R.I. lawmakers mull ending statute of limitations on lawsuits against sexual predators

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal

March 30, 2018

By Katherine Gregg

Abuse victims gave wrenching accounts at a House hearing on the bill introduced by Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee, whose legislation was motivated by her own sister’s repeated abuse as a child by their family’s parish priest.

A Rhode Island lawmaker has ripped the scab off the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal with legislation born out of her older sister’s repeated abuse, as a child, by their family’s parish priest.

Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee’s legislation would remove the seven-year statute of limitations on the pursuit of legal claims against perpetrators of sex abuse. The statute of limitations derailed a lawsuit by two former victims of an infamous pedophile priest in 2016.

A late-night hearing on her bill earlier this week drew pained personal recollections from her sister, now a 65-year-old psychologist; a well-known doctor talking about his abuse publicly for the first time; and Jim Scanlan, a R.I. man whose account of sex-abuse by a Boston College High School priest in the late 1970s figured in the Oscar-winning movie “Spotlight.”

But the tales of abuse by trusted elders were not limited to the Catholic Church. Two women describing themselves as victims of sex-abuse scandals reaching back to the 1970s at St. George’s School in Middletown and the Gordon School in East Providence also conveyed their support for the bill, which has no restrictions on how far back the cases might reach.

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Parishioners celebrating Holy Week with ‘heavy hearts’ amid Saginaw Diocese sex abuse probe

SAGINAW (MI)
Michigan Live

March 30, 2018

By Michael Kransz

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw says many parishioners are celebrating Holy Week with “very heavy hearts” after recent search and seizures on two church properties and the home of Bishop Joseph R. Cistone as part of an investigation into sexual abuse by priests.

Just days before Holy Week, which started March 25 and concludes with Easter Sunday on April 1, police raided the bishop’s home, a cathedral rectory and the diocese offices. The search warrants were executed, because, prosecutors allege, diocese officials failed to fully cooperate in the ongoing investigation into sexual abuse within the diocese.

On Tuesday, March 27, Cistone commented on the doubts some parishioners might have about clergymen.

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Now-deceased priest who had Elk Co. ties accused of abuse

BRADFORD (PA)
The Bradford Era

March 30, 2018

A former priest has publicly named a now-deceased priest, who served in Elk County, as having sexually abused him when he was a teenager in the Erie area.

James Faluszczak, 48, of Buffalo, N.Y., told The Courier-Express of DuBois that the Rev. Monsignor Daniel J. Martin abused him. Martin served as pastor of St. Boniface Parish, Kersey, in 1962, and as headmaster of Elk County Christian — now Elk County Catholic — until 1970. Martin died in 2006 at age 88.

Faluszczak says he was one of many witnesses to testify before a grand jury around September 2016 to investigate sex abuse allegations in dioceses throughout Pennsylvania, according to the Erie-Times News.

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Local man marks Good Friday with claim of sex abuse by Catholic priest

BUFFALO (NY)
WBFO

March 30, 2018

By Chris Caya

[Includes audio of Mark Lynch’s complete statement.]

A local man is going public with claims of being sexually abused as a teenager by a Catholic priest employed by the Diocese of Buffalo.

Mark Lynch, of Lewiston, says he was sexually assaulted in the rectory of Mount Carmel Parish, in Niagara Falls, by Father Joseph Schuster.

“It was 50 years ago. I was 13 years of age.”

Lynch said, he just began his healing process in December. And he chose to break his silence, Good Friday, with great reverence for the traditions stolen from him by the abuse he suffered at the hands of a Catholic priest.

That’s one of the great wounds that I have from this abuse is the fact that this man stole my sacraments. He stole my church from me.”

And Lynch says, other victims who came forward recently should not be blamed for hindering the Catholic Charities Appeal. He points to Bishop Richard Malone.

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Another former priest accused of sexual abuse

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB 4

March 30, 2018

By Jenn Schanz

[Includes video interview with Mark Lynch.]

50 years after Mark Lynch claims a Buffalo priest sexually abused him, he’s speaking out.
Lynch was raised in a devout Irish Catholic family in Niagara Falls.

“On Good Friday, when Christ hung on the cross, between the hours of 12 and three, we respected three hours of silence,” it’s that tradition, Lynch told News 4, that inspired him to share his story at exactly 3 o’clock on Good Friday.

“In 1968, at the age of 13 I was sexually assaulted by Father Joseph Schuster,” he said on the steps of St. Joseph’s Cathedral Friday.

In the days after the Buffalo Diocese released a list of 42 former priests accused of sexually abusing children, Lynch reached out to News 4 via email.

“When that list came out I was hungry to find his name on that list. And it was not on that list and it was like I was punched in the gut. For some reason that moment made me feel like I didn’t count,” he said.

Aside from stating they are aware of these allegations, a spokesperson for the Buffalo Catholic Diocese would not comment further.

However, a spokesperson has explained that deceased former priests were listed only if they had at least two allegations against them.

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Push to extend abuse-claim limit fails in budget talks

ALBANY (NY)
The Daily Star

March 29, 2018

By Joe Mahoney

Advocates for a one-year window to allow child victims of sexual assault to bring civil suits against molesters and employers who enabled abuse said Thursday they are deeply disappointed that the measure was sliced out of state budget negotiations.

Those crusading for the Child Victims Act — legislation that has been opposed by the state’s Roman Catholic bishops, some youth groups and the insurance industry — said they will resume their push in Albany’s post-budget legislative session, which closes in mid-June.

The one-year revival is intended to arm victims with the ability to pursue legal claims even decades after they were molested.

“We’re going to continue our grassroots effort and I think it’s highly likely we’re going to make this happen,” said Bridie Farrell, a Saratoga Springs native and former Olympic speed skater who was molested by an adult male when she was 15.

State Senate Republicans, who control the upper chamber of the statehouse, succeeded in having the measure cut out of the budget legislation submitted in January by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat.

Critics of the measure say it would lead to an evidentiary nightmare for New York’s courts.

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Survivor’s Story: Former Presentation Student Accuses Coach of Sexual Abuse

SAN JOSE (CA)
NBC Bay Area

March 29, 2018

By Vicky Nguyen, Michael Bott, and Mark Villarreal

Grace Leonis speaks out for the first time, accusing her JV water polo coach of sexually abusing her when she was a freshman. Friends say they reported sexting and an inappropriate relationship to the school, but police were never notified

Grace Leonis arrived as a freshman at San Jose’s Presentation High School feeling like a fish out of water. A standout swimmer, her prowess in the pool got her to the Catholic school for girls, where tuition runs $20,000 a year.

Leonis joined the water polo team but still struggled to make friends and says she often felt dejected and alone. She says she turned to her junior varsity water polo coach Jenna Roe for support. Leonis, who first met Roe at a water polo camp in August 2013, right before school started, says Roe lavished attention on her.

“I’ve never gotten attention like that before from anybody,” Leonis, now 18, said in a recent interview at her parents’ home in San Jose. “I liked it. I wanted to be around her.”

The two began texting each other. Leonis said she confessed to Roe, 24, that she had a crush on her.

“She told me she felt the same way, and at first, I was like, ‘That’s not right,’” Leonis said.

Leonis, who had just turned 14, said she felt conflicted about her coach’s response.

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Mormon youth interviews with bishops under scrutiny

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
The Associated Press

March 30, 2018

By Brady McCombs

A group of people demanding an end to one-on-one interviews between Mormon youth and lay leaders and the sexual questions that sometimes arise during the meetings plan to march to church headquarters Friday to show they’re not satisfied despite a rule change this week that allows children to bring parents with them.

Group organizer Sam Young, a Mormon father from Houston, says a parent or adult should be required for all meetings that usually happen twice a year starting at age 12. He said sexual questions often become explicit and argues children should only be asked if they are obeying the faith’s law of chastity.

Young is expecting several hundred people at the event that comes one day before a twice-annual conference put on by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They plan to deliver 55,000 signatures supporting the cause.

Church officials have said the interviews allow bishops to get to know youth better and determine their religious habits and obedience to God. The bishops are instructed how to handle the meetings and swear to keep the conversations confidential.

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Most senior Catholic official faces trial over historic sexual abuse allegations Kate Buck

AUSTRALIA
Metro

March 29, 2018

The hearing of a whether a Cardinal charged with historic sex offences should stand trial has concluded in Melbourne.

George Pell, 76, Pope Francis’ former finance minister and the third most senior official in the Vatican, was charged on June 29 2017 with sexually abusing multiple people in his Australian home state of Victoria.

He is the most senior Vatican cleric ever charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis.

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A gym built on fear

LANSING (MI)
CNN

March 29, 2018

By Majlie De Puy Kamp

Larry Nassar molested them. Now gymnasts describe a different kind of abuse by famed Olympic coach John Geddert

Late one night in the fall of 2012, 17-year-old Brittany Aragon overdosed. She took four Valium pills, lay down in bed and waited.

She was nervous, she said, but the thought of having to go back to the gym and face her coach, John Geddert, terrified her more than taking the pills.

While Larry Nassar was sexually abusing gymnasts in the back room of Twistars Gymnastics in Lansing, Michigan, Geddert – the famed Olympic coach and then-owner of the gym – was subjecting them to a different kind of horror: routinely ignoring their injuries and verbally assaulting them, according to former gymnasts and their families.

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Cardinal and the showman: Pell barrister has been ruthless in defence

AUSTRALIA
The Age

March 30, 2018

By Melissa Cunningham & Adam Cooper

From the first day the door of court 22 was opened to the public, the man hired to represent Cardinal George Pell was ruthless in defence of his client.

Barrister Robert Richter, QC, is renowned for his confrontational courtroom tactics and they were on full display as he mercilessly tore into police, advocates for victims of sex abuse and even the magistrate.

Mr Richter is Australia’s foremost criminal defence counsel, known for successfully defending Mick Gatto on the charge of murdering underworld hitman Andrew Veniamin. Mr Gatto later had ‘‘Robert Richter’’ tattooed on his chest.

The QC has represented the dangerous, violent and the deeply disturbed, Hoddle Street massacre killer Julian Knight not least among them.

But Cardinal Pell, the highest-ranking modern-day Catholic to be charged with sexual offences, is Mr Richter ‘s most high-profile client.

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Cardinal Pell’s court hearing weighs evidence for abuse allegations

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
CNA/EWTN News

March 29, 2018

A hearing will that will decide whether Cardinal George Pell will go on trial for alleged abuse came to a conclusion Thursday after Pell’s attorney launched a vigorous defense and sought to cast doubt on the path from the first police investigations through the filing of legal charges.

Pell’s defense lawyer Robert Richter, 72, engaged in cross-examination of the charges against his client, with Victoria Police Crime Command’s head of serious crime, Paul Sheridan, taking the stand in court.

The Victoria Police launched a special operation in 2013 to investigate Pell, “Operation Tethering.” Richter charged that at its launch, “it was an operation looking for a crime because no crime had been reported.”

Sheridan confirmed the effort had been launched in 2013 specifically to gather information on the cardinal. There was a search for complainants and no one came forward until more than a year after the investigation began.

The total number of charges are not public, but most abuse allegedly took place in the 1970s. An additional allegation concerned the cardinal’s time as Melbourne’s archbishop from 1996-2001. Cardinal Pell has said he is innocent. He currently heads the Holy See’s Secretariat for the Economy and is one of the nine cardinals advising Pope Francis.

The hearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court concluded Thursday after hearing testimony from 50 witnesses, including Pell’s accusers, CNN reports. The cardinal was present every day of the hearing.

