Pennsylvania, U.S. Virgin Islands Latest Of 55 Jurisdictions To Substantially Implement Provisions

UNITED STATES
Melodika

Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Justice Department’s Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) recently announced that Pennsylvania and the U.S. Virgin Islands are the latest jurisdictions to implement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.

Since the passage of SORNA, which establishes a comprehensive national system for the registration of sex offenders, a total of 16 states, three territories and 36 tribes have met the requirements for implementation. The Act is named in memory of Adam Walsh, a 6-year-old boy, who was abducted from a mall in Hollywood, Fla. on July 27, 1981.

In addition to Pennsylvania and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the states of Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming, and the United States territories of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, have also substantially implemented SORNA.

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Les Boy Scouts d’Amérique ont dissimulé des cas d’abus sexuel

ETATS-UNIS
Nouvelle Observateur

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Pendant vingt ans, les Boy Scouts d’Amérique ont omis de faire connaître aux autorités plusieurs centaines de cas d’abus sexuel commis par leur personnel encadrant, rapporte dimanche le Los Angeles Times après avoir passé en revue 1.600 dossiers confidentiels.

Selon cette enquête menée par le journal sur des dossiers de la période 1970-1991, les responsables de l’organisation n’ont eu dans la majorité des cas connaissance d’abus sexuels commis qu’une fois qu’ils avaient été signalés à la police.

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Boston Archdiocese Raises $1.2 Million for Catholic Priests

BOSTON (MA)
CBS Boston

BRAINTREE (AP) — The Boston Archdiocese says it raised $1.2 million at its annual dinner to benefit the Clergy Funds, which pay for the care and well-being of its priests

The archdiocese said more than 1,300 people attended the 4th Annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner Wednesday at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.

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Jurors: Hard to believe Lebanon County pastor’s spouses ‘could have suffered such horrific injuries by accident’

PENNSYLVANIA
The Patriot-News

Published: Friday, September 28, 2012

By MONICA VON DOBENECK, The Patriot-News

Members of the investigating grand jury found disquieting similarities between the deaths of Betty Jean Schirmer in 2008 and Jewel Schirmer in 1999.

Both died of traumatic brain injuries. And both were married to pastor Arthur Schirmer at the time of their deaths.

Arthur Burton Schirmer already is facing trial for homicide in Monroe County for Betty’s death. Now he is also charged with the murder of Jewel in Lebanon County.

In the grand jury report, the jurors wrote, “We find it particularly disturbing and difficult to believe that both of A.B. Schirmer’s wives could have suffered such horrific injuries by accident.”

Schirmer, 64, was pastor of Bethany United Methodist Church in Lebanon at the time of Jewel’s death and, as noted by Lebanon County District Attorney Dave Arnold, “well-known in the community.”

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Jackson Township pastor charged with another murder

PENNSYLVANIA
Pocono Record

By Andrew Scott
Pocono Record Writer

September 29, 2012

Earl Goodman stood in the front doorway of his Skyline Drive home Friday in North Lebanon Township and looked across the quiet, residential street at the split-level house where his former neighbors, the Schirmer family, had lived until 1999.

“I couldn’t believe what I heard,” said Goodman, wearing a Good Samaritan Health Systems volunteer T-shirt.

He had heard earlier that morning that Lebanon County authorities had charged his former neighbor, Arthur “A.B.” Schirmer, now 64, with murder in the April 23, 1999, death of his first wife, Jewel Schirmer, 50.

Arthur Schirmer is already awaiting a January trial on murder charges in the 2008 death of his second wife, Betty Jean Schirmer, in Monroe County.

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Arthur Schirmer, Retired Pastor, Killed Both Wives…

PENNSYLVANIA
Huffington Post

Arthur Schirmer, Retired Pastor, Killed Both Wives, Jewel Schirmer And Betty Jean Schirmer: Cops

By MICHAEL RUBINKAM 09/29/12

LEBANON, Pa. — Retired Pennsylvania pastor Arthur “A.B.” Schirmer was a serial philanderer, preying on women in his church who were having trouble in their own marriages, court documents say.

Yet adultery might have been the least of his sins.

Charged two years ago in the death of his second wife, Schirmer now stands accused of killing his first wife, too, after a grand jury concluded her injuries weren’t consistent with a fall down the stairs, Lebanon County prosecutors announced Friday. He intends to plead innocent, and his children say they support him.

Schirmer, 64, has long claimed he was out for a run on April 23, 1999, when he returned home to find Jewel Schirmer’s body in a pool of blood at the bottom of the basement steps. Although she had suffered a fractured skull as well as injuries to her face, body, arms and legs, the coroner made no determination as to whether her death was an accident or a homicide, and the case was closed.

That decision never sat well with her brother.

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Loyal friends of Msgr. Cris wish him strength

PHILIPPINES
Inquirer

Cebu Daily News
9:13 am | Sunday, September 30th, 2012

In the furor over ivory icons and a priest’s dark past that has resurfaced after 28 years, close friends and supporters of Msgr. Cristobal Garcia wait for the storm to pass.

Santiago “Sonny” Academia, head of the Bukas Loob sa Diyos community in Cebu, said their members were alarmed to read about the controversies in the newspapers this week.

But after the initial shock, they have banded together to hold prayer vigils for Garcia, withhold judgment, and stay in touch.

“We are communicating with him through e-mail. He is talking about the cross that he has to carry,” said Academia in an interview.

“We do not believe in all these things being said. Personally, between 1,000 accusations and one word from Cris, I still believe in Cris. He has been a good shepherd to me,” said Academia who is “shepherding” five BLD districts in Cebu, Dumaguete, Tagbilaran, Ormoc and Cagayan de Oro.

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Lawyer pushes to unseal Legion of Christ documents

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Boston Globe

By MICHELLE R. SMITH
Associated Press / September 24, 2012

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island Superior Court judge heard arguments Monday on whether to unseal documents in a lawsuit contesting the will of an elderly widow who gave some $60 million to the Legion of Christ, a disgraced Roman Catholic religious order.

Bernard Jackvony, a lawyer for the niece of the late Gabrielle Mee, argued to Judge Michael Silverstein that it is in the public interest to release the documents, while Joseph Avonzato, a lawyer for the Legion of Christ, said that would compromise the order’s right to a fair trial. The judge didn’t immediately issue a decision.

Pope Benedict XVI took over the Legion in 2010 after a Vatican investigation determined its founder, the late Rev. Marcial Maciel, had sexually molested seminarians and fathered three children by two women.

Silverstein this month threw out the lawsuit, saying the niece, Mary Lou Dauray, did not have standing to sue, though he wrote in his decision that Mee had been unduly persuaded to give the Legion her money.

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Erie’s new Catholic bishop plans to listen first

PENNSYLVANIA
Erie Times-News

By DANA MASSING, Erie Times-News
dana.massing@timesnews.com

Just a few months ago, Monsignor Lawrence T. Persico was a parish pastor who tended a vegetable garden in the summer and shoveled snow from parish sidewalks before morning Mass in the winter.

By the end of Monday, he’ll be a bishop and the leader of a 13-county Roman Catholic diocese with about 221,500 parishioners spread out over 10,000 square miles. Persico will take an oath of fidelity at vespers tonight and be installed and ordained during an invitation-only Mass on Monday.

What does Persico want people in the Catholic Diocese of Erie to know about their new bishop?

“That he’s a nice guy,” he said with a smile. …

Persico had served as pastor in New Alexandria since 1998, but that was one of only several positions he held in the Greensburg diocese. His other roles included vicar general, moderator of the curia, chancellor and bishop’s delegate for clergy sexual abuse.

He said he believes the sex-abuse scandal led the Catholic Church to do a great deal to rectify such problems by implementing training for clergy and others who work with youth.

“Even dioceses, today, are audited by an outside firm to make sure that each diocese is in compliance with the Charter (for the Protection of Children and Young People),” Persico said.

He encouraged Catholics not to abandon the church because they’re upset with it over sex abuse or disagree with its stance on abortion, contraception, same-sex marriage or female ordination.

“I would tell them not to walk away from it, but to seek, to learn, to pray and to try to deepen their relationship to Jesus Christ,” Persico said. “Because without Christ, what are we?

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Assignment Record – Rev. Michael Stephen Baker

CALIFORNIA
BishopAccountability.org – Assignment Record

Summary of Case: Rev. Michael Stephen Baker has been called by authorities one of the Los Angeles archdiocese’s most prolific child molesters, with estimates of at least 23-28 victims, one of whom is known to have been as young as age 5. Baker told Cardinal Mahony in 1986 that he had sexually abused children. Mahony sent Baker to treatment, then allowed him to return to ministry. Baker is accused of molesting many more children after 1986. He was removed from active ministry in early 2000, when the archdiocese learned of a pending lawsuit against him. He was defrocked in December of that same year. Baker pleaded guilty in 2007 to the sexual abuse of two young brothers, and was sentenced to 10 years and 4 months in prison. He was released early, in October 2011. Within weeks he was arrested on a parole violation. In August 2012 he was arrested again when caught violating parole. Two more cases against Baker were scheduled to go to trial in November 2012.

Ordained: 1974
Incardinated: Los Angeles
Defrocked: 2002

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Women as Priests

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By JUDITH LEVITT

Published: September 29, 2012

REFORMERS within the Roman Catholic Church have been calling for the ordination of women as priests. The Vatican, however, refuses to consider the possibility and uses its power to silence those who speak out. Catholic clergy in Europe, Australia and the United States who have voiced public support for female ordination have been either dismissed or threatened with removal from administrative posts within the church.

For those who disobey the prohibition, the consequences are swift and severe. In 2008, the Vatican decreed that any woman who sought ordination, or a bishop who conferred holy orders on her, would be immediately “punished with excommunication.” It went a step further in 2010, categorizing any such attempt as delicta graviora — a grave crime against the church — the same category as priests who sexually abuse children.

Despite the official church position, clergy and laity have been fighting for the ordination of women since the early 1970s, hoping to expand upon the Vatican II reforms. And according to a 2010 poll by The New York Times and CBS, 59 percent of American Catholics favor the ordination of women.

In the last 10 years the Vatican has had to contend with a particularly indomitable group of women who seem to be unaffected by excommunication or other punishment offered by the church. The movement started when seven women were ordained by three Roman Catholic bishops aboard a ship on the Danube River in 2002. The women claimed their ordinations were valid because they conformed to the doctrine of “apostolic succession.” The group that grew out of that occasion calls itself Roman Catholic Womenpriests. There are now more than 100 ordained women priests and 11 bishops.

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Trial of pope’s butler starts with setback for defense

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY | Sat Sep 29, 2012

(Reuters) – Pope Benedict’s butler, accused of using his access to the pope to steal papers that he thought would expose Vatican corruption, suffered a blow on Saturday’s first day of his trial when judges refused to admit evidence from the Church’s own investigation.

Gabriele’s arrest in May, after police found confidential documents in his apartment inside the Vatican, not only threw a spotlight on allegations of malpractice but also pointed to a power struggle at the highest levels of the Church.

The 46-year-old Paolo Gabriele, an unassuming man who served the pope his meals and helped him dress, looked pale at his first public appearance since May. He smiled as he chatted with his lawyer but often staring into space during a hearing that lasted just under two and a half hours.

His lawyer, Cristiana Arru, had asked the court to allow as evidence the results of an inquiry by a commission of three cardinals who questioned Vatican employees, including prelates, about the leaks of the documents to Italian media.

