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.

February 7, 2012

Former pastor pleads to child sex abuse

MARYLAND
Washington Examiner

The former pastor of a Montgomery County church pleaded to charges that he sexually abused a young girl, prosecutors said.

Seventy-four-year-old Joe Ivey pleaded Tuesday to second-degree sex offense with a 10-year-old girl.

Frederick County prosecutors said Ivey, who resigned as senior pastor of the Barnesville Baptist Church after he arrest in September, had sexual contact with the girl from 2009 to December 2010. She was 10 and 11 years old at the time.

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.

Former priest and teacher charged in decades old indecent assault

CANADA
Global Saskatoon

David Giles, Global Saskatoon : Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A former Saskatoon priest and teacher has been charged after two separate incidents decades ago.

William Hodgson Marshall, 89, is facing two counts of indecent assault that are alleged to have occurred between January 1, 1959 and December 31, 1960.

The two victims, now 66, were 14-years-old at the time of the alleged assaults.

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.

Catholic priest, teacher faces sex charges dating back more than 50 years

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: The Canadian Press

Posted: 02/7/2012

SASKATOON – An 89-year-old Catholic priest and former teacher is facing sex-related charges dating back more than 50 years.

Police in Saskatoon say two separate encounters allegedly occurred in 1959 and 1960 and involved two 14-year-old teenagers.

The accused was a priest and teacher at the high school the teens attended.

William Hodgson Marshall is charged with two counts of indecent assault.

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.

Former Saskatoon priest, teacher faces more sexual assault charges

CANADA
The Star-Phoenix

William Hodgson Marshall, a former priest and teacher at an all-boys Catholic institution in downtown Saskatoon more than five decades ago, is facing multiple charges in connection with incidents involving teen boys in 1959 and 1960.

Marshall, 89, has been charged with two counts of indecent assault. He is curently in custody in Kingston, Ont., serving a sentence after being convicted last year of sexually assaulting 16 boys and one girl over a span of three decades while working in Ontario. The Ontario Crown is arranging for Marshall to make a court appearance in Ontario to face the charges.

In July 2011, Saskatoon police received two separate reports alleging assaults took place between Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1959 and Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1960. The alleged victims, now 66 years old, were 14 at the time. Marshall was a priest and teacher at St. Paul’s High School, located then in the 400 block of 22nd Street East.

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.

Former Walkerton clergyman facing multiple sex charges

CANADA
Walkerton Herald-Times

February 7, 2012
Lindsey Kuglin

A former Walkerton clergyman is facing a number of sex-related charges.

A priest at St. Thomas Anglican Church from 1976-1981, Rev. George Ferris’ is facing charges of sexual assault, gross indecency, and sexual exploitation for offences that allegedly took place between 1981-1989.

The alleged offences took place in Brant County, which is south of Kitchener.

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.

Cardinal Levada: “With cases of sexual abuse canonical response is not enough”

ROME
Rome Reports

[with video]

February 6, 2012. (Romereports.com) The pope has written to conference participants on how to deal with cases of sexual abuse and asked them to put first the needs of abuse victims.

It’s the key point of the conference “Towards Healing and Renewal”, organized by the Gregorian University in Rome, and actively supported by the Vatican.

The audience will include bishops from 110 episcopal conferences and more than 30 superiors of religious orders. The goal is to teach them how to help victims of abuse and explain what to do with priests and religious who commit these crimes.

Hans Zollner
President, Congress “Towards Healing and Renewal”
“You have all come to give a clear signal of the will and the duty of the Church to firmly change the way to behave when faced against evil, sin and the crime of sexual abuse within the Church and in society.”

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.

If you were a victim of sexual abuse by John Langworthy at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas

DALLAS (TX)
Watch Keep

Sgt. Byron Fassett in the Dallas police department child exploitation unit is ready to take your call if you were abused by John Langworthy during his time in Dallas while on staff at Prestonwood Baptist Church in the mid to late 1980s or if you have information about these crimes. Langworthy was fired in the summer of 1989 by Prestonwood for the known sexual abuse of several boys. The staff heard directly from victims but failed to report the abuse to the police as required by mandatory reporting laws enacted in TX in 1971. Please call Byron at 214-671-4200. I have spoken with Byron. If you need to leave him a message, please do. He will call you back.

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.

Prominent pastor sued for abuse; SNAP responds

DALLAS (TX)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 07, 2012

We applaud Cameron Greer for courageously reporting the abuse he says he suffered at the hands of his pastor. We are grateful he’s taking legal action to protect others and we are impressed by the courage he’s showing by discussing his experiences publicly. Abuse and cover up happen over and over again because many church members can’t summon the strength to speak out and because many church officials can’t summon the courage to disclosed crimes. Greer should be commended for acting responsibly to expose wrongdoing and safeguard others.

We hope Methodist officials – in Dallas and in Wichita (where Pastor Gordon also worked) will use their resources to seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered this clergyman’s’ crimes. We hope anyone with information or suspicions of misdeeds will contact law enforcement immediately. When victims, witnesses and whistleblowers speak up, there’s at least a chance for healing, justice and prevention. When they stay silent, however, nothing changes and kids remain at risk.

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 victims blast SD legislative panel

SOUTH DAKOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 07, 2012

Yesterday, SD lawmakers refused to support a bill that would have made kids safer from child sexual predators. Shame on them.

South Dakota remains the only state in the union to have gone backwards in terms of child safety in the last decade.

Besides jail, two things keep kids safe from child predators – publicly exposing predators and deterring others from concealing their crimes. There’s no better way to do this than by reforming archaic, arbitrary, predator-friendly laws like the statute of limitations.

Victims of these horrific crimes need time to understand, cope with and report these horrific crimes. They are often trapped in cycles of guilt, depression, substance abuse and other destructive behaviors. When they finally muster the courage to step forward, they find that the statute has run and the predator is free to prey

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.

Pope says renewal requires ‘Christ-like’ response to abuse

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

By David Kerr

Rome, Italy, Feb 7, 2012 / 11:40 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI called upon bishops to respond in a “Christ-like” manner to clerical abuse as part of a “profound renewal” of the Church.

His Feb. 6 comments marked the opening of an international symposium in Rome to discuss the issue. The Pope’s wishes were expressed in a communiqué from Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s Secretary of State.

“He (the Pope) asks the Lord that, through your deliberations, many bishops and religious superiors throughout the world may be helped to respond in a truly Christ-like manner to the tragedy of child abuse,” the statement said.

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-Las Vegas pastor due in court on child sex charges

NEVADA
Reno Gazette-Journal

LAS VEGAS — A former Las Vegas-area pastor who was nabbed in Mexico after he disappeared with child sex assault charges pending in Nevada is due to face a judge in Henderson.

Court records show that 55-year-old Otis Holland was scheduled for a felony appearance today in Henderson Justice Court.

The former United Faith Church pastor was arrested Jan. 25, in Tijuana, Mexico.

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.

Victim urges penalties for bishops who don’t tackle sex abuse

ROME
Reuters

By Catherine Hornby

ROME | Tue Feb 7, 2012

(Reuters) – An Irish victim of clerical abuse said Tuesday that Catholic Church guidelines on how to root out pedophile priests and protect children needed to be backed up by penalties for bishops who fail to implement them.

Speaking at a major conference in Rome on the sex abuse crisis, Marie Collins said rules without sanctions were too easily ignored and cases were often swept under the carpet, allowing pedophiles to carry on molesting children.

“I would hope that internally there could be some ecclesiastical penalty for a bishop who may not follow the guidelines,” the 65-year-old campaigner for abuse survivors told reporters during the conference.

“You obviously have civil law as well, but I am talking more on the church side.”

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.

Vatican abuse summit: Expert blasts denial on global dimension of crisis

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Rome

One of America’s leading experts on the Catholic abuse crisis effectively told church leaders from different parts of the world today that if they think sexual abuse is not a problem in their neighborhood, they’re kidding themselves.

“Church leaders around the world began by saying, ‘This is only an American problem’,” Monsignor Stephen Rossetti told a Vatican symposium this morning. “Then, as more cases surfaced in other countries, they said, ‘This is an English speaking problem.’ Then, as the circle of abuse cases widened, they expanded it to: ‘This is a Western problem.’ The boundaries were pushed back farther and farther.”

“Each time, church leaders said, in effect, ‘It doesn’t happen here’,” Rossetti said.

Rossetti, former director of the St. Luke’s Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland, which treats abuser priests, has written widely on the crisis. He said that in reality, all the available data, based on studies by secular experts, concur that child abuse occurs at the same high rates across the various continents.

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.

Victim of abuse addresses Vatican conference

ROME
Vatican Radio

[with audio]

The urgent need to change the culture within the Church to ensure zero tolerance of all sexual abuse: that was the starkly clear message that emerged from the Tuesday morning session of the conference on ‘Healing and Renewal’, going on behind closed doors at Rome’s Gregorian University. Bishops or their representatives from over a hundred countries are attending the four day meeting which also includes a penitential liturgy and the launch of a German based centre for child protection to provide resources for church leaders across the globe. Philippa Hitchen reports…

Sometimes shock tactics are needed to shake people out of denial, complacency or the refusal to confront a particularly painful problem. That’s what participants at this conference got on Tuesday as they heard a middle aged Irish victim of abuse describe in detail how her experience led to decades of despair, depression and deep loss of trust in the Church. As a 13 year old girl, Marie Collins was abused by a hospital chaplain, who was then protected by his archbishop and went on to abuse and rape other children over a period of 30 years. Though she was sickened by his actions, Marie says she herself felt guilty and was unable to tell anyone about what he was doing. The fact that he was a priest simply added to the confusion in her young mind: “those fingers that would abuse my body the night before were the next morning offering me the sacred host” she told the conference, adding that “my abusers’ assertion that he was and priest and could do no wrong rang true with me”.

