“Il cardinale Mueller pronto a lasciare”

ROMA
La Stampa

[According to two sites, Rorate coeli (United States) and Corrispondenza Romana (Italy), internet channels Catholic groups tradizionialisti and conservatives, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller will leave office when his term expires on July 2.]

Secondo due siti, Rorate coeli (Stati Uniti) e Corrispondenza Romana (Italia), canali internet di gruppi cattolici tradizionialisti e conservatori, il prefetto della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede, il cardinale Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, che il 2 luglio prossimo compie i suoi cinque anni di nomina canonica, lascerà l’incarico.

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Papst Franziskus trennt sich von Kardinal Müller als Leiter der Glaubenskongregation

VATIKAN
Sueddeutsche Zeitung

[Pope Francis has separated himself surprisingly from one of his senior staff. The term of office of Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller as head of the Roman Congregation for the Doctine of the Faith was not extended. It ends after five years on time 2 July. This is reported by the Catholic News Agency (KNA) and thus confirms corresponding media reports.]

Papst Franziskus hat sich überraschend von einem seiner ranghöchsten Mitarbeiter getrennt. Die Amtszeit von Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller als Leiter der Römischen Glaubenskongregation werde nicht verlängert. Sie ende nach fünf Jahren fristgerecht am 2. Juli. Das berichtet die Katholische Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA) und bestätigt damit entsprechende Medienberichte.

Müller, ehemals Bischof von Regensburg, verdankte den Posten dem damaligen Papst Benedikt XVI, der ihn 2012 nach Rom holte. Zwei Jahre später erhob ihn Papst Franziskus zum Kardinal.

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El Papa avanza en la renovación y relevaría al guardián de la ortodoxia

VATICANO
Clarin

[In the Vatican corridors one speaks in a low voice or whispering of a change in the Roman Curia, the central government of the Church which could arrive sooner than many expect. The pope would take advantage of the fact that on July 2 he fulfills his five-year mandate at the head of the strategic Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. German Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, who will turn 70 in December, is said to be replaced by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the 73-year-old Boston archbishop. He is said to be a favorite to replace Mueller. It is not by chance that Pope Francis recently appointed O’Malley as a member of the CDF and thus training him in the mechanisms of the congregation over which he would preside. Cardinal O’Malley chairs the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.]

Julio Algañaraz

En los pasillos vaticanos se habla en voz baja o susurrando de un cambio de fondo en las cumbres de la Curia Romana, el gobierno central de la Iglesia, que podría llegar más pronto de lo que muchos esperan. El Papa aprovecharía que el 2 de julio cumple su mandato de cinco años al frente de la estratégica Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe el cardenal alemán Gerhard Mueller, que en diciembre cumplirá 70 años. Francisco lo cambiaría en primer lugar para sacarse de encima una relación difícil, a veces conflictiva, con el guardián de la ortodoxia, que recibió en herencia de su predecesor, Benedicto XVI, el hoy Papa emérito Joseph Ratzinger.

Sin el pesado condicionamiento de Mueller, quedaría abierto el camino de renovación de la última fase del pontificado de Jorge Bergoglio, quien en diciembre cumplirá 81 años. Para el relevo es favorito el arzobispo de Boston, cardenal Sean O’Mailley, de 73 años, que no por casualidad Jorge Bergoglio nombró hace poco miembro de la Doctrina de la Fe, adiestrándolo en los mecanismos de la congregación que estaría destinado a presidir.

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CDL. GERHARD MÜLLER BOOTED FROM CDF

UNITED STATES
Church Militant

by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D. • ChurchMilitant.com • June 30, 2017

Speculation that Boston’s Cdl. Sean O’Malley will replace him

VATICAN (ChurchMilitant.com) – The Vatican’s chief doctrinal watchdog has been dismissed from his post. Reports claim Cdl. Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) — and outspoken critic of the agenda to open Holy Communion to the divorced and remarried — is being removed by Pope Francis at the end of Müller’s five-year term, July 2, 2017. Speculation is that Boston’s Cdl. Sean O’Malley may replace him.

The news follows months of rumors that Müller’s time at the CDF was nearing an end, as he became increasingly vocal about his denunciations of attempts to change Church discipline and doctrine on marriage and the sacraments. …

Spanish newspaper Clarìn speculates Cdl. O’Malley of Boston is being eyed to head the CDF, a Franciscan who has come under fire for his refusal to confront Catholic politicians, including attending a gala ceremony in honor of President Obama in May, appearing with Democrat John Kerry at a graduation ceremony in 2014, and sitting in choir at pro-abort stalwart Ted Kennedy’s funeral in 2009.

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Vatican silent in response to reports of Müller’s dismissal from C.D.F.

UNITED STATES
America

Gerard O’Connell
June 30, 2017

Editor’s note: This story will be updated as events develop.

Late Friday evening, as multiple news outlets were reporting that Pope Francis has not reconfirmed Cardinal Müller as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the end of his five-year mandate, the Vatican remained silent.

The news was first reported by the blog Rorate Caeli, which has frequently criticized Pope Francis. Despite queries to the Vatican press office, neither a statement nor a denial has been issued, and church officials are uniformly refusing to comment.

Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal Müller as head of the C.D.F. in 2012 for a period of five years. The 69-year-old German cardinal, who has remained close to the emeritus pope, was due for reconfirmation in that position on July 2 and had a meeting with Pope Francis on the morning of June 30.

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SUORE INDAGATE PER STALKING/ Roma, Superiora costretta a rassegnare le dimissioni: aggressioni e minacce

ITALIA
Il Sussidiario

[SISTERS INVESTIGATED FOR STALKING, ROME: LIANA SISTER FORCED TO RESIGN, INVOLVED TWO PRIESTS – It ‘an incredible story that would take place in the Institute of the Society “Queen of the Lilies” in Rome where four religious, namely two nuns and two priests, werey were investigated for stalking. To tell the story is the daily La Repubblica that reveals the suspicions of the prosecution against the two nuns and their colleagues.]

SUORE INDAGATE PER STALKING, ROMA: SUOR LIANA COSTRETTA A DIMETTERSI, COINVOLTI ANCHE DUE PRETI – E’ una storia incredibile quella che sarebbe avvenuta nell’Istituto della Compagnia “Regina dei Gigli” a Roma, dove quattro religiosi, precisamente due suore e due preti, sarebbero stati indagati per stalking. A raccontare la vicenda è il quotidiano La Repubblica che rivela i sospetti della procura nei confronti delle due monache e dei loro colleghi. Secondo l’accusa, i quattro religiosi avrebbero messo in atto una serie di atteggiamenti fino a riuscire nell’intento di destituire illegalmente dall’Istituto la Madre Superiora. Sarebbe così emerso un presunto golpe messo in atto dalla suore finite nel registro degli indagati per stalking insieme ai due preti coinvolti e che avrebbero spinto Suor Liana, l’anziana guida dell’Istituto, a lasciare il suo ruolo a causa delle ripetute minacce. Sul caso sono in corso le indagini da parte del pm Vincenzo Barba intenzionato a fare piena luce sull’intricata vicenda.

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Celia Wexler explores women’s struggles to be feminist and Catholic

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Gail DeGeorge | Apr. 5, 2017

CATHOLIC WOMEN CONFRONT THEIR CHURCH: STORIES OF HURT AND HOPE
By Celia Viggo Wexler
Published by Rowman & Littlefield, 216 pages, $34

The central question explored in Celia Viggo Wexler’s engaging and thought-provoking book is one that no doubt many millions of women have struggled with: Is it possible for a woman to be both a feminist and a Catholic?

For Wexler, an award-winning journalist and Huffington Post blogger, this is not an academic question. She had reached a juncture in which she had to “find a way to stay Catholic that made sense to me and respected my intellect and feminism, or I would have to leave the church.”

She is not a theologian or historian, she writes, nor does she intend the book to be a definitive work about the views of Catholic women. She seeks instead to inspire conversations among women who, like her, are “torn between the faith they love and the institutional church that often sets their teeth on edge.”

Wexler profiles nine Catholic women and their personal stories, faith journeys and often complicated relationships with the church. In choosing women to write about, Wexler says she didn’t have an agenda, she simply wanted to know if others shared her struggle.

Some of the women are well-known:

* Social Service Sr. Simone Campbell, executive director of the Catholic social justice lobby NETWORK;
* Barbara Blaine, founder of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP);
* Frances Kissling, who opposed the church’s teaching on contraception and abortion and was president of Catholics for a Free Choice (now Catholics for Choice) for 25 years;
* Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, which represents gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics;
* Diana Hayes, the first African-American woman to earn a pontifical doctorate in sacred theology from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, who is now an emeritus professor of theology at Georgetown University.

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Pope Francis may be about to dismiss Vatican’s doctrinal chief

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

By Josephine McKenna

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis may be about to dismiss his enforcer of orthodoxy, one of the most powerful cardinals at the Vatican, according to unconfirmed media reports.

The Italian Catholic website Corrispondenza Romana reported Friday (June 30) that Francis would not renew the term of Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, a conservative German cardinal who heads the powerful department responsible for church doctrine.

Mueller’s five-year term as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was due to expire on Sunday. He is 69, which is six years short of the normal retirement age of bishops. Under normal circumstances, his five-year contract would be renewed.

If the reports are correct, Mueller’s ouster would cap one of the most tumultuous weeks at the Vatican since the election of Pope Francis in 2013.

On Thursday, Cardinal George Pell announced he would take a leave of absence as Vatican finance chief to face charges he sexually abused boys while a young priest in Australia.

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Divisive Cardinal Pell faces his day in court over abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
Irish Times

Pádraig Collins in Sydney

For years, Cardinal George Pell was dogged by questions of what he knew about the child sexual abuse that happened under his watch in his home state of Victoria. Only his alleged victims knew that he might one day be charged with sexual assault offences himself – allegations Pell denies.

Born to a father, also called George, of English Anglican heritage, and a mother, Margaret (nee Burke), of devout Irish Catholic descent, Pell was always marked for success. Academically bright (he has a PhD from Oxford) and athletically gifted (he is 6’4” and to this day looks more like the retired Australian rules footballer he could have been than what you might expect a 76-year-old cardinal to look like), he was drawn inexorably to the church.

A portrait of the Cork-born Melbourne archbishop Daniel Mannix hung in the family home in Ballarat when Pell was growing up. Mannix was by far Australia’s most famous Catholic of his time (he died in 1963), and Pell is by any measure the most well known now.

From his refusal to give communion to gay people (in May 2002 he told the congregation at Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral: “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, and important consequences follow from this”), to his climate change scepticism (in July 2015 he publicly criticised Pope Francis’s decision to speak out on environmental matters: “The church has got no mandate from the Lord to pronounce on scientific matters,” he said), Pell has always been contentious.

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Cardinal George Pell’s sex-assault charges will ripple through the Vatican

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

MICHAEL W. HIGGINS
Special to The Globe and Mail

Michael W. Higgins is a distinguished professor of Catholic Thought at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. He is the co-author of Suffer the Children Unto Me: An Open Inquiry into the Clerical Sex Abuse Scandal.

It couldn’t have happened at a more inauspicious time: on the very day when Pope Francis is celebrating with his most recently “created” cardinals and his newly appointed Metropolitan Archbishops in Rome, news came that his Prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy, Cardinal George Pell, has been charged with multiple counts of historical sexual assault by police in the Australian state of Victoria.

Cardinal Pell is a senior-ranking prelate who enjoys the pontiff’s confidence on all matters fiduciary. Francis put him in command of a new dicasterial or governance structure designed to clean house among the various financial bodies operative in the Vatican, including the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) and the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), commonly known as the Vatican Bank. Both institutions could be rogue in their accounting and auditing procedures, fiercely autonomous in the exercise of their power and draped in Medici-like opacity.

Cardinal Pell was to bring clarity, accountability and transparency to all the financial transactions conducted within the Vatican, and his progress – impeded in part by recalcitrant groupings of clerics and laity fearful of losing their authority – has been impressive, if laboured.

But the qualities that Pope Francis admired in the outspoken former archbishop of both Melbourne, and latterly Sydney, qualities that included a relentless application of energy and focus to his reforming task, a no-holds-barred approach to opposition to his initiatives and an able intelligence quick to grasp the complexity of things, were in and of themselves incapable of securing Cardinal Pell sanctuary from the controversies that hounded him “Down Under.”

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Investigator: Former Columbus youth pastor shares inappropriate photos through email

GEORGIA
WTVM

[with video]

By Sharifa Jackson, Reporter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – New details were released Friday morning after a former youth pastor appeared in court on an attempted sodomy charge.

Jay Singleton, 45, pleaded not guilty to attempted aggravated child molestation and criminal attempted sodomy and guilty to contempt of court.

Singleton was arrested Wednesday when Columbus Police Department’s Special Victims Unit was investigating an individual for attempted aggravated child molestation.

His bond was set at more than $50,000 including $25,000 for criminal attempt sodomy, $25,000 for attempted aggravated child molestation and $1,000 for driving while license suspended/revoked.

According to investigators, an undercover sting revealed that more than 400 emails were shared between the investigator and Singleton. Investigators say he was engaged in a plan to meet with a 14-year-old girl, however, no juvenile was actually involved.

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Are Catholic Clergy more Likely to Be Paedophiles than the General Public?

The Tippling Philosopher

June 30, 2017 by Jonathan MS Pearce

This is a question that has been kicking around ever since the child sex abuse scandal involving the Catholic church came to the fore. In around 2010, loads of articles came out, citing some data, that the priesthood was broadly in line with national averages, some people claimed it was actually worse in Protestant churches/organisations, and many claiming (as a result) that this was not a Catholic problem per se, and that other denominations rate the same.

The reality could be, as Andrew Brown surmised, that the notoriety of the scandal and public perception might be skewed because of the institutional cover-up of the Catholic church. Let’s have a brief look.

