ABUSE TRACKER

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

November 26, 2022

Adult survivors of past sexual abuse now have a year to sue the alleged abuser

ALBANY (NY)
WAER Syracuse Public Media [Syracuse NY]

November 26, 2022

By Karen DeWitt

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There is a statute of limitations for reporting adult sexual abuse. That statute is being waived for one year, which began Thanksgiving day, due to the Adult Survivors Act.

The act is modelled on the Child Victims Act, which was approved in 2019. It allows people who were over 18 years of age when they experienced sexual abuse to have a one year window of opportunity to file a claim against their alleged abuser in civil court. They can bring legal action even if the statute of limitations for the crime has expired.

On May 24, Gov. Kathy Hochul, who replaced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo after he resigned in a sexual harassment scandal, signed the measure into law.

Finally, we are starting to right a wrong that has existed for far too long,” Hochul said. “Because when it came to sexual assault, our laws were protecting the abusers more than not.”

Now,…

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Broken Souls and Crooked Hearts

BATON ROUGE (LA)
The American Conservative [Washington DC]

November 26, 2022

By Rod Dreher

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What suffering can teach us about the journey of our life, and those who walk with us

I posted something the other day about the occult and criminal violence around the Santa Muerte cult, a favorite of narcotraficantes. I asked readers to share their experiences with this phenomenon, if they have any. Only one of you responded — good news, because it shows that the cult hasn’t afflicted your lives — but the reader who responded sent it a story of the demonic haunting of a man who had been close to him. Doesn’t involve Santa Muerte, but it’s still chilling and important. Read on:

This past summer, my ex-husband, Kurt, had a Catholic priest from his home parish in Kentucky clear his house in upstate New York of demons. And now that it’s been blessed, he can finally stay in the place again. It’s a small cabin that had…

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"The tragedy of the victim is the internalization of the badness of the act," artwork by Chris Dorris

Willow Park abuse survivor met ‘vacuum of silence and distaste’ after 1992 revelation

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times [Dublin, Ireland]

November 26, 2022

By Patsy McGarry

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[Photograph above: One of Chris Doris’s artworks responding to his abuse. Photograph: Chris Doris]

‘Quasi-sacramental’ abuse involved three priests with two wearing green and gold stoles

It was the secret that existed in plain sight. Now aged 60, artist and psychotherapist Chris Doris spoke about the abuse he suffered involving two priests and a religious brother at Willow Park school in Dublin in a television programme 30 years ago.

In the Would You Believe documentary, shown on RTÉ in 1992, Doris was interviewed on the theme of art and spirituality after he had organised an exhibition to help victims of the famine that was then under way in Somalia.

In it, he spoke about being abused in Willow Park, which he attended until 1975: “It was brief but explosive.” Before the programme was broadcast he was told its religious adviser had warned he would “want to be very sure about…

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The Savior won’t tolerate abuse. So why does the LDS Church?

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

November 26, 2022

By Dave Winslow

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Some steps the LDS Church should take to protect children

In the October 2022 General Conference, Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stated, “As president of the Church, I affirm the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ on this issue. Let me be perfectly clear: any kind of abuse of women, children, or anyone is an abomination to the Lord. … For decades now, the Church has taken extensive measures to protect — in particular — children from abuse. … The Savior will not tolerate abuse, and as His disciples, neither can we.”

I have heard similar General Conference messages for decades. Yet new abuse allegations are reported regularly. This two-minute sound-bite is merely damage control. “His disciples” continue to tolerate abuse.

Recent articles by Michael Rezendes of the Associated Press detail the prolonged incestuous abuse of offspring…

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November 25, 2022

Siblings allegedly abused at Scots children’s home told they can sue Catholic order

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

November 25, 2022

By Ruth Suter

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The siblings’ cases were thrown out last year after Sisters of Nazareth claimed it could not get a fair trial due to the passage of time.

Two siblings who were allegedly abused at a Scots children’s home have been told they can sue a Catholic order after their case was scrapped last year.

The pair, known as ‘B and W’, claimed to have suffered historic abuse at the hands of Sisters of Nazareth (SoN) – a charity operating across five regions to provide care for those in the organisation’s established houses. They had been residing at the religious body’s premises in Lasswade, Midlothian, in the 1970s, where they claimed to have been assaulted as children.

In January this year, both legal bids were scrapped after the religious body claimed it could not get a fair trial due to the passage of time. But three appeal…

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New abuse victims of Roman Catholic Church uncovered in Italy

(ITALY)
Church Times [London, England]

November 25, 2022

By Rebecca Paveley

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Dozens more children and adults come forward

A report examining the number of cases of sexual abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic Church in Italy uncovered at least 89 victims and 68 people accused of abuse during the past two years. Sixty-one of those abused were children aged from ten to 18, and 12 cases involved children under the age of ten. Sixteen of the alleged victims were classed as vulnerable adults.

The alleged abusers include clergy, lay people, and members of religious orders.

In total, the Church said that it had more than 600 cases of abuse by priests on file at the Vatican, dating back to 2000.

The limited two-year accounting of cases drew on data only from “listening centres” set up by dioceses in 2019 to receive complaints of abuse, including abuse by lay people as well as clergy.

The report, Protecting, Preventing, Educating, was published on Thursday of…

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Quebec religious orders face off over abuse liability

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

November 25, 2022

By François Gloutnay

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Montreal – The Grey Nuns of Montreal are asking a court that the Congregation of Holy Cross compensate them should they be required to pay the victims of clergy sexual abuse who are part of a class action authorized against the order of women religious.

The legal question was at the centre of a Nov. 16 court hearing in Montreal involving the two religious orders.

Quebec Superior Court Judge Suzanne Courchesne indicated in authorizing the class action in March that it aimed to include “any person or estate of a deceased person” who claimed to be “a victim of sexual abuse and/or physical abuse and/or psychological abuse while being housed or hosted/received” in any of the three sites operated by the Grey Nuns in the Montreal area.

The sites include the Crèche d’Youville day care, the Notre-Dame de Liesse School and the Montreal Catholic Orphanage.

Courchesne had specified that the…

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What the USCCB elections suggest about the next three years

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic World Report [San Francisco CA]

November 22, 2022

By MIchael R. Heinlein

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As conference president, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese of the Military Services will carry on the work of reckoning with the complexities brought on by a pro-abortion Catholic president.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has elected a host of new leadership positions this week. Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese of the Military Services has been elected president. Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore has been elected vice president. Archbishop Broglio’s election as president also triggered the election of a new conference secretary. Broglio’s term will be finished now by Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City.

In his new position, which begins at the conclusion of the fall plenary assembly of the bishops’ conference, Archbishop Broglio will lead American bishops for three years. The top responsibilities of the position include fostering fraternity and unity among the body of bishops amid increasing ecclesial polarizations, and serving…

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A woman’s promise to her grandmother becomes a UN World Day

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Vatican News - Holy See [Vatican City]

November 25, 2022

By Sr Bernadette M. Reis FSP

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How the joint efforts of so many people throughout the world will bring hope and healing for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse around the globe.

For many, last Friday was just like any other day in the centre of Rome. Children went off to school, tourists bustled about the city, people went to work, locals walked their dogs, and shopped for groceries. Yet, for survivors of child sexual abuse across the world, November 18, 2022 is a historic day. It marked the first World Day for the Prevention of, and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Violence, formally recognized by the United Nations in a unanimous vote on November 7, 2022.

In a press conference following the UN landmark action, the First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, who with her husband President Julius Maada Bio facilitated the Resolution in collaboration with the Mission of the…

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Editorial: The cost of abuse

ALBANY (NY)
Times Union [Albany NY]

November 25, 2022

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The state could find itself financially liable for hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse in prisons. Maybe that will motivate it to do more to prevent it.

It’s long been understood that if you go to prison, there is a strong likelihood that you will be physically or sexually assaulted. Maybe by fellow prisoners, maybe guards.

Some hardline law-and-order folk might call it an acceptable disincentive to commit crimes in the first place. Others might see it as an inherent and inevitable reality of any system of incarceration.

No. It is unacceptable in a modern, enlightened corrections system. Beyond the inhumanity of it, it defeats the whole goal of rehabilitation. Abuse only hardens people, and when it’s done by staff , it sends a message that it doesn’t really matter which side of the law one is supposedly on; everyone is corrupt, and violence just how things are done.

If…

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Superior diocese publishes list of credibly accused clergy

SUPERIOR (WI)
Associated Press [New York NY]

November 23, 2022

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The Catholic Diocese of Superior published names late Tuesday of almost two dozen clergy that it says have had credible claims of sexually abusing minors made against them.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that many of the allegations date back 30 years or more.

The diocese said the list stems from three separate reviews of clergy files. It includes priests and other faith leaders who have served with the diocese, including credible allegations at other dioceses outside Wisconsin.

“I wish we could go back in time and undo all of the hurt and pain, the sins of the past. But we cannot,” Bishop James P. Powers said in a letter to parishioners. “What we can do is learn from the past and do everything in our power to never repeat the abuse. I firmly believe that the Diocese of Superior is clearly on the right path in protecting…

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Superior Diocese releases list of 23 credibly accused priests, including one man removed this year

SUPERIOR (WI)
Journal Sentinel [Milwaukee WI]

November 24, 2022

By Laura Schulte

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Madison – The Diocese of Superior has named 23 priests that it believes have been credibly accused of sexual abuse over the course of its history, including one priest removed from the ministry in September over accusations from the 1990s.

According to the records, James Bartelme was placed on administrative leave on September 8, relating to a single allegation of abuse that occurred in 1990 and 1991 in Superior. According to a 2021 guest column in the Catholic Herald, Bartelme, 71, is a retired priest.

No charges been filed against Bartelme related to sexual abuse , according to a state court records search.

Bartelme was placed on leave as a result of the review, Dan Blank, the director of administrative services for the diocese, said Wednesday. Blank said that the files or accusations regarding Bartelme won’t be turned over at this time to law enforcement or the Attorney General, who…

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November 24, 2022

New bishop named at Providence Diocese: Rockville Centre, N.Y., prelate will serve with Bishop Tobin

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Boston Globe

November 23, 2022

By Amanda Milkovits and Alexa Gagosz

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The Most Rev. Richard G. Henning is the auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., which filed for bankruptcy in 2020 after hundreds of sexual abuse cases were filed against it. Henning will be the coadjutor bishop of Providence, serving with Bishop Tobin, with the right of succession after Tobin’s retirement.

Pope Francis has named a New York prelate as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence’s new bishop on Wednesday, months before Bishop Thomas Tobin turns 75, the church’s mandatory retirement age.

The Most Rev. Richard G. Henning, auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., will be the coadjutor bishop of Providence, serving with Tobin, with the right of succession.

The Rockville Centre Diocese filed for bankruptcy in 2020 after hundreds of sexual abuse cases were filed against it under New York’s Child Victims Act, which allowed survivors time to file claims despite the statute of…

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Former priest to face court over historical child sexual assault at Richmond

(AUSTRALIA)
Mirage News [Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia]

November 24, 2022

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A former priest will face court today charged over alleged historical child sexual assault offences in the state’s north.

