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 9, 2012

Bishop Richard Lennon reports to the communty

CLEVELAND (OH)
WTAM

Ken Robinson, Newsradio WTAM 1100.

(Cleveland) – On Monday, Bishop Richard Lennon releases his report to the community, which will disclose property sales and parish Reinvestment.

With the Bishop will be finance director James Gulick and both are to address the Media.

The news conference wil be held at The Museum of Divine Statues in Lakewood, the former St. Hedwig Church.

Lennon will release information on the closed and merged Parishes, which resulted from the 8 county Diocesan reconfiguration plan.

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 Diocese of Cleveland releases Diocesan Report

CLEVELAND (OH)
newsnet5

•By: Leah Richards, newsnet5.com
• By: Josh Boose, newsnet5.com

CLEVELAND – The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland released the Diocesan Report to the Community Sunday.

Copies of the report were handed out in churches Sunday morning.

According to Bob Tayek with the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, this is the first time there has been a public accounting of all the sales and merging of the churches involved in the reconfiguration of the Catholic Diocese.

Tayek summarized the report by saying, “the money follows the people.”

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.

Cleveland Diocese Financial Report

CLEVELAND (OH)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland

Bishop’s Introductory Letter

Introductory Letter of the Chief Financial Officer

Report to the Community

Diocesan Finance Council

Closed Parish Financial Reports

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.

Diocese publishes annual “Report to the Community”

CLEVELAND (OH)
WOIO

[the report]

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) –
The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland released its “2011 Report to the Northeast Ohio Community” Sunday, containing information on closed and merged parishes which resulted from the Diocesan Reconfiguration Plan.

In addition, the Diocese launched special web pages to supplement the material found in the printed report.

Monday, Bishop Lennon and James Gulick will answer ongoing questions about Church finances in light of the sales of closed churches and disposition of assets. A press conference is set for 10:30 a.m at the Museum of Divine Statues located at 12905 Madison Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio.

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 Diocese of Cleveland Releases Community Report

CLEVELAND (OH)
Fox 8

[the report]

9:57 p.m. EST, January 8, 2012

CLEVELAND, Ohio— The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland released its annual report to the community on Sunday.

The letter includes a full accounting of the parishes that were either closed or merged during the Diocesan reconfiguration plan.

According to the report, the sale of parish properties, combined with money transferred to the Diocese from the closed parishes, brought in more than $19 million. That’s in comparison to just $5 million in expenses. Most importantly, the Diocese says almost $8 million from the sales have been given back to open parishes.

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.

Diocese details use of church sale cash

OHIO
The Chronicle-Telegram

Filed by Evan Goodenow January 9th, 2012

Specifics on how money from church sales by the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is being spent are scheduled to be explained today at a news conference in Lakewood featuring Bishop Richard Lennon and James Gulick, diocese chief financial officer.

The diocese netted $19.5 million through the sales of 26 of 54 closed parishes since 2009, according to its annual report released this weekend to parishioners. Eight county churches were among the closings. The first closing in the county was Holy Cross Church in Elyria in 2009. The last was St. Joseph Church in Lorain, which shut in 2010.

No more closings are planned in the “near future,” diocese spokesman Robert Tayek said Sunday. He said the sales are designed to prevent existing churches from closing.

The report said $6.1 million of the profits will be distributed to existing churches, including the 24 in Lorain County. Another $1.3 million will go to struggling parishes with $400,000 already spent for charitable causes within the diocese. A sizeable portion went the St. Joseph Homeless Shelter in Lorain, Tayek 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.

South Dakota High Court Green-Lights Native Childhood-Sex-Abuse Case

SOUTH DAKOTA
Indian Country Today Media Network

By Stephanie WoodardJanuary 9, 2012

After dismissing multiple American Indian childhood-sexual-abuse lawsuits against the Catholic Church, the Supreme Court of South Dakota has allowed one suit to go forward. In the civil complaint—named R.B.O., after the initials of one of the eight Native Americans who brought it—the plaintiffs allege they were sexually molested and assaulted while minors at St. Joseph’s Indian Mission School, on the Lower Brule Indian Reservation, in South Dakota.