Australia

The Royal Commission, an investigation started by the then Australian PM Julia Gillard into historic sex abuse, has thrown this data wide open.

The research has shown that, in Australia, 7% of priests nationally have been accused of sex abuse. In the Diocese of Sale, it is twice as many, with 15.1%, and a whopping 40% of the St John of God order being accused. Here are some interesting Australian stats:

Catholic Data Project Results:

4,444 — number of people who alleged incidents of child sexual abuse,
1,000 — The number of separate institutions the claims related to,
78 percent male, 22 percent female — gender of the person making the claim,
97 percent male — people who made claims of child sexual abuse received by religious orders, with only religious brother members,
11.5 for boys, 10.5 for girls — the average age of people who made claims of child sexual abuse at the time of the alleged abuse,
33 years —the average time between the alleged abuse and the date the claim was made,
1880 — number alleged perpetrators were identified in claims,
597 or 32 percent were religious brothers,
572 or 30 percent were priests,
543 or 29 percent were lay people,
96 or 5 percent were religious sisters,
90 percent male, 10 percent female — age [??] of the allege perpetrators,
500+ — number of unknown people were identified as alleged perpetrators.#

The relevance of this is that this is now perhaps the biggest and most comprehensive review of Catholic sex abuse.

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‘Cardinal Rambo’ has the Kangaroo Cardinal George Pell in his sights

ROME
The Weekend Australian

July 1, 2017

JACQUELIN MAGNAY
Foreign correspondentEurope
@jacquelinmagnay

When George Pell swaps his Rome apartment overlooking the Vatican for a Melbourne courtroom later this month, Italians will be saying a firm adieu, not expect­ing him to return.

Eighty-year-old Pope Francis, who placed extraordinary belief in Cardinal Pell to reform and instit­utionalise the tangled web of the church’s multi-billion-dollar fin­an­ces and rich assets, has already foreshadowed his retirement in 2019.

If all goes well for Cardinal Pell, his anticipated return to an influential position — for he knows the church always looks after its own — will have been vastly watered down and almost impossible to enact if the Pope is gone.

Cardinal Pell has a string of enem­ies inside the Vatican, includin­g one whose penchant for owning guns earned him the moniker “Cardinal Rambo’’.

This cardinal, real name Dom­enico Calcagno, heads the APSA — the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See — or the bank of the Vatican, with more than $1 billion in assets.

For the past three years, there has been enmity and a power tussl­e between cardinals Rambo and Pell — known as the Kangaroo Cardinal — over ultimate control of these monies.

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Cardinal Müller to Be Dismissed?

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

Reports say prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will not have his five year mandate renewed on Sunday.

Edward Pentin

Three Vatican sources, including one close to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, have told the Register this evening that Cardinal Gerhard Müller is to be imminently dismissed as prefect of the dicastery, although the Vatican itself has not officially confirmed the news.

If true, an announcement is likely tomorrow.

The Italian Catholic website Corrispondenza Romana and the Rorate Caeli blog were the first to break the news, with Corrispondenza Romana sending out an email this evening with the definitive message: “His Eminence Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from July 2, 2012, has been fired by Pope Francis on the exact date that his 5-year mandate expires.”

It went on to note that Cardinal Müller is one of the cardinals who sought to interpret Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family, “according to a hermeneutic of continuity with the Tradition of the Church.” It added that that had made him a critic of the direction taken by the Pope.

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St. Paul’s School investigating new allegations of ‘concerning’ behavior

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Boston Globe

By John R. Ellement GLOBE STAFF JUNE 30, 2017

Administrators at St. Paul’s School are once again turning to an outside investigator after students reported “concerning” behavior at the elite private boarding school, just weeks after the school admitted that 13 staffers engaged in sexual misconduct with students over four decades.

In a statement provided Friday by the school’s public relations department, Rector Michael G. Hirschfeld said an outside investigator has been hired to “get to the bottom of what took place. The investigation is ongoing and we do not yet have a final report.’’

According to Hirschfeld, the investigation at the Concord, N.H., school started earlier in June when “students came forward and alerted SPS faculty to behaviors that were concerning to them.” He did not specify what the “behaviors” were.

But the Concord Monitor reported Thursday that about eight boys in the same dormitory competed in a “game of sexual conquest” where the winners would get their names on a crown. The newspaper’s account broadly mirrors the “senior salute” sexual contest among St. Paul students that played a role in the sexual assault of Chessy Prout by Owen Labrie at the school in 2014.

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Guide to the Pell Case: What processes has he faced and what are the accusations?

ROME
Rome Reports

[with video]

2017-06-30

Cardinal George Pell gave a press conference in the Vatican before traveling to Australia, where he is due to testify on July 18 since he is accused of alleged sexual abuse. The cardinal explained that it is a crime that he abhors and has vigorously denied the accusations.

CARD. GEORGE PELL
Prefect, Secretariat for the Economy
“These matters have been under investigation and now for two years. There have been leaks to the media. There has been relentless character assassination. I’m innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.”

Cardinal George Pell has testified in various interrogations and commissions established by the Australian authorities in recent years.

Now the cardinal will take a leave of absence to attend a new judicial process in which he now appears as the one accused of alleged abuse.

In the press communication, the Vatican has expressed their respect for justice, but also their discontent.

GREG BURKE
Spokesman for the Holy See
“The Holy See has learned with regret the news. The Holy Father, having been informed by Card. Pell, has granted the Cardinal a leave of absence so he can defend himself.”

The first time George Pell was accused of sexual abuse was in 2002, when he was archbishop of Sydney. The case was finally dismissed for lack of evidence.

In 2012 ,the Australian government established a commission of inquiry to clarify the alleged sexual abuse committed from 1960 to 1980 in Australia in different religious institutions in the country.

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Clerical abuse survivor says Pell leave “comes too late

ROME
Xinhuanet

Source: Xinhua 2017-07-01

Editor: Mu Xuequan

ROME, June 30 (Xinhua) — Clergy sexual abuse survivor Marie Collins told Italian newspaper La Repubblica in an interview Friday that the placing on leave of Cardinal George Pell, a senior adviser to Pope Francis, had “come too late.”

The Pope placed Pell on leave Thursday, after the Cardinal announced at a Vatican press conference that he was leaving to fight sexual assault charges in Australia.

In an official statement, the Vatican Press Office said Thursday that the Vatican “has learned with regret the news of charges filed in Australia against Card. George Pell for decades-old actions that have been attributed to him.”

“The Holy Father, having been informed by Card. Pell, has granted the cardinal a leave of absence so he can defend himself,” the Vatican press statement said.
In 2014, Pope Francis appointed Pell as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, a powerful post in the Vatican.

“His nomination…was a slap in the face to Australian victims first, and then to those in the (Catholic) Church who combat pedophilia,” said Collins, who was sexually abused by Catholic priests as a child in the 1960s, according to her foundation’s website.

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The Pope’s Pedophile?

UNITED STATES
New York Magazine

By Andrew Sullivan

Well into Pope Francis’s pontificate, one of his closest aides, the third-highest official in the Catholic Church, Cardinal George Pell, has now been credibly accused of several acts of sexual assault, including one of rape. Australian police have concluded that the evidence they have is sufficient to move forward, even in cases that happened long ago. Yesterday, Pell was allowed to hold his own press conference at the Vatican to tell us that he spoke with the Pope only a few days ago about a campaign of “character assassination” against him: “I’m very grateful to the Holy Father for giving me this leave to return to Australia.” The Pope’s spokesperson defended the Cardinal by saying that “it is important to recall that Cardinal Pell has openly and repeatedly condemned as important and intolerable acts of abuse committed against minors.” And, of course, we should respect a presumption of innocence before a trial on crimes of this magnitude and depravity.

But it all feels sickeningly familiar. And this denouement comes as absolutely no surprise to anyone who has been following the sex-abuse crisis in the church — including Cardinal Pell’s own behavior — for the last few decades. A cloud has hung over Pell since he was an Episcopal vicar in a parish in the 1970s that has been described as a “pedophile’s paradise and a child’s nightmare.” A full 15 years ago, Pell was accused of molesting a 12-year-old boy but when the church investigated, a retired Supreme Court justice found that there wasn’t enough evidence, even though the victim appeared to be “speaking honestly from actual recollection.” A year later, Pope John Paul II made Pell a cardinal. Several new alleged victims spoke out in a book published only last month.

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Pell case shows poor judgment, will stain Pope Francis legacy, victims say

VATCAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella | VATICAN CITY

The charging of a top Vatican official, Cardinal George Pell, with sex-abuse crimes this week will permanently stain the legacy of Pope Francis, exposing poor judgment in his appointment, victims of sexual abuse said.

Francis’ appointment of Pell, dogged for many years by victims’ allegations that he shielded abusers and had himself molested two young boys in the 1960s, underscores a lack of sufficient vetting for top Vatican posts, Vatican sources said.

Pell, appointed as Francis’ economy minister in 2014, has always strongly denied he molested children or turned a blind eye to abuses. On Thursday, Australian police charged him with historical sex crimes after a two-year investigation.

The charges bring the Church’s global abuse scandal to the heart of the Vatican and, according to victims and their advocates, weaken the pope’s credibility in tackling a decades-old crisis against which he vowed “zero tolerance”.

“I think his legacy is under severe threat,” said Peter Saunders, a victim of clergy abuse who took a leave of absence from the papal advisory commission on abuse last year in protest over a lack of progress.

“I genuinely thought when I met with Francis three years ago that ‘this man is the real deal’ and he is going to get on with things and I really thought there was a prospect of real, significant, and rapid change,” Saunders, a Briton, said in a telephone interview.

“But he is surrounded by people who don’t want change.”

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Cardinal’s sex abuse charges raise questions about pope’s record

VATICAN CITY
Religion News Service

By Josephine McKenna

VATICAN CITY (RNS) As the Vatican reeled from news that one of its top officials was taking a leave to fight historical sex abuse charges in Australia, the spotlight quickly turned to Pope Francis, with his critics slamming him for failing to do enough to tackle the vexing issue.

Cardinal George Pell, the most senior figure in church history to face child sex abuse charges, is the Vatican’s financial czar and a trusted adviser to the pope.

Pell, 76, is facing “multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offences,” said police in the Australian state of Victoria. …

“There is a deep disconnect between the pope’s words and his actions,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of the advocacy group Bishop Accountability.

Barrett Doyle was critical of the pope for keeping Pell in his post until now, despite knowledge of the allegations against him.

“The pope is not a reformer when it comes to the crisis,” she said. “He apologizes often and uses buzz phrases like ‘zero tolerance.’ But underneath he remains the minimizer and the defender of accused priests.”

Robert Mickens, an American editor for the French Catholic magazine La Croix, said it was significant that Pell had stepped aside but he criticized the pope’s record on clerical abuse.

“Whether Pell specifically asked for a leave from his Vatican duties to return for the trial, or whether the pope ordered him to do so, the effect is the same. And it is a development from the past,” Mickens said, when the church would have defended Vatican churchmen.

But Mickens said Francis has never made the church’s sexual abuse crisis a priority of his administration.

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Licenziato da papa Francesco il cardinale Müller

CITTA’ DEL VATICANO
Corrispondenza Romana

[Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller , prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since July 2, 2012, was dismissed by Pope Francis at the exact expiration of his term of 5 years. Cardinal Müller is one of the cardinals who have sought to interpret the ‘ Amoris Laetitia, according to a hermeneutic of continuity with the tradition of the Church. This was enough to count him among the critics of the new course imposed by papa Bergoglio.

Licenziato da papa Francesco il cardinale MullerLicenziato da papa Francesco il cardinale Muller
Sua Eminenza il Cardinale Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefetto della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede dal 2 luglio 2012, è stato licenziato da papa Francesco allo scadere esatto del suo mandato di 5 anni.

Il cardinale Müller è uno dei cardinali che hanno cercato di interpretare l’Amoris laetitia, secondo un’ermeneutica di continuità con la Tradizione della Chiesa. Ciò è bastato per annoverarlo tra i critici del nuovo corso imposto da papa Bergoglio.

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Paedophilia scandals sully merciful Pope’s reputation

ROME
The Times (UK)

Tom Kington, Rome

The sexual abuse charges against Cardinal Pell will further sully what critics say is the Pope’s inadequate record of tackling priestly abuse.

Francis has won praise around the world for his focus on mercy over doctrine, but many believe he still does not comprehend the gravity of abuse in the Church. In 2014 he appeared to be on the right track in creating a commission to advise on weeding out predator priests but, three years on, two of the commission members, Peter Saunders and Marie Collins — themselves victims of abuse by clergymen — have left amid frustrations over its perceived inaction.

In 2015 the Pope provoked an outcry when he described as “lefties” the opponents of a Chilean bishop accused of covering up for an abuser. The same year, Jozef Wesolowski, a former archbishop accused of paying shoeshine boys for sex in the Dominican Republic, died before he could face trial.

The accusations against Cardinal Pell are the latest in a wave of abuse scandals which started in the US before spreading to Europe and Australia over the past two decades, and which marred the papacy of Francis’s predecessor, Benedict. Francis has himself been accused of overlooking abuse while archbishop of Buenos Aires.

“The Pell case will rock the Vatican to the core,” said Mr Saunders, who questioned the Vatican’s appetite for reform. “Pell will have the best lawyers, while our abuse commission lacked resources,” he added.

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ANALYSIS: Charges against Cardinal Pell bring taint of abuse to the top of the Catholic Church

ROME
The Local

AFP
news@thelocal.it
30 June 2017

Australia’s move to bring sexual assault charges against Cardinal George Pell is the latest chapter in a damaging saga of abuse that the Catholic church has struggled to draw a line under.
Pell has been ordered to appear on July 18th before a Melbourne judge to answer unspecified multiple counts arising from his country’s extensive inquiry into decades of abuse in institutions dealing with children.

