Guest column by man abused by Allentown priest: ‘Silence and cover-up only allow abusers to continue their evil acts’

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

August 31, 2018

By David Cerulli

http://www.mcall.com/opinion/yourview/mc-opi-priest-sex-abuse-victim-cerulli-20180830-story.html

In the wake of the recent release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sex abuse, it has become increasingly clear that victim-survivors must be given the opportunity to speak about their experiences if we as a society will have any chance of preventing this horror from happening over and over.

Abuse thrives in secrecy. It is time to end the secrecy and stop the abuse of children and the vulnerable.

To be sure, it is extremely difficult for survivors of sexual violence to overcome the shame and self-blame to speak about their abuse. It almost always takes years, and frequently decades, for victims of such violence to find their voices.

We as a society must not put unfair and unnecessary barriers in their way. To that end, we need to eliminate confidentiality agreements (also known as nondisclosure agreements) and eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes of sexual abuse.

My personal experience in the area of clergy sex abuse has come to the fore once again with the release of the grand jury report.

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Opinion: Every attorney general in the country must force the Catholic Church to tell the truth

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

August 30, 2018

By Walter V. Robinson

Walter V. Robinson is editor-at-large of the Globe. He led the Spotlight Team’s investigation that uncovered the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal.

[See also this column in the print edition.]

It is often said that for the Roman Catholic Church, rapid change can take decades. But who knew that law enforcement officials with subpoena power could be equally slow in recognizing their responsibility to bring into full light the hideous crimes by the church that have laid waste to the lives of tens of thousands of children?

Sixteen years later — too much later — it is now time for a full and final reckoning. In the wake of the Pennsylvania grand jury report, prosecutors in every state should finally find the backbone to force the church to tell the truth. The truth we can handle. It is the endless cover-up we must no longer abide.

Until recently, few could have credibly argued — as some are now trying — that Pope Francis and his point man on the sexual abuse scandal, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, should resign. They were, after all, the two men in the Vatican who seemed committed to cauterizing the wounds from a scandal that spools endlessly along. But in light of recent allegations about how, or whether, they dealt with the serial sexual misdeeds of Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, their reputations, if not their jobs, are in jeopardy.

Since 2002, when the scandal first broke open, attorneys general in just four states — Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts — and a handful of local prosecutors have used subpoena power to force the church to turn over complete records of clerical crimes. In 46 states, there has been no full accounting: The cover-up continues uninterrupted. It now seems likely that the crimes of several thousand more priests remain hidden.

The recent evidence is nothing if not gut-wrenching. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s grand jury scraped clean the records from six dioceses. Its report found that 301 priests had been credibly accused of sexually molesting more than 1,000 children and that — no surprise — the dioceses, all using the same playbook, kept it hidden for decades. It was the bishops who enabled and sometimes facilitated the abuse. I have interviewed scores of survivors of clerical abuse over the years, but reading the horrific details of sexual assault in the report left me choked up.

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Is the Pope a Catholic?

NEW YORK (NY)
National Review

August 29, 2018

By John Sullivan

Francis himself is accused of participating in the cover-up of abuse by priests.

No one can have much to add to NRO’s coverage of the crisis in the Catholic Church. Michael Brendan Dougherty, Kathryn Lopez, and other colleagues have covered all the shocking events fully and with a kind of angry or hurt conscientiousness: the nature and extent of the sexual abuse; the quiet shuttling of pedophile priests from one parish to another; the legalistic bullying and manipulation of victims and their families; the placing of the Church’s political and financial interests above justice and charity; the fact that bishops showed greater concern, even tenderness, towards clerical abusers than towards those they abused; and the repeated assurances that these abuses were being corrected when in fact they were being concealed and smoothed over. These revelations have been deeply disturbing, and anyone predicting them a few years ago would have been dismissed — as indeed some critics of the bishops were dismissed — as dealing in fantasies of sexual perversion and blasphemy.

Despite the sensational nature of the revelations, however, we all had the eerie sense that there might be worse to come. And it came last weekend in the form of the statement by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former apostolic nuncio to the United States, on the Vatican’s handling of sexual misconduct by priests that implicated Pope Francis and other senior churchmen in the concealment of such abuses. Archbishop Viganò’s allegations are, for the moment, allegations. But they are extremely serious ones — either a malicious character assassination of the pope and other senior churchmen or a deeply shocking revelation of corruption and wickedness at the highest levels of Catholicism. They are also sufficiently detailed as to be open to either refutation or confirmation by the bishops and Vatican officials accused or exonerated in them. Unusually for criticisms of the Church, especially such grave ones, they have received some support from leading clerics in America, Rome, and elsewhere.

The pope himself was “ambushed” by questions from the media as he returned from his visit to Ireland. His response, leaving it to the journalists to judge the archbishop’s charges for themselves, was ambiguous. He may have felt that the charges were self-evidently false and malicious and that it was beneath his dignity to respond to them. But he cannot leave it there. There is no way that the Church can avoid dealing with them promptly, openly, and candidly.

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Australia abuse inquiry: Catholic Church rejects call to overhaul confession

LONDON (ENGLAND)
BBC News

August 31, 2018

The Catholic Church in Australia has formally rejected a landmark inquiry’s recommendation that priests should be forced to report sexual abuse disclosed during confession.

The five-year inquiry found tens of thousands of children had suffered abuse in Australian institutions. The Catholic Church had the most cases.

On Friday, Church leaders accepted most of the inquiry’s recommendations.

But their stance on confession may set up future conflict with governments.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said breaking the seal of confession was “contrary to our faith and inimical to religious liberty”.

“We are committed to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable people while maintaining the seal,” it said in a statement.

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New Catholic Archbishop is confronted by 93yo Eileen Piper over child abuse

MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA)
The Age

August 30, 2018

By Ben Schneiders and Royce Millar

A 93-year-old woman publicly confronted the new Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne on Thursday with the harrowing story of how the clergy sexually abused her late daughter.

Eileen Piper, her face stricken with grief, presented Archbishop Peter Comensoli with a picture of her daughter Stephanie in her coffin after she took her own life in 1994. She was 32.

