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.

August 8, 2022

Mormon church issues vague rebuttal on sex abuse hotline

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Axios [Arlington VA]

August 8, 2022

By Erin Alberty

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said an Associated Press story “seriously mischaracterized” its protocols for child abuse reports — but officials did not say what precisely the AP got wrong.

Catch up fast: The AP on Thursday reported that sealed court documents show the church used its 24-7 sex abuse “helpline” to stop a bishop from reporting a confessed child rapist to police in Arizona.

  • The bishop said when he called the hotline, he was connected with church lawyers who told him — wrongly — that he could “absolutely do nothing” because Arizona law required him to keep the man’s confession confidential.
  • The man’s children are now suing the church, and a prosecutor is investigating church officials’ actions.

The latest: The church on Friday refuted the AP story, but without pointing to any specific inaccuracies.

  • The church said the help line “is instrumental in ensuring that all legal…
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Perspective: I survived abuse. I worked for the church’s help line. The AP story broke my heart

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Deseret News [Salt Lake City, UT]

August 6, 2022

By Kate Taylor Lauck

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No child should have to suffer what those sisters went through. Heroes are working to help stop this sickening abuse

Editor’s note: Those who are victims of sexual violence can find resources by calling the Rape and Sexual Assault Crisis Line at 1-888-421-1100 or the 24-hour crisis and information hotline at 801-467-7273.

I felt a sick knot in my stomach.  

A friend texted me an article from The Associated Press titled, “Seven years of sex abuse: How Mormon officials let it happen.” As I read the disturbing details, my eyes filled with tears and my heart absolutely shattered.  

No child should have to ever suffer through what the sisters described in the article suffered through. It’s devastating every time I hear the stories of sex abuse survivors.

Even as I type and edit this article, I can’t help but pause and weep. 

You see, I’m…

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Priest accused of sexual conduct towards four girls at two Glasgow churches

GLASGOW (UNITED KINGDOM)
Glasgow Live [Glasgow, Scotland, UK]

August 4, 2022

By Connor Gordon

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Neil McGarrity, 68, is accused of attacking the girls aged between 10 and 15 at churches in Riddrie and Carntyne over a period of two years and remains on bail awaiting trial.

A priest is accused of sexual conduct toward four girls at two churches.

Neil McGarrity, 68, allegedly attacked the girls between December 2017 and February 2020.

Court papers state McGarrity engaged in sexual activity with a girl between the age of 13 and 15 at St Thomas’ church in Glasgow’s Riddrie. It is stated that he touched the girl on the body.

A second girl was alleged to have been sexually assaulted at St Thomas’ between the ages of 10 and 11.

It is claimed McGarrity repeatedly placed his arm around her, touched her on the body, hugged and pulled her towards him.

A separate charge for the same girl states McGarrity hugged her and stroked her on the arm…

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Priest accused of sex assault against children in Glasgow

GLASGOW (UNITED KINGDOM)
BBC [London, England]

August 4, 2022

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A priest is accused of sexual conduct towards four girls at two churches in Glasgow.

Neil McGarrity, 68, is said to have assaulted the children between December 2017 and February 2020.

Court papers state the incidents happened at St Thomas’ church in Riddrie and St Bernadette’s church in Carntyne.

Fr McGarrity denied six charges at Glasgow Sheriff Court. He will stand trial later this month.

He is alleged to have engaged in sexual activity with a girl between the age of 13 and 15 at St Thomas’.

The charge states that he touched the girl on the body.

A second girl was alleged to have been sexually assaulted at the Riddrie church between the ages of 10 and 11.

It is claimed Fr McGarrity repeatedly placed his arm around her, touched her on the body, hugged and pulled her towards him.

A separate charge for the same girl states the…

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A Nicaraguan priest is accused of abusing a minor. Human rights activists aren’t convinced.

MANAGUA (NICARAGUA)
The Pillar [Washington DC]

August 1, 2022

By Edgar Beltrán

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When a priest is accused of abusing a minor, public opinion seldom gives him the benefit of the doubt — often for good reason. 

But in Nicaragua, things are different. At least for Monsignor José Leonardo Urbina.

Urbina is pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish of Boaco, a city 50 miles east of Managua, the country’s capital. He was arrested on July 13 and formally accused of raping an adolescent girl.

And Urbina’s story is unlike most that begin with a priest arrested for sexual abuse — because Nicaraguan media outlets, and human rights activists –some of them fierce critics of the Catholic Church– have rallied behind Fr. Urbina, citing significant procedural irregularities and raising questions about whether the priest is receiving due process.

The allegation against the priest comes in the context of escalating daily persecution against the Catholic Church led by the regime of Nicaraguan President…

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Tobin Should Have Police Investigate Reassigned Priest, Says Top Lawyer for Church Sex Abuse Victims

PROVIDENCE (RI)
GoLocalProv [Providence RI]

August 4, 2022

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On Monday, GoLocalProv.com first reported that priest Eric Silva — who was removed from two Rhode Island Catholic churches in February of 2022 for improper behavior — is back at another Rhode Island Catholic church offering mass.

Now, a top lawyer for clergy sexual abuse victims worldwide for decades, Mitchell Garabedian, says Bishop Thomas Tobin needs to have an investigation conducted into Silva’s actions before permanent any reassignment.

Parents in Rhode Island had alleged that Silva was asking inappropriate questions to children about their sexual orientation and sexual activity.

On Wednesday, Garabedian — who was portrayed by Stanley Tucci in the movie “Spotlight” — released the following statement: 

“Before re-assigning Fr. Eric Silva, Bishop Thomas Tobin should request a police investigation to determine if any crimes were committed by Fr. Silva against children. 

The investigation by the police would then objectively obtain facts and the truth. The truth which…

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Chicago Archdiocese To Pay $1.75 Million To Woman Who Says Priest Sexually Abused Her At South Side Catholic School

WOODLAWN (IL)
Block Club Chicago

August 5, 2022

By Maxwell Evans

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A woman who said disgraced priest Robert Boley abused her at the defunct St. Cyril Catholic School in Woodlawn “demonstrated tremendous courage coming forward,” her attorneys said. Boley was linked to other abuse scandals in Los Angeles before working in Chicago.

Warning: The following story includes descriptions of sexual abuse.

WOODLAWN — A woman who says disgraced priest Robert Boley repeatedly sexually abused her as a child will receive a $1.75 million settlement from the Archdiocese of Chicago and the local Carmelite province, her attorneys announced Friday.

The woman, who was not named, said Boley abused her multiple times in a classroom when she attended St. Cyril Catholic School, 6423 S. Woodlawn Ave., her attorneys said.

Boley, who was assigned to the St. Clara-St. Cyril Parish in Woodlawn from 1987-1989, was the girl’s teacher at the now-defunct school, she said through her attorneys.

The priest kept the girl inside for…

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Theodore McCarrick Abuse Lawsuit Still Pending in New Jersey

NEWARK (NJ)
National Catholic Register - EWTN [Irondale AL]

August 6, 2022

By Shannon Mullen

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The civil case involving an adolescent boy has received significant media attention due to the graphic nature of the allegations.

One of the more graphic sexual-abuse lawsuits against former cardinal Theodore McCarrick is still pending in New Jersey after the parties recently failed to settle the nearly-two-year-old case, court filings show.

The civil lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Newark in September 2020, accuses McCarrick of raping and sexually assaulting an unnamed adolescent boy on more than 50 occasions from 1985 to 1990.

The lawsuit also names the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen as defendants, alleging that they failed to protect the boy from McCarrick while he led those New Jersey dioceses. All the defendants deny the claims against them.

The parties met with a private mediator June 23 but were unable to settle the case, court records show.

“At this juncture, the parties do not…

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Sexual abuse survivors call for answers amid probe into Catholic Church in Baltimore

BALTIMORE (MD)
ABC News [New York City NY]

August 3, 2022

By Deena Zaru

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Survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic Church leaders rallied in front of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh’s office, calling for the release of preliminary findings of an investigation into the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Teresa Lancaster said she was interviewed four years ago upon the launch of the investigation. She told investigators she was abused at Archbishop Keough High School, but she has yet to be given any answers.

“It’s hard not to see any action,” she said, according to the Baltimore Sun. “I would like to hear something, please.”

Jean Wehner, who says she was also abused while a student at Archbishop Keough High School, said that without any updates over the past four years, survivors who spoke with investigators are finding themselves “in an old familiar place where the silence turns to fear.”

“The fear is that we told the secret and that the disclosure will bring harm to…

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Harrisburg Diocese reaches settlement with clergy abuse survivors

HARRISBURG (PA)
WGAL-TV, NBC-8 [Lancaster PA]

August 5, 2022

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Part of proposed deal to emerge from bankruptcy

The Diocese of Harrisburg has reached an agreement to settle claims of people who say they were victims of clergy sexual abuse.

The Diocese has agreed to set up a $7.5 million trust as part of a proposed settlement that will allow the Diocese to come out of bankruptcy protection.

The Diocese filed for bankruptcy in 2020. Since then, it said more than 50 people have filed claims that they were abused by priests.

“The steps we take today continue our commitment and responsibility to support survivors of clergy abuse, and to make restitution for the suffering they have endured,” Bishop Ronald Gainer said in a news release on Thursday. “While I have acknowledged many times that no amount of money could ever compensate for the abuse these survivors have experienced, it is my prayer that this settlement will…

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Victim of clergy abuse asks Catholic church leaders for transparency

SARATOGA SPRINGS (NY)
Post-Star [Glen Falls NY]

August 6, 2022

By Jana DeCamilla

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Before July 6, Stephen Mittler was simply known as John Doe 1988-1989 in a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany and former priest Mark Haight.

The Saratoga Springs man decided to make his story public in hopes the awareness would inspire others to come forward and to encourage transparency from the diocese.

Mittler had a busy week, making the rounds and meeting with officials of the Catholic church.

After standing with the bishop of Albany, Edward Scharfenberger, on the steps of Corpus Christi Church in the village of Round Lake, where he first met his abuser, he then traveled to New York City with his 16-year-old daughter to meet with Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan.

He said he is trying to have a working relationship with the diocese and church leaders to give other victims of sexual abuse by clergy members the space to tell…

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August 7, 2022

The pope’s apology tour has some conspicuous gaps — let’s start with Junipero Serra

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

July 29, 2022

By Patty Krawec

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In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI met with Indigenous leaders and expressed sorrow for the experiences of survivors, though not an apology. Now 13 years later, Pope Francis has traveled to the Indigenous communities of Maskwacis and Lac Ste Anne in Alberta to apologize for the Church’s role in the residential schools.

The apologies have been met with some relief and much outrage as survivors and their descendants balance their competing needs for resolution and reparation and as we analyze what was said and what was excluded.

But first: let’s talk about Junipero Serra, an 18th-century Franciscan priest, whose canonization was fast-tracked by Pope Francis to coincide with a visit to the U.S. Serra founded nine of the 21 missions in California. The Spanish missions, much like the so-called English praying towns of the Northeast and not so unlike the residential schools that would follow, were closed communities for Indigenous people…

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Pope Francis’ apology to Indigenous Canadians opened door to reconciliation

(CANADA)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

August 2, 2022

By Kevin P. Considine

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“I was an angry man most of my life because society didn’t understand us survivors… When you are abused that is all you think about. You think about it over and over again. Forgiveness is not about rewarding a perpetrator.”