The 76-year-old is the most senior cleric yet to be directly implicated in a multi-faceted scandal that has plagued the Church for decades but has never before come so close to its highest ranks.

As head of a powerful economic department, Pell is one of Pope Francis’s closest advisors, his point-man on cleaning up Vatican finances and the number three in the Holy See’s hierarchy.

As such he is a much higher-profile figure than Keith O’Brien, the former archbishop of Edinburgh who renounced his rights as a cardinal in 2015 after admitting misconduct in relation to alleged drunken sexual assaults on young priests.

Pell has admitted errors in managing abuse by priests under his authority but denies any personal wrongdoing and Francis has offered him strong support.

But regardless of its outcome, the impending court case seems likely to further tarnish the image of a global institution long accused of complacency over a cancer in its midst.

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Sex offence charges against George Pell have put Pope Francis’ vision for the Church under pressure

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Ellen Whinnett in Vatican City, News Corp Australia Network
June 30, 2017

THE police decision to lay historic sex offence charges against Australian Cardinal George Pell has triggered a scandal within the Vatican and will further fuel criticism of Pope Francis’ vision for the future of the church.

News of the charges — lodged on the holy day of the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul — sent shockwaves through the Vatican, the independent city state in Rome which is the global headquarters of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

Thirty minutes before Pope Francis led a feast-day Mass in Saint Peter’s Square, Pell did something never done before by such a senior Vatican official.
The former Archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney, now the third highest-ranked official in the Vatican, faced the world’s media and confirmed he was returning to Australia to fight charges of sex offences laid against him.

The news of the charges, first announced by Victoria Police at 2am Rome time, sparked global headlines, with the international media rushing to the Holy See press office to cover Pell’s press statement.

Paddy Agnew, the Rome correspondent for the Irish Times, told News Corp the situation was unprecedented, with Cardinal Pell the highest-ranked official ever to face such charges.

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Cardinal George Pell in hiding as Vatican opponents move to exploit his sex offence charges

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Ellen Whinnett in Vatican City, News Corp Australia Network

CARDINAL George Pell has gone to ground, disappearing from his apartment outside the walls of the Vatican as he prepares to return to Australia to fight sex offence charges levelled against him.

The 76-year-old has not been seen at his apartment since he issued a press statement on Thursday morning confirming he would return to Australia in order to clear his name in court.

While staff came and went throughout Thursday and into Friday morning, there was no sign of Cardinal Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic, prompting speculation he had moved into a temporary apartment inside the walls of the Vatican, or even to one of the country retreats owned by the church.

He has been granted a leave of absence by Pope Francis from his job as Vatican treasurer while he returns to Australia to defend himself in a process which will take months, and possibly years, to resolve.

While the Vatican has issued a statement of support, the Pope himself is yet to directly comment on the charges.

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Peter Saunders on the George Pell charges

AUSTRALIA
ABC – 7.30

[with video]

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Peter Saunders is a member of the Papal Child Abuse Commission. It advises the Catholic Church on how to better deal with abuse allegations and victims.

To give us a bit more context about this issue within the church and the significance of the Pell charges, Peter Saunders joined me from London.

Peter Saunders, a priest being charged with sexual offences is nothing unique. Why is this case making such an impact?

PETER SAUNDERS, VICTIM ADVOCATE: I think this is a massive story because there has certainly has never been anybody of the seniority and the position within the Vatican having been charged before, so this is huge and unlike many other places around the world where there have been accusations against very senior clerics, but the power of the church, sometimes the local or the corruption of local politicians and, of course, the power of money, has resulted in clerics not actually being charged, which is an outrage and I can give examples, but I think credit to Australia and to the Victoria Police for doing their job.

LEIGH SALES: You said that this is the first time somebody of this seniority has been charged. Do you mean with sexual assault offences or have there been other cases that involve say criminal charges in other matters?

PETER SAUNDERS: I am not aware of any cardinals, certainly any cardinals with positions within the hierarchy of the Vatican having ever been charged with any kind of crime in the past, so I think this is a unique occurrence.

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CNN OP-ED ON SEXUAL ABUSE IS FLAWED

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a CNN posted piece by Heidi Schlumpf:

CNN has every right to post the commentary of any author it chooses, but is it too much to ask that someone fact check the submissions?

The recent attacks on Cardinal George Pell, which I debunked on June 29, gave Heidi Schlumpf the opportunity to write “Why the Catholic Church Must Continue Soul-Searching.” It is more than tendentious, it is factually wrong. She writes for the National Catholic Reporter, a dissident publication that rejects the Church’s teachings on sexuality.

The title of her article accurately conveys her thesis: the abuse scandal is on-going. That is why she says that the charges against Cardinal Pell are “a reminder that the church’s sex abuse crisis is not over.” She adds that Pell’s case “shows that the decades long sex abuse crisis is not a ‘once and done’ thing.”

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Will priests discuss George Pell at Sunday Mass?

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Emily Woods Neelima Choahan

Tens of thousands of Victorians will go to mass this weekend, just days after Australia’s highest ranking Catholic was charged with historical sex abuse.

But how will Catholic priests address the allegations against Cardinal George Pell, if they address them at all?

Father Brendan Reed, from Our Lady of Good Counsel and All Hallows in Balwyn, said he would discuss the news, as “you can’t pretend it’s not happening”.

“I think people want to know what their priests are thinking when things like this come out in the public,” he said.

“I’ll be saying that I think we should have faith and trust in our judicial and legal system, that a just outcome is what everybody is hoping for, for all parties concerned.”

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Canadian bishops to issue new sexual-abuse prevention document

CANADA
Catholic Register

BY DEBORAH GYAPONG, CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
June 30, 2017

OTTAWA – Twenty-five years after becoming pioneers in establishing protocols for the protection of minors, Canada’s bishops are poised to issue an updated document on sexual-abuse prevention.

The new document by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops was approved in principle at the bishops’ plenary last September and is slated for publication later this year, said CCCB communications director Rene Laprise. The document is in the final stages of translation into French and English and proofreading of both texts, he said.

The new document — with a working title of Moving Towards Healing and Renewal: the Canadian Experience — will update and replace the 1992 document From Pain to Hope.
The CCCB initiative comes amid reports of a pilot program in the Montreal archdiocese that requires digital fingerprints and background checks for priests and pastoral staff who work with children, minors and vulnerable adults. That program will be expanded from 10 churches to all of the archdiocese’s 194 parishes by 2020.

Even those who pass the checks are not allowed to be alone with children. For example, a priest hearing a child’s confession will be in a place where they are visible to another adult.

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The day with Sarah Harman

AUSTRALIA
DW

Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal: Australian police charge top Vatican cardinal with sexual assault offenses Nemtsov Murder Trial: Jury convicts five men over death of Russian opposition leader Turkish-German Tensions: Berlin refuses to allow Turkish President to hold rally in Germany

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La sombra de los abusos sexuales llega por primera vez a la cúpula vaticana

ROMA
El Pais (Espana)

Roma 30 JUN 2017

DANIEL VERDÚ

Las dos principales áreas de reforma del papa Francisco se vieron ayer golpeadas en la misma persona. George Pell, superministro de Finanzas del Vaticano, consejero directo del Pontífice y máxima autoridad eclesiástica de Australia, ha sido imputado por un caso múltiple de abusos a menores. A ello se suma su presunto encubrimiento masivo a sacerdotes. Es la primera vez que un escándalo de este tipo afecta a una autoridad vaticana de tan alto rango.

El día no podía ser peor. A las 8.30, justo antes de la gran misa oficiada por el Papa con motivo del día de San Pedro y San Pablo y con la mayoría de cardenales del mundo llegados al Vaticano para el Consistorio del día anterior, Pell comparecía ante los medios. Se sabía que había sido imputado por un caso múltiple de abusos a menores. Pero anunció que regresa a Australia para testificar el 18 de julio ante el juez. El Vaticano, al menos públicamente, le respalda y no le obliga a dimitir. “La Santa Sede recibe con desagrado la noticia del envío a juicio del cardenal […] El Santo Padre le ha concedido un periodo de excedencia para poderse defender”.

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Cardeal George Pell acusado de abuso sexual de menores na Austrália

PORTUGAL
DN

O cardeal George Pell, que dirige a Secretaria da Economia do Vaticano, foi hoje acusado de crimes de abuso sexual de menores na Austrália e intimado a comparecer em tribunal dentro de dias, anunciou a polícia.

George Pell, o principal conselheiro financeiro do papa Francisco e o mais alto representante da Igreja católica na Austrália, é o mais alto membro do Vaticano a ser formalmente indiciado por crimes relacionados com abuso sexual de menores.

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Vatikan-Finanzchef legt Amt vorübergehend nieder

DEUTSCHLAND
Frankfurter Allgemeine

Eiiner der ranghöchsten Kardinäle im Vatikan, Finanzchef George Pell, legt angesichts von Missbrauchsvorwürfen in seiner Heimat Australien sein Amt vorübergehend nieder. Papst Franziskus habe ihm die Erlaubnis für die Auszeit gegeben, um in Australien seine Unschuld zu beweisen, gab der Papst-Vertraute am Donnerstag in Rom bekannt. Die Anschuldigungen seien komplett falsch.

In Australien war kurz zuvor ein Ermittlungsverfahren gegen den 76-Jährigen wegen Missbrauchsverdachts eingeleitet worden. Wie die Polizei im Bundesstaat Victoria mitteilte, muss Pell am 18. Juli zu einer Gerichtsanhörung in Melbourne erscheinen. Es ist das erste Mal, dass gegen einen derart ranghohen Würdenträger im Vatikan wegen Missbrauchsvorwürfen ermittelt wird.

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CARDINAL GEORGE PELL

IRELAND
Marie Collins

Cardinal Pell.is facing criminal charges of sex abuse in his home country of Australia.
I have been asked if I think he will be found guilty of these charges. As I have always believed in justice for all it would not be right for me to pre judge any criminal case before it is tried in a court, the law will take it’s course.

What I have no hesitation in saying is that it has been proved that Cardinal Pell is guilty of the appalling mishandling of cases of abuse when still in place in Australia and causing untold pain to the victims in those cases. He should never have been allowed to hide out in the Vatican to avoid having to face those in his home country who needed answers. The fact that Cardinal Pell was appointed to a very senior post in the Vatican rather than having to face any sanction for his mishandling of abuse cases was a slap in the face to all those he had let down so badly, not only victims but Catholic people who have spent years now hearing assurance from the Catholic Church that it is taking the issue seriously. How does promotion to an exalted position in the Church show justice to those he had failed?.

Finally now that the Cardinal has actually been charged with abuse himself he has been stepped down from his position and will not be allowed to avoid facing court by remaining in the Vatican – far too late. Leaving aside the issue of whether he should have been in that position in the first place, once an accusation of sexual abuse was made against him he should have been stepped down until that accusation had been investigated. This is the standard that applies to ordinary priests and religious in my country and elsewhere under Church guidelines- why should rank make any difference.
———————————————–

Bishop Accountability

The case of Cardinal Pell has shown is how little reliance we can put on assurances from the Catholic Church that bishops and religious superiors will face sanctions if they mishandle abuse cases. It did not happen with him and still we have not seen any bishop transparently sanctioned or removed for negligence in handling abuse. We were told that the PCPM’s recommended Accountability Tribunal announced in June 2015, though never implemented, had not been needed as the Holy Father’s Moto Propo in 2016 “As a Loving Mother” expanded on it and all provisions for sanctions were in place and would be implemented.

We are now half way through 2017 – can the Vatican show that any cases of negligent bishops or religious superiors have been been examined or that the provisions of the moto propo been put in place? or is it just another case of many promises, many words but no action.

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KEY PART OF LAW TO HELP CHILD SEX ABUSE SURVIVORS TO EXPIRE

GEORGIA
Associated Press

BY KATE BRUMBACK
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ATLANTA (AP) — A key provision of a Georgia law meant to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse is set to expire Saturday.

State law says victims must file lawsuits seeking damages before they turn 23. The 2015 Hidden Predator Act provided a two-year window during which victims older than that could sue their alleged abusers.

While a law to help victims of childhood sex abuse may seem like a no-brainer, advocates say they often meet resistance from powerful groups that say they could lead to a flood of lawsuits, false claims and ruined reputations.

The law’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Jason Spencer, is trying to get his colleagues in the General Assembly to extend the measure and go even further in the legislative session that begins in January.

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Franziskus in Bedrängnis?

DEUTSCHLAND
Katholisch

[For the first time, a Vatican cardinal is investigated for sexual abuse. This could also bring the Pope into an unpleasant situation.]

Nun hat der Skandal um sexuellen Missbrauch endgültig auch die Führungsetage im Vatikan erreicht: Die australische Staatsanwaltschaft ermittelt gegen Kardinal George Pell, den vatikanischen Finanzchef und Berater von Papst Franziskus. Dem früheren Erzbischof von Sydney wird sexueller Missbrauch vorgeworfen. Pell wies die Anschuldigungen am Donnerstag zurück. Es ist das erste Mal, dass gegen einen Kurienkardinal wegen eines solchen Verdachts ermittelt wird. Zwar gab es auch früher bereits Ermittlungen gegen vatikanische Kardinäle. Dabei ging es aber stets um weniger schwerwiegende Delikte, oft hatten sie mit Geld zu tun.

Wie heikel die Angelegenheit für den Vatikan ist, zeigte sich auch daran, dass das Presseamt zu ungewohnt früher Stunde, um 8.30 Uhr, kurzfristig eine Pressekonferenz mit Pell anberaumte. Die offizielle Mitteilung war vorsichtig formuliert. Auffällig war, dass sich der Vatikan darin nicht gegen eine Vorverurteilung Pells wandte und auf die Unschuldsvermutung pochte. Stattdessen begnügte er sich damit, seinen “Respekt” vor dem australischen Justizsystem zu bekunden, Verdienste Pells im Kampf gegen sexuellen Missbrauch aufzuzählen und seine Arbeit im Vatikan zu loben.