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Vatileaks: Here’s how the “holy” trial works

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Two days from the trial of former papal butler, Paolo Gabriele, experts explain the Vatican’s criminal justice system in a briefing

Alessandro Speciale
Vatican City

The trial of Benedict XVI’s former butler begins Saturday. This may be an unprecedented case, but thanks to the Vatican’s rather lenient penal code – which copies Italy’s liberal penal code of 1913. Before that, it copied the notorious Rocco code introduced by the Fascist regime – Paolo Gabriele risks quite a mild sentence.

“Between 6 months and 3 years” but “if aggravating circumstances are added to this, it could rise to 4 years,” Professor Giovanni Giacobbe, Promoter of Justice (i.e. Public Prosecutor) in the Court of Appeal of the Vatican City State, the second of three levels in the justice system of the world’s smallest State. Today Giacobbe held a briefing with journalists to explain the Vatican trial procedure.

The main difference with Italy’s current criminal justice system is that it is the judge – in this case it will be the group of three judges led by Justice Giuseppe Dalla Torre del tempio di Sanguinetto, rector of Rome’s LUMSA University – and not the prosecution and defence who conduct the debate. He will interrogate the accused (Gabriele and Claudio Sciarpelletti, a Secretariat of State computer technician, accused of aiding and abetting a crime, which entails a one year prison sentence) upon the request of the parties present.

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Former Bronx priest continues battle with New York Diocese over sexual misconduct defamation

NEW YORK
Irish Central

By
MOLLY MULDOON,
Irish Voice Reporter

Published Saturday, September 29, 2012

A former Bronx priest is suing the New York Archdiocese for libel in a landmark lawsuit, claiming sex allegations brought against him were false.

A once influential Catholic monsignor, Charles Kavanagh, was defrocked from the priesthood in 2010 for the sexual abuse of a minor, after he was convicted in a 2006 canonical trial. An appeal to a second church tribunal also found him guilty in 2010.

Last Wednesday, lawyers for Kavanagh, now 75, filed the lawsuit in Federal District Court in Manhattan, after the priest’s accuser, Daniel Donohue, told a federal judge last April that he had not been truthful about his allegations.

“No one has ever handled a case of this nature,” Kavanagh’s attorney, John Dearie, told the Irish Voice.

“The significance of this is that the person who made the allegations 30 plus years ago has retracted it, apologized to the person and has asked that the archdiocese reconsider their decision to remove him from his ministry,” Dearie said.

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Trial of Pope’s Former Butler Caps Turbulent Year for Church

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO

Published: September 29, 2012

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler, Paolo Gabriele, went on trial on Saturday on charges of stealing the pope’s confidential papers and leaking them to the press, an unprecedented security breach that set off an embarrassingly public airing of back-room intrigue and allegations of corruption at an institution known for its secrecy.

Mr. Gabriele appeared tired but serene throughout the two-hour hearing, which was held in a sparsely furnished, wood-paneled courtroom in a Vatican City palazzo behind the apse of St. Peter’s Basilica.

The morning was taken up with legal formalities, and the civil court — formed by a panel of three judges — upheld motions to strike some of the evidence gathered against Mr. Gabriele and to split off the trial of a co-defendant, a Vatican computer expert charged with aiding and abetting.

A spokesman for the Vatican, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the atmosphere in the courtroom was “serene.” Television cameras and recording equipment were not admitted, and a pool of eight reporters allowed inside briefed other journalists after the hearing.

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Judges order separate trials for papal butler, computer expert

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz and Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A Vatican tribunal determined the two suspects indicted for their parts in the VatiLeaks’ scandal should be tried separately.

During the opening session of the trial Sept. 29, the judges said the trial against Paolo Gabriele, the papal assistant charged with aggravated theft, would continue Oct. 2. A separate trial for Claudio Sciarpelletti on charges of aiding and abetting Gabriele will be scheduled at a later date, they said.

Giuseppe Dalla Torre, the presiding judge, said four more sessions “next week should be sufficient” for completing Gabriele’s trial.

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Trial of papal butler adjourned

VATICAN CITY
Aljazeera

The trial of Paolo Gabriele, a former butler to Pope Benedict XVI, has been adjourned until Tuesday.

Gabriel appeared in court on Saturday to face charges of leaking confidential Vatican memos that revealed clandestine politics among the closest aides of the Roman Catholic Pope.

Gabriele faces up to four years in prison for aggravated theft in a trial that is unprecedented in the modern history of the world’s smallest state.

The judge told the court in the city-state that he hoped to finish the hearing by the end of next week.

Gabriele said he grew disgusted by the “evil and corruption” he witnessed. He told investigators he was acting as an “agent” of the Holy Spirit to help the pope put the Roman Catholic Church back on track.

Using the codename “Maria”, he is accused of meeting Gianluigi Nuzzi, an investigative reporter, earlier this year and passing him copies of secret papers.

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Vatican court adjourns trial of ex-butler

VATICAN CITY
Deutsche Welle

A Vatican court trying the pope’s ex-butler for allegedly stealing confidential papers has adjourned its proceedings until next Tuesday. The former aide could face four years in an Italian jail.

The trial of Pope Benedict XVI’s former aide, Paolo Gabriele, opened on Saturday in a 19th century courtroom behind the apse of St Peter’s basilica which is normally off-limits to the public within the small Vatican city-state.

Gabriele did not speak at the trial opening, but is expected to testify next Tuesday. Television cameras were largely excluded from the courtroom and only eight journalists were allowed to observe proceedings throughout. They later briefed other journalists.

The court comprising three Italian law professors ruled that only evidence provided by a Vatican prosecutor and Vatican police would be admissible. The court declared that the results of a separate probe carried out by cardinals was not admissible.

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Pope secretary called to testify butler trial

VATICAN CITY
Business Recorder

Saturday, 29 September 2012 18:27
Posted by Muhammad Iqbal

VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI’s personal secretary, Georg Ganswein, will be called to testify in the trial of the pontiff’s former butler Paolo Gabriele for leaking confidential Vatican documents.

Ganswein, 56, was Gabriele’s direct superior and confronted the butler about the leaks early in May after being tipped off by the Vatican police. He has already given investigators evidence about his former charge’s conduct.

The first hearing in what is the Vatican’s biggest court drama in decades lasted just over two hours and mainly addressed preliminary legal questions, after which the court fixed the next hearing for Tuesday, October 2.

The court also accepted a request for the trial of Claudio Sciarpelletti a Vatican computer technician who is accused of abetting Gabriele’s crime to be conducted separately, though no dates were set.

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UPDATE 3-Trial of pope’s butler starts with setback for defence

VATICAN CITY
Chicago Tribune

8:36 a.m. CDT, September 29, 2012

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Pope Benedict’s butler, accused of using his access to the pope to steal papers that he thought would expose Vatican corruption, suffered a blow on the first day of his trial when judges refused to admit evidence from the Church’s own investigation.

Gabriele’ s arrest in May, after police found confidential documents in his apartment inside the Vatican, not only threw a spotlight on allegations of malpractice but also pointed to a power struggle at the highest levels of the Church.

The 46-year-old Paolo Gabriele looked pale at his first public appearance since May, smiling as he chatted with his lawyer but often staring straight into space during a hearing that lasted just under two and a half hours.

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Evidence tossed at start of papal butler’s trial

VATICAN CITY
Boston Herald

By Associated Press
Saturday, September 29, 2012

VATICAN CITY — The pope’s once-trusted butler went on trial Saturday for allegedly stealing papal documents and passing them off to a journalist in the worst security breach of the Vatican’s recent history — a case that embarrassed the Vatican and may shed some light on the discreet, internal workings of the papal household.

In its first hearing in the case, the three-judge tribunal threw out some evidence gathered during the investigation of butler Paolo Gabriele, who is charged with aggravated theft. It also decided to separate Gabriele’s trial from that of his co-defendant, a computer expert charged with aiding and abetting the crime.

Gabriele is accused of taking the pope’s correspondences, photocopying the documents and handing them off to Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, whose book “His Holiness: The secret papers of Pope Benedict XVI,” was published to great fanfare in May.

Nuzzi has said his source, code-named “Maria” in the book, wanted to shed light on the secrets of the church that were damaging it. Taken as a whole, the documents seem aimed primarily at discrediting Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state and Benedict’s longtime trusted deputy. Bertone, 77, a canon lawyer and soccer enthusiast, has frequently been criticized for perceived shortcomings in running the Vatican.

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Vatileaks: Trail of Pope’s former butler begins

VATICAN CITY
Rome Reports

[with video]

September 29, 2012. (Romereports.com) This morning, at the Pope’s former butler walked into the Vatican’s civil court room to start off his trial hearing. He faces a charge of aggravated theft, for his alleged involvement in the Vatileaks case.

The case is getting world wide attention and it’s not just because of the scandal. This also marks the first judicial process in recent history to take place inside Vatican territory. Three Italian lay judges will preside over the case and they will follow a Penal Code that was established in the 19th century.

The Pope’s butler, 46 year old Paolo Gabriele was arrested in May. He wrote a letter to the Pope where he reportedly appoligzed for his involvement in the leak of documents.

If found guilty he could face up to 4 years in prison. Along with him, a computer programmer who worked at the Vatican’s Secretariat of state, is facing a lesser charge of adding and abbeting, which could lead to a year in prison. He was not present at the trial hearing, but he was represented by his lawyer.

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Pope’s butler goes on trial over leaked documents

VATICAN CITY
The Guardian (United Kingdom)

Jo Adetunji and Tom Kington in Rome
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 29 September 2012

Benedict XVI’s former butler has gone on trial in the Vatican for stealing and leaking private documents while in the pope’s employ.

Paolo Gabriele, 46, who dressed the pope and travelled with him on public occasions, faces up to four years in jail after Vatican police discovered piles of stolen letters in his apartment, as well as gifts meant for Benedict, including a cheque for €100,000 (£80,000) and a gold nugget.

Gabriele had leaked the choicest letters to an Italian journalist, lifting the lid on accusations of kickbacks paid to win Vatican contracts, infighting among cardinals and claims the pope’s secretary of state started rumours of homosexuality against a hostile newspaper editor.

Placed under custody in a secure room at the Vatican, the father of three confessed but claimed he was an agent of the Holy Spirit, seeking to expose and root out the “evil and corruption”. An expert appointed by his lawyer suggested Gabriele was a victim of “restlessness, tension, rage and frustration”.

Gabriele’s case is being heard by three lay judges within the Vatican’s wood-panelled court and is likely to shed light on the secret world within the world’s smallest state. It is being held on a Saturday, because it is when the judges, who work in Italy’s court system, have a free day.

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Pope Benedict’s former butler goes on trial

VATICAN CITY
Yahoo! News UK

The chosen few are taken to a Vatican courtroom under tight security.

Eight journalists are permitted to attend the trial of the Pope’s former butler, Paolo Gabriele, in one of the more embarrassing episodes in recent Vatican history.

Once one of the Pope’s most trusted of aides, he says he wanted to clean up corruption in the Roman Catholic Church.

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Former papal butler to be tried on police evidence

VATICAN CITY
RTE News

The court trying Pope Benedict’s former butler on charges of aggravated theft has ruled that the results of a separate investigation carried out by cardinals will not be admitted as trial evidence.

The court rejected a defence request to include the cardinals’ inquiry on the first morning of Paolo Gabriele’s trial.

Mr Gabriele is charged with stealing and leaking sensitive papal documents alleging corruption in the Vatican.

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Pope’s butler goes on trial

VATICAN CITY
Buenos Aires Herald

Pope Benedict’s former butler went on trial on Saturday for using his intimate access to the pope’s desk to steal and leak explosive documents in what he said was an attempt to clean up corruption in the Vatican.

