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July 31, 2020

Fiji Catholic Church leaders meet to address sex abuse claims


July 31, 2020

The head of Fiji's Catholic Church has met with leaders in the Archdiocese of Suva to address, what he says, are the recent allegations of sexual abuse against children by its priests.

Earlier this month, a man reportedly claimed he was molested by a priest in Fiji when he was a child.

The TV New Zealand report also claimed that the NZ Catholic Church had moved certain brothers and priests - who had sexually abused children - to the Pacific including Fiji.

This week Archbishop Peter Loy Chong reiterated that the church in Fiji is committed to dealing with allegations of sexual abuse against minors by priests and religious workers.

Archbishop Chong said the church will work closely with the arms of the law to ensure that justice is served at all levels while providing pastoral care to the victims and their families.

Catholic Church Reviewing Court Decision on Damage Liability in Mount Cashel Case


July 30, 2020

The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation is reviewing a Court of Appeal ruling that found it guilty of vicarious liability for the sexual and other abuse suffered by boys at Mount Cashel from the late 40s to the early 60s.

The Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador ruled in March, 2018 that the corporation was not liable. However, the Court of Appeal has unanimously overturned parts of that ruling including the question of liability.

The Archdiocese of St. John’s says it was never responsible for the operations of the orphanage or the school at Mount Cashel, but the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador (Appeal Division) wrote that the Archdiocese provided the Brothers who were staffing Mount Cashel with the power, environment and tools to carry out their wrongdoing virtually undetected.

Archbishop Accuses Pope of Heresy Over 'Legitimization of Homosexuality'


July 30, 2020

By Aila Slisco

A Catholic Archbishop who once served as the Vatican's ambassador to the United States has accused Pope Francis of heresy for promoting the "legitimization of homosexuality."

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano is well known for his anti-gay views and has previously called for the pope to resign. In a recent interview with Italian journalist and Vatican expert Marco Tosatti, Vigano insisted that Pope Francis, who he refers to using his given name of Jorge Bergoglio, is involved with a plot to "corrupt" the church by promoting homosexuality.

Vatican official laments system of ‘dominance, submission’ for women religious


July 30, 2020

By Elise Ann Allen

Brazilian Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, the Vatican’s point man on consecrated life, has criticized what he said is a state of “dominance” that men often hold over women in the Catholic Church, and stressed the need for a deeper renewal of religious life across the board.

“In many cases, the relationship between consecrated men and women represents a sick system of relations of submission and dominance that takes away the sense of freedom and joy, a misunderstood obedience,” said Braz de Aviz in a recent interview.

Braz de Aviz is the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

Spotlight needed on abuse in women's orders, says Jesuit journal

Catholic News Service

July 30, 2020

By Carol Glatz

The abuse occurring within women's religious orders deserves more attention from the media and must be remedied, said an influential Jesuit journal.

Novices and women religious, especially those who have been assigned to a country where they don't know the language, can be particularly vulnerable to abuses of power and conscience by superiors, and sexual abuse by their formators, said an article in "La Civilta Cattolica."

"The dynamics of women's religious life turn out to be very different from that of men in many ways. The education and many pastoral opportunities of those who receive Holy Orders allow men religious to live with greater openness and autonomy," even in a religious community, said the article, written by Jesuit Father Giovanni Cucci, a professor of psychology and philosophy at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University.

Diocese Of Covington Releases Names Of Clergy Accused Of Sexual Assult


July 31, 2020

By Jennifer Merritt

The Diocese of Covington on Friday released the names of priests, deacons, and other religious and lay employees who have been substantially accused of sexual abuse by a minor. The list, it says, "is the product of a comprehensive and independent review of thousands of diocesan records dating back to 1950."

In 2018, the National Review Board prompted all dioceses to embark on the process of reviewing such claims – and making them public. Two former FBI agents began the Covington file review in October 2019, the Diocese says.

In a letter, Bishop Roger Foys wrote "there are no words to adequately express the sorrow and shame" he feels in presenting the Diocese of Covington's list.

SNAP Applauds Decision from Canadian Appellate Court

SNAP Network

July 30, 2020

An appellate court in Canada has upheld a ruling that holds the Archdiocese of St. John’s responsible for cases of child sexual abuse that occurred at an orphanage within its boundaries. We applaud this decision and appreciate that the court chose to put a nail in the coffin of one of the Catholic Church’s oldest arguments to avoid accountability for cases of abuse.

In this case, the Archdiocese of St. John’s argued that abuse inflicted by priests from the Christian Brothers religious order was not the responsibility of the Archdiocese, even though the children abused were from families within the Archdiocesan boundaries and the order priests worked in the Archdiocese with the permission of the Archbishop. We have long seen this same brand of hairsplitting and lack of accountability in the United States and the only time it stops is when a secular authority steps in, as has happened in this case.

Survivors Call for Justice and Opening the Secret Archives of the Church

SNAP Network

July 30, 2020

SNAP Leaders from New Orleans will hold a press event Friday, July 31, 2020, in front of Notre Dame Seminary at 2901 S. Carrollton Ave at 10 am.

The New Orleans Chapter of SNAP is extremely interested in knowing what the Archdiocese of New Orleans has shared with the Vatican regarding pedophile clergy. When Archbishop Aymond released the names of fifty-seven credibly accused clerics to the public on November 2, 2018, Canon law required all bishops to provide information to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the Vatican.

In December 2019, Pope Francis abolished the Pontifical Secret. This should equate to every survivor being able to obtain files on his or her abuser. Survivors and victims have a right to review the results of the local and Vatican review of the accusations and outcome of the Church processes.

We call on victims and survivors of those sexually abused to support this action to open the books even if your case was settled.

Accused UWS Priest Hit By 4 More Sex Abuse Claims, Still Has Job


July 30, 2020

By Gus Saltonstall

The four new complaints against Monsignor John Paddack span 16 years.

Four new Child Victims Act lawsuits were filed Wednesday against Upper West Side priest Monsignor John Paddack. The lawsuits also name the Archdiocese of New York, under the leadership of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, as a defendant.

The latest accusations follow seven lawsuits already filed against Paddack, who has continued in his position at Church of Notre Dame at 405 West 114th Street on the Upper West Side.

"These lawsuits demonstrate Paddack's pattern of predation: in each instance, exploiting his clerical power to abuse children," said attorney Jeff Anderson, who filed six of the seven previous lawsuits naming Paddack as a perpetrator.

Diocese Of Covington releases names of clergy accused of sexual abuse of a minor


July 31, 2020

By Kim Schupp

The Diocese of Covington released the names of priests, deacons, and lay employees who have been accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

The diocese said the list is the product of a comprehensive and independent review of thousands of diocesan records dating back to 1950.

“After over a year of deliberations and planning, the Diocesan Review Board presented a process of review to Bishop Roger Foys for implementation. These deliberations were prompted in November 2018 by the recommendation of the National Review Board for all dioceses to conduct an independent review of all files — going back to 1950, if possible — and making these results public, including publishing the list of names of all clergy offenders,” they said in the release.

Schembechler was 'visibly angry' when told of UM doctor's sex abuse, accuser says

The Detroit News

July 30, 2020

By Kim Kozlowski

Bo Schembechler, the legendary University of Michigan football coach, knew about the alleged sexual abuse linked to the late Dr. Robert E. Anderson, according to a federal lawsuit filed Thursday.

A former UM student told Schembechler about Anderson's alleged abuse in 1982 and 1983 after seeing the late doctor for migraines, according to the suit that is among dozens of othersfiled against UM and the Board of Regents in U.S. District Court in Detroit.Schembechler allegedly sent the student to former UM Athletic Director Don Canham.

Sexual abuse survivors file lawsuit against U of M


July 30, 2020

By Cheri Hardmon

53 survivors are part of the lawsuit against U of M--over allegations of sexual abuse by Anderson from 1960-2003.

“Whether it was on the field or on the track, yet the very coaches and staff and University put their trust in and dedicated themselves to looked to for support and guidance as young people, they ignored their suffering,” said attorney Michelle Simpson Tuegel.

Add legendary University of Michigan head football coach Bo Schembechler’s name to the growing list of those who allegedly knew about the sexual assault of student athletes-- by then team doctor Robert Anderson.

“Much like what happened in the Nassar case at Michigan State, they were told this part of a normal physical and if they wanted to participate in their perspective sports and get the sign off from Anderson to play, they needed to just go along with it,” said attorney, Steve Estey.


Church Militant

July 31, 2020

By Paul Murano

New lawsuits are accusing the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri covered up and enabled clergy sex abuse.

The lawsuits, one filed Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court and the other on July 20, were announced Tuesday afternoon at a news conference in Kansas City. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) claims the diocese covered up abuse, which in turn allowed predator priests to gain access to and abuse others.

Queens Priest Arrested for Grooming Teen Boy, SNAP Reacts

SNAP Network

July 30, 2020

A Queens-area priest has been arrested for grooming and sexually abusing a teenage boy. By our count, this is the ninth arrest of a cleric or Catholic employee this year, a fact that shows the clergy sexual abuse scandal is not a thing of the past as Church officials want the public to believe.

While Pastor at St. Pancras Parish in Glendale, Fr. Francis Hughes reportedly sent and received child pornography and physically abused the victim at least one time. Making matters worse, by his admission, Fr. Hughes made “numerous attempts” to meet with other teens, making us concerned that there are children out there who Fr. Hughes may have groomed or abused and who have not yet come forward. We are grateful to the FBI for their work uncovering and charging these crimes and we hope that this news will inspire others who may have been hurt to come forward and make a report to the local police.

Allegations Against Jesuit Priest Found Credible, SNAP Calls for Outreach

SNAP Network

July 29, 2020

Allegations of sexual abuse against a former Missoula pastor have been found credible, and now SNAP is calling for Catholic officials in every location where he lived or worked to update their lists to include his name.

According to Jesuit West leaders, they have received credible allegations that Rev. Richard D. (Rich) Perry abused a minor from 1979 to 1983 while he worked in Seattle at Seattle Preparatory College. It seems notable to us that Rev. Perry was sent on a one-year sabbatical in 1979, the first year that the reported abuse occurred. It is hard to believe that this timing is a coincidence and we worry that Rev. Perry may have been sent away because Catholic officials were informed of his abuse far earlier than they are reporting today.

It is especially concerning that Rev. Perry was elevated to the position of superior of the Ravalli Jesuit Community in Missoula, Montana, years after the abuse occurred in Seattle. He worked in that position of honor and authority for four years before a woman reported in 2019 that he had “inappropriate contact” with her. Given the timeframe of the allegations against Rev. Perry, the fact that at least two women have come forward, and because data shows that the majority of abusers have multiple victims, we believe that it is very probable that there are other women who have been hurt by this priest and have remained silent.

Church Volunteer from the Diocese of Lafayette Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

SNAP Network

July 28, 2020

A man who volunteered within the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, has been arrested on charges related to child pornography and the sexual abuse of an animal. Catholic officials now must share this information at every location where this volunteer worked and urge anyone who saw or suspected wrongdoing by the man to come forward and make a report to law enforcement.

While the Diocese of Lafayette claims that Isac Calderon-Sierra never had the opportunity to be alone with any youth while he volunteered at Our Lady Queen of All Saints Church, we think it is important that parents and parishioners are made aware of this news. It is possible that Calderon-Sierra could have taken advantage of his trusted position to be alone with children without the knowledge of Diocesan leaders. It behooves them to pull out the stops in order to ensure that no one else was hurt.

Archdiocese of Philadelphia grants over $50 million in financial reparations to survivors of sexual abuse

Catholic News Service via America

July 30, 2020

By Gina Christian

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has paid out or approved over $50 million so far to 222 clergy sex abuse survivors, according to a new report from the Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program.

IRRP was launched in November 2018 as a means of providing settlements to claimants alleging abuse by archdiocesan clergy.

The program’s administrators, acting independently of the archdiocese, assess claims and offer compensation with no monetary cap, either individually or in total. Claims are considered regardless of how long ago the events in question occurred, or whether the statute of limitations had expired.

Judge rules 86 child abuse lawsuits against LI diocese can move forward

The New York Post

July 30, 2020

By Priscilla DeGregory and Bernadette Hogan

A Long Island Diocese can’t postpone the 86 child sex-abuse lawsuits it’s facing as it tries to fight a law protecting underage victims, a judge ruled Thursday.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre filed its own lawsuit last November to fight the constitutionality of New York’s Child Victims Act that was passed in February 2019 allowing victims of childhood abuse — for a one-year period — to bring claims regardless of when the abuse occurred.

The Diocese, which serves more than 1.4 million Catholics in Nassau and Suffolk counties, has since asked for 86 sex abuse cases brought against it to be put on hold pending an appeal of their case fighting the CVA. The Diocese argued the stay was essential because the cost of fighting the appeal and the sex abuses cases all at once could drive it to bankruptcy.

FBI: New York priest received child porn from Westchester teen


July 30, 2020

A New York priest is accused of sharing sexual texts with a 15-year-old from the Lower Hudson Valley.

On Wednesday, Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the FBI announced the arrest of 65-year-old Francis Hughes, a Queens priest, for allegedly receiving images of child pornography via text from a 15-year-old in Westchester County.

“The allegations against Francis Hughes are chilling and frightening to any parent. A person who, by the nature of his profession, is presumed to be trustworthy allegedly victimized a child. Thanks to the FBI, Hughes now faces a serious federal charge," Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said.

On Feb. 16, Hughes began texted a 15-year-old boy, officials say. According to the complaint filed in White Plains federal court, during the conversation, the teen sent Hughes three images of the teen's penis.

Hughes told the boy he was a part-time college professor and a counselor, officials say.

Child rape charges refiled against Mexican megachurch leader

Associated Press

July 31, 2020

By Robert Jablon

California on Wednesday charged the leader of a Mexican megachurch with child rape and human trafficking, months after a court dismissed the previous allegations because of prosecution errors.

Naasón Joaquín García, the self-proclaimed apostle of La Luz del Mundo, was charged with three dozen felony counts.

Also charged were Susana Medina Oaxaca and Alondra Ocampo.

Prosecutors contend the three committed sex crimes and also produced child pornography involving five women and girls who were church group members. The crimes took place between 2015 and 2018 in Los Angeles County, authorities said.

Lawyers, diocese trade barbs over civil suit against Butte Central

Montana Standard

July 30, 2020

By Mike Smith

Editor's note: The civil suit filing and documents connected to this case may be read on mtstandard.com.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena responded to a lawsuit alleging a Butte Central High School teacher sexually exploited two female students and committed other transgressions by blaming the couple making the claims and trying to shame victims, the couple’s lawyers say.

Attorneys at Vicevich Law in Butte also say the diocese, which oversees Butte Central High School, “outed” the couple by naming them in a news release responding to the lawsuit, even though the suit itself publicly names John and Heather Stenson as the plaintiffs.

Heather Stenson, meanwhile, told The Montana Standard she and her husband didn’t know about allegations of sexual misconduct by Butte Central math teacher Brad Kadrmas until their lawyers told them last week. Still, they are among the multiple allegations made in their lawsuit against Butte Central Schools, the diocese and Kadrmas' wife, Amy, 42.

Survivors’ group in Chile condemns abuse ‘secretism’ of Catholic Church


July 31, 2020

By Inés San Martín

ROSARIO, Argentina – A little over two years after Pope Francis accepted the resignation of a controversial Chilean bishop accused of covering up sexual abuse by his mentor, a local network of clerical abuse survivors are alleging that neither civil nor Church authorities are making allegations public.

In an online map that is updated periodically, mostly recently on Wednesday, the Chilean Network of Clerical Sexual Abuse Survivors counts 41 new allegations against priests, religious brothers, and religious sisters in the past 6 months.

The map is now lists 360 public allegations of sexual abuse against a Church official in the country.

The map includes allegations both of abuse and allegations of cover up. The list includes some infamous cases, including Fernando Karadima and Cristián Precht, two former priests sanctioned by the Vatican and eventually removed from the priesthood by Pope Francis.

July 30, 2020

Church in Argentina is making a ‘change in mentality’ on clerical sexual abuse


July 30, 2020

By Inés San Martín

Two major archdioceses in Argentina are facing allegations of wanting to “replace the state” by creating a commission to receive allegations of clerical sexual abuse, but one expert says civil law and canon law aren’t competitors for justice.

“Always, every case, the law of the State wherever the abuse happens, must be followed and respected,” said Maria Ines Franck, the executive secretary of the Pastoral Council for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults of the Argentine bishops’ conference.

“The Church is a different entity, but complementary, and both must be upheld because the person has these two dimensions, as a faithful and as a citizen.”

Two New Lawsuits Filed Against Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese

Associated Press

July 29, 2020

The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is named in two new lawsuits claiming the diocese covered up abuse by two priests who were known to be sexual predators.

The diocese says it was in the process of removing one of the priests from the ministry when he died and the other is barred from acting as a priest. One lawsuit was filed July 20 and the other on Tuesday.

One alleges the Rev. Darvin Salazar sexually abused the victim in the church rectory at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Kansas City.

The diocese says law enforcement has declined to charge Salazar. The other lawsuit names John Tulipana, who died in 2012.

Lawsuit alleges former Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler knew about sexual abuse by team doctor

Detroit Free Press

July 30, 2020

By David Jesse

Legendary University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler was told by a student in 1981 about sexual assaults being carried out by then-football team doctor Robert Anderson, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday against the school.

The suit alleges the student — who is filing as an unnamed "John Doe" — told Schembechler he was digitally penetrated by Anderson during an exam for migraines.

“The revelations involving the failure to act on the part of Bo Schembechler are troubling but should not be surprising,” said attorney Jamie White. “We have seen this trend play out with institutions all over the country, including but not limited (Penn State football coach Joe) Paterno, leadership in the Catholic Church and Boy Scouts of America, and most recently Michigan State University.

New Canaan Man’s Lawsuit: St. A’s Owes Me $15.21

New Canaanite

July 30, 2020

By Michael Dinan

In an unusual complaint, a New Canaan man last week sued St. Aloysius Catholic Church for $15.21, saying that’s how much he would’ve saved in local property taxes if the church didn’t have tax-exempt status.

Specifically, Walter Foster argued in his complaint that St. A’ somehow influenced a state representative with respect to abortion-related legislation and therefore shouldn’t qualify as tax-exempt under federal code.

The legislator has been “influenced” by the church’s “repeated, written and unequivocal opposition to abortion,” according to the lawsuit, filed July 22 in state Superior Court. As such, the church is engaging in “substantial legislative activity,” in violation of federal IRS Code, according to Foster.

St. John’s Roman Catholic corporation liable for abuses at Mount Cashel orphanage: appeals court

The Canadian Press

July 29, 2020

By Holly McKenzie-Sutter

Newfoundland and Labrador’s highest court says the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of St. John’s is financially liable for sexual abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage in the 1950s.

St. John’s Catholic archdiocese must now pay about $2 million to the four lead plaintiffs, said Geoff Budden, the victims’ lawyer, on Wednesday. The July 28 judgment overturns a 2018 ruling by the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador and imposes liability on the archdiocese for the conduct of five Mount Cashel Brothers.

At trial, the four plaintiffs, who are now in their 70s and 80s, described the violent abuse they suffered as children at the orphanage. The group appealed the lower court decision of Justice Alphonsus Faour on several grounds.

In its ruling, the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador determined the Christian Brothers were working on behalf of the social and religious mandate of the archdiocese. That close relationship, the appeals court said, makes the archdiocese liable.

The appeals court said the plaintiffs were particularly vulnerable to abuse because they were minors isolated from their community with no alternative living arrangements and no means to complain.

This “unfettered power” the Christian Brothers had over the vulnerable children, delegated to them by the archdiocese, was a factor that “weighed heavily” in ascribing vicarious liability for the abuses, according to the judgment.

NYC pastor was sexting with teenage boy, FBI says


July 30, 2020

A Queens pastor is under arrest and facing a charge of receiving and distributing child pornography.

Francis Hughes, 65, was arrested Wednesday and is accused of receiving images from a 15-year-old boy in Westchester and engaging in sexually explicit text communications.

During the inappropriate text exchanges, prosecutors say Hughes told the minor that he was a part-time college professor and a counselor.

Former Gonzaga Prep Jesuit priest added to list of credibly accused abusers

The Spokesman-Review

July 29, 2020

By Kip Hill

A Jesuit priest assigned to Gonzaga Preparatory School for two periods in the 1960s and ’70s has been added to a list of Catholic clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse.

Richard Perry has been assigned to the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in California since October, as provincial authorities investigated an allegation of sexual abuse by an adult female at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Missoula. During that investigation, a second credible allegation was made regarding abuse against a female student at Seattle Preparatory School in the late 1970s and early ’80s, according to a statement from Jesuits West.

Priest accused of sexting with teenage boy


July 30, 2020

A Queens pastor is under arrest and facing a charge of receiving and distributing child pornography.

Archdiocese Admits Accused Predator Priest Is Still Manhattan Pastor as Four More Abuse Suits Are Filed

The City

July 29, 2020

By Virginia Breen and Peter Senzamici

A Manhattan Catholic priest who announced he was stepping down from public ministry last July amid multiple accusations of sexual abuse was on Wednesday named in four more Child Victims Act lawsuits, bringing the total to 11.

But Msgr. John Paddack is still pastor of Notre Dame Church in Morningside Heights, the Archdiocese of New York confirmed Wednesday.

“Because of certain procedures that must be followed under Canon Law, yes, he technically remains the pastor of the parish,” Joe Zwilling, an archdiocesan spokesperson, told THE CITY. “He has stepped away from exercising his priestly ministry, but he has not thus far resigned as pastor.”

The newest suits, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, span 16 years and allege Paddack molested unnamed students as young as 11 years old at Catholic schools in Staten Island, Manhattan and The Bronx.

The lawsuits name the Archdiocese of New York, under the leadership of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, as a defendant.

Child Victims Act plaintiff confronts Bishop Scharfenberger: 'I lost my son'

Buffalo News

July 29, 2020

By Jay Tokasz


Kevin Brun, a member of the committee representing childhood survivors of sex abuse in Buffalo Diocese bankruptcy proceedings, told Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger on Wednesday that his son killed himself within 24 hours of reading Brun’s letter of being abused by a priest more than 40 years ago.

Brun gave Scharfenberger a heart-wrenching account of losing his son Patrick, 21, on Easter Sunday in 2019, saying he wanted the bishop and the diocese’s lawyers to understand his level of commitment to making sure victims of abuse get a measure of justice in the bankruptcy.

The virtual meeting on Wednesday marked the first time since the diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection that Child Victims Act plaintiffs and their lawyers were able to question Scharfenberger directly about diocese operations and other issues.

Brun, after explaining the painful circumstances around his son’s death, asked the bishop whether he would release secret documents on sexual abuse by priests.

Metuchen Diocese looks to settle mentally disabled man’s clergy sexual abuse case

Bridgewater Courier News

July 29, 2020

By Nick Muscavage

The Diocese of Metuchen has offered to settle a lawsuit brought by a mentally disabled man who claims he was sexually abused by priest in the basement of St. James Catholic Church in Woodbridge nearly three decades ago.

The priest, the Rev. Kevin P. Duggan, took the man to a private area of the basement of St. James on Amboy Avenue on two separate occasions and pulled the man's pants and underwear down to his ankles and touched his penis, according to the lawsuit.

The man, who is only identified in the lawsuit by his initials, has a mental capacity of a 12-year-old child, according to court documents.

Ethics Commission unlikely to appeal overturned $200 violation against Supreme Court justice


July 29, 2020

By Eli Sherman

The state Ethics Commission is keeping its legal options open after a judge overturned a $200 ethics violation against a Supreme Court justice last week, but Executive Director Jason Gramitt said an appeal for further review is unlikely.

“I don’t know that it’s likely we will seek further review at this time,” Gramitt told Target 12.

The Ethics Commission met in executive session Wednesday to discuss the outcome of the Superior Court cases last week when Judge Brian Stern vacated the commission’s ethics violation against Supreme Court Associate Justice Francis Flaherty.

Diocese Still Awaiting Guidance From Vatican on Bransfield’s Amends

The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

July 29, 2020

By Mike Jones


More than eight months after the amends for disgraced bishop Michael Bransfield were announced, Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston officials still have heard nothing from The Vatican about how to proceed.

In a letter sent to Roman Catholics across West Virginia on Tuesday, the Most Rev. Mark Brennan said he is still waiting for guidance from Pope Francis on whether the amends set forth against the former bishop are appropriate or whether there should be changes.

Brennan, who was installed as the diocese’s new bishop last August, announced the multi-tiered amends on Nov. 26, which included $792,638 in restitution from Bransfield, along with numerous other conditions.

Former pastor of Jamestown church named in 2 lawsuits

The Observer

July 30, 2020

By Eric Tichy

A former pastor at a Jamestown church, who for years advocated against pornography and the need to uphold obscenity guidelines in literature, was named in two Child Victims Act lawsuits filed Wednesday in state Supreme Court in Chautauqua County.

The lawsuits both claim the Rev. Ralph P. Federico, who died in 2007, abused male victims while serving at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Jamestown. A similar accusation has been made against Federico while he served as pastor of Our Lady of Pompeii in Depew.

The 15- and 17-page lawsuits list the plaintiffs as “AB 192 Doe” and “AB 193 Doe,” respectively, and name St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, currently SS Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Church in Jamesotwn, as defendants.

The victims are being represented by Jeff Anderson & Associates in New York City and attorney Stephen Boyd in Williamsville.

Church in Argentina is making a ‘change in mentality’ on clerical sexual abuse


July 30, 2020

By Inés San Martín

Two major archdioceses in Argentina are facing allegations of wanting to “replace the state” by creating a commission to receive allegations of clerical sexual abuse, but one expert says civil law and canon law aren’t competitors for justice.

“Always, every case, the law of the State wherever the abuse happens, must be followed and respected,” said Maria Ines Franck, the executive secretary of the Pastoral Council for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults of the Argentine bishops’ conference.

“The Church is a different entity, but complementary, and both must be upheld because the person has these two dimensions, as a faithful and as a citizen.”

On anniversary of Florida sex abuse law, Colorado called out for similar legislation’s failure

Colorado Politics

July 29, 2020

By Michael Karlik

During a virtual press conference on Wednesday to celebrate the tenth anniversary of a landmark Florida law benefiting childhood sex abuse victims, participants mentioned Colorado’s failure to pass a similar measure in the 2020 session.

“It’s time to do the right thing to fight crime and to help survivors,” said Joelle Casteix, a sex abuse survivor who successfully sued the Catholic Church in California. “There’s a very similar battle going on in Colorado right now. A bill was recently pulled because it didn’t have that retroactivity.”

Her comments alluded to House Bill 1296, which would have allowed future survivors of childhood sex abuse and other forms of sexual misconduct unlimited time to sue their abusers and the institutions that harbored them. One of the sponsors asked a Senate committee at the last minute to kill the bill because she wanted to add a retroactive provision next year that would benefit past victims.

2 new lawsuits filed against Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese

Associated Press

July 28, 2020

Two new lawsuits allege that the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph covered up abuse by two priests who were known to be sexual predators.

The lawsuits, one filed Tuesday and the other on July 20, were announced by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

One of the priests died while the diocese was in the process of removing him from the priesthood and the other is no longer allowed to present himself as a priest, the diocese said.

The lawsuit filed July 20 alleges the Rev. Darvin Salazar sexually assaulted the victim in the rectory at Holy Cross Catholic Church and then prevented the plaintiff from leaving in July 2018, The Kansas City Star reported.

July 29, 2020

4 new sex-abuse suits filed against Monsignor Paddack; 1 from time as Farrell principal


July 29, 2020

By Maura Grunlund

A new lawsuit claims that Monsignor John Paddack sexually abused a boy at Monsignor Farrell High School in the early 2000s.

The former principal of the all-boys school in Oakwood was named in four new lawsuits filed Wednesday in Manhattan state Supreme Court by Jeff Anderson & Associates under the New York Child Victim’s Act.

“These lawsuits demonstrate Paddack’s pattern of predation: In each instance, exploiting his clerical power to abuse children,” said attorney Jeff Anderson. His firm has filed numerous lawsuits alleging sex-abuse by clergy.

The Archdiocese of New York and Farrell are defendants in the lawsuit, which names the monsignor, who was principal at the high school from 2002 until 2010.

“From approximately 2002 to 2003, when Plaintiff was approximately 14 to 15 years old, Msgr. Paddack engaged in unpermitted sexual contact with Plaintiff in violation of at least one section of New York Penal Law Article 130 and/or § 263.05, or a predecessor statute that prohibited such conduct at the time of the abuse,” the lawsuit alleges. “Plaintiff’s relationship to Defendants and Msgr. Paddack, as a vulnerable child, student, and participant in church activities, was one in which Plaintiff was subject to the ongoing influence of Defendants and Msgr. Paddack.”

FBI: Queens Priest Shared Sexually Explicit Texts, Photos With 15-Year-Old Boy

WCBS Radio

July 29, 2020

By Erica Brosnan

A priest in Queens was arrested Wednesday by the FBI for allegedly sending sexually explicit text messages and photos to a 15-year-old boy.

Francis Hughes, 65, a pastor at a religious institution in Glendale, is charged with receiving images of child pornography via text from a 15-year-old minor in Westchester.

“The allegations against Francis Hughes are chilling and frightening to any parent. A person who, by the nature of his profession, is presumed to be trustworthy allegedly victimized a child. Thanks to the FBI, Hughes now faces a serious federal charge,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss.

In the criminal complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan, prosecutors said Hughes admitted to FBI agents that he knew the teen was underage and that he had sent the pictures and messages.

He also admitted to having at least one sexual encounter with a teen boy on school grounds in Queens and said he made numerous attempts to meet with other teens.

Queens Priest Arrested After Sharing Explicit Texts, Photos With 15-Year-Old Boy: FBI

Channel 4, NBCNewYork.com

July 29, 2020

By Jonathan Dienst and Joe Valiquette

"How would you like to be spoiled by your grandpa?" the priest allegedly wrote to the underage teen in text messages, which included exchanges of photos

A priest in Queens was arrested by the FBI Wednesday for allegedly sharing sexually explicit texts and photos with a 15 year-old boy, including alleged attempts to meet the underage teen for sex.

"How would you like to be spoiled by your grandpa?" Rev. Francis Hughes allegedly wrote in texts to the teen that included exchanges of photos. "We can try to make it a regular thing."

Hughes, 65, faces child pornography related charges. Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss called the allegations "chilling and frightening to any parent."

26 Boy Scout Councils Facing Sex Abuse Lawsuits Received as Much as $21 Million in Coronavirus Loans


July 29, 2020

by Carter Sherman

One lawsuit alleges that a Boy Scout volunteer leader abused a boy described as “developmentally challenged” on at least two occasions in 2018.

As the Boy Scouts of America face a nationwide reckoning over accusations that it failed to keep children safe from sexual abuse, at least 26 local Boy Scout councils named in current sex abuse lawsuits have received loans from the Trump administration’s taxpayer-supported coronavirus relief fund.

In total, these councils garnered at least $8.2 million and up to about $20.9 million through the program.

These 26 councils represent a significant number of the 101 Boy Scout councils that secured loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, the $660 billion federal initiative meant to help small businesses survive the economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to government records reviewed by VICE News.

This 96-year-old man 'ruined many lives' and used his position in society to cover up his secret... and he got away with it for decades

Manchester Evening News

July 29, 2020

By Lynda Roughley and Helen Johnson

He was described in court as 'a predatory paedophile' who used his position as a Catholic priest to groom and subsequently abuse children for some 27 year

A 96-year-old former Catholic priest was jailed today for sexually abusing six boys more than 30 years ago.

All but one of Father John Kevin Murphy’s victims came forward to police after seeing media reports about him being imprisoned in 2017 for molesting other boys.

Liverpool Crown Court heard he had been ordained as a priest in 1962 and served in a number of parishes in Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire until he retired.

Archdiocese of Newark Revises Pastoral Counseling Policy to Deny Victims their Chance in Court

SNAP Network

July 28, 2020

The Archdiocese of Newark has revised their policies around assisting survivors with sexual abuse and made them significantly more restrictive, especially for survivors who are seeking truth and justice via the court system. We think that this change is a strikingly un-Christian move and call on Catholic officials in Newark to undo these new restrictions.

The recently updated guidelines appear to be a response to New Jersey’s Child Victims Act and are designed to punish those survivors who are using the opportunity provided by this law. These new guidelines now say that therapy services will be refused to any survivor who initiates a lawsuit, a vindictive move that will only further hurt the men and women who have already been abused by Catholic employees ordained, trained, and employed by the Archdiocese of Newark.

The simple fact is that victims of sexual violence need therapy through no fault of their own. They were abused by members of an institution that was supposed to care for them and are subjected to a lifetime of pain because of those actions. Now, the Archdiocese of Newark is twisting the knife, forcing survivors to choose between their therapy and their right to pursue justice for the crimes committed against them.

William Wallace's new book "The Pedophile Priests" is a riveting novel depicting the hunt for a serial killer after a number of priests are murdered across seven states


July 29, 2020

William Wallace is a father, grandfather, retired entrepreneur, and lifelong resident of Maryland presently living in Fallston with his wife, Connie. He has published his new book "The Pedophile Priests": a thought-provoking novel following the painstaking investigation of two dedicated FBI agents as they work to find a cold-blooded killer before he claims yet another victim.

Archbishop slams Catholic leaders for allowing ‘heresy, sodomy and corruption’ to run rampant

The Christian Post

July 28, 2020

By Ryan Foley

Roman Catholic Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a prominent critic of Pope Francis, has accused a group of Church leaders of subverting the Church from within by allowing "heresy, sodomy and corruption" to run rampant.

In a recent interview with Vatican expert Marco Tosatti, the 79-year-old Vigano elaborated further on what he sees as the "deep church."

Ex-judge to clergy: Focus on fixing Church scandals, not politics

The Philippine News Agency

July 29, 2020

Former Sandiganbayan justice and Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairperson Harriet Demetriou on Tuesday called out religious leaders for engaging in politics and urged them to focus instead on reforming the Catholic Church which has been plagued by scandals.

“Instead of your non-stop politicizing, criticizing and demeaning the System which includes the judicial power of the Philippines, you wait for the decision of the Supreme Court on some issues you rally behind together with some politicians and “prostitute” the dignity of your being ministers of God for self-seeking objectives,” Demetriou said in a Facebook post particularly directed at Manila Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas.

Demetriou called on the prelates to refrain from “tarnishing the system” through self-interest and hypocrisy as she questioned their knowledge and understanding of governance policies.

'Evil monster' paedophile priest, 96, ruined the lives of 10 boys

Liverpool Echo

July 28, 2020

By Neil Docking

One of Father John Murphy's six new victims even felt unable to visit his mum's grave

An "evil monster" paedophile priest who ruined the lives of 10 children was locked up again - at the age of 96.

Father John Murphy was jailed for three years in December 2017, for molesting four boys during the 1960s and 1970s.

The pervert, from Kirkdale, used swimming lessons, "exercise sessions" and camping trips to interfere with children as young as eight.

Appeal court holds Catholic church liable for abuse suffered at Mount Cashel

CBC News

July 29, 2020

Previous judge pegged damages at $2.6 million

A landmark ruling has deemed the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of St. John's has a responsibility to victims of the horrific abuse suffered by boys at the Mount Cashel Orphanage.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal released its decision on Wednesday, overturning a previous decision by the province's Supreme Court.

It states that while the abuse was suffered at the hands of the Christian Brothers — who were not employees of the local archdiocese — it was the archdiocese who offered them the environment to commit crimes that went unpunished for decades.

Lawsuits filed against KC diocese allege priest sexual abuse, including rape in 2018

Kansas City Star

July 28, 2020

By Judy L. Thomas

The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is facing two new sexual abuse lawsuits involving two priests, one alleging rape in a church rectory two years ago.

Filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, the civil suits allege that the diocese covered up the abuse, which allowed the priests to gain access to and sexually abuse other vulnerable individuals as well.

“No one can wish this continuing crisis away,” said David Clohessy, former executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which announced the filing of the lawsuits Tuesday afternoon at a news conference in Kansas City. “It takes courageous action to expose and remove sick clerics. We applaud these two brave victims and hope others in pain will keep stepping forward.”

The diocese said in a statement that one of the priests died while the diocese was in the process of permanently removing him from the priesthood. The other, the diocese said, is no longer allowed to present himself as a priest.

One lawsuit, filed July 20, names the diocese and the Rev. Darvin Salazar as defendants, alleging that Salazar sexually assaulted the plaintiff in the rectory at Holy Cross Catholic Church in northeast Kansas City, then prevented him from leaving. The 10 counts include allegations of battery, false imprisonment, negligence, intentional failure to supervise clergy, fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

KC area woman recalls sexual abuse as child, offers hope for survivors

Kansas City (MO)

July 28, 2020

By Caitlin Knute

An accomplished violinist since the age of five, Elena Nanneman once planned to play professionally.

But the 22 year old now is pursuing a different career path, shaped by the sexual abuse she said she experienced in her youth.

"When I was around 7 or 8, I started to be sexually abused by one of the elders in my grandfather's church," she said, "and that went on for maybe three or four years."

Relief for Wigan man as priest who abused him as a schoolboy is jailed

Wigan Today

July 29, 2020

By By Gaynor Clarke

A Wigan man abused as a schoolboy by a perverted Catholic priest says "a huge weight has been lifted" as the 96-year-old begins his prison sentence.

Father John Kevin Murphy was jailed for five years at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday for sexually abusing six boys - including one from Ashton - more than 30 years ago.

The six victims, who were aged between eight and 16 at the times of the offences, were molested while he took them on swimming lessons and also while visiting the homes of their devout Catholic parents.

All but one came forward to police after seeing media reports about him being imprisoned in 2017 for molesting other boys.

London Catholic board, King’s University College to disassociate from Jean Vanier

Global News

June 28, 2020

By Jacquelyn LeBel

The London District Catholic School Board and King’s University College at Western University are moving to rename a school and a centre that currently bear the name of a once highly respected Catholic figure who was posthumously found to have sexually abused at least six women.

Jean Vanier died last year at age 90 and a report from the French-based charity he founded, L’Arche International, was released in February 2020. According to that report, the women’s descriptions provide evidence enough to show that Jean Vanier engaged in “manipulative sexual relationships” over a period from 1970 to 2005, usually with a “psychological hold” over the alleged victims.

Australian Jews’ Israel ties sorely tested by saga of alleged sex abuser Leifer

Times of Israel

July 28, 2020

By Jacob Magid

Community leaders freely express their discontent over lengthy extradition proceedings of accused abuser Malka Leifer, but say their Zionist roots have helped in weathering storm

The Australian Jewish community’s frustration with the State of Israel reached near boiling point in late February.

The breakdown centered around one woman, former high school principal Malka Leifer, who is wanted in Australia on 74 charges of child abuse. Many in the community saw Jerusalem as dragging its feet on an extradition process that has long been in the works. Some felt the Jewish state was even protecting Leifer from facing the charges against her in Australia.

In 2008, the 53-year-old Israeli mother of eight fled to Israel as allegations emerged that she had sexually abused pupils at Melbourne’s Adass Israel ultra-Orthodox girls high school. Police complaints against Leifer were submitted by three sisters in 2011, Australia filed for extradition in 2013, and Israel arrested her in 2014.

With ouster of priest accused of pedophilia, Coptic Church mobilizes against sexual abuse

Los Angeles Times

July 28, 2020

By Nardine Saadstaff

The Coptic Orthodox Church in the U.S., shaken in recent weeks by accusations of sexual abuse, has vowed to eradicate inappropriate behavior in its cloistered communities following the defrocking of a priest accused of pedophilia for decades.

The 2,000-year-old church, which was started in Egypt by the Apostle Mark and grew in the U.S. following a wave of immigration in the 1970s, is steeped in centuries-old traditions and rituals that define Christian Orthodoxy.

It is now contending with a new generation of activists among an estimated half-million Copts living in the U.S. in what is being described in the community as a “Coptic #MeToo” movement engrossing parishioners on social media.

The flashpoint started with Facebook and Instagram posts from Sally Zakhari, a 33-year-old Florida woman who said she was molested in Orlando by Fr. Reweiss Aziz Khalil in the late 1990s. Zakhari wrote that she was molested at home after Khalil convinced her mother that she should start confession. She was 11 or 12.

John Patrick Casey: Catholic priest’s sexual assault appeal fails in Supreme Court


July 29, 2020

By Heath Parkes-Hupton

A Catholic priest convicted of sexually abusing two young boys has had his appeal thrown out despite arguing he didn’t receive a fair trial.


A former Catholic priest and police chaplain’s appeal against his convictions of sexually abusing young boys in northern NSW has been denied despite arguing the Crown’s “sanitised version” of events deprived him of a fair trial.

John Patrick Casey was in charge of a church in the Lismore Diocese when he molested two boys at his parish house at Mallanganee Presbytery, west of Casino, in the mid 1980s.

Casey was in his 30s when he digitally penetrated a boy’s anus as he washed him in the shower and ejaculated towards the head of another boy.

Catholic Church excludes adult women in talks about protecting sexual abuse victims

The Jakarta Post

July 29, 2020

By Ivany Atina Arbi, Evi Mariani and Dwi Atmanta

Top officials in the Catholic Church have said that they are coming up with a protocol to protect minors and vulnerable adults, but they reiterated that physically and mentally able adult women who have sexual relations with clergymen – consensual or otherwise – will not be the beneficiary of the protocol.

While admitting there were power dynamics and cases of power abuse between clergymen and laywomen or nuns, Father Sunu Hardiyanta, who has been working on a system to prevent and handle cases of sexual abuse at the Catholic Church since 2012, told The Jakarta Post and Tirto.id that the topic of handling cases involving adult women was different and required “a separate protocol”.

“Adult relationships are more an ethical matter, code of conduct, a wrong behavior,” he said. “The most important thing here is correct authority, correct leadership.”

July 28, 2020

New cardinals? They'll be more of the same

National Catholic Reporter

July 23, 2020

By Phyllis Zagano

The good news is 15 new cardinals seem to be on the Roman horizon. The bad news is they are all men. Yes, Francis will choose from the peripheries. Yes, he will most probably select the usual suspects — the archbishops of Washington, D.C., and Paris, for example. But a mix of major sees, elderly theologians and surprise picks is probably the best he can do right now.

Don't expect a woman's name to be on the list.

The 1917 Code of Canon Law decreed cardinals — advisers to the pope and electors of his successor — must be "at least" priests. The 1983 code added they "must receive episcopal ordination" if not already bishops (Canon 351.1).

Not every cardinal-designate is already a bishop — Jesuit Cardinal Michael Czerny is a recent exception — but usually only elderly priest theologians join the college of cardinals. Usually more than 80 years old, they are not invited to papal conclaves.

Q&A: Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro

Main Line Today

July 27, 2020

By Melissa Jacobs

Josh Shapiro has taken on pedophile priests, President Trump and, now, COVID-19. What’s next for the state’s attorney general? We find out.

Since he took office in January 2017, Josh Shapiro has proven that he doesn’t shy away from legal battles—or the media spotlight. He orchestrated the publication of the Pennsylvania Diocese Victims Report on pedophile priests. It made headlines and sparked reform around the world. Pennsylvania’s attorney general has come a long way from his roots in Montgomery County and the 153rd district he represented for four terms in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Up for reelection in November, the 47-year-old Democrat is rumored to have aspirations for higher public office. For now, Shapiro and his wife, Lori—who were students together at Bryn Mawr’s Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy—live in Abington with their four young children.

What is a priest worth? Latest Ted McCarrick news says it depends on the lawsuit

Get Religion

July 28, 2020

By Julia Duin

There’s a book out there asking: “What is a Girl Worth?” Written by former gymnast Rachael Denhollander, it asks who is going to tell little girls that the abuse done to them years ago was monstrously wrong and that it actually matters that their perpetrators are punished.

There also needs to be a book asking “what is a priest worth?”

For two years now, we’ve been looking at the news reporting about the sex scandal that surrounded the now-former Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and how “everyone” knew he was dallying with seminarians and sharing beds with them at his New Jersey beach cottage back in the 1980s.

Catholic Church Abuses Financial Laws for their Benefit in Multiple Ways

SNAP Network

July 27, 2020

This month Catholic officials in Houston showed their willingness to take money that was not originally meant for them. But last year, our local SNAP leader learned that those same Catholic officials would be willing to bend the rules the other way in order to deny him his job, his income, and his stability.

For five years, Eduardo Lopez de Casas worked as the Director of Spanish Music Ministry and Cantor at Prince of Peace Church in Houston. Eduardo is an internationally renowned singer and was seemingly well-liked by parishioners and staff at his parish, but on August 30, 2019, Eduardo was abruptly terminated from his position. Critically, the way that Prince of Peace termed the removal – telling Eduardo that “the position no longer exists” – not only left Eduardo out of job but unable to receive unemployment benefits: the parish, as a non-profit institution, did not pay into the unemployment program and therefore Eduardo was not eligible to participate, despite working in Texas all his life.

Leifer defense claims alleged sex acts were consensual

The Jerusalem Post

July 20, 2020

By Jeremy Sharon

State prosecutors decry ‘cynicism’ of defense’s use of concept of consent, saying Leifer manipulated her victims and used her influence and power.

Nine years after Australia issued an extradition request against Malka Leifer, a former principal at the ultra-Orthodox Adas Israel school in Melbourne wanted on 74 counts of sexual abuse and rape, extradition proceedings finally began on Monday in the Jerusalem District Court.

During the hearing, Leifer’s defense team claimed that the sex acts she is accused of committing with her pupils were consensual, and that even though her alleged victims were under the age of consent, prosecutors in Israel would not make charges on such allegations and therefore extradition should not be considered.

South Side Pastor Accused of Sexual Abuse, SNAP Applauds Victims for Speaking Out

SNAP Network

July 27, 2020

A prominent pastor from Chicago’s south side has been accused of grooming and abusing at least three women. We applaud these brave survivors for coming forward and we hope their example inspires others who may have been hurt to come forward and make a report to police and prosecutors.

Pastor Jerry Jones, who runs the Apostolic Assembly Church of Lord Jesus Christ in Chicago’s Morgan Park neighborhood, was still working when these allegations were made. By speaking out and detailing their abuse at Pastor Jones’ hands, we believe these women have likely prevented other children from being groomed or abused. They deserve credit for their bravery and we hope that they are receiving the help and support they need.

Church of England investigating complaint over how Archbishop of Canterbury dealt with abuse claims at Christian camps

The Telegraph

July 27, 2020

By Jamie Johnson

John Smyth, former chair of the Iwerne Trust, which funded the camps was alleged to have beaten dozens of young men in the 1970s and 80s

The Church of England is investigating how the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby dealt with complaints of serial abuse of young men at Christian holiday camps....

Jesuits: Child sex abuse claim 'credible' against former Missoula pastor


July 27, 2020

By Seaborn Larson

Aformer Jesuit pastor at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Missoula has been permanently removed from ministry after officials in the church’s province found claims that he sexually abused a minor girl 40 years ago to be credible, according to a statement from the province.

The Rev. Rich Perry will remain at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in California and live under a safety plan, according to the statement provided to the Missoulian. The statement offers no additional information about the alleged abuse in Seattle. Perry's name and a timeline of his assignments have been added to a publicly available online list of Jesuits with credible claims of sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult.

Church of England investigating claim Archbishop of Canterbury failed to act on abuse allegations


July 28, 2020

By Adam Forrest

Justin Welby worked as dormitory officer at summer camps where late John Smyth allegedly beat teenage boys

The Church of England is investigating how the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby handled allegations of abuse at Christian holiday camps in the 1970s and 1980s.

The church launched an independent review last year into claims the late John Smyth QC had stripped young men naked and beat them violently at the summer holiday camps.


AdamHorowitzLaw.com (law firm blog)

July 18, 2020

She’s evidently fascinating, for a bunch of reasons.
For starters, she’s hung around with lots of rich, famous people.
She’s apparently wealthy herself.
Her prominent dad died under mysterious circumstances.
As a result, she suddenly came into loads of money.
She moved half way across the globe and re-invented herself.
She was publicly accused of being both a predator and an enabler.
Her sidekick and former boyfriend and benefactor was arrested. He took his own life while in custody.


AdamHorowitzLaw.com (law firm blog)

July 25, 2020

In any newspaper, the “Letters to the Editor” section is a real grab bag – sometimes goofy, sometimes confusing, and sometimes really perceptive.
In that latter category falls this one which appeared under the headline: “There’s no excuse for delaying Marianists’ victims list.” Here it is:
After decades of protecting predators, a locally based religious order recently released the names of dozens of child molesters it employed at area high schools.

Christian Theater Shut Down in San Diego Amid Allegations of Abuse, SNAP Calls for AG Involvement

SNAP Network

July 27, 2020

The San Diego branch of a national chain of Christian youth theaters has been shut down following extensive allegations of sexual abuse perpetrated by former staffers at the theater. We call for the attorney general of California to investigate this situation and determine if there are any crimes that can still be prosecuted and if there are any abusers hidden among the community.

Allegations of sexual abuse committed at Christian Youth Theater began circulating on social media after former students and employees shared their experiences using the hashtag #CYTKnew. If it is indeed true that theater higher-ups were aware of the crimes and worked to cover them up as these survivors have alleged, we believe that law enforcement must step in as soon as possible to investigate. Especially given that this is a nationwide chain, we fear that if abuse was covered-up at one location, it likely was covered up elsewhere, too.

The allegations made on Facebook are serious. According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego and El Cajon law enforcement have already received reports of the claims. We hope that they are already investigating and that AG Xavier Becerra will lend his office’s resources and knowledge to assist in this case. Based on the information put out by former students and employees, it seems highly likely that the problems at CYT ran all the way to the top.

Catholic Priest Charged with Sexual Battery, SNAP Calls for Action

SNAP Network

July 20, 2020

We are very grateful to the survivors who have come forward to accuse Fr. Varghese “George” Alengadan of sexual assault and harassment. We also want to thank Alameda County DA Nancy O'Malley and her staff for investigating the allegations and filing charges. We believe that the only way to clean up the Catholic Church is for secular authorities to lead the charge.

Fr. Alengadan remains a powerful priest and we have no doubt that his influence and popularity may inhibit other victims from speaking up. We encourage any survivors and witnesses to contact law enforcement immediately. The DA's number is 510-272-6222. Reports can also be made to the California Attorney General's office.

The assault for which Fr. Alengadan is being charged would not have occurred had the Oakland Diocese responded appropriately to the 2002 report made by a young bride-to-be who was also assaulted by the clergyman. Inaction following allegations is all too common in the Catholic Church and is part of the "playbook" uncovered by the Grand Jury in Pennsylvania. Similar tactics were used across the bay at Presentation High School in San Jose. A recently issued report from Presentation laid bare abuse and cover-up at this school in the San Jose Diocese. The investigation spanned a period of 40 years, involved dozens of victims, and exposed five accused teachers and one accused coach.

