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.

January 15, 2012

January Update to all our Members

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

1. Assembly: We are working on our plans for an assembly in late April/early May. On January 26th we are having a meeting in Marianella, Dublin at 7.30pm. This meeting is for anyone who wishes to be involved in the preparation of the event. Lay, clergy and religious are welcome to come. We see this as a joint venture between ourselves and others who share our objectives and hopes for the Church.

2. Our membership has increased greatly. We now have 650 members. We had some very successful regional meeting during the Autumn. We would encourage the various diocesan groups to look at the possibility of coming together for a meeting. Some have done so. All it needs is for one or two to organise it. If anyone wishes to know who the members are in your diocese, please get on to us.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

How much child abuse justifies ‘hysterical’?

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

By AARON LEIBOWITZ
01/11/2012 23:07

Our Jerusalem neighborhood of Nahlaot made the news over the past week, with a flurry of reports that police have busted a horrifying pedophilia ring. Initial arrests were made Sunday, with more expected in the coming weeks. The story is a horrific tale of sexual and physical violence against children.

But none of this was news to those of us who live in the area. Since last summer we have been hearing about pedophiles living among us. One social services worker told me that over 100 names of abused children have been mentioned in official interviews with children who have been victimized. Worse, he also told me that there are many suspects still at large, including several individuals they “know” are guilty but do not have sufficient admissible evidence to prosecute.

The official also told me that sexual assaults against Nahlaot children continues to this day.

The first complaints of rape and molestation of children, some as young as one year old, were reported to police in 2010. Investigators have also stated unequivocally that the families of the victims are fully cooperating. Considering these facts, how can it be that children are still being harmed?

IN MY role as a community rabbi, families have told me that while the police and state prosecutor’s office admit that this is a story involving many victims and many pedophiles, they claim the community has overstated the problem and that we are reacting hysterically. Their crass dealing with the issue begs the question: How many children have to be raped and endure horrific physical and emotional abuse in order to justify so-called “hysteria”?

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Georgia mega-church pastor back in pulpit after leave of absence

GEORGIA
Deseret News

The Associated Press

LITHONIA, Ga. — Beleaguered mega-church pastor Eddie Long is back in the pulpit after a leave of absence to deal with his divorce and other personal issues.

Long’s spokesman, Art Franklin, said Tuesday that the senior pastor at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church returned to preaching at a New Year’s Eve service. Franklin said Long will attend weekly services at the suburban Atlanta church.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Jury deadlocks in pastor’s child molest trial

MUNCIE (IN)
Indianapolis Star

Written by
Muncie Star Press

MUNCIE, Ind. — A mistrial was declared Friday after jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked on the two most serious charges pending against a Muncie pastor.

The jurors did find Matthew A. Kidd, 55, not guilty of the third charge, a felony count of vicarious sexual gratification.

The pastor of Freedom Point Apostolic Church remains charged with child molesting and sexual misconduct with a minor over allegations he abused two teenagers, between 2002 and 2005 while they were member of his congregation.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Did rabbi downplay incest rape?

ISRAEL
YNet News

Brothers molest kid sister for years, after rabbi advises parents against involving police, telling them such abuse is common

The State Prosecutor’s Office has filed an indictment this week against two brothers who molested their younger sister, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday.

The abuse continued for years after a rabbi advised the parents against involving to the police, saying that such incidents “happen in many families.”

The girl,14, was only 10 years old when her older brothers began sexually assaulting her. The eldest brother, 20, used to rape his sister regularly, while the younger of the two, 19, touched her inappropriately.

When the parents discovered the horrifying abuse they consulted their rabbi, who advised them to deal with the issue at home.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Marcos Breton: Mentors accused of child molestation betray our trust

CALIFORNIA
The Sacramento Bee

By Marcos Breton

Published: Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012

Arrests of youth coaches, educators, pastors and priests on suspicion of molesting children are not an epidemic in Sacramento.

It just seems as if they are.

The sacred bond of a mentor and a protégé, of a wise older soul guiding a youthful innocent, is at the heart of one criminal case after another in the capital region.

On Friday, Arturo Bustamante, a football coach at River City High School in West Sacramento, was arrested on six counts of molesting a child under the age of 18.

David Robert Freeman, the varsity baseball coach at Union Mine High School in El Dorado County, was arrested Jan. 5 on suspicion of engaging in sexual activity with a minor.

Uriel Ojeda, a wildly popular priest in the Sacramento Catholic Diocese, was released on bail last Monday but still faces seven counts of molesting a girl under 14.

In December, Tommy Gene Daniels, a former Baptist pastor from Rio Linda, was convicted of molesting four girls with behavioral issues who had stayed at his home. He faces 165 years to life in prison.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Judge quotes Bible, Shakespeare before sentencing priest

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Posted: Jan. 15, 2012

John L. Smith

As a strict observer of the Nine Commandments, Monsignor Kevin McAuliffe toiled for nearly a decade as a leader of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church and the Las Vegas Diocese.

As a thief in immaculate robes, McAuliffe ripped off $650,000 from church coffers over the years to feed a raging video poker habit. He did not discriminate: He stole from the votive candle fund, the novena fund, and the church gift shop.

On Friday morning, in U.S. District Judge James Mahan’s packed courtroom, McAuliffe sought leniency and did not get it. Mahan heard about McAuliffe’s tragic gambling compulsion from defense expert witness Dr. Timothy Fong of UCLA’s Gambling Studies Program. In addition to displaying all the signs and symptoms of a man in the throes of gambling addiction, McAuliffe also appeared to suffer from depression and social anxiety disorder, the $250-an-hour expert said.

Defense attorney Margaret Stanish gamely tried to portray her client as a deeply remorseful man whose life of good deeds was marred only by a tragic flaw in the form of a gambling addiction.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Child sex abuse…

PENNSYLVANIA
PhillyBurbs

Child sex abuse: When concern for institutional risk trumps the truth

Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012

By THOMAS P. MURT

Grand jury investigations into the recent child sex abuse scandals that have rocked Penn State and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have placed the issue of child sex abuse onto the front burner here in Pennsylvania — where it belongs.

I serve on the Child and Youth Committee and have listened to and read many hours of excruciatingly painful testimony from victims and their families describing the most heinous sexual abuse imaginable. The institutional cover-ups and subsequent ill-treatment of victims have made these terrible situations even worse. It’s a sad day, indeed, when concern for institutional risk management trumps uncovering the truth.

I recently listened to testimony concerning two perpetrators who were Franciscan Friars and who taught at Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia when I was on the faculty there. As a life-long Catholic, a former parochial school teacher, and a religious education instructor, I am filled with anguish over these incidents.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Hung jury in pastor’s abuse case

MUNCIE (IN)
Muncie Free Press

MUNCIE, IN – A hung jury was the result of a Muncie pastor accused of sexually molesting teenage congregation members almost a decade ago.

Members of the Freedom Point Apostolic Church stood by and testified in behalf of Matthew A. Kidd, 55, who was accused of sexually molesting two brothers who testified against him in Delaware Circuit Court 3 this week. Judge Linda Ralu Wolf declared a mistrial Friday after jurors could not reach a verdict on two of the serious charges, sexual misconduct with a minor and child molesting, both felonies. The jury found Kidd not guilty of vicarious sexual gratification, another felony.

Defense attorney Steve Bruce tried to get Wolf to declare a mistrial just days before, and insisted there was no physical evidence of abuse. The victims’ family filed a civil suit against Kidd which Bruce suggested was motivating the criminal case.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

January 14, 2012

Priest allowed to return to parish

OREGON
Catholic Sentinel

TILLAMOOK — Father Joseph Hoang returned to Sacred Heart Parish here this week after civil and church investigations.

Archbishop John Vlazny placed Father Hoang on administrative leave in 2007 after a member of the priest’s family brought allegations of sexual misconduct against him. Father Hoang vigorously denied the report.

The Multnomah County District Attorney reviewed allegations and declined to proceed. A lengthy civil lawsuit included another in-depth probe.

After the civil suit was settled, a church investigation began and could not conclude that Father Hoang had committed any crime under canon law.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Report details KC-area priest sex abuse spending

KANSAS CITY (MO)
KOAM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – A new report shows the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese spent more than $1 million over a four-month stretch last year in connection with priest sexual abuse cases.

The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/AxGxLl ) reported that a diocese insurance program incurred $631,553 in costs relating to clergy sexual abuse from July through October. Another $427,707 in spending is tied to an independent investigation led by former U.S. Attorney Todd Graves at the request of the diocese.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

No punishment for “rebel” nuns in the U.S.

UNITED STATES
Vatican Insider

The Vatican’s inspection of the female religious institutes in the U.S.A has softened

Giacomo Galeazzi
Vatican City

Three years ago, the former cardinal Franc Rodé, Prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life had started the inspections to look into the “styles of life” of nuns in the United States. After the Vatican received reports of serious problems of doctrinal disobedience and failure to adhere to the Catholic Church’s Magisterium, Cardinal Rodé entrusted Mary Clare Millea, the American mother superior of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with the task of shedding light on the issue. Proof of this “ultra-liberal” drift was the fact that U.S. convents were pointing out groups of nuns who were giving the “go-ahead” to Obama’s health reforms which included women’s right to abortion. Visitations proceeded amid the protests of some nuns’ associations who complained of their religious orders’ loss of independence as a result of being subjected to the “Holy See’s modern Inquisition.” Meanwhile, in Rome, changes were being made to the leadership of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life. The first arrival was that of 59 year old Mgr. Joseph William Tobin from Detroit, formerly superior general of the Redemptorist fathers, who took up his post as the new Secretary of the Vatican dicastery.

