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.

December 6, 2021

Pope Francis is asking the US bishops to listen to the people. Will they?

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

December 6, 2021

By Phyllis Zagano

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Everybody likes Pope Francis. Except, it seems, U.S. Catholic bishops. 

On the other hand, no one seems to like the bishops — they damaged their own credibility with their 2002 “Dallas Charter” on clerical sex abuse, which sanctioned only priests and deacons but left bishops alone. 

It was former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, known then, as now, for his own predatory acts, who suggested eliminating bishops from the document. 

Once again, today, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops seems bereft of common sense. 

Forget the worldwide Synod on Synodality, a listening exercise ordered by Francis, who wants to hear from Catholics and non-Catholics alike about how the church can move forward in the current century. Many American bishops are content to ignore it: Only half of the U.S. bishops have even named someone to run the synod project in their dioceses.

That is, half of the U.S. bishops are…

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Miller ‘puzzled’ why feds dropped appeal of Catholic Church’s residential school payments

OTTAWA (CANADA)
Global News [Toronto, Canada]

December 6, 2021

By Stephanie Taylor

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Newly named Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller says he wants to get to the bottom of why Ottawa abandoned its appeal of a ruling releasing the Catholic Church from its settlement obligations to residential school survivors.

“I am as puzzled as everyone,” he told The Canadian Press in a recent, wide-ranging interview.“

“I don’t know what there is to do yet.”

The ruling, handed down by a Saskatchewan judge in July 2015, found a deal had been struck between the federal government and a corporation of Catholic entities. That deal released the church groups from their remaining obligations within the $79-million worth of payments and in-kind services owed to survivors under the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, approved in 2006.

That included, for example, a “best efforts” fundraising campaign to generate $25 million, for which court only heard the groups raised around $3 million since the agreement took effect in 2007.

Today, the…

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Liberals to release previously withheld residential school records, says Miller

OTTAWA (CANADA)
Global News [Toronto, Canada]

December 6, 2021

By Stephanie Taylor

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Canada’s Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister says the federal government will soon release some of the residential school records it’s been criticized for withholding to a national archives centre.

Marc Miller also says there’s no evidence the Liberal cabinet, including former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, was told of a 2015 decision to drop a court case that freed the Catholic Church from compensating survivors.

“Knowing what we know today — it doesn’t seem right,” he told The Canadian Press in a recent interview.

In October, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation said Ottawa had yet to provide key documents detailing the specific histories of each government-funded, church-run institution that made up the residential school system.

The statement came in response to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau telling Indigenous leaders in Kamloops, B.C., that the federal government had turned over all of the records in its possession, a claim the Winnipeg-based centre said wasn’t…

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NY legislation could provide a chance at justice for survivors of abuse at SU

ALBANY (NY)
Daily Orange - Syracuse University Student Newspaper [Syracuse NY]

December 5, 2021

By Michael Sessa

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When Robert Bender arrived at Brewster Hall in 1980, Conrad Mainwaring was the first person he met.

“He was the face of Syracuse University,” Bender said.

Mainwaring, who worked in a residence hall at the time, introduced himself while leading Bender and his mother up the stairs. When he learned that Bender was a gymnast, Mainwaring, a former Olympian who was studying and coaching at SU, became excited, Bender said.

In the following weeks, Mainwaring watched Bender practice at Archbold Gymnasium. He told stories about the Olympics. Eventually, Mainwaring sexually assaulted Bender.

But unlike the survivors who have sued SU for employing the man who abused them as children, Bender has no legal recourse. He is just six months older than some of the plaintiffs currently battling the university in court, but because Bender was 18 when Mainwaring began abusing him, he cannot sue.

Survivors, legislators and advocacy groups hope…

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December 5, 2021

Seiler: For want of a watchdog

ALBANY (NY)
Times Union [Albany NY]

December 4, 2021

By Casey Seiler

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It was one of the craziest stories of 2019, and now it’s one of the most infuriating stories of 2021.

I’m referring to the case of Angel Garcia, the former Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany deacon who last week was indicted on two felony counts related to the sexual abuse of children — acts that he allegedly committed when he should have been in state prison for sexually abusing his 6-year-old goddaughter years ago. 

It’s quite possible that the only reason Garcia was finally consigned to prison two years ago was because Cayla Harris, at the time a newly arrived Hearst Fellow at the Times Union, uncovered a monumental judicial-bureaucratic oversight while she was building a database of regional sexual offenders and their status. The project was part of her coverage of abuse cases launched under the state’s Child Victims Act law, which in August 2019 opened a one-year “lookback window”…

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Phil Saviano Sunk His Teeth Into the Institutional Catholic Church and Never Let Go

BOSTON (MA)
Esquire [New York NY]

November 29, 2021

By Charles P. Pierce

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The activist has died at age 69.

Phil Saviano never let go. From the time in the basement of St. Denis Church, when he was molested by a priest named David Holley, through the years of cover-ups and denials, through the belated—and ongoing—vindication of himself and thousands of other victims in the early 1990s, through a lifetime of deadly medical problems that began with an AIDS diagnosis in 1992 to the cancer that finally killed him over the weekend, Phil Saviano just would…not…let…go. He would not let go of the crimes coated with candle wax, their stench camouflaged by incense. He sunk his teeth into an institutional Roman Catholic Church that had turned into an international conspiracy to obstruct justice, and he hung on with the kind of strength of character that we little Catholic schoolchildren had been taught was the martyr’s true glory. The truth set him free, but…

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Eliminate the statute that helps child abusers | Editorial

NEWARK (NJ)
nj.com [New Jersey]

December 2, 2021

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board

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Since Gov. Murphy signed a 2019 law that suspended the statute of limitations for civil sex abuse lawsuits for two years, more than 1,200 cases were filed — two-thirds of them against clergy or a religious institution.

A window to justice opened, and the people who had spent years or decades harboring an unfathomable pain stepped through it.

But the deadline for those victims to file suit ended Tuesday, and examination of the available data makes this much clear: The suspension of the statute needs to be extended, and our lawmakers should consider waiving it entirely.

Victims of abuse need time to decide whether they can share their experience. That’s why the bill championed by Senator Joe Vitale was crucial, because the previous window for civil action in our state was preposterous: Victims had to bring civil suits before they turned 20 or within two years from the…

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‘You killed me’: Man tells Cincinnati priest who raped him 30 years ago

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer / cincinnati.com

December 2, 2021

By Kevin Grasha

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A Cincinnati priest pleaded guilty Thursday to raping an altar boy in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a day before jury selection was set to begin in his trial.

The Rev. Geoff Drew showed no emotion in court as the victim, now a man in his 40s, as well as the man’s wife described the impact of Drew’s crimes.

“You killed me,” the man told Drew. “I’ve been through hell.”

The man’s wife said that for many years her husband believed he was to blame for what happened.

“That he had been too weak … or too kind or too trusting,” she said. “That he was unloved, and worst of all, that he was alone.”

As part of the plea agreement, Drew received a seven-year prison sentence, a sentence the victim had been consulted about, according to prosecutors.

Drew pleaded guilty to nine counts of rape for incidents that happened between 1988…

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Statement Regarding Father Geoff Drew

CINCINNATI (OH)
Archdiocese of Cincinnati [Cincinnati OH]

December 2, 2021

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Father Geoff Drew of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati was placed on administrative leave on July 23, 2019 as a result of a pattern of behaviors – such as boundary violations and texting a minor – in contradiction to the Decree on Child Protection. Subsequent to being placed on administrative leave, Father Drew was arrested and charged with nine counts of rape. These were new, previously unreported allegations dating back to the late 1980s, a decade before he entered the seminary to begin formation for the priesthood.

Information previously released about this matter can be found on the website of the archdiocese:

Fr. Geoff Drew Information

Given the guilty plea accepted today in court, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati will now seek the laicization of Father Geoff Drew with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Holy See.

“Father Geoff Drew will never again have a priestly assignment in…

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Cincinnati priest pleads guilty to raping altar boy, gets 7 years in deal with prosecutors

CINCINNATI (OH)
Fox19-TV [Cincinnati OH]

December 3, 2021

By Jennifer Edwards Baker, Jared Goffinet and Andrea Medina

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[See original article for links to videos]

A Cincinnati priest pleaded guilty Thursday to nine counts of raping a 10-year-old altar boy multiple times between 1988 and 1991 and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

That sentence, worked out in a plea deal with Hamilton County prosecutors on the eve of the start of his trial, is far less than he would have faced had he been convicted of all charges, up to 99 years.

Now, Father Geoff Drew, 59, will be released from prison in 2026. He received credit for time served at the county jail while awaiting trial, 27 months.

Drew is required to register as a Tier III sex offender for the rest of his life.

The priest wore a face covering in court, appeared to show no emotion and did not speak.

His attorney said on his behalf: “The defense expresses remorse over what happened.”

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Cincinnati priest pleads guilty to raping 10-year-old altar boy 30 years ago

CINCINNATI (OH)
New York Post

December 5, 2021

By Patrick Reilly

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A Catholic priest from Cincinnati pleaded guilty on Thursday to raping a 10-year-old altar decades ago, one day before the jury was to be selected for his trial.

The Rev. Geoff Drew, 59, was reportedly emotionless at his court appearance when he was directly addressed by his victim, now in his 40s.

“The truth is no amount of time will make up for the child that you murdered,” the victim told his abuser, according to Fox 19.

“Any chance of having intimacy, any chance to actually live, love, find joy, was stolen,” the victim said. “You made me unusable, undesirable, dirty and broken, but I trust in God that this is bigger than you. This is bigger than me. And this is in his authority to have vengeance. And one day you will have to stand in front of him.”

Drew was sentenced to seven years in…

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Phil Saviano, Survivor of Clergy Sex Abuse, Dies at 69

DOUGLAS (MA)
New York Times

November 28, 2021

By Katharine Q. Seelye

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He played a pivotal role in helping The Boston Globe uncover the widespread scandal in the Catholic Church and was portrayed in the movie “Spotlight.”

Phil Saviano carried a terrible secret for much of his life — that in the early 1960s, when he was 11, he was sexually molested by his parish priest in Massachusetts.

Nearly 30 years later, suffering from AIDS and believing he would soon die, he decided to go public about the abuse and disclosed his experience to The Boston Globe. As it happened, Mr. Saviano lived, and he went on to play a pivotal role in bringing to light the widespread pedophile priest scandal coursing through the Roman Catholic Church.

He provided key information and guidance for a series of articles by The Globe’s Spotlight team, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003. And his role…

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December 4, 2021

A priest ordained in 2017 is now serving a life sentence for sex abuse. How did he slip through the cracks?

CLEVELAND (OH)
America [New York NY]

December 2, 2021

By Kevin Clarke

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Just two years after his ordination in 2017, the Rev. Robert McWilliams was charged with a cascade of sexual assault and child pornography charges. He was sentenced to life imprisonment a few weeks ago, on Nov. 9, in a federal criminal court in Cleveland.