There is much more for the Oakland Diocese to do in the case of Fr. Alengadan. The cleric was a close associate of Oakland's Bishop, serving on his personnel board and receiving a "priest of the year" award in 2017. We believe that honor was a slap in the face to survivors. In 2016 the Oakland Diocese received a second report about Fr. Alengadan 's 2002 assault on the bride-to-be, this time from her mother. That email was also ignored. To us, it almost seems that the award was meant to show the family that their reports meant nothing.

Three More Allegations Made against Fr. Gary Carr

SNAP Network

July 20, 2020

Three new allegations have been made against a Missouri Catholic priest who was first named as an abuser in April.

This situation shows that when the names of abusers are made public it often encourages others who were hurt to come forward and make a report. We applaud these brave individuals for speaking out and hope that their example inspires others who were hurt in Missouri to protect children by coming forward and making a report to the police.

These new allegations against Fr. Gary Carr should compel Catholic officials in every diocese where the cleric worked – including Springfield-Cape Girardeau, MO; Phoenix, AZ; and Santa Fe, NM – to share information about these allegations in every parish and location where Fr. Carr worked in an effort to bring other victims forward.

The average age of a survivor coming forward in the US is 52, but we would expect more of Fr. Carr’s victims to come forward now if they find the support and encouragement they need to do so.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, zhiner@snapnetwork.org)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

John Murphy: 'Predatory paedophile' priest jailed again

BBC News

July 28, 2020

A Roman Catholic priest who sexually abused young boys has been jailed again for crimes which came to light following his original trial.

John Murphy, 96, of Horwich, was sentenced to six years in prison at Liverpool Crown Court after admitting 32 offences including indecent assault.

The court heard he was a "predatory paedophile" who used his position as a priest to groom and abuse children.

‘Paedophile Priest’ Released from Prison

Sydney Criminal Lawyers

July 24, 2020

By Sonia Hickey

Catholic Church Priest Vincent Ryan has been released after serving 14 months in prison for the historical sexual abuse of two altar boys.

Unfortunately, it’s another case of historic child sexual abuse where the perpetrator barely suffers consequences, while the victims spend years trying to rebuild their lives after a childhood that’s been shattered.

VA Catholic priest blogged about child sex abuse. Now, he says bishop is threatening to defrock him

WUSA, Channel 9

July 27, 2020

By Bruce Leshan


Rev. Mark White and his supporters are coming to D.C. to appeal to the Pope's representative for help.

A Catholic priest in southwest Virginia is refusing to be silenced.

Father Mark White said his bishop has ordered him to stop writing about clergy child sexual abuse and the actions of Catholic leaders.

The Bishop of Richmond, Barry Knestout, has relieved White of his priestly duties, kicked him out of his parish house, and threatened to have him defrocked, White said.

But Rev. White and his supporters are coming to Washington Friday to appeal to the Vatican Embassy for support.

"As of this writing, this is not just about Fr. Mark’s blog," Deborah Cox, a spokeswoman for the Richmond Diocese, said. "Fr. Mark continues to refuse to accept the assignment and the new job he has been given."

Scholars seek to establish ‘truth and reconciliation’ structures for clerical abuse


July 28, 2020

By Inés San Martín

ROSARIO, Argentina—Even though the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has seemingly put most of the world on hold, many scholars have continued with their research projects and are already planning ahead, thinking about the 2021 calendar to reschedule events postponed this year.

One such event is a day-long consultation at the University of Notre Dame, set to bring together some 30 participants from the United States and Germany to look into the lessons of national truth and reconciliation processes, and apply them to the Church on matters of clerical sexual abuse.

The organizers believe that major festering wounds continue to exist in the Church, including a lack of healing for victims of clerical abuse, a reticence to speak the truth about the abuse, and a lack of accountability. They believe that the many national processes in the political realm of the past generation may provide insights for how the Church as a whole might confront decades of abuse and cover-up.

Behind the project are German Dr. Katharina Westerhorstmann, Professor of Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and Dr. Daniel Philpott, professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame. The project is being funded by a grant from the University of Notre Dame.

Saintly caution: Church’s reputation on the line when judging sanctity

Catholic News Service via Crux

By Junno Arocho Esteves

July 28, 2020

In the Catholic Church, a person’s canonization is almost always preceded by decades of meticulous investigation into the minute details of the candidate’s life.

Thousands of saints have been raised to the altars after these thorough investigations, while the causes of many other candidates are usually suspended or closed when there is insufficient evidence of one’s sanctity or the lack of miracle.

Yet, there are also causes that have been closed or delayed due to doubts or, worse, due to proverbial “skeletons in the closet” uncovered during the investigation into their lives.

The delay in the sainthood cause of Father Joseph Kentenich, founder of the Schonstatt movement, was the most recent example of that last scenario, after allegations of abuse uncovered during an apostolic visitation in the early 1950s were made public July 2.

His cause was opened in 1975 in the Diocese of Trier, Germany, and was in the diocesan phase, which is the first step in a candidate’s cause before it is sent to Rome for further investigation.

German scholar Alexandra von Teuffenbach, a former professor of church history at Rome’s Pontifical Regina Apostolorum University, discovered documents in the recently opened archives of the pontificate of Pope Pius XII that revealed allegations of sexual abuse and abuse of power against Kentenich.

[Opinion] Boy Scout leaders and clergymen have more in common than you may know

AdamHorowitzLaw.com (law firm blog)

July 26, 2020

Like many clergy, Scout leaders are often thought of as selfless men, generously sharing their time and talent with youngsters.

Like many clergy, they often have seemingly legitimate reasons to be alone with kids.

Like many clergy, Scout leaders belong to a rigid, male-dominated, hierarchical group.

Like many clergy, they are often seen as ‘good influences’ on kids, especially troubled kids.

[Opinion] Look out, enablers! You're next!

AdamHorowitzLaw.com (law firm blog)

July 26, 2020

This week, we took note of these three stories. See if you respond to them like we did.

First, this one: following Mr. Epstein’s death, prosecutors said they would “continue to investigate his associates,” including Ghislaine Maxwell, “once a fixture on New York’s social scene,” who reportedly “also had participated in some of the abuse and lied about her conduct.” Authorities have “identified more than 15 bank accounts linked to her, whose total balance at times exceeded $20 million” and are trying to keep her locked up until trial.


Then this one: “In a $150 million settlement, the New York Department of Financial Services said Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender, had engaged in suspicious transactions for years” and Deutsche Bank “inexcusably failed to detect or prevent millions of dollars of suspicious transactions. . . “


And this one: “Within a 48 hour period this week, many of the world’s internet giants took steps that would have been unthinkable for them even months earlier. Reddit, which spent most of its life as a lawless free-for-all banned thousands of forums for hate speech. Twitch suspended President Trump’s official account for ‘hateful conduct.’ YouTube purged a handful of notorious racists. Facebook took down a network of violent anti-government insurrectionists who had set up shop on its platform.”


We’re encouraged by these developments These stories may seem unconnected. But look closely and you’ll see that the common denominator: powerful individuals and institutions that let and helped others do harm are being held accountable.

Childhood victims struggle to report sexual abuse in Catholic Church

The Jakarta Post

July 28, 2020

By Ivany Atina Arbi, Evi Mariani and Dwi Atmanta

Twenty-seven years ago, an 11-year-old girl knelt beside a priest in a mandatory confession organized by her Catholic school in Jakarta. She told the priest her sin: disobeying her parents. As he spoke the absolution, the girl felt his hands touching her body.

The confession lasted five minutes and did not take place in a traditional partitioned confessional. Twice a year, the school arranged the event, usually before Christmas and Easter, and brought dozens of school children to a special confession space in a chapel, where there was no partition to separate the child and the priest.

“I felt uneasy and knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t tell what was off,” said the former student of Sang Timur Catholic elementary school, which is located next to the the Maria Bunda Karmel (MBK) Church.

Chicago bishop, retired CFD assistant commissioner charged with child sexual abuse

WLS-TV (Channel 7)

July 27, 2020

A Chicago bishop and retired Chicago Fire Department assistant commissioner has been charged with sexual abuse, according to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

Jerry Jones, 71, is facing three felony charges for crimes that allegedly took place over the course of two decades.

Jones, a bishop at two South Side churches, is also a retired Chicago Fire Department assistant commissioner.

Jones allegedly sexually abused the victims at multiple locations, including one of the churches and at his home, when he was 42-66 years old, prosecutors said.

A 21-year old woman, who was 11-years old at the time, claims Jones used pastoral counseling meetings as an opportunity to inappropriately touch her, police say. The victim also told police he would use Bible verses to speak to her inappropriately about sex.

Jones also allegedly asked for the victim to send nude photographs of themselves.

In India, Catholic bishop accused of rape asks Supreme Court to intervene

Catholic News Agency via the Catholic World Report

July 27, 2020

After several failures to secure dismissal of charges in lower courts, a Catholic bishop whom a nun has accused of rape has asked India's Supreme Court to dismiss the case.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jullundur has been charged with raping a nun repeatedly over the course of two years, allegations he denies.

His effort to dismiss the charges was rejected in a trial court in March, then again in the Kerala High Court July 7. The court agreed with prosecutors that there was evidence to proceed, The Tribune of India reports.

Mulakkal claims he was falsely accused after he questioned alleged financial irregularities of the victim's convent.

Bishop Mulakkal was arrested in September 2018 amid protests calling for a police investigation of the allegation. He was subsequently released on bail. The bishop was charged in April 2019 with rape, unnatural sex, wrongful confinement, and criminal intimidation. He faces imprisonment of 10 years to life if found guilty.

RI Supreme Court justice wins appeal of $200 ethics violation


July 27, 2020

By Eli Sherman, Walt Buteau

With R.I. Supreme Court Justice Francis Flaherty winning a key victory in his yearslong fight against an ethics complaint, the state’s high court could soon find itself in the unusual position of hearing a case involving one of its own.

R.I. Superior Court Judge Brian Stern on Friday reversed a R.I. Ethics Commission decision from last year that cited Flaherty for violating the state’s ethics code. The violation, which came with a $200 fine, stemmed from a 2016 complaint accusing Flaherty of repeatedly failing to disclose his leadership position in a Catholic nonprofit while also ruling on a priest sexual abuse case.

Stern vacated that decision, however, concluding in part the commission had failed to prove Flaherty made a “knowing and willful” violation, meaning commission lawyers didn’t show Flaherty intentionally withheld the information.

Archbishop Viganò: 'Heresy, sodomy, and corruption’ are trademark of ‘deep church’


July 25, 2020

'These three elements – heresy, sodomy, and corruption – are so recurrent that they are almost a trademark of the deep state and of the deep church'

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has pointed out three elements that have become what he calls the trademark of the deep Church: “heresy, sodomy, and corruption.”

In a new wide-ranging interview with Vatican expert Marco Tosatti (read full interview below), the Vatican whistleblower speaks about the deeper significance of the case of former Cardinal McCarrick in relation to the “doctrinal crisis” the Church is facing.

“There is a very strict relationship between the doctrinal crisis of the Church and the immorality of the clergy, that scandalously reaches up to the highest levels of the hierarchy. But it is also apparent that this crisis is being used by the ultra-progressive wing not only to impose a false morality together with a false doctrine, but also to irremediably discredit the Holy Church and the Papacy before the faithful and the world, through the action of its own leaders,” stated the Archbishop.

Hundreds of new child sex abuse lawsuits flood in due to deadline uncertainty

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle via Daily Messenger

July 27, 2020

By Steve Orr and Sean Lahman, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Victims of child sexual abuse are rushing lawsuits into state court, fearful that two attempts to extend the deadline for such suits will amount to nothing.

More than 400 child sexual abuse suits have been filed in the past month, and 1,000 since late May. Hundreds more are expected before the original deadline arrives in three weeks.

“Our firms are working around the clock to finalize the complaints. We’re filing all of our cases now,” said Michael Pfau, a Seattle-based lawyer who, in conjunction with a New York firm, has filed upward of 600 such lawsuits to date.

The firms have at least 200 more cases that will be filed shortly.

The state’s Child Victims Act, adopted in early 2019, carved out a one-year window during which suits can be brought by people who allege they were sexually abused when they were young.

July 27, 2020

A flurry of lawsuits alleging child sex abuse are filed as deadline for claims nears

Times Herald-Record

July 27, 2020

By Chris McKenna

In one lawsuit filed on Thursday, eight men alleged that a longtime Orange County priest sexually abused them when they were children, adding their claims to those of at least three other accusers of the late Rev. George Boxelaar who have sued.

In another case brought one day earlier, a former Middletown School District student alleges he was molested in second or third grade by Dr. Stefan Irving, a former school pediatrician now serving almost 22 years in prison for a 2003 conviction on charges he traveled abroad to have sex with minors.

Fourteen lawsuits in all were filed under the Child Victims Act in Orange and Ulster counties in the last two months as an 11:59 p.m. Aug. 13 deadline approaches for past abuse allegations to be brought in civil courts. State lawmakers passed a bill in May that could extend that deadline by a year, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn't signed or vetoed it yet.

Other recent suits brought under the Child Victims Act include:

- In a case filed Tuesday in Ulster County, a former Ellenville School District student alleges his assistant football coach – who was also his Spanish teacher – sexually abused him at least 50 times from 1989 to 1994, starting when the plaintiff was in eighth grade.

- Two sisters from Orange County sued their former stepfather on Wednesday for sexually abusing them when they were younger than 13. The Rockland County man pleaded guilty to those crimes in 2012 and served three years in prison, according to the complaint and state records.

New accuser of Theodore McCarrick alleges the ex-cardinal orchestrated abuse involving other clerics

Washington Post

July 22, 2020

By Michelle Boorstein


Ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick, already laicized and the subject of a Vatican investigation, is accused in a newly filed lawsuit of orchestrating the abuse of minor boys by multiple other clerics at his New Jersey beach house in the early 1980s.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday evening in New Jersey Superior Court by a man who alleges he was abused by McCarrick, former D.C. archbishop and until recently one of the country’s best-connected and influential Catholic clerics, and five other New Jersey clerics when the victim was between 11 and 16 years old. Four of them did so at the beach house, the suit alleges, when McCarrick was bishop of Metuchen, N.J.

The suit alleges that the boy needed money to pay for his Catholic education, and that one cleric — who had already sexually abused the boy — told him he needed to talk to “the boss,” and then introduced him to McCarrick, who then allegedly began abusing him.

At least 7 more people told the Vatican they were sexually abused as boys by Theodore McCarrick, according to sources

McCarrick, who was defrocked in 2019, has previously been accused of sexual misconduct with at least seven minors, according to three individuals who spoke to The Washington Post for a story in October. One of the individuals is an accuser, one of five McCarrick accusers who are represented by the same attorney. The second is Camille Biros, who is a member of the independent reconciliation and compensation board set up by the New York archdiocese. The third, who has direct knowledge of all the claims U.S. church officials sent to the Vatican for its probe, spoke on the condition of anonymity because canon law forbids unauthorized people to speak about internal cases.

The Vatican said in defrocking McCarrick that he had been credibly accused of sexually harassing seminarians and young priests.

The accuser in Tuesday’s lawsuit is coming forward for the first time, said his attorney, Jeffrey Anderson. His name is not included in the lawsuit, and The Washington Post usually does not publish the names of alleged victims of sexual misconduct without their permission.

Pope Francis in October 2018 launched an investigation into McCarrick and how he rose to such prominence even as rumors and reports to church higher-ups of sexual misconduct streamed in for decades. Anderson said the new accuser has spoken to the Vatican investigators for that ongoing probe.

McCarrick’s civil attorney, Barry Coburn, declined to comment Wednesday. McCarrick, in limited comments he has made since being suspended in 2018, has said he did nothing wrong.

Superior court rules in Justice Flaherty’s favor in case over $200 fine for failing to disclose links to Catholic organization

Providence Journal

July 24, 2020

By Katherine Gregg


A Superior Court judge has sided with Supreme Court Justice Frank Flaherty - and against the Rhode Island Ethics Commission - in heated long running fight over a $200 fine for failing to disclose links to Catholic organization.

In a decision out Friday, Judge Brian Stern vacated the Ethics Commission’s ruling that Flaherty’s failure to list his position as President of the St. Thomas More Society on his financial statements for the period running from 2010-2015 constituted “a knowing and willful violation″ of state ethics law.

Among Stern’s findings: “The Commission Decision contained no finding that the Plaintiff’s actions were deliberate or intentional, and the weight of the evidence presented during the adjudicatory hearing supported a conclusion that the Plaintiff’s actions were not deliberate.

“Accordingly, the Commission Decision is clearly erroneous and affected by error of law,″ the judge ruled in a decision that did not go as far as Flaherty wanted the court to go in challenging the Ethics Commission’s powers.

Flaherty’s judicial battle stemmed from the court decision he wrote denying the appeal of Helen Hyde, a woman who had sued the Roman Catholic bishop of Providence — unsuccessfully — seeking damages from alleged abuse by the Rev. Brendan Smyth more than 40 years ago.

Hyde brought a complaint against Flaherty before the Ethics Commission in 2016, saying he should have mentioned that he was president of the St. Thomas More Society of Rhode Island on his financial and conflict-of-interest disclosure forms from 2010 to 2015. The Society hosts the annual Red Mass, a traditional Catholic celebration of the opening of the court term.

German bishop calls for radical reform

Church Militant

July 24, 2020

by William Mahoney, Ph.D.

Ordaining women remains an open question for a German bishop who believes radical reform in the Church is necessary.

"I consider the reform process in the Church to be essential," said Bp. Heiner Wilmer of Hildesheim, Germany in an interview published Monday with German newspaper Rheinische Post. "I am in favor of an open discussion and personally trust in the Holy Spirit," said the German prelate, who explained everything must be brought to the table, including the ordination of women and eradicating mandatory priestly celibacy.

Subscribing to Pope Francis' "accompaniment" model of the Church, Wilmer said in the interview that the Church's mission is "to be with the people and make sure that the increasing cold in our society is transformed back into warmth." Key to living out that model is putting "people" at the forefront, according to the bishop. "People, not institutions, must be at the center of all reforms," he said.

Diocese makes statement on former volunteer arrested on child pornography charges

Ville Platte (LA)
Acadia Parish Today

July 24, 2020

A Ville Platte man affiliated with the Diocese of Lafayette is facing child pornography and sexual abuse of an animal charges.

The Attorney General’s office has confirmed that Isac Calderon-Sierra has been taken into custody at the Rapides Parish Jail on a fugitive warrant.

Calderon-Sierra was a member of a youth group at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church in Ville Platte.

On Thursday, the Diocese of Lafayette said that Calderon was a former volunteer for an inter-parochial youth group that met at Our Lady Queen of All Saints Church. During the time he was a volunteer, the diocese says they never received any complaints in connection with that group.

Diocesan response to AP article

Catholic Herald (Diocese of Superior)

July 24, 2020

Editor’s note: The Diocese of Superior released this statement July 10 in response to an Associated Press article, “Catholic Church lobbied for taxpayer funds, got $1.4B.”

The Diocese of Superior and its 103 separately incorporated parishes suffered many losses when the COVID-19 pandemic government mandates caused the closing of churches and offices and the suspension of the holy Mass. The economic impact of the dramatically reduced charitable contributions to our churches from March to May was real. Our bishop, James Powers, strongly encouraged each parish to keep their staff on the payroll if at all possible out of a sense of justice to the hardworking employees of the church.

Opinion: Who still stands with Viganò?

National Catholic Reporter

July 27, 2020

By Michael Sean Winters

Next month will be the second anniversary of the infamous "testimony" of former nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, published first at the EWTN-owned National Catholic Register. It was obviously the work of a profoundly disturbed person, all the settling scores, spewing accusations hither and yon, demonstrating that he, and he alone, was virtuous. He even called upon Pope Francis to resign! The timing — at the end of Francis' visit to Ireland — was designed to gain maximum exposure.

At a press conference on the plane back to Rome, Francis chose not to engage the charges Viganò had leveled. "I will not say a single word on this," the pope said about Viganò's screed. "I think this statement speaks for itself, and you have the sufficient journalistic capacity to draw conclusions."

Very oddly, given the fact that Viganò had violated canon law by revealing information he acquired under the pontifical secret and because, well, it is truly brutta figura to ask the pope to resign, several U.S. bishops came out with statements in the subsequent days in which they attested to Viganò's integrity, and not to that of Francis. There was schism in the air. I will let the readers draw their own conclusions from the fact that when I Googled "bishops who support Viganò" the first item is found at CatholicVote.org, the organization working to reelect President Donald Trump, who famously received a letter from Viganò. Oliver Stone: Call your office!

Justice delayed, denied for victims of sexual abuse in Catholic Church

Jakarta Post

July 27, 2020

By Ivany Atina Arbi, Evi Mariani and Dwi Atmanta

Victims of sexual abuse and harassment in the Indonesian Catholic Church face “thick walls” of silence, secrecy and denial, having to bear trauma while the priests who they have accused remain on a moral pedestal.

Sisca, who has chosen to use an alias to protect her privacy, said she was molested by a Catholic priest in Jakarta when she was 11 years old. The 38-year-old watches the same priest greet school children in the same Catholic school every morning, and in December of last year, she heard His Eminence Ignatius Cardinal Suharyo, the highest-ranking member of the Indonesian Catholic Church, deny that he had ever received any reports of sexual abuse in the Church.

Sisca did not believe the cardinal could have possibly been oblivious to the alleged sexual abuse. “Where has he been? We had high hopes for him. He was appointed cardinal by the Pope. It’s a prestigious title. A cardinal is a chosen figure, and [the Pope] would not appoint a random priest,” she told The Jakarta Post in early February. “It hurts me to hear him say that. He doesn’t know how it feels,” Sisca said.

Catholic music publisher vows investigation into Haas as allegations mount

National Catholic Reporter

July 27, 2020

By Christopher White

As allegations of serial sexual misconduct against Catholic composer David Haas continue to mount, a leading supplier of sacred music has vowed an investigation into how one of the church's best selling musicians' record of predatory behavior avoided scrutiny and accountability.

GIA Publications, which distributed the Gather hymnals that included some of Haas' best known works, told NCR in a statement that "a third-party assessment will create a strong survivor-centered structure to report incidents of alleged harassment or abuse."

"In addition to the assessment, we are in the process of establishing a Code of Conduct for all composers and authors we publish," said Kate Williams, senior managing editor of GIA Publications. "These changes will facilitate the community's ability to take prompt action in response to reports of behavioral misconduct."

Legislation would make clergy mandatory reporters

Cheektowaga Bee

July 23, 2020

Legislation introduced by Assembly member Monica Wallace titled the CARE Act has passed the Assembly this week.

The Child Abuse Reporting Expansion Act would add clergy members to the list of mandatory reporters of child abuse and maltreatment, “closing a loophole that allowed for the proliferation and cover-up of child abuse,” according to Wallace.

The act was introduced last year, weeks after passage of the Child Victims Act, which extended the statute of limitations for survivors of child abuse to file civil claims and provided a temporary period during which survivors could file a claim regardless of how long ago the alleged abuse occurred.

“In the wake of this legislation, plaintiffs filed hundred of lawsuits accusing hundreds of clergy members of acts of abuse and maltreatment against children and teenagers,” said Wallace in a release.

Edwin Gaynor's accusers claim school officials, clergy were told of sex abuse

Rockland/Westchester Journal News

July 27, 2020

By Jonathan Bandler

Lawyers for the 21 men who have accused Edwin "Ted" Gaynor of molesting them when they were students at either St. Bernard in White Plains, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Scarsdale or Holy Rosary in Thornwood argue that in every instance, the school, parish and Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York officials either knew or should have known about the abuse but did little to stop it.

But in some of the cases, the lawsuits offer details of why they think the officials knew, with claims that they were specifically told either by the students or their parents. In some instances, reports to the school came after meetings among parents.

Edwin Gaynor and his basketball team at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Scarsdale in 1967. Standing in front of Gaynor is Gregory Morra, one of 21 former students who allege in lawsuits that Gaynor sexually abused them

Here are snapshots of some of those cases:

How Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected US Dioceses?

National Catholic Register

July 26, 2020

By Jim Graves

The Register spoke to a few dioceses across the country to see how they are coping with the situation.

The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) surveyed U.S. bishops and reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has had major adverse effects on U.S. dioceses. Indeed, most indicated that the celebration of the sacraments was “very affected” and that it had significantly affected the morale of clergy as well as lay church staff.

Steps taken by bishops to meet financial shortfalls due to the elimination of Sunday collections include applying for government aid, encouraging parishioners to donate electronically, ending diocesan programs, and even closing schools and parishes and laying off staff. (Read more about the study here.)

The Register spoke to a few dioceses across the country to see how they are coping with the situation.

OPINION: A journalist, an Inquirer reader, and a fine man’s life and farewell

Philadelphia Inquirer

July 26, 2020

By Maria Panaritis

I was in the receiving line at the wake of a virtual stranger. Something had pulled me toward Egizi Funeral Home in Turnersville on Friday. I’d gotten word that an Inquirer reader I had met only once had died. And for some reason, that was reason enough to make the 45-minute trip from Philadelphia into South Jersey.

The pandemic had caused the wake to be delayed by two weeks, so there was no casket. Just flowers and photo galleries of a life I knew close to nothing about: Anthony DeVirgiliis, 72, of Sewell. On a table was a black-and-white picture of him as a baby; another from what looked like his confirmation; in a white tuxedo as a young man; with lifelong love Donata on their wedding day. A faded color shot of him, Donata, and their only child, Michelle Tamburro, on a Jersey Shore beach 40 years ago left a lump in my throat.

Kerala nun rape case: Bishop Franco Mulakkal moves discharge plea in SC

Punjab Live

July 25, 2020

Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a senior Kerala nun, has approached the Supreme Court claiming innocence and seeking to discharge him without a trial in the matter.

Mulakkal, in his petition, claimed that he is "innocent" and was "falsely implicated" in the case by the complainant after he questioned the financial dealings of the alleged victim nun.

The accused moved the apex court after the Kerala High Court dismissed his petition, seeking directions to discharge him without a trial in the rape case. Earlier, a trial court had also rejected his bail plea.

Mulakkal, 56, was arrested on rape charges on September 21, 2018, after a nun in the Missionaries of Jesus congregation filed a complaint against him accusing the Bishop of raping her 13 times between 2014 and 2016 in Kottayam in Kerala.

The Kerala Police had filed a 1,400-page chargesheet against him in the case.

July 26, 2020

Editorial: Eradicating the McCarrick Virus

National Catholic Register / EWTN

July 24, 2020

Two years after the former cardinal’s sexual predilections were revealed, the Vatican still hasn’t released its report.

It has now been two years since Pope Francis accepted Theodore McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals, shortly after allegations of his sexual abuse of a minor and evidence of other sexual exploitations first detonated into public view.

Yet after all this time, Catholics in the United States are still waiting for answers about which Church leaders, here and in Rome, knew about McCarrick’s scandalous situation but failed to take meaningful disciplinary and preventive actions — and possibly even facilitated and abetted his meteoric rise to prominence.

That’s far too long to wait. The delay only aggravates the severe damage caused by this unclarity and lack of episcopal accountability, further compromises the trust Catholics need to have in their shepherds, and prolongs the healing process for McCarrick’s victims. The whole ugly scandal seriously hampers the Church’s basic mission of evangelization and service.

“Why wasn’t this egregious situation addressed decades sooner and with justice?” That’s the urgent question asked in August 2018, two months after the public revelations about McCarrick, by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, then president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), in a statement in which he vowed to pursue answers to the full extent of his authority and to advocate for answers beyond that.

Money, Sectarianism, & Catholic Tradition


July 24, 2020

By Massimo Faggioli

What to make of the fact that the Catholic Church received $1.4 billion from the U.S. government’s Paycheck Protection Program? The remarks from Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, seem to suffice. As he put it in a statement, the “Catholic Church” in this case encompasses the hundreds of individual Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools, social-service agencies, and other organizations that collectively employ thousands of people, and so is not prohibited from receiving taxpayer-backed federal aid. “The Paycheck Protection Program was designed to protect the jobs of Americans from all walks of life, regardless of whether they work for for-profit or non-profit employers, faith-based or secular,” his statement read in part. A range of Catholic media outlets have made the same observation, and it seems clear there is less to this “story” than meets the eye.

Yet at the same time, we should remain mindful about the constitutional and political issues concerning the relationship between Church and state, and the continued need for financial accountability and transparency in light of the links between the sexual-abuse crisis and financial mismanagement in Catholic institutions. It seems that some of the objection to PPP funding for the Church arises from the belief that the money could be used to pay settlements and legal costs associated with sex-abuse cases and other scandals. And this unfortunately speaks to the level of regard many people have for the Catholic Church today.

But we might also use the moment to think about the larger ecclesiological and theological issues raised by the increasingly decisive role of money in the life of the Church, especially the U.S. Catholic Church. As a result of changes in Catholic political culture since the twentieth century, wealthy donors have acquired the kind of legitimacy that the institutional Church might have once conferred on emperors, kings, and princes—as evidenced now in the expanding influence of conservative and traditionalist Catholic groups and Catholic business leaders. But this development itself arises in part from four decades of hostility to government spending and the dismantling of federal social-service programs, which has raised the pressure on Catholic organizations to provide more of these services than at any time since those programs were implemented in the twentieth century. The donations the Catholic Church gets from these private entities don’t necessarily come out of sympathy or support for the work it’s doing in these areas; rather, the contributions can sometimes be meant to influence the Church’s position on issues like immigration, the environment, and the economy. But in the case of the PPP payouts, we are talking about taxpayer money. And this should make us think about the complex meaning of “poor Church” in the recent Catholic tradition, and what that idea means going forward.

Clinical counselor taking clergy abuse reports at Columbus diocese

Columbus Dispatch

July 26, 2020

By Danae King

Laura Lewis, a licensed clinical counselor, will now be the person who meets with survivors of priest sexual abuse of minors at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus, replacing a priest who previously had the role.

Laura Lewis believes that mental health counseling is beyond essential when working with survivors of priests’ sexual abuse of minors.

That’s part of the reason she said she was happy to accept the position of interim victims assistance coordinator when it was offered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus.

Lewis began the part-time position on July 15, replacing Monsignor Stephan Moloney in the role that includes taking all reports of sexual abuse by a clergy member in the diocese; leading the Diocesan Board of Review for the Protection of Children, a group of 10 that determines whether claims are credible; and facilitating healing and help for survivors.

Lewis, a licensed clinical counselor, has worked with the diocese in the past, including on its Safe Environment Task Force that first met in January and was charged with looking at diocesan policies and recommending changes to help the church better serve survivors.

One of their recommendations was that her position be created to help the diocese offer better outreach, support and education on the abuse crisis, according to the diocese.

Lewis will work on an interim basis until the diocese creates a full-time, permanent coordinator position.

The change comes after The Dispatch reported in March 2019 that Moloney was one of three diocesan victims’ assistance coordinators in the country who were also priests, something survivors and their advocates, such as Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), have said can be a barrier to survivors reporting abuse to diocesan officials.

Harriman priest named in sexual abuse lawsuit

Roane County News

July 23, 2020

By Hugh Willett

A lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of Knox County accuses a Harriman Catholic priest of sexually abusing a female parishioner.

Plaintiff Celeste Arnone alleges that she sustained injuries and damages as a result of a sexual relationship with Father Michael Sweeney, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Harriman.

The Catholic Diocese of Knoxville is also listed as a defendant.

The lawsuit alleges that shortly after the married plaintiff became a Catholic in 2000, Father Sweeney began providing “spiritual direction” that included weekly visits that eventually developed into a sexual relationship.

“Father Sweeney exerted control over the Plaintiff Celeste Arnone to gain and maintain a sexual relationship with her and portrayed it as furthering the spiritual relationship with him and the Church,” the complaint alleges.

The relationship involved going to lunch, shopping and visiting Sweeney’s lake property. He also allegedly provide financial aid including getting her house out of foreclosure, buying her a gun, showing her how to use it, and providing money for a trip to Italy.

The complaint also alleges that the plaintiff’s relationship with her family suffered as a result of the relationship with Sweeney, resulting in a June 2004 divorce and annulment of her marriage.

“Much of this sexual exploitation of adult men and women comes under the guise of spiritual direction done in private,” says Susan Vance of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

July 25, 2020

Suit alleges sexual abuse at St. Agnes Rectory in 1980s

Livingston County News

July 24, 2020

By Matt Leader

Latest filing against Joe Larrabee, former priest in Dansville, Avon

Avon NY - One word comes to mind when Mark Rowe recalls Joseph Larrabee, a former priest who’s now the subject of multiple lawsuits alleging the sexual abuse of children.

“I guess the word is charismatic,” said Rowe, the latest to file suit against Larrabee. “Funny guy. There wasn’t anybody that didn’t like him - adults, kids. He was very likable.”

So when Larrabee, an associate pastor at the St. Agnes parish, invited Rowe and some of his classmates over for a sleepover at the rectory one summer in the early 1980s when Rowe was in his early teenage years, Rowe didn’t think much of it.

“Everybody had sleeping bags on the floor – he did as well. He was sleeping next to me. He reached into my bag and grabbed my genitals,” said Rowe, speaking during a phone interview last week. “After I don’t how long it was - if I said 30 seconds or a minute I’d be guessing – I knew it wasn’t right so I told him to stop. He said ‘Are you sure?’ I said ‘Yup.’”

Rowe, who graduated from Avon High School in 1984 and is now 54 years old, doesn’t think he ever went back to the rectory, though he can’t remember for sure.

“It’s really vague in my mind,” he said. “The one time just stands out because of what happened. I want to say it was the only time I’d gone there. I know there were other sleepovers that other kids went to at other times.”

Regardless, Rowe saw little of Larrabee from then on. A couple of years after the sleepover, Larrabee was transferred to a different parish.

The now former priest’s sexual assault of Rowe is outlined in a lawsuit filed earlier this month in Livingston County Supreme Court. It is, at least, the sixth such lawsuit filed against Larrabee under New York’s Child Victims Act. Three were filed in August 2019, according to reporting from Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle.

West Virginia Supreme Court to take up church-and-state question in lawsuit against Wheeling-Charleston Diocese

WV News

July 24, 2020

By Matt Harvey


Charleston WV - The state Supreme Court will hear arguments Sept. 22 on whether a consumer protection lawsuit can move forward against the state’s only Roman Catholic diocese.

At the heart of the issue: Whether the lawsuit filed by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office under the Consumer Credit and Protection Act is a violation of the separation of church and state doctrine in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Wood County Judge J.D. Beane, who’s presiding over the case at the circuit court level, has ruled Morrisey’s lawsuit opens too much potential for violation of separation of church and state. However, Beane stayed his order granting the diocese’s motion to dismiss Morrisey’s lawsuit and sent the matter to the state Supreme Court as a certified question.

The state Supreme Court’s ruling might not be the end of the matter. Although the U.S. Supreme Court refuses most cases, one with this kind of question might make it on the docket if an appeal is filed by either side.

Morrisey filed the consumer protection action against the diocese in early 2019, alleging misleading and false claims by the church organization over the safety of its private school educational programs and camps.

The lawsuit contends the diocese had a duty to note past instances of sexual crimes and misconduct by priests it had hired. The filing also questions the commitment of the diocese to ferreting out problem hires through background checks, and it indicates that appropriate action wasn’t always taken even when wrongdoing was discovered.

Lawsuit claims McCarrick ‘groomed’ abuse victims


July 23, 2020

By Rick Massimo

A man has filed a lawsuit claiming that he and others were sexually abused as boys in the 1980s in New Jersey by Catholic priests and bishops, and were groomed for and by Theodore McCarrick, who went on to become Archbishop of Washington.

The New Jersey lawsuit also claims that McCarrick began sexually abusing boys in 1969, 50 years before he was laicized by Pope Francis in 2019.

The plaintiff in the suit hasn’t been identified, but Jeff Anderson, one of his lawyers, said in a conference call Wednesday: “We bring into bright and broad focus over 50 years of criminal sexual predation by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick – all of it cloaked in papal power.”

The suit claims that a parish priest, Anthony Nardino, violated the plaintiff when he was an 11-year-old altar boy in 1981. The abuse continued until 1983, the lawsuit says, and McCarrick, then the first archbishop of Metuchen, New Jersey, began to participate in 1982.

When the boy was at the Essex Catholic Boys High School, he was being groomed, Anderson said. The principal, Brother Andrew Thomas Hewitt, began to sexually abuse the boy and became “the procurer of this kid, and, we believe, others for McCarrick,” Anderson said. When the boy was having trouble making tuition, Hewitt said, “You have to see the boss” – McCarrick.

The suit claims that Hewitt brought the boy to McCarrick’s residence, as well as a beach house in Sea Girt, New Jersey, that was paid for with diocesan money, Anderson said.

At the house, boys were assigned to sleep in various rooms, and priests were assigned with them, the suit says. “In the night, with the assistance of others, McCarrick would creep into this kid’s bed and engage in criminal assault, whispering, ‘It is OK,’” Anderson said.

“There are at least seven minors — children — who McCarrick groomed and who were groomed for McCarrick by others,” Anderson said.

Letters: The Heavy Toll of Priest Sex Abuse

New York Times

July 24, 2020

By Patricia Gallagher Marchant (and three other writers)

Readers share their stories of growing up in the Catholic church and of the culture that allowed the abuse to happen.

This article (Pray for Your Poor Uncle, by Elizabeth Bruenig [Sunday Review, July 19]) shows the insidious way predatory priests weaseled their way into families at a time in history when sexual violation was not on the radar. The psychological abuse is so creepy and deep. The isolation and secrecy are deadly.

I was sexually abused by a charismatic Catholic priest who befriended my dad, drank with him and groomed my family before going on to rape me at 7 and countless other children.

Capturing the raw pain is hard, but the systemic piece is huge: one targeted family, feeling unique yet creeped out, surrounded by Catholics who are wowed by the hierarchy. The family and the victim then have to sort and sift alone. But when support and courage emerge as well as public support and courage, victims speak out.

Multiply this story by thousands, and the truth is revealed once again.

Patricia Gallagher Marchant
Franklin, Wis.

Letter: Local parishes are new clergy abuse victims

Morrison County Record

July 24, 2020

By Horst G. Hanneken and Debbie Woitalla

Well, it just got more difficult to justify to our children why we remain Catholic. The St. Cloud Diocese just settled its sex abuse lawsuit for $22 million. Over $2 million falls on 131 parishes, each parish, regardless how big or small, asked to contribute $15,500, regardless whether we support a Catholic school or CCD program.

We did not place pedophile priests among us. Bishops knowingly did that, placing child molesters in unsuspecting communities, as they have done for decades. Generations of innocent children have borne the brunt of these immoral and unconscionable acts, causing irreparable harm. But, why are all parishes being assessed the same? Some don’t even have resident pastors. Bazaars are being canceled. Smaller rural parishes are already assessed $3,500 per year for priest retirement and $5,800 for clerical aid, the same as the largest ones.

We’re guessing many other assessments aren’t equitable either. We are obligated to use Catholic Mutual Insurance, who won’t even supply us a written insurance policy. So much for openness and transparency.

Church leaders are responsible for this chaos, not we Catholics in the pews. It seems the Catholic Church practices a lot of religion, but very little Christianity.

Catholic Diocese of Erie Facing New Lawsuit


July 24, 2020

By Samiar Nefzi

The Catholic Diocese of Erie is now facing a new lawsuit from three victims ranging from as far back as the mid-1970’s.

This new lawsuit comes as we near the two year anniversary of the grand jury report on the Catholic Church.

These recent claims are related to similar ones from the alleged cover up.

A high-profile sex abuse lawyer has filed a suit against the Diocese of Erie.

The three victims were identified by initials, all children at the time with the lawsuit suggesting J.A., 12 years old in 1978 was abused by Father Michael Barletta, W.C., 15 years old in 1983 was abused by Clergy Chester Gawronski and K.M. who was seven years old in 1975 was abused by Priest Fidelis G. Lazar.

“The abuse survivors still live with it everyday, I do not think it is fair or right that an institution gets to move on with itself and say look those are the sins of the past when there are thousands of people struggling today,” said attorney Nate Foote.

The power of the pulpit

Henry County Enterprise

July 24, 2020

By Brandon Martin

Perhaps the greatest role of a priest is to communicate. They communicate to each other and they communicate to their audience. They communicate scripture, they communicate life and they communicate how to respond when the two collide.

To perfectly communicate, you need a sender, a receiver and a message; however, sometimes the communication runs into a disruption and the message shifts from its original intent.

The Sender

Father Mark White was removed from his position at St. Joseph in Martinsville and St. Francis of Assisi in Rocky Mount following a series of blog posts about the Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse among clergy members.

White sees his blog as an extension to all the ways he already communicates with parishioners.

“The on-line social media provide another means of reaching each other, forming a part of the larger ‘social network’ that a Catholic parish is,” he said. “During the virus, of course, the on-line means of communication have become much more important.”

Attorney Blog: A Plea for Accuracy When Discussing Size of the Clergy Abuse Scandal

Horowitz Law

July 23, 2020

Every few months, we at Horowitz Law see or hear a line like this and practically moan with disgust:

“The Catholic Church has dealt with decades of scandal as investigations have found hundreds of priests across the globe who sexually abused minors. . .”

This inaccurate and minimizing line appeared in the Denver Post. But sadly, many reporters have written similar sentences.

As you might have guessed, it’s the word ‘hundreds’ that gets our goat. That’s nowhere close to accurate.

Hundreds of Catholic priests have been accused of abuse in several countries, including:

- Ireland


Hundreds of Catholic priests have been accused of abusing in several US states, including

- New York

- Pennsylvania

- Texas

Allowing Bail to Rape Convict Ex-Priest to Marry Survivor Will Be a Mockery of Justice: Activists Plea


July 24, 2020

By Viswajith Anand


Stating that allowing the plea of rape convict Robin Vadakkumcheriyil, ex-priest of Catholic Church, to suspend the sentence to marry the rape survivor will set a bad precedent, an activist and a Christian feminist organization have filed an application in the High Court of Kerala.

The applicants, Goerge Pulikuthiyil, an advocate-activist and Brinelle D'souza, founding and core committee member of Voices Against Sexual Abuse in the Church (VASAC) stated that, if Robin's bail application is allowed, then it will set a bad example and open the door for many such men to force or coerce their victims into a compromise in order to escape the rigours of law.

'The relief at this stage citing his desire to marry the victim, it will open the door for many such men who commit the offence of rape or aggravated sexual assault to force or coerce their victims into a compromise in order to escape the rigours of law. Such practices have been categorically looked down upon by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, and must not be encouraged in any judicial proceeding or stage', stated the impleading application filed in the criminal appeal filed by Robin.

The applicants pointed out that the intention to marry the victim was already addressed and rejected by the trial court while sentencing him to 20 years imprisonment for the rape of a minor girl.

'Retaliation' Review: Orlando Bloom powerfully tells story of a man broken by child abuse, robbed of his faith

MEA WorldWide

July 23, 2020

By Pathikrit Sanyal


In the 2015 Oscar-winning biographical drama ‘Spotlight’, an extremely overwhelmed Phil Saviano (played by Neal Huff) tells the Boston Globe journalists, “See, it is important to understand that this is not just physical abuse. It’s spiritual abuse too. When a priest does this to you, he robs you of your faith.”

Saviano was talking about child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. In a host of powerful scenes in the film, this one stands out. It spells out with immense clarity one of the consequences of this abuse that isn’t often spoken about.

Ludwig Shammasian and Paul Shammasian’s film ‘Retaliation’, which premiered at the 2017 Edinburgh International Film Festival as ‘Romans’, takes us through a similar painful journey. It tells the story of Malky or Malcolm (Orlando Bloom), a demolition worker in a working-class town in England. Malky may look like your normal guy-next-door, who likes to have a few pints of beer with his pals at his local pub after work, but he carries enormous pain inside him.

His cheery façade, however, begins to crumble, after he runs into someone at the pub. This man drags out ghosts from his past and Malky turns into this broken man, unable to process his feelings. He begins to lash out at people -- sometimes complete strangers, sometimes his on-again-off-again girlfriend Emma (Janet Montgomery), sometimes his best friend Jo (Alex Ferns), and even himself.

His violent behavior stems from child sexual abuse. Twenty-five years ago, when he was no older than 12, a pastor (played by James Smillie) had raped him. And his repression of this act of abuse has led him to lead a dysfunctional life full of stoicism, rage, overcompensatory masculinity, mistrust, and sexual confusion.

July 24, 2020

New Orleans priest continued serving 13 years after abuse claim landed him in treatment

WWL-TV and New Orleans Advocate

July 23, 2020

By David Hammer and Ramon Antonio Vargas

{With video interviewing survivor and showing documents.]


Asked about Ricky Monsour’s recollections, archdiocesan officials revealed new details about the church’s handling of accusations against Carl Davidson.

Sixteen years ago, Ricky Monsour spoke up for the first time about how he was groomed and molested in his boyhood by a priest the Catholic Church eventually acknowledged was almost certainly a child predator. But it was only recently that he decided to speak out about the details of the $106,000 payment that the church later gave him to quietly settle his claims of abuse at the hands of Carl Davidson.

Asked about Monsour’s recollections, archdiocesan officials revealed new details about the church’s handling of accusations against Davidson — including that he was sent to psychological treatment 31 years ago when church leaders first were told he had molested another boy, an aspiring priest.

That happened after New Orleans’ current archbishop, Gregory Aymond, took that abuse report and notified his then-boss, Archbishop Francis Schulte.

Until now, the church had never disclosed that sidelining, after which the now-dead Davidson was allowed to continue serving as a priest for at least another 13 years. It wasn’t until the clergy abuse scandal that erupted in Boston in 2002 that the church permanently removed Davidson from the ministry, and it took until 2004 — when Monsour went public — for the archdiocese to admit his removal stemmed from molestation accusations.

In a statement Thursday, Aymond said he would have acted differently now, given transparency policies that American bishops adopted following the Boston crisis. But he said the way the archdiocese handled Davidson for years was appropriate under the protocols in place before Boston changed everything.

Monsour, however, disagrees. He said he’s telling the full story of his case now so the public realizes how, even as bishops promised full transparency after Boston, myriad details of abuse cases have remained secret for years — often because of gag orders imposed by the church — and in some instances may never come to light unless survivors force the issue.

Albany diocese faces 33 new sexual abuse claims


July 22, 2020

By Brendan J. Lyons

More than 30 child sexual abuse complaints were filed Wednesday against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, including seven claims directed at a deceased Christian brother who had been assigned to Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbon High School in Schenectady in the 1960s and '70s, according to the filings.

The Child Victims Act complaints were filed in state Supreme Court in Albany by two law firms, Jeff Anderson & Associates and LaFave Wein & Frament, that have now filed 107 lawsuits against the Albany Diocese.

“We are honored to stand with these survivors in their pursuit of truth and accountability," Anderson said. “Until the diocese disgorges the secrets that it has kept hidden for decades, children remain at peril."

The filings increase to eight the number of CVA complaints filed against deceased Brother Clement Adan Murphy, C.F.C., who worked at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons.

Two complaints name Michael Scaringe, a registered sex offender from Cohoes. Those claims allege abuse in the 1970s at St. Helen and St. Paul the Apostle, two other Schenectady schools. Scaringe was a music teacher at both schools; in 1996, he was acquitted of sexually abusing a child at Bay Point Middle School in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he worked as a substitute band teacher, according to the court filings.

Letter: No special exemption for Catholic churches

Altoona Mirror

July 23, 2020

By Msgr. Michael A. Becker

A recent Associated Press article in the Mirror headlined an undocumented claim that there was a linking of coronavirus paycheck protection assistance to payouts for clergy sex abuse by Catholic dioceses.

That our own local diocese did receive assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program is true.

In fact, the Catholic Church in this country has received between $1.4 billion and $3.5 billion in federal funds under the Paycheck Protection Program, the federal initiative designed to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ordinarily, businesses that employ more than 500 people and all faith-based organizations are not eligible for federal small business loans.

In this instance, however, Congress and the Trump administration waived those rules. The unspoken premise of the AP claim is that the church may have been undeserving of paycheck protection funds because it had settled lawsuits.

In reality, however, there was no special exemption for Catholic churches. All religious groups were similarly exempted.

Letter: Transparency is essential on abuses in Catholic Church


July 24, 2020

By Lena Woltering

The abuse of children by Catholic clerics is, in nearly everyone’s eyes, the most significant challenge to the church in centuries. So let’s compare the incoming archbishop to the outgoing archbishop on this matter.

On their respective diocese websites, both Archbishop Robert Carlson and Bishop Mitchell Rozanski list credibly accused predator priests. Carlson, however, is far more forthcoming and helpful. He gives his flock details: whether the accused priest has possessed child pornography, if he has a middle initial, when he was ordained and if he’s living or deceased. Bishop Rozanski does not.

Carlson reveals the identity of 64 proven, admitted or credibly accused local abusive clerics. But an independent, online archive on the church’s abuse crisis, BishopAccountability.org, names 97 publicly accused St. Louis clerics. In his current diocese, Rozanski names 18 accused priests, while BishopAccountability.org names 49. No one statistic or matrix provides a thorough assessment of any official’s performance, but this data suggests St. Louis’ new shepherd may not be as forthcoming with information on abuse as his predecessor.

Lena Woltering - Belleville

Women suing Austin Catholic organization, former priest over sexual assault allegations


July 22, 2020

By Russell Falcon

Three women are suing a local Catholic organization and a former priest over allegations of sexual assault and false imprisonment.

The lawsuit alleges that The Schoenstatt Movement of Austin engaged in “institutionalized negligence” regarding priests who abuse members of the church.

The former priest, who is identified in the lawsuit as Gerold Langsch, formerly of St. Paul’s Catholic Church in south Austin, was accused of inappropriately touching a woman who was in hospice care in 2019.

He pleaded “no contest” and received a 300-day probation sentence.

The attorney representing the woman told KXAN in a statement: ‘The time has come for a Texas jury to send a message and put an end to this international, institutionalized abuse by Schoenstatt Catholic priests. It’s gone on and been tolerated far too long and our clients are going to fight to end it.”

KXAN also reached out to The Schoenstatt Movement of Austin, who declined to comment at this time.

For more on KXAN’s Investigation into priests accused of abuse, visit KXAN Investigates: The Accused.

Erie diocese sued over claims of abuse cover-ups

Erie Times-News

July 24, 2020

By Ed Palattella

One woman claims priest molested her in 1970s, Erie diocese knew of past abuse. Suit, others linked to grand jury report.