Defendants include the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls; the religious order Congregation of Priests of the Sacred Heart, which has long run St. Joseph’s; and several priests, brothers and nuns, who plaintiffs say worked at the school. Given the passage of time since the alleged assaults, several individual defendants have died; however, Father William Pitcavage, Father Thomas Lind and Brother Matthew Miles are still living.

The high court’s ruling affirmed Circuit Court Judge Bradley Zell’s earlier decision, denying the defendants’ request that the case be dismissed because the plaintiffs hadn’t followed South Dakota’s process-serving procedures. Zell and the Supreme Court agreed the defendants had received notice of the suit in accordance with state law.

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

Victims of abuse cap meeting with South End march

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Matt Byrne
| Globe Correspondent
January 09, 2012

Several dozen demonstrated outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross yesterday. Lifting or extending statute of limitations rules is the prime focus of some in the anti-abuse movement.

It’s a stretch of sidewalk like many others, but to Steve Lewis it remains sacred ground.

He was among several dozen who gathered yesterday outside the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End, carrying signs and telling the stories many kept inside for decades.

“This is where it all started,’’ said Lewis, 54, who said he was abused as a child in a Lynn parish. “This is such an important, special place for the victims, the survivors.’’

The demonstration marked closure for a weekend conference that focused on the scandal. Victims and activists organized the gathering to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the news coverage that documented a widespread coverup in the Archdiocese of Boston of sexual abuse among clergy.

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

Vatican Lifts Bios for New Cardinals From … Wikipedia

UNITED STATES
Newser

By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff

Posted Jan 9, 2012

(Newser) – Well, this is embarrassing: The Vatican was recently caught lifting biographical information for its own cardinals from Wikipedia. The biographies for 22 new cardinals appointed Friday were sent to journalists, who noticed that the information had been taken from the Italian-language version of Wikipedia with no attribution.

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.

Archbishop asks his priests to pay into fund for abuse victims

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Barry Duggan and Mark Hilliard

Monday January 09 2012

AN archbishop has asked priests to pay up to €720 each year into a fund used to compensate victims of clerical sex abuse.

The Irish Independent has learned that letters have been sent by Archbishop Dermot Clifford to all priests in the Cashel and Emly Archdiocese asking them to pay between €50 and €60 per month to a Clergy Contribution Fund.

The letter says the money will be paid into the fund because of the “debts incurred in relation child protection issues” — but does not say it would be used for payouts.

However, it has been learned that the fund in question was quietly set up three years ago and is solely used to pay compensation for clerical sex abuse.

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

He can no longer call himself a priest

MENLO PARK (CA)
California Catholic Daily

The former pastor of a Menlo Park parish who admitted to following a 17-year-old boy into a clothing store dressing room last year has had his priestly faculties revoked following an investigation by the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

William Myers, who served as pastor of St. Raymond Catholic Church in Menlo Park from 2007 until he was suspended last year, “can no longer call himself a priest, celebrate Mass or hear confessions,” archdiocesan spokesman George Wesolek told the Modesto Bee.

Although police later determined no crime had been committed in the April 19, 2011 incident at a Ross Dress For Less store in San Francisco, archdiocesan officials told the press last year that Myers had been suspended pending an investigation by the archdiocese’s Independent Review Board — and while Myers underwent treatment for “sexual addiction.”

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

New seminarian has been asked to leave as he battles fraud accusations

LOUISIANA
The Times-Picayune

Published: Monday, January 09, 2012

By Bruce Nolan, The Times-Picayune

In an unusual move, Archbishop Gregory Aymond has asked an aspiring priest to withdraw from Notre Dame Seminary after learning he was accused in several lawsuits of helping a controversial mortgage company bilk customers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Chad Ham, 47, a real estate lawyer who entered Notre Dame in the fall, said he can prove the charges are untrue. Aymond said he and Ham agreed during the Christmas break that Ham should withdraw, at least temporarily. Aymond said he told Ham he is free to seek re-entry if he clears his name.

