A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse. For recent coverage listed in this blog, read the full article in the newspaper or other media source by clicking “Read original article.” For earlier coverage, click the title to read the original article.
A minister has slammed Catholic RSE materials portraying women as “receivers” in sexual relationships, just a few months after he said using the resources was a decision for schools.
The warning by schools minister Nick Gibb, and an Ofsted visit to one school using the resources, suggest a tougher government stance after a wave of sexual misconduct claims by pupils rocked schools earlier this year.
But the curriculum’s authors say Gibb’s claims are out-of-date and out-of-context as materials have been updated, and launched their own attack on “hardline cancel culture”.
Gibb’s ‘serious concerns’
Gibb wrote to the publishers of the ‘A Fertile Heart’ curriculum earlier this month over materials which suggested it was women’s role to “receive” and men’s to “initiate” love in relationships.
He said he had “serious concerns” amid growing awareness of how school culture contributes to sexual abuse in schools, and how gender stereotypes “could normalise non-consensual behaviour”.
Falconer – A local church has been named in a new Child Victims Act lawsuit filed late last week in state Supreme Court in Chautauqua County.
An unidentified person, going by AB 325 DOE in the 12-page suit, claims to have been sexually abused by the Rev. William G. Ward during a time between 1963 and 1967, when the victim was between 13 and 17 years old. Ward was the pastor at Our Lady of Loreto, 309 W. Everett St., Falconer, in 1967.
“Defendant knew or should have known that Fr. Ward was a danger to children before Fr. Ward sexually assaulted Plaintiff,” the suit states.
It continues: “Prior to the sexual abuse of Plaintiff, Defendant learned or should have learned that Fr. Ward was not fit to work with children. Defendant, by and through its agents, servants and employees, became aware, or should have become aware of Fr. Ward’s propensity to…
Robert F. Costello, of Plainville, formerly of Norwood and West Roxbury, passed away on June 11, 2021. He was 59 years old.
Robert was the loving son of the late Lawrence J. and Mary L. (Shields) Costello. Dear brother of Christine Costello of Estero, FL, Larry Costello and his wife Carolann of West Roxbury, Maryann Costello of Milford, and Richard Costello and his wife Millie of Norfolk. Dear uncle of Lauren, Kerri, Thomas, Edward and Matthew Costello, and Cody Skully. He is also survived by many loving relatives and friends.
Visiting Hours will be held Saturday, June 19, 2021 from 12-3 p.m. at the Kfoury Keefe Funeral Home, 8 Spring St. (at the corner of Centre St.) WEST ROXBURY. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Robert’s memory may be made to the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Assoc. (RSDSA), PO Box 502, Milford,…
[Photo above: Carol DuPré. Still from WROC video report.]
Twenty alleged sexual abuse survivors of the Diocese of Rochester are calling on the state court to hear their cases.
This comes after the victim’s rights group, Road to Recovery, says the Diocese is using “delaying tactics.” Advocates say the organization is using it’s bankruptcy to delay victim’s hearings and settlements.
The Diocese of Rochester filed for bankruptcy back in 2019 after several abuse lawsuits were filed against the organization. Many of these lawsuits were filed after the enactment of the Child Victims Act, which extended the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases.
Hundreds of sexual abuse claims have been filed against the Diocese of Rochester during their bankruptcy process, but advocates say very little has done to help victims.
“These survivors do not deserve this kind of treatment. The Rochester Diocese has plenty of assets, and they should morally…
A call on the Rochester Diocese has been placed to stop delaying the process of sexual abuse settlements.
Road to Recovery, Inc. sent that message during a press conference outside Sacred Heart Cathedral Friday.
The non-profit helps victims of sexual abuse as well as their families.
They are calling on Bishop Salvatore Matano and the Diocese of Rochester to stop delaying the lawsuit process.
Attorneys say those delays re-victimize survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
“The waiting game by the Diocese of Rochester is meant to wear the victims out, but that’s not going to work,” Attorney Mitchell Garabedian said. “The victims are now survivors, they’re strong, they’re ready to go to court, they’re ready to see this play out for years.”
Twenty clergy sexual abuse victims have requested their cases be heard in state court rather than as part of the Rochester Diocese bankruptcy proceeding.
Advocates say that’s because of…
Pope Francis seems to have no trouble using the word “sorry” and recommending others use it often.
Then why, people wondered, did he not use the word when speaking about the horrific discovery of the remains of as many as 215 children in unmarked graves at a Catholic-run school for Indigenous children in Canada?
Pope Francis did express his condolences and sorrow June 6, recognizing the discovery brought up the traumas of the past when the Canadian government policy was to send Indigenous children to residential schools as part of a mistaken effort at assimilation. Catholic religious orders ran most of those schools, and stories of abuse are rampant.
But the pope’s remarks in early June were a far cry from what the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action called for in 2015:
“We call upon the pope to issue an apology to survivors, their families…
Content Warning: This message contains information and discussion of clergy sex abuse and other topics that may be difficult or upsetting. Individuals are encouraged to reach out to the University for support and to be mindful of their own self-care.
Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:
I am writing today to share actions taken in response to experiences shared with us by a former undergraduate student relating to deeply troubling and unacceptable behavior by the late J. Donald Freeze, S.J., who served in a variety of roles on campus, including as Provost from 1979-1991, and who was awarded an honorary degree in 1991.
I established a Working Group of the Board of Directors to oversee the University’s response. I join the Members of the Working Group in sharing the update below to the University community.
We are writing today to share actions the University is taking relating to…
When Cardinal Reinhard Marx published his remarkable and unexpected letter of resignation as archbishop of Munich and Freising on June 4, religion reporters, theologians and members of the hierarchy jumped on the phone to try and make sense of it. Some writers foolishly rushed into print with analysis. But one thing emerged from those discussions: Everyone thought Pope Francis would necessarily have to accept the resignation.
Last week, Francis did not accept the cardinal’s resignation. Again he surprised us. Not only that, his response to the German cardinal was so spiritually rich, and so provocative in its understanding of the source of episcopal authority, it could well serve as the starting point for the discussion the U.S. bishops will have at their spring meeting later this week. The pope’s vision might yet save the bishops’ conference from its worst instincts.
Marx’s resignation was, as…
[Photo above: Denis Alexander has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two boys.]
Denis Alexander (85) has admitted preying on the boys while teaching history at the fee paying school in the 1970s.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard today how Alexander targeted the young men in his study and during Yoga classes.
Judge Lord Burns heard how Alexander, who was a monk with the Benedictine Order, later left Scotland and became a Priest in Sydney, Australia.
But he was brought to justice after a BBC documentary called the Sins Of Our Father was aired in 2013.
Alexander’s victims saw the show and plucked up the courage to contact police who requested his extradition.
The cleric initially fought attempts to bring him back to Scotland but was returned almost three years after the extradition request was sent to Australia.
He pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual assault.
Prosecutor Jane Farquharson…
Demands for political loyalty. Disputes about racism. A fight between conservatives and ultraconservatives. It sounds like current debates within the Republican Party, but this is the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, where thousands will gather Tuesday to vote on issues that will shape the massive denomination’s future, including the choice of its next president.
More than 16,000 people are expected to attend the denomination’s annual meeting, probably the largest religious gathering since the pandemic, as well as the biggest Baptist meeting in decades.
What is especially unusual about the meeting is infighting at the highest levels of leadership that has become public in recent weeks. New details released to news media outlets have shone a light on the backroom dealings of several of its high-profile leaders.
Russell Moore, who previously led the Southern Baptist Convention’s public policy arm, recently left his position and his church for a new position…
As Southern Baptists prepare for their biggest annual meeting in more than a quarter-century, accusations that leaders have shielded churches from claims of sexual abuse and simmering tensions around race threaten to once again mire the nation’s largest Protestant denomination in a conflict that can look more political than theological.
More than 16,000 voting delegates are pre-registered for the two-day gathering that starts on Tuesday in Nashville. Southern Baptist Convention members have been a powerful force in conservative Republican politics for a generation. This year’s convention follows weeks of internal controversies stoked by leaked letters, secret recordings and video rebuttals.
Despite claiming 14 million members, the denomination has been in decline for 14 years. Adding to long-term membership losses have been the recent loud departures of its top public policy official, a mega-selling author and several prominent Black clergy over issues that include sexual abuse, racism and the treatment of…
Georgetown’s president called the allegations “particularly egregious” because J. Donald Freeze had power as a priest and provost.
Georgetown University on Friday announced that a former undergraduate had accused late priest and Provost J. Donald Freeze of nonconsensual contact.
In a letter to alumni, the office of Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said that a group was investigating the claim regarding behavior more than three decades ago and that the university “expresses its deepest apology.”
The institution described the allegations in factual terms but did not expressly say it has found them to be true.
“While this behavior — which involved non-consensual kissing and touching — occurred more than 30 years ago, it is particularly egregious due to Fr. Freeze’s role as both a member of the clergy and as our former Provost,” the letter, also signed by three members of the working group, said.