In November 2021, detectives from Richmond Police District commenced an investigation following reports a boy, then aged 14, had been sexually abused at a church property in Mallanganee – about 40km west of Casino – in 1982.

Following extensive inquiries, a 74-year-old man was arrested at Casino Police Station on Tuesday 18 October 2022.

He was charged with sexual assault – assault and act of indecency, sexual assault – person under

16 years, and sexual assault – indecent act with person under 16 years of age.

Police will allege in court that the former priest invited the boy to his house before sexually assaulting him.

The man was granted strict conditional bail to appear before Kyogle Local Court today (Thursday 24 November 2022).

Anyone with concerns about suspected child abuse or…

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Halifax settles abuse claim for $10 million

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

November 23, 2022

By Quinton Amundson

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The Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth will pledge up to $10 million to settle a class action lawsuit over acts of sexual abuse committed by diocesan priests dating back nearly seven decades.

This figure was reached between the archdiocese and the plaintiffs, represented by Halifax personal injury lawyer John McKiggan, in September, over four years since the class action was first launched in August 2018. Justice Christa Brothers of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court gave the settlement her seal of approval Nov. 14. 

Upon the court’s approval, Archbishop Brian Dunn said in all of this, the one thing that has to be kept in mind is the victims.

“While the class action suit is a constant reminder of the damage and great hurt that has been inflicted on individuals by members of the clergy, it is necessary to provide an opportunity for justice and healing for all victims. It is a hard…

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Almost a dozen historical abuse complaints to Cloyne Diocese since 2013, says report

CLOYNE (IRELAND)
Irish Examiner [Cork, Ireland]

November 24, 2022

By Conor Capplis

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At least 11 people have made complaints to Cork’s Cloyne diocese since 2013 alleging abuse or inappropriate behaviour by priests, a new report has found.

Since the previous review in 2013, a further three priests have been removed from ministry due to concerns raised about them, bringing the total to five priests now suspended, some permanently.

The diocese, which is headquartered in Cobh, Co Cork, was at the centre of a child abuse scandal in 2009 and was heavily criticised in the 2011 Cloyne Report for its handling of child abuse allegations against 19 clerics, going back approximately 20 years.

The latest report, which was released last Friday by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland, reviewed allegations surrounding six Cloyne-based priests and three from other Church bodies.

Among the complaints made, Cleric 1 received a complaint about “his use of the internet some years…

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Lawyer for Knoxville Catholic diocese held conflicting roles in sex abuse case

KNOXVILLE (TN)
Knoxville News Sentinel [Knoxville TN]

November 22, 2022

By Tyler Whetstone

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Key Points

  • The lawyer for the Catholic Diocese of Knoxville sits on a sexual abuse review board while also defending the church against an abuse lawsuit.
  • “It is a worst practice, one that mocks the claim by U.S. bishops that they’ve turned a new leaf when it. comes to abuse,” says one watchdog.
  • Sexual abuse review boards were created by the Catholic church as a response to the explosive sexual abuse findings in the early 2000s.
  • The diocese said it “is confident that no conflicts exist under the facts of the case.”

When Jane Doe filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Knoxville earlier this year, diocesan leaders had known for nearly two years about her account of being sexually assaulted by a priest. The knowledge went all the way to Bishop Richard Stika, the leader of the diocese.

Yet against the norms of the Catholic Church, Stika was listed as a member…

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Irish archbishop criticizes ‘pathetic responses’ to clergy abuse

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Catholic News Service - USCCB [Washington DC]

November 22, 2022

By Sarah MacDonald

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[Via National Catholic Reporter]

rchbishop Dermot Farrell of Dublin has lashed out at the “pathetic responses” to victims of clergy sexual abuse and the “whitewashing” of crimes in the wake of the latest abuse scandal to rock the Irish Church.

Speaking during Mass Nov. 21 in Blackrock parish in Dublin, where the Spiritan order’s Blackrock College is located, the archbishop said the courage of abuse survivors must be matched by “our unflinching commitment to listen to the survivors and respond in truth and in justice to all of them.”

A radio documentary titled “Blackrock Boys” aired on the national broadcaster RTE Nov. 7. It told the story of siblings Mark and David Ryan and their abuse by Spiritan Fr. Tom O’Byrne at Blackrock College in Dublin in the 1970s and 1980s.

Following the broadcast, a number of fresh allegations of abuse were made by former Blackrock College students and the…

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November 23, 2022

Diocese of Superior releases list of 23 priests accused of sexual abuse

SUPERIOR (WI)
Northern News Now [Duluth, MN]

November 22, 2022

By Briggs LeSavage

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The Diocese of Superior released a list Tuesday of all the priests connected to their congregation who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor.

This list of names is the result of three separate clergy file reviews, including one by a private independent security consulting firm, more than a year of meetings, and multiple sessions with the Diocesan Review Board.

The list includes the names of 23 priests with allegations against them. Of them, 20 are deceased.

The news release read, “Bishop of the Superior Diocese, the Most Rev. James Powers, sincerely acknowledges the sinful harms of the past, apologizes on behalf of the local Church, and prays for the healing of all victims-survivors and their affected families and friends.”

He was quoted saying, “I wish we could go back in time and undo all of the hurt and pain, the sins of the past. But we cannot……

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The Archdiocese of Baltimore says it will not oppose the release of an investigation into clergy child abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Banner [Baltimore MD]

November 22, 2022

By Tim Prudente and Liz Bowie

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The Archdiocese of Baltimore will not oppose the release of a nearly four-year investigation into child sexual abuse, church leaders said in a detailed statement released Tuesday evening.

“We believe that transparency is necessary to rebuild the trust that has been damaged by evil acts of abuse committed by representatives of the Church and by historic failures of Church leadership to respond adequately to those acts,” the statement said.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh filed a motion Thursday to have a judge release a 456-page report detailing the findings of his office’s investigation, announcing that investigators had found 158 clergy who had been accused of abuse. The investigation was conducted through use of a grand jury. Therefore, under state law, all materials are confidential without a court order.

In its first response last week, the archdiocese said it would not oppose the release of…

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Albany bishop asking to be laicized isn’t barred from publicly celebrating sacraments, as he claims

ALBANY (NY)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

November 21, 2022

By Joe Bukuras

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Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard of the Diocese of Albany has asked the Vatican to laicize him, claiming that Church policy prohibits him from publicly exercising his priestly functions while he is under investigation for sexual abuse allegations.

However, the Albany Diocese clarified Monday that Hubbard does retain the freedom to publicly celebrate the sacraments but has voluntarily stopped doing so.

“We would like to correct a point in some reports that said there is a diocesan policy that forbids an accused bishop from sacramental ministry,” the diocese said in a statement.

“A diocesan bishop may regulate, that is, limit, circumscribe, or ban exercise within his diocese of any or all sacramental ministries. Bishop Edward Scharfenberger [the current bishop of Albany] has done so in some cases, but in the case of Bishop Hubbard, it is he alone who voluntarily removed himself from any public celebration of sacraments,” the diocese’s statement…

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Disgraced Louisiana Priest Pleads Guilty to Filming Pornographic Material on Parish Altar

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

November 22, 2022

By Peter Pinedo

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Travis Clark, the disgraced priest of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, pled guilty Monday to a felony count of obscenity for his actions in filming pornographic material with two hired women atop the altar of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Pearl River, Louisiana. 

Clark admitted his guilt as part of a plea deal in the state district court in Covington, Louisiana.

Clark received a suspended three-year prison sentence, three years supervised probation and a $1,000 fine, WAFB.com reported

In a statement Tuesday, the Archdiocese of New Orleans said it will now take the necessary steps to remove Clark from the priesthood.

“Now that the criminal proceedings involving Travis Clark have concluded, the Archdiocese of New Orleans will move forward with the process to have him formally laicized. The necessary information will be sent to the Vatican where in consultation with Vatican officials, the Holy Father will…

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Former Grand Rapids Catholic Central tutor convicted of sex crimes released from prison

YPSILANTI (MI)
WZZM - ABC 13 [Grand Rapids MI]

November 22, 2022

By 13 On Your Side staff

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Abigail Simon, 43, had been serving the sentence since January 2015. She was released Tuesday.

A former Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School academic advisor convicted of sex crimes involving a student has been released from prison, Michigan Department of Corrections officials said Tuesday. 

Abigail Simon, now 43, was convicted in 2014 of three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a 15-year-old student. She had been serving up to 25 years but was released on the earliest possible day Tuesday. 

The 11-day trial garnered national attention. Simon said she was intimidated by the boy and argued the sex was involuntary.

Simon was convicted of having sex with a 15-year-old sophomore student at Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School, where she had worked as an academic advisor.

Part of her sentence calls for a lifetime of electronic monitoring once she gets out of prison.

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Former Youth Leader at Elevation Church Charged with Sex Crimes Against Children

CHARLOTTE (NC)
The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

November 22, 2022

By Julie Roys

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A youth leader who served at Elevation Church, a Southern Baptist multi-site megachurch in North Carolina, has been charged with sexual battery and nine counts of indecent liberties with a child, local authorities say.

The suspect, Benjamin Damron, 36, met the victims through his role as a volunteer church youth leader and as a soccer coach with Soccer Shots, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in Charlotte, North Carolina. Police have identified three victims, all teenage boys, they said in a statement.

“(Damron) used his position to take advantage of the victims and sexually assault them,” police say.

In their statement, police add that Damron served as a youth leader at Elevation Church and two other churches—Mercy Church in Charlotte and Southbrook Church in Weddington.

However, both Mercy Church and Southbrook Church have posted statements on…

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What Is a Missionary Kid Worth?

ABUJA (NIGERIA)
Christianity Today [Carol Stream IL]

November 21, 2022

By Rebecca Hopkins

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Risks remain higher in cross-cultural contexts. And misconduct is harder to report.

When Letta Cartlidge got on a plane as a teenager to leave her childhood home, she carried a secret. As the child of missionaries in Nigeria, she was sexually abused by a teacher at a school for missionary kids.

As the plane rose above Nigeria, she believed she would have to carry that secret forever. She thought that if she ever reported him—if she even knew how to report her abuser—it would hurt God’s reputation.

“We were in a culture where there was a looming God,” she told CT almost 30 years later. “And that looming God would punish us for disrupting the work of God.”

Cartlidge would, eventually, decide that wasn’t true. As an adult she found the courage to lead fellow former Hillcrest School students in what she calls an “incredibly discouraging” year-and-a-half effort to bring…

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November 22, 2022

Everybody found ways not to know what they knew on abuse

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times [Dublin, Ireland]

November 22, 2022

By Fintan O’Toole

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Decades of shame-filled silence and pent-up torment lie behind the whiplash of delayed reactions to institutionally sanctioned abuse

In July 2017, a middle-aged man called Ian Kidd entered the Catholic Church of St Agnes in the sprawling Dublin housing estate of Crumlin. He carried a can containing €5 worth of diesel.

He walked up to the altar and began pouring the oil on the floor, while shouting at the worshippers to “get out”. He had a cigarette and people feared he was going to set the diesel alight. He didn’t.