Twenty-four years later, Ms Piper says she is still seeking an apology from the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Comensoli, speaking at a Melbourne Press Club function on Thursday, walked from the stage to comfort the elderly Ms Piper, whose story was told by her lawyer Judy Courtin.

The church had not believed Stephanie’s allegations of rape and abuse at the hands of father Gerard Mulvale in suburban Syndal. He was later convicted of other sex crimes.

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Catholic Church won’t break confessional seal on child abuse, despite royal commission

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
ABC News

August 31, 2018

By Paige Cockburn

[See also the response of the bishops’ conference and conference of superiors (this link brings you directly to the portion of the response relating to the seal of confession).]

Key points:
• Breaking the seal of confession would restrict religious liberty and not improve child safety, the Church says
• Voluntary celibacy for some clergy will also be examined
• The Church is considering making child sexual abuse a canonical crime, not a ‘moral failing’

The Catholic Church will not accept the royal commission’s recommendation to lift the seal of confession regarding child sex abuse, arguing it impinges on religious liberties.

Almost nine months after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse handed down its findings, the Church has delivered its formal reply.

It said it would not change secrecy rules, meaning clergy do not have to report abuse revealed in the confessional.

“This is because it is contrary to our faith and inimical to religious liberty,” the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) said in their response.

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Will more states follow Pennsylvania’s lead and investigate priest sexual abuse? Here’s what they say

McLEAN (VA)
USA Today

August 30, 2018

By Ed Mahon, York Daily Record

[Includes video: Lynne Abraham, the District Attorney in Philadelphia from 1991-2010, talks about her motivation behind exposing priests who abused children. By Jason Plotkin, York Daily Record.]

In wake of Pennsylvania’s sweeping and landmark investigation into Catholic clergy members’ sexual abuse of minors, some people want to see every Roman Catholic diocese in the country receive the same level of scrutiny.

One lawmaker has two reasons: Pennsylvania state Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Democrat from Muhlenburg Township, was abused by a priest in the Allentown Diocese when he was a child.

“I would love to see that happen,” Rozzi said of 50 states worth of investigations in an interview with WHYY-FM, Philadelphia, a day after Pennsylvania’s nearly 900-page grand jury report was released.

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests also have called for every state’s attorney general to follow Pennsylvania’s lead and launch formal investigations into how U.S. bishops deal with victims and predator priests.

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Abuse allegations against priest leave parishioners, Cocoa Beach residents stunned

MELBOURNE (FL)
Florida Today

August 30, 2018

By John McCarthy

Parishioners at the Church of Our Saviour and residents of Cocoa Beach were stunned to learn the church’s new pastor had been removed following allegations that he molested a minor in Pennsylvania sometime before 2005.

The Diocese of Orlando, which includes Brevard County, announced Wednesday that it had “removed the priestly faculties” of the Rev. David Gillis after it had received notice from church officials in Pennsylvania that Gillis had been accused of sexual abuse of a minor there. A letter from the diocese said the allegations had “at least the semblance of truth.”

The Diocese of Allentown said it had provided information to local law enforcement.

Gillis was named pastor of Our Saviour earlier this year.

Brooks Rampersad of Cocoa Beach is one of the church’s parishioners who was shocked by the accusations.

“A number of people I know have been praying regarding the cover-ups in the ministry. I feel the sudden action in this case, on something that has been hidden for over a decade, is a good sign that changes are happening and God is listening to our prayers.”

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Former Maine bishop declines to resign over sex abuse

BUFFALO (NY)
The Associated Press

August 29, 2018

A former leader of the Catholic Church in Maine says he won’t resign as a bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, New York, over his handling of sex abuse allegations.

Bishop Richard Malone said Sunday the “shepherd does not desert the flock” during difficult times. Malone was accused earlier this month of protecting priests in Buffalo suspected of sex abuse.

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Erie’s Persico backs compensation fund for victims

ERIE (PA)
GoErie

August 30, 2018

By Ed Palattella

Bishop joins top Pa. state senator in supporting a fund rather than a two-year window that would allow victims to sue in court no matter how old the abuse.

Erie Catholic Bishop Lawrence Persico on Thursday endorsed the proposal of Pennsylvania’s top state senator that Catholic dioceses statewide set up compensation funds for victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Persico’s statement, like the proposal of state Senate Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, falls short of backing a key recommendation of the statewide grand jury that released its report on the abuse on Aug. 14 — that the GOP-controlled General Assembly approve a two-year window that would allow victims to sue no matter what the statute of limitations or how long ago the abuse occurred.

Persico “is prepared to establish and fund an appropriate program that provides necessary relief to victims,” the Catholic Diocese of Erie said in a statement.

“In my statement to victims on Aug. 14, I committed myself and this diocese to assist in healing for victims and for the wider community,” Persico said in the statement.

“It is time to take action. We must do what is within our power to provide justice to victims. Therefore, I have directed our lawyers to collaborate with the Pennsylvania Legislature to develop an acceptable and appropriate program to make restitution to victims.

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Ave Maria president denounces ‘defiance’ of pope by ‘conservative Catholics’

VENICE (FL)
Catholic News Agency

August 30, 2018

Jim Towey, president of Ave Maria University, said Wednesday that he unhesitatingly supports Pope Francis, in the wake of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s call for the pope’s resignation.

Archbishop Viganò, the emeritus apostolic nuncio to the US, alleged that Francis ignored sexual misconduct allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick (who resigned from the cardinalate July 28), lifting sanctions on the former Archbishop of Washington which had been imposed by Benedict XVI.

Towey’s Aug. 29 statement “regarding the rift within the Church” characterized Archbishop Viganò’s testimony as part of a “rift between Pope Francis and some conservative members of the Church hierarchy”, the “battle lines” of which were drawn “five years ago shortly after the Pope ascended to the chair of Saint Peter.”

Towey quoted the pope’s 2018 apostolic exhortation Gaudete et exsultate, in which Pope Francis criticized “false prophets, who use religion for their own purposes, to promote their own psychological or intellectual theories. God infinitely transcends us; he is full of surprises.”

Affirming that God is full of surprises, the university president asserted that “the call for the Pope’s resignation by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is not one of them. Neither is the challenge to the Pope’s authority by Raymond Cardinal Burke, an American prelate who has consistently opposed the direction Pope Francis has led the Church on certain matters.”