Amen to that. These words come from a survivor of a Canadian residential school. They were recorded by Miles Morrisseau, a citizen of the Métis Nation, and special correspondent for ICT (formerly Indian Country Today). And this is part of what Pope Francis tried to demonstrate in his penitential journey to Canada: Reconciliation is not a “get out of jail free” card. Reconciliation is a challenging, painful, messy and unpredictable journey.

Francis has heard the call for reconciliation. The pontiff set an example for all Christians, Catholic and otherwise, in his journey of penance for the sins of many of our spiritual ancestors, who were…

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Roman stunner: More or less, the Vatican tells the truth about its money

ROME (ITALY)
Crux [Denver CO]

August 7, 2022

By John L. Allen Jr.

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If you were listening closely this week, your ears may have picked up a subterranean rumbling out of Rome. It was the sound of the tectonic plates of history shifting, as, perhaps for the first time ever, the Vatican actually more or less came clean about its finances.

In the old days, it used to be said that how much money the Vatican has was among the mysteries of the faith, akin to how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Funds were distributed among a bewildering variety of entities and accounts, many of them off the books – in some cases, cash was literally stuffed into desk drawers and cabinets in Vatican offices, replenished and doled out with no paper trail at all.

Further complicating things, there’s long been ambiguity about what’s meant by “the Vatican” when it comes to accounting.

Some people mean the Roman…

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Stephen Rowland: Always take allegations of sexual abuse seriously

COLUMBIA (TN)
Columbia Daily Herald [Columbia, TN]

August 6, 2022

By Stephen Rowland

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Why is it that pastors (or priests), of all people, are often the ones who stonewall an investigation into sexual abuse claims in their churches/parishes?

It’s a definite problem — we all have followed the news in times past about the Pope apologizing to victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by certain priests. It was suppressed and covered over for decades. Then there was the Southern Baptist organization apologizing to sexual abuse victims not long ago. The burning shame of these humiliating ordeals is that you would think a church is the last place on earth to find such atrocities.

I think the sad truth is that sexual abusers can be found in practically any large group of people, religious or secular. They fly “under the radar” carefully disguising their hidden motives. They sometimes volunteer for youth activities, mentoring programs, youth ministry in churches specifically to increase their chances of finding…

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LDS Church slams AP story as ‘mischaracterizing’ help line given to leaders to report abuse

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

August 5, 2022

By Tamarra Kemsley and Peggy Fletcher Stack

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In a strongly worded news release issued Friday morning, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accused The Associated Press of publishing an “oversimplified and incomplete” story about the faith’s handling of child sex abuse cases.

But experts on the issue remain adamant and say the church has a long way to go to ensure a safe and transparent reporting environment for victims.

In particular, the faith’s news release focused on the role of the church’s help line given to lay local leaders when handling cases of abuse, saying the system ensures reporting compliance.

The AP’s investigation, drawing on previously sealed court documents, highlighted families of survivors who said the help line was misused by church leaders to divert abuse accusations away from law enforcement, leaving victims vulnerable.

“The nature and the purpose of the church’s help line was seriously mischaracterized in a recent Associated Press article,” the release…

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August 6, 2022

Pine Ridge council votes to exclude missionary from tribal lands

PINE RIDGE (SD)
Indian Country Today [Phoenix, AZ]

August 5, 2022

By Mary Annette Pember

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A Christian missionary whose message condemns Lakota spirituality and religion recently hit a sort of reverse sweet spot of outrage among citizens on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

In an unusual decision, the Oglala Lakota Nation tribal council voted in July to exclude Matt Monfore, a non-Native from the Jesus is King Mission, from Pine Ridge lands, saying he was spreading hate by distributing pamphlets on tribal lands.

“This week the Jesus is King Missionary was found distributing material that literally demonizes the Lakota culture and faith,” according to a letter released by the office of Tribal President Kevin Killer on July 22.

“This is unacceptable and completely disrespectful. It is the view of the President and Council that these ‘pamphlets’ seek to promote hate instead of peace. Hate has no place on Oglala land.”

Read more:

’Missionaries are on our reservation’

Papal Visit: Apology at last…

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Bishop Should Suspend Silva and Neronha Must Investigate – McKiernan of BishopAccountability

PROVIDENCE (RI)
GoLocalProv [Providence RI]

August 6, 2022

By Terence McKiernan, President and Co-Director, BishopAccountability, Guest MINDSETTER™

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We welcome the decision by Bishop Thomas J. Tobin to backtrack on his ill-considered appointment and remove Fr. Eric Silva from St. Thomas More Parish in Narragansett.  But Bishop Tobin has ducked responsibility for this fiasco by issuing an unsigned statement that does not admit that the appointment was a mistake.  

We are very concerned that Bishop Tobin has chosen to keep Fr. Eric Silva’s priestly faculties in place.  Those faculties should be immediately suspended, pending a full and open investigation of the allegations against Silva.  Sexual interrogation of children in confession is closely associated with sexual abuse in the Catholic church, and for this reason is not allowed.  Bishop Tobin is well aware of this.  His responsibility to the children of the Diocese of Providence requires that he investigate the Silva case properly, keep Silva out of ministry during the investigation, and send a message to Rhode Island survivors…

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Two-year-old lawsuit accusing Theodore McCarrick of repeatedly raping boy still pending in NJ

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

August 5, 2022

By Shannon Mullen

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One of the more graphic sexual abuse lawsuits against former cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick is still pending in New Jersey after the parties recently failed to settle the nearly two-year-old case, court filings show.

The civil lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Newark in September 2020, accuses McCarrick of raping and sexually assaulting an unnamed adolescent boy on more than 50 occasions from 1985 to 1990.

The lawsuit also names the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen as defendants, alleging that they failed to protect the boy from McCarrick while he led those New Jersey dioceses. All the defendants deny the claims against them.

The parties met with a private mediator June 23 but were unable to settle the case, court records show.

“At this juncture, the parties do not believe that another settlement conference will be productive,” the plaintiff’s lawyers, Mark Lefkowitz and Kevin Mulhearn, wrote…

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Diocese rescinds appointment of Father Eric Silva to Narragansett amid controversy

NARRAGANSETT (RI)
Providence Journal [Providence RI]

August 5, 2022

By Antonia Noori Farzan

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priest who had been placed on leave after parents raised concerns won’t be reassigned to a parish in Narragansett after all.

The Diocese of Providence said in news release on Friday that Bishop Thomas J. Tobin had rescinded Father Eric Silva’s appointment as assistant pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Narragansett. 

The move came at the request of Silva himself, and Father Marcel Taillon, the pastor at St. Thomas More, the diocese said. 

“It is with a heavy heart that I realize my presence there will only hurt the parish and cause division amongst the good people of God,” Silva said in his written request to Tobin, according to the diocese. 

Silva previously served as assistant pastor for St. Luke’s Parish in Barrington, but was put on leave in February. A parent at a Catholic school in Cranston where he had served as a visiting priest…

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Diocese defends transfer of priest to Narragansett

NARRAGANSETT (RI)
The Independent [Narragansett, RI]

August 4, 2022

By Ryan Blessing, Staff Writer

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A priest accused of asking sexually inappropriate questions to children in a parochial school in Cranston has been assigned to a Narragansett church starting this month.

The move by the Diocese of Providence to place Father Eric Silva in an assistant pastor position at St. Thomas More effective Aug. 15 has drawn criticism from local parents and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a national group.

According to media reports, Silva, previously an assistant pastor for St. Luke’s Parish in Barrington, was placed on leave from that position in February. Parents had complained that, while as a visiting priest at a Catholic school in Cranston, Silva asked the questions to students.

“The Diocese of Providence received several concerns from parents of students at Immaculate Conception Catholic Regional School in Cranston that Rev. Eric Silva made errors in pastoral judgment while administering the Sacrament of Penance there earlier this…

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Protestors want former Barrington priest investigated amid allegations

PROVIDENCE (RI)
WJAR-TV, NBC-10 [Providence RI]

August 5, 2022

By Joanna Bouras, NBC 10 News

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As two men protested in front of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence on Friday, the word came down from the Bishop.

Father Eric Silva, who was an assistant pastor of Saint Luke’s Parish in Barrington, won’t be reassigned to Saint Thomas Moore in Narragansett.

Silva was put on temporary administrative leave after parents at a Cranston school claimed he asked children inappropriate questions about their sexuality during confession.

“Committed outrageous offenses against children in a confessional of all places,” said Dr. Robert Hoatson, president of a non-profit that supports sexual assault violence victims and their families.

Hoatson drove from New Jersey to protest outside the church.

Silva has only been accused of holding inappropriate conversations, for which the diocese placed him on temporary leave.

Silva released a statement through the diocese, saying: “It is…

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Chicago Archdiocese settles sex abuse case for $1.75 million

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

August 5, 2022

By Mitch Dudek

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A woman said she was abused in the 1980s at a Catholic school on the South Side, St. Cyril Catholic School in Woodlawn, which since has closed.

A sex abuse case against the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Carmelites, a Catholic religious order, has been settled for $1.75 million, attorneys for the victim announced Friday.

The case was filed by a woman who said she was repeatedly abused as a child in the 1980s by Robert Boley, a Carmelite priest who taught at St. Cyril Catholic School, 6423 S. Woodlawn Ave. which has since closed.

“During one school year, he abused her multiple times in the classroom, having her stay inside for recess and sexually assaulting her while also telling her she was a bad child, that God was angry with her and making her read the Bible during the abuse,” according to a statement Friday from Romanucci & Blandin,…

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Church responds to AP story on abuse of a child and reporting hotline

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Deseret News [Salt Lake City, UT]

August 5, 2022

By Tad Walch

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“The abuse of a child or any other individual is inexcusable,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in a statement.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responded Friday to an Associated Press story about how the church handled child sexual abuse cases in Arizona and West Virginia.

“The abuse of a child or any other individual is inexcusable,” the statement said. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes this, teaches this and dedicates tremendous resources and efforts to prevent, report and address abuse. Our hearts break for these children and all victims of abuse.”

The AP story focused on the church’s abuse help line. The help line provides professional legal and clinical advice on abuse cases to Latter-day Saint bishops and branch presidents, laymen who are not professionally trained clergy. Bishops and branch presidents, who…

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4 takeaways from AP’s Mormon church sex abuse investigation

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Associated Press [New York NY]

August 4, 2022

By Michael Rezendes

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When an Arizona bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the Mormon church, learned that a member of his ward was sexually assaulting his 5-year-old daughter, he followed church policy and called the Mormon Abuse Help Line.

The bishop later told law enforcement that church attorneys in Salt Lake City who staff the help line around the clock said that because he learned of the abuse during a counseling session the church considers a spiritual confession, he was legally bound to keep the abuse secret.

Paul Douglas Adams, a U.S. Border Patrol employee living with his wife and six children in Bisbee, Arizona, continued abusing his daughter for as many as seven more years, and went on to abuse a second daughter. He finally stopped in 2017 with no help from the church only because he was arrested.

The Associated Press obtained…

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Portugal’s Catholic Church child sex-abuse scandal deepens

LISBON (PORTUGAL)
Portugal Resident [Lagoa, Portugal]

August 5, 2022

By Natasha Donn

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President Marcelo says allegations must all be investigated

Bit by bit the hideous truth that Catholic priests in Portugal have been left relatively free (if not almost completely free) to sexually abuse children for decades is coming home to roost.