When gardaí arrived, he told them he had been sexually abused by a priest from St Agnes when he was a child. That morning he had received a letter from solicitors acting for the church with a “final offer” of €30,000 in compensation. He was deeply upset by what he considered a “derisory” recompense for the ruination of his life.

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Why Does Rhode Island Keep Turning a Blind Eye to Child Sexual Abuse?

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Rhode Island Monthly [Pawtucket RI]

November 21, 2022

By Ellen Liberman

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For years, trusted coaches and priests in Rhode Island schools and churches were accused of child sexual abuse and innapropriate behavior. Why does it keep happening?

It was just after ten on a Sunday night, and Fred was propped up in bed, catching up on the news. Wife and child asleep, the house was quiet and dark, save for the small pool of blue light from his phone.

One of the biggest headlines on April 22, 2018, was about convicted pedophile Larry Nassar, the former team doctor for the USA Gymnastics national team. He had recently been sentenced to two consecutive essentially life sentences in Michigan state courts for sexually assaulting girls, and Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney was publicly recounting her eight-year nightmare at his hands, beginning when she was just thirteen years old. The story described how over decades, Nassar successfully seduced an entire community into accepting his molestation as…

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Broglio elected president of US bishops

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Tablet [Market Harborough, England]

November 17, 2022

By Michael Sean Winters

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The US bishops chose new leadership this week at their annual plenary session in Baltimore, Maryland. Archbishop Timothy Broglio, of the archdiocese of the military, was elected as president of the conference and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore was chosen as vice president. Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley was elected as conference secretary. 

Broglio worked as chief of cabinet to Cardinal Angelo Sodano from 1990 until 2001. When asked about Sodano’s role in protecting serial pedophile Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Broglio said: “I had actually left the office by the time the great accusations [against Maciel] came up.” In fact, the Hartford Courant newspaper published extensive, detailed accounts of accusations against Maciel in 1997. Broglio told reporters, “Hindsight is always 20/20.” 

The 1990s was also the period of time when Sodano and Broglio sought to appoint more conservative bishops in Argentina, recommended by the government, against the wishes…

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Broglio and the politics of affiliation

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Pillar [Washington DC]

November 21, 2022

By JD Flynn

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Archbishop Timothy Broglio was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops last Tuesday, during the bishops’ fall plenary assembly. Immediately after his election, the archbishop faced questions about his time working in Rome as priest secretary to former Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

Sodano, who was secretary of state for nearly 15 years, shielded senior churchmen from accusations of sexual abuse and stymied investigations into their conduct. Broglio addressed those questions in his first post-election press conference, but he is likely to face more questions as his term gets underway.

But Broglio is not the only bishop elected last week in Baltimore who spent time working for a controversial cardinal, nor is he the most senior serving American prelate to have done so.

And while there is legitimate interest in what the archbishop knew or saw during his time working for Sodano, Broglio seems to…

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Judge orders NY Archdiocese to turn over its investigative records on Hubbard

ALBANY (NY)
Times Union [Albany NY]

November 21, 2022

By Brendan J. Lyons

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The records are being sought in a Child Victims Act case filed by a woman against Hubbard, the Albany diocese and deceased former priest Francis P. Melfe

A state Supreme Court justice has ordered the Archdiocese of New York to turn over roughly 1,400 pages of internal records related to its investigations of Howard J. Hubbard, rejecting the organization’s arguments that the documents regarding the former Albany bishop are constitutionally protected under the religious clauses of the First Amendment.

State Supreme Court Justice L. Michael Mackey, citing court decisions dismissing similar arguments that have been invoked by the Catholic church to try and shield internal files on priests accused of child sexual abuse, noted the case involves allegations of child molestation and not an internal church dispute or employment matter. He said that under pre-trial discovery rules, the records should be treated the same as disciplinary files for a rank-and-file…

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Archbishop says revulsion over scale of child sex abuse is ‘justified’

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Tablet [Market Harborough, England]

November 22, 2022

By Sarah Mac Donald

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The anger and revulsion over recent revelations of “horrendous sexual abuse of children” by members of the clergy or religious communities and the “whitewashing of those crimes” is understandable and entirely justified, Archbishop Dermot Farrell has said.

The Archbishop of Dublin made his comments at Blackrock parish in the wake of revelations of child sexual abuse at a number of catholic schools run by the Spiritan order in Ireland.

“Too often those in leadership in dioceses and religious orders failed to safeguard those entrusted to their care, whether through ignorance, misplaced loyalty or a sense of self-preservation,” Archbishop Farrell said.

He said it was right that the truth of these crimes comes to light so that the abuse itself can be named, the pain, injustice, and offence to the integrity and dignity of the person accepted, and the long journey of healing undertaken and supported.

The total number of Spiritans…

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The confusing path of the US Catholic bishops

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service - Missouri School of Journalism [Columbia MO]

November 21, 2022

By Phyllis Zagano

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At their fall plenary meeting, the bishops spent less time on the Gospel than on internal church matters.

At the recent U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops fall meeting in Baltimore (Nov. 14–17), pro-Francis bishops lost for the most part to anti-Francis bishops in elections to the conference’s top offices, sending a loud message to Rome and the rest of the English-speaking world. 

The church’s right wing is celebrating the new USCCB president, Archbishop Timothy Broglio, a career Vatican diplomat who has headed the Archdiocese for the Military Services since 2007. From 1990 to 2001, Broglio was an influential aide to Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano. It was during Broglio’s time in Rome that the cardinal blocked investigations of notorious sexual abuser Father Marcial Maciel.   

Broglio blames homosexuality for the abuse crisis and has supported religious objections to COVID-19 vaccines. While transparency is a hallmark of the Synod…

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Bills to mandate clergy report abuses will return to the Utah State Legislature

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
KSTU-TV, Fox-13 [Salt Lake City UT]

November 21, 2022

By Ben Winslow

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Bills that remove priest-penitent privilege when it comes to disclosures of child abuse will be run in the upcoming legislative session.

Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, told FOX 13 News on Monday she has drafted and numbered a bill that would require clergy to report any disclosure of abuse by a perpetrator to law enforcement to investigate. Failure to report abuse would be a misdemeanor crime under the legislation, on par with other professions that are required to report disclosures.

“My whole point about this is there shouldn’t be a loophole for anyone when it comes to child sex abuse, child abuse in general,” she said. “We make our law enforcement officers report, we make our teachers report.”

She is not the only one. Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, is also drafting legislation to do similar.

“I think heinous abuse should be reported and also the timing, or imminent threat…

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Bishop Hubbard misstates diocese policy, petitions to be removed as a cleric to marry

ALBANY (NY)
Spotlight News [Delmar NY]

November 21, 2022

By John McIntyre

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Retired Bishop of Albany asks Rome to be relieved of obligations

In an unusual move, retired Albany Roman Catholic Diocese Bishop Howard Hubbard requested to be “returned to the lay state” by Pope Francis. Hubbard announced the move in a written statement released on Friday, Nov. 18.

Also within the statement Hubbard wrote that he has not served the Catholic community since 2019 because of an Albany Diocese policy that forbids priests accused of sexual abuse from public ministry.

“I had hoped that in my retirement I might be able to continue to serve our community as a priest. I am not able to do so, however, because of a church policy that prohibits any priest accused of sexual abuse from functioning publicly as a priest, even if the allegations are false, as they are in my case,” Hubbard wrote.

Bishop Edward Sharfenberger of the Albany Diocese had initially issued a…

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November 21, 2022

Letter to the Editor: Bishops show lack of interest in pedophile victims

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun [Baltimore MD]

November 17, 2022

By Frank Schindler

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I participated in a recent SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) press conference outside the Marriott Waterfront Hotel to urge the newly elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to consider some suggestions related to pedophile priests (”Baltimore’s Archbishop Lori elected VP of bishops’ conference,” Nov. 15). As we were talking to the press, I noticed another group with signs and a bishop talking with them and offering them a blessing. They were an anti-abortion group, thanking the bishops for “protecting children.”

Can you imagine the hypocrisy of this moment? Here are survivors of childhood sexual abuse and assault asking the bishops to please help protect children who were abused by priests — whether five, 10, 20 or 40 years ago — and their concern was “protecting children” who are not born yet. This is a very sad commentary on the heart of…

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Amy Coney Barrett urged to step away from gay rights case because of faith affiliation

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Guardian [London, England]

November 21, 2022

By Stephanie Kirchgaessner

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The US supreme court justice’s history with the People of Praise raises questions about her impartiality in upcoming case

Former members of Amy Coney Barrett’s secretive faith group, the People of Praise, are calling on the US supreme court justice to recuse herself from an upcoming case involving gay rights, saying Barrett’s continued affiliation with the Christian group means she has participated in discriminatory policies against LGBTQ+ people.

The former members are part of a network of “survivors” of the controversial charismatic group who say Barrett’s “lifelong and continued” membership in the People of Praise make her too biased to fairly adjudicate an upcoming case that will decide whether private business owners have a right to decline services to potential clients based on their sexual orientation.

They point to Barrett’s former role on the board of Trinity Schools Inc, a private group of Christian schools that is affiliated with the…

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French Roman Catholic Church wants to regain faith of population

PARIS (FRANCE)
CNE (Christian Network Europe) [The Netherlands]

November 19, 2022

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Several cases of sexual abuse have undermined the trust in the Roman Catholic Church in France. Therefore, the French Conference of Bishops has decided to take measures to regain the population’s confidence.

Recently, the Emeritus Archbishop of Strasbourg confessed to inappropriate sexual behaviour towards a young adult woman. Before that, another Bishop admitted that he had sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl. Also, 11 French bishops have been implicated in inappropriate sexual behaviour. These revelations tarnish the image of the Church, RCF writes. It now wants to take measures to restore its reputation.

Marie-Jo Thiel, theologian, doctor and professor of ethics, argues for a strategy to denounce all the culprits. Furthermore, she pleads for better training for new bishops. Now, they only have to follow a 48-hour training course in Rome that should equip them for their entire episcopate.

Transparency

A newly established committee of experts will guide any…

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New lawsuits filed against Hanna Boys Center as CA clergy sexual abuse law deadline approaches

SANTA ROSA (CA)
KGO-TV, ABC-7 [San Francisco CA]

November 19, 2022

By Dan Noyes

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Sonoma CA – More than a dozen new lawsuits have been filed against Hanna Boys Center of Sonoma by men who say they were abused by Catholic priests and staff there when they were children. We’ve been speaking to survivors, former staff, and officials now running the residential treatment center.

A state law that allows survivors of clergy sexual abuse to file lawsuits — no matter how long ago it happened — expires at the end of next month. As a result, there has been a rush of new complaints.

No question, Hanna Boys Center has done some good over the years, helping kids struggling with school or family life.

Paul Keschke reported in 1998, “The boys who range in age from 9 to 17 are treated firmly, but with respect.”