Speaking alongside Marie at that morning session was psychiatry professor Sheila Hollins, who recently accompanied British cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor on his visitation to hear victims of sexual abuse in the Irish diocese of Armagh. She spoke of the devastating psychological damage suffered by victims who feel dirty, ashamed, unable to enjoy normal relationships and often go on to either abuse others or seek refuge in alcohol or drug abuse. Those mental health problems are simply made worse if their story is then not believed or played down, as many bishops in the past have done. Both women stressed the vital importance of listening to survivors stories and providing them with ongoing psychiatric and spiritual support

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Retired cardinal criticized for abuse comments

CONNECTICUT
The Associated Press

By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN, Associated Press

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Retired New York Cardinal Edward Egan is facing criticism from representatives of clergy sexual abuse victims for a recent interview in which he said he regretted apologizing for the priest abuse scandal in 2002 when he was bishop of Bridgeport.

In the interview with Connecticut Magazine, Egan says “I don’t think we did anything wrong” in handling abuse cases. He says he was not obligated to report abuse claims and maintained he inherited the cases from his predecessor and did not have any cases on his watch.

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.

Vatican abuse summit: Demand for accountability ‘legitimate’

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Rome

Bishop Daniel Conlon of Joliet, Illinois, is the chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People. He’s attending the four-day “Towards Healing and Renewal” symposium as the official delegate of the U.S. bishops, and this morning he sat down with an exclusive interview with NCR.

The following is a transcript of the interview.

* * *
This morning you heard an Irish victim, Marie Collins, describe how her experiences of not being taken seriously led to what she called a “final death of respect” for church authorities. Can you understand that reaction?

Oh, I can certainly understand that reaction. I’ve not been a victim, so I can’t place myself in her position, but anybody who has been hurt and then not listened to is going to experience further hurt.

Are you confident that someone who comes forward today will be received differently?

I would certainly hope that their experience today would be fundamentally different. Sometimes, though, the level of pain and anger is such that it creates a wall that makes dialogue difficult. That’s nobody’s fault, it’s just a reality. Those of us who are charged with listening to and respecting victims have to find a way to get around that wall. It’s a pastoral obligation.

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.

Chaminade Grads Allege Sexual Abuse; SNAP Plans News Conference

MISSOURI
Fox 2

Vera Culley
Web Producer

8:29 a.m. CST, February 7, 2012
CENTRAL WEST END (KTVI – FOX2now.com)—
A news conference is planned for Tuesday morning after several Chaminade graduates claim they were verbally and sexually abused at the College prep school. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, is holding the news conference at 11 a.m. in the Central West End.

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.

Kenya: Taming Growing Excesses of the Church in the 21st Century

KENYA
allAfrica

Daily Nation

By Muthende Nduucu, 7 February 2012

Opinion

For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, and people should seek the law from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. But you have departed from the way, you have caused many to tumble at the law; you have corrupted the covenant of the law.

The words above were spoken thousands of years back by prophet Malachi in the last book of the Old Testament, lamenting about priests’ behaviour towards the law. Now, as then, Malachi’s words ring true if recent controversies around the Church are anything to go by.

For instance, a case is headed to the International Criminal Court in the Hague seeking to “take action and prosecute the Pope for direct and superior responsibility for the crimes against humanity of rape and other sexual violence committed around the world.”

A group calling itself The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), which is headed by lawyer Pam Spees, says the Pope and three high-ranking Vatican officials, all Cardinals, are “responsible for rape and other sexual violence, and for the physical torture of victims around the world both through command responsibility and direct cover-up of crimes”.

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.

Pedofilia, Rete l’Abuso chiede il processo canonico per quattro vescovi savonesi

ITALIA
IVG

Savona. Dopo la notizia dell’accordo per chiudere con un patteggiamento (ad un anno di reclusione) la vicenda giudiziaria che vede coinvolto il sacerdote Don Nello Giraudo per l’accusa di pedofilia, la Rete L’Abuso chiede la sospensione della nomina a Cardinale per Domenico Calcagno e il Processo Canonico per i 4 Vescovi savonesi.

I fatti per i quali, se ci sarà anche il via libera del gip del tribunale di Savona, il prete savonese dovrebbe patteggiare risalgono al 2005 quando avrebbe molestato un giovane scout. Un episodio, che a differenza degli altri (risalenti a decine di anni fa) per i quali Don Nello è stato denunciato, non è andato in prescrizione.

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Bishops told pedophiles lie, victims must be heard

ROME
The Associated Press

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press

ROME (AP) — Psychologists told bishops from around the world Tuesday that priests who rape and molest children usually lie when confronted with an accusation, and that the church should listen to victims since they usually tell the truth and need to be believed in order to heal.

The messages were delivered at a Vatican-backed symposium on clerical sex abuse that is aimed at compelling bishops to create tough policies to protect children and root out pedophiles from the priesthood.

Survivors of clerical abuse have long said that when they summoned the courage to denounce their abuser to church leaders, bishops often dismissed their accusation and instead accepted the word of their priests, whom bishops consider their brothers and sons in the priesthood.

That pattern led to decades in which bishops shuffled pedophiles from parish to parish, while victims were left to feel like they were to blame for the abuse.

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.

Two former Chaminade students say they were abused by Louis Mainhardt and John Woulfe

MISSOURI
KSDK

[with video]

Written by
Brandie Piper

St. Louis County (KSDK) – There are allegations of sexual abuse surrounding two former teachers of Chaminade College Preparatory in St. Louis County.

A graduate of the Marianist-sponsored school came forward a few months ago.

He claims he was sexually abused by Brother Louis Mainhardt and Brother John Woulfe in the 1970s. Both brothers have passed away.

More than 16,000 letters went out last month to Chaminade alums asking any more victims to come forward.

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: Coventry priest found guilty of sex abuse against boys facing long jail

UNITED KINGDOM
Coventry Telegraph

A ROMAN Catholic priest who used his “revered” status to wage an 18-year campaign of abuse against vulnerable boys is facing a lengthy jail term after being convicted of 21 sexual offences.

Alexander Bede Walsh, who targeted eight victims in Coventry, Staffordshire and Warwickshire between 1975 and 1993, was found guilty of two serious sexual offences and 19 counts of indecent assault by a jury at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

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‘Long sentence’ for abuse priest Alexander Bede Walsh

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A former Roman Catholic priest from Staffordshire has been warned he faces a long prison sentence after being convicted of 21 counts of child abuse.

Alexander Bede Walsh, of Church Lane, Abbots Bromley, carried out the abuse while working at children’s homes and churches between the 1970s and 1990s.

Walsh was convicted two serious sexual offences and 19 counts of indecent assault at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

Sentencing was adjourned but Walsh, 58, was warned to expect a long sentence.

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.

Victim Michael Clifford ‘pities’ sex abuse priest Bede Walsh

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The first victim of a former Roman Catholic priest convicted of sexually abusing boys over 20 years says he pities him and hopes he gets help.

Alexander Bede Walsh, 58, abused eight youngsters in Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Coventry from 1975 to 1994. He denied 27 offences.

Michael Clifford, from Birmingham, said he was abused by Walsh as a young boy on one occasion in the mid-70s at the Catholic-run Father Hudson’s home in Coleshill, Warwickshire.

He has waived his anonymity to talk about his encounter with Walsh, which took place in a toilet and washroom area.

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.

Marie Collins details abuse at Rome symposium

ROME
RTE News

Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins has addressed a symposium in Rome on the crisis over clerical sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

Speaking to over 100 bishops and 40 religious superiors, Mrs Collins spoke in graphic terms of the abuse she suffered as a 13-year-old in a hospital at the hands of a paedophile priest, and the subsequent cover up.

She was the opening speaker at a four-day symposium on child sexual abuse in the church, which has been seen as the most robust response by the Vatican to date on getting to grips with the crisis which has swept the church.

Alongside leading psychologist Baroness Sheila Hollins, Mrs Collins spoke in detail about the abuse and the frustrations, depression and despair she suffered in later life both as a result of the original trauma and the refusal by the Irish hierarchy to take her complaints seriously.

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.

Vatican summit sees abuse victim speak out

VATICAN CITY
The Province (Canada)

VATICAN CITY – Shunned by the Catholic Church for decades after being violated by a priest when she was just 13 years old, Irish victim Marie Collins described her traumatic experience at a Vatican summit.

“I had just turned 13 and was at my most vulnerable, a sick child in hospital, when a priest sexually assaulted me,” Collins said on Tuesday.

She had just been confirmed a Catholic when the young priest – a couple of years out of the seminary but “already a skilled child molester” – began visiting her in the evenings while she lay in a hospital bed in Dublin.

“When he began to sexually interfere with me, pretending at first, he was being playful, I was shocked and resisted, telling him to stop. He did not stop,” she said in front of the conference of bishops and cardinals.

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.

More Chaminade grads allege sexual abuse

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

BY MARLON A. WALKER • mwalker@post-dispatch.com > 314-340-8104

Several Chaminade College Preparatory graduates have come forward alleging that they were subjected to verbal and sexual abuse by two Marianists more than three decades ago, a leader of the Marianists said Monday.

