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.

November 27, 2021

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

EDINBURGH (UNITED KINGDOM)
The National [Scotland]

November 10, 2021

By UK News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Paris archbishop offers to resign over ‘ambiguous’ relations

PARIS (FRANCE)
Associated Press [New York NY]

November 26, 2021

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

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

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

Roman Catholic prelates take vows…

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November 26, 2021

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

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Sunday World [Dublin, Ireland]

November 26, 2021

By Paul Nielan

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

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

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

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

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

A trial jury found Harte, who…

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

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

November 26, 2021

By Stephen Wilkie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 25, 2021

By Rachael Brown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr Friscic’s lawyers say the settlement,…

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

NORWICH (CT)
The Day [New London CT]

November 25, 2021

By Joe Wojtas

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[Via Yahoo News.]

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

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

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

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Church offers to pay up to $34M

HAGåTñA (GUAM)
Guam Daily Post

November 26, 2021

By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

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Some 270 clergy sex abuse claims await payment

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

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

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

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

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

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November 25, 2021

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

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

November 24, 2021

By Audrey Cooney

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

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

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

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

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

There, Eldridge…

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Local View: Abuse probe too focused on Catholic priests

LINCOLN (NE)
Lincoln Journal Star [Lincoln NE]

November 25, 2021

By Matt Heffron

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

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

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

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

(NY)
Sunnyside Post [Long Island City NY]

November 22, 2021

By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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Being anti-Catholic is okay here in Ireland

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
IrishCentral [New York NY]

November 24, 2021

By Michael O'Dowd

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

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

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

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

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

BABYLON (NY)
KION [Salinas CA]

November 24, 2021

By Jennifer McLogan

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

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

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

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

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

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November 24, 2021

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

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

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

November 23, 2021

By Tyler Dumont

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

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

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

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

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

Eldridge said over the decades since,…

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Defrocked Cardinal McCarrick named in sex abuse lawsuit

NEWARK (NJ)
Associated Press [New York NY]

November 23, 2021

By David Porter

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

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

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

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

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Former priest files new sexual abuse lawsuit against Theodore McCarrick

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

November 23, 2021

By Kevin J. Jones

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 23, 2021

By Mike McDonnell

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

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

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

(NY)
Brooklyn Paper [Brooklyn NY]

November 23, 2021

By Ben Verde

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

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

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

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

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

(PHILIPPINES)
Preda Foundation

November 23, 2021

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

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

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

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

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Reuters [London, England]

November 19, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

OTTAWA (CANADA)
The Conversation [Waltham MA]

November 23, 2021

By Christopher Hrynkow

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

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

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

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

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

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Washington Post

November 23, 2021

By Jillian Cheney

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

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

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

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

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November 23, 2021

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

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

November 22, 2021

By Sylvia Goodman

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

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

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

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

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Philippine church leader charged with child sex trafficking

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

November 19, 2021

By Robert Jablon

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

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

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

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

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

STROUDSBURG (PA)
Pocono Record [Stroudsburg PA]

November 22, 2021

By Hannah Phillips

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Jeronimo Maisonet was a touchy man, the teenager said. 

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

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

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

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

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

BOSTON (MA)
Market Realist [New York NY]

November 22, 2021

By Dan Clarendon

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

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

A former cardinal was charged with sexual abuse in July 2021

In a complaint filed in…

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

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

November 22, 2021

By Casey Weldon

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

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

What You Need To Know

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

Krommer is often there…

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

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

November 22, 2021

By Rhina Guidos

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[Via National Catholic Reporter]

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

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

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

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

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

November 22, 2021

By David Agren

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[Via National Catholic Reporter]

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

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

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

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

(NY)
New York Daily News

November 22, 2021

By John Annese

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

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

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

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

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

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

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November 22, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Crux [Denver CO]

November 19, 2021

By John L. Allen Jr.

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

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

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

The trial pivots…

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At meeting, American bishops ignore real problems while debating minutiae

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

November 19, 2021

By Thomas Reese, S.J.

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

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

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

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

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November 21, 2021

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

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

November 18, 2021

By Brandy Beard and Andrew Barnett

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The lawsuit alleges abuse by Father Francis P. Gillespie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 18, 2021

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

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

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

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

November 20, 2021

By Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency

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

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

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

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

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

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

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Slate [New York NY]

November 19, 2021

By Sam Adams

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

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

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

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

November 21, 2021

By Leila Fadel

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[AUDIO]

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

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

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

November 17, 2021

By Alessia Simona Maratta

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

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

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

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

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

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Are priests guilty until proven innocent?

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Crisis Magazine [Manchester NH]

November 18, 2021

By Eric Sammons

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On October 30th, Fr. James Jackson, FSSP, a well-known traditional Catholic priest, was arrested on charges of possession of child pornography and erotica. Jackson, author of a popular book on the traditional Latin Mass titled Nothing Superfluous, was a pastor for years at a Colorado FSSP (Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter) parish before being transferred to Rhode Island this year, and has long been a well-regarded speaker among traditional Catholics.

On November 15th, Jackson entered “no plea”, which is neither a statement of guilt nor innocence, and is a procedural move to push his court date back to January. His lawyer said he would be making no public statement on Jackson’s behalf.

Sadly, lurid accusations of this nature against priests have been all too common over the past 20 years. And in many (most?) cases, the charges have proven to be true. Because of this, many Catholics, myself included, tend to take…

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November 20, 2021

Cologne Catholic church holds penance service on sex abuse

COLOGNE (GERMANY)
Associated Press [New York NY]

November 18, 2021

By Daniel Niemann and Kirsten Grieshaber

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Germany’s Roman Catholic archdiocese of Cologne held a service of penance Thursday for cases of sexual abuse by clergy, saying the ritual was not an absolution for the perpetrators but a “confession of guilt.”

The German Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse reports has caused a crisis in Cologne, where the archbishop, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, has taken a “spiritual timeout” on the advice of Pope Francis.

The archdiocese’s interim administrator, Auxiliary Bishop Rolf Steinhaeuser, led Thursday’s service.

“A large number of crimes of sexualized violence against wards have been committed by priests and other church employees of our diocese,” Steinhaeuser said during the service at Cologne Cathedral.

The auxiliary bishop said that as the current head of the archdiocese, he is the “head of the perpetrator organization of the Archdiocese of Cologne,” German news agency dpa reported.

“This service does not end with forgiveness,” Steinhaeuser said. “We cannot absolve…

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Team that oversaw French abuse report to meet the pope

(ITALY)
Crux [Denver CO]

November 20, 2021

By Elise Ann Allen

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Next month members of the independent commission that published a searing report into clerical sexual abuse in France will meet Pope Francis at the Vatican to discuss the issue and carve out a way forward.

Speaking to French radio station Radio chrétienne France (RcF), Jean-Marc Sauvé said he believes that during the meeting, “we must give an account to the Holy Father in a nutshell of what is essential for us: what the sexual abuses in the Church against French society were, and also what were the causes that allowed them.”

This question, he said, is now “at the center of the Church’s attention.”

Sauvé spoke on the margins of assembly of the Conference of Religious men and women in France, where on Thursday he participated in a roundtable discussion on the topic of, “Responsible for the future.”

He is president of the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (CIASE),…

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‘Procession’ Isn’t a Documentary on Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church — It’s a Portrait of Survivors Reclaiming Their Lives

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Rolling Stone [New York NY]

November 19, 2021

By David Fear

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And the way it lets these men exorcise their demons through moviemaking is a serious gift — to them and us

Robert Greene had an idea. The filmmaker behind such blurred-line experimental documentaries as Kate Plays Christine (2016) and Bisbee ’17 (2018) had seen a Kansas City press conference, in which an attorney named Rebecca Randles and her clients — four men who’d been abused by Catholic priests as kids — were demanding that the authorities in Kansas and Missouri begin criminal investigations into the incidents. Never mind the statute of limitations; after discovering that more than 230 priests “that we know of” in the area who’d been actively abusive over several decades, it was time to hold the Church accountable. Justice needed to be served. Greene reached out to the lawyer. Would these men be interested in collaborating with him on a project?