A woman is using a new ruling in Pennsylvania law to sue the Catholic Diocese of Erie over claims it covered up child sex abuse allegations against one of its priests, the Rev. Michael G. Barletta, named as one of 301 “predator priests” in the statewide grand jury report issued two years ago.

The woman’s lawsuit, filed in Erie County Court this week, appears to be part of a growing trend. Other plaintiffs have filed at least three other legal actions against the diocese in Erie County Court since July 15, with claims related to sex abuse allegations or cover-ups.

The cover-up claims are linked to the release of the statewide grand jury report on Aug. 14, 2018. The woman and other plaintiffs are claiming they learned about the cover-ups through the grand jury report, giving them two years from the date of that report to sue under the statute of limitations for “fraudulent concealment,” fraud and similar claims.

A state Superior Court decision from June 2019 is giving the plaintiffs the legal leeway to sue, for now.

The woman who sued is claiming Barletta molested her in the mid-1970s, when she attended the grade school at St. Luke Catholic Church in Erie and when she was in ninth grade at an unnamed high school. She said Barletta was at St. Luke to say Mass, and that she witnessed him molest boys at St. Luke.

Opinion: Congress Should Expunge Statutes of Limitations on Child Sexual Assault—Nationwide


July 20, 2020

By Michael Dolce

July 2020 marks the tenth anniversary of Florida's repeal of all civil and criminal statutes of limitation for prosecution of cases involving child sexual battery. The repeal has opened courthouse doors so survivors can enter when they are sufficiently recovered mentally and emotionally to confront their abusers. A delayed report of child sex abuse to law enforcement no longer means officers have to wait for the reporting of a predator's next victim and abusers can now be brought to justice and exposed in our communities. Institutions that care for our children, from churches to schools to daycare centers, have more incentive to keep children safe because they are held accountable. And, the ticking of a clock reward is eliminated, mitigating intimidation tactics abusers use to silence their prey for years or even decades.

It is undeniable that statutes of limitation do nothing to protect children and show no respect for survivors. In Florida, empathy for survivors has created an understanding of why the injuries inflicted in a few moments can take many years to heal. There is acknowledgement of the flashbacks, the haunting body memories and the struggle to regain trust in humanity that keep survivors silent for years. We join survivors of yesterday's horrific abuses in their courageous efforts to make sure that today's children do not walk in their shoes.

It took six years to win this legislative fight in Florida. We fought the Roman Catholic Church's hierarchy, and the insurance industry that claimed sympathetic jury verdicts would bankrupt them. They claimed liability insurance premiums would skyrocket for any program involving children, forcing schools to shutter and recreation leagues to disband, as well as siphoning funds used for charitable programs. The ten years since have disproven these prophesies of doom.

St. Joseph High School sued by Somerset man claiming sexual abuse by priest

Courier News

July 22, 2020

By Nick Muscavage

Metuchen - A former St. Joseph High School student is suing the Diocese of Metuchen claiming he was sexually abused and "groomed" for 16 years by a Catholic priest while enrolled at the private school.

The victim, from the Somerset section of Franklin Township, filed the lawsuit on July 10 in Middlesex County Superior Court and names the Dioceses of Metuchen and Trenton, St. Joseph High School, and the Brothers of the Sacred Heart as defendants. The name of the victim, who is now an adult, is being withheld by My Central Jersey because he was a minor at the time he said he was sexually abused by Rev. Frank Iazzetta.

The victim, represented by attorney Jay Silvio Mascolo of RAM Law, claims he was first sexually abused by Iazzetta when he became a freshman student at St. Joe's.

Some of the sexual abuse occurred on the grounds of St. Joe’s, including on the school campus and at Iazzetta’s residence at St. Joe’s, according to the lawsuit. Iazzetta’s sexual abuse of the victim "occurred during activities that were sponsored by, or were a direct result" of activities sponsored by the dioceses, St. Joe’s and the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.

The lawsuit claims that St. Joe's, which is operated by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, and the Dioceses of Metuchen and Trenton "knew or should have known that Father Iazzetta was a known sexual abuser of children."

Iazzetta, who died in 2007, was named in 2019 by the Diocese of Trenton as a priest who was "credibly accused" of child sexual abuse. The diocese said Iazzetta had "multiple" victims.

July 23, 2020

Man sues Allentown diocese, Northampton church and school, claiming priest molested him when he was 11

Morning Call

July 23, 2020

By Laurie Mason Schroeder

A 57-year-old Pennsylvania man who claims that he was molested by a Catholic priest from a Northampton church starting when he was 11 years old, has filed a lawsuit, one of numerous claims recently made under a potential loophole in the statute of limitations for civil cases involving sexual abuse.

The plaintiff, identified as Joe Doe in the suit filed Wednesday in Lehigh County Court, claims that he was sexually abused in the 1970s and early 1980s by the Rev. Thomas Kerestus, who served at Our Lady of Hungary Roman Catholic Church, now called Queenship of Mary Roman Catholic Church.

Also named in the suit are Our Lady of Hungary Catholic School in Northampton, which later became Good Shepherd Catholic School, and the Diocese of Allentown.

Kerestus, who died in 2014, was one of about 300 clergy members identified in a 2018 statewide grand jury report on predator priests.

In the suit, Doe claims that Kerestus befriended his family after his parents divorced and took him on overnight trips to Kerestus’ parents’ Tamaqua home, the parish rectory and the Jersey Shore. During the trips, Doe said in the suit, Kerestus sexually assaulted him.

Nashville Diocese Paid $65K Settlement to Priest's Alleged Abuse Victim

Nashville Scene

July 21, 2020

By Steven Hale

An investigation by the U.K.-based Catholic Herald raises questions about how the diocese responded to the allegations

The Catholic Diocese of Nashville paid $65,000 in May to settle the case of an adult woman who says she was sexually abused by a priest who was working as a chaplain at Aquinas College and the Dominican Campus.

The settlement was revealed by the London-based Catholic Herald, which published an investigation over the weekend raising questions about how the diocese handled the abuse allegations. The woman reported to the diocese in March 2019 that Father Kevin McGoldrick had abused her in 2017 at Aquinas College, where she was a student. In her first-person account, published by the Herald, the woman says that McGoldrick — a relatively young guitar-playing priest who was her personal spiritual director — invited her to the rectory and got her so drunk that she vomited. Then, she says, he assaulted her.

Former Vatican ambassador to stand trial in Paris on charges of ‘sexual aggression’ against four men

America Magazine

July 23, 2020

By Gerard O’Connell

The former Vatican nuncio in France, Archbishop Luigi Ventura, 75, will stand trial in Paris on Nov. 10 on charges of alleged “sexual aggression” against four men, Agence France-Press and other French media, including Le Monde, reported today, based on information from judicial sources.

It is the first time in the modern history of papal diplomacy that a nuncio of the Holy See will stand trial in a civil court. This was made possible when Pope Francis last year authorized the Holy See to lift the archbishop’s diplomatic immunity. This makes it possible for him to stand trial and seek to defend himself against his accusers in a civil court.

“He will be present at the hearing. He hopes to defend his honor and his innocence at that hearing,” Bertand Ollivier, the lawyer for the Italian archbishop, told AFP.

Archbishop Ventura, a senior and distinguished Vatican diplomat, served as the papal nuncio, or ambassador in France from 2009 to 2019. The first accusation against him was made before the judicial authorities in Paris in February 2019 by a young man who accused him of improper touching during a public ceremony in the French capital. The archbishop denied it, but the police investigation went ahead. Subsequently, allegations of a similar kind were made against him by two other men, who said they occurred in 2018. Soon after, a fourth man made similar allegations. In May 2019 the archbishop faced his accusers at a meeting called by the prosecutor, but that clearly did not convince the prosecution.

The Vatican, at Pope Francis’ instruction, removed his diplomatic immunity in July 2019 to enable him to defend himself in court. He will now have to respond to his four accusers at a trial in Paris in November.

Lawsuit accuses defrocked Cardinal McCarrick of running a sex ring

NJ TV News

July 22, 2020

By Michael Hill

A state lawsuit accuses the defrocked Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of a running a sex ring.

“All of it cloaked in papal power,” said Jeff Anderson, the plaintiff’s attorney.

The suit alleges McCarrick began molesting young altar servers and seminarians in 1969, and in the 1980s he allegedly got plenty of help from other men of the cloth — some deceased and some credibly accused.

The lawsuit details what a then-11-year-old, unidentified boy says took place. The suit refers to him as “Doe 14” and it alleges Father Anthony Nardino sexually abused the boy at church. The principal of Essex Catholic High School, the now-deceased Brother Andrew Hewitt, did as well, and groomed him and introduced him to McCarrick when the boy’s family had financial trouble paying tuition.

“Brother Hewitt became the procurer,” Anderson said.

Allegedly for McCarrick and trips to McCarrick’s beach house in Sea Girt, which was paid for by the Metuchen Diocese. It’s where McCarrick assigned where priests and boys would sleep.

“In the night, with the assistance of others, McCarrick would creep into this kid’s bed and engage in criminal sexual assault of him, whispering ‘It is OK,'” Anderson said.

A Scarily Accurate Portrait of a Catholic Schoolgirl’s Sexual Awakening

Daily Beast

July 23, 2020

By Kyndall Cunningham

Karen Maine’s new film explores the coming-of-age of a Catholic schoolgirl (“Stranger Things” star Natalia Dyer). And it’s pretty spot-on.

Growing up in Christian spaces, I heard all types of bad analogies and gender-essentialist arguments about human sexuality—but none like the one I heard at my Catholic high school. In an unofficial sex ed course, we received a lecture from a teacher on the sacredness of female virginity. He spoke about the confined nature of female genitalia, comparing a vagina to a cave and virginity to treasure. He said that the interiority of a woman’s genitalia compared to the exteriority of a man’s signified a special need for privacy and protection. Girls had to be careful about who they let inside their “caves”—ideally only their husbands—but boys, by nature, would end up sticking their penises wherever they wanted.

I was transported back to this particular moment watching an early scene in the new coming-of-age film Yes, God, Yes in which a priest uses a similarly ridiculous metaphor about kitchen appliances to differentiate between the ways boys and girls get aroused. “Guys are like microwave ovens,” he states matter-of-factly. “And ladies are like conventional ovens. Guys only need a few seconds, you know, like microwaves, to get switched on. Ladies—they typically need to preheat.”

Female sexual desire as an idle, passive experience is one of the religious notions Obvious Child co-writer Karen Maine debunks in her semi-autobiographical film about a Catholic, Midwestern teenager in the early 2000s. Alice, played by Stranger Things’ Natalia Dyer, finds herself in a spiritual crisis when she discovers masturbation one evening on a dirty AIM chat with a stranger. Her increasing desire for self-pleasure is countered by judgmental remarks from her prudish best friend and messages from school faculty that pre-marital sex in any form leads to eternal damnation (not to mention the whole conventional oven thing). But when a male classmate spreads a rumor throughout the school that she “tossed his salad,” her need to become sanctified—or at least appear that way to her peers—becomes more urgent, leading her on a rather clumsy but heart-warming spiritual—and sexual—journey.

To save face (and possibly her soul), Alice attends a four-day retreat organized by her school called Kirkos. If you attended a Jesuit high school, you’ll immediately recognize Maine’s fictional version of the real-life Kairos retreat, built around the the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. From the gold-cross pendant that looks like a waffle to the Christian contemporary music playlists to the forced self-reflections that comprise most of the itinerary, Maine precisely captures the experience of the retreat in all of its sentimentalism and self-seriousness.

Complaint, Jury Demand, and Designation of Trial Counsel

Middlesex County Superior Court

July 21, 2020

42. Plaintiff participated in youth activities and/or church activities at St. Francis Xavier and Essex Catholic. Plaintiff, therefore, developed great admiration, trust, reverence, and respect for the Roman Catholic Church, including Defendants and their agents.

43. During and through these activities, Plaintiff, as a minor and vulnerable child, was dependent on Defendants. Defendants had custody and/or supervision of Plaintiff and accepted the entrustment of Plaintiff and, therefore, had responsibility for Plaintiff and authority over Plaintiff.

44. In approximately 1978, when Plaintiff was approximately 11 years old and a parishioner and altar server at St. Francis Xavier, Fr. Nardino engaged in unpermitted sexual contact with Plaintiff.

45. From approximately 1981 to 1983, when Plaintiff was approximately 14 to I 6 years old and a student at Essex Catholic, Br. Hewitt engaged in unpermitted sexual contact with Plaintiff.

46. In approximately 1982, Br. Hewitt, then-principal at Essex Catholic, orchestrated a meeting between Plaintiff and Mccarrick under the guise that Mccarrick would help Plaintiff pay his school tuition.

47. After the first meeting with McCarrick, Plaintiff was taken on overnight and weekend trips to a beach house in Sea Girt, NJ in the Diocese of Metuchen.

48. Upon information and belief, McCarrick assigned sleeping arrangements, choosing his victims from the boys, seminarians and clerics present at the beach house.

49. On these occasions, minor boys were assigned to different rooms and paired with adult clerics.

50. Bp. Mccarrick, Fr. Ruane, Fr. Walters, and Fr. Laferrera engaged in unperrnitted sexual contact with Plaintiff at the Sea Girt residence.

Ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick ran sex ring for clerics at New Jersey beach home, lawsuit alleges

Statesman Journal from The Record / NJ.com

July 23, 2020

By Abbott Koloff and Deena Yellin


A lawsuit filed Tuesday night accuses former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of taking his pick of boys to abuse sexually and assigning others to adult clerics at a New Jersey beach home that's been central to previous allegations against the former prelate.

The man who brought the suit said in court papers that he was abused in the early 1980s by McCarrick and three priests at the home, which is in Sea Girt. McCarrick previously was accused of bringing adult seminarians to the home and sexually harassing them during overnight stays. Those allegations and others involving children led to McCarrick being defrocked last year, when he became the highest-ranking American Catholic official to be punished over accusations of sex abuse.

The suit alleges that the plaintiff was abused by two other clerics as a child — including a former Essex Catholic High School principal who introduced him to McCarrick “under the guise that McCarrick would help Plaintiff pay his school tuition.”

Jeff Anderson, the plaintiff’s attorney, referred to the gatherings at the beach house as a “sex ring” during a video press conference Wednesday. He repeated allegations made in the lawsuit, saying popes have known about allegations against McCarrick for decades but allowed him to rise to become one of the most powerful prelates in the church. He referred to McCarrick's actions as "50 years of criminal sexual predation" that had been "cloaked in papal power."

McCarrick was bishop of the Metuchen Archdiocese when abuse alleged in the lawsuit occurred. He later became Archbishop of the Newark Archdiocese before taking over the Washington Archdiocese, where he became a cardinal. Allegations that he sexually harassed seminarians at his beach house remained a secret for years before coming to light in 2018.

Former Cardinal McCarrick accused of participating in beach house ‘sex ring,’ lawyers allege

NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

July 22, 2020

By Ted Sherman

He is known only as “Doe 14.”

Raised in a devout Catholic family, he attended St. Francis Xavier in Newark and Essex Catholic in East Orange in the Archdiocese of Newark, participating in church and youth activities.

And by the time he was a teenager, his lawyers say he was being groomed for a role in what they called a “sex ring” involving then-Bishop Theodore McCarrick, the 90-year-old now defrocked and disgraced former cardinal who was cast out of the ministry last year over decades-old sexual abuse allegations.

In a lawsuit, they charged other priests served as “procurers” to bring victims to McCarrick at his beach house on the Jersey Shore, where he “assigned sleeping arrangements, choosing his victims from the boys, seminarians and clerics present at the beach house,” and that they were paired with adult clerics.

The lawsuit does not say if McCarrick asked the other priests to bring boys to the beach house.

In a press conference on Wednesday, attorneys for the now 53-year-old victim serving as the plaintiff in the lawsuit detailed a sordid, predatory scheme of sexual abuse involving McCarrick and other members of the clergy involving at least seven children, including Doe 14, that they said played out over dozens of years.

Jeff Anderson, who represents Doe 14, said priests and others under the control of McCarrick engaged in “open and obvious criminal sexual conduct” that was kept cloaked by the church.

Archdiocese of New Orleans will lay off 19 workers in the fall, state notice says

Times Picayune and New Orleans Advocate

July 22, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

he Archdiocese of New Orleans plans to lay off 19 employees in the fall, a move it says is necessary to deal with financial strains caused by the coronavirus pandemic and its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing earlier this year.

Employees are set to lose their jobs on Sept. 15, according to a notice filed with the Louisiana Workforce Commission, though an archdiocesan spokeswoman said Tuesday some layoffs won't take effect until October.

Affected workers range from clerical staff to an executive director, and they include some employees who were recently furloughed because of the economic downturn.

In its most recent financial report, the archdiocese reported a staff of 205. That means the layoffs represent just under 10% of the current workforce.

While Archbishop Gregory Aymond oversees Catholic churches and schools in an eight-parish region, the archdiocese itself is chiefly an administrative office that supports the leaders of those institutions while also running a number of different programs and ministries.

On May 1, the archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections, claiming its finances had been severely affected by the pandemic and the cost of litigating dozens of clergy sex abuse lawsuits.

At least nine Catholic schools received $5.5 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program to help pay salaries and other expenses on their campuses. Catholic Charities, which is affiliated with the archdiocese but incorporated separately, received between $2 million and $5 million more.

Explosive: Cdl. Parolin Allegedly Covered Up for Vatican Abuser

Church Militant

July 20, 2020

By Marco Tosatti

German priest was protected by the now-secretary of state

Dear friends and enemies of Stilum Curiae,

A criminal trial is underway in Germany centered on Msgr. Christoph Kühn, who oversaw the German desk in the Secretariat of State from 2005–2013.

In the past few days, the German daily Bild published an article, which we offer you excerpts of here in translation with some brief explicative notes in italics.

It is the latest example of how the highest levels of the Church — in spite of declarations, vademecums, exhortations and various documents — tolerate and close their eyes and ears when sexual abuse and harassment — specifically homosexual — takes place towards priests and seminarians.

The affair is centered on a German prelate who served in the Vatican during the pontificate of Pope Benedict. It is said that the man made unwanted sexual advances against at least two priests, which he denies.

A man sues a rabbi for sexual abuse — and explains why others won’t do the same


July 22, 2020

By Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt

The first time Joel Engelman sued the rabbi he accused of abusing him was in 2008. He did so, despite having missed the deadline for such lawsuits, in order to name the man — Abraham Reichman — and hopefully protect other children from him.

Now he’s suing again, but his reasons are slightly different: That deadline has been extended, through the Child Victims Act, and he wants to set an example for other child victims of sexual abuse, especially in the Orthodox community.

“I’m hoping others come forward as well,” said Engelman, 35, in an interview. “I see this as an opportunity for survivors of abuse, that they can make a difference in their own lives and in protecting children.”.

Now a graduate student and a married father of two living in Toledo, Ohio, Engelman alleges that Reichman, a former principal at United Talmudical Academy in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, sexually assaulted him in 1993 over the course of two months, when he was eight years old. Engelman is also suing the school, for negligence, as well as community leader and lobbyist Rabbi David Niederman and the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg for “fraudulent inducement” — according to Engelman, they “tricked and pressured” him into delaying his lawsuit in the Kings County civil court, until it was too late, and the statute of limitations had expired.

A spokesperson for Niederman denied the allegations. “There is not a scintilla of truth in any of the allegations,” the spokesperson wrote in an email. “In fact, it is a shame that Rabbi Niederman and UJO are even a party here. But, facts are facts and therefore we look forward to the opportunity to tell the real story (or lack thereof) in a court of law.”

Upon learning about the alleged abuse of their son, Engelman’s parents tried to first handle it inside the community — by petitioning leadership in the Satmar community to remove Reichman from his position. In a letter written at the time to Reichman, in Yiddish, his parents wrote: “We wish to let you know that since our son, Yoel Nechemia is a victim of you, you molested him as a child…and because we also know of other children who were victimized (molested) by you at least from 1993 until now — therefore you are a danger to children. We request from you to resign your position as teacher… We do not seek revenge! We seek to remove you from the vicinity of children.”

Between Engelman’s first and second lawsuits, New York State passed the Child Victims Act, which offers a window of time for survivors to sue abusers, even if the statute of limitations has expired. About 1,700 such suits have been filed since the act passed last January, after a long battle with both Catholic and Orthodox Jewish organizations.

July 22, 2020

Vatican indicates support to exhume babies at Irish home

Associated Press

July 17, 2020

By Nicole Winfield

The Vatican has indicated its support for a campaign to provide a proper Christian burial for hundreds of babies and toddlers by first exhuming their bodies from the grounds of a Catholic-run Irish home for unwed mothers.

The Vatican’s ambassador to Ireland, Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, said in a July 15 letter to the amateur Irish historian behind the campaign that he shared the views of the archbishop of Tuam, Ireland, Michael Neary.

Neary has said it was a “priority” for him to re-inter the babies’ bodies in consecrated ground. If the Irish government refuses to authorize the exhumations, Neary promised to bless the ground where they were originally buried.

Historian Catherine Corless has been campaigning since 2014 to give the babies a dignified burial after she tracked down the death certificates for nearly 800 children who died at the home in the town of Tuam, north of Galway, but couldn’t find corresponding burial records.

Vatican backs campaign for reburial of Tuam babies’ remains

Irish Times

July 18, 2020

By Brian Hutton

[Includes image of papal ambassador's letter.]

Campaigners say move puts pressure on State to act after commission report delayed

Campaigners for the reburial of remains of babies at the former Tuam mother and baby home say Vatican backing for their plight should heap pressure on the Government to act.

Historian Catherine Corless, who gathered death certificates for 796 infants linked to the home in Co Galway, has been told by the Papal Nuncio to Ireland that he shares Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary’s view that there should be a “dignified re-interment” of the remains in consecrated ground.

Ms Corless wrote to Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, the Pope’s ambassador to Ireland, earlier this week and received a response two days later.

Name of abusive priest removed from St. Bonaventure University building


July 21, 2020

By: Anthony Reyes

St. Bonaventure NY - Bonaventure University announced it has removed the name from the university's administration building after discovering it was named after a priest who was credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

Hopkins Hall, which houses university administrators and financial aid staff, was built in 1964 and named after Msgr. James F. Hopkins, a priest in Pennsylvania who died in 1957.

This spring, Sean Mickey, a reporter for The Bona Venture student newspaper, discovered last year's Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed an allegation that Hopkins abused a 13-year-old girl in 1945.

Catholic leaders in Nashville face scrutiny over handling of sexual assault allegation against former Aquinas College priest


July 21, 2020

By Holly Meyer


A woman has accused the former chaplain of Aquinas College of sexually assaulting her nearly three years ago while she was a student at the Nashville school.

Catholic leaders in Tennessee are now facing scrutiny for how they handled her allegation against the Rev. Kevin McGoldrick, the 46-year-old priest from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who ministered in Nashville for almost six years.

Last week, the London-based Catholic Herald published an extensive report that detailed the woman's accusations. It also raised questions about why the Dominican Sisters of the Congregation of St. Cecilia and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville did not do more when the woman first came forward about the August 2017 attack.

Eventually, the woman took her allegation to the Philadelphia archdiocese, which found it to be credible, and she filed a report with Nashville police.

The woman, identified by a pseudonym in the publication's report, told the Catholic Herald she reached out to the Nashville diocese in March 2019 and gave the victim assistance coordinator a full account of what McGoldrick did to her.

But Catholic leaders in Tennessee say they initially were not given all the details now available about the allegation against the priest.

Susan Vance, a leader with the Tennessee chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, criticized them for their inaction.

Predatory-priest victim, Catholic writer can’t exit church they mistrust

Patheos / Godzooks: The Faith in Facts Blog

July 21, 2020

By Rick Snedeker

“Love drew Francis back to Mass on Christmas last year,” wrote New York Times opinion writer Elizabeth Bruenig in an essay published this week — “‘Pray for Your Poor Uncle,’ a Predatory Priest Told His Victims.”

“Frances” is a pseudonym. Bruenig used it in her article to protect the identity of a “tall, broad-shouldered man nearing 60” who related to her his deeply troubling youthful abuse by an infamous Catholic cardinal (then a priest), the now-defrocked pedophile and serial sexual abuser of young men, Theodore McCarrick. Among the Vatican charges that caused McCarrick to be “laicized” in February, according to a Washington Post article, were “soliciting sex during confession and committing ‘sins’ with minors and adults ‘with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power.’”

By the end of her moving essay, it is clear that Bruenig and Francis have one common compulsion due to their shared Catholicism, a tenacious need to not leave the church, despite mounting, worsening and irrefutable evidence in recent decades of the institution’s profound and systemic depravities.

This is what I assume most atheists, including myself, find so disquieting about the unending waves of sexual abuse and assault confirmations against priests and Protestant pastors that have soaked the world this new millennia. That — still — many if not most of the faithful’s professed love of “God” leaves them curiously unable to break free of once trusted and honored men of the cloth, now revealed as predatory perverts, and the sacred religious institutions they represent, now revealed as appallingly complicit.

In fact, Francis didn’t even recognize it was abuse when it was happening. That’s how such ecclesiastical abuse works. The faiths and their abusers are conferred with such sanctified authority, nearly absolute, no one could imagine either being involved in such bald-faced mendacity. Which is to say, even if some behavior seemed wrong, the victim must be mistaken.

Indian Bishops to implement CDF guidelines on abuse

Vatican News

July 21, 2020

Indian bishops say they are ready to implement the guidelines of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on sexual abuse in the Church

Bishops in India are ready to implement the instructions contained in the new Vademecum of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on procedures to be followed in cases of sexual abuse of minors committed by members of the clergy.


Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado, secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) told the UCA News agency, “We will implement the guidelines in accordance with our civil laws.”

“The Vatican has always been concerned about all forms of abuses including the [sexual abuse of children],” he said, adding that “The July 16 set of guidelines is nothing entirely new but is a follow-up of what it has already been doing.”

Lawsuits claim priest in 'The Exorcist,' three others sexually abused McQuaid students

Democrat & Chronicle

July 21, 2020

By Steve Orr

Three priests and a lay teacher who taught at McQuaid Jesuit High School decades ago have been accused of sexually abusing students there in newly filed lawsuits.

In a suit filed Tuesday morning, a one-time star teacher at the Brighton school, the Rev. William O'Malley, was accused of sexually abusing a student there in 1975 or 1976.

O'Malley, who left McQuaid in 1986, was well-known for his teaching and writing and for his role as a Jesuit priest in the supernatural hit film "The Exorcist."

It is the second such suit against O'Malley. The first, filed 11 months ago, accused him of sexually abusing a student at the all-boys school in 1985 and 1986.

A separate lawsuit filed Monday laid new accusations against another former teacher at McQuaid — John Tobin, who has been the subject of high-profile claims of sexual abuse by a McQuaid graduate and the focus of other complaints to police.

The new lawsuit involves a different alleged victim who has not come forward until now, according to a lawyer whose firm brought the case.

The suit says Tobin, who died in 2000, sexually abused the unnamed student at the Brighton high school in 1978 and 1979.

That same lawsuit also accuses the Rev. Harry Untereiner of sexually abusing the student in 1980. Untereiner, who was at McQuaid for a brief period ending in 1980, had not been publicly accused of sexual abuse before now.

One of his other students, the writer Tom Chiarella, published a lengthy article in Esquire magazine in 2003 about Tobin and his experiences at McQuaid, and has spoken several times to the Democrat and Chronicle about his time there.

Another lawsuit that was filed Monday accuses the Rev. James Curry, who taught history and theology at McQuaid in the 1970s and ‘80s, of sexually abusing a student there between 1974 and 1977. Curry also had not been publicly accused of sexual abuse previously. He died last year.

'Unprecedented' decision to treble compensation paid to Birmingham abuse victims

The Tablet

July 21, 2020

By Catherine Pepinster

According to one expert, it is the first time in 25 years that a further offer of financial compensation has been made to victims.

The Archdiocese of Birmingham has made an unprecedented decision to triple the compensation paid to two survivors of child sexual abuse by two of its priests.

Despite making previous full and final settlements, it made the increased offer a year after it was severely criticised by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) for its handling of cases. It agreed it needed to rectify further what happened to two particular victims.

One of the victims, A343, was abused by Fr John Tolkien, son of the author of the Lord of the Rings, even though the diocese knew that he had assaulted other children.

Catholic newspaper questions how Nashville Diocese handled sex abuse complaint


July 21, 2020

By Ben Hall

The Catholic Diocese of Nashville is defending how it handled a sexual abuse allegation against a priest who served as chaplain on the Dominican Campus in Nashville.

An adult female student at Aquinas College claims the priest sexually assaulted her in 2017.

On Friday, a Catholic newspaper questioned why the Nashville Diocese did not open a formal investigation after the victim came forward.

The article in the London-based Catholic Herald is titled "Adult Abuse Case: Accusations of Grave Mishandling Across Church Jurisdictions."

It focused on sexual abuse allegations against Father Kevin McGoldrick, who served as a priest on the Dominican Campus in Nashville from August of 2013 until June of 2019.

Paedophile priest Vincent Ryan released on parole from Long Bay Prison

Australian Broadcasting Corporation News

July 21, 2020

By Mark Reddie

Notorious paedophile priest Vince Ryan has walked free on parole from a Sydney jail having served less than half of his sentence behind bars for the historic sexual abuse of two altar boys in the NSW Hunter region.

The Catholic priest, who worked in the Newcastle-Maitland diocese, served 14 months of a three-year sentence for the crimes committed against two boys at the end of last century.

The 82-year-old was picked up by a driver in a white Toyota Corolla and driven out of the gates at Long Bay Jail at 6:00am, before being taken to his accommodation at an undisclosed location in Sydney.

A spokesperson for Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright insisted the Catholic Church would not be financially supporting Ryan even though there was no attempt to strip him of his priesthood.

The School Around the Corner Will Not Reopen

Irish America

July 17, 2020

By Turlough McConnell

Before COVID-19, New York’s Catholic schools were braced with challenges. Now, the pandemic has inflicted devastating financial damage on the region’s parochial schools.

The situation is stark. Registration for the fall has dropped, as widespread unemployment and health concerns have left more families unable to pay tuition. Parish contributions that help to underwrite the schools have fallen precipitously in the months of cancelled public masses and fundraising for scholarships.

As a result, the greater Archdiocese of New York has announced that 20 schools will close permanently and three will merge. “Children are always the most innocent victims of any crisis, and this COVID-19 pandemic is no exception,” said Timothy Cardinal Dolan Archbishop of New York. “Too many have lost parents and grandparents to this insidious virus, and now thousands will not see their beloved school again.”

The closure of Catholic schools is an ongoing national trend. According to the National Catholic Education Association, as many as 2,000 Catholic schools in the U.S. were shut down or consolidated in recent years. As the largest system, with more than 62,000 students from pre-K through 12th grade in nine counties and boroughs, New York has experienced waves of closure.

Other factors contribute to the decline of parochial schools. With over 17,000 parishes that serve a population of roughly 100 million, the Catholic Church is the largest single religious institution in the United States. About 24% of Americans identify as Catholic. Of that number, one-third is Hispanic; African-American Catholics account for about three percent. Despite its size and influence, the Church has faced external threats. For decades there has been a decline in membership, a shortage of priests, and continuing revelations of sexually abused minors that (in many cases) were covered up.

'Sue us,' says Philippine bishop after Duterte criticizes pastoral letter

Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

July 21, 2020

Manla, Philippines - Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of Manila, defended a recent pastoral letter issued by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines criticizing the Philippines' newly passed anti-terrorism law.

Church and human rights groups oppose the law due to what they say is its vague and ambiguous provisions, reported ucanews.com.

But on July 20, President Rodrigo Duterte's legal counsel, Salvador Panelo, said the letter "appears to have violated" the Philippine constitution with regard to separation of church and state. Panelo also accused the Philippine bishops' conference of pressuring the Supreme Court in "calling for prayers" and appealing to the conscience of the court's members.

Pabillo, however, has said that being bishops or clergymen did not divest them of their civil and political rights to free speech, because they are still citizens of the state.

July 21, 2020

Northeast Ohio priest indicted on charges of child pornography, child exploitation and juvenile sex trafficking

U.S. Attorney of Northern Ohio via Highland County Press

July 20, 2020


Justin Herdman, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced that a federal grand jury sitting in Cleveland, Ohio has returned an eight-count indictment against Robert D. McWilliams, 40, of Strongsville.

The defendant is charged with two counts of sex trafficking of a minor, three counts of sexual exploitation of children, one count of transportation of child pornography, one count of receipt and distribution of visual depictions of real minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and one count of possession of child pornography.

“Today’s indictment reflect the serious and elaborate nature of the acts allegedly taken by the defendant to traffic and exploit local area children,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “The alleged acts committed in this case are a disturbing and strong reminder for parents to be vigilant about who their children talk to and what they do online.”

“Allegations of child exploitation against a trusted member of the religious community has long-term reverberations beyond just the criminal acts of the accused," said Vance Callender, special agent in charge of HSI Detroit. "Identifying people who violate their positions of public trust will always be a priority for those in HSI that investigate child exploitation."

According to court documents, from 2017-19, McWilliams engaged in sexually explicit conduct and behavior involving minors. McWilliams pretended to be a female on social media applications, which he used to make contact with minor male victims. Allegedly, certain of McWilliams’s victims were young boys McWilliams knew because he served as a priest in parishes with which these children and their families were affiliated.

Survivor Speaks About Syracuse Catholic Diocese Filing for Bankruptcy

Spectrum News

July 20, 2020

By Katelynn Ulrich

Amy, a sexual abuse survivor, was 11 years old when she was touched inappropriately by a male figure in her church.

“Somebody had brought this up to his wife who was the other person running the meetings and she kind of blew it off like she didn’t want to know," said Amy. "Several times I was told ... no one would believe [my story] anyway,” said Amy.

Amy is not her real name but she wishes to stay anonymous for her protection because even to this day she runs into her abuser.

“It was a life of hell and I was scared. He still has power over me because when I see him I freeze up like a child,” said Amy.

The man ran a group Amy attended. Eventually, he started following her into the bathroom where he touched her inappropriately and forced her to perform oral sex.

CT diocese resolves 1984 abuse claims against retired St. John the Divine dean

Episcopal News Service

July 20, 2020

By Egan Millard


The Very Rev. James Kowalski, who served as the dean of New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine from 2002 to 2017, has reached an agreement with the Episcopal Church in Connecticut to end a clergy misconduct case involving sexual abuse allegations from 1984.

Kowalski was accused of engaging in “acts of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation” with a college freshman who had previously been a parishioner at a church he served in Newtown, Connecticut; the diocese did not specify her age except to say she was under 21 at the time, meaning there is no statute of limitations for making the allegation under the church’s Title IV disciplinary process. Kowalski, now 68 and retired, would have been 33 at the time.

“The claims that have been put forth, about an incident alleged to have happened more than 30 years ago, are deeply upsetting to me and my family,” Kowalski wrote in an email to Episcopal News Service. “Although there are aspects of [the] accord that I do not agree with, I believe it is in the best interest of me, my family and the church.”

The accord, announced on July 17, resolves the Title IV case against Kowalski. Kowalski agreed to the accord after the diocese decided that the case would proceed to a hearing panel, which is similar to a trial court. The accord means the case is settled and will not go to a hearing panel.

Editorial: Pope issues guidance to tackle sexual abuse

Fairmont Sentinel

July 21, 2020

By Gary Andersen and Lee Smith

Pope Francis is telling Roman Catholic leaders they must do what most people — including the overwhelming majority of the church’s faithful — would do without being told: report cases of sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults to the police.

A long awaited manual of guidance from the Vatican, directed toward Catholic bishops, has been released. It accomplishes two important things.

First, the directive makes no bones about it: Bishops must report sexual abuse to the authorities, whether they are required by law to do so or not.

Here in the United States, virtually every jurisdiction has statutes requiring such transparency and accountability. That is not so everywhere in the world, however. The pope’s guidance makes it clear the church views sexual abuse as a crime requiring law enforcement action.

No less important is the manual’s second effect: It affirms the pope’s dedication to ridding the church of predators shielded by Catholic hierarchy. If anything, the fact that for so long church officials actively protected predators — insisting they could rehabilitate them — is as outrageous as the offenders’ own actions.

It should not have taken so long for the Vatican to issue the new guidance, which replaces a previous rule that mandated reporting to the authorities only where the law required it. Now that the new rule is out, however, it makes a more powerful statement — in effect, that the church demands accountability even when the law might allow it to be escaped.

Good. Now, Pope Francis should take the next step, which is to punish Catholic bishops who do not comply with the guidance severely.

July 20, 2020

Missouri diocese: 3 new credible abuse cases against priest

Associated Press

July 20, 2020

The Springfield-Cape Girardeau Catholic Diocese has reported receiving three new allegations of sexual misconduct involving a retired priest, and that a review has found the allegations to be credible.

The Rev. Gary Carr, who is now retired, was initially named in April when the diocese released a report outlining another credible report of abuse made against him by a man who said he was 10 to 13 years old when he was abused. The new report involves men who say they were children when Carr abused them in the 1980s and early 1990s, television station KYTV reported Monday.

Church officials said the new allegations have been forwarded to the Butler County prosecuting attorney. No criminal charges have been brought against Carr.

Carr, 65, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau in 1982. He was placed on administrative leave and restricted in his ministry in 2008, and that action was affirmed in 2016. He is now retired and living in St. Louis. A telephone listing for Carr could not be found Monday.

This 1800s Law Helps Shape Criminal Justice in Indian Country: And that’s a problem—especially for Native American women, especially in rape cases

New York Times

July 19, 2020

By David Heska Wanbli Weiden

There was something of a scramble, after the Supreme Court ruled in McGirt v. Oklahoma that much of Eastern Oklahoma was now officially Indian Country.

Under the doctrine of tribal sovereignty, the state of Oklahoma could no longer prosecute serious felony cases involving Native Americans on reservation land. But there was little clarity about other critical jurisdictional questions.

Shortly after the McGirt decision was handed down, the Oklahoma attorney general and five Native nations in Oklahoma agreed that the state would continue to prosecute crimes committed by non-Native Americans on reservation lands. Tribal authorities would possess joint jurisdiction over Native offenders for most crimes.

For the most serious offenses, the federal authorities would prevail, prosecuting Native citizens for serious felonies under the federal Major Crimes Act. But relying on this law, enacted in 1885, could create its own problems, especially for Native American women. And especially in rape cases.

The Major Crimes Act gives the federal government exclusive criminal jurisdiction — investigation, trial and corrections — for major felony crimes that occur on Native American reservations. Congress passed the law after the murder of a well-known Native leader from my own nation, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. In that case, Chief Spotted Tail was assassinated by one of his own people, Crow Dog, for reasons that are not clear.

Shortly after the murder, tribal elders met and decided upon the restitution — money, goods and horses — that Crow Dog’s family would pay to Spotted Tail’s people. Traditional Lakota law relied heavily upon the principle of restorative justice, and the arrangement satisfied both families. But the Native principle of justice and reparations offended many American lawmakers, who held radically different views on punishment and retribution, and viewed the penalty as being too lenient. So Crow Dog was arrested by state police, charged with murder in federal court and sentenced to death by hanging.

But Crow Dog’s lawyer petitioned the United States Supreme Court, which ruled that the federal government had no right to intervene in an Indian nation’s criminal affairs absent an act of Congress.

Crow Dog was freed. But Congress passed the Major Crimes Act, thus ensuring American Indians would never again have the authority to decide the outcome of any serious felony case.

Pastor Aeternus’ Real Gem — It’s Not Papal Infallibility

National Catholic Register

July 18, 2020

By Fr. Raymond J. de Souza

Although the 150-year-old document affirmed the definition of papal infallibility, that does not touch the daily life of the Church in the same way as does the affirmation of the universal jurisdiction of the pope.

One of the most routine things the Holy Father does is appoint bishops. Almost every day there are a few appointments, and the fact that he is doing so is wholly unremarkable. It wasn’t always that way, and it is that way because of what the First Vatican Council did 150 years ago.

On July 18, 1870, the Council approved Pastor Aeternus ,its dogmatic constitution on the Church. It is most well known for the definition of papal infallibility, that the pope cannot err when teaching ex cathedra (authoritatively) on matters of faith and morals.

Important as that affirmation was, it does not touch the daily life of the Church in the same way as the other teaching of Pastor Aeternus, namely the universal jurisdiction of the Roman pontiff.

The Council’s language was technical, but sweeping: “Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman Church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other Church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman Pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world.”

Vatican in legal fight over luxury flats

The Times

July 20 2020

By Sean O’Neill, Chief Reporter

The secretive world of Vatican finances will be laid bare in a legal dispute examining the alleged use of charitable donations from churchgoers around the world to buy prime London property.

Two claims have been lodged at the High Court against the Vatican over the purchase of 60 Sloane Avenue, a Chelsea block earmarked for development into luxury apartments.

The cases pit the Pope and the Holy See against Raffaele Mincione, a millionaire financier who is the former fiancé of the model Heather Mills, the ex-wife of Sir Paul McCartney.

Raffaele Mincione takes Vatican to High Court

Daily Mail

July 20, 2020

By Rory Tingle

Heather Mills's ex-fiance takes Vatican to High Court over £450m deal that saw Catholic church use worshippers' charitable donations to buy prime London property

Heather Mills' former fiance has taken the Vatican to the High Court over a £450million deal that allegedly saw the Holy See use worshippers' charitable donations to buy prime London property.

Millionaire financier Raffaele Mincione previously owned 60 Sloane Avenue, which once housed the Harrods showroom, and has now begun two legal claims over the Vatican's purchase of the building.

The case could throw rare light on a complex web of transactions involving Swiss banks, Luxembourg investment houses and, allegedly, millions of pounds worth of donations from Roman Catholics as part of the annual Peter's Pence appeal.

A text with contributions from local Churches that will be kept up-to-date

Vatican News

July 16, 2020

By Cardinal Luis F. Ladaria SJ

The Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith presents the new Vademecum for handling cases of sexual abuse of minors by clerics.

The “Vademecum on certain points of procedure in treating cases of sexual abuse of minors committed by clerics” is the result of numerous requests sent by Bishops, Ordinaries, Superiors of Institutes of consecrated life and Societies of apostolic life to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to have at their disposal a tool that could help them in the delicate task of correctly conducting cases regarding deacons, priests and bishops when they are accused of the sexual abuse of minors. Recent history attests to greater attention on the part of the Church regarding this scourge. The course of justice cannot alone exhaust the Church’s response, but it is necessary in order to come to the truth of the facts. This is a complex path that leads into a dense forest of norms and procedures before which Ordinaries and Superiors sometimes find themselves lacking the certainty how to proceed.

Thus, the Vademecum was primarily written for them, as well as for legal professionals who help them handle the cases. This is not a normative text. No new law is being promulgated, nor are new norms being issued. It is, instead, an “instruction manual” that intends to help whoever has to deal with concrete cases from the beginning to the end, that is, from the first notification of a possible crime (notitia de delicto) to the definitive conclusion of the case (res iudicata). Between these two points there are periods of time that must be observed, steps to complete, communication to be given, decisions to take.

Diocese of Scranton seeks stay of sex abuse cases

The Citizens Voice

July 20, 2020

By Terrie Morgan-Besecker

The Diocese of Scranton wants the state Supreme Court to stay all activity in lawsuits filed by five men who allege they were molested by a priest until the court rules on a critical legal issue that could nix the cases.

In a recent court filing, attorneys for the diocese estimate it will incur over $200,000 in attorneys’ fees gathering evidence that lawyers for the victims are seeking. Those fees would be wasted if the Supreme Court ultimately overturns an Allegheny County case that extends the statute of limitations for sexual abuse victims to file suit.

Kingston attorney Kevin Quinn filed separate lawsuits last year on behalf of five men who allege the Rev. Michael Pulicare, who died in 1999, sexually abused them in the mid-1970s, when they were children attending St. Joseph’s Church in the Minooka section of Scranton.

The lawsuits, filed in Lackawanna County Court, name as defendants the diocese, the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, bishop of Scranton, and retired Bishop James C. Timlin.The viability of the suits hinges on the Supreme Court’s pending review of a Superior Court decision in a lawsuit Renee Rice filed against the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

In that case, Rice’s claims initially were dismissed because they fell outside the statute of limitations. The Superior Court overturned the ruling, finding that, when a case involves accusations the church concealed the abuse, a jury should decide if the victim’s delay in coming forward was reasonable.

Bankrupt Buffalo Diocese paying $162,000/year for P.R. consultant


July 16, 2020

By Charlie Specht

Survivors decry lucrative contract with Tucker

Earlier this year, the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it was faced with hundreds of lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests.

But despite its financial problems, the diocese is now paying big bucks to change its image -- and that’s not sitting well with survivors of abuse.

Few have benefited from the diocese’s decision to declare bankruptcy as much as Greg Tucker, who has been working as a behind-the-scenes adviser to interim Bishop Edward Scharfenberger since the bishop’s introductory news conference last December.

The national public relations consultant replaced former diocese spokesperson Kathy Spangler soon after former Bishop Richard J. Malone’s resignation. He’s now making hundreds of thousands of dollars from a diocese that says it is financially insolvent.

Records filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court show the diocese paid Tucker more than $93,000 from December through February.

Bishop Malesic plans to continue sharing joy of the Gospel in Cleveland

Catholic News Service (USCCB) via Catholic Philly

July 17, 2020

By Dennis Sadowski

Cleveland - Bishop Edward C. Malesic, the newly appointed bishop of Cleveland, said his main desire as he makes the transition from heading the Diocese of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, to shepherding his new diocese is to communicate the joy of the Gospel to people.


In response to a question about falling church attendance, fed in part by the clergy sexual abuse scandal as well as misperceptions of church corruption and mean-spiritedness, Bishop Malesic called on the church to continue restoring its credibility.

When confronted by people who say they have left the church because they believe the church has left them, Bishop Malesic said he attempts to “communicate what the church is, what the Gospel is.”

“I think the church has become much more transparent today. The church doesn’t tolerate people who would abuse a child in any position within the church. Priests who do abuse children should be treated like everyone else, and maybe treated a little differently, a little more harshly because they’re leaders in the church,” he said.

Diocese of Rockville Centre receives at least $3 million in federal PPP loans

Long Island Herald

July 16, 2020

By Briana Bonfiglio

The Diocese of Rockville Centre has received somewhere between $3 and 7 million from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program, according to data released from the U.S. Treasury Department and Small Business Administration.

The Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, was established to help small businesses suffering losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. The data shows $1 to 2 million given to the Catholic Cemeteries of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, listed under the address for Cemetery of the Holy Rood in Westbury, and $2 to 5 million given to the Diocese’s Catholic Charities, listed under the address for Holy Trinity Diocean High School in Hicksville.

Sean P. Dolan, the Diocese’s communications director, could not be reached for comment; however, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, has released a statement on the issue, which the Diocese posted on their website.

“The loans we applied for enabled our essential ministries to continue to function in a time of national emergency,” he wrote. “Shutdown orders and economic fallout associated with the virus have affected everyone, including the thousands of Catholic ministries — churches, schools, healthcare and social services — that employ about 1 million people in the United States.”

Erie County man alleges a police officer molested him as a boy

Buffalo News

July 20, 2020

By Matthew Spina

An Erie County man alleges in a recent Child Victims Act lawsuit that he was molested decades ago by a police officer assigned to advise students on personal safety, including the need to be wary of strangers.

The man, now in his 40s, says the officer victimized him in the early 1990s, when he was a student with Genesee Valley BOCES, which serves Genesee, Livingston, Steuben and Wyoming counties.

The suit filed Friday identifies Christopher Ferrara, a former staff member with the Wyoming County Sheriff's Department's "Officer Bill" program, as the molester.

The Child Victims Act, which temporarily waives the statute of limitations on decades-old abuses, has unleashed hundreds of lawsuits against major institutions in New York, especially the Catholic Church, schools and nonprofits that cater to children, such as the Boy Scouts. But the complaint filed days ago appears to be the first locally to stem from the actions of an officer assigned to work with students.

However, while it is rare for police to molest their students, it's not unheard of. In 2015, The Buffalo News compiled a database of more than 700 instances of police sexual misconduct from around the country. Around 5% of the cases involved officers assigned to work with young people – school resource officers, DARE officers and Explorer post advisers, for example.

The church has no need to apologize for Paycheck Protection Program loans

America Magazine

July 14, 2020

By Matt Malone, S.J.

My late philosophy professor, W. Norris Clarke, S.J., was always telling me to “interrogate the premise” of an argument. He believed that, generally speaking, most conclusions follow logically from their premises; so if an argument is false, it is likely because one or more of its premises is false. I apply this skepticism to news stories published in America and elsewhere. This is important because reporters mostly live in a two-dimensional world. Their task is to record events quickly by reducing complex phenomena to their simplest formulation.

The problem with that approach is that it can distort the very reality reporters are seeking to make clear. A good example is a news story published by The Associated Press on July 10. The lead paragraph was as follows:

The U.S. Roman Catholic Church used a special and unprecedented exemption from federal rules to amass at least $1.4 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus aid, with many millions going to dioceses that have paid huge settlements or sought bankruptcy protection because of clergy sexual abuse cover-ups.

Shocking, no? But is that what happened? All of the facts cited are true. Indeed, as far as I can tell, all of the facts cited in the story are true. But how are those facts related to one another, if they are related at all?

Fresno nonprofits, churches make up large number of PPP loan recipients

San Joaquin Valley Sun

July 19, 2020

By Daniel Gligich

Dozens of nonprofits based in Fresno and Clovis received Paycheck Protection Program loans to help negate the coronavirus pandemic-caused economic downturn.

The program, run by the Small Business Administration and created by the CARES Act, grants businesses loans of 2.5 times payroll, up to a maximum of $10 million. Businesses can have the loans forgiven if they meet certain criteria set by the SBA, such as using at least 60% of the loan on payroll expenses.

According to a SBA data of PPP loan recipients, no Fresno area nonprofits received the maximum loan amount. However, two organizations received loans of at least $2 million.

Hospice care provider Hinds Hospice and behavioral health provider Kings View were both granted loans in the $2-5 million range.

There were 11 nonprofits to receive a loan of at least $1 million: Big Picture Schools California, California Home for the Aged, Central California Blood Center, Central California Legal Services, Exceptional Parents Unlimited, the Chaffee Zoo Corporation, Hume Lake Christian Camps, Inspire Charter School, Promesa Behavioral Health, The Arc Fresno/Madera Counties and The Fresno Center.

Several other nonprofits received loans between $350,000-1 million, including the Marjaree Mason Center, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fresno County, Fresno Christian Schools, the Fresno Rescue Mission, Girls Scouts of Central California South and the San Joaquin College of Law.