The McWilliams case came as an unhappy shock to Catholics in the Diocese of Cleveland and all over the United States who might have hoped that years of procedural changes and an enhanced screening process for seminarians would have put an end to the ordination of priests like Father McWilliams. The most recent report card from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection, released the same day as Father McWilliams’s sentencing, offered some reason for optimism. Although 4,228 allegations of sexual abuse by clergy surfaced between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, only 22 came from individuals who are now minors; the…

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Guam Catholic Church offers to pay up to US$34M to sex abuse victims

(GUAM)
Island Times [Palau]

December 3, 2021

By Island Times Staff

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Guam’s Catholic Church has come up with a revised proposed payment of US$27.96 million to US$34.38 million to those who claimed they were raped or sexually molested by priests and other members of the clergy when they were minors, dating back to the 1950s.

That’s more than US$100,000 per clergy sex abuse survivor if the award is based on equal amounts, although the process is far from over.

Clergy sex abuse survivors and other claimants would need to vote to either accept or reject the plan from the Archdiocese of Agana.

The bankruptcy court’s confirmation of the plan is also needed. Once the plan is confirmed after a hearing, payments may begin about three months later.

The proposed compensation to abuse survivors is part of the Archdiocese of Agana’s First Amended Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Plan of reorganisation filed Thursday with the District Court of Guam.

The plan is meant to…

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Catholic Church in Portugal urges sex abuse victims to come forward

LISBON (PORTUGAL)
Euronews [Lyon, France]

December 3, 2021

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Portugal is going forward with a commission to investigate possible cases of child sex abuse within the Catholic Church, as the lay head of the committee urged victims to come forward on Thursday.

The Independent Committee for the Study of Child Abuse in the Church has been set up by the Portuguese bishops’ conference and will be headed by a child psychiatrist, Pedro Strecht.

Alongside him will be a team of six professionals including psychiatrists, a former supreme court judge, and a social worker.

The team will begin working together from January next year, collecting testimonies from all of those who want to come forward and report the abuse they have suffered.

Strecht said he hopes victims will overcome their fear and reluctance and get in touch, even if the abuse happened decades ago. He promised anonymity for anyone who does.

“Encouraging victims to come forward requires a lot of…

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Pope accepts resignation of Paris archbishop, who denies accusations

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

December 2, 2021

By Carol Glatz

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Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris, who had offered to step down to avoid “becoming a source of divisions,” after an article in the Le Point weekly claimed he mismanaged his archdiocese and had an affair with a woman while he was vicar general.

The pope also named retired Archbishop Georges Pontier to temporarily lead the archdiocese as the apostolic administrator; the 78-year-old archbishop had served as apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Avignon from January to July after deep divisions and financial difficulties lead to the early retirement of Archbishop Jean-Pierre Marie Cattenoz.

The Vatican made the announcement Dec. 2.

Archbishop Aupetit, 70, had told France’s Catholic La Croix daily Nov. 26 he had submitted his resignation to the pope and awaited his answer, adding that his behavior toward the unnamed woman “may have been ambiguous,” but had not extended to “an intimate…

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Why did the Vatican act so quickly on Archbishop Aupetit?

PARIS (FRANCE)
Catholic World Report [San Francisco CA]

December 2, 2021

By Christopher R. Altieri

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Well, the Holy Father turned that one around right quickly. “That” is the resignation of the Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, which the Press Office of the Holy See on Thursday told the world Pope Francis has accepted. Francis had Aupetit’s letter late last month, just after Le Point published something between an exposé and an unflattering profile of the Parisian churchman, detailing his strongman governance of the French capital archdiocese and alleging an affair with a woman some years before he became a bishop.

Archbishop Aupetit denied his relationship with the woman was sexual, but called it a “mistake” in a statement and said he offered his resignation “to preserve the diocese from the division that suspicion and loss of trust are continuing to provoke.”

Other churchmen credibly accused of much worse wrongdoing have seen their offers of resignation languish for months and even years.

From Donald Cardinal Wuerl – who fudged…

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The next Archbishop of Paris will need to heal a deeply-wounded Church

PARIS (FRANCE)
The Tablet [Market Harborough, England]

December 3, 2021

By Brendan McCarthy

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When I filed my story on the problems of the diocese of Paris, A Crisis of Governance in the French Church, for this week’s Tablet, I had little sense that Pope Francis would accept Archbishop Michel Aupetit’s resignation before the week was done. The news slipped out in the Vatican’s daily bollettino yesterday, while the Pope was on his way to Cyprus

Michel Aupetit was not the right man for Paris. He glaringly lacked the human, political and cultural skills to run the most important diocese in France. He alienated many of his priests; some saw him as an old-fashioned GP (he was one before coming a priest) with a “doctor knows best” attitude. The Vatican knew all this; Libération reports that the Papal Nuncio to France, Mgr Celestino Miglior, had been trying discreetly to move Aupetit for some time – perhaps to exfiltrate him to a position in the Roman curia.

Aupetit’s resignation…

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Paris Archbishop allegedly involved in ‘intimate relationship’ with woman resigns

PARIS (FRANCE)
CNN [Atlanta GA]

December 2, 2021

By Xiaofei Xu and Anaëlle Jonah

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Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Michel Aupetit from the position of Archbishop of Paris following reports that Aupetit had a consensual “intimate relationship” with a woman.

The move was announced in a statement from the Vatican Thursday after French magazine Le Point broke the news of the relationship on November 22.

Aupetit also released a statement after the Vatican announced its decision.

“I was, of course, greatly disturbed by the attacks I was subjected to,” reads the statement.

“I ask forgiveness of those whom I might have hurt and I assure you all of my deep friendship and my prayer, which will always be yours.

“The alleged relationship came to light due to a love email Aupetit sent to his secretary by mistake in 2012, when he was the Vicar-General of Paris, according to Le Point.

Despite admitting in the Le Point article that his…

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Paris archbishop who had ‘ambiguous’ relationship resigns

PARIS (FRANCE)
The Express [Lock Haven, PA]

December 4, 2021

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Pope Francis on Thursday accepted the resignation of the archbishop of Paris, who unexpectedly offered to step down last week after admitting to an “ambiguous” relationship with a woman in 2012.

Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit said in a statement Thursday that he offered to step down “to preserve the diocese from the division that suspicion and loss of trust are continuing to provoke.”

The Vatican said in a statement that the pope accepted Aupetit’s offer, and named Monsignor Georges Pontier to serve temporarily in his place pending the pontiff’s appointment of a permanent new archbishop.

The resignation comes amid great upheaval in the French Catholic Church. A report in October estimated some 3,000 French priests had committed sexual abuse over the past 70 years. And last year, the pope accepted the resignation of French Roman Catholic Cardinal Philippe Barbarin in connection with the coverup of sexual abuse of dozens of boys by a…

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December 3, 2021

FILE — In this Feb. 15, 2002 file photograph, Phil Saviano, regional coordinator for the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, poses for a portrait in his Boston home. Saviano, a clergy sex abuse survivor and whistleblower who played a pivotal role in exposing decades of predatory assaults by Roman Catholic priests in the United States, has died, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. He was 69. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Clergy abuse survivor Saviano lauded at funeral for courage

DOUGLAS (MA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

December 3, 2021

By Mark Pratt

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[Photo above: In this Feb. 15, 2002 file photograph, Phil Saviano, regional coordinator for the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, poses for a portrait in his Boston home. Saviano, a clergy sex abuse survivor and whistleblower who played a pivotal role in exposing decades of predatory assaults by Roman Catholic priests in the United States, has died, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. He was 69. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)]

Phil Saviano was a clergy sex abuse survivor whose courage to go public and resolve to hold abusers and their enablers accountable inspired and strengthened survivors from around the world, his brother said at his funeral Mass on Friday.

Saviano, who died Sunday at age 69 after a battle with gallbladder cancer, was remembered at St. Denis Catholic Church in the small Massachusetts town of Douglas, the very church where he was first sexually molested at age…

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Phil Saviano funeral service live stream on December 3, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. EST

WORCESTER (MA)
YouTube [San Bruno CA]

December 3, 2021

Read original article

Gone too soon

Philip James Saviano

June 23, 1952 – November 28, 2021

Philip James Saviano passed away on November 28, 2021. His funeral service will be live streamed from St. Denis Catholic Church (located in Douglas, Massachusetts) on Friday, December 3, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. EST.

[Note: This Catholic funeral Mass will be said by Fr. Ron Coyne; see his homily on clergy abuse. Eulogies will be given toward the end of the Mass.

Phil Saviano, clergy abuse victim who refused to stay silent, dies at 69, by Bryan Marquard, Boston Globe

Phil Saviano, advocate for survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, dies at 69, by Matt Schudel, Washington Post]

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Phil Saviano --DAVID L. RYAN

The unassuming, unflinching courage of Phil Saviano

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

December 1, 2021

By Kevin Cullen

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Phil Saviano always downplayed his courage in refusing to abide by the Catholic Church’s demand for confidentiality, insisting he only did so because he thought he was going to die soon. But his unflinching bravery gave hope and inspiration to survivors of sexual abuse everywhere.

In 1964, Phil Saviano was 11 years old when the pastor of St. Denis Church in Douglas, a predator with a Roman collar named David Holley, cornered him in a hallway near the sacristy.

As Holley sexually abused him, Saviano could hear muffled voices in the church, praying.

The abuse continued for a year, moving to the church basement, where Saviano could hear the groundskeeper cutting the grass outside.

Confused, afraid, andfeeling he couldn’t tell anyone because they’d never believe him, that he’d be punished for accusing a priest of the unspeakable, he did what every good little Catholic boy did: he went to confession.

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Portugal urges victims of clergy sexual abuse to break the silence

LISBON (PORTUGAL)
Reuters [London, England]

December 2, 2021

By Catarina Demony and Miguel Pereira

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A commission investigating allegations of historical child sexual abuse by members of the Portuguese Catholic church urged victims on Thursday to speak up and help them lift a veil of silence around the issue.

“We want (victims) to report, finally and without fear, what happened to them,” the head of the newly-created commission, psychiatrist Pedro Strecht, told a news conference during which he announced the team conducting the investigation.

Portugal’s Bishops Conference announced the creation of the body last month after a major investigation in France revealed that around 3,000 priests and religious officials sexually abused 200,000 children over the past 70 years. 

The Roman Catholic Church has been rocked by sexual abuse scandals around the world, often involving children, over the past 20 years.

“The Portuguese church is the first to want to shed light on this issue,” said Jose Ornelas, head of the Bishops’ Conference. “If I expect…

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Clergy abuse case with ties to Milton settled

MILTON (MA)
Milton Times [Milton MA]

December 2, 2021

By Elaine Cushman Carroll

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A clergy sexual abuse case with ties to the Columban Fathers Mission House in Milton in the 1970s and 1980s was settled earlier this month with the plaintiff receiving a sum in the “high five figures,” according his attorney, Mitchell Garabedian.

The plaintiff, whose name is not listed in the complaint, said in the court case filed in Norfolk Superior Court on Nov. 3 that he was sexually abused by two priests working at St. Mark’s Parish in Dorchester starting in 1979 and 1980.