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Papst Franziskus in der Bredouille

DEUTSCHLAND
Sueddeutsche

[Critics accuse the Vatican of doing too little for the enlightenment of sex scandals.]

Von Matthias Drobinski

Die Sensation kommt in dürren Zeilen daher: Kardinal George Pell sei mit jahrzehntealten Vorwürfen aus Australien konfrontiert, heißt es im Bulletin des päpstlichen Pressesaals in Rom, und “in vollem Respekt vor den staatlichen Gesetzen” habe der Kardinal entschieden, sich in seiner Heimat den Anschuldigungen zu stellen und bei der Wahrheitssuche zu helfen. Papst Franziskus habe Pell deshalb die “Erlaubnis für eine Auszeit” gegeben. Der Vorwurf, mit dem sich Kardinal Pell, der Finanzchef der Kurie und Beauftragte des Papstes für die Kurienreform, nun auseinandersetzen muss, lautet: sexueller Missbrauch an Minderjährigen. Noch nie hat es ein Verfahren gegen einen derart ranghohen Vertreter der katholischen Kirche gegeben: Pell gilt als Nummer vier in der Kurie, nach Papst, Kardinalstaatssekretär und Präfekt der Glaubenskongregation.

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Anklage gegen Ex-Pfarrer wegen Missbrauchs

DEUTSCHLAND
BR

[The public prosecutor’s office Deggendorf today protested against a 53-year-old ex-priest. He is accused among other things of several sexual injuries, especially in children.The formerly convicted ex-priest is said to have attempted to rape an 18-year-old woman in Austria. Furthermore, he was accused of having sexually abused five children of male sex on more than 100 occasions for the period before and after his imprisonment.The extensive investigations have also revealed that the 53-year-old has made the ordination of priests by submitting false documents on a really non-existent school and university degree in Poland.]

Von: Harald Mitterer
Stand: 29.06.2017

So soll der einschlägig vorbestrafte Ex-Priester versucht zu haben, in Österreich eine 18-jährige Frau zu vergewaltigen. Weiter wird ihm für die Zeit vor und nach dem Haftvollzug aus seiner Vorstrafe vorgeworfen, fünf Kinder männlichen Geschlechts bei insgesamt über 100 Gelegenheiten sexuell missbraucht zu haben.

Die Missbrauchstaten wurden im Raum Mainz, in Österreich, Italien, der Schweiz und Polen sowie im Landkreis Deggendorf begangen. Die Auslandstaten konnten schnell aufgeklärt werden. Einzelheiten zu den einzelnen Missbrauchstaten, die rechtlich in einer Vielzahl von Fällen als schwerer sexueller Missbrauch von Kindern zu qualifizieren sind, können aus Opferschutzgründen und mit Rücksicht auf das Persönlichkeitsrecht der zur Tatzeit minderjährigen Geschädigten nicht genannt werden, so die Staatsanwaltschaft.

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Missbrauchsvorwurf gegen Tiroler Ordensbruder

OSTERREICH
KathPress

[A member of the Tyrolean Servites province is said to have sexually abused a teenager.]

Innsbruck, 29.06.2017 (KAP) Die Polizei in Tirol ermittelt gegen einen Tiroler Ordensbruder, dem sexueller Missbrauch eines Jugendlichen vorgeworfen wird. Die Tiroler Servitenprovinz bestätigte am Donnerstag einen entsprechenden Bericht der Tiroler Tageszeitung. “Als Provinzleitung sind wir zutiefst betroffen und bedauern den Vorfall ausdrücklich. Wir verurteilen entschieden jede Form sexuellen Missbrauchs. Wir vertrauen jetzt auf eine rasche und vollständige Klärung der Vorwürfe und hoffen, dass auf diese Weise dem mutmaßlichen Opfer Gerechtigkeit widerfahren kann”, teilte der stellvertretende Provinzial P. Martin M. Lintner mit und sicherte die volle Kooperation der Ordensgemeinschaft in dem Fall zu.

Nach Angaben der “Tiroler Tageszeitung” hat ein mittlerweile 18-Jähriger Ende Mai bei der Polizei Anzeige wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs gegen ein Mitglied der Tiroler Servitenprovinz erstattet. Der Ordensmann – er ist ein Servitenbruder ohne Priesterweihe – leitete offenbar einen Gastronomiebetrieb, in dem der Jugendliche seit Sommer 2015 als damals 16-jähriger Lehrling gearbeitet hatte. Ab Frühjahr 2016 ist es nach Angaben des Jugendlichen zu Übergriffen gekommen. Der Ordensbruder soll dem Lehrling zur Einnahme von Medikamenten gedrängt und ihn mehrmals sexuell missbraucht haben. Im vergangenen Frühjahr erkrankte der 18-Jährige für mehrere Wochen und kehrte im Anschluss nicht mehr in den Betrieb zurück. Im Juni sei das Arbeitsverhältnis aufgelöst worden, so die “Tiroler Tageszeitung”.

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Archbishop Philip Wilson will face a two-week hearing in November on a conceal crime charge

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
30 Jun 2017

ARCHBISHOP Philip Wilson – the most senior Catholic cleric in the world to be charged with concealing the child sex offences of another priest – will face a two-week hearing in November.

Newcastle Local Court magistrate Ian Cheetham confirmed the November 27 special fixture hearing at Newcastle during a brief mention on Friday.

The matter is expected to be heard by a Hunter magistrate brought in for the hearing.

Confirmation of the date followed three unsuccessful appeals by Archbishop Wilson to have the charge against him quashed or permanently stayed.

He was charged in March, 2015 with failing to report information he knew or believed about Hunter priest James Fletcher to police between April 2004, when Fletcher was charged with child sex offences, and 2006 when Fletcher died in jail after his conviction.

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Victims advocates: Case against Vatican official should send a message

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Dave Sutor
dsutor@tribdem.com

Robert Hoatson, an advocate for victims of child sexual abuse, thinks the multiple charges of sexual assault filed against Cardinal George Pell in Australia can send a message to organizations that have allegedly protected abusers within their ranks, including the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

Pell, the third-ranking official in the Vatican, has been ordered to appear in court next month, having been accused by police officials of committing vaguely described historical sexual assault offenses.

“I hope it sends the message that law enforcement is watching very carefully,” said Hoatson, founder of the advocacy group Road to Recovery, who has offered support to many victims of alleged abuse perpetrated by priests and other religious leaders in Altoona-Johnstown. “No longer is the church going to be treated differently than any other organization or person.”

Mitchell Garabedian, a nationally known Boston attorney who has represented local victims of child sexual abuse, said, “It sends a clear message to dioceses and orders around the world that child abuse will be prosecuted whenever possible.”

For years, Garabedian and others have contended the alleged abuse and cover-up has gone to the very top of the Catholic Church. “I’m not surprised that a high-ranking Vatican official has been named as a sexual abuser,” Garabedian said.

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At last Cardinal Pell can—sort of—face his accusers

UNITED STATES
Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler Jun 29, 2017

If you’re surprised by the criminal charges against Cardinal George Pell, you haven’t been paying attention.

For two years now the Australian cardinal has been the primary focus of an aggressive media campaign, with rumors about a police investigation constantly leaking into the press. Now at last the charges are out in the open—more or less. We know that prosecutors will bring formal charges against Cardinal Pell; we still don’t know exactly what those charges will be.

The cardinal himself was obviously not surprised by the announcement. He had already made arrangements to take a leave of absence from his Vatican duties; he had consulted with doctors about his trip back to Australia to defend himself. (Notice, by the way, that if he chose to duck the prosecution, he could stay at the Vatican, since the Holy See does not have an extradition treaty with Australia.) He knew this was coming. Both his actions and his attitude are consistent with his public statement that he is happy for the opportunity finally to defend his reputation.

Unfortunately the damage is done. If the charges are tossed out of court at the first opportunity, for lack of plausible evidence—as the cardinal’s staunch defenders believe they will be—critics will complain that the case was suppressed. Even if Cardinal Pell could prove with mathematical certainty that he is innocent, he will still be remembered as the cardinal who was accused of sexual abuse. The trial-by-media has already concluded. Public opinon, which does not concern itself with the niceties of the legal process, has already reached a verdict. The cardinal has been found guilty, before he even made his defense—indeed, before the actual charges were made public.

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Gelzinis: Cardinal O’Malley urged to speak up on abuse

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

Peter Gelzinis Friday, June 30, 2017

Did cops in Australia take more decisive steps to address alleged sex abuse by the hand of a top Vatican prelate, Cardinal George Pell, than either Pope Francis, or Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley?

Anne Barrett Doyle of Milton, founder of Bishop­Accountability.org, believes they did.

“Accountablity is happening,” Doyle told me yesterday. “The problem is, it’s happening outside the church at the hands of civil authorities looking to solve a crime and secure some justice.

“This pope and our cardinal should be leading the way,” Doyle said.

Yesterday she urged both Pope Francis and Cardinal Sean O’Malley to seize this particular moment to weigh in forcefully on the humiliating scandal of a prince of the church facing sex abuse charges.

“I think Pope Francis and especially Cardinal Sean need to speak up, and speak out loudly about what has happened. They both need to address this issue head-on. And do it now.”

But for the collar and the crucifix, George Pell might well have been a senator or congressman proclaiming his innocence, instead of the cardinal archbishop of Australia, third-highest prelate in Rome and treasurer of the Vatican bank.

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Rabbi Greer Seeks New Trial

CONNECTICUT
New Haven Independent

A prominent Edgewood rabbi is asking a court to throw out a $20 million verdict against him and order a new trial on sexual abuse allegations.

Attorney David Grudberg filed the motion Wednesday in U.S. District Court on behalf of the rabbi, Daniel Greer.

A federal jury last month awarded a former yeshiva student named Eliyahu Mirlis $15 million in damages, and his lawyers another $5 million, based on testimony that Greer repeatedly sexually abused him and another student over a period of years.

Grudberg’s motion asks the court the court either to throw out the case and order a new trial; or, barring that, reduce the award to under $1 million.

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Catholic priest’s alleged inappropriate conduct kept hidden from school nearby his residence for ‘privacy reasons’

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Jesse Dorsett

The Catholic Church decided not to tell a Canberra primary school a priest living next door had been accused of inappropriate conduct with children because it was concerned about his privacy, an independent report has found.

The historical allegations involve two girls, and include the priest putting his arms around an 11 or 12-year-old from behind and nibbling her ear when they were alone in a Tumut church in the Riverina.

While the alleged victims decided not to press charges, a church report found the complaints were sustained and the man was removed as the parish priest.

But his lawyers denied he was guilty of any misconduct.

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George Pell highlights the Vatican’s failure to act

IRELAND
Newstalk

Sexual abuse charges against Cardinal George Pell have been a long time coming.

He has been charged with multiple historical sexual abuse offences, which he will face in a Melbourne court next month.

Pell is Australia’s most senior Catholic and the third ranking official at the Vatican.

Boston Globe investigative reporter Michael Rezendes told Rachel Smalley it comes as no surprise.

“This is the direct result of the Vatican’s failure to come to grips with this issue. After all it’s been 15 years more than 15 years since my colleagues and I on the Boston Globe broke this story.”

Rezendes said the Vatican has made many fine statements about victims of clergy sex abuse and its plans to do something about it, but says really nothing has happened.

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‘This must not distract us’

AUSTRALIA
The Border Mail

Derrick Krusche and Rachel Browne
30 Jun 2017

Ballarat clergy sexual abuse survivors hope Cardinal George Pell’s trial will not distract from implementing the royal commission’s recommendations.

Peter Blenkiron, who was abused by disgraced Christian Brother Edward Dowlan, said whether Cardinal Pell was guilty or not was a red herring.

“If we focus on one person, on one issue, then that can distract the whole community and eclipse what really needs to change,” he said.

“We must not take our eyes off the ball and we must make sure all recommendations are implemented.”

The $500 million inquiry is Australia’s longest royal commission, starting in 2013 and due to finish with a final report to the federal government in December.

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Pope Francis faces worst ‘crisis’ as shockwaves at Cardinal Pell charges spread around the world

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

Andrew Koubaridis
news.com.au
@akoubaridis

THE historic sexual offence allegations made against Cardinal George Pell have plunged Pope Francis into the greatest crisis of his papacy, a Vatican watcher says.

Christopher Lamb, the Rome Correspondent for Catholic newspaper The Tablet, said the news of the charges against Cardinal Pell — the third most powerful figure in the church and the most senior Australian — created “shockwaves” when it came through yesterday.

“It’s fair to say it has had a huge impact on people who work in the Vatican … obviously [it was known] there was a possibility the Cardinal would be charged and the police were about to make a decision, but when it came through it really sent shockwaves through the global headquarters of Catholicism and the church is still coming to terms with this news,” he told ABC’s Lateline last night.

Lamb said The Cardinal had been “entrusted” by the Pope to repair the Vatican’s finances and was now the most senior church figure to be charged with sex offences.

The 76-year-old must return to Melbourne on July 26 to face charges relating to multiple complainants. He has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and has vowed to clear his name. Addressing the world’s media from the Vatican yesterday, Cardinal Pell said: “I am innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.”

He has stepped down from his Vatican duties as he begins his defence of the charge — but Mr Lamb told Lateline the effect on the Pope’s papacy had been immediately felt.

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No stranger to child abuse scandals, cardinal now finds himself in firing line

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Annette Blackwell
June 30 2017

The Pope is likely shaking the dust off a letter of resignation from one of his top men, Australian cardinal George Pell.

The letter has been gathering dust in a Vatican file for just over a year – Pell submitted it, as obliged, when he turned 75 last year.

