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.

June 26, 2022

Archbishop: Cathedral will be mortgaged to help pay abuse settlements

SANTA FE (NM)
Santa Fe New Mexican

June 24, 2022

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The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is asking parishes to help provide at least $12 million of $75 million needed to satisfy the terms of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings stemming from hundreds of clergy abuse lawsuits — and one method to help fund the debt will be to mortgage the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

A June 17 letter from Archbishop John C. Wester informed parishes of the intention to mortgage the cathedral in Santa Fe, considered by many as the emotional and spiritual center for Roman Catholics in New Mexico.

“If the market value is not enough to collatoralize the loan, an additional property may be required to collatoralize the loan,” Wester wrote. “Any property mortgaged will not be lost because of the collective commitment of the parishes to pay the debt.”

In the letter, Wester wrote the archdiocese must provide $65 million by Sept. 30 and…

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Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi to be mortgaged to help pay settlements to sex abuse victims

SANTA FE (NM)
Albuquerque Journal [Albuquerque NM]

June 24, 2022

By Esteban Candelaria

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The Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s most iconic building will be mortgaged to help cover settlements to clergy sexual abuse victims, Archbishop John C. Wester said in a recent letter to parishes.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, known as the “mother church” of the archdiocese, and any other properties that are mortgaged will not be lost because parishes will chip in to cover the payments on the debt, Wester said in his June 17 letter.

Parishes will collectively need to borrow up to $12 million to cover the gap in the archdiocese’s $75 million share of the bankruptcy settlement, according to the letter. The archdiocese is asking each parish to take on a portion of that debt.

“I am pleased to see the broad support that we have from our priests for working together to bring the bankruptcy proceedings to an end, compensate victims, allow us to move…

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Altar boys who testified at a priest’s trial say bishop also abused them

QUEENSBURY (NY)
Times Union [Albany NY]

June 26, 2022

By Brendan J. Lyons

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Two brothers allege that Gary Mercure, a former priest convicted of raping boys in Massachusetts, had sexually abused them with former Albany bishop

Two brothers who grew up in Warren County in a devout Catholic family allege that Gary Mercure, a former priest in their childhood parish who was later convicted of raping young boys in Massachusetts, had sexually abused them on multiple occasions over a period of years and that ex-Albany Bishop Howard J. Hubbard took part in some of the assaults.

In a series of recent interviews with the Times Union, the brothers recounted years of sexual abuse at the hands of Mercure beginning in the mid-1980s. They also had detailed those allegations when they testified at Mercure’s 2011 criminal trial in Pittsfield, where the former priest was sentenced to two decades in prison following his conviction on charges of raping two altar boys.

The…

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Priest: Church needs to emphasize pastoral work with sex abuse survivors

WASHINGTON (DC)
Crux [Denver CO]

June 26, 2022

By Rhina Guidos, Catholic News Service

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Each year the U.S. Catholic Church unveils its annual report on what it’s doing to prevent abuse of minors by clergy and other church workers.

What it also should tell church members is what’s being done, particularly by bishops, to help those suffering after the abuse, said a priest who works with survivors and perpetrators.

“We hear how much we’re paying victims, all these training programs” to prevent abuse, said Jesuit Father Jerry McGlone, himself a survivor of abuse by a priest, “but where is the initial and ongoing accompaniment of survivors? That, to me, is a real missing piece.”

In the two decades since the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops adopted the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” “there were some really good advances that the charter promulgated: a sense of setting up a system that was not there, setting up policies that needed to be…

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Senator in 2010 deposition: 13-year-olds can consent to sex

OKLAHOMA CITY (OK)
Associated Press [New York NY]

June 25, 2022

By Sean Murphy

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Before he became a leading voice for conservative causes on Capitol Hill, U.S. Senator James Lankford spent more than a decade as the director of youth programming at the Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, a sprawling campground about 80 miles south of Oklahoma City that attracts more than 50,000 campers in grades six through 12 each year.

The Republican lawmaker’s tenure at the camp is a prominent feature of his political profile, noted in the first paragraph of his official Senate biography. That experience is also coming under renewed scrutiny as the Southern Baptist Convention, which is affiliated with the group that owns the camp, faces a reckoning over its handling of sexual abuse cases.

In 2009, while Lankford worked at the camp, the family of a 13-year-old girl sued a 15-year-old boy who was alleged to have had sex with her at the camp. Lankford,…

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Sexual misconduct allegations prompt Whitehorse’s Vanier Catholic school to change name

WHITEHORSE (CANADA)
Yukon News [Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada]

June 25, 2022

By Dana Hatherly

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Vanier Catholic Secondary School has changed to St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Secondary School

Sexual misconduct allegations made public in February 2020 have prompted a Whitehorse Catholic high school to change its name.

Moving forward, the Yukon government announced in a June 20 release, Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Riverdale will be known as St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Secondary School.

Truska Gorrell has been a member of the school’s council for four years.

Gorrell said the meaning behind the new name is tied to Francis of Assisi’s “witnessing of faith in the world.”

“He was very environmentally involved in love of nature and love of animals,” she said.

“We are all unique, and we’re all valuable, whether it’s my dog or my cat or the birds, we’re all one and so for me, I very much support using that name.”

Gorrell expressed gratitude to the people who partook in…

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Jury finds former Sarasota bishop guilty on two counts of sexual battery of a child under 12

SARASOTA (FL)
Herald-Tribune [Sarasota FL]

June 25, 2022

By Gabriela Szymanowska

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After three hours of deliberation late Friday, a jury found a former Sarasota bishop guilty on two counts of sexual battery of a victim under the age of 12.

During a five-day criminal trial in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court, Henry Lee Porter, 74, faced four of his victims as they shared their experiences of the sexual abuse they endured that began when they were young boys. 

Two of the men who took the stand, now in their late 30s and early 40s, relieved the trauma they said started when they were just 11 years old. Both hadn’t spoken about the abuse for years, before finally stepping forward to share their stories. All the victims’ names have been withheld by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune to protect their privacy as they were children when the abuse happened.

The charges against Porter are capital felonies punishable by up to life in prison. 

Porter, who…

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June 25, 2022

High court rejects California Catholic bishops’ bid for review of California Child Victims Act

SANTA ROSA (CA)
Press Democrat [Santa Rosa CA]

June 21, 2022

By Mary Callahan

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an 11th-hour plea by nine Catholic bishops and archbishops, including Santa Rosa Bishop Robert Vasa, seeking to overturn a California law allowing people to sue over childhood sex abuse regardless of how long ago it occurred.

Citing the “ruinously expensive” cost of defending even illegitimate claims, church officials argued that reopening a three-year “look-back period” that expands the statute of limitations on such cases unconstitutionally exposes them to liability in violation of due process protections — particularly since an earlier, one-year window in 2003 prompted massive settlements the church assumed would be the last word on the sex abuse scandal.

“Since the State’s previous revival statute induced the Dioceses to take dramatic steps to pay for the last round of revived claims, the Dioceses now stand largely defenseless against this second wave,” the petition states. “The potential financial implications for the Church are thus…

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Vatican investigation in Strasbourg marks latest upheaval in French church

ROME (ITALY)
Crux [Denver CO]

June 25, 2022

By Elise Ann Allen

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 In his latest intervention in the Catholic Church in France, Pope Francis has ordered an apostolic visitation of the Archdiocese of Strasbourg, which is set to begin at the end of this month.

According to a June 23 press release from the papal embassy in France, the decision was made after the Vatican received information “relating to the pastoral government of the Archdiocese of Strasbourg” and after “hearing the Dicastery for Bishops.”

No official reason was given for the visitation, but reports suggest that several complaints have been made against over Archbishop Luc Ravel’s management style, which some have said is overly authoritarian, as well as Ravel’s explicitly political support for French President Emmanuel Macron.

The visitation, set to begin June 27, will be conducted by Bishop Stanislas Lalanne of Pontoise, with Archbishop Joël Mercier, secretary emeritus of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Clergy, as his assistant.

According to the embassy,…

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Jailed Argentine bishop’s lawyer sent by Vatican to investigate priests of his diocese

ROME (ITALY)
Crux [Denver CO]

June 24, 2022

By Inés San Martín

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The case of an Argentine bishop currently serving a prison sentence of four years and six months for abuse took an unexpected turn this week, when his canon lawyer was sent to investigate the priests and seminarians of his diocese.

On Thursday, several Argentine outlets reported that Spanish canon lawyer Javier Belda Iniesta, who defended Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta during his ecclesiastical trial- a secret process, the results of which have never been revealed – is now in Oran investigating the priests, deacons and seminarians who testified in the civil trial against the bishop.

The sole judge of Salta’s Ecclesiastical Tribunal, Loyola Pinto, confirmed that the appointment of Belda Iniesta came from the Vatican and Pope Francis.

Zanchetta was one of Pope Francis’s first episcopal appointments in 2013. In 2017, at the age of 53, he abruptly left the diocese of Oran, in northern Argentina, alleging he needed medical treatment in…

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Vatican releases programme for Pope Francis’ Canada visit

ROME (ITALY)
Vatican News - Holy See [Vatican City]

June 23, 2022

By Vatican News Staff Reporter

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The Holy See Press Office releases the programme for Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Canada, due to take place on 24-29 July.

With just over one month to go before the Pope is scheduled to depart for his Apostolic Journey to Canada, the Vatican Press Office on Thursday released details of the visit.

The Pope is set to depart Rome’s Fiumicino Airport on the morning of Sunday, 24 July, and receive an official welcome to Canada at Edmonton International Airport that same day.

His first public events start on Monday, 25 July, with a meeting with Indigenous Peoples: First Nations, Métis and Inuit in the city of Maskwacis, around 70 kilometers north of Edmonton.

He then returns to Edmonton to meet in the afternoon with Indigenous Peoples and members of the parish community of the Sacred Heart.

On Tuesday, 26 July, Pope Francis celebrates a public Mass at the Commonwealth…

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Native American leaders push for boarding school commission

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Associated Press [New York NY]

June 22, 2022

By susan montoya bryan

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The federal government has a responsibility to Native American tribes, Alaska Native villages and Native Hawaiian communities to fully support and revitalize education, language and cultural practices that prior boarding school policies sought to destroy, U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said Wednesday.

Haaland testified before a U.S. Senate committee that is considering legislation to establish a national commission on truth and healing to address intergenerational trauma stemming from the legacy of Native American boarding schools in the United States.

As the first and only Native American Cabinet secretary, Haaland’s voice cracked with emotion and her eyes welled as she addressed the committee.

Haaland, who is from Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico, said the forced assimilation that happened over a century and half through the boarding school initiative was both traumatic and violent. She noted she herself was a product of those policies as her grandparents were removed from their families…

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A brief timeline of sex abuse crisis, development of charter

WASHINGTON (DC)
Crux [Denver CO]

June 24, 2022

By Catholic News Service

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Here is a brief timeline of events surrounding the clergy sexual abuse crisis and the establishment of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

1983

Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, suspends Father Gilbert J. Gauthe after he admits to having sexually abused at least three dozen young boys and girls. Lawsuits and trial over the next three years draw national attention to the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests.

1985

At June meeting, U.S. bishops have extensive discussion of clerical sexual abuse. A confidential report warns the crisis could cost the church billions of dollars. Individual dioceses and state Catholic conferences begin developing policies to respond to sexual abuse allegations.