Three of them (Michael Sandridge, Tom Viviano,…

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North Carolina diocese, priest named in sexual abuse lawsuit

CHARLOTTE (NC)
Associated Press [New York NY]

November 18, 2021

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A North Carolina diocese and a former priest have been named in a lawsuit alleging child sexual abuse involving a boy at an elementary school that spanned four years.

The lawsuit was filed in Mecklenburg County by attorneys representing the plaintiff, who is identified only as John Doe J.C. Among those named as defendants are the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools and the Rev. Francis P. Gillespie.

The Charlotte diocese said in a statement that Gillespie’s supervising religious order, the Jesuits, assigned him to ministry in the Diocese of Raleigh in 2002 and removed him from ministry on Sept. 29 while the allegation is investigated, which is standard procedure and should not imply guilt, WBTV reported. An independent review of personnel and other files in 2019 found no record of allegations from anyone against Gillespie, according to the statement.

According to the lawsuit,…

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November 19, 2021

Survivor of Clergy Abuse speaks out

LINCOLN (NE)
KFXL-TV, Fox-51 [Lincoln NE]

November 19, 2021

By Alex Whitney

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Two weeks ago the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office released a report that revealed widespread sexual abuse by Catholic Clergy in Nebraska.

Between the lines of the report were the experiences of hundreds of victims, some of whom are speaking out for the first time about their ordeals and how they overcame the cover up of their abuse.

For every survivor of abuse there is a story to tell and it often starts out as a familiar one for most of us.

“I was very athletic, academically motivated, happy, ambitious, outgoing, just a normal kid,” said Stacey, a survivor of abuse who agreed to share her story with NTV News.

Stacey grew in a small town in Northeast Nebraska and like many lived in a community that centered around its church.

“My whole family grew up Catholic. We were very devoted, we went to church weekly. As a student attending Catholic…

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As a boy, he felt a Charlotte priest was his friend. Now he recounts the horrors of abuse.

CHARLOTTE (NC)
Charlotte Observer [Charlotte NC]

November 18, 2021

By Michael Gordon and Sara Coello

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J.C. had been taught that priests were to be respected and obeyed.

So when “Father Fran” told him to take off his clothes and kneel before him, the 8-year-old student at Our Lady of Assumption Elementary School in Charlotte did what he was told, according to his new lawsuit.

That set off years of escalating sexual assaults against the boy in the church sacristy where Rev. Francis Gillespie got ready to perform the Catholic Church’s sacred rite of the Mass.

According to his complaint, J.C., now in his early 30s and still living in Charlotte, kept the abuse private because Father Fran was his friend and had ordered him to do so, calling the episodes “our secret.”

No longer.

On Thursday, J.C. filed suit — against Gillespie, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools and two Jesuit groups that assigned Gillespie…

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Catholic priest abuse victims and their supporters rally at Norwich cathedral

NORWICH (CT)
The Day [New London CT]

November 18, 2021

By Joe Wojtas

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Norwich — Members of the state chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP,  as well as those who say they are victims of sexual abuse by priests including clergy from the Diocese of Norwich, rallied in front of St. Patrick Cathedral on Thursday.

The group, which was joined by Kathryn Robb, executive director of ChildUSAdvocacy, and Lucy Nolan, policy director of the CT Alliance Against Sexual Violence, criticized the estimated $2.7 million in legal and financial services fees the Catholic diocese has accumulated thus far in its ongoing bankruptcy case. They demanded the diocese publicize the value of its real estate holdings before its bankruptcy plan is approved in federal court. They also called on the General Assembly in its upcoming session to eliminate the statute of limitations on the filing of lawsuits by those who were sexually assaulted as minors, an effort that has been unsuccessful in the past.

Referencing the criticism of the legal and financial services spent so far by the diocese by federal bankruptcy Judge James…

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Church cannot repair what it does not recognize, cardinal says on abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
Catholic Sun [Diocese of Phoenix AZ]

November 18, 2021

By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service

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Gathering information and statistics on the sexual abuse of minors is an important tool for assessing established responses and for crafting recommendations to fix a failed system, said U.S. Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

“We cannot repair what we do not recognize. We cannot restore a broken trust if we do not address the heart of the matter. This requires honest investigation, independent inquiry and informed action,” the cardinal said in a written message.

The message, published Nov. 18, was sent to a conference marking the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse — held every Nov. 18 and promoted by the Council of Europe. The Nov. 18 conference in Rome was sponsored by the “Telefono Azzurro” abuse help line in Italy, whose founder and president is Ernesto Caffo, an Italian professor of…

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Bishops, other faith leaders join sunrise walk with sex abuse survivors

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

November 18, 2021

By Rhina Guidos, Catholic News Service

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The sun barely had peaked over the horizon, ending the darkness and bringing light into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, where two U.S. cardinals, six bishops and prominent leaders of various faiths clasped hands with a group of about 20 men and women Nov. 18, praying for an end to the “evil” that brought them together.

That evil is sexual abuse of children, which some of the adults in the group had experienced as minors, including at the hands of clergy, or who had family members still coping with its lifelong impact.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, in his prayer, asked God for the “courage to name the evil among us … to eradicate it … with your power.”

Along with Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Tobin took a brief “sunrise walk,” as the event was billed, with survivors, ending the stroll near the harbor just outside the hotel where the…

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November 18, 2021

Catholic archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth knew of sexual abuse, ‘vicariously liable’ for it, lawyer says

HALIFAX (CANADA)
Saltwire Network [Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada]

November 17, 2021

By Francis Campbell

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The alleged sexual abuse of a 10-year-old altar boy by a Roman Catholic priest nearly 60 years ago in Halifax is at the centre of a class action against the Halifax-Yarmouth archdiocese.

“The case law from the Supreme Court of Canada … is quite clear that dioceses are vicariously liable for sexual abuse by their priests,” said John McKiggan, the Halifax lawyer who filed the class action in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in August 2018 on behalf of Douglas Champagne, the young altar boy from the early 1960s, and other plaintiffs. 

“There is no doubt about that, so it’s a bit surprising to us that they’ve been fighting that,” McKiggan said of diocesan liability. 

“In our opinion, the only issue in this case really is who was abused and how much money are they entitled to to compensate for what they went through. That’s really what we view this case…

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Catholic priest convicted of taking semi-nude photographs of a boy in 1992 laicized

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

November 18, 2021

By Craig S. Semon

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Bishop Robert J. McManus announced Thursday that Ronald D. Provost has been laicized.

In 1993, Provost was convicted in Worcester Superior Court of soliciting a child to pose nude and received a suspended prison sentence with probation. He was found guilty of taking semi-nude photographs of a 10-year-old boy in 1992 in the locker room of a pool in Gardner.

Provost, who was pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Barre when the photographs were taken, was removed from any active ministry in the diocese when the picture-taking allegations surfaced.

A Worcester native, Provost was ordained in 1970 and served in the following parishes: St. Rose of Lima, Northborough, St. Camillus de Lellis, Fitchburg, St. Mary, Southbridge, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Winchendon, St. Bernard, Fitchburg, St. Peter, Worcester, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel-St. Ann, Worcester, St, Anthony, Fitchburg. St. Vincent Hospital chaplain, Holy Angels, Upton, St. Joseph Parish, Barre and  St….

