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.
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…
(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…
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…
[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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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.
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…
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…
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…
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…
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
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…
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…
“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 Brown, premiering 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…
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,…
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.
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…
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…
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…
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….
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…
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.
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…
[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…
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.
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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,…
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,…
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;…
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…
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,…
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,…
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…
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…
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 abuse; abuse of conscience; vulnerability; institutional responsibility
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…
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….
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…
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.
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…
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…
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…
[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…
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…
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…
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,…
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…
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…
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.
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…
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…
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…
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….
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.”
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
[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]
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…
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…
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…
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…
[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…
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…
The president of the Portuguese bishops’ conference begged forgiveness from victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, as a church-appointed independent commission predicted many more abuse cases would come to light.
“These attacks are particularly serious; in addition to direct physical harm, they affect the fundamental system of affection, trust and values that sustains personal, relational and spiritual development,” said Bishop José Ornelas Carvalho of Leiria-Fatima.
“I hope the liberating courage of victims can motivate others in a similar situation, offering a key contribution to the creation of a new culture and a dignified, fair and welcoming future,” he said.
The bishop, whose speech was carried May 10 by Portugal’s Ecclesia news agency, addressed a Lisbon colloquium co-sponsored by the Independent Commission for Studying Sexual Abuse of Children in the Church, set up last November by the bishops’ conference.
Ornelas said he was grateful to those who had…
Pope Francis, struggling with a bad knee, is going ahead with his plan to visit Canada this summer so he can apologize in person for abuse suffered by Indigenous peoples at the hands of the Catholic church.
The Vatican on Friday announced that Francis will head to Canada on July 24, returning to Rome on July 30. While in Canada he will visit Edmonton, Quebec and Iqaluit, a small town where about half the population are Inuit.
Last month, Francis made a historic apology for abuses in Canada’s church-run residential schools. He said he wanted to go to Canada to deliver the apology personally to survivors of misguided Catholic missionary zeal.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said Francis was “accepting the invitation of the civil and ecclesiastical authorities and the Indigenous communities” in making what the Holy See termed an “apostolic journey.”
Even as the Vatican was confirming the trip, Francis…
[See the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report with Appendices A and B (boarding school list and descriptions) and Appendix C (boarding school maps).]
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland today released Volume 1 of the investigative report called for as part of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, a comprehensive effort to address the troubled legacy of federal Indian boarding school policies. This report lays the groundwork for the continued work of the Interior Department to address the intergenerational trauma created by historical federal Indian boarding school policies.
This investigative report is a significant step by the federal government to comprehensively address the facts and consequences of its federal Indian boarding school policies—implemented for more than a century and a half—resulting in the twin goals of cultural assimilation and territorial dispossession of Indigenous peoples through the…
There is an assumption that gets in the way of sexual violence prevention: that talking about things like sexual activity and consent somehow encourages sexual activity. So both schools and families often shy away from teaching about the sexual abuse of children and, later, about the sexual assault of adults.
Most recently, the attitude that silence equals prevention has encouraged a harmful—and confusing—connection between pedophilia and the L.G.B.T.Q. community. After Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida signed the Parental Rights in Education bill (known by its critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which, among other things, “prohibits classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels”), legislators in at least a dozen states proposed similar laws. The fear among lawmakers and other advocates of these bills is that teaching elementary-aged children about gender identity or sexual orientation is not “developmentally appropriate” or amounts to “indoctrination.”
The debate on which topics are age-appropriate…
A South Australian Department for Education coordinator and teacher of more than 30 years has been charged with child sex offences spanning more than a decade against three children.
Lina Costanzo, of Tranmere in Adelaide’s east, faced the Adelaide Magistrates Court charged with three counts of persistent sexual exploitation of a child.
The 51-year-old is accused of sexually exploiting a child between 1989 and 1994, another child between 1990 and 1995 and a third child between 1992 and 2002 at Glenelg, Eden Hills and other places in South Australia.
Court documents reveal two of the alleged victims were girls and one was a boy, and all were under the age of 17 at the time.