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MSU trainers knew Nassar issues but are still on job, ex-athletes say

LANSING (MI)
Detroit Free Press

March 30, 2018

By Gina Kaufman and Joe Guillen

Two Michigan State University employees who allegedly were aware of complaints years ago against Larry Nassar are still on the job, raising continuing questions about the university’s response to abuses by the former Olympic doctor that go back decades.

The two athletic trainers were informed nearly 20 years ago of incidents in which Nassar made athletes uncomfortable during appointments, according to two former athletes. It’s unclear what the trainers did with the information, but Nassar wasn’t stopped.

One of the trainers, Destiny Teachnor-Hauk, is named as a defendant in a federal lawsuit, which claims she and others at MSU “knew or should have known of Nassar’s abuse yet failed to take corrective action.”

An MSU spokeswoman told the Free Press in mid-March the trainers have never been suspended and are still working.

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Victim support group returns, Saginaw Diocese refuses questions

SAGINAW COUNTY (MI)
NBC25

March 27, 2018

By Amanda Chodnicki

A survivor who said he was sexually abused decades ago by a priest within the Saginaw Diocese is helping alleged victims get through recent events surrounding the Catholic church.

Just last week, the offices of the Saginaw Diocese, the Bishop Joseph Cistone’s residence and the rectory at Saint Mary’s Cathedral were raided by police.

Boxes of items including electronics, were seized and all the while, victims were continuing to come forward.

This survivor, Brad Sylvester, is now a volunteer with the organization “SNAP”, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

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Insurer for Lansing diocese files suit against Okemos priest accused of embezzlement

MASON (MI)
Lansing State Journal

March 30, 2018

By Beth LeBlanc

A priest accused of embezzling more than $5 million from his Okemos parish is now the subject of a civil lawsuit lodged by the insurance company for the Catholic Diocese of Lansing.

The insurance provider claims to have paid out roughly $2.5 million to the diocese so far to cover its losses.

To protect the assets that will cover those losses, the agency convinced a judge Wednesday to place the Rev. Jonathan Wehrle’s sprawling estate into receivership.

“While this suit is pending, nobody wants to see the property go to waste or be damaged before the property can be forfeited,” said Randy Marmor, lawyer for The Princeton Excess and Surplus Lines Insurance Corporation.

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Pope faces indigenous Canadians’ anger over refusal to apologize for past abuse

TORONTO (CANADA)
The Guardian

March 30, 2018

By Leyland Cecco

Canada bishops’ group said Francis would not offer personal apology for residential school system that abused generations of children

Survivors of Canada’s residential schools have expressed dismay after Pope Francis for a system that abused thousands of indigenous children for generations.

The schools, many of which were run by missionaries, were used to convert indigenous children to Christianity through a governmental policy of “aggressive assimilation”. More than 150,000 children passed through around 80 schools across the country until the last one closed in 1996.

The Canadian government formally apologized for the program 10 years ago. In 2014, Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommended a papal apology, which the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, personally lobbied for when he visited the Vatican last year.

While he has apologized for the “grave sins” of colonialism in South America, in a letter released Tuesday by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the president of the organization said Pope Francis would not issue a personal apology.

Stephen Kakfwi, the former premier of the Northwest Territories, attended a number of residential schools in the Canadian Arctic. He argued that survivors of the schools were not calling for a personal apology from the pontiff, but an institutional response from the Catholic church.

“We asked as for an apology from the pope, the head of the Catholic faith, for the millions of people who are Catholics around the world,” said Kakfwi, who helped arrange visits by Pope John Paul II to the Arctic.

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Elaine Wynn says she reported rape allegation to company

LAS VEGAS (NV)
The Associated Press

March 28, 2018

By Regina Garcia Cano

Elaine Wynn, the ex-wife of embattled casino mogul Steve Wynn, said during a court hearing Wednesday that she told the company’s general counsel in 2009 that she had received information alleging her ex-husband had raped an employee in 2005. The general counsel later denied receiving any information about a rape allegation.

The revelation came during testimony in a special hearing in a yearslong civil case in state court in Las Vegas involving her, her ex-husband and the casino-operating company they founded. It was the first time she testified in open court regarding the sexual misconduct allegation against Steve Wynn.

He has denied any wrongdoing.

Elaine Wynn said she did not report the information to anyone else in the company other than general counsel Kimmarie Sinatra. She acknowledged under questioning from the attorneys representing Wynn Resorts that she did not share the information with the company’s board of directors of which she was a member at the time.

“I told Ms. Sinatra that I had received information alleging that Mr. Wynn had raped an employee of the hotel in 2005,” she testified. She said Sinatra later told her the accusation “had been discussed by attorneys and that it was deemed not to have been an issue of concern for the company, that it had been handled personally, and therefore, it had been resolved.”

Elaine Wynn has argued she was not re-nominated the company’s board of directors in 2015 in retaliation for her inquiries into company activities.

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Breaking silence on claimed priest abuse in a search for healing

NIAGARA (NY)
Niagara Gazette

March 30, 2018

By Philip Gambini

After five decades of silence since being sexually assaulted at the hands of a well-known Niagara County priest, Mark Lynch will speak his truth this afternoon in the City of Buffalo.

“I have feared for several months the reality that, somewhere along in this healing process, a public statement would be both necessary and healing. I am answering the call from Bishop (Richard J.) Malone to come forward and be counted,” Lynch said in a prepared statement shared with the Niagara Gazette on Thursday.

Lynch, 63, will deliver his remarks today in Buffalo on the steps of St. Joseph’s Cathedral, 50 Franklin St., at 3 p.m. – a time of religious significance on the Catholic holy day of Good Friday.

“I am making this public statement in the hopes that other victims might be emboldened to come forward,” Lynch said.

In his remarks, Lynch said the sexual assault was perpetrated by a clergyman well-known in the Niagara Region, whose name he will disclose at the press conference later today.

The priest, now deceased, was not on a list of 42 known clergy abusers released by the diocese earlier this year, but Lynch said it his “understanding that I was only the first among many of his victims.”

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REPORT ISSUED ON ALBANY DIOCESE ABUSE ALLEGATIONS

ALBANY (NY)
Spectrum News

March 29, 2018

A new report has been released detailing allegations of sexual abuse by priests in the Albany Diocese, including the locations they were assigned.

Forty-two priests are named in the report titled “Hidden Disgrace Three,” released by attorneys in the group ‘Lawyers Helping Survivors of Child Sex Abuse.’ They say the information needs to get out into the public to prevent further incidents of abuse, and unlike other dioceses in the state, Albany does not have a current compensation program for survivors.

Attorneys say while the diocese keeps a list of priests facing credible accusations on its website, that list hasn’t been updated since 2015. Ultimately, the group is hoping their efforts help victims come forward who otherwise wouldn’t.

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Deadline To Report Clergy Sex Abuse To Brooklyn Diocese Is This Saturday

BROOKLYN (NY)
Bklyner

March 29, 2018

By Zainab Iqbal

Survivors of clergy sex abuse in Brooklyn have until this weekend to report their abuser to the Brooklyn Diocese to be eligible for compensation. Here’s what it means and how survivors can get started.

In the fall of 2016, Archdiocese of NY set up a voluntary Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP), which allows clergy sex abuse survivors to report their abuse and seek settlements with the church. This IRCP is coming to an end, which is why survivors have until Saturday to apply. The eligibility requirements require that the person who perpetrated the abuse be a priest or deacon ordained in that diocese.

In order to be potentially compensated, survivors should report their abuse (if they have not done so already) by the reporting deadline, which is this Sat. March 31. The filing deadline to IRCP is April 15, but if the abuse is not reported by this weekend, the survivor will not be eligible.

Lawyers Helping Survivors of Child Sex Abuse is a joint venture of three law firms representing over 100 survivors who have filed a claim with the IRCP’s.

“It’s an opportunity, finally, for survivors of child sex abuse to get some measure of relief,” Jerry Kristal, attorney at Weitz & Luxenberg said, “some measure of recognition hat this actually happened to them, some sort of satisfaction that the church is finally doing something to try to right the wrong that had been done to them.”

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Paying for the sins of their church

NEWCASTLE (AUSTRALIA)
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

March 29, 2018

By David Lewis

The Anglican Diocese of Newcastle is using money raised from selling churches to compensate victims of child sexual abuse, but one coastal community is fighting back.

Chapter I

The church on the hill

The closest thing the tiny town of Bungwahl has to a landmark is its church. St James sits high on a hill, overlooking the sparkling Myall Lakes on the New South Wales mid-north coast.

It has been there for more than a century but many tourists fail to notice the heritage-listed building as they drive past on their way to Seal Rocks or Forster.

On the day I visited, however, the church was hard to ignore.

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#ChurchToo exposes sexual abuse in the church

SILOAM SPRINGS (AR)
The Threefold Advocate

March 29, 2018

By Megan Koontz

For years Emily Joy sat in the back of her home church, unable to tell the truth about what kind of man her pastor was. Now, she’s free to be honest

The #ChurchToo movement was spurred on by the #MeToo movement and started by activist and writer Hannah Paasch and spoken word poet Emily Joy. Joy was groomed and raped by her youth pastor at the age of 16 and felt shamed by the culture of the megachurch she grew up in. She never shared her story with anyone in her church. After attending Moody Bible College and feeling the shame follow her, Joy finally gained the courage to confide in Paasch, whom met at Moody, the secret she had been hiding, according to The Huffington Post.

On Nov. 20, 2017, Paasch posted a tweet offering the hashtag #ChurchToo and asking women who had experienced sexual abuse within the church to come forward with their stories. Within 48 hours, people around the world were using the hashtag to recount stori es of pain and abuse they had experienced within the church.

Soon thereafter, the hashtag #SilenceisNotSpiritual followed, and women who are considered prominent in the church—including Beth Moore, Jen Hatmaker, Emily McFarlan Miller and Serene Jones—and 150 other women, published a statement challenging churches to stand by women who had experienced abuse in the church.

The root of abuse that happens within the church, according to Paasch and Joy, is often linked to the purity culture that permeates evangelical churches, the “theology of abstinence that singles out women and slut shames everyone who engages in any kind of sexual activity outside of marriage. Purity culture is the religious antecedent to rape culture, as it lays the bulk of the responsibility for maintaining the sexual purity of both genders on women’s attire and behavior,” Paasch said.

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Mormon church announces closure of missionary training centers in Chile and Spain

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
The Salt Lake Tribune

March 29, 2018

By Mariah Noble

The Mormon church announced Thursday that it plans to close two missionary training centers — one in Santiago, Chile, and the other in Madrid, Spain — in January.

A news release from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said ecclesiastical leaders “continue to seek the best use of resources worldwide according to the needs and demands of each area.”

Starting in January, missionaries who would have attended either of these centers will be trained at one of the remaining 13 missionary training centers around the world, including the flagship facility in Provo.

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First Presidency counsels leaders on how to prevent, identify and respond to abuse

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Deseret News

March 29, 2018

By Sarah Jane Weaver

In a continuing effort to counsel leaders on how to prevent, identify and respond to abuse, the First Presidency announced changes on March 26 detailing the Church actions “to protect God’s children.”

The First Presidency sent a letter and resource document — which includes an updated version of guidelines first issued in 2008 — to Church leaders in the United States and Canada.

“To help ensure the safety and protection of children, youth and adults, we ask that all priesthood and auxiliary leaders become familiar with existing Church policies and guidelines on preventing and responding to abuse,” stated the letter, signed by President Russell M. Nelson, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring.

The letter noted that in 2008, the First Presidency encouraged Church leaders to reach out in love to assist those who were suffering from abuse. “This global issue continues to be of great concern to us today. Our hearts and prayers go out to all who are affected by this serious problem.”