He immediately put the U.S nuns at rest with regards to the effects of the Visitation underway, softening its impact before it had even concluded. Cardinal Rodé yielded his post to João Braz de Aviz, former archbishop of Brasilia. And now that the inspection is over, there seems to be a willingness on the part of the Congregation, to create ties with the nuns and to help them improve in a constructive manner without appearing as an external censor whose sole purpose is that of correcting errors. Despite this new portrayal of the Visitation, it appears that not everything has gone smoothly: indeed, it seems that at least a third of U.S. female convents have not opened its doors to the Vatican, which set up its Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Society of Apostolic Life on December 22nd, 2008.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

US, “Those who know must speak” without secrecy and remorse

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Vatican Insider

In the Archdiocese of Milawaukee until February 1st to denounce pedophile priests

Giacomo Galeazzi
Vatican City

This is a race against time. For the first time since the scandal of pedophile priests exploded in the world, an agreement was signed between priests who want anti-abuse purification of the Church and victims of “disloyal” clergy. This happened in Milwaukee in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, one of the main theaters of the pedophilia scandal. Victims of sexual abuse have signed an appeal so that other victims of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee come forward. Together to prevent it from happening again and to bring the culprits to court.

Two weeks to denounce pedophile priests and uncover those responsibilities. An alliance of priests, victims of abuse by clergy and supporters of the «purification» of the Church. Together they have launched an appeal by signing a poster that appeared in the newspaper, «Milwaukee Journal Sentinel», which encourages victims to come forward before the February 1st deadline for submitting complaints of abuseagainst the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in view of an imminent bankruptcy. The announcement calls otherpriests and religious of the diocese “to unite and press for a full public confession” by the archdiocese, including the uncensored publication of all documents relating to abuses by the archdiocese and by religious orders that serve in its territory. Furthermore, the signatories ask the archdiocese to “provide a detailed and comprehensive list of all clergy and employees who have harmed children and minors”, reports the National Catholic Reporter. Peter Isely, Director of Snap (Survivors Network of Those abused by priests), i.e. the network of victims of abuse by clergy has issued a statement which describes the initiative as a breakthrough in the fight against pedophilia in the clergy.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Ex-priests’ lawyer brands sex abuse victim a liar

MALTA
Times of Malta

Saturday, January 14, 2012, by Waylon Johnston

Sex abuse victim Lawrence Grech has been labelled a liar by defence lawyer Giannella de Marco as she made her case in the appeal of two former priests against their child abuse conviction.

In what must have been an uncomfortable moment for Mr Grech in the public gallery, the lawyer accused him of seeking fame and fortune and “biting the hand that fed him”. Mr Grech shifted uneasily on the already hard and uncomfortable court room bench as the lawyer described his “system of conduct” which, she claimed, supported the theory that his abuse claims were all a lie.

Dr de Marco made the arguments at the start of the appeal proceedings in which her clients, defrocked Francesco Scerri, known as Godwin, and Carmelo Pulis are contesting their conviction.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Differences, parallels in sexual-abuse scandals at Syracuse, Penn State

SYRACUSE (NY)
Philadelphia Inquirer

January 11, 2012|By Frank Fitzpatrick, Inquirer Staff Writer

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Maybe the strange calm here can be attributed to Syracuse basketball’s position atop the national polls, or to the normal stillness of an Adirondack winter.

Or perhaps it’s because the Bernie Fine scandal has yet to yield criminal charges, sordid grand jury reports, student riots, or the stunning dismissal of both a college president and an iconic coach.

Whatever the reason, nearly two months after several sex-abuse allegations surfaced against Fine, coach Jim Boeheim’s longtime top aide and neighbor, the worst of the storm seems to have passed this rusty Finger Lakes city. …

“It is surprising that things seem so quiet there,” said the Rev. Robert Hoatson of the Road To Recovery, a New Jersey-based organization that aids child sex-abuse victims and has monitored the Syracuse situation closely. “But I really do think this thing has the potential to be worse than Penn State.” …

Curiously, next month, thanks to Syracuse’s own Newhouse School of Communications, the issues surrounding the Fine case could get a fresh rendering.

Hoatson will serve on a discussion panel as will some Syracuse administrators and several reporters who have worked on the case.

“But who knows,” said Hoatson, “what might come out before then?”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

NCR Publishes Editorial Defending SNAP in Missouri Subpoena Situation

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Linsey

National Catholic Reporter has just published an editorial decrying the attack now being mounted on the SNAP organization by lawyers working for the Catholic church. The editorial frames its statement by recounting the story of Bartek Obloj, who hanged himself in Poland in 2007. Obloj was thirteen years old at the time. He left a suicide note stating that his parish priest, Stanislaw Kaszowski, had sexually molested him.

Kaszowski celebrated Bartek Obloj’s funeral Mass. He was then moved to a new parish. He refuses to testify in court at court hearings about the case. As the NCR editorial notes, one of the primary reasons that advocacy groups working to assist survivors of clerical sexual abuse are still needed is that cases like the case of Bartek Obloj continue to reach the news.

The abuse is still happening. And church officials continue to seek to skirt and defy the law when cases of abuse are made public.

NCR’s editorial finds the court orders demanding that SNAP disclose information that has been kept private up to now “wrong on a number of counts.” In the first place, these orders are demanding documents that disclose an extraordinary and unprecedented range of information, and so the court orders represent “a kind of legal carte blanche that courts should protect against” and not facilitate. People who have sought SNAP’s assistance and have no connection whatsoever to the cases in Kansas City or St. Louis where the disclosure of documents is being demanded will have their privacy violated.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Breaking News: Archdiocese Delayed Reporting Priests’ Porn Until Last Month

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

January 14, 2012 by Susan Matthews

BREAKING NEWS

After reading the linked article below, I’ve lost ALL faith that the Church leadership in Philadelphia will ever do the right thing. I read this and wonder where we would be if the Archdiocese had invested the time, money and thought into evangelization, social services or Catholic education that it has into lawyers and hiding facts from the police.

Click here to read: “Prosecutors: Archdiocese delayed reporting priests’ involvement with child porn,” by John P. Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 14, 2012

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Prosecutors: Archdiocese delayed reporting priests’ involvement with child porn

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
Inquirer Staff Writer

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia waited until last month to tell law enforcement about priests caught with child pornography despite knowing years ago about their “deviant and possibly illegal activities,” prosecutors say.

In a motion unsealed Friday in Common Pleas Court, the commonwealth attorneys do not identify the priests or elaborate on what they call their “involvement” with child porn.

But they contend that the reporting delay supports their claim that the archdiocese and its newly hired lawyers are impeding evidence requests and attempting to influence witnesses in the conspiracy and child-sex abuse trial of four current and former priests.

The motion was filed Monday but remained sealed until Judge M. Teresa Sarmina unsealed it. The lawyers involved either did not respond to The Inquirer’s requests for comment or declined to talk, citing the judge’s gag order in the case.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Lawsuit filed against Rev. Michael Rodriguez called look at politics of El Paso Diocese

EL PASO (TX)
El Paso Times

By Marty Schladen \ El Paso Times
Posted: 01/14/2012

The unusual step by Catholic Bishop Armando X. Ochoa of suing one of his priests exposed a small part of the inner workings of the church in El Paso and it offered a glimpse into the politics inside the diocese, experts said Friday.

By recovering $200,000 and shuttling the Rev. Michael E. Rodriguez off to Presidio, Ochoa might have tried to conceal that one of his priests allegedly misused parish money.

Or Ochoa might be publicly trying to rein in a renegade priest by suing Rodriguez over $27,000 Ochoa says hasn’t been accounted for, an expert said.

Ochoa and Monsignor Arturo Banuelas this week asked that a court lock down Rodriguez’s bank accounts and force him to make a full accounting of the funds he raised from parishioners at San Juan Bautista

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Vlaamse bisschop moet meebetalen aan schadevergoeding misbruik

BELGIE
Trouw

De gepensioneerde Brugse bisschop Roger Vangheluwe gaat de schadevergoeding voor slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik deels uit eigen zak betalen. Dat doet hij op verzoek van de bisschoppenconferentie. Vangheluwe heeft ook zelf minderjarigen seksueel misbruikt.

De bijdrage is geen straf maar een vorm van gerechtigheid, vertelt de Antwerpse referent-bisschop Johan Bonny in De Morgen. ‘We willen als bisschoppenconferentie een duidelijk signaal geven dat we de schadevergoedingen heel ernstig nemen. Het is ons menens.’

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Beeld in Sint-Salvators herinnert aan misbruik

BELGIE
Het Nieuwsblad

BRUGGE/TORHOUT – 270 priesters, diakens en andere parochiemedewerkers uit het Brugse bisdom hebben gisteren deelgenomen aan een studiedag rond seksueel misbruik binnen de Kerk. Bisschop Jozef De Kesel maakte bekend dat er een beeldje komt in de Sint-Salvatorskathedraal als blijvende herinnering aan wat gebeurd is.

Een klein glazen beeldje zal op Paaszaterdag in de doopkapel van de Sint-Salvatorskathedraal worden gezet, als blijvende herinnering aan de slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik binnen de Kerk. Het beeld zal dus een permanent gedenkteken worden in de kathedraal waar Roger Vangheluwe, die in 2010 moest aftreden omdat bekend raakte dat hij jarenlang een minderjarige seksueel had misbruikt, 25 jaar lang zijn bisschoppelijke zetel had.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Pädophiler Pfarrer vor Gericht

DEUTSCHLAND
Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger

BRAUNSCHWEIG – Die Braunschweiger Staatsanwältin Ute Lindemann hat einem katholischen Pfarrer aus Salzgitter am Donnerstag sexuellen Missbrauch an drei Jungen in 280 Fällen vorgeworfen. Zum Auftakt des Prozesses vor dem Landesgericht gegen den 46-jährigen Angeklagten sagte sie, er habe die Jungen unter anderem im Pfarrhaus vor Beginn der Messe sowie bei gemeinsamen Urlauben ohne die Eltern missbraucht. Einer der Jungen sei älter als 14 Jahre gewesen, zwei jünger.

