Cardinal Dolan fibbed about payout to pedophile priest

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service – Spiritual Politics

Mark Silk|May 31, 2012|

The Media Report.com, which takes up cudgels against what it considers media attacks on the Catholic Church, today assailed the NYT’s Laurie Goodstein for a story criticizing the country’s leading hierarch for, as they see it, just doing his darnedest to remove sex offenders from the priesthood asap.

In her latest Catholic Church-obsessed piece, Goodstein takes issue with the fact that Cardinal Timothy Dolan, when he was the Archbishop of Milwaukee a while back, approved a number of $20,000 settlements to rid the Church of abusive priests in a more time-efficient and expeditious manner – without long, drawn-out canonical or civil proceedings.

The problem the story poses for Dolan is not that he did such a thing, however, but that he didn’t tell the truth about it back in the day.

The object of the exercise was to induce the sex offenders not to contest being defrocked–“laicized”–and thereby avoid a lengthy legal process in Rome. To that end, according to newly disclosed minutes of a March 2003 meeting of the Milwaukee archdiocese’s finance committee, Dolan and his councilors discussed a proposal to “offer $20,000 for laicization ($10,000 at the start and $10,000 at the completion the process).”

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About 120 ‘missing children’ deaths tied to residential schools now ID’d

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

TORONTO – An intensive review of Ontario records has so far turned up more than 100 possible cases of previously unidentified child and youth deaths linked to Indian residential schools, the province’s chief coroner said Thursday.

The information was gleaned from close scrutiny of about 5,000 death records selected from an initial screening of 250,000 records going back to the 19th century.

“It’s staggering to think that families would not have known what happened to a child that was sent off to the residential schools,” Chief Coroner Dr. Andrew McCallum told The Canadian Press.

“There was a huge vacuum of information. What was fed back to the immediate family was highly inconsistent.”

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Dolan’s “thunderous” silence

MILWAUKEE (WI)
SNAP Wisconsin

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director (Milwaukee)
CONTACT: 414.429.7259; 414.336.8575

In an email today to Catholic leaders in the Milwaukee Archdiocese “chief of staff” Jerry Topczewski once again admitted that unrestricted payouts were made to priest sex offenders by the Milwaukee Archdiocese as a “signing bonus” to quietly leave the priesthood. The payments have now, according to Topczewski, been stopped.

Is this not a clear admission that they were wrong in the first place?

And isn’t it time for Cardinal Dolan and his successor Jerome Listecki to acknowledge the deep moral wrong of taking Catholic charitable funds and funneling them to priest child molesters?

Topczewski, contradicting himself, also writes that the archdiocese made these payouts because the archdiocese is “canonically responsible for the financial care of a priest, even one who has committed child sexual assault…like it or not.”

Like it or not? Really?

The money to pay off these child molesters came from the hard earned contributions of loyal, faithful Catholics. It’s doubtful they are going to “like” discovering that their contributions were being deposited into the bank accounts of pedophile priests so that the men who raped and molested their children could disappear, as Topczewski writes, “into a new field of work”. Topczewski says these priest offenders used the money to seek secular employment, medical expenses, or training for new jobs. But these funds were given in lump sums with no restrictions. We do know that some of these priests—like Daniel Massie and Jerome Wagner—have secreted themselves into new “secular” jobs working with children and families.

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Landmark US Catholic child abuse trial wraps up

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
AFP

By Daniel Kelley (AFP)

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania — Jurors in a landmark Catholic Church sex abuse case heard closing arguments Thursday in the trial of Monsignor William Lynn, the highest-ranked US church official to be charged with covering up child molestation.

Those arguments capped more than 10 weeks of dramatic testimony in the case against Lynn, whose job it was to investigate reports of abuse in the archdiocese from 1992 to 2004. Jury deliberations were expected to start Friday.

Starkly conflicting portraits of the senior priest emerged at trial.

Lynn’s lawyer described him as a low level functionary who struggled within a rigid church hierarchy to act against abuse by documenting it and compiling the voluminous records that prosecutors used to build their case.

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In closing arguments, Lynn’s actions called brave, shameful

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin and Joseph A. Slobodzian
INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS

As the official in charge of investigating clergy sex abuse for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Msgr. William J. Lynn bravely “put a spotlight” on the shame of the Catholic church, his lawyer said Thursday.

A prosecutor called Lynn’s actions something else: just shameful.

“He and everyone else who protected pedophile priests were murdering the souls of children,” Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington said.

The conflicting portraits emerged during a day of closing arguments in the landmark prosecution for Lynn and the Rev. James J. Brennan. The Common Pleas Court jury of six men and six women is scheduled to begin deliberations Friday.

The summations capped an 11-week child endangerment and abuse trial that included more than 60 witnesses — including Lynn and almost two dozen alleged abuse victims. Jurors also saw nearly 2,000 documents, most from secret church archives, that showed accused clerics being shuffled among parishes. Many were records Lynn drafted or reviewed during a 12-year tenure as Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua’s adviser on clergy sex abuse.

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In Philly clergy trial, closing arguments offer clashing pictures

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

May 31, 2012
By Elizabeth Fiedler

District Attorney Seth Williams sat in a Philadelphia courtroom today to observe the prosecution’s closing arguments in the landmark clergy sexual abuse case.

Williams was surrounded by the media, as well as advocates for survivors of abuse, and the defendants’ supporters.

Monsignor William Lynn is accused of failing to prevent other priests from sexually abusing children.

Lynn is the first U.S. church official to be charged in a child sex abuse case for his administrative actions.

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan allegedly paid suspected pedophile priests to leave ministry while head of Archdiocese of Milwaukee

UNITED STATES
Press TV (Iran)

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee confirmed Wednesday that it had a policy to pay suspected pedophile priests to leave the ministry.

The acknowledgement was prompted by a document made public by abuse victims’ advocates from the archdiocese’s bankruptcy that references a 2003 proposal to pay $20,000 to “unassignable priests” who accepted a return to the laity. The policy was crafted under then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is now a cardinal and head of the archdiocese in New York.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests characterizes the payments as a payoff and bonuses to priests who molested children. The archdiocese disputes that characterization, saying the payments were in part to more quickly move those men out of the priesthood.

The group is calling on the archdiocese to release all records involving the payments and its handling of clergy sex abuse cases.

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Wis. archdiocese no longer paying priests to leave

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Helena Independent Record

Associated Press | Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee and a former priest who received money to leave the ministry following allegations of sexual abuse say that payment and others were a form of charity meant to help men transition to a new life following the priesthood.

The archdiocese acknowledged paying suspected pedophile clergy after an abuse victims’ group produced a court document on Wednesday that mentioned a 2003 proposal to pay $20,000 to “unassignable priests” who agree to leave the ministry. The document from the archdiocese’s bankruptcy proceedings includes minutes from a 2003 meeting of its Finance Council, which included then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan, now a cardinal and head of the New York archdiocese.

Council members discussed how the church should handle sexual abuse complaints, a possible budget deficit and how to cut costs. The $20,000 payments were among the options mentioned.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests characterizes the payments as a payoff to priests who molested children.

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US priest-abuse case could reach jury Friday

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WSLS

By: MARYCLAIRE DALE | Associated Press
Published: May 31, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (AP) After a 10-week trial, a jury will soon weigh the actions of a Roman Catholic church official charged with hiding suspected pedophile priests in the Philadelphia archdiocese.

Monsignor William Lynn faces up to 21 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy and child endangerment.

Prosecutors say Lynn helped bury sordid tales of abuse in secret church archives from 1992 to 2004 during the time he served as secretary for clergy, when he could have quit or called police.

Defense lawyers insist Lynn alone tried to address the problem, but say he took orders from the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.

Deliberations could begin Friday after jury instructions.

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Paying Off Pervert Priests: Was Cardinal Timothy Dolan Just Being a Good Catholic?

UNITED STATES
The Village Voice

By Victoria BekiempisThu., May 31 2012

Earlier today, the Voice brought you news that Cardinal Timothy Dolan paid pervert priests up to 20 grand as “incentive” to get them to leave their posts when he ran the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Here’s the thing: Dolan, according to Catholic law, might not have been doing anything wrong in authorizing this payoff. In fact, the canon might characterize this decision as being “a good Christian.”

This afternoon, we reached out to Msgr. Thomas J. Green, J.C.D., who teaches at Catholic University of America’s School of Canon Law and is an expert in the field.

We wanted to get a better sense of “laicization” — the technical term for when a priest or nun leaves the Church and becomes a layperson.

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Rabbis should allow justice system to deal with suspected sex abuse cases

UNITED STATES
Jweekly

by joel kamisher

There’s a story about a man who went to his rabbi in an Eastern European shtetl and falsely accused a business partner of wrongdoing. So the wise old rabbi told the man to take a pillowcase full of duck feathers and scatter them in the village square. The man did so, and returned to the rabbi for further instructions.

The rabbi then told the man to go and retrieve the feathers. The man protested that this would be impossible. The rabbi said: That shows how valuable a person’s reputation is, and how once it’s damaged, it can’t be repaired.

When I worked in local radio news in the Bay Area, I was reluctant to name accused rapists and child molesters — or any other suspect — as soon as they were arrested. I was frequently overruled and had to name names in newscasts despite my misgivings. What happened to “innocent until proven guilty?” …

But rabbis in the ultra-Orthodox community should learn from the Catholic Church’s experience with pedophiles: The problem isn’t going to go away by trying to blame, shun or intimidate victims and their families or protecting the accusers from prosecution.

The rabbis should remember the ancient commandment “Justice, justice you shall seek.” They should not leave themselves open to charges of obstructing justice because they order members of their congregations to come to them before reporting incidents to the police.

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President of Catholic Bishops Conference…

UNITED STATES
Daily Kos

President of Catholic Bishops Conference Cardinal Dolan bribed pedophile priests to go away quietly

by Kaili Joy Gray

Say this for Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: He sure is a multi-tasker.

When he’s not threatening to cease “liv[ing] out the imperatives of our faith to serve, teach, heal, feed, and care for others” unless all American women are denied access to contraception, using his blog to smear children raped and molested by priests, coordinating massive lawsuits against the Obama administration because women’s health care makes him sad, appearing on TV to false witness through his teeth, appreciating “the work done” by the hate group Catholic League, or organizing a national “fortnight” of civil disobedience, he’s apparently busy praying that no one will find out about how, before he became the most powerful Catholic figure in America, he secretly bribed pedophile priests to leave the Church quietly.

Bad news for Dolan: His God has forsaken him yet again. The New York Times reports:

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood when he was the archbishop of Milwaukee. […]

A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed on Wednesday that payments of as much as $20,000 were made to “a handful” of accused priests “as a motivation” not to contest being defrocked. The process, known as “laicization,” is a formal church juridical procedure that requires Vatican approval, and can take far longer if the priest objects

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Headlines, new poll grim for Catholic leaders

UNITED STATES
USA Today

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY

Ouch. Adding to a run of harsh headlines, there’s now a New York Post story out of Albany citng a new poll that says New York voters think “the Catholic Church is too involved in politics.”

The Quinnipiac University survey found 43% saying Catholic Church leaders are too involved, with only 11% saying they’re not involved enough. Among Catholics, 33 percent say the church is too involved and only 17 percent not involved enough.

Voters also disapprove by 55-38 of Catholic lawsuits against President Obama’s contraceptive insurance coverage mandates — though Catholics narrowly approve, 51-45.