ABC7 News has covered the residential treatment center run by the Catholic Church, including a report from 1998 featuring Hanna’s…

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Baltimore Catholic Archdiocese Covered Up Sexual Abuse of More Than 600 Victims, Probe Finds

BALTIMORE (MD)
Forbes [Jersey City NJ]

November 18, 2022

By Brian Bushard

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Topline – A criminal investigation into the Archdiocese of Baltimore revealed clergy members and other church staff sexually abused more than 600 young victims over 80 years, according to a court filing released Thursday from the Maryland Attorney General’s office—the latest probe into sexual abuse allegations rattling the Catholic Church.

The Archdiocese failed to report sexual abuse allegations, conduct its own investigations into those allegations, remove people accused of abuse from the church or restrict their access to children, according to the AG’s filing.

The report identified 115 priests who have been prosecuted for sexual abuse or identified by the Archdiocese as having been “credibly accused” of abuse, as well as 43 priests accused of sexual abuse but not identified by the Archdiocese—the church lists 152 priests who have been accused of child sexual abuse, including at least one who has been sentenced.

The…

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Catholic Church sexual abuse victims in Baltimore speak out in favor of AG report release

BALTIMORE (MD)
WYPR - National Public Radio [Baltimore MD]

November 18, 2022

By Scott Maucione

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Individuals abused by Catholic priests in Maryland gathered in front of the Baltimore Archdiocese office on Friday to speak out in favor of public release of the grand jury investigation into religious leaders accused of abuse. After four years of investigation, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office has gathered a 456-page report that identifies 158 priests who are accused of abusing more than 600 children over an 80 year period. Attorney General Brian Frosh is seeking a court order, as required by state law, to release the grand jury documents to the public.

David Lorenz, Maryland director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, highlighted part of the report that accuses the Archdiocese of Baltimore of knowingly hiding the abuse.

“Time and again, the Archdiocese chose the abuser over the abused, the powerful over the weak, the adult over the child,” Lorenz said. “Hundreds of Marylanders have suffered mentally…

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November 20, 2022

Sale of rural church properties in Archdiocese of St. John’s to begin soon, archbishop says

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

November 20, 2022

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Properties being sold to compensate survivors of sexual abuse at Mount Cashel

The Archbishop of St. John’s says the process of selling off church properties in the St. John’s area is almost complete and the rural areas of the archdiocese will soon begin the same process.

In a message read during weekend masses and posted on parish websites, Peter Hundt said it has nearly been a year since the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of St. John’s entered into creditor protection proceedings.

Hundt said all church buildings in the St. John’s area have been put up for sale in that time, either through tenders or real estate listings.

In 2019, the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal ruled that the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of St. John’s, the archdiocese’s secular arm, is vicariously liable for sexual abuse at Mount Cashel Orphanage in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

About 70 properties next…

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Newfoundland archdiocese gives update on its process for dealing with abuse claims

ST. JOHN'S (CANADA)
CTV Television Network [Toronto, Canada]

November 20, 2022

By The Canadian Press

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The Archdiocese of St. John’s, N.L., says it has nearly completed the process of selling off church properties in the city as it deals with sexual abuse claims.

Archbishop Peter Hundt issued a statement on Sunday saying all church buildings have either been offered through a tender sales process or through real estate agent listings.

Hundt says rural areas of the archdiocese will begin the same process soon.

The work is the result of a Supreme Court of Canada decision that left the church liable for abuse committed at the Mount Cashel Orphanage between the 1940s and 1960s, resulting in an abuse claims settlement of over $50 million.

Hundt says it’s hoped the claims process will be completed by this time next year and that victims and their families will have received “a measure of healing and peace.”

The archbishop says an administrative restructuring also continues and a new…

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No matter who you are, where you came from, you were not immune from abusive Catholic priests

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times [Dublin, Ireland]

November 21, 2022

By Una Mullally

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Social class is only relevant insofar as how it showed how untouchable these members of the clergy felt they were

I came home from a couple of months away to an old Ireland. An Ireland where the Catholic Church’s brutality is being announced afresh. Men who have been holding pain for years, who were abused in the pipelines for the upper echelons of Irish society, fee-paying schools, are heralding yet another reckoning.

Inevitably, because of where this abuse occurred, there is commentary about class and privilege, but I’ve been confused by some of it, and I wonder what’s relevant to progressing the conversation, rather than segmenting it. I suppose the point is, Catholic clergymen abusing children happened everywhere. What we don’t know is why. Everyone knows fee-paying schools are places where privilege is both served and created. But a young middle-class boy is probably not very aware of his…

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Priest sexually assaulted boys while telling parishioners he was disgusted by church abuse

RATHNEW (IRELAND)
Sunday World [Dublin, Ireland]

November 19, 2022

By Alan Sherry

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A former priest who will be sentenced in December for a horrific series of rapes and sex attacks on a schoolboy was a serial predator who abused a number of boys while telling parishioners he was sickened by the extent of abuse within the Catholic Church.

The now defrocked Denis Nolan (70) formerly of The Presbytery, Rathnew, Co Wicklow pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to three counts of anal rape, one of oral rape and five of sexual assault of the schoolboy on dates between January 2001 and December 2005.

When he is sentenced in December it will be the third time has been convicted of horrific sex attacks on young boys.

He previously put another one of his victims through the ordeal of a trial where he denied all charges before being convicted by a jury. He also appealed the conviction but was unsuccessful.

He had initially…

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The stain of child abuse cannot ever be erased from the church

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Times/The Sunday Times [London, England]

November 20, 2022

By David Quinn

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For a great deal of my time as a commentator and journalist, I have written and spoken about the clerical sex abuse scandals that have scarred the lives of thousands of victims and almost destroyed the Catholic church in Ireland, as well as the faith of many people not just in the institution, but in God also.

The first of the scandals had already broken when I wrote my first column for a national newspaper in 1994. Two years previously, the country had learnt of the late Bishop Eamonn Casey’s affair with Annie Murphy. Casey was very high profile, and it was the first big example of the hypocrisy of some of those who presented themselves as our moral leaders.

But the Casey scandal paled into insignificance compared with what was to come. In 1994, for example, the case of one of the most notorious of all the clerical sex abusers,…

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Archbishop Broglio Speaks the Truth

BALTIMORE (MD)
Catholic League [New York NY]

November 18, 2022

By Bill Donohue

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Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on remarks made by Archbishop Timothy Broglio that have drawn criticism:

Archbishop Timothy Broglio, who heads the Archdiocese for the Military Services, and was just elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, spoke at a press conference during the bishops’ conference in Baltimore. He was asked if he stood by a comment he made in 2018 saying, “there is no question that the crisis of sexual abuse by priests in the USA is directly related to homosexuality.” He did not back down from his stance.

What Broglio said is undeniably true. No matter, those who persist in promoting the myth that homosexuality has nothing to do with the sexual abuse of minors are going bonkers.

Kevin Clarke wrote a piece for America magazine saying that a 2011 study by John Jay College of Criminal Justice found that “homosexuality was not a cause of…

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Bishops mark charter’s 20th year, pledge continued outreach to survivors

WASHINGTON (DC)
Crux [Denver CO]

November 18, 2022

By Carol Zimmermann, Catholic News Service

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Twenty years ago, the big news from the bishops’ general assembly in Dallas was the adoption of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy.

This year, at their assembly in Baltimore Nov. 14-17, they acknowledged the charter’s anniversary and said that they have made steps in addressing clergy sexual abuse and would continue to listen, care for and walk with survivors.

“A debt is owed that can never be truly paid, but we continue to offer our apology and our vigilance,” the U.S. bishops said in a letter to Pope Francis read at the start of the Nov. 15 public session of their meeting.

The letter — read by Father Michael J.K. Fuller, general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — acknowledged the 20-year milestone of the charter and…

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Opinion: After a new report on clerical sex abuse, alleged victims need justice

BALTIMORE (MD)
Washington Post

November 18, 2022

By The Editorial Board

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The nearly half-million Catholics in the Archdiocese of Baltimore exceed the entire population of Miami, Cleveland or New Orleans, and on Thursday they heard from Maryland’s attorney general that scores of area priests and church officials allegedly abused hundreds of children and young adults over the course of eight decades. The attorney general’s long-awaited report, based on a nearly four-year investigation into clerical sex abuse, promises some accountability, at last. At the same time, there will be no justice in a court of law for the majority of victims. For that the blame lies with the Catholic Church and its lobbying in Annapolis.

The report by the office of Attorney General Brian E. Frosh, who is retiring in January after decades in public service, is the second on clerical sex abuse from a state prosecutor’s office; the first was Pennsylvania’s, released in 2018….

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Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Releases Statement on Bishop Howard Hubbard’s Request to Return to the Lay State

ALBANY (NY)
Diocese of Albany NY

November 19, 2022

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We are aware of the various reports that have emerged regarding Bishop Howard Hubbard’s request to return to the lay state. Our prayers are with Bishop Hubbard for his well-being and with all who accompany him, that all decisions and actions are in accord with God’s plan.

Prayers also continue for all impacted by this news. As a Church let us stand together, pray together, and walk together, in faith, believing that healing is possible. The needs are many, from the abused, to those in our family of faith who are angry that this happened, also those who don’t understand, and to the abusers. As the body of Christ, we are called to pray for all.

We would like to correct a point in some reports that said there is a diocesan policy that forbids an accused bishop from sacramental ministry. A diocesan bishop may regulate, that is, limit, circumscribe,…

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Statement of Bishop Emeritus Howard J. Hubbard

ALBANY (NY)
Times Union [Albany NY]

November 18, 2022

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November 18, 2022

I am 84 years of age and fully retired from ministry. I had hoped that in my retirement I might be able to continue to serve our community as a priest. I am not able to do so, however, because of a church policy that prohibits any priest accused of sexual abuse from functioning publicly as a priest, even if the allegations are false, as they are in my case. Despite the impact on me, I still believe this is a sound policy. I implemented it in the Albany Diocese and continue to support it as a necessary means to maintain and restore public confidence in our clergy. In my particular case, the effect of the policy has been to deprive me of the single greatest joy of my life – serving our community as a Catholic priest in my retirement years.

Recently, I asked the Vatican…

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Bishop Hubbard, facing multiple claims of sexual abuse, asks Vatican for laicization

ALBANY (NY)
National Catholic Reporter [Kansas City MO]

November 19, 2022

By Katie Collins Scott

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In a nearly unprecedented move by a bishop, a retired head of the Diocese of Albany, New York, has asked the Vatican that he be “returned to the lay state,” or laicized.

Bishop Howard Hubbard made the request as he faces numerous lawsuits under New York’s Child Victims Act. Hubbard is accused of sexually abusing multiple children, which he has repeatedly denied, and covering up allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

In a statement released Nov. 18, Hubbard, the longest-serving bishop of the eastern New York diocese, said he had hoped that in his retirement he “might be able to continue to serve our community as a priest.”

“I am not able to do so, however, because of a church policy that prohibits any priest accused of sexual abuse from functioning publicly as a priest, even if the allegations are false, as they are in my case.”

Bishops…

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‘RETURN TO THE LAY STATE’

ALBANY (NY)
The Evangelist [Diocese of Albany NY]

November 18, 2022

By Mike Matvey

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Bishop Emeritus Howard J. Hubbard of the Diocese of Albany has asked the Vatican on Nov. 18 to be returned “to the lay state.”

