May 31, 2006

Sins of the founder

Catholic Online

Our Sunday Visitor (

Last month's action taken by the Vatican against Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, Mexican founder of the Legionaries of Christ, is both saddening and instructive.

In a May 19 statement, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) "invited" the 86-year-old Father Maciel to spend the remainder of his life in "prayer and penance, refraining from all public ministry." The restrictions were approved by Pope Benedict XVI.

The action comes after a long Vatican investigation into accusations of sexual abuse levied against Father Maciel by dozens of individuals, including several former Legionary seminarians, who charge the acts took place between 1943 and the early 1980s. Father Maciel and the Legionaries have consistently denied the charges.

The Vatican has said there will be no canonical trial of Father Maciel due to his advanced age. Given the circumstances, however, canon lawyers and other observers speculate that the CDF invitation amounts to a finding that at least some of the charges against the founder were credible. It is significant that the investigation of Father Maciel was reopened by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who as pope has approved the present restrictions despite the many affirmations of Father Maciel's position by Pope John Paul II and other Vatican officials.

Posted by kshaw at 10:12 PM

Catholic Priest Convicted of Raping Girl

San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

(05-31) 15:04 PDT DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) --

A Dublin jury convicted a Roman Catholic priest Wednesday of raping a 13-year-old girl.

During the six-day trial, the victim, whose identity was not make public, testified that Rev. Daniel Doherty raped her in a church sacristy twice in 1985.

Doherty, 48, had denied ever meeting the girl. He is expected to be sentenced in October.

Sex abuse scandals have jolted Ireland's Catholic Church, where nearly 90 percent of the country's 4 million residents identify themselves as Catholic.

Posted by kshaw at 10:04 PM

Sisters of Charity refuse to apologise for Kilkenny abuse

Irish Examiner

31/05/2006 - 2:55:12 PM

The head of the Sisters of Charity has refused to apologise for the physical and sexual abuse of boys at St Joseph's Industrial School in Kilkenny in the early 1970s.

Sister Una O'Neill expressed regret and sorrow for the abuse while giving evidence to the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse today.

She also admitted that there were "system failures" which led to the abuse.

However, she refused to apologise because, she said, no members of the Sisters of Charity perpetrated the abuse, colluded in it or tried to cover it up.

Posted by kshaw at 12:56 PM

Foreign-born clergy welcome in Richmond

Catholic Online

By Steve Neill
The Catholic Virginian (

RICHMOND, Va. (The Catholic Virginian) - Priests coming from foreign countries to serve in ministry in the Diocese of Richmond go through a criminal background check and the diocese takes several other steps designed to help them serve more effectively in the parishes to which they are assigned.

Father Mark Lane, Vicar for Clergy, recently told The Catholic Virginian that there are many procedures involved before an international priest arrives to take on a parish assignment. “The first thing we do is receive a letter from an international priest requesting an appointment in the diocese,” Father Lane said.

Asked how priests from outside the diocese might inquire about serving in Richmond, he pointed out that there are a number of Filipino priests serving in the diocese. “Filipinos talk with other Filipinos,” Father Lane said, adding that perhaps a Filipino priest who would inquire about serving in the Diocese of Richmond would normally mention in his letter that he has heard about “the quality of ministry in the diocese.”

“We also hear from international priests from email or telephone,” he explained. “There are numerous emails from international priests, some requesting temporary ministry in the diocese. “They may be studying here or they’re on sabbatical from their own diocese or from their religious community. Bishop DiLorenzo has contact with bishops and religious superiors of international priests who will be here for a set amount of time,” he continued.

Posted by kshaw at 12:54 PM

Top Court Says Time Limits Apply In Church Abuse Cases


COLUMBUS -- Adults who accuse priests of abusing them when they were children must follow two-year time limits for filing lawsuits despite the trauma of sexual abuse, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

The law requires suing by age 20, which is two years after reaching adulthood, for allegations dating back to the person's childhood.

"Although we acknowledge the complex emotional issues of plaintiffs who allege that they have been the victims of sexual abuse, we are constrained by the law as it exists today," said the opinion by Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton.

The 5-2 ruling overturns a decision by an appellate court that revived the case of a 36-year-old "John Doe" who sued the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk and the former Rev. Thomas Hopp.

Posted by kshaw at 12:52 PM

Group works to keep ex-priest from teaching

St. Louis Post-Dispatch


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests asked St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke and Bishop Joseph A. Pepe of Las Vegas on Tuesday that former Roman Catholic priest James Beine not be permitted to teach school in Nevada.

Beine was released from prison last June after the Missouri Supreme Court overturned an indecent exposure conviction involving his work at a St. Louis public school. Separately, a federal appeals court overturned a conviction on possession of child pornography. The Catholic church says it has paid more than $400,000 in civil settlements for molestation claims against Beine.

The revocation of Beine's teaching license was contingent on his conviction, according to his attorney, Larry Fleming. He said Beine's Missouri teaching license had therefore been reinstated. Illinois officials said Tuesday that a James Beine has a valid teaching certificate issued in St. Clair County.

Nevada officials could not confirm Tuesday what SNAP claimed was information that Beine applied there. Said Fleming, "He's not teaching now and doesn't intend to."

Posted by kshaw at 11:44 AM

The new Sabbateans


By Yair Sheleg

At first glance, the police complaints lodged against Rabbi Mordechai Gafni constitute one more case of sexual exploitation. Once not so long ago, it was enough for a rabbi to be accused of a fraction of the number of the suspicions raised against Gafni for the walls to tremble. In our present era of progress, statements by two dozen victims can be airily dismissed until the legal system steps in (because a few of the women finally dared to complain) before the community leaders realize that they will not be able to continue enjoying the rabbi's "spiritual abundance."

At first glance this is an individual case, and the fact that a rabbi is involved is merely coincidental. Or not: Gafni has a friend, the co-writer of two of his books, named Rabbi Ohad Ezrahi. Ezrahi is a newly observant Jew who was once secretary to the extreme right-wing Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg. A few years ago he left his previous pursuits and established a commune based on the study of love and sex "in the spirit of the ancient myths" (including kabbala.) And within the rather small community of teachers of "Jewish Renaissance" (the revolution of non-observant Jews studying Judaism) in Israel, there are at least two other prominent teachers who had extensive extramarital relationships that caused a storm in their communities.

Posted by kshaw at 11:41 AM

Priest Resigns over Allegations of Sexual Misconduct


UPDATED: Wednesday, May 31, 7:37 a.m.
By Brandie Meng

A Roman Catholic priest in Luzerne County has resigned after allegations of sexual misconduct involving two women years ago.

Monsignor J. Peter Crynes was most recently the pastor of Saint Therese Parish in Shavertown. The bishop of the Diocese of Scranton said the monsignor has moved out of the parish and is no longer involved in any church assignments. An investigation into the allegations continues.

Msgr. Crynes also served as assistant pastor at St. Patrick Church in White Haven and Holy Rosary Church in Scranton. He was administrator and pastor of Corpus Christi Church in Montdale from 1988 to 1994.

Posted by kshaw at 08:11 AM

Group Warns a Convicted Sex Offender May Be in Las Vegas


May 30, 2006 07:26 PM EDT

A former Catholic priest who was convicted of exposing himself to children may be in Las Vegas. James Beine was released from a Missouri prison on a technicality and now people abused by priests are warning the public about him.

A group called SNAP, which stands for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, wants to warn the Las Vegas Valley about James Beine. SNAP representatives say Beine is a horrific predator who has apparently moved to the Las Vegas area.

The group claims Beine, who was once a priest, is now trying to get his teaching credentials transferred from Missouri to Nevada.

They say three-dozen people have come forward claiming that they were abused by Beine over nearly thirty years. SNAP representatives are making an effort to alert the local Catholic Diocese and various school administrators about Beine and to be on the look out for him, and that he has gone by other names.

Posted by kshaw at 08:09 AM

Catholic priest at Back Mountain church resigns under sex misconduct claims

The Citizens Voice

STAFF WRITER 05/31/2006

The pastor of a Back Mountain Catholic church has resigned in the midst of an investigation by the Diocese of Scranton into allegations of sexual misconduct.

Two women are accusing Monsignor J. Peter Crynes, pastor of St. Therese’s Church on Davis Street in Shavertown, of unnamed sexual offenses during one of his other assignments years ago, the Scranton Diocese said.

The women who made the complaints have been interviewed, offered counseling, and given an opportunity to discuss their situation with Bishop Joseph Martino, according to a statement from the Diocese of Scranton.

Crynes will also be given an opportunity to be heard. In the meantime, he has moved out of the rectory and the diocese is not giving him any assignments.

Posted by kshaw at 08:03 AM

Shavertown priest steps down amid sexual misconduct probe

Scranton Times-Tribune

STAFF WRITER 05/31/2006Email to a friendPrinter-friendly
The pastor of a Shavertown Catholic church has resigned in the midst of an investigation by the Diocese of Scranton into allegations of sexual misconduct.

Two women are accusing Monsignor J. Peter Crynes, pastor of St. Therese’s Church on Davis Street in Shavertown, of undisclosed sexual offenses during one of his other assignments years ago, according to the diocese.

The women who made the complaints have been interviewed, been offered counseling, and given an opportunity to discuss their situation with Bishop Joseph Martino, according to a statement from the diocese.

Monsignor Crynes has moved out of the rectory and the diocese is not giving him any assignments.

Posted by kshaw at 08:01 AM

Marquette Priest Removed


A priest at St. Peter cathedral in Marquette has been removed from his position and is being sent back to India.

According to the Diocese of Marquette, Father Roy Joseph, the associate pastor at the cathedral and the Mission of Saint Mary in Big Bay, was relieved of his duties after a formal complaint was filed against him.

In a letter to parishioners at the cathedral and mission, Bishop Alex Sample said there was an incident of sexual exploitation with an adult female. Bishop Sample deemed the information to be credible.

Posted by kshaw at 07:59 AM

Police seek way to track ex-priest

Belleville News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE - Belleville Police Chief Dave Ruebhausen said Tuesday he will send a detective to meet with the head of a religious order about supervision of a 78-year-old defrocked priest who admitted molesting boys.

"This is a no-brainer," Ruebhausen said, adding that if anyone publicly admits to sexually abusing a child, "whether it be a priest, a policeman, a nurse, whatever, it doesn't matter. They need to be monitored."

While it was previously reported that the Rev. Real Bourque was required to sign a sheet before leaving his retirement home, the local head of the former priest's religious order, the Rev. Allen Maes, said Tuesday that he might have misspoken. He said Bourke is only required to inform a superior when he leaves.

Ruebhausen said he wants to know whether there are any other admitted child molesters living in Belleville like Bourque. Bourque told fellow clergy and a News-Democrat reporter that he sexually molested children decades ago.

Posted by kshaw at 07:57 AM

GLEANER-BILL JOHNSON POLL - Jamaicans feel Catholic sex scandals a concern here

Jamaica Gleaner

published: Wednesday | May 31, 2006

ALTHOUGH THERE are no reports, many Jamaicans feel that the paedophilia scandal that has dogged the Catholic Church internationally is an issue locally, according to the findings of a Gleaner-commissioned poll.

Fifty two per cent of a sample of 1,008 respondents in 18 communities across the island's 14 parishes held this view, mainly in the parishes of St. Mary, St. Catherine, Westmoreland and Hanover.

Fourteen per cent of the respondents in the poll, conducted on May 13 and 14, said that the Church problems were not an issue in Jamaica. The margin of error is plus or minus three per cent.

In recent times, a series of allegations concerning the molestation of youngsters, especially young boys, by members of the Catholic clergy, surfaced in the international media. According to the reports, most cases of sexual abuse occurred in seminaries, schools and orphanages.

Posted by kshaw at 07:51 AM

Beyond horrifying abuse lies complex, forceful story

Cleveland Plain Dealer

Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Vikas Turakhia
Special to The Plain Dealer
Recommendations for Martin Moran's memoir, The Tricky Part (Anchor, 304 pp., $14), must include caveats. There's little pleasure in reading about the sexual abuse of an adolescent at the hands of a 30-year-old; the book is disturbed and frustrated. But if you persevere, a compelling story awaits, as Moran documents his adolescent nights with a man he calls Bob Malo, his recovery and his struggle to accept himself as a homosexual despite his 1970s Catholic upbringing.

Malo enters Moran's life as a church camp counselor, but their boundaries shift when he asks the 12-year-old to help him fix up a ranch. While working, Malo builds the shy boy's pride -- his praise makes Moran feel included, as do their activities in his sleeping bag at night. The incongruity of being a "straight-A altar boy and a slut" excites Moran and stretches the relationship over three years. The author writes, "My own anger, whatever, wherever it is, feels lost or buried somehow in complicity . . . As if having wanted, allowed, has squelched any right I have to wrath or innocence."

Posted by kshaw at 07:49 AM

Archdiocese official quits

Cincinnati Enquirer

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati's personnel director resigned Tuesday after coming under fire for hiring a felon to supervise their criminal background-check program.

Vince Frasher, a church employee for 19 years, also faces allegations of sexual misconduct made by the man he hired to run the program.

Frasher said in a letter to Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk that it was "in the best interest of all concerned" that he resign immediately. "Decisions and judgments I have made over the course of the past several years may have resulted in difficulties for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati."

Frasher's resignation comes as the archdiocese and Hamilton County prosecutors investigate his relationship with Alex Henties, the former supervisor of the background-check program. Henties, 32, has accused Frasher of abusing him while he was growing up in Montgomery.

Posted by kshaw at 07:47 AM

Local Jurists Honored

The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register


The West Virginia Bar Foundation recently bestowed the honor of ‘‘fellow’’ upon a Marshall County Circuit Court judge, a Wheeling magistrate and a Wheeling lawyer.

Judge John T. Madden of Moundsville, Magistrate James E. Seibert of Wheeling and attorney John Preston Bailey of the Wheeling law firm Bailey, Riley, Buch and Harman received the honor recently in Charleston.

‘‘These lawyers are truly leaders in their community, not only as lawyers and judges,’’ said Thomas Tinder, executive director of the West Virginia Bar Foundation. ‘‘All of them are involved in a large array of community activities.’’ ...

Bailey has been the president of the West Virginia State Bar, the West Virginia State Bar Board of Governors, chairman of the West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, vice chairman of the city of Wheeling Charter Review Board, a member of the Diocesan Sexual Abuse Review Board for the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, a member of the Order of Coif, a member of the Order of Barristers, a member of the Moot Court Board, a member of the Ohio County Bar Association, a member of the West Virginia Trial Lawyer Association and a member of theAbuse Tracker Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Posted by kshaw at 07:45 AM

O’Malley asks for forgiveness at St. Patrick’s

Stoneham Sun

By Nadine Wandzilak/ Correspondent
Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Inside St. Patrick’s Church last Friday evening, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, led prayers that asked for forgiveness for bishops’ and priests’ sins - including the failure to act - in connection with sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church.

"Forgive us for the sins against your children," attendees prayed in a litany of repentance, for the "loss of innocence, "the "hurts and pains born by parents and families" and "for wounds that may never heal," as the cardinal and about a dozen other priests and deacons lay prone, face down, from forehead to feet, on the floor in front of the altar.

The prayer service, part of a "Pilgrimage of repentance and hope: a novena to the Holy Spirit" in nine communities that experienced "an especially painful history of sexual abuse of children by priests," according to the archdiocese, is like Yom Kippur, a time of atonement, for the sin of clergy sexual abuse, O’Malley said during his 15-minute homily. "We need the gift of wisdom," he said, "to know how to avoid evil." Prayer and repentance are a prelude, he said, to acquiring wisdom.

Posted by kshaw at 07:42 AM

Pastor quits amid sex probe

Times Leader

KINGSTON TWP. – Parishioners at St. Therese’s Church in Shavertown left Mass in tears over the weekend after diocesan officials announced Monsignor J. Peter Crynes had resigned as their pastor amid allegations of “sexual misconduct.”

The alleged misconduct, reported by two women, happened before Crynes came to St. Therese’s 12 years ago, the Diocese of Scranton said. Crynes has been a priest in the diocese for nearly 40 years, serving mostly in Lackawanna County.

In its statement to parishioners during Saturday and Sunday Masses, the diocese left key questions unanswered, including the ages of the women when the alleged misconduct occurred, the date, location and character of the alleged misconduct and the nature of the investigation -- whether it was being conducted by the diocese itself or law enforcement.

Diocesan spokesman William Genello declined to fill in any of those blanks Tuesday.

Parishioners described Crynes, 64, as a kind, committed pastor who emphasized that members of the congregation had a calling to serve others inside and outside of St. Therese’s and expanded their opportunities to do so.

Posted by kshaw at 07:38 AM

Lawyer claims 'intimidation' tactic by church

Times Argus

May 31, 2006


The lawyer pressing 19 priest misconduct lawsuits against Vermont's Catholic Church says the statewide Diocese of Burlington is waging a "campaign of intimidation" against judges and potential jurors.

The diocese recently filed a motion in Chittenden Superior Court seeking to bar the judge who oversaw a record $965,000 sexual abuse settlement against the church from presiding over similar cases.

In response, lawyer Jerome O'Neill, representing the accusers, says the diocese's call for disqualification is not only groundless, but also part of a "power play" that aims "to interfere with judicial independence."

The church "hopes to make the presiding judge fearful of public criticism for ruling against the diocese, even if that is the ruling called for by the facts and the law," O'Neill said in court papers released Tuesday.

"With nearly 25 percent of Vermont's population as members of the diocese, the diocese undoubtedly hopes that any judge sitting on this case will have one eye on judicial retention in ruling on this case and every other case against it."

Posted by kshaw at 07:36 AM

Church victims' attorney defends judge, accuses diocese of 'campaign of intimidation'

Burlington Free Press

Published: Wednesday, May 31, 2006
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The attorney for 19 alleged victims of priest sexual abuse with cases on file in a Burlington court has accused the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of waging a "campaign of intimidation" by seeking to have the judge in the cases removed.

"Defendant diocese's motion is a bold attempt to interfere with judicial independence," attorney Jerome O'Neill wrote in his motion opposing the church's push to have Judge Ben Joseph step down. "It is part of a well-orchestrated public relations campaign designed by the defendant diocese to influence judges and jurors in its favor."

O'Neill said other parts of the intimidation campaign include Bishop Salvatore Matano's letter announcing his plan to put the diocese's 128 parishes in individual charitable trusts to protect them "from unbridled, unjust and terribly unreasonable assault."

Posted by kshaw at 07:34 AM

Lawyers for alleged victims, church meet today in court

Rocky Mountain News

By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
May 31, 2006
Attorneys for 29 men and one woman who have sued the Archdiocese of Denver, claiming they were molested as youths by two former priests, are expected to join church lawyers today in Denver District Court to discuss how to proceed with the cases.

The open hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in Judge Joseph E. Meyer's courtroom.

In the routine process, plaintiffs and defendants hash out procedural issues such as organizing the witness list and whether it would be beneficial to consolidate similar cases.