ORIGINAL POST:

Nuns under fire. Charges of payoffs to abusive priests to quit quietly. Vatican leaks.

These are rough news days for Catholic leaders, from the Pope to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of NY and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops..

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Cleveland Catholic Diocese suspends priest

CLEVELAND (OH)
WOIO

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) –
It’s a shocking twist in the Cleveland church closings and reopening.

A priest is now in trouble with the Catholic church.

When the Cleveland Catholic Diocese shut down St. Peter’s Church in 2009, Father Robert Marrone worshipped with his congregation at a non-sanctioned location on Euclid Avenue. At the new location, Father Marrone carried out baptisms, communion services and worships.

Bishop Richard Lennon recently told Father Marrone to come back to the Catholic Diocese or he would be suspended. “The request was simply to reconcile. It was a breakaway church. They decided to leave the Catholic church and to form his own church” says Robert Tayek with Cleveland Catholic Diocese

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Defense: Monsignor not liable for sins of church

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Associated Press

By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Roman Catholic church official is being unfairly prosecuted for the sins of the church and the rogue conduct of predator-priests, a defense lawyer said Thursday as he asked jurors in a groundbreaking trial to acquit his client.

“You have witnessed evil in this courtroom. You have seen the dark side of the church. You’ve seen grown men come into this courtroom and weep because they were abused,” said lawyer Thomas Bergstrom. “And now, the sins of all these fathers that he laid bare — that he laid bare — are now laid at his feet.”

Prosecutors in Philadelphia are paving new legal ground as they pursue Monsignor William Lynn for his handling of abuse complaints when he served as secretary for clergy at the archdiocese from 1992 to 2004. Lynn, 61, is the first U.S. church official to be charged criminally for his administrative decisions regarding priests accused of sexual abuse. He faces up to 21 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy and felony child endangerment.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington said Lynn stuck to “the game plan” by helping to keep pedophile priests in ministry and the public in the dark. Lynn could have called police or quit his job, but he cared more about keeping his job near the cardinal than protecting children, Blessington told the jury.

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan Paid Pedophile Priests To Go Quietly

NEW YORK
Gothamist

Despite calling accusations that he paid off pedophile priests as the archbishop of Milwaukee “false, preposterous and unjust,” the Times reports that Cardinal Timothy Dolan in fact made payments of as much as $20,000 to “a handful” of accused priests to encourage them to leave the priesthood sooner. “It was a way to provide an incentive to go the voluntary route and make it happen quickly, and ultimately cost less,” a diocese spokesman said, apparently not accounting for the incalculable costs of human misery associated with bribing pedophiles.

Experts in the Catholic Church’s response to sexual abuse say that payouts to dismissed priests are not uncommon. When a man becomes a priest, the church is expected to care for his needs for a lifetime.

Right, because the Church is here to serve the priests, not the people who pray to the church that their children can worship without being molested.

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Cardinal Dolan Quiet on $20K Payments to Pedophile Priests

NEW YORK
ABC News

By COLLEEN CURRY

May 31, 2012

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the archdiocese of New York is keeping quiet today after his old diocese, the archdiocese of Milwaukee, confirmed that under his leadership the church paid individual sums of $20,000 to priests accused of molesting children.

Dolan, who became a cardinal in February and serves as the head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is recorded discussing the payments in the minutes of financial committee meetings in 2003, documents released as the Milwaukee archdioecese goes through bankruptcy court in Wisconsin.

The archdiocese of Milwaukee confirmed to the Associated Press Wednesday that the church paid the priests money to voluntarily sign papers to leave the priesthood because it was cheaper and faster than removing them by other administrative routes, which would have included going through the Vatican.

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What else is Cardinal Dolan hiding? SNAP asks

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on May 31, 2012

The disturbing new revelations about Cardinal Dolan raise a troubling question: What other secret deals and ‘incentives’ did and does he offer to pedophile priests?

Does he promise cash if they plead guilty in court and avoid long, embarrassing trials? Does he pledge to keep paying them if they’ll settle civil lawsuits quickly and quietly, without disclosing how church officials hid their crimes? Does he offer money if foreign-born sex offender priests flee the US and return to their native lands?

This new revelation is disturbing on two levels: process and content.

First, it’s disturbing because Dolan lied. And he’s had years to ‘come clean.’ Six years ago, he emphatically denied paying predators to go away. At any point since then, he could have said “I’m sorry. I must confess. I deceived parishioners and the public when I denied paying child molesting clerics to leave.” But he didn’t.

Second, it’s disturbing because it’s irresponsible for Catholic officials to recruit, educate, ordain, hire, transfer, and shield predators priests, then suddenly and quietly let them loose on an unsuspecting public with no warning or restrictions.

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Accused KC priest is put back in parish, SNAP responds

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on May 31, 2012

A long time KC diocesan insider, Msgr. Robert Murphy, is going back into parish ministry full time. It’s an irresponsible and hurtful move by Bishop Finn that shows he still cares more about his guilty priests than his innocent flock.

Murphy stands accused of sexually propositioning a young man considering the priesthood. And no one disputes the fact that for at least five months, Murphy refused to call police about hundreds of inappropriate and illegal sexual photos of young Catholic girls taken by Fr. Shawn Ratigan.

We see no evidence that Finn really tried to substantiate Brian Heydon’s abuse report years ago or recently. But it’s not too late to make a real effort. We call on Finn to use his bully pulpit, diocesan website, dozens of parish bulletins, hundreds of parish staff and thousands of church members to ask a simple but crucial question: “Have you ever seen, suffered or suspected sexual misconduct by Msgr. Murphy? If so, you have a civil and Christian duty to speak up now so that others might be protected.”

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NY’ers think Catholic Church too involved in politics: poll

NEW YORK
New York Post

By ERIK KRISS, Bureau Chief

ALBANY — Too much church and state.

New York voters say the Catholic Church is too involved in politics, according to a new poll.

The Quinnipiac University survey found 43 percent saying Catholic Church leaders are too involved, with only 11 percent saying they’re not involved enough. Among Catholics, 33 percent say the church is too involved and only 17 percent not involved enough.

Voters also disapprove by 55-38 of Catholic lawsuits against President Obama’s contraceptive insurance coverage mandates — though Catholics narrowly approve, 51-45.

Democrats disapprove of Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s leadership by 33-27 percent, though overall Dolan wins 38-25 approval, fueled by 59-11 percent thumbs up from Republicans.

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Head of Catholic Bishops Paid Pedophiles to Disappear

UNITED STATES
Truthout

Thursday, 31 May 2012

By Valerie Tarico, Truthout | News Analysis

Timothy Dolan, cardinal of New York and head of the Catholic Conference of Bishops, had his prime-time career launched by the pedophile priest scandal. Now, despite efforts to distance himself, his role in pedophile protection may come back to bite him. Wednesday, the Archdiocese of Minneapolis admitted that, during Dolan’s tenure, pedophiles were paid to simply disappear.

In June of 2002, Dolan was appointed archbishop of Milwaukee after his predecessor, Rembert G. Weakland, admitted a confidential settlement of $450,000 to a man who accused Weakland of sexually assaulting him in 1979. In contrast to Weakland, Dolan was a known theological conservative with the trust of the Vatican and, despite questionable management of sexual abuse scandals in his previous position in Saint Louis, he was tasked with cleaning up the mess.

From the start, Dolan positioned himself as a victim’s advocate: “… [i]t is impossible to exaggerate the gravity of the situation, and the suffering that victims feel, because I’ve spent the last four months being with them, crying with them, having them express their anger to me.” His response to those tears and anger, however, foreshadowed events of this winter, when Dolan had consistently argued that the church is above the law.

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Top U.S. archbishop linked to abusive priest payout plan

UNITED STATES
CNN

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) — One of the most powerful Catholic Church leaders in America approved payments of $20,000 to get abusive priests to leave the church, abuse victims and the archdiocese in question said Thursday.

Victims feel “considerable dismay” that leaders of the church in Milwaukee “have been apparently engaged in paying off those who betrayed the children of our archdiocese,” they said in an open letter to the current head of the church in Milwaukee, Archbishop Jerome Listecki.

But the case could reverberate far beyond the borders of the Midwestern city.

Timothy Dolan, who was archbishop of Milwaukee at the time, is now archbishop of New York, head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and a cardinal.

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Pope’s butler to be questioned next week

VATICAN CITY
The Kansas City Star

By PETER MAYER
dpa

VATICAN CITY — A Vatican magistrate will next week begin to question Pope Benedict XVI’s butler who is in custody for allegedly stealing papal documents, the pontiff’s spokesman said Thursday.

Paolo Gabriele’s questioning “should take place not before next Monday or even Tuesday,” Father Federico Lombardi said.

Gabriele, 46, a Vatican citizen, was arrested last Friday and has since been charged with theft, following the discovery of the documents in the flat he shares with his wife and three children.

It is believed that among the documents found in the butler’s possession are several that in recent months were leaked to Italian newspapers.

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Cardinal Dolan, Brazen Liar?

UNITED STATES
The Daily Beast – The Dish

Andrew Sullivan

There are all sorts of arguments to be made about how the Catholic hierarchy handles priests accused of sexual abuse of minors. My view – call me crazy – is that people who sexually abuse minors should be reported directly to the police and fired. Canon law should not require paying for the retirement of child rapists, or taking care of them for the rest of their lives. Cardinal Dolan – the man leading the crusade against contraception in universal healthcare and the civil rights of gays and lesbians – disagrees. He provided payments to encourage priests to accept defrocking in order to accelerate the process under canon law. I’m with the victims on this:

“In what other occupation, especially one working with families and operating schools and youth programs, is an employee given a cash bonus for raping and sexually assaulting children?”

But that’s the morality of current canon law. Cardinal Dolan’s not responsible for existing canon law. But the real issue here is not what Dolan did, but that it now seems clear he lied about it:

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood when he was the archbishop of Milwaukee. Questioned at the time about the news that one particularly notorious pedophile cleric had been given a “payoff” to leave the priesthood, Cardinal Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was “false, preposterous and unjust.”

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Amid doubts of Cleveland bishop’s leadership, priest suspended

CLEVELAND (OH)
National Catholic Reporter

May. 31, 2012
By Tom Roberts

Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon this week suspended Fr. Robert Marrone for refusing to step down as pastor of the Community of St. Peter, a congregation that defied the bishop and remained together after its parish, of the same name, was closed in 2010.

Often referred to as a “breakaway” congregation, the community is made up of a majority of the members of St. Peter Parish, one of more than 50 closed by Lennon in a restructuring of the diocese. It also is one of 11 parishes that the Vatican ordered Lennon to reopen, a reversal of his ruling that resulted from legal proceedings at the Congregation for the Clergy.

Marrone said in a letter to his congregation that in a May 22 meeting with Lennon, the bishop expressed his wish that Marrone reconcile with the diocese and then read a statement containing a number of “whereas” clauses ending with the ultimatum that he remove himself from the community within seven days or face suspension from ministry.

In a May 30 interview with NCR, Marrone said he asked Lennon for a copy of the document. The bishop refused, telling him, according to Marrone, “that he didn’t want to see it on the front page of the paper” the following day.

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Pedophiles Paid to Leave Quietly

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

May 31, 2012, 1:13 pm

Posted by Lisa Fullam

Laurie Goldstein at the New York Times reported yesterday on then-Archbishop of Milwaukee Timothy Dolan approving payments of up to $20,000 to sex-abuser priests as an incentive for them to accept laicization.