The Rev. Martin Solma, provincial for the U.S. Marianists, said a male graduate came forward several months ago saying he had been sexually abused by the Revs. Louis Meinhardt and John Woulfe while at the school in the 1970s.

Meinhardt, who worked at the school from 1958 to 1982, died in 1990. Woulfe left the order in 1977 after nine years at the school. He died in 2005.

At the victim’s request, letters were mailed to 1,600 former students who had graduated while the men worked at the school.

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.

Graduates of St. Louis County prep school allege abuse from 2 ex-teachers decades ago

MISSOURI
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: February 07, 2012

ST. LOUIS — Several graduates of a St. Louis County college prep school are alleging they were abused by two teachers decades ago.

The students say they suffered verbal and sexual abuse in the 1970s at Chaminade College Preparatory School, which is sponsored by the Marianists.

The Rev. Martin Solma, provincial for the U.S. Marianists, said Monday that a male graduate made the first allegations several months ago against the Revs. Louis Meinhardt and John Woulfe. Both men died years ago.

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.

Religious ritual or abuse? Police investigate cuts on 4-year-old girl

GEORGIA
WSB

By Mike Petchenik

ROSWELL, Ga. —

Roswell police are investigating if lacerations on a 4-year-old girl’s chest are linked to a religious ritual or child abuse.

Last week, the director of Children’s First Learning on Elkins Road called police after finding the cuts on the child, a police report said.

The girl’s parents told police that the cuts were part of a religious ritual.

Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik went to the girl’s apartment off Greenhouse Drive and talked to a woman who said she actually witnessed the ritual that she contends is part of the Santeria religion.

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.

Sexual Misconduct Allegations At Chaminade Deemed “Credible”

MISSOURI
Patch

By Gregg Palermo

Just over two weeks after reaching out to more than 1600 students who attended Chaminade College Preparatory School about allegations of sexual abuse at the school, the order which runs the Creve Coeur school announced Monday that it believed those allegations to be credible.

In a statement, Reverend Martin Solma, a Marianist Provincial, said he met recently with a former Chaminade student from the 1970s to discuss the allegations. That man also asked that the order contact students who attended the school at the same time as the two fomer teachers, both of whom are now deceased. Solma’s statement said 15 alums reported “experiencing or witnessing abusive behavior, sexual as well as other abusive behavors.”

One of those accused died in 1990, the other left the Marianist order in 1977 and has also died, according to the statement.

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.

Viganὸ’s mission according to L’Osservatore Romano

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Two days after the publication of the communiqué that rejected the accusations made by the Nuncio to the USA, the Vatican’s daily broadsheet describes the meeting that took place in the White House

ANDREA TORNIELLI
Vatican City

Anyone flicking through the pages of last Saturday’s issue of L’Osservatore Romano will have seen the published contents of a communiqué signed by two cardinals and two bishops – the new and former administration of the Vatican Governorate – in which the accusations of corruption contained in the letters sent by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò to the Pope and the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, were rejected as groundless. The letters had been discussed on the Italian television programme Gli Intoccabili (“The Untouchables”) broadcast on LA7. Two days later, at the earliest possible opportunity (L’Osservatore Romano comes out on Saturday afternoon and is dated Sunday, so the following issue comes out on Monday afternoon), the Vatican’s daily broadsheet published an article that could be read as an attempt to stress, in a non explicit way, that the communiqué has not changed anything and that the Nuncio to the United States still has the trust of his superiors.

The text in question is the brief summary customarily written at the beginning of the mission of the new papal representative to the United States. Texts such as this are usually sent to the Vatican newspaper by the Secretary of State who writes them. It can take several days, after the Letters of Credence are presented, for said texts to be published. Viganò, the former Secretary General of the Governorate, had met with bishops and America’s political leadership as the Pope’s representative, on 16 November 2011. The article mentions that the following day, the Episcopate’s plenary assembly took place in Baltimore and that Viganò “had wanted to give the letter of recommendation given o him by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to the Archbishop of New York and President of the American Episcopal Conference, Mgr. Timothy Dolan.”

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.

“Responsible seminarists against paedophilia and other deviant behaviours”

ROME
Vatican Insider

Interview with the Auxiliary bishop of Papantla (Mexico) attending the symposium against paedophilia at the Gregorian University

Andrés Beltramo Álvarez

Healthy and responsible seminarists, this has to be the objective of anyone forming future Catholic priests. This in not only for the good of the Church, but a preventive measure against the calamity that is paedophilia together with other psychological deviations that may affect some clerics. Jorge Patrón Wong, expert of priestly education is sure of this. But can such goal be reached? He explained to the Vatican Insider how it could be done.

The Auxiliary bishop of Papantla (Mexico) has been elected as one of the speakers in the Symposium “Towards healing and renovation”, which will take place at the Pontifical Gregorian University from the 6th to the 9th of February. This is a symposium for the representatives of the Episcopal Conferences and the Father-Superiors of religious orders worldwide. The meet has one main aim, to help put in place national schemes to fight paedophilia within 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.

Financial Irregularities For a Priest in Andrews

TEXAS
NewsWest 9

by Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9
ANDREWS- An Andrews priest is under the microscope and it all revolves around financial irregularities. The problems came to light after an audit was done in the parish.

Father Joey Faylona was the Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Andrews but now he’s under the microscope. The parish was in the process of changing pastors and they did a financial audit for the parish.

This allows the outgoing pastor to review his overall performance in the parish during his tenure and gives the incoming pastor an in-depth look at the pastoral and financial state of the parish to which he is being assigned.

The audit by the Diocese turned up some financial irregularities. That’s according to a letter that was sent to NewsWest 9 by the Bishop of the Diocese of San Angelo. The diocese found unauthorized financial advances in parish funds for personal expenses.

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Defamation of priest left RTE badly damaged, Bird tells students

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Barry Duggan and Craig Hughes

Tuesday February 07 2012

CHARLIE Bird has said RTE has been enormously damaged by the ‘Prime Time Investigates’ documentary which defamed a Galway priest.

Addressing journalism students at the University of Limerick, the long-serving RTE reporter said the documentary had been a huge jolt for everybody working at the state broadcaster.

Last year, in a programme entitled ‘Mission to Prey’, RTE falsely stated that Fr Kevin Reynolds had raped a Kenyan woman and fathered a child by her while working as a missionary.

Subsequently, the state broadcaster agreed to settle a High Court action taken by Fr Reynolds.

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Catholic priests to hold national convention in Warrnambool

AUSTRALIA
The Standard

PETER COLLINS

07 Feb, 2012

A NETWORK of Catholic priests not afraid to challenge Vatican edicts will hold their national convention in Warrnambool in July.

More than 160 members of the National Council of Priests of Australia will come from across the country for a week of brainstorming and socialising in the heartland of Irish Catholic heritage.

Discussion topics are likely to include marriage, abuse scandals and a controversial new liturgy being introduced through parishes.

The membership includes prominent Melbourne media identity Fr Bob Maguire and a former Anglican who is now a married Catholic priest.

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Defensa de cura acusado de abusos pide cierre del caso

CHILE
Terra

CURICÓ.- El cierre de la investigación judicial en contra del sacerdote Francisco Cartes solicitó la defensa del religioso acusado de cometer abusos sexuales en contra de un acólito de 16 años, en Curicó.

Los abogados de Cartes sostienen que las diligencias encargadas ya están agotadas y que ninguno de los antecedentes allegados al proceso acreditan que el cura abusó del menor. Asimismo, sostienen que existen denuncias en contra de la supuesta víctima por hostigamiento, amenazas y daños a testigos claves de la investigación.

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Pope urges renewal at anti-abuse summit

VATICAN CITY
Sky News (Australia)

The Pope has called for a major renewal of the Catholic Church as the Vatican began a summit on preventing child abuse.

‘Healing for victims must be of paramount concern in the Christian community, and it must go hand in hand with a profound renewal of the church at every level,’ the Pope was quoted as saying in a Vatican statement.

In a message to participants at the conference, the Pope also called for ‘a vigorous culture of effective safeguarding and victim support’ and said every effort should be made to help children’s human and spiritual growth.

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Mater Dolorosa vigil continues after court refuses to order protesters to leave Holyoke church

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

By Jeanette DeForge, The Republican

SPRINGFIELD – A Hampden Superior Court judge declined to order protesters of Mater Dolorosa Church to leave the Holyoke building, saying the separation of church and state denies him that authority.

While protesters celebrated the decision – even though three of their own counterclaims were denied – officials for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield said they are considering an appeal.

Judge Cornelius J. Moriarty II said there was a flaw in the argument of the diocese that said the case is a simple question of building ownership.

“The law of trespass necessarily requires an examination of whether the alleged trespasser possesses a right of entry,” Moriarty wrote in his explanation, saying that decision is a matter of canon law.

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Foster parent, former religious publisher charged with abusing two girls

ILLINOIS
Chicago Sun-Times

A River Forest man who took in dozens of foster children and formerly headed Chicago Catholic Publications was ordered held in lieu of a $50 million cash bond Saturday for allegedly sexually assaulting two girls.

Robert L. Gaskill, 63, molested the minors over a period between 1996 to 2009, according to Cook County prosecutors.

Gaskill, who was arrested at his home Thursday, has operated a foster care service with his wife in their three-story frame home, as well as a foster care support system called Tapestry Chicago, officials said.