The accuser wasn’t named, but…
Father Giuseppe Rugolo ‘assaulted kids after ER lessons’
An Italian priest accused of sexually abusing children was sent to an ‘immediate’ trial on Friday.
Father Giuseppe Rugolo of Enna in Sicily was arrested on April 27 on charges of abusing children in his care.
He allegedly abused them during and after religious education lessons.
He is on trial for sexual violence aggravated by taking advantage of the psychological inferiority of the victims.
The trial starts on October 7. (ANSA).
THE full extent of abuse allegedly carried out by a paedophile priest is set to come under judicial scrutiny for the first time.
Proceedings issued by a man who claims the late Fr Malachy Finegan molested him for years at a Co Down school have been listed for High Court trial later this month.
He is suing the trustees and board of governors at St Colman’s College in Newry and the Diocese of Dromore over the campaign of sexual and physical assaults during the 1970s.
Now aged in his sixties, the plaintiff is seeking damages for alleged negligence and failures to protect him from Finegan.
Other witnesses are also expected to give evidence about the priest’s activities during his time at the school.
Solicitor Kevin Winters, who represents the man taking the action, said: “We are very pleased that nearly 20 years after the death of Malachy Finegan there will…
The late J. Donald Freeze has been accused by a former student of nonconsensual kissing and touching, officials said.
Georgetown University has revoked an honorary degree held by a late priest and provost after reports of sexual misconduct, school officials said Friday.
Georgetown’s board of directors moved to rescind the former official’s degree and other university-sanctioned recognitions after a former student accused J. Donald Freeze of misconduct that included nonconsensual kissing and touching, officials said.
Freeze, who died in 2006, had worked in a number of roles at Georgetown, including provost, reporting directly to two different university presidents — the Revs. Timothy Healy and Leo O’Donovan — as chief academic officer from 1979 until 1991. The university awarded Freeze an honorary degree in 1991.
After misconduct allegations were made against the priest last fall, the university convened a working group that included members of its board of directors to address…
Erna Paris’s book, Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History, inspired the Canadian House of Commons motion to apologize, on behalf of the government, to survivors of Canadian residential schools
Two Solitudes. That was the title of Hugh MacLennan’s famous 1945 book about the chasm between Quebec and the “Rest of Canada” – a fault line that has been negotiated continuously since the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. But what if there were three solitudes all along, the third being the Indigenous nations that were suffering cultural decimation far below the radar of most Canadians? I was born and raised in Ontario and never heard, or read, a word about residential schools during close to two decades of schooling. Textbooks referenced the original Indian wars, but what happened to the Indigenous populations as the entity known as Canada emerged was obscured.
Over the past two decades, Canadians have gradually learned the…
The Texas Supreme Court has ruled against a Catholic deacon suing his diocese for putting him on a list of clergy who had accusations of sexual abuse leveled against them.
Jesus Guerrero, who was ordained as a deacon in 1997, sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lubbock after they refused to remove his name from a list released in 2018 of clergy who they deemed as having credible accusations of sexual abuse lodged against them.
In an 8-1 decision released Friday, the state’s highest court concluded that the Diocese of Lubbock could lawfully include Guerrero’s name on the list of accused clergy.
Justice John Devine delivered the majority opinion, writing that having a secular court interfere with the Diocese’s list would be “a challenge to the Diocese’s underlying investigation into its own clergy and application of Canon Law.”
“The First Amendment prohibits government—and courts—from interfering with a…
The lawyer for a 77-year-old Roman Catholic deacon in Lubbock, Texas, says he plans to ask the Supreme Court of the United States to reverse a June 11 state supreme court ruling allowing the Diocese of Lubbock to label the man, Jesse Guerrero, as being “credibly accused” of sexually abusing a minor.
Under the Texas Supreme Court decision, attorney Nick L. Olguin told The Washington Times in a telephone interview, The “[Roman Catholic] Church can define words to mean whatever they want it to be in terms of ‘canon law.’ They can say whatever the heck they want to say to whomever they want to say it, even if it’s not true.”
The case centers on a list entitled “Names of All Clergy with a Credible Allegation of Sexual Abuse of a Minor” that the Lubbock diocese posted on its website in January of 2019. In that list, Mr. Guerrero — a…
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations is calling upon Catholics to stay away from Church services. The call comes as the group is calling upon the leader of that church, Pope Francis to apologize for the Church’s role in Residential Schools in Canada.
Speaking on Friday, FSIN Vice Chief David Pratt acknowledged the reopening of wounds following the discovery of a mass grave of 215 bodies of children at a former Residential School in Kamloops, B.C.
“We call on all members of the Roman Catholic Church to talk to their Bishops, talk to their Archdeacons, talk to their Pastors and their Ministers to put as much pressure as they can on the Pope to do what’s right and apologize.”
FSIN officials say this conversation has been going on for 30-plus years and that this has to be the finish line and not the starting point.
Kinistin First Nation Chief Felix…
Tina Taphouse has spent a lot of time lately reflecting on the impact the Kamloops Indian Residential School has had on her life’s path.
Ms. Taphouse didn’t go to the school because her mother, who worked there and had also grown up in residential school, made the impossible decision to put her up for adoption so she wouldn’t have to attend.
The former residential school in Kamloops is where the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation used ground-penetrating radar to detect what are believed to be the remains of 215 children.
“When you have only the two choices – to give me up for adoption to a better home and not go to residential school, or to keep me and raise me and to know that I would end up going to residential school – that’s a decision a mother shouldn’t have to make,” Ms. Taphouse said in an interview from…
Today, the cultural division between the Catholic Church and Western society—especially on moral issues—is as wide as it has been since the rise of Christendom. The dictatorship of relativism that Pope Benedict XVI decried in 2005, which “does not recognise anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires,” has fallen and been replaced by a new societal orthodoxy holding new doctrines that are often incompatible with long-established teachings and traditions of Christianity. Today’s progressives aren’t “relativists” because they subscribe to moral dogmas just as strongly as Catholics do, and some of these beliefs are very much at odds with traditional Catholic ideas, especially regarding women’s and LGBT rights.
In his 1975 encyclical, Evangelii Nuntiandi, Saint Paul VI reminded us that the Church “exists in order to evangelise, that is to say, in order to preach and teach, to be the channel of the…
On June 29 2017, the day he was charged by Australian police with historical sexual abuse, Cardinal George Pell was the third most powerful Catholic cleric in the world. In 2014 Pope Francis had appointed him to head the newly created Secretariat of the Economy, which had authority over all the finances of the Holy See and the Vatican. After a series of high-profile scandals going back decades, his task was to modernise and overhaul financial operations and stamp out corruption. At one point he discovered more than €1 billion that had not been registered on the accounts. This was the result of amateur incompetence, not corruption, but he also found evidence of the criminality that thrives in such conditions. His investigations were often met with incomprehension (“we’re a Church not a business”) and opposition.
The Cardinal could have claimed diplomatic immunity and remained in Rome. But, despite his age…
German Cardinal Reinhard Marx said that following Pope Francis’ refusal to accept his resignation, he would “not simply return to business as usual” because it would not be the right path for him personally or for the archdiocese.
“The answer of the Holy Father surprised me,” Marx said June 11. “I had not counted on him responding so quickly, and I also had not expected his decision that I should continue on as archbishop of Munich and Freising.”
Francis declined to accept the cardinal’s resignation June 10, saying in a letter that he agreed with the cardinal that Catholic leaders cannot adopt an “ostrich policy” in the face of the clerical sexual abuse crisis.
The German cardinal, who is only 67, announced June 4 that he had submitted his resignation to Francis because he believed bishops must begin to accept responsibility for the institutional failures…
The Diocese of Rochester has asked a federal judge to approve a $35 million settlement agreement with its insurers to help pay survivors of sexual abuse.
In a statement issued Friday afternoon, the diocese said the proposed agreement was with Lloyd’s of London and Interstate Fire and Casuality, who are among the major insurers involved in its bankruptcy case.
“We believe this settlement, if approved, is a significant step forward in our goal of achieving a fair and equitable reorganization plan — the vast majority of which will be funded by our insurers — that will compensate the survivors of sexual abuse who have filed claims in our Chapter 11 case,” the statement said.
A hearing has been scheduled for July 9 with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Paul R. Warren.
The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2019, saying it could not afford to pay the compensation…
The Catholic Diocese of Erie recently announced spending $16.6 million on payouts to victims of sexual abuse in the diocese. That was in addition to $750,000 spent during the term of Donald Trautman, included in another $15 million in expenses. In that total, there is over $12 million in attorney’s fees alone defending the churches crimes and for sexual abuse case research.
They spent over $2 million on the Rev. David L. Paulson case alone. Bishop Lawrence Persico continues to claim he is using a line of credit to prevent the diocese from using parishioner’s donations to pay victims. Note he carefully says the monies used to “pay victims,” while knowing about $15 million were spent in other defensive areas. The use of the compensation fund system shields the diocese from having to reveal their assets and from victims knowing how much the diocese is worth in my opinion.