Aymond, who was a seminary rector for 14 years before becoming archbishop, said Ham’s case is “highly, highly unusual,” but because of the seminary’s mission, candidates for the priesthood must be “above reproach.”

Ten years after the searing Catholic sex abuse scandal came to light, Notre Dame, like other seminaries, has stiffened its applicant screening process, requiring that candidates go through heightened psychological testing, in addition to providing the usual character and academic references.

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

CARDINAL-DESIGNATE TIMOTHY DOLAN GETTING POSIES FROM N.Y. MEDIA …

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger’s Beat

…Now that Beffa’s is gone, where is N.Y. Cardinal-designate Tim Dolan going to have lunch with his pals when he comes here? His fans are legion and he’s attracting many more in N.Y.C. A columnist noted that he is taking phone calls and giving blessings to people “regardless of religion or diocese.” Sadly, members of our town’s SNAP are not so forgiving. “”We hold the former auxiliary bishop responsible for Fr. Alex Anderson’s continuing in parish ministry despite three child sex abuse allegations against him. Dolan was in charge of sex cases here when accusations against Anderson surfaced,” according to Barbara Dorris. .

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.

Imprisoned Polygamist Pestering SD County

SOUTH DAKOTA
KDLT

A polygamist who’s in prison for sexual assault has been pestering South Dakota county officials with letters and boxes of books.

Butte County officials say the material is coming from Warren Jeffs and his supporters. Jeffs is leader of a sect called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Jeffs is serving a life term, plus 20 years, in a Texas prison for sexually assaulting two young girls he claimed as his wives.

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.

Students, Parents Rally Against Catholic School Closings

PENNSYLVANIA
NBC 10

Students at St. Hubert’s School in Mayfair are planning a rally Monday morning. On Friday, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that it will be closing four of its high schools and 44 of its elementary schools at the end of the school year in June. St. Hubert’s is one of the schools set to close.

Monday’s rally is being organized by students though teachers have also been invited to participate. It begins at 6:30 a.m. and is set to run until 7:30 a.m. just before classes begin.

A rally was also held outside of Conshohocken Catholic School on Sunday.

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.

These victims obtained justice, supported by Broken Rites

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

Article updated on 16 December 2011.

Research by Broken Rites has revealed that a former trainee Catholic priest (Gregory Vincent Coffey) was sentenced in South Australia for a child-sex crime and then, despite this, he was given a senior teaching position in a Melbourne Catholic school, enabling him to commit sex crimes aginst more children.

In court proceedings in Melbourne in 1994 and 1997, Coffey pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting boys who were in his custody at a Marist Brothers secondary school in Melbourne in the 1970s. The Melbourne court did not know about Coffey’s earlier conviction in South Australia.

Broken Rites was present in the Melbourne court, supporting the victims and taking notes. Broken Rites also conducted its own research into Gregory Coffey’s past. During this research, Broken Rites discovered Coffey’s earlier South Australian conviction.

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

Church finally says ‘Sorry’ to victms of Fr Thomas O’Keeffe

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

Article posted on 1 January 2012

After action by Broken Rites Australia, the Melbourne Catholic archdiocese has apologized to former altar boys of Father Thomas O’Keeffe.

Thomas O’Keeffe (his surname has also been spelt as O’Keefe) spent his priestly career in the Melbourne archdiocese. Broken Rites has researched his name in the annual editions of the Australian Catholic Directory. This confirms that his parishes (all within the Melbourne metropolitan area) included:

Sandringham (Sacred Heart parish) until about 1965;

Preston East (Holy name parish) and then St Kilda West (Sacred Heart parish) in the late 1960s;

Brighton (St Joan of Arc parish) about 1969-70 (approx.);

Doveton (Holy Family parish) in the early 1970s; and

Thornbury (St Mary’s parish) in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

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.