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Thirty-Four Alleged Child Abusers Publicly Identified For the First Time in New Jersey

NEWARK (NJ)
Jeff Anderson and Associates

November 18, 2021

By Trusha Goffe

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Through lawsuits filed against the Catholic Archdiocese and Dioceses in New Jersey under the Victims’ Rights Bill, 34 alleged perpetrators have been publicly accused of sexual abuse for the first time. They are:

Fr. Richard Carrington
(Archdiocese of Newark)

Fr. Edward O’Neill
(Diocese of Trenton)

Fr. Henry Murphy
(Diocese of Trenton)

Fr. John J. Gurski
(Archdiocese of Newark)

Thomas I. Flynn
(Diocese of Trenton)

Fr. Peter C. Del Negro
(Archdiocese of Newark)

Fr. Allan Weber
(Archdiocese of Newark)

Msgr. Robert P. Egan
(Archdiocese of Newark)

Fr. George Brembos
(Diocese of Trenton)

Br. James Kelly, C.F.C.
(Archdiocese of Newark)

Jeffrey Horohonich
(Archdiocese of Newark)

Lawrence Farley
(Archdiocese of Newark)

Msgr. Paul Schetelick
(Archdiocese of Newark)

Fr. Peter Cebulka
(Diocese of Trenton)

Fr. Joao Bosco Lima
(Archdiocese of Newark)

Fr. John Murphy
(Archdiocese of Newark)

Fr. John Eagan
(Diocese of Trenton)

Fr. Silverius J. Quigley, O. Carm.
(Archdiocese of Newark)

Fr. John J. Egan
(Archdiocese of Newark)

Fr. William G. Mink
(Archdiocese of Newark)

Br. Joseph Heeney, OSB
(Archdiocese of Newark)

Br. Peter…

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French Bishops’ Conference Spokeswoman Fired, After Criticism of Her Communication About the Report on Sexual Abuse

LOURDES (FRANCE)
National Catholic Register - EWTN [Irondale AL]

November 13, 2021

By Solène Tadié

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This news, confirmed Nov. 12, came only a few days after the conclusion of the French bishops’ fall plenary assembly in Lourdes.

The spokeswoman and undersecretary for the French Bishops’ Conference (CEF), Karine Dalle, has been fired, two and a half months after taking office, in the very sensitive context of the release of the CIASE report on sexual violence in the Catholic Church between 1950 and 2020. 

This news, confirmed by the CEF to La Croix Nov. 12, came as a surprise only a few days after the conclusion of the French bishops’ fall plenary assembly in Lourdes, which focused on ways to apply the recommendations made by the independent commission in October. 

According to the Catholic daily newspaper, the CEF’s general secretary, Hugues de Woillemont, said that her trial period was not confirmed, without providing more explanation  about the decision. 

For her part, Dalle sent an email to her team on the…

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French Catholic Bishops Announce ‘Vast Program of Renewal’ After Abuse Report

LOURDES (FRANCE)
National Catholic Register - EWTN [Irondale AL]

November 8, 2021

By Courtney Mares

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The bishops knelt in an act of penance in Lourdes on Saturday in which an image of a weeping child was unveiled and an abuse survivor shared a testimony.

Catholic bishops in France announced Monday that they have agreed to “a vast program of renewal” of governance practices in response to a landmark report on clerical sex abuse.

Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, president of the French bishops’ conference, said Nov. 8 that the bishops had decided to “initiate a path of recognition and reparation opening for the victims the possibility of mediation and compensation.”

“All of the resolutions that we have voted on constitute a vast program of renewal of our governance practices at the level of the dioceses and at the level of the Church in France,” the archbishop of Reims said in an address broadcast live on French television.

Archbishop Moulins-Beaufort made the announcement on the final day of…

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Another Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Delbarton School

MORRIS TOWNSHIP (NJ)
The Patch [Morristown NJ]

November 17, 2021

By Josh Bakan

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Father Jude Salus is listed as an active monk for St. Mary’s Abbey, which runs the Delbarton School.

A lawsuit against the Delbarton School claims that a priest sexually abused a child in the 1990s. The complaint became the latest among several lawsuits filed against the school for alleged abuse.

Law firms Jeff Anderson & Associates and Gianforcaro Law have filed 32 lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse from Delbarton. But the lawsuit filed Wednesday appears to be the firms’ first in the wave that alleges sexual misconduct from an authority figure listed as an active monk on the website of St. Mary’s Abbey, which runs Delbarton.

The lawsuit alleges that Father Jude Salus sexually abused the plaintiff from 1993-94. The plaintiff, who filed the lawsuit anonymously, was a student and approximately 14 years old.

“I used to ask myself all the time, ‘why me?’” the plaintiff said…

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Philly priest sexually abused a teen at Cardinal Dougherty High and on a Shore trip decades ago, lawsuit says

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer [Philadelphia PA]

November 17, 2021

By Mensah Dean

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The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been sued by a man who claims he was sexually abused by a priest in 1981.

A Philadelphia priest who was on the faculty at Cardinal Dougherty High School in the 1980s sexually abused a teen there and also took the boy on a trip to Margate, where he served him alcohol and assaulted him, according to a lawsuit filed in Atlantic County Superior Court.

The Rev. Peter Foley sexually assaulted the boy, then 16, on a trip to the Shore in 1981 and also at the school, where they worked together on student council, the suit says.

Foley, 83, reached by phone Wednesday at the church-run retirement facility in Upper Darby where he lives, said he had never abused the teen — or anyone else — although he acknowledged he had given him alcohol.

“The allegations are false,” he said. “I did give the…

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‘I never expected to lose,’ Catholic Cardinal Pell, who was jailed on sex abuse and then freed, tells Tribune

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Salt Lake Tribune [Salt Lake City UT]

November 18, 2021

By Peggy Fletcher Stack

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Australian prelate visits Utah, insists the church is “here to stay,”

Catholic Cardinal George Pell of Australia was found guilty of child sex abuse in December 2018 and spent 404 days in solitary confinement at a Melbourne prison.

During that time, he recorded what he was thinking, feeling and reading — until that conviction was overturned in April 2020.

Pell now has turned his prison ruminations into a three-volume memoir. The 80-year-old cardinal was in Park City this week to speak about the latest edition, “Prison Journal, Volume 3: The High Court Frees an Innocent Man.”

He sat down for an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday. The following has been edited for length and clarity:

How did you feel when you first heard the accusations in 2017 against you?

Oh, I was very worried and aghast. It was a very difficult time. You almost feel physically unwell.

Were…

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Opinion: Another state, another clergy sex abuse scandal

LINCOLN (NE)
Washington Post

November 13, 2021

By Editorial Board

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Nebraska’s attorney general recently identified 57 priests and other Catholic officials responsible for allegedly sexually abusing more than 250 victims, mainly boys, over decades while the church’s hierarchy shrugged or covered up the crimes. The number of clerics who will be criminally prosecuted is zero.

Yes, it’s an old story. And no, the sheer repetitiveness of what is by now a well known pattern of conduct within the church should not cauterize the outrage nor inure lawmakers to the urgency of action.

As in other states, and many countries, prosecuting clerical abusers in Nebraska for crimes committed years ago is impossible because the criminal statute of limitations has closed or the abusers themselves are dead. Most of the instances of reported abuse documented by the state attorney general’s office took place in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s and tapered off over the past 20 years. Nebraska has changed…

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Local bishops must prosecute abuse of ‘vulnerable adults,’ Scicluna tells USCCB

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Pillar [Washington DC]

November 17, 2021

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A globally renowned expert in canon law told U.S bishops Wednesday that local bishops are responsible for canonically prosecuting sexual abuse of vulnerable adults committed by clerics in their dioceses. 

