ABUSE TRACKER

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

January 8, 2012

Parishioners Seeking ‘Justice For Bishop Finn’

KANSAS CITY (MO)
St. Joe Channel

[with video]

Reported by: Robert Lowrey

Saturday, January 07 2012

KANSAS CITY — “I implore the government not to take away our shepherd from us,” said Theresa Lynn, a member of Justice for Bishop Finn.

This is a common message from those in support of Bishop Robert Finn.

The rally is part of Justice for Bishop Finn’s goal of trying to prove Bishop Robert Finn’s innocence. The organization is speaking out to government officials.

Bishop Robert Finn of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese is the highest ranking Catholic official to be held accountable for alleged misconduct.

He is charged with failing to report child abuse in Jackson County after Father Shawn Ratigan was arrested on charges of child pornography. Finn also worked out a deal with prosecutors in Clay County to avoid an indictment.

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.

Ogdensburg bishop had audience with pope

By CHRISTOPHER ROBBINS
TIMES STAFF WRITER

NEW YORK
Watertown Daily Times

SUNDAY, JANUARY 8, 2012

OGDENSBURG — On Thanksgiving, many travel long distances to spend time with their families.

For Bishop Terry R. LaValley of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg, the day was spent across the Atlantic Ocean at the Vatican, where he had a personal audience with Pope Benedict XVI.

“Thanksgiving Day 2011 was truly a day in which I felt especially blessed,” Bishop LaValley said by email of his experiences.

As part of a tradition known as a quinquennial visit ad limina, Catholic bishops travel to the Vatican to report on the state of their diocese to the pope and to visit the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul. Bishop LaValley was in Rome from Nov. 22 to Dec. 1.

During his audience with the pope, Bishop LaValley discussed the challenges the church has faced in the north country, including the clergy sex-abuse scandals, increased poverty, secularization and a decline in the number of Catholics who participate in the sacraments.

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 Israel rabbi indicted for sexually assaulting minors

ISRAEL
Haaretiz

By Eli Ashkenazi

Rabbi Yaakov Deutsch, a prominent rabbi from the city of Afula in northern Israel, was indicted on Sunday for committing sexual offenses against four minors, two boys and two girls.

According to the indictment, which was served by the northern district attorney’s office at Nazareth District Court, Deutsch, who has lived in Afula for forty years and has become an important local figure with a large following, abused his position to carry out a number of sexual offenses against minors.

The charges include unlawful sexual intercourse with consent, sodomy, and indecent assault of a fifteen year-old girl, indecent assault of a thirteen year-old girl, indecent assault of a thirteen year-old boy, and indecent assault of a fourteen year-old boy.

Rabbi Deutch’s lawyers argue that the complaints against the sixty-year-old rabbi are the result of behind-the-scenes activity. “We know that there are people who are going from house to house in the local community convincing children to complain against the rabbi,” they 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.

Local SNAP Leader Vows To Fight Records Disclosure Order

MISSOURI
Fox 2

By Jeff Bernthal
Reporter

January 7, 2012
UNIVERSITY CITY , MO (KTVI – FOX2now.com)— The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests handed out flyers in front of Christ the King Church in University City on Saturday asking parishioners for a favor.

SNAP is trying to fight two subpoenas ordering them to turn over private communications with victims.

The flyers ask Catholics to ask church leaders to back away from asking SNAP for certain information.

The subpoenas come from church lawyers trying to track down gag order violations and the courts agree that SNAP must turn over its communications.

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

Breaking the silence on men and rape

UNITED STATES
CNN

Editor’s note: Thomas Matlack is the founder of The Good Men Project who writes and speaks frequently about manhood. He is also a venture capitalist, husband, and father of two sons and a daughter.

(CNN) — Stereotypes can rumble around in our collective brains for decades, sometimes centuries, before finally being edged out by a more nuanced understanding of reality. It’s been that way with our views about race, creed, sexual orientation and gender roles.

The Justice Department’s announcement this week that it has changed the definition of rape to include men is one such step on the long road to better understanding.

The last few years have seen a growing shift in the way men are perceived, under the collective weight of celebrity bad boys, stay-at-home dads, written scholarship on the supposed “end of men,” an epidemic of male incarceration, two decade-long wars fought mostly by men and a nascent men’s movement that is not about proclaiming male power but male capacity for depth and goodness.

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.

Survivors of clergy abuse mark 10-year anniversary

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Jenna Russell
| Globe Staff
January 08, 2012

Their conference yesterday was billed as a celebration of 10 years of advocacy and accomplishment, but victims of clergy sexual abuse who came to reflect on a decade of change said it was only the beginning.

“Who would have thought, 10 years ago, that we would still be here?’’ said Paul Kellen, a conference organizer with the advocacy group Speak Truth to Power. “We thought it would be over, that it would be fixed . . . that people would be healed and reintegrated, and it hasn’t happened.’’

About 75 people attended yesterday’s gathering, including abuse survivors, advocates, and supporters from New England, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The three-day conference kicked off Friday with a remembrance of abuse victims who have died, and was scheduled to end this morning with a demonstration march in the South End around the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the mother church of the Archdiocese of Boston.

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.

Lahey sentencing

CANADA
The Chronicle-Herald

IF you’re looking to gain some perspective on last week’s quick release of disgraced former bishop Raymond Lahey, we have just the man for you.

His name is Philip Latimer and he hails from Inverness County. The 50-year-old man is suing the Roman Catholic Church over sexual abuse he says he suffered as a boy at the hands of a priest who has since died.

Mr. Latimer is a welder, not a lawyer, but his layman’s insights are no less astute. “I don’t call this a justice system. I call it a legal system,” he told The Chronicle Herald after Mr. Lahey was sentenced to time served and walked out of an Ottawa courtroom.

Most Nova Scotians would be hard-pressed to disagree with that analysis. Just last month, the general public was dismayed to see the molestation convictions against another high-profile defendant, Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh, struck down because the case took too long to wend its way through the courts. And now the ex-bishop of Antigonish, who was nabbed at the Ottawa airport two years ago with a cache of pornographic images of young boys on his laptop, is already on parole because he was awarded a two-for-one credit on time spent in jail while awaiting sentencing.

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

January 7, 2012

New trial in Calif. priest molestation upheld

FRESNO (CA)
Mercury News

The Associated Press
Posted: 01/07/2012

FRESNO, Calif.—An appeals court has upheld a lower court’s ruling that there should be a new civil trial for a man who claims he was molested by a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno.

The Fresno Bee reports ( http://bit.ly/AqFfiF) that the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles on Friday upheld a ruling by a Fresno County Superior Court judge for the new trial.

The appeals court’s decision comes after a Fresno County jury determined in 2009 that Monsignor Anthony Herdegen had molested Howard Santillan and his older brother, George Santillan, from 1959 to 1972 while Herdegen was a priest at St. John’s Catholic Church in Wasco.

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.

Clergy Sex Abuse Survivors Could Benefit From California Court Ruling

CALIFORNIA
Injury Board Blog Network

Posted by David Mittleman
January 06, 2012

The California Supreme Court is now considering the case of six brothers, now in their 40s and 50s, who claim they suffered sexual abuse by a priest the area diocese knew to be a predator. The court is being asked to determine which of two apparently conflicting laws to apply. California has been expanding its statute of limitations in the last 15 years in an effort to make it easier for survivors of sexual abuse to hold perpetrators – and those who knew of their actions but failed to intervene – accountable for their actions. Recent amendments to the California law have abolished a hard age limit of 26, provided for a one-year window to pursue previously barred claims, permitted claims where the victim only recently connected the abuse to his current condition, and made it easier to hold employers responsible for acts they covered up or failed to stop.

Over the last twenty years, it has become increasingly clear that survivors of sexual abuse, and particularly minors, rarely come forward at the time the abuse occurred. This can be for any number of reasons, but most commonly the victims are ashamed or do not fully understand the ramifications of the abuse. In some cases, the victims are not believed or, in the case of the recent Penn State scandal, nothing is done.

Many states have recognized this fact in sex abuse cases, and have altered their statutes of limitations accordingly. Just yesterday, a committee in the New Jersey Assembly approved a bill that would eliminate the state’s two-year limit on bringing lawsuits based on sexual abuse. California’s increasingly progressive stance is another example of a state taking reasonable measures to help survivors seek legal recourse.

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.

What’s a just cause for a bishop’s resignation

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Maureen Fiedler on Jan. 06, 2012 NCR Today

Like Pax Christi USA, I, too, am sad about the resignation of Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop and Pax Christi USA President Gabino Zavala. I did not know him, but if he’s associated with Pax Christi, he must be in tune with the justice and peace message of the Gospel, and that’s great. So why did he resign? He fathered two children.

I’m sad for two reasons. We have not yet seen the day in the Catholic church that a priest or a bishop can marry and father children without it being some sort of scandal. It’s long past time that we move to a priesthood that welcomes and celebrates marriage and fatherhood. (And while we’re at it, motherhood as well!)

But I’m also sad because resignations are apparently necessary when a bishop “fathers” children, but not when a bishop fails to deal seriously with the abuse of children. I’m thinking of all those bishops who moved abusing priests from parish to parish, who covered up abuse, who have failed to report abuse to authorities. Most of them are still running dioceses.

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.

‘Beklaagdenbank zit na rapport-Deetman veel te vol’

NEDERLAND
de Volkskrant

De reacties op het misbruik in de rooms-katholieke kerk zijn ongenuanceerd. De achthonderd daders en verdachten vormen slechts tussen de 1 en 2 procent van alle religieuzen die destijds actief waren. Dat zegt Sjaak van der Geest.

Het rapport-Deetman en de discussie over het daaraan ten grondslag liggende onderzoek roepen veel vragen op. Ik wil er drie uit lichten. Maar laat ik eerst zeggen wie ik ben, want kennelijk heeft niet iedereen evenveel recht van spreken. De slachtoffers krijgen de meeste ruimte; de daders en verdachten de minste. Bisschoppen en kerkelijke oversten kunnen beter ook niet te veel zeggen; ze moeten zich en hun mede-broeders/zusters zeker niet gaan verdedigen. Iedere nuance maakt ook hen ‘verdacht’.

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.