The changes detail how bishops and stake presidencies may conduct interviews with women and children and how they counsel victims of abuse and sexual abuse.

The revised statement on policies and guidelines specifies that children, youth and women now may invite an adult to join them in what traditionally have been personal interviews.

The First Presidency also clarified to members of bishoprics and stake presidencies how they should respond to reports of sexual abuse and how to minister in those situations. Church leaders are to rely on Church doctrine when addressing abuse and should never disregard a report of abuse or encourage members to remain in an abusive situation.

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New administrator in Newry diocese criticised by priest

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Irish Times

March 30, 2018

By Patsy McGarry

Bishop Philip Boyce expressed regret his focus on victims’ needs was not greater in the past

The Catholic diocese of Dromore has distanced itself from comments by a retired priest there who said he was “disgusted” at the appointment of Bishop Philip Boyce as its administrator this week.

Bishop Boyce (78) had been Bishop of Raphoe in Donegal since 1995 until he retired last year. He was appointed administrator of Dromore (which includes parishes in Antrim, Armagh and Down) after Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop John McAreavey.

That followed controversy over the diocese’s handling of child sexual abuse allegations made against former president of St Colman’s College, Newry and former parish priest at Clonduff/Hilltown, Fr Malachy Finnegan, who died in 2002.

In a BBC Radio Ulster interview this week Fr Eamon Murray pointed out that in 2011 Bishop Boyce was criticised for his handling of clerical sex abuse allegations in Raphoe.

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Boy, 11, punched a priest in a bid to avoid sexual assault

SCOTLAND
The Free Thinker

March 28, 2018

By Barry Duke

A 51-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons claims that he was punished after he reported Father Francis Paul Moore, above, for attempting to abuse him in a Scottish church.

According to this report, the alleged victim was just 11 when he had an encounter with Moore in St Margaret’s Church in Castlepark.

The man says the incident occurred when he had visited the church with his cousin who had been locked in an office with Moore.

He said after he banged on the door to help his cousin, the priest pounced and he knew he was going to be his next victim.

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Judge: Lawsuit against former Fall River Diocese Bishop Cronin can proceed

FALL RIVER (MA)
The Herald News

March 29, 2018

By Brian Fraga

A judge is allowing a trial to proceed against former Fall River Bishop Daniel A. Cronin, who was sued three years ago for his alleged failure to supervise a priest who is accused of molesting two boy altar servers in the 1970s and 1980s.

In his ruling on Cronin’s motion for a summary judgement, dated March 5, Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Maynard Kirplani said a jury should decide the case because questions remain as to whether Cronin should have been suspicious of and investigated the late Monsignor Maurice Souza for spending a lot of time away from his parish on the Cape and going on road trips with adolescent boys.

Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents the plaintiffs, said the judge’s decision is significant because it says the former bishop “had an obligation to supervise in a reasonable manner” to determine whether Souza violated the Catholic Church’s rules regulating priests’ vacations and prohibiting lay people from staying in a rectory. Garabedian said those concerns could have triggered an inquiry in to Souza’s behavior.

“Bishop Cronin could therefore be found by a jury to be negligent even though it has not been shown that Bishop Cronin had prior notice of Monsignor Souza sexually abusing the plaintiffs,” said Garabedian, who has represented dozens of victims of clergy sex abuse.

Garabedian said Kirplani’s ruling “helps hold supervisors accountable which helps victims try to heal and it helps protect children.”

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Judge says abused former altar boys can sue bishop

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

March 30, 2018

By Bob McGovern

Former altar boys who claim they were molested by a priest years ago are allowed to sue the bishop they say failed in supervising him, according to a recent court ruling.

Paul Andrews and Daniel Sherwood are suing the Rev. Daniel Cronin, the former bishop of the Fall River Archdiocese. They argue that he was negligent in supervising and retaining the services of Maurice Souza — a now-deceased priest who they say sexually molested them when they would go on out-of-state trips in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Judge Maynard A. Kirpalani ruled that the case could go on, despite a pitch from Cronin’s attorneys to toss the suit.

“While the case is certainly slim, genuine issues of material fact do remain,” Kirpalani wrote earlier this month. “In particular, an issue remains about whether Cronin, who was in charge of the diocese and had the power to remove Souza, should have known that one of his priests spent significant time away from the parish … on extended road-trips with adolescent boys.”

Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney representing Andrew and Sherwood, said it was a huge decision for his clients.

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Saginaw Diocese parishioners call for Bishop Cistone to resign after raids

SAGINAW (MI)
MLive

March 28, 2018

By Michael Kransz

Some Saginaw Diocese parishioners are calling for Saginaw Bishop Joseph R. Cistone to step down after prosecutors say his diocese failed to cooperate in an ongoing sexual abuse investigation.

“He has no credibility,” said Mary Ureche, a parishioner at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Saginaw Township. “The reason he’s here is because of the cover-up and shredding of documents in Philadelphia.”

Nathan Medina grew up worshiping at Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption in Saginaw. The 34-year-old said, among other options to rebuild trust, the bishop should resign.

“The Diocese of Saginaw needs somebody who can fix this, and I don’t think Bishop Cistone can,” Medina said.

Ureche and Medina were referencing Cistone’s time as a high-ranking member in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and a grand jury report on sexual abuse and cover-up within that diocese.

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Spiritual Abuse is Real; it’s a big problem in the Church

ZIMBABWE
The Zimbabwe Mail

March 29, 2018

By Brill Pongo

About 3 years ago I joined a prophetic church largely out of curiosity and I quickly began to investigate the operations of how things work my fascination was mainly with the culture and behaviour of the members of these churches and the celebrity type leaders, who are treated as ‘demigods’.

Because of my previous stance and views vis-à-vis these churches I was treated more favourably by the leadership and found my way and acceptance into the inner circle very quickly.

In no time I was tasked with doing some media and PR work to assist the ‘truth’ and aid the image of the leader.

It was from that position that I was able to carry out my investigations and I was able to observe and understand a lot that goes on behind the scenes, which I will reveal in due course but for now I want to focus on spiritual abuse in general and its excesses particularly in some modern day prophetic movement churches.

My hope is that by writing about these excesses publicly, we can begin to dialog openly about this very real problem. Hiding it or pretending it doesn’t exist simply adds more confusion and anger to those who have walked through the trauma of spiritual abuse.

So I wrote these traits of spiritually abusive ministries and churches. This is not an exhaustive list, but it typifies what happens. My heart in sharing this is to simply shed light on unhealthy, manipulative, controlling practices.

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Pope will not apologize for abuse in Canada’s indigenous schools

OTTAWA (CANADA)
The Guardian

March 28, 2018

Schools largely run by Catholic church took 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children away from families and force them to convert

Pope Francis will not apologize to survivors of Canada’s Indian residential schools for the role the Roman Catholic church played in operating the institutions or the abuses suffered there.

Some 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children were taken from their families over much of the last century and put in the schools, where they were forced to convert to Christianity and not allowed to speak their native languages. Many were beaten and verbally and sexually abused, and up to 6,000 are said to have died. Almost two-thirds of the 130 schools were run by the Catholic church.

Bishop Lionel Gendron, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, said on Wednesday in a letter to the Indigenous Peoples of Canada that Francis has not shied away from acknowledging injustices faced by indigenous peoples around the world, but that he cannot personally issue an apology for residential schools in Canada.

“The Catholic Bishops of Canada have been in dialogue with the Pope and the Holy See concerning the legacy of suffering you have experienced,” Gendron wrote.

“After carefully considering the request and extensive dialogue with the bishops of Canada, he felt that he could not personally respond.”

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Residential school survivors upset by no Catholic Church apology

LA RONGE (SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA)
LaRonge Now

March 28, 2018

By Derek Cornet

Residential schools survivors who attended a two-day gathering this week aren’t happy with Pope Francis’ decision to not apologize for the trauma they went through.

“I talked to a few people this morning and the Pope knows what happened from so many stories,” Lac La Ronge Indian Band elder Tom Roberts, who organized the event held March 27 and 28, said. “They’re not happy, I’m not happy, but what we learned at the residential school and being survivors now, is we are very resilient people. If we get knocked down, we get up.”

As one of the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Pope was asked to come to Canada and apologize to survivors, their families and communities for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children in Catholic-run residential schools. Roberts said through the vast amounts of testimony already given about people’s experiences at those schools, Pope Francis should be well aware of what happened.

Roberts attended residential school in Prince Albert for seven years and said his journey in life has been hard because of it. He said people are now in a period of reclaiming their identities, which are slowly coming back. First Nations people were hopeful the Catholic Church would have apologized this summer, Roberts said, adding he feels sorry for the Pope not coming.

“It didn’t have to happen that way, where they took us away from our moms and dads as young as five years old to be taken to the residential school for 10 months out of the year,” he said.

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Saskatoon bishop ‘hopeful’ for eventual visit to Canada from Pope Francis

SASKATOON (SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA)
Saskatoon StarPhoenix

March 28, 2018

By Dave Deibert

The Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon says he remains ‘hopeful’ that Pope Francis will one day travel to Canada to apologize to residential school survivors and their families.

The Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon says he remains “hopeful” that Pope Francis will one day travel to Canada to apologize to residential school survivors and their families for the role of the Roman Catholic Church in operating residential schools and for the abuse suffered by the schools’ students.

A papal apology was No. 58 of the 94 recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The commission recommended an apology similar to that offered by the Pope to Irish victims of sexual abuse in 2010. In 2015, Pope Francis issued an apology in Bolivia to Indigenous peoples in the Americas for the “grave sins” of colonialism.

Instead, Bishop Lionel Gendron, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, on Tuesday released a letter to the Indigenous Peoples of Canada saying Pope Francis has not shied away from acknowledging injustices faced by Indigenous peoples around the world, but that he can’t personally issue an apology for residential schools.

“I recognize that the recent letter to the Indigenous Peoples (of) Canada from the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is a disappointment to many people in our community,” Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon Bishop Mark Hagemoen wrote in a statement issued to media.

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Incidents of sexual harassment, assault high at music festivals, new survey reveals

UNITED STATES
Chicago Tribune

March 29, 2018

By Jessi Roti

More than 90 percent of female concertgoers surveyed by OurMusicMyBody experienced being harassed, the campaign said Monday.

Launched in 2016 as a joint effort between nonprofit organizations Between Friends and Rape Victim Advocates, the OurMusicMyBody campaign aims to promote “fun and consensual music experiences for all” through anti-harassment policies and guidelines at music venues and festivals across Chicago.

After recognizing that festivals and venues did not have procedures in place to address issues of harassment and assault, or coordination and education between security and support teams (like medical, for example) about the next steps to take if these issues arise, the campaign became necessary — as echoed by Riot Fest creative director Jeremy Scheuch when he was asked why the festival partnered with OurMusicMyBody.

In 2017, OurMusicMyBody was responsible for the implementation of anti-harassment guidelines and policies at the city’s three major music fests, Pitchfork, Lollapalooza and Riot Fest, as well as more locally focused events Ruido Fest and Green Music Fest. The campaign also partnered with various venues such as Lincoln Hall, Schubas, Subterranean and Beat Kitchen to provide information at concerts hosted year-round.

More than 500 respondents answered questions about harassment in the online survey taken between November and December 11, 2017. The survey was broken down by gender: 379 females, 84 males and 57 nonbinary people. Harassment was defined as spoken violence and aggression to physical assault — including being drugged or being coerced into drinking.

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Nassar fallout hurts Michigan State University financial rating

LANSING (MI)
Detroit Free Press

March 29, 2018

By David Jesse

A financial rating firm has dropped its outlook for Michigan State University to negative as it evaluates the fallout from the Larry Nassar sexual assaults scandal.