The remark could require a major shift in diocesan administration, changing how diocesan bishops treat acts of clerical sexual misconduct which have until now been considered moral failures, but not canonical delicts.

Sexual misconduct with vulnerable adults, for whom the law recognises equal protection under Vos estis lux mundi, is not reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,” Archbishop Charles Scicluna, a senior official at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine, said in a Nov. 17 video presentation given to U.S. bishops gathered for their fall assembly in Baltimore. 

“This means, however, that the local bishop has to take care of these cases.”

The archbishop’s presentation would seem to end a debate among canonists on the implementation of…

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Italian bishops mark first day of prayer for abuse victims

ROME (ITALY)
Crux [Denver CO]

November 17, 2021

By Elise Ann Allen

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As the Catholic Church in Italy still reels from several fresh scandals involving clergy, the country’s bishops on Thursday will be hold the first-ever Day of Prayer and Awareness for victims and survivors of sexual abuse.

“We cannot forget the suffering experienced by minors and vulnerable people due to the abuses of power, conscience, and sexuality committed by a considerable number of clerics and consecrated persons,” said Bishop Lorenzo Ghizzoni of Ravenna-Cervia in the introduction for one of the formal prayers prepared for Thursday.

President of the Italian church’s National Service for the Protection of Minors, Ghizzoni said the members of the Church are continually challenged “to take on the pain of our brothers wounded in flesh and spirit: for too long the cry of victims has been a cry that the Church has not been able to sufficiently hear.”

Set to coincide with the Nov. 18 European Day for…

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U.S. bishops’ meeting draws protesters, activists to Baltimore

BALTIMORE (MD)
Crux [Denver CO]

November 17, 2021

By Inés San Martín

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At the end of the first public day of the fall general assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, it’s hard not to feel that one has attended the church’s version of the Iowa caucuses. All the heavy hitters of both parties are gathered in one place at one time, and journalists are not far behind.

However, to get a more complete picture of the Church in the United States, it’s healthy to leave the Waterfront Marriott Hotel where they are meeting and just walk around the corner: In a span of a few yards one can find a rally organized by Church Militant, that had originally scheduled former Donald Trump advisor Steve Bannon as keynote speaker, and a woman dressed in purple and wearing a Santa Claus hat tired of having religion “mansplained” to her.

Here, then, is a sampling of the sights and sounds of the…

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Catholic Dark Money: The Pandora Papers

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
The Open Tabernacle

November 18, 2021

By Betty Clermont

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The October 5, 2021, revelations show that senior operatives of the Legion of Christ Order set up a trio of trusts in New Zealand to hide the group’s money. At the time “victims of sexual abuse of its priests were seeking financial compensation from the Order through lawsuits,” noted theworldnews.net.

“The Pandora Papers is an investigation into the shadowy offshore financial system that reveals the workings of a secret economy that benefits the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of everyone else. The ‘papers’ are the more than 11.9 million confidential records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) that form the backbone of the investigation,” their icij.org website reported.

“Two of the Legion’s trusts would eventually hold $300 million in assets and moved money around the world …The trusts used a shell company to invest heavily in U.S. rental properties, including in apartment complexes where tenants were evicted during the coronavirus eviction moratorium,” the…

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German Catholic official leads penance service on sex abuse

COLOGNE (GERMANY)
Associated Press [New York NY]

November 18, 2021

By Daniel Niemann and Kirsten Grieshaber

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The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Cologne, Germany held a service of penance Thursday for cases of sexual abuse by clergy, saying the ritual was not an absolution for the perpetrators but a “confession of guilt.”

The German Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse reports has caused a massive crisis in Cologne, where the archbishop, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, has taken a “spiritual timeout” on the advice of Pope Francis.

The archdiocese’s interim administrator, Auxiliary Bishop Rolf Steinhaeuser, led Thursday’s service.

“A large number of crimes of sexualized violence against wards have been committed by priests and other church employees of our diocese,” Steinhaeuser said during the service held at Cologne Cathedral.

The auxiliary bishop said that as the current head of the archdiocese, he is the “head of the perpetrator organization of the Archdiocese of Cologne,” German news agency dpa reported.

“This service does not end with forgiveness,” Steinhaeuser said….

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Portugal’s bishops create national commission to confront abuse

(ITALY)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

November 16, 2021

By Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service

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The Portuguese bishops’ conference announced the creation of a national commission to support local dioceses in their investigations into current and historic cases of sexual abuse.

The new commission, which was announced Nov. 11 at the end of the bishops’ four-day plenary assembly in Fatima, was established after a discussion devoted to “the protection of vulnerable minors and adults in the ecclesial sphere and in society as a whole,” the conference said.

“Recognizing the work of the diocesan commissions, made up especially of laypeople qualified in various areas such as law, psychiatry and psychology, the assembly decided to create a national commission to strengthen and expand the handling of cases and the respective follow-up at the civil and canonical level,” the bishops said.

The creation of the new commission comes after an independent report on sexual abuse in the French Catholic Church released last month estimated that as…

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November 17, 2021

Bishops’ fall General Assembly, day one: Synodality, evangelization, eucharist and sex abuse just a few issues of the day

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Dialog [Diocese of Wilmington DE]

November 16, 2021

By Catholic News Service

Read original article

On day one of the Bishops’ General Assembly, these were some topics of discussion or interest:

Synod on synodality should not avoid problems, archbishop says in homily

More than 200 bishops and archbishops and six cardinals concelebrated the opening Mass for the fall assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the first in-person gathering for the prelates since November 2019. The pandemic moved their past three full meetings to videoconferencing. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, the USCCB’s president, was the principal celebrant.

The bishops, masked and adequately spaced, along with some laypeople, filled the pews of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the evening Mass Nov. 15. Among the concelebrants were Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori and Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, Pope Francis’ representative, who was scheduled to address the bishops at their morning session Nov….

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Kansas City man encourages others who’ve been sexually assaulted to ‘tell their story’

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KCUR (NPR affiliate) [Kansas City MO]

November 14, 2021

Read original article

“We need to hold each other up,” says one Kansas City man who was assaulted by his priest. Others tell their stories in a new Netflix documentary shot in Kansas City.

Brian Heydon was sexually assaulted as a kid.

Now a licensed counselor in Kansas City, Heydon grew up in a Catholic family. In the 1960s and ’70s, he said, the religion was a place for child predators to thrive.

“The dynamic is you are indoctrinated into a faith that you don’t question,” said Heydon. “The priest, we call him father, and he’s the gateway to our salvation. He’s so powerful. You don’t question him, no matter what.”

Heydon and his family moved to St. John Francis Regis Parish in southeast Kansas City, where, he said, the priest began to groom him. Heydon described a moment where the priest showed up to his religion class and told him he’d earned…

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The Christian Peacemaker Who Left a Trail of Trauma

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Christianity Today [Carol Stream IL]

November 16, 2021

By Daniel Silliman

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Judy Dabler built a career helping reconcile conflict within ministries including RZIM and Mars Hill. But a new investigation says she abused her authority to protect those with power.

A leading Christian conciliator who was involved in handling abuse allegations and training at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), Mars Hill Church, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS), and dozens of other churches and ministries over the past 15 years, has been found unfit for counseling, coaching, or conciliation.

Judy Dabler founded two popular organizations for Christians needing a third party to help navigate conflict and broken relationships: Live at Peace Ministries (LAPM) and Creative Conciliation. She also taught more than 10,000 people how to do conciliation, which she described in presentations as the only biblical option for dealing with conflict.

In her conciliation work, though, Dabler consistently favored the person paying the bills, siding with the leader or big-name institution. Again…

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‘No plea’ entered on Providence priest’s behalf amid child pornography charges

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

November 15, 2021

By Joe Bukuras

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A Rhode Island District Court judge on Monday entered “no plea” on behalf of Father James Jackson, FSSP, a Providence-based priest who is facing state and federal child pornography charges.