Obama Administration to Help Victims by Scrapping FBI’s Antiquated Definition of Rape

UNITED STATES
AlterNet

From AP:

The Obama administration on Friday expanded the FBI’s more than eight-decade-old definition of rape to count men as victims for the first time and to drop the requirement that victims must have physically resisted their attackers.

The new definition will increase the number of people counted as rape victims in FBI statistics, but will not change federal or state laws nor alter charges or prosecutions.

The expansion has been long awaited because policymakers and lawmakers use crime statistics to allocate resources for prevention and victim assistance.

Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett called the change a “very, very important step.” The issue got top-level White House attention starting last July, when Vice President Joe Biden raised it at a Cabinet meeting.

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 bishop rose from humble roots

CALIFORNIA
U-T San Diego

Written by
Matthew T. Hall

When the Most Rev. Cirilo Flores becomes the fifth bishop in the history of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego next year, he will reach a height he couldn’t imagine while growing up in a Corona barrio.

His parents were faithful but poor. He attended public schools until the Knights of Columbus began paying for a Catholic education in seventh grade. He was gifted but unsure of himself. He wrote in his yearbook that he would become a teacher, an attorney or a priest.

In one show of his significant potential, he would become all three. …

Cirilo Flores has been on several church boards since. As auxiliary bishop of Orange, he was part of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ subcommittees on Latin America and Hispanic Affairs. He also served multiple terms on his diocese’s priest personnel board between 1995 and 2009, a period that included the past decade’s national priest sexual-abuse scandal.

Citing that service, Joelle Casteix, southwestern regional director for the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, criticized Flores’ advancement in church leadership three years ago. She reiteraterd her concerns this week.

“He served on the board during some of its most controversial times when they had numerous perpetrators in ministry and only kicked them out because the U.S. Congress of Catholic Bishops said you have to do so,” Casteix said. “Since he’s become a bishop, he’s been virtually silent on victims’ rights. There’s a million things he could have done.”

Flores said Friday his board handled clergy placement in parishes and a separate board handled misconduct and the sexual-abuse cases within the church. “I don’t know what she wants me to do. When Bishop Tod (Brown) settled the cases several years ago, he apologized maybe 100 times and so did the bishops in Orange and the priests.”

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.

New Papal Nuncio told to show ‘humility’

ROME
Irish Independent

By Nick Pisa in Rome

Saturday January 07 2012

THE Pope yesterday told the new Papal Nuncio to Ireland that he must display humility and a “restless . . . and watchful heart” as he ordained him an archbishop in Rome.

Monsignor Charles Brown (52) was named Papal Nuncio to Ireland last November.

Papal nuncios serve as diplomatic representatives of the Pope in foreign countries.

Archbishop Brown will travel to Ireland next month, as relations between here and the Vatican are at an all-time low in the wake of the church’s handling of the child sex-abuse scandal.

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.

Wim Eijk benoemd tot kardinaal

NEDERLAND
NRC Handelsblad

door Annemarie Coevert

Wim Eijk wordt benoemd tot kardinaal, zo maakte Paus Benedictus XVI vandaag bekend. Hij presenteerde een lijst met de mensen die de eretitel dit jaar zullen krijgen, zo meldt persbureau Novum.

De naam van de 58-jarige Eijk zong al enige tijd rond op lijstjes van nieuwe kardinalen, maar de paus is de enige die nieuwe kardinalen kan aanwijzen. Na de paus is kardinaal de hoogste rang binnen de katholieke kerk. De benoeming lag voor de hand, omdat kardinaal Ad Simonis in november 80 jaar werd en daardoor in zijn huidige rol als kardinaal niet meer mag deelnemen aan het conclaaf als de huidige paus overlijdt.

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.

EIGHT COMMON MYTHS ABOUT CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

UNITED STATES
The Leadership Council

Few people are aware of the true state of the science on child abuse. Instead, most people’s beliefs have been shaped by common misconceptions and popular myths about this hidden crime. Societal acceptance of these myths assists sex offenders by silencing victims and encouraging public denial about the true nature of sexual assaults against children. The Leadership Council prepared this analysis because we believe that society as a whole benefits when the public has access to accurate information regarding child abuse and other forms of interpersonal violence.

Myth 1: Normal-appearing, well educated, middle-class people don’t molest children.

One of the public’s most dangerous assumptions is the belief that a person who both appears and acts normal could not be a child molester. Sex offenders are well aware of our propensity for making assumptions about private behavior from one’s public presentation. In fact, as recent reports of abuse by priests have shown, child molesters rely on our misassumptions to deliberately and carefully set and gain access to child victims.

According to Dr. Anna Salter, Ph.D., a foremost expert in sex offenders, “a double life is prevalent among all types of sex offenders . . . . The front that offenders typically offer to the outside world is usually a ‘good person,’ someone who the community believes has a good character and would never do such a thing” (Salter, 2003, p. 34).

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.

SNAP concerned about Dolan’s role as Cardinal

MILWAUKEE (WI)
TMJ 4

By Keller Russell

CREATED Jan. 6, 2012

MILWAUKEE – Tim Dolan led milwaukee’s archdioceses here for seven years.

Some consider Archbishop Dolan the face of the Catholic church in the United States.

But at least one group calls his elevation to cardinal, a cause of concern.

It’s a calling from the Vatican that will earn former Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan a red hat as a cardinal for the Catholic church.

“It’s almost as though the Pope is putting the red hat and cardinal on top of the Empire State Building,” Archbishop Dolan said at a news conference in New York Friday morning.

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.

Latinos expanding their religious horizons

UNITED STATES
Tucson Citizen

by USA Today Feed on Jan. 07, 2012

It’s Sunday morning and evangelical churches are packed.

Pastors are preaching, Bibles are being read and churchgoers are singing.

In Spanish.

While the Catholic church is still the principal religion for Latinos, a growing number are bucking tradition and moving toward evangelism — particularly among the younger generation.

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.

Innocence lost

CANADA
The Telegram

Published on January 7, 2012

Pam Frampton

“He does not believe who does not live according to his belief.”

– Thomas Fuller (1608-1661), English author and preacher

On Aug. 7, 2009, Bishop Raymond Lahey read an apology as part of a $15-million settlement for victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Roman Catholic priests in the Diocese of Antigonish, N.S. It is excerpted here in italics.

A scant month after reading it aloud, he was arrested at an Ottawa airport carrying a laptop full of child porn and a bag of sex toys.

On Wednesday, as news came that Lahey was free to leave an Ottawa courtroom after being sentenced to time served, you could forgive people’s anger.

The statement he made in 2009 sounds particularly hollow now, given that all the while he was privately aiding and abetting child sexual abusers by viewing their disgusting portfolios in order to satisfy his own sexual desires.

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.

The Truth About Falsely Accused Priests

UNITED STATES
Catholic World Report

The accused are often presumed guilty until proven innocent, while the media distorts the narrative of child abuse in the US.

By CWR Staff

Dave Pierre is a journalist who operates TheMediaReport.com, which examines anti-Catholicism and bias in today’s media, and the author of two books, Double Standard: Abuse Scandals and the Attack on the Catholic Church and Catholic Priests Falsely Accused: The Facts, The Fraud, The Stories. Dave is also a contributing writer to NewsBusters.org, a blog of the Media Research Center covering media bias. In this Catholic World Report interview, he discusses his new book, Catholic Priests Falsely Accused, and offers his thoughts about the media’s coverage of the Catholic Church abuse narrative.

Catholic World Report: When and how did you first become interested in the Catholic clergy abuse scandals and the dominant media coverage of those scandals?

Dave Pierre: When I was living in Los Angeles, I became a contributing writer to NewsBusters.org, the popular media-bias blog of the Media Research Center. I would frequently look at the Los Angeles Times. A number of years ago, I noticed that the paper published a very large, 3,800-word piece on the front page about decades-old abuses that were alleged to have been committed by Catholic clergy in remote villages of Alaska. Indeed, many of the stories were heart-wrenching, painful, and tragic. However, months later, the shocking story of a Southern California teacher who may have molested as many as 200 children was buried on page B3.

I soon began to notice a trend: the Times was often giving front-page coverage to stories about Catholic priests alleged to have committed abuse decades ago. Meanwhile, arrests of public school teachers for abuse happening today were often not reported or buried in the “news briefs” section.

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 names Toronto archbishop as cardinal

CANADA
CBC News

The Pope has named Toronto Archbishop Thomas Christopher Collins as one of 22 new cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican announced Friday morning.

Collins, 64, ordained as a priest in 1973 and appointed archbishop of Toronto in 2007, told CBC’s Heather Hiscox he learned about his appointment after receiving word on his BlackBerry to call the Pope’s representative. …

Collins will take on his new role at a time when the relevance of the church in North America is being questioned, and following a wave of sexual abuse scandals involving clergy.

He tackled the issue in an address to Catholics, in 2010: “Our first concern should be for those innocent young people who have been abused to help them overcome their suffering … and to make sure … that this doesn’t happen again.

“It’s a deep wound that cannot be put aside …” he said then.

Richard Alway, the president of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies at the University of Toronto, said Collins has already tackled the issue not only here but in Ireland, where he was sent by the Pope to report on abuse by clergy there.

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.

New Yorker Among 22 New Cardinals

ROME
Wall Street Journal

By STACY MEICHTRY

ROME—Pope Benedict XVI named 22 new cardinals—including Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York and Edwin O’Brien, the former archbishop of Baltimore—refreshing the ranks of Roman Catholic prelates who one day will vote in the election of his successor.

Speaking to faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Friday to celebrate the Epiphany, the pope said he planned to elevate the prelates to the rank of cardinal during a Feb. 18 ceremony, known as a consistory.

As cardinals, the prelates will become “princes” of the church and close advisers of the pontiff. …

He has risen relatively quickly in the ranks. In the 1990s, he was rector at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. In 2002, he became archbishop of Milwaukee, which was then reeling from scandal caused by widespread allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests. In 2009, the pope appointed him to head the Archdiocese of New York, one of the most high-profile jobs in the American Catholic Church.

Vatican analyst John Allen said Archbishop Dolan’s media savvy, combined with his strong support for papal policies, have made him the Vatican’s “go-to guy” in the American Catholic Church, where he serves as head of the U.S. Bishops Conference.

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.