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Court filing shows that Archbishop Listecki misled hundreds of survivors about intent of

MILWAUKEE (WI)
SNAP Wisconsin

After promising “all” victims restitution in federal court Achdiocese will ask judge at Thursday hearing to throw out 95% of the 550 plus victim claims filed

Whether or not a claimant was raped or sexually assaulted by a cleric “does not matter”, according to Archdiocese

If church lawyers are successful dozens of newly identified offenders, depositions of top church officials, and tens of thousands of pages of abuse documents will likely remain secret

Sex abuse crisis will “deepen” and remain “totally unresolved” in Archdiocese, leaving children at risk, victims and advocates say

WHAT
Survivors of sexual abuse by clergy, joined by Fr. James Connell, current Vice Chancellor of the archdiocese of Milwaukee, will hold a sidewalk press conference discussing the newest strategy being employed by church lawyers to block the examination and release of yet more evidence and documentation concerning the widespread and systematic abuse of children. Much of that evidence is now contained in the over 550 plus direct reports of child sex crimes now filed with the federal bankruptcy judge in Milwaukee.

On Thursday, at the instruction of Archbishop Jerome Listecki—who was ordered by the court to urge victims to come forward as a condition of filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy 9 months ago—church lawyers will ask the court to dismiss 95% of the victim claims, all of which contain names of offenders, details of thousands of sex crimes, and the names of church officials and others to whom the abuse was likely reported.

The group will also release a letter, emailed this morning to Archbishop Listecki by Connell, on behalf of victims, urging the archbishop to explain why he is instructing his attorneys to embark on this reported plan of action.

Connell and other priests joined with victims in December in making a public appeal to victims of clergy sexual abuse and asking them to come forward before the bankruptcy bar date. The appeal, in the form of a full page advertisement in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, provided victim/survivors with resources in the community designed to assist them in filing a confidential claim with the court.

WHEN
Tuesday, February 7th, 1:30 p.m.

WHERE
On the sidewalk in front of the U.S. Federal Courthouse located at 517 East Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee.

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Church, flock at odds

UNITED STATES
The Hill

By Karen Finney – 02/06/12

As the Catholic Church sex abuse scandals involving children and clergy in the United States, Germany, Latin America, Ireland and the Netherlands unfolded a few years ago, the church found itself in the midst of a crisis much of its own making. It wasn’t just the horror of the crimes; it was the lengths to which the leadership of the Catholic Church conspired to keep them hidden. I, like many Catholics, struggled with a deep sense of dissolution as we watched the leadership put protecting the institution ahead of its mission to keep children safe and ministering to the needs of those who were raped and put in harm’s way.

Responding to public outcry, the church reacted as most institutions do, labeling legitimate criticism as attacks and shielding high-level authorities. Many American Catholics were left feeling their church was out of touch.

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Can the Church Become a Leader in Protecting Children?

ROME
Zenit

By Ann Schneible

ROME, FEB. 3, 2012 (Zenit.org).- This Monday through Thursday, the Gregorian University will host the international symposium “Towards Healing and Renewal,” on the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. One of the greatest hopes is that the symposium will act as a catalyst for developing a culture of listening and healing within the Church.

At a press conference today, some of the speakers discussed the main themes of the conference, and the primary concerns to be addressed.

Marie Collins, a victim of clerical abuse who will give her testimony to the symposium in the coming days, spoke regarding the progress that she hopes Church leaders will make in the protection of children and the pastoral care of victims.

“There is still a huge anger among survivors at the Church and at the Church leadership,” she said. “And as we know, there are many, many reasons for this anger. Despite apologies for the actions of the abusers, there have been few apologies for the protection given to them by their superiors.”

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Sex Abuse Symposium a Lead-up to Further Response

ROME
Zenit

By H. Sergio Mora

ROME, FEB. 6, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The symposium on clergy sex abuse, under way through Thursday at the Pontifical Gregorian University, is just a step on the path of the Church’s response, says the director of the Vatican press office.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi spoke with ZENIT on Friday, following the press conference to present the symposium, which began today.

ZENIT: What has changed since the 2011 circular letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith?

Father Lombardi: Many episcopal conferences have established commissions to prepare the guidelines requested by the circular letter. And the symposium [at the Gregorian] is being held in this phase in which the episcopal conferences, having received the circular, are working to put into practice all that was requested, that is to say, the formulation of their directives.

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Cardinal Levada: Bishops, Priests Must Hear Victims, Acknowledge Suffering

ROME
Zenit

By Ann Schneible

ROME, FEB. 6, 2012 (Zenit.org).- “There is no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young.” These words, delivered by Blessed John Paul II in his 2002 address to American cardinals, remind priests and religious that it is a travesty to violate the trust of those in their care, especially when such a violation destroys the life of a child.

Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, cited these words by the former Pontiff during his speech to members of the international symposium “Toward Healing and Renewal,” which officially commenced today.

In his presentation, “The Sexual Abuse of Minors: A Multi-faceted Response to the Challenge,” the cardinal briefly outlined the CDF’s role in addressing the abuse cases, with regard to the pastoral care of victims, protection of the young, and in the proper formation of clergy.

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Pope Sends Prayers, Advice to Sex Abuse Conference

VATICAN CITY
Zenit

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 6, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is reminding the participants at a symposium on clergy sexual abuse that healing for victims is of paramount importance, and it must go hand in hand with the Church’s own renewal.

The Pope said this in a message signed by his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and sent to the rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, which is hosting a symposium titled “Towards Healing and Renewal.” The symposium began today and runs through Thursday, and aims to aid bishops and religious superiors.

The message said the Holy Father is praying for “this important initiative,” and that he “asks the Lord that, through [the participants’] deliberations, many bishops and religious superiors throughout the world may be helped to respond in a truly Christ-like manner to the tragedy of child abuse.”

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Vatican City State Rejects Corruption Charges

VATICAN CITY
Zenit

By Kathleen Naab

ROME, FEB. 6, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The presidency of the governing body for Vatican City State is rejecting charges of corruption found in letters credited to Archbishop Carlo Viganò and leaked to the press.

A declaration released by the Presidency of the Governorate of Vatican City State was published Saturday by the Vatican Information Service. The declaration bears the signatures of Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, retired president of the Governorate; Archbishop Giuseppe Bertello, current president; Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, secretary-general, and Bishop Giorgio Corbellini, former vice secretary-general.

Archbishop Viganò was named the apostolic nuncio to the United States last October, following the sudden death in July of Archbishop Pietro Sambi, who previously held that post.

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Prosecutors win ruling to tell priests’ jury how archdiocese handled abuse allegations

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
Inquirer Staff Writer

Prosecutors in the endangerment and child sex-abuse trial of three current and former priests scored a major legal victory on Monday, when a judge ruled that they could tell jurors how the Archdiocese of Philadelphia handled years of abuse allegations against nearly two dozen other priests.

Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina said jurors could hear the evidence because it could show that Msgr. William J. Lynn, a former high-ranking archdiocesan official, recommended parish posts for two priests in the 1990s despite knowing or suspecting they might molest boys.

Lynn made those recommendations, the judge said, after reviewing the church’s secret personnel files and learning about claims or suspicions against other priests.

“It will be up to the jury to decide that there were no lessons to be gleaned from those earlier cases,” she said.

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Cardinal Levada’s Address to Sex Abuse Symposium

ROME
Zenit

“The Journey ‘Towards Healing and Renewal’ Is One That the Entire Church Must Make Together”

ROME, FEB. 6, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Here is a statement from Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, delivered today to a symposium on clergy sex abuse. The symposium is under way this week at the Pontifical Gregorian University.

* * *

The Sexual Abuse of Minors: A Multi-faceted Response to the Challenge
by Cardinal William Levada
Pontifical Gregorian University

February 6, 2012

“Toward Healing and Renewal” is the title given to this Symposium for Catholic Bishops and Religious Superiors on the Sexual Abuse of Minors. For leaders in the Church for whom this Symposium has been planned, the question is both delicate and urgent. Just two years ago, in his reflections on the “Year for Priests” at the annual Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia, Pope Benedict XVI spoke in direct and lengthy terms about priests who “twist the sacrament [of Holy Orders] into its antithesis, and under the mantle of the sacred profoundly wound human persons in their childhood, damaging them for a whole lifetime.” I chose this phrase to begin my remarks this evening because I think it important not to lose sight of the gravity of these crimes as we deal with the multiple aspects the Church’s response.

As I begin my presentation, I want to offer a word of gratitude to the Pontifical Gregorian University for this initiative. Even those of us who have been dealing with this issue for decades recognize that we are still learning, and need to help each other find the best ways to help victims, protect children, and form the priests of today and tomorrow to be aware of this scourge and to eliminate it from the priesthood. I hope that this Symposium will make a significant contribution toward these goals. I thank in particular Fr. Francois-Xavier Dumortier, S.J., the Rector of the University, and Fr. Hans Zollner, S.J., and his team for organizing these days together.

As the Symposium program indicates, the title of my presentation is “The Sexual Abuse of Minors: A Multi-faceted Response to the Challenge.” For reasons I will indicate, I have chosen as my vehicle to give shape to this response some comments about the “Circular Letter” of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [hereafter CDF], sent last year to all the Episcopal Conferences of the world, to assist them in developing guidelines for dealing with cases of sexual abuse of minors perpetrated by clerics. To put this Letter into context, I will refer to the important motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela, promulgated by Blessed Pope John Paul IIon 30 April 2001. This papal document clarified and updated the list of canonical crimes that had traditionally been dealt with by the CDF (classic examples would be crimes against the faith, that is, heresy, apostasy and schism; but also most serious crimes, or graviora delicta, against the sacraments, such as profaning the Eucharist or violating the seal of Confession). These included crimes connected with solicitation in Confession, and Pope John Paul explicitly included among these grave crimes the sexual abuse of minors by clerics. The motu proprio thus required all cases involving sexual abuse of minors by clergy to be reported to the Congregation, for its guidance and coordination of an equitable response on the part of Church authorities.