The scandal that hit the headlines in France less than a year ago, and which precipitated the opening of an inquiry in Portugal in January, has opened the floodgates on an accelerating domino-effect of horrors.

Today, Expresso reveals another 12 priests have been outed by one of their own – half of them still in active duties.

The story is all the more disturbing for the mantle of silence purportedly imposed by the Church’s hierarchy.

Previously, allegations have explained how Lisbon’s Cardinal Patriarch failed to report abuse to the police – now developments suggest at least two bishops were involved in what can only be described as ‘cover ups’.

Even when…

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Detroit auxiliary bishop denies allegation of sexually abusing minor

DETROIT (MI)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

August 2, 2022

By Carl Bunderson, Shannon Mullen

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Archbishop Paul Russell, an auxiliary bishop of Detroit and a former Vatican diplomat, has been named in a civil lawsuit alleging he sexually abused a minor more than 30 years ago while a priest in Massachusetts.

Russell, 63, denies the charges, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the Archdiocese of Detroit. The statement said Russell would refrain from public ministry until further notice from the Vatican.

Russell was appointed auxiliary bishop of Detroit in May, and he was installed July 7. Though an auxiliary, he retains the personal title of archbishop.

The lawsuit was filed Aug. 1 in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston. It was first reported Tuesday by the Detroit News.

The unidentified plaintiff was 12 years old when he met Russell — then a priest assigned to St. Mary of the Sacred Heart Parish in Lynn, Massachusetts — at the parish’s food bank, according to the lawsuit….

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Archbishop Paul Russell, auxiliary in Detroit, ‘shocked and saddened’ by allegations of sexual abuse while a priest in Boston

DETROIT (MI)
The Dialog [Diocese of Wilmington DE]

August 3, 2022

By Catholic News Service

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Archbishop Paul F. Russell, Detroit’s newest auxiliary bishop, will refrain from public ministry following an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor dating to his time as a priest in the Archdiocese of Boston more than 30 years ago.

Archbishop Russell strongly denied the allegation Aug. 2.

A lawsuit filed Aug. 1 in Massachusetts’ Suffolk County Superior Court accuses then-Father Russell of sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy “approximately 25 times” in 1989-90, during his time as associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Lynn, Massachusetts.

The lawsuit also names as defendants the Archdiocese of Boston and another priest who was pastor of Sacred Heart at the time.

In a statement, the Archdiocese of Detroit — which is not named in the lawsuit — said Archbishop Russell is “shocked and saddened by the claims that have been made, and states that they are without merit. He holds in prayer all those who…

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Pope Francis was not fully briefed prior to Canadian visit

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

August 5, 2022

By Thomas Reese, Religion News Service

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Pope Francis’ six-day pastoral visit to Canada was a great success. It wasn’t until the news conference on the plane back to Rome that it became clear he wasn’t properly briefed for his visit.

Francis, in Canada on what he called a penitential pilgrimage, apologized to the Indigenous peoples of the country for the Catholic Church’s cooperation in their forced assimilation to colonizing Europeans’ culture over the centuries, especially in residential schools run by the church.

People from the First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities who listened to the pope’s apologies responded for the most part positively. Many, however, regretted that it took so long for the pope to apologize, and some wanted him to say more.

Some Indigenous leaders wanted the pope to denounce the Doctrine of Discovery, a 15th-century theory enshrined in the papal bull, Inter Caetera, that allowed Christian…

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August 5, 2022

Tobin Rescinds Priest Assignment After GoLocal Report

PROVIDENCE (RI)
GoLocalProv [Providence RI]

August 5, 2022

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On Monday, GoLocal unveiled that priest Eric Silva has been assigned to a Narragansett church.

Previously, Silva had been removed from two other churches earlier in the year for asking children “inappropriate questions” about sex.

For much of the week, the head of the Diocese of Providence defended the assignment of Silva.

But, on Friday, Bishop Thomas Tobin reversed course and announced that Silva would be removed.

“Upon receiving written requests from Father Eric Silva, and from Father Marcel Taillon, Pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Narragansett, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin has rescinded Father Silva’s appointment as Assistant Pastor of the parish, which had been scheduled to begin on August 15,” said Tobin.

“In his written request to Bishop Tobin, Father Silva said, ‘It is with a heavy heart that I realize my presence there will only hurt the parish and cause division amongst the good people of God.’…

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Statement on the Assignment of Fr. Eric Silva

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Diocese of Providence RI

August 5, 2022

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Upon receiving written requests from Father Eric Silva, and from Father Marcel Taillon, Pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Narragansett, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin has rescinded Father Silva’s appointment as Assistant Pastor of the parish, which had been scheduled to begin on August 15. In his written request to Bishop Tobin, Father Silva said, “It is with a heavy heart that I realize my presence there will only hurt the parish and cause division amongst the good people of God.” While Father Silva retains the priestly faculties of the Diocese of Providence, he will not be receiving a new assignment at the present time.

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Seven years of sex abuse: How Mormon officials let it happen

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Associated Press [New York NY]

August 5, 2022

By Michael Rezendes

Read original article

[Includes a nine-minute video and many photographs. See also the Arizona reporting law.]

Bisbee, Ariz. (AP) — MJ was a tiny, black-haired girl, just 5 years old, when her father admitted to his bishop that he was sexually abusing her.

The father, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and an admitted pornography addict, was in counseling with his bishop when he revealed the abuse. The bishop, who was also a family physician, followed church policy and called what church officials have dubbed the “help line” for guidance.

But the call offered little help for MJ. Lawyers for the church, widely known as the Mormon church, who staff the help line around the clock told Bishop John Herrod not to call police or child welfare officials. Instead he kept the abuse secret.

“They said, ‘You absolutely can do nothing,’” Herrod said in a recorded interview…

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Albany Bishop talks Diocese response to sex abuse suits

ALBANY (NY)
WRGB - CBS 6 [Albany NY]

August 4, 2022

By Liz Bishop

Read original article

[Includes a video of the reporter’s interview with Bishop Scharfenberger (“there are no secret files”); also includes a video of survivor Stephen Mittler’s comments on his meeting with Scharfenberger and on Scharfenberger’s homily at the church where Mittler first met his abuser, Fr. Mark Haight.]

More than 400 Child Victims Act cases have been lodged against the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese claiming clergy were allowed to prey on children with impunity for decades while church officials turned a blind eye.

Albany Bishop Edward Scharfenberger has said he wants to “walk with the survivors,” but the path ahead is littered with challenges. He must heal the pain of sex abuse while juggling the need for accountability and do it with what he says are limited resources and the added pressure of an onslaught of legal action just around the corner.

This week I sat down for an exclusive interview with the…

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Portugal cardinal meets pope as sex abuse allegations swirl

LISBON (PORTUGAL)
Associated Press [New York NY]

August 5, 2022

By Barry Hatton

Read original article

The archbishop of Lisbon met Friday with Pope Francis in a private audience at the Vatican to discuss “events in recent weeks that have marked the life of the Church in Portugal,” the Portuguese church said.

The two-sentence communique gave no further details, and the Vatican does not comment on the pope’s private audiences with individual churchmen. But suspicion about what they discussed immediately fell on recent allegations of child sex abuse by priests and alleged cover-ups by senior members of the Portuguese church.

Other possible topics for discussion include the organization of World Youth Day 2023, a major Catholic festival which will be held in Lisbon in August and which the pope is expected to attend. Communiques about that event tend to be more detailed.

The sex abuse allegations have swirled recently, bringing a turbulent spell for Portuguese church authorities and prompting Lisbon Cardinal Manuel Clemente to publish an…

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Canada requests extradition of French priest accused of child abuse

(CANADA)
Agence France Presse [Paris, France]

August 5, 2022

Read original article

[Via France 24]

Canada has requested the extradition of a French priest accused of sexually abusing Indigenous children more than 30 years ago, Canadian Justice Minister David Lametti confirmed Thursday. 

“I am aware that an extradition request sent to France has been made public, which ministry officials have just confirmed,” Lametti said in an email to AFP, declining to give further details.

“It is important for Canada and its international partners that serious crimes are fully investigated and prosecuted.”

The French foreign ministry confirmed it had received the request and said it was being processed by justice officials.

The announcement comes shortly after Pope Francis completed a landmark trip to Canadawhere he apologized for the abuse of Indigenous children in Catholic-run schools over decades.

Priest Johannes Rivoire, who spent three decades in Canada’s far north, has been the subject of an arrest warrant in Canada since February, after a…

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August 4, 2022

Between the faithful and predators, does the pope’s apology bring a new hope

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Avenue Mail [Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India]

August 3, 2022

By Mr. Lalu

Read original article

The supreme patriarch of the Catholic Church the Pope apologizes again. This time it is Pope Francis who extended an apology to the indigenous community of Canada. The pope’s visit to the country was mainly to tender an apology to the community for the forced assimilation of their children at the residential schools run by the Catholic Church and the gruesome persecution carried on them.  He called his tour of Canada a “penitential pilgrimage”. This time, in his usual gesture of apology, the Pope said that he regretted and begged forgiveness for the evil committed by the Catholic Christians against the indigenous people of Canada. By doing this the Pope was referring to the innocent children who never returned from the schools where they were forcefully taken away for education by the Church. The assimilation policies of the church, he reiterated, has marginalized the indigenous people and robbed them of…

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Knoxville diocese fought to name plaintiff in rape cover-up suit

KNOXVILLE (TN)
The Pillar [Washington DC]

August 3, 2022

Read original article

A Tennessee judge struck down Friday the Diocese of Knoxville’s plea to dismiss a lawsuit which alleges that Knoxville’s bishop impeded a diocesan investigation into a rape allegation, and defamed an alleged rape victim, by charging publicly that the victim was actually the aggressor. 

Judge Jerome Melson also dismissed a petition from the Knoxville diocese for a protective order, which would have exempted from subpoena all diocesan records related to a Vatican investigation into complaints against Bishop Rick Stika.

The court also decided Friday that the alleged rape victim will not be permitted to use a pseudonym in his suit against Stika and the Knoxville diocese

Although the identity of the plaintiff has been known to the diocese since before the suit was filed, diocesan attorneys argued in a brief ahead of the July 29 hearing that the alleged rape victim should be required to disclose his name publicly in…

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“Call Bethel”: Jehovah’s Witnesses and Sexual Abuse. 4. The Montana Case

HELENA (MT)
Bitter Winter - Center for Studies on New Religions [Torino, Italy]

August 4, 2022

By Massimo Introvigne

Read original article

The Telegraph’s podcast criticized a 2020 decision by the Supreme Court of Montana that protected the confessional privilege. But it correctly applied the law.

Article 4 of 5. Read article 1article 2, and article 3.

Call Bethel, the Telegraph’s podcast, also discusses cases in the United States. In particular, we hear the voices of the plaintiffs in a case in the American state of Montana, where they obtained a verdict of $35 million against the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The verdict was reversed by the Supreme Court of Montana on January 8, 2020, which affirmed that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were excepted from Montana’s mandatory reporting laws in cases of sexual abuse of children because the information obtained by the elders was protected by the confessional privilege.