The issue is…
The pope’s refusal to accept the German cardinal’s resignation further strengthens moves towards a substantial reform of the Catholic Church
Cardinal Reinhard Marx tried to resign but, in the end, Pope Francis rejected the move and instructed the 67-year-old German to continue leading the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising.
The news is a major blow to doctrinal hardliners and neo-traditionalists, and everyone else who is a part of the Catholic Church’s “no change” crowd.
Because Marx is not just any bishop or cardinal. He’s one of the most energetic and forceful proponents of ecclesial reform through synodality, a process of wide-ranging consultation of all the Church’s members that Francis is trying to make constitutive of Roman Catholicism.
And the cardinal’s an extremely influential papal aide as member of the Council of Cardinals and moderator of the Vatican’s Council for the Economy.
He’s also served from 2012-2018 as president of the…
This article contains a personal account of abuse endured or witnessed by children at residential “school” that may be triggering. It mentions suicide and violence against children including: sexual, physical, mental and emotional abuse. Support for survivors and their families is available. Call the Indian Residential School Survivors Society at 1-800-721-0066, 1-866-925-4419 for the 24-7 crisis line. The KUU-US Crisis Line Society also offers 24-7 support at 250-723-4050 for adults, 250-723-2040 for youth, or toll free at 1-800-588-8717.
When Jack Kruger, a residential school survivor living in Syilx territory, heard the news about the children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, he says he wasn’t surprised.
“We always said they were there,” says Jack. “Maybe this time they will listen.”
On May 27, Kúkpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc announced that ground-penetrating radar had revealed the remains of 215 children in…
It’s taken him decades to tell his story, but one man is sharing with News 12 his traumatic memories of being sexually abused as a little boy for years at a Catholic school and community center in the Bronx. He says the time to get justice is now as the expiration date for the state’s Child Victims Act approaches.
“As a little child, I could not process what was happening to me. I felt defenseless, I felt dirty. I felt it was my fault,” said the man.
John Doe spoke with News 12’s Asha McKenzie under protection of anonymity.
He says he was sexually abused by now deceased Rudy Tremaroli, a former employee at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School and Community Center.
“The first time I went in there he said, ‘Do you like football?’ and I said ‘yes’ and he was like ‘Oh, I have to measure…
Nearly two years ago, the Child Victims Act went into effect, touted as a way to bring both a reckoning for individuals and institutions involved in decades of child abuse and a measure of justice for their victims. But none of the thousands of court cases that have been filed in New York have yet gone to trial and many details of the alleged institutional coverups that shielded the abuse remain cloaked in secrecy.
Although there has been extensive pre-trial discovery in many of the cases, including internal records and depositions of key leaders in both the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America, much of that information remains off-limits to the public due to stipulations approved by judges that require all parties in the cases to keep the information private. It’s also possible, if cases are settled and do not go to trial, that the details on the…
[Photo above: An excerpt of a detective’s written summary of her Jan. 7 interview with Katie Logan. (Eden Prairie Police Department via Katie Logan)]
In December, Katie Logan called the police in this Minneapolis suburb to unearth a buried secret: Her high school physics teacher had sexually assaulted her two decades earlier, she said. She was 17 and had just graduated from a school run by a small Christian group called People of Praise. He was 35 at the time, a widely admired teacher and girls’ basketball coach who lived in a People of Praise home for celibate men.
Logan told police she reported the June 2001 incident to a dean at the school five years after it happened. Police records show the dean believed Logan and relayed the complaint to at least one other senior school official.
But the teacher, Dave Beskar, remained at Trinity School at River Ridge…
A victim’s rights organization is calling on New York State’s court system to hear the cases of alleged sex abuse survivors in the Diocese of Rochester, and is accusing the diocese of using “delaying tactics.”
In a news conference Friday organization, Road to Recovery accused the diocese, and Bishop Salvatore Matano, of failing to fairly mediate claims of clergy sexual abuse, and says it is using its bankruptcy process to prolong the court process for survivors.
The diocese is facing a flood of lawsuits filed under the Child Victims Act, naming the diocese as a defendant.
The diocese formally filed for bankruptcy in September of 2019 so it could address the lawsuits and keep its services going. In its filing, the request says that a debtor in bankruptcy, like the diocese, has to at some point be able to establish definitively how much in total liabilities it’ll have to pay…
Pope Francis on June 10 declined to accept the shocking resignation offered by German Cardinal Reinhard Marx over the failures of the Catholic Church’s response to clergy sexual abuse but admitted the global institution’s handling of abuse over decades had been a “catastrophe.”
In a poignant letter to Marx, released by the Vatican, the pope said the whole of the Catholic Church is “in crisis” because of clergy abuse and said all its members “have to take ownership of history, both personally and communally.”
“The power of institutions will not save us,” Francis said. “The prestige of our Church, which tends to hide her sins, will not save us. Neither the power of money nor the opinion of the media will save us.”
Marx, one of the pope’s closest advisers, had asked last month to be allowed to resign as the archbishop of Munch and Freising as a symbol of…
Recordings released by a prominent pastor highlight dispute over how to handle abuse allegations in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.
Newly released audio clips from a Southern Baptist whistleblower appear to corroborate accusations Southern Baptist Convention leaders were reluctant to take action against churches accused of mishandling abuse.
The audio contains a recording of Ronnie Floyd, president of the SBC’s Executive Committee, telling SBC leaders in an October 2019 meeting that he is concerned about preserving the base in the denomination — even if that leads to criticism from abuse survivors.
“As you think through strategy — and I am not concerned about anything survivors can say,” Floyd says in the recording, taken during a meeting to debrief the Caring Well Conference, held to address the handling of sexual abuse allegations within the SBC. “OK. I am not worried about that. I’m thinking the base. I just want to preserve…
Once described by a top Vatican official as “the unplanned pregnancies” of the Catholic Church, lay movements and associations for decades have been a thorn in the Vatican’s side due to ongoing revelations of various forms of abuse from a swath of lay founders.
For years, much of the blame for failing to recognize the double-lives of founders such as Peruvian layman Luis Fernando Figari of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae or Italian layman Piero Alfio Capuna, also known as “the Archangel,” of the lay-led Catholic Culture and Environment Association (ACCA) , is the lack of a clear oversight mechanism, given that the associations are lay-led, rather than clerical, and therefore are not directly subject to the authority of the local bishops where they operate.
In a decree signed on June 3 by American Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head of the Vatican’s department for Laity, Family, and Life – which oversees lay associations and…
A few weeks ago, on this blog, we were highly critical of the Diocese of Buffalo Catholic officials and how they’re handling abuse cases.
So let’s be charitable now and start on a high note: To its credit, unlike some other dioceses, the Buffalo Catholic diocese includes religious order offenders on its ‘credibly accused’ list.
(Some church ‘accused’ lists include only diocesan clerics.)
This is important for many reasons, one of which is simple: many times, religious order priests, brothers, monks and seminarians have even greater access to kids than diocesan clerics, because they often work in schools or a vulnerable population.
For example, Buffalo church officials include the following Jesuit clerics on their ‘credibly accused’ list, all of whom worked at Canisius High School, college or both:
—Fr. Peter Conroy
—Fr. Raymond Fullam
—Fr. Vincent Mooney
—Fr. James Gould (who also worked at St. Ann’s…
A delegation of Indigenous people from Canada will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican before the end of the year, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said.
The delegation will include representatives of First Nations, Métis and Inuit national organizations, the bishops said in a statement released June 10.
The statement follows the May 30 announcement by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation of the discovery of 215 bodies buried on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia.
“The delegation to the Holy See represents an important step on the journey of reconciliation and shared healing for Indigenous Peoples and the Church in Canada,” the bishops said.
“With the strong encouragement of Pope Francis, the Bishops of Canada have pledged true and deep commitment to renewing and strengthening relationships with Indigenous Peoples across the land,” the statement said, citing regional and…
Words of regret and acts of penance are not enough to heal the wounds and right the church
The Catholic Church enjoyed a bit of a renewed honeymoon with the global media after the May 21st announcement of the “synodal process 2021–2023.” But the love fest lasted only about a week.
It was brought to an abrupt and ugly end when law enforcement officials in Canada discovered 215 unmarked graves of indigenous children at a former Catholic-run residential school in British Columbia.
International organizations quickly demanded that the Church in Canada and the Holy See admit responsibility for the tragedy.
Pope Francis expressed his “closeness with Canadians traumatized by the shocking news,” as he addressed pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square at last Sunday’s Angelus. But he stopped short of issuing a direct apology.
June 4th, that fateful day
Canada’s Catholic Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, insisted that the Church and the…
Although agreeing with him that the clerical abuse crisis is a “catastrophe,” Pope Francis rejected the resignation presented to him by German Cardinal Reinhard Marx as archbishop of the archdiocese of Munich.
“You tell me that you are going through a moment of crisis, and not only you but also the Church in Germany is going through it,” Francis wrote in a letter dated June 10. “The whole Church is in crisis because of the abuse matter; moreover, the Church today cannot take a step forward without addressing this crisis.”
The “ostrich policy” of hiding the head in the sand leads nowhere, the pope argues, and the only way to address the crisis is to address it “from our paschal faith.”