Priester Andreas L. hatte bereits im Vorfeld die meisten der ihm vorgeworfenen Taten gestanden. Er sitzt in Untersuchungshaft. Ihm droht eine Haftstrafe von bis zu 15 Jahren. Die Kontakte soll er im Kommunionsunterricht gesucht haben.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Priester gesteht hundertfachen Missbrauch

DEUTSCHLAND
Neue Presse

Braunscheig. Der Mann aus Salzgitter soll unter anderem den Kommunionunterricht genutzt haben, um das Vertrauen der Kinder und ihrer Familien zu gewinnen.

Bei Übernachtungen und Kurzurlauben soll es dann zu dem Missbrauch der 9 bis 15 Jahre alten Jungen gekommen sein – insgesamt 280 Mal. Nach einer Beratung von Anklage, Verteidigung und Gericht wurde dem Priester im Gegenzug zu einem Geständnis eine Strafe von sechs bis sechseinhalb Jahren Haft in Aussicht gestellt.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Missbrauch vor der Messe

DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

Von Julia Jüttner, Braunschweig

Pfarrer Andreas L. hat zugegeben, über Jahre hinweg drei Jungen sexuell missbraucht zu haben. Vor dem Landgericht Braunschweig entschied er sich zur Flucht nach vorn – allerdings nicht freiwillig. Und erst recht nicht mit gebotener Einsicht.

Nicht der Andy sitzt da auf der Anklagebank des Landgerichts Braunschweig. Sondern der Schatten von Andreas L., ehemaliger Pfarrer der katholischen Gemeinde St. Joseph in Salzgitter: Ein schmächtiger Mann, 46 Jahre alt, mit dunklen, kurzen Haaren, Kinnbart und Brille, der nicht mehr viel gemein hat mit dem eloquenten Theologen, den seine Gemeinde so schätzte und dem es leicht fiel, in bestimmten Momenten die richtigen Worte zu finden und Vertrauen zu anderen Menschen aufzubauen. In diesen Momenten war er für viele der Andy.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Pfarrer hat drei Jungen 280-mal missbraucht

DEUTSCHLAND
Hannoveriche Allgemeine

Von Wiebke Ramm |

Der Pfarrer Andreas L., der drei Jungen 280-mal missbraucht hat, steht seit Donnerstag vor Gericht – und zeigt kein Schuldgefühl.

Braunschweig. Dass er Schuld auf sich geladen hat, ist an seiner Körperhaltung nicht abzulesen. Ob er seine Schuld begreift, lässt sich nach dem ersten Verhandlungstag in diesem Prozess schwer sagen.

Der katholische Pfarrer ist angeklagt, drei Jungen über Jahre sexuell missbraucht zu haben. 280 Fälle hat die Staatsanwältin in der Anklageschrift vermerkt. In 223 Fällen soll es sich dabei um schweren Missbrauch gehandelt haben. Das heißt, er hat die Kinder nicht nur gestreichelt. Seit Donnerstag muss er sich vor dem Landgericht Braunschweig verantworten. Der 46-Jährige hat alle Taten gestanden.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

So many questions linger after priest who stole to gamble is sent to prison

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Las Vegas Sun

By J. Patrick Coolican

Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012

My heart went out to the parishioners of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton outside a federal courtroom Friday. They were there to support Monsignor Kevin McAuliffe, who was sentenced to 37 months in prison for stealing $650,000 from church funds to feed a gambling addiction.

They were anguished. Connie Calarco had major brain surgery in 2010.

“He prayed for me. He got me through everything. Anytime you needed Monsignor, he was there for us, even when he was going through his own hell,” she said.

Another parishioner said in his seven decades of Catholicism, during which he interacted with 100 priests or more, he’d never met one as special as McAuliffe. He built a parish from near nothing to more than 8,500 families with a church, school and chapel.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Victims advocate: Ex-Delbarton headmaster accused of sexual misconduct was a predator

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

By Star-Ledger Staff

MORRIS TOWNSHIP — In 1999, when he was asked to become headmaster at the exclusive Delbarton School, the Rev. Luke Travers said he responded with “one loud ‘Yes!’” because he was “thrilled and honored.”

But several years earlier, according to a victims advocate, Travers was ready to chuck it all and run away with a former Delbarton student, who is now alleging sexual misconduct by Travers in the early 1990s.

A letter Tuesday from Patrick Marker, the advocate, to the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Va., detailed the allegations and described Travers as a predator who groomed his alleged victim.

As a result of the accusations and an ongoing investigation, Travers has been removed from his position as a non-residential administrator of the Mary Mother of Church Abbey in Richmond, where he has been since 2010. He is prohibited from having contact with juveniles or young adults. He has not been charged with any crime.

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German priest admits 280 counts of sexual abuse

GERMANY
BBC News

A German Catholic priest has admitted 280 counts of sexual abuse involving three boys in the past decade, saying he did not think he was doing harm.

Named only as Andreas L, the priest told a court in Braunschweig that he had first abused the nine-year-old son of a widowed woman parishioner.

After being banned by his diocese from making further contact with the boy, he abused two brothers, aged nine and 13.

Thousands of Germans have left the Church over revelations of abuse.

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Luke Travers, Delbarton Headmaster, Accused of Sexual Misconduct With Two Ex-Students

NEW JERSEY/VIRGINIA
International Business Times

By Melanie Jones

January 13, 2012

Father Luke Travers, a Benedictine monk and former administrator at the Mary Mother of the Church Abbey in Virginia, is under investigation for sexual misconduct while he was headmaster at Delbarton, a Catholic boy’s school in New Jersey.

Delbarton School is an elite college preparatory academy in Morristown, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie’s son goes there and the academy is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious schools on the East Coast.

Rev. Traver has been replaced at the abbey and is currently under investigation by church authorities.

‘Because he loved me.’

The Benedictine monk had been serving as non-residential administrator at the Mary Mother of the Church Abbey since 2010 when a letter was sent to church officials alleging that Travers, 55, had sexually harassed at least two former students at Delbarton. …

Mark Serrano, a national advocate for sex abuse victims, was similarly furious with church officials at Delbarton and those higher up in the ACC, saying their handling of the allegations is suspicious at best and questioning why they didn’t inform the Va. abbey of the investigation into Travers that began in June.

“I wouldn’t trust the school’s characterization of the incidents as ‘minor’ until we know all the facts,” Serrano told NJ.com. “In the meantime, we must make sure Travers has no contact with children.”

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Lawsuit filed against diocese

KANSAS CITY (MO)
News-Press

A former worker at the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic diocesan archives is suing the diocese, claiming he was sexually harassed at work then dismissed after repeatedly complaining about it.

The civil lawsuit, filed by Larry Probst in U.S. District Court, alleges that Probst was subjected to sexually offensive language, sexual advances and pornography on the computers at work. The suit seeks relief under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

A spokeswoman said the diocese has not received the lawsuit and is not able to comment on any factual allegations in it.

But the diocese did say in a statement that Probst worked part time in the archives on an intermittent and as-needed basis when funds were available from June 2005 until June 2011.

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German priest admits 280 counts of abuse

GERMANY
Sky News (Australia)

A Roman Catholic priest in Germany has admitted to 280 counts of sexually abusing three boys over a several-year period.

The 46-year-old priest, who has been suspended, went on trial at the state court in Braunschweig. The dapd news agency reported that he showed no remorse.

The man who was not identified was arrested last July after one victim told his mother what had happened. He was charged with abusing three boys aged between 9 and 15.

Hildesheim diocese spokesman Michael Lukas says the defendant’s actions were ‘a catastrophe for the victims and for the Catholic church.’ The trial continues through February 2.

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Erie-based Episcopal diocese continues efforts to prevent sexual abuse

ERIE (PA)
Erie Times-News

By DANA MASSING, Erie Times-News
dana.massing@timesnews.com

The double doors at the end of the hall leading to the League Room at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Paul used to be solid.

Now there’s a window in the door on the right that looks into the parlorlike room where two couches and a love seat have been taken away.

The addition of the window and the removal of the furniture are among efforts to protect children and adults from sexual abuse in the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania.

The Erie-based diocese recently revised its Policy for the Protection of Children and Youth from Abuse and Policies for the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation of Adults and of Sexual Harassment of Church Workers.

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Diocese compliant with safety policy

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Vindicator

Staff report

The Diocese of Youngstown has been found compliant with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People during the annual compliance audit.

The charter was developed by the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Sexual Abuse in 2002 in response to the sexual abuse crises in the church.

The charter was revised in 2005 and 2011.

The onsite audit, conducted by the independent firm Stonebridge Business Partners of Rochester, New York, took place in October 2011.

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No money to sex abuse victims, a resolute Church insists

MALTA
Times of Malta

A week after sex abuse victims set an ultimatum to reconsider its decision, the Church remains adamant that no compensation will be paid.

Abuse victim and spokesman Lawrence Grech last week told The Sunday Times that victims were giving the Church until the end of February to reconsider its decision to not compensate them financially.

He claimed that despite the Church stating last September that it would make psychological, psychiatric and social professionals available to those sexually abused by clergy members, counselling had yet to materialise.

Asked to respond to Mr Grech’s comments, a Curia spokesman indicated that the onus of action lay with the victims, not the Church.

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Catholic Diocese spends $1M on priest sexual abuse cases

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By JUDY L. THOMAS
The Kansas City Star

The Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese spent more than $1 million during four months of 2011 in connection with priest sexual abuse cases, according to a diocesan report.

The report shows a diocese insurance program incurred $631,553 in costs relating to clergy sexual abuse from July through October. It also paid $427,707 in connection with an independent investigation led by former U.S. Attorney Todd Graves at the request of the diocese.

No legal costs have been paid from that fund or any other diocesan fund for the defense of the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, a priest who was charged last year in state and federal courts with possession of child pornography, the report says. Ratigan’s arrest sparked a flood of lawsuits and resulted in an indictment against Bishop Robert Finn and the diocese on misdemeanor charges of failing to report suspicions of child sexual abuse.

The figures — the most detailed the diocese has provided on the costs related to priest sex abuse cases — were released in a five-page document that was published in The Catholic Key, the diocesan newspaper, and posted on the diocese website.

