more pain' victim wrote of Pa. priest sex abuse, as he and others took their own lives

York Daily Record

August 21, 2018

By Sam Ruland


In a detailed letter to the Diocese of Pittsburgh, a man outlined the extensive abuse he endured at the hands of a priest while serving as an altar boy in his hometown parish.

He classified his experiences as sexual, physical and emotional abuse — memories that plagued his mind for years, and ones he certainly couldn't escape.


Almost two years later, in March 2010, the diocese told the victim they would no longer pay for his mental health treatment. A reason or explanation was not given in the grand jury report. It is not certain if the victim was given one himself.

But what is certain is that the victim took his own life two months later.

And while his story is tragic, it's not the only one of its kind. The grand jury report documents 12 other priests whose victims either attempted suicide or died by suicide. One instance involves the priest himself, who died by suicide, claiming he also was a victim of abuse.

These are their stories, according to the grand jury report:

Local church service pays respects to priest abuse victims

Daily Tribune News

August 25, 2018

By James Swift

It was a solemn service at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Cartersville Thursday evening.

The Holy Hour observance called for "reparation of the damage done by clergy in the past, healing for the victims and purification of the Church." The ceremony came just three days after Pope Francis issued an open letter urging the Catholic Church to stand in solidarity with victims of clergy sexual abuse and to "condemn these atrocities and join forces in uprooting this culture of death."

A little under 100 people turned out for the observance at 850 Douthit Ferry Road in Cartersville. About half of the attendees were middle-aged and senior Caucasians, the other half predominantly middle-aged Hispanics and their children.

Father Juan Francisco Anzora presided over the service, alternating his sermon in English and Spanish.

He prayed for the communities affected by "suppressions of abuse" — as well as the friends and families of the abused and their abusers alike — and for their feelings of "shock and horror" to be replaced by feelings of trust and optimism.

'It's not about me anymore. It's about others,' says victim of Pa. priest abuse

York Daily Record

August 23, 2018

By Brandie Kessler

John Delaney knows what’s happening in the hearts and minds of those whose abuse is detailed in the recently released grand jury report on Pennsylvania priest sex abuse.

He lived through what they’re all going through now -- the range of emotions from anxiety and excitement, to embarrassment and exhaustion.

Delaney, 47, was in their shoes back in 2005, when a grand jury investigation into the Philadelphia archdiocese was presented.

Delaney, born and raised in Philadelphia but now living in Tennessee, was sexually abused and raped for years by a priest in his parish beginning when he was 10 or 11 years old.

Fifteen years ago, when Delaney testified before the grand jury investigating the archdiocese, he disclosed things he hadn’t ever processed.

“I spent weeks telling them things that had happened that I hadn’t really mentioned before,” Delaney said. “It was long, and it was exhausting.”

Delaney's abuser, Father James Brzyski, was called one of the archdiocese's "most brutal abusers."

Pennsylvania priest-abuse report recalls 2003 crisis in Phoenix

Arizona Republic

August 25, 2018

By Michael Kiefer,

A Pennsylvania grand-jury report has reignited international interest in the history and cover-up of sexual abuse by priests, especially abuse of children.

And it brought back memories of a similar crisis 15 years ago in the Phoenix diocese of the Roman Catholic Church.

In 2003, former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley forced then-Bishop Thomas O'Brien into an admission of cover-up after an investigation that involved hundreds of thousands of pages of diocese records and the testimony of a priest who wouldn't look the other way.

Six priests were indicted; two fled the country; others were sued in civil court.

And the Phoenix diocese was made to accept conditions to try to prevent future abuses.

Catholic church's 'hidden predators' shows that it can't reform itself

The Hill

August 22, 2018

By Melanie Jula Sakoda

A grand jury report released in Pennsylvania last week detailed years of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy in six dioceses in that state. The report said that 301 priests abused more than 1,000 children since 1947.

Even more disturbing, the investigation concluded that the bishops “followed a playbook for concealing the truth.” Grand jurors believed that, even today, the bishops were still working hard to protect themselves and that there were more victims who have yet to come forward.

Governmental investigations in Ireland and Australia also found the same consistent pattern of cover up by top Catholic officials.

The Catholic Church is the largest organization in the world, and young people have been hurt by its clergy everywhere it operates. Catholic officials around the globe have covered up these crimes and hindered their prosecution.

Middle school dean charged in teen sex case is a Roman Catholic priest on ‘inactive leave’

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

August 23, 2018

By Richard K. De Atley

A Banning school administrator who pleaded not guilty to charges that he tried to lure a minor to have sex is on “inactive leave” as a Roman Catholic priest, the Los Angeles Archdiocese said Thursday.

Charles Patrick Mayer, 55, of Menifee, is “not in ministry and living privately, since September of 2000 due to a failure to adhere to Archdiocesan policies concerning interaction with youth and young adults. The Archdiocese has no record of allegations of sexual misconduct by Charles Mayer,” the statement read.

The statement was part of a bulletin to parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Northridge, which was Mayer’s first assignment as a priest after his 1996 ordination until 2000.

The bulletin asked “anyone who may have information concerning misconduct by Charles Mayer to please contact Detective Donald Patton of the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department at 909-774-2852.”

Victim of priest sex abuse rejects $200K payout from Catholic church

New York Post

August 25, 2018

By Melkorka Licea

A man who has accused a Queens priest of sexually molesting him as a boy has rejected a $200,000 offer from the Catholic Church because the money “doesn’t even come close” to delivering justice.

“I choose to stand on the side of survivors who want to fight,” Paul J. Dunn, 53, told The Post. “There’s no amount of money that will make me feel better.”

The Diocese of Brooklyn, which also covers Queens, offered Dunn a cash settlement in June after he detailed four occasions when priest Cornelius T. Otero coerced him into performing oral sex and forced him to pose naked in “hundreds” of photos when he was a boy, diocese records show.

For the first time, Dunn is coming forward with his story, detailing his suffering to The Post and explaining why he’s turning down a settlement.

Dunn was 10 or 11 when he and Otero, who died in 1998, grew close at St. Joan of Arc Church summer camp in Jackson Heights in 1977 or 1978. Dunn doesn’t recall the exact year.

Former Vatican envoy pens j’accuse letter in McCarrick case

Associated Press via Miami Herald

August 26, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

Note: See also Viganò's "Testimony" in English translation and the Italian original; Richard Sipe's 4/20/08 letter to Pope Benedict XVI and Sipe's 7/28/16 letter to Bishop McElroy of San Diego, both cited by Viganò.]

The Vatican’s retired ambassador to the United States has penned an 11-page letter accusing senior Vatican officials of knowing as early as 2000 that the disgraced former archbishop of Washington, ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, regularly invited seminarians into his bed but they still promoted him to cardinal.

The letter, an extraordinary j’accuse from a one-time Holy See diplomat, also accuses Pope Francis of having initially rehabilitated McCarrick despite being informed of his penchant for young seminarians in 2013, soon after he was elected pope.

The National Catholic Register and another conservative site, LifeSiteNews, published the letter attributed to Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano on Sunday as the pope was wrapping up a two-day visit to Ireland.

Vigano, 77, a conservative whose hard-line anti-gay views are well known, also urged the reformist pope to resign over the issue. He and the pope have long been on opposite ideological sides, with the pope more a pastor and Vigano more a cultural warrior.

The Vatican didn’t immediately comment on the letter or confirm its authenticity.

In it, Vigano accused the former Vatican secretaries of state under the previous two popes of having ignored detailed denunciations against McCarrick for years. He said Pope Benedict XVI eventually sanctioned McCarrick in 2009 or 2010 to a lifetime of penance and prayer, but that Francis subsequently rehabilitated him.

Ex-Nuncio Accuses Pope Francis of Failing to Act on McCarrick’s Abuse

National Catholic Register

August 25, 2018

By Edward Pentin

[Note: See also Viganò's "Testimony" in English translation and the Italian original; Richard Sipe's 4/20/08 letter to Pope Benedict XVI and Sipe's 7/28/16 letter to Bishop McElroy of San Diego, both cited by Viganò.]

In a written testimony, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò claims Pope Francis withdrew sanctions against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.

In an extraordinary 11-page written testament, a former apostolic nuncio to the United States has accused several senior prelates of complicity in covering up Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s allegations of sexual abuse, and has claimed that Pope Francis knew about sanctions imposed on then-Cardinal McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI but chose to repeal them.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, 77, who served as apostolic nuncio in Washington D.C. from 2011 to 2016, said that in the late 2000s, Benedict had “imposed on Cardinal McCarrick sanctions similar to those now imposed on him by Pope Francis” and that Viganò personally told Pope Francis about those sanctions in 2013.

Archbishop Viganò said in his written statement, simultaneously released to the Register and other media, (see full text below) that Pope Francis “continued to cover” for McCarrick and not only did he “not take into account the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on him” but also made McCarrick “his trusted counselor.” Viganò said that the former archbishop of Washington advised the Pope to appoint a number of bishops in the United States, including Cardinals Blase Cupich of Chicago and Joseph Tobin of Newark.

Archbishop Viganò, who said his “conscience dictates” that the truth be known as “the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy,” ended his testimony by calling on Pope Francis and all of those implicated in the cover up of Archbishop McCarrick’s abuse to resign.

August 25, 2018

Pope Francis meets survivors of clerical sex abuse in Ireland

Irish Times

August 25, 2018

By Ronan McGreevy

Survivors tell pope he must hold to account religious orders who ran Mother and Baby Homes

Pope Francis has met survivors of clerical sexual abuse in Ireland and also those who spent time in industrial schools, seminaries and Mother and Baby Homes.

The pope was asked at the hour and a half long meeting on Saturday afternoon to use his influence to get the religious orders who ran the Mother and Baby Homes to “acknowledge their actions and issue an open and unqualified apology” to mothers and their children.

The meeting took place at the Papal Nuncio’s residence on Dublin’s Navan Road on the first day of the pope’s visit to Ireland, the first by a pope in 39 years.

Eight victims were present. Among them were Marie Collins, who resigned from the Vatican’s Commission for the Protection of Minors, Clodagh Malone, a survivor of St Patrick’s Mother and Baby Home, and Paul Redmond who was born in a Mother and Baby home and has written the book entitled ‘The Adoption Machine’.

Fr Paddy McCafferty, who was abused as a seminarian in Wexford, and Bernadette Fahy who spent much of her childhood in the notorious Goldenbridge Orphanage, were also there.

Attorney for victims says Hawley’s investigation of archdiocese is ‘exactly backwards’

St. Louis American

August 24, 2018

By Chris King


She challenged archbishop to release any victims who settled from gag agreement

“Victims of sexual abuse of any kind deserve to have their voices heard, and Missourians deserve to know if this misconduct has occurred in their communities,” Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley stated on August 23, when announcing an independent review of the Archdiocese of St. Louis regarding allegations of sexual abuse by clergy members.

That’s what Hawley – who is running for U.S. Senate as a Republican in the November 6 general election – said when the archbishop called. “By inviting this independent review, the archdiocese is demonstrating a willingness to be transparent and expose any potential wrongdoing,” Hawley stated.

Nicole Gorovsky, an attorney with clients who claim to have been sexually abused by priests in Missouri, said she and her clients did not receive the same warm welcome from Hawley when they asked him to investigate the church.

“I stood outside your office with survivors of childhood sexual abuse to ask you to organize an investigation into abuses within the Catholic Church in Missouri. We asked for an investigation like the one that occurred in Pennsylvania which revealed over 300 perpetrators and likely over 1,000 victims,” Gorovsky wrote to Hawley on August 24 in a letter that she shared with media.

“You responded that you did not have the power to do such an investigation.”

Indeed, Hawley claimed, in announcing his investigation, that he was empowered to do so by an invitation from Archbishop Robert J. Carlson.

They baptized their children for school places. Now regret is setting in.


August 25, 2018

By Kara Fox

Leixlip, Ireland - Fiona and her husband aren't religious. They don't go to Mass, take communion or recite the Holy Rosary.

But twice in recent years, the couple have driven halfway across Ireland to baptize their children at their families' community parishes.

The reason? Their children's education.

The sacrament -- and the certificate that comes with it -- has long held the key for parents hoping to secure a place for a child's first day at school in Ireland, where approximately 90% of primary schools have a Catholic ethos.
Although those schools are state-funded, their Catholic Church patrons set the admission guidelines, giving Catholic children priority enrollment over non-Catholics in a crowded system.

Pope Francis heads to Ireland amid a mixture of anticipation and anguish over abuse


August 24, 2018

By Peter Smith

Dublin - Roisin Galvin was 12 years old the last time a pope came to say Mass at Dublin's vast public space, Phoenix Park.

The year was 1979, and the pontiff was a still-vigorous John Paul II, greeted enthusiastically by an overwhelmingly Catholic population.

Back then, all of Ms. Galvin's friends went to Mass regularly, but now she finds it difficult to raise her five children Catholic in a culture in which many Irish have left the faith or keep it in name only.

"There is only one Mass where I live on a Sunday, and all the priests are very elderly, " said Ms. Galvin, who lives in a village in County Dublin. "I'm wondering what's going to happen. Most of them are octogenarians."

Victims’ group calls on pope to name clerical sex abusers

Irish Times

August 25, 2018

By Simon Carswell


End Clergy Abuse group wants zero tolerance of sex abuse under church law

Clerical sex abuse is “a global problem” requiring “a global solution”, a worldwide group of abuse victims meeting in Dublin has said. End Clergy Abuse, which represents clerical abuse survivors and activists, called on Pope Francis to follow the example of survivors who have come forward and take action to name clerical sex abusers and hold bishops who covered it up to account.

The group wants the pope to bring zero tolerance of clerical sex abuse into force under church law, remove from office bishops who covered up sex crimes by clergy, and publish a global registry of confirmed clerical abusers held by the Vatican.

“The time of words should be over and the time of action should start now,” Matthias Katsch, an abuse survivor from Germany, told a press conference on the eve of the pope’s arrival in Ireland for a 36-hour visit, the first by a pontiff since 1979.

Clerical abuse victims and campaigners from Ireland, the UK, Belgium and the US came together in Dublin for only the second meeting of global campaigners. They spoke to reporters near the Catholic Church’s World Meeting of Families at the RDS where they were earlier invited to listen to a panel discussion on “Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults” and the Vatican’s response to the latest allegations of clerical child sex abuse and cover-up by the church.

2 more states launch reviews of Catholic Church records on sexual abuse


August 24, 2018

By Deb Erdley

A Pennsylvania grand jury report that detailed seven decades of allegations of sexual abuse of 1,000 children by Catholic priests and subsequent cover-ups is reverberating across the Midwest, as church and law enforcement officials here continue to clock more reports on hotlines.

State attorneys general in Missouri and Illinois on Thursday announced reviews of Catholic Church records there, citing interest generated by the Pennsylvania report.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan specifically referenced Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s grand jury report. She said the report identified at least seven priests with connections to Illinois.

“The Chicago Archdiocese has agreed to meet with me. I plan to reach out to the other dioceses in Illinois to have the same conversation and expect the bishops will agree and cooperate fully. If not, I will work with states’ attorneys and law enforcement throughout Illinois to investigate,” Madigan said Thursday.

The same day Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced he was opening an independent review of the Archdiocese of St. Louis regarding allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

Pope Francis speaks of failure to address ‘repugnant crimes’ of clerical sex abuse

Irish Times

August 25, 2018

By Simon Carswell


Failure ‘rightly given rise to outrage and remains a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community’

Pope Francis, in the first speech of his visit to Ireland, has recognised how the Church’s failure to address the “repugnant crimes” of clerical sexual abuse “remains a source of pain and shame” for Irish Catholics.

Speaking at Dublin Castle almost two hours after landing in Ireland, the pontiff in addressing the scandal that has damaged the Church’s standing since the last visit of a pope almost four decades ago, said he was “very conscious” of the circumstances of “our most vulnerable brothers and sisters.”

Speaking after a speech by the Taoiseach, the pope specifically made reference to “women who in the past have endured particularly difficult situations” - a veiled reference to the treatment of Irish women in the Magdalene Laundries and other Church-run institutions.

“With regard to the most vulnerable, I cannot fail to acknowledge the grave scandal caused in Ireland by the abuse of young people by members of the Church charged with responsibility for their protection and education,” Francis, speaking in Italian, told an audience that included Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Former Pennsylvania altar boy says he stole from church to avenge abuse


August 24, 2018

By Vanessa Johnston

Mike McDonnell was an altar boy who loved to sing Latin hymns at his church in suburban Philadelphia, but his Roman Catholic faith became a source of torment at age 12 when he woke up to find a priest molesting him in the vacation bed the clergyman forced him to share.

“From that day forth, I would never be that same child,” said McDonnell, now 49. “I went into shock mode and shut down. I would hold onto those secrets for 20-plus years.”

McDonnell, now a peer counselor at a drug and alcohol treatment facility, agreed to share his personal story with Reuters in the wake of a stunning grand jury report of Roman Catholic priests accused of abusing more than 1,000 children across Pennsylvania. He said he wanted to encourage other victims to emerge from the shadows to begin their own healing.

While the incident at age 12 broke him, he said the abuse started at age 10, when another priest molested him. “At that age, I wasn’t sure the things that were going on,” he said.

His decades-long road to recovery was fraught with alcohol abuse, broken marriages and even a criminal record. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia paid for McDonnell’s counseling sessions but he seldom attended. Instead he forged receipts and eventually was convicted of pocketing more than $100,000 in a theft he called payback for the abuse.

US Sen. Bob Casey calls for strengthening child abuse reporting law, in wake of Pennsylvania grand jury report

Action 4 News

August 24, 2018

By Bob Mayo

Philadelphia - In the wake of the findings by a Pennsylvania grand jury, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is calling for strengthening laws to better protect children from sexual abuse.

"The grand jury report was a chronicle of pure evil. Pure evil. There's no other way to say it," Casey, D-Pa., said at a news conference in Philadelphia on Friday.

Casey, a Catholic, feels the issue is larger than the six dioceses the grand jury examined.

"We should all be angry," Casey said. "You don't have to be a Catholic. You don't even have to be an American. Just as a human being, we should be angry."

Casey is proposing federal action to press for tougher and more uniform standards across Pennsylvania and all states. His bill would seek to require that suspected child abuse be reported directly to law enforcement or state authorities.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court tweaks grand jury secrecy rules

Morning Call

August 24, 2018

By Steve Esack

[See also a copy of the Supreme Court ruling.]

Harrisburg - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has tweaked secrecy rules related to how defense lawyers can share testimony or evidence related to clients called before grand juries.

The 5-2 ruling issued Tuesday stemmed from a legal dispute that arose during the statewide grand jury investigation of clergy child sex abuse in six Catholic dioceses, including Allentown. The justices ruled that a grand jury nondisclosure form, created by the attorney general’s office, unfairly muzzled defense lawyers’ rights and their abilities to serve their clients.

The ruling allows defense lawyers to seek their clients’ permission to publicly share the content and scope of their testimony to the grand jury, which operates in private. Witnesses have always been permitted to disclose their own testimony.

“The obligation of confidentially generally extends to all matters occurring before the grand jury, which includes, but is not limited to, what transpires in a grand jury room,” wrote Chief Justice Thomas Saylor. “A lawyer otherwise subject to secrecy, however, may disclose a client’s own testimony to the extent that the client would otherwise be free to do so under applicable law.”

Pa. grand jury: When she reported being abused by a priest, the church investigated her

York Daily Record

August 24, 2018

By Mike Argento

“The church was our life,” Bortz said. “We didn’t do anything that didn’t involve the church. It was our life.”

When she was in ninth grade at Allentown Central Catholic High School, her religion teacher was Father Francis “Frank” Fromholzer. She didn’t know him very well; she was more acquainted with the priests who were friends of the family. At one point, Fromholzer suggested taking Bortz and her best friend on a trip to the Poconos. It wasn’t all that unusual, Bortz said. Priests were always taking kids from the parish on outings, such as roller skating or bowling; for many of the kids from working-class and troubled families, it was a treat that their own families could ill afford.

While driving to the Poconos, according to testimony by Bortz and her friend to the grand jury, Fromholzer fondled the girls. In the Poconos, Bortz recalled, the priest laid out a blanket and started kissing her. He did other things. She recalled it hurt, she told the grand jury. “It was confusing,” she told the grand jury, “because – you were always told you were going to hell if you let anybody touch you. But then you’ve got father doing it...”

Fromholzer, according to her grand jury testimony, continued to harass her through the ninth grade. It stopped, she told the grand jury, when she entered 10th grade and was in a different building. She didn’t report the abuse immediately. It just wasn’t something you talked about, she said.

Allentown Diocese reports new claims of child sex abuse by priests

Morning Call

August 24, 2018

By Tim Darragh

Fourteen people claiming to have been sexually abused by priests and not previously reporting it have contacted the Allentown Diocese since the Aug. 14 release of a grand jury report investigating six Pennsylvania dioceses, a spokesman said Friday.

The spokesman, Matt Kerr, said none of the priests identified by the accusers is in ministry.

The increase in accusers comes as calls to a state hotline specifically set up by Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office to field calls about clergy sex abuse continue to surge. As of Friday, 656 people had contacted the hotline, said Shapiro’s spokesman, Joe Grace. At the beginning of the week, the hotline had received 400 calls.

Clerical abuse victims call for zero-tolerance approach

Irish Examiner

August 24, 2018

Clerical abuse victims have called for a zero-tolerance approach to be taken against priests involved in the child abuse scandals.

A global survivors group also proposed a list of abusive priests be made public in an effort to protect others.

Members of the Ending Clerical Abuse (ECA) group – aimed at holding the Catholic church to account for clerical sex abuse – gathered in Dublin today to recount their abuse stories on the eve of the Pope’s visit to Ireland.