The 46-year-old Paolo Gabriele, who served the pope his meals and helped him dress, was being tried along with a Vatican computer expert in the city state’s little-used tribunal, a small, wood-panelled room with a papal emblem on its ceiling.

Gabriele was arrested in May after police found confidential documents in his apartment inside the Vatican, throwing a global media spotlight on an institution battling to defend its reputation from allegations of graft.

A three-judge panel will decide the fate of Gabriele, whom the pope used to call “Paoletto” (little Paul), now described in Vatican documents as “the defendant”.

The self-styled whistle-blower, who says he was trying to expose graft at the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, is charged with aggravated theft for stealing and leaking the pontiff’s personal papers, and could be jailed for four years.

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Trial starts of Paulo Gabriele, Vatican’s former butler

VATICAN CITY
The Telegraph (United Kingdom)

Vatican gendarmes investigating the theft of compromising documents by the Pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, took away 82 boxes of material during searches of his apartment and other addresses, the first day of his trial heard on Saturday.

By Nick Squires, Vatican City
1:18PM BST 29 Sep 2012

In one of the biggest scandals to shake the seven-year papacy of Benedict XVI, Gabriele is accused of the “aggravated theft” of confidential papers, some of which were taken from the desk of the Pope himself.

In an indication of the scale of the alleged thefts, the court heard that some 82 cases of documents were taken away during searches conducted at Gabriele’s grace-and-favour apartment and also at the Pope’s summer residence, the Castel Gandolfo.

Gabriele, wearing a light grey suit and looking pale but smiling often, did not speak at the first session.

The trial was adjourned until Tuesday, when he will be questioned. The trial heard that a total of 13 people had been listed to appear as witnesses, including the Pope’s private secretary, the deputy head of the Vatican’s Swiss Guards, and the head of the Vatican Gendarmerie.

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Pope’s butler’s trial adjourned

VATICAN CITY
Irish Examiner

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Vatican judge has adjourned the trial of the Pope’s former butler, who is accused of giving stolen letters to a journalist.

Paolo Gabriele faces up to four years in prison if convicted of aggravated theft.

He has said he wanted to expose what he calls “evil and corruption” in the church.

The case – which began this morning – will continue on Tuesday.

Father John Wauck, who is in Rome, said the attention on the case was frustrating.

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New Bedford council wants to meet with bishop over St. John’s closing

NEW BEDFORD (MA)
South Coast Today

By NATALIE SHERMAN
nsherman@s-t.com

September 29, 2012

NEW BEDFORD — City councilors have upped the pressure on the Fall River diocese to reverse its decision to close historic St. John the Baptist Church, requesting a meeting with the bishop and faulting the parish priest for not fighting on behalf of the parishioners.

“You know what could really strengthen this whole thing is if we had a priest who would stand up for the church, for the parishioners,” At-Large Councilor Brian Gomes said at the City Council meeting Thursday night. “Tonight I put Father Jack on the line.”

The Rev. John J. Oliveira, who is pastor of both St. John the Baptist and Our Lady of Mount Carmel churches, where St. John’s parishioners will attend, has deferred requests for comment to the diocese.

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David Clohessy

UNITED STATES
Culture Shocks

Since the news broke last year of alleged sexual abuse of minors by Penn State University ex-Iassistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, the likeness with the clerical sexual abuse cases in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have been apparent. David Clohessy of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests talks about those similarities.

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Vatican court rejects some butler trial evidence

VATICAN CITY
WPVI

NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) – September 29, 2012 (WPVI) — A Vatican tribunal has thrown out some evidence gathered in the investigation of the pope’s butler, who is accused of stealing the pope’s papers and passing them off to a journalist in the worst security breach in the Vatican’s recent history.

The court also decided Saturday during the first hearing of the case to separate the trial of the butler, Paolo Gabriele, and that of his co-defendant, a Vatican computer expert.

Gabriele faces up to four years in prison if he is convicted of aggravated theft. He has already confessed, saying he leaked the documents to shed light on what he called the “evil and corruption” in the church, and asked to be pardoned by the pope.

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Alleged victims tell ‘Dr. Phil’ of abuse by Jerry Sandusky and pedophile ring invol

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

By Christian Red / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Friday, September 28, 2012

Travis Weaver said he found himself “pinned on the bed” of a Philadelphia hotel room held down by former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky after the 14-year-old had come out of the shower.

“I told (Sandusky) I was going to call the cops. He just laughed at me,” Weaver said on the “Dr. Phil” TV program Friday. “(Sandusky) told me no one was ever going to believe me over him. I was scared. I believed him.”

Weaver’s graphic account of the abuse he says he suffered at the hands of Sandusky was part of his interview with Dr. Phil McGraw Friday. Weaver appeared alongside Greg Bucceroni, a Philadelphia native who has said in several interviews with the Daily News that he was sexually abused by now-deceased Philly businessman Ed Savitz during the late ’70s. Weaver first went public with his story in June — shortly before Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of sex abuse of minors.

Bucceroni told The News in July that he met Sandusky at a Second Mile fund-raiser in 1979, two years after Sandusky had founded the organization. Earlier this month, Bucceroni sent emails to Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn claiming that the school’s late football coach, Phil Foglietta, paid him to have sex with him in 1979, and that Foglietta was part of a pedophile ring that included Savitz and Sandusky.

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Man arrested in child porn case volunteered with church kids

TEXAS
Victoria Advocate

Caty Hirst
Originally published September 28, 2012

The Victoria man arrested on child pornography charges Thursday was a volunteer with the children’s ministry at Faith Family Church.

Officers arrested Joshua Almeida, 32, of Victoria, about 9:20 p.m. and charged him with possession of child pornography with intent to distribute.

Stephanie Petrash has been going to Faith Family Church with Almeida for about 15 years. She also volunteers with him in the children’s department.

Petrash said she has never seen Almeida try to be alone with children or witnessed children acting uncomfortable around him.

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Members of group for priest abuse survivors air concerns to Fall River Diocese

FALL RIVER (MA)
Herald News

By Marc Munroe Dion
Herald News Staff Reporter

FALL RIVER —

Two members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, Peter Pollard and David O’Regan, came to the city Friday to stand outside the bishop’s residence and talk to Diocesan Spokesman John Kearns about what the two originally said was a form sent home with students in diocesan Catholic schools relieving the diocese from responsibility if students are abused.

Kearns denied the allegation, saying the form, designed without the knowledge of the diocese, was sent home by Our Lady of Victory in Centerville and pertained only to a Faith Formation Program held by the church for people of all ages.

“It was not a universal form,” Kearns said. “We didn’t know they were using it.”

Kearns said the form is no longer in use.

“The Faith Formation Program involves a gathering three or four times a year,” Kearns said. “There’s a meal and then they break up into discussion groups.

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Burke may be the face of Catholic conservatism

VATICAN CITY
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By DAVID GIBSON • Religion News Service

VATICAN CITY • When some American Catholics worry that the hierarchy is tilting toward the Republican Party, or taking the church back to the 19th century (or earlier), they often point to Cardinal Raymond Burke as Exhibit A.

That’s understandable, because love him or loathe him — and few are on the fence — Burke’s many pronouncements on politics and the culture wars have given both fans and critics plenty of ammunition for their respective views.

Back when he was archbishop of St. Louis in 2004, for instance, Burke touched off a fierce debate by declaring that Catholic politicians such as John Kerry who support abortion rights should be denied Communion.

Voters who supported them were in grave peril, too, he added. He later said former New York Mayor Rudy Guliani, a Republican, who was running for president and supported abortion rights, should also be denied Communion. …

Another of his U.S. protégés, Bishop Robert Finn of Missouri, was found guilty in September of covering up for a priest suspected of child abuse — the first bishop ever convicted in the long history of the clergy abuse scandal. When asked to comment about Finn at a September meeting with journalists, Burke demurred. “It wouldn’t be proper,” he said.

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Philippine ivory probe team blocked from church

PHILIPPINES
Asia One (Singapore)

AFP
Saturday, Sep 29, 2012

MANILA – Philippine authorities looking for religious statues made from “blood” ivory were prevented from entering a church where the banned items were allegedly kept, a government investigator said Saturday.

A joint team from the Justice Department’s investigation bureau and the Environment Department were denied entry to the Shrine of the Black Nazarene in the central island of Cebu when they visited on Friday, a member said.

Security guards at the shrine, set up by a priest allegedly linked to the illegal smuggling of ivory, told investigators they would have to speak to the priest’s lawyers first, said Eddie Llamedo, an Environment Department spokesman.

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Charismatic group rallies behind sacked ‘ivory’ priest

PHILIPPINES
Inquirer

By Connie E. Fernandez
Inquirer Visayas
6:07 am | Friday, September 28th, 2012

CEBU CITY—Embattled Msgr. Cristobal Garcia can find strength in a Catholic charismatic group that has been under his spiritual guidance for the last 20 years.

Members of the Bukas Loob sa Diyos (BLD) have been holding vigils and synchronized prayer brigades for Garcia since Wednesday after the monsignor has been linked to the illegal smuggling of ivory by the National Geographic magazine October cover story “Ivory Worship.”

The vigils and prayers at the Vicente Sotto School of Nursing building on Osmeña Boulevard here would continue even after the BLD members have been informed of the reason behind Garcia’s removal as their spiritual director.

Garcia was suspended and stripped of his positions at the Cebu Archdiocese on orders of the Vatican pending the Holy See’s investigation of charges of child abuse for allegedly molesting two altar boys in the United States 20 years ago.

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Teacher will not fight extradition

UNITED KINGDOM
Wales Online

Teacher Jeremy Forrest who went missing with his teenage pupil Megan Stammers will not fight extradition proceedings against him and has agreed to return to the UK “as soon as possible”, his lawyers say.

The 30-year-old was arrested on suspicion of child abduction after the pair were found in the French town of Bordeaux on Thursday.

Phil Smith, from Tuckers Solicitors, said in a statement: “He has agreed to return to the UK as soon as possible without the need for protracted extradition proceedings.”

Fifteen-year-old Megan is expected to travel back to her hometown of Eastbourne, East Sussex, more than a week after she went missing with her 30-year-old teacher.

Forrest, Megan’s maths teacher at Bishop Bell C of E School, in Eastbourne, remains in police custody in France.

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Pope’s butler goes on trial for leaking Vatican documents

VATICAN CITY
Channel 4 News

The former butler of Pope Benedict XVI goes on trial today in relation to the leaking of sensitive Vatican documents to the media.

Paolo Gabriele (pictured bottom left) is charged with the aggravated theft of hundreds of documents which alleged corruption in the Vatican’s dealings with Italian companies, and detailed power struggles between cardinals.

Mr Gabriele, who was arrested in May and is currently under house arrest, explained his actions by saying there was “evil and corruption everywhere in the Church” and that “a shock, perhaps by using the media, could be a healthy thing to bring the Church back on the right track.”

Many of the stolen documents appeared in the book His Holiness: Pope Benedict XVI’s secret papers by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi. Despite originally denying the theft, Gabriele later confessed to passing the documents to Mr Nuzzi.

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Paolo Gabriele: What the Pope’s butler saw

VATICAN CITY
The Independent (United Kingdom)

Michael Day
Saturday 29 September 2012

Rarely if ever in recent history can one person be said to have played so many roles in a single court case. The individual in question is Pope Benedict XVI, who will be the supreme judge, the victim, and according to the accused, the intended beneficiary in the Vatican leaks trial that begins this morning at the Holy See.

