ABUSE TRACKER

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

May 21, 2022

Adult Survivors Act for abuse victims on track to pass in New York

ALBANY (NY)
New York Daily News

May 19, 2022

By Denis Slattery

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A long-sought bill that would allow adult survivors of sexual abuse to hold their alleged abusers accountable is on track for approval.

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) announced Thursday that there are enough votes in her chamber to pass the Adult Survivors Act before the end of the legislative session early next month.

“Today is a watershed moment for survivors of sexual assault in New York and across the country,” Rosenthal said. “Today, New York State recognizes that ensuring justice for survivors of sexual assault is more important than maintaining arbitrary statutes of limitations that have for years shielded predators from justice.”

The legislation, modeled after the 2019 Child Victims Act, would temporarily lift the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits against abusers of people over 18 and provide a one-year period to take legal action.

“Survivors did this. Never, ever, question the strength and power…

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Lawsuit accuses Providence Diocese of ‘victim blaming’ in clergy sex-abuse complaints

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal [Providence RI]

May 20, 2022

By Katherine Gregg

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A newly filed lawsuit by one of the alleged child molestation victims of recently suspended Smithfield priest Francis C. Santilli accuses the leaders of the Rhode Island Catholic Church of “victim blaming” while disregarding multiple accounts of sexual misconduct by “Father Frank.”

The lawsuit was filed Thursday against current and former Bishops Thomas Tobin and Louis Gelineau of the Catholic Diocese of Providence, and the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes on Atwells Avenue in Providence.

What began as the tickling of a 10-year-old sitting on the priest’s lap allegedly turned into sexually explicit actions by the priest — and a previously unnamed church organist.

In his painfully graphic lawsuit, Scott Ross, who turned 53 on Saturday, says he lived for decades with “anguish, guilt, shame, denial [and] confusion.”

Asked what prompted him to tell his story at this point in his life,  Ross — who now lives in Oregon and works for the U.S. Department of Energy as…

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Pope Francis Pilgrimage and Apology to Canadian First Nations Brings Hope of Reconciliation

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
National Catholic Register - EWTN [Irondale AL]

May 20, 2022

By Peter Jesserer Smith

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This July, as Canada’s indigenous Catholics get ready to celebrate the memorial of St. Ann, the grandmother of Jesus, the Holy Father plans to visit Canada at three locations near to Canada’s indigenous people: the Inuit, the Metis, and the First Nations. 

The Vatican announced May 13 that Pope Francis will start his July 24-30 pilgrimage by visiting Iqaluit, the capital of the northern Nunavut territory for the Inuit. The Holy Father will travel to Quebec City, which is near the St. Anne de Beaupré shrine, for the First Nations in eastern Canada; and finally Edmonton, Alberta, for the Métis and First Nations of western Canada, which is near the pilgrimage grounds of Lac St. Anne, also known as “God’s lake.” 

The papal pilgrimage will coincide with the July 25-28 Lac St. Anne pilgrimage, which draws tens of thousands of indigenous Catholics each year to pray or experience healing from…

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Witness thrown out of courtroom as Cardinal Becciu cross-examination continues

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

May 20, 2022

By Hannah Brockhaus

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Cardinal Angelo Becciu refused to answer any questions not related to his charges during a continuation of his cross-examination in the Vatican finance trial on Thursday.

The 73-year-old Italian cardinal said on May 19 that he would not respond to questions about the Italian bishops’ conference because it is unconnected to his charges of embezzlement, abuse of office, and witness tampering.

Except for witness tampering, the accusations against Becciu date back to before he was elevated to the College of Cardinals, when he was the Sostituto, or second-ranking official, in the Secretariat of State.

During Thursday’s hearing, Becciu complained of being humiliated by certain lines of questioning the day prior, accusing the prosecuting attorney of asking questions that “injured my priestly dignity.”

Judges ruled on May 19 that accusations connected to the Italian bishops’ conference were not part of the trial, but the prosecuting attorney was nevertheless…

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Pope condemns human trafficking at conference involving Church leaders, police

ROME (ITALY)
Crux [Denver CO]

May 19, 2022

By Inés San Martín

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Human trafficking and modern-day slavery have long been at the top of Pope Francis’s agenda, as shown at a meeting on Thursday with the Santa Marta Group, a coalition of police forces and the Catholic Church created to fight the problem.

Thanking the group for their work, the pope said that the commercialization of human beings is a “criminal activity that violates the dignity and rights of men, women and children,” leaving long-lasting effects upon the victims and society.

As Francis noted, in the years since its establishment, the Santa Marta Group has devoted itself to fostering an ever greater understanding of the scope and nature of human trafficking and to strengthening cooperation on the international, national, and local levels to put an end to this illegal industry.

The pontiff condemned the fact that modern forms of slavery continue to spread, “even within the most developed areas of our world,”…

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Cardinal: Pope ordered auditor to resign over spying charge

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

May 19, 2022

By Nicole Winfield

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A Vatican cardinal testified Wednesday that Pope Francis himself ordered the ouster of the Holy See’s auditor-general, turning the tables on a scandal that had sparked questions about the Vatican’s commitment to financial transparency and accountability.

Cardinal Angelo Becciu opened a second day of questioning in the Vatican’s big financial fraud trial by saying Francis had recently authorized him to reveal the details of Libero Milone’s 2017 departure as the Vatican’s first auditor-general. He did so to clarify his previous testimony, during which he declined to respond to questions about Milone “out of love for the Holy Father.”

The Vatican announced June 20, 2017 that Milone had resigned two years into his mandate, without providing details. His ouster, as well as the removal of PriceWaterHouseCoopers as Vatican auditors, had long been cited by Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s former financial czar, and others as evidence of possible shady dealings by…

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Unmarked graves finding triggered Canada’s year of reckoning over residential schools

KAMLOOPS (CANADA)
Durham Radio News [Oshawa, ON, Canada]

May 18, 2022

By Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

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Percy Casper, 73, spent 10 years as a child at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia.

He has spent the past year grieving.

A member of the Bonaparte Indian Band near Cache Creek, B.C., Casper said he was deeply distraught when he heard the news last May, when Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir, Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Nation Chief, announced that a war graves expert using ground-penetrating radar had located 215 suspected unmarked graves at the site of the former school.

So, Casper grieved, for lost classmates, and for himself. His emotions twisted into a painful knot when Indigenous leaders later visited the Vatican to meet the Pope who represents the church that he says abused him.

But his spirits have been lifted by strangers, he said.

“Families have walked up to me and literally put their hands out and said they were ashamed of who they were on account…

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The History of Native American Boarding Schools Is Even More Complicated than a New Report Reveals

WASHINGTON (DC)
Time [New York, NY]

May 17, 2022

By Olivia B. Waxman

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Last week, the U.S. Department of the Interior released a more than 100-page report on the federal Indigenous boarding schools designed to assimilate Native Americans in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries. Between 1819 and 1969, the U.S. ran or supported 408 boarding schools, the department found. Students endured “rampant physical, sexual, and emotional abuse,” and the report recorded more than 500 deaths of Native children—a number set to increase as the department’s investigation of this issue continues.