Guelph native becoming a cardinal

CANADA
The Record

TORONTO — A Guelph native, the Archbishop of Toronto Tom Collins, has been promoted to the Pope’s international circle of advisers, the College of Cardinals.

Collins got the call Thursday from the papal nuncio’s office in Ottawa. …

Collins has already served in special roles at the request of Pope Benedict. Last year, he was appointed to a panel investigating sexual abuse in Ireland.

About that inquiry, he said the church needs to be “very involved in the life of society — addressing problems in society and helping and encouraging people to deal with that.

“If someone is suffering, if someone is in trouble, if someone is in need, the religious people are the first to respond.”

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.

Dolan Elevated as Pope Names New Cardinals

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By SHARON OTTERMAN and LAURIE GOODSTEIN

Published: January 6, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI named 22 new cardinals on Friday, including Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, in a set of appointments that reflected the pope’s reliance on Italians and Vatican insiders at a time when the church’s population base has shifted to the Southern Hemisphere.

The elevation of Archbishop Dolan to cardinal, which will become official at a Vatican ceremony next month, is the culmination of the 61-year-old’s rapid rise through the ranks, cementing his role as a leading voice of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States and signaling the Vatican’s continuing embrace of his genial, conservative style. …

“He is protecting his reputation and the reputation of his colleagues instead of the emotional, physical and spiritual well-being of kids,” said David Clohessy, the executive director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. As a cardinal, Archbishop Dolan’s already weighty responsibilities to the global Catholic Church will increase, meaning he will most likely spend less time in New York.

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 elevates New York archbishop to cardinal

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By ANNYSA JOHNSON — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MILWAUKEE — Friday’s announcement that New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan will be elevated to cardinal in February reflects his growing prominence in the American Catholic Church, and near meteoric rise since leaving the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in 2009.

Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is one of just two U.S. prelates on a list of 22 new cardinals announced by Pope Benedict XVI after a special Epiphany Mass closing the Church’s Christmas celebrations. …

Dolan’s detractors also weighed in. The advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests issued a statement criticizing Dolan’s record on the church’s sex abuse crisis and suggested he took steps to shield millions of dollars in church funds to keep them from being used to pay victims in the Milwaukee Archdiocese’s ensuing bankruptcy.

Dolan has derided the allegation, first raised in a bankruptcy hearing last year, as “groundless gossip.”

“Our disappointment is that he didn’t stay here to complete the job he said he was going to do, and the lack of transparency,” said Peter Isely, SNAP’s Midwest director.

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.

Robinson gives interview on Paula Zahn’s show

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

BY KIRK BAIRD
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Paula Zahn examines the Sister Margaret Ann Pahl murder case, including an interview with her convicted killer, Toledo priest Gerald Robinson, in her series On the Case with Paula Zahn. The episode titled Last Rites premieres at 10 p.m. Sunday on cable network Investigation Discovery, which can be seen locally on Buckeye CableSystem channel 203 and U-Verse channel 260. Robinson was convicted in 2006 of the 1980 murder of Sister Margaret Ann.

“When we looked at the murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl we saw many elements we felt our audience would find compelling. It involved the murder of a beloved nun, who was stabbed to death on Holy Saturday and the crime was committed inside of a holy sanctuary [the sacristy of a church],” said Larry Israel, On the Case with Paula Zahn’s co-executive producer. “This is the first time Father Gerald Robinson has ever been interviewed on television and I think viewers will be riveted by what he said when he sat down with Paula.”

Blade religion editor David Yonke, who covered the Robinson trial and wrote a book about it, Sin, Shame & Secrets, was also interviewed as part of the show’s coverage.

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.

Secrecy over costs and guests at lavish Vatican embassy parties

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Cormac McQuinn

Saturday January 07 2012

DETAILS of lavish bashes thrown by the Irish ambassador to the Holy See last year are being kept under wraps.

The embassy, based in the opulent Villa Spada, is being closed for “economic reasons”. But last year it continued to spend tens of thousands of euro on functions.

However, the Department of Foreign Affairs has refused to disclose details of three lavish bashes thrown by the Irish ambassador in the Vatican last year — despite requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

Such details have previously been provided for other embassies, but in the case of the Holy See a department official claimed that it would take 557 hours of manpower to compile the information at a cost of €11,600.

The department had no difficulty disclosing costs, as well as the names of party-goers, at embassies in London and Washington. But documents relating to the functions in Rome are heavily redacted and no receipts and costs details have been provided for food, drink or gifts.

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.

Disgraced bishop’s 15-month child porn sentence doesn’t reflect seriousness of his crime…

CANADA
National Post

By Andrew Seymour
in Ottawa
and Charles Lewis

The 15-month sentence given to Bishop Raymond Lahey for possession of hundreds of images of child pornography — some that showed naked young boys wearing rosary beads and crucifixes — does not properly reflect the seriousness of the crime, a leading children’s rights activist said Wednesday.

Ontario Court Justice Kent Kirkland said the former Roman Catholic bishop of Antigonish, N.S., would be given two-for-one credit for the eight months already served since he pleaded guilty in May. As a result, Lahey will not spend another day behind bars and is now on probation.

Rosalind Prober of Beyond Borders said what Lahey, 71, did was help fuel a market that sexually abuses and tortures young children.

“These are real children in these images,” Ms. Prober said from Winnipeg. “They are not drawings. If you look at this sentencing from the perspective of the victims — the children in those images he had — there is a real disconnect between the crime and its ramifications on young lives. If the children in those images could have stood in the courtroom perhaps the sentence would have been tougher.”

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Lorne Gunter: Lahey does easy time thanks to Canada’s lax child porn laws

CANADA
National Post

Lorne Gunter

The fact that former Nova Scotia Catholic bishop Raymond Lahey is again free from jail is an outrage. That he spent just eight months in custody for possessing violent child pornography is appalling, not so much for what it says about our legal system, but for what it says about the low priority we as a society place on protecting our children from sexual predators.

It’s hard to find flaws in the strict legal reasoning employed by Ontario Court Justice Kent Kirkland, who decided Wednesday to release Mr. Lahey on time served. The disgraced cleric had been in jail since pleading guilty last May.

Lahey showed genuine contrition for his actions. He told the court Tuesday, before his sentence was handed down, “I know I’ve done wrong, not only something illegal, but something that goes against the moral principles I believe in.” And he promised to use his notoriety to encourage others with pedophilic desires to seek help, “not just because this is something illegal, but because ultimately it is unhealthy, because it destroys relationships, and above all, where it involves pictures and stories of children, because it causes genuine harm to them.”

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Mallick: Addiction doesn’t excuse disgraced Bishop Raymond Lahey

CANADA
Toronto Star

Heather Mallick
Star columnist

It was a big win for addicts everywhere. Disgraced Catholic Bishop Raymond Lahey Wednesday talked a court into letting him off with time served for storing 155,000 pornographic images of young boys on his computer and handheld. He just couldn’t help himself.

“I have come to recognize that I became addicted to Internet pornography on a very indiscriminate basis,” Lahey, 71, told the nice judge.

“This was an addiction powerful enough that, despite my own distaste for it and my own internal convulsions, I could not break it.”

Convulsions indeed. Lahey’s massive stash included 63 videos of bondage and torture, replete with rosary beads, crucifixes and monks beating naked boys with paddles. Lahey, whose computer was examined at Ottawa airport after officials noted his repeated trips to Southeast Asia and other countries rife with industrial child porn, was in the grip of the demon “addiction.”

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More distrust

CANADA
The Western Star

The sentencing of Roman Catholic Bishop Raymond Lahey for importing child pornography has again sparked more rage against the church and the judicial system.

Lahey had pleaded guilty to the child pornography charge back in May and surrendered himself into immediate custody while awaiting sentencing.

Since Lahey committed his crime in 2009, Ontario Court Justice Kent Kirkland said the 71-year-old bishop was entitled to receive double credit for time served awaiting sentencing. And with close to eight months already in jail, Lahey was free to go from the court.

A well-respected bishop when he served in the St. George’s Diocese from 1986 to 2003, the news came as a shock for many Roman Catholics from the area, as it did for people in the latest archdiocese in Antigonish, N.S. where he had served as bishop from 2003 up to his resignation following the charge.

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BENEDICT XVI NAMES TWENTY-TWO NEW CARDINALS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

[with complete list]

VATICAN CITY, 6 JAN 2012 (VIS) – “It is with great joy that I announce my intention to hold a concistory on 18 February, in which I will appoint twenty-two new members of the College of Cardinals”. With these words, addressed to faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray the Angelus, Benedict XVI today announced the fourth consistory of his pontificate.

“As is well known”, he explained, “cardinals have the task of helping Peter’s Successor carry out his mission to confirm people in the faith and to be the source and foundation of the Church’s unity and communion”. The new cardinals “come from various parts of the world and perform various ministries in the service of the Holy See, in direct contact with the faithful as fathers and pastors of particular Churches”.

Eighteen of the new cardinals, being under the age of eighty, will be electors.

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Papal nuncio faces tough task in mending relations

ROME
The Irish Times

PADDY AGNEW in Rome

Archbishop Charles Brown does not see his role as leading a reform of the Irish church

US ARCHBISHOP Charles John Brown, the new papal nuncio to Ireland, admits he knows little about Ireland and has “a lot to learn”.

His only experience of this country came via two short holidays in the early 1980s when, while studying theology at Oxford, he took the Holyhead boat to Dublin to visit a US friend and his Irish girlfriend for Christmas.

That short visit, however, left him with a very favourable impression. His friends were living in Roundwood, Co Wicklow, which was not well connected from the public transport viewpoint. Thus the future nuncio, complete with the de rigeur student backpack, set out to hitchike his way to Roundwood.

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AG: Alexander Sex Allegations ‘Not Directly Related’ to State Job

HAWAII
Honolulu Civil Beat

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

Hawaii Attorney General David Louie rejected a request by an activist to meet with Gov. Neil Abercrombie regarding sexual misconduct allegations against his homeless coordinator a week before Marc Alexander’s sudden resignation.

Louie told Mitch Kahle in a Dec. 30 letter that the allegations were “serious and are taken seriously” by his department and the administration.

However, he wrote that the concerns “do not appear to be directly related to the job being performed by Mr. Alexander.”