Benedict’s former butler, 46-year-old father-of-three Paolo Gabriele, is accused of stealing sensitive documents and passing them on to a journalist whose subsequent book and TV programmes appeared to lift the lid on tawdry back-stabbing and corruption at the Vatican.

Today’s trial will take place in the Vatican courtroom, employing a 19th-century penal code in place in Italy when the Vatican state came into being. The Pontiff himself will not be present. But a panel of three judges, headed by Giuseppe Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, has the power to send Mr Gabriele to an Italian prison for four years if the accused is found guilty of aggravated theft. The only other person on trial is Claudio Sciarpelletti, a 48-year-old Vatican computer expert, who faces charges of having helped Mr Gabriele.

Reinforcing Vatican claims that Mr Gabriele was a light-fingered rogue employee are the additional charges that he stole gifts intended for the Pontiff including a gold nugget, a 16th-century copy of The Aeneid and a cheque made out to Benedict for €100,000. Before his arrest, however, on 23 May this year, Mr Gabriele, with his face hidden from the camera, told the reporter Gianluigi Nuzzi that there were “at least” another active 20 whistle-blowers at the Vatican seeking to expose corruption.

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Hope Project Gets Donations

UNITED KINGDOM
Blackburn News

The Diocese of London is supporting the Silence of Hope project with a donation of $80,000.

The project offers services to survivors of male sexual abuse in Windsor, Chatham, Sarnia and London.

Project Coordinator Tom Wilken says the Diocese is currently their only funder. “We started way back six years ago where they funded us $30,000 a year and that steadily grew until it steadily grew to $80,000.”

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Kentucky churches confront several cases of sex abuse by church leaders

KENTUCKY
Herald-Leader

By Valarie Honeycutt Spears — vhoneycutt@herald-leader.com

On the Sunday that followed the arrest of a former youth leader on sex-related charges, the lead pastor at Southland Christian Church addressed the issue with the congregation.

Chris Hahn, the lead executive pastor, said Southland Pastor Jon Weece talked about the “sadness we feel over what’s gone on in the last week.” During the sermon Sunday, Weece reminded the church of Southland’s procedures for hiring employees and accepting volunteers, Hahn said.

Jonathan David Hall, 29, of Danville is accused of sending sexual emails and text messages to a 15-year-old girl he met through church. Hall, who was released from his role as a youth leader at Southland Christian Church’s Danville campus, was arrested Sept. 18. He faces charges of unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sex.

Hall’s case is the most recent example of a persistent problem at churches in Kentucky and across the nation, officials said.

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NJ – SNAP responds to arrest of former PA Boy Scout leader

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on September 28, 2012

It is ironic that, mere days after a report is released that lauds the new policies the BSA has adopted to prevent abuse, another Scout leader is arrested on child porn charges. The fact that cases like these continue to pop up is why we constantly push for action from the outside as opposed to policy reform from within.

The fact that the police have uncovered chat logs that show Gerrett Conover abused a boy for at least seven years while he was a scout leader is disturbing. We urge scouting officials in Valley Forge, PA to reach out to all those where who in scouting at the same time as Conover and urge those who may have seen or suspected his crimes to come forward to police.

Given the evidence uncovered by police, it is difficult to believe that Conover has only ever abused one child. We find it difficult to believe that there were no warning signs that Conover was disturbed, and are interested to see what the response from Scouting officials will be on this situation. We hope it is more honest than their most recent press move.

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Víctima de Karadima declara en juicio contra sacerdota curicano acusado de abuso sexual

CHILE
Bio Bio

Publicado por Javier Cisterna | La Información es de Luis Cabello

José Andrés Murillo, víctima del Fernando Karadima, declaré en el juicio oral que se sigue en contra del sacerdote curicano acusado de presunto abuso sexual, Francisco Cartes.

El profesional, uno de los primeros en denunciar al párroco de El Bosque en 2003, se presentó a la instancia producto de su contacto y conocimiento de una de las presuntas víctimas.

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Coach on leave after Murphy, archdiocese confer

WASHINGTON
HeraldNet

By Aaron Swaney, Herald Writer

EVERETT — The interim head football coach at Archbishop Murphy High School agreed to be placed on paid administrative leave while officials explore issues raised about his hiring, the school announced Friday.

The move came after school officials consulted with the Archdiocese of Seattle about information regarding Michael Allison’s teaching career in Oregon, which ended after he stipulated to an inappropriate relationship with a female student.

Allison was hired by Archbishop Murphy to be a physical education teacher. He was named football coach earlier this week.

“Mr. Allison agreed to voluntary paid administrative leave to give the school time for a review of the issues that have been raised in media accounts,” Greg Magnoni, director of communications for the Archdiocese, said in an email. “He denies the allegations and feels that by stepping back it will give the school administration an opportunity to resolve the matter and move on.”

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Letter From the President: University sends letter regarding Farrington

CALIFORNIA
Loyolan

Dear LMU Community:

I write to you in light of recent media reports that have highlighted credible sexual abuse allegations against Brother William Farrington, S.J. While the alleged abuse did not occur at LMU, Brother Farrington is a former member of LMU’s staff and Jesuit community. Several efforts are being undertaken to assure you of our unwavering commitment to a safe and healthy environment for all, as well as to gather additional information.

The alleged abuse occurred when Brother Farrington worked at two Jesuit high schools in Northern California. This was prior to his 1987-2002 tenure at LMU, during which time he worked in the Admissions Office and lived in the Jesuit community. To the best of our knowledge, when the Jesuits assigned him to LMU in 1987, the University was not informed of any past allegations, issues or limitations respecting Brother Farrington.

Furthermore, we are not aware of any allegation of improper conduct on the part of Brother Farrington during the 15 years he worked at LMU. Nonetheless, in 2002, his Jesuit provincial assigned him to the Jesuit Retirement Community in Los Gatos, California, following a complaint made to the provincial of the California Province by one of the alleged Northern California victims. The focus of the complaint had nothing to do with Brother Farrington’s conduct at LMU.

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*EXCLUSIVE w/ COURT DOCS* After SNAP Flouts Repeated Court Orders to Turn Over Documents, Lawyers Forced to File For Contempt Citation

MISSOURI
TheMediaReport

Dave Pierre

Since David Clohessy, the National Director of SNAP, has repeatedly flaunted judges’ orders to produce documents related to an important Missouri abuse case, lawyers for an accused Catholic priest have requested that the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, hold SNAP and Clohessy “in contempt of Court.”

[Click to read the court documents]

Lawyers for the accused priest have repeatedly requested that SNAP and Clohessy produce documents that they possess related to cases involving the discredited theory of “repressed memory,” as the bogus theory plays an important role in their current case.

After displaying a timeline of events supporting their motion, the lawyers add that SNAP and Clohessy have repeatedly sought writs in the Missouri Court of Appeals and Supreme Court to oppose court orders and have repeatedly been denied. The lawyers then declare, “SNAP and Clohessy have failed to comply with every Court-ordered deadline for discovery.”

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3 allege Nacogdoches priest sexually abused them 35 years ago

TEXAS
KTRE

By Jeff Awtrey

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) –
Three former Nacogdoches residents are suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont over allegations that they were sexually abused as teenagers 35 years ago by a priest who died in 1996.

The three men, listed in the complaint as John Doe 104, John Doe 105 and John Doe 106, say Father Ronald W. Bollich used to provide them alcohol while they were between the ages of 13 and 15 and touch them inappropriately and even have them give him oral sex.

The lawsuit, filed in Jefferson County District Court, provides details into several instances of sexual assault and Bollich’s relationship with the boys between 1976 and 1977.

The plaintiffs’ attorney, Tahira Khan Merritt, who is out of Dallas, specializes in sexual abuse cases and is asking that anyone who has pertinent information about Bollich when he was assigned to Sacred Heart Parish to come forward and report the abuse.

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Boy Scout leader faces child porn charges

NEW JERSEY
KSN

[with video]

WOOLWICH, New Jersey (NBC) — A former Pennsylvania Boy Scout leader in jail, accused of child pornography.

Federal investigators say they also found conversations on Gerrett Conover’s home computer that led them to believe Conover may have also had an inappropriate relationship with a young scout.

From 1999 to 2001, Conover was a leader of Troop 284 in Radnor, according to the Boy Scouts of America organization based in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

The troop met at the Wayne Presbyterian Church.

According to the statement from federal investigators, in addition to pornographic images found on Conover’s computer, they also, uncovered was an additional Internet chat in which Conover acknowledged having a long-term relationship with a boy while the boy was 10 to 17 years of age.

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Palma declines comment on Msgr. Garcia

PHILIPPINES
Sun.Star

By Bernadette A. Parco

Saturday, September 29, 2012

CEBU Archbishop Jose Palma has declined to comment further on the issues involving a Cebuano priest who is facing probes in relation to a child abuse case and alleged involvement in illicit ivory trade.

He explained to Sun.Star Cebu that this is to give due respect to the legal and church procedures involved in such cases.

Despite the church’s silence and after the announcement that separate investigations are conducted by church and government agencies, statements of support continue to pour for Msgr. Cristobal Garcia.

The former Archdiocesan Commission on Worship chairman was also the business manager of the archdiocesan newsletter, founder of the Society of the Angels of Peace and the spiritual director of World Apostolate of Fatima or WAF and Bukas Loob sa Diyos (BLD).

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MA – SNAP statement on secrecy in the Fall River diocese

FALL RIVER (MA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David O’Regan on September 28, 2012

We’re here today for 3 reasons. First, we want to urge everyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Fall River area to come forward and to call police, expose wrongdoing, protect others and start healing. When victims, witnesses and whistleblowers stay silent, predators walk free and kids get hurt. But when we find the courage and strength to step forward, at least there’s a chance for healing, justice and prevention.

It is almost always possible to recover from childhood trauma. It is sometimes possible to get justice in the civil and criminal courts. And it’s sometimes possible to prevent future child sex crimes and cover ups.

But staying silent isn’t the way to do this. This can only happen when victims speak up.

Second, we want Fall River’s bishop to take three steps regarding the self-serving and callous waiver that parents were given to sign – at one local parish, possibly more – relieving Catholic Church and school officials of responsibility for harm to kids.

The bishop should

–discipline the persons responsible for it.
–explain how this happened.
–promise, in writing, that he won’t use that waiver again.

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When Bishops Are Held Accountable

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Catholic Moral Theology

By: Julie Rubio

A few weeks ago, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, MO became the first U.S. bishop to be held accountable for the child abuse by priests. Though I regret the lateness of this post, I did not think that this event should go by without comment from our blog. In the New York Times, John Eligon and Laurie Goodstein reported:

“The case began when the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, a charismatic parish priest who had previously attracted attention for inappropriate behavior with children, took his laptop computer in for repairs in December 2010. A technician immediately told church officials that the laptop contained what appeared to be pornographic photographs of young girls’ genitals, naked and clothed.

Father Ratigan attempted suicide, survived and was sent for treatment. Bishop Finn reassigned him to live in a convent and ordered him stay away from children. But Father Ratigan continued to attend church events and take lewd pictures of girls for five more months, until church officials reported him in May 2011, without Bishop Finn’s approval. The bishop was found guilty on the charge relating only to that time period.”

According to the same article, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests was happy to finally see a conviction of a bishop, but remains convinced that only jail time will bring about lasting change.

Perhaps many Catholics see the group’s demands as extreme, especially since significant attempts to correct the problem have been made in recent years. However, as Frank Bruni points out, “the case of Father Ratigan postdates all of that — by many, many years. It suggests the tenacity of willful ignorance and deliberate evasion, even when the price is nothing less than the ravaged psyches of vulnerable children.” It’s not over, not by a long shot.