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Clergy sex abuse survivors seek at least $100M and real estate assets

HAGåTñA (GUAM)
Guam Daily Post

December 2, 2021

By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

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Clergy sex abuse survivors and other creditors in the Archdiocese of Agana’s bankruptcy are proposing much higher payouts, including more real property asset transfers and insurance payments for the victims, compared to the church’s proposal of up to $34 million.

The creditors’ committee, for example, is looking at a minimum of $100 million in settlement payments from insurance firms: $45 million from the archdiocese’s insurers, and “not less than” $55 million from the Boy Scouts of America’s insurers.

When the archdiocese submitted its reorganization plan and disclosure statement Thursday, it anticipated getting only $13 million from its two insurers. 

The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors on Tuesday filed its own archdiocese reorganization plan to get the church out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

A key part of the two competing plans is the cash, real property and other resources to help compensate some 270 individuals who claim they were raped, sexually…

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Report: Financially troubled priest once ‘dismissed’ sex abuse accusations against other priests

OMAHA (NE)
News Channel Nebraska [Omaha NE]

December 2, 2021

By Joe Jordan

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A once high-ranking Omaha priest, charged with stealing tens of thousands of dollars, is also now linked to several priests named in a recent state investigation detailing widespread sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. 

A once high-ranking Omaha priest, charged with stealing tens of thousands of dollars, is also now linked to several priests named in a recent state investigation detailing widespread sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. 

The report, released last month by Attorney General Doug Peterson indicates that Rev. Michael Gutgsell, when he was Chancellor of the Omaha Archdiocese from 1994 to 2003, knew about abuse allegations against three priests and all but ignored them.

The first case regarding the 73-year-old Gutgsell involves Rev. John Fiala who died in 2017.

[See our video report above]

According to the AG’s report, one of Fiala’s four victims met with Chancellor Gutgsell in 2002 and accused Fiala of sexually grooming him when he…

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Boston Public Radio on Phil Saviano

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Public Radio, WGBH [Boston MA]

November 29, 2021

By Jim Braude and Margery Eagan

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[Note from BishopAccountability: Click on “Read original article” and scroll down to hear the 11-minute interview of BA co-director Anne Barrett Doyle about Phil. The interview opens with a wonderful clip from Phil’s remarks in accepting SNAP’s Pioneer Award in 2015. Here’s a link to the YouTube video of that powerful speech. The clip played by Boston Public Radio occurs at the 26:30 mark in Phil’s speech.]

Gov. Charlie Baker discussed why testing is not more widely available across the state, his efforts to create a single QR code showing proof of vaccination, and his dissatisfaction with the state legislature’s delay in spending the American Rescue Plan Act money. Baker is the governor of Massachusetts.

The Revs. Irene Monroe and Emmett G. Price III reacted to the conviction of Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers last week. Monroe is a syndicated religion columnist, the Boston voice for Detour’s African American Heritage Trail and…

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Religious institutes in France determined to fight clergy sex abuse

PARIS (FRANCE)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

December 2, 2021

By Elisabeth Auvillain

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In the wake of a recent devastating report by a special commission in France investigating sexual abuse of minors by clergy, a new committee has been established by the religious men and women’s conference (the Conférence des Religieux et Religieuses de France or CORREF) to hear testimonials of victims of sexual abuse by religious men and women, including abuses suffered by adults and members of religious communities.

Many stories of abuses against nuns have been reported without action being taken. This new committee will allow any potential victim to state their case. Named “Commission Indépendante de Reconnaissance et de Réparation” (“Independent Commission for Recognition and Reparation,” or CRR) the new committee will collect testimonials of abuse. It will listen to victims of religious men and women, in the hope that a mediation could lead to an agreement between the parties. It will also look into what can be done in…

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December 2, 2021

Phil Saviano funeral service live stream on December 3, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. EST

WORCESTER (MA)
YouTube [San Bruno CA]

December 2, 2021

Read original article

Gone too soon

Philip James Saviano

June 23, 1952 – November 28, 2021

Philip James Saviano passed away on November 28, 2021. His funeral service will be live streamed from St. Denis Catholic Church (located in Douglas, Massachusetts) on Friday, December 3, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. EST.

[Note: This Catholic funeral Mass will be said by Fr. Ron Coyne; see his homily on clergy abuse. Eulogies will be given toward the end of the Mass.

Phil Saviano, clergy abuse victim who refused to stay silent, dies at 69, by Bryan Marquard, Boston Globe

Phil Saviano, advocate for survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, dies at 69, by Matt Schudel, Washington Post]

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As sex abuse lawsuit window closes, long road for victims

TRENTON (NJ)
Associated Press [New York NY]

November 30, 2021

By David Porter and Mike Catalini

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New Jersey’s two-year window that made it easier for victims of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits is closing, and attorneys for some of the hundreds of plaintiffs say it could take years more for the cases against Catholic clerics and dioceses and other entities to be resolved.

Tuesday marked the deadline under the Child Victims Act signed by Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy in 2019, which gave victims who would otherwise have been barred by statute of limitations laws two years to file their claims.

Since Dec. 1, 2019, more than 1,200 lawsuits had been filed through the end of October. About two-thirds of those named religious entities, according to the state judiciary. Lawsuits against schools represent about 14% and about 9% name the Boy Scouts.

Attorneys who represent a total of several hundred plaintiffs said Tuesday they’ve received a flurry of inquiries in recent weeks as the deadline approached….

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Column: ‘Why does Mater Dei protect bullies?’ A school and Orange County diocese have lots to answer for

ORANGE (CA)
Los Angeles Times

December 2, 2021

By Gustavo Arellano

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A high school student gets assaulted. Their innocence is shattered; their life, forever changed.

School officials learn about the incident. They do worse than nothing; they cover it up, and even laugh about the matter. Their superiors look the other way. The enablers and abusers get protected; the survivor gets ostracized. And when critics cry foul, the institution plays the victim card.

Just another day at Mater Dei High School, the crown jewel of Catholic education in the Diocese of Orange.

Its powerhouse football team is making national news right now, and not just because the Monarchs are on the cusp of claiming their fourth national championship in five seasons. A lawsuit filed last month against Mater Dei and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange says a former football player suffered a broken nose, a traumatic brain injury and permanent scarring in a February hazing ritual called “Bodies” that amounted to…

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Pope accepts resignation of Paris archbishop

WEST MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
The Tablet [Market Harborough, England]

December 2, 2021

By Tom Heneghan

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The departure of Aupetit creates a new challenge for the French Church.

The Pope has accepted the resignation of the Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit and has  appointed Mgr Georges Pontier as appostolic administrator.

The affair is a further blow to France’s Catholic Church, still dealing with a shocking report on clerical sexual abuse of minors.

Archbishop Aupetit had unexpectedly offered to resign last week over media reports about his brusque management style.

Discontent with the archbishop burst into the open when the centre-right newsweekly Le Point published a long inquiry into his controversial decisions and spoke of “his scathing ways, his singular lack of listening and empathy”.

It also reported a decade-old relationship with a woman, which Aupetit insists was not intimate and was reported to his superiors. 

The case has been a headache for Pope Francis, forced to decide whether to back a much-criticised bishop or find a new face…

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Archbishop of Paris resigns over ‘ambiguous’ relationship with a woman

PARIS (FRANCE)
Deutsche Welle [Bonn, Germany]

December 1, 2021

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Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the archbishop of Paris. Michel Aupetit offered to step down over “ambiguous behavior” with a woman.

Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Michel Aupetit, the archbishop of Paris on Thursday over his “ambiguous” relationship with a woman, the Vatican and the French Bishops Conference said.

Aupetit offered his resignation after a report in Le Point magazine surfaced allegations that he had engaged in a consensual relationship with a woman, which he denied.

What has Aupetit said?

In a statement, Aupetit offered that he stepped down “to preserve the diocese from the division that suspicion and loss of trust are continuing to provoke.”

A spokeswoman for the diocese last week said Aupetit “had ambiguous behavior with a person he was very close to,” adding the relationship was neither sexual nor “a loving relationship.”

She said Aupetit’s resignation was “not a confession of guilt, but a humble…

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French Catholic academy critiques landmark abuse report

PARIS (FRANCE)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

December 1, 2021

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Members of a French Catholic academy have criticized the methodology of a landmark abuse report, prompting resignations from the group.

Eight representatives of the prestigious Académie catholique de France, which has around 250 members, questioned the conclusions of the final report published by the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (CIASE) on Oct. 5.

The academy members wrote a 15-page document that acknowledged the need for an independent study of clerical abuse. But they argued that CIASE departed “in a troubling way” from its mandate and cast doubt on its headline figures.

The almost 2,500-page CIASE report said that the number of children who suffered abuse by priests, deacons, monks, or nuns from 1950 to 2020 was estimated to be around 216,000.

It added that when abuse by other Church workers was also considered “the estimated number…

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Cardinal O’Malley praises courage of Phil Saviano and his fight to uncover clergy sexual abuse

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

November 30, 2021

By Travis Andersen

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The leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston on Tuesday praised the courage of Phil Saviano, a clergy sexual abuse survivor who played a key role in bringing the global scandal to light and who died Sunday at the age of 69.

“We are very sorry to hear of the passing of Phil Saviano and are consoled to know that his brother, Jim, accompanied him during his illness,” said Cardinal Seán O’Malley in a statement. “Phil was a landmark voice of courage for survivors and played a significant role in uncovering the darkness of clergy sexual abuse in the life of the Church.”

O’Malley said the relentless advocacy of Saviano, whose personal story and precise documentation of perpetrator priests helped inform The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the abuse crisis, forced the church to reckon with its history of harming minors.

“Phil’s…

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December 1, 2021

Mass. Abuse survivor who became outspoken advocate for other survivors dies at 69

DOUGLAS (MA)
The Boston Pilot [Boston, MA]

November 30, 2021

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Phil Saviano, who was abused by a Catholic parish priest when he was a child in the 1970s and who as an adult in 2002 helped shed light on clergy sex abuse of minors in the Archdiocese of Boston, died Nov. 28. He was 69.

Saviano died at his brother’s home in Douglas after a long battle with bladder cancer. His brother Jim Saviano was his caretaker in his final days.

Boston Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley in a Nov. 30 statement called him “a landmark voice of courage for survivors” who “played a significant role in uncovering the darkness of clergy sexual abuse in the life of the church.”

“We are very sorry to hear of the passing of Phil Saviano and are consoled to know that his brother Jim accompanied him during his illness,” the cardinal said.

“Phil’s strident advocacy and his role in the investigative reporting of clergy…

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More than 40 names of clergy accused of sex abuse in the Diocese of Springfield

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
WWLP [Springfield, MA]

November 30, 2021

By Nick Aresco

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The Springfield Diocese has added another name to the list of clergy who have been credibly accused of sex abuse.

The list continues to grow for clergy who have been accused of sex abuse within the Springfield Diocese. The Diocese said the late Father Joseph Quinlan was added to the list based on a credible finding by their review board. His name was added due to an alleged incident involving sexual abuse to a minor in 1974.

The late Fr. Joseph P. Quinlan added to list of credibly accused clergy by the Diocese of Springfield 

Quinlan now joins a list of more than 40 names after the Diocese began a new policy this past summer amid a scandal over rape allegations against late Bishop Christopher Weldon. Bishop William Byrne said the Diocese has been working to publish names who have a credible allegation of sexual abuse against them.