The Catholic Church in Germany has long been struggling to address the clerical abuse crisis, with several top-ranking officials, including Marx and Cardinal Rainer Woelki of Cologne, accused of…
Covering the Catholic Church is a tough gig for reporters, not least because we’re often forced to be killjoys. We’re forever put in the position of raining on a media parade, and such was the case again Friday with the sensational “resignation” of Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich.
Bishops resign all the time, but what made this one a headline is A) Marx is a big fish in the Church, a key ally and confidante of Pope Francis; B) While the German church has been hit hard by clerical sexual abuse scandals, Marx personally hasn’t been accused of abuse or significant wrongdoing; C) Nevertheless, he volunteered to resign anyway in order to take “institutional responsibility” for the church’s failures.
That’s a noteworthy development by any standard. However, there are at least three immediate misunderstandings about the story – natural and, to some extent, inevitable – which quickly went into circulation…
“The pope will need to accept Cardinal Marx’s resignation,” I wrote last Friday. “If he doesn’t, he ought to be doing some soul-searching of his own.”
Now that Pope Francis has seen fit to refuse Cardinal Marx’s offer, and demand that he remain in place as Archbishop of Munich and Freising, I should say that my second sentence originally read: “If he doesn’t, he should think about offering his own.”
It’s the last time I soften anything.
It is difficult, in any circumstances, to judge another’s motivations. When it is a question of a very public figure, in the midst of momentous events, it is all but impossible. As Christians, and even as decent human beings, it is only right to give the benefit of the doubt, and presume the best of intentions.
Whatever Cardinal Marx’s reasons for submitting his resignation, Pope Francis’s rejection of it makes the whole thing appear thoroughly…
[Photo above: The Rev. Bruno Ugliano in 1990. File photo.]
A former North Jersey high school football standout is among the latest to file a lawsuit against the Catholic order that runs the Delbarton School in Morris Township, alleging that he was sexually abused by three monks decades ago and kept quiet about it for years — partly because he and his brother were the school’s only Black students.
Rodney Baron, who lives in Morristown, said in court papers that he was abused more than 150 times, was punished for minor infractions that white students got away with, and was afraid to challenge the sexual abuse even after one priest escalated the abuse during a class trip to the Jersey Shore.
“As the only African American student in the school other than his brother, Rodney thought to himself: ‘Who is going to believe me?’” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit accuses…
THE baptism of babies into the Catholic Church is unsuitable and needs to be overhauled because it means people’s freedoms are being suppressed for life, Mary McAleese has said.
In an address to Oxford University today, the former Irish President said canon law claims the Church is entitled to limit, compromise and control church members’ rights thanks to the “christening contract which most of us slept or cried through”.
Her talk – entitled ‘Baptismal obligations? Revisiting the christening contract – a necessary prelude to any synodal journey’ – called for a change in the way infant baptism imposes lifelong obligations and compulsory obedience to church teaching as babies cannot possibly understand what is being promised on their behalf.
Church members, she warned, are expected to subordinate their freedoms to compulsory obedience to the Church’s teaching or magisterium from the day of their baptism onwards.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says…
More adult victims of child abuse could get an opportunity to sue for damages
The Catholic Church and other major institutions accused of mistreating children stand to lose a lot more money to lawsuits brought by victims of abuse under a bill unanimously approved by the Louisiana Legislature Thursday.
House Bill 492, sponsored by Rep. Jason Hughes, D-New Orleans, removes the time limit for civil lawsuits over child abuse. Currently, a person must sue over child abuse before they turn 28 years old.
The legislation also establishes a three-year “lookback window” that would allow any adult victims of child abuse who ran out of time to sue under the current law to now file a lawsuit over that abuse. The new law would essentially become retroactive — but only for three years — under this legislation.
Similar laws in other states brought a wave of new suits against the…
This week, on the last legislative session day, Colorado lawmakers made history. We are thrilled to report that with the passage of SB 21-088 at least some survivors of child sexual abuse in the state will have a chance at justice. Although this bill will not allow victims to sue their perpetrators, it will let survivors file lawsuits against institutions if their harm was the consequence of a cover-up by the organization.
Survivors once believed that it would be impossible to reform the statute of limitations in Colorado retroactively. The consensus was that it would take an amendment to the state’s constitution to allow the revival of time-barred actions for child sexual assault. However, the Child Sexual Abuse Accountability Act creates a new cause of action. Until victims and their supporters are able to place the reform of the Colorado Constitution on the ballot, this is the best possible solution….
The Diocese of Rochester has asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to approve a $35 million settlement agreement with several of the major insurers involved in the diocese’s nearly two-year-old bankruptcy case. If approved, the settlement proceeds paid by the insurers will be available to satisfy claims of survivors of sexual abuse.
Diocesan attorneys filed a motion on May 27 with the United States Bankruptcy Court, Western District of New York, seeking approval of a settlement with underwriters at Lloyd’s of London, certain London market companies, Interstate Fire & Casualty Co. and National Surety Corp. A hearing regarding the petition has been scheduled for July 9 before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Paul R. Warren.
“We believe this settlement, if approved, is a significant step forward in our goal of achieving a fair and equitable reorganization plan — the vast majority of which will be funded by our insurers — that will compensate the…
In the years since the revised Code of Canon Law was published in 1983, specific issues have challenged the church and made necessary certain changes in canon law.
In the various inquiries into the question of abuse in the Catholic Church the role, wording and function of canon law have been held to particular scrutiny, which has led to several recommendations. One such recommendation was made in 2017 in the final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia, which suggested that the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference should request the Vatican to add new canons to the 1983 Code of Canon Law to deal specifically with crimes of child sexual abuse.
The latest revisions to Catholic Church law, published on June 1, respond not only to the recommendations of the Australian Royal Commission but to new kinds of abuses identified by the church in the years since…
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is citing decades of Catholic efforts to prevent sex abuse, along with judicial statements and reviews of Church documents, as among the reasons it is pushing back against a state inquiry into clergy abuse.
In April, Wisconsin attorney general Josh Kaul had announced the launch of an investigation into alleged sexual abuse in the state’s Catholic dioceses and at least three religious orders. Kaul said he planned to review reports of abuse by clergy and faith leaders “with support from district attorneys, survivor groups, and crime victim services professionals.”
In response, the Milwaukee archdiocese says that judges, civil authorities, and an outside firm have already reviewed their documents – multiple times – and a bankruptcy judge has declared no concern for public safety after reviewing abuse claims.
“Our assertion is the Church is being unfairly singled out by this investigation,” Jerry Topczewski, chief of staff to…
[Photo above: In this Germany, Friday, June 4, 2021 file photo, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, gives a statement to the press in the courtyard of his residence in Munich. Pope Francis refused Thursday, June 10, 2021 to accept the resignation offered by German Cardinal Reinhard Marx over the sex abuse scandal in the church, but said a process of reform was necessary and that every bishop must take responsibility for the “catastrophe” of the crisis. (Peter Kneffel/dpa via AP, File)]
Pope Francis refused Thursday to let German Cardinal Reinhard Marx resign over the sex abuse scandal in the German Church, but said a process of reform was necessary and that every bishop must take responsibility for the “catastrophe” of the crisis.
Francis wrote a letter to Marx to respond to his bombshell announcement last week that he had offered to resign as archbishop of Munich and…
The word “shocking” has come up a lot in news stories about the discovery of the remains of 215 children at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops; though, to anyone familiar with the history of such schools, there was nothing remotely surprising about it.
That most of the country was “shocked” by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation revelation of unmarked graves speaks to our collective ignorance about our country’s past and the sins of commission and omission made by those in positions of authority who sought to bury the truth.
The abuse of Indigenous children by both church and state that occurred for more than a century at residential schools across Canada occurred on multiple levels, in both life and death. Children removed from their families by the state and entrusted to clergy were subjected to such physical, sexual and emotional abuse that some Indigenous youth took…
Jeremy M. Bergen is an associate professor of religious studies and theological studies at Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo. He is the author of Ecclesial Repentance: The Churches Confront Their Sinful Pasts.
The Catholic Church seems to be tripping over itself to avoid issuing a clear and definitive apology for the church’s role in Canada’s residential schools after the remains of 215 children were discovered outside a Catholic-run school in Kamloops. While concerns about liability may be a factor, one significant barrier is theological.
In traditional Catholic theology, the church can act collectively, but as the Body of Christ it cannot sin. Only members, including leaders, sin. When Catholics do something good, this may be ascribed to the church. When Catholics harm others, it is the action of individuals.
Pope John Paul II is perceived to have apologized for many church wrongs, but he did not claim the church itself was the…
Pope Francis rejects the resignation of Cardinal Reinhard Marx as Archbishop of Munich. “Thank you for your Christian courage, which does not fear to be humbled before the reality of sin,” the Pope writes to the Cardinal. “Taking up the crisis, personally and communally, is the only fruitful path
“If you are tempted to think that by confirming your mission and not accepting your resignation, this Bishop of Rome (your brother who loves you) does not understand you, think of what Peter felt before the Lord when, in his own way, he presented his resignation,” by presenting himself as a sinner, and received the answer, “Shepherd my sheep.” It is with this image that Pope Francis concludes his letter in which he rejects the resignation presented by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising. In a letter to the Pope dated 21 May – which was later published –…
Cardinal Reinhard Marx had sought to quit as a way to take responsibility for the church’s earlier failures to address sexual abuse by priests.