When asked about such payments at the time, Dolan flatly denied the charge.

Cardinal Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was “false, preposterous and unjust.”

Ahem. Well, in the bankruptcy proceedings, documents show that multiple such payments were made. (Andrew Sullivan’s report is headed: “Cardinal Dolan, Brazen Liar?” But dissembling hierarchs is not my topic here.)

Now it is true that priests don’t draw much of a salary, though it should also be noted that, unlike their lay colleagues in ministry, they also get their education free, housing free, and receive benefits, including retirement. They do not take a vow of poverty (unlike religious,) so can become wealthy if they have a side gig, though most do not. I would be sympathetic to leaving retirement benefits in place, since it’s very hard to establish oneself mid-life (or later,) but this is a substantial cash bonus just for leaving.

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Ex-priest: Archdiocese payment helped in new life

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Fox News

Published May 31, 2012

Associated Press

MILWAUKEE – An ex-priest who received $20,000 from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to leave the ministry after he was accused of sexual abuse says he viewed the payment as charity to help him readjust to a new way of life.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, however, considers that payment and others made to other suspected pedophile priests a payoff or bonus. Details of the payments came to light in a bankruptcy document filed by the archdiocese.

Jerome Wagner said Thursday he used the money to go mortuary school after leaving his parish in Fond du Lac in 2002. The archdiocese has acknowledged Wagner was accused of sexual abuse of a minor, but he was not charged criminally.

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Down the Rabbit Hole: NY Times Now Blasts Cardinal Dolan and Church for Actually Getting Rid of Abusive Priests

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

Dave Pierre

One frequent demand from Catholic Church abuse victims is that abusive clerics be laicized or removed from the priesthood as expeditiously and quickly as possible.

So if the Archdiocese of Milwaukee discovered a fast and economical way to make that happen, wouldn’t that be a good thing for both victims and the Church? Not according to the New York Times’ Laurie Goodstein.

In her latest Catholic Church-obsessed piece, Goodstein takes issue with the fact that Cardinal Timothy Dolan, when he was the Archbishop of Milwaukee a while back, approved a number of $20,000 settlements to rid the Church of abusive priests in a more time-efficient and expeditious manner – without long, drawn-out canonical or civil proceedings.

The agenda: Attack the Church

Goodstein characterizes these settlements as “payoffs to sexually abusive priests” in an attempt to somehow besmirch Cardinal Dolan. In fact, these were settlement payments designed to save the Church and everyone involved the legal expenses and distraction of engaging in the protracted proceedings necessary to rid the Church of abusive priests.

This isn’t the first time that Goodstein, the Times’ purported national religion reporter, has shilled for contingency lawyers and loud professional victims’ groups, who wish to plant hit pieces on the Catholic Church in America’s declining newspaper of record.

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan Authorized Payments to Sexually Abusive Priests

NEW YORK
New York Magazine

By Joe Coscarelli

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan approved payments of up to $20,000 for priests accused of sexual abuse to go away quietly while he was the archbishop of Milwaukee, the New York Times reports, despite calling past accusations about payoffs “false, preposterous and unjust.” Paperwork revealed during the Wisconsin church’s bankruptcy filing confirms the payments, which a spokesperson now calls “an incentive to go the voluntary route and make it happen quickly, and ultimately cost less.” In response to the news, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests asks in a letter, “In what other occupation, especially one working with families and operating schools and youth programs, is an employee given a cash bonus for raping and sexually assaulting children?”

Dolan served as Archbishop in Milwaukee from 2002 until 2009, when he took the same post in New York, “a city closer to Sodom than to Eden,” as New York described it then. Earlier this year, he was made a cardinal amid an ongoing battle with Obama over contraception.

The Milwaukee archdiocese insists the payments under Dolan were to help the “unassignable priests,” a.k.a. sexual abusers, transition out of church life without losing health care. “It’s not new news,” a spokesperson said.

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Timothy Dolan and the System of Eternal Rewards

UNITED STATES
Esquire – The Politics Blog

By Charles P. Pierce

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the leading spokescritter for the Clan of The Red Beanie in its upcoming campaign to protect its delicate consciences against the onslaught of the unauthorized use of ladyparts, was previously posted to Milwaukee, where the archdiocese there is currently going through bankruptcy proceedings due to the amount of money it has had to pay out as a result of the Roman Catholic hierarchy’s failed career as an international conspiracy to obstruct justice. The interesting thing about bankruptcy proceedings is that all kinds of documents get to be made public.

It seems that the Milwaukee archdiocese made a series of under-the-prie-dieu payments to criminal priests in order to get them to leave the church quietly. It also seems that Dolan presided over this program of hush money. It also seems that, yes, Timothy Dolan, with his very evolved conscience and his predilection to lecture presidents on the sanctity of that evolved conscience, lied his pectoral cross off about the whole business….

Questioned at the time about the news that one particularly notorious pedophile cleric had been given a “payoff” to leave the priesthood, Cardinal Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was “false, preposterous and unjust.”

Also, apparently, true.

Of course, Dolan was obviously following the advice in the Gospels to make sure that the Mystical Body Of Christ is on the hook for a criminal’s annual checkup….

The first known payment in Milwaukee was to Franklyn Becker, a former priest with many victims. Cardinal Dolan said in response to a reporter’s question at the time that the payment was “an act of charity,” so that Mr. Becker could pay for health insurance. According to church documents, Mr. Becker was accused of abusing at least 10 minors, and given a diagnosis of pedophilia in 1983. The church paid more than $16 million to settle lawsuits involving him and one other priest.

We’re going to hear more than we need to hear from this Dolan character between now and the election. Any story about him that does not contain the phrase “…who once supervised a program to use the money collected from parishioners to pay accused child molesters to leave the priesthood…” is unworthy of being read.

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Dolan Authorized Payment to Suspected Pedophile Priests in Wisc.

UNITED STATES
NBC New York

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee, when it was under the direction of then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan, had a policy to pay suspected pedophile priests to leave the ministry, the archdiocese confirmed Wednesday.

The acknowledgement was prompted by a document made public by abuse victims’ advocates from the archdiocese’s bankruptcy that references a 2003 proposal to pay $20,000 to “unassignable priests” who accepted a return to the laity. The policy was crafted under then-Archbishop Dolan, who is now a cardinal and head of the archdiocese in New York.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests characterizes the payments as a payoff and bonuses to priests who molested children. The archdiocese disputes that characterization, saying the payments were in part to more quickly move those men out of the priesthood.

The group is calling on the archdiocese to release all records involving the payments and its handling of clergy sex abuse cases.

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Meeting minutes: Dolan’s Milwaukee archdiocese paid accused priests to leave

MILWAUKEE (WI)
National Catholic Reporter

May. 31, 2012
By Marie Rohde

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee archdiocese has acknowledged it paid sexually abusive priests $20,000 to leave the priesthood without taking the laicization fight to the Vatican.

A reference to the payout policy was made in the minutes of a 2003 meeting of the archdiocesan finance council, headed by then Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan, now cardinal archbishop of New York and head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The minutes, which were found in proceedings for the archdiocese’s 2011 bankruptcy filing, were made public Wednesday by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest director, noted the same document reported that the archdiocese had created a pastoral mediation program that would pay victims of sexual abuse by priests up to $30,000 to “make reparations for lost jobs, education, etc. due to the depression and other psychological effects of abuse,” the minutes state.

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s Pervert Priest Payoff: What Does This Mean for U.S. Catholics?

UNITED STATES
The Village Voice

[Minutes of the Archdiocesan Finance Council]

By Victoria Bekiempis
Thu., May 31 2012

When Cardinal Timothy Dolan ran the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, he said OK to paying pervert priests up to 20 grand as “incentive” to get them to leave their posts.

A report in the New York Times, using info from that Archdiocese’s recent bankruptcy filings, notes that Dolan gave the greenlight for payments: “to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood.”

At that time, he vehemently rebuffed any and all allegations of doing anything like that, calling such claims: “false, preposterous and unjust.” Alas, a spokesman for Milwaukee told the newspaper that payments did take place so priests wouldn’t contest defrocking, a process known as “laicization.”

Now, there seem to be a couple of problems involving the policies of America’s top Roman Catholic cleric.

To be perfectly clear, we reached out to Dolan to see what he had to say, but his office referred us to Milwaukee, even though we explained that we wanted to talk to him or someone who could speak directly on his behalf. So he has a chance to say his spiel and still can reach out to us if he wants.

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US Catholic Church paid sexually abusive priests to leave

UNITED STATES
The Jerusalem Post

By REUTERS

05/31/2012

NEW YORK – New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan authorized $20,000 payments to a handful of sexually abusive priests so they would immediately leave the Milwaukee archdiocese when Dolan was archbishop there nearly a decade ago, a church spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) first announced the payments on Wednesday upon discovering minutes of a March 2003 meeting of the Milwaukee archdiocese finance council meeting. SNAP is demanding full disclosure of all such payments.

Church officials confirmed the payments as approved in the minutes but archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf said she had yet to determine how many priests received them, estimating the number at “a handful, a couple.”

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A Small Legal Adjustment

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Catholic Sensibility

Bishop Finn appoints away some episcopal authority. Or does he? In the old days (of JPII) it was Rome who appointed co-adjutors to ride to the rescue. In the 21st century, I guess this is left to western bishops to work out their own messes.

David Gibson has the piece up at both RNS and dotCommonweal.

Jack Smith, diocesan newspaper editor and once-active blogger, explains:

Fr. Rush’s sole responsibility is to make decisions with regard to resolving a misdemeanor charge against the diocese in Jackson County. In all but this matter, Bishop Finn continues in all of his duties.

There is a perceived conflict that this helps resolve. Bishop Finn and the diocese each have been charged with identical misdemeanors in Jackson County. It is possible that the defense or resolution of one charge could be in conflict with the defense or resolution of the other charge. For this reason a Vicar has been appointed with authority to independently represent diocesan interests with regard to the charge against the diocese.

So it seems less a matter of canon law and more one of secular legality.

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Defense argues …

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Washington Post

Defense argues in landmark Philly priest trial that monsignor not liable for church’s sins

By Associated Press,

PHILADELPHIA — Jurors are hearing closing arguments in a landmark priest-abuse case in Philadelphia.

Monsignor William Lynn is on trial for allegedly endangering children as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004.

Prosecutors say pedophile Roman Catholic priests were shuffled from parish to parish.

In court on Thursday, Lynn’s attorney said the weekslong trial has shown the jury the dark side of the church and the evil acts committed by rogue priests.

But lawyer Thomas Bergstrom says his client should not be held responsible for sins of the church. He says Lynn alone tried to document the abuse and have the cardinal address it.

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Catholic Cardinal Authorized $20K To Pay Off Pedophile Priests…

UNITED STATES
Think Progress

Catholic Cardinal Authorized $20K To Pay Off Pedophile Priests, Then Railed Against ‘Immorality’ Of Gay Marriage

[Minutes of the Archdiocesan Finance Council]

By Igor Volsky on May 31, 2012

Cardinal Timothy Dolan has led the charge against same-sex marriage, describing gay and lesbian unions as “unjust,” “immoral,” and unnatural. “This is a very violation of what we consider natural law that’s embedded in every man and woman and we’re really worried as Americans that it’s going to be detrimental to the common good,” Dolan said in a radio interview in June, as New York prepared to legalize marriage equality. “[W]e still worry about the detrimental effect upon society, upon culture, and certainly upon our individual churches.”