1992

Allegations against James Porter, former priest in Fall River, Massachusetts, lead to 68 lawsuits. At June meeting, president of U.S. bishops’ conference issues a five-point statement summarizing guidelines sent to dioceses four years earlier. The…

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Even with successes, charter seen as a document that must adapt over time

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

June 24, 2022

By Dennis Sadowski

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When Mike Hoffman decided to contact Archdiocese of Chicago officials in 2006 about how he was sexually abused by a priest for four years while a teenage altar server, he wasn’t sure how his story would be received.

“I wrote one letter and got an immediate letter back and we set a date (to talk),” Hoffman, now 57, told Catholic News Service. “In telling my story, I was not met with confrontation or difficulty. Although I felt anxious, my anxiety was that they would question me and question my character.”

“I was met with compassion, decency and professionalism,” he said.

For that response, Hoffman credits the procedures set up by the archdiocese under the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

The landmark document, adopted 20 years ago during a widely watched U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops assembly in Dallas, established minimum standards for dioceses and eparchies to…

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Philippine diocese warns churchgoers of defrocked priest

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

June 24, 2022

By Joseph Peter Calleja

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A diocese in the Philippines has warned churchgoers not to invite a defrocked clergyman to celebrate Mass in their homes.

The Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao issued a memorandum on June 22 informing Catholics of the status of clergyman Melvin Clapano, who was suspended under canon law for attempting to contract a civil marriage.

The archdiocese said it had received reports that Clapano celebrated private Masses in parishioners’ homes in Cagayan de Oro.

“Regrettably, I have learned that Father Melvin Clapano is being invited to celebrate Mass in homes and officiate house and office blessings within the archdiocese,” said Archbishop Jose Cabantan of Cagayan de Oro.

He urged Catholics not to invite Clapano to officiate any clerical function as he was suspended for attempting to marry his Filipina girlfriend.

“Please refrain from inviting him and inform your parishioners and disseminate this information that he is…

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June 24, 2022

Diocese clears two priests, including one who died recently, of sex abuse claims

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News [Buffalo NY]

June 23, 2022

By Jay Tokasz

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The Buffalo Diocese said Thursday it has posthumously exonerated the Rev. Robert G. Beiter, who spent the last nine months of his life under a cloud of suspicion due to a sexual abuse allegation.

Beiter was suspended from priestly ministry in 2021 after a claim against him surfaced in confidential documents filed in the diocese’s federal bankruptcy case.

Beiter, a former pastor of St. Patrick Church in Brocton, died June 13 at the age of 83. The diocese said in a prepared statement that a review board determined the accusation was “unsubstantiated,” and Beiter was posthumously reinstated.

The review board also found a claim by the same individual against the Rev. Thomas Wopperer, 84, was not substantiated. The individual declined to cooperate with the review board’s investigation of the claims, according to the diocese statement.

“The truth won out,” Wopperer said in a phone interview with The News.

Wopperer said…

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Apostolic Journey of His Holiness Francis to Canada (24-30 July 2022) – Program

EDMONTON (CANADA)
Holy See Press Office [Vatican City]

June 23, 2022

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Sunday, 24 July 2022ROME – EDMONTON 09:00Departure by airplane from Rome/Fiumicino International Airport to Edmonton  11:20Arrival at Edmonton International Airport 11:20OFFICIAL WELCOME at Edmonton International Airport       Monday, 25 July 2022EDMONTON – MASKWACIS – EDMONTON 10:00MEETING WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES: FIRST NATIONS, MÉTIS AND INUIT at MaskwacisAddress of the Holy Father16:45MEETING WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND MEMBERS OF THE PARISH COMMUNITY OF SACRED HEART at EdmontonAddress of the Holy Father   Tuesday, 26 July 2022EDMONTON – LAC STE. ANNE – EDMONTON 10:15HOLY MASS at “Commonwealth Stadium” in EdmontonHomily of the Holy Father17:00PARTICIPATION IN THE “LAC STE. ANNE PILGRIMAGE” AND LITURGY OF THE WORD at the “Lac Ste. Anne”Homily of the Holy Father      Wednesday, 27 July 2022EDMONTON – QUÉBEC 09:00Departure by airplane from Edmonton International Airport to Québec  15:05Arrival at Québec International Airport  15:40WELCOME CEREMONY at the Residence of the Governor General of Canada, “Citadelle de Québec” 16:00COURTESY VISIT TO THE GOVERNOR GENERAL at the “Citadelle de Québec” 16:20MEETING WITH THE PRIME MINISTER at the “Citadelle de Québec” 16:45MEETING WITH CIVIL AUTHORITIES, REPRESENTATIVES OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND MEMBERS…

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Vatican Signals Pope Will Keep His Plan to Visit Canada for Apology

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
New York Times

June 23, 2022

By Ian Austen

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Francis plans to deliver a long-sought apology to Indigenous people for the church’s role in a residential school system where abuse was rife.

The Vatican released a detailed itinerary on Thursday for Pope Francis’s long-awaited trip to Canada, where he plans to apologize for the Roman Catholic church’s role in a residential school system for Indigenous children that eroded their culture and subjected many to sexual and physical abuse.

The release of the schedule for next month’s visit was likely intended to assuage concerns that health problems might force the pope to postpone or even cancel the trip.

This month Francis postponed a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, two war-afflicted African nations, citing knee problems and the advice of doctors. The cancellation fueled speculation that Francis, 85, might soon step down.

For decades, the church had resisted calls from Canada’s Indigenous communities for a…

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Progress on sexual abuse in the SBC? Not so fast

NASHVILLE (TN)
Baptist News Global [Jacksonville FL]

June 24, 2022

By David Clohessy and Christa Brown

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As Russian tanks, troops and bombs poured into the Ukraine, imagine if President Joe Biden had announced to the world: “This is shocking. We pledge to help Ukrainians save their lives and freedom for one year. Next year, though, we may change our minds.”

In the Boy Scouts of America, tens of thousands of adults have disclosed they were sexually violated as kids. Imagine if Scouting officials proudly proclaimed: “We’re deeply sorry. And we promise that if some of those still-wounded victims will only trust us again, we’ll act better for the next year. After that, who knows?”

As the dust settles from last week’s Southern Baptist Convention gathering in Anaheim, Calif., this is essentially what Southern Baptist leaders are telling people: “Yes, for decades, we kept secret the identities of many hundreds of dangerous child molesters. Our organization did virtually nothing to disclose these countless crimes. In fact, we often took steps to…

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June 23, 2022

Horror Behind Closed Doors of Polish Residential Institution

KRAKóW (POLAND)
Human Rights Watch [New York NY]

June 23, 2022

By Karolina Kozik

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“My child’s nightmare lasted around a year and a half. She was beaten and locked in a caged bed, sometimes for the entire day or even two days.”

This is how a mother described the ordeal her daughter Kasia (pseudonym) went through in a residential institution for girls and women with intellectual disabilities in Jordanów, a small town in southern Poland. Having entered two months before her 18th birthday, when Kasia was removed from the institution almost two years later, her family said she was barely able to speak or walk, a side effect of medication she was given.

According to a report by the Polish news website Wirtualna Polska, many women and girls experienced abuse and neglect in this institution, which at the time of the report was run by a Catholic nuns’ order, the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and had 47 residents….

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Suit alleges sexual abuse by popular former California priest and high school swim coach

ORANGE (CA)
The Mercury News [San Jose CA]

June 23, 2022

By Scott Reid

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The school’s aquatic center is named after Father Kevin Fitzpatrick. Now a lawsuit alleges school officials should have known “Father Fitz” was a sexual predator

Nearly 50 years later, it remains the most pivotal moment of a life full of heartache and emptiness.

It was the spring of 1976 and a 13-year-old eighth-grade boy was taking an entrance exam at Servite High School, the Catholic all-boys school in Anaheim.

The boy was caught cheating off a friend during the math part of the exam.

“I couldn’t stop crying,” the man, now 60, recalled in a recent interview. “That was the most important thing to me. I didn’t want to disappoint my parents.”

The man paused.

“I don’t know how different my life would have become,” he said, “if I had just been thrown out of that test.”

Instead he was told pick up his things and go out into the…

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German sex abuse lawsuit targets former Pope Benedict

MUNICH (GERMANY)
Reuters [London, England]

June 22, 2022

By Rachel More, Madeline Chambers, and William Maclean

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A lawsuit brought against an alleged paedophile priest in Germany is seeking to establish whether former Pope Benedict and other members of the clergy were culpable in a historical case of child sexual abuse, the plaintiff’s lawyer said.

The so-called declaratory action was brought on behalf of a 38-year-old man from the southern state of Bavaria, who says he was abused by a priest as a child, the BR broadcaster reported together with the Correctiv research centre and Die Zeit weekly.

Andreas Schulz, the lawyer who lodged the case with the Traunstein regional court, confirmed the report to Reuters in an email.

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising declined to comment on an ongoing legal case.

The suit targets the priest, identified as Peter H., as well as Benedict, who served as the Archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1977 to 1982, his successor Cardinal Friedrich Wetter,…

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Survivor priest says US Church still needs ‘lamentation’ for abuse

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

June 23, 2022

By Rhina Guidos

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As the Catholic Church in the United States marks two decades since the US bishops adopted a document establishing policies to deal with allegations of sexual abuse of children by clergy, Jesuit Father Jerry McGlone worries about the psychological responses the event could trigger.

And he knows from experience because he’s not solely a priest who works with survivors but also a survivor of abuse by a priest.

“This big 20th anniversary … the church might be wise to think about the fact that every time you advertise all that you’ve done … it doesn’t matter if you don’t start by saying you’re sorry,” Father McGlone said in a June 9 interview with Catholic News Service. “As (Boston) Cardinal Seán O’Malley says, ‘We can never say sorry enough.’”

In the two decades since the US bishops adopted the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” in…

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Abuse victim seeks damages from retired Pope Benedict XVI

MUNICH (GERMANY)
Catholic News Service - USCCB [Washington DC]

June 22, 2022

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[Via Catholic Review]

A victim of sexual abuse is reported to be suing retired Pope Benedict XVI in connection with the Munich abuse scandal.

The German Catholic news agency KNA reported the victim has accused Pope Benedict — who, as Joseph Ratzinger served as archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1977 to 1982 — of having “responsibly approved” the appointment of a priest as a pastoral minister in a Bavarian parish some 40 years ago, even though the man was known to be an abuser.

The legal action is aimed at establishing that the retired pope was partly to blame for the abuse scandal through a so-called “declaratory action,” public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk reported June 22.

The plaintiff claims to have been abused by the former priest Peter H. The plaintiff’s lawyer wants -a civil court to declare that Pope Benedict must compensate the victim for the damage caused by…

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Yearbook photos of Msgr. Michael J. McGinty and survivor Mark Staley.

Dozens of Northern CA Priests Facing Child Sex Abuse Claims for the First Time

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
KNTV - NBC Bay Area [San Jose CA]

June 22, 2022

By Candice Nguyen, Michael Bott, Mark Villareal and Michael Horn

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[Photo above: Photos of Mark Staley and Msgr. Michael J. McGinty from an old school yearbook.]