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AP IMPACT: Tragedy meant big money for NY minister

NEW YORK
The Associated Press

By BRETT J. BLACKLEDGE, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Before the Sept. 11 attacks, the Rev. Carl Keyes was a little-known pastor of a small New York City congregation searching for members and money.

When the twin towers fell, his fortunes changed.

Donors poured $2.5 million into the minister’s charity to help 9/11 victims. More opportunities to raise relief money would come later, with at least another $2.3 million collected for efforts along the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast, in the poorest corners of West Virginia and Tennessee, and even in remote African villages.

Tens of millions more flowed through his fingers from the sale of church properties.

But Keyes, a one-time construction worker, did more than help the needy with the millions donated — he helped himself.

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Christian growth in the heart of Islam; Kazakhstan; and the butler’s trial

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Sep. 28, 2012 All Things Catholic …

Tomorrow, the Vatican’s “trial of the century” begins. Paolo Gabriele, the 46-year-old former butler to Pope Benedict XVI, is charged with aggravated theft for allegedly being the mole at the heart of the Vatileaks scandal. (Also on trial is another former lay Vatican employee, Claudio Sciarpelletti, who faces a more minor charge.)

Italian news agencies are reporting that among the potential witnesses are Msgr. Georg Gänswein, the pope’s personal secretary, and the four consecrated women belonging to Memores Domini, part of the Communion and Liberation movement, who make up Benedict’s private household. They were interviewed during the preliminary investigation, and it will apparently be up to both the prosecution and the defense to decide whether they’re called to testify during the trial itself.

The $64,000 question, of course, is whether others were involved in the leaks, and if so, who are they? Whether the trial will deliver a convincing answer remains to be seen, but based on conversations with colleagues during Benedict’s recent trip to Lebanon, it seems clear that most of the world’s vaticanisti (for sure, the Italians) are convinced that the Gabriele trial — not the Synod of Bishops for the New Evangelization, not the “Year of Faith” or anything else — is destined to be this fall’s blockbuster Vatican story.

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Bishop Bell will try to welcome Megan back to school

UNITED KINGDOM
Eastbourne Herald

Published on Friday 28 September 2012

Bishop Bell is hoping to welcome back Megan Stammers after the teenager, who ran way with her maths teacher, was found safe and well in France.

The 15-year-old has been taken into protection and her maths teacher, 30-year-old Forrest, has been arrested on suspicion of child abduction.

The pair, who ran away together nine days ago, were found hand in hand in Bordeaux at around lunchtime today (Friday).

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Cebu sources feel betrayed by writer of NatGeo story

PHILIPPINES
Inquirer

By Connie E. Fernandez
Inquirer Visayas
1:31 am | Saturday, September 29th, 2012

CEBU CITY—Heritage experts and conservationists cooperated with National Geographic writer Bryan Christy when he told them that he was writing about Cebu’s devotion to the Holy Child Jesus.

But they felt betrayed after they had read Christy’s article online linking the veneration of the Sto. Niño to the killing of elephants for their tusks, one of the sources of ivory.

“If we knew [that he was writing about ivory icons], we would not have cooperated with him,” said Trizer Dale Mansueto, a Cebu-based historian involved in heritage conservation.

“We cooperated because we thought the story was about the devotion,” he said. “He never mentioned that he was writing about ivory.”

Christy sent Mansueto an e-mail on Sept. 25, explaining that he did not seek to call attention to ivory smuggling in the Philippines, but to make readers think about the many kinds of devotion, including to wildlife.

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United States: liberal reform of Catholic Church spawning new religious movements

UNITED STATES
Religioscope

Richard Cimino – Religion Watch
28 Sep 2012

The effort to reform the Catholic Church along liberal lines may result less in changing the church than in generating new movements and churches completely outside of official Catholicism. That is one of the conclusions of the new book Underground Church (Brill), by sociologist Kathleen Kautzer of Regis College in Massachusetts.

The book provides a rare and comprehensive examination of liberal and radical Catholic groups and movements in the U.S. The book is based on extensive fieldwork among such reformist groups as Corpus (consisting of former priests), Dignity (gay Catholics), Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC), and Voice of the Faithful (a group that formed over the priest sex abuse crisis in the American church), as well as more radical groups that have made a complete break with the church (such as schismatic parishes and some feminist groups).

In tracing the histories of these groups, Kautzer notes how they have gradually evolved from optimistic efforts of reform of the church based on a liberal interpretation and appropriation of Vatican II to a far more contentious and eventually pessimistic stance regarding the possibility of significant change in the church. Of course, the level of demands for liberal reform vary with each group. The author shows that the Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), the most moderate of the groups she studied, was able to exert pressure on dioceses and other church structures to make some policy changes, at least on the pressing issue of clergy sex abuse.

The abuse issue had given the reform movement a “second wind,” but groups such VOTF were “dealt a fatal blow,” when Pope Benedict XVI became more active in addressing issues related to the crisis and meeting with victims. In other words, the issue that had galvanized reform groups (and given them a good deal of publicity) was co-opted by the mainstream church, making their activism less necessary.

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

Can the Vatican Survive the Age of Digital Media?

VATICAN CITY
The Atlantic

Alexander Stille

Sep 28 2012

Some institutions may not adapt to 21st-century radical transparency. The papacy’s turn to inflammatory rhetoric while hit by a series of damaging leaks suggests that it’s struggling.

Strange things have been happening at the Vatican this year. Beginning in January, documents written by high-level figures in the Catholic Church began finding their way into the Italian press, many of the letters to the pope denouncing instances of corruption and complaining about the direction and management of the Church.

When a book full of leaked documents, Sua Santità (His Holiness), was published in late May, the Vatican took the extraordinary step of arresting the pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, a humble but trusted member of the papal household, and announced that officials had found numerous papal documents at Gabriele’s apartment within the Vatican. At the same time, the Vatican Bank, under investigation for money laundering (charges the Vatican denies), fired its president, a respected Catholic banker, listing among the reasons for his dismissal allegations that sounded a lot like leaking: “Failure to provide any formal explanation for the dissemination of documents last known to be in the President’s possession.” Immediately after his firing, the former bank president hired his own bodyguard service and wrote a private memorandum to the pope, which he wished to disseminate “in case something should happen to him.”

Power struggles and scandal are nothing new in the Vatican. Pope Alexander VI, for one, was accused of poisoning his enemies and sleeping with his daughter, the infamous Lucrezia Borgia. But until now the pope had been able to count on the loyalty and discretion of his inner circle and a hermetically sealed culture of silence, discretion, and secrecy that has often been compared with that of the Kremlin at the height of Soviet power. Now the last and most ancient of the world’s absolute monarchies is suddenly in the fishbowl culture of the 21st century, where the most-trivial and the most-important details alike become transparent.

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Sexual Abuse in the Church: Characteristics of Abusers,and Protecting the Flock

UNITED STATES
BeyondOpinion.com:: Christian Apologetics Ministry

Posted on September 27, 2012 by Mark Webster

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
(1 John 2:1-6 ESV)

Here are excerpts and links to some very important articles dealing with sexual abuse in churches. If you attend a church please read and see if any of the advice can be implemented where you attend. It is discouraging to see how sexual predators get away with multiple offenses when fellow church members,deacons,and elders should be spotting their aberrant behavior. Ignorance is not bliss.

Here is an excerpt to an article dealing with the profile of a religious leader who is a predator –

What are the characteristics of the ministers, pastors, priests, rabbis and other clergy responsible for sexually abusing just over three percent of women who regularly attend religious services?

The perpetrators of this pervasive adult sexual abuse are likely to be charming, even charismatic and apparently self-assured while actually driven by an unquenchable need for attention, affection, admiration and control.

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Cumbrian vicar’s sex abuse was hidden by church

UNITED KINGDOM
in-cumbria

By Nick Griffiths and Pam McClounie

Last updated at 14:22, Friday, 28 September 2012

Church leaders didn’t tell police about claims of child abuse against a cathedral canon because they thought he wouldn’t do it again.

Instead of alerting authorities to the allegations made against the Rev Ronald Johns they moved him from his post in Carlisle to Caldbeck.

The Diocese of Carlisle has admitted that it “mishandled” the situation surrounding the perverted clergyman after he pleaded guilty to a string of sex crimes.

Johns, now 75, committed the offences against three boys over an eight-year period.

At Carlisle Crown Court, he admitted 10 offences committed between 1983 and 1991. He will be sentenced for them in November.

Speaking after yesterday’s hearing, diocese spokesman Richard Pratt, the Archdeacon of west Cumbria, apologised.

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

Fugitive British schoolgirl, teacher found in France

UNITED KINGDOM
AFP

By Laurent Abadie (AFP)

BORDEAUX, France — A British schoolgirl and her married maths teacher, who triggered a Europe-wide hunt after running away together a week ago, were found Friday by police as they strolled in a southwestern French city.

The teacher, Jeremy Forrest, 30, was arrested and placed in custody in Bordeaux’s central police station, while Megan Stammers, 15, was under police protection, officials said.

“The couple were found on a public street in the centre of Bordeaux,” a spokesman said, adding that Stammers was in good health and would be reunited with her family “as soon as possible”.

The pair were located thanks to “credible testimony given 48 hours ago, which did not come from the couple’s entourage,” the prosecutor’s office said.

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Megan Stammers found ‘safe and well’ in Bordeaux

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Megan Stammers, the Eastbourne schoolgirl who went missing with her maths teacher, Jeremy Forrest, has been found ‘safe and well’ in Bordeaux, France.

Mr Forrest, 30, has been arrested on suspicion of child abduction, and Megan, who is 15, has been ‘taken into protection’.

The couple hadn’t been seen since they boarded a cross-channel ferry on 20 September.

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

Megan Stammers and Jeremy Forrest found in Bordeaux

UNITED KINGDOM/FRANCE
The Guardian

Robert Booth and Kim Willsher in Paris
guardian.co.uk, Friday 28 September 2012

The missing schoolgirl Megan Stammers and her teacher Jeremy Forrest have been found in the French City of Bordeaux.

The 15-year-old, who went missing on 20 September and was last seen on a ferry to France with her 30-year-old maths teacher, has been taken into protection.

According to French authorities the pair were stopped by police on the main high street running through the centre of Bordeaux called Rue Sainte-Catherine at 1.15pm French time on Friday. According to another police source quoted by the French press, they were on their way to a job interview.

Forrest has been arrested on suspicion of child abduction. He had been the subject of an European arrest warrant and the international police search involved Sussex police working with Interpol.

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

Bishops’ Accountability

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

The case that led to the conviction of Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph on a misdemeanor count for failing to report suspected child abuse is a grim one. The Rev. Shawn Ratigan, a parish priest who had been previously suspected of inappropriate behavior around children, downloaded pornographic photos of young girls onto h is laptop and created some himself, which was discovered when he brought his computer in for repair. Several people tried to alert the bishop to this and other incidents, but, as The New York Times reported, Bishop Finn resisted removing him from ministry in order to, as he told some priests, “save Father Ratigan’s priesthood.”