All the lawsuits involve two priests, one dead, one defrocked, who are alleged to have abused the plaintiffs when they were growing up in the 1960s and '70s.

Posted by kshaw at 07:33 AM

May 30, 2006

Coordinator of U.S. seminary visitations expects report this fall

Catholic News Service

By Andy Telli
Catholic News Service

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CNS) -- Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services said May 26 that the Vatican's visitations to U.S. seminaries and houses of formation are nearly complete, and he hopes the resulting reports will be released this fall.

"Bottom line, I think this visitation was most successful," Archbishop O'Brien said in a talk to the 2006 Catholic Media Convocation in Nashville. A former head of two seminaries, he was coordinator of the visitations for the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education, which oversees seminary formation.

The objectives of the visitations, which were sparked by the sexual abuse crisis that hit the U.S. church in 2002, were to examine the criteria for admission of candidates and various aspects of priestly formation, including the intellectual formation of seminarians in the field of moral theology and the programs of human and spiritual formation aimed at ensuring they can faithfully live chaste, celibate lives.

"The hype to begin with led some to believe this was going to be a crusade ... to weed out immorality," Archbishop O'Brien said. "That's not what it was about."

Instead, he said, the objective of the visitations was to determine if seminarians were being prepared properly to live a chaste and celibate life.

Posted by kshaw at 05:55 PM

Vince Frasher Resigns From Archdiocese

Fox 19

May 30, 2006 04:13 PM EDT

A man who was at the center of the Church's latest scandal has stepped down.

The Cincinnati Archdiocese has announced the resignation of Personnel Director Vince Frasher.

Frasher found himself at the center of the scandal after reports were aired that Frasher hired convicted felon Alex Henties to perform background checks on prospective Archdiocese employees. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported today that Henties was convicted a week before his hiring.

Henties has accused Frasher of having a sexual relationship that began when Henties was young. Allegations that Frasher continues to deny. Frasher has been on administrative leave since the issue came to light. The Archdiocese says that they are conducting an internal investigation into the allegations and archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk says that he is cooperating with secular investigative authorities.

Posted by kshaw at 05:52 PM

May 30: Archdiocese Personnel Director Resigns Following I-Team Report


Reported and Web Produced by: Laure Quinlivan
Photographed by: Phil Drechsler
Updated: 05/30/06 17:24:41

The man under fire since a Channel 9 I-Team report two weeks ago is resigning his position at the Archdiocese at Cincinnati.

Vince Frasher is the longtime personnel director at the Archdiocese. He's responsible for hiring and firing everyone who's not a priest, including all the teachers at Catholic schools.

The I-Team investigation found Frasher knowingly hired a criminal to do criminal background checks on Catholic volunteers.

Frasher hired Alex Henties to do the background checks, giving him access to the social security numbers of thousands of Catholics.

Henties is now serving two years in prison for a police chase and cocaine conviction.

Posted by kshaw at 05:49 PM


Lowell Sun


LOWELL -- Having the parish priest mentor your kids is a high honor for any working-class Irish Catholic family -- especially when the church is your reason for living.

Larry Finn's parents, Mickey and Ann, trusted Rev. Joseph Birmingham. While serving at St. Michael Church, the priest took a special interest in the Finn's 12-year-old son, taking him on ski trips and for rides in his gold Cadillac.

"He let me drive his car," Finn said. "He enjoyed letting me sit on his lap while he got aroused. ... He made me touch his privates, and he touched mine."

Finn was repeatedly violated by the priest. Now 46 and standing at the altar of St. Michael's, Finn finds himself returning to a place he has tried to forget since childhood. Looking out at more than 100 faces inside St. Michael's, Finn recounted his story of sexual abuse and innocence lost at the hands of Birmingham.

Posted by kshaw at 05:45 PM

'Tragedies like these should never happen'

Lowell Sun


LOWELL -- Dozens of bodies squeezing into the pews of St. Michael's fan themselves with paper prayer books.

In the stifling heat, they wait for Cardinal Sean O'Malley to lead them in a Novena to the Holy Spirit, a plea for forgiveness for the sins committed by pedophile priests and the bishops who hid the truth.

Out on the sidewalk, another congregation has gathered. It carries its own message for O'Malley: "Justice before prayers."

Since the Cardinal began his pilgrimage for repentance and hope on Thursday, the protesters have followed.

Some have been sexually abused by priests, others know victims, and some are just outraged by what they call a "dysfunctional system" that has yet to be held accountable for its actions.

When John Harris arrives with a sign marked, "Dirty Hands Cannot Heal," a couple of men holding up posters of their own say hello. No matter what brought them to St. Michael's, their purpose on the sidewalk unites them.

Posted by kshaw at 05:42 PM

Chaput's case: correct but not sufficient


Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput is correct. It is inherently unfair, and bad public policy, when governments exempt themselves from lawsuits of a kind that can bankrupt their private counterparts engaged in exactly the same behavior.

In Colorado, the issue arose over a piece of legislation that as originally crafted would have lifted the civil statute of limitations on child sex abuse. A key problem with the legislation, argued Chaput, was that the state’s public schools would not be subject to its more punitive provisions. Instead, under its modified exercise of “sovereign immunity,” the state limits school district liability and requires that suits be filed within 180 days of the occurrence of the abuse.

“Some of the worst adult sexual misconduct with minors occurs in public institutions, particularly public schools,” wrote Chaput in First Things. “But in most states, those schools enjoy some form of governmental immunity. In other words, it’s far easier to sue a private institution, such as a Catholic diocese, than it is to sue a public-school district. It’s also a lot more lucrative since, even if governmental immunity were waived, public schools and institutions usually enjoy the added protection of low caps on damages (in Colorado, $150,000). For exactly the same sexual abuse in a public school and a Catholic parish, the difference in financial exposure is millions of dollars.”

Posted by kshaw at 05:40 PM

Maciel devotees resist Vatican ruling



The small, dusty town of Cotija lies in south central Mexico, a region where the Cristero War (1926-32) saw some of its fiercest fighting. Cristero forces were a cross section of Catholics who rose against a Marxist regime that had been murdering priests with impunity. In 1932, when the Vatican helped broker a truce, Marcial Maciel Degollado was a boy of 12.

Cotija, the hometown of the Legion of Christ founder, has a retreat center for Regnum Christi, the lay wing of the order. A tomb for Maciel’s mother (whom he nominated for sainthood) is there. The town square has a statue of his late uncle, Bishop Rafael Guizar Valencia, who led a clandestine seminary during the Cristero war. Maciel, 86, had been in Cotija for months before the May 19 Vatican communiqué that stripped him of public priestly duties after a long investigation into charges of sexual abuse that shadowed him for many years.

The communiqué offered few facts. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “decided -- bearing in mind Maciel’s advanced age and his delicate health -- to forgo a canonical hearing and to invite the father to a reserved life of penitence and prayer, relinquishing any form of public ministry. The Holy Father approved these decisions. Independently of the person of the founder, the worthy apostolate of the Legionaries of Christ and of the association Regnum Christi is gratefully recognized.”

Benedict humiliated the most famous priest in Mexico and sent shock waves through the ranks of 60,000 Regnum Christi members in several countries. These lay folk meet in prayer groups, study Maciel’s writings and raise money. It was one of the reasons the Legion was indebted to Pope John Paul II, who championed Maciel. His words and image (with Maciel) were central to Legion fundraising.

Posted by kshaw at 05:38 PM

New Information About Alex Henties Discovered

Fox 19

May 30, 2006 10:18 AM EDT

New information has surfaced this morning about a convicted felon hired by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Tuesday morning's Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that Alex Henties was on probation in two states when he was hired by the archdiocese to perform background checks on prospective employees.

According to the Enquirer, court records show he was convicted of a felony just a week before he was hired.

Posted by kshaw at 10:17 AM

Archdiocese missed arrests

Cincinnati Enquirer

Alex Henties was on probation in two states while he supervised the Archdiocese of Cincinnati's criminal background-check program.

Church officials say they were aware before hiring Henties that he had committed a theft and some other minor crimes in the 1990s. But they say they did not know about the more recent offenses.

The archdiocese fired Henties last year after he was arrested on drug possession charges.

Court records show that he was convicted of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in Hamilton County June 16, 2003 - one week before the archdiocese hired him as coordinator of the background-check program.

Three months after starting his new job, Henties was arrested again in Dearborn County, Ind., on drunken-driving charges.

Judges convicted him in both cases and sentenced him to probation for one year.

Posted by kshaw at 07:35 AM

In Boston, Church Leaders Offer Atonement for Abuse

The New York Times

Published: May 30, 2006
BOSTON, May 29 — Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley is leading a nine-day series of Masses and other services to acknowledge sexual abuse by clergy members in the Archdiocese of Boston and to pray for forgiveness and healing.

The series, which the archdiocese is calling "a pilgrimage of repentance and hope," is the first occasion on which Masses have been offered here to atone for the abuse of minors by priests since the church's sexual abuse scandal broke in January 2002.

The services started on Thursday and will be held at parishes that were served by priests accused of or convicted of sexual abuse. A crucifix from a shuttered parish touched by sexual abuse will be carried and displayed at each service.

"This is not just some pious exercise," said Barbara Thorp, director of the archdiocese's Office of Healing and Assistance Ministry, which has offered counseling to about 650 people who say they were abused by priests, as well as to their families. "We really do come humbly begging for God's help."

Posted by kshaw at 07:32 AM

Abused children may get more time to sue

The News Journal

The News Journal

Victims of child sexual abuse by an adult would have more time to sue for damages under a bill expected to reach the General Assembly today.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Greg Lavelle, R-Sharpley, and Sen. Karen Peterson, D-Stanton, would extend the time from two years to six years after the abuse occurs or to six years after the abuse is discovered to be the cause of a victim's emotional or physical damage.

Posted by kshaw at 07:30 AM

A victim of the church in Mexico

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


When I heard the news that the Vatican had finally sanctioned Father Marcial Maciel after a decade-long investigation into allegations of sexual abuse, I could not help but think of Alberto Athie, formerly known as Father Athie.

Maciel -- one of the most revered yet controversial members of Mexico's Catholic Church -- is the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, an ultraconservative organization originally based in Mexico City and known for, among other things, its loyalty to the pope.

In the late 1990s, nine former seminarians accused Father Maciel of having sexually abused them between 1943 and the early 1960s. Their complaints fell on deaf ears. Maciel was particularly close to Pope John Paul II. The pontiff considered allegations against Maciel malicious.

The original investigation was halted by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, but the case was reopened in 2004. It seems that new, more credible evidence surfaced with the new investigation, and now, as Pope Benedict XVI, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith has ratified a decision to ask Father Maciel to live a life of penitence and prayer, barring him from celebrating public masses.

Although Alberto Athie was never sexually abused by Maciel, he was a victim of the scandal that shook the church. His story, like the cases of abuse themselves, shows a dark side of the Catholic Church. As I recount in my book, "I Am My Father's Daughter," Athie once held highly respected positions within the Catholic Church in Mexico. He was an international coordinator for the Vatican's charity, Caritas. He also served as a leader in the church's commission for peace and reconciliation in the insurgent Chiapas region. But the confession of a dying man and Athie's search for justice led to the downfall of his promising career in the church.

Posted by kshaw at 07:28 AM

May 29, 2006


The Advertiser

THE Anglican Church in Adelaide began transferring property worth about $30 million to its charity, Anglicare, within 18 months of a church member being charged with pedophilia.

Victims of Robert Brandenburg have questioned why the 31 properties were transferred to Anglicare when the church was aware it could be facing possible claims for compensation.

Last night their lawyer, Susan Litchfield, said the victims could not understand why the Anglican Church was now cutting costs to cover a $4 million legal bill from Brandenburg's activities. "The victims have become confused when they have heard the Anglican Church is now borrowing money and has no insurance to pay for their claims when, only five years ago, it had assets worth $30 million," she said. Brandenburg committed suicide in June, 1999, after being charged in February of that year.

The Advertiser has been told by the Anglican Church and Anglicare that money from any sales of the properties cannot be accessed by the church for the Brandenburg payments because it is a separate legal entity with its own board of directors.

Posted by kshaw at 03:30 PM

'He preyed on the weak ones'

Lowell Sun


David Lyko measures time through his trailer windows.

When sunlight streams in, he knows it's time to wake up. When it grows dark, it's time to sleep.

It's Saturday. But Lyko asks what day it is. He no longer keeps track of calendars or schedules. Days and nights blend together, like the succession of rings swirling around him from the Marlboros he chain-smokes.

For two years, Lyko's house on wheels carried him from one Wal-Mart parking lot to the next. He defecated in pizza boxes and went on binges during which his only food was beer. He was running, trying desperately to escape a childhood nightmare. Except the monster under his bed eventually caught up to him. And broke him.

The boogeyman was his childhood priest, the Rev. Joseph Birmingham -- the one man Lyko's parents always told him was his closest connection to God. Lyko was one of several altar boys at St. Michael Parish in Lowell who were fondled or raped by Birmingham. He was also one of the first to come forward about his molestation, helping to unveil decades of sexual abuse committed by priests and covered up by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.

Posted by kshaw at 12:05 PM

Priest criticizes Boston archbishop for handling of clergy abuse survivors

Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
May 29, 2006

Father Robert Hoatson, who is suing the New York and Newark archdioceses and the Albany diocese, and who was the second priest to go on record about retiring Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's abuse of power while bishop of Metuchen, has criticized Boston Archbishop Sean O'Malley's latest outreach to survivors of clergy abuse.

In an op-ed submitted to the Boston Globe, Hoatson wrote (slightly edited):

"Dear Cardinal Sean:

"May I please have your undivided attention? I am a priest, survivor of clergy abuse, and advocate for hundreds of clergy abuse survivors. For the past four years, I have traveled once a week from New Jersey to Boston and other parts of Massachusetts to work with those who were seriously damaged by priests and other religious.

"My purpose for writing is to ask you to cancel the nine prayer services planned for parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Boston and to stop sending letters of invitation for these events to survivors. While I applaud your efforts to foster reconciliation and repentance throughout the Archdiocese, I believe you still do not understand how to deal with survivors, their abuse, and our post traumatic stress disorder.

"When you were installed as Archbishop of Boston, you invited some survivors to attend. I accompanied two survivors into Holy Cross Cathedral that day. It took days of discussion and back and forth conferencing to help them reach the decision to set foot in a Catholic church. I prepared them for the possibility that they might not be able to endure being in the cathedral, around hundreds of clerics and regular Catholics, and actually be able to pray. For most survivors, prayer has become a near impossibility, since mere mention of God, the Church, priests, and prayer sets off their trauma once again.

Posted by kshaw at 11:27 AM

SNAP blitzes Mass with Bourque fliers

Belleville News-Democrat


BELLEVILLE - Members of a group protesting sexual abuse by priests handed out fliers to parishioners leaving 10:30 a.m. Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of St. Peter, protesting the presence in Belleville of a priest who is an admitted child molester.

Five members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests handed out fliers concerning The Rev. Real "Ray" Bourque, a defrocked and retired priest living in Belleville.

In the handout, members of SNAP criticized the most Rev. Edward Braxton, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belleville, for not removing Bourque from the St. Henry Oblate Retirement Home on N. 60th Street, where he has resided since 2002.

SNAP member Fred Carr caught up with Braxton outside of the church. He said Braxton declined to meet privately with members of SNAP because he had other appointments. Carr said Braxton told him he would deal with Bourque but not because of requests from the group or because of media attention.

Posted by kshaw at 08:15 AM

Priest Spent as Diocese Grew Wary of Expenses

The New York Times

Published: May 29, 2006
DARIEN, Conn., May 28 — The Bridgeport Diocese has said it first spotted financial problems at St. John Roman Catholic Church here in October, but the longtime pastor, the Rev. Michael Jude Fay, remained in control of the church's finances after that and continued benefiting from thousands of dollars in questionable outlays, church records show.

Among the church payments to Father Fay, who was forced to resign from the parish on May 17 amid accusations of misspending its money, was a $6,000 check in January. A note in the church's check register said it was a Christmas gift.

Diocese officials, including Bishop William E. Lori, have said that their first sign of trouble came when they noticed in October that St. John spending on travel, food and similar items had grown significantly from the previous fiscal year. The officials said they asked questions and eventually started an internal investigation that resulted in Father Fay's resignation.

The diocese has refused to provide details of its inquiry because a federal criminal investigation is under way, but it has said that Father Fay pursued a lifestyle unfit for a priest. A private investigator has accused him of using stolen church money for airfare, cruises, jewelry and limousine trips for himself or people close to him.

Posted by kshaw at 07:08 AM

Priest abuse victim 'pressured' by Church

The Sunday Mail

By Gary Hughes
THE victim of satanic ritual abuse by a Catholic priest has exclusively given his version of events to's Gotcha blog, saying the church was aware of his allegations long before it agreed to pay him compensation.

The victim today said he was pressured into accepting the compensation and surrendering his legal right to sue the church after the Melbourne Archdiocese said it would otherwise stop paying for his trauma counselling.

Blog: Victim responds.

He also responded to doubts raised about his case, saying that he was not relying on "recovered" memory and had not undergone hypnotism as part of his treatment.

He said his Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other conditions diagnosed by one of Melbourne's leading psychiatrists were evidence that his story was true.

Posted by kshaw at 07:05 AM

Champion for little guy

Cincinnati Enquirer

In an instant, Stan Chesley's face flushes red, his tone turns angry.

"Pardon me, sir," Chesley barks over the phone, standing in his 15th-floor office, downtown, overlooking the riverfront.

"Do you know who I am? Go to my Web site. Hello, sir?"

The conversation ends abruptly, as the man, Brian in Tucson - who obviously doesn't know who Stan Chesley is - hangs up.

Brian may regret that.

At 70, Chesley is still one of the most respected, if not feared, lawyers in America, a bulldog in a fine Brioni suit. He has won more than $350 billion for clients and untold millions in fees for himself.

The fame began 29 years ago today, when a horrific fire killed 165 people at the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, Ky. Then a relatively unknown personal-injury lawyer, Chesley filed suits on behalf of fire victims and their families against the club owners, a utility company and manufacturers of aluminum wiring, carpets and other products.

It was a novel approach for disaster litigation: Merging almost 300 cases into one class-action suit. But it worked. Chesley and other lawyers shared $50 million in litigation and settlements with clients.

Today, Chesley is still making news using the Beverly Hills formula. Early this year, he won $85 million for nearly 400 sexual-abuse victims from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington.

Posted by kshaw at 06:58 AM

Bishop confirms abuse allegation

RTE News

29 May 2006 11:46
The Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise has confirmed that a priest in his diocese has taken administrative leave while an investigation takes place concerning a complaint of sexual misconduct.

RTÉ News understands the priest who was based in a parish in Co Longford has left his parish and cancelled a number of church engagements.