Jackson, who until recently was pastor at a parish in suburban Denver, is facing state charges consisting of possession of child pornography, transfer of child pornography, and child erotica prohibited.

Judge James Caruolo, a state judge sitting in Providence, entered “no plea” during Jackson’s arraignment Nov. 15. Speaking on background, a general operations assistant at the court told CNA that “no plea” in Jackson’s case is a formality.

Jackson, wearing lay clothes consisting of a collared shirt, jacket, and Khaki pants, did not speak during the proceeding, except for a handful of times when he affirmed the judge’s yes or no questions. Since his arrest, Jackson has not spoken publicly on his case. 

After the arraignment, Jackson’s lawyer, John Calcagni…

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SNAP responds to Catholic Diocese abuse allegations

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WFMJ-NBC/CW-21 [Youngstown OH]

November 15, 2021

By Zach Mosca

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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has responded to allegations against a Catholic Diocese of Youngstown priest currently on administrative leave after allegations of “inappropriate physical contact with a minor.”

The statement sent by SNAP founder, Judy Jones, issued a news release claiming that the Diocese should have contacted law enforcement directly regarding the incident , incorrectly implying that the matter was not also reported to an outside public agency. 

The Diocese reported the matter to the Mahoning County Children Services agency, in addition to its own victim assistance coordinator. 

“Secular investigations are the way to deal with clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, which has been going on unabated for decades. More importantly, such reports are more likely to reach the public, which helps survivors heal and empowers victims, many of whom are still sitting in silence, to come forward,” the statement said.

It is accurate…

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Opening bishops’ meeting, Vatican ambassador urges prelates to tamp down divisions

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

November 16, 2021

By Brian Fraga

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The Vatican’s ambassador to the U.S. urged the country’s Catholic bishops on Nov. 16 to try to tamp down divisions among themselves and to embrace Pope Francis’ vision for a listening church, open to change.

In an energetic half-hour address opening the first general session of the bishops’ four-day assembly, Archbishop Christophe Pierre told the prelates gathered here that the church needs “attentive listening more than ever if she is to overcome the polarization facing this country.”

Although Pierre did not specifically mention the bishops’ plans to release a controversial document on Communion, he appeared to touch on the intense disagreements among the prelates in recent months about the text.

The archbishop called on the bishops to prioritize unity and put aside their preconceived ideas in order to be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit.

In an apparent nod to original plans for the Communion text to single…

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Sex abuse survivors urge bishops to denounce Church Militant’s agenda

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

November 16, 2021

By Rhina Guidos

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On the first of two days of public sessions during the U.S. bishops’ fall general assembly, a group of sex abuse survivors in a Nov. 16 news conference called on the prelates meeting in Baltimore to focus less on who can take Communion and instead do more to end sex abuse and other abuses by clergy.

The survivors also demanded the bishops condemn a group that was holding a nearby protest claiming homosexuality is linked to pedophilia.

“We wanted to come here today on behalf of survivors, a group of survivors of sexual abuse who are committed to fighting for justice and to also highlight what’s not being talked about when they’re focused on the Eucharist,” said Sarah Pearson, a sex abuse survivor from Wisconsin who joined other members of the organization Ending Clergy Abuse in addressing bishops.

“They’ve shown us in focusing on this culture war, about the Eucharist,…

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Elite $54k-a-year private school in Georgia settles lawsuit with 20 students who claimed they were sexually assaulted by English teacher and ‘dorm parent’ decades ago

ROME (GA)
Daily Mail [London, United Kingdom]

November 16, 2021

By Tommy Taylor

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  • The private Darlington School in Rome, Georgia settled a lawsuit with 20 former students after they claimed they were sexually assaulted by their teacher
  • English teacher and ‘dorm parent’ Roger Stifflemire had supervised a group of male students between the ages of 13 and 17 when he worked at the academy
  • The former students filed the lawsuit in 2017 after revealing the sexual abuse 
  • A few had reported the abuse to the school but said that action had been taken
  • Stifflemire, who worked at the school between 1974 to 1994, is now retired and has since denied the claims made against him
  • The alleged victims will now receive compensation from the school decades later and are working to stop sexual abuse in their settlement 

An elite $54k-a year private boarding school in Georgia has settled a lawsuit with 20 students who claimed they were sexually assaulted by their English teacher decades ago.

Roger Stifflemire, was…

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On first day of bishops’ conference, a spectrum of Catholic thought

BALTIMORE (MD)
Religion News Service - Missouri School of Journalism [Columbia MO]

November 16, 2021

By Jack Jenkins

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Inside — and outside — the first public session of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ fall gathering revealed increasingly politicized tensions between American clerics, the Vatican and lay Catholics.

The first public session of U.S. Catholic bishops’ fall gathering included calls for unity, but rhetoric inside and outside the conference hotel hinted at an increasingly atomized spectrum of Catholic thought that overlaps heavily with political debates and manifests in tensions between American clerics, the Vatican and lay Catholics.

Evidence of disagreement between members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Holy See was made clear on Tuesday (Nov. 16), in the opening address from Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio who serves as the Vatican’s ambassador to the U.S.

Although he appealed to “unity desired by Christ,” he also spoke directly to an ongoing disagreement between USCCB leaders and the Vatican.

“There is the temptation to treat the Eucharist as…

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Baltimore archbishop, in homily for bishops’ opening Mass, says synodality should not avoid problems

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

November 16, 2021

By Christopher Gunty

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More than 200 bishops and archbishops and six cardinals concelebrated the opening Mass for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops fall assembly, as the prelates gathered in person for the first time since November 2019. 

The pandemic moved their last three full meetings to videoconferencing.

Archbishop José H. Gomez, conference president and archbishop of Los Angeles, was the principal celebrant. The bishops, masked and adequately spaced, along with some lay people, filled the pews of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Mass Nov. 15.

Among the concelebrants were Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori and Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, Pope Francis’ representative, who was scheduled to address the bishops at their morning session Nov. 16.

One of the most contentious items on the bishops’ agenda for the meeting was to be discussion and action on a…

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During Baltimore Conference, Bishops Deliberate Over Communion Document For Politicians Who Support Abortion

BALTIMORE (MD)
WJZ-TV - CBS 2 [Baltimore MD]

November 16, 2021

Read original article

Pope Francis’ top envoy to the United States cautioned the country’s bishops on Tuesday that the church needs to listen before it teaches as they deliberated at their fall meeting on a sensitive document about Holy Communion that emerged amid debates over Catholic politicians’ support for abortion.

“It is sometimes said that there is a lot of confusion about doctrine in the church today,” Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the papal ambassador, told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “However, the argument continues that what is needed is clear teaching. That is true, but the Holy Father says a church that teaches must be firstly a church that listens.”

His remarks in the first public session of the gathering in Maryland came as bishops were readying to hold a vote on the document, which has been months in the making and has been surrounded by debate over the taking of communion by…

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Bishops urged to listen as they consider Communion document

BALTIMORE (MD)
Associated Press [New York NY]

November 17, 2021

By Peter Smith

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Pope Francis’ top envoy to the United States cautioned the country’s bishops on Tuesday that the church needs to listen before it teaches as they deliberated at their fall meeting on a sensitive document about Holy Communion that emerged amid debates over Catholic politicians’ support for abortion.

“It is sometimes said that there is a lot of confusion about doctrine in the church today,” Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the papal ambassador, told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “However, the argument continues that what is needed is clear teaching. That is true, but the Holy Father says a church that teaches must be firstly a church that listens.”