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Rome conference on clerical abuse response

ROME
RTE News

Hundreds of bishops, religious superiors, child psychologists and abuse victims have gathered in Rome for a symposium on the Catholic Church’s handling of clerical child abuse.

A key gathering of hundreds of bishops, religious superiors, child psychologists and abuse victims is under way in Rome.

Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins was due to open the symposium with a presentation, regarded by many as unprecedented, on her experience of clerical child abuse and the subsequent cover-up.

The meeting, called “A Symposium for Catholic Bishops and Religious Superiors on Sexual Abuse of Minors”, is seen as the Catholic Church’s most robust response to date to the wave of clerical paedophile scandals.

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Vatican investigated 4,000 cases of child sex abuse in the last 10 years, U.S. cardinal reveals

ROME
Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

By Nick Pisa

A senior Vatican cardinal has revealed how more than 4,000 cases of sex abuse by priests on children have been investigated during the last ten years.

The shock figure was announced by American cardinal Joseph William Levada as he opened a conference on the wide scale phenomenon which has rocked the Roman Catholic church with cases reported all over the world.

Cardinal Levada, who is head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, described the figure as a ‘dramatic increase’ and came in the face of global indignation at the scale of the problem and which has forced Pope Benedict XVI to apologise for previous cases during papal visits as he meets victims.

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Bethlehem pastor Santos Rosado sentenced up to 19 years in prison for child molestation

PENNSYLVANIA
The Express-Times

By Tom Shortell | The Express-Times

A Northampton County judge sentenced Santos Rosado to five to 19 years in state prison today for sexually assaulting a girl for 13 years, saying the former Bethlehem pastor’s actions showed he was no man of God.

Rosado, 46, formerly of the 500 block of Wyandotte Street, pleaded guilty in September to sexually assaulting a girl from the time she was 12 until she was in her 20s.

He pleaded guilty to charges of indecent assault, endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of minors and two counts of felony statutory sexual assault. He also agreed to give up the parental rights to a child he fathered with the girl when she was 18.

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Former eastern Pa. pastor sentenced to 5 1/3 to 19 years in sex abuse of girl

PENNSYLVANIA
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

EASTON, Pa. — A former eastern Pennsylvania pastor has been sentenced to 5 1/3 to 19 years in state prison for sexually abusing a girl for more than a decade.

Forty-six-year-old Santos Rosado pleaded guilty in Northampton County in September to charges of indecent assault, endangering the welfare of a child, corruption of minors and two counts of felony statutory sexual assault.

Prosecutors said Rosado met the girl’s family while a pastor in Bethlehem. They said the abuse began when she was 12, and he tried to force her to have an abortion after getting her pregnant.

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Dallas pastor sued over alleged inappropriate behavior

DALLAS (TX)
WFAA

[with video]

by DEBBIE DENMON

DALLAS — A popular Dallas pastor is under fire — accused in a lawsuit of coercing young men into “engaging in sexual acts and relationships for his own personal sexual gratification.”

Pastor Tyrone Gordon announced his resignation last month amid complaints, and we now know what one man is complaining about, after he filed a lawsuit last Friday.

Cameron Greer, 26, said he was working in the media department of St. Luke United Methodist Church when, he alleges, Gordon touched him inappropriately between Sunday services, as Greer was changing out microphones.

“As he was going to his office where he goes to change, he rubbed his private parts against my buttock,” Greer said. “At first, I thought it was my fault — like I got in his way. But then he did it again and looked back at me to see my expression, and then I knew it was no accident.”

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Sex assault charges filed against former pastor, truck driver

WISCONSIN
LaCrosse Tribune

By ANNE JUNGEN ajungen@lacrossetribune.com | Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Criminal charges filed Monday accuse a former minister and truck driver of molesting a boy in 2008.

The boy said he was 13 when 64-year-old Michael Delaney of Tomah assaulted him in his semi-truck, according to the complaint filed in Monroe County Circuit Court. Eventually the assaults escalated to forced oral sex, the teen said.

Delaney threatened to tell people the teen was gay if he spoke out about the abuse. He also forced the teen to watch pornographic movies, according to the complaint.

The victim came forward in November. Police arrested Delaney on Jan. 27.

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Former pastor of Barnesville, Md., Baptist…

MARYLAND
Washington Post

Former pastor of Barnesville, Md., Baptist church makes plea deal on child sex abuse charge

By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, February 7

FREDERICK, Md. — The former pastor of a Montgomery County Baptist church is striking a plea deal in Frederick on charges he sexually abused a pre-teenage girl.

A Frederick County prosecutor say 74-year-old Joe Ivey of Walkersville will enter into the plea agreement Tuesday morning in Frederick County Circuit Court.

Assistant State’s Attorney Tammy Leach says the deal will result in a conviction for second-degree sex offense. She says the state will recommend a sentence of 20 years in prison with all but four years suspended.

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Vermont Diocese Responds to Priest-Abuse Suit

VERMONT
Claims Journal

The Roman Catholic diocese of Vermont says it could be put out of business, and constitutional protections of religious freedom could be violated by a priest-abuse lawsuit.

The Burlington Free Press cites papers filed by the diocese in U.S. District Court in Burlington. They say paying more big damage awards to victims of long-ago priest sexual abuse could bring those results.

The diocese asks Judge William Sessions III to throw out a lawsuit filed in 2010 by a man alleging that as an altar boy he was molested in Rutland by a priest in 1974.

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SD House committee rejects child sexual abuse bill

SOUTH DAKOTA
The Daily Republic

By VERONICA ZARAGOVIA
Associated Press

A House committee on Monday rejected a bill that would have eliminated the time limit for victims of childhood sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits against perpetrators or institutions, despite emotional testimony from victims during a two hour hearing.

Several cried loudly by the elevator after members of the House Judiciary Committee voted to kill the bill 9-4.

A number were American Indian and said they were abused by Catholic clergy at churches or boarding schools.

“I went through a lot of suffering when I was 7-10 years old,” said Isadore Zephier, a member of the Sioux Tribe who asked committee members to picture what happened to him. “Imagine yourself sodomized or performing oral sex on a priest for three, four years constantly.”

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Pope calls for ‘renewal’ as summit tackles sex abuse

ROME
euronews

[with video]

Pope Benedict has called for a profound renewal of the Catholic Church, at the start of an unprecedented summit in Rome designed to combat the sexual abuse of children by priests.

Help for victims, he said, should be top priority as at least one cardinal defended his handling of abuse cases.

The summit aims to produce guidelines to help the church crack down on paedophile clergy and help the authorities tackle crime.

“I think this is a challenge that will always be with us. The more important thing is to act on prevention, especially with information that can empower leaders and communities to respond to any danger, or any mishap in an adequate way,” said the Vatican’s ‘justice promoter’, Monsignor Charles Scicluna.

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Diocese reinstates Sugar Creek priest

MISSOURI
Examiner

Sugar Creek, MO —

A Sugar Creek priest, who had been placed on administrative leave during an investigation into a complaint against him, has been cleared to return to parish work, according to a release from the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

The Rev. Matthew Bartulica was given permission to resume duties at St. Cyril Parish in Sugar Creek effective Feb. 4.

St. Cyril parishioners were told in a letter on Jan. 22 that Bartulica had been put on administrative leave – under the diocese’s new rules – because of an undisclosed complaint brought to the ombudsman now acting as an independent public liaison to field and investigate any reports of suspicious or inappropriate behavior.

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Jurors to hear 20 priest sex-abuse claims

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

BY NATALIE POMPILIO
Philadelphia Daily News
pompiln@phillynews.com 215-854-2595

THE JURY can hear how Monsignor William Lynn and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia responded to more than 20 claims of priests sexually abusing children when it considers criminal charges against Lynn and two others next month, a Common Pleas judge ruled yesterday.

Judge M. Teresa Sarmina ruled that jurors needed to have a complete history “to evaluate properly the totality of the circumstances and to be able to make appropriate inferences from that evidence.”

The judge’s ruling was a win for prosecutors. Lynn’s defense attorneys had argued that the other cases should not be allowed because they would unfairly influence the jury.

Lynn, 61, faces conspiracy and child-endangerment charges for allegedly concealing the actions of two priests accused of abusing boys in the 1990s. Lynn was secretary of the clergy from 1992 to 2004.

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Coventry priest Alexander Bede Walsh found guilty of child sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Coventry Telegraph

By Martin Bagot
Feb 7 2012

A PRIEST who worked in Coventry and Warwickshire has been found guilty of 18 charges of indecent assault.

After a 10-day trial Alexander Bede Walsh, 58, was found guilty of the charges plus another serious sexual offence at Stoke Crown Court late yesterday.

It took around six hours to find him guilty of the 19 charges.

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Vatican abuse summit: Victim reports ‘death of respect’ for church leaders

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Rome

An Irish victim of sexual abuse bluntly told a Vatican summit this morning that her experience of being ignored, and her suffering minimized, by church leaders caused “the final death of any respect” she once felt for ecclesial authority.

Marie Collins said there must be “acknowledgement and accountability for the harm and destruction that has been done to the life of victims and their families” before she and other victims can regain trust in the leadership of the Catholic church.