Posted by kshaw at 06:54 AM

Cardinal cleanses parish of sex scandal

Salem News

By Martina Brendel
Staff writer

MIDDLETON — Hundreds of North Shore residents made a pilgrimage to St. Agnes Church on Saturday to beg forgiveness for the priest sex scandal at a service led by Cardinal Sean O'Malley.

The "pilgrimage of repentance and hope," which coincided with the Catholic Pentecost, is one of 10 O'Malley is giving this week in Greater Boston at parishes affected by the scandal. The series of services is an effort to heal his emotionally scarred archdiocese and draw disenchanted Catholics back into the fold.

Critics, however, derided the cardinal's visit and others like it across the state as a public relations ploy and a cynical attempt to gain more parishioners and replenish church coffers.

St. Agnes emerged as a flashpoint during the scandal when former youth director Christopher Reardon was found guilty of molesting more than 20 boys and the Rev. Jon Martin resigned amid allegations of complacency during the abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 06:47 AM

May 28, 2006

Caritas Christi Head Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Medical News Today

Main Category: Public Health News
Article Date: 28 May 2006 - 9:00am (PDT)

Dr. Robert Haddad, Caritas Christi Head, allegedly hugged and kissed women inappropriately, leered at women and in some cases phoned their homes late at night. He was eventually given the choice of either resigning or being fired. He opted for the resignation, which included benefits, plus ten-months' pay - a golden handshake of $830,000.

Dr. Hadded had previously been told off for sexual harassment and ordered to submit himself to sexual harassment snesitivity training. This did not happen as further allegations from women began to surface.

According to Dr. Haddad, there was nothing inappropriate in his behaviour.

Haddad had been head of Caritas for two years, and had managed to turn finances round from a $12 million loss in 2004 to a $26 million profit in 2005. He did this after implementing a series of measures which included layoffs and budget cuts. Some say Caritas hospitals now suffer from serious staff turnover rates.

Posted by kshaw at 12:38 PM

New lawsuit filed against Utah polygamist leader

Daily Herald

The Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY -- A court-appointed accountant in charge of the financial trust of a southern-Utah polygamist sect has filed a lawsuit accusing the church's leader of fleecing trust assets.

Bruce Wisan filed the lawsuit Friday in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court.

Warren Jeffs, the fugitive leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and former trustees Truman Barlow, Leroy Jeffs, James Zitting, William Jessop, the Corporation of the President and the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the Fundamentalist LDS Church are named as defendants.

"We feel that they've taken things from the trust. Their actions have caused harm to the trust," Wisan said. "We want to pursue remedies for the actions that they've taken."

The United Effort Plan was established by church leaders in the 1940s, with members donating assets for the benefit of the community.

The trust holds an estimated $100 million in assets, most of it property, homes and other buildings in Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah, where most FLDS church members make their homes. The trust also has property in Bountiful, British Columbia, where the FLDS church also has an enclave.

Posted by kshaw at 07:56 AM

Second-guessing John Paul II

Los Angeles Times

By Jason Berry, Jason Berry is coauthor, with Gerald Renner, of "Vows of Silence." He is directing a documentary based on the book's account of the Maciel saga.
May 28, 2006

ON MAY 19, Pope Benedict XVI disgraced one of the most powerful priests in the Roman Catholic Church, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the ultraconservative Legion of Christ. Benedict's decision to publicly discipline the priest came after an investigation into allegations that Maciel had sexually abused "more than 20 and less than 100 victims" in seminary, according to theAbuse Tracker .

On the face of it, the pope's "invitation" to Maciel to give up his public ministry in favor of a quiet life of "prayer and penitence" may not seem a terribly harsh punishment for an alleged serial sex abuser. But in doing so, Benedict did something extraordinarily unusual: He cast doubt on his predecessor's judgment.

The culture of apostolic succession invites each new pope to be exquisitely respectful of the popes who came before him. Historians now must scramble to explain why the late Pope John Paul II, who called for the church to atone for institutional sins by "the purification of historical memory," sheltered Maciel for years. Utterly ignoring the pleas of Maciel's victims that the priest be held to account, John Paul praised him instead. In late 2004, the pope celebrated Maciel for his "integral formation of the person" even as the sexual-abuse charges against him, dating from 1976, gathered dust in the Vatican.

In late 2004, the German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who has since become pope, clearly distanced himself from the dying John Paul by ordering an investigation of the allegations against Maciel. Under Ratzinger, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which has historically tried theologians who publicly questioned church doctrines, had been dealing with hundreds of cases of pedophile priests whose bishops wanted them laicized. Ratzinger wanted to move Maciel's case to the top of the list. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's secretary of state, pressured Ratzinger to ignore a 1998 canon-law suit seeking Maciel's ouster. But Ratzinger realized that Maciel loomed as a potential scandal for the next pope. Sodano will soon retire.

Posted by kshaw at 07:48 AM

Ousted chief `didn't listen'

Boston Globe

By Liz Kowalczyk and Christopher Rowland, Globe Staff | May 28, 2006

When Dr. Robert Haddad was president of Caritas St. Elizabeth's Medical Center a few years ago, he would routinely kiss and hug female employees as he breezed into meetings and social gatherings, said a former manager who was present on many occasions. Finally, she decided to speak up.

``Bob, it makes me really uncomfortable to have the president of the medical center kiss women who are employees. It's inappropriate," she recalls saying.

He smiled and said people ``tell me that all the time," she recalled, but the hugs and kisses continued.

``He didn't listen," said the former manager, who remembers speaking to Haddad about the behavior on two occasions.

Looking back last week, after sexual harassment complaints led to Haddad's forced resignation as chief executive of Caritas Christi Health Care System, former executives said Haddad often ignored the counsel of others, even those who worked closely with him and wanted to be helpful.

Posted by kshaw at 07:45 AM

Hard call for church accusers

Denver Post

By Eric Gorski
Denver Post Staff Writer

The 30 adults who have taken the state's largest religious institution to court face a difficult decision in the coming weeks.

They can make peace with the Catholic Church, take home a check and, most likely, never learn more about their alleged perpetrator. Or they can take their chances in court and possibly walk away with an even bigger payout and a stack of documents - or nothing at all.

By hiring a mediator to negotiate with plaintiffs who allege they were sexually abused as minors by priests, Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput has proposed a solution that could save the church money and public embarrassment while giving accusers privacy, money to heal and a quicker resolution, experts say.

"It's a double-edged sword," said Matt Garretson, a Cincinnati lawyer who has brokered settlements with clergy sex-abuse victims in Cincinnati and Louisville, Ky. "A private process will give some victims peace. The downside is it allows a very bad situation to go without a full accounting or full accountability for what occurred."

Posted by kshaw at 07:43 AM

Diocesan suspicions

Toledo Blade

After all the damaging publicity the Roman Catholic Church has suffered because of errant priests either accused or convicted of sexual misconduct, you'd think the hierarchy would see the light. But you'd be wrong.

You'd think church leaders would be especially sensitive to any allegations of misdeeds by clerics and act immediately to resolve them. But no.

You'd think a diocese like Toledo that has had to bar 10 priests from the ministry would also be keenly aware of criticism that the church has put itself ahead of its flock in such unsettling matters.

But the case of the Rev. Robert Yeager places that assumption on its head. The diocese admittedly knew of sexual abuse allegations against the Toledo priest at least two years ago - maybe more. But Father Yeager has only now been removed from the ministry.

A church review board said it took that long it to find "specific information sufficient to conclude that the allegations [are] indeed credible."

Father Yeager was accused of molesting a boy nearly 30 years ago. It is not the only such allegation against the priest who served as principal and pastor at four high schools in the diocese.

Posted by kshaw at 07:41 AM

May 27, 2006

Effects of child abuse exaggerated, says priest

The Sunday Times

Carissa Casey

THE Catholic church has defended a Northern Ireland priest who said the effects of child sex abuse were exaggerated.

The priest’s comments came in a judgment rejecting the request of Roisin Fry, a Belfast woman, for an annulment of her marriage. She blamed the breakdown of the union on damage resulting from her sexual abuse as a child by a priest.

But the priest stated that “there is undoubtedly a tendency to exaggerate” the effects of such abuse. It was later defended by Sean Brady, the archbishop of Armagh, who said the priest did not mean to offend but “was merely carrying out his duty to defend the bond of marriage”.

Fry, 47, a mother of three, was abused for three years from the age of 10 by a priest in Belfast in the early 1970s. The abuse stopped when the priest was moved to another parish.

Posted by kshaw at 07:39 PM

Sex abuse issues still resonate in Boston

Cleveland Plain Dealer

Saturday, May 27, 2006
Mark Pratt
Associated Press
Boston- On the altar of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Cardinal Sean O'Malley prostrated himself alongside two dozen bishops and priests, praying that God would forgive the damage done by the Roman Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal.

The start of the multiday pilgrimage Thursday through nine parishes in the Boston Archdiocese was to be about hope, repentance and apologies to the victims in the abuse scandal.

But as news spread that Dr. Robert Haddad, president and CEO of the archdiocese's health care system, resigned early Thursday amid allegations that he had harassed more than a dozen female employees with unwanted hugs and kisses, some questioned if church leaders are still responding too slowly and too secretly to abuse claims.

"There are extraordinary and painful parallels," said David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by kshaw at 04:28 PM

Priest raped me three times, woman claims in court

Irish Independent

A DONEGAL woman who claims a priest raped her three times, made the allegations formally in a letter to the bishop in recent years.

Yesterday the woman told a jury at the Central Criminal Court that her best friend and her sister had both warned her not to go near the accused when she revealed earlier incidents in full or part to them.

The 48-year-old accused has denied three charges of raping the woman on dates in 1985 and one charge of indecently assaulting her in 1984.

The woman agreed with Gerry O'Brien defending, that she phoned the accused in 1990 and asked for money but denied she told him she was pregnant and wanted the money to have an abortion.

Posted by kshaw at 08:18 AM

Paedophile priest who had served seven-year term is sent back to jail

Irish Independent

A PAEDOPHILE priest who has already served a seven-year jail term for indecently assaulting nine boys was yesterday back behind bars.

Daniel Curran was also given an 18-month suspended sentence last year for indecently assaulting a tenth boy on two occasions while he was a priest at St Paul's parish in Belfast and chaplain of the local boy scouts. Jailing the 56-year-old for 14 months, Belfast Crown Court Judge Tom Burgess said he should be "returned to prison to reflect [on] the damage he has done" to his victim.

The judge ordered him to be listed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Curran, from Bryansford Avenue, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault between 1977 and 1982.

Posted by kshaw at 08:16 AM

Law Society decision is disturbing

One in Four

Irish Examiner

THE decision of the Law Society not to pursue a complaint of double billing against one of its members, in the case of a victim of child abuse who was made an award through the Residential Institutions Redress Board (RIRB), is very disturbing.

It has chosen to reject the claim made by the survivor of institutional abuse, who had been represented by the solicitor, that he billed her and the RIRB. Inexplicably, it has decided not to refer the matter to its own Disciplinary Tribunal for investigation, despite the fact it has seen fit to do so in previous cases.

The redress board was established four years ago to compensate those who were abused as children while in industrial schools, reformatories and various State institutions.

Posted by kshaw at 08:15 AM


New York Post


May 27, 2006 -- A randy reverend who was having an affair with a parishioner to whom he was giving "marriage counseling" tried to tempt other female members of his flock as well, court papers charge.

The Rev. Thomas Tewell - who's being sued by former Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church parishioner Joseph Vione for carrying on trysts with his wife while he was supposedly counseling them - allegedly tried the same maneuver on others.

In court filings made public yesterday, Vione said that in 2002, three anonymous church members complained to a church official that Tewell "had exploited his position" at the East Side church "to prey on women to whom he was providing spiritual and marital counseling for the covert and clandestine purposes of surreptitiously engaging in illicit relationships."

Posted by kshaw at 08:05 AM

The woman who forced the Caritas shake-up

Boston Globe

By Sally Jacobs, Globe Staff | May 27, 2006

It was the summer of 1993, and Helen G. Drinan, the head of human resources for the Bank of Boston, was taking aim at a deeply cherished corporate tradition.

The annual executive golf getaway -- it had to go.

``I wanted to get rid of this golf tournament once and for all," Drinan declared. ``It was such a statement of tradition, hierarchy, top down, men at the top, everyone else working hard while the execs are off playing golf. Wrong symbol."

And so she got rid of it. Just months after Drinan was given the bank's top human resources position, she replaced the golf outing with a community service day: Dozens of senior executives spent the afternoon rebuilding a summer camp for needy children and scrubbing outhouses. They never returned to the links, at least not as a group.

Posted by kshaw at 08:01 AM

Former church volunteer questions victim during trial


By Julie Manganis
Staff writer

SALEM — A 9-year-old boy was forced to answer questions from the admitted pedophile who confessed last year to molesting him, as the man's trial got underway yesterday in Salem Superior Court.

Kevin Curlew, 45, a former volunteer for the Mormon Church in Methuen, told police he has a sexual preference for prepubescent boys and warned them, "I should never be around children, period."

But yesterday, Curlew, acting as his own lawyer, stood just a few feet from the boy, now 11, trying to shake the child's credibility with jurors and suggesting the boy is lying because he cannot recall specific dates when the incidents occurred — even though Curlew has already confessed to both church officials and the police.

It's a scenario made possible after Curlew's first lawyer left the public defender's office and Curlew then decided to represent himself.

Posted by kshaw at 07:53 AM

Pervert: 'I'm not really that bad'

Belfast Telegraph

Lisa Smyth

27 May 2006
A self-confessed paedophile was today branded despicable and repulsive by an Ulster sex abuse charity after he described raping a child as an "infatuation gone wrong."

Director of Nexus Institute Gar McAtamney said comments made by former church sexton William James McKillop before he was sentenced for the sexual abuse of two young girls proves he does not appreciate the gravity of his heinous crimes.

The Co Antrim pensioner was jailed for 12 years last week after admitting two counts of rape and five of indecent assault in a prolonged campaign of abuse on his two victims, beginning when they were six and seven-years-old and spanning almost two decades.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph the night before he was sentenced, 66-year-old McKillop of Islandboy Road, Ballycastle, complained about press reports on the attacks he committed.

"The Yorkshire Ripper didn't get the write up that I did," he said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:51 AM

Statute Of Limitations On Sex Crimes One Step Closer To Being Lifted


Web Editor: Rebecca Stefansky, Associate Producer
Created: 5/27/2006 7:30:13 AM
Updated: 5/27/2006 7:31:12 AM

The state Senate has unanimously approved a proposal to eliminate the statute of limitations for sexual abuse crimes against children.

The amendment was added to the Senate version of the state budget. It was sponsored by Senator Stephen Tolman of Boston, who says sexual predators should not be allowed to hide behind a
technicality in the law.

But some victim advocates say the plan doesn't go far enough because it doesn't specifically include incest and some sex crimes against older teens.

Defense attorneys say eliminating statutes of limitations is generally a bad idea because it lets alleged victims lob allegations sometimes decades after the fact, when memories have faded and potential witnesses may be hard to track down.

Posted by kshaw at 07:49 AM

Accused priest led sexual-assault review board

The Connecticut Post


A Roman Catholic priest accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a Darien church to support a lavish lifestyle with a male lover was in charge of reviewing sexual-abuse complaints against priests in the Diocese of Bridgeport, officials confirmed Friday.

Diocese Spokesman Joseph McAleer said the Rev. Michael Jude Fay was the only priest on the 10-member Sexual Misconduct Review Board.

"He is no longer a member, given his resignation from the parish, and removal of faculties during this investigation," McAleer said. He was referring to the suspension of Fay's priestly duties during the inquest.

But members of a parishioner group dedicated to making changes in the diocese, along with a lawyer who represents dozens of people who claim they were abused by priests, said the recent allegations against Fay raise questions about the credibility of the review board.

Posted by kshaw at 07:43 AM

5 S.D. diocese sex-abuse suits freed for trial


By Mark Sauer
May 27, 2006

The first of more than 150 sexual-abuse lawsuits filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego are finally headed for trial after years of delay caused by legal challenges and a stalled mediation process.

Cases involving five former San Diego priests, in which eight men and women allege sexual abuse when they were children, were ordered to trial by a Los Angeles judge yesterday.

Barring settlement, the five cases are expected to come to light in a San Diego courtroom in the fall or next winter after a ruling by Superior Court Judge Haley J. Fromholz. He is overseeing nearly 600 sexual-abuse lawsuits filed against priests and their dioceses in Los Angeles and San Diego stemming from alleged acts dating back decades.

Fromholz ordered that trials commence in November for five Los Angeles abuse cases and was contacting San Diego court officials to see when the five San Diego cases could be scheduled and heard by a local Superior Court judge.

Hundreds of such cases have been either tried or settled across California and the nation for about $1.5 billion collectively. But cases involving San Diego and Los Angeles victims have languished as the two dioceses have pressed several legal challenges, including one that reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

Posted by kshaw at 07:41 AM

Accusers of Legionaries' founder say Vatican is too lenient, sent wrong message

Catholic Online

By Jason Lange
Catholic News Service (

MEXICO CITY – Men who say the founder of the Legionaries of Christ sexually abused them when they were teenagers criticized the Vatican for what they see as its leniency toward their former mentor.

The Vatican recently asked 86-year-old Father Marcial Maciel Degollado not to exercise his priestly ministry publicly after investigating the claims made by nine former Legionary seminarians. At the same time, the Vatican said it would not begin a canonical process against Father Maciel because of his advanced age and poor health.

The Vatican said it decided to "call the priest to a life reserved to prayer and penance," but Father Maciel's accusers were pressing for a formal acknowledgment of his guilt, a conclusion that could only have come through a canonical process.

"That the church lets him off and invites him to meditate, that is not a legal process," said Jose Barba Marti, who said Father Maciel sexually abused him at the age of 16 in Rome.

Barba told Catholic News Service that the decision not to put Father Maciel on canonical trial – and subsequently defrock him – sends a dangerous message to other priests that "this isn't that serious."

Posted by kshaw at 07:38 AM

Residential schools are closed, but memories linger on healing day

CBC News

Last updated May 26 2006 04:18 PM MDT
CBC News
It has taken nearly fifty years for Muriel Betsina to gain self-confidence after the physical and emotional abuse she recalls at the native residential school she attended.

There are still parts of her past she struggles with. "I didn't know what love is. I didn't know how to kiss my children, I didn't know," she told CBC News.

Events included a gathering of elders at the Nisga?a Valley Health Authority in Aiyansh, B.C.; an all-day commemorative walk from Blue Quills Residential School to Saddle Lake Healing Lodge in the St. Paul, Alta., area; and a social tea at BTC Indian Health Services in North Battleford, Sask., among many others.