NBC Bay Area’s investigation mined a trove of new court filings, revealing startling child sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests and institutions across Northern California. They show what the public previously knew about the scandal is potentially the tip of the iceberg.

Dozens of Northern California Catholic priests and church employees – some still working, others retired or deceased – are being publicly accused for the first time of sexually abusing children in their care. The allegations suggest startling new depths to the decades-long scandal that continues to rock the church and its followers.

Those new accusations – and many more – have surfaced in a wave of lawsuits washing over Catholic institutions across the state, including every Northern California diocese from Fresno to Santa Rosa. Some of the new filings allege cover-ups that…

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June 22, 2022

California’s Mater Dei High School, a Catholic football powerhouse, faces hazing and assault allegations

SANTA ANA (CA)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

June 20, 2022

By Katie Collins Scott

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Pride. Poise. Courage. Red block letters in the varsity locker room spell out the motto of Mater Dei High School football. A California powerhouse, the program boasts three Heisman Trophy winners among its graduates and in 2021 was ranked No. 1 in the country by USA Today.

But a recent spate of allegations linked to the Catholic school in Santa Ana appear to highlight behaviors antithetical to the motto. Late last summer, several football players sexually assaulted a teammate, according to claims in a Santa Ana Police Department document obtained by the Los Angeles Times. Seven months prior, a football player allegedly suffered a broken nose and a traumatic brain injury during a team ritual, leading the injured player’s parents to file a lawsuit against Mater Dei and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.

Other claims suggest the violence extends beyond football and the walls of…

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Five more lawsuits filed against Missouri boarding school

Five additional lawsuits have been filed accusing a southwestern Missouri boarding school of abusing students.

The lawsuits alleging physical and emotional abuse at Agape Boarding School were filed Wednesday in Vernon County. All told, 19 lawsuits have been filed against the boarding school since early 2021.

Agape’s doctor, David Smock, was charged in December with child sex crimes. He pleaded not guilty in March. Meanwhile, five employees were charged in September with abusing students. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has said he thinks many more workers should have been charged.

The latest lawsuits were filed by former students who attended Agape at various times between 2014 and this year. The lawsuits also name Agape Baptist Church, which oversees the boarding school.

The lawsuits seek unspecified amounts in damages.

Phone and email messages left Saturday with an attorney for Agape were not immediately returned.

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Small Church Apologizes for Alleged Pedophile Pastor; MacArthur Claims Persecution

MABTON (WA)
The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

June 20, 2022

By Julie Roys

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A small church in Washington that allowed an alleged pedophile to continue pastoring has posted a statement apologizing for its actions, following a recent exposé by The Roys Report (TRR). Meanwhile, Pastor John MacArthur, who reportedly covered up the abuse by the pastor decades ago, is claiming persecution for people “attacking” and “assaulting” him online.

In an exposé in AprilTRR revealed that Paul Guay had allegedly molested his daughter, Wendy, when Guay was on staff at Grace Community Church (GCC) in the late 1970s. Though an eyewitness says Guay confessed his crime to MacArthur in 1979, Guay remained on staff at GCC until 1982.

Guay then went on to pastor several other churches, including Mabton Grace Brethren Church (GBC).

In 2003, Wendy Guay, and other Guay family members who claimed they were abused by Paul Guay, confronted Guay in front of GBC’s elders. Guay confessed his abuse, witnesses say….

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As charter turns 20, trust in bishops is slow to return, cardinal says

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Byzantine Archeparchy of Pittsburgh [Pittsburgh, PA]

June 20, 2022

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The nation’s Catholic bishops have made progress in regaining the trust of the laity since approving a groundbreaking document in response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis two decades ago, but for Washington Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory “the task is not complete.”

“We’ve gone through some rocky patches,” Cardinal Gregory told Catholic News Service in an interview ahead of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

“With every sordid revelation (of sexual abuse or improper response by a bishop), the task becomes more difficult, the climb becomes steeper,” said the cardinal, who was the bishop of Belleville, Illinois, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at the time.

He shepherded the bishops through the process of drafting and approving the charter during a historic general assembly in Dallas June 13-15, 2002, months after news of a devastating clergy abuse…

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Plug-In: Sexual-abuse reforms top Southern Baptist actions in dramatic annual meeting

NASHVILLE (TN)
Get Religion

June 20, 2022

By Bobby Ross, Jr.

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In terms of making history, 1979 was a highly consequential year for the direction of the Southern Baptist Convention.

So was 1985. And 2021, come to think of it. No doubt I’m missing other important years.

Where might 2022 rank? For the second year in a row, the high-profile annual meeting of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination produced major news.

Five key takeaways from this week’s proceedings in Anaheim, California:

1. Sex abuse reforms

In response to last month’s bombshell report on sexual abuse in the denomination, delegates “voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to create a way to track pastors and other church workers credibly accused of sex abuse and launch a new task force to oversee further reforms,” as The Associated Press’ Deepa Bharath and Peter Smith report.

See related coverage by the Houston Chronicle’s John Tedesco and Robert Downen, two of the…

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June 21, 2022

How Churches Can Do Better at responding to Sexual Abuse

NASHVILLE (TN)
New York Times

June 19, 2022

By Rachael Denhollander and Tish Harrison Warren

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In May, a third-party investigation into the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, concluded that some former members of its top leadership committee, along with outside counsel, “closely guarded information about abuse allegations and lawsuits” and “were singularly focused on avoiding liability.”

As a result, the report said, “survivors and others who reported abuse were ignored, disbelieved, or met with the constant refrain that the SBC could take no action” because of its organizational structure “even if it meant that convicted molesters continued in ministry.” The report also showed that hundreds of people associated with the denomination had been accused of abuse, and that a list containing their names had long been kept secret.

Rachael Denhollander is a lawyer and a former gymnast who was the first woman to publicly accuse Larry Nassar, the former doctor for U.S.A. Gymnastics, of sexual abuse….

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Three men sue Catholic Diocese of Portland over childhood sexual abuse

PORTLAND (ME)
The Portland Press Herald [Portland ME]

June 16, 2022

By Emily Allen

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[This is an updated version with a photo; an earlier version was in Abuse Tracker last week.]

In July 2021, the state removed a 34-year statute of limitations for civil claims of childhood sexual abuse.

Three men who say they were abused in the Catholic church as boys sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland this week, filing what appear to be the first civil lawsuits detailing childhood sexual abuse since the state removed a time limit for these claims last summer.

Maine first agreed to remove its statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse cases in 2000. But anyone who by then had already reached the 34-year time limit to file a complaint remained ineligible to do so. Changes to state law in July made it possible for “at least dozens” of Mainers with previously expired claims to seek legal action from their alleged perpetrators,” said Michael Bigos, one…

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Santa Barbara Franciscans Hit with New Sexual Assault Complaint

SANTA BARBARA (CA)
Santa Barbara Independent [Santa Barbara CA]

June 20, 2022

By Nick Welsh

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With the statute of limitations on such cases soon set to expire, a 40-year-old Santa Barbara County resident identified only as John Doe filed legal papers in court alleging he’d been sexually assaulted at the hands of the Franciscan Friars of California, the Old Mission Santa Barbara, the Roman Catholic Diocese, and the San Roque Catholic Church. 

Specifically, the complaint charges that Father Robert Van Handel and Monsignor Vincent McCabe sexually abused the plaintiff in 1989 when he was a 5th grader singing in the St. Anthony’s choir under the direction of Van Handel and serving as an altar boy at the San Roque parish under the guidance of Monsignor McCabe. According to the complaint, both Van Handel — criminally convicted for sexually abusing multiple members of the choir and sentenced to time behind bars — and McCabe, who died in 2015, three years before he would be named in…

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In Venezuela, priests convicted of abuse have returned to ministry

CARACAS (VENEZUELA)
Washington Post

June 21, 2022

By Ana Vanessa Herrero

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The 6-year-old walked to his church with exciting news to share. He had given the matter some thought, he told the Rev. Luis Alberto Mosquera, and he had decided he wanted to be an active Catholic.

“If you want to be an altar boy, you must pass a test,” the priest responded, according to the boy. Years later, the child’s testimony about that afternoon in the parish house would prove crucial: A court concluded that Mosquera had sexually abused him.

Mosquera was convicted in 2006 of sexual abuse against a child in and sentenced to more than seven years in prison. But he didn’t complete the sentence. His lawyers feared for his safety in prison and sought probation. In 2008, he was released and returned to the church in Lara state, where he is still a priest. A photo posted on his Facebook page in 2016 and reposted in 2017…

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June 20, 2022

Polski episkopat liderem. Ponad połowa spraw o tuszowanie pedofilii dotyczy naszych biskupów

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
OKO.press [Warsaw, Poland]

June 20, 2022

By Sebastian Klauziński

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Watykan nie podaje, ile spraw biskupów tuszujących przestępstwa seksualne bada. Jak jednak ustalił amerykański portal Bishop Accountability, aktualnie wiadomo o dwudziestu ośmiu takich postępowaniach na całym świecie. Szesnaście dotyczy polskich hierarchów

Największa liczba spraw dotyczących tuszowania przestępstw seksualnych dotyczy Polski. Watykan prowadził je wobec 16 z 209 czynnych lub emerytowanych biskupów w tym kraju – czytamy w artykule opublikowanym pod koniec maja na bishop-accountability (z ang. odpowiedzialność biskupa). To amerykański portal-archiwum, który gromadzi dane na temat pedofilii w Kościele.

Artykuł ukazał się z okazji trzeciej rocznicy wprowadzenia przez papieża Franciszka wytycznych „Vos estis lux mundi” („Wy jesteście światłością świata”). Przepisy te miały zapobiegać i zwalczać przestępstwa seksualne w Kościele oraz pomóc rozliczać hierarchów, którzy je tuszowali.

Na razie – jak wynika z danych bishop-accountability.org – nowe przepisy przydają się przede wszystkim w Polsce. Jednak mimo tego, że głowy polskich biskupów spadają, to nie tych najważniejszych.

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James and Tony can be counted among the many children abused by Catholic clergy at residential schools across Canada. They attended Kuper Island Residential School off the coast of British Columbia. (Submitted )

Victims of sexual abuse upset convicted clerics cared for in Catholic retirement home

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

June 20, 2022

By Julie Ireton

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[Photo above: James Charlie and Tony Charlie can be counted among the many children abused by Catholic clergy at residential schools across Canada. They attended Kuper Island Residential School off the coast of British Columbia. (Submitted)

Includes video interview with Leona Huggins.]

Questions emerge about the care and protection of aging clergymen convicted of sex crimes

When James and Tony Charlie first arrived at Kuper Island Residential School in British Columbia, they were given identification numbers that would be stitched into their clothes and put on lists for chore duties. 

“Sometimes it wasn’t even our names, it was just the number,” Tony said.

The brothers, born just 14 months apart, started attending the school in 1964 when Tony was 13 and James was 12. They’re now counted among the many children abused by Catholic clergy at residential schools across Canada. 

I have to live my life today with all those pains and all those memories,…

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Filings in sex-abuse suit against Bellevue Baptist Church reignite parents’ claim

MEMPHIS (TN)
Daily Memphian [Memphis TN]

June 16, 2022

By Ben Wheeler

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New court documents show that leaders of the Bellevue Baptist Church fired a paid volunteer coordinator accused of sexual abuse, and he did not resign as they previously stated, a move that has led to a motion to reopen a portion of the civil case.