Pope Francis speech: Calls clerical abuse scandal in Ireland 'repugnant', makes thinly-veiled reference to abortion referendum

Irish Independent

August 25, 2018

By Kevin Doyle


- Pope Francis speech: Calls clerical abuse scandal in Ireland 'repugnant', makes thinly-veiled reference to abortion referendum
- Pope: Measures must be taken in response to 'betrayal of trust'
- Warns about culture that doesn't respect the unborn
- Varadkar: Church must acknowledge same-sex families and adopt zero tolerance towards abusers

MEASURES must be taken in response to the “betrayal of trust” and "repugnant" abuse inflicted on abuse victims in Ireland, Pope Francis has said.

In his first public statement since arriving in Dublin, the Pontiff said the Catholic Church must work to “remedy past mistakes and to adopt stringent norms meant to ensure that they do not happen again”.

Speaking in front of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin Castle, Pope Francis also risked raising the temperature around his visit with a thinly-veiled reference to the abortion referendum.

He questioned whether a “materialistic ‘throwaway culture’” has made people “increasingly indifferent to the poor and to the most defenceless members of our human family, including the unborn, deprived of the very right to life”.

However, the Taoiseach told the audience that Ireland has "voted in our parliament and by referendum to modernise our laws - understanding that marriages do not always work, that women should make their own decisions, and that families come in many forms including those headed by a grandparent, lone parent or same-sex parents or parents who are divorced".

AG Lisa Madigan to examine Illinois ties of priests named in Pennsylvania sex abuse report

Chicago Tribune

August 24, 2018

By Angie Leventis Lourgos

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants to meet with Catholic church leaders throughout the state to ensure “a complete and accurate accounting” of alleged child sex abuse by priests with local ties who were named in the Pennsylvania grand jury report.

At least seven of the more than 300 Roman Catholic priests named in the Pennsylvania report this month have Illinois connections.

The Chicago Archdiocese has agreed to meet with Madigan, and she plans to speak with other Catholic bishops throughout the state, she said in a statement released Thursday.

“The Catholic Church has a moral obligation to provide its parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior,” she said.

Pope Francis Returns to a Country Transformed and a Church in Tatters

New York Times

August 25, 2018

By Jason Horowitz

Nearly 40 years since the last papal visit to Ireland, Pope Francis arrived on Saturday to a transformed country where the once-mighty Roman Catholic Church is in tatters, its authority buffeted by deepening secularization and a global sex abuse crisis challenging Francis’ papacy.

“I’m happy for this visit,” Francis said on the papal plane before he landed in Dublin, where he was greeted on the tarmac by local bishops and children who offered him flowers. He added that it “touches my heart to return to Ireland after 38 years. I was here for nearly three months to practice English in 1980. And for me this is a great memory.”

For Catholics around the globe, this return visit promises to be more memorable.

As recently as a few weeks ago, the pope’s visit to Ireland mostly promised an awkward encounter in an estranged relationship. Since the last papal visit — by John Paul II in 1979 — Ireland, once a cornerstone of the church, has abandoned its teachings by legalizing divorce and gay marriage. The country now has a gay prime minister, and just a few months ago voted to lift a ban on abortion.

But recent revelations in the United States and Chile of the institutional covering-up of sexual abuse by clerics have lent sudden urgency to the pope’s visit, where he will speak at the church’s ninth World Meeting of Families. The issue now threatens to overshadow the visit by Francis, who has struggled to grasp the enormity of the scourge throughout his papacy.

Catholics worldwide wait to see whether he will use Ireland, with its own painful history of abuse, as a symbolic stage upon which to announce concrete measures to combat a crisis that threatens the future of his church. It is not clear that he will.

The Pope in Ireland: Full coverage of Pope Francis in Ireland

Irish Times

August 25, 2018

By Sorcha Pollak et al.

LIVE: The Pope in Ireland

[The Irish Times is maintaining a Live Blog of the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland.]

13:02 "Today, as in the past, the men and women who live in this country strive to enrich the life of the nation with the wisdom borne of their faith. Even in Ireland’s darkest hours they found in that faith a source of courage needed to forge a future of freedom and dignity, justice and solidarity. The Christian message has been an integral part of that experience... it is my prayer that Ireland will not be forgetful of the powerful strains of the Christian message."

12:56 Pope Francis: "I am very conscious of the circumstances of the our most vulnerable brothers and sisters, I think of those women who have in the past endured difficult situations. I cannot fail to acknowledge the grave scandal caused in Ireland of the abuse of young people by the members of the church..."

12:53 Speaking of the Northern Irish conflict, the Pope said: "We give thanks for the two decades of peace that have followed this historic agreement with the hope that the peace process will overcome every remaining obstacle and give birth to a future of mutual trust."

12:52 The Pope has spoken of the "intractable conflicts and violence, contempt for human dignity and human rights and the growing divide between rich and poor. We need to recover in every instance of political and social life the sense of being a true family of peoples."

12:50 Pope Francis is now speaking at Dublin Castle

August 24, 2018

In a single Pennsylvania parish, 5 priests accused of abuse

The Associated Press

August 24, 2018

By Michael Rubinkam

A lacerating grand jury report on sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania is especially difficult reading for a church where five of the accused priests served as pastor.

For parishioners of St. Therese’s Church, outside Wilkes-Barre in northeastern Pennsylvania, the report dredged up painful memories of broken trust and provoked disgust at church leaders who kept abusive priests on the job. At least two instances took place at the church, according to the grand jury. St. Therese’s lost a pastor over sexual misconduct as recently as 2006.

Yet for all the heartbreak, the pews were full last weekend. And while it’s too early to tell whether the bombshell revelations will affect attendance or giving at St. Therese’s, a vibrant parish serving about 1,500 families, church members say they separate their faith from the evil acts of supposedly holy men.

“Do we know that our priests are men and that sometimes they do bad things? Yes, we do. Do we want them in our community anymore? No, definitely not,” longtime parishioner Kathie Kemmerer said after morning Mass this week. But “inasmuch as we’re upset about everything and we feel terrible for the victims, we’ll keep coming. We’ll keep coming because this is the place to get God’s grace.”

The grand jury found that some 300 predator priests sexually abused more than 1,000 children since the 1940s, abetted by bishops and other high-ranking church officials who orchestrated a cover-up to avoid public scandal and financial liability. The Pennsylvania report, along with recent sexual abuse allegations against the retired archbishop of Washington, ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, has plunged the Catholic Church into crisis more than 15 years after the clergy abuse scandal first broke in Boston.

'Church has fallen over a cliff'

BBC News

August 24, 2018

Abuse survivor Marie Collins says she wants to hear a clear plan of action on dealing with clerical sex abuse from Pope Francis during his two-day visit to the Republic of Ireland.

Earlier this week, it was confirmed that he would meet some victims during his Irish visit.

She was speaking to Martin Bashir, the BBC's Religion Editor, ahead of the first papal visit to the country in 40 years.

Ahead of Pope Francis' visit, some question the future of the Catholic Church in Ireland

Yahoo View

August 23, 2018

Length: 3:04

The past few weeks have been tumultuous for the Catholic Church in the wake of a devastating Pennsylvania grand jury report that detailed decades of child sex abuse at the hands of priests.

St. Louis Archdiocese Agrees To AG's Investigation Of Sexual Abuse Accusations

National Public Radio

August 24, 2018

By Vanessa Romo

Updated at 9:37 a.m. ET

The St. Louis Archdiocese is handing over its records to the state Attorney General's office for an investigation into the Missouri church's handling of sexual abuse accusations against clergy members.

Archbishop Robert Carlson made the announcement that he was voluntarily opening church files at a press conference on Thursday. Carlson said he made the invitation to Attorney General Josh Hawley in a letter, adding that he was prompted by "several letters" he had received urging greater transparency.

"Second," he said, "we have nothing to hide."

The move by Carlson follows the recent release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing decades of alleged sexual abuse by more than 300 priests and cover-ups by high-ranking clergy leaders.

Carlson said Hawley will have "unfettered access" to the Archdiocese's comprehensive files.

Erie Catholic Diocese Gets New Abuse Complaints

Erie News Now

August 23, 2018

By Paul Wagner

Abuse Calls Continue to Come Into Erie Catholic Diocese

More calls about clergy sex abuse are coming into the Erie Catholic Diocese.

Since the Pennsylvania Attorney General grand jury report was released last week, the diocese has received 22 new complaints of sexual or physical abuse against minors, plus 5 new complaints alleging sexual abuse with adults.

The allegations are against 12 priests, 5 that are not included in the grand jury report, plus 8 lay people, all newly accused.

So the totals are 13 newly accused of abuse, 5 priests and 8 lay people.

Nuns charged in Smyllum Park child abuse investigation

The Guardian

August 23, 2018

By Severin Carrell

Police examining claims of abuse over decades at Catholic home charge 12 people

Police in Scotland have arrested and charged nuns and a number of other former staff in an investigation into alleged child abuse at a Catholic children’s home.

The nuns are among 12 people who have been charged by detectives investigating detailed allegations of systematic physical and sexual abuse of children over many decades at Smyllum Park in Lanark.

Police Scotland said another four former staff at the Catholic institution would be reported to the Crown Office, Scotland’s prosecution service, later on Thursday.

The force would not release any further details about the identities of those charged or the offences they face, pending final decisions by prosecutors.

“Twelve people, 11 women and one man, ages ranging from 62 to 85 years, have been arrested and charged in connection with the non-recent abuse of children,” it said.

“All are subject of reports to [the] Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal. A further four individuals will be reported today. Inquiries are continuing, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Victims say they felt hurt by fellow Catholics' lack of compassion

Catholic News Service

August 23, 2018

By Zita Ballinger Fletcher

Sexual assault victims say they were hurt not only by individual priests, but by church officials and ordinary Catholics who treated them with intolerance and indifference.

Four survivors of sexual assaults by priests shared their stories with Catholic News Service. They are: Jim VanSickle and Mike McDonnell of Pennsylvania, Michael Norris of Houston and Judy Larson of Utah.

Many of them have not been to a Catholic church in years. They say the hardhearted attitudes of diocesan officials, staff and ordinary churchgoers and an atmosphere at their parishes allowed the abuse.

"Being raised Catholic, I remember — you don't speak out against your own church," said VanSickle. "Nobody's going to listen to you."

Most of them belonged to what they described as extremely traditional parishes and said they were attacked as vulnerable children. Their view of Catholicism changed when fellow believers showed them no compassion and acted to protect selfish interests.

Pennsylvania, despite all its findings of child sexual abuse, does way too little to help its victims


August 19, 2018

By John Baer

There’s an ugly irony in last week’s release of a statewide grand jury report on decades of sex abuse of children, and its cover-up, by Catholic clergy.

Turns out the state with the fullest examination of the globally troubling problem is also the state offering some of the nation’s weakest recourse for those who’ve been abused.

And you can guess why: Pennsylvania’s legislature.

It has long lagged in helping victims ease at least some suffering endured at the hands of evil.

Just one more category in which we trail most states. And, in this case, not by a little.

Duluth Jury Rules in Favor of Sexual Abuse Survivor, Bishop Paul Sirba Withholds Information and Refuses to Testify

Anderson Advocates

August 23, 2018

Bishop Paul Sirba Refuses to Testify, Withholds Information Regarding Father William Graham from Jury

Tonight, a Duluth jury returned a verdict in favor of a courageous sexual abuse survivor, Doe 446, concluding the survivor did not intentionally inflict emotional distress upon Fr. William Graham after Doe 446 named Fr. Graham in a sexual abuse lawsuit in 2016.

The survivor requested that Bishop Sirba testify and Bishop Sirba refused, instead sending a lawyer to fight this request. Bishop Paul Sirba refused to testify to the details of the investigation and refused to provide Fr. Graham’s file to the court and the public. Further, the details surrounding Fr. Graham’s administrative leave from the Diocese of Duluth, and his non-existent contract, were withheld from the jury. Because Bp. Sirba refused to testify, and chose to conceal the situation from the jury, the jury found that Doe 446 interfered with his contract.

“Bishop Sirba’s refusal to testify and his continued concealment of Fr. Graham’s file and the subsequent investigation is outrageous and criminal,” said Mike Finnegan, one of the attorneys representing Doe 446. “This survivor had the courage to come forward and disclose his abuse to the diocese and he was once again re-victimized by Bishop Sirba, the Diocese and its lawyers. We will continue to fight for justice on behalf of Doe 446.”

After Doe 446 came forward and named Fr. Graham in a lawsuit, the Diocese of Duluth conducted an internal investigation into the abuse allegations. The information gathered during the investigation was presented to the Diocesan Review Board and Doe 446’s allegations were found credible.

On August 5, 2018, the Diocese of Duluth added Fr. Graham’s name to its list of priests with credible allegations of child sexual abuse.

Investigation finds 5 former priests named in grand jury report got state licenses as social workers or counselors


August 22, 2018

By Paul Van Osdol

At least five former priests named in the grand jury report worked as state-licensed counselors or social workers, Action News Investigates has learned.

In four of the five cases, no criminal charges had been filed, so state officials knew nothing about the child sex abuse allegations when the former priests applied for state licenses.

Arthur Merrell was a chaplain at the Allegheny County Jail and the Shuman Juvenile Detention Center until 1998, after the grand jury says he was accused of inappropriately touching a boy younger than 15 and having sexual relations with a mentally ill man.

The grand jury says Merrell admitted to the acts, then left the priesthood.

Our view: Bishop’s open approach welcome


August 24, 2018

Editorial Board

Worn levers and a tired script were within easy reach of Catholic Diocese of Erie Bishop Lawrence Persico when protesters showed up Tuesday at the seat of Catholic power in Erie.

He could have retreated behind the walls of St. Mark Catholic Center and held the protesters at legalistic bay on a distant public sidewalk.

Persico exercised a greater power instead. He stepped into the chancery parking lot and invited the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests to hold their demonstration on church property.

“Down there, what good is it?” he asked, referring to the sidewalk, as detailed by reporter Ed Palattella.

The church deserves every ounce of opprobrium heaped upon it right now. Charged with a divine saving mission, it put the interests of the institution and the men who control it above the protection of children, whom some priests defiled.

Bishop Morlino, others charge 'homosexual subculture' for clergy abuse crisis

National Catholic Reporter

August 21, 2018

By Brian Roewe

A lax following of church teachings on sexuality in the wider culture a recurring theme

This article was updated at 5 p.m. Central Time to include comments from theologian Todd Salzman.

Accusations of sexual abuse and misconduct by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and within several U.S. seminaries have rematerialized past charges placing gay priests and homosexuality at the root of the church's escalating crisis, positions backed in recent days by a handful of bishops.

"It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord," wrote Bishop Robert Morlino in an Aug. 18 letter to Catholics in the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin.

Morlino said the revelations around sexual abuse in recent weeks — from the Pennsylvania grand jury report, and allegations against McCarrick, which included grooming and sexually abusing seminarians and young adult priests — have left him tired: "of people being hurt … of the obfuscation of truth … of sin."

He pointed to a deeper crisis of acceptance and diminishment of sin, saying "we have refused to call a sin a sin," and urged the church to resist becoming a refuge for sin, including "deviant sexual — almost exclusively homosexual — acts by clerics."

Another scandal in the all-male priesthood

Trib Live

August 23, 2018

By Roy Bourgeois

As a Catholic priest, I did the unspeakable. I called for the ordination of women in the church. The Vatican was swift in its response. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith informed me that I was “causing grave scandal” in the church and that I had 30 days to recant my public support for the ordination of women or I would be expelled from the priesthood.

I told the Vatican that this was not possible. Believing that women and men are created of equal worth and dignity and that both are called by an all-loving God to serve as priests, my conscience would not allow me to recant. In my response, I felt it was also important to make clear that when Catholics hear the word “scandal,” they think about the thousands of children who have been raped and abused by Catholic priests — not the ordination of women.

In 2010, the Vatican called the ordination of women as priests a crime comparable to that of the sexual abuse of children. Judging from its actions, however, it would appear that the Vatican views women’s ordination as a crime substantially more serious than child abuse. Among the thousands of priests who raped and sexually abused children, the vast majority were not expelled from the priesthood or excommunicated. Every woman, however, who has been ordained to the Catholic priesthood has been excommunicated by the Vatican.

Pope Francis apologises to the world


August 21, 2018

By Mark Burrows

Pope Francis’ letter to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics condemning child sex abuse has been described as all words no action by abuse survivors in Australia and overseas.

The Pontiff’s letter to the “People of God” said sex abuse was a “crime” and an “atrocity”.

He slammed the clerical cover-ups and called for an end to the “culture of death" in the Church.

Pa. Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal Leads Other States To Open Investigations

OAN Newsroom

August 24, 2018

The grand jury’s horrific report on child abuse in Pennsylvania has led victims and officials across the nation to look into Catholic parishes in their states.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said his office is launching a “thorough and robust investigation” of potential clergy sex abuse in the archdiocese of Saint Louis.

This comes after Archbishop Robert Carlson sent a letter to Hawley, saying the church will open its records and allow a thorough impartial review of potential clergy abuse.

“The files that we are taking about are actually files of anyone who has been accused of sexual abuse and while we don’t know the protocols yet that the attorney general’s office will use, any files that they want to see will be available to them,” Carlson explained.

Père Pierre Vignon : « Le cardinal Barbarin n’est plus en mesure de remplir son ministère »

La Croix

August 23, 2018

Recueilli par Gauthier Vaillant

Father Pierre Vignon: "Cardinal Barbarin is no longer able to fulfill his ministry"

Le père Pierre Vignon, prêtre du diocèse de Valence, explique les raisons qui l’ont décidé à rédiger une pétition demandant la démission de l’archevêque de Lyon.

La Croix : Pourquoi pensez-vous que le cardinal Barbarin doit remettre sa démission ?

Père Pierre Vignon : Le cardinal Barbarin est tellement marqué par cette affaire qu’on ne parle plus d’affaire Preynat, mais d’affaire Barbarin. Il a présenté des excuses, mais il ne suffit pas de dire « c’est ma faute ». Car quoi qu’il dise maintenant, quel que soit le sujet sur lequel il s’exprime, c’est toujours l’ombre de cette affaire qui prédomine. On n’écoute plus ce qu’il dit. Il n’est donc plus en mesure de remplir son ministère.

The Catholic church should confess all its sins on sexual abuse

The Toronto Star

August 16, 2018

Editorial Board

The Pennsylvania grand jury report into the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests is unbearable to read.

One priest is accused of raping a 7-year-old girl in the hospital after she had her tonsils removed; another confessed to raping 15 boys as young as 7; a third bound and whipped his victim with leather straps; a fourth forced a 9-year-old boy to give him oral sex and then rinsed his mouth out with holy water to purify him; five sisters in the same family were sexually assaulted.

These monstrous acts, and many more, were committed by some 300 priests against at least 1,000 children in six Pennsylvania dioceses. The real number of abused children, the grand jury added, might be in the thousands.

The crimes were covered up for decades by church authorities, including Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the former bishop of Pittsburg, according to the grand jury report. He’s the third cardinal to be disgraced by sex abuse scandals in the last several months, including Cardinal George Pell, one of the Vatican’s highest officials, ordered to stand trial in Australia on several charges of sexual abuse.

Sex abuse scandals have been rocking the Catholic Church worldwide for decades. In most countries, including Canada, abuse has been uncovered through court proceedings, public inquiries or media investigations. The information has been pried from a church that has placed its reputation above the trauma of helpless victims. This self-serving attitude needs to change.

Dear Roman Catholic Church: Stop saying childhood sexual abuse within your ranks is in the past

Gorovsky Law

August 14, 2018

By Nicole Gorovsky

Dear Roman Catholic Church - Please stop saying that childhood sexual abuse in your ranks is in the past...

Today a Grand Jury in Pennsylvania released a report showing over 300 predator priests in just that state and detailing that there are over 1,000 victims. From my work as a lawyer for childhood sexual abuse victims who have sued priests and the roman catholic church in Missouri, I know that if those are the cases that the church are willing to admit as "credibly accused," there are likely many more than that.

More importantly, people need to know that the abuse scandal in the church is not a story of the past. It is not something from which the church has learned and improved. The scandal is not anywhere near over.

CNN quoted a Pennsylvania Bishop today as stating that the grand jury report "will be a reminder of the grave failings that the church must acknowledge and for which it must seek forgiveness." What a poignant statement. It sounds like he has empathy for the victims of the past. But, listen closer - his statement is really propaganda by the church to subtly convince people that child abuse within the church is a thing of the past. He talks about it in the past tense...it will be a reminder of the grave failings... Notice he didn't say "we must do better..." in the present tense. The Church has been doing this for years - with each new child who comes forward they say - "that was in the past, we're better now." This has been a repeated mantra for many years now and it's time to notice.

'A Get Out of Jail Free Card.' Why Church Abuse Survivors Want to Abolish the Statute of Limitations After Pennsylvania Report


August 15, 2018

By Gina Martinez

A Pennsylvania grand jury’s report alleging decades of horrific child sexual abuse by Catholic priests is casting new light on the state’s statute of limitation law – which the grand jury and state officials says is stopping them from filing criminal charges.

The law also means few, if any, of the 1,000 people who say they suffered abuse at the hands of 300 Roman Catholic priests will be able to sue for civil damages.

“We ask the Pennsylvania legislature to stop shielding child sexual predators behind the criminal statute of limitations,” the grand jury said in its report.

In response to the shocking allegations, state Rep. Mark Rozzi, who was abused by a Catholic priest when he was a child, announced plans to introduce a bill that would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations. He also wants to create a two-year opening that would allow accusers to file civil claims against the church.

Currently, the statute of limitations law allows victims of child sex abuse to come forward with criminal allegations until they are 50 years old. Victims can file civil claims until they are age 30. Most of the allegations in the grand jury report go back decades; many of the victims are in their 60s and 70s – meaning they are years past the time when criminal charges can be filed.

Missouri to investigate potential sexual abuse in Catholic church

The Guardian

August 23, 2018

Inquiry initially covers archdiocese of St Louis, but officials have asked bishops of the four other dioceses to cooperate

Missouri is launching an investigation of potential sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic archdiocese of St Louis, the state attorney general, Josh Hawley, said on Thursday.