“This report, as I see it, is only a first step to acknowledge the experiences of Federal Indian boarding school children,” Bryan Newland, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, the study’s author, wrote in a memo.

The effort to catalog these institutions came nearly a year after the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at the site of similar boarding schools in Canada raised awareness of this dark…

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A survivor shares her experience at a Native American boarding school

BELCOURT (ND)
WBUR [Boston MA]

May 17, 2022

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Survivors of Native American boarding schools testified last week in Washington that physical and sexual abuse was rampant in those institutions.

Survivor Ramona Charette Klein, a retired educator and an enrolled member of the Turtle Band of Chippewa in Belcourt, North Dakota, spoke to us about her traumatic experience in one of those schools.

Note: Please see original article for audio recording.

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Chief sees process of ‘exhumation to memorialization’ at Kamloops, B.C., graves site

KAMLOOPS (CANADA)
Everything Grande Prairie [Grande Prairie, AB, Canada]

May 20, 2022

By Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

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After a year of grieving since the detection of 215 suspected unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, a new phase begins in the journey of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation — bringing the missing children home.

The old apple orchard where evidence of the graves was found by ground-penetrating radar last May could soon be the site of an archeological dig and work to exhume remains, said Kukpi7 or Chief Rosanne Casimir. 

“This is something that has not happened in the history here in Canada,” she said at news conference on Wednesday. “There’s no set of guidelines, no checklist.”

To dig or not to dig has been one of the most fraught questions surrounding the issue of unmarked graves at residential schools. No consensus has emerged among survivors, with some seeing exhumation as a process that could help lay victims properly to rest, while others want…

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Washington Indigenous families still living with the ‘very deliberate effort to wipe us out’

BELLINGHAM (WA)
KUOW-FM [Seattle WA]

May 20, 2022

By Katie Campbell and Angela King

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The U.S. Interior Department has set out to document abusive boarding schools that once targeted Indigenous tribes, their cultures and their children.

A first-of-its-kind report from the agency’s Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative puts the extent of that abuse in black and white.

Researchers found evidence of more than 400 schools across the United States and at least 50 burial sites where children were left in unmarked or poorly maintained graves. The investigation has uncovered more than 500 deaths.

And they’re still counting.

At least 15 of the schools were operated in Washington state. Another nine were in Oregon.

PDF Icon Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report

Darrell Hillaire is a member of the Lummi Nation, a leader and teacher who uses the tradition of storytelling and song to educate the world about his people and others.

Years ago, Hillaire’s parents…

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Trinidad & Tobago’s failure to act on decades of abuse allegations has done unspeakable damage to children in state care

(TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO)
Global Voices [Amsterdam, Netherlands]

May 20, 2022

By Flora Thomas

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‘Little has changed. If anything, conditions are worse’

“Because we know what we capable of as a society is why we belly hurting so yuh know. We know we selves.” Blogger Rhoda Bharath’s May 10 Facebook status was referring to the disappearance of two-year-old Kymani Francis, who had gone missing in south Trinidad the day before. The entire nation remained on tenterhooks hoping for his safe return (he was later discovered drowned) — but following a recent task force report documenting widespread abuse in state-run and funded residential children’s homes, her words cut deeper than ever.

The findings in the Judith Jones Task Force report, which detailed everything from drug transactions to rape of minorsspurred calls for the Children’s Authority, the state body charged with promoting and ensuring the rights of children as laid out in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Declaration and Convention on the Rights of the…

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May 20, 2022

Diocese of Rochester Cuts Abuse Victims Out of Process in Attempt to Force a Low-Ball Settlement with Insurance Companies

ROCHESTER (NY)
Jeff Anderson and Associates

May 20, 2022

By Elin Lindstrom

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Bishop Matano Chooses Insurance Companies Over Survivors, Revictimizing Survivors Again

Today in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York, for the second time, the Diocese of Rochester filed a motion to force a $147 million settlement on 475 survivors and victims of clergy sexual abuse. “The plan is a shallow attempt by the bishop to escape accountability and an effort to cheat survivors that will retraumatize them,” said Jeff Anderson, one of the attorneys representing 175 survivors with attorney Steve Boyd.

The Diocese admitted that it has nearly $2 billion in insurance coverage. The actual insurance coverage is likely over $4 billion. “The Bishop is choosing to protect the insurance companies over the victims. It’s appalling,” said Steve Boyd. The diocese and insurance companies tried the same tactic earlier in the case. Judge Warren rejected their first attempt on July 9th, 2021.

Just two months…

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Former Church of Christ minister pleads guilty to child sexual abuse charges

(TN)
The Christian Chronicle [Oklahoma City OK]

May 18, 2022

By Deana Nall

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Joshua Henley, who was arrested last June and previously entered a not-guilty plea, now faces at least 15 years in prison.

Joshua Henley, former youth minister for the Holladay Church of Christ in Tennessee, pleaded guilty this week to an eight-count federal indictment.

By pleading guilty, Henley admitted that he produced child sexual abuse material involving three minors, transported a minor interstate with the intent to engage in sexual activity with the minor, sent obscene videos and images to a minor, and possessed and transported child sexual abuse material, according to a news release from the court.

The plea was entered in the Eastern Division of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee on Monday.

Henley was arrested in Tennessee on June 18, 2021, on state and federal charges. He had previously entered a not-guilty plea. At his Aug. 23 sentencing, Henley will receive a prison sentence of at…

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North Philadelphia Church Pastor Mark Hatcher Accused Of Sexually Abusing 3 Minors

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
KYW-TV, CBS-3 [Philadelphia PA]

May 20, 2022

By Natasha Brown

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The pastor of a North Philadelphia church is facing serious charges. He’s accused of sexually abusing three people, including a former parishioner, when they were minors.

Reverend Mark Hatcher is the longtime pastor of Holy Ghost Headquarters Revival Center in North Philadelphia, and he is now facing charges of rape and sexual abuse.

The charges stem from allegations that date back to 2000, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

Three victims, who were all minors at the time, have now come forward decades later detailing accusations of sexual assault.

One of the victims told police that Hatcher molested her when she was 15 years old. Another alleges he was assaulted at least five times when he was just 6 years old.

The criminal complaint goes on to detail a third victim who says in 2006, at 13 years old, she went to dinner with Hatcher who was her pastor…

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Pastor at North Philly church is charged with rape, sexual assault after alleged victims come forward decades later

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer [Philadelphia PA]

May 19, 2022

By Ellie Rushing and Vinny Vella

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The longtime pastor of Holy Ghost Headquarters Revival Center in North Philadelphia sexually abused three people, including a former parishioner, when they were minors, according to prosecutors in Montgomery County.