Towey also speculated that Cardinal Burke “may still be smarting” from his 2014 removal as prefect of the Apostolic Signatura.

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The Amazing Story of How Archbishop Viganò’s Report Came to Be

UNITED STATES
One Peter 5

August 28, 2018

By Steve Skojec

This report, originally published by Italian blogger, journalist, and author Aldo Maria Valli, tells the story of how Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former apostolic nuncio to the United States, came to publish his now infamous report about the cover-up of clerical abuse in the highest echelons of the Church and a hint of what it has cost him.

As Valli reports near the end of his story, Viganò told him he had “already purchased an airplane ticket. He will leave the country. He cannot tell me where he is going. I am not to look for him. His old cell phone number will no longer work. We say goodbye for the last time.”

In a report for EWTN, Catholic journalist Edward Pentin confirms this, saying Viganò fears for his safety and that his life is in danger.

A former apostolic nuncio, widely respected for his professionalism and decency, forced to go into hiding at age 78 for simply telling the truth about his fellow apostolic successors. There is perhaps more wisdom in this than there appears to be at first glance. Viganò’s colleague, Monsignor Jean François Lantheaume, whose job it was to inform Cardinal McCarrick of the news that Pope Benedict XVI had levied sanctions against him because of his abuses, said earlier this week, after confirming the veracity of the Viganò report:

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Episode 24: Shaun Dougherty Unpacks the PA Grand Jury Report

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Speaking Out on Sex Abuse Podcast

August 30, 2018

By Shaun Dougherty

In 2012 Shaun Dougherty reported abuse he had suffered at the hands of a priest when he was between the ages of 11 and 13. An investigation opened and was handed over to the Attorney General’s office. The Altoona-Johnstown Diocese report, which included Shaun’s statements, was released in 2016 to the public. It spurred survivors from all over the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to report their abuse and ultimately led to the PA Grand Jury Investigation. This was the largest investigation into Catholic pedophile abuse in history. It uncovered over 350 pedophiles and over 1,000 victims.

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Global groups call on Pope to release church files

Washington (DC)
ECA Global

August 30. 2018

Global groups call on Pope to release church files on former cardinal McCarrick and others.

Groups condemn false conflation of sexual orientation and sexual violence in former Vatican ambassador’s letter as “wrong and dangerous”.

Clergy sex abuse survivors and human rights attorneys today are calling upon Pope Francis to order the release of all church files related to all allegations of sexual violence, including by former cardinal Theodore McCarrick. They are also demanding the Vatican condemn any suggestion by any church official that links the sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults with the sexual orientation of either the victim or the offender.

“There is absolutely no link between sexual violence against children, minors and vulnerable adults and sexual orientation,” said Peter Isely, clergy sex abuse survivor and founding member of the global group Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA). “Making this false link is immoral, dangerous, and wrong,” continued Isely, a licensed clinical psychotherapist,who operated the only inpatient treatment center for survivors of sexual violence by clergy.

The call for release of church files was made by survivors and attorneys who lead three global groups concerned with the Catholic church abuse crisis: ECA, the Survivors Network of the those Abused by Priests (SNAP), and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). The news conference was outside the Vatican embassy, where documents that allegedly implicate the Pope in the cover-up of McCarrick’s offenses are thought to be filed, according to former Vatican ambassador Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

“The infighting between factions of the hierarchy does nothing to protect children around the world,” said Becky Ianni, board member of SNAP. “Any attempt by Viganò and others to use the abuse crisis and victims of clergy sexual abuse as leverage in the struggle for church power must stop.”

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A turbulent time

HUNTINGTON (IN)
OSV Newsweekly

August 29, 2018

By Brian Fraga

Accusation and revelations around Church’s handling of abuse, cover-up take center stage

An earlier version of this story appeared here.

The already roiled landscape of the Catholic Church’s institutional response to clergy sexual abuse through the years ratcheted up again late Aug. 25 when, in a scathing 11-page written statement, the Vatican’s former ambassador to the United States accuses Pope Francis of ignoring concerns about Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and lifting sanctions against the former cardinal years before the public became aware of abuse allegations against him.

The letter was released while Pope Francis visited Ireland, which has also been rocked with its own abuse crisis. On Saturday, the pope addressed the crisis during a Mass at Phoenix Park in Dublin.

“Some members of the hierarchy didn’t own up to these painful situations and kept silence. We ask for forgiveness,” Pope Francis said.

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Rain Dove Speaks Out About Why They Sent Asia Argento Texts to Police

NEW YORK (NY)
The Cut

August 29, 2018

By Lisa Ryan

Last week, the New York Times reported that actress and #MeToo advocate Asia Argento made a deal to pay off a former co-star, Jimmy Bennett, who accused her of sexually assaulting him as a minor. Argento eventually denied the allegations, but texts purporting to contradict her denial were soon leaked. On Monday, actress and activist Rose McGowan revealed that the texts in question were between Argento and model Rain Dove, whom McGowan is currently dating. Now, Dove is speaking out about why they decided to release the text messages.

In a Wednesday morning statement, released to the Cut through a publicist, Dove confirmed that the text exchange was between them and Argento, and that they reported the messages to police. Dove said in the statement:

While the conflict may feel murky- the situation is cut and dry. An individual admitted to sexual engagement with a minor (according to the age stated by California) which is an illegal act that can qualify as statutory rape. As well as such they admitted to receiving continued nude images without reporting/blocking the account/written rejection/or action. When the individual made it clear that they were not going to be honest about their engagement, I turned in materials that may contribute towards an honest investigation. All victims deserve justice. Justice can rarely exist without honesty.

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Vatican whistle-blower renews attacks on Pope Francis over disgraced cardinal as crisis in Catholic Church deepens

ROME
The Telegraph

August 29, 2018

By Nick Squires

A Vatican whistle-blower who has accused Pope Francis of having covered up sexually abusive behaviour by an American cardinal stepped up his attack on Wednesday, speaking from a secret location.

Archbishop Carlo Mario Vigano, a former Vatican ambassador to the US, has plunged the Catholic Church into crisis with allegations that the pope failed to act against Theodore McCarrick, a US cardinal, who was accused of sexually abusing young priests over decades.