Church harboured Fr Victor Rubeo for 3 decades after his offences

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

Article posted on 1 January 2012

The Catholic Church in Australia harboured a priest, Father Victor Gabriel Rubeo, for three decades after he indecently assaulted two boys in one of his earliest parishes (in Melbourne in the 1960s). In 1996 he pleaded guilty in court after these two victims finally spoke to police. On 28 October 2011, Rubeo appeared in court again, charged with 30 additional offences (in the 1960s) against the same two boys. He was ordered to re-appear on 16 December 2011 for a full hearing but he died (aged 78) before this next court date.

Broken Rites will refer to these two boys as “Tom” and “Wayne” (not their real names). They were born in the early 1950s and were related to each other. In the 1960s they lived at Laverton, a Melbourne outer-suburb.

According to a prosecution file which was compiled for the 2011 court proceedings, Rubeo’s offences allegedly began when Tom and Wayne were aged 11 or 12 and became more frequent when the boys were 13 to 15. At the time, neither Tom nor Wayne knew that the other was being abused.

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Child sexual abuse cases in Hollywood attract attention

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times

January 8, 2012

In his private journal, Jason Michael Handy once described himself as a “pedophile, full blown.”

Handy snapped more than 1,000 photos of girls at the elementary school across the street from his house, using a camera with a telephoto lens, according to court documents. He volunteered at a Malibu church, where he worked with 6-year-olds. And his job as a production assistant at one of the nation’s most prominent producers of children’s television programs, Nickelodeon, gave him access to child actors on and off the set, and allowed him to exchange email addresses and phone numbers with them.

He used the hopes of at least two girls who dreamed of careers in TV to sexually exploit them.

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 abuse activists mark decade of struggle

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

By Danielle Rivard
Monday, January 9, 2012

Survivors, supporters and activists of clergy abuse gathered this weekend with a “renewed energy” in hopes of changing the current statute of limitations on sex crimes 10 years after the priest sex abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic church in Boston and around the world.

About 70 people — many of them victims of sexual abuse — marched on Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross at the end of a three-day conference and “celebration” of the decade-long campaign to end the abuse of children within the church. But they said there is more work to be done.

“The single most effective mechanism to protecting children in the state and around the country is to change statute of limitations,” said Barbara Blaine, 55, a clergy abuse survivor and activist. “We can’t go back to being 12 years old again, and that leaves us feeling helpless, but what gives us hope is being active and working to prevent other children from being abused.”

Anne Doyle, co-director for BishopAccountability.org, said the event also sought to thank the survivors who told about their abuse.

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

Minn. Supreme Court to determine validity of repressed memory in sex abuse case

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

[with audio]

by Conrad Wilson, Minnesota Public Radio
January 9, 2012

St. Cloud, Minn. — The Minnesota Supreme Court will hear a case Monday to determine if repressed memories can be used in a church sexual abuse lawsuit. If the case moves forward, the decision could lead to more sexual abuse lawsuits going to trial.

The lawsuit, filed by James Keenan against the Archdiocese of Minneapolis & St. Paul as well as the Diocese of Winona in 2006, alleges he was sexually abused by a priest named Thomas Adamson sometime between 1980 and 1982.

By filing a lawsuit decades after the incident occurred, Keenan’s claim falls outside the statute of limitations. Under Minnesota law, individuals can bring a lawsuit within six years of turning 18-years-old or when they knew or should have known about the abuse.

According to his lawyer, Jeff Anderson, Keenan didn’t initially remember the incident.

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.

Minn. Supreme Court to consider whether repressed memories relevant in sexual abuse

MINNESOTA
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: January 09, 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Supreme Court is expected to hear a case Monday that involves repressed memories and priest sexual abuse.

A lawsuit by James Keenan against the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul and the Diocese of Winona falls outside the statute of limitations. Keenan alleges he was abused by a priest sometime between 1980 and 1982. Minnesota law requires individuals to bring a lawsuit within six years of turning 18 or when they knew about the abuse.

Keenan alleges he was abused by a priest sometime between 1980 and 1982.

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January 8, 2012

Overturn judge’s chilling ruling in priest lawsuit

MISSOURI
The Kansas City Star

Kansas City Star Editorial

A Jackson County judge’s ruling in a lawsuit involving an alleged pedophile priest is harmful and wrong.