Pope Francis on Thursday rejected the resignation of Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the archbishop of Munich, who had sought to leave his position last month in a gesture to take personal responsibility on behalf of the entire church hierarchy for decades of sexual abuse by priests and unaccountability by bishops.
In a warm letter written in his native Spanish and signed “with brotherly affection,” Francis told the 67-year-old German, a leading liberal in Germany’s Roman Catholic Church and a member of the pope’s powerful advisory council, that he should stay in his office and help guide the church through the shoals.
“I like the way you finish the letter,” Francis wrote, referring to Cardinal Marx’s request to continue acting as a priest and a bishop and to…
Calls to release internal church records on abuse, residential schools grow following Kamloops revelations
Warning: This story contains details readers may find distressing.
[Photo above: Joey Basaraba, now 55, says he was abused repeatedly by two Prince Albert, Sask., priests, starting at age six. He failed Grade 1 twice, dropped out of school, and never learned to read or write. (Submitted by Joey Basaraba)]
Joey Basaraba cries randomly while sitting in his Saskatoon apartment, in the shower or out walking. He can’t remember the last time he slept through the night.
“I take it one day at a time,” Basaraba said in an interview this week.
Basaraba, who says he was sexually abused for years starting at age six by two Prince Albert, Sask., priests, is joining the renewed national calls for church transparency after the discovery of what are believed to be the unmarked graves of 215 children at a Catholic residential school site in Kamloops, B.C.
Pontiff urges Cardinal Reinhard Marx to continue anti-abuse reforms
Pope Francis told German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who offered his resignation last month to take responsibility for the Catholic Church’s institutional failures to prevent clerical sex abuse, instead to remain in office and pursue reform.
The cardinal, a top papal adviser and a one of the most powerful Catholic prelates in Germany, made the surprise announcement last week that he had asked to step down “to share the responsibility for the catastrophe of the sexual abuse by church officials over the past decades.”
The prospect of his departure stimulated speculation that other bishops might follow suit and raised questions about the course of the German church’s ongoing national synod, an assembly originally called in response to the abuse crisis. Cardinal Marx has been a leading figure in the Catholic Church’s response to abuse scandals and in…
The Diocese of Fresno is close to releasing a much-anticipated report on priests accused of sexual misconduct, an official said Wednesday.
“We are in the process of finalizing that report, “ said Cheryl Sarkisian, chancellor and victim assistance coordinator for the diocese. “It has been time- and labor-intensive and is close to being finalized for release soon.”
The diocese under then-Bishop Armando Ochoa vowed in January 2019 to release a list of accused priests, much like other dioceses have done across the country. Ochoa said at the time that the diocese would review its records dating back to 1922.
Among those pushing the Catholic Church for more transparency is noted lawyer Jeff Anderson & Associates. The Minnesota-based law firm specializes in representing victims of sexual abuse nationwide.
Anderson and his legal team were in Fresno on Wednesday announcing two lawsuits on behalf of the alleged sexually abused victims of former…
We’ve heard the reports of alleged and confirmed sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church, but we’re also learning about racial disparities in the treatment of clergy abuse victims.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, June 8, the lawyer for a Black clergy abuse victim accused the Franciscans of the Blessed Virgin Mary, headquartered in Franklin, Wisconsin, and the Diocese of Jackson Mississippi, of discrimination.
He said both churches ignored Raphael Love’s repeated claim of abuse by former Franciscan Brother Paul West.
“His life has been altered and his life is more trying and difficult, even in this environment, because of the abuse,” said Phillip Aaron, Love’s attorney. “And he’s suffered the loss of the enjoyment of life.”
In addition to wanting proper compensation for Love, they want to raise awareness about how far more accused clergy get transferred to predominantly Black parishes than predominantly white parishes.
In a statement Tuesday,…
A new federal lawsuit alleges discrimination and racial disparity in the treatment of Raphael Love, a Black clergy sexual abuse victim. We are pleased to learn about this action against the Franciscans of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who operated under the authority of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in Wisconsin and the Diocese of Jackson in Mississippi. Just last week the Archdiocese of Milwaukee announced that it would refuse to cooperate with the Wisconsin Attorney General’s investigation into abuse by Catholic clergy and other Church leaders.
Raphael and his cousins, La Jarvis Love and Joshua Love, fell prey to Brother Paul West in the 1990s, when the Franciscan was a teacher in Mississippi. Raphael and his grandmother reported the abuse to Church and secular authorities in 1998 with no result.
Despite having been informed of the abuse allegations, the Franciscans allowed Brother West to teach…
Attorneys have filed lawsuits alleging former priest Craig Harrison sexually assaulted two minors, one at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Bakersfield.
Harrison sexually assaulted a 13-year-old at St. Francis in about 1990, said plaintiffs’ attorney Jeff Anderson at a press conference in Fresno. He said Harrison lured the teen into the rectory and “violated him repeatedly.”
“It was by virtue of (Harrison’s) position as a priest of defendants that he met and groomed plaintiff, established trust with plaintiff, and manipulated that trust in order to sexually assault and abuse plaintiff,” the suit says.
The other suit alleges Harrison sexually assaulted a teen over a three-year period in Firebaugh, beginning when the boy was 15. It says the abuse started in 1993.
Anderson said he’s aware Harrison has been a very public pastor who has been in the diocese for years and is beloved and trusted by many.
Attorneys say two lawsuits are expected to be filed Wednesday accusing former Bakersfield priest Craig Harrison of sexual abuse and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno of “ignoring and concealing” his actions.
Attorneys representing the purported victims of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest will address the media regarding lawsuits being filed against Craig Harrison, formerly of Bakersfield’s St. Francis of Assisi Church, and other Fresno Catholic officials who are accused of “ignoring and concealed his crimes.”
In February, Harrison left the priesthood following allegations of sexual misconduct.
“I was never given any opportunity to respond to any accusation against me or to give any evidence in support of my innocence,” Harrison said. “To this day, right now, no one in the Diocese of Fresno has ever even asked me a question about the allegations, and it’s almost two years,” he said.
Authorities in Bakersfield, Fresno and Merced declined…
A Georgian court ordered on Saturday the evacuation of children from a Church-run boarding school for orphans after the local archbishop refused to let authorities enter the school and look into allegations of violence and sexual abuse of children.
The Georgian Orthodox Church said on Sunday it will cooperate with authorities but it will also appeal the ruling because “the court did not present the relevant evidence of ill-treatment and violence against the minors there.”
The case came to public attention last April, when the country’s ombudsman Nino Lomjaria announced that a monitoring group of the Public Defender’s office was not allowed to enter the school in Ninotsminda, a town 160 kilometers southwest of Tbilisi, although it tried several times.
The school said it was instructed by Archbishop Gocha Abuladze, whose Church name is “
Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, Germany, has offered his resignation to Pope Francis, despite being eight years shy of the mandatory retirement age of 75, saying he wants to take his share of responsibility for the “catastrophe of sexual abuse” by representatives of the Catholic Church.
Under church law, a bishop may offer his resignation, but it’s always up to the pope to the decide whether to accept it. In the meantime, Marx said in a message to reporters that Francis has asked him to remain in office.
“It is important to me to share the responsibility for the catastrophe of the sexual abuse by Church officials over the past decades,” Marx wrote to Pope Francis in a letter dated May 21 that was meant to be as “confidential and personal,” but which was released to the media by the Munich archdiocese after the pontiff reportedly told Marx the letter…
Pope Francis earlier this month asked an Italian bishop and expert in canon law to conduct visitation of the curial Congregation for Clergy, much like the one that recently concluded of the Vatican’s liturgy department.
In a letter to diocesan priests widely reported on by Italian news outlets, including Italian newspapers La Stampa and L’Unione Monregalese and the official online news outlet of the Italian bishops, SIR, Bishop Egidio Miragoli of Mondovì said he had been tasked with the job.
Miragoli, who holds a doctorate in canon law from Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, was appointed to lead the Diocese of Mondovì by Pope Francis in September 2017.
In his letter, sent out the morning of June 7 to all priests in his diocese, Miragoli said he was approached by Pope Francis, who wanted “to ask me for a favor,” during the Italian bishops’ recent plenary assembly late last month.
On that occasion, he said, the…
How Russell Moore fell afoul of them.
If you think it’s a coincidence that two accusatory letters from Russell Moore were leaked just before the Southern Baptist Convention convenes in Nashville, Tennessee, next week, I’ve got a big granite mountain east of Atlanta to sell you.
The main business of the annual meeting will be to elect a new SBC president to follow J.D. Greear, who, because the 2020 meeting was canceled due to COVID-19, has served two one-year terms.