The Rev. Mark Hatcher, 59, of Blue Bell, was charged Wednesday with rape, statutory sexual assault, corruption of a minor, and related offenses. Hatcher remained in custody as prosecutors successfully lobbied a magisterial district judge in Blue Bell to deny him bail, calling him a “danger to the community,” according to court records.

Hatcher’s attorney, R. Emmett Madden, said the pastor maintains his innocence and looks forward to defending against the charges in court.

”These are unsubstantiated allegations from 15 years ago with no corroborating evidence of any kind,” Madden said. “I’ve received significant outreach from family, friends, and members of the community, which all indicates the opposite of what was alleged.”

Hatcher’s attorney, R. Emmett Madden, said the pastor…

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Former Albany church leader’s sex crime sentence extended

ALBANY (NY)
WNYT-TV [Albany NY]

May 19, 2022

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A former Albany church leader already serving five years for sex crimes against a child in 2003 has had his sentence extended.

Angel Garcia, 69, was sentenced on Friday to two additional seven-year terms, which will be served concurrently. The new sentence is for abusing two more kids between 2016 and 2018.

Garcia will also have a very lengthy period of post-release supervision and must register as a sex offender.

He was once a deacon at Church of the Americas in Albany.

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Church must support law to stop child abuse in Philippines

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

May 20, 2022

By Father Shay Cullen

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It is the duty of the church leaders to see that the law challenging ISPs is implemented

Online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC) is a shocking reality that all parents, guardians, church leaders and business corporations have to challenge and confront but they don’t. It is spreading everywhere and trapping children and youth in systems of sexual abuse and extortion and it is frequently met with a cold stony silence by those whose duty it is to protect children.

The telecommunication corporations and their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are to be held responsible by a new bill amending RA 9775 to protect children by installing software blocking the transmission of child sexual abuse materials. In the past, they refused to do so citing contradictions in the law. These objections and excuses have now been addressed by the bill and, if passed into law, they would have no excuse…

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Editorial: Indigenous turning

TORONTO (CANADA)
The Catholic Register - Archdiocese of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

May 20, 2022

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Surely no Canadian is so naïve as to believe that Pope Francis’ six-day July visit will miraculously heal nearly 400 years of fraught, often deeply unjust relations, with Indigenous people.

Yet it would take blind cynicism to fail to see the opportunity the pontiff’s 144 hours on Truth North soil affords for a genuine renewal of relations. It is a moment to be grasped for long-sought reconciliation between the Church and First Nations and, indeed, between Canada as a nation and the descendants of its first founding inhabitants.

For those who see the glass as auspiciously half-full, it’s worth a huzzah that Francis’ July 24 to 29 papal visit overlaps almost perfectly the 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Canada for World Youth Day in Toronto July 23 to 28, 2002. True, horrendous storms battered the Church in the years following JP II’s monumental celebration in Canada’s…

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Insurers suddenly raise stakes on German churches’ sex abuse response

MUNICH (GERMANY)
Religion News Service - Missouri School of Journalism [Columbia MO]

May 19, 2022

By Tom Heneghan

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One of Germany’s biggest trade associations, representing 10 million insured people, has given victims of sexual abuse a powerful ally with deep pockets and highly paid lawyers.

Germany’s Catholic and Protestant churches have been criticized for their handling of clergy sexual abuse for years now by victims, believers and the media. Now they face new pressure from an unexpected corner: the insurance industry.

VBG, a national association of accident insurance providers, recently complained to the two predominant church bodies in the country that they had not been notified of the thousands of sexual abuse cases that have been found in the church groups’ ranks.

According to German law, sexual abuse cases can fall under the rules governing the churches’ insurance policies. Policyholders must inform the company of known cases and help insurers determine how much compensation they should pay.

Church insurance policies, the VBG lawyers have determined, cover both paid…

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Relics and militants: Vatican fraud trial sprawls the globe

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

May 20, 2022

By Nicole Winfield

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The Vatican’s financial trial took a series of surreal turns Thursday when a former suspect-turned-star witness was thrown out of the tribunal and a defendant asserted in court documents that she escorted two emissaries of Russian President Vladimir Putin into the Holy See to negotiate the return of holy relics to the Russian Orthodox Church.

The developments turned an otherwise mundane cross-examination of a onetime Vatican power broker about the Vatican’s investment strategies into an unexpected drama. It underscored the peculiarity of the trial and the remarkable situation the Holy See found itself in after entrusting delicate diplomatic, financial and intelligence work to outsiders who who got in the door by impressing a cardinal.

The trial originated in the Holy See’s 350 million euro investment in a London real estate deal, but it has expanded to include other alleged crimes. Vatican prosecutors have accused 10 people of fraud, embezzlement and…

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Court authorizes sex abuse class-action lawsuit against archdiocese of Quebec

QUEBEC CITY (CANADA)
CTV Television Network [Toronto, Canada]

May 20, 2022

By The Canadian Press

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A judge is authorizing a class-action lawsuit against the Catholic archdiocese of Quebec brought by victims of alleged sexual abuse.

The class action was filed in 2020 and covers alleged sexual assaults committed from 1940 to the present day.

Montreal law firm Arsenault Dufresne Wee, which is representing the plaintiffs, says the lawsuit is the first class action targeting all the members of a specific archdiocese who allegedly committed sexual assault.

The class action covers anyone who was sexually assaulted — including heirs of victims — by clergy or lay personnel who were under the responsibility of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Quebec or the Roman Catholic archbishop of Quebec.

The Quebec archdiocese covers a region that includes the greater Quebec City area and neighbouring Chaudiere-Appalaches, Charlevoix and Beauce regions.

Arsenault Dufresne Wee welcomed the ruling in a statement and said that more than 88 alleged victims have come forward.

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Tobago’s failure to act on decades of abuse allegations has done unspeakable damage to children in state care

(TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO)
Global Voices [Amsterdam, Netherlands]

May 20, 2022

By Flora Thomas

Read original article

‘Little has changed. If anything, conditions are worse’                                       

“Because we know what we capable of as a society is why we belly hurting so yuh know. We know we selves.” Blogger Rhoda Bharath’s May 10 Facebook status was referring to the disappearance of two-year-old Kymani Francis, who had gone missing in south Trinidad the day before. The entire nation remained on tenterhooks hoping for his safe return (he was later discovered drowned) — but following a recent task force report documenting widespread abuse in state-run and funded residential children’s homes, her words cut deeper than ever.