Collins made the remarks at a four-day summit on the sexual abuse crisis titled “Towards Healing and Renewal” being held at the Jesuit-run Gregorian University.

Collins said she was abused at the age of thirteen, just after her confirmation, by a chaplain in a hospital where she was recovering from an illness. As a deeply faithful Catholic at the time, she said, the experience was deeply traumatic.

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Catholic priest found guilty of sexually abusing seven boys

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sentinel

CATHOLIC priest Alexander Bede Walsh has been convicted of sexually abusing seven boys.

The 58-year-old, pictured right, was found guilty of 18 charges of indecent assault and one serious sexual offence at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday.

A jury acquitted him of three counts of indecent assault and one of indecency with a child.

The jury was today continuing its deliberations on the four remaining charges.

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Vatican apologies for paedophilia not enough: Victim

ROME
Times LIVE (South Africa)

Irish anti-abuse campaigner Marie Collins told Catholic leaders at a Vatican summit that the Church has to be held accountable for destroying the lives of victims of paedophile priests.

“Apologising for the actions of the abusive priests is not enough,” Collins told bishops and cardinals from around the world gathered at the Vatican’s Gregorian University for an unprecedented conference on child abuse.

“There must be acknowledgement and accountability for the harm and destruction that has been done to the life of victims and their families by the often deliberate cover up and mishandling of cases by their superiors.”

Collins recounted in horrifying detail her abuse by a Dublin priest when she was 13. “Those fingers that would abuse my body the night before were the next morning holding and offering me the sacred host,” said the 64-year-old.

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Staffordshire Ex-priest Alexander Bede Walsh was Sexual Predator

UNITED KINGDOM
International Business Times

By Jamie Lewis

February 7, 2012

A former Roman Catholic clergyman from Staffordshire has been convicted of 19 charges of abusing boys as young as seven.

Alexander Bede Walsh, 58, from Abbots Bromley, was found guilty at Stoke crown court of sexually abusing seven boys aged between seven and 16 while working as a priest.

The jury heard that the incidents happened between 1975 and 1993 whilst he was working as a priest in Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Coventry.

Walsh denied a total of 27 counts of sexual assault on young boys. He told the court he had never abused or inappropriately touched any of the victims.

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February 6, 2012

Dejaeger investigation continues; indictment not yet filed

CANADA
Nunatsiaq News

A team of five RCMP members continues to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct in Igloolik against disgraced priest Father Eric Dejaeger, Crown prosecutor said in court in Iqaluit Feb. 6.

This means the RCMP’s investigation investigation into Dejaeger won’t be finished until a May 7 court appearance by Dejaeger in the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit, where the Crown is expected to file a formal indictment.

Dejaeger currently faces up to 39 criminal charges, most alleging the sexual molestation of children.

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Egan’s remarks on priest abuse scandal draw fire

CONNECTICUT
CT Post

Daniel Tepfer

Published 06:10 p.m., Monday, February 6, 2012
BRIDGEPORT — Former New York Cardinal Edward Egan, who was at the center of the priest abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport when he was bishop here, has drawn criticism from a national victims’ group and a local law firm that represented victims with an interview he recently gave.

In the recent edition of Connecticut Magazine, Egan said that while bishop here he did nothing wrong regarding abuse allegation against priests in the diocese and in fact never had a case of alleged abuse while he was bishop.

In the interview Egan also said he believes there is no legal requirement to report abuse cases in Connecticut and expressed regret for the apology he made regarding the priest scandal here.

“First of all, I should have never said that,” Egan told the magazine regarding his 2002 statement of regret. “I did say if we did anything wrong, I’m sorry, but I don’t think we did anything wrong.”

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Church Convenes Symposium on Sexual Abuse Prevention

ROME
The New York Times

By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO

Published: February 6, 2012

ROME — Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church began a four-day symposium on Monday about the prevention of sexual abuse of minors by the clergy, an unprecedented assembly described by the Vatican as a response to a painful issue that has wracked the Church and estranged many faithful.

“We are still learning,” Cardinal William J. Levada, head of the Vatican office that deals with allegations of clerical abuse, told the 200 delegates during his keynote speech. “We need to help each other find the best ways to help victims, protect children,” he said, and to educate priests “to be aware of this scourge and to eliminate it from the priesthood.”

More than 100 bishops and 30 religious superiors, as well as Catholic university rectors and victims were participating in the symposium, titled “Towards Healing and Renewal.”

Participants planned to discuss how the Church can better listen to victims, cultivate a consistent response to cases of pedophilia and thwart future cases of abuse.

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Cardinal says bishops must ‘cooperate’ with police on abuse

VATICAN CITY
Washington Post

By Alessandro Speciale| Religion News Service, Updated: Monday, February 6

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican’s doctrinal chief on Monday (Feb. 6) told Catholic bishops from all over the world that they have a duty to “cooperate” with civil law on cases of clergy sexual abuse of minors.

Cardinal William J. Levada, a former archbishop of San Francisco who now heads the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith with jurisdiction over abuse cases, stopped short, however, of requiring bishops to report abuse cases to prosecutors or police.

Speaking to a Vatican-sponsored conference on the church’s response to the scandal at Rome’s Gregorian University, Levada admitted that the church’s relations with civil authorities “may be different from one nation to another,” but stressed that this must not affect the basic principle of cooperation.

He also urged bishops to be “more proactive” in their response to the crisis, rather than wait for the scandal to erupt in the media.

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Earlier abuse claims to be allowed at priest trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Associated Press

By KATHY MATHESON, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Prosecutors overseeing a child sex-abuse case involving three Roman Catholic priests can reference molestation claims against more than 20 other clergymen to try to establish a pattern of how such allegations were handled, a judge ruled Monday.

The ruling allows an “overwhelming amount of evidence” into the case, defense lawyer William Brennan said in court, even though the judge excluded accusations against several other priests that prosecutors had sought to introduce.

Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina said the evidence is necessary for jurors to understand the totality of the circumstances and to draw accurate inferences in the upcoming trial against Monsignor William Lynn.

“The trial court is not required to sanitize the trial to eliminate all unpleasant facts from the jury’s consideration, where those facts … form part of the history and natural development of the events and offenses for which the defendant is charged,” Sarmina said.

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Disgraced Bethlehem pastor gets up to 19 years for sex abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

By Riley Yates, Of The Morning Call

5:19 p.m. EST, February 6, 2012

The same crime, a different victim.

The same phrases of piety, the same acts of immorality.

Disgraced Bethlehem pastor Santos A. Rosado was sentenced Monday to up to 19 years in state prison for systematically sexually abusing a girl for years starting when she was 12.

It marked the second child molestation case Rosado faced judgment for, and, like the first, his family cast him in court as a victim and not a perpetrator. They called him a man of God who has won forgiveness.

A Northampton County prosecutor called him a danger to society for his sexual proclivities. “This is the way he advises. This is his pastoral calling, so to speak,” said Assistant District Attorney Patricia Broscius.

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Ex-pastor appears in Monroe County court for child sex assault charge

WISCONSIN
News 8000

SPARTA, Wis. — A former pastor and over-the-road trucker from Tomah appears in court on accusations he sexually abused a teenager for several years.

64-year-old Michael Delaney appeared in court Monday on felony sexual assault of a child and child enticement charges.

According to court documents, the male teen told investigators Delaney allegedly touched his genitals and engaged in sexual acts.

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Philadelphia Judge Will Allow Priests’ Prosecutors To Paint History of Archdiocese Inaction

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia judge today ruled that evidence of alleged “prior bad acts” can be admitted in the upcoming child sex abuse trial of three Catholic clergymen.

Two priests are charged with abusing boys, and Msgr. William Lynn — a longtime “secretary of clergy” in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia — allegedly endangered children by allowing alleged predator priests to remain in their ministry positions where they could continue to abuse children.

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge Teresa Sarmina today ruled admissible what one defense attorney has called “an avalanche of evidence” against the three defendants.

The prosecution will be allowed to present evidence involving nearly two dozen priests, alleging that the archdiocese routinely protected these allegedly abusive priests by shuffling them from parish to parish for decades, and that Msgr. Lynn’s action, or inaction, was part of a pattern of conduct that led to the alleged abuse by the two co-defendants in this case.

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Scandals and how we handle them

THAILAND
UCA News

Father Michael Kelly SJ, Bangkok
Thailand
February 6, 2012

Very early in my spiritual life, I was brought up short by the offhand remark of a wise old priest: “You’re a strange sort of Christian if the sins of others disturb you.”

Like many in my generation, I was raised to think that Catholicism was about achieving perfection and I should do everything I could to be perfect. In fact, I thought it was up to me to be perfect.

Wrong. That’s a heresy condemned in the early Church – Pelagianism – and it led St Augustine to develop our understanding of grace and its action in our lives, which has remained unsurpassed in 1,600 years. …

There’s the latest, where leaked documents reveal the misgivings of the current papal nuncio to the US who wanted to stay at his post as second in charge of Vatican governance to clean up the City State’s financial and business practices.

Archbishop Vigano wanted to see through the task of reforming the Vatican’s business systems and processes rather than accept an apparently more prestigious position. And, as if to compound the problem and confirm the skeptics in their cynicism, the Vatican’s spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, prescinded from considering the documents and did what amounts to shooting the messenger: He lambasted the media for releasing hitherto confidential documents.

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People ‘should be grateful to Pope for handling abuse scandal’ – cardinal

ROME
The Journal (Ireland)

A SENIOR US cardinal as defended Pope Benedict’s handling of clerical abuse revelations, saying people should be thankful rather than criticising the pontiff.