The announcement follows the bombshell report in Pennsylvania confirming even more widespread sexual abuse by priests across the state than had been previously revealed. Hawley said his office does not have the power to force institutions to cooperate with criminal investigations but was able to launch the inquiry after the archdiocese agreed to help.

“They say they want to cooperate fully and I’m confident they will,” Hawley told reporters on a conference call.

Dear Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley: This is Not the Investigation We asked For

Gorovsky Law

August 24, 2018

Dear Attorney General Josh Hawley,

On Wednesday, August 22, 2018, I stood outside your office with survivors of childhood sexual abuse to ask you to organize an investigation into abuses within the Catholic Church in Missouri. We asked for an investigation like the one that occurred in Pennsylvania which revealed over 300 perpetrators and likely over 1,000 victims.

You responded that you did not have the power to do such an investigation. Your response was somewhat of a half-truth given that the Attorney General of the State of Missouri has the power to coordinate all kinds of law enforcement and prosecution efforts in the state. For example, you are currently running an advertisement on television claiming that you coordinated a state-wide audit on the backlog of untested rape kits in prosecutor’s offices in Missouri and are now coordinating an effort to get funding for this issue, and you are publicly pushing state prosecutors to be more aggressive on sexual assault cases. You can behave similarly here.

After telling the public that you were powerless in the childhood sexual abuse situation, on Thursday, August 23, 2018, Archbishop Robert Carlson sent you a letter and held a press conference to say that he would voluntarily provide you with documents from his Archdiocese. You accepted his offer.

Unfortunately, this is exactly backward. Allowing the accused wrongdoer to pick and choose what will be provided in an investigation of his wrongdoing is not an investigation at all. It is certainly not what I was asking for as I stood outside your office on Wednesday, and I do not believe it is what survivors of clergy abuse want either.

'Moral Obligation': Illinois Attorney General To Meet With Dioceses On Alleged Abuse

National Public Radio

August 24, 2018

By Colin Dwyer

Nearly two weeks after the release of a Pennsylvania grand jury's investigation into clergy sexual abuse, the report's ramifications on the Roman Catholic Church are being felt far beyond state lines.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has announced that she will meet with the Archdiocese of Chicago and that she has contacted other dioceses in the state to discuss the Pennsylvania report, "which identifies at least seven priests with connections to Illinois."

"The Catholic Church has a moral obligation to provide its parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois," Madigan said in a statement released Thursday.

In a statement of its own, given to local media, the Chicago Archdiocese said it has "worked cooperatively" with county officials for years, and that it looks forward to "discussing our policies and procedures related to misconduct issues with [Madigan] and her office.

NOWHERE TO HIDE: Catholic Church Sex Abuse: Missouri Launches Investigation Into Potential Crimes

The Daily Beast

August 24, 2018

By Jamie Ross

After the devastating scale of abuse in Pennsylvania was revealed, other states want to know if it spread to their own Catholic establishments.

The scale of sexual abuse by priests in Pennsylvania—where more than 1,000 children were targeted over decades—has prompted shocked officials in other U.S. states to examine how far the cancer has spread.

Officials in Missouri announced Thursday that the state would launch an investigation into sex crimes within the local Catholic Church, saying the Archdiocese of St. Louis had offered to open its files to scrutiny.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley came under pressure from survivors of sexual abuse in the state who protested outside his office earlier in the week after new allegations of abuse emerged.

Last week a couple reportedly sued the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese alleging that Troy Casteel, its director of family ministry, sexually abused a woman on diocese property during marital counseling. The couple claims that the diocese was aware of the claim but gave Casteel “sanctuary.”

Casteel was known to spend time alone with the wife and go on trips with her, according to the lawsuit, but the diocese did not intervene. It’s claimed Casteel’s actions culminated in abusing the woman.

We have to have deeper reforms in the church

National Catholic Reporter

August 23, 2018

By Thomas Gumbleton

I thought I might start our reflection today by finding out something which I think is quite special and noteworthy. In the second lesson, the passage from Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus where he's outlining various virtues for us to try to grow into and live according to. And at one point toward the end he says, "Sing and celebrate the Lord in your hearts giving thanks to God always." Those few words "giving thanks to God," sometimes is translated as "always be thankful." That's what Paul is telling us: always be thankful.

When you look at the original language, it's even more dramatic, it seems to me, because the what the words are: be eucharists, estotes eucharistountes. Eucharist means thanksgiving, so Paul is saying to let your whole being, every part of you give thanks to God. Why? Because everything we have and are and will be is a gift from God so our whole being should react in total thanksgiving. Every moment, every second of our life should be praise and thanks to God because without God we don't exist, we're nothing, never would be, never will be.

God has loved us into being so we need to be eucharists, always thanking God. That, of course, becomes even more clear — the reason why we should thank God in the Gospel lesson where Jesus talks to us about giving his very self as our food and drink: "I am the living bread that comes down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread, drinks my blood will live forever." Those are very important words today that we need to remember and try to grow in that spirit of thankfulness in our prayers every day — every moment, in a sense, and if we can every day.

But this Sunday, this weekend, it may be somewhat difficult to be thinking about thanking God because of the tragedy that has been exposed about our church during this past week. Archbishop [Allen] Vigneron wrote a long letter to all the priests and another one to the people of the diocese asking us to speak about this. First of all to, I guess, reassure everybody in spite of all the terrible things. If you read any part of that report from the grand jury in Pennsylvania, you know it's just a sordid, ugly story.

New cardinal: Abuse victims should be ‘ashamed’ to speak due to their own failings


August 21, 2018

By Doug Mainwaring

Reacting to the recent avalanche of reports of clerical sexual abuse around the world, a newly minted Mexican Cardinal has suggested that victims who accuse priests should be “ashamed” because they too have skeletons in their own closets.

Those who “accuse men of the Church should [be careful] because they have long tails that are easily stepped on,” said Cardinal Sergio Obeso Rivera according to a report in Crux.

“I’m here happy to talk about nice things, not about problematic things, it’s an accusation that is made, and in some cases it’s true,” said Obeso Rivera.

The cardinal’s remarks to journalists came after the release of a sweeping, two-year-long Pennsylvania Grand Jury investigation into sexual abuse by Catholic priests. That report has sent shockwaves around the globe.

South Florida Priest Murdered in Cuba Outed as Part of Pennsylvania Child Porn Ring

The Miami New Times

August 16, 2018

By Jerry Iannelli

The utterly bizarre and horrid tale of Pennsylvania-turned-Florida-turned-Cuban priest George Zirwas has taken an even darker turn this week. More than 15 years ago, New Times published a meticulously reported feature delving into Zirwas' 2001 murder in Havana, where he was injected in the neck with an overdose of muscle relaxant. The story noted that some people claimed he was involved in a child pornography ring and that boys had accused him of molestation. But in 2003, when the story was published, Zirwas' defenders denied the allegations.

But now, an explosive Pennsylvania grand jury report into rampant rape and pedophilia inside that state's Catholic churches has confirmed the rumors: The report, released earlier this week, outlines how Zirwas and a group of other Pennsylvania priests "used whips, violence, and sadism in raping their victims" and routinely filmed and photographed child pornography with boys on church property.

The Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph says it will work with AG Hawley on requests [video]


August 23, 2018

By Nick Sloan

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said his office is investigating the Archdiocese of St. Louis concerning allegations of abuse by clergy members.

David Zubik, former Green Bay bishop, under fire over Pennsylvania abuse cases

Green Bay Press-Gazette

August 23, 2018

By Paul Srubas

David Zubik, the former bishop of the Green Bay Catholic Diocese, has found himself at center stage this week in a three-decades-old scandal about priest sexual abuse in his current diocese in Pittsburgh.

Zubik has been leader of the Pittsburgh diocese since 2007. It is one of several named by a Pennsylvania grand jury as being part of a statewide scandal involving more than 300 predator priests who left more than 1,000 young victims over the last several decades.

While nearly all the abuse cases referenced in the grand jury's report predate Zubik’s term as bishop, he was administrative secretary to the bishop and director of clergy personnel through part of the period and held other important administrative functions.

The grand jury report indicates Zubik was probably aware of at least some of the steps the diocese took to keep adverse publicity to a minimum during the years the abuses came to light, including reassigning suspected abusers to other parishes or dioceses and reaching settlements with victims that included confidentiality agreements.

Many of the abuses described in the grand jury report were addressed in the 1980 and early 1990s, when Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and, later, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, led the Pittsburgh diocese, while Zubik had administrative positions.

Why Catholic priests become predators and why can't the truth be told

Irish Central

August 23, 2018

By John Spain

Priestly celibacy is an unnatural and impossible demand dreamed up by the church centuries after Christ died.

This coming weekend the Pope will visit Ireland and he can be sure of a warm Irish welcome. It’s what we do for all our visitors here, despite any misgivings we might have.

But there is no escaping the fact that this visit by Pope Francis comes under a very dark cloud indeed. It’s not just the extent of the latest horror story of sex abuse in the Catholic Church, this time from Pennsylvania where a grand jury report has identified 300 priests who abused at least 1,000 victims in six dioceses there (and probably thousands more) over the last 70 years.

US priest speaks up for Church's gay 'parish pariahs'


August 23, 2018

By Catherine Marciano

US Jesuit priest James Martin speaks at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin on August 23, 2018

Gay people in the Catholic Church are sometimes "treated like dirt", according to a priest invited by the Vatican to address a conference on families in Dublin on Thursday ahead of a visit by Pope Francis.

US Jesuit priest James Martin preaches openness towards gay Roman Catholics -- in the face of some traditionalists who have tried to shut him down.

He spoke at the 2018 World Meeting of Families (WMOF) in Dublin, a global Catholic gathering that takes place every three years, which opened on Tuesday.

"The inclusion of a talk called 'Showing Respect and Welcome in Our Parishes to LGBT Catholics and their Families' is a huge step forward," Martin told AFP.

"It is a sign to all Catholics that the Vatican considers LGBT Catholics part of the Church," said the author of a bestselling book which reaches out to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians.

Asia Argento Accuser Breaks Silence and Confronts ‘Stigma’ of Being a Male Survivor

Brit + Co

August 23, 2018

By Elizabeth King

Actress Asia Argento was one of the first women to accuse movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein of sexual violence last year, becoming a leading voice of the #MeToo movement. Now, Argento stands accused of sexual assault, which the actress-director denies, and of allegedly covering up the assault by paying off the accuser. The alleged victim is 22-year-old Jimmy Bennett, an actor who was a teenager at the time of the alleged assault. A few days after the story broke in the New York Times, Bennett has spoken out.

The New York Times story about the alleged assault reveals that Argento is accused of sexually assaulting Bennett five years ago when Bennett was 17 years old. Argento also reportedly paid Bennett $380,000 in a legal settlement last year. Bennett posted a statement to his Instagram account on Wednesday, addressing what happened to him and the stigma of surviving sexual abuse as a man.

Ohio State's culture of cover-up helped save Urban Meyer's job

Yahoo Sports

August 23, 2018

By Dan Wetzel

On the morning of Aug. 1, a bombshell story broke suggesting that Urban Meyer had lied about not knowing of a 2015 domestic abuse allegation against former Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith.

Minutes later, Meyer met with football staffer Brian Voltolini. Their first inclination, per the school’s investigation, was to figure out how to delete text messages from Meyer’s phone.

In other words, cover things up.

“Specifically,” the report reads, “how to adjust the settings on Meyer’s phone so that text messages older than one year would be deleted.”

Abuse survivor fears Church 'sold' his baby sister to a family in America

SKY News

August 22, 2018

By David Blevins

A son speaks out about his mother's detention by the Catholic Church and his fears his sister could be dead or have been sold.

Her only crime was becoming pregnant "out of wedlock".

Delia Mulryan spent 30 years of her life locked up in a Magdalene Laundry.

The Catholic Church had secured lucrative government laundry contracts and detained thousands of women to do the work.

Peter Mulryan says his mother and the other women, immortalised in the film The Magdalene Sisters, were forced into slave labour.

"The poor mothers would be slaving from seven o'clock in the morning until seven o'clock in the evening.

"They couldn't even talk to one another, communicate, laugh or joke. It was so sad an environment to be in," he said.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley launches investigation into clergy sex crimes

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

August 24, 2018

By Jack Suntrup and Nassim Benchaabane

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said Thursday that he would launch an investigation into sex crimes within the Roman Catholic Church, adding that the Archdiocese of St. Louis had offered to open its files to his office.

At a news conference shortly after Hawley’s announcement, St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson promised Hawley’s office would have “unfettered” access to archdiocese records.

“Anything that we have we will turn over,” Carlson said.

Hawley’s announcement came after survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their advocates protested outside his St. Louis office on Wednesday demanding that he launch a statewide investigation. It also came a week after the release of grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania that uncovered the widespread abuse of more than 1,000 children by more than 300 priests over a period of 70 years.

Hawley, a Republican who is running for U.S. Senate this year, said on Thursday that while prosecuting and subpoena authority rested with local law enforcement, his office would still investigate alleged crimes, publish a public report and refer credible cases to local prosecutors.

'Credible accusations' led to removal of priest, archdiocese says


August 23, 2018

By Carla Hinton and Randy Ellis

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City said Wednesday that it removed a priest from duty in 2002 after receiving what it determined as "credible accusations of abuse" against him.

Benjamin Zoeller was removed as a priest in 2002 and Pope Benedict XVI formally stripped him of his priestly rights and authority in 2011 through a process called laicization, an archdiocese spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The archdiocese released a statement about Zoeller on Wednesday in response to an Aug. 17 letter from a 49-year-old former Oklahoman who said he was 16 and a member of the clergyman's Oklahoma City parish when he was sexually abused by the then-priest in 1985.

Zoeller was never charged with sexual abuse related to the incident.

The alleged victim said he was prompted to write the letter after the recent release of a highly disturbing grand jury report alleging abuse of more than 1,000 children by hundreds of Catholic priests in Pennsylvania. The man, who now lives in Minnesota, is not being identified because of The Oklahoman's policy not to name victims of sex crimes.

The man said he was dismayed by the years-long cover-up of abuse that the Pennsylvania report shared in detail and he was prompted to reach out to the Oklahoma City archdiocese to see if anyone had ever reported Zoeller to law enforcement authorities.

Local angles for the ongoing clergy abuse scandal


August 23, 2018

By Bill Mitchell

The latest developments in the clergy sexual abuse scandal tee up unusual opportunities for journalists — especially local journalists — to advance the story in significant ways.

The latest developments in the clergy sexual abuse scandal tee up unusual opportunities for journalists — especially local journalists — to advance the story in significant ways.

That’s especially true in two reporting categories: untold stories and watchdog journalism.

Both approaches can help you and your newsroom — whether broadcast, print, digital or all three — to move beyond the too-easy temptation to limit your coverage to showing up at weekend Masses for people-in-the-pew reaction stories.

Some of the ideas listed below have gone untold because, previously, they might have been considered too narrowly focused for a general, secular audience. But the evolution of the story has expanded its readership well beyond Catholics alone.

And Catholic bishops — answerable under Church law only to the Pope — are an ideal target for the sort of watchdog journalism that holds the powerful accountable.

Vatican Continues to Hide Abuse Perpetrators – Anti-Abuse Activist

Sputnik News

August 22, 2018

Pope Francis has condemned sex abuse and clerical cover-ups in a letter to all Catholics. This comes after a grand jury in the US last week released a report revealing seven decades of abuse by over 300 priests against 1,000 minors in Pennsylvania.

Sputnik discussed this with David Clohessy, former executive director of SNAP — the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Sputnik: What's your take on the message shared by the pope recently? What impact can it have on this massive and rather disturbing issue?

David Clohessy: This is the latest of long series of papal apologies and papal pledges to be better and each time a pope comments on this continuing crisis he sounds a little bit more remorseful, a little bit more sincere, but at the end of the day nothing changes, he refuses to take tangible, common sense steps that will expose predators, protect kids and stop this horror.

Hawley to investigate priest sex abuse in St. Louis, asks other dioceses to cooperate

The Kansas City Star

August 23, 2018

By Judy L. Thomas

Update: The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph says it will allow Missouri Attorney Josh Hawley to investigate priest sexual abuse locally.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said Thursday that his office is launching a “thorough and robust investigation” of potential clergy sex abuse in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, with full cooperation from church officials, and he encouraged other dioceses in the state to allow similar probes.

“Today, I have received a letter from the archbishop confirming that he and the archdiocese will open to my office their files and will allow us to conduct a thorough, impartial review of potential clergy abuse in the Archdiocese of St. Louis,” Hawley told reporters in an afternoon telephone news conference.

“So we intend to gather extensive evidence from the church, as well as from victims and their families and other persons who are not associated with the archdiocese. At the conclusion of this investigation, my office will issue a formal report setting out our findings. That report will also include any charging recommendations based on the evidence we discover in our investigation.”

Springfield Catholic diocese to move forward with inquiry into clergy abuse

Springfield News-Leader

August 23, 2018

By Will Schmitt

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau plans to launch an independent inquiry going back more than five decades in the wake of reported abuse by priests elsewhere in the U.S.

Leslie Eidson, director of communications for the Springfield-Cape Girardeau diocese, said the inquiry was being launched at the direction of Bishop Edward Rice, whom Pope Francis picked to lead local Catholics in April 2016.

A formal canonical decree asking for the independent examination of all personnel files as well as an open letter from Rice to congregants to be read at all Masses this weekend were in the works, Eidson said.

In the letter, Rice says the Springfield diocese is aware of nine inactive priests who have faced previously reported credible allegations of abusing a minor. He also says a pastor was recently placed on administrative leave for "sexual misconduct over the Internet" and says that the diocese is investing a recently reported lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct by a former Springfield diocese employee.

Earlier Thursday, Archbishop Robert Carlson of the St. Louis diocese announced he was cooperating with Attorney General Josh Hawley's office in a voluntary review of clergy abuse.

Denes McIntosh: Catholic confessional recruiting ground for pedophile priests

The Union

August 21, 2018

By Denes McIntosh

Other Voices

As individuals, and as a culture, it wouldn't hurt to go to confession.

In fact it could help. I'm not advocating that anyone necessarily do the traditional Catholic Church confession, although that is a sound option for some adults, but I am suggesting that confession is a good practice, however one might choose to engage in it.

But I want to illuminate how confession is used in the Catholic Church, secretly, to enable, and perpetuate its long-standing culture of pedophilia. We are all aware of the culture, some more than others. It's been in the news enough the past few years to allow anyone to be informed who is interested in being informed. But what troubles me is that after all the headlines, the few arrests, the payoffs, the proclamations by the pope, the bishops and the other PR spokespersons for the Church, there has still not been any significant investigation into how such a culture could develop, to become, and remain, ensconced so profoundly in the Church.

It's as if the public wishes to believe that it's all cleaned up now, so it is all cleaned up now. But that's like pretending that after the Major League Baseball steroid scandal, and all the attention paid to it, that there are no longer any more steroids being used in baseball. Actually, we just got tired of the issue.


Church Militant

August 20, 2018

By Stephen Wynne

Rockville Centre bishop implicated in PA grand jury report

Church officials in the diocese of Rockville Centre are circling the wagons in an attempt to defend their embattled local prelate, Bp. John Barres, who as head of the diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania from 2009–17 did nothing to remove Msgr. Thomas J. Benestad from ministry after credible allegations were filed against him.

In 2011, a man reported that Msgr. Benestad had sexually abused him in the early 1980s, beginning when he was 9 years old.

Wyoming police reopen case in sex abuse claims against former Kansas City priest

The Kansas City Star

August 23, 2018

By Judy L. Thomas

Police in Cheyenne, Wyo., have reopened an investigation involving a former Kansas City priest who went on to become a Wyoming bishop and was later accused of sexually abusing several boys.

In a news release issued this week, the Cheyenne Police Department said it was seeking information regarding sex abuse claims reported to the department as a result of an internal investigation underway by the Diocese of Cheyenne. That investigation is looking into what the diocese says are credible allegations of sexual abuse committed by former Bishop Joseph Hart.

Police did not name the subject of the investigation in their release — only calling him a “church official” — but it is clear that the person they are referring to is Hart. Now 86, Hart served as bishop or auxiliary bishop of Cheyenne from 1976 to 2001. He was a priest in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph from 1956 to 1976.

“With new information, the CPD has reopened an investigation in regards to allegations of abuse taking place in Cheyenne in the 1970s through the late 1990s by a local church official,” the police department said. “However, due to the time that has passed since those events, CPD investigators are seeking additional information from any victims or witnesses.”

'If it’s painful for you, think what it does to us’

Main Line Times

August 23, 2018

By Henry Briggs

“If it’s painful for you, think what it does to us.”

I have heard some versions of that phrase for a number of years now whenever the subject of child rape comes up and not just from Catholics. While the Catholic Church is in the spotlight again this week, and has been on and off for decades, maybe even centuries, it isn’t alone.

A few years ago, my old high school sent a letter to alumni admitting to sexual abuse of students. It wasn’t alone. The Chicago School System had child abuse at its schools, as did LA and other cities. To a lesser or greater extent, so did many other schools, none of them Catholic: St. Paul’s, Choate-Rosemary Hall, Exeter, to name a few. Horace Mann in New York had 62 cases. “Me” and “mini-me,” compared to the Catholic Church, of course, but not in terms of the harm: the non-Catholic kid suffered just as much as the kid in CCD or PSR.

In most cases, people who love those institutions — from school alumni to lay board members — share the “if it is painful for you, think what it is to us” sentiment with outsiders. And then continue with their lives as though nothing had happened.

Child sexual abuse is bad; knowing about it and doing nothing to stop it is horrific.

Former priest at church in Kent accused

The Indiana Gazette

August 23, 2018

By Patrick Cloonan

The pastor of several Fayette County churches has been relieved of his ministry duties by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Greensburg, pending an investigation of charges dating to a period shortly after his tenure at a church in Indiana County.