Posted by kshaw at 03:22 AM

City parish holds Novena to promote healing


NEW BEDFORD — Our Lady of Fatima Parish, 4256 Acushnet Ave., is currently holding a "Novena to the Holy Spirit: A Journey of Prayer for the Repentance and Healing of the Church."
The Novena acknowledges in a particular way the sins of clergy sexual abuse.
The Novena will be offered at 7 p.m. daily through Friday, June 2, and will conclude at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 3 with the Vigil Mass of the Pentecost.
All people are invited to join them as they call upon the Holy Spirit to assist them as they work to bind up the wounds of abuse and restore the faith of their community.
These prayer services offer an opportunity to pray together for healing and renewal of the Catholic Church — not only rocked by scandal, but also facing new challenges in the infancy of the 21st century.

Posted by kshaw at 03:19 AM

Senate removes deadline to prosecute child sex abuse crimes

Milford Daily News

By Steve LeBlanc
Saturday, May 27, 2006

BOSTON -- A plan to lift the statute of limitations on criminal child sex abuse cases -- further fallout from the clergy sex abuse scandal -- won the unanimous backing of the Massachusetts Senate this week, but not everyone is cheering.

Some victim advocates say the plan doesn't go far enough because it doesn't specifically include incest and some sex crimes against older teens.

And defense attorneys say eliminating statutes of limitations is generally a bad idea because it lets alleged victims lob allegations sometimes decades after the fact, when memories have faded and potential witnesses may be hard to track down.

Sen. Steven Tolman, the sponsor of the budget amendment, said the crime of child sexual abuse is so heinous, the change is justified.

"Too many of these predators have been able to hide behind the veil of a technicality," said Tolman, D-Boston. "There should be no leeway for that type of crime."

Posted by kshaw at 03:17 AM

FLDS town's mayor arrested

The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune

Colorado City, Ariz., Mayor Terrill C. Johnson was arrested on eight fraudulent vehicle registration charges Friday afternoon during a town council meeting.
The mayor of the Arizona town was taken into custody by deputies from Washington County, Utah, and the Colorado City town marshal's office - his own police force - on a warrant issued by Utah Judge James L. Shumate on April 13. ...
The town and the adjoining city of Hildale are home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a sect that practices polygamy. Church leader Warren S. Jeffs is wanted on sex crimes charges in Utah and Arizona for his role in arranging underage marriages. He made the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list three weeks ago.
The towns' marshal's office has been under fire by authorities about its willingness to carry out their duties when it involved members of the FLDS church. Johnson and Barlow are members of the FLDS church. Johnson has served as mayor of Colorado City since March. He took over as mayor after Richard Allred unexpectedly resigned from the post, with little notice or explanation. Ex-FLDS members in the community say they later learned Allred had been ousted from the faith.

Posted by kshaw at 03:14 AM

4 Homes Raided in Polygamist Enclave

Los Angeles Times

By David Kelly, Times Staff Writer
May 27, 2006

Law enforcement agents in Arizona investigating charges of underage marriage and sexual abuse raided four houses simultaneously in Colorado City, a polygamist enclave on the Arizona-Utah border.

Investigators, in the unusual show of force, seized boxes of records and personal belongings of members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have been indicted on a variety of charges, including sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy. Eight men are expected to stand trial in July.

The synchronized raids by four teams of law officers came Thursday, in the wake of increased public attention to allegations of mistreatment of women and children by members of the religious sect.

A series of Times reports two weeks ago detailed more than 50 years of slow and ineffective response by law enforcement and other public safety agencies in the face of widespread reports of abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 03:11 AM

Teacher broke no law with strip card game


Associated Press

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - A Christian school teacher who played a version of strip poker during a camping trip with pupils broke no law, but the principal who may have delayed reporting the incident to police has been cited.

Lake City Junior Academy Principal Twila Brown was given a misdemeanor citation Tuesday under a state law requiring school officials to report suspected child abuse or neglect within 24 hours.

A parent complained that Brown was told that teacher Andy Armstrong, 42, played a game of "dirty Hearts" with five fifth- and sixth-grade pupils during a school-sponsored camping trip in April, but didn't notify parents or police for nearly a week.

Armstrong, a physical education and science teacher from Coeur d'Alene, was immediately suspended from the private Christian school and later fired.

Posted by kshaw at 03:09 AM

Only weak faith can be shattered by fiction

Lahontan Valley News

By John DiMambro

Author Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" has become the Last Supper of the Catholic faith to some, the crucifixion of the New Testament to others, and yet the resurrection of quick-read, pulsating, compelling fiction to most. Some Catholics think that the book will prove to be the Sermon on the Mount turned upside down with feet in heaven, but head in hell.

It's so easy for many people to confuse being faithful with being religious. To me, having faith is simply believing in your chosen religion. I am also of the opinion that having an abundance of faith is not ensured by how many times you practice your religion. I believe it is how you live your life that is the pure practice of religion. Let me put it this way: I've met many people who have faith in God, but they seldom, if ever, attend Mass. Yet they treat people lovingly and live their lives with much gratitude. ...

Twenty-five years ago, my belief in all priests being the carriers of the Word of God was unconditional. Childlike in my confidence, I would have thought someone to be blasphemous had they thought otherwise. Then came the charges against Cardinal Bernard Law - the archbishop of the Boston archdiocese - in 2002. The diocese that for years schemed a cover-up of their sexual abuse, but then paid the devil with a sinfully high $150 million in legal settlements in the past three years for just the Boston archdiocese (no small wonder why they reported a deficit of $46.3 million for 2004 and 2005).

That's only one - get that? - one of 195 dioceses in the United States, which includes 146 Latin Catholic Dioceses, two Eastern Catholic Archdioceses and 15 Eastern Catholic Dioceses.

Posted by kshaw at 03:03 AM

Pastor Accused Of Capital Sexual Battery Released On Bond


POSTED: 4:27 pm EDT May 26, 2006
UPDATED: 7:20 pm EDT May 26, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The pastor accused of sexually abusing girls more than 30 years ago at a Westside church posted bond Friday.

Eighty-year-old Bob Gray, the former pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, was arrested and charged with capital sexual battery last week when two women came forward, saying Gray molested them while they were children attending a school associated with the church.

Gray appeared in court Friday morning for a hearing. He entered the courtroom using the aide of a walking cane.

Gray's age and physical health were two reasons his lawyer Hank Coxe suggested the judge set bond for the pastor. Coxe also argued that because Gray gave up his passport, the pastor would not be able to leave the country, and that the man was not a threat to the community.

"Each of these alleged allegations were 25-plus years ago, and the fact that Dr. Gray is now 80 years old -- so, I don't think any one can suggest that he's a danger," Coxe told the judge.

Posted by kshaw at 02:56 AM

News update

The Arizona Republic

May. 26, 2006 12:00 AM

Defense attorneys for suspended Monsignor Dale Fushek filed a motion Thursday to continue his scheduled June 2 trial on misdemeanor sex charges.

Attorney Thomas Hoidal wrote in his motion that he plans to challenge a ruling by San Tan Justice of the Peace Sam Goodman that denied Fushek a jury trial on all but an indecent-exposure charge.

Posted by kshaw at 02:53 AM

Fushek to appeal denial of jury trial

The Arizona Republic

Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
May. 27, 2006 12:00 AM

A defense attorney says he plans Tuesday to ask a higher court judge to order a Gilbert JP to hold a jury trial on all seven misdemeanor sex charges against a suspended Mesa priest, Monsignor Dale Fushek.

Attorney Thomas Hoidal said his petition for special action will be filed in Maricopa County Superior Court in reaction to rulings this week by San Tan Justice of the Peace Sam Goodman.

"The defendant will ask for a stay to allow the Superior Court to consider these issues before trial," Hoidal said. advertisement

Hoidal also has asked Goodman to delay Fushek's trial, scheduled for Friday while the special action is pending, saying the defense has not interviewed all witnesses and more time is needed for trial preparation.

Posted by kshaw at 02:50 AM

May 26, 2006

Clergy victims angered by handling of case


Associated Press
BOSTON - For victims of clergy sexual abuse, the Boston Archdiocese's initial handling of sexual harassment allegations against its top health care executive had a familiar ring: multiple allegations, minimal consequence and secrecy.

"There are extraordinary and painful parallels," said David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Dr. Robert Haddad, president and CEO of the Caritas Christi Health Care System, resigned early Thursday amid allegations he harassed more than a dozen female employees by subjecting them to unwanted hugs and kisses.

His forced departure comes a week after a private reprimand from Cardinal Sean O'Malley. After learning of four allegations, the Caritas board supported the reprimand and ordered Haddad to take sexual harassment sensitivity training.

Posted by kshaw at 07:13 PM

Turmoil at St. John's

Darien News


Parochial Vicar: Bookkeeper and I Secretly Hired Private Eye
The longtime pastor of St. John's Roman Catholic Church resigned last week at the request of the Diocese of Bridgeport, which alleged he stole exorbitant sums of money from the church. The Rev. Michael Jude Fay stepped down last week after a meeting with Bishop William Lori, who asked for Fay's resignation. The move came after the church's parochial vicar, the Rev. Michael Madden, and parish bookkeeper Bethany Derario used personal funds to hire a private investigator to probe Fay's alleged wrongdoing.

On Tuesday, Madden admitted hiring the investigator Vito Colucci Jr., who reportedly documented at least $200,000 in church money was used to pay for trips, dinners at upscale restaurants and limousine rides that Fay took as part of a relationship with another man. Bishop William Lori had appointed Madden acting administrator of St. John's after Fay resigned, but after Madden's admission to parishioners at a Tuesday morning Mass, the bishop said Madden asked to relinquish the role, and Madden is expected to take a sabbatical in the near future.

Lori has made several appearances at St. John's since Fay's resignation became public. Lori asked the priest to step down after a diocesan investigation found some of the church's bills had not been paid, along with other financial problems, spokesman Joseph McAleer said. During a Mass at St. John's on Sunday, Lori said he is "deeply sorry" the parish will have to undergo such "a severe test" in light of Fay's actions. "It is precisely in these moments of tension, disappointment, anger and sadness that the quality and capacity of our love is tested," Lori said during his homily.

Posted by kshaw at 07:07 PM

Orange County woman offers insight into priest abuse settlements


The Associated Press


Two years after mediators put a $1.6 million price on her pain, Joelle Casteix said she wasn't surprised to learn that Denver Catholic officials offered private mediation to people who say they were sexually abused by priests.

Casteix was one of 90 plaintiffs who settled with the Orange County, Calif., diocese in 2004 for a total of $100 million. She said she had been sexually assaulted by a teacher when she was a student in a Catholic high school.

But Casteix said more important than the money were the church documents she got in the settlement, which she said show the diocese knew about the abuse and did nothing to stop it.

"I didn't care about the financial part," Casteix said. With the documents in her possession, "the church can't touch me now. The church can't say that I'm crazy."

Posted by kshaw at 07:04 PM

Senate plan would end time limits on child sex abuse cases


BOSTON -- A plan to lift the statute of limitations on criminal child sex abuse cases _ further fallout from the clergy sex abuse scandal _ won the unanimous backing of the Massachusetts Senate this week, but not everyone is cheering.

Some victim advocates say the plan doesn't go far enough because it doesn't specifically include incest and some sex crimes against older teens.

And defense attorneys say eliminating statutes of limitations is generally a bad idea because it lets alleged victims lob allegations sometimes decades after the fact, when memories have faded and potential witnesses may be hard to track down.

Posted by kshaw at 06:58 PM

Senate votes to lift time limit for filing sexual abuse charge

YNet News

Yael Eftar

Yaakov Ner-David, who founded the Bayit Chadash community six years ago in Jaffa, said of co-founder and suspected sexual offender Rabbi Mordechai Gafni, “For years we supported him despite the allegations, but know we know the truth. This was a blow to many people.”

Last week it was reported that three young Israeli women in their twenties filed a complaint with Haifa police against Gafni, claiming he sexually harassed them during Torah lessons conducted at his Jaffa center. Gafni fled the country for the US following the report, but left a letter in which he apologized to the women and his followers.

Two American women later came fourth claiming they too had been abused by Gafni, who now stands accused of rape and sexual misconduct, when they were still minors.

Bayit Chadash Director Or Zohar said, “I protected Gafni and forgave him for verbally assaulting and manipulating me, because I thought to myself that although he is not perfect he does do good in this world.

Posted by kshaw at 04:01 PM

Senate votes to lift time limit for filing sexual abuse charge

Boston Globe

By Ralph Ranalli and Russell Nichols, Globe Staff | May 26, 2006

The Senate unanimously passed an amendment yesterday to eliminate the statute of limitations in criminal cases involving sexual abuse of children, a measure advocates for abuse victims have sought for years.

The measure, opposed by defense lawyers and civil libertarians, gained momentum following the clergy sexual abuse scandal. Hundreds of victims came forward in civil lawsuits, but only a handful of priests were prosecuted because many cases were too old.

Senator Steven A. Tolman, the Brighton Democrat who sponsored the amendment, said the time had come for sexual predators to stop hiding behind ``a technicality."

``The sexual abuse of children is one of the most heinous crimes brought before our judicial system," Tolman said yesterday in a telephone interview. ``Those obstacles must be eliminated to protect the welfare of our children."

Senator Cynthia Stone Creem, a Newton Democrat, said the nature of child sexual abuse -- a crime in which victims are often too ashamed to come forward and are intimidated into silence by their abusers -- makes it different from other crimes.

Posted by kshaw at 03:51 PM

Suit accuses former Rockford-area priest of sex abuse

Rockford Register Star


A lawsuit filed Wednesday in Wheaton accuses a Catholic priest who formerly served in a parish in the tiny village of Lee, about 35 miles south of Rockford, of sexually abusing a 10-year-old altar boy at a church in the Diocese of Joliet.

Tim Shanahan, the plaintiff in the civil suit, alleges that the Rev. William Virtue repeatedly molested him at St. Mary’s Church in Mokena in the early 1980s. The suit accuses the Joliet diocese of harboring an abusive priest.

Shanahan’s brother, Dan, has filed a similar suit against the Joliet diocese alleging that he was abused by another priest, the Rev. James Burnett, at the same parish.

Posted by kshaw at 09:02 AM

DPP not to charge accused Sligo priest

Irish Examiner

A Sligo parish priest said he was looking forward to resuming his duties after being targeted by what he claimed was an untrue allegation of abuse.

Canon Niall Ahern stepped down as parish priest of Strandhill last February at the request of his bishop but has now been informed that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has decided not to take a prosecution.

He said he was relieved that this harrowing time was over.

“While the truth was being independently and categorically determined I stood aside from ministry. This is now concluded and I greatly look forward to resuming my work in the parish.”

The allegation of abuse dated back to the late 1970s. Gardaí in Sligo confirmed the DPP had informed them yesterday of the decision not to take a prosecution in the case.

Posted by kshaw at 08:59 AM

Cardinal arrives tomorrow at parish rocked by abuse scandal

Salem News

By Jill Harmacinski
Staff writer

MIDDLETON — The Rev. Michael Hobson remembers the stranger-danger classes of his youth, lessons in which a child molester was described as a dirty man, unshaven, lurking in the bushes at night, planning his next attack on an unsuspecting boy or girl.

No one ever suggested the molester might be the parish priest — or, as in the case of St. Agnes Church, the parish youth director.

But now Hobson, 43, finds himself pastor of a church that has endured shock, bitter heartache and scandal since Christopher Reardon, St. Agnes' youth director and a Middleton Boy Scout leader, was arrested six years ago for raping and molesting more than 20 local boys, many of them right in the church rectory.

Posted by kshaw at 08:58 AM

Clergy scandal is still with us

Belleville News-Democrat

Some lessons are being taught by local Catholic leaders about morals, leadership and tolerance through the case of the Rev. Real Bourque.

Our interpretation of these lessons is that the church has yet to learn the lessons of the clergy sex abuse scandal.

Here we sit in a community that saw 15 priests defrocked. Our experiences with victimization, denial and disregarded responsibilities helped forge the national zero-tolerance policy adopted in 2002 under the leadership of our former Bishop Wilton Gregory.

Yet is all this collective suffering, soul searching and wisdom brought to bear on the Bourque case? No.

Bourque admits he is a child molester. But because he is a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, not a parish priest, he is not covered by the sex abuse policy.

Posted by kshaw at 06:41 AM

Priest fired after sexual misconduct incident

Sonoma News

By Emily Setzer INDEX-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER Thursday, May 25, 2006 8:25 PM PDT

05.26.06 - Parishioners at St. Francis Solano Catholic Church were surprised and shocked Sunday when they heard the Rev. Xavier Ochoa had admitted to a single incident of sexual misconduct with a boy.

The Rev. Michael Kelly read a letter from Bishop Daniel Walsh to the parishioners, stating that Ochoa, 67, had been removed from priestly duties after voluntarily informing the bishop of the incident. Following diocesan policy, the diocese removed Ochoa from his priestly duties as parochial vicar and from his canonical faculties and told civil authorities.

Posted by kshaw at 06:37 AM

Many victims will not attend

Salem News

By Tom Dalton
Staff writer

SALEM — Jamie Hogan will not be attending Mass tomorrow at St. Agnes Church in Middleton.

The former Salem man who filed a 2002 lawsuit alleging years of abuse by the late Rev. Joseph Birmingham, a serial child abuser who served at Salem's St. James parish, does not live in Massachusetts anymore. But even if he did, Hogan said he would not be at Cardinal Sean O'Malley's pilgrimage of repentance.

"I can't go in a church and look a (priest) in the face with all the evil that was there," he said yesterday in a telephone interview. "... This Mass doesn't mean anything to me. It's like throwing a cup of water on a 2-million-acre forest fire. It's a little late."

It's impossible to know how many victims will attend any of the nine Masses O'Malley will say around the archdiocese over the next week to publicly acknowledge the "sins and crimes" of the Catholic church in the priest sex abuse scandal. Some, like Bernie McDaid of Peabody, another Birmingham victim, have agreed to participate, but even he has serious misgivings.

Posted by kshaw at 06:35 AM

Lawyers may see files used in priest's conviction

Chicago Tribune

Published May 26, 2006

The criminal files used to convict Rev. Frederick A. Lenczycki, a Roman Catholic priest, of child molestation in 2004 can be reviewed by defense attorneys and by prosecutors who are trying to have him declared a sexually violent person.

DuPage County Judge Edward Duncan ruled Thursday that the files, including grand jury transcripts, cannot be made public, but can be reviewed by the Illinois attorney general's office and defense attorneys involved in the civil case.

Lenczycki, 61, was convicted in 2004 of abusing three boys while serving at St. Isaac Jogues Church in Hinsdale in 1984. He was to be released from prison in April but was ordered to remain in a mental health treatment facility until a hearing on the state's allegations.

Lenczycki is the first priest the state has attempted to commit under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act. Under the act, the state can force a sex offender to stay in a mental treatment facility if it can prove the person is likely to commit another sex crime once freed.

Posted by kshaw at 06:33 AM

Strandhill priest will not be prosecuted

RTE News

26 May 2006 12:05
The parish priest of Strandhill in Co Sligo will not be prosecuted following a garda investigation into an allegation of abuse.

Canon Niall Ahern stood aside from his ministry in Strandhill in February this year while gardaí investigated the allegation which the priest had denied.