Louie told Kahle that he and the woman who claimed to have had sexual relations with Alexander while she was an employee of his parish should instead take their complaints to the Honolulu Police Department. The reason, he explained, was that the alleged incidents occurred before Alexander was a state employee.

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Gilyard hasn’t ruled out starting new church

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

Friday, January 06, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (ABP) – A former Baptist pastor just out of prison after serving three years for sexual abuse of children says he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of starting a new church.

“I’m not sure — I’m just praying about my options right now,” Darrell Gilyard told the Florida Times-Union when asked whether he might try to rebuild his ministry.

Gilyard, 49, pleaded guilty in 2009 to molesting a 15-year-old girl and sending lewd text messages to another. Released from prison Dec. 28, Gilyard told reporter Jeff Brumley that he takes responsibility for his wrongs but if past sins were disqualification for ministry some of the most inspiring Bible stories never would have made it into Scripture.

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Former Shelby Co. teacher faces another sex abuse charge

ALABAMA
Alabama’s 13

[with video]

by Associated Press

ALABASTER, Ala. (AP) – A longtime Alabama schoolteacher facing sexual abuse allegations has been charged with molesting a second female student.

Shelby County District Attorney Robbie Owens said Danny Acker was charged Friday afternoon with one additional account of first-degree sexual abuse involving a former student.

Acker was arrested Thursday on three counts of sexual abuse involving another student before he retired in 2009. Police said he confessed to molesting more than 20 girls.

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Pastors react to Acker’s arrest

ALABAMA
Shelby County Reporter

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A pair of local pastors whose churches have ties to an Alabaster teacher arrested Jan. 4 and charged with four counts of sexually abusing children said Jan. 6 they were “shocked” by the arrest are doing whatever possible to support the victims.

Alabaster police arrested 49-year-old Alabaster resident Daniel M. Acker Jr. Jan. 4 and charged him with molesting a student in his Thompson Intermediate School fourth-grade classroom in 2009. The department added a fourth sexual abuse charge against Acker two days later.

Police said Acker admitted to molesting at least 21 female students during his 25-year tenure as a teacher at TIS, Thompson Elementary School and Creek View Elementary School.

According to Shelby County School System officials, Acker was also accused of abusing children in 1992, but a Shelby County grand jury did not indict him on the charges.

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Nova Scotia churches balk …

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

Dakshana Bascaramurty AND Kaleigh Rogers

Churches in eastern Nova Scotia are no strangers to hard times. Attendance is dwindling. The population is declining. And they inhabit one of the most economically disadvantaged regions of the country.

This year, however, their plight has reached a point of crisis – and parishioners have had enough.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish is selling 250 properties and liquidating its assets to pay a $15-million settlement for sexual abuse involving clergy.

Churchgoers were dealt another blow this week with the sentencing of Rev. Raymond Lahey – the bishop who brokered the multimillion-dollar deal.

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January 6, 2012

Appellate court denies man abused by priest a new trial

CALIFORNIA
Central Valley Business Times

SACRAMENTO
January 6, 2012

• Agrees that lawsuit was time barred
• ‘They never told anyone about the abuse until many years later’

George Santillan may have to hope for justice from a higher authority when it comes to the Catholic priest who sexually abused him when he was a boy in Wasco. The California 2nd District Court of Appeal has denied his request for a court to hear his lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Bishop of Fresno.

In its ruling Friday, the appellate court says it agrees with a decision by a jury in Fresno County Superior Court to block Mr. Santillan’s lawsuit because there was no evidence that the diocese knew that the priest was committing such acts either before or during the time when Mr. Santillan and his brother were being abused.

The trial court granted a new trial as to the brother, Howard Santillan, based on newly discovered evidence of another person who had reported that the same priest was abusing him during the period when Howard was being molested. The trial court denied the new trial motion as to George Santillan because the new witness’s report occurred after the abuse of George had stopped.

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Priest pleads not guilty to child porn charges

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Brian Bowling, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, January 6, 2012

A Catholic priest pleaded not guilty today in federal court to possessing thousands of pornographic images of young boys.

The Rev. Bart Sorensen, 62, formerly of St. John Fisher Church in Churchill, was released on $50,000 unsecured bond, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan ordered him placed on home confinement with electronic monitoring.

Sorensen declined comment after his arraignment. His attorney, Patrick Thomassey, said it was unusual for a child pornography case to get transferred from state to federal court. The cases that usually get transferred are gun- and drug-related, he said.

“I still don`t really understand the federal interest in this case,” he said.

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Bail reduced for California priest charged with molestation

CALIFORNIA
National Catholic Reporter

Jan. 06, 2012
By Monica Clark

A Catholic priest jailed for more than a month on charges of molesting a teenage girl over a two-year period had his bail reduced from $5 million to $700,000 Thursday and is expected to be released within a day.

Fr. Uriel Ojeda, 32, of the Diocese of Sacramento was arrested Nov. 30 after diocesan officials notified police that a relative of the alleged victim had reported the abuse.

During the bail hearing, Deputy District Attorney Allison Dunham told Judge Marjorie Koller the priest had confessed to a diocesan official that he had sexually abused the girl while he was parochial vicar at Holy Rosary Parish in Woodland, Calif., his first assignment after his ordination four years ago.

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10 years later and still healing

BOSTON (MA)
NECN

[with video]

(NECN: Scot Yount, Boston) – 10 years on. A decade has passed since the headlines blared that sexual abuse of children was rampant inside the Boston Archdiocese.

Now a conference in Boston this weekend for abuse survivors and specialists who say they will celebrate the 10th anniversary of confronting the crimes against children. Panelists say that the Boston Archdiocese is apologizing for the past but doing nothing about the present or future.

“The worst kind of optimism to believe that no sexual abuse is taking place here now. One only need look at Penn State and Syracuse,” said Carmen Durso.

Cardinal Bernard Law resigned in the wake of the scandal and Bishop Sean O’Malley took over, and would also become a Cardinal.

“The church has tried to face the problem and to recognize the errors of the past,” said Cardinal O’Malley in an interview taped several weeks ago.

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Pittsburgh priest denies child pornography charges

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Reuters

By Alexis Kunsak

PITTSBURGH | Fri Jan 6, 2012

(Reuters) – A Catholic priest pleaded not guilty on Friday to federal child pornography on suspicion of possessing thousands of images of young boys engaged in sex acts.

Rev. Bartley Sorensen, 62, former pastor of St. John Fisher Church in Churchill near Pittsburgh, arrived at his arraignment in U.S. District Court wearing hand and leg shackles and in the custody of U.S. Marshals.

He pleaded not guilty to two counts of receiving and possessing child pornography.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of receiving child pornography on a computer and up to 10 years behind bars for possession of child pornography.

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Lahey sentencing has its effect on faithful

CANADA
The News

WESTVILLE – Twenty years ago, when Rev. Doug Pilsworth began his career in the United Church, things were different.

“You enjoyed everybody and you had faith in your fellow person,” he said. “Now it’s more looking over your shoulder and wondering, your mind always questioning.”

The sentencing of Bishop Raymond Lahey may bring an end to the legal case, but it leaves Catholics and other church members questioning its leaders.

Lahey was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months’ jail and two years’ probation for possession of child pornography. Lahey voluntarily served eight months in jail before his guilty plea and was allowed to go free Wednesday based on time served.

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James Carroll Reflects On The 10th Anniversary Of The Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal

BOSTON (MA)
WBUR

By Adam Ragusea (@aragusea)
Jan 6, 2012, 3:35 PM

Ten years ago Friday the Boston Globe published the first in a series of reports on a shocking pattern of clergy sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. That first story revealed how then-Boston Cardinal Bernard Law repeatedly transferred the Rev. John Geoghan from parish to parish, despite numerous reports of sexual abuse by Geoghan.

We mark the sad anniversary with Boston Globe columnist James Carroll. As a former priest, Carroll has written about the crisis with singular passion and clarity.

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Experts reflect on the Pope’s choice of new cardinals

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

Commenting on Pope Benedict’s selection of 22 new members for the College of Cardinals, John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter notes that the Pontiff has increased the strength—already disproportionate—of European and especially Italian cardinals among the group that will choose his successor.

Along with the European influence, Allen notes the remarkable number of cardinal-electors who work, or have worked, in the Roman Curia. Finally, Allen notes that only one cardinal was chosen from Latin America, and none from Africa. Thus the Pope’s choices come largely from a continent where the Catholic faith is on the wane, and not from the emerging nations where the faith is growing.

The selection of New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan is noteworthy because it breaks an informal rule: ordinarily, a residential archbishop is not named a cardinal if his successor is alive, under the age of 80, and thus eligible to vote in a conclave. Archbishop Dolan’s predecessor, Cardinal Edward Egan, is still a cardinal-elector. Nevertheless he will receive a red hat, apparently because of the Pope’s respect for Archbishop Dolan personally, for his post as president of the US bishops’ conference, and for the importance of the New York archdiocese.

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List: Catholic School Closings and Mergers

PENNSYLVANIA
NBC Philadelphia

The following schools in the Archiocese of Philadelphia are closing:

BUCKS COUNTY

St. Michael the Archangel, Levittown, merges with Our Lady of Grace, Penndel at the Penndel site.

St. Mark, Bristol, merges with St. Ephrem, Bensalem, at the Bensalem site.

Assumption BVM, Feasterville, merges with St. Bede the Venerable, Holland, at the Holland site.

Holy Trinity, Morrisville, merges with St. John the Evangelist, Lower Makefield, at the Lower Makefield site.

St. John the Baptist, Ottsville, merges with St. Isidore, Quakertown, at the Quakertown site.

Conwell Egan HS closes outright

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44 Catholic Elementary Schools, 5 High Schools Closing

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC Philadelphia

By Kelly Bayliss and Teresa Masterson

Friday, Jan 6, 2012

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Friday that it will be closing five of its high schools and 44 of its elementary schools, shocking the community.

Officials from Monsignor Bonner, Archbishop Prendergast, West Catholic, St. Hubert and Conwell Egan were informed Friday morning that their schools will be closing at the end of the school year in June.

Officials also confirmed that 44 out of the 156 elementary schools in the Archdiocese will be closing as well. The full list will be announced later Friday afternoon.