The findings in the Judith Jones Task Force report, which detailed everything from drug transactions to rape of minorsspurred calls for the Children’s Authority, the state body charged with promoting and ensuring the rights of children as laid out in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Declaration and Convention on the Rights of the…

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“Minor Attracted Persons,” a Troubling Phrase

NORFOLK (VA)
Adam Horowitz Law [Fort Lauderdale, FL]

May 19, 2022

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How about we call murderers “life takers?”

Or how about we call embezzlers “money shifters?”

Or how about we call purse snatchers “others’ property preferrers?”

Obviously, these phrases are awkward and confusing. Worse, they’re a disservice to crime victims. And to the truth.

Why? In large part, because they mask or minimize the pain caused by these crimes.

What on earth prompted us to even conjure up these odd terms?

It was an Associated Press article headlined “Professor gets new job after pedophilia research caused stir.”

The no-doubt harried headline writer missed the mark a tad here. Apparently, the ‘stir’ was less about the ‘research’ and more about the terminology used by the professor.   The researcher, Dr. Allyn Walker,  used the phrase “Minor Attracted Persons (MAPs)” to describe adults who are sexually attracted to kids.

A book Walker wrote called “A Long, Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity” led…

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Oklahoma Catholic high school sued for $75M over alleged sex abuse

OKLAHOMA CITY (OK)
Catholic World Report [San Francisco CA]

May 19, 2022

By Katie Yoder, Catholic News Agency

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Ten current and former students, along with six parents or guardians, are suing a Catholic high school in Oklahoma — a school that they allege “fostered and allowed a rape culture” and “tolerated sexual harrassment and assault” by male students, teachers, and coaches for more than 10 years, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit, filed May 16 in Oklahoma County District Court, lists Mount St. Mary Catholic High School in Oklahoma City as a defendant. It also lists those who have authority over the school: the board of trustees, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, and the Sisters of Mercy.

The suit accuses three school leaders, who have since resigned, of playing a central role in the “commission of the assault and harassment” and covering it up: former principal Talita DeNegri, assistant principal Wendy Faires, and guidance counselor Mallory Tecmire.

“Despite being on actual and constructive notice of hundreds of incidents…

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Ex-priest denies historical child abuse

(AUSTRALIA)
Seven Network - 7news [Eveleigh, NSW Australia]

May 20, 2022

By Ethan James

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Former priest Louis Daniels has pleaded not guilty to charges of historical child sexual abuse.

A former Anglican priest has pleaded not guilty in Tasmania to charges of historical child sexual abuse.

Louis Daniels, 74, was extradited from the ACT to Hobart on Thursday evening and appeared in Hobart Magistrates Court on Friday supported by his brother.

He pleaded not guilty to persistent sexual abuse of a child. Police allege the abuse occurred in the 1980s when Daniels lived in Tasmania.

He was granted bail to appear in the Supreme Court of Tasmania in Hobart on September 5.

Tasmania Police said the charges followed a “complex and protracted” investigation.

Australian Associated Press

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‘$37M to $107M’ could be paid to Guam clergy sex abuse survivors

HAGåTñA (GUAM)
Guam Daily Post

May 20, 2022

By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

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Payments to more than 270 survivors of Guam clergy sexual assaults could be between $37 million and $107 million, based on documents filed jointly by the Archdiocese of Agana and its creditors Friday morning in federal court.

But most of that remains pending because of still ongoing settlement negotiation or future litigation, including about $55 million from insurers of the Boy Scouts of America.

All Catholic parishes and schools will continue to exist under the proposed plan to get the archdiocese out of bankruptcy.

The archdiocese also plans to sell the properties where the FHP/TakeCare clinic in Tamuning and the Chancery on San Ramon Hill are located, in addition to multiple properties identified much earlier.

Abuse survivors, other creditors and U.S. District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood still have to review and approve the joint plan.

These are some of the sources of funding for the proposed survivors’ trust:

  • $18.358…
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May 19, 2022

Catholic Church to investigate abuse claims at children’s homes

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

May 19, 2022

By Janelle De Souza

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The Roman Catholic Church will investigate allegations of child abuse in the December 2021 Judith Jones Report on children’s homes.

In a press release on Wednesday, Archbishop Jason Gordon said the investigative team would include independent and qualified experts in the fields of psychology, childcare/social work, law and human resource management.

The investigation was launched in response to the 139-page report entitled Safeguarding Children in Community Residences and Child Support Centres in TT which was laid in Parliament on April 29 by Minister in the Office of the PM, Ayanna Webster-Roy.

“The Church takes seriously any and all allegations of this nature, and in this regard has immediately launched an investigation to now verify the truth of the allegations. We note the statement on page ten of the report that, ‘This report aims not to establish the truth of the allegations of abuse, but to acknowledge the allegations, examine the…

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Bishop must stop those backing accused abusive coach

SPRINGFIELD (MO)
SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [Chicago IL]

May 19, 2022

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(For Immediate Release May 19, 2022) 

Springfield Catholic officials must not stay silent while misguided staff, students and parents publicly rally around a coach who’s just been suspended after being named in a child abuse report. Every time parishioners rally around an accused child molesting cleric, it is sad, tiresome, and hurtful to vulnerable kids, those wounded, and ultimately to the school, parish, and diocese itself.

Bishop Ed Rice and other school officials must denounce this well-intended but hurtful move.

To those who wonder “Why is there so much abuse in the church,” here’s a clue: When Catholic officials let church members and others intimidate victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers into silence as abuse reports happen, even more people with information or suspicions about child sex abuse give up, go away or stay quiet. And that of course enables and emboldens other child molesters to keep committing their…

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Spanish Catholic Church’s Internal Child Abuse Investigation of Little Use, Prosecutor Says

MADRID (SPAIN)
Reuters [London, England]

May 19, 2022

By Christina Thykjaer and Emma Pinedo

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An internal investigation by the Spanish Catholic Church into alleged child sexual abuse by members of the clergy is “partial” and “of little use,” the office of Spain’s national prosecutor wrote in a letter to the country’s ombudsman that was made available to Reuters.

The Spanish Catholic Church in January launched diocesan-level inquiries after Spanish newspaper El Pais reported in December more than 1,200 cases of alleged abuse between 1943 and 2018.

The revelations came years after sexual abuse scandals had rocked the Church in countries such as the United States, Ireland and France.

In February, the Church said a private law firm, Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo, would oversee and audit its investigations, a move labelled as a “smokescreen” by a victim’s association.

The Spanish Bishops’ Conference declined to comment on the prosecutor’s letter when contacted by Reuters.

Spanish prosecutors in February said they were looking into…

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Photo above: Skip Shea, who wrote and directed "Trinity," suffered abuse by several priests as a child. - Courtesy, Damien Gaudet

Film about clergy abuse to be screened at former Catholic treatment center, House of Affirmation

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

May 18, 2022

By Richard Duckett

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[Photo above: Skip Shea, who wrote and directed “Trinity,” suffered abuse by several priests as a child. – Courtesy, Damien Gaudet]

Uxbridge filmmaker Skip Shea will screen his movie “Trinity,” based on a true story about a man who recalls the sexual abuse he received as a child from a priest, at the location that was formerly “an epicenter” for the abuse and where Shea was himself abused.