The case, filed against the Southern Baptist Convention-member megachurch, was filed in 2020 and settled in part in early June, when Janet Doe, the victim of sexual assault by James Ashley Hook, 47, accepted a sealed settlement. While the victim was compensated in the suit, claims brought by her parents were dismissed.

Lawyers for the Does say a deposition by church officials backs the basis for the claims that the church had adequate knowledge of suspicious behavior of Hook, who was fired before he was arrested and did not resign as church officials have previously claimed.

The parents are asking for a motion to reconsider…

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Today’s priests and the sins of the fathers

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Daily News

June 7, 2022

By Fr. Alexander Santora

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An advertisement on a public bus reads “End clergy sex abuse now,” with an image of a silhouette of a priest in a Roman collar and a phone number for a lawyer.

It’s open season on priests, and there seems to be no end in sight. To date, more than $4 billion has been paid out in court verdicts or settlements to victims of clerical sex abuse in the United States. In April, the Diocese of Camden, N.J. agreed to settle claims for $87.5 million.

Priests and the Catholic Church are routinely fodder for comics. On the season finale of “Saturday Night Live,” Colin Jost, a Catholic, cited the story about nuns resorting to TikTok to boost vocations and said, “When the Catholic Church tries to connect with young people, it always goes well.” The audience groaned instead of laughing.

It is very difficult for…

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Archdiocese follows detailed process to respond to allegations of abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
Catholic Review - Archdiocese of Baltimore [Baltimore MD]

June 20, 2022

By Christopher Gunty

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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops established the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (and the accompanying Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons) in June 2002. This is one of a series of articles by the Catholic Review to mark the 20th anniversary of the Charter and its impact on safe environments within the church.

When the Archdiocese of Baltimore receives any allegation of child sexual abuse by clergy, employees or volunteers in the church, archdiocesan officials take very seriously the person who has come forward, according to Bishop Adam J. Parker, moderator of the curia and vicar general.

“That is where we begin. The investigation will try to examine every facet that we can possibly examine to get to the truth,” he said in April 2022.

In an interview with the Catholic Review, Bishop Parker,…

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June 19, 2022

After ‘Hookup’ Scandal and ‘Extended Leave,’ Msgr. Burrill Resumes Ministry

LA CROSSE (WI)
National Catholic Register - EWTN [Irondale AL]

June 17, 2022

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Bishop William Callahan of La Crosse, Wisconsin, announced June 14 that he appointed Msgr. Burrill to serve as the parochial administrator of St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish in West Salem.

Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill has returned to active ministry as a priest in his home diocese, after he resigned last year from his post with the U.S. bishops ahead of reports alleging inappropriate behavior, including his use of an LGBTQ dating and “hookup” app.

Bishop William Callahan of La Crosse, Wisconsin, announced June 14 that he appointed Msgr. Burrill to serve as the parochial administrator of St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish in West Salem. In a statement to parishioners, Bishop Callahan addressed Msgr. Burrill’s new position following an “extended leave.”

“During his leave from active ministry, Monsignor Burrill engaged in a sincere and prayerful effort to strengthen his priestly vows and has favorably responded to every request…

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Southern Baptists change direction on sexual abuse after years of delay

ANAHEIM (CA)
Religion News Service - Missouri School of Journalism [Columbia MO]

June 17, 2022

By Bob Smietana

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The recently concluded SBC meeting swung between worship and bickering as more than 10,000 Southern Baptists gathered in California to address sexual abuse.

In the summer of 2008, Morris Chapman stood before a gathering of thousands of Southern Baptists in Indianapolis for their annual meeting and denounced the evil of sexual abuse.

Then, Chapman, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee at the time, told his fellow Baptists the SBC would not set up a database to track abusive pastors — citing local church autonomy.

Fourteen years later, Chapman raised his hand with a yellow ballot in it on Tuesday afternoon (June 14), joining a host of other Southern Baptists meeting in Anaheim to approve a series of reforms to address sexual abuse in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination — including the creation of a website that will track abusive pastors and church workers. 

The “Ministry Check” site would…

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Churches have been ‘hunting ground’ for predators, new SBC president says

ANAHEIM (CA)
Kentucky Today [Louisville KY]

June 17, 2022

By Robin Cornetet

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SBC President Bart Barber put sexual predators on notice that Southern Baptist churches will no longer be places to hide.

At a press conference Wednesday, Barber said his first priority as the newly elected 47th president of the Southern Baptist Convention will be assembling a knowledgeable team of individuals to serve on an Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force (ARITF), a move approved by messengers Tuesday June 14 in response to recommendations from the Sexual Abuse Task Force established by messengers at the 2021 meeting.

“Sexual predators have used our decentralized polity to try to turn our churches into a hunting ground,” Barber said. “In some cases, mov[ing] from church to church, from scandal to scandal, manipulating our system to hide from accountability and pick off the sheep one by one.

“And yet, our decentralized polity can become, rather than a hunting ground in which predators brutalize their prey, a place where…

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Catholic church uses paedophile priest’s death as shield against new allegations in NSW

(AUSTRALIA)
The Guardian [London, England]

June 17, 2022

By Christopher Knaus

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Lismore diocese wins halt on civil case after arguing woman had never complained before Clarence Anderson died in 1996

The Catholic church has used the death of a known paedophile priest to shield itself from being sued over new complaints of child sexual abuse.

Earlier this month, the Lismore diocese won its argument for a permanent stay of civil proceedings brought by a woman who was 14 years old when she was allegedly sexually assaulted by Father Clarence Anderson in 1968 inside her family home.

The woman, referred to as GLJ, brought the claim against the church in the New South Wales supreme court, alleging it was liable for an attack she described as opportunistic, violent, invasive and highly traumatic.

She alleged that the diocese was negligent and breached the duty of care it owed to her, because it knew or ought to have known that Anderson had…

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How Churches Can Do Better at Responding to Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

June 19, 2022

By Tish Harrison Warren

Read original article

In May, a third-party investigation into the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, concluded that some former members of its top leadership committee, along with outside counsel, “closely guarded information about abuse allegations and lawsuits” and “were singularly focused on avoiding liability.”

As a result, the report said, “survivors and others who reported abuse were ignored, disbelieved, or met with the constant refrain that the SBC could take no action” because of its organizational structure “even if it meant that convicted molesters continued in ministry.” The report also showed that hundreds of people associated with the denomination had been accused of abuse, and that a list containing their names had long been kept secret.

Rachael Denhollander is a lawyer and a former gymnast who was the first woman to publicly accuse Larry Nassar, the former doctor for U.S.A. Gymnastics, of sexual abuse….

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Former RI Priest Strips Worcester’s Nativity School’s Catholic Ties Over Gay Pride, BLM Flags

PROVIDENCE (RI)
GoLocalProv [Providence RI]

June 17, 2022

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A former Rhode Island priest — who is now the Bishop of the Diocese of Worcester in Massachusetts — has stripped the Nativity School’s Catholic designation, over the Worcester school flying Pride and BLM flags. 

A formal decree announcing the Bishop’s decision was published in the Catholic Free Press on Thursday, June 16 — and Nativity had the following to say. 

“Nativity will seek to appeal the decision of the Diocese to remove our Catholic identity through the appropriate channels provided by the Church in circumstances like this,” wrote Nativity. “At the same time, after meaningful deliberation and discernment by its Board, leadership team, faculty, and partners, Nativity will continue to display the flags in question to give visible witness to the school’s solidarity with our students, families, and their communities. Commitment to our mission, grounded and animated by Gospel values, Catholic Social Teaching, and our Jesuit heritage compels us…

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The Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Reform Movement Marches On!

BATON ROUGE (LA)
Adam Horowitz Law [Fort Lauderdale, FL]

June 18, 2022

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It’s official. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has signed House Bill 492, removing the statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims. It’s now the law of the land in Louisiana.

This means that those who were sexually victimized as children in that state – at any time, by anyone, can take an important step to help the wounded heal and help the vulnerable be safer, as they can now file a civil lawsuit. As defendants, they can also name both wrongdoers who perpetrate the abuse AND wrongdoers who enabled it; those who commit AND or concealed these awful crimes.

But that’s only part of the good news regarding archaic, arbitrary, and predator-friendly statute of limitations these days. More and more, our society and courts are expanding victims’ rights to expose predators and win compensation. Read on!

New York City has just enacted a civil…

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Intentional or not, Pope offers valuable conclave tip on abuse baggage

ROME (ITALY)
Crux [Denver CO]

June 19, 2022

By John L. Allen, Jr.

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Even before Pope Francis stages his latest consistory on Aug. 27, inducting 20 new members into the Catholic Church’s most exclusive club, the event has managed to make news – in this case, not so much for the new cardinals who’ll be there, but the one erstwhile cardinal-designate who won’t.

This past Thursday, the bishops’ conference of Belgium announced that the 80-year-old former Bishop of Ghent, Lucas Van Looy, had obtained permission from Pope Francis to refuse his appointment as a cardinal, which the pontiff had announced during his traditional Sunday Regina Caeli address on May 29.

The reason for the withdrawal is that Van Looy’s record on the clerical abuse scandals has come under fire, and, inevitably, making him a cardinal therefore would be seen as insensitive and offensive to abuse survivors.

There are a handful of unanswered questions about the story, but the biggest take-away is this: Whether…

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Belgian bishop declines cardinal honor over abuse record

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press [New York NY]

June 17, 2022

By Nicole Winfield

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[Note from BA: This is an updated version of an article previously on Tracker.]

One of Pope Francis’ proposed new cardinals, the retired bishop of Ghent, Belgium, has bowed out of accepting the honor over his own insufficient response to cases of clergy sexual abuse, the Belgian bishops’ conference said.

Ghent Bishop Luc Van Looy’s decision highlights the Belgian church’s wretched record in protecting children from predator priests. He asked Francis for permission to decline the honor of becoming a cardinal in order “to not harm victims again,” and Francis accepted the request, the bishops said in a statement.

In May, Francis named Van Looy as one of 21 prelates who would become a new “prince of the church” during an Aug. 27 ceremony. At age 80, Van Looy is too old to participate in a future conclave to elect the next pope, but he was one of five men…

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Defrocked Chilean priest gets 30 years for abusing minors

(CHILE)
Barron's [New York NY]

June 18, 2022

By Agence France-Presse

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A defrocked priest who once held senior positions in the Catholic Church in Chile was sentenced to 15 years in prison Saturday for raping and otherwise sexually abusing minors for more than a decade.

The sentence against Oscar Munoz, 60, was handed down by a criminal court in the capital Santiago.

Munoz was a well-known clergyman who held senior positions under the archbishop of Santiago and as recently as 2018 under Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati.

The latter is accused of covering up many cases of sexual abuse of minors within the church in Chile.

Munoz is accused of raping or abusing at least five minors. Two other alleged victims are still being evaluated.

Munoz has been in preventive prison since 2018 as he awaited sentencing.

His alleged crimes span from 2002 to 2018.

Prosecutors had asked for a 30 year sentence for him.