S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Ashley Ramchandanisaid pending investigations into MSU, along with lots of turnover in senior leadership, sparked the change. The firm also says they aren’t sure how all the fallout will shake out.

“While management reports the hiring of additional staff and implementation of amended policies to address sexual assault prevention, patient care and campus safety, in our opinion, current campus community tension may stall prompt and equitable resolution of stakeholders’ concerns.”

Ratings affect the university’s ability to borrow money through bonds and the interest rates it gets. The agency left the rating for current bonds unchanged.

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Trudeau disappointed by Pope’s decision not to apologize for residential schools

CANADA
The Canadian Press

March 28, 2018

Truth and Reconciliation Commission called for a papal apology to survivors

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today he’s disappointed with the Pope’s decision to not apologize for the Catholic Church’s role in Canada’s residential schools and the trauma experienced by their students.

The prime minister said reconciliation is not just a matter between government and Indigenous people, but must also involve non-government actors as well.

A letter released Tuesday by the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops says Pope Francis has not shied away from recognizing injustices faced by Indigenous peoples around the world, but he can’t personally apologize for residential schools.

“Obviously I’m disappointed with the Catholic Church’s decision not to apologize for their role in residential schools,” said Trudeau.

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Jesuit ‘man on a mission’ sees change happening on sexual abuse

ROME
CRUX

March 29, 2018

By John L. Allen Jr.

Father Hans Zollner, an earnest 51-year-old Bavarian Jesuit psychologist and vice-rector at Rome’s prestigious Gregorian University, who’s considered perhaps Catholicism’s leading expert on sexual abuse and child protection, is, in almost every sense of the word, a man on a mission.

In the 21st century, we use that phrase to mean someone with a cause, and that’s certainly Zollner. He sees the protection of vulnerable people, especially children, as a core part of the Christian faith, and he’s determined to do everything in his power to promote and foster safe environments.

In the history of Zollner’s Jesuit order, “mission” also implies hitting the road, taking the Gospel to the four corners of the world, and that’s him as well. Over the past four years or so, he’s led approximately 600 training sessions in child protection for bishops, religious superiors, and Church institutions, in virtually every part of the world. When he spoke to Crux on March 28, he had just returned from a session with the French bishops in Lourdes, and he ticked off plans for the near future including stops in Kenya and in Papua New Guinea.

While he tries to go wherever he’s invited, Zollner says he gets about one-third more invitations than even someone with his inexhaustible energy and relentless commitment can possibly accept, so he hands those off to a growing network of like-minded colleagues and former students.

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Cardinal’s Australian court hearing on sex abuse charges ends

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
The Associated Press

March 29, 2018

An Australian magistrate on Thursday closed a monthlong court hearing of evidence on whether the most senior Vatican cleric ever charged in the Catholic Church’s sex abuse crisis will stand trial.

Belinda Wallington told the Melbourne Magistrates Court she would make her decision after lawyers make their final submissions on April 17 as to whether prosecutors have a strong enough case against Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, currently on a leave of absence as head of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, to warrant a trial by jury.

Pell was charged last June with sexually abusing multiple people in his Australian home state of Victoria. The details of the allegations against the 76-year-old cardinal have yet to be released to the public, though police have described the charges as “historical” sexual assault offenses – meaning the crimes allegedly occurred decades ago.

Pell has not been required to enter pleas, but has said through his lawyers he will plead not guilty to all counts if ordered to stand trial.

The cardinal has attended every day of the four-week preliminary hearing. The first two weeks were closed to the public as his alleged victims testified via a video link to the court. Such closed courts are standard in Victoria when alleged sex abuse victims testify.

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Pope won’t personally apologize for Catholic Church’s role in residential schools

OTTAWA (CANADA)
The Canadian Press

March 27, 2018

By Mia Rabson

Pope Francis will not apologize to residential school survivors and their families for the role the Roman Catholic Church played in operating the schools or the abuses suffered by their students.

A papal apology was one of the 94 recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and during a visit to the Vatican last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau personally asked the Pope to consider such a gesture.

The commission recommended an apology similar to that offered by the Pope to Irish victims of sexual abuse in 2010. In 2015, Pope Frances issued an apology in Bolivia to Indigenous peoples in the Americas for the “grave sins” of colonialism.

Bishop Lionel Gendron, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, today released a letter to the Indigenous Peoples of Canada saying Pope Francis has not shied away from acknowledging injustices faced by Indigenous peoples around the world, but that he can’t personally issue an apology for residential schools.

“The Catholic Bishops of Canada have been in dialogue with the Pope and the Holy See concerning the legacy of suffering you have experienced,” Gendron wrote. “The Holy Father is aware of the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which he takes seriously. As far as call to action #58 is concerned, after carefully considering the request and extensive dialogue with the bishops of Canada, he felt that he could not personally respond.”

Gendron says the Pope has not ruled out a visit to Canada and a meeting with Indigenous Peoples, but in the meantime is encouraging Canadian bishops to continue working with Indigenous Peoples on reconciliation issues and projects that help with healing.

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OPINION: Why the Catholic Church must commit to women’s equality

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

March 28, 2018

By Michael W. Higgins

Michael W. Higgins is a distinguished professor of Catholic Thought at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.

One of the highlights of the liturgical year, for me at least, when I was a seminarian in the mid-1960s, was the steak-and-wine celebration immediately following the Holy Thursday mass. The Feast of the Last Supper, as it was also known, was traditionally understood as the occasion when Jesus instituted the priesthood, so there was special reason for an enclave of clerics and would-be clerics to break their Lenten fast and rejoice in their unique and sacred calling. It was an event for men only, although in fact there were some women present: the nuns who prepared and served our food.

It was also the liturgy at which the feet of the youngest seminarians were washed by the rector and vice-rector in imitation of Jesus’s washing of the feet of the apostles at the Lord’s Supper. Again, the only women present were the nuns, who assumed a prayerful position at the back of the chapel. Their feet were excluded from the washing, although in terms of humble service – the model of behaviour Jesus exemplified – they were the best living illustration.

The faculty and students in no way saw this ecclesiastical arrangement as anything other than normative and unalterable. It was God’s will. It was their spiritual gift.

I was reminded of this patriarchal bit of theatre recently when the Mary McAleese affair erupted, first on the Irish scene and now globally.

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CNN exclusive: In depositions, Karolyis say they knew nothing of Nassar’s abuse at their ranch

HUNTSVILLE (TX)
CNN

March 29, 2018

By Jean Casarez and Laura Dolan

Bela Karolyi helped build Karolyi Ranch with his own hands. It’s where he and his wife Martha helped train more than a dozen elite gymnasts to Olympic glory.

But the most powerful couple in US gymnastics history, who coached legends Nadia Comaneci, Mary Lou Retton and Kerri Strug, said they can’t recall numerous details about what happened at their ranch in Huntsville, Texas, such as whether former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar was licensed to practice there or who was responsible for keeping the gymnasts secure.
In depositions obtained exclusively by CNN, the Karolyis said they had very little to do with the day-to-day operation of the ranch when it served as a training site for the women’s national gymnastics team.

Their depositions, given in May of 2017, are part of a civil lawsuit filed by former elite gymnast Mattie Larson, which claims that the Karolyis “turned a blind-eye to the perpetrator Nassar’s sexual abuse of children at the Ranch.”

Nassar has pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct in two cases and to federal child pornography charges. He is serving prison sentences of up to 175 years.

Karolyi Ranch, a 2,000-acre compound about 70 miles north of Houston, wasn’t just a gymnastics mecca bearing the coaches’ names. It became the US Women’s National Team Training Center in 2001 and a US Olympic Training Site in 2011 — during many of the same years Nassar was the national team doctor.

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Abuse hearing for Vatican treasurer Pell ends amid fiery accusations

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
CNN

March 29, 2018

By Lucie Morris-Marr

Fiery accusations by the defense against witnesses and even the magistrate dominated the last days of a month-long committal hearing into allegations of abuse against Cardinal George Pell, the treasurer for the Vatican.

Pell has attended Melbourne Magistrates Court every day of the hearing, which concluded Thursday after listening to testimony from 50 witnesses, including a number of Pell’s accusers.
The cardinal, Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic official, is alleged to have committed abuse in the 1970s, in locations including a swimming pool, a cinema, a chapel and on a hill top in country Victoria. Pell has vehemently denied the allegations.

An additional allegation of abuse emerged during the committal hearing, of an incident at a sacristy at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne. Between 1996 and 2001 he was the Archbishop for the city.

A final decision on whether the case will proceed to trial will be made by the magistrate at an undisclosed future date. There is still a further hearing to take place on April 17 for the defense and prosecution teams to make their verbal submissions to the court.

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Former Weinstein assistant slams ‘morally lacking’ gag order

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Associated Press

March 28, 2018

By Jill Lawless

Harvey Weinstein’s former British assistant said Wednesday that a gag order she had to sign when she left his film company was “morally lacking in every way” and failed to stop the movie producer’s harassment and abuse of women.

Zelda Perkins quit Weinstein’s firm Miramax in 1998 along with a colleague who accused the movie mogul of trying to rape her. Each received a 125,000-pound ($177,000) settlement and signed a non-disclosure agreement.

Perkins told a committee of British lawmakers that she felt “defrauded” by the agreement, which contained clauses intended to stop Weinstein from sexually harassing or abusing staff.

The agreement committed Weinstein to attend therapy and required the company to act if he made any more payouts over alleged wrongdoing. Perkins said she has no evidence that these actions were carried out.

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Priest-abuse survivor backs state’s Child Victims Act

ALBANY (NY)
Times Herald-Record

March 28, 2018

By Chris McKenna

Lex Filipowski was a 7-year-old altar boy at Holy Cross Church in Wawayanda, alone with the pastor as they changed into their robes before Mass, when the Rev. George Boxelaar pulled him close and began kissing him on the lips.

Thus began an abuse routine that escalated to groping and lasted for four years in the early 1970s, ending when Filipowski’s family changed churches. Filipowski first went public with Boxelaar’s molestation of him in a Times Herald-Record story in 2002, prompting at least 25 other people to come forward with reports of being sexually abused by the same priest when they were young boys. By that time, Boxelaar had been removed from the priesthood and had returned to his native Holland, where he died at age 81 in 1990.

Today, Filipowski has added his voice to an intense campaign on behalf of the Child Victims Act, a state bill that abuse survivors and their advocates have sought for more than a dozen years and that was part of budget negotiations in Albany this week. The bill would extend the statutes of limitation for criminal and civil cases against abusers — New York doesn’t let cases be brought after the victim turns 23 — and open a one-year window for any past victims to sue their abusers and culpable institutions.

The targets of the campaign are the Senate’s ruling Republicans, who have blocked the legislation because they oppose the one-year window.

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SEX ABUSE VICTIM: SAGINAW BISHOP IGNORED MY REQUESTS

SAGINAW (MI)
Church Militant

March 28, 2018

By Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.

Brad Sylvester asked for multiple meetings with Bp. Joseph Cistone, which went ignored

A victim of sex abuse claims Bp. Joseph Cistone of Saginaw, Michigan refused to talk or meet with him after multiple requests.

Brad Sylvester, a Saginaw local, hand-delivered a letter to the diocese in 2012 detailing his abuse at the hands of Fr. Stanislaus Bur when he was a child, and requested a face-to-face meeting with Bp. Cistone. It was one among multiple letters he had sent to the diocese that went ignored by the bishop.

Because the abuse took place nearly three decades earlier, it was beyond the statute of limitations.