But church documents showing that Dolan paid off priests who had been accused of sexually abusing minors suggest that the prominent Catholic leader was willing to overlook these very same religious convictions to help colleagues accused of egregious wrong doing. The documents, obtained by the New York Times, also show that Dolan lied to reporters when he initially dismissed news of the payments as “false, preposterous and unjust”:

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood when he was the archbishop of Milwaukee. […]

But a document unearthed during bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and made public by victims’ advocates reveals that the archdiocese did make such payments to multiple accused priests to encourage them to seek dismissal, thereby allowing the church to remove them from the payroll.

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Top U.S. archbishop linked to abusive priest payout plan

UNITED STATES
Fox 6

(CNN) — One of the most powerful Catholic Church leaders in America approved payments of $20,000 to get abusive priests to leave the church, abuse victims and the archdiocese in question said Thursday.

Victims feel “considerable dismay” that leaders of the church in Milwaukee “have been apparently engaged in paying off those who betrayed the children of our archdiocese,” they said in an open letter to the current head of the church in Milwaukee, Archbishop Jerome Listecki.

But the case could reverberate far beyond the borders of the Midwestern city.

Timothy Dolan, who was archbishop of Milwaukee at the time, is now archbishop of New York, head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and a cardinal.

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Closing arguments under way in landmark Philadelphia priest sex abuse trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

A defense lawyer on Thursday urged jurors to acquit Msgr. William J. Lynn, arguing he is being unfairly held to pay for the sins of the Catholic church covering up child-sex abuse by priests.

“You have witnessed evil in this courtroom. You have seen the dark side of the church and you have seen grown men come into this courtroom and weep because they were abused,” lawyer Thomas Bergstrom told the jury during the first closing statement of the landmark trial. “If we cannot feel their pain, then we are broken.”

Lynn also felt the pain, Bergstrom said, but he did not cause it nor should he be held to pay for it. The lawyer accused prosecutors of mounting a flawed and misguided case against Lynn, the former secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Bergstrom said Lynn was the one church official who tried hard to identify and remove sexually abusive priests, and he cited as proof a pillar of the prosecution: the hundreds of meticulous and previously secret church records, many drafted or reviewed by Lynn, that cataloged complaints and actions against abusive priests across the Philadelphia region.

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Indiana – Katholische Kirche benutzt Kinder für Homo-Hetze

INDIANA
Pride-Out News

Posted on 31. Mai 2012

Als wäre der sexuelle Missbrauch von Kindern in der Kirche nicht schon genug Perversion, was die Kirche sich geleistet hat, so lernen kleine Kinder in der Kirche in Greensburg, wie man Hetze im großen Stil betreibt.

Pastor Jeff Sangl, der grinsend hinter dem Kleinkind steht, rühmt sich mit der missbräuchlichen Verwendung des Unmündigen.

Auf die Zeile: “Ain’t no homos gonna make it to Heaven” bezugnehmend auf die Bibelstelle Römer 1,26-27, beginnen die Kirchenbesucher frenetisch zu applaudieren und kreischen.

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Emsland: Verfahren gegen früheren Pfarrer

DEUTSCHLAND
NWZ

Osnabrück. Der Vatikan hat das Kirchengericht des Bistums Münster damit beauftragt, ein kirchenrechtliches Strafverfahren gegen den früheren Pfarrer von Spelle im Kreis Emsland aufzunehmen. Der inzwischen 51-jährige Priester war im März 2010 vom Osnabrücker Bischof Franz-Josef Bode wegen des Vorwurfs eines Sexualdelikts von seinen Aufgaben entpflichtet worden, teilte das Bistum Osnabrück am Mittwoch mit.

Der Fall sei an die Staatsanwaltschaft Osnabrück weitergeleitet worden. Das Landgericht Osnabrück hatte das Strafverfahren wegen Vergewaltigung im September vergangenen Jahres jedoch eingestellt.

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Journey from trusted servant to accused Judas for Pope’s butler

VATICAN CITY
DNA (India)

Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Agency: Reuters

Just after dawn on Wednesday, May 23, Paolo Gabriele said goodbye to his wife, passed by the bedrooms of his three children and left to start another day in the service of the man Roman Catholics believe is the vicar of Christ on Earth.

By the end of the day, Pope Benedict’s butler would be branded a traitor and some, including an Italian cardinal, would compare him to the most famous betrayer in history – Judas Iscariot, the man who turned Jesus over to the Romans.

Dark haired and handsome, Gabriele, 46, left his simple home on the third floor of a 1930s Vatican apartment block named after the 7th century monk Saint Egidio. With the St Ann’s Gate entrance, guarded by Swiss Guard in blue berets, to his back, he passed the Holy See’s central post office on Via Del Belvedere, turned left to climb a stone stairway named after Pope Pius X, and walked up a flight of covered steps to enter the small Renaissance-era Courtyard of Sixtus V.

Here he used a key held by fewer than 10 people to enter an elevator that leads directly to the pope’s private apartment on the third and top floor of the Apostolic Palace in the world’s smallest state.

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In Vatican intrigue, all eyes turn to pope’s butler

VATICAN CITY
NorthJersey.com

ALESSANDRO SPECIALE

VATICAN CITY (RNS) When Pope Benedict XVI circled St. Peter’s Square last Wednesday (May 23) in his popemobile during his weekly general audience, Paolo Gabriele, his “assistente di camera,” or butler, was sitting right beside him, as he had been doing for the last six years.

But the shadows of suspicion were already hanging heavily over Gabriele, and within hours, he would be arrested on charges of being “illicitly in possession” of some of the pope’s private documents.

Now, people are asking how it could have happened and, more basically, who is Paolo Gabriele?

According to a reconstruction by Italy’s daily La Repubblica, Gabriele had been approached the day before his arrest by Benedict’s personal secretary, Monsignor Georg Ganswein.

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‘People’s Petition’ Calls for Resignation of Cardinal

IRELAND
Donegal Now

[Care2 Petitionsite]

A ‘People’s Petition’ launched in Donegal, calling for the resignation of Cardinal Sean Brady, will be presented this week to several organisations including Amnesty International Ireland, One in Four, a charity group granting support to those people who suffered sexual abuse, as well as to appropriate Catholic Church offices.

The petition calls for the Cardinal, who as Primate of All Ireland will preside over the Congress, to ‘do the right thing’ and resign over his alleged failure to report to the relevant authorities multiple cases of child sexual abuse while he was a canon lawyer and a bishopric/diocesan assistant some years ago.

Martin Gallagher from the Falcarragh area of west Donegal – one of scores of children who suffered clerical abuse by pedophile priest, Eugene Greene – and who signed the petition earlier this week, said he was encouraged by the petition and the support he has received from people in Donegal and elsewhere in Ireland.

Mr Gallagher said, “This is an issue that must be highlighted over and over again until something substantial is done about it. So many people suffered – and continue to suffer as a result of this terrible sexual abuse – and until the Catholic Church not only owns up to what was done, but makes comprehensive changes to the system to prevent it ever happening again, then such petitions as these are extremely important. Cardinal Brady should not lead this Congress.”

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Wis archdiocese paid priests to leave ministry

MILWAUKEEE (WI)
CBS News

MILWAUKEE — The Archdiocese of Milwaukee confirmed Wednesday that it had a policy to pay suspected pedophile priests to leave the ministry.

The acknowledgement was prompted by a document made public by abuse victims’ advocates from the archdiocese’s bankruptcy that references a 2003 proposal to pay $20,000 to “unassignable priests” who accepted a return to the laity. The policy was crafted under then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is now a cardinal and head of the archdiocese in New York.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests characterizes the payments as a payoff and bonuses to priests who molested children. The archdiocese disputes that characterization, saying the payments were in part to more quickly move those men out of the priesthood.

The group is calling on the archdiocese to release all records involving the payments and its handling of clergy sex abuse cases.

“You don’t give a bonus to a man who rapes children,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted SNAP Midwest director Peter Isely as saying Wednesday outside the federal courthouse in Milwaukee. “If they paid them anything it should have been for therapy and counseling.”

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Archbishop Timothy Dolan Offered $20,000 …

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Business Insider

Archbishop Timothy Dolan Offered $20,000 To Priests Suspected Of Child Abuse To Make Them Leave The Priesthood

Michael Brendan Dougherty

Back when he was Archbishop of Milwaukee, Timothy Dolan offered priests suspected of misconduct with children payments of $20,000 to induce them to leave the priesthood, according to the New York Times.

The news came out of bankruptcy filings, and is being publicized by a group representing the interests of victims of child abuse. From the report:

A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed on Wednesday that payments of as much as $20,000 were made to “a handful” of accused priests “as a motivation” not to contest being defrocked. The process, known as “laicization,” is a formal church juridical procedure that requires Vatican approval, and can take far longer if the priest objects.

“It was a way to provide an incentive to go the voluntary route and make it happen quickly, and ultimately cost less,” said Jerry Topczewski, the spokesman for the archdiocese. “Their cooperation made the process a lot more expeditious.”

This is brutal news for Dolan, who was previously praised very highly for his handling of abuse cases in Milwaukee after the reign of the notorious Bishop Weakland, who stole from church coffers to pay for the lifestyle of his male lover.

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HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE DIRECTOR: THIS IS THE MOMENT FOR FULL SOLIDARITY WITH THE POPE

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 31 May 2012 (VIS) – Yesterday, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, held a meeting with journalist to answer questions on the publication of reserved Vatican documents, an act for which the Pope’s personal assistant has been arrested.

Regarding the questions on the pope’s possible resignation, a hypothesis maintained by various media outlets, Fr. Lombardi affirmed that those were baseless creations of some journalists, which have no foundation in reality. The Curia has expressed its solidarity with the pontiff and continues to work in full communion with the Successor of Peter: “This is precisely the moment in which to demonstrate esteem and appreciation for the Holy Father and the service he carries out; to show full solidarity with him and thus, to demonstrate communion, unity, and coherence with how this situation is dealt with”.

Fr. Lombardi emphasized that it is important that communication regarding this sorrowful event for the Pope and the Church be inspired by rigorous criteria for the truth: “It seems to me”, he said, “that there is a line of desire for truth and clarity, a desire for transparency that, although it will take time, continues forward. I thus honestly believe that we are trying to handle this new situation: We are seeking the truth, and trying to objectively understand what may have happened. First, however, it is necessary to be sure to have understood it, in respect for persons and the truth”.

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You can’t help the Pope by committing crimes, says German cardinal

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The German cardinal Brandmüller: “The excuse given by the suspected moles is not acceptable”

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City

“The Pope is sad but calm. He knows the Church needs to cross this stormy sea and that he must share the experience of Jesus…” 83 year old Walter Brandmüller, a cardinal since November 2010 and President of the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences, has known Ratzinger from when they were both university professors in Bavaria and has a long experience of working in the Roman Curia.

You are German and have known the Pope for a long time. How do you think he feels? Why does he seem so calm?

Benedict XVI is obviously saddened, but is certainly calm because he totally trusts in the help of the Almighty. He is aware that the Church must cross the tempestuous sea of this world; it must face its problems. Difficulties are not ideal, but I think they are normal occurrences in life.”

In the book-length interview with Peter Seewald, “Light of the World” the Pope said that one must expect attacks and be ready to resist them.

