ABUSE TRACKER

A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse. For recent coverage listed in this blog, read the full article in the newspaper or other media source by clicking “Read original article.” For earlier coverage, click the title to read the original article.

May 17, 2022

FILE - In this July 1, 2021, file photo, a makeshift memorial for the dozens of Indigenous children who died more than a century ago while attending a boarding school that was once located nearby is growing under a tree at a public park in Albuquerque, N.M. A new federal report on the legacy of boarding schools for Native Americans underscores how closely the U.S. government collaborated with churches to Christianize the Indigenous population as part of a project to sever them from their culture, their identities and ultimately their land. The Department of the Interior report, released Wednesday, May 11, 2022, says the federal government provided funding and other support to religious boarding schools for Native children in the 19th and early 20th centuries to an extent that normally would have been prohibited by bans on the use of federal funds for religious schools. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

US report details church-state collusion on Native schools

WASHINGTON (DC)
Associated Press [New York NY]

May 14, 2022

By Peter Smith

Read original article

[Photo above: FILE – In this July 1, 2021, file photo, a makeshift memorial for the dozens of Indigenous children who died more than a century ago while attending a boarding school that was once located nearby is growing under a tree at a public park in Albuquerque, N.M. A new federal report on the legacy of boarding schools for Native Americans underscores how closely the U.S. government collaborated with churches to Christianize the Indigenous population as part of a project to sever them from their culture, their identities and ultimately their land. The Department of the Interior report, released Wednesday, May 11, 2022, says the federal government provided funding and other support to religious boarding schools for Native children in the 19th and early 20th centuries to an extent that normally would have been prohibited by bans on the use of federal funds for religious schools. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya…

View Cache

Former minister breaks silence on child-abuse reports: ‘A lot of ugly in Trinidad and Tobago’

PORT OF SPAIN (TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO)
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

May 16, 2022

By Clint Chan Tack

Read original article

FORMER social development minister Verna St Rose Greaves left no one unscathed regarding the protection of children in Trinidad and Tobago. Among those to feel her wrath were the Government, Opposition, religious leaders, non-governmental organisations (including women’s groups), media and the wider population.

St Rose Greaves spoke during an interview on I95.5 FM’s Take Two programme with host Dominic Kalipersad on Sunday.

A considerable part of the interview focused on the findings in a report of a Cabinet-appointed committee to investigate reports of abuse at children’s homes and matters related to it. She said the report underscored levels of pretension and corruption at all levels of society, and that the situation spanned decades and was encouraged by many people.

St Rose Greaves observed that many people prefer to see TT’s inclusion when it comes to things like Carnival. But, she continued, they conveniently ignore another side of the national identity.

View Cache

Archdiocese lawyer gives judge upbeat assessment of possible settlement 

SANTA FE (NM)
Santa Fe New Mexican

May 16, 2022

By Rick Ruggles

Read original article

An attorney for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe expressed hope Monday a resolution could be announced Tuesday in its 3½-year bankruptcy case.

“I’m pleased to tell the court that we are very, very close,” Tom Walker of Albuquerque told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Thuma in an update. Walker asked that a status conference scheduled Monday be moved to Tuesday to allow for more negotiations, and Thuma complied.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2018 and has been trying to raise money to work out a settlement with about 400 people who allege sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic clergy members.

The archdiocese also has become entangled in conflict with some of its insurers over how much they should pay. Insurance is expected to provide a chunk of whatever sum goes to the accusers. The archdiocese has said it attempted to verify the accusations and therefore…

View Cache

Calls for the Queen to say sorry over major church child abuse scandal in Canada

LONDON (UNITED KINGDOM)
Daily Mirror [London, England]

May 17, 2022

By Russell Myers

Read original article

Community leaders have in recent years demanded apologies and reparations from the Anglican Church which ran 36 residential schools in Canada, the most of any religious denomination apart from the Roman Catholic Church

The Queen should apologise for the brutal treatment of indigenous children at Canadian residential schools at the hands of the Anglican church, campaigners have said.

A scandal involving the removal of children from their communities before placing them into national schools raged from the late 19th Century.

Community leaders have in recent years demanded apologies and reparations from the Anglican Church which ran 36 residential schools, the most of any religious denomination apart from the Roman Catholic Church, and operated more than 150 Indian day schools between 1820 and 1969.

“There’s so much healing that is needed,” Caron said.

“We need basic human necessities in our communities and it stems from colonisation. It stems from assimilation and…

View Cache

New Report Details ‘Forced Family Separation’ at US Indian Boarding Schools

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

May 11, 2022

By Emily Miller

Read original article

The United States operated 408 boarding schools for Indigenous children across 37 states or then-territories between 1819 and 1969 — half of them likely supported by religious institutions, according to the first volume of an investigative report into the country’s Indian boarding school system.

“Our initial investigation results show that approximately 50% of federal Indian boarding schools may have received support or involvement from religious institutions or organizations, including funding, infrastructure and personnel,” Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland said during a news conference Wednesday (May 11), revealing the results of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative.

The report revealed nearly 40 more schools than the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition previously had identified in the U.S. — and nearly three times more than the number of schools documented in Canada’s residential school system, according to that country’s…

View Cache

Report finds government abuse of indigenous children

WASHINGTON (DC)
WRIC - ABC 8 [Richmond VA]

May 11, 2022

By Alexandra Limon

Read original article

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of the Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs released the findings of an investigation of the U.S. Government’s forced assimilation of indigenous people.

Records show that between 1819 and 1969, the U.S. Government operated or supported 408 boarding schools in 37 states and territories. About half of those schools were also funded or run by religious institutions.

“Children were induced or compelled by the federal government to be brought to these schools,” said Brian Newland, the assistant secretary of Indian Affairs. “We’ve identified 53 marked or unmarked burial sites and cemeteries for Indian children across the system, with more site discoveries expected.”

The schools operated in military-like conditions and banned children from using their native languages and cultural practices.

“When my maternal grandparents were only eight years old, they were stolen from their parent’s culture and communities and forced to live in boarding schools until…

View Cache

May 16, 2022

Fournier in 1974. A man alleges in a lawsuit that he was sexually assaulted in a fishing camp as a child between 1976 and 1989. (Studio Laporte/Center for Documentation and Madawaskayan Studies)

Late Edmundston priest accused of sexually assaulting mother and son for 10 years

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

May 16, 2022

Read original article

Mother and son lived in rectory and allege repeated sexual assault from 1976 to 1989

[Photo above: Rev. Fournier in 1974. A man alleges in a lawsuit that he was sexually assaulted by Fournier in a fishing camp as a child between 1976 and 1989. (Studio Laporte/Center for Documentation and Madawaskayan Studies)]

A woman and her son are suing the Edmundston Diocese of the Catholic Church and the estate of a local priest, alleging he repeatedly sexually assaulted them for more than 10 years.

The priest, Rev. Georges Fournier of Edmundston, died in 2021 at the age of 91.

The suit says the diocese was aware of the assaults against the woman, now in her 70s, and her son, now in his 50s, or at least should have been.

The lawsuit also names the Edmundston Diocese Foundation.

Mother assaulted twice a week

The statement of claim alleges Fournier invited the mother, who was 26…

View Cache

Two graduate from Jesuit Dallas 40 years after priest sex abuse

DALLAS (TX)
Dallas Morning News

May 16, 2022

By Krista M. Torralva

Read original article

Jesuit College Preparatory School held a ceremony in honor of Jacques DeLira and Brendan Higgins, who left in the 1980s.

Jacques DeLira beamed as he accepted his high school diploma from Jesuit College Preparatory School. He looked to his family and friends, who cheered and applauded.

The diploma was about 40 years in the making.

At 57, DeLira was honored in a special graduation ceremony Friday, along with Brendan Higgins, 54. They had dropped out in the 1980s after priests at the school molested them.

“I dreamt of this day for many years,” DeLira said.

The men belong to the classes of 1983 and 1986, respectively.

DeLira’s mother, Jo, cried softly during the intimate ceremony. She said his grandparents, who are deceased, were smiling down on her son.

The family has a long legacy in the school. DeLira’s grandfather performed maintenance and custodial work,…

View Cache

Qué hizo el Vaticano con las denuncias contra el obispo Roncagliolo?

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

May 16, 2022

By Catalina Batarce and Juan Manuel Ojeda

Read original article

El otrora vicario general del Arzobispo lleva 11 días España, pero hasta ahora, no se ha precisado si su viaje corresponde o no a una sanción canónica en su contra.

Las interrogantes en torno al viaje y las denuncias en contra del exvicario general del Arzobispado de Santiago, obispo Cristián Roncagliolo, no desaparecen. El pasado jueves 5 de mayo Roncagliolo partió rumbo a España para una “recuperación integral”, pero siete días después La Tercera PM reveló que su periplo se dio en medio de denuncias por abuso sexual y hostigamiento laboral.

La presidenta del Consejo de Prevención de Abusos y Acompañamiento a Víctimas de la Conferencia Episcopal (CECh), Ana María Celis, admitió que se había recibido una denuncia por “hechos de connotación sexual”. “Contando con la autorización para responder por parte de quienes, en el contexto del servicio de escucha encargado por monseñor Scicluna recurrieron al Consejo de Prevención de la CECh,…

View Cache

Albany diocese priest put on ‘credibly accused’ list

ALBANY (NY)
Times Union [Albany NY]

May 15, 2022

By Lauren Stanforth

Read original article

The diocese said Father Gregory Weider will be added for “reasonable cause” related to allegations of sexual abuse against minors

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany said Sunday it added an 85-year-old retired priest to its list of about 50 credibly accused clergy “after an extensive investigation.”

Weider was removed from public ministry in August 2021 due to an allegation contained in a Child Victims Act lawsuit. Weider had been serving as a sacramental minister at Sacred Heart in Margaretville, Delaware County and its mission, St. Anne’s in Andes. Once he was placed on administrative leave he was no longer allowed to publicly officiate at sacraments, wear clerical garb or present himself as a priest.

Weider was ordained in 1963 and has served at the following locations: Blessed Sacrament, Mohawk; St. Anthony, Schenectady; St. Agnes, Cohoes; St. Thomas the Apostle, Delmar; St. Mary’s, Coxsackie; Holy Cross, Albany; Sacred Heart, Watervliet;…

View Cache

Former St. Thomas Priest and National Boy Scout Chaplain Father Gregory Weider placed on Albany Diocese list of credibly accused

ALBANY (NY)
Spotlight News [Delmar NY]

May 15, 2022

By John McIntyre

Read original article

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany placed the Former National Chaplain of the Boy Scouts of America and St. Thomas the Apostle priest on its list of credibly accused of abuse.

The diocese removed Father Gregory Weider from public ministry on Aug. 14, 2021 after a change in diocese policy in response to Child Victim Act lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of minors and two other past claims of abuse in 2004 and 2010.

Weider, 85, served at St Thomas the Apostle as an associate pastor from June 1971 to July 1977 then at St. Mary’s in Coxsackie until March 1982. He retired from full-time ministry in 2010 and has recently served as the sacramental minister at Sacred Heart in Margaretville and St. Anne’s in Andes, according to a release from the diocese announcing his initial removal in August 2021. Weider was also the National Chaplain for the National Catholic Committee…

View Cache

Diocese Of Albany Adds Retired Priest to List of Credibly Accused

ALBANY (NY)
Diocese of Albany NY

May 15, 2022

Read original article

After an extensive investigation, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany announced today that it will add Father Gregory Weider, a retired priest of the Albany Diocese, to its List of Credibly Accused for “reasonable cause” related to allegations of sexual abuse against minors. Announcements will be made in the parishes where Fr. Weider served. (The List of Credibly Accused can be found at www.rcda.org/crediblyaccused.)