Cardinal William Levada told a Vatican-backed conference on safeguarding children that Benedict had been “instrumental” in implementing standards to crack down on paedophile clergy, as well as supportive of US bishops’ efforts to fight the abuse.

Before becoming pontiff, Benedict held Levada’s job as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the church office responsible for shaping the Holy See’s policies on handling abuse cases involving clergy.

As the symposium’s keynote opening speaker, Levada lamented that the pope “has had to suffer attacks by the media over these past years in various parts of the world when he should receive the gratitude of us all, in the Church and outside it.” The Vatican released copies of the speech.

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Vatican officials say ‘corruption’ charges by envoy to U.S. are ‘unfounded’

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Feb. 06, 2012
By Francis X. Rocca, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — In an unusually public rebuke of a high-ranking colleague, Vatican officials dismissed as baseless the accusations of “corruption and abuse of power” made in letters by an archbishop who is now apostolic nuncio to the United States.

In a statement released by the Vatican Feb. 4, Cardinal-designate Giuseppe Bertello and Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, the current and immediate past presidents of the Governorate of Vatican City State, described as a “cause of great sadness” the recent “unlawful publication” by Italian journalists of two letters addressed to Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state.

The letters, written by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano when he was the governorate’s secretary general, or second-highest official, contained assertions based on “erroneous evaluations” or “fears unsupported by proof,” the statement said.

Archbishop Vigano’s letter to the pope, dated March 27, 2011, lamented “so many situations of corruption and abuse of power long rooted in the various departments” of the governorate, and warned that the archbishop’s departure from his position there “would provoke profound confusion and dejection” among all those supporting his efforts at reform.

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Vatican City’s government rejects corruption allegations

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

[NOTE OF GOVERNORATE ON LETTERS OF ARCHBISHOP VIGANO]

By David Kerr

Vatican City, Feb 6, 2012 / 01:45 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The body responsible for the governance of the Vatican City State is denying claims of corruption leveled by its former deputy governor, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

The allegations were made in private correspondence with Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, in spring 2011 but were only recently leaked to an Italian television station.

“The allegations contained in them cannot but lead to the impression that the Governorate of Vatican City State, instead of being an instrument of responsible government, is an unreliable entity, at the mercy of dark forces,” said an official statement issued Feb. 4.

“After careful examination of the contents of the two letters, the President of the Governorate sees it as its duty to publicly declare that those assertions are the result of erroneous assessments, or fears based on unsubstantiated evidence and are even openly contradicted by the main characters invoked as witnesses.”

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Pope calls for ‘profound renewal’ of Roman Catholic Church

ROME
The Telegraph (United Kingdom)

The Pope called for “profound renewal” in the Roman Catholic Church on Monday in an appeal sent to the first conference ever held by the Vatican on the subject of paedophile priests and child abuse.

By Nick Squires, Rome
8:30PM GMT 06 Feb 2012

But victims of abuse slammed the conference as an empty gesture likely to produce few results and called on the Holy See to take more concrete steps to ensure that paedophile priests were swiftly exposed and made to face justice.

Benedict XVI said he hoped the conference would “promote throughout the Church a vigorous culture of effective safeguarding and victim support”.

He said: “Healing for victims must be of paramount concern in the Christian community and it must go hand in hand with a profound renewal of the Church at every level.”

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Cardinal: Pope merits thanks on abuse, not attacks

ROME
The Associated Press

By FRANCES D’EMILIO, Associated Press

ROME (AP) — A top American cardinal on Monday defended Pope Benedict’s handling of sexual abuse cases by clergy, saying he should be praised not criticized, as advocates for abuse victims demanded that the Vatican release its secret files on pedophile priests.

Cardinal William Levada told a Vatican-backed symposium on safeguarding children that Benedict had been “instrumental” in implementing standards to crack down on pedophile clergy as well as supportive of U.S. bishops’ efforts to fight the abuse.

Before becoming pontiff, Benedict held Levada’s job as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the church office ensuring doctrinal purity and, in recent decades, also shaping the Holy See’s policies on handling abuse cases involving clergy.

As the symposium’s keynote opening speaker, Levada lamented that the pope “has had to suffer attacks by the media over these past years in various parts of the world when he should receive the gratitude of us all, in the Church and outside it.” The Vatican released copies of the speech.

SNAP, a U.S-based support and advocacy group for those abused as minors by clergy, was dismissive of the four-day, closed-door gathering.

“True change and child protection comes through accountability from secular authorities,” a SNAP official, Joelle Casteix, said in a statement. “Until we have that, we must see Rome’s meeting for exactly what it is: cheap window dressing.”

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TRC in Whitehorse this week

CANADA
CBC News

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada is in Whitehorse this week.

The commission is letting anyone who has been affected by residential schools record their stories.

Joanne Henry was sent to residential school at just five years old. She now counsels other former residential school students and their families.

Henry hopes Yukoners will take the opportunity to share their stories.

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Priest guilty of child sex offences

UNITED KINGDOM
Rutland & Stamford Mercury

Published on Monday 6 February 2012

A Roman Catholic priest from Staffordshire has been found guilty of committing sexual offences against seven boys between 1975 and 1993.

A jury at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, which is still considering four further counts against Alexander Bede Walsh, took around six hours to find him guilty of 18 charges of indecent assault and another serious sexual offence.

The jury also acquitted the 58-year-old of three counts of indecent assault and one of indecency with a child.

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Catholic priest guilty of sexually abusing boys

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A former Roman Catholic priest from Staffordshire has been found guilty of sexually abusing seven boys.

Alexander Bede Walsh, 58, of Church Lane, Abbots Bromley, has been convicted of 19 charges of abusing boys aged from seven to 16, between 1975 and 1993, while working as a priest.

The jury at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court found him not guilty of four charges.

It will resume its deliberations on Tuesday on four other charges, three of which concern an eighth alleged victim.

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Pope sends message to Gregorian University conference on ‘Healing and Renewal’

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, has sent a message in the name of Pope Benedict to an international symposium of bishops and church personnel seeking to provide a coordinated response to the sex abuse crisis. In the message to participants at the Symposium entitled “Towards Healing and Renewal”, the Pope reiterates his conviction that “healing for abuse victims must be of paramount concern in the Christian community”, together with “a profound renewal of the Church at every level”.

The Pope therefore “supports and encourages every effort to respond with evangelical charity to the challenge of providing children and vulnerable adults with an ecclesial environment conducive to their human and spiritual growth” and he urges the participants in the Symposium “to continue drawing on a wide range of expertise in order to promote throughout the Church a vigorous culture of effective safeguarding and victim support.”

On Monday evening Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, addressed the inaugural session of the symposium which is hosted by the Pontifical Gregorian University.

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Businessman buys Camp Holy Cross …

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Businessman buys Camp Holy Cross from Roman Catholic diocese for $4M, plans to build houses

Written by
Sam Hemingway

A Colchester businessman has purchased the 26-acre Camp Holy Cross property on Mallets Bay in Colchester from the state’s Roman Catholic diocese for $4 million.

Bruce Barry, who owns land near the church camp property, said Monday he has no immediate plans for the site other than to have all of its 22 buildings demolished because they are in poor, unusable condition.

“We’re going to start by taking down the fallen-down buildings and cleaning the property up and possibly designing a sea wall to stop the erosion there,” Barry said Monday. “In the future, I would say we’ll probably put up some really nice houses along the lakefront or something like that.”

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Vatican holds summit to tackle sex abuse by priests

ROME
BBC News

Roman Catholic leaders have begun an unprecedented summit in Rome on how the church should tackle the sexual abuse of children by priests.

In a Vatican statement, Pope Benedict said “healing for victims” should be a major concern as much as “profound renewal of the Church at every level”.

The summit aims to produce guidelines on tackling abusive priests and helping police to prosecute paedophile crime.

Victims’ groups, who were not invited, have dismissed it as a PR exercise.

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Earlier abuse claims to be allowed at priest trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
York Dispatch

The Associated Press
Updated: 02/06/2012

PHILADELPHIA—The judge overseeing a child sex-abuse case involving three Roman Catholic priests in Philadelphia will allow prosecutors to reference previous molestation claims against other clergy at trial.

Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina ruled Monday that the abuse allegations are relevant to the upcoming trial of Monsignor William Lynn.

Lynn is a high-ranking church official charged with shuffling predator priests to unwitting parishes.

Prosecutors want to show a pattern of behavior in how Lynn handled the careers of priests credibly accused of molestation.

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Pavone’s charities have $600K in overdue bills

UNITED STATES
Amarillo Globe-News

Submitted by Karen Smith Welch on Mon, 02/06/2012

Twice last week, I received e-mail from Roman Catholic Priest Frank Pavone seeking donations.

That’s not unusual. The fundraising marketing company used by Pavone’s pro-life charities – Priests for Life and several affiliates – make several email pushes per week.

But this one doesn’t appear to do much to bolster Pavone’s claims that the group hasn’t made flubbed management of donations. Pavone is the New York priest whose latitude to perform religious rites has been limited to the Diocese of Amarillo by Amarillo Bishop Patrick J. Zurek.

Zurek curtailed Pavone’s activities in September, raising questions about the financial transparency of Priests for Life and two pro-life affiliates, Gospel of Life Ministries and Rachel’s Vineyard. Zurek went so far as to recommend, in a letter to U.S. Catholic bishops, that it be suggested to parishioners that they withhold donations until the questions are answered.

