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February 28, 2017
Public hearing into nature, cause and impact of child sexual abuse
AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

28 February, 2017

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing commencing Monday 27 March 2017 in Sydney.

The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into:

1. The nature of child sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts in Australia and how community understanding of abuse has changed over time.

2. The extent of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts historically and in contemporary Australia, and challenges to identification and prevention.

3. The factors that contribute to the risk of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts:

* factors that make all children vulnerable to sexual abuse and heighten the vulnerability of particular groups of children to sexual abuse

* factors that may contribute to people sexually abusing children in institutional contexts

* institution-specific factors that may contribute to child sexual abuse.

4. The impacts of child sexual abuse and institutional responses on survivors, both in childhood and throughout their adult lives, their families and supporters, and the wider community.

5. Any related matters

Any person or institution wishing to seek leave to appear is invited to lodge a written application for leave to appear at the public hearing by Friday 10 March 2017.

Click here to access the form for applications for leave to appear.

Posted on February 28, 2017 7:56 PM

House, Senate child abuse bills both address statute of limitations, differ on retroactivity
PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
[email protected]

Two separate bills to extend the statutes of limitation for victims of child sexual abuse have been introduced into the Pennsylvania General Assembly this year.

Both would eliminate all age limits for criminal actions and civil lawsuits against alleged abusers going forward.

However, there is a major difference.

A House of Representatives bill – introduced by state Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Democrat from Berks County, and supported by state Rep. Frank Burns from East Taylor Township – includes a two-year window in which past victims could file civil complaints against their alleged abusers. The Senate version does not contain any such retroactivity.

That point of contention led to the issue going unresolved last year when similar bills were debated after the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General issued a report – released one year ago on March 1, 2016 – that accused the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown of covering up child sexual abuse.

Posted on February 28, 2017 7:53 PM

AG’s child abuse investigation continues, one year after scathing report on Altoona-Johnstown Diocese
PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
[email protected]

For decades, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown allegedly perpetrated a coverup to protect priests accused of sexually assaulting children.

Accusations against a few reported abusers, including Rev. Francis Luddy and Msgr. Francis McCaa, became publicly known during those years. But, for the most part, they were treated as isolated incidents by the community, instead of indications of a systemic problem.

That changed one year ago – on March 1, 2016 – when the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General released a grand jury report, accusing the diocese of sheltering at least 50 priests and other religious leaders, allegedly under the direct supervision of former Bishops Joseph Adamec and James Hogan.

The 147-page document provided information about “secret archives” kept by the diocese, a payout chart for different types of abuse, testimony from at least four priests who admitted to inappropriately touching children, and detailed biographies of the accused.
Posted on February 28, 2017 5:40 PM

Archdiocese wants to mortgage prized Manhattan real estate to pay off sex abuse victims
NEW YORK
New York Post

By Julia Marsh and Bruce Golding
February 28, 2017

The Archdiocese of New York wants to mortgage a prized piece of property behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral to obtain $100 million to pay off victims of priestly sex abuse who agree not to take their cases to court.

The filing in Manhattan Supreme Court says JP Morgan Chase has agreed to loan the money against the archdiocese’s ownership of land beneath the luxury Lotte Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue between 50th and 51st streets.

Although the court filing doesn’t say why the church needs the dough, a spokesman confirmed it was part of a plan announced by Cardinal Timothy Dolan last year to strike out-of-court settlements with people who were abused by priests and deacons.

“When he introduced the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, the archdiocese planned to take a loan to cover the cost of the compensation. This loan is to do that,” archdiocese spokesman Joe Zwilling said.

Posted on February 28, 2017 5:30 PM

Archdiocese moves to mortgage land behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral for $100M loan to pay sex abuse victims
NEW YORK
New York Daily News

STEPHEN REX BROWN
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Archdiocese of New York is seeking approval of a $100 million loan by mortgaging land behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral that will be used to pay victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

The loan, which requires a judge’s approval, will use the land, occupied by the Lotte New York Palace Hotel, as collateral.

Joseph Zwilling, spokesman for the Archdiocese, confirmed “the loan would be used to cover the settlement costs” of the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan announced the program last year meant to compensate victims of abuse of Archdiocese of New York clergy who were barred from bringing claims of sex abuse in court by the state’s statute of limitations.
Posted on February 28, 2017 5:28 PM

Teenager testifies she didn’t tell grand jury full extent of sex acts with Eugene priest
OREGON
The Register-Guard

By Jack Moran
The Register-Guard
FEB. 28, 2017

The alleged victim in a Eugene priest’s prostitution case told a jury on Tuesday that she was not completely truthful when testifying before a grand jury that returned a 10-count indictment against the priest last October.

The 18-year-old woman — a key prosecution witness — returned to the witness stand during Daniel MacKay’s trial on Tuesday in an attempt to clear up confusion about what she asserts happened between her and the priest.

The teenager testified Friday about a variety of sex acts that she says occurred during arranged meetings with MacKay.

But she acknowledged Tuesday that she had told the Lane County grand jury only about having performed oral sex on the priest, and had neglected to talk about other sex acts.

The alleged victim blamed alcohol and marijuana use, as well as embarrassment, for why she didn’t provide the grand jury with a complete account. She said she was high on drugs during her grand jury testimony.

Posted on February 28, 2017 4:11 PM

Priest held for rape
INDIA
Deccan Herald

The police in Kannur on Tuesday recorded the arrest of a Catholic priest in connection with the rape of a minor girl in Kottiyoor in the district.

Questions remained on the reported attempts to cover up the incident and the help that the priest got from some quarters as he attempted to flee the country.

Kelakam Police has registered a case against Robin Vadakkancheril (48) under the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Section 376 (rape) of the IPC. The incident came to light after a17-year-old girl delivered a child earlier this month.

Vadakkancheril was vicar at the St Sebastian Church in Kottiyoor, under the diocese of Mananthavady, and manager at a higher secondary school. He has since been removed from the positions.

The class XI student was raped by the vicar in the parish about a year ago. She was 16 at the time of the incident.

Posted on February 28, 2017 4:10 PM

Kerala minor rape: Priest promised cash to dad for taking blame
INDIA
The Indian Express

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published:March 1, 2017

The Kerala Catholic priest, who allegedly raped a minor, had tried to foist the paternity of the child born to the victim on her own father, police said Tuesday.

An investigating officer of Kannur police said that in return Father Robin Vadakkancheril had promised to look after the family’s financial requirements in future.

Father Robin, 48, who belonged to the Catholic Diocese of Mananthavady, was caught from Kochi on Monday.

The girl, who earlier this month gave birth to a boy, had initially said her own father was the parent of the newborn.

Posted on February 28, 2017 4:08 PM

Email addresses of child sexual abuse victims shared with others in Inquiry blunder
UNITED KINGDOM
Yahoo! News

The email addresses of people who registered to a child abuse victims forum have been shared with others in a blunder by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse. On the first day the beleaguered inquiry began hearing public evidence after a series of setbacks, the addresses of those on the Inquiry Victims and Survivors Forum were mistakenly made visible to each other. The inquiry team issued an immediate apology and referred the issue to the Information Commissioner’s Office. It came as the inquiry heard about the torture, slavery and rape of children forced to live abroad under the child migrant schemes in the wake of the Second World War.

Many never recover and are permanently afflicted with guilt, shame, diminished self-confidence, low self-esteem and trauma.
One victim of the child migrant scheme, David Hill

The inquiry has been plagued by problems – not least the resignation of three of the chairman and disagreement between some of the key figures in the team. In 2015, a technical blunder caused the accounts of child sex abuse victims to be deleted before even reaching inquiry staff. The latest error saw the email addresses of those who registered for the inquiry’s Victims and Survivors Forum made visible to others on the list. Chief Press Officer Debbie Kirby said: “This morning the Inquiry has apologised to a number of email recipients whose email addresses were mistakenly accessible to others on the list. We have asked them to delete the email. “The email was sent to those people who have registered for the Inquiry’s Victims and Survivors Forum. We will be self-referring this issue to the Information Commissioner’s Office.”

Posted on February 28, 2017 4:05 PM

Scots child abuse payouts could cost £200m, MSPs told
SCOTLAND
BBC News

The cost of compensation for survivors of childhood abuse in Scotland could total at least £200m, MSPs have heard.

A bill has been tabled which would allow victims to claim compensation beyond the current three-year time bar.

Alistair Gaw of Social Work Scotland told Holyrood’s justice committee the cost could be “highly significant”.

He cited an inquiry in Jersey, where the average cost of a payout was £40,000, expanding this to a possible 5,000 Scottish victims.

Posted on February 28, 2017 4:04 PM

UK child migrant so hungry she ‘ate grain meant for pigs’
UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A woman who was sent from England to Australia as a child was molested and left so hungry she ate grain meant for pigs, an inquiry has heard.

Marcelle O’Brien was sent to a home in Pinjarra, western Australia, run by the Fairbridge Society, at the age of four.

The then-Queen, wife of George VI, later intervened to ask whether she could return to the UK to be adopted.

But Fairbridge said it would not be in her “best interests”, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse heard.

Mrs O’Brien said she suffered “mental cruelty” and “sadistic” treatment at the home where she was forced to do “slave labour”.

Posted on February 28, 2017 4:02 PM

Scots child abuse victim payouts could total £200m
SCOTLAND
STV

Aidan Kerr

Around 5000 files relating to historical child abuse are held by Police Scotland.

Compensation paid to Scottish victims of childhood sexual abuse could total around £200m, MSPs have been told.

The Scottish Government has recently tabled legislation which would expand the time limit on compensation claims, meaning many more victims may come forward.

An independent inquiry into historical sexual abuse in Scotland is currently under way.

Alistair Gaw, of Social Work Scotland, told Holyrood’s justice committee the compensation bill could run into millions of pounds.

Posted on February 28, 2017 4:01 PM

Eyewitness provides harrowing testimony to UK inquiry into sexual abuse in Australian schools
AUSTRALIA/UNITED KINGDOM
news.com.au

Victoria Craw
news.com.au
@Victoria_Craw

AN EYEWITNESS has told of the horror he experienced at growing up in Western Australia where he was abused by older boys and a priest in a boarding school from age seven.

Speaking to the UK Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the anonymous witness who is now 70 years old, said he was repeatedly raped and molested by older boys and in the church vestry as a child.

“It wasn’t just older boys it was some of the younger ones as well. Because I was small … they seemed to think it was very funny just to pick on the small ones and they did what they wanted to do.”

“Sometimes it wouldn’t just be myself. Sometimes it would be three or four of us. So I mean it wasn’t just me all the time.”

Posted on February 28, 2017 3:58 PM

Facing church truths in Australia
IRELAND
Mayo News

Liamy MacNally

In Australia, the Catholic Church is facing a Royal Commission on child abuse. The public hearing was set up on February 6 to inquire into the current policies and procedures of Catholic Church authorities in Australia in relation to child-protection and child-safety standards, including responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.

One participant is Bishop Vincent Long from Sydney, who was questioned by Ms Gail Furness SC, Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald and Ms Jane Needham SC. Responding to a query ‘that clericalism has been described as a factor or playing a role in the abuse of children and the response to that abuse…’ he said:

“I see the clericalism as a by-product of a certain model of Church informed or underpinned or sustained by a certain theology. I mean, it’s no secret that we have been operating, at least under the two previous pontificates, from what I’d describe as a perfect society model where there is a neat, almost divinely inspired, pecking order, and that pecking order is heavily tilted towards the ordained. So you have the pope, the cardinals, the bishops, religious, consecrated men and women, and the laity right at the bottom of the pyramid.”

Bishop Long continued: “I think we need to dismantle that model of Church. If I could use the biblical image of wineskins, it’s old wineskins that are no longer relevant, no longer able to contain the new wine, if you like. I think we really need to examine seriously that kind of model of Church where it promotes the superiority of the ordained and it facilitates that power imbalance between the ordained and the non-ordained, which in turn facilitates that attitude of clericalism, if you like.”

Posted on February 28, 2017 3:55 PM

Is Francis actually backsliding on punishing abuse?
UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Michael Sean Winters | Feb. 28, 2017

The headline was alarming: “Pope Francis quietly trims sanctions for sex abusers seeking mercy.” The reporter, Nicole Winfield of The Associated Press, is one of the most respected in the religion news business. But is it so?

The clergy sex abuse story is the ugliest in the recent history of the Catholic church. Under St. Pope John Paul II, a serial abuser like Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder and head of the Legionaries of Christ, was not only unpunished, but he continued to receive support and even adulation at the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI began a serious crackdown on clergy sex abuse, one of the real achievements of his pontificate.

Those of us who have studied the sex abuse crisis know how intimately intertwined it is with an unhealthy culture of clericalism. Just last week, the bishops of Australia acknowledged the role clerical culture played in both facilitating the crimes and the cover-up of those crimes. Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen of Parramatta, Australia, himself a victim of sex abuse, was especially withering in his criticism of clerical culture.

So, it is surprising to read that Francis, who is astute generally, and especially so in diagnosing the ills of clericalism, would be backsliding on the “zero tolerance” policy that is the keystone in the church’s response to the abuse of children. Again, is it so?

Posted on February 28, 2017 3:53 PM

A Catholic Scandal Molested by a Predatory News Media
UNITED STATES
These Stone Walls

POSTED BY FR. GORDON J. MACRAE ON FEBRUARY 22, 2017

I had a recent exchange of messages with Jennifer Haigh, a very accomplished author whose critically acclaimed novel, Faith (Harper, 2011), kept me sleep deprived for a couple of nights. It’s a book, of fiction, but for me, the fiction was painfully familiar. It is the story of Father Art Breen, a Boston priest accused of sexual abuse. Cast under a cloud of abuse of another sort – a vague state of priestly limbo called “administrative leave” – Father Art descends into despair as the Archdiocese “investigates” (aka “settles”) the claim.

Father Art’s skeptical younger sister, Sheila McGann, returns to Boston to launch an investigation of her own while younger brother Mike, a police officer, has “already convicted his brother in his heart.” The Archdiocese simply discards its tainted priest and moves on. The book has some surprises, which I won’t reveal, but no one among my family or friends would read it. “The anger and hurt are still too close,” they said.

Some of their anger is at me for not simply caving in. “If you just took the deal,” they say, “you would have been free twenty years ago.” More of their anger is at the accusers who they know, with a moral certainty, rode their wave of priestly scandal all the way to the bank, aided and abetted by the activists and lawyers who were recently unmasked in “David Clohessy Resigns SNAP in Alleged Lawyer Kickback Scheme.”

There is plenty of righteous anger to go around. . Just after that post was published, a priest-friend said it made him very angry. He has never been the subject of an accusation, but having seen the lives of too many priests destroyed, he has become keenly aware of how David Clohessy and others in SNAP exploited accusations under the guise of “survivor support.”

Posted on February 28, 2017 3:51 PM

Bischöfe: Wie weit reicht das Beichtgeheimnis?
AUSTRALIEN
Katholisch

[How should priests who experience confessions of abuse during confession deal with this information? On this question Australian bishops want to turn to the Vatican.]

Die australischen Bischöfe wollen von Papst Franziskus eine Klarstellung des Beichtsakraments fordern. Wie die US-Zeitschrift “National Catholic Reporter” schreibt, ziehen es fünf australische Erzbischöfe in Betracht, den Vatikan um eine Klärung zu bitten. Sie hatten zuvor an einer Anhörung vor der australischen Missbrauchskommission teilgenommen.

Die Absolution bei Missbrauch verweigern?

Dabei soll es vor allem darum gehen, ob das Beichtgeheimnis nur die tatsächlich gebeichteten Sünden betrifft oder auch sonstige Informationen, die während des Gesprächs bekannt werden. Die Bischöfe wollen außerdem wissen, unter welchen Umständen Priester eine Absolution des gebeichteten Missbrauchs verweigern könnten.
Posted on February 28, 2017 1:49 PM

Pedofilia del clero, “peccato” o “delitto”?
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

[Pedophilia of the clergy: “sin” or “murder”?]

Chi violenta un minore non “offende” solo la castità (come dice il catechismo) ma compie un vero e proprio “delitto”.

di David Gabrielli

La questione della pedofilia del clero cattolico rimbalza, da qualche tempo, sulle prime pagine dei giornali, ed è tema di libri di successo. Essa – la violenza sessuale su bambini e adolescenti (seppure per questi si dovrebbe parlare di efebofilia) – non è affatto una “esclusiva” del clero; avviene soprattutto in famiglia, o col “turismo sessuale” in paesi esotici, praticata da gente che svolge le professioni più variegate e, di norma, è coperta da un’insuperabile omertà. Tristissimo fenomeno sul quale di solito si tace.
Posted on February 28, 2017 1:44 PM

Sesso con minori, parroco condannato a 5 anni: “Invitava studenti per massaggiarli”
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

[A priest has been sentenced to five years in prison for abusing minors.]

Sette i ragazzi vittime di Don Massimo Iuculano, 47 anni, direttore dell’Istituto salesiano “Sacro cuore di Gesù” di Vercelli. Li invitava in una sala all’interno della struttura, li depilava e li massaggiava con dell’olio. Seguivano palpeggiamenti e rapporti orali.

di Andrea Giambartolomei

Ha risarcito le vittime e ha ringraziato la procura per essere intervenuta a fermarlo, ma non è bastato. Il gup Luca Del Colle del Tribunale di Torino ha condannato a cinque anni di carcere don Massimo Iuculano, 47 anni, parroco e direttore dell’Istituto salesiano “Sacro cuore di Gesù” di Vercelli, accusato di diversi episodi di violenza sessuale su minori. All’uscita dal palazzo di giustizia il religioso ha preferito non rilasciare dichiarazioni. “Prendiamo atto – ha detto il suo avvocato, Carlo Blengino – e valuteremo se presentare appello”.

Posted on February 28, 2017 1:42 PM

«Kinderpornos zu schauen sollte nicht strafbar sein»
GROSSBRITANNIEN
Blick

[Simon Bailey, president of the police association in the UK, describes child porn consumers as “low-risk” and said they should not be imprisoned.]

«Kinderpornos zu schauen sollte nicht strafbar sein», sagt Simon Bailey, Polizeipräsident in Norfolk, zur «DailyMail». Polizisten sollten sich auf Pädophile konzentrieren, die direkten Kontakt zu Kindern haben oder Missbrauch in Auftrag geben, zum Beispiel online.

Bailey will demnach «mindere» Vergehen entkriminalisieren und mit Beratung und Rehabilitation bekämpfen. Ihm sei bewusst, dass er mit dieser Forderung anecke.

Der Grund für seine Forderung: Weil sexueller Missbrauch auch gemeldet werden kann, wenn er Jahre zurück liegt, seien die Polizeisysteme an eine «Sättigungsgrenze» gelangt. Jetzt sei ein Punkt erreicht, das Blatt zu wenden. «Wir müssen nach Alternativen suchen.»

Posted on February 28, 2017 1:37 PM

Police chief calls for paedophiles who view child abuse images to be spared prosecution as officers ‘can’t cope’ with volume of reports
UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Patrick Sawer, senior reporter
28 FEBRUARY 2017

A leading police officer has said that paedophiles who view indecent images should not be charged and taken to court unless they pose a physical threat to children.

Simon Bailey, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for child protection, said low level offenders should simply be placed on the sex offenders register and given counselling and rehabilitation instead.

He said that would free the police to deal with the core of dangerous paedophiles who are seeking out and exploiting children in order to rape and carry out “the most awful sexual abuse” against them.

Mr Bailey said he acknowledged that many people would be “nervous” about his proposals.

But he said it was time to look at alternatives to prosecution because reports of sexual abuse have reached “saturation point”.

Posted on February 28, 2017 6:53 AM

Child Migration Programmes case study (public hearing) Day 2 of 9
UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

This links to the live stream for today’s inquiry hearing.

Posted on February 28, 2017 6:49 AM

Look for the full AP report! Pope Francis is showing mercy to a few pedophile priests
UNITED STATES
GetReligion

Terry Mattingly

It is, without a doubt, one of the most frustrating, infuriating things that can happen to a reporter.

You write your story. You are extra careful – since it’s on an emotional topic full of fact-claims that are in dispute – to make sure that you have included several qualified voices offering competing points of view. You make sure your story is the length assigned by the editors.

You turn the story in. Then, when it comes out (this happens A LOT in ink-on-paper news) you see that the copy desk has – for some reason, often page layout – basically cut the story nearly in half. To make matters worse, the editors didn’t thin the story in a way that left the balanced structure intact. They just chopped off the end.

Some of your sources are furious. They accuse you of bias, because the story is so one-sided. They have no way to know that the printed story is not the story that you wrote.

I bring this up because I saw an Associated Press story the other day – with a Vatican dateline – that had me really shaking my head. It had, I thought, all kinds of problems in terms of balance and essential information. It didn’t help that this was on a very controversial topic, one cutting against the grain of most reporting about Pope Francis. The lede:

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has quietly reduced sanctions against a handful of pedophile priests, applying his vision of a merciful church even to its worst offenders in ways that survivors of abuse and the pope’s own advisers question.

Posted on February 28, 2017 6:45 AM

Catholic Church Works to Protect Abuse Victims
GEORGIA
WSAV

[with video]

By Andrew Davis Published: February 27, 2017

The Catholic Church is stepping up to protect children.

A conference in Savannah this week is covering a wide range of topics including screening applicants who may be a risk for committing sexual abuse.

Unfortunately – events like this come too late for victims like Chris Templeton. He spoke to News 3 last year about being abused by Father Wayland Brown. Assaulted nearly sixty times back in 1987.

“(I remember) Him raping me in the Rectory. These were the flashbacks I was having, of him raping me in my parent’s home,” said Chris Templeton. “He walked in and told my mother i’ll sit with Chris while you get the girls. and he raped me right on my mom and dad’s couch. I can still see the fibers of the couch pressed up in my face. I can still feel it like it was yesterday. I can still see the yellow and brown carpet in my mom and dad’s house.”

Posted on February 28, 2017 6:42 AM

Enough with the “Penetration Fallacy”
UNITED STATES
Frum Follies

We have a serious problem when people say, “But it wasn’t rape,” or “Sexualizing a child without touching is creepy but not sexual abuse.” Creepy is practically a synonym for sexualizing.

Sex crimes should be seen from the point of view of harm to the victim/survivor, not in terms of the mechanics and body parts. There is what I call a “penetration fallacy” where the halachic and legal criteria of severity ignore the psycho-emotional harm.

Professionals report profound harm including suicides and overdose deaths because of sex abuse that did not involve penetration of any sort. As long as the sexual dimension is apparent enough to make it creepy, it becomes possible for it to seriously harm a child. Not every child. Resilience varies. Some can come out pretty well from horrific things while others are deeply harmed by lesser things.

Even the law recognizes the victim’s perspective by considering victim impact reports and statements in setting sentences. The law bases the amount of civil judgements on the basis of the effects such as subsequent functional impairment, not just the acts. This is correct because some children are more harmed by fondling than others are by penetration.

Jewish law has explicit categories for harm: nezek, tzar, ripui, sheves and boishes. Sex abuse, depending on the particulars can include all five: physical harm, pain, medical healing costs, incapacitation, and shame.

Posted on February 28, 2017 6:40 AM

Mary Lou McDonald to speak at ‘Flowers for Magdalenes’ in Glasnevin next Sunday
IRELAND
An Phoblacht

John Hedges
An Phoblacht Editor

THE sixth annual “Flowers for Magdalenes” remembrance event takes place next Sunday (5 March) at 2:30pm at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.

This special event aims to remember the women and girls who were incarcerated in Magdalene Laundries during that shameful period of our all too recent history.

The poignant ceremony will feature an address from Claire McGettrick of Justice for Magdalenes Research, Mary Lou McDonald TD (pictured below) and Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD.

This will be followed by the laying of flowers on the graves and monuments to the women, many of whom lived and died inside the walls of these institutions.

Posted on February 28, 2017 6:34 AM

Catholic archbishop granted second appeal
AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

February 28, 2017

Australian Associated Press

Adelaide’s Catholic archbishop will be allowed to once again appeal over a decision not to halt criminal proceedings relating to the alleged concealment of child sex assault.

NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Lloyd Babb SC on Tuesday argued another appeal by Archbishop Philip Wilson would have little chance of success.

But Court of Appeal judges Justice Carolyn Simpson and Justice Arthur Emmett granted permission for an appeal to be heard in front of a full panel of judges.

Archbishop Wilson, who is believed to be the world’s most senior Catholic charged with such offences, is accused of concealing information relevant to the 1971 sexual assault of a 10-year-old boy by deceased pedophile priest James Fletcher in Maitland.

Posted on February 28, 2017 6:32 AM

UK inquiry hears child abuse case in Australia
UNITED KINGDOM/AUSTRALIA
International Business Times

By Frenalyn Untalan on February 28 2017

First-hand accounts of people sent to Australia during the post-war decades will be heard as a step towards an independent inquiry into child sexual abuse. The “largest and most ambitious inquiry in the UK” will reportedly tackle what have really taken place inside the government, schools, hospitals, military and other institutions.

Imran Kahn, who spoke on behalf of former child migrant Oliver Cosgrove, said several children were physical and sexual abused. The scheme to “populate the empire with good, white British stock,” he said, has led to child abuse. Cosgrove has reportedly set foot to Australia in 1941.

“This was a systematic and institutional problem,” Kahn said. Men and women from the UK who were sent to the Land Down Under want to ensure that justice is served.

Based on testimonies at the Australian Royal Commission, schools in Western Australia which were run by the Christian Brothers forced boys to work ad bear beatings. Allegedly, children were also abused sexually and suffered hunger. Christian Brothers in different schools, which include Castledare, Contarf, Tardun and Bindoon in Perth, were named by children as abusers according to news.com.au.

Posted on February 28, 2017 6:28 AM

The Meltdown Continues: SNAP Now Sued by Michigan Priest For Defamation [w/ Court Docs] MICHIGAN
TheMediaReport

February 27, 2017

A falsely accused priest in Michigan has sued the group SNAP, SNAP’s disgraced former director David Clohessy, the Detroit Free Press newspaper, and the Macomb Daily newspaper, claiming that they wrongly charged that he molested a 16-year-old girl in the 1970s.

Rev. Kenneth Kaucheck filed a lawsuit for defamation and libel in Wayne County Circuit Court in Michigan, on January 30, and now TheMediaReport.com is the first to report the news. This is already the second lawsuit that SNAP has faced so far in 2017.

[**Click to read Fr. Kaucheck’s lawsuit against SNAP and the press (pdf)**]

Seeking truth and justice

In 2009, after Fr. Kaucheck had served over three decades in ministry with a completely unblemished record, a lone woman came forward to claim that Kaucheck molested her over thirty years earlier, in 1976. Kaucheck has vehemently denied the charges.

According to the lawsuit, Kaucheck was placed on administrative leave after the allegation, but neither a civil, criminal, or canonical hearing has ever been held for Kaucheck to present his case and fight the false claim.
Posted on February 28, 2017 6:20 AM

What is grooming? How to spot a paedophile before it’s too late
AUSTRALIA
The Age

Timna Jacks

It can start with making a child in their care feel “privileged”. Then might come the purchase of a toy.

What may seem like an innocent gesture may be the beginning of a plot to prepare a child for sex, according to the child abuse royal commission.

But how do you know? Schools, youth groups, and other organisations caring for children are being asked to be alert to grooming, but how can they step in before it’s too late?

The question is even more pertinent in Victoria, with new laws making grooming a criminal offence and the Victorian Government releasing new guidelines teaching children to watch out for grooming.

Posted on February 28, 2017 6:18 AM

Jacksboro pastor, 68, accused of raping teen who lived with him
TENNESSEE
WBIR

[with video]

John North , WBIR

A Jacksboro preacher faces multiple sex charges that accuse him of abusing a now 17-year-old girl who lived with him, records show.

Jimmy E. Orick, 68, is accused of aggravated statutory rape, statutory rape by an authority figure, and sexual battery by an authority figure. A Campbell County grand jury returned the eight-count indictment on Thursday, and Orick was arrested the next day.

Orick has a March 6 court date in Campbell County Circuit Court, criminal division. He is free on bond.

The investigation began in December after the girl’s mother called authorities, according to records.

Posted on February 28, 2017 6:14 AM

Crowdfunding Site Helps Kenyan Home for Sexually Exploited Boys
UNITED STATES
Church Militant

by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D. • ChurchMilitant.com • February 25, 2017

NAIROBI (ChurchMilitant.com) – A Kenyan home for abused boys needs help — and a faith-friendly crowdfunding initiative is featuring the the home as its newest featured project.

Founded by the Jewish Institute for Global Awareness (JIFGA) based on a concept developed by its co-director Arthur Goldberg, fundingmorality.com is focusing the spotlight on the Kenyan Youth Center for Sexually Exploited Boys. According to Goldberg, JIFGA ‘s mission is to educate people and develop projects to implement the universal ethical and moral values promulgated by God to Noah after the biblical Flood.

“Rich male tourists come to Kenya and lure these boys into this lifestyle,” Goldberg told Church Militant, “and the boys, many of them extremely poor, see it as a way to make quick money and get out of poverty. However, once they experience this life, they come to realize there are numerous damaging emotional, physical and psychological costs.”

Posted on February 28, 2017 6:11 AM

Catholic Church defends housing arrangements for investigated former Tumut parish priest Father Brian Hassett
AUSTRALIA
Daily Advertiser

Katie Burgess

28 Feb 2017

A FORMER Tumut Catholic priest who was investigated for inappropriately touching children in the town was housed next to two Canberra primary schools because there was nowhere else to put him, the Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn has revealed.

Father Brian Hassett has been living at Lanigan House in Garran, on the ground of Sts Peter and Paul Primary School, for about two years, Fairfax Media has learnt.

He was moved into the home for retired clergy, which also sits close to the Malkara School, after complaints about inappropriate behaviour towards children were made against him.

The claims related to his 30-year tenure in Tumut.

A spokesman for the church said one complaint related to a boundary violation and one to inappropriate touching.

Posted on February 28, 2017 6:02 AM

Victim Of Notorious Baltimore Priest Says Police Were In On Sexual Abuse
MARYLAND
CBS Baltimore

February 27, 2017
By Denise Koch

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In the 60s and 70s, Father Joseph Maskell, a counselor at Archbishop Keough High School, was accused of molesting dozens of students — mostly women.

A recent WJZ investigation revealed many of those victims confided in 26-year-old Sister Cathy Cesnik just before her shocking murder nearly 50 years ago.

“She confronted him and she lost her life for it,” says Teresa Lancaster.

Harsh accusations were told to WJZ by many of Maskell’s victims. We have spoken with two of those women, and now a third, Lancaster, is coming forward with a new bombshell.

She told WJZ she was abused not only by Father Maskell, but also by police officers.

“Father Maskell picked me up, took me to a wooded area where there was a lot of policemen gathered around, he left me in the backseat and two policemen abused me while Maskell stood next to the car,” she told WJZ’s Denise Koch.

Posted on February 28, 2017 5:55 AM

Peravoor sexual abuse case: Priest confesses to crime
INDIA
Mathrubhumi

Peravoor (Kannur): Fr. Robin Vadakkumchery (48), who was nabbed on Monday for abusing and impregnating a Plus One student, has confessed to the crime.

The police are considering to register cases against the hospital authorities who concealed the girl’s delivery and against those who tried to protect.

Police said that Robin confessed to the crime during the questioning. The priest was taken to St. Sebastian’s church to collect evidence.

Police had arrested Robin on Monday from Chalakudy after he went absconding when the incident became public. He was caught while trying to escape to C.

Posted on February 28, 2017 5:48 AM

Kerala: Priest who spoke against child sex abuse arrested for allegedly raping 17-year-old girl
INDIA
Scroll

A 48-year-old Catholic priest has been arrested in Kochi for raping a 17-year-old girl in 2016, who gave birth to a child a few weeks ago, ANI reported. Father Robin Vaddakumchiryil, vicar of St Sebastian church in Kottiyoor, allegedly got the baby admitted to a facility in Wayanad. Ironically, the accused was known for speaking publicly against child sex abuse.

“The parents had not filed a complaint. But based on a tip-off received by the child helpline, we carried out an initial probe and found the report to be true. We have filed a case of rape against the priest,” a police officer told NDTV.

Officials said a case has been registered against a private hospital, for conducting the delivery without informing the police, Hindustan Times reported. “The priest also made an attempt to implicate the girl’s father in the case. Since the family is from an economically weaker section, he tried to implicate him and told many about this,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Prajeesh.

Posted on February 28, 2017 5:46 AM

February 27, 2017
‘Paedophiles shouldn’t face criminal charges for looking at child porn’: Britain’s top child protection cop sparks fury after saying they should only be prosecuted if they’re a physical threat to children
UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By GEORGE ODLING FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Paedophiles who look at indecent photos of children should not face criminal sanctions unless they pose a physical threat, according to Britain’s most senior child protection officer.

An increase in reporting of sexual abuse – including online and historical cases – has meant the policing system has reached ‘saturation point’, according to chief constable Simon Bailey, national police lead for child protection.

Taking a stance he acknowledged would horrify many, he said lower level offending should be de-criminalised and dealt with through counselling and rehabilitation, The Times reported.

But critics argued the proposals could give paedophiles the green light to offend without fear of prosecution.

‘The police service [is] having to deal with an unprecedented volume of reports of non-recent abuse, ongoing abuse, online abuse, peer to peer abuse,’ he said.

‘The numbers are continuing to rise. We have reached saturation point…the police service has responded to the threat but it has now reached that point whereby we have to try and turn the tide. We have to look at alternatives.’

Posted on February 27, 2017 8:12 PM

The stories of child sex abuse and deportation victims are crime records of our time
UNITED KINGDOM
Independent

Editorial

Well within living memory, the British state, alongside charities and churches, was engaged in the mass abuse of children. In what was virtually a modern system of transportation – but without even the semblance of justice in those older cases of the deportation of convicts – thousands of children were in effect removed unlawfully from the UK to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). The final destination of the White Commonwealth dominions added a little racism to the toxic mix, and these children were indeed treated little better than livestock.

This grotesque system of child disposal only dragged to a halt in 1974. It is, then, not some horror tale from the middle ages or the Victorian workhouse. It’s very much in our time.

The children, as we know now, were sent very often without their parents’ knowledge, let alone permission, and against the wishes of the child. They were dispatched because they were “in care” – the ugly irony echoes down the decades – and because they were perhaps too much bother for the authorities to deal with. They were knowingly sent to work and to be mistreated, and, above all, to be forgotten.

Although the public knew little about these crimes – there is no other word for it – there is evidence that the Government knew as early as the mid-1950s about the scale of the abuses, noting in one official report the “indecent haste” with which children were chosen to be sent away. And who was doing the choosing? Without being sensationalist, many were undisputedly paedophiles.

Posted on February 27, 2017 7:12 PM

‘A living hell’ – abuse inquiry hears of thousands of lone children shipped abroad by British government
AUSTRALIA
The Journal (Ireland)

ENGLAND’S MAMMOTH INQUIRY into historical child sex abuse was told of the “torture, rape and slavery” suffered by child migrants shipped to Australia, at its first public hearings today.

The wide-ranging Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse opened by looking at the schemes that sent thousands of vulnerable children to far-flung parts of the Commonwealth in the decades after World War II.

David Hill broke down as he told the inquiry of the “endemic” sexual abuse at the school he was sent to in Australia.

“I hope this inquiry can promote an understanding of the long-term consequences and suffering of those who were sexually abused,” he said.

Posted on February 27, 2017 7:10 PM

Britain’s child migrant programme: why 130,000 children were shipped abroad
UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Caroline Davies
Monday 27 February 2017

More than 130,000 children were sent to a “better life” in former colonies, mainly Australia and Canada, from the 1920s to 1970s under the child migrant programme .

The children, aged between three and 14, were almost invariably from deprived backgrounds and already in some form of social or charitable care. It was believed, they would lead happier lives.

Charities such as Barnardo’s and the Fairbridge Society, the Anglican and Catholic churches and local authorities helped with the organisation of the emigration.

Once there, the children were often told they were orphans to better facilitate their fresh start. The parents – many of them single mothers forced to give up their child for adoption because of poverty or social stigma – believed this was giving them best chance in life, though often did not have details of where their offspring were sent to.

The reality, for some of those children, was a childhood of servitude and hard labour at foster homes: on remote farms, at state-run orphanages and church-run institutions. They were often separated from siblings. Some were subjected to physical and sexual abuse.
Posted on February 27, 2017 7:08 PM

Research paper examining grooming released
AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

28 February, 2017

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a new research paper, Grooming and child sexual abuse in institutional contexts, which provides an overview of key conceptual issues in understanding grooming and discusses what is known about grooming, particularly as it relates to institutional child sexual abuse.

Royal Commission CEO, Philip Reed, said the research shows that grooming can involve a range of behaviours that target not only children but also others involved in gaining access to the child’s life including parents and caregivers and staff in institutional settings.

“What makes grooming harmful is that the perpetrator’s motivation is to facilitate or conceal child sexual abuse,” he said.

The research describes grooming as an often incremental process that can involve three main stages – from gaining access to the victim, initiating and maintaining the abuse and concealing the abuse.

The report notes that grooming does not inevitably lead to sexual abuse, and child sexual abuse can also commence in the absence of grooming.

Posted on February 27, 2017 7:03 PM

MEDIA RELEASE – FEBRUARY 27, 2017
MASSACHUSETTS
Road to Recovery

A Jesuit priest, Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, stationed at Boston College High School from approximately 1951-1967, repeatedly sexually abused a minor child, Ronald Edward Casey, from approximately 1956 through 1957 when Ronald Edward Casey was approximately 11 to 13 years of age

Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, held himself out as a Boy Scout chaplain and took Ronald Edward Casey on Boy Scout trips to Camp Loon Pond in Lakeville, MA, where Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, repeatedly sexually abused minor child Ronald Edward Casey from approximately 1956 through 1957

The Jesuit priests and brothers of the Northeast Province, which includes Boston College High School., continue to re-victimize childhood sexual abuse victim Ronald Edward Casey by not reasonably and fairly settling the claim of sexual abuse of a minor child against Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ

What
A press conference announcing that the Jesuit priests and brothers of the Northeast Province refuse to reasonably and fairly settle the sexual abuse claim of Ronald Edward Casey who is 72 years of age and continues to suffer from the effects of sexual abuse by Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, from approximately 1956 through 1957

When
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 11:00 AM

Where
On the public sidewalk in front of Boston College High School, 150 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125

Who
Ronald Edward Casey, sexual abuse victim of Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, assigned to Boston College High School during the period 1956 through 1957; and, Dr. Robert M. Hoatson, President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families.

Why
Ronald Edward Casey was born in 1944 and grew up in a large family in South Boston, MA. His older brother, Bill Casey, was being counseled by Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, who was assigned to Boston College High School and endeared himself to the Casey family which he visited frequently. Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, told Ronald Edward Casey when Ronald Edward Casey was approximately 11 years old that he (Fr. Leo Pollard) was a Boy Scout chaplain. Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, took Ronald Edward Casey on a Boy Scout trip to Camp Loon Pond in Lakeville, MA, where he was forced to sleep in the same cabin as Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ. Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, took Ronald Edward Casey on at least six more Boy Scout trips from approximately 1956 through 1957 when Ronald Edward Casey was approximately 11-13 years of age. Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, sexually abused Ronald Edward Casey on each of the Boy Scout trips. Ronald Edward Casey and his advocate will demand of the Jesuit priests and brothers of the Northeast Province that they do the right thing by reasonably and fairly settling his claim of sexual abuse.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 – [email protected]
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250 – [email protected]
Posted on February 27, 2017 6:31 PM

NZ and other former colonies in spotlight at British inquiry into historic child sex abuse
NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

Britain’s inquiry into historical child sex abuse, dogged by problems since it was launched three years ago and leading to the resignation of three chairmen, has finally begun holding its first public hearings.

On Monday, the inquiry began hearing evidence about those who suffered sexual abuse resulting from British child migration programmes in which thousands of youngsters, many in state care, were sent out to former colonies such as New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Zimbabwe.

The multi-million pound inquiry has been riven by setbacks since it began in the aftermath of 2012 revelations that the late former BBC TV presenter Jimmy Savile was one of Britain’s most prolific sex abusers.

Posted on February 27, 2017 5:36 PM

Moravian President Explains Why Synod Was Postponed
JAMAICA
The Gleaner

The scandal-hit Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands has postponed its biennial Synod that was scheduled for April.

The acting president of the Moravian church Reverend Phyllis Smith Seymour has conceded that the recent incidents involving allegations of sex crimes involving three senior ministers were part of the reasons.

However, according to Reverend Smith Seymour, the church also became distracted and would not be able to adequately prepare all the necessary reports, for example, ahead of the synod, the highest decision-making body of the Moravian Church in Jamaica.

As a result, she says the one-week meeting has now been pushed back to July.

Posted on February 27, 2017 5:29 PM

Sacerdote pederasta en Oaxaca es sentenciado a 16 años de prisión
MEXICO
Excelsior

CIUDAD DE OAXACA.

El sacerdote Gerardo Silvestre Hernández recibió una sentencia de 16 años y seis meses de prisión, por el delito de corrupción de menores en su modalidad de inducción a actos sexuales y exposición de filmes pornográficos, tras quedar comprobado que abusó de varios menores entre 2009 y 2010.

El magistrado presidente del Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Oaxaca, Alfredo Lagunas Rivera, confirmó la sentencia de Silvestre Hernándes, quien desde el 2013 está en prisión para enfrentar el proceso ante la justicia.

Posted on February 27, 2017 3:56 PM

Mexican priest, first convicted of sexual abuse, gets 16 years in prison
MEXICO
Catholic Philly

By Catholic News Service • Posted February 27, 2017

MEXICO CITY (CNS) — A priest in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca has been sentenced to 16 years and 6 months in prison for sexual abuse, marking the first ever conviction of a Catholic clergyman for such a crimes in the country.

Father Gerardo Silvestre Hernandez, a priest in the Archdiocese of Antequera Oaxaca, was convicted in January of corrupting minors while serving as a priest in a remote indigenous village of Oaxaca. His sentence was made public Feb. 24, Mexican media reported.

Father Silvestre was found guilty of plying his victims with alcohol, showing them pornographic films and then sexually abusing them.

The crimes took place in 2009 and 2010, according to court documents, Mexican media reported, although other accusations were reported earlier. A coalition of nongovernmental groups known as the Oaxaca Childhood Forum alleged there have been other victims, too.

Posted on February 27, 2017 3:55 PM

Former child migrants sent to Australia to testify at UK Inquiry into sexual abuse
AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Victoria Craw
news.com.au
@Victoria_Craw

THEY were told they were going to a place filled with sheep, where they could ride horses, pick fruit from the trees and have picnics all day long.

Instead they faced decades of sexual abuse at the hands of the men caring for them, were beaten, forced to work like slaves and rummage in pig bins for food.

Now the first-hand accounts of men and women sent to Australia as children will be heard as part of an independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.

Beginning in London this week, a panel will hear from some of the estimated 10,000 children sent to Australia in the post-war decades as a cheap way of populating the country and solving the problem of how to care for young British orphans.

The Australian story is just part of a much bigger picture that saw an estimated 150,000 children sent overseas to mainly Commonwealth countries over a 350-year period. In a world without air travel and internet, many of them never saw home again. …

In 2014, Clifford Walsh, now 72, told how he was assaulted from the second day he arrived including being punched, beaten and sexually abused. Christian Brothers in four separate schools including Castledare, Contarf, Tardun and Bindoon in Perth were named by children as abusers.

He also recently told the BBC the UK government had sent young children to a “living hell” that put them in the care of paedophiles, 100 kilometres from the closest town.

“I was not good looking and I was badly sexually abused,” he said. “How badly were the ones that were better than me?”

“They sent us to a place that was a living hell … These paedophiles must have thought they were in hog heaven.”

Posted on February 27, 2017 3:50 PM

Teen girl raped by priest delivers baby
INDIA
New Indian Express

KANNUR: Police have registered a case against a priest for sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl, who delivered a baby in a private hospital at Kottiyoor in Kannur, on Monday.

According to police, the girl, studying in eleventh standard in a school at Kottiyoor, is a resident of Neendunooki in Kottiyoor. The girl delivered a baby in a private hospital on Sunday.

Following the information received by Child Line, who later informed the police, during initial inquiry said that she was raped by her father.

However, when her father was taken into custody and questioned for the crime, he alleged that Vadakkancheril Mathew (Robin), a priest at the Kottiyoor St Sebastian Church, committed the crime.

Posted on February 27, 2017 2:25 PM

Diocese Of New Ulm Priest Investigation Continues
MINNESOTA
KEYC

By Brittany Kemmerer

NEW ULM, Minn. –
The investigation surrounding the Diocese of New Ulm priest placed on leave in response to allegations of inappropriate conduct is still ongoing.

The investigation involves Father Sam Wagner, who was assigned to the Cathedral parish in New Ulm from June 2014 to June 2016.

New Ulm Police Senior Investigator Jeff Hohensee says they have received search warrants for digital evidence that the judge reviewed and signed.

Hohensee interviewed five priests last week and will now be conducting interviews with a few juveniles.

Posted on February 27, 2017 2:24 PM

Kerala Catholic Priest, Accused Of Raping 17-Year-Old, Arrested
INDIA
NDTV

by Sneha Mary Koshy | Updated: February 28, 2017

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A catholic priest in his late 40s has been arrested by the police in Kerala on charges of raping a 17-year-old girl last year. Father Robin Vadakkancherry was taken into custody after the girl delivered a baby in Kannur last week.

“The parents had not filed any complaint but based on a tip off received by the child helpline, we carried out an initial probe and found the report to be true. We have filed a case of rape against the priest. He was absconding but now has been taken into custody,” a police officer said.

According to the police, the girl was raped in May 2016. The police carried out an initial probe over the weekend, based on the tip off.

The newborn has been taken to a special home in Kannur based on the court orders, while the girl, a class 11 student, is with her parents.

Posted on February 27, 2017 2:21 PM

Priest charged after allegedly raping man
MICHIGAN
NBC 25

ROGERS CITY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU)– A Roman Catholic priest accused of sexual misconduct has been charged.

Rev. Sylvestre Obwaka was charged Tuesday with first degree criminal sexual misconduct using force causing personal injury and third degree sexual misconduct using force. If convicted, Obwaka faces up to life in prison.

The incident allegedly happened Feb. 1 while a 28-year-old man was staying at Obwaka’s house in Rogers City.

According to the Michigan State Police, the 28-year-old man alleges that Obwaka sexually assaulted him while he was sleeping.

Posted on February 27, 2017 2:19 PM

Baldock priest admits to destroying hard drive which allegedly contained child abuse images
UNITED KINGDOM
Hertfordshire Mercury

Baldock church computer hard drive allegedly containing indecent images of children was destroyed by the priest, a Diocese of St Albans safeguarding report has confirmed.

The report states that Reverend Andrew Holford, rector of St Mary’s Church, admitted to disposing of the computer’s hard drive at the request of the church administrator in 2010.

Mr Holford said: “I now accept that destroying the hard disk was unwise and made a difficult situation worse.

“I am sorry for that and pledge that safeguarding policies will be given proper priority in St Mary’s.”
Posted on February 27, 2017 10:09 AM

Child abuse survivor urges inquiry to ‘name the villains’
UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Sandra Laville
Monday 27 February 2017

The national child abuse inquiry has been urged at the opening of its public evidence sessions to name and shame the perpetrators of the sexual abuse of tens of thousands of British children forcibly deported to Australia by the UK government and leading churches and charities.

David Hill, one of more than 4,000 children who were sent to Australia and other Commonwealth nations from 1947 to the 1970s, waived his anonymity at the opening of the independent inquiry on Monday to make an emotional call for justice for victims.

Hill is one of 22 men and women who will give evidence either in person or in written testimony about the sexual and physical abuse they experienced when they were sent to Australia as part of the child migrant programme.

Posted on February 27, 2017 9:15 AM

Child Migration Programmes case study (public hearing) Day 1 of 9
UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

This links to the live stream of today’s hearing.

Posted on February 27, 2017 9:11 AM

National child abuse inquiry to hold first public hearings after controversy
UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Sandra Laville
Monday 27 February 2017

The national child abuse inquiry is to hold its first public evidence session after months of delays and controversy over the way it operates.

Its chair, Alexis Jay, will open the sessions on Monday to investigate the abuse of child migrants who were shipped to Australia and Canada by the British government between 1920 and the 1970s.

The children were part of a programme that saw up to 150,000 youngsters, aged three and over, taken from their families. A parliamentary report in 1998 on the abuse suffered by some of the children in Australia described it as widespread, systematic and exceptionally depraved.

About 2,000 former child migrants are still alive and several are giving evidence at the hearings. David Hill, who has waived his anonymity to give evidence at the London inquiry, said in his submission he was sent to Fairbridge Farm in Molong, New South Wales in 1959 with his two brothers.

Posted on February 27, 2017 7:13 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry public hearings under way
UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Former child migrants are to give “very emotional accounts” about the physical and sexual abuse they faced, the first public hearing in the independent inquiry into historical child abuse in England and Wales has been told.

Thousands of British children were sent to Australia and other parts of the British Empire up to 1974.

Inquiry counsel Henrietta Hill QC, said thousands faced “decades of pain”.

Its chairwoman praised the “courage” of those who will give evidence.

The first phase of the inquiry is looking at the way organisations have protected children outside the UK.

It will eventually investigate claims against councils, religious organisations, the armed forces and public and private institutions.

Posted on February 27, 2017 7:11 AM

Three years on, Britain’s child sex abuse inquiry starts hearings
UNITED KINGDOM
Reuters

Britain’s inquiry into historical child sex abuse, dogged by problems since it was launched three years ago and leading to the resignation of three chairmen, finally began holding its first public hearings on Monday.

The inquiry, one of its largest and most expensive ever undertaken, was set up in July 2014 by now-Prime Minister Theresa May in her former role as interior minister after a series of shocking abuse scandals dating back decades, some involving celebrities and politicians.

It is expected to take some five years to complete.

In a number of cases, victims said institutions had actively covered up cases at the behest of powerful establishment figures including senior lawmakers, spies and police officers.

“This is an important day for the work of the inquiry,” chairman Alexis Jay said. “Today marks … the opening of the first public hearing in which the inquiry will hear live and read evidence from complainants.”

Posted on February 27, 2017 7:10 AM

Child sex abuse inquiry hearings get underway
UNITED KINGDOM
ITV

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in England and Waleshas begun its first hearing, two and a half years after it first began.

The inquiry has been dogged by controversy since being set up in 2014 and is now on its fourth chairwoman and has cost £23.6 million to date.

The IICSA was set up after the death of Jimmy Savile in 2011 when hundreds of people came forward to say he had abused them as children.

The spotlight then fell on sexual assaults carried out in schools, children’s homes and at NHS sites, as well as on claims of past failures by police and prosecutors to properly investigate allegations.

The first hearing will begin with the child migration programme, which were large-scale schemes in which 130,000 children from poor families or in the care system were sent to parts of the British Empire between 1920 and 1974, by religious institutions and charities with the aim of giving them better lives.

Posted on February 27, 2017 7:06 AM

Request for Literature: Characteristics and vulnerabilities of victims of online-facilitated child sexual abuse and exploitation
UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Inquiry has commissioned the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University to provide us with a review of the most up to date research on the characteristics and vulnerabilities of victims of online-facilitated child sexual abuse (CSA). The findings will help pinpoint areas where further research is needed and help inform IICSA’s investigations. They may also inform recommendations for policy and practice. IICSA and Lancaster University are asking organisations to let us know about any unpublished literature or ongoing research in this area. Full details of the request can be found in the library on our website.

Posted on February 27, 2017 7:03 AM

Public hearing in the Child Migration Programmes Case Study
UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

[live stream]

On Monday 27 February, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse begins its first public hearings. These relate to sexual abuse in the British child migration programmes and the institutional failings of organisations based in England and Wales.

The child migration programmes are a case study which is part of the Inquiry’s Protection of Children Outside the United Kingdom investigation.

The child migration programmes were large-scale schemes in which thousands of children, many of them in the care of the state, were systematically and permanently migrated to parts of the British Empire by various institutions in England and Wales, with the knowledge and approval of the British Government. Most were sent to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and what was then Southern Rhodesia, modern-day Zimbabwe. In 2010, the UK Government issued an apology for its role in the child migration programmes.

The Inquiry will hear from a number of former child migrants who have alleged that they suffered sexual abuse in relation to their migration in a range of institutions and contexts. The Inquiry will also hear evidence from expert witnesses about the history and context of the child migration programmes and from the Child Migrants Trust, which supports former child migrants. A further public hearing is scheduled for July when the Inquiry will hear evidence on behalf of institutions and others involved in the child migration programmes.

Posted on February 27, 2017 7:02 AM

UK’s child sex abuse inquiry finally opens as children sent to the colonies begin testimony almost three years after the probe was launched
UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Martin Robinson, UK Chief Reporter For Mailonline

The controversial public inquiry into child sexual abuse will start today and hear harrowing accounts from victims sent to the colonies after the Second World War.

The £20million Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has been plagued with delays and is already on its fourth chairwoman since it was set up by Theresa May in 2014.

The inquiry will draw together a staggering 13 different probes, including investigations into alleged abuse at Westminster, in children’s homes, within the Anglican and Catholic churches and by alleged abusers such as Lord Greville Janner.

Today it begins by considering the physical and sexual abuse suffered by hundreds of children sent abroad after the war – some were falsely told that their parents had died.
Posted on February 27, 2017 7:00 AM

Newcastle Anglican Diocese business manager John Cleary has resigned
AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
27 Feb 2017

ONE of the heroes of Newcastle Anglican diocese’s shocking history of responding to child sexual abuse in the Hunter has resigned after alleging he had been “punished by the church for being a whistleblower”.

Diocese business manager John Cleary’s resignation was announced in a statement released by Acting Bishop Peter Stuart on Monday.

“John Cleary has resigned from the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle by mutual agreement following a very demanding time for him and his family,” Bishop Stuart said.

“John has been dedicated and diligent in uncovering child sexual abuse in the diocese and in providing crucial support to survivors. John has spent over four years assisting the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.That has been extremely taxing on him and his family.”

Mr Cleary was singled out for praise by abuse survivors at the Newcastle Anglican Church hearing. A final report is expected in the near future.

Posted on February 27, 2017 6:57 AM

Bishop Vincent’s evidence at the Royal Commission
AUSTRALIA
Catholic Outlook

Transcript of Bishop Vincent Long’s testimony at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The following is a transcript of Bishop Vincent Long’s testimony at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Tuesday 21 February. Participating in the interview are Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission Ms Gail Furness, Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald and TJHC Counsel Ms Jane Needham.

BISHOP LONG: My name is Vincent Long Van Nguyen.

MS FURNESS: You’re the Bishop of the Diocese of Parramatta?

BISHOP LONG: Yes, that’s correct.

MS FURNESS: What did you do before your appointment in Parramatta?

BISHOP LONG: I was an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne for nearly five years, from June 2011 till my appointment to Parramatta, which was in June last year.

Posted on February 27, 2017 6:55 AM

Shining the light on church abuse
AUSTRALIA
Eternity

JOHN SANDEMAN | FEBRUARY 27TH, 2017

Joanne McCarthy is the brave journalist who spearheaded the Newcastle Herald’s “Shine the light” campaign which, arguably, brought about the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Abuse, and an earlier NSW special enquiry. She interviewed about 200 victims of sexual abuse, many of them scarred by alcohol, drugs and depression. She uncovered no less than 12 suicides or drug overdoses among former students of a priest called John Denham. McCarthy is the current holder of Australia’s highest journalism award, the
Gold Walkley.

“My first involvement was in June, 2006. A man rang me, out of the blue,” McCarthy tells Eternity. “I had been raised in a Catholic family and my parents still went to church.

“He was a victim of a Catholic priest called John Denham. He contacted me. For a lot of male victims, I was a mother figure, that woman who writes about her sons and the cars breaking down and that sort of stuff.”

The man on the phone asked McCarthy why no media had reported on the fact that John Denham had been convicted five years earlier.

He told her that Denham was working in Sydney for a Catholic organisation, located close to a school.

Posted on February 27, 2017 6:53 AM

Lawsuit: priest demanded sexual favors for Boy Scout badges
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For The Guam Daily Post Feb 27, 2017

A Virginia resident who lived on Guam in the 1970’s alleges he was sexually molested and abused by a former priest and Boy Scout Master on Guam in order to attain Boy Scout badges.

Morgan Wade Paul, 53, is the latest victim to come forward and file a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana and retired priest Louis Brouillard in the District Court of Guam.

The lawsuit states that Paul became an altar boy in 1974 when he was 11 years old at Mongmong Parish of Nuestra Senor De Las Aguas. Paul alleges that he was required by the Agana Archdiocese to join and also become a member of the Boy Scouts Mongmong troop.

A year later, Paul met Father Louis Brouillard, the Boy Scout Troop Master and parish priest at the Mongong church. Paul was proud to be an altar boy and a Boy Scout and motivated to earn his swimming and lifesaving merit badges, the lawsuit states.

Posted on February 27, 2017 6:51 AM

Vatican’s Shame: Pope Francis Pardons Paedophile Priests, Again
INDIA
Swarajya

“ The Gospel message of mercy is ultimately a source of powerful healing and of grace,” said the Church as it granted mercy to a handful of paedophile priests last week reducing their sanctions. Pope Francis reduced sanctions against priests charged with abusing children, on the grounds of mercy and granted clemency, rubbing many survivors of abuse and his own advisors the wrong way.

This despite the Church’s benevolence backfiring last year with the Italian courts convicting an Italian priest Rev. Mauro Inzoli. Inzoli, despite being found guilty of sexual crimes against children by the Vatican in 2012, had appealed for and been granted mercy by Pope Francis in 2014, on the grounds that ‘No misery is so profound, no sin so terrible that mercy cannot be applied”. The Church has now ordered a second trial, citing emergence of fresh evidence against him, while the Italian courts sentenced him to four years, nine months in prison.

Posted on February 27, 2017 6:49 AM

New lawsuit claims priest sexually abused boy for Scouts merit badge
GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , [email protected] Feb. 27, 2017

A former altar boy said a priest gave him his Boy Scouts of America swimming merit badge only after the priest subjected him to repeated sexual abuse in the 1970s, bringing to 23 the total number of clergy sexual abuse lawsuits filed on Guam, as of Monday.

Morgan Wade Paul, now 53 and living in Virginia, said former island priest Louis Brouillard sexually abused him as an 11- or 12-year-old boy scout and altar boy at the Mongmong Parish of Nuestra Senora De Las Aguas in or about 1975.

Paul, through attorney David Lujan, filed a lawsuit against Brouillard, the Archdiocese of Agana and up to 50 other unnamed entities who may have helped, abetted, concealed or covered up the priest abuse.

The archdiocese now faces a minimum $115 million in damages in connection with the lawsuits, which could double in the weeks ahead as attorneys for other survivors confirmed they will be filing similar cases.

As an altar boy around 1975, Paul said he also was required to join the Boy Scouts. Brouillard was a scoutmaster in the Guam chapter of the Boy Scouts at the time.

Posted on February 27, 2017 6:47 AM

23rd lawsuit filed against Catholic church for claims of sex abuse
GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

The Archdiocese of Agana is now facing $115 million from 23 different sex abuse lawsuits filed against them.

Guam – Yet another sex abuse lawsuit has been filed against the Catholic church and once again former Guam priest Father Louis Brouillard is named as the perpetrator.

The latest accuser is former resident 53-year-old Morgan Wade Paul, who served as an altar boy in the 1970s. Paul says the sexual abuse happened when he was around 10 to 11 years old and while he was a part of the Boy Scouts. In addition to a priest, Brouillard was also the Scout Master for the Boy Scouts on Guam.

Paul says the abuse happened when he was trying to earn his swimming merit badge. Brouillard would force Paul to strip naked, tread water and then molest him in the water, the complaint states.

Posted on February 27, 2017 6:44 AM

POPE QUIETLY TRIMS SANCTIONS FOR SEX ABUSERS SEEKING MERCY, VICTIMS RESPOND
UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release Sunday, February 26, 2017

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, California, SNAP Volunteer Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434 [email protected]

Once again, church officials have put the needs and feelings of predators over public safety and the needs of children who are the victims of sex crimes.

[Associated Press]

Pope Francis must remember that there is a difference between crime and sin. Child sex abuse is a crime for which the offender must be held accountable. While Francis may feel sorry for a predator, the only person with the right to forgive an abuser is the victim. And even then, the offender must be held accountable for his actions so that he may not go on to hurt others.

The Pope has created window dressing tribunals and commissions, but as far as we know he has yet to take actions that will actually protect children. This latest move is just another indication that it’s just “business as usual” inside the Vatican. We fear that children will continue to needlessly be placed at risk.

The place for mercy is with victims and children, not offending clergy.

Posted on February 27, 2017 2:20 AM

February 26, 2017
Archbishop’s QC friend ‘allowed to commit abuse after evangelicals failed to report him’
UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Patrick Foster
26 FEBRUARY 2017

A barrister at the centre of a child abuse scandal committed a series of sickening assaults against young men after leading evangelical groups failed to report him to the police, it is claimed.

John Smyth QC, a friend of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is accused of carrying out sadomasochistic attacks on boys he met at Christian camps in Britain and Zimbabwe.

The assaults first came to light in 1982, when a victim attempted suicide after being summoned to a beating in the shed of Mr Smyth’s Winchester home.

But both the Iwerne Trust, the Christian group that Mr Smyth chaired, and Winchester College, the school attended by some of his alleged victims, did not report the claims to police.

The part-time judge then moved to Zimbabwe, where he founded a series of summer camps at which it is alleged he again abused young men.

Posted on February 26, 2017 6:47 PM

The Fessler Case – Episode 1 – Watchtower: In Focus
UNITED STATES
YouTube

John Cedars

Published on Feb 26, 2017

In the first episode of a new series aimed at shining a spotlight on Watchtower-related news, I discuss the Stephanie Fessler lawsuit in Pennsylvania in which Watchtower’s legal team was forced to reach a settlement after only four days of testimony. Joining me is Covert Fade, JWsurvey’s editor, together with John Redwood, who was present for all four days of the trial.

Posted on February 26, 2017 6:45 PM

What I Learned From a Convicted Sex Offender
UNITED STATES
Times of Israel

Guila Benchimol

In light of ex-Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos’s remarks suggesting that mature 13-year-old boys and adult men can have consensual relationships, I want to share what I recently learned at the Global Summit on Child Sexual Abuse in the Jewish Community convened by Kol V’Oz. Listening to the male sex offender who was convicted of sexually abusing young boys in his Jewish community gave me pause about the areas we may have neglected to consider in our quest to prevent and address abuse when it arises in our institutions.

— He began by explaining that he was completely clueless as to the damage he had inflicted on his victim. Most people have no idea how victimization affects a person’s life, both in the short and long term. Sexual abuse exacts real life, long-lasting, physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological tolls. Because young perpetrators find this difficult to grasp, he stressed the need to make the impact of the abuse explicit to perpetrators, even if many years have passed since the abuse. Interestingly, Professor. Marci Hamilton suggested that survivors’ stories are not the primary way to reach legislators at this point in history when so many stories have been told in the press. Instead, child sexual abuse must be framed as a quantifiable public health issue to make them pay attention. How, then, should we frame sexual violence in the Jewish community so that people care enough to create systemic and lasting change?
Posted on February 26, 2017 3:14 PM

Müller: Missbrauch nicht systematisch vertuscht
ROM
Katholisch

[Müller: Abuse not systematically covered up. Has the Church systematically hijacked abuses in its own ranks? Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller vehemently rejects such assumptions.]

Hat die Kirche Missbrauchsfälle in den eigenen Reihen systematisch vertuscht? Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller widerspricht solchen Vermutungen vehement. “Die Kirche verdeckt auf jeden Fall nichts”, so Müller.

Missbrauch | Rom – 26.02.2017

Aus Sicht von Kurienkardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller gibt es in der katholischen Kirche keine systematische Vertuschung von Missbrauchsfällen. “Die Kirche verdeckt auf jeden Fall nichts”, sagte er im Interview der italienischen Tageszeitung “La Repubblica” (Sonntag). Es könne in einigen Fällen aus Ahnungslosigkeit geschehen sein, “aber nicht systematisch”, so der Präfekt der vatikanischen Glaubenskongregation. “Die Kirche arbeitet, im Gegensatz zu vielen anderen Institutionen, wirklich für Null-Toleranz.”

Posted on February 26, 2017 12:07 PM

Judge adds a year to former chief rabbi’s sentence
ISRAEL
YNet News

Liran Levi|Published: 23.02.17

Former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger was told Thursday afternoon by the courts that his prison sentence of three-and-a-half years would be increased by one year, despite a plea bargain signed in January over a string of corruption offences including bribery, fraud and breach of trust during his tenure as chief rabbi.

In January, the rabbi signed a plea agreement with the Jerusalem district attorney, stipulating that he would serve 3.5 years in jail after pleading guilty to the charges of bribery and fraud. Metzger was also fined NIS 5 million by the court.

Posted on February 26, 2017 9:48 AM

‘Holy-crazy’ priest who dumped body parts in Hudson is only chaplain to get the chair in U.S.
NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY DAVID J. KRAJICEK
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, February 25, 2017

On Sept. 5, 1913, neatly bound bundles of body parts sawn with surgical precision began washing up on the New Jersey shore of the Hudson River.

Over several days, authorities pieced together six fragments — minus the head, which never surfaced — into a single human being, a formerly robust young woman.

The slightest clue enabled adroit cops to connect a name to the victim, raising the curtain on a scandalous crime story that stands apart even in New York’s illustrious record of you’ve-got-to-be-kidding murders.

The tipoff was a maker’s label on a pillowcase used to package the upper torso. The tag led police to Robinson-Roders, a Newark bedding firm, where sales books pointed detectives to a store on Eighth Ave. in Harlem.

Posted on February 26, 2017 9:01 AM

Report: Pope Francis Refuses To Punish Pedophile Priests
UNITED STATES
Progressive Secular Humanist

February 25, 2017 by Michael Stone

A new report reveals Pope Francis is quietly making the Catholic church a safe space for pedophile priests.

The Associated Press reports that Pope Francis is reducing sanctions against pedophile priests, and even refusing to defrock priests found guilty of sexually abusing children, all in the name of mercy.

In one particularly egregious case, Francis let off one notorious pedophile priest, Rev. Mauro Inzoli, with just a lifetime of prayer for abusing five young boys.

The Associated Press reports about the Pope’s leniency towards pedophile priests:

One case has come back to haunt him: An Italian priest who received the pope’s clemency was later convicted by an Italian criminal court for his sex crimes against children as young as 12. The Rev. Mauro Inzoli is now facing a second church trial after new evidence emerged against him, The Associated Press has learned.

The Inzoli case is one of several in which Francis overruled the advice of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and reduced a sentence that called for the priest to be defrocked, two canon lawyers and a church official told AP. Instead, the priests were sentenced to penalties including a lifetime of penance and prayer and removal from public ministry.

The report notes that by refusing to punish pedophile priests Francis is going against the recommendations of his advisers in an attempt to show “mercy.”

Posted on February 26, 2017 8:07 AM

Pope Francis reversed decisions to kick paedophiles out of the priesthood
VATICAN CITY
Metro (UK)

Charles White
Sunday 26 Feb 2017

Pope Francis has reduced punishments for paedophile priests who abused children as young as 12.

The leader of the world’s biggest faith wants to apply his vision of a ‘merciful’ church and has changed the punishments for a handful of priests.

Italian priest Mauro Inzoli had been sentenced to be ‘defrocked’ (removed from the priesthood) in 2012, but Pope Francis reversed the decision in, telling him instead to stop public ministry and do penance and pray for the rest of his life.

The Inzoli case is said to be one of several similar cases when harsher sentences had been recommended by the Pope’s own advisory council on this issue, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Posted on February 26, 2017 8:05 AM

Rouen : mise en examen d’un prêtre de 73 ans soupçonné de viol sur mineur
FRANCE
La Parisien

[Rouen: indictment of a 73-year-old priest suspected of rape of a minor.]

L’homme d’église est poursuivi pour viols et agressions sexuelles.

Un prêtre de 73 ans du diocèse de Rouen a été mis en examen pour des actes de pédophilie, indique France 3 Normandie. Plus tôt dans la journée, on avait appris son arrestation auprès du parquet et de l’archevêché, après que M6 a révélé son placement en garde à vue.
Il est poursuivi pour viols et tentatives de viol aggravés sur mineur de 15 ans par personne ayant autorité, délits d’agressions sexuelles sur mineur de 15 ans par personne ayant autorité et délits d’agressions sexuelles par personne ayant autorité.

Deux jeunes hommes ont dénoncé ces actes, indique le parquet. Selon M6, l’un des deux jeunes hommes est âgé de 21 ans. Ce dernier, qui fréquentait la même paroisse que l’homme d’église, l’accuse d’avoir abusé de lui lors des dix dernières années.

Posted on February 26, 2017 8:03 AM

Le cardinal Lacroix aurait fermé les yeux sur un cas d’agression sexuelle alléguée (VIDÉO)
CANADA
Huffington Post

[Cardinal Lacroix is reported to have turned a blind eye to a case of alleged sexual assault.]

Un homme de Québec poursuit l’Institut Séculier Pie X pour des séquelles permanentes en lien avec des agressions sexuelles qui seraient survenues dans les locaux de la mission apostolique au sein de laquelle a oeuvré le cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix.

Un texte de Marie Maude Pontbriand

André Lachance réclame 370 000 $ à l’Institut Séculier Pie X, situé à Charlesbourg. Il aurait été agressé entre l’âge de 3 et 16 ans par son oncle et membre de l’Institut, Jean-Paul Lachance. Ce dernier s’est enlevé la vie en 2014.

Les sévices sexuels auraient commencé en 1971 et se seraient produits dans différents lieux comme la résidence de la victime alléguée ou encore les locaux de l’Institut Séculier Pie X.

Posted on February 26, 2017 8:00 AM

«Avete ucciso mia figlia, aspetto ancora le vostre scuse»
AUSTRALIA
Vanity Fair

di Monica Coviello

[Stephanie committed suicide. The head priest of the parish youth group that she attended was abusing her. Since then her mother Eileen tries to get justice and an official apology from the church.]

Eileen Piper, australiana, non è ancora riuscita a superare il trauma: continua a raccontare la tragica storia di sua figlia Stephanie, e non si dà pace. Era la fine degli Anni Settanta e da allora quella mamma, che adesso ha 92 anni, non è più riuscita a dormire una notte intera. Quello che sta aspettando sono le scuse, ufficiali, da parte della chiesa. «Ho il cuore a pezzi – spiega a www.abc.net -. Devono aiutarmi a superare questa situazione, devono chiedermi scusa».

Quando Stephanie era un’adolescente è entrata a fare parte di un gruppo di giovani legato alla chiesa e coordinato da un sacerdote, Gerard Mulvale. Quel prete approfittò delle paure della ragazza per ricattarla e abusare di lei. Stephanie l’ha raccontato a sua madre solo tanti anni dopo: «Le diceva che, siccome era stata adottata, era nata nel peccato e doveva pagare per questo». Mulvale approfittava dell’ingenuità della ragazza per violentarla e assicurarsi il suo silenzio.

Posted on February 26, 2017 7:57 AM

Papst kürzt Strafen für pädophile Priester
VATIKAN
Huffington Post

Oliver Lippert Fan werden
Kritiker, freier Autor

[The pope has cut the penalties for pedophile priests- including one who has received a sentence of lifelong prayer for the abuse of five boys.]

Der Papst hat die Strafen für pädophile Priester gekürzt – inklusive einem, der eine Strafe in Höhe von lebenslangen Beten bekommen hat. Für den Missbrauch an fünf Jungen.

Papst Francis sagte, um seiner Vision einer „barmherzigen Kirche” nachzukommen, hat er die Strafe für Rev Mauro Inzoli von einer Amtsenthebung auf lebenslanges Beten geändert. Aber der Sprecher des Vatikans sagte, das Priester, die Missbrauch verübt haben, auch aus dem Ministerium entfernt werden.

Posted on February 26, 2017 7:47 AM

The Mental Health Effects of Child Sexual Abuse on Males
UNITED STATES
Ground Report

David Trounce Feb 25, 2017

Many reasons have been put forward in an effort to explain a large amount of under-reporting or even undetected incidents of sexual abuse against boys.

Doctoral research conducted by Scott D. Easton hospitalized, ACSW, LMSW Boston College Graduate School of Social Work in March, 2012 demonstrated that the average reporting time was around 20 years.

In those intervening years many adult males report lengthy periods of depression, anxiety, and fear.

There are a number of reasons for the delay in reporting. Those reasons include fear of not being believed or being considered homosexual for having experienced the abuse.

But the differences do to not stop there. There has been significant research in the last 15 to 20 years on the differences between males and females who experience childhood sexual abuse.

Posted on February 26, 2017 7:45 AM

The child abuse scandal of the British children sent abroad
UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

For several decades, the UK sent children across the world to new lives in institutions where many were abused and used as forced labour. It’s a scandal that is still having repercussions now.

Imagine the 1950s, in the years before air travel became commonplace or the internet dominated our lives. Imagine being a child of those times, barely aware of life even in the next town. An orphan perhaps, living in an British children’s home.

Now imagine being told that shortly you would board a ship for somewhere called Australia, to begin a new life in a sunlit wonderland. For good. No choice.

It happened to thousands of British children in the decades immediately following World War Two, and they had little understanding of how it would shape their lives.

Posted on February 26, 2017 7:43 AM

Gough Whitlam and how Australia facilitated a child sexual abuse crisis
AUSTRALIA
Blue Mountains Gazette

Joanne McCarthy
26 Feb 2017

GOUGH Whitlam wrote a letter to Pope Benedict XVI in October, 2012, nearly four decades after his government granted formal diplomatic recognition to the Vatican, and only weeks before another Labor prime minister, Julia Gillard, established a royal commission that would expose the extent of child sexual abuse within the Australian Catholic Church.

Diplomatic relations with the Vatican from 1973 was a “memorable and significant initiative” of his government, Whitlam told the Pope. The relationship was one “which has always been maintained with deep mutual respect and consideration”.

“The mutual hopes for closer relations between the Holy See and Australia have been fulfilled in abundance. I shall always have fond memories of visiting Pope Paul VI and of the great enchantment of Rome, the Eternal City,” one of the Labor Party’s great reformers wrote.

Whitlam died two years later, on October 21, 2014, only three months after Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin declined a request from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for files of all Australian alleged perpetrator priests held by the Vatican.

Commission chair Justice Peter McClellan said the files would help commissioners understand the extent of allegations referred to the Vatican, and action taken by the church in each case.

Posted on February 26, 2017 7:40 AM

Judge quashes deposition subpoena of LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson
UTAH
Fox 13

FEBRUARY 25, 2017, BY BEN WINSLOW

SALT LAKE CITY — A judge has quashed a deposition subpoena of the leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in connection with a series of lawsuits alleging sex abuse in a church-run program on the Navajo Nation.

Court records show that in a hearing earlier this week, Third District Court Judge Su Chon rejected a subpoena to make LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson sit for a deposition. She allowed the church to appoint a representative to give testimony instead.

“The depositions of lower level corporate representatives or officers should be noticed prior to any deposition of President Monson,” Judge Chon’s order states.

“The Court hereby quashes Plaintiffs’ Subpoena Duces Tecum and orders that Plaintiffs are precluded from deposing President Monson or obtaining the documents sought by way of the Subpoena at this time.”

Posted on February 26, 2017 7:36 AM

Canute Thompson | The Church And Moral Leadership – Part 1
JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Thursday | January 5, 2017

Canute S. Thompson

The Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, as well as her sister provinces across the world must be experiencing what may be one of their darkest moments in several decades, on account of the arrest and charge of a senior minister for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Let me declare interest. I am a member of the Moravian Church and once served as a minister in the Church. I, therefore, come to this issue with a bundle of mixed emotions and thoughts, and some for reasons that would not be apparent to some readers. The pain being experienced by so many of us, and especially close friends, family members, the alleged victim and her family, is beyond words.

BASIC THEOLOGICAL ORIENTATION

My basic theological orientation is one that is informed by an ethic of compassion. I hold the worldview that accountability is an absolute essential in relation to all decisions and actions that adults take – whether or not they hold leadership positions. I, however, subscribe to, what I consider to be, a deeper human calling, namely that redemption, reconciliation, and restoration are the duties and opportunities given to all human vessels as part of the journey of human life. Part of the reason these virtues are so essential is that error and failure to do right is part of the human reality.
Posted on February 26, 2017 7:33 AM

Canute Thompson | Confronting The Moravian Sex Crisis
JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Sunday | February 26, 2017

In Part 1 of this series, I explored what I regard as the issues facing the Moravian Church. I argued, in the February 5, 2017, In Focus publication, that the current crisis wherein some ministers have been charged for alleged sexual misconduct involving minors is, in some respects, a symptom of a deeper problem.

I acknowledged that there are many dimensions to that deeper problem but chose to focus on one aspect, namely, how the leadership of the Church understands and exercises power and accountability. I further suggested that the Church’s handling of a 2014 report of alleged sexual misconduct involving a minor, or minors, reflected part of the overall culture of how power and accountability were understood.

I offered the painful, but necessary, critique that for far too long, many of us as members of the Church have been willing to explain or justify the actions of our leaders, which, very often, we know to be wrong or unwise.

In this final part, I offer some suggestions on how the Church might deal with the current crisis.

Posted on February 26, 2017 7:30 AM

Catholic leaders in Savannah to discuss priest sex abuse scandals
GEORGIA
Savannah Morning News

Posted February 25, 2017
By Jan Skutch [email protected]

A three-day conference of Catholic church leaders will convene in Savannah beginning Sunday to discuss the church’s ongoing response to protecting children and youth in the wake of priest sex abuse scandals.

The 2017 Child and Youth Protection Catholic Leadership Conference will feature a number of speakers, including Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta who is co-hosting the event with Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer of Savannah.

Gregory, then bishop in Belleville, Ill., was head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops when the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” was adopted in Dallas in 2002.

The charter is a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. It also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability and prevention of future acts of abuse.

In comments in a letter prepared for the conference, Hartmayer said the theme for this year’s conference is “hospitality.”

“This year will be the 12th convocation since the passage (of the charter) in 2002,” he said. “Over the years we have worked hard to protect our most vulnerable, but the job is never complete.

Posted on February 26, 2017 7:28 AM

SURVIVORS DENOUNCE VATICAN HANDLING OF PERU ABUSE CASE
PERU
Associated Press

BY NICOLE WINFIELD AND FRANKLIN BRICENO
ASSOCIATED PRESS

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Victims of Latin America’s latest charismatic Catholic leader-turned-sexual predator are denouncing the Vatican’s handling of the case, saying the six-year delay and final resolution are anything but satisfactory for survivors of his sexual, psychological and physical violence.

“It’s really shameful,” said Pedro Salinas, who blew the whistle in 2015 on the twisted practices of the Peru-based Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, and was himself a victim of Luis Fernando Figari’s psychological abuse.

Figari founded the SCV, or Sodalitium of Christian Life, in 1971 as a lay community to recruit “soldiers for God.” It was one of several Catholic societies born as a conservative reaction to the left-leaning liberation theology movement that swept through Latin America starting in the 1960s.

The group counts some 20,000 members across South America and the U.S.

Figari was a charismatic intellectual, but he was also “narcissistic, paranoid, demeaning, vulgar, vindictive, manipulative, racist, sexist, elitist and obsessed with sexual issues and the sexual orientation of SCV members,” according to a Feb. 10 investigative report commissioned by the SCV’s leadership.

Posted on February 26, 2017 7:25 AM

Priest sexual abuse victim says law not requiring religious groups to police vet children’s workers is dangerous
NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

TALIA SHADWELL
February 26 2017

Spiritual leaders with access to children are not subject to police vetting, a loophole that urgently needs closing, according to a victim of historic sex abuse.

Ann-Marie Shelley, of Upper Hutt, was abused by Catholic priest Peter Hercock, who molested her when she was a teenager, along with three other girls.

“As more voluntary groups become known for their rigorous screening practices, potential child abusers will be put off even applying for work with children.”

As it stands now, the law states that all State-funded organisations have to vet children’s workers. But despite a legacy of child sexual abuse scandals, the law does not cover religious institutions.
Posted on February 26, 2017 7:22 AM

February 25, 2017
Pope Francis reduces penalties for paedophile priests to a lifetime of prayer
VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

By Priya Joshi
February 25, 2017

Pope Francis’s decision to reduce penalties for paedophile priests has been met with widespread condemnation from church officials and sex abuse survivors.

Applying his vision of a ‘merciful church’ the Pope previously sanctioned weaker canonical sentences for two sex offenders within the church, which were commuted to a lifetime of prayer and penance after they appealed for clemency.

Reverend Mauro Inzoli was found guilty by the Vatican of abusing boys as young as 12, in 2012 and was ordered to be defrocked.

However, following an appeal, in 2014 Francis reduced the penalty to a lifetime of prayer and to continue service in a restricted ministry.

Inzoli is prohibited from celebrating Mass in public or being near children, and is barred from his diocese. He has also been ordered to undergo five years of psychotherapy.

Pope Francis overruled the advice given to him by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which recommended sterner penalties befitting the heinous crimes against children, but Inzoli was controversially, welcomed back to the priesthood.

Posted on February 25, 2017 7:52 PM

Former student recounts abuse at Catholic school
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post

An alumnus of St. Anthony Catholic School (SACS) told The Guam Daily Post that he was sexually abused by one of his teachers when he was a student at the institution in the 1990s.

Troy Torres, the chief of staff to Gov. Eddie Calvo, spoke to the Post about the incident that occurred more than 23 years ago and the series of events that followed in which he was able to prevent his abuser from obtaining later teaching posts after a complaint filed with the Guam Police Department failed to result in an arrest.

Torres told the Post that he was around 13 years old and in eighth grade when he was abused by a music teacher employed at SACS. He said the teacher was well-liked, trusted and even seen as something as a big deal around the campus as a talented music instructor.

This is not the first time Torres has spoken about the abuse. In his conversation with the Post, he said he first came out about the abuse a few months after the incident when another teacher who had noticed a change in Torres’ behavior got him to break his silence.

Posted on February 25, 2017 2:03 PM

Pope cuts penalties for paedophile priests – including one let off with just a lifetime of prayer for abusing five young boys
VATICAN CITY
Daily Mail (UK)

By Isobel Frodsham For Mailonline

Pope Francis has been slammed by church officials and sex abuse survivors for cutting penalties for paedophile priests.

The Pope is said to be applying his vision of a ‘merciful church’ to sex offenders by reducing punishments to weaker sentences, such as a lifetime of prayer and penance.

It has been revealed by church officials that Pope Francis overruled advice given to him by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about two priests – allowing them to be punished by a lifetime of prayer.

One of the priests was the Reverend Mauro Inzoli, who was found guilty of abusing young boys by the Vatican in 2012 and was ordered to be defrocked.

However, he appealed, and in 2014 Francis reduced the penalty to a lifetime of prayer, prohibiting him from celebrating Mass in public or being near children, barring him from his diocese and ordering five years of psychotherapy.

Rev Inzoli was then convicted by an Italian criminal court for his sex crimes against five children as young as 12.

He is now facing a second church trial after new evidence emerged against him.
Posted on February 25, 2017 1:15 PM

Jailed sex predator priest handed additional sentence
UNITED KINGDOM
The Argus

A FORMER priest who is already serving ten years in prison for 36 historic sexual offences has now been sentenced to nine months in prison.

Gordon Rideout pleaded guilty to one charge of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16 at a children’s home in Reigate when he appeared at Guildford Crown Court on 20 December 2016. The assault took place between 29 July 1969 and 21 July 1974.

Rideout was originally jailed for 10 years in May 2013 at Lewes Crown Court for a series of historic sexual offences between 1962 and 1973, including attempted rape and indecent assaults on both boys and girls, some of whom were under 13 years of age.

Posted on February 25, 2017 7:59 AM

POPE QUIETLY TRIMS SANCTIONS FOR SEX ABUSERS SEEKING MERCY
VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

BY NICOLE WINFIELD
ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has quietly reduced sanctions against a handful of pedophile priests, applying his vision of a merciful church even to its worst offenders in ways that survivors of abuse and the pope’s own advisers question.

One case has come back to haunt him: An Italian priest who received the pope’s clemency was later convicted by an Italian criminal court for his sex crimes against children as young as 12. The Rev. Mauro Inzoli is now facing a second church trial after new evidence emerged against him, The Associated Press has learned.

The Inzoli case is one of several in which Francis overruled the advice of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and reduced a sentence that called for the priest to be defrocked, two canon lawyers and a church official told AP. Instead, the priests were sentenced to penalties including a lifetime of penance and prayer and removal from public ministry.

In some cases, the priests or their high-ranking friends appealed to Francis for clemency by citing the pope’s own words about mercy in their petitions, the church official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the proceedings are confidential.

Posted on February 25, 2017 7:55 AM

Abuso sexual de niños es culpa de los padres: Arquidiócesis de Cali
COLOMBIA
Solo Paisas

[Sexual abuse of children is the parents’ fault: Archdiocese of Cali. The controversy again puts the Colombian Catholic Church in the eye of the hurricane for this response to the lawsuit filed by families in eastern Cali demanding compensation and reparation due to sexual abuse suffered by their children eight years ago by priest William Mazo.]

Así respondió la defensa del clero católico ante el caso de pederastia más sonado en esa ciudad por cuenta del cura William Mazo.

La polémica vuelve a poner a la Iglesia Católica colombiana en el ojo del huracán por esta respuesta, ante la demanda presentada por familias del oriente de Cali exigiendo la indemnización y reparación debidas por el abuso sexual que sufrieron sus hijos hace ocho años por cuenta del sacerdote William Mazo.

Como reveló El Espectador, el abogado Walther Collazos solicitó al juez 22 penal de conocimiento de Cali que revise si los familiares de los cuatro menores abusados sexualmente “hicieron lo que debían hacer” o si su proceder fue “laxo, permisivo, omisivo, abandonado y desinteresado”, y “hoy concurren ante un juez para aprovechar un hecho dañino a un tercero y fingir como víctimas directas”.

Posted on February 25, 2017 7:49 AM

Mauern des Schweigens
SPANIEN
Deutschland Funk

[The tragedy began at the time of the Spanish Civil War and continued into the 1990s. Originally politically motivated, the babies soon turned into a lucrative business, involving physicians, lawyers, and above all the Catholic Church. It is estimated that more than 300,000 babies disappeared in Spanish birth hospitals.]

Die Tragödie begann zur Zeit des spanischen Bürgerkriegs und setzte sich bis in die 90er-Jahre fort. Ursprünglich politisch motiviert, wurde der Babyraub bald zu einem lukrativen Geschäft, in das Ärzte, Anwälte, und vor allem die katholische Kirche verwickelt waren. Man schätzt, dass in spanischen Geburtskliniken mehr als 300.000 Babys verschwanden.

Von Margot Litten

Die Tragödie begann zur Zeit des spanischen Bürgerkriegs und setzte sich bis in die 90er-Jahre fort. Ursprünglich politisch motiviert, wurde der Babyraub bald zu einem lukrativen Geschäft, in das Ärzte, Anwälte, und vor allem die katholische Kirche verwickelt waren. Man schätzt, dass in spanischen Geburtskliniken über die Jahrzehnte mehr als 300.000 Babys verschwanden und mit gefälschten Papieren an kinderlose Paare verkauft wurden.

Posted on February 25, 2017 7:46 AM

Neue Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen früheren Bischof von Brügge
BELGIEN
cath.ch

[A 57-year-old man said former Bishop Roger Joseph Vangheluwe abuse him in the early 1970s.]

Brüssel, 24.2.17 (kath.ch) Gegen den emeritierten Bischof von Brügge, Roger Joseph Vangheluwe, sind neue Missbrauchsvorwürfe bekanntgeworden. Ein 57-jähriger Mann beschuldigt Vangheluwe, Anfang der 70er Jahre von ihm missbraucht worden zu sein, berichten belgische Medien (Freitag).

Der ehemalige Messdiener beschuldigt auch einen weiteren Priester, an Vergewaltigungen im flandrischen Harelbeke beteiligt gewesen zu sein. Der heute 80-jährige Vangheluwe musste 2010 auf öffentlichen Druck zurücktreten, weil er seinen Neffen über Jahre sexuell missbraucht hatte.

Posted on February 25, 2017 7:42 AM

Kapuziner vermuten kirchenpolitische Instrumentalisierung des Falls Pittet
SCHWEIZ
cath.ch

[An anonymous mail suggested that Mauro Jöhri, currently Minister General of the Capuchin Order, is the main culprit in Pittet’s abuse case.]

Zürich, 20.2.17 (kath.ch) Ein anonymes Mail versetzt die Schweizer Kapuziner in Aufregung. Darin wird suggeriert, Mauro Jöhri, zurzeit Generalminister des Kapuzinerordens, sei der Hauptschuldige im Missbrauchsfall Pittet. Willi Anderau, Informationsbeauftragter der Schweizer Kapuziner, vermutet, dass «konservative Kreise um den Churer Bischof Vitus Huonder» Jöhri als Kandidaten für den Posten eines apostolischen Administrators «abschiessen» wollen. Das Bistum Chur will sich nicht zu den Vorwürfen äussern.

Barbara Ludwig

In dem anonymen Mail, das kath.ch vorliegt, werden einige Fakten im Zusammenhang mit dem Missbrauchsfall Pittet aufgelistet. Dazwischen wird immer wieder auf Mauro Jöhri hingewiesen. Etwa auf die Tatsache, dass der Bündner Kapuziner von 1995 bis 2001 und von 2005 bis 2006 Provinzial der Schweizer Kapuziner war und seit 2006 dem Orden als Generalminister vorsteht. Das Mail verweist auch auf Artikel über das Freiburger Missbrauchsopfer Daniel Pittet im Internet. Es sei «klar, dass Jöhri alles gewusst haben muss», heisst es in dem Mail. Dem Orden wird vorgeworfen, «gerade auch unter Jöhri» kein innerkirchliches Verfahren eröffnet zu haben.

Posted on February 25, 2017 7:34 AM

Katholische Intrigen
SCHWEIZ
Neue Zurcher Zeitung

[It is about a hushed abuse scandal among the Capuchins, allegedly manipulated media and the turmoil for the succession in the bishopric of Chur: The latest scandal always draws more circles].

von Simon Hehli 24.2.2017

Es geht um einen vertuschten Missbrauchsskandal bei den Kapuzinern, angeblich manipulierte Medien und die Wirren um die Nachfolge im Bistum Chur: Der neuste Skandal zieht immer weitere Kreise.

Etwas kann man der katholischen Kirche gewiss nicht vorwerfen: dass sie langweilig ist. Derzeit ist es ein Missbrauchsskandal, der für Schlagzeilen sorgt. Der Freiburger Daniel Pittet veröffentlichte vor kurzem das Buch «Mon Père, je vous pardonne», für das Papst Franziskus das Vorwort geschrieben hat. Pittet berichtet darin, wie er von einem heute 76-jährigen Kapuzinerpater aus der Waadt missbraucht worden ist, bereits im Alter von neun Jahren sei er von diesem vergewaltigt worden. Der Pater ist geständig, dass er sich seit 1958 an mindestens vierzig weiteren Jungen vergangen hat, darunter auch sein eigener Neffe.

Posted on February 25, 2017 7:31 AM

Former Yeshiva Boys School Rabbi Suspected Of Sexually Abusing Children
PENNSYLVANIA
CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A former rabbi from the Yeshiva Boys School of Pittsburgh is under investigation, accused of sexually abusing children.

Word of the probe first surfaced in the Jewish Chronicle. The publication states there may have been more than one victim and that Rabbi Nisson Friedman, 26, was caught in the act in the school library.

Friedman has been with Yeshiva Boys School since 2013. He has been fired, but is not yet charged.

He’s the son of a prominent rabbi in Minnesota.

The school declined to speak on camera Friday, but in a written statement they said: “We swiftly reported this disclosure to the police and the state’s mandated childline.”

Posted on February 25, 2017 7:28 AM

Is the Catholic Church guilty of crimes against humanity?
AUSTRALIA
The Age

Michael Short

The Catholic Church, which has presided over a decades-long international cover-up of countless cases, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of child rape and other sexual abuse is arguably guilty of crimes against humanity.

In Australia, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, launched in 2013, has heard much harrowing evidence that for decades child rapists have been protected by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Only a few days ago, the Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, told the commission the response of leaders of his church to allegations of child sexual abuse amounted to “criminal negligence”.

And although it beggars belief, such despicable betrayal of natural justice and of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth continues. Also last week, County Court Judge Geoffrey Chettle declared that evidence the Catholic Church continued to pay – taking the total to as much as $1.5 million – for the defence of one of Australia’s worst paedophiles, Robert Charles Best, “just blows me away”.

Well might he say that, for Best, 76, pleaded guilty in the County Court of Victoria to the sexual abuse of 20 children between 1968 and 1988 at schools in Ballarat, Box Hill, Geelong and Moonee Ponds. With withering understatement, Judge Chettle said he was struggling to contain his emotion at the gravity and extent of Best’s abuse. “It’s hard not to get angry, and I’m trying.” A lot of Best’s victims have died by suicide. Many others have experienced mental ill-health, substance abuse, addiction and difficulty maintaining professional and personal relationships.

Posted on February 25, 2017 7:22 AM

Church seeks background checks, proper Mass
GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , [email protected] Feb. 25, 2017

Besides adopting a national charter for protecting young people from clergy sexual abuses, Guam’s Catholic Church now also seeks legal background checks for all its adult ministers and volunteers to help prevent future abuses.

The church also now requires all rites and masses to be celebrated in accordance with the Vatican’s general instructions unless they can show proof of exemptions from Rome by March 1, the beginning of the Lenten season.

The Rev. Paul A.M. Gofigan, rector of the Dulce Nombre De Maria Cathedral-Basilica, issued a two-pronged Feb. 14 memo on background checks and unifying the church.