The podcast includes an ironical comment by one of the plaintiffs after the Supreme…

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Chile’s Catholics see chasm separating hierarchy from increasingly hostile laity

(CHILE)
Crux [Denver CO]

August 4, 2022

By Inés San Martín

Read original article

To put it mildly, the Catholic Church in Chile has a big problem.

Chilean Catholics describe a giant chasm between the hierarchy, which some church-watchers describe as elite and out of touch, and an increasingly incredulous and hostile laity. Without a real effort of both parties to bridge the gap, these same experts fear the church will never regain its once honored place in the country.

One striking place the strain is showing up is in the numbers.

Eduardo Valenzuela, head of Catholic University’s sociology department, told Crux that in the last two decades, the percentage of Chileans who identify as Catholics dropped from 70 percent to 45. The number of Mass-going faithful has been reduced by half.

“There’s a lot of fear in the hierarchy of not being able to control the situation, of calling a lay Catholic to organize something, of accepting the need to loosen the leash,” he said. “The…

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Ryan Brophy, who is protesting the assignment of a priest in Narragansett, is thanked by psychologist Ann Hagan Webb, a survivor of clergy sexual abuse. Phot by Amanda Milkovits

Survivor makes a stand after priest who made inappropriate comments to children assigned to Narragansett parish

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Boston Globe

August 3, 2022

By Amanda Milkovits

Read original article

[Photo above: Ryan Brophy, who is protesting the assignment of a priest in Narragansett, is thanked by psychologist Ann Hagan Webb, a survivor of clergy sexual abuse. Photo by Amanda Milkovits]

Ryan Brophy, a father and survivor of childhood sexual abuse, felt he had to act when he learned the diocese had assigned the Rev. Eric Silva as assistant pastor at St. Thomas More Church

Ryan Brophy was making ice cream at his family’s shop on Monday when he heard about the new priest who had quietly been moved into town.

The Rev. Eric Silva was fresh off a five-month leave, after an uproar over him asking children in Cranston and Barrington about their sexuality. By July, though, Bishop Thomas Tobin decided that Silva was ready to go back to work and assigned him to be an assistant pastor at St. Thomas More Church in Narragansett in…

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Bishop accused in lawsuit of abusing child at Lynn, Massachusetts, parish decades ago

BOSTON (MA)
WCVB - ABC 5 [Boston MA]

August 4, 2022

Read original article

[See also the lawsuit.]

A former parishioner at a Massachusetts church has filed a lawsuit alleging he was sexually abused as a child more than 30 years ago by a Roman Catholic priest who is now an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents as John Doe No. 12, was a 12-year-old parishioner at Saint Mary of the Sacred Heart Parish in Lynn in 1989 and 1990 when he was sexually assaulted about 25 times by Paul Fitzpatrick Russell, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in Boston.

The Archdiocese of Detroit in a statement said Russell denied the allegations.

“Abp. Russell is shocked and saddened by the claims that have been made,” the statement said. “He states that the allegations are totally without merit and that his conscience is perfectly clear.”

Russell has been placed on “limited” ministerial duty, and Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron…

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August 3, 2022

Attorney Garabedian calls for investigation into Fr. Eric Silva following reassignment

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

August 3, 2022

By Hector Molina

Read original article

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents victims of clergy abuse, is calling for an investigation into Fr. Eric Silva.

Silva was re-assigned to St. Thomas More in Narragansett following alleged inappropriate questions toward religious students during confessionals during his time as priest at St. Luke’s Church in Barrington.

The Diocese of Providence has yet to release the nature of those questions.

“One has to wonder what did Father Silva say to those children what did he actually say?” Garabedian asked.

The Diocese of Providence said the leave was intended for “pastoral study and reflection” but was always going to be temporary.

Garabedian said Silva should be investigated before he serves at any church.

“What is going on in Fr. Silva’s mind? If Bishop Tobin wanted to do the right thing and practice transparency he should call the police. He should call them today for an independent investigation,” Garabedian said.

Silva’s first…

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Diocese assigns priest to Narragansett parish after placing him on leave over inappropriate comments to students

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Boston Globe

August 2, 2022

By Amanda Milkovits

Read original article

A priest who was placed on leave earlier this year after complaints that he’d made inappropriate comments to students at two Catholic schools has been assigned to a parish in Narragansett.

The Diocese of Providence has placed the Reverend Eric Silva as an assistant pastor at St. Thomas More Parish, effective Aug. 15, according to a July 14 notice about new assignments.

Silva had been on temporary administrative leave since February, after the principal of Immaculate Conception Catholic Regional School in Cranston barred him when parents complained that he’d asked children about their sexual activity and orientation.

Silva, who’d been ordained in 2019, was an assistant pastor at St. Luke’s Parish in Barrington at the time and visited the Cranston school as a substitute priest. The Diocese said in a Feb. 14 statement that there were complaints from St. Luke School as well, and that Silva’s…

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Regarding the Civil Lawsuit Filed Against Archbishop Paul Russell

BOSTON (MA)
Archdiocese of Detroit [Detroit MI]

August 2, 2022

Read original article

The Department of Communications shares the following statement from the Archdiocese of Detroit regarding the civil lawsuit filed August 1, 2022 in Massachusetts against Archbishop Paul Russell:

Archbishop Russell is shocked and saddened by the claims that have been made, and states that they are without merit. He holds in prayer all those who have ever been victimized by a member of the clergy.

Archbishop Russell was appointed by Pope Francis as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit on May 23, 2022. The Archdiocese of Detroit was not aware of any allegation of misconduct against Archbishop Russell until it was contacted by media Monday, August 1. Effective immediately, Archbishop Russell is refraining from all public ministry, and will continue until further directed by the Holy See. The canonical (Church law) guidelines, as provided by the Holy See, are being followed.

The Archdiocese of Detroit offers its prayers for all…

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Bishop accused in lawsuit of abusing child decades ago

BOSTON (MA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

August 2, 2022

By Mark Pratt

Read original article

[See also the lawsuit.]

A former parishioner at a Massachusetts church has filed a lawsuit alleging he was sexually abused as a child more than 30 years ago by a Roman Catholic priest who is now an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents as John Doe No. 12, was a 12-year-old parishioner at Saint Mary of the Sacred Heart Parish in Lynn in 1989 and 1990 when he was sexually assaulted about 25 times by Paul Fitzpatrick Russell, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in Boston.

The Archdiocese of Detroit in a statement said Russell denied the allegations.

“Abp. Russell is shocked and saddened by the claims that have been made,” the statement said. “He states that the allegations are totally without merit and that his conscience is perfectly clear.”

Russell has been placed on “limited” ministerial duty, and Detroit Archbishop Allen…

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Attorney who represented church abuse victims defends state’s YDC settlement plan

CONCORD (NH)
New Hampshire Bulletin [Concord NH]

August 3, 2022

By Annmarie Timmins

Read original article

Attorneys on opposite sides of settling sexual abuse claims against the Catholic Church 20 years ago now fiercely disagree over the state’s proposed plan for settling claims from hundreds of people abused while at the former state Youth Detention Center. 

In a July 29 letter to Attorney General John Formella, attorney Chuck Douglas, who represented church abuse victims and now about a dozen YDC victims, blasted attorneys Dave Vicinanzo and Rus Rilee for calling the state’s proposed caps on YDC claims unfriendly to victims. The two represent more than 800 plaintiffs and have hundreds of cases in superior court rather than go through a settlement process they say will cheat and retraumatize victims by questioning their credibility .

In his letter, Douglas noted that when Vicinanzo defended the Catholic Church against sex abuse claims two decades ago, the church agreed to pay its victims far less than the…

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Maryland’s clergy sex abuse investigation lacks results, survivors say

BALTIMORE (MD)
Maryland Matters [Takoma Park MD]

August 2, 2022

By Bruce DePuyt

Read original article

Over a two-year period, investigators working for Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro uncovered evidence of “pervasive” child sexual abuse by clergy — including “detailed” accounts of more than 1,000 victims by 31 “predator priests.”

In Maryland, victims of clergy sex abuse look to the work of Shapiro (D) with a mix of admiration and envy.

It took Shapiro’s investigators two years to investigate and put together an 884-page report that was described as a “bombshell” and led to a global push for reform and prosecution of those who committed or covered up crimes against children.

But three years after Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh (D) announced an investigation into such abuse in Maryland, victims are still waiting for results.

And they are frustrated by what they see as foot-dragging by Frosh.

In 2019 he hired veteran prosecutor Elizabeth M. Embry to spearhead a probe of predators and church higher-ups who knew of…

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Francis in Canada: Trip shows tenacity of Canada’s Indigenous and pope

IQALUIT (CANADA)
Catholic News Service - USCCB [Washington DC]

August 3, 2022

By Cindy Wooden

Read original article

[Via Hawaii Catholic Herald]

At the end of his six-day visit to Canada, Pope Francis, sitting in a wheelchair, said goodbye to Chief Wilton Littlechild, also sitting in a wheelchair.

Littlechild, a 78-year-old lawyer, survivor of abuse in a residential school and former grand chief of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations, had spent decades advocating for the rights of First Nation, Métis and Inuit people and had lobbied hard for Pope Francis to come to Canada to apologize in person for the Catholic Church’s complicity in abusing children, breaking up families and suppressing Indigenous language and culture.

The chief had welcomed Pope Francis to his home — Maskwacis — July 25, the first full day of the trip, and created some controversy by giving the pope his late grandfather’s headdress. He told Canada’s Native News Online that the Ermineskin Cree Nation had decided as a community that the…

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Survivors of abuse in Catholic Church demand attorney general release findings

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

August 2, 2022

By Ava-joye Burnett

Read original article

For nearly four years, the Maryland Office of the Attorney General has been investigating allegations of widespread sex abuse against children within the Catholic Church.

But survivors who said they endured the abuse decades ago tell WJZ they are tired of waiting for answers and they’re worried time is running out.

These survivors want Attorney General Brian Frosh to release the findings of his investigation into child sex abuse because it’s been almost four years.

Members of the group SNAP – The Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests – also want indictments for priests who allegedly abused kids and anyone who helped with a cover-up.

As children, the survivors hid the secrets of their alleged abuse.

As adults, they’re openly sharing the details of the pain they say was caused by priests in the Catholic Church.

David Lorenz is the Maryland director of SNAP. He said his abuse happened…

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Bishop accused in lawsuit of abusing child decades ago

BOSTON (MA)
Detroit Free Press [Detroit MI]

August 2, 2022

Read original article

A former parishioner at a Massachusetts church has filed a lawsuit alleging he was sexually abused as a child more than 30 years ago by a Roman Catholic priest who is now an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents as John Doe No. 12, was a 12-year-old parishioner at Saint Mary of the Sacred Heart Parish in Lynn in 1989 and 1990 when he was sexually assaulted about 25 times by Paul Fitzpatrick Russell, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in Boston.

The Archdiocese of Detroit in a statement said Russell denied the allegations.

“Abp. Russell is shocked and saddened by the claims that have been made,” the statement said. “He states that the allegations are totally without merit and that his conscience is perfectly clear.”

Russell has been placed on “limited” ministerial duty, and Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron has pledged “complete cooperation.”

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August 2, 2022

The Catholic doctrine of discovery is already null and void

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
The Hub [Toronto, Ontario, Canada]

August 2, 2022

By Brendan Steven

Read original article

At last, the Pope has apologized on Canadian soil for the Catholic role in this country’s shameful history of residential schools.