“Trinity” will be shown at 8 p.m. May 21 at Estate of Mind, 120 Hill St., Whitinsville. There will be reception at 7 p.m. and a Q&A after the screening. Tickets are $20. 

Estate of the Mind is a new performance space and art center. The property is the site of the former House of Affirmation, operated as a treatment center for Catholic priests suffering from psychological issues, including pedophilia, from 1973 to 1990. However, the priest who started it was himself a pedophile and networked…

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Lawsuit accuses ACNA church of negligence that resulted in child sexual abuse

BIG ROCK (IL)
Religion News Service - Missouri School of Journalism [Columbia MO]

May 18, 2022

By Kathryn Post

Read original article

The case will be co-counseled by longtime sexual abuse attorney Boz Tchividjian.

When Cherin Marie joined Christ Our Light Anglican Church in 2013, she couldn’t imagine filing a lawsuit against the close-knit Anglican church plant in Big Rock, Illinois, where many of her relatives attended. But three years after her then 9-year-old daughter first said she was sexually abused by Mark Rivera, a lay minister at the church, Cherin feels she has no other option.  

Cherin, who declined to use her last name to protect her daughter’s privacy, filed a lawsuit Wednesday (May 18) in Kane County, Illinois, against Christ Our Light Anglican Church. The lawsuit argues that Cherin’s daughter, who is referred to as Jane Doe, has experienced mental anguish and emotional and physical pain because of the church’s negligence, and it requests over $50,000 in damages. The case will be co-counseled by longtime sexual abuse attorney Boz…

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Springfield Catholic soccer coach placed on administrative leave, mandatory report filed

SPRINGFIELD (MO)
Springfield News-Leader [Springfield MO]

May 18, 2022

By Wyatt D. Wheeler

Read original article

Mike Hines, a teacher at Immaculate Conception Catholic elementary school and head soccer coach at Springfield Catholic, has been placed on administrative leave amid a diocesan conduct investigation.

“With the presumption of innocence, Hines was placed on administrative leave on Monday in accordance with the Safe Environment Policy and Procedures of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau,” according to a statement issued by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. 

“According to diocesan policy and procedures, the incident has been reported (to) the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline and a confidential TIPS report was filed through the diocesan online “TIPS” reporting portal,” the statement says. 

Hines was hired in August 2015 as a boys and girls soccer coach at Springfield Catholic High School. He also teaches physical education at Immaculate Conception Catholic School.

According to an online bio, Hines is originally from Neosho where he played soccer and wrestled. He has…

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Sex abuse suit filed against Oklahoma City Catholic school

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

May 17, 2022

By Ken Miller

Read original article

Ten current and former students of Mount St. Mary Catholic High School in Oklahoma City and six parents or guardians are suing the private school, alleging it fostered “a rape culture” for more than 10 years.

School officials have known since 2011 that female students have been victims of rape and sexual assault by students, teachers and coaches and done nothing to stop the attacks, according to the lawsuit filed Monday.

“MSM fosters a rape culture that values the safety, bodily integrity, education, and future of men and boys, over that of women and girls,” the lawsuit said.

“MSM did not take reasonable steps to report or stop the rampant rape culture and ongoing sexual abuse … rather, MSM shamed women and girls who reported,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit said the girls reported the assaults to school officials, including the principal, vice principal and a counselor who each…

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New Mexico Archdiocese to Settle Sex Abuse Claims for $121.5 Million

SANTA FE (NM)
New York Times

May 18, 2022

By Johnny Diaz

Read original article

The settlement announced by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe is among the largest of its kind involving the Catholic Church in the United States.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe in New Mexico said that it had reached a $121.5 million settlement agreement to resolve a bankruptcy case that stemmed from clergy sex abuse claims, one of the largest such settlements involving the Catholic Church in the United States.

The proposed settlement would be used to compensate survivors of sexual abuse, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe said in a statement on Tuesday.

The settlement affects approximately 375 claimants, Dan Fasy, a lawyer who represents 111 of the victims, said on Wednesday. It is among the top five payouts in abuse litigation involving the Catholic Church in the United States, according to BishopAccountability.org, which tracks abuse cases against the church.

The settlement also comes a month…

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Settlement with church victims is long overdue

SANTA FE (NM)
Santa Fe New Mexican

May 18, 2022

Read original article

Settling hundreds of clergy sexual abuse claims against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe is essential — both for those who suffered and for a Catholic Church still needing to make amends for the damage it caused children over decades.

No dollar amount ever could make these victims whole, but restitution is long overdue. Some accusers are in their 80s; they have waited a lifetime for justice.

That wait could soon be over.

This week, the archdiocese tentatively came to a $121.5 million agreement with at least 375 accusers — who must approve the deal — as part of resolving the archdiocese’s 2018 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. It will be one of the largest such settlements involving the Catholic Church in the United States.

The deal was months in the making, with a third mediator helping the parties to the finish line. For victims, the wait must have been excruciating.

Still…

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Italy’s Catholic Church at Crossroads Over Sexual Abuse Investigation

(ITALY)
Reuters [London, England]

May 19, 2022

By Angelo Amante and Philip Pullella

Read original article

SAVONA, Italy (Reuters) – Francesco Zanardi has spent the past 12 years documenting sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests in Italy, filling a vacuum he says is caused by the refusal of the country’s Church thus far to launch a major investigation.

When Italian bishops meet next week to elect a new president, Zanardi is hoping to see the start of a long overdue reckoning for the Church, whose leaders will discuss whether to commission an independent investigation of abuse similar to those carried out in France and Germany.

From his apartment in the centre of Savona in northern Italy, Zanardi, 51, runs Rete l’Abuso (The Abuse Network), which has one of the largest digital archives on clerical sexual abuse in the country.

He spends much of his time seeking court documents, tracking the whereabouts of suspected abusers, talking to lawyers who help him with cases, and vetting tips…

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Chicago Archdiocese to pay out another settlement to man who says he was abused by Fr. Daniel McCormack

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS News [New York NY]

May 18, 2022

Read original article

The Chicago Archdiocese will pay $1.2 million to the latest man claiming he was abused by a pedophile priest.

The settlement adds to the more than $12 million in payouts related to the defrocked Rev. Daniel McCormack.

The man involved in the latest settlement claims McCormack sexually abused him on multiple occasion during an after-school program in 2005 when he was 12 years old. The settlement was issued in a mediation before a lawsuit was filed, according to the alleged victim’s attorney, Lyndsay Markley.

McCormack is alleged to have molested at least 25 boys. He spent two years in prison, and then the remainder of his sentence was served as a state-run mental health facility after being deemed a sexually violent person.