Cardinal McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, resigned in disgrace last month, becoming the first cardinal to step down since 1927.

Archbishop Vigano, 77, released an 11-page document detailing the allegations at the weekend and called on Francis to resign.

He then went underground amid reports that he feared for his safety.

After days of silence he gave an interview, from an undisclosed location, to an Italian journalist, renewing his criticism of Francis’ papacy.

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The man who has been protesting sexual abuse outside the Vatican embassy in DC since 1997

WASHINGTON (DC)
ABC7

August 27, 2018

By Victoria Sanchez

John Wojnowski was a daily fixture protesting in front of the Vatican embassy for two decades. Now the 75-year-old man makes the three- to four-hour trip to protest sexual abuse and cover-up just once or twice a week.

Wojnowski said he was molested by a priest in Italy when he was a 15-year-old boy. It was more than 30 years later and after he became a citizen, he wrote letters to bishops and the pope about his case. He did not hear back.

“They knew that I would write but I would be too ashamed to do anything else,” he said.

In 1997, he did do something else and made protesting his daily mission.

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NCAA clears Michigan State of wrongdoing in Larry Nassar scandal

LANSING (MI)
Yahoo Sports

August 30, 2018

By Liz Roscher

Michigan State University announced on Thursday that it has been cleared of any NCAA violations in its handling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

Bill Beekman, Michigan State’s new athletic director, was notified of the NCAA’s decision in a letter from Jonathan F. Duncan, the NCAA’s vice president of enforcement. In the letter, Duncan said the investigation “has not substantiated violations of NCAA legislation,” and “that it does not appear there is a need for further inquiry.” The NCAA’s investigation is over.

The NCAA also cleared Michigan State of any violations in a second investigation into how the university handled sexual assault allegations against basketball and football players.

The NCAA investigation began in January, when it sent a letter of inquiry to Mark Hollis, who was Michigan State’s athletic director at the time, asking for a response to any violations it had committed while handling the Nassar sexual assault case. Hollis resigned three days later, which happened to be the same day ESPN released a report on sexual assault allegations against football and basketball players at the university. The NCAA later started a separate investigation into how university handled those allegations.

Michigan State responded on March 23, saying that it didn’t believe it had violated any NCAA legislations. The NCAA ended up agreeing.

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Philly priest: I believe our faith will continue to be shaken | Perspective

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Inquirer

August 29, 2018

By Charles Noone

For the last five weeks, the Sunday gospels have focused on readings from the sixth chapter of John, which focuses on Jesus offering the bread of life and the gift of faith to his followers.

Not all of them were up to the arduous journey of faith and love to which Jesus called them. As a result, John writes, “Many of His disciples returned to their former way of life.”

Their desertion rattled the faith of the few who remained.

“Do you also want to leave?” Jesus asked them.

The question stunned Simon Peter, one of the Lord’s most beloved followers.

“Master, to whom shall we go?” he asked, bewildered. “You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God!”

Peter’s crisis was that he could not return to his former life, yet his faith had been shaken to its core.

In a very real way, this is where so many Catholics are in the wake of the Pennsylvania grand jury report of sex abuse in six of the state’s dioceses.

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WALSH: If The Allegations Against Pope Francis Are True, He Is Morally Unfit And Must Resign

VATICAN CITY
The Daily Wire

August 27, 2018

By Matt Walsh

A former high ranking official in the Catholic Church, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, claims that Pope Francis personally helped cover up the abuses of degenerate predator Cardinal McCarrick. Vigano spilled his guts in an 11-page report, which he says he is publishing now in order to “discharge his conscience” so that he can “present himself to God with a clean conscience.” What follows from there is tantamount to a nuclear bomb dropped right on top of the whole network of cowards and perverts in the upper echelons of the Church.

Vigano spends the first half of his report accusing numerous cardinals and bishops by name. He reserves special (and deserved) scorn for Cardinal Wuerl, who covered up abuses in Pittsburg, saying Wuerl “lies shamelessly.” He names a host of other top officials, indicting them as liars, conspirators, and deviants or defenders of deviants. Finally, he lands on Pope Francis himself.

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Greenfield lawyer wants clergy abuse investigation

GREENFIELD (MA)
Daily Hampshire Gazette

August 28, 2018

By Diane Broncaccio

Greenfield lawyer John Stobierski, who has successfully litigated at least 80 cases of clergy sexual abuse, believes the Massachusetts attorney general’s office should investigate the Diocese of Springfield.

“My impression is that our attorney general needs to do an investigation of our area,” Stobierski said Friday. “Back in 2002, when the Boston Globe was reporting on clergy abuse, the attorney general did investigate Boston (diocese).” Despite Stobierski’s request, however, the attorney general refused to do an investigation on Springfield, Stobierski said.

“Our diocese is as ripe with that kind of activity as is Pennsylvania’s,” he said. “And, in our diocese, we’ve had an actual abuser leading the diocese and fighting our claims,” said Stobiersi, referring to the late bishop, Thomas Dupre, who was indicted on child rape charges in 2004.

Recently, a two-year grand jury investigation of sexual abuse allegations by Catholic clergy, and the systematic cover-up of such abuse, resulted in a 900-page report, listing 300 priests accused of abuse and 1,000 children victimized.

In Franklin County, one of the first major reports of clergy sexual abuse began with the 1991 arrest of then-priest Richard R. Lavigne, who pleaded guilty to molesting three boys at St. Joseph’s Parish, in 1992. Eventually, more claims were brought against Lavigne, with Stobierski representing many claimants.

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Retired Supreme Court Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dubé’s biography uncovers secret history of court

CANADA
Globe and Mail

August 27, 2018

By Sean Fine

Never had a Canadian Supreme Court judge been attacked like this.

Claire L’Heureux-Dubé had just been publicly blamed – by a judge from Alberta’s highest court – for the high male suicide rate in Quebec. Compounding the insult, Ms. L’Heureux-Dubé had lost her own husband to suicide two decades earlier.

What happened next, within the court itself in that 1999 episode, is revealed in legal historian Constance Backhouse’s groundbreaking biography, Claire L’Heureux-Dubé: A Life, using documents from the personal papers of Ms. L’Heureux-Dubé, now 90.