Will the apology be accepted? A friend reminded me that forgiveness is an act of the will. Every residential school survivor and family member will choose for themselves what this apology means to them. An APTN correspondent described the reaction of one woman: “The moment [the Pope] apologized, she felt all her sadness and anger leave her body.” If for that alone, this visit is worth it.

It is not my place to say whether the apology should be accepted. But for some of those rejecting it, one reason why casts a long shadow: the Doctrine of Discovery. The issue inflames passions. Just last week, at a papal Mass in Quebec, activists unfurled a banner that read “RESCIND THE DOCTRINE”.

To them, I am happy to…

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Priest accused of asking inappropriate questions has new post at Narragansett parish

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal [Providence RI]

August 2, 2022

By Antonia Noori Farzan

Read original article

A priest who was accused of posing inappropriate questions to children at a Barrington parish has a new position in Narragansett.

Effective Aug. 15, Father Eric Silva will become assistant pastor at Saint Thomas More in Narragansett, a spokesman for the Diocese of Providence confirmed.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) alerted media outlets on Monday that Silva was “back on the job” and said the move raised serious concerns. 

SNAP concerns about placing suspended priests back into parishes

“Countless times in the past, Catholic officials have placed suspended priests back into parishes, only later having to remove them again when additional accusations are reported,” the Chicago-based advocacy group said in a news release. “We are concerned that this history could repeat itself in the Diocese of Providence.”

Fr. Eric Silva placed on leave in Barrington

Silva previously served as assistant pastor for St. Luke’s Parish in…

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‘We heard nothing’: Cape Broyle community group blindsided by sale of local Catholic church and scrambling to save it

ST. JOHN'S (CANADA)
Saltwire Network [Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada]

August 2, 2022

By Evan Careen

Read original article

[Immaculate] Conception Catholic Church parishioner committee asking outsiders to not put in offers on the church they hold dear

The Cape Broyle Church Committee had been trying to find out for months how they could keep community ownership of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in the community, so it was a big surprise to them late last week when they were informed by a real estate agent the building would be listed for sale on Monday, Aug. 1.

Paula Hawkins, chair of the committee, said they contacted the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s in February to find a way for the community to obtain legal ownership of the church, and got a reply only a few weeks ago that it would have to be referred to the corporation’s legal department. This was following a meeting with the archbishop that same month, where he told them all the church…

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Group’s report card shows many dioceses failing in financial transparency

BOSTON (MA)
Catholic News Service - USCCB [Washington DC]

August 1, 2022

By Mark Pattison

Read original article

[Via Detroit Catholic]

Before Voice of the Faithful prepared a report on diocesan finance councils, it gave dioceses a heads-up that it would be working on such a report and what it would be looking for when it visited the dioceses’ websites.

The Massachusetts-based organization sent letters to diocesan bishops and chief financial officers of the 176 U.S. Latin-rite dioceses.

Despite the advance notice, only 18 of the 176 dioceses got a grade of 60% or better — what the Voice of the Faithful considered a passing grade when it released the report July 13.

The paper on diocesan finance councils was the fifth diocesan fiscal transparency report assembled by Voice of the Faithful, which was established in the wake of the clergy sexual abuse scandal that engulfed the Archdiocese of Boston in 2002.

Voice of the Faithful’ said the low scores give credence its contention that, had dioceses followed…

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Archdiocese of Chicago Names Mario Mollo Director of its Office for the Protection of Children and Youth

CHICAGO (IL)
Archdiocese of Chicago IL

August 1, 2022

Read original article

Under Mollo the office will continue to respond to current victim assistance and investigative needs

The Archdiocese of Chicago today announced the appointment of Mario Mollo as the Director of its Office for the Protection of Children and Youth (OPCY). Mollo has more than 25 years’ experience with the Illinois State Police (ISP), including its Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and extensive involvement in peer and youth counseling and mentorship. He replaced Mary Jane Doerr, who had been in the position since 2016.

“We are pleased to have attracted a leader for our Office for the Protection of Children and Youth who has devoted his life to justice and healing,” said Bishop Robert Casey, Vicar General of the Archdiocese. “Mario will build on the fine work of his predecessors, continuing their commitment to pastoral care, transparency and cooperation with civil authorities. He is aware of the archdiocese’s pioneering working in preventing…

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When Abuse Occurs in a Sacramental Context

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Crisis Magazine [Manchester NH]

August 1, 2022

By Emily Hess

Read original article

One sultry night in Pearl River, Louisiana, a man noticed that the normally dark windows of his parish church were lit up. Wondering why the lights were on so late, he poked his head in. Rather than seeing a Mass or a prayer service, he witnessed his pastor, Fr. Travis, shooting a pornographic film with two women on the altar. Trembling with shock, he called the police. 

The response by the diocese was definite and swift. About a week later, Archbishop Gregory Aymond of the Archdiocese of New Orleans celebrated Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. The old altar had been taken out and burned a day earlier, and an unused altar from a shuttered parish was brought in to replace it. The archbishop blessed the new altar with holy water and reconsecrated it and the church.

“The desecration of this church and altar is demonic, demonic,” he said during…

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‘Last Chance’ for Mass. Lawmakers to Ban NDAs This Year

BOSTON (MA)
WBTS - NBC 10 [Boston MA]

July 29, 2022

By Mary Markos

Read original article

The number of nondisclosure agreements issued across state government and the amount spent is difficult to track down, and a proposal that would ban them in the public sector could die for a third straight legislative session

Massachusetts lawmakers are running out of time to move on a renewed push to ban nondisclosure agreements, which proponents of the legislation say can be used to silence victims of workplace misconduct with taxpayer dollars.

State Sen. Diana DiZoglio has pushed the issue for nearly five years, leading the Massachusetts Senate in January 2019 to unanimously ban NDAs. The legally binding agreements bar victims from speaking out or from filing a lawsuit.

Experts say nondisclosure agreements perpetuate inappropriate conduct and prevent transparency, but the executive offices of the governor and the state’s House of Representatives have continued to allow them.

“Nondisclosure agreements should be banned in governmental proceedings and also in non-governmental proceedings,”…

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August 1, 2022

Newfoundland church sales bring justice to abuse victims—and leave longtime parishioners in need of a new spiritual home.

ST. JOHN'S (CANADA)
America [New York NY]

July 29, 2022

By Aloysius Wong

Read original article

For the first time on this papal visit to Canada, Pope Francis acknowledged the sexual abuse perpetrated by “some of [the] sons and daughters” of the church in Canada, describing them on July 28 as “scandals that require firm action and an irreversible commitment.”

“Together with you, I would like once more to ask forgiveness of all the victims,” he said. “The pain and the shame we feel must become an occasion for conversion: never again!”

The long-awaited moment of institutional remorse for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous survivors of sexual abuse came as Catholics in a part of the country not included on this papal journey continued a difficult path of their own toward reconciliation emerging from another source of national anguish.

In Canada’s Maritime province of Newfoundland, a group of elderly survivors of historical abuse at Mount Cashel Orphanage are finally receiving compensation ordered by a landmark ruling in 2020 that…

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RI Priest Removed From Barrington and Cranston Churches After Allegations Now at New Church

PROVIDENCE (RI)
GoLocalProv [Providence RI]

August 1, 2022

Read original article

Priest Eric Silva was removed from two Rhode Island Catholic churches in February of 2022 for improper behavior. Now, he is back at another Rhode Island Catholic church offering mass.

Earlier this year, Silva had been assigned to St. Luke’s Church in Barrington and was a visiting priest in Cranston.

Parents alleged that Silva was asking inappropriate questions to children about their sexual orientation and sexual activity.

According to a WJAR report in February of 2022, a parent, who requested anonymity, said Silva asked male children if they were gay and accused them of lying if they said no.

And, Silva asked females were asked if they were sexually active and, according to the report, similarly accused of lying if they answered in the negative. He made the comments when he was offering confession.

Silva made the comments to children while he was a visiting priest at Immaculate…

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In Chile, five women lead the Church’s anti-clerical abuse campaign

(CHILE)
Crux [Denver CO]

July 30, 2022

By Inés San Martín

Read original article

SANTIAGO, Chile – Experts have long said that in order to fully address clerical sexual abuse, the laity has to get involved. In Santiago, Chile, devastated like few others after the fall of several highly respected priests and two consecutive archbishops accused of cover-up, this tactical change is spearheaded by five women.

Andrea Idalsoaga heads the Pastoral Office for the Reception of Allegations of the Archdiocese of Santiago. She was called in when the office was created, after being a judge of the National Ecclesial Tribunal for 16 years.

“This is not only a problem of the hierarchy, but all the baptized are co-responsible so that this does not happen again,” she told Crux. “I believe the abuses were the symptom of something much deeper in the church, like an iceberg … [they’re] a symptom of a culture that, as Pope Francis said, is one of cover-up, abusive.”

Throughout the week,…

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Supreme Judicial Court allows Bishop Weldon abuse lawsuit to move forward

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Berkshire Eagle [Pittsfield MA]

July 29, 2022

By Larry Parnass

Read original article

More than half a century ago, when the Catholic bishop for western Massachusetts and other priests were raping and abusing an altar boy, charities like churches held immunity from certain legal actions.

Though the Legislature ended common-law charitable immunity in 1971, the law change wasn’t retroactive. In April, a lawyer for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield argued before the Supreme Judicial Court that a civil lawsuit filed by that former altar boy over his abuse by former Bishop Christopher Weldon should be dismissed.

The church remained protected by that immunity, the lawyer argued.

This week, the SJC rejected that claim.

The decision means the unnamed Chicopee man’s lawsuit against the diocese will move forward in Hampden County Superior Court.

Charitable immunity, Associate Justice David A. Lowy wrote in a 25-page decision, does not protect the diocese from counts in the lawsuit related to sexual assaults…

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Francis Calls Abuse of Indigenous People in Canada a ‘Genocide’

ROME (ITALY)
New York Times

July 30, 2022

By Jason Horowitz

Read original article

The pope reinforced his denunciation of the abuse committed by Roman Catholic-run schools in the country. He also acknowledged that his advancing age might force him to travel less in future.

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE — Pope Francis has called the devastation visited on generations of Indigenous people in Canada by European colonizers — carried out with the blessing of the Roman Catholic Church — a “genocide” as he returned to Rome after a six-day trip to the North American country.

As well as again denouncing the abuse against Indigenous people, which he had previously called “evil,” the pope noted that the Canada visit had showed that the limitations of his mobility and the advancement of his age would force him to slow down and possibly reduce the tours that have been a hallmark of his papacy.

“I don’t think I can go on with the same rhythm of previous…

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Albany bishop meets with sexual abuse survivor outside Corpus Christi Catholic Church

ALBANY (NY)
Spectrum News [Syracuse NY]

July 31, 2022

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany made efforts to connect with survivors of sexual abuse on Sunday. 

Bishop Edward Scharfenberger was in attendance for Mass at Corpus Christi Catholic Church.

At the front steps of the church, Scharfenberger met with Stephen Mittler, who is a survivor of abuse in the late 1980s.

The two held a conversation and discussed what are the next steps to help survivors and how the church can make sure no abuse happens in the future.