It has now emerged that the DPP has decided not to proceed with a prosecution against Fr Ahern.

Posted by kshaw at 06:31 AM

Group asks Madigan's help to move priest

Belleville News-Democrat


BELLEVILLE - News-Democrat Discouraged by what they say is Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton's failure to control a priest who admits he molested children, a national group has asked Attorney General Lisa Madigan to intercede.

But a spokesman for Madigan's office responded Thursday that it is local state's attorney's offices that have jurisdiction in criminal matters, and not the attorney general.

The spokesman, Melissa Merz, would not respond to whether Madigan would use her political influence, as the group requested, to recommend that two priests be sent to a secure treatment center for pedophiles. They are the Rev. Real Bourque, 78, of Belleville, and the Rev. Daniel McCormack, 37, of Chicago,

A three-page letter faxed Thursday to the attorney general's office from the St. Louis-based Survivor's Network of Those Abused by Priests, asked Madigan to use her "bully pulpit" or public position to speak out about the priests.

Posted by kshaw at 06:30 AM

Rabbi Gafni Ousted for Misconduct

The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles

Mordechai Gafni, 46, a rabbi whose charisma and brilliance dazzled students and large audiences in spiritual renewal communities in Israel and America, even as he dodged rumors and accusations about improper sexual behavior for more than 25 years, has been dismissed by the leadership of Bayit Chadash in Israel, a Tel Aviv-based prayer and study group he co-founded and where he served as teacher and religious guide.

Gafni also has had a large following in Los Angeles, where he frequently preached and served as a scholar-in-residence at the Stephen S. Wise Temple. During one such stay, 1,000 people came to hear him even on the second day of Rosh Hashanah — traditionally a low-attendance day at Reform congregations — and hundreds more came to evening lectures during the week.

Gafni’s dismissal came last week after four women, including students of his and a staff member, filed complaints of sexual misconduct against Gafni with the police in Israel.

Posted by kshaw at 06:26 AM

Archdiocese Hospital Chief Quits After Harassment Accusations

The New York Times

Published: May 26, 2006
BOSTON, May 25 — The top official of the Archdiocese of Boston's hospital system resigned under pressure early Thursday morning after at least six women accused him of sexual harassment.

The official, Dr. Robert M. Haddad, stepped down as the head of Caritas Christi Health Care Systems, the second-largest health care provider in New England, after its board voted to fire him. He will receive 10 months' severance pay, or $830,000, and benefits.

Dr. Haddad's resigned after days of criticism of Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, who has led the Roman Catholic archdiocese's effort to deal with the scandal of sexual abuse by priests.

Initially, after reviewing the accusations of harassment, Cardinal O'Malley recommended that Dr. Haddad keep his job but be reprimanded and take sensitivity training. The systems' board adopted that recommendation last week.

Posted by kshaw at 06:24 AM

Records Sought in Abuse Lawsuit

Los Angeles Times

By Jennifer Delson, Times Staff Writer
May 25, 2006

A former student who sued Mater Dei High School alleging she was sexually abused by a coach is pressing school officials in Santa Ana to turn over the records of faculty members accused of similar behavior in the mid-1990s.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Jonathan H. Cannon is expected to rule today on whether the Roman Catholic high school must release the information.

John Manly, the accuser's attorney, said disclosure was needed to determine how school officials handled any allegations of sexual abuse by faculty during his client's four years at Mater Dei.

"The important thing is to learn how many perpetrators are at Mater Dei, who they are and how has the school handled complaints," Manly said.

Posted by kshaw at 06:20 AM

Ignominious outcome

Boston Globe

By Brian McGrory, Globe columnist | May 26, 2006

If Robert Haddad gets a near-million-dollar payout from the Boston Archdiocese after being a serial harasser and unmitigated boor, how much more might he have earned for being an exhibitionist or something worse?

If he committed an actual felony, would he have gotten the full $3 million he initially sought from the Caritas board?

You could just about fill an airplane hangar with all his female subordinates who say that Haddad, ousted president of the Catholic healthcare system, groped them, kissed them on the mouth, called them at home to ask inappropriate questions. And that's his big sanction: 10 months of his already bloated pay, more money than most normal people will make in 20 years of work.

Where, it might be time to ask, is the sense in that?

The lawyers, of course, give their stock lawyerly replies. They say these cases are complicated, that sexual harassment allegations inevitably end up as he-said, she-said kind of deals, that hours of depositions would have to be taken, that victims are made to feel uncomfortable, that court time adds up, that the outcome is always at risk.

Posted by kshaw at 06:18 AM

A seasoned leader assumes the helm

Boston Globe

May 26, 2006

Dr. John B. Chessare, president of Caritas Norwood Hospital and a patient safety specialist, was appointed yesterday as interim president and chief executive of Caritas Christi Health Care System, replacing Dr. Robert Haddad, the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston announced.

Chessare, 54, who is also senior vice president for quality and patient safety with Caritas, joined the hospital system a year ago, when he left his job as a senior vice president and chief medical officer at Boston Medical Center. At the time, his colleagues expressed surprise that he would leave for a job running a small community hospital.

``My dream has been to run my own place," he said at the time. ``A lot of people think I'm crazy. Colleagues have asked why I'm doing this, since I love academic medicine. But Caritas is giving me a chance."

Posted by kshaw at 06:16 AM

Caritas head ran out of options

Boston Globe

By Walter V. Robinson, Globe Staff | May 26, 2006

After four hours parked away in a secretary's office with just water, soda, and two glum advisers, Dr. Robert M. Haddad finally got the inevitable ultimatum. At 12:30 a.m. yesterday, Thomas H. Hannigan, the cardinal's principal legal adviser, pulled Haddad's lawyer out of the room and laid out Haddad's limited options: It was jump or be pushed.

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and the Caritas Christi Health Care System board had voted to fire the Caritas president for serial sexual harassment, but left him the choice of resigning with 10 months' severance pay, about $830,000, and agreeing not to sue the archdiocese.

Haddad huddled with his lawyer, Donald W. Schroeder, and his spokeswoman, Nancy Sterling, and then called his wife, Margaret, to discuss his choices.

Now he was ready to resign, but he wanted the official announcement not to mention that he would have been fired otherwise. The church lawyers said no.

Posted by kshaw at 06:14 AM

Chaput's clarifying action

Rocky Mountain News

Whatever comes of Archbishop Charles Chaput's offer this week of independent mediation to settle claims against the church of sexual abuse, it at least is helping to clarify the interests of the plaintiff attorneys.

No sooner had Chaput announced his offer than Jeffrey Anderson, a Minnesota lawyer representing a number of litigants, dipped his brush into the ever-handy tar pot.

"This action by the archdiocese to make public this initiative is simply an attempt to avoid having to answer questions in open court on what he (Chaput) knows and what he's done to protect known pedophiles," Anderson said.

Never mind that all allegations reach back at least 27 years, that one of the two suspected priests left Colorado more than 30 years ago and died before Chaput even landed in Denver, and that the other had already retired. Anderson airily accuses the archbishop of protecting "known pedophiles" as if it were common knowledge that this is what he does.

Posted by kshaw at 06:11 AM

Police probing sex abuse raid Colorado City homes

The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams and Mark Havnes
The Salt Lake Tribune

COLORADO CITY, Ariz. - It is already being called the "mini-raid."
Early Thursday, a swarm of Arizona law enforcement officers descended on Colorado City armed with search warrants to gather evidence for ongoing investigations of sexual abuse.
The Mohave County Sheriff's Office said 16 deputies, detectives and an investigator participated in a simultaneous search of four homes. Colorado City and the adjoining city of Hildale, Utah, are home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a sect that practices plural marriage.
Based on homes the deputies visited, the search appears connected to the cases of eight men charged with sex crimes related to "spiritual" marriages to underage girls.

Posted by kshaw at 06:07 AM

Hospital crisis has some doubting O'Malley's leadership

Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff | May 26, 2006

The brief era of good feelings, it appears, is over.

For the past six weeks, Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley had been on a bit of a roll, enjoying the first sustained run of good will since he arrived in Boston to great hope amid deep crisis in the summer of 2003.

But this week, O'Malley confronted yet another tsunami of controversy that threatens to swamp his effort to rebuild the Catholic Church of Boston. Once again, the archbishop of Boston found his leadership, his credibility, and his judgment being questioned.

The contretemps over O'Malley's initial decision to reprimand but not fire the president of the Caritas Christi Health Care System after multiple allegations of sexual harassment is the latest in a series of controversies that have severely damaged O'Malley's reputation as a healer and fixer of troubled dioceses, and now some prominent Catholics are wondering whether the Franciscan Capuchin friar has the administrative skills and decisive temperament to oversee the complex and troubled Archdiocese of Boston.

Posted by kshaw at 06:05 AM

Ministers trained to detect, report child abuse


By DIONNE WALKER / Associated Press

The case study was grim: Congregants ministering door-to-door had discovered "Kate," an 8-year-old girl covered in bruises and left home alone.

The Rev. Rob Hoskins, a United Methodist pastor, had a decision to make. Should he notify child protection authorities? Was the girl a victim of neglect?

The seminary never covered lessons like these. But now it's part of the training for Methodist clergy in Virginia.

The denomination's Virginia Conference has made its pastors "mandated reporters" to help protect children. But some worry that clergy with little expertise in identifying child abuse will make baseless claims.

Virginia Methodist leaders will spend the next several months holding three-hour training courses, like the one Hoskins and about 60 other pastors from western Virginia attended recently in a dim, Harrisonburg church.

Posted by kshaw at 05:59 AM

What the media missed in the sexual-abuse scandal: Part II

The Tidings

By Patrick J. Schiltz

Twenty-fourth in a series; second of three parts.

Plaintiffs' attorneys and victim advocates do not deny that reports of abuse have fallen dramatically. What they have argued --- on the rare occasions when a reporter has bothered to ask them about this --- is that just because reports of recent abuse are rare, it does not mean that recent abuse is rare. Rather, they say, it takes victims a long time to report abuse. The abuse occurring today, they assure us, will be reported a few years from now. This is nonsense, for at least four reasons:

First, victims are different. Some do indeed wait for years to report their abuse, but some do not. When I practiced law, I worked on hundreds of cases in which abuse had been reported promptly. If abuse is continuing unabated, then some recent abuse should be getting reported. But almost none is.

Second, the climate for victims is dramatically different from the climate ten or fifteen years ago. Victims are believed today, and much support is available to them. It is easier, not harder, for victims to come forward. The result should be more victims reporting recent abuse than in the past. Again, almost no recent abuse is being reported.

Third, one reason why a pastor could get away with abusing dozens of children in the past is that those who had evidence of such abuse --- such as congregants or victims' parents --- simply could not believe that a pastor could commit such conduct. Needless to say, no one is laboring under that illusion today. Congregants and parents are, if anything, hyper-alert to indications that their pastor is committing abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 05:57 AM

Mater Dei Must Reveal Names in Abuse Cases

Los Angeles Times

By H.G. Reza, Times Staff Writer
May 26, 2006

Mater Dei High School officials must release the names of faculty and students involved in abuse allegations during a nine-year period ending in 1997, a judge ruled Thursday.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed last year by a former student who alleges a coach at Mater Dei, a Roman Catholic school in Santa Ana, sexually abused her.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Jonathan H. Cannon limited the release of the student names to the lawyers involved in the case and ordered that their names remain secret. He asked lawyers for each side to agree on an independent third party to contact the alleged victims to ask if they would be willing to be interviewed by the attorneys.

Attorneys for the former student, called Jane C.R. Doe in legal papers, said the names were needed to determine how school officials handled allegations of sexual abuse.

Posted by kshaw at 05:54 AM

Vatican: Legionaries' founder cannot exercise ministry publicly

The Tidings

By Cindy Wooden

In a decision approved by Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican has said the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, accused of sexually abusing minors, should not exercise his priestly ministry publicly.

The Vatican also said May 19 it would not begin a canonical process against the founder, 86-year-old Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, because of his advanced age and poor health.

The Vatican statement did not get into details about the allegations against Father Maciel, but Vatican sources said the wording of the statement and its call to penance signaled it had found there was substance to the accusations.

In the statement, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the Vatican had investigated the claims made by former Legionary seminarians against Father Maciel, who founded the Legionaries in his native Mexico in 1941.

Posted by kshaw at 05:48 AM

CLAYTON, CA: Priest Can't Escape History Of Sexual Misconduct

Virtue Online

By Dan Noyes

May 25 - KGO-TV - A priest's history of sexual misconduct is coming back to haunt him. This is not a Catholic priest, but an Episcopal priest who had sex with members of his own flock and at least one young girl, while he was married.

This story is different than the Catholic priests we've exposed over the years. These aren't just accusations -- this Episcopal priest admits having sex with an underage girl in the 1970's. So, why didn't the bishop ever take action?

A word of caution -- we're being careful in our wording, but some of the descriptions from the victims are graphic.

John Bennison has been the pastor at Saint John's Episcopal Church in Clayton for 25 years, but it's his sexual misconduct during two previous jobs that's now sparking demonstrations from the survivors network of those abused by priests.

Joey Piscatelli, clergy abuse activist: "Right now, we want him removed from ministry. I think the Episcopal church is being irresponsible, by leaving him in ministry, I think they're rolling dice with the safety of kids."

Posted by kshaw at 05:37 AM

Diocese to Sell Headquarters to Help Settle Abuse Claims

The New York Times

Published: May 26, 2006
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Wash., is selling its headquarters and other property valued at about $11 million as part of its effort to settle claims by victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy.

The diocese is one of three in the country that have filed for bankruptcy; the others are those in Portland, Ore., and Tucson.

Although the Spokane diocese announced its intention to sell diocesan assets when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2004, the fact that those assets are now going on the market underscores the financial strain many dioceses face as they address hundreds of millions of dollars in claims by victims of sexual abuse.

"I think it is symbolically significant," said the Rev. John J. Coughlin, a Franciscan priest and a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, specializing in civil and canon law. "The diocese doesn't need the physical building to exist. But the sale shows that the effects of the sex abuse crisis are serious, for this and other dioceses as well."

Posted by kshaw at 05:33 AM

Church officials ask for God's forgiveness

Press of Atlantic City

By MARK PRATT, Associated Press Writer
Published: Friday, May 26, 2006
Updated: Friday, May 26, 2006

BOSTON (AP) - Cardinal Sean O'Malley and about two dozen bishops and priests prostrated themselves on the altar of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Thursday to ask forgiveness from God for the damage done by the Roman Catholic Church's clergy sex abuse scandal.

It was the first of 10 Masses or prayer services scheduled for the next week and a half across the Boston Archdiocese to offer prayers and to apologize to victims for the priests and church workers who hurt children.

"We come together in this pilgrimage overwhelmed by the sadness and pain sexual abuse has caused our church," O'Malley said during the Mass.

"We are sorry that this pain was hidden and the sins were not exposed," he said. "So much suffering was caused by the actions and inactions of bishops and priests."

For about a dozen victims of abuse and their supporters who protested outside the cathedral, prayers, Novenas and the Litany of Repentance were not enough.

"It's empty words as far as I am concerned," said Susan Renehan of Southbridge, who said she was sexually abused by a priest over a three-year period while a child living in New Jersey. "I don't want to hear words of repentance. I want to see actions that define that repentance."

Posted by kshaw at 05:29 AM

Extend offer to all victims

Denver Post

Denver Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput's decision to offer 30 victims molested by priests a mediated settlement is a smart business move. The archdiocese has extensive exposure should these cases go into the court system, where juries can deliver multimillion-dollar verdicts.

We welcome Chaput's gesture toward settling these difficult and emotional cases. The archbishop seeks to spare his church flock and the general public a rehash of the wrenching details that could emerge at trial about priests sexually abusing children. It also protects at least one accused priest and the archbishop himself from the humiliation of a trial, and the church from allegations that it covered up the abuses by transferring priests from one parish to another.

We would like to see Chaput go further, extending his offer to others who until now may have been too fearful and ashamed to come forward. According to the proposal announced Wednesday, the offer is a "goodwill effort to resolve current claims" and not open to victims who have not filed suits.

Posted by kshaw at 05:24 AM

Cardinal O'Malley begins pilgrimage of "repentance and hope"


BOSTON Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley has begun what he calls a pilgrimage of "repentance and hope" to parishes with especially painful histories of clergy sex abuse.

He says the services will acknowledge the sins of clergy sexual abuse that violated the innocence of children, which he calls an offense against God.

O'Malley began his Novena to the Holy Spirit Thursday with a Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. O'Malley and other priests lay prostrate on the altar as a Litany of Repentance was sung.

Outside the cathedral, about a dozen protesters said prayers are not enough and the cardinal needs to take more action.

Posted by kshaw at 05:20 AM

Clergy victims troubled by O'Malley actions

Rutland Herald

May 26, 2006

By DENISE LAVOIE The Associated Press

BOSTON — For victims of clergy sexual abuse, the Boston Archdiocese's initial handling of sexual harassment allegations against its top health care executive had a familiar ring: multiple allegations, minimal consequence and secrecy.

"There are extraordinary and painful parallels," said David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Dr. Robert Haddad, president and CEO of the Caritas Christi Health Care System, resigned early Thursday amid allegations he harassed more than a dozen female employees by subjecting them to unwanted hugs and kisses.

His forced departure comes a week after a private reprimand from Cardinal Sean O'Malley. After learning of four allegations, the Caritas board supported the reprimand and ordered Haddad to take sexual harassment sensitivity training.

But after The Boston Globe made public the allegations and O'Malley's reprimand Sunday, at least 10 more women made similar allegations against Haddad. O'Malley then called another meeting of the Caritas board of governors, which met into the early morning hours Thursday.

Posted by kshaw at 05:18 AM

O'Malley asks forgiveness for church sins

Boston Globe

By Charles A. Radin, Globe Staff | May 26, 2006

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and 22 priests of the Archdiocese of Boston prostrated themselves on the altar of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross last night and asked forgiveness for the sins of the Catholic Church after hearing a survivor of clergy sexual abuse speak of his suffering.

In the first of 10 Masses and prayer services planned by O'Malley in an attempt to heal his scandal-plagued archdiocese, Olan Horne told the priests and 140 others in the cavernous cathedral: ``I was not a weekend Catholic. The church was the centerpiece of our lives. When I came forward, there was shame, there was fear, there was confusion.

``I spent a lot of time in therapy," he said. ``I try to make sense of it. It parallels what goes on in the church."

Posted by kshaw at 05:15 AM

Oregon priest-abuse trials will start in fall

The Seattle Times

By The Associated Press

PORTLAND — A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a priest-abuse-trial schedule that will have the first lawsuit reach court in September.

More than 250 people in Western Oregon have accused Catholic priests, and other church and lay officials of sexual abuse, but no lawsuits have reached a jury because most cases are dismissed or settled out of court.