Francis, if truly committed to reassuring the faithful a reforming Church had zero tolerance for a culture of silence, or worse, a wilful and deliberate cover-up of child sex abuse, would have said a year ago, “Thank you, George”, and breathed a sigh of relief.

This is because controversy and George Pell have been inseparable from the time he was a priest in the Australian diocese of Ballarat in the 1970s to his ascension in 2014 as a chief adviser to the Pope and the Holy See’s main beancounter.

And much of that controversy has been about the former archbishop’s responses to priests who sinned grossly against children and his legalistic solution for dealing with abuse survivors.

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Why the Catholic Church must continue soul-searching

UNITED STATES
CNN

[with video]

By Heidi Schlumpf

Heidi Schlumpf is a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter and teaches communication at Aurora University. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN)The news that a high-ranking Vatican official has been charged with sexual abuse is a reminder that the church’s sex abuse crisis is not over — and that it has potential to affect the entire church, across so-called liberal or conservative lines, even to the top echelons of the church hierarchy.

Cardinal George Pell, former archbishop of Sydney and Melbourne and current head of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, denied the allegations that will require him to return to Australia from Rome to face multiple charges of sexual assault.

Speculation about Pell’s abuse is detailed in a recent book, which the publisher has now pulled from the shelves in the Australian state of Victoria so as not to prejudice the court. Pell also has a less than credible record for his handling of sexual abuse allegations against other priests, especially his involvement in the case of Gerald Ridsdale, a former priest who was convicted of abusing more than 50 victims. Last year, testifying via video to the Australian child abuse royal commission, Pell said the church made “enormous mistakes” in its handling of the matter.
Pell’s story is significant not only because it marks the first time authorities have charged a Vatican official with sexual abuse, but also because it shows that the decadeslong sex abuse crisis is not a “once and done” thing. Catholics will be hearing about this for a while.

Certainly, the early 2000s were the peak, with the Boston Globe bringing the issue to national prominence, resulting in lawsuits, criminal charges and the Academy Award-winning movie “Spotlight,” about the journalists who uncovered both the abuse and the coverup by the church hierarchy.

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Archdiocese says it won’t fund George Pell’s defence

AUSTRALIA
The New Daily

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney will house Cardinal George Pell when he returns to Australia to face historic sexual assault allegations.

But Archbishop Anthony Fisher said the Archdiocese would not pay for his legal fees as the Cardinal prepares to face a Melbourne court next month.

“While the Archdiocese will assist with the Cardinal’s accommodation and support as it would for any of its bishops or priests, it is not responsible for the Cardinal’s legal bills arising from these matters,” Archbishop Fisher said, ABC reports.

Victoria Police charged Cardinal Pell on Thursday with “multiple charges” relating to “multiple complaints”, sending shockwaves to the top of the Vatican.

Cardinal Pell, the third most powerful person in the Catholic Church, has been put on leave while he defends the charges and immediately ceased public duties.

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What led to Cardinal George Pell’s abuse chargers?

AUSTRALIA
CBS News

JUNE 29, 2017, 8:09 PM| Cardinal George Pell has been a contentious figure in the church for some time, yet he remained prominent and has maintained close ties to Pope Francis. Now Pell faces sexual assault charges in Australia. Investigative reporter and author of “”Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell”” Louise Milligan spoke about Pell’s downfall.

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Cardinal George Pell: Charges of historical sex offences will define Vatican official’s legacy

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Barney Zwartz

Five years ago, the news that Australia’s most famous Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, was to be charged with historical sex offences would have been like a tsunami inside the church. Not now.

Today the mood is numbed acceptance, the feeling that this is the inevitable last act in the drama of a man who authored his own tragedy.

It was his appearances before the child abuse inquiries by the Victorian Parliament and the Royal Commission that really savaged his reputation, both because of the deficiencies they uncovered and because of his wooden, cold responses.

But in the Australian Catholic Church, the damage from clergy abuse was done long ago, and the latest development is merely cause for more disappointment. For years, most ordinary Catholics have focused on their local parishes and ignored the hierarchy, as dismayed as anyone by the shocking revelations of official cover-ups, moving paedophile priests and silencing victims.

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Italian newspaper brands Australia ‘a paradise of the orcs’ in its coverage of ‘controversial kangaroo’ George Pell’s historical sex offences charges

ITALY
Daily Mail

By Australian Associated Press and Kate Darvall For Daily Mail Australia

Sex charges laid against Cardinal George Pell are getting heavy coverage in the Italian media, with one newspaper branding him ‘controversial kangaroo’ and Australia ‘a paradise of the orcs’.

The Italian media attacked Australia’s record of sexual assault, and claimed seven per cent of priests had been accused of the offences.

Cardinal Pell was on Thursday charged by Victorian Police with historical sexual assault offences.

He’s the most senior Catholic Church cleric to face such charges in the world in modern times.
Italian newspaper websites on Thursday ran prominent pictures of the 76-year-old and television networks carried long segments with footage of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

They also broadcast footage of Australian sexual assault survivors who attended the Rome end of a Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse hearing when Cardinal Pell gave evidence last year.

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Protected Church, not children: Victim on Cardinal Pell child sex abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
The Asian Age

AFP

Sydney: From country priest to trusted top Vatican aide, the rise of Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric George Pell has been plagued in its twilight by sordid controversies from the past.

To his admirers, the 76-year-old cardinal embodies the orthodox traditions of Australian Catholicism, but to his critics he represents an institution that has failed to properly deal with child sex abuse allegations.

Pell, who was charged Thursday with historical sex abuse, strongly denies the allegations, details of which were not given by police.

He also says he had no knowledge of widespread paedophilia in the church in Australia, even suggesting a conspiracy to bring him down.

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George Pell: How Italian media reacted to the historical sexual offence charges

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The charges against George Pell have been heavily covered in the Italian media, with the Cardinal described as a “controversial kangaroo” and Australia’s record on sexual abuse criticised.

Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric has been ordered to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on July 26, after Victoria Police served charges on his legal representatives.

Pell strongly denied the charges, saying he had been the victim of “relentless character assassination” and looked forward to returning to Australia to clear his name in court.

As head of the Vatican’s finances, Pell is considered number three in the Catholic hierarchy, making him the most senior Catholic Church cleric to face such charges in the world in modern times.

The significance of the charges — and Pell’s senior position — has seen the story heavily covered by Italian media.

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Catholic Church rallies behind Pell after sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Times Live (South Africa)

AFP

Australia’s Catholic leaders have spoken out in support of Cardinal George Pell describing the Vatican finance chief as a “thoroughly decent man” after he was charged with historical sexual offences.

Pell, who has been ordered to face a Melbourne court hearing next month, said Thursday he would return to Australia “as soon as possible to clear his name” after consulting with his doctors.

The pre-eminent cleric rose through the ranks to the highest offices of the church in Australia before leaving to manage the Vatican’s powerful economic ministry.

The Australian’s successors spoke warmly of his legacy and reputation.

“The George Pell I know is a man of integrity in his dealings with others, a man of faith and high ideals, a thoroughly decent man,” the Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher said in a statement.

Pope backs Australian cardinal in fight against sex abuse charges

Cardinal George Pell said Thursday that he would take leave from the Vatican to return to Australia to fight sexual assault charges after being given …
NEWS 23 hours ago
But Fisher said that while his archdiocese would help Pell with accommodation on his return to Australia to face the charges, “it is not responsible for the Cardinal’s legal bills arising from these matters”.

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Cardinal Pell’s situation may be unique, but there are plenty of parallels

VATICAN CITY
Crux

Inés San Martín VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

Although Cardinal George Pell of Australia is the first cardinal and Vatican official to face criminal charges related to sexual abuse, he’s hardly the first Catholic bishop to be prosecuted on those grounds, and also not the first Vatican official to face a criminal indictment. A rundown of several such recent cases allows one to compare and contrast with the Pell situation, including the fact

Given news that Australian Cardinal George Pell, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy and a member of Pope Francis’s “C9” council of cardinal advisers, has been criminally charged with sexual abuse in his native Australia, the question naturally arises of whether such a situation is unprecedented.

Unsurprisingly for an institution with a history as long as the Catholic Church, the answer is “yes and no.”

In fact, no cardinal, and no sitting Vatican official, has ever before faced a criminal indictment for sexual abuse. On the other hand, several figures in both categories have faced criminal charges for a variety of other offenses, and other Catholic bishops around the world have faced abuse charges, which offers the possibility to compare and contrast with the Pell drama.

In 1982, American Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, at the time head of the Vatican Bank, was implicated in a massive financial scandal that led to the collapse of an Italian bank. Italian authorities issued a criminal indictment against him, forcing him to remain locked on Vatican property until the country’s Supreme Court ruled in 1988 that as a Holy See passport holder, he enjoyed immunity from prosecution.

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The Pope’s ‘blind spot’ on sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
Gant Daily

Posted on Thursday, June 29, 2017 by CNN in International News

Last December, Pope Francis wrote a letter to bishops around the world, lamenting the pain his church has caused sexually abused children.

“It is a sin that shames us,” the Pope said. “The sin of what happened, the sin of failing to help, the sin of covering up and denial, the sin of the abuse of power.” He pledged to take “all necessary measures” to assure that “these atrocities” never again occur in the church, where there would be “zero tolerance” of anyone who hurts children.

That’s the kind of straight talk Catholics expected when the College of Cardinals elected Francis in 2013. He was an outsider, had never worked in Rome and earned a reputation as incorruptible while serving as an archbishop in Argentina.

But as the sexual abuse crisis continues to swirl around his church, Francis’ promises have run into a brick wall of Vatican opposition. His plan for a tribunal to try bishops accused of covering up abuse was scotched. The two abuse survivors appointed to his commission to protect children have quit or been placed on a leave of absence after battling church officials. And now his commitment to take action faces its biggest test, after one of his top advisers, Cardinal George Pell, was charged with sexual assault in his native Australia on Wednesday.

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Catholic priest now faces 9 years in prison for sexual abuse

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

Thomas Novelly, The Courier-Journal June 29, 2017

A Catholic priest is facing an additional two years in prison after a sentencing hearing in Meade County Thursday for sexually abusing a boy at a summer camp in the 1970s.

Father Joseph Hemmerle, 74, who was serving seven years for the sexual abuse of another victim, was sentenced to an additional two years in prison as well as eight years of probation.

Hemmerle pled guilty to his charges on May 17 in Grayson Circuit Court. The case involved allegations by a man who said Hemmerle sexually abused him while he was a boy at the camp in the summers of 1977 and 1978, according to a copy of the plea agreement.

Hemmerle’s additional charges come seven months after he was convicted in Meade County of sexually molesting a boy in the 1970s at the same location, Camp Tall Trees at Otter Creek Park, which the Archdiocese of Louisville ran until 2002.

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Pope problems: Pell charges plunge Vatican into crisis

AUSTRALIA
Warwick Daily News

Andrew Koubaridis | 30th Jun 2017

THE historic sexual offence allegations made against Cardinal George Pell have plunged Pope Francis into the greatest crisis of his papacy, a Vatican watcher says.

Christopher Lamb, the Rome Correspondent for Catholic newspaper The Tablet, said the news of the charges against Cardinal Pell – the third most powerful figure in the church and the most senior Australian – created “shockwaves” when it came through yesterday.

“It’s fair to say it has had a huge impact on people who work in the Vatican … obviously [it was known] there was a possibility the Cardinal would be charged and the police were about to make a decision, but when it came through it really sent shockwaves through the global headquarters of Catholicism and the church is still coming to terms with this news,” he told ABC’s Lateline last night.

Lamb said The Cardinal had been “entrusted” by the Pope to repair the Vatican’s finances and was now the most senior church figure to be charged with sex offences.

The 76-year-old must return to Melbourne on July 26 to face charges relating to multiple complainants.

He has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and has vowed to clear his name. Addressing the world’s media from the Vatican yesterday, Cardinal Pell said: “I am innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.”

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Real-Life “Spotlight” Stars Speak Out On New Charges Against High-Ranking Vatican Official

MASSACHUSETTS
WGBH

[with video]

June 29, 2017

WGBH NEWS

Cardinal George Pell is heading back to his home country of Australia to face multiple sexual assault charges, from multiple accusers. Officials are not releasing details of the charges, nor the accusers — including their ages — but Pell has denied the complaints, calling them part of a “relentless character assassination.”

“I can’t possibly be surprised,” said attorney Mitchell Garabedian when he joined Jim Braude on “Greater Boston,” along with investigative journalist Mike Rezendes, who was part of The Boston Globe Spotlight team that first broke the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal in the ’90s. Garabedian has represented thousands of victims of church abuse and both men were portrayed in the 2015 film “Spotlight.”

“I have cases around the world where children were abused by priests and some of them were high-ranking priests,” said Garabedian.

Pell is the third-ranking official in the Vatican and he’s the senior-most church official to ever be charged.

“Most important, the church has not dealt with this problem,” said Rezendes. “Until the church deals with the problem head-on, we’re going to see scandal after scandal after scandal.”

Cardinal Pell is one of nine church officials who were appointed by Pope Francis, shortly after his election in 2013, to study reforms within the Catholic Church. Boston’s own Cardinal Sean O’Malley — who chairs the Pope’s Commission for the Protection of Minors — was another.

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Senior Catholic Church officials have rarely faced charges in the sexual abuse of children. Here are a few who did.

UNITED STATES
Los Angeles Times

By Alexandra Zavis

Victims rights groups have long complained that criminal accountability for the sexual abuse of children by members of the Roman Catholic clergy has rarely extended above the level of priests, despite evidence that bishops and archbishops knew about many of the suspected crimes — and in some cases played a role in the abuse.

On Thursday, Cardinal George Pell became the highest ranking Vatican official to be formally charged with sexual assault in connection with the scandals that have dogged the church for decades.