Instead, the diocese sent Sr. Janet Fulgenzi, victim assistance coordinator for the diocese’s Office of Child and Youth Protection. “She was just sitting in, listening to my sessions, like a bystander,” Sylvester told Church Militant of his meetings with his social worker, where Fulgenzi was present on several occasions. According to the victim, Fulgenzi asked no questions and offered no helpful advice.

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Lawsuit alleges Archbishop Walsh was aware of priest’s child sex abuse, but did not stop it

OLEAN (NY)
Olean Times Herald

March 28, 2018

By Tom Dinki

A lawsuit filed by a former Archbishop Walsh High School student alleged the Rev. James A. Spielman abused him from approximately September 1979 through 1982 when he was 14 to 17, and that school officials were aware of the abuse but did nothing to stop it.

The lawsuit, filed in 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, includes allegations Spielman molested the victim, including by sexual intercourse, and that the former Walsh priest and religion teacher supplied minors with alcohol and pornography.

Both Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and Walsh officials were aware Spielman “had an unusual interest in minor boys,” yet allowed him to have frequent, unsupervised contact with them, according to the lawsuit.

Photos from the 1982-83 Walsh yearbook obtained by the Olean Times Herald state senior classes would go on annual, three-day retreats to Spielman’s “cabin on the hill.” Students even dedicated that entire yearbook to Spielman for “acting not only as a teacher but as a friend as well.”

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Michigan State spent $500K in January to monitor social-media accounts of Larry Nassar victims, others

EAST LANSING (MI)
Lansing State Journal

March 28, 2018

By Matt Mencarini

A public relations firm billed Michigan State University for more than $500,000 for January as it tracked social-media activity surrounding the Larry Nassar case that often included the accounts of victims and their families, journalists, celebrities and politicians.

Michigan State University’s Office of Communication and Brand Strategy previously had been doing the work, which also included collecting and evaluating news articles, and some of its employees continued to do so in January.

The work by Weber Shandwick, a New York-based firm, totaled $517,343 for more than 1,440 hours of work, according to documents obtained through a public records request. The firm billed for work done by 18 employees, whose hourly rates ranged from $200 to $600 per hour.

Five billed Michigan State for more than $50,000, including one for $96,900 and another for $120,893.

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Despite Abuse, They Stayed in the Church

BOSTON (MA)
New Boston Post

March 29, 2018

By Kevin Thomas

Elena received her fair share of faulty Catholic teaching as a child, never believing she was good enough … “so any imperfection must be willful on my part and therefore a sin …”

“I learned not to trust my judgment on anything but to allow the priests and others in authority to usurp the role of my conscience and the role of God in my life.”

Then, Elena was molested by a priest when she was 12.

“I felt like Jesus must be on his side.”

Remarkably, both Elena and her faith survived.

“I realized, believing that Jesus was on the priest’s side was part of the lie,” she wrote. “I imagined how angry I would be if someone hurt one of my children.

“Somehow knowing God was on my side, that he was just as angry as I was, helped me to find forgiveness alongside the anger.”

That is part of one story, in a collection of essays in the recently released Christ’s Body, Christ’s Wounds: Staying Catholic When You’ve Been Hurt in the Church” (Cascade Books), edited by Eve Tushnet.

The 12 essays detail a variety of experiences, including abuse, manipulation, rejection, theft, personal judgmentalism, and racism.

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Larry Nassar’s Michigan State supervisor gets arrested after being fired last month

LANSING (MI)
CBS Sports

March 27, 2018

By Kevin Skiver

Interim president John Engler is trying to hold William Strampel accountable for Nassar’s crimes

With Larry Nassar being sentenced to what will amount to life behind bars, Michigan State University is now trying to address the system that made his crimes possible. Nassar’s boss when he was at Michigan State, former dean William Strampel, has reportedly been arrested for his role (or lack thereof) in Nassar’s crimes. Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth confirmed to The Detroit Free Press that Strampel was being held, but he said that he wouldn’t comment on the charges until arraignment.

The Free Press, however, is reporting that Strampel is being held for multiple charges, including at least one felony and several misdemeanors.

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Larry Nassar’s boss arrested on neglect of duty charges

WASHINGTON (DC)
UPI

March 27, 2018

By Danielle Haynes

Police in Michigan arrested William Strampel, Dr. Larry Nassar’s former boss, Tuesday on allegations he failed to protect students at Michigan State University and criminal sexual conduct charges.

The charges came after state authorities removed items from a building at the school over its handling of the Nassar case and other alleged sexual assault cases. In particular, authorities requested records and electronic devices Strampel used during his time as dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Strampel resigned from the school in December citing health concerns.

He faces four charges, including a felony charge of criminal sexual conduct, two misdemeanor charges of willful neglect of duty by a public official, and felony misconduct in office.

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$25 million settlement reached in Crosiers clergy abuse cases

ISLE (MN)
MilleLacs Messenger

March 28, 2018

By Vivian LaMoore

A $25 million settlement agreement was approved on Thursday, March 22, by the court between the Crosiers religious order and victims of clergy sexual abuse.

The Crosiers emerged from Chapter 11 as the U.S. Bankruptcy Court confirmed the reorganization plan to allow the Crosiers to settle on $25.5 Million – $5.7 million will be paid directly by the Crosiers and just short of $19 million would be paid by the insurers, Jeff Anderson, attorney for the survivors, said.

The agreement was made in advance of the Crosier reorganization settlement under the Child Victims Act, Anderson added.

“We worked with them, and they made public all of the offenders known to the Crosiers. All of the case files will be made public as well,” Anderson said. “I commend the Crosiers for being transparent and helping so many who were hurt to begin to heal.”

Anderson also commended Fr. Tom Enneking, osc, prior provincial of the U.S. Crosier Province, who took the stand and gave a “heartfelt apology and expressions of sorrow” before the court.

The Crosiers filed for Chapter 11 protection over nine months ago, according to a statement by the Crosiers. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel for the District of Minnesota, confirmed the Crosiers’ plan for reorganization on March 22. The Crosier Fathers and Brothers Province, Inc.; Crosier Fathers of Onamia; and the Crosier Community of Phoenix filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy June 1, 2017.

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Police deny ‘zeroing in’ on George Pell

AUSTRALIA
Illawarra Mercury

March 29, 2018

By Jacqueline Le and Megan Neil

A detective who led the historical sex offence investigation into Cardinal George Pell has denied “zeroing in” on Australia’s highest-ranked Catholic.

The police investigation into Pell has come under repeated attack by lawyers during a hearing to determine if the 76-year-old should stand trial.

Robert Richter QC on Thursday said Pell was targeted for “special treatment” by detectives from Sano Taskforce, which investigates historical sex abuse.

While questioning lead investigator Sergeant Christopher Reed, the barrister said a man made horrendous allegations against a nun before alleging Pell committed a sex offence against him.

“Do you say, and I’m not attributing any blame to you, do you say that the allegation against Cardinal Pell was treated like any other allegation?” the barrister asked on Thursday.

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Anger at Scottish policy that may force rape victims to testify

SCOTLAND
The Guardian

March 26, 2018

By Nick Dowson

Campaigners say move to compel court appearance if deemed in public interest is inhumane

Campaigners in Scotland have expressed anger at new guidance that could force rape victims to give evidence against their will.

Rape Crisis Scotland, , have hit out at the new “reluctant complainers” policy which means rape victims who try to withdraw from cases may be compelled to testify where prosecution is deemed to be in the public interest.

“For anyone who has the courage to report it and then gets to the point where they can’t continue – to then force them to testify is inhumane,” said Sandy Brindley, the chief executive of Rape Crisis Scotland. “It’s also self-defeating – if you have to put them in the cells the night before it’s not going to be useful evidence.”

Rape Crisis Scotland has written an open letter expressing its concern to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), which is responsible for prosecutions in Scotland.

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Judgment For Dino Cinel

COLOMBIA
The American Conservative

March 27, 2018

By Rod Dreher

Even if you are well versed in the clerical sexual abuse scandal, you probably don’t know the name Dino Cinel. He was just murdered in Colombia by his lover. From the New Orleans Advocate, some background on this criminal:

Cinel was a historian on the Tulane University faculty and was living at the rectory of St. Rita Catholic Church in late 1988 when a fellow priest discovered him with child pornography and homemade tapes of Cinel having sex in the rectory with young men.

The story did not become public at that time, and the official response raised immediate controversy when it finally became known more than two years later.

Upon first learning of the discovery, Archbishop Philip Hannan fired Cinel, who was on vacation in Italy at the time. But some suspected the archbishop was giving Cinel a heads-up that authorities were onto him, said Bruce Nolan, who covered the ensuing scandal for The Times-Picayune.

Then-District Attorney Harry Connick, a St. Rita parishioner, let the church hold onto the video recordings for weeks, which church officials explained by saying they were trying to identify and contact any victims involved. Connick later concluded that the evidence in the case was not strong enough to prosecute Cinel.

At one point, a former sexual partner who said he was underage at the time he had a recorded encounter with Cinel sued him in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

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Catholic bishop is caught with £19,000 stashed in a false wall ‘after group of priests stole £425,000 from donations and wedding fees over three years’ in Brazil

BRAZIL
Daily Mail

March 26, 2018

By Sara Malm

– Bishop in Brazil ‘led group of priests embezzling £426,000 of church money’
– One priest was fopund with £19,200 hidden behind a false wall in his home
Bishop of Formosa, five clergymen and three lay people arrested in Goias
– They are accused of stealing from church donations, and ceremony fees

A group of Catholic priests in Brazil have been arrested, accused of embezzling £426,000 of church donations, funeral fees and fundraising cash.

The Bishop of Formosa, Jose Ribeiro, along with five clergymen and three lay people were detained in prison in Goiás this week charged with stealing over 2 million reais (£426,000) from church funds.

A police raid on one of the priests’ home saw officers prise open a false wall in to find some £19,200 in plastic bags hidden in a secret storage space.

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More victims share stories of abuse by Catholic priests

BUFFALO (NY)
WGRZ

March 23, 2018

2 On Your Side has heard from more victims who say they were sexual abused by catholic priests.

More and more victims of alleged sexual abuse by Buffalo catholic priests continue to come forward.

Jim Napora, 56, says he was abused by two priests and both of their names are on the list of 42 that the Buffalo Diocese released.

“Seeing the list on Tuesday was such a freeing event, it vindicated me finally. I felt free,” Napora said.

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SEXUAL ABUSE: CHURCH HAS GREAT RESPONSIBILITY HERE

MEMPHIS (TX)
The Alabama Baptist

March 28, 2018

By Carrie Brown McWhorter

Andy Savage, who served on the senior leadership team as teaching pastor at Memphis’ Highpoint Church, has stepped down following public acknowledgment that he sexually assaulted a teen 20 years ago while serving as her youth minister at a Texas church.

Highpoint Church, a megachurch which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, was widely criticized in January when Savage was given a standing ovation after apologizing for a “sexual incident” in 1998 involving Jules Woodson, a 17-year-old high school senior in his youth group at Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church in suburban Houston.

Woodson remained silent for two decades until the #MeToo movement exposing sexual abuse by powerful men prompted her to share the story on two Christian blogs.

In a New York Times video published in early March, Woodson said she looked up to Savage and trusted him before the 1998 encounter. Afterward, she said, church leaders didn’t handle it properly.

“What happened was a crime,” Woodson said. “This is not something the church should handle internally. … We as a church, of all places, should be getting this right.”

The allegations against Savage came at the height of the #MeToo and #ChurchToo movement that saw many female Christian teachers, including Kay Warren and Beth Moore, and thousands of Christian women acknowledge past sexual abuse and call out the church’s silence on the issue.