The U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” adopted in 2002, outlines the default response when a credible accusation is made about sexual abuse involving a priest. The details are reported to the police, and the priest is removed from ministry while an investigation takes place. If found guilty, he is removed permanently and is, in some cases, laicized. But what happens when his supervising bishop is found guilty of negligence or malfeasance? Catholics may wonder who determines whether the bishop will be removed, whether and how he is punished or does penance and whether the U.S. bishops’ conference or the papal nuncio has any say. So far it seems that any response is left up to the offending bishop himself. The initial response from Bishop Finn’s diocese was a statement saying he “looks forward to continuing to perform his duties.” But he may be unable to perform those duties if he is under a cloud. As there are clear directives regarding a priest (or a deacon, brother or sister) who has committed a crime related to sexual abuse, there must be equally clear directives about their bishops.

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

Catholic Magazine Calls Church out on Sexual Abuse Response

UNITED STATES
Nonprofit Quarterly

Written by Rick Cohen Created on Friday, 28 September 2012 13:20 .

October 1, 2012; Source: America

America, the national Catholic weekly magazine, has an editorial in its current edition that warrants attention from the nonprofit sector. The America editors draw a comparison between the sad and inadequate efforts of the United States to escape its responsibility for the use of torture (during military conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and—to our surprise—Libya, back when the Qaddafi regime was a purported U.S. ally) with the efforts of some Catholic bishops to sidestep responsibility for dealing with sexual abuse perpetrated by the priests they supervise.

The U.S. Bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” instructs supervisors about how to deal with credible accusations of a priest sexual abuse, which includes reporting the information to the police, removing the priest while investigations are going on, dismissing the priest permanently if he is found guilty, and sometimes defrocking or laicizing the guilty party. America asks, in light of the conviction of Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn, “what happens when [the priest’s] supervising bishop is found guilty of negligence or malfeasance?”

Bishop Finn has been convicted of a misdemeanor for failing to report the suspected child abuse of Rev. Shawn Ratigan, a parish priest who had been charged with inappropriate behavior around kids and was then shown to have downloaded pornographic pictures of girls onto his computer laptop (revealed when he brought the laptop in for repairs). Finn reportedly resisted taking action on reports about Ratigan’s behavior, according to America, so that he might, as he allegedly told colleagues, “save Father Ratigan’s priesthood.” While the bishops seem to have a regime in place for dealing with future Ratigans, America suggests that the problem of punishing or removing a recalcitrant bishop like Finn “is left up to the offending bishop himself,” which basically means no punitive action. Although Finn has been convicted, the diocese has no plans for dismissing him and actually issued a statement that Finn looks forward to returning to his duties as a bishop.

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

Episcopal Church finances

UNITED STATES
Virtue Online

by George Clifford
Episcopal Cafe

Sept. 28, 2012

The Economist recently featured a scathing indictment of how the Roman Catholic Church manages its finances (“Earthly Concerns,” pp. 19-23, August 18, 2012). Settlements in child abuse cases totaling $3.3 billion over the last 15 years, which have averaged more than $1 million per case, and the bankruptcies of several U.S. dioceses combined to pique the authors’ curiosity about the Roman Catholic Church’s finances.

The Roman Catholic Church has 196 dioceses in the U.S., divided into 34 metropolitan provinces with 270 bishops and about 100 million members. They comprise approximately 18,000 parishes, served by 40,000 priests and 17,000 married deacons.

Estimates for 2010, the latest year for which data is available, show that the Roman Church spent $171 billion. Healthcare institutions, colleges, and universities spent almost $150 billion of that total. Only $11 billion went to parish ministry and a relatively paltry $4.7 billion to charity, although Catholic Charities provides important services and is the nation’s largest charitable organization. Altogether, the Catholic Church has about 1 million employees in the U.S. By way of comparison, General Electric’s 2010 revenues were $150 billion and Wal-Mart employed 2 million people that year. …

So, how well does The Episcopal Church manage its finances? Errors in budget proposals for the next triennium that were published before this year’s General Convention implicitly raised questions about the competence of our financial management. From my review of national documents, reading several dioceses’ financial reports, and hearing complaints about a lack of financial transparency in at least some TEC congregations, I know that our financial management is much better than what happens in the Roman Catholic Church (e.g., we require regular audits) but leaves room for significantly improving transparency.

No good reason exists to keep TEC finances shrouded in mystery. Shadows invite, even encourage, wrongdoing. Dioceses should publish a full accounting of their income and expenses – with three exceptions. First, financial reports rightly aggregate assistance provided to individuals into a single line item. Identifying the individual recipients of such aid demeans the recipients’ dignity and provides no essential information to donors or other interested parties. Annual audits and appropriate oversight can ensure that the funds do not benefit the wrong people.

Second, financial statements rightly aggregate staff salaries and benefits – except for key employees. Donors and other interested parties do not have any legitimate need to know how much an office assistant or receptionist earns. Budget committees, managers, and auditors appropriately manage such matters. Organizations with salary scales or wage guidelines will usefully publish that information to promote transparency, demonstrate good stewardship, and model paying living wages with benefits.

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Vestal: Victim seeks to extend abuse statute

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman-Review

Shawn Vestal
The Spokesman-Review

It happens every time a victim of child sexual abuse wins a lawsuit: the cries that these people are only in it for the money.

Only in it for the money. Only in it for the money. It’s a club wielded by those whose moral compasses are just spinning wildly. But the lawsuit-only system of addressing these past crimes does beg a question: What about other avenues of justice? What if the clock never stopped ticking on the criminal prosecution of child rapists?

Virginia Graham would like to see that happen. Specifically, she would like to see Washington lengthen its statute of limitations for sex crimes against children, and along with John Ahern – who’s done as a legislator but not finished with this issue – she’s turning that into a full-time mission.

“Right now, we only hold the rich or the insured accountable,” Graham said. “What kind of justice is that?”

In Washington, there are a handful of crimes for which the prosecution clock never stops ticking: murder, homicide by abuse, arson if a death results, vehicular homicide, hit-and-run if a death results. Graham and Ahern want Washington to join the growing number of states that are adding child rape to that list – or at least extending their statutes of limitation.

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Miss. ending insurance fraud suit after 11 years

MISSISSIPPI
San Antonio Express-News

HOLBROOK MOHR, Associated Press

Updated 9:16 a.m., Friday, September 28, 2012

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — State officials are dropping the remnants of an 11-year-old lawsuit after collecting as much money as they think they can get in reparations for insurance fraud by a convicted financier who claimed Vatican ties.

Attorneys for Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney filed a motion Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Miss., that seeks to voluntarily dismiss the last three defendants, including an elderly priest. Claims against the Vatican were dropped earlier this year. A judge has not ruled on the motion.

The lawsuit originally was filed in 2001 by Cheney’s predecessor, George Dale, after financier Martin Frankel bilked insurers in five states out of $200 million during the 1990s. Insurance regulators in Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas joined the lawsuit.

Frankel is in prison after pleading guilty to 24 counts of fraud and racketeering.

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Betroffenheit über das eigene Nichtstun im Bundestag

DEUTSCHLAND
netzwerkB

Am 27. September 2012, etwa ab 20 Uhr abends, besprach der Deutsche Bundestag den Gesetzesentwurf des SPD-Bundestagsfraktion für eine “Verlängerung der straf- und zivilrechtlichen Verjährungsfristen bei sexuellem Missbrauch von Kindern und minderjährigen Schutzbefohlenen”.

Damit wurde der Entwurf vom 9. Oktober 2010, der immerhin, wenn auch verhalten, den Forderungen von netzwerkB entgegenkommt, erstmalig behandelt. Der Tagesordnungspunkt geht nun auf einen besonderen Geschäftsordnungsantrag der SPD zurück.

Vertreter von netzwerkB waren auf der Zuschauertribüne anwesend, um die Debatte zu verfolgen, darunter Norbert Denef. Die Video-Dokumentation befindet sich hier:
http://www.bundestag.de/Mediathek

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Pädo-Priester nach 20 Jahren suspendiert

PHILIPPNEN
20 Minuten

In den 80ern hatte er Sex mit zwei Messdienern in den USA – dann folgte eine steile Karriere in der philippinischen Kirche. Nun wird Priester Cristobal Garcia von seiner Vergangenheit eingeholt.

Ein hochrangiger katholischer Priester im philippinischen Cebu wurde auf Anweisung des Vatikans suspendiert – wegen Untersuchungen zu einem 20 Jahre alten Kindesmissbrauchs-Fall. Cristobal Garcia war schon im Juni von der Bildfläche verschwunden. Als offiziellen Grund hatte die Kirche in Cebu aber erst gesundheitliche Gründe angegeben.

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Herbstvollversammlung

DEUTSCHLAND
domradio

28.9.2012

Bilanz in Fulda

Mit einer live von domradio.de übertragenen Pressekonferenz ist die DBK-Herbstvollversammlung in Fulda zu Ende gegangen. Zum Abschluss zogen die Bischöfe auch eine positive Bilanz der Telefonhotline für Heimkinder. Im Steit um das Betreuungsgeld stellten sie sich hinter Bundesfamilienministerin Kristina Schröder.

Die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz hat sich hinter das geplante Betreuungsgeld gestellt, zugleich aber eine Ausweitung auf alle Eltern kleiner Kinder gefordert. Auch Eltern, die öffentliche Betreuung in Anspruch nähmen, sollten zumindest anteilig in den Genuss dieser Leistung kommen, erklärte der Vorsitzende der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, Erzbischof Robert Zollitsch, am Freitag in Fulda zum Abschluss der Herbstvollversammlung der Bischöfe. Viele Familien nutzten einen Betreuungsmix; sie dürften nicht völlig vom Betreuungsgeld ausgeschlossen werden.

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Heimkinderfonds ist sehr gefragt

DEUTSCHLAND
Sueddeutsche

Bereits 120 bayerische Anträge auf Unterstützung wurden bewilligt

München – Gut dreieinhalb Monate nach der Anhörung ehemaliger Heimkinder im bayerischen Landtag haben bereits etliche der Betroffenen Leistungen aus dem eigens für sie gebildeten Bundesfonds erhalten – als Ausgleich für die körperliche Gewalt und die seelischen Grausamkeiten, die ihnen in den Heimen in den Jahren zwischen 1949 und 1975 zugefügt worden waren. Nach Auskunft von Stefan Rösler, dem Leiter der Anlauf- und Beratungsstelle für ehemalige Heimkinder in Bayern, wurden bislang 60 Anträge auf Rentenausgleich sowie weitere 60 Anträge auf Hilfe bei Folgeschäden bewilligt. ‘Für die Betroffenen ist das ein Riesenerfolg’, sagte Rösler. Einige seien angesichts des späten Ausgleichs für ihr Leid in Tränen ausgebrochen: ‘Sie können nun endlich mit der Vergangenheit ihren Frieden machen’, sagte er. Die anfängliche Kritik mancher Betroffener, der Fonds sei nichts weiter als ‘Betrug’, habe mittlerweile abgenommen.

Allein was die Folgeschäden betrifft, die aus den früheren Misshandlungen resultieren, sind für ehemalige Heimkinder Fondsleistungen bis zu 10000 Euro möglich. In einigen anderen Bundesländern hätten die Anlaufstellen eine solche Bilanz nicht vorzuweisen, sagte Rösler: ‘Wir gehören zu den erfolgreichsten Anlaufstellen, die Betroffenen sind mit unserer Arbeit zufrieden.’ Doch der Preis dafür ist hoch. ‘Wir arbeiten permanent an unserer Kapazitätsgrenze – und auch darüber hinaus’, erfuhren die Abgeordneten des Sozialausschusses. Für die Betroffenen seien lange Wartezeiten dennoch unvermeidlich – und einige, insbesondere die psychisch stark Belasteten, kämen damit nur schwer zurecht.