“I am 84 years of age and fully retired from ministry. I had hoped that in my retirement I might be able to continue to serve our community as a priest. I am not able to do so, however, because of a church policy that prohibits any priest accused of sexual abuse from functioning publicly as a priest, even if the allegations are false, as they are in my case,” Bishop Hubbard said in statement released to the media by Behan Communications. “Despite the impact on me, I still believe this is a sound policy.  I implemented it in the Albany Diocese and continue to support it as a necessary means to maintain and restore public confidence in our clergy. In my…

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Hubbard asks Vatican for laicization

ALBANY (NY)
The Pillar [Washington DC]

November 19, 2022

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Hubbard said he hopes to “serve God and the people of our community as a lay person.”

Editor’s note: This report was updated Sat. Nov. 19 to include a statement from the Albany diocese.

Bishop Howard Hubbard has petitioned Pope Francis for laicization, the former bishop of Albany announced Friday.

Hubbard, 84, is facing allegations of sexually abusing minors, and has admitted to knowingly reassigning abuser priests and failing to report instances of abuse to law enforcement.

The bishop said his decision to be laicized came because of restrictions on his ministry as a priest – a claim the Albany diocese rejected as untrue on Saturday.

And while Hubbard has declined to answer questions about the matter, sources have instead told The Pillar that the bishop has expressed the hope to marry if he is laicized by the Vatican.

The bishop announced via a statement Nov. 18 that he had asked the…

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Blackrock and Spiritan pupils look back: ‘I was never sexually abused at the school, but…’

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times [Dublin, Ireland]

November 20, 2022

By Carl O'Brien

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Many pupils of Blackrock College, Rockwell, St Mary’s and other schools did not experience abuse directly but are scarred by recent revelations

This week, The Irish Times invited people who had attended Spiritan and other schools to share their experiences in the wake of revelations of widespread abuse at the order’s schools. They include Willow Park, Blackrock, St Mary’s and St Michaels colleges in Dublin, Rockwell College in Co Tipperary, and others in Ireland and overseas.

We sought responses from people who had experienced abuse themselves, had witnessed it, or had learned only recently that it occurred in their school.

Below is a selection of the responses we received. Most of these accounts are from men who did not directly experience abuse but were in school when it occurred. We thank all those who responded to the call-out. It is not possible to publish all accounts.

If you have experienced…

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‘The church covered up the abuse’: Victims of predator priests want investigation findings released

BALTIMORE (MD)
KCRA TV [Sacramento, CA]

November 19, 2022

Read original article

Maryland’s attorney general on Thursday filed a motion to release an investigative report of child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Attorney General Brian Frosh released a statement Thursday afternoon, saying his office is seeking approval from the Baltimore City Circuit Court to release the 463-page report to the public.

“It shows many, many instances of child sexual abuse from priests and other employees of the Archdiocese of Baltimore — hundreds of victims — and it involves more than 100 priests, 150-some priests and other employees who were people who were accused of abuse by the victims,” Frosh told 11 News. “We want to make sure abusers know they can’t do it and get away with it.”

The release must be approved by the court because the documents were handed over in response to grand jury subpoenas.

“For decades, survivors reported sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests, and for…

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Catholic Bishop in Albany, N.Y., Makes Unusual Request to Be Defrocked

ALBANY (NY)
Wall Street Journal [New York NY]

November 19, 2022

By Francis X. Rocca

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Retired Bishop Hubbard, facing sex-abuse allegations that he denies, asks to be removed from priesthood

The retired Catholic bishop of Albany, N.Y. has taken the extraordinary step of asking Pope Francis to remove him from the priesthood, saying he is unable to minister as a clergyman because of sex-abuse allegations that he denies.

Bishop Howard Hubbard, 84, said in a statement on Friday that he had “asked the Vatican for relief from my obligations as a priest and permission to return to the lay state.”

The Vatican didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

Laicization, or the process of removal from the clergy, is extremely rare in the case of bishops, and even more so at a bishop’s own request. Release from the obligation of celibacy, which binds most priests and all bishops in the Catholic Church, is a separate step.

Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 laicized Fernando Lugo, who had resigned…

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November 19, 2022

Survivors of sexual abuse by priests applaud Frosh court filing seeking to release report on coverup

BALTIMORE (MD)
Maryland Matters [Takoma Park MD]

November 18, 2022

By Bruce DePuyt

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A group representing Marylanders sexually abused by priests applauded Attorney General Brian Frosh’s bid to make public a new report that catalogues the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore’s efforts to protect abusers.

In a motion filed in Baltimore City Circuit Court on Thursday, Frosh (D) sought permission to release a 463-page report that his investigators have compiled. The report, “Clergy Abuse in Maryland,” relies on “hundreds of thousands of documents dating back to the 1940s,” the attorney general’s office said. The documents were provided by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in response to grand jury subpoenas.

“For decades, survivors reported sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests and for decades the Church covered up the abuse rather than holding the abusers accountable and protecting its congregations,” Frosh wrote in his court filing. “The Archdiocese of Baltimore was no exception.”

On Friday afternoon, the Baltimore Sun reported that church officials will not oppose the…

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‘Shame, remorse, sympathy’: Maryland AG seeks to release major report on sexual abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

November 18, 2022

By Jonah McKeown

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The Maryland attorney general’s office is seeking to release a major report chronicling information about Catholic clerics accused or prosecuted for sexual abuse in the state, following a four-year investigation drawing on hundreds of thousands of documents subpoenaed from the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said his office had compiled the information given by the archdiocese, along with information gathered from interviews, into a 456-page report that claims to identify more than 600 victims. It is currently unclear whether the report will lead to any new criminal charges.

In a 35-page legal motion dated Nov. 17, Frosh asked permission from a judge to release the documents provided by the archdiocese, which were given in response to a January 2019 subpoena from a grand jury. The documents provided by the archdiocese, which number in the hundreds of thousands, pertain to “the last 80 years relating to allegations of…

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Italy church says 600 sex abuse cases sent to Vatican

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

November 17, 2022

By Nicole Winfield

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Italy’s Catholic bishops provided their first accounting of clergy sexual abuse and revealed Thursday that more than 600 cases from Italy were on file at the Vatican since 2000.

The report of the Italian bishops’ conference, which only covered complaints that local Italian church authorities had received over the last two years, did not mention the hundreds of cases. It identified 89 presumed victims and some 68 people accused.

But responding to a reporter’s question during a press conference about the report, Monsignor Giuseppe Baturi revealed that the bishops’ conference was researching 613 files held at the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Vatican in 2001 required dioceses around the world to send all their credible reports of abuse to the dicastery for processing. The Vatican had felt compelled to act after decades in which bishops and religious superiors moved predator priests around from diocese to diocese…

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Italian bishops take cautious step toward transparency on abuse

ROME (ITALY)
Crux [Denver CO]

November 18, 2022

By Elise Ann Allen

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On Thursday the Italian bishops released their first-ever report on national safeguarding efforts, revealing nearly 100 new and old cases documented in the past two years, but sharing few details about these incidents.

The report spanned just two years, from 2020-2021, and found that 89 complaints had been made against 68 alleged abusers, which many observers consider a significantly high number, given that these complaints were made through diocesan-run listening centers established in dioceses throughout Italy for the specific purpose of receiving abuse reports.

According to the report, a total of 89 complaints were made through diocesan representatives or listening centers, just over half of which involved recent or current abuse, and just under half involving past incidents.

These complaints, the bishops said, involved inappropriate behavior and language; inappropriate touching; sexual molestation or sexual relations; pornography; online grooming; and indecent exposure.

Of the 89 complaints, 12 involved children under the…

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Harrisburg Diocese settlement calls for payment of $18 million to about 60 clergy abuse survivors

HARRISBURG (PA)
PennLive.com

November 19, 2022

By Charles Thompson

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After more than two-and-a-half years of negotiation, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg and a committee representing survivors of sexual abuse by its clergy have announced agreement on an $18.25 million settlement fund designed to resolve all remaining abuse claims.

The settlement agreement – part of an overall reorganization plan to resolve the diocese’s bankruptcy case – was filed in federal court Friday, and still needs approval from the various classes of creditors and the judge overseeing the diocese’s bankruptcy case.

That approval, however, is considered likely considering that today’s plan has been agreed to by the church, its insurers and the survivors’ committee. According to Friday’s filings, the parties are asking for the court to set a final confirmation hearing on the settlement for Feb. 7, 2023.

The $18.25 million settlement proposed in the case will be funded by $7.5 million from the diocese itself,…

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Diocese of Harrisburg will establish a Survivor Compensation Trust

HARRISBURG (PA)
SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [Chicago IL]

November 18, 2022

By SNAP

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The Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has filed a settlement plan today in a bankruptcy case involving at least 55 people who accused priests of sexual abuse.  This would bring the total trust amount to $18.25 million. We hope that this process has brought healing to these survivors and call on church officials from Harrisburg to release information to their parishioners and the public regarding abusers and enablers identified throughout the bankruptcy process.

We are grateful to the survivors of sexual abuse from the Diocese of Harrisburg and the Tort Committee who stood up for survivors’ rights and for all victims. It is important to note that, while the settlement is justly deserved by those who have suffered decades in silence, in the grand scheme of things it is but a drop in the bucket given the wealth of the church. No amount of money can make up for the lifetime of…

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Widow says she was groped by Catholic priest during grief counseling session

KNOXVILLE (TN)
NBC News [New York NY]

November 16, 2022

By Corky Siemaszko

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A Honduran asylum-seeker living in Tennessee alleges in a federal lawsuit that the Diocese of Knoxville tried to sabotage a police investigation after she accused a priest of groping her during a grief counseling session following her husband’s death. 

Identified in court papers as Jane Doe, the mother of three alleges in the lawsuit filed on Nov. 10  that the diocese “obstructed law enforcement” and tried to intimidate her into “abandoning her cooperation with the criminal prosecution” of the Rev. Antony Devassey Punnackal.

The lawsuit also states that Punnackal hired a private investigator to dig up the widow’s employment records, and she became a pariah in the Hispanic community of Gatlinburg after “agents” of the diocese began spreading false rumors about her.

“The complaint speaks for itself,” the widow’s lawyer, Andrew Fels, told NBC News, when asked to elaborate. He is seeking $5 million in damages for his client. 

Punnackal,…

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Vatican officials seek to hamstring former auditor’s $9.6 million lawsuit

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Crux [Denver CO]

November 18, 2022

By Elise Ann Allen

Read original article

Just a week after the Vatican’s first auditor general and his deputy filed a $9.6 million lawsuit for wrongful dismissal, the Vatican’s legal system has seemingly sought to hamstring the claim by refusing to certify the plaintiffs’ chosen lawyer.

Speaking to journalists Nov. 17, Libero Milone, the Vatican’s first auditor general, who appointed in 2015 and fired in 2017 along with his deputy Ferruccio Panicco, said that a week after filing their suit, their lawyer had been rejected by officials in charge of certifying attorneys to appear before Vatican courts.