Nonprofits that received between $150,000-350,000 in loans include the Central Valley Community Foundation, the Poverello House and Valley Public Television.

Outside of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, many other local churches came away with a combined millions of dollars in PPP loans.

These parishes took PPP loans. Here's why

Catholic News Agency

July 18, 2020

By Mary Farrow

When the coronavirus pandemic necessitated widespread shutdowns, Catholic parishes were among those to feel the financial pinch almost immediately. No people in the pews meant no money in the collection basket. Mass after Mass, weekend after weekend, that loss added up.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Denver, Colorado is one such parish whose already-precarious financial situation was thrown in jeopardy by the pandemic.

To keep paying his small staff, Fr. Joseph Lajoie applied for a Payment Protection Program (PPP) loan through the Small Business Administration. The loans were meant to support the essential needs of small businesses and nonprofits affected by coronavirus shutdowns.

An article from the Associated Press published last week criticized the “U.S. Roman Catholic Church” for reportedly accepting between $1.4-$3.5 billion work of PPP loans. In fact, there is no single entity that is the U.S. Roman Catholic Church. Rather, each parish operates as its own small nonprofit, and weekly donations help to employ the priest, along with the employees who maintain the parish and its ministries.

Class Disparities and Child Abuse in Ireland 2020


July 17, 2020

By Kerron Ó Luaine

The newly formed government of the Twenty-Six County state in Ireland has been in existence less than a month but is already mired in several controversies; the usual circuses thrown up by capitalist society with governments lurching from each to the next without any alteration to the status quo.

One of them is worth looking in some detail at as it highlights an important rift between socialism and liberalism on a particularly vexatious question as well elucidating some of the dynamics currently at play within the Irish far-right.

The scandal concerns the newly appointed Minister for Children, Roderick O’Gorman of the Green Party, and his association with LGBT activist Peter Tatchell, a man alleged by many to be a paedophile apologist.

McCarrick Bombshell: It's So Much Deeper Than Anyone Knows

Church Militant

July 20, 2020

While the world has been waiting on Pope Francis and his crooked cabinet to release the report on the evil empire and clerical accomplices of homopredator and former cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, another much more quiet route to the truth has been quietly moving along out of the public eye.

James Grein — the premier victim, so to speak — is suing McCarrick, the archdiocese of New York, the diocese of Metuchen and the archdiocese of Newark. He's able to file these suits because both New York and New Jersey lifted their statutes of limitations last year.

Part of each of these lawsuits entails Theodore McCarrick actually being deposed by Grein attorney Mitchell Garabedian. Garabedian is the noted attorney from the original homopredator scandal cases dating back to Boston in 2002. Specifically, regarding the long-anticipated McCarrick report from Rome, Grein has been told by Pope Francis' attorney that it's not only done, but has been for a while.

One of the startling revelations —and a fact that brings into serious question the validity of the final report (if it's ever released) — is that James Grein, the main victim of McCarrick for years, was never interviewed during its preparation. Not once.

The pope's personal attorney — who was in charge of creating the report — is San Francisco attorney Jeffrey Lena. Lena recently interviewed Grein by phone for eight hours over multiple days, collecting notes for the Vatican Archives. Lena is part of a Vatican apparatus that has no interest in the truth, but merely an interest in protecting the institution, shielding it from legal consequences or financial liability.

Egyptian Coptic Priest Defrocked Following Allegations of Sexual Abuse, Paedophilia

Egyptian Streets

July 19, 2020

Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church’s spokesperson announced on Saturday evening that Pope Tawadros II has decided to defrock priest Rewiess Aziz Khalil, a priest of the Diocese of Minya and Abu Qurqas who had been residing in North America, following allegations of sexual abuse and paedophilia.

The first statement, published on Facebook, was released by the Diocese of Minya and Abu Qurqas, announcing that Reweiss Aziz Khalil had been stripped of his title and returned him to his pre-ordination name Yousef Aziz Khalil.

A separate letter by Pope Tawadros II, Papal Decree 6/20, posted in English on the Church’s spokesperson’s Facebook page, recognised earlier claims by victims of Aziz Khalil that he had previously been defrocked and also announced his defrocking.

“After reviewing the records of the recent investigation related to Reweiss Aziz Khalil, a priest of the Diocese of Menia and Abu Qurkas, who presently resides outside of Egypt, and after taking into consideration the prior decrees defrocking him for his repeated infringements that are unacceptable to the Priesthood and its ministry, we have decided, in addition to our previous decree dated Feb 26, 2014 defrocking him from all ministry in the Coptic Orthodox Church, effective immediately, he is hereby laicized and must return to his former pre-ordination name of Yousef Aziz Khalil. He is hereby stripped of his priestly rank,” read the letter signed by Pope Tawadros II.

July 19, 2020

Coptic Church strips alleged paedophile priest of clerical status

The National

July 19, 2020

Decision by Pope Tawadros II comes as MeToo movement builds in Egypt

Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church has stripped a priest accused of paedophilia of his clerical status, including the Christian name he was given when ordained, in the latest chapter in the ancient church’s struggle to modernise and stay relevant.

The church’s move, meanwhile, added another layer to the MeToo wave gripping Egypt since dozens of women began last month to publicly share on social media stories of sexual harassment and assault they experienced. Their decision to publicise their ordeals was triggered by the case of a privileged young man accused by dozens of women last month of sexually assaulting and blackmailing them.

The church’s move against the priest was announced in a statement issued on Friday night by Pope Tawadros II, spiritual leader of the orthodox church, which has by far the largest following among mainly Muslim Egypt’s estimated 10-15 million Christians.

Victims of JRR Tolkien’s son among hundreds in line for larger Church sex abuse payouts

The Telegraph

July 19, 2020

By Catherine Pepinster


Archbishop of Birmingham wants to offer ‘compassionate, listening response to victims and survivors’ of clergy including Fr John Tolkien

Hundreds of people abused by Catholic clergy could be in line for larger compensation payouts after a landmark decision by the Archbishop of Birmingham.

The Telegraph can reveal that the Church has agreed to triple the compensation paid to a survivor of abuse by Father John Tolkien, the son of J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings.

The Archdiocese of Birmingham took the unprecedented decision to reopen previous financial settlements to two abuse victims, a year after it was severely criticised by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) for its handling of cases.

Compensation is normally given after claims are settled on a full and final basis, but the Archdiocese has agreed that it needed to rectify further what happened to two victims....

Lawsuit against Diocese of Shreveport claims priest sexually abused boy in the '70s

Shreveport Times

July 19, 2020

By Emily Enfinger

A lawsuit was recently filed against the Diocese of Shreveport seeking damages on claims of sexual abuse that occurred in the 1970s of a then child among other accusations.

The plaintiff is identified on the court document under the alias of “Paul Doe” because he is a sexual assault victim.

John Denenea, one of the attorneys representing Paul Doe in the lawsuit, told The Times that the client’s intent in filing the suit “is not to get a quick settlement,” but rather to obtain the truth and to pursue acknowledgment and recognition of the injuries he sustained.

The plaintiff is being represented by attorneys Soren E. Gisleson and Joseph E. “Jed” Cain of Herman, Herman & Katz law firm; Denenea of Shearman-Denenea law firm; and Richard Trahant of Trahant Law Office. The attorneys have been named in articles by NOLA.com as representatives of similarly-natured cases in the New Orleans area.

The Times contacted the Diocese of Shreveport for a comment or response to the lawsuit. In an email, the Diocese’s Communications and Public Relations Director, Mark Willcox, said he was working on getting a response to The Times as soon as possible but a response concerning the lawsuit was not received as of Saturday at noon.

[COMMENTARY] Message from Cardinal Dolan: The Paycheck Protection Program and the Archdiocese of New York

Archdiocese of New York

By Cardinal Timothy Dolan

July 15, 2020

Dear Family of the Archdiocese of New York,

May I intrude on what I hope is a relaxing summer with a not-so-pleasant subject?

Last week, the Associated Press published a scurrilous article, heavy on innuendo, about Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools, charitable organizations, and other institutions that rightly received assistance from the federal government to pay their employees during the Covid-19 crisis. Many news outlets picked up the story, which implied that there was something amiss in Catholic institutions receiving paycheck protection money. Many of you have called or emailed me, wanting to know if the story was true. My answer, quite simply, is absolutely not! It was misleading at best, outright false at worst. Here’s why.

Piden elevar a juicio la causa contra sacerdote por abuso sexual de menores

[They ask to bring to trial the case against a priest for sexual abuse of minors]

San Nicolás News

July 17, 2020

Cinco denuncias lo involucran junto al portero del jardín de Belén de San Pedro Anselmo Ojeda y a la preceptora de la institución María Rubíes

[GOOGLE TRANSLATION: Five complaints involve him along with the doorman of the San Pedro garden of Anselmo Ojeda and the tutor of the María Rubíes institution]

Tras cerrar la etapa de instrucción, el fiscal Hernán Grande de Baradero de la UFI N°5, pidió al juez de garantías Román Parodi del Juzgado N°1 de San Nicolás, la elevación a juicio de la causa donde el Sacerdote Tulio Mattiussi de la iglesia San Roque, el portero del Jardín Belén Anselmo Ojeda y la preceptora de la misma institución María Rubíes, están acusados de abuso sexual a menores con acceso carnal agravado y reiterado por corrupción de menores. Actualmente la causa en proceso de traslado a las partes y los padres como particulares damnificado, piden sostener la calificación de acceso carnal y corrupción de menores.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATION: After closing the investigation stage, the prosecutor Hernán Grande de Baradero of UFI No. 5, asked the judge of guarantees Román Parodi of the Court No. 1 of San Nicolás, the elevation to trial of the case where the Priest Tulio Mattiussi of the San Roque church, the doorman of the Jardín Belén Anselmo Ojeda and the tutor of the same institution María Rubíes, are accused of sexual abuse of minors with aggravated and repeated carnal access for corruption of minors. Currently, the case in the process of being transferred to the parties and the parents as private individuals affected, ask to support the classification of carnal access and corruption of minors.]

Pericias psicológicas indican que el denunciante del cura de Santa Rosa no fabula

[Psychological expertise indicates that the complainant of the priest of Santa Rosa does not fable]

Diario Textual

July 19, 2020

Peritos psicológicos dictaminaron que el hombre de 30 años denunció haber sido abusado sexualmente por el cura santarroseño Hugo Pernini, cuando era menor de edad, no está fabulando. «No hay elementos que indiquen fabulación o mentiras», dijeron fuentes con acceso al expediente judicial a Diario Textual.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATION: Psychological experts ruled that the 30-year-old man reported having been sexually abused by the priest from Santa Rosa, Hugo Pernini, when he was a minor, he is not fabled. "There are no elements that indicate fabulation or lies," sources with access to the judicial file told Diario Textual.]

Vatican Releases Guide on How Leaders Must Handle Abuse Allegations

NetNY.tv and Catholic News Service

July 16, 2020

By Melissa Butz and Carol Glatz

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a 17-page document offering a step-by-step guide for how bishops, religious superiors and canon lawyers are supposed to handle accusations of alleged abuse by clerics against minors.

While nothing in the text is new, nor does it reflect any change to current church law, the handbook is meant to present clear and precise directions, procedures as well as attitudes church leaders should have toward victims, the accused, civil authorities and the media.

Bishop Malesic plans to continue sharing joy of the Gospel in Cleveland

Catholic News Service via Crux

July 19, 2020

Dennis Sadowski

Bishop Edward C. Malesic, the newly appointed bishop of Cleveland, said his main desire as he makes the transition from heading the Diocese of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, to shepherding his new diocese is to communicate the joy of the Gospel to people.

How to do that, he said, will be determined with the diocesan staff and the people of the Cleveland Diocese.

“I’m looking forward to walking with you as your new bishop and being part of our local church together,” he said during a news conference at Cleveland diocesan offices as he was introduced July 16. “Every change in my life has come with new blessings and I cannot wait to see what blessings await me in this diocese, my new home,” Malesic said.

Vatican issues manual for bishops on handling reports of sexual abuse of minors

Catholic News Agency

July 16, 020

By Hannah Brockhaus

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) issued Thursday a manual to help bishops and dioceses follow Church procedure in respect to accusations of sexual abuse of a minor by a cleric.

The vademecum, released July 16, is one of the last documents promised by the Vatican following its February 2019 abuse summit.

The handbook does not issue new norms or make alterations to current Church law, but is intended as a guide for bishops, dioceses, and religious communities on how to follow Church procedure in sex abuse cases.

Isolated Pope Francis Faces Yet Another Setback in Pandemic

Wall Street Journal

July 7, 2020

By Francis X. Rocca

The world-wide restrictions on public events to deal with the coronavirus pandemic are the latest blow to Pope Francis, whose pontificate has been struggling in recent years to sustain the progressive hopes that the Argentine raised early in his reign.

The pandemic has hindered Pope Francis’ ability to communicate his teachings and promote his causes, from the environment to the rights of migrants, as well as his efforts to tackle the Vatican’s financial troubles. The lack of public events and personal interactions are particular burdens for a pope who is more at home communicating with crowds than in dealing with the Vatican’s bureaucracy.

Even before the pandemic, the early progressive trend of his pontificate, exemplified by openings toward divorced and gay Catholics, had run out of momentum amid internal church divisions. A series of scandals over clerical sex abuse of minors in various countries around the world, as well as affairs involving financial mismanagement at the Vatican, had cast a shadow on the institution.

Now, in the eighth year of the 83-year-old pope’s reign, some Vatican insiders and observers are even looking toward its end. “The Next Pope” is the title of two books scheduled for publication over the next few weeks. Both are by conservative authors, but conservatives aren’t the only ones feeling restless.

“On some issues the potential for institutional change by Pope Francis seems to have reached a limit,” said Massimo Faggioli, a theologian who has been one of the pope’s most enthusiastic supporters. He cited the pope’s recent decision not to loosen rules on priestly celibacy and his resistance to the ordination of women as deacons, a lower rank of clergy. On both issues, the lack of change disappointed progressive Catholics.

Mr. Faggioli wrote in an article this spring that “supporters of Pope Francis and his efforts to reform the Catholic Church are concerned that the dynamism of his pontificate has begun to wane.” A reason for this, he says, could be a desire to maintain unity between liberal Catholics and the pope’s increasingly vocal conservative critics.

Progressives remain happy with Pope Francis’ emphasis on social and economic justice and the environment. But the pandemic has sharply curtailed his ability to promote such causes, even though he believes the global health and economic crisis has made doing so all the more urgent.

“The stakes are his place at the table to shape the postcoronavirus world order,” said John Allen, president of Crux Catholic Media and the author of numerous books on the Vatican. “If he is not able, because of the inability to travel or the inability to do big public events in Rome, to project himself into the conversation, then he loses a measure of relevance.”

Major papal events have been postponed until as late as 2023. The pope has ceased to travel, and most of his appearances at the Vatican now take place on video with only a small audience physically present. The one-on-one encounters that once provided some of the most compelling images of his reign have become all but impossible. He is currently on his annual “staycation,” skipping his weekly public audiences to rest within Vatican walls for the month of July.

Pope Francis made some memorable appearances during the darkest period of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak this spring, including a dramatic ceremony in an empty St. Peter’s Square and morning Masses seen by millions on TV and the internet. But the Vatican stopped transmitting the Masses in May once churches in Italy reopened, and since the reopening of the economy in Italy and elsewhere, the pope’s relative solitude has been less representative of his flock.

“He was very good at using the image of the desert, but now that we are no longer in the desert he has to invent new forms of communication,” said Sandro Magister, a Vatican expert who writes for Italy’s L’Espresso magazine.

Internal Vatican business has also slowed on account of the pandemic. The international Council of Cardinals, which has been advising the pope on a revised constitution for the Vatican since 2013, last met in February. But the most important impact of the pandemic has been on finances, with drastically reduced income from the Vatican Museums and commercial real-estate holdings worsening an already yawning budget deficit for the Holy See.

The Holy See’s deficit doubled in 2018 to roughly €70 million ($78.7 million) on a budget of about €300 million. More recent numbers haven’t been released but the Vatican’s finance chief, the Rev. Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves, said in May that revenue this year could drop as much as 45%. Pope Francis’ annual charity collection, which The Wall Street Journal revealed has been used largely to plug the deficit, has been postponed this year from June to October.

Pope Francis has said that the Vatican’s internal investigation of a scandal over investments in London real estate is evidence of reform, but the affair has cast doubt on the integrity of the Vatican’s financial watchdog, which had been the biggest success story in efforts to restore the city state’s international credibility on financial matters.

The clerical sex-abuse scandal also continues to cast a shadow over the pontificate.

Almost two years after a former papal envoy to the U.S. accused Pope Francis of ignoring sexual misconduct by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a former archbishop of Washington, the Vatican still hasn’t released a long-promised report explaining how Mr. McCarrick rose to power despite widespread rumors of his misconduct going back years. Aggravating an image of insensitivity on the topic, last month the pope reinstated Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, a longtime protégé of his, in his job at the Vatican, even though the bishop is still facing charges of sexual harassment in their native Argentina.

Last year, the pope promulgated legislation making it easier to discipline bishops who abuse or cover up abuse and he relaxed the secrecy rules for church documents relating to abuse. But advocates for victims complain that the legislation doesn’t require reporting of crimes to the civil authorities or allow the independent oversight by laypeople proposed by U.S. bishops.

“I’m sad and baffled that Pope Francis has been so regressive on the abuse issue,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, of BishopAccountability.org, a Boston-based group that tracks abuse cases. “I don’t expect that we’ll see any more initiatives from him, even though the twin crises of child sexual abuse and coverup remain unsolved.”

July 18, 2020

Their new schools knew nothing about allegations against these teachers. Should they have?

Mercury News

July 18, 2020

By Daniel Wu

At least 3 teachers accused of sexual misconduct at Presentation High still working in education

Kathryn Leehane wasn’t surprised to discover that former Presentation High teachers, named last week in a bombshell report that exposed years of sexual misconduct and coverups at the San Jose Catholic girls school, were still teaching in the Bay Area.

She had suffered through her own experience of being sexually abused by a teacher at the prominent school when she was a student in the 1990s. And over the weekend, screenshots and tips popped up in her phone. They traced how another teacher, accused in the report of a non-consensual sexual encounter with a former student, had left Presentation for a Daly City public high school and then moved to a San Mateo middle school — all within the last three years. Leehane knew exactly how.

“As long as he had a clean record police-wise, the other schools wouldn’t have known,” she said.

That’s why Leehane and other advocates have been lobbying California lawmakers to pass legislation to make sure career paths like that can’t happen again. But for years, their effort has stalled in the face of opposition from teachers’ unions and civil liberties groups. Leehane hopes the scathing Presentation report can bring a new urgency to the fight.

East Bay Catholic priest charged with sexual battery against woman

San Francisco Chronicle

July 17, 2020

By Matthias Gafni

Five months after the Catholic Diocese of Oakland placed the Rev. Varghese “George” Alengadan on leave following accusations of inappropriate behavior, the Alameda County district attorney announced Friday that the priest has been charged with one count of misdemeanor sexual battery involving a woman last year while he oversaw St. Joseph Basilica.

Alengadan, 67, unlawfully touched “an intimate part of Jane Doe” against her will and for his sexual arousal, Assistant District Attorney Michael Nieto alleged in a complaint signed Thursday. He allegedly assaulted the woman on July 24, 2019, the same month four diocese employees and one volunteer at the Alameda church made sexual harassment claims against Alengadan. Last fall, the diocese conducted its own investigation and found the priest engaged in inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature with the women, leading to his resignation from his post there, according to the diocese.

He was eventually placed on leave after a former parishioner came forward with earlier allegations of sexual misconduct by Alengadan.

“Father George held a position of trust, authority and power at St. Joseph Basilica in Alameda,” said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley. “As pastor of the church and the school, there existed a power imbalance over others that compounds the impact of sexual abuse. His position made his actions all the more devastating to the victim.”

After the allegations last July, Alengadan was removed from the Alameda church and transferred to Christ the King in Pleasant Hill, where he continued with his priestly duties. When parishioners learned of the criminal probe in February, they angrily protested his presence at that church and Alengadan was moved again.

In an exclusive interview with The Chronicle in February, a woman recalled an earlier encounter with Alengadan in 2002 in which he allegedly fondled her before he was supposed to officiate her wedding.

The parents of the alleged victim said they immediately reported the 2002 allegations to the diocese, deciding against going to police because they trusted the church to handle it internally. But they said they never received a response. The mother again alerted the diocese of the complaint in 2016, sending an email to Bishop Michael C. Barber, but said again nothing was done.

The diocese had originally told The Chronicle that Alengadan had no earlier allegations of sexual impropriety, but later acknowledged it received the mother’s 2016 email. The revelation led the diocese to place Alengadan on leave and to launch a new investigation into how the diocese handled the earlier complaints.

On Friday, the diocese said the victim in the criminal case also made the allegations to the diocese last year.

“Father George Alengadan is currently on administrative leave, following the Diocese’s protocols when serious allegations are presented,” the diocese said. “Under the terms of this canonical decree, Father Alengadan is not able to present himself in public as a priest, which includes he cannot celebrate a public Mass or other sacraments. The decree continues to be in effect and can only be lifted by Bishop Barber.”

The Chronicle has been unable to reach Alengadan. He is not in custody and has a court hearing Monday, according to the district attorney’s office.

Alengadan served as a pastor at three parishes. In 2017, Barber named him one of the diocese’s outstanding clergy. He sat on the bishop’s Priests Personnel Board, a sounding board for the bishop, and also worked as director of priests and deacon formation in the chancery office.

“It takes courage for victims and survivors of sexually motivated crimes, especially those crimes committed by a clergy member or other person in power, to report the crimes,” said O’Malley, whose family has been Oakland diocese parishioners. “To all victims and survivors, I say that my office will bring perpetrators to justice while providing support and resources to enable victims to work through and overcome the trauma of the assault.”

The district attorney’s office asked anyone victimized or who has additional information about Alengadan to contact Alameda prosecutors at 510-272-6222.

Erie diocese facing lawsuit over fund for abuse victims


July 17, 2020

By Ed Palattella

Filing of writ signals suit in Erie County Court. Claims linked to St. Hedwig Catholic Church and its long-closed school.

The Catholic Diocese of Erie is the subject of a potential lawsuit over its victims’ compensation fund, a program the diocese created as an alternative to allowing victims to sue over clergy sexual abuse.

Two anonymous plaintiffs have filed paperwork indicating they plan to file a full-blown suit against the diocese in Erie County Court.

Their lawyer told the Erie Times-News that the full details will come out in later filings, but that the plaintiffs are suing because the diocese denied the claims they submitted to the compensation fund, created in 2019.

“The diocese would not offer them anything on the matter,” the lawyer, Bernard Tully, of Pittsburgh, said on Friday. “They voluntarily participated in the program and were not offered anything.”

Commentary: New York Times' Bias Is Not Always Obvious


July 17, 2020

By Bill Donohue

The opinion editor of the New York Times, Bari Weiss, resigned this week after being shamed for doing her job. She criticized what she saw as a censorial workplace, one that was biased against conservative opinion. Indeed, she said she experienced "unlawful discrimination" and a "hostile work environment."

What Weiss endured was widely covered by the media. What the media do not cover are the multiple instances of bias of a more subtle nature, and in this regard, the New York Times is hard to beat. Take, for example, two news stories that were recently posted online.

Leadership roundtable wants broad reforms for accountability and transparency in church finances

Catholic News Service via The Dialog

July 17, 2020

Broad reforms that would contribute to greater accountability and transparency regarding church finances are needed to address the financial crisis the church faces and is intensifying because of the coronavirus pandemic, said a report emerging from a winter summit of lay, religious and clergy leaders.

The report assembled by the Leadership Roundtable from February’s 2020 Catholic Partnership Summit called for the Vatican and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to “create structures and laws for ethical financial leadership.”

The document, “We Are the Body of Christ: Creating a Culture of Co-Responsible Leadership,” also offered recommendations that emerged from three other sessions during the two-day summit.

Former Alameda St. Joseph Basilica Priest Charged With Sexual Battery


July 18, 2020

A former parish priest at Alameda’s St. Joseph Basilica has been charged with misdemeanor sexual battery on an adult, according to Alameda County prosecutors.

Varghese Alengadad, 68, also known as Father George, was a priest at St. Joseph Basilica when the alleged battery took place on July 24, 2019.

The charges sent shock waves through the island’s Catholic community.

“Father George held a position of trust, authority and power at St. Joseph Basilica in Alameda,” Alameda County District Attorney Nancy

O’Malley said in a statement. “As Pastor of the church and school, there existed a power imbalance over others that compounds the impact of sexual abuse. His position made his actions all the more devastating to the victim.”

When emotions tip scales

The Weekend Australian

July 18, 2020

Michael Xu lost five years of his life after a uni friend lied to cover up their sexual encounters. His conviction, like that of George Pell, points to a trend.

By Richard Guilliatt

Among the many shocking accounts of church sexual abuse that have been heard in recent years, the story one man outlined to police in the Victorian city of ­Geelong in September 2015 was particularly horrific. A former student at the local Catholic college St Joseph’s, the fragile 61-year-old remembered one teacher there as a sexual sadist who had violently raped him on more than a hundred occasions in the 1960s, beginning when he was just 10. The man he identified as his attacker was the school’s now-retired Grade 6 teacher, Brother John Tyrrell of the Christian Brothers.

The shameful history of the Christian Brothers was by then well known, and only four months earlier it had been aired again when the Royal Commission into institutional abuse held public hearings in Ballarat. The Catholic Church has paid out more than $200 million to victims of the Christian Brothers, and St Joseph’s in Geelong had harboured its share of offenders, including the notorious Robert Best, jailed for offences against more than 30 young boys at various Catholic schools. These latest allegations, from a man we will call Alan Francis*, appeared to add another terrible chapter to that history.

Priest who raped 16-year-old girl wishes to marry her


July 17, 2020

An ex-catholic priest, identified as Vadakkancheril Mathew alias Robin Vadakkancheril, who was convinced of raping a minor girl in 2016, has moved the Kerala High Court on Wednesday seeking temporary suspension of his 20-year sentence to enable him to marry the rape survivor. The move has invited the wrath and condemnation of people.

In his plea, the 52-year-old priest reportedly said that the only impediment to the marriage was his priesthood and now he is eligible for entering wedlock as he had been dispensed with priestly duties and rights by the Pope and has been reduced to the state of a layman. The girl is now 20 years old. According to the prosecution, in May 2016, the accused induced the victim to go to his bedroom. Thereafter he committed rape and sexual assault against the victim. As a result, the victim became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy in May 2017. The baby has been under the supervision of the Child Welfare Committee and has been part of two orphanages. Regarding the priest's suggestion, public prosecutor Suman Chakravarti reportedly said, "Every rape convict can then offer to marry the survivor, we cannot encourage such suggestions."

Lessons learned: St. Louis archbishop-elect leaves a community still reeling from a bombshell report on clergy sex abuse

St. Louis Post Dispatch

July 18, 2020

By Jesse Bogan

A narrator’s voice on a show about the Sistine Chapel triggered John Doe’s memories of horror he experienced as a 9-year-old altar boy. He survived being gang raped and other abuses by Roman Catholic clergy that were so traumatic they took some 50 years to resurface.

Doe ultimately wanted the Springfield Diocese in western Massachusetts to know what had been done to him in the early 1960s — not just by rank-and-file priests, but by the late Bishop Christopher J. Weldon, whose reputation was still untarnished from leading the diocese from 1950 to 1977.

Doe’s quest for justice, however, would victimize him even more. It took six years for his story to be validated, and only after initial investigations by church officials were found to be rife with mistakes and possible deception.

What Ted McCarrick's 'social networks' could teach the Church

Catholic News Agency

July 17, 2020

By Kevin Jones

There are social networks, and then there are social networks. The term is usually used these days to refer to apps and sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and other places where online connection takes place.

But in a more technical sense, a social network is the structure formed by the complex web of ties between groups and individuals — the connections that link us. Think about the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” and you’re thinking about social network theory.

The bishops of the Catholic Church form that kind of social network. And mapping that network can provide some insight into how the Church functions, and how abusers might function within Church networks.

Two experts have used the science of social network mapping approach to consider how influential sexual abusers like ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick went unchecked in the Church, and how both problematic responses to sexual abuse by clergy—or good practices to reform the Church—might propagate through the bishops’ links with each other.

Vicar general of Chicago Catholic archdiocese appointed new bishop of Joliet diocese

Chicago Tribune via Yahoo News

July 17, 2020

By Claire Hao

The vicar general of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has been appointed as the new bishop of the Diocese of Joliet, it was announced Friday.

The Rev. Ronald Hicks replaces Bishop Daniel Conlon, who resigned in May after four months of medical leave. Bishop Richard Pates will step down as the apostolic administrator of the diocese, a position he has held since Conlon was granted the leave in December.

Hicks, 52, will be installed on Sept. 29 at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus in Joliet.

Statute of limitations reform: A bittersweet, overwhelming success

The Worthy Adversary (blog)

June 26, 2020

By Joelle Casteix

This week, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reported that allegations of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church TRIPLED in the past year.

There is only one reason for this huge increase in reports: Statute of Limitation Reform. Survivors in many states (California, New Jersey, New York, Arizona) now have the right to come forward in the courts to expose the men and women who abused them and the institutional actors who covered it up.

Let’s talk about the major questions this report raises:

Why didn’t these survivors come forward sooner?

They may have come forward years ago … but the church would never tell us.

Former National Review Board chairman cites ‘mixed progress’ on clergy sex abuse

Our Sunday Visitor

July 9, 2020

By Brian Fraga

After eight years as chairman of the National Review Board, a lay committee that advises the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on addressing clergy sex abuse, Francesco C. Cesareo says the Catholic Church in the United States has made “some progress, but a mixed progress.”

“There’s still some work to be done going forward in order to tighten up the charter and the processes that are part of it,” Cesareo said in reference to the U.S. bishops’ 2002 Dallas Charter that instituted new norms to investigate clergy sex abuse cases.

During his two consecutive four-year terms as chairman of the National Review Board, which ended in June, Cesareo often pushed to amend the charter, to make it less vague and more responsive to new information. He advocated for the laity to have a greater role in keeping clergy accountable and lobbied for a more independent annual auditing system to monitor how dioceses and Church institutions are complying with the charter.

July 17, 2020

Adult abuse case: accusations of grave mishandling across Church jurisdictions

Catholic Herald

July 17, 2020

By Christopher Altieri

A priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Fr Kevin McGoldrick, is quietly seeking voluntary laicization after that archdiocese investigated a claim he sexually assaulted a young woman who had been in his spiritual charge. The Philadelphia archdiocese determined the allegation to be credible roughly seven months after they received it directly from the victim. The victim had originally taken her complaint to the Diocese of Nashville, where she alleges the incident occurred, but Nashville never opened a formal investigation.

The Catholic Herald has obtained significant documentation corroborating the victim’s claims and raising concerns about the handling of the matter in several Church jurisdictions. The case reinforces longstanding concerns regarding the Catholic Church’s handling of similar matters at every level of the hierarchy and in religious congregations. The main facts of the case are as follows:

Ex-priest indicted on wire fraud charges


July 16, 2020

By Jade Bulecza

A non-profit organization is calling for a bishop to step down after a ex-priest was indicted on 10 counts of wire fraud.

Prosecutors said Father Lenin Vargas faked having cancer and scammed parishioners to donate money for personal expenses.

Vargas was the pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Starkville and Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Macon.

According to indictment papers, he contracted HIV before September 2014. The Catholic Diocese of Jackson covered his treatment.

Prosecutors said he lied, telling his parishioners he had cancer and needed to raise money to cover those expenses. Mark Belenchia of SNAP Mississippi, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Vargas took advantage of people.

“This is not about Christianity or church or anything like that,” said Belenchia. “It’s about an institution that’s willing to protect itself and its assets. It’s all about the flow of capital.”

Priests question fund appeal for camp cited in Bishop Weldon abuse report

The Berkshire Eagle

July 16, 2020

By Larry Parnass

Like all camps that can't open this summer, the one the Springfield Diocese owns alongside a cool mountain reservoir is hurting for money.

This week, the Dalton priest who runs Camp Holy Cross passed the hat.

"If you are able to help, please send a donation," the Rev. Christopher Malatesta, the camp's executive director and leader of Dalton's St. Agnes Parish, wrote in an email sent to all priests in the Catholic diocese. "We are looking for donations in any amount."

What he got instead, from at least two priests, was censure. That's because the camp's name was linked to clergy sexual abuse in the independent report released June 24 by retired Judge Peter A. Velis.

Velis says that in the course of evaluating a Chicopee man's allegations against former Bishop Christopher J. Weldon, he and his investigator zeroed in on the possibility that assaults occurred at the Goshen camp in the early 1960s.


Diocese of Des Moines

July 10, 2020

Bishop William Joensen suspended a priest of the Diocese of Des Moines, Father James Kirby, on Friday, July 10 following an allegation of inappropriate conduct.

While suspended, Father Kirby may not engage in public priestly ministry including celebrating Mass or other sacraments, and preaching. In the meantime, he is not to initiate contact with any parish leadership of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, where he is pastor.

In addition to the ministerial aspects of his suspension, Bishop Joensen imposed the following additional restrictions: Father Kirby cannot contact the complainant or her family, nor any woman under age 30 unless she is a family member. He cannot enter any taverns or bars and must avoid bars in restaurants.

Police seize Mincione’s phones in Vatican corruption probe

Catholic News Agency

July 15, 2020

By Ed Condon

Vatican prosecutors, working with Italian authorities, have executed a search and seizure warrant against the Italian businessman Raffaele Mincione, the man responsible for the controversial investment of hundreds of millions of euros on behalf of the Holy See Secretariat of State.

In a seizure carried out on Mincione Wednesday morning at an hotel in Rome, investigators seized electronic devices, including cellular phones and iPads, according to Corriere della Serra.

Humanity 2.0 Chairman Fr. Philip Larrey Named Dean of Philosophy at Vatican’s Pontifical Lateran University


July 16, 2020

Pontifical Lateran University names its Chair of Logic and Epistemology to Dean

Humanity 2.0, focused on identifying and removing the most significant impediments to human flourishing in collaboration with the Holy See (Vatican), is proud announce on July 3rd Humanity 2.0 Foundation Chairman Father Philip Larrey was officially confirmed Dean of Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University in Vatican City. The news comes on the heels of a majority vote from the Council of the Philosophy Department placing Fr. Philip Larrey as the front runner. In a formal confirmation on July 3rd, 2020, the Pope’s Vicar General for Rome and Grand Chancellor of the University, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, confirmed the appointment.



July 14, 2020

Story by Bonnie D. Ford and Alyssa Roenigk, Illustrations by Louise Pomeroy


For almost 20 years, top U.S. women gymnasts would pack a bag, say goodbye to their parents and take a monthly trip that ended with a long drive down a dirt road to a remote compound in a Texas forest. “You drive through the woods for like 15 miles and then you see this green gate,” says 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Wieber. “That’s when I knew we were pulling up to the Ranch. I started getting this pit in my stomach.”

The U.S. women’s gymnastics national team training center was located at the ranch home of Bela and Martha Karolyi, coaches who had defected to the U.S. from Romania in 1981 after the Olympic success of their protégé Nadia Comaneci. The couple amassed unprecedented power in the sport and brought historic success to the U.S. program. As the Karolyis’ influence grew, so did the importance of the Karolyi Ranch. From a few rustic buildings within a national forest, it became the center of women’s elite gymnastics in the United States.

Letter: Former Kirkwood students brave for coming forward

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

July 16, 2020

By David Clohessy

Regarding “Kirkwood schools to pursue independent investigation of sex abuse allegations” (July 13): Hooray for former students Katie Pappageorge and Jill Wilson for their courage in speaking up about the abuse they suffered at the hands of a teacher. Kids are safer when victims speak up and report child molesters. As a society, we must learn to be grateful to every victim who comes forward, no matter how long it takes.

At the same time, however, the sooner victims act, the sooner kids are protected. So it’s especially gratifying to see these brave women stepping up at such a young age.

They are to be especially commended for using their names publicly. That’s a tough step for a victim of sexual violence to take. But it helps reinforce a crucial message: The shame in child sex cases belongs solely with those who commit and conceal it, not with those who are hurt by it.

We hope the inspiring example set by Pappageorge and Wilson will prod other who may have seen, suspected or suffered abuse or misconduct in high school to call police, report wrongdoers and safeguard youngsters while helping themselves recover in the process.

David G. Clohessy • St. Louis

BBC VIDEO - Vatican releases handbook on dealing with sexual abuse

BBC World News

July 16, 2020

By Sophia Tran-Thomson


The Vatican has published new guidelines for Catholic bishops on how to handle allegations of child sexual abuse by members of the clergy. The twenty-page handbook outlines the steps to be taken from the moment an allegation is reported to the conclusion of the case. Sophia Tran-Thomson has this report.

Former priest indicted as feds, Jackson Diocese reach agreement on criminal complaint

Starkville Daily News

July 15, 2020

By Ryan Phillips

A former Starkville priest accused of defrauding parishioners out of tens of thousands of dollars for fraudulent medical expenses has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 10 counts of wire fraud.

On top of that, the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, who is accused of being aware of the fraud and actively working to cover it up, has reached an agreement with the federal government in connection to a criminal complaint filed separately against the Diocese.

Lenin Vargas, the former pastor for St. Joseph Catholic Church in Starkville, saw the indictment filed in February, receiving 10 counts of wire fraud, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Aberdeen by Judge Sharion Aycock,

Media Statement: Mississippi Priest Indicted for Financial Crimes, SNAP Calls for Bishop’s Resignation

SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

July 16, 2020

A Mississippi priest who yesterday was indicted on 10 counts of wire fraud was apparently known to church officials in the Diocese of Jackson as a fraudster. Bishop Joseph Kopacz should resign his position immediately for repeatedly lying to parishioners and the public.

This case is yet another example of why we rarely trust the information put out about church officials regarding cases of clergy abuse. For decades, church officials have repeatedly proven they care most about their reputations and their wallets and will lie willingly to the public to protect those two things, often at the expense of children and the vulnerable. The information released in this case by the Department of Homeland Security that demonstrates that Bishop Kopacz “repeatedly lied” to parishioners is just the latest proof.

Ex-Mississippi priest Vargas indicted. Affidavit accuses diocese of lying to parishioners

Mississippi Clarion Ledger

July 17, 2020

A former Mississippi priest, accused of lying about having cancer, concealing an HIV diagnosis and advocating a fictitious orphanage in Mexico in an attempt to defraud parishioners, has been indicted on 10 counts of wire fraud.

Additionally, an affidavit filed by Homeland Security Investigations in federal court against the Catholic Diocese of Jackson alleges the church allowed parishioners to be defrauded for years. When questioned by a parishioner who had given money to the priest, the affidavit alleges Bishop Joseph Kopacz lied repeatedly. However, the U.S. Attorney's Office has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the diocese.

Lenin Vargas, a former priest with the Jackson diocese and pastor at St. Joseph's in Starkville and Corpus Christi in Macon, was indicted on 10 counts of wire fraud on Feb. 26 in the Northern District of Mississippi, according to newly available court documents.

‘So Much Trauma’: Report Alleges Decades-Long Sexual Abuse at San Jose Catholic Girls’ School


July 16, 2020

By Polly Stryker

Presentation High, a Roman Catholic girls’ school in San Jose, recently released a report by a Sacramento law firm reviewing allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct over 47 years, from 1970 through 2017. The report found credible allegations against three English teachers, a Spanish teacher, a religion teacher and an assistant water polo coach — none of whom work at Presentation High today. The Mercury News reported at least three of the faculty went on to work at other Bay Area educational institutions or with students.

The high school’s Board of Directors and its new school president hired the Van Dermyden Maddux Law Firm last fall, two years after allegations of past abuse surfaced in a 2017 Washington Post perspective by a former student, Kathryn Leehane.

She remembers her Spanish teacher at Presentation High teacher touching her inappropriately in 1990.

Leadership Roundtable calls for new financial standards for church

National Catholic Reporter

July 17, 2020

By Christopher White

A new report by Leadership Roundtable recommends establishing national standards for financial management for dioceses across the United States, along with an annual, publicly shared audit of financial policies and practices. It also calls for the church to invest in more training and support for young adults interested in ministry.

The proposal is modeled after the "Dallas Charter," which was implemented by the U.S. bishops in 2002 and established national protocols for child protection and would be codified in the church's canon law. The Leadership Roundtable is an organization devoted to promoting best management practices in the church.

Bishop Malesic followed ‘servant leadership model’ in Greensburg diocese, headed to Cleveland


July 17, 2020

By Shirley McMarlin, Deb Erdley And Paul Peirce

Jennifer Miele got a glimpse into the heart and soul of Bishop Edward Malesic soon after he assumed his duties in the Diocese of Greensburg in 2015.

“On day one, he gave me his cellphone number and said to use it any time,” said Miele, a former television news reporter who is chief communications officer for the diocese. “My 5-year-old daughter got hold of my phone and FaceTimed him three times. I was mortified, but he told me not to worry about it because when someone called, he had to answer.

“He said, ‘I’m just glad to see someone whose hair looks worse than mine at 5 a.m.,’ ” she said.

Vatican issues guide for investigating priests accused of abuse

The Tablet (U.K.)

By Christopher Lamb

July 16, 2020

The Vatican has issued a detailed guide for how Church leaders should handle allegations of abuse by clergy against children.

The handbook, a Vademecum, sets out how bishops and religious superiors should investigate abuse, including the obligation to report allegations to civic authorities.

Although the instruction manual effectively summarises existing laws, it is the first time the Vatican has published how the internal Church process for investigating and prosecuting abuse cases works. This tool was proposed by the landmark abuse summit which took place in the Vatican on 21-24 February 2019, in the latest attempt to forge a unified Church response to the abuse crisis.

Vatican publishes handbook for bishops and religious superiors to guide response to abuse allegations


July 16, 2020

By Gerard O’Connell

In a major step forward in combating the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by clergy in the Catholic Church, the Vatican has today published a “vademecum” or handbook to guide bishops and superiors of religious orders in dealing effectively with allegations of abuse by clergy.

The 32-page document includes 164 articles that contain up-to-date legal norms and best practices that bishops and superiors of religious orders should follow whenever they receive an allegation of abuse of minors by clergy or come to know of such abuse. Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told Vatican News that the text was drafted with input from the local churches and will be updated.

Vatican pushes for uniform approach in handling clerical abuse


July 16, 2020

By Elise Ann Allen

In a bid to universalize the Catholic Church’s approach to handling clerical abuse cases, the Vatican Thursday issued a new handbook outlining the procedures to follow when an ordained minister is accused of abusing a minor.

The request for a manual was made during the Feb. 21-24, 2019, global summit on the protection of minors at the Vatican, which drew together the heads of all bishops’ conferences worldwide.

That gathering was, in part, held to break the notion that clerical sexual abuse was primarily an issue in the West, and to get bishops on the same page in terms of best-practices, as some countries are more advanced in safeguarding policies than others.

Bishops get guidance on abuse claims

Washington Post

July 16, 2020

By Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli

In the latest attempt to address its long-running crisis over clergy sex abuse, the Vatican on Thursday published guidelines for bishops that lay out how to handle such cases and direct them not to dismiss accusations that are submitted anonymously, seem vague or appear initially dubious.

The guidelines do not include any changes to church law, and they continue to give bishops some latitude as they conduct preliminary investigations into abuse claims. But they amount to a formal manual for what the Catholic Church considers best practices — at a time when it has pledged to act with more transparency after years of bruising scandal.

As part of the guidelines, bishops should report claims to civil authorities if it is “considered necessary to protect the person involved or other minors from the danger of further criminal acts.”

New Vatican manual advises bishops on how to report sex abuse claims

Agence France-Presse via The Journal

July 16, 2020

The new advice says bishops “should” report claims – but critics have said it should be mandatory.

The Vatican has released guidelines for bishops and other senior officials on dealing with clerical child sex abuse claims, clarifying rules on tackling a decades-old scandal plaguing the church.

The manual, which includes a form to be filled out detailing the alleged crime against minors, does not include any new laws but was drawn up after Pope Francis called for the procedures to be laid out step-by-step, it said.

It strengthened advice to officials on reporting claims to civil authorities, saying they “should” do so, even if not obliged to by law in the country in question, especially if necessary to protect the person involved or other minors.

Previous official guidelines have told clerics to follow local laws on whether claims should be reported to police.

Critics of the church have long insisted bishops and others should be ordered, not merely urged, to report crimes.

“While this language is incrementally stronger than the Vatican’s usual rhetoric, the difference doesn’t matter. This is merely a manual – it carries no weight under church law,” said Anne Doyle, co-director of the abuse tracking site Bishop Accountability.

Vatican issues new manual on reporting sex abuse of minors

DW (Deutsche Welle)

July 16, 2020

The Catholic Church issued new guidelines to the clergy, indicating they should contact police if there is suspected abuse. The Church had long opposed such an idea, saying it could lead to wrongful prosecution.

The Vatican published guidelines for bishops and other senior officials on Thursday on how to deal with child sex claims within the clergy.

The manual includes a form to be filled out detailing the alleged crime against minors. It also urged leaders to be serious about perceived small offenses and recommended going to the police, even if they were not legally required to do so.

It contains more than 160 guidelines for conduct, including not ignoring anonymous allegations, social media posts accusing a church member of misconduct, or allegations outside of the statute of limitations.

Vatican's new guidance on sexual abuse investigations emphasizes involving police


July 16, 2020

By Zack Budryk

A long-anticipated Vatican manual on investigations of possible sexual abuse directs bishops to report all such allegations to police, even in cases where they are not legally obligated to do so.

Under the Catholic Church's new policies, "even in cases where there is no explicit legal obligation to do so, the ecclesiastical authorities should make a report to the competent civil authorities if this is considered necessary to protect the person involved or other minors from the danger of further criminal acts."

The manual, which is not legally binding, also requires clergy to obey "legitimate" subpoena requests and directs against outright dismissal of anonymous allegations or those that fall outside the statue of limitations without further investigation, The Associated Press reported. Allegations should only be dismissed out of hand if a bishop determines "manifest impossibility," such as the accused being elsewhere at the time of the allegation.

July 16, 2020

Vatican Tells Bishops to Report Sex Abuse to Police (but Doesn’t Require It)

The New York Times

July 16, 2020

Advocates for abuse victims had long asked the Roman Catholic Church to make this change, but said the new guidance still gives bishops too much leeway.

By Elisabetta Povoledo

The Vatican has told bishops around the world to report cases of clerical sex abuse to civil authorities even where local laws don’t require it — a step that abuse victims and their advocates have demanded over the decades in which the scandal has roiled the Roman Catholic Church.

The Vatican also urged bishops to investigate even abuse claims that seem to be “doubtful,” or are made anonymously, rather than dismissing them outright.

But the new instructions are not binding and were not enshrined in the church’s canon law, prompting criticism that the Vatican still gives bishops too much leeway in judging the conduct of their priests. The instructions were instead part of a new handbook intended to guide bishops and religious superiors who may have little experience handling abuse cases.

“What is important to remember today is that it is still allowable under canon law for a bishop to not report a priest who is raping a child; it is still allowed for thousands of the world’s bishops,” Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, a victims advocacy and research group, said in a telephone interview.

Vatican to Bishops: Believe Little Kids, Investigate All Sex-Abuse Claims

Daily Beast

July 16, 2020

By Barbie Latza Nadeau

In an astonishing change in policy, the Vatican has published new guidelines for dioceses around the world about how to handle claims of clerical sex abuse. After thousands of children were abused amid decades of coverups and payoffs, the Vatican now urges local bishops to investigate claims “even if they seem unfounded” and to report them to local secular authorities even if the country guidelines do not mandate reporting unproven claims.

The new 16-page document is called Vademecum, which is Latin for “handbook” and includes a form for local bishops to fill out, including such advice as taking vague claims from anonymous sources seriously, and that they “should be appropriately assessed and, if reasonably possible, given all due attention.” The document also states, “Even in cases where there is no explicit legal obligation to do so, the ecclesiastical authorities should make a report to the competent civil authorities if this is considered necessary to protect the person involved or other minors from the danger of further criminal acts.” The document does keep one blind spot, pointing out that priests who hear confessions of clerical abuse from other priests are under no obligation to report them.

New Vatican Guidance Urges Clergy To Report Cases Of Sexual Abuse

National Public Radio

July 16, 2020

By David Welna

The Vatican on Wednesday published a handbook for clergy and church lawyers that lays out the steps to follow when investigating and reporting alleged cases of sexual abuse of minors and others by priests, deacons and prelates.

A Vatican official described the "vademecum," as the document is titled in Latin, as simply a "tool" for correctly conducting probes into such allegations.

"No new law is being promulgated, nor are new norms being issued," Cardinal Louis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, writes in the in-house outlet Vatican News. "It is, instead, an 'instruction manual' that intends to help whoever has to deal with concrete cases from the beginning to the end."

But the handbook does go further than the instructions Pope Francis issued in a May 2019 apostolic letter titled "You Are the Light of the World." In that missive, the pontiff instructed church authorities to report suspected cases of sexual abuse to civil authorities when required to do so by local laws.

[Media Statement] Vatican issues handbook of procedures on abuse cases – Response by BishopAccountability.org

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has published its long-awaited vademecum, or handbook, on handling abuse cases. Initial reports are focusing on the document’s language about civil reporting. Point #17 of the handbook says that church officials "should" report to civil authorities if they think the victim or minors might be in danger.

While this language is incrementally stronger than the Vatican's usual rhetoric, the difference is of little consequence.This is merely a manual – it carries no weight under church law. What matters is the prevailing canonical norm about civil reporting in Vos Estis Lux Mundi, the reporting law issued by the Pope last year. That norm, Article 19, says that VELM’s new reporting procedures should be applied "without prejudice" to state law. The provision in its entirety reads: “These norms apply without prejudice to the rights and obligations established in each place by state laws, particularly those concerning any reporting obligations to the competent civil authorities.”

That's not a recommendation to report. It's a minimal nod to civil obligations, and its implications are devastating: as Pope Francis knows, clergy are exempted from reporting child sexual abuse in most countries.This means that under current canon law, most of the world’s bishops still are allowed not to tell civil authorities that a priest is raping a child.

If Pope Francis is serious about waging an "all-out battle" against child sexual abuse, he should order every church official to report allegations to civil authorities. The Vatican often observes that in certain countries, reporting a sex crime could put the accuser or accused at risk. That's no reason not to mandate civil reporting in the scores of countries where it is safe to do so. The Vatican could specify the few unsafe countries, and exempt bishops who work there from the civil reporting obligation.