Pope Francis expelled Munoz from the church in…

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June 18, 2022

Münster bishop refuses to quit after sexual abuse report

MüNSTER (GERMANY)
Deutsche Welle [Bonn, Germany]

June 17, 2022

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The Catholic bishop of the western German city of Münster says he won’t resign in light of a report that criticizes the way he dealt with sexual abuse. Felix Genn admitted mistakes but said he did not cover up anything.

Bishop of Münster Felix Genn on Friday said he would not resign after a report that claimed he was too lax in dealing with priests who had committed abuse.

While he admitted mistakes in dealing with the cases, Genn said he had not put the interests of the institution ahead of concern for the victims by covering up cases of sexual abuse. However, he did blame his predecessors for more “serious mistakes,” saying that they had done so.

What the bishop said

“I myself should have acted differently in some situations,” said Genn, while insisting he had not kept the abuse a secret.

“I would therefore like to use my remaining…

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Manitoba priest charged in connection to historical sexual abuse at Indian Residential School

(CANADA)
CJMK Cool FM 98 [Saskatoon, CA]

June 17, 2022

By Vanese M. Ferguson

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RCMP in Manitoba have arrested a retired, 92-year-old priest, and charged him with Indecent Assault which allegedly occurred at a residential school in the province.

The allegations of sexual abuse were reported in 2010 and a criminal investigation was launched in 2011. Yesterday, on June 16, Father Arthur Masse was arrested at his home in Winnipeg and charged in connection to the offence which occurred between 1968 and 1970 when the woman was 10 years old and a student at the Fort Alexander Residential School.

More than 80 RCMP investigators conducted archival research and spoke to or interacted with more than 700 people across North America throughout the investigation in an effort to locate any possible victims or witnesses. In total, 75 witness and victim statements were obtained by police.

Manitoba RCMP say an important part of the investigative process was to ensure any potential victims were given time to…

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Maine diocese sued for 1st time since abuse suit barrier end

PORTLAND (ME)
Religion News Service - Missouri School of Journalism [Columbia MO]

June 17, 2022

By Patrick Whittle

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The first lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland since Maine took away a limitation on claims of child sexual abuse were filed on Thursday.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed a law last year that allowed victims to bring civil lawsuits about older abuse cases. Abuse survivors previously could not bring lawsuits if they experienced the abuse prior to the late 1980s.

Attorneys who represent three people with claims of childhood sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and a lay educator filed the complaints seeking monetary damages. The claims state that the abuse took place over decades starting in the early 1960s.

Two of the claimants requested not to be identified, but one, Robert Dupuis, said in a statement that he hopes the lawsuits will encourage victims to come forward. His attorney, Michael Bigos of Portland, said more lawsuits would follow.

“The lawsuit gives me the opportunity to come forward…

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Canada: Mounties arrest priest for assault at school

WINNIPEG (CANADA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

June 16, 2022

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Canadian police said they arrested a 92-year-old retired priest for a sexual assault more than 50 years ago at one of Canada’s residential schools for Indigenous children.

Royal Mounted Police Sgt. Paul Manaigre said Friday that police arrested retired Father Arthur Masse for the assault more than 50 years ago. Manaigre said the victim was 10 years old at the time and it happened between 1968 and 1970 at Ford Alexander residential school in Manitoba.

Manaigre said there is no time limit to report a sexual assault. Masse has been released on conditions and is due to be in court next month.

From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 First Nations children were required to attend state-funded Christian schools as part of a program to assimilate them into Canadian society. They were forced to convert to Christianity and not allowed to speak their Indigenous languages. Many were…

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Vatican cardinal: Subordination of women to men is ‘fruit of sin’

ROME (ITALY)
Crux [Denver CO]

June 15, 2022

By Inés San Martín

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“The subordination of women to men is the fruit of sin,” a top Vatican cardinal said on Tuesday.

“How much damage we have done, as men, by endorsing a status of superiority,” said Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who heads the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. “There is no complete image of what is human when only the masculine is considered predominant and the only thing relevant. For centuries, we have suffocated the feminine peculiarity.”

The prelate was addressing the World Observatory for Women, promoted by the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations (UMOFC).

The results of the Observatory’s first report looking into women in Latin America and the Caribbean, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected them, were presented at the gathering.

Ouellet said he hopes that the Observatory will introduce “in its observing the light of faith. Faith is a method of knowledge…

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‘STILL … A LONG WAY TO GO’

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Evangelist [Diocese of Albany NY]

June 17, 2022

By Dennis Sadowski

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The nation’s Catholic bishops have made progress in regaining the trust of the laity since approving a groundbreaking document in response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis two decades ago, but for Washington Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory “the task is not complete.”

“We’ve gone through some rocky patches,” Cardinal Gregory told Catholic News Service in an interview ahead of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

“With every sordid revelation (of sexual abuse or improper response by a bishop), the task becomes more difficult, the climb becomes steeper,” said the cardinal, who was the bishop of Belleville, Ill., and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at the time.

He shepherded the bishops through the process of drafting and approving the charter during a historic general assembly in Dallas on June 13-15, 2002, months after news of a devastating clergy abuse scandal emerged in the…

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Indian-origin ‘guru’ loses legal fight to strike out sexual assault allegations case in UK

LONDON (UNITED KINGDOM)
India Today [Uttar Pradesh, India]

June 17, 2022

By Press Trust of India

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An Indian-origin “guru” lost a sexual allegation case against him in the London High Court on Friday.

An Indian-origin “guru”, who presented himself as a head priest of a religious organisation or society in England, has lost a legal battle in the High Court in London to strike out a case worth millions of pounds in damages claimed by former “devotees” over sexual assault and psychological domination allegations.

Rajinder Kalia, 65, was the guru of a registered charity society in Coventry since 1986 and is said to have portrayed himself as something more than a priest-like figure, claiming to be divine with a direct link and ability to speak with God, or manifestations of God allegations he denies.

Seven claimants in the court case alleged that Kalia for many years from 1987 onwards used sermons and teachings, as well as the purported performance of “miracles” to unduly influence their actions.

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June 17, 2022

Nativity School of Worcester now prohibited from calling itself a Catholic school

WORCESTER (MA)
Boston Globe

June 15, 2022

By Yvonne Abraham

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Citing the school’s refusal to take down Pride and Black Lives Matter flags, Bishop Robert J. McManus brought the hammer down this week.

It’s official.

Because it flies the Black Lives Matter and Pride flags, Nativity School of Worcester can no longer call itself Catholic.

Bishop Robert J. McManus brought the hammer down on the middle school this week, after school officials rejected his demand that the flags — which had flown outside Nativity for more than a year before the bishop objected — be taken down.

“The flying of these flags in front of a Catholic school sends a mixed, confusing and scandalous message to the public about the Church’s stance on these important moral and social issues,” McManus wrote.

Effective immediately, he wrote, Nativity is prohibited from identifying itself as a Catholic school. Mass and sacraments are no longer permitted on school premises, or in any building…

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Woman calls for clergy misconduct law after assault allegation

STEUBENVILLE (OH)
The Pillar [Washington DC]

June 16, 2022

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A woman who says she was sexually assaulted by a priest is calling for the passage of a state law that would make it a crime for pastoral ministers to have sexual contact with spiritual directees and others to whom they provide “pastoral counseling.”

If passed, the New York state bill would ensure pastoral ministers are not able to use their knowledge, trust, and authority to manipulate or abuse their congregants, Dakota Bateman told The Pillar

The role of a spiritual director is “similar to the role of a therapist,” Bateman explained, suggesting that religious ministers and psychologists or counselors should be treated similarly in law.

“If you are going to somebody and they know everything about you, they have the upper hand and they’re put in this position of trust…it becomes so easy for that to be [abused]. It’s not necessarily an equal relationship — In my case, he knew…

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Rome’s foremost anti-abuse institute tackles abuse of adults

ROME (ITALY)
Crux [Denver CO]

June 17, 2022

By Inés San Martín

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One of the Church’s foremost anti-abuse institution, part of Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, announced last October plans to expand its mandate to include the sexual and spiritual abuse of adults.

As of this week, the flagship institute has new offices on the fourth floor of Rome’s Villa Malta, famous for being the home of the Jesuit magazine Civilta Cattolica.

German Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, one of Pope Francis’s top advisers on abuse, welcomed a handful of journalists – including Crux – to the new headquarters of what is now the Institute of Anthropology, Interdisciplinary Studies on Human Dignity and Care, or IADC, to talk about both the mission and the vision for what will become the Catholic Church’s go-to agency on abuse prevention.

“Our task is an academic one,” Zollner said. “We need to make sure that we understand what brought about the abuse crisis in the church and beyond, and what were the…

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Belgian bishop declines cardinal honor over abuse record

ROME (ITALY)
Associated Press [New York NY]

June 17, 2022

By Nicole Winfield

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One of Pope Francis’ proposed new cardinals, the retired bishop of Ghent, Belgium, has bowed out of accepting the honor over his insufficient response to cases of clergy sexual abuse, the Belgian bishops conference said.

Ghent Bishop Luc Van Looy had asked Francis for permission to decline the honor in order “to not harm victims again,” and Francis accepted the request, the bishops said in a statement.

Francis had named Van Looy as one of 21 prelates to become a new “prince of the church” during a consistory Aug. 27. At 80, Van Looy is too old to participate in a future conclave to elect the next pope, but he was one of five men named as cardinals in recognition of their lifetime of service to the church.

Van Looy, a priest of the Salesian religious order, had been bishop of the northwest Belgian diocese from 2004-2020.

The Belgian bishops…

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As Dallas charter on protecting young people turns 20, trust in bishops is slow to return, Cardinal Gregory says

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic Standard [Archdiocese of Washington DC]

June 16, 2022

By Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service

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The nation’s Catholic bishops have made progress in regaining the trust of the laity since approving a groundbreaking document in response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis two decades ago, but for Washington Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory “the task is not complete.”

“We’ve gone through some rocky patches,” Cardinal Gregory told Catholic News Service in an interview ahead of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

“With every sordid revelation (of sexual abuse or improper response by a bishop), the task becomes more difficult, the climb becomes steeper,” said the cardinal, who was the bishop of Belleville, Illinois, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at the time.

He shepherded the bishops through the process of drafting and approving the charter during a historic general assembly in Dallas June 13-15, 2002, months after news of a devastating clergy abuse…

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High-ranking priest put on leave for allegedly using dating app Grindr reassigned to Wisconsin parish

LA CROSSE (WI)
America [New York NY]

June 16, 2022

By Michael J. O'Loughlin

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A former high-ranking official at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who resigned following allegations that he logged onto a dating app has a new assignment.

Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill will serve as administrator of St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish in West Salem, Wisc., Bishop William Callahan announced in a statement.

“Monsignor Burrill has recently come off an extended leave from active ministry,” the statement reads. “During his leave from active ministry, Monsignor Burrill engaged in a sincere and prayerful effort to strengthen his priestly vows and has favorably responded to every request made by me and by the Diocese.”

Last July, Monsignor Burrill resigned unexpectedly from his position as general secretary of the U.S.C.C.B. because of pending media reports about “inappropriate behavior.” He was elected to the position in November 2020. Shortly after, the Catholic website The Pillar published a story that claimed to have data showing Monsignor Burill had logged…

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New sexual abuse lawsuits filed against Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland

PORTLAND (ME)
WGME-TV, CBS affiliate [Portland ME]

June 16, 2022

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New sexual abuse lawsuits filed against Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland

New sexual abuse lawsuits have been filed against the Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland, claiming the diocese knew of the abuse but did nothing about it.

