Judge: Nuisance claim against Diocese of St. Cloud can proceed

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Matt Sepic Jun 30, 2015

A ruling by a Stearns County judge could lead to the release of extensive files on sexual abuse by priests in the Diocese of St. Cloud.

District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen said a public nuisance lawsuit against the diocese may proceed. The unnamed plaintiff in the case claims that the Rev. James Thoennes sexually abused him in the early 1970s at a Catholic school in Foley, Minn.

Jeff Anderson, an attorney who represents victims of sexual abuse by priests, said the ruling will allow him to take depositions of top diocese officials about how they handled abuse cases.

“Given the magnitude and the importance of this effort and this ruling, we are going to move this forward aggressively,” Anderson said.

A similar decision in 2013 led to the release of thousands of clergy files by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Frank Meuers, a Minnesota leader of Survivors of those Abused by Priests, said in a statement that the nuisance suits make the state a leader in a growing movement to expose those who commit crimes against children.

“In no other state have child sex abuse victims been as successful at disgorging secrets from corrupt institutions through the creative and aggressive use of this novel legal strategy,” Meuers said.

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Sacerdote de Jalisco abuso de una niña

MEXICO
El Debate

Ciudad de México.-Francisco Javier García Rodríguez, sacerdote en el municipio de Autlán, Jalisco, fue detenido por las autoridades presuntamente por violar a una niña de 11 años.

De acuerdo con un reporte de la Fiscalía General del estado, el clérigo de 60 años se aprovechó de la amistad y el hospedaje que la familia de la menor le brindó para abusar sexualmente de la pequeña, así lo informó el portal de Excelsior.com.

La familia de la pequeña consideraba al sacerdote como amigo y por eso le ofrecían frecuentemente hospedaje, por lo que el 4 de febrero pasado el cura se encontraba en la casa, como huésped en el cuarto de la niña, y durante dos noches la agredió sexualmente

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Priest arrested for sexually abusing an 11 year old girl in Jalisco

MEXICO
The Yucatan Times

A 60-year-old Catholic priest is in custody after being accused of sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl in the Mexican state of Jalisco.

Catholic Priest Francisco Javier García Rodríguez was a friend to the girl’s family, residents of Punta Pérula in the municipality of La Huerta, and was a frequent overnight visitor to their home.

But after a visit in February during which the priest allegedly attacked her sexually on two nights, she told her mother in spite of threats of violence by García Rodríguez.

The accusation was made before authorities on April 23, who say that physical and psychological tests have revealed evidence of sexual violence. The priest was subsequently arrested in the community of El Chante, in Autlán, where he lived.

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Assignment Record– Rev. Anthony Canu, T.O.R.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Anthony Canu was a priest of the Third Order Regular Franciscans, ordained in 1955. Canu’s name was included on the St. Cloud diocese’s January 3, 2014 list of 33 priests clergy against whom there had been “likely claims of sexual abuse of minors.” Canu worked in the diocese 1959-1962. In addition to St. Cloud, he was assigned to the dioceses of Altoona PA, Detroit MI and Richmond VA. His assignments included a high school seminary, a high school and home for boys, and several parishes. His whereabouts beyond 1974 are unknown.

Ordained: 1955

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Court Rules That Survivors’ Public Nuisance Claims …

MINNESOTA
The Legal Examiner

Court Rules That Survivors’ Public Nuisance Claims Against Diocese of St. Cloud May Proceed

Posted by Mike Bryant
June 30, 2015

(St. Cloud, MN) – Stearns County District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen has ruled that a clergy sexual abuse survivor’s public nuisance claim against the Diocese of St. Cloud can proceed. Judge Davick-Halfen’s June 22, 2015, order will help hold the Diocese of St. Cloud accountable for protecting pedophile priests in the past and will help keep children safe in the future.

In 2014 the Diocese of St. Cloud released a list of 33 priests who worked in the Diocese who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. The Diocese has not released files or documents pertaining to those priests or their patterns of grooming and abuse. Such information is necessary to educate the public about the threat and keep the public safe.

In January 2015, Plaintiff Doe 50 filed suit against the Diocese of St. Cloud, claiming that he was sexually abused as a child by Father James Thoennes (pronounced “Tennis”), a priest at St. John’s Parish and School in Foley, Minn., in the early 1970s. St. John’s is in the Diocese of St. Cloud.

“This ruling will allow us to bring this serious, ongoing problem in the Diocese of St. Cloud out into the light so that we can protect children in the future from going through the same harm that Doe 50 and many other kids like him had to endure as a result of the Diocese’s mishandling of abusive priests,” said Jeff Anderson, an attorney representing Doe 50.

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Judge allows broad abuse claim to move forward in St. Cloud Diocese

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune JUNE 30, 2015

A Stearns County judge has ruled that a public nuisance claim against the Diocese of St. Cloud by an alleged victim of priest sex abuse may proceed, a move that could pry open the Catholic diocese’s clergy abuse files on the priest sued and all others.

The order, filed Tuesday by Judge Kris Davick-Halfen, is similar to a 2013 decision in Ramsey County which resulted in an unprecedented release of names and documents of clergy sex offenders from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The St. Cloud diocese lawsuit was filed by a man who says he was sexually abused in the early 1970s by Rev. James Thoennes in the city of Foley. It says the diocese was aware that Thoennes had abused at least one other child previously.

The diocese created a “public nuisance” by allowing Thoennes to remain in public ministry and by not informing the public about his past, the lawsuit claims.

“This ruling will allow us to bring this serious, ongoing problem in the Diocese of St. Cloud out into the light so that we can protect children in the future from going through the same harm that Doe 50 and many other kids like him had to endure …” said Jeff Anderson, the attorney for the alleged victim.

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Stearns judge allows nuisance claim to proceed

MINNESOTA
LaCross Tribune

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — A Stearns County judge is allowing a public nuisance claim to proceed against the Diocese of St. Cloud.

The claim is part of a lawsuit by a man who accuses former St. Cloud diocese priest James Thoennes of abusing him when he was a boy in Foley in the early 1970s.

The lawsuit claims the diocese knew of past abuse by Thoennes before it assigned him to St. John’s parish in Foley. The St. Cloud Times reports (http://on.sctimes.com/1C5j7Pu ) that Thoennes admitted in a deposition in a separate lawsuit that he sexually abused at least five boys while working in the St. Cloud Diocese.

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Former archbishop denies he paid Atwood to withdraw complaints

IRELAND
RTE News

A former Catholic Archbishop has denied that payments made to a woman with whom he had a sexual relationship were made in an effort to get her to withdraw complaints about him.

Richard Burke, 66, from Tipperary is continuing his cross-examination in his action for defamation against RTÉ in which he claims he was wrongly branded as a paedophile in the programme.

Mr Burke also denied that he made one of the payments after a trip to Rome during which it was allegedly suggested by his superiors that restitution be made to the woman who made abuse allegations against him.

Counsel for RTÉ Paul O’ Higgins said Dolores Atwood will say she had never asked for €26,000 given to her in October 2007 and that €50,000 given to her on another date was part of a process of Richard Burke attempting to get her to withdraw her complaint against him.

Mr Burke said that was “not the tenor of the conversation. I was protesting my innocence and I am not guilty of the allegation and to withdraw the case and withdraw the allegation.”

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MN–Victims: Ruling means MN is in “forefront” of kids’ safety

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priestsr

For immediate release: Tuesday, June 30

Statement by Frank Meuers, Minnesota SNAP leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (952-334-5180, frankameuers@gmail.com)

Though many predator priests are now suspended from parishes, many church officials who shielded them have are now promoted. That’s why we applaud a new ruling in St. Cloud that lets a clergy sex abuse and cover up suit move forward. This decision will help police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners and the public learn about who has and who is endangering kids and protecting predators.

[Jeff Anderson & Associates]

These nuisance suits put Minnesota at the forefront of a growing national movement to expose those who commit and conceal heinous crimes against children. In no other state have child sex abuse victims been as successful at disgorging secrets from corrupt institutions through the creative and aggressive use of this novel legal strategy. We praise each victim who has done this for his or her courage.

We are grateful to this brave survivor for bringing this lawsuit and to Stearns County District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen for ruling on the side of children’s safety.

We urge St. Cloud diocesan officials, especially Bishop Donald Joseph Kettler, to “come clean” about both the predators and the enablers who are or have been on the Catholic church payroll in his diocese.

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Court Rules That Survivor’s Public Nuisance Claim …

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

6/30/2015

Order May Lead to the Disclosure of Additional Names of Perpetrators and the Release of Secret Abuse Documents

Doe 50 Public Nuisance Order

(St. Cloud, MN) – Stearns County District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen ruled that a clergy sexual abuse survivor’s public nuisance claim against the Diocese of St. Cloud can proceed. Judge Davick-Halfen’s June 22, 2015, order will help hold the Diocese of St. Cloud accountable for protecting pedophile priests in the past and will help keep children safe in the future. A similar decision in 2013 in Ramsey County allowed a public nuisance claim to proceed involving the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. This led to the disclosure and identification of dozens of perpetrators and for the first time, thousands of secret church documents were released.

In January 2015, Plaintiff Doe 50 filed suit against the Diocese of St. Cloud, claiming that he was sexually abused as a child by Father James Thoennes (pronounced “Tennis”), a priest at St. John’s Parish and School in Foley, Minn., in the early 1970s. St. John’s is in the Diocese of St. Cloud.

In 2014 the Diocese of St. Cloud released a list of 33 priests who worked in the Diocese who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. The Diocese has not released files or documents pertaining to those priests or their patterns of grooming and abuse. Such information is necessary to educate the public about the threat and keep the public safe.

“This ruling will allow us to bring this serious, ongoing problem in the Diocese of St. Cloud out into the light so that we can protect children in the future from going through the same harm that Doe 50 and many other kids like him had to endure as a result of the Diocese’s mishandling of abusive priests,” said Jeff Anderson, an attorney representing Doe 50.

In a deposition in another case in September 2014, Father Thoennes testified that years before Doe 50’s abuse he reported to Monsignor Bernard Wildenborg that he had sexually abused a young boy at St. Anthony of Padua in St. Cloud. Civil authorities and the public were not informed of the abuse and the Diocese allowed Thoennes to continue in public ministry until 1997. Thoennes currently lives alone in an apartment owned by the Diocese of St. Cloud and is free to go where he wants at will anywhere in the St. Cloud area.

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Pope’s USA itinerary released

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Here is the schedule for Pope Francis’ September 2015 Apostolic Journey to the United States of America as released by the Vatican on June 30, 2015. All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time.

Tuesday, September 22 (Washington, DC)

4:00 p.m. Arrival from Cuba at Joint Base Andrews
Wednesday,September 23 (Washington, DC)
9:15 a.m. Meeting with President Obama at the White House
11:30 a.m. Midday Prayer with the bishops of the United States, St. Matthew’s Cathedral
4:15 p.m. Mass of Canonization of Junipero Serra, Basilicia of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Thursday, September 24 (Washington, DC, New York City)

9:20 a.m. Address to Joint Session of the United States Congress
11:15 a.m. Visit to St. Patrick in the City and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
4:00 p.m. Depart from Joint Base Andrews
5:00 p.m. Arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport
6:45 p.m. Evening Prayer (Vespers) at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Friday, September 25 (New York City)

8:30 a.m. Visit to the United Nations and Address to the United Nations General Assembly
11:30 a.m. Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center
4:00 p.m. Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School, East Harlem
6:00 p.m. Mass at Madison Square Garden

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Nuisance claim can proceed against diocese

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

David Unze, dunze@stcloudtimes.com June 30, 2015

A Stearns County judge has dismissed parts of a clergy sex abuse lawsuit filed against the Diocese of St. Cloud, but left in place a key claim that has led to the release of numerous priest personnel files in other suits across the state.

The lawsuit was filed in January by a former student at a Foley elementary school. He accused former St. Cloud diocese priest James Thoennes of abusing him years after the diocese knew the priest had abused other children.

The lawsuit accuses Thoennes of abusing the boy in the early 1970s when Thoennes was assigned to St. John’s parish in Foley. The suit says Thoennes abused the child at Thoennes’ mother’s home in Central Minnesota, a place where Thoennes invited several children to accompany him on overnight visits.

The lawsuit also named the diocese as a defendant and accused the diocese of knowing that Thoennes had abused children before it assigned him to Foley.

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RTÉ claims ‘Mission to Prey’ did not say former archbishop was a paedophile

IRELAND
Newstalk

Richard Burke is suing the broadcaster for defamation, which is denied

A High Court jury has heard RTÉ denies its documentary ‘Mission to Prey’ alleged former Catholic archbishop Richard Burke is a paedophile.

The ex-cleric is suing the broadcaster for defamation, which is denied.

Mr Burke (66) has admitted having sex with several women while a cleric, including Nigerian woman Dolores Atwood.

However he claims he was aged 40 and she was aged 20 when they first slept together in 1989 – and not 14 as RTÉ alleged in its 2011 documentary ‘Mission to Prey’.

He is suing the station for defamation because he claims the programme wrongly depicted him as a paedophile, an interpretation rejected by RTÉ’s senior counsel Paul O’Higgins.

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Ex-Archbishop had ‘no intention’ of leaving priesthood for woman

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mary Carolan

A former Catholic Archbishop has told the High Court he has no recollection of telling a Nigerian woman, when she got engaged in 1995, that he was “not pleased” and she had not “waited for him”.