“Earlier this week, the Diocese received a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Msgr. Michael W. Matusak dating back almost 20 years,” the diocese stated late Wednesday afternoon.

The allegation apparently covers an event that happened after then-Father Matusak left Church of the Good Shepherd in Kent, where he was known as “Father Mike” and was its first pastor from 1989 to 1997.

The diocese also reported that the matter “is now in the hands of law enforcement” in Westmoreland County, where Matusak was serving after his tenure in Kent.

“This is the first and only allegation the diocese has ever received against Msgr. Matusak,” the diocese said. “A credible allegation does not mean it has been substantiated or proven. This announcement in no way implies Msgr. Matusak is guilty.”

Pope to Visit Ireland, Where Scars of Sex Abuse Are ‘Worse Than the I.R.A.’

New York Times

August 23, 2018

By Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura

Gortahork, Ireland - If any place illustrates the depth and depravity of child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church — and why the Irish are so angry about it — it is this unlikely corner of the country, where among rolling hills of wild heather, castles and bucolic fishing villages, predatory priests terrorized children with impunity for decades.

County Donegal, which overlooks the Atlantic in northwestern Ireland, has fewer than 160,000 residents, but it may have the worst record of clerical abuse in the country. According to a watchdog group that monitors the Catholic Church in Ireland, 14 priests have been accused in recent years, four of whom were convicted. They include the Rev. Eugene Greene, one of the nation’s most notorious pedophile priests, who served nine years in prison for raping and molesting 26 boys between 1965 and 1982, though the real figure may be far higher.

Yet this year, when Pope Francis needed someone to head a neighboring diocese, he chose Bishop Philip Boyce, who had been heavily criticized for refusing to defrock Father Greene when the priest was under his management in the late 1990s.

As Francis prepares for a visit to Ireland this weekend — the first by a pope since John Paul II in 1979 — the painful specter of such abuses hangs over his trip, as well as the church’s long history of protecting pedophile priests. It is cases like this one that many faithful say make it incumbent on Francis to give them not just words, but action.

Residents said Francis’ appointment of Bishop Boyce demonstrated that the church’s record of shuffling along abusers and those who protected them remained unbroken.

Bishop Boyce “was keen to protect the family of the convicted priest from further trauma by not initiating laicization,” the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church found in a 2011 review.

A religious mural near Meenlaragh. As Pope Francis prepares to visit Ireland this weekend, the country’s painful history of clerical sexual abuse hangs over his trip.CreditPaulo Nunes dos Santos for The New York Times
For those in Donegal, Bishop Boyce’s appointment was salt in the wounds. Francis chose him to replace John McAreavey, who resigned as bishop of Dromore after coming under fire for officiating at the funeral of a priest he knew to be a pedophile. It is unclear whether Bishop McAreavey was disciplined by the church.

Bishop Boyce did not respond to requests for comment.

Father Greene, now in his 90s, is thought to be living in a protected home run by an ecclesiastical order in Cork and enjoying a “happy retirement,” said John McAteer, the editor of the weekly Tirconaill Tribune. “I find it shocking,” he said.

August 23, 2018

Do we owe Sinéad O’Connor an apology for speaking the truth about church child abuse?

Irish Central

August 19, 2018

By Niall O'Dowd

Following the shocking revelations of 70 years of abuse of children by Pennsylvania priests, we owe Sinead O’Connor an apology.

Her declaration back in 1992 that the Catholic Church was rotten to its core and pedophile priests and their enablers were the real enemy was true.

It caused a massive worldwide reaction when she tore up a picture of the then Pope on Saturday Night Live in October 1992 and declared, “Fight the real enemy.”

We now know that the pedophile scandals were rampant during the era of Pope John Paul, who chose to turn a blind eye. O’Connor was calling out the right person.

Before Spotlight, before the worst of the American and Irish church scandals, O'Connor called it right and only got abuse in return.

No grand jury to investigate church abuse in Kansas


August 22, 2018

By Greg Miller

A Kansas City-area attorney says she’s disappointed that a grand jury won’t be ordered to investigate abuse in Catholic churches in Kansas.

Documents she released on Monday reveal hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse and called for an investigation into the Catholic church.

Kansas attorney general Derek Schmidt has responded, saying “I admire and encourage those victims of childhood sexual abuse who continue to choose to come forward, sometimes after many years have passed.” But he declined to start a grand jury investigation.

“There’s no way to determine the extent and the depth of the abuses that occurred,” said attorney Rebecca Randles. “There has to be some form of law enforcement, executive or police power for an investigation into this and it has to be on a broader scale.”

Prominent Catholics see larger role for laity in church's abuse response

Catholic News Service

August 23, 2018

By Dennis Sadowski

An independent lay-run board that would hold bishops accountable for their actions, a national day for Mass or prayers of reparation, and encouragement to parishioners to become more involved in their diocese are among steps suggested by prominent lay Catholics to right the U.S. church as it deals with a new clergy sexual abuse scandal.

Those contacted by Catholic News Service said that it was time for laypeople to boost their profile within the church and help begin to dismantle long-standing clericalism that has sought to preserve the reputation of offending clergy at the expense of the safety of children.

"Their credibility is gone and the trust of the faithful is gone," Francesco Cesareo, chairman of the National Review Board, said of the U.S. bishops as they worked to develop steps to promote greater accountability on abuse.

The National Review Board, established by the bishops in 2002, oversees compliance by dioceses with the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People." It has no role in oversight of bishops.

"The bishops have to put their trust in lay leadership and allow that lay leadership to develop the processes and oversight when these kinds of allegations occur, particularly holding bishops accountable," Cesareo said.

The missing part of Pope Francis’ letter: Vatican III

La Croix

August 22, 2018

By Terry Laidler

The Church’s understanding of who ministers, how they minister and how it trains and supports a much broader range of people to minister needs a total revamp

The pope’s letter of 20 August 2018, condemning sexual abuse by clergy and its systematic cover-up begins to show real compassion for those abused and some of the bewilderment and exasperation even good people who supported the Church experienced as the crisis continued to unfold unaddressed:

LCWR 'ashamed of the church we love' after abuse report

Global Sisters Report

August 21, 2018

By Dan Stockman

The largest organization of women religious in the United States says the latest clergy sex abuse reports have left it "sickened and ashamed of the church we love, trusted, and have committed our lives to serve."

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents about 80 percent of U.S. sisters, issued a statement Aug. 20 in response to a grand jury report from Pennsylvania that more than 300 priests sexually assaulted at least 1,000 victims over 70 years, most of which bishops covered up.

"We weep and grieve with all who over the decades have been victimized by sexual predators within the faith community and feel their pain as our own," the LCWR statement reads. "We recognize that the damage done to many is irreparable."

The grand jury report has created a national backlash to the abuse scandal, with many calling for major changes in the structure and culture of the church itself.

"We call upon the church leadership to implement plans immediately to support more fully the healing of all victims of clergy abuse, hold abusers accountable, and work to uncover and address the root causes of the sexual abuse crisis," the statement says. "It is clear that more serious action needs to be taken to assure that the culture of secrecy and cover-up ends."

Sr. Carol Zinn of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelphia, executive director of LCWR, told Global Sisters Report the response to the statement so far has been gratitude.

Protecting children in the church

LA Croix

August 23, 2018

By Hans Zollner SJ

There is no doubt that the protection of children and youth against sexual violence remains a central problem in the Catholic Church and in society

The issue of sexual abuse of minors committed by clergy is constantly returning to the forefront of media attention. Recently, through various news outlets and publications worldwide, this focus has been particularly sustained for the Karadima case in Chile. It's hard to say why that has resonated with people around the world more than other cases have.The offer of resignation by all Chilean bishops is a sign of huge importance, which is in line with a development that we have seen over the last years. There is no one turning point — the ship of the church is slowly moving in another direction. It is a huge effort, and change is on the way.For Pope Francis, calling a whole bishops' conference to Rome has been new. John Paul II and Benedict XVI summoned cardinals and bishops to discuss clerical sexual abuse, but this is new for Francis. He takes the problem seriously.

Survivor of Clergy Sex Abuse Pushes for Transparency in Catholic Church


August 20, 2018

By Abbey Niezgoda

A Boston clergy sex abuse survivor and her lawyer are reacting after reading the letter from Pope Francis condemning the abuse and cover-up in the Catholic church. The letter was released by the Vatican Monday following a grand jury report that found more than 1,000 clergy abuse victims in parishes across Pennsylvania.

Alexa MacPherson said she was sexually assaulted for six years as a child by a priest in Dorchester. She said the letter is not just too late, it is not enough.

"There wasn't anything concrete in that letter," MacPherson said. "It was just we need to move forward, this is the past, we don't want this to happen again. What are you doing?"

"With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them," the letter said in part.

Priest on Catholic church sex abuse cover-up: 'I feel a strong sense of betrayal'

The Enquirer

August 23, 2018

By Kyle Schnippel

Please bear with me for this letter, but I feel this needs to be said and addressed. I have been struggling how to address this topic. Many of my brother priests across the country have addressed the topic homiletically, which I have yet to do. It is sometimes difficult to address the topic when I only preach at one parish on a weekend.

The long and short of it is: I am angry and betrayed at the news and events that have recently been revealed in both Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. I am angry at the shortsightedness of bishops. I am angry at those who knew something about Archbishop McCarrick and did or said nothing. I am even angrier at those who actively sought to bury the information that is now being revealed in the press and in witness statements, etc.

With McCarrick in particular, I feel a strong sense of betrayal. In 2002, he was part of the face of the reforms called for in the wake of the revelations out of Boston and the implementation of the Dallas Charter that called for zero tolerance in the face of credible allegations of abuse against a priest. And he had credible and substantiated cases against him! Cases that were apparently widely known, yet nothing came out against him and he continued to minister "in good standing" while so many priests who had far less credible evidence against them were removed from ministry.

(I want to be absolutely clear here: I 100 percent agree that there is no room in ministry for priests who have engaged in sexual abuse of another. Full stop. My issue is that it is very clear now that Archbishop McCarrick (formerly Cardinal McCarrick) had significant evidence against him, yet he continued in ministry. This is the source of my anger.)

Cheyenne police seek help in church sex abuse investigation

Wyoming Tribune Eagle Via Wyoming News Exchange

August 22, 2018

By Katie Kull

The Cheyenne Police Department is asking for help in the investigation of a local church official accused of sexually abusing at least one boy when he worked there from the 1970s through the 1990s.

Cheyenne Police Department spokesman Officer Kevin Malatesta said detectives are hoping to talk to anyone who has information about the alleged abuse.

“Everybody’s testimony adds to the case, and so if we have other credible witnesses or victims to these crimes, that assists us in the prosecution of this,” Malatesta said.

The news release doesn’t specifically name the person the department is investigating, but it points to a recent announcement by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne that it found new evidence that Bishop-Emeritus Joseph Hart had abused at least two young boys when he worked there from 1976-2001.

CPD reopens sexual abuse investigation into Catholic Church


August 22, 2018

By Kayla Dixon

The Cheyenne Police Department is seeking information regarding sex abuse claims that have been reported to the CPD through the Wyoming Catholic Diocese’s internal investigation.

With new information, the CPD has reopened an investigation in regards to allegations of abuse taking place in Cheyenne in the 1970’s through the late 1990’s by a local church official. However, due to the time that has passed since those events, CPD investigators are seeking additional information from any victims or witnesses.

Oklahoma City Archdiocese investigating recent clergy abuse claim dating back to 1980s


August 22, 2018

By Bill Miston

The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City is investigating a report of alleged abuse dating back more than three decades involving a former priest defrocked by the pope in 2011.

Archdiocese officials said Wednesday the Archbishop has ordered an independent investigation of former priest Ben Zoeller, who served in eight parishes in Oklahoma since the 1960s.

According to an archdiocese spokeswoman, a letter August 17 was sent by a former resident reporting abuse at the hands of Zoeller in 1985.

Archbishop Paul Coakley ordered a review of Zoeller’s file, which “found credible allegations of abuse” and ordered an independent investigation, the spokeswoman said.

Zoeller was removed as a priest from the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City in 2002 and defrocked in 2011.

Children's daycare church worker accused of sexual abuse released from jail


August 22, 2018

By Fernando Ramirez

An Abilene church daycare worker accused of sexually abusing at least five different victims has been released from jail.

Five months after his arrest, 25-year-old Benjamin Roberts posted bail after his bond was reduced from $350,000 to $100,000, reports KTAB/KRBC.

Roberts was originally arrested by the Abilene Police Department in March after his residence was identified as a place where child pornography was being downloaded, according to court documents obtained by Abilene Reporter-News.

Cupich: On abuse, focus should be victims rather than Church’s credibility


August 23, 2018

By Elise Harris

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago is one of the few American prelates making an appearance at this week’s World Meeting of Families in Dublin, after both Cardinals Donald Wuerl of Washington and Sean O’Malley of Boston withdrew due to abuse-related scandals.

Amid fears that after the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report the Church in the United States could face a new eruption of the abuse crisis, Cupich acknowledged that “a lot of damage has been done” to the faith of believers, but the primary focus should be the wellbeing of the victims and not the Church’s reputation.

Speaking to Crux, Cupich said his first concern “is not my credibility or the bishops’ credibility. My first concern is that it’s damaged the faith lives of people.”

“If it’s damaged our credibility, then we have to do something about it, but my major concern is that we need to focus our attention on the damage it does to people’s faith lives. Also, [the focus should be on] the hurt that’s revisited victims as a result of this. This is something we as Church leaders should be concerned about, not our own skin,” he said.

Missouri must investigate church sexual abuse statewide, advocacy group says

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

August 22, 2018

By Nassim Benchaabane

Survivors of clergy sexual abuse are demanding Missouri's top prosecutor launch a statewide investigation into alleged sex crimes by Catholic priests.

The call comes on the heels of a grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania that uncovered the widespread abuse of more than 1,000 children by more than 300 priests. The report alleges that bishops and other leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania covered up child sexual abuse over a period of 70 years.

"We believe we have exactly the same issues as they do in Pennsylvania," said Nicole Gorovsky, a former Missouri assistant attorney general, former federal prosecutor and private attorney who specializes in child sexual abuse cases.

What these victims want the Pope to know


August 23, 2018

By Mallory Simon and Erica Hill

Pope Francis is failing the thousands of victims of abusive priests in the US and around the world, survivors told CNN in emotional interviews.

A rare letter of apology and contrition from Francis, and his promised meeting with Irish victims of priestly abuse this weekend has done nothing to ease the ongoing pain of the five people we met in Pennsylvania, where a grand jury concluded earlier this month that hundreds of priests raped, molested and abused boys and girls for decades.

The Pope wrote that the church "abandoned" child victims while the perpetrators were protected. He called for fellow Catholics to fast and pray, but offered no new directions to stop any current or future abuse.

Those were hollow words for these four people abused by priests and a father who lost his son to drugs after his molestation.

This is what they want Francis to know:

Pressure to address sex abuse mounts ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Ireland

CBS News

August 23, 2018

Pope Francis will arrive in Ireland this weekend for an international Catholic gathering amid intensifying scrutiny over the church's handling of sexual abuse by priests. The scandal forced two U.S. cardinals to cancel their trips. The pope asked for prayers as he prepares for the first papal visit to Ireland in nearly 40 years and is expected to meet privately with sex abuse survivors.

CBS News' Jonathan Vigliotti spoke with Cardinal Blase Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, and Sister Liz Murphy, a leading Irish missionary, who hope Pope Francis can chart a way forward following last week's Pennsylvania grand jury report, which Cupich called a "catalog of horrors."

"There is a dysfunction in the family, and we have to address it," Cupich said.

Scandale de pédophilie : quelles sanctions ?

ARTE Journal

August 23, 2018

By Fanny Chauvin

Pedophilia scandal: what sanctions?

Disponible du 23/08/2018 au 25/08/2038
Disponible en direct : oui
Découvrez l'offre VOD-DVD de la boutique ARTE

Un jury populaire de Pennsylvanie vient de dévoiler un rapport qui accuse 300 prêtres d'abus sexuels. Les faits, dissimulés par les autorités religieuses, se déroulent sur plus de 70 ans. 1000 victimes sont recensées.

Après l'affaire Barbarin en France et ce nouveau scandale aux Etats-Unis, l'Église catholique est de nouveau secouée par les affaires d'abus sexuels. Le Pape a exprimé sa "honte" et condamne "avec fermeté ces atrocités". Un discours qui ne suffit pas pour les victimes. Mais que peuvent-elles attendre? L'Église catholique est-elle prête à changer ?

Pa. Catholic church sex abuse report: Look up the churches where hundreds of accused priests worked and lived


August 23, 2018

By Nathaniel Lash and Jared Whalen

A state grand jury report released last week revealed decades of allegations of child sex abuse at the hands of more than 300 priests in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses.

The report presented accounts by victims and actions taken by church officials, and detailed the parish assignments of more than 250 of the accused clergy. This search tool catalogs the thousands of records detailing where they lived and worked in the dioceses, including some in the Philadelphia region.

Sex Abuse to Cast Shadow Over Pope’s Ireland Visit

The Wall Street Journal

August 23, 2018

By Francis X. Rocca

Pope Francis is under pressure to address a global crisis during weekend in a country scarred by mistreatment of minors

When Pope Francis lands in Ireland on Saturday, he will be visiting a once-devout Catholic society that is increasingly challenging the church’s authority—and where anger is running high over decades of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests.

The pope’s delicate two-day trip comes as clerical sexual abuse scandals unfold in other countries, including the U.S., and many Catholics are criticizing the pope’s response to the crisis as inadequate.

The topic is thus likely to dominate his visit, and his statements and gestures on the subject there will play out to a global audience.

This will be the first visit to Ireland by a pope in nearly 40 years. When John Paul II came in 1979, he drew 1.25 million people to an outdoor Mass in Dublin, more than a third of the country’s population at the time.

Attorney for Victims Calls on Dayton to Convene Grand Jury to Investigate Alleged Cover-Ups by Bishops


August 22, 2018

An attorney for victims of clergy sex abuse wants Gov. Mark Dayton to convene grand juries to investigate alleged cover-ups by Catholic bishops in Minnesota.

Attorney Jeff Anderson said Wednesday he was inspired by a grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania that showed about 300 priests in the state had molested more than 1,000 children.

But Minnesota's statutes on grand juries say nothing about governors having the power to call grand juries. That power resides with county attorneys and district judges.

Through the declaration of bankruptcy by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and by other diocese in the state, Anderson said a lot has been done to bring justice to victims.

Archdiocese of NY paid nearly $60M to sex abuse victims in two years

New York Post

August 23, 2018

By Tamar Lapin

The Archdiocese of New York has paid out close to $60 million to sexual abuse victims in the past two years, a spokesman told The Post.

So far, 278 victims — including a teen molested by a perverted priest at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx in the early 1980s — have been paid $59,950,000 through the archdiocese’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.

This revelation comes on the heels of a shocking Pennsylvania grand jury report that found that over 300 priests had abused more than 1,000 children for decades in the state — all while being shielded by church officials.

Former Michigan State gymnastics coach faces charges tied to Larry Nassar investigation

Yahoo Sports

August 23, 2018

By Ben Rohrbach

Former Michigan State gymnastics coach Kathie Klages is the latest person to face criminal charges in the aftermath of disgraced team doctor Larry Nassar’s widespread sexual abuse of countless athletes.

Klages was charged with lying to police during the investigation into the university’s handling of sexual abuse complaints against Nassar — a charge that carries up to a four-year prison sentence — according to the Associated Press. Klages had previously denied that she was informed of Nassar’s sexual abuse as early as 1997 by former Spartan Youth Gymnastics participant Larissa Boyce.

St. John’s Prep brother on leave, accused of sex abuse

Boston Herald

August 23, 2018

By Mary Markos

A St. John’s Preparatory School faculty member is on unpaid leave after allegations of sexually abusing a child came to light from when he was in Baltimore in the mid-1980s.

Brother Robert “Bob” Flaherty is no longer on campus and has been banned from active ministry by the Xaverian Brothers, which sponsors the all-boys school in Danvers.

“It’s important for us as a school to celebrate the good things and deal with challenges that confront us. That’s what we’re doing now,” St. John’s Headmaster Edward P. Hardiman told the Herald.

The abuse allegedly occurred before Flaherty’s time at St. John’s. He worked at the Catholic school on the North Shore from 1999 to 2007, and 2010 to Aug. 18.

Flaherty first joined the Xaverian Brothers in September 1979 and took his vows after a year of training in 1980. He taught at Mount St. Joseph in Baltimore from 1980 to 1993, and then again from 2008 to 2010, according to a statement from the Xaverian Brothers.

Bishop Tobin says he was aware of abuse in Pennsylvania, but didn’t report it

NBC 10 News

August 22, 2018

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of the Diocese of Providence said that he was aware of allegations of sexual abuse during his time in Pennsylvania, but could not act on them.

In a statement to the Providence Journal, Tobin said he learned of the allegations while working as an auxiliary bishop, in Pittsburgh, in the 1990s.

However, he said he was unable to take action because he was not responsible for clergy issues.

Tobin said he had an administrative role in the church, such as handling budgets and property.

“My responsibilities as Vicar General and General Secretary of the diocese did not include clergy assignments or clergy misconduct, but rather other administrative duties such as budgets, property, diocesan staff, working with consultative groups, etc. Even as an auxiliary bishop, I was not primarily responsible for clergy issues,? Tobin said in an email to ProJo.

Providence Bishop Tobin defends his time in Pittsburgh

The Associated Press

August 22, 2018

Rhode Island’s Roman Catholic bishop says while he was “aware of incidents of sexual abuse” reported to church officials while working in Pennsylvania it wasn’t his job to deal with them.

Diocese of Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin served as auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh from 1992 until 1996.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh was one of six Pennsylvania dioceses named in a grand jury report that said hundreds of Catholic priests in the state molested more than 1,000 children dating to the 1940s, and church leaders covered it up.