“The Gospel is a sign of contradiction and the contradiction of the world almost seals the authenticity of the message. The destiny of the disciple of Jesus is that of sharing his experience of suffering. I believe that this certainty of faith is at the root of Benedict XVI’s tranquillity.”

As a historian of the Church, how do you see current events? Are there similar instances from the past that could be compared with the present?

“Well, in the middle ages, a French king, Philip the Handsome reached the point of falsifying papal bulls to discredit Boniface VIII. And one must not forget that at the end of the nineteenth century, during the first Vatican Council, during the course of the discussion on papal infallibility there were leaks of documents which were used as the basis for articles to discredit the Council. The articles were published in Germany and signed with the pseudonym “Quirino’s letters”.

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Vatican spokesman urges media to present accurate and balanced information

Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi has denounced the fact that too many articles are not based on fact, reiterating that respect for others comes above everything else

Vatican Insider staff
Rome

“Naturally, everyone is seeking an explanation to what is going on. The response to this question is that given by the Pope today. Information is important but it must be communicated in an accurate and balanced way,” the Vatican spokesman said.

“I – Fr. Lombardi stressed – only speak when an answer has been given and I never mention any names, Gabriele being an exception because he was found to be in possession of material he was not supposed to have and this is an objective fact.” In these past few days, the spokesman said in an ironic tone, “some people are losing their marbles, in that they are writing things that do not seem to lack any factual basis, regarding the individuals questioned for example.” In relation to this, Fr. Lombardi stressed the importance of respect for others. “It does not mean that just because someone is questioned that person was definitely involved. Names should not be divulged before their involvement is proven.” “I have said nothing and honestly know nothing” about potential schemes and the masterminds behind them,” he said. “I have been hearing about them for months, like everyone else.”

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As Holy See hunts for evidence, three Italians are said to be involved

Investigations into emails and phone calls and collaboration with public prosecutors continues. Meanwhile, the Secret Services have received a request for help

Giacomo Galeazzi & Francesco Grignetti
Vatican City

Paolo Gabriele is still the only person being investigated for the leak of documents from the papal apartments, but suspicions seem to lead to three more lay officials working in the Vatican, who reside in Italy. “The Vatican magistrates will ask for the help of the Italian justice if their inquiry found Italian citizens to be involved,” the Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi stated. “These are tragic days,” the head of the Vatican Gendarmerie, Domenico Giani added.

Giani used to work for the Sisde, the Italian secret services and so far the Holy See has appealed twice to the Italian intelligence for support. First of all a month ago when the mole started leaking confidential papers to the mass media and the Vatican formally asked the Italian government for help. In that instance the secret services were authorized to collaborate with the Gendarmerie. The culprits however were not found.

The second time was when Inspector General Giani apparently called for support from the Italians again, from both police and intelligence, to intercept phone calls and emails. But the help could not be given without authorization from political authorities. The Gendarmerie continued its investigations and now we are at a turning point. As previously mentioned, at the top of the list of suspects there are three lay people working in the Vatican, who are however Italian citizens, residing in Rome. According to the Vatican inspectors their involvement is evident. Perhaps inspectors are simply waiting for them to make a wrong move. So far, the Italian magistrates were not asked to send any rogatory letters, but if necessary, it should be fairly easy for the Vatican to ask for assistance from the Judiciary system and confiscate their private computers. Moreover, emails are kept up to five years on internet servers. It should be simple, come the right time, to verify if one of them illegally handled confidential documents.

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Cleveland priest suspended

CLEVELAND (OH)
WTAM

(Cleveland) – Father Robert Marrone has been suspended by the the Cleveland Catholic Diocese for disobeying orders by Bishop Richard Lennon to remove himself from a break-away congregation of St. Peter’s Church.

St. Peter’s in downtown Cleveland was one of more than 50 churches closed by Lennon in the past three years.

Many members of St. Peter’s set up their own worship space in a commercial building nearly two years ago and have been celebrating Mass with Father Marrone.

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US cardinal paid sexually abusive priests $20,000 to quit

UNITED STATES
Press TV (Iran)

An American Catholic cardinal in New York has authorized payments of up to $20,000 as an incentive to priests that were sexually abusive for agreeing to dismissal from priesthood.

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, who is president of the national bishops’ conference and rapidly rising in stature as the nation’s most high-profile Roman Catholic cleric, first rejected the charge at the time, when he was archbishop of the City of Milwaukee, but a new document reveals that he indeed did make the payments, The New York Times reports Thursday.

Questioned at the time about reports that one of the particularly notorious pedophile cleric had been given a “payoff” to leave the priesthood, Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was “false, preposterous and unjust,” according to the report.

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan took part in pedophile priest payoff to leave church

MILWAUKEE (WI)
IrishCentral

By
CATHY HAYES,
IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cardinal Timoty Dolan authorized payments to pedophile priests of up to $20,000 to get them to leave the priesthood when he was Archbishop of Milwaukee new documents have revealed.

Dolan had once described that allegation as “false,preposterous and unjust” but the archdiocese has now admitted that it occurred.

Milwaukee Archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf said in an email, “In 2002, the Church affirmed that priest offenders should no longer be functioning as priests in any capacity and having someone seek laicization voluntarily is faster and less expensive and it made sense to try and move these men out of the priesthood as quickly as possible.”

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) yesterday stated New York’s Cardinal Dolan was heavily involved in the plan to “pay off” known pedophile priests in a bid to have them leave the priesthood.

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Cleveland priest gets suspension for serving breakaway congregation, refusing bishop’s order

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Republic

ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: May 31, 2012

CLEVELAND — A priest who’s refusing to stop ministering to a breakaway congregation says he’s been suspended for disobeying the order from the Roman Catholic bishop in Cleveland.

Bishop Richard Lennon previously threatened to punish the Rev. Robert Marrone for celebrating Mass for former parishioners of St. Peter Church. They moved to a commercial building after their church was closed in 2010 amid downsizing by the diocese.

The Plain Dealer (http://bit.ly/JvfQIa ) reports Marrone met with Lennon last week.

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Outdated Vatican is an institution ripping itself apart

VATICAN CITY
Belfast Telegraph

By Michael Day
Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Vatican has long been said by those who know it to be a nest of vipers. But, recently, the poison has been laid bare for everyone to see as leak after an embarrassing leak has revealed an institution at war with itself.

Already this year we’ve read about documents warning of a death threat against the Pope, widespread nepotism and corruption, exiled whistleblowers, gay smear campaigns and embarrassing revelations about the Vatican’s tax affairs. …

As the author of a new book on the Vatican, Gianluigi Nuzzi, says: “During the papacy of John Paul II, paedophilia was not pursued like it has been today. This pope has removed 50 priests.”

Another Vatican watcher, Robert Mickens of The Tablet, has a simpler take the Holy See’s woes: “It’s arrogance. The people in charge still think the Vatican is above ordinary laws.”

Observers also point to the Vatican’s decision to censure nuns in the US for daring to “disagree with or challenge positions taken by the bishops” on key social issues.

“All these things are symptoms of a bigger problem. The structure of the Vatican – which is an absolute monarchy – is no longer suitable for the modern world,” says Mickens.

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The Butler Did It

UNITED STATES
PowerTrip

By Mark V. Serrano·May 30, 2012

Cronyism, corruption and power struggles. Where else would you find such things, along with palace intrigue and a butler leaking sensitive information, but the Vatican?

A book just published in Italy references private letters, internal memos, and a treasure trove of secret information that includes pleas to the Pope to deal with a money-laundering scandal.

Such scandals seem to abound in the church hierarchy. Ironically, we see countless examples of Catholic bishops and cardinals let off the hook for hiding serial sex offenders in the church, but if you steal the church’s money or reveal secrets from inside the Pope’s own Vatican apartment, it’s time to call in the hounds!

The Pope’s butler has been arrested as the Julian Assange of the Vatican, and will likely rot in an Italian jail for many years. Supposedly, he is the one who leaked all the juicy data to the author of the book, which is flying off the shelves in Italy.

This sort of tale is not unusual, of course. Stories have leaked recently about the fate of a teenaged girl with Vatican City citizenship who was kidnapped and held for ransom in 1983 in lieu of the release of the man who attempted to assassinate John Paul II (see: What is the Vatican’s sinister secret behind teenager Emanuela Orlandi’s 1983 disappearance?).

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Announcement designed to `highlight hypocrisy’ over paedophiles

AUSTRALIA
Penrith Press

31 May 12 @ 02:09pm by Former Glenmore Park parish priest Kevin Lee

I HAVE been very moved by the overwhelming number of positive text and Facebook messages that I have received in response to my recent announcement of my marriage last year to the beautiful Josefina.

I know it must have come as a complete shock to everyone but it was deliberately orchestrated that way to draw attention to an issue that has fermented in the Catholic Church for decades, that of abuse by teachers, priests, brothers and even nuns in the church, and that many priests are living duplicity by having homosexual relationships.

In my role as representative of the Catholic Church in nine parishes throughout the Diocese of Parramatta I have observed one constant: people keep telling me that they don’t go to church because either they or someone in their family were abused.

All the while I wanted to believe abuses were rare and infrequent but in my experience they were so commonly talked about.

The church will contend that the percentage is quite small but in my mind it should not be any. Being around kids who enjoy my company was always uncomfortable because of general suspicions about priests who play with kids.

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Clergy need to become ‘mandatory reporters’

UNITED STATES
Daily Star

Organized religions are responsible for many wonderful things, too numerous to mention here.

But they also have a responsibility to safeguard against terrible things that are done in their name.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in two current controversies _ one involving the Catholic archdiocese in Philadelphia, and the other an ultra-Orthodox Jewish congregation in Brooklyn.

Jurors are scheduled to hear closing arguments today in the child-endangerment trial of Monsignor William Lynn involving his handling of several priest-abuse complaints.

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Gambling video leads to suspension of Hialeah priest

FLORIDA
Sun-Sentinel

By Enrique Flor
The Miami Herald

The priest of the Rincón de San Lázaro church in Hialeah was suspended of his duties Wednesday after a video of him gambling at slot machines in three Miami-Dade casinos emerged.

Rev. Orlando Molina has been suspended indefinitely until an internal investigation is completed, said Michel Joseph Pugin, bishop of the U.S. Catholic Church, founded in 1949 under Catholic precepts but not under the Vatican’s jurisdiction.

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Catholic Abuse Case Going To Jury In Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
KUHF

May 31, 2012

by: Barbara Bradley Hagerty

In a Philadelphia courtroom Thursday, jurors will hear closing arguments in a historic case involving the Catholic sex abuse scandal. William Lynn, a monsignor in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is the first high-level church official to be tried for his involvement in covering up child abuse.

In a Philadelphia courtroom, jurors are hearing closing arguments in a historic case involving the Catholic sex abuse scandal. William Lynn, a monsignor in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is the first high-level church official to be tried for his involvement in covering up child abuse, specifically, conspiracy and children endangerment.

Journalist Ralph Cipriano has listened through every day of testimony, posting the events for the blog Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial. For most of the 10-week trial, he says, prosecutors put on a powerful case that Lynn, who was in charge of investigating sex abuse claims from 1992 to 2004, protected the priests and the church – not the children.

“A month ago, there was a sense the prosecution was way ahead,” he says, “that the evidence was so stacked against the Monsignor, that all the prosecution had to do is play it safe.”

Then Lynn went on the stand and argued that he did everything within his power to protect children.