SEE FULL LIST OF CLOSINGS

Among the elementary schools to close, Annunciation BVM in Havertown, St. Cyril of Alexandria in East Lansdowne, Our Lady of Fatima in Secane, St. Gabriel in Norwood, Holy Savior-St. John Fisher in Linwood, St. Francis de Sales in Aston and St. John Chrysostom will all close in June, according to the Delaware County Daily Times.

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Churchill priest accused of possessing child porn out on bond

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Friday, January 06, 2012

By Torsten Ove, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Churchill priest indicted on child pornography charges was released on bond this afternoon following arraignment in U.S. District Court.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan ordered that the Rev. Bartley Sorensen be released on a $50,000 unsecured bond and confined to his house on electronic monitoring pending trial before U.S. District Judge Alan Bloch.

Rev. Sorensen, 62, of St. John Fisher Church, was charged last month in state court with possession of thousands of images on his computer of young boys posing naked or involved in sex acts.

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Philadelphia archdiocese announces major school closings

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
National Catholic Reporter

Jan. 06, 2012
By Brian Roewe

Dramatic realignment to the Philadelphia Catholic school system is coming. Today, the archdiocese announced that it will close four high schools, and 44 elementary schools will either close or merge with other schools.

News of which schools were affected spread after a closed-door meeting this morning between the archdiocese and priests and school administrators at Neumann University. A formal press conference is scheduled for 4 p.m. EST.

The announced closings come as the archbishop-appointed blue ribbon commission announced its recommendations for Philadelphia’s schools after its yearlong study of the education system in archdiocese.

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SNAP, Catholic League leaders talk abuse scandal on radio show

MISSOURI
National Catholic Reporter

Jan. 06, 2012
By Joshua J. McElwee

Dave Clohessy and Bill Donohue, leaders of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and the Catholic League, were interviewed back-to-back Friday morning on a popular St. Louis news-radio show, giving opposite viewpoints on the U.S. clergy sex abuse scandal.

The interviews, part of The Charlie Brennan Show on St. Louis’ KMOX station, came one day after it was revealed that SNAP had received a subpoena from lawyers representing the St. Louis archdiocese to submit for deposition in the case of a priest accused of sexual abuse there.

The subpoena is the second SNAP has received so far. Clohessy submitted himself for deposition Monday in a case involving a Kansas City, Mo., priest accused of abuse.

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Americans Get Attention, but Most New Cardinals are European

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

by EDWARD PENTIN
1/06/2012

VATICAN CITY — “Today is really ‘New York day’ in Rome,” said Cardinal Edward Egan. “I suppose you could call it a triple-header.”

The archbishop emeritus of New York was responding to news that Pope Benedict XVI today had named two American archbishops as cardinals, both with close links to the archdiocese: Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, and Bronx, N.Y.-born Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, Pro-Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and former archbishop of, most recently, Baltimore, and the Archdiocese for Military Services.

They were among 22 prelates and leading clergymen who will be elevated to the College of Cardinals at a consistory in Rome on Feb. 18.

The Holy Father, who made the announcement during his Angelus address on the feast of the Epiphany, had moments earlier ordained Msgr. Charles Brown — another native New Yorker — titular archbishop of Aquileia. The new archbishop, one of only two to be ordained bishops by the Pope in St. Peter’s Basilica this morning, had been an official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 1994, which included time working with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. He now takes up his new position as the new apostolic nuncio to Ireland.

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Live Video (4 PM): School Closings Presser

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
My Fox Philly

MyFoxPhilly.com will have live video at 4 p.m. of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia press conference on its school closings.

UPDATE (Click Here):Five High Schools On Closings List

Watch Our Livestream

http://www.myfoxphilly.com/subindex/video/live_news

The Archdiocese will present the recommendations of a Blue Ribbon commission that has met since late 2010 to evaluate the size and staffing of schools in the five-county area.

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48 Philly Catholic Schools to Close, Reorganize

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
ABC News

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia plans to close four Roman Catholic high schools and close or combine 44 elementary schools due to rising costs and low enrollment, the head of the teachers’ union said Friday.

Association of Catholic Teachers local president Rita Schwartz told The Associated Press she learned of the closures during a meeting Friday morning with archdiocese officials.

The archdiocese will close four high schools in June, according to Schwartz: Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Pendergrast, which share a campus in Drexel Hill, Delaware County; Conwell-Egan in Fairless Hills, Bucks County, and two Philadelphia high schools, West Catholic and St. Hubert.

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Two county elementary schools on Catholic closing list

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Local News

Two Chester County Catholic elementary schools are on a list of schools in the region the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is proposing to close, according to a source familiar with the situation.

St. Monica’s in Berwyn and St. Patrick’s in Kennett Square are the county schools slated to close, the source said.

Students who attend St. Monica’s would be eligible to go to St. Patrick’s in Malvern under a reorganization plan set to be announced at 4 p.m. Friday.

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Pope XVI appoints a Maltese Cardinal – Fr Prospero Grech

MALTA
Gozo News

Today, just after midday, right after reciting the Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI mentioned that he was going to hold a Consistory in which he was going to institute a number of Cardinals.

It is with great joy for the people of the Maltese islands, especially the Catholic Church, that amongst them is a Maltese priest, Fr Prospero Grech. Fr Grech is an Augustinian Friar who is a highly renowned expert in Holy Scripture. He was born in Vittoriosa and is now 86 years old and resides in Rome.

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Pope Benedict snubs Dublin’s Archbishop Martin for new cardinal list

IRELAND
Irish Central

Patrick Roberts

Surprise, surprise, no red hat for Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the outspoken head of the Dublin Archdiocese, in Pope Benedict’s latest list of new cardinals.

Martin is far too honest, straightforward and unable to play the Vatican game to be made a cardinal of course.

No doubt if Martin had kept his mouth shut and made the usual apologetic noises without ever slamming the institutions of his own church he would have been seated in the next conclave.

That was never to be with Martin showing forensic honesty and addressing the root causes of the massive child abuse scandal that has so badly damaged the Catholic Church in Ireland.

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In Philadelphia, “A Challenging Day For All of Us”

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Whispers in the Loggia

Here in Philadelphia, a very sad, dark, painful day… then again, such is the Paschal mystery that life will come of it.

According to reports in the field, at this morning’s closed meeting of pastors and administrators, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Catholic education announced its recommendation to close or merge four high schools and 44 elementary schools — by far, the most sweeping consolidation of a diocesan schools system ever to take place in the American church. The Philadelphia system is currently at less than a quarter of its peak enrollment of the 1950s and ’60s.

The names of the impacted schools and the commission’s report will be publicly released at a 4pm news conference, which will be streamed on the archdiocesan website. After years of piecemeal closings, the Blue Ribbon plan — over a year in the making — is intended to create a stable, sustainable framework of Catholic education in the 1.2 million-member church for the next decade.

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Chaput not on list of 22 new cardinals

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

January 6, 2012
By Shannon McDonald

The Catholic church has 22 new cardinals, but Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput isn’t one of them.

CBS3 reports Pope Benedict XVI didn’t name the 67-year-old to a cardinal position, though two Americans did make the cut.

Rocco Palma of Whispers in the Loggia says Chaput’s time could still come. He’s only been a Philadelphia bishop for a few months.

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Hawaii Homeless Chief Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

HAWAII
Honolulu Civil Beat

By Michael Levine and Chad Blair
01/05/2012

Hawaii’s homeless coordinator resigned “to attend to personal matters” two days after he was asked to respond to allegations of sexual misconduct as a priest, according to an anti-religion activist.

Marc Alexander’s resignation was announced in a press release by the governor’s office at about 3:15 p.m. A few hours later, Mitch Kahle of Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of State and Church (HCSSC) put out a press release saying that a former parishioner and employee of Alexander’s church had accused him of sexual misconduct.

Alexander was sent a letter dated Jan. 3 asking him to respond to the allegations and notifying him that email messages had been sent to both the governor and attorney general, Kahle said.

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Hawaii Coordinator on Homelessness Steps Down

HAWAII
Maui Now

By Wendy Osher

The Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness, Marc Alexander, has resigned from his post, effective today.

The reason the Governor gave was so that Alexander could “attend to personal matters.” Governor Neil Abercromie stressed that the plan to end homelessness will continue with actions led by the Hawai’i Interagency Council on Homelessness (HICH).

“Marc Alexander has done outstanding work as the coordinator in bringing together leaders from throughout the community and this work will continue as a priority. The time has come to put more structure to this effort,” said Governor Abercrombie. “I am pleased that Marc accomplished the coordination aspect of what is now a movement to end homelessness.”

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Homeless chief quits as allegation surfaces

HAWAII
Star-Advertiser

By Dan Nakaso

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jan 06, 2012

Hawaii’s homeless coordinator, Marc Alexander, has resigned effective today, less than a year on the job and just days after the state acknowledged receiving an allegation that he had a sexual relationship with a woman while he was a priest.

The unexpected resignation leaves Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s ambitious plan to end homelessness in 10 years in the hands of a 24-member committee, and has stunned some homeless advocates with whom Alexander worked over the past year.

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Hawaii homelessness coordinator Alexander steps down

HAWAII
Pacific Business News

Date: Friday, January 6, 2012

Marc Alexander will step down on Friday from his post as Hawaii’s coordinator on the homeless, Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s office said.

Pacific Business News reports that Alexander, a former Roman Catholic priest who took the job nearly a year ago, is resigning to “attend to personal matters,” according to the governor.

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State homeless coordinator quits

HAWAII
The Garden Island

Michael Levine and Chad Blair Honolulu Civil Beat | Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012

HONOLULU — Hawai‘i’s homeless coordinator resigned “to attend to personal matters” two days after he was asked to respond to allegations of sexual misconduct as a priest, according to an anti-religion activist.

Marc Alexander’s resignation was announced in a press release by the governor’s office at about 3:15 p.m. A few hours later, Mitch Kahle of Hawai‘i Citizens for the Separation of State and Church put out a press release saying that a former parishioner and employee of Alexander’s church had accused him of sexual misconduct.

Alexander was sent a letter dated Jan. 3 asking him to respond to the allegations and notifying him that email messages had been sent to both the governor and attorney general, Kahle said.

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Clergy abuse victims gather in Boston for conference on 10th anniversary of scandal exposure

BOSTON (MA)
Daily Journal

JAY LINDSAY Associated Press
First Posted: January 06, 2012

BOSTON — Dozens of clergy sex abuse victims are gathering in Boston this weekend to mark a decade since the abuse crisis broke and devastated Catholics and their church nationwide.