The three men filing suit against the Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland say they were groomed and sexually abused as children by clergy members or others associated with the diocese in Maine.

“The survivors coming forward this week have lived with the effects of their abuse for decades,” Attorney Mike Bigos said.

Bigos says when his clients were boys, attending Catholic churches with their families in Biddeford, Westbrook and Old Town, priests sexually abused them.

One even says he was abused by two priests and a lay educator.

“We believe and we expect to prove that the Maine Diocese knew about abuse in the Catholic Church generally, and in Maine, after 1922,” Bigos…

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Belgian bishop asks pope to withdraw cardinal appointment

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

June 16, 2022

By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

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Saying he did not want to add to the suffering of survivors of clerical sexual abuse who criticized his appointment as a cardinal, retired Bishop Lucas Van Looy of Ghent, Belgium, asked Pope Francis to withdraw his nomination, and the pope agreed.

The Belgian bishops’ conference issued a statement June 16 announcing the decision and thanking Van Looy for making the request.

Francis’ announcement May 29 that BVan Looy would be among the 21 cardinals he intended to create Aug. 27, the statement said, “provoked many positive reactions, but also criticism that (Van Looy) had not always reacted vigorously enough as bishop of Ghent” when presented with allegations of clerical sexual abuse and other forms of abuse in the church.

“To prevent victims of such abuses from being hurt again as a result of his cardinalate, Bishop Van Looy asked the pope to dispense with the acceptance of this appointment. Pope Francis accepted his request,” the bishops said.

“Cardinal…

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June 16, 2022

Older civil complaints filed against Portland Catholic Church for childhood sexual abuse

PORTLAND (ME)
The Portland Press Herald [Portland ME]

June 16, 2022

By Emily Allen

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In July 2021, the state removed a 34-year statute of limitations for civil claims of childhood sexual abuse.

Three people who say they were abused in the Catholic church as children sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland Thursday in what appear to be the first civil lawsuits detailing sexual abuse to be filed since the state removed a time limit  for these claims last summer.

Maine first agreed to remove its statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse cases in 2000. However, anyone who had already reached the 34-year time limit to file a complaint before then was still deemed ineligible. Changes to state law in July made it possible for dozens of Mainers with previously expired claims to seek legal action from their alleged perpetrators.

Robert Dupuis, who shared his story in 2007, said he was abused on multiple occasions by priest John Curran in 1961, when Dupuis…

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Here’s how survivors of Canada’s residential schools want the Pope to apologize

CALGARY (CANADA)
Toronto Star [Toronto, Canada]

June 15, 2022

By Alex Boyd

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With Francis planning to visit First Nations communities in Canada, some survivors offered him a suggested apology on behalf of the Catholic Church.

How does one apologize for the unforgivable?

In case Pope Francis has been wondering ahead of his visit to a handful of First Nations communities in Canada, during which he is expected to personally atone for abuses inflicted at residential schools, some survivors have offered him a written road map.

A suggested apology was released publicly Wednesday by the National Indian Residential School Circle of Survivors.

It is a succinct address that lays out the church’s complicity in the “grave harms” inflicted by the schools, commits the church to future action, including possible reparations, and asks for forgiveness.

Notably, it is written on behalf of the Catholic Church as a whole, a reflection both of criticisms that the Pope’s apology at the Vatican didn’t go far enough…

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Southern Baptists apologize to abuse survivors and urge criminalizing pastoral abuse

ANAHEIM (CA)
Religion News Service - Missouri School of Journalism [Columbia MO]

June 15, 2022

By Bob Smietana, Adelle M. Banks

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For the second day in a row, Southern Baptists meeting in Anaheim called for action to address the issue of sexual abuse after years of delay.

A day after approving a series of reforms meant to address sexual abuse in their denomination, Southern Baptists at their national meeting approved a resolution Wednesday (June 15) apologizing to abuse survivors and asking for forgiveness.

They also called on U.S. state legislatures to create laws that make pastoral sexual misconduct a specific crime and punish those who prey on church members.

Alabama pastor Griffin Gulledge told the more than 8,100 local church delegates, known as messengers, attending the afternoon session of the second day of the SBC’s annual meeting that many states have laws forbidding doctors to have sex with their patients or therapists with their clients.

“It should be illegal for pastors to prey upon their own congregations,” said Gulledge, who…

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Voice of the Faithful has expanded worldwide and now claims more than 30,000 members.

BALTIMORE (MD)
Catholic Review - Archdiocese of Baltimore [Baltimore MD]

June 16, 2022

By Christopher Gunty

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Lay group gives Baltimore Archdiocese high marks for accountability, transparency

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops established the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (and the accompanying Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons) in June 2002. This is one of a series of articles by the Catholic Review to mark the 20th anniversary of the Charter and its impact on safe environments within the church.

Although it was not the first time the media had reported on sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, when the Boston Globe reported extensively on the topic in 2002, it focused the attention of the U.S. bishops and many laypeople on the crisis.

When the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops met in Dallas in June 2002, the main agenda item was discussion and approval of the Charter for the Protection…

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Southern Baptists OK abuse measures; church favors pastor laws, apologizes to victims

ANAHEIM (CA)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette [Little Rock AR]

June 16, 2022

By Frank E. Lockwood

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Attendees at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting passed a resolution Wednesday encouraging state lawmakers to make it a crime for pastors to sexually abuse their parishioners.

The Baptists also passed a resolution publicly apologizing to survivors of sexual abuse and another urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court opinion classifying abortion as a constitutional right.

An attempt to abolish the agency that lobbies on behalf of Southern Baptists in Washington failed.

The resolutions addressing sex abuse were adopted one day after the convention overwhelmingly approved recommendations made by the denomination’s sexual abuse task force, which called for creation of a database containing the names of church leaders and volunteers who have credibly been accused of sexual abuse.

Noting that many states and their licensing boards already prohibit sexual relationships between clients and their doctors, psychiatrists or attorneys, the Baptists called on “lawmakers…

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Boy Scouts sex abuse documentary is a portrait of shocking complacency

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

June 16, 2022

By Inkoo Kang

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Hulu’s poignant and damning ‘Leave No Trace’ profiles some of the 80,000-plus men who have come forward as survivors

When John Humphrey was 13, his hair fell out. “I’ve been bald ever since,” says the 60-something businessman in the new Hulu documentary “Leave No Trace,” about the Boy Scouts’ sex abuse crisis. He tilts toward the camera an old school photo in which his broad smile and friendly eyebrows soften his bare head.

It wasn’t until just a few years ago, Humphrey says, that he realized his hair loss at such a young age could be related to the three years he was abused by his scoutmaster. Of the approximately 200 instances of sexual assault he estimates he suffered, he didn’t say a word for half a century. And then he learned about the staggering scope of child abuse within the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

Negotiations are underway to…

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Germany: Study uncovers widespread sexual abuse in Münster diocese

MüNSTER (GERMANY)
Deutsche Welle [Bonn, Germany]

June 14, 2022

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A university study found at least 610 underage victims were abused by clergy in the western German diocese. With many cases going unreported, researchers estimate the actual number of victims could be 10 times as high.

The bishops who oversaw the Münster diocese for decades were accused of a ‘massive leadership failure’ and covering-up abusive priests

The scope of sexual abuse within the Catholic diocese of Münster is much wider than previously thought, a new study revealed on Monday.

It’s the latest in a string of reports detailing failings within the Catholic Church in Germany to protect children from sexual abuse by clergy.

What did the study find?

The two-year study was carried out by researchers at the University of Münster, and was set up on the initiative of the Münster diocese. It examined sexual abuse that took place in the diocese between 1945…

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Pope cracks down on new Catholic religious start-ups

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

June 15, 2022

By Nicole Winfield

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Pope Francis has taken another step to reign in new religious groups in the Catholic Church after their unregulated proliferation in recent decades led to abuses in governance that allowed spiritual and sexual misconduct to go unchecked.

Francis issued a new decree published Wednesday that requires prior Vatican approval for bishops to erect new associations of the faithful, often the first step in the creation of a new apostolic society or institute of consecrate life.

The decree follows a similar one issued in 2020 that required prior Vatican approval for d iocesan-level religious orders, suggesting the Vatican was now cracking down even further to better regulate the origins of these new forms of religious life and take the decisions about them out of the hands of local bishops.

Francis has taken a series of disciplinary and regulatory actions in recent years after some founders and leaders of religious orders…

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Residential school survivors call on Pope to acknowledge unmarked graves

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

June 15, 2022

By Olivia Stefanovich

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Suggested apology submitted to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops for the Vatican’s consideration

A group of First Nations residential school survivors is urging Pope Francis to acknowledge that many students forced to attend the institutions were buried in unmarked graves — and their parents were never told or permitted to bring their children home for burial.

The newly revived National Indian Residential School Circle of Survivors submitted the request on Wednesday to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) for consideration.

It also asked the 85-year-old pontiff to acknowledge that the church failed to report abusers to the authorities and, in some cases, simply transferred them to other schools.

The demands are part of a draft apology the survivors say they want to hear Pope Francis deliver in Canada. Last month, the Vatican said the Pope would visit Canada July 24-30, making stops in Edmonton, Québec and Iqaluit.

“There’s a lot of denial happening…

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“He did it too!” is an Excuse for Children, not Bishops and Priests.

WASHINGTON (DC)
Patheos [Englewood CO]

June 15, 2022

By Rebecca Hamilton

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Clergy sex abuse is a big topic, spanning generations of baby-raping clergy and their innocent child victims. 

I’m going to write about it in small doses because there’s too much to say to try to put it in one blog post.  

I want to begin with a small discussion of one of the most common arguments that the bishops and their priests have tried to use as an excuse for the Church’s corrupt, amoral and predatory behavior. 

“We aren’t the only ones doing this,” they have told us repeatedly, “other denominations do it too, and, in fact, most sexual abuse of children happens in families.” 

These men, who are supposed to be trained in moral theology, say this as if they honestly think it makes what they’ve done OK. They are attempting to excuse an organized, world-wide, generational, institutional cover-up and enabling of child rape by trusted clerics with the…

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Southern Baptists Elect New Leader Amid Deepening Divisions

ANAHEIM (CA)
New York Times

June 14, 2022

By Ruth Graham and Elizabeth Dias

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The nation’s largest Protestant denomination, a bellwether for conservative Christianity, chose a rural Texas pastor and approved actions to address its sex abuse crisis.

Minutes before thousands of Southern Baptists voted for their next president, the most famous man in the room made a surprise appearance at a microphone on the convention floor.

For years Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California, was a hero for Southern Baptists. He built what became the denomination’s largest church, trained 1.1 million pastors around the world and wrote one of history’s best-selling books, “The Purpose Driven Life.”

But on Tuesday, as infighting over weighty topics like politics and sexual abuse consumed the country’s largest Protestant denomination, Mr. Warren came to the convention he once personified to offer what sounded like a lover’s goodbye.