Before he was removed from public ministry in August 2021, due to a yet unresolved CVA allegation, Fr. Weider had been serving as a Sacramental Minister at Sacred Heart in Margaretville and its mission, St. Anne’s in Andes. Once he was placed on administrative leave he was no longer allowed to publicly officiate at sacraments, wear clerical garb, or present himself as a priest.

Since his ordination in 1963, Father Weider, 85, has served at the following locations: Blessed Sacrament, Mohawk; St. Anthony, Schenectady; St. Agnes,…

View Cache

Former priest accused of sexual abuse against minors

ALBANY (NY)
WTEN, ABC-10[Albany NY]

May 15, 2022

By Richard Roman

Read original article

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany said on Sunday, that it will add Gregory Weider, a retired priest of the Albany Diocese, to its List of ‘Credibly Accused‘ for sexual abuse against minors. According to the Diocese, after an extensive investigation, Weider was added for ‘reasonable cause’ related to allegations of sexual abuse.

The former priest was removed from public ministry in August 2021, due to unresolved Child Victims Act (CVA) allegations. Weider had been serving as a Sacramental Minister at Sacred Heart in Margaretville and its mission, Street Anne’s in the Andes.

According to officials once Weider was placed on administrative leave he was no longer allowed to publicly officiate at sacraments, wear clerical garb, or present himself as a priest. Officials said the Diocese has historically cooperated with and provided notice of abuse allegations to the appropriate District Attorney’s office.

Since his ordination in 1963, Weider, 85,…

View Cache

Professor gets new job after pedophilia research caused stir

NORFOLK (VA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

May 14, 2022

Read original article

A professor whose research on pedophilia created a stir at Old Dominion University in Virginia has landed a new job with Johns Hopkins University’s Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse.

Allyn Walker stepped down from ODU in November after they used the phrase “minor-attracted person” instead of “pedophile” in research, leading to an outcry on campus and social media as well as threat of violence.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that The Moore Center announced last week that Walker, who uses the pronoun they, would be joining the center as a postdoctoral fellow.

The center said in a series of tweets that it was excited to welcome Walker and they would be working on research and new projects to develop a “comprehensive public health approach to addressing child sexual abuse and effective prevention programs.”

On its website, the center says it works “to change the way…

View Cache

By overturning Roe, the Supreme Court delivers for the Catholic Church

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

May 10, 2022

By Joan Vennochi

Read original article

Polls continue to show that a majority of Catholics believe Roe v. Wade should be upheld. But whatever the personal choice of people who identify as Catholic, church leaders are committed to ending legal abortion.

All is mostly quiet on the Catholic front. But behind closed church doors, Catholic religious leaders must be dancing in the aisles over a draft Supreme Court opinion that overturns Roe v. Wade — and the hope it represents about a final ruling.

So far, only a few Catholic leaders have addressed what looks like the ultimate triumph for the church: the end to a constitutional right to abortion. “Yes, let us pray this leaked opinion stands,” Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas tweeted on May 3. San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone tweeted a photo showing masses of anti-abortion protesters in Washington D.C., and…

View Cache

May 15, 2022

Victims Are Not Guilty! Spiritual Abuse and Ecclesiastical Responsibility

(CHILE)
Religions [Basel, Switzerland]

May 9, 2022

By Samuel Fernández

Read original article

Abstract

The aim of this article is to show that victims of spiritual abuse are not guilty of what they have undergone and that, in the Catholic setting, the Church has an institutional responsibility for it. With this objective, after the Introduction (1), the paper analyses the definition of spiritual abuse (2); tackles several topics stemming from the analysis of definitions, such as the nature of spiritual power and its effects (3), the issue of vulnerability (4), the institutional dimension of spiritual abuse in the Catholic setting (5), and the disputed topic of intentionality (6). The article provides a conclusion that aims to summarize the results of the analysis (7).Keywords: spiritual abuseabuse of consciencevulnerabilityinstitutional responsibility

1. Introduction

Abuse of conscience, or spiritual abuse, can occur in any religion or faith-based community; however, it takes on different features, dynamics, and strategies depending on the specific institutional settings in…

View Cache

Exorcists, Abusers, and When Catholic History is Horror

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Revealer - Center for Religion and Media at New York University [New York NY]

May 10, 2022

By Matthew J. Cressler

Read original article

Part two of a three-part series comparing Catholic horror films and novels to actual horrors committed by the Catholic Church

About the Catholic Horrors Series: For the past two centuries, Catholicism has played a special role in American horror stories. During that time, the Catholic Church has been complicit in real-life horrors. In this three-part series, three scholars of American Catholicism – Jack Lee Downey, Matthew Cressler, and Kathleen Holscher – consider Catholic horror as a cinematic and literary genre alongside horrors committed by the Catholic Church and its leaders. In so doing, they explore horror as an aesthetic and as a way to analyze and confront the shadow side of Catholicism in North America. Read part one here.

***

Warning: What you are about to read is true and involves Catholic clerical sexual abuse.

The priest arrived at night. The mother was surprised to see him there so late….

View Cache

Historical sexual abuse of children on Canadian military bases results in lawsuit against federal government

OTTAWA (CANADA)
Global News [Toronto, Canada]

May 9, 2022

By Jill Croteau

Read original article

Bobbie Bees was seven years old when he says his life was forever changed. Bees was in Grade 2 when he lived on a military base with his family while his dad was a master corporal stationed at Canadian Forces Base Namao.

Now, 44 years later, Bees is waging a very personal war. Bees said he’s tortured by the memories of horrific sexual abuse by a Canadian Armed Forces priest.

“It’s like an albatross around my neck, no matter what I do to break free, I can’t break free from this,” Bees said.

Bees said his abuser, Capt. Angus Mcrae, worked as a chaplain at various military bases. Mcrae signed a confession on June 10, 1980, admitting to the Catholic Church he committed “indecent acts with several minors.”

Mcrae wasn’t charged in relation to Bees’ allegations but he was eventually charged in relation to offences against others. He died in…

View Cache

Mater Dei athlete told police that teammates sexually assaulted him

ORANGE (CA)
Daily Bulletin [Ontario CA]

May 9, 2022

By Scott Reid and Tony Saavedra

Read original article

Incident detailed in a Santa Ana Police Department report is the latest in a series of allegations involving misconduct by Mater Dei football players in the school’s locker room

Mater Dei High School football player told the Santa Ana Police Department that he was sexually assaulted by teammates in the school’s locker room last August, according to a police report.

The report is the latest revelation of alleged hazing and sexual harassment and assault by Mater Dei football players within the school’s locker rooms.

According to the report, the Mater Dei player told police “he was sexually assaulted by several members of the football team in the locker room” on August 31.

The victim stated, the report said, “teammates pulled out their penises and showed them to him while holding him down on the ground. Incident was reported to his coach (UNK NAME) who then reported it to school officials.

View Cache

Player Alleges Sexual Abuse by Teammates on Elite Catholic Prep School’s Football Program

ORANGE (CA)
Daily Beast [New York NY]

May 9, 2022

By Barbie Latza Nadeau

Read original article

A player at one of California’s most successful high-school football programs says he is experiencing severe anxiety after allegedly being abused in a hazing incident by his teammates. The boy, who has not been named, is one of a number of students who have filed complaints with the Santa Ana Police Department about hazing incidents at Catholic prep school Mater Dei High School in Orange County. The latest complaint allegedly happened last August, when “teammates pulled out their penises and showed them to him while holding him down on the ground. Incident was reported to his coach who then reported it to school officials” a police report states. “One teammate also began humping [victim] from behind with his pants on. [Victim] did not report any injuries and denied penetration. He is now experiencing anxiety due to incident.”

In February 2021, a football player suffered a traumatic brain injury after similar…

View Cache

Burin Peninsula Catholics were already unsettled over insolvency. Now they’re losing their priest

ST. JOHN'S (CANADA)
CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) [Toronto, Canada]

May 11, 2022

By Terry Roberts

Read original article

Father Nelson Boren is considering the pizza business as he struggles with health and financial problems

Roman Catholics in a rural area of southern Newfoundland have for months felt stress — and anger — over the uncertain fate of their church buildings and other properties, and the very future of their faith communities.

Now, parishioners in the area of St. Lawrence, a town on the island’s Burin Peninsula, face a new and unsettling reality: they’re losing their outspoken priest, Father Nelson Boren, with little hope of a replacement.

“We’ve dealt with lots of adversity over the years like any parish has,” said Jim Etchegary, administrative assistant at St. Thomas Aquinas parish in St. Lawrence.

“But this right now threatens to close our parish down, or at least decimate it to point where we’re just a shadow of what we always were.”

As Boren, 46, prepares to say goodbye, he’s speaking out — against the…

View Cache

US finds 500 Native American boarding school deaths so far

WASHINGTON (DC)
Associated Press [New York NY]

May 11, 2022

By Felicia Fonseca

Read original article

Flagstaff AZ — A first-of-its-kind federal study of Native American boarding schools that for over a century sought to assimilate Indigenous children into white society has identified more than 500 student deaths at the institutions, but officials expect that figure to grow exponentially as research continues.

The Interior Department report released Wednesday expands to more than 400 the number of schools that were established or supported by the U.S. government, starting in the early 19th century and continuing in some cases until the late 1960s. The agency identified the deaths in records for about 20 of the schools.

The dark history of Native American boarding schools — where children were forced from their families, prohibited from speaking their languages and often abused — has been felt deeply across Indian Country and through generations.

Many children never returned home, and the Interior Department said that with further investigation the number of…

View Cache

Report Catalogs Abuse of Native American Children at Former Government Schools

WASHINGTON (DC)
New York Times

May 11, 2022

By Mark Walker

Read original article

[Note from BishopAccountability.org: See the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report with Appendices A and B (boarding school list and descriptions), Appendix C (boarding school maps), and Appendix D (Consultations with Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Villages, Alaska Native Corporations, and the Native Hawaiian Community]

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland called for a review last year, after the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves of children who attended similar schools in Canada.

An initial investigation commissioned by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland cataloged some of the brutal conditions that Native American children endured at more than 400 boarding schools that the federal government forced them to attend between 1819 and 1969. The inquiry was an initial step, Ms. Haaland said, toward addressing the “intergenerational trauma” that the policy left behind.

An Interior Department report released on Wednesday highlighted the abuse of many of the children at the government-run schools, with instances…

View Cache

In tiny Malta, the Catholic Church still has a shot at getting secularism right

(MALTA)
Crux [Denver CO]

May 15, 2022

By John L. Allen Jr.

Read original article

Almost 50 years ago, Pope Paul VI said that “the split between Gospel and culture is, without a doubt, the drama of our times.” In large measure, he was referring to the breach between religious faith and secular culture, which is especially pronounced in the West, and, above all, in Western Europe.

Across most of Western Europe, Mass attendance rates stand at all-time lows, vocations to the priesthood and religious life have bottomed out, and states long ago legalized virtually all of the behaviors the Catholic Church vigorously opposes, including divorce, birth control, abortion and same-sex marriage. The residue of the church’s ferocious resistance to all of that has fueled an equal-and-opposite anti-clericalism, which is a defining feature of many European societies.