Gofigan asks all current and future adult ministers or volunteers having close contact with minors, at any level, to sign a waiver allowing the cathedral-basilica to perform a legal background check. He said this is not a credit check but is essentially a police clearance.

Posted on February 25, 2017 7:21 AM

Major changes recommended to Catholic Church’s controversial Melbourne Response
AUSTRALIA
The Age

Aisha Dow

Victorian child sex abuse victims who receive a capped payout from the Catholic Church should no longer be forced to sign away their rights to future legal claims, a redacted report has recommended.

An independent review into the church’s controversial Melbourne Response scheme was announced by Archbishop Denis Hart in August 2014, but has been suppressed by the church for more than a year.

A heavily edited version was finally submitted to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Friday, containing 24 pages of the 176-page document.

It included 17 recommendations from the report’s author, retired Federal Court judge Donnell Ryan, QC, including that victims no longer be obliged to sign a deed of release in order to access monetary payments.

Mr Ryan said this waiver could be made on the condition that if victims were to receive future payouts through civil proceedings, the money already received through the Melbourne Response would be deducted from the final amount.

Posted on February 25, 2017 7:18 AM

Perversion in Paradise
JAMAICA
Council on Hemispheric Affairs

By Andrew Lumsden, Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs

To download a PDF version of this article, click here.

On the night of December 28, 2016, police officers patrolling in the town of Santa Cruz in the Jamaican parish of St. Elizabeth, approached a parked car which had aroused their suspicions. Upon further investigations, authorities found 64-year-old Rupert Clarke, the pastor of a church in the nearby parish of Manchester, in what they called a “compromising position” with a 15-year-old girl.[i]

Clarke was arrested and charged with having sex with a minor in a case which has commanded attention as well as shocked the nation.[ii] Unfortunately, this appalling incident is only a small part of a much broader problem in Jamaican society: the prevalence of child sexual abuse.

“A National Crisis”

In 2014, Lisa Hanna, then the Minister of Youth and Culture, described child sex abuse in Jamaica as a “national crisis.”[iii] Between 2007 and 2014 nearly 17,000 cases were recorded by Jamaica’s Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR). [iv][v] The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) notes however, that “the available data does not necessarily reflect the actual magnitude of the problem” because the vast majority of incidents go unreported.[vi] In all, 40% of Jamaicans have said that their first sexual experience occurred without their consent and before the age of 16.[vii]

Posted on February 25, 2017 7:16 AM

AP Exclusive: Ex-congregants reveal years of ungodly abuse
NORTH CAROLINA
Daily Journal

SPINDALE, N.C. (AP) — From all over the world, they flocked to this tiny town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, lured by promises of inner peace and eternal life. What many found instead: years of terror — waged in the name of the Lord.

Congregants of the Word of Faith Fellowship were regularly punched, smacked, choked, slammed to the floor or thrown through walls in a violent form of deliverance meant to “purify” sinners by beating out devils, 43 former members told The Associated Press in separate, exclusive interviews.

Victims of the violence included pre-teens and toddlers — even crying babies, who were vigorously shaken, screamed at and sometimes smacked to banish demons.

“I saw so many people beaten over the years. Little kids punched in the face, called Satanists,” said Katherine Fetachu, 27, who spent nearly 17 years in the church.

Word of Faith Fellowship, an evangelical church with hundreds of members in North Carolina and branches in other countries, also subjected members to a practice called “blasting” — an ear-piercing verbal onslaught often conducted in hours-long sessions meant to cast out devils.

Posted on February 25, 2017 7:14 AM

No disciplinary proceedings to follow rapist ordinand Timothy Storey case
UNITED KINGDOM
Church Times

by Tim Wyatt

Posted: 24 Feb 2017

TWO clergy in the diocese of London who were strongly criticised for safeguarding failures in the case of an ordinand who was a rapist will not face proceedings under the Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM).

An independent review commissioned last year by the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, considered the diocese’s part in the case of Timothy Storey, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted of three charges of rape and one of sexual assault against teenage girls (News, 22 April).

Mr Storey worked first as a youth pastor at St Michael’s, Chester Square, where he met his two victims, before being sent to Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, to train as a priest. Both girls reported Mr Storey to the Church, but there was a “wholesale failure” by the diocesan safeguarding team to stop his offending, Judge Philip Katz QC said during sentencing.

The independent review recommended, among other things, “consideration of whether in light of the findings of the review an investigation under CDM is warranted or appropriate in relation to” two clerics referred to in the report only as “clergy persons A and B”. Clergy person A was the voluntary, unpaid Bishops’ Adviser in Child Protection in the Two Cities and Stepney areas of the diocese. Clergy person B was the Two Cities area director of ordinands. Both have since stepped down from these posts.

Posted on February 25, 2017 7:10 AM

Cardinal Desmond Connell, Dublin Archbishop During Abuse Scandal, Dies at 90
IRELAND
New York Times

SINEAD O’SHEA
FEB. 24, 2017

DUBLIN — Cardinal Desmond Connell, who retired as the Roman Catholic archbishop of Dublin during a furor over the church’s handling of cases of sexual abuse perpetrated by members of the clergy, died on Tuesday. He was 90.

The death, in Dublin, was announced by the current archbishop, Diarmuid Martin.

A theological scholar with training in metaphysics, then-Father Connell was a surprise choice when Pope John Paul II appointed him to lead the archdiocese of Dublin in 1988. John Paul named him a cardinal in 2001, making him the first archbishop of Dublin to be so elevated in nearly 120 years.

During his 16 years as archbishop, Cardinal Connell was a stalwart defender of church doctrine, particularly on social issues like contraception, divorce and homosexuality. …

But he was best known for his handling of a sex abuse scandal that eventually engulfed his archdiocese, as it has others around the world.

The abuses first began to emerge after the Rev. Brendan Smyth, a Northern Irish priest, was convicted of child sex abuse and imprisoned in 1994. The next year Archbishop Connell denied that the archdiocese had paid compensation to victims of abuse by its priests. But in 1998, it emerged that he had quietly lent archdiocesan money to an abusive priest, the Rev. Ivan Payne, who then paid an abuse survivor, Andrew Madden.

Mr. Madden came forward to reveal the loan, but Cardinal Connell initially denied that he had made it. In the ensuing controversy he was accused of tolerating or participating in a cover-up.

In 2002, the national broadcaster RTE published a report by the investigative journalist Mary Raftery exposing the archdiocese’s protection of eight priests who had sexually abused children.
Posted on February 25, 2017 7:08 AM

Funeral told of Cardinal’s tears over clerical sex abuse victims
IRELAND
Herald

Sarah MacDonald – 25 February 2017

The Pope’s representative in Ireland has revealed how he witnessed an anguished Cardinal Desmond Connell in tears at the Vatican over the clerical abuse of children at the turn of the millennium.

Speaking to the Herald after the funeral Mass of the former archbishop of Dublin at St Mary’s Pro Cathedral, the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, recalled seeing Dr Connell in Rome “filled with anguish about the horrors of the sexual abuse of children”.

Cardinal Connell worked at the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (1993-2001), where Archbishop Brown served until 2011, when he was appointed to Ireland.

“When I say visible anguish, it was visible in his tears which I witnessed,” he said.

He said the evil of that was “completely inconceivable and unfathomable” to him.

Posted on February 25, 2017 7:06 AM

Pell smeared again on ABC. To hell with evidence
AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
February 24, 2017

John Lyons accuses Cardinal George Pell on the ABC’s The Drum of transferring a “known pedophile” priest to another town, where he abused again, and says Pell covered up the reasons for the move.

In fact, the royal commission heard Pell knew nothing of the pedophilia and the transfer was engineered by his bishop. Yet no panelist defended Pell.

Here is yet another example of how the media is so determined to hang Pell that nothing, and certainly not the truth, can save him.

Lyon makes his claims five minutes from the end:

It is so sad and telling that not a single person on the panel, including the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, points out the truth about these allegations, although all seem to claim enough knowledge to offer opinions on the issue.

Posted on February 25, 2017 7:02 AM

‘I went to bed screaming’: child abuse survivor speaks as church faces moment of reckoning
AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Christopher Knaus

Friday 24 February 2017

Every night, as darkness fell around the boarding houses of St Virgil’s College in Hobart, Tony Rayner watched a handful of boys creep into the bedroom of Brother Patrick Timothy Farrell.

It was the 1950s and an eight-year-old Rayner was envious of the boys’ special treatment. Rumours drifted through the halls that Brother Farrell’s chosen few were rewarded with lollies.

Farrell, a member of the Christian Brothers Catholic order, eventually called Rayner in.

“He sat me up on the bed right next to him, and the other boys were down the foot of the bed – when you’re eight years old it was quite a distance,” Rayner told Guardian Australia. “He said, ‘You wanted to come in here.’ And then he told me to suck his dick.”

A confused Rayner said no, telling the brother it would be a sin. He still clearly remembers the odd moment that followed. “He looked at one of the other boys, who I saw as the ringleader … and he said, ‘I told you Rayner was too young.’”

Posted on February 25, 2017 6:50 AM

February 24, 2017
Suspended Eugene priest denies paying underage prostitute for sex
OREGON
The Register-Guard

By Jack Moran
The Register-Guard
FEB. 23, 2017

A Eugene priest on trial for allegedly paying for oral sex with an underage prostitute is innocent of the charges and ended up arrested after police misunderstood a text message as part of a flawed investigation, his attorney told a jury Friday morning.

Daniel MacKay’s lawyer, Terri Wood of Eugene, acknowledged in an opening statement to her client’s trial in Lane County Circuit Court that MacKay gave a homeless, 17-year-old girl cash on a number of occasions last year.

But the money wasn’t in exchange for sex, she said.

Instead, MacKay agreed to the girl’s repeated requests for cash because she appeared desperate, and the priest has for years “embraced the duty to help those in need,” Wood asserted. She added that the alleged victim told MacKay that she was 21.

Posted on February 24, 2017 6:10 PM

Bishops seek Pope’s guidance over sex abuse
AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Australia’s most senior Catholic leaders will ask the Pope to settle the issue of whether the seal of confession can be broken to protect children from sexual abuse as one likened it to bugging the confessional.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher said for a priest to repeat anything that has occurred during confession would be a very serious breach of trust and the sacrament.

Archbishop Fisher said he could not withhold absolution from someone who confessed to abusing a child and if they were genuinely contrite would forgive their sin, as he would a terrorist or a murderer.

‘What I can’t do is effectively bug the confessional on behalf of the state to use it to a way of reporting crimes retrospective or prospective,’ he told the child sex abuse royal commission.
Posted on February 24, 2017 5:14 PM

Former priest Yvon Arsenault handed 4-year sentence for 9 sex crimes
CANADA
CBC News

Former Moncton priest Yvon Arsenault has been sentenced to four years in prison after changing his plea to guilty in October on nine counts of molesting boys, dating back to the 1970s.

Arsenault, 74, of Aldouane covered his face with his hand after Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Zoël Dionne imposed sentence on Friday afternoon.

I’m not here to promote religion,” the judge said, “but these people wanted a life of faith, and because of incidents, it became something sour.”

He commended Arsenault’s victims for having the courage to speak out and denounce the abuse.

The nine victims ranged in age from nine to 17 when the abuse occurred between 1971 and 1980 in Shediac and Collette, located in Northumberland County.

Posted on February 24, 2017 4:59 PM

The All-American Boys Chorus and the Cycle of Abuse
CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

February 24, 2017 Joelle Casteix

The recent lawsuit against Fr. Richard T. Coughlin, The All-American Boys Chorus, and the Diocese of Orange has sparked a flurry of conversation and controversy online.

Why? A whole generation of kids was destroyed by Coughlin.

And of course, a lot of people were quick to defend the chorus and say, “Things are different now.”

But they’re not.

Singers can be Easy Prey

Choruses can be funny things. I am a singer, so I know. I was sexually abused in a chorus, targeted by a director who saw I was an easy mark.

Singing and the teaching of singing are very personal and very hands-on. It’s one-on-one (and before the days of awareness about sexual abuse, it was done behind closed doors). It’s not unusual for a vocal coach to touch a student (in a NON-SEXUAL WAY) to show a concept. It’s very personal and can get very emotional. Your body is your instrument. If a piano is out of tune, you hire a tuner. If your voice is out of tune … well, it’s personal.

Posted on February 24, 2017 2:28 PM

Iglesia responde a ICBF que no tolerará abusos de curas a menores
COLOMBIA
Pulzo

El cardenal Rubén Salazar le envió una carta a Cristina Plazas en la que asegura que el cuidado de los niños es prioridad.

En su carta, el arzobispo de Bogotá pide perdón por los casos de abusos sexuales a menores por sacerdotes que han sido denunciados en el país y promete “cero tolerancia” ante cualquier otro caso.

Asimismo, la arquidiócesis de la capital aseguró que tomará “todas las medidas” para que los responsables de los abusos sexuales sean castigados tanto civil como canónicamente.

Si se comprueba el abuso, un sacerdote jamás podrá volver a ejercer su ministerio”,

resaltó la curia bogotana en la misiva, difundida en su página web.

Posted on February 24, 2017 2:26 PM

Colombia’s Catholic Church vows ‘zero tolerance’ for child sexual abuse
COLOMBIA
Colombia Reports

written by Miguel Salazar February 24, 2017

Colombia’s top Catholic clergyman told the government on Friday that the church would fight sexual abuse by priests against minors with a “zero tolerance” approach towards affiliated pedophiles.

“The protection of children and adolescents is an absolute priority for the Catholic Church in Colombia,” the Archbishop of Bogota, Cardinal Rubén Salazar, wrote in a letter addressed to the government’s Family Welfare Institute (ICFB) days after the church had come under fire for sexual abuse charges filed against a Colombian priest.

Catholic Church attacks sex abuse victims’ family for seeking reparation

In his letter, the archbishop said that priests that engaged in child sexual abuse would not just be held accountable before the law, but also within the church.

“We applaud all the effort you make from the general direction of the Institute of Family Welfare to protect all the minors of our nation,” he said. “If it is true that the Church bitterly cries out the sin of her children and asks forgiveness, it is also true that we are committed to renewing all efforts so that these atrocities do not happen again among us.”

Earlier this week, Cristina Plazas Michelsen, the director of the ICBF, had sent Cardinal Salazar a letter calling for the Catholic Church to “set a precedent and express ‘zero tolerance’ to anything surrounding sexual abuse, the most atrocious crime of humanity.” It was in response to court proceedings in Cali, Valle del Cauca, against a priest accused of sexually abusing four children in his community.

Posted on February 24, 2017 2:24 PM

Vicar David Fletcher faces jail for sexually abusing a boy when he was a head teacher in Bradford
UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph and Argus

Jenifer Loweth

A CHURCH of England vicar has been convicted by a jury of sexually abusing a boy when he was a head teacher in Bradford.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Roger Thomas QC, warned David Fletcher he will “almost inevitably go into custody” for indecently assaulting the child in the late 1980s.

Fletcher, 63, whose ministry includes 12 churches in East Yorkshire, was found guilty of two of the eight charges against him by a majority verdict of 11-1.

The jury at Bradford Crown Court cleared him of six further allegations of indecent assault made by the same complainant.

He was bailed to return to the court for sentence on Monday, March 6.

Posted on February 24, 2017 2:22 PM

Where Is The Priest Who Sexually Abused Milo Yiannopoulos?
UNITED STATES
The Daily Caller

MARIA JEFFREY

Lost in the crushing sound of Milo Yiannopoulos’ fall has been the revelation that he was sexually abused by a priest named “Fr. Michael.” In his press conference Tuesday, after his comments on pedophilia were brought to light, the former Breitbart editor said, “Between the ages of 13 and 16, two men touched me in ways they should not have. One of those men was a priest.”

In the video where Milo talks about pedophilia, he states, “I’m grateful to Fr. Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him.”

There has been a lot of ink already spilled over what Milo’s comments on sexual abuse mean for the moral arc of the conservative movement, but no one is paying attention to the revelation that Milo himself was sexually abused as a young teen. Who he was sexually abused by? Who is Fr. Michael? Is he still a practicing priest?

Milo was raised Catholic and is open about his love for the Catholic Church. In Kent, England where Milo grew up, a Catholic priest named Monsignor Michael Smith was arrested in 2010 after sexual abuse allegations were made against him by victim who called Smith a “devious predator.” According to KentLive, a publication in Kent, the victim received compensation from the Catholic Church in a civil suit in 2016.
Posted on February 24, 2017 12:24 PM

Brother erased from history
AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

EXCLUSIVE, Nick Butterly
Friday, February 24, 2017

The Christian Brothers have taken the extraordinary step of moving the grave of a notoriously brutal brother from the grounds of a WA school as the Catholic Church reels from revelations of past abuse.

The Catholic order has dismantled the grave of Brother Francis Paul Keaney at Bindoon Agricultural College, shifting his remains to a humble plot at Karrakatta, effectively erasing any trace of the Brother from the institution he once ruled over.

Keaney set up the Tardun farm school near Geraldton in the 1920s and was principal at Clontarf and Bindoon Boys Town from 1942 through to his death in 1954.

Child migrants from Britain and Ireland have given evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse telling how Keaney presided over a fiercely brutal regime at Bindoon.

Posted on February 24, 2017 12:21 PM

Funeral hears Connell became Archbishop at difficult time
IRELAND
RTE News

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said that Cardinal Desmond Connell was the first leader of the Dublin diocese to recognise, albeit slowly, the extent of the damage inflicted on children by priests who sexually abused.

Dr Martin told his predecessor’s funeral mass that the hurt caused by the scandal has yet to be fully recognised and still remains for victims.

The cardinal’s death was announced on Tuesday. He was 90.

Most of the country’s hierarchy joined the Papal Nuncio and Archbishop Martin in concelebrating the mass at which the Cardinal’s sister-in-law, Peggy Connell, was the chief mourner.

Posted on February 24, 2017 9:27 AM

Garde à vue du Père Ibrahim: Consternation à la Plaine des Palmistes
REUNION
Zinfos974

[The inhabitants of Plaine des Palmistes are shocked after the priest of their parish has been placed in custody for allegations of rape of a teenager. Many of them defend him.].

Interpellé hier dans le cadre de l’enquête pour des viols présumés sur un adolescent, le père Fabrice Ibrahim a passé la nuit en cellule. Il a été présenté au Tribunal ce matin puis transféré de nouveau à la brigade de gendarmerie de Saint-Benoît pour une prolongation de sa garde à vue de 24h, donc jusqu’à 12h30 ce vendredi.

Pour rappel, le père Ibrahim a été interpellé dans le cadre d’une enquête préliminaire pour des viols présumés, après la plainte d’un jeune homme de 18 ans déposée il y a un mois. Le prêtre aurait imposé des rapports sexuels à l’adolescent mineur entre 2013 et 2015. La mère du jeune homme a elle aussi dénoncé des viols présumés.

Posted on February 24, 2017 8:19 AM

Erzbischöfe räumen “katastrophales Versagen” ein
AUSTRALIEN
Katholisch

Sydney – 23.02.2017

Die führenden katholischen Erzbischöfe Australiens haben der Einschätzung eines “katastrophalen Versagens” der Kirchenführung im Umgang mit Fällen sexuellen Missbrauchs zugestimmt. Zum Ende der dreiwöchigen letzten Anhörung der Kommission über sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern durch Priester und Mitarbeiter der Kirche waren am Donnerstag die fünf Erzbischöfe von Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide und Brisbane vor der Kommission erschienen.

“Das war ein Verbrechen, Herr Erzbischof”, sagte Gail Furness, Anwältin der Kommission, laut australischen Medienberichten (Donnerstag) zu Erzbischof Philip Wilson von Adelaide. Der 66-Jährige ist wegen Vertuschung von Missbrauchsfällen vor einem Gericht angeklagt. Wilson habe geantwortet: “Ja, das stimmt.”

Posted on February 24, 2017 8:18 AM

Australiens Bischöfe wollen Missbrauch künftig ausschließen
AUSTRALIEN
Domradio

[Australian bishops acknowledge catastrophic failure in dealing with abuse.]

In Sydney ist die abschließende Anhörung zum Umgang der katholischen Kirche mit Fällen sexuellen Missbrauchs in Australien zu Ende gegangen. Die Bischöfe räumten dabei ein “katastrophales Versagen” im Umgang mit Verdachtsfällen ein.

“Ich werde alles in meiner Macht Stehende tun, dass Missbrauch wie in der Vergangenheit niemals wieder passiert und dass die Reformen umgesetzt werden, die meine Bischofskollegen und die Leiter der Orden in den vergangenen Jahren beschlossen haben”, erklärte der Vorsitzende der katholischen Bischofskonferenz, Erzbischof Denis Hart von Melbourne. Die Kirche in Australien werde die Opfer weiter unterstützen.

Posted on February 24, 2017 8:16 AM

Pädophilenskandal: Bistumssprecher erhob Vorwürfe gegen Kapuzinerchef
SCHWEIZ
Luzerner Zeitung

[The pedophile scandal among the Capuchins has mutated into an internal church policy. Giuseppe Gracia, spokesman of the Diocese of Chur, explains his accusations against the chief Kapuziner Mauro Jöhri.]

KIRCHE ⋅ Der Pädophilieskandal bei den Kapuzinern ist zu einem innerkirchlichem Politikum mutiert. Giuseppe Gracia, Sprecher des Bistums Chur, erklärt seine Anschuldigungen gegenüber dem obersten Kapuziner Mauro Jöhri.
23. Februar 2017

Dominik Weingartner

Wer hat wann was gewusst und dennoch nichts unternommen? Diese Frage beschäftigt den Kapuzinerorden seit den «Blick»-Enthüllungen rund um den pädophilen Pater Jöel. Wie unsere Zeitung am Samstag berichtete, wurde der Pater seit Bekanntwerden seines Falles mehrmals versetzt, zunächst nach Frankreich, 2005 wurde er schliesslich in die Schweiz zurückgeholt. Der Pater, der Dutzende Kinder vergewaltigt und davon auch pornografische Aufnahmen gemacht haben soll, musste sich jedoch nie einem kirchenrechtlichen Verfahren stellen. Er lebt heute zurückgezogen im Kapuzinerkloster in Wil.

Posted on February 24, 2017 8:14 AM

Application For Moravian Ministers’ Case Transfer Pushed To Next Week
JAMAICA
Jamaica Gleaner

Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer

Mandeville, Manchester:
Moravian Ministers Reverend Dr Paul Gardner and Jermaine Gibson, charged for carnal abuse arising from a series of incidents said to have happened in 2002, will have to wait until March 2, to find out whether or not their case will be transferred to the Home Circuit Court in Kingston.

According to attorney-at-law Peter Champaigne the case was today adjourned due to a part heard matter that was before the court.

The application for transfer is expected to be made next Thursday in the Manchester Circuit Court.

Posted on February 24, 2017 7:57 AM

Moravian ministers’ sex case adjourned
JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — The carnal abuse and indecent assault case of former head of the Moravian Church in Jamaica Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy Jermaine Gibson was adjourned in the Manchester Circuit Court today.

The men will return on Thursday, March 2.

When the names of the men were called this morning for them to enter the courtroom they were not yet present.

The matter was on hold when they arrived because of a trial in progress in the Circuit Court.

Posted on February 24, 2017 7:56 AM

Review found church scheme is independent
AUSTRALIA
The Australian

MEGAN NEIL
Australian Associated Press
February 24, 2017

The much-criticised Melbourne Response is independent of the Catholic Church and has given most child sex abuse victims better compensation than they would have otherwise received, a review found.

The retired Federal Court judge whose review led to the Melbourne archdiocese doubling its maximum compensation payments to $150,000 backed the independence of the abuse complaints scheme at the same time as a royal commission criticised its lack of independence.

Donnell Ryan QC criticised the apologies offered under the Melbourne Response but found most victims had received better outcomes than would otherwise have been possible.

“It is reasonable to conclude that most have regarded the package of monetary settlement and the funding of counselling and clinical care as better than any other remedy which they could reasonably have achieved in the absence of the Melbourne Response,” the report said.

Posted on February 24, 2017 7:51 AM

Royal commission: Outrage over church’s financial support for paedophile priests
AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

An admission that the Sydney Catholic archdiocese provides financial support for convicted paedophile priests has drawn outrage from sex abuse survivors at a royal commission.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher told the inquiry the church supports convicted Catholic clergy living in the community.

“That would include assistance with housing and some other kinds of assistance,” he told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

“I am so angry at what they have done, I don’t want to give them anything further by way of help, but throwing them back on their family or community … others would say that’s just the church washing its hand again of responsibility.

Posted on February 24, 2017 7:49 AM

Statement from the ACBC at the conclusion of Case Study 50
AUSTRALIA
Catholic Outlook

Statement from Archbishop Denis Hart, President, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference at the conclusion of case study 50 of the Royal Commission

24 February 2017

As the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse concludes its final hearing into the Catholic Church, I acknowledge the cooperation of witnesses, agencies, religious institutes and dioceses across the Church in Australia.

I particularly want to acknowledge the bravery of the survivors of child sexual abuse who have given evidence, not just in case studies involving the Catholic Church, but across the more than 50 case studies so far that have examined the many different institutions throughout Australia.

Over the past three weeks, more than 70 Church leaders and professionals have appeared before the Commissioners sharing expertise, identifying failings and describing best practice for the future of our Church structure, culture and governance.

The final hearing discussed many aspects and characteristics of Church and clergy life including: Canon Law, the confessional, celibacy, clericalism, formation, professional support and supervision.

What we have learnt from our involvement in the Royal Commission case studies and our own work in coming to a better understanding of the many different issues that have contributed to child sexual abuse in the Church will inform our future policies and practices.

Posted on February 24, 2017 7:47 AM

Kincora: HIA report on former boys home condemned by ex-Army officer
NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A former Army captain has described the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry findings on the former Kincora Boys’ Home as “a mess”.

The HIA report into child abuse at churches, charities and state institutions was published last month.

It detailed widespread mistreatment of young residents between 1922 and 1995.

However, former Army officer Colin Wallace has criticised its conclusions on Kincora, claiming they were “full of alternative facts”.

Mr Wallace, who served in Northern Ireland between 1971 and 1974, has been a leading voice in claims about an alleged cover-up by intelligence services of sex abuse at the home.

Posted on February 24, 2017 7:42 AM

Kincora abuse campaigner hits out at inquiry in scathing letter
NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Cate McCurry
February 24 2017

The man who attempted to expose the historical sex abuse at the notorious Kincora boys’ home in Belfast has lambasted an inquiry in a scathing 14-page letter.

Former Army captain and intelligence officer Colin Wallace slammed the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry’s report on the Kincora paedophile cover-up in the 1970s.

Mr Wallace, whose attempts to expose the abuse of young boys were overthrown by his superiors, has contacted the inquiry’s solicitor, Patrick Butler, to raise concerns about what he claims are “factual inaccuracies and misleading information” in the report.

He disputes the information contained in the inquiry report about notorious child abuser and Kincora housemaster William McGrath and others in the child-abuse ring.

Posted on February 24, 2017 7:40 AM

Archbishop would grant abusers absolution
AUSTRALIA
7 News

by Rebekah Ison – AAP on February 24, 2017

Sydney’s Catholic Archbishop says he would have to forgive a child sex abuser at confession just as he would a terrorist or a murderer.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher on Friday told the sex abuse royal commission he didn’t think he could make it a condition of absolution that a person incriminate themselves – even though he would strongly encourage them to get psychiatric help and hand themselves in.

“If they are genuinely contrite by every sign that I can see then I’ll forgive their sin as I would a terrorist, a murderer, many other very grave matters,” he said in Sydney on Friday.

“I do so probably feeling terribly sick inside about what might this guy do next.”

Archbishop Fisher was one of the five metropolitan archbishops giving joint evidence at the royal commission.

Posted on February 24, 2017 7:38 AM

Archbishops grilled on reporting abuse heard under confession
AUSTRALIA
9 News

By Claire Abraham

The Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, has revealed he would not break the Seal of the Confessional and inform authorities if a child during confession told him they had been abused, but instead would try and persuade the child to tell someone.

Senior Counsel Gail Furness drew mixed responses from the five bishops when she asked them what they would do if a fictional child, “Sally”, reported abuse to them during confession.

“I will do everything in my power to persuade the child to come with me to the police,” Archbishop Anthony Fisher said.

“If I can’t persuade that child of that option, having tried everything I can, then I believe I’m bound by the seal of confession to not repeat it.”
Posted on February 24, 2017 7:34 AM

Child abuse royal commission: Review of Melbourne Response recommends redress scheme be separated from church
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Karen Percy

The Melbourne Archbishop should not oversee the Catholic Church’s scheme to address sexual abuse within the archdiocese, a redacted report has recommended.

A 2015 report into the Melbourne Response by former Federal Court judge Donnell Ryan QC was released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse late this afternoon, at the conclusion of hearings featuring senior Catholic figures.

The report was suppressed by the Catholic Church for more than a year.

In it, Mr Ryan makes 17 recommendations, several of them suggesting those in charge of the scheme not be under the Archbishop’s power, that files and archives be held separately, and that budget and administrative matters also be separated out.

But he points out “nothing has been revealed … to suggest [anyone] … has ever acted under the direction or influence of the Archbishop or any other church official”.

The Melbourne Response was established by Cardinal George Pell in 1996, when he was Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne.

Posted on February 24, 2017 7:32 AM

Hate is coming to a campus near you: Meet the evangelical bigot helping Trump deregulate America’s colleges
UNITED STATES
Salon

NICO LANG

In her first weeks as secretary of the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos faced an extraordinary amount of scrutiny — both for her family’s history of supporting homophobic legislation and her lack of qualifications. A group of students attempted to block DeVos from entering a Washington middle school shortly after her confirmation.

But DeVos, a charter school advocate with a history of donating to anti-gay causes, isn’t the only education appointee that should worry LGBT people, as well as just about everyone else who wants safe, affirming education for America’s youth. Liberty University’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., who has been tapped by the Trump administration to lead a task force on reforming higher ed, is a nightmare waiting to happen. His appointment — to an undisclosed advisory position — will put at risk every student across the U.S. already vulnerable to harm. With DeVos and Falwell at the helm, all children will be left behind. …

Liberty University hired Ian McCaw, the former athletic director for Baylor University, in the midst of an ongoing rape scandal at his former college. Jasmin Hernandez, a student at the university, claimed McCaw knew that one of his star athletes, Tevin Elliott, had a history of sexually assaulting women and ignored his record. Hernandez further alleged that after not being made accountable for his prior actions, the football player went on to rape her. In a press release, Falwell Jr. personally praised the hiring of McCaw, saying that his example “fits perfectly with where we see our sports program going.”

If it surprises you that Falwell Jr. would applaud someone accused of covering up sexual abuse, know that the Liberty University president also once told CNN’s Erin Burnett that he would vote for a presidential candidate found guilty of rape. When asked about accusations from more than 10 women that Trump, then a White House hopeful, had groped them without consent, Falwell Jr. said, “We’re not electing a pastor. We’re electing a president.”

Posted on February 24, 2017 7:29 AM

Application to transfer pastors’ sex case rescheduled
JAMAICA
Loop

The expected application to have the sex cases of two Moravian clergymen transferred to Kingston from Manchester for trial has been postponed.

The application is now rescheduled for next week Thursday, March 2, in the Manchester Circuit Court.

The postponement is due to the fact that the accused men — Rev Paul Gardner and Pastor Jermaine Gibson — were late for court.

Gibson, who was vice president of the Moravian church in Jamaica, allegedly had a sexual relationship with the complainant when she was 12 years old.

Allegedly, Gardner, who resigned the presidency of the Moravian church, also engaged in sexual relations with the girl when she was 14.

Posted on February 24, 2017 7:27 AM

GP Department of Public Safety Arrests Former Church Pastor for Sexual Abuse
OREGON
KAJO

The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety has arrested a former pastor at a now-defunct church for multiple sex crimes with an underage girl.

On Wednesday, 51-year-old Michael Howard Lewis of Grants Pass was lodged in the Josephine County Jail on charges including Rape, Sexual Abuse and Sodomy. His arrest came after an interview conducted at the police station.

On February 1st, Grants Pass Police began an investigation into the reported sexual abuse of a female juvenile by Lewis while he was a pastor at the now-defunct Friends in Christ Fellowship Church, which was located on Rogue River Highway.

Detectives investigating the case learned that between July 2014 and November 2016, Michael Lewis subjected the young church member to sexual contact several times while she was between the ages of 14 and 16 years old. The sexual contact occurred at the church, which was shut down last November.

Posted on February 24, 2017 7:26 AM

Youth pastor charged with sex crimes, former church attendees speak out
MICHIGAN
UpNorthLive

by Connor Hansen
Thursday, February 23rd 2017

CHARLEVOIX COUNTY, Mi (WPBN/WGTU) — A youth pastor from Boyne City was charged Thursday with sex crimes after he was caught taking video of two young girls in the shower at his home.

Police said a family from downstate was visiting their former pastor in Boyne City when their 18-year-old daughter found a camera in the bathroom shower. She realized it had footage of her and her 15-year-old sister on it, and she told her parents.

Benoni Enciso, also known as Jon Enciso, was charged with possession of child sexual abusive material, surveilling people without clothes on, eavesdropping and using a computer to commit a crime.

Boyne City Police are continuing to investigate Enciso.

Posted on February 24, 2017 7:24 AM

Pastor accused of molesting three girls out of jail
CALIFORNIA
Record Searchlight

Jim Schultz , Record Searchlight Feb. 23, 2017

A Redding pastor charged with 31 criminal counts, including 22 felonies alleging he molested three girls over a seven-year span, won’t be having his preliminary hearing anytime soon.

James Gladwell Crawford, who has been released from Shasta County Jail after his bail was set last week at $1 million, was back in Shasta County Superior Court on Thursday where his preliminary hearing scheduled for next week was postponed because his defense attorney will be in trial.

With Crawford now out of jail, he was ordered by Judge Cara Beatty to not have any contact with children under the age of 15 without another adult being present.

He’s due back in Superior Court on March 28 to reset the date of his preliminary hearing.

Posted on February 24, 2017 7:22 AM

Bishop Vincent Long’s Lenten Message 2017
AUSTRALIA
Catholic Outlook

My dear people,

Lent is an important season for us Catholics insofar as it reminds us of the need for conversion. We cannot live life to the full if we gloss over the inconvenient truths about ourselves. We cannot grow to full maturity if we ignore the obstacles that prevent us from reaching our potential. Pope Francis always asks people to pray for him because he says he is a sinner. It is characteristic of a true Christian who recognises the darker side of himself and seeks metanoia, a change of heart.

More than ever before, the Catholic Church in Australia needs to recognise the dark crimes of sexual abuse against children and vulnerable people under its care, and the untold damage done to them and their loved ones. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has delivered a shameful indictment not simply on the perpetrators and their enablers but the Church’s collective and systemic betrayal of the Gospel.

Nevertheless, I believe firmly that the Church must be grateful for the work of the Royal Commission. More importantly, we must seize this Kairos, this moment of grace, this opportunity as a catalyst for change and not treat this period as a temporary aberration. It can never be business as usual again. We must have the courage to see how far we have drifted from the vision of Jesus, repent of our sins, and face up to the task of reclaiming the innocence and the powerlessness of the Servant-Leader.

Posted on February 24, 2017 7:20 AM

Catholic church looks at charging its schools rent, as payments mount to victims of child sexual abuse
AUSTRALIA
The Age

Deborah Snow

Catholic schools in the Hunter and mid North coast could, for the first time, be asked to pay rent to the church for the land they stand on under proposals being considered by the diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

The initiative is encountering resistance from some Catholic educators, who fear such a plan risks diverting a portion of government funds intended for Catholic schooling into the administrative coffers of the church.

Currently no Catholic schools in any of the eleven dioceses in New South Wales pay rent to church authorities. Any decision to proceed would set a new precedent, generating potentially millions of dollars for diocesan funds.

“The majority of Catholic educationalists are privately appalled at the approach being taken” one source told the Herald. “It would not pass in the court of public opinion. Many of us fear that it would imperil legitimate claims for government funding of Catholic education if it was perceived those funds were being diverted to provide a revenue stream for the church.”
Posted on February 24, 2017 7:18 AM

Perth Catholic Archbishop says celibacy contributed to child sexual abuse
AUSTRALIA
PerthNow

Angela Pownall, PerthNow
February 24, 2017

PERTH’s Catholic Archbishop says the vow of celibacy contributed to “many cases” of child sexual abuse by Australian priests.

Giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney on Friday, Timothy Costelloe’s comments were at odds with Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher.

Archbishop Fisher said he did not blame celibacy for child sexual abuse in the same way he did not blame marriage for adultery.

But the Perth church leader, speaking on the final day of the royal commission’s public hearing into the Catholic Church, argued that a person’s motivation for choosing celibacy was the key.

“I think many people may have wanted to be a priest and thought, well, celibacy is part of the deal, so I’ll have to go along with it, he said.

Posted on February 24, 2017 7:16 AM

Archbishop Martin says Connell ‘was the one who finally began to realise the extent of the abuse’
IRELAND
The Journal

IN THE HOMILY given by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin at the funeral of Cardinal Desmond Connell today, Martin credited Connell as being the church figure who “began to drag out information” around abuse allegations inside the Catholic Church.

Martin said that it was “not enough” to make the comment that Connell was slow to recognise the extent of the problem of child sexual abuse when he was Archbishop of Dublin.

He added that Connell marked the beginning of a “new culture” within the diocese by establishing a child protection service.

Martin said:
Cardinal Connell became an Archbishop at a difficult time in this diocese. Many comments in these days noted that he was slow to recognise the extent of child sexual abuse by priests. It is not enough to make that comment now from a distance.

“It must be said that he found himself surrounded by a culture and at times by advisors who were slow and perhaps even unwilling to recognise both the extent of the problem and the enormous hurt that had been done to children, a hurt they still carry with them.

Posted on February 24, 2017 7:14 AM

Grants Pass pastor arrested on sex abuse charges
OREGON
KTVL

by Daniela Jusino
Thursday, February 23rd 2017

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Grants Pass authorities have arrested a Grants Pass man following allegations of sexual abuse.

Michael Lewis, 51, was reportedly a pastor at now defunct Christ Fellowship Church in Grants Pass when the alleged sexual abuse occurred.

Earlier this month, detectives began investigating the case in which it is alleged that between July 2014 and November 2016, Lewis subjected a juvenile female church member to sexual contact.

“Anytime you have an individual who’s in a position of trust, particularly in a faith-based organization, those are usually pretty shocking to have them happen. It’s not a common thing to happen. It does happen, but it’s not something to happen all the time,” said Deputy Chief Jim Hamilton.

Posted on February 24, 2017 1:23 AM

Former Grants Pass pastor arrested for sexual abuse
OREGON
KOBI

Grants Pass, Ore. – Police say a man sexually abused a teenage church member while he was a pastor at a now defunct church in Grants Pass.

The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety said they began an investigation on February 1, 2017 into reported sexual abuse of a juvenile girl by 51-year-old Michael Howard Lewis.

Police said at the time the alleged abuse occurred, Lewis was a pastor at Friends in Christ Fellowship Church, formerly located at 1205 Rogue River Highway in Grants Pass. The girl was a church member.

According to detectives, between July 2014 and November 2016, Lewis sexually contacted the girl several times at the church. The sexual contact occurred while the girl was between the ages of 14 and 16.

Posted on February 24, 2017 1:22 AM

Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) to Join Protesters at Whole Foods CEO Speech
CALIFORNIA
SAT Press Release

Nonprofit Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) is joining advocacy groups to lead a protest at Whole Foods CEO John Mackey’s San Francisco speech. Advocates urge Mackey to disavow spiritual leader, former rabbi, alleged sex abuser Marc Gafni. The NY Times first reported Mackey’s affiliation with Gafni. Mackey is the scheduled keynote speaker at a Conscious Capitalism Bay Area Conference.

San Francisco, California, February 23, 2017 (Newswire.com) – Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) has joined a consortium of advocacy groups, leading a protest at a speech by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey in San Francisco on February 28, urging “Sexual Violence Accountability.” The advocacy consortium is led by Peaceful Hearts Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Matthew Sandusky, one of six adopted children of Jerry Sandusky (former Penn State football coach and convicted pedophile).

Posted on February 24, 2017 1:20 AM

Natick: Priest linked in sex abuse scandal dies
MASSACHUSETTS
Wicked Local Wayland

By Brian Benson
Daily News Staff

NATICK – A Catholic priest and longtime Natick resident, who was implicated in the Archdiocese of Boston priest sex abuse scandal, has died.

The Rev. Anthony J. Rebeiro, 86, died Feb. 15.

Rebeiro, who was born in India, lived in Natick for 40 years and served at several Boston area parishes, including St. Linus in Natick, according to his obituary.

Rebeiro faced allegations he had fondled a 12- or 13-year-old girl in the rectory of St. Linus and made sexual advances on a woman at St. Mary’s Church in Franklin. He denied the allegations, the Boston Globe has reported. The Globe uncovered widespread sexual abuse involving Catholic priests in a Spotlight investigative series around the turn of the century.

Beginning in 2002, Rebeiro was placed on administrative leave after an allegation from about three decades earlier of sexual misconduct with a minor came to light, according to information on the Archdiocese of Boston website.

Posted on February 24, 2017 1:17 AM

Pope Francis’s commission members say the church is ‘struggling’ on child safety responsibilities
AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
24 Feb 2017

THE Catholic Church is a world organisation “struggling to come to terms with the safety of children and its responsibilities in that area”, two members of Pope Francis’s child protection commission told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

“I think the Pope does understand the seriousness of it and I think there are many other leaders who do, but I think that the organisation, with the leadership that it has, there are some people struggling to come to terms with it,” psychiatrist and Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors member Baroness Sheila Hollins told the royal commission on Thursday.

Baroness Hollins and papal commission member Bill Killgallon told the royal commission they were under-resourced, under-staffed and had not seen evidence of research-based decision-making in the global church on issues relating to child sexual abuse.

“It seems to me that you’ve had a very systematic, well thought out program and you’ve commissioned research widely into some really important topics,” Mr Killgallon told the royal commission at the 16th, and final, public hearing into the Catholic Church.

“We as a commission can follow that example.”

A recent example of the church making decisions directly related to child sexual abuse involved whether child sex offenders within religious orders should be kept within communities or not, Mr Killgallon said.

Posted on February 24, 2017 1:15 AM

Australian archbishops: Leadership on abuse was ‘catastrophic failure’
AUSTRALIA
Catholic News Service

SYDNEY (CNS) — Five Australian archbishops testified before a government commission on child sexual abuse, reiterating apologies and taking responsibility for actions that occurred before they were church leaders.

They also said they believed the culture of church and society had changed enough that it would help such abuse from occurring in the future.

The abuse of children in the church was “a catastrophic failure in many respects, but primarily in leadership,” Archbishop Timothy Costelloe of Perth told the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Feb. 23, near the end of three weeks of public hearings.

Gail Furness, the counsel assisting the commission, asked four other archbishops if they concurred with the assessment, and all agreed.

Posted on February 24, 2017 1:13 AM

Catholic leader says not ‘remotely enough’ supervision to prevent child sexual abuse
AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Thursday 23 February 2017

Sydney’s Catholic archbishop says he can’t pretend there is remotely enough supervision of abusive priests to be certain they won’t sexually assault children again.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher said on Friday the church financially supports known abusers and tries to find out where they live when they want nothing more to do with the institution.

“I can’t pretend we have remotely sufficient supervision for me to be assured that they are not misbehaving again,” he told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Sydney. “I have puzzled about it this now for several years.”

Fisher said he often struggled with the question of whether the church should support abusers. He said some people would think the church was trying to wash its hands of the problem if it didn’t assist them.

Posted on February 24, 2017 1:11 AM

Royal commission: Catholic archbishops split over reporting of abuse heard in confession
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Clare Blumer

Sydney’s Catholic Archbishop says reporting abuse to authorities that he heard about during a confession would be like “bugging the confessional”.

The five Catholic archbishops of Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide were giving evidence alongside each other for the second day running at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The church leaders were quizzed by senior counsel Gail Furness about how they might deal with a fictional child called ‘Sally’ reporting abuse to them in a confessional.

There were mixed responses from the archbishops.

Posted on February 24, 2017 1:10 AM

Church leaders were ‘law unto themselves’, says Perth Archbishop
AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Angela Pownall , Sydney
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Perth’s Catholic Archbishop says child sexual abuse took hold in the Church because the institution and its leaders were a “law unto themselves”.

Timothy Costelloe told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that a “catastrophic failure” in leadership led to widespread abuse and the Church’s “scandalously insufficient” response to it.

Giving evidence yesterday, he said bishops had behaved “almost like a little monarch in his own diocese” .

“The Church, in a sense, saw itself largely as … a law unto itself; that it was somehow or other so special, so unique and so important it stood aside from the normal things that would be a part of any other body that works or exists in society,” he said.

Posted on February 24, 2017 1:04 AM

Archbishops Told That Victims Thought ‘God’s Representative’ Abused Them
AUSTRALIA
Huffington Post

Eoin Blackwell Senior Associate Editor, HuffPost Australia

Survivors of sex abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy thought they were being abused by “a representative of God,” a Royal commission has heard.

Five archbishops from around the country are giving evidence at the sex abuse Royal Commission in Sydney about how the Catholic church responded to decades of sexual abuse against children in its care.

During an at-times philosophical and theological discussion on Friday, commissioner Andrew Murray reminded those listening what the hearings were about.

“We have been told in private sessions that at the moments of abuse, that the child at the time… thought they were being abused by the representative of God, so it has immense and immediate meaning with respect to child sex abuse,” Murray said.

Posted on February 24, 2017 1:02 AM

Pedophile priests used position of power to perpetrate abuse
AUSTRALIA
9 News

By Claire Abraham

The young victims of pedophile priests believed they were being abused by a “representative of God” because of what they had been taught in the Catholic church, a royal commission heard today.

Five archbishops from across the country today faced the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney, where the hearing opened to discussion of the power dynamics between priests and the laity.

Commissioner Andrew Murray drew an emotional response from the Archbishop of Adelaide when he revealed one priest’s dominion over an abused child.

“We have been told in private sessions that at the moments of abuse, that the child at the time — because of what they had been taught — thought they were being abused by the representative of God,” Commissioner Murray said.
Posted on February 24, 2017 12:59 AM

Church abuse victim speaks out nearly one year since grand jury investigation
PENNSYLVANIA
We Are Central PA

[with video]

Johnstown, Cambria County, Pa. – It has been nearly one year since a grand jury investigation uncovered hundreds of sexual abuse cases, within the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese and on March 1, there will be a news conference outside of the diocese offices in Altoona.

One victim said progress has not been made.

“It was a normal lifestyle except for one very [un]normal thing,” Shaun Dougherty, a church abuse victim, said.

Dougherty said at 10-years old, he was sexually abused by a catholic priest at St. Clement’s Church in Johnstown. He said it went on for three years, but he never told anyone.

At 21, he joined the U.S. Navy and took an oath for the military.

“That oath spoke to me and ever since then, I felt a burning desire to speak out, to tell what happened,” Dougherty said, but when it came to the abuse that happened to him, no one took him seriously until 2016, when the report uncovered hundreds of cases from the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese over a 40 year span, and Dougherty was one of those cases.

Posted on February 24, 2017 12:58 AM

Trinity Grammar knew about abuse and protected teacher, victim says
AUSTRALIA
Courier

Tammy Mills
24 Feb 2017

An alleged victim of a Trinity Grammar teacher has come forward after 40 years, saying the school knew he was abused and they are still protecting the teacher today.

The man, now in his 50s, came forward after Fairfax Media reported on Monday that school heads sent out a letter paying tribute to former teacher Christopher Howell’s “extraordinary legacy”.

“I’ve never been more disgusted with something than that letter,” John*, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said.

“The vision of Howell was enough to make me sick, but what the school was saying about him; it was a lie and the school knew it was a lie and it protected him.

Posted on February 24, 2017 12:56 AM

Wollongong Catholic church figures give evidence at royal commission
AUSTRALIA
Illawarra Mercury

Kate McIlwain
@kmcilwain

24 Feb 2017

Two senior Catholic church figures formerly from Wollongong have told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse about their experiences in dealing with the “huge problem” in the diocese in the 1990s.

Appearing during the 16th public hearing on abuse within the Catholic church, long time director of Wollongong’s Catholic welfare agency, Kath McCormack this week spoke about her experiences working with survivors and victims of child sexual assault.

Likewise, Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson, who was the Bishop of Wollongong between 1997 and 2000, described how he and Ms McCormack organised a meeting to hear from victims of child sexual abuse.

Between 1993 and 1996, the Diocese had come under public criticism for its response to child sexual abuse, both from the Illawarra Mercury and in the Wood Royal Commission.

Posted on February 24, 2017 12:55 AM

February 23, 2017
High school teacher admits to verbal and emotional abuse of student
CANADA
CTV

Ryan Flanagan, CTV Kitchener
Published Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Kitchener teacher was suspended from his job without pay for one month last summer after admitting to professional misconduct.

Matthew Kras was accused of verbally, emotionally and sexually abusing a student.

He pleaded guilty to professional misconduct over the emotional and verbal abuse, but did not admit to sexual abuse and is no longer facing that allegation.

In addition to the suspension, his penalty included a public reprimand from the Ontario College of Teachers and having to take a training course on appropriate boundaries. …

Kras currently works at Resurrection Catholic Secondary School in Kitchener. He did not reply to multiple requests for comment before this story was published.

Posted on February 23, 2017 6:59 PM

Two mothers who were sexually abused thirty years ago by Catholic primary school teacher join forces to make sure he stays on sex offenders register for life
UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Steph Cockroft for MailOnline

Two mothers who were sexually abused by their Catholic primary school teacher more than 30 years ago joined forces to make sure he stays on the sex offenders register for life.

Kate Taylor, 37, and Kerrie Jones, 35, were among seven schoolgirls who were abused by Gerard Kelly when they were just six years old.

The paedophile, now 59, was convicted of his crimes in February 1999 – 14 years after the attacks took place – and jailed for five years. He was also put on the sex offenders register for life.

But last year, when Ms Taylor contacted police to find out what had happened to her abuser, she discovered he had applied to have his name removed from the register, under a law which was introduced in 2012.

Determined to stop that from happening, Ms Taylor, from Doncaster, then contacted Kelly’s other victims in a bid to block the move.

Ms Jones agreed to help and, together, they launched a successful campaign to ensure his name remains on the register.
Posted on February 23, 2017 6:56 PM

FOILED BY VICTIMS Brave child abuse victims re-unite 30 years later to stop twisted perv teacher being removed from sex offenders’ register
UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

BY HANNAH CROUCH 23rd February 2017,

TWO mums who were sexually abused as children by the same man joined forces thirty years later to ensure their abuser remains on the sex offenders register.

Kate Taylor, 37, and Kerrie Jones, 35, were abused by their Catholic primary school teacher Gerard Kelly now 59, when they were just six years old.

n February 1999, 14 years after the abuse took place, Kelly was convicted of indecent assault against seven underage schoolgirls – including Kate and Kerrie – and was sentenced to five years in prison at Doncaster Crown Court.

He was also ordered on to the sex offenders register for life.

Last year, Kate, an office manager, contacted the police to find out what had happened to her abuser, and discovered he had applied to come off the register following a law change in 2012 which allows sex abusers to apply to come off the register.
Posted on February 23, 2017 6:54 PM

Priest Speaks to Media Before Sexual Assault Court Hearing
WISCONSIN
CBS 58

[with video]

A priest is facing a number of sexual assault charges involving a child from a local school.

The complaint said Robert Marsicek sexually assaulted a young girl while working as a priest at St. Pius X Grade School in Wauwatosa.

Marsicek said before his first court appearance he hadn’t read the criminal complaint.

Last December, a 15-year-old girl went to the Wauwatosa Police Department and told them that she was sexually assaulted from first to fourth grade.

She said it happened while she was a student St. Pius X Grade School in Wauwatosa and that Father Bob as he was known repeatedly hugged her, had her sit on his lap, and rubbed her thighs and hips and private areas.

In court, the county commissioner ordered him not to have contact with the alleged victim or any unsupervised contact with a minor.

Posted on February 23, 2017 6:38 PM

Le cardinal Lacroix nie avoir camouflé un scandale de pédophilie
CANADA
Le Soleil

[Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix categorically denies having camouflaged a scandal of pedophilia in the 1970s and 1980s at the Pius X Secular Institute of which he became secretary-general in 1982.]

(Québec) Le cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix nie catégoriquement avoir camouflé un scandale de pédophilie dans les années 1970 et 1980 à l’Institut séculier Pie X, dont il est devenu secrétaire général en 1982.

Dans un message publié mercredi matin sur sa page Facebook, l’archevêque de Québec réfute les allégations d’André Lachance, un homme qui affirme avoir été agressé sexuellement durant une quinzaine d’années par un oncle et missionnaire laïc de l’Institut. Les abus étaient connus des supérieurs religieux, allègue M. Lachance, en ajoutant que Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, membre de l’Institut séculier puis secrétaire général, lui avait demandé à deux reprises de pardonner à son agresseur, Jean-Paul Lachance.

Posted on February 23, 2017 4:47 PM

Keine zureichenden Anhaltspunkte
DEUTSCHLAND
Bishofliches Ordinariat Wurzburg

[Abuse Commissioner Professor Klaus Laubenthal stayed proceedings against a priest in the Wurzburg diocese. He found no reason to restrict activities.]

Missbrauchsbeauftragter Professor Dr. Klaus Laubenthal stellt Verfahren gegen Priester ein – Diözese: Keine Grundlage, Priester in Tätigkeiten einzuschränken

Würzburg (POW) Professor Dr. Klaus Laubenthal, Missbrauchsbeauftragter der Diözese Würzburg, hat das Verfahren gegen einen Priester der Diözese Würzburg eingestellt. Das teilte er Bischof Dr. Friedhelm Hofmann in einem Schreiben mit. Seit April 2016 hatte Laubenthal einen weiteren „Vorwurf des sexuellen Missbrauchs oder einer Übergriffigkeit“ bezogen auf den Priester untersucht. Bereits 2014/15 war ein erster Vorwurf gegen den Priester mit einer kirchenrechtlichen Voruntersuchung geprüft worden. Diese hatte zum Ergebnis, „dass der Vorwurf eines sexuellen Missbrauchs gegen (…) begründet nicht aufrechterhalten werden kann“. Die Kongregation für die Glaubenslehre in Rom hatte nach umfassender Prüfung dieses Ergebnisses mitgeteilt, dass das Verfahren einzustellen sei. Die Staatsanwaltschaft hatte 2016 das Verfahren wegen prozessualer Verfolgungsverjährung eingestellt. Für die Diözese Würzburg bedeuten beide Ergebnisse, dass gegen den Ruhestandspriester keinerlei Vorwürfe aufrechterhalten werden können. Damit ist keine Grundlage gegeben, den Priester in seinen Tätigkeiten einzuschränken.

Posted on February 23, 2017 4:43 PM

Un Français accusé d’agression sexuelle sur des migrants mineurs en Grèce
GRECE
France Actu

[A French national who has been living in Greece for 10 years and who works for a Catholic association was detained after charges of sexual assault. He allegedly attacked Pakistani minors whom he hosted.]

Un ressortissant français, établi depuis 10 ans en Grèce et qui travaille pour une association catholique, a été placé en détention après des accusations d’agression sexuelle. Il s’en serait pris à des mineurs pakistanais qu’il hébergeait.

Depuis 10 ans, il affirme effectuer une mission philanthropique pour l’ordre catholique des Franciscains, à Thessalonique, dans le nord de la Grèce. Ce Français de 52 ans, dont l’identité n’a pas été révélée, a été interpellé à la suite d’accusations de migrants mineurs. Selon la police, deux Pakistanais de 14 et 17 ans assurent que l’homme qui les a hébergés chez lui, les a “abusés sexuellement à plusieurs reprises”.
Posted on February 23, 2017 4:40 PM

Diocese to pray for victims of abuse
MAINE
Courieri

Bishop Robert P. Deeley has designated Friday, March 3, as a diocesan-wide Day of Prayer and Penance to seek forgiveness for past harm while offering prayers for the healing of victims/survivors of sexual abuse in the Catholic church. The day will also reaffirm the Diocese of Portland’s continuing pledge to provide a safe environment for children.

Deeley will celebrate Mass on the Day of Prayer and Penance at 12:15 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland.

Priests throughout the diocese are being encouraged to observe the Day of Prayer and Penance by offering Masses on March 3 that include prayers for victims/ survivors of abuse for their healing; for perpetrators of abuse to seek and find repentance and justice; for diocesan clergy, employees and volunteers to serve with a spirit of respect and humility; and for families to create a safe, loving, and peaceful environment for their children.

Posted on February 23, 2017 4:35 PM

Founder of Skype supports congregational rabbi training
ISRAEL
Arutz Sheva

Shimon Cohen, 23/02/17

The Association of Community Rabbis has begun a professional training series for synagogue and community rabbis.

In addition to halachic training such as for conducting weddings, family life, and practical kashrut adjudication tools, the rabbis receive comprehensive professional training including courses in mediation and reconciliation, domestic tranquility, handling extreme cases (family and community violence, sexual abuse, etc.), rhetoric and individual dialogue, economic support for needy families, media and public relations issues, and more.

Kevin Bermeister, a Jewish businessman from Australia, decided to assume financial responsibility for a significant part of the rabbinic training programs and scholarships.

Posted on February 23, 2017 4:31 PM

Former school priest accused of sexually assaulting young girl
WISCONSIN
WISN

WAUWATOSA, Wis. —
A former school priest known to students as “Father Bob” touched a young girl on her buttocks, vagina and breasts over the course of nearly three years, a criminal complaint said.

Robert Marsicek, now 75, faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted on three counts of 1st degree sexual assault of a child under age 13.

According to the charging document, the assaults occurred between September 2007 and the end of June 2010 while Marsicek worked at St. Pius X Grade School, on the 2500 block of Wauwatosa Avenue.

The complaint details at least seven instances in which the girl, identified only as AC, alleged that Marsicek touched her inappropriately while hugging her, comforting her or playing with her.

Posted on February 23, 2017 4:30 PM

Child abuse inquiry panel decision defended by John Swinney
SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has defended his decision to leave a major inquiry into child abuse in care in Scotland with just one panel member.

Glenn Houston resigned from the Scottish child abuse inquiry panel this week to avoid any potential conflict of interest after he accepted two other public appointments.

He is the third original panel member to resign from the inquiry after Susan O’Brien QC quit following claims she had made comments that were ”offensive” to survivors while professor Michael Lamb stepped down after saying the review is ”doomed” due to interference by ministers.

Posted on February 23, 2017 4:28 PM

Ex-IOR execs Cipriani, Tulli get 4 mths (3)
ROME
ANSA

(ANSA) – Rome, February 23 – The former director-general of the Vatican Bank (IOR), Paolo Cipriani, and his former deputy Massimo Tulli were sentenced to four months and 10 days in jail Thursday for breaching anti-money-laundering norms in a number of suspect transactions. The former IOR chiefs were acquitted for alleged irregularities linked to a 23-million-euro bank transfer, a sum that was seized by investigators in 2010. Last month a Rome prosecutor asked for sentences of one year in jail for Cipriani and 10 months for Tulli a trial into suspected breaches of Italy’s anti-money-laundering norms linked to two suspicious operations that led to the 2010 seizure of the 23 million euros, which was later returned to the Holy See’s bank. The Vatican Bank, or Institute for Religious Works (IOR), operated in Italy without authorization for 40 years, Rome prosecutors said in the case.

Posted on February 23, 2017 4:26 PM

2 EX-VATICAN BANK EXECS CONVICTED OF MINOR OFFENSES
ROME
Associated Press

ROME (AP) — A Rome court has convicted two former top managers of the Vatican’s scandal-marred bank for minor violations of anti-money laundering norms.

According to the ANSA news agency, the two were absolved of a more serious charge but were convicted Thursday of omissions in communications involving three small transfers and were sentenced to four months, 10 days each. Their lawyers plan to appeal.

Paolo Cipriani and Massimo Tulli resigned under pressure in 2013 from the Vatican bank – called Institute for Religious Works, or IOR. The bank’s leadership had been under investigation since 2010 for allegedly violating Italy’s anti-money laundering laws involving routine bank transactions.

Posted on February 23, 2017 4:25 PM

Former Wauwatosa priest charged with sexual assault of a child
WISCONSIN
TMJ4

[with video[

WAUWATOSA, Wis. – Robert Marsicek, a former priest at St. Pius X Grade School in Wauwatosa, has been charged with three counts of child sexual assault.

Milwaukee County Circuit Court records indicate that in December of last year, a student at St. Pius told police Marsicek had sexually assaulted them, hugging them and touching them inappropriately.

The student recalled the abuse continuing from first grade to fourth grade in a detailed report to police.

Detectives questioned “Father Bob,” about these allegations in January, at which time he remembered interacting with the student but said it was not inappropriate.

When asked if he was attracted to small boys and girls, Marsicek admitted that, “Certainly I’m aroused just the cuteness and beauty of them.”

Posted on February 23, 2017 4:12 PM

Rogers City priest facing CSC charges in district court
MICHIGAN
Presque Isle County Advance

by Peter Jakey—

A Rogers City priest has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct (CSC).

The Rev. Sylvestre Ochieng Obwaka, 44, was arraigned Tuesday morning in 89th District Court in Rogers City in front of district Judge Maria Barton.

The judge read the charges to Obwaka, who is the priest at St. Ignatius Catholic Church of Rogers City.

Count one is CSC first degree, personal injury, while the second count is CSC third degree, force or coercion. Both are felonies and both charges involve a male victim, according to Presque Isle County prosecutor Ken Radzibon. The alleged offenses occurred “on or about Feb. 1,” the complaint states.

“Charges have been authorized based upon an investigation conducted by the Michigan State Police (MSP),” said Radzibon after the arraignment. “The defendant was arraigned today (Feb. 21). I would just remind people that obviously all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

Posted on February 23, 2017 1:47 PM

Charged: Man who used to be priest at Wauwatosa school accused of inappropriate contact with young girl
WISCONSIN
Fox 6

MILWAUKEE — 75-year-old Robert Marsicek of Milwaukee is charged with three counts of first-degree child sexual assault – contact with a child under age 13. This, in connection with events that allegedly took place at St. Pius X Grade School in Wauwatosa.

In December 2016, a 15-year-old girl went to Wauwatosa police to discuss allegations that she was sexually assaulted by Marsicek, also known as Father Bob.

According to the criminal complaint, the alleged victim told police Marsicek was the priest at the school. She said starting in first grade, Marsicek would “hug her” and often touch her in inappropriate ways. The complaint indicates these incidents happened from first through fourth grade.

On January 10th, the complaint indicates “Father Bob was questioned” by a detective about the incidents in the complaint. Marsicek recalled interacting with the student — but was not specific about any instance in particular.

Posted on February 23, 2017 1:45 PM

Two Dundee establishments investigated as part of Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry
SCOTLAND
The Courier

by Stefan Morkis
February 23 2017

A former school and defunct orphanage in Dundee are both being investigated as part of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

The inquiry is probing historic child abuse across Scotland. More than 60 residential and care establishments are being investigated.

The two Dundee institutions being investigated both closed down in the early 1980s: the Balgowan List D School and the Roseangle Orphanage (St Vincents).

The inquiry is collecting evidence from the victims of abuse. …

A number of organisations, including two survivors’ groups, the Scottish Government, Police Scotland and Quarriers have been granted “core participant” status in the inquiry.

Neither the Catholic Church of the Church of Scotland has so far applied for core participant status although the Catholic Church has said it may do so in due course.

Posted on February 23, 2017 12:41 PM

Priest charged with sex assault of child at Wauwatosa parish
WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Annysa Johnson , Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Feb. 23, 2017

Four years after he was removed from ministry because of alleged inappropriate contact with children, a Milwaukee priest has been charged with three counts of felony sexual assault of a child beginning when she was 6 years old.

The Rev. Robert R. Marsicek, 75, who had been the subject of numerous complaints from parents over the years and escaped a criminal charge in 2013, was charged Wednesday and is scheduled to appear in Milwaukee Circuit Court at Thursday.

According to a criminal complaint, Marcicek repeatedly touched the child while at Pius X Parish and school in Wauwatosa between 2007 and 2010. She said Marsicek, who defended himself over the years as merely overly affectionate, at one point laid on her and touched her breasts and at another reached under her jumper to “pat” her vagina.

Marsicek told detectives that the girl was clingy and liked to sit on his lap, and that he told her it was not acceptable. He said he did not remember the rest of her allegations.

Posted on February 23, 2017 11:15 AM

Bishops unhappy with speed of Vatican trials for alleged abusers
IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

Delays in how the Vatican tackles cases of priests accused of abuse continue to be a concern for Irish bishops, a spokesman for the hierarchy has confirmed.

Addressing Australia’s royal commission into the institutional handling of abuse allegations earlier this month, Teresa Devlin, CEO of the Irish Church’s safeguarding board, said she believed that Ireland’s bishops may have asked for steps to be taken to address these delays and she knew “there is a keenness” on the part of the bishops “for this to be moved along much quicker”.

However, a spokesman for the Bishops’ Conference told The Irish Catholic that while “The lengths of penal trials have always been a concern for bishops and priests,” he had no information available on “particular representations to the CDF on this matter”.

Elphin’s Bishop Kevin Doran told The Irish Catholic that as far as he was aware, “no specific changes” had been sought from the CDF.

Posted on February 23, 2017 11:13 AM

Retired Geelong Bishop speaks of Royal Commission into child abuse
AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

Jemma Ryan, Geelong Advertiser
February 23, 2017

RETIRED Bishop Peter Danaher has spoken for the first time about his shock and devastation at the findings of the Royal Commission into institutional child abuse within the church.

A report, which focused on the institutional response to reported cases of abuse within the church, was released earlier this month.

Almost 2000 members of the Catholic clergy were named as alleged perpetrators of 4,400 allegations of sexual abuse.

Bishop Danaher, a Former Vicar of All Saints’ Anglican Parish in Newtown, labelled the acts, and institutional cover up that ensued, a “disgrace” and said he was pleased to see the “criminals” who betrayed the church and the wider community ousted in such a public way.

“There is absolutely no way that any of these crimes can be excused or ignored. What has happened is grossly sinful and brings shame on all involved,” he said.

Posted on February 23, 2017 11:08 AM

Teacher fired, investigated over abuse allegation at Yeshiva
PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

February 22, 2017

By Karen Kane / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The president of an Orthodox Jewish school in Squirrel Hill said Wednesday that an elementary teacher was fired in September after a witness reported observing him having inappropriate sexual contact with a child.

Shlomo Jacobs, president of the Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, said Nisson Friedman had been a teacher at the school since 2014 before his firing.

Mr. Friedman, 26, of Squirrel Hill, taught boys in the first and second grades. He is married, but his wife has initiated divorce and custody proceedings. according to documents filed in the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. The couple has a young child.

According to his wife’s filing, Mr. Friedman “is currently under investigation in Pittsburgh, PA for at least one incident of child sexual abuse with a minor other than (the couple’s own) child. These allegations … relate to the Pittsburgh school at which (Mr. Friedman) was employed at the time. He was fired shortly thereafter.”

The court approved her petition to receive sole custody of the child on an interim emergency basis due to the investigation.

Posted on February 23, 2017 11:04 AM

Christian Brothers defend spending $1.5m funding paedophile Robert Best’s legal defence
AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

THE Christian Brothers say they only paid a convicted pedophile’s latest legal fees after previously spending more than $1.5 million defending him because he decided to plead guilty.

A Victorian County Court judge says he is “blown away” that the Catholic Church still funds the legal defence for Brother Robert Best, who has been convicted of sex offences against 11 boys and this week admitted abusing a further 20.

Christian Brothers Oceania Province leader Brother Peter Clinch says the order agreed it would fund the latest case only if Best pleaded guilty. “We agreed that if the person pleaded guilty we would support the plea. Full stop,” Brother Clinch told the child sex abuse royal commission on Wednesday.

“We would not contest and we would not pay for any trial and we would not pay for any appeal.”

The Christian Brothers had spent $1.53 million defending Best by 2015. Marist Brothers provincial Brother Peter Carroll said the order paid for the defence of brothers charged with child sex offences whether they pleaded guilty or not.

Posted on February 23, 2017 7:28 AM

Royal Commission into child sex abuse: Archbishop refused to apologise to mother of teen victim
AUSTRALIA
The Daily Telegraph

Ian Paterson, The Daily Telegraph

A HEARTLESS archbishop has refused to apologise to a 92-year-old mother for the sexual abuse a priest inflicted on her then teenage daughter, who later committed suicide.

The Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart yesterday fronted the royal commission into child sex abuse to issue a series of apologies for the Catholic Church’s handling of a “tsunami” of cases but refused to even acknowledge that Eileen Piper’s daughter Stephanie had been sexually assaulted over several years by a disgraced former priest.

Ms Piper took her own life in Melbourne in 1994 after ­allegedly suffering sexual abuse between the ages of 15 and 18 when in a youth group run by Father Gerard Mulvale.

After 23 years, her mother is still battling with the Melbourne archdiocese, which ­refuses to acknowledge the abuse of her daughter.

Mulvale, the priest who ­allegedly raped Stephanie during her late teens, was sentenced to three years jail in 1995 for indecently assaulting two teenage boys who were in the same youth group.

Posted on February 23, 2017 7:22 AM

4 new sex abuse lawsuits filed against church
GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

All four alleged victims claim they were sexually abused by former Guam priest Father Louis Brouillard.

Guam – The Archdiocese of Agana is now facing a total of $110 million in lawsuits with the addition of four new civil claims of sexual abuse that were filed yesterday.

The four new plaintiffs are Benny Manglona, Johnny Bascon, Albino Bascon and Roque Flores. All four identify their alleged sexual abuser as former Guam Priest Father Louis Brouillard and say the sexual abuse happened in the 1970s at either the Malojloj church or the Barrigada parish. All four boys were between the ages of 10 to 15 years old and were serving as altar boys while Brouillard was a parish priest and scout master at the Guam Boy’s Scout.

Brouillard is now facing 14 lawsuits for civil claims of sexual abuse. He has admitted to being a sexual predator while serving as a priest on Guam, signing an affidavit in which he says he doesn’t recall exactly how many young boys he may have molested.

Posted on February 23, 2017 7:19 AM

Greece charges cleric with child refugees’ sexual abuse
GREECE
Aljazeera

Teo Kermeliotis

Greek police say they have arrested a French cleric suspected of sexually abusing unaccompanied refugee children he had sheltered in his house in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-biggest city.

The 52-year-old man, who belongs to the Franciscan Church of France, allegedly molested four homeless Pakistani boys, aged 14 to 18.

The children, who had been sleeping rough around Thessaloniki’s main railway station, told police officials that they accepted to stay at the man’s home in January after he had offered to provide them with food and housing.

“When questioned, the children said they suffered repeated and persistent sexual abuse by the man,” a police spokeswoman told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.

“They say that he took advantage of the fact that they were homeless and without food to sexually abuse them.”

Posted on February 23, 2017 7:17 AM

Vianney College seminary has introduced a second round of psychological testing for Catholic priests in training
AUSTRALIA
Daily Advertiser

Ken Grimson
23 Feb 2017

CATHOLIC priests in training at the Vianney College seminary at Wagga will undergo a second psychological assessment before being ordained as deacons as part of the church’s response to the nation’s child sex scandal.

The second test was revealed by seminary rector, Reverend Father Peter Thompson, when he appeared at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Fr Thompson said that for the most part, seminarians have been assessed in their first year at the college, but from this year each man would be tested again before being considered for the diaconate.

He said the reason for adding second test was “by the time they get to their seventh year their original psychological test is a long way away.”

Posted on February 23, 2017 7:16 AM

Catholic leaders ‘criminally negligent’ on child abuse: archbishop
AUSTRALIA
The New Daily

Australia’s metropolitan Catholic archbishops agree a “catastrophic failure” of leadership contributed to ongoing child sexual abuse by clergy across the country.

The archbishops of Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide are jointly giving evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual abuse in Sydney.

Counsel assisting Gail Furness SC on Thursday asked each of them whether they agreed leadership failures were responsible for ongoing abuse in the church.

“I think you might want to use stronger words (than failure), in some cases,” Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher said.

“It was a kind of criminal negligence to deal with some of the problems that were staring us in the face.”

Posted on February 23, 2017 7:10 AM

Archbishop makes explosive claim at Royal Commission
AUSTRALIA
Starts at 60

No doubt you’ve been following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse over the past few months.

We’ve heard from convicted priests and some of their victims, and now the attention is turning to the heads of the Catholic church in Australia.

Today two of the church’s most senior Australian leaders fronted the commission, and one of them made an explosive claim about the church’s response to child sex abuse allegations.

According to reports by the ABC, the Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher told the commission that response by catholic leaders amounted to “criminal negligence”.

“It was a kind of criminal negligence to deal with some of the problems that were staring us in the face,” he said.

“In other cases, I think there were people that were just like rabbits in the headlights, they just had no idea what to do, and their performance was appalling.”

Posted on February 23, 2017 7:08 AM

Archbishop meets 92yo over alleged abuse
By Rebekah Ison
Australian Associated Press

A 92-year-old woman fighting for justice over her late daughter’s alleged sexual abuse has met with Melbourne’s Catholic archbishop but says his sympathies don’t cut the mustard.

Eileen Piper says Archbishop Denis Hart gave her a letter and said he would pray for her in a closed-door meeting shortly after he gave evidence at the child abuse royal commission on Thursday.

Ms Piper’s lawyer, Judy Courtin, said Archbishop Hart extended his sympathies for what had happened to the widow, whose 32-year-old daughter Stephanie killed herself in 1994, the year after revealing she had been raped by Pallottine priest Gerard Mulvale as a teen.

But he did not acknowledge the abuse occurred, Ms Piper said

“I’m sorry to say… nothing has changed,” Ms Piper, who travelled from Melbourne, told reporters after the meeting outside the royal commission in Sydney.

“It’s not over. I’m not prepared to let that happen.”

Posted on February 23, 2017 7:06 AM

Archbishop Admits To ‘Castastrophic’ Failure In Leadership Over Child Sex Abuse
AUSTRALIA
Christian Today

Ruth Gledhill EDITOR 23 February 2017

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, has told Australia’s Royal Commission into institutional child sex abuse that the response by Catholic Church to allegations amount to ‘criminal negligence’.

Fisher, aged 57, who succeeded Cardinal George Pell as Archbishop of Sydney in 2014, said: ‘It was a kind of criminal negligence to deal with some of the problems that were staring us in the face.

‘In other cases, I think there were people that were just like rabbits in the headlights, they just had no idea what to do, and their performance was appalling,’ he added according to ABC.

Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe admitted there had been a ‘catastrophic’ failure in Church leadership.

He said child sex abuse ran counter to what the Church claimed to be.

Posted on February 23, 2017 7:05 AM

‘It’s wrong. It’s unfair’: A mother’s 23-year search for a Church apology
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with video]

By Patrick Wood

Eileen Piper has told her daughter’s tragic story so many times she can recount the facts with a steely determination.

There was a Catholic youth club, a priest, allegations of horrific sexual abuse followed by Church denial. And then her daughter committed suicide.

The 92-year-old is kept awake at night by these events, yet said she finds strength in chasing the truth about what happened to her child.

It’s only when asked what she would like to hear from the archbishops who will appear at the child abuse royal commission that Eileen finally starts to look worn out.

“I’ve got a broken heart,” she said.

Posted on February 23, 2017 7:00 AM

Archbishop Says Child Abuse Response Appalling, ‘Kind Of Criminal Negligence’
AUSTRALIA
Huffington Post

Eoin Blackwell Senior Associate Editor, HuffPost Australia

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney has told a Royal Commission the response by church leaders to abuse allegations by children amounted to “criminal negligence”.

On Thursday the archbishops of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth appeared before the sex abuse Royal Commission to give evidence on what the Church is doing to address its decades long failure to protect children.

The archbishops were asked by Counsel assisting, Gail Furness, if a failure of leadership was responsible for abuse in the church.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher said a stronger term might be used.

“That it was a kind of criminal negligence to deal with some of the problems that were staring us in the face,” he said

Posted on February 23, 2017 6:58 AM

A 92 year old woman’s plea for justice from the Catholic Church
AUSTRALIA
Independent Australia

Dr Judy Courtin 23 February 2017

This morning, Eileen Piper, a 92 year old mother who lost her only daughter, Stephanie, to suicide at age 32 after being repeatedly raped by Catholic priest, Gerard Mulvale, told her story to ABC’s Fran Kelly.

(You can listen to the interview here.)

EILEEN AND her lawyer, Dr Judy Courtin, travelled to Sydney to confront Archibishop Denis Hart today at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It is a heartbreaking story of unmitigated injustice. The Catholic Church have conspired to trash her daughter’s reputation — and hold fast to the findings of the church’s farcical self-investigation decades ago.

Dr Judy Courtin tells Eileen’s story:

Mrs Eileen Piper, my 92-year old client, has been fighting the Catholic Church for 25 years.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is soon to complete its wrap-up hearing into the Catholic Church. Whilst the church “hangs it head in shame”, we are assured by the hierarchy that “today’s church is significantly different”.

Mrs Piper and many other victims fervently disagree.

Posted on February 23, 2017 6:56 AM

Elderly mum gets meeting but no apology from archbishop at Royal Commission
AUSTRALIA
SBS

Eileen Piper says Archbishop Denis Hart gave her a letter and said he would pray for her in a closed-door meeting shortly after he gave evidence at the child abuse royal commission on Thursday.

Ms Piper’s lawyer, Judy Courtin, said Archbishop Hart extended his sympathies for what had happened to the widow, whose 32-year-old daughter Stephanie killed herself in 1994, the year after saying she had been raped by Pallottine priest Gerard Mulvale as a teen.

But he did not acknowledge the abuse occurred, Ms Piper said

“I’m sorry to say… nothing has changed,” Ms Piper, who travelled from Melbourne, told reporters after the meeting outside the royal commission in Sydney.

“It’s not over. I’m not prepared to let that happen.”

Mulvale was charged with offences relating to Stephanie but they were dropped after she died.

Posted on February 23, 2017 6:54 AM

I failed in victim dealings: Archbishop
AUSTRALIA
7 News

Megan Neil – AAP on February 23, 2017

Adelaide’s Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson admits his dealings with child sex abuse survivors have failed at times.

Archbishop Wilson, believed to be the most senior Catholic official in the world to face a charge of concealing child sex abuse, says the church leadership carries a big responsibility to ensure changes occur so children are protected.

The archbishop accepts the Adelaide archdiocese’s dealings with abuse survivors have not always been a success.

“There are some parts of our experience in Adelaide that I wasn’t happy that we did it as well as we could,” he told the child sex abuse royal commission on Thursday.

“Sometimes I have failed in that area but I would really make it a high point to try to engage with the survivors as much as I can.”

Posted on February 23, 2017 6:52 AM

‘Criminally negligent’: Catholic archbishops criticise church’s handling of abuse scandal
AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Christopher Knaus
Thursday 23 February 2017

Australia’s most senior Catholic leaders have conceded that the church’s handling of the child sexual abuse crisis was “hopelessly inadequate”, had catastrophic consequences, and amounted to “criminal negligence”.

Five of Australia’s metropolitan archbishops appeared before the child abuse royal commission on Thursday, asked to explain how the church had allowed the abuse of at least 4,444 children between between 1980 and 2015.

Perth archbishop, Timothy Costelloe, said a major cause of the abuse complaints and the abysmal response to complaints was the leadership’s belief in the “untouchability of the church”, which filtered down to bishops and priests.

“The church in a sense saw itself as a law unto itself; that it was somehow or other so special and so unique, and in a sense so important, that it stood aside from the normal things that would be a part of any other body,” Costelloe said.

“There was a profound cultural presupposition about the uniqueness of the church … in a sense the untouchability of the church, in that it didn’t have to answer to anybody else,” he said.

“It only had to answer to itself.”

He described the church’s respo

Posted on February 23, 2017 6:50 AM

Catholic leaders speak of church’s ‘catastrophic failure’ in past approach to child abuse
AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

Australia’s most senior Catholic leaders delivered a scathing assessment of their church’s past approach to victims of child sexual abuse, telling a royal commission it was “criminal negligence” and “a catastrophic failure”.

Five metropolitan archbishops appeared before a packed hearing room at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which is examining Catholic church authorities in a three-week inquiry.

Sydney archbishop Anthony Fisher described the church’s response to victims as “criminal negligence”.

“There were people who were just like rabbits in the headlights, they had no idea what to do and their performance was appalling,” he said.

Posted on February 23, 2017 6:44 AM

February 22, 2017
Church funded abuser’s three-year fight not to be extradited to NZ
AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

MEGAN NEIL

A Catholic order’s leader dropped to his knees and begged a brother to face child sex abuse charges in New Zealand yet still paid to take the extradition battle as far as Australia’s highest court.

Brother Timothy Graham believes his predecessor as provincial of the Australian Hospitaller Order of St John of God should not have funded the three-year extradition fight.

The issue caused great controversy, Brother Graham told the Australian child sex abuse royal commission on Wednesday.

St John of God’s Brother Rodger Moloney and Father Raymond John Garchow were eventually extradited to New Zealand to face charges they sexually abused boys at Christchurch special school Marylands in the 1970s, after the High Court refused their special leave application in 2006.

Moloney was jailed in 2008 for two years and nine months for offences against five boys, while the case against Garchow did not proceed due to his and a complainant’s ill health.

Posted on February 22, 2017 9:13 PM

Pope’s abuse advisory group ‘underfunded’
AUSTRALIA
NT News

By Rebekah Ison, Australian Associated Press

Pope Francis’ child sexual abuse advisory group is under-resourced and struggling to carry out its work, a royal commission sitting in Sydney has heard.

Members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors on Thursday agreed the Catholic Church was still struggling to deal with its child safety responsibilities.

Australian commission member Kathleen McCormack said underfunding, infrequent meetings, and structural and cultural barriers were hampering the group’s work.

“Our budget would be what you would do in a diocese, but we’re dealing with the whole world,” she said at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Thursday.

UK member Sheila Hollins agreed the commission was struggling to operate.

“Why can’t you go to the Pope and say ‘We don’t have the resources we need to effectively carry out our work’?” royal commission chair Peter McClellan asked.

Baroness Hollins replied: “That may well be something we want to feed back to him when we complete our review.”

Posted on February 22, 2017 9:10 PM

The Catholic Church Must Show Leadership For Abuse Survivors
AUSTRALIA
Huffington Post

Michelle James
Principal and the head of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers’ Abuse Practice

Extraordinary details have continued to emerge at The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse about the extent of sexual abuse and alleged perpetrators within the Catholic Church, as well as compensation paid.

The statistics are shocking — more than 4,400 cases of alleged abuse have been recorded, and close to $280 million in compensation paid over 35 years. Significant concerns were also raised about barriers to compensation in dealing with the Catholic Church, including through the Church’s Towards Healing process.

Sadly, the struggle for survivors seeking access to compensation is a tale we have heard all too often when it comes to the Catholic Church — whether this is sought through the Towards Healing process or directly through a diocese or affiliated organisation.

For too long the Catholic Church has been hiding behind a complex legal defence known as the ‘Ellis defence’ that blocks victims from suing for compensation. Based on a 2007 NSW Court of Appeal decision involving abuse survivor John Ellis who was sexually abused by a priest in the 1970s, the defence essentially protects the Catholic Church from liability to be sued because it is not a legal entity. So despite well-documented abuse occurring within countless Catholic Church owned, affiliated and operated organisations, survivors must instead seek compensation directly from the diocese or congregation concerned, while the broader church remains at arm’s length.

Posted on February 22, 2017 9:07 PM

Catholics for Renewal president Peter Johnstone says Vatican diplomatic recognition is in question because of abuse crisis
AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
23 Feb 2017

A FORMER senior federal and state government executive and leading Australian Catholic reform group president has backed calls for Australia to break diplomatic ties with the Vatican over the tragedy of child sexual abuse.

Catholics for Renewal president Peter Johnstone said the response was “right on the money”, in comments after telling the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that Australia needed to send a “hard” message to Pope Francis and the Vatican.

“I have no hesitation in arguing the royal commission should say to the government that if the Catholic Church will not cooperate in making major changes – and the Australian church can’t change without the global church changing – then the government should say to the Catholic Church it will reconsider its diplomatic recognition of the Holy See,” Mr Johnstone said on Tuesday.
Posted on February 22, 2017 7:14 PM

Pope’s adviser: license and train priests to prevent child abuse
AUSTRALIA
The Australian

February 23, 2017

SAM BUCKINGHAM-JONES
JournalistSydney

Licenses and regular training for priests and bishops should be considered as a measure to protect children from abuse, a group advising the Pope on the issue says.

Baroness Sheila Hollins, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, told a Royal Commission this morning registration licenses like those used by medical professionals could be an option for priests, who would then go through an “appraisal system” of regular education.

“I don’t see why there couldn’t be an appraisal system, and why that appraisal system shouldn’t require feedback from parishioners and others with whom a priest is in regular contact,” Baroness Hollins told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney. baroness

“The answer is often that the sacramental part of the priest’s role is not something which could be subject to external, lay scrutiny. But my view is that there is a part of a priest’s role which is very similar to the kind of professional role that, for example, doctors and teachers might have. That part of their role could be subject to licensing.”

Posted on February 22, 2017 7:12 PM

Quebec City man accuses Cardinal Lacroix of turning blind eye to sexual abuse
CANADA
CBC News

A Quebec City man is suing a Catholic community, the Pius X Secular Institute, for nearly $370,000, alleging it failed to protect him from an alleged pedophile.

The suit also contends that Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, a leading figure in the institute — now the archbishop of Quebec and Catholic Primate of Canada — was aware of the alleged abuse but did nothing.

André Lachance, 48, alleges he was sexually assaulted about 80 times on the institute’s grounds by his uncle, Jean-Paul Lachance, who was a lay member of the religious community.

The elder Lachance killed himself in 2014.

Posted on February 22, 2017 5:06 PM

Royal commission: Who’s who of Catholic archbishops giving evidence in Sydney this week
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Philippa McDonald

Five of Australia’s Catholic archbishops will front the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in the final days of the public hearing in Sydney.

This is who they are, what their public statements about child abuse documented by the royal commission have been, and what their relationships are to Cardinal George Pell.

Posted on February 22, 2017 5:04 PM

New suits claim altar boy service front for abuse
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post

Four new civil lawsuits have been filed against the Archdiocese of Agana in the District Court of Guam alleging the practice of altar boy service ultimately became a “tool by which sexually predatory priests would gain access to young boys.”

The four cases filed yesterday raised the total number of cases filed against the Archdiocese of Agana to 22 with the total amount of damages sought now totaling $110 million.

The lawsuits filed by Albino Bascon, Johnny Bascon, Benny Manglona and Roque Flores allege sexual abuse by former Guam priest Louis Brouillard, who now resides in Minnesota. Each plaintiff is seeking a minimum of $5 million in damages and accuses the Catholic Church of using the “ritual” of altar boy service as a disguise to have sexual access to young boys.

Each of the plaintiffs served as altar boys at various parishes where Brouillard served as priest during his time on Guam in the early 1970s.
Posted on February 22, 2017 3:31 PM

Eugene priest heading to trial on prostitution charges
OREGON
The Register-Guard

By Jack Moran
The Register-Guard
FEB. 22, 2017

With a trial in the case set to begin Wednesday, Lane County prosecutors have dismissed the lone felony charge against a Eugene priest charged with paying for sex with an underage girl.

The move, announced Tuesday in a court filing by Assistant Lane County District Attorney JoAnn Miller, means that Daniel James MacKay will go to trial on nine misdemeanor charges. A six-person jury will be seated in the case.

The felony had charged MacKay with attempting to use a minor in the commission of a controlled substance offense. It alleged MacKay had used an underage girl to help him make or distribute cocaine.

MacKay, 42, is now charged with four counts of prostitution, four counts of endangering the welfare of a minor and one count of sexual misconduct.

Posted on February 22, 2017 3:29 PM

Judge to priest who stole $100K from church: You abused position of trust
ILLINOIS/WISCONSIN
Chicago Tribune

Tony Briscoe and Kate Thayer
Chicago Tribune

A Greek Orthodox priest from Chicago who pleaded guilty to stealing more than $100,000 from his church had his felony theft conviction reduced to a misdemeanor Wednesday.

A judge in Milwaukee agreed to instate the lesser conviction after the Rev. James Dokos satisfied the terms of his year-long probation, including 40 hours of community service, which he fulfilled by volunteering in a Chicago church. Dokos, 64, will continue to avoid jail time if he pays a $5,000 fine within the next year, officials said.

While leading Annunciation Church in Milwaukee, Dokos tapped into a trust fund intended to benefit the church and used the money for personal expenses, according to authorities. The priest controlled the $1 million fund — money that was left to the church by former parishioners — and used it to pay personal credit card bills, buy jewelry for a relative and provide gifts of more than $6,000 to a high-ranking church official in Chicago, among other unauthorized purchases, according to a 2013 Tribune analysis of trust fund records.

Parishioners at Annunciation began looking into the trust fund spending after Dokos was transferred by church leaders in Chicago to Sts. Peter and Paul congregation in Glenview, and later authorities in Milwaukee were contacted.

Posted on February 22, 2017 3:19 PM

Guam church’s situation is unusual, says canon lawyer
GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Feb 21, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Last week, Vatican officials came and left without hearing from Roland Sondia, one of the four men to accuse Archbishop Anthony Apuron of child molestation. The same group of clergy are likely to leave Hawaii today, also emptyhanded. And one canon lawyer shares his experience with canonical trials against clergy accused of sex abuse.

What’s happened on Guam, he says, is unusual.

Thomas Doyle is a canon lawyer and an expert in clergy sex abuse having been around since accusations of pedophile priests first surfaced over three decades ago. What he observed in last week’s visit from Vatican officials, led by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, wasn’t typical. “I’ve represented victims in canonical trials and I’ve gone with them when they’ve given their testimony,” he qualified. “There’s sometimes when they don’t want me in, but they certainly have a right to have someone with them. especially if they’ve been sexually violated.”

As we reported, Sondia was called to the chancery to meet with Cardinal Burke and the visiting clergy on Thursday morning. His attorney, David Lujan, however, was uninvited – and Sondia walked away without providing his deposition.

Doyle tells KUAM News that was the right thing to do and shares what happens behind closed doors during the very secretive canonical process. On one occasion, Doyle says he and his client walked out during a deposition. “I got fed up with the way they were talking to him and I just finally stopped the whole thing and said ‘We’re leaving. Until you guys learn how to treat a victim of sexual abuse with respect and sensitivity, we’re not coming back.'” he explained.

To date, eighteen plaintiffs have filed suit against the Archdiocese of Agana, four of whom have accused Archbishop Apuron of sexual molestation decades ago while he was a priest at Mount Carmel Church in Agat. All victims are represented by Attorney Lujan.

Posted on February 22, 2017 3:16 PM

Mother to confront bishop over abuse claim
AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

An elderly mother whose daughter killed herself after allegedly being raped by a priest says she hopes to confront a Catholic archbishop due to give evidence at a royal commission hearing.

Eileen Piper, 92, says she is pursuing justice and compensation from the church for her daughter Stephanie, 32, who took her life in January 1994 after she had allegedly been sexually abused by then-parish priest Gerard Mulvale while in her teens.

She told AAP she hopes to confront Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart outside Thursday’s hearing in Sydney and demand an apology from church authorities.

“I want them to alter the lies they’ve made and the … story they’ve told about Stephanie and to accept the truth before them, and in accepting the truth, pay me the compensation that Stephanie was deserving of,” Ms Piper said on Wednesday.

“She’s not here but I’m deserving of that too.”
Posted on February 22, 2017 1:54 PM

Leaders of religious Alabama boot camp get 20 years in prison for child abuse
ALABAMA
AL.com

By Prescotte Stokes III | [email protected]

All three leaders of the religious Alabama boot camp Saving Youth Foundation for troubled teens were given 20 year prison sentences for their role in the child abuse incurred on children under their care.

Mobile Circuit Court Judge Charles Graddick issued the sentences in front of a filled to capacity courtroom on Wednesday morning.

The leader of the church, Pastor John David Young, 55, received a 20 year sentence to be served concurrently for each of the five counts of aggravated child abuse he faced.

The other school leaders, boys’ instructor William Knott, 48, and girls’ instructor Aleshia Moffett, 42, both received 20 year sentences to be served concurrently for each of the three counts of aggravated child abuse imposed by state prosecutors.

Posted on February 22, 2017 1:52 PM

Chester Co. pastor, teaching assistant charged with raping woman after tying her up
TENNESSEE
WBBJ

[with video]

CHESTER COUNTY, Tenn. — A Henderson pastor and teaching assistant is charged with raping a woman after tying her up at his home, according to court documents.

Mike Ulmer is charged with two counts of rape and one count of sexual battery, according to an affidavit. He appeared Tuesday in court and entered a not guilty plea.

Ulmer is the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Henderson, according to his attorney, Mark Donahoe.

Director of Schools Troy Kilzer previously confirmed Ulmer was suspended without pay Feb. 17 and arrested a short time later off campus for charges involving a student.

According to Kilzer, Ulmer is a teaching assistant who most recently worked with the in-school suspension program.

Posted on February 22, 2017 12:31 PM

Four more men accuse Father Louis Brouillard of sexual molestation
GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Feb 22, 2017

By Krystal Paco

As of today, 22 plaintiffs have filed suit against the Archdiocese of Agana. According to four more filings made in the District Court of Guam late Wednesday afternoon, Albino Bascon, Johnny T. Bascon, Benny Manglona, and Roque Flores were all altar boys and Boy Scouts and all victims of Father Louis Brouillard in the 1970s.

Each of the men are suing for $5 million in damages.

Much like earlier accusations, Father Brouillard is accused of undressing and masturbating the boys, exposing them to pornography, and taking them on camping trips where they were also sexually molested.