Chief Justice Antonio Lamer chose not to speak up in her defence, prompting the fiery Ms. L’Heureux-Dubé to send a memo to all eight of her colleagues. Pointedly, she told them that Israel’s Chief Justice, Aharon Barak, had defended his court when it was under attack.

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Senate GOP leader Joe Scarnati cautions against retroactive abuse claims

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Associated Press

August 29, 2018

The top-ranking Republican in the Pennsylvania Senate responded Wednesday to a sweeping grand jury report on the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic clergy by saying he opposes legislation to retroactively loosen time limits on lawsuits by the victims.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said such a change would violate the state constitution, and although he would support amending it, that is “an extended process and has no absolute certainty.”

It is a change in state law that bishops have successfully fought in recent years even as a handful of other states have opened such windows to let victims sue the church, raising the prospect of massive payouts.

Instead, Scarnati said, the church should set aside money to pay victims.

“The church needs to establish a victim compensation fund this year, to make restitutions to its victims,” Scarnati said in a statement. “Monies should also be utilized to prevent abuse from happening in the future.”

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Pope Francis, it’ll take more than a letter to fix this

UNITED STATES
CNN

August 21, 2018

By Carol Costello

Editor’s note: Carol Costello is the host of “Across America With Carol Costello” on HLN. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. View more opinion articles on CNN.

Dear Pope Francis,

It is hard to be Catholic today. I know you finally spoke out to us — in a letter — about the horrific allegations of sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses. I’ve been waiting for days to find comfort from Rome. And you notably began your letter by quoting St. Paul: “If one member suffers, all suffer together with.”

While I appreciate the words, I need to see action. I need to see real change.

We are suffering from disappointment so deep it is, for some of us, hard to believe in God. On Sunday, at my church, Sacred Heart Chapel on the campus of Loyola Marymount University, Father Allan Deck put it into words: “The emotional and sexual abuse and manipulation of others, especially little children, constitutes a gross rejection of the healthy and holistic love exemplified by Jesus and proposed by our Catholic tradition.” (Full disclosure: My husband is President of LMU.)

And then he cautioned, “These terrible reports are not going to stop.”

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How a Stranger Helped Me Heal From Childhood Abuse

UNITED STATES
The Mighty

August 30, 2018

By Vanna Winters

When I was a teenager, I served at a small diner between college classes. I was painfully shy and found myself preparing to “go into character” each shift as I buttoned up my uniform and pinned on my name tag. One day, on a particularly busy lunch time, I found myself in the weeds trying to cover my section and the section of a co-worker who had called off. I remember double checking each order before I put it in, paranoid I would let something slip my mind.

A gentleman, watching me stare down at my notepad over and over, chuckled as he loudly, sarcastically exclaimed to me: “If this is too hard for you, sweetheart, maybe you’re not cut out for it.” My eyes welled up and I bit my lower lip in anger.

He didn’t know me. He didn’t know I was covering nine tables. He didn’t know I had worked a double the day before or that I had a second job after that. He didn’t see my backpack full of textbooks for college classes while all my peers were still in high school. He only saw what he wanted to see.

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Former Missouri Catholic Priest Named in PA Grand Jury Report [Video]

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
KOLA 10

August 26, 2018

A bishop from the Jefferson City Catholic Diocese agreed to cooperate with an investigation by the attorney general’s office into potential sexual abuse by priests.Bishop Shawn McKnight said he sees the investigation as an op…

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Facts and omissions of Viganò’s testimony against Francis

VATICAN CITY
La Stampa

August 28, 2018

By Andrea Tornielli

A lucid reading of the former nuncio’s statement requesting the Pontiff’s resignation and its contradictory conclusions

“I believe that the Viganò press release speaks for itself, and you have the professional maturity to draw conclusions. With these words, addressed to journalists on the return flight from Dublin, Francis invited them to read the 11-page dossier dropped by the former nuncio to the United States, Carlo Maria Viganò, who asked for the Pope’s resignation, accusing him of having covered up the 83-year-old Cardinal Emeritus of Washington Theodore McCarrick, who had had homosexual relations with adult seminarians and priests. It is therefore necessary to start from a careful reading of the text, analyze it and separate the facts reported from opinions and interpretations. And above all from omissions.

The anti-Bergoglio operation

The clamorous decision of the Vatican diplomat to violate the oath of fidelity to the Pope and the official secret represents yet another attack against Francis carried out in an organized way by the same circles that a year ago had tried to arrive at a sort of doctrinal impeachment, after the publication of the exhortation “Amoris laetitiaˮ. Attempt failed. Viganò is in fact one of the signatories of the so-called “Professione” in which Pope Bergoglio is defined as divorce-friendly, and well connected to the most conservative circles overseas and in the Vatican. That it is not simply the outburst of a Church man tired of the rotten things he has seen around him, but of a long and carefully planned operation, in an attempt to get the Pope to resign, is demonstrated by the timing and the involvement of the same international media network that for years has been propagating – often using anonymous ones – the requests of those who would like to overturn the result of the 2013 conclave. This is attested by the same testimonies written in the various blogs by the journalists who published the Viganò dossier: always in the forefront in the defense of the traditional family, but careless to drop the bombshell on the very day in which Francis concluded with a great mass the international meeting of families.

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The Culture War That Is Tearing the Catholic Church Apart

VATICAN CTY
Slate

August 27, 2018

By Isaac Chotiner

How church rifts may have inspired the latest accusations against Pope Francis.

Carlo Maria Viganò, who was once the Catholic Church’s chief diplomat in the United States, wrote a letter this past weekend stating that Pope Francis and other Vatican officials were involved in covering up sexual abuse committed by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington. Not only did Viganò’s letter arrive in the midst of an already sensitive trip the pope was making to Ireland—which has seen its share of sexual abuse scandals—but it also represented another shot in the long war between Pope Francis and more conservative elements in the church, including Viganò himself. (Viganò, who has cast blame on gay people for the sex abuse crisis, has previously battled with Francis: He lost his job in 2016 amid anger over his handling of the pope’s trip to the United States, which included—thanks to Viganò—a meeting with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.)