Mittler says conversations like this go a long way towards helping survivors of abuse in the Catholic Church

“So, it’s awareness, not just in clergy abuse, but anyone struggling with being a victim and a survivor,” Mittler said. “And the second piece is transparency. The bishop and I talked about the fact that we need to tie together the events that took place in the 80s and 90s and finish…

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Man who settled sex abuse case with Albany Diocese met bishop before Sunday Mass

ROUND LAKE (NY)
WNYT-TV [Albany NY]

July 31, 2022

By Jonathan Hunter

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The Bishop of the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese publicly met with one of the alleged church sex abuse survivors Sunday before mass. The victim says this was an important step forward in the healing process.

Outside Corpus Christi Church in Round Lake Sunday, Stephen Mittler had a conversation with Albany’s Roman Catholic Diocese’s Bishop Edward Scharfenberger. Mittler says this is the place he says he met his abuser former priest Mark Haight.

“That’s exactly where I met Mark Haight almost 34 years ago, August of 1988,” said Mittler.

Mittler says he was only 12-years-old when Haight started grooming him. He says Haight would take him up to his cabin in Warrensburg, where the two would wrestle. Mittler claims Haight molested and even raped him. Mittler is hoping his story will raise awareness and create transparency.

“I’ve had dozens of people reach out to me and say me too. Two folks…

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Albany bishop to ‘walk with’ alleged clergy abuse victim

ALBANY (NY)
Times Union [Albany NY]

July 26, 2022

By Brendan J. Lyons

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Edward B. Scharfenberger has agreed to meet on the steps of Corpus Christi Church in Round Lake, where the man said he met the former priest who abused him as a boy

Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger has agreed to meet on the steps of Corpus Christi Church in Round Lake on Sunday with a 47-year-old man who was allegedly sexually abused as a child by a former priest.

The unprecedented encounter — which is scheduled to take place before Scharfenberger presides over an 11 a.m. Mass at the church — was arranged after the alleged victim, Stephen Mittler, wrote a letter inviting the Albany bishop and other officials with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany to follow through on their pledge to “walk with the survivors.”

In June, the diocese agreed to pay $750,000 to Mittler to settle a lawsuit he had filed under New York’s Child Victims Act. It had been the…

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July 31, 2022

Abuse victim’s long journey continues Sunday with a walk alongside the bishop

ROUND LAKE (NY)
The Daily Gazette [Schenectady NY]

July 30, 2022

By Andrew Waite

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Stephen Mittler first met Mark Haight on the steps of the Corpus Christi Church in August of 1988. Mittler was 12 years old at the time, a typical kid who played outside, rode his bike and, occasionally, had a little too much fun playing with matches.

Church wasn’t especially important to Mittler, but it was a centerpiece of his upbringing. And church mattered to Mittler’s parents. His father, a social worker, was a priest in the 1960s and early ’70s, and every Sunday morning at 10:30 the Mittler family — Stephen, his twin older brothers and his mother — would take their place in the third row at Corpus Christi.

Haight arrived as a fill-in pastor in the summer of 1988. He’d already been transferred out of multiple parishes, but Mittler would only later learn of the priest’s dark history and contend personally with Haight’s brutality. At the time, all…

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Ending Priestly Celibacy Would Not Stop Abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
National Review [New York NY]

July 31, 2022

By Ed Condon

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The Economist recently ran a lead article arguing that if the Catholics “want to reduce the scourge of sexual abuse by priests, they should demand an end to the rule requiring priestly celibacy.” I found myself checking the year of publication. Surely this must have been an article from 20 years ago. But no: In the same week in which the Catholic bishops of the United States published their annual report on the (still falling) number of abuse claims made in American dioceses, the Economist was running with a tired, discredited argument.

Trying to hang the deadly sin of abuse around the church’s policy of clerical celibacy was perhaps an understandable speculative endeavor in the aftermath of the horrific scandals reported by the Spotlight team of the Boston Globe in the early 2000s. But, with all we have learned in the decades since, and with the painful, continuing revelations of abuse of children in…

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Corrs failed to consult partners on ditching church abuse work

(AUSTRALIA)
Australian Financial Review [Sydney, NSW, Australia]

July 31, 2022

By Michael Pelly

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Partners at Corrs Chambers Westgarth are dismayed that they were not consulted before the law firm told the Catholic Church it would no longer handle claims of child abuse after being its main legal adviser on the issue for 25 years.

The Australian Financial Review has been told the decision not only blindsided the church, but it was done without the knowledge of the partners at the national firm, some of whom could lose valuable work in the fallout.

They and others also cannot reconcile the decision with the fact that the firm retains British American Tobacco as a long-standing client.

Partners are usually regarded as co-owners at any firm, and treated as such if they have an equity stake. Even if there is an executive leadership team, any decision that could materially affect the direction or reputation of the firm will usually be discussed or voted on by the broader partnership.

It…

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Former Beckley priest charged with sexual assault of a minor in Pennsylvania

BECKLEY (WV)
WDTV, CBS-5 [Weston WV]

July 29, 2022

By Annie Moore

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UPDATE: The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has released a statement from Bishop Mark Brennan, Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston :

“My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: Many of you share my concern upon learning late yesterday that Fr. Pericles “Perry” Malacaman, 84, was recently arrested in Beckley, WV, and is accused of sex abuse of a family member in Pennsylvania. The Diocese was not aware of the allegation until the day it was made public. We have not seen the criminal complaint and, as a matter of policy, we cannot comment on pending criminal investigations. I want you all to know that the Diocese will cooperate fully with appropriate civil authorities as they investigate this matter. While our parishioners and school families in Beckley, Mullens and Pineville are more familiar with Fr. Malacaman, I can share the following information with you. According to Diocesan records, Fr. Malacaman was ordained on December 16,…

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Conservative Catholic gathering draws protesters in Napa

NAPA (CA)
Press Democrat [Santa Rosa CA]

July 29, 2022

By Phil Barber

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For 11 years, minus one when COVID-19 drove the event online, the Napa Institute hosted its annual Summer Conference at the Meritage Resort and Spa without incident. That changed in 2022, with a spate of press coverage — starting with a Press Democrat story that ran Wednesday — casting light upon the four-day meeting of influential Catholic thinkers and right-wing political activists in Napa.

This year, protesters emerged.

It started Friday afternoon, when a group of 25-30 people met on Second Street in Napa and marched through downtown holding signs and, in the case of one of the organizers, Aisley Wallace Harper of the group Stop Napa Hate, calling into a megaphone.

Two organizations, including NDN Network, planned to shake things up during former U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s scheduled talk — “Strangers in a Strange Land: How do Catholics Live as ‘Resident Aliens’ and Faithful Citizens at the Same Time”…

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Catholics turn to action to reconcile faith with lacklustre apology

TORONTO (CANADA)
Toronto Star [Toronto, Canada]

July 30, 2022

By Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press

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Some Catholics say it’s not easy to reconcile their faith with what they see as the Pope’s lacklustre apology for the horrors Church-run residential schools inflicted on Indigenous children, but for many, the process involves trying to change the institution, rather than abandoning it.

The pontiff’s “penitential pilgrimage” across Canada saw him say sorry for the actions of “so many Christians,” but some say Pope Francis should have done more to acknowledge the Catholic Church itself was culpable for abuse at the facilities.

“It’s a challenge to one’s faith, because the Pope is a spiritual leader — and he’s my spiritual leader. And he chose to use language that does not take on the full responsibility, as he could have,” said Paolo De Buono, a Catholic teacher in Toronto.

“So it does make me feel ashamed and concerned that the organization I’m a part of is further hurting by not…

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I’ve been a Catholic my entire life. But the church’s dark past is making me lose faith

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

July 31, 2022

By Alyssa Aco

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The Pope’s visit has done little to restore my trust in the church

This First Person column is written by Alyssa Aco, a Filipina who immigrated from the Philippines to Edmonton in 2008. For more information about CBC’s First Person stories, please see the FAQ.

WARNING: This column contains distressing details.

When the Pope came to visit Edmonton on his “penitential pilgrimage,” my colleagues were joyfully planning carpools to Commonwealth Stadium where he would hold a public mass for 60,000 people. A lifelong Catholic, I went to Ticketmaster to reserve seats, but my fingers hovered over the screen for a while before I finally exited the website.

Lately, I’ve been finding it hard to be Catholic.

I grew up in the Philippines, where Catholicism is not only a personal religion but permeated every institution, organization and household. 

Before anything else, I learned to say grace before meals, recite all the prayers, memorize the…

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Law firm dumps Catholic Church after 60 years, but won’t say why

(AUSTRALIA)
The Age [Melbourne, Australia]

July 31, 2022

By Cameron Houston

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For almost 60 years, the Catholic Church delivered millions of dollars in fees to Corrs Chambers Westgarth. The top-tier law firm provided legal advice to embattled archdioceses across Australia as they became engulfed in clerical abuse scandals and accusations of cover-ups.

It was Corrs that helped establish the “Ellis defence” that meant the Catholic Church did not exist as a legal entity because its assets were held inside a trust structure, which insulated it against further claims.

In the civil case against John Ellis, who was sexually abused as a 13-year-old by Father Aidan Duggan, a Corrs solicitor promised in an email to the church’s barristers that they would be “greeted with open arms at the Pearly Gates” for their efforts to thwart future litigants.

But last week, Corrs abruptly severed ties with the church, at a time when the legal industry is jostling to retain younger staff and attract…

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July 30, 2022

Former DeSales University priest pleads guilty on child porn charge

WILMINGTON (DE)
WFMZ-TV, Ch. 69 [Allentown PA]

July 28, 2022

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A former DeSales University priest who had ties to the Royal Family in Europe has pleaded guilty in a child pornography case.

William McCandless, of Wilmington, Delaware, pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to access with intent to view child pornography, according to online court documents.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop the other two charges of transporting and possessing child porn, says the document, which was filed in May.

Both parties agree to a sentence of 30-37 months in prison, but McCandless could face the maximum time of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in November.

McCandless was accused of gathering thousands of child pornography images in Monaco, where he was an advisor to the Royal Family, and bringing them back to the U.S. in January 2017, just a few days before he started working at DeSales.

He was fired from DeSales…

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Pope Francis again begs forgiveness for abuse in Canada and spotlights environmental concerns in Arctic

(CANADA)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

July 29, 2022

By Christopher White

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Pope Francis concluded the final day of his weeklong “penitential pilgrimage” through Canada on July 29 at one of the most remote locations he has visited since election as pope in 2013. He again apologized for abuses Indigenous peoples endured in Catholic Church-run residential schools, and used his location in the Arctic to spotlight environmental concerns. 

“I want to tell you how very sorry I am and to ask for forgiveness for the evil perpetrated by not a few Catholics who contributed to the policies of cultural assimilation” in those schools, the pope said here in the capital of the territory of Nunavut.

In Iqaluit —  with a population below 7,500 people and no paved roads — the pope again met with survivors of residential schools, which for nearly a century forcibly stripped away many Native cultures and customs, including the Inuktitut language. 

The pope paid tribute to this history…

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Pope brings apology to Arctic Indigenous communities

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

July 29, 2022

By Cindy Wooden

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On a stage designed to evoke a qammaq — a traditional Inuit summer home built of whale ribs, sod and stone — Pope Francis again apologized to the Indigenous communities of Canada for Catholics’ complicity in breaking up their families and suppressing their languages.