By decreeing that a victim’s advocacy group must turn over thousands of emails to the attorneys of accused priest Rev. Michael Tierney, Circuit Judge Ann Mesle has compounded the damages borne by sexual abuse victims. Her ruling will serve to intimidate potential whistleblowers and discourage victims from coming forward with new allegations. Also, it chills the constitutionally protected right of journalists to gather information.

Mesle’s ruling potentially allows the perusal of decades worth of emails to and from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP. Tierney’s attorneys allege that the plaintiff’s attorney violated a gag order issued by Mesle by contacting SNAP.

Attempts to review decades of emails to and from people not even involved in Tierney’s case makes this look more like a fishing expedition than a legitimate need to build a defense. The Missouri Press Association makes this point in an amicus brief. Kansas City attorney Jean Maneke says of Mesle’s order: “It would chill future news gathering. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that news gathering is protected under the First Amendment.”

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.

Statement by Bishop Dunn following the sentencing of the former bishop of the diocese

CANADA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish

[Déclaration de Mgr Dunn]

Press Release
Diocese of Antigonish
January 4th, 2012

The trial of Bishop Raymond Lahey has concluded with his sentencing today. This entire matter has caused a great deal of hurt, disappointment and anger within and outisde of our Diocese.

Church leaders are called to provide good example and to show moral integrity in their lives. When they commit serious moral failures, this can have a significant impact on the faith community. This is especially so when it involves the crime of child pornograhy.

This Diocese is committed to establishing safe and supportive communities for our young people and vulnerable adults. Through the diocesean Responsible Ministry Protocol, the diocese continues to take steps to create a secure environment for all members of the church particuilarly with respect to young people.

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.

Archbishop writes parishioners about Lahey case

CANADA
CBC News

Archbishop Martin Currie has issued a message to Newfoundland and Labrador parishioners about the Raymond Lahey child pornography case, expressing “sadness, disappointment and anger” and urging the Catholic community to learn from the situation and move forward.

“Let us draw whatever good we can from this event, and re-commit ourselves to building a better church, society and world, a world in which people are valued and treated with respect, where no child suffers, and where all can live in peace and joy,” Currie said in a prepared statement.

“This archdiocese is committed to establishing safe and supportive communities for our young people and vulnerable adults. Through our screening process, we continue to take steps to create a secure environment for all members of the church.”

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

Butte County questions letters from imprisoned leader

SOUTH DAKOTA
Belle Fourche Community

Milo Dailey Butte County Post staff | Posted: Sunday, January 8, 2012

BELLE FOURCHE – Butte County officials have no idea why they have been receiving letters and boxes of books from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its imprisoned spiritual leader Warren S. Jeffs.

The latest was opened for the Jan. 3 county commission meeting. It included a warning, “Cincinnati shall soon be a destroyed city.”

It’s the fourth set of letters sent to the Butte County Commission, Butte County Sheriff Fred Lamphere and Butte County Auditor Elaine Jensen.

“There’s no cover letter, no nothing,” Jensen said. “But it’s our names and they’ve done well on their research.”

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.

Prayer Rally Held for Bishop Accused of Abuse

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Fox 4

9:59 am, January 8, 2012, by Christie Walton

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A group says it praying for the highest ranking, Catholic official Saturday. Bishop Robert Finn, of the Diocese of Kansas City – Saint Joseph, is accused of failing to report child abuse suspicions.

Justice for Bishop Finn group members gathered in prayer under a symbolic statue, at Divine Mercy Park to say to those who doubt the bishop, that his charges should be dropped.

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.

Holier-than-thou Rick’s got to go

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

By Margery Eagan
Sunday, January 8, 2012

Yesterday morning, while Rick “Faith, Family, and Freedom” Santorum was preparing for another I’m-holier-than-you-are day in New Hampshire, I was sitting in a Cambridge Street Holiday Inn conference room. It was packed with survivors and advocates celebrating the 10th anniversary of the uncovering of Boston’s horrific Catholic Church sex abuse crisis.