However, there’s one corner of Western Europe where the divorce between faith and culture is still playing out in real time: The tiny island nation of Malta, with…

View Cache

Child abuse spreads like the coronavirus

MANILA (PHILIPPINES)
Manila Times [Manila, Philippines]

May 15, 2022

By Fr. Shay Cullen

Read original article

There was a time in 2019 when people were getting the flu and thought little of it until it began to spread and hundreds and then thousands and hundreds of thousands were suffering and dying. No one was ready for what was to become a deadly pandemic that could hurt, wound and kill.

Hospitals and clinics were at full capacity and people were on ventilators and dying at the doors of hospitals. It can mutate, transform itself into another variant, more deadly, more vicious, and find new ways to transmit itself to new victims.

The coronavirus is a perfect simile for the crimes of child sexual abuse. Child abuse is a secret crime hardly ever seen or detected. Abusers change their methods of hiding and covering up their crimes, especially in institutions. Schools, colleges and churches have almost perfected the art of cover-up of child abuse criminal behavior. Most people…

View Cache

Chilean bishop facing misconduct, abuse allegations leaves country

(CHILE)
Crux [Denver CO]

May 15, 2022

By Inés San Martín

Read original article

A Chilean bishop has left the country for an unspecified period of “recovery of his physical, psychological and spiritual health,” following reports of accusations of sexual misconduct and abuse of power against personnel of the Archdiocese of Santiago, Chile’s capital city.

Bishop Cristián Roncagliolo, who served as the Vicar General of Santiago, disclosed his departure for Spain in a WhatsApp message to priests of the archdiocese.

Roncagliolo’s departure had been in the works at least since April, when he skipped a plenary assembly of the bishops allegedly due to health reasons. The 52-year-old prelate had been receiving treatment for cancer.

News of his exit was first reported by La Tercera, a newspaper in Chile, which suggested that Roncagliolo faces accusations of inappropriate sexual conduct as well as abuse of power.

According to Ana Maria Celis, President of the Council for the Prevention of Abuse and Victim Accompaniment of the Chilean bishops,…

View Cache

May 14, 2022

Report details brutal treatment of Indigenous children attending U.S. boarding schools

WASHINGTON (DC)
PBS NewsHour [Arlington VA]

May 11, 2022

Read original article

The federal government on Wednesday detailed for the first time the brutality and treatment Native American children suffered when they were forcibly moved into U.S. boarding schools during the course of 150 years. Deborah Parker, CEO of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition and a member of the Tulalip Tribe in Washington, joins Amna Nawaz to discuss.

To hear this transcript please see original article.

  • Judy Woodruff: The federal government detail for the first time today the brutality and treatment that Native American children suffered when, beginning in the 1800s, they were forcibly moved into U.S. boarding schools. Leaders of different tribes and communities spelled out a litany of horrors that they say led to a cultural genocide that still impacts Native Americans to this day. Amna Nawaz looks at what the investigation found.
  • Amna Nawaz: Judy, between 1819 and 1969, thousands of Native American, Alaskan Native, and Hawaiian…
View Cache

Hundreds of children died in Native American boarding schools, report finds

WASHINGTON (DC)
Axios [Arlington VA]

May 11, 2022

By Shawna Chen

Read original article

Native American children at the U.S.’s 408 federal Indian boarding schools suffered whippings, sexual abuse, manual labor and severe malnourishment between 1819 and 1969 as part of the American government’s campaign to compel their assimilation, according to a report released Wednesday by the Interior Department.

The big picture: Interior Secretary Deb Haaland authorized an investigation into the U.S.’s Indian boarding school system after the discovery of Indigenous children’s remains at an old Canadian residential school site renewed attention on Americas’ history of genocide against Indigenous peoples. The probe has since identified marked or unmarked burial sites at roughly 53 different schools.

Details: The federal residential school system was founded as part of an effort to eradicate Indigenous languages and cultures.

  • “Federal records indicate that the United States viewed official disruption to the Indian family unit as part of Federal Indian policy to assimilate Indian children,” the report notes.
  • Initial research shows that hundreds of Indigenous…
View Cache

Letter: Church offers callous response to a reasonable request

YAKIMA (WA)
Yakima Herald-Republic [Yakima WA]

May 14, 2022

By David G. Clohessy

Read original article

A Yakima native offers two options. He wants the grave of an accused predator priest moved. Or he wants the cemetery to include an admission that several abuse reports against the priest have been substantiated.

Michael Ross says the cleric, Msgr. Joseph Sondergeld, sexually violated him as a boy. (And two local church jurisdictions’ websites list Sondergeld as “credibly accused.”)

As the former national director of SNAP, I applaud Ross’ courage. And I deplore the disingenuous response by a top Yakima Catholic official to Ross’ simple request.

In dodging Ross’ proposal, Msgr. Robert Siler is doing what Catholic figures have done for decades and tragically, keep doing even now: parsing words, splitting hairs, evading responsibility and refusing to help deeply wounded victims heal from horrific childhood trauma, trauma that could have been prevented if only bishops had acted like caring shepherds instead of like cold-hearted CEOs.

View Cache

U.S. counts Indian boarding school deaths for first time but leaves key questions unanswered

WASHINGTON (DC)
NBC News [New York NY]

May 11, 2022

By Graham Lee Brewer

Read original article

At least 500 Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian children died while attending Indian boarding schools run or supported by the U.S. government, a highly anticipated Interior Department report said Wednesday. The report identified over 400 schools and more than 50 gravesites and said more gravesites would likely be found.

The report is the first time in U.S. history that the government has attempted to comprehensively research and acknowledge the magnitude of the horrors it inflicted on Native American children for decades. But it falls well short of some independent estimates of deaths and does not address how the children died or who was responsible. The report also sheds little new light on the physical and sexual abuse generations of Indigenous children endured at the schools, which were open for more than 150 years, starting in the early 1800s. 

The report and an accompanying news release acknowledge the harms…

View Cache

Report on American Indian boarding schools reveals horrible treatment of Indigenous children

The U.S. is acknowledging the large-scale and violent treatment of Indigenous students at more than 400 Indian boarding schools run by the federal government between 1819 and 1969, according to a report released by the Department of Interior on Wednesday. 

Over 500 American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children’s deaths occurred at 19 of the federal Indian boarding schools, according to the report. In total, 53 marked and unmarked burial sites were identified at these school facilities nationwide. The investigation is ongoing, and the department said it expects “the approximate number of Indian children who died at Federal Indian boarding schools to be in the thousands or tens of thousands.”

Beginning in the early 19th century in the U.S., Indigenous children were “selected” from reservation schools and moved away from their families to attend the government-chartered schools, which were often subcontracted to Presbyterian, Catholic and Episcopalian religious organizations to…

View Cache

‘Unable to stand’: Christian academy headmaster under investigation for child abuse arrested again

SLIDELL (LA)
Daily Kos [Berkeley, CA]

May 10, 2022

By Aysha Qamar

Read original article

One arrest doesn’t seem to be enough for certain people to learn a lesson. Accused of juvenile cruelty for a second time, Pastor John Raymond, a one-time Survivor contestant and former Republican candidate for the Louisiana House, was arrested for a second time on Monday. His latest arrest is once again related to an incident at Lakeside Christian Academy, a kindergarten-12th grade school that he founded and ran as headmaster.

According to local news outlets, Monday’s arrest is connected to practices that occurred six years ago. Raymond was initially arrested last month and the Slidell Police Department said in a press release that parents and faculty members came forward to report additional incidents after Raymond’s first arrest, including some dating back to 2017.

Raymond was arrested in April and charged with three counts of cruelty to juveniles after taping children’s mouths shut for talking too much in class, Daily Kos reported. Similar to his demeanor now, he defended his actions then, claiming…

View Cache

Benton Harbor pastor charged with criminal sexual conduct appears in court

BENTON HARBOR (MI)
WNDU-TV [South Bend IN]

May 11, 2022

By 16 News Now

Read original article

A Benton Harbor pastor accused of sexual assault was back in court on Wednesday.

Leroy Lane Jr. preached at the former Straight Gate Pentecostal Power Church. Multiple allegations have been made against Lane, accusing him of preying on and inappropriately touching teenage girls from his church.

Back in September 2021, Lane was accused of inappropriately touching a 13-year-old girl who was interviewed by investigators about the allegations.

According to documents obtained by 16 News Now, the girl was helping Lane prepare for a Super Bowl party at his home. She told investigators she was in his basement when he asked her to come sit with him on a reclining chair. She proceeded to sit on the arm of the chair.

He then asked her to sit on his lap, but she did not want to. That’s when he allegedly grabbed her, picked her up and put her on his lap….

View Cache

UPDATE: Vatican confirms pope will visit Indigenous in Canada in late July

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Catholic News Service - USCCB [Washington DC]

May 13, 2022

By Cindy Wooden

Read original article

Pope Francis will meet members of Canada’s Indigenous communities in late July, visiting the cities of Edmonton, Quebec and Iqaluit in Nunavut, the country’s most northern region.

“Accepting the invitation of the civil and ecclesiastical authorities and the Indigenous communities,” the pope will be in Canada July 24-29, returning to Rome July 30, the Vatican announced May 13.

The Vatican said a detailed program would be released later.

“The pope’s visit will provide a unique opportunity for him, once again, to listen and dialogue with Indigenous peoples, to express his heartfelt closeness and to address the impact of colonization and the participation of the Catholic Church in the operation of residential schools throughout Canada,” the bishops of Canada wrote on a website — papalvisit.ca — launched for the visit.

The papal visit, the bishops said, would be “a significant step on the road to truth, understanding and healing.”

Pope Francis…

View Cache

Minnesota Catholics examine church’s role in Indian boarding schools

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
Crux [Denver CO]

May 14, 2022

By Maria Wiering

Read original article

The doll is about 6 inches tall, handcrafted of red leather, with a tan belt and headband around its long black hair. It’s a male warrior, holding a bow.

“This is actually me,” D. Richard Wright said of the doll.

Wright, a parishioner of Gichitwaa Kateri Catholic Church in Minneapolis, made it as part of an effort to process recent findings in Canada of what are believed to be hundreds of graves of children on the sites of former Indigenous residential schools.

Some Twin Cities American Indians — mostly women — gathered to make “spirit dolls” representing the children in some of those graves, resulting in an exhibit called “215+” on display at the end of last year through this January at Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center in St. Paul.

Wright, 72, is a member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. He made the doll, he said, not because…

View Cache

Apology for past abuse expected during pope’s visit to Canada

ROME (ITALY)
Crux [Denver CO]

May 14, 2022

By Elise Ann Allen

Read original article

After Friday’s announcement of Pope Francis’s visit to Canada this summer, calls are already being made by government leaders and Indigenous communities for him to issue a formal apology for the Catholic Church’s role in the residential school system.

The announcement of the pope’s visit, set for July 24-30, came as a surprise to some given Francis’s ongoing knee trouble, which has recently confined him to a wheelchair.

Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton, coordinator of the papal visit, said during a May 13 press conference that he was “astonished” the pope decided to come given his current condition.

Not only has the pope’s physical mobility decreased, but he has canceled events due to his knee pain, and the Vatican recently postponed a planned trip to Lebanon next month, citing health reasons.

He is still scheduled to visit the Congo and South Sudan in early July, just a few weeks prior…

View Cache

After more than 30 years, this clergy abuse survivor is finally being heard

KELOWNA (CANADA)
Broadview [Toronto, Ontario, Canada]

May 12, 2022

By Karin Olafson

Read original article

Content warning: This article discusses an individual’s experiences with sexual assault, which may be triggering to some readers.

On a warm July day, Deana Hills made the drive from her home in Kelowna, B.C., into the office where she worked as a dental assistant. It was 2020, and businesses were following COVID-19 protocols: when the patient, Linda Ervin, arrived, Hills greeted her outside in a medical mask and led her into the office. 