The request to initiate legal proceedings against the Vatican’s Secretariat of State was filed with the Vatican tribunal last Wednesday, Nov. 9, and made public a day later.

Milone said he met with the Vatican’s chief prosecutor Alessandro Diddi on Monday, Nov. 14, to discuss the case, and two days later he was informed that his lawyer, Romano Vaccarella, had…

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Accused Albany bishop asks to be removed from priesthood

ALBANY (NY)
Associated Press [New York NY]

November 19, 2022

By Nicole Winfield

Read original article

The retired bishop of Albany, New York, who has admitted to covering up for predator priests and has himself been accused of sexual abuse, has asked Pope Francis to remove him from the priesthood.

Emeritus Bishop Howard Hubbard, 84, announced the decision in a statement Friday, the day the United Nations designated as the World Day for the Prevention of, and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Violence.

Hubbard said he wanted to be laicized, or returned to the lay state, because he could no longer function as a priest, given U.S. church policy that bars accused priests from ministry. If accepted, laicization would relieve Hubbard of his celibacy obligations.

Asking the pope for voluntary laicization is unusual, especially for a bishop and particularly for a cleric who denies abuse allegations against him. Usually priests ask to be laicized if evidence of abuse against them is overwhelming or if they…

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Missouri summer camp operators sued over abuse settlement

BRANSON (MO)
Associated Press [New York NY]

November 18, 2022

By Margaret Stafford

Read original article

A Tennessee man filed a lawsuit Friday claiming that operators of the Kanakuk Camps in Branson, Missouri, lied to him and his parents while persuading them to sign a settlement over sexual abuse by a camp counselor.

Logan Yandell, 27, of Hendersonville, Tennessee, and his parents reached a confidential settlement with Kanakuk in 2010 that included a non-disclosure agreement after Yandell was abused by Peter Newman, who is serving two life sentences for sexually abusing multiple children while working for the Christian summer camps.

The lawsuit names Kanakuk Ministries, Kanakuk CEO Joe White, Kanakuk Heritage Inc., Westchester Fire Insurance Company and a John Doe.

A statement from Kanakuk said the company just received the lawsuit on Friday and does not comment on pending litigation.

“We will respond further if or when appropriate,” the company said. “In the meantime, we continue to pray for all who have been affected by Pete Newman’s…

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German bishops assure Vatican but vow to proceed with reform

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

November 19, 2022

By Nicole Winfield

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Germany’s Catholic bishops insisted Saturday that their reform process won’t lead to a schism and vowed to continue it after tense meetings with Vatican officials who want a moratorium on proposals to ordain women, bless same-sex unions and rethink church teaching on sexuality.

The head of the German bishops’ conference, Bishop Georg Baetzing, said the German church would not make decisions that were the Vatican’s to make. He said outsiders who fuel fears of the reform process leading to a separation from Rome were ignorant of what actually was getting debated.

“We are Catholic,” Baetzing said at a news conference after a week of meetings with Vatican officials. “But we want to be Catholic in a different way.”

The church hierarchy in Germany and the country’s influential lay Catholic group launched the process in response to the clergy sexual abuse scandals. A 2018 report found that thousands of crimes were…

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Vatican urges German Catholic Church to put brakes on reform

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

November 18, 2022

By Nicole Winfield

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Top Vatican cardinals tried to put the brakes on the German Catholic Church’s controversial reform process Friday, fearing proposals concerning gays, women and sexual morals will split the church and insisting they would be better debated later.

The Vatican and the German bishops conference issued a joint statement after a week of meetings that culminated with an unusual summit between the 62 German bishops and top Vatican officials, including the No. 2 secretary of state, the head of the bishops’ office and the head of the doctrine office.

The pope, who met separately with the German bishops on his own on Thursday, was originally supposed to attend Friday’s summit but did not, leaving it to his cardinals to toe the Vatican line.

Germany’s church launched a reform process with the country’s influential lay group to respond to the clergy sexual abuse scandals, after a report in 2018 found at least…

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November 18, 2022

Maryland Finds That for Hundreds of Clergy Abuse Victims, ‘No Parish Was Safe’

BALTIMORE (MD)
New York Times

November 18, 2022

By Ruth Graham

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The state attorney general investigated more than 80 years of sexual and physical abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

The attorney general of Maryland has identified more than 600 young victims of clergy sexual abuse over the course of 80 years in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, according to a court document filed Thursday.

The filing, which broadly outlines the attorney general’s findings, requests that a judge allow the release of the full report: a 456-page document detailing decades of clergy sex abuse in Maryland.

The new report marks a symbolic milestone in the long-running international abuse scandal that has shaken faith in the Catholic Church and led to some reforms and billions of dollars in settlements. The Baltimore report is one of the first major investigations completed by a state attorney general on sexual abuse in the Church since a scathing report on six dioceses in Pennsylvania shocked Catholics…

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Hubbard asks Vatican to remove him from clerical state

ALBANY (NY)
Times Union [Albany NY]

November 18, 2022

By Brendan Lyons

Read original article

“I hope and pray I will live long enough to see my name cleared once and for all,” Albany bishop emeritus said of the child sex abuse allegations he faces

Howard J. Hubbard, who served as bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany for 37 years, has formally asked the Vatican to permanently remove him from being a member of the clergy.

Hubbard’s request comes as he is facing multiple lawsuits filed under New York’s Child Victims Act that accuse him of child sexual abuse — allegations that he has denied — and of systematically shielding other priests accused of sexual abuse.

“I had hoped that in my retirement I might be able to continue to serve our community as a priest,” Hubbard said in a statement released Friday. “I am not able to do so, however, because of a church policy that prohibits any priest accused of sexual…

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Supporters call for Fr Pfleger to be reinstated after removed as sex abuse allegation investigated

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS - ABC 7 [Chicago IL]

November 17, 2022

By Maher Kawash

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There was another show of support for Saint Sabina’s Father Michael Pfleger Thursday.

His supporters gathered outside the Chicago Archdiocese Pastoral Center downtown, calling on the Archdiocese to reinstate Fr. Pfleger as quickly as possible.

The 73-year-old Pfleger was removed from ministry pending the investigation into the latest sex abuse allegation against him. The allegation dates back more than three decades and allegedly happened during choir rehearsals.

Fr. Pfleger has strongly denied the latest allegation and was cleared of similar accusations last year.

His supporters are urging the Archdiocese Review Board to make a decision on this latest case at its meeting this weekend.

When asked about the current investigation, the Archdiocese said it does not comment on current or pending litigation and takes every allegation seriously.

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AG seeks to release report into child sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore

BALTIMORE (MD)
WBAL-TV, NBC-11 [Baltimore MD]

November 17, 2022

By Greg Ng

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Motion states investigation identified more than 600 victims

Maryland’s attorney general on Thursday filed a motion to release an investigative report of child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Attorney General Brian Frosh released a statement Thursday afternoon, saying his office is seeking approval from the Baltimore City Circuit Court to release the 463-page report to the public.

“It shows many, many instances of child sexual abuse from priests and other employees of the Archdiocese of Baltimore — hundreds of victims — and it involves more than 100 priests, 150-some priests and other employees who were people who were accused of abuse by the victims,” Frosh told 11 News. “We want to make sure abusers know they can’t do it and get away with it.”

The release must be approved by the court because the documents were handed over in response to grand jury subpoenas.

“For decades, survivors reported…

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Maryland probe finds 158 abusive priests, over 600 victims

BALTIMORE (MD)
Associated Press [New York NY]

November 17, 2022

By Brian Witte

Read original article

An investigation by Maryland’s attorney general identified 158 Roman Catholic priests in the Archdiocese of Baltimore who have been accused of sexually and physically abusing more than 600 victims over the past 80 years, according to court records filed Thursday.

Attorney General Brian Frosh announced that his office has completed a 463-page report on the investigation, which began in 2019. He filed a motion in Baltimore Circuit Court to make the report public. Court permission is required because the report contains information from grand jury subpoenas. It’s unclear when the court will make a decision.

“For decades, survivors reported sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests and for decades the Church covered up the abuse rather than holding the abusers accountable and protecting its congregations,” according to the court filing. “The Archdiocese of Baltimore was no exception.”

The report, titled “Clergy Abuse in Maryland,” identifies 115 priests who were prosecuted for…

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Message from Archbishop Lori on motion to release Attorney General Report

BALTIMORE (MD)
Archdiocese of Baltimore MD

November 17, 2022

Read original article

Dear Friends in Christ,

As you may be aware, the Maryland Office of the Attorney General filed a motion in court today seeking permission to publicly release a report on his office’s four-year investigation of the Archdiocese’s handling of child sexual abuse allegations dating back to the 1940’s. The information contained in the motion will no doubt be a source of renewed pain for many, most especially those harmed by representatives of the Church, for the lay faithful of our Archdiocese, as well as for many good priests, deacons and religious. Ever-aware of the pain endured by survivors of child sexual abuse, I once again offer my sincere apologies to the victim-survivors who were harmed by a minister of the Church and who were harmed by those who failed to protect them, who failed to respond to them with care and compassion and who failed to hold abusers accountable for…

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Md. AG files motion to unveil documents detailing Archdiocese of Baltimore clergy abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
WJLA-TV (ABC) [Arlington VA]

November 18, 2022

Read original article

[Click here to see the AG’s motion to disclose investigation findings to the public.]

The Maryland Attorney General filed a motion in court Thursday to have documents and interviews from a four-year investigation into clergy abuse released to the public.

The office’s 456-page report found more than 600 victims of sexual abuse. The abusers were identified as 158 priests and employees of the Catholic Church within the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

“There’s a lot more I could say, but I can’t say it yet,” Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said.

The materials he wants to make public were presented to a grand jury during the course of the investigation. The documents and interviews with clergy, abuse survivors, and witnesses of sexual abuse detail decades of inadequate investigations by the Archdiocese, suppression, and cover-up.

“In many cases the abusers are not able to be prosecuted,” Frosh…

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Report names 158 Catholic priests accused of abuse after investigation into Archdiocese of Baltimore

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Daily Record [Baltimore MD]

November 17, 2022

By Madeleine O'Neill

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A 456-page report from the Maryland Attorney General’s Office identifies 158 Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse, including 43 that were never publicly named by the Archdiocese of Baltimore, as part of a four-year investigation into the history of child sexual abuse by members of the clergy.

The investigation also identified more than 600 victims of sexual abuse, according to a new court filing.

The report itself, along with the names of the priests, is not yet public. The Attorney General’s Office disclosed some details in a court filing Thursday as it requested permission to release information that the Archdiocese provided in response to a grand jury subpoena.

Grand jury records are secret under Maryland law but can be released with a judge’s permission. The Attorney General’s Office filed a 35-page motion in Baltimore City Circuit Court on Thursday. It was not immediately clear whether the Archdiocese will object to…

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November 17, 2022

Archbishop Lori apologizes again; responds to Maryland attorney general’s motion on clergy sexual abuse

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

November 17, 2022

By Christopher Gunty

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Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh filed a motion Nov. 17 to allow release of the office’s report of its investigation of child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

The investigation began in late 2018. Although the attorney general’s office has a policy of not confirming ongoing investigations, the archdiocese announced at that time that it was cooperating with the AG’s office.