A case was scheduled to go to trial almost two years ago, but it — along with all other pending cases — was put on hold when Portland became the first Catholic Archdiocese to seek bankruptcy protection because of priest-abuse litigation.

The move gave church officials and priest accusers an opportunity to reach a settlement that would end the bankruptcy. Mediation failed, however, and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth L. Perris recently decided to allow cases to go to trial in order to get an idea of what it would cost to settle about 125 priest-abuse claims.

Posted by kshaw at 05:12 AM

May 25, 2006

L.A. Gafni Event Canceled

The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles

by Julie Gruenbaum Fax, Education Editor

Revelations about sexual misconduct have led to the cancellation of an upcoming local event featuring prominent Rabbi Mordechai Gafni.

Gafni had been scheduled for a public talk at Stephen S. Wise Temple on June 9. Over the past two years, since being appointed to the Wisdom Chair in September 2004, Gafni has returned every few months to the Bel Air shul, where he’s had a loyal following.

Last week, four women in Israel — students and staff members at Tel Aviv’s Bayit Chadash, the Jewish renewal center that Gafni co-founded — filed complaints of sexual misconduct with Israeli police. In a public letter, Gafni, 46, admitted to being “sick” and promised to seek therapy. Leaders of Bayit Chadash immediately dismissed him.

Gafni was appointed to the Wisdom Chair at Stephen S. Wise two years ago — despite anecdotal allegations that he had a history of sexual misconduct. The temple’s senior rabbi this week issued a short statement denouncing Gafni.

Posted by kshaw at 08:39 PM

Lebanese community scoffs at Caritas president's excuse

Brockton Enterprise

By Maureen Boyle, Enterprise staff writer
Growing up in a bustling Lebanese family, Michael Mather Jr. will greet relatives with a hug or a peck on the cheek.

But outside the family, a firm handshake is the norm.

"It wouldn't be appropriate to do anything different," the Brockton developer said.

It is a sentiment shared by several in the local Lebanese community who scoffed at claims by Dr. Robert M. Haddad, the president of the Caritas Christi Health Care System who quit early today, that allegations he sexually harassed women were rooted in a cultural misunderstanding.

Haddad, who was born in Medford, quit today rather than be fired. He was earlier reprimanded by Cardinal Sean O'Malley last week for allegedly sexually harassing four female employees and more than 10 others reportedly had come forward since.

Haddad, who is of Lebanese descent, claims he follows traditions of his ancestors when he hugs and kisses women.

"This man is just coming up with some story," said Peter Asiaf of Brockton. "It is a fraud. It is ridiculous. He had nothing else to say ... The man is just way off base."

Posted by kshaw at 06:42 PM

Clergy victims see painful parallels in handling of embattled CEO


BOSTON -- For victims of clergy sexual abuse, the Boston Archdiocese's initial handling of sexual harassment allegations against its top health care executive had a familiar ring: multiple allegations, minimal consequence and secrecy.

"There are extraordinary and painful parallels," said David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Dr. Robert Haddad, president and CEO of the Caritas Christi Health Care System, resigned early Thursday amid allegations he harassed more than a dozen female employees by subjecting them to unwanted hugs and kisses.

His forced departure comes a week after a private reprimand from Cardinal Sean O'Malley. After learning of four allegations, the Caritas board supported the reprimand and ordered Haddad to take sexual harassment sensitivity training.

Posted by kshaw at 05:46 PM

Brother agrees abusing did not impede careers

One in Four

The Irish Times

A senior Christian Brother agreed yesterday that some members of the congregation found to have abused children did not suffer any impediment to their careers. Br Michael Reynolds, deputy provincial of the Christian Brothers St Mary's (northern) province, said such instances were "examples where the system fell down".

He was addressing questions on Artane industrial school by Noel McMahon, counsel for the investigation committee of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, at a public hearing in Dublin yesterday.

He agreed a Brother who had been at Artane for a month in 1945 later interfered with boys at another school in 1957, but went on to become a superior of yet another school and remained a brother until his death in 1986.

Posted by kshaw at 04:28 PM

Victims demand to be heard

One in Four

The Irish Times

The Irish Survivors of Child Abuse (SOCA) organisation yesterday expressed concern that members of religious congregations were being "allowed a public platform to deny and refute allegations of abuse" at public hearings of the investigation committee of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.

In a letter, handed to the committee yesterday, Irish SOCA's John Kelly said members of the congregations "have also made allegations of conspiracy against our legal representatives and the Garda Síochána".

He pointed out that evidence from abuse victims was "heard in secret", though provision was available to have it heard in public. "Because of this a public perception has arisen that it is the religious orders that are the injured parties since accounts of abuse suffered at the hands of the religious as well as by the judicial system remain unheard," he said. He was formally protesting "at this appalling state of affairs".

Posted by kshaw at 04:26 PM

Order admits failure in abuse cases

One in Four

The Irish Times

A senior Christian Brother yesterday described as "absolutely indefensible" his congregation's dealings with a particularly abusive Brother at St Joseph's industrial school, Tralee, during the late 1950s to mid-1960s. Brother Séamus Nolan, of the Christian Brothers' St Helen's (southern) province leadership team, was giving evidence to the investigation committee of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.

He agreed with counsel Mark Connaughton, for former residents at St Joseph's, that the Brother concerned was described as "a madman" by the boys there and that a congregation visitation report queried his mental health. He agreed this Brother had fractured a boy's jaw at another school before he came to Tralee; that he beat a boy with a stick, and gave another a black eye during an assault.

He had "engaged in serious physical assault yet was allowed continue teaching," said Mr Connaughton. It "demonstrated a complete indifference" to punishment regulations "short of injury to the boys and a tolerance of physical abuse short of sending someone to hospital," he said. Brother Nolan said he could not understand it.

Posted by kshaw at 04:24 PM

Law Society's finding on fees challenged

One in Four

The Irish Times

Two solicitors in Co Cork have brought a High Court challenge to findings by a Law Society committee that excessive fees were charged by their firm to two abuse victims for processing claims before the Residential Institutions Redress Board.

The society's approach to the matter was affected by media controversy, it is alleged.

One of the claimants is expected to claim on RTÉ's Prime Time next Monday that he was overcharged by the firm - Ahern, Roberts, O'Rourke, Williams & Partners, the Old Rectory, Carrigaline, Co Cork, the court was told.

Posted by kshaw at 04:22 PM

Donegal priest denies charges of raping teenage parishioner

One in Four

The Irish Times

A Donegal priest has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court charged with the rape of a teenage parishioner over 20 years ago whom he told he wanted to experience sex in bed.

The 48-year-old accused has denied three charges of raping the girl on dates in 1985 and one charge of indecently assaulting her in 1984.

Denis Vaughan Buckley SC, prosecuting, has told the jury the complainant would say the priest offered to drive her home from their church in December 1984 and took a route to a pier. He leaned over to her seat, reclined it, lay on top of her and kissed her, telling her not to say anything to anyone about what happened.

Posted by kshaw at 04:20 PM

Brother's position at Marino questioned

One in Four

The Irish Times

Seanad report: The Minister for Education should indicate whether she believed it was appropriate that an individual who had made an extraordinary statement about clerical child sex abuse victims should be in a position of trusteeship for the Marino Institute, Joe O'Toole (Ind) said.

Mr O'Toole said a representative of the Christian Brothers had told the redress board in effect that victims had put forward their complaints for money. He believed the House should make it clear that it absolutely and vehemently rejected this statement.

The person who made the allegation was a trustee of Marino and had dealt with complaints made there. "On prime-time television [ he] said to me that he never received a complaint, though I was holding copies of 15 complaints that he had received the previous year. He actually refused to acknowledge them.

Posted by kshaw at 04:19 PM

Lenihan denies 'singling out' church

One in Four

The Irish Times

Minister for Children Brian Lenihan has rejected a claim that he singled out the Catholic Church for scrutiny where child protection is concerned. He also denied a comment that "Ireland is increasingly a cold country for Catholics".

He was responding last night to Redemptorist priest Fr Gerard Moloney who, in the June issue of Reality magazine, said that by appointing Dr Helen Buckley to review the church's Our Children Our Church child protection guidelines, Mr Lenihan was "singling out the Catholic Church alone for this review". The move also prompted his description of Ireland as "increasingly a cold country for Catholics".

Dr Buckley, of TCD's social studies department, was on the inquiry team which prepared the Ferns report.

Posted by kshaw at 04:17 PM

Brothers' excuses wear thin

One in Four

The Irish Times

There is an overwhelming sense of groundhog day about what has been happening at the Commission on Child Abuse during the week, writes Mary Raftery.

Eight years after the Christian Brothers' own apology to victims of abuse at their institutions, and seven years after the Taoiseach's apology on behalf of the State, we have again been catapulted backwards into the bad old days of blackening the names of victims.

Br David Gibson, one of the leaders of the Christian Brothers, chose to cast the most serious aspersions on the motivation of those making allegations against his order.

Posted by kshaw at 04:16 PM

Clergy abuse victim to speak in Brookline

Brookline Tab

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Robert Costello will speak on his experience as a victim of clergy sexual abuse Monday, June 5, 7 to 8:30 p.m., in the Parish Hall at St. Lawrence Church, 779 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill. The event is sponsored by the Brookline Chapter of Voice of the Faithful.

Costello has been an advocate for victims testifying at the Massachusetts Judiciary Committee on the matter of statutes of limitations for sex abuse crimes. Personally, Costello settled his case successfully with the Archdiocese of Boston, despite the current statute of limitations legislation.

Costello is a well-known speaker on the issue of clergy sexual abuse. He is a leader and member of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. He is also a founding member and president of A Matter of Truth. AMOT is a survivor-driven group seeking change through legislation; more information about this group can be found at

Posted by kshaw at 04:12 PM

Bishop removes La Salle priest over sexual accusations

My Web Times

DAN CHURNEY,, (815) 431-4050

Citing an allegation of sexual misconduct, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria announced Wednesday he recently removed a La Salle priest from the ministry.

Bishop Daniel Jenky recently told 53-year-old the Rev. Gordon J. Pillon to step down from public ministry, said Jenky's spokeswoman, Elizabeth Smarjesse. Pillon was pastor of St. Patrick Church, St. Hyacinth Church and Holy Rosary Church since June 2003, as well as Resurrection Church since last year. All the churches are in La Salle.

Smarjesse said the allegations are that Pillon committed sexual misconduct with a minor about 25 years ago while Pillon was a priest in the Diocese of Orange in Southern California.

Smarjesse said Diocese of Peoria officials did not know of allegations against Pillon when Pillon came to the diocese in the early 1990s.

Posted by kshaw at 04:07 PM

Ex-La Salle pastor asked to leave ministry amid sexual misconduct allegations

News Tribune

By Shelby Sebens

A former La Salle pastor has been asked to step down from ministry after an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations, according to a statement from the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria.

The Rev. Gordon Pillon, 53, has been told not to function as a Catholic priest in any public capacity, to no longer wear clerical garb or the Roman collar and to refrain from using the titles “Reverend” or “Father,” according to a statement Wednesday from Bishop Daniel Jenky.

Pillon has been absent from his assigned parishes — St. Patrick, St. Hyacinth, Holy Rosary and Resurrection churches — for personal reasons since March 2006.

Recent allegations of sexual misconduct of a minor were made against Pillon dating back nearly 25 years ago, according to the statement. At that time, Pillon was a priest in the Diocese of Orange, Calif.

Posted by kshaw at 04:04 PM

Former Pastor Faces New Charges

First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Former Trinity Baptist Pastor, Dr. Robert Gray faces two new counts of capital sexual battery.

First Coast News Investigators have been working hand in hand with detectives on this case for weeks. Our cameras were the only ones rolling Friday as Dr. Gray was led into the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Charges were added Wednesday night after Detectives talked to another woman who claimed Dr. Gray sexually abused her. At least 17 women have come forward with similar claims. They say the 80-year-old fondled them when they were young girls. They are all in their 30s and 40s now.

So far, Dr. Gray has been charged with four counts of capital sexual battery involving three women. The third woman led to the new charges.

Posted by kshaw at 04:02 PM

Former Pastor Faces More Sex Charges


POSTED: 12:51 pm EDT May 25, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The former pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, Dr. Robert Gray Jr., faces two additional counts of sexual battery for incidents that allegedly took place decades ago.

Gray, 80, was arrested last Friday on two counts of battery based on statements by two women now in their 30s. They claim they were sexually abused by him in his church office when they were 6 years old and students at Trinity Baptist School.

According to the new arrest report, a 32-year-old woman claims Gray kissed her when she was 5, then put his hands under her dress and exposed himself to her when she was 8.

Posted by kshaw at 04:00 PM

Cardinal calls for meeting on Caritas president

Boston Globe

By Walter V. Robinson, Globe Staff | May 22, 2006

BOSTON --The Archdiocese of Boston confirmed this afternoon that it has received fresh complaints of sexual misconduct against Dr. Robert M. Haddad, the embattled president of Caritas Christi Health Care System.

As a result, Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley has called a special meeting of the Caritas governing board for 7 p.m. Wednesday to consider the new complaints of misconduct.

Last Thursday, at O'Malley's urging, the board agreed to reprimand Haddad for sexually harassing four women subordinates, despite a recommendation from Caritas' senior vice president for human resources, Helen G. Drinan, that Haddad be fired for the behavior.

In a statement given to the Globe, the archdiocese said: "Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley today asked the chairman of the board of governors of Caritas Christi Health Care System to convene a meeting of the full board on Wednesday this week. New complaints of misconduct involving Dr. Robert Haddad have been received and are being investigated.''

Posted by kshaw at 03:57 PM

Bishop Really Sorry

Hartford Advocate

The Bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Bridgeport went to Church on Sunday, to St. John Roman Catholic Church in Darien to be specific, where he apologized for the behavior of the Rev. Michael Jude Fay. It seems that Fay has allegedly embezzled at least $200,000 from the church´s coffers over the past two years, a fact that came to light after church parishioners hired their own private detective to follow Rev. Fay around.

Actually, what inspired them to get started was that they noticed that Rev. Fay had a more or less permanent male friend living in the parish house with him.

Posted by kshaw at 03:55 PM

Priest did 'ritual killing'

The Courier Mail

Gary Hughes

May 26, 2006

A CATHOLIC priest took part in satanic murders and rituals that included child sexual abuse.

The Catholic Church's Melbourne Archdiocese has accepted claims about the rituals as "substantially true" and paid $33,000 compensation to a man who was a victim of the rituals as a child.

The archdiocese's independent sexual abuse investigator, barrister Peter O'Callaghan, QC, described the details of the ritualised murders and sexual abuse provided by the victim as "extraordinary".

" . . . but I have no reason or justification for doubting his credibility," Mr O'Callaghan said in a letter to the victim's lawyers in 2000.

Earlier during a formal interview with the victim, Mr O'Callaghan said he was satisfied the man was telling the truth.

Posted by kshaw at 03:28 PM

Canadian judge puts Catholic Church in perilous position

Renew America

The following article appeared in the May 11, 2006 issue of The Wanderer Catholic newspaper. It was written by news editor Paul Likoudis, and is not available on the paper's Web site. For subscription information, call 651-224-5733.

CORNWALL, Ont. — The Canadian justice presiding over a public inquiry into "historic" sex abuse in this city on the St. Lawrence River, and a decades-long cover-up by prominent citizens, issued a novel ruling on May 1 that, for the first time in Canada, names the Catholic Church as a "public institution" subject to government oversight.

The potential ramifications of Justice G. Norman Glaude's ruling are enormous for Catholics, said Sylvia MacEachern, an Ottawa-area Catholic who has been watching with intense interest the hearings of the Cornwall Inquiry held at the Weave Shed, a former cotton mill in this down-and-out city.

"What I see the government doing through Justice Glaude is bringing the Catholic Church, and eventually all churches and organized religions, under the mantle of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and this could mean that the government has authority to regulate all matter of internal Church governance, specifically as it relates to issues of 'equality' and 'discrimination,'" she told The Wanderer in a telephone interview.

Previously, the Church, and all other religious organizations, were considered "private," and beyond the reach of governmental interference.

Posted by kshaw at 03:25 PM

Church puts summer camp up for sale

Times Argus

May 25, 2006

By Kevin O'Connor Rutland Herald

Looking to relive childhood memories of camp? Sprawl out on 18.25 acres with 565 feet of Lake Champlain shoreline?

Vermont's Catholic Church has the answer to your prayers.

For a minimum bid of $2.75 million, you can buy Camp Tara, a half-century-old Colchester landmark in the breeze of Malletts Bay.

The statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington is trying to pay off more than $1 million in debt, compounded last month by a record $965,000 settlement in the first of 20 priest misconduct lawsuits against it.

But the sale of the historic camp is separate and unrelated, church officials say. Vermont Catholic Charities, official owner of the property, hopes to sell it next month to help fund its ongoing social programs, according to a 51-page prospectus released Wednesday.

Posted by kshaw at 09:20 AM

Priest accused of sexual misconduct

Journal Star

Thursday, May 25, 2006

of the Journal Star

PEORIA - A 53-year-old Roman Catholic priest in LaSalle who served in the Peoria area for several years has been accused of sexual misconduct allegedly occurring nearly 25 years ago, the Catholic Diocese of Peoria announced Wednesday.

The Rev. Gordon Pillon has been asked by Bishop Daniel Jenky of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria to step down from public ministry.

At the time of the alleged misconduct, Pillon was a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Orange in California. Diocesan officials there could not be reached for comment.

A statement from the Peoria Diocese did not say whether Pillon responded to the charges.

Posted by kshaw at 09:14 AM

2 brothers sue Joliet Catholic diocese

Chicago Tribune

By Crystal Yednak
Tribune staff reporter
Published May 25, 2006

Two brothers filed lawsuits against the Catholic Diocese of Joliet Wednesday, alleging that two priests at a Mokena church sexually abused them in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Tim Shanahan, 38, alleges in the suits filed in DuPage County that Rev. William D. Virtue abused him at St. Mary Catholic Church when he was about 10 years old.

Virtue most recently served at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Earlville, part of the Peoria diocese. Upon learning of the allegation, the Peoria bishop asked Virtue to step down, though Virtue denied the abuse.

Attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents the Shanahans, said the alleged abuse led to many problems for Tim Shanahan, serving a sentence at Vienna Correctional Center for a drug possession conviction.

Posted by kshaw at 09:11 AM

Local priest in court



A catholic priest from Gates was in court Wednesday for his preliminary hearing. Father John Steger, 80, is accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl in April and early May. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. In court Wednesday the judge adjourned the case until July 12th. Steger has been the pastor of Saint Jude the Apostle Church in Gates for almost 40 years. Some church members were in court to show their support for Reverend Steger.

Posted by kshaw at 09:09 AM

Priest receives second sentence for abuse


25 May 2006 13:59
A Catholic priest who was previously jailed for seven years has again been jailed for sexual offences against a minor.

Daniel Curran was jailed for 14 months at Belfast Crown Court and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for ten years.