“I want to tell you how very sorry I am and to ask for forgiveness for the evil perpetrated by not a few Catholics” who ran the residential schools Indigenous children were forced to attend, Pope Francis said in the Canadian Arctic.

The stories told by survivors “not only cause us pain; they also create scandal,” the pope said July 29 in Iqaluit, Nunavut’s capital city.

After a flight from Quebec of just over three hours, Pope Francis was met at the Iqaluit airport by provincial and city officials, leaders of local Inuit organizations and Andre Tautu and Salome Kangok, two survivors of residential schools.

Then,…

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Pope Francis says Catholic Church committed cultural ‘genocide’ of Canada’s Indigenous peoples

(CANADA)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

July 30, 2022

By Christopher White

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Pope says he must slow down pace of travel due to health issues

Pope Francis on July 29 said that the Catholic Church’s treatment of Indigenous peoples in Canada amounted to a cultural “genocide” and warned against a colonialist mindset that continues to view Native peoples and customs as “inferior.”

Francis said that “taking away the children, changing the culture and mentality” and erasing “an entire culture” was effectively a “genocide.” 

The pope’s remarks came during an inflight press conference en route back to Rome after his July 24-29 trip to Canada, where he apologized on multiple occasions for the abuse that Indigenous children suffered at Catholic-run residential schools, as well as for the church’s adoption of policies that stripped away Indigenous culture.

The phrase “cultural genocide” was used by the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission in its final report in 2015. During his first full…

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Pope: Canadian residential schools were cultural ‘genocide’

(CANADA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

July 30, 2022

By Nicole Winfield

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Pope Francis agreed Saturday that the attempt to eliminate Indigenous culture in Canada through a church-run residential school system amounted to a cultural “genocide.”

Speaking to reporters while en route home from Canada, Francis said he didn’t use the term during his trip to atone for the Catholic Church’s role in the schools because it never came to mind.

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission determined in 2015 that the forced removal of Indigenous children from their homes and placement in the residential schools to assimilate them constituted a “cultural genocide.”

Some 150,000 children from the late 1800s to the 1970s were subject to the forced assimilation policy, aimed at making them fully Christian and Canadian. Physical and sexual abuse were rampant at the schools, and children were beaten for speaking their Native languages.

“It’s true I didn’t use the word because it didn’t come to mind, but I described…

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Pope entrusts new relationship with Indigenous to three holy women

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

July 29, 2022

By Cindy Wooden

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Meeting Indigenous survivors of residential schools in Canada, Pope Francis entrusted them and the journey of truth, healing and reconciliation to three women: St. Anne, Mary and St. Kateri Tekakwitha.

“These women can help us to come together and start to weave anew a reconciliation that can uphold the rights of the most vulnerable in our midst and look at history without resentment or forgetfulness,” the pope said July 29, his last morning in Canada.

Before heading to the airport for a three-hour flight to Iqaluit, Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic, Pope Francis met with two dozen survivors of residential schools from across Eastern Canada. Organizers said they included people from the Algonquin, Mohawk, Cree, Innu and Mi’kmaq nations.

Seated in a wheelchair, Pope Francis greeted each of the survivors as they entered a large living room in the residence of Cardinal Gérald Lacroix of Quebec. He then entered the…

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‘Rescind the Doctrine’ protest greets pope in Canada

SAINTE-ANNE-DE-BEAUPRé (CANADA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

July 28, 2022

By Rob Gillies and Nicole Winfield

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Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Thursday at Canada’s national shrine and came face-to-face with a long-standing demand from Indigenous peoples: to rescind the papal decrees underpinning the so-called “Doctrine of Discovery” and repudiate the theories that legitimized the colonial-era seizure of Native lands and form the basis of some property law today.

Right before Mass began, two Indigenous women unfurled a banner at the altar of the National Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré that read: “Rescind the Doctrine” in bright red and black letters. The protesters were escorted away and the Mass proceeded without incident, though the women later marched the banner out of the basilica and draped it on the railing.

The brief protest underscored one of the issues facing the Holy See following Francis’ historic apology for the Catholic Church’s involvement in Canada’s notorious residential schools, where generations of Indigenous peoples were forcibly removed from their families and cultures to…

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Pope’s recent appointment of women is too little, too late

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

July 29, 2022

By Heidi Schlumpf

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Administrative tinkering to Vatican bureaucracy is hardly the stuff of stop-the-presses headlines, but Pope Francis’ recent naming of three women to the office that helps select bishops around the world is certainly more substantive than changing the office’s name from “congregation” to “dicastery.”

On July 13, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis had named two religious sisters —Franciscan Sister of the Eucharist Raffaella Petrini and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians Sr. Yvonne Reungoat — and a laywoman, Maria Lia Zervino, as members of the Dicastery for Bishops. The appointments were made just over a week after the pope had told a Vatican journalist of his plans.

NCR columnist Michael Sean Winters was not wrong to call the move “historic” and an “enormous change in the life of the Roman Curia and the life of the universal church.” Even more significant than the gender…

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Despite papal apology, some Native Americans find it hard to forgive

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
Catholic News Service - USCCB [Washington DC]

July 29, 2022

By Barb Fraze

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The legacy of residential schools has been handed down to today’s Native Americans.

Jody Roy’s uncle was sexually and physically abused in Canada. Terry Cornell had three family members who never came home from a residential school in the U.S.

So when Pope Francis apologized to Canadian Indigenous for the ways in which many members of the church and of religious communities cooperated in projects of cultural destruction and forced assimilation at residential schools, Native Americans, like many Canadian Indigenous, said forgiveness was hard — despite their Catholic faith.

“They ripped those children away; they took them out of their hands and arms,” said Roy, an Ojibway who serves as director of the St. Kateri Center of Chicago.

“The U.S. government’s assimilation policy was nothing short of murder,” said Terry Cornell, whose heritage is Irish and Cheyenne Arapahoe. “All it was was a cash grab. The government paid these agencies…

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ECA Indigenous Survivor meets with Pope Francis and draws attention to a current clergy abuse case and cover up in the Congo

EDMONTON (CANADA)
Ending Clergy Abuse (ECAGlobal.org) [Seattle WA]

July 29, 2022

By ECA Staff

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After 50 years of waiting for an apology for the horrific treatment of indigenous children in residential schools in Canada, Evelyn Korkmaz, co-founding member of Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA), and survivor of St. Anne’s Residential School, met with the Pope on Friday, July 29, 2002. Her message was simple, SHOW US THE RECORDS.
ECA supports the demand of Evelyn Korkmaz and calls on Pope Francis, before he leaves Canada, to state that all records held by Catholic entities regarding the residential schools will be made available as was the promise on December 17, 2019 when he abolished the pontifical secret in the case of sexual violence and the abuse of minors committed by members of the clergy. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-12/pope-abolishes-pontifical-secret-sexual-abuse-clergy.html

The Pope was also given a letter from ECA, SNAP and BishopAccountabiity.org to draw his attention to the urgency of a current case of clerical sexual abuse and cover-up in the Democratic Republic…

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Pope offers encouragement to Canadian church workers

QUéBEC CITY (CANADA)
Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) [Hong Kong]

July 29, 2022

By Cindy Wooden

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Pope Francis joined church leaders for vespers in Quebec’s Cathedral of Notre Dame

Pope Francis wanted to check in with the bishops, priests and religious of Canada: “How are we doing when it comes to joy?” he asked them.

After intense days of meeting and listening to Canadian Indigenous and government leaders and celebrating Masses and leading prayer services, the pope joined church leaders July 28 for vespers in Quebec’s Cathedral of Notre Dame.

In his homily, Pope Francis acknowledged the challenge of ministering in the wake of allegations about clerical sexual abuse and the abuses against Indigenous children at church-run residential schools, but also the difficulties of sharing the Gospel in an increasingly secular society.

To proclaim the Gospel, the pope told them, “we must also be credible.”

Credibility, he said, comes from the witness of one’s life, from concretely demonstrating “the compassion that asks for nothing in return…

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Network against trafficking offers virtual tour of nuns helping survivors

ROME (ITALY)
Catholic News Service - USCCB [Washington DC]

July 29, 2022

By Carol Glatz

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The global network of women religious fighting human trafficking was offering a virtual tour of its work helping survivors as a way to mark the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

The Talitha Kum anti-trafficking network was making the “Nuns Healing Hearts” photo exhibition available online on its website, talithakum.info, starting July 30, the day the United Nations has dedicated to raising awareness about the battle against human trafficking.

The exhibit of more than two dozen images, taken by U.S. photographer Lisa Kristine, illustrates the stories of women and men once ensnared by traffickers and the nuns working alongside them, dedicated to their healing and also working in vulnerable communities, seeking to prevent new victims.

The photos were to be accompanied by testimonials and seven short videos on human trafficking.

Comboni Sister Gabriella Bottani, international coordinator of Talitha Kum, said in a July 29 news release the network wanted to…

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Indian pastor arrested for alleged human trafficking

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

July 29, 2022

By UCA News Reporter

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Rescued minor girls have been handed over to the care of the district child welfare committee in Kozhikode, Kerala state

A protestant pastor and his two associates were arrested by police in the southern Indian state of Kerala on suspicion of being involved in the trafficking of minor girls.

Police said they have rescued 12 girls, aged between nine and 12, traveling with the three men who were arrested and remanded to judicial custody on July 28.

The rescued girls are now undergoing counseling and would be handed over to their parents, said officials of the district child welfare committee.

Jacob Varghese, the arrested pastor, runs an orphanage, Karuna Charitable Trust in Perumbavur on the outskirts of the city Kochi, offering boarding and educational facilities for children from poor families.

An alert against him and his associates was sounded by passengers on board Okha- Ernakulam Express who suspected something was…

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Kerala: Pastor and three others arrested for trafficking 12 minor girls under the guise of running an orphanage

(INDIA)
OpIndia.com

July 29, 2022

By OpIndia Staff

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According to reports, Jacob Varghese, the arrested pastor of the Pentecostal Church was running the illegal trade under the guise of running an orphanage named Karuna Charitable Trust, in Kochi’s Perumbavur area.

The Kerala police busted a human trafficking racket and arrested a Kochi-based pastor, along with three others for trafficking minor girls from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. According to reports, Jacob Varghese, the arrested pastor of the Pentecostal Church was running the illegal trade under the guise of running an orphanage named Karuna Charitable Trust, in Kochi’s Perumbavur area.

The pastor and the other accused, who were working as agents, have been arrested and a case has been registered against them under section 370 (1) (2) (3) (4) (human trafficking) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Childline officials said that a separate complaint will be filed against the orphanage under the Juvenile Justice Act.

As per reports,…

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Police: Former Virginia youth pastor charged in more than 20 sex crimes

(VA)
WUSA9 [Washington, DC]

July 21, 2022

By Brittney Melton

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A 61-year-old former church leader is facing over 20 charges for multiple sex crimes, including the sexual assault of a child, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

A family member informed the police department in June 2022 that the victim was sexually assaulted by a member of Saint Matthews United Methodist Church in Annandale. The member, later identified by detectives as Thomas Weaver, had periodically been a leader in youth activities but hadn’t held that position since 2020. 