Richard Burke, a priest of the Kiltegan Fathers since 1975 who also served as a Bishop and later Archbishop in Nigeria until he resigned in 2010, said there was “no intention on my part of leaving the priesthood” and he had no recollection of making those remarks to Dolores Atwood.

He is being cross-examined by Paul O’Higgins SC, for RTÉ, in his continuing action alleging he was defamed in the Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey programme broadcast on May 23rd, 2011. He claims the programme wrongly meant he was a paedophile.

Today, Mr O’Higgins said RTÉ denies the programme meant Mr Burke was a paedophile. RTÉ’s defence was the programme meant Mr Burke had sexually molested Ms Atwood when she was a 13-year-old girl and slept with her when she was aged 14, he said.

Under cross-examination, Mr Burke said he had decided in November 2007 to tape calls made to him from Ms Atwood in Canada, where she moved after she married a Canadian national, Chris Atwood in 1995.

He decided to tape the calls because of trauma he experienced after receiving a call on November 7th, 2007 from Ms Atwood during which for the first time, she accused him of being a “paedophile”, he said.

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Cook County Judge retiring after 15 years on the bench

CHICAGO (IL)
Fox 32

By Larry Yellen, FOX 32 News Legal Analyst

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) –
Whether it was the Palatine Brown’s Chicken Killers, James Degorski and Juan Luna, or a pedophile priest like Daniel McCormick – before heading to prison, they appeared in courtrooms at 26th and California.

The longtime presiding judge at the Criminal Courts Building is stepping down next week. But before the big day, Judge Paul Biebel Jr. sat down for a rare interview with FOX 32’s Larry Yellen.

“It’s a tough business we’re in, standing in judgment of people’s actions, and ultimately, where their lives are going,” Judge Paul Biebel Jr. said.

For almost 15 years, Judge Paul Biebel Jr. has presided over the largest criminal courthouse in America. Next Monday, he retires, satisfied that a dream he had as an eighth grade debater has been fulfilled.

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Methodist Church to make significant changes to safeguarding policies

UNITED KINGDOM
Ekklesia

The Methodist Conference yesterday (29 June) vowed to make significant changes to its policy and procedures in a move to make the Church a safer place for all. This follows the publication in May of an independent review of past safeguarding cases related to the Church from 1950 to 2014.

The Past Cases Review identified 1,885 past cases, which included physical, emotional, domestic and sexual abuse as well as cases of neglect. In approximately one quarter of these cases, church ministers or lay employees were identified as the perpetrators or alleged perpetrators.

The Conference discussed the findings of the Review and appointed an implementation group to take forward the report’s 23 recommendations. Former Barnardo’s Deputy Chief Executive Jane Stacey, who led the independent review, has been appointed as a member of the implementation group, which will be chaired by the Rev Gwyneth Owen.

“The Past Cases Review has undoubtedly been a wake-up call for the Church, and one we cannot ignore” said Rev Owen. “The recommendations of the report are many and wide-ranging but at the heart of it all lies the need to bring about significant cultural change. (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21748)

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Toronto youth pastor charged in sex assault of teen girl over three years

CANADA
Daily Courier

TORONTO – A youth pastor working at a Toronto church is charged in the alleged sexual exploitation and sexual assault of a teen girl.

Police say the incidents took place between Jan. 1, 2012 and March 31 of this year.
The alleged victim is now 17.

Police say the accused worked at the Keys of the Kingdom Ministries Life in the Spirit Fellowship Church in the city’s northwest.

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Clergy abuse victims want court to force St. Paul archdiocese to show video at churches

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Elizabeth Mohr
emohr@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 06/29/2015

With the court-imposed deadline looming for victims of clergy sexual abuse to file claims against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the bankruptcy court has been asked to compel church officials to show an informational video in every parish to help spread the word.

The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection in January, citing an operating deficit and concerns about more lawsuits for clergy sexual abuse.

In April, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel approved a request by the archdiocese to set an Aug. 3 deadline for anyone wishing to file a claim related to clergy sexual abuse, despite a state law letting them file until May 25, 2016.

The church said it would make efforts to notify people of the court-imposed deadline via news organizations and Catholic publications.

The committee of unsecured creditors Monday asked the court to force the archdiocese to have the video shown in all 187 parishes during the weekend of July 11-12 and to have the video published or promoted on parish websites.

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Former archbishop had sex with ‘quite a lot of people’, court told

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Tim Healy
PUBLISHED
30/06/2015

A former Catholic Archbishop had sexual experiences with “quite a lot” of people, the High Court has heard.

Tipperary-born Richard Burke (66) admitted to having relationships with women but is suing RTÉ arising out of its ‘Prime Time’ ‘Mission to Prey’ programme broadcast on May 23, 2011. Mr Burke claims the programme wrongly depicted him as a paedophile.

Yesterday, he denied the reason a woman was “deeply troubled” in her relationships was because he had sexually exploited her when she was “a vulnerable child”.

He told the High Court he had not had any sexual encounter with Dolores Atwood until 1989 when she was aged 20 and he 40.

Under cross-examination on the fifth day of his action he said that when they first had sex, Ms Atwood was very sexually experienced and his interaction with her could not have warped her later relationships.

He agreed he had other sexual encounters while he was a cleric, including with a married Nigerian mother of eight. He also said he had “embraced” and “improperly touched”, but had not had sex with, a sister of Ms Atwood.

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Catholic Church ‘tipped off’ over child abuse priest

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A paedophile priest fled the country after a police officer tipped off the Catholic Church in Birmingham, a sex abuse victim has claimed.

The man said the officer passed on documents about 30 years ago which led to James Robinson being “spirited away” overseas. The priest was later jailed.

The Archdiocese of Birmingham has always denied knowingly covering up the activities of paedophile priests.

West Midlands Police said claims about the officer were being looked into.

Abuse victim “Donald” campaigned for Robinson to be extradited from the US
The anonymous victim, known as “Donald”, was brought up in the Father Hudson Home for orphans in Coleshill, Warwickshire, where he was repeatedly abused by Father Eric Taylor, who was jailed in 1998.

BBC Midlands Today correspondent Peter Wilson said: “Robinson was Taylor’s protégé, a Roman Catholic priest working across the West Midlands and Staffordshire. He was a serial child abuser.
“In 1985 he moved to America. Donald campaigned for his extradition.”

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Ex-archbishop denies sexually exploiting woman

IRELAND
irish Examiner

Tuesday, June 30, 2015by Ann O’Loughlin

A former Catholic archbishop has denied a suggestion by lawyers for RTÉ the reason a woman was deeply troubled and “skewed” in her relationships was because he had sexually exploited her when she was “a vulnerable child”.

Co Tipperary-born Richard Burke, aged 66, said in the High Court he had not had any sexual encounter with Dolores Atwood until 1989 when she was aged 20 years and he was 40.

When they first had sex, she was very sexually experienced and his interaction with her could not have warped her later relationships, he said.

When she was aged in her 30s, she told him uninvited and in detail about her sexual experience, he claimed.

Mr Burke agreed he had other sexual encounters while he was a cleric, including with a married Nigerian mother-of-eight. He also said he had “embraced” and “improperly touched”, but had not had sex with, a sister of Ms Atwood.

Mr Burke, a member of the Kiltegan Fathers who served as a priest, and later as bishop and archbishop in Nigeria after being ordained in 1975, remains under continuing cross-examination in his action against RTÉ.

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OR–Victims blasts Catholic officials on hidden camera

OREGON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, June 29

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

A priest kept quiet for a month and his archbishop kept quiet for another month about a hidden camera in a church restroom. Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample and Fr. Ysrael Bien both owe parents, parishioners and the public apologies and explanations. We hope that anyone who has information or suspicions about this crime will summon the strength to call law enforcement immediately.

[Oregon Live]

Fr. Bien should be harshly and publicly disciplined, not just suspended. Catholic officials routinely turn a blind eye to evidence of sexual misdeeds. When wrongdoers are caught, Catholic officials rarely punish them severely. And that’s why clergy sex crimes and misconduct continues – because those who ignore, hid or enable it are usually promoted, not punished.

Current or former church staff or members at St. Francis Church should do what’s right – call police or prosecutors immediately with any knowledge or suspicions they may have about sexual wrongdoing, no matter how old, small or insignificant it may seem.

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Clergy Abuse Victims Call For Others To Come Forward

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Three victims of clergy abuse have made a video appeal for other victims to come forward.

An attorney for victims is asking a judge to order the video be played in all 216 Minnesota parishes on Sunday, July 12. Victims have only until August 3 to file a claim.

The original deadline was May of 2016. That was part of the law passed by the Minnesota legislature that temporarily waived the civil statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases. But because the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy, the deadline had to be rolled back to August 3.

The seven minute YouTube video features an appeal by three abuse victims who have filed claims against the archdiocese.

“I used to be a victim but now I am a survivor you can be one too,” Marie Mielke said in the video. “I know it’s scary, but you are not alone.”

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Video urges church abuse victims to come forward

MINNESOTA
KIMT

[with video]

By Levi Ismail

KIMT News 3 – Attorneys representing victims of clergy abuse are producing a video they hope to be played in churches across Minnesota.

The video is produced by the official committee of unsecured creditors appointed in the bankruptcy case filed by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minnesota.

In the video are three clergy sexual abuse victims who share their messages about why they stepped forward and spoke out. The idea is by playing the video in parishes in the state, other victims can come forward before the August 3 bankruptcy claim file deadline.

“We’ve got to reach the survivors to preserve their rights and to give them a chance to get a measure of justice they’ve never had before. The time however is short and the clock is ticking,” said attorney Jeff Anderson with Jeff Anderson and Associates PA.

Anderson is one attorney representing 103 total victims so far who have come forward to make claims against their abusers. That does not include any other victims who may seek other representation.

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Court Upholds $1 Million Priest Abuse Verdict, Rejects Church Challenge to State Law

CONNECTICUT
The Connecticut Law Tribune

Christian Nolan, The Connecticut Law Tribune
June 29, 2015

The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld a $1 million jury verdict in a priest sexual abuse case against the Archdiocese of Hartford. The 57-page majority ruling also shot down challenges from the diocese that the state’s expanded statute of limitations for bringing sex abuse claims was unconstitutional.

“Given the unique psychological and social factors that often result in delayed reporting of childhood sexual abuse, which frustrated the ability of victims to bring an action under earlier revisions of the statute of limitations, we cannot say that the legislature acted unreasonably or irrationally in determining that the revival of child sexual abuse victims’ previously time barred claims serves a legitimate public interest and accomplishes that purpose in a reasonable way,” wrote Justice Richard Robinson.

Initially such lawsuits had to be filed two years after the victim reached the age of 18. Then in 1991, Connecticut lawmakers extended the statute of limitations to allow civil sexual abuse claims brought by victims until they reach the age of 35 years old. In 2002, during the Bridgeport Catholic Diocese scandal, lawmakers extended the age again, this time allowing plaintifs to file suit until they reach the age of 48.

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An open letter from Father Bauer, and Archbishop Hebda’s response…

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

06/29/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

As many of you will know by now, last Thursday Father John Bauer, rector and pastor of the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, published an open letter to Archbishop Hebda, Bishop Cozzens, and Father Lachowitzer. If you have only read media reports of the letter, but not the letter itself, I strongly encourage you to read it now by clicking here.

Apparently, by Saturday afternoon members of the media had received a short response from Archbishop Hebda, in which he notes that Father Bauer is a ‘respected pastor’ and a member of the College of Consultors, promises to consider the points he raised, and pledges to continue to meet with people to hear their concerns.

Which raises the question of who he has met with or plans to meet with. Before anyone asks, I can assure you that he has not met with me, nor has he expressed any interest in doing so. I also haven’t heard from anyone else indicating that he has met with them or requested to do so.

As a very wise woman reminded me last week, C.S. Lewis had the following to say about progress:

‘We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.’

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.

Former Archbishop admits having string of affairs while he was a priest including with mum-of-eight

IRELAND
Irish Mirror

BY AODHAN O’FAOLAIN

Richard Burke, 66, also had a relationship with a 20-year-old woman but denies having sex with her when she was 14, as she claims.

A former Catholic Archbishop has admitted a string of affairs while he was a priest, including one with a married mother of eight.

Richard Burke, 66, also had a relationship with a 20-year-old woman – but denies having sex with her when she was 14, as she claims.

His sexual history is coming under scrutiny in the High Court, where he is suing RTE for a programme he says depicted him as a paedophile.

Mr Burke, who has since left the priesthood, also denied a suggestion that the reason Dolores Atwood was “deeply troubled” and “skewed” in her relationships was because he had sexually exploited her as a vulnerable child.

The Tipperary-born former cleric said he had not had any sexual encounter with her until 1989 when she was aged 20 and he 40.

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.

Sherwood priest suspended after hidden camera found

OREGON
KGW

SHERWOOD, Ore. – A Sherwood priest has been placed on leave after he waited nearly a month to report a hidden camera found in a church bathroom to the police.

Father Ysrael Bien of the St. Francis Church in Sherwood was placed on administrative leave June 24, according to a spokesman for the church.

In a letter distributed to the church community, the Archdiocese explained that a hidden camera found in the men’s bathroom was brought to Fr. Bien on April 26. Bien, however, waited until May 20 to report the incident to Sherwood police.

The camera was made to look like a plug outlet and was put next to a toilet, according to Sherwood police.

“It is deeply troubling that well-established Church protocols for the protections of parishioners were not followed,” said Archbishop Alexander Sample. “Finding a hidden camera in a church restroom should have been the cause for prompt and decisive action.”