The documents allege Ms Costanzo maintained an unlawful sexual relationship with the three children that involved multiple unlawful sexual acts.
Ms Costanzo’s lawyer, Craig Caldicott, told the court she contested the charges and would plead not…
The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo is making drastic cuts to its stable of priests following its clergy abuse scandal and ensuing bankruptcy.
The diocese confirmed Wednesday it invited 132 active priests to apply for just 36 open positions — that’s one priest for each “parish family” as outlined in the diocese’s “Road to Renewal” initiative.
The program is meant to address financial issues brought on by Child Victims Act lawsuits filed against the diocese and a decline in attendance.
The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy more than two years ago after more than 250 CVA lawsuits were filed.
As of December 2021, more than 900 people have accused local clergy and diocesan staff of sexual abuse and the diocese has paid more than $7 million in legal and professional fees.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated May 17 for retired Bishop Robert H. Brom of San Diego, who died May 10 in San Diego. He was 83.
The Mass for Brom, who headed the diocese from 1990 until 2013, will be celebrated at St. Therese of Carmel Church in Del Mar Heights, California, followed by burial at Holy Cross Cemetery.
“He was a natural teacher who constantly labored to bring the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council into the heart of the Diocese of San Diego,” Bishop Robert W. McElroy, current head of the diocese, said in a May 10 statement.
“This dedication to the council also framed his lifelong service in forming men for the priesthood,” he added.
Robert Henry Brom was born Sept. 18, 1938, in Arcadia, Wisconsin. He earned a bachelor’s degree at St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota, and a licentiate in sacred theology…
Former Priest, 65-year-old Fernando Cristancho, was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for coercion and enticement of a minor.
Cristancho also admitted that he met the victim through the church. The Priest produced nude images of four other minor victims.
He must also register as a sex offender in the place where he lives.
According to his guilty plea, Cristancho was ordained as a Roman Catholic Priest in Colombia, South America, in 1985. It wasn’t until 1999, when he started work in Baltimore in the Archdiocese.
However, the crimes were committed in Harford County at the St. Ignatius Catholic Church.
The plea agreement shows that the victim was 11,12 and 13 at the time of the incident. The victim’s family were also members of St. Ignatius.
Soon after Cristancho arrived at the church, he began to spend time with the victim’s family outside of church, including meals at restaurants…
On May 3rd, 2022, the Society of the Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana lost its bid to turn over a lower court’s decision on the constitutionality of the new SOL reforms for childhood sex abuse in Louisiana, when they filed an application of writ to the 3rd District appeals court.
The church has been on both sides of the statute of limitations reform bill since its inception last year. When the bill was in committee, they filed opposition to the bill. When it passed the house and senate, and Governor Edwards signed the bill into law, Archbishop Gregory Aymond withdrew his opposition for the bill and publicly voiced support for the new law. Now that the law is enacted, the Archdiocese of the Ecclesiastical State of Louisiana are now fighting the constitutionality of the new law.
The case will now continue to move through the…
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan., has failed to defeat a sexual abuse claim by claiming the allegations of a former altar boy were too late.
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled April 22 that an eight-year statute of limitations does not doom a man’s claims that he was abused in the 1980s as a child but did not remember until he was an adult.
The ruling allows a John Doe to pursue his lawsuit against the Archdiocese and a priest at St. Matthew Parish. He filed his petition in 2017, claiming he was sexually abused from ages 9 through 12 but did not recover those repressed memories until 2015 when he saw news coverage of abuse uncovered in Guam.
The defendants filed motions to dismiss based on the statutes of limitations and repose, but they were denied. Further arguments at the summary judgment phase that the claims were…
The Portuguese commission investigating the sexual abuse of minors within the Catholic Church has already received 326 testimonies on this type of case since it began work last January.
It is the latest tally of the commission, which includes more men than women, from all regions of the country, all ages and school levels and all types of abuse, as revealed today by a member of the group, the sociologist Ana Nonnen von Almeida.