Posted on February 22, 2017 9:03 AM

Bishop’s testimony reads like an NCR editorial
UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Feb. 22, 2017

Yesterday in my Morning Briefing, I pointed readers to a story out of Australia that highlighted testimony by Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen of Parramatta, Australia, before the Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The commission is sitting for its 50th session and has been focused most of February on the Catholic church.

I wanted to make sure that NCR readers saw what Long said, so I thought I should point you back to that story today.

Long, 55, arrived in Australia as a refugee in 1981 and was ordained an auxiliary bishop in 2011 and made bishop of Parramatta last year. He made headlines Feb. 21 when he revealed that he was sexually abused by a clergyman shortly after being offered sanctuary in Australia.

Long notes that he was not a minor then, being about 18, but as a refugee, he most certainly was a vulnerable adult. Long testified that the experience “had a powerful impact on me and I want to walk in the shoes of other victims and endeavor to attain justice and dignity for them.”

Posted on February 22, 2017 9:00 AM

Catholic orders accused of child sex abuse ‘are dying’
AUSTRALIA
The Australian

February 23, 2017

Dan Box
Crime reporter
Sydney
@DanBox10

The leaders of several major Catholic orders found to contain disproportionately high numbers of child abusers say the ­organisations are dying as their members grow old and few, if any, seek to replace them.

These orders have run dozens of schools, orphanages and other institutions across Australia, and been subject to thousands of allegations of child abuse, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard.

The Christian Brothers, a fifth of whose members were alleged child abusers between 1950 and 2010, now have an average age of 75 and no one has attempted to join the order since the mid-2000s, the commission heard yesterday.

The Marist Brothers, which runs 13 schools across Australia and had a similar proportion of its members alleged to be abusers over that time, now has an ­average age of 73 and “a trickle” of candidates for new positions.

The St John of God Brothers, 40 per cent of whom were ­alleged abusers, now have 19 members, most in their 70s and 80s, and are “effectively winding down in Australia”, their provincial leader, Timothy Graham, told the commission yesterday.

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:57 AM

Trial Underway for Former Canaan Pastor Accused of Child Sexual Abuse
MAINE
WABI

Feb 21, 2017

Taylor Kinzler

A trial got underway Tuesday for a former youth pastor from Canaan accused of sexually abusing a young girl.

28-year-old Lucas Savage is charged with unlawful sexual contact.

He was co-director of Youth Haven Ministries when arrested last March.

Savage says nothing sexual happened between him and the girl.

His wife at the time, they are now divorced, said she never witnessed any sexual abuse, and often was asleep when Savage and the girl were together.

Court documents say the abuse took place at Savage’s home, sometimes with his wife in the house.

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:52 AM

Archbishop Prowse faces Royal Commission
AUSTRALIA
Goulburn Post

David Cole
David [email protected]

21 Feb 2017

“IT is now time to listen,” Catholic Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn Christopher Prowse told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney on Tuesday.

“When I go back into the Archdiocese, I have it in my heart to hold listening sessions in the regional areas. I want to gather the victims and their families – it has been like a bush fire going through the Catholic Church in terms of faith and people’s trust in us.”

He referred to the victims of sexual abuse as “wounded healers” and said the Catholic Church had to move forward with them.

“We need to go ahead with them walking beside us, directing us, working with us. When I read those statistics that the average age was only 11…” Archbishop Prowse said, at a loss for words.

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:47 AM

Time is running out for Christian Brothers
AUSTRALIA
The Australian

February 22, 2017

Dan Box
Crime reporter
Sydney
@DanBox10

The leaders of some of Australia’s biggest Catholic orders, which have been found to contain disproportionately high numbers of child abusers, say their movements are dying as people grow old and few seek to replace them.

Giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the leader of the Christian Brothers, Peter Clinch, said most of its 280 members were over 75 and no one had attempted to join since the mid-2000s.

“It’s my opinion that if you look at the statistics and you look at the evidence that is around us, we need to be gracious in our final years,” said Brother Clinch.

Asked whether “in 30 or 40 years the Christian Brothers will essentially be just a brand on schools” run by other people, he replied “I don’t think even the brand will be there.

“I think the Christian Brothers will be no more,” he said.

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:45 AM

Child abuse royal commission to see report suppressed by Catholic Church
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Hamish Fitzsimmons

A report suppressed by the Catholic Church for more than a year will be tabled at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse this week.

The 2015 report by former Federal Court judge Donnell Ryan QC is into the Church’s compensation scheme for victims known as the Melbourne Response.

The scheme was set up in 1996 by then archbishop of Melbourne George Pell to assist people “who have been abused sexually, physically or emotionally by members of the Catholic Church”.

The ABC has been told the report examines complaints by victims about the way their cases were handled as well as caps on payments to victims.

The Church said it would not release the report because it did not want to cause further distress to abuse victims, instead opting to give it to the royal commission.

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:42 AM

Compensation hope for Scots victims of child abuse in care
SCOTLAND
The Times

Mike Wade
February 22 2017
The Times

A scheme to compensate victims of in-care child abuse is being considered by Scottish ministers for the first time.

After decades of campaigning by victims’ organisations, John Swinney has acknowledged that financial redress “could play a part in Scotland in the future”.

In a letter to a Holyrood committee, the deputy first minister said that it would be inappropriate to wait until the Scottish child abuse inquiry had been completed before progressing with a compensation scheme. He suggested that a further three-month consultation would be required before ministers could reach a final decision on redress.

There was cautious approval for Mr Swinney’s letter but one leading campaign group said it was considering withdrawing from the inquiry because of the resignation yesterday of a third member of its panel.

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:37 AM

Christian Bros defend funding pedophile
AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Megan Neil, Australian Associated Press
February 21, 2017

The Christian Brothers say they only paid a convicted pedophile’s latest legal fees after previously spending more than $1.5 million defending him because he decided to plead guilty.

A Victorian County Court judge says he is “blown away” that the Catholic Church still funds the legal defence for Brother Robert Best, who has been convicted of sex offences against 11 boys and this week admitted abusing a further 20.

Christian Brothers Oceania Province leader Brother Peter Clinch says the order agreed it would fund the latest case only if Best pleaded guilty.

“We agreed that if the person pleaded guilty we would support the plea. Full stop,” Brother Clinch told the child sex abuse royal commission on Wednesday.

“We would not contest and we would not pay for any trial and we would not pay for any appeal.”

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:34 AM

Child abusers were allowed to remain in Catholic orders, royal commission told
AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

Marist and Christian brothers allow known child sex abusers to remain in their order, a royal commission has heard.

Marist Brothers in Australia provincial Peter Carroll says, following a “vigorous and rigorous debate”, the order decided offending brothers would be allowed to stay with ministry restrictions.

The restricted brothers cannot have access to children, must live separate from a school and adhere to supervision.

“Are they allowed to call themselves brother if they wish to?” Counsel assisting Stephen Free asked Brother Carroll at the Royal Commission into Institutional a responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney on Wednesday.

“We haven’t formally taken that from them,” he replied.

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:32 AM

Christian Brothers ‘will disappear from Australia’ because of ageing membership
AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press

Wednesday 22 February 2017

A Christian Brothers’ leader has said the Catholic order will disappear from Australia in the coming decades.

Oceania provincial leader Peter Clinch said on Wednesday that the country’s youngest Christian brother was in his 50s and the order no longer sought applicants for its novitiate.

He was asked whether he thought the Christian Brothers would become nothing more than a “brand” on schools run by lay people in 30 to 40 years.

“I don’t think even the brand will be there,” he told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney.

“I think the brand Christian Brothers will be no more.”

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:30 AM

Child sex abuse royal commission hears of Catholic brothers’ secrecy culture
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Jackson Vernon

A secrecy culture of “don’t ask, don’t tell” could explain historical allegations of child sex abuse within a religious order, the royal commission has been told.

The commission’s investigation into the response of the Catholic Church into alleged abuse heard from the De La Salle Brothers, an order which had one of the highest number of alleged perpetrators ministering between 1950 and 2010.

The order was subject 328 claims of sexual abuse, including 219 claims at its BoysTown facility in Beaudesert in Queensland.

Brother Ambrose Payne told the hearing that throughout the 20th century: “A sense of secrecy was part and parcel with the culture.”

“I believe that was demonstrated in such advice given to me as a young brother: never ask a brother where he’s going, where he’s been, or where did he get that from,” Brother Ambrose said.

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:28 AM

The Conversation We Need to Have About Milo: Child Sexual Abuse and the Myth of Consent
UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

It seems that former Breitbart editor and alt-right propagandist Milo Yiannopoulos loves to be hated. He has penned incendiary anti-feminist articles opining that women experiencing online harassment should simply stop using the internet, that birth control makes women “unattractive and crazy,” and that women are underrepresented in tech because they “suck at interviews.” He was kicked off of Twitter—no mean feat on the abuse-plagued platform—for coordinating a harassment campaign against actress Leslie Jones. On a college speaking tour, he has singled out a transgender student in the audience for harassment. Elsewhere, he has made remarks many have construed as anti-Semitic or racist.

To his fans, he’s a hero of free speech. (It is certainly true that in the United States, one is and should be free to say despicable things without fear of government reprisal.) To his detractors, he never should have been given the broad platforms for the nasty things he has said. And yet, as his notoriety grew, his star rose. Audiences that find “P.C. culture” to be a graver threat to society than racism, misogyny, or transphobia loved him, and other audiences became aware of him whether they wanted to be or not.

He’s made a career on seeing how far over the line he can go. Yesterday, it appears he may have found out.

After a video surfaced in which Yiannopoulos, in his own words, advocated for the idea of sex between “13 year olds” and “older men,” flippantly describing his own experience as gaining beneficial sexual experience when he was molested by a priest as a teenager, the consequences are coming down. In the last 48 hours, Milo lost his book deal with Simon & Schuster, had his speech at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) cancelled, and resigned from his technology editor role at the alt-right website Breitbart, losing perhaps his greatest platform.

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:25 AM

Just one week left for locals to arrange private meeting with Mother and Baby Commission
IRELAND
KCLR

By MaryAnn Vaughan
Posted on Feb 22, 2017

There’s just a week left for anyone who wants to meet with the confidential committee investigating Ireland’s mother and baby homes to get in touch.

St Columba’s Home in Thomastown is one of the 14 institutions included in the investigation.

Next Wednesday the 1st of March is the deadline for anyone who was a resident in or who has information on mother and baby homes to request a confidential meeting with the commission.

Thomastown’s St Columba’s Home was selected as part of the representative sample of county homes.

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:22 AM

Catholic church underpaid sex abuse victims: Royal Commission
AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

The Christian Brothers underpaid almost 170 sexual abuse claimants millions of dollars because they believed they were “going to be taken to the cleaners”, a royal commission has heard.

An inquiry into Catholic church authorities heard the order was asked to re-examine 201 compensation settlements to victims of child sexual abuse in 2014 and found 165 were too low.

An additional $14 million was paid to the claimants, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard.

Province leader of the Christian Brothers Peter Clinch told the inquiry the inadequate initial settlements were due to defensiveness.

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:20 AM

Last remaining original member of Scottish child abuse inquiry resigns
SCOTLAND
Holyrood

Survivor groups have reacted angrily after the Scottish child abuse inquiry lost the last remaining original panel member.

Glenn Houston said he had resigned as a member of the panel because he had accepted two other public appointments which he is unable to hold in conjunction with his panel membership.

Houston said the inquiry had made “considerable progress” and wished it well in the future.

His departure follows the resignation last year of chairwoman Susan O’Brien QC and fellow panel member Professor Michael Lamb amid accusations of government interference.

Senior judge Lady Smith, who replaced O’Brien as the third chair of the inquiry, is now the only remaining member of the panel.

Lady Smith said: “Mr Houston has made a valuable contribution to the work of the Inquiry during his time as a panel member and I am very grateful to him for his support. I fully understand his decision and wish him well in his new ventures.

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:14 AM

Child abuse inquiry: Survivors have ‘no trust left’
SCOTLAND
BBC

Child abuse survivors’ groups have said they have “no trust left” in Scotland’s Child Abuse Inquiry.

White Flowers Alba and In Care Abuse Survivors Group both called for urgent answers from the Scottish government on the future of the inquiry.

The probe has been plagued by problems and all three original panel members have now resigned.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said he understood the concerns but told the BBC the inquiry was gathering momentum.

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:13 AM

Failed again Child abuse survivors left feeling ‘groomed’ by Scottish Government after inquiry sees third resignation
SCOTLAND
The Scottish Sun

by Mary McCool
22nd February 2017

SURVIVORS of child abuse say that continued failures by the Scottish Government have left them feeling “groomed” all over again.

In an interview with Good Morning Scotland, survivors groups say they “continue to be failed” by the government after a third member of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry panel resigned.

They also said survivors feel there’s “no point” in engaging with the inquiry further because they feel the process has become too “legalistic” and they have been “denied” an opportunity for redress.

The inquiry is now being led solely by Supreme Court judge Lady Anne Smith.

Glenn Houston, who was the last original member of the board, stepped down from his role yesterday with immediate effect, due to a potential “conflict of interest”.

Alan Draper of Care Abuse Survivors Group says he is “concerned” over Mr Houston’s “commitment to the whole process” and that survivors have had “no announcement” from education secretary John Swinney as to why he feels Lady Smith should act alone.

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:10 AM

Head of Marist Brothers’ Australia grilled over Canberra abuse ‘cluster’
AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

Katie Burgess

The head of Marist Brothers’ Australia has acknowledged a failure in governance led to a “cluster” of abuse at their Canberra College.

Brother Peter Carroll was called to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Wednesday.

When cross-examined over how these “clusters” could have occurred at several Marist schools including Canberra’s during royal commission proceedings , Brother Carroll said many cases were the work of one perpetrator.

But when was asked if poor governance led to the abuse clusters, he said that “can’t be refuted”.
Related Content

“I think there were, you know, governance shortcomings. What they were … was the centralisation of authority and the whole hierarchical model that was in use,” he said.

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:08 AM

Warrnambool’s St Joseph’s Primary School reviews call for plaque to be removed
AUSTRALIA
The Standard

ANDREW THOMSON

22 Feb 2017

WARRNAMBOOL’S St Joseph’s Primary School is reviewing whether it is appropriate to retain a plaque with the name of a disgraced former Bishop of Ballarat.

The review of the plaque, which marks the school’s opening on its Botanic Road site, comes after a victim of clergy abuse called for such plaques to be removed. One has been removed at another Warrnambool school.

The victim said the former Bishop of Ballarat Ronald Mulkearns failed in his duty to protect children from abuse, was aware of clergy abuse and had failed to act.

The victim said he refused to enter churches or schools with such plaques because of Bishop Mulkearns’ reign over a systemic abuse.

Posted on February 22, 2017 8:05 AM

Day school teacher suspected of sexual abuse in Pittsburgh
PENNSYLVANIA
The Jewish Chronicle

by Toby Tabachnick, Senior Staff Writer

After a lengthy investigation, a former teacher at Yeshiva Boys School of Pittsburgh, an important institution in the Chabad-Lubavitch educational system, is a suspect in several alleged incidents of child sexual abuse.

According to police, Rabbi Nisson Friedman, 26, who is well connected in the local Jewish community and is the son of an influential Minnesota-based rabbi, is suspected of sexually assaulting at least three boys while employed by the school. Det. Bryan Sellers of the city’s Bureau of Police Sex Assault Team, who is investigating the case, said he is “absolutely certain” there are additional victims.

The suspected assaults occurred both privately and publicly, including at least once in the Yeshiva building on Wightman Street. According to Rabbi Yisroel Rosenfeld, dean of Yeshiva Schools, that incident was discovered last year on Saturday, Sept. 24 during Shabbat services in the building. Rosenfeld said that a member of the community observed Friedman “touching a child inappropriately” in the facility’s library and alerted the school’s administration.

The administration promptly reported the disclosure of the suspected assault to the police and to the state’s mandated ChildLine and Abuse Registry as well as to other authorities, said Rosenfeld, and immediately suspended Friedman from his teaching duties. Friedman has left his position with Yeshiva Schools permanently.

Posted on February 22, 2017 7:54 AM

Desmond Connell was ill-suited to deal with avalanche of child abuse
IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Dan Buckley

When Pope John Paul II elevated Desmond Connell to the archdiocese of Dublin in January 1988, he was far from being the first choice.

In fact, it took nine months between the death in April 1987 of his predecessor, Archbishop Kevin McNamara, and his appointment.

During that time, at least four others were considered before Dr Connell got the nod. His appointment would not have been possible without the all-important approval of the then papal nuncio, Dr Gaetano Alibrandi, the most powerful figure in the Catholic Church in Ireland since the dreaded Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, who had ordained Dr Connell in 1951.

Dr Alibrandi didn’t want an archbishop who was too liberal, too well liked by diocesan priests, or overly friendly with parishioners.

Dr Connell ticked all those boxes. Relatively unknown, he had served as professor of general metaphysics at UCD and in 1983 became the dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology at the university.

Posted on February 22, 2017 7:45 AM

Catholic Church funded abuser’s court battle
AUSTRALIA
Sky News

A Catholic order’s leader dropped to his knees and begged a brother to face child sex abuse charges in New Zealand yet still paid to take the extradition battle as far as Australia’s highest court.

Brother Timothy Graham believes his predecessor as provincial of the Hospitaller Order of St John of God should not have funded the three-year extradition fight.

The issue caused great controversy, Brother Graham told the child sex abuse royal commission on Wednesday.

‘The provincial at the time virtually got on his knees and begged the individual to go to New Zealand to speak to the police but his independent legal advice was not to do that,’ he said.
– See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/nsw/2017/02/22/catholic-church-funded-abuser-s-court-battle.html#sthash.Xx2luatL.dpuf

Posted on February 22, 2017 7:43 AM

Statement on Royal Commission Case Study 50
AUSTRALIA
Catholic Outlook

Yesterday, the Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv gave evidence at the final hearing involving the Catholic Church at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Case Study 50.

Bishop Vincent’s evidence was deeply moving and a powerful testimony to the genuine determination he will show as leader of the Diocese of Parramatta in strengthening its child protection policies and procedures.

The Diocese of Parramatta has a deep empathy for survivors of abuse and will, as Bishop Vincent said, seek to “attain justice and dignity for them.”

Mindful of the hurt and pain caused by abuse, the Diocese of Parramatta, on behalf of the Catholic Church, again offers its sincerest apology to all survivors of abuse. The Diocese of Parramatta is sorry for the damage that has been done to the lives of victims of sexual abuse and their loved ones.

Posted on February 22, 2017 7:33 AM

Clarity beyond clericalism: Bishop Long at the Royal Commission
AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Andrew Hamilton | 21 February 2017

The final sessions of the Catholic ‘wrap up’ at the Royal Commission have been dedicated to summarising and testing what has been said in previous sessions. The numbers of complaints, abusers and cases presented have been horrifying.

Nothing should be allowed to minimise the evil represented in them. The panels of people interviewed offer some evidence, nonetheless, that children will now be safer when under Catholic care.

The most thought provoking testimony given was that by Vincent Long, Bishop of Parramatta. It was notable for its directness, honesty and the awareness it displayed of the importance of church culture. Bishop Long grew up in the Vietnamese Catholic Church and was afterwards chosen to lead the Australian Church. In his responses he focused particularly on clericalism and its role in giving license and cover to clerical abuse.

He worked out of a fairly simple distinction between two images of the church. One sees the church as a kingdom in which the subordination of the people to the king and to the hierarchical grades of officials is fixed and sacralised. The other is of the church as community with an ordered network of relationships that enable the nourishing of people by the spreading of the Gospel.

Posted on February 22, 2017 7:11 AM

Bishop Vincent’s evidence to the Royal Commission
AUSTRALIA
Catholic Outlook

Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv shared his own personal story and gave evidence at the Royal Commission on Tuesday 21 February, 2017.

A summary of that evidence can be found below. For a full transcript, click here.

Case Study 50 – Day 11

The panel discussion on day 11 of the Catholic Church’s final hearing was attended by bishops with responsibility for various dioceses and regional archdioceses.

Attending were Archbishop Christopher Prowse, Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn; Archbishop Julian Porteous, Archbishop of Hobart; Bishop Eugene Hurley, Bishop of Darwin; Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta; Bishop Christopher Saunders, Bishop of Broome; and Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, Bishop of the Maronite Diocese of Australia.

All panelists strongly supported a national redress scheme, noting the importance of separating reparation from the pastoral context.

It was noted that all the panelists supported the establishment of Catholic Professional Standards Ltd and told the Commission that it was important that the company was financially backed and its recommendations embraced.

Posted on February 22, 2017 7:08 AM

Lawsuits: Church operated ‘harem of young boys’
GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , [email protected] Published Feb. 22, 2017

Four more former altar boys filed separate federal lawsuits Wednesday, alleging that former island priest Louis Brouillard sexually molested them repeatedly when they were children in the 1970s, bringing to 22 the total number of clergy sexual abuse cases filed on Guam.

The Archdiocese of Agana now faces a minimum $110 million in damages in connection with the lawsuits.

The four former altar boys, represented by Attorney David Lujan, said Brouillard also sexually abused them during Boy Scouts of America activities. Brouillard was scoutmaster in the Guam chapter.

Albino T. Bascon, now 54 and living in California, alleged that Brouillard sexually molested and abused him from 1973 through 1976. That’s when he was an altar boy at San Isidro Catholic Church of Malojloj and a Boy Scout member.

Posted on February 22, 2017 7:03 AM

New suits claim altar boy service front for sex abuse
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post Feb 22, 2017

Four new civil lawsuits have been filed against the Archdiocese of Agana in the District Court of Guam alleging the practice of altar boy service ultimately became a “tool by which sexually predatory priests would gain access to young boys.”

The four cases filed earlier today raised the total number of cases filed against the Archdiocese of Agana to 22 with the total amount of damages sought now totaling $110 million.

The lawsuits filed by Albino Bascon, Johnny Bascon, Benny Manglona, and Roque Flores allege sexual abuse by former Guam priest, Louis Brouillard, who now resides in Minnesota. Each plaintiff is seeking a minimum of $5 million in damages and accuses the Catholic Church of using the “ritual” of altar boy service as a disguise to have sexual access to young boys.

Each of the plaintiffs served as altar boys at various parishes where Brouillard served as priest during his time on Guam in the early 1970’s.
Posted on February 22, 2017 7:00 AM

February 21, 2017
Statement Regarding Rev. Sylvestre Obwaka
MICHIGAN
Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord

02/21/2017

This morning Rev. Sylvestre Obwaka, former Pastor of St. Ignatius Parish in Rogers City, Michigan, was arraigned on charges of criminal sexual conduct. This matter does not involve a minor, but is an issue between two individual adults and not against the Diocese of Gaylord. Local civil authorities are conducting the investigation and the diocese has pledged its full cooperation.

Following Rev. Obwaka’s arrest on Saturday, Bishop Steven J. Raica placed him on an administrative leave pending resolution of the case. During this time, Rev. Obwaka is also prohibited from exercising any public ministry.

Rev. Obwaka, 44, is a native of Kenya and is a permanent legal resident of the United States. He was accepted as a seminarian for the Diocese of Gaylord in 2004 and was ordained to the priesthood in 2010. Following his ordination he was assigned as Parochial Vicar to the Catholic Community of Manistee (now known as Divine Mercy parish), and in 2013 was appointed Pastor of St. Ignatius Parish in Rogers City.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by this situation,” stated Candace Neff, diocesan Director of Communications. “There is a great deal of hurt and confusion right now. We are focused on providing pastoral support to all those affected and are working closely with St. Ignatius parishioners as they continue their ministries both within their parish and in the wider community,” she said.

To that end, Bishop Raica and a team from the Diocese of Gaylord met with parish leadership and parishioners on Sunday to pray with them, share information and to listen to concerns in order to begin to chart a path forward. At that time the bishop announced he had appointed Rev. Joseph Muszkiewicz, who also serves as Pastor to All Saints Parish in Alpena and Vicar for the region, as temporary administrator for St. Ignatius parish. Rev. Muszkiewicz, in collaboration with parish staff and leadership, will oversee the day-to-day operations of the parish for the immediate future.

“I am heartbroken over the events that have unfolded in recent days,” Bishop Raica said. “Our faith calls us to ensure the dignity of each human person is upheld in every circumstance. We must respond with compassion when anyone is harmed. We must also remember that in our system of justice, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” he noted. “It is very early in this process and while the matter is in the civil courts we will need to wait patiently for the outcome.”

“These are difficult days,” Bishop Raica concluded. “In these moments, we must turn to Christ who always walks with us and accompanies us in our pain. I ask for your prayers for all those affected by this situation.”

In order to maintain the integrity of the investigation and to protect the rights of everyone involved, neither the Diocese of Gaylord nor leadership of St. Ignatius Parish will be making any further comments regarding this case at this time.

Posted on February 21, 2017 6:57 PM

Presque Isle County Priest Arrested for Alleged Criminal Sexual Conduct
MICHIGAN
MI News

POSTED FEBRUARY 21, 2017 BY JACOB OWENS

A Presque Isle County Priest has been charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct following an incident that allegedly occurred earlier this month.

Troopers at the Alpena State Police Post received a complaint on February 17th of criminal sexual conduct that had allegedly happened in Rogers City.

A 28-year-old man told police that on February 1st he was staying the night at the 44-year-old suspect’s home when he sexually assaulted while sleeping.

Troopers interviewed the victim and documented the allegations.

A search warrant was granted for the suspect’s home, and on the 18th troopers collected possible evidence from the scene.

Posted on February 21, 2017 6:55 PM

Diocese of Gaylord Issues Statement on Priest Charged with Sex Crimes
MICHIGAN
9 and 10 News

[with video]

By David Lyden, Reporter

Reverend Sylvestre Obwaka was the priest at Saint Ignatius church in Rogers City.

He was arraigned on 1st and 3rd degree sex crimes Tuesday.

The Diocese of Gaylord suspended him while the case works its way through court.

Bishop Steven Raica says this is an incredibly sad situation for everyone involved and they’re now focusing on helping the parish community heal and move forward.

“Whenever anyone is harmed, or accused of harming another, the entire faith community is shaken,” said Raica.

Bishop Raica says the last few days have been difficult for parishioners in Rogers City and the Diocese of Gaylord. After Fr. Obwaka’s arrest, Bishop Raica placed him on administrative leave. He’s also prohibited from performing public ministry.

“I am heartbroken over the events that have unfolded over the recent days. Our faith calls us to ensure the dignity of each human person is upheld in each circumstance,” said Raica.

Posted on February 21, 2017 6:53 PM

9 Investigates: Charlotte family speaks out about son’s abuse by a priest
NORTH CAROLINA
WSOC

[with video]

by: Allison Latos Updated: Feb 21, 2017

The disturbing crime of sexual abuse by priests has rocked the Catholic Church worldwide and in Charlotte.

Robert Yurgel was a priest at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Ballantyne.

He admitted to sexually abusing an altar boy, spent nearly eight years in prison and was released in the summer of 2016.

The parents of Yurgel’s victim’s family spoke publicly to Eyewitness News anchor Allison Latos about the crime that stole their son’s innocence and their plea to all parents.

Robert and Anne Price raised their five children in the Catholic faith.

The family spent every Sunday at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Ballantyne, but they say it is now a place of so much pain.

“God said, ‘Bring me your children.’ He didn’t say, ‘Bring me your children so I can abuse them,'” Anne Price told Latos.

Posted on February 21, 2017 6:48 PM

Ex-Haverhill priest held on $50,000 bail in Maine on sexual abuse charges
MASSACHUSETTS/MAINE
The Eagle-Tribune

By Mike LaBella [email protected]

HAVERHILL — Former Haverhill priest Ronald Paquin is being held on $50,000 cash bail after being charged in Maine with multiple counts of gross sexual misconduct involving young boys.

A judge in Biddeford District Court in Maine set that bail amount and ordered that no one other than Paquin be allowed to raise the bail.

Police in Kennebunkport, Maine, said the criminal acts took place at seasonal locations in Kennebunkport in the mid-to-late 1980s. The male victims’ ages were 11 and 14 when Paquin began his inappropriate criminal conduct, police said.

On Feb. 6, a York County grand jury indicted Paquin, 74, on 13 counts of gross sexual misconduct, class A, and 16 counts of gross sexual misconduct, class B.

Paquin was arrested Feb. 8 in Boston on a warrant from Maine and on Feb. 10 he was held without bail in Roxbury District Court, where he waived extradition proceedings. He was subsequently taken to Maine to face charges there.

Posted on February 21, 2017 6:40 PM

Vatican court continues investigating possible cases of money laundering
VATICAN CITY
Catholic Philly

By Cindy Wooden • Catholic News Service • Posted February 21, 2017

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While the trial of five people accused of leaking confidential Vatican financial documents captured headlines in 2016, the Vatican City court also continued investigating possible financial crimes, freezing more than $2.1 million in assets deposited at the Vatican bank.

Gian Piero Milano, promoter of justice at the Vatican City court, summarized the city-state’s judicial activity Feb. 18.

The funds were frozen in 2016 as part of Vatican investigations of possible money laundering, Milano said. From 2012 through 2016, he said, the Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority reported 23 cases of suspicious transactions to the court; 17 of those cases still are under investigation, he said.

The total funds frozen over the past four years, Milano said, included almost 11.3 million in euros, just over 1 million in dollars and more than 320,000 British pounds — a total equivalent to about $13.3 million.

Posted on February 21, 2017 5:04 PM

Italy Freezes Assets of Banker Accused of Using Vatican for Market Rigging
ROME
U.S. News

By Philip Pullella

ROME (Reuters) – Investigating magistrates in Italy on Tuesday froze millions of euros worth of assets belonging to a prominent Italian banker they believe used the Vatican bank and another Holy See financial department for market manipulation.

The financial crimes police said in a statement that they had executed the magistrates’ orders, sequestering 2.5 million euros ($2.64 million) in buildings, stocks and land belonging to Giampietro Nattino, head of Banca Finnat Euramerica SpA. [BFE.MI]

Magistrates accuse him of market manipulation and providing false information to Consob, Italy’s stock regulator.

Nattino said in a statement that the frozen assets belonged to him personally and not to his bank, and that he would cooperate with investigators.

Shares in his private bank fell 3.6 percent before recovering some of that loss.

Tuesday’s developments followed an exclusive report by Reuters in November, 2015 about a Vatican investigation into Nattino’s accounts at the Vatican bank, known as the Institute for Works of Religion, and at APSA, an office that oversees Vatican real estate and investments. http://reut.rs/2m7SvYh

Posted on February 21, 2017 5:02 PM

Resignation of Panel Member
SCOTLAND
Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

Mr Glenn Houston has resigned as a member of the panel because he has accepted two other public appointments which he is unable to hold in conjunction with his panel membership.

Having considered the time commitment they will require and the potential risk of a conflict of interest arising as between them and his Inquiry role in the future, he concluded that he could not carry on with all three roles and, with regret, that he required to resign from the Inquiry.

Lady Smith said: “Mr Houston has made a valuable contribution to the work of the Inquiry during his time as a panel member and I am very grateful to him for his support. I fully understand his decision and wish him well in his new ventures.

“The important work of the Inquiry continues as normal and we would encourage anyone who has relevant information, whether they have been abused themselves or know others who have, to get in touch.”
Posted on February 21, 2017 1:01 PM

Third member resigns from Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry
SCOTLAND
The Courier

by Gareth McPherson

February 21 2017

A third senior figure on the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has resigned after the chairman ruled his new jobs risked a conflict of interest.

Glenn Houston resigned from the panel when he was asked by Lady Smith to consider stepping down from the new roles.

One of the posts is at the Disclosure and Barring service, the body which rules who can have contact with children in certain settings, and the other at Northern Health and Social Care Trust.

It is the latest in a series of resignations at the child abuse inquiry, which was set up in 2015 to examine the extent of abuse of children in care.

Posted on February 21, 2017 12:59 PM

Scottish child abuse inquiry: Senior panel member resigns
SCOTLAND
BBC News

A third senior figure on the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has resigned.

Glenn Houston, who was the only original panel member, cited personal reasons for his departure.

He remained on the inquiry team last year after the resignation of the chairwoman, Susan O’Brien QC, and panel member Prof Michael Lamb.

One survivors’ group said it was “indicative of a crisis” in the inquiry which is examining allegations of child abuse in residential accommodation.

Posted on February 21, 2017 12:56 PM

Headteacher who became a Church of England vicar, 63, ‘was a “father figure” to a boy he sexually abused for seven years’
UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Alex Matthews For Mailonline

Vicar David Fletcher is alleged to have abused a boy while he was a teacher in Bradford during the 1980s and 1990s

A former headteacher who went on to become a Church of England vicar has been accused of sexually abusing a boy for seven years.

David Fletcher, 63, is alleged to have indecently touched the youngster, who was between nine and 15, from the late 1980s and into the 1990s before targeting him again when he was an adult.

During this period Fletcher, who is currently a vicar in East Yorkshire, was deputy headteacher at a primary school and later a headteacher of a secondary school in Bradford.

A man said Fletcher touched him indecently before thrusting his body at him and ‘snogging’ him.

The complainant has also accused the vicar of sexually assaulting him in a kitchen on a date between 2009 and 2011.
Posted on February 21, 2017 12:44 PM

La vieja amistad del cardenal Errázuriz con Figari, el “Karadima peruano” acusado de pederastia
PERU/CHILE
El Mostrador

[The old friendship of Cardinal Errázuriz with Figari, the “Peruvian Karadima” accused of pederasty.]

por CAMILA BUSTAMANTE 17 febrero, 2017

Una casa en Eduardo Castillo Velasco con Pedro de Valdivia, en Ñuñoa, fue el punto de partida de los trabajos apostólicos de la comunidad peruana Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana (también conocida por su nombre en latín Sodalitium Christianae Vítae, SCV) en Chile. Invitados en 1999 por el entonces arzobispo de Santiago, Francisco Javier Errázuriz, los religiosos comenzaron un camino que hoy los tiene como dueños de la Universidad Gabriela Mistral, un colegio en Huechuraba, una comunidad en el exclusivo sector de Los Trapenses y a cargo de una Parroquia en Maipú. Sin embargo, el rostro de estos consagrados se ha ensuciado por las múltiples acusaciones de abusos sexuales, de poder, físicos y psicológicos que pesan sobre su fundador, Luis Fernando Figari, así como varios otros miembros de la institución.

Fue en 2015 cuando el escándalo del Sodalicio estalló en Perú, a raíz de la publicación del libro Mitad monjes, mitad soldados, de los periodistas Pedro Salinas y Paola Ugaz. En él, se relatan 30 testimonios de personas que pertenecieron a la institución y que sufrieron algún tipo de abuso, incluyendo los de índole sexual. Con este trabajo periodístico, no solo se logró visibilizar hechos que se rumoreaban entre quienes tenían familiares o amigos en la institución, sino también que el Sodalicio abriera una comisión investigadora y declarara como persona non grata a su propio fundador.

Posted on February 21, 2017 10:47 AM

Los escabrosos testimonios de pedofilia y abusos sexuales del grupo católico Sodalicio en Perú
PERU
Infobae

[The scabrous testimonies of pedophilia and sexual abuse of the Catholic group Sodalicio in Peru.]

La sociedad apostólica publicó un informe sobre los abusos sexuales cometidos en la organización a 36 jóvenes -19 de ellos menores-, pero evitó revelar la identidad de cuatro agresores. Las autoridades practicaba sodomía, tocamientos de genitales y los obligaban a acostarse juntos
15 de febrero de 2017

Luis Figari, fundador del Sodalicio en 1971, durante más de 30 años abusó sexualmente de jóvenes que reclutaba de colegios privados de clase alta y los llevaba a vivir en comunidad como “soldados de Cristo”. Sus delitos también fueron replicados por otros líderes, según detalla el informe interno encargado por la organización tras las denuncias ante la justicia, con crudos testimonios sobre cómo obligaban a sus víctimas a desnudarse, tocarse y besar los genitales.

Posted on February 21, 2017 10:44 AM

Abuso sexual e impunidad en Iglesia Católica salvadoreña
EL SALVADOR
Processo

[Sexual abuse and impunity in Salvadoran Catholic church.]

SAN SALVADOR (apro).- William tenía 13 años de edad la primera vez que el sacerdote lo violó.

Fue un lunes en la noche. William Hernández entró mareado al cuarto. José Luis detrás. Se acostaron. A William le surgió la terrible certeza que después la vida no volverá a ser igual.

Transcurría el año 1985. José Luis Recinos López llegó a Apopa, al norte de San Salvador, con talento para hacer dinero. La cúpula de la Iglesia Católica salvadoreña le asignó una parroquia en crisis de la que habían desertado centenares de feligreses que perdieron la fe.

Posted on February 21, 2017 10:42 AM

Message de Mgr Delmas aux diocésains
FRANCE
Diocese d’Angier

[Mgr. Emmanuel Delmas, Bishop of Angers, sent a letter to the priests of the diocese on 1 February 2017 about facts reported to him concerning a deceased priest of the diocese who is accused of misconduct with minors. He wishes to make this message known to all the Catholic faithful in the diocese.]

Mgr Emmanuel Delmas, évêque d’Angers, a transmis le 1er février 2017 aux prêtres du diocèse un courrier au sujet de faits qui lui ont été rapportés concernant un prêtre du diocèse décédé . Il souhaite faire connaître ce message à l’ensemble des fidèles catholiques du diocèse.

Aux prêtres du diocèse d’Angers,

Angers, le 1er février 2017
“Comme vous le savez peut-être, j’ai reçu des témoignages de jeunes adultes qui m’ont confié avoir subis dans leur enfance des comportements inappropriés de la part d’un ancien aumônier, l’abbé Houard, aujourd’hui décédé.

Posted on February 21, 2017 10:38 AM

Poursuite de la procédure canonique contre le prêtre-psy Tony Anatrella
FRANCE
Le Monde

L’Eglise a pris cette décision après avoir recueilli les témoignages de plaignants, qui accusent l’ecclésiastique de s’être livré à des agressions sexuelles lors de ses thérapies.

Une procédure canonique, régie par le droit de l’Eglise, a été ouverte à l’encontre du prêtre-psychanalyste Tony Anatrella, prélat célèbre jusqu’au Vatican, a dévoilé, lundi 20 février dans la soirée, l’archevêché de Paris.

Au printemps 2016, près de dix ans après le dépôt des premières plaintes, cet ecclésiastique du diocèse de Paris avait été soupçonné d’avoir commis des agressions sexuelles lors de ses thérapies sur de jeunes hommes dans son cabinet de psychanalyste.

Posted on February 21, 2017 10:35 AM

AMERSFOORT CHURCH: NO COVER UP IN 1986 SEXUAL ABUSE CASE
NETHERLANDS
NL Times

By Janene Pieters on February 21, 2017

Although two pastors at the Reformed Church in Amersfoort Oost kept sexual abuse by a church member in 1986 quiet, there was definitely not a cover up, the church concluded in an investigation. The investigation revealed that the then pastor and his successor were only aware of two cases of sexual abuse of young boys by church member Piet Hein W. from Hoevelaken, AD reports.

The now deceased W.’s abuse was revealed in October last year, when the church was praying for the terminally ill man. A church member wrote a letter about W.’s “dark side”, revealing that he sexually abused young boys. The Reformed Church quickly determined that the allegations may be true and launched an investigation. The investigation committee consisted of investigators, psychologists, a lawyer and a theologian.

The investigation revealed 16 people who may have been sexually abused by W. when they were young boys. Six of them could not be reached. Two did not want to talk about it. Five said that they do not feel that they were victimized. And the final three confirmed that they were. Victim assistance was offered to them.

Posted on February 21, 2017 10:18 AM

Trial to Begin Today for Former Canaan Youth Pastor Accused of Sexual Abuse of Girl
MAINE
WABI

FEB 21, 2017

ALEXANDER DOWNING

A former youth pastor in Canaan accused of sexually abusing a young girl is scheduled to go on trial starting Tuesday.

27-year-old Lucas Savage pleaded not guilty to unlawful sexual contact….

He was co-director of Youth Haven Ministries when he was arrested last March….

Posted on February 21, 2017 10:16 AM

Canonical inquiry into French bishops’ adviser Msgr Tony Anatrella
FRANCE
La Croix

Following the report from a commission set up to consider allegations of sexual assault against well-known priest psychologist, Fr Tony Anatrella, Cardinal Vingt-Trois of Paris has opened a canonical inquiry into the events.

Céline Hoyeau
February 21, 2017

For the last fifteen years, there have been accusations of sexual assault against well-known Paris priest and psychoanalyst, Msgr Tony Anatrella, 75. In a long-awaited decision, a canonical inquiry will be opened concerning the allegations, La Croix has learned.Following a series of revelations last year concerning a Lyons priest, Fr Bernard Preynat, several former patients made allegations in the media against Msgr Anatrella. In May, Cardinal Vingt-Trois of Paris said he “encouraged these people to give up their anonymity… and to make their complaints to the relevant legal authorities”.

Posted on February 21, 2017 8:17 AM

Cardinal Desmond Connell: Child abuse crisis was low point of life
IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

You could say Desmond Connell, who has died aged 90, became Archbishop of Dublin almost by default. His name was among the last to surface publicly during the extraordinary nine months which elapsed between the death in April 1997 of his predecessor, Archbishop Kevin McNamara, and the announcement of his appointment in January 1988.

It was extraordinary because of the tactics employed over that period, which saw almost everyone’s favourite for the job, Bishop Donal Murray, successfully done down. He was the man most favoured for the post by the bishops and Dublin’s priests. …

But, without doubt, 2002 was his annus horribilis, par excellence. It was the year when his handling of clerical child sex abuse cases was exposed most mercilessly. In April it emerged that he had not told gardaí­ that Father Paul McGennis, who abused Marie Collins in 1960, had admitted the crime. In October 2002 Prime Time’s Cardinal Errors programme gave a damning account of his handling of cases involving eight priests of the diocese who had been involved in child sex abuse.

Post-October 2002, he seemed to finally admit his own personal responsibility for much that had gone wrong in the archdiocese where the handling of clerical child sex abuse during his term was concerned. His meeting with abuse victims Ms Collins and Ken Reilly on December 30th of that year was a genuine coming together of minds with a common purpose.

This threatened to fall asunder in February 2003 when it emerged the archdiocese had no structure for the support of victims, as per the 1996 guidelines issued by the Irish bishops. It reflected his “only guidelines” remark to Ms Collins about those church directions, at a meeting with Ms Collins in December 1996.

But in March 2003 he issued a strong statement that such a structure was being put in place with direct input from Ms Collins and Mr Reilly. And that was done.

In February 2008 there was general relief, not least within the church, when Cardinal Connell agreed to withdraw his High Court action claiming privilege over 5,586 documents before the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation (Murphy Commission) into the handling of clerical child sexual abuse allegations.

The subsequent Murphy report, published in November 2009, found that he “was slow to recognise the seriousness of the situation” on assuming office. He was “over-reliant” on the advice of other people. While “clearly appalled by the abuse” it took him some time “to realise that it could not be dealt with by keeping it secret and protecting priests from normal civil processes.”

Posted on February 21, 2017 7:47 AM

PHILADELPHIA PROSECUTOR WON’T SEEK RE-ELECTION AMID PROBE
PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Associated Press

BY MARYCLAIRE DALE
ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Seth Williams, the city’s first black district attorney, won’t run for a third term amid an FBI investigation into $160,000 in gifts that he failed to report, mistakes that he said Friday caused his office “much embarrassment and shame.”

The Democrat later reported taking a new roof, a $2,700 couch and luxury vacations, including the use of a defense lawyer’s home in the Florida Keys. Williams has agreed to pay $62,000 in related ethics fines.

He did not take questions at a morning appearance in which he apologized for “mistakes in my personal life and in my personal financial life that cast an unnecessary shadow over my office.” …

During his seven-year tenure, his office filed the first charges against several Roman Catholic priests and earned a trial conviction against the first U.S. church official ever charged over the handling of priest sex-abuse complaints. The conviction has since been overturned, although the official served nearly three years in prison.

Posted on February 21, 2017 7:34 AM

Poursuite de la procédure canonique contre le prêtre-psy Tony Anatrella
FRANCE
Le Monde

[The Catholic church is continuing with canonical action against priest Tony Anatrella who is charge with abuse.]

L’Eglise a pris cette décision après avoir recueilli les témoignages de plaignants, qui accusent l’ecclésiastique de s’être livré à des agressions sexuelles lors de ses thérapies.

Une procédure canonique, régie par le droit de l’Eglise, a été ouverte à l’encontre du prêtre-psychanalyste Tony Anatrella, prélat célèbre jusqu’au Vatican, a dévoilé, lundi 20 février dans la soirée, l’archevêché de Paris.

Au printemps 2016, près de dix ans après le dépôt des premières plaintes, cet ecclésiastique du diocèse de Paris avait été soupçonné d’avoir commis des agressions sexuelles lors de ses thérapies sur de jeunes hommes dans son cabinet de psychanalyste.
Posted on February 21, 2017 6:33 AM

Bischof Morerod spricht Klartext zum Fall Pittet
SCHWEIZ
kath.ch

[The Catholic Church has to bring light into its shadowy corners, says the president of the Swiss Bishops’ Conference (SBK), said Bishop Charles Morerod, in a guest commentary for kath.ch.]

20.2.17 (kath.ch) Die katholische Kirche muss Licht in ihre Schattenwinkel bringen, sagt der Präsident der Schweizer Bischofskonferenz (SBK), Charles Morerod, in einem Gastkommentar für kath.ch. Er nimmt zudem Stellung zum Rücktritt von Ephrem Bucher aus dem bischöflichen Fachgremium «sexuelle Übergriffe».

Ich kenne Daniel Pittet seit mindestens 25 Jahren. In den vergangenen Monaten haben wir über sein Buch gesprochen. Als Vorbereitung auf die Veröffentlichung des Buchs und dank der Mithilfe der Kapuziner habe ich Pater Joël Allaz zwei Mal getroffen. Das tat ich, um zu unterstreichen, dass ich hinter dieser Veröffentlichung stehe und zwar aus zwei Gründen: Daniel sagt, dass ihm diese Worte helfen werden, seinen Schmerz zu überwinden. Zudem bin ich überzeugt, dass die Kirche Licht in ihre fürchterlichen Schattenzonen bringen muss.

Posted on February 21, 2017 6:29 AM

RC priest accused of sexual assault
MICHIGAN
The Alpena News

Rev. Sylvestre Obwaka, 44, a priest at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Rogers City was arrested and jailed over the weekend. He is accused of sexual assault.

He will be arraigned today.

Bishop Steven Raica of the Diocese of Gaylord took questions from parishioners on Sunday. He told parishioners Obwaka has denied the allegations and has been placed on administrative leave.

Candace Neff, director of communications for the diocese, stated in an email on Monday afternoon the diocese would not comment on the situation until after Obwaka was arraigned.

Posted on February 21, 2017 6:22 AM

Vatican visit puts global spotlight on Guam allegations
GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , [email protected] Published Feb. 21, 2017 | Updated 5 hours ago

A Vatican tribunal’s visit to Guam, as part of Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron’s ongoing canonical penal trial, has drawn international attention to the island’s clergy sex abuse lawsuits, even as an Apuron accuser said he didn’t meet with the Vatican mission in Hawaii.

Roy T. Quintanilla, 52 and now living in Honolulu, was the first former altar boy in May 2016 to publicly accuse Apuron of sexually abusing him in Agat in the 1970s.

Quintanilla said Tuesday he didn’t provide testimony to the Vatican tribunal in Honolulu because his attorney, David Lujan, wasn’t allowed to be present. He said he will submit a written declaration to the Vatican, as his attorney advised.

The tribunal, led by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, was on Guam Feb. 16-18 to get testimony from witnesses in the Apuron canonical penal trial process.

The visit drew attention from international media and groups dealing with the Catholic abuse crisis worldwide, from Rome to Washington, D.C.

While the Burke mission received testimony from other witnesses on Guam, it didn’t hear from former altar boy Roland Sondia, because the Vatican team wouldn’t allow Sondia to be accompanied by his counsel, Lujan.

Posted on February 21, 2017 6:15 AM

Ex-police officer accuses historical child abuse victims of LYING to win compensation
NORTHERN IRELAND
Birmingham Mail

BYJEANETTE OLDHAM
21 FEB 2017

A former West Midlands Police officer has accused victims of institutional childhood abuse of LYING to a Government inquiry to win compensation.

Labour Party activist Bernard McEldowney is due to stand for the Bromsgrove ward of Woodvale in the county council elections in May.

But the retired police inspector has sparked fury in Northern Ireland after attacking a Government inquiry looking at the institutional abuse of children, dating back decades.

Mr McEldowney claims the inquiry was ‘hijacked’ by people who lied to win compensation, including former residents of St Joseph’s Children’s Home in Londonderry – where he was a resident.

The home was one of 22 institutions investigated by the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA), which looked at abuse allegations dating back decades.

Posted on February 21, 2017 6:12 AM

Christian Brothers legal funds ‘difficult’
AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

FEBRUARY 21, 2017

Megan Neil
Australian Associated Press

The Christian Brothers say they review legal funding for brothers accused of child sex abuse on a case-by-case basis, despite spending more than $1.5 million on one convicted pedophile’s numerous legal cases.

A Victorian County Court judge has said he is “blown away” that the Catholic Church still funds the legal defence for Brother Robert Best, who has been convicted of sex offences against 11 boys and this week admitted abusing a further 20 schoolboys.

The Christian Brothers had spent $1.53 million defending Best by 2015, and a combined $100,000 for two other brothers who had been convicted of abuse in Victoria’s Ballarat diocese.

Province leader Brother Peter Clinch says the Christian Brothers have had a new protocol since February last year over providing legal assistance to brothers facing criminal charges directly related to their time in the order.

Posted on February 21, 2017 6:11 AM

Scale of sexual abuse at Marist College Canberra revealed by royal commission
AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

Katie Burgess

Royal commission documents have exposed Marist College in Canberra as the most notorious Catholic school in Australia for child sexual abuse claims.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has revealed 63 claims of child sexual abuse made against the school.

But Bravehearts ambassador Damian De Marco believed the total number of victims at Marist College Canberra would be much higher.

“The true figure at Marist would be well over 100 given the number of stories I have heard about people who will never present officially and those that have died from suicide and drugs,” Mr De Marco said.

While claims of child sexual abuse were made about 1049 separate Catholic Church institutions, the report singled out 28 institutions that had more than 20 claims of child abuse against them.

Posted on February 21, 2017 6:08 AM

The Catholic Church’s South Wagga parish priest Paddy Sykes has backed calls for cultural change to stop child sexual abuse | Video
AUSTRALIA
Daily Advertiser

Ken Grimson
21 Feb 2017

THE priest in charge of one of the largest parishes in the Catholic Church’s Wagga Diocese has backed calls for lasting cultural change within the faith following the release of alarming figures revealing the extent of child sex abuse within the church.

Reverend Father Paddy Sykes, South Wagga parish priest, published the statistics under the heading “grim data” in his parish newsletter last weekend.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse said between January, 1980, and February, 2015, 4444 people made allegations of child sexual abuse to 93 Catholic Church authorities in Australia.

A total of 1880 alleged perpetrators were identified, of which 32 per cent were religious brothers, 30 per cent were priests, 29 per cent were lay people and 5 per cent were religious sisters.

“As terrible as those figures are, there are probably more (victims),” Fr Sykes said.

Posted on February 21, 2017 6:03 AM

Bishop says he too was abused by clergy
AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

FEBRUARY 21, 2017

Rebekah Ison
Australian Associated Press

The bishop of Parramatta has made an impassioned plea for the Catholic Church to become less “elitist” while revealing he was sexually abused by clergy himself.

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen was applauded during his evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Tuesday.

Survivors of sex abuse and their loved ones approached afterwards and some cried as they spoke with him.

“I was also a victim of sexual abuse by clergy when I first came to Australia, even though I was an adult,” the former refugee said towards the end of his testimony in Sydney.

“That had a powerful impact on me and how I want to … walk in the shoes of other victims and really endeavour to attain justice and dignity for them.”

Bishop Long, who is the first Australian bishop of Vietnamese background, said titles, privileges and the church’s institutional dynamics “breed clerical superiority and elitism”.

Posted on February 21, 2017 6:01 AM

Bishop of Parramatta Vincent Long Van Nguyen tells royal commission he was abused
AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

The Bishop of Parramatta, Vincent Long Van Nguyen, has told a royal commission he suffered sexual abuse by a member of the clergy after arriving in Australia as a refugee from Vietnam in 1981.

Bishop Long told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he had enormous empathy for victims.

“I was also a victim of sexual abuse by clergy when I first came to Australia, even though I was an adult,” he said.

“That had a powerful impact on me and I want to walk in the shoes of other victims and endeavour to attain justice and dignity for them.”

The bishop, 55, told the commission ordained ministers have too much power in the Catholic church and too little accountability.

The lack of women and lay people in leadership positions in the Catholic church has contributed to the high proportion of child sexual abuse allegations, Bishop Long told the inquiry.

Posted on February 21, 2017 5:59 AM

Regional areas ‘breeding ground’ for child sex abuse, inquiry told
AUSTRALIA
Hepburn Advocate

Melissa Cunningham
@MeljCunningham

21 Feb 2017

Regional areas were a “breeding ground” for emotionally immature Catholic clergy who easily entrenched themselves in communities and went onto sexually abuse children undetected, an inquiry heard.

In a frank admissions to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Christopher Prowse said on Tuesday an “extraordinary level of trust” was invested in priests in country communities.

When asked by Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission Gail Furness SC why regional areas were epicentres of clergy sexual abuse, Archbishop Prowse, who was bishop of Sale between 2009 and 2013, said clergy were often held in the highest esteem.

“It was a breeding ground for immature and disconnected priests to be able to move into that area, perhaps, more so numerically than in a bigger city where getting to know the priest is not as easy,” he said.

“(They) were able to really become part of the family in a way that wouldn’t have been so in a bigger city.”

Posted on February 21, 2017 5:56 AM

Australian bishop says he suffered sexual abuse at hands of Catholic clergy
AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Tuesday 21 February 2017

The Catholic bishop of Parramatta has gone public for the first time about the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of clergy.

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen talked about the abuse at a royal commission hearing in Sydney and called on the church to consider removing priests’ honorifics and giving parishioners more power.

“I was also a victim of sexual abuse by clergy when I first came to Australia, even though I was an adult,” the former refugee told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse on Tuesday.

“That had a powerful impact on me and how I want to … walk in the shoes of other victims and really endeavour to attain justice and dignity for them.”

Long, the first Australian bishop of Vietnamese background, was applauded throughout his testimony. Child sexual abuse survivors and their loved ones approached him afterwards. Some cried as they spoke to him.

Posted on February 21, 2017 5:55 AM

The imprint of false allegations pervades long after the matter
IRELAND
Irish Independent

Patricia Casey
PUBLISHED
21/02/2017

News items filled with details of sexual abuse allegations are well known to the Irish public. Throughout the 1990s our airwaves were filled with details of priests being charged with sexually abusing children under their charge as far back as the 1970s. We were horrified by these revelations, and several reports headed by judges on various diocese followed.

The possibility that there could be any false allegations was not countenanced and to have had the temerity to suggest this would have evoked public opprobrium and charges of being in denial about the reality of paedophilia.

Then there was the Fr Reynolds case. A priest on the missions was said to have raped a teenager and fathered a child on an RTÉ programme. Ultimately the allegation was false and he sued RTÉ. According to the Association of Catholic Priests, a number of their men have been falsely accused of child abuse by anonymous complainants. The gardaí have then been notified and with only the most cursory of attempts to verify the accuracy of the complaint, the priest is removed from duties and is left in an isolated state.

Removing a person accused of sexual abuse from duties is correct, provided that the possible veracity is established.

Posted on February 21, 2017 5:52 AM

Bishop Vincent Long tells Royal Commission he was abused
AUSTRALIA
Catholic Leader

Posted by: Mark Bowling

PARRAMATTA Bishop Vincent Long has told the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse that he was a victim of sexual abuse by clergy.

Bishop Long, who came to Australia as a refugee from Vietnam, told the commission he was abused soon after his arrival.

“I was also a victim of sexual abuse by clergy when I first came to Australia, even though I was adult,” he said.

“So, that had a powerful impact on me and how I want to walk in the shoes of other victims, and endeavour to obtain justice and dignity for them.

“We are all products of our life experiences.”

Commissioners questioned Bishop Long about whether structures had changed sufficiently to prevent further child abuse occurring.

Posted on February 21, 2017 5:49 AM

Bishop says power of priests needs change
AUSTRALIA
Sky News

The Catholic Church should consider getting rid of honorifics such as ‘your lordship’ and give lay people more power over parish priests, a NSW bishop says.

Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that titles, privileges and the Church’s institutional dynamics ‘breed clerical superiority and elitism’.

He said he cringes when parishioners call him ‘your lordship’ and the church needs to review mandatory celibacy, which he thinks separates the clergy from parishioners.

‘When they (faithful Catholics) come to see me, they kiss my ring,’ Bishop Long, who is the first Australian bishop of Vietnamese background, said in Sydney on Tuesday.
Posted on February 21, 2017 5:47 AM

Former Archbishop of Dublin Desmond Connell dies aged 90
IRELAND
The Journal

FORMER ARCHBISHOP OF Dublin Desmond Connell has died after a long illness.
He was 90.

Connell was Archbishop of Dublin from to 1988 until 2004 and Cardinal since 2001.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said that Cardinal Connell, who had been ill for some time, passed away peacefully during the night in his sleep.

His handling of clerical sexual abuse cases was widely criticised, leading to his replacement by Diarmuid Martin in 2004.

Posted on February 21, 2017 5:46 AM

February 20, 2017
Hobart archbishop says scale of abuse by Catholic clergy ‘difficult’ to understand
AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Christopher Knaus
Monday 20 February 2017

The archbishop of Hobart said he still struggles to understand why Catholic clergy abused children on such a massive scale, and blamed the church’s response on an ignorance of “the seriousness of child sexual abuse”.

The royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse on Tuesday heard evidence from a panel of archbishops and bishops, largely from Australia’s smaller Catholic dioceses.

The commissioners are seeking to understand why one in 14 Catholic clergy allegedly abused children in Australia, and are scrutinising the church’s efforts to reform its child protection.

The archbishop, Julian Porteous, was asked to give his thoughts on why the abuse crisis occurred at such a significant scale in the Catholic church. He was unable to give the royal commission a clear answer, saying he found it “very difficult” to understand.

Posted on February 20, 2017 9:43 PM

Ignorance led to abuse failure: Archbishop
AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

The Catholic Church’s failings on child sexual abuse were grounded in the “ignorance of a few”, the Archbishop of Hobart says.

Archbishop Julian Porteous agreed there had been a “massive failing” by leadership but that it was based in a lack of understanding about the issue and appropriate ways to deal with it.

“Effectively, ignorance of a few?” counsel assisting Gail Furness SC said at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney on Tuesday.

“Yes,” Archbishop Porteous replied.

The comments about a misunderstanding within the church angered Chrissie Foster, a mother of abuse victims.
Posted on February 20, 2017 9:42 PM

Public hearing into Commonwealth, State and Territory governments
AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

21 February, 2017

On 14 November 2016 the Royal Commission announced a series of public hearings to be held in Sydney to inquire into the current policies and procedures relating to child protection and child safety of various institutions.

Case Study 51 inquiring into the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments will commence on 6 March 2017. The scope and purpose of the public hearing is available on the Royal Commission website.

The Royal Commission will call senior representatives of relevant departments within the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments in relation to the topics set out below.

1. The response of the Commonwealth government to the recommendations of the Child Protection Panel in its report dated 11 May 2016, ‘Making Children Safer – the wellbeing and protection of children in immigration detention and regional processing centres’.

2. The steps taken by the Department of Defence in response to commitments made during the public hearing of Case Study 40 in relation to the current systems, policies and procedures of the Australian Defence Force to prevent, raise and respond to concerns and complaints about child sexual abuse

3. The responses of the States and Territories to the Commonwealth Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, announced on 4 November 2016.

Posted on February 20, 2017 9:38 PM

L’ossessione di papa Francesco per lo zolfo
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

Gli abusi? Tutta colpa del diavolo, scrive il pontefice nella sua premessa al libro autobiografico della vittima di un prete pedofilo. E pare che secondo Repubblica ci sia del vero.

Non più tardi di una settimana fa ricordavo nel mio blog che secondo papa Francesco il diavolo esiste ed è persona. Questa convinzione è un punto fermo della “nuova” Chiesa di Bergoglio. Dopo aver citato il demonio ben quattro volte nei primi dieci giorni del suo pontificato, Francesco lo ha nominato con cadenza regolare nelle sue omelie. “Vedendo” il diavolo in tutti gli scandali che hanno colpito la Chiesa dall’interno, il papa gesuita gli ha attribuito la responsabilità degli affari illegali targati Ior, della pedofilia clericale, delle guerre intestine che minacciano la stabilità della Curia, delle fughe di notizie riservate sulla Santa Sede.

Posted on February 20, 2017 6:55 PM

Don Inzoli è stato condannato per atti di pedofilia, ma non tutti sanno cosa era successo prima.
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

[Don Inzoli was sentenced for acts of pedophilia and proceedings were made against him at the Vatican but then-Pope Benedict XIV stopped the proceedings.]

Inzoli non è un prete qualsiasi. E’ stato per trent’anni uomo di punta di Comunione e liberazione in Lombardia. Tra i fondatori di un’iniziativa importante come il Banco alimentare, rettore al Liceo linguistico Shakespeare di Cremona e parroco della chiesa della Santissima Trinità.

Condannato a quattro anni e nove mesi per cinque episodi di pedofilia accertati (ma sono stati molti di più). I più piccoli tra le vittime avevano tra i 12 e i 13 anni, i più grandi tra i 14 e i 16.

Si comincia col non capire perché il tribunale abbia abbassato la pena richiesta dal procuratore (sei anni) malgrado il procuratore Roberto Di Martino avesse sottolineato: “Ci sono alcuni particolari terribili ! “.

Posted on February 20, 2017 6:51 PM

Fanno sesso con un ragazzino minorenne. Tre arresti a Vibo Valentia, tra cui un prete e un pensionato
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

[Having sex with an underage boy. Three arrests in Vibo Valentia, including a priest.]

Tre uomini sono stati arrestati a Vibo Valentia per aver fatto sesso mercenario con un ragazzino di 15 anni, straniero. Cinquanta euro la cifra pagata da i tre, tra cui anche un prete e un pensionato

VIBO VALENTIA – Una squallida vicenda è salita alla ribalta della cronaca a Vibo Valentia in Calabria. Qui si è consumato del sesso mercenario ai danni di un ragazzino straniero di 15 anni. In manette sono finiti tre uomini, tra cui un prete e un pensionato.
Posted on February 20, 2017 6:49 PM

Vatican tribunal moves on to Hawaii
GUAM/HAWAII
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post

The Vatican tribunal led by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, which came to Guam last week to investigate sex abuse allegations against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, is in Hawaii to hear testimony from former Agat Parish altar boy Roy Quintanilla, according to a document The Guam Daily Post has received.

“As this tribunal has been informed of your readiness to be heard in the above-titled case regarding accusations against His Excellency, the Most Reverend Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM Cap., at the direction of the Presiding Judge, I am forwarding to you his decree of citation by which you are called for said hearing,” Rev. Justin Wachs wrote to Quintanilla.

According to Post files, the tribunal comprises Burke who serves as the presiding judge, Rev. Robert Geisinger who serves as the prosecutor, Rev. James Conn who serves as Apuron’s advocate, and Wachs who serves as the tribunal’s notary and designated recorder.

Series of meetings

Quintanilla’s meeting, which is scheduled for Feb. 20 at 10 a.m. at the Diocesan Chancery of the Diocese of Honolulu in Kaneohe, Hawaii, is the second in a series of meetings scheduled with former Guam altar boys who have accused Apuron of abuse dating back to the 1970s.

Posted on February 20, 2017 3:38 PM

Northern Michigan priest arrested in sexual misconduct case
MICHIGAN
Fox 47

ROGERS CITY, Mich. (AP) – A Roman Catholic priest is in jail in northern Michigan in a sexual misconduct investigation.

The Presque Isle County prosecutor says he won’t comment until after an arraignment Tuesday. But radio station WHSB says Bishop Steven Raica discussed the matter Sunday night with members of St. Ignatius Church in Rogers City.

Raica says the Rev. Sylvestre Obwaka denies the allegations. Raica says he’s “searching for the truth.” Obwaka, a native of Kenya, has been pastor at St. Ignatius since July 2013. He’s been a priest since 2010.

Posted on February 20, 2017 3:36 PM

Marist Brothers sorry for shameful abuse
AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

One case of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church is one case too many, says the apologetic head of the Marist Brothers whose members allegedly abused hundreds of children.

Brother Peter Carroll, the provincial of the Marist Brothers in Australia, says the child sex abuse scandal has undermined confidence in the Catholic Church and the order’s education mission.

“Children and their families have been grievously betrayed by the criminal actions of some of our own, and we too, as Marists, have also been greatly let down,” Brother Carroll said.

“We are justifiably upset and offended.”

More than 20 per cent of Marist Brothers, Christian Brothers and Salesians of Don Bosco and 40 per cent of St John of God Brothers have been the subject of child sex abuse claims to the Catholic Church in Australia.
Posted on February 20, 2017 2:02 PM

Une procédure canonique ouverte à l’encontre de Tony Anatrella
FRANCE
La Croix

Céline Hoyeau, le 20/02/2017

Sur la base du rapport que lui a remis la commission mise en place pour étudier les témoignages accusant d’agressions sexuelles ce prêtre psychanalyste très en vue, l’archevêque de Paris a décidé de poursuivre la procédure canonique, délocalisée à Toulouse.

C’était une décision très attendue à l’encontre d’un prêtre en vue, sur lequel des soupçons pèsent depuis une quinzaine d’années. Une procédure canonique va s’ouvrir à l’encontre du P. Tony Anatrella, 75 ans, accusé d’agressions sexuelles dans le cadre de son activité professionnelle de psychanalyste, a appris La Croix.

Posted on February 20, 2017 1:59 PM

Priest who denied a duty to report abuse faces abuse charges
FRANCE
Crux

Monsignor Tony Anatrella, a prominent French priest and psychoanalyst who stirred controversy in 2015 when he advised newly appointed Catholic bishops that they were not obligated to report sex abuse allegations to the police, now faces a Church legal procedure for abuse charges himself.

Anatrella has strongly denied the abuse allegations, suggesting in the past that he’s become a target because of his critical views and writings on homosexuality.

The French newspaper La Croix reported Monday that based on the report of a commission created by Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris to examine the charges against Anatrella, a canonical procedure has been opened by the Diocese of Toulouse.

Although suspicions about Anatrella are said to date back at least 15 years, they did not become a matter of public controversy until 2016, when alleged victims aired their allegations in the French media. At the time, Vingt-Trois encouraged those alleged victims to file complaints with the proper legal authorities.

Posted on February 20, 2017 1:57 PM

Christian Brother paedophile Robert Best’s hypocrisy was ‘gobsmacking’, judge says
AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Monday 20 February 2017

The hypocrisy of the notorious paedophile and Christian Brother Robert Best was “breathtaking and gobsmacking”, exacerbated by his religious affiliation, a judge has said while telling the 76-year-old it was likely he would die in jail.

Victorian county court judge Geoffrey Chettle told Best it was hard not get angry about his abuse, and said he was “blown away” by the fact that his legal fees were still being paid by the Catholic church.

Best pleaded guilty to a further 24 counts of indecent assault on boys aged between eight and 11 years. He molested them between 1968 and 1988 while teaching at St Alipius primary school in Ballarat, St Leo’s college in Box Hill and St Joseph’s college, Geelong.

He is already serving 14 years and nine months jail for sex offences against 11 boys over a 20-year period.

Posted on February 20, 2017 10:29 AM

Bathurst St Stanislaus’ College set for apology to student victims of paedophile priest
AUSTRALIA
Busselton Mail

20 Feb 2017

VICTIMS of historic sexual abuse at Bathurst’s St Stanislaus’ College will receive a formal public apology on June 16.

Head of College Dr Anne Wenham announced the date for the apology following the sentencing of disgraced former priest Brian Spillane in the District Court last Thursday.

In a letter to the school community, Dr Wenham said details of Spillane’s crimes had been distressing to read and she was deeply sorry for what his young victims had experienced during their time as students at the college.

Dr Wenham said the college and Oceania Province of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) agreed a formal apology to victims was important.

Posted on February 20, 2017 7:50 AM

Mother and Baby Homes commission spent €21k on carpet
IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Monday, February 20, 2017

Conall Ó Fátharta

More than €20,000 was spent on carpet for the office of the Mother and Baby Homes Commission by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA).

The details are contained in the purchase orders for €20,000 or above made by the DCYA in the first three months of 2015.

The department paid out €21,948 to Carpet Express Ltd to provide carpet for the Mother and Baby Homes Commission on Lower Baggot St in Dublin.

It spent a further €45,928 on the “supply, delivery, and installation of office furniture” for the Commission.

Another €26,575 was spent on the “supply, delivery, and installation of drawer safes” at the offices of the inquiry, while €42,657 went on the “purchase, installation, and configuration of unified communications system”.

This spend also included wifi.

Posted on February 20, 2017 7:47 AM

New Catholic standards body to crack down on clergy: Royal Commission
AUSTRALIA
The Age

Rachel Browne

A newly established national oversight body for the Catholic church will have the power to publicly name dioceses or religious orders which fail to meet its robust standards, a royal commission has heard.

The inquiry was told the new body, Catholic Professional Standards (CPS) Ltd, will also give bishops the authority to penalise priests who do not to comply with the new benchmarks.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard that the body, formed late last year, would set, enforce and audit new standards on the protection of children and vulnerable people.

Neville Owen, the chairman of the Catholic church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council, told the hearing CPS would publicly name the dioceses and orders which failed to comply.

Posted on February 20, 2017 7:44 AM

Company to hold Catholic groups to account
AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Catholic priests could face serious penalties if they don’t meet the mark set by a new professional standards body which will publicly name non-compliant dioceses and orders.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Monday heard Catholic Professional Standards Limited would audit the church’s authorities, with a view to holding them to account by publishing reports online.

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge thinks bishops should consider entering formal arrangements with priests so they could be stood aside or have their faculties removed if they repeatedly flout the new standards.

“These are serious sanctions – to stand a man aside or to remove his faculties – but given the seriousness of what we are discussing, they are measures that I would consider,” he said on Monday.
Posted on February 20, 2017 7:43 AM

Submissions on records and recordkeeping published
AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

20 February, 2017

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published more than 40 submissions on Records and Recordkeeping Practices in relation to child sexual abuse in institutions.

The submissions received came from a wide range of government and non-government organisations including state governments, not-for-profit organisations, advocacy groups, professional bodies, research groups, religious organisations, academics and individuals.

They are based on a consultation paper released in September last year titled Records and Recordkeeping Practices.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the submissions contribute significantly to the Royal Commission’s knowledge and understanding on institutional recordkeeping practices and how these practices could be improved for children in the future.

“The Royal Commission has heard from countless survivors about their painful experiences with poor records and recordkeeping practices in institutions. Many have told us that they had difficulty accessing records, including those who were unable to find records about themselves,” Mr Reed said.

Posted on February 20, 2017 7:36 AM

Women also sexually abuse children, but their reasons often differ from men’s
AUSTRALIA
The Conversation

Xanthe Mallett
Forensic Criminologist, University of New England

Data from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recently revealed that, between 1950 and 2010, 60% of all abuse allegedly took place at faith-based institutions. Evidence showed that, in Catholic institutions, 95% of alleged offenders were men. This means the remaining 5% (or 96 of the 1,880 accused) were women.

This may come as a surprise. There is a common misconception that all child sex offenders are men. But women child sex offenders do exist, although they differ from male counterparts in several ways.

How many women abuse?

A study for the Home Office in the UK in 1998 indicated less than 5% of child sex offences were committed by women. This is supported by data coming out of the Royal Commission – that 5% of the alleged abusers associated with the Catholic Church were religious sisters – as well as research based on correctional services data in Australia.

The author of the UK report acknowledged the number may be lower than the reality. A 2015 study looked at virtually every substantiated child sexual abuse case reported to child protective services in the United States in 2010. It concluded more than 20% of child sexual abuse cases reviewed involved a primary female perpetrator – so estimates vary significantly.

Posted on February 20, 2017 7:34 AM

Catholic Church funding defence of paedophile Robert Best ‘just blows me away’, Victorian judge says
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By James Hancock

The Catholic Church is continuing to cover the legal bills of convicted paedophile and Christian Brother Robert Best, who has admitted to sexually abusing a further 20 boys in his care, a Victorian court has been told.

Best, 76, admitted on Monday to 24 charges of indecent assault against the boys, mostly aged between eight and 11 years old.

The County Court heard the abuse took place between 1968 and 1988 while Brother Best was a principal, teacher and year level co-ordinator at four schools: St Alipius at Ballarat, St Leo’s at Box Hill, St Joseph’s at Geelong and St Bernard’s at Essendon.

Best was sentenced to 14 years and nine months jail in 2011 for sexual crimes against 11 boys during the same period.

His latest guilty pleas take the total number of victims to 31.

Posted on February 20, 2017 7:32 AM

The Catholic Church has a formal diplomatic relationship with Australia, but there are calls for that to end
AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

David Shoebridge
20 Feb 2017

Australia allows the Catholic Church to protect sexual predators, and any information the church holds on its own illegal activity, from the law. We let it do this by granting protections afforded to no other religious group. It is time this ended.

In 1973 the Australian government granted the Vatican (called the Holy See in official channels) formal diplomatic recognition. This protected the Vatican, and gave its senior officials and head office in Australia the same protection we afford embassies and staff of foreign nations. Their documents cannot be subpoenaed and their senior officials cannot be forced to attend court or provide information.

By accepting the Vatican has foreign nation status, we also accept that it can refuse any Australian request or demand to hand over alleged criminals to stand trial in Australia. The only way criminals in a foreign country can be forced to stand trial in Australia is if we have an extradition treaty with that country.

Australia has an extradition treaty with Italy, but hasn’t managed in 44 years to get one in place with the tiny pretend nation-state of the Vatican that exists wholly within Rome. This is why George Pell can’t be forced back to face questioning at the Royal Commission and why, if a senior Vatican official in Rome was accused of child abuse, he could not be forced to face a criminal trial in our country.

Posted on February 20, 2017 7:30 AM

Founder steps down while SNAP considers new directions
UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Feb. 20, 2017

In a matter of weeks, an extreme makeover changed the face of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Gone is David Clohessy, its national director and the relentless force behind the group’s advocacy efforts.

Gone is Barbara Blaine, its president and the former Catholic Worker who founded the support network in 1988, in part through a phone call to the Phil Donahue Show.

What remains, SNAP says, is its wide network of volunteer leaders who perform “the vast majority” of its work outside public view, as well as its longstanding commitment to survivors of sexual abuse.

“I think our core mission has always been to help those who have been hurt and protect the vulnerable,” said Barbara Dorris, now SNAP managing director after 12 years as its outreach director. “We are still doing both and will continue to do both and maybe in kind of different ways.”

The change in personnel didn’t so much spark an examination of SNAP’s future so much as it fueled already ongoing conversations of what the highest-profile advocacy group against clerical sexual abuse of children, with 20,000-plus members, will look like in the future, who and how it will serve, and even what it might call itself.

“I think any organization has to change and grow to remain viable, to remain healthy,” Dorris said.

Posted on February 20, 2017 7:28 AM

S. Jersey Christian preschool teacher’s aide suspended over allegations of sex abuse
NEW JERSEY
Philly.com

by Julie Shaw , Staff writer @julieshawphilly | [email protected]

A teacher’s aide at a South Jersey Christian preschool has been accused in a lawsuit with sexually abusing four children under his care.

The aide was recently suspended from the reJOYce Christian School in Hainesport, Burlington County, and a criminal investigation is underway by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, according to lawyer Brian Kent, who filed the lawsuit.

The preschool is part of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. The newspaper is not naming the teacher’s aide because he has not been criminally charged.

His suspension was first reported by FOX 29 on Thursday.

Joel Bewley, spokesman for the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, said in an email Friday: “Our office does not divulge the possible existence of a criminal investigation into a specific person or entity.” He added that there “are no present charges against” the teacher’s aide.

Posted on February 20, 2017 7:25 AM

Victims call for support review
AUSTRALIA
The Standard

Melissa Cunningham
@MeljCunningham

19 Feb 2017

CLERGY sexual abuse survivors from the Ballarat diocese say a new model of victim support is needed because past systems of compensation have monumentally failed.

Survivor Peter Blenkiron has again implored the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse and the federal government to mimic the support for soldiers suffering post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Blenkiron and survivor Andrew Collins have previously called for victims who have ongoing health issues to receive a health care card, as well as a pension of $252 a week extra, bringing them in line with war veterans.

The Catholic church says its system that has paid $276 million in compensation to thousands of people sexually abused as children is still not fair to victims. There are discrepancies in the average amount authorities pay – from as little as $22,000 to as much as $901,000.

Posted on February 20, 2017 7:23 AM

CM EXCLUSIVE: INTERVIEW WITH EMILIANO FITTIPALDI
UNITED STATES
Church Militant

by Juliana Freitag • ChurchMilitant.com • February 19, 2017

Casting a spotlight on sex abuse in the Vatican

Italian author Emiliano Fittipaldi, one of the defendants in the 2016 Vatileaks 2.0 trial, recently published his book Lust: Sins, Scandals and Betrayals of a Church Made of Men, detailing never-before-known facts about sexual scandals in Rome. He recently spoke with Church Militant in this exclusive interview.

Editor’s Note: The author’s opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of ChurchMilitant.com.

CM: What prompted you to write this book?

EF: Well, it’s actually quite simple. I’m an investigative journalist; I investigate power. In my previous book, Greed, the one that led me to be prosecuted in the Vatican, I tried to understand how far Pope Francis’ reform had gone. And I actually discovered that the Vatican scandals hadn’t been tackled at all. I went after a monsignor who works inside the Vatican, and he advised me to go ahead and find out whether there had been any actual changes regarding procedures to handle sex abuse charges. And this monsignor himself confirmed to me that there hadn’t been any changes.

He showed me information from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where in the last three years, during the pontificate of Pope Francis, accusations have doubled compared to the period of 2005–2010. More than 1,200 complaints were brought forward. I thought that was interesting and decided to inspect this phenomenon. I wanted to understand if the Church was really doing what She had promised to do, and I found out that no, She’s not doing it.

CM: You wrote an article in La Repubblica stating that you found out there are more than 200 cases of priests accused of sexual crimes in Italy. It’s quite incredible that Italy has never seen a Spotlight investigation akin to what took place in the United States when the Boston Globe exposed the sex abuse crisis in the American Church in 2002.

EF: Well, this is what I tried to do with this book.

Posted on February 20, 2017 7:19 AM

February 19, 2017
Reicht der Skandal bis nach Rom?
SCHWEIZ
Luzerner Zeitung

[SEXUAL ABUSE ⋅ For days the fall of a Catholic priest who has abused dozens of children has made headlines. But who has covered the 76-year-old all these years? The traces lead to the Vatican.]

SEXUELLER MISSBRAUCH ⋅ Seit Tagen sorgt der Fall eines katholischen Paters, der Dutzende Kinder missbraucht hat, für Schlagzeilen. Doch wer hat den heute 76-Jährigen all die Jahre gedeckt? Die Spuren führen in den Vatikan.

18. Februar 2017, 13:24

Dominik Weingartner

Es ist ein Fall von sexuellem Missbrauch in der katholischen Kirche, der einen erschaudern lässt: Jahrzehntelang hat sich ein heute 76-jähriger Kapuzinerpater an Dutzenden von Kindern vergriffen. Das berichtete der «Blick» diese Woche in einer Artikelserie. Hintergrund ist die Veröffent­lichung des Buches eines Betroffenen, das mit dem Vorwort von Papst Franziskus besondere Aufmerksamkeit erlangt.

Posted on February 19, 2017 2:38 PM

Über Geld spricht der Bischof nicht
DEUTSCHLAND
Correctiv

[CORRECTIV complains: Where do the churches place their billions? The German churches are rich. But whoever wants to know in which funds and industries the archbishoprics and churches invested their billions encounters a wall of silence.]

Annika Joeres

Die deutschen Kirchen sind reich. Doch wer wissen will, in welche Fonds und Branchen die Erzbistümer und Landeskirchen ihre Milliarden investiert haben, stößt auf eine Mauer des Schweigens. Die wollen wir durchbrechen. Deshalb haben wir nun eine Klage auf Auskunft gegen das Erzbistum Köln eingereicht.

Das Erzbistum Köln ist ein besonderes Erzbistum. Nicht nur wegen des gotischen Doms und der großen Zahl von zwei Millionen Kirchenmitgliedern. Das Erzbistum Köln ist auch besonders wohlhabend. Laut Geschäftsbericht nahm es im Jahr 2015 rund 627 Millionen Euro an Kirchensteuern ein. Rund 2,5 Milliarden Euro hat das Bistum am Finanzmarkt angelegt.

Posted on February 19, 2017 2:34 PM

Catholic faith group sees progress in tribunal
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | The Guam Daily Post

The president of a Catholic faith group that has been carrying out weekly protests outside the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica told The Guam Daily Post that he sees the signs of progress in the arrival of the Vatican-led tribunal that arrived on Guam last week to hear testimony from those who have accused Guam clergy of child sexual abuse.

“Yes, the combined efforts of the laity of Guam have made the world aware of our problem with clergy sex abuse and the deficient administration of Archbishop Anthony Apuron who abused his authority,” said Dave Sablan, president of Concerned Catholics of Guam.”The Vatican is now paying attention, and they need to because of the civil lawsuits filed against them as well for allegedly knowing (about) the cover ups of clergy sex abuse.”

The tribunal concluded the Guam part of its inquiry Friday, according to the Archdiocese of Agana.

Sablan explained that the protest carried out last week at the Archdiocese Chancery was held both to show support for Roland Sondia, one of those who came forward last year as a former altar boy abused by then-priest Archbishop Anthony Apuron, and a way for protesters to send a strong message to the Vatican.

Posted on February 19, 2017 2:31 PM

Vatican tribunal concludes Guam part of inquiry
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

A cardinal and the rest of the members of a Vatican tribunal that came to Guam to investigate sex abuse allegations against suspended Archbishop Anthony Apuron have concluded the Guam part of their inquiry.

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, the judge of the tribunal, and other members of his party, left Friday, according to the Archdiocese of Agana.

The tribunal’s Guam visit is part of the canonical trial for Apuron, who faces penal charges in connection with allegations of sexual abuse of altar boys decades ago when he was a Guam priest.

The tribunal “conveyed their appreciation to all individuals whom they interviewed during their work here and encouraged all of Guam’s faithful to remain grounded in Christ,” according to the archdiocese’s statement.

“Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes is pleased that the Vatican is advancing this process,” the archdiocese further stated. “The archdiocese commends all witnesses who have stepped forward to tell their stories. We will continue to redouble our efforts to combat, root out and address sex abuse in the archdiocese.”

Posted on February 19, 2017 1:23 PM

Former Families SA carer and regional school Christian pastoral worker jailed over student sex abuse
AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

Andrew Hough — Exclusive, The Advertiser
February 19, 2017

AN unrepentant former Families SA carer and school Christian pastoral worker has been jailed over his sexual abuse of a student despite his denials and victim blaming.

The Advertiser can reveal how married Wayne Daniel Phillips, 33, “exploited his position of trust” during his time at a country high school, where he targeted the “particularly vulnerable” girl.

The child-sex predator groomed his shy, lonely and naive victim — who came from a “strict religious family” and “lacked self-confidence” — online and showered her with affection, flattery and attention.

The pair communicated via Facebook over a “significant period of time”, a District Court judge said.

“(He) used his position of trust to encourage a rather shy and family-orientated young woman to engage in a lengthy sexual relationship,” said Judge Paul Cuthbertson in sentencing.

Posted on February 19, 2017 11:11 AM

Cardinal Burke Firmly Rejects Account by Order of Malta’s Acting Head
ROME
National Catholic Register

The Cardinal Patron of the Order says he is “stunned” by Von Rumerstein’s account of Albrecht von Boeselager’s dismissal and considers it “a calumny”; also gives interview detailing his recent visit to Guam.

Edward Pentin

Cardinal Raymond Burke has firmly rejected an account given by the acting head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta who said in an interview this week that the cardinal, and not the Order’s Grand Master, was the one who asked its Grand Chancellor to resign in December.

Here below are Cardinal Burke’s remarks in response to the account given by Fra’ Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein, who is reportedly suffering from ill health and not in possession of all his faculties:

“The account given by Fra’ Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein is not accurate. I had no authority to ask the Grand Chancellor to resign. I simply stated that the person who knowingly permitted the distribution of contraceptives in the Order’s works should take responsibility, and then the Grand Master once again asked the Grand Chancellor to resign which he refused to do. Then the Grand Master proceeded to his dismissal without my involvement at all. The account of the Grand Master and myself stands.

To be frank, I am stunned by what Hoffmann von Rumerstein states in the article. I consider it a calumny.”

More on this story to follow next week.

Posted on February 19, 2017 9:03 AM

Judge Dame Lowell at head of Britain’s child abuse inquiry had ‘no real idea’ of size of job
UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

BY MIKE SULLIVAN 19th February 2017

EXPLOSIVE emails reveal how the New Zealand judge who lasted less than 18 months as head of Britain’s child abuse inquiry had ‘’no real idea’’ of its size when she took the job.

Dame Lowell Goddard publicly claimed she was well aware of the scale of the inquiry when she was appointed by Theresa May in February 2015.

But she secretly admitted to a Home Office official in email that she had ‘’no real idea of the potential scope’’ of the inquiry.

Emails also reveal how the red carpet was rolled out for Dame Lowell when she arrived in the country to take up her £360,000 a year post.

The messages show how grovelling Home Office flunkeys arranged with UK Borders Agency staff for Dame Lowell to to be waved thorough immigration checks to avoid the media.

Along with the presidential treatment, Dame Lowell and her husband were given first class return tickets from New Zealand for that ten-day visit to the UK costing £23,000 in total.

Posted on February 19, 2017 8:08 AM

Abuse inquiry bars victims’ charity
SCOTLAND
The Sunday Times

Mark Macaskill
February 19 2017
The Sunday Times

A charity that has supported more than 15,000 victims of child sex abuse has been blocked from playing a key role at a Scottish government inquiry.

Wellbeing Scotland has campaigned on behalf of victims for more than two decades but has been told it does not meet the criteria to be a “core participant” at the Scottish child abuse inquiry.

This means it cannot give evidence at the inquiry or cross-examine witnesses on behalf of victims. More than 30 clients of the Falkirk charity, formerly known as Open Secret, have signed a letter urging Lady Smith, the senior judge chairing the inquiry, to reverse the decision. An appeal has been lodged by a Glasgow law firm.

The decision to block the charity has prompted disquiet in legal circles where it was described last week as “puzzling” and “bizarre”.

One lawyer suggested that the charity has so many clients — in excess of 1,000 — that its contribution could significantly increase the inquiry’s costs. In light of the decision, dozens of victims said they would not engage with the inquiry.

Posted on February 19, 2017 8:03 AM

Top bishop’s diocese is under fire over a child sex abuse ‘cover-up’ after a trainee vicar raped two Christian girls
UNITED KINGDOM
The Mail on Sunday

By Simon Walters Political Editor For The Mail On Sunday

One of Britain’s best-known bishops faced controversy last night after it emerged his diocese refused to punish two leading priests in a new church child sex abuse row.

The London diocese, headed by the Bishop of London Richard Chartres – the third most senior Church of England cleric – faced a call by the bishop’s own independent inquiry to consider punishing two priests criticised after a trainee vicar raped two Christian girls.

But the diocese did not take any action, saying it could cause further upset to the victims.

Oxford-educated Timothy Storey was jailed for 15 years last April after a court heard how he groomed hundreds of children on Facebook, using his position as children’s pastor to prey on ‘weak, insecure girls’.

Judge Philip Katz lambasted the ‘utterly incompetent failure’ of ‘arrogant’ church leaders to protect young girls – and accused them of a cover-up. Bishop Chartres apologised and set up an independent inquiry into the scandal.

The Mail on Sunday has established that it was concluded five months ago.

Oxford-educated Timothy Storey was jailed for 15 years last April after a court heard how he groomed hundreds of children on Facebook

Its full contents were kept secret, but this newspaper can reveal the inquiry said both clerics should face disciplinary action – even though both had already been removed from their children’s supervisory roles.
Posted on February 19, 2017 8:00 AM

Steve Bannon’s Cardinal Pal Denies Guam Post Is Pope Punishment
VATICAN CITY
Huffington Post

By Mary Papenfuss

An arch-conservative American cardinal has denied that his sudden posting to Guam in the wake of a Vatican fake news attack on Pope Francis is a punishment from the liberal pontiff.

The Vatican dispatched Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke to Guam to be the judge at a trial there of an archbishop who was removed from office last year after several allegations of child sex abuse. Burke insisted the trial will likely be finished by the summer and told Mediaset in Italy that the posting was normal and not a punishment from the pope, though the two men have clashed in the past.

Burke was named in a recent New York Times article as a friend of Donald Trump’s top aide Steve Bannon. They’re both members of an emboldened Catholic power base — self-described “rad trads,” or radical traditionalists — pushing for a stricter interpretation of Church teachings, according to the Times. The pope, on the other hand, is one of the more liberal pontiffs of the last several decades. He preaches compassion, has encouraged protesting to achieve justice, is concerned about climate change and has attacked policies of the Trump administration without mentioning the president’s name.

Burke recently angered the pope after reportedly demanding the suspension of a leader of a traditionally conservative Catholic charity organization, the Knights of Malta, for arranging the distribution of free condoms in Myanmar. Francis also was recently the target of a fake publication designed by conservatives to look like the official Vatican newspaper. A phony interview in the paper mocked his liberal views.

Posted on February 19, 2017 7:47 AM

Michael Boyle on Catholic Sexual Abuse Crisis: How It Happened, What Can Be Done — “Dysfunctional and Sick Culture Playing Out One Strand of Its Sickness and Dysfunctionality”
UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

I’d like to recommend to you Michael Boyle’s four-part series on how the sexual abuse crisis happened in the Catholic church, and what’s to be done about it. As Michael says in the first installment in this series at his Sound of Sheer Silence blog, he was motivated to write these postings in response to the release of the Australian Royal Commission’s report about clerical sexual abuse, which shows one in five members of some Catholic religious communities including the Marist Brothers and Christian Brothers allegedly involved in child sexual abuse.

Michael’s postings (#2 and #3 are here and here) build to the following conclusion in his final posting of the series:

Summing up what was included in the last three posts, I would say that the Roman Catholic clerical sex abuse crisis was caused by:

1. a completely closed and insular clerical culture

2. which prioritized its own autonomy from judgment by non-clerical institutions, and

3. which developed a culture of “don’t ask, don’t tell” with regard to sexual indiscretions

4. formed in light of its own internal struggles around the fact that a majority of its members were closeted gay men, and

5. which was also struggling with shrinking numbers, and thus

6. was incentivized doing whatever possible to keep priests in the fold and on duty

7. while lacking robust tools to recognize the true harm and danger of the sexual abuse of children.
Posted on February 19, 2017 7:45 AM

How Did This Happen? Part 1
UNITED STATES
A Sound of Sheer Silence

Michael Boyle

Less than a month ago, I said I would stop talking about Roman Catholicism, and I had every intention of sticking to that. But I am going to break that promise to talk about the release of the report of the Royal Commission in Australia about clerical sexual abuse. The results are shocking–if the reports are correct, the scope of the problem in Australia was even worse than in the United States or in the UK/Ireland. To give an example, there was a reference to a Benedictine monastery in Western Australia in which 17.6% of the monks had an abuse allegation lodged against them at some point in the 1950s. Think about being in a room with a group of monks in which one out of every six of them had someone in the 1950s accuse them of committing a sexual violation on a minor. Think of how many complaints were not made in the culture of the 1950s. One in six. My God.

I had a twitter exchange last night with Maureen Clarke about the report, focusing on what is the obvious question–how did this happen? I’ve gotten this question before from various folks, and I decided it might be worthwhile to lay out my best effort at answering this question. I’ve talked about pieces of my thoughts on this topic in various places, but never in one place in a cohesive way. This is obviously only my own take, based on my own experience–I have no particular expertise other than having seen behind the veil of the Catholic priesthood. So, take this for whatever you think it is worth.

The first way to address this question, I think, is to divide the question “how did this happen?” into two parts, based on two different facets of the “this” at issue. The first “this” is “how did it come to pass that some number of Roman Catholic priests sexually abuse children?” The second “this” is “how did it come to pass that the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church covered up the fact that some number of Roman Catholic priests had and were sexually abusing children, either actively or passively, thus facilitating the abuse?” This distinction is important, I believe, because the causes for the two questions are different, and because much of the discussion around this issue confuses these two questions in a way that makes it difficult to get to the bottom of either of them. In this post, I want to focus on question #1, and leave the more complicated question #2 for future posts.

Posted on February 19, 2017 7:43 AM

How Did This Happen, Part 2–A People Set Apart
UNITED STATES
A Sound of Sheer Silence

Michael Boyle

In the previous post, I framed question #2 of “how did this sex abuse crisis happen?” as “how did it come to pass that the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church covered up the fact that some number of Roman Catholic priests had and were sexually abusing children, either actively or passively, thus facilitating the abuse?” The answer to that question, in my view can be answered in a one sentence response–“because the culture of the Roman Catholic priesthood is sick and broken, and the sex abuse crisis is the most visible manifestation of that pathology.”

It is extremely important here to emphasize the word “culture.” While people contribute to cultures in which they are a part, a culture is a conceptually distinct entity from any particular member of that culture. There are deeply decent and honorable men who are Roman Catholic priests. But the culture in which they swim is not decent and not honorable in the main. And, in what is perhaps the greater tragedy, fundamentally decent and honorable men can become compromised by that culture to do things they would never otherwise do.