After the usual small talk, Ervin said she worked as a diaconal minister with The United Church of Canada and also as a consultant in abuse prevention and boundary issues for the denomination, a role she’d held for decades. In fact, even before becoming a consultant in 1992, she worked in this realm: women had approached Ervin to voice complaints about abuse and harassment within the United Church since the 1970s. She was a familiar, trustworthy face, having…

View Cache

Catholic priest sanctioned after confessing to sexually abusing child

ESSEN (GERMANY)
Peoples Gazette [Abuja, NG]

May 12, 2022

By News Agency of Nigeria

Read original article

When confronted, the priest apparently confessed to the crime and was immediately suspended.

A Roman Catholic priest working in the Diocese of Essen in Germany has been suspended following an allegation of sexual abuse that dates back 30 years.

The diocese said on Thursday.

The man, who was accused of sexually abusing a minor, was subject to a criminal probe that had since been terminated due to the statute of limitations, it said in a statement.

When the case was closed, the victim contacted the diocese to inform them of the matter.

When confronted, the priest apparently confessed to the crime and was immediately suspended.

Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck then launched an investigation, the diocese said.

The German Catholic Church has responded to ongoing revelations of clerical sexual abuse with a reform process known as the Synodal Path, which is aimed at addressing the exercise of power, sexual morality, the priesthood…

View Cache

Bishop to step down as abuse spokesman for German bishops’ conference

BONN (GERMANY)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

May 13, 2022

By Catholic News Service

Read original article

Bishop Stephan Ackermann will step down from his position as spokesman on abuse issues for the German bishops’ conference in September, the conference announced May 12.

The bishops also announced that they will reorganize their reappraisal of sexualized violence in the context of the church, reported the German Catholic news agency KNA.

Bishop Ackermann, 59, of Trier recently was criticized for naming a female victim in a sexual abuse case.

He said a new and broader structure of responsibility was needed as soon as possible so that the Catholic Church in Germany could do more justice to the complexity of the issue of sexual abuse and the dimension of the task. He said he would therefore relinquish the office at the autumn plenary assembly of the bishops’ conference, KNA reported.

Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the bishops’ conference, thanked Bishop Ackermann for his 12 years of service as spokesman on…

View Cache

Pope Francis will travel to Canada in July to visit Indigenous communities

ROME (ITALY)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

May 13, 2022

By Christopher White

Read original article

Pope Francis will make a much anticipated visit to Canada from July 24-30, where he is expected to issue an apology on Canadian soil for the Catholic Church’s involvement in the country’s abuse-ridden residential schools, fulfilling a long sought after request by the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Vatican announced the visit in its daily bulletin on May 13 and said the pope would visit the cities of Edmonton, Québec and Iqaluit. A detailed schedule has yet to be released.

Speculation about the trip has swirled since Francis held a series of meetings with representatives of Canada’s Indigenous community from March 28 – April 1 at the Vatican.  

At the conclusion of the meetings, Francis issued an initial apology and pledged to visit Canada soon.

“For the deplorable conduct of members of the Catholic Church, I ask God’s forgiveness,” said Francis, who described the institutional abuses by…

View Cache

End statute of limitations on civil child sex abuse claims, Iowa Democrats say

DES MOINES (IA)
The Gazette [Cedar Rapids IA]

May 10, 2022

By Erin Murphy

Read original article

 Iowa has one of the nation’s most restrictive laws for when an individual can file civil claims concerning sexual abuse of a child.

Statehouse Democrats are pushing to change that.

Last year, Iowa repealed its statute of limitations on criminal charges for child sex abuse. But that new law did not include a similar repeal of the statute of limitations on civil claims, under which victims can seek financial damages.

At this time, an Iowan has until his or her 19th birthday to file civil claims for child sexual abuse.

That makes Iowa one of 11 states that caps the time when an individual can file civil claims at 25 years old or younger, according to the national advocacy organization Child USA.

A dozen states have no statute of limitations on civil claims for child sex abuse, according to Child USA.

Democratic state lawmakers are pushing…

View Cache

May 13, 2022

Report identifies abuses of Native American children in U.S. boarding schools, some run by Catholics

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

May 12, 2022

By Dennis Sadowski

Read original article

[Note from BishopAccountability.org: See the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report with Appendices A and B (boarding school list and descriptions), Appendix C (boarding school maps), and Appendix D (Consultations with Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Villages, Alaska Native Corporations, and the Native Hawaiian Community]

[Via America]

Hundreds of boarding schools supported by the U.S. government for 150 years sought to forcefully assimilate Native American and Indigenous children into white society, a first-of-its-kind report from the Interior Department said.

The report, issued May 11, identified 408 schools in 37 states or territories that tens of thousands of children were forced to attend from 1819 to 1969. The period largely coincides with the forced removal of many tribes from ancestral lands.

It also said there are at least 53 marked or unmarked burial sites associated with the schools.

Additionally, about 19 of the schools accounted for more than 500…

View Cache

Jail Birds – A history of incarcerated cardinals

(AUSTRALIA)
The Pillar [Washington DC]

May 12, 2022

By Michelle La Rosa

Read original article

Cardinal Joseph Zen

Cardinal Joseph Zen’s arrest in Hong Kong on Wednesday has prompted condemnation from democracy and religious freedom advocates, as well as a statement of concern from the Holy See.

While the 90-year-old cardinal was released on bail, Zen could face life in prison if convicted of colluding with a foreign government in his pro-democracy advocacy.

But Zen is not the first “Prince of the Church” with a record – a number of other members of the college of cardinals have spent time in prison throughout Church history.

The Pillar took a look at other arrested, indicted, or imprisoned cardinals in the life of the Church. These are their stories:

St. John Fisher

St. John Fisher was an English cardinal and martyr in the early 1500s. He was appointed both chancellor of Cambridge University and Bishop of Rochester in 1504, and he came to be known for his preaching and educational…

View Cache

Why is the church failing in the West?

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

May 13, 2022

By Thomas Reese

Read original article

There are numerous signs that the Catholic Church is failing in Western countries. There are few vocations, church attendance is down and young people are leaving the church in droves. There are as many theories explaining this decline as there are commentators, but the theories can be collected in two major baskets: those that blame culture and those that blame the church itself.

The Catholic hierarchy tends to blame contemporary culture for the church’s problems. Consumerism, individualism and secularism top their list of negative forces. The media bombards people with images and messages that are antithetical to Christianity: Happiness comes from sex, money and power. Life is too busy with work and leisure to have time for religion.

The social structures that supported religion have also weakened.

Ethnic neighborhoods that once reinforced religious communities and values have seen a decline as their residents have been disbursed to the suburbs. As…

View Cache

Basilica bidders hope to preserve culture, faith amid church bankruptcy

ST. JOHN'S (CANADA)
CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) [Toronto, Canada]

May 13, 2022

Read original article

Coalition benefits churchgoers and abuse survivors, says former mayor

Three Catholic groups in St. John’s with a lot to lose are teaming up to keep the church’s most prized possession from potentially falling into the hands of developers as the archdiocese sells off properties to compensate Mount Cashel abuse victims.

The coalition between the Basilica Heritage Foundation, St. Bonaventure’s College and the St. Bon’s Forum was reported by CBC on Wednesday. The group has since confirmed its plans to place a joint bid for the Basilica of St. John the Baptist and its adjoining properties in a letter posted to the school’s website.

The signatories say it’s a move to “maintain and protect a vital piece of our history, our culture and our city.” Nobody from the group was made available to speak to the media on Thursday.

The Basilica — one of the oldest and largest churches in the country — promises…

View Cache

German bishops’ president asserts ‘the need to develop the Church’s teaching’

BONN (GERMANY)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

May 12, 2022

Read original article

[Via Catholic World Report]

The president of the German bishops’ conference has expressed his belief that Church teaching needs further development, in response to critique of the synodal path in that country.

The statement came in the latest instance of epistolary exchange between Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg and Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver.

“Our Church needs change in order to faithfully carry out her mission and take the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of our time. And the urgent need for change also includes the need to further develop the Church’s teaching. Such is my conviction,” Bishop Bätzing wrote in a May 5 letter to Archbishop Aquila.

The assembly of the synodal path has voted in favor of documents calling for the priestly ordination of women, same-sex blessings, and changes to teaching on homosexual acts.

Germany’s “Synodal Path” is a process that brings together lay people…

View Cache

Convicted ex-friar won’t be tried in 2nd sex abuse case

JACKSON (MS)
Associated Press [New York NY]

May 12, 2022

Read original article

Mississippi prosecutors have dropped a second set of charges against a former Franciscan friar who was convicted last month of sexually abusing a student during the 1990s at a Catholic school.

Paul West, 62, received a 45-year sentence on April 13 and is in the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility.

He had been scheduled to go on trial Tuesday on charges of sexually abusing another student during the 1990s at St. Francis of Assisi School in Greenwood.

The Mississippi attorney general’s office submitted an order dropping the second set of charges because he had been convicted on the first set, the Greenwood Commonwealth reported. Circuit Judge Ashley Hines approved the order.

As first reported by The Associated Press in 2019, La Jarvis Love, now 39, and his cousin, Joshua Love, now 38, had accused West of numerous instances of sexual abuse while they were…

View Cache

Portuguese bishops’ leader seeks forgiveness from abuse victims

LISBON (PORTUGAL)
Catholic News Service - USCCB [Washington DC]

May 12, 2022

Read original article

[Via Crux]

The president of the Portuguese bishops’ conference begged forgiveness from victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, as a church-appointed independent commission predicted many more abuse cases would come to light.

“These attacks are particularly serious; in addition to direct physical harm, they affect the fundamental system of affection, trust and values that sustains personal, relational and spiritual development,” said Bishop José Ornelas Carvalho of Leiria-Fatima.

“I hope the liberating courage of victims can motivate others in a similar situation, offering a key contribution to the creation of a new culture and a dignified, fair and welcoming future,” he said.

The bishop, whose speech was carried May 10 by Portugal’s Ecclesia news agency, addressed a Lisbon colloquium co-sponsored by the Independent Commission for Studying Sexual Abuse of Children in the Church, set up last November by the bishops’ conference.

Ornelas said he was grateful to those who had…

View Cache

Pope to visit Canada, part of apology aims for church abuse

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

May 13, 2022

By Frances D'Emilio

Read original article

Pope Francis, struggling with a bad knee, is going ahead with his plan to visit Canada this summer so he can apologize in person for abuse suffered by Indigenous peoples at the hands of the Catholic church.

The Vatican on Friday announced that Francis will head to Canada on July 24, returning to Rome on July 30. While in Canada he will visit Edmonton, Quebec and Iqaluit, a small town where about half the population are Inuit.

Last month, Francis made a historic apology for abuses in Canada’s church-run residential schools. He said he wanted to go to Canada to deliver the apology personally to survivors of misguided Catholic missionary zeal.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said Francis was “accepting the invitation of the civil and ecclesiastical authorities and the Indigenous communities” in making what the Holy See termed an “apostolic journey.”

Even as the Vatican was confirming the trip, Francis…

View Cache

May 12, 2022

Department of the Interior Releases Investigative Report, Outlines Next Steps in Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative

WASHINGTON (DC)
U.S. Department of the Interior

May 11, 2022

By Deb Haaland and Bryan Newland

Read original article

[See the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report with Appendices A and B (boarding school list and descriptions) and Appendix C (boarding school maps).]