The Priesthood of The Big Crazy

NYR Daily

August 23, 2018

By Garry Wills

The grand jury report of Catholic priests’ predations in Pennsylvania is enough to make one vomit. The terrifying fact that hundreds of priests were preying upon over a thousand victims in that state alone makes one shudder at the thought of how many hundreds and thousands of abusers there are elsewhere in the nation, elsewhere in the world. It is time to stop waiting for more reports to accumulate, hoping that something will finally be done about this. Done by whom? By “the church”? If “the church” is taken to mean the pope and bishops, nothing will come of nothing. They are as a body incapable of making sense of anything sexual.

A wise man once told me that we humans are all at one time or another a little crazy on the subject of sex. A little crazy, yes. But Catholic priests are charged with maintaining The Big Crazy on sex all the time. These functionaries of the church are formally supposed to believe and preach sexual sillinesses, from gross denial to outright absurdity, on the broadest range of issues—masturbation, artificial insemination, contraception, sex before marriage, oral sex, vasectomy, homosexuality, gender choice, abortion, divorce, priestly celibacy, male-only priests—and uphold the church’s “doctrines,” no matter how demented.

Some priests are humane or common-sensible enough to ignore some parts of this impossibly severe set of rules, which gives them reason to be selective about sexual matters. Since scripture says nothing about most of these subjects, popes have claimed a power to define “natural law.” But the nineteenth-century English theologian John Henry Newman was right when he said, “The Pope, who comes of Revelation, has no jurisdiction over Nature.” That would be true even if the natural law being invoked had some philosophical depth, but Catholics are asked to accept childish versions of “natural law.” For instance, since the “natural” use of sex is to beget children, any use apart from that is sinful, and mortally sinful. Masturbate and you go to hell (unless, of course, you confess the sin to a priest, which gives an ordained predator the chance to be “comforting” about masturbation).

Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin says abuse was outside his responsibility

Providence Journal

August 21, 2018

Tobin was auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh at time of incidents covered in grand jury report on the Catholic Church’s cover-up of sexual abuse.

During his earlier years in Pittsburgh, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin acknowledges he “became aware of incidents of sexual abuse when they were reported to the diocese.”

But in response Tuesday to questions posed earlier about what he knew, when he knew it — and what he did about it, the Providence-based bishop says these allegations were outside his realm of responsibility.


Church Militant

August 22, 2018

By David Nussman

Current RI prelate served under Wuerl in Pittsburgh, knew of abuse claims

Bishop Thomas Tobin is disclaiming responsibility for sex abuse matters during his time in the diocese of Pittsburgh under then-Bishop Donald Wuerl.

Tobin, current bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, was vicar general and general secretary of the Pittsburgh diocese in 1990 and was auxiliary bishop from 1992–96.

The Pennsylvania grand jury released August 14 faulted Wuerl for covering up clerical sex abuse and shuffling predator priests among parishes. Of the 301 priests and religious the report accuses of sexually molesting children, 99 were from Pittsburgh.

In a statement distributed to Rhode Island reporters following the release of the grand jury report, Bp. Tobin said that, in his chancery roles, he "became aware of incidents of sexual abuse when they were reported to the diocese."

Catholic Church must rethink all-male priesthood

San Francisco Chronicle

August 21, 2018

By Douglas W. Kmiec

No amount of monetary damages can compensate the victims of clerical sex abuse; plus the money wrongly hurts the impressive social justice work of the Catholic Church. No, an appropriate act of contrition requires that the episcopal level of the American Catholic Church submit to the holy father its resignation en masse, allowing Pope Francis, if in prayer he discerns it necessary, to clean house.

Amid continuing scandal, the Catholic Church loses touch with its flock

Portland Press Herald

August 23, 2018

By Bill Nemitz

The report of widespread abuse by priests in several Pennsylvania dioceses widens the gap between the Church that is and the one Catholics thought they knew.

I recently attended the Roman Catholic funeral for a woman who lived for just over 90 years. The congregation numbered more than 100 – testament to a large, loving family and a circle of loyal friends who’d stayed tethered to her throughout her twilight years.

Heading into a catered lunch after the service, someone commented on the priest’s kind words and asked one of the deceased woman’s sons if she and the priest had been close.

“No,” he replied with a quick shake of the head. “They didn’t really know each other.”

Not even through her attendance at Sunday Mass?

“She hasn’t gone for more than 10 years,” he said. “Not since …”

The church scandal?


It’s been almost 20 years since widespread reports of child abuse by priests surfaced first in Boston and then spread, like a wildfire, across the United States and the rest of the world.

To some, it’s old news – the anguished stories told by victims, many now in their 50s, 60s or older; the stonewalling by bishops who profess sorrow even while they refuse to release offending priests’ names and current locations; the countless sins that somehow never found their way onto criminal dockets.

But it’s not old news. It’s still with us.

Clergy abuse victims' lawyer calls for Pennsylvania-style grand jury report in Minnesota

MPR News

August 22, 2018

By Peter Cox

Jeff Anderson, who has sued the Catholic church multiple times over clergy sex abuse, is calling for a grand jury to investigate all of the dioceses in Minnesota.

In Pennsylvania, a two-year investigation by a grand jury identified more than 300 priests credibly accused of abuse and found that there were more than 1,000 victims of priest abuse.

Anderson wants Gov. Mark Dayton to convene a grand jury to investigate, interview and possibly bring charges against priests who abused children or church leaders who helped to cover up those crimes or move known offenders to other churches or parishes.

Attorney calls for grand jury investigations into priest abuse in Minnesota


August 22, 2018

By Tim Blotz

Attorney Jeff Anderson is calling on Gov. Mark Dayton to force criminal grand jury investigations into priest abuse cases across the state.

A grand jury investigation in Pennsylvania last week revealed more than 300 priests who abused children.

Now, Anderson wants Dayton to use a little known state statute to force similar grand jury investigations here.

Surrounded by eight survivors of clergy sexual abuse, Anderson said the time has come for criminal investigations.

Ex-Michigan State gymnastics coach charged with lying to police amid Larry Nassar investigation

The Associated Press

August 23, 2018

A former gymnastics coach at Michigan State has been charged with lying to police amid the sexual abuse investigation involving former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

The charges against Kathie Klages were announced Thursday by a special independent counsel appointed by the state to investigate the university. If convicted, Klages could face up to four years in prison.

Klages has denied allegations that former gymnast Larissa Boyce told her that Nassar had abused her in 1997, when Boyce was 16. Boyce had been training with the Spartan youth gymnastics team at the time.

Clergy sex abuse evidence was destroyed, but hotline opened: DA

Penn Live

August 22, 2018

By Becky Metrick

Evidence provided to the York County District Attorney's Office relating to the sexual abuse by clergymen uncovered in the Attorney General's Grand Jury Report, was destroyed, DA David Sunday Jr., said Wednesday.

In the days following the release of the grand jury report - which specifically mentions at least five clergymen accused of sexual assaults while they worked in York County - Sunday said he would look into the allegations and what his office had information on.

Though the grand jury information on two of the clergymen accused included reports made directly to the District Attorney's Office, Sunday said evidence and/or reports forwarded to the York City Police Department were destroyed in accordance with "statewide accreditation standards" that govern what happens with investigations where charges aren't filed.

Additionally, Sunday said "my office does not possess any records concerning subjects of the Attorney General's Grand Jury report, as any such reports would have been purged in accordance with office record retention policy in matters that are not prosecuted."

Former MSU gymnastics coach charged with lying to police about Larry Nassar allegations

Lansing State Journal

August 23, 2018

By Kara Berg and Matt Mencarini

Former MSU gymnastics coach Kathie Klages has been charged with lying to police about her knowledge of sexual assault complaints about Larry Nassar prior to 2016.

The charges, filed today in 54A District Court in Lansing, make Klages the second person charged as part of the Michigan Attorney General's Office investigation of Michigan State University's handling of reports about Nassar.

"Klages denied to Michigan State Police detectives having been told prior to 2016 of Nassar’s sexual misconduct," according to an AG's Office news release. "Witnesses have said that they reported Nassar’s sexual abuse to Klages dating back more than 20 years."

One of those people is Larissa Boyce, a former youth gymnast who said she told Klages about Nassar's abuse in 1997 when she was 16. Boyce said that Klages cautioned her and another gymnast from filing a formal complaint against Nassar, which Klages has denied.

Catholics Are Desperate for Tangible Reforms on Clergy Sex Abuse

The Atlantic

August 22, 2018

By Emma Green

Pope Francis says he supports a “zero-tolerance” policy, but some insist those words are not enough.

This week, Pope Francis convenes the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, a massive, triennial gathering of Catholics to celebrate “joy for the world.” The timing could not be more awkward. The event comes in the wake of a terrible period for Catholic families amid revelations about clergy sex abuse, including the release of a massive new report detailing years of misconduct and cover-up in Pennsylvania.

These new findings are the latest entry in a long list of scandals from around the world: reports that Theodore McCarrick, the former cardinal in Washington, D.C., sexually harassed children and adults for decades; the mass resignation of Chilean bishops who mishandled sex-abuse allegations in their country; Cardinal George Pell’s return from Rome to his home in Australia, where he is standing trial on several charges of sexual abuse.

A decade and a half after the first major wave of sex-abuse scandals upended the global Church, clergy, theologians, and lay people are desperately calling on the Church to take concrete steps to prevent abuse or cover-ups from happening again. Some say the greatest problem lies in the hierarchical structure of the Church, and are advocating for more power for lay people and an overhauled seminary system.

An Indiana priest was attacked by a man yelling, 'this is for all the little kids'


August 22, 2018

A Catholic priest was beaten while praying at his church in Merrillville, Indiana, and authorities are investigating the attack as a hate crime.

The Rev. Basil John Hutsko told police he was attacked Monday morning inside the St. Michaels Byzantine Catholic Church as he was praying in the sacristy.

The attacker "grabbed him by the neck, threw him down on the floor and immediately started slamming his head against the floor. Both sides, front and back," Merrillville Police Chief Joseph Petruch told CNN affiliate WBBM.

The assailant left Hutsko battered, bruised and unconscious. And during the assault the attacker yelled, "'This is for all the little kids,'" Petruch said.

Saginaw bishop offers 'thoughts, prayers and sorrow' for abuse victims


August 22, 2018

By Cole Waterman

In the wake of a federal grand jury naming 301 Catholic priests alleged to have sexually abused children in Pennsylvania, Saginaw Diocese Bishop Joseph R. Cistone has issued a statement offering his thoughts and prayers for all victims of clergy sex abuse.

The statement comes as one of Cistone's own subordinates awaits trial on charges of sexually assaulting juveniles.

"My thoughts, prayers and sorrow go out to all victims of clergy sex abuse, especially those whose tragic accounts of abuse are detailed in the grand jury report released in Pennsylvania," Cistone wrote in the Aug. 21 letter published on the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw's website.

"The numbers in the report are staggering, and the horrific details of alleged child abuse over 70 years is numbing. People of faith and good will are understandably experiencing deep emotions of anger, betrayal, and a sincere desire for justice.

"On behalf of the Diocese of Saginaw," the letter continues, "I remain fully committed to the safety of children."

Latin Americans Know Pope's Letter Won't Solve Abuse Crisis. Priesthood Reform Might


August 23, 2018

By Tim Padgett


As a Roman Catholic, I’m supposed to be encouraged by the anguished letter Pope Francis issued this week. The one in which he condemns the monstrous and never-ending “atrocities” of sexual abuse of children by priests – and their equally monstrous and never-ending cover-up by bishops.

But I’m not hopeful.

That’s because aside from being a Catholic I’m also a Latin Americanist – and I know how badly Francis, the first Latin American pope, failed Latin America in this crisis. That's why Latin Americans, particularly South Americans, seem to understand that this criminal tragedy won’t be solved by a papal crackdown on the priesthood. It can only really be addressed by a papal crack-up of that priesthood.

That means turning the Catholic clergy from a celibate, all-male cabal – one that considers its own protection more important than our childrens’ – into a more empathetic society of service by allowing priests to marry and women to be priests.

Many in Latin America have given up on that ever happening. So they’re voting with their feet, especially in the wake of priest abuse scandals like the one Chile is suffering through – and which Francis failed to confront until recently, after he and the Catholic Church had already hemorrhaged their moral credibility in that country.

New Diocese Head Implicated By Grand Jury

The Independent

August 21, 2018

By Rick Murphy


The Diocese of Rockville Centre hoped to further distance itself from the pedophile priest scandal that shook the very foundation of the Catholic Church when it when Bishop John Barres was named to replace the retiring Archbishop William Murphy.

Instead, fresh wounds have opened and the church is under the gun again with revelations that Barres, like Murphy, covered up pedophile crimes committed by priests and protected the accused.

Though Barres said August 15 that a grand jury report issued in Allentown, PA contained “factual errors,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro countered that the report is true.

Bishop Murphy was a central figure in the Boston church pedophile scandal — the story was told in The Spotlight, which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2016.

Newsday reported Murphy, as Cardinal Bernard Law’s top deputy in Boston for almost eight years, was involved in almost one-third of the priest sexual abuse cases at the heart of the scandal there. “Not only did Murphy supervise the assignment of priests, he was privy to all confidential records on accusers’ complaints, treatment, and settlements. He also took care of accused priests’ legal bills and helped arrange housing and jobs for them,” Newsday continued.

The Hidden Devastation of Priestly Pedophilia: Suicide


August 22, 2018

By Rick Snedeker

No matter how appalling you think the ever-worsening scandal is regarding Catholic clergy’s relentless global sexual assaults against children, it’s worse.

Far worse.

On Monday, a reader of my blog named Jim Jones (@Jim_Jones_1) commented on my August 18 post, titled “Outrage Over Latest Catholic Sex Scandal Misses Point.” Contending that the scandal is far more widespread and destructive that most people are aware, he provided a trove of links to priestly pedophilia atrocities just in Australia.

The most jarring fact in the lot were the unnervingly common suicides among abuse victims from a single church-affiliated school.

Philip Nagle, a 1974 student at St. Alipius Primary School in Ballarat, Australia, the epicenter of some of the worse clergy abuse in Australian history, was the first witness to give evidence when the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse began hearings in May 2015. The hearings focused on defining the impact of abuse on survivors, their families and the community of Ballarat.

Editorial: The Failure Of Leadership From Hotchkiss To The Catholic Church

Hartford Courant

August 23, 2018

Reports that leaders of prominent institutions actively concealed — or failed to address — allegations of sexual abuse serve as a sad reminder of the lengths some people will go to protect the reputations of institutions at the expense of the safety of their members.

The Hotchkiss School in Salisbury released an internal investigation Friday that detailed allegations that seven former faculty and staff members had sexually abused students — and that school officials covered it up.

School administrators “inadequately responded to sexual misconduct by faculty members,” the report states, in the name of protecting the school’s reputation.

The victims include 16 students, some of whom endured years of abuse. The scope of it is shocking.

Ohio State is a disgrace, but also a symptom and definitely not a surprise

For the Win

August 23, 2018

By Chris Korman

What happened at Ohio State Wednesday, with Urban Meyer receiving a piddling three-game suspension for clearly and deliberately trying to cover for an assistant coach intent on committing violence against his wife, was disgusting. Even if you’re someone who pays close attention to how sordid college sports can be, it felt like a previously undiscovered and particularly excrement-loaded layer of muck.

There’s not much need for me to tell you how ridiculous this whole thing is. USA TODAY’s Christine Brennan did that already. As did George Schroeder (and there’s a video of Dan Wolken in there, too.) So did Yahoo’s Pat Forde. And ESPN’s Heather Dinich. And this piece — This Is How You Erase A Woman From Her Own Story — from Deadspin’s Diana Moskovitz, is essential. Please read it.

But also know that all of this — and all of its corollaries, like what happened at Baylor and Penn State and all the other places where the misdeeds are spread apart just enough so that the pattern goes unnoticed — is born from a system of college sports that has been rotting from the inside for decades. When you build a multi-billion dollar empire on the backs of unpaid labor and then market it all as not just an extension of what your schools stand for but what your schools actually stand for you end up twisting and twirling the way Ohio State’s leadership did yesterday, and you claim to the public that one of the most ruthlessly efficient coaches in the history of sports is actually a guy who quivers in difficult moments and can be more than a bit forgetful.

We ask the 5 candidates for state AG: Would you investigate dioceses?

The Buffalo News

August 22, 2018

By Dan Herbeck and Jay Tokasz

New York’s next attorney general could determine whether six Catholic dioceses and one archdiocese in this state face a sweeping investigation into clergy sexual abuse similar to one that exposed a massive cover-up of abuses in Pennsylvania.

Five candidates are vying to be elected in November to the state’s highest-ranking law enforcement post.

The Buffalo News this week asked each of the candidates how they will proceed on the issue of clergy sexual abuse if elected to the state’s highest-ranking law enforcement post. Two of the candidates said they would investigate, while the other three said they would collaborate with local district attorneys on any investigation.

The News also asked if the candidates supported passage of the Child Victims Act – which would extend the time that civil lawsuits and criminal charges could be brought in cases of child sexual abuse – and all but one said yes. Democrat Leecia Eve of Buffalo said she had yet to take a position on the legislation.

7 I-TEAM: Buffalo Bishop Malone returned priest to ministry after allegations involving a child


August 22, 2018

By Charlie Specht

Editor's Note: In March 2018, the Diocese of Buffalo released a list of 42 priests accused of abuse. 7 Eyewitness News has learned that two priests who were in ministry at that time were originally considered for inclusion on that list, but were removed before the list was made public.

This is the first part of a two-part investigative series on Bishop Richard J. Malone's handling of those priests. Part two will be released on-air and online on Thursday.

The last six months have been perhaps the most turbulent in the 171-year history of the Diocese of Buffalo.

After years of suffering and silence, victims have come forward with horrific accounts of sexual abuse or misconduct at the hands of 82 priests and nuns, and the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team has exposed a pattern of how the Catholic Church in Buffalo treated allegations of sexual abuse.

Bishop Richard J. Malone has described the problem as one he inherited, stressing that there’s nothing being hidden in Buffalo anymore.

But a 7 Eyewitness News Investigation based on hundreds of internal church documents shows that in the case of one accused priest, Bishop Malone, between 2012 and this year:

New sexual misconduct allegations levelled against Halifax-based Buddhist leader

The Canadian Press

August 23, 2018

New allegations have surfaced against the spiritual leader of one of the largest Buddhist organizations in the western world, including fresh claims of sexual misconduct and financial coercion.

A report by Buddhist Project Sunshine released Thursday details new accusations against Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, leader of the Halifax-based Shambhala International community.

He stepped back from his duties last month pending the outcome of a third-party investigation into an alleged pattern of sexual misconduct highlighted in previous reports by former Shambhala community member Andrea Winn.

Winn says the third report brings to light more complainants and new claims that are “more serious in nature,” which may be brought to police.

Catholic brother accused of abuse barred from ministry

The Associated Press

August 22, 2018

By David Mcfadden

A Roman Catholic brother accused of sexually abusing a youngster decades ago in Maryland has been barred from his religious order's ministry and placed on administrative leave from a teaching job in Massachusetts while authorities investigate, officials said Wednesday.

The Xaverian Brothers, a lay religious order headquartered in Baltimore that sponsors about a dozen schools across the United States, has identified the accused man as Brother Robert Flaherty. They say Baltimore police recently informed them that Flaherty is being investigated for an allegation of sex abuse from the mid-1980s, a time that coincides with his tenure teaching at an all-boys Catholic school in Baltimore.

Flaherty worked at Baltimore's Mount St. Joseph preparatory high school from 1980 to 1993, and again from 2008 to 2010, according to the religious order.

Brother Edward Driscoll, general superior of the religious order, said the Xaverian Brothers were cooperating fully with investigators from the State's Attorney's Office in Baltimore. He said they have removed Flaherty from ministry pending the investigation's outcome.

Names Of Accused Bishops To Be Removed From Buildings At 2 Catholic Pa. Colleges


August 22, 2018

By Bobby Allyn

Officials at the University of Scranton and King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. have announced that buildings once honoring now-disgraced bishops will be renamed and that the bishops' honorary degrees will be revoked.

The move is part of the continuing fallout in the state and across the country from last week's massive report on clergy sex abuse. As the full effect of the sweeping grand jury report comes into view, many Catholic schools and universities feel as if they are in the eye of the storm and are taking steps to separate themselves from the havoc that the report has spread.

Two other Pennsylvania schools are also considering renaming campus sites dedicated to bishops accused of systemically concealing decades of abuse.

The Latest: Pastor removed after diocese received allegation

The Associated Press

August 22, 2018

The Latest on the Roman Catholic Church child sex abuse scandal in Pennsylvania (all times local):

2:55 p.m.

The Roman Catholic pastor of a southwestern Pennsylvania parish has been removed from ministry after the local diocese received what it calls a credible allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor.

Wednesday's revelation by the Greensburg Diocese comes amid growing fallout from a state grand jury report that accused a succession of church leaders of covering up abuse by 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania since the 1940s.

Catholic Dads Must Go to Church to Prevent Sex Abuse By Clergy


August 22, 2018

By Patrick A. Coleman

In light of a Pittsburgh grand jury report which shined a light on hundreds of Catholic predator priests, involved Catholic dads may help protect kids and hold the church accountable.

The Catholic community, in America and abroad, has spent the last week grappling with the horrific details put forth in a Pittsburgh grand jury report detailing the sexual abuse of thousands of children by hundreds of Pennsylvanian priests. The report identifies over 1,000 victims of rape and sexual predation, all of whom were ignored or silenced by church leaders, many of whom sheltered the perpetrators of awful crimes. While the grand jury report is devastating in its details, it is not shocking. The Catholic clergy has a history of raping kids and the church has a history of covering it up.

The practical question the report forces Catholic parents of young children to answer is one parents in the church have faced before: Does my family’s participation in church life jeopardize the safety of my kids? Given that the report out of Pittsburgh follows revelations of a similar nature in Boston, Ireland, Kenya, the Philippines, and Croatia, we must entertain the notion that the answer is “yes.”