News reports today are also highlighting Point #50, which says that Ordinaries must cooperate with civil court orders to surrender documents. Hierarchs should not obstruct justice, in other words. This provision too is minimal, and falls far short of what the Vatican should be ordering, which is the proactive release of abuse files to civil authorities. Point #50 is simply prudent self-protection on the part of the Holy See. It knows that the church is facing a new era of accountability worldwide. Church offices are being raided by police, and from Chile to Colombia to the United States to Poland, civil authorities are accusing bishops of cover-up. Increasingly, civil courts are demanding that church authorities turn over information about sexual assaults of children. That the Vatican is now advising non-obstruction is hardly praiseworthy. (cont'd)

Vatican issues Vademecum: procedures regarding cases of sexual abuse of minors

Vatican News

July 16, 2020

By Isabella Piro

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) publishes an “instruction manual”, a step-by-step guide to help ascertain the truth in cases of minors who have suffered abuse on the part of a member of the clergy.

Substantially, the Vademecum provides precise responses to what can be called the most frequently asked questions. It is an instruction manual which, in a bit more than 30 pages and 9 chapters, responds to the main questions to several procedural steps regarding how cases of the sexual abuse of minors committed by members of the clergy should be handled. It is not, however, a normative text. Nor does it introduce new legislation on the subject. Rather, it is a tool designed to help Ordinaries and legal professionals who need to apply canonical norms to actual cases regarding the delicta graviora (more serious delict or crime). The Vademecum says such crimes referred to as delicta graviora “constitute for the whole Church a profound and painful wound that cries out for healing.”

Opus Dei confirms one of its priests sentenced by Vatican for abuse


July 16, 2020

By Inés San Martín

Through a statement released on Thursday, Opus Dei publicly acknowledged the first sentence issued by the Vatican against one of its priests for sexual abuse.

“The Opus Dei prelature in Spain asks for forgiveness and deeply regrets the suffering caused to the victims,” says the statement. “We ask God to bring comfort and healing to those affected.”

Father Manuel Cociña, 72, was found guilty of molesting one young man, who was 18 when the abuse began in 2002 in Spain. The sentence was issued on June 30, and the priest was given 15 days to appeal. When the time to do so expired – on Wednesday at midnight – the sentence from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith became finalized.

Vatican Publishes Manual for Bishops on Handling Sex-Abuse Reports

The Wall Street Journal

July 16, 2020

By Francis X. Rocca

Document summarizes Catholic Church law regarding sexual abuse of minors by clergy and steps for the disciplinary process

The Vatican Thursday released an instruction manual for bishops on dealing with reports of clerical sex abuse, in a step toward a more unified response to a long-running scandal for the Catholic Church and the reign of Pope Francis.

Judge denies media request to unseal files on Saints owner

Associated Press

July 15, 2020

By Jim Mustian

A judge has denied a request by news organizations including The Associated Press to unseal court records involving the mental competency of billionaire Tom Benson when he rewrote his will to give his third wife ownership of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans sports franchises.

The news outlets argued public interest in the 2015 case had been heightened by revelations this year that Saints executives engaged in a behind-the-scenes public relations campaign to help the Archdiocese of New Orleans contain the fallout from a clergy abuse crisis.

"Legitimate questions are being raised about the connection between the team and the local Roman Catholic Church,” attorneys for the news organizations wrote in a court filing.

Lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by priest filed against Catholic Diocese of Shreveport


July 15, 2020

A civil lawsuit alleging repeated sexual abuse of a minor by a priest has been filed against the Shreveport Catholic Diocese.

The lawsuit, “Paul Doe vs. the Diocese of Shreveport” accuses the late Rev. William Allison, a priest who served under the Alexandria Catholic Diocese from 1949 until his death in 1987, of sexually abusing the plaintiff during his two-year tenure at Our Lady of Fatima in Monroe, when he was an altar boy in the fifth or sixth grade.

It also accuses a person named “Henry,” who allegedly lived with the Rev. Sam Polizzi in the Catholic rectory on the campus of then Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe (now ULM), of raping him when he was in the first or second grade.

Former priest indicted as feds, Jackson Diocese reach agreement on criminal complaint

Starkville Daily News

July 15, 2020

By Ryan Phillips

A former Starkville priest accused of defrauding parishioners out of tens of thousands of dollars for fraudulent medical expenses has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 10 counts of wire fraud.

On top of that, the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, who is accused of being aware of the fraud and actively working to cover it up, has reached an agreement with the federal government in connection to a criminal complaint filed separately against the Diocese.

Indiana archdiocese sued over liability insurance response

Associated Press

July 16, 2020

An insurance company is suing the Indianapolis archdiocese, alleging that it failed to disclose allegations of child sexual abuse by a Catholic priest when it applied for liability insurance.

Underwriters for Lloyd’s of London contends in a federal lawsuit filed Monday that when the archdiocese applied for excess sexual misconduct liability insurance in June 2019, it failed to disclose abuse allegations against Rev. David J. Marcotte reported months before its application was filed.

The lawsuit asks a judge to rescind the insurance policy and render it void, The Indianapolis Star reported.

Wyoming prosecutors not pursuing retired-bishop abuse case

Associated Press

July 16, 2020

Prosecutors in Wyoming have again decided not to pursue sexual abuse charges against a retired Roman Catholic bishop accused of abusing boys over decades.

They felt they couldn’t successfully prosecute Bishop Joseph Hart after reviewing a police investigation, Natrona County assistant district attorney Michael Schafer said Tuesday.

Hart was among the highest-ranking church officials around the world facing prosecution and other sanctions for alleged sex abuse.

Vatican directs world's bishops to report abuse claims to civil authorities

National Catholic Reporter

July 16, 2020

By Joshua J. McElwee

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith directed the world's Catholic bishops July 16 to investigate claims of sexual abuse against minors even when they appear unfounded, reminding the prelates that failure to do so can lead to their removal from office for negligence of duty.

In a new handbook outlining step-by-step how bishops and religious superiors should investigate reports of abuse by clerics, the congregation also appears to make the Vatican's first blanket request that church officials forward all such reports to civil authorities, including in countries where that is not required by law.

Pope Francis had previously obligated bishops and superiors to abide by existing civil reporting laws.

The new document, known in Latin as a Vademecum, is not a series of laws or norms. Cardinal Luis Ladaria, the head of the doctrinal congregation, likened it in a statement to an "instruction manual," meant to help bishops understand the specific procedures they should follow in receiving and investigating abuse claims.

Vatican says bishops should report sex abuse to police

Associated Press

July 16, 2020

By Nicole Winfield

The Vatican told bishops around the world on Thursday they should report cases of clergy sex crimes to police even when not legally bound to do so, in its latest effort to compel church leaders to protect minors from predator priests.

The Vatican issued a long-awaited manual for bishops and religious superiors on conducting in-house investigations into allegations of priests who rape and molest minors and vulnerable adults. While the Vatican has had detailed canonical norms in place for two decades, the laws continue to be ignored by some bishops who dismiss allegations by victims in favor of protecting their priests.

While the manual doesn’t have the force of a new law, it goes beyond the current Vatican policy about cooperating with law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and police. That policy requires bishops and religious superiors to report allegations of sex crimes with minors only where local laws requires it.

Vatican handbook on sex abuse cases urges reporting to authorities


July 16, 2020

By Philip Pullella

The Vatican is advising bishops to report cases of sexual abuse of minors by priests to civil authorities even if they are not obliged to by local law, toughening its official guidance on an issue that has rocked the Catholic Church in recent years.

The advice is contained in a new 20-page “vademecum”, or guidebook, issued on Thursday by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It contains some of the clearest language on reporting sexual abuse ever in a Vatican document.

Previous Vatican documents required clerics to report any cases of abuse to Church superiors but said they should follow local law on whether they are obliged to report alleged sexual abuse to civil authorities.

Complaint Alleges Springfield Bishop Covered Up Clergy Abuse

New England Public Media via NPR

July 15, 2020

By Adam Frenier

An advocate for clergy sexual abuse survivors said he's filed a complaint against the Springfield Roman Catholic bishop, accusing Mitchell Rozanski of trying to cover up allegations against priests.

The complaint is being lodged with the Catholic Bishops Abuse Reporting Service, which is set up to look at misconduct by a bishop or cardinal.

Olan Horne, an advocate and clergy abuse survivor, said the allegations go beyond those outlined in a report released by retired judge Peter Velis — which validated abuse claims against former Springfield Bishop Christopher Weldon.

Criminal law hinders quest for justice in Depok abuse case

The Jakarta Post

July 16, 2020

By Budi Sutrisno

A recent case of child sexual abuse at a Catholic church in Depok, West Java, sheds light on the flaws and complexity of Indonesia’s criminal law, which has hampered the victims’ quest for justice for a crime reportedly committed over a period of 18 years.

Only three of at least 21 altar boys allegedly molested by 42-year-old church caretaker Syahril Parlindungan Marbun since 2002 have filed legal reports, and the Depok Police say they cannot “process” one of those reports because of a “lack of evidence”.

Police said they considered that claimant just as a witness rather than a victim in the case because the alleged crime happened 12 years ago, so police could not make a physical forensics report.

Edward C. Malesic named new Bishop of Cleveland's Roman Catholic Diocese


July 15, 2020

By Tyler Carey and Ryan Haidet

The 59-year-old has been Bishop of Greensburg, Pennsylvania since 2015.

After a months-long vacancy, Cleveland's Roman Catholics has selected its next leader.

Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Edward C. Malesic as the next Bishop of Cleveland. The announcement was made at 6 a.m. Thursday. He will be introduced at a 10 a.m. press conference. You can read his full bio at the bottom of this story.

"Father Don Oleksiak will continue serving as diocesan administrator until Bishop-designate Malesic’s installation on Sept. 14 during a Mass in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland," officials said.

Malesic has served as Bishop of Greensburg, Pennsylvania since 2015, and will now sit as the Diocese of Cleveland's 12th bishop since its formation in 1847.

Cardinal Pell describes his time in prison

Catholic News Service via The Catholic Weekly

July 16, 2020

Prelate says he never felt abandoned by God

Cardinal George Pell, 79, a former senior adviser to Pope Francis, has broken his silence two months after the country’s High Court overturned his conviction for historical sexual abuse of two teenagers.

“From the first night, I always had a breviary (even if it was out of season), and I received Holy Communion each week,” Cardinal Pell wrote in an essay for US Catholic magazine First Things. The story was reprinted in The Australian.

My Time in Prison

First Things

August 2020

By George Cardinal Pell

There is a lot of goodness in prisons. At times, I am sure, prisons may be hell on earth. I was fortunate to be kept safe and treated well. I was impressed by the professionalism of the warders, the faith of the prisoners, and the existence of a moral sense even in the darkest places.

I was in solitary confinement for thirteen months, ten at the Melbourne Assessment Prison and three at Barwon Prison. In Melbourne the prison uniform was a green tracksuit, but in Barwon I was issued the bright red colors of a cardinal. I had been convicted in December 2018 of historical sexual offenses against children, despite my innocence, and despite the incoherence of the Crown Prosecutor’s case against me. ­Eventually (in April of this year) the High Court of Australia was to quash my convictions in a unanimous ­ruling. In the meantime, I began to serve my sentence of six years.

Former Fort Collins priest granted parole after imprisonment for sexually abusing teens


July 15, 2020

By Sady Swanson

The former Fort Collins priest imprisoned in 2007 for sexually assaulting child parishioners in two counties has been granted parole.

Timothy Evans, 57, was sentenced to 14 years to life in prison in 2007 for sexually assaulting a teen boy who worked at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, where Evans was a pastor.

Evans' last request for parole was denied after a Dec. 2 hearing at the Fremont Correctional Facility in Canon City, where Evans is being held. Evans acknowledged the hearing was his third since he became eligible for parole in January 2018.

The parole board announced last week that Evans had been approved for parole after his June parole hearing. Evans will be eligible for release on July 30, according to a Department of Corrections spokesperson.

Church issues warning as claims of sexual abuse surface in Fiji

RNZ Pacific

July 16, 2020

By Christine Rovoi

The Catholic Church in Fiji has warned any priests found to have abused children will be severely dealt with.

The warning comes amid allegations of sexual abuse by the church's priests as revealed in a report by Television New Zealand claimed a man was molested by a priest in Fiji when he was a child.

The warning comes amid allegations of sexual abuse by the church's priests as revealed in a report by Television New Zealand claimed a man was molested by a priest in Fiji when he was a child.

The report claimed that the NZ Catholic Church had moved certain brothers and priests - who had sexually abused children - to the Pacific including Fiji.

The head of the church in Fiji, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong, said he emphathised with the victims of sexual abuse - "with their hurt, anger, trauma and feelings. I emphathise with the pain that victims and their families have experienced and continue to experience".

"On behalf of the church, I express our remorse for past failures and extend our sincere regret and deep sympathy to the victims of sexual abuse. The church apologises for any abuse perpetrated by clergy or religious.

Ex-principal facing retrial admits abuse

Newcastle Herald

July 16, 2020

By Luke Costin

After years of denial, trial delays and a hung jury, a former Sydney Catholic college principal has finally admitted he preyed upon boys at his school.

Peter Nicholas Lennox, now a frail 81-year-old, was permitted to remain seated as he pleaded guilty on Thursday to indecently assaulting two boys at St Paul's Catholic College, Manly in the 1970s.

"The tide waits for no man and today the tide comes in," one victim wrote in a letter tendered to the NSW District Court.

That student, then aged 12, was set upon by the Christian Brother after being kicked out of science class in 1977.

Led to a chemical room and questioned about why he was out of class, the Year 7 boy was fearful he was going to get the strap, court documents show.

But instead, Lennox spent five to 10 minutes rubbing his hand over the crotch of the boy's school pants.

July 15, 2020

Arquidiócesis Villavicencio investiga a 5 sacerdotes por abuso sexual

[Archdiocese of Villavicencio investigates 5 priests for sexual abuse]

El Tiempo

July 14, 2020

By Nelson Ardia

La denuncia fue presentada el pasado 24 de junio. Dos de los sacerdotes señalados ya murieron.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATE:The complaint was filed on June 24. Two of the named priests have already died.]

Un nuevo caso de abuso sexual contra menores de edad involucra a cinco sacerdotes, reveló este martes en un comunicado la Arquidiócesis de Villavicencio.

La denuncia fue presentada el pasado 24 de junio por un ciudadano mayor de edad, ante esa organización religiosa. El hombre señala que el abuso se produjo hace más de diez años, cuando era menor de edad.En el caso están involucrados cinco sacerdotes, dos de los cuales ya fallecieron. Los otros tres están suspendidos junto a una decena de religiosos que están involucrados en otra denuncia por abuso sexual y cuyo caso ya está en manos de la Fiscalía.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATE: A new case of sexual abuse against minors involves five priests, the Archdiocese of Villavicencio revealed in a statement Tuesday.

The complaint was filed on June 24 by a citizen of legal age, before that religious organization. The man points out that the abuse occurred more than ten years ago, when he was a minor. Five priests are involved in the case, two of whom have already died. The other three are suspended along with a dozen religious who are involved in another complaint for sexual abuse and whose case is already in the hands of the Prosecutor's Office.]

A Megachurch Reels After Learning Pastor Let His Professed Pedophile Son Work With Kids

Huffington Post

July 14, 2020

By Carol Kuruvilla

John Ortberg, the senior pastor at California’s Menlo Church, allowed his son to continue working with children, despite the confession.

The leaders of a California evangelical megachurch are under fire for bungling the church’s response to a youth ministry volunteer’s confession that he was attracted to minors.

The Menlo Church volunteer in question first told Senior Pastor John Ortberg about his feelings two years ago, though congregants weren’t officially notified about the situation until January. That the volunteer was the pastor’s younger son, John “Johnny” Ortberg III, was kept secret until a whistleblower leaked the news late last month.

The younger Ortberg denies acting inappropriately towards children and to date, no one has come forward with allegations claiming otherwise. But the revelation of his identity has heightened scrutiny of the church’s response and raised questions about whether John Ortberg ― who allowed his son to continue volunteering with children for over a year after hearing about the disordered attractions ― should remain the church’s senior pastor.

FILM: ‘The world is waiting, the survivors are waiting for justice’

Westmeath Examiner

July 15, 2020

When the US gymnastics team dominated the 2012 Olympics in London, few people knew something far darker was going on away from the sequins, medals and winning smiles.

It was the biggest sexual abuse scandal in sporting history.

Team doctor Larry Nassar’s victims included some of the most famous female athletes in the sport, including Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney.

Head Of Catholic Church In Fiji Apologises To Victims Of Sexual Abuse

Fiji Sun

July 15, 2020

By Shalveen Chand

“The overwhelming number of priests and religious are faithful men and women who share the horror and grief that all people feel when sexual abuse is brought to light”

For the first time, the Catholic Church in Fiji has apologised to victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by foreign clergies.

The head of the Catholic Church in Fiji, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong, said behaviour of some clergies had brought shame to the church.

This followed a report by New Zealand media that foreign priests accused of sexual abuse were sent to Pacific Island nations to avoid prosecution.

A method used to evade authorities by the church in the past.

Weinstein Plaintiff Caitlin Dulany on Collapse of Settlement: ‘I Was Stunned’


July 14, 2020

By Gene Maddaus

Caitlin Dulany is one of the nine named plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein. On Tuesday morning, she was listening to the court hearing, expecting that the judge would give his preliminary blessing to a settlement that would send $18.9 million to Weinstein’s accusers in the class action case.

Instead, in a surprise move, Judge Alvin Hellerstein torpedoed the deal, leaving Dulany shocked and in a state of grief.

“I was stunned,” she told Variety on Tuesday afternoon.

Federal Judge Rejects Harvey Weinstein's $19 Million Settlement With Alleged Victims


July 14, 2020

By Vanessa Romo

A federal New York judge has thrown out a proposed $18.9 million settlement between convicted rapist and former movie producer Harvey Weinstein, and several women.

U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein said the offer failed to adequately compensate many of the victims who allege they were sexually assaulted or raped by Weinstein.

He also faulted the money included in the settlement that would help pay Weinstein's legal bills.

‘Entourage’ Star Kevin Connolly Accused of Sexual Assault: ‘I Want It to Be Known That He Is Dangerous’

The Daily Beast

July 15, 2020

By Marlow Stern

A few years ago, Gracie Cox moved back to her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. She’d spent 17 years in New York City, working her way up the ladder as a costume designer on films and television shows. You’ve probably seen her work—Gossip Girl, Orange Is the New Black, The Good Wife, Girls. Cox had grown weary of the incredible demands Hollywood places on its below-the-line crew members. So now, in lieu of dressing A-list stars in fabulous frocks, her days are filled with children.

“I work as a therapist treating children’s mental health,” she says. “All of my clients are from under-resourced communities of color, so the work is very different. A lot of my clients are trauma survivors, so I feel my own experience has helped me inform the work I’m doing now. And I’m happy to be doing it.”

That experience still haunts Cox. This is not the first time she’s shared it. Cox has told her story for years. She’s confided in friends, colleagues, her therapist. In late 2017, just after the Harvey Weinstein story broke, she spoke to reporters for BuzzFeed. She even tried hiring Gloria Allred, the famed women’s rights attorney. But thus far, what she says happened to her that night has not been made public. One reason is that the man who she says attacked her—Kevin Connolly, of Entourage fame—“may not seem like the most powerful guy but his reach is very far, and the people he knows have a lot of power.” (Connolly contends that it was a “consensual encounter.”)

Cox didn’t originally intend on entering the world of entertainment. After studying fashion and textile design at FIT, she was working at a tiny shop in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, sewing together handbags, when she befriended a costume designer who generously offered to let her intern on a film she was dressing. That was in 2002.

Government Should Step In to Right the Catholic PPP Loan Situation


July 14, 2020

According to Catholic News Service, the US Catholic Church collected almost 10,600 individual loans during the first round of government stimulus. This figure is triple the amount estimated by the Associated Press, which reported that at least $1.4 Billion had been borrowed among at least 3,500 loans. Extrapolating those AP figures to the number of grants acknowledged by CNS, it would appear at least $5 Billion has been awarded to Catholic entities nationwide.

The 8,000 US parishes that received funds are slightly less than half the 17,000 parishes throughout the United States. And according to CNS, Catholic entities are going after more funds during the next round of the PPP.

The typical business that receives a PPP loan is not likely to own its building or have an endowment, but rather to be a small, local business that is in danger of laying off staff or closing its doors. Conversely, the Catholic Church in the US owns its parishes, schools, and buildings, often with no debt. It employs professional money managers to oversee its portfolio of investments and – as this situation demonstrates – professional lobbyists to advance their interests in Washington.

Guideline published to deal with sexual abuse

The Fiji Times

July 15, 2020

By Viliame Ravai

The Catholic Church in Fiji has learnt “from our weakness” and published a ‘Guidelines for Dealing with Sexual Abuse’ in 2014, says Archbishop Peter Loy Chong.

Speaking to the media yesterday, he said the guideline directs those who had suffered abuse by a priest or religious elder — or by anyone working for the church — to immediately report the matter to the police, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

“Furthermore, the church should not interfere in any way with the proper processes of criminal or civil law,” he said.

He said the church had also taken steps to vet foreign clergy.

Bellevue Baptist faces civil suit stemming from sexual battery by former employee

Baptist Press

July 14, 2020

By Diana Chandler

Parents of a teenage girl who was sexually abused by a former part-time employee of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., are suing the church. The suit alleges negligence in allowing James Hook “complete discretion and freedom to have personal and private encounters with volunteers and minors.”

Hook, who was employed on Sunday mornings as the church’s preschool wing coordinator from January 2017-March 2019, pleaded guilty in January to sexual assault by an authority figure. He had been arrested in May 2019 after police found him and the girl, 16, underneath a blanket in the back of his car in a local park. He was sentenced to six months in jail and 4 ½ years probation.

Opinion: ‘Pray for Your Poor Uncle,’ a Predatory Priest Told His Victims

The New York Times

July 15, 2020

By Elizabeth Bruenig

As former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick became a powerful figure in the church, several boys from one family say he targeted them.

Rain fell in New York City four days before Christmas of 2018. Francis M. had planned to be in the city that day for business, but he had dutifully put aside time when asked to answer questions at the Archdiocese of New York offices about his experiences with “Uncle Ted” — former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

A tall, broad-shouldered man nearing 60 at the time, with blue eyes and steely gray hair, Francis had been in enough depositions in his career as an attorney to know how these question-and-answer sessions went. He assumed he would relate the story of his interactions with Mr. McCarrick, which began when he was 11, and then he would return to his usual routine.

Mr. McCarrick’s downfall had been as dizzying as his rise. Once the archbishop of Washington D.C., and a cardinal who boasted of his close ties to Pope Francis, Mr. McCarrick had established himself as a gifted fund-raiser, helping to found the Papal Foundation, a charity with a $200 million endowment. But in 2018, his reputation collapsed in a rush of accusations that he had sexually abused adult seminarians and a teenage boy. More accusations followed, and in 2019 Mr. McCarrick was defrocked — the first time an American cardinal had been removed from the priesthood.

Francis — who asked me to refer to him and his family members only by their middle names and last initials, to protect their privacy — was not surprised, but neither did he feel that the news had much to do with him. He wasn’t a victim, he thought. He had never felt like one. He had explanations for all the times Mr. McCarrick had insisted that Francis share a bed with him as a boy and for the ways the man had touched him when he did. Mr. McCarrick was lonely, Francis had told himself; plenty of clergymen were. And Francis had turned out well: A father of four with a happy marriage and lucrative work, he had little reason to meditate on the former cardinal.

But as Mr. McCarrick’s case gained national attention, Francis began discussing it with his brothers and male cousins. He told me that in October 2018, one of his brothers reached out to the Archdiocese of New York, and by December, five members of Francis’ family, all men, had agreed to testify in the inquiry the Vatican had ordered it to undertake. An attorney representing Mr. McCarrick repeatedly declined to comment on the allegations made in this article. As of 2019, Mr. McCarrick still maintained his innocence.

“I had anticipated that reciting long-ago facts wouldn’t be upsetting,” Francis told me when we first met in January of last year, at his vacation home in the frozen Catskills.

“But the more I went over in my mind the experiences I had and what they really constituted — with the perspective of an older man — I really understood for the first time as an adult the premeditation and cunning that Ted brought to his predatory activities, right under the eyes of my parents and aunts and uncles.”

Francis said that he was one of five members of his family who testified against Mr. McCarrick in the church’s inquiry.

The experience left him shaken. There were all of the usual questions victims ask themselves: How had his parents missed what Mr. McCarrick was doing, and why had he allowed younger family members to wander into the cardinal’s grasp? How had it changed him, and could he recover? And then there were more fundamental questions: Could a religion whose earthly stewards sinned so cruelly really be true? Supposing it wasn’t, how could he leave the only church he had ever known? Supposing it was, how could he stay?

Established in 1927 in the Throgs Neck neighborhood of the Bronx, the church of St. Frances de Chantal came into its full glory in 1970, when its severe brick exterior was finally erected beneath a tall, spartan cross. In October of that year, Cardinal Terence Cooke visited the parish to celebrate a Mass of Dedication. Francis recalled that Cardinal Cooke brought with him a delegation of clergymen from the Archdiocese of New York, including an up-and-coming monsignor by the name of Theodore McCarrick.

A parish priest introduced the affable Mr. McCarrick to the nine members of the M. family, Francis, who was then 11, told me. Mr. McCarrick was 40, a slightly built man with an almost elfin look. He was just back from a four-year stint as the president of the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico and had recently been made assistant secretary for education in the archdiocese. In 1971, Cardinal Cooke would make him his personal priest secretary.

Mr. McCarrick soon became a regular visitor at the M. household, where his status in the church made him something of a celebrity. Francis recalled that “Ted” always wore his clerical garb, unlike the more casual clergymen around town. “When Ted came to dinner, he was like the candy man,” Francis told me. He would bring souvenirs: “Rosary beads from Fátima, a medal blessed by the pope, a necklace from the Philippines.”

Allegation of clergy sexual abuse cover-up filed against Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski

The Republican / Masslive.com

July 14, 2020

By Anne-Gerard Flynn

Olan Horne, a long-time advocate for clergy sexual abuse victims, has filed an allegation that Springfield Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski engaged in a cover-up with the Catholic Bishops Abuse Reporting Service.

Horne said his complaint is not solely based on a recent investigation by retired Judge John Velis that determined how the Springfield Diocese handled allegations of abuse against the late Bishop Christopher J. Weldon was “greatly flawed.”

Horne said his evidence includes other cases in which he said alleged clergy sexual abuse was only addressed by the diocese and made public after prolonged advocacy by victims and their supporters.

Natrona County prosecutors again decide not to charge retired bishop with sexual abuse

Casper Star-Tribune

July 14, 2020

By Seth Klamann


Natrona County prosecutors have again decided not to pursue sexual abuse charges against retired bishop Joseph Hart, who has been accused of abusing boys dating back to the early 1960s.

The decision was confirmed Tuesday by Michael Schafer, an assistant district attorney in Natrona County. In a message to the Star-Tribune, Schafer said that prosecutors “did take a look at it for the Laramie County District Attorney’s Office, and after reviewing the investigation, we don’t feel like we can be successful” in prosecuting Hart. Cheyenne’s top prosecutor recused herself from adjudicating the case last year, citing a conflict.

The decision brings an end to six weeks of uncertainty for alleged victims and concludes a two-year criminal investigation into Hart, who was a top Catholic cleric in Wyoming for a quarter-century. In early June, a victim’s advocate from the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office called the alleged victim at the center of this case and told him Hart would not be investigated. Then, two weeks later, prosecutors decided to review the case again, after meeting with Cheyenne Police and realizing that prosecutors had misread documents foundational to the case.

News outlets seek to unseal files on Saints owner Tom Benson

Associated Press

July 15, 2020

By Jim Mustian

News outlets including The Associated Press headed to court Wednesday seeking to unseal court records involving the mental competency of billionaire Tom Benson when he rewrote his will to give his third wife ownership of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans sports franchises.

Public interest in the 2015 case has been heightened, the news organizations argued, by revelations this year that Saints executives engaged in a behind-the-scenes public relations campaign to help the Archdiocese of New Orleans contain the fallout from a clergy abuse crisis.

“Legitimate questions are being raised about the connection between the team and the local Roman Catholic Church,” attorneys for the news organizations wrote in a court filing.

Argentine archbishops under attack for establishing abuse reporting offices


July 15, 2020

By Inés San Martín

ROSARIO, Argentina – Two archbishops in Argentina are under fire for following Pope Francis’s orders in creating an office to receive allegations of clerical abuse. They are being accused of “usurpation of the role of the State, swindles and other frauds,” an allegation some described as “grotesque.”

The criminal complaint against Archbishop Eduardo Martin of Rosario and Archbishop Sergio Fenoy from nearby Santa Fe was filed after the two prelates announced the “implementation of a system for receiving allegations” of sexual crimes committed by priests and other members of the Church.

The creation of this office was mandated by Pope Francis, who asked bishops conferences to implement such a system with a new Church law released last year. Among other things, Vos estis lux mundi – “You are the light of the world” – required that every diocese must have a system that allows the public to easily submit accusations of abuse.

Commentary: Will the church use paycheck protection money as it should?

National Catholic Reporter

July 15, 2020

By Christine Schenk

Not being a financial guru, this column takes me a bit outside my comfort zone.

I am willing to venture there in order to complicate the thinking of those who take at face value a recent widely distributed — and in my view distorted — Associated Press article linking coronavirus paycheck protection assistance to payouts for clergy sex abuse by Catholic dioceses.

Admittedly, the AP piece is mostly highlighting the coordinated (they called it aggressive) efforts by church officials — including Catholic lobbyists — to help Catholic schools, parishes, dioceses and nonprofits access financial assistance for their employees.

Mental fitness of sexually abusive Ottawa priest now in question

Ottawa Citizen

July 14, 2020

By Andrew Duffy

The mental fitness of a former Ottawa priest is now in question as he awaits sentencing on two counts of sexual assault.

Barry McGrory, 85, once a star cleric in the Catholic Church, was convicted more than a year ago of sexually abusing two teenage boys in a church rectory.

But a series of extraordinary delays in his sentencing means it’s now in doubt. McGrory failed to show up for his first sentencing hearing in November, then the judge in his case fell ill before she could deliver her verdict, then the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the province’s justice system.

At a hearing Tuesday, conducted by teleconference, court heard that McGrory recently completed a five-day psychiatric assessment at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.

July 14, 2020

Malta archdiocese distances itself from controversial lay movement


July 14, 2020

By Elise Ann Allen

In yet another example of a Catholic movement beset with allegations of cultism and manipulation, the Maltese Community of Jesus the Savior has been disavowed by the archdiocese and priests are forbidden to hold any association with it.

In a July 12 communique, the Archdiocese of Malta said it “disassociates itself from the Jesus Savior community,” but gave no specific reasons for the decision.

By order of Archbishop Charles Scicluna of the Malta archdiocese, it was stated that “no priest or religious should take part in meetings organized by the Jesus the Savior community and these meetings should not be hosted in a church or in any church property.”


The Scottish Sun

July 12, 2020

By Ewan Mowat

Disgraced Scots Cardinal Keith O’Brien ‘found peace’ over alleged sex abuse scandal before his death, says former bishop

DISGRACED Cardinal Keith O'Brien "found peace" before his death, according to a former bishop.

Scotland's top Catholic clergyman resigned in 2013 following an alleged sex abuse scandal amid claims he preyed on rookie priests.

But Richard Holloway, a former bishop of Edinburgh, has revealed O'Brien told him he "felt forgiven" in a "sweet correspondence" before his death in 2018, aged 80.

Holloway, who was primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church between 1992 and 2000, told The Times: “I think he had reconciled himself.

"I sent him an affectionate letter saying I hoped he was doing well and he wrote back to say that he had learnt some lessons and he was at peace with himself where he was.

Catholic Church says no reports of sexual abuse against children

FBC News

July 14, 2020

By Lena Reece

The Head of the Catholic Church says it would be premature to conduct an inquiry into the reports of allegations of sexual abuse within the church.

While addressing the media this morning, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong says the claims of alleged sexual abuse of children reported by TVNZ’s One News dates back to the early 90’s adding that there would not be sufficient records to conduct an investigation.

The Archbishop says since he took up the position in 2013, the Catholic Church in Fiji has not received any reports of such allegations of sexual abuse against children.

Briefing: Ecclesiastical’s child abuse claims shame – CEO Hews’ admission too little too late?

Post Online

July 8, 2020

By Jen Frost

If Ecclesiastical CEO Mark Hews is sorry for how the insurer has handled non-recent child sexual abuse claims, should he not be addressing the victims rather than shareholders?

Ecclesiastical has come under fire in the recent past for its handling of non-recent CSA claims.

Post revealed last February that the insurer and law firm BLM had used a ‘desktop’ expert, who had never met the claimant, to justify offering a knocked down claims payout based on a second hand psychiatric profile of a survivor while he was hospitalised following a suicide attempt.

18-year-long child abuse at an Indonesian church opens a can of worms

TRT World

July 14, 2020

By Jennar Kiansantang and Johanes Hutabarat

A parish church tried to hide a series of sexual assaults, but as more victims come forward, investigators begin to view the case as a Pandora’s box.

"I thought church was a safe place. But it is not," said Azas Tigor Nainggolan, an Indonesian lawyer, recalling the words spoken to him by one of his clients.

Jonna Carter: School dazed

Union Leader

July 14, 2020

THE DIOCESE of Manchester has made the decision that all Catholic schools in New Hampshire will reopen this fall with full classroom-based instruction. I’m befuddled.

Let me see if I understand this. The Catholic church is opposed to birth control. But after birth it’s game on? Or is this Catholic birth control after the fact? No matter. It’s Catholic population control, ever a popular idea.

SNAP Renews Call for Independent Investigation into Menlo Church


July 13, 2020

Last week, a brave whistleblower made public a megachurch’s quiet defense and shielding of a pedophile who was working around children. Now, that megachurch is launching a new investigation into what went wrong. While we are glad that further action is being taken, we renew our call for secular law enforcement officials to get involved to ensure that children and the vulnerable will be protected.

Suits Filed Against 9 Abusive Priests from Newark, SNAP Calls for Outreach


July 13, 2020

Nine priests – including two being named for the first time – from the Archdiocese of Newark are being sued today on sexual abuse allegations. We call on Newark church officials to do immediate outreach in order to bring other potential victims or witnesses forward and we encourage anyone with information or suspicions to report them to the attorney general and local police.

The men being sued today are:

Taking Freedom Too Far

Commonweal Magazine

July 13, 2020

By Chris Damian

The USCCB Prioritizes Culture Wars Over Theology

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month in Bostock v. Clayton County gave advocates for LGBTQ rights a reason other than Pride to celebrate. In a 6-3 decision written by President Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, the court held that “an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII.” Gay and transgender people can now sue under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act if they suffer adverse employment actions based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Much of the commentary after the decision followed a familiar script: religious conservatives lamented that Republican-appointed judges had yet again betrayed the cause; progressives welcomed a rare Trump-era victory; major corporations signaled their approval. Reactions in the Catholic press were similarly unsurprising, and sometimes seemed to be not only about the legal merits of the majority opinion, but also a referendum on Church teachings about sexuality and gender.

Weldon Report has Impacts for Diocesan Review Board


July 13, 2020

A recently released report into the sexual abuse and cover-up by a former Springfield bishop has had serious ripple effects at the diocesan level. Once again, this report and any acrimony that arises from it is further proves to us that diocesan review boards are ripe for corruption and bias. The only proper investigatory authority is an unbiased secular agency, such as the District Attorney, the Attorney General, or an impaneled Grand Jury.

Opinions on high

LSJ Online

July 14, 2020

By Kate Allman

Media commentary surrounding the Australian High Court appears to have surged in 2020. Controversial decisions such as the Indigenous “aliens” case and overturned Pell conviction provoked fiery responses from commentators on all sides of politics, as well as damning chatter among the Australian public. Almost everyone has two cents to throw in. But what impact does this have on the esteem of our highest court?

Most legal professionals have had a turbulent year in 2020. The seven-judge bench of the Australian High Court is no exception. In February, the court had to decide whether Aboriginal Australians could be deported as “aliens” under the Constitution. Barely two months later, it grappled with the high-profile conviction of Australia’s highest catholic, Cardinal George Pell, for historic child sex abuse. And in recent months, it faced twin challenges to the constitutional validity of closing Queensland and Western Australian borders amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has been hard to ignore the media firestorms that these decisions ignited.

Cardinal George Pell opens up on his time behind bars for the first time to reveal he was abused by inmates - and how says he considered abandoning the fight to clear his name in his darkest hours

Daily Mail

July 13, 2020

By Thomas Duff

- Cardinal George Pell revealed he was spat on and verbally abuse by inmates
- Pell, 78 said he almost gave up appealing his conviction in the High Court
- The cardinal was released from jail in April after convictions were quashed
- Pell was convicted in December 2018 of five charges of child sexual abuse

Cardinal George Pell says he was spat on and abused while in jail for alleged child sex offences and almost abandoned his appeal until a prison boss urged him not to give up.

Pell has opened up for the first time about his 405 days behind bars during which he says he received the disdain of even murderers.

Australia's highest-ranking Catholic was convicted in December 2018 of five charges of child sexual abuse relating to allegations he raped a 13-year-old choirboy and molested another at St Patrick's Cathedral in 1996.

Rape accused Bishop Franco tests Covid positive

The English Post

July 14, 2020

A day after a court in Kerala’s Kottayam issued a non-bailable warrant against Jalandhar’s former Catholic bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of sexually assaulting a nun between 2014 and 2016, for failing to appear before it, it was told that he has tested Covid positive on Tuesday.
The case at the court was posted on July 1, but Mulakkal, presently based in Jalandhar, failed to appear. The explanation given was his lawyer there tested positive, and since Mulakkal had visited the lawyer, he was asked to go for 14 days isolation.
It was on Tuesday that Mulakkal turned positive.

Cardinal Pell: “There is a lot of goodness in prisons…”

The Dispatch

July 9, 2020

By Carl E. Olson

A new First Things essay by the former prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy contains a number of interesting reflections on both life in prison and Cardinal Pell’s spiritual life.

First Things has posted an essay, simply titled “My Time in Prison”, by Cardinal George Pell. It contains a number of interesting reflections on both life in prison and Cardinal Pell’s spiritual life, beginning with the observation that “I was fortunate to be kept safe and treated well. I was impressed by the professionalism of the warders, the faith of the prisoners, and the existence of a moral sense even in the darkest places.”

Baptist Church Sued for Not Stopping Staffer from Sexually Assaulting Girl


July 11, 2020

By Hemant Mehta

Last year, 43-year-old James Hook was found in the back of a car, underneath a blanket, with a 15-year-old girl. The description of what happened made it clear he had sexually assaulted her. Separate from that, he had given her a ring symbolizing who-knows-what about their “relationship.” He was eventually sentenced to six months in jail followed by 4.5 years of probation.

All of that is disturbing enough. Now here’s the additional twist: Hook worked at Bellevue Baptist Church, one of the largest churches in the Southern Baptist Convention, as a paid volunteer coordinator. The 15-year-old girl was one of the volunteers.

Attorney for sexual abuse victim says Bellevue Baptist Church needs to be held accountable for its failure

Local ABC 24

July 11, 2020

By Caitlin McCarthy

The church is facing a lawsuit after a former employee was found sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl

The 16-year-old victim's attorney, Gary K. Smith, said the church did nothing to stop its former employee, James Hook, from abusing the girl in 2019. He said the lawsuit is to hold Bellevue Baptist Church accountable for not protecting the teenage girl.

Smith said the organization was negligent in this case because it was warned of Hook and told not to let him near children and especially the victim, referred to as "Janet Doe." Doe was also a volunteer at the church and frequently worked with Hook.

Sex abuse: the challenging journey of Indonesian Church

UCA News

July 14, 2020

By Justin L Wejak

Two recent incidents shocked the Catholic Church in Indonesia's eastern islands of Timor and Lembata, both in East Nusa Tenggara province.

In the Timor case, police on July 3 arrested Felix Nesi, a lay activist and fiction writer, reportedly for property destruction at Bitauni Presbytery. Nesi was angry that a priest, allegedly involved in sexual misconduct with a woman in his previous parish, was moved to a vocational school where there are many female students. He was worried that the girls at the school might become sexual victims of the priest. Nesi was a member of the local community of Bitauni.

Charges against Amish bishop in sex abuse reporting reduced

Associated Press

July 13, 2020

Prosecutors have reduced charges against an Amish bishop accused of not notifying law enforcement about a church member’s alleged confession in the sexual assault of three girls.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Lancaster County prosecutors on Monday reduced a felony charge against 63-year-old Levi Esh Sr. to a misdemeanor. He now faces two misdemeanor counts.

Pequea Township police earlier alleged that Esh failed to report the church member’s confession about sexual assaults that occurred around 2012 and 2013. They cited witnesses within the Amish community who said that while Esh’s church excommunicated the member, he had the matter “handled internally” in order to keep it quiet.

Loans keep ministries going during national emergency

Catholic News Service via Catholic Philly

July 13, 2020

By Julie Asher

The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ domestic policy committee said the federal emergency “bridge loans” that dioceses, parishes and other Catholic entities applied for provided a lifeline, allowing “our essential ministries to continue to function in a time of national emergency.”

“The Catholic Church is the largest nongovernmental supplier of social services in the United States,” said Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City. “Each year, our parishes, schools and ministries serve millions of people in need, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion.”

Retired Lansing police captain tapped to run new investigations unit in AG's office

Lansing State Journal

July 13, 2020


A retired Lansing police captain is overseeing a newly created Criminal Investigations Division in the state Attorney General's Office.

Thomas Fabus retired in March after more than 24 years with the Lansing force. He took over in April as chief of investigations for Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Nessel said she's realigned her office so that special agents work out of a single division responsible for investigating a broad range of matters, including clergy abuse, cold-case homicides, consumer protection, officer-involved shootings and child support issues.

Abuse in Catholic schools in Fiji causes ‘great shame,’ says archbishop


July 14, 2020

By Charles Collins

A media report on sexual abuse in the Catholic schools of Fiji has caused “great shame,” according to the Pacific island state’s archbishop.

Television New Zealand’s 1 News spoke to several Fijians who said they were abused and raped as children by New Zealand and Australian priests, brothers and teachers working in Fiji’s Catholic schools.

“As head of the Fiji Catholic Church, I feel ashamed with the behavior of our church personnel. I feel angry. There is a heaviness in my heart yesterday and today,” said Archbishop Peter Loy Chong of Suva in a July 13 statement.

Heroes stepped up during the COVID-19 crisis. Here’s who didn’t.

City & State

July 13, 2020

By Jeff Coltin

Meet the Zeroes.

The coronavirus pandemic brought out the best in some people. New Yorkers who, in desperate times, worked with and for those in need – even as many were under incredible stress themselves. But not everybody stepped up – in fact, some players across the New York political sphere seemed to step down. We’re calling them the Zeroes.

Glenn Nussdorf
The CEO of Quality King Distributors on Long Island probably thought he could make a quick buck by doubling the price of Lysol disinfectant during the pandemic. But the attorney general called his “profiteering” “appalling” and sued him for price gouging.

Elon Musk
The tech exec talked a big game about manufacturing ventilators when New York was in dire need. That was more flash than substance, and he just ended up donating some BiPAPs, medical machines that weren’t as helpful.

Yaron Oren-Pines
This Silicon Valley mini-Musk talked New York into giving him $69 million to procure ventilators. But Oren-Pines didn’t have any experience, and when he couldn’t deliver, the state had to claw back the money.

Randy Garutti
Americans can debate who should be getting federal Paycheck Protection Program loans, but everyone seemed to agree the massively popular, well-funded Shake Shack should not. After hearing the backlash, its New York-based CEO returned the money.

Edward Scharfenberger
Despite filing for bankruptcy in response to more than 250 lawsuits accusing the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo of being complicit in sexual abuse, the bishop leading it applied for a federal PPP loan. So the diocese didn’t get much sympathy when the loan was denied.

Priest, wrongly accused of stealing £1-m from church, is found dead

Patheos (blog)

July 13, 2020

By Barry Duke

BACK in 2015, a lawsuit was launched against New York priest Rev Peter Miqueli that alleged he’d stolen nearly $1 million to pay a male prostitute for kinky S& M sex and buy a house in Ocean County. This led to a flurry of lurid headlines and photos linking him with a rent boy named Keith Crist.

Now it’s being reported that Miqueli, 57, who resigned in 2015 as pastor of St Frances de Chantal parish in Throggs Neck, was found dead at his home last week.

Two years after the lawsuit was launched by 14 St Francis parishioners, an investigation by the church found no evidence of him having stolen that amount, and no action was taken by the police.

Abuse victim of Opus Dei priest wants case to be acknowledged


July 13, 2020

By Inés San Martín

On June 30, Father Manuel Cociña, a Spaniard, became the first priest belonging to the personal prelature of Opus Dei to be found guilty and sentenced by the Vatican of sexual abuse. He has 15 days to appeal, though sources have told Crux he’s not planning on doing so since appeals usually end worse for those found guilty.

Cociña, 72, was found guilty of molesting one young man, who was 18 when the abuse began in 2002. He’s been sentenced to five years of suspended ministry. He’ll have to spend the time in prayer in the residence where he lives, and after that, when he’s allowed back to ministry, he won’t be able to have contact with people under 30.

His victim was an Opus Dei member at the time of the abuse. Today he lives in Chile, is married, and remains a Mass-going Catholic. He spoke first with a Spanish news outlet and then with Crux, not out of “animosity towards the Church, nor the Work,” he said on Wednesday, using the colloquial term for Opus Dei, which is Latin for “Work of God.”

“El cura Gabriel Ghilardini vulneró mi confianza y abusó de mí”

["The priest Gabriel Ghilardini violated my trust and abused me"]

Diario Junin

July 12, 2020

Eugenia Castagnaro, una joven de 32 años denunció por abuso sexual agravado consumado a Gabriel Ghilardini, cura de Florentino Ameghino que actualmente sigue en contacto con menores de edad.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATION: Eugenia Castagnaro, a 32-year-old girl, denounced Gabriel Ghilardini, a priest of Florentino Ameghino who is currently in contact with minors, for consummate aggravated sexual abuse.]

Santa Fe: arzobispos denunciados justifican concentración de informes de abuso sexual en la Iglesia

[Santa Fe: Accused archbishops justify concentration of reports of sexual abuse in the Church]

El Ciudadano

July 10, 2020

Usurpación de la Justicia: El Arzobispado de Rosario no tardó en salir al cruce de la demanda presentada por el letrado Carlos Ensinck. "La implementación del sistema responde a lo dispuesto por el Papa Francisco", argumentó el monseñor Martín. Desde la capital provincial también se pronunció al respecto el arzobispo Fenoy.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATION: Usurpation of Justice: The Archbishopric of Rosario did not take long to counter the demand presented by the lawyer Carlos Ensinck. "The implementation of the system responds to the provisions of Pope Francis," argued Monsignor Martín. Archbishop Fenoy also spoke in this regard from the provincial capital.]

July 13, 2020

Commentary: Power of prayer revealed after sentencing of abusive ex-priest

Catholic Philly

July 13, 2020

By Michael McDonnell

A few months back I wrote about my experience meeting Archbishop Nelson Perez as a survivor and the area representative of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests). In the commentary I also wrote about my shortcomings and having served a period of incarceration in Bucks County for an offense against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

If someone had told me 10 years ago that one day I would be sitting in the same Court of Common Pleas to watch one of my abusers being sentenced, I would have had a laugh. Incredibly, that is exactly what happened.

Francis X. Trauger, 75, had been removed from active ministry in 2003, laicized in 2005 following allegations of sexual abuse of minors. Charges of indecent assault and corruption of minors in Bucks County were brought in September 2019 and this past week Trauger was sentenced to prison.

Teachers Named In South Bay Sex Probe Continued Working: Report

Los Gatos Patch

July 13, 2020

By Gideon Rubin

A report commissioned by San Jose's Presentation High School revealed a pattern of sexual abuse and misconduct spanning four decades.

Several teachers named in a sexual abuse report at an elite South Bay Catholic high school have continued to work as educators in the Bay Area, The San Jose Mercury News reports.

The Mercury News report names three former Presentation High School instructors who have worked or currently work as educators in the Bay Area listed in a report commissioned by the school alleging a pattern of abuse spanning four decades.

Former Presentation teachers Dave Garbo, Jeff House and Kris White are named in a probe the school commissioned a Sacramento law firm to conduct.

9 New Sex Abuse Suits Filed Against Newark Archdiocese, Report Says

Mahwah-Ramsey Daily Voice

July 13, 2020

By Cecilia Levine

The Newark Archdiocese on Monday was slapped with nine new lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by seven clerics, including one who has never before been publicly accused, NorthJersey.com reports.

The suits were filed under a new law that expands the limitation period for claims by adults sexually abused while minors, and went into effect Dec. 1, 2019.

Included in the new set of lawsuits is Peter Russell, who has not been named in any suits up until now, NorthJersey.com says. He is accused of abusing a boy while stationed at St. Joseph's Regional High School in Montvale, in the 1980s. That suit also accuses Brother John Dagwell of abuse at the school.

Nine new sex abuse suits filed against Newark Archdiocese include a cleric not before accused


July 13, 2020

By Abbott Koloff

Nine lawsuits were filed against the Newark Archdiocese on Monday alleging sexual abuse by seven clerics , including one man who belongs to a religious order and who has never before been publicly accused.

In some other cases, the accusations brought out new information about priests who have been listed as credibly accused by church officials.

Kenneth Martin, a former Bayonne priest, was accused in court papers of abusing a boy from 1981 to 1984. The alleged abuse took place at about the same time another survivor has said he told priests and church officials about being abused by Martin, who remained in ministry until 2002 — when he was removed amid a national sex scandal in the church.

Mark Crawford, the head of the New Jersey chapter of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, said he went to church officials about Martin in the early 1980s and received a settlement from the archdiocese in the mid-1990s. He said his brother also was abused by Martin.

Menlo Church launches new probe after dismissed children's volunteer revealed as pastor's son

Christian Post

July 13, 2020

By Leonardo Blair

Elders at Menlo Church in Menlo Park, California, have launched a “supplemental independent investigation” into concerns raised about the circumstances under which a volunteer, revealed as the pastor’s son, was allowed to work with children despite confessing to having an attraction to minors.