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Ex-Cap-Pelé man says priest sexually abused him

CANADA
CBC News

A man who was abused by a Cap-Pelé priest is speaking out after decades of silence.

Normand Brun now lives in Vancouver, far from his Cap-Pelé home where he suffered abuse at the hands of Father Camille Léger.

The priest died in 1990 and was never convicted of any crimes.

But Léger’s history came to light earlier this year when the Cap-Pelé council was preparing to ask citizens in a referendum whether the former priest’s name should remain on the village hockey arena.

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Hynes Is Late To Push for Mandate Law

NEW YORK
Forward

By Paul Berger

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes says he is pushing for passage of a new state law to force rabbis to report child sex allegations to authorities.

But lawmakers say Hynes has joined the legislative fray late in the state capital of Albany, and time is running out for any measure to pass this year.

“If [Hynes] wants to get something done before the session closes . . . [he’s] wasting precious moments,” said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Westchester). “Going through bureaucracy can take time.”

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Make protection Orthodox: child abuse can’t continue

NEW YORK
New York Post

The Issue: How DA Hynes should deal with cases of child-sex abuse in Brooklyn’s Orthodox communities.

***
The ultra-Orthodox rabbis who have been flouting the law should never be allowed to oversee street-surveillance programs in Brooklyn (“Faltering First Steps,” Editorial, May 26).

Only the NYPD should monitor crime.

Sue Daglian
Manhattan

***
For those who serve Brooklyn’s Hasidic community, it comes as no surprise that the city and Brooklyn DA Charles “Joe” Hynes have approached the subject of child abuse with pathetic trepidation.

We see child neglect on a massive scale every day. Local police are told by their superiors not to issue tickets, and firefighters are told not to issue summonses when firetrap schools present a death threat to the youngest residents.

How ironic that these children are barely taught a thing about the country that provides them the freedoms they enjoy. That abuse gets swept under the rug is just par for the course.

Michael Watkins
Brooklyn

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Outing Orthodox pervs imperils victims: Hynes

NEW YORK
New York Post

By JOSE MARTINEZ

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes (left) blamed witness intimidation in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community — which he compared to the kind of threats carried out by the Mafia — for his unwillingness to name accused sexual predators.

Lashing out against those who have accused him of kowtowing to political pressure by refusing to identify the nearly 100 Orthodox Jews charged with sex crimes in Brooklyn over the last three years, Hynes said, “I haven’t seen this kind of intimidation in organized-crime cases or police-corruption cases.”

Identifying the accused, Hynes said, would put their accusers in jeopardy of being outed by segments of the Orthodox community.

“No one gives a damn about victims,” he fumed. “All they care about is protecting the abusers.”

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Brooklyn DA: Intimidation in Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Sex Abuse Cases Worse Than Mob Cases

NEW YORK
WNYC

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

By Ailsa Chang

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes continued to defend his office’s record on sex abuse cases in the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community at an unrelated press conference Wednesday. He said the victim intimidation in that community is worse than what he’s seen in organized crime and police corruption cases over his nearly two-decade career.

“I haven’t seen this kind of intimidation in organized crime cases or police corruption, and the reason for that is in organized crime cases, I can get witness protection,” Hynes Explained. “In police intimidation cases, I can protect them as well.”

The New York Times and some Jewish publications reported that Hynes doesn’t pursue sexual abuse cases against Ultra-Orthodox Jewish suspects as aggressively as he does others because of his political ties to the community. The reports have also claimed Hynes failed to intervene when an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish organization told him that followers had to get permission from a rabbi before reporting allegations of sex abuse to authorities.

Hynes has maintained that a significant hurdle in sex abuse cases involving Orthodox Jews is that the community cares more about protecting suspects than victims.

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The Rev. Robert Marrone, priest who leads breakaway Cleveland Catholic congregation, suspended from ‘priestly ministry’

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

By Michael O’Malley, The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Rev. Robert Marrone has been suspended from priestly ministry for disobeying an order by Cleveland Catholic Bishop Richard Lennon to remove himself as pastor of a breakaway congregation, according to a letter the priest wrote to his followers.

Marrone and his congregation, the Community of St. Peter, broke away from the diocese to set up their own worship space in a commercial building in August 2010, four months after Lennon closed their church, St. Peter, in downtown Cleveland.

The closing was part of a diocesewide downsizing that saw the elimination of 50 churches.

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The Hunt for Thieves in the Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Chiesa

Stolen papers. Venom. Arrests. In the Roman curia, it’s war. The ouster of the president of the bank. The maneuvers of Cardinal Bertone. The pope’s false friends

by Sandro Magister

ROME, May 31, 2012 – There’s method in this madness. Since the butler of His Holiness ended up in jail, the scene has suddenly changed. At center stage is no longer the dispute over the contents of the stolen papers. It’s the thieves. Intent on scheming in the shadow of a venerable white robe.

“With justice eliminated, what are kingdoms if not a great band of thieves?” The phrase is from Saint Augustine, but it was Benedict XVI who cited it in his first encyclical, “Deus Caritas Est” of 2005. He didn’t know that seven years later it would become the public image of the Vatican. A citadel devastated by thievery, with no corner left inviolate, not even that “sancta sanctorum” which the private desk of the pope should be.

The real or presumed thieves of Vatican papers have declared in chorus to the newspapers, under anonymity, that they acted precisely out of love for the pope, to help him clean house. And it is true that none of the wrondoing laid bare in the documents involves his person. But it is even more true that everything falls upon him, inexorably.

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Vatican (embassy) opens doors to nun protesters

WASHINGTON (DC)
dotCommonweal

Posted by David Gibson

The Holy Spirit? Smart PR? Or karmic blowback from the Vatican’s curial disasters?

Sister Maureen Fielder reports that when a group of protestors supporting the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which has come under the Vatican thumb, showed up at the Vatican Embassy in Washington on Tuesday, the papal nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, welcomed some of them into the embassy.

Vigano invited two people to sit down and chat and he received their petition asking that the sanctions against LCWR be withdrawn:

In the course of the conversation, he [Vigano] made it known he had been at the beginning of the LCWR board meeting (which started Tuesday and ends Friday). Later, he invited about 20 people into the embassy to see the chapel and offer prayers.

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Wis archdiocese paid priests to leave ministry

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Boston Globe

MILWAUKEE—The Archdiocese of Milwaukee confirmed Wednesday that it had a policy to pay suspected pedophile priests to leave the ministry.

The acknowledgement was prompted by a document made public by abuse victims’ advocates from the archdiocese’s bankruptcy that references a 2003 proposal to pay $20,000 to “unassignable priests” who accepted a return to the laity. The policy was crafted under then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is now a cardinal and head of the archdiocese in New York.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests characterizes the payments as a payoff and bonuses to priests who molested children. The archdiocese disputes that characterization, saying the payments were in part to more quickly move those men out of the priesthood.

The group is calling on the archdiocese to release all records involving the payments and its handling of clergy sex abuse cases.

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PRESS RELEASE – CANDLELIGHT VIGIL TO BE HELD FOR CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIMS AT CATHOLIC HAITI CONFERENCE

WASHINGTON (DC)
Haiti: “One Table, Many Partners” Conference, Focus on the Protection of Children from Sexual Abuse

Victims and Child Protection Advocates to Hold Candlelight Vigil at Catholic Haiti Conference
in Washington, D.C.

They mourn for children in Haiti and throughout the world who are being sexually abused

They want Catholic missionary groups to implement child protection policies

WHERE – Outside Caldwell Auditorium on the Catholic University campus, Washington, D.C.

WHEN – Friday, June 1, 2012, 4:30 p.m to 6:15 p.m.

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Etowah County man sentenced to 30 years on Rape charges

GADSDEN (AL)
WAAY

GADSDEN, Ala. (WAAY) – An Etowah County man has been sentenced to 110 years in prison after being convicted on Rape and Sexual Abuse charges last month.

61 year old Thomas Russell Reilly received thirty years imprisonment on the charge of Rape in the First Degree, and twenty years as to each of the four charges of Sexual Abuse.

The sentence was handed down Wednesday by Judge Allen Millican.

During the trial, witnesses indicated that Reilly allowed young girls to spend the night with him, then took them to the Tabernacle Church the next day. The girls were between the ages of 5-10 at the time. During the sleepovers, the girls said he touched them inappropriately. One of the girls claimed she had sexual intercourse with Reilly when she was only 7 years old.

During sentencing, Millican had choice words for several local supporters of Reilly, who had complained about the handling of the case : “Ladies and gentlemen, I notice there are a lot of folks here this morning that came and watched this trial, and I received some mail from some of the elders in the church that watched this trial.” Millican said. “Some of the mail made reference to an overzealous district attorney and the fact that if they were on the jury they would find reasonable doubt.”

Quoting Matthew 22:21, the judge said, “I am here to tell you that I heard a wise man once say, ‘Render unto Caesar those things that are Caesar’s and unto God those things that are God’s.’ I pray about my cases, every one I have to try and rule about. I don’t appreciate somebody trying to second guess me on something like that and sending me stuff from the House of the Lord. Ya’ll need to tend to your business, and I’ll tend to mine.”

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Ex-school worker pleads to sex assault

HOLLAND (MI)
WOOD

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) – A former Holland Public Schools worker accused assaulting three middle school students in 2006 has pleaded guilty to some of the charges against him.

Jonathan Meyer pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Meyer, 32, was originally charged with three counts of first-degree CSC. He was a lunchroom supervisor at Holland’s West Middle School at the time of the assaults and was also a church youth leader at Christ Memorial Church in Holland.

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Man sentenced for rape, sex abuse involving young girls

GADSDEN (AL)
Gadsden Times

By Kendra Carter
Times Staff Writer

A 59-year-old Gadsden man convicted of rape and sex abuse involving four young girls he befriended at the church where he volunteered on Wednesday was sentenced to prison terms totaling 110 years.

Thomas Russell Reilly appeared before Etowah County Circuit Judge Allen Millican for sentencing on one count of first-degree rape and four counts of sexual abuse of a child under 12 years of age, according to a news release from the Etowah County District Attorney’s Office.

Reilly was convicted April 5 by an Etowah County jury.

Millican sentenced Reilly to 30 years in state prison on the rape charge and 20 years for each of the sexual abuse charges. The judge ordered the terms to be served concurrently.

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Limitation on child sexual abuse complaints may be extended

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Lisa Wangsness
| Globe Staff
May 31, 2012

Victims of child sexual abuse who missed deadlines for filing civil claims against their abusers may get a two-year window during which they could bring old cases to court, under one legislative scenario under discussion on Beacon Hill.

If victims could prove the abuse occurred, the maximum they could collect from any nonprofit organization held responsible would be capped at $20,000, the existing limit.

Those potential provisions are being discussed as part of a move by lawmakers to scale back a proposal, opposed by the Catholic Church, that would have made sweeping changes to the legal remedies available to people sexually abused as children.

The original legislation, which even some proponents consider too far-reaching, would eliminate the statute of limitations entirely for criminal and civil cases involving child sexual abuse, letting people come forward for an unlimited amount of time.

It also would get rid of the $20,000 limit on civil damages for nonprofit organizations, a cap established in the early 1970s to protect charities from being wiped out by lawsuits, in cases related to child sexual abuse.

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Priest Abuse Jury Hears Closing Arguments Today

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With over two months of evidence behind them, jurors in the landmark clergy sexual abuse case are scheduled to hear closing arguments today. Monsignor William Lynn is the first U.S. church official charged with endangering children by allegedly protecting and covering up for predator priests.