One of the four candidates for the presidency, Georgia Pastor Mike Stone, is charged by Moore with undermining the denomination’s efforts at sexual abuse reform, a charge Stone protests. If you’ve read either of the two letters, you’ll know that Stone is hardly the only object of Moore’s ire.
But let’s back up a bit.
Eight years ago, Moore became president of the SBC’s Ethics and…
A man who alleges a former Catholic priest repeatedly molested him when he was a young boy, then continued to be active at parishes within the Diocese of San Diego for decades, said Tuesday he decided to file a lawsuit to protect children.
Beau Potter, now 54 years old, alleges Father Ramon Marrufo molested him in Rialto over the course of several years in the 1970s, beginning when the plaintiff was in second grade. Prior to 1978, the Diocese of San Diego stretched into portions of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
Marrufo was ordained in 1976 and was assigned to various locations across San Diego County, including churches in San Diego, Oceanside, Chula Vista, Vista, Fallbrook and Escondido, according to the lawsuit, which alleges his most recent assignment was at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Parish and School in Fallbrook from 2010 until 2019.
Potter’s lawsuit names the Diocese of…
Fr. Michael Pfleger has been the pastor of St. Sabina Church in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood since 1981, most widely known for his activism against violence in the city.
One day after presiding at his first Mass at Chicago’s Saint Sabina Church since being reinstated as senior pastor, Father Michael Pfleger on Monday opened up about the sexual abuse allegations that kept him away from the parish for five months.
Cardinal Blase Cupich announced late last month that Pfleger would be reinstated after an investigation by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago’s review board found that allegations of abuse against the longtime pastor were unfounded.
In January, the Archdiocese asked Pfleger to step aside from his ministry after receiving an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. The accuser’s sibling came forward later that month with a second allegation of abuse.
Pfleger said he felt helpless when the allegations emerged, leading…
Earlier this year, lawmakers lifted the statute of limitations for sexual assault cases going forward but, because the state constitution bars retroactive claims, it didn’t help those abused in the past. This bill creates a new type of claim not under the statute of limitations.
Ray Desser is among dozens of survivors who testified on the bill.
“I just got tired of myself and my family being a doormat. So I kind of put my life on hold and I’ve been part of this process from womb to tomb,” he told CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd.
Desser says he was 13 years old when the sexual abuse started and life as he knew it ended.
“I just prayed to die every day,” he explained. “I could not live with this anymore.”
It would take 25 years before he could talk about the abuse and by then the statute of…
Senate Bill 88 would give survivors of abuse after 1960 for whom the civil statute of limitations has expired the ability to file lawsuits during a three-year window starting Jan. 1, 2022
The Colorado legislature on Tuesday sent Gov. Jared Polis a contentious bill that would give historic survivors of child sexual assault, for whom the civil statute of limitations has run out, a three-year opportunity to sue their abusers and the institutions or organizations that failed to stop the abuse.
Senate Bill 88 cleared the House on a 50-14 vote. The Senate voted 31-3 on the measure.
Lawsuits could begin on Jan. 1. The bill would cap damages for public entities sued under the bill at $387,000. There would also be a $500,000 “soft” cap for private entities, like a church or summer camp, sued under the legislation. The limit rises to a $1 million “hard” cap if a…
Father Paul Bringleson spoke to his congregation in Flin Flon, Man., in a powerful sermon apologizing for residential schools and calling out the failures of Catholic Church leaders
Last Sunday, Father Paul Bringleson of St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church in Flin Flon, Man., delivered a homily about the Catholic Church’s role in residential schools in Canada, and notably, its failure to apologize and account for its “horrendous visible sin.” His message to bishops: “You sit there in your offices knowing that you embody a legacy that we are discovering every year is filled with racism and hatred.” Father Bringleson’s sermon, which he posted on YouTube, ends with an apology to Indigenous people, and a message to church leaders: “Take off your robes, your shoes, and your rings and your crosses. Sit yourself in a chair. And listen. Listen. Listen until it hurts. And keep listening.”
In an interview with Vatican News, the Australian Cardinal who turns 80 today relives the experience he had during thirteen months of detention recounted in his book “Prison Journal”. “It helped me to live my sufferings by associating them with those of Jesus. I have always believed that God was behind everything that was happening to me”.
Cardinal George Pell, Prefect Emeritus of the Secretariat for the Economy, has been a free man for fourteen months. Today, 8 June 2021, he was able to celebrate his eightieth birthday in his home country, Australia. We reached him by phone at a time in which he is in self-isolation for health reasons related to Covid. The conversation took place as the Cantagalli Publishing House releases his “Prison Journal” – Volume I in Italian. The 400-page book collects the notes that make up the Cardinal’s daily diary between 27 February and 13 July…
“Window” Laws are not just ‘one-offs” any more.
They are now the go-to legislative measure to repair decades of arbitrary statute of limitations laws that have denied sexual abuse survivors meaningful access to the civil court system.
“Window” laws create a period of time in which abuse sexual abuse survivors whose claims are currently expired under existing statutes of limitations can bring their civil lawsuits without the obstacle of a statute of limitations defense. The whole reason these laws are needed is that many states have arbitrary and woefully short statute of limitations periods requiring child sexual abuse victims to file civil lawsuits before the survivors are psychologically and emotionally ready to process and seek justice for their abuse.
Arguably, the “Window” laws are the quickest and cheapest ways to protect victims because they enable victims of child sexual abuse to expose child molesters who may well be abusing kids…
The pastors want to confront allegations detailed in letters from outgoing SBC ethics chief Russell Moore, who said top leaders of the convention resisted sexual abuse reforms and bullied a sexual abuse victim.
Two Southern Baptist pastors will seek an investigation into allegations that the highest echelons of the Southern Baptist Convention mishandled several sex abuse claims and bullied sex abuse victims.
The pastors — Ronnie Parrott of Christ Community Church in Huntersville, North Carolina, and Grant Gaines, pastor of Belle Aire Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee — have said they will make a motion at the upcoming meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention asking the denomination’s newly elected president to hire an outside firm to investigate.
“The intention behind the motion Grant and I are making is to seek the truth,” Parrott said. “We don’t need any more of the ‘he said this,’ and ‘he said that’ comments. We…
Several priests, some of whom were former students at a minor seminary located in the Vatican, testified at the ongoing trial of Fr. Gabriele Martinelli, who is accused of sexually abusing a younger student at the St. Pius X Pre-Seminary.
The priests — Frs. Giuliano Zanotta, Daniele Pinton, Giampaolo Cozzi and Ambrogio Marinoni — described Father Martinelli’s influence at the minor seminary, as well as that of his mentor and former rector of St. Pius X, Msgr. Enrico Radice, and L.G., the victim who is also a former student. Also testifying was Deacon Alessio Primante.
The June 7 session was the 10th of the trial, which began in October. Giuseppe Pignatone, president of the Vatican City State tribunal, said the court would listen to three more witness July 15 and possibly hear arguments July 16 before the court adjourns for the summer.
The trial would resume after the summer recess…
[Photo above: Nuns wearing protective masks take part in a Corpus Christi procession in Krakow, Poland, June 11, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. (CNS/Agencja Gazeta via Reuters/Jakub Porzycki)]
When Bishop Tadeusz Rakoczy, a retired Polish prelate, was sanctioned by the Vatican in late May for mishandling sexual abuse by his clergy, it was just the latest blow to the once-unsullied image of the country’s Catholic Church.
In recent days, there have been reports that the Polish bishops have been specially summoned to Rome in the fall by Pope Francis because of a spate of sexual abuse cases that have rocked the country’s church. Although officials have denied the accuracy of the reports, they nonetheless signal the deep unease now afflicting religious life in Europe’s most Catholic country.
“It’s been a kind of shock therapy for everyone,” said Marcin Przeciszewski, director of Poland’s Catholic Information Agency, KAI.
A cleric who sexually abuses a child and a bishop or religious superior who covers up that abuse are personally morally at fault, but the Catholic Church as an institution is not, said Cardinal Julián Herranz, retired president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.
In a letter published on the front page of the Vatican newspaper, the 91-year-old cardinal said that “the errors, sins and sometimes even crimes of her members, including senior members of the hierarchy” cannot be allowed to “cast doubt on the credibility of the church and the salvific value of her mission and her magisterium.”
Herranz’s letter was published June 8, four days after German Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, 67, announced he had submitted his resignation to Pope Francis. Marx said he took such action because he believed bishops must begin to accept responsibility for the institutional failures of the church in…
- The Catholic church and the Commonwealth have agreed to compensate Aboriginal physical and sexual abuse survivors of the Garden Point mission
- The Bishop of Darwin has apologised for the wrongs of the past
- Other groups are considering following the avenue of civil action
Forty-two survivors of Aboriginal forced removal policies have signed a deal for compensation and apology 40 years after suffering sexual and physical abuse in the Garden Point Catholic Church mission on Melville Island north of Darwin.
“I’m happy, and I’m sad for the people who have gone already … we had a minute’s silence for them … but it’s been very tiring fighting for this for three years,” said Maxine Kunde, the leader of a group which took civil action against the church and Commonwealth in the Northern Territory Supreme Court.