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Defence questions victim’s credibility as priests’ sexual abuse case appeal starts

MALTA
The Malta Independent

by John Cordina

Article published on 14 January 2012

The lawyers of the two priests convicted of sexually abusing boys in their care are basing their appeal on the credibility of one of the victims, claiming that he also influenced the others to involve themselves.

Giannella de Marco and Joseph Giglio are representing Charles Pulis and Godwin Scerri, who were jailed for six years and five years respectively over multiple counts of sexual abuse of boys at St Joseph Home in Sta Venera, which is run by the Missionary Society of St Paul (MSSP). The two priests were subsequently defrocked.

The defence appealed each priest’s conviction and sentence, and the two former priests have not yet started to serve their sentence: They were granted bail and remain at the MSSP convent.

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January 13, 2012

Employee charged with stealing from Catholic school

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS • An employee at St. Francis Cabrini Academy has been charged with stealing tuition after allegedly admitting the crime to a priest and the school’s principal.

Eric Winters, 30, of the 2600 block of Arsenal Street, accepted tuition money from students that he kept for himself and also pilfered the school’s PayPal account, according to charges filed in St. Louis Circuit Court on Friday. He had allegedly been doing so since March.

Winters faces one count of stealing more than $500.

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Actor’s play exposes Irish hell

IRELAND/UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jan. 13, 2012
By Retta Blaney

The middle-aged man entering the waiting room with a bulging manila folder looks anxious. In his sage-colored pants and jacket, white shirt with no tie, he appears as bland as the room, which is empty but for a straight chair and a sign with an arrow pointing to the left. It is the words on that sign, though, that indicate any trace of blandness is only superficial. White letters on a blue background foreshadow the fire beneath the surface: Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.

“I have to go into that courtroom soon, into my past,” the man known as James X says as he waits to be a witness before an Irish government tribunal’s inquiry into institutional child abuse. “Tell them what happened back then when I was 11, but I just want to run and run and run.”

In his one-man play, “James X,” Gerard Mannix Flynn reveals one harrowing incident after another of physical and sexual abuse in Ireland’s Catholic and state institutions. A popular and critical success when it premiered in Dublin in 2009, it is playing at Manhattan’s 45 Bleecker Street at least through Dec. 18. Given the subject and its high-profile backers, I can easily see it traveling from New York to other American cities — Boston and Philadelphia, to name two

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Cloistered education for priests of tomorrow is unwise

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Detaching seminarians from the mainstream student experience is a retrograde step, writes NOEL WHELAN

SOME YEARS ago, when discussing the issue of whether the newly reconfigured Police Service of Northern Ireland should have a new police college, the then senator Maurice Hayes, a former member of the Patten commission, voiced his own reservations about the concept of a free-standing police training institution. His argument was persuasive. He expressed a concern that creating separate educational institutions and, in particular, separate residential education institutions for police men and women, was unhealthy because it meant that in their key formative years they became detached from the mainstream student experience and potentially from the general community within which they would ultimately have to live and work.

Some argued that learning and living together, and separate from others, was essential to common formation, but Hayes argued it also gave rise to a sense of detachment from and, at times, a sense of superiority over other young workers and professionals.

At its worst, this separate formation could give rise to an overly intense camaraderie which could lead young recruits to confuse their sense of duty to the wider population. Others go so far as to suggest that it can engender an instinct to defend, even when indefensible, the actions of colleagues or of the force they were joining.

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Journalist confronted issues of sex abuse and cover-up

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Mary Raftery THERE’S A good deal of old guff handed out to young journalists in the guise of advice to guide them in their careers. The best of it emphasises getting the facts right, comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable, and possibly making a difference if you work hard and get lucky.

Mary Raftery, a journalist best known for her television work, had succeeded on all those counts when she died in Dublin aged 54 earlier this week. Her singular achievement was to force Ireland to confront the fact that clergy had been sexually abusing children entrusted to their care, and that senior Catholic Church figures had conspired to cover this up.

She was not the first in the field, as RTÉ historian John Bowman has noted. Cathal Black’s independent documentary from 1980, Our Boys , dealt with traumatised former pupils of the Christian Brothers. Veteran TV director Louis Lentin’s 1996 drama documentary Dear Daughter vividly exposed cruelty at a Dublin orphanage run by nuns. But it was the work of Mary Raftery “which brought the conspiracy of silence which had protected the [Catholic] church in the 20th century to a dramatic end”, as historian Tom Garvin put it. Her work and that of her longtime collaborator and researcher Sheila Ahern was thorough, and it stuck.

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Philadelphia monsignor seeks high court’s help before trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
York Daily Record

By MARYCLAIRE DALE Associated Press
Updated: 01/13/2012

PHILADELPHIA—A Roman Catholic monsignor has taken the rare step of asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to intervene before he becomes the first church official in the U.S. to stand trial for allegedly transferring predator priests.

Lawyers have filed a King’s Bench petition on behalf of Monsignor William Lynn, the longtime secretary of clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Lynn, 61, faces more than a decade in prison if he’s convicted of criminal conspiracy and child endangerment. He is set to stand trial in March, along with two priests and a former Catholic school teacher charged with raping two boys.

Lynn’s lawyers argue that child endangerment cannot apply to defendants who had no direct responsibility for individual children. Several trial judges in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas have rejected that defense in pretrial motions.

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Higher number of victims of abuse by priests means reduced payout

CANADA
The News

NEW GLASGOW – Victims of sexual abuse by priests in the Diocese of Antigonish will be getting lesser cash awards than expected.

A letter sent to members of the lawsuit in early November from their lawyer indicates that the victims will receive just under 62 per cent of the amount they had originally anticipated from the settlement reached with the diocese.

Initially, the settlement was supposed to cover approximately 80 victims of sexual abuse. But about 140 people have since joined the lawsuit, and part of the agreement signed by the participants was a clause that resulted in the individual settlements being pro-rated to the number that joined the class action suit.

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Catholic Church Still Hiding Sexual Predators?

BOSTON (MA)
NPR

January 13, 2012

Ten years ago, Michael Rezendes and The Boston Globe colleagues broke a clergy sex abuse cover-up in the Boston Archdiocese. Host Michel Martin speaks with Rezendes about his investigative work. (Advisory: This segment may not be suitable for all audiences.)

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Belgian bishops pledge to pay damages to abuse victims under new plan

BELGIUM
U.S. Catholic

Friday, January 13, 2012

By Jonathan Luxmoore Catholic News Service

OXFORD, England (CNS) — Belgium’s Catholic bishops have pledged a “culture of vigilance” against future sexual abuse by priests and said guilty clergy must compensate their victims even if their crimes are no longer punishable by law.

“We cannot repair the past, but we can take moral responsibility by recognizing sufferings and helping victims recover,” Bishop Guy Harpigny of Torunai and Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp, the church’s delegates for abuse, told a Brussels news conference Jan. 12.

“Above all, we ask forgiveness for the suffering we weren’t able to prevent, and we commit to treat this problem differently in future.”

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Bill Requires That Witnesses Report Child Abuse

MISSOURI
Webster-Kirkwood Times

January 13, 2012

Amidst critical school funding issues and a state budget shortfall that must be addressed, state Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, also has child sexual abuse prevention on his radar for the 2012 legislative session.

“As a father, I reacted to the Penn State sex abuse scandal, which is still unfolding, as I am sure many other fathers have. My reaction: How could this happen? How could anyone witness actual sex abuse of children and not report it to legal authorities?

“As a legislator, I think my natural reaction is: How can we address this in our state? What is on the books now? What kind of input do we need to put together a law on this to make sure children are protected and that criminal behavior victimizing them gets reported?” said Schmitt.

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SNAP subpoenas harm key ally for victims

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Bartek Obloj’s story defies description.

Before reaching his 14th birthday, Obloj hanged himself in 2007, leaving a note that his parish priest had molested him. (See: Polish church faces demands to confront sex abuse.)

The accused priest, Fr. Stanislaw Kaszowski, was moved to a new parish — but not before personally celebrating Obloj’s funeral Mass. Kaszowski continues in ministry and refuses to testify in court.

We grope for a reaction that matches the horror.

Despite assurances that most cases of abuse are in the past and that reporting procedures have been strengthened, the clergy sex abuse scandal continues. That is why the work of groups like the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is invaluable. And that work is now under threat.

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Polish church faces demands to confront sex abuse

POLAND
National Catholic Reporter

Jan. 13, 2012
By Jonathan Luxmoore

WARSAW, POLAND — When Bartek Obloj, a 13-year-old altar boy, hanged himself in his home village of Hludno just before Christmas 2007, he left a letter to his mother complaining of being molested by his parish rector. Police were called and his shocked parents blamed the priest for their son’s death.

A month later, Poland’s Catholic Tygodnik Powszechny weekly reported that Fr. Stanislaw Kaszowski had been moved to a parish 20 miles away after personally saying the boy’s funeral Mass. He’d denied the accusations, the paper added, and defiantly failed to appear at a court hearing.

Hludno’s mayor, Stanislaw Gladysz, testified that locals had long complained of the priest’s “sadistic behavior” and “sexual exploits,” adding that for a decade he’d asked the local ordinary, Archbishop Jozef Michalik of Przemysl, to move the priest. However, Michalik, president of the Polish bishops’ conference, had given Kaszowski his full confidence, the mayor said, and refused to discuss the claims.

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Catholic Church Corrupt To Its Core, Says Survivor

UNITED STATES
NPR

January 13, 2012

In the decade since The Boston Globe broke the story about the cover-up of pedophile priests in the Boston Archdiocese, countless Americans have shared their stories of clergy abuse. Bob Hoatson is a former priest who was abused as a teen by church leaders. He speaks with host Michel Martin. (Advisory: This segment may not be suitable for all audiences.)

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St. Elizabeth priest McAuliffe sentenced to 37 months in prison

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Las Vegas Review-Journal

By Doug McMurdo
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

Posted: Jan. 13, 2012

A former high-ranking Las Vegas priest was sentenced to 37 months in prison and ordered to pay full restitution Friday after admitting he stole $650,000 from a Las Vegas Catholic church to support his compulsive gambling.