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland today released Volume 1 of the investigative report called for as part of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, a comprehensive effort to address the troubled legacy of federal Indian boarding school policies. This report lays the groundwork for the continued work of the Interior Department to address the intergenerational trauma created by historical federal Indian boarding school policies.

This investigative report is a significant step by the federal government to comprehensively address the facts and consequences of its federal Indian boarding school policies—implemented for more than a century and a half—resulting in the twin goals of cultural assimilation and territorial dispossession of Indigenous peoples through the…

View Cache

The church can help prevent sexual violence—by doing a better job teaching about sex

CHICAGO (IL)
America [New York NY]

May 11, 2022

By Shelby Kearns

Read original article

There is an assumption that gets in the way of sexual violence prevention: that talking about things like sexual activity and consent somehow encourages sexual activity. So both schools and families often shy away from teaching about the sexual abuse of children and, later, about the sexual assault of adults.

Most recently, the attitude that silence equals prevention has encouraged a harmful—and confusing—connection between pedophilia and the L.G.B.T.Q. community. After Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida signed the Parental Rights in Education bill (known by its critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which, among other things, “prohibits classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels”), legislators in at least a dozen states proposed similar laws. The fear among lawmakers and other advocates of these bills is that teaching elementary-aged children about gender identity or sexual orientation is not “developmentally appropriate” or amounts to “indoctrination.”

The debate on which topics are age-appropriate…

View Cache

Education coordinator and former Catholic school teacher Lina Costanzo charged with child sex offences

(AUSTRALIA)
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC [Sydney, Australia]

May 12, 2022

By Claire Campbell

Read original article

A South Australian Department for Education coordinator and teacher of more than 30 years has been charged with child sex offences spanning more than a decade against three children.

Lina Costanzo, of Tranmere in Adelaide’s east, faced the Adelaide Magistrates Court charged with three counts of persistent sexual exploitation of a child.

The 51-year-old is accused of sexually exploiting a child between 1989 and 1994, another child between 1990 and 1995 and a third child between 1992 and 2002 at Glenelg, Eden Hills and other places in South Australia.

Court documents reveal two of the alleged victims were girls and one was a boy, and all were under the age of 17 at the time.

The documents allege Ms Costanzo maintained an unlawful sexual relationship with the three children that involved multiple unlawful sexual acts.

Ms Costanzo’s lawyer, Craig Caldicott, told the court she contested the charges and would plead not…

View Cache

Catholic Diocese of Buffalo drastically reducing number of priests

BUFFALO (NY)
Spectrum News [Syracuse NY]

May 11, 2022

Read original article

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo is making drastic cuts to its stable of priests following its clergy abuse scandal and ensuing bankruptcy. 

The diocese confirmed Wednesday it invited 132 active priests to apply for just 36 open positions — that’s one priest for each “parish family” as outlined in the diocese’s “Road to Renewal” initiative.

The program is meant to address financial issues brought on by Child Victims Act lawsuits filed against the diocese and a decline in attendance.

The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy more than two years ago after more than 250 CVA lawsuits were filed.

As of December 2021, more than 900 people have accused local clergy and diocesan staff of sexual abuse and the diocese has paid more than $7 million in legal and professional fees.

View Cache

Retired Bishop Brom of San Diego dies at 83

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Catholic News Service - USCCB [Washington DC]

May 11, 2022

Read original article

[Via Crux]

A funeral Mass will be celebrated May 17 for retired Bishop Robert H. Brom of San Diego, who died May 10 in San Diego. He was 83.

The Mass for Brom, who headed the diocese from 1990 until 2013, will be celebrated at St. Therese of Carmel Church in Del Mar Heights, California, followed by burial at Holy Cross Cemetery.

“He was a natural teacher who constantly labored to bring the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council into the heart of the Diocese of San Diego,” Bishop Robert W. McElroy, current head of the diocese, said in a May 10 statement.

“This dedication to the council also framed his lifelong service in forming men for the priesthood,” he added.

Robert Henry Brom was born Sept. 18, 1938, in Arcadia, Wisconsin. He earned a bachelor’s degree at St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota, and a licentiate in sacred theology…

View Cache

Former Catholic Priest sentenced to 22 years for sexually abusing minor he met in church

BALTIMORE (MD)
WMAR - ABC 2 [Baltimore MD]

May 11, 2022

By Rushaad Hayward

Read original article

Former Priest, 65-year-old Fernando Cristancho, was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for coercion and enticement of a minor.

Cristancho also admitted that he met the victim through the church. The Priest produced nude images of four other minor victims.

He must also register as a sex offender in the place where he lives.

According to his guilty plea, Cristancho was ordained as a Roman Catholic Priest in Colombia, South America, in 1985. It wasn’t until 1999, when he started work in Baltimore in the Archdiocese.

However, the crimes were committed in Harford County at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church.

The plea agreement shows that the victim was 11,12 and 13 at the time of the incident. The victim’s family were also members of St. Ignatius.

Soon after Cristancho arrived at the church, he began to spend time with the victim’s family outside of church, including meals at restaurants…

View Cache

May 11, 2022

Catholic Church in Louisiana Loses Legal Bid Against Victims of The Church’s Child Sex Crimes

LAFAYETTE (LA)
Survivors of Childhood Sex Abuse [Middletown, DE]

May 6, 2022

By Richard Windmann

Read original article

On May 3rd, 2022, the Society of the Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana lost its bid to turn over a lower court’s decision on the constitutionality of the new SOL reforms for childhood sex abuse in Louisiana, when they filed an application of writ to the 3rd District appeals court.

The church has been on both sides of the statute of limitations reform bill since its inception last year. When the bill was in committee, they filed opposition to the bill. When it passed the house and senate, and Governor Edwards signed the bill into law, Archbishop Gregory Aymond withdrew his opposition for the bill and publicly voiced support for the new law. Now that the law is enacted, the Archdiocese of the Ecclesiastical State of Louisiana are now fighting the constitutionality of the new law.

The case will now continue to move through the…

View Cache

Catholic Church loses bid to dismiss sexual abuse lawsuit in Kansas

TOPEKA (KS)
Legal News Line [Chicago, IL]

May 4, 2022

By John O'Brien

Read original article

 The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan., has failed to defeat a sexual abuse claim by claiming the allegations of a former altar boy were too late.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled April 22 that an eight-year statute of limitations does not doom a man’s claims that he was abused in the 1980s as a child but did not remember until he was an adult.

The ruling allows a John Doe to pursue his lawsuit against the Archdiocese and a priest at St. Matthew Parish. He filed his petition in 2017, claiming he was sexually abused from ages 9 through 12 but did not recover those repressed memories until 2015 when he saw news coverage of abuse uncovered in Guam.

The defendants filed motions to dismiss based on the statutes of limitations and repose, but they were denied. Further arguments at the summary judgment phase that the claims were…

View Cache

Portuguese commission has received 326 testimonies into church abuse since January

LISBON (PORTUGAL)
Spam Chronicles [Walnut Creek, CA]

May 10, 2022

By Ashley Cornell

Read original article

The Portuguese commission investigating the sexual abuse of minors within the Catholic Church has already received 326 testimonies on this type of case since it began work last January.

It is the latest tally of the commission, which includes more men than women, from all regions of the country, all ages and school levels and all types of abuse, as revealed today by a member of the group, the sociologist Ana Nonnen von Almeida.

During a conference organized by the Commission in Lisbon and with the participation of international experts, Nunes de Almeida explained that, in addition to these 326 direct testimonies, “there are other people who say that they have been victims of abuse”, so that the number amounts to ” many, many hundreds”.

The commission announced in April in its first three months of work that it had confirmed 290 cases of abuse within the church, 16 of…

View Cache

The scandal of online sexual abuse of Filipino children

(PHILIPPINES)
Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) [Hong Kong]

May 4, 2022

By Father Shay Cullen

Read original article

Many are victims of family members seeking to satisfy their own sexual urges and make money on the side

Eleven-year-old Evangeline is one of several children rescued from child sex abusers who abused them over the internet for money from rich foreign pedophiles. The demand is huge. The other victims are boys and girls of six, eight and 10 years old.

They were repeatedly sexually abused in front of an internet-connected cellphone using Philippine internet service providers (ISPs) while foreign pedophiles around the world paid and watched the horrific shows.

A study conducted in 2021 by Unicef, Interpol and Ecpat International, all great advocates of child rights, discovered that among Filipino children between the ages of 12 and 17, one in every five had suffered sexual abuse over the internet, especially during coronavirus lockdowns. That is an estimated 2 million abused Filipino children in total.

The live sex shows were streamed…

View Cache

EU commission proposes plan to fight child pornography

BRUSSELS (BELGIUM)
Associated Press [New York NY]

May 11, 2022

By Samuel Petrequin

Read original article

The European Union’s executive arm on Wednesday unveiled a plan to require online platforms to detect and report the sharing of child sex abuse images on the internet.

The regulation, which needs to be endorsed by member countries and the EU Parliament, would force companies operating in the EU to detect, report and remove the material.

Voluntary detection is currently the norm and the Commission believes that the system does not adequately protect children since many companies don’t do the identification work.

Reports of online child sexual abuse in the 27-nation bloc have increased from 23,000 in 2010 to more than 1 million in 2020. International police agency Interpol has also reported a surge in the online distribution of explicit sexual images of children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A similar increase has been noticed globally, with reports of child abuse on the internet rising from 1 million to almost 22…

View Cache

Victim wants abuser removed from priest’s circle at Yakima Catholic cemetery

YAKIMA (WA)
Yakima Herald-Republic [Yakima WA]

May 9, 2022

By Joel Donofrio

Read original article

For 34 years, Yakima native Michael Ross blocked the memory of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest from his mind. Then he pushed officials at two Catholic dioceses for acknowledgement of the abuse and, eventually, resolved a lawsuit over it.

Now Ross is taking his efforts to another stage — Yakima’s Calvary Cemetery, where Monsignor Joseph Sondergeld has been buried for more than 50 years in an area reserved for deceased clergy.

Ross has asked the Diocese of Yakima to remove Sondergeld’s remains from the priests’ circle, or at least acknowledge in the cemetery that multiple claims of abuse against him have been substantiated.

“Right now, in the Yakima diocese, he’s still a venerated priest,” Ross said of Sondergeld’s placement in the cemetery. “When people who have been abused, when family members of people who have been abused by Joseph Sondergeld walk by and see he’s there with an elevated…

View Cache

Church of Portugal apologizes for sexual abuse of minors

LISBON (PORTUGAL)
The Rimont [Rimont, FR]

May 11, 2022

By Malvi

Read original article

Pedro Strecht, President of the Commission of Inquiry into Pederasty in the Portuguese Church, and José Ornelas, President of the Episcopal Conference in Lisbon.Joao Henriquez

The Church of Portugal has apologized for the sexual abuse of minors. He did so Tuesday afternoon at a scientific forum organized in Lisbon by an independent commission of inquiry into pederasty, according to Bishop José Ornelas of Leiria Fatima, who chairs the Portuguese Episcopal Conference. “I want to once again appeal to the victims with a request for forgiveness for suffering and convey gratitude to those who dared to condemn. The tragic situation of the current war shows that a person is capable of the greatest barbarism, ”he argued.

In front of an audience that also included Hans Zollner, one of the experts appointed by Pope Francis to combat pederasty in the Church, and the presidents of the revision chambers of Spain and Germany,…

View Cache

Youth Pastor ‘Betrothed’ to 14-Year-Old Girl With Parents’ and Church Leaders’ Blessing Charged With Sexual Abuse

OWEGO (NY)
ChurchLeaders.com [Wheaton, IL]

May 5, 2022

By Jesse T. Jackson

Read original article

Robert Fenton was a 26-year-old youth pastor at Abide In The Vine church in Owego, New York, when he was given approval to betroth a 14-year-old congregational member by her family and church leadership.