He was released from that facility last fall.

McCormack, formerly pastor of St. Agatha’s Church in Chicago, is one…

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May 18, 2022

‘Our children deserve to be found’: Federal report examines Native lives, cultures lost at Indian boarding schools

WASHINGTON (DC)
Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR)

May 12, 2022

By Diane Bezucha

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Of the 408 schools identified in the report, 11 were in Wisconsin

At least 500 Native American children died while being forced to attend federal Indian boarding schools between the years 1819 and 1969, according to a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Eleven of those schools were located in Wisconsin. 

At an emotional press conference on Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland spoke about the troubling legacy of these schools and their lasting impact on Native communities, as well as on her own family.

“When my maternal grandparents were only 8 years old, they were stolen from their parents’ culture and communities and forced to live in boarding schools until the age of 13. Many children like them never made it back to their homes. Each of those children is a missing family member, a person who was not able to live…

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Burial sites linked to Native American boarding schools ID’d in government report

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

May 12, 2022

By Noelle Evans

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An Interior Department report identified more than 400 Native American boarding schools that assimilated and often abused Indigenous children. The probe has uncovered more than 500 deaths so far.

A MARTINEZ, HOST:

For about a hundred and fifty years, Indigenous children were separated from their families and sent away to what were called Indian schools. Yesterday, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced the initial findings. From member station WXXI in Rochester, N.Y., Noelle Evans reports.

NOELLE EVANS, BYLINE: The investigation is not complete, but what we know now is that there were more than 400 of these schools across the country until the late 1960s.

CRYSTAL ECHO HAWK: This is among the original sins of this country. And the fact that the truth is finally coming to light is deeply emotional and it’s important.

EVANS: That’s Crystal Echo Hawk. She’s a citizen of the Pawnee Nation and executive director…

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Report: Christians May Have Helped Run Half of Native American Boarding Schools

WASHINGTON (DC)
Christianity Today [Carol Stream IL]

May 11, 2022

By Emily McFarlan Miller - Religion News Service

Read original article

Canada’s findings at Kamloops last year have spurred US officials and denominations to investigate their involvement in the residential school system.

The United States operated 408 boarding schools for indigenous children across 37 states or then-territories between 1819 and 1969 — half of them likely supported by religious institutions.

That’s according to the first volume of an investigative report into the country’s Indian boarding school system that was released Wednesday by the US Department of the Interior.

“Our initial investigation results show that approximately 50 percent of federal Indian boarding schools may have received support or involvement from religious institutions or organizations, including funding, infrastructure and personnel,” Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland said at a news conference on the progress of the department’s Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative.

The report revealed nearly 40 more schools than the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition previously  View Cache

We have a responsibility to safeguard vulnerable children and adults

NOUNA (BURKINA FASO)
Global Sisters Report [Kansas City, MO]

May 17, 2022

By Janet E. Deinanaghan

Read original article

Merriam-Webster defines “safeguard” as “to make safe or protect.” With the many forms of abuse that are being discovered in modern society, we are using this word more than ever, as we see the need to create safe places for children and vulnerable adults in our families, churches, schools, institutions and societies.

The UNICEF Convention on the Rights of the Child invites governments, agencies, families and institutions to make it their policy to adopt measures that will protect children and vulnerable adults.

The Convention defines a child as “any person under the age of 18.” Thus — as accepted universally by many nations — such a person should be cared for and protected by adults until he/she attains that age. Is that always the case? In many cultural settings, no.

For example, in the northern part of Nigeria and Burkina Faso, girls are often married off…

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Former pastor in 2 states pleads guilty to child sex charges

MEMPHIS (TN)
Associated Press [New York NY]

May 18, 2022

Read original article

A former pastor in Tennessee and Indiana faces up to life in prison after he pleaded guilty to federal child sex abuse charges, prosecutors said.

Joshua Henley, 33, pleaded guilty Monday to producing, possessing and sending sex abuse material involving children and transporting a minor interstate to have sex, the U.S. attorney’s office in Memphis said.

Henley was the pastor at Holladay Church of Christ in Benton County, Tennessee, and coached the Holladay Elementary School girls’ basketball team, prosecutors said. Henley later went to work at a church in Evansville, Indiana, in April 2021, prosecutors said.

Henley drove to Tennessee in June to pick up a girl and brought her back to Indiana, where he had sex with her when she was 15, prosecutors said. Another girl later said Henley had asked her to create and send sexually explicit images, prosecutors said.

Investigators found sexually explicit images on Henley’s cell…

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Bobby Brown Says Being Molested by a Priest Changed the Course of His Life: ‘It Was the Reason I Abused Myself’

BOSTON (MA)
People Magazine [New York NY]

May 17, 2022

By Falen Hardge and Janine Rubenstein

Read original article

“That really, really bothered me as a child, and as a grown adult,” Brown tells PEOPLE of being touched inappropriately before fighting back

Bobby Brown is sharing things he never thought he would. 

The hit R&B singer sat down with PEOPLE ahead of his new A&E documentary Biography: Bobby Brownpremiering May 30, to discuss the biggest triumphs and tragedies of his life, including his battle with addiction, the loss of two of his children and a traumatic secret he’s kept hidden for over 40 years. 

Brown, 53, grew up in a rough section of Boston and says that his first great loss was that of his innocence. In the documentary, he recalls being a young child and witnessing his mother being beaten and arrested by police after trying to intervene in the arrest of some neighbors. 

In the aftermath, he says in the series, “I was sent to a temporary custody by…

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Senior German priest leaves Catholic Church

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

May 17, 2022

By CNA Staff

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A senior German priest has announced that he is no longer Catholic, citing his disappointment over a lack of “reforms” in the Church and admitting to having broken his promise of celibacy.

Andreas Sturm, the former vicar general of the Diocese of Speyer in southwestern Germany, made the announcement on May 13, reported CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner.

Sturm, who is joining Germany’s Old Catholic community, said that he had “lost hope and confidence over the years that the Roman Catholic Church can truly transform itself.”

“At the same time, I experience how much hope is placed in ongoing processes such as the Synodal Way. But I’m no longer in a position to also proclaim and honestly and sincerely share that hope, because I simply don’t have it anymore.”

The former vicar general described the ordination of women to the priesthood,…

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Archdiocese of Chicago reaches $1.2M settlement over sexual abuse claims involving Daniel McCormack

CHICAGO (IL)
WFLD - Fox 32 [Chicago IL]

May 17, 2022

By Joanie Lum

Read original article

The Archdiocese of Chicago will pay a reported $1.2 million to a person who claimed he was abused multiple times by Daniel McCormack, the defrocked priest at St. Agatha Catholic Church on the West Side.

The settlement avoids a lawsuit.

The attorney for the victim said his client was 12-years-old when he was sexually abused by McCormack multiple times in 2005.