Let’s talk about the big picture elements of that culture, and then drill down to the specifics. If you look at the history of the Roman Catholic Church, probably the single most consistent thread post-Constantine is the absolute and uncompromising insistence by the Church that clerics are not, and should never be, subject to the authority of non-clerics. Thomas Becket died, and was named a saint, for standing up for that principle–that he and his clerics could not be tried by the king’s courts in the manner of every other person in England. Gregory VII is acclaimed as a great pope for asserting the same privileges for clerics in the Holy Roman Empire. These fights are often framed as being about protecting the Church from domination by power-hungry kings, and there is truth to that, but the core principle is clerics are to be judged by other clerics, and never by non-clerics.

Posted on February 19, 2017 7:42 AM

How Did This Happen, Part 3–Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
UNITED STATES
A Sound of Sheer Silence

Michael Boyle

Any honest discussion of sexuality and the Roman Catholic priesthood must start with the elephant in the room–something approaching a majority of priests are closeted gay men of one form or another. That seems impossible to believe for many people, but no one speaking honestly has ever seriously challenged this premise, at least not to me. And my own experience confirms this assessment.

If you think it through, though, it’s not really surprising. In a pervasively homophobic culture, a priesthood in which you were not allowed, and thus not expected, to enter into a (opposite sex) marriage would be logically attractive to men who understood that such a marriage was not an option for them. It doesn’t even have to work on a conscious level. I remember asking an elderly priest how he knew he had a vocation to the priesthood, and his response was, “I remember being 14 and seeing all my friends starting to get really into girls, and I was never particularly interested, so I took it to mean that I had a vocation to be a priest.” Knowing this man (now deceased), I believe it never occurred to him that he may not have been interested in those girls because he was not straight. Whether or not he was gay I can’t say, but you can imagine how someone who was would be steered toward becoming a Catholic priest by this thought process.

Another factor that encouraged the presence of gay men in the Roman Catholic priesthood is the operation of what writer Libby Anne calls the “Two Boxes” model of sexual morality. The Two Boxes model of sexual morality says that there is one box labelled “acceptable sexual practices”–in the Catholic account, sex between a married man and woman that is “open to the transmission of life”–and one box labelled “unacceptable sexual practices” which is everything else. Critically, in the Two Boxes model, the “everything else” is not differentiated into gradations of more or less unacceptable, but basically lumped together into one mass.

Posted on February 19, 2017 7:41 AM

How Did This Happen, Part 4–What Is To Be Done?
UNITED STATES
A Sound of Sheer Silence

Michael Boyle

Summing up what was included in the last three posts, I would say that the Roman Catholic clerical sex abuse crisis was caused by:

1. a completely closed and insular clerical culture
2. which prioritized its own autonomy from judgment by non-clerical institutions, and
3. which developed a culture of “don’t ask, don’t tell” with regard to sexual indiscretions
4. formed in light of its own internal struggles around the fact that a majority of its members were closeted gay men, and
5. which was also struggling with shrinking numbers, and thus
6. was incentivized toward doing whatever possible to keep priests in the fold and on duty
7. while lacking robust tools to recognize the true harm and danger of the sexual abuse of children.

In light of this diagnosis, what can be done to rectify it? One thing that will certainly not rectify it is creating a culture of paranoia around homosexuality inside the priesthood. And yet, that seems to be what has happened, and in many respects may be one of the few substantive changes that occurred since the first wave of revelations in the U.S. in 2001-2003. Bill Lindsey points to the infamous “Halloween document” issued in 1986 by then-Cardinal Ratzinger and the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith as a turning point on LGBT issues, and I trust Bill’s insight as he was “on the ground” at that time in a way I was certainly not. I can say, however, that the 1986 document was received and interpreted inside the clerical world as a prohibition on being “out,” at least in terms of outside of the clerical sphere. In other words, it’s fine to be gay so long as you don’t public say so, because by publicly admitting that you are gay you are embracing a “gay identity” or something.

Posted on February 19, 2017 7:38 AM

“Macché punizione del Papa! Guam non è un confino” Intervista al Card. Raymond Leo Burke
CITTA’ DEL VATICANO/GUAM
Stanze Vaticane

Il cardinale Raymond Leo Burke è il Patrono dell’Ordine di Malta. Da qualche giorno il porporato americano, 68 anni, considerato da molti un oppositore di Papa Francesco per via delle sue posizioni tradizionali, è stato inviato a 12.000 km da Roma, sull’Isola di Guam per indagare su un caso di pedofilia risalente agli anni 70. Secondo alcuni si tratta di una punizione del Pontefice nei confronti del cardinale, ma a quanto risulta a Stanze Vaticane – Tgcom24, il Papa è stato informato dell’incarico affidato al card. Burke dalla Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede soltanto a cose fatte, quando il porporato era già sull’isola del Pacifico.

Cardinale Burke come nasce questa missione sull’Isola di Guam?

La missione è nata per una richiesta della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede che io servo quale preside del suo Tribunale Apostolico. Dovrò trattare una delicata causa ecclesiastica penale.

Perché è stato scelto lei?

Il Papa ha affidato la causa alla Congregazione, e la Congregazione ha proceduto secondo la giusta procedura a formare i membri del Tribunale. In ogni caso, penso di esser stato scelto in base ai miei studi di diritto canonico e la mia lunga esperienza con i processi ecclesiastici.

Posted on February 19, 2017 4:08 AM

Cardinal Burke denies mission in Guam is a ‘punishment’
VATICAN CITY/GUAM
Crux

When American Cardinal Raymond Burke was recently dispatched to Guam to preside over a Church trial for an archbishop accused of abusing altar boys in the 1970s, some were inclined to interpret the move as a sort of exile.

Burke, a former president of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s Supreme Court, is well known as the perceived face of conservative opposition to Pope Francis, and also ran afoul of the pontiff in a recent controversy involving the leadership of the Knights of Malta, the group for which he serves as the ecclesiastical patron.

In an interview with an Italian TV outlet, however, Burke denies that the assignment in Guam is any sort of punishment. In fact, the outlet reports that it was the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, not Pope Francis, who entrusted the assignment to Burke, and Francis didn’t even know about it until Burke was already in Guam.

Translated excerpts from that interview appear below, courtesy of TGCom 24.

How was this mission on the island of Guam born?

Burke: It was born with a request from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which I serve as president of its Apostolic Tribunal. I have to deal with a delicate ecclesiastical penal case.

Why were you chosen?

The pope entrusted the case to the congregation, and the congregation went ahead according to the just procedure to form members of the tribunal. In any case, I think I was selected on the basis of my studies in canon law and my long experience with ecclesiastical processes.

Posted on February 19, 2017 4:06 AM

Catholic church claims ‘seismic shift’ after child sexual abuse scandals
AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Saturday 18 February 2017

The Catholic church says it has made a seismic shift in holding its leaders accountable for protecting Australian children after decades of abuse by hundreds of pedophiles.

The church says its new national professional standards body will ensure consistency across its autonomous dioceses and orders.

Each bishop and religious leader will sign a contract agreeing to abide by the standards and be monitored, audited and subject to public reporting, the church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council chief executive, Francis Sullivan, said.

“It is quite a seismic shift for the Catholic church in holdings leaders to account,” Sullivan said. “It is necessary in order to achieve consistency for survivors.

“It is the biggest learning we’ve had over this whole time – that what the church had previously put in place was rather toothless.”

Posted on February 19, 2017 4:04 AM

Fond farewell
MASSACHUSETTS
Boston College Chronicle

Colleagues and friends turned out Feb. 2 in Gasson 100 to fete retiring Boston College School of Social Work Continuing Education Director Vincent Lynch, who in his 30 years at BC launched a groundbreaking annual conference on HIV/AIDS and later played a key role in an initiative on clergy sexual abuse issues.

“It was wonderful. I appreciated seeing so many people from just about every chapter of my career,” said Lynch, interviewed the next day, as he reflected on his association with BC – one that began when he arrived in 1980 to pursue a doctorate in social work.

“I’ve seen BC grow in ways I couldn’t have imagined, and I’m glad to have been part of that. But even as we moved in that direction, for me BC has maintained that ‘mom-and-pop’ feel – a place where relationships are important, as are discussions about values and ideas.” …

When the clergy sexual abuse scandal surfaced early this century, Lynch said, it was clear that social work, mental health and other professionals providing care to abuse survivors needed deeper insights to grasp the full dimensions of the problem. In 2004, he co-organized a conference – sponsored by BCSSW and the Church in the 21st Century initiative in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Boston – with workshops and talks on such subjects as family relationships, treatment for various abuse-related conditions such as anxiety disorders and PTSD, and the theological and psychological role of the priest.

“I never felt like I was a maverick, or in over my head,” said Lynch, who also provided consultation to priests and seminarians on issues related to sexual abuse. “Having the support enabled me to feel empowered to address critical areas of need. I always appreciated that.”

Posted on February 19, 2017 4:00 AM

Date set for apology to student victims
AUSTRALIA
Western Advocate

VICTIMS of historic sexual abuse at Bathurst’s St Stanislaus’ College will receive a formal public apology on June 16.

Head of College Dr Anne Wenham announced the date for the apology following the sentencing of disgraced former priest Brian Spillane in the District Court last Thursday.

In a letter to the school community, Dr Wenham said details of Spillane’s crimes had been distressing to read and she was deeply sorry for what his young victims had experienced during their time as students at the college.

Dr Wenham said the college and Oceania Province of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) agreed a formal apology to victims was important.

Posted on February 19, 2017 3:58 AM

Public Theology Forum | Is It Just A Little Sex? – Church, Sex And Power
JAMAICA
The Gleaner

This is a submission from Public Theology Forum.

To say that the Church in Jamaica has been rocked in recent months on the matter of sexual abuse of minors by ordained ministers is an understatement. Now it is further compounded with the revelation that pastors and police are the most prevalent high-profile accused in reported cases of sexual abuse of children in our nation. Most of the perpetrators are men, and the victims, women and children, especially girls.

As accusations fly and defences are proffered, many are hurting and lives have been destroyed. Many unhealed wounds have been opened up again as the stories in the media cause many survivors of abuse to relive their violation. As one woman lamented, “I thought I had put it behind me until I heard about the pastor and the little girl in his car. The same thing happened to me!” The stories are as real as they are painful, shameful, shaming, horrifying.

Christian witness has again been dealt another blow as the stereotype of the rapacious/lascivious parson appears once again to have more than a grain of truth in it. The Church is being called out for its hypocrisy at calling out sexual immorality while so many ministers and deacons are embroiled in the said activity. Ultimately, God is called into question as absent, unconcerned, uncaring when the representatives of God do such damage, often without sanction.

Posted on February 19, 2017 3:57 AM

US groups question Vatican’s judge choice in Apuron trial
GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , [email protected] Feb. 19, 2017

Two U.S.-based groups dealing with the Catholic clergy sex abuse cases worldwide are not happy with the Vatican’s choice on who will preside over Guam Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron’s canonical penal trial.

The Vatican sent Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke and other members of a tribunal to Guam to hear from witnesses in the trial of Apuron, who is accused of raping and sexually abusing altar boys in the 1970s. The Archdiocese of Agana, in a statement released late Saturday, said a team of four canon lawyers and another official from Rome worked here Feb. 16-17 and left the morning of Feb. 18.

“From what we know of Burke’s record on abuse, he is an odd and unpromising choice for such a sensitive task,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.orga Massachusetts-based information resource that gathers documents and data about the clergy sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

Doyle said Burke has a “troubling record” in dealing with clergy abuse cases.

“He has consistently defended accused clergy and played hardball with victims,” Doyle told Pacific Daily News.

Burke, in an Associated Press report, said he aims to wrap up the Apuron investigation by the summer. The report also said Burke denied he had been sent to Guam as “punishment,” telling Italy’s Mediaset it was normal for cardinals to take on extra jobs in their areas of expertise.

Posted on February 19, 2017 2:11 AM

February 18, 2017
Another local pastor under investigation, accused of having sex with a minor
JAMAICA
Loop

The businessman and operator of a downtown Kingston funeral home, who is now before the courts on allegations he molested a boy in St Catherine is also a Bishop of a church and a member of the revivalist movement in Jamaica.

Probe by Loop News has found that Shawn Lawrence – who last week identified himself only as a business operator after he was charged with buggery and indecent assault following an investigation by CISOCA detectives, is also a religious leader.

The accused appeared in the St Catherine Parish Court last week on the charges.

Although the full details were not disclosed in open court, Loop News ascertained that it is being alleged that the molestation occurred during visits to Lawrence’s Linstead, St Catherine home by a church sister and the boy.

Lawrence was remanded in custody until next week when he’s due back in court.
Posted on February 18, 2017 6:24 PM

Closing date looms for people to speak to Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes – and Thomastown County Home
IRELAND
Killkenny People

Sam Matthews 18 Feb 2017

The closing date for people who were residents or workers in – or have specific knowledge of – the Thomastown County Home in County Kilkenny, to speak to a confidential Commission of Investigation is March 1.

The Commission of Investigation was established to investigate the experiences of mothers and children in 14 Mother and Baby Homes and a number of County Homes between 1922 and 1998, including the Thomastown County Home, St Columba’s Hospital.

The confidential committee is continuing to meet with anyone who was resident in, or worked in, these homes between the above years, and with others who have specific knowledge of these homes.

The closing date for applications to meet the confidential committee is March 1, 2017.

Posted on February 18, 2017 6:01 PM

Vatican ‘House of Cards’ as pro and anti-pope factions clash
VATICAN CITY
7 News

Vatican City (AFP) – A real-life version of the hit political drama “House of Cards” is unfolding at the Vatican, from cardinals openly defying the pope to anonymous posters sullying his name.

In the latest episode, a group of powerful Princes of the Church released a statement defending Pope Francis — but religious watchers warn the move could backfire and work in the favour of his conservative challengers.

“No pope controls everything,” said Vatican expert Luigi Accattoli. “There has always been some resistance, even from cardinals.”

But this time the critics are “louder and more numerous”.

The root of the row lies with the Argentine pontiff’s calls for the church to be more understanding towards those it considers “sinners”, and in particular his intimation last year that some believers who have divorced and remarried should be able to take communion. …

US cardinal Raymond Burke took on the guise of conspirator-in-chief, warning the 80-year-old pope in November that he could be sanctioned if he does not reply.

Burke has since become a rallying point for conservatives, often giving interviews criticising Francis’s decisions.

Religious watcher Sandro Magister told AFP that inside the Vatican there was “great resistance towards a pope who opens doors in every direction and is ambiguous”.
Posted on February 18, 2017 5:54 PM

Cardinal aims to wrap up Guam abuse probe before summer
VATICAN CITY/GUAM
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — American Cardinal Raymond Burke says he’s aiming to wrap up the sex abuse investigation involving Guam’s suspended archbishop by the summer.

The Guam archdiocese said Burke left the Pacific island U.S. territory on Saturday after meeting this week with witnesses.

Burke, a top canon lawyer, is presiding over the church tribunal hearing the case against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who faces multiple allegations of sex abuse of altar boys in the 1970s. Apuron has denied the claims and has not been criminally charged.

Burke’s presence on Guam had raised eyebrows because he has been involved in some high-profile clashes with Pope Francis.

Posted on February 18, 2017 5:51 PM

Vatican engulfed in corruption again as authorities freeze €2m in assets
VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

By Oli Gamp
February 18, 2017

The chief magistrate for the Vatican has confirmed that the city-state’s authorities have frozen more than €2m (£1.7m) following allegations over money laundering in 2016.

Promoter of Justice Gian Pietro Milano confirmed the news, which is part of an attempt by Pope Francis to clean up the finances of the Holy See, after it was alerted to suspicious activity by the Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority (AIF).

While the exact actions that took place are not currently known, Milano stated that two cases resulted in indictments and three were dismissed.

Reuters said Milano had confirmed the total amount of frozen assets at €13m (£11.1m) from a period between 2013 and 2016 after years of controversy that has seen the Vatican’s banking system riddled with scandal and corruption.

Posted on February 18, 2017 2:58 PM

Vatican makes gains in cracking down on money laundering
VATICAN CITY
Deutsche Welle

Vatican officials froze more than 2 million euros ($2.12 million) in cases suspected of being linked to money laundering in 2016. The move is part of the Holy See’s drive to clean up its finances, as mandated by Pope Francis.

The latest disclosure from chief magistrate Gian Pietro Milano, whose official title is Promoter of Justice, came during his annual address on the state of the Vatican’s criminal justice system.

Milano’s speech was short on details, but he added that since 2013 a total of 13 million euros was frozen. The freezing of money followed alerts from the Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority (AIF), which the pope has given enhanced powers.

Milano didn’t reveal how much of the money was subsequently unblocked, following investigations, but he said that last year two cases led to indictments while three were shelved.

Posted on February 18, 2017 2:56 PM

Incontro privato tra vescovo e Zanardi sulla piaga-pedofilia
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

[Bishop Calogero Marino kept his word. As promised yesterday afternoon he met with the President of the Abuse Network – Francesco Zanardi – a spokesman for those who in the Savona diocese and beyond have been abused by clergy. The interview lasted nearly an hour. Mr. Zanardi said the meeting was positive.]

after the meeting that it was a positive, suffered acts of clerical pedophilia (acts of which he was a victim). The head of the diocese, in Savona since last January 16, welcomed Zanardi in an interview that lasted nearly an hour, without others were present. “An extremely positive balance”, the commentary of the Network Abuse The spokesman, after the meeting. “The way to make the bishop, his gentleness towards me, the attention to detail and the humility with which he acted surp

IN DIOCESI DEL LEADER DELLA RETE “L’ABUSO”. APERTURA AL DIALOGO DA MONSIGNOR MARINO

SILVIA CAMPESE SAVONA.

Il vescovo Calogero Marino ha mantenuto la parola. Come promesso, ieri pomeriggio ha incontrato il presidente della Rete L’Abuso, Francesco Zanardi, portavoce di chi, nella diocesi savonese e non solo, ha subito atti di pedofilia clericale (atti di cui lui stesso fu vittima). Il capo della diocesi, a Savona dallo scorso 16 gennaio, ha accolto Zanardi in un colloquio che è durato quasi un’ora, senza che altri fossero presenti. «Un bilancio estremamente positivo», il commento del portavoce di Rete L’Abuso, al termine dell’incontro. «Il modo di fare del vescovo, la sua delicatezza nei miei confronti, l’attenzione ai particolari e l’umiltà con cui si è comportato mi hanno sorpreso – ha dichiarato Zanardi -. Atteggiamenti a cui, decisamente, non ero abituato all’interno della diocesi savonese, a partire dal predecessore, monsignor Lupi.

Posted on February 18, 2017 2:52 PM

Napoli, festini gay col prete. I fedeli: «Non ci fidiamo più della Chiesa»
ITALIA
Il Mattino

[con il video] [The faithful do not trust the church any more. It is said that Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe has a dossier on a bleak scenario confirmed by 28 men who said they had sex with a priest in exchange for money.]

Incontri a luci rosse tra sacerdoti e ragazzi. Questa l’ipotesi contenuta all’interno di un dossier finito sulla scrivania del Cardinale Crescenzio Sepe. Questo scenario fosco viene confermato da un ventottenne che avrebbe dichiarato di avere avuto rapporti con un prelato in cambio di denaro.

Ma cosa ne pensano gli abitanti del quartiere e i membri della parrocchia? «È vergognoso che si verifichino ancora cose simili ai giorni nostri», afferma Elena. «Conosciamo bene questa parrocchia e siamo stupefatti di quanto in queste ore stiamo apprendendo dai giornali. Io qui ho fatto la prima comunione e non posso credere che proprio da questa chiesa sia partito tutto.

Posted on February 18, 2017 2:47 PM

Anglican Bishop of Bunbury Allan Ewing says the extent of child sexual abuse is shameful
AUSTRALIA
PerthNow

Kate Campbell, PerthNow
February 18, 2017

A WA Anglican Bishop believes it will take a generation before trust in the church is restored in the wake of the child sex abuse scandal.

And it’s unlikely the community will ever view the clergy in the same way again, Anglican Bishop of Bunbury Allan Ewing concedes.

“In some ways that’s a good thing. If there was ever a way in which the wider community’s regard for the clergy allowed those who had evil intent to prey upon the innocent … then I’m really pleased that’s no longer the case,” he said.

The extent of alleged child sexual abuse within the Anglican Church will be exposed at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse next month.
Posted on February 18, 2017 1:40 PM

Vatican froze two million euros in suspect funds in 2016
VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella | VATICAN CITY

Vatican authorities froze more than two million euros in cases of suspected money laundering in 2016 as part of Pope Francis’ drive to clean up the finances of the Holy See, its chief magistrate said on Saturday.

Gian Pietro Milano, whose official title is Promoter of Justice, made the disclosure during his annual address on the state of the Vatican’s criminal justice system.

Milano gave no details in his speech but added that the total amount of suspect money frozen between 2013 and 2016 was about 13 million euros.

The money was frozen following alerts from the Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority (AIF), which Francis has given more operative power.

Milano did not say how much of the money was later unblocked following investigations but that in 2016 two cases led to indictments and three were shelved.

Posted on February 18, 2017 10:29 AM

Cardinal Burke Frenzy – Another Failure of the U.S. Media
UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on February 18, 2017 by Betty Clermont

As most already know, preceding the national conventions, “a high volume” of “positive media coverage … propelled Trump to the top of the Republican poll.” After the nominations became official, “Clinton and Trump’s coverage was virtually identical in terms of its negative tone. ‘Were the allegations surrounding Clinton of the same order of magnitude as those surrounding Trump?’” asks Thomas E. Patterson in a report from Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.

While there is enough blame regarding 2016 polling to go around, as regards the Catholic vote, the Washington Post led with “Donald Trump has a massive Catholic problem” followed by the New York Times “Clinton Challenges Trump for a Traditional Republican Bloc, White Catholics.”

Both inferred that Pope Francis had an effect on U.S. Catholics that was detrimental to Trump. Both ignored that the PRRI polls (here and here) upon which they based their reporting showed that although Clinton led, support for Trump by white Catholics exceeded both the total electorate and white voters in general. Other polls reported that nearly two-thirds of Catholic registered voters are white and that “the IBD-TIPP daily tracking poll – rated by Nate Silver as the most accurate national poll of the last presidential cycle in 2012 – consistently pointed to a Trump win among Catholics.”

In the end, “Trump won the highest percentage of Catholic voters (52%) for a Republican candidate since 2004. White Catholics supported Trump by a wide, 23-point margin (60% to 37%). Both white and Latino Catholics cast more ballots for Trump than for Romney in 2012.” “Evangelicals helped Trump in states he was mostly going to win anyway. Catholics? Now we’re talking about Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. And that was the election.”

There is no comparison, of course, between the importance of a U.S. president and an inconsequential Catholic official. However, the highly inaccurate reporting about Cardinal Raymond L. Burke further impugns the media’s credibility.

There have been dozens upon dozens of recent articles about Burke, one of 226 cardinals in the Catholic Church. The articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post have been the most influential, so I will concentrate on those.

Posted on February 18, 2017 7:38 AM

New $16M verdict reached in runaway pedophile priest case
NEW MEXICO
KRQE

[with video]

By Aaron Drawhorn
Published: February 17, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A $16 million judgment Friday was awarded to a man who suffered abuse as a child at the hands of a longtime New Mexico pedophile priest.

Father Arthur Perrault fled New Mexico in 1992 and has been hiding out overseas ever since.

“Nobody knew where he was for 25 years,” said attorney Brad Hall.

“We will pursue a pedophile to the ends of the earth, no matter how long it takes us to find him,” Hall said, noting that Perrault was finally discovered living in Tangier, Morocco, last year.

He was working at a school at the time he was located, and since his past was revealed, he no longer works there.

Posted on February 18, 2017 6:48 AM

Former NM priest hit with $16M judgment
NEW MEXICO
Albuquerque Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
Published: Friday, February 17th, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A judge handed down a $16 million judgment this week against a former New Mexico priest for failure to respond to a lawsuit filed by a man who alleges he was sexually abused by Arthur Perrault in the early 1990s.

Second Judicial District Judge Denise Barela-Shepherd handed down the default judgment Thursday after she found that Perrault had been properly served with the civil lawsuit, but failed to defend himself against the allegations.

She ordered Perrault to pay $1 million in damages and an additional $15 million in punitive damages. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Perrault, who vanished from his Albuquerque parish in 1992, was tracked last year to Tangiers, Morocco, where he was teaching at an English language school for children.

Posted on February 18, 2017 6:45 AM

Jehovah’s Witnesses settle suit alleging cover-up of child sex abuse
PENNSYLVANIA
Reveal: The Center for Investigative Reporting

By Trey Bundy / February 17, 2017

The Jehovah’s Witnesses settled a lawsuit this week brought by a Pennsylvania woman who says the religion’s leaders covered up sexual abuse she suffered as a teenager.

The settlement came five days into a trial in which Stephanie Fessler, a former Jehovah’s Witness, claimed the religion’s parent corporation violated Pennsylvania’s child abuse reporting laws by instructing local leaders – known as elders – not to report her allegations to police.

According to Fessler, a middle-aged Jehovah’s Witness woman, Terry Monheim, began sexually abusing her when she was 14. At 15, Fessler disclosed the abuse to her parents. Her father was an elder in their congregation.

Fessler’s parents informed other congregation elders, who interrogated Fessler and Monheim but failed to report the abuse to police. As a result, Monheim continued to abuse Fessler for another year, according to court documents.

Posted on February 18, 2017 6:43 AM

Retired Council Bluffs priest sentenced to probation, registering as sex offender
IOWA
Omaha World-Herald

World-Herald News Service Feb 17, 2017

The Rev. Paul Monahan was sentenced Friday to a suspended prison sentence and ordered to register as a sex offender for all five counts of invasion of privacy after he turned down a deferred judgement.

Associate Judge Gary Anderson sentenced Monahan, 83, to a suspended sentence of 30 days in jail per each count to be served concurrently, a year of informal probation and to register as a sex offender for 10 years. A minimum fine was also suspended.

After the year of probation, Monahan will have to be supervised for 10 years on special parole.

Monahan’s attorney, Dan McGinn, said his client plans to appeal.

In December 2016, Monahan was found guilty after a bench trial of invading the privacy of five male high school students who said the retired priest looked at their genitals in a public restroom.

Posted on February 18, 2017 6:40 AM

To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Expected
JAMAICA
Jamaica Gleaner

Saturday | February 18, 2017

Orantes Moore

Since the beginning of the year, several pastors have been accused of molesting young children. Among them is an elder from the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Haywood Hall, St Mary, Narry Hudson, who recently appeared in court charged with three counts of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

While many of the parish’s religious leaders are reluctant to talk about sexual abuse in the Church, ministers such as Claude Williams of the Oracabessa Circuit of Baptist Churches understand the problem must be aired, shared, and discussed.

Speaking to Family and Religion earlier this week, the veteran youth and evangelism director said: “I try to stay away from the court of public opinion, but at the same time, you cannot hide your head in the sand and pretend there aren’t issues floating out there. My thing is, to whom much is given, much is expected.

ABUSE OF POWER

“It is unfortunate that children, who are among the vulnerable in our society, would have gone to those of us who claim to be the moral authority of the nation and we are found to be abusing our powers. In terms of denominations where you have established churches with stricter regulations, I believe great care must be given to the recruitment of our pastors.

“There should be a system of accountability so we can dispose of the pastors found to be in violation of that trust. It is very shameful and scandalous, and I believe it forces the Church to take another look at the way we have been operating and conducting ourselves.”

Posted on February 18, 2017 6:32 AM

Ongar sexual abuse survivor who was told to ‘adjust her medication’ wants Eric Pickles to resign
UNITED KINGDOM
East London and West Essex Guardian

Anna Slater, News Editor

A SEXUAL abuse victim whose life was “destroyed” by an MP who told her to “adjust her medication” is demanding an apology four years on.

Teresa Cooper, who now lives in Ongar, says the sting of what Eric Pickles said to her in 2013 has never stopped hurting.

The 49-year-old was 14 when she was used as a guinea pig for drug trials and sexually assaulted while living at the Church of England run Kendall House.

Grandmother Ms Cooper confronted the Ongar and Brentwood MP and a wildlife event, saying: “Nothing has changed…only you have ignored it. You have ignored it.”

Posted on February 18, 2017 6:29 AM

Religious leaders’ role in anti-paedophilia fight
MALAYSIA
Free Malaysia Today

Nawar Firdaws and Tarrence Tan | February 18, 2017

PETALING JAYA: Paul Pakianathan is no stranger to cases of sexual abuse involving children, having rescued a victim himself.

He told FMT the young girl he rescued was sexually abused by her own brother. Her mother knew about it, but did nothing for several years.

Pakianathan, a senior pastor at the Community of Praise, said the case came to his knowledge when the mother took the girl to his church for a separate matter but his instinct told him that something was not right with the girl, who at the time was in her early teenage years.

“I decided there and then I must speak to her and find out what was going on,” he said. “And that was what I did. Soon after, she opened up to me and spoke of the sexual abuse she was facing.

Posted on February 18, 2017 6:26 AM

Carol Balinski: Group aims to raise awareness of child sexual abuse
PENNSYLVANIA
Reading Eagle

“Their voices cry out to God and we need to hear them.”

That was the powerful message delivered by Deb Helt in a Reading Berks Conference of Churches-sponsored workshop last week about Samaritan SafeChurch, a Lancaster County group that helps congregations raise awareness about child sexual abuse.

The workshop was part of the first-ever Christian Resource Expo at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, 201 Washington St.

Helt, a senior facilitator and congregational support specialist for Samaritan SafeChurch, said, “We want churches to be safe places for people to come.”

To that end, the group wants to inspire churches to become proactive in preventing child sexual abuse in churches and the community.

Helt, who is also a pastor of Hosanna! A Fellowship of Christians in Lititz, said she first got involved with Samaritan SafeChurch after its founder, Linda Crockett, spoke to her congregation. Helt said some members of her congregation initially resisted the idea of talking about sexual abuse.

Posted on February 18, 2017 6:24 AM

Editorial February 18 2017
AUSTRALIA
Illawarra Mercury

On the face of it, it appears the Catholic Church has short-changed the region in terms of payments to victims of abuse.

The Illawarra Mercury revealed recently the Wollongong Diocese was named as one of five areas with the highest of proportion of priests alleged to be perpetrators.

Yet in contrast, the region has only received a handful in compensation payments to victims.

The Mercury has revealed only half a million dollars has been paid to Wollongong victims of alleged child sexual abuse by the Catholic Church.

That equates to less than two per cent of the $280 million paid out by the church over the past 35 years to victims.

Posted on February 18, 2017 6:21 AM

Archbishop to face Royal Commission
AUSTRALIA
Tamut and Adelong Times

By Frances Vinall – February 18, 2017

The Archbishop of the Canberra-Goulburn Catholic Diocese, which includes Tumut, will testify at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse next week.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse will sit before Justice Peter McLennan on February 21, to discuss what safeguards the church has in place to protect children.

Records have shown that the Canberra-Goulburn Diocese had a rate of paedophile priests higher than the national average, with 8.5 per cent of their priests in the 2000s being alleged perpetrators.

In other words, one in twelve priests in this area are accused of having sexually abused children.

And since less than 20 per cent of survivors are estimated to have come forward, the true numbers could be higher still.

Posted on February 18, 2017 6:19 AM

Russian priest charged with pedophilia to stay in jail till May 21
RUSSIA
RAPSI – Russian Legal Information Agency

ST. PETERSBURG, February 17 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – The St. Petersburg City Court on Friday extended the detention of Russian priest Gleb Grozovsky, who stands charged with sexual abuse of children, RAPSI learnt from the court’s press service.

The hearing was held behind closed doors.

According to investigators, Grozovsky committed several crimes against minors in 2011 and 2013.

In 2013, he fled to Israel and applied for citizenship. However, his application was dismissed.

In April 2014, Grozovsky was put on the international wanted list. Israeli police arrested him in September. In January 2015, a court in Jerusalem ruled that the priest should be extradited to Russia pursuant to the European Convention on Extradition. The ruling was appealed, but rejected. In April 2016, the Justice Minister signed an order on Grozovsky’s extradition.

Posted on February 18, 2017 6:15 AM

State Rep. Mark Rozzi reintroduces child sex abuse bill
PENNSYLVANIA
Reading Eagle

HARRISBURG, PA
State Rep. Mark Rozzi has officially renewed his push to give victims of child sexual abuse more time to confront their abusers in court.

The Muhlenberg Township Democrat’s bill would eliminate, going forward, the time limits for victims to press criminal charges or file lawsuits against their abusers and organizations that shield them. Now, victims have until age 50 to pursue charges and until age 30 to sue.

The bill would also open a two-year window during which victims of any age would be allowed to sue, regardless of when the abuse occurred.

Rozzi, himself a victim of childhood sexual assault at the hands of a Catholic priest, championed a similar bill last session. The measure cleared the House but fizzled in a stalemate after senators removed the retroactive piece allowing past victims to sue.

Posted on February 18, 2017 6:11 AM

February 17, 2017
The Orange Diocese is spinning yarns. But the truth is in the documents
CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

February 17, 2017 Joelle Casteix

I love paperwork.

Yesterday, the Diocese of Orange issued a statement responding to the latest sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit against Fr. Richard T. Coughlin. In it, they said:

Richard Coughlin was ordained in the archdiocese of Boston in 1953 and incardinated in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in the 1960s, predating the Diocese of Orange, which was founded in 1976. Coughlin left parish ministry upon founding the All American Boys Choir in the early 1970s. Coughlin never served as a priest of the Diocese of Orange. (emphasis mine)

They’re parsing words here. The diocese is trying to say that after 1976, when the Diocese of Orange was formed, Coughlin did not serve as a priest in any official capacity. Are they trying to say that he’s the chorus’ responsibility? I don’t know.

But the truth is far different. Here are photos of the 1993 Diocese of Orange Catholic Directory. Yes, I have a copy. I am that weird.

Posted on February 17, 2017 9:09 PM

Former Boston priest pleads not guilty to Maine sexual abuse charges
MAINE
Portland Press Herald

BY EDWARD D. MURPHY
STAFF WRITER

BIDDEFORD — A former priest from Boston accused of molesting two boys repeatedly in Kennebunk three decades ago entered a plea of not guilty Friday.

Ronald Paquin, who was a key figure in the Boston Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, is charged with 29 counts of sexual abuse in Maine for acts he allegedly committed between 1985 and 1988.

Dressed in an orange shirt and yellow prison jumpsuit, Paquin appeared on a video link from York County Jail in Alfred early Friday afternoon. The 74-year-old former Catholic priest walked with the aid of a cane and remained silent during the brief hearing.

He conferred with his temporary attorney, Randall Bates, after Biddeford District Court Judge Daniel Driscoll ordered him held on $50,000 bail, but the microphone on the video link was turned off so the nature of their discussion could not be heard.

Posted on February 17, 2017 6:25 PM

Ex-priest pleads not guilty to sex abuse of boys
MAINE
Seacoast Online

By Donna Buttarazzi
[email protected]

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Former Roman Catholic priest Ronald H. Paquin pleaded not guilty to 29 counts of sexual misconduct in Biddeford District Court Friday.

Paquin’s arraignment Friday was his first court appearance in Maine after being indicted by a York County Grand Jury on Feb. 8 on the allegations of abusing two boys in Kennebunkport in the 1980s.

Paquin was arrested by Massachusetts authorities at a homeless shelter in Boston last Friday. He was turned over to Maine authorities and is being held at the York County Jail.

Paquin, 74, appeared in Biddeford District Court via video feed Friday afternoon in an orange prison jumpsuit and carrying a cane. Judge Dan Driscoll set Paquin’s bail at $50,000 and conditionally appointed Portland attorney Heather Gonzales to represent him.

Posted on February 17, 2017 4:21 PM

Defrocked Priest Appears in Maine Court on 29 Sex Counts
MAINE
NECN

A former Roman Catholic priest who spent more than a decade in a Massachusetts prison for raping an altar boy has made an initial court appearance in Maine on 29 counts of sexual misconduct.

Ronald Paquin appeared before a judge via video conference from jail on Friday. The 74-year-old is now accused of assaulting two boys between 1985 and 1988 in Kennebunkport.

Police say the boys were 11 and 14. Court documents indicate one of them was “substantially impaired” by drugs.

Paquin was defrocked in 2004 and freed from jail in 2015. But now he is back in jail after being ordered held on $50,000 bail.
Posted on February 17, 2017 4:17 PM

Lawsuit alleges Diocese of Orange ignored child sex abuse complaints tied to priest who led boys choir
CALIFORNIA
Orange County Register

SANTA ANA – A former member of the All-American Boys Chorus has filed a lawsuit against a disgraced priest and the Diocese of Orange, alleging that church leaders ignored complaints of child sexual abuse.

At the center of the lawsuit is Richard T. Coughlin, the now-defrocked priest who founded chorus in Costa Mesa and who over the years has been accused of sexual abuse by at least a half-dozen people, resulting in more than $3 million in settlements.

Ordained in Boston, Coughlin joined the Diocese of Orange in 1965. The newly-filed lawsuit describes Coughlin as a serial pedophile whose gregarious and charismatic nature and Irish brogue masked decades of abuse.

According to the lawsuit, allegations of sexual abuse involving Coughlin first emerged in 1957, when he was still in Boston. A series of alleged victims of Coughlin’s contacted diocese leaders in both Boston and Southern California over the next several decades.

Posted on February 17, 2017 4:14 PM

David Clohessy resigns SNAP in Alleged Kickback Scheme
UNITED STATES
These Stone Walls

POSTED BY FR. GORDON J. MACRAE ON FEBRUARY 8, 2017

We do not have many headlines like this one on These Stone Walls. It has the look and feel of descending into tabloid journalism, but when the headline is true, there is just no higher road to take. This is a story that must be told.

And I am not the first to tell it. In late January, David F. Pierre, author of several books including Sins of the Press and host of TheMediaReport.com published a report entitled, “Lawsuit by Ex-SNAP Insider Exposes Lawyer Kickback Schemes.” And to the surprise of many, the left-leaning, usually SNAP-friendly National Catholic Reporter broke the story first in a January 18 account by NCR Editor Dennis Coday, “Sex Abuse Advocacy Group SNAP Sued by Former Employee.”

One day later, The National Catholic Register carried the story by Catholic News Agency writer, Kevin Jones entitled, “Did SNAP Receive Kickbacks for Suing the Church?” All three versions of the story have been sent to me by multiple TSW readers who asked me to write about it. A week after these accounts emerged, SNAP’s longtime Executive Director, David Clohessy, has mysteriously resigned. This is a development of immense importance in the arena of Catholic Priests Falsely Accused, one of David F. Pierre’s most revealing books.

Posted on February 17, 2017 4:10 PM

Sins of the Father: Sexual Misconduct in the Philippines’ Catholic Church – 101 East
PHILIPPINES
YouTube

Al Jazeera English

Published on Feb 16, 2017

Priests are treated like God in the Philippines – Asia’s largest Catholic nation. But often that trust is exploited by clergymen who are sexually deviant. And, despite a vow of chastity, some priests have children out of wedlock.

Those abuses and misdemeanours within the Church often go unpunished. Critics say investigations are kept secret and those charged with sexual abuse are still active in local parishes.

101 East investigates sexual misconduct inside the most powerful institution in the Philippines: the Catholic Church.

Posted on February 17, 2017 4:08 PM

Paedophile priest and his victim talk openly
SWITZERLAND
swissinfo

[with video]

Daniel Pittet was sexually abused by a Catholic priest when he was a child. A book now tells his story, and the preface was written by Pope Francis. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

Daniel Pittet was nine years old when he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest over a four-year period. Now he has written about his experiences in his book “Mon Père, je vous pardonne” (“Father, I forgive you”).

In the book’s preface, Pope Francis wrote that such assaults were abominable and a terrible crime. Pittet hopes that the papal preface will give hope to other victims like him. The now 57-year-old victim says he’s forgiven his tormentor.

Posted on February 17, 2017 2:48 PM

Former priest faces sex charges in Maine court
MAIN
WMTW

BIDDEFORD, Maine —
A former priest was arraigned on nearly 30 sex charges in a York County courtroom Friday afternoon.

Ronald Paquin is charged with 29 counts of gross sexual misconduct.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Paquin is accused of assaulting two victims between 1985 and 1988 in Kennebunkport.

Paquin already served more than 10 years in prison for raping an altar boy while working as a priest near Boston.

Posted on February 17, 2017 2:46 PM

Mexican says she was stolen as baby in Spain under Franco
MEXICO/SPAIN
Associated Press

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Amnesty International and Ligia Ceballos Franco have filed a complaint with Mexican prosecutors, claiming the woman was stolen as a baby in Spain during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco and handed over to a well-heeled Mexican family who raised her as their own.

Ceballos Franco said Thursday she may be among an estimated 30,000 babies who were taken from their real parents under the Franco dictatorship from 1938 to 1975.

She claims the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Merida facilitated the adoption. The Merida archdiocese didn’t respond to request for comment.

After being told she was adopted, Ceballos Franco found a local government document in Madrid saying a baby had been handed over to her Mexican parents in 1968.

She found a birth record for Diana Ortiz Ramirez, which may be her. Her biological parents were apparently told she had died at birth. The targets of such deception were often opponents of the Franco regime.

Posted on February 17, 2017 2:44 PM

Protest over paedophile priest set to embarrass Spanish church
SPAIN
Irish Times

Guy Hedgecoe Madrid

A group of former residents of a seminary are planning to stage a street demonstration on Saturday to demand that a priest who has admitted to sexually abusing boys under his tutelage face the full force of the Spanish legal system.

Some 30 men, who as children lived in the La Bañeza seminary in northern Spain, will take part in the demonstration in the town of Astorga. Among them are expected to be some of the victims of José Manuel Ramos Gordón, a former teacher at the seminary.

La Opinión de Zamora newspaper recently revealed that Ramos Gordón had admitted to abusing several pupils at the school in the academic year 1988-89, following an investigation by the Archbishopric of Astorga last year. In May 2016, he was suspended from his duties as a parish priest for “a period of no less than a year,” according to a decree signed by Archbishop Juan Antonio Menéndez, and he was sent to work in a home for retired clergy.

Letter to Francis

The probe began after a former pupil, identified only as FJ, wrote to Pope Francis in 2014, informing him of the case.

“I want us to be listened to and not to have this horror that we suffer silenced any longer, because we’ve already been ignored other times,” FJ wrote in the letter, detailing how he, his twin brother and two other boys were regularly sexually abused at night when they were 14 years old.

Posted on February 17, 2017 1:42 PM

Kansas crowd applauds Cardinal Burke’s stump speech
KANSAS
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Feb. 17, 2017

ANALYSIS

LENEXA, KAN. It was a stump speech. A speech filled with familiar themes for those who’ve been on the beat for a while.

But for a crowd in a packed Catholic high school gymnasium in Lenexa, Kan., on a Friday evening, it was a speech filled with red meat, a reassuring message that the crowd applauded and which explained why they call Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, “Leo the Lion,” courageous and outspoken.

Burke’s Feb. 9-11 tour of the Kansas City metro area included two public Masses — one each in the extraordinary and the ordinary forms — a public address and a luncheon with the local chapter of the Catholic Medical Association, and was a calm harbor from the storms of controversy that have swirled around the cardinal as of late.

Already buffeted by his calls for Pope Francis to clarify parts of his teaching, Burke found himself in more stormy seas in mid-January over troubles in the Knights of Malta, an ancient chivalrous order that traces its roots to the crusades and today maintains a worldwide prestigious membership and thousands of charitable causes. Burke is the order’s spiritual patron. In January, Francis appointed a papal delegate to oversee the order.

Three days before he arrived in the heartland, a front-page New York Times story linked the American cardinal to the Trump administration through White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon. According to the Times article, the pair met in April 2014 when Bannon was in Rome to cover the canonization of Pope John Paul II and to recruit a Vatican correspondent for his Breitbart News.

Bannon found his correspondent — Thomas Williams, a former priest of the Legionaries of Christ, the international order known for its conservativism and for its founder, the late Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, a pedophile who fathered children with two women. Williams, an American, had built a career as a Rome-based academic whose suave, camera-friendly demeanor made him a minor media celebrity.

Williams resigned from the priesthood in May 2013; a year earlier, it became public that he had fathered a child several years before that. In December 2013, he married the child’s mother, Elizabeth Lev, daughter of a former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Mary Ann Glendon.

During that 2014 visit, Bannon also met Burke. Bannon would go on to make Breitbart News a platform for alt-right politics and two years later guide Donald Trump to the presidency. Burke, meanwhile, would emerge as a spokesman for the opposition to Francis.

Posted on February 17, 2017 12:22 PM

Statement by the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide on Royal Commission
AUSTRALIA
Anglican Communion News Service

The Anglican Diocese of Adelaide has issued a statement in response to a damming report by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia. A statement issued by Bishop Tim Harris said the report made for “shocking reading” and “the failures of the past have been “clearly identified.” Bishop Harris reaffirmed the diocese’s “sincere apology” to all who suffered and said the diocese was resolved that “such failings must never happen again.”

Here is the full statement:

The Anglican Diocese of Adelaide values and respects the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. We have carefully studied the recently released Report of Case Study No. 36: The response of the Church of England Boys’ Society and the Anglican Dioceses of Tasmania, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney to allegations of child sexual abuse.

The report makes for shocking reading. The failures of the past have been clearly identified. We recognise that it has taken great courage for survivors of abuse to give evidence, and express our sincere hope that the report in some measure helps those survivors abused by Robert Brandenburg and other CEBS leaders on their journey of healing. We reaffirm our sincere apology to all who suffered as a result of such failures of trust, and the manifestly inadequate responses by church authorities at the time that worsened the sense of abuse and distress. There is much to be learned, and we are resolved that such failings must never happen again.

Posted on February 17, 2017 9:03 AM

First Nation chief calls for charges against lawyer who overcharged residential school survivors
CANADA
CBC News

By Katie Nicholson, Katie Pedersen, CBC News Posted: Feb 17, 2017

The chief of a Manitoba First Nation says the lawyer who misappropriated nearly a million dollars from some of the community’s most vulnerable and traumatized people should face criminal prosecution.

“I think he should be charged,” Sandy Bay Chief Lance Roulette said of disbarred Winnipeg lawyer Howard Tennenhouse.

Tennenhouse misappropriated $960,000 from 55 residential school survivors he represented, the Law Society of Manitoba ruled in 2012. The regulatory body said many of the victims were unaware he had charged excess fees.

Tennenhouse is one of 10 lawyers disbarred in Manitoba over the past six years for financial misconduct whose cases were turned over to Winnipeg police for review. No charges have been laid against any of them, and Winnipeg police won’t say why.

Posted on February 17, 2017 8:52 AM

The Coughlin Case—Step One: Tell the Truth
CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

[Priest sex abuse lawsuit filed in Orange County – Fox 11 video]

February 16, 2017 Joelle Casteix

Lesson of the day for the Diocese of Orange: Don’t lie to the press and public when I can prove you wrong with your own paperwork.

Last week, another alleged victim of Fr. Richard T. Coughlin, the founder of The All-American Boys Chorus, (who—despite dozens of credible accusations and lawsuits in two states—is still a priest), was sued again in Orange County Superior Court for child sexual abuse. The alleged abuse took place in the 1990s.

The Diocese of Orange (California) and the All-American Boys Chorus were also named as defendants.

Coughlin’s case is awful. He was sent to Orange County in the 1960s from Boston after being accused of abuse there (you can read his entire assignment history here). At the time, Orange County was part of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. When The Diocese of Orange was spun off in 1976, Coughlin came along as an added bonus.

Not longer after Coughlin’s arrival in Orange, he began forming boys choral groups. Eventually, the All-American Boys Chorus was born and allegedly provided Coughlin with a steady stream of victims.

Posted on February 17, 2017 6:41 AM

Survivors Network for clergy victims coming to area
PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

by Bryan Carnaggio

JOHNSTOWN – A network for survivors is coming to the Johnstown-Altoona area.

The organization called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is starting a new chapter.

“My brother was sexually abused by our parish priest where I grew up in southeastern Ohio,” Judy Jones said.

Jones is the Midwest associate director for SNAP.

It’s an organization designed to help clergy abuse victims.

Posted on February 17, 2017 6:40 AM

Abuse victims slam insurers over time bar
SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Stephen Naysmith

CHILD abuse survivors have criticised insurers for attempting to derail a law which would give many a fresh chance of justice.

The Scottish Government’s Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Scotland Bill could overcome the time bar which has prevented many victims from taking civil action against the institutions or individuals who abused them, because more than three years has passed since the alleged crimes.

It is currently under consideration at Holyrood’s justice committee, but in written evidence the Association of British Insurers has argued that the new law could see many more than the Government’s initial estimate of 2,200 court claims and costs could spiral. The ABI objected to the law permitting people to raise cases again which were previously blocked by the time bar and said the bill would encourage more cases to come forward.

Posted on February 17, 2017 6:36 AM

Police warn of 5,000 files on alleged child abuse
SCOTLAND
Scotsman

TOM PETERKIN

Police Scotland has revealed it has at least 5,000 files detailing child abuse alleged to have been carried out in care institutions or by prominent people since 1964.

The figure came to light in a Police Scotland document warning the cost of the Scottish Government’s historical abuse inquiry could rise.

A document produced by Police Scotland for MSPs suggests the cost of removing the time limit for victims of childhood abuse to seek civil damages in court may have been underestimated.

Police Scotland issued the warning in response to the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Scotland Bill, which intends to remove the current three-year time bar, or limitation, for bringing a civil court claim for damages in some cases of childhood abuse.
Posted on February 17, 2017 6:34 AM

Residential school survivors who withdrew claims may never be identified
CANADA
The Globe and Mail

GLORIA GALLOWAY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017

It may be impossible to identify all of the former students who were abused at Canada’s Indian residential schools but abandoned their compensation claims when they were subjected to a questionable legal manoeuvre by federal lawyers, says the secretariat charged with determining which cases fall into that category.

The Department of Indigenous Affairs recently completed a year-long investigation into the claims that were rejected or reduced as a result of the “administrative split” – a technicality used to disqualify a school from being included in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The department has since produced a list, as yet unpublished, of about 200 survivors whose applications for redress had been affected.

But claimants’ lawyers say many more former students withdrew their claims in the initial stages after being convinced by adjudicators and federal representatives that the administrative split left them no chance of success.

Posted on February 17, 2017 6:31 AM

‘No decision’ to excavate Bessborough despite high death rate
IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Friday, February 17, 2017

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

There has been “no decision” to carry out excavations on the site of any other mother and baby home other than Tuam — despite the HSE confirming as far back as 2012 that there had been a higher infant death rate in Bessborough in Cork .

The Mother and Baby Homes Commission is currently carrying out its second excavation of the site in Tuam, where almost 800 children are reportedly buried.

The Irish Examiner put a number of queries to the commission in relation to similar excavations in other mother and baby homes — in particular Bessborough.

A death register for this institution maintained by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary has been held by the HSE (and now Tusla) since 2011 and records that 478 infants died in the home between 1934 and 1953 — a higher infant death rate than recorded in Tuam.
Posted on February 17, 2017 6:28 AM

Card. Burke to probe abuse claims
VATICAN CITY
ANSA

(ANSA) – Vatican City, February 16 – Pope Francis has sent one of his most vocal opponents, American Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, to the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean to investigate a complicated case of suspected paedophilia by the island’s archbishop, 71-year-old Msgr Anthony Sablan Apuron. Apuron denies the charges, brought forth by a seminarian, of abuse in the 1970s.

Burke will remain on the island for the time needed to oversee canonical proceedings on the case, although at the end of the month he is expected to attend a conference in the US.

Catholic News Service said Burke arrived on Guam Wednesday.

Burke is one of four cardinals who signed the “dubia” letter to Pope Francis expressing doubts on his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, in particular regarding the issue of giving Communion to the divorced.

Posted on February 17, 2017 6:24 AM

Compensation hopes fade for oldest child abuse victims
SCOTLAND
STV

David Cowan
Kaye Nicolson

The Scottish Government has pledged to find a solution as soon as possible.

The oldest survivors of child abuse in Scotland fear they are being denied any hope of winning compensation.

The Scottish Government is opening the way for hundreds of victims to seek damages through the courts but the change will not apply to cases pre-dating September 1964.

Ministers considered whether or not the so-called 1964 rule could be changed retrospectively but were advised doing so would contravene the European Convention of Human Rights.

Campaigners say the oldest survivors are dying out with no prospect of receiving justice.

Posted on February 17, 2017 6:22 AM

Royal Commission to investigate Tasmanian bishop
AUSTRALIA
Church Times

by Muriel Porter, Australia Correspondent

Posted: 17 Feb 2017

THE current Bishop of Tasmania, the Rt Revd Richard Condie, has begun a disciplinary investigation into a retired bishop of the see, the Rt Revd Philip Newell, in response to a report issued by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Posted on February 17, 2017 6:20 AM

Former Dallas Center pastor pleads not guilty to sex abuse charges
IOWA
Des Moines Register

Molly Longman, [email protected] Feb. 16, 2017

A former Dallas Center pastor pleaded not guilty in a written arraignment Wednesday after being arrested last month on suspicion of sexually assaulting a child multiple times.

Randy Johnson, 52, who faces a total of 13 criminal charges, pleaded not guilty to all of the charges before a Court for Arraignment, waiving a speedy trail, according to court documents.

Johnson reportedly perpetrated multiple instances of sexual abuse on the 12- or 13-year-old girl during a year-and-a-half time period from 2013 to 2014, court records say.

Johnson faces five counts of third-degree sexual abuse, three counts of indecent contact with a child, two counts of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, two counts of indecent exposure and one count of child endangerment.

Posted on February 17, 2017 6:17 AM

Church’s school aide suspended in sex abuse investigation, report says
NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Greg Adomaitis | For NJ.com

HAINESPORT TWP. — A teacher’s aide with the St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church has been suspended over sexual abuse allegations as a criminal investigation continues, according to news reports.

FOX29 reports that the unnamed male aide, who worked at the reJOYce Christian School, was suspended without pay in December 2016 after four children made claims of inappropriate touching.

Brian Kent, a Philadelphia-based attorney who is representing the children between the ages of 5 and 6, was not immediately available for comment Thursday afternoon.

Posted on February 17, 2017 6:15 AM

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests starting local chapter
PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
[email protected]

A well-known advocacy group for child sexual abuse victims is setting up a chapter in the Altoona–Johnstown area.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests plans to hold its first confidential support meeting in Ebensburg on Feb. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m.

SNAP is establishing its local group in response to the ongoing abuse scandal within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona–Johnstown.

“There is so much pain and hurt there that there needs to be support there,” said Judy Jones, the organization’s Midwest associate director.
Posted on February 17, 2017 6:12 AM

Wollongong sex abuse victims paid $500,000 by Catholic Church
AUSTRALIA
Ilawarra Mercury

Kate McIlwain
@kmcilwain

17 Feb 2017

Just over $500,000 has been paid to Wollongong victims of alleged child sexual abuse by the Catholic Church, new data from the royal commission has revealed.

This makes up a tiny proportion (0.18 per cent) of the $280 million paid out by the church over the past 35 years, and puts the Diocese of Wollongong among the 15 Catholic authorities with the lowest average payments to victims.

In contrast, the diocese was last week named as one of the five areas with the highest proportion of priests alleged to be perpetrators.

Claims data released this week by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse shows 33 people made claim of child sexual abuse in the Wollongong diocese.
Posted on February 17, 2017 6:10 AM

Victim of sex abuse says district plaques containing Bishop Mulkearns’ name should be taken down
AUSTRALIA
The Standard

ANDREW THOMSON
17 Feb 2017

A SOUTH-WEST victim of clergy sex abuse wants plaques featuring Bishop Ronald Mulkearns removed from Warrnambool schools.

The man, who recently made a statement to police and gave evidence at the Royal Commission, is still a practising Catholic.

He said it was a disgrace the plaques, that recognise Bishop Mulkearns had opened buildings in the region, remained on display.

Those plaques are understood to be at St Joseph’s, Our Lady Help Of Christians and St Pius X primary schools in Warrnambool. One has already been removed from St Pius X primary.

The victim said the child sex abuse Royal Commission released statistics last week that revealed almost 4500 victims of sexual abuse had come forward to report abuse.

Posted on February 17, 2017 6:07 AM

101 East exposes sexual crimes of Philippines’ priests
PHILIPPINES
Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: An explosive documentary by Al Jazeera’s 101 East has revealed that many priests in the Philippines routinely sexually abuse the children in their congregation but are never investigated for their crimes.

The documentary also revealed that many more break the sacred vows of celibacy and even father children, something the Catholic church does not permit.

101 East reporter Drew Ambrose said, “The Catholic Church is one of the most powerful institutions in the Philippines.

“Victims of clergy abuse are under enormous pressure not to report abusive priests. We found that even when they do find the courage to come forward, some are paid to keep quiet.”

Posted on February 17, 2017 6:03 AM

February 16, 2017
Convicted pedophile priest extradited to Maine jail
MAINE
WGME

KENNEBUNKPORT (WGME) — A convicted pedophile priest from Massachusetts is in jail in Maine Thursday night, accused of molesting boys in Kennebunkport.

74-year-old Ronald Paquin faces 29 counts of gross sexual misconduct.

Victims say for years, Paquin took boys to his camper in Kennebunkport to sexually molest them.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:26 PM

Sexual abuse and the Catholic Church in the Philippines
PHILIPPINES
Aljazeera

by Tiffany Ang’

Sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests in the Philippines are on the rise, according to senior church investigators.

But this new 101 East documentary reveals that prosecutions of priests alleged to have committed sexual abuse are extremely rare in Asia’s largest Catholic nation.

Some alleged victims say they have been pressured not to file charges and were paid money in exchange for their silence.

Imelda* was 15 years old when she says the priest in her village sexually assaulted her.

“After he kissed me on the forehead, he hugged me,” she recalled. “It was really painful. Why did he do that to me?”

She says that when her family discovered she had reported the incident to the police, they beat her.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:20 PM

WA at the evil heart of child abuse
AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

Tim Clarke, Legal Affairs Editor
Thursday, February 16, 2017

WA was at the shameful heart of the most rampant paedophilia within the Catholic Church, the royal commission on child sex abuse has revealed.

A commission analysis released yesterday of cases and payments covering 30 years showed the Church had paid $276.1 million to victims.

The commission released a list of Australian church institutions where most-reported incidents of alleged child sexual abuse occurred from 1980 to 2015.

The data showed 4445 people made claims. Almost 750 abuse claims were continuing at the time of the survey.

Three of the top four institutions were in WA.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:18 PM

GR pastor ordered to stand for child sexual abuse charges
MICHIGAN
WOOD

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — A pastor at a Grand Rapids church accused of trying to meet an 11-year-old girl for sex has been ordered to stand trial.

At a preliminary hearing, David Robert Diehl was bound over to circuit court on child sexually abusive activity and using a computer to commit a crime charges.

Diehl was arrested in November 2016 after he responded to an undercover officer’s post on Grand Rapids Craiglist, which warned about a poster offering “sex with daughters.”

Michigan State Police say Diehl is a pastor at Church on Fire in Grand Rapids at the time of his arrest.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:16 PM

Variations: God bless you Bishop Camacho
NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS
Marianas Variety

17 Feb 2017 By Zaldy Dandan – [email protected]

“Faith is not, contrary to the usual ideas, something that turns out to be right or wrong, like a gambler’s bet….” — Joanna Russ

IF some believers professing a major religion (you know which one) commit one appalling atrocity after another, we will be called “ignorant and biased” if we question some of the basic tenets of their faith. However, whenever a Catholic priest is accused of wrongdoing, it’s OK to make sweeping generalizations about Catholicism. The Church is evil, its critics say, and its devotees are either too deluded or too dumb to be outraged — they should leave the Church.

And that’s why we should also give up on constitutional democracy and the rule of law. Why? Why not after reading the American Declaration of Independence (“[A]ll men are created equal, [and] are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness….), and then learning about how the same government founded on such lofty if not sacred ideals dealt with U.S. citizens who happened to be of the “wrong” color. Never mind the non-U.S. colored people. (U.S. Army Gen. “Howling” Jake Smith’s instruction to his troops during the American invasion of the P.I. in 1901: “I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and burn the better it will please me…. Kill everyone over the age of 10…and make the island a howling wilderness.”)

Posted on February 16, 2017 5:08 PM

Number of accusers could double
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

On the same day an 18th child sex abuse claim was filed in Guam’s federal court, the legal counsel for the alleged victims said yesterday that he expected the number of accusers to double.

Attorney David Lujan and one of his clients spoke briefly with the media yesterday at the Archdiocese of Agana Chancery before meeting with a representative of a Vatican-led tribunal sent to Guam to receive testimony from those who have accused former Guam clergy of abuse as part of an ongoing investigation into Archbishop Anthony Apuron. The Vatican investigation is penal, or criminal, in nature, according to documents.

While all of the accusers that Lujan currently represents are former altar boys, attorney Gloria Rudolph noted that some of the victims whose cases have not yet been filed never served as altar boys.

“Some of them weren’t altar boys,” she said. “They were students at Catholic schools.”

Posted on February 16, 2017 5:06 PM

“Le scuse non ci bastano. E la Chiesa non ha punito 130 sacerdoti pedofili”
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

di Serena Sartini

Le parole, seppure forti, non bastano. «Purtroppo mancano i fatti, manca la concretezza.

Chiediamo al Papa di ordinare ai suoi vescovi di denunciare i crimini di pedofilia commessi dai sacerdoti, cosicché intervenga la giustizia». È duro il commento di Francesco Zanardi, abusato da un sacerdote quando era ragazzino e ora presidente della Rete l’Abuso, associazione che assiste le vittime dei preti pedofili. Un appello che arriva all’indomani del discorso del Papa pubblicato nel libro-testimonianza di Daniel Pittet, vittima di abusi da parte di sacerdoti, in cui Francesco ha chiesto «perdono per i preti pedofili» e ha assicurato: «Saremo severissimi».

Posted on February 16, 2017 5:04 PM

Sospendono l’istituto Provolo di Mendoza fino a che si avrà una sentenza per i casi di abuso
ARGENTINA
Rete L’Abuso

[MENDOZA.- Amid the scandal to allegations of sexual abuse against deaf children at Provolo Institute Antonio of Mendoza, the local school government has finally decided to suspend any subsidies to the school and the school will not be allowed to operate.]

Pablo Mannino

PER LA NACION

MENDOZA.- In mezzo allo scandalo per le denunce di abusi sessuali contro i bambini sordi dell’Istituto Antonio Provolo di Mendoza, il governo scolastico locale ha deciso alla fine di sospendere l’entità educativa in maniera preventiva fintanto che la Giustizia si esprima sulla situazione degli imputati.

Durante una conferenza stampa che si è svolta nel pomeriggio di ieri, il titolare degli Assunti Giuridici della Direzione Generale delle Scuole (DGE), Francisco Fernández, e la direttrice dell’Educazione Privata, Beatriz Della Savia, hanno dato a conoscere la risoluzione. In questa maniera, con il rapporto Nº 93/2017 è stata data l’informazione che l’istituzione non darà più lezioni e smetterà di ricevere il sussidio statale.

Posted on February 16, 2017 4:59 PM

Cassazione: «Preti e suore non possono tacere su stupri»
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

[Priests and nuns can not be silent or say false when they are questioned by the magistrates by invoking the ‘professional’ secret if they are aware of the facts of criminal law as part of their social activities of assistance to vulnerable people.]

Le motivazioni delle condanne afflitte al parroco e alla suora che negarono di aver saputo delle violenze sessuali subite da Annamaria Scarfò (all’epoca 13enne), che si era affidata alla loro “protezione”, ad opera di un branco di ragazzi.

Preti e suore non possono tacere o dire il falso quando sono interrogati dai magistrati, invocando il segreto ‘professionale’, se sono venuti a conoscenza di fatti penalmente rilevanti nell’ambito della loro attività sociale di assistenza ai soggetti deboli che, sebbene rientri nella generica “missione” degli ecclesiastici, “non rientra certamente nell’esercizio diretto della fede religiosa”, unico ambito per il quale e’ concesso, per le norme concordatarie del 1985, di evitare di rispondere.

Posted on February 16, 2017 4:57 PM

Former priest Jacques Faucher given house arrest for molesting choir boys
CANADA
CBC News

Former Gatineau priest Jacques Faucher has been sentenced to 12 months house arrest and 18 months probation for sexually assaulting three choir boys in the 1970s.

Justice Pierre Roger delivered the sentence in an Ottawa courtroom Thursday.

During the sentencing the judge cited a psychiatric report showing Faucher no longer had a sex drive.

Faucher had retired as a Roman Catholic priest in 2013 when Ottawa police laid 14 charges of indecent assault and gross indecency against him. The offences were alleged to have involved five victims and occurred between 1969 and 1974 in Ottawa.

Posted on February 16, 2017 4:55 PM

The Pope Ships His American Enemy To the Other Side of the World
ROME
The Daily Beast

An American cardinal who opposes Pope Francis has just been sent to the remote Pacific island of Guam.

Barbie Latza Nadeau
02.16.17

ROME — Catholic conspiracy theorists unite! After weeks of speculation that American Cardinal Raymond Burke had been secretly slapping up anti-Pope posters and stirring up a schism among conservatives who oppose Pope Francis, the American has suddenly been shipped out to sea.

Specifically, Burke has been sent to the island of Guam, an American outpost of about 162,000 people in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. His departure was seemingly spontaneous, with the Catholic News Service only announcing his arrival when he landed on the island late Wednesday.

The Vatican press office offered a quick explanation for Burke’s departure. While it hadn’t been publicized at the time, Burke had been named by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as the presiding judge in a case against Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron last October. Apuron has refused to resign despite a handful of allegations of sexual misconduct from altar boys who served him in the 1970s.

This is the first such case that Burke has been sent to oversee. He was the head of the Vatican’s tribunal until 2014 when Francis sidelined him shortly after he started his papacy in 2013. …

Despite being well versed in Canon law, Burke’s reputation on clerical sex abuse cases is dismal. He stands accused of not reporting predator priests while he worked in the United States, and he once blamed gay priests as the authors of the assaults, accusing the perpetrators of being “feminized and confused about their own sexual identity.”

Posted on February 16, 2017 4:42 PM

Knights of Malta chief says it was Burke who asked official to resign
ROME
Crux

Austen Ivereigh February 15, 2017
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

In an interview with an Austrian newspaper, the acting head of the Order of Malta has described being present at the meeting where the Grand Chancellor was asked to resign — and that it was American Cardinal Raymond Burke, not the Grand Master, who made the request.

The Knights of Malta’s chaplain, the pope’s arch-critic American Cardinal Raymond Burke, not its Grand Master, was the one who asked the order’s Grand Chancellor to resign, according to the Knights’ acting head.

Ludwing Hoffmann von Rumerstein, who is Austrian, was present at a meeting on December 6 in which the Grand Chancellor, Albrecht Von Boeselager, was asked to stand down. His refusal and eventual sacking on grounds of disobedience led to a weeks’ long row with the Vatican, who demanded he be reinstated.

The Order’s Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, eventually resigned on January 24. The Sovereign Council reinstated Boeselager and named Hoffmann von Rumerstein the Knights’ Lieutenant ad interim.
Posted on February 16, 2017 3:58 PM

Former priest convicted of molesting altar boys sentenced to house arrest
CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

JOE LOFARO, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN

A former Ottawa priest convicted of molesting three altar boys in the 1960s and 1970s has been sentenced to 12 months of house arrest.

A judge found 80-year-old Jacques Faucher guilty last March of six counts of indecent assault and gross indecency on boys aged nine to 13 from the former Notre-Dame-des-Anges parish near Tunney’s Pasture.

The victims all told a similar story: Faucher would invite the boys to sit on his knee in private to pray or to watch hockey and he would start touching them. Court heard that he admitted to police that he had been sexually excited during these encounters, and that he sometimes ejaculated in his pants.

One of the victims told the court in a victim impact statement about the hatred and shame that “ate at me inside like a vile cancer” years after the abuse. Faucher apologized to his victims in court last October for his sex crimes. He said, “I regret them sincerely,” and, in the same speech, also criticized the media for its coverage of sex-abuse scandals in the Catholic Church.

Posted on February 16, 2017 3:49 PM

Few abuser priests referred to Holy See
AUSTRALIA
7 News

Megan Neil – AAP on February 17, 2017

Only 63 of the hundreds of priests alleged to have sexually abused children in Australia have been referred to the Holy See, although half of those have been removed from the priesthood.

More than 570 priests have been identified as alleged child abusers in claims made to the Catholic Church in Australia, along with almost 700 non-ordained religious brothers and sisters.

The child sex abuse royal commission’s analysis of Australian church records shows 63 priests have been the subject of a canonical referral to the Holy See, representing nine per cent of priests who were alleged perpetrators.

The priests have been laicised – released from the clerical state and returned to lay status after a request by the priest himself – in 42 per cent of cases.

Thirteen per cent have been dismissed, with dismissal described as the most severe disciplinary measure in canon law that can be sought by a Catholic Church authority.

Posted on February 16, 2017 2:00 PM

Priest Abuse Lawsuit Singles Out Diocese Of Orange, All American Boys Choir Founder
CALIFORNIA
Patch

ORANGE, CA — In response to a recent lawsuit filed in Orange County alleging that a priest, who was the founder of the All American Boys Chorus, was allowed to sexually prey on children for years, Diocese of Orange officials Wednesday said he never worked in the county.

The lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court on Feb. 3 does not specify a defendant, but it refers to a priest, chorus and Diocese.

The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff, who is unnamed, was molested by a priest, who also is not named. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, identified the accused as Fr. Richard T. Coughlin, the founder and former director of the chorus in 1970.

Dogged by sexual abuse allegations in Boston, Coughlin was sent to California, SNAP alleged.

The alleged victims believed that the chorus was “run by a gregarious, charismatic and affectionate Catholic priest with an Irish brogue (who) would serve to uplift and inspire,” according to the lawsuit.

Posted on February 16, 2017 1:59 PM

Vatican Scandal In Guam: Priest Accused Of Sexually Abusing Children, But Accusers Refuse To Testify
GUAM
International Business Times

BY JOHN WALSH @JRWALSH7 ON 02/16/17

Lawyers representing former altar boys who were allegedly sexually abused by a Catholic archbishop in Guam became disheartened about their case when one of the accusers refused to testify in the Vatican’s investigation into the claims Thursday.

Roland Sondia, who publicly accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron of molesting him in the 1970’s when he was 15, reportedly said he wouldn’t share his testimony with the head investigator, American Cardinal Raymond Burke, because his attorney wasn’t allowed to be present while doing so.

Sondia’s lawyer, David Lujan, said the chances of winning the case became “worse” than he expected when he was told that he wouldn’t be allowed to advise his client during his testimony.

Lujan said he feared Sondia, who was once devoutly Catholic, might be distracted from the facts of the case while he was to be “questioned by the prosecutor, who is a priest, and Archbishop Apuron’s lawyer, who is a priest, and a presider who is Cardinal Burke, and a notary who is also a priest.”

Sondia might send a written account of his testimony instead, Lujan said.

Another witness, the mother of a deceased altar boy who similarly accused Apuron of sexually abusing him, has also refused to testify in the investigation.
Posted on February 16, 2017 1:56 PM

More abuse cases come to light in France
FRANCE
La Croix

As part of the French Church’s transparency campaign, the Diocese of Angers has revealed the allegations of two victims of Fr Hyacinthe-Marie Houard, a charismatic, well-known local priest, who died in 2012.

Céline Hoyeau and Gauthier Vaillant

Catholics from Angers in western France are devastated this week following the publication on Tuesday evening of a letter from Bishop Emmanuel Delmas to local priests.

The bishop states that he had received testimonies from two young adult women revealing “that they had been subject during their childhood to inappropriate behavior by a former chaplain, Fr Houard”.

.Hyacinthe-Marie Houard, who died in December 2012 at the age of 85, was an eminent personality in the diocese.

Chaplain and founder of a local Scouts of Europe team, he enjoyed an excellent reputation as an educator and became secretary-general of the Catholic University of Angers. In 1983, he helped found the university’s Institute of Public Relations and Communication (IRCOM).

The two young women who complained to the bishop say that they were sexually abused at the beginning of the years 2000. Each woman made direct contact with the bishop, one during spring 2016 and the other at the end of the year.

Posted on February 16, 2017 12:55 PM

Confronting sexual abuse in the Catholic Church
NEW ZEALAND
Otago Daily Times

David Tombs compares the Catholic Church’s recent responses to allegations of sexual abuse in Australia and in Peru.

Two documents released last week on sexual abuses in the Catholic Church in Australia and in Peru seem to show very different responses to the problem of historical sexual abuses. The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was formally established in 2013, and it has been examining abuse by Catholic clergy and the responses of various Catholic authorities. Its report, titled “Proportion of priests and non-ordained religious subject to a claim of child sexual abuse 1950-2010” (February 2017), gives a clear sense of the scale.

The report concludes that between 1980 and 2015, there were 4444 alleged incidents of child sexual abuse in more than 1000 institutions. A total of 1880 alleged perpetrators (diocesan and religious priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, lay employees or volunteers) were identified in claims of child sexual abuse.

The figures suggest about 30% of alleged perpetrators were priests, 32% were religious brothers, 29% were lay people, 5% were religious sisters, and for 4% the religious status was not known. The total proportion of priests ministering in Australia who have been alleged as perpetrators of sexual abuse since 1950 is 7%.

Posted on February 16, 2017 12:52 PM

Catholic Whistle Blowers’ Response to the Australian “Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse”
UNITED STATES
Catholic Whistleblowers

Focus: The Catholic Church

Catholic Whistle Blowers, an organization of Catholic lay men and women, religious sisters, and current and former religious brothers and priests, in the United States of America, whose mission is to support victim/survivors of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, extends its heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation to the Australian government, the people of Australia, and victim/survivors of sexual abuse, for their courageous and unprecedented multi-year-long commitment of resources and personnel to the investigation of child sexual abuse. In particular, Catholic Whistle Blowers is grateful to:

* courageous victim/survivors who have come forward to report sexual abuse, boldly and bravely testify before the Royal Commission, and create a safer Australia for children;

*the government of Australia which has made child safety and the investigation of crimes against children a high priority;

*the citizens of Australia for allowing allocation of funds and resources that has enabled the Royal Commission to do its work in a comprehensive manner;

*the whistle blowers and reporters of sexual abuse allegations in Australia, especially in Catholic institutions and organizations throughout Australia, who helped to uncover widespread sexual abuse of children in Catholic parishes, schools, and institutions;

*the members of the Royal Commission for their professionalism, hard work, and pursuit of the truth

*the country of Australia for modeling for other countries, especially the United States, that investigations by governments of sexual abuse of children are necessary and very successful in helping to keep children safe; and, that the appeal of the Catholic Whistle Blowers of the United States to its government to convene a national commission to investigate child sexual abuse will finally be heard.

Very Rev. John P. Bambrick, V.F., Jackson, New Jersey
Sr. Sally Butler, OP – Brooklyn, New York
Rev. Patrick W. Collins, Ph.D., Douglas, Michigan
Rev. James E. Connell, J.C.D. – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, OP, J.C.D. – Vienna, Virginia
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D. – West Orange, New Jersey
Rev. Kenneth E. Lasch, J.C.D. – Pompton Plains, New Jersey
Rev. Ronald D. Lemmert – Peekskill, New York
Sr. Claire Smith, OSU – Bronx, New York
Rev. Bruce N. Teague, Sheffield, Massachusetts
Sr. Maureen Paul Turlish, SND deN – New Castle, Delaware
Patrick J. Wall, LLM. – Dana Point, California

Posted on February 16, 2017 12:50 PM

Kirche sucht weitere Opfer und Mittäter von Pädo-Priestern
SCHWEIZ
Blick

[The shocking abuse details made by 57-year-old Daniel Pittet are frightening the Catholic Church. The church is looking for more victims of Father Joël and for churchmen who helped to conceal the deeds.]

Die schockierenden Missbrauchs-Details, die der heute 57-jährige Daniel Pittet publik gemacht hat, schrecken die katholische Kirche auf. Jetzt sucht sie nach weiteren Opfern des Pädo-Priesters Pater Joël – und nach Kirchenleuten, die mitgeholfen haben, die Taten zu verschleiern.

Der Freiburger Bibliothekar Daniel Pittet (57) hat seinem Peiniger zwar vergeben. Und auch dem katholischen Glauben ist er treu geblieben, wie er im BLICK vom Montag und in seinem eben erschienenen Buch «Mon Père, je vous pardonne» schildert. Das ändert jedoch nichts am Leid, das ihm in seiner Kindheit angetan wurde. Über vier Jahre lang, von 1968 bis 1972, hat ihn der Kapuziner-Priester Pater Joël (76) vergewaltigt und für Pornofotos missbraucht.

Posted on February 16, 2017 10:28 AM

“Ich bin ein Monster mit zwei Personlichkeiten”
SCHWEIZ
Blick

[The Swiss pedophile Father Jöel has abused dozens of children for decades (yesterday’s review). The 76-year-old lives unmolested in a monastery where he found shelter. We visited him there.]

Laurent Grabet (Interview) und Jean-Guy Python (Fotos)

Der pädophile Pater Jöel hat während Jahrzehnten Dutzende von Kindern missbraucht (BLICK von gestern). Der 76-Jährige lebt unbehelligt in einem Kloster, wo er Unterschlupf gefunden hat. Wir haben ihn dort besucht.

Eine Begegnung mit dem Teufel höchstpersönlich war an diesem kalten, verschneiten Freitagmorgen zu erwarten gewesen. Doch umständlich kommt uns ein beleibter 76-Jähriger entgegen, gestützt auf einen Rollator. «Ich schleppe meine Vergangenheit hinter mir her», eröffnet der aus der Romandie stammende Gottesmann das Gespräch. Er hat sich seit acht Jahren in ein Deutschschweizer Kloster zurückgezogen. Man spricht ihn hier in vorwurfslosem Ton mit Pater Joël an. Im Buch, das sein Treiben enthüllt (BLICK von gestern), wird er mit vollem Namen genannt.
Posted on February 16, 2017 10:22 AM

Ausgerechnet! Vertuscher ist Pädo-Experte der Kirche
SCHWEIZ
Blick

[Ephrem Bucher (73), ex-head of the Capuchin Order, has for years covered for Swiss pedophile Brother Father Joël. Now, he is sitting in the Church’s specialist committee to uncover and prevent sexual assaults.]

Laurent Grabet und Andreas Dietrich

Die katholische Kirche hat schnell auf die Enthüllungen von Missbrauchs-Opfer Daniel Pittet (57) reagiert, über die BLICK in den letzten Tagen ausführlich berichtet hat. Am Montag teilten Bischofskonferenz, die Diözese Genf, Lausanne und Freiburg sowie der Kapuzinerorden mit, dass man «die Fehler zutiefst bedauert, welche damals begangen wurden». Zudem wurden Untersuchungen in Aussicht gestellt zur möglichen Beteiligung weiterer Personen ausser des pädophilen Priesters Pater Joël (76). Selbst Papst Franziskus zeigte sich erschüttert und bat im Namen der Kirche um Vergebung.

Mehr Zeit hingegen liess sich die Kirche mit der Einsetzung einer Kommission, die sich des heiklen Themas annehmen soll. Anfang 2014 wurde sie in Aussicht gestellt – erst drei Jahre später hat sich das von den Schweizer Bischöfen eingesetzte «Fachgremium Sexuelle Übergriffe im kirchlichen Umfeld» konstituiert. Es besteht aus rund zehn Mitgliedern, Kirchenvertretern wie weltlichen Experten.

Posted on February 16, 2017 10:19 AM

Der Vertuscher tritt als Pädo-Experte der Kirche zurück
SCHWEIZ
Blick

[Ephrem Bucher (73) resigns from the Swissbody which looks after sexual assaults in the Catholic Church. BLICK yesterday revealed his questionable role in the pedophile scandal surrounding Father Joël.]

Laurent Grabet und Andreas Dietrich

Das ging schnell! Gestern deckte BLICK auf, wie Ephrem Bucher (73), ehemaliger Chef der Schweizer Kapuziner, jahrelang das Treiben seines Ordensbruders Pater Joël (76) gedeckt hat. Dieser gibt selber zu, mindestens 40 Kinder missbraucht zu haben.

Eines seiner Opfer, der Freiburger Daniel Pittet, hat soeben ein Buch über sein Martyrium veröffentlicht. Strafrechtlich kam Pater Joël stets ungeschoren davon. Entweder waren seine Delikte verjährt, oder es setzte nur eine bedingte Gefängnisstrafe ab. Jedes Mal, wenn an einem Wirkungsort des Pädo-Priesters sein Treiben ruchbar wurde, versetzte ihn der Kapuzinerorden an einen andern Ort.

Posted on February 16, 2017 10:16 AM

Violenze all’istituto Provolo, chiusa le sede Argentina
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

Scandalo sordomuti: pugno di ferro del governo dopo l’arresto del prete veronese. «Gli alunni? Cambieranno scuola»

VERONA A quasi tre mesi dagi arresti choc tra cui quello del prete veronese don Nicola Corradi, non risparmia colpi di scena in Argentina lo scandalo abusi sessuali sui sordomuti. E l’ultima novità che proprio in queste ore arriva dall’altro capo dal mondo ha del clamoroso, visto che a intervenire è stato lo stesso governo che, d’autorità, ha deciso di chiudere la sede dell’istituto per sordomuti Provolo di Mendoza. Si tratta della scuola travolta dalle polemiche e dalle proteste di piazza dopo che, a fine novembre 2016, il sacerdote veronese di 82 anni finì in carcere per pedofilia insieme ad altri 4 operatori scolastici (tra cui un secondo prete e un chierichetto) tuttora detenuti nel carcere di Boulogne Sur Mer.

Posted on February 16, 2017 8:07 AM

Non è Lussuria
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

[“Pedophilia is not a vice, pedophilia is not an act of lust, pedophilia is not a sin, much less a crime against morality or an offense against chastity as the Catechism says, and as if the child had prepubescent sexuality. Pedophilia is a violent crime against helpless people “]

Il libro-inchiesta sulla pedofilia clericale firmato da Emiliano Fittipaldi, sin dal titolo induce a confondere peccato e reato in un pericoloso equivoco.
Cecilia M. Calamani

«La pedofilia non è un vizio, la pedofilia non è un atto di lussuria, la pedofilia non è un peccato tanto meno un delitto contro la morale o un’offesa alla castità come dice il Catechismo e come se il bambino prepubere avesse la sessualità. La pedofilia è un crimine violentissimo contro persone inermi» (Federico Tulli, giornalista autore di “Chiesa e pedofilia, il caso italiano”, L’Asino d’oro 2014).

Posted on February 16, 2017 8:04 AM

Victims bypass church’s Towards Healing
AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

FEBRUARY 16, 2017

Megan Neil
Australian Associated Press

Child sex abuse victims are bypassing the Catholic Church’s Towards Healing process and even those whose job it is to administer it “wouldn’t have a bar of it” if seeking compensation.

The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle’s child protection agency says victims are not going to Towards Healing, instead choosing to work directly with the diocese to obtain compensation.
“I think the public standing of Towards Healing has been significantly, if not permanently, damaged,” Zimmerman Services manager Sean Tynan told the child abuse royal commission on Thursday.

“The case study conducted by this royal commission exposed a circumstance that if I were coming forward to seek compensation I wouldn’t have a bar of.”

The director of professional standards for the Catholic Church in Queensland, Mark Eustance, said he was not a great defender of the national protocol either.

Posted on February 16, 2017 7:16 AM

‘Sins of the father’: Al Jazeera exposes Philippines’ philandering priests
PHILIPPINES
Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 — It’s no secret that Al Jazeera does a pretty darn good job with their exposes and this time around, they unveil the deep dark secrets of priests in Asia’s largest Catholic nation.

In this new documentary aptly titled “Sins of the Father”, Al Jazeera will reveal how priests in the Philippines are fathering children, violating the sacred vow of celibacy as well as a rising number of child sex abuse cases by priests.

Priests are treated like Gods in the Philippines and this has lead to some of them exploiting their power. In this exclusive investigation, 101 East reporter Drew Ambrose will reveal how church authorities are receiving more reports of child sex abuse by priests. It will also reveal how some church leaders are speaking out against the institution’s failure to properly investigate abuse allegations.

Church investigators also reveal to 101 East that in some dioceses, one in five priests have had children. But with a shortage of priests in this deeply devout nation, the church rarely takes action against errant priests.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/showbiz/article/sins-of-the-father-al-jazeera-exposes-philippines-philandering-priests#sthash.pUWTHSO8.dpuf

Posted on February 16, 2017 7:14 AM

‘Even if he survives jail, he will be an old man’: Judge’s harsh words for paedophile priest who will likely die behind bars for sexually abusing vulnerable boys as young as 12
AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail (UK)

By Daniel Peters For Daily Mail Australia and AAP

A paedophile priest who sexually abused vulnerable and homesick boys for over two decades could spend the rest of his life in jail.

Father Brian Spillane was a charismatic priest and college chaplain, and generally well regarded by the school and others.

But his ‘respected position’ masked a manipulative predator who sexually abused boys who sought his help over two decades at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst.

Now the 74-year-old former clergyman faces the prospect of dying in jail after he was sentenced in the NSW District Court on Thursday for the assaults on boys aged under 16 in the 1970s and 1980s.

The most serious charge was buggery (anal intercourse).

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4230368/Paedophile-priest-Brian-Spillane-die-jail.html#ixzz4YqjmM25Q
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Posted on February 16, 2017 7:11 AM

‘They were faced with monsters’: Child sex victim speaks out
AUSTRALIA
7 News

[with video]

Rashida Yosufzai – AAP on February 16, 2017

Damien Sheridan was a homesick, young boarding student who was just looking for counselling from a trusted school chaplain.

But what he endured at the hands of notorious pedophile priest Brian Spillane was to ruin his life.

Now in his 40s, Mr Sheridan describes the shattering consequences of the assault he faced at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst.

He has post traumatic stress disorder, suffers anxiety, and has watched as family and friends have also suffered as a result of his hurt.

When he can’t get out of bed for weeks on end, his 20-year-old son Zak steps in, taking care of the chores and doing the shopping.

Posted on February 16, 2017 7:09 AM

Sanibel parishioners said they’re banned from supporting priest
FLORIDA
NBC 2

[with video]

By Levi Ismail, Reporter

SANIBEL –
Parishioners at St. Isabel’s Church on Sanibel said they’re being denied permission to hold services for their former priest.

In just the past week, parishioners held services to pray for Father Christopher Senk, who is still on paid administrative leave. Senk was investigated for more than two years for allegedly financially exploiting parishioner, Marion McIntyre.

The State Attorney’s office concluded that there was not enough evidence of wrongdoing to press charges against Senk.

According to the Diocese of Venice in Florida, a timeline for a resolution of this matter will be determined by the Apostolic See in Rome.

Parishioners said only after they began prayers for Senk at church, were they told they couldn’t use church property.

Posted on February 16, 2017 7:07 AM

Cardinal Burke presides over trial investigating Guam archbishop
VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, a church law expert and former head of the Vatican’s highest court, arrived in Guam Feb. 15 as the presiding judge in a church trial investigating allegations of sexual abuse leveled against Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of Agana.

The Vatican press office confirmed a “tribunal of the first instance” was constituted by the Vatican Oct. 5 and its presiding judge is Cardinal Burke. Four other judges, all of whom are bishops, also were appointed, the press office said.

“When an action is in a ‘first instance’ court, that indicates that it is in the initial trial phase,” according to the website of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles accusations of clerical sexual abuse.

Three men have publicly accused Archbishop Apuron of sexually abusing them when they were altar boys in the 1970s. The mother of a fourth man, now deceased, also accused the archbishop of abusing her son.

Posted on February 16, 2017 7:03 AM

Bill that would extend statute of limitations for child sex-abuse survivors passes committee
OKLAHOMA
Tulsa World

By Randy Krehbiel Tulsa World

OKLAHOMA CITY — Child sex-abuse victims could have more than 40 years to report the crime under legislation approved Wednesday by an Oklahoma House of Representatives committee.

House Bill 1468, by Rep. Carol Bush, R-Tulsa, would eliminate the current 12-year statute of limitations and allow charges to be filed against an alleged perpetrator until the victim reaches his or her 45th birthday.

The bill advanced on a vote of 10-0.

“By passing this law, you will be helping not only those who have been abused in the past but children who are being abused right now,” said Ginger Lewis, a Tulsa advocate for child-abuse victims and a survivor herself.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:59 AM

Vatican mission hears Guam witnesses
GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio and Masako Watanabe , Pacific Daily News Feb. 16, 2017

A Vatican tribunal sent to Guam as part of Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron’s canonical trial heard from some witnesses Thursday, but didn’t directly hear from one of Apuron’s alleged sexual abuse victims.

Deacon Steve Martinez, a former sexual abuse response coordinator — whom Apuron reportedly fired for raising concerns about the archdiocese’s mishandling of sex abuse allegations for several years — was among those deposed by the tribunal. Apuron has denied all sex abuse allegations against him and hasn’t been charged criminally, although he’s facing multiple civil lawsuits.

Former altar boy Roland Sondia didn’t agree to be deposed by the Vatican team without his counsel, David Lujan, of the law firm of Lujan and Wolff.

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, a prominent leader of the Catholic Church’s conservative wing and a seasoned canon lawyer, heads the mission to interview Guam witnesses as part of Apuron’s canonical trial. Burke, who has clashed with Pope Francis on some issues, is the presiding judge in the Apuron trial.

Sondia and Lujan left the Archdiocese of Agana Chancery, where the deposition was being held, after the Rev. Justin M. Wachs told David Lujan the process doesn’t allow a witness to bring a lawyer. Wachs serves as the Vatican court reporter for the Apuron trial.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:57 AM

Ex-altar boy refuses to testify at Vatican Guam abuse trial
GUAM
Associated Press

By NICOLE WINFIELD and GRACE GARCES BORDALLO

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A former altar boy who has accused Guam’s longtime archbishop of sexually abusing him has refused to testify before a Vatican court headed by American Cardinal Raymond Burke on the grounds that he couldn’t have his lawyer present.

Attorney David Lujan said his client, Roland Sondia, met Thursday with Vatican officials who travelled to the Pacific island U.S. territory to take testimony in the trial of Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Lujan said it wasn’t in Sondia’s best interest to be questioned by several priests without him present.

Sondia may submit a written declaration instead.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:52 AM

Pope worries about sexual abuse in Gaum
VATICAN CITY
News 24

2017-02-16

Vatican City – Pope Francis has sent a Rome-based cardinal who has clashed repeatedly with him to the Pacific island of Guam to investigate a case of sexual abuse.

The Pacific Daily News reports that Cardinal Raymond Burke is scheduled to interview a former altar boy who says he was sexually abused by Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

The 71-year-old Apuron is facing a Vatican trial over multiple allegations of sex abuse of altar boys in the 1970s. He has denied the charges and has not been criminally charged.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:49 AM

Royal commission: Brisbane schools ‘failed to act’ on Kevin Lynch sexual abuse allegations
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nick Wiggins and Matt Eaton

A prestigious Brisbane private school harboured a culture in which children making allegations of abuse were treated as liars, the royal commission into child sexual abuse has found.

The commission has handed down its report into what it calls Case Study 34, examining allegations of abuse at Brisbane Grammar School in Spring Hill and St Paul’s School in the northern Brisbane suburb of Bald Hills.

It heard evidence that school counsellor Kevin Lynch sexually abused “a large number of students” while he was working at Brisbane Grammar between 1973 and 1988, and continued abusing student as a counsellor at St Paul’s between 1989 and 1997.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found then Brisbane Grammar headmaster Maxwell Howell (who died in 2011) was aware of one specific complaint, but did not investigate allegations and did not refer the matter to police.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:41 AM

Doubt over Vatican investigation of Guam abuse allegations
GUAM
Radio New Zealand

16 February 2017

A lawyer representing former altar boys on Guam is casting doubt on the trial being held by the Vatican to investigate allegations the island’s Archbishop abused them.

Vatican representatives are today meeting with Roland Sondia, one of those who has accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron of sexual abuse in the 1970s.

Lawyer David Lujan said he, and his client, were attending the depositions hearing which is part of a canonical trial.

But he’s already questioning its effectiveness.

“I’m dubious about anything regarding the Catholic Church and how it deals with priests and sex abuse complainants. The history has been nothing but to cover up.”

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:39 AM

Catholic Church says abuse compo not fair
AUSTRALIA
7 News

Megan Neil – AAP on February 16, 2017

The Catholic Church admits its system that has paid $276 million in compensation to thousands of people sexually abused as children is still not fair to victims and an independent scheme is needed.

Victims who have sought redress from the church in Australia have received an average of $91,000 in compensation.

But there are huge differences in the average amount paid by different Catholic Church authorities – from as little as $22,000 to as much as $901,000.

The church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council chief executive Francis Sullivan says the data reinforces the need for an independent national redress scheme that takes the issue of compensation away from the church.

“Even though the church has paid $270 million and it took a long time to get its act together to do that, there’s no doubt the system of paying people and compensating them is best done independently of the church through a national redress scheme,” Mr Sullivan told AAP.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:35 AM

Barrigada resident is latest – and 18th overall – to accuse clergy of molestation
GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Feb 16, 2017

By Krystal Paco

An 18th victim has filed suit against the Church. Barrigada resident Anthony Lujan alleges he was molested by Father Louis Brouillard regularly as an altar boy, a Boy Scout, and also as a student at San Vicente Catholic School. Lujan, who is now 50, states the abuse started when he was around 12.

Although he tried to avoid Father Brouillard, Lujan would be forced to be alone with the priest during monthly confessions. Similar to other complaints, Lujan would go on camping trips with Brouillard and other altar boys where sexual abuse was a regular occurrence.