His remarks in the first public session of the gathering in Maryland came as bishops were readying to hold a vote on the document, which has been months in the making and has been surrounded by debate over the taking of communion by…

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Sadly, the US bishops’ conference is a ghost of its former self

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

November 15, 2021

By Michael Sean Winters

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Today the meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops gets underway in Baltimore. Unlike previous years, they will not start their four-day assembly with an open session, but with executive session, behind closed doors. No doubt this reflects a desire to iron out their differences over the proposed document about the Eucharist before bringing the text to the floor for a vote.

NCR and Fordham’s Center on Religion and Culture co-hosted a discussion of the proposed document last Thursday and I was surprised to hear Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, say he was “afraid” the document was likely to pass. I would have thought most of the non-culture war bishops like Stowe would vote for the theologically impoverished, but essentially anodyne, document if only to get the issue off the table.

The genesis of the proposed document was an effort to deny Communion…

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Jesuit: Priests need better guidelines for hearing confession from sex abuse victims—and abusers

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
America [New York NY]

November 16, 2021

By Cindy Wooden

Read original article

To protect the sacrament of reconciliation as a “channel of grace” for victims of sexual abuse, the Catholic Church must do a better job instructing priests on what to do if a victim recounts his or her abuse in the confessional and in the unlikely case that an abuser confesses, said Jesuit Father Hans Zollner.

“If the church did more to help confessors be empathetic listeners as well as skilled interpreters of the church’s moral teaching, it would make it clearer that the sacrament of reconciliation can be an instrument in the fight against abuse,” Father Zollner wrote Nov. 11 in The Tablet, the London-based Catholic journal.

“If the church is not able to better explain why it does not protect abusers or other serious criminals from justice—and why the seal can help safeguard children and vulnerable adults—state legislators may come to target the inviolability of the seal of confession,”…

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Survivors of sexual assault say shame, fear of not being believed cause delay in coming forward

(NY)
News 12 Long Island [Woodbury NY]

November 16, 2021

By News 12 Staff

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Those who come forward with accusations of sexual assault often are asked what took them so long to come forward.Whether there is a fear of not being believed or not wanting people knowing something so personal about them, experts say sexual assaults go underreported.

Executive Director of Safe Center Long Island Keith Scott says there was a study done in 2014 that shows 66% of sexual abuse victims never come forward.He says many choose not to come forward for feelings that it would be useless.”It’s cliche but enough is enough,” Scott says. “How many times are we going to have people come forward, share their story, have their story out for the whole world to see and then nothing happens.”Liz Osowiecki says members of a men’s basketball teams raped her in 2014 and she had no intention of coming forward with what happened to her, and she understands why many…

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Vatican finance trial: What’s happened so far and where is it heading?

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

November 17, 2021

By Andrea Gagliarducci

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A Vatican judge’s partial turnaround at a hearing earlier this month is a significant plot twist in the finance trial that kicked off this summer.

The prosecution has 10 defendants, with many different charges against them, most linked to the management of funds in the Vatican Secretariat of State, particularly to the purchase of a luxury property in London.

At the trial’s third hearing on Oct. 6, the president of the Vatican Tribunal, judge Giuseppe Pignatone, ruled in favor of requests by the defense to have prosecutors re-do the investigation into some of the charges and defendants.

This was Pignatone’s way of trying to resolve some situations in the trial that risked rendering it invalid. For example, the defense lawyers had pointed out that not all of the indictments had been filed — a necessary prerequisite for lawyers to prepare the defense. And in particular, they…

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These 5 US bishops may be in the spotlight for years to come

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

November 15, 2021

By Brian Fraga

Read original article

As the nation’s Catholic bishops begin their annual fall assembly in Baltimore on Nov. 15, much attention will focus on the debate over a document that was originally meant to address pro-choice Catholic politicians like President Joe Biden.

But during the four-day event the bishops will also vote to elect a new treasurer for their national conference, as well as five new chairmen of their standing committees. The bishops selected will have a year to learn their new duties before beginning three-year terms in November 2022. They likely will exercise leadership and influence in the conference for years to come.

The slate of prelates nominated includes a few well-known figures, but also several lower-profile prelates whose ideologies run the gamut from conservative to liberal.

Jesuit Fr. Tom Reese, a journalist who has covered bishops’ meetings for decades, told NCR the outcome of these committee elections can be political,…

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November 16, 2021

Confession can be place where church fights abuse, Jesuit says

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

November 16, 2021

By Cindy Wooden

Read original article

To protect the sacrament of reconciliation as a “channel of grace” for victims of sexual abuse, the Catholic Church must do a better job instructing priests on what to do if a victim recounts his or her abuse in the confessional and in the unlikely case that an abuser confesses, said Jesuit Father Hans Zollner.

“If the church did more to help confessors be empathetic listeners as well as skilled interpreters of the church’s moral teaching, it would make it clearer that the sacrament of reconciliation can be an instrument in the fight against abuse,” Father Zollner wrote Nov. 11 in The Tablet, the London-based Catholic journal.

“If the church is not able to better explain why it does not protect abusers or other serious criminals from justice — and why the seal can help safeguard children and vulnerable adults — state legislators may come to target the inviolability of…

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The church cannot speak against sex trafficking until it admits its own abuse problems, author says

NASHVILLE (TN)
Baptist News Global

November 15, 2021

By Jeff Brumley

Read original article

The church can play a major role in eliminating sex trafficking worldwide, but only after it confronts and heals the scourge of sexual sin consuming it from within, said Elizabeth Melendez Fisher Good, an educator, author and advocate on issues of sexual abuse and trafficking.

If that transparency and accountability can be attained, it would transform congregations into sanctuaries for children and adults suffering from the effects of abuse and also prevent abuse from occurring in churches, said Fisher Good, founder and CEO of The Foundation United, a collaborative organization that provides educational and training programs for schools, law enforcement, churches and other organizations worldwide and also offers safe havens and rehabilitation for those who have escaped sex trafficking situations.

“If we can awaken the church to speak up about its own secrets, then we can eradicate sex trafficking,” she said. “We have to see the sexual sin in our own…

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Former Trump ally Steve Bannon scheduled to speak at rally against U.S. Catholic bishops conference

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

November 16, 2021

By Mark Roper

Read original article

Group calls on bishops to take responsibility

Former Donald Trump strategist Steve Bannon is one of the guest speakers at a prayer rally happening Tuesday while the U.S. Catholic Bishops conference is happening at the Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore.

The rally against the bishops will take place from a distance, right across the waterway at the MECU Pavilion.

St. Michael’s Media, the organizers behind the conservative catholic website Church Militant, want the bishops to take responsibility for the years of sexual abuse cover-ups and repent.

Church Militant will gather at the MECU Pavilion for a meeting called “Bishops: Enough is Enough.”

While at the Marriott, the U.S. bishops will hold their first meeting in two years since the pandemic canceled last year’s event.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops started Monday and runs through Thursday.

Baltimore is the center of the first and oldest U.S. diocese as the conference brings…

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Irvine: Catholic boarding school slated at child sex abuse inquiry

GLASGOW (UNITED KINGDOM)
Irvine Times [Ardrossan, Scotland]

November 15, 2021

By Andy Hamilton

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A CATHOLIC children’s home where one Irvine pupil claimed abuse was ‘just part of life’ has been slated at a national inquiry.

Chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry Lady Smith published her findings last week on residential care by the Marist Brothers at St Columba’s College, Largs, and St Joseph’s College, Dumfries between 1950 and 1981 concluding that children were sexually abused at both boarding schools.

The Irvine victim told the inquiry how he was repeatedly sexually abused, beaten and shown pornography and horror movies from age eight.

Lady Smith said: “I heard about many aspects of St Columba’s that were shocking and distressing.