“While many of you know that the Board took immediate action upon learning of these concerns, we understand our initial investigation could have gone further and included specific expertise in child safety and sex abuse issues, and it could have been informed by conversations with a wider group of people,” the elders said in a statement to the 4,000-member congregation on Saturday. “Based on the feedback we’ve received, we are initiating a supplemental independent investigation into concerns raised about the volunteer.”

The art and the artist

Mennonite World Review

July 13, 2020

By Paul Schrag

Hymnal committee stands with abuse survivors

Can we separate the art from the artist? This is one of the questions raised by the removal of seven songs by Catholic composer David Haas from the forthcoming Voices Together hymnal. Haas is credibly accused of sexual misconduct, which he denies.

The question brings to mind a similar one that some Mennonites have thought carefully about: Can we separate the theology from the theologian? This question is asked about John Howard Yoder, whose sexual abuse of women contradicted his identity as the leading Mennonite ethicist of the 20th century.

These questions have two answers: 1) Yes, some people can separate them; and 2) Those who decide about pub­lishing the works should not separate them.

The first answer recognizes every person’s freedom to decide whether an artist’s or writer’s personal life matters. The words and music themselves contain whatever value anyone finds in them. Most worshipers don’t know or care about the source of a song. The reader of a theology book knows the author’s name but might not be interested in the author’s life.

N.J. churches are so cash-strapped, all 5 Catholic dioceses asked feds for coronavirus loans


July 12, 2020

By Kelly Heyboer

Faced with empty churches and an unprecedented drop in weekly donations, all five of New Jersey’s Catholic dioceses used a special exemption to apply for taxpayer-funded loans through a federal program designed to help keep small businesses afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Archdiocese of Newark and the dioceses of Metuchen, Paterson, Trenton and Camden received loans through the federal Paycheck Protection Program to help pay employees in their parishes, schools and administrative offices, church officials told NJ Advance Media.

Spokespeople for the five dioceses did not respond when asked how much of the taxpayer-backed aid they have received so far, but said the help was sorely needed.

The Associated Press reported Friday that the U.S. Catholic Church has received between $1.4 billion and $3.5 billion in federal coronavirus aid with millions going to dioceses that recently filed for bankruptcy protection or paid large settlements related to the clergy sexual abuse allegations.

Court panel recommends $125,000 for priest it says was defamed by Macomb Sheriff's detective

Macomb Daily

July 12, 2020

By Jameson Cook

A Macomb County Sheriff’s detective’s claim that a suspended Detroit Catholic priest sexually assaulted an altar boy when he served in Mount Clemens decades ago has been determined to be false and defamatory, according to a court-advisory panel.

A three-person case evaluation panel Friday recommended that $125,000 be awarded to the Rev. Eduard Perrone for Detective Sgt. Nancy LePage's false report to the Archdiocese of Detroit that Perrone sodomized the boy between 1978 and 1981 while associate pastor for St. Peter Parish in Mount Clemens.

The Archdiocese in July 2019 suspended Perrone with pay from his duties at Assumption Grotto Church on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit, where he served for 25 years. The organization issued a news release announcing the suspension.

Kerala court cancels bail to rape-accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal

Indian Express

July 13, 2020

The Kottayam Additional District Court Monday cancelled the bail of rape-accused Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal after he failed to appear on numerous occasions before the court despite several warnings.

The Kottayam Additional District Court Monday cancelled the bail of rape-accused Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal after he failed to appear on numerous occasions before the court despite several warnings. The court proceeded to issue a non-bailable arrest warrant against him.

When the case came up for hearing today, the Bishop, through his counsel, informed the court that he would not be able to appear in person as he was on the primary contact list of a person who tested positive for coronavirus in Jalandhar in Punjab where he is currently based. Mulakkal is the former Bishop of the Jalandhar diocese of the Catholic Church.

Catholic Church yet to comment on claims of alleged sexual abuse

FBC News

July 13, 2020

By Lena Reece

Head of the Catholic Church of Fiji is yet to comment on claims of any sexual abuse cases against children within the Catholic Church.

TV 1 News in New Zealand had last night reported that it investigated claims of historic sexual abuse against children in Fiji within the church.

The Media outlet claimed to have spoken to Fijian victims who are alleged to have suffered at the hands of catholic priests, brothers and teachers.

Church abuse survivors demand audit after NOLA Archdiocese

WWL Radio (AM870 /FM105.3)

July 13, 2020

By Thomas Perumean

Triggered by word diocese received PPP money.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) abuse are demanding an audit be performed on the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

The call for an audit has been triggered by reports the Church received money from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.

“The Catholic Church is not a small business. It’s an enormous conglomeration,” says Kevin Bourgeois, licensed social worker and member of SNAP. “I don’t think it’s fair that they received these funds through a loophole. I think that we deserve to know since it was our taxpayer funds that were funneled to the church. I’m calling for an audit and an accounting of where every nickel of that money went.”

Kerala Bishop Franco Mulakkal's Bail Cancelled In Nun Rape Case


July 13, 2020

A Special Prosecutor today deposed before the court that the Jalandhar Civil Lines, where he lives, is not listed as a containment zone.

Kottayam: Rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal's bail has been canceled by Kottayam

Additional District Court and a no-bail arrest warrant has been issued against him. The Bishop was not present for the hearing today; his counsel stated that be had to go into quarantine as one of his lawyers had tested coronavirus positive.

However, on July 1 also, the Bishop had skipped the hearing, with his counsel telling the court that he was stuck in a containment zone.

However, the Public Prosecutor today argued that the Bishop's house and the area around it in Punjab was not listed as containment zone and that his no-show is a deliberate attempt to prolong the case.

Abused and despised, George Pell contemplated giving up his fight

The Australian

July 13, 2020


By Steve Jackson

Cardinal George Pell has revealed he was spat on and abused by fellow prisoners while serving time in jail for historical child sex offences and that, in his darkest hours, he contemplated abandoning his fight to clear his name.

Opening up about his time ­behind bars, Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic also said the fact he was despised by many of his fellow inmates for being a convicted child sex offender actually helped restore his faith in the natural “existence of right and wrong”.

“All of us are tempted to despise those we define as worse than ourselves,” he said. “Even murderers share in the disdain toward those who violate the young.

“However ironic, this disdain is not all bad, as it expresses a belief in the existence of right and wrong, good and evil.”

Cardinal Pell was sentenced to six years in prison in March 2019 after being found guilty of sexually abusing two 13-year-old choir boys at Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral in the 1990s.

School sale gives glimpse into value, breadth of Buffalo Diocese property

Buffalo News

July 13, 2020

By Jay Tokasz

The operators of Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean thought they had a deal last December with the Buffalo Diocese to pay $150,000 for the building where the high school has been located since 1959.

But a committee that represents survivors of childhood sex abuse is saying not so fast.

The deal that would have transferred title for the two-story, 55,000-square-foot on North 24th Street to the high school’s foundation immediately was put on hold when the diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Feb. 28.

Brothers in Arms

Catholic Weekly

July 13, 2020

By Debbie Cramsie

These siblings were ordained priests on the same day, but what drives two young men to give their lives over in service to God and the Catholic Church in 2020? I asked the two young men from Mobile, Alabama.

Why have you committed to a life of celibacy, obedience and service?

Fr Connor:
I’d be crazy if I said I haven’t weighed issues including sexual abuse, long hours and loneliness in discernment, but at the same time, in the midst of so much turmoil and very few worldly compensations, the Holy Spirit is the only answer. The Holy Spirit calling me to be a priest is it. But that’s not the whole story. The reason I answered the call to priesthood is because I know I am called to it, which means, I know that I will have the greatest amount of joy, peace and meaning in my life by being a priest. This is my vocation. This is how God is calling me to follow Him.

Fr Peyton:
I think what drives a man to pursue priesthood in this day and age is quite simply the impulse I believe to be at the heart of every man, which is the impulse to fight and even die for something valuable. Everyone wants to spend themselves for the sake of a greater goal. Fathers sacrifice daily for their families, soldiers die for their countries, and even athletes train tirelessly for excellence. For me, all of the inconveniences and pains of priesthood are simply the cost of uniting myself to Christ on the cross, the suffering by which the whole world was saved. Nothing is more worthy of sacrifice than that, in my humble opinion.

Former WA Catholic priest, 84, to face court on historic child sex abuse charges

WA Today

July 13, 2020

An 84-year-old man will face Perth Magistrates Court on Monday, charged over historical child sex abuse allegations dating back to the late 70s and early 80s.

Police claim the man indecently assaulted a girl, who was between six and seven years old at the time of the first offence, while he was a Catholic priest providing pastoral care from 1979-1982.

The man, who is from the Mandurah district, has been charged with six counts of indecent treatment of a child under 14 years old.

WA priest denies historical abuse charges

Australian Associated Press via Yahoo.com

July 13, 2020

Historical child sex abuse charges have been laid against a former West Australian priest

An elderly man has denied repeatedly sexually abusing a young girl when he was a Catholic priest in Western Australia dating back about four decades.

Richard Joseph Doyle, 84, was providing pastoral care when he allegedly abused the girl between 1979 and 1982.

The girl was aged between six and seven at the time of the first offence, police say.

Doyle faced Perth Magistrates Court on Monday where he pleaded not guilty to six counts of indecent treatment of a child.

He was released on a $5000 bail until his next court appearance on September 21.

Police say their investigation is ongoing and anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers.

What AP left out in its hit job on the Church

Angelus News

July 12, 2020

By Msgr. Richard Antall

Sometimes the truth gets lost in the failure to give contexts to “facts.” This is the case with last week’s widely-circulated Associated Press article, “Catholic Church lobbied for taxpayer funds, got $1.4B.”

AP’s editors and writers wanted to use the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program for businesses hit hard by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, to put the Catholic Church in the United States in a bad light.

The first paragraph showed AP’s remarkable bias in leaving out significant details: “The U.S. Roman Catholic Church used a special and unprecedented exemption from federal rules to amass at least $1.4 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus aid, with many millions going to dioceses that have paid huge settlements or sought bankruptcy protection because of clergy sexual abuse cover-ups.

For the last year 1 NEWS has been investigating claims of historic sexual abuse against children in Fiji’s Catholic church.

1 News, TVNZ

July 12, 2020

Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver was in Fiji just before lockdown and spoke to some of the victims of the alleged abuse.


The abuse began when he was seven.

He among other young children kept the abuse quiet by the priests and brothers working and living near the Marist Brothers Primary School he attended in Fiji.

The sexual abuse happened so repeatedly the children thought it was normal.

“[There] were two main ones that would do it to us regularly. Almost like a daily thing,” the victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, told 1 NEWS.

Retired Bishop Edward Kmiec, 13th bishop of Buffalo, dies

Buffalo News

July 12, 2020

Retired Buffalo Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, who led a historic and tumultuous reorganization of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and also had to confront allegations of abuse against some priests, died Saturday after a brief illness.

Kmiec, who served as bishop of Buffalo from 2004 until his retirement in 2012, had been in declining health the past several months and died peacefully Saturday just before midnight, the diocese announced on Sunday.

Catholic Church to investigate claims of alleged sexual abuse

One News, TVNZ

July 13, 2020

By Lena Reece

The Catholic Church of Fiji says it will conduct an investigation after reports of alleged sexual abuse of children within the Church.

TVNZ’s One News reported last night that it investigated claims of historic sexual abuse of children at the hands of catholic priests, brothers, and teachers.

The media outlet has spoken with Fijians who claim to have been victims.

One News reports the alleged abuse was carried out by New Zealand priests and brothers who were moved to the Pacific and involves decades of alleged abuse, deceit, and cover-up.

Catholic Archdiocese of Suva Vicar-General, Father Sulio Turagakacivi says they will look into these claims and if anyone is implicated, they will be referred to the relevant authorities.

'I am a child molester' Former Chillicothe Boy Scout leader apologizes on social media

Fox28 TV

July 12, 2020

By Lu Ann Stoia

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — A former church youth leader and Boy Scout leader is taking to social media to admit he is a child molester. In a Facebook post Sunday Bill McKell said “My name is Bill McKell, and I am a child molester.... There is no excuse for what I have done. I sincerely apologize and seek forgiveness of each person I have caused to suffer hurt and shame.”

McKell said he abused young boys and teenagers for decades in the 80s and 90s.

ABC 6 reached out to the Boy Scouts of America about McKell and received the following statement:

John Ortberg’s Church Announces New Investigation

Religion News Service via Christianity Today

July 12, 2020

By Bob Smietana

Leadership apologizes for lack of transparency that eroded trust.

Earlier this week, megachurch pastor John Ortberg claimed his congregation had “extensively investigated” concerns about his youngest son and found “no misconduct.”

Now elders at Menlo Church, a Northern California congregation of 5,000, say their initial investigation fell short and have announced plans for an additional “supplemental” investigation.

“While many of you know that the board took immediate action upon learning of these concerns, we understand our initial investigation could have gone further and included specific expertise in child safety and sex abuse issues, and it could have been informed by conversations with a wider group of people,” church elders said in an email to the congregation Saturday, July 11.

July 12, 2020

Despite abuse allegations, a Jesuit with Alaska ties worked for a prominent Northwest university for years

Anchorage Daily News

July 11, 2020

By Emily Schwing


In 2011, the Jesuit Order in the Northwest settled a bankruptcy case for $166 million. It’s one of the largest settlements in Catholic church history. A small fraction of that money — less than $500 every month — is going to a man who spent most of the last year behind bars at the Anchorage Correctional Center. His criminal history includes a lot of alcohol-related violence and he blames much of his record on an experience he had with a Catholic priest when he was still a child.

“I was young, I was innocent,” said the man, now 31, back in January. He wore yellow prison-issued scrubs. He alleges a Jesuit named Father Brad Reynolds, S.J., sexually abused him when he was a child. “Ever since then I’ve been a violent person,” he said. His V-neck shirt revealed a sea of tattoos: references to marijuana and other drugs, a demonic Virgin Mary, and the words “trust no bitch.” He said he got that one after a girlfriend broke his heart. Days later, he was out on bail.

Father Brad Reynolds was never officially assigned by his religious order, the Jesuits, to work in Alaska, but he visited a number of Alaska Native villages frequently. For more than 20 years, he’d come north to take photos of daily village life and write about the people here. In 1990, National Geographic published an article he wrote about life in Interior Alaska.

In 2008, that man in prison and another male relative filed a lawsuit in Bethel Superior Court. They allege Reynolds sexually abused them, when they were nine and eleven years old. The Anchorage Daily News has agreed not to identify the village where they grew up or the people in this story because of privacy concerns for survivors of sexual abuse.

Does it matter if journalists have quit asking about the missing McCarrick report?

Get Religion

July 11, 2020

By Terry Mattingly

It’s July of 2020.

Do you know where the McCarrick report is?

There are people who still care about the who, what, when, where, why and how of the scandal that brought down former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, at one time the most press-friendly and influential cardinal in the United States of America.

In a way, it’s even more important to know more about the rise of McCarrick in church circles in and around New York City and then learn the details of his networking years in Washington, D.C. Who were McCarrick’s disciples and to what degree did they protect him, during the years when rumors were thick on the ground about — to be specific — his unique personal style when dealing with seminarians.

It’s totally understandable that the McCarrick investigation has faded from view. The year 2020 has, after all, served up challenge after challenge for journalists and church leaders, alike. McCarrick was shipped off to western Kansas and, now, it appears that he has moved to a safe house of his own choosing.

The former cardinal is now an afterthought.

But not for everyone. The other day, J.D. Flynn of the Catholic News Agency produced a thoughtful essay on what this silence means and the long term effects it could have on Catholic laypeople and their trust of the church hierarchy. It’s worth reading — even as the year 2020 rages around us.

Safeguarding minors – it’s choosing the ‘standard of Christ or the standard of the enemy’

Catholic Leader - Archdiocese of Brisbane

July 12, 2020

Concern and frustration with delayed and failed responses to abuse scandals in Poland culminated in a desperate appeal to Pope Francis to help “rebuild our church.”

More than 600 Polish lay Catholics pooled together enough money to buy an ad in an Italian newspaper at the end of June in a last-ditch effort to make sure the Pope would hear their plea.

But together with assurances of his prayers and acknowledgment of their appeal, the Pope’s steadfast position was repeated – It is going to take everybody in the Catholic Church doing everything possible to make sure Church law is applied, abuse is exposed and those guilty of these serious crimes are punished.

In other words, fighting abuse and ensuring accountability cannot be a one-man operation; this global, insidious problem needs a pope backed by a global army.

Gabriel DyLiacco, a psychotherapist and one of the initial members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, said when Pope Francis met with commission members in 2017, he told them to tell everyone, “‘I cannot do this alone, I need your help’. The Holy Father has no illusions about his capacity as a single person.”

SAR still in middle of fight to expand the CVA

Riverdale Press

July 12, 2020

By Kirstyn Brendlen

Late last summer, thousands of people across New York state were granted something they thought would never be offered: A chance for justice.

The Child Victims Act aimed at expanding the number of child sexual assault victims who could seek legal redress against their abusers, whether the source of that abuse came from people or institutions. It did so by not only moving the age cap on victims from 24 to 55, but it also provided a one-year “lookback” period, where victims of any age could file suit against institutions or individuals who they say committed or facilitated sexual abuse against them, no matter how long ago the abuse took place.

The lookback window opened Aug. 14, and was originally set to expire next month. However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended that window in May.

“Because of the reduction in court services, we want to extend that window, and we will extend it an additional five months, until Jan. 14,” Cuomo said at the time. “Because people need access to the courts to make their claim, because justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

For some — especially here, closer to home — that justice already had been long deferred.

In late 2017, former students emailed allegations about Stanley Rosenfeld, a former teacher and assistant principal at Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy, to Rabbi Binyamin Krauss, according to a report published by the school. Those allegations prompted the school to hire an outside investigative company to interview nearly 40 witnesses and alleged victims.

Those investigators concluded Rosenfeld may have sexually abused as many as 12 students during the time he worked at the school between 1974 and 1977, and again for a short time a decade later.

Orthodox agency sued for negligence by woman alleging rape by foster father

The Forward

June 30, 2020

By Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt

A Ukrainian-born Jewish woman who said her foster father raped her sued him, New York City and the Orthodox agency that placed her in his home.

The plaintiff, whose legal name at the time was Yana Nikolayeva but is listed as Jane Doe in the court documents, is suing Milton Jacobs for sexual assault and battery and both Ohel and the city for negligence on the grounds that Ohel didn’t check on her as legally mandated.

“There are important reasons why the law required Ohel to check on this foster child at least monthly,” Eric Hecker, her lawyer, said in an interview. “The law did not allow Ohel to assume that a Jewish foster father would never hurt a Jewish child.”

The plaintiff is suing for damages, but Hecker would not disclose their estimated monetary value.

“I still have flashbacks during the day and nightmares at night,” the plaintiff said in an interview. “But it’s the sense of deep shame that I continue to carry that has damaged my life the most.”

The lawsuit is one of about 1,700 filed in New York State under the Child Victims Act, passed in January after a long battle with both Catholic and Jewish organizations to extend the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases.

Wheaton College Details Allegations Against Ousted Chaplain After He Threatens Lawsuit

Roys Report

July 9, 2020

By Julie Roys

Wheaton College has just released details about the alleged sexual misconduct and racial comments that led to the recent dismissal of its chaplain, Timothy Blackmon. This comes after Blackmon reportedly threatened legal action against the school on Wednesday.

According to a report in the Daily Herald, Blackmon said in a statement that it “pains” him to think of taking legal action against Wheaton, but it might be necessary. Blackmon added that he was “completely blindsided” by Wheaton’s Title IX investigation, which he said stemmed from public comments Blackmon made in 2015 and 2016.

“Moreover, there were no allegations of flirtation, inappropriate relationships, sexual misconduct or any sexual action towards anyone,” Blackmon added. “At no time did anyone, either the complainant or any witness, communicate offense or discomfort.”

Yet in an email to faculty and staff today, Wheaton President Philip Ryken disputed Blackmon’s account.

Importing N.J.’s bishops sends the wrong message

Jersey Journal

July 12, 2020

By Rev. Alexander Santora

In the 18th century, Benjamin Franklin said, “New Jersey is like a beer barrel, tapped at both ends, with all the live beer running into Philadelphia and New York.”

Those twin pulls still persist today. The Giants and Jets may play in the Meadowlands, but they are still considered New York teams. And Manhattan and Philadelphia television stations cover northern and southern New Jersey, but there is no statewide television station.

And for the Catholic church, the five New Jersey Roman Catholic dioceses are headed by bishops not native to the dioceses they lead. In fact, four of five aren’t even from New Jersey. (Bishop James Checchio is from Camden but heads Metuchen.)

And for the most diverse state in the union, four are of Irish ancestry.

If there’s any doubt that Franklin was right, consider what happened last month in the Diocese of Paterson. Bishop Arthur Serratelli’s retirement was accepted by Pope Francis, who appointed a Brooklyn priest, Bishop Kevin Sweeney, to succeed him.

At first, New Jersey was considered, well, what else, part of the New York diocese. Then in 1853, the entire state became its own diocese, Newark.

The first bishops and archbishops alternated between New York priests and native Newark priests with the last being Thomas Boland. But since 1974, they have all be outsiders: Peter Gerety, a native of Connecticut; Theodore McCarrick, New York; John Myers, Illinois; and now Joseph Cardinal Tobin, Michigan.

Longtime area dentist accused of sexual abuse under Child Victims Act

Buffalo News

July 12, 2020

By Stephen T. Watson

Nancy Shirley Peters met Dr. Robert J. Herzog, a family friend, back in the early 1970s when she was hired to babysit his children.

After about a year, during moments when they were alone, Herzog began telling her how much he cared for her, kissing and groping her and suggesting he could teach her how to enjoy sex, according to Peters. She said she was 15 years old when this started.

Then over a period of two or three years, while she was still underage, Peters claims Herzog had sex with her on several occasions at his home and in a room at his office. Peters said she never told anyone at the time and it was years before she could grapple with the emotional pain of what she says Herzog did.

Now, Peters has filed a Child Victims Act lawsuit against Herzog. She agreed to an interview and to let The Buffalo News identify her.

"When you’re abused you carry tons of shame, like it’s your fault. And I don’t have that (anymore). I’m the person I am because of what happened to me, but I’m not ashamed because it wasn’t my fault," Peters said. "And I want other people out there to realize it’s not their fault."

Peters said she fears that there may be other victims of Herzog, a longtime soccer coach at Nardin and Mount St. Mary academies whose dental license is still active.

Letter on the Release of the Presentation High School Report

Sisters of the Presentation

July 9, 2020

By Sister Michele Anne Murphy, PBVM

Dear Members of the Presentation High School Community,

We are writing to you today to express our profound sadness regarding the sexual misconduct and subsequent regrettable ineffective action, or in some cases, lack of action at our dearly loved Presentation High School. They run contrary to everything the Sisters of the Presentation believe in – and stand for, most critically, promoting a society which respects the dignity of all persons.

In addition, they do not reflect the core beliefs on which our school was founded in 1962.

Particularly distressing to the Presentation Sisters is the pain these actions have caused the survivors. We are grateful for their courage in coming forward, recognizing how difficult it must have been.

Report: Claims of Sexual Misconduct at Presentation High School

Van Dermyden Maddux Law Firm

Released July 9, 2020; dated June 30, 2020

This Report summarizes the information gathered, and sets forth our findings and conclusions. We have endeavored to keep the Report as succinct as possible, while providing enough information to explain and support our findings and conclusions. Below, we provide an Executive
Summary of key points.

• None of the individuals who we determined engaged in sexual misconduct or abuse are currently employed at Pres.

• We sustained allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse as to five former faculty members and one former coach, for conduct that took place from the early 1980s to 2013. These individuals are identified in this Report because we received sufficient information to form a good-faith belief the alleged conduct occurred, applying the standards outlined herein.

• This Report also details allegations against six additional Staff members, none of whom are currently employed at Pres. These individuals are not named because we received less supporting evidence for the claims, and/or after a full review of the information collected, we determined the conduct asserted, while in some cases inappropriate or unprofessional, did not meet the definition of sexual misconduct, as defined. For these, the Report details information we received regarding Pres’ knowledge of and response to the claims. We also list additional claims for which, despite best efforts, we could not obtain enough information to meaningfully analyze or assess the allegations.

• Some of the conduct was reported to former Principals Marian Stuckey or Mary Miller or other Staff at the time, but no action – or ineffective action – was taken. In several instances, there was a concerning lack of curiosity about information which was shared, resulting in a failure to adequately investigate or act timely on information which may have led to more immediate and effective responses. In other cases, the conduct was
appropriately addressed by Pres. In some instances, the allegations were not known to the Principal or other Staff at the time.

Independent Investigation

Presentation High School

July 9, 2020

In September 2019, Presentation High School launched a thorough and impartial investigation into past reports of sexual abuse and misconduct and the handling of such allegations throughout the history of the school. Read the Sept 26, 2019 community announcement here. This process stemmed from upsetting stories about past reports of sexual abuse and misconduct.

On July 9, 2020 we shared the investigation report with the community. We know that the findings are difficult to read and to digest, however, this investigation was necessary to examine our past to build and maintain a safe and thriving environment for all students past, present, and future, and to ensure we do not repeat any mistakes.

To the survivors of abuse, we deeply and sincerely apologize. The stark truth is that our school did not live up to its commitment to protect you. We added further harm when we responded defensively when reports of past abuse began to surface in 2017. We understand that words cannot measure our regret or erase the harm that you endured. You were hurt, and we can only hope to make amends by caring for you now and doing everything within our power to ensure that students now and in the future will be cared for and safe.

We thank everyone who participated in the investigation and are grateful for your bravery and honesty. Without you, we would not be able to confront our past to ensure this does not happen again. We also recognize this investigation may not have revealed all instances of prior misconduct. Anyone with information about inappropriate conduct may contact Holly directly at helkins@presentationhs.org, call the hotline at (800) 490-7513, or reach out to Anne Maas, Investigation Coordinator, at amm@vmlawcorp.com.

South Bay Catholic School Probe Reveals Sexual Misconduct: Report


July 10, 2020

By Gideon Rubin

A former Presentation High School student's Washington Post op-ed precipitated the investigation.

San Jose - An elite South Bay all-girls Catholic school has issued a public apology after an independent investigation it launched last year revealed a pattern of sexual abuse that goes back decades, NBC Bay Area reports.

San Jose's Presentation High School initiated the probe in September of last year after former Presentation student Kathryn Leehane wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post alleging sexual abuse at her former school.

Presentation issued a public apology that appears on its website's homepage acknowledging the "hurt" sexual abuse survivors experience, and that "the stark truth is that our school did not live up to its commitment to protect you."

The probe, conducted by Van Dermyden Maddux, a Sacramento law firm, revealed a pattern of sexual abuse spanning four decades, from the early 1980s through 2013, the report said.

Investigation Confirms Decades of Sexual Misconduct Allegations at Presentation High


July 10, 2020

By Michael Bott and Sergio Quintana

Nearly three years after an explosive op-ed in the Washington Post during the height of the “Me Too” movement snowballed into an avalanche of sexual misconduct allegations at San Jose’s Presentation High School, a prestigious all-girls Catholic school, a months-long independent investigation “sustained allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse” against six former staffers and found school officials at times failed to report allegations of abuse to authorities and inappropriately retained teachers accused of misconduct.

The report found the abuse occurred over a span of decades, from the early 1980's through 2013, although it did not delve into a 2004 allegation from a former student who said she was sexually abused by her theater teacher because the claim was at the center of a lawsuit that has since been settled. That teacher was later forced to register as a sex offender when we was caught by police at another school with child pornography on his computer.

“Some of the conduct was reported to former Principals Marian Stuckey or Mary Miller or other Staff at the time, but no action – or ineffective action – was taken,” the investigation conducted by Sacramento law firm Van Dermyden Maddux concluded. “In several instances, there was a concerning lack of curiosity about information which was shared, resulting in a failure to adequately investigate or act timely on information which may have led to more immediate and effective responses.”

Presentation Catholic H.S. admits they failed to protect students from sexual abuse

KTVU 2 Fox

July 11, 2020

By Jesse Gary

San Jose - Decades after the first complaint, Presentation High School officials admitted Thursday their premier San Jose educational institution failed some of its students.

“I’m relieved. Because it just validated everything I’d been saying for three years,” said former student Kathryn Leehane.

She first penned an op-ed article about her alleged abuse at the school in the 1990s. That led to almost two dozen victims coming forward, who said administrators did not report instances of sexual abuse and assault stretching back more than three decades.

“It just goes to show deep and vast this cover-up was. To think that we started this well over a year ago, and their reaction at the time was to blast the messenger,” said childhood sexual abuse attorney Robert Allard.

San Jose Catholic school releases sex abuse report, apologizes ‘with heavy hearts’

The Mercury News

July 11, 2020

By John Woolfolk

‘Good faith belief’ six former Presentation High staff members abused girls

Nearly three years after a former student exposed sex abuse complaints dating back decades at San Jose’s Presentation High School for girls, its leaders released a damning outside investigation Thursday that found administrators failed to seriously pursue credible allegations against six former staffers.

Investigators the school hired in September found sufficient information “to form a good faith belief that sexual misconduct or abuse occurred by five former faculty members and one former coach” for conduct that took place from the early 1980s to 2013, the school’s president and board chair said in a statement.

“It is with heavy hearts that we are writing to you today to share the results of the investigation,” wrote Holly Elkins, Presentation’s president, and Sister Pam Chiesa, who chairs the schools board of directors. “To the survivors of abuse, we deeply and sincerely apologize. The stark truth is that our school did not live up to its commitment to protect you. We added further harm when we responded defensively when reports of past abuse began to surface in 2017.”

The report drew praise from Kathryn Leehane, who graduated from the school in 1991, disclosed abuse by her former Spanish teacher in a guest column for the Washington Post in 2017 and led other alleged victims in a campaign to hold the school’s leaders accountable.

“I am incredibly satisfied with their response,” Leehane said Thursday. “Holly Elkins’ compassionate and moral leadership is exactly what the school needed.”

Cleveland priest faces multiple federal child pornography charges

Catholic News Service/USCCB via NCR

July 7, 2020

Cleveland - A grand jury indicted a Catholic priest on federal charges involving child pornography and the sexual exploitation of children.

The July 2 indictment charged Fr. Robert McWilliams, 40, a priest of the Diocese of Cleveland, with two counts of sex trafficking of a minor, three counts of pornography-related charges involving children and three counts of sexual exploitation of children.

McWilliams was arrested Dec. 5 at St. Joseph Parish in suburban Strongsville where he had been serving as parochial vicar. He continued to be held without bond July 6.

The diocese said in a statement it was "grateful to those in law enforcement who have worked diligently to investigate this matter. As the criminal case against McWilliams proceeds, let us continue to pray for justice to be served and healing for those who have been harmed by sexual abuse."

Officials of the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force arrested McWilliams in December while serving a warrant to search the living and office spaces of the priest at the parish. The raid led to the seizure of electronic equipment, which had child pornography stored, according to court records.

Your thoughts on accusations of misconduct against David Haas

National Catholic Reporter

July 10, 2020

Two weeks ago, NCR published a report by Soli Salgado on David Haas, the Catholic composer who has been accused of sexual misconduct. The following week, NCR columnist Jamie Manson responded to the allegations, writing that "Part of the doubt cast on Haas' victims is rooted in our theological tradition that trains us to not believe women." Following are letters to the editor that have been edited for length and clarity.


Thank you for publishing Soli Salgado's important and informative article about David Haas.

While victims of Haas may not wish to have charges pressed against him, I am disappointed to learn that so far none are at least considering civil action against him. The justice system could offer a measure of empowerment to those he has disempowered and, by filing civil suit, victims may influence event organizers to stop inviting him and, thus, protect women he would otherwise prey upon.

Language is also important. Although the term "sexual misconduct" is frequently used to describe sexual assault of adults, this crime is nonetheless a form of sexual abuse and should rightly be called this. Sexual misconduct sounds like mere naughtiness but it's much, much more. Just because a person has reached their 18th birthday, this does not protect them from being deeply harmed by sexual assault, whether that be kissing, fondling or outright rape. Abuse is abuse!

Rosemary Anderson
Vancouver, British Columbia


I believe in being innocent until proven guilty but it sounds like the sheer number of cases lean towards David Haas as being a sexual deviant.

My heart goes out to the young women who claim to have been molested, assaulted, and the victim of lewd comments and behavior at the hand of Haas. I, too, enjoyed his music until I saw this article.

Julie Haugen
Oakdale, Minnesota

Colorado faith-based organizations received millions in coronavirus bailout money


July 9, 2020

By Jennifer Kovaleski

Colorado churches got millions in federal money through PPP loans

As small businesses fought for much-needed loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through the Small Business Administration (SBA), national retail chains cashing in on these funds sparked outrage and forced some businesses to return the money.

Now, we’re learning Colorado churches and faith-based organizations received millions of dollars in coveted PPP loans.

Denver7’s Rebound team followed the money and found at least 45 faith-based organizations received more than $150,000 in PPP loans, according to newly released government data.

The SBA released special guidance in April that said “faith-based organizations are eligible to receive SBA loans regardless of whether they provide secular social services.” But Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, questioned if churches should have been allowed to do so.

“So often we hear from our religious institutions that they don’t want the federal government messing with them and now we’re seeing that these same churches are going with their hat in hand to the federal government saying we want your help,” Singer said. “You know, there’s certainly an ounce of hypocrisy there.”

Chicago Catholic parishes got as much as $63 million in federal PPP coronavirus money

Chicago Tribune

July 10, 2020

By David Heinzmann

Roman Catholic parishes and organizations in the Archdiocese of Chicago received between $24.4 million and $63.6 million in loans through the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program that was designed to save jobs amid the economic shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to federal records.

The money was mostly applied for by individual parishes, so archdiocese officials said they did not immediately know the total of money received here.

The Archdiocese of Chicago itself did not apply for funds because it is a large employer with thousands of employees, many more than the threshold of 500 staff laid out by the PPP program, spokeswoman Paula Waters said.

Since the federal data on who received PPP money was released this week, public scrutiny has mounted on some deep-pocketed corporate interests that received millions from the forgivable loan program.

Taxpayer-funded Chicago charter schools cashed in on COVID-19 loans; CPS seeks probe

Chicago Sun-Times

July 8, 2020

By Lauren FitzPatrick and Nader Issa

[Includes informative graph.]

The privately run schools got the federal Paycheck Protection Program money though they also got their full funding from Illinois taxpayers, a Sun-Times analysis finds.

Publicly funded charter schools in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois received a total of between $31.2 million and $74.7 million in federal loans intended to bolster small businesses and non-profits during the coronavirus pandemic, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis has found.

Thirty operators of 56 schools got the federal money even though, unlike many other employers that sought Paycheck Protection Program loans, they hadn’t lost any of their normal funding from Illinois taxpayers.

Paycheck Protection Program loans to Illinois schools

Schools in Illinois took home over $133 million in federal coronavirus funding

This chart displays the maximum and minimum loan amounts, categorized by type of school, for institutions receiving loans over $150,000. Data is based on loan ranges provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Schools receiving loans less than $150,000 were not identified and are not included in this chart.

PPP loans in Chicago: The inside story of who got what

Chicago Sun-Times

July 7, 2020

By Caroline Hurley, Lynn Sweet, and Lauren FitzPatrick

Faith-based institutions

Faith-based organizations were eligible for PPP loans, and the Sun-Times analysis found about 475 religious-based groups in Illinois received at least $140 million. Some of the groups getting the loans provide social services or operate community centers; the list also includes houses of worship of a variety of religions. Another 170 operators of religious schools were awarded at least $70 million more.

Getting between $5 million and $10 million in PPP loans — Lutheran Social Services of Illinois in Des Plaines to cover 500 jobs and Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington for 353 jobs.

Between $2 million and $5 million — Jewish Community Centers of Chicago, for 313 workers; Jewish Child and Family Services, for 250 jobs; Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Joliet, for 258 employees.

In the $1 million to $2 million category — St. Clement Parish, 642 W. Deming, for 92 jobs. That’s the most PPP funds any individual parish received. Most Catholic parishes took loans in the $150,000 to $350,000 range. Plus, Wheaton Bible Church with 114 jobs; Anshe Emet Synagogue, 3751 N. Broadway, 225 jobs; Apostolic Church of God, 6320 S. Dorchester, 125 jobs.

In the $350,000 to $1 million range — Christ the King Parish, 9235 S. Hamilton, 67 jobs.

In the $150,000 to $350,000 range — St. Sabina Parish, 1210 W. 78th, with 26 jobs; the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, with 94 jobs.

July 11, 2020

Rancor on Springfield Diocesan Review Board leads to resignations, lapse in faith

Mass Live

July 11, 2020

By Stephanie Barry

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield’s volunteer Diocesan Review Board has begun bleeding members in the wake of the so-called Weldon Report, with one intending to abandon the church altogether.

A 350-page analysis released in late June, authored by retired Judge Peter Velis, found the late Bishop Christopher J. Weldon repeatedly raped a young boy during the early 1960s. The victim told investigators Weldon was part of a cabal of priests who sexually passed around young boys at a rectory and campground during that era.

Weldon was leader of local Catholic churches from 1950 to 1977. He died in 1982.

The Diocesan Review Board is tasked with hearing accounts of alleged clergy abuse and assessing their credibility for church officials, who can then recommend a variety of repercussions to the Vatican.

After the report was released, there has been rancor between some board members and the diocese focused on the handling of the victim’s early disclosures. Any whiff of an attempted cover-up should be assigned to the diocese and not the board, two members argue, although a spokesman for the church says there was not one.

Longtime member Theresa Finnegan and Chairman John Hale resigned from the panel this week, contending a former diocesan investigator and diocesan staff manipulated the initial investigation and left the volunteer board to appear culpable in both the report and media coverage. strongly feel that any wrongdoing was done by the employees of the diocese and not the Review Board,” said Finnegan, an attorney from Wilbraham. “We’re volunteers giving our time to try to make the church a safer place and it’s not an easy job.”

Reporter on Catholic Church Getting over $1 Billion in Coronavirus Aid


July 10, 2020

By Mary Louise Kelly Interviewing Michael Rezendes

Kelly: The stories have become almost commonplace by now - big companies, politically connected companies cashing in on the massive federal rescue package that was designed to help small businesses weather economic devastation wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic. Well, today we are learning, courtesy of The Associated Press, that the U.S. Roman Catholic Church managed to secure billions of dollars in loans from that rescue package through the Paycheck Protection Program. Reporter Michael Rezendes has been reporting on the Catholic Church for a long time. He is one of the reporters who has been crunching these numbers and trying to track where that money is going. Hey there. How are you?

Rezendes: Hey, not so bad. Nice to be here.

Kelly: How much money exactly are we talking about?

Rezendes: Well, what what I and my colleague, Reese Dunklin, identified - and I got to really give a shoutout to Reese here because he's a great data reporter. But we were able to identify between $1.4 billion and as much as $3.5 billion. And the reason there's a range here is because the Small Business Administration did not release precise loan amounts. They only released ranges of loans. And we identified 3,500 loans worth between 1.4 billion and 3.5 billion.

Kelly: OK. So a huge range, but we are talking upward of a billion. That's billion with a B. It's a lot of money. How has it been spent?

Rezendes: Well, it's been spent, as far as we know. We don't have a very clear accounting. I have to say, as usual from the Catholic Church on precisely how the money is being spent, we're assured it's being spent for payroll and utilities, keeping people employed. But I have to say there is no monitoring of this program. It's self-monitoring. It's self-certification. So we don't actually know for sure.

Kelly: Do we know for sure whether any of it has been diverted to help cover past gaps in the finances? And I will note that many Catholic dioceses were in really bad financial shape going into the pandemic because they had to pay out these big settlements to victims of clergy sexual abuse. Does that factor into how any of this rescue money is being spent at all or do we know?

Rezendes: Well, this is one of the points we made in our story is that a lot of this money is going to dioceses that might be experiencing financial stress not so much because of the coronavirus pandemic but because of the large payouts they've had to make to clergy abuse survivors, sometimes in the hundreds of millions of dollars. You never hear much about these payments. You do hear a lot about supposed stress from the pandemic. And I think a lot of that stress is real. But, in effect, I think what's happening here is you're seeing churches who are stressed financially because of clergy sex abuse getting a break through the federal government through direct payments from the federal government that are being used to pay, actually, the salaries of priests and ministers, which is unprecedented.

Catholic decline matters - so do our actions

Berkshire Eagle

July 10, 2020

By David O'Brien

Catholicism matters, and so does its absence. In Western Massachusetts, Catholics helped make our shared history. Now shuttered parishes and empty schools leave neighborhoods a bit more impoverished. Worse, we learn that disgraced and criminal bishops and priests assaulted children and caused lifelong suffering for too many of our neighbors and friends. They left behind shattered communities, demoralized Christians, and children and grandchildren disenchanted with churches. That Catholic decline matters; we are all diminished, and rendered less hopeful, when Catholicism as we once knew it is no longer with us.

No one can defend the leaders of the Catholic Church of Western Massachusetts. One revered former Bishop, Christopher Weldon, was credibly accused of the violent sexual abuse of children. This startling news comes 16 years after another former Springfield Bishop, Thomas Dupre, was the first American bishop indicted for abuse of children. Both revelations came amid credible reports of abuse by many diocesan priests. Since the first news of clergy crimes against children came out of Louisiana in 1984, all four Massachusetts Catholic dioceses have been shaken by accounts of criminal sexual crimes by priests, blundering cover-ups by bishops and their enablers, and lifetimes of suffering of victims and their families.

Locally steps are now being taken to protect children. Full responsibility for handling reports of abuse has been turned over to the area's three District Attorneys. And yet another committee will try to improve church procedures for handling abuse. All of this while church attendance declines, Catholic pronouncements on sex sound hypocritical, and long-standing Catholic support for immigrants, working people and the poor is smothered by highly politicized, even cruel, pronouncements about abortion and homosexuality. Many younger Catholics no longer acknowledge a religious identity — former Catholics are now America's second-largest religious group — and the once awesome Catholic infrastructure of churches and schools, hospitals and social service agencies fades from the civic landscape.

New chair of diocesan board heard from Bishop Weldon victim. He says he doesn't remember it.

Berkshire Eagle

July 10, 2020

By Caroline White and Larry Parnass

Springfield - The Springfield Diocese said Friday that a survivor of clergy abuse will take the helm of an internal board. That survivor, a Dalton resident, was present when his board heard allegations in 2018 against Christopher J. Weldon, one of the diocese's most prominent bishops.

But, James A. Stankiewicz says he does not remember that other survivor's emotional presentation to the board he now will lead — and could not say why.

In two interviews Friday with The Eagle, Stankiewicz was not able to explain why he does not recall a Chicopee man's presentation to the board about sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of Weldon and other priests in the early 1960s.

The diocese confirmed Friday that Stankiewicz attended the survivor's meeting with the board.

"I don't know what to say," Stankiewicz said.

The Most Rev. Mitchell T. Rozanski appointed Stankiewicz to lead the board this week, after its former chair, John M. Hale, stepped down after holding the post since 2018 and serving on the panel for more than a decade.

Diocese Review Board has new chief following scathing report

Daily Hampshire Gazette

July 10, 2020

By Scott Merzback

Less than a month after the release of an independent report criticizing the Diocesan Review Board’s investigation into sexual abuse complaints against late Springfield Roman Catholic Bishop Christopher J. Weldon, that panel’s chairman has resigned.

The diocese announced Friday that John Hale, who stepped down as chairman, will be replaced by James A. Stankiewicz, a member of the panel and a survivor of clergy sexual abuse.

Stankiewicz will be the interim chairman based on an appointment by Archbishop-designate Mitchell T. Rozanski, the diocese’s apostolic administrator.

Stankiewicz assumes the position as the Independent Task Force on the Response to Sexual Abuse within the Springfield Diocese, of which he is also a member, continues to review the 373-page report issued last month by retired Superior Court Judge Peter A. Velis. The task force is supposed to work toward improving the diocese’s response to future complaints.

Seminary student reported priest sexual abuse at Shiloh orphanage 54 years ago

Belleville News-Democrat

July 11, 2020

By Teri Maddox

Memories came flooding back for Bob Fellner this spring, when news broke that the Catholic Diocese of Belleville had expanded its list of clergymen credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors or serious sexual misconduct with adults.

One of the new names was the Rev. Arthur W. Niemeyer, who died in 1988 after serving churches in Belleville, Shiloh, Kinmundy, Salem and Cahokia. He also worked as director of St. John’s Orphanage in Shiloh in the 1950s and ‘60s, when Fellner was a seminarian who volunteered as a house parent for three summers.

Fellner, 79, of St. Louis, said he and the orphanage’s mother superior reported suspected sexual abuse of grade-school boys by Niemeyer in 1966 to Bishop Albert R. Zuroweste, now deceased, who transferred Niemeyer to another parish.

To Fellner, it seemed like the bishop was sweeping allegations under the rug without holding Niemeyer accountable.

“It kind of blew my mind,” he said last week.

Fellner went on to become a priest in 1967, despite what he believes was an attempt by Zuroweste to get him kicked out of seminary because of his involvement in the case. Fellner served at the former St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Church in Cahokia before leaving the ministry, getting married and working in the insurance business for more than 30 years. He’s now retired.

Fellner said he’s glad the truth about abusive clergymen is coming out all over the country, even though it took 54 years in Niemeyer’s case.

“Some of the things that I’ve found out since then, and some of the kids that were affected ... One boy in particular, he committed suicide, which I suspect was a result of the trauma,” he said. “I still get worked up talking about it today. It did not have to happen.”

Ex-school principal jailed for sexually abusing seven of his pupils


July 10, 2020

By Declan Brennan and Brion Hoban

A former school principal convicted of sexually abusing seven of his pupils has been jailed for three years.

After a trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last March, Patrick Harte (78) was convicted of 11 counts of indecently assaulting seven pupils at the Sancta Maria Christian Brothers primary school on Synge Street, Dublin between September 1968 and September 1970.

The court heard that when gardai put the victims' allegations to Harte in 2015, the former teacher claimed they had “a vendetta against him”.

Anne Rowland SC, prosecuting, told the court that there was no evidence that any of the victims were ever in contact with each other since the offending took place. Detective Garda Garvan Ware said “as far as I'm concerned, they are all independent”.

'We hoped and we prayed this day would come' - Victims' joy as ex-principal is jailed over abuse


July 11, 2020

By Declan Brennan and Brion Hoban


A former school principal convicted of sexually abusing seven of his pupils has been sentenced to three years in jail.

Patrick Harte (78) was convicted of 11 counts of indecently assaulting seven pupils at the Sancta Maria Christian Brothers primary school in Synge Street, Dublin, between 1968 and 1970.

Afterwards Fr Tony Conlon, one of the victims and who is now a Catholic priest, said he "hoped and prayed" this day would come.

Outside Dublin's Criminal Courts of Justice, Fr Conlon said they had fought the case for seven years and that "finally vindication has come for all of us".

He said he had not thought they could ever get justice and it shows that no matter how long ago it was "that there is justice".

The priest called on people to come forward "if you have been abused or hurt in anyway". He urged people not to be ashamed and said that if they come forward "you will get the best help and support".

Abuse victim of school principal had no idea other boys were being attacked

Irish Times

July 9, 2020

By Declan Brennan and Brion Hoban

Priest said the abuse had ‘a paralysing effect’ on his life and prevented him from achieving so many things in life

A child sex abuse victim of a former school principal has said he had no idea his abuser was attacking other boys in the school.

After a trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last March, Patrick Harte (78) was convicted of 11 counts of indecently assaulting seven pupils at the Sancta Maria Christian Brothers primary school on Synge Street, Dublin between September 1968 and September 1970.

At his sentence hearing on Thursday the court heard that when gardaí put the victims’ allegations to Harte in 2015, the former teacher claimed they had “a vendetta against him”.

Anne Rowland SC, prosecuting, told the court that there is no evidence that any of the victims were ever in contact with each other since the offending took place. Detective Garda Garvan Ware said “as far as I’m concerned, they are all independent”.

Harte, of Glendown Park, Templeogue, Dublin had denied the charges and in a speech to the court he claimed that the State had “validated” his teaching at the time and could not now “invalidate it”.

Bishop acknowledges 'disappointment for survivors' as former Catholic priest dies awaiting trial

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

July 7, 2020

By Elle Rixon

A former Catholic priest, accused of 139 child sexual offences spanning four decades, has died awaiting trial.

David Joseph Perrett, 82, was accused of assaulting 40 victims across eight parishes between the 1960s to 1990s, and had a trial date set for January 2021.

At his last appearance in court, in November 2019, Mr Perrett pleaded not guilty to the 139 charges.

In a statement, Bishop of Armidale Michael Kennedy said Perrett's death would bring "significant disappointment" for alleged victims.

"His death means that survivors will not get to see these charges heard in court," Bishop Kennedy said.

Alleged church sex abuse victim asks federal court to make Archdiocese documents public


July 10, 2020

By Kimberly Curth

In a new motion filed this week, an alleged church sex abuse survivor is fighting to unseal church documents.His case, along with more than 30 others, was immediatey stayed and moved to Federal court when the Archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in May.

The anonymous plaintiff referred to as JW Doe says former priest Lawrence Hecker sexually abused him. The Archdiocese placed Hecker on the 2018 list of clergy credibly accused of child sex abuse. According to the new motion, "the documents are relevant to all of Hecker's victims as well as to the Archdiocese's policy, practice, and procedure of covering up abuse allegations and enabling predators."

"Basically, they're saying this stuff that has been redacted by the Archdiocese should not have been redacted by the Archdiocese, that the plaintiffs were entitled to it and judge you need to make them turn that over to us, which is all really part of the discovery issues and why they don't want to be in bankruptcy court, they want to be back in state court, where they can get all of this discovery," said Fox 8 Legal Analyst Joe Raspanti.

The plaintiff’s attorneys also object to the Archdiocese’s payment to certain professionals, whose names are redacted in the motion. According to the federal documents, “these ‘ordinary course professionals’ should not be allowed to be retained by the Archdiocese” without “a thorough review of the documents” and “discovery to determine the full breadth of their involvement in the various cover-ups.” The plaintiff’s lawyers add “whatever the debtor was to pay these “professionals” would be better served paying sexual abuse claims.”

Defamed Detroit Priest Vindicated

Church Militant

July 10, 2020

By Christine Niles

Unanimous finding awards Fr. Eduard Perrone $125K

Detroit - A falsely accused Detroit priest has been vindicated, an arbitration panel unanimously finding he was the target of defamation and awarding him damages of $125,000.

"I want to express my deep gratitude to my outstanding, dedicated attorneys for this vindication of truth," Fr. Eduard Perrone said in comments to Church Militant. "I join all those who have prayed for me in thanking God. While there is more yet to be done in my case, this award marks a notable first triumph. Thank you, all."