Fenton convinced the teenage girl’s parents and leadership at the non-denominational church to allow him to betroth the underage girl, telling them he had a vision “declaring that God wanted the victim to be his spouse.”

The youth pastor was granted permission to betroth the 14-year-old under the condition that no sexual activity would take place. But according to his now 40-year-old victim, Fenton “frequently” assaulted the underage girl during his two years at the church in the late 90’s.

Last week, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced charges against Fenton for assaulting a 14-year-old.

RELATED: Las Vegas Ex-Pastor, Teacher Pleads Guilty in Child Sex Case

“I want survivors to…

View Cache

U.S. bishops announce Catholic News Service to cease domestic operations at year’s end

WASHINGTON (DC)
America [New York NY]

May 4, 2022

By Catholic News Service

Read original article

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced to staff May 4 a dramatic reorganization of its communications department, including the closure of the Washington and New York offices of Catholic News Service.

In meetings with newsroom staff, James Rogers, the chief communications officer of the conference, said that the Washington office would be closed at year’s end.

The Rome bureau of Catholic News Service will remain open and continue to report on Vatican and related international events.

A statement released by the bishops’ public affairs office said: “Over the next few months, the USCCB Department of Communications will undertake a significant realignment to better utilize the resources entrusted to the Conference by the faithful in a manner that fits the communications environment today.

“Sadly, this will impact a number of staff. We are grateful for the time and dedication of the committed team of communicators at the Conference who serve…

View Cache

A Big Loss for Catholic Journalism On All Levels

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Tablet [Diocese of Brooklyn NY]

May 10, 2022

Read original article

Catholic News Service recently reported a story about itself — and the news wasn’t good. 

The service will soon shutter its U.S. operation after more than a century of being recognized as a trusted, unbiased news source in the Catholic community and beyond. Come January, when its two U.S. bureaus [Washington and New York] close, 21 staffers will lose their jobs. 

According to CNS’s publishers, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Rome bureau will remain open. That’s a small consolation, however, because there’s no shortage of outlets covering Vatican news. Reporting the story of the Church in the U.S. is what makes CNS relevant, and therefore, valuable. 

Today’s “environment” needs more trusted news sources, not fewer, especially because so many Catholic publications rely on CNS to supplement their own coverage. It’s a common practice in the business; the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal subscribe to and publish…

View Cache

Imagine that you’re a deeply religious young person….

ST. LOUIS (MO)
DavidClohessy.com [St. Louis MO]

May 10, 2022

By David Clohessy

Read original article

You feel a ‘calling’ to serve God.

You specifically feel that God wants you to be ordained as a cleric.

And not just any cleric. God says you should be a priest.

Imagine you’re from a devout Catholic family.

Chances are that people you know will be excited by this news.

Chances are that they think highly of priests.

Chances are that, if you attend parochial school, your teachers will be excited.

And chances are that your parents and other relatives are thrilled you feel about your decision.

But a handful of men can thwart your noble calling.

One is your diocesan vocations director (who could tell your bishop “I don’t think this young fellow would be a good priest” or “feels a genuine calling” or “is likely to truly be celibate” or “could really make it in our rigorous seminary program” or whatever).

Another is your bishop (without whose…

View Cache

WA Catholic priest Richard Doyle handed four-year prison sentence for sexual abuse of young girl

(AUSTRALIA)
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC [Sydney, Australia]

May 8, 2022

By Joanna Menagh

Read original article

An elderly Catholic priest has been sentenced to four years in jail for sexually abusing a young Perth girl more than 40 years ago after asking her for “back scratches”.

Key points:

  • Richard Doyle abused the girl during visits to her family home
  • His lawyer said joining the church left him sexually naive and led to ‘problems’
  • Doyle will be eligible for parole after serving half of his four-year term

Richard Doyle, 85, was found guilty earlier this year after a judge-alone trial in the District Court, convicted of four charges of indecently dealing with the girl when she was between 6 and 10 years old.

Doyle was acquitted of another two charges.

The court was told the victim’s family came to know Doyle when he was working in WA’s Wheatbelt region.

When they all moved to Perth, he started visiting the family at their home, with the victim — who is…

View Cache

May 10, 2022

Editorial: Justice is coming, slowly, in clergy sex abuse cases

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

May 10, 2022

Read original article

The road toward justice for the victims of clergy sex abuse has been long, tortuous and littered with legal minefields. But increasingly in the past few years, it has led to milestones involving accountability for the Catholic Church, and restitution for individuals preyed upon as children. That it has taken two decades in many cases is maddening, but breakthroughs even at this late date are critically important.

In April, a Catholic diocese in the Philadelphia suburbs of southern New Jersey agreed to pay nearly $88 million to settle claims by several hundred people, many of them now elderly, who say they were abused as children. For many of the 300 or so plaintiffs in the Diocese of Camden, it will mean payouts in the range of $300,000, with the possibility of additional amounts stemming from separate lawsuits against insurance companies, parishes and schools.

The Camden settlement was among…

View Cache
Some issues of Origins, the documentary service of Catholic News Service, are seen in this undated photo, along with binders for entire volumes of the publication. (CNS / Tyler Orsburn)

Officials across US church, Vatican lament closing of Catholic News Service

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

May 10, 2022

By Brian Fraga

Read original article

[Photo above: Some issues of Origins, the documentary service of Catholic News Service, are seen in this undated photo, along with binders for entire volumes of the publication. (CNS / Tyler Orsburn)]

Six months before he died, the late Cardinal John Foley praised Catholic News Service in a 2011 speech he delivered to the annual Catholic Media Convention.

Christopher Gunty remembers Foley, who headed the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Social Communications for 23 years, saying that “if Catholic News Service didn’t exist, we’d have to create it.”

Gunty, now the associate publisher and CEO of the Catholic Review, a monthly magazine for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, says he and his paper “rely heavily on CNS to inform our readers on what’s going on in the nation and the world, and without them, it’s going to be nearly impossible for us to do so.”

Gunty and…

View Cache

Mother Teresa: For the Love of God? review – damning testimony from a killer witness

KOLKATA (INDIA)
The Guardian [London, England]

May 9, 2022

By Jack Seale

Read original article

Did the nun really deserve her saintly reputation? She inspired a craze for self-flagellation among her ‘sisters’, says one woman in this shocking three-parter, while a street doctor is even more scathing

ho could have foreseen, when Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu was born in what is now Skopje, North Macedonia, in August 1910, that she would become one of the icons of the 20th century, recognised across the globe as Mother Teresa, saintly giver of comfort to the destitute? More specifically, who could have predicted that she would embody so much of what was wrong with that century and the next? The three-part documentary Mother Teresa: For the Love of God? (Sky Documentaries) sets out the pros and cons of Teresa mania, finding the good to be fragile and the bad, profound.

Briskly we are given the backstory of a family made vulnerable by the death – perhaps by poisoning – of…

View Cache

Cost of Germany’s ‘Synodal Way’ remains a mystery

BONN (GERMANY)
The Pilot - Archdiocese of Boston [Boston MA]

May 9, 2022

Read original article

The German “Synodal Way” has created worldwide controversy. But how much it is costing the Catholic Church remains a mystery.

A spokesman for the Church in Germany declined on May 8 to give a breakdown of the costs of the multi-year project, which critics claim could lead to schism.

CNA approached the spokesman after seeing documents suggesting that the German Church had spent millions on the Synodal Way, an initiative bringing together laypeople and bishops to discuss far-reaching changes to Catholic teaching and practice.

The documents appeared to indicate that the project had so far cost more than 5.7 million euros (around $6 million).

The figure was based on data compiled by the Association of the Dioceses of Germany, a legal entity of the German bishops’ conference located in Bonn.

The documents, which are not publicly available, suggested that the Church spent 703,195 euros in 2019, 878,035 euros in 2020,…

View Cache

Robert Brom Dies at 83; San Diego Catholic Bishop Oversaw Diocese Bankruptcy

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Times of San Diego

May 9, 2022

By Ken Stone

Read original article

Roman Catholics are mourning Bishop Robert Brom, the San Diego spiritual leader for nearly a quarter-century who oversaw a major bankruptcy amid the predatory priest scandal. He died Monday morning at his home.

The San Diego-Imperial Diocese made the announcement. Cause of death wasn’t immediately released. He was 83.

“Bishop Brom was a pastor, teacher and servant leader of the Catholic community in San Diego and Imperial Counties for 23 years,” Bishop Robert McElroy said in a statement. “He oversaw the building of many beautiful churches in our Diocese, as well as the establishment of two magnificent high school campuses” — Cathedral Catholic in Carmel Valley and Mater Dei in Chula Vista.

Brom was appointed coadjutor bishop of San Diego on April 22, 1989, to assist Bishop Leo Maher and became the fourth bishop of San Diego on July 10, 1990. He retired Sept. 18, 2013.

“Bishop Brom’s deep love for…

View Cache

18 Newfoundland churches for sale in St. John’s bankruptcy

ST. JOHN'S (CANADA)
The Pillar [Washington DC]

May 9, 2022

Read original article

Nearly 20 parish churches on the eastern edge of North America face the prospect of closure, as the properties have gone up for sale in bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. 

The parish church properties – at 18 of the 34 parishes in the archdiocese –  were included in a March notice of sale, part of an effort to resolve an archdiocesan bankruptcy filing and a court order to compensate victims of sexual abuse at a closed Catholic orphanage in Newfoundland.

The Newfoundland archdiocese was in 2021 found liable for a religious community which operated Mount Cashel, a notoriously abusive orphanage in the archdiocese that closed in 1990. After it became responsible to compensate more 100 men sexually abused at the orphanage in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection in December 2021 — compensation claims were expected to exceed $50 million CAD.

In…

View Cache

Catholic bishops to SCOTUS: Review CA sex abuse law

SACRAMENTO (CA)
CalMatters [Sacramento CA]

May 10, 2022

By Emily Hoeven

Read original article

Second window for legal claims

Could California find itself in another conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court?

Nine California Catholic dioceses and archdioceses have asked the nation’s highest court to review their case against a 2019 law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, which created a three-year window for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file legal claims against alleged perpetrators at school, church or elsewhere, regardless of when the alleged abuse occurred. The law also allowed defendants to be sued for a new offense: “cover up” activity.

In the April 15 petition, which was first reported last week by the Catholic News Agency, lawyers for the Catholic bishops assert the law is unconstitutional because California already gave victims a chance to sue in 2002 — when it opened a one-year portal for sex abuse survivors to file claims with no time limit attached — and because it retroactively adds new liabilities.

View Cache

Officials across US church, Vatican lament closing of Catholic News Service

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

May 10, 2022

By Brian Fraga

Read original article

Six months before he died, the late Cardinal John Foley praised Catholic News Service in a 2011 speech he delivered to the annual Catholic Media Convention.

Christopher Gunty remembers Foley, who headed the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Social Communications for 23 years, saying that “if Catholic News Service didn’t exist, we’d have to create it.”

Gunty, now the associate publisher and CEO of the Catholic Review, a monthly magazine for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, says he and his paper “rely heavily on CNS to inform our readers on what’s going on in the nation and the world, and without them, it’s going to be nearly impossible for us to do so.”