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

“Both schools had flawed systems that allowed abusers driven by sexual motives to have easy access to children in their care.

“At…

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Scots rape survivor set to sue over horrific historic school sex abuse

DUMFRIES (UNITED KINGDOM)
Daily Record [Glasgow, Scotland]

November 16, 2021

By Jackie Grant

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The man is a former pupil of St Joseph’s College and was targeted by sexual predators when the school was run by the Marist Brothers between 1950 and 1981.

A man who was repeatedly raped as a child at a Dumfries school is considering legal action against the male religious order whose members carried out the abuse.

The 62-year-old is one of the former St Joseph’s College pupils who was targeted by sexual predators when the school was run by the Marist Brothers between 1950 and 1981.

Andrew, who still lives in the region, said: “My case is in the hands of solicitors in Glasgow.

“I’m considering a civil case because I want someone held responsible for what happened to me, and I don’t want any Catholic order entrusted with the care of children ever again.”

Andrew spoke out after an inquiry found that “systematic failures” made it easy for Marist Brothers to…

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A priest sits on a bed, trousers off, legs open. ‘What do you do when you think of girls?’ he asks

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Irish Times [Dublin, Ireland]

November 16, 2021

By David Smith

Read original article

In the haunting new documentary Procession, six men relive their sexual abuse by Catholic clergy

Everything in the bedroom is white, including a white crucifix on a white wall. A holy man sits on the corner of a bed, trousers off, legs open. “You need to confess everything,” he says, gripping a young boy’s arm to pull him closer. “The Catholic church has been very good to you, to your mother, to your brother and sister.

“You don’t want that to all go away, do you? So tell me, what else have you done wrong? What about when you think of girls? What do you do when you think of girls? If you can’t tell me, then you can show me. Show me what you do when you have impure thoughts.”

The disturbing scene, with its sinister music, is interrupted by a roar of “Cut!” It comes from Ed Gavagan,…

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Priest who served in North Canton placed on leave

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Canton Repository [Canton OH]

November 15, 2021

By Charita M. Goshay

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A Catholic Diocese of Youngstown priest has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of allegations involving a minor.

The Rev. Marian Babjak serves as pastor of Christ Our Savior Catholic Church in Struthers. He previously served at St. Paul Catholic Parish in North Canton.

Babjak was parochial vicar and associate pastor at St. Paul starting in 2017, where he served until 2020 when he was appointed to Christ Our Savior parish in Struthers.

A native of Slovakia, Babjak grew up in communist Czechoslovakia.

The case has been referred to Mahoning County Children’s Services.

Youngstown diocese releases statement

Over the weekend, Bishop David Bonnar issued a statement that was read to the parish in Struthers. The statement said the diocese received an allegation on Nov. 10 of “inappropriate physical contact with a minor.” Babjak was immediately placed on leave.

“During this leave, Fr. Babjak remains a priest of the…

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November 15, 2021

Elderly Buffalo priest accused of abuse denies claim, prays for accuser

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News [Buffalo NY]

November 15, 2021

By Jay Tokasz

Read original article

At age 87, Monsignor Ronald P. Sciera might not have much time left to clear his name of the child sexual abuse allegation lodged against him in an August lawsuit.

But the priest of 60 years said his reputation is not his main concern.

“I have to answer to God,” he said. “I have a hope that justice will be served, and the truth will come to light.”

An unnamed plaintiff alleges Sciera molested him nearly five decades ago at St. Aloysius Gonzaga parish in Cheektowaga.

Sciera denies sexually abusing anyone. He says the claim is false, and he has no idea who brought it.

If the lawsuit were to proceed in State Supreme Court, the plaintiff would have to explain in detail what Sciera allegedly did. Sciera would get the chance to respond. Ultimately, if the case went far enough, a jury would decide who was telling the truth.

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Global clergy abuse survivors and allies to urge USCCB to condemn Bannon’s anti-gay rally in Baltimore.

BALTIMORE (MD)
Ending Clergy Abuse (ECAGlobal.org) [Seattle WA]

November 15, 2021

Read original article

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11-15-21.
“Catholic groups equating homosexuality with pedophilia,” they say “are demonizing gay
survivors of clergy abuse.”

On Tuesday, November 16th at 11:00am, survivors of clergy sexual abuse and advocates will hold a press conference outside of the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront (700 Aliceanna Street) urging the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Pope Francis to condemn the use of the abuse crisis by Church Militant and Steve Bannon to promote an anti-gay political agenda, a central tenet of Tuesday’s protest rally outside the USCCB’s general meeting.

For the past decade, Church Militant has capitalized off the rape and sexual abuse of children, using their suffering as an opportunity to court donors and gain followers. At the behest of their wealthy donors, like financier Marc Brammer, they have built a propaganda network to mobilize support for their agenda of re-criminalizing homosexuality by fear-mongering about the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized groups….

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Boston archdiocese settles two new lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests

BOSTON (MA)
Patriot Ledger [Quincy MA]

November 15, 2021

By Wheeler Cowperthwaite

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Two lawsuits filed this month alleging sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, one of whom was based in Milton, were settled on Friday for undisclosed sums.

Lawyer Mitchell Garabedian said the lawsuits each settled in the “high five figures.”

One of the lawsuits was filed against the Boston archdiocese and the Missionary Society of St. Columban in Milton, which hosted Irish priest Brian Gallagher, who died in 2014. The lawsuit also named the Rev. John K. Connell, who died in 2007.

The second lawsuit named Hingham and Braintree priest Patrick J. Tague, who died in 2013.

The man who accused Gallagher and Connell said in an interview that it brought a little closure. The Patriot Ledger does not name victims of sexual abuse unless they ask to be named.

“There are a lot of people who didn’t say anything,” he said. “To me, that’s like, there’s a lot of people who lived their…

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As Catholic bishops gather, so do protesters on right and left

BALTIMORE (MD)
Religion News Service - Missouri School of Journalism [Columbia MO]

November 12, 2021

By Jack Jenkins

Read original article

Protests are common at gatherings of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which often touch on national politics or attract heavy media scrutiny, such as during the height of the Catholic sex abuse crisis.

But this year’s annual fall USCCB gathering in Baltimore, convened Nov. 15-18, is set to host at least two unusually visible demonstrations that showcase the increasingly broad spectrum of American Catholic thought.

Particularly fraught is a planned “prayer rally” by Church Militant, a controversial conservative Catholic media outlet known for espousing incendiary rhetoric that is sometimes condemned by critics as inflammatory, racist and homophobic. The event, which organizers say is designed to express a range of grievances with U.S. bishops, is slated to occur on Tuesday in a pavilion that sits alongside the Baltimore Waterfront Marriott — the hotel hosting the USCCB.

Church Militant, which is based in Detroit but has been rebuked by leaders of…

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Hearing Scheduled Monday for Providence Priest Accused of Having Child Pornography

PROVIDENCE (RI)
WLNE-TV, ABC-6 [Providence RI]

November 15, 2021

By Kelly Boan

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A Providence priest accused of having child pornography is scheduled for a hearing Monday morning.

Father James Jackson faces both state and federal charges in the case. The arraignment hearing scheduled for Monday is for the state charges.

Jackson had been a priest at St. Mary’s on Broadway in Providence. The Diocese of Providence released a statement saying Jackson is no longer allowed in the ministry and the office of pastor.

Colonel James Manni of Rhode Island State Police said the Internet Crimes Against Children unit, or ICAC, had been investigating the transfer of child porn over the internet. Manni said ICAC traced the internet connection to 538 Broadway in Providence, which is the address of St. Mary’s Church on Broadway. ICAC task force members then served a search warrant at the church and rectory. They arrested Jackson in October.