"I feel completely vindicated in everything we've tried to do," Kathleen Klaus, attorney for Fr. Perrone, told Church Militant, "because here are three people, complete strangers — lawyers — strangers to the facts, strangers to the parties, and all of them found unanimously that Fr. Perrone was defamed by Nancy LePage."

'The whole truth': Bankruptcy judge urged to unseal records of alleged abusive New Orleans priest

Times Picayune / New Orleans Advocate

July 10, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

Attorneys for a man who alleges he was preyed upon by a New Orleans priest wants a federal bankruptcy judge to unseal reams of confidential documents outlining how the Archdiocese of New Orleans handled accusations against the cleric.

The plaintiff’s attorneys first asked an Orleans Parish Civil District Court judge in early March to allow for the public release of those documents, and The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate, along with WWL, WDSU and WVUE, joined in the request, arguing that the documents held information which community members could use to protect themselves from the still-living priest, Lawrence Hecker.

But the archdiocese’s decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections halted that push indefinitely, along with lawsuits from the plaintiff and dozens of others whose cases were automatically stayed and transferred from state court to federal court.

Late Thursday, the plaintiff’s legal team filed a motion requesting that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Grabill, who’s presiding over the archdiocese’s reorganization filing, make the documents "immediately available to the public.”

“Knowing the whole truth without limitation is an important part” of clergy abuse survivors’ ability to retake “control of events that caused so much pain they have been forced to carry in silence for so long,” said the motion, prepared by attorneys Richard Trahant, John Denenea and Soren Gisleson, who represent dozens of clerical molestation claimants.

New Orleans clergy abuse plaintiff aims to move bankruptcy-halted case out of federal court


July 8, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas


“The longer this case stays in federal court, … the more likely the pedophile priests will die before receiving civil or criminal justice."

The plaintiff in a Catholic clergy sex abuse lawsuit halted by the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ federal bankruptcy filing is seeking to have his case moved back into state court in hopes of continuing to pursue his claims.

In a filing late Tuesday, the plaintiff’s attorneys argue that the suit revolves around matters of state law and therefore should be transferred back to Orleans Parish Civil District Court rather than handled in the federal system.

It is the first time a clerical molestation claimant has asked to return his case to state court and advance it since the archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 1. The bankruptcy automatically stayed more than two dozen unresolved clergy abuse lawsuits filed in Orleans Parish civil court, which the archdiocese separately moved to the city’s federal courthouse.

Suspended priest who spoke on clergy abuse backed by supporters outside Richmond mass


July 10, 2020

By Ben Dennis

Dozens showed up outside mass in Richmond Friday to show their support for a priest suspended after blogging about sexual abuse committed by the clergy.

Nearly 50 parishioners silently protested and prayed outside the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond on Friday. Many drove over three hours to show their support for Father Mark White and stand in opposition to Bishop Barry Knestout and his decisions to suspend him.

“You know, there’s a lot of talk these days about social justice. If you want to see what social injustice looks like, just look at this case that’s going on between the bishop and Father Mark,” Joseph Karen told 8News.

Back in April, Catholic Diocese of Richmond Bishop Barry Knestout ordered Father Mark White to leave Saint Joseph’s parish in Martinsville and Saint Francis of Assisi in Rocky Mount following their criticisms about the church’s handling of clergy sexual abuse.

“I think Father Mark did what he felt God was calling him to do,” said Judy Rogers.

Supporters and parishioners protested outside mass where diocesan priests gathered to renew their commitment to the priesthood. It was a celebration that Father White couldn’t be a part of during his suspension.

Church of England accused of turning blind eye to priests' abuse of their wives

The Telegraph

Women claim disciplinary procedure failed them after abuse and violence at the hands of their clergymen husbands

July 10, 2020

By Daniel Foggo and Katherine Rushton

The Church of England has been accused of dismissing or ignoring serious complaints about priests’ conduct which are being made by their own wives.

An investigation by The Telegraph has identified instances where Church authorities failed to take action over allegations including sexual abuse, domestic violence and adultery, even when handed apparently compelling evidence.

On Friday evening one of the women who accused her husband of rape and marital violence said the Church was “turning a blind eye to abuse and immorality in its own ranks”.

She said: “They have absolutely been ignoring abuse. The clergy just want to protect themselves. They cover for each other and it comes from the top down.”

Archdiocese of Denver received a $1.9 million PPP loan


July 10, 2020

The U.S. Roman Catholic Church used a special and unprecedented exemption from federal rules to amass at least $1.4 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus aid, with many millions going to dioceses that have paid huge settlements or sought bankruptcy protection because of clergy sexual abuse cover-ups.

The Archdiocese of Denver said it received a $1.9 million dollar loan and some individual Catholic parishes also got money.

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese said it used that money to keep its 4,000 workers employed and to keep soup kitchens and food pantries open.

Read the full statement below.

Houses of worship and faith-based organizations that promote religious beliefs aren’t usually eligible for money from the U.S. Small Business Administration. But as the economy plummeted and jobless rates soared, Congress let faith groups and other nonprofits tap into the Paycheck Protection Program, a $659 billion fund created to keep main street open and Americans employed.

Seal of confessional vital for some survivors of sexual abuse

Catholic Leader - Archdiocese of Brisbane

July 10, 2020

By Mark Bowling

A group of survivors of sexual abuse have defended the Seal of Confession as a vital lifeline and aided their recovery.

Their testimonies paints the confession box as a safe place to speak and ease their trauma, and contradicts the intent of new laws across Australia aimed at compelling priests to report child sexual abuse offences disclosed during confessions.

South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory have already enacted laws that make it a criminal offence for a priest to withhold abuse disclosures.

Western Australia and Queensland are moving towards similar laws.

New South Wales has deferred any action.

A spokesman for a survivor group in Western Australia said few people realised that victims and survivors – Catholic and non-Catholic – often visited the confessional precisely because of the Seal of Confession.

“The Seal offers victims a safe, secure and watertight place where they can be listened to without cost, where they can remain anonymous, and can decide what they’re ready, and not ready, to share – and all of this in complete confidence,” spokesman James Parker said.

Erie diocese dropped from suit charging Bishop Trautman with abuse cover-up in NY

Catholic News Agency

July 9, 2020

The Diocese of Erie has been dropped as a defendant in a lawsuit against Bishop Donald Trautman and the Diocese of Buffalo which claims they covered up a priest’s sex abuse of a 10-year-old boy in the mid-1980s.

The suit, filed in January, concerns actions that Trautman allegedly took while serving in the curia of the Buffalo diocese. After his time in Buffalo, Trautman was Bishop of Erie.

The Erie diocese had asked to be removed from the suit, saying that the claims against Trautman concern only his time in Buffalo.

“The Erie Diocese has absolutely no relationship whatsoever to this case,” it said in a dismissal request filed May 18.

Lawsuit alleges priest sexually assaulted altar boy at Luzerne church

Citizens Voice

July 8, 2020

By Michael P. Buffer

A Berks County man claims a priest sexually assaulted him in the mid-1970s when he was an altar boy between the ages of 10 and 13 at Sacred Heart Church in Luzerne Borough, according to a lawsuit that also alleges the Diocese of Scranton covered up prior incidents of the priest sexually abusing boys.

The priest named in the lawsuit is the late Rev. Robert Caparelli, an admitted and notorious child predator who is believed to have molested multiple boys during his 30 years as a diocesan priest.

In separate cases in the early 1990s, Caparelli was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting two altar boys between 1985 and 1989, in a Pike County rectory. Caparelli pleaded guilty to the abuse and died in prison in 1994.

The diocese settled at least three lawsuits filed by Caparelli’s victims. Two were filed by the parents of the Pike County boys and alleged the priest had HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, when he sexually abused their sons.

The latest lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Luzerne Court Court. Daniel F. Monahan, an attorney from Exton, represents Joseph Storz, the plaintiff from Berks County. Storz, 56, is seeking punitive damages and a jury trial.

July 10, 2020

After lobbying, Catholic Church won $1.4B in virus aid

Associated Press

July 10, 2020

By Reese Dunklin and Michael Rezendes

The U.S. Roman Catholic Church used a special and unprecedented exemption from federal rules to amass at least $1.4 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus aid, with many millions going to dioceses that have paid huge settlements or sought bankruptcy protection because of clergy sexual abuse cover-ups.

The church’s haul may have reached -- or even exceeded -- $3.5 billion, making a global religious institution with more than a billion followers among the biggest winners in the U.S. government’s pandemic relief efforts, an Associated Press analysis of federal data released this week found.

Houses of worship and faith-based organizations that promote religious beliefs aren’t usually eligible for money from the U.S. Small Business Administration. But as the economy plummeted and jobless rates soared, Congress let faith groups and other nonprofits tap into the Paycheck Protection Program, a $659 billion fund created to keep main street open and Americans employed.

By aggressively promoting the payroll program and marshaling resources to help affiliates navigate its shifting rules, Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools and other ministries have so far received approval for at least 3,500 forgivable loans, AP found.

The Archdiocese of New York, for example, received 15 loans worth at least $28 million just for its top executive offices. Its iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue was approved for at least $1 million.

In Orange County, California, where a sparkling glass cathedral estimated to cost over $70 million recently opened, diocesan officials working at the complex received four loans worth at least $3 million.

And elsewhere, a loan of at least $2 million went to the diocese covering Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia, where a church investigation revealed last year that then-Bishop Michael Bransfield embezzled funds and made sexual advances toward young priests.

Former Bucks County priest sentenced to prison for sexual abuse of altar boys

Bucks Local News

July 9, 2020

Doylestown - A former Catholic priest who served for 10 years at a Lower Bucks church has been sentenced to state prison for the sexual abuse of two altar boys.

Francis Trauger, 74, of Brooklyn, New York, pleaded guilty Wednesday, July 8 to two counts of indecent assault of a person under 13, admitting to one first-degree misdemeanor for each victim charged.

He had been accused of molesting two altar boys, one in the mid-1990s and another in the early 2000s. The abuse occurred while Trauger, known in the church community as “Father Frank”, was a priest at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Tullytown.

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Judge Jeffrey L. Finley sentenced Trauger to serve 18 to 36 months in state prison, a penalty in the aggravated range recommended by state sentencing guidelines, followed by seven years of probation.

“After evading justice for decades, this defendant is headed today to state prison for molesting two boys decades ago,” said District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub. “I hope the message to any other victims out there is clear: It is almost never too late to come forward to speak your truth.”

John Ortberg’s Church Says ‘No Evidence of Misconduct’ As More Details Emerge

Christianity Today

July 7, 2020

By Daniel Silliman

Megachurch pastor’s son named as the volunteer who confessed sexual attraction to children.

A California megachurch is defending the investigation and restoration of senior pastor John Ortberg as more information emerges about his concealment of a church volunteer’s confession of unwanted sexual attraction to children.

The pastor’s son Daniel Lavery, frustrated by what he has characterized as a lack of concern for the seriousness of sexual abuse, publicly named the volunteer on Twitter in late June: his brother and Ortberg’s youngest child, 30-year-old John Ortberg III.

Menlo Church elders first learned of the concealment when Lavery wrote them in November 2019. In the letter, Lavery said he believed there was “a credible basis for a serious and thorough investigation of every aspect of my brother’s work with children.” He said his father was choosing to take the younger Ortberg at his word that he had never acted on his sexual attractions, despite a clear pattern of seeking out opportunities to be alone with children.

“In the most charitable reading possible, my parents have acted with unconscionable disregard for their responsibilities as leaders, ministers, and parents,” Lavery wrote.

In Aurora teacher sex abuse case, Court of Appeals dismisses charges against 2 employees

Colorado Politics

July 9, 2020

By Michael Karlik


Two separate panels of the Colorado Court of Appeals both concluded that the statute of limitations for failing to report child abuse begins when a party who is required to report first learns of the abuse and does not immediately notify authorities.

“In the absence of clear legislative intent, we must conclude that failure to report is not a continuing offense,” wrote Judge Jaclyn Casey Brown, “and that the statute of limitations begins to run when a mandatory reporter has reason to know or suspect child abuse or neglect but willfully fails to make an immediate report.”

18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler, whose office brought the charges, said on Thursday he was frustrated that two former school employees in the Cherry Creek School District would face no legal consequences for allegedly talking a minor out of her sex assault accusation.

Danbury clergy sex abuse case postponed 2 months

News Times

July 9, 2020

By Kendra Baker

The pre-trial hearing of the former local priest accused of sexually assaulting two boys has been pushed to Sept. 4.

Jaime Marin-Cardona, 52, is charged with three counts of fourth-degree sexual assault, three counts of risk of injury to child and three counts of illegal sexual contact. He pleaded not guilty to all nine charges.

The warrant for Marin-Cardona’s arrest alleges that he groomed two boys over the course of four years, and sexually abused one of them over the same period of time.

The alleged abuse began in 2014 — the same year Marin-Cardona became a priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Golden Hill Road.

Priest abuse: Local student journalist's story helps right a wrong at St. Bonaventure

Democrat & Chronicle

July 9, 2020

St. Bonaventure NY - St. Bonaventure University is pulling the name of a deceased priest off one of its buildings thanks to an article written by a Brockport High graduate and local television journalist.

Msgr. James Hopkins, the Catholic Diocese of Erie said in July 2018, was the subject of an abuse report in 1993, long after his 1957 death. His name was among those included in a grand jury’s report in August 2018 on sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses including Erie.

Hopkins attended seminary at St. Bonaventure in the late 1890s and received an honorary degree in 1950, the university said. He was pastor at St. Titus Church in Titusville, and the sex abuse allegations stemmed from his time there.

Hopkins Hall has been the name of the university’s administration building. The sign in front of the building has been removed and it will be known as the Administration Building until renaming discussions start at an undetermined time.

Ex-Latter-day Saint bishop pleads guilty to child pornography charge

Deseret News

July 9, 2020

By Dennis Romboy

A former Latter-day Saint bishop admitted in federal court Thursday to having child pornography on his cellphone.

Timothy James Hallows, 62, of Kaysville, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in an agreement with federal prosecutors. He admitted to having images of prepubescent children being sexually assaulted by adults on his cellphone and sending them to a woman in the Philippines last November.

Hallows faces up to 20 years in prison. A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.

Hallows was bishop of the Wellington Ward in the Kaysville Utah Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was arrested in October and later charged with eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in 2nd District Court in Davis County.

The state charges were dismissed June 29 after the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Davis County Attorney’s Office decided to pursue the case in federal court.

July 9, 2020

Former Philadelphia priest pleads guilty to decades-old sex assaults of altar boys in Bucks County

Philadelphia Inquirer

July 8, 2020

By Vinny Vella

After years of dodging allegations of abusing children, a former Catholic priest pleaded guilty Wednesday to molesting two altar boys in Bucks County decades ago.

Francis Trauger, 74, admitted his guilt to two counts of indecent assault of a minor, and Bucks County Judge Jeffrey L. Finley sentenced him to 18 to 36 months in a state prison and seven years’ probation.

Trauger did not speak during the hour-long hearing, which played out in a mostly empty courtroom, with only a few onlookers and a huddle of journalists.

His attorney, Brian McVann, said that the defrocked priest’s conduct “cannot be defended” and that Trauger felt compelled to admit his guilt and take responsibility for his actions.

“He has done great good in his life,” McVann said. “Unfortunately, it has been lost in this case.”

Finley, in handing down the sentence, told Trauger that any good he had done during his decades-long tenure with the church had been “torn down” and destroyed by these actions.

“I don’t know that you truly understood that,” the judge said. “Or at least that you truly didn’t understand that until you were arrested.”

Bucks County, Pennsylvania priest sentenced in sex abuse case


July 8, 2020

Tullytown PA - A former Catholic priest pleaded guilty Wednesday afternoon to sexually abusing two altar boys in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Father Francis Trauger was sentenced to 18 to 36 months in a state prison in addition to seven years probation.

Trauger served at St. Michael the Archangel in Tullytown between 1993 and 2003, when the assaults happened.

Michael McDonnell, of Bristol, was molested by Trauger in 1981. He says this is a step towards closure.

Trauger was removed from the priesthood in 2003 and two years later was named in the Philadelphia Grand Jury Report about predator priests.

Delbarton sex abuse lawsuits may be first of a wave, raise new questions about abusers

New Jersey Herald

July 8, 2020

By Abbott Koloff

A new round of lawsuits filed against the order that runs the Delbarton School in Morris Township underscores questions about how allegedly abusive monks are being dealt with even now — with one still having voicemail at a residence on school grounds after being the subject of another lawsuit settled two years ago.

Attorneys filed six lawsuits Tuesday that contain new accusations of sexual abuse allegedly committed by five men who have been monks of St. Mary’s Abbey and the Order of St. Benedict and one former Delbarton lay teacher. This was the first wave, the attorneys said, of what is expected to be more than 20 such complaints.

The accused clerics are Timothy Brennan, Justin Capato, Donal Fox, Benedict Michael Worry and Malachy Robert Flavin. Also accused is a former teacher, Giacomo Pagano. All six men have been the subjects of prior sex abuse settlements made by the order.

Capato, Fox and Worry were accused in a 2015 civil complaint settled in 2018. Last year, a Catholic directory still listed all three as priests assigned to St. Mary’s Abbey. Worry has a phone extension at the abbey.

'Difficult decisions' loom as Catholic Charities misses fundraising goal

Buffalo News

July 8, 2020

By Jay Tokasz

When Catholic Charities of Buffalo officials announced in January they would seek to raise $10 million in the 2020 appeal, the big question was how much an anticipated Buffalo Diocese bankruptcy filing might hurt the human services agency’s fundraising.

But the agency faced an even bigger obstacle than the diocese's February bankruptcy filing when the global coronavirus pandemic shut down parish life and Masses in 161 Catholic churches across Western New York for three months during the heart of the appeal effort.

Despite the pandemic, Catholic Charities ended up raising $8.4 million through the appeal, which ended June 30. It was $1.6 million short of the goal, but Deacon Steve Schumer, president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit, said he was very happy with the results, especially under the extraordinary circumstances of the past few months.

Deadline Set for St. Cloud Diocese Clergy Sex Abuse Claims


July 7, 2020

By Jenifer Lewerenz

The Diocese of St. Cloud has announced a deadline for claims for victims and survivors of clergy sex abuse.

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota issued an order Tuesday saying anyone making a claim against the Diocese for sex abuse must make a claim with the bankruptcy court no later than 5:00 p.m. October 21, 2020. This is to ensure the claim is considered for compensation if the person believes the Diocese of St. Cloud is responsible for any injury or other damages to them because they claim that they were sexually abused by a priest, a clergyman, a worker, a volunteer, an employee, or other person or entity associated with the Diocese.

If you would like to get additional information, or make a claim, click here. You can also call 520-770-8712.

The deadline is part of the $22.5 million settlement framework agreed to by clergy sex abuse survivors, attorneys, and the Diocese.

Bishop Admits Recycling Predator Priests

Church Militant

July 8, 2020

By Bradley Eli

Rochester diocese discredits testimony

Rochester NY - Testimony from Rochester's former bishop is confirming he routinely reassigned to ministry priests accused of pedophilia.

In testimony released on Monday, Rochester's Bp. Emeritus Matthew Clark admits under oath that he was aware of sexual abuse allegations against priests, who he nonetheless returned to active ministry after sending them to rehabilitation centers. Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney representing 94 sexual abuse victims suing the diocese of Rochester, says Clark's deposition, given in March, indicates Clark did shelter known pedophile priests.

"The testimony by Bp. Matthew Clark under oath in his deposition of March 3, 2020 indicates that Bp. Clark hid pedophilia from the public for decades just as clergy sexual abuse victims had suspected," Garabedian commented.

Firms file 20 Child Victims Act lawsuits against diocese


July 2, 2020

By Cara Chapman

Twenty new lawsuits were filed against the Diocese of Ogdensburg under the New York Child Victims Act Tuesday.

The suits collectively named 14 priests.

"The Diocese of Ogdensburg takes all allegations of abuse seriously, and these new allegations will be investigated," Diocese of Ogdensburg Communications Director Darcy Fargo said.

"We hope and pray that victims of abuse are able to find healing and reconciliation, and that justice is served in these cases."

Statute of limitations runs out on assault allegation

Ellsworth American

July 8, 2020

By Jennifer Osborn

The statute of limitations for reporting sexual assaults will prevent a potential case involving a priest or pastor from being prosecuted, according to District Attorney Matt Foster.

“I tried to see if the United States Attorney’s Office would be able to prosecute, but they didn’t think they could prosecute the case either,” Foster said.

Hancock County Sheriff’s Det. Stephen McFarland last week took a complaint from a New Jersey man who reported sexual assaults were committed against him between 1978 and 1980 in Dedham.

The statute of limitations is “complex,” the detective said. “It depends on the charge, the age of victim at the time, the date of offense and laws in effect at the time.”

Foster said “basically we cannot prosecute a late report that is alleged to have occurred prior to Oct. 9, 1980 for GSA [gross sexual assault] of a child under 16.”

Whether the accused has been out of state for any period of time during the statute of limitations is another factor, Foster said. For example, any time a defendant spent out of state after the alleged crime, can be added to the statute of limitation to extend it up to an additional five years.

Former Norfolk Catholic teacher given 3 years for sexually abusing student in 1970s


July 2, 2020

By Sarah Fearing

Norfolk VA - A former teacher at Norfolk Catholic High School has been sentenced to five years in prison with two years suspended in connection with sexual abuse of a student that happened in the late 1970s.

Daniel Wolfe was arrested in March 2019 after the victim came forward alleging sexual abuse between 1978 and 1979, when Wolfe was employed as a teacher at Norfolk Catholic High School.

Wolfe pleaded guilty to one charge of crimes against nature in October 2019 in connection with the allegations.

Two Catholic priests who worked in Fort Worth were accused of molesting kids elsewhere


July 8, 2020

By Domingo Ramirez Jr.

Two Marianist religious order priests accused of molesting children in the United States worked in the Diocese of Fort Worth. But they aren’t on a list of clergy accused of sexual abuse of minors in the Fort Worth area because the alleged abuse didn’t occur here, according to a statement from the diocese.

The Roman Catholic religious order based in St. Louis recently released the names of its members found to have sexually abused a minor since 1950 in the United States.

That list included Father John N. Schlund and Father Daniel A. Triulzi, who both worked in the Diocese of Fort Worth at one time. Triulzi was removed from the ministry in 2006 and Schlund in 2004. Triulzi died in 2017, according to the religious order, the Marianist Province of the United States.

Sarasota County man sues priest, alleging sexual abuse

Sarasota Herald-Tribune

July 8, 2020

By Frank Fernandez

The 33-year-old man said sexual abuse took place when he was a teenager about 20 years ago.

A 33-year-old man has filed a lawsuit against a retired Catholic priest who lives in Ormond Beach, accusing the priest of sexually molesting him two decades ago when the man was a teenager being held in a juvenile detention facility.

Louis Reed, the accuser who has filed the lawsuit, agreed to have his name published for this story.

Reed’s suit is filed in Polk County Circuit Court against the Rev. Fred Ruse. An attorney for the former priest said his client did not want to discuss the lawsuit and denied the allegations in a phone interview, citing Reed’s criminal history to question his credibility.

“I already had mental health issues and someone gained my trust as a vulnerable teenager and took advantage of me,” Reed said in a phone interview.

Name of diocesan priest removed from St. Bonaventure administration building

St. Bonaventure University

July 8, 2020

St. Bonaventure University has removed the name from Hopkins Hall, the university’s administration building.

Some investigative reporting this spring by Sean Mickey, a reporter for The Bona Venture student newspaper, revealed that the building was named after Msgr. James Hopkins, a diocesan priest who was credibly accused of sexual abuse.

“We didn’t realize that Hopkins was on a list of priests accused of sexual abuse, but when Sean inquired about it when he saw his name, I confirmed with the Diocese of Erie that Hopkins was on the list, and that he had more than one abuse claim,” said Tom Missel, chief communications officer. “Kudos to Sean for bringing it to the university’s attention.”

Dr. Dennis DePerro, university president, authored a resolution to have Hopkins’ name removed from the building. The university’s Board of Trustees approved the resolution at its annual summer board meeting.

“It’s reprehensible what’s been uncovered and heartbreaking for the families who’ve been victimized,” DePerro said. “It doesn’t matter that the abuses in this case might have happened a century ago. Anytime a story surfaces like this, anyone who’s been a victim of sexual abuse feels the pain.”

Late Erie diocese priest’s name removed from university building

Erie Times-News

July 9, 2020

[See also SBU to consider renaming building after claim of sexual abuse, by Sean Mickey, Bona Venture, March 12, 2020; and the description of the Hopkins case in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, August 14, 2018.]

St. Bonaventure NY - The name of a deceased priest who is on the Catholic Diocese of Erie's list of credibly accused has been removed from a building on the St. Bonaventure University campus.

Msgr. James Hopkins, the Erie diocese said in July 2018, was the subject of an abuse report in 1993, long after his death in 1957. His name was among those included in a grand jury's report in August 2018 on abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses including Erie.

Hopkins attended seminary at St. Bonaventure in the late 1890s and received an honorary degree in 1950, the university said. He was pastor at St. Titus Church in Titusville, and the allegations of abuse stemmed from his time there.

Hopkins Hall has been the name of the university's administration building. The sign in front of the building has been removed and it will be known as the Administration Building until renaming discussions start at an undetermined time.

University President Dennis DePerro drafted a resolution to have Hopkins' name removed from the building. The Board of Trustees approved the resolution at its annual summer meeting.

Survivors react to former bishop's testimony of secret files, shuffling of accused priests


July 7, 2020

By Jane Flasch

For 32 years, Matthew Clark led the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester.

The former bishop now admits publicly that the diocese kept secret archives and priests accused of sexual abuse were allowed to continue to serve, sometimes moving from parish to parish.

The statements are contained in a three-hour deposition given in March as part of bankruptcy proceedings. The legal transcript was released to the public Monday.

"I just want to see the truth come out," said Carol Dupre, who has filed a sexual abuse lawsuit.

She says she was just a teenager when she was first molested by her parish priest back in 1962. During his deposition Bishop Clark said he didn't recall allegations about Rev. Stuart Hogan or some of the other 50 priests he was asked about.

In other cases, his memory was clear.

For example, he said Rev. Eugene Emo was sent away for treatment, then reassigned to a Livingston County parish - but with no restrictions on access to children.

Albany Diocese adds deceased Capital Region priest to list of offenders


July 7, 2020

By Cayla Harris

Rev. Alan Jupin, who died in 2019, allegedly molested five minors in '70s, '80s, '90s

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany on Tuesday added Rev. Alan Jupin – who spent most of his tenure as a priest at Our Lady of Fatima, now St. Kateri Tekakwitha, in Schenectady – to its list of priests and clergy "credibly accused" of sexually abusing children.

Jupin, who died in January 2019, is accused of molesting five children in Schenectady and Albany in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. He is the latest, and the first 2020 addition, to a list of nearly 50 priests and clergy who have substantive complaints of molestation filed against them, as determined by a diocesan review panel.

Jupin's name was added to the list after the review board hired an investigator last year to probe a new allegation against the reverend, as well as past accusations that the panel had previously decided were unsubstantiated. Jupin had been placed on administrative leave twice – in 2003 and 2011 – for allegations of sexually abusing children, but the review board at those times found those accusations to have "no reasonable cause for action."

The 2019 investigation, instead, did find reasonable cause to add Jupin's name to the list, according to a release from the Albany Diocese. The review board meets privately to determine whether sexual abuse allegations are credible and typically relies on information from private investigators; ultimately, the bishop is responsible for any action against priests.

Retired Pope Benedict follows his brother’s funeral virtually

Catholic News Service via Crux

July 8, 2020

Regensburg, Germany - Retired Pope Benedict XVI followed the funeral of his brother, Georg Ratzinger, via live streaming, reported the German Catholic news agency KNA.

Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg said Pope Benedict, 93, was connected to the Mass taking place for his older brother July 8 in the Regensburg Cathedral. Msgr. Georg Ratzinger died on July 1 at age 96.

During the Mass, the Regensburg bishop recalled the surprise June 18-22 visit Benedict paid to the sickbed of his dying brother.

“This sign of humanity touched many people. So all the more do we share in your mourning,” he said in words addressed to the retired pope.

KNA reported that alongside Voderholzer at the altar was Benedict’s private secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, and the papal ambassador to Germany, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic. Among other participants were the former Regensburg bishop, Cardinal Gerhard Muller, and Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx.

July 8, 2020

Suit against Scranton Diocese alleges abuse, cover-up by repeat-offender priest

Times Leader

July 7, 2020

By Patrick Kernan

Rev. Robert Caparelli had predatory history, served time

A Berks County man filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Scranton on Tuesday, claiming the diocese conspired to cover up evidence of abuse in order to protect the alleged abuser.

The Times Leader does not identify the victims of sexual abuse, but the suit was filed through the man’s attorney, Daniel F. Monahan. According to the suit, the man was abused by the late Rev. Robert Caparelli while the plaintiff was between the ages of 10 and 13.

Caparelli was a priest at various churches throughout the Diocese for decades, until he was arrested in the early 1990s, dying while serving prison time in 1994. The plaintiff in this case claims he was abused by Caparelli during his time at Sacred Heart Church, now the site of Holy Family Parish, in Luzerne Borough.

According to the suit, Caparelli’s abuse of the plaintiff began roughly around 1974, while he was an altar server at the church and Caparelli worked as a priest. The suit says Caparelli abused the plaintiff on numerous occasions, telling the boy that “his actions were acceptable because he liked him and he was ‘special.’”

The suit says the abuse occurred in the sacristy of the church.

The suit claims the Diocese of Scranton, including its former leaders J. Carroll McCormick and Bishop John O’Connor “were familiar with Caparelli’s sexual interest in male children as early as Aug. 14, 1968, and continued to be aware through direct confirmation of that sexual interest thereafter.”

Polish Church faces reckoning over sex abuse

Agence France-Presse

July 8, 2020

Jakub Pankowiak's story of sexual abuse by a local priest is shaking up Poland's Catholic hierarchy, amplifying calls for full transparency after decades of cover-ups in the former communist country.

Pankowiak, an organist's son and a young boy at the time, recalls that Father Arkadiusz Hajdasz was "friendly, open, smiley" when he arrived in the town of Pleszew.

"It started with tea and cookies... until one day he sat down and just started kissing and fondling me," Pankowiak told AFP in a phone interview.

"I was speechless to the point of no reaction. I just waited for it to end," said the 35-year-old who still recalls the priest's bad breath and pimply ruddy cheeks.

Pankowiak, now a musician and lecturer, said Hajdasz molested him hundreds of times, as well as his younger brother Bartlomiej and others.

The siblings tell their story in a documentary called "Hide and Seek" by Marek and Tomasz Sekielski.

Viewed seven million times on YouTube since its May release, it has ignited debate on the issue of clerical sex abuse in Poland.

SNAP Asks Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth to Add Names to List of Accused Priests


July 8, 2020

Fr. John N. Schlund and Fr. Daniel A. Triulzi were named as abusers on the list released by the Marianist

Members of SNAP, the Survivors Network, are requesting that the names of two clerics be added to the rosters of abusive priests in the Diocese of Fort Worth and explain why they were omitted.

Fr. John N. Schlund and Fr. Daniel A. Triulzi were named as abusers on the list released by the Marianist order in late June.

According to the Marianists, Schlund worked in "Campus Ministry" in Denton, and Triulzi worked at Nolan Catholic High School in Fort Worth and at St. Mark's in Denton.

Rochester Catholic Church Abuse Victim Speaks on Release of Deposition

Spectrum News

July 7, 2020

By Jonathan Hunter

Former Rochester Catholic Bishop Matthew Clark admitted that he allowed priests who were sexually abusing children to continue to work. The deposition was just released to the public. This comes after he was questioned in March as part of a bankruptcy hearing for the Diocese of Rochester.

"If someone was working for a big company, he'd be fired on the spot when he was caught," said Carol Dupré, a victim.

Dupré is just one of many victims who say they were abused by priests in the Rochester region. She says her abuse took place in the 1960s at a church in Wayne County.

"Without going into any details about it, I finally told my mother what was going on and she reported it to the dioceses and they did nothing," said Dupré

In the 140-page deposition, Bishop Clark admitted he knew there were priests who were sexually abusing children. He says he sent them to treatment and reassigned them when they returned. Mitchell Garabedian is an attorney who represents clients who were sexually abused by clergy members.

Judge declines to dismiss sex abuse case against ex-youth symphony director

Deseret News

July 7, 2020

By Annie Knox

Charges have tested victim’s memory in alleged crime and the reach of statutes of limitation

West Jordan - A judge has declined to dismiss a set of criminal charges against a former youth symphony orchestra director accused of decades-old sexual misconduct with teenage boys.

Third District Judge Kristine Johnson ruled late Monday that prosecutors in Salt Lake County have met their burden of proof, a preponderance of the evidence, at the early stage in the case against Brent E. Taylor, a former longtime director of the Utah Valley Youth Symphony.

Attorneys have focused their attention on the nitty-gritty of Utah’s statutes of limitation and whether they provide Taylor a defense to allegations from a former teenage employee who worked for him in the 1980s.

No one disputes that the charges will hold up only if the boy was legally a child — age 13 or younger — at the time the alleged sexual abuse began. While the defense says the evidence fails to prove his age, prosecutors contend it strongly suggests he was not yet 14 years old.

Bishop: North Carolina priest kept on leave on abuse claims

Associated Press

July 2, 2020

A Catholic priest in North Carolina will remain on administrative leave after allegations of sexual abuse against him were revealed last year, the Charlotte diocese’s bishop said.

Bishop Peter Jugis made the announcement to St. Matthew parishioners in a letter Wednesday, writing that he had accepted the recommendation of the diocese’s Lay Review Board to keep the Rev. Patrick Hoare out of ministry, The Charlotte Observer reported.

Hoare was originally put on administrative leave in December after the diocese received “an allegation against him of child sexual abuse that was said to have occurred in Pennsylvania more than 25 years ago, before Father Hoare entered ministry” the Charlotte Observer quoted Jugis as writing.

Albany Diocese adds deceased priest to list of offenders following investigation

Daily Gazette

July 7, 20200

By Brenton Blanchet

Rev. Alan Jupin died in 2019; investigation finds “reasonable cause” to accept allegations of sexual abuse against minors credible
Albany - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany announced Tuesday that it’s adding Rev. Alan Jupin, who died in 2019, to its “List of Offenders” after an investigation found “reasonable cause” related to allegations of sexual abuse against minors.

The findings followed 2019 allegations which the Diocesan Review Board hired an investigator to examine.

Jupin has been accused of sexually abusing a total of five minors in Schenectady and Albany in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Previously, he was on administrative leave between 2003 and 2011, before the Diocesan Review Board found the allegations he was on leave for had “no reasonable cause for action.”

Last year, Timothy Sawicki of Schenectady joined a multi-plaintiff lawsuit, filed by the Marsh Law Firm in White Plains, and alleged Jupin groomed and sexually abused him when he was 16 and 17 years old from 1975 to 1977. Jupin worked at St. John the Baptist in Schenectady at the time and Sawicki claimed Jupin introduced him to other priests who also sexually abused him.

Red Sox dogged by claims of racism, sexual abuse

Associated Press

July 7, 2020

By Michael Rezendes

Last month, when former Major League All-star Torii Hunter said he’d been called the N-word “a hundred times” at Boston’s storied Fenway Park, the Red Sox were quick to back him up with a promise to fight racism.

“Torii Hunter’s experience is real,” the team said in a June 10 Twitter post, adding that there were at least seven incidents as recently as last year where fans used racial slurs. The team promised to do a better job dealing with racism: “As we identify how we can do better, please know we are listening.”

But those words rang hollow for more than a dozen Black men who have spent the last several years trying to get the Red Sox to listen to their claims that they were sexually abused by a former Red Sox clubhouse manager who died in 2005.

The former clubhouse manager, Donald “Fitzy” Fitzpatrick, pleaded guilty to criminal charges of attempted sexual battery in 2002, admitting that he used Red Sox team memorabilia to lure young, Black clubhouse workers into secluded areas of the team’s Florida spring training facility, where he abused them. Fitzpatrick did not admit to abusing young boys in other ballparks.

Since then, a growing number of men have stepped forward to allege that they, too, were abused by Fitzpatrick at Fenway Park and at major league stadiums in Baltimore and Kansas City, when the Red Sox were playing on the road. Because their claims date to the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, they are too old to be included in civil lawsuits, and the men say their requests for out-of-court settlements have fallen on deaf ears.

Prestigious N.J. Catholic school hit with more lawsuits alleging students were sexually abused

NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

July 8, 2020

By Joe Atmonavage

Six lawsuits alleging former employees at a prestigious Morris County Catholic school sexually abused minors were filed Tuesday and more than a dozen additional lawsuits will be added in the coming weeks, an attorney representing the victims said.

The lawsuits, filed against Delbarton School, an all-boys school in Morristown, St. Mary’s Abbey and the order that runs the school, St. Benedicts of New Jersey, allege that minors dating back to the 1960s were sexually abused by former employees of the school. The suits were filed in state Superior Court in Morris County.

Greg Gianforcaro, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the new cases, said he expects additional lawsuits to be filed “soon.”

The Delbarton School has been the subject of a number of lawsuits in recent years by former students who allege they were sexually abused by clerics at the school. Gianforcaro said he has settled at least 15 cases on behalf of sexual abuse survivors against the Delbarton School since 2004.

“This institution cared more about their reputation than they did about the students in the school,” Gianforcaro said about the number of cases filed against the school.

Patristics scholar appointed new papal ambassador

The Tablet

July 4, 2020

By Christopher Lamb

Pope Francis has chosen Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti to be his next ambassador to Great Britain.

The 64-year-old Italian diplomat will move to London from Ukraine, where he has served as papal representative, known as an apostolic nuncio, since the end of 2015.


Born in Verona, Archbishop Gugerotti is a patristics scholar and expert on the Eastern churches who has taught at the Pontifical Oriental Institute and worked at the Congregation for Eastern Churches.

He is not a career diplomat, but in 2001 Pope John Paul II named him the papal representative to Georgia, Armenia and Arzebaijan.

The archbishop’s appointment to the complex, and delicate posting of Ukraine signalled his diplomatic expertise. He also took over that position from Archbishop Timothy Gullickson, who had been openly critical of Pope Francis.

As nuncio, the archbishop’s role will see him draw up shortlists for crucial leadership positions in the Church in England and Wales. Whenever a diocese needs a new bishop, the papal nuncio is responsible for drawing up a shortlist of three candidates along with a detailed report into the local church.

Later this year the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, will reach the retirement age of 75, while in 2021 the Archbishop of Cardiff, George Stack, also turns 75.

Archbishop Gugerotti is also facing the outcomes of the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse. His predecessor, Archbishop Adams, was criticised for not giving evidence to the inquiry.

As a Holy See ambassador he had diplomatic immunity and could not be compelled to give evidence. The inquiry wanted information about the apostolic nunciature’s handling of abuse at Ealing Abbey and St Benedict’s school, particularly on the case of Laurence Soper, the former abbot who skipped bail while under suspicion for abuse.

It later emerged that the Vatican financial authorities provided crucial information which led to the arrest and conviction for Soper for child abuse offences.

Pittsburgh Diocese announces job cuts, move of administrative office

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

July 7, 2020

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh will eliminate 11 jobs, reduce the hours for two others, and relocate its administrative offices as it tries to reduce costs while responding to the “ongoing challenges presented by the global COVID-19 pandemic,” the diocese announced Tuesday.

The reorganization plan will move diocesan headquarters from the Boulevard of the Allies in Downtown to the St. Paul Seminary campus in East Carnegie, where some of its offices are already located. The Downtown building would likely be put up for sale.

The plan was announced to staff and clergy Tuesday during two online conference calls.

In the release, the diocese did not specify which jobs were eliminated.

The diocese said a long-term decline in Mass attendance and donations “has been exacerbated by the ripple effect of COVID-19. Decreased donations to parishes directly impacts Parish Share giving, which is the primary source of funding for the diocesan budget.”

The cuts were originally expected to be higher, but the diocese was able to reduce the cuts, in part due to a $2.5 million loan through the federal Payroll Protection Program, which the diocese says helped prevent further layoffs and furloughs.

“Having to let one person go is sad enough, but we have 11,” Bishop David Zubik said. “We just try to be very responsible about using the money the best way we can.”

The cuts come on top of a previous round of cuts last year in which the diocese eliminated about 32 positions.

Long-term declines in attendance and donations have been exacerbated in the past two years, first by some parishioners upset over parish mergers and the grand jury report into sexual abuse by priests, and more recently by the pandemic. Churches were closed for several weeks, and the usual required attendance remains waived even with their reopening. Donations have been down 20% since the pandemic started.

July 7, 2020

Deposition of Bishop Matthew Harvey Clark

U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of New York

Released July 6, 2020; taken March 3, 2020

Examination by William Gordon of the Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian for the Creditors Committee

[Excerpt from pages 53-54.]

Q. So Father Emo had admitted to you, correct me if I'm wrong, that he had sexually abused a minor. Is that correct?

A. Uh-huh.

Q. You sent him away to treatment to some facility, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. And after he came back, you reassigned him to a position at a parish?

A. Yes.

Q. Was he assigned as a pastor or assistant pastor?

A. Assistant.

Q. And was it your understanding that as an assistant pastor, Father Emo would have access to minors?

A. Yes.

New information revealed from bishop’s deposition in Rochester Diocese bankruptcy case


July 6, 2020

A transcript of the March deposition of former bishop Matthew Clark of the Rochester Diocese was released Monday.

The Diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September of last year, less than one month after a flurry of lawsuits were filed against the Catholic organization related to the Child Victims Act.

Clark, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, answered questions about what he knew about dozens of priests and if he knew about prior allegations against them.

He did admit to knowing about prior sexual misconduct allegations against some priests. He said that some accused priests returned to the ministry after either going to get rehabilitation or seeing a psychologist.

Mitchell Garabedian, the attorney representing 94 sexual abuse victims in the Diocese of Rochester also released a statement concerning the deposition:

“The testimony by Bishop Matthew Clark under oath in his deposition of March 3, 2020 indicates that Bishop Clark hid pedophilia from the public for decades just as clergy sexual abuse victims had suspected. By hiding pedophilia, Bishop Clark was part of the horrible problem and not part of the solution. Given his testimony under oath, Bishop Clark had an utter disregard for the safety and well- being of children.”

Statement regarding deposition of Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark

Diocese of Rochester

July 6, 2020

The Diocese of Rochester appreciates Bishop Emeritus Clark’s cooperation in undergoing approximately three hours of questioning in his deposition of March 2020. While any individual would have difficulty providing accurate memory of events that occurred over a period of more than 33 years, Bishop Clark was further hindered by his struggle with early Alzheimer’s Disease.

In a January 13, 2020 letter filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in early February, prior to the deposition, Bishop Clark's physician had forewarned of potential issues by stating that Bishop Clark's "memory impairment limits his ability to assimilate and recall information presented in lengthy and complex questions and his ability to recall past events. His language impairment limits his ability to form clear, cogent and reliable responses to such questions." As a result of these limitations, the deposition is in many instances imprecise and inaccurate and thus calls into question whether it is a credible addition to the bankruptcy case record.

We continue to pray for the victims of sexual abuse, that they might find the hope and healing they deserve. We pray for Bishop Clark and for all those who suffer from this debilitating and tragic disease, and for the dedicated health professionals and caregivers working to assuage the difficult challenges of Alzheimer's Disease.

Deposition of Bishop Matthew Clark reveals information on child sex abuse


July 6, 2020

By Jennifer Lewke

What did he know and when did he know it?

That's what attorneys for the victims of priest sex abuse were trying to find out from former Bishop of the Rochester Diocese, Matthew Clark during a recent deposition.

The transcript of that deposition was just filed.

News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke has been reading through it.

The transcript is 145 pages long and the deposition lasted three hours. Bishop Clark was in frail health while providing it.

His doctor was there with him to monitor his condition as he answered questions as part of the diocese's bankruptcy filing.

Bishop Clark was asked about dozens of priests by name and whether he was aware of sexual misconduct allegations against them.

Priests accused of sex abuse remained in ministry, former bishop admits


July 6, 2020

By Ginny Ryan

For the first time, and under oath, Bishop Emeritus Matthew Clark has admitted priests accused of sex abuse continued to serve in ministry.

The bishop's testimony came as part of bankruptcy proceedings for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester.

In his own words, he offers a rare look into how priests accused of sex abuse were handled.

"In times past, there was no accountability," according to Jeff Anderson, an attorney for sex abuse survivors. "There was not an opportunity to take this kind of deposition and ask a broad range of questions."

During a three-hour deposition, Bishop Clark was questioned about more than 50 priests accused of abuse. Some, he said, he did not remember.

But there are many he did, including Rev. Eugene Emo.

A survivor of abuse by an Opus Dei priest condemned by the Vatican tells poignant story

Religión Digital / Kairos News

July 5, 2020

Santiago, Chile - The survivor is a young man who lives today in Santiago, Chile, who agreed to an exclusive interview with Kairós News.

He says that he decided to come forward when he heard the case of Barros and Karadima, while Pope Francis was in Chile. That he would like Opus to learn from what has happened in our country.

"Cociña always talks about massages. I couldn't tell anyone, because nobody was going to believe me"

"What is Opus playing at? That sentence has sixteen pages and the sentence ... five years is nothing. He has not been expelled from Opus Dei"

"Canon Law is very bad, because we are not the same as we denounce each other. Rather, it is the Catholic Church that denounces one of its own, which in this case is Manuel Cociña" [Google translation]

El sobreviviente de los abusos del cura del Opus Dei condenado por el Vaticano cuenta su conmovedora historia

El sobreviviente es un joven que vive hoy en Santiago de Chile, quien accedió a una entrevista exclusiva con Kairós News

Dice que se decidió a denunciar cuando conoció el caso de Barros y Karadima, estando el papa Francisco en Chile. Que le gustaría que el Opus aprendiera de lo que ha pasado en nuestro país.

"Cociña siempre habla de los masajes. Yo no podía decírselo a nadie, porque nadie me iba a creer"

"¿A qué está jugando el Opus? Esa sentencia tiene dieciséis páginas y la condena... cinco años es nada. No se le ha expulsado del Opus Dei"

"El Derecho Canónico está muy mal, porque no somos iguales que nos denunciamos uno al otro. Sino que es la Iglesia Católica quien denuncia a uno de los suyos, que en este caso es Manuel Cociña"

Covid delays Riverside clergy-abuse suit v. LA archdiocese and San Bernardino diocese

Los Angeles Daily News / City News Service

July 6, 2020

Citing the coronavirus, a judge said Monday that trial of a case brought against an archdiocese and a diocese by plaintiffs who allege they were sexually abused by a priest more than 25 years ago will not go forward as scheduled in October and instead be delayed for five months.

“Our world is a different place than it was when we last spoke,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Sotelo told attorneys in reference to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused all but a few civil case matters to be put on hold from early March until June 22.

Sotelo, presiding over a status conference, rescheduled the trial from Oct. 6 to March 2, 2021. By the time a jury is impaneled, the lawsuit may no longer include the accused priest, the Rev. Carlos Rene Rodriguez, as a defendant.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Anthony M. De Marco stated in a report to the court that he has been unable to locate the clergyman and that the defendant likely has little or no money, so De Marco has decided to drop him from the case.

De Marco stated in his court papers that the decision is “without prejudice,” meaning it could be reversed later if circumstances warrant.

The two plaintiffs are identified only as John R.R. Doe and John R.F. Doe. In February 2018, they sued the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Diocese of San Bernardino, as well as the Congregation of the Mission Western Province, which conducts religious education and activities.

The plaintiffs allege they were abused by Rodriguez when he was assigned to a Riverside parish that was part of the San Bernardino diocese, which is formally known as the Roman Catholic Bishop of San Bernardino. The parish is not identified in their suit.

Abuse victims ask court to dismiss New Orleans Archdiocese bankruptcy


July 6, 2020

By David Hammer

The victims say the Archdiocese filed for bankruptcy to block lawsuits rather than because they are having severe money issues.

Victims of alleged child sex abuse by priests are asking a federal judge to throw out the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ bankruptcy case, saying the Church filed for the legal protection in “bad faith” as a way to block their lawsuits rather than for a legitimate financial need.

At least 34 abuse lawsuits have been halted by the local Church's decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection May 1. Another half dozen cases filed since then are also on hold pending the bankruptcy.

Last week, the Archdiocese filed a motion in the bankruptcy case asking the court to bar any new abuse claims starting Sept. 29. A committee of attorneys representing the Church’s unsecured creditors, mostly the alleged abuse victims, came right back with a motion late Friday to dismiss the Archdiocese’s bankruptcy case completely, a move that would help pending abuse claims move forward.

In their motion to dismiss, the creditors said the bankruptcy was filed as a “litigation tactic” just as many abuse victims had asked the courts to release internal Church documents and force top archdiocesan officials to testify under oath.

Attorney Blog: Three More Catholic Priests Accused of Child Sexual Abuse Under NY Child Victims Act

Legal Examiner - Saunders & Walker

July 6, 2020

By Joseph H. Saunders

Three former priests with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse have been accused of sexually abusing a young boy in a graphically detailed lawsuit, according to Press Connects. The alleged abuse began when the victim, now 61, was in fifth grade and continued through his high school years.

The lawsuit was filed under New York’s Child Victims Act, which allows survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file claims against their abusers and any institutions that knowingly obscured or failed to prevent the abuse, regardless of how much time has passed. The Syracuse Diocese, which is now facing over 100 sexual abuse lawsuits, filed for bankruptcy on June 19.

The diocese had previously identified the three priests — Robert Kloster, David Pichette and Thomas Zedar — as having been “credibly accused” of child sexual abuse. All three were permanently removed from ministry, but not in time to stop them from abusing this plaintiff.

In the lawsuit, Kloster, Pichette and Zedar are accused of methodically grooming the young boy for the purpose of sexually abusing him. It argues the boy “felt trapped over the years by feelings of helplessness and shame,” and that each former priest committed abusive acts that “ultimately ruined his life.”

Megachurch pastor John Ortberg kept a family member’s attraction to children secret. Then his son blew the whistle.

Religion News Service

July 6, 2020

By Bob Smietana


In the summer of 2018, a volunteer at Menlo Church came to the Rev. John Ortberg seeking help.

The congregation member, who volunteered with youth and children at the Bay area megachurch and in the community, had been experiencing “an unwanted thought pattern of attraction to minors” and needed the pastor’s support.