Pell, Pope Francis’ top financial advisor, had already faced questioning last year by a royal commission in his native Australia over accusations that he mishandled cases of clergy abuse when he was archbishop of Melbourne and, later, Sydney. More recently, accusations surfaced that he himself had abused boys going as far back as the 1970s, when he was a priest in Ballarat.

At a news conference Thursday, Pell said that the pontiff had given him leave to appear in court in Melbourne next month, and that he was looking forward to the opportunity to clear his name.

While criminal charges have been brought against more than 100 priests in Australia alone, few senior Catholic prelates around the world have been brought to account. Here are some of those cases:

Jozef Wesolowski

The Polish former archbishop was the first high-ranking official in the Roman Catholic Church to be sent before the Vatican’s own criminal court on charges of sexual abuse. Accused of paying shoeshine boys for sex while serving as papal nuncio, or ambassador, in the Dominican Republic, he was recalled by Francis in 2013 and defrocked the following year. While living at the Vatican, he was found to have child pornography on a computer. He died before his trial could begin in 2015.

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Jet ambulance from Rome to Melbourne would cost more than $350,000

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

June 30, 2017

Greg Brown
Journalist
Melbourne
@gregbrown_TheOz

The Catholic Church could be forced to fork out for an expensive trip from Rome to Melbourne if doctors decide George Pell is too ill to fly on a standard plane.

Cardinal Pell could take a lengthy boat trip from Europe to Australia or be “medivacced” on a private jet at a cost of about $15,000 an hour.

Cardinal Pell gave evidence at the child sex abuse royal commission last year via videolink from Rome, with his lawyers arguing his heart condition was not compatible with a long flight.

He said yesterday he would return to Melbourne to fight historical sex abuse charges but his mode of transport is unclear. “I’ve spoken to my lawyers about when this will be necessary. And I’ve spoken to my doctors about the best way to achieve this,” he said.

Strategic Aviation Solutions chairman Neil Hansford said people were evacuated on “jet ambulances” on a daily basis. He said the planes include a doctor, a nurse and ample medical equipment to cater for health concerns.

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Vatican Sex Abuse Scandal Reveals Blind Spot for Francis

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By JASON HOROWITZ and LAURIE GOODSTEIN
JUNE 29, 2017

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis came to power promising not only to create a more inclusive church and to clean up an ossified Vatican bureaucracy, but also to remove the stain of child sex abuse.

A global pedophilia scandal plagued his two immediate processors. With Francis’s election in 2013, many expected progress. Francis talked about powerful committees to safeguard children, tribunals to try bishops and a “zero tolerance” policy for offending priests.

It hasn’t exactly worked out that way.

On Thursday, the Vatican announced that Francis had granted a leave of absence to Cardinal George Pell, now the highest-ranking Roman Catholic prelate to be formally charged with sexual offenses, and one the pope had brought into his inner circle even as a cloud of allegations swirled over the cardinal in Australia.

“We talked about my need to take leave to clear my name,” Cardinal Pell, 76, stone-faced in simple black cleric’s clothes, said as he sat next to the Vatican’s spokesman and reiterated his innocence. “So I’m very grateful to the Holy Father for giving me this leave to return to Australia.”

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Abus sexuels : le cardinal George Pell inculpé par la justice australienne

AUSTRALIE
La Croix (France)

La Croix (avec AFP), le 29/06/2017

Le numéro trois du Saint-Siège, le cardinal australien George Pell, a été inculpé jeudi 29 juin pour de multiples agressions sexuelles en Australie. Le plus haut responsable catholique d’Australie s’est dit jeudi au Vatican totalement innocent avant d’annoncer son intention de rentrer en Australie pour se défendre. Le Vatican a accepté le « congé » du cardinal Pell sans exiger sa démission.

Le ministre de l’économie du Saint-Siège, le cardinal George Pell, a été inculpé jeudi 29 juin en Australie pour de multiples agressions sexuelles, des accusations anciennes qu’il a de nouveau démenties catégoriquement. Il s’agit du plus éminent ecclésiastique mis en cause dans une affaire d’abus sexuels.

Mis en cause dans le livre-enquête d’une journaliste australienne en mai dernier, il avait récusé toute accusation d’abus sexuels sur mineurs.

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Le cardinal australien George Pell, argentier du Vatican, inculpé pour sévices sexuels sur enfants

AUSTRALIE
Le Figaro (France)

Le cardinal George Pell, préfet du secrétariat pour l’économie du Vatican, a été officiellement inculpé d’abus sexuels. L’ecclésiastique de 76 ans doit se présenter le 18 juillet devant le tribunal de première instance de Melbourne pour y être entendu. «Le cardinal Pell doit répondre de multiples accusations liées à des crimes sexuels anciens», a déclaré le commissaire adjoint de la police de l’Etat de Victoria, ajoutant lors d’une conférence de presse que “de multiples plaignants” étaient liés à cette affaire.

Selon l’archidiocèse de Sydney, le cardinal rejette “vigoureusement” les accusations de pédophilie et rentrera en Australie pour se défendre. Les faits présumés remontent aux années 1970, 1980 et 1990.

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«Il cardinale Pell incriminato per gravi reati sessuali». Le accuse della polizia australiana

ROMA
Corriere della Sera

Il cardinale australiano George Pell, già arcivescovo di Melbourne e poi di Sydney e ora prefetto degli Affari economici del Vaticano, è stato incriminato per gravi reati sessuali. Stando a indiscrezioni giornalistiche i reati contestati potrebbero essere fino a tre, fra cui un’accusa di stupro. L’annuncio è destinato a suscitare violente reazioni nella Chiesa cattolica d’Australia e del mondo, osserva il quotidiano. Lo scorso ottobre tre funzionari della polizia del Victoria si erano recati a Roma per interrogare Pell, che non si sottrasse alle domande degli investigatori. L’arcidiocesi di Sydney ha detto che l’alto prelato farà ritorno in Australia per contestare le accuse. Non solo. Pell farà una dichiarazione giovedì mattina alle 8.30 nella sala stampa vaticana. Lo fa sapere la stessa sala stampa vaticana in una nota, precisando che non ci sarà diretta streaming, e che fotografi e cameramen saranno ammessi.

Le notifiche di reato

Le notifiche di reato – riferisce la radio nazionale Abc – sono state notificate dalla polizia dello stato australiano di Victoria questa mattina ai rappresentanti legali di Pell a Melbourne e presentate al tribunale detto Magistrates Court, davanti a cui il prelato è chiamato a comparire il 18 luglio. Nel dare l’annuncio il vice commissario di polizia Shane Patton ha precisato che le accuse riguardano più querelanti e che le indagini hanno riguardato reati che sarebbero stati commessi negli anni 1970 a Ballarat, città nativa di Pell dove allora era sacerdote. Patton ha sottolineato che” il processo e le procedure seguite sono state le stesse di quelle applicate in una vasta gamma di reati sessuali storici, tutte le volte che li investighiamo”.

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Pedofilia, cardinale Pell incriminato per gravi reati sessuali: “Andrò in Australia a difendermi”

CITTA’ DEL VATICANO
La Repubblica

di ANDREA GUALTIERI e KATIA RICCARDI

CITTA’ DEL VATICANO – L’ombra della pedofilia e dello stupro torna ad oscurare la Chiesa. Il cardinale australiano George Pell, già arcivescovo di Melbourne e poi di Sydney e ora prefetto degli Affari economici della Santa Sede, è stato incriminato per presunti reati di abusi sessuali su minori quando era sacerdote a Ballarat (1976-1980) e, poi, arcivescovo a Melbourne (1996-2001). Si tratta del più alto esponente ecclesiastico mai finito sotto accusa per abusi sessuali.

La notizia piomba sul Vaticano in una data solenne, quella della festività dei Santi Pietro e Paolo. Oggi è il giorno in cui il Papa consegna agli arcivescovi metropoliti appena nominati il pallio, simbolo del giogo pastorale da prendersi sulle spalle. Una cerimonia alla quale sono presenti anche i cinque cardinali che hanno ricevuto ieri la berretta. “Lo Spirito di vita non soffia se non si prega e senza preghiera non si aprono le carceri interiori che ci tengono prigionieri”, ha detto Francesco durante l’omelia davanti ai cinque nuovi cardinali che ieri hanno ricevuto la berretta rossa. Alla cerimonia avrebbe dovuto partecipare, tra i prelati di curia, anche Pell, che invece non si è presentato. E non apparirà nemmeno in tutti gli altri eventi e cerimonie pubbliche che avverranno fin quando resterà sotto accusa.

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Extensive Italian press coverage for Pell

ITALY
7 News

By Lloyd Jones, AAP London Correspondent – AAP on June 30, 2017

The charges laid against Vatican finance chief and Australian Cardinal George Pell are getting heavy coverage in Italian media, which have attacked Australia’s record on sexual assault.

Cardinal Pell was on Thursday charged by Victorian Police with historical sexual assault offences.

He’s the most senior Catholic Church cleric to face such charges in the world in modern times.

Italian newspaper websites on Thursday ran prominent pictures of the 76-year-old. Television networks carried long segments with footage of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

They also broadcast footage of Australian sexual assault survivors who attended the Rome end of a Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse hearing when Cardinal Pell gave evidence last year.

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Cardinal’s sex abuse case is test for Francis’ papacy

ROME/AUSTRALIA
Los Angeles Times

Tom Kington, Laura King and Victoria Kim

Charges of sexual offenses against one of the Vatican’s top-ranking prelates have placed new pressure on Pope Francis to make good on pledges to root out, punish and prevent abuses that have shaken the Roman Catholic Church worldwide.

Cardinal George Pell, the most senior church official to be implicated in a far-flung scandal of decades’ standing, said Thursday that he would return to his native Australia to face the charges against him.

He dismissed the charges as “relentless character assassination.”

The cardinal, who is a senior advisor to Francis, told reporters in Vatican City that the pontiff had granted him a leave of absence to contest the charges, which bring the globe-spanning abuse allegations directly to the gates of the Vatican.

Although cases of priest-committed pedophilia and their wrenchingly long-lasting repercussions remain an open wound in dozens of dioceses across the United States and other countries, it is rare for direct allegations of abuse to reach the level of a cardinal, each of whom is known as a “prince of the church.”

Australian authorities described the charges against Pell as centering on sex offenses committed decades ago in Australia — “historical” crimes, in police language. Pell had already come under withering scrutiny in his homeland for allegedly helping to cover up sexual predation by others while he held senior church positions in Australia.

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CARDINAL PELL DESERVES FAIR HEARING

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Catholic League president Bill Donohue speaks to the controversy over Cardinal George Pell:

Cardinal Pell has been charged by Australian police on multiple counts of sexual abuse. He will appear before a Melbourne court on July 18. He says the charges are false and is “looking forward finally to having my day in court.”

Actually, Cardinal Pell has been in court before, and the charges against him went nowhere. It is worth discussing them now, especially given the current media frenzy over the latest accusations.

In 2002, allegations of sexual abuse against Cardinal Pell were thrown out of court by the Victorian Supreme Court. A Melbourne man said he was abused by Pell in 1962 at a camp when he was 12; Pell was studying for the priesthood. The judge ruled that there were “some valid criticism of the complainant’s credibility.” That was a gross understatement.

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Knesset petitioned over Leifer

ISRAEL
The Australian Jewish News

THE Victorian Parliamentary Friends of Israel (VPFI) has launched a petition to help bring alleged child sexual abuser Malka Leifer back to Australia.

David Southwick, the co-convenor of the VPFI, is going to Israel next month and will present the petition to the Knesset.

“Victims of the alleged sexual abuse by Malka Leifer deserve justice,” Southwick told The AJN.

“She must be extradited back to Australia immediately to be questioned by Victoria Police.”

Leifer, a former Adass Israel principal, fled Australia in 2008 amid accusations she abused Adass students. She has remained in Israel ever since. Last year, an Israeli judge ruled she is too mentally unstable to face extradition proceedings relating to 74 counts of alleged abuse.

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Cardinal Pell returns to Australia ‘to clear his name’. But what are his chances of a fair trial?

UNITED KINGDOM
The Spectator

Damian Thompson

Cardinal George Pell, the head of the Vatican’s finances, has been charged with historic sex offences in his native Australia. He is returning there ‘to clear his name’. ‘I look forward to my day in court’, he said at a press conference in Rome this morning.

If I were in his shoes, I wouldn’t be looking forward to it. I believe – on the basis of the very sketchy evidence we’ve seen so far, and also my personal encounters with him – that the Cardinal is innocent of these charges. But what are his chances of a fair trial in Australia?

Let me quote at length from an article by Angela Shanahan in The Australian, published on June 11. It seems to be behind a paywall, but this is what she had to say:

Pell can never receive a fair trial. The “vibe” has taken over. The year-long pursuit of him by the police, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton’s recent frequent radio interviews and unprecedented commentary on the process, combined with the sustained efforts of the ABC and Fairfax Media, have ensured that any real evidence of wrongdoing has long become a secondary consideration to the vibe.

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Bad day for Pope Francis: Sexual-assault charges against Cardinal Pell fuel media firestorm

UNITED STATES
GetReligion

Terry Mattingly

This answers the question that, behind the scenes, some Catholic church insiders have been asking in recent years.

That question: What will it take to get tough-as-nails, straightforward coverage of a news story closely linked to Pope Francis?

Clearly, the historic criminal sexual-assault charges against Cardinal George Pell of Australia is such a story. As the Vatican’s “financial czar,” Pell is one of the most powerful men in the Catholic hierarchy. Some rank him No. 2 in terms of clout, a notch behind the pope. He is also a member the pope’s nine-member special advisory council.

The announcement was made on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul – a highly symbolic day at the Vatican. Did that make it into many news reports? Not that I saw.

However, there are strong news stories everywhere. However, the strong, blunt nature of the coverage – with quotes from Pell defenders and critics – can be seen in a lengthy Associated Press report that will be seen in thousands of daily newspapers around the world.