In…

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Former D.C. assistant pastor found guilty of misdemeanor sexual abuse while serving time for felony child sexual abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

November 30, 2021

By Jasmine Hilton

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A former assistant pastor at a Catholic church in Northwest Washington who is serving a prison sentence for sexually abusing children was found guilty Monday in a separate case of sexually abusing an adult parishioner, officials said.

After a one-day trial in D.C. Superior Court and hearing a victim impact statement, Judge Juliet McKenna sentenced Urbano Vazquez, 49, to the maximum sentence of 180 days on one count of misdemeanor sexual abuse, officials said. That term will be served consecutively to a 15-year sentence that was imposed after Vazquezwas convicted in 2019 of four felony counts of child sexual abuse, according to a statement by the District’s U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves and Police Chief Robert J. Contee III.

Catholic priest found guilty of sexually abusing girls at his D.C. parish

The abuse of the woman occurred in April 2017 during a confession at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart…

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Robert Brennan Formally Takes Over as Bishop of Brooklyn

(NY)
Brooklyn Paper [Brooklyn NY]

November 30, 2021

By Ben Brachfeld

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Robert Brennan has officially assumed the role as the eighth Bishop of Brooklyn, taking over the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens from scandal-plagued Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, who has presided over the Diocese’s 1.3 million Catholics since 2003.

Brennan, 59, formally assumed the role at an installation ceremony, presided over by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, and Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the US, at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights. Brennan previously served as the Bishop of Columbus, Ohio since 2019.

“From the day that my appointment was announced at the end of September through today and going forward, I just experienced such an incredible welcome,” Brennan said at a press conference before the mass on Tuesday morning. “Back in September my heartstrings were tugging as I was leaving Columbus, but now that I’ve been here a couple days, I can’t wait to get started.”

DiMarzio…

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A History Not Yet Laid to Rest

BAYFIELD (WI)
The Atlantic

November 24, 2021

By Mary Annette Pember

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Indigenous people in Canada and the U.S. have been reckoning with the legacy of assimilationist boarding schools for years. Now non-Native people must too.

North america’s indigenous peoples carry a painful past.This truth was laid bare when the mass graves of hundreds of Native children who died while attending residential schools were discovered in Canada this summer. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, thousands of Native children in the United States and Canada were forced into assimilationist boarding schools that sought to strip them of their culture and heritage. Many died from disease, starvation, or physical abuse. Most were buried hastily, sometimes two or three small bodies to a grave. Outside the Native community, their deaths have been lost to obscurity, a painful chapter in a long-ago history, willfully forgotten. But try as they might, non-Native people cannot dodge the past.

Indigenous people on both sides of what Natives people call the…

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November 30, 2021

Lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, center, addresses the media Monday outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston the day after clergy sex abuse whistleblower and survivor Phil Saviano of Douglas died. Joining Garabedian is Terence McKiernan, left, president of BishopAccountability.org, and Skip Shea, an Uxbridge resident.

Phil Saviano, Douglas native who blew whistle on clergy sex abuse, remembered as a ‘hero’

BOSTON (MA)
Worcester Telegram & Gazette [Worcester MA]

November 29, 2021

By Henry Schwan

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[Photo above: Lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, center, addresses the media Monday outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston the day after clergy sex abuse whistleblower and survivor Phil Saviano of Douglas died. Joining Garabedian is Terence McKiernan, left, president of BishopAccountability.org, and Skip Shea, an Uxbridge resident.]

Phil Saviano of Douglas was a hero who spoke the truth to power — a truth directed at the Roman Catholic Church, as Saviano shined a powerful spotlight on the priest sex-abuse scandal.

That was the central message delivered at a press conference held Monday morning outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston to honor Saviano, one day after his death at 69.

The cause of death was gallbladder cancer, according to Saviano’s brother, Jim Saviano. 

A funeral service will be held 10 a.m. Friday at St. Denis Parish in Douglas, the same parish where Saviano said he was sexually abused at the age of 11 by the Rev. David Holley.

Holley…

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New book shines light on abuse and racist discrimination of Catholic nuns

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Religion News Service - Missouri School of Journalism [Columbia MO]

November 29, 2021

By Claire Giangravé

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‘The Veil of Silence,’ a new book by Vatican reporter Salvatore Cernuzio, details the racism, abuse and discrimination faced by nuns in female Catholic congregations.

In a newly published book, a Vatican journalist details the mental and physical abuse, oppression and racism experienced by religious sisters. Their treatment is often considered one of the most hidden issues within the Catholic Church.

The book, “The Veil of Silence: Abuses, Violence and Frustrations in Female Religious Life,” is written by Salvatore Cernuzio, a Vatican reporter from Italy, after he began to hear the stories of abuse and belittlement that exist in many female religious congregations.

Cernuzio tells the story of 11 nuns from different backgrounds and from countries all over the world who experienced forms of abuse — verbal, physical and sexual — while in a religious congregation. The stories differ in terms of who perpetrated the abuse, the reactions of the…

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Catholic intellectuals in France say independent report on sex abuse could ruin the Church

PARIS (FRANCE)
La Croix International [France]

November 29, 2021

By Céline Hoyeau

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Catholic Academy blasts abuse report released last October, but the independent commission’s head, Jean-Marc Sauvé, defends his group’s work in an exclusive interview with “La Croix”

The president and seven other members of the Catholic Academy of France (l’Académie catholique de France) have sharply attacked the country’s Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (CIASE) for producing what they consider to be a skewed document that could be “ruinous” for institutional Catholicism.

In private letters to the president of French Bishops’ Conference (CEF) and the papal nuncio to France, which were leaked to the media, the Academy members say the CIASE report was wrong to impute the Church with systemic responsibility for sexual abuse.

The eight members of the Academy – including its president, Hugues Portelli, a French senator and current dean of social sciences and economics at the Institut Catholique of Paris – questioned certain juridical and theological…

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Catholic nuns reveal horrors they endure, with some blamed for ‘provoking’ priest’s sexual abuse and others told they ‘must suffer for Jesus’ with back-breaking labour

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Daily Mail [London, United Kingdom]

November 29, 2021

By David Averre for Mailonline and Reuters

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  • Vatican journalist Salvatore Cernuzio revealed the torment endured by 11 nuns
  • His book ‘Veil of Silence’ chronicles the sexual, physical and psychological abuse
  • Some nuns say they have been molested by priests or subjected to brutal labour
  • Others complained of overt racism and a culture of protectionism in the church 

A new book has revealed horrors endured by Catholic nuns with some blamed for ‘provoking’ a priest’s sexual abuse and others told they ‘must suffer for Jesus’ with back-breaking labour.  

‘Veil of Silence’ by Salvatore Cernuzio, a journalist for the Vatican’s online outlet, Vatican News, recounts the experiences of 11 nuns as part of an age-old system in which their Mother Superiors exacted cruel punishments and Catholic priests molested them.

‘They chose to protect the good name of the institution by sacrificing the victim,’ Cernuzio’s introduction reads. 

‘The abused nun is transferred, accused of seducing the priest, and the priest stays at his…

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Springfield Diocese adds Joseph P. Quinlan to its roster of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Berkshire Eagle [Pittsfield MA]

November 29, 2021

By Larry Parnass

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A priest who served the Diocese of Springfield from 1971 until his death in 1989 was added Monday to the list of those credibly accused of sexual abuse.

The diocese listed the name of Joseph P. Quinlan on its online directory of priests and other church personnel against whom an allegation of abuse — in this instance, it was sexual abuse of a minor — has been upheld by the Review Board.

The diocese says it updates that list quarterly.

Quinlan was ordained at age 43 and was a longtime director of Cathedral High School in Springfield. He served or lived in four parishes. He never was in charge of a parish in Berkshire County, according to the diocese, whose list of credibly accused priests, updated in June, included 33 from Berkshire County.

A 34th priest from Berkshire County, the late James Paul Menge, was added to the list in…

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Advocates call for removal of street sign honoring NJ priest accused of sexual abuse

WEST NEW YORK (NJ)
NorthJersey.com [Woodland Park NJ]

November 30, 2021

By Deena Yellin

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Most drivers and pedestrians who travel a part of Washington Street in West New York are oblivious to what the man whose name graces the thoroughfare has been accused of doing.

At least four people have said Msgr. Eugene Fanelli abused them when he was pastor at Our Lady of Libera Roman Catholic Church and they were children in the West New York parish.

“The fact that a street was named after him is heinous,” said Jason Schack, who filed a lawsuit in November alleging that Fanelli abused him for seven years, beginning when he was 8. “The sign needs to come down.”

In early November, Schack rallied in West New York with a number of clergy abuse victims and advocates who urged officials in the Hudson County town to remove the sign, which was erected to honor the longtime priest of the Newark Archdiocese, who was made a monsignor in 1989.

This isn’t the first time a…

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Springfield Diocese adds late Fr. Joseph Quinlan to list of credibly accused clergy

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
WGGB - WesternMassNews [Springfield MA]

November 29, 2021

By Ryan Trowbridge

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The Diocese of Springfield has added another priest to their list of credibly accused clergy.

Officials said Monday that the late Father Joseph Quinlan was added to the list by the diocesan review board.  He was added to the list based on an allegation from 1974 involving a minor.

Quinlan was ordained in 1971 and held positions at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Palmer and Cathedral High School in Springfield.  He also served in residence at Our Lady of Sacred Heart Parish in Springfield, St. Joseph Parish in Springfield, and St. Joseph’s Mission in East Longmeadow.

The diocese noted that an allegation being found credible doesn’t indicate a finding of guilt and because Quinlan died in 1989, he could not respond to the allegation.  The diocesan review board carefully reviewed the allegation, which included a report by their investigative team, and found the allegation to be…

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November 29, 2021

Phil Saviano, key clergy sex abuse whistleblower, dies at 69

BOSTON (MA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

November 28, 2021

By William J. Kole

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Phil Saviano, a clergy sex abuse survivor and whistleblower who played a pivotal role in exposing decades of predatory assaults by Roman Catholic priests in the United States, has died. He was 69.

Saviano’s story figured prominently in the 2015 Oscar-winning film “Spotlight” about The Boston Globe’s investigation that revealed how scores of priests molested children and got away with it because church leaders covered it up. He died on Sunday after a battle with gallbladder cancer, said his brother and caregiver, Jim Saviano.

In late October, Phil Saviano announced on his Facebook page that he was starting hospice care at his brother’s home in Douglas, Massachusetts, where he died.

“Things have been dicey the last few weeks,” he wrote, asking followers to “give a listen to Judy Collins singing ‘Bird On A Wire’ and think of me.”

Saviano played a central role in illuminating the scandal, which led to…

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Phil Saviano, advocate for survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, dies at 69

BOSTON (MA)
Washington Post

November 28, 2021

By Matt Schudel

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After recovering from AIDS, he found a new sense of purpose as an activist.

In December 1992, Phil Saviano was at the lowest point of his life. He was 40 years old, out of work and dying of AIDS. Leafing through the Boston Globe, looking for some last-minute Christmas gifts, he saw a small item that contained a familiar name.