Monsignor Kevin McAuliffe told U.S. District Judge James Mahan he was sorry.

More than 90 parishioners from McAuliffe’s church were inside the courtroom, and many more were turned away.

The federal government sought a prison term of 33 months for McAuliffe, but the priest objected, citing his gambling addiction and prior good works as reasons for a shorter stint behind bars — or probation.

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Priest steals from church to fund habit

LAS VEGAS (NV)
New Zealand Herald

A 59-year-old Roman Catholic priest has been sentenced to three years and one month in federal prison for siphoning some $650,000 from his northwest Las Vegas parish to support his gambling habit.

Monsignor Kevin McAuliffe made no reaction as US District Court Judge James Mahan faulted him for abusing a position of trust in his congregation.

Muffled sobs erupted from a courtroom packed with supporters.

Defence attorney Margaret Stanish asked the judge for probation and to let the McAuliffe continue getting counseling for his gambling addiction, keep practicing as a priest and pay restitution to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Summerlin.

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Judge throws out abuse case against Diocese of La Crosse

LA CROSSE (WI)
News 8000

LA CROSSE, Wis. — A La Crosse County judge has dismissed fraud charges brought against the Diocese of La Crosse that accused them of covering up a priest who allegedly had a history of child abuse.

In a civil case that began in 2008, Brenda Varga said she was assaulted by Father Raymond Bornbach in 1971, and that the Diocese knew Bornbach had a history of abuse, but did nothing about it.

Bornbach was removed from the ministry in 2004, and died in 2006.

Judge Scott Horne dismissed two counts of fraud, saying there was no evidence of a prior sexual assault.

In a statement, Diocese attorney James Birnbaum says “We are grateful that the court ruled what we have maintained from the start: that the Diocese of La Crosse engaged in no fraud toward Brenda Varga in her 41-year-old claims against the Diocese.”

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Updated | Lou Bondì asked to testify in priests’ sex abuse appeal

MALTA
Malta Today

Jurgen Balzan

The defence lawyer for the two priests convicted of the sexual abuse of minors under their care, has asked the court to hear Bondiplus presenter Lou Bondì as a witness in the priests’ appeal

Defence lawyer Gianella de Marco will present new evidence and witnesses in the appeal of Fr Godwin Scerri and Fr Carmelo Pulis against their prison sentences. She said court should accept the new list of witnesses as they will provide new evidence which emerged after the court sentence was issued. de Marco added that it is up to the court to then decide whether the evidence is relevant or not.

de Marco was representing Fr Charles Pulis and Fr Godwin Scerri who were last August given jail terms of six and five years respectively for the sexual abuse of minors under their care at the St Joseph Home in Hamrun. They faced accusations by 11 victims, who were then aged between 13 and 16, were resident at St Joseph’s Home in Sta Venera in the late1980s when the abuse took place.

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KC man sues the diocese after he says he filed sexual harassment complaints and was fired

KANSAS CITY (MO)
NBC Action News

•By: Christina Medina

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City man said he endured sexual harassment, sexual discrimination and retaliation. He said he complained to several people and was then fired last year. Now, Larry Probst is suing the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City –St. Joseph. The civil lawsuit was filed in federal court this week.

According the lawsuit, Probst worked as a part time employee in the Archives Department from 2005 to 2011. His supervisor was Rev. Charles Michael Coleman. He also worked with Rev. Robert Cameron.

The lawsuit said he was “subjected to a sexually hostile work environment” and a co-worker “made sexual advances towards him” and that the priests would talk about other make co-workers in “sexually suggestive ways.” The lawsuit also said co-workers left sexually offensive messages on office computers and even looked at pornography.

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Rev. Bob Carlson likely exaggerated his credentials

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Eric Russell, BDN Staff

Posted Jan. 13, 2012

BANGOR, Maine — Though the Waldo County Sheriff’s Department has completed its investigation into the death of the Rev. Robert T. Carlson, Maine State Police are continuing to look into allegations of sex abuse against the longtime religious and civic leader who committed suicide on Nov. 13.

Carlson reportedly left no note before his death, and many questions remain about the man who did so much good for and was trusted in turn by the Greater Bangor community. Among them are questions about his training and background, and whether some claims were exaggerated or fabricated.

Sarah Dubay, director of executive services for Penobscot Community Health Care — Carlson’s final employer — provided the BDN with a biography that she said was drafted by Carlson himself.

When asked about particular claims in the biography and whether anyone at PCHC checked into them before or during Carlson’s employment, Dubay said she doubted it.

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Shortly before his death, Rev. Bob Carlson met with man he was accused of sexually

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

Posted Jan. 13, 2012

BANGOR, Maine — Just hours before the Rev. Robert Carlson was found dead in the Penobscot River on Nov. 13, he met with a local man who is the focal point of a child sex abuse investigation involving Carlson, according to the Waldo County Sheriff’s Department, which recently closed its investigation into Carlson’s death.

The man was an 11-year-old boy when he first met Carlson in the early 1970s and had an ongoing sexual relationship with him, according to the man’s family. The Bangor Daily News is not identifying him because of the possibility that he is a victim.

Maine State Police investigators began their investigation on Nov. 10, just three days before Carlson’s death, after receiving an anonymous letter that said he “sexually abused a young boy several years ago” while he was pastor at East Orrington Congregational Church. Carlson came to the church in 1979 and served there for 23 years, according to the church’s website. …

No charges ever were lodged against Carlson in the 1970s. Under current Maine law, the statute of limitations for prosecuting sex crimes committed against children under the age of 16 extends back to 1985. In 1991, the law was changed and there is no statute of limitations on child sex crimes that occurred after that year. The anonymous letter that sparked the state police investigation last fall did not say exactly what year the alleged abuse occurred.

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Archbishop Martin pays tribute to Irish journalist who exposed child abuse in Ireland – VIDEOS

IRELAND
Irish Central

By
KATE HICKEY,
IrishCentral Editor

Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin paid tribute to journalist and documentary maker Mary Raftery, who passed away on Wednesday.

Raftery famously made the 1999 documentary “States of Fear” and the “Cardinal Secrets” in 2002.

Her work was widely viewed as having led to the establishment of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse. The Commission reported its findings in May of 2009.

Speaking to RTE radio Archbishop Martin said “Bringing the truth out is always a positive thing even though it may be a painful truth.

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Catholics4Change Mission and Site Reminders

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

January 13, 2012 by Susan Matthews

As things heat up in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, Kathy and I wanted to remind readers of our mission and comments guidelines.

Catholics4Change.com was created to serve as a forum for Catholics who would like to respectfully share their concerns and questions regarding Church accountability to laity on a variety of issues relating to the protection of children. Catholics4Change strives to create a system of meaningful communication and solutions between each other and Church leadership. Catholics4Change will offer related news, links and commentary from a variety of perspectives.

Catholics4Change.com reserves the right to withhold from publication comments deemed to be spam or unrelated. Comments that include personal attacks on other people taking part in comments at Catholics4Change.com may also be withheld from publication. Repetitive or rant-like comments may also be removed as they don’t promote meaningful communication.

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Reporter gave ‘voice to voiceless’

IRELAND
Irish Independent

[Gallery of photos]

By Colm Kelpie

Friday January 13 2012

THE partner of pioneering broadcaster Mary Raftery has claimed that she faced opposition from RTE when making her landmark documentary ‘States of Fear’.

David Waddell told mourners at the journalist’s funeral yesterday that the health of his partner and that of her colleague, researcher Sheila Ahern, were affected by the lack of support for the 1999 programme.

Family, friends and colleagues of Ms Raftery packed the 17th-century Great Hall in the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham for a poignant service peppered with humour and emotion.

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Priests out of Ministry

IRELAND
Association of Catholic Priests

A small number of us priests who are out of ministry because of boundary issues realise that we can get through the sense of isolation and exclusion by being companions to each other.

This group is well on the way to organising a viable support group. They are in a fruitful dialogue with the Irish Episcopal Conference and CORI. They are in the process of establishing and Advisory Board.

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January 13 public hearing on child welfare legislation

WASHINGTON (DC)
Susie’s Budget and Policy Corner

The Committee on Human Services (Ward 1 CM Jim Graham, chair) is holding a public hearing on B19-466, “Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Amendment Act of 2011” January 13 at 11:00 am. The legislation would make the following changes to current law:
Not require the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) to make reasonable efforts to reunify or preserve the family if a parent has committed certain crimes against a child or if the parent must register with a sex offender registry;

Require health care professionals to notify the CFSA when a child under 12 months of age is diagnosed with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD); and

Expand and clarify the definition of neglect to include an infant that has been diagnosed with FASD. (Language taken from DC Council website.)

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Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Filed Against Diocese of KC-St. Joe

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Fox 4

January 12, 2012, by Kathy Quinn

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A former employee of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph claims he was the victim of sexual harassment and that the diocese knew, but did nothing about it.

Larry Probst started working as an assistant to the archivist at the chancery around 1999. Father Charles Michael Coleman served as the archivist for the diocese and was Probst’s supervisor. During that time, Probst said he was the victim of sexual harassment, consisting of unwanted sexual advances and gestures from a co-worker. Probst said after he complained, his colleagues ostracized and eventually terminated him in July 2011.

Probst filed a lawsuit, claiming the diocese failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent sexual harassment. Probst said he believes the real reason behind his termination is based on retaliation and his gender. The suit claims the diocese hired a woman with less experience to do Probst’s job. He’s asking for damages for mental and emotional pain.

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More Bad News for Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph: A Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Lucas, Green and Magazine

Posted on January 12, 2012 by James Magazine

It’s not surprising that in a Diocese rife with sexual abuse allegations another type of sexual abuse case surfaces. This time a former employee of the Diocese has filed a civil lawsuit against the Diocese for sexual harassment.