After hearing this admission, Ortberg asked if the volunteer had ever acted on that attraction.

The volunteer said no.

Once Ortberg was convinced the volunteer was telling the truth and was not a danger to others, he prayed for the person and offered a referral for counseling and then allowed the volunteer to continue working with children.

In what Menlo Church’s elders would later call “poor judgment” and a betrayal of trust, the megachurch pastor did not notify the church’s staff of the volunteer’s admitted attraction to minors.

He did not notify the church’s elder board.

He did not suggest the volunteer stop working with children – in fact, the pastor and his family encouraged the volunteer in his work as a coach of an Ultimate Frisbee team for high school students.

Instead, Ortberg, the lead pastor of Menlo, kept what he had learned about the volunteer secret from his congregation.

Especially the volunteer’s name: John “Johnny” Ortberg III, the pastor’s youngest son.

But nothing in a church or in a family stays hidden forever.

July 6, 2020

Primate of Poland: Church must rebuild trust amid abuse crisis

Denver (CO)
Catholic News Agency

July 6, 2020

The Catholic Church can only rebuild trust in its handling of clerical abuse by “taking responsibility for clarifying all crimes and omissions,” the Primate of Poland said Monday.

In a statement issued July 6, Archbishop Wojciech Polak noted the steps that the Polish bishops have taken in response to a burgeoning abuse crisis in the country.

“I am convinced that only by standing in truth and taking responsibility for clarifying all crimes and omissions, we will rebuild our credibility and trust in the Church in Poland,” he said.

Polak is the Polish bishops’ delegate for the protection of children and youth. As the metropolitan archbishop of Gniezno, the Polish primatial see, he is the Primate of Poland.

His comments came a week after more than 600 people took out a full-page advertisement in the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica urging the pope to intervene in the growing abuse crisis in the country.

A Vatican spokesman said that Pope Francis had been informed of the appeal and was praying for those who sent it.

English Catholic bishop: parishes see 'dramatic fall' in income following lockdown

Catholic News Agency

July 6, 2020

An English bishop has said that parishes have seen “dramatic fall” in income as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.

Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury urged the government to step in to help dioceses struggling financially as a result of the pandemic.

“The weeks of the national lockdown saw a dramatic fall of about a third in parish income. This is having a serious impact on the operation of parishes,” he told CNA.

Mike Kane, a local Member of Parliament, raised the financial plight of the Diocese of Shrewsbury, in western England, in the House of Commons last month.

He noted June 25 that the diocese’s income was down by a third since the government announced a nationwide lockdown March 23. He said that this loss of around $875,000 would have a long-term impact on the diocese’s ability to maintain its buildings.

Kane, the Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, urged the government to consider introducing an “enhanced gift aid scheme” to shore up diocesan finances.

Accused clergymen worked at Catholic high schools in Belleville, East St. Louis

Belleville News-Democrat

July 6, 2020

By Teri Maddox

Allegations against five clergymen who worked at metro-east Catholic high schools decades ago had been made public well before June, when the Society of Mary order put them on a list of 46 priests, brothers and aspirants “found to have sexually abused a minor.”

But all of the publicity occurred in other states over the past 20 years.

“For the first time, parishioners and the public in this area are likely being made aware of these allegations and the fact that these five were in the Belleville diocese,” said David Clohessy, co-founder of the St. Louis chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “(The allegations) are now publicly and clearly deemed credible.”

The five clergymen had assignments at Cathedral Central Catholic High School in Belleville and Central Catholic High School and Assumption Catholic High School in East St. Louis, which are all closed. It’s unknown if abuse occurred at these schools.

Four of the clergymen are known to be deceased, according to the order.

The one with the most assignments was the late Eugene T. Fitzsimmons, a brother who professed his vows in 1947 and taught at Assumption, which closed in 1989. He had nine other assignments in Texas, Wisconsin, Missouri, Hawaii and California before leaving ministry in 2000. He died in 2011.

What Has Stalled Progress in Uprooting the Vatican’s Financial Corruption?

National Catholic Register

July 2, 2020

By Edward Pentin

A range of sources agree that profound change is required to correct the flawed underlying mentality that continues to give rise to problems, and has allowed senior officials to escape taking responsibility.

Vatican City - Cardinal George Pell, the former prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy which Pope Francis created six years ago to monitor and reform Vatican finances, delivered a pointed message on June 30 about the threat that financial corruption poses to the Church’s mission.

“Undoubtedly, money is one of God’s gifts, it is also a source of temptation,” Pell said in a video message delivered June 30 to the Global Institute of Church Management at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. “To say that the Church is not a business provides no justification for us to be inefficient much less for us to be corrupt.”

He recalled being surprised to learn that St. Teresa of Calcutta had said “for the clergy there are two great challenges: one touches on sexuality and another touched on money. And she thought that the danger from money was greater and stronger than that from errant sexuality.”

Cardinal Pell’s remarks were conspicuously well-timed, coming in the wake of the arrest last month of Italian financier Gianluigi Torzi on charges of “extortion, embezzlement, aggravated fraud and money laundering,” relating to a London property deal carried out by Vatican Secretariat of State officials that went sour.

Weigel's 'The Next Pope' has a crimped, Americanist vision of papacy

National Catholic Reporter

July 6, 2020

By Michael Sean Winters

George Weigel's latest book, The Next Pope: The Office of Peter and a Church in Mission, is a thin one at only 141 pages. But it is thin, too, in the sense that what it communicates is either a repeat of Weigel's earlier themes or a recantation of ideas — some of which are true but banal and others are misleading and given to caricature. The only real novelty is the degree to which he casts aspersions on the current pope with catty insinuations without sufficient courage to say plainly where he thinks Pope Francis has erred.

Does anyone argue against this claim of Weigel's when he writes, early in the book: "Jesus Christ and his Gospel are the reason the Church is. And because of that, the proclamation of that Gospel and that Christ must be at the center of what the Catholic Church does." Yes, of course this is true. Does anyone doubt it?

Weigel almost immediately descends into caricatures of the various approaches to evangelization. He writes, "At this moment in Catholic history, in which some deny that God's revelation judges history and suggest that the flow of history and our present experience judge the truths of revelation, it is important to remember how robust the Second Vatican Council's defense of the reality and the truth of divine revelation was."

Who thinks history stands in judgment of revelation? To frame the contemporary debates within the church this way is not an instance of putting one's finger on the scale, it is a misframing of the debates.

After a beautiful quote from Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum, Weigel writes, "The next pope must understand this and teach it to the entire world Church." Is there any chance he won't?

July 5, 2020

Reverend on hunger strike in response to Church’s silence on her case

Cape Town Etc.

July 5, 2020

South Africa continues to be one of the most dangerous places for women to exist. Having extremely high numbers of gender-based violence and rape cases, women are living in fear every day. Now, a survivor is speaking out in the form of a protest.

Reverend June Major, an Anglican priest from the Cape Town Diocese, has gone on a hunger strike, as she continues to fight for justice for herself and other victims of rape and gender-based violence (GBV). The hunger strike began on July 1.

Major was allegedly raped by a fellow priest in 2002 at Grahamstown Seminary. Despite reporting the rape to the SAPS and to the Church authorities her rapist continues to minister to congregations and justice has not been served, according to a press release.

Founder of German Schoenstatt Movement accused of abuses

Associated Press

July 2, 2020

By Nicole Winfield

Another founder of a 20th century lay Catholic movement has been accused of abusing his power, including sexually and spiritually, with nuns in his care.

A German researcher says she found evidence in newly released Vatican archives that the Holy See investigated the Rev. Josef Kentenich during the 1950s and because of his abuses ordered the German priest exiled from the Schoenstatt Movement.

Church historian Alexandra Von Teuffenbach said she wanted to reveal the truth about Kentenich and “demolish the many proposed reconstructions of alternative truths” since the process to get him beatified is making its way to the Vatican after more than 45 years.

Former senior PSNI officer to lead working group on clerical child abuse

Belfast Telegraph

July 5, 2020

By Michael McHugh, PA

Judith Gillespie has been appointed independent chairwoman.

A former senior PSNI officer is to lead a Stormont-ordered investigation into clerical child abuse and mother and baby homes.

Judith Gillespie has been appointed independent chairwoman of the group tasked with the work.

Academics from Queen’s University in Belfast and Ulster University have been examining the operation of institutions such as the Magdalene Laundries between 1922 and 1999.

Children's Home seeks dismissal of lawsuit alleging that house parents sexually abused Winston-Salem boy in the 1970s

News & Record

July 5, 2020

By Michael Hewlett

The attorney for the Children’s Home is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that a couple acting as house parents sexually abused a Winston-Salem boy in the 1970s and the agency did nothing to stop it.

In court papers filed late last month, the attorney, G. Gray Wilson, says that a state law making it easier for accusers in child sexual abuse cases to file claims in civil court is unconstitutional and denies the Children’s Home due process.

A 59-year-old man filed the lawsuit in Mecklenburg Superior Court in April against the Children’s Home, which is now known as Crossnore School & Children’s Home, and the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, which ran the Children’s Home at the time of the alleged abuse.

Abuse victims seek apology from Kurn Hattin

Brattleboro Reformer

July 5, 2020

By Bob Audette

WESTMINSTER — A group of seven men who were sexually assaulted during the 1980s while at Kurn Hattin Homes for Children want to have their stories heard — and they want an apology.

"No client every comes to us and says this about money," said Nate Foote, of Andreozzi and Foote in Harrisburg, Penn. In this case, Foote said, they want the school to acknowledge what happened to them at the hands of Mark W. Davis, who pleaded no contest in 1990 to charges of lewd and lascivious behavior with students at the residential school.

"They want the school, through words and actions, to say 'We are sorry. We brought you here to make your lives better and it turned out the opposite,'" Foote said.

Louise O’Keeffe calls on Government to honour pledges on school sex-abuse redress

Irish Times

July 5, 2020

By Barry Roche

Both Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar promised to deliver on pledge

Children’s rights campaigner Louise O’Keeffe has called on both Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar to deliver on promises to compensate children sexually abused while attending schools.

Ms O’Keeffe has called on both men to honour commitments they gave in the Dáil last July that they would re-open an ex-gratia payment scheme for those sexually abused while attending Irish primary and secondary schools pre-1992.

“Both Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar must honour commitments they made in Dáil Éireann a year ago that they would ensure the victims of child sex abuse in Irish schools were no longer wronged,” Ms O’Keeffe told The Irish Times.

Monument's days numbered at disgraced bishop's resting place

Berkshire Eagle

July 4, 2020

By Caroline White

[PHOTO: The Springfield diocese plans to move the gravesite of the late Most Rev. Christopher J. Weldon, after an independent inquiry found cause to believe that Weldon, who oversaw the diocese from 1950 to 1977 and died in 1982, sexually abused an altar boy in Chicopee.]

Upon entering the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, visitors find themselves face-to-face with Jesus.

The religious figure's nearly human-sized granite figure sits atop a 15-foot stone pillar above a sloping grass landscape, the dominant presence amid hundreds of gravestones in the Springfield cemetery.

Soon, that figure will disappear from its vaunted position at the cemetery, along with the remains of the man who lies below.

The monument was erected to honor the Most Rev. Christopher J. Weldon after his death in 1982. Late last month, a report commissioned by the diocese found that child sex abuse allegations against Weldon to be "unequivocally credible."

Following the report, the current Springfield bishop, the Most Rev. Mitchell T. Rozanski, ordered the monument to be taken down and Weldon's remains to be moved and "marked with a simple gravestone."

Diocese spokesperson Mark Dupont said that given the findings detailed in the report by former Springfield Superior Court Judge Peter A. Velis, it was no longer appropriate for Weldon's remains to be placed in "a high profile area that gives honor to him." Velis was hired last July to prepare "an independent and outside" probe, with help from a chief investigator, Dennis O'Connor.

That step came years after the victim first reported his abuse, which occurred in the early 1960s, and after a former church insider claimed the diocese was attempted to cover up the assaults to protect Weldon's reputation. The church did not list Weldon as "credibly accused" even though the diocese's internal review board told the man it found his claim believable.

The Velis report confirmed that the diocese mishandled the allegations, leading former Berkshire Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Ford, who now leads a task force on the issue, to conclude that the incidents examined by Velis "were nothing short of disgraceful."

"Those who have failed to live up to their obligations or to carry out their responsibilities properly have been named, exposed and shamed," Ford said.

[Opinion] Philippa Martyr: Barking up the wrong pulpit

The Catholic Weekly

July 5, 2020

By Dr Philippa Martyr

Francis Sullivan’s passion is undoubted. His grasp of the real issues facing the Church isn’t.

Francis Sullivan recently expressed concerns in the US National Catholic Reporter that fallout from the Pell case would derail the Plenary Council.

The Plenary Council has little authority to make changes

I suppose my first concern is that Francis believes the Plenary Council is important enough to make changes to the Church in Australia. Really it has very little authority, and its report has to go to Rome for final ratification. The suggestion that it could be derailed by an unrelated High Court decision seems over-dramatic.

Much more interesting is that it’s currently rumoured that the Plenary Council is costing the Church in Australia millions of dollars.

I’m surprised that Francis hasn’t demanded instead that the Plenary Council’s full financials be published and asked why this largely cosmetic exercise is absorbing money that could be used to compensate clergy abuse survivors.

'How do you say no to a bishop?': Hart accusers say they survived years of trauma and institutional failures

Casper Star Tribune

July 4, 2020

By Seth Klamann

Joseph Hart became a priest in 1955, and over his 46-year career in Kansas City and Wyoming, he developed a reputation for ingratiating himself with families in his flock, especially brothers.

Hart would walk into the Hunter family’s Kansas City home without ringing the doorbell. They never locked their doors — the whole neighborhood was like that. Hart, who in the late ‘50s was just starting out as a priest, was like family to the Hunters; his photo hung in the living room. Mrs. Hunter worked in the cafeteria of Guardian Angels, Hart’s first parish. Darrel, her son, worked at the church after school and over the summer.

John’s father died when he was young. His brother did housework around the Kansas City rectory where Hart lived in the 1960s, when Hart worked at the attached Catholic school. John remembers all the soda Hart had, so much that John would sneak Pepsi to his friends. His mother had Hart over for dinner, happy to have an adult male presence in the lives of her seven children.

The church gave Martin’s mother a job at a Cheyenne elementary school, one of three jobs she worked after his father abandoned the family. The church gave them food, and Martin and his brother did chores for Hart, who arrived in Wyoming in the mid-1970s to become bishop, the highest-ranking Catholic in the state. As such, he commanded significant authority and respect from the tens of thousands of Catholics in Wyoming.

Ohio Catholic priest indicted on charges of juvenile sex trafficking, child porn, exploitation

Christian Post

July 4, 2020

By Brandon Showalter

Former Ohio Catholic priest Robert McWilliams was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on several charges of child sexual abuse.

McWilliams, 40, a Strongsville priest and former seminarian at St. Helen’s Catholic Church in Newbury Township, allegedly pretended to be a woman on his social media accounts, including Grinder, to lure male victims into exploitation and has been charged with juvenile sex trafficking, sexual exploitation of children, and transportation of child porn, among other charges, according to a news release from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

"Posing as a female, McWilliams allegedly enticed the minor male victims to send sexually explicit photographs and videos, sometimes threatening to expose embarrassing information McWilliams already knew about the victims if they did not send such images," the news release adds.

Priest accused of raping a woman more than 30 years ago to stand trial


July 4, 2020

A priest, Rev. John Anthony Clohosey, accused of raping a woman more than 30 years ago will now stand trial next year according to reports.

Rev. Clohosey was priest at Our Lady Immaculate and St Cuthbert’s RC Church in Crook, County Durham until he was suspended last year when he was accused by a woman of raping her more than 30 years.

The 71-year-old priest is alleged to have sexually attacked the woman in Gateshead in 1986.

He did not appear before Newcastle Crown Court on Friday due to the coronavirus pandemic, but his lawyer indicated he would have pleaded not guilty if he had been at the hearing. His trial will now take place at Newcastle Crown Court on May 17, 2021.

Obituary for Georg Ratzinger: God grant him


July 5, 2020

The controversial pope brother Georg Ratzinger has died. For 30 years he was head of the Regensburger Domspatzen – and tolerated a system of violence.

There is a photo of Georg Ratzinger that has become almost historically relevant. It shows the later director of the world-famous Regensburger Domspatzen on June 29, 1951 in Freising Cathedral during the priestly ordination with his three years younger brother Joseph, later Pope Benedict XVI.

The two black-haired Bavarian men are festively dressed in baroque-style choir shirts and have stretched out their arms in blessing. The 27-year-old Georg, who survived the war as a Wehrmacht soldier, is beaming. His younger brother was only an anti-aircraft helper, he is concentrated and serious – and it is as if the future of the two Ratzingers is already hinted at in this black and white photo.

While Georg Ratzinger devoted his life to the cheerful muse and aspired to a musical career (in the seminary he was nicknamed “Organ Ratz”), Joseph Ratzinger became something of the deepest child prodigy of theology in Germany. After studying church music at the University of Music in Munich, Georg Ratzinger found his life’s work in 1964: he became “cathedral band master” and thus de facto head of the Regensburger Domspatzen for 30 years, which have a 1,000-year tradition.

Erie diocese dropped from Buffalo suit against Trautman


July 5, 2020

By Ed Palattella

Retired Erie bishop still a defendant; all claims now over his tenure as a top official in Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

A lawsuit in Buffalo against retired Erie Catholic Bishop Donald Trautman no longer includes the Catholic Diocese of Erie.

The lawyers in the case agreed to drop the Catholic Diocese of Erie as a defendant, as the diocese had requested.

The suit, filed at the start of the year, tried to connect the Catholic Diocese of Erie to claims that Trautman covered up clergy sex abuse of a minor when he was a top official in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo in the 1980s.

The Erie diocese argued that Trautman was working for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo at the time and that the claims relate only to the Buffalo diocese.

Local Boy Scouts councils face new child abuse lawsuits

Buffalo News

July 5, 2020

By Jay Tokasz

The Boy Scouts of America’s bankruptcy filing in February stopped hundreds of child sexual abuse lawsuits, including more than a dozen in Western New York, from moving forward as the national organization attempts to reach a settlement with victims.

But the bankruptcy doesn’t prevent regional Boy Scouts councils, which are separately incorporated, from being sued. In the past month, the Greater Niagara Frontier Council, which has 7,000 Scouts in Erie and Niagara counties, was named as a defendant in seven Child Victims Act cases filed in Erie County State Supreme Court.

In one of the new lawsuits, Scott Miller of Hamburg accused the council of allowing a Scout leader to repeatedly molest him from 1974 to 1977, starting when was Miller was 11 years old. The lawsuit identified Hal Wright as the leader, although it does not name Wright as a defendant.

Two former Diocese of Jefferson City priests dismissed

Fulton Sun

July 5, 2020

By Joe Gamm

Two men who are on the Diocese of Jefferson City's list of priests who were credibly accused of clergy abuse have been laicized, or dismissed from being priests.

Robert Duesdieker was ordained in 1980 and Mel Lahr in 1972. The changes came at the conclusion of a canonical process that included an independent internal review of diocese files, consultation of the Diocesan Review Board and an appeal to the Holy See for a formal decision, Bishop W. Shawn McKnight said in a statement.

"These changes are the direct result of the responses to the initial publication of a list of credibly accused clergy in November 2018," McKnight said. "Because of this transparency, survivors of clerical abuse and their families felt safe to come forward and share their pain, several for the first time in decades."

July 4, 2020

Pastor gets 5 life sentences for sexual abuse of girls

Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette

July 3, 2020

By Lynn Larowe

A Texarkana pastor was sentenced to five life sentences and 11 20-year terms by a Bowie County jury Thursday for the sexual abuse of three women he molested when they were children.

Presiding 202nd District Judge John Tidwell ordered that Logan Wesley III, 56, serve the terms consecutively for a total of five life sentences plus 220 years. The jury also assessed three $10,000 fines for a total of $30,000.

The three victims -- now 38, 34 and 32 -- testified that Wesley used his position as pastor of Trinity Temple Church of God In Christ on Washington Street in Texarkana, Ark., to prey on them and to conceal his misdeeds. One of the woman is a close relative of Wesley's who came to live with him when she was 13. She said Wesley continued to sexually assault her until she was about 20.

Schoenstatt Movement rejects accusations of sex abuse against founder

Catholic News Agency

July 2, 2020

The Schoenstatt Movement has rejected a researcher’s claims that its founder engaged in sexual abuse, saying that any past allegations against him would have already been considered in the Vatican’s review of his proposed beatification.

“We firmly reject the accusation that Joseph Kentenich was guilty of sexual abuse of members of the Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary,” Juan Pablo Catoggio, International President of the Schoenstatt Work, said in a July 2 statement.

“His behavior toward other persons – especially women – was always marked by a pronounced reverence and esteem, as well as by the principle of physical integrity, which he also impressed upon his communities.”

Reporter Alexandra Hall On Her Documentary About A Fresno Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse

Valley Public Radio News

July 3, 2020

By Kathleen Schock


KQED's Central Valley reporter Alexandra Hall spent more than a year investigating an Anglican priest in Fresno who some say is a miracle worker and others say is a sexual predator. The audio documentary that came from her reporting was produced for The California Report Magazine. Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with Hall about how she gained the trust of the alleged victims, and the reaction from the congregation now that the report is out.

Jehovah’s Witnesses Shun Australia’s Redress Program for Child Sex Abuse Victims


July 2, 2020

By Hemant Mehta

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

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

Among the many criticisms is that the NRS pushes a hierarchy of abuse; penetration is deemed more damaging than any other kind of abuse, for example. That’s a discussion for another thread.

Three women allege abuse by pastor

Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette

July 4, 2020

By Lynn Larowe

They say sexual assaults spanned years, started when they were children

The child sex abuse trial of a local pastor resume Thursday in Bowie County.

Logan Wesley III is accused of using his position to prey on girls, including a family member.

Wesley reportedly founded the Trinity Temple Church of God in Christ in 1997 in Texarkana, Ark. “Elder Logan Wesley III — pastor” remains on the bottom of a sign affixed above the doors of the church, a modest building on Washington Street.

Three indictments, each related to a different girl, accuse Wesley of 18 felony child sex abuse charges, some of which are punishable by five to 99 years or life in prison.

The three girls, now women in their 30s, testified Monday and Tuesday that they were sexually abused by Wesley for years.

MC Eastern Canada terminates retired pastor’s ministerial credentials

Canadian Mennonite

July 3, 2020

By Aaron Epp

Evidence of Wilmer Martin’s misconduct ‘sufficiently compelling and credible,’ leadership finds

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada has terminated Waterloo resident Wilmer Martin’s ministerial credentials, citing ministerial misconduct and ministerial sexual misconduct. (Facebook photo)
Mennonite Church Eastern Canada has terminated a retired pastor’s ministerial credential after investigating him for ministerial misconduct and ministerial sexual misconduct. The regional church made the announcement about Wilmer Martin, 75, of Waterloo, Ont., on June 16.

Martin served pastorates at Tavistock (Ont.) Mennonite Church and Erb Street Mennonite Church in Waterloo from 1968 to 1991 before becoming the president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada from 1991 to 2000. He was then president of TourMagination, a Mennonite-oriented travel company, from 2000 until his retirement in 2016.

The complaints against Martin stem from his tenure at Erb Street Mennonite. According to MC Eastern Canada policy, there is no statute of limitations for ministerial misconduct.

Lawmaker muted victims of childhood sex abuse

Colorado Politics

July 3, 2020

By Kathryn Robb

If something doesn’t feel right, it likely isn’t. Kids know this. In the name of justice children raise their voices, often kicking and screaming. In fact, most will complain even when the imbalance is in their favor.

Cognitive scientists report that children have a sharp sense of fairness; the pleas from their internal scales of justice, balancing right and wrong, fair and unfair, are active at an early age. Every parent has heard he thunderous protest “that’s not fair!”

Unless the child is silenced.

As I was for years, every time my abuser slithered out my childhood bedroom in the dark of the night. Even at age 10, my sense of justice knew this was terribly, horribly — wrong. As it is for so many survivors, my fear and shame sucked the oxygen out of the room and swallowed my voice. As the walls closed in on me, the clamp tightened on the secret. Suffocating, that little girl folded inward, again and again, until she became so small that the only sound that could be heard was the silence of shame.

Ohio priest indicted on federal child pornography charges

Associated Press

July 2, 2020

An Ohio Roman Catholic priest has been accused in a federal indictment of posing online as a female to persuade boys to send him sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves and threatening to tell their parents if they did not send more images, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland alleged Thursday.

Robert McWilliams, 40, followed through on his threats and sent some mothers images of their sons, prosecutors alleged. Some boys McWilliams targeted belonged to parishes where he served, prosecutors said.

McWilliams was indicted Wednesday on two counts of sex trafficking of a minor, three counts of sexual exploitation of children, one count of transportation of child pornography, one count of receiving and distributing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and one count of possession of child pornography.

Priest accused of sending mothers explicit sex abuse pictures of children he had blackmailed online

Independent (U.K.)

July 4, 2020

By James Crump

US attorney’s office said that Robert D McWilliams knew some of his alleged victims through his work

An Ohio priest has been indicted on child pornography and juvenile sex trafficking charges for allegedly enticing young boys to send explicit images of themselves.

Reverend Robert D McWilliams, from Strongsville, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, was initially arrested in December 2019 for possession of child pornography, but was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on Thursday on several different charges.

The 40-year-old is now facing two counts of sex trafficking of a minor, three counts of sexual exploitation of children and three counts of pornography offences involving children.

Journalist's book explores her mixed feelings on faith

The Independent

July 4, 2020

By Allison Bray

In her debut work of non-fiction, Irish Independent journalist Ellen Coyne (29) explores these issues in 'Are You There God? It’s Me, Ellen'

Is it ok to be an à la carte Catholic?

That is the central theme in a new book by a young Irish Catholic journalist who explores her own misgivings about wanting to retain her faith amid darker aspects of the Church that have emerged over the years, including child-sex abuse within clergy and how it was handled by the Church, as well as its controversial stances on abortion and homosexuality.

In her debut work of non-fiction, Irish Independent journalist Ellen Coyne (29) explores these issues in 'Are You There God? It's Me, Ellen'.

Documents reveal church stayed quiet on sexual misconduct allegations against Broome Bishop for almost a year

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

July 4, 2020

By Erin Parke

Key points:
- Documents show the Catholic Church was told of sexual misconduct allegations against Broome Bishop Christopher Saunders as early as April 2019
- The Bishop voluntarily stood aside in March this year, with separate investigations by WA Police and the Vatican still ongoing
- The Bishop's continued presence in the Kimberley has sparked a further complaint to Church authorities

The Catholic Church was told of sexual misconduct allegations against a Western Australian bishop nearly a year before it took action, according to new documents obtained by the ABC.

Bishop Christopher Saunders, who has overseen the vast Diocese of Broome for 25 years, remains voluntarily stood aside amidst an ongoing WA Police investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.

No charges have been laid and Bishop Saunders has previously denied all accusations of inappropriate behaviour.

Buffalo Diocese, parishes granted two-month pause on already-filed CVA lawsuits

Buffalo News

July 4, 2020

By Jay Tokasz

Afederal bankruptcy judge is giving the Buffalo Diocese two months to sort out a tangled web of historical insurance coverage and determine how those policies might be affected by Child Victims Act lawsuits against the diocese and parishes, schools and other Catholic entities.

A Chapter 11 filing in February immediately stopped lawsuits in state courts against the diocese from advancing as it goes through a reorganization. That same protection does not apply to parishes, which are separately incorporated and not part of the bankruptcy.

But the diocese in May asked Chief Judge Carl Bucki of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Western District to shield parishes, schools and other entities that also have been named as defendants in Child Victims Act cases.

Award-winning author accuses priest of abuse, detained after vandalizing parish property

The Jakarta Post

July 4, 2020

By Hengky Ola Sura

Award winning author, Felix K. Nesi, was detained by the Insana Police in Timor Tengah Utara regency, East Nusa Tenggara, on Friday night after allegedly vandalizing a Catholic parish clergy house.

He admitted to The Jakarta Post on Saturday that he had damaged the property, claiming to have done so because he was angry that the parish had let a priest, whom he accused of “mistreating a woman”, to remain at the church.

Felix, who won a literary award from the Jakarta Arts Council in 2018, said on the phone that he had been released from detention on Saturday. He wrote in a public Facebook post that he had used his motorcycle helmet to damage the windows of the SMK Bitauni vocational school parish clergy house and had thrown chairs.

July 3, 2020

More child abuse claims leveled against long-ago Jesuit High School janitor duo


July 3, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

Another man has come forward and added to claims of child molestation decades ago by janitors at Jesuit High School’s Mid-City campus.

The plaintiff, under a pseudonym, filed a lawsuit Thursday at Civil District Court demanding damages from Jesuit and the religious order that runs the school over abuse that he claims to have suffered at the hands of Gary Sanchez and the late Peter Modica.

The case comes about five months after the school and the order reached financial settlements with two other plaintiffs, one who claimed abuse by Modica and the other who alleged that both Modica and Sanchez molested him.

Archdiocese of New Orleans asks court for deadline for those seeking compensation

WVUE-TV, Channel 8

July 3, 2020

Attorneys for the Archdiocese of New Orleans filed new documents in their bankruptcy proceedings.

They are asking Judge Meredith Grabill for a September 29 bar date which would require anyone seeking compensation for clergy abuse to come forward by that date.

The Archdiocese of New Orleans filed for bankruptcy two months ago in the face of what it described as mounting church abuse litigation.

Attorneys for alleged sex abuse victims are expected to ask that the bar date be set later to allow claimants more time to come forward.

Russian Orthodox Church defrocks rebel monk and raises questions about child abuse at monastery

The Telegraph

The court chairman says they have received reports of child abuse at the monastery that need to be investigated

July 3, 2020

By Nataliya Vasilyeva

A religious court in Russia has defrocked a controversial monk who has sabotaged coronavirus lockdown restrictions, with the chairman of the court also saying it had reports of child abuse at his monastery.

Father Sergei Romanov, abbot of the Sredneuralsk monastery outside the city of Yekaterinburg in the Urals mountains, has for years been running what many scholars described a religious cult worshiping the family of Russia’s last czar Nicholas II who were killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

As the coronavirus epidemic struck Russia, Father Sergei, previously known for hate speech, publicly cursed those closing down the churches in line with lockdown orders and urged believers to disobey the restrictions....

‘I thought God had presented this guy’: 20 years after reporting clergy abuse to the University, a Notre Dame survivor shares his story

The Observer

July 3, 3030

By Natalie Weber and Mary Steurer

Mark Fuller, class of 1977, came forward with his experience of priest abuse in 2002. Notre Dame offered little more than an apology.

[Editor’s note: This story includes descriptions of sexual abuse and violence. A list of sexual assault reporting options and on-campus resources can be found on the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross websites.]

The first two times Mark Fuller visited Fr. William Presley, then rector of St. Edward’s Hall, they just talked.

It was 1974, and Fuller vividly remembers sitting in an orange lounge chair in the front of Presley’s rectory while the priest asked him questions about his classes, his family and his personal life. Fuller remembers Presley offering him a soda.

Then, in their third or fourth meeting, Fuller said, things changed. Presley told Fuller to wait while he went into the bedroom. When Presley called him in, he was in bed under the covers. He told Fuller to disrobe.

Fuller said this was the first time Presley raped him.

Roman Catholic Church responds to rape allegations against former monk

Loop News

July 3, 2020

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Port of Spain says it has noted with grave concern, videos recently published on social media in which two young women made allegations against a monk formerly associated with the Mount Saint Benedict Monastery and St Bede's Vocational School.

In a statement, it said "the loss of innocence of any child through any form of abuse is a tragedy, a deep and lasting wound for the victim as well as a serious crime."

The Church said its prayers and support go out to the young women and Mount Saint Benedict community at this time.

It said the allegations raised in the videos are under review by the Trustees of Mount Saint Benedict and the brother in question left the monastic life some years ago and is no longer a member of the community of Mount St Benedict.

Media Statement: Missouri Priest Accused of Abuse Resigns After Allegation Deemed “Credible”

SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

July 1, 2020

A Catholic priest accused of abuse in the Diocese of Jefferson City has resigned his position following a determination that the allegation was “credible” but not able to be corroborated. We are disturbed that diocesan officials are speaking out of both sides of their mouth in this situation and hope that others who may have knowledge in this case will come forward to police and prosecutors.

There are rarely witnesses or video evidence for sex crimes, so we are not surprised that the allegation against Fr. Mark Porterfield was not corroborated. But the fact that the claim was determined to be “credible” by Catholic officials is enough to demand action and we are glad that Fr. Porterfield is no longer leading a parish.

Victims of sexual abuse have long been disbelieved and marginalized, especially by the institutions they have accused, and we are disappointed that diocesan officials are playing both sides in this situation. Rather than continue to cast doubt on allegations by referring to them as “not corroborated,” Bishop Shawn McKnight should be using every resource at his disposal to encourage other victims and witnesses to come forward and make a report to police.

First Nations day school students want new investigation of abuse claims, say RCMP probe marred by 'bias'

CBC News

July 2, 2020

By Jorge Barrera

The B.C. RCMP investigation into First Nations day school abuse allegations against John Furlong, the former 2010 Vancouver Olympics CEO, was tainted by "bias" and "discrimination," according to a recent filing with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

The filing by six members of the Lake Babine Nation itemized the failures of the RCMP investigation, ranging from limited questioning of alleged victims, to a failure to follow leads or to obtain additional information through production orders.

"The case demonstrates the inequality that Indigenous communities experience in accessing justice," said the Complainant's Statement of Particulars, submitted with the tribunal on Monday.

"It reveals the biased attitudes and systemic discrimination that exists in police investigative methods, and shows how Indigenous victims of abuse suffer adverse impacts, such as being disbelieved and/or dehumanized. Bias in favour of powerful non-Indigenous individuals, even if unconsciously held, results in harmful treatment to Indigenous complainants of abuse."

All six Lake Babine Nation members attended the Catholic-run Immaculata elementary school when Furlong taught physical education there in 1969. The institution was a day school in the First Nation, about 220 kilometres northwest of Prince George, B.C. The school closed in the 1980s.

Savio Rodrigues exposes sexual abuse cases and corruption in the Catholic Church of India in Jaipur Dialogues

Goa Chronicle

July 3, 2020


New Delhi: The Founder & Editor-in-Chief of GoaChronicle.com, Savio Rodrigues in a discussion with Sanjay Dixit on Jaipur Dialogues exposed the evil of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in India, highlighted corruption cases in Christian institutions and mooted a need for an Indian Church without Vatican interference.

Charlotte Priest Will Remain Away From Ministry


July 2, 2020

By Sarah Delia and Marshall Terry

The pastor of Charlotte’s St. Matthew Catholic Church will remain away from ministry following an investigation into a decades-old allegation of sexual abuse.

In a letter to St. Matthew parishioners this week, Bishop Peter Jugis, the head of the Charlotte Diocese, said he accepted the recommendation of the diocese’s independent Lay Review Board that Father Patrick Hoare remain away from active ministry at this time.

Hoare had been placed on administrative leave last December after someone told the diocese they'd been sexually abused by Hoare about 25 years ago in Pennsylvania.

Catholic priest from Strongsville indicted on federal charges of child pornography, exploitation


July 2, 2020

By John Caniglia, The Plain Dealer

A Catholic priest was indicted Thursday on federal charges involving child pornography and the exploitation of children.

A grand jury charged the Rev. Robert McWilliams, 40, with two counts of sex trafficking of a minor, three counts of sexual exploitation of children and three counts of pornography-related charges involving children.

McWilliams had served at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Pearl Road in Strongsville at the time of his arrest Dec. 5. He is being held without bond.

Alleged David Haas sexual assault victim speaks out

Catholic News Agency

July 2, 2020

By Jonah McKeown

In late May, allegations surfaced against contemporary Catholic musician and composer David Haas, which claimed that Haas had subjected multiple adult women to serial spiritual manipulation and sexual misconduct.

A former music and youth minister, who alleges that Haas aggressively kissed and groped her when she was 19, spoke to CNA this week about her experience. And one expert told CNA that the allegations against Haas point to the difficulties of ensuring that laity working in Church contexts are trustworthy, and beyond reproach.


Sidney*, a California native, told CNA that she has worked in close proximity to the Church for more than 15 years, primarily in religious education, as a youth minister, and as a music minister.

Altoona man who served at Lancaster County churches in the 1990s to 2003 charged with child sexual abuse

Lancaster County Online

July 3, 2020

By Dan Nephin

A western Pennsylvania man who served at three Lancaster County churches in the 1990s and early 2000s has been charged with repeatedly sexually abusing a teenage girl and exposing himself to two other children where he now lives.

William J. Stonebraker, 50, of Altoona, was charged June 22 in Blair County with two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and 96 counts each of unlawful contact with a minor, aggravated indecent assault, child endangerment and corruption of minors — all felonies. He's also charged with 96 counts each of indecent exposure and indecent assault, which are misdemeanors.

Stonebraker's attorney, Thomas M. Dickey, said Thursday that Stonebraker has pleaded not guilty to all charges and they're awaiting details of the accusations.

Texarkana pastor sentenced to five life sentences plus 220 years for sexual abuse of girls


July 2, 2020

By Field Walsh

A Texarkana pastor was sentenced Thursday to five life sentences plus 220 years for 16 counts of child sexual abuse.

Logan Wesley III, 56, was found guilty by a jury in Bowie County of five counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and sentenced to life on each count. The jury also found Wesley guilty of nine counts of sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact and sentenced to the 20-year maximum on each count.

202nd District Judge John Tidwell ordered all of the sentences to run consecutively. The jury also ordered three $10,000 fines for a total of $30,000.

Is this the beginning of the end for Scientology? Danny Masterson’s rape charges could be first nail in the coffin


July 2, 2020

Danny Masterson, who is best known for ‘The 70s Show’ has been charged with rape of three women. The allegations against him were filed on Tuesday (June 16) by three women who claimed that the actor had forcibly raped them. The incidents reportedly took place between 2001 and 2003. Masterson was arrested shortly after the charges were made public.

If convicted, he could face up to 45 years in prison, as reported by Yahoo Entertainment. While the news about Masterson becomes nationwide news, many people pointed out how the actor, a Scientologist, was previously accused of the same a couple of years ago but it was gagged by Scientology.

In a shocking article that was published by The Daily Beast in 2019, the media outlet had detailed how the Church of Scientology might be helping Masterson bury the crimes under the rug. The outlet stated that the church had received two letters from one of the victims asking the church to speak up on the matter. However, they had remained mum on the matter.

July 2, 2020

New Orleans archdiocese seeks Sept. 29 deadline for abuse claims, survivors to fight for more time


By Ramon Antonio Vargas

July 2, 2020

The Archdiocese of New Orleans asked a federal judge late Wednesday to require anyone with clergy abuse claims against the local church to come forward by Sept. 29, almost certainly setting up the next legal dispute in the church’s two-month-old bankruptcy case.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Grabill did not immediately rule on whether to make Sept. 29 the so-called “bar date,” which is expected to prompt many more remaining claimants to file complaints of abuse and demands for compensation. That date would also stand as the deadline for other entities to claim debts from the church that predate its May 1 filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections, except for government agencies, for whom the church requested a couple of extra months.

In video, Cardinal Pell details his time in prison before being cleared in abuse case


July 2, 2020


Cardinal George Pell, the former Vatican treasurer who was recently cleared of historic sex abuse charges in his native country of Australia, spoke about his experience in prison, Pope Francis’ financial reform and the need to avoid corruption in a video released on Tuesday.

“In jail, of course, I was there as a Christian, inspired by the teachings of Christ,” Pell said, adding that his time in prison offered plenty of opportunity to pray every day. “And that I did,” he said.

The cardinal was sentenced to six years in prison by the County Court of Victoria, Australia, in late 2018 for the sexual abuse of minors when he was bishop in Melbourne between 1996 and 1997. Pell had vehemently denied all charges against him and, in April, the highest court in Australia dropped all charges for lack of sufficient proof.

The newly released video is the cardinal’s first public appearance since he was acquitted. In it he said that though prison was “an adventure I would not have chosen,” he had “survived it.”

Two new allegations added against Ascension priest once known as crusading priest-cop

The Advocate

July 1, 2020

By Jacqueline DeRobertis

A deceased Catholic priest formerly accused of abuse in Ascension Parish has two new credible allegations added in the latest Baton Rouge Diocese report.

The list now includes more information regarding The Rev. George Gensler, who is accused of abuse in the late 1970s and between 1984 and 1998, said Diocese of Baton Rouge Communications Secretary Dan Borné.

Reports of abuse were received in February 1994 and October 2018, but two new credible allegations were reported days apart in February 2020, he said.

Past abuse was reported at St. Anthony of Padua in Darrow, where Gensler served from 1979 to 1994; he was placed on administrative leave and permanently removed from ministry during his last year at the church.

Columbus Diocese hires counselor to speak with victims, priest reassigned

Columbus Dispatch

July 2, 2020

By Danae King

The Columbus Diocese was one of three in the country that had a priest working with survivors of clergy sexual abuse to take their reports. On July 2, 2020, the diocese announced it had hired a counselor to take the reports.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus has hired a licensed clinical counselor to work with victims of sexual abuse by priests, replacing the priest who has been in the position since 1997.

Laura Lewis, a local counselor, will begin work as the interim Victims’ Assistance Coordinator on July 15, replacing Monsignor Stephan Moloney, the diocese announced Thursday.

The change comes after The Dispatch reported in March 2019 that Moloney was one of three diocesan victims’ assistance coordinators in the country who were also priests. Victim advocates and survivors have said such an arrangement makes it harder for victims to come forward to report abuse, and can even retraumatize them.

Top Vatican investigator on sex abuse says church must empower victims

Religion News Service

July 2, 2020

By Claire Giangravé

It’s been more than a year since Pope Francis issued his historic document, “Vos Est Lux Mundi (You are the light of the world),” and ushered in a new wave of transparency and accountability for abuse cases in the Catholic Church.

But according to Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna, much more still needs to be done.

“We need to empower disclosure” of abuse cases by providing victims with avenues for safe communication, said Scicluna, adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican, during a webinar for “A Safer Church” on Tuesday (June 30).

Former Norfolk Catholic school teacher sentenced for abusing student


July 2, 2020

Daniel Wolfe pleaded guilty to abusing a 15-year-old when he taught at Norfolk Catholic High School in the late 1970s.

A former Catholic school teacher will spend three years behind bars for sexually abusing a student.

A judge sentenced 70-year-old Daniel Wolfe on Thursday to five years in prison, with two suspended.

Wolfe pleaded guilty last year to abusing a 15-year-old when he taught at Norfolk Catholic High School.

The abuse happened in the late 1970s, and Wolfe hasn't taught at the school since the 1980s.

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond maintains an updated list of clergy who have served there and have also had a proven allegation of sexual abuse involving a minor made against them.

Abuse allegations should be reported directly to local law enforcement, including Child Protective Services (CPS) at 1-800-552-7096 and by calling the Attorney General’s Clergy Abuse Hotline at 1-833-454-9064.

Claims emerge that founder of Schoenstatt was abuser

The Tablet

July 2, 2020

By Madoc Cairns

The founder of the Schoenstatt community, Fr Josef Kentenich, engaged in manipulative and abusive behaviour during his time leading the group, according to a German historian. The allegations against Kentenich, uncovered within the Vatican archives, include sexual abuse.

Alexandra von Teuffenbach, a theologian and church historian living in Germany, has claimed that recently opened sections of the Vatican archives include documents that portray Fr Kentenich as abusing his power within the community he founded. According to von Teuffenbach, after reports of abuse within the community were received by the Vatican in the early 1950s, an official visitation ensued. As a consequence, Kentenich was exiled to the United States for nearly 15 years, only returning to Germany in 1965, three years before his death.

York man sues Diocese of Allentown, Hellertown school over alleged sex abuse


July 2, 2020

A man is suing the Diocese of Allentown and a Hellertown school and church over allegations that he was sexually assaulted by his teacher several decades ago.

Mark Beaky, who now lives in York, says he was 13 when Lawrence Haftle, his teacher at St. Theresa of the Child of Jesus Catholic School, abused him. Beaky attended the school from 1971-1975, and says the abuse occurred in 1974, when Haftle was his homeroom teacher.

It started with "off-campus car rides" during lunch, in which Haftle, who died in 2010, would offer Beaky marijuana, according to the lawsuit filed in Lehigh County court.

Funeral planned Wednesday for retired pope’s elder brother

Associated Press

July 2, 2020

A funeral is to be held in Germany next week for the Rev. Georg Ratzinger, the older brother of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI who died Wednesday at the age of 96.

The Diocese of Regensburg said Thursday that Ratzinger will be laid to rest in the Bavarian city’s Catholic cemetery Wednesday afternoon following a service led by Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer.

The acclaimed boys’ choir Ratzinger headed for several decades will stage a farewell concert Sunday. The public is invited to attend prayers in Regensburg Cathedral on Monday evening and to sign a book of condolences Tuesday.

Archives reveal abuse allegations against founder of Schonstatt movement

Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

July 2, 2020

by Junno Arocho Esteves

Documents uncovered from the recently opened archives of the pontificate of Pope Pius XII revealed allegations of sexual abuse and abuse of power against the founder of the Schonstatt movement, Fr. Joseph Kentenich.

Reports of the apostolic visitation made in the early 1950s written by Dutch Jesuit Father Sebastiaan Tromp were made known by German scholar Alexandra von Teuffenbach July 2 after she wrote a letter regarding her discovery to German newspaper Die Tagespost and Italian journalist Sandro Magister.

Von Teuffenbach, a former professor of church history at Rome's Pontifical Regina Apostolorum University, said the testimonies, letters and conversations Tromp had with members of the Schonstatt Sisters of Mary, as well as Kentenich, revealed "a situation of complete subjugation of the nuns, concealed in a certain way by a sort of family structure applied to the work."

Book review: Book takes scholarly yet accessible look at clerical sex abuse crisis

Catholic News Service voa CatholicPhilly.com

July 2, 2020

By Deborah Gyapong

“Clerical Sexual Misconduct: An Interdisciplinary Analysis,” edited by Jane F. Adolphe and Ronald J. Rychlak. Cluny Media (Providence, Rhode Island, 2020). 480 pp., $29.95.

Two years ago, the world learned former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick faced credible accusations of sexually abusing underage boys.

The Diocese of Metuchen and the Archdiocese of Newark in New Jersey revealed secret settlements had been made in 2005 and 2007 with former seminarians that McCarrick had preyed upon while he was the bishop in those dioceses. Somehow, despite revelations that several individuals had made internal complaints about McCarrick as early as the 1990s, he rose to become archbishop of Washington and a cardinal.

Letter to Parishioners from Bishop Peter J. Jugis, Diocese of Charlotte

Diocese of Charlotte

July 1, 2020

Dear St. Matthew parishioners,

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am writing to let you know I have accepted the report and recommendation of the Diocese of Charlotte’s independent Lay Review Board that Father Patrick Hoare remain out of active ministry at this time. Father John Allen will continue as administrator of St. Matthew Parish.

As I shared with you previously, the diocese placed Father Hoare on administrative leave Dec. 9, 2019, after receiving an allegation against him of child sexual abuse that was said to have occurred in Pennsylvania more than 25 years ago, before Father Hoare entered ministry.

Diocese of Baton Rouge adds name to list of credibly accused clergy members


July 1, 2020

By Nick Gremillion

The Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge has added another name to its list of clergy members credibly accused of abuse.

The additions come one year after the diocese released the list.

Fr. George Gensler, has been added to the list of credibly accused of abuse, bringing the total number of accused clergy members to 45.

Gensler is accused of abuse during the late 1970s and from 1984 to 1998. The diocese says it received reports of abuse allegedly committed by Gensler in 1994, 2018, and 2020.

Paterson Diocese installs Brooklyn priest as new bishop


July 1, 2020

By Abbott Koloff and Deena Yellin


Bishop Kevin Sweeney emphasized a strong connection to the immigrant community and the importance of his family as he took over Wednesday as the leader of the Paterson Diocese in a ceremony held before a relatively small group of people amid the coronavirus pandemic.

His installation and ordination as bishop took place at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Paterson three months after his promotion was announced, postponed because of the spread of COVID-19. About 100 people attended the invitation-only event, most wearing masks and sitting far apart to practice social distancing.

Charlotte bishop bars St. Matthew pastor from active ministry after sex abuse claims

The Charlotte Observer via WBTV

July 1, 2020

By Joe Marusak

The pastor of Charlotte’s St. Matthew Catholic Church, one of the nation’s largest parishes, will remain out of active ministry after decades-old allegations of sexual abuse of a minor surfaced last year, Bishop Peter Jugis said Wednesday.

In a letter to St. Matthew parishioners, Jugis said he accepted the report and recommendation of the diocese’s independent Lay Review Board that Father Patrick Hoare “remain out of active ministry at this time.”

Father John Allen will continue as administrator of St. Matthew Parish, Jugis said.

After George Brignac’s death, what’s next for church sex abuse cases

WDSU-TV [includes video]

July 1, 2020

The death of former Deacon George Brignac halted the only ongoing criminal case involving a local member of the Catholic clergy. The 85-year-old was awaiting trial on a rape charge when he died Monday.

He was one of 15 living priests and deacons the Archdiocese of New Orleans has identified since November 2018 as being credibly accused of sexual abuse. So far, Brignac is the only one to face a criminal accusation, a first-degree rape charge dating back to his time at Our Lady of the Rosary in New Orleans in the 1970s. He taught math at the church school and was in charge of its altar boys at the time.

No criminal charges have been brought against the other living clergy, but their accusers fear the clock is ticking. Most are in their 70s and 80s.

“These men are aging, and we don’t want them to age out of being punished for sex crimes … against children,” said Kevin Bourgeois, with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Open letter calls on USA Swimming to end "culture of sexual abuse"

Inside the Games

July 1, 2020

By Neil Shefferd

An open letter, released on behalf of six victims, has called on USA Swimming to "dismantle" a culture of sexual abuse within the organisation.

The letter, delivered to USA Swimming chief executive Tim Hinchey yesterday, has called on the organisation to take action to what it describes as an "epidemic" of sexual abuse within the governing body.

The letter, written on behalf of six victims by their attorney Robert Allard, includes the names of eight individuals, who the victims say should be immediately removed from USA Swimming.

An extract from the letter reads: "Having been deeply involved in the handling of sex abuse claims against USA Swimming for more than a decade, it is clear to us that there remains a deeply embedded culture within your organisation which condones the criminal sexual behaviour of coaches towards its underage athletes.

"This culture is similar to that of the Catholic Church, wh