Gunty and other Catholic media professionals, as well as some Catholic bishops and communications officials, lamented the pending loss of Catholic News Service, the U.S. bishops’ century-old wire service, which has been long respected…

View Cache

May 9, 2022

TOR priest allegation shows challenge to resolve ‘boundary’ cases

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
The Pillar [Washington DC]

May 6, 2022

By Christine Rousselle

Read original article

A Franciscan priest was removed from his nursing home assignment Tuesday, after a woman took to social media and YouTube to raise public allegations of sexual assault.

The incident is the latest in a series of controversies to plague the TOR Franciscan friars, who administer the well-known Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.

The woman says the priest should be removed from ministry, while his religious province has emphasized that allegations against the priest are “unsubstantiated.”

A former Vatican official says the case raises critical questions about justice and the Church’s response to unsubstantiated accusations.

Dakota Bateman, 27, began posting and speaking online in late April 2022 about allegations that Fr. Benedict Jurchak, TOR, sexually assaulted her in February 2018. 

Bateman had previously reported the incidents both to the priest’s province and to the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, where the province is headquartered, but her allegations were not known publicly until recently.

View Cache

Trinity Screens at the Former House of Affirmation

WORCESTER (MA)
Trinity: The Movie [Worcester MA]

May 9, 2022

By Skip Shea

Read original article

Skip Shea’s Award Winning Trinity to screen at Estate of Mind, the former House of Affirmation, as a benefit for BishopAccountability.org

The House of Affirmation was a treatment center for priests with psychological issues, including pedophilia. However the priest who started it, Fr. Kane, was himself a pedophile and they networked children in the Blackstone Valley. Including Shea who returns to remind people of this history of clergy abuse in the Diocese of Worcester.

Estate of Mind 120 Hill St, Whitinsville MA, 01588

Saturday, May 21, 2022
Doors open at 7:00PM for a reception, screening at 8:00PM with a Q&A after.
Tickets are $20.00 and can be purchased here.

TRINITY is Skip Shea’s first feature length film based on a true story. It follows Michael, an artist. While getting his morning coffee at his sister’s coffee shop, Michael accidently bumps into…

View Cache

Victim wants abuser removed from priest’s circle at Yakima Catholic cemetery

YAKIMA (WA)
Yakima Herald-Republic [Yakima WA]

May 9, 2022

By Joel Donofrio

Read original article

For 34 years, Yakima native Michael Ross blocked the memory of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest from his mind. Then he pushed officials at two Catholic dioceses for acknowledgement of the abuse and, eventually, resolved a lawsuit over it.

Now Ross is taking his efforts to another stage — Yakima’s Calvary Cemetery, where Monsignor Joseph Sondergeld has been buried for more than 50 years in an area reserved for deceased clergy.

Ross has asked the Diocese of Yakima to remove Sondergeld’s remains from the priests’ circle, or at least acknowledge in the cemetery that multiple claims of abuse against him have been substantiated.

“Right now, in the Yakima diocese, he’s still a venerated priest,” Ross said of Sondergeld’s placement in the cemetery. “When people who have been abused, when family members of people who have been abused by Joseph Sondergeld walk by and see he’s there with an elevated…

View Cache

‘Gross breach of trust’: Catholic priest jailed for child sex abuse

(AUSTRALIA)
News Corp Australia [Sydney, New South Wales, Australia]

May 9, 2022

By Angie Raphael

Read original article

An 85-year-old Catholic priest who sexually abused a girl more than 40 years ago has finally learnt his fate in court.

An 85-year-old Catholic priest who sexually abused a girl more than four decades ago has been jailed after a judge said he had “disgraced the church” he served so faithfully.

Richard Joseph Doyle faced a judge-alone trial in the West Australian District Court and was found guilty of four counts of indecently dealing with the child at her home when she was aged between six and 10, dating back to 1979.

Doyle asked the girl to scratch his back and tickled her on various occasions before he sexually abused her, the court was told.

Judge Belinda Lonsdale said during the sentencing hearing on Monday that the victim trusted adults, and particularly priests, describing Doyle’s crimes as a “gross breach of trust”.

“Had your offending occurred only once, it might…

View Cache

May 8, 2022

Film Screening and Panel Discussion: Manufacturing the Clerical Predator

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Nate's Mission [Milwaukee WI]

May 8, 2022

Read original article

How the Catholic Hierarchy Creates and Maintains a Culture of Abuse

[See trailer for documentary here.]

The Catholic Church has overseen the world’s longest lasting and most widespread campaign of institutional sexual abuse. Why is it that after sixteen centuries of documented evidence and decades of continuous international public exposure, new revelations of the scope and magnitude of the abuse crisis continue to shock the public?

In this webinar, organizer and film director Sarah Pearson will present a documentary film featuring former and current priests who reveal how clerical pedophilia is not a phenomenon that occurs as the result of an external perversion of the Catholic hierarchy, but rather, a distinct form of sexual violence that is produced, manufactured, and reproduced within the clerical system.

Film screening and virtual panel discussion

Manufacturing the Clerical Predator: How the Catholic Hierarchy Creates and Maintains a Culture of Abuse

Tuesday, May…

View Cache

What they wore: Amish Country exhibit spotlights sex abuse

LEACOCK-LEOLA-BAREVILLE (PA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

May 6, 2022

By Peter Smith

Read original article

Clotheslines with billowing linens and long dresses are a common sight on the off-grid farms of Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County, home to the nation’s largest Amish settlement. For many tourists they’re as iconic a part of Amish Country’s bucolic scenery as the rural lanes and wooden bridges.

But for two days in late April, a clothesline with a different purpose was strung in a small indoor exhibit here. Hanging from it were 13 outfits representing the trauma of sexual assault suffered by members of the Amish, Mennonite and similar groups, a reminder that the modest attire they require, particularly of women and girls, is no protection.

Each garment on display was either the actual one a survivor wore at the time they were assaulted or a replica assembled by volunteers to match the strict dress codes of the survivor’s childhood church.

One was a long-sleeve, periwinkle blue Amish dress with a…

View Cache

Letter to the Editor: Vatican should pay the archdiocese sex abuse settlement

HAGåTñA (GUAM)
Guam Daily Post

May 8, 2022

By Diane Iglesias

Read original article

In September 2018, “mediation” was scheduled. In January 2019, the Archdiocese of Agana filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, listing $22.96 million in assets and $45.66 million in liabilities. They provided a list of nonsalable “essential” and salable “nonessential” properties.

On Guam, the original lawsuit was $1.3 billion with almost 300 claimants. With 1.3 billion Catholics in the world, it’s like each Catholic giving $1 to the settlement fund!

Since Guam’s population is 179,000 people, that’s equal to every person on Guam getting at least $7,000 each! Please let those numbers sink in!

The world’s population is 7.7 billion, over 3 billion live on less than $2.50 a day!

I’m sure that most of us can agree the lawsuit settlement money can be much better served feeding and sheltering the impoverished and homeless people of the world instead of paying for the clergy’s sex abuse crimes.

While it is commendable…

View Cache

As an editor leaves, a celebration of Buffalo

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News [Buffalo NY]

May 7, 2022

Read original article

It has been an amazing decade in Buffalo.

We shed a half century of decline. Population rose. A startup scene bloomed. Billions in public investment bred a wave of private investment. A Buffalonian is governor of New York for the first time in 138 years. And the Bills and Sabres are on the rise and secured in Western New York for decades to come.

As I retire as editor of The Buffalo News, 45 years after writing my first newspaper story and after nine and a half years leading this newsroom, I feel lucky to have caught this decade.

Some of the stories we told were difficult, some exhilarating. We worked through a pandemic and a historic snowstorm. Always, our aim was simple: Tell Buffalo’s story, good or bad. Confront what weakens us and celebrate our successes.

Some memorable stories from an amazing decade:

Priest sex…

View Cache

Kerala priest discharged in nun rape case over alleged attempt to influence witness

KOTTAYAM (INDIA)
The Hindu [Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India]

May 7, 2022

Read original article

As per the case, Father James Erthayil attempted to bribe a witness from withdrawing support to survivor nun

The Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Pala, has discharged Father James Erthayil, a priest who allegedly attempted to influence a key witness in the nun rape case against Bishop Franco Mulakkal.

Considering a discharge petition filed by the priest, judge Padmakumar G. found that no purpose would be served if the case was proceeded with and there were no chances of conviction of the accused as the charges were groundless. Though the police had obtained sanction under Section 155(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to register an FIR , the court found the non-cognisable offences charged against the petitioner as not legally sustainable.

As per the case, Fr. Erthayil had made a phone call to one of the witnesses in the case and attempted to bribe her from withdrawing support…

View Cache

Child Victims Act sunsets on Dec. 31

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Pasadena Star News [Pasadena CA]

May 7, 2022

By John Crawford

Read original article

Some years back a horrific scandal hit the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world. Shocking revelations of child sexual abuse by clerics, first emerging in Boston in 2002, spread like wildfire as it was also discovered that church leaders offered sanctuary to their pedophile priests for years at a time.

Justice was difficult. There was resistance to these explosive charges even at the most elite levels of the Catholic hierarchy. An Associated Press article, “Papal spokesman likens sex abuse allegations to anti-Semitism,” published in 2010, began this way:

“At a solemn Good Friday service, Pope Benedict XVI’s personal preacher likened the tide of allegations that the pontiff has covered up sex abuse cases to the ‘more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.’ But within hours, facing a storm of criticism at the comparison, the Vatican felt it necessary to distance the pope from the preacher’s remarks.”

However, as the tsunami of accusations…

View Cache

Forgiveness and Accountability: Looking at the John MacArthur Scandal

(CA)
Patheos [Englewood CO]

May 7, 2022

By Connor Brennan

Read original article

I’ve been trying to take in all of the information Julie Roys provided in her articles about the John MacArthur scandal. From what I’ve read in these articles and from various takes on the matter, this amounts to spiritual abuse. Specifically, we’re looking at a nasty misinterpretation of forgiveness and accountability.

Content/Trigger Warning: Discussion of Domestic and Spiritual Abuse

Julie Roys uncovered evidence of church abuse perpetuated by MacArthur’s church, Grace Community Church in California. Roys procured hard proof that John MacArthur and other members of his church chose to shame Eileen Gray for “refusing to reconcile” with her abusive husband, David.

For Shame!

Something to keep in mind (for myself especially) is that John MacArthur messed up but isn’t the sole culprit here. He wasn’t the only member of Grace Community Church to fail Eileen. Based on the documents  View Cache

‘VOYEURISM’: Priest appears in court accused of spying on person for sexual thrills

ARMAGH (UNITED KINGDOM)
Sunday World [Dublin, Ireland]

May 7, 2022

By Paul Higgins

Read original article

The incident allegedly took place at a changing room at Rushmere Shopping Centre

A priest has appeared in court accused of voyeurism by allegedly spying on a female for sexual thrills.

Father Aidan Patrick McCann (35) appeared at Craigavon Magistrates Court by videolink from his solicitor’s office and confirmed that he understood the single charge against him.

Fr McCann, with an address at the parochial house on Maddens Row in Keady, Co Armagh, is accused of voyeurism on March 28 this year in that “for the purpose of sexual gratification, he observed a female doing a private act knowing that the other person did not consent to being observed for your sexual gratification”.

None of the alleged facts surrounding the offence was opened in court on Friday but giving evidence to the court, Constable Mosgrove said she believed she could connect the priest to the offence.

It is understood charge…

View Cache

Mother Teresa was canonised for her work with the poor, but a compelling new series claims there was a MUCH darker side to the nun… and asks: Was she a saint or sinner?