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.

Sean Brady, the HIA, and the all too familiar problem with organized religion

IRELAND
Slugger O’Toole

Darren Litter on 29 June 2015

Cardinal Sean Brady’s engagement with the HIA outlines a fundamental problem with organized religion: power and rank too often take precedent over a commitment to personal conscience.

While Cardinal Brady has tried to articulate it in a more sugar-coated way, what his conduct in relation to Brendan Smyth shows is that he was prepared to sacrifice his own sense of morality to preserve the power of the Catholic Church in Ireland, and enable himself to climb the Church’s ranking system through displaying an absolute commitment to orders.

Anyone with a steadfast sense of principle would have been appalled by the fact that the Church responded to widespread internal paedophilia with a power preservation strategy. Such a person would have dissented from the Church, and put the actions of somebody like Brendan Smyth on public record so that a process of scrutiny and change could take place.

Clergy like Sean Brady cannot lay claim to integrity because they placed the Church and their own personal standing within it over the sexual abuse of children. They were not outraged by a tremendous evil like the systematic sexual abuse of children to the point of taking clinical action that would potentially result in their own excommunication from the Church.

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

Hidden camera disguised as power outlet discovered in church bathroom, police say

OREGON
Oregon Live

By Emily E. Smith | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on June 26, 2015

A parishioner discovered a hidden camera in the men’s bathroom of St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood, police said Friday.

The camera was disguised as a power outlet and positioned on the wall next to the toilet. It was found April 26 in a bathroom near the chapel, according to police.

The parishioner then handed the camera over to the church’s priest, said Sherwood Police Capt. Ty Hanlon.

Officers began investigating when the priest reported the camera stolen on May 20, Hanlon said. The device turned up missing before the priest could turn it over to authorities, he said.

Officers have done several interviews and searches during their investigation into the disappearance of the device. They have not identified a suspect.

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.

Sherwood priest on leave as police investigate hidden camera

OREGON
Oregon Live

By Brad Schmidt | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on June 28, 2015

A Sherwood priest is on administrative leave as police investigate who is responsible for hiding a camera in a church bathroom.

The St. Francis Church priest, Ysrael Bien, has not been accused of wrongdoing nor has he been named a suspect by police.

The Archdiocese of Portland notified parishioners this weekend that Bien was placed on leave Wednesday, more than a month after church leaders became aware of the incident. The Oregonian/OregonLive reported the investigation on Friday.

The Archdiocese said in a statement that it did not notify parishioners or immediately place Bien on leave “out of an abundance of caution not to interfere with an ongoing police investigation.” The Archdiocese notified parishioners who visited this weekend and also authored a letter, dated June 25, about the incident.

Police said the camera device does not need power to operate and can be placed anywhere by adhering it to a wall with tape.

A church member initially found a camera – disguised as a power outlet – in a St. Francis bathroom on April 26 and turned it over to Bien.

But Bien didn’t contact police until May 20, when he reported it as stolen.

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.

Portland archdiocese suspends priest for not promptly reporting hidden bathroom camera to police

OREGON
New York Daily News

[police statement]

BY JOEL LANDAU

A hidden camera made to look like an electrical outlet was found in the bathroom of an Oregon church and a priest has been placed on leave for not reporting the incident for nearly a month.

The Archdiocese of Portland addressed members of the St. Francis Church in Sherwood, Ore. in a letter Thursday to explain that Fr. Ysrael Bien was placed on administrative leave, Oregon Live reported.

A camera that was designed to look like an electrical outlet was discovered in a men’s restroom in the church and reported to Bien in late April. But the clergyman did not notify police of the incident until May 20, the archdiocese said. The camera, which was attached to the wall with tape, is now missing.

“It is deeply troubling that well-established church protocols for the protection of parishioners were not followed,” the Archbishop Alexander Sample said in a statement. “Finding a hidden camera in a church restroom should have been cause for prompt and decisive action.”

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.

Former archbishop tells jury woman was very sexually experienced when they began relationship

IRELAND
Newstalk

Francesca Comyn

Ex-cleric Richard Burke is suing RTE for defamation over its 2011 Mission to Prey documentary

A former archbishop has told a High Court jury that Nigerian woman Dolores Atwood was very sexually experienced when they began an intimate relationship.

Ex-cleric Richard Burke is suing RTE for defamation over its 2011 Mission to Prey documentary, over claims the programme wrongly depicted him as a paedophile.

RTE denies defamation.

The High Court has heard Nigerian woman Dolores Atwood will testify that the former Archbishop was the first person she had sex with when she was 14-years-old.

66-year-old Richard Burke alleges she was 20-years-old when they slept together in 1989 and he gave evidence today that she was very sexually experienced.

In phone calls with Dolores’s husband Christopher in 2007 the former priest said she’d asked him for money; that he felt she was blackmailing him; that she was totally obsessed with him and that the relationship had never stopped in her heart.

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.

Ex-archbishop denies he sexually exploited ‘vulnerable’ child

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mary Carolan

Mon, Jun 29, 2015

A former Catholic archbishop has denied a suggestion by lawyers for RTÉ the reason a woman was “deeply troubled” was because he had sexually exploited her when she was “a vulnerable child”.

Co Tipperary-born Richard Burke (66) said he had not had any sexual encounter with Dolores Atwood until 1989 when she was aged 20 and he 40.

When they first had sex, she was very sexually experienced and his interaction with her could not have warped her later relationships, he said. When she was aged in her thirties, she told him uninvited and in detail about her sexual experience, he added.

He agreed he had other sexual encounters while he was a cleric, including with a married Nigerian mother of eight. He also said he had “embraced” and “improperly touched”, but had not had sex with, a sister of Ms Atwood.

Mr Burke, a memer of the Kiltegan Fathers who served as a priest, and later as Bishop and Archbishop in Nigeria after being ordained in 1975, remains under continuing cross-examination in his action against RTÉ.

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Francis creates secretariat to elevate, consolidate Vatican communications

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jun. 27, 2015 NCR Today

ROME
Pope Francis has consolidated and elevated the level of importance of the Vatican’s different communications enterprises, creating a new high-level Secretariat for Communications tasked with carrying out work before undertaken by nine separate offices.

The new secretariat becomes only the third of its type at the highest levels of the Vatican bureaucracy, joining church departments that oversee foreign and internal relations and economic matters in importance.

Created with a papal letter known as a “motu proprio” announced in a press release Saturday, the new secretariat will consolidate the work of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Holy See Press Office, Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center, and five other separate entities.

Francis has named Msgr. Dario Viganò, director of the television center, to serve as prefect of the new secretariat. Msgr. Lucio Ruiz, the head of the Vatican Internet Service, will serve as secretary.

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Pope Francis promulgates Motu Proprio instituting the ‘Secretariat for Communications’

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis promulgated on Saturday, 27 June 2015, a Motu Proprio instituting the Secretariat for Communications and nominating Rev. Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò as Prefect of the new Secretariat.

The Motu Proprio establishes that all communications offices will be incorporated under the direction of the new Secretariat for Communications, including the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Holy See Press Office, Vatican Internet Service, Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center (CTV), the Osservatore Romano, Vatican Typography, Photograph Service, and the Vatican Publishing House (Libreria Editrice Vaticana).

The new Dicastery will also work in union with the Secretariat of State for the direction of the institutional website of the Holy See, www.vatican.va and the Twitter account of the Holy Father: @pontifex .

Those nominated to direct the Secretariat are:

-Prefect: Rev. Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, current Director of the Vatican Television Center (CTV)

-Secretary: Rev. Msgr. Lucio Adrian Ruiz, current Office Head of the Vatican Internet Service

-Director General: Dr. Paolo Nusiner, current Director General of Avvenire, Nuova Editoriale Italiana

-Vice Director General: Dr. Giacomo Ghisani, current Head of International Relations Office and Legal Affairs of the Vatican Radio and member of the Administrative Council of the Vatican Television Center (CTV)

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Cupich stays mum on meeting with Pope Francis

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya Brachear Pashman
Chicago Tribune

Chicago’s Archbishop Blase Cupich said he won’t disclose any more of what Pope Francis shared with him during a private meeting last week inside the Vatican, only that the Holy Father has repeatedly asked for prayers in the two personal encounters that followed.

“He was very pronounced about this,” Cupich said in a Skype interview from Rome on Monday. “It’s not a casual type of thing. He really needs prayers at this time of his life.”

Cupich received the pallium from Pope Francis on Monday morning during a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. The pallium, a piece of wool that symbolizes his new office as Chicago’s archbishop, was enclosed in a leather box embossed with gold images of St. Peter and St. Paul. Tied with an orange ribbon, it also included a sealed envelope addressed to the pope’s U.S. ambassador, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the contents of which remain a mystery.

“I don’t open other people’s mail,” Cupich said. During a ritual previously performed by the pope on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in Rome, Vigano will drape the pallium around Cupich’s shoulders Aug. 23 inside Holy Name Cathedral.

The one-on-one interview came a day after Cupich released a statement about two of last week’s Supreme Court rulings, upholding health care and legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states. The statement came out as Chicago’s 46th annual Pride Parade came to a close Sunday afternoon. But Cupich said the timing was not intentional. He simply needed a few days to reflect on the ruling amid a hectic schedule.

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Catholic Priest Confronts Church’s Sexual Abuse Scandal with His New Novel, ‘The Black Wall of Silence’

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Benzinga

In his new novel released by Dog Ear Publishing, Fr. Paul Morrissey, O.S.A., a prison chaplain in Philadelphia, confronts the struggle between loyalty and honesty in the Church during the crisis of sexual abuse and the cover-up by some of its bishops.

(PRWEB) June 29, 2015

The priest on the cover of this new book is rendered mute by his collar, both literally and figuratively. As Fr. Morrissey says, “We need to be able to speak honestly in the Church as Pope Francis has encouraged us. My hope is that this book will foster a discussion about sexuality, gender and power in the Church so that we can heal.” His book is dedicated to Pope Francis.

In the midst of the sexual abuse crisis that is tearing the Church apart, a Catholic priest is caught between fighting for the victims of sexual abuse and his bond of loyalty to the Church. What makes this conflict unique is the internal struggle of the priest who is gay, in a Church that is ashamed of his orientation and rewards him for his silence.

While working as a chaplain in Riker’s Island Jail, Father Zach learns from an inmate’s confession, that the priest whom the inmate is accused of murdering, sexually abused him when he was a teenager. Father Zach discovers that his friend, who is now a bishop, was the one who reassigned this priest after his first abuse. The battle of the priest, determined to defend the inmate, and the bishop, intent on defending the Church, drives the plot to its courtroom climax. Which will prevail – honesty or loyalty?

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Signing deal goes against church wishes, says parent

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

MEREDITH BOOTH THE AUSTRALIAN JUNE 30, 2015]

Parents of intellectually disabled students sexually abused by a South Australian Catholic school volunteer in the 1980s are refusing to sign confidentiality agreements with the church.

It is understood three of the six families seeking compensation for children abused by bus driver Brian Perkins at St Ann’s Special School in Adelaide’s southern suburbs between 1986 and 1991 have received payouts but feel devastated by the process.

One parent said he would not sign a secrecy agreement because it went against the church’s stated desire to be open, honest and generous with victims of abuse.

Peter Mitchell said he would seek advice from the South Australian Commissioner for Victims’ Rights about his right to an open deal for his son, now aged in his 40s. “As far as I understand it, if we don’t sign we don’t get anything for our son,’’ he said.

He said Adelaide Archbishop Phillip Wilson, who stepped away from his post to plead not guilty last month of concealing child sex abuse in the church in a separate NSW matter, had apologised publicly for the childrens’ abuse but had not spoken directly to the families.

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OH–Ousted abusive bishop back on the job

OHIO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, June 29, 2015

For more information: Melanie Jula Sakoda (melanie.sakoda@gmail.com, 925-708-6175 cell), Cappy Larson (cappy@rlarson.com, 415-637-2006)

Bishop retired for sexual misconduct is quietly reinstated
He now works as a “parish priest” in a Pennsylvania church
Victims say it’s an “dangerous, deceptive and callous” move
SNAP wants Orthodox Church officials to take immediate action

A support group for survivors of sexual abuse recently received a phone tip that an Orthodox bishop retired for sexual misconduct was now working as a “parish priest” in a Pennsylvania church.

Bishop Matthias Moriak was retired by the synod of bishops of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) on April 15, 2013, after he was found to have engaged in sexual misconduct.

[Orthodox Church in America]

[Orthodox Church in America]

However, on June 26, 2015, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) received a phone tip that the bishop was working at a parish in Hermitage, Pennsylvania. While there was no indication that Moriak was working at the parish on the OCA’s website, the contact page for Holy Cross Orthodox Church directed emails to “Bishop Matthias – Parish Priest.”

[Orthodox Church in America]

[Holy Cross Orthodox Church]

The parish belongs to the Romanian Episcopate of the OCA. That diocese is led by Archbishop Nathaniel Popp (nathaniel@roea.org, 517-522-4800). Popp is the longest serving hierarch on the OCA’s synod.

Melanie Jula Sakoda of SNAP was appalled to learn the tip was verified. “It’s outrageous and reckless for Archbishop Nathaniel to allow a cleric who the Church determined to have engaged in sexual misconduct to be reinstated as a parish priest.”

“Even when a clergyman engages in sexual misconduct with an adult, the resulting damage can be serious,” added Cappy Larson, also of SNAP. “In the 16 years I have been working with Orthodox victims, two who were abused as adults were in such pain that they chose to end their own lives.”