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Cardinal George Pell unlikely to return to Vatican City

VATICAN CITY
Coffs Coast Advocate

Jacquelin Magnay and Ellen Whinnett | 30th Jun 2017

POPE Francis on Thursday night offered guarded support for Cardinal George Pell, while expressing respect for the Australian judicial system that will decide his fate.

But Vatican insiders are already preparing to pension off Cardinal George Pell, regardless of the outcome of the case involving historic sex offences.

The Herald Sun has been told it is highly unlikely that Cardinal Pell, who was promoted to the Vatican three years ago to reform its multi- billion euro real estate and financial portfolio, will return to Rome in his high-profile role.
Pope Francis, while supportive of Cardinal Pell, is seeking to fend off his harshest critics and minimise any reputational damage to the church.

In a statement read by his media officer, Greg Burke, Pope Francis said: “The Holy See expresses its respect for the Australian justice system, which will have to decide the merits of the questions raised.

“At the same time it is important to recall Cardinal Pell has openly and repeatedly condemned, as immoral and intolerable, the acts of abuse against minors.”

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George Pell charges: The view from the Vatican

AUSTRALIA/ROME
ABC News

ANALYSIS
RN By Noel Debien for The Religion and Ethics Report

The wheels of the Australian justice system have begun to turn in potentially world-changing ways.

Victoria Police has summonsed a sitting cardinal from the Vatican. In the free world, a cardinal has never been charged with criminal offences before.

Cardinal Pell strenuously denies the charges, and we need many more details yet to understand what they may involve. But the astonishing fact remains that a man who could yet be Pope has been told he must stand trial in Australia, and he has agreed to do so.

‘We must avoid a media verdict’

When asked directly by journalists about the Cardinal Pell matter last year, Pope Francis answered: “We must avoid a media verdict, a verdict based on gossip.”

“It’s in the hands of the justice system and one cannot judge before the justice system. After the justice system speaks, I will speak.”

It is unclear whether Pope Francis will speak now that charges have been laid, or whether he will wait until the completion of the trial.

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Louisville Priest Sentenced in Sex Abuse Summer Camp Case

PENNSYLVANIA
U.S. News

BRANDENBURG, Ky. (AP) — A Catholic priest has been sentenced to serve two years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual abuse charges brought by a victim who says he was abused in the 1970s at a church summer camp.

R. Joseph Hemmerle was sentenced on Thursday in Meade County. The two-year sentence will be served in addition to a seven-year sentence Hemmerle received in February on another abuse case. Both victims say they were abused by Hemmerle at Camp Tall Trees, a now-closed Catholic summer camp about an hour west of Louisville.

The 74-year-old Hemmerle has been on administrative leave from the church since 2014.

In November, the priest testified at a trial that he would sometimes apply calamine lotion to the genitals of child campers, but denied abusing anyone.

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Papa Francesco dà la berretta rossa a Jean Zerbo: il monsignore “con 12 milioni in banca” è diventato cardinale

ROMA
Il Fatto Quotidiano

[Pope Francis gave the red hat to Jean Zerbo: the monsignor “with 12 million in the bank.”]

Nel concistoro in cui sono stati nominati i 5 nuovi porporati è stato stravolto il protocollo per non far parlare il presule del Mali, accusato da un’inchiesta di Le Monde di essere l’unico referente di vari conti correnti in un istituto di credito svizzero, per un ammontare colossale e diametralmente opposto ai principi di povertà su cui si basa tutto il pontificato di Bergoglio

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Man charged with attempted child molestation, sodomy in downtown Columbus

GEORGIA
Ledger-Enquirer

BY SARAH ROBINSON
srobinson@ledger-enquirer.com

A 45-year-old man was accused of trying to molest a child on Broadway in downtown Columbus, authorities said.

Homer Jay Singleton was arrested at 12:37 p.m. Wednesday and charged with one count each of attempted aggravated child molestation, sodomy, driving while license suspended and contempt of court. He was booked into the Muscogee County Jail for a 9 a.m. Friday hearing in Recorder’s Court.

Members of the Columbus Police Department’s Special Victims Unit were called to Broadway around 12:37 p.m. Wednesday to speak with an individual about a child molestation attempt.

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Columbus police arrest former youth pastor for sodomy, child molestation

GEORGIA
WTVM

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Columbus police have arrested a former youth pastor at Edgewood Assembly of God on several charges including child molestation and sodomy.

Homer Singleton, 45, known as Jay, was arrested on Wednesday, June 28 around noon after the Columbus Police Department’s Special Victims Unit was investigating an individual for attempted aggravated child molestation.

Singleton was recently a volunteer worker with the children’s ministry at The Refuge Church, which is a satellite of North Highland.

He was arrested near the area of Broadway and 8th St.

The former youth pastor was charged with child molestation, aggravated child molestation, criminal attempt child molestation, criminal attempt sodomy, and driving while license suspended or revoked.

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Former Bishop Carroll house parent sentenced for sexual assault

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Jocelyn Brumbaugh
jbrumbaugh@tribdem.com

EBENSBURG – A former house parent for international students at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School was sentenced to be under the supervision of probation for the next 11 years, 11 months and register under Megan’s Law for the next 25 years for sexual assault charges filed last August.

Charges against John Bowman Thornberry, 29, of Mills River, North Carolina, were announced by then-Attorney General Kathleen Kane last July.

He was originally charged with one count each of institutional sexual assault, criminal attempt at sexual assault, attempted indecent assault, indecent assault, corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of a child.

Investigators said the alleged incidents warranting the charges occurred while Thornberry was a house parent in a dorm-style residence hall for students at Bishop Carroll between December 2014 and February 2015.

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Former Catholic School House Parent Sentenced in Abuse Case

PENNSYLVANIA
U.S. News

EBENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A former house parent at a Pennsylvania Catholic school accused of molesting two international students he supervised has been sentenced to probation.

The (Johnstown) Tribune-Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/2tpd6NN ) that 29-year-old John Bowman Thornberry will be released from a county jail where has been held since last year and placed under probationary supervision for 11 years and 11 months. He will also register as a sex offender under Wednesday’s sentencing by a Cambria County judge.

Thornberry pleaded guilty in March to institutional sexual assault.

He was removed last year from his job overseeing Chinese international students at Bishop Carroll High School in Ebensburg. One student said Thornberry fondled him. Another boy said he fought off a molestation attempt.

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George Pell case: Ballarat’s deep sense of relief

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

June 30, 2017

CHIP LE GRAND
Victorian Chief ReporterMelbourne
@Melbchief

In the more than 30 years since George Pell left Ballarat, the Victorian gold rush town where he was born, schooled and served as a priest, he has travelled further and soared higher than any Australian clergyman, rising to a position of immense power and authority within the Vatican. Yet, through all those years, no matter how high he climbed, Pell has never ­escaped the broken community he left behind.

On a cold, winter’s day in Ballarat, news that Cardinal Pell had been charged by Victoria Police with historical sex offences was greeted, overwhelmingly, with a sense of relief. For the best part of two years, the prospect of Australia’s most senior Catholic winding up in the dock has dangled before an abused generation with the promise of ultimate vindication and perhaps, a healing salve.

Lawyer Ingrid Irwin, a survivor of sex abuse whose clients include two Ballarat men who have ­publicly accused Pell of abusing them, describes it as a watershed ­moment.

“He really had a gravitas in this town that carried him to where he is now,’’ she tells The Australian. “He is quite a formidable character and that has kept people scared and at bay, to a certain extent. There is a feeling of relief that ­finally they have been heard.’’

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Charges against Vatican cardinal revive questions about Pope Francis’s handling of child sexual abuse by priests

ROME
Washington Post

By Stefano Pitrelli, Michael Birnbaum and A. Odysseus Patrick June 29

ROME — The Catholic Church’s child sexual abuse scandal ensnared one of Pope Francis’s top lieutenants on Thursday, underlining the halting progress the reformist pontiff has made in addressing decades of abuse by the clergy even as Cardinal George Pell declared himself innocent of the charges against him.

Pell, one of the most powerful officials in the Vatican, said he would return to his native Australia to fight multiple charges of sexual assault. He became the highest-ranking Vatican official to be formally accused by law enforcement when Australian police charged him earlier Thursday.

Advocates for victims of child abuse said that allowing Pell to face charges in Australia, rather than keeping him inside the Vatican City’s walls, was already a major step for a church that might have shielded him in earlier years. But they also said that the cardinal’s ability to remain in his post until Thursday, despite controversy about his role in the Australian church’s years of abuse, was a sign that Francis had not ushered in a new era in one of the most painful chapters in modern Catholic history.

The case pulls Francis’s papacy back into the abuse scandals that have battered the church for nearly two decades and led to demands for sweeping changes on monitoring, selecting and training the clergy. In the United States and elsewhere, groups continue to press for full accountability within the Catholic Church for alleged abuse of children and others going back generations. Many recommendations of a flagship reform commission empaneled by Francis, meanwhile, have been endorsed by the pope, then ignored by the Vatican bureaucracy.

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Professor Alexis Jay OBE, Chairwoman of Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Rochdale Online

Professor Alexis Jay OBE, Chairwoman of Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’ explains her role and the stpes being taken to encoruage victims to share their expreience with the Truth Project.

“In Rochdale, successive generations of children have been sexually abused, and failed by our society. The BBC’s moving and accurate drama Three Girls highlighted just one horrifying example from this small town.

“As chairwoman of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, it is my job to consider the extent to which institutions have failed in their duty to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation, including right here in Rochdale.

“To get a full and accurate picture of what is really going on, I need to hear from victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. The Truth Project helps the Inquiry to do this, and I am pleased to announce that we will be opening the Truth Project in Rochdale this July.

“The Truth Project gives victims and survivors who were failed by an institution the opportunity to talk about their experiences, getting as much or as little off their chest as they want and suggesting how things might change in the future.

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George Pell case: around the world, Cardinal has become major news

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

June 30, 2017

SAM BUCKINGHAM-JONES
JournalistSydney

Major international news outlets have reacted to news of the charges against George Pell, who has been accused of counts of sexual abuse.

In the US, The New York Times reported an “aide to the Pope” had been charged with sexual abuse. “It is rare for a cardinal, a prince of the church, to be accused of sexual abuse,” the newspaper wrote. “The case will test the credibility of Francis’s initiatives to foster greater accountability after abuse scandals that have shaken the church around the world.”

CNN reported that SNAP, the US-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, had released a statement lauding the decision. “We are always grateful and encouraged when law enforcement works hard to gather evidence to build a case against a powerful and influential man,” it said.

The Washington Post wrote that the charges were “one of the most significant indictments against a top-ranking leader of the Catholic Church”.

The US-based Associated Press called the charges a “stunning decision certain to rock the highest levels of the Holy See”.

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Sexual abuse survivors group raises pressure on Pope Francis following charges against Cardinal Pell

UNITED STATES
news.com.au

Victoria Craw
news.com.au
@Victoria_Craw

A GROUP of sexual abuse survivors has put pressure on Pope Francis to respond to the child sex abuse charges levelled against Australian Cardinal George Pell.

The US-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) called for the leader of the Catholic Church to respond and said “sexual abuse thrives when it is allowed to flourish in secrecy”.

“We await Pope Francis’ response to this development. As the head of the Catholic Church, he has promised to work to end the scourge of abuse by his clergy. We expect him to give proof of this by sending Cardinal Pell home immediately to face these charges,” Joelle Casteix said in a statement.

“We are always grateful and encouraged when law enforcement works hard to gather evidence to build a case against a powerful and influential man. We hope that anyone with additional information about this case will contact law enforcement,” she said.

“We also hope that the Australian Government’s long and extensive investigation into institutional abuse inspires other countries to follow in their footsteps and hold similar hearings.”

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Pope likely to abandon Pell as sex-abuse charges rock Vatican: experts

ROME
The Globe and Mail (Canada)

ERIC REGULY – EUROPEAN BUREAU CHIEF
ROME — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 29, 2017

Not long ago, Cardinal George Pell of Australia was being talked up by Vatican cardinals as a potential successor to Pope Francis. Today, he is best known as the highest-ranking prelate, and only Vatican insider, to face criminal charges for sex offences in the Catholic Church’s seemingly endless child-abuse scandals.

Defiant and bluntly outspoken as ever, Cardinal Pell used a Thursday news conference in Rome to deny the charges laid against him by police in the Australian state of Victoria, where the cardinal was born and worked in the 1970s. “I am innocent of these charges,” he said. “They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.”

Cardinal Pell, 76 – the Vatican’s effective financial clean-up man who is widely considered to be the Church’s third-most-powerful figure – said he would take a leave of absence as he fights the allegations. The details of what the Australian police called “historical sexual offences” were not released. He is scheduled to appear in Melbourne on July 18 to face the charges.

While the Vatican put out a statement in mild support of Cardinal Pell, the belief among Vatican watchers is that his meteoric rise is over and that Pope Francis will abandon his man even if the charges don’t stick. The allegations mark the biggest crisis in the four-year papacy of Pope Francis, who, in a December letter to his bishops, insisted the Church would adopt a “zero tolerance” policy for sexual abuse of children by the clergy.

Rev. Thomas Doyle, the American Dominican priest who warned three decades ago that the priesthood faced a highly damaging pedophilia scandal, told the National Catholic Reporter that law enforcement officials everywhere are no longer treading gently on clerical abuse cases. “A lot of the deference and the protection that the Holy See has counted on and taken for granted for so long is seriously eroding,” he said. “The defences of that the Holy See could count on are now in a precarious position.”

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Rev. Felix R. Colosimo – Assignment History

NEW YORK
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Ordained for the Syracuse diocese in 1965, Felix R. Colosimo worked as an assistant priest in Rome, Syracuse, Norwich and Utica, New York, before being named pastor in a Holland Patent parish in 1981. That pastorship was followed in 1987 by another in Utica and, in 1998, he was assigned as pastor to a parish in New Hartford.