Mr Curran, from Byransford Avenue Newcastle Co Down, pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault against one young boy between 1977 and 1982.

Posted by kshaw at 09:08 AM

Paedophile priest returned to prison


A Catholic priest who had previously served a jail term for indecently assaulting young children, has today been returned to prison for a second time.
Daniel Curran, 56, from Bryansford Avenue in Newcastle, Co Down, pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault against a young child, between 1977 and 1982.
Fifteen other counts against the same victim were left on the books.
A Prosecution Lawyer today told Belfast Crown Court that the victim had been abused on a regular basis over five years.

Posted by kshaw at 09:04 AM

Gray areas complicate sexual harassment cases

Boston Globe

By Sacha Pfeiffer, Globe Staff | May 25, 2006

Although most companies have detailed and similar policies against sexual harassment, employers often find themselves in murky territory when it comes to defining, proving, and disciplining sexual harassment in the workplace.

The result: Companies deal with complaints in vastly different ways.

``There are obviously laws against harassment, but defining exactly what that is is hard, and so is applying those laws to a particular set of facts and deciding what a company does about it," said Ron Peppe , a vice president of the Association of Corporate Counsel in Washington, D.C., an umbrella group for lawyers who work for in-house legal departments. ``So it's a gray area sometimes, because there are not hard and fast rules."

Indeed, the sexual harassment policy at Caritas Christi Health Care, which has received reports from at least 10 women that its president, Dr. Robert M. Haddad , allegedly sexually harassed them, appears straightforward. Its definition of harassment includes ``sexually charged looks and gestures" and ``unnecessary touching of an individual," such as hugging, both of which are complaints made about Haddad. Its ``progressive discipline policy" includes written warnings, suspensions, and termination.

Posted by kshaw at 09:02 AM

Policing the CEO is board's first duty

Boston Globe

By Robert Weisman, Globe Staff | May 25, 2006

At businesses and nonprofit organizations, hiring and policing the chief executive has become the number one priority for boards of directors, and charges of sexual harassment should jump to the top of a board's agenda, governance specialists say.

While boards also have responsibility for financial stewardship and upholding the reputation of their company or nonprofit, evaluating the chief executive is paramount, said Paul S. Grogan, president of the Boston Foundation, a community foundation.

``Boards should meet the highest standards in the nonprofit world because, if anything, nonprofits are more fragile," he said. ``You don't have access to the capital markets. You have to convince people to fund you, and those relationships are subject to severe damage."

The responsibility of directors came into sharp focus when the Globe reported Sunday that the board of the nonprofit Caritas Christi Health Care System had privately reprimanded Robert M. Haddad, its president and chief executive, for allegedly hugging, kissing, and touching four female employees, as well as phoning them to talk about their personal lives.

Posted by kshaw at 08:49 AM

Chief of Caritas forced out

Boston Globe

By Walter V. Robinson and Michael Paulson, Globe Staff | May 25, 2006

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and the leadership of the region's Catholic health care system early this morning forced the resignation of the hospitals' president, Dr. Robert M. Haddad, over allegations that he had sexually harassed several women.

At around 1:30 a.m., after a five-hour meeting of the hospital's board of governors, the archdiocese said that Haddad had resigned from the positions of president and chief executive of Caritas Christi Health Care System.

The archdiocese said that the hospital's board had voted to fire Haddad but offered him ten month's of salary and benefits if he resigned instead. His compensation is believed to be worth more than $1 million a year.

Posted by kshaw at 08:46 AM

Embattled hospital administrator resigns after meeting with board


BOSTON (AP) -- The chief executive of a Catholic hospital network has resigned, avoiding a potentially embarrassing legal battle with the Boston archdiocese.

Doctor Robert Haddad had been accused of subjecting more than a dozen female employees to unwanted hugs and kisses.

Haddad announced his resignation early this morning after a five-hour meeting of the board of Caritas Christi Health Care.

A spokeswoman for Haddad says he was given the option of being fired or resigning with a severance package that would include ten months pay plus benefits.

He chose to resign, effective immediately.

Posted by kshaw at 08:43 AM

Mass. Roman Catholic Hospital Chief Quits

Casper Star Tribune

By MARK JEWELL Thursday, May 25, 2006

BOSTON - The head of eastern Massachusetts' Roman Catholic hospital system resigned early Thursday amid allegations he harassed more than a dozen female employees by subjecting them to unwanted hugs and kisses, his spokeswoman said.

The announcement of Dr. Robert Haddad's resignation came about 1 1/2 hours after an extended meeting of the board of Caritas Christi Health Care.

His spokeswoman, Nancy Sterling, said the board gave Haddad the option of being fired or resigning and receiving 10 months pay plus benefits. Members met more than five hours Wednesday night.

"Dr. Haddad chose to resign in order to allow both himself and Caritas Christi Health Care System to move forward," Sterling said.

Posted by kshaw at 08:41 AM

Court upholds Fushek charges

East Valley Tribune

By Gary Grado, Tribune
May 25, 2006
A Mesa justice of the peace on Wednesday denied a monsignor’s request to throw out sexually related criminal charges against him.

But Judge Sam Goodman granted the state’s motion to drop three of the 10 misdemeanor counts brought against the Rev. Dale Fushek, who served as pastor at St. Timothy’s Catholic Community in Mesa for 20 years. The trial is scheduled to begin June 2.

Goodman also denied a slew of other defense motions, including one that asked for a trained lawyer to preside over the case. Justices of the peace are elected judges who handle small civil claims, traffic citations, misdemeanors and evictions. But they are not required to be lawyers.

An attempt to reach Fushek’s defense attorney late Wednesday was unsuccessful.

Posted by kshaw at 08:37 AM

Benedict takes tougher line on abuse

Toronto Star

May 25, 2006. 01:00 AM

Even some of his most heartfelt admirers acknowledge that the late Pope John Paul II was slow to comprehend the magnitude of the harm caused by priests who sexually abused young people. The same cannot be said of Pope Benedict XVI after the pontiff's disciplining of a Mexican priest favoured by John Paul.

On Friday, the Vatican announced that 86-year-old Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of a conservative order known as the Legion of Christ, had been ordered to renounce any public ministry and devote himself to "prayer and penance" after an investigation of allegations that he had molested several seminarians. A papal spokesman said Maciel would be spared a church tribunal because of his advanced age and delicate health.

The Vatican statement falls short of the clear-cut condemnation that some victims' advocates would have preferred. That allowed the Legion to declare on its Web site that, while Maciel accepted the discipline with "faith, complete serenity and tranquillity of conscience," he had "declared his innocence and, following the example of Jesus Christ, decided not to defend himself in any way."

Posted by kshaw at 08:33 AM

JP refuses to drop Fushek counts

The Arizona Republic

Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
May. 25, 2006 12:00 AM

A justice of the peace refused Wednesday to drop seven misdemeanor sex charges against a suspended Roman Catholic priest but agreed to allow him a jury trial on one of the counts, an indecent-exposure charge.

The rulings by Judge Sam Goodman mean Monsignor Dale Fushek is likely to stand trial as scheduled on June 2 in San Tan Justice Court. It's unclear whether the jury trial on the one count will be held before or after Goodman hears the other charges. Jury trials occur, but they are rare in justice courts.

Judge Sam Goodman ruled that prosecutors did not violate the one-year statute of limitations in filing the charges in November 2005 or violate Fushek's rights by filing charges stemming from 10- to 20-year-old incidents.

Goodman also refused to replace himself on the case, denying a motion by defense attorneys Thomas Hoidal and Mark Candioto for a "lawyer judge."

Posted by kshaw at 08:31 AM

Coalition asks O'Malley to help change sex crime laws


By Mark Pratt, Associated Press | May 25, 2006

A coalition of clergy sexual abuse survivors groups and their supporters have written to Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, asking him to develop a public list of archdiocesan priests and employees dismissed for sexual misconduct and to publicly support changes in sex-crime laws.

The coalition also announced yesterday that it will hand out leaflets at each stop on the cardinal's pilgrimage, scheduled to start today, to parishes around the Archdiocese of Boston with particularly painful histories of clergy sex abuse. The leaflets are intended for victims of abuse who have not come forward but who may attend the services and will include the names of ``credibly accused perpetrator priests" who served in the parish and phone numbers to call for information and support.

O'Malley announced earlier this month that he will begin a Novena to the Holy Spirit by visiting nine churches to offer special prayers for victims and to apologize for the priests and church officials who hurt children.

``The cardinal is going on this nine-day journey, but there isn't any substance to what he's doing," said Ann Hagan Webb, New England coordinator for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, one of the groups releasing the letter, dated May 19. ``He's simply saying he's sorry."

Posted by kshaw at 08:27 AM

Abuse suits now at 15

The Herald News

By Ted Slowik
staff writer

JOLIET — Two brothers are suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet, claiming sexual abuse by two different priests.

Dan Shanahan says he was molested by the Rev. James Burnett, and Tim Shanahan says he was raped and abused by the Rev. William Virtue.

Both clerics were placed on administrative leave earlier this year. Burnett was removed as pastor of the Cathedral of St. Raymond, while Virtue was taken out of ministries at rural parishes in the Peoria and Rockford dioceses.

The brothers filed suits Tuesday in Will County Circuit Court, bringing to 15 the number of suits pending against the diocese in Will and DuPage counties.

Dan Shanahan, 34, of Phoenix, Ariz., went public in February with his claim that Burnett molested him repeatedly for four years beginning approximately when he was 8 years old in 1978. Some of the alleged incidents occurred in a confessional at St. Mary Church in Mokena, he said.

Posted by kshaw at 08:25 AM

Priest-abuse lawsuits headed for court starting in September



Associated Press

A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a priest-abuse trial schedule that will have the first lawsuit reach court in September.

More than 250 people in Western Oregon have accused Catholic priests and other church and lay officials of sexual abuse, but no lawsuits have reached a jury because most cases are dismissed or settled out of court.

A case was scheduled to go to trial almost two years ago, but it — along with all other pending cases — was put on hold when Portland became the first Catholic Archdiocese to seek bankruptcy protection because of priest-abuse litigation.

The move gave church officials and priest accusers an opportunity to reach a settlement that would end the bankruptcy. Mediation failed, however, and U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth L. Perris recently decided to allow cases to go to trial in order to get an idea of what it would cost to settle about 125 priest-abuse claims.

Posted by kshaw at 08:23 AM

Church ready to deal

Denver Post

By Eric Gorski and Robert Sanchez
Denver Post Staff Writers

The Denver Roman Catholic Archdiocese has hired a prominent mediator to broker financial settlements with 30 people who have filed lawsuits alleging they were sexually abused by priests and revictimized by church officials intent on a coverup.

"We deeply regret the suffering of any victim of childhood sexual abuse," Archbishop Charles Chaput said Wednesday at a news conference at the downtown Denver offices of the Judicial Arbiter Group, headed by former Boulder District Court Judge Richard Dana.

"We offer this mediation because we assume the integrity of all of the persons bringing these lawsuits against the archdiocese," Chaput said.

The archdiocese declined to say how much money is available to alleged clergy-abuse victims, but in letters delivered Wednesday to plaintiffs' attorneys, Dana referred to it as a "substantial sum."

Posted by kshaw at 08:17 AM

Gates priest's trial delayed until July

Democrat and Chronicle

GATES — The trial of a Roman Catholic priest charged last week with inappropriately touching a 12-year-old girl has been postponed. Father John J. Steger, 80, a priest at St. Jude the Apostle Church, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree sexual abuse and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, all misdemeanors.

The trial was set for July 12 to give lawyer John Speranza more time to review the case.

Posted by kshaw at 08:13 AM

Father Maciel suspended: New allegations against other legionary priests on the horizon?

Renew America

Brian Mershon
May 25, 2006

"And He (Our Lord Jesus Christ) said that whoever receives one such little child in my name, receives me. But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged around his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Woe to the world because of scandals. For it is necessary that scandals come: but nevertheless, woe to that man by whom the scandals come." (Mt. 18: 5-7)

On the morning of May 19, the Holy See issued a short statement on the status of Father Macial Marciel, L.C., founder of the Legionaries of Christ.

"Beginning in 1998, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) received accusations, already partly made public, against Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, for crimes that fall under the exclusive competence of the congregation. In 2002, Fr. Maciel published a declaration denying the accusations and expressing his displeasure at the offense done him by certain former Legionaries of Christ. In 2005, by reason of his advanced age, Fr. Maciel retired from the office of superior general of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ. ...

New Accusations Against Other Legionary Priests?

However, one of Father Maciel's original accusers, Paul Lennon, M.A., dropped the following bombshell in what may be yet another nuclear bomb for the Legion of Christ and its Regnum Christi apostolates in this exclusive interview with The Wanderer: Since the May 19 statement on Father Maciel from the Holy See, more alleged victims have come forward claiming sexual abuse, not only by Father Maciel, but from other priests of the Legion of Christ. He said that due to the stigma attached particularly to male sexual abuse, the new accusers wish to remain anonymous at this time. Lennon was with the first class of Legionary priests ordained from Ireland back in 1969.

What Does It All Mean?

"Among canon lawyers, there is an expression, where there is smoke, there is fire," said Pete Vere, J.C.L. "As more and more allegations come forward, it is very difficult to believe that something may not have happened," he said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:56 AM

Cardinal to pray at three churches

Boston Globe

By Missy Ryan, Globe Correspondent | May 25, 2006

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley will lead prayers at three churches in Boston's western suburbs next week as part of a pilgrimage he hopes will help ease the pain caused by the clergy sex abuse scandal.

O'Malley will travel to St. Joseph Parish in Needham on Tuesday, St. Julia Parish in Weston on Wednesday, and St. Blaise Church in Bellingham on Friday.

O'Malley has invited survivors of abuse, their families, and other Catholics to the special services, which will take place during his novena, a nine-day period of prayer.

The cardinal will also go to six other churches in Eastern Massachusetts on his pilgrimage, beginning with a service today at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston's South End.

All the churches O'Malley plans to visit were particularly hard hit by the abuse, church officials said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:50 AM

Priest with ties to area removed


By Brett Nauman

PEORIA -- A priest with ties to several Catholic churches in DeWitt County and Bellflower was asked by Peoria Diocese Bishop Daniel Jenky to step down from the ministry Wednesday amid sexual misconduct allegations dating back more than two decades.

The Rev. Gordon Pillon, who was formerly pastor of St. John Church in Clinton and St. Patrick Church in Wapella from 2000 to 2003, has also been asked "to not function as a Catholic priest in any public capacity, to no longer wear clerical garb or the Roman collar, and to refrain from using the title Reverend or Father," according to a press release issued Wednesday by the Peoria Diocese.

Pillon, who also had short tenures serving Sacred Heart Church in Farmer City and St. John Church in Bellflower in 2003, was recently accused of having an improper sexual relationship with a minor 25 years ago while he served as ha priest in California, the Diocese said.

Pillon had been pastor of three churches in LaSalle since he was reassigned from his local posts. The decision to remove Pillon came after the Catholic Church’s Sexual Review Commission examined the credibility of allegations against him, according to the Diocese.

Posted by kshaw at 07:45 AM

Impact of case on healthcare system unclear

Boston Globe

By Liz Kowalczyk, Globe Staff | May 22, 2006

Since taking over as chief executive two years ago, Dr. Robert M. Haddad has begun to turn around the financially precarious Caritas Christi Health Care System, but the accusations of sexual harassment against him could threaten that improvement, hospital finance specialists said yesterday.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston could find itself in a no-win situation regarding the hospital network, they said, because Haddad's behavior may hurt the system's reputation, distract staff from their mission, and disrupt the system's rebound, regardless of whether Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley continues to stand by Haddad or asks him to step down.

The situation is particularly problematic because it follows a tumultuous change in chief executives at Caritas Christi two years ago; O'Malley fired longtime leader Dr. Michael Collins for undisclosed reasons before appointing Haddad.

In March, Moody's Investors Services upgraded the outlook on Caritas Christi from negative to stable and credited a major cost-cutting program led by Haddad for keeping the system on budget for the fiscal year 2005 and producing a $22.6 million operating profit.

Posted by kshaw at 01:54 AM

Local rabbi jailed, awaiting trial for sex crime

Washington Jewish Week

by Eric Fingerhut
Staff Writer

A federal judge has ruled that a local rabbi caught in a Dateline NBC hidden camera investigation of online sexual predators will remain in jail until his trial on charges of soliciting sex from a teenage boy over the Internet.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan agreed to the federal government's request to not release Rabbi David Kaye, 56, from custody, saying he is "a danger to the community."

"When I read the transcript attached, it's sickening and I believe the government's case is strong," said the judge, according to a report on the WRC Channel 4 Web site. "I do not feel comfortable giving the defendant a release on any terms."

Most recently vice president of program for more than three years at the Rockville-based teen educational group Panim: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values and previously a rabbi for 16 years at Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac, Kaye was indicted last Thursday by a federal grand jury in Alexandria on charges of "coercion and enticement" and travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual contact with a minor. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Kaye turned himself in to authorities on Friday.

Posted by kshaw at 01:50 AM

Local rabbi jailed, awaiting trial for sex crime

Washington Jewish Week

by Eric Fingerhut
Staff Writer

A federal judge has ruled that a local rabbi caught in a Dateline NBC hidden camera investigation of online sexual predators will remain in jail until his trial on charges of soliciting sex from a teenage boy over the Internet.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan agreed to the federal government's request to not release Rabbi David Kaye, 56, from custody, saying he is "a danger to the community."

"When I read the transcript attached, it's sickening and I believe the government's case is strong," said the judge, according to a report on the WRC Channel 4 Web site. "I do not feel comfortable giving the defendant a release on any terms."

Most recently vice president of program for more than three years at the Rockville-based teen educational group Panim: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values and previously a rabbi for 16 years at Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac, Kaye was indicted last Thursday by a federal grand jury in Alexandria on charges of "coercion and enticement" and travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual contact with a minor. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Kaye turned himself in to authorities on Friday.

Posted by kshaw at 01:50 AM

Former Pastor Faces New Charges

First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Former Trinity Baptist Pastor, Dr. Robert Gray faces two new counts of capital sexual battery.

First Coast News Investigators have been working hand in hand with detectives on this case for weeks. Our cameras were the only ones rolling Friday as Dr. Gray was led into the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Charges were added Wednesday night after Detectives talked to another woman who claimed Dr. Gray sexually abused her. At least 17 women have come forward with similar claims. They say the 80-year-old fondled them when they were young girls. They are all in their 30s and 40s now.

So far, Dr. Gray has been charged with four counts of capital sexual battery involving three women. The third woman led to the new charges.

Trinity Baptist says they are conducting their own internal investigation. They claim JSO Detectives told them the church is not the subject of a criminal investigation by JSO.

Posted by kshaw at 01:46 AM

Clergy abuse survivors groups ask O'Malley to help change laws


BOSTON A coalition of clergy sex abuse survivor groups wants Cardinal Sean O'Malley to develop a public list of archdiocese priests and employees dismissed for sexual misconduct.