The conference coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2002, publication of a Boston Globe article that prompted a stream of revelations about abusive priests and church leaders who failed to stop them, instead moving them between parishes.

About two-thirds of the 120 people signed up to attend the conference are clergy sex abuse victims, said Eva Montibello of the Massachusetts Citizens for Children, an abuse prevention group that helped plan the event.

The conference aims to prevent child sex abuse and increase its exposure, with steps such as encouraging victims to go public with their stories — including the painful details. The last 10 years has shown that can lead to revelations from other victims, Montibello said.

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O’Malley: “We will never forget the shame that was committed”

BOSTON (MA)
Vatican Insider

The Cardinal Archbishop of Boston, in a letter to the diocese, does not hide discomfort and disgust at events tied to pedophilia in the Church, and delineates a commitment for the future

Vatican Insider staff
Rome

The Church – including the one in Boston – “will never be able to forget the crisis” provoked by sexual abuse committed by clergy. But it has “dealt honestly with the issue” and has “put the necessary changes into place.” Resolve and “transparency” were important weapons in this reconstruction. And today, Cardinal Seán O’Malley points out, “with the very clear policies put in place, if a bishop is reckless in neglecting [the protection of children], I think that’s something that demands attention on the part of the Holy See. If you can’t do difficult things, you shouldn’t be a bishop. There are always very hard choices.”

Archbishop of Boston O’Malley said these things yesterday in a letter to the diocese – and in an interview with the National Catholic Register – on the occasion of 10 years having passed since the discovery of these crimes. The priest sexual abuse scandal emerged, with a very broad reach, in the diocese of Boston – which was headed at the time by Cardinal Bernard Law – and led to Law’s resignation.

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“The bishops? They should be vigilant and not seek glory”

This is what Benedict XVI said at the Mass for the Epiphany. Ratzinger also celebrated two new Episcopal ordinations

GiACOMO GALEAZZI
Vatican City

The bishops must follow the example of the Magi: be «vigilant and do not to seek worldly glory». We humans are not the only ones who are restless in relation to God. God’s heart is restless in relation to man. However, today we try to drug the restlessness of the heart, yet the true supernova that guides us is Christ himself. The magi «were people with a troubled heart», in search of God.

Today very effective “drugs”, are used to try to free man from this concern», preached the Pope during the Mass in St. Peter’s for the Epiphany where he celebrated two Episcopal ordinations. Like the Magi, «the bishop too must be a man with a restless heart that is not satisfied of the usual things of this world», with «the courage of humility» and «who does not question himself on what dominant opinion says about him».

In his homily, the Pope also addressed the relationship between faith and reason. «The language of creation is not enough» to find the truth on the existence of man and the world. Scientists can «continue the discussion» on what kind of star had guided the Magi», wondering if the comet resulted from «a conjunction of planets» or rather «a supernova, one of those stars that is initially very weak inside which an explosion can set off an immense splendor for a certain length of time».

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Vatican, here are the new cardinals

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The Pope, at the end of the Angelus announced the list of 22 cardinals: 18 are under 80 years of age

Alessandro Speciale
Vatican City

In the list of the 22 new cardinals announced today by Pope Benedict XVI at the end of the Angelus – including 18 under 80 years of age, the lion’s share, as expected, goes to the Roman Curia and Italy, and therefore potential voters in case of a Conclave.

Leading the list of new cardinals is Archbishop Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Together with him, 9 other department heads or managers of the ‘central government’ of the Church: Monsignor Joao Braz de Aviz (Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life), Monsignor Manuel Monteiro de Castro (Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary), Monsignor Giuseppe Bertello (President of the Governorate of the Vatican), Monsignor Domenico Calcagno (President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See), Monsignor Giuseppe Versaldi (President of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See), Monsignor Santos Abril y Castello (Archpriest of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore), Archbishop Edwin Frederick O’Brien (Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem), Monsignor Antonio Maria Veglio’ (President of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People ), Monsignor Francesco Coccopalmerio (President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts).

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SNAP responds to promotion of Archbishop Timothy Dolan

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Mary Caplan on January 06, 2012

As long as the Pope keeps promoting church officials who keep parishioners in doubt, victims in pain, and kids at risk, there will be more child sex crimes.

Dolan is the Teflon prelate – through superb public relations, when he acts recklessly and callously with kids’ safety, he’s almost always able to deny and deflect blame. Dolan is by far the most media-savvy Catholic official on the planet, so we’re not surprised the pope has promoted him.

In Missouri, Wisconsin and New York, he’s treated child sex victims and pedophile priests just like his brother bishops across the country have. Dolan’s just more skilled at hiding his misdeeds.

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Three recent troubling NY clergy sex cases involving Dolan

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on January 06, 2012

In Milwaukee, Dolan posted names of child molesting clerics on his archdiocesan website. In New York, he refuses to take even this simple, inexpensive step toward protecting kids. He’s going backwards, not forwards, regarding child safety.

Here are three recent clergy sex cases in which Dolan has acted irresponsibly.

–Two months ago, Mount St. Michael Academy in the Bronx, the public learned that there was child porn on an assistant principal Lawrence Gordon’s school computer.

But Catholic officials – including Dolan – kept silent for nine months about the child porn, giving the criminal and his supervisors ample time to destroy evidence, fabricate alibis, intimidate witnesses, threaten whistleblowers and thwart law enforcement.

For a solid decade, Dolan and his peers have promised to be “open” about child sex crimes. But for most of last year, he was keeping such crimes secret. There’s just no excuse for Catholic officials keeping parents in the dark about child porn at their kids’ school month after month.

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Victims battle gag order

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on January 06, 2012

In a new court filing, a support group for clergy sex abuse victims is asking a Kansas City judge to let its director talk about a six hour deposition he was forced by church defense lawyers to give this week.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) formally asked Judge Anne Mesle to revise an order she handed down on Tuesday. It prohibits SNAP director David Clohessy from talking about the questioning he faced by lawyers for KC Bishop Robert Finn and for several accused pedophile priests.

“Kids are safer when victims, witnesses, journalists and advocates can speak and write freely about clergy sex crimes and cover ups and the tactics of Catholic officials in these cases,” said SNAP’s founder Barbara Blaine of Chicago.

SNAP leaders say this is the first time in the organization’s 23 year history any of its staff has ever been ordered to turn over records, or denied its ability to speak publicly.

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Labour councillor is key adviser

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Friday January 06 2012

A British Labour Party councillor has been appointed a key adviser to the Irish President.

Dublin-born Sally Mulready is one of seven people chosen by Michael D Higgins to sit on the Council of State.

The Council of State is appointed to aid and counsel the President on all matters. …

She is a former founding member of the Irish Women’s Survivors Network and director of the Irish Elderly Advice Network. She is also heavily involved in seeking justice for victims of the Magdalene Laundries, Catholic Church-run workhouses for women and girls.

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Dolan named Cardinal; questions remain about his role in Milwaukee bankruptcy, sex abuse crisis

UNITED STATES
SNAP Wisconsin

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director

CONTACT: 414.429.7259

As anticipated Pope Benedict XVI named Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and former archbishop of Milwaukee, to the position of Cardinal. The move is not a surprise. The archbishop of New York is considered to be the senior Catholic cleric in the United States, and it’s most influential. As cardinal, Dolan will join a small group of clerics who are considered the pope’s top advisors, and he will also be eligible to cast a ballot in the next papal conclave.

Yet, it’s not likely in Rome where Dolan’s actual leadership and record will ever be critically examined, but in more humble surroundings, back in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Dolan ran the archdiocese for seven years before going to New York. Dolan’s tenure in Milwaukee eventually resulted in the largest bankruptcy filing by a religious organization in history. The bankruptcy, of course, was the result of the actions of bishops who covered up and transferred child sex offending clerics. Which begs the question: What other corporation on the planet files for bankruptcy because of child molesters?

Dolan, who was promoted by the Pope to New York months prior to the bankruptcy filing, may soon have to explain, under oath in Federal court or deposition, the questionable transfer of millions of dollars that were made before he left, where attorneys for victims of clergy sexual assault have questioned the transfer by Dolan of at least $75 million dollars off the diocese’s books as well as another $55 million into a newly created “cemetery trust” account.

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Pope Benedict to elevate Archbishop O’Brien to cardinal

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Sun

By Dean Jones Jr. and Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun

10:00 a.m. EST, January 6, 2012

The nation’s oldest Catholic diocese can once again claim one of the highest ranking members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy as its leader.

Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, spiritual leader of the Baltimore diocese since 2007, was named a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI on Friday and is the fourth bishop in a 223-year history of the episcopal see to be so honored.

Although the Pope has given O’Brien new duties that will end his tenure here, most say the appointment pays homage to the Archdiocese and its half-million Catholics.

“The news of the elevation is not unexpected, but the timing is surprising,” said Sean Caine, spokesman for the Archdiocese. “We fully expected this to happen once a successor was installed here. It is an honor to have this happen now, while he is still serving in Baltimore. This is definitely a special occasion.”

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Vatican shocker! New cardinals reflect more of the same

VATICAN CITY
U.S. Catholic

Friday, January 6, 2012

By Bryan Cones

In another sign that we can expect little change (short of divine intervention) in the church, Pope Benedict XVI’s 22 new cardinals (18 of whom will be eligible to vote in the next papal conclave) are dominated by Curial officials (10 of the 18 who can vote) and Europeans (12 eligible to vote). Of the Europeans, seven are Italian. Even the four “honorary” cardinals are all from Europe. Seriously, does the church need seven more Italian cardinals? I bet you could throw a bocce ball in St. Peter’s Square and have it bounce off two of them before it hits the ground.

Only a single cardinal hails from South America (Brazil), with one each from India and China, and not a single appointment from Africa. Worse, only seven of the electors are sitting bishops–bishops who lead actual churches with actual people–which means that, at least as it stands now, the next papal conclave will likely be dominated by members of the Curia and Italians.

I’m not sure I know the best way to select the bishop of Rome, but this system of having the pope name the electors for his own successor is way outdated and in no way reflects where Catholics live or where the church is growing. Why not allow the national conferences of bishops to choose their delegates to the conclave? Maybe give a bonus delegate to places where the church is growing?