During a conference organized by the Commission in Lisbon and with the participation of international experts, Nunes de Almeida explained that, in addition to these 326 direct testimonies, “there are other people who say that they have been victims of abuse”, so that the number amounts to ” many, many hundreds”.
The commission announced in April in its first three months of work that it had confirmed 290 cases of abuse within the church, 16 of…
Many are victims of family members seeking to satisfy their own sexual urges and make money on the side
Eleven-year-old Evangeline is one of several children rescued from child sex abusers who abused them over the internet for money from rich foreign pedophiles. The demand is huge. The other victims are boys and girls of six, eight and 10 years old.
They were repeatedly sexually abused in front of an internet-connected cellphone using Philippine internet service providers (ISPs) while foreign pedophiles around the world paid and watched the horrific shows.
A study conducted in 2021 by Unicef, Interpol and Ecpat International, all great advocates of child rights, discovered that among Filipino children between the ages of 12 and 17, one in every five had suffered sexual abuse over the internet, especially during coronavirus lockdowns. That is an estimated 2 million abused Filipino children in total.
The live sex shows were streamed…
The European Union’s executive arm on Wednesday unveiled a plan to require online platforms to detect and report the sharing of child sex abuse images on the internet.
The regulation, which needs to be endorsed by member countries and the EU Parliament, would force companies operating in the EU to detect, report and remove the material.
Voluntary detection is currently the norm and the Commission believes that the system does not adequately protect children since many companies don’t do the identification work.
Reports of online child sexual abuse in the 27-nation bloc have increased from 23,000 in 2010 to more than 1 million in 2020. International police agency Interpol has also reported a surge in the online distribution of explicit sexual images of children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A similar increase has been noticed globally, with reports of child abuse on the internet rising from 1 million to almost 22…
For 34 years, Yakima native Michael Ross blocked the memory of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest from his mind. Then he pushed officials at two Catholic dioceses for acknowledgement of the abuse and, eventually, resolved a lawsuit over it.
Now Ross is taking his efforts to another stage — Yakima’s Calvary Cemetery, where Monsignor Joseph Sondergeld has been buried for more than 50 years in an area reserved for deceased clergy.
Ross has asked the Diocese of Yakima to remove Sondergeld’s remains from the priests’ circle, or at least acknowledge in the cemetery that multiple claims of abuse against him have been substantiated.
“Right now, in the Yakima diocese, he’s still a venerated priest,” Ross said of Sondergeld’s placement in the cemetery. “When people who have been abused, when family members of people who have been abused by Joseph Sondergeld walk by and see he’s there with an elevated…
Pedro Strecht, President of the Commission of Inquiry into Pederasty in the Portuguese Church, and José Ornelas, President of the Episcopal Conference in Lisbon.Joao Henriquez
The Church of Portugal has apologized for the sexual abuse of minors. He did so Tuesday afternoon at a scientific forum organized in Lisbon by an independent commission of inquiry into pederasty, according to Bishop José Ornelas of Leiria Fatima, who chairs the Portuguese Episcopal Conference. “I want to once again appeal to the victims with a request for forgiveness for suffering and convey gratitude to those who dared to condemn. The tragic situation of the current war shows that a person is capable of the greatest barbarism, ”he argued.
In front of an audience that also included Hans Zollner, one of the experts appointed by Pope Francis to combat pederasty in the Church, and the presidents of the revision chambers of Spain and Germany,…
Robert Fenton was a 26-year-old youth pastor at Abide In The Vine church in Owego, New York, when he was given approval to betroth a 14-year-old congregational member by her family and church leadership.
Fenton convinced the teenage girl’s parents and leadership at the non-denominational church to allow him to betroth the underage girl, telling them he had a vision “declaring that God wanted the victim to be his spouse.”
The youth pastor was granted permission to betroth the 14-year-old under the condition that no sexual activity would take place. But according to his now 40-year-old victim, Fenton “frequently” assaulted the underage girl during his two years at the church in the late 90’s.
Last week, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced charges against Fenton for assaulting a 14-year-old.