The victim said he was abused at St. Agatha’s parish in Lawndale when he attended the after-school program called S.A.F.E. There were further allegations the Archdiocese of Chicago was aware of complaints about McCormack, yet allowed him to have access to children.

McCormack was accused in about 25 cases and pleaded guilty to abusing five children. He was sentenced to five years in prison in 2009 and had been held in a state-run mental health facility until he was released in October.

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Chicago archdiocese settles sex abuse suit for $1.2 million

CHICAGO (IL)
Associated Press [New York NY]

May 17, 2022

Read original article

The Archdiocese of Chicago has agreed to pay $1.2 million to a man who alleged that he was sexually abused when he was 12 years old by a defrocked priest who was convicted of sexually abusing several boys, the man’s attorney announced on Tuesday.

The settlement of the case before a lawsuit was filed was announced in a news release by attorney Lyndsay Markley and marks the latest chapter in the story of Daniel McCormack, one of the most notorious pedophiles in the history of Chicago’s archdiocese.

McCormack, who pleaded guilty in 2007 to sexually abusing five children while he was a priest at St. Agatha’s parish in Chicago, was released from prison last fall and has registered as a sex offender with the Illinois State Police. According to published reports, he was listed at that time as living in Chicago’s Near North neighborhood.

The settlement follows other similar settlements…

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$121.5M settlement in New Mexico clergy sex abuse scandal

SANTA FE (NM)
Associated Press [New York NY]

May 18, 2022

Read original article

One of the oldest Catholic dioceses in the United States announced a settlement agreement Tuesday to resolve a bankruptcy case in New Mexico that resulted from a clergy sex abuse scandal.

The tentative deal totals $121.5 million and would involve about 375 claimants.

The proposed settlement comes as the Catholic Church continues to wrestles with a sex abuse and cover-up scandal that has spanned the globe. Some of the allegations in New Mexico date back decades.

The chairman of a creditors committee that negotiated the agreement on behalf of the surviving victims and others said it would hold the Archdiocese of Santa Fe accountable for the abuse and result in one of the largest diocese contributions to a bankruptcy settlement in U.S. history.

It also includes a non-monetary agreement with the Archdiocese to create a public archive of documents regarding the history of the sexual abuse claims, committee chairman Charles…

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May 17, 2022

Chicago Archdiocese settles with sex abuse victim for $1.2M

CHICAGO (IL)
WFLD - Fox 32 [Chicago IL]

May 17, 2022

By Timothy H.J. Nerozzi

Read original article

Victim said that he was sexually abused multiple times in 2005 by the disgraced former priest Daniel McCormack

The Archdiocese of Chicago will settle with a victim of sex abuse out of court.

The Archdiocese of Chicago, one of the most prominent dioceses in the U.S., avoided a sex abuse lawsuit with a $1.2 million settlement. The victim said he was sexually abused multiple times in 2005 by the disgraced former priest Daniel McCormack. The victim was reportedly 12 years old when the abuse took place at St. Agatha’s parish. 

“Anyone who’s been harmed can say they’re whole and that might not be the best way to express it. He has been compensated and can move forward in a better way because of compensation” the victim’s attorney, Lindsay Markley, told FOX 32 Chicago.

Donald Bondick joins demonstrators from several states in a protest outside Holy Name Cathedral…

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Vermont Catholic Diocese settles sex abuse lawsuit targeting South Burlington priest

BURLINGTON (VT)
WCAX [South Burlington VT]

May 17, 2022

By Melissa Cooney

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The Vermont Roman Catholic Diocese has settled a lawsuit involving a former South Burlington priest accused of sexually abusing a child in the 1960s.

The victim, now in his 60s, accused Father Roger W. Carlin of molesting him in 1966 and 1967, when the nine-year-old was training to be an altar boy at St. John Vianney church in South Burlington.

The diocese last summer said it was the first allegation it had received concerning Carlin. It comes after an independent review board of laypeople combed through thousands of documents dating back to 1950 and identified 40 priests as being sexual abusers. Carlin, who died in 1980, was not one of them.

“Victims need to hear the names of pedophile priests so that they realize, so the victims realized that they were not the only ones being sexually abused. It was not the victims’ fault,” said Mitchel Garabedian, the victim’s attorney….

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Bobby Brown Reveals Past Sexual Abuse Attempt by a Priest in A&E Docuseries: ‘I Just Want to Heal’ (Exclusive)

NEW YORK (NY)
WKYC-TV, NBC - 3 [Cleveland OH]

May 16, 2022

By Mekishana Pierre‍

Read original article

[VIDEO]

Bobby Brown is giving fans an intimate look at his tumultuous life in a way he never has before. The 53-year-old R&B music star and his wife, Alicia Etheredge-Brown, opened up to ET’s Nischelle Turner ahead of the singer’s new A&E docuseries, Biography: Bobby Brown, premiering May 30.

The two-part series charts the GRAMMY winner’s rise to stardom and the fallout from his struggles with sobriety and the deaths of his two children, Bobby Jr. and Bobbi Kristina, and first wife, Whitney Houston

In addition to Bobby, the documentary features new interviews with friends and family, including Usher, Jermaine Dupri, Keith Sweat, Babyface, New Edition’s Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe and Johnny Gill. 

“To revisit them was really therapeutic,” Bobby said regarding the darker moments in his life. “To go back and remember some of the things that…

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Catholic school in Mississippi Delta closing after 70 years

GREENWOOD (MS)
Associated Press [New York NY]

May 17, 2022

Read original article

A Catholic elementary school that primarily serves Black and Hispanic families in the Mississippi Delta is closing after more than 70 years, following a sex abuse scandal, declining enrollment and a steep decrease in donations.

St. Francis of Assisi School in Greenwood notified teachers and families Friday that it will close at the end of this week, the Greenwood Commonwealth reported.

It joins more than 200 other Catholic schools in the U.S. that have closed permanently during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the National Catholic Educational Association.

The school in Greenwood was founded in 1951 and is run by the Franciscan Friars of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Province, a Wisconsin-based religious community that opened a mission in an impoverished part of Mississippi.

In recent years, the school in Greenwood has been tarnished by a clergy sex abuse scandal dating back to the 1990s.  View Cache

Settlement reached in archdiocese bankruptcy case

SANTA FE (NM)
Albuquerque Journal [Albuquerque NM]

May 17, 2022

By Colleen Heild

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The 41-month-old Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization case filed by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe settled Tuesday afternoon, with an estimated $121 million payout to nearly 400 survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

The settlement includes funds from Archdiocese sales of property and other assets, contributions from individual parishes, and insurance proceeds.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese, the state’s largest, is one of 29 dioceses and religious orders in the country to have filed for bankruptcy protection to stem losses from legal claims alleging the church failed to prevent sexual abuse of vulnerable youths at the hands of priests and clergy. In New Mexico, some 74 priests have been deemed “credibly accused” of sexually assaulting children while assigned to parishes and schools by the Archdiocese, which covers central and northern New Mexico.