In December 2013 a man reported to the diocese that Colosimo had sexually abused him beginning when the man was four years-old in the late 1970s, and continuing until the man was in his mid-teens. The diocese deemed the allegations ‘credible,’ and Colosimo was quietly removed from active ministry in July 2014. His accuser filed a lawsuit in June 2017 in Connecticut, having been unable to do so in New York due to the statute of limitations. According to the lawsuit, Colosimo abused the boy in Connecticut during trips there, when the boy was ages 12-15. Further, Colosimo allegedly abused him with another boy in a Connecticut hotel in the fall of 1987, which Colosimo videotaped. The alleged victim said he provided the diocese with a tape of the two boys shirtless in a hotel room. The other boy reportedly committed suicide years later. Colosimo is said to also have sexually abused his accuser during trips throughout the years to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Colosimo denied the allegations.

Ordained: 1965

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VOTF Public Statement: Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal reaches inside the Vatican

UNITED STATES
Voice of the Faithful

VOTF appplauds actions taken thus far

Jun. 29, 2017―The Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal today reached into the heart of the Vatican. Pontifical advisor and prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy Cardinal George Pell of Australia has been granted leave by Pope Francis to return to Australia to answer charges over allegations of historical child sexual abuse.

Allegations of abuse and coverup have dogged Pell for years, at least since 2002, but he was never charged with historical child sex abuse until now. The Australian police have released no additional information about the present charges.

Voice of the Faithful applauds the actions taken thus far: Pell’s return to Australia and leave of absence from his position in Rome. Our regret is that such steps are, like so many responses to charges of clergy sex abuse, long-delayed by past reluctance of both civil and Church authorities to credit the complaints of victims.

Mary Pat Fox, Voice of the Faithful president, said she commends the Australian authorities for making every effort to hold those responsible for the abuse of minors accountable regardless of when the abuse occurred. “The Statute of Limitations in most states within the U.S. has stood in the way of many victims getting justice. We are pleased to see Pope Francis support actions of the civil judicial system. Though a person is innocent until proven guilty, the Church has often acted to stand in the way of the judicial system.”

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MEDIA RELEASE – JUNE 29, 2017

WASHINGTON (DC)
Road to Recovery and Catholic Whistleblowers

CATHOLIC WHISTLEBLOWERS AND ROAD TO RECOVERY, INC. WANT TO KNOW:
WHAT POPE FRANCIS KNEW ABOUT SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST
CARDINAL GEORGE PELL OF AUSTRALIA, WHEN HE KNEW ABOUT THEM, AND WHY CARDINAL GEORGE PELL RESISTED EFFORTS BY THE AUSTRALIAN “ROYAL COMMISSION INTO INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES TO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE” FOR MORE THAN A YEAR TO HOLD HIM AND MANY OTHER CHURCH LEADERS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE WIDESPREAD SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN IN THAT COUNTRY

What and Why

A press conference applauding Cardinal George Pell’s seeming voluntary removal as the Vatican‘s financial czar while charges of sexual abuse of children against him are addressed in his native Australia. The press conference will also ask three very important and timely questions of the Vatican through the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations:

1) What did Pope Francis know about the allegations of sexual abuse against Cardinal George Pell and when did he know about them;

2) Why didn’t Pope Francis move much earlier to place Cardinal George Pell on administrative leave when it was clear that allegations leveled against him appeared to be credible and were resisted so vociferously by Cardinal Pell; and,

3) Will the Vatican finally admit that it is inherently incapable of policing itself regarding child sexual abuse allegations and allow the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, whose report in 2014 severely criticized the Vatican for its gross mishandling of sexually abusive clergy and victim/survivors, to establish an independent commission on child abuse and “bishop accountability” that has “teeth” and extensive authority

When
Friday, June 30, 2017 at 11:30 am

Where
On the public sidewalk outside the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, 25 East 39th Street (between Madison and Park Avenues), New York, New York 10016

Who
Victim/survivors of clergy sexual abuse, and members of Road to Recovery, Inc. and Catholic Whistleblowers, two organizations founded to assists victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D. – Member of Catholic Whistleblowers; Co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Rev. James E. Connell, J.C.D. – On behalf of Catholic Whistleblowers; Retired Priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, WI, and Canon Lawyer – 414-940-8054 – connell.james951@gmail.com

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Friends and foes of Cardinal Pell weigh in on charges of abuse

UNITED STATES
Crux

Claire Giangravè EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

As news breaks around the world that Australian Cardinal George Pell, head of the Vatican’s Secretary for the Economy, has been charged criminally with historical sexual offenses, reactions have poured in from around the globe. Pell’s accusers say they’re elated, even as their attorney tries to dampen their expectations, while longtime Pell friends are emphasizing his decency and integrity.

ROME – News of criminal charges against Cardinal George Pell, the third-ranking official in the Vatican, for historical sexual offenses by police in the Australia state of Victoria has produced a wave of reactions across the globe, from the archdiocese of Melbourne to Rome.

Statements on the issue have varied from skepticism and condemnation, to support and calls for fairness. Crux has collected some of the most salient reactions to the criminal indictment of Pell, the highest-ranking Vatican official ever to be charged in the Church’s long-running sexual abuse scandals.

Two accusers said to be “over the moon”

Two men who accused Pell of sexually abusing them decades ago are “over the moon” concerning the decision to lay charges against the cardinal, their lawyer Ingrid Irwin told the Australian newspaper the Herald Sun.

Despite the enthusiasm following two years of legal proceedings, Irwin is skeptical about the final outcome.

“Naturally, anybody with any knowledge of how the criminal process works, particularly of historical sexual abuse cases, knows there’s many in-built buffers to the accused to make it virtually impossible to get success,” she said.

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Cardinal George Pell denies sex offense accusations: Church sex abuse by the numbers

UNITED STATES
USA Today

Sean Rossman , USA TODAY June 29, 2017

The Catholic Church’s decades-long sex abuse scandal inched closer to the Vatican on Thursday, when Australian officials charged Pope Francis’ chief financial adviser with sexual offenses.

The case of Cardinal George Pell sheds more light on the ongoing crisis involving thousands of allegations, accused priests and millions if not billions in legal settlements.

The cases at the center of the Oscar-winning film Spotlight are only one part of the story. Here’s what we know about the Catholic sex abuses in the U.S.

6,528 clerics accused

BishopAccountability.org, a Massachusetts-based website dedicated to documenting Catholic sex abuse cases, calculated 6,528 clerics have been accused of sexually abusing minors from 1950 to 2015.

The statistics were compiled by reports posted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The accused clerics make up 5.6% of priests who served from 1950 to 2015.

In Guam alone, advocates say there could be as many as 200 sex abuse lawsuits against the island’s clergy.

Most of the accused were priests

Among the documents cited by BishopAccountability.org is a study from John Jay College researchers, who found 69% of the accused from 1950 to 2002 were diocesan priests.

A quarter of them were pastors and nearly half of them were associate pastors at the time of the abuse, according to the study, “Context for the Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests.”

10,667 individual abuse reports

By 2003, 10,667 individual reports of sex abuse by priests were made to U.S. dioceses.

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The Persecution of Cardinal George Pell

UNITED STATES
National Review

by GEORGE WEIGEL

June 29, 2017

Could this have anything to do with Vatican financial reform? Let’s get the “full disclosure” out of the way up front: Cardinal George Pell and I have been friends for 50 years, and collaborators in different projects for 25.

The Victoria police in his native Australia have now announced that they are filing “multiple charges in respect to historic sexual offenses” against Pell.

This has come as no surprise to those familiar with the fantastic campaign of false allegations of sexual abuse that has been conducted against the cardinal: allegations of which he has been consistently exonerated.

But despite that fact — or perhaps because of it — the campaign has recently intensified Down Under, creating a thoroughly poisonous public climate exacerbated by poorly sourced but widely disseminated allegations, no respect for elementary fairness, and a curious relationship between elements of the Australian media and the Victoria police during the two years the investigation leading to the current changes has been underway.

So it may be worthwhile, before offering a few of my own thoughts on another angle in this tawdry business, to note several recent comments from Australians who have not been caught up in an atmosphere of hysteria and persecution that inevitably invites comparison to Salem, Mass., in the 17th century.

Earlier this week, in the June 26 issue of The Australian, Robin Speed, president of the Australian Rule of Law Institute, a non-partisan and non-profit organization whose name indicates its purpose, cautioned against prosecutors acting against Cardinal Pell “in response to the baying of a section of the mob.”

Speed, himself an attorney, also warned that if the cardinal were charged (as he now has been) and found innocent (as his friends believe he will be), the long, drawn-out conduct of the two-year investigation could well warrant a judicial inquiry.

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Marie Collins: Cardinal Pell’s leave from Vatican service comes ‘far too late’

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jun. 29, 2017

ROME
A former member of Pope Francis’ commission on clergy sexual abuse has responded to news that Australian police are pursuing charges against Vatican financial chief Cardinal George Pell over allegations of historic sexual abuse against minors.

Marie Collins, an Irish clergy abuse survivor, said she will not pre-judge Pell’s guilt or innocence regarding the charges against him. But she said Francis should not have appointed the cardinal the prefect of the new Secretariat of the Economy in 2014.

“I have no hesitation in saying is that it has been proved that Cardinal Pell is guilty of the appalling mishandling of cases of abuse when still in place in Australia and causing untold pain to the victims in those cases,” said Collins, writing in a comment on her personal website.

“He should never have been allowed to hide out in the Vatican to avoid having to face those in his home country who needed answers,” Collins said.

“The fact that Cardinal Pell was appointed to a very senior post in the Vatican rather than having to face any sanction for his mishandling of abuse cases was a slap in the face to all those he had let down so badly, not only victims but Catholic people who have spent years now hearing assurance from the Catholic Church that it is taking the issue seriously,” she continued.

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Archbishops in shock as Pell charged

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

JUNE 29, 2017

Perry Duffin
Australian Associated Press

Archbishops across Australia have expressed shock after Cardinal George Pell, a man they laud for his “integrity”, was charged with historical sexual abuse.

Cardinal Pell, the Vatican’s 76-year-old finance chief, was charged by summons on Thursday with several historical offences.

The accused cardinal announced he would fly back to Victoria to clear his name.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher, who succeeded Cardinal Pell in the role and has known him for almost three decades, says he’s shocked to hear about the charges against the “honest man”.

“The George Pell I know is a man of integrity in his dealings with others, a man of faith and high ideals, a thoroughly decent man,” Archbishop Fisher said in a statement.

He urged people to pray for truth and justice in the case and added no person should be prejudged because of their high profile, religious convictions or positions on social issues.

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George Pell – and the Catholic abuse scandal that is driving the faithful away

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Catherine Pepinster

When the reforming Pope Francis set up an advisory council of cardinals soon after his election in 2013 and appointed, alongside his fellow liberals, the arch-conservative Cardinal George Pell, it caught the Catholic church by surprise. So did Pell’s later appointment as the pope’s chief financial adviser. But it also made sense: Pell is a bruiser and if the byzantine workings of the Vatican and its mired-in-scandal financial operation needed sorting out, then Pell could be the prelate to knock heads together.

Now, though, Pope Francis may well regret his choice of attack-dog-in-chief. For Australian Pell’s place at the side of the pontiff has brought the church’s child sex abuse scandal right into the heart of the Vatican. Cardinal Pell has been charged with alleged historical sexual assaults on children.

Police in the Australian state of Victoria, where Pell was a rural priest 40 years ago, have not specified the charges made against the cardinal, the ages of the alleged victims or when the abuse was said to have taken place.

Pell says he is innocent and has said he will return home to Australia to defend himself – a turnaround from last year when he refused to fly home to give evidence to the Australian royal commission into child abuse, saying he was too sick to do so. Instead he gave evidence via a video link in a hotel room in Rome, an event that became a media circus with victims of sexual abuse flying to Rome to protest.

That event was embarrassing for Pope Francis, who has professed zero tolerance over abuse, although he has been careful not to make judgments before the commission or the courts do so. But criminal charges against a key adviser are even worse.

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THE LATEST: CRITICS: POPE MUST DO MORE TO CONFRONT SEX ABUSE

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Latest on Vatican Cardinal George Pell being charged with sex offenses in Australia (all times local):

4:50 p.m.

Vatican analysts say Pope Francis is now facing pressure to make good on promises to forcefully confront the sex abuse crisis after his top financial adviser was charged in his native Australia with multiple criminal counts of sexual assault years ago.

Cardinal George Pell says he is taking a leave of absence as the Vatican’s finance czar after Australian police charged him with multiple counts of “historical” sexual assault. Pell appeared before reporters on Thursday to deny the accusations and denounce what he called a “relentless character assassination.”

Anne Barrett Doyle of BishopAccountability.org, an online archive of clerical sex abuse documents, said she was surprised by the charges “simply because of their boldness.”

In an email to The Associated Press, she said: “Some say Pell is being scapegoated. While Pell undeniably is the poster boy for the Australian church’s wrongdoing, false allegations are relatively rare.”

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The Incidents Of Sexual Abuse Of Children Around The World By The Members Of Catholic Church

INDIA
The Logical Indian

Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s highest ranking Catholic and third-highest ranking member in the Catholic Church, has been charged with historical sex offences.

The sexual abuse of minors by members of the Catholic Church is an open secret. For decades, priests and nuns have been sexually abusing minors – some as young as three years old.

Over time, after victims came out to accuse the perpetrators in public and thanks to the investigative reporting of various newspapers around the world, it became clear that child abuse in the Church was not only widespread, it was also organised and well-known to senior members of the clergy.

The problem with these cases was not just the abuse; it was also the covering-up of these cases by senior members of the Church. The problem was also the Church’s unwillingness to take action against those convicted. In some places, the abusers were promoted to more esteemed positions in the Church.

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