At age six, Ms Kunde, along with her brothers and sisters, was forcibly taken from her mother…
Discussions with bishops happening to request residential school apology, return of records and cultural items
National Indigenous leaders are planning a visit to the Vatican this November to seek a papal apology for the Catholic Church’s role in running residential schools and other Canadian institutions that Indigenous students were forced to attend.
National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations and Vice-President David Chartrand of the Métis National Council told CBC News their organizations are working with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to send delegations.
“It’s a very big part of healing,” Bellegarde said. “Our missing children have not received the same dignity nor respect in death or in life that every human being deserves.”
The leaders said the trip to the Vatican was supposed to have happened by now, but the pandemic pushed those plans back.
Now, with the discovery of what are believed…
All of the dioceses that had residential schools and the religious orders involved apologized decades ago, and those expressions have been renewed in recent days
There has been much commentary about a Catholic apology for residential schools, even in these pages, that I prefer to think is ill-informed rather than ill-motivated.
While I speak for no one but myself, and certainly not for the Catholic bishops, much less the Holy See, it is understandable that many have asked me about how and where the Catholic Church should apologize for its role in the grave offences against human dignity that occurred in residential schools.
All three parts of that are important: “Catholic Church,” “how” and “where.”
Notice that “if” and “when” are not part of the question. The Catholic Church, like other Christian communities, has been engaged in reconciliation and healing for 30 years. It made sincere apologies not long after…
‘It needed to happen then. It really needs to happen now,’ Chief Felix Thomas says
For a brief period in 2016, Chief Felix Thomas allowed himself to believe that Pope Francis would come to Saskatchewan.
“We were very hopeful. We thought it was going ahead,” said Thomas, chief of the Kinistin Saulteaux Nation.
Thomas and then-Saskatoon bishop Don Bolen, who is now archbishop of Regina, had worked for months building support across Canada among First Nations residential school survivors, church leaders and all levels of government to secure a papal visit to Wanuskewin Heritage Park, just outside Saskatoon.
There, the plan was that Francis would apologize for the Catholic Church’s central role in the Indian residential school system in Canada.
But their efforts failed, and Thomas said no reason was given.
“I guess they were just hoping people would forget about it,” he said Monday in an interview with CBC News.
WARNING: This video contains details some viewers may find distressing. Cardinal Thomas Collins downplayed the need for a papal apology for residential schools after Pope Francis did not deliver one on Sunday when talking about the preliminary findings announced by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation that indicated the remains of what could be 215 children buried on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.
There are growing calls among Canadian Catholics for Pope Francis to come to Canada and issue an apology for the church’s role in the residential school system.
More than 3,500 people have signed a petition on Change.org, calling on the church to take more accountability measures after the discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children on the site of a former Catholic residential school in Kamloops, B.C.
The signatories want the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to invite the Pope to Canda and “make a public apology on behalf of the Church in Canada for our sins of commission and omission in the matter of Residential Schools.”
“We are a group of lay people and clergy who are deeply disappointed with our official church – hurt, ashamed and saddened at the discovery of the graves of 215 Indigenous children in Kamloops,” the petition says.
The petition was started…
Liability concerns and paralysis over how to deal with issue of abuse cited as reasons
WARNING: This story contains distressing details.
When Pope Francis stood on his balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, he expressed “closeness to traumatized Canadians” over the discovery of what are believed to be the remains of an estimated 215 children buried on the grounds of a former Catholic-run residential school in Kamloops, B.C.
Yet many Canadians reacted in anger and disappointment that among the phrases spoken by the Pope, the word “sorry” was not included.
Vatican observers, however, were far from surprised. They say the lack of a formal apology from both the Pope and Canadian bishops as a group reflects an ongoing paralysis within the Vatican hierarchy over how to deal with the issue of abuse, along with a Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops that one observer has called “tragically inadequate,” and liability concerns.
A Catholic priest writing of his unwanted “sexual problem” left something crucial out of the passage, a jury has heard.
“In my dreams,” Anthony William Peter Caruana told Sydney’s District Court.
“When you talk about fondling young boys, is this referring to your dreams or real life?” the 79-year-old’s barrister Bernard Brassil said on Wednesday.
“My dreams,” Caruana said.
He further explained another passage in which he writes he would change “this feeling I have towards young boys,” if by magic he could, was also in reference to his “dreams”.
The former high school teacher has pleaded not guilty to 29 historical charges, including four counts of homosexual sex.
He is accused of sexually abusing boys in band practice, at rugby training, in dorm rooms, and other parts of Chevalier College in NSW Southern Highlands, in the 1980s.
He departed in 1989 following complaints about his conduct and filled out…
A man who alleges a former Catholic priest repeatedly molested him when he was a young boy, then continued to be active at parishes within the Diocese of San Diego for decades, said Tuesday he decided to file a lawsuit to protect children.
Beau Potter, now 54 years old, alleges Father Ramon Marrufo molested him in Rialto over the course of several years in the 1970s, beginning when the plaintiff was in second grade. Prior to 1978, the Diocese of San Diego stretched into portions of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
Marrufo was ordained in 1976 and was assigned to various locations across San Diego County, including churches in San Diego, Oceanside, Chula Vista, Vista, Fallbrook and Escondido, according to the lawsuit, which alleges his most recent assignment was at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Parish and School in Fallbrook from 2010 until 2019.
Potter’s lawsuit names the Diocese of San Diego…
WHAT: At a news conference tomorrow, survivor advocates and attorneys from the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates will reveal the filing of two child sex abuse lawsuits against the Fresno diocese and one of its most high-profile clerics.
WHEN: Wednesday, June 9, 2021 – 1:00 PM PST
WHERE: DoubleTree by Hilton Fresno Convention Center
2233 Ventura St.
Fresno, CA 93721
Room: Salon 1 A
Room: Salon 1 A
WHO: Attorneys from the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates, who represent the survivors filing lawsuits under the California Child Victims Act as Joseph Does. Survivor advocate Joelle Casteix will present survivors’ statements. Attorney Elizabeth del Cid will be available for Spanish-speakers and press.
WHY: Two civil child sexual abuse lawsuits will be filed accusing Fresno diocesan priest, Msgr. Craig Francis Harrison of sexually abusing boys and Fresno Catholic officials of ignoring and concealed his crimes.
Statement of Joseph Doe: “Msgr. Harrison hurt me when I was…
A law firm announced it will file two lawsuits against former Bakersfield priest Craig Harrison of sexual abuse and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno of ignoring and concealing his actions.
Jeff Anderson & Associates will announce the two lawsuits tomorrow at a press conference in Fresno.
Harrison announced his resignation from his position as the Pastor of St. Francis Parish and from his obligations as a Catholic priest in February.
Harrison was the subject of several investigations after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against him in April 2019. The Bakersfield Police Department closed their investigation without forwarding it to the County DA, while the Fresno County DA and Merced County DA did not file criminal charges.
In May, a judge has dismissed Harrison’s defamation lawsuit filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno.
[Photo above: Demonstrators pose for a picture next to a carnival float showing an unnamed bishop from the 2019 “Rosenmontag” (Rose Monday) parade of Duesseldorf placed in front of the Cologne Cathedral by activists of the Giordano Bruno Foundation to protest against sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Cologne, Germany, March 18, 2021. Float reads “11 years of brutal honest reconnaissance of sexual abuse”. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen]
Victims of Catholic Church sex abuse met on Tuesday with two senior bishops sent by the Pope to investigate the German archdiosese of Cologne, which has come under increasing pressure after a report found hundreds of historic cases.
The Pope’s two envoys are looking at possible mistakes committed by Germany’s largest archdiocese, after an 800-page report in March found more than 200 abusers and more than 300 victims, mainly children, in cases from 1975-2018.
“We were allowed to decide what we said, how long…
Fr. Brent Shelton has admitted that he was targeted as a seminarian by Fr.Jose Saldana. Fr. Saldana, who was acknowledged as an abuser by the Catholic Diocese of Dallas in 2019, was reportedly removed from active ministry in 1998. The now deceased perpetrator had multiple allegations of sexually abusing other teens.
We know that it can take victims decades to come forward, and that delayed disclosure is the norm, not the exception. It is also quite common for a survivor to gather the courage to speak up once an abuser is outed. So we are not surprised that while Fr. Shelton “thought about that hotel incident every single day since it happened over 30 years ago,” he did not approach the Dallas Bishop until the Diocesan list of abusers was published in 2019.
Susan Vance sums it up well, “As a…
While New Mexico’s attorney general has taken credit for securing Catholic Church documents on sex abuse by clergy, saying they will be released to the public soon, a spokesperson for the Las Cruces diocese said it provided the documents voluntarily out of a desire to address the “abhorrent crime” of sex abuse, not because of a search warrant or legal obligation.
“In September of 2018, the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office requested documents related to the potential abuse of children by priests,” a Las Cruces diocese spokesperson told CNA June 7. “The Diocese of Las Cruces immediately began the voluntary process of providing the requested documents. Any statement claiming that a search warrant was presented to the diocese for the requested documents is incorrect, as is the assertion that the Diocese of Las Cruces only responded due to a legal obligation.”