“The OCA synod needs to put a stop to this,” concluded Sakoda.

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Sexual Abuse Survivors Request …

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

[with video]

Sexual Abuse Survivors Request the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis Play Outreach Video in All Parishes

(St. Paul, MN) – The creditors’ committee in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis bankruptcy case filed a motion in federal bankruptcy court today requesting the Archdiocese play an outreach video in all 216 of its parishes. It is the first time ever in a diocesan bankruptcy that survivors/creditors have made this request. Newly appointed apostolic administrator Bernard Hebda now has an opportunity to demonstrate the Archdiocese’s commitment to helping survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

The video features three members of the bankruptcy creditors’ committee urging all sexual abuse survivors in the Archdiocese to come forward before the August 3, 2015, bankruptcy claim filing deadline. The three survivors tell their stories of trials and tribulations in their individual battles in dealing with the effects of childhood sexual abuse by members of the clergy. The survivors also discuss the feelings of hope and relief they experienced when they eventually broke their silence and came forward and disclosed their history of abuse. The three survivors in the video are:

James Keenan – (Formerly John Doe 76C) James was sexually abused by Fr. Thomas Adamson in the early 1980s at Risen Savior Church in Apple Valley, MN. He has been publicly advocating on behalf of sexual abuse survivors for several years.

Marie Mielke – (Formerly Jane Doe 20) Marie bravely came forward in January 2015 for the first time to speak publicly about her sexual abuse by Fr. Michael Keating, a priest and close family friend.

Curt Raymond – Curt is speaking publicly for the first time about his sexual abuse by Fr. Robert Kapoun. As part of this outreach video Curt has courageously stepped forward to help other sexual abuse survivors find their voice and take action before this important deadline.

“There is a fierce time urgency to reach survivors,” said Attorney Jeff Anderson. “We commend these committee members in their courage and urge all survivors to know that the time is now.”

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Office/651.964.3523 Cell/612.817.8665
Mike Finnegan: Office/651.964.3523 Cell/612.205.5531

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GABRIEL WINGATE-PEARSE: Compassion, and so on

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By GABRIEL WINGATE-PEARSE: June 22, 2015

WITH few true leaders among us, it was refreshing to hear from Newcastle’s Anglican Bishop last week, who delivered an apology with grace and compassion.

Too often those who become leaders seem to arrive at the top of the pile by virtue of arbitrary succession, internal political machinations or by other means entirely separate to their worth as a leader.

After so long, and after what I regard as such a glaring lack of accountability from others addressing failures in their communities, organisations, and congregations, Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson’s remarks in relation to evidence gathered for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse seemed heartfelt and true.

At times struggling to contain his emotions, Bishop Thompson reportedly told those gathered in a church hall how sorry he was for the terrible harm done by perpetrators of child sexual abuse, by those that protected them, and by a culture that would not listen.

Marking his 500th day in the position, he spoke frankly not only about the distant past, but about recent threats which he said had been made against him by bullies within the church.

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OPINION: Bishop’s actions speak volumes

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By Sean Tynan June 29, 2015

THE following is a response to Gabriel Wingate-Pearse’s opinion piece (‘‘Compassion, and so on’’ Herald, 23/6) .

I acknowledge that as the manager of Zimmerman Services, the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle’s child protection service, I am biased. It’s not my intent to comment on the Right Reverend Greg Thompson, Anglican Bishop of Newcastle. Nor am I defending the eloquence, or otherwise, of Catholic Bishop Bill Wright and his introduction of Francis Sullivan on February 25, 2015.

Critical analysis of the diocese’s commitment to protecting children and working to address its terrible legacy of historic child sexual abuse is legitimate and important. I acknowledge our performance to date is not perfect.

However, I believe the article’s premise is unfair. Its argument is that a poor introduction by Bishop Bill at a public forum equates to a lack of commitment or leadership in addressing such issues. Shouldn’t such criticism be based on a more comprehensive consideration of words and deeds?

In my first meeting with Bishop Bill in 2011, he wanted a comprehensive briefing on the diocese’s issues of child abuse. I left absolutely certain of the bishop’s capacity and determination to lead the diocese and do everything reasonable to promote healing and to cooperate and actively support the exposure and investigation of past crimes, whilst working to maximise protection of children and minimise future risk.

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Survivors, advocates form a chapter of anti-abuse network

UNITED STATES
Mennonite World Review

Twelve survivors of sexual abuse and their advocates have formed an Anabaptist-Mennonite chapter of an organization that “protects the vulnerable, heals the wounded and exposes the truth.”
Leaders of the group, known as SNAP-Menno, announced its formation June 23.

SNAP stands for Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests. Founded 26 years ago to expose sexual violations by U.S. Catholic clergy, it has expanded to serve survivors of predators and pedophiles from a variety of faith communities.

SNAP-Menno “provides a safe place, entirely independent of institutional structures, for Mennonite-related survivors to seek healing,” according to a news release.

The group is convened by longtime victim-advocate Ruth E. Krall, an emerita professor at Goshen (Ind.) College, with SNAP-trained survivor-advocates Cameron Altaras, Barbra Graber and advocate Jeff Altaras.

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An ex-priest (Father John Farrell) is named in court on 27 charges regarding five children in northern New South Wales

AUSTRALIA
Broken Rites

Article updated by a Broken Rites researcher, 29 June 2015

A former Catholic priest, John Joseph Farrell, 62, appeared in court on 25 June 2015, charged with 27 sexual offences allegedly committed against five boys between 1981 and 1984 in northern New South Wales. Some offences allegedly occurred while Father Farrell was based at the Moree parish (within the territory of the Armidale Catholic diocese); and some offences allegedly occurred when Farrell visited a parish at Tweed Heads on the NSW north coast. The magistrate rejected Farrell’s request to have his name suppressed. Farrell was remanded in custody. The case is listed for its next mention in Sydney’s Central Local Court on June 30.

John Joseph Farrell was charged by a specialist team of detectives (named Strike Force Glenroe), which was established in 2012 by the Sex Crime Squad at the NSW Police Headquarters, Parramatta, Sydney. This strike force is continuing its investigations while the Farrell matters are awaiting the future court hearings.

Farrell has been living for the past three years at Harden [near Cootamundra and Young] in southern NSW, the June 25 hearing was told. Therefore, the June 25 court procedure was held in southern NSW (at the Wagga Local Court). This was a preliminary hearing to enable these 27 charges to be officially filed for the first time. Now the case, rergarding these 27 charges, has moved to Sydney’s Central Local Court.

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Former bishop tells court of sexual experiences in Nigeria

IRELAND
RTE News

A former Catholic archbishop has told the High Court he had sexual experiences with a number of other people while he was a bishop in Nigeria.

66-year-old Richard Burke from Tipperary is continuing his cross examination in his action for defamation against RTÉ in which he claims he was wrongly branded as a paedophile in a television documentary.

Mr Burke denies he had sex with a woman featured in the programme, Dolores Atwood, when she was 14. He claims she was 20 when they first had sex.

He told the court he had also “embraced and inappropriately touched” her sister after Ms Atwood had moved to Canada.

Mr Burke accepted in cross examination that his relationship with Dolores Atwood was not the only sexual relationship he had.

It was put to him by counsel for RTÉ Paul O’Higgins that he had relationship with a lot of others, numbering “in the teens”.

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Lismore Marist Brothers child sex abuse case wait continues

AUSTRALIA
Northern Star

IT’S been just over a year since the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse heard the harrowing stories from victims of paedophile Marist Brothers at St Carthage’s in Lismore in the 1980s, but it’s still unclear when the commission will hand down its findings.

Over eight days from June 10 to August 7, evidence was given from 17 witnesses in an attempt to establish the Marist Brothers’ response to allegations of child sexual abuse against Brother John “Kostka” Chute and Brother Gregory Sutton.

Former St Cathages assistant principal Jan O’Grady told the commission she long suspected Brother Gregory Sutton was a poison to St Carthage’s Primary School but had her warnings ignored by the Marist Brothers and the Lismore Catholic Education Office.

She said she first became concerned in 1985 when she saw the same group of about five or six children hanging about Sutton in the playground and frequently going into the store room with him to apparently collect sporting equipment.

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George Pell deserves the same justice we all demand

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

GREG CRAVEN HERALD SUN JUNE 30, 2015

IT is rare an entire society is traumatised. But it is undeniable we are all shattered by the evidence before the royal commission into institutional child abuse.

We have seen the leering face of evil. Horror inflicted on the innocent by monsters.

Nothing has been more traumatic than the revelations of abuse in the Catholic Church. That ministers of the kindest being ever to walk the Earth could be so cruel is almost beyond belief.

But it is beyond dispute, and those most appalled are themselves Catholic.

The victims were our friends, our families, ourselves.

Rage is an inevitable and entirely appropriate response.

But we must be careful our just rage does not lead to unjust responses.

The prime case here is Cardinal George Pell. He is such a ready target for our fury.

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Clergy abuse victim to walk across Newfoundland

CANADA
CBC News

A woman who was abused by a priest decades ago is getting ready to walk 900 kilometres across Newfoundland in an effort to improve services for abuse victims at religious institutions.

Gemma Hickey will start her walk in Port aux Basques on Thursday.

On Sunday she held a “pre-walk” around Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John’s — an opportunity for people to walk with her and learn more about why she’s taken on the challenge.

Gemma Hickey is going to walk 900 kms across Newfoundland to bring attention to the need for improved services for abuse victims of religious institutions. (CBC)

Hickey founded an organization called Pathways for men and women who have experienced abuse within religious institutions.

“It’s a deep wound in our province, and I think the best way for people to move forward and deal with it is to actually look at what happened and work toward prevention,” she said.

“We have to do that collectively. It can’t just be one individual.”

Hickey’s goal is to walk 30 kilometres every day, arriving at the Mount Cashel Memorial in St. John’s in early August.

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Opus Dei Prepares America for Pope’s Visit

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on June 28, 2015 by Betty Clermont

Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the United Kingdom in 2010 was supposed to be a debacle. Richard Dawkins reportedly was planning on making a citizen’s arrest of the pope because of the clerical sex abuse scandals. A mock memo suggesting the launch of “Benedict” condoms, his blessing same-sex unions, opening an abortion ward and ordaining women was widely published. Protestors wanted his “state visit” downgraded to a “pastoral visit” so the cost would be paid by the Catholic Church. Arguments for this rested on whether the Vatican counted as an actual state, and even so, state visits are for political reasons.

But by the time the pope arrived, the wind had shifted significantly. Catholic Voices, a project founded by [Opus Dei] specifically for the pope’s visit, had stepped in and provided media training to faithful Catholics who wanted to convey the joy of the Gospel through the media.”

Opus Dei, an official institution of the Catholic Church, at the top is a secret society of international bankers, financiers, businessmen and their supporters. Their goal is the same as other plutocrats – unbridled power – except they use the influence of the Catholic Church and its worldwide network of institutions exempt from both taxes and financial reporting requirements to advance right-wing parties and governments.

Co-founder of Catholic Voices, Jack Valero, is also press officer for Opus Dei in the UK. He was joined by Austen Ivereigh who works with the Opus Dei Pontifical University of the Holy Cross on conferences and making videos for their School on Church Communications.

“Inspired by the success of Catholic Voices, similar groups have appeared across the world, notably in Spain and Mexico, where Ivereigh and Valero have travelled to give training.” Right-wing National Review editor, Kathryn Jean Lopez, is the founding director of the U.S. branch of Catholic Voices. Lopez regularly lectures at Opus Dei’s Catholic Information Center on K Street, Washington D.C., as do other “leaders in the conservative policy world.”

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Can Pope Control US Free Press, Top Court, Congress, President And/Or UN ?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Probably not, but Pope Francis and his low tax billionaire donors seem intent on trying to do so. Indeed, if US voters by the November 2016 elections fail to wake up, the pope could even succeed, at least on matters crucial to the Vatican and their subordinate US bishops. Pope Francis comes from a centuries old tradition of absolute papal monarchs who exploit secret communications and media manipulation. This has been made clear in revealing and well documented detail once again by Betty Clermont here, the stalwart Catholic grandmother and author of The Neo-Catholics. She connects many of the dots that too many in the media seem oblivious to, apparently out of indifference or self interest. What a disappointing shame many in the media are!

The pope has recently confirmed his top down and secretive approach to transparency and media matters with his new clerically controlled Vatican Secretariat for Communications. Now both Vatican finances and information will be tightly controlled by a majority of Vatican clerics answerable ultimately only to an unaccountable pope selected by unaccountable cardinals. The names and committees may change, but the monarchical structure continues. Will Pope Francis’ mythical reformer facade survive his farcical “familyless” October Family Synod or even his US elections’ focused September US visit? Can the papal “spinners” spin that fast? Time will tell, but time is running out for the pope’s “Mañana Strategy”. Catholics are running out of patience and tolerance for the pope’s continuing stall strategies.