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Keine Schließung des Aloisius-Kollegs

DEUTSCHLAND
WDR

[Video]

Das Aloisius-Kolleg in Bonn soll geschlossen werden, dafür sind sieben ehemalige Schüler der Privatschule vor Gericht gezogen. Sie alle wurden nach eigenen Angaben von Patres und Angestellten des Kollegs missbraucht. Das Verwaltungsgericht in Köln hat über den Fall beraten und die Klage abgewiesen.

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Papst Benedikts Ex-Kammerdiener vor Gericht

VATIKAN
Focus

Er steht im Mittelpunkt der Vatileaks-Affäre: Paolo Gabriele, ehemaliger Kammerdiener von Papst Benedikt XVI. Der 46-Jährige soll Geheimdokumente gestohlen und an italienische Medien weitergegeben haben – nun muss er sich vor Gericht verantworten.

Über die Motive von Paolo Gabriele ist nur wenig bekannt. Bislang wurde der Ende Mai festgenommene frühere Kammerdiener von Papst Benedikt XVI. als diskreter Diener seines Herrn beschrieben, die vatikanische Justiz spricht aber auch von einer „schwachen“ und „ängstlichen“ Persönlichkeit. Wollte er nur das Beste für den Papst? Oder wurde er in einem Komplott manipuliert? Auf solche Fragen könnte der am Samstag beginnende Prozess gegen Gabriele Antworten geben.

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Stellungnahme der KSJ Trier zur Umgangsweise mit Fällen sexualisierter Gewalt von Mitarbeitern der Seelsorge im Bistum Trier

DEUTSCHLAND
MissBiT

Auch mehr als zwei Jahre nach den großen öffentlichen Skandalen in Deutschland, die immer neue Fälle ans Licht brachten, verweigert die Kirche den ehrlichen Blick in die eigenen Abgründe. Die strukturellen Zusammenhänge nicht erkennen zu wollen, ist der Hauptgrund für ihre Orientierungslosigkeit und ihren unangemessenen Umgang mit den Opfern. Das führt zur unbewussten Übernahme von Täterstrategien und zur Benutzbarkeit von Tätern.

Eine evangeliumsgemäße, an den Erkenntnissen der Humanwissenschaften und am eigenen Kirchenrecht ausgerichtete Vorgehensweise legt folgendes nahe:

1.
Beim Umgang mit Fällen sexualisierter Gewalt muss der Blick auf die Opfer oberste Priorität haben. Aus der Opferperspektive müssen alle Entscheidungen getroffen werden, sie muss die leitende Handlungsoption sein. Heilung der zugefügten Wunden und Linderung der zugefügten Schmerzen kann nur geschehen, wenn die Täter zur Schuldanerkenntnis und zum Schuldbekenntnis geführt werden. Das wird verhindert, wenn Täter, die ihr Amt missbraucht haben, weiterhin im Amt bleiben dürfen. Priester, die straffällig geworden sind, dürfen nicht mehr in die Seelsorge und an den Altar zurückkehren. Sie sind mindestens auf Dauer zu suspendieren (im Extremfall zu laisieren); ihnen kann ein anderes Arbeitsfeld in der Kirche ermöglicht werden, das keine spezifisch priesterlichen Voraussetzungen erfordert. Täter sind außerdem an entsprechenden Sühneleistungen zu beteiligen.

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Missbrauchs-Verfahren eingestellt

DEUTSCHLAND
Borkener Zeitung

-mmi- Das Strafverfahren gegen die Leiterin eines Dülmener Kindergartens wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs und Körperverletzung gegen mehrere ihr anvertraute Jungen im Alter von drei bis vier Jahren ist von der Staatsanwaltschaft Münster eingestellt worden. „Das ist eine gute Nachricht für uns, und wir werden nun gemeinsam sehen, wie wir unsere Mitarbeiterin in Zukunft am besten unterstützen können“, erklärte Daniel Cord, Sprecher des evangelischen Kirchenkreises Steinfurt-Coesfeld-Borken als Träger der Einrichtung.

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Ab wann ist sexueller Missbrauch verjährt?

DEUTSCHLAND
MVPO

Berlin/MVPO Die strafrechtliche Verjährung bei sexuellem Missbrauch wurde am 28. Oktober 2012 im Deutschen Bundestag kontrovers diskutiert.

Es ist erstaunlich, dass das Thema strittig ist. Argumente, die gegen eine
Verlängerung auf 20 Jahre sprechen, wie die SPD sie fordert, gibt es letztlich nicht.

Die SPD Bundestagsabgeordnete Sonja Steffen hat in ihrer Rede erklärt, warum
eine Verlängerung notwendig ist: “Menschen, vor allem Kinder, haben oftmals die Fähigkeit, erlittenes Leid in eine innere Schublade zu stecken. Oft dauert es Jahre, bis es wieder ins Bewusstsein tritt.” Derzeit liegt die Frist der strafrechtlichen Verjährung bei 10 Jahren. Zwar beginnt diese erst mit dem 18. Geburtstag des Opfers, jedoch spätestens, wenn das Opfer Ende zwanzig ist, kann der Täter strafrechtlich nicht mehr belangt werden.

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Psychologist provides analysis of Catholic church’s sex abuse scandal

UNITED STATES
Buffalo News

BY: Jay Tokasz

At the height of the clergy sex abuse scandal in 2002, Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea urged the nation’s Catholic bishops to lead “the revitalization and restoration of souls” damaged by sexual abuse.

A decade later, Frawley-O’Dea painted a far less-hopeful portrait of the Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse during a 45-minute talk Thursday at Canisius College.

Frawley-O’Dea – a Charlotte, N.C., trauma psychologist and author of two books about the church’s sexual abuse crisis – spelled out how a culture of “clerical narcissism” resulted in a diminished capacity for empathy for sex abuse victims, particularly in church hierarchs more concerned with status and the accoutrements of their offices than with leadership and pastoralism.

“There’s a sense that morality comes with the status, rather the morality is something you’ve got to keep working at,” Frawley-O’Dea said during a 20-minute question-and-answer session that followed her talk.

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Bishop Joseph Devine should pray for vulnerable

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

JOAN BURNIE puts forwards the view the Catholic Church should put the same effort into purifying its own ranks that it does chasing abortion issues.

ABORTION is seldom an easy decision. There are few women who treat it lightly and maybe those who do aren’t those most fit to receive a Mother’s Day card.

But the recent intemperate, strident remarks from Bishop Joseph Devine, in which he linked abortion to the Nazi death camps, was a rant too far.

Such comparisons not only belittle the full, foul horror of the Holocaust itself but do nothing to encourage a civilised debate. …

Coincidentally, on the same day as the bishop was making his comments, the Catholic Church in Victoria, Australia, was becoming yet another place to concede that many children, possibly thousands, could have been abused by their priests.

If the church’s hierarchy had put one 10th of the zeal into exposing the paedophiles within their midst, as they do campaigning and preaching against matters of personal conscience, such as abortion and gay marriage, they could have rooted out this evil much earlier than they did.

They denied and delayed, while playing pass the parcel with priests who were an evident danger to children.

So I put it to the bishop – had you and other princes of the church acted quicker, there might not be so many abused and damaged adults across the world who wish they had never been born because of the abuse they suffered.

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Former Reading priest Richard Nachajski sentenced for stealing $400,000 from church

PENNSYLVANIA
WFMZ

Author: Ryan Hughes, Reporter, Ryan.Hughes@wfmz.com

READING, Pa. –
A former Roman Catholic Priest was taken out of court in handcuffs Thursday, convicted of stealing more than $400,000 from his church.

Richard Nachajski was once a beloved man of the cloth, even given the nickname “Bishop of Millmont,” but now the former pastor of St. Anthony’s of Padua Church in southwest Reading is a convicted felon.

Berks County Judge Scott Keller sentenced him to two to seven years in prison.

“People were hurt to know he lived, in my opinion, this double life,” said Marianne Adam, an active member of the church.

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Father Peter Donnelly denies abuse allegations

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

A Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing a young girl almost 30 years ago has been giving evidence for a second day at his trial in Belfast.

Father Peter Donnelly said although there may have been opportunities to abuse the girl: “I don’t go around seeing opportunities to misbehave.

“That’s not the way I have lived my life. I go around trying to be a witness for Christ,” the priest said.

He denies six counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency.

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Gov’t expands probe into ‘blood’ ivory

PHILIPPINES
Rappler

by Agence France-Presse

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine authorities said Friday, September 28, they had launched a nationwide investigation into Catholic devotees collecting religious figures made of “blood” ivory smuggled from Africa.

The probe, launched this week, was initially focused primarily on one priest who was quoted in a National Geographic article allegedly giving instructions on how to smuggle ivory and naming carvers who would turn it into statues.

However the head of the National Bureau of Investigation’s environment division, Sixto Comia, said his officers had now also begun looking into other owners of ivory figures, amid concerns that the trade was extensive.

“This is a nationwide operation. Those people who like religious statues, especially the rich, they want ivory. Some of them know it is illegal but there are people still importing it,” he told AFP.

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Ex-priest who took $425,000 from Millmont church gets prison

PENNSYLVANIA
Reading Eagle

Holly Herman
Reading Eagle

A Berks County judge showed no mercy Thursday when sentencing a former Roman Catholic priest to two to seven years in state prison for stealing $425,000 from a Millmont church between February 1998 and 2009 to lead a lavish lifestyle.

Judge Scott D. Keller said that Richard Nachajski, 66, now of York, does not deserve a break. He then imposed a sentence harsher than prosecutors had requested.

Nachajski pleaded guilty to stealing money from St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church accounts.

Just before sentencing, Nachajski said he has been burdened with regret.

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Greek church will celebrate milestone in ‘painful time’

OHIO
The Columbus Dispatch

By JoAnne Viviano
The Columbus Dispatch
Friday September 28, 2012

Members of Columbus’ Greek Orthodox Church are forging ahead this weekend with a 100th-anniversary celebration and the welcoming of a new dean while coping with a presiding priest’s confession to attempted rape of a child.

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, on the edge of the Short North, will play host to the top church official in the U.S. — Archbishop Demetrios — and the top regional official — Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh — for the events.

The Rev. Patrick N. Hughes, interim dean of the church, was arrested last week after Franklin County deputy sheriffs said he used the Internet to solicit boys for sex. He pleaded guilty yesterday and was sentenced to six years in prison.

“The plans are going on as originally scheduled, but the difference will be in the spirit of it, obviously less celebratory and one of coming together in healing,” said Bishop Andonios, chancellor of the Archdiocese of America.

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Dark stain of Irish gulag system not yet addressed

IRELAND
Irish Times

FINTAN O’TOOLE

ALMOST EVERY European state has a dark stain on its conscience – totalitarian violence at home and/or colonial violence abroad.

Ireland, to its great credit, has not had a totalitarian government and, as an independent State, has been broadly anti-colonial. But it has its own dark stain and its own unfinished business – with the hundreds of thousands of people it locked up in the Irish gulag. The survivors of the Magdalene laundries are, as RTÉ’s Prime Time will highlight tonight, among those who are still waiting for a simple acknowledgement of a nasty truth: that this State imprisoned and enslaved astonishing numbers of its own citizens.

This story is one of those in which the plain facts seem like hysterical exaggerations, making reality incredible. Breathtaking numbers of citizens were kidnapped, confined and enslaved with the active collusion of the State. Ireland operated a huge, highly organised system of unlawful imprisonment into which hundreds of thousands of people disappeared, sometimes for good. Shamefully, the State is still refusing to face this fact.