According to a news release from RISP, Father Jackson was…

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Beyond Sandusky: the survivors’ movement | Opinion

WASHINGTON (DC)
Patriot-News - PennLive [Mechanicsburg PA]

November 14, 2021

By Jason Berry

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Editor’s note: Jason Berry is the American investigative journalist who pioneered reporting on the child sex abuse crisis among priests in the Catholic Church. He later served as a PennLive/Patriot-News source for commentary as the scandal rocked Pennsylvania’s dioceses. In a special assignment, Berry was asked to reflect on the decade since sex offender Jerry Sandusky’s arrest for preying on young boys.

In March 1988, I was interviewing victims of pedophile priests when the phone rang. The caller referred to an article I’d written for National Catholic Reporter on a Louisiana priest who sexually abused dozens of boys.

“That happened to me,” stammered the young woman. She said she lived in a Catholic Worker house in Chicago. Although a victim, she continued to follow the witness of Catholic activist Dorothy Day. Most victims I’d met felt abandoned by God.

Barbara Blaine told me how, as a…

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Rev. Marian Babjak

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Diocese of Youngstown OH

November 14, 2021

By Justin Huyck

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On Wednesday, November 10, 2021, the Diocese of Youngstown received an allegation against Father Marian Babjak of inappropriate physical contact with a minor.  In accordance with the Diocesan Safe Environment Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, Father Babjak was immediately placed on Administrative Leave by the Most Rev. David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, and the allegation was reported to Mahoning County Children Services.

During this leave, Fr. Babjak remains a priest of the Diocese of Youngstown with restricted faculties which prohibit him from celebrating the sacraments publicly, wearing clerical attire, or presenting himself as a priest in good standing.

The placement on Administrative Leave does not presume guilt as the purpose of this leave is to conduct a thorough and objective investigation. The Diocese of Youngstown is following its safe environment policy and the policies developed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Fr. Babjak’s…

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Struthers priest on leave after an allegation of inappropriate physical contact with a minor

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WFMJ-NBC/CW-21 [Youngstown OH]

November 15, 2021

By Ben Pagani

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The Diocese of Youngstown has placed a reverend on administrative leave after they were made aware of an allegation regarding inappropriate physical contact with a minor on Wednesday. 

Father Marian Babjak was put on leave after the accusation was made. The diocese reported the case for investigation to the Mahoning County Children Services. The decision to put Babjak on leave falls in line with rules from the Diocesan Safe Environment Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.

Babjak remains a priest of the Diocese of Youngstown during this leave, with restricted faculties which prohibit him from celebrating the sacraments publicly, wearing clerical attire, or presenting himself as a priest in good standing. Babjak has served at Christ Our Savior Parish in Struthers since 2020.

“The placement on Administrative Leave does not presume guilt as the purpose of this leave is to conduct a thorough and objective investigation,” the diocese…

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Pope thanks journalists for helping uncover clerical sexual abuse scandals

ROME (ITALY)
Irish Times [Dublin, Ireland]

November 15, 2021

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Pope Francis praised the ‘mission’ of journalism

Pope Francis has thanked journalists for helping uncover the clerical sexual abuse scandals that the Roman Catholic Church initially tried to cover up.

The pope praised what he called the “mission” of journalism and said it was vital for reporters to get out of their newsrooms and discover what was happening in the outside world to counter misinformation often found online.

“(I) thank you for what you tell us about what is wrong in the Church, for helping us not to sweep it under the carpet, and for the voice you have given to the abuse victims,” the pope said.

Francis was speaking at a ceremony to honour two veteran correspondents — Philip Pullella of Reuters and Valentina Alazraki of Mexico’s Noticieros Televisa — for their long careers spent covering the Vatican.

The sexual abuse scandals hit the headlines in 2002, when U.S. daily The Boston…

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Struthers priest placed on leave, accused of ‘inappropriate’ contact with minor

STRUTHERS (OH)

November 14, 2021

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“Let us continue to pray for all those who are hurt in any way by the church,” Bishop David Bonnar is quoted in a Sunday news release.

The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown on Wednesday placed a Struthers priest on administrative leave, after he was accused of having “inappropriate physical contact” with a minor.

The Rev. Marian Babjak, pastor of Christ Our Savior Parish in Struthers, will remain a diocesan priest, but will be prohibited from publicly celebrating sacraments, wearing clerical attire or “presenting himself as a priest in good standing,” reads a Sunday news release from the diocese. The release does not provide details about the allegation, which has been forwarded to Mahoning County Children Services.

Babjak was listed in church bulletins as pastor of the Struthers parish as early as August 2020, according to the parish’s website.about:blank

“The placement on administrative leave does not presume guilt as…

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November 14, 2021

Pope Francis meets with Polish bishops at the Vatican Oct. 12 during their ad limina visit to Rome. In recent months 10 Polish bishops, mostly retired, have been disciplined for ignoring sex abuse complaints. (CNS / Vatican Media)

Bishops’ visits to Rome unable to quell crisis of Polish church

WARSAW (POLAND)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

November 9, 2021

By Jonathan Luxmoore

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[Photo above: Pope Francis meets with Polish bishops at the Vatican Oct. 12 during their ad limina visit to Rome. In recent months 10 Polish bishops, mostly retired, have been disciplined for ignoring sex abuse complaints. (CNS/Vatican Media)]

For the first time in seven years, nearly all Poland’s Catholic bishops went to Rome last month for formal meetings with Pope Francis and Vatican officials.

Although most of the prelates expressed satisfaction with the encounters, they also hinted that there had been some frank exchanges over the pope’s handling of the country’s sex abuse crisis. An unprecedented 10 Polish bishops, mostly retired, have been sanctioned in various ways in recent months for ignoring abuse complaints.

“The pope knows how important the Polish church is — although attendance and participation may be dwindling, the church is still exceptionally strong,” said Fr. Piotr Mazurkiewicz, a Polish theologian and former secretary-general of the Brussels-based…

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Catholic leaders have to be defenders of children

MANILA (PHILIPPINES)
Manila Times [Manila, Philippines]

November 14, 2021

By Fr. Shay Cullen

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Shame, anguish and anger at child sexual abuse in the Church should lead to a devoted commitment to eradicate abuse everywhere. This active stance has to be the primary focus of society and of the Church and every individual member. Jesus of Nazareth said the child is the most important of all. If we continue to fail children, we fail Christ. The established institutional Church and many members — lay people and priests — have spectacularly failed to care, protect, help, support and compensate innocent vulnerable children for heinous crimes against them. Many of the bishops, priests and lay people have over the years, denied, covered up, transferred abusive priests, lied and forced child victims to shut up.

The most recent, shocking exposes and revelations of clerical child abuse in France led to a pilgrimage to Lourdes by no less than clergy to confess incompetence to protect children. What they…

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Book review: After learning of her brother’s childhood abuse by the clergy, a sister searches relentlessly for justice

CHICAGO (IL)
Anchorage Daily News [Anchorage AK]

November 13, 2021

By Nancy Lord

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The Book of Timothy: The Devil, My Brother, and Me

By Joan Nockels Wilson. Boreal Books/Red Hen Press, 2021. 320 pages. $18.95.

Sexual abuse of children by clergy is once more in the news. Last month, a new report estimated that some 330,000 French children were abused by Catholic clergy and other authority church figures dating back to 1950. This first accounting by France of a global scandal found that at least 3,000 French priests abused children and that that abuse was covered up in a “systematic manner.” Once again, we are all reminded of the extent of abuse and, once again, the church apologizes.

The Book of Timothy” opens with a 2002 phone call from the author’s brother in Chicago, where the two had grown up, to Wilson in Anchorage. The story of clergy abuse in Boston had just hit the news, and…

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