Archbishop John C. Wester in filing the petition in December 2018 said at the time he hoped the monetary settlement would…

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

US report details church-state collusion on Native schools

WASHINGTON (DC)
Associated Press [New York NY]

May 14, 2022

By Peter Smith

Read original article

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

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

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

May 16, 2022

By Clint Chan Tack

Read original article

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

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

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

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

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Archdiocese lawyer gives judge upbeat assessment of possible settlement 

SANTA FE (NM)
Santa Fe New Mexican

May 16, 2022

By Rick Ruggles

Read original article

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 17, 2022

By Russell Myers

Read original article

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

May 11, 2022

By Emily Miller

Read original article

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

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

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

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Report finds government abuse of indigenous children

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

May 11, 2022

By Alexandra Limon

Read original article

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

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

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

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

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

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May 16, 2022

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

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

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

May 16, 2022

Read original article

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

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

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

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

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

The lawsuit also names the Edmundston Diocese Foundation.

Mother assaulted twice a week

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

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Two graduate from Jesuit Dallas 40 years after priest sex abuse

DALLAS (TX)
Dallas Morning News

May 16, 2022

By Krista M. Torralva

Read original article

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

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

The diploma was about 40 years in the making.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 16, 2022

By Catalina Batarce and Juan Manuel Ojeda

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

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

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

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Albany diocese priest put on ‘credibly accused’ list

ALBANY (NY)
Times Union [Albany NY]

May 15, 2022

By Lauren Stanforth

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

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

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

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

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

ALBANY (NY)
Spotlight News [Delmar NY]

May 15, 2022

By John McIntyre

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

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

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

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Diocese Of Albany Adds Retired Priest to List of Credibly Accused

ALBANY (NY)
Diocese of Albany NY

May 15, 2022

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

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

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

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Former priest accused of sexual abuse against minors

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

May 15, 2022

By Richard Roman

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

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

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

Since his ordination in 1963, Weider, 85,…

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Professor gets new job after pedophilia research caused stir

NORFOLK (VA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

May 14, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

May 10, 2022

By Joan Vennochi

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

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

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

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May 15, 2022

Victims Are Not Guilty! Spiritual Abuse and Ecclesiastical Responsibility

(CHILE)
Religions [Basel, Switzerland]

May 9, 2022

By Samuel Fernández

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Abstract

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

1. Introduction

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

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Exorcists, Abusers, and When Catholic History is Horror

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

May 10, 2022

By Matthew J. Cressler

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

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

***

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

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

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

OTTAWA (CANADA)
Global News [Toronto, Canada]

May 9, 2022

By Jill Croteau

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

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

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

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

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

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Mater Dei athlete told police that teammates sexually assaulted him

ORANGE (CA)
Daily Bulletin [Ontario CA]

May 9, 2022

By Scott Reid and Tony Saavedra

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

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

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

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

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

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

ORANGE (CA)
Daily Beast [New York NY]

May 9, 2022

By Barbie Latza Nadeau

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

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

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

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

May 11, 2022

By Terry Roberts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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US finds 500 Native American boarding school deaths so far

WASHINGTON (DC)
Associated Press [New York NY]

May 11, 2022

By Felicia Fonseca

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

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

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

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

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Report Catalogs Abuse of Native American Children at Former Government Schools

WASHINGTON (DC)
New York Times

May 11, 2022

By Mark Walker

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

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

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

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

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

(MALTA)
Crux [Denver CO]

May 15, 2022

By John L. Allen Jr.

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

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

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

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Child abuse spreads like the coronavirus

MANILA (PHILIPPINES)
Manila Times [Manila, Philippines]

May 15, 2022

By Fr. Shay Cullen

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

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

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

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Chilean bishop facing misconduct, abuse allegations leaves country

(CHILE)
Crux [Denver CO]

May 15, 2022

By Inés San Martín

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

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

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

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

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

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May 14, 2022

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

WASHINGTON (DC)
PBS NewsHour [Arlington VA]

May 11, 2022

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

To hear this transcript please see original article.

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

WASHINGTON (DC)
Axios [Arlington VA]

May 11, 2022

By Shawna Chen

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

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

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

  • “Federal records indicate that the United States viewed official disruption to the Indian family unit as part of Federal Indian policy to assimilate Indian children,” the report notes.
  • Initial research shows that hundreds of Indigenous…
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Letter: Church offers callous response to a reasonable request

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

May 14, 2022

By David G. Clohessy

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

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

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

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

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

WASHINGTON (DC)
NBC News [New York NY]

May 11, 2022

By Graham Lee Brewer

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

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

The report and an accompanying news release acknowledge the harms…

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

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

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

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

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

SLIDELL (LA)
Daily Kos [Berkeley, CA]

May 10, 2022

By Aysha Qamar

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

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

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

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Benton Harbor pastor charged with criminal sexual conduct appears in court

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

May 11, 2022

By 16 News Now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 13, 2022

By Cindy Wooden

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

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

The Vatican said a detailed program would be released later.

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

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

Pope Francis…

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Minnesota Catholics examine church’s role in Indian boarding schools

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
Crux [Denver CO]

May 14, 2022

By Maria Wiering

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

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

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

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

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

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

ROME (ITALY)
Crux [Denver CO]

May 14, 2022

By Elise Ann Allen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 12, 2022

By Karin Olafson

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

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

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

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Catholic priest sanctioned after confessing to sexually abusing child

ESSEN (GERMANY)
Peoples Gazette [Abuja, NG]

May 12, 2022

By News Agency of Nigeria

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

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

The diocese said on Thursday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 13, 2022

By Catholic News Service

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 13, 2022

By Christopher White

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 10, 2022

By Erin Murphy

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

Statehouse Democrats are pushing to change that.

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

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

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

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

Democratic state lawmakers are pushing…

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May 13, 2022

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

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

May 12, 2022

By Dennis Sadowski

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

[Via America]

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

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

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

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

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Jail Birds – A history of incarcerated cardinals

(AUSTRALIA)
The Pillar [Washington DC]

May 12, 2022

By Michelle La Rosa

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Cardinal Joseph Zen

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

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

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

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

St. John Fisher

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

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Why is the church failing in the West?

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

May 13, 2022

By Thomas Reese

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

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

The social structures that supported religion have also weakened.

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

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Basilica bidders hope to preserve culture, faith amid church bankruptcy

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

May 13, 2022

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Coalition benefits churchgoers and abuse survivors, says former mayor

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 12, 2022

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[Via Catholic World Report]

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

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

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

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

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

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

JACKSON (MS)
Associated Press [New York NY]

May 12, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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