“In fact, the Diocese of Las Cruces fully and…
Attorneys for survivors who have filed child sex abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester say mediation has failed. Nearly 500 claims are part of a federal bankruptcy proceeding.
Now, in documents filed Tuesday, some are asking the judge to take a rather unusual step: to allow them to move their cases to a different court.
Since Carol Dupre first shared her story of sex abuse, the months now number years. “I keep adding a year on how long I’m going to have to wait, and then I think about after that year or two, how old I’m going to be,” she said.
Dupre says it appears as though many of the legal maneuvers are an attempt to stall the proceedings. She and the others petitioned the bankruptcy court 19 months ago.
“They’re waiting for us to say, ‘Okay, we don’t care, let’s get this over with,’” she…
Man claims he, other boys abused repeatedly by unnamed camp counsellor
A B.C. man is suing the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver and its archbishop alleging a camp counsellor sexually abused him and others at a Bible camp.
Vernon Mulvahill, in a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court June 7, alleges a man named only as John Doe exposed his penis to him, touched him in a sexual manner, made other children perform sexual acts on him in the same room and made the plaintiff perform oral sex on him.
The events allegedly occurred at the archdiocese’s Gambier Island Camp Latona, property in 1978 or 1979.
The archbishop and archdiocese are named as defendants. They could not be immediately reached for comment.
Mulvahill alleges John Doe engaged in behaviour intended to make him confused and to believe obeying John Doe was the only option. He alleges John…
[Note from BishopAccountability.org: This announcement appears in both Polish and English on the website of the Polish Bishops’ Conference. Both versions are posted here.]
After a thorough analysis of the collected documentation, the Apostolic See has recognized that the accusations against Archbishop Gądecki are unfounded – we can read in the communiqué of the Apostolic Nunciature in Poland of June 8 2021.
Following formal notifications, the Holy See has conducted an investigation into the alleged negligence of Archbishop Stanislaw Gądecki in cases of sexual abuse committed against minors by a priest of the Archdiocese of Poznan and a priest of the Diocese of Bielsko-Zywiec.
„After a thorough analysis of the collected documentation, the Holy See has found the above accusations to be unfounded, and therefore the complaints filed in these cases are dismissed, and the proceedings are considered concluded,” says the communiqué.
We are publishing the full text of the…
The Vatican has ruled that accusations of negligence against the president of the Polish bishops’ conference are groundless.
A statement published June 8 by the apostolic nunciature in the Polish capital, Warsaw, said that the Vatican had investigated allegations that Archbishop Stanislaw Gądecki behaved negligently in two cases of clerical abuse against minors.
The Vatican investigated the claims under the norms of the motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi, issued by Pope Francis in 2019 for an experimental period of three years.
“Acting on the basis of the provisions of the Code of Canon Law and Pope Francis’ motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi, the Holy See, following formal notifications, has conducted an investigation into the alleged negligence of Archbishop Stanislaw Gądecki in cases of sexual abuse committed against minors by one priest of the Archdiocese of Poznań and one priest of the Diocese of Bielsko-Żywiec,” the statement said.
“After a thorough analysis of…
WHO: Representatives of Nate’s Mission, survivors of clergy abuse, Phillip Aaron (Attorney for Raphael Love), representative of Congresswoman Gwen Moore’s office
WHAT: A press conference in front of the Federal Courthouse in Downtown Milwaukee where survivors of clergy abuse and a representative from the office of a prominent Black state elected official who is a survivor of childhood sexual assault will discuss racial disparities in treatment of clergy abuse victims
WHEN: Tuesday, June 8th, 11:00am
WHERE: Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, 517 E. Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202
WHY: A new lawsuit is being filed against the Franciscans of the Blessed Virgin Mary, headquartered in Franklin, Wisconsin, under the authority of the Milwaukee archdiocese, and the Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi in the case of former Franciscan Brother Paul West, alleging discrimination and racial disparities in the treatment of Raphael Love, a Black clergy abuse victim.
Raphael, along with his brother, Joshua Love, and cousin, La…
German Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, 67, has submitted his resignation to Pope Francis, saying that bishops must begin to accept responsibility for the institutional failures of the Church in handling the clerical sexual abuse crisis.
Cardinal Marx released a statement on June 4 and, with the Pope’s permission, a copy of the letter dated May 21, in which he told the Pope: “It is important to me to share the responsibility for the catastrophe of the sexual abuse perpetrated by representatives of the Church over the past decades.”
Pope Francis did not immediately accept the cardinal’s resignation. In his statement, the cardinal said Pope Francis asked him to continue his ministry as archbishop “until his decision is made”.
In his letter to the Pope, Cardinal Marx said that “the investigations and reports of the last 10 years have consistently shown that there have been many personal failures…
They may have attracted positive PR for the Church, but the new measures for dealing with clerical abuse are a million miles away from being good enough
I don’t know whether he lacks the will or the courage, or whether he is incapable of asserting real and moral authority. I don’t know whether he has been undermined from within, or is just an old man incapable of seeing anything resembling a bigger picture.
I don’t know whether he or the people around him still regard the institution as more important than the people it is supposed to serve, but sometimes abuses. Or maybe it’s just — and I don’t know the answer to this either — he and those around him think we’re all fools.
Whatever the answer to those questions, I don’t believe it is possible to read the most recent changes to canon law — the law of…
The shocking resignation of one of the most important cardinals in the Church today
It came as a complete shock.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx, arguably one of the Catholic Church’s most powerful prelates, publicly announced on Friday that he’s asked Pope Francis to accept his resignation as Archbishop of Munich and Freising.
Why is this so shocking?
Marx is only 67 years old — eight years short of reaching the normal retirement age — and he is one of the pope’s closest and most influential advisors.
And although it has not been reported with the attention it deserves, he’s also been one of the driving forces in getting the Vatican to devote time and resources to addressing the clergy sex abuse crisis.
He’s long advocated focusing on the needs of victims, rather than protecting the interests and image of the Church.
One of the Church’s most determined bishops
The hefty German…
Pope Francis led hundreds of pilgrims and visitors in St. Peter’s Square in a moment of silent prayer for the Indigenous children who died in Canadian residential schools and for their grieving families.
After praying the Angelus June 6, the pope told the crowd, “With sorrow I am following the news from Canada about the shocking discovery of the remains of 215 children, pupils at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in the Province of British Columbia.”
“I join the Canadian bishops and the whole Catholic Church in Canada in expressing my closeness to the Canadian people who have been traumatized by this shocking news,” the pope said. “This sad discovery further heightens awareness of the pain and sufferings of the past.”
The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation reported May 30 that using ground-penetrating radar an estimated 215 bodies had been found in unmarked graves at the site of the former…
Survivors of child sex abuse in Pennsylvania have waited far too long for a chance to bring their abusers to court and finally begin the healing process. It has been 16 years since the first major grand jury report on sex abuse was released by District Attorney Lynne Abraham on the Philadelphia Archdiocese and nearly three years since Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s grand jury report that revealed the Catholic cover up was an ongoing problem across 6 other dioceses.
These survivors—not to mention the many more victims of abuse that occurred in every other context—remain barred from pursuing justice due to our commonwealth’s long-standing restrictive statutes of limitations (SOL).
The good news is the state House of Representatives recently passed—with overwhelming bipartisan support – H.B. 951, which would create a two-year civil liability window for child sex abuse survivors. Immediate passage of the bill presents the best…
“Never let temporary situations determine eternal thinking about you and your life.”
Father Michael Pfleger spoke candidly about his return to Saint Sabina Catholic Church after being cleared of sex abuse allegations and the months he spent away from his congregation and his ministry while those allegations were investigated.
“Yesterday was great. First of all, I was nervous because I haven’t celebrated mass here in five months,” Pfleger said. “But as soon as I was out that door and people just started clapping and shouting, and you know, I felt at home.”
After five months away while the Archdiocese of Chicago investigated allegations of misconduct decades ago, Pfleger celebrated his first mass on Sunday after he was cleared of those accusations.
“I worked to say I’m going to forgive, I’m going to let it go, I’m going pray for them and all the others who were taking delight in…
The sudden departure of Russell Moore is forcing an overdue conversation about the crises of American Christendom.
“The presenting issue here is that, first and foremost, of sexual abuse,” Moore wrote. “This Executive Committee, through their bylaws workgroup, ‘exonerated’ churches, in a spur-of-the-moment meeting, from serious charges of sexual abuse cover-up.”
At the ERLC’s National Conference in 2019, Moore interviewed Rachael Denhollander, a former gymnast who was the first woman to publicly accuse Larry Nassar, the USA Gymnastics doctor, of sexual assault. (Nassar was the perpetrator in the largest sexual-abuse scandal in sports history and will serve the rest of his life in prison.) In the interview, Denhollander criticized the executive committee for how it had handled the case of Jennifer Lyell, who had accused a Southern Baptist seminary professor of abuse.
“The story Rachael told is accurate,” Moore wrote, “and [my wife] and I know that because we were,…