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Mormon Church working with McKinney police after years of instructor’s alleged sexual abuse

MCKINNEY (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

March 27, 2018

By Tom Steele

Updated March 28: Revised to include statement from the church.

McKinney police say an instructor at a Mormon church sexually assaulted multiple children over a period of years.

Noel Young Anderson, 22, was arrested Friday on a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child. He remained in the Collin County jail Tuesday, with bail set at $100,000.

According to police, Anderson — a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on North Lake Forest Drive — admitted to sexually assaulting four children over the past seven years. The victims ranged in age from 2 to 6, police said.

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The Latest: Mediator will try to help settle Nassar lawsuits

EAST LANSING (MI)
The Associated Press

March 27, 2018

The Latest on the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case (all times local):

7:10 p.m.

Lawyers for Michigan State University and more than 200 girls and women say they’re restarting talks that could lead to a settlement in civil lawsuits related to sexual abuse by former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

In a court filing Tuesday, the parties say they’re scheduling mediation with Layn Phillips, a former federal judge in Oklahoma.

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Former priest expresses ‘disgust’ at appointment of Bishop Boyce in Dromore

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Belfast Telegraph

March 28, 2018

A retired priest has said he is ‘disgusted’ by the appointment of Philip Boyce as Bishop of Dromore.

John McAreavey stood down as Bishop of Dromore last month after criticism of him celebrating Mass with paedophile priest Father Malachy Finnegan.

Speaking on the Nolan Show on Radio Ulster, Father Eamon Murray said he was disgusted with the appointment of Boyce as Fr McAreavey’s replacement.

In 2011 Philip Boyce was criticised for his handling of clerical sex allegations when working in the Diocese of Raphoe in Co Donegall.

Fr Murray said the appointment of Boyce would “rub salt” on the wounds of those who have already suffered from clerical sexual abuse in Dromore.

He said: “I am so annoyed about this, that he has been appointed to Dromore where there has been a huge problem. I think that’s rubbing the salt on the wound.”

A review into the handling of clerical abuse in the Diocese of Raphoe in 2011 singled out Bishop Boyce’s actions in a serious case of abuse in which he attempted to protect the priest’s family rather than have the cleric removed from the ministry.

At the time Bishop Boyce apologised for “poor judgements” in managing priest accused of “horrific acts of abuse” against children.

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Taoiseach says it would be appropriate for Pope to visit survivors of Catholic Church abuse in Ireland

IRELAND
The Journal

March 28, 2018

By Christina Finn

The government will tell the Vatican that families ‘of all shapes and forms’ should be celebrated during Pope’s Irish visit

THE TAOISEACH HAS said it would be appropriate for the Pope to visit survivors of abuse perpetrated by the Catholic Church when he visits Ireland in August.

Leo Varadkar also said that the government’s view that “families in all their shapes and forms should be celebrated” will be relayed to the Vatican.

Leo Varadkar told the Dáil yesterday that the government is very much of the view that there are many different types of families.

“All types should be celebrated, including the traditional nuclear family with the man married to the woman with children, one-parent families, families led by grandparents, and families led by same-sex couples. We will make it known in our meetings with the organisers that the government’s view is that families in all their forms should be celebrated,” he said.

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Julia Baird, Andrew Bolt Clash over Church Abuse Reporting

AUSTRALIA
Insights Magazine

March 28, 2018

Journalist Julia Baird and commentator Andrew Bolt have clashed over reports by the latter on the ABC’s webpage about domestic abuse in churches.

In a series of articles that has been running since late 2017, Dr. Baird and cowriter Hayley Gleeson have explored research that suggests churches have high percentages of domestic violence. The series has been widely read and led to a number of church denominations apologising to domestic abuse survivors and vowing to be more vigilant in detecting abuse within their congregations.

This, Mr. Bolt argued, was tantamount to an attack on churches. A tweet promoting his show, The Bolt Report, suggested that the ABC “cites a dodgy survey to slander Christians.”

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Fr Malachy Finnegan: Police to investigate when authorities became aware of priest’s abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Journal

March 28, 2018

By Paul Hosford

The PSNI will also investigate if there was any abuse of children by any other person at the Newry school where he worked.

THE PSNI WILL investigate claims of sexual abuse made against Father Malachy Finnegan who worked at a school in Newry.

Fr Finnegan, who died in 2002, was a teacher at St Colman’s College in Newry from 1967 to 1976 and was later President of the school.

Abuse claims against him were detailed in a BBC Spotlight programme in February. The revelation that John McAreavey had officiated at the funeral mass of Finnegan led to his resignation as Bishop of Dromore earlier this month.

It was announced yesterday that Pope Francis had accepted his resignation.

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Syracuse Catholic Church leaders won’t ID accused priests; will Ogdensburg Diocese do the same?

SYRACUSE (NY)
InformNNY

March 28, 2018

The Diocese of Syracuse isn’t following Buffalo Catholic leaders who identified priests accused of sexual abuse. Last week, the Diocese of Buffalo dropped a bombshell list of 42 priests who had credible accusations of sexual abuse lodged against them.

The Syracuse diocese isn’t changing its position and will continue withholding the names of priests accused of sexual abuse unless victims identify them first. Recently, a law firm representing sexual abuse victims called on the Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg to release the names of 15 priests who also had credible accusations made against them. No word from church leaders on whether those names will eventually be made public.

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Buffalo Diocese: Another former St. Mary’s priest facing abuse allegations

BATAVIA (NY)
The Daily News

March 27, 2018

By Matt Surtel

Less than two weeks after Fr. Donald Becker was named on a list of priests accused of sexual abuse, another former St. Mary’s Church pastor is facing allegations.

Fr. Dennis Riter has been placed on administrative leave from St. Elisabeth Ann Seton Parish in Dunkirk, the Buffalo Diocese has confirmed. The news came allegations from two former altar boys and their families, including a detailed interview on WKBW Channel 7 in Buffalo.

The allegations did not include Batavia.

Riter was pastor from 2002 to 2009 at St. Mary’s Church in Batavia, before his assignment to Dunkirk.

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Former priest ‘disgusted’ at Bishop Boyce appointment

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

March 28, 2018

A retired priest has spoken out against the appointment of Philip Boyce as interim Bishop of Dromore.

Former Bishop of Dromore John McAreavey stood down in March amid controversy over celebrating Mass with paedophile priest the late Fr Malachy Finegan.

Fr Eamon Murray says his is “disgusted” with Boyce’s appointment.

In 2011 Philip Boyce was criticised for his handling of clerical sex abuse allegations when he was Bishop of Raphoe.

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Second Niagara County priest ID’d as abuser

NIAGARA FALLS (NY)
Niagara Gazette

March 27, 2018

By Rick Pfeiffer and Philip Gambini

FALL FROM GRACE: Attacks followed classic pattern of pedophiles.

In 2002 as the scope of the scandal of sexually abusive priests was sweeping across America, only one Niagara County clergyman stood accused.

But revelations from the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, more than 15 years later, show that Father Richard Judd was not alone in preying on youth in the region.

At least seven priests, who served in parishes in Niagara County and elsewhere in Western New York, have now been publicly identified as having had “credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors” made against them.

In parishes stretching from Niagara Falls to Lewiston to Lockport and as far as the Southern Tier, the priests practiced their ministry from 1962 to as late as 2004. And the faithful were never made aware of the claims against them.

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Sean Kirst: In priest abuse fallout, two survivors find themselves outside the lines

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

March 28, 2018

By Sean Kirst

Jonpaul Okal and Robert Swierat have never met. They grew up in separate parts of Western New York, and their lives took different turns.

But they share the same wounds.

Both say they were sexually abused as children by Catholic priests in their communities, accounts supported by their families. One says he was assaulted in the basement recreation room in his home, the other in a bedroom and shower while staying at a residence for priests who taught in a Lancaster high school.

In both situations, the accused priests have been identified as abusive in unrelated cases.

Okal and Swierat each also represent a void in the way the Diocese of Buffalo is responding to accounts about improper sexual behavior. For different reasons, both said diocesan officials told them they are ineligible for a new review process that offers financial compensation in cases of credible abuse.

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Deceased priest accused of sexual abuse not on Buffalo diocese’s list

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

March 27, 2018

By Aaron Besecker and Jay Tokasz

A former Genesee County man has accused a dead Buffalo Diocese priest of sexually abusing him as a teenager.

The Rev. Robert P. Conlin was not on the list of 42 priests whom the diocese recently said had credible allegations against them.

Wayne Bortle, 53, publicly accused Conlin of sexually abusing him in the rectory of St. Mary Church in Pavilion more than three decades ago, when Bortle was about 16.

Bortle said Conlin frequently hosted boys inside the rectory to watch television and to play pool, foosball and ping pong. Bortle said he was alone in the rectory with Conlin watching television the night he alleges the priest molested him.

“That was the only time I was there I can remember no one else was there,” he said. Bortle said he never went back to the rectory.

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Erie Diocese to name priests accused of sexual abuse, but Syracuse Diocese won’t

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

March 27, 2018

By Aaron Besecker

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo’s decision to publicly name its priests who had credible allegations of sexual abuse involving a minor will be followed by one neighboring diocese, but not by another.

After the Buffalo Diocese released on March 20 a list of 42 priests accused of abusing minors, the Catholic Diocese of Erie, Pa., said it plans to release its own list of accused priests in the coming weeks, the Erie Times-News reported last week.

But the Diocese of Syracuse has not changed its position about withholding the names of accused priests despite what the Buffalo diocese has done, according to newyorkupstate.com.

Erie’s decision comes as the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office has been investigating the diocese’s handling of abusive priests, the Times-News reported. Erie is one of six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania being investigated by the state Attorney General’s Office. A report on that investigation is expected to be released sometime this year.

Lawrence Persico became bishop of the 13-county Erie Diocese in 2012, following the term of Bishop Donald W. Trautman, who served for 22 years. Prior to working in Erie, Trautman served as auxiliary bishop of the Buffalo Diocese.

An Erie Diocesan spokeswoman told the Times-News it would disclose a list after questions arose once Buffalo released its list.

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Australian Catholics need to wake up

AUSTRALIA
The Sydney Morning Herald

March 28, 2018

By Terry Fewtrell

Australian Catholics are being conned. After all the disgrace of the Royal Commission evidence and its specific and telling recommendations, the response effectively proposed by the Australian Bishops is to call a Plenary Council of the church in Australia in 2020-21. Australia’s Catholics seem to be meekly agreeing to what is an unconscionable delay and a fudge. In short, the bishops have us where they want us: corralled and quietened.

In one sense, convening such a forum could be seen as innovative and consultative. Realistically, it downplays the magnitude and urgency of the issues that need to be addressed. Whether the agenda ultimately addresses the main reform issues raised by the Royal Commission is a moot point. Such forums in the Australian church have a habit of being lead down paths that produce platitudinous outcomes and avoid the contentious. More significantly it is openly acknowledged that there is considerable doubt and dispute as to whether such a forum would have the authority to make decisions that address the real issues.

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Malcolm Turnbull blasts ‘indifference and resistance’ by churches in child sex abuse letter

AUSTRALIA
The Sydney Morning Herald

March 27, 2018

By Michael Koziol

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has tried to pressure the major churches into circumventing the states and immediately joining the national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse, telling them their “indifference and resistance” must stop.

Just two states – NSW and Victoria – as well as the Australian Capital Territory have signed on to the Commonwealth scheme, which would provide up to $150,000 in compensation for 60,000 survivors of abuse in government and non-government institutions.

States must commit to the scheme to enable institutions in their jurisdiction to formally sign on. So far, the major churches in NSW and Victoria have intimated they will join a fully national scheme but want to see the details.