A whistleblower named Larry Probst has filed a new lawsuit that alleges more bad behavior on the part of diocesan administration officials. According to www.pitch.com, “Probst worked at the diocese as a part-time archivist at the Chancery office. He started in 1999 or 2000 on an intermittent basis and then “on a more regular, permanent, part-time basis” in 2007. His lawsuit says the “unwanted and unwelcome sexual harassment from his supervisory priests” and from a co-worker started in spring 2010 and continued until June 30, 2011, when he was fired for what he claims was retaliation for complaining about the unwanted advances.

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Bishop Files Charges Against Former El Paso Priest

TEXAS
KTSM

By Sandra Ramirez – Producer

Friday, January 13, 2012

EL PASO – A local priest is facing major accusations.

Bishop Armando Ochoa accused Former San Juan Bautista Administrator, Father Michael Eodriguez of mishandling donated church money.

In a wrtiten statement, Bishop Ochoa said. “Fr. Rodriguez and those acting in concert with him, had no right to appropriate for themselves funds donated to the parish.”

Father Rodriguez responded saying, “I have always honored, respected, and made good use of the financial patrimony of San Juan Bautista.”

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New sex charges laid against priest

CANADA
CBC News

The OPP and LaSalle Police have laid 18 more charges against a former Catholic priest.

The new charges against Father Linus Bastien of Chatham date back to the 1970s and 1980s, when he was serving at Churches in LaSalle and Lakeshore.

The seven latest complainants were children when the alleged assaults took place.

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Reassigned West Texas priest sued over church finances, denies wrongful handling of funds

TEXAS
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: January 13, 2012

EL PASO, Texas — A West Texas priest has been sued over his handling of parish finances in which some donation checks allegedly were made out to him, not the church.

Leaders of the Roman Catholic Diocese of El Paso have sued the Rev. Michael Rodriguez and his brother, David Rodriguez.

Rev. Rodriguez on Thursday denied wrongdoing. No criminal charges have been filed.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday by Bishop Armando Ochoa and Monsignor Arturo Banuelas, seeks an accounting and return of funds allegedly meant for San Juan Bautista Church.

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Don Seppia testimone contro l’amico

ITALIA
Il Secolo XIX

Genova – Dopo aver condiviso i segreti più inconfessabili, si ritroveranno in aula, uno contro l’altro. Don Riccardo Seppia, 51 anni, ex parroco di Sestri travolto dallo scandalo su minori e cocaina, testimonierà contro il suo sodale Emanuele Alfano, 24 anni, accusato di prostituzione minorile e detenzione di materiale pedopornografico. Lo ha deciso il giudice Nicoletta Cardino, nel corso della prima udienza del processo all’ex seminarista, che seguirà una strada parallela a quello in cui Seppia è imputato.

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New nominations at the ‘bishop-making factory’

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The Apostolic Nuncio Baldisseri has been appointed secretary of the Congregation for Bishops. Crucial times lie ahead for the nomination of the new Patriarch of Venice.

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City

The new number two man in ‘bishop-making factory’, the Congregation for Bishops (the department that works together with the Pope to establish the new Catholic ruling class and that takes care of the nomination of new bishops for the Latin Church excluding mission territories), arrives from Brazil. The nomination of the new secretary of the Congregation for Bishops led by Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet has been announced. The nomination comes after the previous secretary, Manuel Monteiro de Castro from Portugal, was promoted to Grand Penitentiary on 5 January with his name featuring in the list of new Cardinals a few hours later. This time, the man chosen for the post of secretary, is the Apostolic Nuncio in Brazil, Lorenzo Baldisseri.

Baldisseri,71 years old, was born in Pisa on the 29 September 1940. A priest since 1963, he began working for the diplomatic service of the Holy See and became Apostolic Nuncio in 1992 when Pope John Paul II sent him to Haiti as his representative. There, Baldisseri directly witnessed the civil war. He was then moved to Paraguay in 1995, four years later he was appointed Nuncio in India and finally in 2002, almost ten years ago, he became the representative of the Holy See in the largest country of South America, Brazil.

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Catholic official wants Pa. high court to weigh in

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Washington Examiner

By:The Associated Press | 01/13/12

A high-ranking member of Philadelphia’s Catholic clergy wants the state Supreme Court to review the child endangerment charges filed against him following a grand jury investigation into alleged sex abuse by priests.

Attorneys for Monsignor William Lynn filed a motion Thursday asking for the review, claiming prosecutors misapplied the law in bringing charges against him.

Prosecutors say Lynn transferred predator priests to new parishes without warning while the archdiocese’s secretary of clergy.

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The Ministerial Exception

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

Editorial

Published: January 12, 2012

In the case of Cheryl Perich, a teacher fired by a church-run school, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom bars her from suing the church under federal workplace discrimination law.

Ms. Perich had gotten sick and missed a term of teaching. When the school asked her to resign, she refused and threatened to sue. The school fired her, saying church policy required that it resolve the dispute internally. She sued for retaliation.

For the first time, the court found that a “ministerial exception” to employment discrimination laws applied to her as a church employee, who had “a role in conveying the church’s message and carrying out its mission.” In his opinion for the unanimous court, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. seems to minimize the scope of the ruling by avoiding “a rigid formula for deciding when an employee qualifies as a minister” and by not saying how the exception would apply in other circumstances.

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Pa. high court is asked to review charges against monsignor

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

January 12, 2012|By John P. Martin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Attorneys for the Philadelphia monsignor accused of enabling priests to molest altar boys asked Thursday that the state’s highest court review the charges, an unusual legal maneuver that could scuttle or delay the trial.

In their motion, the attorneys for Msgr. William J. Lynn urged the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to step in before Lynn and the other priests begin their trial in March.

The lawyers contend that prosecutors misapplied the law when they charged Lynn with endangering children. They also say the outcome of his case will be far-reaching, because Lynn, 61, was the first church official nationwide to be charged with covering up clergy sex abuse.

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Vangheluwe betaalt extra voor slachtoffers misbruik

BELGIE
De Morgen

De gewezen Brugse bisschop Roger Vangheluwe gaat op vraag van de Belgische bisschoppen een extra financiële inspanning leveren voor slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik. Vangheluwe zal dus niet alleen betalen voor de slachtoffers die hij zelf maakte.

“Afgezien van de feiten waarbij hij zelf betrokken is, hebben we hem gevraagd om ook bij te dragen aan het fonds dat wordt opgericht om slachtoffers van verjaarde feiten na arbitragerechtspraak te vergoeden”, vertelt de Antwerpse referent-bisschop Johan Bonny.

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Belgische misbruik-bisschop gaat slachtoffers betalen

BELGIE
Kerknieuws

VR 13 jan 2012 | 10.07
De Belgische oud-bisschop Roger Vangheluwe gaat niet alleen een schadevergoeding betalen aan de slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik die hij zelf maakte, hij zal ook een bijdrage leveren aan het speciale fonds waarmee slachtoffers van verjaarde zaken worden betaald.

Dat melden de Belgische media. Vangheluwe doet dat op verzoek van de Belgische bisschoppen. “Afgezien van de feiten waarbij hij zelf betrokken is, hebben we hem gevraagd om ook bij te dragen aan het fonds dat wordt opgericht om slachtoffers van verjaarde feiten na arbitragerechtspraak te vergoeden”, aldus de Antwerpse bisschop Johan Bonny. “We willen als bisschoppenconferentie een duidelijk signaal geven dat we de schadevergoedingen heel ernstig nemen.”

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‘Misbruikpriesters gaan zeker betalen’

BELGIE
Katholiek Nieuws

De Belgische Kerk gaat van priesters die schuldig zijn aan misbruik eisen dat zij schadevergoedingen betalen aan de slachtoffers.

De Belgische bisschoppen moedigen slachtoffers aan om naar civiele rechtbanken te stappen. Als de rechtbank een zaak door verjaring niet meer in behandeling kan nemen, zal de Kerk na arbitragerechtspraak zelf straffen opleggen. Een daarvan is dat zij van de dader zal eisen dat hij een schadevergoeding betaalt.

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The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue pays himself $408,000 per year

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

January 12, 2012

Paul Kendrick

COMMENTARY

The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue pays himself $408,000 per year to manage a small budget nonprofit group.

Should the Catholic League lose its tax-exempt status?

Will Bill Donohue make public his detailed expense reports?

Although Bill Donohue’s Catholic League is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Donohue pays himself a salary and benefits of $408,000 per year.

Wouldn’t you think a Catholic Christian like Bill Donohue would have as his first priority the raising of funds to help establish programs and services to enable the poor and needy? Donohue’s group has $28 million in the bank, but there’s no record of him helping anyone other than himself to the Catholic League’s cookie jar (and his top aide who receives salary and benefits of $206,000 per year).

By the way, Donohue’s exorbitant salary is “explained” on the Catholic League’s 2010 tax return. “A compensation committee exists within the Board of Directors. This committee compares the salaries of other top management officials at other nonprofit organizations. This information is obtained by reviewing the Form 990 for other comparable organizations, which can be obtained from Guidestar.org.”

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Kerk wil misbruik aanpakken

BELGIE
Nieuws

De Belgische Kerk pakt uit met een globale aanpak om seksueel misbruik te voorkomen, anderhalf jaar na de bekentenis van Roger Vangheluwe, de ex-bisschop van Brugge. Er komt een nieuwe commissie waar slachtoffers terecht kunnen met hun vragen.

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Rooms-Katholieke Kerk België wil daders misbruik aanpakken

BELGIE
Reformatorisch Dagblad

BRUSSEL (ANP) – De Rooms-Katholieke Kerk in België wil daders van seksueel misbruik in de kerk verwijderen uit hun gezagspositie. Zij moeten ook als eersten bijdragen aan de financiële tegemoetkomingen voor slachtoffers.

Dat stellen de Belgische bisschoppen in een beleidsdocument over de aanpak van seksueel misbruik, dat donderdag in Brussel werd gepresenteerd. Daders moeten, waar het nog kan, worden berecht, aldus de bisschoppen.