During a meeting with the press earlier today, Attorney David Lujan stated the number of victims to sue the church is likely to double. His firm further disclosed that not all victims were altar boys or Boy Scouts, but students at Catholic schools around the island.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:34 AM

18th case alleges sexual abuse at San Vicente Catholic School
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

By Mindy Aguon | For the Post Feb 16, 2017

Allegations of sexual abuse that occurred at San Vicente Catholic School in Barrigada have surfaced as the 18th civil complaint filed against former priest Louis Brouillard and the Archdiocese of Agana was filed in the District Court of Guam this afternoon.

Anthony Lujan, 50, claims he was sexually abused by Brouillard when he was an altar boy and Brouillard was a priest at the San Vicente/San Roke Catholic Church in Barrigada and while he attended school at San Vicente Catholic School.

Lujan alleges he met Brouillard around 1979 during weekly outings that were conducted by Brouillard to recruit young boys to become altar boys or join the Boy Scouts. At that time Brouillard served as scout master of the Guam Chapter of the Boy Scouts.

At the age of 12, the Barrigada man became an altar boy at the village parish and joined the Boy Scouts. During that period, Lujan was sexually abused by Brouillard, the lawsuit states. The abuse occurred after Lujan served as an altar boy during Mass.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:32 AM

Royal Commission into child sex abuse: Catholic Church spent $275 compensating victims
AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun
February 16, 2017

THE Catholic Church has spent more than $275 million compensating victims of child sexual abuse since 1980, new figures have revealed.

For the first time data published by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today has exposed the financial cost of the church’s sexual abuse crisis.

Between 1980 and 2015 it paid $276.1 million to victims of abuse, or nearly $8 million a year.

That sum includes amounts for compensation, treatment, legal and other costs.

Of the total amount, $258.8 million was monetary compensation, at an average of about $91,000 per claim.

The highest number of payments, $48.5 million, was paid to 763 victims of the Christian Brothers.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:30 AM

Catholic Church schools and homes with the most child abuse claims revealed
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The Catholic Church has released numbers on how many child sexual abuse claims have been made against staff from their religious schools and orphanages, showing one home for boys faced 219 accusations.

The church identified 28 institutions that had 20 or more claims of child sexual abuse. You can search the data below.

The highest number of claims came from BoysTown at Beaudesert in Queensland, with 219 claims levelled at Catholic Church members working at the children’s home.

This information is part of a large release of data revealing the extent of child sex abuse within the Australian Catholic Church that was done with cooperation from them as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:29 AM

New Sodalit report details severe sexual, psychological abuse
PERU
Crux

Catholic News Agency
February 15, 2017

LIMA, Peru – A two-part report made public on Tuesday details sexual, physical and psychological abuses committed by members of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, both those who have left the community and those who remain in it.

In addition to the movement’s founder, Luis Fernando Figari, four other Sodalits were reported to have sexually abused minors. The report named the other offenders, none of whom are still part of the community.

Seven of the Sodalits “who were identified as having physically or psychologically abused” another member or a person in formation are still in the community and performing external ministry. They have had administrative actions taken against them and are receiving training. The report did not give their names.

The Sodalitium Christianae Vitae is a society of apostolic life which was founded in 1971 in Peru, and granted pontifical recognition in 1997. CNA’s executive director, Alejandro Bermúdez, and its global director of operations, Ryan Thomas, are both members of the community.
Posted on February 16, 2017 6:26 AM

Ballarat Catholic school with history of sexual abuse puts focus on child protection
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Charlotte King

St Patrick’s College in Ballarat, infamous for its history of child sexual abuse, is determined to become a leader in child protection.

Among the “old boys” of St Patricks College are some of the most notorious convicted paedophiles in Australia.

An honours board on display is an indication of the changes the school is trying to enact.

The board lists all of the past students, with names and dates listed in gold, who have gone on to be ordained as Catholic priests.

Headmaster John Crowley said some of those names were now blacked out.

“After the first sitting of the royal commission there were details of certain individuals who were old collegians of the school, that to me were just horrifying,” he said.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:24 AM

Australian Catholic Church paid $213 million to child sexual abuse victims
AUSTRALIA
Deutsche Welle

The country’s Catholic Church has paid more than quarter of a billion Australian dollars to child sexual abuse victims. An inquiry concluded that, while thousands of claims were made, many victims had not come forward.

An average of 91,000 dollars each was paid to thousands of victims who came forward with claims to the church, an inquiry was told on Thursday.

Prosecuting barrister Gail Furness said Australia’s Catholic Church had paid out 276 million Australian dollars ($213 million, 200 million euros) between 1980 and 2015.

Earlier this month, Australia was shocked by revelation that 4,445 people had made claims of child sexual abuse to the church over the 35-year-period. Of those 30,066 received payments for redress, with hundreds of claims still ongoing.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:22 AM

Church culture contributed to abuse mishandling – theologian
AUSTRALIA/IRELAND
The Irish Catholic

Former Jesuit provincial Fr Gerry O’Hanlon has insisted that the Church’s centralised model of governance contributed to the mishandling of sexual abuse allegations against priests.

Speaking to the royal commission on abuse in Australia via a videolink from Dublin, Fr O’Hanlon also said that the Church suffered from the same defensive attitude as other institutions.

“I think it’s a defensiveness that you will find in many other organisations.

“We are finding it, for example, in England at the moment with regard to as different a field as professional football, soccer. We find it in different organisations. But of course it was all the more egregious coming from an organisation which, if you like, in a good sense, prided itself on doing what was good and what was right and favouring the weakest.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:21 AM

Australia’s Catholic Church paid $213 million in abuse compensation, costs
AUSTRALIA
Morung Express

SYDNEY, February 16 (Reuters) – Australia’s Catholic Church has paid A$276 million ($213 million) in compensation to thousands of child abuse victims since 1980, a government inquiry heard on Thursday — the first time the total compensation paid by the church’s schools, orphanages and residences has been revealed.

A report at a royal commission into institutional abuse said 3,066 victims had received some form of compensation from a Catholic body in the 35 years to 2015.

Cash payments of A$258.8 million amounted to an average A$91,000 per person. Some compensation was in non-cash payments.

The institution which paid the most was global order the Christian Brothers, which paid A$45.5 million to 763 people, averaging A$61,000 per person. The Jesuits paid the most per complainant, at A$257,000 each, on average.

The average time between a person experiencing abuse and filing a complaint was 33 years, state prosecutor Gail Furness said in the report, adding that “many survivors face barriers which deter them from reporting abuse to authorities and to the institution in which the abuse occurred”.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:19 AM

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has shown Hunter abuse survivors have received relatively high average compensation payments
AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
16 Feb 2017

THE Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has made some of Australia’s highest average compensation payments to one of the country’s largest groups of child sexual abuse survivors, new data about the distribution of $276 million in total Australian Catholic Church payments to survivors has shown.

A comparison of church authorities across the country, released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Thursday, shows 128 Hunter survivors of clergy abuse received significantly higher average payments of $208,000 than thousands of other Australian Catholic abuse survivors, with a total Maitland-Newcastle payout figure of $26.6 million.

The data release includes confirmation of a shocking 763 payments to abuse survivors from Christian Brothers institutions, including children’s homes, with an average payment of just $64,000.

It also includes payments of an average $109,000 to 286 men sexually abused as children at schools run by the Marist Brothers, including Hamilton and Maitland Marist Brothers, with a total payout of $31.3 million.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:16 AM

Abuse claims are taken seriously, say church representatives, after choir conductor is jailed
UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Echo

Alex Winter

ABUSE claims are taken seriously, church representatives have said after a choir conductor was jailed.

David Everett, of Hankinson Road in Bournemouth, was a member and conductor of the Priory Church Choir in Christchurch when he sexually abused a teenage boy in the early 2000s.

As reported in the Daily Echo, Everett was approaching middle age at the time of the offences.

At a sentencing hearing held at Bournemouth Crown Court, Judge Peter Crabtree OBE said the defendant was “trusted” by the victim’s parents.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:14 AM

Alleged victim of Catholic priest brave to speak out
NEW HAMPSHIRE
Seacoast Online

Posted Feb 15, 2017

Seabrook, New Hampshire resident Keith Townsend shows great bravery in sharing his story about allegations of sexual abuse against a former Catholic priest.

Townsend said he thought Paquin was going to be in jail for life for past convictions and was stunned when he was released from jail after raping an altar boy and said “no one is safe” if Paquin, now 74, is free. Paquin, formerly of the Boston archdiocese, served prison time for abusing an altar boy from 1989 to 1992 while serving as associate pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He pleaded guilty to charges in relation to those crimes in 2002 and was released in 2015.

So, Townsend, now 42, is one accuser who went to police and a subsequent investigation has led to Paquin facing 29 new indictments for sexual abuse of young boys. A York County Grand Jury handed down the indictments last week.

Townsend, who said he was molested by Paquin approximately between the ages of 8 and 13 during trips to a camp in Kennebunkport, didn’t stop there. He told his story to the Boston Globe and Seacoast Media Group this week. Townsend said he was one of about 10 other young boys abused together and explained in great detail how Paquin gave them alcohol and let them drive his vehicle and gradually started touching them before eventually raping them while the boys were drunk and alone and he remained sober.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:12 AM

Australia’s oldest online petition starter takes on Catholic church over daughter’s rape, suicide
AUSTRALIA
9 News

By Emily McPherson

A 92-year-old widow taking on the Catholic church over her daughter’s alleged rape and sexual abuse now has an army of almost 50,000 supporters behind her.

Eileen Piper’s daughter Stephanie tragically took her own life 23 years ago, one year after police charged disgraced priest Gerard Mulvale over her alleged rape.

Mulvale and the Catholic Church have denied knowing about Stephanie’s sexual abuse, but Mulvale was later convicted of sex crimes against two boys in her friendship circle and sentenced to three years’ jail.

“They’ve been brutal and heartless,” Ms Piper said of the church. “They’re hoping I’ll die so that they don’t have to deal with me anymore or pay me proper compensation for the heinous sexual abuse to Stephanie.”

Determined to get justice for her only daughter, Ms Piper started a Change.org petition, becoming Australia’s oldest online petition starter.
Posted on February 16, 2017 6:06 AM

Advocates: Ex-priest should remain jailed
PENNSYLVANIA
Wayne Independent

By Kevin Kearney
[email protected]

HONESDALE – An imprisoned former Roman Catholic priest who is up for parole this year should remain in jail until he serves the maximum sentence of 18 years, victims advocates believe.

Steven J. Wolpert, 63, was sentenced in 2008 to nine to 18 years in state prison after pleading guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child younger than 13.

The defendant, who served as a priest in Brooklyn, N.Y., was charged after he abused the 8-year-old boy in Hawley between 2006 and 2007.

The prospect of the sex offender serving only have his sentence does not sit well with Michele Minor Wolf, executive director of Honesdale-based Victims’ Intervention Program.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:05 AM

Paedophile priest Brian Spillane jailed for nine years for sexually abusing boys
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop

A “wickedly manipulative” serial paedophile priest has had his jail sentence extended until at least 2026 for the sexual abuse of boys at St Stanislaus College in Bathurst in the state’s central west.

Brian Spillane, 74, was found guilty last year of sexually abusing seven students between 1974 and 1990, in what a Sydney court heard was likely to be the last in a series of child abuse cases against him relating to more than 30 children.

District Court judge Robyn Tupman today sentenced him to at least nine years in jail and a maximum of 13 years for 16 offences including buggery against boys as young as 12.

Judge Tupman said Spillane abused his position of trust as a teacher and chaplain and “used religious rituals to increase his power over his victims”.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:03 AM

Archbishop says Church must end ‘culture of concealment
AUSTRALIA
Catholic Leader

BRISBANE Archbishop Mark Coleridge described the Church as “a law unto ourselves”, and said Pope Francis and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse were catalysts for cultural change.

Archbishop Coleridge was a panellist on the third day of the Royal Commission hearing in Sydney discussing Catholic Church structural and cultural issues, including accountability and transparency.

Archbishop Coleridge said the Church must put a “culture of concealment” behind it.

“The Catholic Church in Australia has at times looked the other way, been a law unto itself, and seen that it does things its own way,” he said.

Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald asked whether it was too harsh to say the Church in Australia still had not embraced the notion of transparency as good practice.

Posted on February 16, 2017 6:01 AM

Visiting Vatican officials meet with accuser, but without deposition
GUAM
KUAM

[with video]

Updated: Feb 16, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Visiting Vatican officials are receiving testimony relative to the ongoing canonical trial against Archbishop Anthony Apuron in Rome. Among those subpoenaed is Roland Sondia, one of many men to accuse Apuron of molestation that occurred decades ago when Apuron was still a priest.

Thursday’s meeting with officials from the Vatican went exactly as Attorney David Lujan expected.

“The gist of it is that Roland will not be represented in there and they will not allow me in there,” said the lawyer. As a result, he and his client, Sondia, walked away without providing a deposition regarding his allegations against Archbishop Apuron. Rather than receive the deposition in person, Vatican officials will just have to read about it.

“Our position is that Roland will not be deposed live,” Lujan continued. “However, we are willing to submit a declaration, or an affidavit in writing.”

Here on island to investigate Apuron as part of the ongoing canonical trial in Rome are Cardinal Raymond L. Burke who will act as a presiding judge over the secret tribunal; Father James Conn who will serve as the prosecutor; and Father Justin Wachs who will perform duties similar to that of a court reporter. Lujan noted seeing another canon lawyer in the room who reportedly represents Apuron, but did not disclose his name to media.

Immediately following the closed-door meeting, Lujan expressed lack of confidence – particularly in Father Conn, who previously made contact directly to his clients. In addition to Sondia, Conn made attempts to communicate with Roy Quintanilla, who resides in Hawaii and Walter Denton of Arizona. Each of the men were altar boys at Mount Carmel Parish in Agat when they were allegedly sexually molested by Apuron, who was a priest at the time.

Posted on February 16, 2017 5:56 AM

Catholic Church Paid A$276m To Abuse Victims In Australia
AUSTRALIA
Malaysian Digest

The Australian Catholic Church has paid A$276m (£171m; $213m) to victims of sexual abuse since 1980, an inquiry has heard.

The money was divided between thousands of victims, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse was told.

The data, released on Thursday, showed the average payment was A$91,000.

The landmark royal commission was set up in 2013 and is also investigating abuse at non-religious organisations.

The Catholic Church made the payments in response to 3,066 of 4,445 child sexual abuse claims between 1980 and 2015, the inquiry heard. More than 40% of claims were received by a handful of male orders.

They included compensation, treatment, legal and other costs, said Gail Furness, the lead lawyer assisting the commission in Sydney.

Posted on February 16, 2017 5:55 AM

Philippine Catholic church abusers rarely prosecuted
PHILIPPINES
Aljazeera

Al Jazeera investigation reveals the growing problem of sexual misconduct in the Philippines’ powerful Catholic church.

Sexual misconduct in the Catholic church is a growing problem in the Philippines, an Al Jazeera investigation has revealed, and priests suspected of abuse are seldom prosecuted.

Oscar Cruz, a retired archbishop overseeing the investigation, told Al Jazeera’s 101 East programme that in recent years more cases had come to the church’s attention.

“Yes, yes, yes… [there are] more reports on paedophilia and homosexuality,” Cruz said. “It is a heinous crime, you know. And a priest at that? Violating a minor? Come on!”

For centuries, the Catholic church has wielded considerable influence in the Philippines, with more than 80 percent of a 100 million-strong population following the faith.

“If clerical abuse victims take on the most powerful institution in the Philippines, it is a David and Goliath battle,” 101 East’s Drew Ambrose, reporting from the capital Manila, said.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, “Imelda” said she was sexually assaulted by a priest three years ago, when she was 15.

After she filed a police report, two members from her village church paid her $150 to drop the case, she alleged.

Posted on February 16, 2017 5:51 AM

18th clergy sex abuse lawsuit filed
GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , [email protected] Feb. 16, 2017

An 18th clergy sex abuse lawsuit was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court of Guam.

Anthony Lujan, 50, of Barrigada, alleged former island priest Louis Brouillard sexually abused him when he was an altar boy, a Boy Scouts of America scout, and while attending San Vicente Catholic School in or about 1979. He said he was about 12 years old at the time.

Brouillard, now 95 and living in Minnesota, publicly admitted to sexually abusing more than 20 altar boys when he was on Guam from the late 1940s to 1981.

Posted on February 16, 2017 5:48 AM

Sexual abuser Robin Fletcher ‘still believes Wiccan religion justifies crimes’, court told
AUSTRALIA
Bendigo Advertiser

Jane Lee
16 Feb 2017

A man who abused teenage girls and still believes his Wiccan religion condones his crimes could do “catastrophic” harm to possible future victims, a court has heard.

The secretary of the Department of Justice, Greg Wilson, is challenging a Supreme Court decision to revoke a decade-long supervision order against Robin Fletcher, who previously served eight years in prison for sexually abusing two teenage girls in the 1990s.

The order restricts him to living at a particular address, which he can only leave under strict conditions. He cannot move from that address without the Adult Parole Board’s approval.

Justice Phillip Priest last week ruled that Fletcher, 60, posed no greater risk of sexual reoffending “than the average sex offender released into the community”. He said there was a “low” risk he would reoffend in the same way, based on psychological evidence, the fact he is now legally blind, his age and his physical weakness.

Posted on February 16, 2017 5:46 AM

18th lawsuit has been filed against Archdiocese for sex abuse claims
GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

This is now the 10th accuser to file suit against former Guam priest Father Louis Brouillard.

Guam – Another alleged victim has come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against the Archdiocese of Agana, making it the 18th lawsuit filed against the church.

The latest lawsuit was filed by Anthony Lujan, 50, who says he was sexually abused by former Guam priest Father Louis Brouillard.

According to Lujan, he was 12 years old when he was sexually abused by Brouillard while he was serving as an altar boy at the San Vicente Parish in Barrigada.

Posted on February 16, 2017 5:44 AM

More lawsuits will be filed against retired Saipan bishop, attorney says
GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Attorney David Lujan says all the accusers say the sexual abuse occurred in Inarajan while Bishop Emeritus Tomas Camacho was serving as a priest.

Guam – More lawsuits for civil claims of sexual abuse are expected to be filed against retired Saipan Bishop Tomas Camacho.

Attorney David Lujan, who represents Melvin Duenas, 55, the first individual to accuse Camacho of sexually assaulting him, announced today that he’s been in communication with at least three other individuals who intend to sue the retired bishop.

All of the accusers, Lujan said, claim they were sexually abused at the Inarajan parish where Duenas said he was sexually assaulted when he was just 10 years old.

Posted on February 16, 2017 5:43 AM

Notorious paedophile Brian Joseph Spillane sentenced for 16 child sex offences
AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Melanie Kembrey

Serial paedophile and former priest Brian Joseph Spillane has been sentenced to another 13 years in jail for abusing young boys, many of whom were homesick and turned to him for help, at a private Catholic boarding school.

Spillane, 74, kept his back turned to his victims and their families as the sentence was handed down in a packed court room in the Downing Centre District Court on Thursday.

The former teacher, chaplain and head of discipline at St Stanislaus’ College, Bathurst, in central west NSW preyed on young boys who came from strictly Catholic families who revered priests.

Spillane used religious rituals, purporting to perform exorcisms, prayers and to speak in tongues, as a ruse to sexually abuse the boys.

Posted on February 16, 2017 5:41 AM

February 15, 2017
Norristown day-care teacher charged with sexually abusing girl, 3
PENNSYLVANIA
Philly.com

by Julie Shaw , Staff writer @julieshawphilly | [email protected]

A Montgomery County day-care teacher has been charged with sexually abusing a 3-year-old girl who was in his care, authorities said Wednesday.

Michael Barbee, 32, worked as a teacher at the Early Learning Center Program of St. Francis Parish, on Hamilton Street in Norristown.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Norristown police on Feb. 8 received a report that Barbee assaulted the girl with his finger and covered her mouth while they were in his classroom. The girl complained of pain.

Barbee, of Yeadon, went to the Norristown Police Department on Friday and eventually admitted forcibly touching the girl on Feb. 7, the affidavit says. According to his statement, he told police he did so after the girl called him “stupid.” He said he went to her cot during nap time and assaulted her, the affidavit says.

Barbee was charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor, and related offenses.

Posted on February 15, 2017 6:46 PM

NORRISTOWN TEACHER CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ABUSE OF 3-YEAR-OLD
PENNSYLVANIA
WPVI

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) — A Catholic school teacher in Norristown is facing multiple sexual abuse charges involving a 3-year-old girl.

32-year-old Michael Barbee, a teacher from the early learning program at Saint Francis of Assisi Parish, is being held on $750,000 bail.

Charging documents say Barbee admitted to touching the child during nap time.

According to the police affidavit, a 3-year-old girl who attended the Learning Center complained and said Barbee covered her mouth when he touched her.
Posted on February 15, 2017 6:45 PM

Vatican to hear from former altar boy accusing Guam Archbishop of abuse
GUAM
Radio New Zealand

Vatican representatives are due to hear evidence today from one of the former altar boys who accused Guam’s Archbishop Anthony Apuron of sexual abuse.

Pacific Daily News reports groups of Catholics plan to be there to show support for Roland Sondia and other abuse survivors.

Archbishop Apuron is undergoing a canonical trial sparked by allegations he raped and sexually abused altar boys in the 1970s.

Posted on February 15, 2017 6:42 PM

Cardinal Burke to Guam to investigate alleged sex abuse case
VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

By NICOLE WINFIELD

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican has sent conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke to the Pacific island of Guam to investigate an important case of sexual abuse, dispatching a seasoned jurist who has clashed repeatedly with Pope Francis for a sensitive mission halfway around the world.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith back in October named Burke the presiding judge in its trial of Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who is facing multiple allegations of sex abuse of altar boys in the 1970s, the Vatican press office said Wednesday. Apuron has denied the charges and has not been criminally charged.

Burke, a Rome-based American, is due to interview a former altar boy in Guam on Thursday who says he was sexually abused by Apuron, the Pacific Daily News reported. Such special missions are not uncommon for cardinals, and interviews with witnesses are a key part of any canonical trial.

Survivors of clerical abuse, though, have long criticized Burke’s record as an archbishop in the U.S. in handling cases of abusive priests. Burke has said every act of abuse by clergy is a “grave evil.” But he has also blamed gay clergy for the church’s sexual abuse crisis, saying priests “who were feminized and confused about their own sexual identity” were the ones who molested children.

Burke, a top canon lawyer, had headed the Vatican’s high court until 2014, when Francis removed him and named him patron of the Knights of Malta religious order. Francis recently sidelined Burke from that position after Burke was involved in the problematic ouster of a senior knight.

Posted on February 15, 2017 3:34 PM

Secret tribunal process revealed
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For the Post

A canon law expert said confidential documents obtained by the Post, which summon one of Archbishop Anthony Apuron’s accusers to appear before a Vatican-sent tribunal, are the first pieces of evidence that Apuron faces the church’s version of a criminal case, rather than an administrative proceeding.

“These documents are a big affirmation that there’s at least a semblance of truth because they’re moving against Apuron,” said attorney Patrick J. Wall, a former priest and an advocate for victims of clergy abuse. “This is a criminal case. It’s the first piece of evidence that (they) believe he committed a crime of some sort.” Wall is with Jeff Anderson & Associates, a U.S. law firm recognized as one of the nation’s premier law firms to represent survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

A Feb. 3 decree signed by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, who will be the presiding judge over the secret tribunal scheduled to take place at the Archdiocesan Chancery today, summoned Sondia to appear for “the purpose of giving said testimony,” according to the documents.

Sondia is one of several former altar boys who accused Apuron of sexual abuse in the 1970’s. At the time, Apuron was a Guam parish priest.

Posted on February 15, 2017 3:31 PM

Cardinal Burke sent to Guam to preside over sex abuse trial
ROME
Crux

Cindy Wooden
February 15, 2017
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

ROME – Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, a church law expert and former head of the Vatican’s highest court, arrived in Guam Feb. 15 as the presiding judge in a church trial investigating allegations of sexual abuse leveled against Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of Agana.

The Vatican press office confirmed a “tribunal of the first instance” was constituted by the Vatican Oct. 5 and its presiding judge is Cardinal Burke. Four other judges, all of whom are bishops, also were appointed, the press office said.

“When an action is in a ‘first instance’ court, that indicates that it is in the initial trial phase,” according to the website of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles accusations of clerical sexual abuse.

Three men have publicly accused Apuron of sexually abusing them when they were altar boys in the 1970s. The mother of a fourth man, now deceased, also accused the archbishop of abusing her son.

Apuron has refused to resign, but in late October, Pope Francis named former Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Michael J. Byrnes as coadjutor archbishop of Agana and gave him full authority to lead the archdiocese.

Posted on February 15, 2017 3:29 PM

Early learning teacher from Yeadon faces child sex assault charges in Norristown
PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Times

By Oscar Gamble, [email protected], @OGamble_TH on Twitter

NORRISTOWN >> A teacher at St. Francis of Assisi School’s Early Learning Center Program is facing charges of involvement in deviate sexual intercourse with a child, aggravated indecent assault and related offenses stemming from an incident that occurred Feb. 7, according to court documents.

Michael Barbee, 32, of Yeadon, was arrested Feb. 10 and arraigned in district court Feb. 11. He remains behind bars with bail set at $750,000.

According to a letter the school sent out to parents, Barbee was immediately placed on administrative leave after parish officials were notified he was under criminal investigation.

“These charges are serious and disturbing. The parish will cooperate fully with law enforcement regarding this matter and remains fervently committed to preventing child abuse as well as protecting the children and young people entrusted to its care,” the letter read.

Posted on February 15, 2017 3:26 PM

Catholic School Teacher Accused Of Sexually Assaulting 3-Year-Old Girl
PENNSYLVANIA
CBS Philly

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A Catholic school teacher in Norristown is accused of sexually assaulting a young child.

The Norristown Borough Police Department arrested Michael Barbee, a teacher at the Early Learning Center Program of Saint Francis of Assisi Parish. Barbee has been charged with 16 counts of child sexual abuse, including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, indecent assault of a child, and endangering welfare of children.

Barbee is accused of a horrific sexual assault against a 3-year-old girl during naptime.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia said in a statement that Barbee was placed on administrative leave on Friday after the parish learned he was under investigation.

Posted on February 15, 2017 3:25 PM

Montgomery County Catholic Early Education Center Teacher on Leave Amid Child Sex Abuse Charges
PENNSYLVANIA
NBC 10

A Montgomery County Catholic school early education teacher remained behind bars Wednesday, suspended from his job, after being charged with multiple child sex assault counts stemming from an alleged incident with a 3-year-old girl.

A judge arraigned Michael Barbee, 32, of Yeadon, Pennsylvania on Saturday with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a minor under 16 years old, aggravated indecent assault of a minor under 13 years old, unlawful contact with a minor and related charges. The charges date to Feb. 7, online court records said.

Barbee teaches at Saint Francis of Assisi School’s Early Learning Center in Norristown, Pennsylvania. The school referred NBC10’s calls to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The Saint Francis Parish placed Barbee on administrative leave Friday after learning of the criminal investigation, archdiocesan spokesman Kenneth Gavin told NBC10.
Posted on February 15, 2017 3:23 PM

Abuse inquiry focus on Catholic schools
AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

The principal of a Victorian school where Christian Brothers sexually abused students says the college is now a safe place.

The child sex abuse royal commission’s final hearing into the Catholic Church will on Thursday focus on issues in Catholic education.

The panellists include John Crowley, the principal of Ballarat’s St Patrick’s College.

The royal commission has yet to release its findings on Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat, one of Australia’s worst centres for priests and religious brothers sexually abusing children.

Mr Crowley has said St Patrick’s now has robust child protection policies and mandatory reporting practices to safeguard students.
Posted on February 15, 2017 3:21 PM

One of archbishop’s accusers will meet with Vatican investigators
GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Feb 15, 2017

By Krystal Paco

While there’s been speculation about the ongoing canonical trial in Rome for accused child molester Archbishop Anthony Apuron, officials confirm investigators from the Vatican are on island to gather evidence.

It was last summer Roland Sondia publicly accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron. At the time, he said, “He put his right arm around my shoulders and pulled me closer and asked, ‘Do you want to try me?’ Before I could do anything he started rubbing my privates. I loudly asked him ‘What are you doing?’ I told him to stop, but he didn’t.” That was a summer night in 1977, when Sondia was an altar boy at Mount Carmel Church in Agat. Come Thursday, he’ll have the audience of representatives from the Vatican.

Of the 17 accusers to file suit in the District Court of Guam, four have accused Apuron of sexually molesting them as altar boys resulting in the ongoing canonical trial in Rome. On Thursday, Sondia is anticipated to provide his deposition. He is represented by Attorney David Lujan, who said, “Whoever is going to be there tomorrow, we have no idea who’s going to be there. But I believe someone from the church, not the Guam church, but Rome is going to be there, as I understand it, the canon lawyer for Apuron and, of course, my client and me.”

Also anticipated to be present are members of the Concerned Catholics of Guam and the Laity Forward Movement who have demanded Apuron be defrocked. “We are going to be up there and we’re going to support Mr. Sondia. Seeking justice and we are also wanting the cardinal and others from the Vatican who may be in town to know our disgust with Archbishop Apuron,” said CCOG president David Sablan. “We are hoping and seeking a speedy trial for him.”

Posted on February 15, 2017 12:23 PM

Peter Hollingworth ‘misled inquiry over child-sex abuse knowledge’
AUSTRALIA
The Australian

RHIAN DEUTROM
The Australian
February 16, 2017

Former governor-general Peter Hollingworth has been found to have misled an inquiry about his knowledge and involvement in the handling of child sexual abuse ­allegations at two exclusive Brisbane private schools.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse yesterday released two reports into various responses by the Anglican diocese of Brisbane, and Brisbane Grammar and St Paul’s Anglican School, to alleg­ations of child-sex abuse against staff members.

The reports found Dr Hollingworth, who was the archbishop of Brisbane and later ­governor-general, had been told by his assistant bishop, John Noble, of a case of sexual abuse by convicted pedophile priest John Elliot at the Church of England Grammar School in 1993.

After meeting with Elliot’s allege­d victim, the report found, Dr Hollingworth allowed the convicted pedophile to “remain in the ministry as rector of Dalby until he turned 65, when he would retire”.

“Dr Hollingworth’s decision to permit Elliot to continue in the ministry was a serious error of judgment which focused overly on Elliot’s needs to the exclusion of those of (the victim) and his family and of the need to protect children more generally,” it concluded. In a previous inquiry, commissioned by Brisbane Archbishop Philip Aspinall in 2002 and known as the “Brisbane inquiry”, Dr Hollingworth was asked to account for his version of events.

Posted on February 15, 2017 12:16 PM

Woman settles sex abuse suit against Spring Grove Jehovah’s Witnesses
PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

Dylan Segelbaum , [email protected]

Feb. 15, 2017

A woman has settled a lawsuit against the Spring Grove Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and two of its supporting organizations, which alleged that elders failed to report instances of sexual abuse to law enforcement to protect their own reputation.

In the lawsuit, the woman said she’s suffered physical and emotional injuries after being abused between ages 14 and 16 by Terry Monheim, whom she met through the church.The Jehovah’s Witnesses became aware of it and “did nothing” to protect her, according to court documents.

The lawsuit was settled on Monday in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. The terms of the agreement are confidential.

“A matter with the Jehovah’s Witnesses has been resolved,” said Jeffrey Fritz, an attorney who represented the woman, now 28, of Lancaster County. The York Daily Record/Sunday News is not identifying her because she’s the survivor of a sexual crime.

Posted on February 15, 2017 12:11 PM

St. Cloud Diocese Schedules Healing Service, Listening Sessions For Sex Abuse Victims
MINNESOTA
WJON

By Jim Maurice February 15, 2017

UNDATED – The Diocese of St. Cloud has scheduled a series of listening sessions, as well as a service of healing, to talk about claims of sexual abuse by clergy.

The healing service is at 7:00 p.m. Thursday at Holy Angels Performing Arts Center in St. Cloud.

The upcoming meetings are in response to 74 claims made against 31 clergy members under the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which ended last May.

The gatherings have three primary goals: to assure parishioners of Bishop Kettler’s support and assistance, offer a process where sexual misconduct issues and concerns can be voiced, and allow other victims the opportunity to come forward.
Posted on February 15, 2017 8:20 AM

Further excavation at former Tuam Home site
IRELAND
Galway Independent

Further excavation works are continuing at the site of the former Mother and Baby Home in Tuam.

The excavation of the Memorial Garden off the Dublin Road in Tuam began in late January and is expected to last up to three weeks. The works are being conducted by a specialist team of archaeologists lead by a Forensic Archaeologist, with the co-operation of An Garda Síochána.

The excavation, organised by Mother and Baby Homes Commission, follows on from initial works last November. The excavation aims to resolve a number of queries that the Mother and Baby Homes Commission has “in relation to the interment of human remains” at the site. The excavation works are focusing on timelines and stratigraphy, a branch of geology which studies rock layers. A fraction of the site will be excavated through test trenches, the location of which have been informed by a geophysical survey carried out at the site in October 2015. Meanwhile, the deadline for anyone wishing to meet the Commission’s Confidential Committee, who are investigating the Tuam Home, is Wednesday 1 March. The Commission would like to hear from anyone who was resident in or who worked in the Tuam Home or any of the other 13 Mother and Baby Homes or four County Homes under investigation.

Posted on February 15, 2017 8:18 AM

Zehn Monate nach Selbstanzeige: Ermittlungen gegen Kalbacher Pfarrer dauern an
DEUTCHLAND

[Investigation is ongoing into allegations against a pastor in Kalbach.]

KALBACH
Zehn Monate nachdem der damalige Kalbacher Pfarrer sich selbst angezeigt und die Gemeinde verlassen hat, dauern die Ermittlungen der Staatsanwaltschaft noch an. Das erklärte der Sprecher der Staatsanwalt Fulda, Harry Wilke, auf Nachfrage unserer Zeitung.

Um welchen Vorwurf es sich genau handelt, ist nicht bekannt. Stets war jedoch von einem Sexualdelikt die Rede.

Posted on February 15, 2017 6:56 AM

Mit der Entschädigung von Missbrauchsopfern soll es voran gehen
SCHWEIZ
Rhein Zeitung

[Swiss victims of clerical abuse will receive compensation.]

BERN – Die Enthüllung eines Opfers sexueller Gewalt durch einen Priester hat die Entschädigungsfrage wieder auf die Tagesordnung der Katholischen Kirche gebracht. Die von den Schweizer Bischöfen eingesetzte Kommission hat sich Ende Januar konstituiert.

Das Fachgremium “Sexuelle Übergriffe im kirchlichen Umfeld” besteht aus sechs Mitgliedern. Aufgabe der Kommission wird sein, die Gesuche um finanzielle Genugtuung der Opfer sexueller Gewalt in der katholischen Kirche zu prüfen, wie Joseph Bonnemain, Mitglied des Fachgremiums, am Dienstag der Nachrichtenagentur sda sagte.
Posted on February 15, 2017 6:16 AM

Syracuse woman admits using 10-year-old girl to produce child pornography
NEW YORK
Syracuse.com

By John O’Brien | [email protected]

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A Syracuse woman admitted today that she used a 10-year-old girl to produce child pornography.

Kerry Smith, 41, pleaded guilty in federal court to sexual exploitation of a child. She was arrested last year on charges of producing the images then texting them to another child pornographer, Jason Kopp.

Kopp, 40, of Liverpool, was sentenced to 235 years in prison in September for sexually exploiting two children for the purpose of making child pornography.

Kopp pleaded guilty in May to taking sexually explicit photos of two children with help from an aide at All Saints Elementary School in Syracuse. Neither of those victims was a student at the school.

The aide, Emily Oberst, is accused of exploiting those two victims, plus a third who was a student at the school and photographed naked in a bathroom, sources have told Syracuse.com.

Posted on February 15, 2017 6:11 AM

The End of the Road for SNAP?
UNITED STATES
Catholic World Report

David F. Pierre, Jr.

Years ago, a number of Catholic World Report articles argued the case that the group SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) – whom the media has called upon repeatedly over the years as a reliable voice to bash the Catholic Church over its handling of the sex abuse crisis – was actually nothing more than a front group for contingency lawyers and was driven by a deep ideological animus against the Church.

Now, recent lawsuits against the organization, including one by SNAP’s own former director of development, have, if anything, revealed that those arguments were too modest in their estimation of SNAP’s inner workings.

And in the wake of these lawsuits, SNAP’s most high-profile leaders—its founder and president, Barbara Blaine, and the group’s national director, David Clohessy—have suddenly announced their resignations.

Posted on February 15, 2017 6:08 AM

Priests should be licensed, inquiry hears
AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Catholic leaders including priests, brothers and nuns should have to be licensed or regulated to practise, a royal commission has heard.

Franciscan Friar Dr David Leary said there were very few professions that did not have mandated supervision and that the Church had to “bite the bullet” and realise it was effectively an employer.

“I think that’s the way we have to move, and I think it’s inevitable that people who practise will be licensed or regulated in some way,” he said at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney on Wednesday.

“Services benefit from a wide range and comprehensive sense of being held both accountable (and) supported… and at the end of the day, that’s for the benefit of people who are most vulnerable.”
Posted on February 15, 2017 6:05 AM

Cranbrook backs headmaster after inquiry
AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

Megan Neil, Australian Associated Press
February 14, 2017

Sydney’s elite Cranbrook School has given headmaster Nicholas Sampson its full support despite his failure to report a teacher accused of abuse during his time at Geelong Grammar.

Geelong Grammar School’s 2001-2004 headmaster organised for Jonathan Harvey to be paid his entire 2005 salary to retire a year early after a staff member complained his brother was abused by the teacher in the 1970s.

Mr Sampson left in July 2004 to head England’s prestigious Marlborough College and Harvey remained at Geelong Grammar for the remainder of the year before retiring.

Mr Sampson did not report the allegation to the police or the Victorian Institute of Teaching, the child sex abuse royal commission said.

The commission accepted Mr Sampson attempted to act in the victim’s best interests in securing Harvey’s resignation without disclosing the former student’s identity but said it was clear he should have notified the institute.

Posted on February 15, 2017 6:03 AM

Cranbrook headmaster wrote ‘misleading’ letters after sexual abuse allegations, royal commission finds
AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Eryk Bagshaw Rachel Browne

The headmaster of one Sydney’s most expensive private schools, Cranbrook, wrote “misleading” letters about a teacher accused of child sexual abuse at his former school and failed to report the allegations to a higher authority, a royal commission has found.

Nicholas Sampson, then the headmaster of Victoria’s Geelong Grammar, paid teacher Jonathan Harvey to retire early in 2004 to avoid any formal complaints of child sex abuse being made against him.

Former Geelong Grammar headmaster Nicholas Sampson faces questions about how the school dealt with allegations of sexual misconduct by former teacher Jonathon Harvey.
Harvey was later found guilty of sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy known as BLF by repeatedly plying him with alcohol, fondling his genitals and forcing him into a threesome with another man in the 1970s.

Mr Sampson told the commission he was alerted to allegations against Harvey by the victim’s brother, BLW, and conducted a “fairly cursory” investigation before asking Mr Harvey to retire early.
Posted on February 15, 2017 6:01 AM

Grovelling Grammar apologises again over child sex abuse
AUSTRALIA
Bay 93.9

Rebecca McDonald / 15 February 2017

Geelong’s most prestigious school has apologised after being slammed by the child abuse Royal Commission.

The Commission has found long-time headmaster John Lewis, who later went on to run England’s elite Eton College, knew of allegations about a teacher accused of abuse, but did not take steps to protect students.

The school has also been criticised for not investigating an abuse complaint against a teacher in 1989, before expelling the 14-year-old who spoke out. Meantime an elite Sydney school has given its full backing for a former principal who has also been blasted by the Commission.

Nicholas Sampson organised for a teacher to receive a year’s salary so he could retire early, after another staff member raised allegations of sexual abuse.
Posted on February 15, 2017 5:58 AM

Geelong Grammar sorry for child abuse
AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Geelong Grammar accepts some of its former leaders failed students sexually abused by staff at the prestigious school.

The child sex abuse royal commission has criticised the way a number of senior Geelong Grammar staff, including headmasters, handled abuse accusations and their failure to investigate or report the allegations.

Geelong Grammar School principal Stephen Meek has again apologised to victims of the “appalling” abuse.

“We are also very sorry that some of the school’s former senior staff neglected to respond to some of our past students with the respect and protection they so rightfully deserved,” Mr Meek said in a letter to the school community.
Posted on February 15, 2017 5:56 AM

Geelong Grammar vows to learn from past mishandling of child sexual abuse claims
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

One of Victoria’s most prestigious private schools, Geelong Grammar, has vowed to learn from its mistakes in handling allegations of child sexual abuse.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has handed down its report into allegations of abuse by Geelong Grammar staff between 1956 and 1989.

In its findings, the commission noted times when no action was taken against an offending teacher and a victim was asked to leave the school for talking about abuse.

“The royal commission found that the principal at the time … should have ensured the allegations were investigated and the school council notified,” it said.

Posted on February 15, 2017 5:54 AM

Disbelieving Brisbane Grammar School and St Paul’s School principals failed students, says commission report
AUSTRALIA
The Courier-Mail

Lauren Martyn-Jones, The Courier-Mail
February 14, 2017

TWO of Brisbane’s most elite private schools have come under fire for failing to protect students and dismissing allegations of child sexual abuse.

The Royal Commission investigating Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a scathing report into Brisbane Grammar School and St Paul’s School at Bald Hills, finding both schools failed in their duty to keep students safe.

The Commission has this morning formally responded to the evidence former students gave about the sexual abuse they suffered from Kevin Lynch — who was a teacher and counsellor at BGS between 1973 and 1988, and a counsellor at St Paul’s between 1989 and 1997 — and Gregory Robert Knight, who was a teacher at St Paul’s between 1981 and 1984.

During Lynch’s 15 years at Brisbane Grammar School, the Commission heard he sexually abused a large number of students, and that abuse had a devastating effect on his victims.

Posted on February 15, 2017 5:52 AM

Brisbane Grammar, St Paul’s had history of sex abuse, commission finds
AUSTRALIA
The Australian

RHIAN DEUTROM
The Australian February 15, 2017

Two prestigious Queensland schools have been revealed as sites of significant historical child sexual abuse, with “no systems, policies or procedures” in place to deal with allegations made against two staff with a long history of alleged child sexual abuse.

The Royal Commission released it’s findings into two Brisbane schools, including Brisbane Grammar School, an affluent boarding school for boys, and St Paul’s School, a coeducational private school operated by the Anglican Church, this morning.

It comes after a number of former students from both schools gave evidence to the Royal Commission, claiming they were sexually abused by Mr Kevin Lynch and Gregory Robert Knight while they were teachers between 1973 and 1997.

Mr Kevin Lynch worked as a teacher and then counsellor at Brisbane Grammar school, in Spring Hill, and St Pauls School, in Bald Hills.

He was found to have “sexually abuse a large number of students” during his time at Brisbane Grammar.

Posted on February 15, 2017 5:50 AM

Royal commission: Brisbane schools ‘failed to act’ on Kevin Lynch sexual abuse allegations
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nick Wiggins and Matt Eaton

A prestigious Brisbane private school harboured a culture in which children making allegations of abuse were treated as liars, the royal commission into child sexual abuse has found.

The commission has handed down its report into what it calls Case Study 34, examining allegations of abuse at Brisbane Grammar School in Spring Hill and St Paul’s School in the northern Brisbane suburb of Bald Hills.

It heard evidence that school counsellor Kevin Lynch sexually abused “a large number of students” while he was working at Brisbane Grammar between 1973 and 1988, and continued abusing student as a counsellor at St Paul’s between 1989 and 1997.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found then Brisbane Grammar headmaster Maxwell Howell (who died in 2011) was aware of one specific complaint, but did not investigate allegations and did not refer the matter to police.

Posted on February 15, 2017 5:49 AM

Sex abuse royal commission: Former Retta Dixon residents in Darwin attain compensation in Australian first
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Avani Dias

After enduring years of horrific sexual and physical abuse, 71 former residents of a home for Indigenous Stolen Generation children in Darwin will be compensated in what their lawyer says is the largest class action in the Northern Territory’s history.

They are also the first group across the country to attain compensation from the Federal Government following evidence heard by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which has been holding hearings around Australia for almost four years.

The former residents of the Retta Dixon Home took civil action in 2014 against a number of defendants, including convicted paedophile and the home’s former house parent Donald Bruce Henderson, the Commonwealth, and Australian Indigenous Ministries Christian organisation which ran the home.

The plaintiffs allege physical and sexual assaults by staff at the home from 1946 to 1980, and sought compensation for a failure of duty of care by the defendants, saying they suffered damage and loss as a result.

Posted on February 15, 2017 5:47 AM

Elite Qld schools failed to act on abuse
AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

FEBRUARY 15, 2017

Megan Neil
Australian Associated Press

Two prestigious Queensland schools failed to protect students from sexual abuse, doing nothing about complaints from victims who were not believed, a royal commission has found.

The culture at Brisbane Grammar School for 24 years under former headmaster Dr Maxwell Howell meant boys who alleged abuse were not believed, the commission said on Wednesday.

After counsellor Kevin Lynch moved on to the Anglican St Paul’s School where he again sexually abused students during counselling sessions, two boys who went to headmaster Gilbert Case were labelled liars.

Mr Case’s inaction when told Lynch and teacher Gregory Robert Knight had sexually abused children meant he did not achieve his most fundamental obligation to keep students safe, the commission said.

It said Mr Case, who was headmaster at St Paul’s from 1979-2000, was put in charge of all Anglican schools in Brisbane despite former archbishop and governor-general Peter Hollingworth and diocese general manager Bernard Yorke, knowing about allegations he took no action when told of abuse by Lynch.

Posted on February 15, 2017 5:42 AM

Brisbane Grammar and St Paul’s failed to investigate abuse allegations, inquiry finds
AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Tuesday 14 February 2017

Two prestigious Queensland schools failed to protect students from child sexual abuse, doing nothing about complaints from victims whose allegations were not believed, a royal commission has found.

Former long-time headmasters of Brisbane Grammar School and the Anglican Church-run St Paul’s School did not investigate allegations and failed to ensure students were safe, the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse has found.

The inaction of Gilbert Case, headmaster of St Paul’s from 1979 to 2000, on allegations counsellor Kevin Lynch and teacher Gregory Robert Knight had sexually abused children meant he did not achieve his most fundamental obligation of keeping students safe, the commission said.

It found former governor general and Brisbane Anglican archbishop Peter Hollingworth and another committee member knew about allegations that Case had failed to act on an abuse claim when they put him in charge of all of Brisbane’s Anglican schools in 2000.

Posted on February 15, 2017 5:41 AM

Aboriginal sex abuse victims compensated
AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

FEBRUARY 15, 2017

Lucy Hughes Jones
Australian Associated Press

Former child residents who suffered years of abuse at a Northern Territory Aboriginal children’s home have become the first group in Australia to win compensation from the federal government following evidence at the sex abuse royal commission.

The 71 former residents of Darwin’s Retta Dixon home, who alleged physical and sexual assaults by staff between 1946 and 1980, launched a civil lawsuit in 2015 against a convicted paedophile, the Commonwealth and the religious group that ran the home.

“It is hoped that the settlement of this claim will enable those who suffered to reach a form of closure on this period of their lives,” a spokesperson for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet said.

The home for stolen generation children was run by Australian Indigenous Ministries and overseen by the federal government.

Posted on February 15, 2017 5:39 AM

Man who ran Silverton ministry sentenced to 10 years for sex abuse
OREGON
Statesman Journal

Whitney M. Woodworth , Statesman Journal

A former Silverton youth pastor was sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing a teen girl over the span of three years.

Andrew Stutzman, 38, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of second-degree sex abuse and was sentenced Monday in Marion County Circuit Court.

Stutzman started a youth group with his wife and had frequent contact with teens, according to police. He also co-owned a local coffee shop before his arrest.

Police began investigating Stutzman in June when the victim came forward. During the weeks-long investigation, Silverton police Detective Josh Boatner interviewed the victim, who said Stutzman began the abuse when she was 16.

Posted on February 15, 2017 5:35 AM

Woman who spearheaded Megan’s Law passage makes plea for help
SOUTH CAROLINA
WYFF

Myra Ruiz
Anchor/Reporter

GREENVILLE, S.C. —
A woman whose sexual assault case inspired the country’s first sex offender registry spoke at a luncheon on Tuesday to benefit the Julie Valentine Center.

Allison Black Cornelius, who was sexually assaulted by her Sunday school teacher at the age of 7, was the keynote speaker at the annual Julie Valentine Luncheon at the T.D. Convention Center.

Cornelius came forward when she was in her 20s, after learning that her offender was working as a youth pastor.

“That ended up with a trip to the Supreme Court,” Cornelius said. “We won that case against him in criminal court. It was the oldest rape ever convicted in the United States.”

Cornelius went on to spearhead the passage of Megan’s Law in 36 states.

“At the end of the day, I believe a family’s right to know that an offender is living near them trumps whatever cost — whatever we have to do,” Cornelius said.

Posted on February 15, 2017 5:32 AM

Bishop Jimenez requests prayers
SAIPAN
Marianas Variety

BISHOP Ryan Jimenez on Tuesday issued the following statement:

“My dear brothers and sisters in Christ in the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa:

“It is with deep sadness and great bearing to learn of the sexual abuse allegations in a civil claim against then-priest and now Bishop Emeritus Tomas A. Camacho by Guam resident Melvin Duenas. I request for your prayers for everyone affected by this news — those who have sought and continue to seek redress from abuses, the accused and their journey to realize due process, the families on each side that are struck with a heavy weight of pain that comes with each sharing, and everyone within our midst who are affected one way or another.

“The Church shall act, consistent with our faith, with justice and mercy. We have communicated with the Archdiocese of Agana where then-Father Camacho served as a priest at the time alleged in the lawsuit. Our prayers go out to Mr. Duenas and his family. We also ask for prayers for Bishop Tomas and his family. Since this is a matter in litigation, the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa can offer no further comment on this matter. We give our full cooperation with civil authorities.

“Our Diocese is committed to the protection of children and young people. The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) sets the norms for our diocese. We are working hard to maintain a safe church environment, especially through education and transparency. Three years ago, we started a series of trainings and workshops on child protection for all our church workers and volunteers. We will continue this training and formation for the clergy, Catholic schools personnel, CCD instructors, diocesan staff and others in positions of authority.

Posted on February 15, 2017 5:31 AM

Report into Brisbane Grammar and St Paul’s School released
AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

15 February, 2017

The Royal Commission’s report into Case Study 34 – The response of Brisbane Grammar School and St Paul’s School to allegations of child sexual abuse – was released today.

The report follows a public hearing held in Brisbane in November 2015, which heard about the experiences of former students at Brisbane Grammar School at Spring Hill and St Paul’s School at Bald Hills. The public hearing also examined how the schools and others responded to allegations of child sexual abuse of former students.

At the public hearing a number of former students of the schools gave evidence of having been sexually abused by:

* Kevin Lynch (deceased) – a teacher and later counsellor at Brisbane Grammar between 1973 and 1988 and a counsellor at St Paul’s between 1989 and 1997

* Gregory Robert Knight – a teacher at St Paul’s between 1981 and 1984.

The Royal Commission heard evidence that, during the period of Kevin Lynch’s employment at Brisbane Grammar, he sexually abused a large number of students. There was evidence that a number of complaints against Kevin Lynch were made to senior staff at Brisbane Grammar and to the then headmaster, Dr Howell (now deceased).

Posted on February 15, 2017 5:29 AM

Ex-Brisbane Grammar School head ignored abuse claim: report
AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Jorge Branco

A former headmaster of one of Queensland’s most prestigious schools ignored a complaint of sexual abuse by a serial paedophile who went on to abuse many more boys, a royal commission has found.

In not investigating the complaint, former Brisbane Grammar School head Maxwell Howell failed to protect his students, a report released on Wednesday stated.

The child sex abuse royal commission report also made findings against former St Paul’s School headmaster Gilbert Case, who accused students of lying when they complained about being abused, and former governor-general Peter Hollingworth.

The findings came 15 months after hearings in Brisbane heard details of shocking abuse committed by notorious paedophiles Keith Lynch and Gregory Robert Knight at Brisbane Grammar School and St Paul’s School in the 1980s and ’90s.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found one student’s father told Mr Howell in mid-1981 that Lynch had sexually abused his son, despite Mr Howell’s denial before his death in 2011.

Posted on February 15, 2017 5:27 AM

Catholic church poised to compensate victims of sex abuse by Swiss priests
SWITZERLAND
The Local

The Catholic church in Switzerland has set up a new commission charged with awarding compensation to victims of historic sex abuse by Swiss priests.

Last December the Swiss Bishops Conference (SBK) announced it had created a 500,000 franc reparations fund to pay compensation to sex abuse victims who no longer have the right to seek redress in court since the statute of limitations has passed.

In 2010 the Catholic church finally acknowledged responsibility for numerous cases of sexual molestation by priests that had earlier come to light.

Between 2010 and 2015, 223 victims informed the church authorities of cases of abuse that took place between 1950 and 1990.

Of those, 49 were children aged under 12 at the time of the abuse.

Posted on February 15, 2017 5:25 AM

Slavedrivers. Abusers. Rapists. Men of God – The horror endured by Maltese child migrants in Australia
MALTA/AUSTRALIA
Malta Today

Matthew Vella 15 February 2017

In 1928, Perth-based Maltese priest Fr Raphael Pace urged the Congregation of the Christian Brothers to include Maltese children in its emerging migration scheme. The Irish order was especially dedicated to the evangelisation and education of youth. Negotiations between the Maltese and Western Australian governments continued through the 1930s but the first Maltese child migrants did not arrive in Australia until after World War II. Between 1950 and 1965, 259 boys and 51 girls were sent to Catholic institutions in Western Australia and South Australia.

Most parents believed their children would receive a better education in Australia. Instead many were put to work on the Christian Brothers’ building projects, some were forced to stop using their Maltese language and never learned to read or write English. They were also brutally sexually abused and physically punished.

Last week, a report by the Australian Royal Commission into child sexual abuse released damning statistics on the scale of the crisis within the Catholic Church, which shows that seven per cent of Australia’s Catholic priests were accused of abusing children in the six decades since 1950.

By far the worst was the order of the St John of God Brothers, where a staggering 40% of religious brothers are believed to have abused children; 22% of Christian Brothers and 20% of Marist Brothers, both orders that run schools, were alleged perpetrators.

Posted on February 15, 2017 5:20 AM

As Vatican tribunal hears Apuron accuser, Catholics show support
GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , [email protected] Feb. 15, 2017 | Updated 2 hours ago

Vatican representatives on Thursday morning are scheduled to receive testimony from a former altar boy allegedly sexually assaulted by Archbishop Anthony Apuron in the 1970s. Groups of Catholics plan to be there to show their support for Roland Sondia and other clergy sex abuse survivors.

Sondia is currently an employee of the Pacific Daily News.

“We are seeking justice for Mr. Sondia, other clergy abuse victims and the whole of Guam. We would like to show the Vatican our mistrust of Apuron, and we hope the Vatican will speed up the trial and defrock Apuron,” David Sablan, president of Concerned Catholics of Guam, said Wednesday.

Apuron is undergoing a canonical trial, a process which started after former altar boys, including Sondia, came forward last spring to accuse Apuron of raping or sexually abusing them when he was parish priest in Agat.

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, in a one-page Feb. 3 decree, requested Sondia’s presence at 10 a.m., Feb. 16, at the Archdiocesan Chancery “for the purpose of giving said testimony.”

Posted on February 15, 2017 5:17 AM

The Church, pressed on every side, but not crushed
JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

Raulston Nembhard

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

In recent weeks the Church has come under withering criticisms because of untoward and even criminal behaviour alleged to have been committed by members of the Church. The Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse, in a recent damning commentary, indicated that pastors and members of the police force are among the leading high-profile cases of criminal sexual abuse of minors in the society. This is a worrying trend, and the society has been understandably incensed at what is happening to our children.

Criticism of the Church in this regard is necessary and should not be easily brushed aside. Such behaviour cannot be excused among those who should be seen as the greatest upholders of integrity in the land. The Church often gets unnerved by such criticisms, but people have a right to expect the best standards of behaviour from those who claim to be different because of their assumed proximity to the creator.

In criticising the Church, however, one must be careful not to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. One can understand that people become more outraged at egregious behaviour demonstrated by those from whom you would least expect it, especially from leaders of the Church. But there is a tendency to use a broad brush to paint the Church and to bring everyone under the judgement that should be best reserved for the few.

Posted on February 15, 2017 5:14 AM

February 14, 2017
Tribunal to hold secret hearing
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Confidential documents: Vatican opened case against Apuron in 2008

Mindy Aguon | For the Post

A tribunal from the Vatican, which will be led by a cardinal, is scheduled to hold a secret hearing on Guam this week to speak to at least one of the victims accusing Archbishop Anthony Apuron of sexual abuse.

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, a canon lawyer and former head of the Vatican’s supreme court, signed a decree on Feb. 3, 2017, requesting that one of Apuron’s accusers, Roland Sondia, appear personally before Burke later this week on Guam.

The cardinal wrote the decree “in fulfilling the office of judge.”

Sondia was being summoned “for the purpose of giving testimony” in the Apuron case, according to the decree.

A Vatican equivalent of prosecutor and an advocate for the accused will also hear the accuser’s testimony, according to the decree.

Posted on February 14, 2017 5:32 PM

Child-sex commission rejects evidence of Geelong Grammar ex-head
AUSTRALIA
The Australian

February 15, 2017

TESSA AKERMAN
ReporterMelbourne
@TessaAkerman

The royal commission into child sex abuse has rejected evidence by the former head of Geelong Grammar, John Lewis, that he was not told a teacher at the school tried to have sex with a ­student.

In its report into Geelong Grammar handed down yesterday, the commission found students BKM and BIA told Mr Lewis that Jonathan Harvey, a maths teacher/housemaster, “tried to have sex” with BKM in 1982. Counsel for Mr Lewis had submitted BKM and BIA’s evidence was compromised because they were giving evidence of historical events.

The commission rejected Mr Lewis’s submissions and made no finding as to whether the sexual abuse occurred.

Mr Lewis gave evidence that he didn’t speak to other teachers about the allegations because he would not have considered it appropriate.

Posted on February 14, 2017 5:28 PM

Toowoomba man reveals sex abuse, slams commission
AUSTRALIA
Byron Shire News

Andrew Backhouse | 15th Feb 2017

A TOOWOOMBA man who suffered harrowing sexual abuse as a child is calling for an overhaul of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The man, who is giving evidence for the criminal trial of his alleged abuser, gave evidence to the commission in Toowoomba last year.

He said he was raped as a primary school student in a Victorian school, which taught him to avoid notorious sexual predators at a Christian Brothers college.

With the focus of the commission on the Catholic church, and senior figures being named and shamed, the Toowoomba man said not enough focus was being put on public school victims.

“There is a lot of desperation, frustration and animosity out there among many victims of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated within the state system with many victims feeling snubbed and left with no confidence in either the proceedings, or that they will benefit from any future redress scheme,” he said.
Posted on February 14, 2017 5:25 PM

Swiss Catholic Church commission to examine abuse victims’ cases
SWITZERLAND
swissinfo

After creating a victims’ fund one year ago, the Swiss Catholic Church has set up a reparations commission to formally examine abuse victims’ complaints.

The Swiss Catholic Church has set up a reparations commission which is ready to receive compensation requests from victims of paedophile priests, Joseph Bonnemain, from the Conference of Swiss Bishops, told the Swiss News Agency ATS on Tuesday.

The formal creation of the six-person commission in January to examine claims follows the establishment of a CHF500,000 ($498,000) compensation fund for victims of abuse by member of the church.

A victim who wishes to file a compensation claim must address it to their diocese or, in French-speaking Switzerland, to the independent sexual abuse commission CECAR. After being considered, the requests will be sent to the reparations commission.

Posted on February 14, 2017 3:06 PM

Catholic Church child sexual abuse statistics are an indictment on the church, say survivors
AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

THE opportunity afforded by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been unprecedented.

Thousands of survivors of child sexual abuse, violated in many mainstream institutions, have spoken of the chilling crimes which, over decades, progressively devastated their lives.

Those stories have driven a public discourse about abusive power, compounded betrayal, systemic failure and the appalling human cost of institutional inhumanity.

The commission has heard this evidence, and Australians and the world have listened aghast. We are now looking to our governments and institutions for the transformational change needed to secure perpetrator and institutional accountability, true justice, fair and equitable redress and optimal victim support.

Posted on February 14, 2017 3:04 PM

Scrutiny may help restore trust in church
AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Outside scrutiny could help restore the trust that has been lost in Catholic Church leaders, a member of the Vatican’s child protection body has told an Australian child abuse inquiry.

Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors member Baroness Sheila Hollins said there was a lack of consistency among bishops in their ongoing professional supervision of priests, but oversight into a priest’s personal life would be inappropriate.

The child abuse royal commission will on Wednesday focus on the support and supervision of working priests and religious as it investigates what led to and allowed the continuation of widespread child sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Australia.

Baroness Hollins said the ongoing formation and continuing professional development of ordained people had not yet been accepted as a norm like it had with professions such as medicine and teaching.
Posted on February 14, 2017 3:02 PM

‘He lives his life among treasures and wealth’: Man abused as child by Catholic teacher slams the Pope for ‘protecting’ Cardinal George Pell by letting him hide out at the Vatican
AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By Belinda Cleary For Daily Mail Australia

A man who suffered at the hands of a Catholic paedophile as a teenager in the 1970s is calling for Cardinal George Pell to face child abuse allegations and resign so victims of abuse by member’s of the church can ‘finally’ have closure.

Robert Zammit left school aged 16 to escape the clutches of a paedophile teacher – he told Daily Mail Australia he couldn’t speak out about his abuse at the time or for decades afterward because ‘it wasn’t talked about’.

Dr Zammit wants Cardinal Pell to return to Australia and answer to allegations the country’s most senior Catholic ignored abuse claims.

The senior Catholic has refused to fly from Rome to Australia on medical grounds to answer calls from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney.
Posted on February 14, 2017 11:59 AM

‘Black Books’ Writer Starts Fund To Send George Pell To Australia
AUSTRALIA
Huffington Post

Eoin Blackwell Senior Associate Editor, HuffPost Australia

The writer of television comedies Black Books, The IT Crowd and Father Ted has started a crowdfunding campaign to bring Cardinal George Pell to Australia from Rome via chartered ambulance so he can “clear his name” over allegations of wrongdoing.

Writer and director Graham Linehan has started a crowd funder campaign to raise $460,000 to bring Pell from Rome to Australia, with medical staff, as Victoria Police investigate allegations of historic sexual abuse made against Pell.

In December 2015, Pell’s lawyers told the sex abuse Royal Commission he was unable to travel from Rome to give testimony about how the Church responded to child sex abuse allegations because the Cardinal suffered from hypertension.

He appeared by video link in February 2016, where he gave evidence on his response to allegations of abuse made against colleagues in Victoria when he was a rising church official.

Posted on February 14, 2017 9:26 AM

Jehovah’s Witness sexual-abuse-coverup lawsuit settled
PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Steve Marroni | [email protected]

PHILADELPHIA – A settlement agreement has been reached, but neither the victim nor the church she said failed to report her sexual abuse to the authorities can talk about it.

On the fifth day of trial Monday in Philadelphia County Court, Stephanie Fessler, of Lancaster, settled the suit she filed against the Jehovah’s Witness Church in Spring Grove.

“The matter with the Jehovah’s Witnesses has been resolved,” her attorney, Jeffrey Fritz, said Monday.

And that was all he could say due to the confidential settlement agreement, which bars all parties from talking about the case or disclosing the amount of the settlement.

Posted on February 14, 2017 7:45 AM

Report into Geelong Grammar School released
AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

14 February, 2017

The Royal Commission’s report into Case Study 32 – the response of Geelong Grammar School to allegations of child sexual abuse of former students at the school – was released today.

The report follows a public hearing in September and October 2015 which inquired into the response of Geelong Grammar’s school council, principals and other members of staff to concerns raised about inappropriate conduct, or complaints about child sexual abuse, by teaching and non-teaching staff at the school.

The Royal Commission heard evidence from 13 former students at the school who told the public hearing they were sexually abused by staff at the school between 1956 and 1989. The mothers of two former students also gave evidence.

The Royal Commission heard that two survivor witnesses and their mothers reported the abuse to the school at the time it was occurring. These witnesses gave evidence that no action was taken by Geelong Grammar School and the perpetrators remained at the school.

Posted on February 14, 2017 7:42 AM

Former Hamilton Marist principal Brother Christopher Wade charged with offences linked to two Brothers
AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
14 Feb 2017

FORMER Hamilton Marist Brothers school principal, Brother Christopher Wade, has been charged with making false statements to police and perverting the course of justice.

Strike Force Georgiana detectives Sergeant Kristi Faber, and Senior Constable Simon Grob, charged Brother Wade with four offences on Tuesday relating to statements he made to police in 2014 during Georgiana investigations into Marist Brothers Francis Cable (Brother Romuald) and Darcy O’Sullivan (Brother Dominic).

He was charged in Sydney.

Brother Christopher, 78, whose real name is William Henry Wade, was charged after investigations following his statement to Strike Force Georgiana in 2014 that he did “not remember ever having to consult the Provincial regarding any complaint or grievances of the Brothers of Hamilton during my time”.

In a separate statement to Georgiana detectives that was tendered at a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse public hearing in Newcastle in September, Brother Christopher recalled a complaint by “a student or a parent or something” about Brother Romuald.

Posted on February 14, 2017 7:38 AM

Ehemaliger Domspatz schildert Martyrium
DEUTSCHLAND
Mittelbayerische

[Former Domspatzen choir member describes abuse. Alexander Probst made the abuse public with his book and he will now give courage to other victims.]

By Christine Straßer , MZ

REGENSBURG.Als Elfjähriger wurde Alexander Probst bei den Regensburger Domspatzen sexuell missbraucht. Er war nicht der einzige Schüler in den Reihen des weltberühmten Chors, der geprügelt, gedemütigt und missbraucht wurde. Probst ist aber einer derjenigen, denen es zu verdanken ist, dass die Schicksale der Opfer bekannt wurden und der Skandal jetzt aufgearbeitet wird. 2010 hatte er als erster sein Martyrium öffentlich gemacht. Nun erzählt er in seinem Buch „Von der Kirche missbraucht“ seine ganze Leidensgeschichte. Einerseits sagt Probst, habe er sich das von der Seele schreiben müssen, um Frieden zu finden. Von 1968 bis 1971 besuchte Probst die Vorschule Etterzhausen und später das Internat der Regensburger Domspatzen. Für ihn eine dunkle Zeit. Andererseits hoffe er darauf, mit seinem Buch anderen Opfern Mut zu machen. Denn Probst wurde zwar nach seinem Schritt an die Öffentlichkeit vielfach verunglimpft, letztlich kämpfte er aber erfolgreich für die Anerkennung der Opfer und die Aufarbeitung des Skandals.

Posted on February 14, 2017 7:32 AM

„Ich war kein pädophiler Priester, sondern ein Pädophiler, der zum Priester geweiht wurde“
FRANKREICH
Katholisches

[“I was not a pedophile priest, but a pedophile who was ordained a priest” France 3 broadcast the interview with a former priest who was laureate for the sexual abuse of children by the church. His statements are frightening. It is remarkable, however, that he was not a pedophile priest, but a pedophile who was ordained a priest. ]

(Paris) France 3 strahlte das Interview mit einem ehemaligen Priester aus, der wegen sexuellen Mißbrauchs von Kindern von der Kirche laisiert wurde. Seine Aussagen sind erschreckend. Bemerkenswert ist jedoch seine Aussage, daß er nicht ein pädophiler Priester war, sondern ein Pädophiler, der zum Priester geweiht wurde.

„Ich war kein pädophiler Priester, sondern ein Pädophiler, der zum Priester geweiht wurde“, so die ebenso klare wie erschreckende Aussage eines Mannes, der Priester war und wegen Pädophilie verurteilt wurde.

Posted on February 14, 2017 7:27 AM

No order for seminarian pedophilia test
AUSTRALIA
7 News

Rebekah Ison – AAP on February 14, 2017

The Vatican has directed Catholic seminaries to assess aspiring priests and brothers for homosexuality but not for an attraction to children, a royal commission has heard.

Sister Lydia Allen, who conducts assessments at a Homebush seminary in Sydney, said she didn’t think there needed to be a direction to test those who wanted to enter the priesthood or a religious order for sexual tendencies towards children because it was just “obvious” it should be done.

“They do not have, as far as I’m aware, anything that says, you must assess that,” the nun, who also has a Phd in psychology, told the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney on Tuesday.

“I would think it’s an unspoken rule. I don’t think it needs to be stated explicitly, because it’s so obvious.”

Posted on February 14, 2017 7:23 AM

Lawmakers introduce bill for child sexual abuse task force
NORTH DAKOTA
Bismark Tribune

Katie Fairbanks Forum News Service

JAMESTOWN — Two Jamestown legislators are sponsoring a bill that would create a task force on preventing sexual abuse of children and reporting recommendations for legislation.

Senate Bill 2342 was introduced by Sen. John Grabinger, D-Jamestown, and had a hearing in the Human Services Committee on Jan. 30. No vote or other action has been taken since. The other sponsor is Rep. Bernie Satrom, R-Jamestown.

The task force would gather information concerning child sexual abuse throughout the state, receive testimony and reports from individuals, state and local agencies and organizations, and create goals for state policy that would prevent child sexual abuse during the 2017-2018 interim period. The task force would submit a final report with recommendations to the governor and legislative management, which is a group of legislators who determine interim studies and committee memberships.

Satrom said the idea for the bill came from the Rev. Shawn Bowman, senior pastor at Victory Lutheran Church in Jamestown, who called Satrom after seeing a news show about child abuse and said something should be done.

Posted on February 14, 2017 7:17 AM

Former local pastor sentenced for sex crimes in Pennsylvania
NEW YORK/PENNSYLVANIA
Daily News

By SCOTT DESMIT
[email protected]
PUBLISHED: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2017

A former pastor of a Lyndonville church serving a 15-year prison term for molesting girls was sentenced for similar charges in a Pennsylvania court last week.

Roy Harriger, 73, was sentenced to two-to-five years in prison for molesting a young girl in Mercer County.

The assaults took place while Harriger was serving as pastor of Mercer Community Church from 1991-97.

Harriger had been charged with rape, statutory sexual assault, deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault.

Unlike in New York, where Harriger vehemently denied molesting two granddaughters and took the case to trial, he admitted guilt before trial.

Posted on February 14, 2017 7:15 AM

Clergy: sex abuse ‘a tragedy’
AUSTRALIA
Riverine Herald

REVELATIONS the Sandhurst Diocese had one of the worst child sex offence records in Australia was a ‘‘tragedy’’ and a ‘‘wake-up call’’ for the church, according to Rochester district priests.

The diocese — which includes Rochester, Elmore and Lockington — had the second highest rate of priests accused of child sexual abuse out of Australia’s 17 Catholic dioceses over a period of 60 years.

Figures identified in a Royal Commission report showed almost 15 per cent of priests who ministered in the diocese between 1950 and 2010 were accused of child sexual offences.

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Elmore Father Alex Lim said he was relieved it was out in the open.

Posted on February 14, 2017 7:13 AM

Guam, Saipan diocese react to sex abuse allegations against retired bishop
GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Melvin Duenas says he was repeatedly raped by the now-retired bishop in the early 1970s.

Guam – The Diocese of Chalan Kanoa in Saipan issued a statement this afternoon following allegations of sexual abuse against Saipan’s Bishop Emeritus Tomas Camacho.

Bishop Ryan Jimenez said in a release that his diocese is cooperating with civil authorities and that they are working hard to maintain a safe church environment.

“It is with deep sadness and great bearing to learn of the sexual abuse allegations in a civil claim against then-priest and now Bishop Emeritus Tomas A. Camacho by Guam resident Melvin Duenas,” said Jimenez. He also says that his diocese is in contact with the Archdiocese of Agana.

Camacho is the latest church official to be named in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of Agana. The alleged victim, 55-year-old Melvin Duenas, accused Camacho of locking him in a room when he was 10 years old and sexually assaulting him. Duenas said this happened at the rectory of the St. Joseph’s church in Inarajan when he was an altar server.

Posted on February 14, 2017 7:11 AM

St John of God Healthcare and Catholic Church respond to Royal Commission findings
AUSTRALIA
Hawkesbury Gazette

Justine Doherty
14 Feb 2017

THE findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have reached deep into the hearts of Catholics, revealing horrors that are difficult to face. The Gazette asks Hawkesbury’s Catholic institutions for their responses to the crisis.

Last week the commission hearings revealed that between 1980 and 2015, 4444 people alleged they were abused as children in more than 1000 Catholic institutions, with 1880 perpetrators identified.

It was also revealed that 40 per cent of St John of God Brothers have been implicated in abuse claims. With two St John of God-branded hospitals in our district and several Catholic schools as well, the Gazette asked St John of God Healthcare and the Diocese of Parramatta to respond to the commission’s revelations.

A St John of God Health Care spokesperson told the Gazette “St John of God Health Care was established by the Sisters of St John of God who came to Australia from Ireland in 1895”.

Posted on February 14, 2017 7:07 AM

Royal commission: Abuse survivors push for police inquiry into Anglican Bishop Philip Newell
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Richard Baines

Tasmanian survivors of clergy abuse want police to investigate whether a former Anglican Bishop should face criminal charges for allowing a paedophile to remain in the church.

A day after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released damning findings, survivors said they planned to launch legal action.

The commission held hearings in Hobart last year to examine responses to allegations within the Church of England Boy’s Society (CEBS) and Anglican Diocese, including in Tasmania.

The report found evidence that former Tasmanian Bishop Philip Newell was made aware in 1987 that now-convicted paedophile Louis Daniels had sexually abused three boys.

Posted on February 14, 2017 7:06 AM

Former priest sentenced to 30 years for child pornography
DELAWARE
Sussex Living

A former U.S. Navy lieutenant commander and ordained Catholic priest was recently sentenced to 30 years in prison for charges involving the sexual exploitation of children, announced U.S. Attorney Charles M. Oberly III of the District of Delaware.

John Thomas Matthew Lee, 51, of Millsboro, was sentenced Feb. 8 by U.S. District Court Judge Leonard P. Stark of the District of Delaware, who also ordered Lee to serve a lifetime term of supervised release. On Nov. 16, 2015, Lee pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography. He became a registered sex offender following his 2007 conviction in a general court martial of sexually assaulting another Naval officer while serving as a chaplain at the U.S. Naval Academy. Lee has been in custody since his arrest Nov. 3, 2014.

According to admissions made in connection with the plea agreement, following a series of CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations special agents connected Lee with accounts that were being used to upload images of child pornography to several social networking sites. In executing a search warrant at Lee’s Millsboro residence, agents found child-pornography images on Lee’s electronic devices, including his phone. Using online messenger applications and text messages from his cell phone, Lee also induced juveniles to send him pornographic images of themselves. Lee uploaded at least one of these images to a publicly-accessible social media site. He also traded other images of child pornography online with other adults.

The Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Edmond Falgowski of the District of Delaware prosecuted the case.

Posted on February 14, 2017 7:03 AM

Retired bishop could still face Vatican probe, trial
GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , [email protected] Feb. 14, 2017

Former Guam priest Tomas A. Camacho, who now is a retired bishop on Saipan, still can be investigated by the Vatican and face a canonical trial over allegations he sexually abused an altar boy in the 1970s, a lawyer with expertise on Catholic Church law said.

“Yes, he can still be investigated and punished, even if he is retired,” said Minnesota-based canon lawyer Jennifer Haselberger, who established Canonical Consultation and Services LLC in 2013.

Haselberger said “a retired bishop remains a priest and can still exercise ministry — say Mass, baptize, confirm.”

“If someone is defrocked, it means he loses the ability to act as a priest/bishop and do those things,” added Haselberger, who previously served as chancellor for canonical affairs at the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, but resigned in April 2013 in protest of the archdiocese’s handling of accusations of clergy sexual abuse.

Vatican policy dictates that only the Vatican can investigate bishops and archbishops who are accused of sexual abuse.

Posted on February 14, 2017 7:01 AM

Another Woman Was Raped by a Priest, Reminding us of How Rampant Abuse is Across Churches in India
INDIA
The Ladies Finger!

February 14, 2017
By Maya Palit

A 37-year-old adivasi woman from Kanapur, a village in Madhya Pradesh, was raped by a priest (reports do not indicate which clergy or church he belonged to) named Hanop Alexander on the church premises. According to news reports, the incident took place around midnight, when she left her house (also on the church premises) and was abducted by the priest and taken to his room. The priest fled on his motorcycle after the incident and has been absconding since, but the police managed to book him for rape, and are on the look-out.

The rampant abuse of women carried out by members of the clergy, at least in the Catholic Church, is hardly a new issue, and a new incident surfaces practically every couple of months. In November last year, for instance, a woman in Kozhikode was forced to file a police complaint after internal complaints to her bishop about a sexually abusive priest was ignored for months. A month later, another priest from the Kottappauram Catholic diocese was given a double life term under the POCSO Act for raping a minor girl, while a government doctor was accused of colluding with him and failing to report the abuse.

Posted on February 14, 2017 6:59 AM

Saipan Bishop offers prayers, no comment on Camacho’s fate
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff Feb 14, 2017

Bishop Ryan Jimenez of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa in Saipan said that while the church will give their full cooperation with civil authorities in any investigation into the allegations of child sexual abuse made against Bishop Emeritus Tomas Camacho, they can offer no further comment as the matter is in litigation.

“It is with deep sadness and great bearing to learn of the sexual abuse allegations in a civil claim against then-priest and now Bishop Emeritus Tomas A. Camacho by a Guam resident Melvin Duenas,” Jimenez said in a letter released to the media. “I request for your prayers for everyone affected by this news – those who have sought and continue to seek redress from abuses, the accused and their journey to realize due process, the families on each side that are struck with a heavy weight of pain that comes with each sharing and everyone within our midst who are affected one way or another.”

Camacho was named, along with former Guam priest Louis Brouillard and the Archdiocese of Agana, in the latest in a series of child sexual abuse allegations by former altar boys stretching back decades.
Posted on February 14, 2017 6:57 AM

NSW Deputy Ombudsman criticises state’s ‘hodgepodge’ child abuse monitoring system
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Oliver Jacques

One of Australia’s most senior child protection bureaucrats has expressed concern with the way governments monitor incidents of child abuse within religious institutions.

NSW Deputy Ombudsman Steve Kinmond runs a watchdog scheme in his state that checks how schools, churches, childcare and foster care agencies handle complaints of child abuse.

He said there was a “hodgepodge” arrangement in place where some religious institutions were covered by his watchdog functions and others were not.

“We have a curious situation, and somewhat unhelpful situation where some religious organisations come under our jurisdiction and some don’t,” Mr Kinmond said.

“The issue that the churches have raised is that they are required to have working with children checks, but we have a hodgepodge arrangement as to whether the church or part of the church is under our jurisdiction.

Posted on February 14, 2017 6:55 AM

Assessment for clergy candidates flawed, sex inquiry hears
AUSTRALIA
The Advocate

Melissa Cunningham
@MeljCunningham

14 Feb 2017.

A lack of understanding and compassion may have caused Catholic priests to hear the confessions of clergy committing child sex crimes and allow them to continue to abuse, an inquiry heard.

David Leary, an academic and Franciscan friar told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Tuesday, the Catholic Church still failed to fully comprehend how its systems allowed a culture of child sexual abuse to flourish.

He said assessment for clergy candidates was fundamentally flawed because it tested homosexual tendencies ahead of whether or not the applicant was a compassionate person.

Dr Leary also said the Catholic Church still did not fully understand how civil society works.

“I don’t think we understand the psychology that underpins our modern understanding of child sexual abuse. As a result, we fluff around the edges and we try to negotiate,” he said.

Posted on February 14, 2017 6:53 AM

Pope Francis asks victims of clerical sex abuse for forgiveness
VATICAN CITY
Premier

Tue 14 Feb 2017
By Premier Journalist

Pope Francis has written an introduction to a book by a survivor of clerical sex abuse in which he asks survivors of clerical sexual abuse to forgive the Church.

The Pope added that he was particularly distressed by the fact that some victims of abuse had resorted to suicide.

He wrote: “These deaths weigh on my heart, on my conscience, and on that of the whole Church. To their families I offer my sentiments of love and of sorrow, and I humbly ask forgiveness.”

Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis said he would take a “zero tolerance” approach against cleric abuse.

Posted on February 14, 2017 6:51 AM

February 13, 2017
Communications head quits child abuse inquiry over ‘personal life changes’
UNITED KINGDOM
Police Professional

Britain’s biggest child sex abuse inquiry has been hit by another high-level departure.

Media chief Bron Madson has left the troubled Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) amid reports of tensions over a consultancy firm that has been paid nearly £300,000.

Ms Madson quit her role as head of communications as the IICSA revealed that it has paid the consultancy firm Crest Advisory £294,232 since 2015 for “strategic communications advice”.

She stepped down from the inquiry – beset by a flurry of departures in recent months– after an enhanced role was afforded to Crest.

She and her team are said to have been frustrated by the reluctance of senior officials and members of the panel to “engage with the media” at a time when the future running of the inquiry was in doubt.
Posted on February 13, 2017 5:58 PM

Tentative trial date set in Feit case
TEXAS
The Monitor

LORENZO ZAZUETA-CASTRO | STAFF WRITER

EDINBURG — A judge set a tentative trial date for a former priest accused of killing a McAllen woman more than 50 years ago.

After a brief hearing Monday morning both sides in the capital murder case of John Bernard Feit agreed to a late April trial date.

92nd state District Court Judge Luis Singleterry set a pretrial date for April 20, and a subsequent trial date of April 24 after Hidalgo County Assistant District Attorney Michael Garza asked the court to set a date as most evidence has been turned over to the defense.

The 83-year-old man is accused of killing Irene Garza, a McAllen schoolteacher and beauty queen back in the 60s when he worked as a priest in the Valley.

The 25-year-old woman was last seen April 16, 1960 going to confession at the Sacred Heart church in McAllen; authorities found her lifeless body 5 days later in a canal.

Posted on February 13, 2017 5:53 PM

Trial Date Set for Suspect in Decades-Old Murder Case
TEXAS
KRGV

[with video]

EDINBURG – A former McAllen priest accused in a decades-old murder made a court appearance Monday morning.

John Feit was arrested for the murder of Irene Garza last year in Phoenix, Arizona.

Feit walked into court Monday using his walker and shook hands with people on his way to his seat. When his counsel asked him how he was feeling, Feit replied that he felt great.

The 92nd District judge, Luis Singleterry, set Feit’s trial date for April 24.

In April 1960, Garza was going to confession at Sacred Heart Church the night before Easter Sunday. Feit heard her confession, but what happened after that was unknown.

Posted on February 13, 2017 5:51 PM

Man seeks information about fate of baby sister at Tuam home
IRELAND
Irish Times

Mary Carolan

An elderly man with cancer has taken High Court action urgently seeking information about the fate of the infant sister he has “never known” after she went into a mother and baby home in Tuam, Co Galway.

Peter Mulryan claims Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has a duty to forensically examine what it describes as an “enormous” quantity of documents in its possession related to the home, but has not done that.

Mr Justice Richard Humphreys has directed Tusla to write to the Bon Secours order, which operated the home, asking if it kept burial records for hundreds of children recorded as having died there. If burial records were maintained but destroyed, the order is asked to confirm when they were destroyed and at whose direction.

Mr Mulryan went with his mother to the home in July 1944 four days after his birth. He wants, in his “lifetime”, to get whatever knowledge exists concerning the life or death and resting place of his infant sister, Marian Bridget Mulryan.

Posted on February 13, 2017 5:27 PM

Sex abuse suit filed vs Bishop Camacho
GUAM/SAIPAN
Saipan Tribune

By Jon Perez | Posted on Feb 14 2017

A Guam resident filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against bishop emeritus Tomas A. Camacho yesterday regarding allegations that date back several decades ago, making Camacho the first clergy member from the CNMI to be embroiled in a controversy that has hounded the Roman Catholic Church.

Last year, Guam’s Catholic community was rocked by several allegations of similar sexual abuse by then archbishop Anthony S. Apuron. Guam and the CNMI are both predominantly Catholic and tight-knit communities.

Most Rev. Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, then serving as the Archdiocese of Agana’s apostolic administrator, urged Pope Francis to remove Apuron from his post because of the allegations.

Most. Rev. Archbishop Michael J. Byrnes was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of the archdiocese on Oct. 31, 2016.

Posted on February 13, 2017 4:04 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Charles F. Stephney, c.pp.s
UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Charles Stephney was a priest of the Society of the Precious Blood, ordained in 1980, or possibly earlier. He was assigned to St. Mark’s parish and to a jail chaplaincy Cincinnati, OH. In late 1981 Stephney was investigated after teenage boys complained that the priest had made sexual advances toward them. Jail officials asked him to leave, and Stephney’s Order sent him to Brooklyn, NY, for treatment. While in Brooklyn Stephney was assigned to Our Lady of the Presentation parish. Against the Society of the Precious Blood’s orders, Stephney left Brooklyn and was later hired to assist accused priest, Rev. George Stallings, at St. Teresa’s in Washington, DC. Stallings knew of Stephney’s history, but told parishioners the priest had left his Order to care for his mother. Archbishop Hickey discovered the situation and twice told Stallings to fire Stephney. Stallings refused. In 1990 Stephney was known to be assisting Stallings at Imani Temple in DC, which Stallings established after breaking away from the Roman Catholic Church.

Ordained: 1980?

Posted on February 13, 2017 4:02 PM

Pope praises abuse survivor for breaking silence
VATICAN CITY
Catholic Philly

By Carol Glatz • Catholic News Service • Posted February 13, 2017

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The sexual abuse of children by those who have vowed to serve Christ and the church is a horrendous monstrosity that represents “a diabolical sacrifice” of innocent, defenseless lives, Pope Francis said.

The church, which must protect the weakest, has a duty “to act with extreme severity with priests who betray their mission and with the hierarchy — bishops and cardinals — who protect them,” the pope wrote in the preface to a new book written by a man raped as a child by a Capuchin priest.

The book, “My Father, I Forgive You” (“Mon Pere, Je Vous Pardonne”), was written by Daniel Pittet, 57, in an effort to describe how he fell victim to a predator abuser when he was 8 years old growing up in Fribourg, Switzerland, and the challenges he faced when came forward two decades later with the accusations. The book, currently published only in French, was to be released Feb. 16. News outlets released the text of the pope’s preface Feb. 13.

Pittet — who had been a monk, but later married and had six children — had met the pope at the Vatican during the Year of Consecrated Life in 2015.

Posted on February 13, 2017 3:37 PM

Priest on leave after allegations of ‘inappropriate’ conduct
MINNESOTA
The Journal

NEW ULM — The Diocese of New Ulm announced over the weekend that one of its priests, Fr. Sam Wagner, has been placed on leave from ministry during an investigation of “allegations of inappropriate personal conduct.”

The statement from Monsignor Douglas Grams, Vicar General of the Diocese of New Ulm and the Bishop’s Delegate for Matters Pertaining to Sexual Misconduct, was read at parish masses on Saturday and Sunday. The statement did not disclose what the nature of the alleged misconduct was.

The suspension follows a recent report to the New Ulm Police Department about the allegations, which relate to the time period Fr. Wagner was assigned to the Cathedral parish in New Ulm, the statement said.

Fr. Wagner was assigned to the Cathedral parish from June 23, 2014 to June 29, 2016.

Posted on February 13, 2017 2:27 PM

Georgian Priest Arrested for Alleged Plot to Poison Unnamed Cleric
GEORGIA
Foreign Policy

BY EMILY TAMKIN
FEBRUARY 13, 2017

A Georgian priest was arrested Monday for allegedly scheming to poison a high-ranking cleric, prosecutors said.

Speaking at a news conference, Georgia’s chief prosecutor, Irakli Shotadze, described a plot that could have been pulled from a Dan Brown novel or an episode of an Orthodox version of Young Pope: A private citizen informed the office that Georgian Archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze had allegedly asked him to help obtain cyanide in order to poison the cleric, who wasn’t named.

Mamaladze allegedly told the person that he would pay with both money and “unlawful benefits,” but that he allegedly wanted the cyanide in hand before leaving for Germany to visit 84-year-old Patriarch Ilia II, the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Ilia II was in Berlin ahead of a gallbladder operation on Monday. The priest allegedly wanted to carry the poison with him on the plane. And, indeed, when arrested for preparation of murder at Tbilisi International Airport on Friday, Mamaladze had cyanide in his luggage. (Some good news for the patriarch: the operation was apparently successful, and Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has sent Anzor Chubinidze, the head of the Special State Protection Service, to Berlin for his protection.)

Posted on February 13, 2017 2:23 PM

New Ulm police investigating area priest
MINNESOTA
Mankato Free Press

By Brian Arola [email protected]

NEW ULM — The New Ulm Police Department is investigating allegations of sexual misconduct by an area priest.

The allegations stem from when the Rev. Sam Wagner worked in New Ulm between 2014 and 2016, said Jeff Hohensee, senior investigator with the New Ulm Police Department. Wagner, who Hohensee said was placed on leave by the Diocese of New Ulm, is listed online as a parochial vicar at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye.

Hohensee said the investigation remains ongoing and no charges have been filed at this time.

Posted on February 13, 2017 2:21 PM

Diocese Of New Ulm Priest Placed On Leave During Investigation
MINNESOTA
KEYC

[with video]

Feb 13, 2017

By Kelsey Barchenger

A Diocese of New Ulm priest has been placed on leave and an investigation is underway in response to allegations of inappropriate conduct.

The investigation surrounds Father Sam Wagner, who was assigned to the Cathedral parish from June 2014 to June 2016.

In July, Wagner served as parochial vicar in the Divine Mercy Area Faith Community, St. Mary’s, in Sleepy Eye, Japanese Martyrs in Leavenworth, St. Michael in Morgan, and St. Paul in Comfrey.

Posted on February 13, 2017 2:18 PM

Fort Augustus Abbey monk appears at extradition hearing in Sydney
AUSTRALIA/SCOTLAND
BBC News

A former Catholic monk accused of child abuse at a Scottish school has appeared in court in Australia facing extradition.

Father Denis “Chrysostom” Alexander was one of several monks accused of abusing boys at the former Fort Augustus Abbey boarding school in the Highlands.

He has always denied the allegations.

He appeared via a video link at the hearing in Sydney and was refused bail. The full extradition case is set to be heard in May.

In 2013, Father Alexander was confronted by BBC Scotland in Australia as part of a documentary into alleged abuse by monks at the school, which prompted a major police investigation.

Posted on February 13, 2017 2:16 PM

Pope Francis Goes to Confession Over Church’s Pervert Priests
ROME
The Daily Beast

In his strongest words yet, the pontiff condemns clerics involved in child sex abuse in the preface to a shocking new book by one of their accusers.

Barbie Latza Nadeau

ROME—Pope Francis has been criticized in the past for not taking a harder stance against pedophile priests. His Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors has been slow to start, condemned for missteps surrounding the forced leave of absence for Peter Saunders, one of two commission members who is a victim of clerical abuse. And the group faced accusations last year that it was out of touch and irrelevant because it wasn’t even involved in training new bishops about how to handle clerical-abuse accusations.

But writing in the preface of a hard-hitting new book, I Forgive You, Father by Swiss clerical sex-abuse survivor Daniel Pittet, Pope Francis makes it abundantly clear where he stands on this issue. In doing so, he asks the uncomfortable questions for which everyone familiar with the sordid history of clerical sex abuse have long wanted answers.

“How can a priest at the service of Christ and his church cause so much harm?” writes Pope Francis. “How can someone who devoted their life to lead children to God, end up instead to devour them in what I call a ‘diabolical sacrifice’ that destroys both the victim and the life of the church? Some of the victims have been driven to suicide. These deaths weigh on my heart, on my conscience and that of the whole church.”

Two years ago, Francis met Pittet, who was systematically raped for four years starting when he was just 8 years old by his parish priest in Switzerland. He supported Pittet’s desire to meet his abuser, who was never punished by secular or church authorities, but instead moved from Switzerland to France, where Pittet says he abused “hundreds of boys.”

Posted on February 13, 2017 2:13 PM

Second bishop accused of abuse
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For the Post

The latest sex abuse case filed in the District Court of Guam alleges that a former Guam Catholic priest, who later became bishop of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, repeatedly molested and raped an altar boy decades ago.

Melvin Duenas is the 17th victim to come forward and file a lawsuit in the District Court against the Archdiocese of Agana, retired Bishop Tomas Aguon Camacho of the CNMI, and Louis Brouillard, a former priest who worked at parishes and schools on Guam. Camacho, 83, is accused of sexually abusing Duenas for at least three years before the former altar boy ran away.

The complaint, which seeks a minimum of $5 million in damages, alleges Duenas was repeatedly sexually molested and raped by Camacho when he became the priest for the Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Inarajan in the 1970s. The lawsuit accuses the Archdiocese of Agana of knowing about the sexual abuse and assisting Camacho and Brouillard with keeping the misconduct “hidden or secret.” It also accuses the archdiocese of failing to adequately investigate, discharge or discipline Camacho and Brouillard, and other priests known to have sexually abused children.

Calls to Camacho went unreturned as of press time.

Posted on February 13, 2017 2:11 PM

Geelong Grammar: Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission report set to be tabled in parliament
AUSTRALIA
NT News

Nicholas Payne, Geelong Advertiser
February 13, 2017

SURVIVOR of abuse at Geelong Grammar School has slammed its trademark positive education program as “crap”, as the royal commission’s findings on the elite Corio school are set to be tabled in Parliament.

Libby O’Brien attended Geelong Grammar in the 1980s and said she hoped the commission’s report did not “get swept under the carpet”.

“There are so many more perpetrators out there,” she said, despite the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse having been in progress since 2013.

“The cover-ups were really frightening,” she said. “I just want to make sure (the royal commission finding) doesn’t go under the radar.”