In a very important recent book, Coercive Confinement in Ireland, Eoin O’Sullivan and Ian O’Donnell have brought together documents and statistics that begin to map the system. By “coercive confinement” they are not talking about what that term would mean in a normal society – people being sent to prison by the courts because they have been found guilty of breaking the law. For most of the history of the State, the lawful prison system was dwarfed by the shadow system of confinement, made up largely of industrial schools, Magdalene homes and mental hospitals.

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‘VatiLeaks’ trial will be landmark event for Vatican tribunal

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Cindy Wooden and Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — For the Vatican’s criminal court, the trial of Paolo Gabriele and Claudio Sciarpelletti for their alleged part in leaking papal correspondence will be unusual and may lead the Vatican to invoke a never-used cooperation agreement with Italy.

Giovanni Giacobbe, promoter of justice in Court of Appeal of Vatican City State, explained to reporters Sept. 27 how the Vatican conducts a criminal trial. But he also admitted that such trials are “extremely” rare, and the only thing remotely similar was a trial for drug possession on Vatican property some 10 years ago.

If Gabriele and Sciarpelletti are found guilty and are sentenced to jail time, they would serve that time in an Italian prison under the terms of a decades-old Italian-Vatican agreement that has never been used, Giacobbe said. Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981, was handed over to Italian police and found guilty in an Italian court, not a Vatican court.

Gabriele, who was arrested in May after Vatican police found papal correspondence and other items in his Vatican apartment, faces a charge of aggravated theft, which Giacobbe said carries a possible sentence of up to four years. Sciarpelletti, who had a copy of a document from Gabriele in his desk at the Vatican Secretariat of State, was charged with aiding and abetting Gabriele. He faces up to one year in prison.

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Trial Of Pope’s Ex-Butler To Shine Big Light On Tiny Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Leadership

The trial of Papal butler, Mr Paolo Gabriele for breach of trust begins on Saturday’ in the Vatican City, and the trial is expected to beam light on the tiny religious state headed by Pope Benedict XVI.

Gabriele is also charged for stealing and leaking the pontiff’s personal papers.

The Vatican has certainly seen more sensational trials in its long history, including the Inquisition ordered by the papal see for

Galileo to recant his theory that the earth revolves around the sun, and that which led to the burning of philosopher Giordano Bruno at the stake for heresy.

But even those cases, both in the 17th century, did not involve a breach of trust by a papal aide the issue at the core of this Saturday’s trial of papal butler Paolo Gabriele.

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Newsmaker: Paolo Gabriele, the papal butler who fell from grace

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Naomi O’Leary

VATICAN CITY | Thu Sep 27, 2012

(Reuters) – By day, Paolo Gabriele was a member of the Vatican’s innermost circle, the “papal family”, possessing a key held by fewer than 10 people to an elevator leading from a small Vatican courtyard directly into Pope Benedict’s apartments.

By night, he was a different man, obsessed with helping root out what he saw as corruption in the Roman Catholic Church.

The pious butler who helped Pope Benedict dress and served him his meals now finds himself on trial for aggravated theft, accused of stealing documents in what could prove to be the most sensational Vatican trial in decades.

Gabriele, 46, a reserved family man and devout Catholic, told investigators he acted for the good of the Church.

While tending to the man Catholics believe is Christ’s vicar on earth, the clean-cut, black-haired butler said he saw “evil and corruption everywhere in the Church”, and began leaking the papers that would cause one of the biggest crisis of Pope Benedict’s papacy.

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Megan Stammers: Arrest warrant issued for maths teacher

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A European arrest warrant has been issued for the maths teacher who travelled to France with missing teenager Megan Stammers.

Jeremy Forrest, 30, and the Eastbourne schoolgirl, 15, have not been seen since they crossed the Channel from Dover to France on 20 September.

Sussex Police are expected to release more details about the warrant during a press conference later.

Mr Forrest’s father Jim is also due to appeal for his son to come home.

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Megan police defend four-day delay over warrant

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Rhoda Buchanan, Laura Dixon, John Simpson
Last updated at 4:59PM, September 27 2012

A European arrest warrant was not issued for the teacher who ran away with the schoolgirl Megan Stammers until four days after the pair were reported missing, police said yesterday.

Sussex Police defended itself over claims that it should have acted sooner, as the father of Jeremy Forrest, the missing teacher, issued an appeal for his son to make contact.

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Teachers accused of crimes against their pupils could be granted anonymity

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Friday 28 September 2012

Teachers accused of committing criminal offences involving children at their school will be granted anonymity under regulations which come into force next week.

Under the restrictions the married teacher Jeremy Forrest, who has gone missing in Europe with his 15-year-old student Megan Stammers, might not have been identified.

The provisions, introduced under section 13 of the Education Act 2011, mean teachers will become the first group to receive automatic anonymity when accused of a certain category of criminal offences. Once the teacher has been charged he or she can be identified.

Police, the media or anyone else would have to apply to a court to have the reporting restrictions lifted. Critics have warned the restrictions could hinder police appeals and searches for missing suspects.

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Teachers anonymity law criticised

UNITED KINGDOM
The Press Association

The married teacher missing with his teenage pupil might not have been identified under a new law that comes into force next week.

Teachers will become the first group of people in British legal history to be given automatic anonymity when they are accused of a criminal offence.

The move could hinder searches like the one for missing teacher Jeremy Forrest, who is thought to be in Europe with his 15-year-old student Megan Stammers, said critics.

The provision, in section 13 of the Education Act 2011, gives anonymity for a teacher when the complaint is made by or on behalf of any pupil at the school at which the individual teaches.

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Court asked to seal correspondence in Schaap case

HAMMOND (IL)
NWI Times

Bob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345

HAMMOND | The defense and prosecutors have asked the court to seal all correspondence received in conjunction with the child sex case involving disgraced Pastor Jack Schaap.

The parties argue in a motion filed Thursday the content of the letters and emails suggest they were “meant for the Court’s consideration only and not for public consumption.”

The correspondence also contains information, such as home and email addresses, and other personal and confidential information that must be redacted by law from public filings.

Mary Hatton, spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office, declined to comment on the content of the correspondence.

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Minn. pastor charged with criminal sexual conduct

MINNESOTA
Sacramento Bee

The Associated Press

WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Minnesota pastor is charged for an alleged affair he had with a 16-year-old girl who was a parishioner.

The Dakota County Attorney’s office has charged 39-year-old Gustaro Resendiz Talabera (tal-ah-BEHR’-ah) of West St. Paul with third-degree criminal sexual conduct and deprivation of parental rights.

County Attorney James Backstrom says Talabera was found Thursday in Joliet, Ill. Talabera was arrested and the girl was taken into protective custody.

Backstrom says the girl did not attend school Wednesday. She told her mother she would be home sick, but she was missing.

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Former Norwich pastor sentenced in molestation case

NORWICH (CT)
The Bulletin

By ADAM BENSON
The Bulletin

Norwich, Conn. —

A former First Haitian Baptist Church pastor will spend 2½ years in prison, starting this winter, after pleading guilty to molesting a 12-year-old girl on multiple occasions in 2006, when she was living with family in Norwich.

Luckner Sylvain, 49, of 44 S. A St., Taftville, pleaded guilty Wednesday in New London Superior Court under the Alford Doctrine, a legal procedure in which the defendant does not admit guilt, but agrees that the state has enough evidence against him to get a conviction.

Sylvain was facing charges of first-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.

In addition to his prison term, which begins in December, Sylvain will have to register as a sex offender and spend 10 years on probation.

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Q&A: Marci Hamilton

NEW YORK
New York Law Journal

By Jeff Storey
New York Law Journal

September 28, 2012

Marci Hamilton, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, stepped out of the Ivory Tower onto the public square to decry what she sees as the widespread cover-up of child sexual abuse by institutions like Pennsylvania State University, the Roman Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America.

Hamilton represents victims of abuse in court and lobbies for changes in state statutes of limitations that would make it easier for victims to sue. Frequently quoted in the media, she has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and accompanied one of her Penn State clients to a taping this week in Los Angeles of The Dr. Phil Show.

Hamilton has taught at Cardozo since 1990, specializing in constitutional law, the First Amendment and religion and the law. She has two master’s degrees, one in philosophy and one in English, from Penn State and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law (Cambridge, 2005) and Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge, rev. 2012).

Q: One of your academic specialties is church-state relations. Do you think organized religion has a disproportionate influence on public policy in the United States?

A: Our elected representatives have a history of being overly deferential to religious leaders and lobbyists, with tragic results for children. Until recently, there was a tendency to assume that there is an equation between religion and the protection of children, which is a mistake. Christian Scientists have lobbied the federal and state governments for exceptions to the medical neglect laws, making it easier for faith-healing parents to let their children suffer, be permanently disabled, and even die. Catholic and Mormon hierarchies have lobbied for exceptions to child abuse reporting statutes, and Catholic bishops continue to lobby aggressively against statute of limitations reform for child sex abuse victims, so that the victims cannot go to court.

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Governors at Megan Stammers’ school did not know about probe into Jeremy Forrest

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

Governors at Megan Stammers’ school weren’t told police were probing her relationship with teacher Jeremy Forrest.

Headmaster Terry Boatwright was due to suspend the maths master last Friday but the governors only found out when the pair were reported missing.

Three board members at Bishop Bell C of E are leading church figures from the Diocese of Chichester.

Yesterday a spokesman for the diocese said: “The board was not involved.”

Lucy Duckworth, from the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said last night: “This is a disgrace which calls into question the judgment of the headteacher.

“The board has a right to know.”

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New Archbishop Murphy coach had troubles in Oregon

WASHINGTON
My Northwest

By Tim Haeck
97.3 KIRO FM Reporter

The man named this week as interim head football coach at Archbishop Murphy High School in Mill Creek has a history of problems as a teacher in Oregon.

As a football coach and teacher at Gresham High School, Michael Allison admitted to an unprofessional relationship with a student. While he denied any physical contact with the girl, he admitted to inappropriate cell phone calls and e-mails.

A state investigation also concluded that Allison, quoting from the report: “failed to report to school district officials that a student had romantic feelings toward him.” The Herald reports Allison surrendered his license to teach in Oregon in 2010.

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Interim Murphy coach once accused of misconduct

WASHINGTON
HeraldNet

By Aaron Swaney, Herald Writer

EVERETT — The man named Tuesday as interim head football coach at Archbishop Murphy High School surrendered his teaching license in Oregon after an investigation concluded he engaged in inappropriate conduct with a high school student.

Michael Allison was hired as a physical-education instructor at Archbishop Murphy High School this summer and was an assistant football coach. His promotion came after Bill Marsh suddenly resigned as coach of what’s considered one of the strongest football teams in the state.

Allison, 41, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Archbishop Murphy athletic director Jerry Zander said the school was aware of the Oregon allegations before hiring Allison.

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Two men join sex abuse suit against Catholic Diocese of Beaumont

TEXAS
Beaumont Enterprise

By Heather Nolan

Published 5:38 p.m., Thursday, September 27, 2012

Two East Texas men who claim they were sexually abused by a priest in the late 1970s have been added as plaintiffs to a personal injury lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont.

The new plaintiffs are identified only as John Doe 105 and John Doe 106. They live in Cherokee County and in Nacogdoches County, respectively.

John Doe 104 originally filed the lawsuit in April, claiming the late Ronald Bollich routinely assaulted him sexually in 1976 and 1977.

Bollich, whom the lawsuit said died in 1996 at the age of 59, was assigned to the Sacred Heart Parish in Nacogdoches. That parish was governed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont at the time the alleged events occurred, according to the court filing.

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