The prosecution alleges Monsignor William Lynn failed to act to protect children from two dangerous priests. One of those priests, co-defendant James Brennan, has pleaded not guilty and the defense argues he never abused the victim who testified against him in this trial.

The second priest, Edward Avery, also a former co-defendant, pleaded guilty just before trial admitting he sexually abused a boy in 1999.

Lynn, testifying in his own behalf, told the jury he was sorry about that. But he did not accept blame. He testified he did the best he could, but the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua had authority for priest placements.

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Wife of pastor charged with sodomy, possession of child porn

MISSISSIPPI
KBTV

(KFVS) – The wife of an East Prairie pastor charged with statutory sodomy and possession of child porn is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Beth Lynnette Allen, 36, is charged with the endangering welfare of a child-1st Degree.

Her husband, Kenneth Neal Allen, 36, is charged with three counts of first degree statutory sodomy and possession of child pornography.

The East Prairie community says Kenneth Allen is the Pastor at Grace Apostolic Church.

According to the probable cause statement, Beth Allen is a state paid child care provider and knew about an instance when her husband allegedly inappropriately touched a male child and failed to report it.

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Judge, lawyers confer in clergy sex case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
UPI

PHILADELPHIA, May 30 (UPI) — Lawyers in a Philadelphia clergy sex abuse trial met privately with the judge Wednesday to go over instructions that will be given to the jury.

Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina summoned prosecution and defense attorneys to the closed-door meeting the day after testimony in the landmark trial ended, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Closing arguments will be Thursday, and the jury could get the case Friday, the newspaper said.

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In Milwaukee Post, Cardinal Authorized Paying Abusers

MILWAUKEE (WI)
The New York Times

[2003 Minutes of the Archdiocesan Finance Council]

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN

Published: May 30, 2012

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood when he was the archbishop of Milwaukee.

Questioned at the time about the news that one particularly notorious pedophile cleric had been given a “payoff” to leave the priesthood, Cardinal Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was “false, preposterous and unjust.”

But a document unearthed during bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and made public by victims’ advocates reveals that the archdiocese did make such payments to multiple accused priests to encourage them to seek dismissal, thereby allowing the church to remove them from the payroll.

A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed on Wednesday that payments of as much as $20,000 were made to “a handful” of accused priests “as a motivation” not to contest being defrocked. The process, known as “laicization,” is a formal church juridical procedure that requires Vatican approval, and can take far longer if the priest objects.

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Sewickley priest on leave pending probe into computer use

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Thursday, May 31, 2012

By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Catholic priest known for interfaith work is on a voluntary leave of absence while the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny County district attorney decide whether his Facebook posts or other computer use amount to sexual abuse of a minor.

The Rev. Daniel Valentine, 63, pastor of St. James parish in Sewickley, took personal leave on May 19 on the advice of diocesan officials, said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the diocese. While on leave, he is not permitted to wear clerical garb or exercise public ministry.

Father Lengwin would not describe the posts. The diocese hasn’t decided if they cross the line into behavior prohibited by the church’s child protection charter, he said.

“I don’t think we’ve made a determination what this is,” Father Lengwin said.

In late April, he said, a family came to the diocese “and expressed deep concern about a posting on Facebook to one of their minor children. Having heard it, we determined that it should be turned over to the district attorney’s office.”

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Cardinal linked to payments to abusers

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Equities

United Press International
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, approved payments to priests suspected of abuse in the Milwaukee archdiocese, church documents show.

A spokesman for the church in Milwaukee said the payments, some as high as $20,000, were made to encourage priests to resign and not to challenge the decision to remove them from the priesthood, The New York Times reported Thursday.

“It was a way to provide an incentive to go the voluntary route and make it happen quickly, and ultimately cost less,” Jerry Topczewski said Wednesday. “Their cooperation made the process a lot more expeditious.”

Dolan served as archbishop of Milwaukee from 2002 to 2009, when Pope Benedict XVI named him head of the New York archdiocese, the highest-profile position in the U.S. Catholic Church. He became a cardinal in 2012.

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AP Interview: Papal leaks author calm amid storm

ROME
San Antonio Express-News

NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press

Updated 03:34 p.m., Wednesday, May 30, 2012

ROME (AP) — For someone at the center of one of the Vatican’s greatest scandals in recent decades, Gianluigi Nuzzi seems awfully cool.

The investigative journalist who published a book of leaked papal documents begs to get off the phone one day because he’s playing with his two kids at home in Milan. A day later he’s ensconced in a swank hotel on Rome’s Via Veneto, joking about cutting his journalistic chops as a 13-year-old writing for a weekly Mickey Mouse magazine.

But Nuzzi, 42, is very much in the hot seat for revealing the secrets of one of the most secretive institutions in the world, accused of an unprecedented attack on both the pope and the Catholic Church.

“His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI” was published last week. In the few days since, it has become the most-talked about book in Italy and the Vatican, 273 pages of leaked Holy See documents and analysis of the Vatican’s internal machinery that represents its biggest security breach in recent history.

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A Recipe for Child Protection: Add One Part Hero

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on May 30, 2012

No one—I repeat: NO ONE— wants to get in front of television cameras and say that they were sexually abused. But when someone does, and does it in an eloquent, emotional and powerful way, that person changes the world.

Case in point: Jessica Bohman

According to Bohman, her family members, and a lawsuit she just filed in Kern County Superior Court, Jessica was sexually abused by Foursquare Church youth minister Damon Young from when she was approximately 4 until she was 8 years old. Damon was 14.

But his young age didn’t stop Damon from admitting to abusing her and other girls at the church. (I hope to post a copy of the police report soon.) According to the lawsuit, he’d brazenly take Jessica out of church day care and molest her while her parents were at church services, even though, according to the lawsuit, Foursquare church officials knew he was acting inappropriately around the young girls. When I saw “inappropriate,” I mean that he would rub his crotch against little girls when adults were around. This is bad stuff. There is no question that the Young should have been immediately pulled out of youth ministry, the police called and the kids helped. But no one picked up the phone to report their suspicions.

When Jessica had a sex ed class in junior high, she suddenly realized that what happened to her was very, very wrong.

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Bijna helft priesters tegen celibaat

NEDERLAND
ND

Veertig procent van de priesters in Nederland vindt dat het celibaat afgeschaft moet worden. Dat meldt het NCRV-programma Altijd Wat, dat met een anonieme enquête priesters ondervroeg. Van de veertig procent die voor afschaffing is, denkt 22 procent dat de regel seksueel misbruik in de hand werkt.

De groep voorstanders van het celibaat bleek bijna even groot als de groep tegenstanders, 39 procent vindt dat het celibaat behouden moet blijven. De overige 21 procent oordeelde neutraal over de regel die stelt dat priesters niet mogen trouwen of seksueel contact mogen hebben.

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Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese confirms paying off troubled priests to leave

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WTAQ

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) – The Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese confirms that it paid priests who were suspected of sexual abuse to leave their ministries.

That’s after a document in the church’s current bankruptcy case described a proposal from 2003 to pay $20,000 to what were called “unassignable priests.”

Julie Wolf said the payments were intended to speed up the departure process for pedophile priests, in response to critics who demanded that all abusive priests be defrocked.

The Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests called it payoff for child molesting priests. And it demanded that the archdiocese release all records about the payments, and other details on how the Milwaukee church handled sex abuse cases.

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SNAP says some priests were paid to leave priesthood

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Fox 6

[2003 Minutes of the Archdiocesan Finance Council]

MILWAUKEE — The group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says some priests in the Milwaukee Archdiocese were paid to leave the priesthood.

According to the Milwaukee Archdiocese’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy records, in 2003, the Archdiocese Finance Council discussed a plan where known child molesters would be paid $20,000 to quietly leave the priesthood.

They also say in 2011, the Archdiocese would make a final payment of $90,000 to nine priests undergoing the process.

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Archdiocese paid abusive priests to leave ministry

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Wisconsin State Journal

Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has confirmed that it paid suspected pedophile priests to leave the ministry.

That comes after a document surfaced in the archdiocese’s bankruptcy discussing a 2003 proposal to pay $20,000 to “unassignable priests” who accept a return to the laity.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests characterizes the payments as a payoff and bonuses to priests who molested children. The group is calling on the archdiocese to release all records involving the payments and its handling of clergy sex abuse cases.

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Landmark Philly Abuse Trial Nears Completion, What the Media is Missing

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
TheMediaReport

Dave Pierre

Closing arguments will begin on Thursday in the high-profile Catholic criminal abuse trial in Philadelphia, and the media is not giving some important facts the attention they deserve.

1. The two trial defendants have already scored significant victories in their cases.

The prosecution went into the trial that began on March 26 with the astonishing charges that Msgr. William J. Lynn and Rev. James J. Brennan actually conspired together with the intention to abuse children.

The charges were so wild and so far off base that even Judge Teresa Sarmina – who has sided with the prosecution nearly every step of the way in this ordeal – outright dismissed most of these charges from the bench two weeks ago. This was even though the jury had already sat for nearly two months of testimony!

Sarmina’s ruling prompted journalist Ralph Cipriano to note:

“Observers were left to wonder why Father Brennan was even in the courtroom most days, as the vast majority of evidence in the case, and some 43 out of 48 prosecution witnesses, had absolutely nothing to do with him … With no connection between Father Brennan and Msgr. Lynn, it made absolutely no sense to try the two together.”

2. Prosecutors have essentially admitted that an important episode in last year’s grand jury report was largely a work of fiction.

The much-cited report chronicled in stomach-turning detail the story of Rev. Brennan committing a brutal, all-night rape of 14-year-old Mark Bukowski in 1996. (Mark’s full name is in the report, and he has given permission for his name to be public.)

By the time the trial started, however, prosecutors claimed that Brennan “almost raped” Mark. That’s a big discrepancy. In addition, the defense has argued that Mark has notable credibility issues, which include a lengthy criminal record of fraud and filing false police reports.

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Settlement reached on sex abuse cases in Spokane diocese

WASHINGTON
The Seattle Times

The Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. —
Parishioners of Catholic churches in Spokane are being asked to contribute another $1.5 million toward a broad legal settlement to help resolve clergy sex abuse claims that have dogged the diocese for a decade.

The Spokesman-Review reported Wednesday it was the second settlement in five years that has been billed as ending the bankruptcy of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane.

A letter written by Spokane Bishop Blase Cupich and distributed to parishioners on Sunday sought to assure churchgoers that the threat of foreclosure had passed.

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Archdiocese confirms payments to abusive priests who left ministry

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

[2003 Minutes of the Archdiocesan Finance Council]

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee confirmed Wednesday that it paid suspected pedophile priests to surrender their clerical collars, after a document surfaced in its bankruptcy discussing a 2003 proposal to pay $20,000 to “unassignable priests” who accept laicization.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests characterized the payments as payoffs and bonuses to priests who molested children, noting it was just $10,000 less than the $30,000 the archdiocese hoped to pay victims, according to the same document. And it called on church authorities on Wednesday to release all records involving the payments and its handling of clergy sex abuse cases.

“You don’t give a bonus to a man who rapes children,” SNAP’s Midwest director Peter Isely said outside the federal courthouse in Milwaukee. “If they paid them anything it should have been for therapy and counseling.”

Archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf said the payments were intended to speed up the laicization process, in response to criticism by SNAP and others who called for offender priests to be defrocked. She disputed their characterization as a payoff, saying the money was meant to help the men transition back into lay life.