RELATED: Las Vegas Ex-Pastor, Teacher Pleads Guilty in Child Sex Case
“I want survivors to…
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced to staff May 4 a dramatic reorganization of its communications department, including the closure of the Washington and New York offices of Catholic News Service.
In meetings with newsroom staff, James Rogers, the chief communications officer of the conference, said that the Washington office would be closed at year’s end.
The Rome bureau of Catholic News Service will remain open and continue to report on Vatican and related international events.
A statement released by the bishops’ public affairs office said: “Over the next few months, the USCCB Department of Communications will undertake a significant realignment to better utilize the resources entrusted to the Conference by the faithful in a manner that fits the communications environment today.
“Sadly, this will impact a number of staff. We are grateful for the time and dedication of the committed team of communicators at the Conference who serve…
Catholic News Service recently reported a story about itself — and the news wasn’t good.
The service will soon shutter its U.S. operation after more than a century of being recognized as a trusted, unbiased news source in the Catholic community and beyond. Come January, when its two U.S. bureaus [Washington and New York] close, 21 staffers will lose their jobs.
According to CNS’s publishers, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Rome bureau will remain open. That’s a small consolation, however, because there’s no shortage of outlets covering Vatican news. Reporting the story of the Church in the U.S. is what makes CNS relevant, and therefore, valuable.
Today’s “environment” needs more trusted news sources, not fewer, especially because so many Catholic publications rely on CNS to supplement their own coverage. It’s a common practice in the business; the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal subscribe to and publish…
You feel a ‘calling’ to serve God.
You specifically feel that God wants you to be ordained as a cleric.
And not just any cleric. God says you should be a priest.
Imagine you’re from a devout Catholic family.
Chances are that people you know will be excited by this news.
Chances are that they think highly of priests.
Chances are that, if you attend parochial school, your teachers will be excited.
And chances are that your parents and other relatives are thrilled you feel about your decision.
But a handful of men can thwart your noble calling.
One is your diocesan vocations director (who could tell your bishop “I don’t think this young fellow would be a good priest” or “feels a genuine calling” or “is likely to truly be celibate” or “could really make it in our rigorous seminary program” or whatever).
Another is your bishop (without whose…
An elderly Catholic priest has been sentenced to four years in jail for sexually abusing a young Perth girl more than 40 years ago after asking her for “back scratches”.
- Richard Doyle abused the girl during visits to her family home
- His lawyer said joining the church left him sexually naive and led to ‘problems’
- Doyle will be eligible for parole after serving half of his four-year term
Richard Doyle, 85, was found guilty earlier this year after a judge-alone trial in the District Court, convicted of four charges of indecently dealing with the girl when she was between 6 and 10 years old.
Doyle was acquitted of another two charges.
The court was told the victim’s family came to know Doyle when he was working in WA’s Wheatbelt region.
When they all moved to Perth, he started visiting the family at their home, with the victim — who is…
The road toward justice for the victims of clergy sex abuse has been long, tortuous and littered with legal minefields. But increasingly in the past few years, it has led to milestones involving accountability for the Catholic Church, and restitution for individuals preyed upon as children. That it has taken two decades in many cases is maddening, but breakthroughs even at this late date are critically important.
In April, a Catholic diocese in the Philadelphia suburbs of southern New Jersey agreed to pay nearly $88 million to settle claims by several hundred people, many of them now elderly, who say they were abused as children. For many of the 300 or so plaintiffs in the Diocese of Camden, it will mean payouts in the range of $300,000, with the possibility of additional amounts stemming from separate lawsuits against insurance companies, parishes and schools.
The Camden settlement was among…
[Photo above: Some issues of Origins, the documentary service of Catholic News Service, are seen in this undated photo, along with binders for entire volumes of the publication. (CNS / Tyler Orsburn)]
Six months before he died, the late Cardinal John Foley praised Catholic News Service in a 2011 speech he delivered to the annual Catholic Media Convention.
Christopher Gunty remembers Foley, who headed the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Social Communications for 23 years, saying that “if Catholic News Service didn’t exist, we’d have to create it.”