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The Pope names 22 new cardinals

VATICAN CITY
The Telegraph (United Kingdom)

The Pope has named 22 new cardinals – the so-called ‘princes of the church’, including prelates in such key posts as New York and Hong Kong and a large number of Italians holding major Vatican positions.

Cardinals are the Pope’s top advisers, the elite group of churchmen who will eventually elect Benedict XVI’s successor.

Of the 22, 18 are under the age of 80 – raising to 125 the number of cardinals eligible to vote in the next papal conclave. Cardinals aged 80 and over are not allowed to vote on the next pope.

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CORRECTED-List of new cardinals named by Pope Benedict

VATICAN CITY
Chicago Tribune

Reuters

VATICAN CITY, Jan 6 (Reuters) – (Corrects to show that Monteiro de Castro is Portuguese, not Spanish)

Pope Benedict on Friday named 22 new cardinals. Here are their names in the order in which the pope announced them.

Under 80 years old and eligible to enter a conclave to elect the next pope:

1. Archbishop Fernando Filoni, Italian, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
2. Archbishop Manuel Monteiro de Castro, Portuguese, head of Vatican office that deals with the sacrament of penance.
3. Archbishop Santos Abril y Castello, Spanish, archpriest of the Rome basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.

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Five observations on Dolan and the new cardinals

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Jan. 6, 2012 10:16 a.m.

As you most likely know by now, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York (and formerly of Milwaukee) will be elevated to cardinal at the Vatican in February – a move that gives him a say in the election of the next pope.

Veteran Vatican reporter John Allen, who has authored a new book with Dolan, offers five observations on the 22 new cardinals named today. Among them, that Pope Benedict XVI broke with tradition in appointing Dolan so soon – a sign that the pope thinks highly of the popular American prelate.

The Journal Sentinel posted the announcement on Dolan’s appointment early today at JSonline.com, including a link to this photo gallery.

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O’Malley on the sex abuse crisis: ‘It’s not behind us’

BOSTON (MA)
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Jan. 06, 2012 All Things Catholic

Breaking news: Pope Benedict XVI on Friday named 22 new cardinals, including two Americans, Archbishops Timothy Dolan and Edwin O’Brien. John Allen’s coverage and analysis can be found here:

Pope names 22 new cardinals, including Dolan and O’Brien
Five observations on the new cardinals

* * *
Although you won’t find it on any liturgical calendar, Friday marks a monumental milestone for the Catholic church in the United States. It was exactly a decade ago, on Jan. 6, 2002, that the first Boston Globe article appeared on a serial predator and former priest named John Geoghan, triggering what we now know as the “sexual abuse crisis.”

Within a year, Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston resigned in disgrace, his legacy permanently tainted by perceptions of having presided over the Catholic Watergate. The man tapped to clean up the mess Law left behind — a humble, self-effacing Capuchin Franciscan named Sean O’Malley — was already a veteran drawn from the frontlines of the crisis, well before the term even existed.

Back in 1992, O’Malley was quietly serving as a missionary bishop in the Virgin Islands when he was dispatched to the Fall River diocese in Massachusetts, where he was forced to deal with a mushrooming sex abuse scandal involving former priest James Porter. Among other things, that experience occasioned O’Malley’s first meetings with abuse victims. A decade later, O’Malley was transferred to Palm Beach, Fla., where another diocese was in disarray after two consecutive bishops had resigned following revelations of abuse.

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Bail for former Redding priest cut to $700K; ex-Redding cleric faces child molestation trial

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Record Searchlight

SACRAMENTO — A suspended Redding priest charged with seven felony counts of child molestation had his $5 million bail reduced Thursday to $700,000 during a hearing in Sacramento County Superior Court.

The Rev. Uriel Ojeda, 32, was arrested Nov. 30, 2011, after surrendering to law enforcement officials in Sacramento County after the diocese received a complaint from a parishioner’s family. His original bail was so high because prosecutors claimed he was a flight risk.

Ojeda, who had been assistant pastor at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Redding, is accused of seven counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a teenage girl over a two-year span — starting when she was 14 — in Sacramento and Shasta counties, according to the criminal complaint filed against him by the Sacramento County district attorney’s office.

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On Epiphany, pope ordains US, Polish priests as archbishops

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Celebrating the feast of the Epiphany, Pope Benedict XVI ordained two new bishops: U.S. Archbishop Charles J. Brown, a longtime official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who is the new nuncio to Ireland; and Polish Archbishop Marek Solczynski, the new nuncio to Georgia and Armenia.

The two men swore their fidelity to the Gospel and to the church and laid prostrate on an ornate rug on the floor of St. Peter’s Basilica as the Litany of Saints was chanted. Then they knelt before Pope Benedict, who laid his hands on their heads and ordained them bishops.

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Bail reduced to $700K for Calif. priest

CALIFORNIA
Mercury News

The Associated Press
Posted: 01/06/2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Bail has been reduced to $700,000 for a Northern California priest charged with molesting a 14-year-old girl.

The Rev. Uriel Ojeda, who has been a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mercy parish in Redding, appeared in a Sacramento courtroom on Thursday for what turned out to be a contentious hearing to reduce the $5 million bail amount.

The Sacramento Bee ( http://bit.ly/y1DwJQ) says the prosecutor told the judge that Ojeda confessed to a Catholic Diocese investigator after being told of the girl’s allegations.

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German Jesuit priest named Cardinal

GERMANY
America Magazine

Posted at: Friday, January 06, 2012
Author: James Martin, S.J.

Included among the names of cardinal-designates this morning in the Vatican’s press release are some expected names, including Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York. But there is a surprise: Fr. Karl Joseph Becker, SJ. Fr. Becker is a German Jesuit priest and professor emeritus of dogmatic theology of the Jesuits’ Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Normally the pope names (or, technically, “creates”) cardinals from the ranks of bishops and archbishops (as with Archbishop Dolan) and these men are often heads of the larger archdioceses. But occasionally the pope names a priest, to honor the man for his life’s work. (Normally they are over 80, not named a bishop so as to spare them from the sacramental duties of a bishop, and are ineligible to vote in a papal conclave.) Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ, the American Jesuit theologian, was a recent example. (An interview with Cardinal Dulles a few months before the consistory, including his thoughts on becoming a cardinal, is here.)

A note about accepting ecclesiastical honors in the Society of Jesus. At the close of their formation, a Jesuit will make his “Final Vows.” (This comes after their “First Vows” made at the end of their novitiate.) Many Jesuits will profess four vows: poverty, chastity and obedience and a special vow of obedience to the pope “with regard to missions.” Some will profess the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. We also make five separate “promises”: First, we promise never to change anything in the Jesuit Constitutions about poverty–unless to make it “more strict.” Second, we promise never to “strive or ambition” for any dignity in the church, like becoming a bishop. Third, never to “strive or ambition” for any high office in the Jesuits. Fourth, if we find out that someone is striving for these things, we are to “communicate his name” to the Society. (All these were signs of Ignatius wanting to root out among his Jesuits the desire for ecclesial honors, which was rampant in Igantius’s time.) Finally, we make a promise that, if we are somehow made bishop, we will still listen to the superior general.

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Cardinal-designate O’Brien used to new and varied assignments

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Catholic Review

By Mark Pattison
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON – The priestly ministry of Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, named a cardinal Jan. 6 by Pope Benedict XVI, has been marked by frequent assignments, so that he rarely stays in one place very long. And even when he is ensconced somewhere for a while, he gets to moving.

Appointed last August as pro-grand master of the Equestrian Order (Knights) of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, based in Rome, he is serving simultaneously in his previous post as archbishop of Baltimore until a successor is named.

Born April 8, 1939, in New York, Edwin Frederick O’Brien and his family were members of Our Lady of Solace Parish in the Bronx. He attended St. Joseph’s Seminary outside New York, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1961 and master’s degrees in 1964 and 1965. In 1965, he was ordained to the priesthood, setting off a string of appointments.

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Bail Reduced for Accused Priest

SACRAMENTO (CA)
NBC Bay Area

Bail has been reduced to $700,000 for a Northern California priest charged with molesting a 14-year-old girl.

The Rev. Uriel Ojeda, who has been a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mercy parish in Redding, appeared in a Sacramento courtroom on Thursday for what turned out to be a contentious hearing to reduce the $5 million bail amount.

The Sacramento Bee says the prosecutor told the judge that Ojeda confessed to a Catholic Diocese investigator after being told of the girl’s allegations.

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Nalzaro: Team Ministry should be disbanded

PHILIPPINES
Sun.Star

By Bobby Nalzaro
Saksi

Friday, January 6, 2012

A FEW years ago, then Cebu archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal assigned six priests, most of them involved in controversies, to compose the Team Ministry of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Minglanilla. The priests succeeded the group headed by the outgoing parish priest, Msgr. Esteban Binghay, who was promoted episcopal vicar overseeing the parishes under the province’s first district.

The formation of the Team Ministry was a way of giving the controversial priests a second chance. Two of the priests sired several children. Another underwent rehabilitation for alcoholism and had one child. One is gay. The other was charged with statutory rape (the case was settled).

Parishioners initially resisted the move but church officials managed to convince them to accept the priests. Everything went smoothly until recently when some church acolytes exposed the sexual misbehavior of two of the priests. They accused one priest of engaging in sex with different women on separate occasions at the back of the church. The other priest was accused of sexually harassing acolytes after a drinking session.

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The Vatican’s problem with fathers who are fathers

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Sophia Deboick
guardian.co.uk, Friday 6 January 2012

Last week it emerged that Gabino Zavala, the auxiliary bishop of the Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles for nearly 18 years, has a secret family. The existence of his two teenage children has been deemed a sufficiently “grave cause”, as defined by Canon 401 of the code of canon law, that he has been obliged to resign. Memories of other notable cases resurface: the Eamon Casey scandal of the early 90s, when revelations that he fathered a child two years before his episcopal appointment led to his resignation as Bishop of Galway; the more recent case of the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Father Marcial Maciel, who had as many as six children (although accusations of paedophilia and incest make this alleged offence pale into insignificance). Zavala is hardly the first priest to break his vow of celibacy in such spectacular fashion, and in fact the church has struggled with the problem of “Fathers who are fathers” for centuries.