He read that a Catholic priest, David A. Holley, had been arrested for abusing boys in the 1970s at a church in New Mexico.

“It was a life-changing moment,” Mr. Saviano later told the British newspaper the Daily Mail. “It was the day all the bells went off for me. I suddenly saw how naive I had been in assuming he had only done this to me.”

Almost three decades earlier, beginning when Mr. Saviano was 11, he had been repeatedly molested by Holley at St. Denis Catholic Church in…

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Phil Saviano, Catholic clergy abuse survivor and whistleblower, dies

DOUGLAS (MA)
MassLive.com/The Republican [Springfield MA]

November 28, 2021

By Benjamin Kail

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Phil Saviano, who survived sex abuse by Catholic clergy and who helped blow the whistle on a decades-long pattern of abuse and cover-ups by the Catholic church, died Sunday. He was 69.

“Phil decided it was okay to let go,” read a post on Saviano’s Facebook page, where supporters and loved ones flooded the comment section with messages of support.

In October, Saviano had posted that his health had been “dicey” after a pair of doctors were “unable to offer any effective treatment for my gallbladder cancer.” He started staying with his brother, Jim, under hospice care in Douglas, Massachusetts, Saviano said at the time.

Saviano established the New England chapter of SNAP, the Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests, in the late 1990s.

According to the biography on his website, Saviano first broke his silence in 1992 about being sexually…

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Rest in Peace: Phil Saviano, key advocate for survivors of sex abuse by Catholic clergy, had died at 69

BOSTON (MA)
The Week [London, England]

November 29, 2021

By Peter Weber

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Phil Saviano, a longtime advocate for victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and a key source for The Boston Globe‘s Pulitzer Prize–winning reports on church coverups, died Sunday at his brother’s home in Douglas, Massachusetts. He was 69. Saviano had revealed in October that doctors could no longer treat his gallbladder cancer and he was starting hospice care.

Saviano was 40 when he first went public with his sexual abuse, at age 11, by the parish priest at St. Denis Church in East Douglas. He had read in the newspaper that his abuser, former priest David Holley, was convicted of molesting eight boys in New Mexico, and his recounting of his own abuse to the Globe in 1992 made him one of the first survivors to come forward. Holley died in prison in 2008 while serving a 275-year sentence.

In 1991, Saviano became very ill with AIDS….

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Catholic nuns lift veil on abuse in convents

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Reuters [London, England]

November 29, 2021

By Philip Pullella

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When young nuns at a convent in Eastern Europe told their Mother Superior that a priest had tried to molest them, she retorted that it was probably their fault for “provoking him”.

When African nuns in Minnesota asked why it was always they who had to shovel snow they were told it was because they were young and strong, even though white sisters of the same age lived there too.

As the Roman Catholic Church pays more attention to the closed world of convents, where women spend much of their time in prayer and household work, more episodes of psychological, emotional and physical abuse are coming to light.

A new book, “Veil of Silence” by Salvatore Cernuzio, a journalist for the Vatican’s online outlet, Vatican News, is the latest expose to come from within and approved by authorities.

Cernuzio recounts experiences of 11 women and their struggles with an age-old…

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Paris archbishop offers resignation to Pope Francis following reports of questionable relationship

PARIS (FRANCE)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

November 26, 2021

By Christopher White

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Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris has sent a letter to Pope Francis effectively offering to resign following reports of a questionable relationship with a woman dating back to 2012 when he was vicar general of the Paris Archdiocese. 

In an interview with La Croix on Nov. 26, the embattled French archbishop said he had “handed over my office to the pope to preserve the diocese.”

His remarks come after a Nov. 22 article by the French magazine Le Point, which reported on correspondence between Aupetit and a woman with whom the archbishop admitted having an ambiguous relationship prior to him being made a bishop, while adamantly denying any sexual involvement. 

The archbishop went on to state that he eventually informed the woman in question that the two should not have any further contact. 

Following the report, Aupetit told La Croix that while he did not explicitly…

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Scottish prosecutors dismiss case against retired priest extradited from Canada

FORT AUGUSTUS (UNITED KINGDOM)
The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Canada]

November 28, 2021

By The Canadian Press

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Prosecutors in Scotland have dismissed a case against a retired Catholic priest who was extradited to the United Kingdom from Saskatchewan to face decades-old abuse charges.

Scotland’s prosecution service says in a statement that after careful consideration of the case against Robert Mackenzie, Crown Counsel has concluded there should be no further proceedings.

Mackenzie was living in Saskatchewan when he was returned to Scotland in February 2020 after losing an appeal of the extradition order, and the prosecution service says he was granted bail in March of this year.

Prosecutors say he was accused of offences alleged to have taken place at the Fort Augustus school in the Scottish Highlands from 1955 to 1988.

The Regina archdiocese said when it revealed the allegations against Mackenzie that they were physical and sexual in nature, but that no allegations had surfaced from his time serving with the archdiocese.

Mackenzie maintained his innocence…

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As filing window closes, sex abuse lawsuits against NJ Catholic Church number 820

NEWARK (NJ)
NorthJersey.com [Woodland Park NJ]

November 29, 2021

By Abbott Koloff

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A recent lawsuit alleging that a religious order priest sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl in 2006 was among the nearly 180 sex abuse civil complaints filed this month alone against the Catholic Church in New Jersey.

The claim caught the attention of the attorney for the Diocese of Paterson, who said he routinely passes allegations of abuse to law enforcement authorities. This one warranted added urgency because of when the abuse allegedly occurred. The attorney sent information about the complaint to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office on the day he received it several weeks ago.

“It’s possible there still could be a prosecutable offense,” said the attorney, Kenneth Mullaney. New Jersey lifted its criminal statute of limitations for the most serious sex offenses in 1996.

The accused priest, Benoit Guichard, who no longer works in New Jersey, belongs to a religious order — the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter — and is…

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November 28, 2021

Phil Saviano in 2020. Andrew Medichini / Associated Press

Phil Saviano, clergy abuse victim who refused to stay silent, dies at 69

WORCESTER (MA)
Boston Globe

November 28, 2021

By Bryan Marquard

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[Photo above: Phil Saviano in 2020. Andrew Medichini / Associated Press]

Rejecting a confidentiality agreement, he inspired others to tell their stories

Phil Saviano was near death from AIDS three decades ago and thousands of dollars in debt when the Worcester Diocese tried to silence him with a settlement that would have prevented him from publicly revealing that he had been sexually abused by a priest when he was a boy.

“I just couldn’t agree to it,” Mr. Saviano told the Globe in 1995. “I knew if I did I would just be contributing to their campaign to look away and shut everybody up.”

By refusing to sign a confidentiality agreement, he received a smaller settlement that placed him in further financial peril. But his principled stand became a landmark moment in victims’ efforts to expose the Catholic Church’s worldwide history of covering up the abuse of children.

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Indian Residential Schools: What does it mean if the Pope apologizes in Canada?

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
The Conversation [Waltham MA]

November 27, 2021

By Christopher Hrynkow

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The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC)’s call to action No. 58 asks the pope to “issue an apology to Survivors, their families, and communities for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children in Catholic-run residential schools,” and to journey to Canada for this purpose.

Pope Francis has not yet provided such an apology. Now, he looks to be taking steps to do so.

Regrettably, these steps were only taken after the media spotlighted unmarked graves at multiple sites of former Indian Residential Schools, including news of the discovery of 215 unmarked graves identified by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation at the former Catholic-run Kamloops Indian Residential School.

On request, I — a settler academic with doctoral training, teaching and research experience in both Christian ethics and peace and conflict studies — am addressing the…

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Altar boy abuse is an ‘old Spanish custom’ priest told victims

(AUSTRALIA)
Patheos [Englewood CO]

November 28, 2021

By Barry Duke

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WHEN Robert Friscic was being molested by a Catholic priest from the age of 11 until he was 18, he kept asking his abuser why he was being subjected to to such intolerable behaviour. The answer he got was “because I love you.”

Father Anthony Bongiorno, since deceased, also told him and other victims that he was simply performing:

An old Spanish custom in which the altar boy sleeps with the priest.

Decades on Friscic decided to lodge a civil claim against the Catholic Church for the abuse he suffered at the hands of Bongiorno, and this week ABC News reported that he had been awarded an out-of court settlement of $3-million (£1.6) by the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

Friscic’s lawyers say the settlement, combined with previous payments, makes it the highest award for an historical abuse claim.

The abuse began when Friscic ran away…

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Steve Goodlass was stunned to see the photo. Kavinda Herath / Stuff

Abuse survivor shocked to see paedophile priest on display at Mission Estate

WELLINGTON (NEW ZEALAND)
Stuff [Wellington, New Zealand]

November 28, 2021

By Steve Kilgallon

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[Photo above: Steve Goodlass was stunned to see the photo of Marist Fr. Frank ‘Fred’ Durning. Article includes video interview with Goodlass.]

Visitors to the award-winning Mission Estate in Hawke’s Bay are treated to a history lesson about the “pioneering” French missionary priests who set up the vineyard in 1851. The winery’s own website declares: “Their inspiration, a legacy we continue”.

And among the exhibits for tourists at the vineyard to study was a booklet containing biographies of some of the most influential Marist priests from the order of the Society of Mary – which still owns the vineyard.

This month, one visitor was outraged to find among them a glowing eulogy of the late Frank Durning, whom the Marists themselves have admitted was a paedophile.

The society has since issued hurried instructions to remove any reference to Durning after seeing a Facebook post by Steve Goodlass, himself a survivor…

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Abuse charges against Scottish priest who lived in Sask. dropped

EDINBURGH (UNITED KINGDOM)
CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) [Toronto, Canada]

November 27, 2021

Read original article

Decades-old abuse charges withdrawn in Scotland

The prosecution service in Scotland has dropped its case on historical child abuse charges against a retired Catholic priest who used to live and serve in Saskatchewan, according to the BBC.

Rev. Robert MacKenzie was extradited from Canada in 2020 to stand trial in Scotland.

The now 87-year-old was accused of physical and sexual abuse during his time as a teacher at two schools in Scotland from the 1950s to the 1980s.

The former priest has denied the allegations. 

No allegations from his time in Sask., says Archdiocese of Regina

According to the BBC, the alleged victims were informed there was a change in circumstances in the case.

Senior Crown lawyers decided there would be no further proceedings, the BBC said. Charges against Mackenzie have been withdrawn.

After his time at the schools in Scotland, MacKenzie moved to Canada and worked in Saskatchewan before retiring, according to the BBC.

The Archdiocese…

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November 27, 2021

Sexual abuse ‘destroyed childhoods’ of boarding school pupils, inquiry finds

EDINBURGH (UNITED KINGDOM)
The National [Scotland]

November 10, 2021

By UK News

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Children at a Catholic boarding school in Scotland were sexually abused and subjected to sadistic treatment that “destroyed childhoods”, an inquiry has found.

Lady Smith, chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, found that children were sexually abused at two schools run by the Marist Brothers: St Columba’s College, Largs, and St Joseph’s College, Dumfries.