He is on the brink of retirement, and the denomination has been drifting from the compassionate conservatism and…

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June 15, 2022

Southern Baptists vote on sex abuse proposals, debate female pastors

ANAHEIM (CA)
Washington Post

June 14, 2022

By Michelle Boorstein and Sarah Pulliam Bailey

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More than 8,000 members of the Southern Baptist Convention met in Anaheim, Calif., on Tuesday and responded to the shocking findings of an independent investigation into the handling of sex abuse cases by passing a recommendation to create a database to track sex abusers and a formal group to handle sex abuse accusations going forward. Members of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination also elected rural Texas pastor Bart Barber the next president of the convention.

In May, Southern Baptist leaders published a report detailing a years-long coverup of sex abuse within their denomination. For 15 years, the report alleged, leaders said they were not able to compile a database of sex abuse offenders — while they were secretly keeping a list of their own. The same week they released their report, they also released the list, which consisted of hundreds of names of alleged abusers, including many convicted…

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Break Up America’s Clergy Cartel

NEW YORK (NY)
Daily Beast [New York NY]

June 15, 2022

By Benjamin Spratt and Joshua Stanton

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We’re Reform rabbis who want more transparency for clergy contracts and fewer protectionist obstacles that keep good people from answering the call.

By 2034, the United States will face a shortage of between 38,000 to 124,000 physicians. The supply of doctors is tightly controlled by the number of medical school slots and medical residencies, both of which are set by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

This means that American physicians get to legally limit their competition and thereby artificially inflate their compensation. While one would not want to get operated on by an unaccredited surgeon, the downsides of such monopsony power are evident in the high and rising costs of medical care.

But doctors are not alone in enjoying power over their own supply of talent. Clergy do, as well.

However, unlike the medical accreditation system, clergy associations have done a poor job of ensuring ethical conduct and competence. Over…

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SOS petitions Pope against reinstating Bishop Mulakkal

KOCHI (INDIA)
Matters India [New Delhi, IN]

June 14, 2022

By Matters India reporter

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An organization formed to support Catholic nuns in distress, on June 14 petitioned Pope Francis against the alleged move to “reinstate” Bishop Franco Mulakkal as head of the diocese of Jalandhar.

The appeal from Save Our Sisters (SOS) claims that a trial court exonerating him in the case was not final and an appeal challenging it was pending before the Kerala High Court.

The Vatican on September 20, 2018, accepted Bishop Mulakkal’s request to relieve him from pastoral duties as a prelate of Jalandhar before he went to the southern Indian state of Kerala to face interrogation by the police.

The Vatican then appointed an apostolic administrator to manage the northern Indian diocese.

Bishop Mulakkal then faced a rape allegation from a Catholic nun.

The SOS termed as “shocking” the media reports that Bishop Mulakkal will resume pastoral duties. The organization said it has learnt from other sources that “the…

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Sophie High Dog: An Indian Boarding School Story

(SD)
Native News Online [Grand Rapids, MI]

June 13, 2022

By Jenna Kunze

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Sophie High Dog was the age of a kindergartener when she was taken by a missionary from the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota and placed in a notorious boarding school in Pennsylvania: Five years old. 

That was more than a century ago, and still Sophie hasn’t come home. The little girl was sent away from Carlisle Indian Industrial School in 1895 by Captain Richard Henry Pratt— the school’s superintendent and the speaker behind the “Kill the Indian, Save the Man” slogan—when she began showing signs of illness “that presaged an early death,” according to a 1900 newspaper article.

She was brought to a home that was run by the Episcopal Church in Saratoga Springs, New York, where her health improved and she lived for another several years before she died of an unknown sickness. Letters she wrote to the missionary who took her, Miss Meade, were regularly published in the local…

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A reckoning on Native boarding schools is long overdue

CARLISLE (PA)
Religion News Service - Missouri School of Journalism [Columbia MO]

June 13, 2022

By Bridget Moix

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The more we learn, the more we see gaping holes between our country’s traditional narrative and the realities of how our nation was built and who paid the costs.

Like many white Americans, I grew up learning a relatively neat and sanitized version of our country’s past. The depictions of history taught in my Ohio Catholic school emphasized our national triumphs, glossed over our shortcomings and depicted America as a chosen nation grounded in equality and freedom for all. 

But the more we learn, the more we see gaping holes between our country’s traditional narrative and the realities of how our nation was built and who paid the costs. As painful as it can be, we simply cannot create a more just nation without filling in those gaps with the complicated truth of our past.  

We were reminded of this in May, when the U.S. Department of the Interior released…

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Boy Scouts Doc Trailer ‘Leave No Trace’ Explores Alleged Century-Long Sexual Abuse Cover-Up (Exclusive)

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Hollywood Reporter [Los Angeles CA]

June 6, 2022

By Abbey White

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Directed by Oscar nominee Irene Taylor and executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, the documentary will stream on Hulu and release in New York and Los Angeles theaters June 16.

The first trailer for Leave No Trace offers a revealing look inside the alleged century-long cover-up by the Boy Scouts of America that resulted in over 82,000 men coming forward with allegations of sexual abuse.

Directed by Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Irene Taylor and presented by ABC News Studios, the Imagine Documentaries and Vermilion Films production traces the downfall of the BSA following the accusations that the organization — which had the support of American presidents, CEOs and community leaders and had maintained a significant cultural influence since its founding in 1910 — was aware of pedophiles in its ranks for generations.

It also explores how declining membership — the financial lifeblood of the Boy Scouts — is connected…

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Pope Francis told Bishop Bätzing: We don’t need two Evangelical churches in Germany

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Catholic World Report [San Francisco CA]

June 14, 2022

By CNA Staff

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Pope Francis said in an interview published on Tuesday that he told the leader of Germany’s Catholic bishops that the country already had “a very good Evangelical Church” and “we don’t need two.”

The pope recalled his remark to Bishop Georg Bätzing, chairman of the German bishops’ conference, during a conversation with the editors of Jesuit journals.

The dialogue, which also touched on the war in Ukraine and opposition to Vatican II, was published in La Civiltà Cattolica on June 14 but was conducted on May 19.

The pope was asked what he thought of the German “Synodal Way,” a controversial multi-year gathering of bishops and lay people to discuss four main areas: four main topics: the way power is exercised in the Church; the priesthood; the role of women; and sexual morality.

Participants have voted in favor of draft documents calling for the priestly ordination of women, same-sex blessings, and changes to Church…

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Former Shelby Township Priest Convicted For Sexual Abuse, Could Face More Than A Decade In Prison

(MI)
CBS Detroit [Detroit, MI]

June 14, 2022

By Sara Powers

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A former priest in Shelby Township is facing more than a decade in prison after being convicted of sexual abuse, Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Monday.

Neil Kalina, 66, was convicted of two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct by a jury in Macomb County Circuit Court on Friday afternoon.

The charges, in this case, are 15-year felonies.

According to officials, the jury was presented and dismissed a first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge.

Kalina’s sentencing will be July 26 before Judge Diane Druzinski.

He was first charged in May 2019, and arrested in Littlerock, California.

“This conviction marks the sixth one secured by my clergy abuse team,” Nessel said. “It’s also a reminder of our ongoing commitment to this investigation and the survivors in these cases. We will continue to fight for justice.”

Since the beginning of  Nessel’s Clergy Abuse Investigation, 11 people have been charged.

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USCCB plans to release more resources on abuse prevention, child protection

WASHINGTON (DC)
Crux [Denver CO]

June 14, 2022

By Catholic News Service

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The bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, invited Catholics June 13 “to pray for survivors of clergy sexual abuse, their families and all those who accompany survivors in the path toward healing, that they experience Christ’s profound love for them and God’s healing grace.”

As chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, Bishop James V. Johnston Jr. urged the prayers in a statement on the 20th anniversary of the USCCB’s “Dallas Charter” addressing “the sin of clergy sexual abuse.”

“It was two decades ago that the U.S. bishops gathered in Dallas to draft a comprehensive set of child protection standards that became the ‘Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,’ which each diocese and eparchy is now committed to following,” Bishop Johnston said.

“Since the implementation of the charter, the USCCB has been a resource for the creation…

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Southern Baptists agree to keep list of accused sex abusers

ANAHEIM (CA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

June 14, 2022

By Deepa Bharath and Peter Smith

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The Southern Baptist Convention voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to create a way to track pastors and other church workers credibly accused of sex abuse and launch a new task force to oversee further reforms in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

The vote came three weeks after the release of a blockbuster report by an outside consultant on the long-simmering scandal, revealing that Southern Baptist leaders mishandled abuse cases and stonewalled victims for years.

Thousands of Southern Baptists are here in Anaheim for their big national meeting.

They elected a new SBC president, Texas pastor Bart Barber, who is a staunch proponent of Southern Baptists’ conservative views but who says he has a track record of dialogue with those who disagree.

He has called for an “army of peacemakers” amid bitter political battles in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

He defeated three other candidates and ultimately prevailed in a run-off vote at…

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Canadian megachurch discloses 38 reports of sexual misconduct by 4 pastors

OAKVILLE (CANADA)
Religion News Service - Missouri School of Journalism [Columbia MO]

June 13, 2022

By Yonat Shimron

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Bruxy Cavey isn’t the only pastor of The Meeting House to be charged with sexual misconduct. Four pastors at the church he once led have been accused — and two convicted — of sexual crimes.

One week after members of the Canadian megachurch The Meeting House saw their former pastor arrested and charged with sexual assault, their leadership revealed that not one but four of its former pastors have now been credibly accused — and two convicted — of sexual abuse.

At a church town hall-style meeting last week, The Meeting House overseers, as church elders are called, disclosed that a third-party victims’ advocate hired by the church in March heard 38 reports of sexual misconduct that had largely gone unreported to the congregation. Most happened years ago.

“We are deeply sorry for the abuse and harm that has occurred,” said Jennifer Hryniw, a member of the Board of Overseers during…

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The Church and Clergy Sexual Misconduct

ABBOTSFORD (CANADA)
When You Work for the Church [Abbotsford, BC]

June 14, 2022

By Rev. April Yamasaki

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If you’ve been following church news in Canada, you already know that the pastor of one of the country’s largest mega-churches was investigated for sexual misconduct and forced to resign from his church. More allegations have surfaced, and last week Bruxy Cavey was arrested and charged with sexual assault.

Allegations against Cavey were first reported to The Meeting House at the end of November. The Overseers Board responded by placing him on leave while they engaged an independent third-party investigation. In March, a Church Family Update reported on the investigation’s conclusion: that Bruxy had a sexual relationship with a woman for an extended period of time that  “constituted an abuse of Bruxy’s power and authority as a member of the clergy, and amounted to sexual harassment.” The Board was unanimous in asking for his resignation.

Even before the church’s official statement, teaching pastor Danielle Strickland…

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Saddleback remains with Southern Baptists despite ordaining women pastors after Rick Warren speech

ANAHEIM (CA)
AL.com [Birmingham, AL]

June 14, 2022

By Jeremy Gray

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The Southern Baptist Convention, holding its 2022 annual meeting in Anaheim, California, today explored the possibility of breaking ties with California’s Saddleback Church, according to news reports.

The denomination considered establishing a committee to study whether the SBC should break with Saddleback Church, which ordained three women as pastors, The Tennessean reported. “The SBC statement of beliefs says the “office of pastor” is reserved for men,” the report states.