Frosh’s motion filed Nov. 17 with the Circuit Court for Baltimore City said that at the request of his office, the grand jury issued a subpoena in January 2019 to the archdiocese for “all documents from the archdiocese from the last 80 years relating to allegations of sexual abuse and the response by the archdiocese to these allegations.” It noted that the archdiocese produced hundreds of thousands of pages of documents in response to the subpoena, providing them to the attorney general on a rolling basis, with…

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Maryland AG’s investigation of ‘pervasive’ Catholic Church abuse documents 158 priests, more than 600 victims

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Banner [Baltimore MD]

November 17, 2022

By Tim Prudente and Liz Bowie

Read original article

Years before one priest went to prison for child sex abuse, he confessed his attraction to teenage boys. Church leaders told him not to “worry about it.”

The church paid tuition, salary and living expenses for another priest even after he confessed to abusing boys. And church leaders waited years to tell authorities that yet another priest had been sexually abusing children.

These instances of child sex abuse are documented in court records filed Thursday by the Office of the Maryland Attorney General. Investigators told the courts they uncovered a history of “pervasive” sexual abuse by the priesthood of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, as well as a coverup and “complicit silence” by church leaders.

The attorney general’s office identified 158 priests, most of them already known, within the archdiocese accused of the “sexual abuse” and “physical torture” of more than 600 victims over the past 80 years, according to the…

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Probe of Baltimore Archdiocese finds over 600 clergy sex abuse victims

BALTIMORE (MD)
Washington Post

November 17, 2022

By Michelle Boorstein and Erin Cox

Read original article

In court filing, attorney general’s office said there are “almost certainly hundreds more” and that church leaders failed to report many allegations or remove abusers

A nearly four-year investigation of the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore tallied more than 600 young victims of clergy sexual abuse over 80 years, a court filing by the Maryland attorney general said Thursday. The probe, the second in the country by a state prosecutor, after Pennsylvania’s, seeks to bring accountability and detail to cases long covered up or shrouded by statutes of limitation.

The filing by Attorney General Brian Frosh (D) comes in the 20th anniversary year of an investigative series by the Boston Globe that dug into the Catholic sexual abuse scandal in the United States. Major reforms and multibillion-dollar legal settlements have reduced the number of accusations over the decades, but advocates in and out of the church say that full…

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After a priest assaulted a woman, the Knoxville diocese tried to discredit her, lawsuit says

KNOXVILLE (TN)
Knoxville News Sentinel [Knoxville TN]

November 14, 2022

By Tyler Whetstone

Read original article

The Catholic Diocese of Knoxville worked to discredit and intimidate a woman who said she was sexually assaulted in 2020 by a Gatlinburg priest, according to a new federal lawsuit.

The Rev. Antony Devassey Punnackal, of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, groped her while he counseled her after the father of her infant died, she says in a lawsuit filed last week.

The woman went to the police, and Punnackal was indicted Jan. 4 by a Sevier County grand jury on two counts of sexual battery.

The diocese then hired an investigator who worked to obstruct the investigation by intimidating the woman, the lawsuit says.

The woman, who is Honduran and is seeking asylum in the United States, says the investigator illegally acquired her employment records, seeking to discredit and intimidate her and potentially jeopardizing her pending asylum case.

A spokesperson for the diocese declined to comment or answer a list…

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Sexual violence in the Church: the tremendous anger

PARIS (FRANCE)
La Croix International [France]

November 11, 2022

By Isabelle de Gaulmyn

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There’s a doubly twisted system at the highest level of the hierarchy, where the perverse behavior of certain bishops is met by the impotence of peers who have conflicting loyalties

Desolation? Sadness? No, anger – tremendous anger! That’s been the reaction of many Catholics after Archbishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort revealed this past week that no fewer than eleven French bishops currently stand accused of sexual abuse by the civil or ecclesiastical authorities.

Among them is Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, the retired archbishop of Bordeaux, who also served six years as president of the French Bishops’ Conference (CEF) – that is to say, someone who was nothing less than the top leader of the Church.

What else can there be but anger after such a revelation? How can one still believe that the Church will pull through, that it has the means to reform itself, when it is so deeply damaged? For…

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From left, Judy Lorenz, David Lorenz, Teresa Lancaster, David O'Kane and Kimberley O'Kane at a news conference Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, in Baltimore with members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. (Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun/TNS) Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun/TNS

Abuse survivors rally in Baltimore to demand action by newly elected US Catholic bishops president

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun [Baltimore MD]

November 16, 2022

By Jonathan M. Pitts

Read original article

[Photo above: From left, Judy Lorenz, David Lorenz, Teresa Lancaster, David O’Kane and Kimberley O’Kane at a news conference Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, in Baltimore with members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. (Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun/TNS)Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun/TNS]

After the more than 270 members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops elected their new president in Baltimore, some observers of the nation’s most powerful Catholic body hailed the choice of Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio as a healthy compromise between the conservative and progressive factions that have emerged into public view in recent years.

Others were less sure about the longtime archbishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA — and they gathered Wednesday outside the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, the site of the bishops’ annual conference, to make their voices heard.

With icy winds gusting in from the Inner Harbor, representatives of the Survivors…

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Past pupil alleges sexual abuse by priest in Castleknock College

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times [Dublin, Ireland]

November 16, 2022

By Jack Power

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Canonical inquiry to take place into priest who later served in a church overseas until at least 2020

As an 11-year-old child from a less well off family, Tom Maher (59), says he had felt “privileged” to attend Castleknock College, a fee-paying boarding school in Dublin, during the 1970s.

Given a chance his parents never had – his father left school aged 12 – even as a young boy he had a sense the prestigious school was a means to “escape” poverty.

Born in Abbeyleix, Co Laois, he recalls the day his parents dropped him off at the west Dublin school run by the Vincentian order, and the priest he met that first day. Nearly 50 years on it is not a face he has forgotten.

Maher alleges the priest, who taught at the school, would later go on to sexually abuse him on two separate occasions.

Speaking to…

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Another French bishop admits to committing sex abuse

STRASBOURG (FRANCE)
La Croix International [France]

November 17, 2022

By Christophe Henning

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Retired Archbishop Jean-Pierre Gallet OFM of Strasbourg confesses to inappropriate behavior with an adult woman in the late 1980s before being named to the episcopacy

A second Catholic bishop in France in the course of several days has come forward to publicly admit having committed sexual abuse.

“In the late 1980s when I was a Franciscan friar I made inappropriate gestures toward a young woman of legal age, behavior that I deeply regret,” said retired Archbishop Jean-Pierre Grallet in a brief statement dated November 15. “By this public statement, I wish to contribute to the process of truth and assume my responsibility,” said the 81-year-old Grallet, who served as archbishop of Strasbourg from 2007-2017.

The French Bishops’ Conference (CEF) made the statement public on Wednesday.

 Request for forgiveness

Archbishop Grallet told La Croix he did not wish to give further details on the events, which date back to a time…

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Victims call Italy Church’s abuse report ‘shamefully’ limited

(ITALY)
Reuters [London, England]

November 17, 2022

By Philip Pullella

Read original article

 Italy’s Catholic Church on Thursday released its first report on alleged sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable individuals but victims’ advocates said the number of cases was likely much higher and denounced its limited scope as shameful.

The 41-page report, the first of two, covers only 2020-21. A second, promised report will cover abuse going back to 2000, although it is not clear when that will be released.

Victims have called for a thorough outside investigation going back many decades, such as those in France and Germany.

The report on 2020-21, which covers cases reported during those years but not necessarily taking place in that time, was done by a Catholic university in northern Italy. It said 89 people presumably had been abused by 68 alleged abusers, including priests as well as lay people such as church workers and religion teachers.

The data stemmed from “listening centres” in dioceses and is…

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Italy church releases abuse accounting, but only for 2 years

(ITALY)
Associated Press [New York NY]

November 17, 2022

By Nicole Winfield

Read original article

Italy’s Catholic bishops on Thursday provided their first-ever accounting of clergy sexual abuse, but Italy’s main survivor advocate said it was “shamefully” inadequate given it only covered reports to church authorities over the last two years and omitted documentary research into church archives.

The report, which found 89 presumed victims and some 68 people accused, was never meant to provide an accurate or historic look at the clergy abuse problem in Italy. The country’s bishops never authorized such research despite demands from survivors for a full accounting, which some other Catholic Churches in Europe have published.

Instead, the Italian bishops limited the scope of their report to evaluate the work of “listening centers” that were set up in dioceses since 2019 to receive complaints from victims. Organizers said during a news conference Thursday that the report provided a “first photograph” of the problem and the bishops planned to release annual…

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When it comes to institutional sexual abuse, what about the nuns?

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Irish Times [Dublin, Ireland]

November 16, 2022

By Brian Titley

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Research in the US concludes that sexual predator nuns constituted a problem in at least three settings, including Catholic schools

The present scandal with respect to sexual abuse in schools under the Spiritans/Holy Ghost Fathers invites a question that is rarely posed and never answered with satisfaction. What about the nuns who, at least until the mid-1960s, were far more numerous than priests or religious brothers in schools and wider society and were responsible for an array of institutions giving them authority over young people? Were they too involved in crimes against children? In Ireland or elsewhere?

My research into this question in the United States concludes that sexual predator nuns were indeed a problem in at least three institutional settings: boarding schools for Native Americans, orphanages and Catholic schools. This, coupled with what we know in relation to the Magdalene laundries, suggests that the problem of child abuse in…

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Insurers in Buffalo Diocese bankruptcy put on notice by Rochester abuse settlement plan

ROCHESTER (NY)
Buffalo News [Buffalo NY]

November 16, 2022

By Jay Tokasz

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The Rochester Diocese’s novel strategy to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy by paying childhood sex abuse survivors $55 million and allowing them to sue the diocese’s insurers for additional damages may provide a template for other bankrupt dioceses in New York, including Buffalo, according to legal experts.

Across the United States, insurance contributions have been a backbone of most diocese bankruptcy settlement plans over the past decade, with insurance companies paying hundreds of millions of dollars to avoid litigation in sex abuse cases.

But in Rochester, the diocese earlier this month worked out a settlement plan with sex abuse claimants that does not involve a contribution from insurance companies. Instead, the diocese will convey its coverage rights to a settlement trust on behalf of 475 sex abuse claimants, along with $55 million in diocese and parish funds. In exchange, the diocese and its parishes and schools will no…

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November 16, 2022

New allegations in Agape lawsuits include sexual abuse, ‘pandemic’ of suicide attempts

STOCKTON (MO)
Kansas City Star [Kansas City MO]

November 15, 2022

By Judy L. Thomas and Laura Bauer

Read original article

New court filings reveal some of the most brutal allegations of abuse at Agape Boarding School so far, including one former student’s account that two staffers sexually assaulted him.