The abuse included masturbation, oral sexual activity and rape and children also endured physical and emotional abuse.

Her findings in relation to the provision of residential care by the Marist Brothers at the two schools between 1950 and 1981 were published on Wednesday.

Lady Smith said that Marist Brothers in positions of trust at both boarding schools “violated their monastic vows” and “breached the trust of children and their families”.

Her report noted that several members of the order sexually abused children at St Columba’s and that two particular Marist Brothers with easy access to…

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Paris archbishop offers to resign over ‘ambiguous’ relations

PARIS (FRANCE)
Associated Press [New York NY]

November 26, 2021

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The archbishop of Paris has offered to step down after admitting to having had an “ambiguous” relationship with a woman in 2012, the archdiocese said.

In an article published this week, Le Point said Aupetit had a consensual, intimate relationship with a woman. The report relied on several anonymous sources who said they had seen a 2012 e-mail Aupetit sent by mistake to his secretary.

Aupetit denied being the author of the email and told Le Point that he didn’t have intimate and sexual relations with the woman.

Roman Catholic prelates take vows…

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November 26, 2021

Former school principal Patrick Harte loses appeal for sexually abusing boys 50yrs ago

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Sunday World [Dublin, Ireland]

November 26, 2021

By Paul Nielan

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Harte was convicted in 2010 on 11 counts of sexually assaulting seven schoolboys in Dublin school

Former school principal Patrick Harte has failed in a bid to have his convictions for sexually abusing schoolboys in classrooms over 50 years ago overturned on appeal.

In dismissing the appeal, the Court of Appeal rejected what was described as an “extraordinary” submission by Harte that he was prejudiced after it emerged during the trial that he had not sought the blessing of a priest before entering a teacher training course.

Court President Mr Justice George Birmingham had described any such risk as “fanciful” during submissions.

Harte (79) appealed his Circuit Criminal Court conviction of March 2020, when he was found guilty of 11 counts of indecently assaulting seven pupils at the Sancta Maria Christian Brothers primary school on Synge Street, Dublin, between September 1968 and September 1970.

A trial jury found Harte, who…

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No trial for Edinburgh-born priest over abuse allegations at two Catholic boarding schools

EDINBURGH (UNITED KINGDOM)
The Scotsman [Edinburgh, Scotland]

November 26, 2021

By Stephen Wilkie

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A former priest who was extradited to Scotland from Canada to face historical child abuse charges will no longer stand trial, prosecutors have confirmed.

Father Robert Mackenzie, 87, had been accused of committing offences at two Catholic boarding schools.

The 18 charges involved allegations of physical and sexual abuse at Fort Augustus Abbey in the Highlands and Carlekemp Preparatory School in North Berwick between 1955 and 1988.

Fr Mackenzie had denied the allegations and it is understood he planned to plead not guilty when the case came to trial

However, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has confirmed there will should be no further proceedings.

One of the complainers, David Walls, told BBC Scotland that he asked for the decision to be reviewed but it was upheld and the charges against Fr Mackenzie have been withdrawn.

Mr Walls said: “My gut reaction is very complex. Disappointment, to put…

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Melbourne man Robert Friscic has been awarded a record settlement by the Catholic Church of $3.7 million for historical sexual abuse.(ABC News: Andrew Altree-Williams)

Robert Friscic was offered a $3.7m settlement by the Catholic Church over historical sexual abuse. Lawyers say his case has set a precedent

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

November 25, 2021

By Rachael Brown

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[Photo above: Melbourne man Robert Friscic has been awarded a record settlement by the Catholic Church of $3.7 million for historical sexual abuse.(ABC News: Andrew Altree-Williams)]

Robert Friscic is a big bear of a man whose whole body shakes when he laughs, which he does a lot when he gets nervous.

There’s also a childlike quality about him. A big part of him is still stuck in the 1980s when, he says, his childhood was stolen from him by a local priest.

But this underdog, with limited means and an intellectual disability, took on the Catholic Church and won.

He lodged a civil claim in Victoria’s Supreme Court, alleging abuse by Father Anthony Bongiorno.

After two and a half years of litigation, the Archdiocese of Melbourne has offered an out-of-court settlement of $3 million.

It has admitted that former Archbishop Frank Little breached his duty of care.

Mr Friscic’s lawyers say the settlement,…

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Court sets deadline for sexual assault claims in Norwich diocese bankruptcy case

NORWICH (CT)
The Day [New London CT]

November 25, 2021

By Joe Wojtas

Read original article

[Via Yahoo News.]

A federal bankruptcy judge has set a deadline of March 15, 2022 for receipt of claim forms from people who say they were sexually assaulted by priests and employees of Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich.

Victims who fail to do so will likely lose their right to obtain compensation from the diocese and possibly its parishes.

The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July as it faced more than 60 lawsuits filed by young men who charge they were sexually assaulted as boys by Christian Brothers and other staff at the diocese-run Mount Saint John Academy in Deep River from 1990 to 2002. Mount Saint John was a residential school for troubled boys whose board of directors was headed by retired Bishop of Norwich Daniel Reilly. Since then, additional people whose sexual assault allegations involved not only Mount Saint John but diocesan churches have filed claims…

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Church offers to pay up to $34M

HAGåTñA (GUAM)
Guam Daily Post

November 26, 2021

By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

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Some 270 clergy sex abuse claims await payment

Guam’s Catholic Church has come up with a revised proposed payment of $27.96 million to $34.38 million to those who claimed they were raped or sexually molested by priests and other members of the clergy when they were minors, dating back to the 1950s.

That’s more than $100,000 per clergy sex abuse survivor if the award is based on equal amounts, although the process is far from over.

Clergy sex abuse survivors and other claimants would need to vote to either accept or reject the plan from the Archdiocese of Agana.

The bankruptcy court’s confirmation of the plan is also needed. Once the plan is confirmed after a hearing, payments may begin about three months later.

The proposed compensation to abuse survivors is part of the Archdiocese of Agana’s First Amended Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Plan of reorganization filed Thursday with the U.S. District…

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November 25, 2021

‘I’m tired of waiting for justice’: Alleged clergy abuse victim wants action from diocese

FALL RIVER (MA)
Herald News [Fall River MA]

November 24, 2021

By Audrey Cooney

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Two men who claim a local priest sexually abused them as minors decades ago are demanding action from the diocese.

“I’m tired of waiting for justice,” said Richard Eldridge, who has publicly accused retired priest the Rev. Edward Byington of sexual abuse. “(Bishop Edgar da Cunha) needs to step forward and get things done.”

Eldridge spoke at a press conference on Tuesday morning with attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented victims of clergy sexual abuse for several decades, and Robert Hoatson, co-founder and president of Road to Recovery, an advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse and their families.

In the early 1970s, when Eldridge was a teenager, he said, he attended a Catholic retreat. Afterwards, Byington insisted on driving him home.

“We went past my street. He brought me to a convent,” he said, referring to the rectory of Sacred Heart Church in Taunton.

There, Eldridge…

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Local View: Abuse probe too focused on Catholic priests

LINCOLN (NE)
Lincoln Journal Star [Lincoln NE]

November 25, 2021

By Matt Heffron

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Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson’s recent report on his three-year criminal investigation of church-related sexual abuse, which ranged all the way back to the 1930s and focused almost exclusively on the Catholic Church, raises one primary question: “What was the purpose of all this?” It appears to have had very little to do with law enforcement.

Why did the chief law enforcement officer of the State of Nebraska spend so much of the citizens’ tax dollars, and divert his staff from other current criminal investigations, knowing in advance most of the statutes of limitations already had expired?

This was an enormously expensive investigation: 426 subpoenas issued to Catholic churches and schools and 30,000 documents analyzed. After all that, the AG came up with almost nothing new of any significance. Primarily, it was a historical report, just restating what already had been reported by the Church and sensationalized in the media…

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86-Year-old Queens Priest Removed From Ministry Following Credible Claims of Child Sexual Abuse

(NY)
Sunnyside Post [Long Island City NY]

November 22, 2021

By Christian Murray

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An 86-year-old priest has been removed from the ministry following an investigation conducted by the Brooklyn Diocese that determined that a claim of child molestation against him dating back to the 1970s was credible.

Rev. Peter Mahoney–who had been ministering part-time to the Hispanic community at Saint Anne Catholic Church in Flushing and St. Nicholas of Tolentine in Jamaica, Queens—is no longer permitted to celebrate mass publicly, or exercise any public ministry. He is also not permitted to live in an ecclesiastical residence.

Mahoney was investigated follow a claim that he sexually abused a minor between 1975 and 1978 while serving at St. Martin of Tours in Brooklyn.

The allegation came into the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Reporting Line on Oct. 2, 2020, and was referred for investigation and forwarded to law enforcement on that date.

The allegations, however, date back to the 1970’s – so it is past the statute…

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Being anti-Catholic is okay here in Ireland

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
IrishCentral [New York NY]

November 24, 2021

By Michael O'Dowd

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“The church for its part must find a voice that assertively stands up to those who would do it down while at the same time acknowledging that Ireland is now a diverse country.”

Whenever the Irish government is criticized, or a politician wishes to divert attention away from themselves or their party, it is fast becoming a default position for them to blame the Catholic Church, an institution that can usefully be identified in order to deflect attention from the real cause, and whose very name can rustle up abuse and blame.

Let me be clear from the start — the church has a lot to answer for. Recently, Canada and France joined with Ireland and the U.S. in having to deal with historical sex abuse. 

Another case in point is the Mother and Baby Home scandal here. Last week, the Irish government launched an…

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N.Y. Attorney General launches investigation into Babylon high school sex abuse allegations

BABYLON (NY)
KION [Salinas CA]

November 24, 2021

By Jennifer McLogan

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New York Attorney General Letitia James is launching an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse at a Long Island high school.

As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reports, a lawyer, a police officer and a PhD candidate are the latest among multiple former students from Babylon Junior-Senior High saying they were victims of sexual misconduct at the hands of their teachers and coaches.

“I initially came forward when I was 16 years old with my story and I wasn’t taken seriously. And now I’m 30 years old, coming back to the place where I was traumatized,” said Babylon HS graduate Darcy Orlando Bennet.

The attorney general say her office is taking the complaints seriously and has launched a civil investigation.

“Every student on Long Island and across New York deserves to feel safe and protected at school. The reports of sexual abuse of students at the hands of their teachers and coaches…

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November 24, 2021

Survivor Richard Eldridge speaks at the chancery of the Diocese of Fall River. Still from video

Accuser demands settlement with Diocese of Fall River over claim against retired priest

FALL RIVER (MA)
WJAR-TV, NBC-10 [Providence RI]

November 23, 2021

By Tyler Dumont

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[Photo above: Survivor Richard Eldridge speaks at the chancery of the Diocese of Fall River. Still from video, which is included in this report.]

An alleged victim of clergy sex abuse is sharing his story publicly in the hope that the Diocese of Fall River will settle his legal claim.

Richard Eldridge alleges he was sexually abused in the early 1970s by Rev. Edward J. Byington while Byington was assigned as pastor at a Fall River parish.