Wolf said she had no information about how much was paid and to whom over the years.

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Legionaries of Christ quit California base

CALIFORNIA
CathNews

Citing its need to restructure in the United States after a series of sex abuse scandals involving its founder and several prominent members, the Legionaries of Christ are withdrawing from the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sacramento, California, effective July 1, reports NCR Online.

The order has administered the large Hispanic parish in the state capital for the last 12 years.

Their departure follows the closure last year of their two local schools, the University of Sacramento and the Immaculate Conception Apostolic School, because of diminishing enrollment.

“Our religious congregation has suffered a crisis in the past few years and we must restructure ourselves in the United States,” said Fr Lino Otero, pastor, in a message to parishioners.

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Woman Sues Church, Youth Pastor; Alleges Sexual Molestation

BAKERSFIELD (CA)
23ABC

[with video]

Christine Dinh – 23ABC East Bakersfield Reporter

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A local woman is filing a lawsuit claiming a youth minister from Four Square Church molested her when she was a child.

23 ABC is not identifying the youth pastor accused in the case because he was a juvenile at the time of the alleged assaults.

In a civil complaint, Jessica Bowman claims that, starting from 1987 when she was 4 years old, she was sexually molested by a 14-year-old Four Square church volunteer who later became her youth minister.

“(I remember) him touching me, touching me under my clothes, making me touch him,” said Bowman.

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Unique Vatican court system tackles petty to serious crimes

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — From picked pockets to a 1998 double murder and suicide, the Vatican legal system has dealt with a vast array of crimes and misdemeanors over the decades.

Now it has begun a formal inquiry into the case of the pope’s personal assistant who has been implicated in the media-blitzed “VatiLeaks” scandal. Paolo Gabriele, the pope’s valet since 2006, was arrested May 23 by Vatican security for having unauthorized documents in his possession.

As the case unfolds in the coming weeks, many may wonder how the Vatican City State’s unique judicial system works.

Its legal foundations are rooted in the Code of Canon Law, papal decrees, the Lateran Pacts, and Italian and Roman municipal laws.

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Ireland’s church shows sign of renewal after loss of credibility

IRELAND
Catholic News Service

By Michael Kelly
Catholic News Service

DUBLIN (CNS) — Ireland’s Catholic Church, host of the International Eucharistic Congress, has suffered a dramatic loss of credibility in recent years, but also shows signs of renewal after a decade of turbulence.

While a recent survey by the Association of Catholic Priests found that weekly Mass attendance throughout the country is one of the highest in Europe at 35 percent, the capital — where Mass attendance in some parishes is 2 percent — has been hit by a combination of religious apathy, secularism and disenchantment as a result of clergy sex abuse scandals.

David Quinn of The Iona Institute, a think-tank that aims to highlight the benefits of religion for society, believes it is wrong to present all of the church’s challenges as being linked to clerical abuse scandals. The shift in public opinion, he said, is “driven primarily by the secularizing trends that would have overtaken the rest of Europe over the last century, and only secondly actually by the scandals, because the downward trends were in place before the scandals ever came to light.”

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SNAP Wisconsin letter to Archbishop Listecki

MILWAUKEE (WI)
SNAP Wisconsin

May 30, 2012

To: Jerome Listecki, Archbishop of Milwaukee
From: Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director
Re: Dolan’s laicization payouts to priest sex offenders

Archbishop Listecki,

The biblical account of the events that led to Christ’s execution begin, of course, with the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, one of the twelve disciples, to religious and political authorities. That betrayal was marked and sealed by a disbursement of money: 30 pieces of silver. So it is with considerable dismay to learn that the apostolic leaders of the Milwaukee church, who gather the faithful around the name and memory of Christ, have been apparently engaged in paying off those who betrayed the children of our archdiocese.

Minutes from a March 2003 Archdiocese Finance Council meeting, which have surfaced in Milwaukee Federal Bankruptcy Court, appear to confirm what we survivors and our families have long suspected, that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, under the leadership of Archbishop Dolan and Bishop Sklba, were paying off priests who committed criminal acts of rape, sexual assault and abuse against youngsters. According to the minutes of this meeting, a plan was discussed by Dolan and Sklba and others whereby known priest child molesters would be paid $20,000 each to quietly leave the priesthood through the Vatican’s administrative process of laicization, $10,000 at the beginning of the process and $10,000 upon completing it.

Evidence shows the plan was implemented. In 2006, pedophile cleric Franklyn Becker made admissions to the Milwaukee media and confirmed by the Archdiocese that he had been cut a $10,000 check to sign his laicization papers. This money was a “signing bonus” with no restrictions applied. Dolan claimed at the time that this was an isolated incident of “charity”. Yet, in July of 2011, further evidence of a payout scheme was revealed when you acknowledged that the archdiocese would be making a “final” payment of $90,000 to nine priests undergoing laicization. A few months later you put the archdiocese into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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Contradicting Dolan’s emphatic denials…

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wisconsin

Contradicting Dolan’s emphatic denials, Archdiocese of Milwaukee confirms pedophile priests paid off under his watch

Statement by Peter Isely Midwest Director (Milwaukee)
CONTACT: 414.429.7259

This afternoon the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has confirmed charges brought in a press conference this morning by SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee under the direction of Cardinal Timothy Dolan routinely paid off pedophiles to quietly leave the priesthood and disappear into the community. Dolan emphatically denied such a charge in 2006. But a new document surfacing in the Milwaukee Archdiocese bankruptcy case shows that Dolan had discussed such a scheme with his Finance Council in 2003. Now we know, he implemented it.

According to an email from Julie Wolf, the current Communications Director of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, Dolan and the current Archbishop Jerome Listecki paid off offender priests at least $20,000 each—over and above their pensions, health care and other possible benefits—because it was a “faster and less expensive” way to have them “laicized” by the Vatican. Laicization is an administrative procedure to have a priest defrocked. In other words, if you’re a priest who has committed criminal conduct you get to remain a priest for some indefinite period of time unless you can be bribed to voluntarily sign a piece of paper which is sent to Rome that says you won’t function as a priest anymore. This is as ludicrous as a school board, instead of firing a teacher for criminal acts against children, calling the police, and revoking his license to teach, instead saying that they had to pay the child molester tens of thousands of dollars to hand over their license to the board.

How wrong would it be to use church funds for these kinds of payouts to pedophiles? Ask Cardinal Dolan. When serial child predator Fr. Franklyn Becker admitted in 2006 that he had, indeed, been paid $10,000 dollars for signing his laicization papers and SNAP demanded an answer from the archdiocese, here is what Dolan said: “For anyone to assert that this money was a ‘payoff’ or occurred in exchange for Becker agreeing to leave the priesthood is completely false, preposterous and unjust.” Dolan went on to say the Becker’s payout was for “charitable” reasons and health insurance. Yet, the minutes that have now surfaced from a 2003 Archdiocese of Milwaukee Finance Council meeting, attended by Dolan and his auxiliary bishop Richard Sklba, make very clear that these laicization payouts were independent of salaries, pensions and health insurance. They were a no strings attached financial bonus to help child molesters walk away from the priesthood and disappear into the community.

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Closing arguments Thursday in Pa. priest trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Herald Online

By MARYCLAIRE DALE — Associated Press

Posted: 4:39pm on May 30, 2012

In opening statements in March, a prosecutor called the alleged cover-up of child sexual assaults by priests a battle between right and wrong within the Philadelphia archdiocese.

But hundreds of church documents aired at trial suggest there was little internal debate among Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and his top men on how to handle the complaints: Ask the priest if he did it. Send him to a church-run hospital. Tell the parish he’s on “health leave.” And unless he’s diagnosed as a pedophile, transfer him to another position.

Bevilacqua made Monsignor William Lynn his point person for the thankless job from 1992 to 2004, when Lynn served as secretary for clergy. Now jurors will have to decide – after closing arguments Thursday – whether the mild-mannered Lynn alone should be held criminally responsible for the sins of the church.

Bevilacqua has died. And none of his other confidantes have been charged.

“No matter how it turns out, it is one of the most significant trials in the United States having to do with this, with sexual abuse,” said psychologist Richard Sipe, a former priest who’s now an expert on priest sexual abuse. “It’s made clear what everybody has known – that the responsibility goes way up. That, of course, is what Lynn is saying: ‘The cardinal is responsible.’ He conveniently died. That was a very convenient death.”

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SNAP applauds removal of priest in Pittsburgh

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on May 30, 2012

It is a frightening fact that modern technology has greatly closed the gap between predators and children, and we urge parents to be vigilant about what kind of people are contacting their children online.

We are grateful to Pittsburgh law enforcement for looking into this matter and are grateful that Rev. Daniel Valentine has been removed from his parish. Bishop Zubik isn’t a police officer or prosecutor. So he has no business minimizing Valentine’s actions or claiming they weren’t criminal. (It’s doubtful law enforcement would be involved if the priest was talking to the child about Hot Wheels or Winnie the Pooh.)

We urge anyone who may have seen, suffered, or suspected Valentine’s misdeeds crimes will come forward and call police.

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NPR REPORTER SLAMS PRIESTS

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

On May 27, Barbara Bradley Hagerty did a piece that was posted on the website of National Public Radio (NPR) titled, “Just Doing His Job Is Catholic Official’s Defense.” Here is how she opened her story:

“A clergy sex-abuse trial in is [sic] reaching a crescendo in a Philadelphia courtroom. One defendant is James Brennan, a priest accused of trying to rape a minor, which is not that unusual.” [Emphasis added.]

Bill Donohue comments as follows:

We are asking NPR to respond to our complaint. In this day and age when it is considered taboo to make sweeping generalizations of a negative sort about so many demographic groups, it is astonishing that NPR would allow this bigoted swipe at Catholic priests.

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Vatican crisis highlights pope failure to reform Curia

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

VATICAN CITY | Wed May 30, 2012

(Reuters) – When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict in 2005, epithets like “God’s Rottweiler” and “Panzerkardinal” suggested he would bring some German efficiency to the opaque Vatican bureaucracy, the Curia.

Instead, as the “Vatileaks” scandal has revealed, the head of the Roman Catholic Church can’t even keep his own private mail secret. His hand-picked deputy, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, faces a “monsignors’ mutiny” by prelates in the halls of power.

Benedict’s papacy has been marked until now by controversies over things he has said and done, such as his criticism of Islam at Regensburg in 2006 or his 2009 decision to readmit four excommunicated ultra-traditionalist bishops to the Church.

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Italian journalist defends Vatican leaks

ROME
Chicago Tribune

Silvia Aloisi and Paolo Biondi
Reuters

11:32 a.m. CDT, May 30, 2012

ROME (Reuters) – An Italian journalist behind a leaks scandal shaking the Roman Catholic Church denies Vatican accusations he is a criminal and says he was only doing his duty to uncover the truth.

Gianluigi Nuzzi’s book, alleging corruption and conspiracies among cardinals in a Vatican struggle for power, has led to a hunt for informants in the Holy See and the arrest of Pope Benedict XVI’s butler, one of the people closest to him.

“My job is to find and publish news, it is my ethical duty. These documents reveal the secrets of the Vatican but there is nothing in the documents that threatens the security of that state,” Gianluigi Nuzzi told Reuters on Wednesday.

He spoke as the pope denounced what he called false media coverage of the scandal, which his aides have branded a brutal, personal attack on the ageing pontiff.

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