The children of Catholic priests have historically presented a double problem to the Latin Rite church: clearly they give the game away about dad’s lack of conformity to the requirement for celibacy, but they also put a financial burden on his employer. Indeed, in Wednesday’s statement on the Zavala case, his superior Archbishop José Gomez seemed to privilege the “spiritual care” that the archdiocese has extended to the bishop’s secret family above the offered “funding to assist the children with college costs”, while the archdiocesan spokesman has been at pains to emphasise that Zavala was not siphoning off church funds to his illegitimate children.

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Pope names Toronto archbishop as cardinal

CANADA
CBC News

The Pope has named Toronto Archbishop Thomas Christopher Collins as one of 22 new cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican announced Friday morning.

The 64-year-old Collins, ordained as a priest in 1973 and appointed archbishop of Toronto in 2007, told CBC’s Heather Hiscox that he learned about his appointment after receiving word on his BlackBerry to call the Pope’s representative.

“This is indeed a great honour and I’m indeed overwhelmed,” Collins said early Friday, adding that he will continue as archbishop of the Toronto archdiocese.

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Pope names O’Brien as cardinal

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Daily Record

Posted: 8:19 am Fri, January 6, 2012
By Associated Press

Pope Benedict XVI on Friday named the 15th archbishop of Baltimore, 72-year-old Edwin F. O’Brien, to the rank of cardinal.

O’Brien was named to the College of Cardinals, along with 21 others, the Archdiocese of Baltimore said in a statement. As cardinal, O’Brien will serve as an adviser to the pope and be eligible to vote in a papal election until his 80th birthday.

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Dutch archbishop Wim Eijk appointed cardinal.

NETHERLANDS
Radio Netherlands

Pope Benedict XVI announced the appointment in Rome on Friday. Eijk is the eighth Dutch cleric to be appointed cardinal.

Archbishop Eijk is now one of just two Dutch cardinals, the other being Ad Simonis who turned 80 in November. Due to his age, Cardinal

Simonis will not take part in next papal conclave which will select a new pope when Benedict XVI passes away. Eijk succeeded Simonis as archbishop in 2007. Ever since Jan de Jong was appointed cardinal in 1946, it has been customary for the pope to bestow the rank of cardinal on the archbishop of Utrecht.

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Archbishop Dolan Is Named a Cardinal

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By J. DAVID GOODMAN and SHARON OTTERMAN

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, who has led the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York for nearly three years, will be named a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican announced on Friday.

The Archdiocese of New York is widely considered the spiritual heart of the American church. It counts about 2.6 million Catholics in a sprawling jurisdiction that includes includes Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and several suburban counties.

“As a kid, I just wanted to be a parish priest,” the cardinal-designate said in an early morning news conference at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. “And to think that now the pope has named me a cardinal— that’s awesome.”

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New papal nuncio made archbishop

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Incoming papal nuncio to Ireland Monsignor Charles Brown has today been ordained an archbishop in Rome by Pope Benedict.

The Irish-American (52) was named papal nuncio to Ireland last November.

He has worked with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which was headed by the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, since 1994. He was ordained a priest in 1989 in St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, and was based at St Brendan’s parish in the Bronx until 1991.

Dr Brown was appointed Assistant Secretary of the International Theological Commission in September 2009.

Offering his congratulations, Cardinal Seán Brady said: “I am very pleased to be in Rome today, the Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ, with Cardinal Desmond Connell, Bishop Noel Treanor and Bishop Donal McKeown, to attend the episcopal ordination of Monsignor Charles Brown, the recently appointed apostolic nuncio to Ireland.

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Five observations on the new cardinals

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Jan. 06, 2012 NCR Today

Naming new cardinals is among the more important acts of any papacy, because the cardinals form the “electoral college” that will pick the next pope. That’s arguably even more significant this time around, given that Benedict XVI will turn 85 in April – and although there’s no sign of any health crisis, at that age it’s natural to begin thinking about what might come next.

Here are five quick observations about the 22 new cardinals named today by Benedict XVI, including 18 who are under 80 and therefore eligible to participate in a future conclave.

The consistory, when today’s nominees will actually enter the College of Cardinals, is set for Rome Feb. 18-19.

Bring on the Italians

It was already a commonplace observation about Benedict XVI that in some ways he has “re-Italianized” the Vatican and the papacy, perhaps a product of his comfort level with Italian ecclesial culture after spending almost the last thirty years in Rome.

Certainly today’s appointments will reinforce those impressions. Prior to today’s nominations, there were 24 Italians among 108 voting-age cardinals, representing 22 percent of the total. With seven Italians among the 18 cardinal electors named today, their share will rise to 25 percent, fully one-quarter of the number of cardinals who will elect the next pope. That’s by far the largest national bloc in the College of Cardinals; the next largest is the Americans, who will have 18 cardinals in total and 11 eligible to vote for the pope.

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NY Archbishop Dolan To Join Cardinal Ranks

NEW YORK
NY1

[with video]

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan announced this morning that he is one of 22 prelates being elevated to Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI.

Cardinals act as the pope’s key advisors, who will eventually choose his successor.

Dolan, 61, is the eighth archbishop of New York to be named a cardinal.

Speaking after this morning’s mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Dolan said he is “honored and humbled” and congratulated the community in New York for also being recognized by the pope.

“It’s almost as if Pope Benedict XVI is putting the red hat of the cardinal on top of the Empire State Building, or upon the Statue of Liberty or home plate at Yankee Stadium, on the spires of this great St. Patrick’s Cathedral or any of our wonderful parish churches,” Dolan said.

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Pope Elevates Archbishop O’Brien to College of Cardinals

BALTIMORE (MD)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore

January 06, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI today named Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, 72, to the College of Cardinals. As Cardinal, Cardinal-designate O’Brien will serve as an advisor to the Pope and be eligible to vote in a Papal election until his 80th birthday. A consistory to formally elevate the new Cardinals will be held at the Vatican on February 18, 2012.

Cardinal-designate O’Brien and New York Archbishop and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Timothy Dolan, are among 22 new Cardinals announced by Pope Benedict.

Cardinal-designate O’Brien served as the 15th Archbishop of Baltimore from October 2007 until August 2011 when the Pope appointed him Pro Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. He has served as Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Baltimore since his appointment in August and will continue to lead the nation’s oldest Catholic diocese until his eventual successor is installed.

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STATEMENT OF ARCHBISHOP DOLAN

NEW YORK
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has announced that His Excellency the Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York, will be elevated to the dignity of Cardinal in a Consistory to be held on February 18, 2012.

Archbishop Dolan released a statement today in which he expressed his gratitude to Pope Benedict XVI saying that he is “honored, humbled, and grateful.” He also thanked the people of the archdiocese of New York, “this is about an affirmation of love from the Pope to a celebrated archdiocese and community, and a summons to its unworthy archbishop to serve Jesus, His Church universal, His vicar on earth, and His people better.”

Archbishop Dolan is the eighth Archbishop of New York to be named a Cardinal. The first seven Cardinal Archbishops of New York were:

John Cardinal McCloskey (Archbishop 1864-1885; created Cardinal 1875. First American Cardinal.)
John Cardinal Farley (Archbishop 1902-1918; created Cardinal 1911)

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Pope names HK’s Bishop Tong as cardinal

HONG KONG
RTHK

Pope Benedict has named the head of the Catholic Church in Hong Kong, John Tong, as a cardinal.

Bishop Tong is one of 22 new cardinals around the world chosen by the pope.

He was appointed bishop after his predecessor, Joseph Zen, retired in 2009. He’s the church’s seventh Chinese cardinal.

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Former priest must return to face indecency charges

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Eimear Ni Bhraonain

Friday January 06 2012

A FORMER Irish priest who was deported from Brazil to England on St Stephen’s Day is to be returned here to face indecent assault charges.

Peter Kennedy (72) was refused bail in London and ordered to return to Ireland after the court heard he was a “classic fugitive”.

The ex-cleric is at the centre of child sex abuse allegations made by 18 complainants over incidents between 1968 and 1984.

Mr Kennedy, who had travelled to Brazil on a British passport, appeared before the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London yesterday morning. Counsel for the judicial authorities in Ireland, Adam Harbinson, said the arrest warrant detailed 55 separate allegations of indecent assault on 18 complainants.

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10 YEARS ON

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

NSAC will be with survivors today and throughout this weekend.

Survivors gathering in Boston.

It only seems right and just, to borrow language from the new missal of the Roman Catholic Church. that it is where we should be on this solemn day which marks the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the revelations of the clergy and nun sexual abuse scandal through the Boston Globe’s powerful series of articles with its avalanche of sordid details that began a dripping of truth into the Catholic conscience.

This largest crisis in the Roman Catholic Church in the last 500 years didn’t begin on January 6, 2002 all of the survivors, known and unknown, living and dead are courageous testament to this.

But what Boston did do was to bring together a perfect storm that captured attention: a sitting East Coast Cardinal, one media outlet that most of a single archdiocese used as a major source of information, a shoe leather attorney who walked the South Boston neighborhood in the pursuit of truth and a Dominican priest with a spine. For those of you new to the movement – and indeed you are welcome — we refer to Cardinal Bernard Law, the Boston Globe, Mitchell Garabedian, and Father Thomas Doyle.

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Onderzoek naar klachten over misbruik in Sint Petrus’ banden

NEDERLAND
Nieuwsblad DeKaap

06-01-2012

DRIEBERGEN – De leden van de Sint Petrus’ bandenparochie in Driebergen-Rijsenburg hebben ‘tamelijk rustig’ gereageerd op de berichtgeving over de beschuldigingen tegen pastoor Bert Sturkenboom, die van 1977 tot 1994 werkzaam was in deze parochie. Dat heeft George Marlet, voorzitter van de locatieraad Sint Petrus’banden, gemeld. Sturkenboom, die na zijn Driebergse periode als Deken in het ambtsgebied Veluwe-Flevoland werd aangesteld en sinds 2005 als pastoor in de Sint Lucasparochie op de Veluwe fungeerde, werd recentelijk door het aartsbisdom Utrecht op non-actief gesteld, wegens klachten over seksueel misbruik. Volgens de beschuldigingen zou dit misbruik in de jaren ‘80 hebben plaatsgevonden toen Sturkenboom in Driebergen-Rijsenburg werkzaam was.

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