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Vatican sex abuse summit: ‘Don’t wait for the media to make us act’

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
Rome

Conceding that church officials in various parts of the world often adopted tough policies to fight child abuse only in response to negative media coverage, the Vatican’s top doctrinal official today called for a “more proactive” approach.

In part, that’s likely a reference to the fact that while the sexual abuse crisis has already exploded in North America and parts of Europe, it has not yet really arrived elsewhere, including much of the developing world — where two-thirds of all Catholics today live.

Among other points, American Cardinal William Levada stressed that the sexual abuse of minors is not merely a crime under church law, but also under civil law, and that the church is therefore obliged to report “such crimes to the appropriate authorities.”

Levada spoke this evening to a summit conference on sexual abuse hosted by the Jesuit-run Gregorian University in Rome, and co-sponsored by several Vatican departments. The four-day event is titled “Toward Healing and Renewal.”

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Vatican summit meets on sex abuse by clergy

ROME
CBC News

A Vatican-hosted summit organized under the banner of “healing and renewal” for victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy members meets Monday, bringing together bishops from more than 100 countries.

Dismissed by some as a PR stunt to repair the church’s damaged reputation over years of scandal, the four-day symposium at the Gregorian University in Rome is expected to be attended by the Vatican’s chief anti-pedophilia prosecutor, Monsignor Charles Scicluna, as well as Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins, who was raped by a hospital chaplain when she was 13.

The heads of 33 religious orders will also take part. Pope Benedict XVI is expected to offer a special blessing for the closed-door conference.

Scicluna has said that protecting children must be “a permanent principle and concern” for the church worldwide.

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Pope ‘unlikely’ to visit due to abuse fallout

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Seán McCárthaigh

Monday, February 06, 2012

The Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said it is unlikely Pope Benedict XVI will attend this summer’s International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin because of the ongoing fallout of clerical sexual abuse scandals in Ireland.

Dr Martin indicated that a Papal visit to coincide with the Congress would be premature against a background of the strained relationship between Ireland and the Vatican following recent reports which were highly critical of the Church’s handling of child abuse controversies.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio, Dr Martin said the Pope had been invited to attend the Congress but that he had not yet formally responded to the invitation.

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Jury can hear how church handled past abuse cases, judge rules

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Prosecutors at the child endangerment and sex-abuse trial of three current and former priests will be allowed to tell jurors how the Archdiocese of Philadelphia handled at least 22 other sex-abuse allegations over decades, a judge ruled Monday.

The decision by Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina represented a significant victory for prosecutors in their case against Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former archdiocesan official accused of recommending parish assignments for two priests he allegedly knew or suspected would molest boys.

Prosecutors have argued that Lynn’s decisions as Secretary for Clergy in those cases reflected a broader, decades-long practice by church leaders to conceal and protect sexually abusive clergy.

They asked to introduce evidence of allegations against nearly 30 other priests, arguing it was necessary to give jurors a “complete picture” of how the archdiocese routinely responded, or failed to respond, to complaints or signals that priests were sexually assaulting children

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OK Catholic official promoted to KS; SNAP responds

OKLAHOMA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 06, 2012

We’re disappointed that Msgr. Edward Weisenburger has been promoted. For the past 16 years, he has been a high-ranking official (vicar general) in an archdiocese (Oklahoma City) with a disturbing record with children’s safety.

Oklahoma City’s archbishop tapped Weisenburger for the vicar general spot. In that role, Weisenburger was surely intimately involved in virtually all cases of clergy sexual misconduct.

Barely a year ago, Weisenburger kept silent for at least a month, and likely much longer, about credible child sex abuse allegations against Fr. Steven D. Cude. (A civil lawsuit against Cude was filed by attorney Shad Withers).That’s a violation of the promises that all US bishops made a decade ago to be “open and transparent” in clergy sex cases.

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Accused KC Catholic priest quickly restored to ministry; SNAP responds

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on February 06, 2012

We’re disappointed that Fr. Matt Bartulica has been so quickly restored to his job despite allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse. How thorough could an alleged church “investigation” be if it just took a couple of weeks?

We hope that anyone who may have been hurt by Fr. Bartulica doesn’t feel hurt and betrayed again by Bishop Finn’s premature move.

We hope that other current and former Catholic employees and members will do what Bishop Finn refuses to do – beg anyone with information or suspicions about child sex crimes – by Bartulica or any clerics – to call police immediately.

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Clergy victims back SD child sex abuse reforms

SOUTH DAKOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 06, 2012

Besides jail, two things keep kids safe from child predators – publicly exposing predators and deterring others from concealing their crimes. There’s no better way to do this than by reforming archaic, arbitrary, predator-friendly laws like the statute of limitations.

Dozens of states have done this in recent years. South Dakota, however, has gone backwards. Its lawmakers made kids more vulnerable, not less vulnerable, to child molesters. They have made life harder, not easier, for child sex victims. Representative Hickey’s bill can reverse this.

When adults know they can be penalized for wrongdoing, they’re apt to avoid wrongdoing. But when some adults know they’ll never face litigation for acting recklessly and deceitfully, they’ll be tempted to act recklessly and deceitfully. That’s one reason so many child molesters violate dozens and dozens of kids – because their employers have often escaped any consequences for ignoring or hiding their crimes. This must stop.

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SNAP blasts symposium in Rome as “window dressing”

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Joelle Casteix on February 06, 2012

How many meetings will it take for Rome to learn that child sex abuse is a crime, predators must be made public and jailed, and church officials who cover up for molesters must be held accountable?

But even after years of promises, meetings, and empty apologies, the Vatican cannot do the simplest, cheapest, and most child-friendly action possible: make public decades of secret files on clergy sex offenders and enablers.

This week in Rome, Catholic bishops and religious superiors from around the world are meeting for the Vatican-sponsored “Towards Healing and Renewal” conference. The four day symposium is being billed as a “global initiative on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults”.

Conference leaders say that the purpose of this event is to create guidelines on how to handle reports of childhood sexual abuse. Who will be leading the discussion? The very same “experts” and church officials who bear responsibility for the continued global cover-up of clergy child sex crimes, including Cardinal William Levada, who covered up criminal reports of child rape and sexual assault when he was archbishop of San Francisco, California and Portland, Oregon.

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Vatican cardinal says pope merits thanks…

ROME
Washington Post

Vatican cardinal says pope merits thanks, not attacks, for his handling of clergy sex abuse

By Associated Press,

ROME — The U.S. cardinal who leads the Vatican office overseeing cases of sexual abuse by clergy says Pope Benedict XVI should be thanked, not attacked, for his handling of the problem.

Cardinal William Levada vigorously defended Benedict in a speech to a Vatican-backed symposium in Rome aimed at showing church leaders how to help sex abuse victims and protect children. Before becoming pontiff, Benedict held Levada’s job, and the cardinal thanked him for supporting binding rules so U.S. bishops could crack down on abuse.

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Woodbridge Pastor a Witness in Sex Abuse Case

CONNECTICUT
Patch

By Anthony Karge

A Woodbridge pastor testified last week as a witness about his role in the alleged cover up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford.

Rev. Gene Gianelli, now pastor of Our Lady Assumption Church, was called as a witness for his time as an aide in the archdiocese more than 30 years ago.

According to the Hartford Courant, Gianelli testified that he helped find treatment for a priest accused of molesting boys. The Courant reported that he “testified that he decided to keep the name of the church clinic where the abusive priest was sent for treatment from the mother of two, abused brothers because he was afraid that she could become ‘a pest.’”

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Priest guilty of child sex offences

UNITED KINGDOM
The Independent

Mathew Cooper

Monday 06 February 2012

A Roman Catholic priest has been found guilty of committing sexual offences against seven boys between 1975 and 1993.

A jury at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, which is still considering four further counts against Alexander Bede Walsh, took around six hours to find him guilty of 18 charges of indecent assault and another serious sexual offence.

The jury also acquitted the 58-year-old of three counts of indecent assault and one of indecency with a child.

Walsh, of Church Lane, Abbots Bromley, near Rugeley, Staffordshire, had denied a total of 27 counts alleged to have been committed while he was working in Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Coventry.

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Vatican Sponsors Global Summit on Child Abuse

ROME
Voice of America

Posted Monday, February 6th, 2012

Roman Catholic leaders from across the globe have opened an unprecedented Vatican-sponsored summit on ways to detect and prevent sexual child abuse by clergy.

Organizers say the four-day, closed-door symposium, hosted by Rome’s Jesuit-run Gregorian University, includes bishops from 100 countries and representatives of more than 30 religious orders.

University Vice Rector Hans Zollner said the summit will include a vigil ceremony Tuesday in Rome’s Saint Ignatius church in which several religious orders embroiled in the church’s sex abuse scandal will publicly ask forgiveness from abuse survivors.

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Pope calls for Church renewal over child abuse

VATICAN CITY
AFP

VATICAN CITY, Holy See — Pope Benedict XVI on Monday urged “profound renewal” in the Catholic Church to combat child abuse in a message to participants of a first-ever Vatican conference on the issue.

“Healing for victims must be of paramount concern in the Christian community, and it must go hand in hand with a profound renewal of the Church at every level,” the pope was quoted as saying in a statement by the Vatican.

He said the conference of Catholic leaders should “promote throughout the Church a vigorous culture of effective safeguarding and victim support.”

The statement said the pope “supports and encourages every effort to respond with evangelical charity to the challenge of providing children and vulnerable adults with an ecclesial environment conducive to their human and spiritual growth.”

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