In a letter obtained by Fairfax Media, Mr Turnbull urged institutions including the Catholic church, the Anglican church, Scouts Australia and the YMCA to opt into the scheme “as soon as possible” rather than wait for the holdout states.

“I am seeking your in-principle support to join the scheme, so survivors know your position as we continue to seek agreement from all state and territory governments,” Mr Turnbull wrote.

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Launceston Christians apologise to sexual abuse victims

LAUNCESTON (TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA)
The Examiner

March 28, 2018

By Stefan Boscia

A Launceston priest has no personal objection to making celibacy optional for Catholic Church clergy.

Father Mark Freeman suggested it was one of several measures that should be considered to bring the church further in line with other Christian denominations.

The Catholic Church forces clergy to remain celibate throughout their life, unlike other mainstream Christian denominations.

A recent royal commission into institutional sexual abuse recommended the Catholic Church reconsider the practice.

“[The Catholic Church] needs to look seriously at anything that puts priests up on a pedestal,” he said.

“I would have no difficulty if the discussion lead to the fact that that [celibacy] was an optional thing [for Priests] – it would not worry me.

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Catholics react to Buffalo Diocese sex abuse scandal

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB

March 27, 2018

By Rachele Mongiovi

As the Buffalo Diocese celebrates holy week, it is also reeling from a sex abuse scandal involving dozens of priests.

Last week, Bishop Richard Malone released the names of 42 priests accused of child sex abuse. This week, the Bishop placed an active Dunkirk priest on administrative leave following abuse claims.

Tuesday night, Catholics filed into St. Joseph Cathedral for a standing room only Chrism Mass.

Some faithful followers refuse to let the scandal rock their faith.

“I think as a catholic we believe that human nature has problems so it’s not that big of a surprise that even people in the church have problems. You know priests are human beings as well and I think that at the end of the day it’s about love and it’s a crazy journey and none of us are all that great,” said Jonathan Michals, Catholic.

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Guam archdiocese to move offices, sell chancery, other church properties

HAGATNA (GUAM)
Catholic News Service

March 28, 2018

The Archdiocese of Agaña will sell its chancery property in Hagatna and relocate its offices in September.

“The move is part of archdiocesan-wide efforts related to the liquidation and sale of church property on Guam in the midst of challenging financial times and settlement of clergy sexual abuse cases,” the archdiocese said in a statement.

Church offices will be moved to the Cathedral Basilica of the Sweet Name of Mary in Hagatna, the Guam capital.

“Now that the mediation process related to the sexual abuse lawsuits has been set for September, the archdiocese is in the process of evaluating these claims on an individual basis,” the March 21 statement said. “This necessitates the selling of certain properties owned by the archdiocese.”

The chancery property, a gift to the archdiocese from the estate of Henry Flores Nelson in 1950, is tied to St. John Paul II’s historic visit to Guam Feb. 22-23, 1981. The pontiff stayed overnight at the residence of then-Bishop Felixberto C. Flores at the chancery.

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Pope won’t personally apologize for Catholic Church’s role in residential schools

OTTAWA (CANADA)
The Canadian Press

March 27, 2018

By Mia Rabson

Pope Francis will not apologize to residential school survivors and their families for the role the Roman Catholic Church played in operating the schools or the abuses suffered by their students.

A papal apology was one of the 94 recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and during a visit to the Vatican last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau personally asked the Pope to consider such a gesture.

The commission recommended an apology similar to that offered by the Pope to Irish victims of sexual abuse in 2010. In 2015, Pope Frances issued an apology in Bolivia to Indigenous peoples in the Americas for the “grave sins” of colonialism.

Bishop Lionel Gendron, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, today released a letter to the Indigenous Peoples of Canada saying Pope Francis has not shied away from acknowledging injustices faced by Indigenous peoples around the world, but that he can’t personally issue an apology for residential schools.

“The Catholic Bishops of Canada have been in dialogue with the Pope and the Holy See concerning the legacy of suffering you have experienced,” Gendron wrote. “The Holy Father is aware of the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which he takes seriously. As far as call to action #58 is concerned, after carefully considering the request and extensive dialogue with the bishops of Canada, he felt that he could not personally respond.”

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NY Archdiocese ‘most secretive’ on priest abuse: Report

NEW YORK (NY)
LoHud

March 27, 2018

By Jorge Fitz-Gibbon

The Archdiocese of New York is among the “most secretive” Catholic districts in dealing with sex abuse allegations against priests, a new report alleges.

BishopAccountability.org, a Massachusetts-based clergy abuse watchdog group, said this week that the nation’s second largest diocese has done so poorly exposing sex abuse by priests that it has exposed fewer than one of the nation’s smallest dioceses.

The Archdiocese of New York, with more than 2.5 million members, has had 84 Catholic clergy members identified as sexual abusers of children, compared with 92 in the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, which has 316,000 members, the report said.

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Pope accepts resignation of Irish bishop criticized for handling of abuse report

VATICAN CITY
CNA/EWTN News

March 26, 2018

By Hannah Brockhaus

On Monday, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop John McAreavey of Dromore, Ireland, who had asked to step down earlier this month following media claims that he mishandled an abuse report in the early ‘90s.

Pope Francis accepted McAreavey’s request to resign as bishop March 26 and appointed an apostolic administrator, retired Bishop Philip Boyce of Raphoe, 78, until the appointment of a successor.

In a letter announcing his resignation March 3, McAreavey wrote that “with a heavy heart” he would be resigning “following recent media coverage which has disturbed and upset many people.”

“I wrestled with this decision over recent weeks; it was not an easy decision to take,” he said, also asking for prayers for anyone who has been abused.

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PSNI to probe sex abuse priest

IRELAND
Irish Independent

March 27, 2018

By Allan Preston

Victims who were abused by the late paedophile priest Malachy Finnegan have been urged to contact a dedicated PSNI team.

A number of those abused by Finnegan in St Colman’s College in Newry have already spoken out publicly about his conduct there between 1967 to 1987.

Clem Leneghan, the youngest brother of former President Mary McAleese, has revealed he suffered psychological and physical abuse at the hands of Finnegan and has called for an independent inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse at the college.

Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy has also spoken out about how he was savagely beaten by Finnegan. He also claimed the priest attempted to sexually groom him.

Although the disgraced cleric died in 2002 and can no longer be held accountable for his crimes, the PSNI’s public protection branch said other areas needed to be investigated.

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Priest accused of groping teen, calling her ‘sexy’

MORRISTOWN (NJ)
The Associated Press

March 26, 2018

A recently ordained Roman Catholic priest accused of groping a 13-year-old girl under her skirt last summer has been indicted on criminal sexual contact and child endangerment charges.

Morris County prosecutors say the Rev. Marcin Nurek touched the girl’s buttocks over her underwear and told her she was “sexy.” The indictment was recently handed up by a county grand jury.

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Dino Cinel, disgraced ex-Catholic priest, found murdered in Colombia

MEDELLIN (COLOMBIA)
NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune

March 26, 2018

By Maria Clark

Disgraced ex-priest Dino Cinel, 76, was stabbed to death last month by his 18-year-old lover in Medellin, Colombia, according to reports from several international news outlets.

The former Catholic Priest rattled New Orleans in 1991 when a fellow priest discovered a collection of child pornography and homemade videotapes Cinel had filmed of himself having sex with young men in the Uptown rectory he lived in until 1988.

Cinel’s homicide was confirmed by the chief of security of Medellin, Andres Felipe Tobon, who said that local authorities were unaware the former priest had been living in the northern Colombian city for the past five years and that he had been charged with possession of child pornography, according to Colombian news outlet El Tiempo.

Local police told El Tiempo that the young man called emergency services after stabbing Cinel confessing to the crime. Police arrived at the home and found Cinel tied to his bed with a stab wound to his abdomen according to news reports. The young man had been threatening to commit suicide by jumping from the sixth floor of the apartment building where he had been living with Cinel.

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I-Team: Former altar boy details alleged sexual contact by Buffalo Diocesan priest

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW

March 26, 2018

By Charlie Specht

As Holy Week begins, the Catholic sexual abuse scandal that has exploded in the Diocese of Buffalo now reaches an active priest.

The Rev. Dennis Riter, current pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Dunkirk, was put on administrative leave by Bishop Richard Malone this afternoon, the bishop’s spokesman told the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team

Riter’s removal comes as a 7 Eyewitness News investigation was about to break in which two former altar boys or their families came forward to allege inappropriate sexual contact by the priest when he served at a church in Buffalo’s Old First Ward in the 1990s.

Riter presided yesterday at the church’s Palm Sunday service, more than two weeks after an altar boy reached out to the diocese’s victim assistance hotline to report abuse he said occurred decades ago. It was the second time Father Riter was accused of abuse.

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LDS Church First Presidency issues letter, guidelines for handling abuse

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
KUTV

March 26, 2018

By Larry D. Curtis

The LDS Church issued a letter from its First Presidency Monday, its highest church office, with guidelines for handling abuse.

Its media page, called MormonNewsroom, said its letter and guidelines published in 2008 are part of its continuing effort to help leaders prevent and respond to abuse.

It read:

To help ensure the safety and protection of children, youth, and adults, we ask that all priesthood and auxiliary leaders become familiar with existing Church policies and guidelines on preventing and responding to abuse. A revised statement of these policies and guidelines is enclosed.

The letter and revised guidelines are sent to the church’s General Authorities, who have regional or world-wide responsibilities and to local leaders in the United States and Canada. The abuse resources were first issued in 2008. The official name of the worldwide organization is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many know it as the Mormon Church.

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Dunkirk priest put on leave amid investigation into abuse complaint

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB/News 4

March 26, 2018

A pastor from a Catholic parish in Dunkirk has been put on administrative leave by Bishop Richard Malone following an abuse complaint.

Father Dennis G. Riter of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish has been put on leave as the investigation continues, the Buffalo Diocese confirmed Monday afternoon.

The DA’s Office has been notified.

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The Mormon Church Must Learn from #MeToo

UNITED STATES
The Daily Beast

March 24, 2018

By Sam Young

Church-sanctioned ‘worthiness interviews’ allow older men to be alone with children and ask them questions of a sexual nature. It’s time to end this practice.

In recent months, our country has been having a critical and long overdue national conversation on sexual harassment and abuse. From Hollywood power brokers to celebrity chefs to members of the news media, we are seeing a new era of transparency and accountability as victims step forward and speak out.

But as a lifelong Mormon and father of six girls, it was the case of former top Trump White House official Rob Porter that struck closest to home. In speaking out about years of alleged abuse by Porter, his two ex-wives began to shed a long overdue light on the unique, deeply personal, and some would say, disturbing, role that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can sometimes play in the lives of its members. In Porter’s case, we learned that two young women had turned to their church leaders for guidance in the face of abuse and instead were encouraged by church bishops to stay in an allegedly abusive marriage. In short, to stay quiet and place the professional career of their husband ahead of their own well-being.

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LDS Church First Presidency releases update on abuse, interview protocol for leadership

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Daily Herald

March 27, 2018

By Genelle Pugmire

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued an updated policy on church leadership manuals on preventing and responding to abuse.

It is an update to the guidelines first issued in 2008 in Handbook 1, which is issued to church leadership such as stake presidencies and bishoprics.

In the 2008 letter from the First Presidency they define abuse as, “the mistreatment or neglect of others (such as a child or spouse, the elderly, or the disabled) in a way that causes physical, emotional, or sexual harm.

“Abuse causes confusion, doubt, mistrust, and fear in the victims and sometimes inflicts physical injury. Most, but not all, allegations of abuse are true, and should be taken seriously and handled with great care. Abuse tends to become more severe over time.