Viganò’s specific claim is that Francis’ predecessor, Benedict XVI, punished McCarrick by refusing to allow him certain privileges and that Francis later reversed Benedict’s decision. In response, allies of Pope Francis have pointed out that that McCarrick’s supposed punishment by Benedict has not been proved, and McCarrick continued to do things like give homilies. The pope himself, departing Ireland, stated, “I will not say a single word on this. I think this statement speaks for itself, and you have the sufficient journalistic capacity to draw conclusions.”

To talk about what all this means for Francis and the future of the church, I spoke by phone with Massimo Faggioli, a professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University and a contributor to Commonweal magazine. During the course of our conversation, which has been edited and condensed for clarity, we discussed how Francis’ approach to the sexual abuse crisis is and isn’t distinct from Benedict’s, whether we should view the latest developments through the prism of a church culture war, and what the pope should do to respond.

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Developing Story on the Church Scandal?

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Spectacle Blog

August 29, 2018

By Wlady Pleszynski

Our reporter George Neumayr reports that he believes he’s found the house where disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick lives. It’s near Tenleytown, near American University, in Washington, D.C. According to D.C. property records, it is worth $2.1 million. The archdiocese of Washington has owned the house since at least the days of Cardinal Baum.

George adds the housekeeper let him in, but proved none too cooperative. The question arises. Why would embattled Cardinal Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, play host to the man about whom he knows so little?

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With Vatican In Turmoil Over Abuse Allegations, Questions Remain About What Pope Knew

VATICAN CITY
National Public Radio

August 29, 2018

By Sylvia Poggioli

For centuries, the words “Vatican” and “intrigue” have gone hand in hand. But the Holy See’s centuries-old code of secrecy ensured that scandals and conspiracies usually remained hidden behind the tall and sturdy Renaissance walls of the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, unbeknownst to the faithful masses around the world.

Now, in the era of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, mudslinging between rival church factions is being waged out in the open.

“It’s as if the Borgias and the Medicis had Twitter accounts,” Christopher Bellitto, a professor of church history at Kean University in New Jersey, told the National Catholic Reporter.

The power struggle has been simmering ever since the Argentine-born Jorge Maria Bergoglio became Pope Francis in 2013. He signaled a break with his two predecessors by promoting a message of mercy over strict dogma, of inclusion over punishment.

The anger of a traditionalist faction critical of the pope’s more welcoming church broke out into the open for the whole world to see last weekend, with the publication by conservative Catholic media outlets of a bombshell letter by a former Vatican diplomat. The letter was released just as the pope was on a highly charged visit to Ireland — ground zero in the clerical sex abuse crisis.

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Growing Catholic insurgency threatens top cardinal in Washington

WASHINGTON (DC)
CNN

August 30, 2018

By Daniel Burke and Rosa Flores

The attorney general for the nation’s capital. The president of a Catholic college. Teachers at a celebrated Catholic elementary school. A former White House appointee on religious freedom. Even a popular priest in his own archdiocese.

It’s not just how many people are asking Cardinal Donald Wuerl, one of the world’s most powerful Catholics, to leave office. It’s who.

Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, has spent more than 50 years climbing the ranks of the Catholic Church, building a reputation as a loyal churchman and fastidious teacher.

He is also known as a political moderate and a key ally of Pope Francis who sits on the Vatican committee that appoints bishops around the world and is one of only 10 American cardinals who could choose the next Pope.

But in the wake of a damning 900-page report by a grand jury in Pennsylvania and a letter from a former top Vatican official accusing Wuerl of covering up for his disgraced predecessor, the cardinal is facing increasing pressure to step down from his perch atop the church’s hierarchy.

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Archbishop who called on Pope to resign says corruption reaches the top

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

August 30, 2018

By Philip Pullella

The archbishop who sparked a crisis in the Catholic Church by calling on Pope Francis to resign has denied he was motivated by personal vendetta and said he sought to show that corruption had reached the top levels of the Church hierarchy.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano reads during the episcopal ordination of Auxiliary Bishops James Massa and Witold Mroziewski, in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., July 20, 2015. Picture taken July 20, 2015. REUTERS/Gregory A. Shemitz
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano has gone into hiding since conservative media published an 11-page statement in which he alleged the pope knew for years about sexual misconduct by an American cardinal and did nothing about it.

Vigano has been communicating through Aldo Maria Valli, an Italian television journalist who Vigano consulted several times before releasing his statement last Sunday when the pope was in Ireland.

Italian media has reported he was upset because he was never made a cardinal by former Pope Benedict or because Francis blocked his further advancement in the Church.

“I have never had feelings of vendetta and rancor in all these years,” he was quoted as telling Valli, who has been publishing statements from Vigano in his blog.

“I spoke out because corruption has reached the top levels of Church hierarchy,” said Vigano, a former Vatican ambassador to Washington.

The Vatican had no comment on the new accusations by Vigano.

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Bishop O’Brien’s Life Ends, While Survivors Of Abuse Demand New Investigations

PHOENIX (AZ)
KJZZ 91.5

August 27, 2018

By Holliday Moore

Less than two weeks after a Pennsylvania grand jury report revealed more abuse by priests, retired Bishop Thomas J. O’Brien of the Phoenix Diocese has died from complications of Parkinson’s disease at age 82.

In 2002, O’Brien was head of the Phoenix Diocese, and Rick Romley was Maricopa County Attorney.

On the other side of the country, the Boston Diocese was roiling as five of its Roman Catholic priests were indicted for sexually abusing children.

Soon after those indictments, Romley got a tip while investigating similar abuse in Arizona.

It was, he said, “Information from a former priest that there were cover-ups that went up to Bishop O’Brien inside the Catholic Church.”

O’Brien was ultimately granted immunity from prosecution after signing a document admitting his part in the cover-ups.

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BREAKING: Vatican Source: Pope dismissed Cdl. Müller for following Church rules on abuse cases

VATICAN CITY
LifeSiteNews

August 29, 2018

A highly placed Vatican source told LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Gerhard Müller, together with his much-experienced three CDF priests, were dismissed by Pope Francis because they all had tried to follow loyally the Church’s standing rules concerning abusive clergymen. In one specific case, Müller opposed the Pope’s wanting to re-instate Don Mauro Inzoli, an unmistakably cruel abuser of many boys; but the Pope would not listen to Müller. In another case, the Pope decided not to give a Vatican apartment to one of Müller’s own secretaries, but to the now-infamous Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, in spite of the fact that someone had warned the Pope about Capozzi’s grave problems. The Vatican source also said that it was known to several people in the Vatican that some restrictions were put on Cardinal McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI, and he thereby confirms Viganò’s own claim.