Pope Francis, with his planned September US visit, is preparing to step up his diversionary efforts to help elect next year a US president, preferably another named Bush. This troubling papal political interference in US elections seeks the return on a long term basis of a “Vatican friendly” (1) US Supreme Court majority (as up to 5 of the 9 current Supreme Court Justices may be replaced by appointees selected by the next US president), and (2) US Justice Department/Criminal Division, each as had existed mostly under the last two “Vatican friendly” Bush presidencies. Much has changed adversely for the pope, however, since US Republican House leader John Boehner asked him many months ago to address the US Congress. These include (A) ongoing child abuse cover-up criminal proceedings in Minneapolis that could involve the seemingly troubling roles of the brother of President Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff and possibly even the pope’s US ambassador/nuncio, (B) the troubling recent disclosures about the pope’s top financial aide, Cardinal George Pell and Ireland’s former Primate, Cardinal Sean Brady, (C) the vague, almost illusory, Vatican announcement, under pressure from brave abuse survivors Peter Saunders and Marie Collins, of a “captive tribunal” for bad bishops to be set up over five years (after the pope’s own predicted departure date), (D) a Catholic revolt over clerical sex abuse cover-ups in Chile, (E) an overwhelming papal rejection vote on same sex marriage in Catholic Ireland, and even (F) the child abuse allegations about former US Speaker Dennis Hastert that US leaders, including Boehner and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, apparently missed addressing earlier, raising questions as to why no US leaders to date have called for a long overdue national investigation into institutional child sexual abuse. Indeed, the possibility that Hastert, the second in line constitutionally for eight years to be US president if the president and Vice President were unable to serve, might have been a child abuser would make the earlier presidential scandals of Clinton and Nixon seem almost minor by comparison. It seems clear that attention to Hastert’s alleged misdeeds will soon expand quickly to protected institutional child abusers, including US Catholic bishops.

Whatever it takes the pope now, it appears, is acceptable for the Vatican to secure US national political and judicial protection, even if necessary by changing the child abuse subject, including with a diversionary climate encyclical, some selective and hurried Hispanic canonizations (Fr. Junipero Serra and Archbishop Oscar Romero) and multiple wasteful and mainly media driven US papal extravaganzas. The Vatican seems hellbent to try to head off a US national investigation of institutional child sexual abuse, like the massive investigation now underway in Australia and the one now beginning in the UK. The “pope of the poor” seems as profligate in his expenditures for bishops’ protection as were the German “Bishop of Bling” and Newark’s Archbishop Myers on their lavish bathtubs. Incidentally, the Bling Bishop just represented the Vatican in good standing at the US bishops’ semi-annual conference. So much for the pope’s bishop accountability approach.

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Royal Commission into child sexual abuse: children in care denied access to their own files

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

June 29, 2015

Paul Bibby
Court Reporter

Young people who spend their childhoods in Out of Home Care are finding it virtually impossible to access their own case files because the process is choked in red tape, the Royal Commission has heard.

As the Commission continued its examination of institutional child sexual abuse on Monday, four youths who grew up in care described the instability, under-resourcing and lack of ongoing support which continue to characterise the system.

The youths, who now advocate for others in care, said that many wanted to access their case files but gave up because of the impenetrable bureaucracy such requests involved.

“I decided not to do it because it was going to be a nightmare,” Kate Finn from the Youth Movement Initiative said.

“I’ve been told that I need to have permission from anyone who can possibly be mentioned in there who is over the age of 18,” she said.

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Ex-pastor pleads not guilty in porn case

CALIFORNIA
Merced Sun-Star

BY COREY PRIDE
Los Banos Enterprise

A Catholic priest who has been charged with possession of child pornography pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Los Banos on Friday.

The Rev. Robert Gamel stood next to his attorney in Merced Superior Court and declared he was not guilty of a felony count of possession of matter depicting sexual conduct of a person under the age of 18.

If convicted, Gamel faces up to three years in jail or prison. Judge Harry Jacobs set Gamel’s next court appearance, a pre-preliminary hearing, for July 29 at 1:30 p.m.

Gamel, 64, was arrested June 10, following a 10-month investigation by the Los Banos Police Department.

In August, church officials told police the then-pastor of Los Banos’ St. Joseph’s Catholic Church may have obtained nude photographs of a teenage parishioner through the Internet, according to court records.

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Sex scandal now involves gardai who did not do more

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Keeping abuse “secret – very, very, secret” marred lives and smeared the church as authorities reacted poorly

Colum Kenny
PUBLISHED
28/06/2015

James Finley was abused physically and sexually as a child. He overcame the abuse and decided to become a monk. Years into his training he was abused by a priest, and quit.

Finley turned his life around. Today he is a clinical psychologist and respected spiritual teacher. In Ireland last week he gave a moving talk to mark the launch of Spire, the new Irish Spirituality Institute for Research & Education.

But his visit was overshadowed by more revelations about sex abuse here. The kind of positive religious path that he walks, one praised by Fr Michael O’Sullivan SJ who introduced him, seems choked by a Catholic Church mired in abuse and cover-ups.

It is hard to look at pictures of the late Brendan Smyth, multiple child-molester, without wincing. He abused scores of victims when church authorities let him. And it seems, the Gardai let him also.
Any idea that people “did not adequately understand” what child abuse really was “back then” was blown away last week at the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland.

Revelations continue to emerge north of the border, where UTV in 1994 first revealed Smyth’s crimes.

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Debt and questions about spending emerge after Paraguayan bishop ousted by Pope Francis

PARAGUAY
U.S. News

By PETER PRENGAMAN, Associated Press

CIUDAD DEL ESTE, Paraguay (AP) — Children awaiting surgery and women fleeing domestic violence never saw the $350,000 donated for their benefit. Then, there were the questionable property sales and the money for a cleaning business partially owned by a relative.

In the months since Pope Francis ousted the bishop of Paraguay’s second-largest diocese, questions keep surfacing about the Rev. Rogelio Livieres Plano’s management of church money.

As Paraguayan Catholics prepare to welcome Francis during his South American tour that starts July 5, new leaders of the diocese in this eastern border city are trying to erase the debt left by the controversial bishop, raising money through raffles and bingo games. Many parishioners are demanding answers.

“The former bishop ran things like a mafia,” said Carlos Pereira, a humanities professor at the Catholic University in Ciudad del Este. “How did we end up in debt? What happened to the diocese’s properties, to all its assets?”

The diocese is $800,000 in debt, a considerable sum in one of South America’s poorest countries. The arrears have come to light since Livieres Plano, a member of the conservative Opus Dei movement, was pushed out in September.

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‘Detached, egocentric and narcissistic paedophile with no shame or remorse’

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Brendan Smyth’s psychiatric records revealed at abuse inquiry give fresh insights into a child sex abuse that still haunts the Catholic church

Maeve Sheehan
PUBLISHED
28/06/2015

A man hovered in the yard beside Banbridge court house pulling on a cigarette waiting for the now retired Cardinal Sean Brady to come out.

The retired Cardinal had spent Thursday morning telling the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry about the church’s “flawed” response to complaints about Brendan Smyth, the paedophile priest back in 1975.

The man outside the court house watched as Cardinal Brady emerged to a whirr of cameras, got into a waiting silver car and drove away. Then he told a bit of his own story. He had been sexually abused by Smyth in various children’s homes in Northern Ireland. Some years later he was doing time in Magilligan prison when Smyth was incarcerated there for abusing more than 40 children. Some of the other inmates attacked him with snooker balls in a bag but he never went near him. He was still terrified of the monster Brendan Smyth.

Last week, Northern Ireland’s Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) resurrected the ghost of Brendan Smyth. Almost 20 years after his death, when you’d think there was little more that could shock us about paedophile priests and the protectionist Catholic hierarchy, the HIA put into the public domain decades’ worth of internal church documents, letters, medical records and police reports and transcripts.

They provide further insight into the horror of what Smyth’s crimes, marking the response of his superiors – already widely acknowledged as being woeful – as even worse. This is one case where the devil is truly in the detail.

The HIA is investigating whether systemic failures allowed Smyth, who abused at least seven boys in children’s homes, to continue abusing for so long.

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REBUTTAL: Irish Times-Paddy Agnew “Resignations reflect Pope Francis’s hard line on sex abuse cases”.

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Pope Francis has not said a word on why Bishop Finn resigned and why Archbishop Nienstedt resigned. That’s strange. No explanation from the innate loquacious Jesuit Master of Deceits on the exact reasons why the most infamous bishops resigned under his short-term papacy. The truth is Pope Francis is not a reformer but a conformist, a chameleon and a puppet who does not have any “hard lines” but only PR campaigns –– obeying his boss the Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Team and their cunning strategies –– to save the Vatican Empire that’s crumbling down like the Roman Empire.

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Pope Francis creates new secretariat overseeing all Vatican communications

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Jun 27, 2015 / 02:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican’s nine communications offices will soon be consolidated under the authority of the newly-established Secretariat for Communications, per a Saturday directive of Pope Francis.

The Roman Pontiff instituted the new secretariat with a motu proprio titled The current communication context, promulgated June 27. The letter states that the new management body will take effect June 29.

“The current communication context, characterized by the presence and the development of digital media, by the factors of convergence and interactivity, requires a rethinking of the information system of the Holy See and dedication to a reorganization which … must proceed decisively towards integration and a unified management,” the Pope wrote.

“For these reasons, I desire that all organizations which, thus far have dealt with communications in different ways, be brought together in a new Dicastery of the Roman Curia … thus, the communication system of the Holy See will respond in an ever more efficacious manner to the needs of the mission of the Church.”

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Supreme Court sides with kids

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service – Rhymes with Religion

Boz Tchividjian | Jun 27, 2015

A three year old child is brutally beaten by his mother’s boyfriend and then threatened to remain quiet or he’ll get another beating. One morning following another beating, the child goes to school with bruises on his face and is questioned by a concerned teacher. Petrified and not knowing what to do or say, the little boy eventually discloses the horrific abuse to the teacher who calls the police. It is later discovered that this boy had belt marks on his back and stomach, and bruises all over his body. Police also find his 22-month old sister with black eyes, burn injuries, a swollen hand, and two pigtails having been ripped out of their roots. The abuser, Darius Clark , is arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse. Justice seems to be having its way until shortly before the trial when the judge decides that the child isn’t capable of testifying against the defendant.

At trial, the judge did allow the teacher to testify about what the child had told her regarding being hit by the defendant. Fortunately, the defendant was convicted of these horrific crimes and sentenced to prison for 28 years. Unfortunately, just when it seemed as if justice had finally been served, the appellate court reversed the defendants’ conviction. The court ruled that since the child was not able to testify, the teacher’s testimony about what the child had reported violated the defendant’s constitutional right to confront his accuser.

Was the court saying that abused children who are unable to confront their abusers are simply out of luck? Was the court siding with those who hurt little ones? Where is the justice in that?

Fortunately, the appellate court didn’t have the last word. That last word was published last week in a Supreme Court decision getting a bit less attention than others, but no less important. A decision that has the potential to bring much needed justice to abused children around the country.

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Irish Priest reveals serial blackmail by Nigerian lady over sex

IRELAND
The News

An Irish Catholic Priest Richard Burke has revealed the series of threats and blackmail by a Nigerian lady, with whom he himself admitted he had an ‘inappropriate sexual relationship’, because as a priest he had sworn to celibacy.

In a defamation suit against RTÉ, alleging he was wrongly depicted as a paedophile in the 2011 Prime Time Investigates programme Mission to Prey, Co Tipperary-born Richard Burke, now 66 years old told the court how he was pestered for money by the Nigerian lady, now Mrs. Dolore Atwood based in Canada.

In direct examination, Mr Burke told his counsel Jack Fitzgerald SC Ms Atwood sought €200,000 from him in 2009 after he had paid her some €176,000 over a number of years.
When he told her he could not get the money, she asked him, and he agreed, to have sex with her in an hotel in Halifax, Canada, he said.

He felt “terrorised” by Ms Atwood and feared she would disclose their sexual relationship which would bring disgrace and shame on himself and his ministry.

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Priest Sues Accuser After Sex Abuse Charges Dropped

ST. LOUIS (MO)
CBS St. Louis

Associated Press/Kevin Killeen (@KMOXKilleen)

ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOX) – A St. Louis priest who was accused of sexually abusing a boy in a Catholic school bathroom before the charges were dropped earlier this month is suing the alleged victim’s parents, police and a victim’s rights group.

Barbara Dorris of The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) tells KMOX that she believes the suit is intended to send a message.

“Our fear is that this is a way to intimidate victims, witnesses and whistle-blowers…into silence,” says Dorris. “If you tell the truth, we will sue you and I think it’s intended to silence people.”

The Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang, 32, filed suit Thursday in U.S. District Court, seeking unspecified damages. The suit claims he was unfairly targeted and his reputation was damaged.

It names the boy’s parents by their initials, as well two police officers, the city of St. Louis, SNAP and SNAP leaders David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris.

Jiang’s lawsuit said he “fled religious persecution in his native land of China, only to face religious persecution in America in the form of unconstitutional discrimination by state officials.” It also said the parents “falsely and maliciously accused (Jiang) of sexually abusing their minor son for the crass motive of monetary gain,” and that police officers went after him because of his religious and racial background.

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Ex-bishop tells court he had sex with woman in Nigeria

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Tim Healy
PUBLISHED
27/06/2015

A FORMER Catholic Archbishop has told the High Court he had an “inappropriate” sexual relationship with a woman in Nigeria which began in 1989 when she was aged 20 and he was 40.

Tipperary-born Richard Burke (66), ordained a priest in 1975, said he felt “uneasy” about the demeanour of then 20-year-old Dolores Atwood, which “gave an impression of being flirtatious”, when she came unexpectedly to his private apartment on a Sunday afternoon in the Nigerian city of Warri in September or October 1989.

Mr Burke was being cross-examined in his continuing action alleging defamation in the May 2011 ‘Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey’ programme.