Shad Tibbs, pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Trout, Louisiana, made the request, Religion News Service reported.

“They have ordained three ladies as pastors, and all other churches that would choose to follow this path. At the very least, I am asking that the validity of this matter be looked into,” Tibbs said, according to that report.

“Ultimately, the motion was withdrawn by the credentials committee that had recommended it,…

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Survivor speaks out after bombshell Southern Baptist abuse report: “Your children are not safe”

ANAHEIM (CA)
CBS News [New York NY]

June 14, 2022

By Nikki Battiste

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Delegates from the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, met Tuesday to choose new leaders and confront shocking allegations of sexual abuse. 

A recent 288-page report by independent firm Guidepost Solutions alleged that the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee was “stonewalling” survivors of sexual abuse. After the report, Southern Baptist leaders released a secret database listing accused pastors and church staff spanning decades. 

At Tuesday’s meeting, Pastor Rolland Slade, outgoing chair of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, responded to survivors: “We need to fix what we’ve done. We need to apologize. We need to be grateful for what the report has exposed so that we can correct it.” 

David Pittman, one of those survivors, told CBS News that the music minister at his Southern Baptist church in Georgia raped him repeatedly, beginning when he was 12 in the 1980s. 

“It started with sleepovers,”…

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June 14, 2022

£150k payout for victim abused by paedophile priest Fr Malachy Finnegan

BELFAST (UNITED KINGDOM)
News Letter [Belfast, Northern Ireland]

June 14, 2022

By Alan Irwin

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A man who was abused by a paedophile priest at a Co Down school is to receive £150,000 in damages.

The payout forms part of a settlement reached at the High Court in his claim for historic physical and sexual assaults inflicted by the late Fr Malachy Finnegan.

He is also to meet the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland to be given an apology in person, and have the costs of his ongoing counselling covered under the terms of the resolution.

Now aged in his late 50s, the man sued the board of governors at St Colman’s College in Newry and the Diocese of Dromore for alleged negligence and failures to protect him from Finnegan.

Father Malachy Finnegan taught and worked at St Colman’s College from 1967 to 1987. He was accused of a long campaign of child sexual abuse but never prosecuted or questioned by police

During…

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Southern Baptists who backed open abuse review win key roles

ANAHEIM (CA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

June 13, 2022

By Deepa Bharath and Peter Smith

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The newly elected leaders of a top Southern Baptist Convention committee had all supported a more transparent investigation into allegations the denomination mishandled sex abuse reports and mistreated survivors. They defeated candidates who had opposed that move.

Members of the Executive Committee picked Texas pastor Jared Wellman as chair, South Carolina pastor David Sons as vice chair and Pamela Reed, a retired nurse from North Carolina, as secretary during a meeting Monday in Anaheim.

All three winners supported waiving the top administrative body’s attorney-client privilege for the outside investigation by independent firm, Guidepost Solutions. Their challengers — Indiana pastor Andrew Hunt, Louisiana minister Philip Robertson and Missouri pastor Monte Shinkle — opposed it.

Last year, the Executive Committee was embroiled in a heated debate about the issue, disagreeing over whether to allow investigators access to memos between lawyers and committee staff members. Ultimately those who supported granting the access prevailed…

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‘Preserve the base’: Leaked audio of SBC leaders shows reluctance on dealing with sex abuse

NASHVILLE (TN)
Religion News Service - Missouri School of Journalism [Columbia MO]

June 10, 2022

By Bob Smietana and Adelle M. Banks

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Recordings released by a prominent pastor highlight dispute over how to handle abuse allegations in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

Newly released audio clips from a Southern Baptist whistleblower appear to corroborate accusations Southern Baptist Convention leaders were reluctant to take action against churches accused of mishandling abuse.

The audio contains a recording of Ronnie Floyd, president of the SBC’s Executive Committee, telling SBC leaders in an October 2019 meeting that he is concerned about preserving the base in the denomination — even if that leads to criticism from abuse survivors.

“As you think through strategy — and I am not concerned about anything survivors can say,” Floyd says in the recording, taken during a meeting to debrief the Caring Well Conference, held to address the handling of sexual abuse allegations within the SBC. “OK. I am not worried about that. I’m thinking the base. I just want to preserve…

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St. John’s basilica sold for more than $3-Million to pay survivors of church abuse

ST. JOHN'S (CANADA)
The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Canada]

June 14, 2022

By Sarah Smellie

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The bells at the historic basilica overlooking St. John’s rang out Tuesday after a committee intent on preserving the cathedral announced it was chosen as the building’s new owners.

The 167-year-old Basilica of St. John’s the Baptist was put up for sale along with two other church properties as part of bankruptcy proceedings undertaken by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s, as it scrambles to pay survivors of sexual and physical abuse at the former Mount Cashel Orphanage.

The cathedral was sold as part of a parcel of properties that included St. Bonaventure’s College – a Jesuit private school behind the cathedral – as well as the school’s indoor ice rink.

Rob Blackie, part of the committee behind the successful bid to buy the three buildings, said Tuesday he felt “relieved and euphoric and humbled.”

“It was an incredible turning point that we decided to approach it as a…

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Explosive report alleged sex abuse by SBC leader Johnny Hunt. His accuser still waits for justice.

ANAHEIM (CA)
Houston Chronicle [Houston TX]

June 13, 2022

By Robert Downen

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It took her a decade to find sufficient words to describe those few moments with the Southern Baptist Convention leader.

Johnny Hunt was 24 years the woman’s elder, a mentor and the recent president of the nation’s second-largest faith group. He’d been an advocate for her husband’s ministry. She saw him as a father figure.

In July 2010, while vacationing in Panama City Beach, Fla., Hunt invited himself into her short-term rental condo and sexually assaulted her while her husband was not there, the woman said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle. She remained quiet in the months after, still confused and intimidated by warnings that coming forward would harm Southern Baptist churches, she said.

The couple said Hunt then brought in the longtime counselor of his Atlanta-area megachurch, who believed Hunt’s claim that the woman consented to his advances — without first talking to her. The counselor focused on…

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Study finds German Catholic priests sexually abused over 600 victims

BERLIN (GERMANY)
CNN [Atlanta GA]

June 13, 2022

By Inke Kappeler and Lauren Said-Moorhous

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At least 610 children were documented as having been sexually abused by Catholic priests between 1945 and 2020 in the diocese of the west German city of Münster, according to a study released Monday.

The new report from the University of Münster found nearly 200 members of the clergy committed nearly 6,000 instances of abuse.

Researchers believe the true number of victims could be much higher — up to between 5,000 and 6,000 more victims — due to unreported cases, the report’s authors said at a press conference outlining their findings on Monday.

Münster’s Bishop Felix Genn, who was appointed to his position in 2008, received the university’s findings Monday and said he will make a public statement on Friday.

CNN has separately reached out to the Vatican for comment.

Historian Natalie Powroznik, who was involved in the study, accused the priests of an average of two individual…

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5,700 Acts Of Sexual Abuse Committed By German Catholic Priests: Report

BERLIN (GERMANY)
NDTV (New Delhi Television Ltd) [New Delhi, India]

June 13, 2022

By Agence France-Presse

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The diocese has official records on 610 abuse victims, according to the report by the University of Muenster — around a third more than indicated by a previous study from 2018.

At least 600 young people were documented as having been abused by Catholic priests in the German diocese of Muenster, but the actual number of victims could be 10 times higher, a report published Monday said.

The diocese has official records on 610 abuse victims, according to the report by the University of Muenster — around a third more than indicated by a previous study from 2018.

However, historian Natalie Powroznik, who was involved in the study, said the true number of victims could be much higher with “about 5,000 to 6,000 affected girls and boys” in the diocese.

At least 5,700 individual acts of sexual abuse had been committed by a total of 196 clergymen, including 183 priests,…

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The Catholic Church in Chile has lost all credibility

(CHILE)
La Croix International [France]

June 9, 2022

By Marguerite de Lasa

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Four years after all the bishops of Chile submitted their resignation to the pope, the Catholic Church in the country appears to be mired in a crisis it cannot overcome

When running an errand in the center of Santiago, the capital of Chile, Gina always stops at the Catholic cathedral.

The 67-year-old stays there for about 20 minutes, thanking the Lord for her health and entrusting her son who lives far away. She also prays every night at home.

But she has not been to Mass for the past ten years.

“After all that has happened, all the sexual abuse, we no longer trust. How can we go to Mass and confess before a priest?” she exclaims.

“In Chile, all the indicators of trust in the Church are down, except for popular piety,” says Eduardo Valenzuela, a sociologist of religion at the Pontifical University of Chile.

“What characterizes this piety…

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Hans Zollner: “Caring for victims is the heart of our ministry”

PARIS (FRANCE)
La Croix International [France]

June 9, 2022

By Vincent de Féligonde

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The German Jesuit who is one of the Catholic Church’s leading experts on sex abuse and its prevention gives major lecture in Paris at the invitation of the French bishop

“I’m going to scandalize you,” Father Hans Zollner warned an audience in Paris this week.

“‘The Church’ does not exist. It is not a monolithic block,” the German Jesuit said Tuesday during a major lecture in the French capital.

“On the contrary, in the same room, same parish and same diocese you have victims and abusers – responsible people and irresponsible people,” he continued.

Zollner, who is director of the Institute of Anthropology at the Gregorian University in Rome and a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, was invited by the French bishops to speak about the clergy sex abuse crisis.

He brought to a close a cycle of four conferences that the three Catholic universities…

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Rector of German Catholic seminary found dead

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

June 13, 2022

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The rector of a German Catholic seminary was found dead last week in an apparent suicide.

Father Christof May had been removed the day before from all his offices by Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg.

Bätzing, the current chairman of the German bishops’ conference, reportedly took the step due to allegations of abusive behavior.

May’s death was first communicated internally within the Diocese of Limburg on June 9. CNA Deutsch, the Catholic News Agency’s German-language news partner, obtained a copy of the email.

It said: “We are devastated and full of grief. Christof May was questioned yesterday in a personal conversation about allegations of abusive behavior. Subsequently, Bishop Georg Bätzing had removed him from all offices in order to be able to review and investigate the allegations.”

“The death of Christof May affects us all. We have lost a committed and much-appreciated pastor.”

On June 10, the Limburg…

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Southern Baptists to address report on sexual abuse cases during annual meeting this week

ANAHEIM (CA)
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette (nwaonline.com)[Fayetteville AR]

June 13, 2022

By Frank E. Lockwood

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Southern Baptists, facing falling membership and internal conflict, will elect a new convention president and debate changes aimed at better safeguarding churchgoers from sexual predators.

Ed Litton, an Alabama pastor who was elected to the post a year ago, opted not to seek reelection at this year’s annual meeting in Anaheim.

Bart Barber, a Lake City native and pastor of First Baptist Church in Farmersville, Texas, is one of the leading contenders to replace him, along with Tom Ascol, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Fla.

Robin Hadaway of California, who pastored in the southwestern United States before becoming a foreign missionary, has also agreed to be nominated.

All three candidates have expressed concerns about the way the nation’s largest Protestant denomination has addressed sexual abuse claims in the past.

A recent report, commissioned by denominational officials and created by Guidepost Solutions, criticized some of its leaders…

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