Two times in a half hour the name Rick Santorum, the self-proclaimed uber Catholic, was mentioned. Two times he was politely and genteelly booed.

I loved it.

This was a mostly Catholic gathering. There were nuns, ex-nuns, ex-altar boys, and middle-aged and elderly people. And many in the crowd couldn’t stomach Santorum for one big reason. Just as the depths of this sex abuse deprivation were revealed, Rick Santorum, in 2002, went on the record to blame the rape of children in and around Boston on “cultural liberalism.” He’s never said he was wrong.

Think about that obnoxiousness before you vote, New Hampshire.

Let me add. The website BishopAccountability.org lists bishops and priests credibly accused of abuse, which means priests with multiple accusers or with cases settled by the church. More than 60 such priests were accused by hundreds and hundreds in New Hampshire.

Perhaps Rick Santorum blames New Hampshire’s “cultural liberalism” for those assaults, too, though liberal is hardly a word I’d use to describe the Granite State. It is not clear what he blames for priestly attacks on teenagers and children in Ireland, throughout Europe, parts of Africa, South America and most recently Haiti.

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 Benedict XVI’s Cardinals: More Roman, Less ‘Catholic’

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

By DAVID GIBSON
2012 Religion News Service

(RNS) For Americans who take note of the pomp and circumstance — and politics — at the Vatican, the big news on Friday (Jan. 6) was that Pope Benedict XVI had included New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, and former Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, among the 22 churchmen that he will install as cardinals at a Mass at St. Peter’s next month.

The elevation of Dolan, 61, is not unexpected. His predecessor, retired Cardinal Edward Egan, will lose his vote in a papal conclave when he turns 80 in April. Popes have traditionally wanted to ensure New York is represented in the College of Cardinals for any future papal election.

But the larger story of Friday’s appointments — and an indication of how the next conclave may play out — is that the German pope continued his pattern of stacking the College of Cardinals with Europeans (mainly Italians) and with leaders of the Roman curia, the papal bureaucracy whose officials are often considered more conservative than prelates in dioceses around the world.

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.

Bishop Raymond Lahey: Child Pornography Offence Prompts Church To Reaffirm Moral Commitment

CANADA
Huffington Post

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A Newfoundland archbishop is reaffirming his church’s commitment to ensuring a safe environment for parishioners just days after a disgraced clergyman was sentenced for importing child pornography.

Martin Currie, the archbishop of St. John’s, spoke about Roman Catholic bishop Raymond Lahey in a statement made during a church service Saturday evening.

Currie said the church has a thorough screening process and is dedicated to making sure its officials are not involved in crimes like Lahey’s again.

“This archdiocese is committed to establishing safe and supportive communities for our young people and vulnerable adults,” Currie 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.

N.L. church to ensure Lahey’s crimes not repeated

CANADA
CTV

The Canadian Press

Date: Saturday Jan. 7, 2012

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — An archbishop in Newfoundland says his church is committed to ensuring a safe environment for its parishioners.

Martin Currie’s comments come just days after disgraced Roman Catholic bishop Raymond Lahey was sentenced for possessing child pornography.

Currie, the archbishop of St. John’s, says the church has a thorough screening process and is committed to making sure its officials are not involved in crimes like Lahey’s again.

Currie is asking church members to stand against “all that harms or degrades human beings,” and reiterated Lahey’s impending removal from the clerical state.

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.

Supporters of Bishop Finn gather for prayer rally

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By ROBERT A. CRONKLETON
The Kansas City Star

More than three dozen supporters of Bishop Robert Finn gathered for a prayer rally Saturday and held a news conference saying that the misdemeanor charge against him should be dismissed.

“This is not a cover-up and this is not a knowing endangerment of children,” said Michael Quinlan, a St. Louis attorney who spoke at the press conference held by the group Justice for Bishop Finn at Divine Mercy Park in the Northland.

Finn took the steps any reasonable person would have taken in the way he handled the case of the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, Quinlan said. Ratigan faces child pornography charges in Clay County and federal court.

Finn has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failing to report child abuse suspicions in Jackson County involving Ratigan.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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‘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’.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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