Mr Burke, a former Archbishop of Benin, Nigeria, alleges it wrongly depicted him as a paedophile. RTÉ denies defamation.

He told the court that after Ms Atwood came to his apartment, he left her in the room while he went to see if he could find a “chaperone” but he later returned alone to the room “in turmoil”.

Her “smile, eyes, expression suggested something to me”, indicated she “wanted to be intimate with me” and he felt “flattered”.

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Catholic pastor calls for release of Archdiocese’s internal investigation into Nienstedt

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Tom Scheck Jun 27, 2015

The head pastor at St. Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis is urging the Twin Cities Archdiocese to release details of an internal investigation into Archbishop John Nienstedt.

Father John Bauer wrote on his blog that releasing the details of the internal investigation into Nienstedt is imperative if the Archdiocese will be able to move forward.

He cited findings from an MPR News report that found Nienstedt limited an investigation into his conduct even though he himself authorized it.

The law firm hired by the archdiocese took statements that accused Nienstedt of inappropriate behavior including sexual advances to at least two priests. Neinstedt denied any inappropriate conduct. He resigned this month after criminal charges were filed over his handling of sexual abuse cases by priests in the archdiocese.

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Ex-priest faces 26 sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Northern Daily Leader

By Ken Grimson June 26, 2015

A MAGISTRATE has refused to suppress the name of a former Catholic priest who has been charged over historic child sex offences allegedly committed in parts of northern NSW.

John Joseph Farrell, 62, was charged on Wednesday by specialist detectives from a strike force set up to investigate alleged assaults upon young children in northern NSW several decades ago.

Farrell appeared in the dock of Wagga Wagga Local Court yesterday afternoon after he was refused bail by local police, charged with 26 separate offences.

During yesterday’s proceedings, detectives were in court, but Farrell was not required to enter a plea to the 18 counts of sexual assault and act of indecency against a person aged under 16.

He is also charged with eight counts of sexual assault of a person under 16.

Farrell did not apply for court bail and it was formally refused by magistrate Erin Kennedy. The case was adjourned to Central Local Court in Sydney next week for Farrell to make a bail application.

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Father John Paul Laicized After Being Allowed to Stay as Pastor During Secret Investigation

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

JUNE 27, 2015 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS

Father John Paul has chosen voluntary laicization. It’s a quiet end to a situation that enraged parents and those who came forward as victims. Due to Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Abuse, he can not be charged with any crimes.

In November of 2013, Father Paul resigned as pastor of Our Lady of Calvary Parish in Philadelphia for “physical and spiritual” health reasons. It was revealed that those “health” issues stemmed from two separate allegations of child sex abuse. At the time, we were outraged that the Archdiocese permitted him to remain as pastor for over a year while he was secretly investigated. When the information became public with his retirement, the Archdiocese suspended him.

The archdiocesan official statement stated, “Father Paul remained in ministry at the parish since that time in a restricted capacity ‘in that he had no unsupervised contact with minors.’ Appropriate notification of his restrictions was made to pertinent parties and a monitoring and support plan was implemented and followed.” He was a pastor running a parish and school. How does one avoid children in that position? Pertinent parties did not include parents. That shows very little respect for families. Maybe our archdiocese leadership will attend some helpful workshops during the World Meeting.

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Ex-Archbishop says woman was 20 when they had ‘inappropriate’ sex in Nigeria

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Tim Healy
PUBLISHED
27/06/2015

A former Catholic Archbishop has told the High Court in Dublin he had an “inappropriate” sexual relationship with a woman in Nigeria which began in 1989 when she was aged 20 and he was 40.

Co Tipperary-born Richard Burke (66), ordained a priest in 1975, said he felt “uneasy” by the demeanour, which “gave an impression of being flirtatious” of then 20-year-old Dolores Atwood when she came unexpectedly to his private apartment in the Nigerian city of Warri in 1989.

Mr Burke was being cross-examined in his continuing action alleging defamation in RTE’s May 2011 Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey programme.

Mr Burke, a former Archbishop of Benin, Nigeria, alleges it wrongly depicted him as a paedophile. RTE denies defamation.

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Priest to face abuse charges, Church commission comments

MALTA
Times of Malta

The Church’s Commission for the Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults said today it takes action in all cases where a risk of harm to children or vulnerable adults is present, based on the information passed on to the Commission and on the outcome of its initial assessment.

The commission was reacting to reports that a priest is due to be taken to court to face child abuse allegations.

The commission said it will not divulge information about specific cases.

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Priest to be charged with abusing minors …

MALTA
Malta Independent

Priest to be charged with abusing minors after reports made to Curia, arraignment in the coming days

A priest will be taken to court in the coming days to face charges of child abuse, TVM has reported.

The charges were presented in court yesterday and the priest, who has not been named, is expected to be arraigned in the coming days. TVM says the priest will not be arraigned under arrest.

It said the police launched an investigation after reports made to the Archbishop’s Curia. Enough evidence has been gathered to arraign the man.

In a statement issued this morning the Curia said it would not be giving any details about the case.

“With reference to the alleged case of abuse reported in the media, the Commission for the Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults would like to clarify that, whilst it will not divulge information about specific cases, according to its policy, the necessary action is taken in all cases where a risk of harm to children or vulnerable adults is present, based on the information passed on to the Commission and on the outcome of its initial assessment.”

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Ministers should insist on right to choose inquiry chair

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Editorial

Perceptions are key in the matter of who carries out inquiries into historic child abuse allegations.

Two religious orders are arguing that the woman appointed to lead the Scottish Government’s inquiry might appear to be biased.

This is on the grounds that Susan O’Brien QC has previously acted in cases against the catholic order the Sisters of Nazareth. She helped alleged victims of abuse challenge a time bar which prevented them from bringing cases against the Catholic order over incidents of abuse they claim happened in its children’s homes in the 1960s and 1970s.

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John Furlong vs. journalist: Both claim to be the victim

CANADA
CBC News

By Jason Proctor, CBC News

Lawyers for former Olympics CEO John Furlong and reporter Laura Robinson spelled out clear and opposing interpretations Friday of the facts surrounding a landmark B.C. Supreme Court defamation case.

Is it a case of a journalist targeted for doing her job? Or of a reasonable man responding to an attack?

Robinson is suing Furlong — claiming he attacked her professionalism and character in response to a 2012 Georgia Straight article alleging verbal and physical abuse against First Nations students at a Burns Lake, B.C., Catholic school.

Her lawyer, Bryan Baynham, told the court that clearing Furlong would declare “open season” on journalists for powerful people seeking to avoid investigative reporters.

“Being adversarial or critical does not mean her reporting was not responsible,” he said.

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Laura Robinson’s Defamation Suit against John Furlong Wraps

CANADA
The Tyee

By Bob Mackin, Today, TheTyee.ca

The lawyer for reporter Laura Robinson conceded at the end of John Furlong’s B.C. Supreme Court defamation trial June 26 that the former Vancouver Olympics chief executive won the battle in the court of public opinion.

“He excels at the court of public opinion,” Bryan Baynham told Justice Catherine Wedge. “My client seeks justice in a court of law.”

The two-week trial was the product of Robinson’s countersuit filed in January 2014. Furlong claimed on several occasions that she was an activist with a vendetta and a poor journalist. Furlong was first to sue Robinson and the Georgia Straight for defamation in November 2012, two months after Robinson’s expose, headlined “John Furlong biography omits secret past in Burns Lake” was published. Robinson’s story accused Furlong of inconsistencies in his Patriot Hearts memoir and abuse against his First Nations gym class students at Immaculata elementary.

Furlong dropped his defamation lawsuits against the newspaper in October 2013 and against Robinson in March of this year after three sexual abuse lawsuits by people claiming to be former students never made it to trial.

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Former Brookings pastor found guilty of sexual contact with a child

SOUTH DAKOTA
Brookings Radio

by Perry Miller

A Brookings County jury finds a former Brookings pastor guilty of sexual contact with a child under 16.

The verdict was returned against 37-year-old Timothy Bariteau Thursday afternoon. Bariteau was indicted last November and arrested in California, where he had been living

The incident occurred in April or May of 2014 when Bariteau was one of the pastors at Morningside Community Church in Brookings.

The jury deliberated for about five hours yesterday before returning the guilty verdict. States Attorney Clyde Calhoon says the jury reviewed the video of Bariteau being interviewed by D-C-I agents during the deliberations. Those had also been shown during the trial.

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Ex-Brookings pastor convicted of sex crime with child

SOUTH DAKOTA
Capital Journal

Associated Press

BROOKINGS — A jury has convicted a former Brookings pastor of having sexual contact with a child under the age of 16.

Brookings Radio reports (http://bit.ly/1LJMEy4 ) that 37-year-old Timothy Bariteau was indicted last November and arrested in California, where he had been living. He was convicted Thursday after a Brookings County jury deliberated for about five hours.

Authorities say the crime occurred in April or May of 2014 when Bariteau was one of the pastors at Morningside Community Church in Brookings.

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Attorneys: Deposing Catholic school priest would “harass and embarrass”…

ALABAMA
WSFA

[with video]

Attorneys: Deposing Catholic school priest would “harass and embarrass” him, regarding past sex allegations

By Kati Weis, FOX10 News Reporter

MOBILE, AL (WALA) – According to the most recent court documents filed in Mobile County Circuit Court, attorneys for Father Johnny Savoie are still trying to block subpoenas requesting to hear his sworn testimony about previous allegations against him.

They’re even saying that requiring his testimony would “harass and embarrass” him.

This all began when parents of former students at St. Pius X Catholic School in Mobile filed suit against the school, alleging the school’s administrators did nothing to stop their children from being bullied.

So far, 15 plaintiffs, including parents, former, and current students, have filed in the suit against the school.

While pursuing that lawsuit, lawyers representing the plaintiffs found a statement Savoie made to his congregation last year, denying sexual misconduct allegations involving a teenage boy.

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Former Lumen Christi Teacher to Stand Trial

MICHIGAN
WILX

Prosecutors have added six additional charges against a former Michigan Catholic school priest, teacher and wrestling coach in connection with reported sexual assaults of boys more than three decades ago.

James Rapp now faces 19 criminal sexual conduct charges after two more alleged victims came forward.

The charges were amended Friday at a district court hearing.

The 76-year-old Rapp waived a preliminary examination, sending the case to circuit court. Bond is set at $1 million.

The state attorney general’s office says the abuse took place from 1981 to 1986.

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Basilica priest to archdiocese: release Nienstedt probe details

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune JUNE 26, 2015

A prominent Catholic cleric has asked the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to release details of two investigations into alleged sexual misconduct by former Archbishop John Nienstedt.

The Rev. John Bauer, pastor of the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, said refusing to share the archdiocese-commissioned investigations suggests that “the Archdiocese has not been transparent, honest and forthcoming in the information it is has shared with the faithful. …”

“I realize objections will be raised in regard to the release of this material,” Bauer wrote in an open letter Thursday to Archbishop Bernard Hebda, Bishop Andrew Cozzens and Vicar General Charles Lachowitzer.

“Given the fact that Archdiocesan funds were used, however, I firmly believe that the right of the faithful to this information outweighs any objections. More importantly, I believe that in order for our Archdiocese to rebuild the trust needed for the healing process to begin, full disclosure is essential.”

The archdiocese did not respond Friday to a request for comment.

The letter marks the first time a member of the Twin Cities clergy has publicly solicited the results of the investigations, which the archdiocese commissioned last year after receiving anonymous allegations about misconduct in Nienstedt’s personal life.

It was written by a well-known Twin Cities priest who has not publicly criticized Nienstedt in the past, and it reflects the difficult financial and ethical questions confronting many religious and lay leaders taken aback by Nienstedt’s resignation. Bauer declined to comment further.

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Thornbury Bookstore murder of Maria James: priest Anthony Bongiorno cleared

AUSTRALIA
Perth Now

DETECTIVES investigating the cold case murder of a mother in 1980 have cleared her family’s priest as a suspect.

Maria James was stabbed to death at the Thornbury Bookstore 35 years ago.

The case was reopened in 2013 when her son revealed new evidence that he alleged may have implicated Father Anthony Bongiorno.

But Detective Sen-Sgt Stuart Bailey, of the Homicide Squad, said Father Bongiorno — who died in 2002 — had now been ruled out as a suspect.
.
“Father Bongiorno … has been eliminated as a suspect through a variety of investigative techniques,” Det Sen-Sgt Bailey said.

He said the investigation had uncovered “other avenues of inquiry” as police continued to investigate Ms James’s murder.

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Clerical abuse survivor glad of inquiry into garda inaction

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Saturday, June 27, 2015

By Evelyn Ring
Irish Examiner Reporter

Clerical sex abuse survivor and papal representative Marie Collins said she was glad there would be an inquiry over the failure by the gardaí to act on information it had in 1973, about paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

“There can be no excuse for the gardaí not acting on the information they had then. There can be no justification for doing nothing,” Ms Collins said yesterday.

Evidence was provided to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland this week that gardaí in Finglas, Dublin, had been alerted in 1973 about a very real risk of future abuse by Smyth.

Belfast solicitor Kevin Winters said he would be writing to the Garda Commissioner Nóirin O’Sullivan to find out why the letter informing gardaí that Smyth was “suffering from paedophilia” was not acted on.

Mr Winters’ firm represents a number of Smyth’s victims, who are seeking damages against the gardaí for failing to prevent crimes against the innocent and vulnerable.

Confidential documents from St Patrick’s Hospital in Dublin disclosed during the inquiry showed that Smyth was receiving psychiatric treatment in 1973 for his sexual propensities.