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IPB positief over beleidstekst bisschoppen

BELGIE
RKnieuws

ANTWERPEN (RKnieuws.net) – Het Interdiocesaan Pastoraal Beraad (IPB) is positief over de vandaag voorgestelde beleidstekst van de bisschoppen en de hogere oversten rond de aanpak van de problematiek van seksueel misbruik.

IPB-voorzitter Josian Caproens noemt ‘Verborgen verdriet – Naar een globale aanpak van seksueel misbruik in de katholieke Kerk’, zoals de in brochurevorm gegoten beleidstekst is getiteld, een waardevol en evenwichtig document. De bisschoppen en hogere oversten van België zijn er in geslaagd om in een serene maar duidelijke taal de stilte rond seksueel misbruik te doorbreken. Met hun document geven ze effectief blijk van aanspreekbaarheid en daadkracht, tekenen van een nieuw beleid voor een kerk van vandaag en morgen.

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Belgische bisschoppen presenteren nieuw beleid tegen seksueel misbruik

BELGIE
Vandaag

Flemish

French

De bisschoppen hebben hun beleid voorgesteld rond seksueel misbruik. “We willen ons laten adviseren en onszelf laten superviseren”, zei de Antwerpse bisschop Johan Bonny.

Bonny presenteerde gisteren samen met de Doornikse bisschop Guy Harpigny de brochure ‘Verborgen verdriet, naar een globale aanpak van seksueel misbruik in de Kerk’. De brochure geeft vijf krachtlijnen. Zo zal de Kerk resoluut de kant van de slachtoffers kiezen, de stilte van slachtoffers proberen te doorbreken en meewerken aan erkenning en herstel in al zijn vormen (ook financieel). De daders (‘die veel te lang ongemoeid bleven’) moeten geconfronteerd worden met het leed dat ze hebben aangericht, waar het kan worden berecht en als eerste bijdragen in de financiële tegemoetkoming.

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Updated: Lou Bondi presented as witness in priests’ sexual abuse case appeal

MALTA
Times of Malta

The defence lawyer of two priests found guilty of sexually abusing boys in their care wants new witnesses to be heard during the appeals, including TV presenter Lou Bondi, who was the victims’ spokesman for a number of years.

Last year, Carmelo Pulis and Godwin Scerri were jailed for six and five years, respectively after they were found guilty of abusing the boys. The priests were later defrocked.

Both the priests and the Attorney General appealed the judgement, handed down by Magistrate Saviour Demicoli.

This morning, defence lawyer Giannella de Marco said she wanted the court to hear new witnesses as there was new evidence which had to be presented.

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UPDATED: adds Lou Bondi comments; Defence lawyer wants Lou Bondi as witness in appeal of St. Joseph Home priests

MALTA
DI-VE

During the appeal of the two priests who were jailed after being convicted of sexually abusing boys at the St Joseph Home in Santa Venera, the defence lawyer asked for new witnesses including the T.V. presenter Lou Bondi.

The T.V. presenter was the victim’s spokesman.

In a statement, Lou Bondi said that he has no difficulty to confirm under oath what he had written on his blog.

“The statements made by Lawrence Grech about me at the time were untrue. At the same time, this has no bearing on my views on whether the sexual abuse had taken place. I never had and still do not have doubt that it did, as confirmed already by the court,” Mr Bondi added.

Last year, Fr Charles Pulis was jailed for 6 years while Fr Godwin Scerri was jailed for 5 years by Magistrate Saviour Demicoli, who also ruled that the case should no longer remain behind closed doors. The defence had asked for the case to be heard behind closed doors, prompting the victims to declare that this helped it ask certain questions without public scrutiny.

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Abuse Gattis suffered argues for clemency

DELAWARE
The News Journal

Written by
SISTER MAUREEN PAUL TURLISH

Delaware is scheduled to execute Robert Gattis on Jan. 20. Mr. Gattis admitted he killed Shirley Slay in May of 1990. He has petitioned for clemency in part because of the repeated sexual abuse he suffered as a child, beginning as early as age 3.

Experts have called the abuse “catastrophic” and found that it caused profound psychological damage that was directly linked to Mr. Gattis’ impaired thinking and behavior on the day of the tragic killing.

Questions have arisen about the truthfulness of Mr. Gattis’ sexual abuse claim because he did not report the abuse sooner. I write to answer those questions.

As a member of the Voice of the Faithful and a founding member of the National Survivor Advocates Coalition, organizations dedicated to supporting individuals who were sexually abused as children, I know what experts in the field have all acknowledged: Sexual abuse survivors, particularly men, are extremely reluctant to disclose their abuse.

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Is Pope Benedict XVI a Charlatan or a Hypocrite?

UNITED STATES
Modern Ghana

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D

In the Los Angeles diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, the New Year rang in with a sweet and fundamental truth which the Vatican has been trying to ignore for decades, and perhaps even for centuries. And that fundamental truth is that, by and large, human beings are sexual organisms whose religious fervor and/or devotion cannot be regulated by the faux-godly law of celibacy.

In the Los Angeles case, an auxiliary bishop, Mr. Gabino Zavala, of Mexican-Hispanic descent, reportedly confessed to having fathered two teenage children and tendered his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI, who promptly accepted the same (See “U.S. Catholic Bishop With Secret Family, Gabino Zavala, Quits” BBC-World News 1/4/12).

What makes the preceding case peculiarly fascinating is the fact that at about the same time that Bishop Zavala’s resignation was accepted by the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI also announced the appointment of a married Anglican priest, newly converted to Catholicism, as head of the office in charge of American Anglicans, or Episcopalians, who decided to join the Holy See as converts. The apparent hypocrisy here, of course, inheres in the fact that in deciding to father his children, Bishop Zavala, according to Roman Catholic law, stood unpardonably guilty of spiritual contamination for willfully breaching his oath of celibacy.

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Why the Supreme Court’s New Religion Decision Is So Awful

UNITED STATES
Jezebel

Anna North

Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided that a religious institution can fire a minister at will, regardless of federal employment laws. And religious groups may get to choose who they consider to be “ministers.” Here’s why that’s a terrible idea.

According to the Times, Hosanna-Tabor Church v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission involved a teacher named Cheryl Perich, who said she was discriminated against at her Lutheran school due to her narcolepsy. The school ultimately fired her when she pursued a lawsuit against them, saying that was a violation of church doctrine. Now the Supreme Court has decided that though Perich’s religious teaching “consumed only 45 minutes of each workday,” with the rest devoted to secular education, she could be consider a “minister,” whom the school had the right under the First Amendment to fire as it saw fit. In his opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that requiring the school to rehire Perich “would have plainly violated the church’s freedom,” and that awarding her damages “would operate as a penalty on the church for terminating an unwanted minister.” It’s unclear exactly who counts a minister, but that could be interpreted extremely broadly — according to the Times, “Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the courts should get out of the business of trying to decide who qualifies for the ministerial exception, leaving the determination to religious groups.”

So basically, this decision could mean that a religious group could designate any employee as a minister, and thus circumvent all discrimination and other employment laws with respect to that employee.

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Sex abuse victim files lawsuit against former coach

WILMINGTON (NC)
Star News

By F.T. Norton
Fran.Norton@StarNewsOnline.com

A former Wilmington youth basketball coach who was sentenced to short prison terms in both North Carolina and New York for sexually abusing an autistic female player in 2008 is being sued by the victim.

Court documents filed in August indicate that defendants Freddie Lamont Wilson, the now-defunct Southeastern North Carolina Youth Basketball Association he founded and Grace Harbor Church have until Jan. 30 to answer a complaint seeking a jury trial filed on behalf of the now-19-year-old victim.

Her name is being withheld because the StarNews does not name victims of sex crimes.

The complaint, which asks for damages in excess of $5 million for inflicting severe and permanent traumatic, mental, psychological and emotional injuries, alleges negligence on behalf of the basketball group and Grace Harbor Church for which the group was an outreach ministry.

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Monk Who Was Headmaster at Elite NJ Prep School Accused of Sexual Misconduct

NEW JERSEY/VIRGINIA
NBC New York

By Dena Potter

Thursday, Jan 12, 2012

A Benedictine monk who headed a Virginia abbey was removed from his position over allegations of sexual misconduct while he was assigned to a prestigious New Jersey preparatory school.

The Rev. Luke Travers was replaced Wednesday after a letter was sent to church officials outlining sexual misconduct claims by two male former students at New Jersey’s Delbarton School, an elite prep school attended by Gov. Chris Christie’s son. Travers was headmaster at Delbarton School from 1999 through 2007, and he taught at the school before and after that time.

One alleged victim claims that Travers grabbed his crotch and butt and asked him inappropriate questions about his girlfriend in the 1980s, when he was about 14. According to the letter, another claims that Travers “crossed boundaries which betrayed the inherent trust which is sacred to his position as a teacher and a priest” while he was a student at Delbarton around 1990. The man says that he returned to Delbarton after graduating, where Travers offered him alcohol and kissed his neck and ears. When the man said he protested the affection, he said Travers told him there was “nothing wrong with what he was doing because he loved me.”

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Archdiocese’s strategy might disqualify abuse victims

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Jan. 13, 2012

With just weeks to go before a Feb. 1 deadline in its bankruptcy, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is casting a wide net in search of clergy sex abuse victims who might seek to file claims, publishing ads in state and national newspapers and asking its parishes and schools to spread the word.

At the same time, victims advocates say, the archdiocese is embarking on a legal strategy that could result in the vast majority of the nearly 200 sex abuse claims filed to date being thrown out of court, leaving those victims ineligible for a financial settlement from the church – and perhaps changing the trajectory of the bankruptcy case.

That strategy will be tested Feb. 9, when U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley hears arguments on a motion, filed in No vember by the archdiocese under court seal, objecting to three victims’ claims for compensation.

Lawyers for victims and a church official declined to identify the cases or the legal reasoning behind the move, citing the court seal.