At a press conference held Tuesday outside the diocese’s headquarters, Eldridge said the alleged sexual abuse occurred in a convent, occupied by nuns, following a retreat he attended while in high school.

“They tried to block the stairs and not let us go upstairs, and so it was clear that they knew what he was up to,” Eldridge said. “We got upstairs and he started his stuff.”

Eldridge said over the decades since,…

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Defrocked Cardinal McCarrick named in sex abuse lawsuit

NEWARK (NJ)
Associated Press [New York NY]

November 23, 2021

By David Porter

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Defrocked Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is facing another sexual abuse lawsuit, from a man who claims McCarrick abused him in the 1980s in New Jersey.

In the lawsuit filed in state court and announced Tuesday, Michael Reading alleged McCarrick engaged in sexual contact with him in 1986 while on a trip to the New Jersey shore, around the same time McCarrick ordained Reading as a priest.

The claim comes as a two-year window nears completion in New Jersey for people to file abuse lawsuits regardless of how far back the alleged abuse occurred. The suit names McCarrick and the Newark archdiocese and also alleges Reading was abused in 1978 by Father Edward Eilert, a priest employed by the Newark archdiocese.

In a videotaped statement, Reading said he wrote a letter to Cardinal Joseph Tobin, the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Newark, three years ago about the alleged abuse but…

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Former priest files new sexual abuse lawsuit against Theodore McCarrick

NEWARK (NJ)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

November 23, 2021

By Kevin J. Jones

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A former Catholic priest who has previously alleged that ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick sexually abused him when he was a seminarian has filed a lawsuit against McCarrick and the Newark archdiocese.

“I’m only doing the lawsuit mainly because three years ago when I did that, I also wrote a letter to Cardinal (Joseph) Tobin, and the Archdiocese of Newark and I never heard anything back,” plaintiff Michael Reading said in a video message posted to his attorneys’ website. “The whole thing is disappointing, but I’m just very disappointed that I never heard anything and got no response from the Church.”

When he sees media coverage of McCarrick’s court appearances, he said, “it all comes back again.”

“Today is actually the anniversary of the day I was ordained by him, 35 years ago today,” he said in the Nov. 22 video, adding that he “felt like telling my story could be helpful.”

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Brooklyn Catholic priest removed from ministry after “credible” allegations of child sex abuse: SNAP stands with the victims

(NY)
SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [St. Louis MO]

November 23, 2021

By Mike McDonnell

Read original article

More than a year after a New York City Catholic priest was accused of sexually abusing a child, the Brooklyn Diocese has finally removed the 86-year-old from ministry. According to a statement released by the Diocese, its panel of independent investigators found the allegations against Fr. Peter Mahoney to be “credible.”  Church officials also said that his name will now be included on the Diocese’s list of accused clerics, although this update does not appear to be a priority for the Diocese as Fr. Mahoney was still missing at the time of this statement.

We loudly applaud the brave survivor who reported the abuse in October 2020, as well as the second victim who filed a lawsuit in April of 2021 under the Child Victims Act. The 2020 accusation took place between 1975 and 1978, while Rev. Mahoney was working at St. Martin…

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Brooklyn Diocese Ousts 86-Year-Old Priest Following Credible Abuse Allegations

(NY)
Brooklyn Paper [Brooklyn NY]

November 23, 2021

By Ben Verde

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The Brooklyn Diocese announced this week that it would be relieving an 86-year-old priest of his duties after it substantiated a nearly 50-year-old sexual abuse case against him.

An internal diocese investigation found that allegations made in Oct. 2020 against Rev. Peter Mahoney are credible. The elderly priest has been added to the list of credibly accused priests maintained by the diocese. 

The allegations date back to the 1970s when Mahoney was serving as a minister to St. Martin of Tours in Bushwick and as the principal of a local Catholic school. Recently, Mahoney served as a part-time minister to St. Anne Catholic Church, and St. Nicholas of Tolentine, both in Queens. 

Mahoney was named in a lawsuit filed in April of 2021 utilizing the Child Victims Act in Kings County Supreme Court, which accuses the priest of grooming and sexually abusing a victim when he was 12 and 13…

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Apollo Quiboloy, founder of Kingdom of Jesus Christ church, indicted for sex trafficking

(PHILIPPINES)
Preda Foundation

November 23, 2021

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(2nd UPDATE) US prosecutors on Thursday announced sex-trafficking charges alleging that girls and young women were coerced to have sex with the founder of a Philippines-based church who is a friend and adviser to Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte.

A 74-page indictment charges Apollo Carreon Quiboloy, founder of a church called Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name (KOJC) and other church officials, including 2 US-based church administrators, with running a sex-trafficking operation that threatened victims as young as 12 with “eternal damnation” and physical abuse.

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles said the new indictment expanded on allegations made last year against 3 church administrators based in the city. It charges 9 defendants with participating in a scheme in which church members were brought to the United States using fraudulently obtained visas and forced to…

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U.S. announces sex-trafficking charges against Duterte’s spiritual adviser

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Reuters [London, England]

November 19, 2021

By Reporting by Mark Hosenball and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Dan Grebler and Giles Elgood

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U.S. prosecutors on Thursday announced sex-trafficking charges alleging that girls and young women were coerced to have sex with the founder of a Philippines-based church who is a friend and adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte.

A 74-page indictment charges Apollo Carreon Quiboloy, founder of a church called Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name (KOJC) and other church officials, including two U.S.-based church administrators, with running a sex-trafficking operation that threatened victims as young as 12 with “eternal damnation” and physical abuse.

“We are confident and ready to face whatever is hurled against Pastor Quiboloy and the Kingdom leaders. We trust the process of justice and we certainly expect the truth to prevail,” Quiboloy’s lawyers said in a statement.

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles said the new indictment expanded on allegations made last year against three church administrators based in the city. It charges…

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Indian Residential Schools: What does it mean if the Pope apologizes in Canada?

OTTAWA (CANADA)
The Conversation [Waltham MA]

November 23, 2021

By Christopher Hrynkow

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The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC)’s call to action No. 58 asks the pope to “issue an apology to Survivors, their families, and communities for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children in Catholic-run residential schools,” and to journey to Canada for this purpose.

Pope Francis has not yet provided such an apology. Now, he looks to be taking steps to do so.

Regrettably, these steps were only taken after the media spotlighted unmarked graves at multiple sites of former Indian Residential Schools, including news of the discovery of 215 unmarked graves identified by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation at the former Catholic-run Kamloops Indian Residential School.

On request, I — a settler academic with doctoral training, teaching and research experience in both Christian ethics and peace and conflict studies — am addressing the…

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To vanquish lived trauma, Netflix’s ‘Procession’ puts victims in the director’s chair

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Washington Post

November 23, 2021

By Jillian Cheney

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Robert Greene is expert at weaving memory and reality. The director of “Procession,” a new Netflix documentary about survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, Greene never allows the men’s re-creations of their trauma to go too long before he disrupts the narrative.

Crews redo sets. The survivors take a break to process details from their experience. We are reminded that what we are watching is actually the making of five short films written, directed and performed by the men themselves.

It’s the intersections between Greene’s film and the acts of healing reenactment that the men are making that is so heartbreaking. We see the link between remembering and overcoming their trauma. Churches — the spaces where they were broken —  become mere work sites, film sets. 

“If you’re taking a step back, and you’re looking at the lights and microphones, and you’re seeing all of these staff members wandering…

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November 23, 2021

A year after the investigation began, a Lake Zurich priest accused of sexually abusing minors has been reinstated, Cardinal Cupich announces

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

November 22, 2021

By Sylvia Goodman

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Rev. David F. Ryan has been reinstated as pastor of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Parish and School in Lake Zurich after the Archdiocese of Chicago’s independent review board determined there was “insufficient reason to suspect” he had sexually abused minors 25 years earlier.

Ryan first was asked to step away from the parish as the investigation was launched in November 2020. Initially, Archbishop Blase Cupich announced Ryan’s reinstatement on Sep. 9, but a week later, Ryan was once again placed under investigation due to “additional information, not previously provided to the Archdiocese.”

“I share your disappointment at this news, especially as I know plans were being made to welcome Father Ryan back this weekend,” Cardinal Cupich had said in a statement Sept. 16.

Ryan had affirmed in a statement Thursday that he was innocent, but also had said the church is right to be…

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Philippine church leader charged with child sex trafficking

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

November 19, 2021

By Robert Jablon

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The leader of a Philippines-based church was charged with having sex with women and underage girls who faced threats of abuse and “eternal damnation” unless they catered to the self-proclaimed “son of God,” federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

Apollo Carreon Quiboloy and two of his top administrators are among nine people named in a superseding indictment returned by a federal grand jury last week and unsealed Thursday. The indictment includes three Los Angeles-based administrators of Quiboloy’s church who were charged last year. The new indictment also names a church administrator in Hawaii.

Quiboloy, 71, is head of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ church, founded in 1985. The church claims to have 6 million members in about 200 countries. Its United States headquarters is in the Van Nuys area of Los Angeles.

The church backed the 2016 candidacy of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, a close friend of Quiboloy. Duterte used the group’s…

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Police were told of Pocono deacon’s alleged sex assault years ago. Nothing came of it.

STROUDSBURG (PA)
Pocono Record [Stroudsburg PA]

November 22, 2021

By Hannah Phillips

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Jeronimo Maisonet was a touchy man, the teenager said. 

He befriended her the same way he had all the children at the Church of God Holy Ground; with video games and flashy tech. She’d met him as a pre-teen and watched him draw nearer each year that her family remained in the congregation. 

Friendliness morphed into something else when the girl turned 14. She said Maisonet caught her off guard with too-long hugs or a too-frequent compliment in the church pews. She looked pretty in that dress, he told her. 

He called her into the church nursery once, the girl said, and then he sexually assaulted her there.

Detectives with the Pennsylvania State Police took down the girl’s statements and launched an investigation that would culminate in Maisonet’s arrest just three weeks later. Her allegations might have sounded familiar; they’d heard a similar story years ago, about the deacon of an East Stroudsburg church with unfettered access to the children he met…

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Netflix Doc About Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church Follows Decades of Trauma

BOSTON (MA)
Market Realist [New York NY]

November 22, 2021

By Dan Clarendon

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Nearly two decades after The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team started publishing their investigation into child sexual abuse in the Boston area’s Catholic Church, similar stories are coming to light. A 2021 report, for example, estimated that sexual abuse cases in the Catholic Church in France over the prior seven decades had affected more than 200,000 minors, according to The New York Times.

And Procession, a Netflix documentary now streaming, covers six cases in the United States. In the documentary, six Midwestern men, all of whom survived sexual assault by Catholic priests and clergy, “come together to direct a drama therapy-inspired experiment designed to collectively work through their trauma,” Netflix explains in a synopsis. With decades of trauma resurfacing in Procession and elsewhere in the media, here are updates on two high-profile Catholic figures accused of abuse.

A former cardinal was charged with sexual abuse in July 2021

In a complaint filed in…

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Beacons of Light: Cincinnati Catholics prepare for change ahead of church consolidation plan

CINCINNATI (OH)
Spectrum News 1 Kentucky [Louisville KY]

November 22, 2021

By Casey Weldon

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For some Catholics, attending Mass is a Sunday morning tradition. Nowadays, many reserve it for major holidays, like Christmas and Easter.