As such, many Catholic parents like myself are reconsidering how they engage with churches and religious institutions. Some will walk away. I will not. Instead, I will double down on my involvement in church matters because I’m aware that the presence of a father tremendously diminishes the likelihood of harm befalling a children. Pedophiles disproportionately targeted children with absent fathers. This seems to be particularly true of priests. As such, I see my consistent presence as a prerequisite for my children’s involvement in church life.

UVU asks judge to throw out suit from former Title IX director

Deseret News

August 22, 2018

By Annie Knox

Utah Valley University has asked a judge to toss a whistleblower lawsuit from its former Title IX director.

Attorneys for the school argue in Tuesday court filings that Melissa Frost could not have been fired for alleging potential violations of federal antidiscrimination law, because administrators didn't know she was gathering information about them at the time.

The university also claims that Utah law protecting whistleblowers doesn't apply to Frost because the actions she took against her employer fell under the scope of her job responsibilities. As a Title IX coordinator, she was charged with investigating sexual assault and harassment, and making sure the university complies with federal law against gender discrimination.

Frost, who was hired to head UVU's new Title IX office in 2014 and fired in June 2017, sued the school in 3rd District Court in May. She alleged school officials were slow to refer students the Title IX office and that a sexual assault case involving athletes dragged on for more than a year. In addition, she claimed campus police took gay male students' sexual assault complaints less seriously and said administrators were reluctant to hold trainings to make clear that sexual orientation and gender identity are protected from discrimination.

A week after her firing, Frost filed a complaint against the university with the U.S. Department Education's Office for Civil Rights, alleging Title IX violations and retaliation for her voicing her concerns about compliance. A federal civil rights probe is pending.

Ohio State office to respond to sexual violence, harassment


August 22, 2018

By Madison Park

University has been mired in multiple scandals

As it faces several scandals and a federal investigation, Ohio State University announced Tuesday that it will create a new office to respond to sexual and gender harassment, violence and other forms of discrimination.

The new centralized office will help people at the university who've experienced, witnessed or have become aware of sexual misconduct -- or those who are seeking resources and other reporting options, it said in a statement. The university has yet to finalize a name for the new office.

The university had dissolved its former Sexual Civility and Empowerment unit earlier this year, CNN affiliate WBNS reported.

"The immediate focus will be on enhancing the university's Title IX resources for intake and assessment," according to the university statement. Coordinators will help students, faculty and staff understand their rights, options, services, and to help them report concerns and file required reports to police other others, the school said.

Ohio State announces new office to replace troubled Sexual Civility center

The Columbus Dispatch

August 21, 2018

By Jim Woods

Ohio State University announced Tuesday the creation of a new centralized office to address issues involving sexual misconduct and gender harassment.

The school promised in June that it would create a new office by the start of fall semester, after closing its troubled Sexual Civility and Empowerment Center and eliminating four positions. The closure followed an independent review that found the center had failed to properly report and handle some students’ sexual-assault complaints.

Ohio State says the new centralized office — which has yet to be given a formal name — will respond to sexual and gender-based harassment, violence and other forms of discrimination and harassment.

“The university will continue to focus on advancing our efforts in this vital area,” President Michael V. Drake said in a prepared statement.

Ohio State has been under scrutiny for its practices concerning compliance with federal Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender and also deals with issues concerning sexual harassment and sexual assault. A university that receives federal funds could be held legally responsible when it knows about or ignores such complaints.

Washington lawmaker fired from job as college professor for alleged sexual misconduct with students

Fox News

August 23, 2018

By Kaitlyn Schallhorn

A Washington state lawmaker was fired from his job as a university professor last week amid allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior directed at female students.

State Rep. Matt Manweller, a Republican, was terminated from his position as a political science professor at Central Washington University on August 14.

A report from an investigator hired by the public university said it found a “preponderance of the evidence supported a finding that Manweller engaged in a pattern of unprofessional and inappropriate behavior with gender-based and sexual overtones with female students and former students from 2004 to 2017.” The report was published by The Seattle Times.

Manweller is accused in the report of asking inappropriate and personal questions, physical touching, communicating with students with “sexual or romantic overtones” and “offering an educational benefit in exchange for sex.”

Abuse Survivor Comes Forward — Again


August 21, 2018

By Anne Holliday

Bradford native and priest abuse survivor Jim VanSickle was in Bradford today to meet with Father Ray Gramata, pastor of St. Bernard Church. After that, he held a joint news conference with another survivor from Bradford.

Ed Rodgers’ alleged abuser, Rev. Desmond McGee, was not named in the grand jury report but, after speaking with attorney general Josh Shapiro and other investigators in Shapiro’s office, Rodgers and VanSickle believe his name will eventually be made public again.

Rodgers’ did accuse McGee more than 20 years ago but, for all intents and purposes, no one believed him. Although that was painful, he says he came forward this time and the last time because he was concerned that there may be other victims.

Cardinal Wuerl Requests His Name To Be Removed From North Catholic H.S.

CBS Cleveland/KDKA

August 23, 2018

Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s name will be removed from North Catholic High School; KDKA's Andy Sheehan reports.

Irish Catholics keep the faith ahead of Pope's visit


August 22, 2018

By Clodagh Kilcoyne

Bernie and Tom Byrne can barely conceal their excitement as they prepare for a visit to Ireland by Pope Francis that they hope will bring back the young believers that have deserted the Catholic church after decades of scandal.

Their grandfather Dominic was one of at least twenty-two people that claimed to see Mary, Joseph and John the Evangelist hovering near the gable end of the local church in the western Irish village of Knock on a rainy evening in August 1879.

Francis will pray at the Knock shrine as part of his two-day visit to Ireland this week, the first by a Pope in almost 40 years that have transformed the once staunchly Catholic country into a far more secular and liberal society. tmsnrt.rs/2N95yFI

“Houses are being painted and streets are being scrubbed... trying to get everything ready for him, even though it’s only a short visit,” said Bernie, 74, who like his brother Tom, runs a small shop selling religious goods to the 1.5 million pilgrims that come to Knock each year.

Irish church’s fall from grace haunts pope’s Ireland trip

The Associated Press

August 23, 2018

By Nicole Winfield and Pietro de Cristofaro

When St. John Paul II visited Ireland in 1979, the Catholic Church wielded such power that homosexuality, divorce, abortion and contraception were barely spoken of, much less condoned. Catholic bishops had advised the authors of Ireland's constitution, and still held sway.

Today, as Pope Francis prepares to visit, the Catholic Church enjoys no such influence.

As once-isolated Ireland experienced a tide of secularism and economic boom that opened it to the world, the church largely lost its centrality in Irish life.

Then the church — while still maintaining a stronghold on education and health care in Ireland — lost its moral credibility following revelations of the widespread sexual abuse of children in its churches, the physical torture of youngsters in its schools and the humiliation of women in its workhouses.

Missouri victims seek wide-scale clergy abuse investigation

The Associated Press

August 22, 2018

By Jim Salter

Victims of clergy sexual abuse are calling for a wide-scale investigation of sex crime allegations against Catholic priests in Missouri, and whether the church participated in a cover-up.

One victim, a woman whose son killed himself after being abused as a teenager, and an attorney for abuse victims spoke Wednesday outside the St. Louis office of Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley. They urged a statewide investigation similar to one in Pennsylvania that uncovered more than 1,000 cases of abuse.

David Clohessy, 61, of St. Louis is a longtime victims' rights advocate who was abused as a child. He said more than 170 priests in Missouri have been accused in recent decades, but few have been convicted. He blamed prosecutors who aren't "assertive or creative enough in exposing and pursuing these wrongdoers."

Hawley's office has said it can help local prosecutors, but it doesn't have jurisdiction to launch its own investigation.

But St. Louis attorney Nicole Gorovsky, who represents sexual abuse survivors in civil cases, said Hawley, a Republican, could take steps such as a civil lawsuit or coordinating with federal and local prosecutors.

Survivors of clergy sex crimes call for statewide grand jury-style investigation


August 20, 2018

By Stephanie Graflage

Local attorney, Rebecca Randles, hosted a news conference Monday afternoon at her office to announce launch a statewide grand jury-style investigation into clergy sex crimes and cover ups.

Randles touts that she is Missouri's most experienced attorney representing victims of sexual abuse.

According to Randles, 228 Catholic priests across Missouri and the Archdiocese of Kansas in Kansas City have been accused of molesting kids.

Randles said last week’s grand jury report regarding sex abuse at Catholic Churches in Pennsylvania prompted Monday’s call to action.

“So it details that there is an even greater issue in the Kansas City, St. Louis, Missouri and the Archdiocese of Kansas than what we’re seeing out of the grand jury report out of Pennsylvania,” Randles said.

Pittsburgh Diocese receives about 50 new abuse claims after grand jury report

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

August 22, 2018

By Adam Smeltz

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has fielded about 50 allegations of abuse over the past week, after a grand jury report drew international attention to child sexual abuse by Pennsylvania priests, the diocese said Tuesday.

The claims appear to be new and came “from people who had not previously contacted us,” delivered through an abuse hotline established by the church and via email, said the Rev. Nicholas S. Vaskov, a diocese spokesman.

“All of the allegations are from prior to 1990 and go back as far as the 1940s,” Father Vaskov said in a statement. “We are taking all of them seriously and following our regular process for responding to them.”

That protocol includes pulling accused clergy from ministry if they’re still on the job. The diocese didn’t immediately say whether the new reports involve active clergy, but each allegation will be turned over to prosecutors in the county where the abuse is alleged, Father Vaskov said.

Survivors say Pope letter is ‘just words’

The Courier

August 21, 2018

By Leanne Younes

A Ballarat clergy abuse survivor agrees that Tuesday’s unprecedented letter of apology from Pope Francis is too little too late.

In a letter to the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, Pope Francis said no effort must be spared to prevent child abuse and the possibility of the crimes being covered up.

Pope Francis has vowed there will be no more cover-ups of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church but church abuse victims' advocacy group Broken Rites president Chris MacIsaac described the letter as "all too little, too late".

“Words are nothing without action,” Mr Sculley said. “The facts of the matter are that it changes nothing.”

School drops archbishop’s name amid sex abuse report fallout

The Associated Press

August 22, 2018

By Marc Levy

A Roman Catholic high school will shed the name of Washington’s archbishop, who was cited in a sweeping grand jury report as having allowed priests accused of sexually abusing children to be reassigned or reinstated while he was Pittsburgh’s bishop.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh said Wednesday that Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl made the request to remove his name from Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School and that school and diocese officials accepted it.

The sign in front of the suburban Pittsburgh school was discovered vandalized Monday, with red spray paint obscuring Wuerl’s name, as some Catholics called for his resignation or ouster and a petition circulated to remove his name from the school.

The 77-year-old Wuerl has defended himself, saying he acted to protect children, promptly investigate allegations and strengthen policies as understanding of child abuse evolved. He has said he will not resign.

Dropping his name from the school is part of the growing fallout from a grand jury report that accused a succession of church leaders of covering up the abuse of more than 1,000 children or teenagers by about 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania since the 1940s.

China investigates top Buddhist monk for sexual assault


August 23, 2018

Police in China are investigating one of the country's most prominent monks over allegations he sexually assaulted nuns at his monastery in Beijing. The case has galvanized China's fledgling #MeToo movement.

Chinese police have opened a criminal probe into sexual misconduct claims against high-profile Buddhist monk Xuecheng, China's top religious authority said Thursday.

A statement from the State Religious Affairs Administration said he is also facing censure from the official government-run Buddhist Association on suspicion of "violating Buddhist precepts."

The 51-year-old stepped down as head of the association earlier this month after fellow monks accused him of sending explicit text messages and demanding sexual favors from nuns at his monastery in Beijing's northwestern suburbs. They also said he had embezzled funds. Xuecheng denies the charges.

Police probe sexual misconduct claims against Chinese monk

The Associated Press

August 23, 2018

Chinese police have opened an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against one of the country's best-known Buddhist monks whose case has highlighted the growth of the #MeToo movement in China.

A statement issued by the State Religious Affairs Administration on Thursday said police were investigating claims of sexual assault by Xuecheng. It said he also faces censure from the official government-backed Buddhist Association on suspicion of "violating Buddhist precepts."

Xuecheng has denied the claims but earlier this month resigned as head of the Buddhist Association.

Fellow monks accused him of harassing and demanding sexual favors from nuns at his monastery in the outskirts of northwestern Beijing, as well as embezzling funds. Their accusations, including testimony from alleged victims, were posted online, prompting a public outcry and unusual coverage by state media.

One priest was arrested for soliciting sex, but his diocese just moved him again

York Daily Record

August 22, 2018

By Candy Woodall

The Rev. Francis Bach had several warning signs in his past, but that didn't stop a diocese from assigning him to multiple churches in central Pennsylvania.

In 1967, he was "relieved of his duties" with a young adult ministry in Harrisburg.

That was a few years after he served at St. Patrick Catholic Church in York, a city of about 45,000 residents 80 miles west of Philadelphia where a man in 2016 said Bach abused him as an altar boy in 1960 when Bach was a seminarian.

Ten years later, Bach had more blemishes on his employment history. He's one of several examples in central Pennsylvania of the diocese shuffling predator priests, called "passing the trash," according to a state grand jury report released last week on priest sex abuse.

The Harrisburg Diocese, which covers 15 counties in southcentral Pennsylvania, knew that Bach broke his priestly celibacy vows in the mid-1970s: "Inappropriate behavior with adult at seminary." Diocese officials moved him a month later.

Bishop Zubik hopes Pope Francis allows him to continue leading diocese, help with healing

Trib Live

August 22, 2018

By Deb Erdley

Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik was stunned when a group of abuse survivors demanded he resign over his handling of child sexual abuse complaints as detailed in a recent grand jury report.

“I was surprised that people would ask me to resign. First of all, resignations are something that are decided by the pope,” Zubik said. “But since becoming bishop of Pittsburgh since 2007, I’ve been very responsive. … And I want to still continue to lead the people to help with their healing.”

A recent flurry of complaints to diocesan officials in Greensburg and Pittsburgh as well 544 calls to a sexual abuse hotline run by the state Attorney General’s office in the week since the public release of a stunning grand jury report on clergy abusing minors across Pennsylvania suggests that it could take some time as the Catholic church attempts to deal with an international plague of complaints and allegations of cover-ups that triggered recent high-profile resignations.

Among those to resign as Pope Francis bemoaned the scandal that has ripped the church across several continents are Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., an archbishop in Australia, and five bishops in Chile.

Judy Jones, the Midwestern director of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) last week called on Zubik and his predecessor Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, D.C., to resign, saying the report suggested they were more interested in protecting priests than children.

The Asia Argento News Is Upsetting, But Could It Be Good For #MeToo?


August 21, 2018

By Ludmila Leiva

On Sunday night, the New York Times dropped a bombshell report that Asia Argento, — the Italian actress, director, and activist who lead the charge against Harvey Weinstein and became a leading voice for #MeToo movement — quietly settled claims that she had sexually assaulted a then 17-year-old boy. On Tuesday morning, Argento made a public statement denying the allegations and saying that her then-boyfriend Anthony Bourdain had paid off Bennett, who she said had harassed the couple.

These unsettling allegations are already creating rifts among supporters over the purpose of #MeToo and the future of the movement. With Harvey Weinstein's trials looming in the near future, the claims have prompted speculation about the veracity of Argento’s allegations against him. And, with prominent #MeToo voices, including Tarana Burke, already distancing themselves from Argento, many question whether these developments undermine the movement as a whole.

Deputy AG questions firm’s report amid criminal probe of St. Paul’s

Concord Monitor

August 22, 2018

By Alyssa Dandrea

Former St. Paul’s School students interviewed as part of an independent investigation into faculty sexual abuse remembered ex-humanities teacher David Pook for the wet willies he gave girls and his frequent, unannounced visits to girls’ dorms.

One student recalled how Pook put his tongue close to her face and ear to demonstrate a “moral dilemma” in a religious studies class.

Another remembered how Pook recommended a novel about a literature professor who becomes “sexually involved” with a 12-year-old girl and a book about a high school student who marries her teacher.

The allegations are detailed in a supplemental report released by the Boston-based law firm Casner & Edwards, which St. Paul’s commissioned in 2016 to look into claims of faculty-student abuse. The most recent interviews with former students took place at the same time the New Hampshire attorney general’s office continues its criminal investigation into the school’s handling of sexual abuse and misconduct allegations.

Deputy Attorney General Jane Young told the Monitor that the school notified the office Tuesday that Casner & Edwards was going to release a 42-page supplemental report that night, but did not provide an advanced copy. The latest report substantiates claims against 10 former St. Paul’s faculty and staff, three of whom are named for the first time, including Pook.

Recent editorials from Texas newspapers

The Associated Press

August 20, 2018

Here are selections from recent editorials in Texas newspapers:

Houston Chronicle. Aug. 20, 2018.

An international search for a Dallas priest accused of molesting three teenage boys is a stark reminder that Texas should be as concerned as other states about the child sexual abuse allegations that have shaken faith in the Catholic Church.

Father Edmundo Paredes, pastor for 27 years of St. Cecilia Catholic Church, was reported missing Sunday and suspected of fleeing to the Philippines, his native country. The Diocese of Dallas reportedly notified police in February that Paredes was suspected of abusing children, but did not let his parishioners know until Saturday.

Such delays have led to widespread condemnation of the Catholic Church's handling of child sexual abuse allegations. A Pennsylvania grand jury report last week documented abuse by 300 priests of more than 1,000 victims over a period of 70 years in that state. Most of the abusers were allowed to remain in the ministry as priests.

Priest charged with indecent assault, sending nudes to 17-year-old parishioner

Lehigh Valley Live

August 21, 2018

By Steve Novak

A 30-year-old priest is accused of sending nude photos of himself to a 17-year-old girl he met through his work at an Allentown parish.

The criminal charges come one week after the Pennsylvania attorney general released an 884-page grand jury report detailing decades of sexual abuse and coverups across six dioceses, including the Diocese of Allentown.

In a crowded news conference, Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin said the latest charges levied Tuesday are not related to the grand jury investigation.

Kevin Lonergan, of Pottsville, is charged with one count each of corruption of minors and indecent assault. He could face a maximum of nine years in prison if convicted of both counts.

A Pennsylvania university scrubs the names of three bishops from buildings after the clergy sex abuse scandal


August 21, 2018

The University of Scranton, a Jesuit university in Pennsylvania, is removing the names of three bishops from school buildings in response to an ongoing sexual abuse investigation involving several Catholic leadership figures from the state.

They are scrubbing the names of Bishops Jerome D. Hannan, J. Carroll McCormick, and James C. Timlin from campus buildings, and will also be rescinding the bishops’ honorary degrees.

Hannan, McCormick and Timlin were named in a stunning grand jury report detailing the coverup of credible sexual abuse accusations against more than 300 state priests and encompassing more than 1,000 child victims. According to the University, “these Bishops covered up the crimes and misdeeds of men who were under their jurisdiction and placed children in harm’s way.”

Knights of Columbus leader urges church reforms after abuse

The Associated Press

August 22, 2018

By Dave Collins

The leader of the world's largest Roman Catholic fraternal group is condemning clergy sex abuse and calling for reforms in the church, including a renewed commitment to celibacy by priests.

Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the New Haven, Connecticut-based Knights of Columbus, made the comments in what appeared to be an unusual letter to the group's nearly 2 million members on Tuesday.

"These sins of commission and omission have sent the Church we love, the Church we serve and the Church that Jesus Christ established into convulsions," Anderson wrote. "Sadly, the disgrace not only is borne by the perpetrators, it hurts us all, as does the silence of shepherds who have ignored the cries of their flocks."

To be sure, the Knights of Columbus hasn't been inoculated from the sex abuse scandal that's rocked the global Catholic Church in recent years.

Women as priests? Some say it's time but admit it's unlikely

The Associated Press

August 23, 2018

By David Crary

Advocates of ordaining women as Roman Catholic priests cite the church's unfolding sex abuse scandals as powerful arguments for their cause, while acknowledging the high unlikelihood of achieving their goal anytime soon.

Even with extensive grassroots support for letting women become priests, Pope Francis and the Vatican's male-dominated hierarchy have stressed repeatedly that a men-only priesthood is a divine mandate that cannot be changed.

"I don't see any movement to ordain women on the horizon, although I wish I did," said Margaret McGuinness, a religion professor at La Salle University in Philadelphia. "The people in power aren't going to look at this as a solution."

In the United States, an organized campaign advocating for female priests dates to the 1970s, and its leaders have seized on the new sex abuse scandals — in which the alleged perpetrators are male clergy — to help make their case.

The most notable scandals: allegations that ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick molested at least two minors, as well as adult seminarians, and a Pennsylvania grand jury report alleging that about 300 priests sexually abused at least 1,000 children in six dioceses since the 1940s.

L.A. district attorney reviewing second sexual assault case involving Kevin Spacey

Yahoo Celebrity

August 22, 2018

By Taryn Ryder

A new sexual assault case involving Kevin Spacey has been turned over to the Los Angeles district attorney’s office, Yahoo Entertainment has confirmed. It’s the second case in L.A. that will be reviewed involving the actor, although over a dozen men have come forward accusing Spacey of inappropriate behavior.

Specifics of the case that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department presented to the D.A.’s office Tuesday have not been made available.

In April, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department turned over a sexual assault case involving the actor to the D.A. that was ultimately rejected as the statute of limitations had expired. The incident between Spacey and an unknown adult male allegedly occurred in October 1992. Spacey is currently under investigation in the U.K. for similar alleged crimes as six men have come forward accusing him of sexual assault.

The two-time Oscar winner has disappeared from the spotlight since last year’s allegations — and it doesn’t seem like audiences are ready to embrace him anytime soon.

Simone Biles outperforming USA Gymnastics


August 22, 2018

By Ann Killion

Did you witness that beautiful story of strength and surviving? A tale that came wrapped in one of the tiniest packages in sports?