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Two men allege abuse at former St. Teresa of Avila School in 1970s

ALBANY (NY)
Albany Times Union

By BRENDAN J. LYONS, Senior writer

Published 08:41 p.m., Thursday, January 12, 2012

ALBANY — Two men who attended a former Catholic elementary school in Albany allege they were sexually abused there by a longtime school custodian when they were 12 and 13 years old.

The accusations, which were not made public by the diocese, were first leveled last year against Eugene Hubert Jr., who worked as a janitor at the former St. Teresa of Avila school on New Scotland Avenue in the 1970s, when the alleged abuse took place.

Hubert died in 1997 at the age of 54. His last known residence was in Warrensburg, Warren County. The allegations are under investigation by the Albany County District Attorney’s Office. The Albany Roman Catholic Diocese said it also has launched an internal investigation.

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German priest admits 280 counts of sexual abuse

GERMANY
BBC News

A German Catholic priest has admitted 280 counts of sexual abuse involving three boys in the past decade, saying he did not think he was doing harm.

Named only as Andreas L, the priest told a court in Braunschweig that he had first abused the nine-year-old son of a widowed woman parishioner.

After being banned by his diocese from making further contact with the boy, he abused two brothers, aged nine and 13.

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January 12, 2012

Large attendance at Raftery funeral

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

A large attendance at journalist and broadcaster Mary Raftery’s funeral this morning included many abuse victims as well as representatives from the worlds of politics, media and the arts.

A humanist ceremony, it took place at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin and was conducted by Brian Whiteside. “Mary”, he said, “very much identified with the humanist world view, based on a concern for humanity in general and the individual in particular.”

The ceremony was prepared by Mary Raftery herself before her death last Tuesday. …

Abuse victims present included John Kelly of Soca Ireland, Carmel McDonnell-Byrne of the Aislinn Centre, Michael O’Brien of the Right to Peace group, Colm O’Gorman, founder of the One in Four Group, Mannix Flynn, Paddy Doyle, Marie Collins, musician Don Baker, Andrew Madden, and Darren McGavin whose evidence led to former priest Tony Walsh being jailed for 16 years in December 2010.

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Journalist Mary Raftery’s funeral takes place

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The funeral of journalist Mary Raftery has taken place in Dublin.

The 54-year-old who was behind documentaries such as ‘States of Fear’ and the ‘Prime Time Investigates: Cardinal Secrets’, passed away on Monday.

A large crowd attended the humanist service at the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, including representatives for President Higgins and the Taoiseach and a number of abuse survivors.

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Mary Raftery, 54, Dies; Irish Journalist Documented Child Abuse

IRELAND
New York Times

By BRUCE WEBER

Published: January 12, 2012

Mary Raftery, a journalist whose television documentaries exposed decades of abuse of needy children in state-sponsored, church-run schools in Ireland, prompting an apology by the prime minister and a government investigation, died on Tuesday in Dublin. She was 54.

The cause was cancer, her niece Isolde Raftery said.

Ms. Raftery uncovered the child abuse as a producer for Ireland’s national broadcasting service, RTE, and brought it to national attention in “States of Fear,” a three-part documentary series broadcast in April and May 1999. In examining the state child-care system in Ireland, the series brought to light a Dickensian network of reformatories and residential schools for poor, neglected and abandoned children known as industrial schools.

The schools, which were financed and supervised by the government and managed largely by religious orders, mainly Roman Catholic, served about 30,000 children from the 1930s to the 1990s, according to a government report in 2009.

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Irish journalist whose documentary uncovered sex abuse dies

IRELAND
National Catholic Reporter

Jan. 12, 2012
By Thomas P. Doyle

APPRECIATION

Mary Raftery, an Irish journalist whose documentary series States of Fear exposed abuse in Irish Catholic schools, died in Dublin on Monday. She was 54.

Mary was a journalist by profession, but by vocation, she was a deeply honest and compassionate woman who fearlessly challenged the Irish Catholic Church, and in doing so, made the present and the future a safer place for children.

Mary may not be as well-known in the United States as she is in her native Ireland, yet her life has made a profound difference for victims of clergy abuse everywhere. She did more than any one person to force the systemic vicious abuse in the Irish industrial schools into the open. She continued with her passion to help victims with her documentary Cardinal Secrets, an expose of the cover-up of sexual abuse in the archdiocese of Dublin.

In 1999, Mary produced States of Fear. The ground-breaking documentary series revealed the almost-unbelievable and certainly horrifying degree of physical and sexual abuse in Irish industrial schools run by religious orders. The revelations chilled Ireland to the bone and resulted in what came to be known as the Ryan Commission to investigate the abuse.

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German priest admits to 280 instances of child sex abuse

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

Germany’s Catholic Church has been hit by another case of clerical sexual abuse, with a priest admitting to abusing three boys between the ages of 9 and 15 some 280 times since 2004.

A Catholic priest admitted to a German court on Thursday that he sexually abused three boys over several years, amounting to a total of 280 cases.

The priest, identified as 46-year-old Andreas L. from the city of Salzgitter in Lower Saxony, confessed to charges of sexually abusing the boys, who ranged from nine to 15 years old. The abuse began in 2004, he said.

Instances of abuse occurred at a parsonage, on ski vacations, at the parents’ home, on a trip to Disneyland in Paris and at a church shortly before Mass.

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Virginia Catholic cleric suspended; SNAP responds

VIRGINIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Becky Plumly Ianni on January 12, 2012

A Virginia Catholic cleric has been suspended because of allegations of sexual misconduct in New Jersey.

We’re sad that it takes a letter from an advocate to prompt the church hierarchy to act. When will Catholic officials act on abuse reports without having to be prodded by outsiders?

We hope anyone who saw, suspected or suffered misdeeds by this cleric or any cleric will get help, call police, protect others and start healing.

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Priest faces 18 more sexual assault charges – OPP

CANADA
The Windsor Star

Linus Bastien, a former Catholic priest in Essex region faces 18 additional charges of sexual assault, OPP said in a statement on Thursday.

Seven victims have come forward and, as a result, Bastien was arrested and charged with counts of indecent assault, sexual assault and sexual interference.

The charges relate to events that allegedly occurred in the 1970s and 1980s when Bastien was assigned to St. Paul’s Catholic Church in LaSalle and St. Joachim Parish in Lakeshore.

The 85-year-old man was already charged last fall with counts of indecent assault and gross indecency after two former altar boys from St. Mary’s Parish in Maidstone made complaints to police.

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Church officials go after abuse survivors, Call To Action responds

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

Call to Action
Media Contact: Nicole Sotelo, 773.404.0004 x285, Nicole@cta-usa.org

For Immediate Release

January 12, 2012

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the original Boston Globe series that began the revelations of widespread clergy abuse cover-up in the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, a decade after the bishops vowed things would change, church officials continue to ignore their own norms intended to protect children and battle against survivors seeking justice. In a recent twist, church officials in two dioceses have ignited a legal battle against survivors, requesting that confidential files of abuse survivors be released without their consent. Today, Call To Action issued this statement:

Call To Action stands in solidarity with SNAP, the Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests, in decrying the recent request by lawyers defending the Archdiocese of St. Louis and lawyers defending Fr. Michael Tierney of the Diocese of Kansas City to release SNAP documents dating back more than 23 years.
Rape crisis centers and other groups that support abuse survivors or other crime victims are typically protected by law from being forced to release such documents so that survivors feel secure coming forward to these organizations; confident their information will be kept private.

SNAP has been one of the only places for those affected by sexual abuse by religious officials to turn, be they witnesses, survivors or family members. We have deep concerns that should SNAP be forced to disclose their confidential files, those affected by sexual abuse in the Church will no longer feel safe in reaching out to SNAP or similar organizations when they desperately need that support. The recent request for documents sends a chilling message to survivors who may be considering coming forward and sends an alarming message to those who have come forward in the past that their privacy may be violated even though their personal experiences may have nothing to do with the case at hand.

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NYC Officials Fear Of Archbishop Dolan Impedes Justice For Church Abuse Victims

NEW YORK
The New Civil Rights Movement

by Scott Rose on January 12, 2012

In August, 2011, Father James (aka Jaime Duenas) of Nativity of Our Blessed Lady Catholic Church in the New York City borough of The Bronx, was arrested on allegations that he had repeatedly molested a 16-old girl working in the rectory.

Prosecutors say Duenas told them the girl was “wearing short skirts” and that she didn’t mind “the massage.”

Wouldn’t you think that given the Catholic Church’s notorious history with child sex abuse, orders would have come down from on high that in no circumstance whatsoever was any employee of the Church to blame a victim, or even an alleged victim?

Yet prosecutors say Duenas told them that the alleged victim “liked it” and that she was wearing “short skirts.”

A victim advocacy group attempted to educate the community about the realities of how sexual abusers operate. But many in the community circled wagons in defense of their priest, with an implied negative judgement about the complaining witness in the case, the 16-year-old girl.

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German priest admits to 280 instances of sex abuse

GERMANY
Reuters

BERLIN | Thu Jan 12, 2012

(Reuters) – A Catholic priest admitted in a German court on Thursday to sexually abusing three boys over eight years, including one he was preparing for his first communion and two brothers during trips that included Disneyland in Paris, German media reported.

The 46-year-old, named in court documents as Andreas L., admitted to charges of abusing the boys from 2004.

“The worst aspect is that he exploited their trust,” said Klaus Ziehe, lead court prosecutor in the central city of Braunschweig, in comments published by Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

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Catholic Church in Belgium wants priest sex abusers to pay victims

BELGIUM
The Journal (Ireland)

Flemish

French

BELGIUM’S CATHOLIC CHURCH announced today that priests and clergy who abused children will be required to pay damages, even when victims make their claims after the country’s statute of limitations has expired.

The church — in an overall response on how to deal with the abuse scandals that have enveloped it — urged victims to initially take their cases to civil authorities.

But it also said it was willing to impose penalties ranging from apologies to financial compensation, both for recent cases and for those so old they can no longer be brought to court. Over the past two years, more than 500 witnesses have come forward with accounts of molestation by Catholic clergy in Belgium, spanning several decades.

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