Posted on February 13, 2017 2:07 PM

Damning verdict on response to child abuse in Australia
AUSTRALIA
Anglican Communion News Service

[ACNS] Royal Commission examining allegations of child sexual abuse in Australia has delivered a damning verdict on a system which enabled a culture of abuse to flourish.

The report by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse comes after public hearings into how the Church of England’s Boys’ Society (CEBS) and the Anglican dioceses of Tasmania, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney dealt with claims of abuse. The hearings, in Hobart, Tasmania, were told of allegations of abuse by lay people and clergy associated with CEBS in the 1970s and 1980s.

The report concluded that most CEBS branches were able to operate in an autonomous and unregulated way. As a result, a culture developed in which attackers had easy access to boys and opportunities to sexually abuse them. It found the abuse often happened at camps, on sailing and fishing trips and on overnight stays at rectories and private homes.

The report also found that there were networks of sexual predators at CEBS who had knowledge of each other’s offending. A number of abuse survivors told the hearing they were shared by abusers or their abusers were aware of the conduct of other attackers.

Posted on February 13, 2017 2:05 PM

Pope describes clerical sex abuse as ‘diabolic sacrifice’ in book preface
ROME
Irish Times

Paddy Agnew in Rome

Pope Francis has described clerical sex abuse as “diabolic sacrifice” in the preface of a new book. I Forgive You, Father, by former Swiss priest Daniel Pittet, who was himself the victim of clerical sex abuse as an eight-year-old altar boy, has been published as as suggestions emerge that the Vatican may soon be dealing with a raft of abuse cases.

La Repubblica, a daily Roman newspaper, carried the full preface in a front page article on Monday, in which it explained the background to Mr Pittet’s story. During an audience with the pope two years ago, Mr Pittet told Francis the story of his four-year-long abuse. The pope, claims Mr Pittet, not only listened to his story in tears but also encouraged the 57-year-old former priest to tell the story more widely.

“For anyone who has been the victim of a paedophile it is very difficult to recount what happened to them, to describe still existing traumas many years later. For that reason, Daniel Pittet’s testimony is necessary, precious and courageous”, Francis writes in the preface.

“I am glad that people can today read his witness and discover for themselves the extent to which evil can enter into the heart of a servant of the church.”

Posted on February 13, 2017 12:18 PM

Clerical Sexual Abuse: Pope Asks Forgiveness for ‘Monstrosity’ in Book
ROME
NBC News

by CLAUDIO LAVANGA

ROME — Pope Francis has penned the preface to a new book by a survivor of clerical sexual abuse, and asked forgiveness for what he called an “absolute monstrosity” in the Church’s history.

“It is difficult for a victim of pedophilia to speak out about what they have endured and to describe the trauma that still persists many years later,” Pope Francis writes in “Father, I Forgive You” by Daniel Pittet, a Swiss man who was repeatedly raped by a Capuchin friar as a child.

“I am happy that others today can read his testimony and discover to what extent evil can enter a servant of the church. How can a priest, at the service of Christ and the Church, cause so much pain?” the pope writes.

The book will be published in Italy on Thursday but La Republica newspaper ran the pope’s preface in full on Monday.

Posted on February 13, 2017 12:16 PM

Pedophiles prowled Church of England Boys’ Society ‘for decades’
AUSTRALIA
The Australian

February 14, 2017

MATTHEW DENHOLM
Tasmania correspondentHobart
@MatthewRDenholm

Networks of pedophiles operated in the Church of England Boys’ Society for several decades, some “sharing” victims, while the church’s only formal response was to revoke awards given to several perpetrators.

These are among findings of a report by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, released yesterday, relating to abuse of boys in CEBS in Tasmania, Queensland, NSW and South Australia in the 1970s and 80s.

The Anglican Bishop of Tasmania, Richard Condie, res­ponded by apologising to victims and announcing disciplinary proceedings against former bishop Philip Newell, whose handling of abuse in that state in the 80s and 90s was heavily criticised by the commission.

Former governor-general Peter Hollingworth was also criticised for a “serious error of judgment”, when as archbishop of Brisbane he allowed pedophile priest John Elliot to remain in the ministry after his abuse was known.

The report is scathing of the church’s responses to the abuse; identifying systemic shortcomings and a failure to adequately co-ordinate belated investigations across state borders.

Posted on February 13, 2017 12:13 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Donald E. Shelander
OHIO
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Donald Shelander was ordained for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1970. He was a pastoral assistant in Springfield and Urbana parishes, rising to pastor status in Urbana in 1977. He then led parishes in Bellefontaine and Newport, OH before retiring in 2002.

In late 2005 a man reported to the archdiocese that Shelander had sexually abused him during the late 1970s to early 1980s, when the man was 14 to 18 years-old and Shelander was pastor of St. Mary’s in Urbana. Shelander denied the allegations. An internal investigation found “the semblance of truth” and Shelander was placed on leave in March 2006. The Vatican ordered a canonical trial, which determined that the allegations could not be proven. Shelander was allowed to return to active ministry in February 2009.

Ordained: 1970
Retired: 2002

Posted on February 13, 2017 12:11 PM

Pope writes preface to book by victim of clerical sex abuse
VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) “How can a priest, at the service of Christ and of His Church, come to cause such evil? How can one who has consecrated his life to leading the little ones to God, end up instead devouring them in what I have called a ‘diabolic sacrifice,’ which destroys both the victims and the life of the Church?”

Pope Francis has once again spoken out strongly against the evil of sex abuse perpetrated by clergy and religious. His words come in the preface to a book by a victim of clerical sexual abuse, Daniel Pettit, today a husband and father of six children.

In his preface, the Holy Father describes meeting Mr Pettit at the Vatican during the Year of Consecrated Life. “I couldn’t imagine that this man, enthusiastic and passionate about Christ, was a victim of abuse by a priest,” the Pope writes. “And yet this is what he told me, and his suffering struck me deeply. I saw once more the fearful damage caused by sexual abuse, and the long and painful journey that awaits the victims.” In particular, Pope Francis notes that some victims have even taken their own lives. “These deaths weigh on my heart, on my conscience, and on that of the whole Church,” he says. “To their families I offer my sentiments of love and of sorrow, and I humbly ask forgiveness.”

Pettit’s witness, the Pope says, deals with “an absolute monstrosity, a horrendous sin, radically contrary to all that Christ teaches us.” Pope Francis recalls the Church’s duty to care for and protect the weakest and the most defenceless; and the duty to show proof of “extreme severity towards priests who betray their mission, and towards their hierarchy, Bishops or Cardinals, who protect them.”

Posted on February 13, 2017 12:09 PM

Pope Francis seeks forgiveness from clergy abuse victims
VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

By Josephine McKenna

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis has condemned clerical sex abuse as an “absolute monstrosity” and asked victims and their families for forgiveness on behalf of the Catholic Church.

In an unusual move, the pontiff’s comments were published as a preface to a new book by Daniel Pittet, a Swiss victim who was sexually abused for four years by a priest when he was a child.

“How can a priest in the service of Christ and his church cause so much evil?” the pope said. “This is an absolute monstrosity, a horrendous sin, completely opposed to what Christ teaches us.”

The pope said he had personally witnessed the damage caused by clerical abuse and it affected him deeply.

“Several victims have committed suicide. These deaths weigh on my heart and my conscience and on the whole church,” Francis said.

Posted on February 13, 2017 12:05 PM

Pope says suicides by clerical abuse victims ‘weigh on my heart’
VATICAN CITY
Crux

Inés San Martín February 13, 2017
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

ROME- As the Catholic church in Australia struggles with fresh revelations that some 4,400 people have reported being sexually abused in more than 1,000 Catholic institutions, a new book by a religious sexual abuse survivor with a preface by Pope Francis was revealed on Monday, in which the pontiff calls sexual abuse an “absolute monstrosity, a horrible sin.”

“For those who have been victims of a pedophile, it is difficult to talk about what they have been through and describe the trauma that persists still, after many years,” Francis wrote. “For this reason, Daniel Pittet’s testimony is necessary, treasured and courageous.”

The pope is talking about a 57-year old Swiss man, who was first abused at the age of eight by a Capuchin brother, who would continue molesting him for four years.

As Francis writes in the preface to I forgive you, Father, to be released in Italian later this month, he met Pittet in the Vatican back in 2015 during the Year for Consecrated Life. The pope’s words were released in full on Monday by the Italian newspaper La Stampa.

Posted on February 13, 2017 12:03 PM

World cardinals back pope after anonymous attacks by conservatives
VATICAN CITY
Yahoo! News

February 13, 2017

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Senior Roman Catholic cardinals from the around the world defended Pope Francis on Monday against a spate of recent attacks from conservatives challenging his authority.

In an unusual move, nine cardinals in a group advising Francis on Vatican economic and structural reforms issued a statement expressing “full support for the pope’s work” and guaranteeing “full backing for him and his teachings”.

The statement was unusual in that the cardinals – from Italy, Chile, Austria, India, Germany, Congo, the United States, Australia and Honduras – customarily issue statements only at the end of their meetings, which are held four times a year.

The statement said the cardinals expressed their solidarity with the pope “in light of recent events,” which Vatican sources said was a clear reference to the attacks.

Posted on February 13, 2017 11:59 AM

Royal commission finds Peter Hollingworth made ‘serious error of judgement’ by letting child abuser stay
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Sarah Hawke

The former governor-general and Archbishop of Brisbane Peter Hollingworth has been found to have made a “serious error of judgement” for allowing a rector who admitted to abusing a child to continue in the ministry.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has handed down its report into the response by the Church of England Boys’ Society (CEBS) and four Anglican dioceses into allegations of child sexual abuse.

Public hearings were held in Hobart in February 2016.

The report detailed the case of John Linton Elliot who the commission had been told abused a boy in the 1970s when he was a lay preacher at St Barnabas Anglican Church in Sunnybank, Brisbane, and also CEBS branch governor.

The boy know as BYB was about nine when the sexual abuse started, and it occurred almost on a weekly basis until he was 13.

Posted on February 13, 2017 8:26 AM

Broken Rites has done ‘a better job’ the Royal Commission
AUSTRALIA
Western Advocate

A WEBSITE dedicated to supporting victims of institutional childhood sexual abuse has done “a better job” of outing paedophilia then the Royal Commission, says one journalist who spent the best part of a decade reporting on the crimes.

Former Western Advocate journalist Terry Jones said the website, Broken Rites Australia, had done a phenomenal job in outing what he described as the shame of Bathurst – decades of sexual abuse against students at Bathurst boarding schools.

As the Royal Commission last week began the final hearing into Child Sexual Abuse involving the Catholic Church, Mr Jones said he was still at a loss to think there would be no public hearing held in Bathurst.

He said the city was epicentre of paedophilia and it defied logic a public hearing would not take place.

Mr Jones said the Broken Rites website had done what the Royal Commission should have done – “out this dreadful, horrendous thing which happened in Bathurst”.

Posted on February 13, 2017 8:24 AM

Aufklärung von sexuellem Missbrauch stockt
DEUTSCHLAND
Stuttgarter Zeitung

[In the Protestant community of Korntal in the district of Ludwigsburg many children were abused in homes. But the investigation is progressing.]

In der evangelischen Gemeinde Korntal im Kreis Ludwigsburg wurde in der Vergangenheit in Heimen viele Kinder missbraucht. Doch die Aufklärung kommt nicht voran.

Korntal – Im Ringen um die Aufarbeitung von Missbrauchsfällen in Heimen der evangelischen Brüdergemeinde Korntal (Kreis Ludwigsburg) haben sich die Fronten verhärtet. In einem mehrere Stunden dauernden Gespräch konnten sich Opfervertreter, die Brüdergemeinde und Mediatoren am Samstag nicht auf einen gemeinsamen Aufklärer einigen.

Posted on February 13, 2017 8:05 AM

Pedofilia, il dolore del Papa: “Come può un prete causare tanto male?”
ROME
La Repubblica

[Pedophilia, the Pope’s pain: “How can a priest to cause so much harm?”]

Su Repubblica in edicola la prefazione scritta da Francesco per il libro in cui lo svizzero Daniel Pittet racconta gli abusi subiti da un sacerdote: “Chiedo perdono per i preti pedofili: un segno del diavolo, saremo severissimi”

di FRANCESCO

Per chi è stato vittima di un pedofilo è difficile raccontare quello che ha subito, descrivere i traumi che ancora persistono a distanza di anni. Per questo motivo la testimonianza di Daniel Pittet è necessaria, preziosa e coraggiosa.

Ho conosciuto Daniel in Vaticano nel 2015, in occasione dell’Anno della vita consacrata. Voleva diffondere su larga scala un libro intitolato “Amare è dare tutto”, che raccoglieva le testimonianze di religiosi e religiose, di preti e di consacrati. Non potevo immaginare che quest’uomo entusiasta e appassionato di Cristo fosse stato vittima di abusi da parte di un prete. Eppure questo è ciò che mi ha raccontato, e la sua sofferenza mi ha molto colpito.

Posted on February 13, 2017 7:59 AM

Papst schreibt Vorwort für Buch eines Missbrauchsopfers
ROM
Radio Vatikan

[Pope Francis has written the preface for a book on abuse. He asks for forgiveness for the sins of the church and promises to deal harshly with offenders. The preface was published Monday in the Italian daily La Repubblica. The book is written by Daniel Pittet, a former Swiss priest who is now married and has six children. Pittet was sexually abuse for four years by a priest.]

Papst Franziskus hat ein Vorwort zum Buch eines Missbrauchsopfers geschrieben. In dem Text bittet der Papst um Vergebung für die Sünden von Kirchenleuten und verspricht, mit Härte gegen Missbrauchstäter vorzugehen. Das Papst-Vorwort wurde an diesem Montag von der italienischen Tageszeitung La Repubblica veröffentlicht.

Das Buch, zu dem Franziskus seinen Text beisteuerte, stammt von dem Schweizer Daniel Pittet. Er war früher Priester, ist mittlerweile verheiratet und hat sechs Kinder. Beginnend mit einem Alter von acht Jahren, war Pittet vier Jahre lang von einem Priester sexuell missbraucht worden. Der Schweizer und der Papst sind einander vor zwei Jahren im Vatikan begegnet. Sein Buch erschien auf Italienisch im Vatikanverlag LEV und trägt den Titel: „Ich vergebe Ihnen, Pater“.

Posted on February 13, 2017 7:52 AM

Missbrauch in Australien: Noch für Generationen erschütternd
AUSTRALIEN
Radio Vatikan

[The chapter on abuse and sexual violence is a part of the history of the church and should not be suppressed: The terrible figures presented by the Royal Commission, a government inquiry commission, have shattered the church’s initial reactions.]

Das Kapitel ‚Missbrauch und sexuelle Gewalt’ gehört zur Geschichte der Kirche dazu und darf nicht verdrängt werden: die furchtbaren Zahlen, welche von der ‚Royal Comission’ – einer staatlichen Untersuchungskommission – in der vergangenen Woche vorgelegt wurden, haben die Kirche erschüttert, erste Reaktionen sprachen von Scham und Trauma.

Ganz direkt und nicht über einen Text oder Brief wendet sich jetzt der Bischof des südlich von Sydney gelegenen Bistums Wollongong in einer Video-Botschaft auf Facebook an die Gläubigen und die Gesellschaft Australiens. Bischof Peter Ingham spricht vom Schaden, der von Priestern und Ordensleuten in seinem Bistum angerichtet wurde. Sie hätten ihre Autorität gegen die verletztlichsten Mitglieder der Gesellschaft gerichtet und durch diesen Missbrauch das Leben vieler Menschen zerstört.

Posted on February 13, 2017 7:49 AM

Missbrauchs-Skandal in Peru: Opfer werden enttäuscht
PERU
Latina Press

[Abuse scandal in Peru: Victims are disappointed.

Über Jahrzehnte haben Führungspersonen der peruanischen Bewegung „Sodalitium Christianae Vitae“ (SCV) junge Menschen sexuell und psychisch missbraucht. Mitglieder des „Sodalicio“ hatten in ihren Blogs über ihre traumatischen Erfahrungen mit der Gemeinschaft berichtet, die Opfer wurden um Entschuldigung gebeten und der Missbrauch durch hochrangige Mitglieder eingestanden. Die religiöse Laienbewegung wurde 1971 in Lima auf Initiative des Peruaners Luis Fernando Figari gegründet, der nach Bekanntwerden des Skandals von der Bewegung ausgeschlossen wurde und in Rom lebt. Die Opfer, die sich Gerechtigkeit und eine exemplarische Verurteilung vonseiten der Kirche erhofften, wurden nun enttäuscht.

Posted on February 13, 2017 7:46 AM

Sunday pickets still going strong: Defrock Archbishop Anthony Apuron
GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Feb 13, 2017

By Krystal Paco

The Sunday pickets in front of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica continue strong with a singular demand: defrock Archbishop Anthony Apuron. According to Laity Forward Movement’s Lou Klitzkie, protestors are now multi-generational, seeing as grandmothers are joined by their children and their grandchildren. Although there’s been limited information released on the ongoing canonical trial for Apuron, who allegedly sexually molested altar boys decades ago in Guam, protestors remain hopeful the Vatican is listening. Apuron was spotted in Fairfield, California last month. He also faces lawsuits at the federal court for allegations of child molestation.

Posted on February 13, 2017 7:45 AM

The Catholic wrap-up at the Royal Commission
AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

Frank Brennan | 12 February 2017

Last Monday, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse commenced its three-week examination of the causes of child sexual abuse and cover up in the Catholic Church in Australia over the last 60 years. The statistics were horrifying.

Every case represented a person who claims as a child to have been abused by a person of authority in a Catholic institution — whether it be a school, a parish, an orphanage or a children’s home.

Whichever way the statistics are interpreted in comparison with other institutions, they are appalling. The Catholic Church harboured child abusers in the past, and in numbers which now shock Australians, whether they be Catholic or not.

We need to hold the victims clearly in focus, not as statistics or as hard cases, but as individuals, erstwhile vulnerable members of the church community, citizens able to walk tall again because they have been heard, believed and affirmed. Francis Sullivan got it right when speaking for the Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council. With great compassion and insight, he told the commissioners:

‘We are advised that the data does not distinguish those claims that were substantiated from those that were accepted without investigation. In an ideal world, the data would distinguish between the number of allegations where offenders made admissions, or were convicted, and those where an investigation substantiated the complaint.

Posted on February 13, 2017 7:43 AM

17th person says he was a victim of abuse at the hands of clergy
GUAM
KUAM

[with video]

Updated: Feb 13, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Another former Guam priest stands accused of child molestation. Former bishop of the Northern Mariana Islands Tomas A. Camacho is the latest clergyman named in a lawsuit against the Church.

Much like the others, Melvin Duenas was an altar boy when he allegedly fell victim to child molestation by the hands of church clergy. Today, 55 years old, he marks the 17th victim to file suit against the Church. According to court filings, Duenas was the chief of altar boys at St. Joseph Parish in Inajaran. His duties – which included ringing the church bell multiple times a day in addition to serving at mass daily and three times on Sundays – he was asked to live in the guest room at the St. Joseph Rectory. The priest at the time was Tomas A. Camacho, now retired Bishop of the Diocese of Chalan Kanao in the NMI.

The complaint alleges that between 1971 to 1974, when Duenas was 10 to 13 years old, he was sexually molested and raped by Camacho on a nightly basis. According to Duenas, he wouldn’t be allowed back to his room until the priest was satisfied. Despite efforts to resist the sexual abuse and prevent Camacho from penetrating him, Duenas reports he was not able to free himself, and ultimately ran away from the rectory to escape the abuse.

Duenas also names Father Louis Brouillard of molestation. Court documents state Duenas on occasion served mass at the San Isidro Catholic Church of Malojloj. Much like other accusations against Brouillard, Duenas reports the priest would walk around naked, not only in the Convent in front of the boys, but under his robe while saying mass. Duenas was not alone in the abuse, as the complaint states other boys were subject to masturbating and performing oral sex on the priest who also served as the Scout Master for the Boy Scouts of America. Last year, Brouillard admitted in a phone interview with KUAM to molesting young boys while on Guam. Today, he lives in Minnesota and although he’s been removed as a priest, the Archdiocese of Agana confirms he still receives a $300 monthly stipend.

Posted on February 13, 2017 7:38 AM

Anglican Bishop acts over report into sexual abuse claims
AUSTRALIA
Mercury

DUNCAN ABEY, Mercury
February 13, 2017

THE Anglican Bishop of Tasmania has launched an investigation into the response of former church leader Bishop Philip Newell to complaints of sexual abuse by clergy.

The inquiry comes in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s report on the Church of England Boys’ Society operations in Tasmania.

The report, released on Monday, detailed systematic issues in the operation of the Church of England Boys’ Society in the 1970s and ’80s in Tasmania — as well as in Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney — and followed days of public hearings in Hobart early last year.

The report found abuse often occurred on camps and sailing trips and senior Church of England Boys’ Society organisers were left to operate autonomously within the organisation, which was attended by boys aged between six and 16.

The report criticised Bishop Newell for failing to adequately deal with multiple complaints of sexual abuse from young Church of England Boys’ Society members against priest Louis Daniels, who was eventually defrocked and jailed for his crimes.

Posted on February 13, 2017 7:33 AM

Australia’s Grim Toll in the Church’s Sex Abuse Scandal
UNITED STATES
New York Times

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD

FEB. 13, 2017

The global scale of the Catholic clergy’s sexual abuse scandal becomes harder for the Vatican to deny with each shocking national inquiry. The latest, from Australian government investigators, found that from 1980 to 2015 there were 4,444 victims of abuse and at least 1,880 suspected to be abusers, most of them priests and religious brothers.

Through this period, the haunting subtext is the culpability of bishops who did nothing about the crimes. The abused children were ignored or punished while priests who raped children were protected by supervisors.

“Secrecy prevailed as did cover-ups,” said Gail Furness, senior counsel to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The inquiry, which began six years ago, has been meticulous, with hearings investigating 116 institutions, including government agencies responsible for children’s welfare.

The findings show harrowing patterns of abuse. Forty percent of religious brothers from the order of St. John of God were accused of sexually assaulting their wards in residences where some of the most vulnerable youngsters were housed. Of all the chilling statistics, one stands out: 33 years is the average time it took for victims to overcome decades of personal despair and go to authorities with complaints. And many might never have filed complaints but for the emergence of other victims as the scandal grew churchwide in the wake of news media investigations.

Posted on February 13, 2017 7:20 AM

Senior Church figure disciplined following child sex abuse royal commission findings
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Georgie Burgess

Tasmania’s Anglican Bishop has taken disciplinary action against a senior church figure following the release of the child sex abuse royal commission’s findings.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse held hearings in Hobart last year to examine responses to allegations within the Church of England Boy’s Society (CEBS) and Anglican Diocese, including in Tasmania.

The report confirmed that there were networks of sexual perpetrators at the Boy’s Society who had knowledge of each other’s sexual offending, and in some instances facilitated the sexual abuse of children.

“Historically, allegations of child sexual abuse weren’t reported to the police either at all or in a timely way,” it said.

“The report concluded that most CEBS branches could operate in an autonomous and unregulated way and that the abuse often occurred on camps, sailing and fishing trips as well as overnight stays at rectories and private residences.”

Posted on February 13, 2017 7:19 AM

Priory Church Choir conductor David Everett from Bournemouth jailed for sexually abusing teenage boy
UNITED KINGDOM
Blackmore Vale Magazine

David Jonathan Everett, 57, of Hankinson Road, Bournemouth was jailed for six year and eight months at Bournemouth Crown Court on Thursday 26 January after pleading guilty at the same court on Tuesday 3 January to six counts of indecent assault on a boy aged under 16.

The court heard that Everett was a member and conductor of the Priory Church Choir in Christchurch and met his victim via his connections with the church.

The incidents occurred in the Christchurch area in the early 2000s.

Detective Constable Adrian Stocker, of Dorset Police’s Child Abuse Investigation Team, said: “David Everett abused the position he held in the church to take advantage of his victim.
Posted on February 13, 2017 7:15 AM

A report has slammed the actions of Anglican Church leaders Ian George and Brian Smith over child abuser Robert Brandenburg
AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

Nigel Hunt, The Advertiser
February 13, 2017

FORMER Anglican archbishop Ian George was more concerned with legal liability facing the church than providing care to the victims of notorious paedophile Robert Brandenburg, a report found.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse report also reveals a public statement Dr George issued in 2003 concerning his awareness of Brandenburg’s abuse was “misleading.’’

It found he was aware of allegations surrounding Brandenburg up to a decade earlier, after he was advised Brandenburg had been caught in a spa with a 10-year old boy.

The damning findings also state Dr George “bore the primary responsibility’’ for the Adelaide Diocese’s poor handling of the abuse allegations.

Posted on February 13, 2017 7:12 AM

Eileen Piper tells Neil Mitchell she’ll continue to fight for an apology from the Catholic church
AUSTRALIA
3AW

Eileen Piper refuses to give up.

The 92-year-old continues to fight for an apology from the Catholic church after her daughter Stephanie committed suicide in 1994.

Stephanie was a victim of repeated sexual abuse at the hands of a priest.

But Eileen has never received an acknowledgement from the church that it happened, let alone an apology.

So she became the oldest person to start an online petition.

Ms Piper told Neil Mitchell she wanted an apology before she died.

Posted on February 13, 2017 7:10 AM

Increase in overseas priests in Australia
AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

Megan Neil, Australian Associated Press
February 12, 2017

The Catholic Church has not done enough to ensure the increasing number of overseas priests coming to Australia will not present a risk to children, the child sex abuse royal commission has heard.

Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald said the Catholic Church in some countries was in denial about the problem of child sexual abuse by priests and other religious.

“It’s not helpful for the church in many countries to deny or to assert that the child sexual abuse issues are that of the white western world or some European countries,” Mr Fitzgerald said on Monday.

“Isn’t that a fundamental problem in the church itself, that whilst there’s been an acknowledgement that in many countries such as America, Australia and Ireland and some of the Europeans, the church is largely in denial in many of the countries from which these priests, nuns and brothers are coming?”

Posted on February 13, 2017 7:08 AM

A ‘network of sexual perpetrators’ operated in Anglican church youth group, royal commission finds
AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Rachel Browne

A “network of sexual perpetrators” used an Anglican church youth group to prey on young boys over a period of decades from the 1970s to the 1990s with church leaders failing to report allegations, a royal commission has found.

In a scathing assessment of Anglican authorities, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found leaders, including former Brisbane archbishop and governor-general Peter Hollingworth, failed to protect children.

The report into Anglican youth group, the Church of England Boys’ Society, and the Dioceses of Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Tasmania, comes a year after a public inquiry heard harrowing accounts of abuse by clergy and lay people.

The commissioners found the Church of England Boys’ Society (CEBS), which still operates in parts of Australia under the name the Anglican Boys’ Society and Boys’ Ministry Australia, provided a number of paedophiles with easy access to children between the 1970s and 1990s.
Posted on February 13, 2017 7:06 AM

Retired Saipan bishop accused of sex abuse in Guam
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

By Mindy Aguon | For the Post Feb 13, 2017

A retired bishop of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is accused of sexually abusing an altar boy for at least three years until the victim ran away.

Melvin Duenas, a Yona resident, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Guam this afternoon against the Archbishop of Agana, retired Bishop Emeritus Tomas Aguon Camacho, and Louis Brouillard, a former priest who worked at parishes and schools on Guam.

Camacho was a member of the clergy of the Agana Archdiocese who became a priest in June 1961 and ordained a bishop in January 1985. He served as bishop until he retired in April 2010 and currently serves as bishop emeritus for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chalan Kanoa in Saipan, the main island of the CNMI.

In the complaint, which seeks a minimum of $5 million in damages, Duenas alleges he was repeatedly sexually molested and raped by Camacho. At the time, Camacho was the priest for the Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Inarajan.

Posted on February 13, 2017 7:05 AM

Judge gives archdiocese time to reply in abuse cases
GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , [email protected]

Feb. 13, 2017

U.S. District Court of Guam Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan on Friday granted a request by the Archdiocese of Agana for more time, or up to March 10, 2017, to respond to the 16 clergy abuse cases filed in federal court.

Gov. Eddie B. Calvo on Sept. 23, 2016, signed a bill into law, eliminating the statute of limitations on lawsuits against those who accused of abusing children, as well as the institutions that supported them.

That law paved the way for 16 former altar boys to sue the church and priests over alleged clergy sexual abuse from decades ago. Each lawsuit demands a jury trial and a minimum of $5 million in damages, for a combined total of $80 million, plus attorney’s fees and other costs.

The lawsuits originally were filed in the Superior Court of Guam, but were refiled in federal court after most Superior Court judges recused themselves, citing conflicts of interest.

Posted on February 13, 2017 7:02 AM

Retired Saipan Bishop Tomas Camacho named in latest sex abuse lawsuit
GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Bishop Emeritus Tomas Camacho was ordained bishop in 1985 and retired in 2010.

Guam – Archbishop Anthony Apuron isn’t the only bishop facing allegations of sexual abuse.

Another survivor has come forward saying he was repeatedly raped by Tomas Camacho, the Bishop Emeritus for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chalan Kanoa in the Northern Mariana Islands.

The latest accuser is 55-year-old Melvin Duenas who served as an altar boy at the St. Joseph church in Inarajan between 1968 to 1974.

Duenas said the sexual abuse began when he was 10 years old and lasted for about three years.
Posted on February 13, 2017 7:00 AM

Man alleges Saipan’s bishop emeritus raped him
GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , [email protected] Feb. 13, 2017

Tomas A. Camacho, Saipan’s bishop emeritus, has been accused of raping and sexually abusing a former altar boy on Guam from about 1971 to 1974. The accusations are part of the 17th clergy sex abuse case filed in Guam’s federal court since January.

In the complaint, Melvin Duenas, now a 55-year-old resident of Yona, said former Guam priest Louis Brouillard also abused him. Brouillard publicly admitted in 2016 that he sexually abused more than 20 altar boys when he was on Guam, his home from the late 1940s to 1981.

Camacho was bishop of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa from 1984 until his retirement in April 2010 at the age of 76. He has since served as bishop emeritus.

Duenas filed a lawsuit on Monday in the U.S. District of Guam, alleging Camacho sexually abused and raped him multiple times from approximately 1971 to 1974, when Camacho was priest at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Inarajan.

Posted on February 13, 2017 6:58 AM

February 12, 2017
Falsely accused of child sex abuse: ordeal of innocent priests
IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

In his victim impact statement to the courts in Dublin a priest, falsely accused of raping a child, said he would have preferred to have been shot through the head than go through what he had since the allegation was made.

He had to stand down from public ministry, leave the presbytery where he had lived for years, and deal with rumour, and rumours of rumour.

The priest, who was not named in court proceedings but who was, and remains, deeply respected in the archdiocese, made his impact statement at the trial of his accuser who was jailed for four years in 2007, reduced on appeal to three years.

In June 2003, Paul Anderson made a statement to gardaí at Kevin Street in Dublin, falsely accusing the priest of indecent assault and buggery between February and May 1981 while being prepared for First Communion.

Posted on February 12, 2017 10:45 PM

‘Network Of Child Abusers’ In Church Group Preyed On Boys During Camping Trips
AUSTRALIA
Huffington Post

Eoin Blackwell Senior Associate Editor, HuffPost Australia

An Anglican Church-founded youth group was used by a “network of sexual perpetrators” who knew of each other’s offending while they abused children for more than a decade, a new report says.

The Child Sex Abuse Royal Commission report found the Church of England’s Boys’ Society’s (CEBS) only formal response to the sex abuse was to strip awards given to certain offenders, while the body’s national council decided against an apology in 2009.

The report also found a culture developed in the CEBS — a Scout-like activity group — in which perpetrators had easy access and opportunities to sexually abuse boys in their care.

The abuse often occurred on youth camps, sailing and fishing trips and overnight stays organised by the CEBS, which the Commission found was was left to operate autonomously by the Anglican Church in the 1970s and 1980s.

Posted on February 12, 2017 10:43 PM

Increase in overseas priests in Australia
AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

The Catholic Church has not done enough to ensure the increasing number of overseas priests coming to Australia will not present a risk to children, the child sex abuse royal commission has heard.

Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald said the Catholic Church in some countries was in denial about the problem of child sexual abuse by priests and other religious.

“It’s not helpful for the church in many countries to deny or to assert that the child sexual abuse issues are that of the white western world or some European countries,” Mr Fitzgerald said on Monday.

“Isn’t that a fundamental problem in the church itself, that whilst there’s been an acknowledgement that in many countries such as America, Australia and Ireland and some of the Europeans, the church is largely in denial in many of the countries from which these priests, nuns and brothers are coming?”
Posted on February 12, 2017 10:42 PM

Failures in past priest training: inquiry
AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

The Catholic Church in Australia accepts there have been deep failures in its past approach to the seminary life of priests, the child sex abuse royal commission has heard.

Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald on Monday asked if the church recognised there were deep failures in the seminary approaches of the past and that seminary life was unhealthy in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.

Archdiocese of Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Randazzo replied: “I think there is an acknowledgement that there were aspects of the formation in the past that were not as good as they could have been and that they did contribute to the shortcomings within this area that we’re talking about.”
Posted on February 12, 2017 8:11 PM

Royal commission hearings show Catholic Church faces a massive reform task
AUSTRALIA
The Conversation

Kathleen McPhillips
Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Science, University of Newcastle

The final hearing of the Catholic Church at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse opened on February 6.

The three-week hearing is investigating the church’s response to the crisis of child sexual abuse by clerics over a 60-year period, and particularly the church’s plans for child protection protocols and institutional change. The hearing (Case Study 50) is streamed live from the commission’s website. Members of the public are welcome to attend at any time.

The structure of the hearing is comprised of panels of experts who will report on the main issues raised throughout the 15 public hearings that the Catholic Church has been the subject of over the past four years. The panels are divided into topics that reflect the major concerns the commission has identified with church culture and practice. These include church governance, culture, clericalism, discipline and secrecy, the practice of confession, formation programs for clerics, Catholic education, child safety and risk management, complaint handling, professional standards, professional support and responses from the church leadership.

It is a long hearing, reflecting that the Catholic Church is the worst offender before the royal commission. It is also possibly the most complex in terms of managing change.

Prior to the hearing, a number of church leaders, including Archbishop Mark Coleridge from Brisbane and Archbishop Anthony Fisher from Sydney, warned Catholic communities that the evidence and data emerging from the hearing would be “grim”.

Posted on February 12, 2017 8:09 PM

Youth group had network of sexual abusers
AUSTRALIA
7 News

AAP on February 13, 2017

A youth group set up by the Anglican Church had a network of sexual perpetrators who knew of each other’s offending and facilitated the abuse of boys, a report has found.

The abuse often occurred on camps, sailing and fishing trips and overnight stays as The Church of England Boys’ Society was left to operate autonomously in the 1970s and 1980s.

Posted on February 12, 2017 8:08 PM

Report released into Church of England Boys’ Society and the Anglican Dioceses of Tasmania, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney
AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

13 February, 2017

The Royal Commission’s report of Case Study 36 – The response of the Church of England Boys’ Society and the Anglican Dioceses of Tasmania, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney to allegations of child sexual abuse – was released today.

This report follows public hearings held in Hobart, Tasmania in January and February 2016 that investigated the responses of the Church of England Boys’ Society (CEBS) and the Anglican Dioceses to allegations of child sexual abuse made against lay people and clergy associated with CEBS in the 1970s and 1980s.

In particular, the Royal Commission examined the experiences of survivors of child sexual abuse perpetrated by convicted pedophiles Louis Daniels, Garth Hawkins, Simon Jacobs and John Elliot and alleged pedophile, Robert Brandenburg.

CEBS, which has now changed its name in some jurisdictions to the Anglican Boys’ Society and Boys’ Ministry Australia, was a youth group set up by the Anglican Church for boys between six and 16 years and had various branches within numerous dioceses of the church.

A network of sexual perpetrators
The report concluded that most CEBS branches could operate in an autonomous and unregulated way and that the abuse often occurred on camps, sailing and fishing trips as well as overnight stays at rectories and private residences.

As a result a culture developed in which perpetrators had easy access to boys and opportunities to sexually abuse those boys.

There were networks of sexual perpetrators at CEBS who had knowledge of each other’s sexual offending against boys and in some instances facilitated the sexual abuse of children, the report found.

Posted on February 12, 2017 7:11 PM

Investigators on their way to Guam, says Catholic Church
GUAM
Radio New Zealand

The Catholic Church on Guam says a group of investigators will soon arrive as part of the canonical trial of the island’s archbishop.

The Archbishop, Anthony Apuron, is facing a Vatican trial after several former altar boys accused him of sexual assault in the 1970s, when he was a parish priest.

The Pacific Daily News reported Archbishop Michael Byrnes – who will replace Archbishop Apuron when he retires, resigns or is removed – also announced tougher policies against sexual abuse.

They include background checks for anyone working around children; requierd reporting to civil authorities any allegation involving minors; and suspension of clergy if an accusation is deemed credible.

Posted on February 12, 2017 6:21 PM

Abuse inquiry looks at priest training
AUSTRALIA
Sky News

The Catholic Church in Australia is moving to set up national standards to ensure priests are properly trained about child protection issues and receive ongoing personal and professional development.

The child sex abuse royal commission has heard the training many priests and religious brothers received historically was inadequate to prepare them for their vocation, and that they should have ongoing formation and supervision.

The church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council says it is important for all priests and religious to participate in ongoing formation and continuous professional development, and be provided with ready access to appropriate support and supervision throughout their time in ministry.

‘This is not presently as readily available, or utilised, as it should be,’ the TJHC said in a submission to the royal commission.
Posted on February 12, 2017 6:19 PM

Catholics picket for 30th week
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Chris Wong | Post News Staff

Members of the Concerned Catholics Of Guam marked their 30th week of protest in front of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagåtña yesterday, a humid Sunday morning.

A younger voice at the protest, Father Duenas Memorial School student Jude Concepcion, 15, came out to support his grandfather who was picketing for the permanent removal of Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

“I don’t really know much about it,” Concepcion said, referring to the details over the controversy that has surrounded Apuron’s departure amid sex abuse allegations.

When asked if this issue comes up in school among his friends, he said, “People my age … not really, they don’t really think about it,” he said. “A lot of us know a lot about what happened, but we don’t really care to support it. We talk about it, but we don’t really do anything about it.”

Posted on February 12, 2017 2:46 PM

PARLA LO PSICOLOGO: “I PEDOFILI NON GUARISCONO.”
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

[A psychologist says pedophiles cannot be healed.]

ALESSANDRO CALDERONI

Lo afferma lo psicologo che cura, fra gli altri, anche i preti che abusano di minorenni. Per questo, spiega, non è prudente lasciarli al loro incarico. A mezzo chilometro dalla Basilica di San Pietro, in Vaticano, lavora un professionista che conosce i più cupi segreti di alcuni membri del clero. Non è un confessore ma un clinico. Poco meno di sesant’anni, origini pugliesi, uomo di scienza prima che uomo di fede, Aureliano Pacciolla insegna psicologia della personalità alla Lumsa ed è psicoterapeuta orientato verso l’ipnosi e il cognitivismo. Dirige la collana Psicologia e interdisciplinarità dell’editore Laurus Robuffo ed è consulente tecnico del tribunale di Roma e della Sacra rota. Il suo campo d’azione specifico riguarda l’abuso sessuale: in particolare l’abuso su minorenni e la pedofilia.

In qualità di terapeuta tenta il recupero di pazienti che si sono macchiati di questi reati anche all’interno del clero. In veste di studioso e ricercatore, è chiamato a tenere corsi di aggiornamento per superiori del clero, su questi temi. «Il primo caso di cui mi sono occupato riguardava un laico e mi ha insegnato che riconoscere un pedofilo non è cosa semplice, anche se sei un esperto» spiega Pacciolla.

Posted on February 12, 2017 12:37 PM

Russia Decriminalized Domestic Violence With Support from the Russian Orthodox Church
RUSSIA
Slate

By Christina Cauterucci

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law on Tuesday an amendment that decriminalizes domestic violence, making physical abuse of a spouse, child, or elder parent punishable by a monetary fine rather than time in prison. Both houses of Russian parliament approved the measure handily—the first reading of the amendment in the lower house passed 386 to one.

Under the new law, a person can beat his spouse or child until she’s bloodied and bruised, and as long as her injuries don’t require a hospital stay, he’ll get hit with a fine if his victim presses charges. The most jail time he’ll serve will be 15 days. Previously, domestic abusers faced a maximum of two years in prison. The amendment offers domestic abusers this easy out as long as they don’t commit more than one severe beating a year. …

The Russian Orthodox Church has also pushed for looser restrictions on domestic abusers, claiming that the state should not interfere in family matters and that calls to make domestic violence a crime are informed by Western influences that want to impose liberal values on Russia.

Domestic violence is widely recognized as an epidemic in Russia, where each month, more than 600 women are killed in their own homes. In 2013, Russian officials reported that 600,000 women reported being physically or verbally abused at home; that year, 14,000 died from injuries inflicted by an intimate partner.

Posted on February 12, 2017 10:15 AM

Jerusalem rabbinical court dismisses husband’s violence as grounds for divorce
ISRAEL
JTA

February 10, 2017

(JTA) – An Israeli woman who was denied a divorce by a rabbinic court on the grounds of documented domestic violence has appealed to the state’s attorney general.

The woman’s lawyers made the unusual appeal Thursday following the Jerusalem Rabbinic Court’s rejection of her divorce motion. Her husband had been convicted and imprisoned for 75 days for assaulting his wife last year.

In Israel, religious tribunals function as family courts. According to Orthodox Jewish law, divorce is only possible if the husband consents to it. Rabbinical judges in most cases cannot force husbands to give their wives a divorce, though they can impose punishments – including imprisonment and dispossession – on those deemed to be abusing their wives but not granting them a divorce. Such women are called agunot in Hebrew, meaning chained.

Posted on February 12, 2017 10:13 AM

The church wants me to die, but I am not done yet
AUSTRALIA
The Australian

EILEEN PIPER
The Australian
February 13, 2017

Don’t be fooled by the Catholic Church’s supposed grief and regret at the royal commission into child abuse as the archbishops give evidence. Don’t be fooled by their crocodile tears or their so-called quest to heal. These manufactured gestures mean nothing. I know, because the church continues to refuse to have anything to do with me, the elderly mother of one of the horrifically abused victims.

The year before my daughter Stephanie killed herself, she told me that she’d been repeatedly ­sexually abused as a teenager by a Catholic priest.

The Catholic Church did everything in its power to silence and deny this abuse.

Then, a few days after her ­suicide, a member of the church turned to me and said: “Don’t worry. God will forgive her.” I threw him out of my house and turned my back on my faith.

I’m now 92 and I have one mission I’m determined to fulfil before my time is up: I want a proper, personal apology from Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart and Pallottine leader Father Eugene San.

Posted on February 12, 2017 9:12 AM

Daughter sought ‘peace’ after a priest’s alleged abuse
AUSTRALIA
The Australian

February 13, 2017

SIMONE FOX KOOB
JournalistSydney
@SimoneFoxKoob

Eileen Piper’s faith in the Catholic Church died when her daughter did.

It was January 19, 1994, when the mother of two found a note left by her only daughter, Stephanie­, in her bedroom at the family’s Melbourne home.

“A blaze of glory streams from heaven’s gates,” it read. “The prize: eternal life. A dream no more, for God himself has opened his holy sacred doors to a peaceful place.”

After years of sexual abuse as a teenager at the hands of disgraced Pallottine priest Father Gerard Mulvale, Stephanie had been unable­ to recover and ended her life just after she turned 32.

Mulvale has previously said he “did not know” about the abuse.

Twenty-three years later, Stephanie’s 92-year-old mother is still battling with the institution that refused to acknowledge the systematic abuse of her daughter.

Posted on February 12, 2017 9:10 AM

George Pell declines to speak about police investigation into sexual abuse allegations
VATICAN CITY
Herald Sun

Ellen Whinnett in Rome, News Corp Australia Network
February 12, 2017

CARDINAL George Pell has declined to discuss the progress of a police investigation into allegations of sexual abuse made against him.

News Corp Australia spoke to Cardinal Pell outside his home on the edge of St Peter’s Square at the Vatican in Rome.

He declined to comment, and another priest who spoke on his behalf said the Cardinal had considered his position and decided it was inappropriate to make public comments from Rome while the royal commission into the Catholic Church’s response to clergy abuse was continuing in Australia.

The priest, from Ireland, also gave News Corp Australia a copy of a statement issued by the Australian Council for Civil Liberties, which had condemned a Greens motion passed through the Senate last week calling for Cardinal Pell to return to Australia to face the royal commission.

Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal Pell was appointed by Pope Francis in 2014 to the role of Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, where he oversees the Vatican’s vast finances.

Posted on February 12, 2017 7:53 AM

El escándalo del Sodalicio: los casos de abuso sexual que conmueven a Perú y el Vaticano niega
PERU/CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
Infobae

La Santa Sede decidió enviar a Luis Fernando Figari a un lugar de penitencia “para que pueda enclaustrarse y rezar por su alma”. Cuáles son las graves acusaciones en su contra y por qué habían prescripto en su país

Perú está comovido por la tibia respuesta del Vaticano ante las graves acusaciones de abuso sexual contra el fundador del Sodalicio de Vida Cristiana (SCV), Luis Fernando Figari.

Se esperaba una condena ejemplar de la Santa Sede, sin embargo la institución sólo se limitó a dar unas indicaciones para que el acusado pueda “enclaustrarse”.

Posted on February 12, 2017 7:19 AM

Vatican bars Sodalit founder from contact with members
VATICAN CITY
Crux

Catholic News Agency February 11, 2017

VATICAN CITY – A newly released decree from the Vatican’s congregation for religious life states that the founder of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, Luis Fernando Figari, may not have contact with members of the community.

A Jan. 30 decree of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life addressed to the superior general of the Sodalitium, Alessandro Moroni Llabres, directs him to order that Figari be “prohibited from contacting, in any way, persons belonging to the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, and no way have any direct personal contact with them.”

The Sodalitium Christianae Vitae is a society of apostolic life which was founded in 1971 in Peru, and granted pontifical recognition in 1997. CNA’s executive director, Alejandro Bermúdez, and its global director of operations, Ryan Thomas, are both members of the community.

The decree, obtained by CNA Feb. 10, is a fruit of an apostolic visitation made by Bishop Fortunato Pablo Urcey, Prelate of Chota, who was charged with investigating allegations of sexual and psychological abuse committed by Figari. The dicastery had first received accusations against Figari in 2011.
Posted on February 12, 2017 7:16 AM

Anglican church tipped to reveal WA abuse allegations
AUSTRALIA
PerthNow

Peter Law & Kate Campbell, PerthNow
February 12, 2017

THE extent of alleged child sex abuse in the Anglican church in WA will finally be laid bare this week.

A report detailing all child sex abuse complaints received by dioceses across Australia between 1980 and 2015 is expected to be made public by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Perth diocesan secretary Brian Dixon said its response to the Anglican Data Project was provided to the royal commission “on a confidential basis”.

But Anglican Church of Australia general secretary Anne Hywood said the findings were likely to be published on Friday, the first day of the public hearing into Anglican authorities.

The Sunday Times has revealed numerous allegations of sex abuse suffered by boys at an Anglican Church run orphanage in Middle Swan in the 1940s and 1950s, and reported how paedophilia was expected to cost the diocese $1 million in legal fees and settlements over three years.

But the church’s Perth diocese has refused to say how many complaints it had received, how many allegations were reported to police or how many victims had received compensation.

Posted on February 12, 2017 7:14 AM

Ex-headteacher gets 18 years for sexual abuse of boys
UNITED KINGDOM
Thisis Lancashire

A FORMER headmaster from Burnley, convicted of sexually abusing boys at a residential school in Yorkshire, has been jailed for 18 years.

Roy Leonard Allen, 72, is beginning the prison term after vulnerable youngsters at Thorp Arch Grange, near Wetherby, were targeted in the 70s and 80s.

Allen, now of Moseley Road, was convicted of nine charges of indecent assault, two serious sexual assaults and one attempted serious sexual assault after a trial at Leeds Crown Court. He was cleared of two further indecent assaults.

Prosecutors told jurors Allen was director of education and later headmaster at Thorp Arch, where there was a culture of bullying so young boys, many who had ended up there through court or care proceedings.

Roy Lovatt, 71, from Redcar, a housemaster at Thorp Grange, was convicted of four indecent assaults and five serious sexual assaults at the trial. He had confessed earlier to 23 indecent assault offences and two gross indecency charges.

He went on to become an ordained Catholic priest and was jailed for 28 years by Judge Neil Clark.

Posted on February 12, 2017 7:11 AM

February 11, 2017
Bozell & Graham Column: Tables of Transparency Turn on the Litigious Left
UNITED STATES
NewsBusters

By Brent Bozell and Tim Graham | February 11, 2017

When Pope Francis visited America in 2015, one topic that seemed mandatory to address was the old scandal over priests found guilty of the sexual abuse of children. Despite more than a decade of reforms and a more liberal-pleasing pontiff, some activists never stopped bashing the Catholic hierarchy.

The group called SNAP – the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests – disparaged Francis meeting with victims as an empty public-relations gesture, a dodge. On CNN, SNAP spokesman Manny Vega demanded that if the pope “wants to put an end to this, he has to be completely transparent, allow the names to go unredacted, allow the files — allow researchers to get into the Vatican files and take a look at everything that’s happened. There has to be complete disclosure. That hasn’t happened yet.”

But CNN and the other television networks haven’t touched the amazing story of the shoe going on the other foot in the last few weeks. Suddenly, SNAP is falling apart after a lawsuit alleging they were funded largely by kickbacks for contingency-fee attorneys extracting billions of dollars in settlements.
Posted on February 11, 2017 11:58 AM

Catholic Church sexual abuse scandals: Sydney Archbishop tells of legacy of shame and disgust
AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

JORDAN BAKER, The Sunday Telegraph
February 11, 2017

ASHAMED. Humiliated. A kick in the guts. They’re some of the words Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher used to describe his reaction, and the ­reaction of many clergy, to new figures on the extent of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

In a frank interview that shows a marked departure from his predecessor Cardinal George Pell’s aloof approach, Archbishop Fisher admitted that he and other clergy felt ­contaminated, betrayed and demoralised by the paedophiles in the church.

He understood why Australians felt so angry.

“I felt — probably this will be pretty universal among the bishops and the clergy — quite winded,” ­Archbishop Fisher said.

“We knew (the report) would be bad, but it’s humiliating, it’s harrowing,” Archbishop Fisher said.

“We all feel that the priesthood has been demeaned, that people’s trust has been broken, that confidence in us is understandably shaken.

“It really has hurt me and it has hurt a lot of priests and bishops, but that’s tiny compared with how it’s hurt the survivors.”

Posted on February 11, 2017 11:55 AM

Ken Starr on shortlist to head Office of International Religious Freedom
UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

By Emily McFarlan Miller

(RNS) President Trump is reportedly considering naming former Baylor University President Ken Starr to head the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom.

The ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom monitors religious persecution and discrimination worldwide and develops programs to promote religious freedom, according to the State Department website.

The reports about possible picks for the position come a week after more than 700 religious leaders, scholars and human rights advocates signed a letter to President Trump, coordinated by the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, that urges him to name an ambassador-at-large in the first 100 days of his presidency. …

Starr is best known for his work investigating President Bill Clinton’s extramarital relationship with Monica Lewinsky that led to Clinton’s impeachment. The Baylor Board of Regents removed Starr as president last year after an investigation into his mishandling of reports of sexual assault at the private Baptist university in Waco, Texas. He and the university later announced a mutual separation.

Posted on February 11, 2017 10:50 AM

Kinderporno-Ermittlungen dürften länger dauern
DEUTSCHLAND
Westfalische Nachrichten

[Frankfurt / Limburg (dpa) – The investigation into child pornography in the Diocese of Limburg is likely to take some time and rapid results are not to be expected, said the spokesman of the Frankfurt general public prosecutor, Alexander Badle.]

Von dpa

Frankfurt /Limburg (dpa) – Die Ermittlungen im Kinderporno-Verdachtsfall im Bistum Limburg dürften längere Zeit in Anspruch nehmen. Mit schnellen Ergebnissen sei nicht zu rechnen, sagte der Sprecher der Frankfurter Generalstaatsanwaltschaft , Alexander Badle .

Posted on February 11, 2017 8:11 AM

Clean up your act over abuse
AUSTRALIA
Noosa News

Opinion

ALTHOUGH not yet finished, the Royal Commission into Institutionalised Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has produced some shocking revelations and, as Scott Sawyer says, they are truly horrific (Daily, February 8).

The Federal Government has announced about $800 million in compensation.

Scott quite rightly asks: why shouldn’t the Catholic Church be totally responsible for compensation for all their abuse victims, especially as he reports that it has been estimated that “the Catholic Church’s tax exemptions at somewhere in the order of $16 billion annually in Australia”.

The Catholic Church, the Salvation Army and all the other institutions that turned a blind eye to the abuse by the evil perpetrators within their ranks should be totally responsible for their unjust treatment of the victims and their families and pay up. Due to the heart-rending suffering and loss of victims, their families and friends, as a nation we have lost productive and valued members of our community.

We have been paying support to many of them through social services and health services.

Posted on February 11, 2017 7:17 AM

Abuse survivor wants to keep accused rapist in jail
NEW HAMPSHIRE
WLBZ

[with video]

Dustin Wlodkowski, WCSH February 11, 2017

SEABROOK, New Hampshire (NEWS CENTER) –

A former Catholic priest and convicted sex offender is now facing 29 new counts of sexual misconduct here in Maine.

Ronald Paquin appeared in court Friday morning in Massachusetts, charged with being a fugitive from justice.

Officials expect he will be brought to Maine soon.

One of the accusers, Keith Townsend of Seabrook, New Hampshire, told NEWS CENTER’S Dustin Wlodkowski his story.

“It’s difficult, it’s difficult because you’re never going to get it out of your mind,” said Townsend.
Posted on February 11, 2017 7:11 AM

As a Catholic I feel a duty to comment on what has come out of the proceedings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. MICK MCGLONE
AUSTRALIA
Border Mail

Mick McGlone
11 Feb 2017

AN opinion columnist should always be grateful for the opportunities the role provides. But it is not all beer and skittles, let me assure you.

There have been times I have sat in front of the computer wondering what I was going to write about. At other times there have been so many topics available. This week it is the latter.

There was the excellent Cork and Fork event at Noreuil Park last Friday, the disgraceful behaviour of Senator Cory Bernardi, the death of the great man Eric Turner and a commentary on the many people who do so much for the community and other topics.

But as a Catholic I feel a duty to comment on what has come out of the proceedings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.

I am not about to sink to beat my chest and plead mea culpa – because I have no reason to; it is not a question of me remaining silent while all this was happening around me. I was in complete ignorance.

I could come up with a lot of excuses for what has happened.
Posted on February 11, 2017 7:08 AM

David Everett jailed for abusing teenage boy
UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Echo

Alex Winter

A CHURCH choir conductor who sexually abused a young teenager has been jailed.

David Everett, of Hankinson Road in Bournemouth, was approaching middle age when he exploited his victim, then aged in his early teens.

The defendant was a member and conductor of the Priory Church Choir in Christchurch at the time of the abuse, which took place in the early 2000s.

At a sentencing hearing held at Bournemouth Crown Court, Judge Peter Crabtree OBE said the defendant was “trusted” by the victim’s parents.

“No doubt your offending has had an enduring and significant impact on [the victim],” Judge Crabtree told Everett.

Posted on February 11, 2017 7:06 AM

MAN ACCUSED OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING BOYS INSIDE CHURCH BATHROOM
TEXAS
ABC 13

By Kevin Quinn
Friday, February 10, 2017

SPLENDORA, TX (KTRK) — A Montgomery County man is in jail and accused of sexually assaulting at least three young boys in a church bathroom.

Juan McKinney, 21, is accused of aggravated sex assault of a child and three counts of continuous sexual abuse of a child. Investigators say the attacks occurred inside the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in Splendora between December 2012 and May 2015. Those boys were between 6 and 9 years old during that time period, according to court documents.

One of the boys told investigators they were forced to do “…gross stuff, nasty stuff….” Each told detectives how McKinney would allegedly lure them into the church bathroom with a game he called “Vampire and Wolf.” Inside a stall, they claim, McKinney would touch them and force them to inappropriately touch him. They said the attacks happened sometimes even during church prayer.

For months, the boys silently endured these sessions, only later telling investigators McKinney threatened them.

Posted on February 11, 2017 7:01 AM

Former pastor convicted again on child sex abuse
NEW YORK
WIVB

[with video]

By Dave Greber, News 4 Reporter
Published: February 10, 2017

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Convicted child molester Roy Harriger has been convicted again, this time in another state and by yet another accuser.

But for the first time, he’s admitting to years of abuse.

Harriger has now been convicted of sexually abusing children within his own family and accused of molesting children associated with his church.

Until he was jailed in April 2015, Harriger continued to preach at Community Fellowship Church in Johnson Creek.

In April 2015, members of Harriger’s family, including his son, reacted to what they and investigators described as sexual abuse of children that goes back 40 years.

Posted on February 11, 2017 6:59 AM

Defrocked priest arrested again; NH man one of his new accusers
MASSACHUSETTS
New Hampshire Union Leader

BOSTON — A defrocked priest at the center of the Boston clergy abuse scandal, and at the center of an Oscar-winning movie about it, has been arrested on 29 counts of sexual misconduct against young boys in Maine.

Ronald Paquin had served 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting a boy in Massachusetts.

Upon his release in 2015, a New Hampshire man contacted authorities in Kennebunkport, Maine, to say Paquin had sexually abused him when he was eight years old. The abuse went on for five more years according to Keith Townsend, now 42, who told Seacoast Online his story.

Paquin was held without bail Friday in Roxbury, Mass., and was scheduled to be in court next week.
Posted on February 11, 2017 6:54 AM

It’s not celibacy, but a distorted view of it, that leads to abuse
UNITED STATES
Crux

Fr. Dwight Longenecker February 10, 2017
CRUX CONTRIBUTOR

With the release of a shocking report from Australia on accusations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests, the old question is bound to arise: “Is the discipline of celibacy to blame for sexual abuse of minors?”

The complicated question is dealt with in historian Philip Jenkins’s excellent study on the problem. Published in 2001, Pedophiles and Priests looks at the problem objectively, and his basic findings on the American church can probably be applied to the Australian situation.

Jenkins summarizes his findings in this article. He acknowledges the problem, but also points out press exaggeration and popular flawed understanding of the causes and possible solutions.

Jenkins also points out how the sexual abuse crisis spurred on progressive critics of the Catholic Church. “What else can we expect from a Church that keeps its clergy in a lifelong state of sexual immaturity,” they inveighed… “that denies the spiritual gifts of women, that preserves an authoritarian system?”

Posted on February 11, 2017 6:52 AM

No bail for priest in sex-abuse case
MASSACHUSETTS
Daily News

By Jill Harmacinski [email protected] 3 hrs ago

BOSTON – Defrocked and formerly jailed ex-priest Ronald Paquin, who was assigned to parishes in Haverhill and Methuen, will be held without bail on a fugitive from justice charge until late next week.

Paquin, 74, was arrested on Wednesday in Boston after a grand jury in York County, Maine, handed down an indictment on 29 new sexual abuse and misconduct charges against him.

Friday at his arraignment in Roxbury District Court, Paquin was held without bail and waived rendition proceedings.

He will return to Roxbury District Court on Thursday, Feb. 16, when he is likely to be picked up by Maine authorities, said Jake Wark, spokesperson for Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley.

Paquin then faces arraignment in York County on the 29 new charges in Maine, which include 13 counts of gross sexual misconduct, class A, and 16 counts of gross sexual misconduct, class B.

Posted on February 11, 2017 6:49 AM

February 10, 2017
Ex-priest facing sexual misconduct charges held without bail
MASSACHUSETTS
WCVB

BOSTON —
A former Roman Catholic priest facing dozens of sexual misconduct charges in Maine has been held without bail in Boston.

Prosecutors say 74-year-old Ronald Paquin was arraigned Friday in West Roxbury Municipal Court and held as a fugitive from justice. He waived rendition proceedings and is due back in court Feb. 16, when he’ll likely be transferred to Maine authorities.

Paquin was taken into custody by Boston police and U.S. Marshals Wednesday in the city’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood.

Paquin spent more than a decade in a Massachusetts prison for raping an altar boy. He was defrocked in 2004.

Posted on February 10, 2017 7:15 PM

SNAP in the Spotlight
UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

A lawsuit filed by a former employee contends that the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is motivated by self-interest and animus to the Church, not the cause of aiding clergy-abuse victims.

Wayne Laugesen

ST. LOUIS — In the wake of a lawsuit challenging her organization’s integrity, the managing director of the embattled clergy-abuse organization said facts will exonerate her organization.

In the meantime, she said, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) will continue “standing up for victims of sexual abuse” and won’t be deterred by lawsuits.

The organization’s critics are less positive, pointing to growing suspicions SNAP is less in the service of survivor support and more in the business of feeding plaintiffs to lawyers in return for financial kickbacks.

“We are not defending the Catholic Church, but it is an incredibly horrendous matter to falsely accuse a priest of sexual abuse,” said Chicago attorney Bruce Howard, whose client is suing SNAP.

Posted on February 10, 2017 7:10 PM

A Fabrica di Roma parroco accusato di pedofilia, è allarme tra i fedeli. Ma il vescovo Rossi lo
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

[Bishop Rossi is defending a priest accused of pedophilia.]

Federica Lupino

“Avevo 7 anni, mi ha tirato per le orecchie, portato in bagno, tolto pantaloni e violentato per tre volte”. A parlare è uno degli ospiti dell’istituto Provolo di Verona dove fino agli anni ’80 alcuni preti avrebbero abusato degli ospiti, tutti bambini sordomuti. Tra gli accusati anche don Giuseppe Pernigotti, ora parroco al Parco falisco di Fabrica di Roma. Alcuni fedeli della parrocchia dei santissimi Gratiliano e Felicissima, scoperte le accuse, preoccupati hanno contattato la diocesi di Civita Castellana. Ma il vescovo Romano Rossi rassicura: “E’ una persona libera e pulita. Il popolo è tutto con lui”.

Sono 67 le vittime di abusi sessuali al Provolo che ora chiedono i danni al Vaticano dopo che ormai il reato è andato in prescrizione. A riaccendere i riflettori sul caso sono state la scorsa settimana le telecamere di Piazza Pulita, il programma de La7 condotto da Corrado Formigli. Alcuni dei prelati accusati ormai sono morti, altri sono stati allontanati da Verona. Come don Giuseppe che da una ventina di anni risiede nella curia civitonica in piazza Matteotti e dice messa nel centro residenziale di Fabrica. Avvicinato dal giornalista de La 7, si è detto estraneo ai fatti.

Posted on February 10, 2017 1:45 PM

Church watchdog to ask Govt for statutory powers over data
IRELAND
RTE News

Ireland’s Catholic Church-established watchdog on child sexual abuse is to ask the Government to give it statutory powers to allow it share information among church authorities concerning allegations against priests, religious and church workers.

Head of the watchdog Teresa Devlin announced the move at a public hearing of a Royal Commission in Australia which is reviewing institutional responses to child sexual abuse there.

She said it would involve her board using legislation adopted by the EU to assess whether sharing sensitive information about alleged abusers is more important than protecting a suspect’s privacy.

Giving testimony to the Royal Commission in Sydney earlier today, Ms Devlin – who is the chief Executive of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland – said some religious authorities in Ireland have concerns about sharing confidential information with her board because it is a non-statutory body.

The difficulties have surfaced publicly during the eight years of the board’s existence, but Ms Devlin said they are now affecting its efforts to persuade the 190 church bodies – including dioceses and orders – to agree a new memorandum of understanding with it based on revised standards of child protection which it produced in 2015.

Posted on February 10, 2017 1:43 PM

Insight into culture of dark period
AUSTRALIA
The Advocate

Melissa CunninghamMelissa Cunningham
@MeljCunningham

10 Feb 2017

A culture of secrecy, the misuse of canon law by Catholic Church hierarchy to conceal child sex crimes and the Vatican’s role in orchestrating a widespread cover-up, were at the centre of a royal commission’s hearings this week.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse’s final hearing into the Australian Catholic Church, is examining how systemic institutional factors, including structure, governance and culture prevailed over the safety of children and allowed paedophile clergy to flourish for decades.

On Monday, the extent of child sexual abuse in the Australian Catholic Church was laid bare. World first data showing between 1980 and 2015, 4,444 people alleged incidents of child sexual abuse relating to 93 Catholic Church authorities.

Almost one in ten priests in the Diocese of Ballarat had allegations of child sexual abuse levelled against them between 1950 and 2010, the inquiry heard.

Posted on February 10, 2017 1:39 PM

Fake Vatican newspaper pokes fun at Francis, but makes his point
ROME
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Feb. 10, 2017

ROME

A fake edition of the Vatican’s semi-official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano made the rounds in Rome Friday, declaring in a bolded headline that Pope Francis had (subtext: finally) responded to four cardinals who challenged him last fall with five yes or no questions about how he understands church teaching.

“He responded!” the fake paper exclaims under what looks like an exact copy of L’Osservatore’s masthead. “Francis has broken his silence on the dubia of the four cardinals.”

And the supposed answer to each question? “Sic et non.” (Latin for “Yes and no.”)

While the very Italian version of fake news appears to have been created in a mean spirit — the story below the pope’s response reports that German Cardinal Walter Kasper fell on his knees upon hearing the news –it may just end up making the pope’s point: life is more complicated than yes or no answers.

Posted on February 10, 2017 1:36 PM

Fake Vatican newspaper delivers new shot at Pope Francis
VATICAN CITY
Crux

Inés San MartínFebruary 10, 2017
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

ROME- Barely a week after Rome woke up full of anti- Pope Francis posters, anonymous critics were back at it, sending a fake version of the Vatican’s official newspaper to cardinals and officials via email, claiming that the pontiff had answered five dubia, or questions, posed to him by four conservative cardinals about his document Amoris Laetita.

“He has answered!” reads the cover of the satirical edition of L’Osservatore Romano (LOR), the Vatican’s newspaper, which carries the date of Jan. 17.

“May your speech be yes yes no no,” reads the excerpt of the cover story, in reference to Matthew’s Gospel that says “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.” (In Roman circles, Si Si No No is also familiar as the title of a small publication put out by the“St. Pius X Catholic Center for Anti-Modernist Studies,” expressing traditionalist criticism of post-Vatican II reforms.)

According to the fake LOR, Francis replied to the five yes-or-no questions put to him with both “yes” and no,” expressing his own “unequivocal previous magisterium.”

The dubia were submitted to Francis by American Cardinal Raymond Burke; Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, archbishop emeritus of Bologna; German Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, president emeritus of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences; and German Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop emeritus of Cologne.

Posted on February 10, 2017 1:33 PM

Catholic education system under a cloud after child sex abuse commission findings
AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Deborah Snow and Beau Donelly

Mark Fabbro remembers most vividly the flowering callistemon and blue sky outside the window of the small room tucked behind the priest’s office.

Everything else – the whip, the feel of his bare skin being pressed into the leather couch, the priest mumbling in Latin behind him – comes back in fractured snapshots, images rising unbidden from the deep wells of childhood memory.

“That was a mental escape for me, out the window and into nature,” Mr Fabbro says. “Apparently I was sent there again but I can’t remember what happened [the second time]. It’s like my mind shut down as I crossed the playground.”

Mr Fabbro was just 11 when he was raped by Jesuit priest John Byrne at the prestigious Xavier College in Melbourne.

Not long after, he was sent to board at St Ignatius’ College in Sydney, where another priest (who can’t be named for legal reasons) took a liking to him. This abuser, he alleges, would make him strip, and belt him with a leather strap while the other boarders slept in the dormitory next door.

Mr Fabbro, now 55, says if the church is to continue running schools it needs to be held to a higher standard.

Posted on February 10, 2017 11:02 AM

Notes, Quotes and Comments
NEW JERSEY
Father Kenneth Lasch

Thursday February 9, 2017

Website Editor’s Note: The admission of Pope Franics that there is corruption in the Vatican is no surprise. Hints of the same have been in the news from time to time but not until now has Pope Francis himself been so open about it. Moreover, it is no secret that the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI was motivated in part by his inability to institute a reform of the curia. He admitted that he no longer had the stamina to carry out the demands of the papacy that surely included administration of the Roman Curia.

Pope Francis has adverted on several occasions to the lingering issue of sexual abuse. Many would like to assume that the issue has been resolved but nothing could be further from the truth. The Royal Commission on Sexual Abuse in Australia is about to publish the results of an extensive and intensive examination of sexual abuse in Australia, a significant portion of which deals with child abuse by Roman Catholic clergy and it is very damaging.

But even here in this country, the issue is not dead. There are still allegations that have yet to be fully resolved and there are priests who continue in positions of influence especially in vocations ministry whose past misconduct surely disqualifies them for ministry much less vocations ministry to seminarians and prospective candidates for the priesthood. In any other profession, they would loose their license to practice. It is interesting that any layperson that in the process of vetting is found to have been guilty of sexual misconduct of any kind is automatically disqualified for volunteer ministry. However, a priest who has had such a history of sexual misconduct may still function. What’s wrong with this picture?

In the words of one commentator, dealing with certain members of the hierarchy is like dealing with the mafia. That comment was repeated by the former governor of Oklahoma, Frank Keating, the first chairman of the National Review Board established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Posted on February 10, 2017 9:34 AM

Apuron trial “well underway,” but expert says it could still take years
GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

An expert in canon law says canonical trials are all “paper trials.”

Guam – The canonical trial of ousted Archbishop Anthony Apuron is “well underway,” that’s according to the archbishop who replaced him on Guam, Michael Byrnes.

But we spoke with an expert with knowledge of canonical trials, Patrick J. Wall, and he says the process is not that simple, much less for a bishop.

Apuron has gone underground since he was removed from his position has the shepherd of the local catholic faithful. For the most part, the community was told that a canonical trial was pending for Apuron.

But over the last eight months little was known about a trial he’s supposed to be facing in Rome for allegations of sexual abuse. No one knew where he was hiding. It wasn’t until recently that he was discovered in California where his attorney, Jacque Terlaje, says he’s staying to be able to “continue working on defending his innocence without distraction.”

Posted on February 10, 2017 9:22 AM

Vatican investigators to visit, Guam beefs up child protection
GUAM
Pacific Daily News

[with video]

Haidee V Eugenio , [email protected] Feb. 10, 2017

Vatican investigators will be on Guam soon as part of Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron’s ongoing canonical trial, Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes said at a news briefing Friday, during which he announced tougher church policies to protect children from clergy sexual abuse.

Apuron’s trial at the Vatican started after several former altar boys accused him of molesting or raping them in the 1970s, when he was a parish priest in Agat.

Byrnes, who will replace Apuron if he retires, resigns or is removed, announced the Archdiocese of Agana’s voluntary adherence to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ revised “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

Byrnes said there will be: required automatic reporting to civil authorities of any allegation of clergy sex abuse involving minors; suspension of the clergy if the accusation is deemed credible and while the investigation is still ongoing; legal background checks, from priests to church volunteers, working with children; and, permanent removal from ministry if the sexual abuse allegations are substantiated.

Posted on February 10, 2017 7:53 AM

Paula’s Shame: Deen’s ‘Pedophile’ Priest Brother-In-Law Had Gay Sex With A Murderer!
GEORGIA
RadarOnline

RadarOnline.com has uncovered even more sordid details from the twisted life of Paula Deen’s “pedophile” priest brother-in-law, Henry Groover III. According to a long-buried police investigation, he once had gay sex with a murderer and was accused of being part of a sex ring!

The secrets emerged as part of a Georgia police investigation into Jeremy Wayne Manieri, who was charged with killing Groover’s one-time roommate and fellow priest, Rev. Ed Everitt, inside their beach house in Waveland, Mississippi in 2011.

After confessing to the gruesome murder, Manieri ended up killing himself in jail before his trial began in 2012, taking his sordid secrets with him. Until now.

READ The GRAPHIC Police Documents Here

According to Waveland Police Department documents in the case, Manieri gave a statement about the day of he murder, implying Groover andEveritt were much more than just friends and church colleagues, claiming that they “pleasured each other” as gay lovers!

Posted on February 10, 2017 7:50 AM

Novizio arrestato per violenza sessuale e adescamento, chiesto il giudizio immediato
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

[Novice arrested for sexual assault and soliciting.]

Giusto Francesco Palazzotto stava compiendo il suo percorso di fede nella chiesa del Cuore eucaristico di Gesù di corso Calatafimi quando è finito in manette. E’ accusato anche di detenzione di materiale pedopornografico.

Violenza sessuale su minori, chiesto giudizio immediato per novizio
Avrebbe adescato alcuni ragazzini conosciuti in parrocchia, contattandoli anche attraverso la chat di Facebook, e poi avrebbe tentato di abusare di loro. Il procuratore aggiunto Salvatore De Luca e il sostituto Chiara Capoluongo adesso hanno chiuso le indagini a carico di Giusto Francesco Palazzotto, 46 anni, novizio dell’Ordine dei Cusmaniani e studente di Teologia che, fino al 9 settembre scorso, quando è stato arrestato, stava compiendo il suo percorso di fede nella chiesa del Cuore eucaristico di Gesù di corso Calatafimi. La Procura ritiene di avere prove così schiaccianti contro di lui che ha contestualmente chiesto il giudizio immediato, senza passare cioè dall’udienza preliminare.

Posted on February 10, 2017 7:47 AM

CCOG met with Archbishop Michael Byrnes, urged to shut down the Redemptoris Mater Seminary
GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Feb 10, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Speaking of Archbishop Michael Byrnes… He caught up with members of the Concerned Catholics of Guam earlier this week.

According to CCOG President Dave Sablan, he and his Vice President Andrew Camacho met with Archbishop Byrnes as well as Delegate of the Apostolic Administrator Father Jeff San Nicolas. “We need to let him know what exactly have been all the problems in the past. Who caused them. What are the root causes of this division within the church. And we are having some dialogue with the chancery in that regard,” Sablan said.

For years, the CCOG has requested the audience of Archbishop Anthony Apuron who refused to meet with them. Among the most pressing topics, Sablan says they urged Archbishop Byrnes to shut down the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and send foreigner seminarians back home.

Posted on February 10, 2017 7:33 AM

Archbishop Byrnes ensuring safe environment for Guam’s children
GUAM
KUAM

[with video]

Updated: Feb 10, 2017

By Krystal Paco

They’re being sued upwards of $80 million in the federal court for allegations of child sex abuse dating back decades ago, but they’re not only being held accountable by the judicial system. In a press conference today, Guam’s Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes announced the adoption of best practices to ensure child sex abuse in the church never happens again.

It’s a zero-tolerance policy. “One instance of sexual abuse of minors, results in permanent – that’s substantiated – one substantiated instance results in permanent removal from public ministry,” said His Excellency. As announced in a press conference on Friday, Archbishop Byrnes says the Archdiocese of Agana has adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People – a comprehensive set of procedures to address allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Church clergy. The provisions focus on healing, protection, and restoration of trust and harmony.

“The provisions of the this charter is a roadmap to winning back that trust. Again, it’ll take a lot of time,” he said.

While a Task Force for the Protection of Minors has already made its rounds at all the Catholic schools and now parishes to provide trainings on boundaries and mandated reporting, the charter takes it a step further. Expect background checks of all members of the archdiocese – and an independent audit to ensure compliance. “We’re not just going to allege that were following these things, we’re going to make ourselves accountable,” the archbishop added.

Posted on February 10, 2017 7:29 AM

Internet the next threat in clergy abuse
AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Would-be pedophile priests and religious brothers are turning to the internet and downloading child pornography in what is the next abuse threat for the Catholic Church, an inquiry has heard.

The head of the Irish Catholic Church’s child protection board says allegations against priests are declining but the church needs to ensure viewing child pornography does not take the place of contact abuse.

“We know that because of the regulations and the rules that people don’t have the same amount of access to children and contact with children,” National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland chief executive Teresa Devlin said.

“So if you have a sexual interest in a child and you’re still a member of the church, well the only other place to go was to the internet.”

Ms Devlin said a few allegations about downloading child pornography had emerged.

“We have no idea of the scale of that. We don’t really know about it until someone’s computer is checked,” she told the child abuse royal commission in Sydney on Friday.
Posted on February 10, 2017 7:27 AM

Vatican under pressure to speed up abuse investigations: Royal Commission
AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Rachel Browne
10 Feb 2017

A Vatican panel is dealing with a backlog of child sex abuse claims in the Catholic church internationally, taking up to three years to hand down findings about alleged perpetrators, a royal commission has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was told the Vatican is under pressure from Catholics to expedite processing of claims.

Teresa Devlin, chief executive of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, said the length of the process was neither fair on claimants or alleged perpetrators.

“When (a case) goes to Rome, it sits there for a very, very, very long time . . . two to three years,” she said.

“That is not justice for anybody . . . I don’t think it’s justice for the accused. It is not justice for the complainant.”

Posted on February 10, 2017 7:25 AM

Cardinal Pell clashes with Greens amid row over abuse inquiry
AUSTRALIA
Catholic Herald (UK)

by Madeleine Teahan
posted Thursday, 9 Feb 2017

The party has an ‘anti-religion agenda’, Cardinal Pell’s spokesman says after it demanded he return to Australia

Cardinal George Pell has accused the Green party in Australia of being “anti-religion” after a motion was passed in the Australian senate calling for his return to the country, in order to assist the police with clerical abuse investigations.

Earlier this week it emerged that, according to an investigation by a Royal Commission in Australia, seven per cent of Catholic priests between 1950 and 2010 were accused of sexually abusing children.

Following the news, the Greens senator Rachel Siewert launched a motion acknowledging the 4,444 alleged victims of child sexual abuse and noting “the allegations of criminal misconduct against Cardinal George Pell have been forwarded to the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions by the Victoria police” and called on the cardinal to “return to Australia to assist Victorian police and the Office of Public Prosecutions with their investigations into these matters.”

The motion was subsequently passed by the Senate.

But a spokesman for the cardinal has said the motion was an act of “political point-scoring.” The statement read: “The Greens have opted for an obvious political stunt while knowing full well Cardinal Pell has consistently co-operated with the Royal Commission and the Victorian police.

Posted on February 10, 2017 7:20 AM

Community Groups Urge Caldwell To Reconsider Housing Appointment
HAWAII
Honolulu Civil Beat

By Anita Hofschneider / February 9, 2017

A group representing survivors of sexual abuse and an organization representing the LGBTQ community are urging Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell to rescind his appointment of Marc Alexander to lead the city Office of Housing.

Alexander is a former state official who led homelessness initiatives under former Gov. Neil Abercrombie. He resigned after news leaked that he had an affair with a woman while serving as a vicar general at a Catholic church in Kailua.

Alexander was also accused of sexually assaulting a minor and settled the case in 2016. He currently works at the Hawaii Community Foundation and previously worked at the Institute for Human Services.

Joelle Casteix, volunteer western regional director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Thursday that she’s shocked and disgusted by Caldwell’s choice of Alexander.

“It is very imprudent for the mayor to appoint someone who has been the subject of a sex abuse scandal to a powerful city position,” she said. “It’s inappropriate. It’s a slap in the face to survivors.”

Posted on February 10, 2017 7:18 AM

Diocese sets 11 listening sessions on sexual abuse claims
MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

Stephanie Dickrell , [email protected] Feb. 9, 2017

The Diocese of St. Cloud has set several listening sessions and a service of healing in response to claims of sexual abuse by clergy within the diocese.

Bishop Donald Kettler and other members of a diocesan response team will have 11 listening sessions at sites around the diocese.

The gatherings have three goals, according to a statement. First, the diocese wants to assure parishoners of Kettler’s support and assistance. Second, the diocese hopes to offer a process where sexual misconduct and other concerns can be voiced and discussed. Third, the diocese wants to give other victims the opportunity to come forward.

Kettler and his predecessor, Bishop John Kinney, have conducted similar sessions in the past in parishes where clergy accused of abuse have served.

The upcoming meetings are in response to 74 claims made against 31 clergy members under the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which allowed old claims to be addressed in courts if they were filed before May 2016. The sessions are for all parish communities where the accused clergy have served.

Posted on February 10, 2017 7:16 AM

Shining the light on abuse
AUSTRALIA
Border Mail

Melissa Cunningham
@MeljCunningham

10 Feb 2017

Ballarat will become a sea of colour in support of survivors of child sexual abuse in May.

Survivors and the community will join together for a week long event aimed at shining the light on child sexual abuse. The No More Silence week will run from May 21 to 27.

It marks the two year anniversary of the formation of Ballarat’s grassroots Loud Fence movement, which encourages people to tie brightly-coloured ribbons on the fences of Catholic institutions, as a symbolic act of solidarity with victims of sexual abuse.

It’s been another tough week with revelations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual abuse almost one in ten priests in the Diocese of Ballarat had allegations of child sexual abuse levelled against them between 1950 and 2010.

But behind the scenes, a community group made up Ballarat City Council leaders, counsellors and Loud Fence are working tirelessly to gather hundreds of photos, news articles, and short films documenting the journey of child sexual abuse victims.

Posted on February 10, 2017 7:14 AM

Archdiocese adopts new policy hailed as “gold standard” in protecting minors
GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

This policy is used throughout churches in the United States and is standard among diocese.

Guam – Some big changes for the Archdiocese of Agana were announced today as Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes said that they are now adhering to a new policy that deals with child molestation in the church.

It’s called the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and was established by the US Catholic Conference of Bishops. It was created in 2002 and then ratified in 2005. The charter has three main focuses, said Byrnes.

“Why are we doing this? Well the provisions of the charter of the US Congress of Bishops has three main foc: number one, to assist in healing of those who have been injured; second, to protect children and young people; and third, to restore trust and harmony and faith to our community,” he said.

Furthermore, Archbishop Byrnes says this charter is recognized as having some of the best practices in the world in protecting minors. Byrnes adds that over the last few weeks he has been meeting with various priests, catholic school teachers and catechists to talk about adopting this new policy.

Posted on February 10, 2017 7:12 AM

Man recounts alleged sexual assault by priest in Kennebunkport
MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By CBS 13
Posted Feb. 09, 2017

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — A former Massachusetts priest convicted of raping an altar boy is now accused of abusing boys at his camp in Kennebunkport during the 1980s.

On Tuesday, the York County grand jury indicted 74-year-old Ronald Paquin on 29 counts of gross sexual misconduct.

Police in Kennebunkport said their investigation started in 2011, when a victim came forward reporting years of abuse.

Policy at Portland television station WGME, CBS 13, is to not name victims of sexual assault, but one alleged victim is choosing to share his story publicly for the first time.

Keith Townsend said he lived in a house next door to St. John the Baptist Church in Haverhill, where Paquin was priest.

Posted on February 10, 2017 7:11 AM

The royal commission’s dodgy sex abuse stats
AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
February 9, 2017

There is no doubt Catholic priests abused hundreds of Australian children. There is no doubt church leaders scandalously covered it up.

But Geoffrey Luck shows there is also little doubt that the counsel assisting the commission has exaggerated the extent of abuse with figures she released last week.

The Church had been required to undertake a comprehensive data survey. First, it had to provide the total number of priests, brothers and sisters in all its authorities from 1950 to 2010. This number was not produced. Then it was asked for the total number of people who had alleged incidents of abuse. This is where the much-quoted number 4444 came from…

Third, the survey identified 1,880 “alleged perpetrators”, including 500 who were unknown (presumably not named). This resulted in an inability to be confident that there was not at least some double-counting.

Analysis of this raw data produced the overall figures for alleged abuse by priests and religious brothers and sisters, as well as the break-down by diocese and society. The figure for priests was 7%, which, if correct, indicates that 93% of all Catholic priests were and are innocent of child abuse…

Posted on February 10, 2017 7:02 AM

Vatican asked to speed up abuse discipline
AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

The Vatican has been asked to change a system which sees just 12 people decide the Catholic Church’s disciplinary process for child sex abusing priests from around the world.

Teresa Devlin, the chief executive of Ireland’s National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, says it takes at least two years for Rome’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to reach an outcome after a case has been referred.

“I know that we have asked them (the Vatican) to consider alternatives,” Ms Devlin told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney on Friday.

“That’s a matter for them but I don’t think it’s justice for the accused. It’s not justice for the complainant.”

The royal commission heard an Irish allegation may be sent to Rome after the completion of civil processes, regardless of whether a priest was found guilty or innocent.

Posted on February 10, 2017 6:58 AM

16 child sex abuse lawsuits filed against Guam church
GUAM
Radio New Zealand

A 16th lawsuit has been filed alleging historical sexual abuse against the Catholic Church in Guam.

The Pacific Daily News reported the latest case was filed on Wednesday by a former altar boy who alleges he was repeatedly molested by former island priest Louis Brouillard in the early 1970s.

Last year, Brouillard, who is now 95 and lives in the US state of Minnesota, publicly admitted that he abused more than 20 boys in the more than 30 years he was on Guam.

In September, the island’s governor Eddie Calvo signed into law a bill removing the statue of limitations for lawsuits against child sex abusers and their institutions.

Posted on February 10, 2017 6:55 AM

Paedophile priest Raymond Cheek: Anglican Church ‘surprised’ by two-year jail sentence
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Laura Gartry

The Anglican Church has expressed surprise after an 85-year-old former priest was sentenced to just two years in prison for sexually abusing five boys over a 30-year period in Western Australia’s south.

Serial paedophile Raymond Sydney Cheek targeted young boys across numerous parishes between 1955 and 1985.

In November last year, Cheek was found guilty of committing an act of gross indecency and two counts each of indecent assault and indecent dealings with a child.

Despite maintaining his innocence during the trial, Cheek has since admitted to committing two of the most serious offences.

Posted on February 10, 2017 6:53 AM

Former Anglican priest Raymond Sydney Cheek jailed for two years
AUSTRALIA
PerthNow

Shannon Hampton, PerthNow
February 10, 2017

A FORMER Anglican priest who sexually abused five boys over a 30-year period has been jailed for two years.

Raymond Sydney Cheek, 85, was sentenced today in the District Court after a jury found him guilty in November of sexually abusing five boys in Perth, Albany, Williams and Ravensthorpe between 1955 and 1985.

Four of the men, who were not known to each other, came forward in recent years after news of Cheek being charged over and incident that occurred in Williams in 1985 became public.

That incident, described by Judge Ronald Birmingham as the worst of the offending, involved Cheek undressing the boy and rubbing himself against his back.

Posted on February 10, 2017 6:51 AM

Who’s Listening to the Victims of Paedophile Priests? [Interview] GERMANY
Political Critique (Poland)

AGATA DIDUSZKO-ZYGLEWSKA

Interview with Matthias Katsch, the founder and spokesperson for the Square Table Foundation and a member of the Council of Survivors, working alongside the German Parliament.

Agata Diduszko-Zyglewska: As a child you were abused by a priest, and so now you work for the sake of other victims.

Matthias Katsch
Founder and spokesperson for the Square Table Foundation, and a member of the Council of Survivors, working alongside the German Parliament.

Matthias Katsch: Yes, I was born and raised in Berlin. I attended Jesuit college there and when I was thirteen years old, I was abused. Like many survivors, I kept it secret, I was ashamed of the situation, I never spoke about it for the following thirty years – until 2010. Then I came out publicly, reached out and connected with other survivors. Within weeks, we had a tsunami – a wave of disclosure all over Germany, hundreds of former students of Church institutes, schools, colleges came out and said ‘me too’. I’m the founder and a spokesperson for the Square Table Foundation. We, the victims, the survivors – wherever: in Poland, Ireland, the US, Germany, France, we have started to speak. But the crucial question is: who is listening?

I suppose by asking this question you’re referring to a lack of reaction on the part of society and local communities. In Poland, this is exactly what gives paedophile priests the opportunity to operate. People keep silent, even defend priests when a case finally becomes public.

The Church works like any other institution: when it feels attacked, it defends itself – that is a natural reaction. The important question is: why is it so difficult for society to accept reality, to deal with it, to recognize survivors and help them? In Germany, this question is posed to institutions, to the Church, to the families…

We are also talking about a cultural problem here – the differences between men and women in society. In our country in 2010, it was actually big news that most of the victims were men, because society knows that victims are always women! The big scandal, the part that made the news, was that it was men coming out as victims. But of course, the situation in every society is different.

Posted on February 10, 2017 6:46 AM

February 9, 2017
Victim speaks out about alleged abuse by ex-priest
NEW HAMPSHIRE
Seacoast Online

By Max Sullivan
[email protected]

SEABROOK — A Seabrook man says he was molested by former Catholic priest Ronald Paquin 30 years ago on camping trips to Maine, leading to the former priest’s indictment this week.

Keith Townsend, 42, of Amesbury Street, is one of two victims Paquin, 74, is alleged to have molested between 1985 and 1989. Paquin, formerly of the Boston archdiocese, served prison time for abusing an altar boy from 1989 to 1992 while serving as associate pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Haverhill, Mass. He pleaded guilty to charges in relation to those crimes in 2002 and was released in 2015.

Paquin was indicted Tuesday by a York County grand jury on 29 new counts of sexual misconduct for allegedly abusing the victims in Kennebunkport. Townsend said he reached out to police after Paquin was released from prison, leading to the indictments.

Townsend said he was molested by Paquin approximately between the ages of 8 and 13. He said Paquin used alcohol and drugs to control and sedate him during the period of abuse. He said he was one of about 10 other young boys abused together during trips to a camp in Kennebunkport, Maine, all of whom he said were close friends. Most were emotionally devastated by the abuse and turned to drugs as result.

“It was like somebody dropped a bomb on our neighborhood and everybody was killed,” said Townsend. “When they released him, (I felt) simple outrage. Nobody is safe as long as this guy’s on the street.”

Posted on February 9, 2017 6:36 PM

Leading clergy abuse group to stay the course despite lawsuit, departures
UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

By David Gibson

(RNS) The head of a major advocacy group for children sexually abused by clergy said the organization will not change course despite the departure of its two founders and a lawsuit filed last month alleging SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, colluded with lawyers to refer clients and profit from settlements.

“We’re really not talking about anything changing,” said Mary Ellen Kruger, chair of the five-member board of directors of SNAP. “Our everyday mission is the same: helping survivors, protecting kids through education, and exposing predators. So that’s not changed.”

If anything, she said in a telephone interview from St. Louis, the organization is trying to build up its local chapters to strengthen its core mission as a support group for victims and their families.

Kruger said it also wants to continue to expand beyond its original focus on the Catholic Church (SNAP began nearly 30 years ago as a response to priest abuse cases) to include chapters with victims from other churches and religions.

“Being out there in the public is obviously not the greater part of what we do. It is part of it,” Kruger said.

But she added that the public advocacy that SNAP became known for, especially as the clergy abuse scandal snowballed after 2002, “is going to be determined by what’s going on in each city or what’s coming across the news.”

Posted on February 9, 2017 6:32 PM

Limerick child-sex abuse victims call on the government to change laws to recognise their ordeal
IRELAND
The Irish Sun

BY CRAIG FARRELL 9th February 2017

VICTIMS of child-sex abuse at a Christian brothers school in Limerick are calling on the Government to change legislation so that their ordeal can be recognised.

The abuse took place during the 1960’s at Creagh Lane National School, Bridge Street, Limerick.

Four abuse victims, all in their mid 50s from Limerick City – Tom Hogan, John Boland, Dave Phayr and Tom Hogan – are fighting for the law to be changed so they can come under the remit of the redress scheme.

The redress scheme was set up following the European Court of Human Rights case of Louise O Keefe, where it was deemed that the State had failed to protect her from abuse she suffered in the 1970’s.

The Creagh Lane school was deemed ineligible for the redress scheme, as it was not a residential institution.

The issue has been raised in the Dail by Limerick TD Willie O’ Dea and AAA Deputy Paul Murphy, who want the victims to be able to avail of the ‘redress’ scheme.

Posted on February 9, 2017 5:42 PM

Priest sentenced to seven years
KENTUCKY
The Record

Record Staff Report

Father Joseph Hemmerle, a priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville, was sentenced by a Meade County judge Feb. 9 to serve seven years in prison.

He was found guilty on one count of immoral or indecent practices with a child by a Meade County, Ky., jury on Nov. 29. The jury recommended the seven-year sentence.

Father Hemmerle, 74, is accused of abusing two boys at Camp Tall Trees in Meade County. A trial in the other case is pending.

The Archdiocese of Louisville said in a statement, “No child should have to experience abuse of any kind. The archdiocese is committed to reaching out to victims of sexual abuse and preventing the sexual abuse of minors through training and education.

“We continue to encourage victims of sexual abuse by church employees to contact the police and our victim assistance coordinator, Martine Siegel,” it said. Siegel can be reached at 502-636-1044 or [email protected]

Posted on February 9, 2017 5:39 PM

Child sex abuse advocates, firms push ahead after 2016 debate over SOL retroactivity
PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

[with video]

by Kody Leibowitz
Thursday, February 9th 2017

HARRISBURG – The Statute of Limitations Bill was a contentious one for state lawmakers last legislative session.

The bill, then known as House Bill 1947, ultimately failed as House lawmakers did not take up the bill for a final vote before the session ended in October.

A new session started with a new push to reform the statute of limitations for child sex abuse with a Senate bill and two House proposals.

But as that push continues in Harrisburg, 6 News took a look at how one of the most discussed bills of 2016 failed and who fought for and against its survival.

Posted on February 9, 2017 5:37 PM

Has Ultra-Orthodox Group Agudath Israel Changed Its Tune On Sex Abuse Lawsuits?
NEW YORK
Forward

Josh Nathan-Kazis
February 9, 2017

There’s a bombshell deep in this week’s New York Jewish Week story about a conference on sex abuse in the Jewish community: The powerful Orthodox umbrella group Agudath Israel of America is backing off its opposition to extending the statute of limitations for bringing claims against abusers.

For nearly a decade, advocates for sex abuse victims have fought to have New York State extend its statute of limitations for bringing civil and criminal charges against perpetrators. Today, child victims in New York have only until the age of 23 to bring civil or criminal claims, one of the strictest limits in the country.