“The Lord condemns abusive behavior in any form — including neglect and physical, sexual or verbal abuse. Most abuse violates the civil laws of society.”

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I-Team: Priest put on leave amid child sex abuse allegations

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW

March 26, 2018

The Buffalo Diocese has placed an active priest on administrative leave as it looks into allegations of child sexual abuse dating back to the 1990s, a spokesperson tells the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team.

The Rev. Dennis Riter is pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Dunkirk. He presided over the church’s Palm Sunday services yesterday and has led masses at the church for the past nine years.

According to the Official Catholic Directory, Father Riter served at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Buffalo’s Old First Ward from 1995 until 2001. An article in the Western New York Catholic states he went on a six-month sabbatical before then-Bishop Henry Mansell appointed him pastor of St. Mary’s in Batavia in 2002. He has served under two more bishops since then, with former Bishop Edward Kmiec transferring him to Dunkirk in 2009.

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Reed Talks March For Our Lives, Priest Abuse, Stormy Daniels

UNITED STATES
The Post-Journal

March 27, 2018

By Katrina Fuller

From Page A1

Reed said the issue of child sex abuse is currently being dealt with at the state level and at the federal level which includes support for anti-abuse and anti-human trafficking legislation.

“From a big picture federal level very much is in play, but when you get down to the state avenues of recourse, (it’s) really being handled, from my understanding of the situation, at the state capitals. Albany is dealing with the issue as we speak.”

Reed said his office is making sure any such issues are brought to his attention, but to his knowledge, his office has not dealt with a child sex abuse victim involving a priest.

“If we hear of anything, we’ll obviously be a voice and stand ready to assist anyone who wants that assistance,” he said. “We will be a resource, and we stand firm with them and in their corner as they go through a tremendously difficult situation.”

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Dino Cinel, ex-priest whose sex scandal rocked New Orleans, is killed in Colombia

MEDELLIN (COLOMBIA)
The New Orleans Advocate

March 26, 2018

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

Authorities tell media he was stabbed to death by man, 18, who was former lover

Disgraced former Catholic priest Dino Cinel — who became infamous in New Orleans when it was discovered that he had taped himself having sex with young men in an Uptown church rectory and had amassed a collection of child pornography — was stabbed to death last month in South America by a young man with whom he had a romantic relationship, according to authorities cited by international media outlets.

Police in Medellin, Colombia, said they discovered the 76-year-old Cinel’s body when Santiago Alberto Morales Parra, 18, called them to report that he had killed his lover inside his apartment Feb. 1.

Morales told investigators that the two had argued while discussing a break-up after three months of living together, and police found Cinel’s body with a knife wound to the abdomen, according to numerous media reports in Cinel’s native Italy as well as Colombia.

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Top award for Eastbourne man who exposed child abuse within the Church

ENGLAND
The East Bourne Herald

March 26, 2018

By Phil Johnson and Peter Tatchell

An Eastbourne man who has campaigned on behalf of survivors of child abuse within the Church of England has been given a top award.

The National Secular Society has named Phil Johnson as one of its Secularists of the Year for 2018.

Phil, abused as a child by paedophile priests in Eastbourne, accepted a £5,000 prize from the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell at an awards ceremony in central London at the weekend.

He was honoured for his work campaigning on behalf of survivors of child abuse in the Church of England.

Phil has worked as the chair of Minister And Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS), a support group for those who have been sexually abused by ministers or clergy and also runs Eastbourne Survivors.

The award was handed over the day after the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse concluded three weeks of hearings into the cover-up of abuse in the diocese of Chichester. Phil gave evidence to the inquiry earlier this month.

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Evangelical Pastor Claims Traditional Gender Roles Can Prevent Sexual Abuse

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
The Huffington Post

March 26, 2018

By Carol Kuruvilla

Advocates for survivors of sexual abuse believe John Piper’s traditional theology is part of the problem.

An evangelical Christian pastor has put forth a troubling suggestion for how to deal with the issues highlighted by sexual abuse survivors as part of the Me Too movement.

John Piper, an influential Baptist author and speaker and chancellor of a Christian college in Minnesota, claims that a return to traditional gender roles would help keep women safe from sexual abuse. Piper’s definition of traditional gender roles involves women submitting to male leadership, and men accepting their God-given responsibility to protect these “weaker vessels.” This conservative Christian approach to gender relations is known as complementarianism.

In a recent podcast, Piper argued that society’s departure from these traditional roles over the past 50 years has laid the groundwork for sexual abuse.

“Egalitarian assumptions in our culture, and to a huge degree in the church, have muted — silenced, nullified — one of the means that God has designed for the protection and the flourishing of women,” Piper said, according a podcast transcript published on his website March 16.

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Saginaw church records, computers seized in probe of abuse allegations

SAGINAW (MI)
Catholic News Service

March 26, 2018

The news that law enforcement authorities served the Saginaw Diocese with a search warrant March 22 was “distressing and disheartening for the greater community and most especially our Catholic faithful,” Saginaw Bishop Joseph R. Cistone acknowledged.

The bishop made the comments in a statement sent late evening March 23 to Catholic News Service and other news media.

The warrant included the Saginaw diocesan offices, Cistone’s residence and the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption. Records, documents and computers were seized as part of an ongoing probe into sexual abuse allegations against a half dozen priests of the diocese.

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Updated LDS policy allows another adult to sit in on leaders’ interviews with children and women

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Deseret News

March 26, 2018

By Tad Walch

The LDS Church’s First Presidency announced significant policy changes Monday, providing direction on how bishops and stake presidencies may conduct interviews with women and children and how they counsel victims of abuse and sexual abuse.

The changes specified that children, youth and women now may invite an adult to join them in what traditionally have been personal interviews. Some had said they were uncomfortable being interviewed one-on-one by a male priesthood leader.

The First Presidency also clarified to members of bishoprics and stake presidencies how they should respond to reports of sexual abuse and how to minister in those situations. The changes explicitly state that local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should never disregard a report of abuse and should never encourage members to remain in an abusive situation.

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Fr Malachy Finegan: PSNI team investigates abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

March 27, 2018

The police have set up a dedicated team to investigate the circumstances of the child abuse carried out by the late paedophile priest, Fr Malachy Finegan.

The County Down parish priest, who also taught at St Colman’s College in Newry, has been accused of a litany of sexual and physical abuse against young boys.

The PSNI said although he died in 2002 and “can no longer be held accountable in a court”, lessons may be learnt from how authorities dealt with him.

They asked victims to contact the team.

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Many flaws with releasing priests’ names accused of sex abuse, but we need to prevent any future victims

BUFFALO (NY)
The Daily News

March 26, 2018

The release by the Diocese of Buffalo of the names of priests accused of sexually assaulting children stirs strong and mixed feelings – anger, outrage, sorrow, horror.

Even if you accept that priests are human beings with flaws, it is difficult to accept that such evil flaws were allowed to flourish in the echoing silence of the Catholic Church. The lessons to be learned here are many, and they apply to everyone, not just Catholic authorities – Protestants have had similar problems.

It should be noted, first, that an accusation is not a conviction. Perhaps that is the saddest part of this whole situation — that these reports were handled internally, and the courts were not allowed to sort out the truth.

Now, because there are so many accusations, mixed in with confessions and a few convictions, there is a tendency to view all the accusations as true. In some cases, the accused priests are dead – they do not have an opportunity to defend themselves, and unfortunately, the victims do not have the opportunity to seek justice.

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PSNI investigates Fr Malachy Finnegan abuse allegations

NORTHERN IRELAND
ITV

March 27, 2018

Police are investigating allegations of abuse by Father Malachy Finnegan.

A team has been set up with within the Public Protection Branch of the PSNI to “investigate the circumstances of abuse committed by Fr Finnegan”.

The priest, who died in 2002, worked for some time in the Diocese of Dromore.

“If you were abused by Father Malachy Finnegan, or abused by any other person at St Colman’s between 1967 and 1987, the investigation team would like to hear from you,” a statement from the PSNI said.

Detectives hope to establish and take action against any living offender from that time, and assess if there are any current child safeguarding risks.

They also want to determine if there was any other abuse of children committed by any other person at St Colman’s College during the time when Fr Finnegan worked there.

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Michigan State alum: Choose the right leader for MSU

LANSING (MI)
Detroit Free Press

March 27, 2018

By Matthew Clayson

As the collective outrage inevitably wanes in the aftermath of Michigan State University’s botched efforts to effectively address campus sexual assault, there remain serious questions about who will be selected to lead the university as the permanent president and how that person will lead.

Michigan’s citizens need answers about how survivors will be made whole, what efforts will be championed to ensure a safe campus and accountable leadership and what MSU will look like in five years. Interim leadership by its nature is temporary and is not well positioned for compensating survivors, healing a divided campus and leading a strategy to restore trust with Michigan’s citizens. There needs to be a robust conversation about securing a permanent president at MSU, how that individual will engage with the campus community and what sort of future that individual will chart.

Getting this decision right is of utmost importance, especially given the increasingly complicated nature of MSU’s budget and the ramifications that any permanent president’s budgetary priorities will place on survivors, the MSU community and Michigan’s taxpayers.

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Sheriff: Michigan State official arrested amid Nassar probe

LANSING (MI)
The Associated Press

March 27, 2018

By David Eggert

A Michigan State University official who oversaw Larry Nassar was arrested Monday amid an investigation into the handling of complaints against the former sport doctor, who is in prison for sexually assaulting patients under the guise of treatment.

William Strampel was in jail pending an arraignment Tuesday, Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth told The Associated Press. He declined to say what charges Strampel was facing because the probe is being led by the Michigan attorney general’s office.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Bill Schuette declined to comment. A news conference was scheduled for Tuesday, two months after Schuette appointed a special assistant attorney general to investigate.

Strampel, 70, is the first person besides Nassar to be charged in connection with the worst sexual abuse case in sports history. Nassar pleaded guilty to molesting patients and possessing child pornography. Strampel’s arrest was first reported by the Detroit Free Press, and WILX-TV earlier reported that state police were seen outside Strampel’s Lansing-area home.

Strampel was the dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, which includes the sports medicine clinic, until he announced a leave of absence for medical reasons in December. He told police last year that he never followed up after ordering Nassar in 2014 to have a third person present when providing treatment to “anything close to a sensitive area.” In letting Nassar resume seeing patients, he also said any skin-to-skin contact should be minimal and needed to be explained in detail.

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Sources: Police arrest Larry Nassar’s Michigan State University boss

MASON (MI)
Detroit Free Press

March 26, 2018

By David Jesse and Gina Kaufman

Police have arrested William Strampel, the former Michigan State University dean who was Larry Nassar’s boss, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.

Strampel, 70, is being held in the Ingham County Jail.

Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth confirmed that Strampel is lodged in the jail, but said information on what charges he is being held on would not be released until he is arraigned.

Strampel faces multiple charges. At least one is a felony and others are misdemeanors, sources told the Free Press without specifying the charges. Strampel served as dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine from 2002 until December, when he stepped down for medical reasons.

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Ex-university dean tied to U.S. gymnastics scandal charged

DETROIT (MI)
Reuters

March 27, 2018

Michigan prosecutors on Tuesday charged a former state university dean who supervised the doctor at the center of the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal with criminal sexual conduct and other crimes.

In court papers filed in the state district court in East Lansing, prosecutors said a student at Michigan State University had accused William Strampel, the 70-year-old former dean of its College of Osteopathic Medicine, of forcible sexual contact.

Strampel had supervised ex-USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar, who has been sentenced to prison for sexually abusing female gymnasts.

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