That’s not the case for Julie Krommer, a lifelong parishioner at St. Ignatius of Loyola on Cincinnati’s west side. To her, the church is more than a place to worship. It’s a second home – and not just a spiritual one.

What You Need To Know

– The Archdiocese of Cincinnati plans to consolidate St. Ignatius of Loyola and 207 other parishes down to 60 over the next few years
– The changes are needed because of rapidly declining populations of parishioners and priests, per the Archdiocese 
Fr. Earl Fernandes said the moves will let the Archdiocese go from ‘maintenance to mission’
– Julie Krommer has attended St. Ignatius for the past 40 years and is nervous about what the changes might mean for her and her family

Krommer is often there…

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Bishops encourage cooperation to address church’s past in tribal schools

GALLUP (NM)
Catholic News Service - USCCB [Washington DC]

November 22, 2021

By Rhina Guidos

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[Via National Catholic Reporter]

Washington – Two U.S. bishops have urged their fellow prelates to cooperate with any requests they receive from the federal government for an investigation on alleged abuses at tribal schools operated by church entities in the past.

In a Nov. 8 letter addressed to all U.S. bishops, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, who is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup, New Mexico, chair of the USCCB’s Subcommittee on Native American Affairs, told prelates that “if the government asks for any records you may possess, we encourage cooperation.”

The letter comes in response to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s June 11 announcement of an investigation to look into the history of the government’s administration and funding of so-called “Indian boarding schools.” Some, but not all of the schools, were operated by entities affiliated…

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CELAM must ‘revive Aparecida,’ go to peripheries, says its president

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

November 22, 2021

By David Agren

Read original article

[Via National Catholic Reporter]

Peruvian Archbishop Hector Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte called for a “second reception” of the Second Vatican Council as prelates, religious and laity participate in the Sixth Ecclesial Assembly of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Archbishop Cabrejos, president of the Latin American bishops’ council, or CELAM, also urged participants to “revive Aparecida,” a reference to the last Latin American bishops’ assembly in Aparecida, Brazil, in 2007. That conference produced a document — edited by Argentine Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis — urging Catholics to focus on evangelization and going to the peripheries in a region already considered overwhelmingly Catholic. It’s a document considered a key to understanding Pope Francis’ magisterium.

Archbishop Cabrejos additionally referenced the 1968 assembly in Medellín, Colombia, which he described as the “creative reception” of the Second Vatican Council. The document from that conference called for an “effective preference to the needy and poorest sectors.”

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Diocese of Brooklyn relieves longtime priest of duties after he’s credibly accused of sexual abuse

(NY)
New York Daily News

November 22, 2021

By John Annese

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The Diocese of Brooklyn has removed a priest from his duties at two Queens churches after he was credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor, diocese officials said Monday.

Rev. Peter Mahoney, 86, allegedly sexually abused a victim between 1975 and 1978, when he was serving at St. Martin of Tours Church in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Diocese officials said they first learned of the allegations in October 2020 through its tip line, and then opened an investigation and contacted law enforcement officials.

Another allegation surfaced in an April lawsuit, Diocese officials said.

That case stems from alleged abuse in 1963 and 1964 when Mahoney was the principal at the Church of St. Leonard of Port Maurice School, according to the lawsuit.

Mahoney is accused of grooming a young student for abuse, and of abusing him at least once, when he was 12 and 13 years old, according to the suit. The…

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November 22, 2021

Why is Spain’s Catholic Church refusing an independent investigation into sex abuse claims?

Activists are calling for an independent probe into alleged sexual abuse in Spain’s Catholic Church.

They insist the number of cases is on a par with neighbour France, where a recent investigation found 218,000 victims since 1950.

But as the Episcopal Conference’s gathering of bishops closed in Madrid on Friday (November 19), the church denied the claims.

Spokesman Luis Argüello reiterated the institution would not be “proactive” in undertaking an external investigation into allegations of sexual abuse.

“We are not prepared to carry out statistical and sociological investigations,” he said.

“There are only a few cases,” he added, quoting the figure 0.8% of priests guilty of such crimes since 1950. “Why is the focus only on the Catholic Church?”

The denial comes as France, Ireland, Germany and Belgium have carried out independent investigations after the US blazed the trail in 2002; Portugal has also just appointed a national commission to…

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Vatican’s ‘trial of the century’ could end in a whimper, not a bang

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Crux [Denver CO]

November 19, 2021

By John L. Allen Jr.

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Rome – T.S. Eliot may well be the greatest of all American poets, and his 1925 poem “The Hollow Men” contains perhaps the most-quoted lines of any 20th century American literary work, usually by people who have no idea where the lines come from: “This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper.”

By “hollow men,” Eliot meant people who are spiritually dead. His line, however, also comes to mind these days with reference to the Vatican’s much-ballyhooed “trial of the century,” which may itself turn out to be fairly hollow too.

The presiding judge, veteran Italian jurist Giuseppe Pignatone, appeared to hint at the possibility that a trial intended to provide a sweeping confirmation of the success of Pope Francis’s financial reforms could end before it’s even begun, saying, “It’s clear we need more time before starting. If we manage to start.”

The trial pivots…

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At meeting, American bishops ignore real problems while debating minutiae

BALTIMORE (MD)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

November 19, 2021

By Thomas Reese, S.J.

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The media was expecting fireworks this week, as the American Catholic bishops debated their highly anticipated document on the Eucharist, which some in the church hoped would recommend denying Communion to pro-choice Catholic politicians such as President Joe Biden.

The bishops managed, however, to make their fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore an exercise in boredom. I have been attending meetings of the bishops since about 1980, and none has so much felt like watching paint dry.

The bishops accomplished this by holding much of the four-day meeting behind closed doors. All of Monday and Thursday were in executive session as well as part of Tuesday. Traditionally, the bishops took only one afternoon for executive session.

The controversy the media was expecting was also dealt with long before the bishops arrived in Baltimore. The original brief given to the ad hoc drafting committee appointed by…

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November 21, 2021

Lawsuit filed, accusing former Charlotte priest of child sexual abuse in the 1990s

CHARLOTTE (NC)
WBTV, CBS-3 [Charlotte NC]

November 18, 2021

By Brandy Beard and Andrew Barnett

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The lawsuit alleges abuse by Father Francis P. Gillespie

A lawsuit was filed Thursday, accusing a former Charlotte priest of child sexual abuse. The priest formerly worked at Our Lady of Assumption Elementary School in Charlotte.

The lawsuit, filed by attorneys on behalf of plaintiff John Doe J.C., alleges that while Doe was a student at the school, he became friendly with the parish priest, Father Francis P. Gillespie of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus.

The lawsuit claims Gillespie repeatedly sexually assaulted Doe around 1996-1997, when Doe was reportedly 8 years old. The lawsuit claims the abuse continued through 1999-2000.

According to the lawsuit, the priest often visited the school and allowed Doe to assist him at mass – despite not being an altar boy.

After several weeks of this assistance, the lawsuit claims the priest closed the door to the room the two were in and…

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Archdiocese never goes public about a Philadelphia priest accused of sexually abusing a minor in 1981

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [St. Louis MO]

November 18, 2021

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A lawsuit has been filed in New Jersey against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, accusing Fr. Peter Foley of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy during a trip to the New Jersey shore in 1981. Fr. Foley, now 83, provided a statement to an Inquirer reporter from a Church-run retirement facility in Upper Darby. The cleric denied the allegations but said, “I did give the kid alcohol, but that’s as far as it went.” Asked why he would serve alcohol to a minor, Fr. Foley replied, “We were at the Shore.”

Fr. Foley was on the faculty at Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philadelphia in the 1980s. According to the news report and court filing, the priest sexually abused the boy in Pennsylvania and then took him on a trip to New Jersey. SNAP stands with the victim in this case and we applaud his strength and courage…

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Lawsuit Alleges Jesuit Priest Committed Sex Abuse in North Carolina in the 1990s

CHARLOTTE (NC)
National Catholic Register - EWTN [Irondale AL]

November 20, 2021

By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency

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Father Gillespie was removed from public ministry on Sept. 29 and put under supervision while the Jesuit province assists in the investigation.

A new lawsuit alleges that a long-serving Jesuit priest sexually abused a boy at a Catholic school in Charlotte, North Carolina in the 1990s. 

The priest’s attorney has rejected the charges as “completely false,” while the Society of Jesus and the local diocese said they are cooperating with investigators.

Attorneys representing the plaintiff, identified only as John Doe J.C., filed the lawsuit Nov. 18 in Mecklenburg County. It names as defendants Jesuit Father Francis Gillespie, the Diocese of Charlotte, Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools, and two Jesuit organizations.

Father Gillespie was ordained in 1972 and is now 79 years old. He was recently serving in the Diocese of Raleigh, but the lawsuit concerns his time as pastor at Our Lady of the Assumption Church and School in the Diocese…

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Netflix’s Catholic Abuse Doc Offers a New Way to Represent Trauma

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Slate [New York NY]

November 19, 2021

By Sam Adams

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Documentaries about abuse are an ethical minefield. Procession charts a new path.

Procession begins where a lesser documentary might end, with a press conference at which three men go public with allegations of sexual abuse inside the Catholic church. But for its subjects, that moment, already decades in the making, is still only a beginning. Although proof that the church systematically enabled and covered up abuse in its ranks has existed for decades, a full reckoning has never been realized. Just this summer, a United Nations report concluded the Vatican still needed to be urged to “refrain from obstructive practices” in investigating past crimes. As angry as the movie’s survivors—there are six subjects in all—are at the priests who abused them, some of their most intense ire is directed at the independent review boards that were meant to mete out justice, and whose failure to do so is another gutting betrayal.

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Reenacting their own childhood abuse from Catholic clergy, 6 men heal in ‘Procession’

WASHINGTON (DC)
National Public Radio - NPR [Washington DC]

November 21, 2021

By Leila Fadel

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[AUDIO]

Leila Fadel talks with filmmaker Robert Greene about his latest project, “Procession.” It follows six men who suffered abuse from Catholic clergy. They scripted, acted and filmed their stories

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Quebec Superior Court Allows Class-Action Against Catholic Missionary Group For Sexual Assault

QUEBEC CITY (CANADA)
Global News [Toronto, Canada]

November 17, 2021

By Alessia Simona Maratta

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The lawsuit states that the abuse committed on more than 200 victims at the hands of Catholic priests involved children aged eight to 10 years old.

The Superior Court of Quebec has authorized a class-action lawsuit against a Catholic Church missionary congregation for sexual abuse committed on more than 200 victims, many of whom were children, from 1940 onwards.

The lawsuit request was first filed in 2018 regarding sexual assaults allegedly committed in Basse-Côte-Nord (Lower North Shore), Que., by Father Alexis Joveneau — who died over 25 years ago — and other religious members of the congregation.

On Tuesday, the Superior Court authorized the suit following a hearing that took place on Nov. 1, which saw many of the victims from different communities attend by videoconference.

The case states that the Catholic group, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate — founded by a French Catholic priest in the…

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