According to detectives, on multiple occasions since 2020, Weaver coerced the victim to meet him in a secluded area in Annandale. Once there, Weaver allegedly sexually assault the victim.

Detectives conducted a search warrant at Weaver’s home on Wednesday where they found numerous images of child pornography.

Weaver was arrested and charged with 20 counts of possession of child pornography and five counts of indecent liberties of a minor by a…

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July 29, 2022

84 yr old priest from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston charged with sexual assault in Pennsylvania

WHEELING (WV)
SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [Chicago IL]

July 29, 2022

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(For Immediate Release July 29, 2022) 

A retired Catholic priest from the Diocese Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia, who purportedly has not served in ministry since 2009, has been charged by Pennsylvania State Police with sexually assaulting a young male through ages 9-14 yrs. Perry Malacaman, 84, who resides in West Virginia, is charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16, corruption of minors, and indecent assault of a person younger than 16, according to a criminal complaint.

Malacaman worked at St. Francis de Sales, a parish in Beckley, W.Va., and was ordained in 1972, in the Archdiocese of Davao, in Davao City, Philippines. He had been assigned to several parishes in West Virginia starting in 1993, and last served as a priest in 2009 in Beckley, according to diocesan Bishop Mark E. Brennan, who wrote a letter to Catholics in the Beckley…

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Safeguarding in Birmingham was ‘shambolic’ says top abuse lawyer

BIRMINGHAM (UNITED KINGDOM)
The Tablet [Market Harborough, England]

July 20, 2022

By Ruth Gledhill

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The Barnardo’s review shows that failures by the Archdiocese, which took place over a period of time, were institutional.

Archbishop Bernard Longley said: “I am deeply sorry for what happened to those who have been harmed by Joseph Quigley.”

A top abuse lawyer has condemned the Archdiocese of Birmingham for safeguarding systems that were “shambolic and wholly inadequate”.

Richard Scorer, specialist abuse lawyer at Slater and Gordon who has acted for numerous victims of abuse in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, was speaking after publication today of an independent review by children’s charity Barnardo’s into the management of concerns about Joseph Quigley, a priest in the archdiocese.

Scorer said: “This report is utterly damning. It paints a picture of a diocese in which safeguarding systems were shambolic and wholly inadequate. Since 2001 the Catholic Church has claimed that all abuse allegations are reported to the statutory authorities. This report clearly demonstrates that this…

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Local Catholics protest Zanchetta house arrest at retired priest home

ORáN (ARGENTINA)
The Pillar [Washington DC]

July 28, 2022

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Catholics of the Diocese of Oran, Argentina, gathered in the city’s main square Tuesday and Wednesday to protest the decision to allow their disgraced former bishop, Gustavo Oscar Zanchetta, to live in a retired priests’ home while serving his sentence for the sexual abuse of seminarians.

The protests focus on the Church’s handling of Zanchetta’s case, following his conviction by a civil court in March on charges of sexual abuse against two seminarians, aggravated by his position as a minister of religion. 

Despite his conviction and being sentenced to four and a half years in prison, Bishop Zanchetta has received no public sanction from the Church, and the results of a canonical process initiated in 2019 have not been announced. 

On July 8, Zanchetta was released from prison on medical grounds to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest and moved into the Monastery of Our Lady…

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Canada’s slow awakening to the trauma of residential schools

KAMLOOPS (CANADA)
La Croix International [France]

July 27, 2022

By Alexis Gacon

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Aboriginals have talked about the atrocities in residential schools for decades, but most Canadians became aware of the tragedy only after the recent discovery of unmarked graves

Are Canadians finally aware of what happened in residential schools for their country’s Indigenous peoples?

“With Kamloops, Canada may have woken up,” said Angela White, director of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. “But our families have been telling us about the horrors of residential schools forever.”

Kamloops is a charming little town in British Columbia’s Thompson Valley. But in the collective psyche over the past year, the mere mention of Kamloops immediately evokes the dark reality of these institutions.

The discovery of 215 unmarked graves of Aboriginal children on the grounds of the residential school in this town moved and gripped the entire country.

Rallies were held and statues of the architects of the residential schools were pulled down.

“We felt that…

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Papal trip resurfaces abuse by French missionary priest

LYON (FRANCE)
La Croix International [France]

July 29, 2022

By Léna Ménager

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A former Catholic missionary in Canada who returned to his native France in 1993 is accused of sexually abusing Indigenous children, who now want him extradited

“The Catholic Church must work to punish priests and religious who have committed horrible acts against children. Several are known and still alive. But they are not worried. This is the situation for Joannès Rivoire, who is a famous case.”

So says Cassidy Caron, president of the Métis National Council in Canada.

She is not the only one hoping that Pope Francis’ visit to Canada’s Aboriginal peoples will advance the judicial process against Father Rivoire.

A missionary of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the priest arrived in Canada in 1960 to minister to the Inuit of Nunavut, the largest and most northerly territory in the vast country.

Thirty-three years later, in 1993, he abruptly returned to France.

“My parents were suffering, they needed me,”…

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Retired W.Va. priest accused of abusing boy in Butler County

(PA)
Tribune-Review [Pittsburgh PA]

July 28, 2022

By Megan Tomasic

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A retired Catholic priest who served at St. Francis de Sales Church in West Virginia is accused of sexually abusing a boy in Butler County, according to court papers.

Perry Malacaman, 84, who resides in West Virginia, is charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16, corruption of minors and indecent assault of a person younger than 16, according to a criminal complaint.

Pennsylvania State Police said the accuser, who is now 19, came to them on July 13 to report that Malacaman had sexually abused him when he was between 9 and 14 years old. The suspect would have been between 74 and 79 years old at the time.

The Tribune-Review doesn’t identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

The teen told police he was abused by Malacaman on more than five different occasions, all at the same location, documents show.

A preliminary hearing…

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Pennsylvania State Police investigating alleged sexual abuse by retired priest in Butler County

(PA)
KDKA-TV, Ch. 2 [Pittsburgh PA]

July 28, 2022

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A retired priest is being accused of sexually abusing a minor for about a five-year period.

According to information provided by Pennsylvania State Police, Perry Malacaman allegedly assaulted the victim approximately 10 years ago in Center Township.

Malacaman is currently a resident of Beckley, West Virginia, and is also a retired Catholic priest of St. Francis De Sales Catholic Parish in Beckley.

Police say that Malacaman would have been between 74 and 79 at the time of the abuse.

He is facing criminal charges including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corruption of a minor, and indecent assault.

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Opinion: The Catholic Church can do more to address crimes against Indigenous Peoples

EDMONTON (CANADA)
Washington Post

July 26, 2022

By Emily Riddle

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Emily Riddle is a writer, public library worker and editor in Edmonton, Alberta. She is Nehiyaw and a member of the Alexander First Nation. She is also on the board of advisers for the Yellowhead Institute, a First Nations-led think tank based out of Toronto Metropolitan University.

On Sunday, the Pope landed in what we call Treaty Six Territory, but you are more likely to know it as Edmonton, Alberta. The purpose of his visit was delivering an apology for the Roman Catholic Church’s involvement in the genocidal project known in Canada as residential schools — a system that forcibly removed Indigenous children from their parents and tried to assimilate them into Euro-Christian society.

“I am deeply sorry — sorry for the ways in which, regrettably, many Christians supported the colonizing mentality of the powers that oppressed the Indigenous peoples,” Pope Francis said.

The Pope addressed his comments to several thousand…

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Pope apologizes for ‘evil committed by so many Christians’ in Canada’s residential schools

MASKWACIS (CANADA)
Washington Post

July 25, 2022

By Chico Harlan and Amanda Coletta

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Pope Francis on Monday began a long-sought act of reconciliation in Canada, decrying the country’s “catastrophic” residential school system for Indigenous children and asking for forgiveness for the “evil committed by so many Christians.”

“I am deeply sorry — sorry for the ways in which, regrettably, many Christians supported the colonizing mentality of the powers that oppressed the Indigenous peoples,” Francis said in his native Spanish.

He addressed his comments to several thousand residential school survivors in a grass field encircled by a small grandstand on the first full day of a trip aimed at penitence for one of Canada’s greatest tragedies: a school system that forcibly removed Indigenous children from their parents and tried to assimilate them into Euro-Christian society — often brutally. Students were forbidden from speaking their native languages or practicing traditional customs; many were physically or sexually abused.

“It is painful to think of how the…

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Portugal launches inquiries into alleged Catholic Church sexual abuse

LISBON (PORTUGAL)
Reuters [London, England]

July 28, 2022

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A commission investigating child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in the Iberian nation has collected around 350 testimonies since it started its work in January.

Portuguese prosecutors said on Thursday they have launched 10 inquiries into alleged child sexual abuse by Catholic Church clergy, the first such move since a commission was created seven months ago to investigate accusations.

A commission investigating child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in the Iberian nation has collected around 350 testimonies since it started its work in January. It has said that number was “just the tip of the iceberg.”

The majority of the alleged crimes were committed decades ago, and can no longer be investigated due to Portugal’s statute of limitations, but the commission has submitted 17 testimonies to public prosecutors.

Based on those testimonies, the prosecutor’s office launched the 10 inquiries, it said, adding that seven of them were ongoing while three were dismissed…

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Pope’s 6-day Canada pilgrimage leaves ‘deep hole’

OTTAWA (CANADA)
Politico [Arlington VA]

July 29, 2022

By Nick Taylor-Vaisey

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After long-awaited apologies, Indigenous people in Canada want to know what comes next.

OTTAWA, Ont. — The six-day Pope Francis apology tour to Canada was like déjà vu for Indigenous leaders and residential school survivors who have been promised atonement — and treatment as equals — countless times in the past 15 years.

The pope told thousands gathered Monday at a ceremony in the community of Maskwacis that he was sorry for the “catastrophic” effects of the policy of assimilation carried out at Catholic-run residential schools across Canada for 100 years, ending well into the 20th century.

“I humbly beg forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous Peoples,” he said at a traditional powwow gathering space called Maskwa Park on the outskirts of the Alberta town.

Governor General Mary Simon, the first Inuk vice-regal representative, was in attendance. So were Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and…

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A 'Rescind the doctrine' banner is unfurled outside the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Basilica while Pope Francis held mass Thursday. (Olivia Laperrière-Roy/CBC/Radio-Canada)

‘Indigenous representatives had no voice’ at Quebec City Papal event, say Haudenosaunee delegates

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

July 28, 2022

By Ka’nhehsí:io Deer

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Kenneth Deer and Louise Herne were in attendance at event at Citadelle

A delegation of Haudenosaunee is disappointed with the lack of opportunity to speak with Pope Francis during the papal visit to Quebec.

On Wednesday, Pope Francis arrived in Quebec City as a part of his six-day pilgrimage of healing, reconciliation and hope. Louise Herne and Kenneth Deer were among the diplomats and Indigenous representatives invited to the Citadelle, the fortress overlooking the Plains of Abraham and St. Lawrence River, for one of the scheduled papal events. 

“The Indigenous representatives had no voice in that event,” said Kenneth Deer, who is from Kahnawake, a Kanien’kehá:ka community south of Montreal, and a member of the Haudenosaunee External Relations Committee.

The Haudenosaunee, also known as the Iroquois or Six Nations Confederacy, have been leading the call for many decades to get the papal bulls that make up the doctrine of discovery to be rescinded.

“They’re…

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