NEW DELHI (INDIA)
Daily Mail [London, United Kingdom]

May 6, 2022

By Nicole Lampert For Weekend Magazine

Read original article

  • Sky documentary claims Mother Teresa covered up the worst excesses of church
  • Doctor Jack Preger worked with her charity, and was shocked by what he saw
  • Woman who worked with her for two years says she was ‘schizophrenic’ because she thought ‘being poor like Jesus was good’ 

She was able to stop wars, befriend presidents, build a global empire of orphanages and have sick prisoners released from prison. Yet Mother Teresa also covered up for the worst excesses of the Catholic church and seemed more attracted to poverty and pain than actually helping people escape it. 

That’s the claim in a compelling new three-part Sky documentary series Mother Teresa: For The Love Of God, which talks to some of her closest friends and bitterest critics and serves as a thorough reappraisal of one of the most famous women of the last century. 

Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, now North Macedonia, in…

View Cache

Bid to influence witness: Priest discharged in nun rape case

KOTTAYAM (INDIA)
New Indian Express [Chennai, India]

May 8, 2022

Read original article

After an audio clip of the conversation was leaked, the police booked a case against the priest, which was later handed over to the district crime branch.about:blank

The Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Pala, has discharged Fr James Erthayil in a case related to alleged attempt to influence a key witness in the rape case filed by a nun against Bishop Franco Mulakkal.

Considering a discharge petition filed by the priest, judge Padmakumar G found that no purpose would be served if the case is proceeded further, and there is no chance of conviction of the accused as the charges were groundless. As per the case, Fr Erthayil had made a phone call to one of the victims in the case, and attempted to bribe her to withdraw support to the survivor. After an audio clip of the conversation was leaked, the police booked a case against the priest, which…

View Cache

May 7, 2022

Surprising Secrecy in the Denver Archdiocese

DENVER (CO)
The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

May 6, 2022

By Admin

Read original article

Secrecy in the Denver Archdiocese? We at Horowitz Law hope we’re misreading the news out of the Denver Archdiocese, but we suspect and fear that we aren’t. A Colorado television station reported that a Denver archdiocesan priest had been accused of inappropriately touching a child in 2018. More specifically, a media report states that a priest in the Archdiocese of Denver inappropriately touched a minor in a public space when the young girl was exiting church immediately after Mass. Denver church officials supposedly followed their “Code of Conduct” and “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” by immediately reporting the allegation to authorities (or so they say). The cleric was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. So far, this sounds like they are actually following the correct protocol, right? Well, not really.

Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila is NOT revealing the name of the priest. At a bare minimum, this…

View Cache

Mary Alexander & Associates Files California Clergy Abuse Lawsuit

YUBA CITY (CA)
PR Newswire [New York, NY]

May 5, 2022

By Mary Alexander & Associates

Read original article

Mary Alexander filed a lawsuit on behalf of a man who alleges he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest when he was a young boy.

The man, named John Doe in the complaint, alleges that Father Murrough Wallace and two young priests sexually abused and assaulted him when he was 10 years old. The alleged abuse took place in Holy Angels Catholic Church and School in Yuba City, CA in 1965. 

The man alleges Father Wallace took him to the rectory, where two younger priests held him down while the older priest sexually assaulted him. The plaintiff in this matter also accused Father Wallace of using a brass incense burner to knock him unconscious as he was fighting back against the priests. 

The man alleges a nun was nearby who came to his aid and that the police were called.

“Our office has seen case after case where young people were taken advantage of by predator…

View Cache

Cardinals and ex-rivals spar over testimony in Vatican ‘Trial of the Century’

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Crux [Denver CO]

May 7, 2022

By Elise Ann Allen

Read original article

Australian Cardinal George Pell has accused Italian Cardinal Angelo Becciu, who is currently on trial in a Vatican tribunal for alleged financial crimes, of providing “incomplete” information during his testimony and of thwarting efforts aimed at transparency.

In a May 6 statement, Pell accused Becciu of using his previous role as a top papal aide to block audits of the Vatican Secretariat of State’s finances and to intimidate, bully, and fire the auditors themselves.

Pell, 80, served as head of the Vatican Secretariat of the Economy, created in 2014 at the beginning of Pope Francis’s financial reform, until 2017, when he took leave from his duties to respond to allegations of historic sexual abuse of a minor in Australia.

An initial trial in August 2018 ended in a hung jury, but a retrial four months later found Pell guilty, and he spent over a year in prison while launching his…

View Cache

Cardinal Pell highlights ‘somewhat incomplete’ account given by Cardinal Becciu at Vatican finance trial

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

May 6, 2022

By Carl Bunderson

Read original article

Cardinal George Pell said Friday that the recent testimony of Cardinal Angelo Becciu at the Vatican finance trial “was somewhat incomplete.”

He drew particular attention to a lack of evidence regarding payments of more than $1.6 million made to Neustar Australia, an information services firm, in 2017 and 2018.

Becciu, who was the second-ranking official in the Secretariat of State from 2011 to 2018, was questioned May 5 about investments during a hearing in the Vatican trial. The cardinal has been charged with embezzlement, abuse of office, and witness tampering.

In a May 6 statement, Pell said Becciu had given “a spirited defence of his blameless subordinate role in the Vatican finances” during his testimony.

As prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, Pell led an effort called for by Pope Francis to bring order and accountability to the Vatican’s finances, which have long lacked centralized procedures, controls, and oversight. 

View Cache

UPDATE: At Vatican trial, Cardinal Becciu returns to testify

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

May 5, 2022

By Junno Arocho Esteves

Read original article

Taking the stand for a second time at his Vatican trial, Cardinal Angelo Becciu spent more than two hours reading a statement in which he claimed accusations of financial impropriety were an attempt to stain his reputation.

At the trial May 5, Cardinal Becciu said he felt “immense pain” when Pope Francis forced him to resign in 2020.

“I was thrown on the front page of newspapers, almost like a monster,” he said. “Many believers around the world have been troubled in their faith” by the accusations against him.

Cardinal Becciu said claims that he embezzled an estimated 100,000 euros and gave them to Spes, a Caritas organization run by his brother, Tonino Becciu, in his home Diocese of Ozieri, Italy, was “the mother of all my misfortune.”

“None, not one of my relatives enriched themselves with that money,” he said, adding that his brother, who served as president of…

View Cache

Sheriff: 66-year-old pastor arrested on child sexual abuse charges involving minor under 15

(NC)
WSAZ News Channel-3 [Huntington, WV]

May 5, 2022

By Jordan Gartner

Read original article

Authorities in North Carolina have arrested a pastor on several sex crime charges stemming from a joint investigation.

The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office reports their detectives, along with police from the Winterville Police Department, joined forces to investigate suspected child abuse involving 66-year-old John William Lovelace earlier this year.

On Wednesday, the sheriff’s office announced the arrest of Lovelace.

The pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Ayden, North Carolina, was charged by Winterville police with four counts of second-degree forcible sex and three counts of sexual battery.

According to the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, Lovelace is also facing two counts of statutory sex offense with a child under the age of 15 and indecent liberties with a minor.

The 66-year-old was booked into the Pitt County Detention Center on a $12.4 million bond.

View Cache

Former Detroit pastor sentenced in sexual assault

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit News [Detroit MI]

May 5, 2022

By Sarah Rahal

Read original article

A Macomb County judge sentenced a Detroit pastor to 15 years in prison Tuesday for sexually assaulting a teen. 

After being found guilty by a jury in March, James Wright-Johnson, 37, of Eastpointe was sentenced on seven charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person age 13-15, four counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of assault with intent to penetrate, according to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office.

Wright-Johnson was a youth pastor at the Second Ebenezer Church since 2012. He was removed from the church in2017, the church’s Bishop Edgar Vann said in a statement from public relations manager Peter VanDyke.

“We are deeply regretful about the unfortunate situation that occurred concerning a former employee of the church, who was dismissed from our staff over four years ago,” Vann said. “Human resources and legal matters are confidential, which prohibit us from offering details, but please be assured that once we were made aware…

View Cache

Former Journey Church Workers Accused Of Abusing Children

PRATTVILLE (AL)
Christianity Daily [Los Angeles CA]

May 6, 2022

By Anton Carillo

Read original article

Three women who previously worked at two church-run daycare centers in Alabama were charged with child abuse after their arrest on Monday.

According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Susan Baker, Leah Livingston, and Alice Sorrels were each charged with one count of felony child abuse and failure to report child abuse. The women, who do not have lawyers, were all detained at the Autauga Metro Jail with cash-only bonds of $55,000. They face a maximum of 10 years imprisonment each for the Class C felony charged against them. While only a shorter sentence for their failure to report child abuse since it is classified as a misdemeanor.

It Happened At Journey Church

Baker, Livingston, and Sorrels worked at the East Memorial Baptist Church Day Care before it closed months ago. They moved to Journey Church of the River Region, which is located in Sheila Boulevard, where the alleged abuse took place. Journey’s…

View Cache

What they wore: Amish Country exhibit spotlights sex abuse

LEACOCK-LEOLA-BAREVILLE (PA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

May 6, 2022

By Peter Smith

Read original article

Clotheslines with billowing linens and long dresses are a common sight on the off-grid farms of Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County, home to the nation’s largest Amish settlement. For many tourists they’re as iconic a part of Amish Country’s bucolic scenery as the rural lanes and wooden bridges.

But for two days in late April, a clothesline with a different purpose was strung in a small indoor exhibit here. Hanging from it were 13 outfits representing the trauma of sexual assault suffered by members of the Amish, Mennonite and similar groups, a reminder that the modest attire they require, particularly of women and girls, is no protection.

Each garment on display was either the actual one a survivor wore at the time they were assaulted or a replica assembled by volunteers to match the strict dress codes of the survivor’s childhood church.

One was a long-sleeve, periwinkle blue Amish dress with a…

View Cache

Ex-CCSD teacher pleads guilty to lewdness charge

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Las Vegas Review-Journal [Las Vegas, NV]

May 4, 2022

By Katelyn Newberg

Read original article

A pastor and former elementary school teacher who faced multiple counts of child sexual abuse has pleaded guilty to an attempted lewdness charge, court records show.

Reynaldo Crespin, 59, was arrested in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Feb. 19 after the Metropolitan Police Department put out a public alert noting he was wanted for sex crimes. The Clark County School District has said it hired Crespin in 2016 and that he last worked at Hickey Elementary School.

Crespin and his wife founded New Horizon Christian Church, 2167 N. Walnut Road, in 2002, according to the church’s website.

He initially faced two counts of sexual assault against a child under 16, two counts of sexual assault against a child under 14, four counts of lewdness with a child under 14, and one count each of open or gross lewdness and lewdness with a child age 14 or…

View Cache

Man suing Diocese of Lafayette over alleged 1960s sex abuse can move forward with case, court says

LAFAYETTE (LA)
Advocate [New York NY]

May 6, 2022

By Katie Gagliano

Read original article

The Louisiana 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal has given the green light for a lawsuit to continue against the Diocese of Lafayette over alleged sexual abuse from the 1960s.

On Tuesday, a panel of three appellate judges issued a ruling denying an appeal from the diocese that sought to halt the lawsuit, agreeing with 15th Judicial District Court Judge Laurie Hulin’s January decision that the case could move forward.

“We find no error in the trial court ruling,” the appeal court judges wrote.

The issue hinged on whether the time frame for the victim to file suit had passed.

In filings in the case, attorneys for the plaintiff, identified only as Sam Doe, argued the case is covered under a bill signed into law in June, which removed the time limit for victims of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits and provided past victims whose cases had been previously timed…

View Cache