After Simone Biles’ tour-de-force performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she won four gold medals and established herself as the greatest gymnast in the world, she took almost two years off.

Last weekend, the 4-foot-8 powerhouse returned to the spotlight, sweeping all four individual events at nationals.

But in those two years, her entire world was rocked. USA Gymnastics was embroiled in a horrifying sexual-abuse scandal. Earlier this year, Biles, 21, came forward to say that she, too, had been sexually abused by team doctor Larry Nassar.

Ex-youth pastor attacked during sentencing on sex abuse plea

The Associated Press

August 22, 2018

A former youth pastor was attacked in federal court during his sentencing Wednesday on a sex abuse charge by an unknown man who lunged over the railing from the gallery.

Donald Courtney Biggs was being sentenced in U.S. District Court in Medford after admitting earlier this year to taking a 14-year-old girl on a church trip to Southern California with the intent to film her exiting the shower. Authorities previously said an investigation revealed he had hidden camera recordings involving dozens of victims.

The Mail Tribune, which was covering the hearing, said police Lt. Justin Ivens told reporters outside the courthouse that Biggs was transported to a local hospital to be checked for injuries after being punched once in the face.

Missouri victims seek wide-scale clergy abuse investigation

The Associated Press

August 22, 2018

By Jim Salter

Victims of clergy sexual abuse are calling for a wide-scale investigation of sex crime allegations against Catholic priests in Missouri, and whether the church participated in a cover-up.

One victim, a woman whose son killed himself after being abused as a teenager, and an attorney for other abuse victims spoke Wednesday outside the St. Louis office of Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley. They urged a statewide investigation similar to one in Pennsylvania that uncovered more than 1,000 cases of abuse.

David Clohessy, 61, of St. Louis, a longtime victims' rights advocate who was abused as a child, said more than 170 priests in Missouri have been accused in recent decades, but few have been convicted. He blamed prosecutors who aren't "assertive or creative enough in exposing and pursuing these wrongdoers."

August 22, 2018

Camden Diocese offers $20,000 to Cape woman amid clergy abuse claim

Press of Atlantic City

August 22, 2018

By John DeRosier

The Diocese of Camden has offered a settlement to the daughter of a man who claimed he was sexually abused by the Rev. Richard Gerbino, who in 1961 was the first pastor assigned to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Vineland.

The settlement, which was offered in April, is for $20,000 between the diocese and Annette Nestler, 54, of the Villas section of Lower Township. Nestler's father, Mike Kissell, said he was repeatedly sexually abused by Gerbino in the 1960s and died by suicide Dec. 31, 1970.

Mike Walsh, a spokesman for the diocese, confirmed the proposed deal and said settlements in general are offered by the diocese after they are vetted for credibility.

Clergy sex abuse crisis 'devastating' for the church, cardinal says

Catholic News Service

August 22, 2018

By Junno Arocho Esteves

The scandal of clergy abusing minors and vulnerable adults has overwhelmed the Catholic Church and its mission to preach the Gospel, said the Vatican secretary of state.

"It is not easy to say, because this scandal of clerical sexual abuse has really affected and continues to affect us -- everybody -- and it has a devastating effect on the life and on the witness the church is going to give to the world," said Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

In an interview Aug. 22 with the English edition of Vatican News, Parolin said the pope's visit to Ireland is a journey of hope to help the church and families in the country build a society in which children and the vulnerable are safe and secure.

During his trip to Ireland Aug. 25-26 for the World Meeting of Families, Pope Francis will meet with survivors of sexual abuse, the Vatican confirmed Aug. 21, but without disclosing the date, time or location.

The pope, Parolin said, has consistently reminded the church that "our first duty is to take care of the people who have been affected -- the victims of this tragic phenomenon," and he believes "the church in Ireland has continued its efforts to address and prevent sexual abuse."

"I believe that the church in Ireland has recognized its shortcomings, its mistakes, its sins and at the same has also provided measures that can prevent these atrocities, these horrors from being repeated," the cardinal said in a separate interview with the Italian edition of Vatican News.

The church, he added, remains close to those who suffered abuse by the clergy and is committed "to help them so they can rebuild their lives."

Cheyenne Police re-open Catholic Church sex abuse investigation

News Release/KNEP

August 21, 2018

New information has prompted Cheyenne police to reopen an investigation into allegations of abuse by a Catholic Church official in Cheyenne in the 1970's through the late 1990's.

By Wyoming statute, law enforcement can't name a suspect in the case, however, they did cite an internal investigation by the Wyoming Catholic Diocese as the reason for a new examination of the facts.

That investigation by an outside investigator found credible evidence that Bishop Emeritus Joseph Hart sexually abused two boys while in Wyoming. He served as Auxiliary Bishop of Cheyenne from 1976 through 2001.

Pennsylvania abuse report shows that the church requires dramatic change

National Catholic Reporter

August 21, 2018

By Pat Perriello

Despite my obsession with President Trump, the Pennsylvania grand jury report cries out for comment. The report conservatively tells us that 300 priests were involved in the sexual abuse of at least 1000 kids. Of course, we are not surprised — we've seen this movie before. We know about Boston. We know a bit about Ireland. We need to acknowledge that if an in-depth investigation has uncovered such activity in Pennsylvania, there is no reason to believe that the same kind of data would not be uncovered in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta or any other area of the country. There is some talk that Attorney General Brian Frosh in Maryland is being asked to conduct such an investigation.

The first thing the church must do is accept the reality that there is a problem. Yet bishops and clergy are still attempting to say that the problem was in the past and everything is OK now. Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman, notes that most incidents occurred prior to 2002. Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh says: "The Diocese of Pittsburgh today is not the church that is described in the grand jury report … we have learned from the past."

We all hope the church has learned from the past, and they do appear to be doing more to hold bishops accountable for being complicit in the scandal. What is needed, however, is a level of humility that is yet to be seen. Something is wrong at a fundamental level and the church cannot continue to conduct business as usual.

Reactions to church sex abuse report mixed as Catholics return to Mass

Times Leader

August 19, 2018

By Geri Gibbons

Former Luzerne County judge Joe Musto issued many rulings during his career, but when it comes to the recent scandal regarding Catholic clergy, he is reluctant to judge.

And, he is adamant that details of abuse alleged in the grand jury report released Tuesday will not shake his faith in God or the church.

“I believe priests are human, and we all have to keep them in our prayers,” he said as he made his way out of St. John the Evangelist Church following Sunday Mass. “We are a people that believe in forgiveness.”

Musto’s wife, Fortunata Musto, shares her husband’s deep faith, but she’s angry that the Catholic Church would allow children to be abused, while defending priests charged to protect them.

Kansas City attorney says sexual abuse inside the catholic church is happening in our area


August 20, 2018

Her clients are calling for an investigation

More people are calling for a high-ranking Cardinal in the Catholic Church to resign.

A grand jury report accuses Cardinal Donald Wuerl of protecting priests who abused children while he was Bishop of Pittsburgh.

He’s accused of allowing accused priests to be reassigned or reinstated.

In a statement, Wuerl denies any wrongdoing and says he has no plans to step down.

In a public letter, Pope Francis says the church must acknowledge and condemn abuse adding, “We showed no care for little ones…we abandoned them.”

Cardinal O’Malley: ‘I accept responsibility’ for aide not showing me letter accusing colleague of abuse

Boston Herald

August 21, 2018

By Jules Crittenden

Sean Cardinal O’Malley, facing accusations of ignoring a priest’s letter that warned him three years ago about an allegedly predatory fellow cardinal, yesterday issued a statement saying it was an oversight by his secretary.

Ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, 88, was stripped of his title in June after the Vatican found sex abuse allegations against him to be credible.

“In June of 2015 Rev. Boniface Ramsey sent a letter that was received at my office at the Archdiocese of Boston’s Pastoral Center. Rev. Robert Kickham, my Priest Secretary, received the letter on my behalf, as he does much of the correspondence that comes to my office at the Pastoral Center,” O’Malley wrote in a statement released by the Archdiocese of Boston yesterday.

Opinion: In revealing Catholic Church sex abuse, we can thank the law - and not the Men of God

The Philadelphia Inquirer

August 20, 2018

By Maria Panaritis

Thank God for church records. For they shall guide us all toward truth.

Thank God for the criminal investigators and prosecutors.

Thank God for the grand jury subpoenas. For they extracted - like rotting teeth - clergy-abuse personnel files in unreachable corners of six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses serving 1.7 million people.

Thank God for the courage of the victims. For without them, Attorney General Josh Shapiro and his team would have had no real cause to root out and unveil decades of depravity and systemic abuse by clergy, overseen by complicit superiors.

Bishop Morlino’s abuse response showcases the church’s true problem: Itself

The Cap Times

August 21, 2018

By Andrew L. Seidel

Blame the gays. That appears to be the strategy of Bishop Robert Morlino of the Diocese of Madison, who penned a letter to his flock. “Until recently, the problems of the church have been painted purely as problems of pedophilia, this despite clear evidence to the contrary,” wrote Morlino, essentially arguing that homosexuality, not priests preying on children, was the problem: “There is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord.”

This is a disgusting attempt to paint LGBTQ Americans, who have made great strides toward acceptance and equality despite the best efforts of the Catholic Church, as “disordered,” “deviant,” and “ in violation of the natural moral law.” As the tidal wave of this scandal again crashes down on his church, Morlino is trying to shift the blame.

Morlino is wrong. There is not now, nor has there ever been, a link between homosexuality and pedophilia. This myth, bred of ignorance, has been debunked countless times. For those of us who dwell in the world of facts and reality, the research is clear: Most sexual abuse is committed by heterosexual males.

Action needed from Francis, not pious words

La Croix

August 22, 2018

By Virginia Saldanha

Pope's letter on sexual abuse is welcome but victims deserve stern measures to stop this evil

While the People of God across the globe thank Pope Francis for finally expressing himself in his Aug. 20 letter on the issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, many feel it brings little comfort.

Many pious platitudes have already been expressed toward survivors of abuse, but it has not brought about any change in their reality because many abusers continue to be clerics. Sadly, the pope's letter does not say anything concrete about actions to make bishops accountable.

We have heard of commitments to put policies in place, but to date nothing seems to have worked.

She accused a Mishawaka priest of sexual abuse. She got Bishop Rhoades' attention.

South Bend Tribune

August 22, 2018

By Caleb Bauer

When Bishop Kevin Rhoades announced his plan to release names of priests in the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese accused of abuse, he said the revelations of rampant abuse in Pennsylvania weren’t the only factor in his decision.

He also credited a woman who had reported sexual abuse to the diocese — and had urged him to release the name of her abuser.

“I was so conflicted,” Rhoades said at a news conference Friday. “She was asking me to release the name. So to be honest, this whole issue of releasing names is something that even before the Pennsylvania grand jury report I’ve been considering.”

Carolyn Andrzejewski-Wilson watched the live broadcast of the news conference on her computer at her North Carolina home. She knew Rhoades was talking about her.

Almost two years ago, the former Mishawaka resident met with Rhoades to relay her story about abuse at the hands of the Rev. Elden Miller, a former priest at St. Joseph Church and Queen of Peace Church in Mishawaka.

How The Catholic Church Trains Its Own About Abuse


August 18, 2018

By Jennifer Ludden

Length: 7:22


How does the Catholic Church prepare its seminarians to deal with questions of sexual abuse and celibacy? NPR's Jennifer Ludden talks to Paul Blaschko, who attended seminary from 2008 until 2011.


This week, a grand jury report found hundreds of Catholic priests in Pennsylvania abused more than 1,000 children over a period of 70 years. The Vatican released a strongly worded statement condemning the behavior of the clergymen and the system that enabled them to act with impunity. But this is just the latest episode in a scandal that stretches across the U.S. and around the world. We wondered. How does the Roman Catholic Church prepare its men in seminary to deal with such cases of abuse? And what training does it provide on issues of celibacy, sexuality and ethics? Paul Blaschko attended the St. John Vianney College Seminary at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota from 2008 to 2011. He wrote about his experience there for the magazine Commonweal. I asked him about his first exposure to this type of training.

PAUL BLASCHKO: One of the workshops that was put on during my first year there was a workshop that was called the Freedom And Victory Workshop. It was put on by an outside organization. You know, we started off by having kind of an open mic, where seminarians were encouraged to get up in front of like a hundred of their peers and kind of detail past indiscretions and their sexual history or things that they currently struggled with sexually. And that sort of gave me the wrong vibe from the outset. But I became even more concerned when I attended one particular session. It was called Discerning Psycho-Spiritual Dynamics In Sexual Compulsion. And at the outset, we were given a list of the names of particular demons and the ways in which they were supposed to try to influence priests, in particular, to behave in sexually immoral ways. And things really got weird when we participated in this - what they called a group psycho-drama. And each of us were assigned the names of one of these demons. And we were supposed to, like, act out this role and tempt, like, one of the other role-playing seminarians into, you know, sexual immorality. And it was just very bizarre and kind of disturbing.

Wichita priest addresses sexual abuse allegations in Sunday sermon


August 21, 2018

A Wichita priest issued his congregation a message of hope following recent abuse allegations against Catholic church leaders around the country.

"I ask for your forgiveness on behalf of the church to know my own sorrow and how I am sorry this has happened," said Fr. Drew Heiman Sunday morning.

The priest at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church addressed a topic that many in the faith have shied away from.

"It is a great sadness because there have been priests, there have been bishops who have prevented people from coming to Jesus through these very abuses," said Fr. Drew during his homily.

The church taped the sermon and posted it on its Facebook page.

'Your faith is shaken.' Pittsburgh Catholics react to report detailing sexual abuse by clergy


August 20, 2018

By Dakin Andone, Sarah Jorgensen and Polo Sandoval

St. Paul's Cathedral in Pittsburgh was about half-full at 8 a.m. mass on Sunday morning when Rev. Kris Stubna stepped up to the altar to deliver his homily.

"These have been very painful and difficult days for all of us in the church," Stubna said.
Stubna was addressing the elephant in the room: a grand jury report released earlier this week that accused more than 300 Catholic "predator priests" of abusing more than 1,000 children over the past 70 years in six Pennsylvania dioceses. The report's findings contributed to a growing international scandal over sexual abuse in the church, with incidents reported in the United States, Ireland, Australia and Chile, among others.

Rick Santorum blasts Catholic church's 'deplorable' response to sex abuse scandal

Washington Examiner

August 21, 2018

By Pete Kasperowicz

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., ripped the Catholic church on Tuesday for what he said was its weak response to a report that found priests in Pennsylvania were involved in the sexual abuse of at least 1,000 children.

"It is beyond disgusting, and the church's response to it is deplorable on every level," Santorum said on CNN.

"The fact that there has to be an outside probe like this from a grand jury to expose what the church should have exposed itself..." he said. "You talk about failing children ... that it takes a government agency to do the job that the church should be doing from the very beginning, which is protecting its flock, and weeding itself out."

A New Kind of Catholic Emerges Out of the Church's Tainted Shadow Following Pennsylvania Sex Abuse Report

NBC Philadelphia

August 20, 2018

By Alicia Victoria Lozano

For many Roman Catholics, separating their religious faith from the governing organization has been a daily practice long before a Pennsylvania grand jury documented decades of sexual abuse by hundreds of clergy members

A new generation of Catholics is stepping outside the church's tainted shadow and creating a modern community that, they say, better reflects the world today.

This new generation of believers worship outside the confines of an antiquated and draconian institution that is out to protect itself, they say. This has been a daily practice for many long before a Pennsylvania grand jury report exposed decades of sexual abuse by hundreds of clergy members throughout the state.

“We’ve always had an antagonistic or non-relationship with the bishops,” Michael Rocks, president of Dignity Philadelphia, said. “We don’t trust them to police themselves.”

Baton Rouge Catholic leaders address 'spiritual crisis in our church' after latest sex abuse scandal

The Advocate

August 19, 2018

By Lea Skene

Less than a week after news of the latest Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, leaders of the Baton Rouge Diocese addressed what they described as "a spiritual crisis in our church."

A Pennsylvania grand jury report released Tuesday — referencing more than 300 "predator priests" and more than 1,000 child victims within that state alone — found that church leaders covered up several decades of sexual abuse, often adhering to a series of common practices that reads "like a playbook for concealing the truth."

"Our shame is intensified by the sometimes failure of church leadership to hold abusers accountable," Bishop Emeritus Robert Muench said during Sunday morning Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Baton Rouge. "These recent news reports have revealed a mishandling of reported allegations (and) a covering up of sinful actions. … Understandably there are concerns about how prolific such abuses have been throughout the (Catholic) Church throughout the years."

Muench quoted Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who pointed to "the failure of episcopal leadership" that left "scores of beloved children of God … to face an abuse of power alone."

Evangelicals confront sex abuse problems in #MeToo era

The Associated Press

August 17, 2018

By David Crary

As the Catholic Church struggles with a new wave of clergy abuse cases, several prominent evangelical institutions have been rocked in recent weeks by their own sexual misconduct allegations against pastors and church leaders who exploited the trust they had gained from faithful churchgoers.

In many ways, the phenomenon at evangelical denominations is an offshoot of the #MeToo movement, as evidenced by the #ChurchToo hashtag accompanying accounts of church-related abuse that have been shared on Twitter.

The victims are coming forward to expose abuse in the Protestant evangelical world where some say the misdeeds have been just as pervasive, though less publicized, as the acts committed by Catholic clergy.

“I really believe churches need to enter into a season of lament, acknowledging decades of failure to understand, address and confront these horrors,” said Boz Tchividjian, a grandson of evangelist Billy Graham who heads GRACE, a ministry working to combat sexual abuse in churches.

Mexican cardinal says abuse victims should think about skeletons in their own closet


August 21, 2018

By Inés San Martín

Swimming against the tide of promises to crack down on abuse and cover-up led by Pope Francis, a newly created Mexican cardinal said that some accusers should be “ashamed” to point their finger at clerics because many of them have skeletons in their own closets.

The victims of pedophilia who “accuse men of the Church should [be careful] because they have long tails that are easily stepped on,” said Cardinal Sergio Obeso Rivera.

The cardinal, emeritus Archbishop of Xalapa, in Veracruz, Mexico, spoke to journalists before a celebration he led in his former diocese.

Sex abuse in US churches is a stain on America’s human rights record, and China should point that out

South China Morning Post

August 20, 2018

By Robert Delaney

Robert Delaney says such a move wouldn’t excuse Beijing from its own human rights transgressions, but it might pressure the US to confront the culture of abuse and cover-up in its Catholic churches and most devout religious communities

The Chinese government is regularly subjected to charges of human rights abuses. The latest came earlier this month in the form of accusations by a UN human rights panel that 1 million ethnic Uygurs in China were being held in what resembles a “massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy”.

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China rejected the report’s findings last week, insisting that freedom of religion in Xinjiang is protected. The issue will not end here, though. Scrutiny of the way China treats Uygurs will continue, as it should, as will similar inquiries into the rights of Tibetans and other groups in the country that have challenged the central government.

But, last week, Beijing got a new counterargument against the US, if the foreign ministry chooses to use it against critics there, in the form of a 900-page report by a grand jury in Pennsylvania. The report unveiled the systematic abuse of more than 1,000 children by “predator priests” in the state over a period of 70 years.

At first glance, you might point out that judicial bodies in the US are publicising the abuse, and therefore conclude that America is doing the right thing.

But that conclusion would overlook several facts.

Baltimore Catholic school teacher under investigation for alleged sexual abuse of minor in '80s

The Baltimore Sun

August 22, 2018

By Yvonne Wenger and Christina Tkacik

A former longtime teacher at a Baltimore Catholic school is under investigation for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor in the mid-1980s, according to the Xaverian Brothers.

The lay order of brothers has removed Brother Robert Flaherty from ministry while an investigation by the State’s Attorney’s Office is ongoing, according to a statement by Brother Edward Driscoll, the congregation’s general superior. Flaherty was a teacher at Mount St. Joseph from 1972 to 1993 and from 2008 to 2010.

Flaherty was suspended last week from his teaching job at St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, Mass., where he worked from 1999 to 2007 and again beginning in 2010.

Xaverian Brothers sponsor both the Southwest Baltimore and Massachusetts school.

Detectives from the Baltimore police’s special investigation section opened an investigation in April into an allegation of abuse, according to police spokesman Detective Jeremy Silbert.

A spokeswoman for the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office did not immediately provide comment.

Archbishop tells faithful abuse scandals have damaged trust in church’s teaching

Irish Examiner

August 22, 2018

Clerical sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church have led some to feel they can no longer trust the church’s message, Archbishop Eamon Martin has said.

Mr Martin said the church faced a challenge in finding new ways of communicating “sincerely held perspectives” about the family.

The Archbishop of Armagh made the comments at the World Meeting of Families event in Dublin on Wednesday.

Papal visit: Number of children abused by priests ‘immense’, says archbishop

Irish Examiner

August 22, 2018

Latest: The Archbishop of Dublin has said the number of children abused by priests in Ireland is “immense” and called for an easier judicial system for victims giving evidence in court.

Speaking on the second day of the World Meeting of Families (WMOF), Diarmuid Martin said the number of prosecutions of clerical abuse is “very low”.

It comes days after Pope Francis condemned the “atrocities” of child sex abuse and cover-ups by the clergy in an open letter.

The pontiff arrives in Ireland on Saturday as part of the WMOF event in Dublin, and will meet victims of clerical sex abuse during his visit.

Embattled Catholic leader cancels Utah visit as church continues to struggle with clergy sexual abuse

Deseret News

August 20, 2018

By Kelsey Dallas

Amid ongoing fallout from a new report on sexual abuse by clergy, an embattled Catholic leader has cancelled plans to come to Utah next month.

Cardinal Roger Mahony, who led the Archdiocese of Los Angeles from 1985 to 2011, was previously accused of covering up sexual abuse allegations against more than 45 priests. He was supposed to appear at an annual fundraiser for the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City on Sept. 6.