Those details were outlined in motions filed Monday in 19 civil lawsuits requesting that the Cedar County judge overseeing those cases allow attorneys to seek punitive damages. The new allegations cover a period from 2007 to 2021 with many — including the sexual assault claim — from the past three years.

Changes to Missouri law in 2020 require attorneys to file an amended petition if they are seeking punitive damages on behalf of their clients. The law also allows the filing of an amended petition if new information arises that was overlooked or unknown at the time the case started.

In a separate case, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office filed an injunction in September to close the school, saying…

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Another law firm accuses churches of making low-ball compensation offers to alleged abuse survivors

(AUSTRALIA)
The Guardian [London, England]

November 15, 2022

By Christopher Knaus

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Churches are adopting aggressive approaches towards survivors in cases where alleged paedophile priests and clergy have died

Another major law firm has accused churches of using a recent ruling to attempt to low-ball abuse survivors seeking compensation in cases where alleged paedophile priests have died.

On Tuesday, Guardian Australia revealed the Catholic church was adopting an aggressive new approach towards survivors in cases where alleged paedophile priests and clergy have died.

Lawyers from three firms said the church had been emboldened by a decision in June which permanently halted a case involving a now-deceased Lismore priest, Clarence Anderson, on the grounds that his death meant the church could no longer defend itself properly.

That victory has led the church to take a more aggressive stance during negotiations with survivors, threatening to seek stay applications in such cases unless “paltry” amounts are accepted, lawyers say.

Now, a fourth firm, Slater and Gordon,…

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So. Baptist Youth Pastor Kept Ministering for 6 Years After Reports of Alleged Abuse

COLUMBIA (SC)
The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

November 14, 2022

By Sarah Einselen

Read original article

In 2014, people began reporting alleged sexual abuse by then-Southern Baptist youth pastor, Michael D’Attoma, to police and churches, documents obtained by The Roys Report (TRR) show.

Yet for six years, D’Attoma continued to minister in multiple churches. And his abuse became public only this year, when multiple former students in D’Attoma’s youth ministry filed lawsuits, accusing D’Attoma of sexually abusing them.

According to a 2014 police report, a woman alleged D’Attoma had exchanged photos and videos of him and a student “taking their clothes off.” The report adds that D’Attoma “admitted everything” in counseling with his pastor in South Carolina.

D’Attoma then left his church in South Carolina and was hired by First Baptist Church in Grove City, Ohio. Before hiring D’Attoma, FBC Grove City was told of D’Attoma’s alleged inappropriate texts with a teen, an email obtained by TRR indicates.

Even after more details came out, like the fact the alleged victim…

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Gospel for Asia Founder KP Yohannan Back in NRB’s Good Graces After Alleged Fraud and $37 Million Settlement

WILLS POINT (TX)
The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

November 15, 2022

By Sarah Einselen

Read original article

After paying millions to donors who alleged Gospel for Asia defrauded them, the organization has apparently rejoined the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). And its founder, K.P. Yohannan, is listed as a panelist for the upcoming NRB Convention in 2023.

Yohannan founded GFA World, formerly Gospel for Asia, in 1979, and served on the NRB board from 2013-2015. But GFA was kicked out of the NRB at the end of 2015 over financial accountability issues related to alleged misuse of hundreds of millions of dollars in donor funds.

A GFA spokesperson told The Christian Post at the time the organization’s NRB membership was terminated because GFA had lost its accreditation with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).

In 2019, the organization settled a class-action lawsuit over alleged misuse of hundreds of millions of dollars in donations. GFA paid $37 million to…

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Police probing sexual assault allegation against prominent ultra-conservative rabbi

JERUSALEM (ISRAEL)
Times of Israel [Jerusalem, Israel]

November 11, 2022

By TOI staff

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‘He used his power and image to carry out the abuse,’ Nehama Te’ena says in television interview several months after first publicly accusing Zvi Tau of abuse

Police have launched an investigation into a sexual assault complaint filed against a prominent ultra-conservative rabbi, as one of his accusers detailed the allegations in a television interview aired Thursday.

The revelation of the probe, which was reported widely by Hebrew media, came after several senior national religious figures called to investigate the allegations against Rabbi Zvi Tau, 85, who heads the influential Har Hamor yeshiva in Jerusalem and is the spiritual leader of the far-right Noam political faction.

Nehama Te’ena, a resident of the Jewish settlement in Hebron, first came forward publicly with allegations against Tau in August, when she wrote a Facebook post saying that 30 years ago, when she was 8, Tau committed “ongoing” sexual assaults against her.

At the time,…

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Police launch investigation of Rabbi Zvi Tau after second woman accuses him of rape

JERUSALEM (ISRAEL)
Times of Israel [Jerusalem, Israel]

November 13, 2022

By TOI staff

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Identified only as ‘Dorit,’ latest alleged victim describes being assaulted by far-right spiritual leader 40 years ago, when she was a new immigrant and ‘all alone’ in Israel

A special investigative team has been established to probe sexual abuse allegations against Rabbi Zvi Tau, the Israel Police said Sunday.

Multiple women have accused Tau of sexual abuse and rape dating back decades, with two going public so far.

One woman, Nechama Te’ena, went public in August, but her allegations were largely ignored at the time by the police and the media. In recent weeks, she has staged small protests outside the Knesset, accusing Tau of raping her and others and demanding to know why the Israel Police have refused to investigate.

Tau, 85, is the head of the influential Har Hamor Yeshiva in Jerusalem as well as the spiritual leader of the anti-LGBT Noam political party, which won a single…

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Second woman to testify about alleged rape by Rabbi Zvi Tau

JERUSALEM (ISRAEL)
Times of Israel [Jerusalem, Israel]

November 15, 2022

By TOI staff

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Assault claim against far-right spiritual leader, dating back 40 years, falls outside statute of limitations, but prosecutors want statement to shed light on first accuser’s claims

Israel Police will take a statement from a second woman who claims that Rabbi Zvi Tau raped her decades ago, seeking to bolster allegations against the politically connected religious leader.

The second woman, who has been named in media only as Dorit, is expected to speak with investigators on Tuesday. Though the alleged incident happened too long ago to prosecute, her testimony may help support that of another woman who also accuses Tau of sexual assault.

Multiple women have accused Tau of sexual abuse and rape dating back decades, with two going public so far.

Tau, 85, is the head of the influential Har Hamor Yeshiva in Jerusalem, as well as the spiritual leader of the anti-LGBT Noam political party, which won a single…

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Religious Zionist Rabbi accused of harassment

JERUSALEM (ISRAEL)
Times of Israel [Jerusalem, Israel]

November 10, 2022

By Israel National News

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A prominent rabbi has been accused of harassing women several years ago. Police are investigating.

The police are investigating a complaint that was filed recently against Rabbi Zvi Tau over alleged harassment of a woman which happened many years ago, Channel 12 News reported Thursday.

Rabbi Tau is a Religious Zionist rabbi and co-founder and president of Yeshivat Har Hamor in Jerusalem.

According to the report, the investigation is being carried out under the auspices of the prosecutor’s office and, due to the time that has passed since the incident to which the statute of limitations applies, it is difficult to confirm the credibility of the complainant.

Kan 11 News reported that the investigation is being conducted by the Judea and Samaria District of the Israel Police. Rabbi Tau has not yet been summoned for questioning, and the police are considering how to proceed with the investigation.

Rabbi David Stav, the rabbi of…

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November 15, 2022

French Catholic leaders mired in sexual abuse scandals dig themselves deeper

PARIS (FRANCE)
Religion News Service - Missouri School of Journalism [Columbia MO]

November 15, 2022

By Tom Heneghan

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French Catholic leaders initially played down clerical abuse, but the issue has now gone far beyond the ‘few bad apples’ stage.

Like any modern Catholic official, Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, president of France’s Catholic bishops’ conference, realizes clergy sexual abuse is a systemic problem, one that calls for serious reform of the church’s uncertain rules and ingrained secrecy.

But recent revelations of sexual misconduct by a cardinal and a bishop on Moulins-Beaufort’s watch show how complicated, time-consuming and personal stamping out abuse can be. 

These new cases, which come a year after a report that estimated that France had seen 330,000 ordained and lay abusers since 1950, have tangled Moulins-Beaufort in a web, caught between falling public confidence in the bishops’ ability to solve the problem — which only increases the pressure to act — and a pope who firmly condemns clerical sexual abuse but offers only vague guidance when…

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$10-million settlement reached with Roman Catholic Church in N.S. sexual abuse case

HALIFAX (CANADA)
CTV Television Network [Toronto, Canada]

November 15, 2022

By Michael MacDonald

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A Nova Scotia court has approved a $10-million settlement to conclude a class-action lawsuit that alleged Roman Catholic clergy with the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth had sexually abused children for decades.

Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Christa Brothers approved the settlement Monday, four years after the lawsuit was filed.

The allegations date back to 1954. Most of the survivors are now seniors.

“While the class-action suit is a constant reminder of the damage and great hurt that has been inflicted on individuals by members of the clergy, it is necessary to provide an opportunity for justice and healing for all victims,” Most Rev. Brian J. Dunn, the archbishop of the diocese, said in a statement released Monday.

“It is a hard thing to do, but it is the right thing to do.”

The statement said the archdiocese has “zero tolerance for sexual abuse of any kind — past, present or future.”

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Peruvian journo who investigated scandal-ridden lay group meets pope

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Crux [Denver CO]

November 12, 2022

By Elise Ann Allen

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Paola Ugaz, a prominent Peruvian journalist known for her investigations of a contested Catholic lay group and who has faced several legal complaints over her reporting, met Pope Francis Thursday, describing the encounter as a victory for survivors.

Speaking to Crux, Ugaz called her meeting with the pope “a big message to the survivors of the Sodalicio, who continue without a response, justice, reparation.”

The “Sodalicio” refers to the Sodalitium Christinae Vitae (SCV), founded by Peruvian layman Luis Fernando Figari in the 1970s.

Figari is accused of physical, psychological, and sexual abuses within the community, including against minors. He was sanctioned by the Vatican in 2017 and prohibited from having further contact with members of the group, and he is currently living in exile.

According to Ugaz, meeting the pope “was a very powerful message that one of the investigators could arrive to the highest level of the Catholic…

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Maryland attorney general’s investigation of child sexual abuse in Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore nears completion

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun [Baltimore MD]

November 14, 2022

By Lee O. Sanderlin and Jonathan M. Pitts

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The Maryland Attorney General’s Office’s four-year investigation into the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s history of child sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests is almost finished.

A spokesperson for Attorney General Brian Frosh told The Baltimore Sun the investigation is “nearing completion,” but declined to share details. A criminal investigator for the office, former FBI agent Richard Wolf, has contacted many abuse survivors in recent weeks to tell them the report is close to done.

In 2018, the office issued a grand jury subpoena to the archdiocese for records, and Archbishop William E. Lori told clergy the state was investigating. Ultimately, the archdiocese turned over more than 100,000 pages of documents to Wolf and Special Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Embry.

The attorney general’s report, when finalized, is expected to detail child sexual abuse going back more than 80 years.

It’s unclear whether the investigation will…

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