Gunty, now the associate publisher and CEO of the Catholic Review, a monthly magazine for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, says he and his paper “rely heavily on CNS to inform our readers on what’s going on in the nation and the world, and without them, it’s going to be nearly impossible for us to do so.”
Did the nun really deserve her saintly reputation? She inspired a craze for self-flagellation among her ‘sisters’, says one woman in this shocking three-parter, while a street doctor is even more scathing
ho could have foreseen, when Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu was born in what is now Skopje, North Macedonia, in August 1910, that she would become one of the icons of the 20th century, recognised across the globe as Mother Teresa, saintly giver of comfort to the destitute? More specifically, who could have predicted that she would embody so much of what was wrong with that century and the next? The three-part documentary Mother Teresa: For the Love of God? (Sky Documentaries) sets out the pros and cons of Teresa mania, finding the good to be fragile and the bad, profound.
Briskly we are given the backstory of a family made vulnerable by the death – perhaps by poisoning – of…
The German “Synodal Way” has created worldwide controversy. But how much it is costing the Catholic Church remains a mystery.
A spokesman for the Church in Germany declined on May 8 to give a breakdown of the costs of the multi-year project, which critics claim could lead to schism.
CNA approached the spokesman after seeing documents suggesting that the German Church had spent millions on the Synodal Way, an initiative bringing together laypeople and bishops to discuss far-reaching changes to Catholic teaching and practice.
The documents appeared to indicate that the project had so far cost more than 5.7 million euros (around $6 million).
The figure was based on data compiled by the Association of the Dioceses of Germany, a legal entity of the German bishops’ conference located in Bonn.
The documents, which are not publicly available, suggested that the Church spent 703,195 euros in 2019, 878,035 euros in 2020,…
Roman Catholics are mourning Bishop Robert Brom, the San Diego spiritual leader for nearly a quarter-century who oversaw a major bankruptcy amid the predatory priest scandal. He died Monday morning at his home.
The San Diego-Imperial Diocese made the announcement. Cause of death wasn’t immediately released. He was 83.
“Bishop Brom was a pastor, teacher and servant leader of the Catholic community in San Diego and Imperial Counties for 23 years,” Bishop Robert McElroy said in a statement. “He oversaw the building of many beautiful churches in our Diocese, as well as the establishment of two magnificent high school campuses” — Cathedral Catholic in Carmel Valley and Mater Dei in Chula Vista.
Brom was appointed coadjutor bishop of San Diego on April 22, 1989, to assist Bishop Leo Maher and became the fourth bishop of San Diego on July 10, 1990. He retired Sept. 18, 2013.
“Bishop Brom’s deep love for…
Nearly 20 parish churches on the eastern edge of North America face the prospect of closure, as the properties have gone up for sale in bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.
The parish church properties – at 18 of the 34 parishes in the archdiocese – were included in a March notice of sale, part of an effort to resolve an archdiocesan bankruptcy filing and a court order to compensate victims of sexual abuse at a closed Catholic orphanage in Newfoundland.
The Newfoundland archdiocese was in 2021 found liable for a religious community which operated Mount Cashel, a notoriously abusive orphanage in the archdiocese that closed in 1990. After it became responsible to compensate more 100 men sexually abused at the orphanage in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection in December 2021 — compensation claims were expected to exceed $50 million CAD.
Second window for legal claims
Could California find itself in another conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court?
Nine California Catholic dioceses and archdioceses have asked the nation’s highest court to review their case against a 2019 law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, which created a three-year window for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file legal claims against alleged perpetrators at school, church or elsewhere, regardless of when the alleged abuse occurred. The law also allowed defendants to be sued for a new offense: “cover up” activity.
In the April 15 petition, which was first reported last week by the Catholic News Agency, lawyers for the Catholic bishops assert the law is unconstitutional because California already gave victims a chance to sue in 2002 — when it opened a one-year portal for sex abuse survivors to file claims with no time limit attached — and because it retroactively adds new liabilities.