"Please note, Cardinal (Mahony) will not be attending the annual Bishop's Dinner for the Cathedral of the Madeleine," the diocese announced Monday night on Twitter.

Catholics around the world are reeling from a grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania, which was released last week. It highlighted allegations by more than 1,000 victims, implicating around 300 priests and condemning others for being more interested in protecting the church's reputation than children.

"With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them," Pope Francis said in a statement released Monday.

Catholics in Allentown grapple with clergy abuse report and their church’s response


August 19, 2018

By Shai Ben-Yaacov

Several hundred parishioners filled the bright and colorful sanctuary at the Cathedral Church of St. Catharine of Siena in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for Sunday morning mass. It was a worship service like any other, until Monsignor Francis Schoenauer produced a small red folder, opened it, and started reading from a letter. The congregation was expecting this moment, and all eyes were on Schoenauer as he spoke the words of his superior, Allentown Bishop Alfred Schlert.

It was a scene that played out in churches across the Diocese of Allentown this weekend. Schlert’s letter, addressed directly to parishioners, is a response to the Pennsylvania grand jury report released Tuesday detailing years of alleged sexual abuse of children by hundreds of priests across six of the state’s eight dioceses, including Allentown.

The long-awaited report named 37 “predator priests” in the diocese, which put out its own list the same day including 15 additional names of priests “credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.”

Real change against abuse starts with church's clergy/lay structure

National Catholic Reporter

August 21, 2018

By Mary E. Hunt

Clericalism is key issue, but problem lies within Catholicism's foundation

Theodore McCarrick's alleged flagrant and repeated abuse of power over those in his employ (not forgetting his abuse of a minor, but focusing on the workplace cases for the moment) raises the specter of clericalism and begs change.

Theologian Fr. Bryan Massingale agrees with Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich that a sense of entitlement prevailing among some ordained men could be conducive of exploitative behavior. Both agree that the issue is not whether the men are gay or straight (or, I would add, something beyond that binary), but that they have, by reason of their clerical status, access to privilege and power within the ecclesial community that can insulate them from accountability.

Massingale and Cupich cite clericalism as the problem. I concur to an extent, but I think the problem is deeper, indeed foundational, rooted in the very bifurcation of clergy and laity that grounds the Roman Catholic institution.

This clergy/lay, top-down structure conditions relationships and functions in the church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says ordination "confers an indelible spiritual character" on a priest that "cannot be "repeated or conferred temporarily" and "mark[s] him permanently" (1583). A priest is seen as ontologically different from a layperson. His place in the hierarchical structure reflects this difference. His roles as a sacramental presider and as a decision-maker are contingent on it.

Bring in mandatory reporting for abuse, Varadkar tells church

The Irish Times

August 21, 2018

By Jack Power

Vatican should adopt ‘best practice’ on abuse reporting to authorities, Taoiseach says

The Catholic Church should introduce mandatory reporting for clerical sex abuse, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said.

Speaking on Tuesday, Mr Varadkar said Pope Francis’ letter on Monday apologising to the victims of clerical abuse needed to “be followed up by actions”.

“Among the things that we have done in Ireland is to bring in mandatory reporting. As of last year it is mandatory for people to report child sex abuse, or sex abuse if they are aware of that,” he said.

“Perhaps that is something the church and other institutions might consider implementing? Just because it is not the law in every country does not mean it is not the right thing to do,” Mr Varadkar said.

Fort Wayne-South Bend bishop says he will release list of names of priests accused of sex abuse

Indianapolis Star

August 17, 2018

A Catholic bishop in Indiana announced Friday that he will release a list of names of priests in his territory who've been credibly accused of sex abuse following this week's Pennsylvania report accusing more than 300 clergy of similar acts against 1,000 children.

The Rev. Kevin Rhoades, bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese, made the announcement in a news conference and called the decision a response to a Pennsylvania grand jury report released Tuesday.

"As we’ve seen in Pennsylvania, this report and the listing of abusers has prompted new victims to come forward," according a transcript of Rhoades' announcement Friday. "Whether it’s now or following the posting of our list, I want the people of Fort Wayne and South Bend to know this."

The Pennsylvania report describes Rhoades, who was bishop of the Harrisburg, Pa., Diocese from 2004-2010, as resisting disclosure of abuse-allegation details against two now-deceased priests, though he alerted prosecutors and church officials to sexual abuse complaints against the pair.

How would a female pope handle the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal?

Los Angeles Times

August 22, 2018

To the editor: The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church expressing “shame and sorrow” over sexual abuse by priests is similar to the expression of “thoughts and prayers” in response to mass killings. Significant actions are necessary, even if they will not erase the stain of the abuses that have occurred.

The church, like many other religious denominations, has a history of male privilege. It is past time for the church to demonstrate that males and females are viewed as equal and allow women to fulfill leadership positions at every level of the denomination, including the papacy.

This tangible action, while not diminishing the pain suffered by victims, would announce to the world that the Catholic hierarchy is willing to end a serious problem. Significant actions are necessary for progress.

Karl Strandberg, Long Beach

A priest fathered a child with a teen. He then worked at a Florida church for 6 years

Miami Herald

August 21, 2018

By Jessica De Leon

Six of the more than 300 priests who a Pennsylvania grand jury said sexually abused more than 1,000 children had ties to the Diocese of Venice, according to the diocese. They include a priest who fathered a child with an underage girl, before working for six years at a parish in Palmetto.

The revelations came last week, following the release of a grand jury report concluding that more than 1,000 children, mostly boys, had been abused by priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses and that there was a systematic cover-up by church officials in efforts to avoid bad publicity and financial liability.

One of the priests with local ties, Rev. Robert Brague, was the assistant pastor at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Palmetto from 1991 to 1997. He had moved to Florida after impregnating a teenage girl in Pennsylvania, according to the grand jury report.

Portland archbishop: Sex abuse by priests an 'institutional and spiritual' failure

The Oregonian/OregonLive

August 21, 2018

By Elliot Njus

The leader of the Archdiocese of Portland on Monday said he was shocked and discouraged over recent revelations of child sex abuse by priests and the subsequent cover-ups by church leaders.

In his first public comments since a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed decades of abuse at the hands of 300 Roman Catholic priests in that state, Archbishop Alexander K. Sample apologized for harm done to the victims of abuse and called the latest allegations evidence of an "institutional and spiritual" failure.

His written statement also addressed the July resignation of prominent former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who served as archbishop of Washington, D.C. McCarrick faces allegations of sexually abusing a child nearly five decades ago as a New York priest. McCarrick, the first cardinal in history to step down in connection with the unfolding sexual abuse scandal, denies the allegations.

Portland's archdiocese was driven to bankruptcy in 2004 after settling more than 100 claims of abuse at the hands of clergy and facing dozens more. It was the first Catholic diocese to file for bankruptcy over child sex abuse claims.

St. Paul’s report details 21 additional victims of sexual assault

Concord Monitor

August 22, 2018

By Alyssa Dandrea

St. Paul’s School released Tuesday details of sexual misconduct allegations against 10 former faculty and staff – three who were previously unnamed – and interviews with 21 additional victims who have come forward in the past nine months.

The 42-page report released Tuesday evening is the second supplement to a larger report released by the Concord prep school since May 2017. The initial report substantiated claims against at least 13 former faculty members between 1948 and 1988, while the two supplemental reports include new names and additional allegations as recent as a decade ago.

The release of the new supplement comes just days after ex-St. Paul’s teacher David Pook was sentenced to four months in jail for conspiring with a former student to lie to a grand jury about their relationship. Pook, who taught at St. Paul’s from 2000-08, is one of the four former St. Paul’s employees not previously identified in the prior reports from Boston-based law firm Casner & Edwards.

Also identified is late Massachusetts congressman Gerry Studds, who is front and center in a civil lawsuit brought by two alumni against the school in May. Studds – who taught history, politics and government at St. Paul’s from 1965-69 – was censured in 1983 for sexual misconduct with a 17-year-old congressional page a decade earlier. Alumni have questioned since the May 2017 report why Studds was not named from the outset.

US not alone in grappling with Catholic sex abuse, cover-up

The Associated Press

August 22, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

Recent revelations of sexual misconduct and cover-up within the highest ranks of the U.S. Catholic Church have revived the sense of betrayal that devastated the American church's credibility after the first wave of scandal hit in 2002.

But the United States is by no means alone: Cases of Catholic priests raping and molesting children, and of bishops covering up for them, have erupted on nearly every continent in recent years, with Pope Francis' native Latin America the latest to explode.

Francis is expected to address the issue head-on this weekend when he visits Ireland, the first country to come to grips with the problem in the 1990s.

Sex abuse ignored in church with David Clohessy

Radio Sputnik

August 22, 2018

Sex abuse in the church was long ignored, kept quiet or silenced.

This is what Pope Francis wrote in a letter to all Catholics.

In the letter, the Pope admitted that the church failed to recognize the scale of the damage.

His statement came in response to fresh reports of large-scale clerical sexual abuse of minors in Pennsylvania.

Radio Sputnik discussed this with David Clohessy, former executive director of SNAP – the Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests.

Couple sues Springfield-Cape Girardeau Catholic diocese over abuse

The Associated Press

August 20, 2018

A couple claims in a lawsuit that a former top lay official in the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Catholic diocese emotionally and sexually abused the woman, and the diocese did not intervene.

The lawsuit was filed last week against the diocese and Troy Casteel, the diocese’s former director of family ministry.

Employee arrested after downloading child porn at church in St. Cloud, deputies say

Orlando Sentinel

August 21, 2018

By David Harris

An employee at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in St. Cloud was arrested Tuesday after he admitted to using the church's WiFi to download child pornography, the Osceola County Sheriff's Office said.

Mark Dewayne Cook was fired from his position as operations manager for the church and school, the Diocese of Orlando said in a statement. Cook responsible for the business administration of the church did not work directly with “vulnerable populations,” the statement said.

Church officials are cooperating with the investigation, said Carol Brinati, chief operating officer and chancellor for the diocese.

Officials: Church employee embezzled more than $400,000

The Associated Press

August 21, 2018

The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph says a longtime employee at a Blue Springs church embezzled $446,000 during the past several years.

The diocese said Tuesday the woman worked at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church for decades but the embezzlement occurred over the last seven years. Diocese spokesman Jack Smith says the woman agreed to repay the money within 60 days after she was confronted last week. The diocese didn't name the employee.

Northwestern Indiana priest attacked; clergy sex abuse cited

The Associated Press

August 21, 2018

Police in northwest Indiana say an attack on a Catholic priest has been forwarded to the FBI as a possible hate crime because the assailant referred to reports of clergy sex abuse involving children.

Merrillville Detective Cmdr. Jeff Rice says the Rev. Basil John Hutsko was assaulted Monday morning at St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church. Rice says the 64-year-old priest was taken to a hospital for treatment. His condition was unknown Tuesday.

Pope Francis issued a letter Monday condemning priestly sexual abuse and its cover-up. Also, a Pennsylvania grand jury last week reported about 300 priests abused at least 1,000 children over the past 70 years.

Hutsko isn't named in the report.

‘This is for all the kids!’ he yelled as he choked a priest at the altar, Catholic officials say

The Charlotte Observer

August 22, 2018

By Lisa Gutierrez

A Catholic priest in Indiana was attacked in his church Monday morning by a man he heard yelling, “This is for all the kids!” church officials said.

The Rev. Basil Hutsko was left unconscious for about 15 minutes after the attack at St. Michael Byzantine Church in Merrillville, Indiana, the Rev. Thomas Loya told WGN in Chicago.

Hutsko said “the attacker grabbed him, choked him and threw him to the ground and knocked him unconscious,” Loya told WGN. “He was wearing gloves. Father Basil does not know who it was, but while he was attacking him, he heard the attacker say, ‘This is for all the kids!’”

Loya said Hutsko believes that was a reference to the recently revealed findings of a two-year grand jury investigation that found Roman Catholic Church leaders in Pennsylvania covered up cases of child sex abuse by priests over several decades.

Abuse scandal makes it clear: Cardinal Wuerl needs to resign

The Washington Post

August 22, 2018

By Hugh Hewitt

The demands that Cardinal Donald Wuerl be dismissed as archbishop of Washington and resign from the Catholic Church's College of Cardinals are proportionate in their degree of outrage with their degree of disappointment with the failed priest.

Thanks to a Pennsylvania grand jury, we now know of the evil that took place during his time as bishop of Pittsburgh. Wuerl's diocese included the coverup of an alleged priest-run child porn ring, including priests who would reportedly mark victims for other predators via a gold cross. If that isn't satanic, then the word defines nothing.

And Wuerl covered up that ring. And dozens of other cases. And he allowed predators to feel free to move around the country provided they didn't endanger his career. Did Cardinal Theodore McCarrick support Wuerl as his successor in Washington confident of the latter's ability to keep the ugliest sins under the carpet? It would not surprise.

Indeed, nothing surprises anymore. Those of us in the Catholic community who gave the church a second and even a third chance are disgusted. There was a 2002 "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" put out by U.S. bishops. There was "A Report on the Crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States" put out in February 2004. Upon its release, the church-appointed lay review board that wrote the report held a big event at the National Press Club. I went. I wanted to hear in person that change had come.

Ahead of pope's visit, a giant drive-through confession booth is installed in Dublin

Washington Post

August 21, 2018

By Siobhan O'Gracy

No pope has visited Ireland since 1979, when millions of faithful Catholics came out to see Pope John Paul II. Around a million people turned out for a public papal Mass during that trip, and a 116-foot-tall steel cross was erected in Dublin's Phoenix Park for the occasion.

Now, with Pope Francis scheduled to visit Ireland this weekend, some pranksters have built a different kind of massive structure to welcome him: a drive-through confessional close to the same park, where Francis will celebrate Mass this weekend.

Confession, or penance, is one of Catholicism's most important acts, in which Catholics confidentially admit their sins to a priest to seek forgiveness. Paddy Power, an Irish bookmaker known for staging elaborate and sometimes controversial stunts, is trying to speed up the process of escaping eternal damnation with the drive-through confessions.

"Ireland has changed a lot since the last Pope's visit - gay marriage is legal, we've repealed the Eighth Amendment, and even secretly cheered for England in the World Cup," a spokesperson for Paddy Power told The Sun. "With decades worth of sins clocked up since then, we're providing a convenient means to complete your contrition with your keys still in the ignition."

A promotional video for the gaudy confession booth describes it as the "ultimate drive-in confession booth before the big man gets here."

Ampleforth and Downside (English Benedictine Congregation case study) Investigation Report August 2018

Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse

August 2018

A report of the Inquiry Panel: Professor Alexis Jay OBE, Professor Sir Malcolm Evans KCMG OBE, Ivor Frank, and Drusilla Sharpling CBE

English Benedictine Congregation case study.

Why the bishops should welcome invitation to resign

National Catholic Reporter

August 21, 2018

By Bill Mitchell

Public act of penance and sorrow is necessary for healing and reform to begin, petitioners say

During a listening session after the 6 p.m. Mass on Sunday, our pastor, Paulist Fr. Michael McGarry, offered what seemed like a pretty radical suggestion.

Listing several possible reactions that Catholics might have to the latest outrages in the clergy sexual abuse scandal, he said he'd be especially heartbroken if people became so repulsed by the institution that they'd lose their focus on the teachings of Jesus.

"Follow your conscience," he urged us. If you feel like you no longer want anything to do with the Catholic Church, he said, please find some way of staying connected to a gathering of followers of Jesus.

If that means joining the ranks of an Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Evangelical or other Christian church, he urged us to go for it. "We'd miss you around here," he added, "but just don't give up following Jesus."

He raised this idea not in "love it or leave it" fashion, but as a genuine alternative for disaffected Catholics tempted to walk away from participation in a church of any sort.

The thought has crossed my mind, and I appreciate Mike's focus on what really matters.

But I find myself aligned, instead, with the conclusion that my wife, Carol, articulated as we made our way home from the hour-long listening session.

"I'm too stubborn to leave," she said. "I'm just not going to let them take my church away from me."

By "them," of course, she was referring to the leaders of the Catholic Church in the United States, the 456 active and retired bishops who have so utterly failed to hold themselves accountable for the scandal that has brought the church to its knees.

We showed up at the listening session the day after signing the statement* hosted by Daily Theology calling on all U.S. bishops to submit their resignations to Pope Francis, just as all of Chile's 34 bishops have done.

As Pope Francis Prepares To Meet Sex Abuse Victims, Letter Asking All U.S. Bishops To Resign Garners 3,500 Signatures


August 21, 2018

By Maria Garcia, Eve Zuckoff, and Paris Alston

Length: 21:24

Cardinal Sean O'Malley is apologizing for how his office handled a 2015 letter that raised concerns about sexual abuse by another American cardinal.

This follows Pope Francis' letter Monday condemning sexual misconduct and coverups of abuse by clergy, in light of a scathing grand jury report detailing decades of abuse of more than 1,000 children by hundreds of priests in Pennsylvania.

But some Catholic theologians, educators, parishoners and leaders in the U.S. are going a step further: They've written a letter calling on all Catholic bishops in the U.S. to resign, which they plan to submit to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) tomorrow at midnight. So far, the letter has garnered more than 3,500 signatures.

David Clohessy was a friend when I needed one

Catholic Life Ministries

Originally published February 19, 2017

By Robert Fontana

David Clohessy, the executive director of the Survivors Network of People Abused by Priests (SNAP), resigned from his position in December. He is pictured here presenting an award to me as the SNAP Lay Person of the Year, 2012. In January, David was named in a lawsuit which claims that, in exchange for “kickbacks,” he provided names of potential clients to attorneys who were suing the Catholic Church. David acknowledges accepting donations for SNAP from lawyers who have sued the Catholic Church, but he denies ever accepting any money for exchange of client information. Lori and I believe David.

We are sad to see David leave SNAP. Catholic leaders have NEVER VOLUNTARILY TOLD THE TRUTH about sex abuse in the church. The truth was pulled, pushed, and prodded out of them by survivors of sex abuse through public rallies, lawsuits, and media exposure.

David and the survivors community have been like the little shepherd boy with a slingshot and a stone, fighting the giant Goliath Catholic hierarchy, with its deep financial pockets, and a worldwide network of sympathetic government and civic leaders. In truth, David is one of the best friends the Catholic Church has because his work is calling the Church back to its foundational principles: to live by truth which sets one free, and to protect the weak and the vulnerable, especially children.

Catholic bishops need public act of penance | Opinion

Commercial Appeal

August 21, 2018

By Jennie Davidson Latta,

Editor's Note: Jennie Davidson Latta, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge and Catholic parishioner in Memphis, sent this letter to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is republished here with her permission.

Dear Bishops,

While I am encouraged by the plan announced by Cardinal DiNardo and the other bishops of the United States to address the latest scandals and crimes of the clergy of the United States, I believe that one key component is missing. What is needed is a public act of penance on the part of our bishops.

I have not joined the numerous theologians, teachers, and parents who have called for mass resignations. I fear that would be meaningless. Instead, I think that what is needed is a public penance service at which the bishops of the United States appear without miters, or croziers, or other symbols of office.

We have a rite for that purpose. We lay people are encouraged to use it at least twice each year. I think that it would do us all good to see our bishops kneeling, in sackcloth and ashes or their modern equivalent, beating their breasts, and loudly proclaiming, "Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa."

This should be a corporate action to acknowledge the corporate and systemic nature of the sinfulness that allowed predators to be protected rather than children. I do not assume that every living bishop has individually participated in such a cover-up. But every living bishop has inherited the system of clericalism and cronyism that permitted it to happen.

SHIELDS: A church lacking sympathy


August 22, 2018

By Mark Shields

I can testify from a lifetime of personal experience that practice does not really make perfect. Since the presidency of Harry Truman, during which I had the honor of being the youngest altar boy in St. Francis Xavier Parish to serve the standing-room-only midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, I have been a practicing and manifestly imperfect Catholic.

After the recent Pennsylvania grand jury report on sexual abuse, which tells of more than 1,000 victims enduring criminal cruelty at the hands of some 300 Catholic priests, I am consumed with anger toward my church. Of course, I am also sad, but I remain even more furious toward my church’s hierarchy and its rush not to console the anguish of and heal the wounds of the vulnerable victims but rather to lead a systematic cover-up of priests’ crimes against defenseless children to protect the institutional church from legal liability and deserved public outrage.

Mostly missing from the church’s reaction was human sympathy. Absent was any trace of Pope Francis’ call for the Roman Catholic Church to become a “field hospital after battle” to first take care of those suffering. The clerical leadership’s reaction was instead to turn the crimes and the crisis over to the lawyers and the public relations people, to retreat to a circle of silence. I am angry.

Such bad and indefensible decisions have repeatedly been made in secret rooms where the counsel and wisdom of parents, especially mothers, is neither sought nor welcome. By repeating this pattern of behavior first seen in the Boston Archdiocese in 2002, the hierarchy has provided persuasive ammunition to the church’s opponents and critics, neglected the hurting, and failed the faithful.

Pennsylvania priest faces charges as sex abuse fallout grows

The Associated Press

August 21, 2018

By Marc Levy

A Roman Catholic priest was charged on Tuesday with groping a 17-year-old girl and sending her nude images of himself, just a week after a grand jury reported the church had covered up decades of child molestation by priests across the state.

The charges of felony corruption of minors and misdemeanor indecent assault against 30-year-old Kevin Lonergan were not a result of the landmark grand jury investigation but stemmed from a complaint filed in June, after the grand jury had finished its work, authorities said.

This is at least the second case of possible priest abuse being investigated in the Allentown Diocese since the grand jury finished its report, which identified 301 "predator priests" in a half-dozen Pennsylvania dioceses, including 37 in Allentown, going back to the 1940s.

Authorities have charged just two priests as a result of the grand jury investigation, including a priest who has since pleaded guilty.

But because of time limits in state law on the prosecution of old cases, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said those two were the only priests named in the report that his office could charge. Some of those named were prosecuted years ago, and more than 100 are dead.