They're also asking O'Malley to openly support changes to sex crime laws.

The coalition will hand out leaflets at each stop on the cardinal's upcoming pilgrimage to parishes with particularly painful histories of clergy sex abuse.

That church tour begins tomorrow (Thursday).

The leaflets are intended for victims of abuse who have not yet come forward but who may attend the services.

Posted by kshaw at 01:44 AM

Accused priest has Tiffin ties


By Jill Gosche,

A priest accused of molesting a boy about 30 years ago served as principal at Calvert High School and chaplain at Tiffin State Hospital and Tiffin Ursuline Sisters around the time of the incident.

A statement from the Diocese of Toledo said the Rev. Robert J. Yeager, 68, a retired priest, has been accused of sexual misconduct with a minor almost 30 years ago. A television broadcast stated the incident involved a 13-year-old Tiffin boy in 1977.

Yeager - ordained June 22, 1962 - has been placed on an administrative leave of absence and is barred from public ministry as of Tuesday, according to the statement.

"Although Father Yeager's name surfaced publicly in 2004 as an alleged abuser, only in recent days has the Review Board received specific information sufficient to conclude that the allegation is indeed credible," the statement says.

Posted by kshaw at 01:41 AM

Diocese asks Peoria priest to step down after sex abuse claim

Belleville News-Democrat

Associated Press
PEORIA, Ill. - A Catholic priest from central Illinois has been asked to step down after allegations of decades-old sexual misconduct with a minor, the Peoria Catholic diocese said Wednesday.

Father Gordon Pillon began serving in the Peoria diocese in 1993 and most recently was pastor at St. Patrick Church, St. Hyacinth Church, Holy Rosary Church and Resurrection Church, all in LaSalle County, the diocese said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear if Pillon had agreed with Bishop Daniel Jenky's request to step down and the diocese did not return a message left late Wednesday from The Associated Press. A woman who answered the phone at Holy Rosary declined to comment and no one returned messages left after business hours at the other churches.

The diocese said the abuse allegedly occurred nearly 25 years ago while Pillon served in the diocese of Orange, Calif., but provided no further details "out of respect for the privacy of the victims involved in the cases."

Posted by kshaw at 01:39 AM

Cardinal Connell to give evidence at abuse inquiry

Irish Independent

CARDINAL Desmond Connell is to give evidence to the Commission of Investigation into clerical sexual abuse in Dublin.

The cardinal is to address the inquiry this autumn about his handling of notorious paedophile priests, such as Ivan Payne and Tony Walsh.

But a decision has yet to be made by commission chairperson Judge Yvonne Murphy as to whether the 80-year-old will give his evidence at a public hearing or in private.

A member of the commission, Ita Mangan, told the Irish Independent Cardinal Connell's evidence will be heard in public as there is provision for this in our terms of reference.

Posted by kshaw at 01:11 AM

May 24, 2006

Priest charged


5/24/2006 6:00 PM

The attorney for a Gates priest accused of sexual abuse---says he needs more time to investigate the allegations.

Police say a Father John Steger touched a 12-year-old girl inappropriately at the church's rectory. Steger has been the pastor of St. Jude The Apostle Church for decades. Several parishioners came to court Wednesday to support him.

Posted by kshaw at 08:26 PM

Conn. parish upset over fraud, private eye


DARIEN, Conn., May 24 (UPI) -- Most people in a Connecticut parish appear to support the priest who hired a private detective to investigate claims another priest was embezzling money.

Parishioners at St. John Roman Catholic Church in Darien, Conn., reportedly were loud, demanding and even yelling at Bishop William Lori about the diocese's handling of alleged financial fraud at the parish.

Last Wednesday, the Rev. Michael Jude Fay resigned amid allegations he stole at least $200,000 from the church, the Stamford Advocate reports.

At mass Tuesday morning, the Rev. Michael Madden told worshippers he and bookkeeper Bethany Derario had hired a private detective to investigate.

Posted by kshaw at 08:15 PM

Lawsuits accuses Joliet diocese of harboring pedophile priests


CHICAGO Two brothers have filed lawsuits in DuPage County accusing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet of harboring two priests who allegedly molested them during the 1980s.

An attorney for Dan and Tim Shanahan says the two brothers allegedly were abused at Saint Mary's Parish in Mokena.

Dan Shanahan's lawsuit names the Joliet Diocese, its bishop and the Reverend James Burnett -- who he claims molested him. Tim Shanahan's lawsuit names the diocese, its bishop and the Reverend William Virtue -- who Tim Shanahan alleges sexually abused him.

Burnett was placed on administrative leave last year, and diocese officials say Virtue -- who says he's innocent -- has agreed to no longer function as a priest.

Posted by kshaw at 08:12 PM

A note from the publisher of theAbuse Tracker Catholic Register


The founder of the Legion of Christ, Father Marcial Maciel, has been accused of terrible crimes. Considering his advanced age — he’s 86 — and his frail health, the Holy See decided not to conduct a canonical trial. Father Maciel is confined to a life of prayer and penance, away from any public ministry.

He becomes like an accused priest awaiting trial. Only, in this case,there will be no trial.

Many newspapers are giving this story big play, repeating the accusations,
exploring the nuances of the Holy See’s declaration, and quoting opinions from supporters and detractors as to what the implications for the Legionaries are likely to be.

The Register is not taking that approach to this story, for a couple of reasons.

Posted by kshaw at 08:10 PM

Suspended priest fails to get sex charges dropped

The Arizona Republic

Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
May. 24, 2006 05:41 PM

A Gilbert justice of the peace refused Wednesday to drop seven misdemeanor sex charges against a suspended Roman Catholic priest. He granted him a jury trial on an indecent exposure charge.

Judge Sam Goodman ruled that prosecutors did not violate the one-year statute of limitations in filing the charges in November 2005, or violate Monsignor Dale Fushek's rights by filing charges stemming from 10 to 20-year-old incidents.

Goodman also refused to replace himself on the case, denying a motion by defense attorneys Thomas Hoidal and Mark Candioto for a "lawyer judge."
Although Goodman has extensive experience as a justice of the peace, he does not have a law degree and none is required by state law.

Posted by kshaw at 08:08 PM

AG Reilly addresses Jewish community

The Jewish Advocate

By Ted Siefer - Wednesday May 24 2006

Attorney General Tom Reilly spoke to members of the Jewish community last week at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley Hills, one of four meetings with the 2006 gubernatorial candidates organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council. ...
Reilly also emphasized his role in investigating and prosecuting clergy sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Massachusetts.
“I’m a Catholic and my faith is very important to me, but when members of the Catholic Church and clergy stepped over the line and abused children I stepped up,” he said. “We conducted the most comprehensive investigation of abuse by members of the clergy anywhere in the world.”
Asked where he stood on legislation, such as a bill proposed last year, that would compel religious institutions to make public financial disclosures, Reilly said: “Filing the information is one thing, but telling a church how to spend its money is another. It’s a thing you have to be very careful about.”

Posted by kshaw at 08:03 PM

Residential school settlement receives cabinet approval

Parry Sound North Star

PARRY SOUND – The federal government’s settlement package for former Indian residential school students was approved by cabinet earlier this month, along with the advance on the common experience payment for those over the age of 65.

Approval by provincial superior courts is now needed for the agreement to be finalized. Once the document is approved by the superior courts, and after a 90 day opt-out period, common experience payments can be made to all former students and programs can be put in place, such as the $60 million truth and reconciliation commission.

“This compensation will not make up for all that was lost, or for the pain and suffering that former students and their families have experienced. But it is an acknowledgment that a wrong was committed,” said Ontario regional chief Angus Toulouse. “It is my sincere hope that the conclusion of this agreement will bring some closure to former students and their families.”

The $8,000 advance on the common experience payment–a base payment of $10,000, plus $3,000 for each additional year after the first in a residential school–is for former students who turned 65 before May 30, 2005.

Posted by kshaw at 07:58 PM

Archdiocese offers mediation to sex abuse victims

Rocky Mountain News

By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
May 24, 2006

The Archdiocese of Denver is offering mediation services to plaintiffs in 30 lawsuits alleging decades-old claims of childhood sex abuse, Archbishop Charles Chaput announced today.

"We offer this mediation because we assume the integrity of all the persons bringing these lawsuits against the archdiocese," Chaput said.

The three-person mediation panel will be led by Judge Richard Dana of Judicial Arbiter Group, Inc., one of the oldest, private arbitration-mediation firms in the country.

Plaintiffs would have 90 days, beginning immediately, to contact Dana and begin the process. It would conclude no later than 150 days from Thursday. Dana said the archdiocese has given the firm total control over each individual case, including the amount of compensation for each victim. In addition, "no archdiocesan clergy, staff or attorneys will play any role in advising the panel," according to documents the firm provided to the media.

Posted by kshaw at 07:55 PM

Church Archdiocese Proposes Mediation In Sex-Abuse Cases


POSTED: 4:02 pm MDT May 24, 2006
UPDATED: 6:17 pm MDT May 24, 2006

DENVER -- The Roman Catholic archbishop of Denver, Charles Chaput, on Wednesday offered mediation to more than than two dozen people who have filed lawsuits alleging they were sexually abused by priests.

Chaput along with a former Chief District Judge acted as one of three mediators for the alleged victims.

Chaput proposed to settle sexual abuse lawsuits filed against the church using a "significant" pool of money that has been set aside for settlements, but did not say how much money would be earmarked for the settlements.

"We want to speak to them (the accusers) ourselves, directly, and this is the best way to do that," Chaput said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:53 PM

Man charged in girl's sex abuse

Ann Arbor News

Wednesday, May 24, 2006
News Staff Reporter
A former elder at Community of Christ church in Ann Arbor was arraigned Tuesday on charges that he molested a young female relative for four years in his Ypsilanti Township home.

The nine felony charges against Russell Wilson, 68, accuse him of the repeated sexual abuse of a relative from the time she was 7 years old until she was 11. The girl is now 15 and lives in Superior Township.

Washtenaw County Sheriff's Cmdr. Dave Egeler said Wilson, who was involved with the church for more than 20 years, molested the girl in his home on Desoto Avenue. It was unclear what caused the abuse to end four years ago, Egeler said.

Wilson, a retired autoworker, was charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of assault with intent to commit penetration.

Posted by kshaw at 07:50 PM

Attorney fees in diocese case cut

The Cincinnati Post

By Kevin Eigelbach
Post staff reporter

Attorneys for participants in a class-action lawsuit of sexual assault victims against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington won't be getting as much in fees as they had planned on.

On Tuesday, Special Judge John Potter reduced attorneys' fees in the case from 30 percent to 22 percent.

Stan Chesley, the Cincinnati attorney who brought the suit, took the reduction in stride.

"The determination of the fees is left solely with the discretion of the court," he said. Of Potter, he said, "I respect his opinion. What I respect the most is his comments about what a fine job we did."

The diocese had no comment on the reduction, spokesman Tim Fitzgerald said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:47 PM

3rd Priest At South Austin Church Accused Of Sex Misconduct


Bob Roberts Reporting

CHICAGO (WBBM Newsradio 780) -- A third priest assigned in the early 1980s to a Catholic church in the South Austin neighborhood has been accused of sexual misconduct with children.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese calls it "a coincidence."

"A lot of times we don't know about the accusations until years and years later," Archdiocesan spokesman Jim Dwyer said. "(The assignments were) just a coincidence."

WBBM Newsradio 780's Bob Roberts reports the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said Francis Cardinal George should personally visit St. Symphorosa and the Seven Sons Church, at 6200 S. Austin Av., to take questions from parishioners and apologize for the "vagueness" of the latest announcement and what she calls a "continuing climate of secrecy."

The latest accusations involve Fr. Robert Stepek (STEP'-ik), pastor since 1998 of St. Albert the Great Church, in Burbank, and a St. Symphorosa associate pastor from 1981 until 1983.

Posted by kshaw at 07:44 PM

Hospital Chief Faces Harassment Charges


Wednesday May 24, 2006 5:31 PM


Associated Press Writer

In a May 22 headline, the Associated Press erroneously stated that charges have been leveled against a Boston priest. The man facing charges is the head of a Catholic-run hospital system but he is not a priest. This is the corrected version of this story.

BOSTON (AP) - The head of a Catholic-run hospital system faced new allegations of sexual harassment Monday, following complaints of unwanted hugging and kissing of female employees.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley, head of the Boston Archdiocese, asked the governing board of Caritas Christi Health Care to meet again Wednesday to reconsider its response to the allegations against Dr. Robert M. Haddad, who had been reprimanded.

``New complaints of misconduct involving Dr. Robert Haddad have been received and are being investigated,'' the archdiocese said in a statement.

Posted by kshaw at 07:42 PM

Two Brothers Claim Abuse By Priests


(STNG) JOLIET, Ill. Two brothers are filing civil child molestation lawsuits Wednesday, claiming they were abused by two different Catholic priests while attending St. Mary's Parish in Mokena, according to a release from the alleged victims’ attorneys.

Dan Shanahan and Tim Shanahan claim they were abused in the late 1970s and early 1980s, according to the release from attorney Marc Pearlman. Dan Shanahan claims he was abused by Fr. James Burnett from 1978-82 while he was 8-12 years old, according to the release, while Tim Shanahan alleges he was abused as a seventh-grader by Fr. William D. Virtue.

Dan Shanahan, 34, publicly disclosed his abuse, and reported it to Joliet Diocese officials in February 2006, at which time Bishop Joseph Imesch suspended the cleric, who was working at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet, the release said.

On Wednesday, a suit filed on behalf of Tim Shanahan, 38, currently in prison in Vienna for drug possession and driving without a license, claims he was repeatedly victimized by Fr. Virtue in 1981-81 in the rectory, confessional and other places at St. Mary's in Mokena, the release said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:40 PM

Parishioners Defend Priest Who Hired Private Investigator

Hartford Courant

Associated Press STAMFORD, Conn. -- Parishioners at a Darien church are defending a priest who hired a private investigator to look into the pastor, saying he courageously exposed a scandal and should not be punished.

The Rev. Michael Madden resigned Tuesday as acting administrator at St. John Roman Catholic Church, just a week after he was appointed to replace the Rev. Michael Jude Fay.

Madden admitted he and the parish bookkeeper hired the investigator to look into Fay, who resigned last week over accusations he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in church funds to pay for luxuries related to his life with another man.

Local and federal authorities are investigating the accusations, but Fay has not been charged.

Posted by kshaw at 07:38 PM

Peoria Diocese asks priest to step down amid sexual abuse allegations


PEORIA, Ill. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria says a priest has been asked to step down from public ministry amid allegations of decades-old sexual misconduct.

Bishop Daniel Jenky asked the Reverend Gordon Pillon -- who last served as a priest at churches in LaSalle -- to not function as a Catholic priest.

The diocese says the allegations against the 53-year-old Pillon date back about 25 years to when he was a priest in the Diocese of Orange, California.

The Peoria Diocese says it wasn't aware of the allegations when he joined the central Illinois diocese in the 1990s.

Posted by kshaw at 07:36 PM


New York Post


May 24, 2006 -- A Connecticut church yesterday lost a pastor for the second time in a week after the newly appointed top priest confessed to hiring a private eye who uncovered financial wrongdoing by the former pastor.
"I made a huge mistake which has further complicated matters," said the Rev. Michael Madden in a letter to parishioners at St. John Catholic Church in Darien.

Madden apologized and resigned as acting administrator after meeting with a reportedly furious Bridgeport Diocese Bishop William Lori. By hiring a private eye on his own, without consulting his bishop, Madden breached the Catholic chain of command.

"I am deeply saddened that the situation in the parish has been worsened by today's events," Lori said.

Posted by kshaw at 07:32 PM

Priest admits hiring P.I.

Stamford Advocate

By Donna Porstner and Angela Carella
Staff Writers

May 24, 2006

DARIEN -- Parishioners at St. John Roman Catholic Church came out in force yesterday to support a beloved parish priest after he admitted he helped hire a private eye to find out why the church -- in one of the wealthiest towns in the country -- was losing money.

The admission came after the parish's pastor, the Rev. Michael Jude Fay, resigned amid accusations he stole from the church to support his lavish lifestyle with his boyfriend. The investigator said Fay spent at least $200,000 in church funds for limousine rides, fancy dinners, trips and gifts.

No one knew who hired the investigator, Vito Colucci Jr. of Stamford, until yesterday, when the Rev. Michael Madden, parochial vicar at the parish, told worshippers at the 8 a.m. Mass that he and the church bookkeeper, Bethany Derario, were behind it.

A day earlier, while being interviewed by auditors hired by the Diocese of Bridgeport, Derario admitted she helped pay for the private investigator, said her attorney, Michael Sherman of Stamford. A woman who attended the 8 a.m. Mass said Madden told parishioners that the past four years were "hell" for him and Derario, and he knew the diocese was angry with them for hiring the investigator.

Posted by kshaw at 07:30 PM

Black Hat Meets Blog

The Jewish Week

Jennifer Friedlin - Special To The Jewish Week

Is computer technology shifting the balance of power in Brooklyn’s insular, fervently Orthodox community?

In the 1980s, two prominent Flatbush rabbis allegedly closed the door on a burgeoning sexual abuse scandal by preventing a rabbinical court proceeding from taking place. Now, two decades later, an Internet blog has reinvigorated the allegations, resulting in two multimillion-dollar lawsuits against a rabbi, a yeshiva and a summer camp for boys.

“Without the Internet, this story never would have been brought to light,” said Un-Orthodox Jew, the anonymous blogger who last year began posting angry diatribes about the alleged abuse and cover-up on

On the blog, Un-Orthodox Jew, who also goes by UOJ and claims to have deep ties in the “black hat” world, stated that Rabbi Yehuda Kolko sexually abused a number of male students at Yeshiva and Mesivta Torah Temimah in Flatbush and at Camp Agudah in Ferndale, N.Y., while Rabbi Lipa Margulies, the head of the school, allegedly helped to protect him at the expense of the victims. All told, three former students of Rabbi Kolko allege abuse against him in the two lawsuits.

Posted by kshaw at 07:26 PM

Archdiocese to investigate Frasher, evaluate security

The Catholic Telegraph

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati announced May 17 it is launching an investigation into comments made about an employee on a local televisions news broadcast. The archdiocese said it also plans to seek an independent evaluation of identity security in its background check program for volunteers and employees who work with children.

A Cincinnati television station reported March 14 that the father and brother of fired employee Alex Henties told the station that Vince Frasher, archdiocesan personnel director and Henties' former boss, had sexually abused Henties "when he was young."

The archdiocese has a copy of a hand-written letter from Henties, dated April 28, 2006, in which he states, "I have never been abused in such a way as this and have never been abused by Vince whatsoever or at all."

Given the seriousness of the charge, archdiocesan officials announced that a private investigator is being retained to uncover the facts about allegations and inferences from the news program.

Posted by kshaw at 07:20 PM

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