When LifeSiteNews reached out to this very trustworthy and well-informed Vatican source, asking him about the then-breaking Viganò story and the archbishop’s allegations that Pope Francis knew of McCarrick’s habitual abuse, he answered: “Cardinal Müller [as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF)] had always decidedly and most sharply followed up on these abuse cases, and that is why he was dismissed, just as his three good collaborators [the three CDF priests] were also dismissed.”

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Ambushing Pope Francis: The Accusations of Cardinal Viganò

SEOUL (REPUBLIC OF KOREA)
International Policy Digest

August 28, 2018

By Binoy Kampmark

“Now that the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy, my conscience dictates that I reveal those truths.” – Cardinal Carlo Maria Viganò, Aug 25, 2018

It could be called the apology drive, a journey of institutional contrition. Pope Francis’ Ireland trip has seeped with remarks of forgiveness, seeking understanding from those who found themselves victims of child abuse within the Catholic Church. “We apologise,” he told a church service attended by some hundred thousand at Dublin’s Phoenix Park, “for some members of the hierarchy who did not take care of these painful situations and kept silent.” He “wished to put these crimes before the mercy of the Lord and ask forgiveness for them.”

The Vatican, however, is sibilant with the calls of vipers, and the efforts being made within the organisation to out and implicate Pope Francis as a hypocrite in the business of targeting child abuse found form in Saturday’s note of condemnation by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. Viganò had cut his teeth as the Vatican’s ambassador to Washington, and has never warmed to Francis, an official he accused of nursing a “pro-gay ideology” receptive to homosexual clerics.

On Saturday, the National Catholic Register, amongst other sites, ran news of testimony purportedly written by the aggrieved Cardinal. The flashpoint here was the case of former Cardinal and retired archbishop of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick, who now stands as a gruesome personification of institutional climbing and abuse in authority.

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Today’s Palace Coup News

UNITED STATES
Patheos

August 28, 2018

By Mark Shea

Here is all we actually, documentably know.

A man with a huge grudge against Francis and various others in the heirarchy accuses the one guy who actually got rid of McCarrick of being The Villain and the Usual Suspects instantly start screaming “RESIGN!”

Me: I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around the concept that the guy who, by his own confession, knew McCarrick was an abuser and did not call the cops, but did celebrate a dinner honoring him as a Great Evangelist is now accusing the one guy who did get rid of McCarrick as the villain and everybody is treating the guy who protected McCarrick as the hero.

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Twin Cities Catholics gather in prayer following Pennsylvania clergy abuse allegations

ST. PAUL (MN)
KMSP

August 20, 2018

By Iris Perez

United by sadness and brought together by hope, Catholics from the Twin Cities metro area gathered outside the Cathedral of St. Paul to pray for the survivors of alleged clergy abuse in the light of recently surfaced allegations in Pennsylvania.

“It’s devastating to hear time and again how the church has failed our most vulnerable,” said Tucker Moore, a Twin Cities Catholic. “I think there needs to be a reckoning of bad actors.”

“There’s no other response than sorrow and grief because it’s terrible,” said Anne Morath, a Catholic from the Twin Cities.

The evening of prayer and reflection comes after a grand jury investigation last week unveiled accusations that more than 1,000 children had been abused by 300 “predator priests” in six Pennsylvania dioceses, across eight decades.

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Priest abuse: Illinois, Florida, Missouri, New York looking into Catholic church

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

August 27, 2018

By Ed Mahon

Prosecutors in Illinois, Florida, Missouri and New York are considering or pursuing investigations into Catholic dioceses.

The moves come on the heels of a Pennsylvania grand jury report that described more than 300 “predator priests” and more than 1,000 victims in six Roman Catholic dioceses in the state.

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests have said formal investigations are necessary in every state.

“We find in Pennsylvania that the church hierarchy will only report child sex abuse by … clergy when forced to by outside agencies like a grand jury,” the organization said in a news release.

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“You can’t protect kids in secrecy”: Local reaction to the Pennsylvania clergy sex abuse grand jury report

TOLEDO (OH)
WTOL 11

August 29, 2018

By Viviana Hurtado

Reforms to better protect children and vulnerable adults from predator priests has come in the form of grand jury reports like this month’s report from Pennsylvania.

August began with the Boston Globe’s reports in 2002 which exposed decades of clergy sex abuse.

Spiritual and legal reckonings around the country and world followed. In addition to some changes to beef up laws like extending statutes of limitations, as well as legal prosecution of predator priests and their superiors who don’t stop their abuse.

“The Church I don’t think failed. The hierarchy failed. And clericalism is at the heart of the problem,” said Lourdes University Emeritus professor Geoffrey Grubb, Ph.D.

Specifically, bishops who have been chosen not for their independence, but their submission to the authority of the Vatican, explained University of Toledo Catholic Studies professor Peter Feldmeier.

“What gets rewarded in the Catholic Church in the case of the hierarchy is less robust shepherds than lambs,” observed Dr. Feldmeier.

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Catholic board backs parishioner-led child sex abuse investigations

UNITED STATES
The Associated Press

August 28, 2018

A committee created by the Catholic Church specifically to prevent sexual misconduct by clergy on Tuesday issued a damning assessment of the failings to stem the abuse, calling it an “evil” caused by “a loss of moral leadership.”

The National Review Board called for an investigation led by parishioners, saying a new wave of abuse scandals point to a “systematic problem” and that the bishops themselves can’t be trusted to lead an investigation.

Some survivors of clergy sex abuse said the call was a disingenuous attempt by the church to get around a true independent investigation.

The board was formed in 2002 in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandal that started in the Boston Archdiocese and rocked the church globally. The committee said it was compelled to seek a lay-led investigation after recent revelations from a grand jury investigation into six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania and allegations that led to the resignation last month of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C.