The Department of Justice and Equality said it would examine any conclusions or findings made by the historical abuse inquiry that were relevant to this jurisdiction.

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Catholic nuns raise ‘bias’ issue over child abuse inquiry chairwoman

SCOTLAND
Telegraph

Catholic nuns who faced a barrage of compensation claims from youngsters in care are seeking to overturn the appointment of a leading lawyer as head of an inquiry into historical child abuse in Scotland.

The Congregation of the Poor Sisters of Nazareth and The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul are seeking to set aside the decision of the Scottish Ministers to make Susan O’Brien QC chair of the inquiry in a judicial review.

Miss O’Brien, who previously sat on an inquiry into the death of Caleb Ness in Edinburgh, was appointed in May to the new role by Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Angela Constance and her appointment is due to begin on July1.

The religious groups have expressed concerns that Miss O’Brien will end up acting as judge after previously appearing on behalf of people who were pursuing claims against one of them.

Their counsel Alastair Duncan QC told the Court of Session in Edinburgh: “The Scottish Ministers would be acting unlawfully, unreasonably and irrationally in pursuing such an appointment.”

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Laura Robinson’s lawyer says John Furlong win would have “chilling effects” for journalism

CANADA
Georgia Straight

by Carlito Pablo on June 26th, 2015

The lawyer for a journalist who is suing John Furlong for defamation warned of the “chilling effects” that will be created if the former Vancouver Olympics CEO prevails in the case.

In his closing arguments in B.C. Supreme Court, Bryan Baynham said a Furlong victory would signal that it’s “open season” for the “wealthy and powerful” to destroy the reputations of journalists like his client, Laura Robinson.

“Journalists by their very nature publish uncomfortable allegations,” Baynham said today (June 26).

They are, in turn, expected to act responsibly, which, according to Baynham, was what Robinson did when she investigated and wrote about omissions made by Furlong in his autobiography and the alleged abuses he committed against First Nations students during his previously undisclosed early years in Canada.

Baynham said that Robinson did what a “good investigative journalist” does, which was to conduct research and interviews.

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Supreme Court upholds rights of abuse victims

CONNECTICUT
CT Post

By Daniel Tepfer
Published 5:00 pm, Friday, June 26, 2015

HARTFORD — The state Supreme Court on Friday rebuffed the Roman Catholic Church’s attempt to curb the number of lawsuits brought by those who claim they were abused as children by priests, upholding the law that allows abuse victims to file lawsuit until they are 48.

Upholding a $1.3 judgment for a man who claimed he was abused by a priest at a Derby school in the early 1980s, the state’s highest court ruled the 13-year-old law extending the statute of limitations for abuse lawsuits is constitutional.

“Given the unique psychological and social factors that often result in delayed reporting of childhood sexual abuse, which frustrated the ability of victims to bring an action under earlier revisions of the statute of limitations, we cannot say that the legislature acted unreasonably or irrationally,” the court ruled.

New Haven lawyer Thomas McNamara, who represented the plaintiff in the Derby case, said sex abuse victims often don’t come to terms with the abuse until much later in life and the state legislature recognized that when in 2002 it voted to extend the statute of limitation on sex abuse cases to 30 years from when a complainant reaches 18. The law was made retroactive.

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FR. JIANG SUES PARENTS, ETC.

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger’s Beat

June 26, 2015 Author: berger

In a first, an archdiocesan priest is going after parents of a young alleged victim of a pedophile priest. Fr. Joseph Jiang has filed a civil federal lawsuit against the mom and dad of a Cathedral parish boy who city cops and prosecutors say was molested by the priest. Jiang’s Clayton lawyer once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The suit also names as defendants two police officers, two SNAP leaders and the city itself, claiming religious discrimination and other counts. “We feel terrible for these brave parents who’ve done nothing but act with courage and compassion to protect other kids,” said SNAP’s David Clohessy.

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Former Olympic CEO defamed freelance journalist: lawyer

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

SUNNY DHILLON
VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 26, 2015

Former Vancouver Olympics CEO John Furlong defamed freelance journalist Laura Robinson by portraying her as a cruel and callous activist who tried to extort money from him, Ms. Robinson’s lawyer said Friday in his closing argument.

And, the lawyer said, Mr. Furlong should not be able to claim he was merely responding to an attack, because his statements showed a “reckless disregard for truth.”

Ms. Robinson is suing Mr. Furlong for his response to a story she wrote in September, 2012, which alleged the former Olympics CEO abused students while teaching in northern B.C. more than 40 years ago.

Mr. Furlong held a news conference the day the article was published, saying the story showed a lack of diligence and accusing Ms. Robinson of having a vendetta against him. Ms. Robinson also claims in her lawsuit that Mr. Furlong implied she tried to extort him.

Bryan Baynham, one of Ms. Robinson’s lawyers, told the court Mr. Furlong’s statements from September, 2012, to December, 2013, “were defamatory both in their literal meaning and in their inferential meaning.”

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Furlong portrayed journalist as motivated by contempt for male authority: lawyer

CANADA
680 News

by THE CANADIAN PRESS

VANCOUVER – A lawyer for a freelance journalist says former Olympics CEO John Furlong portrayed her as a heartless, cruel and callous activist who was motivated by contempt for male authority figures.

Bryan Baynham has begun his closing arguments in a civil trial where Laura Robinson is alleging Furlong defamed her in public comments after she wrote an article that alleged he physically and verbally abused First Nations children decades ago.

Furlong held a news conference the day the article was published in the Georgia Straight newspaper in September 2012 and accused Robinson of a shocking lack of diligence, inaccurate reporting and a personal vendetta.

Baynham says Robinson sought Furlong’s comment four times through his lawyer, but he refused to explain why he had omitted from his memoir “Patriot Hearts” his past work as a teacher at a Catholic school in northern B.C. in 1969 and 1970.

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Fr Brendan Smyth case: Calls for Irish government action over police failings

IRELAND
BBC News

By Kevin Sharkey
BBC News NI

The Irish government is facing calls to respond to revelations that police failed to prosecute the paedophile priest, Brendan Smyth, in the 1970s.

It emerged this week at the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry that Gardaí (Irish police) knew Smyth was a paedophile as far back as 1973.

Smyth continued to abuse for more than 20 years, until he was jailed in 1994.

Both the main opposition party, Fianna Fáil, and Sinn Féin have called on the government to take action on the case.

‘Dismay and disgust’

Sinn Fein has urged Dublin ministers to set-up an independent judicial review into the HIA revelations.
Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesperson, Niall Collins, urged the Irish minister for justice and the head of the police to set up a “mechanism” to address concerns that state agencies failed to act to protect Smyth’s victims.

Mr Collins said: “Along with the rest of the country, I have watched with growing dismay and disgust as further details of Brendan Smyth’s abuse has been laid bare in the hearings in Banbridge.

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“I’M VERY SCEPTICAL ABOUT IT”

IRELAND
Today FM

One of Fr Brendan Smyth’s victims is not very impressed with Cardinal Sean Brady’s expressions of regret about his role in failing to prevent Smyth’s abuse.

The former Catholic Primate of All Ireland, Sean Brady, has expressed his horror and offered an unreserved apology to all those affected as a result of the crimes of Fr Brendan Smyth. Brady received sharp criticism after it emerged he had been meetings where two teenage victims of Smyth were sworn to secrecy in 1975.

Their evidence was never handed over to police. Smyth continued abusing children before the authorities eventually caught up with him and he was jailed in 1994. He died in prison in 1997. Brady said:

“There was a shroud of secrecy and confidentiality with a view not to destroying the good name of the church. To offset that, the scandal was kept a secret — very, very secret. Everybody involved would be bound to secrecy too.” The evidence from Smyth’s victims was never handed over to police, allowing the west Belfast churchman to continue abusing children before he was finally jailed in 1994.

One of Smyth’s victims Helen McGonigle spoke to Matt from her home in Connecticut. Helen was just six years old when Smyth first abused her. Now a successful attorney in Connecticut, she says Smyth destroyed her family. She blames Smyth for the death of her sister and brother and the demise of her mother.

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‘I’m not going to hide’ says man allegedly victimized by former Jackson priest

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Theresa Ghiloni | tghiloni@mlive.com
on June 26, 2015

JACKSON, MI – A man who said he was among those victimized by former priest at Jackson Lumen Christi High School more than 30 years ago wants other victims to know that justice and closure are possible.

Andrew Russell, 46, spoke with the Jackson Citizen Patriot after a probable cause hearing for 75-year-old James Rapp, who faces 19 counts of criminal sexual conduct for crime he is accused of committing from 1981 through 1986.

“I’m not going to … hide my face, I’m going to step forward and talk for these people and represent these people,” Russell said. “It’s not just about this case. It’s about abuse worldwide and coming forward and getting healing. … It’s time justice was served, and to move on and get healing.”

He said there should be no shame or embarrassment in sharing the truth.

“I hate that it’s me, but somebody has to,” he said.

Russell said he is grateful that two men came forward in 2013 and reported the abuse to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Tim Schlundt then launched an extensive investigation against Rapp, who has been serving a 40-year prison sentencing in Oklahoma since 1999.

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Priest files lawsuit after sex abuse charges dropped

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KSDK

Alexandra Martellaro, KSDK

ST. LOUIS — A Roman Catholic priest who was accused of sexually assaulting a boy has filed a lawsuit, claiming he was unfairly targeted.

Charges against the Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang were dropped last week without explanation. He was accused of abusing a young boy in 2011 and 2012 in a Catholic school bathroom.

The suit names the boy’s parents by their initials, two police officers, the city of St. Louis, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and SNAP leaders David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris. It’s seeking unspecified damages.

Jennifer Joyce’s office left the door open for the case to be refiled in the future. The statement said the statute of limitations on this case does not run out for another 35 years, leaving plenty of time to refile the case.

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AG’s office raids monastery where priest accused of sex abuse lived

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLIve

By The Associated Press
on June 26, 2015

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Agents with the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office have seized documents and computers from a monastery where a Franciscan friar killed himself after he was accused of sexually abusing students at schools in two states.

The attorney general’s office refused to comment on Thursday’s raid at the St. Bernardine Monastery near Hollidaysburg, Blair County. Officials also declined to comment.

Sixty-two-year-old Brother Stephen Baker stabbed himself in the heart in January 2013, nine days after the Roman Catholic diocese in Youngstown, Ohio, settled abuse claims with 11 former students at a school in that state.

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Connecticut court upholds $1 million verdict in priest abuse case

CONNECTICUT
Record-Journal

Associated Press

HARTFORD — The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld a $1 million jury verdict in a priest sexual abuse case against the Archdiocese of Hartford.

A jury in Waterbury Superior Court determined in 2012 that the archdiocese was reckless and negligent in letting the Rev. Ivan Ferguson work with children again in 1981 at the St. Mary’s school in Derby.

The lawsuit said Ferguson sexually abused a St. Mary’s student, known only as Jacob Doe in court documents, about 20 times between 1981 and 1983, beginning when he was 13. Court documents say the abuse happened after Ferguson received treatment for abusing other boys.

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Ct Supreme Court Upholds $1 Million Verdict In Priest Sex Abuse Case

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

The state Supreme Court Friday upheld a $1 million verdict in a priest sexual abuse case while at the same time rejecting an argument by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford that a state law which extended the statute of limitations for potential victims to file a lawsuit was unconstitutional.

In February 2012, a jury in Waterbury awarded a former altar boy $1 million after a trial in which the victim, identified in court papers as Jacob Doe, testified that he and a friend were repeatedly molested and sexually assaulted by the Rev. Ivan Ferguson and a friend of the priest.

During oral arguments before the Supreme Court last year the archdiocese argued to overturn the verdict based on a variety of claims — including that the trial judge erred by not allowing an expert witness to testify for the church and by allowing the jury to hear testimony from a deposition of Ferguson, who died years ago.

But the most controversial argument was that the state legislature’s decision in 2002 to extend the statute of limitation for civil cases on sexual assault claims to 30 years from when a complainant reaches 18 was unconstitutional.

The statute of limitations had previously been 17 years. The change was retroactive.

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Gli abusi sessuali su minori nella Chiesa cattolica

ITALIA
UAAR

[An overview of clergy abuse in the Catholic Church. In response to the many requests of visitors to the website of UAAR , a fact sheet has been prepared on the problem of child sexual abuse committed by Catholic Church representatives. Other fact sheets will follow, which will analyze the various aspects of the phenomenon, and in particular the Italian reality.]

In risposta alle tante sollecitazioni dei frequentatori del sito della UAAR, è stata preparata questa prima scheda informativa sul problema degli abusi sessuali sui minori commessi da esponenti della Chiesa cattolica. Ne seguiranno altre, che analizzeranno i vari aspetti del fenomeno ed in particolare la realtà italiana.

Presa di coscienza del problema negli Stati Uniti

Il problema degli abusi sessuali su minori era noto negli Stati Uniti, anche se non nelle sue reali dimensioni, fin dagli anni Cinquanta del Novecento, anche se solo nel 1967 se ne era tenuta una pubblica discussione presso il campus della Notre Dame University. Il clero cattolico statunitense tuttavia, almeno fino agli anni Ottanta, se ne è interessato solo occasionalmente.
Nel settembre 1983 il “National Catholic Reporter” aveva portato il problema alla ribalta nazionale; ma solo nel 2002, dopo la pubblicazione di alcuni articoli accusatori sul “Boston Globe”, il tema ha polarizzato i media e suscitato un vasto allarme sociale, giacché è sembrato subito evidente che (a) gli abusi sessuali costituivano una realtà documentata, (b) il loro numero era notevole, (c) vi era stata una politica di segretezza e di copertura degli abusi da parte della Chiesa locale, (d) la Chiesa non aveva preso adeguati provvedimenti nei confronti dei colpevoli, limitandosi per lo più ad allontanarli dalla loro sede ma senza limitarne il contatto con altre possibili vittime, (e) il fenomeno non era limitato agli Stati Uniti.