Efforts at reform have been repeatedly stymied by the New York State Senate, due in large part to opposition by religious groups, including Agudath Israel. Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing a new reform bill that would extend the statute of limitations for civil claims 50 years, end any time limits on criminal charges, and would open a one-year window in which suits could be brought by otherwise ineligible victims.

Posted on February 9, 2017 5:35 PM

Limburg Catholic diocese suspends employee after child porn probe
GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

A member of Limburg’s Catholic diocese in western Germany has been placed under investigation on suspicion of possessing child pornography.

A Frankfurt prosecutor’s office spokesman told reporters that the suspect’s home and office had been raided by police on February 1 and a data storage device was seized as evidence.

Officials confirmed on Thursday that the employee had been suspended from his position at the church following the accusation. Both the prosecutor’s office and diocese spokesman, Steven Schnelle, refused to reveal the suspect’s identity or his position within the diocese; however, they confirmed that he was not a priest and had no direct contact with children or adolescents during his role at the church.

According to the Frankfurter Neuen Presse newspaper, authorities began investigating the case weeks ago after suspicions were initially raised, culminating in the search of the man’s apartment.

Posted on February 9, 2017 5:32 PM

Royal Commission could recommend laws breaking secrecy vows on confession
AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
10 Feb 2017

THE child abuse royal commission would not be “beyond its remit” if it recommended obliging priests to break the vow of secrecy if a person confessed to sexually abusing a child, senior Australian Catholic priest Frank Brennan said in evidence on Thursday.

“I don’t think it would be beyond your remit, and if parliaments were minded to pass such a law,” Father Brennan said during the final Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse hearing into the Catholic Church.

Father Brennan warned commission chair Justice Peter McClellan that a recommendation instructing priests not to give absolution to a person confessing a child sex crime until it was reported to police could be “a fundamental interference with the usual separation of church and state”, but “these things can be done”.

Father Brennan warned that while the commission would have the authority to do it, such a recommendation “could become politically problematic”.

Posted on February 9, 2017 3:28 PM

Rape culture lives in all facets of society, not just college campuses
UNITED STATES
The Badger Herald

by KORT DRIESSEN · Jan 24, 2017

As a society in general, it seems as though we often look to high-profile, public figures for guidance. These people have the power to make waves that reverberate through our culture and have undeniably lasting effects, whether for the better or for the worse.

Because of that, it is essential that we hold these people to a higher level of accountability, and that we not loosen our moral code simply because of fame or stature.

John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods and director of Conscious Capitalism, has recently proven exactly why this is true. Mackey released a statement last June pledging his loyalty to his friend Marc Gafni, an ex-rabbi accused of child molestation and using his position to extort children. Gafni said of one of his young accusers, “She was 14 going on 35, and I never forced her.”

In response, more than 130 activists, students, and professors have recently signed an open letter to Whole Foods and Conscious Capitalism, imploring them and Mackey to open a dialogue concerning sexual violence and rape. As of yet, there has been no response.

Posted on February 9, 2017 3:26 PM

Riesumazione della salma del parroco per il riconoscimento di paternità
ITALIA
H24

[Exhumation of the remains of the parish priest, dead for 11 years, for the recognition of paternity.]

E’ morto da undici anni ormai, ma di fatto il parroco di una piccola frazione di Minturno originario della Ciociaria, stenta a trovare pace. Il suo nome, assai noto nella comunità per l’impegno profuso sin dal 1950 nella cittadina pontina, viene ripetuto da un decennio in procedimenti giudiziali e ora il suo corpo verrà finanche disseppellito. Riesumazione utile a dare finalmente una conferma a un uomo cresciuto nella sua canonica insieme alla mamma, la perpetua, nella consapevolezza che quel prete fosse suo padre.

Ultima prova disposta dalla magistratura: il Dna. E oggi il giudice civile del tribunale di Cassino, Gabriele Sordi, dopo aver disposto la riesumazione della salma del noto sacerdote, ha dato formalmente incaricato i consulenti tecnici d’ufficio affinchè procedano.

Posted on February 9, 2017 2:57 PM

Priest convicted of inappropriate touching sentenced
KENTUCKY
WAVE

[with video]

Thursday, February 9th 2017

By Charles Gazaway, Digital Content Producer

BRANDENBURG, KY (WAVE) – A Louisville priest has been sentenced to serve seven years in prison after being convicted on a sexual abuse charge.

Fr. Joseph Hemmerle was director and camp counselor for Camp Tall Trees in Meade County for 30 years. In November, Hemmerle was acquitted on one charge of engaging in a sexual act but was found guilty on a count of inappropriate touching.

The sentence given was the recommendation of the jury. A request for Hemmerle to receive probation was denied

The sexual abuse allegation Hemmerle was convicted of was brought in 2001 by Michael Norris. No charges were filed against Hemmerle then, but he was reassigned after an internal investigation bu the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Posted on February 9, 2017 2:46 PM

Laicised Italian priest went on to abuse up to 10 boys
ITALY
Irish Times

Paddy Agnew in Rome

The Italian Catholic Church has been rocked by revelations that a priest laicised by the Vatican in 2012 for sex abuse crimes may have subsequently abused as many as 10 boys.

It is alleged that civil authorities were not informed of the Canon law conviction against the priest, Gianni Trotta, following his removal from the priesthood. In the absence of any black mark against him, Trotta was allowed to take over the training of an under-11 boys football team in the province of Foggia in Puglia, southern Italy.

In 2015 Trotta was given an eight-year prison sentence for the sexual abuse of an 11-year-old boy. On Tuesday, a judge ruled that he should stand trial next month, charged with the sexual abuse of nine other boys.

Holy See sources say it was the responsibility of Trotta’s diocese in Bari to signal his Canon law conviction to the relevant civil authorities.

The question of mandatory reporting of sex offenders by church authorities has long been controversial. For long, the Holy See has claimed that Vatican “confidentiality” with regard to cases heard by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith did not mean a ban on reporting serious accusations to civil authorities.

Posted on February 9, 2017 2:43 PM

Priest sentenced for abusing boy in 1970s
KENTUCKY
WLKY

MEADE COUNTY, Ky. —
A Louisville priest has been sentenced to seven years in prison for inappropriately touching a boy in the 1970s.

A Meade County judge on Thursday morning handed down a jury’s recommended sentence for the Rev. Joseph Hemmerle.

Hemmerle was found guilty in November of one count of indecent or immoral practices with a child.

Posted on February 9, 2017 2:42 PM

Former priest from Boston clergy scandal indicted on 29 counts of sex abuse in Maine
MAINE
Bangor Daily News

By Jake Bleiberg, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — A former Roman Catholic priest, who previously spent a decade in a Massachusetts prison for the rape of an altar boy, was formally charged with 29 counts of gross sexual misconduct in a Maine court Monday.

The York County grand jury indicted Ronald Paquin, 74, for his alleged crimes against children between the ages of 11 and 14 in the late 1980s at a “seasonal location” in Kennebunk, according to a Wednesday statement from the town police.

Paquin, a prominent figure in the sex abuse scandal uncovered by the Boston Globe in the early 2000s, pleaded guilty in 2002 to the repeated rape of a Haverhill, Massachusetts, altar boy.

Paquin was released in 2015 because officials found that he no longer met “the legal criteria for sexual dangerousness,” the Globe reported.

The priest reportedly intended to go to a Boston shelter for older men when he was released from prison.

The Kennebunk police credited “two courageous victims” with helping to indict Paquin and said a warrant would be issued for his arrest, after which he will be brought to Maine for court proceedings.

Posted on February 9, 2017 2:40 PM

Former Catholic priest Ronald Paquin arrested in Boston on abuse charges from Maine case
MASSACHUSETTS/MAINE
Boston Globe

By Evan Allen and Travis Anderson GLOBE STAFF FEBRUARY 09, 2017

Boston Police and U.S. Marshals arrested a former Catholic priest, who served more than 10 years in prison for raping an altar boy, on Morton Street in Jamaica Plain Wednesday, following his indictment Tuesday in Maine on 29 new counts of sexual misconduct.

Ronald H. Paquin, 74, was taken into custody without incident in the area of Lemuel Shattuck Hospital at about 3:40 p.m. Wednesday at the request of the Kennebunkport Police Department in Maine, which had issued an arrest warrant for him the same day, according to Boston Police.

Before Paquin was defrocked in 2004, he served in the Boston archdiocese at parishes in Haverhill and Methuen, and the new charges stem from his alleged abuse of two boys dating back to when he was a priest in Massachusetts.

He is accused of abusing the two boys in Kennebunkport between 1985 and 1989, according to York County District Attorney Kathryn Slattery. One of the boys was younger than 14, according to court documents; the age of the other boy was not immediately available.

Posted on February 9, 2017 2:35 PM

Might Clergy Sexual Abuse Cases Be Shifted From the CDF?
VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

A media report earlier this month suggested such a move was under consideration, but papal spokesman Greg Burke has downplayed such speculation.

Edward Pentin

VATICAN CITY — Recent press reports have indicated that Pope Francis might be considering the transfer of clerical sex abuse cases from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) to two other dicasteries. But it remains uncertain that such a move actually is being contemplated.

A Jan. 3 article in The Week asserted that the Pope recently had the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, ask the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts about the possibility of restoring the authority regarding sex abuse cases to the Congregation for the Clergy and the Roman Rota, where they were handled previous to being moved in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.

The article also claimed the Holy Father and some other senior Church leaders have directly intervened in several specific abuse cases that were being handled by the CDF.

The two dicasteries reportedly under consideration for handling clergy abuse cases are headed by Cardinal Beniamino Stella, and Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto, dean of the Roman Rota (the Church’s highest court of appeal).

Posted on February 9, 2017 2:33 PM

Experts: To limit clergy abuse, look at model of business accountability
AUSTRALIA
Catholic Philly

By Catholic News Service • Posted February 9, 2017

SYDNEY (CNS) — In a wide-ranging discussion, members of Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and experts called to testify discussed how good business practices might or might not make children less vulnerable.

The hearing included discussion of church governance, celibacy and what seminarians are being taught about power and leadership.

The Royal Commission — instituted by the government in 2013 — is conducting a three-week wrapup of its inquiry into child abuse within the Catholic Church. Unlike past hearings, which focused on specific cases, these hearings were to focus on church theology and doctrine, structure and governance, including the role of the Vatican and canon law, and issues like celibacy, confession and more.

Maureen Cleary, who has extensive experience as a governance consult for church and nonprofit organizations, told the commission there were many governing groups within the church.

Posted on February 9, 2017 12:03 PM

Catholic Church bans disgraced Adelaide priest, father John Fleming, after High Court verdict upholds guilty ruling on child abuse
AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

Nigel Hunt, The Advertiser
February 9, 2017

THE Catholic Church has permanently banned disgraced priest Father John Fleming from the pulpit — because it does not have the power to sack him.

Fleming, right, was formally advised of the move, made under Canon Law, on Thursday following the High Court’s unanimous dismissal of his bid to overturn damning legal judgments against him.

The move, which will stop Fleming from acting in ministry in any way, is the harshest sanction the Adelaide Diocese of the Catholic Church can take.

It is understood Vatican lawyers have advised Diocese leaders they do not have the jurisdiction to defrock Fleming, simply because his misconduct occurred while he was an Anglican priest.

“I was informed today that Father Fleming’s appeal to the High Court was dismissed,’’ Vicar General Father Philip Marshall said on Thursday night.

“I understand this was Father Fleming’s final avenue of appeal and, as such, the findings made in February 2016, by the honourable auxiliary Justice Gray remain undisturbed. In the light of this I have today issued a decree under Canon Law directing that Father Fleming cease all forms of ministry. The decree will have immediate effect.’’

Posted on February 9, 2017 12:00 PM

Sentencing begins for local priest convicted of abusing boy in the 1970s
KENTUCKY
WDRB

Updated: Feb 09, 2017

BRANDENBURG, Ky. (WDRB) — A local priest will soon find out how long he’ll spend in prison.

Sentencing begins Thursday morning in Meade County for Father Joseph Hemmerle. He was convicted in November of abusing a 10-year-old boy at a Catholic-run youth camp in 1973. A jury recommended a 7-year sentence.

The Archdiocese of Louisville put Hemmerle on leave, when accusations first surfaced in 2014.

The victim is now 53 years old and says he had poison ivy, when he spent time at Tall Trees Camp in Meade County in the 1970s. He testified that Hemmerle offered to treat it. That’s when the victim says he was abused.

Attorneys are expected to call several witnesses to defend Hemmerle, including former students.

Posted on February 9, 2017 9:57 AM

House committee recommends killing sexual assault corroboration bill

By ALYSSA DANDREA
Monitor staff
Wednesday, February 08, 2017

A House committee recommended unanimously Wednesday to kill a bill that would require corroboration of a victim’s testimony in certain sexual assault cases.

House Bill 106 met strong opposition at a public hearing last month, where law enforcement officials, prosecutors and sexual assault survivors said the bill would protect sexual predators and cause more children harm.

Republican Reps. Jess Edwards and William March wrote a letter to committee members a few days after the hearing to say they would understand if the bill didn’t survive. They said they had spoken with dozens of people, and that an “overwhelming number” expressed concern about the message the bill would send.

March said he introduced the bill after learning about the case of Foad Afshar, a Concord psychologist who was convicted of sexually molesting a young patient during a therapy session. March’s daughter was a student of Afshar’s at the New Hampshire Institute of Art and brought the case to his attention.

Posted on February 9, 2017 8:04 AM

Fresh abuse claims emerge against ex-Marist Brother Kostka Chute, court hears
AUSTRALIA
Canberra Times

Megan Gorrey

Fresh claims of historical child sex abuse have emerged against former Marist College Canberra teacher Brother ‘Kostka’ Chute, a court has heard.

John William Chute, 84, was last year committed to stand trial in the ACT Supreme Court for allegedly sexually abusing boys at the Pearce college in the 1980s.

Chute, also known as Brother Kostka, was among four men police charged as part of an ongoing investigation into historical child sex abuse, mostly on boys younger than 16, in ACT schools.

He faces six counts of indecent assault and two acts of indecency for offences allegedly committed against two students over several years from 1980. He has yet to formally enter pleas to the charges.

Lawyer Greg Walsh signalled at Chute’s committal in August he would make an application that his client was unfit to plead, noting he had been found unfit to plead to separate charges in the NSW District Court.

Posted on February 9, 2017 8:01 AM

Pope admits corruption at the Vatican in wide-ranging talk to men religious
VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Feb. 9, 2017

ROME

Pope Francis admitted to the leaders of the world’s Catholic male religious orders in a meeting last fall that the Vatican is a corrupt place, but said he is at peace in his work reforming the church’s command structures.

“There is corruption in the Vatican,” the pontiff told members of the Union of Superiors General Nov. 26, according to a report of the meeting released for the first time Thursday by the Italian Jesuit magazine La Civilta Cattolica.

The pope made the admission after being asked by one of the religious leaders how he maintains serenity in his work.

“I do not take tranquilizers!” Francis joked, before adding: “The Italians offer good advice: to live in peace you need a healthy dose of not caring.”

“I am at peace,” said the pontiff, explaining that he has a small statue of a sleeping St. Joseph on his desk and that he places notes identifying problems he needs Joseph to help with under the statue.
Posted on February 9, 2017 7:59 AM

Pope says “at peace” confronting Vatican corruption, sex abuse
VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Pope Francis says he is at peace with himself and not taking “tranquilising pills” while dealing with corruption in the Vatican and clergy sexual abuse.

“There is corruption in the Vatican but I am at peace,” he told leaders of religious orders he met last November in the Vatican, according to a transcript published on Thursday.

“Never wash your hands of problems,” he said, according to the Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica.

At his election in 2013, Francis was mandated to tackle financial scandals in Vatican departments, notably its bank.

He created a new economy ministry to centralise operations, strengthened the power of the Vatican’s Financial Intelligence Authority and appointed a general auditor.

While international monitors have applauded improved transparency in Vatican finances, there has been less praise for his handling of the sexual abuse crisis plaguing the Church for decades.

At the meeting, he said clerical sexual abuse of children was “a clear sign the devil is at work destroying the work of Jesus through those who should be proclaiming Jesus.”

Posted on February 9, 2017 7:57 AM

Pope admits corruption exists in Vatican
VATICAN CITY
ANSA

(ANSA) – Rome, February 9 – Pope Francis has admitted that there is corruption in the Vatican and said those who commit sexual abuse have an illness in an interview with Jesuit magazine La Civilità Cattolica. “There is corruption in the Vatican. But I am in peace,” he said in the interview, which was published by Corriere della Sera on Thursday. “If there is a problem I write a note to Saint Joseph and I put it under a statue in my room”. He also suggested some people inside the Catholic Church were not working in the same direction as him. “Sometimes (Saint) Peter’s boat can be hit by waves and that’s nothing to be surprised by,” he said. “But the same sailors called on to row in Peter’s boat can row in the opposite direction”.

When asked about cases of child sex abuse by clergymen, he replied: “if religious are involved, it’s clear that the presence of the devil is in action to ruin the work of Jesus.

Posted on February 9, 2017 7:54 AM

Papst: ‘Missbrauch ist eine Krankheit’
VATIKAN
kath.net

[Pope Francis has described child abuse as a “disease”. He said they will not be able to solve the problem unless they are convinced that it is a disease.]

Franziskus im Gespräch mit Generaloberen: Mahnung zur sorgfältigen Auswahl von Priesterkandidaten – Selbst der Vatikan sei nicht vor Korruption sicher, so der Papst: “Es gibt Korruption im Vatikan.”

Vatikanstadt(kath.net/KAP) Papst Franziskus hat Kindesmissbrauch als “Krankheit” bezeichnet. “Wenn wir nicht davon überzeugt sind, dass er eine Krankheit ist, werden wir das Problem nicht gut lösen können”, sagte er bei einem Gespräch mit den Teilnehmern der 88. Generalversammlung der Vereinigung der Generaloberen, das ab Donnerstagmittag im Wortlaut abrufbar ist. Er mahnte zu Vorsicht bei der Ordensaufnahme von Bewerbern, die anderswo abgewiesen wurden, wie die italienische Tageszeitung “Corriere della Sera” vorab über den Inhalt berichtete.

Posted on February 9, 2017 7:50 AM

Kinderporno-Verdacht im Bistum Limburg
DEUTSCHLAND
Spiegel

[Child porn suspect in the Limburg diocese.]

Ein Mitarbeiter des katholischen Bistums Limburg ist wegen des mutmaßlichen Besitzes von Kinderpornografie in den Fokus von Ermittlungen geraten. Der Mann sei deshalb vom Dienst freigestellt worden, sagte Bistumssprecher Stephan Schnelle.

Auch ein Sprecher der Generalstaatsanwaltschaft Frankfurt bestätigte die Ermittlungen. Diese führe die in Gießen ansässige “Zentralstelle zur Bekämpfung der Internetkriminalität”. Es gehe um den Verdacht, dass sich der Mann Kinderpornografie verschafft und besessen habe. Dem Sprecher zufolge gab es bei dem Verdächtigen am 1. Februar eine Durchsuchung. Dabei seien Datenträger sichergestellt worden, die nun ausgewertet würden.

Posted on February 9, 2017 7:48 AM

Verdächtiger im Bistum Limburg arbeitete früher mit Kindern
DEUTSCHLAND
Frankfurter Allgemeine

[An employee of Bishop Georg Batzing was allegedly found to have child pornography on his computer. The Limburg diocese is examining whether there might be abuse victims in the diocese.]

Gegen einen Mitarbeiter des katholischen Bistums Limburg wird wegen mutmaßlichen Besitzes von Kinderpornografie ermittelt. Der Büroleiter von Bischof Georg Bätzing sei freigestellt worden, weil auf seinem Dienst-PC im Bischofshaus und auf elektronischen Medien zahlreiche Kinderpornos gefunden worden seien, berichtet die „Frankfurter Neue Presse“ am Donnerstag unter Berufung auf die Generalstaatsanwaltschaft Frankfurt.

Das Bistum bestätigte auf Anfrage der Katholischen Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA) den Sachverhalt ohne Hinweis auf die Position des Mitarbeiters. Der Beschuldigte sei aufgrund des Anfangsverdacht von seinen Aufgaben entbunden und vom Dienst freigestellt worden, sagte Pressesprecher Stephan Schnelle. „Das Bistum kooperiert entsprechend der bischöflichen Leitlinien eng mit den staatlichen Strafverfolgungsbehörden.“ An erster Stelle stünden die Opfer.

Posted on February 9, 2017 7:44 AM

Kommentar: Der Fluch der bösen Tat
AUSTRALIEN
Die Tagespost

[The curse of the evil deed.]

Von Guido Horst

„Was die Kommission bisher herausgefunden hat, ist grauenvoll.“ So der Kommentar von Erzbischof Anthony Fischer von Sydney zum Beginn der Anhörungen eines staatlichen Untersuchungsgremiums zum sexuellen Missbrauch. Es geht um staatliche wie religiöse Einrichtungen, darunter auch Sportverbände und Schulen. Aber die Scheinwerfer richten sich besonders auf die katholische Kirche. Und die Zahlen sind wahrlich beschämend. Bis zu vierzig Prozent der Mitglieder von Orden und sieben Prozent der Priester des Landes sollen von 1950 bis 2009 in Fälle sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs verwickelt gewesen sein. Noch sind reine Beschuldigungen nicht sauber von tatsächlich begangenen Straftaten getrennt, die Kommission sammelt Zeugenaussagen, Beweise und Daten früherer Anhörungen. Aber schon jetzt ist das Material erdrückend. Die Kirche stöhnt: Die kommenden Wochen und Monate werden grausam sein.

Posted on February 9, 2017 7:41 AM

Polizei sucht Betroffene im Thurgau
SCHWEIZ
NZZ

[A criminal case has been brought against a former priest who allegedly abused minors. He is said to have been in the canton of Thurgau from 1994 to 1995. The canton police are now looking for people who had contact with the then 30-year-old German.]

(sda) In Deutschland läuft ein Strafverfahren gegen einen ehemaligen Priester wegen sexueller Handlungen mit Minderjährigen. Er soll sich von 1994 bis 1995 im Kanton Thurgau aufgehalten haben. Die Kantonspolizei sucht nun Personen, die mit dem damals 30-jährigen Deutschen Kontakt hatten.

Der heute 52-jährige Mann war 1994 zum Priester geweiht worden. 2008 sei ihm wegen sexueller Handlungen mit Minderjährigen der geistliche Stand aberkannt worden, teilte die Thurgauer Polizei am Donnerstag mit.

Posted on February 9, 2017 7:02 AM

New Alleged Abuse Victim Says John Smyth Made Him Self-Harm To Rid Himself Of ‘Sinful’ Gay Desires
UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

James Macintyre 08 February 2017

A new alleged victim of abuse by John Smyth, the former QC at the centre of claims about sadism and beatings towards Christian youth in the 1970s, has said that the same culture of homophobia still exists in “mainstream Christian fundamentalism”.

The man has come forward to The Guardian newspaper claiming that he was encouraged to self-harm by Smyth as a way of ridding himself of “sinful” homosexual yearnings.

As a schoolboy he was instructed to “do anything to give myself pain” amid “frightening and blunt” warnings homosexuality which drove him into “a dark place”, the paper reported.

Now in his 50s, ‘David’, which is not his real name, said that Smyth’s narrow theology and lack of compassion can still be found in today’s Church of England.

He said that Smyth’s “brand of Christianity” and “literalistic interpretation of scripture” still thrived in the Church.

Posted on February 9, 2017 6:58 AM

Kinderpornos im Bischofshaus: Ermittlungen gegen Büroleiter
DEUTSCHLAND
FNP

[The bishopric of Limburg is shattered by a new scandal. The office manager of Bishop Georg Bätzing has been released because he had child pornography on his PC.]

VON JOACHIM HEIDERSDORF

Das Bistum Limburg wird von einem neuen Skandal erschüttert: Der Büroleiter von Bischof Georg Bätzing ist freigestellt worden, weil er auf seinem Dienst-PC im Bischofshaus und auf elektronischen Medien Kinderpornos gespeichert haben soll. Die Zentralstelle für Internetkriminalität ermittelt.

Limburg.

Die Fotos sollen eindeutig und schockierend sein: Es geht um Kinderpornografie. Entdeckt wurden die Aufnahmen im Limburger Bischofshaus – auf dem Dienst-PC des Büroleiters und engen Vertrauten von Bischof Georg Bätzing. Das Bischöfliche Ordinariat hat sofort reagiert und den leitenden Mitarbeiter freigestellt.

Posted on February 9, 2017 6:52 AM

Tasmanian Catholic Church introduces new abuse reporting system
AUSTRALIA
West Coast Sentinel

Chris Clarke
@chrisclarkenews

9 Feb 2017

Tasmania’s Catholic Church will usher in a new era this year, with the introduction of an Australian-first child sex abuse reporting system.

It follows the handing down of condemning statistics from the Royal Commission in Sydney this week that heard more than 4000 allegations of child sex abuse had been investigated in the last four years, with up to 40 per cent of one mainland church group allegedly involved in paedophilia.

The new system, created by the Archdiocese of Hobart, will “ensure that in all potential environments where there is a risk of abuse, that risk is alleviated or mitigated” and ensure “that where abuse has unfortunately occurred, the correct internal and external processes are followed”.

The framework, dubbed Safe Communities, will also see:

* All allegations of abuse reported immediately to Tasmania Police and directly to Archbishop Reverend Julian Porteous.
* Resources shared statewide for organisations of Catholics and agencies of the Archdiocese of Hobart.
* Stringent interview and reference checking procedures put in place.
* Police checks for all staff, including volunteers.
* Education and training programs instilled.

Furthermore, Tasmania will use a new Australia-wide Catholic database that allows bishops and leaders of religious congregations to check the background of clerics and brothers visiting or moving to their region.

Posted on February 9, 2017 5:38 AM

Catholic church’s ‘pontifical secret’ stops disclosure of sex abuse allegations, expert says
AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Christopher Knaus
Thursday 9 February 2017

The Catholic church’s “pontifical secret” rule is still preventing bishops from disclosing child sexual abuse allegations in some states, an expert has said.

The royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse on Thursday began to examine how canon law contributes to the secrecy surrounding child abuse within the Catholic church.

Since 1974, an instruction from the pope known as Secreta Continere, or the pontifical secret, has imposed strict secrecy on the investigation and handling of child abuse allegations within the church.

The royal commission has heard the rule contributed to the failure of the church to refer abuse allegations to police and other civil authorities.

In 2010, the Holy See relaxed the secrecy provisions, telling church leaders they must obey any civil law compelling them to disclose information about abuse. But many Australian state and territories do not have explicit laws requiring the reporting of child abuse complaints.

Posted on February 9, 2017 5:33 AM

Commission debates Catholic confessional
AUSTRALIA
Cairns Post

Rebekah Ison, Australian Associated Press
February 9, 2017

Removing the confidentiality of the Catholic confessional box could stop paedophiles ever admitting to their crimes, a priest says.

Catholic Social Services Australia Chief Executive Father Frank Brennan said no one has ever confessed child sex abuse to him but he had been contacted by a woman whose father repeatedly talked of his crimes in the confessional and was forgiven.

He told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he thought priests dishing out such “cheap grace” was appalling.

But if confessional confidentiality was taken away, an abuser would know he was in the same position as if he told someone on the street, “I’m a pedophile”.

“I ask myself if you take away the seal of the confessional, is it any more likely that anyone will come to confession and confess pedophilia?,” he said on Thursday.

Posted on February 9, 2017 5:21 AM

And Now the Horror of the Sex Abuse Crisis…
UNITED STATES
Catholic and Enjoying It!

February 9, 2017 by Mark Shea

The best book I have read on this is by a lawyer named Joseph Klest called The Whole Truth. He’s an agnostic out in Chicago who has prosecuted around 500 sex abuse cases against the Church and has really good understanding of the institutional forces that create an environment for predators to seek prey (the same everywhere in the world, which is why this happens everywhere in the Church).

He doesn’t cut the Church one damn bit of slack, but he also doesn’t cut other institutions any slack either. And he argues, counter-intuitively but very persuasively, that if we really care about sexual abuse of minors, then the smartest thing we can do is take a good hard look at the astonishing work the US Church has done to tackle this issue: work that other institutions in dire need of reform (*cough* our entire public school system *cough*) have not done jack about.

Posted on February 9, 2017 5:18 AM

EXCLUSIVE: Jail guard pastor sexually abused Rikers inmates as supervisors stood idly by, lawsuit alleges
NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY VICTORIA BEKIEMPIS LEONARD GREENE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, February 9, 2017

A correction officer who moonlights as a church pastor is being sued by an inmate and investigated by the city on charges that he sexually abused detainees at Rikers Island.

Raimeir Clay, who is married with two children, is “a serial sexual abuser,” according to the male inmate, who said Clay used his power in the jail to molest him and other male inmates while the officer’s colleagues and supervisors did nothing to stop the abuse.

Clay, 43, wore two uniforms. For his shifts at the jail, he put on a blue uniform complete with a badge over his chest and department lapel on his shoulder.

But when he wasn’t supervising violent offenders and suspects awaiting trial at Rikers’ Anna M. Kross Center, Clay wore the ecclesiastic frock of a trusted minister complete with clerical collar.

In the latter world, he is known as Pastor Clay, preaching the Gospel to a Newark congregation.

Posted on February 9, 2017 5:16 AM

Church laws deliberately misused to cover up sex claims: Royal Commission
AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

Catholic church authorities deliberately misused their own legal code to excuse claims of child sexual abuse and protect alleged perpetrators, according to testimony before a royal commission.

The fourth day of an inquiry into the Catholic church’s approach to child sexual abuse heard that canon law has been used to justify the cover-up of alleged crimes.

In a submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Vatican adviser Baroness Sheila Hollins wrote that clergy may have used canon law to hide alleged sexual offending in their ranks.

“Canon law may have been deliberately misused to excuse inexcusable behaviour, and to cover up known wrongdoing,” the member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors wrote.

Posted on February 9, 2017 5:13 AM

Sale Diocese in line of fire
AUSTRALIA
Latrobe Valley Express

CATHOLIC Bishop of Sale Pat O’Reagan has moved to clarify figures released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which show his diocese was the worst hit by accusations of child sexual abuse between 1950 and 2010.

The report ‘Proportion of priests and non-ordained religious subject to a claim of child sexual abuse’ calculated 15.1 per cent of priests in the diocese in that period were accused of child sexual abuse.

In a statement released to media, Bishop O’Reagan said the Diocese of Sale did not have 15.1 per cent of the 4500 claims made in Australia over the past 35 years.

The report revealed a total of 1880 alleged perpetrators including diocesan and religious priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, lay employees or volunteers were identified in claims of child abuse.

Bishop O’Reagan said 384 were diocesan priests and “using the 15.1 per cent figures would be 12 which was consistent with data held by the diocese”.

Posted on February 9, 2017 5:11 AM

Archbishop admits Catholic Church has a profound ‘culture of concealment’
AUSTRALIA
NT News

CARLEEN FROST, The Daily Telegraph
February 7, 2017

THE first Catholic Archbishop to front the Royal Commission into child sex abuse has boldly declared “we do our own thing” in the church, which he described as a law unto itself.

Yesterday’s sitting into the systemic exploitation heard the Catholic Church lacked transparency and was so secretive it even hid information between it’s own divisions.

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge told the packed public gallery the church had a profound “culture of concealment” throughout its ranks and needed to work on becoming more transparent.

“I suspect it is the lingering effects of what was a deeply rooted culture — we do our own thing,” he said.

Posted on February 9, 2017 5:10 AM

Diocese offers ‘Protecting God’s Children for Parents’
WISCONSIN
Catholic Herald

Written by Mary Skemp
Thursday, Feb. 09, 2017

MADISON — The Diocese of Madison’s Office of Safe Environment is offering a special session of “Protecting God’s Children for Parents.” This session will be held Tuesday, March 21, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Bishop O’Connor Center Auditorium Conference Room.

While this session is geared toward parents/guardians, it also satisfies the compliance requirement for employees and volunteers.

The Diocese of Madison requires that all volunteers who work with children and vulnerable adults and all employees attend a “Protecting God’s Children for Adults” session.

“Protecting God’s Children” includes an education component which helps prevent child sexual abuse by first making every adult employee and volunteer aware of the issues surrounding child sexual abuse. This includes awareness of the many ways that sexual abuse harms its victims, their families, the parish, and the community.

Posted on February 9, 2017 5:07 AM

Vatican enforces Church ‘secrecy’, royal commission hears
AUSTRALIA
The Australian

RHIAN DEUTROM February 9, 2017
.
The Vatican enforced a culture of secrecy regarding cases of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, the royal commission has heard today.

A panel of experts, specialising in canonical or church law, appeared before the final hearing of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, agreeing almost unanimously that the directives from Rome were often geared to protect its flock rather than its victims.

Counsel assisting Stephen Free described the pastoral approach as a bishop attempting “for an appropriate period of time and with every means available to help the petitioner to overcome to difficulties which he experiences”.

The approach could involve “transferring him (the perpetrator) from the place in which he is exposed to the danger and according to the nature of the case, giving him the help of brother priests, friends…doctors or psychologists,” Mr Free said.

Father Thomas Doyle gave evidence regarding a lack of co-operation from the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the church, the Holy See, when faced with allegations of child sexual abuse.

Posted on February 9, 2017 5:06 AM

Shocking Revelations In Brutal Decades-Old Murder Of Baltimore Nun
MARYLAND
WJZ

[with video]

February 8, 2017 By Denise Koch

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For nearly 50 years, the disappearance and murder of a beloved, young nun, who taught at Southwest Baltimore’s Archbishop Keough High School, has been a mystery.

Now, WJZ has learned Baltimore County Police may be closer than ever to solving the murder of 26-year-old Sister Cathy Cesnik.

Two women, both with close ties to an unnamed man who may have been recently questioned by police, tell WJZ they believe her death may be linked to widespread sexual abuse by a powerful priest that took place decades ago.

They say they’ve revealed some critical clues to investigators.

One of those women asked not to be identified. We’ll call her “Ann.”

“I instinctively felt that when Sister Cathy was murdered, that my husband at the time had committed the murder,” Ann told WJZ’s Denise Koch.

Posted on February 9, 2017 5:03 AM

Ex-Beverley priest Roy Lovatt jailed for abusing children at Thorp Arch Grange school
UNITED KINGDOM
Hull Daily Mail

A former Beverley priest has been jailed for 28 years for sexually abusing vulnerable children.

Roy Lovatt, 71, former priest of St John of Beverley Church, committed the offences in the 1970s and 80s when he was a housemaster at Thorp Arch Grange school on the outskirts of Wetherby.

Lovatt, recently of Queen Street, Redcar, was found guilty after a trial at Leeds Crown Court of four charges of indecent assault and five of buggery against two boys.

Lovatt, who was described by prosecutors as a predatory sex offender, also admitted 23 charges of indecent assault and two of gross indecency on three other boys and a girl who were not resident at the school.
Posted on February 9, 2017 5:01 AM

Child sex abuse royal commission: Catholic canon law used to avoid dealing with paedophiles, priest says
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nicole Chettle

An American priest has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that the Catholic Church has used canon law as an excuse for not taking action against clergy accused of molesting children.

The commission is investigating the conflict between canon and civil law, and secrecy within the Catholic Church hierarchy.

Father Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer who first reported allegations of abuse to the Vatican in the 1980s, told the commission that the Catholic Church’s canon law had been used as an excuse in some instances by ecclesiastical authorities for not proceeding and taking action against reports of sexual abuse.

“The focus seems to have been consistently on the priest.

“Either getting [him] off the hook, taking care of him or punishing him in some way.”

Posted on February 9, 2017 4:59 AM

Survivors network not confident Vatican probe will lead to justice
GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , [email protected] Feb. 9, 2017

The world’s largest network of clergy sex abuse survivors said the Vatican’s ongoing investigation into sexual abuse allegations against Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron will not lead to justice for former altar boys, citing a lack of transparency in the canonical trial process and the absence of punishment for church officials who helped cover up the abuses.

Civil courts, however, give survivors a chance at healing and justice, said Joelle Casteix, volunteer western regional director for the Illinois-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.

“In the civil courts, there is transparency, accountability and justice. There is also a deterrent. Hopefully through the civil process, survivors will get healing and justice,” Casteix said.

Former altar boys who accused Apuron of sexually abusing or raping them in Agat in the 1970s have filed separate lawsuits in the U.S. District Court of Guam.

Apuron is also undergoing a canonical trial at the Vatican, but canon lawyer Patrick J. Wall said Apuron will not be at the Vatican for any of the proceedings.

Posted on February 9, 2017 4:55 AM

February 8, 2017
George Pell’s spokesman says Senate motion calling for his return is a ‘political stunt’
AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Melissa Davey
Wednesday 8 February 2017

A spokesman for Cardinal George Pell at the Vatican in Rome has criticised a motion that passed the Australian Senate calling on him to return to assist police with child sexual abuse investigations as a “political stunt” and “pathetic point-scoring”.

On Wednesday afternoon the Greens senator Rachel Siewert put forward a motion acknowledging the 4,444 alleged victims of child sexual abuse by the Catholic church in Australia between 1980 and 2015 uncovered by the child sexual abuse royal commission.

Victoria police are investigating allegations against Pell and last year travelled to Rome to interview him. A brief of evidence was handed to Victoria’s Department of Public Prosecutions, which is still considering the file. Pell has consistently denied allegations against him.

The motion “notes the allegations of criminal misconduct against Cardinal George Pell have been forwarded to the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions by the Victoria police” and called on Pell to “return to Australia to assist Victorian police and the Office of Public Prosecutions with their investigations into these matters”. The motion was supported by the Senate.

Posted on February 8, 2017 9:57 PM

Royal Commission into child sex abuse: Claims of Vatican cover-up
AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun

THE Vatican orchestrated the active cover-up of child sexual abuse cases through secret archives and church law, the child abuse Royal Commission has been told.

It also tried to stop victims of abuse coming forward by imposing a strict limitation on bringing claims of abuse as the horrors of the global child abuse crisis began to be exposed, it was alleged.

On the fourth day of the 15th and final probe of the Catholic Church by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse a panel of witnesses is testifying about church discipline and secrecy.

In an opening address to the commission counsel assisting Gail Furness, SC, said canon law, the law of the church, regulated and proscribe the Church’s response to allegations of child sexual abuse.

She said among the laws was an obligation that each diocese must keep a ‘secret archive’ which is to be separate from the diocese’s general archive.

Posted on February 8, 2017 9:53 PM

Caldwell Appoints Marc Alexander To Lead Honolulu Housing Office, Victims respond
HAWAII
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Joelle Casteix, SNAP Volunteer Western Regional Director, (949) 322-7434, [email protected]

Shame on Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. He has given a powerful city job to a man who has been sued for for child sexual abuse and who left a previous government job in disgrace because of an unethical affair with an adult woman while he was a priest.

In fact, because secret Diocese of Honolulu personnel documents and other evidence in Marc Alexander’s recently settled civil child sex abuse case have not yet been made public, we do not know the details of what happened, or the scope of the risk that Alexander could pose to adult women and children. Is this a risk that the people of Hawaii should be willing to take? Is this a personnel investment that Hawaii’s taxpayers should make?

We ask that Caldwell at least put this decision on hold until a thorough public review of Alexander’s Diocese of Honolulu personnel file can be completed. We also urge city and county leaders to immediately enact new hiring regulations that ensure that men and women arrested or sued for sexual assault or child sexual abuse are not given city jobs where they have positions of power over vulnerable populations.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:52 PM

Settlement of another lawsuit against defrocked priest McCormack: $2.3 million; Victims responds
ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Statement by Joelle Casteix, SNAP Volunteer Western Regional Director, (949) 322- 7434, [email protected]

This most recent lawsuit against Father McCormack is very disturbing and shows the influence that predators have in the areas where they live and work. The 12-year-old child and alleged victim in this case was not a member of the parish where Daniel McCormack worked.

In addition, this victim was abused for the second time after McCormack had been arrested for abuse. However, the priest was allowed back into the parish and had not been placed on any restriction of ministry or put in a secure facility away from children, according to the suit. He was free to continue to prey on children in the parish and neighborhood.

We hope anyone who has suffered abuse will come forward and begin healing. We encourage anyone with information about these crimes to contact local law enforcement.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:51 PM

Greens have anti-religion agenda, says George Pell
AUSTRALIA
The Australian

February 9, 2017

SAM BUCKINGHAM-JONES
Journalist
Sydney

Cardinal George Pell says the Greens are “anti-religion” and have pulled an “obvious political stunt” in calling for his return to Australia to assist police and prosecutors who are reviewing allegations against him.

In a statement released overnight, Cardinal Pell responded through a spokesman to a motion by the Greens accusing him of avoiding allegations of misconduct.

“The Greens have opted for an obvious political stunt while knowing full well Cardinal Pell has consistently co-operated with the Royal Commission and the Victorian Police,” a spokesman from Rome said.

“The suggestion that Cardinal Pell should be accountable for all the wrong doings of Church personnel throughout Australia over many decades is not only unjust and completely fanciful but also acts to shield those in the Church who should be called to account for their failures.”

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:48 PM

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse case study 50 | day four
AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

[live steam]

Joanne McCarthy
9 Feb 2017

11.38am The royal commission has adjourned for the morning tea break.

10.03am The royal commission has resumed for a panel hearing into church discipline and secrecy.

Counsel assisting the royal commission, Gail Furness, SC, is just introducing the four panelists.

The hearing will consider canon law, which is the body or system of laws and regulations created by Popes and councils of the church. The first Code of Canon Law was promulgated, or put in place, in 1917.

That code was repealed and replaced by the 1983 Code of Canon Law promulgated by Pope John Paul II.

Furness said the first issue to be considered is the relationship between canon law and civil law. Civil lawyer Kieran Tapsell is expected to say that bishops and other senior church officials have a special obligation to follow canon law where it conflicts with civil law because of the oaths they make.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:45 PM

Caldwell Appoints Marc Alexander To Lead Honolulu Housing Office
HAWAII
Honolulu Civil Beat

The former vicar general for the Catholic Church left his last government job after revelations of an affair with a parishioner.

By Anita Hofschneider / February 7, 2017

The man who left a state government job dealing with homelessness five years ago is now working for the city government on the same issue.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is hiring former state homeless director Marc Alexander to lead the city Office of Housing.

Caldwell named Alexander along with several other second-term Cabinet appointees in a press release late Tuesday.

Alexander, a former vicar general in the Catholic Church, was appointed by former Gov. Neil Abercrombie in 2011 to serve as state homeless director but resigned in 2012 when news leaked that he had an affair with a woman when he was serving at St. John Vianney parish in Kailua.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:43 PM

Bishop decries child abusers
AUSTRALIA
Shepparton News

by BARCLAY WHITE FEBRUARY 09, 2017

Sandhurst Diocese’s Bishop has given his first public statement since the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse revealed that close to 15 per cent of its priests over a 60-year period were alleged abusers of children.

Bishop Leslie Tomlinson said having one priest abuse childer was ‘‘one too many’’.

‘‘As the Bishop of the Diocese of Sandhurst, I have apologised to victims and survivors of sexual abuse on several occasions in the past. I wish to take this opportunity to do so again,’’ he said.

‘‘As a diocese and community we will work together to ensure that this betrayal can never occur again.’’

He said during the 60-year period from 1950 to 2010 there were 27 claims of abuse, against 16 priests in the diocese.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:41 PM

Catholic priest gets prison for producing child porn
DELAWARE
The News Journal

Jessica Masulli Reyes , The News Journal Feb. 8, 2017

A former U.S. Navy chaplain and Catholic priest from Millsboro has been sentenced to 30 years in prison and lifetime supervision for taking pornographic pictures of a teen boy, according to U.S. Attorney Charles M. Oberly III of Delaware.

John Thomas Matthew Lee, 51, was sentenced by Judge Leonard P. Stark in U.S. District Court in Delaware on Wednesday afternoon.

Lee, a registered sex offender in Delaware, already served two years in prison after he was court-martialed in 2007 on allegations that he used his position as a Catholic priest in the Navy to prey on lower-ranking servicemen and failed to tell a sex partner he was HIV-positive.

The investigation into Lee’s current case began in 2013 when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children got a cybertip indicating Lee’s cellphone had attempted to upload an image of three naked boys lying on a bed, according to court documents.

Posted on February 8, 2017 6:39 PM

Foggia, don cacciato in gran segreto per abusi su minori diventa allenatore e ne violenta 11 baby calciatori
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

[Giani Don Trotta was defrocked in 2012 after several complaints of abuse. But the Curia does not want you to know that Trotta began to coach a football team and abused 11 boys.] .
Don Giani Trotta viene ridotto allo stato laicale nel 2012 dopo diverse denunce in veniva accusato di violenze su minori. Ma la Curia non vuole che si sappia. Trotta per la comunità rimane don e si mette ad allenare la squadra di calcio del paese, abusando così di 11 ragazzini.

C’è una storia terribile a Foggia, fatta di silenzi e abusi, di un prete stupratore e pedofilo e delle giovani vite di bimbi spezzate senza pietà.

È la vicenda che ha come orco Don Gianni.

Posted on February 8, 2017 6:32 PM

Catholics for Renewal president Peter Johnstone says the church needs women at the very top
AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
9 Feb 2017

ONE of the Australian Catholic Church’s strongest internal critics has told the child abuse royal commission that Pope Francis should replace half the church’s most senior clerics with “progressive women theologians”.

Catholics for Renewal president Peter Johnstone said women in the church was “an obvious lack”, a point accepted by Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge during a hearing on Wednesday about church governance and its role in the child sexual abuse crisis.

“The first thing anyone who understands the challenge of leadership does, is understand the need for gender balance. Women are half the population and should be involved in good governance,” Mr Johnstone said.

“I think there needs to be a circuit breaker in the church. The Pope could appoint 50 per cent of positions within the curia as progressive women theologians. That would change the dynamic tomorrow.”

Mr Johnstone strongly criticised the church for failing to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, a factor that he said contributed to the global crisis.

Posted on February 8, 2017 6:30 PM

Widespread Child Sexual Abuse By Australian Catholic Church Revealed
UNITED STATES
NPR

February 8, 2017
Heard on All Things Considered

NPR’s Robert Siegel speaks with Rachel Browne, reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald, about the official report regarding alleged pedophilia by Catholic priests in Australia. She says over 4,500 people have made claims of child sexual abuse connected to Catholic institutions over the last 35 years. One of the key figures is American priest and canon lawyer Thomas Doyle, who is a whistleblower. He’s been testifying to The Royal Commission investigating the abuse about the Church’s cover-ups.

Posted on February 8, 2017 6:28 PM

Joe Little: Abuse scandal ‘almost fatally destroyed’ Catholic Church says priest
AUSTRALIA
RTE (Ireland)

By Joe Little
Religious & Social Affairs Correspondent

The Catholic Church in Ireland has been “almost fatally destroyed” by the clerical child sexual abuse scandal, according to a former Provincial of the Jesuit Order here.

Fr Gerry O’Hanlon SJ told an Australian inquiry into abuse that the loss of the Church’s moral authority here once the scandal was publicly exposed was what he called the “crucial” factor.

He said the Irish hierarchy was forced in the 1990s, “not least due to media intervention and the intervention of public opinion to be more proactive” about the crisis. He said the bishops here owe a lot to survivors and victims who have spoken out on the issue.

But he added that “Rome didn’t seem to quite get it” probably well into the current millennium and that the Catholic Church was poorly prepared to examine abuse complaints because the priest was perceived “as in some sense superior”.

Posted on February 8, 2017 6:25 PM

Archbishop Hart writes to Australian Catholics regarding Royal Commission
AUSTRALIA
The Record

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I write to you as the final hearing involving the Catholic Church at the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse commences on February 6, 2017.

For the victims and survivors, for the Catholic community and for many in the wider Australian community, this hearing may be a difficult and even distressing time, as the Royal Commission reviews the evidence it has already received and seeks to understand why and how this tragedy has occurred.

Deeply mindful of the hurt and pain caused by abuse, I once again offer my apology on behalf of the Catholic Church. I am sorry for the damage that has been done to the lives of victims of sexual abuse. As Pope Francis said recently, ‘it is a sin that shames us’.

Over the next three weeks, evidence presented during the Royal Commission hearings will be analysed, statistics about the extent of abuse will be made public, and the way forward will be explored. Many of our bishops and other Catholic leaders will appear before the Royal Commission. They will explain what the Church has been doing to change the old culture that allowed abuse to continue and to put in place new policies, structures and protections to safeguard children.
Posted on February 8, 2017 3:49 PM

EX-RESIDENT OF KINCORA BOYS’ HOME TO LAUNCH LEGAL ACTION OVER INQUIRY FINDINGS
NORTHERN IRELAND
Care Appointments

Written by David Young

A former resident of a notorious Belfast boys’ home is set to mount a legal challenge against the findings of an inquiry that rejected claims that senior establishment figures used it to abuse children.

Richard Kerr (pictured), who alleges he was abused by “very powerful people” with links to the Kincora home, does not accept the conclusions of the four-year Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry.

The inquiry dismissed long-standing claims that senior politicians, civil servants and businessmen were complicit in a paedophile ring that operated at the home in the 1970s and for which three staff members were jailed.

The report also rejected associated allegations that the UK security services knew what was going on and, instead of intervening, used the information to blackmail the establishment figures involved.

Posted on February 8, 2017 3:44 PM

Priest jailed for 28 years for abuse of vulnerable boys in his care at children’s home
UNITED KINGDOM
Gazette Live

A teacher and a housemaster who abused vulnerable boys in their care at a children’s home have received jail sentences totalling 46 years.

Between them Roy Allen and Roy Lovatt molested nine boys in the 1970s and 1980s while working at Thorp Arch Grange school on the outskirts of Wetherby, West Yorkshire.

Lovatt who was later ordained as a Roman Catholic priest was described by the prosecution as a predatory sex offender in his trial at Leeds Crown Court .

The 71-year-old of Queen Street, Redcar , who was a house master at the school was found guilty of four charges of indecent assault and five of serious sex assaults against two boys.

Posted on February 8, 2017 3:43 PM

John Smyth QC Faces Fresh Allegations Over Abuse In Zimbabwe
UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

Harry Farley JOURNALIST 08 February 2017

John Smyth QC, accused of abusing boys at Christian youth camps, continued his attacks after he fled to Zimbabwe, according to an ongoing investigation by Channel 4.

The barrister left the UK in the early 1980s after an inquiry by the Christian charity the Iwerne Trust uncovered he had beaten boys, prompting one university student to attempt suicide.

But he set up similar Christian youth camps for public school boys, Zambezi Holidays, in Zimbabwe.

Concerns about Smyth’s behaviour at the camps in Zimbabwe were raised as early as 1986, according to Channel 4’s Cathy Newman, with documents revealing how “incidents of nudity and beatings on Zambezi Ministries camps increased”.

An investigation into the camps after a 15-year-old boy died found Smyth “would stand, in the nude, in the vicinity of, or just inside, the shower area”.

Posted on February 8, 2017 3:39 PM

Victims angry about sex abuse ex-Gloucester Bishop Peter Ball being released ear
UNITED KINGDOM
Gloucestershire Live

By Janet Hughes | Posted: February 08, 2017

Victims have reacted with anger that a former Bishop of Gloucester jailed for sex abuse has been released before a Church of England report into how he escaped justice for over two decades.

Peter Ball, a former Bishop of Gloucester who was jailed for abusing young men, has been released after serving half of his 32-month sentence.

During his trial, there were allegations of an establishment cover up to protect Ball, now aged 84, who admitted abusing 18 young men between 1977 and 1992.

Now questions are being asked why he has been set free before the results of the independent Church of England inquiry into his activities ordered by the Archbishop of Canterbury, have been published.
Posted on February 8, 2017 3:37 PM

Moravian clergymen’s sex case transferred to Manchester Circuit Court
JAMAICA
Loop

The sex case of Moravian clergymen Rev Paul Gardner and Jermaine Gibson has been transferred to the Manchester Circuit Court.

The matter was transferred when the men appeared in the Manchester Parish Court Wednesday morning.

The case is expected to be mentioned for a trial date to be set.

Both men were offered station bail in the sum of $300,000 each following their arrests by the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).

Gibson allegedly had a sexual relationship with the complainant when she was 12 years old. According to CISOCA, Gardner also engaged in sexual relations with her when she was 14.

Posted on February 8, 2017 3:36 PM

Moravian Church leaders granted bail again
JAMAICA
Jamaica Observer

MANCHESTER, Jamaica — Former Moravian Church president Rev Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy Jermaine Gibson who made their appearance at the Manchester Circuit Court this morning had their bail extended again.

The men are answering to carnal abuse and indecent assault charges and are due back in court on February 23.

OBSERVER ONLINE understands that the two had their bail extended last Wednesday at the Manchester Parish Court; however their matter were moved upstairs to the Circuit Court this morning. It was not clear if their bails were extended due to the change in courts.

Attorney-At-Law, Pierre Rogers represented both men today. He is the lawyer for Gibson, while Peter Champaignie is the attorney representing Gardner.

Posted on February 8, 2017 3:34 PM

New Bail Bond Requested For Moravian Ministers
JAMAICA
The Gleaner

Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:
Moravian ministers Dr Paul Gardner and Jermaine Gibson, who are facing carnal abuse charges, arising from a series of incidents that allegedly happened in 2002, had their matter moved from the Manchester Parish Court to the circuit court this morning.

The two are expected to return to court on February 23, where a request will be made from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, to have the matter transferred to Kingston.

Gardner and Gibson, who were today represented by attorney Pierre Rogers, were both taken into custody, pending the signing of the new bail bond requested from Judge Evan Brown.

Posted on February 8, 2017 3:33 PM

Apuron not required at Vatican trial
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

Suspended Archbishop Anthony Apuron will never be present in his canonical trial in Rome for sex-abuse allegations, according to canon law expert, Patrick J. Wall.

“Secrecy is king. There will be no public hearing,” Wall said. “The process began in secret, will be conducted in secret, decided in secret and the findings will be kept in secret Vatican archives.”

This insight into the Vatican way of justice was disclosed by Wall as Apuron was found in Fairfield, California recently, thousands of miles away from the Vatican process regarding child sex abuse cases against him and other former members of Guam’s clergy.

16th lawsuit

Meanwhile in the federal court in Guam, a 16th lawsuit accusing Guam clergy of child sexual abuse filed in the District Court of Guam yesterday claims that, in the 1970s, the Guam Police Department was in possession of a police report involving a minor boy and former Guam priest, Louis Brouillard, at the St. Williams Catholic Church in Tumon.

Felix Manglona, now a 58-year-old Inarajan resident, said in his complaint filed yesterday that several years after he was abused by Brouillard in the 1970s, he was assisting the GPD statistician as part of his responsibilities under a cadet program. Court documents state that while performing his daily duties to review police reports and collect data, Manglona reviewed a police report pertaining to Brouillard.

Posted on February 8, 2017 3:31 PM

Maine Grand Jury Indicts Former Haverhill Priest for Child Abuse
MAINE/MASSACHUSETTS
WHAV

A former associate pastor at St. John the Baptist Church in Haverhill was indicted Monday by a York County, Maine, grand jury on 29 counts of gross sexual misconduct dating back to the late 1980s.

The indictment alleges Ronald H. Paquin, 74, abused two children, ages 11 and 14, at seasonal locations in Kennebunkport, Maine. He will be charged with 13 counts of gross sexual misconduct, class A, and 16 counts of gross sexual misconduct, class B, Kennebunkport Police Chief Craig A. Sanford told WHAV.

“With the help of two courageous victims and the hard work of a dedicated police investigator and District Attorney, the Kennebunkport Police Department presented evidence to the grand jury of York County that resulted in the indictment,” the chief said. “I am glad that we were able to present a case that hopefully brings the victims some type of peace in their future and holds the offender accountable for these horrific crimes,” he added.

A warrant will be issued for Paquin’s arrest after which he will be returned to Maine for eventual court proceedings.

During October, 2015, Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett said he was forced to withdraw his petition to keep Paquin in prison as a “sexually dangerous person” because experts who examined the former priest could not conclude the former priest poses a threat.

Posted on February 8, 2017 3:30 PM

Ex-priest at center of Boston scandal indicted on 29 counts of sexual abuse in Maine
MAINE
Portland Press Herald

BY EDWARD D. MURPHY
STAFF WRITER

A former Catholic priest who was at the center of the Boston sex abuse scandal has been indicted on 29 counts of sexual abuse in Maine dating back three decades.

The indictments against Ronald Paquin were handed down by a York County grand jury on Tuesday. Paquin is accused of having abused two boys that he took to Kennebunkport in the 1980s.

Paquin pleaded guilty in 2002 to repeatedly raping a Haverhill altar boy between 1989 and 1992. The rapes began when the boy was 12.

Kennebunkport Police Chief Craig A. Sanford said the Maine case was referred to his department by the state Attorney General’s Office, which was approached by one of the alleged victims in 2011. Sanford said the acts occurred at a “seasonal location,” but neither he nor Kathryn Slattery, the York County District Attorney, would provide any more details. The dates range from Nov. 1, 1985 to Aug. 20, 1988.

Paquin was laicized, or removed from the priesthood, in 2002 and was jailed on the rape charges until 2015. The Boston Globe reported in October 2015 that two medical specialists said that Paquin, 72 at the time, no longer met the criteria to be considered sexually dangerous. The paper also said that court records indicated that after his release Paquin would seek treatment in either New York or Massachusetts and eventually move to Maine, where he would also seek sex offender treatment.

Posted on February 8, 2017 3:28 PM

Massachusetts man indicted on 29 sex charges in Maine
MAINE
WMTW

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine —
A Massachusetts man has been indicted on nearly 30 sex charges in Maine, according to Kennebunkport police.

A York County grand jury indicted Ronald H. Paquin, 74, on 29 counts of gross sexual misconduct.

Police said criminal acts took place in the late 1980s at seasonal locations in Kennebunkport.

The alleged victims were 11 and 14, police said.

“I am glad that we were able to present a case that hopefully brings the victims some type of peace in their future and holds the offender accountable for these horrific crimes,” Police Chief Craig Sanford said.

According to court documents, the incidents occurred between November 1985 and October 1988, all in Kennebunkport.

Posted on February 8, 2017 3:26 PM

Ex-priest jailed for decade indicted on new sex charges
MAINE
Seacoast Online

By Staff and wire reports [email protected]

ALFRED, Maine – A former Roman Catholic priest who spent more than a decade in a Massachusetts prison for raping an altar boy has been indicted on 29 counts of sexual misconduct dating to the 1980s in Kennebunkport.

Ronald H. Paquin, 74, was indicted by a York County Grand Jury on Feb. 6 on 13 counts of gross sexual misconduct, a Class A crime, and 16 counts of gross sexual misconduct, a Class B crime. Kennebunkport Police Chief Craig Sanford said the charges came about “with the help of two courageous victims and the hard work of a dedicated police investigator and District Attorney.” Sanford said the alleged acts took place in the late 1980s at seasonal locations in Kennebunkport when the alleged victims were 11 and 14.

“I am glad that we were able to present a case that hopefully brings the victims some type of peace in their future and holds the offender accountable for these horrific crimes,” Sanford said.

According to the indictment, the alleged incidents took place from 1985 to 1988, all in Kennebunkport.

Posted on February 8, 2017 3:24 PM

Ex-Haverhill priest indicted in Maine on sexual abuse charge
MASSACHUSETTS/MAINE
Eagle-Tribune

By Mike LaBella [email protected]

HAVERHILL — A former Haverhill priest who served time in prison after pleading guilty to sexual abuse of a child is facing new charges in Maine.

Kennebunkport Police Chief Craig A. Sanford said that on Monday a York County grand jury indicted Ronald H. Paquin, 74, of Massachusetts on 13 counts of gross sexual misconduct, class A, and 16 counts of gross sexual misconduct, class B.

Sanford said the criminal acts took place in the late 1980s at seasonal locations in Kennebunkport. The male victims’ ages were 11 and 14 when Paquin began his inappropriate criminal conduct.

“I am glad that we were able to present a case that hopefully brings the victims some type of peace in their future and holds the offender accountable for these horrific crimes,” Sanford said.

He noted that with the help of two victims and the hard work of Kennebunkport Detective David Breault and the York County District Attorney Kathryn Slattery, the Kennebunkport Police Department presented evidence to the grand jury of York County that resulted in the indictment.

Posted on February 8, 2017 3:23 PM

Ex-Priest Imprisoned for Decade Indicted on New Sex Charges
MAINE
ABC News

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
YORK, Maine — Feb 8, 2017

A former Roman Catholic priest who spent more than a decade in a Massachusetts prison for raping an altar boy has been indicted in Maine on 29 counts of sexual misconduct dating to the 1980s.

York County District Attorney Kathryn Slattery tells The Boston Globe ( http://bit.ly/2kkiBWp ) some counts against 74-year-old Ronald Paquin involve a child under 14.

Paquin, freed in 2015, was a central figure in the Boston archdiocese’s sex abuse scandal. In 2002, he pleaded guilty to raping an altar boy.

Although he was convicted of raping one boy, several other people accused him of molesting them. He was later defrocked by the Vatican. At sentencing, Paquin expressed remorse through his lawyer and said that as a teenager, he was abused by a priest.

Posted on February 8, 2017 3:17 PM

Canon law ‘misused in abuse cover-ups’
AUSTRALIA
Yahoo! News

Megan Neil – AAP on February 9, 2017

The Catholic Church’s canon law may have been deliberately misused to excuse and cover up child sexual abuse, a member of the Vatican’s child protection body says.

Canon law has not been a reason for abuse occurring in the church, Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors member Baroness Sheila Hollins has told an Australian inquiry.

“I know of no evidence that canon law has been a reason for the occurrence of abuse,” part of her submission to the child abuse royal commission states.

“In no canon does it require a member of the church to ‘cover up’ a canonical offence in order to protect the reputation of the church.”

Baroness Hollins said such cover-ups completely misunderstood the purpose of canon law in that area – the reparation of scandal, the restoration of justice and the reform of the offender.

Posted on February 8, 2017 1:05 PM

Looking for on-the-record Vatican voices in the New York Times shocker about Darth Bannon
UNITED STATES
GetReligion

Terry Mattingly

It would be hard to imagine a subject more intriguing to some editors at The New York Times than suggestions that the Darth Vader of the Donald Trump administration – that would be Stephen K. Bannon – was somehow working with forces close to the Vatican to undercut Pope Francis.

Thus, there has been quite a bit of online buzz about the rather BuzzFeed like feature (in terms of its sourcing) that Times editors ran under the headline, “Steve Bannon Carries Battles to Another Influential Hub: The Vatican.”

Catholic insiders – on the left and right – will be able to see more in the thin tea leaves of this piece than I can. I am primarily interested in journalism issues linked to how the piece was reported and presented. The bottom line: It is very rare to see such sweeping, conspiratorial language used in a news feature that – on its key points of fact – appears to have one crucial named source, other than quotes from other journalists. Hold that thought.

Posted on February 8, 2017 11:31 AM

Wiccan who whipped teenage girls ‘should no longer be supervised’, judge says
AUSTRALIA
The Age

Jane Lee

A man who prostituted and sexually assaulted children could soon be free after a judge ruled he should no longer be supervised in the community.

Robin Fletcher, 60, has been under strict supervision conditions since 2006, after serving 10 years for a number of child sexual crimes.

He was not allowed to move out of a particular address without the Adult Parole Board’s approval, and could only leave the place under strict conditions.

Fletcher, who is now legally blind, was working as a drug abuse and sexual guidance youth counsellor in South Caulfield in the 1990s when he performed violent sexual acts on two 15-year-old girls, including whipping their naked backs and buttocks.

He previously justified his behaviour as being a pagan ritual in line with his “Wiccan” religious beliefs.

Posted on February 8, 2017 9:19 AM

16th priest abuse lawsuit filed in US court
GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , [email protected] Feb. 8, 2017

A 16th former altar boy filed a $5 million clergy sex abuse lawsuit in federal court Wednesday. He alleges that former island priest Louis Brouillard sexually abused him in the early 1970s.

Felix T. Manglona, now 58, said Brouillard repeatedly sexually molested and abused him while he was serving as a Boy Scouts of America scout in or about 1970, and when he was an altar boy about a year later at the Malojloj Parish. He said he was about 12 or 13 at the time.

“On or about three occasions, Brouillard required Felix to spend the night at the convent in order for Felix to serve as an altar boy during the early Sunday Mass. When Felix slept at the convent, Brouillard sexually molested and abused him,” the complaint states.

Manglona said Brouillard would sometimes use weekly outings to recruit young boys to become altar boys or join the Boy Scouts. Brouillard was a scoutmaster in the Guam chapter of the Boy Scouts.

Posted on February 8, 2017 9:17 AM

A victim has told of the devastating impact of alleged child sex abuse by a Tonbridge priest
UNITED KINGDOM
Kent Live

By Sian Elvin | Posted: February 08, 2017

A victim of child sex abuse allegedly carried out by a Catholic priest from Tonbridge has spoken out about the horrific abuse he suffered at the hands of a “devious predator”.

The victim, who must remain anonymous for legal reasons, successfully claimed compensation from the church last year after Monsignor Michael Smith took his own life before the case against him could be taken to court.

A parish priest at Corpus Christi Church in Lyons Crescent for 19 years, the 63-year-old was arrested in December 2010 on suspicion of sexually assaulting a child but was found dead after taking fatal doses of a prescription painkiller in April 2011.
Posted on February 8, 2017 9:15 AM

SNAP FOUNDER QUITS IN DISGRACE
UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on the resignation of the founder and president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Barbara Blaine:

Blaine announced her resignation over the weekend. She quit in disgrace, as did the executive director, David Clohessy, who packed it in less than two weeks ago.

Both Clohessy and Blaine tried to put a happy face on their departure—which effectively kills SNAP—but no one believes them. Clohessy said his decision had nothing to do with the devastating lawsuit brought against SNAP by a former employee, Gretchen Rachel Hammond. Blaine echoed the same line, saying the lawsuit “had absolutely no bearing on my leaving.”

Posted on February 8, 2017 9:12 AM

Media Finally Awakens As SNAP’s Leadership Suddenly Resigns Amid Lawsuits and Scandals
UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

For many years at TheMediaReport.com, we have been saying that SNAP and its leadership – so beloved by the media for its constant bashing of the Catholic Church – was little more than a contingency lawyer front group disguised as a victim support group.

Then along came Gretchen Hammond.

A few weeks ago, Hammond, a former director of development at SNAP, filed a blockbuster retaliatory lawsuit against SNAP alleging that SNAP was funded by illicit kickbacks from plaintiff lawyers like Jeff Anderson, had little or no regard for actual abuse victims, and was driven by an ideological hatred of the Catholic Church. What’s more, Hammond had a trove of internal SNAP documents to substantiate all of her claims.

Posted on February 8, 2017 9:11 AM

Canon lawyer: Apuron trial outcome will likely stay secret
GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , [email protected] Feb. 8, 2017

A canonical trial, such as the ongoing trial of Archbishop Anthony Apuron, is a highly secretive process with many possible outcomes, according to canon lawyer Patrick J. Wall, who said Apuron will not be at the Vatican for any of the proceedings.

Wall, a former Catholic priest, is lead researcher for Jeff Anderson & Associates, a Minnesota-based law firm representing victims of childhood sexual abuse. He is helping to dissect the defenses that dioceses mount during trial. He co-authored “Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes,” a leading book on the 2,000-year history of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis placed Apuron on leave last June after several former altar boys publicly accused Apuron, 71, of molesting or raping them when he was parish priest in Agat, in the 1970s. Only the pope can take action against a bishop or archbishop, and the Vatican has confirmed there is an ongoing canonical trial for Apuron.

“Few people outside of the Vatican know as much about the canonical trial process as Patrick does,” said Joelle Casteix, volunteer western regional director for the Illinois-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, the world’s largest network of clergy abuse survivors.

Wall said Pope Francis has two options in the Apuron trial — administrative action or judicial action — after the pope’s appointed auditor, or investigator, gathers and presents the facts. Wall said a likely candidate to serve as the pope’s auditor is Reverend James Conn, a professor of Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and professor of the Practice of Canon Law at Boston College.

Posted on February 8, 2017 9:08 AM

How does a canonical trial work?
GUAM
KUAM

[with video]

Updated: Feb 08, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Archbishop Anthony Apuron is reportedly being tried in the Vatican for allegations of child sex abuse, but he was spotted in Fairfield, California just last month. What’s the deal? One expert gives us a better understanding of protocol in Rome.

What can we expect from the ongoing canonical trial in Rome for Archbishop Apuron? Nothing.

“All of this, of course, is done in secret. This is not like any trial you’ve seen on TV or you’ve ever experienced. There is no hearing. There is no public airing of this. Everything is done in secret,” explained Patrick J. Wall. Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Wall is an advocate, former priest, and canonist intimately familiar with cases of child sex abuse in the church. After all, he’s spent years filling-in for accused pedophile priests.

In his most recent blog post, Not-So-Great Expectations for the Canonical Trial of Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron OFM Cap, he breaks down the canonical trial process step-by-step. Once a priest stands accused, investigators or auditors are appointed to gather the facts, which are then presented to Pope Francis, who will decide on administrative or judicial action. Administrative action may result in Apuron being ordered to a life of prayer and penance in a Capuchin monastery far from Guam where he would continue as a bishop, priest, and Capuchin.

As for judicial action, he’d be subject to further investigation and present his defense through his canon lawyer and a decision rendered in secret. Wall continued, “And the third option of course is the nuclear one where he is completely removed as a bishop, removed as a priest, we would call laicization and removed from his Capuchin Franciscan order. So completely taken down and stripped of everything.”

Posted on February 8, 2017 9:06 AM

RIPR Investigation: The St. George’s Loophole
RHODE ISLAND
Rhode Island Public Radio

[with audio]

By ELISABETH HARRISON

When an elite boarding school in Middletown, Rhode Island became the center of a growing sexual abuse scandal, Rhode Island Public Radio discovered an apparent loophole in the state’s child abuse reporting statute, which may have contributed to the school’s decision not to report the allegations, made by students and former students on multiple occasions over a period spanning decades.

RIPR’s report surprised and alarmed advocates for survivors of sexual assault, and angered the state’s attorney general, who maintains that schools do have a legal requirement to report abuse, even though no record could be found of a school or school official ever being prosecuted for failure to report sexual abuse in the state.

After RIPR’s story aired, advocates and lawmakers successfully fought for the passage of an amendment, which adds school employees to the list of alleged perpetrators who must be reported to child welfare officials. The amendment also gives child welfare officials the authority to investigate sexual abuse allegations in schools.

Posted on February 8, 2017 8:20 AM

Further excavation at former Tuam mother and baby home
IRELAND
RTE News

A second excavation is being conducted at the site of a former mother and baby home in Tuam, Co Galway.

The tests were requested by the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

The commission was established following allegations about the deaths of 800 babies in Tuam over a number of decades and the manner in which they were buried.

Last October, a preliminary excavation took place at the site.

Specialist archaeologists returned to Tuam in recent days and are expected to continue their work there for another two weeks.

It is understood the latest excavation will entail a more detailed examination of the grounds and will involve deeper excavations than those initially carried out last autumn.

Posted on February 8, 2017 8:18 AM

UPDATE: Stefan Deliramich pleads guilty to two charges
WEST VIRGINIA
The News Center

[with video]

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. – Updated: 2/7/2017

On the day his trial was set to begin, a.Williamstown youth pastor pleads guilty to two charges of distribution of obscene materials to a minor.

Stefan Deliramich entered the plea Tuesday morning in Wood County Circuit Court.

Deliramich admitted to using a fake Instagram account to send obscene videos.

At the time of his arrest in April of 2016, Deliramich was a youth pastor at the First Baptist Church in Williamstown, and a girls soccer coach.

Posted on February 8, 2017 8:13 AM

Youth pastor pleads guilty
WEST VIRGINIA
Marietta Times

PARKERSBURG – An April sentencing date has been set for a former youth pastor indicted on 14 counts related to obscene materials.

Stefan Andrew Deliramich, 30, appeared in Wood County Circuit Court Tuesday and entered pleas of guilty to two counts of distribution and display to a minor of obscene matter.

As part of the plea agreement, additional charges in the indictment will be dismissed. His trial was set to start this week.

Deliramich, a Wyoming native, was indicted by the September 2016 grand jury on 14 counts, seven for use of obscene matter with intent to seduce a minor and seven counts of distribution and display to a minor of obscene matter.

Posted on February 8, 2017 8:10 AM

Attorney demands answers
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For the Post Feb 8, 2017

A canon law expert from Rome who also works at Boston College has directly contacted three victims of sexual abuse to seek their depositions. The attorney who represents the victims has called for answers, threatening to file an ethical complaint if communication with his clients continues without his consent.

In a letter to Rev. James J. Conn, attorney David Lujan questioned why the religious professor contacted three of his clients – Roland P.L. Sondia, Roy T. Quintanilla and Walter G. Denton – to discuss their cases for a matter “not related to the lawsuits on Guam.”

Conn is listed as the ordinary professor of canon law, Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome; and professor of the practice of canon law, School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College, according to the Canon Law Society of America.

Lujan said his clients were contacted directly, and despite his clients insisting that Conn would need to go through their lawyer, the professor said the matter is not related to the lawsuits in Guam so they did not need their attorney’s consent.

Posted on February 8, 2017 8:07 AM

Jack the Insider: police failed to stop epidemic of church abuse
AUSTRALIA
The Australian

February 8, 2017

JACK THE INSIDER
ColumnistCanberra
@JacktheInsider

The figure of 4444 people reporting abuse at the hands of Catholic clerics between 1980 and 2015 has seemed staggering to some. I was surprised that people were so shocked.

It is important to note the figure only represents those who have come forward and reported their abuse to some 90-odd Catholic authorities.

The rule of thumb for police investigators like those from VicPol’s Sano Task Force, is for every victim who comes forward, at least four will not.

There are those victims who cannot come forward, who are deceased, their lives often ended by suicide or in a storm of recklessness.

There are others who won’t ever come forward. They may a feel a victim’s shame at the abuse they have suffered. More often they appreciate coming forward will come at significant personal cost, the prospect of family dislocation, the ugly business of clerical sexual abuse meeting religious clannishness.

Posted on February 8, 2017 8:05 AM

Kincora campaigner’s fury after abuse evidence is censored
NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Cate McCurry
PUBLISHED
08/02/2017

The man who tried to expose historical sex abuse at the notorious Kincora boys’ home in Belfast in the 1970s has criticised a major inquiry after it redacted part of his evidence.

Former Army captain and intelligence officer Colin Wallace, whose attempts to blow the whistle on the abuse of the young boys were thwarted by superiors, said the censored information undermines the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry (HIA).

He refused to testify before it last year, because he said it did not have adequate powers to get answers. Instead, Mr Wallace submitted a 45-page document about Kincora.

However, two sections were redacted – blacked out – before the material was placed on the HIA website. The redacted information, published by Lobster Magazine, includes details about senior figures from public life.

Posted on February 8, 2017 8:01 AM

Editorial: Only change in Catholic Church can end miserable tale of hurt
AUSTRALIA
Courier-Mail

FAITH is a curious thing, and when it is betrayed, a person can be broken.

For the past four years The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard harrowing tales of how trusted people beat, raped, tortured, starved, humiliated and threatened children.

The commission process has been awful. There has been testimony of not just physical abuse but how entire world views had been ripped apart.

This week the Catholic Church has been in the spotlight again and for the first time there has been calculation of the profound secrecy, isolation and spiritual hurt inflicted over 60 years.

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, ahead of his giving evidence, warned his flock of “grim moments and some truths”.

Yesterday he acknowledged that the church acted as a law unto itself.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:58 AM

Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse is ‘going to have an effect around the world’: Catholic critic
AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
8 Feb 2017

ONE of the Catholic Church’s most vocal internal critics has urged the Australian child abuse royal commission to push the church to change because “what you say and what you come up with is going to have an effect around the world”.

“I believe what you are doing is unique in the world. It is historic. It is going to make a mammoth difference in the long run,” said American Dominic priest Dr Tom Doyle during evidence on Tuesday, after more than 33 years of fighting for change from within the church.

“You have taken something on that is mind-boggling and you are going into it in a deeper, more enlightened, more courageous manner than any other body that I have had contact with.”

Dr Doyle said the problem of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church was “not unique in Australia”, but the royal commission was the strongest response from any nation.

He hoped the royal commission was “going to have a profound effect in the Vatican, and it is another pile of information that is saying what they do not want to hear”.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:56 AM

ARCHBISHOP ANTHONY FISHER OP PASTORAL MESSAGE IN RESPONSE TO THE BEGINNING OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION’S FINAL HEARING ON THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
AUSTRALIA
Sydney Catholic

[with video]

My dear friends,

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has begun its final three-week review of the performance of the Catholic Church in Australia. And what has been revealed has already been harrowing.

I have personally felt shaken and humiliated by this information, as I have by other important revelations in the Royal Commission to date. The Church is sorry and I am sorry for past failures that left so many so damaged. I know that many of our priests, religious and lay faithful feel the same: as Catholics we hang our heads in shame.

We have already heard many distressing and shameful cases of sexual abuse told to the Royal Commission by courageous survivors. Today we heard these individual stories aggregated in data presented to the Commission on the proportion of priests and religious with claims of abuse made against them since 1950.

To my shame and sadness it would seem that Australia-wide as many as 384 Catholic diocesan priests, 188 religious priests, 597 religious brothers and 96 religious sisters have had claims of child sexual abuse made against them since 1950. Claims have also been made against 543 lay church workers and another 72 whose religious status is unknown.

Unlike previous hearings based on particular cases or events, and involving interviews of those connected with those events in some way, this hearing will address ‘the big picture’ and feature expert witnesses along with Church leaders and lay people, some of whom will be drawn from our Archdiocese. The Royal Commission will now focus on two main issues: what factors caused or contributed to historical child sex abuse cases in the Church and failures to respond adequately; and what the Church has done or plans to do to address this by way of changes to structures, policies and culture, the discernment of priestly and religious vocations, formation and supervision of those engaged in ministry, and so on.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:55 AM

Australian archbishop: ‘As Catholics, we hang our heads in shame’
VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Josephine McKenna Religion News Service | Feb. 7, 2017

VATICAN CITY

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher said he was ashamed and humiliated by revelations that 7 percent of Australia’s Roman Catholic clergy may have abused children between 1950 and 2010.

The alarming figure was presented by the church to an Australian inquiry looking into institutional sex abuse.

“The church is sorry and I am sorry for past failures that left so many so damaged,” Fisher said.

“I know that many of our priests, religious and lay faithful feel the same,” he said. “As Catholics, we hang our heads in shame.”

The Vatican press office distributed a link to Fisher’s statement on Monday, Feb. 6, and declined to make any further comment.

In these complex and difficult times, NCR pledges to publish unrelenting, independent journalism. But we can’t do it without your support. Subscribe or donate today!
More than 4,440 Australians claim to have been victims of church abuse between 1980 and 2015, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was told.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:53 AM

Archbishop not shackled by celibacy
AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge does not feel shackled by celibacy, nor does he view it as one of the causes of widespread child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Coleridge says he made a free decision to choose to live a celibate life when he was ordained in his 20s.

“I’ve never had the sense of being shackled, of having a burden imposed upon me by an oppressive church,” he told the child abuse royal commission on Wednesday.

The inquiry into the complex reasons behind child abuse in the Catholic Church has heard research shows less than 50 per cent of priests at any given time are actually practising celibacy.

Archbishop Coleridge said he wasn’t naive enough to think most clergy lived a strictly celibate life.
Posted on February 8, 2017 7:51 AM

The Riverine’s opinion
AUSTRALIA
Riverine Herald

by ANDREW MOLE FEBRUARY 08, 2017

THE Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sex Abuse has ground along its painful trail of tears since 2015.

We have all seen the highlights on the news, seen figures as lofty as Cardinal George Pell dragged into the witness box and seen the pain of the survivors, the people seeking some form of justice for childhoods so brutally stolen.

That its insidious reach would be into every corner of Australia was never in doubt.

But that it would land on our doorsteps with such a sickening thud must have come to most, not just Catholics, as a bolt out of the blue.

The Diocese of Sandhurst, which covers us and the many Catholic schools in the region, has been implicated in the findings of the Royal Commission as one of the worst areas in 60 years of church-institutionalised abuse of boys and girls.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:50 AM

MY SAY: We shouldn’t pay for Church’s sins
AUSTRALIA
Lismore Echo

Scott Sawyer | 8th Feb 2017

THE figures released by the Royal Commission into Institutionalised Responses to Child Sexual Abuse are shocking, there’s no other way to describe them.

Average ages of the victims were 10.5 for girls and 11.6 for boys.

Truly horrific.

In only 35 years, from 1980 to 2015, almost 4500 people alleged they were abused as children in more than 1000 Catholic institutions.

How were these despicable acts covered up for so long?

Who knows, but one thing is clear, conservatives fearing a rise of Islam already overlooked what can only be classed as religious terrorism that is thriving within our communities.

Victims took on average 33 years to come forward and reveal the horrors they suffered.

This means we’ll be dealing with this problem for decades to come. That’s without taking into account fresh abuse taking place.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:47 AM

Cultural change the key to protecting children, Archbishop Coleridge says
AUSTRALIA
Catholic Leader

February 8, 2017

AS well as fronting the Royal Commission this week, Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge has spent time speaking extensively to journalists about child abuse and the Church.

Speaking to the ABC’s Radio National Breakfast, Archbishop Coleridge told presenter Fran Kelly, the Church was doing all it could to change the culture of the past to protect the children of today.

“The data is absolutely horrific,” Archbishop Coleridge said, following the release of Royal Commission figures revealing the extent of priest abuse.

“Sitting in the hearing room … listening to the litany of horror had an extraordinary impact. And it did on all of us.

“I for one never imagined the scale of the problem in years past. The data is there for all to see now.

“There is almost certainly more out there that has not come to light.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:46 AM

Some good will come from the horror of the royal commission
AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Lisa Flynn

What we have learnt is that it was almost inescapable. The revelations at the royal commission of how widespread the child sex abuse was in the Catholic Church has shocked everyone. It really is the first time the community have truly understood how pervasive and extensive this abuse was over the decades in Australia.

But believe it or not there will be some good that will come from hearing this horror.

For far too long victims of child abuse have lived with the shame and the fear and the worry that no one would believe them. But this was happening on a bigger scale than anyone had thought.

We also know the courage and bravery it takes to come forward to authorities and report it. My team has helped hundreds of people seek justice in crimes against them, including helping them give evidence to the royal commission.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:44 AM

‘What I saw was incredible cruelty’: Rugby league great Matty Johns opens up
AUSTRALIA
The New Daily

NRL great Matthew Johns has revealed he witnessed “incredible cruelty” during his time in the Catholic education system.

Johns — who played rugby league for Newcastle, Cronulla, New South Wales and Australia — attended All Saints College in Cessnock, NSW, for his education.

The school was formerly run by Marist Brothers, and Johns, deeply moved by the ongoing Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, opened up on Wednesday morning.

He dubbed evidence that has emerged as “horrific” and added that his own experience attending a Catholic school was “tough” and “over the top”.

“I didn’t see anything, as far as child abuse, of a sexual nature,” Johns told listeners on his Triple M breakfast radio show, The Grill Team.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:42 AM

Abuse ‘destroyed’ church image in Ireland
AUSTRALIA
PerthNow

Megan Neil, Australian Associated Press
February 8, 2017

The child sex abuse scandal has destroyed the image of the Catholic Church in Ireland, an Australian royal commission has heard.

The former provincial of the Jesuit order in Ireland, Dr Gerry O’Hanlon, said the scandal changed the culture in Ireland so much that in the 1990s almost all priests were viewed as pedophiles.

“The image and the reality of the Catholic Church in Ireland has been severely dented and almost fatally destroyed by the abuse scandal,” Dr O’Hanlon told the child abuse royal commission on Wednesday.

The Jesuit priest and theology professor said the voice of the child would not have received a proper hearing in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

He said the culture had now swung in the opposite direction and there was little evidence of the presumption of innocence for a priest accused of abuse, in the small number of cases where the allegations were found to be false.

Many priests now felt they would not receive a fair hearing within or outside the church, he said.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:40 AM

Brisbane’s Catholic Archbishop says it would be ‘utterly irresponsible’ for Catholic Church not to change
AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Matthew Connors, The Courier-Mail

BRISBANE’S Catholic Archbishop says the Church is a law unto itself and must change its culture but does not believe celibacy played a role in its shocking history of sexual abuse.

Appearing at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney yesterday, Archbishop Mark Coleridge said the Catholic Church needed to address issues that are “systemic and cultural”.

He said he was not naive enough to think all priests remained celibate but did not believe celibacy caused people to abuse children sexually.

Despite his very senior role in the Catholic Church in Australia, Archbishop Coleridge said he did not believe he could question a priest about his sex life unless allegations had been made publicly against him.

He said it would be up to someone such as a spiritual director to ask those questions if a priest was not functioning effectively.

“I have no right to ask those questions or, if I do, to expect an answer,” he said.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:38 AM

Bishop of Sandhurst Leslie Tomlinson apologises to victims and survivors of sexual abuse
AUSTRALIA
Bendigo Advertiser

Emma D’Agostino
@amassedmedia

8 Feb 201

SANDHURST Bishop Leslie Tomlinson has apologised to victims and survivors of sexual abuse, following figures indicating the diocese was the second worst in Australia for rates of alleged child sexual abuse in a 60-year period.

The data released from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse related to the period between 1950 and 2010, in which almost 15 per cent of priests who ministered in the Sandhurst Diocese were accused of child sexual offences.

“The evidence of the Royal Commission, along with all we have heard over the past four years, can only be interpreted for what it is – a massive failure on the part of the Catholic Church as an institution in Australia to protect our children from abusers and predators,” the bishop wrote in a statement.

He acknowledged that the Diocese of Sandhurst had its share of perpetrators of sexual abuse, “like every other Diocese in Australia”.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:36 AM

‘This Is Something That We Can’t Ignore’
NEW YORK
The New York Jewish Week

Manny Waks, a native of Australia who grew up in a large chasidic family, estimates that he was sexually abused “dozens and dozens of times” for two years as a tween by respected members of the Orthodox community.

In the three decades since, Waks has spoken about his traumatic experiences “well over a hundred times” in media interviews and international public forums, becoming one of the most prominent advocates for survivors of sexual abuse, particularly in the charedi community.

Last week, in a conference here he organized about sexual abuse, Waks talked again — briefly — about the abuse he suffered.

The Global Summit on Child Sexual Abuse in the Jewish Community was notable not only for the participation of a large number of rabbis and other leaders from the charedi community, a community that for decades had shied away from public discussion of a sensitive topic of such a sexual nature, but for an apparently evolved approach that balances the interests of charedi institutions and of individuals who had suffered abuse in those institutions.

In an opening night panel discussion, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of the charedi Agudath Israel of America, said the umbrella organization’s rabbinic leadership now supports an extension of the statute of limitations in New York State for sexual abuse victims to bring civil and criminal suits. Agudath had earlier opposed such an extension, citing the potentially financial liability that day schools, camps and other institutions could face.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:34 AM

Bishop of Ely warned church about alleged abuse
UNITED KINGDOM
Cambridge News

BY ANNA SAVVA
00:00, 8 FEB 2017

The Bishop of Ely Stephen Conway warned the Anglican church more than three years ago about alleged abuse in its ranks, it has been claimed.

The Right Rev Stephen Conway’s correspondence was revealed in a six month Channel 4 investigation into the activities of John Symth QC, a former leader at the Iwerne Trust Christian camps, which had close links with the Church of England.

Alleged victims have claimed they endured violent beatings at the hands of Smyth in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

In the report the church admitted that by 2013 police had been notified about the alleged abuse and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, was shown a letter written by the Bishop of Ely to the Bishop of Cape Town highlighting “concerns” expressed by “an alleged survivor”.

A spokesperson from Ely Diocese told the News: “We have the facts on file. When we were made aware in 2013 we did all we could to tell the appropriate authorities.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:29 AM

A Christian school said it helped troubled kids. It covered up sex abuse instead, lawsuit says.
WEST VIRGINIA
Washington Post

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. February 7

The children shipped to Miracle Meadows boarding school usually arrived with a long list of behavioral problems.

Some had been diagnosed with ADHD, bipolar or oppositional defiant disorders that had frustrated schools and family members for years. Others had been given a choice by a judge: Miracle Meadows or jail.

So school administrators, in particular Susan Gayle Clark, who started the Salem, W.Va. school affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1988, ruled with “an iron fist.” But the strict discipline often crossed the line into abuse, investigators found.

Worse, court documents filed last week say, a “culture of silence and secrecy” covered up years of physical and sexual abuse.

Two former students of the shuttered school are suing, claiming staff members handcuffed them to beds, raped and beat them. School administrators knew about the abuse at the school, the lawsuit claims, but covered up the criminal acts to keep the school open, with tuition reportedly at $2,000 a month per student.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:26 AM

‘Tambourine Army’ Gathers Recruits as Jamaicans’ Anger Over Child Sexual Abuse Grows
JAMAICA
Global Voices

It all started in late 2016, when a 64-year-old pastor at the Nazareth Moravian Church in Jamaica was arrested after allegedly being found in a car sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl. Since then, many more cases have come to light, usually perpetrated by men in positions of power. The situation has prompted a greater focus on the problem of child sexual abuse — a long-standing but hidden epidemic in Jamaican society that is often kept secret.

As a result, a new activist “army” has formed, with a strong mission. The Tambourine Army’s Facebook page defines the group as “a radical movement that was formed organically out of an urgent recognition to advocate differently for the rights of women and girls”.

Headed by the founder of WE-Change, the women’s affiliate of LGBT rights group J-FLAG, the name derives from a January 9 incident during a protest by survivors of sexual abuse at the Nazareth Moravian Church. The WE-Change founder became angry and hit the leader of the Moravian Church in Jamaica, Dr. Paul Gardner, on the head with a tambourine, alleging that he had abused her partner as a child. Dr. Gardner and his Vice President Jermaine Gibson resigned soon afterwards and have since also been charged with the sexual abuse of minors, leaving the Moravian Church in disarray.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:24 AM

25 Years! Thats How Long one Jamaican Senator Wants to See Child Abusers Spend Behind Bars
JAMAICA
Caribbean 360

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tuesday February 7, 2017 – Government Senator Matthew Samuda is calling for legislative changes that will see the imposition of a mandatory minimum penalty of 25 years’ imprisonment for convicted child abusers who have a high duty of care.

Making his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate, Samuda identified pastors, police and teachers as those individuals who should face stiff penalties if they abuse children in their care.

He noted that while the existing law states there should be no discrimination based on profession, these changes are needed considering the recent cases of child abuse surfacing in the island.

Three members of the Moravian Church have been charged with having inappropriate relations with young girls. And as recently as last week, the head of the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) Superintendent Enid Ross-Stewart reported that the majority of alleged high-profile perpetrators of sexual offences against underage persons in Jamaica are pastors and policemen.
Posted on February 8, 2017 7:22 AM

Matthew Johns reveals own dark past with Catholic school system
AUSTRALIA
Gold Coast Bulletin

NRL great Matthew Johns has been moved to share his own dark past as a student in the Catholic Church education system.

The popular broadcaster was inspired to share stories from his upsetting past by the evidence reported by the royal commission into the Catholic Churches’ response to child sexual abuse.

The host of Triple M’s Grill Team said he saw regular cases of child abuse during his time at Maitland’s All Saints College – St Peter’s — a formerly Marist Brothers run school from 1898 to 1984.

He said students celebrated the day the college was no longer managed by Marist Brothers educators.

“I didn’t see anything, as far as child abuse, of a sexual nature,” Johns told Triple M.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:20 AM

Defrocked Mass. priest once jailed for rape now faces charges in Maine
MAINE/MASSACHUSETTS
Boton Globe

By Travis Andersen GLOBE STAFF FEBRUARY 08, 2017

A former Catholic priest of the Boston archdiocese, who served more than 10 years in prison for raping an altar boy, was indicted Tuesday in Maine on 29 new counts of sexual misconduct involving two boys dating back to when he was a priest in Massachusetts, authorities said.

Ronald H. Paquin, 74, who served at parishes in Haverhill and Methuen before he was defrocked in 2004, was indicted by a grand jury in York County for allegedly abusing the victims in Kennebunkport between 1985 and 1989, District Attorney Kathryn Slattery said.

The first 13 counts of the indictment involve a child who was under the age of 14, Slattery said in a phone interview.

The age of the second alleged victim was not available on Tuesday.

Paquin, who was freed from jail in 2015, is not in custody. He will be summonsed to York County Superior Court at a later date, Slattery said.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:18 AM

Top Catholic priest says ‘it’s inappropriate’ to ask clergy about their sex lives – despite shocking statistics showing 7 per cent are paedophiles
AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail (UK)

By Australian Associated Press and Nelson Groom for Daily Mail Australia

One of Australia’s most senior Catholic priests believes it is inappropriate to ask priests about their sex lives before they are accused of abuse.

Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that a bishop’s relationship with a priest is ‘delicate’.

When asked how the church allowed more than 4,000 Australian children to be allegedly abused, he said there are ‘certain things’ the head of the diocese are not entitled to know about the clergy.

‘How would I justifiably inquire of a priest what his sexual behaviour was when it hadn’t emerged into the public forum and become a problem in the community which he was supposed to lead?’ he said in Sydney on Wednesday.

‘I have no right to ask those questions or, if I do, to expect an answer.’
Posted on February 8, 2017 7:15 AM

16th person alleges sexual abuse by church member
GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Feb 08, 2017

By Krystal Paco

A 16th victim has filed suit in the District Court of Guam against the Archdiocese of Agana. According to the federal complaint, 58-year-old Felix Manglona alleges he was sexually molested by Father Louis Brouillard while Brouillard was a priest at San Isidro Catholic Church in Malojojo.

The complaint states both Manglona and his older brother were subject to the abuse as altar boys and Boy Scouts.