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Nuns begin legal action over abuse inquiry chair

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

Chris Marshall

TWO religious groups have begun legal action to remove the head of a national inquiry into historical child abuse from her post.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh heard how Ms O’Brien acted as legal counsel in two cases brought against the Poor Sisters of Nazareth which reached the House of Lords.

Both religious congregations ran children’s homes during the twentieth century which became subject to allegations of abuse during the 1990s.

The court heard how Ms O’Brien had acted on behalf of two pursuers during an appeal to the House of Lords on the issue of the timebar, which prevents action being taken once a period of time has passed. The case related to alleged abuse at the Nazareth House children’s home in Cardonald, Glasgow, which is now closed. The legal proceedings concluded in 2008.

Alastair Duncan QC said: “The particular concern that my clients have is that Ms O’Brien had acted for clients alleging abuse against them.”

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Catholic charities raise issue of ‘bias’ over child abuse inquiry chairwoman

SCOTLAND
BBC News

Two Catholic charities have objected to the choice of chairwoman for Scotland’s public inquiry into historical cases of child abuse.

The Congregation of the Poor Sisters of Nazareth and the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent De Paul have lodged a petition for judicial review.

They raised the issue of bias over the appointment of Susan O’Brien QC, who has acted in a case against them.

The charities’ petition will be heard at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The government said it would “robustly” defend the appointment, while some victims called the legal move “disappointing” and “outrageous”.

The action centres on Ms O’Brien’s involvement in a case brought by two former residents of Nazareth House children’s home in Glasgow.

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Foto osè con minori nel pc sequestrato all’ex vescovo di Trapani

ITALIA
la Repubblica

[Daring photos of minors were seized from the computer of Francesco Micciche, former bishop of Trapani in Italy.]

di ALESSANDRA ZINITI

Più gli inquirenti scavano nella vita di Francesco Micciché, più l’inchiesta nata dagli ammanchi alla Curia di Trapani prende strade impreviste e imprevedibili: dagli affari immobiliari alla truffa dell’otto per mille, dall’appropriazione di tesori della Chiesa trapanese alla pedopornografia. La più scabrosa delle ipotesi di reato a carico dell’ex vescovo di Trapani è emersa nelle scorse settimane dall’esame del pc che gli investigatori hanno sequestrato nella villa di Monreale dove l’ex vescovo, rimosso dal Vaticano dopo lo scandalo che ha travolto la Curia di Trapani, risiede insieme alla sorella e al cognato.

Nel portatile del sacerdote gli esperti informatici che erano a caccia di documenti che potessero sostenere le accuse nei confronti di Micciché, indagato per appropriazione indebita dalla Procura di Trapani, hanno trovato un vero e proprio album fotografico che ritrae in pose inequivocabili dei minori, alcuni molto piccoli. Le ha scaricate l’ex vescovo per uso personale o qualcun altro dei suoi familiari ha avuto accesso a quel pc e a quei file? Una domanda alla quale adesso dovrà rispondere il consulente nominato dai pm cooordinati da Marcello Viola.

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Missbrauch: Irischer Kardinal räumt Vertuschung ein

IRLAND
kath.ch

[Abuse: Irish Cardinal admits coverup]

Dublin, 26.6.15 (kath.ch) Der frühere katholische Primas von Irland, Kardinal Sean Brady (75), hat Fehler und Vertuschungsversuche im Umgang mit Missbrauchsfällen eingeräumt. Medienberichten vom Freitag, 26. Juni, zufolge bedauerte Brady bei der Anhörung vor der Kommission zur Untersuchung von Missbrauchsfällen in der katholischen Kirche, dass man sich fälschlicherweise nicht um die Opfer, sondern um den Täter gekümmert habe. Er sprach von einem «dunklen Kapitel unserer Geschichte».

Mit Blick auf den Fall des pädophilen Priesters Brendan Smyth, der mehrfach in andere Gemeinden weiterversetzt worden war, räumte Brady «unangemessenes Verhalten» ein. Man habe «mit der Absicht, den guten Ruf der Kirche nicht zu zerstören, einen Schleier des Schweigens und der Geheimhaltung» über die Angelegenheit gelegt. Es habe sich um «unsägliche Vergehen gehandelt»; deshalb habe man den «Skandal geheim gehalten – sehr, sehr geheim».

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St. Louis priest files federal lawsuit after child abuse charges dropped

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOV

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Rev. Xiuhui “Joseph” Jiang filed a federal lawsuit days after the St. Louis circuit attorney’s office dismissed child abuse charges against him.

In the lawsuit, filed Thursday, Jiang claims he was unfairly targeted by the city, police and sexual abuse victims.

The lawsuit names St. Louis police officers Tonya Porter and Jaimie Pitterle, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and its leaders, David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris, the City of St. Louis and the accuser’s parents.

Jiang had been accused of twice abusing a male victim under the age of 14 between July 2011 and August 2012.

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MO–In a first, priest sues alleged victim’s parents

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victims to hold news conference
In a first, priest sues alleged victim’s parents
SNAP leaders, police officers and city are also accused
Group to Archbishop “Why let a twice-accused predator do this?”

What:
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will discuss an unprecedented new federal lawsuit in which, for the first time ever, an accused local child molesting cleric is suing

–an alleged victim’s parents
–SNAP
–the police and/or
–the city

The victims will blast the priest’s “intimidating” legal maneuver and will blast the archbishop for letting him do this.

For the sake of public safety, SNAP wants Catholic officials to

–disclose the priest’s whereabouts,
–take his passport so he can’t flee overseas, and
–publicly answer troubling questions about the cleric and his relationship to the archbishop.

They will also urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered the twice-accused priest’s crimes to call “independent sources of help, like therapists, police, prosecutors or support groups.”

When:
TODAY, Friday, June 26 at 2:30 p.m.

Where:
Outside the St. Louis Cathedral on Lindell at Taylor in the city’s Central West End

Who:
Three members of a support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

Why:
Earlier this month, prosecutors dropped child sex abuse charges against a twice-accused archdiocesan priest with close ties to St. Louis’ top Catholic official but said they hope to re-file the case later.

Now, the priest is suing the alleged victim’s parents, SNAP, two police officers and the city of St. Louis claiming his religious freedom has been violated and his reputation has been besmirched.

[St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Even though a civil child sex abuse case against the priest is pending, church staff have hinted that the suspended cleric may be put back to work in a parish. SNAP opposes that potential move and wants church staff to take the priest’s passport to prevent him from fleeing the US.

Despite an official national church policy mandating “openness” in pedophile priest cases, Archbishop Robert Carlson refuses to reveal where Fr. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang is living, why he had a bedroom in Carlson’s home and why Fr. Jiang followed Carlson from city to city (a highly unusual arrangement in the Catholic church). Carlson also refuses to address an allegation that Fr. Jiang admitted to a girl’s parents that he’d molested their daughter and that Carlson tried to get the parents to give him the $20,000 check that the priest reportedly left on their car windshield. SNAP wants Carlson to honor his pledges to be “transparent” and publicly disclose this information.

Carlson only real response to these accusations was an eight-page civil legal filing in which he calls “baseless” the charge that he tried to tamper with evidence. On five other charges, however, Carlson basically argues that he can’t be held responsible even if the allegations in the case are true. Carlson’s lawyers want the entire civil case tossed out.

The civil suit charges that Carlson “knew (Fr. Jiang) was dangerous to children before (a girl) was abused,” last summer, asked the alleged victim’s parents for a $20,000 check the priest had given them, committing “the criminal offense of attempted tampering with evidence,” because he reportedly suggested that the girl’s parents “return to him the check.” (The parents, however, had given it to police.)

SNAP says that Carlson is “opting to fight on the technicalities, not on the merits” and “ignoring his promises of openness while adopting maneuvers of defense that cloud, rather than clarify the situation,” as he has in dozens of other, older clergy sex abuse and cover up cases.

Fr. Jiang was arrested in June 2012 for repeatedly molesting a Lincoln County girl numerous times in 2012 (mostly in her home). He was charged with alleged child sex crimes and “victim tampering.” Those charges were dismissed in November 2013. In April 2014, he was arrested on charges of repeatedly molesting a St. Louis city boy between 2011-2012 (at a Catholic school). SNAP notes that it’s possible Fr. Jiang abused the boy while out on bond on charges of molesting the girl.

According to the suit, Carlson was “supervising Fr. Jiang very closely,” “knew that (he) was a danger to children” and abused the girl while “living in the archbishop’s home.”

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CT–Justices rule in favor of abuse victims

CONNECTICUT
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com )

Connecticut’s top Catholic official has lost his bid to overturn a crucial state child safety law. Shame on him for trying.

[court decision]

Ex-Hartford Archbishop Henry Mansell and current Hartford Archbishop Leonard Blair asked Connecticut’s Supreme Court to gut a measure that gives victims of child molesters more time to expose and deter those who commit or conceal child sex crimes.

[SNAP]

Supreme Court officials rebuffed his move. We are grateful. And we hope that hundreds more adults who were sexually violated as children in Connecticut will step forward, seek justice, and expose and prevent child sex crimes and cover ups.

This ruling is part of an encouraging pattern by judges in the US to make it easier for victims to use the courts to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded by exposing and punishing wrongdoers whose misdeeds hurt kids or enable others to hurt kids. It’s tragic that Hartford Catholic officials want to make it much harder for victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to protect children, inside and outside of the church.

The case before the Supreme Court centered on Fr. Ivan Ferguson and on a widely-praised 13 year old state law that gives victims more time to expose those who commit and conceal child sex crimes through civil litigation.

In 2002, Connecticut lawmakers extended the statute of limitations, letting child sex abuse victims to take legal action against their predators and employers who shield them until they turn 48 years of age. (Since 2002, lawmakers have extended it even further.)

Archbishop Leonard Blair – and his predecessor Archbishop Henry Mansell – claim that the statute was unconstitutional, based on the ‘due process’ clause of the state constitution.

Blair’s boss, Pope Francis, has said the church should ‘make reparations” to victims and “All bishops must (exercise) the utmost care in order to help foster the protection of minors.’” But like most nice-sounding papal pronouncements about clergy sex crimes and cover ups, these sentiments are routinely ignored and contradicted by bishops like Blair.

In 2012, a jury found Hartford Archdiocese officials negligent and reckless in handling abuse reports against Fr. Ferguson and awarded a victim a $1.3 million judgment (which includes $300,000 in punitive damages). Fr. Ferguson admitted his crimes. But Blair also wants to overturn this verdict.

Fr. Ferguson has been accused before. In 1993, three men filed civil abuse and cover up lawsuits charging that they were molested by Fr. Ferguson in the1970s and that archdiocesan staff could and should have prevented the crimes.

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US Supreme Court/Obama (2) vs. Pope Francis/Chaput (0)

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

The US Supreme Court, with at least two Catholic Justices in favor, has within 24 hours just handed Pope Francis’ central positions two defeats — one by declaring that gays have a constitutionally protected right to marry, and the other by upholding Obamacare with its free access to effective contraception to millions of US couples. These are clear victories for children, women and gay folks and underline the political losing streak the pope is on, despite his superficial but declining popularity in the polls. The papal defeats also indicate that the pope’s main goal of avoiding an Australian style national US investigation into institutional child sexual abuse is increasingly unlikely to be achieved. Read The Gay Marriage Opinion here.

The pope will, it is expected, still hammer his anti-gay marriage crusade in the USA to try to help draw out fundamentalist voters sought desperately by right wing Republicans and their billionaire low-tax funders for next year’s election of a US president who could then appoint a future right wing majority to the US Supreme Court. These two Supreme Court decisions make clear that control of the Supreme Court is the key to political power in key areas in the USA.

Meanwhile, the basic contradiction in Pope Francis’ new encyclical, ‘Laudato Si”, in failing to lift recent popes’ ban on contraception, has been thoroughly exposed by Yale educated theologian, Jamie Manson. If only more theologians had Ms. Manson’s prophetic courage and tenacious intellect, God willing!

John Cornwell, Cambridge University historian of the modern Vatican (e.g., “Hitler’s Pope” and the “Dark Box”), in his recent Prospect article about the pope’s climate change encyclical also tells us that the the contraception ban omission has been noted, as well as alluding to other shortcomings of the pope’s current strategy. Cornwell observed (in italics):

“Nor are all liberals necessarily enthused by Francis’s championing of the environmentalists. A typical reaction from one well known Catholic liberal blogger in the United States, Gerald Slevin, is that the encyclical is evidence of the Pope trying to “change the subject.” That subject, he reminds his readers today, are the clerical paedophile abuse scandals which have dogged the church.

Other liberal Catholics raise that great elephant in the Catholic room: the church’s ban on artificial contraception. At a London press conference to launch the encyclical yesterday a journalist asked Cardinal Archbishop Nichols whether the encyclical addressed the problem of birth control as part of the environmental problem. The Cardinal merely responded that the Pope insisted that the rich should not tell the poor how many children they should have.” (emphasis mine)

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