In a camping trip detailed in the complaint, Manglona states Brouillard was conducting a head count of the boys when he would come into the tent and perform oral copulation of Manglona and his tentmate.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:13 AM

Cath Church a law unto itself: archbishop
AUSTRALIA
Cairns Post

By Rebekah Ison, Australian Associated Press
February 8, 2017

One of Australia’s most senior Catholics says the church is a law unto itself and needs to change its culture.

Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse the church must put a “culture of concealment” behind it.

Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald asked whether it was too harsh to say the church in Australia still hadn’t embraced the notion of transparency as good practice.

“I think that’s probably true, that we haven’t yet embraced adequately a transparency that is appropriate and even necessary for an unusual community of communities like the Catholic Church,” Archbishop Coleridge replied in Sydney.

“We are, as it were, a law and a world unto ourselves.”

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:12 AM

Would scrapping Catholic priest celibacy reduce child sex abuse?
AUSTRALIA
Triple Hack – ABC

After they are ordained, Catholic priests can’t have sex or get married. This week the Royal Commission asked the question: could the tradition of celibacy have partly led to the high rates of sex abuse in the Church?

Here are the church’s own figures:

* 40 per cent of the members of the brothers of St John of God had allegations of abuse made against them between 1950 and 2010
* That’s compared with 20 per cent of Marist brothers and 22 per cent of Christian brothers
* Between January 1980 and February 2015, 4,444 people alleged incidents of child sexual abuse
* 1,880 people holding positions in the Catholic Church, including priests, were identified as alleged perpetrators

The same day these figures were released, Dr Michael Whelan, a Marist priest, told the inquiry that the church’s law of celibacy was misguided and should not be in place. He said celibacy was “a huge issue for the Catholic Church and we have to deal with it”.

The argument usually runs like this – on one side are those who say that celibacy produces sexual frustration which then finds outlets in pedophilia or some other deviant sexuality. Alongside this is the related argument that paedophiles are harder to detect among celibate men, and for this reason the tradition of celibacy draws paedophiles to the priesthood.

The counter-argument is that not all celibate men or women abuse children. Most of this abuse happens within the family. Blaming celibacy distracts from the real causes of child abuse. This is basically the official view of the Church, though there are dissenting voices.

Posted on February 8, 2017 7:09 AM

Child sex abuse royal commission: Archbishop says he has ‘no right’ to ask priests about sexual activity
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Michelle Brown and Paige Cockburn

One of Australia’s most senior Catholics, Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge, says he does not know how many priests break their vows of celibacy, and does not think it is appropriate to question them.

Appearing at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Archbishop Coleridge said he had never had a sense of “being shackled” by his vow of celibacy but could not speak about the experiences of others.

Commissioner Peter McLellan intervened when Archbishop Coleridge said he could not say whether at any one time 50 per cent of clergy might be breaking their vows.

“It might be said Archbishop that given that you’re the leader of one of the most significant diocese in Australia that these are questions you should know about?” Commissioner McLellan said.

Posted on February 8, 2017 1:53 AM

Senior Archbishop says he has ‘no right’ to ask priests about sexual activity
AUSTRALIA
9 News

Belinda Grant-Geary

One of Australia’s most senior Catholic priests said his role was to deal with sexual abuse cases only after they had been made public.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge said it would not be appropriate to quiz the clergy on their sex lives when asked how the church’s structure allowed more than 4,000 Australian children to be allegedly abused.

Speaking at the Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse on Wednesday, Father Coleridge described the relationship between a priest and bishop as “delicate”.

He argued that as his role was in the Church’s “external forum”, he had no right to question priests about their sex lives.

Posted on February 8, 2017 1:51 AM

Forgivene$$
AUSTRALIA
Echo

The Royal Commission Into Child Sexual Abuse has again stirred emotion over horrendous acts perpetrated in God’s name.

The Commission’s latest public hearing, Case Study 50: Catholic Church authorities in Australia, found seven per cent of priests who were members of 75 surveyed authorities were alleged ‘offenders’ between 1950 and 2010.

Remarkably, the Lismore Diocese has been named as having the fourth largest number of pedophile priests in the country.

AAP reported that after the commission conducted 15 public hearings into the Catholic Church, counsel assisting Gail Furness SC said much of it included ‘depressingly similar’ evidence.

‘Documents about alleged abuse were destroyed or not kept’, she said. ‘Children were ignored, or worse, punished. Secrecy prevailed as did cover-ups.’

Posted on February 8, 2017 1:49 AM

Catholic archbishop tells abuse inquiry celibacy vows are not to blame
AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Christopher Knaus
Tuesday 7 February 2017

The archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, has said he does not believe that celibacy is a causative factor in child sexual abuse within the Catholic church.

Coleridge has also said he has little idea how many priests are breaking their vows to celibacy and believes that he, as a bishop, has no right to ask them about their sexual lives.

“The relationship between a bishop and a priest, or a bishop and any other human being, is a very delicate one,” he said.

“There are certain things that I am not entitled to know. I’m just trying to even imagine how that would work out practically, how I would discover the details of a priest’s sexual life?”

The issue of celibacy again came before the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse on Wednesday, as commissioners attempt to understand the root cultural causes that allowed child abuse to occur and be covered up at such a staggering scale.

Posted on February 8, 2017 1:48 AM

Senate calls on Pell to return to Aust
AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

FEBRUARY 8, 2017

Belinda Merhab
Australian Associated Press

The Senate has called on Cardinal George Pell to return to Australia to face allegations of misconduct.

The Greens motion, agreed to by the upper house on Wednesday afternoon, calls on Cardinal Pell to assist police and prosecutors investigating allegations of criminal misconduct against him.

It comes after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released data revealing 40 per cent of St John of God Brothers from 1950 to 2010 were accused pedophiles.

The data also revealed 4444 people made complaints to Australian Catholic authorities between 1980 and February 2015.

Posted on February 8, 2017 1:46 AM

Experts tell Australian abuse panel church must look at clerical culture
AUSTRALIA
Crux

Catholic News Service February 7, 2017
CONTRIBUTOR

SYDNEY, Australia – Catholic experts told an Australian government commission that the church needed to re-examine its culture of clericalism if it wanted to help put an end to clergy sexual abuse.

Several experts also told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that the church needed the commission’s help to get on the right track.

“The mismanagement of the church is the business of the Royal Commission, in my view, because it has led to the situation that this church is in. If this was a business, we’d be shut down a long time ago,” said Dr. Michelle Mulvihill, psychologist and former Sister of Mercy who has worked with religious orders.

Mulvihill and three others testified on February 7 before the Royal Commission as it wraps up more than three years of investigations into the Australian Catholic Church’s response to child sexual abuse.

Posted on February 8, 2017 1:44 AM

February 7, 2017
Paedophile shock: Royal commission names our diocese
AUSTRALIA
Riverine Herald

THE Catholic Church’s Sandhurst Diocese, which includes Echuca, Rochester and Kyabram, had one of the worst child sex offence records in Australia.

Second only to the Diocese of Sale, in Gippsland. Figures in both were more than double the national average identified by the Royal Commission.

An Echuca parish priest, appalled at the shocking new data from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, is also relieved it is now all out in the open.

The Sandhurst Diocese, which includes Echuca, had the second highest rate of priests accused of child sexual abuse out of Australia’s 17 Catholic dioceses over a period of 60 years.

Figures showed almost 15 per cent of priests who ministered in our diocese between 1950 and 2010 were accused of child sexual offences.

Posted on February 7, 2017 8:38 PM

Vatican mole left secret messages hidden in confession box in Renaissance church in Rome
ROME
Telegraph (UK)

Nick Squires, Rome
7 FEBRUARY 2017

Secret notes hidden in a confession box in a Renaissance church in Rome fed information about Vatican intrigue to a woman who was convicted of leaking confidential information about the Holy See, a new book has revealed.

The book, published on Tuesday, has been written by Francesca Chaouqui, a public relations consultant who was hired by the Vatican to sit on a papal commission into economic reform.

In the first big scandal to hit the papacy of Pope Francis, Ms Chaouqui was put on trial for leaking documents to two Italian journalists who subsequently wrote best-selling books about corruption, infighting and skullduggery inside the tiny city state.

She was convicted by a Vatican court last year and sentenced to 10 months in jail in what was dubbed the Vatileaks II trial, but was given a suspended sentence because she was pregnant.

In her book, In The Name of Peter, the 35-year-old public relations executive reveals for the first time that she had a mole in the Vatican’s powerful Secretariat of State.

He kept her abreast of what was going on there by leaving secret notes in a confessional in the 16th century San Luigi dei Francesi church, which is famous for Caravaggio paintings that hang on its walls.

Posted on February 7, 2017 8:36 PM

Church faces $75M in federal court lawsuits
GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , [email protected] Feb. 7, 2017

The Archdiocese of Agana, the Vatican and some Catholic priests now face 15 sex abuse lawsuits in U.S. District Court, asking for $75 million. Another former altar boy is expected to sue the church later this week.

The lawsuits had been in the Superior Court of Guam, but after eight judges recused themselves from hearing those cases, citing conflicts of interest, attorney David Lujan started to file the cases in federal court.

Lujan’s law firm said Tuesday they filed a motion to dismiss the 15 clergy sex abuse lawsuits in the Superior Court. A new abuse complaint could be filed as early as Wednesday, the law firm stated.

The Archdiocese of Agana continues to expand its legal defense team, with a fourth California-based lawyer tapped by local attorney John C. Terlaje to serve as co-counsel for the church.

Attorney Daniel C. Zamora, a shareholder at the San Francisco law firm of Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin, filed in federal court on Monday a petition to appear as co-counsel for the archdiocese.

Posted on February 7, 2017 7:28 PM

Lujan: Professor of canon law contacted clients
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For the Post

A canon law expert from Rome who also works at Boston College has directly contacted three victims of sexual abuse to seek their depositions. The attorney who represents the victims has called for answers, threatening to file an ethical complaint if communication with his clients continues without his consent.

In a letter to Rev. James J. Conn, attorney David Lujan questioned why the religious professor contacted three of his clients – Roland P.L. Sondia, Roy T. Quintanilla and Walter G. Denton – to discuss their cases for a matter “not related to the lawsuits on Guam.”

Conn is listed as the ordinary professor of canon law, Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome; and professor of the practice of canon law, School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College, according to the Canon Law Society of America.

Lujan said his clients were contacted directly, and despite his clients insisting that Conn would need to go through their lawyer, the professor said the matter is not related to the lawsuits in Guam so they did not need their attorney’s consent.

Lujan put Conn on notice that there shouldn’t be any further communication with the clients without first contacting Lujan. Should Conn persist, Lujan said he will file an ethics complaint with Boston College.

Posted on February 7, 2017 7:26 PM

Townsville Catholic priests accused of abuse in royal commission
AUSTRALIA
Townsville Bulletin

CHRIS McMAHON, Townsville Bulletin

MORE than 5 per cent of Catholic priests in the Townsville Diocese between 1950 and 2010 have been accused of sexual abuse against children.

A report, released as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, reveals the alleged abuse suffered by children at the hands of church members across the region.

The report classed 5.7 per cent of priests who served in the Townsville Diocese during the 60-year period as alleged perpetrators of sexual abuse at some point in their career.

No specific number of alleged perpetrators was provided in the report, which analysed data compiled from a survey of 75 Catholic Church authorities.

Posted on February 7, 2017 7:24 PM

Settlement of another lawsuit against defrocked priest McCormack: $2.3 million
ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas

The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has settled another lawsuit accusing defrocked priest Daniel McCormack of sexual abuse, this one for $2.3 million.

The settlement was reached with a man who claimed in a lawsuit that he was 12 when he was twice sexually abused by McCormack when the priest was assigned to St. Agatha’s Parish in Lawndale on the West Side.

The man, identified in the lawsuit as John Doe, was not a member of the parish but lived in the area and often went to a nearby basketball court to play pick-up games.

Doe said he was abused the first time before McCormack was arrested on Aug. 30, 2005 on suspicion of sexually abusing a different child, according to the lawsuit.

McCormack was allowed to return to St. Agatha’s and continue interacting with children, including on the basketball courts, according to the man’s attorney, Lyndsay Markley. That’s when the man was abused the second time, she said.

Posted on February 7, 2017 6:44 PM

Priest facing child porn, drug charges has no funds for attorney
NEW YORK
News 12

An episcopal priest from Long Beach was shuttled to and from court in Mineola Tuesday to answer to child pornography and drug charges.

Christopher King was a parish priest at St. James Episcopal Church in Long Beach until his arrest Friday.

Posted on February 7, 2017 6:43 PM

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse case study 50 | day three
AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

[live steam]

Joanne McCarthy
8 Feb 2017

10.04am: The royal commission has resumed. This morning we have a panel of four people giving evidence about church structure, governance and culture. They are governance and management consultant Dr Maureen Cleary, University of Sydney professor of law Patrick Parkinson, Catholics for Renewal president Peter Johnstone and Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge.

Dr Cleary is introducing herself and her work that has involved investigating governance within Australian dioceses and Catholic organisational structures. Dr Cleary has worked with a broad range of churches beyond the Catholic Church, including the Anglican church, Baptist and Uniting churches, and the Salvation Army.

Dr Cleary has just said the people she works with are people or institutions that recognise they need to change.

She said legal incorporation has had a positive impact on Catholic organisations she has worked with, and she is now expanding on that. She is talking about welfare and provider groups within the Catholic Church which act with the consent of the institutional church and the local bishop, but with autonomy.

Posted on February 7, 2017 6:40 PM

AG investigating claims that priest, nun sexually abused Beaver man in 1970s
PENNSYLVANIA
WPXI

After more than three decades of silence, a man who says he was sexually abused by a priest and a nun in Beaver is speaking out and working with state investigators.

Johnny Hewko was an elementary student in the 1970s at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, in Beaver, which is where he said the abuse happened. Hewko said he was abused once a week for nearly three years.

Hewko said it had a devastating impact on his life. He did poorly in school, turned to alcohol and drugs and had difficulty holding down a job. He credited the support around him for keeping him together.

“I’ve been blessed to have a good group around me that when my faith gets small they help me bring it back,” said Hewko.

In 2009, Hewko approached the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese and told it his story. In a letter to him, the diocese wrote, “After extensive interviews …we are unable to confirm independently the allegation of sexual abuse by either the principal or the pastor who is deceased.”

Posted on February 7, 2017 6:37 PM

PRIEST ARRESTED ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, DRUG CHARGES FIRED FROM LONG ISLAND CHURCH
NEW YORK
WABC

[with video]

By Stacey Sager

LONG BEACH, Long Island (WABC) — A priest on Long Island who was arrested on child pornography and drug charges has lost his job.

Christopher King, 51, served as pastor at St. James Episcopal on Penn Street in Long Beach.

He was taken into custody Friday after investigators searched the rectory and found disturbing materials.

According to court documents, police allegedly found child pornography videos of at least five boys. Four of them were between ages 2 and 6.

Posted on February 7, 2017 6:36 PM

EXTENSION OF TEST EXCAVATION WORK AT FORMER MOTHER AND BABY HOME IN TUAM
IRELAND
Galway Bay FM

Galway Bay fm newsroom – Test excavation work has been extended at the site of the former Mother and Baby home in Tuam.

The work is led by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation.

Initial test excavation work was carried out last October and November.

A second phase has now begun and will continue for the next two to three weeks.

Posted on February 7, 2017 4:49 PM

Archdiocese to pay $2.3M settlement to alleged McCormack victim
ILLINOIS
Fox 32

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) – The Archdiocese of Chicago has reached a $2.3 million settlement with a man who claims he was sexually abused by convicted child molester and defrocked priest Daniel McCormack.

John C. Doe sued the Archdiocese in April 2014, claiming he was abused at a West Side parish on two occasions in 2005, when he was 12 years old, according to a statement from the victim’s attorney, Lyndsay Markley, announcing the settlement.

The victim met McCormack while playing pickup basketball at St. Agatha’s Parish in North Lawndale, and claimed in the suit that the second act of abuse might have taken place after McCormack was arrested on Aug. 30, 2005, for allegations of sexually abusing another child.

The case was set to go to trial on May 15, but the parties came to the settlement and the case was dismissed on Jan. 19, according to Markley.

Posted on February 7, 2017 4:46 PM

Not-So-Great Expectations for the Canonical Trial of Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron OFM Cap.
GUAM
Patrick J. Wall

It’s time for the people of Guam to lower their expectations of the canonical church trial of Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Make no mistake: there will be extreme secrecy cloaked under the “pontifical secret” and sovereign immunity. And while the procedure is called a canonical “trial,” it is nothing like any criminal trial you have experienced or seen on television.

1. There will be no jury impaneled to publicly decide innocence or guilt.

2. There will be no judge in a black robe responsible to the People conducting a fair and impartial trial.

3. Secrecy is king. There will be no public hearing. The process began in secret, will be conducted in secret, decided in secret and the findings will be kept in secret Vatican archives.

4. The outcome will only be known when the Holy See serves its decision on Anthony Apuron through the Papal Nuncio of the country and bishop where Apuron is domiciled.

5. The procedure is based on the Code of Canon law and SST (Sacramentum Santitatis Tutela) promulgated in 2001.

6. No matter the outcome, this is a test for Pope Francis and his commitment to discipline Bishops in the protection of minors.

7. Apuron will not be present in Rome for any of it.

What to expect

Pope Francis is the only church official who can bring an action against Apuron.

Whenever the Pope becomes aware of a Bishop who has sexually abused children, he appoints investigators—known as auditors—to gather the facts and circumstances around the matter. A likely candidate is Revered James Conn S.J., J.D., J.C.D.

The Pope then reviews the matter and decides whether to commence a Judicial or Administrative action.

Posted on February 7, 2017 4:44 PM

Cardinal Dolan, Fuming Over Archdiocese’s ‘Rich’ Image, Vacations at Mansion
NEW YORK
New York Times

By SHARON OTTERMAN
FEB. 7, 2017

SLOATSBURG, N.Y. — The luxurious home, given to the Archdiocese of New York in December 2015, is an eight-bedroom, 10,000-square-foot manor house on seven lakefront acres here, with a private tennis court, outdoor pool and 70-foot indoor lap pool that resembles a Venetian canal.

The New York couple who donated the home, in Sloatsburg, N.Y., intended for it to be used as a retreat house, a place where hardworking priests could relax and decompress.

But the forest-framed residence, where Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the archbishop of New York, has vacationed at least twice in the past year, is now presenting a conundrum for the New York archdiocese, which is already fighting a perception among parishioners that it is “bloated” and “rich,” even as it continues to close parishes and schools, including six school closings announced Monday.

Though it had originally been intended as a retreat house, an archdiocesan spokesman said that was no longer an appropriate use: The house has too many stairs for many priests and would have only seven rooms for guests. The idea is also opposed by the homeowners association of the Pierson Lakes gated community, to which the house belongs.
Posted on February 7, 2017 4:42 PM

Paedophile priests rock the local church
AUSTRALIA
Riverine Herald

AN ECHUCA parish priest, appalled at the shocking new data from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, is also relieved it is now all out in the open.

The Sandhurst Diocese, which includes Echuca, had the second highest rate of priests accused of child sexual abuse out of Australia’s 17 Catholic dioceses over a period of 60 years.

Figures showed almost 15 per cent of priests who ministered in our diocese between 1950 and 2010 were accused of child sexual offences.

St Mary’s Catholic Church’s Father Des Welladsen said it was a shocking revelation.

‘‘It’s a surprise to me,’’ he said.

During his 47 years ministering in the Sandhurst Diocese, Fr Welladsen said he was only aware of one paedophile priest.

Posted on February 7, 2017 4:40 PM

Sacerdoti pedofili: scatta l’aggravante di abuso di potere
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

[Pedophile priests: Take the aggravating circumstance of abuse of power.]

L’AUTORE: Annamaria Zarrelli

I preti pedofili non hanno diritto ad alcuno sconto di pena, nemmeno quando agiscono «al di fuori del sacerdozio».

Se gli abusi su un minore sono commessi da un sacerdote, la pena sarà aggravata e ciò vale anche quando la violenza sia perpetrata al di fuori della funzioni del ministero e del cultosacerdotale o in ambiti che esulino da quelli propri della realtà parrocchiale. A confermarlo è stata la Corte di Cassazione che, con una recentissima sentenza, [1] ha fatto ulteriore chiarezza sul punto.

Posted on February 7, 2017 3:54 PM

Foggia, la Chiesa sapeva ma non “parlò”: ex prete violenta 11 bambini
ITALIA
TGCOM24

[The church knew about a violent priest who abused 11 children. He was defrocked but the church kept the action secret.]

Lʼuomo era stato ridotto allo stato laicale nel 2012 per “delicta cum minoribus”, ma la Congregazione decise di mantenere segreti i motivi dellʼallontanamento

Torna in un’aula di tribunale Giovanni Trotta, ex prete ridotto allo stato laicale, già condannato nell’ottobre 2015 a 8 anni di reclusione per violenza sessuale su un bambino di 11 anni e finito nuovamente in carcere a giugno 2016 con accuse analoghe per reati commessi su una decina di bambini. Polemiche sulla decisione della Chiesa di allontanarlo, già nel 2012, senza però divulgarne i motivi, permettendo di fatto che l’uomo trovasse nuove vittime.

Posted on February 7, 2017 3:51 PM

Don Pascal Manca sotto processo per abusi sessuali: „Prete accusato di abusi sessuali: “Non riesce a controllarsi, colpa dei farmaci”“
ITALIA
Today

[Priest accused of sexual abuse: “He can not control himself, guilty of drugs”]

„L’ex parroco di Mandas e Villamar (Sud Sardegna) è sotto accusa per i presunti abusi sessuali su alcuni ragazzini. Don Pascal Manca soffrirebbe di un “disturbo del controllo degli impulsi” con una “ipersessualità indotta da farmaci”“

“Don Pascal Manca è seminfermo di mente”: lo sostiene una perizia psichiatrica.

L’ex parroco di Mandas e Villamar (Sud Sardegna) è sotto accusa per i presunti abusi sessuali su alcuni ragazzini. Stando alla ricostruzione del pubblico ministero Liliana Ledda, l’uomo di Chiesa avrebbe approfittato sessualmente di cinque ragazzini minorenni che frequentavano le parrocchie dei due paesi del medio campidano. Un adolescente, in particolare, ha raccontato agli inquirenti di essere stato drogato dal prete, il quale gli avrebbe offerto succhi di frutta mischiati a psicofarmaci per poter poi abusare di lui.
Posted on February 7, 2017 3:46 PM

Prete pedofilo, la difesa della Curia
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

In una nota la replica alla denuncia di un 40enne contro il cardinale Sepe per non aver avuto giustizia “Non emersero elementi sufficienti per avviare un processo penale nei confronti di quel sacerdote” L’INDAGINE STELLA CERVASIO UN uomo contro la Curia di Napoli.

Diego Esposito nome di fantasia – è oggi un quarantenne che denuncia di essere stato violentato da un prete per 4 anni a partire da quando ne aveva 13. Si è rivolto a papa Francesco, che con il “motu proprio” ha deciso che la responsabilità delle indagini sui casi di pedofilia che infestano la Chiesa è dei vescovi.

Posted on February 7, 2017 3:43 PM

6% oder 7% – auf jeden Fall zu viel
DEUTSCHLAND
der Freitag

[In the Spotlight film Richard Sipe is quoted as saying at least 6% of all Catholic priests are pedophiles and live this out. Why should it be different in Germany?]

Katholische Kirche Noch immer die größte Gefahr für Kinder und Jugendliche.

Ein Blog-Beitrag von Freitag-Community-Mitglied Andreas Moser

In dem Film Spotlight wurde die Studie von Richard Sipe zitiert, nach der mindestens 6% aller katholischen Priester pädophil sind und dies ausleben. Die Recherchen des Boston Globe bestätigten das, und in meiner Filmbesprechung stellte ich die Frage, wieso dies in Deutschland anders sein sollte.

Posted on February 7, 2017 3:38 PM

George Pell must front child abuse inquiry again, says Bill Shorten
AUSTRALIA
The Australian

February 8, 2017

TESSA AKERMAN
ReporterMelbourne
@TessaAkerman

Bill Shorten has called for George Pell to again appear before the child sex abuse royal commission during a blistering attack in which he paid tribute to the abuse survivors but condemned institutions that failed the children.

Mr Shorten blasted Cardinal Pell and the Catholic Church over the child sex abuse scandal, calling for the cardinal to again appear before the royal commission, but this time on home soil.

The Labor leader said the scale of the abuse and systemic cover-up was sickening and a betrayal of the faith the perpetrators claimed to serve. “It is well past time for Cardinal Pell to return to Australia and account to this commission in person,” he said.

“I salute the survivors who have testified, remarkable Australians summoning the courage to tell their stories. Some of them for the first time, others carrying the memory of being deliberately ­ignored, or flat-out accused of making up their stories.”
Posted on February 7, 2017 3:26 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Richard Unwin
OHIO
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Richard Unwin was a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, ordained in 1979. He assisted at parishes in Forest Park, Hamilton, Oxford, Springfield and McCartyville, then pastored in Piqua and Tipp City. Unwin was also an educator, teaching at Badin High School in Hamilton, serving as principal of Catholic Central High in Springfield and, briefly, at Lehman High School in Sidney where he was also religion department chair.

In 2003 the archdiocese received a complaint that Unwin had sexually abused a male minor more than 15 years previously. Unwin acknowledge the abuse and was placed on leave. The Ohio Board of Education revoked his teaching license in 2005 and, in 2007, Unwin was laicized.

Ordained: 1979
Laicized: 2007

Posted on February 7, 2017 3:17 PM

Farce in the Vatican
ROME
The Commentator

Tim Hedges

On 7 February 2017

It seemed in the Italian press as if one country had invaded another. It was in fact one very small country which had engineered a coup d’état against an even smaller sovereign entity which wasn’t, properly speaking, a country.

The Pope had fired the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta. The reason? Obeying Church teaching.

It is hard to know how Pope Francis gets himself into these scrapes. What should have been a quiet private matter, if it happened at all, was in every paper in the civilised world. For sheer, bull headed, foot-in-mouth belligerence Papa Bergoglio trumps Trump.

The Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta was Fra’ Robert Matthew Festing, Guards Officer and son of a Chief of the Imperial General Staff. You have to be a bit socially upmarket to get on in this company, the other bigwigs being a selection of the European Catholic aristocracy.

Anyway, Festing had sacked Albrecht, Freiherr von Boeselager, the Grand Chancellor, on the grounds that he, the Freiherr, had been involved in charitable works which distributed condoms. Now, the Catholic faith is against the use of condoms, so you might imagine that the Pope would have patted the blessed Festing on the back for ridding the order of a dangerous progressive.

Posted on February 7, 2017 12:26 PM

Former Kincora resident to challenge abuse inquiry findings
NORTHERN IRELAND
News Letter

A former resident of a notorious Belfast boys’ home is set to mount a legal challenge against the findings of an inquiry that rejected claims that senior establishment figures used it to abuse children.

Richard Kerr, who alleges he was abused by “very powerful people” with links to the Kincora home, does not accept the conclusions of the four-year Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry.

The inquiry dismissed long-standing claims that senior politicians, civil servants and businessmen were complicit in a paedophile ring that operated at the home in the 1970s and for which three staff members were jailed.

The report also rejected associated allegations that the UK security services knew what was going on and, instead of intervening, used the information to blackmail the establishment figures involved.

Posted on February 7, 2017 12:18 PM

Why we haven’t heard the last of the Kincora sex abuse allegations
NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

So, is that it, then? There will be no more inquiries, or investigations, into the Kincora scandal following Sir Anthony Hart’s final report for the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry. Yes, the under-pressure Royal Ulster Constabulary was “inept”, according to Sir Anthony, in relation to the force investigating claims of child sexual abuse at the east Belfast care home in the 1970s. In addition, the RUC and the authorities were guilty of a “catalogue of failures” in dealing with the allegations swirling around about Kincora, the report found.

Crucially, however, the report did not find any evidence that the intelligence services, both MI5 and the Army, were aware of a paedophile ring operating at the home; or that the “spooks” were blackmailing the abusers to spy on fellow hardline Ulster loyalists in the first decade of the Troubles.

Sir Anthony said the idea that Kincora was a homosexual “brothel”, used by the security services as a “honeypot” to extract information about leading loyalists was without foundation.

In his report, the judge said: “There is no credible evidence to support any of these allegations.” He also insisted that the abuse did not extend beyond the three guilty staff members.

Posted on February 7, 2017 12:16 PM

Did Jehovah’s Witness elders fail to report sexual abuse? Trial starts Tuesday
PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Steve Marroni | [email protected]

When she was a teenager, Stephanie Fessler was sexually abused by a member of her York County church.

It was a place where she was supposed to feel safe, but it was the authorities within that church who not only failed to protect her, but they covered up the abuse, she claims.

And according to a lawsuit Fessler filed against the Jehovah’s Witness church in Spring Grove, had church elders contacted the authorities as they were legally obligated to do, she would have been spared more sexual assaults from the same woman.

While her abuser, Terry J. Monheim, pleaded guilty back in 2012 in York County Court, a lawsuit Fessler filed against Monheim and the church is going to trial Tuesday in Philadelphia.

Posted on February 7, 2017 12:14 PM

Christian campaigner urged to return to UK to face teen abuse consequences
UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

Lorraine Caballero 07 February, 2017

The son of a Christian campaigner who moved to Zimbabwe in 1984 is urging his father to return to the United Kingdom to face the consequences of teen abuse allegations against him that have surfaced recently.

Hampshire Police have just launched an investigation into allegations that John Smyth, a Christian campaigner who used to manage Christian youth camps, stripped and violently beat 22 young men from public schools in Britain. Channel 4 News talked to the alleged victims, who said they endured the lashings as punishment for pride and other minor sins.

According to the victims, they had to wear adult nappies after the beatings to stem the bleeding. The alleged abuses started in the late 1970s but the young men’s schools were only informed about them after there was an attempted suicide in 1982. However, the allegations were unknown to the police until recently.

“These are horrific allegations’ and if proven true it is right that my father face justice,” the campaigner’s pastor son PJ Smyth said, according to Times Live.

Posted on February 7, 2017 10:45 AM

WA judge admonishes pedophile priest
AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

A retired Anglican priest convicted of molesting five boys over three decades in WA has been admonished by a judge for admitting at least two of the offences after subjecting the victims to a trial.

Raymond Sydney Cheek was aged 84 in November when he was found guilty by a jury of committing an act of gross indecency and two counts each of indecent assault and indecent dealings with a child between 1955 and 1985.

He was granted bail before sentencing on Tuesday.

But Cheek wrote an eight-page letter of complaint to District Court of WA judge Ronald Birmingham complaining about his lawyer Michael Perrella’s conduct at the trial – and found himself without counsel.

After Judge Birmingham forwarded the correspondence to the lawyer, he refused to continue acting for Cheek, saying the trust between him and his client was gone.

Posted on February 7, 2017 10:32 AM

Sex Parties: Italian Priest Faces Defrocking For Allegedly Organizing Orgies On Church Property
ITALY
International Business Times

BY PRANSHU RATHI @PRANSHURATHI ON 02/07/17

Accused of breaking his vows of celibacy, the 48-year-old priest known as Don Andrea Contin has been accused of having as many as 30 lovers whom he would frequently take to a naturist swingers’ resort in France, besides allegedly being in possession of pornographic home videos which were concealed in covers that had names of various popes.

He has also been accused of persistently carrying a “briefcase full of vibrators, sex toys, masks and bondage equipment,” according to one of his accusers who said so in her police statement. She also said that Contin encouraged her to have sex with a horse and also beat her on two occasions. Contin is also accused of prostituting his lovers through swinger websites, according to The Times.

Padua’s bishop, Claudio Cipolla, said he intended to strip Contin of his priesthood, regardless of the outcome of the investigation that is being carried out by the local police.

“I am incredulous and pained by the accusations… even if, at the end of this affair, there are no legal consequences, we have a duty by canon law to take disciplinary action,” Cipolla told a press conference, the Local reported.

Investigations against Contin began in December after three women came forward with allegations. Although he denied the allegations at first, he later confessed to the police after they found video evidence upon searching his home.

Posted on February 7, 2017 9:27 AM

Episcopal priest due in court on porn, drug charges
NEW YORK
News 12

[with video]

February 7, 2017

LONG BEACH – A Long Beach Episcopal priest will be in court today on porn and drug charges.

Police say Christopher King was a parish priest at St. James Episcopal Church until his arrest Friday.

According to police, King had videos involving mostly boys, some as young as 2 to 3 years old, engaged in sexual activities.

Posted on February 7, 2017 9:25 AM

Data shows scope of sexual abuse in Australian Church
AUSTRALIA
Crux

Inés San MartínFebruary 6, 2017
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse revealed on Monday that between 1980 and 2015, 4,400 people had reported having been abused at more than 1,000 Catholic institutions across Australia, with seven percent of Australian priests facing charges.

After data from Australia’s highest board of inquiry revealed that seven percent of the country’s Catholic priests have been accused of sexually abusing minors, the Australian Church is responding, with one archbishop saying that he feels “shaken and humiliated.”

The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Monday released statistics showing that between 1980 and 2015, 4,400 people reported having been abused at more than 1,000 Catholic institutions across Australia.

Gail Furness, the lead lawyer assisting the commission, said the average age of the victims was 10.5 for girls and 11.5 for boys.

In her opening remarks, Furness also revealed that seven percent of priests in Australia had been accused of sexually abusing children between 1950 and 2010.

She also asserted that the Vatican had refused to hand over documents involving Australian priests accused of abuse in July 2014, with a Vatican communication saying that it was “neither possible nor appropriate to provide the information requested.”

Posted on February 7, 2017 9:06 AM

‘Pope John Paul II knew of sexual abuse by priests’
AUSTRALIA
Can-India

Sydney, Feb 7 (IANS) Late Pope John Paul II was aware of priests sexually abusing children, and of efforts by the Catholic Church to cover up the allegations, an American canon lawyer claimed on Tuesday.

Thomas Doyle, an expert on cases of sexual abuse by the clergy, said this while testifying at a hearing here in Australia, Efe news reported.

Doyle is deposing before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in public and religious institutions.

He also said that in 1985 at least four US dioceses sent reports to the Vatican on child sexual abuse by priests.

One of these reports were prepared by Doyle himself, who requested a bishop be sent down to Luisiana to deal with cases of paedophilia.

Posted on February 7, 2017 6:54 AM

Woman in Vatileaks trial got messages via confession box: book
ROME
Reuters

By Philip Pullella | ROME

The woman convicted of helping leak Vatican documents says in a new book that an official in a key office of the Holy See left her secret messages in the confession box of a Rome church during the trial.

The episode is one new element in the book “In Peter’s Name”, by Francesca Chaouqui, who got a 10-month suspended sentence at the end of a sensational eight-month trial dubbed “Vatileaks 2” last July. [nL8N19T29C]

She describes a Vatican where infighting and resistance to Pope Francis’s reforms is rife.

Asked for a comment on the book, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said: “We’re not losing sleep over it”.

Much of the financial information in her book has already reported in two books published in 2015 that contained information leaked by a Vatican official. Chaouqui was convicted of being an accessory.

Posted on February 7, 2017 6:49 AM

Victims say Archbishop of Canterbury failed to expose ‘child abuse’ barrister
UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Patrick Foster Peter Robertson
6 FEBRUARY 2017

Victims of a barrister facing child abuse claims say the Archbishop of Canterbury failed to expose the scandal, as a Bishop said that he had also been assaulted.

An open letter to the Most Rev Justin Welby, endorsed by eight alleged victims of John Smyth QC, calls on the Archbishop, a former colleague of the barrister, to come clean about the extent of his knowledge of the abuse claims.

The development came as the Bishop of Guildford revealed that he was one of 22 young men abused by Mr Smyth, who is accused of savagely beating beatings boys he met at Christian holiday camps in the late Seventies.

The Right Rev Andrew Watson said: “The beating I endured in the infamous garden shed was violent, excruciating and shocking; but it was thankfully a one-off experience never to be repeated.”

Hampshire Police last week announced an investigation into the abuse claims, which were reported to senior figures in the Church in 1982, and police sources said eight men have come forward to say that they were attacked by the barrister.

Posted on February 7, 2017 6:47 AM

Dear Archbishop of Canterbury: Can you look yourself in the mirror and honestly say you did everything you could to expose John Smyth?
UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

This is an open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury from an anonymous abuse victim who told his story in the Daily Telegraph. It is endorsed by seven other victims.

Dear Archbishop,

I am sure that we will meet one day. You have expressed your deep regret about how the Church has treated myself and my fellow victims since John Smyth’s abuse was uncovered. And besides, we have a lot in common. We are pretty much the same age. You went to Eton, I went to Winchester College. We have shared a university education.

We were both at the Iwerne Trust Christian camps at the same time, although I was there as a boy, you were there as an Iwerne Officer. Crucially, however, we both personally knew John Smyth, the subject of Channel 4’s news reports last Thursday & Friday. He was my abuser. The man who beat me in the horrific detail that was exposed in the television reports (and that I have written about in my account for Monday’s Daily Telegraph, the newspaper that, in my opinion, bravely ran this story before all others).

You have described John Smyth as ‘charming’ and ‘delightful’. Some people have found these words a strange description for someone who is alleged to have performed such monstrous acts, but I completely agree with you. I first met John Smyth when I was 14 years old. He was charming and delightful. That was why I latched on to him.

Posted on February 7, 2017 6:45 AM

Lujan motioned to dismiss cases against the church in Superior Court
GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Feb 07, 2017

By Krystal Paco

He said he was going to do it, and he did …

Attorney David Lujan has motioned to dismiss each of the cases against the Archdiocese of Agana in the Superior Court of Guam. The motions were made Tuesday afternoon in lieu of the same 15 cases being filed at the District Court of Guam. As we reported, each of the judges in the local court disqualified themselves from hearing the case due to conflicts, including relations to the accused, the victims, or being exposed to the cases as a parishioner of the Church. The federal filings also name the Vatican as a defendant. Each plaintiff is suing for $5 million in damages. A 16th victim is also anticipated to file a complaint later this week.

Posted on February 7, 2017 5:22 AM

After SNAP president resigns, new generation of leadership eyed
UNITED STATES
Catholic News Service

By Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The resignation of the president of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests opens the door for a new generation of leaders, said a top volunteer within the organization.

“SNAP is full of vibrant leaders,” Joelle Casteix, the organization’s Western regional director, told Catholic News Service Feb. 6. She said the resignation Feb. 3 of Barbara Blaine, who founded SNAP and served as its president for 29 years, was not totally unexpected.

“The time was not what anyone had planned, but any vibrant organization can always find people to stand up and lead an organization into its next phase,” Casteix said.

“For us, it’s always heartbreaking when a leader departs,” she added. “The true heart and mission of SNAP will always be with its volunteer leadership.”

Posted on February 7, 2017 5:20 AM

New book more of whimper than bang on Vatican finances
ROME
Crux

John L. Allen Jr. February 6, 2017
EDITOR

In her new book “Nel Nome di Pietro” (“In the Name of Peter”), Vatileaks 2.0 defendant Francesca Chaouqui provides few new revelations of Vatican financial scandals, instead trying to reframe her own image from femme fatale to idealistic reformer who ran afoul of powerful vested interests.

After one defendant in last year’s Vatileaks 2.0 trial published a book in January, Rome has been waiting for the other shoe to drop, this time a volume by the woman at the heart of it all: Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, an Italian PR consultant whose own new book is titled Nel Nome di Pietro (“In the name of Peter”).

The book went on sale today, and if the interest one brings is whether it offers new revelations about financial corruption in the Vatican, then it’s more of a whimper than a bang.

To recap, Chaouqui, a Spanish cleric named Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda and an Italian layman named Nicola Maio served on a commission created by Pope Francis in 2013 to study reform of Vatican finances. Later, all three would be charged along with two Italian journalists with leaking and publishing confidential documents from that commission.

Posted on February 7, 2017 5:14 AM

Steve Bannon Carries Battles to Another Influential Hub: The Vatican
ROME
New York Times

By JASON HOROWITZ
FEB. 7, 2017

ROME — When Steve Bannon was still heading Breitbart News, he went to the Vatican to cover the canonization of John Paul II and make some friends. High on his list of people to meet was an archconservative American cardinal, Raymond Burke, who had openly clashed with Pope Francis.

In one of the cardinal’s antechambers, amid religious statues and book-lined walls, Cardinal Burke and Mr. Bannon — who is now President Trump’s anti-establishment eminence — bonded over their shared worldview. They saw Islam as threatening to overrun a prostrate West weakened by the erosion of traditional Christian values, and viewed themselves as unjustly ostracized by out-of-touch political elites.

“When you recognize someone who has sacrificed in order to remain true to his principles and who is fighting the same kind of battles in the cultural arena, in a different section of the battlefield, I’m not surprised there is a meeting of hearts,” said Benjamin Harnwell, a confidant of Cardinal Burke who arranged the 2014 meeting.

While Mr. Trump, a twice-divorced president who has boasted of groping women, may seem an unlikely ally of traditionalists in the Vatican, many of them regard his election and the ascendance of Mr. Bannon as potentially game-changing breakthroughs.
Posted on February 7, 2017 5:12 AM

De La Salle College Revesby sued over alleged child sexual abuse of grade 6 and 7 students
AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

James Taylor, Canterbury-Bankstown Express
February 6, 2017

REVESBY Catholic school De La Salle College is facing multiple lawsuits for alleged child sexual abuse.

Three cases have been filed against the school over the alleged abuse of Grade 6 and 7 students in the 1970s and 80s.

However the teacher allegedly responsible, Brother Anselm Hallam, died in the early 1990s aged 92, before his charges could be heard in court.

De La Salle also faces lawsuits for alleged child sexual abuse at its Marrickville college.

Sydney Catholic Schools executive director Dr Dan White said he wasn’t in a position to comment “as it is an historical matter” and responsibility for the school was entrusted to the De La Salle Brothers at that time.

However he condemned the actions of anyone who abused children.

Posted on February 7, 2017 5:07 AM

Anglican priest paedophile: Raymond Cheek sentencing for child sexual abuse delayed
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Laura Gartry

A Perth judge has expressed frustration after a former WA Anglican priest due to be sentenced for sexually abusing five boys had his case adjourned until Friday, because he claimed he did not realise his lawyer had dropped him.

Serial paedophile Raymond Sydney Cheek sexually abused children over a 30-year period in WA’s south, targeting young boys across numerous parishes.

He was found guilty of committing an act of gross indecency and two counts each of indecent assault and indecent dealings with a child between 1955 and 1985 in November last year.

Cheek criticised his defence during the trial by lawyer Michael Perrella in a letter to District Court judge Ronald Birmingham, claiming he misunderstood his right to give evidence.

Posted on February 7, 2017 5:05 AM

3 more sex-abuse suits move to federal court, seek to hold Vatican responsible
GUAM
Guam Daily Post

By Mindy Aguon | For the Post Feb 7, 2017

Attorney David Lujan moved three more sexual abuse civil complaints to the District Court. The cases, filed on behalf of Edward Roberto Chan, Ramon Afaisen De Plata, and Paul Joseph Borja against the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Agana, brings the total number of lawsuits seeking to hold the Vatican responsible for the allegations against the archdiocese to 15.

Like the other dozen cases moved over the last two weeks, the three cases filed today each demand relief in the form of a minimum $5 million in damages.

According to Post news files, De Plata said that in March 1964, he was a 10-year-old altar boy at Our Lady Peace Parish in Chalan Pago. While staying overnight with about eight other altar boys in the parish rectory, De Plata said he saw Apuron – a seminarian at the time – and another clergy member, Rev. Antonio Cruz, engaging in sexual activity with another 10-year-old altar boy.

“The restroom was located inside (Cruz’s) bedroom. I woke up late in the night to use the restroom. When I entered Pale Cruz’s bedroom, I saw Pale Cruz lying on the bed naked. One of the altar boys was on the bed naked,” De Plata stated in a written testimony.

Posted on February 7, 2017 5:04 AM

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse figures only “scratch the surface”, says Border advocate
AUSTRALIA
Border Mail

Ellen Ebsary
@EEbsary

7 Feb 2017

As the incidence of child abuse in Catholic institutions is further unveiled, a Border advocate for the Care Leavers Australia Network thinks of the victims who will never be identified.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse yesterday identified 14.7 per cent of priests in the Sandhurst Diocese as alleged perpetrators between 1950 and 2010.

This statistic for the church region, which covers the North East, was the second highest rate in the country.

Rhonda Janetzki said these figures were only “scratching the surface”.

“They’re talking about the priests, brothers and nuns, but there was also a lot of abuse from employees and volunteers in those institutions too that hasn’t been mentioned,” she said.

“I think there are thousands of people living in country areas like Albury-Wodonga who have never ever spoken about the abuse inflicted on them.”

Posted on February 7, 2017 4:59 AM

Highest proportion of Catholic priests accused of child sex abuse were in Diocese of Sale
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nicole Asher

The Australian Catholic Church has confirmed more than $200,000 has been paid to victims of sex abuse perpetrated by priests ministering in the Diocese of Sale, in eastern Victoria.

The church has released data as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, showing the proportion of priests in the Sale Diocese accused of child sex crimes between 1950 and 2010 was double the national average.

In the 60 years to 2010, 15.1 per cent of priests in the Sale Diocese were accused of child sex abuse, compared to 7 per cent of priests nationally.

The Sale Diocese had the highest percentage of priests subject to abuse allegations in Australia, followed by the Diocese of Sandhurst, which includes Bendigo, with 14.7 per cent.

Posted on February 7, 2017 4:58 AM

Royal commission into sexual abuse: Catholic Church ‘sacrificed the welfare of children’
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Riley Stuart

An expert witness received loud applause as he savaged the Catholic Church for sacrificing the welfare of children at an emotional royal commission hearing today.

Dr Thomas Doyle, a United States canon lawyer and expert in areas of sexual abuse by clergy, has been giving evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney.

He claimed Pope John Paul II knew children were being sexually abused by priests and the Catholic Church attempted to cover up allegations.

Dr Doyle said victims and their families were coerced into keeping quiet about the abuse, even threatened with ex-communication.

“In the theology that I believe in there’s no office in the Catholic Church or anywhere else is so important that it justifies sacrificing the welfare of one innocent child. Period,” he said.

Posted on February 7, 2017 4:56 AM

Royal Commission: ‘Deviancy can blossom’ where ‘fragile’ leaders exist
AUSTRALIA
9 News

By Belinda Grant-Geary

The Catholic church assumed those entering the clergy wanted to do “good things” for the congregation, giving paedophiles unprecedented access to children, a royal commission has heard.

Professor Francis Moloney, a senior fellow at Victoria’s Catholic Theological College, said before dozens of witnesses including Cardinal George Pell that he did not believe paedophiles used the church to get close to vulnerable children and instead thought people with “latent” tendencies realised their attraction to minors once they spent more time with them alone.

“I don’t think they were self-acknowledged paedophiles who became religious in order to be with young people. I think they come to us and these tendencies emerge,” he told the Royal Commission into child sex abuse on Tuesday.

“It is a psychosexual deviation there that is latent but then appears once they find themselves involved one-on-one with young people.”

Professor Maloney said of the 20 percent of Salesians of Don Bosco identified as perpetrators of sexual abuse were situational offenders while others “would-be paedophiles whether they were Salesians or not”.
Posted on February 7, 2017 4:55 AM

Catholic church leadership must ‘step up’
AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Shocking world first data on child sex abuse in the church in Australia revealed seven per cent of priests were alleged paedophiles, a royal commission has been told.

The chief executive of the church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council held back tears on Monday as he talked about the ‘massive failure on the part of the Catholic Church in Australia to protect children from abusers’.

Royal commission research showed 4444 people had made allegations of abuse to 93 Catholic authorities between 1980 and 2015.

‘These numbers are shocking. They are tragic and they are indefensible,’ Francis Sullivan told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse sitting in Sydney.
Posted on February 7, 2017 4:53 AM

Shameful statistics
AUSTRALIA
Shepparton News

by BARCLAY WHITE FEBRUARY 07, 2017

The local diocese of the Catholic Church had the second highest percentage of alleged offenders in the country, new documents reveal.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released details on the numbers of priests that were accused of child sexual abuse during a 60-year period.

From 1950 to 2010, the Diocese of Sandhurst, which includes Shepparton, Bendigo and Echuca, Wangaratta and Wodonga, 14.7 per cent of priests were alleged perpetrators.

The high percentage was second only to the Diocese of Sale, where 15.1 per cent of priests were alleged perpetrators of abuse during the same period.

Posted on February 7, 2017 4:51 AM

Church spokesman has reserved comment
AUSTRALIA
Northern Star

Mia Armitage | 7th Feb 2017

WEDNESDAY 4.30pm: NEARLY 14% of Lismore’s most experienced Catholic priests were accused of sexually abusing children by 2010 but the diocese’s spokesman, the Most Reverend Geoffrey Jarrett, has reserved comment.

Between 52 and 64 priests have served in the Diocese of Lismore in each decade since 1950, with 129 priests having served in the area by 2010, detailed data presented to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has shown.

Some 18 of those priests, or 13.9%, have been accused of sexually abusing children throughout their careers, marking Lismore as one of the nation’s top five worst dioceses for child sex accusations against the Church.

Too soon to comment: Diocese of Lismore

But Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese Bishop Jarrett, standing in while Bishop-elect Father Gregory Homeming prepares for his ordination, said it was too early to comment publicly on findings.

“My response is that we are in the early days of the Royal Commission’s present three week hearing, and until it completes its investigation, it would be premature to comment on the first release of statistics,” Bishop Jarrett said via email to The Northern Star.

Posted on February 7, 2017 4:47 AM

Australians urged to stand up to Vatican as US priest slams church’s response to abuse
AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

Australian Catholics should stand up to Rome over its response to child sexual abuse and demand a fair go for victims, a royal commission has heard.

A psychiatrist who worked for the St John of God Brothers before leaving over concerns about systemic abuse and corruption, delivered a scathing assessment of the church’s response to child sex offences during evidence on Tuesday.

Michelle Mulvihill told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse priests were currently almost “unsackable” and that all pastoral care workers should be registered.

“It’s time for us, as Australians, to stand up to Rome and say ‘We are not little Rome, we are not little Italy’,” Dr Mulvihill said in Sydney.

“We are Australians and in Australia we believe in a fair go.”

Posted on February 7, 2017 4:45 AM

Child sex abuse royal commission: The night a group of Catholic schoolboys confronted evil
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

ANALYSIS
By political editor Chris Uhlmann

About 20 boys crammed into the small hotel room in Wellington and the mood was sombre.

Marist College Canberra’s First XV had gathered to hold court. The 1978 rugby tour of New Zealand was going well, but they weren’t there to talk about football.

The night before an incident had profoundly shaken the group.

One of the players had been called to a Marist brother’s room on the pretence of treating an injury from that day’s game.

The coach tried to sexually assault the boy. He fled, told his closest friend, and word had spread quickly through the touring party.

The boys, aged between 16 and 18, called a meeting. At its end they passed a resolution: the coach was to be banned from the change room, when the team returned to Canberra, the brother was to leave the school and the Marists were called on to guarantee that he would never teach again.

Posted on February 7, 2017 1:46 AM

Senior Wollongong Catholic church figures called up for evidence
AUSTRALIA
Illawarra Mercury

Kate McIlwain
@kmcilwain

7 Feb 2017

A number of senior church figures linked to Wollongong have been called to give evidence at the royal commission, as the commissioners focus on the extent of child sexual abuse in the church over the past seven decades.

The list of more than 60 witnesses in the three week hearing, which began on Monday, includes respected canon lawyer and former chancellor of the Diocese of Wollongong Moya Hanlon.

Sister Hanlon appeared at the hearing into former Wollongong priest John Gerard Nestor. Nestor’s conviction and jail sentence for the indecent assault of a 15-year-old altar boy was overturned in in 1997; he was thrown out of the church in 2008 after more allegations of abuse emerged.

Sister Hanlon is listed among a panel of three other canon lawyers.

Posted on February 7, 2017 1:44 AM

Royal commission into child sex abuse: Victims suffered ‘profound spiritual damage’
AUSTRALIA
Courier-Mail

CARLEEN FROST, The Daily Telegraph
February 6, 2017

AN American priest who lifted the lid on systemic child sex abuse throughout Catholic churches in the US has slammed the Vatican for the lack of support it has offered to its victims.

Father Thomas P. Doyle was the first witness to appear at today’s royal commission hearing in Sydney and has told the public gallery those forgotten survivors had suffered “profound spiritual damage”.

Dr Doyle was one of the first people to bring attention to the rise of sex abuse in church ranks across American in the early 1980s, and has spent decades ministering to victims and their families.

“I will say that one of the massive holes in the Roman Catholic Church’s approach to this issue still today is the failure to completely comprehend the depth of the spiritual damage that is done to their victims, to their families, especially their parents, to their friends and to the community itself,” Dr Doyle told the commission today.

“There seems to be no ability to even ask the proper questions.

“I have never seen anything coming out of the Holy See dealing with the spiritual damage.

“All I’ve seen is ‘Get them to go back to church’, which is nuts. That’s crazy.

“I’ve seen a lot of people, both priests and religious, who have tried to figure out how to deal with this and bringing aid and comfort and support to the victims.

“But as an institution, I have seen nothing.”

Posted on February 7, 2017 1:42 AM

Catholic Church faces fresh child sex abuse threat, warns ex-top cleric
AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun

THE former head of one of the Catholic Church’s most abusive religious orders has warned of the potential for an escalation in child sexual abuse.

Fr Francis Moloney told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today that the church was moving backwards in a potentially dangerous move.

He said a wave of conservatism moving through seminaries around the country threatened the good work being done by some in the church.

“We’ve got to face these truths,” he said.

“We have a major problem in the Australian Church.

“To say that the seminarians are all fine, the seminarians have been renewed, they’ve been exposed to this wider society, that is simply not true.

“The seminaries are closing their doors, they’re putting garments on the boys, they’re having long Latin liturgies, they like to walk around the streets in their (robes).

Posted on February 7, 2017 1:39 AM

Father Thomas Doyle tells royal commission Vatican failed sex abuse victims
AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

The Vatican has failed to support survivors of sexual abuse in the church for decades, with prominent Catholics demanding action at a royal commission.

A whistleblower priest who was one of the first to report allegations of sexual abuse to the Vatican in the 1980s told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he was punished for speaking out.

Father Thomas Doyle, an American canon lawyer, told the second day of the inquiry into Catholic Church authorities, secrecy, cover-ups and betrayal of victims were hallmarks of the institution’s response to abuse.

“One of the massive holes in the Roman Catholic Church’s approach to this issue today is a failure to completely comprehend the spiritual damage that is done to victims, to their families . . . and the community itself,” he said.

Posted on February 7, 2017 1:37 AM

Rockhampton’s shock number of abusive priests revealed
AUSTRALIA
Morning Bulletin

Melanie Plane and Chloe Lyons | 7th Feb 2017

WHEN Margaret Campbell heard 11.4% of priests from the Diocese of Rockhampton in the 1960s had claims of sexual abuse against them during the span of their career, she couldn’t believe it.

It’s not that the high figure came as a surprise to her, it’s that she believes the figure is not high enough.

Ms Campbell, who was sexually abused throughout the seven years she spent at the Neerkol Orphanage on the outskirts of Rockhampton in the 1960s, is this week sitting in on the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse taking place in Sydney.

Yesterday, a new report was released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse showing the extent of child sexual abuse within the Diocese of Rockhampton.

According to the report, which documents claims of abuse between 1950 and 2009, 11.4% of priests from the Diocese of Rockhampton in the 1960s had claims of sexual abuse against them during the span of their career.

Posted on February 7, 2017 1:35 AM

Rockhampton’s Catholic Bishop apologises to child sex abuse victims
AUSTRALIA
CQ News

Chloe Lyons | 7th Feb 2017

THE Catholic Bishop of Rockhampton has apologised to victims of child sex abuse after a new report provides details of the horrific levels of historic offending in the Diocese.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released a report which contains details of the abuse of children within the Catholic Diocese of Rockhampton.

It is claimed in the report 8% of priests who worked in the Diocese between 1950 and 2009 had had a claim of child sex abuse made against them at some stage in their career.

This percentage was 1.3% between 2000 and 2009.

In statement released on Friday, Francis Sullivan of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council said the data contained in reports about the church would “reveal a horrific picture of the extent of the claims of abuse by priests and brothers whose responsibility was to protect and care for children”.

Posted on February 7, 2017 1:33 AM

Father Tom Doyle says church teaching on human sexuality a major factor in child sexual abuse crisis
AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
7 Feb 2017

THE Catholic Church’s troubling views on human sexuality were a major factor in the child sexual abuse crisis, and led the church to commit “soul murder” of abuse victims, a Catholic priest has told the royal commission.

“Sometimes those murdered souls stay dead,” said American Dominican priest and church critic Dr Tom Doyle, who was applauded after slamming the church’s “very stultified comprehension of human sexuality”, and presentation of priests as “higher beings”.

Dr Doyle described clericalism as a “virus that has infected the church” where “it is believed that the church men, the priests, the bishops, are in some form or way sacred and above ordinary people, and because of this sacredness, because of their importance, they must be held as more important and protected”.

It enabled priests accused of child sexual abuse to feel they would be protected by the church when allegations were raised, Dr Doyle said.

Posted on February 7, 2017 1:31 AM

Catholic church doesn’t understand toll of child sexual abuse, says US priest
AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Christopher Knaus
Monday 6 February 2017

One of the first American priests to have broken ranks on child abuse said the Catholic church still fails to comprehend the depth of spiritual damage done to victims.

Father Thomas Doyle, then a canonical lawyer at the Vatican’s Washington embassy, was tasked with investigating child abuse cases in the US in the mid-1980s, preparing a 40-page report for the nuncio, or papal ambassador, which he said was handed to the pope.

Doyle’s warnings about the abuse went unheeded and he said he was pushed out of his position with the embassy in 1986.

He has spent the time since helping survivors, speaking to thousands of individuals abused by Catholic clergy.

Doyle, giving evidence to the child abuse royal commission in Sydney on Tuesday, spoke of a life-changing moment in his early years of examining abuse claims, when he met a 10-year-old survivor face to face.

“When I looked into his face, I still see it, it was empty,” Doyle said. “And that moment changed my life. The parents were simple, good, decent people who could not comprehend why they were being treated the way they were by the church.

Posted on February 7, 2017 1:29 AM

Catholic church committed ‘soul murder’ of victims, inquiry hears
AUSTRALIA
Border Mail

Melissa Cunningham
@MeljCunningham

7 Feb 2017

The Catholic Church still fails to comprehend the depth of damage caused to victims and their families as result of the widespread sexual violation of children and adults by clergy, an inquiry heard.

Doctor Thomas Doyle, a United States canon lawyer and expert in areas of sexual abuse by clergy gave evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney on Tuesday.

The Dominican priest accused the Catholic Church of committing the “soul murder” of abuse victims, with some survivors never recovering from the trauma.

“Sometimes those murdered souls stay dead,” Dr Doyle told the inquiry.

“One of the massive holes in the Roman Catholic Church’s approach to this issue still today, is a failure to completely comprehend the depth of the spiritual damage that is done to the victims, to their families, especially their parents, to their friends and to the community itself.”

Posted on February 7, 2017 1:27 AM

Church told US priest accused of abuse to go to Holland – video
AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Father Thomas Doyle tells the child abuse royal commission about how the Catholic Church handled a US priest who was accused of abusing all five daughters in one family in 1985. He says the priest was told to go to Holland because it has no extradition treaty with the US. ‘You can’t make this stuff up. It sounds bizarre,’ he says.

Posted on February 7, 2017 1:17 AM

February 6, 2017
EDITORIAL: Royal Commission puts Catholic Church under the microscope.
AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

7 Feb 2017.

FOUR years have passed since the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse came into being, and in that time, an extraordinary rendition of shameful, deplorable, criminal behaviour – much of it by men of the cloth, supposing to tell others how to live their lives – has been laid bare by the commission and its investigators.

While some Catholics have complained about what they see as an inordinate focus on their church over other institutions, the mathematics of the matter make it impossible for the commission to ignore: Monday’s proceedings heard that in the 35 years from 1980 to 2015, almost 4500 allegations of child abuse were made to church authorities, involving some 1880 alleged offenders.

In her opening address, counsel assisting Gail Furness detailed disturbingly high rates of paedophilia in many religious communities, topped – if that is the appropriate word – by St John of God, with 40 per cent of its brothers alleged to be perpetrators of child sexual abuse.

As Ms Furness observed: “ The accounts were depressingly similar. Children were ignored or worse,punished. Allegations were not investigated. Priests and religious were moved. The parishes or communities to which they were moved knew nothing of their past. Documents were not kept or they were destroyed. Secrecy prevailed as did cover ups. Priests and religious were not properly dealt with and outcomes were often not representative of their crimes. Many children suffered and continue as adults to suffer from their experiences in some Catholic institutions.”

Posted on February 6, 2017 7:13 PM

The Catholic Church is responsible for an unprecedented level of crimes in Australia
AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
7 Feb 2017

THE percentage of Maitland-Newcastle Catholic priests who allegedly sexually assaulted children grew to its highest levels between 1990 and 2010, and to some of the highest levels in Australia, shocking new figures released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have shown.

More than one in 10 of the diocese’s priests between that period were the subject of child sex abuse allegations. During the same period about one in five Marist Brothers – the order that ran Maitland and Hamilton high schools – were accused of child sexual abuse.

Between 1990 and 2010 more than 30 per cent of the John of God Brothers order, which ran a home at Morisset until 2001 for intellectually disabled boys and boys with behavioural problems, were accused of sexually abusing children.

Between 1950 and 2015 a staggering 40 per cent of the St John of God Brothers were accused of abusing children, the highest percentage of alleged abusers in any Australian Catholic order or diocese.

Posted on February 6, 2017 7:10 PM

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse case study 50 | day two
AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

[live stream]

Joanne McCarthy
7 Feb 2017

10.08am The royal commission has resumed for its second day of evidence. Dr Tom Doyle has been sworn in.

Doyle became a Dominican novitiate in 1964. He said he wasn’t raised in a “churchy” household. His father was a scientist “and so there was, I think, a healthy amount of scepticism and realism in the family”.

He said he became a Dominican priest because they were “very much down to earth and normal”.

He began theological studies and obtained a PhD in canon law, or church law.

Doyle said he was working for the Archdiocese of Chicago as a judge in the ecclesiastical tribunal, when he was called to be the canon lawyer “vetting” potential bishops. He would send out confidential questionnaires to 20 or so people, with up to 50 questions.

The questions covered issues like the church’s doctrine on marriage of priests, women priests and homosexuality.

Doyle: “If you didn’t pass that, you didn’t get any further.”

The questions were sent out on the basis of being “under the pontifical secret” – a term that we’re going to hear more of in coming days in relation to the operation of canon law within the church, and its possible impact on how senior church representatives handle child sexual abuse allegations. In the context of the questionnaire, the pontifical secret prevented bishops from revealing anything about the process to anyone else.

Posted on February 6, 2017 7:05 PM

California outlaws secret abuse settlements, hidden evidence
CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

February 6, 2017 Joelle Casteix

The era of secret child sex abuse settlements in California is over.

I am usually quick to beat up on California Governor Jerry Brown for his poor record on protecting institutions who cover-up child sex abuse. But a new law enacted January 1, 2017, slipped under my radar— and organizations who harbor men and women who prey on children should be on notice.

Assembly Bill 1682, introduced by Mark Stone and approved by Jerry Brown on September 30, 2016, says:

SECTION 1.

Section 1002 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:
(a) Notwithstanding any other law, a provision within a settlement agreement that prevents the disclosure of factual information related to the action is prohibited in any civil action the factual foundation for which establishes a cause of action for civil damages for any of the following:
(1) An act that may be prosecuted as a felony sex offense.
(2) An act of childhood sexual abuse, as defined in Section 340.1.
(3) An act of sexual exploitation of a minor, as defined in Section 11165.1 of the Penal Code, or conduct prohibited with respect to a minor pursuant to Section 311.1, 311.5, or 311.6 of the Penal Code.

Posted on February 6, 2017 7:00 PM

Victims say Archbishop of Canterbury failed to expose ‘child abuse’ barrister
UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Patrick Foster Peter Robertson
6 FEBRUARY 2017

Victims of a barrister facing child abuse claims say the Archbishop of Canterbury failed to expose the scandal, as a Bishop said that he had also been assaulted.

An open letter to the Most Rev Justin Welby, endorsed by eight alleged victims of John Smyth QC, calls on the Archbishop, a former colleague of the barrister, to come clean about the extent of his knowledge of the abuse claims.

The development came as the Bishop of Guildford revealed that he was one of 22 young men abused by Mr Smyth, who is accused of savagely beating beatings boys he met at Christian holiday camps in the late Seventies.

The Right Rev Andrew Watson said: “The beating I endured in the infamous garden shed was violent, excruciating and shocking; but it was thankfully a one-off experience never to be repeated.”

Hampshire Police last week announced an investigation into the abuse claims, which were reported to senior figures in the Church in 1982, and police sources said eight men have come forward to say that they were attacked by the barrister.

Posted on February 6, 2017 6:57 PM

Commission unveils Lismore’s Catholic priest shame
AUSTRALIA
Northern Star

Mia Armitage | 7th Feb 2017

NEARLY 14% of Catholic priests serving in Lismore between 1950 and 2010 are alleged sexual abusers of children, national investigations have shown.

A final public hearing into Catholic Church authorities began in Sydney on Monday as part of an ongoing Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

More than 37% of people reporting abuse in private hearings over the past four years said their experiences happened in Catholic institutions, Senior Counsel Gail Furness said in a speech when opening the 50th public hearing.

Workers for the commission liaised with representatives from the Truth Justice and Healing Council, a group set up by Australian Catholic authorities, to gather data on claims of child sexual abuse against Catholic Church staff or volunteers made between 1980 and 2015.

Posted on February 6, 2017 6:00 PM

Protagonist in Vatican leaks scandal leaks more in new book
ROME
AP News

By NICOLE WINFIELD

ROME (AP) — The most colorful protagonist in the Vatican’s leaks scandal — an ambitious, name-dropping communications consultant — has emerged from a bruising trial with a baby, a business and a book describing the behind-the-scenes drama of Pope Francis’ reform efforts.

“In the Name of Peter” hits Italian bookstores Tuesday, seven months after author Francesca Chaouqui received a 10-month suspended sentence for conspiring to pass confidential documents onto two journalists.

In an interview Monday, Chaouqui called the book her “testament of truth” and said she doesn’t fear a possible new Vatican trial for publishing confidential Holy See documents in her book.

“I’m ready to defend myself in Italy with all the strength that I have,” she told The Associated Press in an interview at a downtown Roman hotel. “I’m not the same person who went (to the Vatican) like an obedient puppy who they put on trial.”

Chaouqui was the lone woman on an eight-member papal reform commission tasked with compiling information about the Vatican’s vast financial holdings and recommending ways to improve efficiency and transparency.

Posted on February 6, 2017 4:11 PM

Watchdog group that fought Catholic Church faces upheaval
UNITED STATES
WAND

Updated: Feb 06, 2017
By JIM SALTER
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) – A victims’ support group that helped force the Roman Catholic Church to confront the problem of child-molesting priests is going through upheaval of its own, including the resignations of two top leaders and a potentially reputation-damaging lawsuit.

Barbara Blaine, who founded the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, in 1988, stepped down as president Friday, about a month after the resignation of long-time executive director David Clohessy.

The change in leadership was sandwiched around a Jan. 17 lawsuit accusing SNAP of exploiting the victims it purports to serve by taking kickbacks from lawyers.

Blaine and Clohessy said their resignations were planned months ago and were unrelated to the lawsuit. They said they simply decided it was time to step aside after decades with the nonprofit group.

Posted on February 6, 2017 4:01 PM

7 percent of Australian Catholic priests accused of abuse
AUSTRALIA
AP News

By KRISTEN GELINEAU
Today

SYDNEY (AP) — Seven percent of priests in Australia’s Catholic Church were accused of sexually abusing children over the past several decades, a lawyer said Monday as officials investigating institutional abuse across Australia revealed for the first time the extent of the crisis.

The statistics were released during the opening address of a hearing of Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The royal commission — which is Australia’s highest form of inquiry — has been investigating since 2013 how the Catholic Church and other institutions responded to the sexual abuse of children over decades.

The commission has previously heard harrowing testimony from scores of people who suffered abuse at the hands of clergy. But the full scale of the problem was never clear until Monday, when the commission released the statistics it has gathered.

Commissioners surveyed Catholic Church authorities and found that between 1980 and 2015, 4,444 people reported they had been abused at more than 1,000 Catholic institutions across Australia, said Gail Furness, the lead lawyer assisting the commission. The average age of the victims was 10.5 for girls and 11.5 for boys.

Overall, 7 percent of priests in Australia between 1950 and 2010 were accused of sexually abusing children, Furness said.

Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Truth Justice and Healing Council, which is coordinating the Catholic Church’s response to the inquiry, said the data reflected “a massive failure” by the church to protect children.

Posted on February 6, 2017 3:57 PM

“7 procent van Australische priesters heeft kinderen seksueel misbruikt”
AUSTRALIE
De Morgen

7 procent van de katholieke priesters in Australië heeft zich tussen 1950 en 2010 schuldig gemaakt aan seksueel misbruik van in totaal 4.444 kinderen. De meisjes zijn gemiddeld 10,5 jaar oud, de jongens 11,5 jaar. Dit blijkt uit de eerste resultaten van een koninklijke commissie die sinds 2013 onderzoek doet naar seksueel misbruik binnen religieuze instituten in Australië.

Jarenlang werd het misbruik verdoezeld. “Kinderen werden genegeerd of erger nog, gestraft”, zegt Gail Furness, de belangrijkste advocaat die de commissie bijstaat. “Beschuldigingen werden niet onderzocht. Priesters en religieuze broeders werden verplaatst. De parochies of gemeenschappen waarin zij werden verplaatst, wisten niets van het verleden. Documenten werden vernietigd of niet bewaard.”

Posted on February 6, 2017 2:48 PM

Ce que révèlent les chiffres de la pédophilie dans l’Eglise en Australie
AUSTRALIE
La Croix

MARIE MALZAC, le 06/02/2017

La Commission royale d’enquête australienne sur les abus sexuels sur mineurs a publié le 6 février les résultats d’une enquête inédite, indiquant que 7 % des prêtres auraient été mis en cause pour des actes de pédophilie entre 1950 et 2010.

Que révèle l’enquête australienne ?

Après quatre ans d’investigation, la Commission royale d’enquête qui travaille sur les réponses institutionnelles apportées aux accusations de pédophilie en Australie a indiqué que 4 444 faits avaient été signalés à l’Église catholique entre 1980 et 2015.

Selon cette étude inédite, environ 7 % des prêtres australiens ont été des « auteurs présumés » entre 1950 et 2010. Dans certains diocèses, la proportion estimée a pu atteindre 15 %.Et même 40 % dans certains ordres religieux, comme celui de St John of God Brothers.

Posted on February 6, 2017 2:46 PM

En Australie, un rapport révèle que 7% des prêtres catholiques auraient commis des actes pédophiles
AUSTRALIE
RT

L’Eglise catholique australienne est au cœur d’un scandale sans précédent, alors qu’une commission d’enquête publie le bilan accablant d’une enquête chiffrée. Plus de 1 900 prêtres seraient concernés.

Une commission royale chargée des questions d’abus sexuels sur mineurs en Australie a publié ce lundi 6 février un document concernant la pédophilie au sein de l’Eglise catholique. Les chiffres avancés confirment l’ampleur des enquêtes conduites jusqu’ici dans le pays. 7% des prêtres catholiques en Australie auraient déjà eu affaire à la justice dans des cas de violences sexuelles sur des enfants.

Posted on February 6, 2017 2:44 PM

Pédophilie dans l’Eglise : une soixantaine d’affaires aux mains de la justice
FRANCE
Liberation

[Pedophilia in the Church: About 60 cases are in the hands of French justice.]

Les 106 diocèses de l’Hexagone ont été priés de livrer leurs données dans le cadre d’une enquête interne de la Conférence des évêques de France. Des chiffres inédits mais qui ne disent qu’une partie de la réalité.

Surtout pas de triomphalisme. «Neuf, c’est toujours neuf de trop», s’empresse de dire Ségolaine Moog, déléguée pour la lutte contre la pédophilie à la Conférence des évêques de France (CEF). Neuf ? C’est le nombre de clercs (c’est-à-dire des prêtres ou des diacres, le grade en dessous) actuellement incarcérés pour des faits d’abus sexuels sur mineurs. D’un point de vue judiciaire, les affaires de pédophilie concerneraient, selon une enquête interne de la CEF, une soixantaine de clercs catholiques. Parmi eux, 37 ont déjà purgé leur peine et 26 font l’objet d’une mise en examen. Depuis plusieurs mois, les évêques catholiques promettaient de donner des chiffres à la suite du scandale qu’a provoqué, à Lyon, l’affaire de l’abbé Bernard P. Aucun bilan n’avait été établi par l’institution depuis 2010 et les 106 diocèses de l’Hexagone ont donc été priés (non sans réticence pour certains) de livrer leurs données.

Posted on February 6, 2017 2:39 PM

Jehovah’s Witness tells how family shunned him under church orders after allegations
UNITED KINGDOM
Gazette Live

A Jehovah’s Witness accused of sexually abusing three young girls told a court he had been ostracised by the church ever since the allegations arose.

Paul Shields, 57, who was living in Guisborough at the time of the alleged abuse, said that no-one within the organisation would talk to him because of the accusations which he insists were untrue.

York Crown Court heard that it was Jehovah’s Witness policy for church members to shun those who have wronged in such a way.

Even family members who are Jehovah’s Witnesses are told not to speak to the wrong-doer.

Shields, who vehemently denies any abuse took place during the 1990s, said even his mother, who is a Jehovah’s Witness, had not spoken to him since the allegations were made in 2014.

Posted on February 6, 2017 2:36 PM

Assignment Record– Rev. Kenneth J. Schoettmer
OHIO
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Kenneth Schoettmer was ordained for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1968. He assisted in Walnut Hills, Madisonville, Wyoming and Clifton parishes until 1982, when he was named pastor of a parish in Hamilton. He held that role for twelve years, leaving in 1994 to serve briefly as temporary administrator in North Fairmount. There is an unexplained gap in Schoettmer’s assignments in 1995. In 1996 he was assigned a pastorship in Millville.

Schoettmer was placed on leave by the archdiocese in June 2001, pending an investigation into allegations of inappropriate contact with young males. He told police that he had used a parish computer to download pornography and to contact juveniles. In a letter to parishioners, Schoettmer admitted to sexual contact with three different teenage boys between 1984 and 1999. He pleaded guilty in 2003 to fondling a 17-year-old boy in 1999. Charges of rape and sexual battery were dropped because his victim did not want to testify. Schoettmer was sentenced to five years’ probation and ordered to register as a sex offender. He was laicized in 2007.

Ordained: 1968
Laicized: 2007

Posted on February 6, 2017 2:31 PM

Cardinale Sepe, denuncia al Papa: «Non indagò su un prete pedofilo»
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

[Cardinal Sepe complained to the Pope: “I inquired of a pedophile priest.”]

Con la presente lettera intendo denunciare il cardinale Crescenzio Sepe, per grave negligenza nell’esercizio del proprio ufficio». È l’incipit di una lettera riportata dal quotidiano La Repubblica, inviata lo scorso 11 ottobre a Papa Francesco e al prefetto della Congregazione per i vescovi, il cardinale Marc Ouellet.

Nella missiva una persona di nome Diego, un nome di fantasia, ha raccontato che nel 1989, a soli 13 anni, avrebbe subito abusi sessuali da parte dell’insegnante di religione in una scuola media a Napoli. Nel 2010 l’uomo ha avuto il coraggio di svelare l’episodio a sua madre e a sua moglie. Test psicologici hanno poi confermato il passato di abusi sessuali.

Posted on February 6, 2017 2:28 PM

«Provolo, anni di violenze e abusi» Ma don Piccoli: mai toccato nessuno
ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

[A victim of abuse at the Provolo school for the deaf said they were subjected to years of abuse among a climate of fear and terror.]

Quegli anni al Provolo mi hanno devastato l’esistenza. I preti ci picchiavano e abusavano noi, c’era un clima di paura e terrore, non potevi parlare altrimenti anche le suore ci menavano. Noi sordomuti eravamo in trappola». A Piazza Pulita su La 7 le vittime tornano ad accusare i sacerdoti di averli molestati nella sede dell’istituto a Verona. Davanti al telecamere si fa intervistare Anna, che racconta di quando «quel prete mi alzò la gonna e mi toccò durante la confessione, poi quando io ho cercato di protestare lui mi ha risposto “Voi sordi siete animali, voi non avete l’anima».

Posted on February 6, 2017 2:25 PM

Italy police hunt authors of anti-pope posters
ROME
Yahoo! News

Ella IDE
AFPFebruary 6, 2017

Rome (AFP) – Italian police were on the hunt Monday for the authors of anti-pope posters which have been slapped around Rome, amid suspicions the campaign may be linked to an arch-conservative wing of the Catholic Church.

Dozens of the illegal fliers appeared mysteriously around the Italian capital Saturday picturing a stern-looking Pope Francis, a list of accusations against him, and the words “Where’s your mercy?” — turning the pontiff’s call for a more merciful church back on him.

Police were trawling through security camera footage to track down the culprits as Rome city council said it had pulled down 200 posters while those remaining had been covered up.

No group took credit for the stunt, but Vatican watchers said the fact the main complaint referred to the “decapitation” of the Knights of Malta made it likely they came from conservative quarters.

Posted on February 6, 2017 2:23 PM

Bishop of Guildford reveals he was a victim of a QC accused of sadomasochistic beatings of boys at Christian summer camps in the 1980s
UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By MARK DUELL FOR MAILONLINE

The Bishop of Guildford revealed today that he was a victim of a QC accused of sadomasochistic beatings of boys at Christian summer camps in the 1980s.

Andrew Watson said he had endured a ‘violent, excruciating and shocking’ beating at the hands of John Smyth QC.

Mr Smyth is being investigated by Hampshire Constabulary over claims he forced a string of boys to strip naked before beating them while at church camps he ran, which were also attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Mr Watson said: ‘I am one of the survivors of John Smyth’s appalling activities in the late 1970s and early 80s.

‘I am also one of the Bishops in the Church of England. This has placed me in a unique and challenging position when it comes to the events of the past few days.

‘My own story is certainly less traumatic than that of some others. I was drawn into the Smyth circle, as they were, and the beating I endured in the infamous garden shed was violent, excruciating and shocking; but it was thankfully a one-off experience never to be repeated.

Posted on February 6, 2017 2:20 PM

Church of England bishop: I was violently beaten by former youth camp worker John Smyth
UNITED KINGDOM
Independent

Tom Batchelor

A Church of England bishop has issued a statement alleging he was subjected to a “violent” beating by the head of a Christian charity accused of sadomasochistic attacks on young boys.

Andrew Watson, the Bishop of Guildford, said he was the victim of a “violent, excruciating and shocking” beating in a garden shed during the 1970s or 1980s.

It follows a Channel 4 News report containing allegations that John Smyth QC used holiday camps to groom teenagers, who he forced to strip naked before beating them.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was forced to issue an “unreserved and unequivocal” apology on behalf of the church after admitting he had worked at the holiday camps.

Posted on February 6, 2017 2:18 PM

C of E bishop: I was given ‘excruciating’ beating by John Smyth
UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent
Monday 6 February 2017

A serving Church of England bishop has alleged that he was subjected to a “violent, excruciating and shocking” beating by John Smyth, the man at the centre of abuse allegations connected to summer camps for Christian youth.

Andrew Watson, the bishop of Guildford, claims he was beaten on a single occasion. He said he had contacted Hampshire police, the force investigating allegations made against Smyth, at the weekend.

Watson said in a statement: “I am one of the survivors of John Smyth’s appalling activities in the late 1970s and early 80s. I am also one of the bishops in the Church of England. This has placed me in a unique and challenging position when it comes to the events of the past few days.

“My own story is certainly less traumatic than that of some others. I was drawn into the Smyth circle, as they were, and the beating I endured in the infamous garden shed was violent, excruciating and shocking; but it was thankfully a one-off experience never to be repeated.”

Posted on February 6, 2017 2:17 PM

Bishop of Guildford says he was victim of barrister accused of child abuse
UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Telegraph Reporters
6 FEBRUARY 2017

The Bishop of Guildford Andrew Watson has revealed he was one of the boys subjected savage sadomasochistic beatings by barrister John Smyth.

In a statement issued this afternoon, he said: “I am one of the survivors of John Smyth’s appalling activities in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. I am also one of the Bishops in the Church of England.

“This has placed me in a unique and challenging position when it comes to the events of the past few days. My own story is certainly less traumatic than that of some others.

John Smyth QC, a friend of the Archbishop of Canterbury, is being investigated by police over claims that he beat 22 teenagers in his garden shed in the late Seventies.

A report by the Iwerne Trust, the charity that ran the Christian camps at which Mr Smyth met many of the victims, documents how he persuaded one of the boys to assist with the attacks.

The Right Reverend Watson added: “I was drawn into the Smyth circle, as they were, and the beating I endured in the infamous garden shed was violent, excruciating and shocking; but it was thankfully a one-off experience never to be repeated.

Posted on February 6, 2017 2:15 PM

‘This scourge must end once and for all’, says priest’s victim
AUSTRALIA
The Australian

February 7, 2017

SAMANTHA HUTCHINSON
Reporter
Sydney

Peter Gogarty is anxious. A survivor of sexual abuse, he has been heartened as successive members of the clergy have been exposed and sent to jail for abusing children in their care, but now he wants lasting reform.

“I just need to know that what happens next fixes the problem for good,” he told The Australian.

“The last thing we need is an experience when people share these horrendous stories and then everyone says they’ve learned their lesson, they’ve done a bad thing and just move on. That just won’t work for me.”

The Newcastle-based advocate for survivors of sexual abuse spoke to The Australian yesterday as a royal commission hearing in Newcastle heard that 7 per cent of all Catholic priests and brothers in Australia over the past six decades were involved in abusing children.

Posted on February 6, 2017 2:12 PM

Australian inquiry ‘won’t change church’
AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

Australia’s child abuse royal commission should not expect to change the Catholic Church with some “magic bullet”, priests have warned.

The commission needs to be realistic that changing the Catholic Church as a whole will not happen, Diocese of Broken Bay vicar general Dr David Ranson said.

“It’s not going to change the theology of the church. It’s not going to change the structure of the universal church. It’s beyond the ambit of the royal commission to do that.”

The commission is looking at issues such as the church’s structure and governance, canon law, and celibacy as it examines why widespread abuse occurred over decades in Catholic institutions.

Dr Ranson said the Catholic Church was a community of communities, each of which had to examine why abuse occurred in their particular community.
Posted on February 6, 2017 12:14 PM

Royal Commission into child sex abuse reveals Port Pirie had one of highest rates of abusive Catholic priests
AUSTRALIA
The Advertiser

Carleen Frost, The Advertiser
February 6, 2017

THE Catholic Church diocese of Port Pirie had one of Australia’s highest rates of alleged child-abusing priests over a 60-year period, disturbing new figures have revealed.

The Royal Commission into Institutionalised Responses to Child Sexual Abuse yesterday released the vile extent of systematic sexual exploitation committed by 1880 perpetrators across Australia, representing seven per cent of priests from 1950 to 2010.

In a survey of 10 religious institutes and 75 church authorities, the diocese of Sale in Victoria was listed as the worst with 15.1 per cent of its priests accused of abuse, with Port Pirie ranked third with 14.1 per cent.

In contrast, the Diocese of Adelaide had one of the lowest reports of abusers within the church at 2.2 per cent, with a total of 222 cases of reported abuse over six decades.

Posted on February 6, 2017 12:10 PM

Thousands of Catholic abuse victims
AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

FEBRUARY 6, 2017

Australian Associated Press

BY THE NUMBERS – CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AND THE AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
THE EXTENT OF ABUSE

* 4444 alleged victims
* That’s only those who have made claims to church
* 1880 alleged perpetrators – 1265 priests or religious brothers/sisters
* More than 500 unknown offenders (can’t say if any are among 1880 identified perpetrators)
* More than 1000 separate institutions involved

THE PERPETRATORS:

* 7 pct of all priests alleged to have abused children
* More than 20 pct of some religious orders – 40 pct of St John of God Brothers
* 90 pct male
Of 1880 identified abusers:
* 597 (32 pct) religious brothers
* 572 (30 pct) priests
* 543 (29 pct) lay people
* 96 (5 pct) religious sisters

THE VICTIMS:

* 78 pct male, average age at time of abuse 11.6 years
* 22 pct female, average age 10.5 years
* 33 year gap on average between abuse and date claim made to church

Posted on February 6, 2017 10:53 AM

New Norcia Benedictine community among worst child sex abuse perpetrators
AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Western Australia’s Benedictine Community of New Norcia rated among the worst for historical child sex offenders according to figures released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The commission found the number of alleged priests who were perpetrators in the Catholic church in WA was higher than the national average.

The report found 7 per cent of priests from all Catholic Church authorities who ministered from 1950 to 2010 across Australia were accused of child sexual abuse, but for the Benedictine Community of New Norcia, the amount was more than triple that at 21.5 per cent.

In the 1950’s, 17.6 per cent of the Benedictine Community of New Norcia was subject to an allegation, compared to a 2.7 per cent of priests of all Catholic Church authorities with priest members in a ministry that was subject to a claim.

Almost 60 per cent of the abuse survivors who contacted the commission reported being abused in faith-based institutions and two thirds of that group reported abuse in Catholic institutions.

Posted on February 6, 2017 10:52 AM

Almost one in ten Ballarat priests accused of child sex abuse, inquiry told
AUSTRALIA
Border Mail

Melissa Cunningham
@MeljCunningham

6 Feb 2017

Almost one in ten priests in the Diocese of Ballarat had allegations of child sexual abuse levelled against them between 1950 and 2010, an inquiry heard.

The magnitude of the Catholic Church’s child sexual abuse scandal has been brought to light with a royal commission hearing almost 4500 people have made claims of child sexual abuse over the past 35 years.

Data gathered by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse revealed between January 1980 and February 2015, found 4444 people have come forward with alleged incidents of child sexual abuse in relation to 93 Catholic Church authorities.

Ballarat was found to have 8.7 per cent of alleged perpetrators and was ranked seventh worst in Australia.

The Diocese of Sale was ranked worst in Australia.

Posted on February 6, 2017 10:48 AM

Abuse in Christian Brothers back to 1919
AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

The Christian Brothers knew they may have pedophiles among them back in 1919.

More than 20 per cent of all Christian Brothers in Australia have now been revealed to have sexually abused children.

Six hundred religious brothers from the Christian Brothers and other Catholic orders are alleged to have been pedophiles, according to world-first data released by the child abuse royal commission on Monday.

Like the Christian Brothers, more than 20 per cent of Marist Brothers and Salesians of Don Bosco have been the subject of child sex abuse claims to the Catholic Church in Australia.

For the St John of God Brothers, it is 40 per cent.

Of the Catholic abuse cases already investigated by the royal commission, the accounts given by survivors of institutions run by the Christian Brothers in Western Australia have been “particularly harrowing”.
Posted on February 6, 2017 10:47 AM

Lujan moving all lawsuits against church to federal court
GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Feb 06, 2017

By Krystal Paco

We can expect to see some movement in the lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Agana this week. We can also expect a 16th victim to file suit against the church for more allegations of child molestation.

Come Tuesday, attorney David Lujan says he’ll be motioning to dismiss all 15 cases of child sex abuse he’s filed to date against the Archdiocese of Agana. “I am dismissing everything tomorrow in superior court,” he promised. That’s because by Tuesday, he would’ve completely filed the same 15 cases at the District Court of Guam.

As we’ve reported, each of the judges at the Superior Court of Guam has disqualified themselves from the hearing the case due to conflicts. In addition, the suit is not just against the local Church, but also against the Vatican. Each of the plaintiffs is seeking $5 million in damages for alleged child molestation that occurred decades ago by the hands of church clergy.

Among this week’s filings, there will also be a 16th victim to file suit. That complaint, Lujan says, will be public later this week. “We’ll be filing that Wednesday or Thursday,” he said.

Among the clergy accused of sexually molesting altar boys is Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who faces a canonical trial in Rome. Lujan confirms with KUAM a priest from Boston College approached three of his clients for their depositions. Lujan says the request was made directly to his clients, not through him.

Posted on February 6, 2017 10:43 AM

Significant lead in case against Cardinal George Pell as evidence brief is returned to Office of Public Prosecutions for second review
AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun
February 5, 2017

A BRIEF of evidence in a sex abuse investigation of Cardinal George Pell has been returned to prosecutors for review.

Police had first asked prosecutors to review the brief last year, but Director of Public Prosecutions John Champion, SC, returned it without making a recommendation, saying that any decision on potential charges was a police call.

On Monday, Natalie Webster, on behalf of Victoria Police, said that investigators had ­delivered the brief to the Office of Public Prosecutions for ­consideration.

Sano taskforce investigated multiple allegations, including that the cardinal abused up to 10 boys in 1978-2001, while a priest in Ballarat and while archbishop of Melbourne.

The cardinal, 75, has strenuously denied the allegations.

Posted on February 6, 2017 10:36 AM

Sieben Prozent der katholischen Geistlichen missbrauchten Kinder
AUSTRALIA
SRF

An official investigation of the Australian justice has brought frightening facts to light. Between 1980 and 2015, 4’444 children were sexually abused by Catholic clergy in Australia. On average the affected girls were one and a half years old and the affected boys were eleven and a half years old. SRF Australia correspondent Urs Wälterlin on the background of the investigation.

SRF News: What was the reason for this investigation? Was there a big case?

Urs Wälterlin: No, it was a slow process. There were always accusations of survivors and investigations, but not to this extent. The now published study is a state investigation, a so-called Royal Commission. It is managed at the highest level of the Australian justice system. Unfortunately – it must be said – it was worth it. 4500 cases of sexual abuse of children in the last thirty years in more than 1000 church institutions have been documented. They are churches, boarding schools, homes or other Catholic institutions.

Posted on February 6, 2017 10:34 AM

Tausendfacher Kindesmissbrauch in Australien
AUSTRALIEN
Tagesschau

Sieben Prozent der katholischen Priester haben in den vergangenen 30 Jahren Kinder sexuell missbraucht. So das Ergebnis einer Untersuchungskommission der Regierung in Australien. Das Ausmaß der Taten schockiert.

Von Lena Bodewein, ARD-Studio Singapur

Der Ton ist trocken, nüchtern, fast einschläfernd, wäre nicht das, was Gail Furness erzählt, so grauenvoll: “4444 Menschen sind innerhalb von 30 Jahren sexuell missbraucht worden”, berichtet er, “das haben sie ausgesagt, diese Fälle haben sich auf mehr als 1000 verschiedene katholische Einrichtungen in Australien verteilt.”

Posted on February 6, 2017 10:32 AM

Campaigner shocked at number implicated locally in Royal Commission
AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

Katie Burgess

Seventeen people associated with Catholic religious orders have been accused of abusing children in the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn over six decades, analysis of the church’s own data has revealed.

The ACT and southern NSW diocese also had an above average concentration of religious accused of sexually abusing children, with two orders implicated in abuse cases in Canberra counted among the most notorious.

A survey of church data by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse revealed 8.4 per cent of the 211 religious who served in the archdiocese from 1950 to 2010 were believed to have abused children. This equates to one in 12.

Nationally, 7 per cent of religious were believed to have abused children over 60 years.

However, the Canberra Archdiocese had a far lower concentration of alleged perpetrators than the Diocese of Sale, where 15.1 per cent of members were implicated, the Diocese of Sandhurst (14.7 per cent) and the Diocese of Port Pirie (14.1 per cent).

Posted on February 6, 2017 8:26 AM

George Pell accusations sent to prosectors a second time
AUSTRALIA
The Australian

February 7, 2017

Tessa Akerman
Reporter
Melbourne
@TessaAkerman

Allegations of criminal misconduct against Cardinal George Pell have been sent to Victoria’s Office of Public Prosecutions for a ­second time, The Australian can reveal.

Cardinal Pell, Australia’s highest ranking Catholic, has been ­accused of sexual offences dating back to the 1970s but the child sex royal commission also heard submissions that he was made aware of allegations concerning pedophile priest Peter Searson in the Melbourne parish of Doveton but failed to take appropriate action to protect children from harm.

It is unclear from the police statement what the potential charges would relate to and Cardinal Pell has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

“Victoria Police investigators have delivered the brief to the ­Department of Public Prosecutions for consideration,” a police spokeswoman said.

Sending a second brief to the DPP is significant because it comes after extensive investigations that arose after the first brief was sent back to police by prosecutors, leaving it up to the force to decide whether any charges would be laid.

Posted on February 6, 2017 8:23 AM

Australia’s Catholic church tallies up six decades of child abuse allegations
AUSTRALIA
Reuters

Seven percent of Catholic priests working in Australia between 1950 and 2010 were accused of child sex crimes, but few were pursued, data from Australian church authorities showed on Monday, as hearings began over allegations dating back decades.

Last year, Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell said the church had made “enormous mistakes” and “catastrophic” choices by refusing to believe abused children, shuffling abusive priests from parish to parish and over-relying on counselling of priests to solve the problem.

Monday’s data, seen as the most substantial to detail the extent of child sex abuse in the church, were compiled with the cooperation of the church as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Francis Sullivan, chief executive of the church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council, said 1,265 Catholic priests and religious brothers had been accused between 1950 and 2010.

Posted on February 6, 2017 8:22 AM

Vatileaks ‘seductress’ claims gay priest hid lover as butler
ITALY
The Times (UK)

Tom Kington, Rome

February 6 2017

A Spanish priest jailed by the Vatican for leaking details of corruption in the priesthood was known to be gay and accredited his lover as his “butler” at the city state, a book h