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Catholic church knew of abuse claims against paedophile priest Michael Shirres for 28 years

NEW ZEALAND
NZ Herald

August 29, 2018

By Mick Hall

The Catholic Church was aware of sex abuse accusations against paedophile priest Father Michael Shirres nearly three decades before he was finally withdrawn from public ministry.

Another victim of the disgraced Dominican theologian has come forward to say Shirres abused her and her sister in Auckland in 1966 and her parents reported it to a parish priest.

The Herald has confirmed that the priest then told the Dominican order’s provincial – the most senior cleric in Australasia at the time – and that Shirres was later sent away from Auckland to live at Aquinas College in Dunedin, but continued to work with families and children for decades.

Shirres was exposed in the Herald last month (July 25) as a self-confessed paedophile who had abused Whangarei woman Annie Hill, 56, from the age of five.

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American Catholics calling for immediate changes in church amid child sex abuse scandals

WASHINGTON (DC)
ABC7

August 27, 2018

By Victoria Sanchez

American Catholics are calling for immediate changes in the church as the re-emerging international scandal of child sex abuse is causing some to speak out in protests.

The pope wrapped up a trip to Ireland this weekend. During the trip, he apologized for decades of sex abuse at the hands of priests and for the systemic coverup.

The Vatican’s former top diplomat in the United States claims Pope Francis was a part of sexual abuse allegation coverups and released an 11-page document accusing the Pontiff of turning a blind eye.

Former Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano accused several senior church leaders of covering up sexual abuse allegations linked to former Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. Vigano claims Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Pope Francis knew about allegations for years.

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Catholic Diocese of Orlando removes priest facing child sex abuse accusation

ORLANDO (FL)
Orlando Sentinel

August 29, 2018

By Jeff Weiner

The Catholic Diocese of Orlando announced Wednesday that it had removed from the ministry a priest facing an accusation of sexual abuse of a minor in Pennsylvania.

The Rev. David C. Gillis had been serving as parochial administrator for the Church of Our Saviour in Cocoa Beach before his his removal.

In a letter, the Rev. John Giel, chancellor of canonical affairs for the Diocese, said Gillis was facing an accusation of abuse involving a minor “that has at least the semblance of truth.”

“The safety and well-being of our vulnerable populations are very important to us,” Giel wrote. “… We pray for all victims and their families and for those involved in this situation.”

The removal of Gillis stemmed from an accusation currently being investigated by authorities in Berks County, Pa.

Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams confirmed his office was in the early stages of investigating the case. Gillis has not yet been arrested or charged, Adams said Wednesday.

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‘After disappointment of Pope’s visit, I want Taoiseach to let me name my abuser,’ says survivor

IRELAND
Irish Independent

August 29, 2018

By Shona Murray

An industrial school abuse survivor is calling on the Government to release victims from the non-disclosure agreement set up in relation to the Ryan Commission.

Michael O’Brien was brutally raped during the eight years he spent in St Joseph’s Industrial School, Ferryhouse, Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

Mr O’Brien said he was disappointed following the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland and would now write to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and request he be allowed to disclose the main predator who raped him at St Joseph’s.

He also wishes to reveal how much he received in compensation following his testimony – which is also included in the non-disclosure clause.

Mr O’Brien said the pontiff did not go far enough in remedying the Church’s role in abuse and cover-up during his visit last weekend.

He told the Irish Independent: “I was disappointed but not surprised by Pope Francis’s visit this weekend.

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Bishop Won’t Move Into $2.3M Silicon Valley Home After All

SAN JOSE (CA)
Newser

August 29, 2018

By Kate Seamons

Bishop Patrick McGrath says he realized he ‘erred in judgment in the purchase’

Bishop Patrick McGrath’s retirement digs won’t be as posh as initially planned. In response to the backlash that emerged after it was revealed the Diocese of San Jose in California had purchased for him a $2.3 million five-bedroom home in the city, the 73-year-old has now said he will not move into what was described as a “Tuscan estate,” reports the New York Times. He had originally justified the purchase, made last winter, by saying it was made using a fund that could only go to housing; that it was a sound investment for the diocese; and that he didn’t want to live in a rectory where he might disturb the priests. But that’s where he’ll end up: “in a rectory at one of our parishes,” McGrath said in a Monday statement.

“I erred in judgment in the purchase of a 5-bedroom home for $2.3 million,” he continued. “I failed to consider adequately the housing crisis in this valley and the struggles of so many families and communities in light of that crisis.” As for the fate of the 3,269-square-foot house, it will be relisted and sold, with any profits going to Charities Housing. “I assume full responsibility for this decision and I believe that the sale of the house is the appropriate action,” McGrath said in his statement.

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Greensburg Diocese Removes Priest After Sex Abuse Of Minor Allegation

GREENSBURG (PA)
KDKA

August 29, 2018

Former Bishop’s Name Also Removed From Diocese Facility

A priest in the Greensburg Catholic Diocese has been removed after a credible allegation of sexual abuse of minor was received.

According to a statement from the diocese, the allegation was made against Fr. Joseph Bonafed and dates back 28 years.

“My understanding is the Attorney General’s hotline received this report in April,” said Bishop Edward Malesic, of the Greensburg Catholic Diocese. “We received the report earlier this week from a person related to the survivor, and we took action immediately.”

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Betsy DeVos’s new college plan allows alleged sexual offenders to demand proof from their victims

UNITED STATES
Yahoo Lifestyle

August 29, 2018

By Elise Solé

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is introducing new measures to colleges and universities that would, among other changes, allow people accused of sexual misconduct to cross-examine their victims and request evidence.

According to the New York Times, which obtained the proposed rules, last fall DeVos rescinded a 2011 letter prepared by the Obama administration, which detailed how schools that receive federal funding should handle sexual crimes.

“The truth is that the system established by the prior administration has failed too many students,” DeVos said in September 2017. “Survivors, victims of a lack of due process and campus administrators have all told me that the current approach does a disservice to everyone involved.”

As the Times reports, DeVos’s rules would maintain much of the law under Title IX, a federal civil rights law, which protects students from sex and gender discrimination, along with sexual misconduct. However, there are notable changes.

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Archbishop Viganò, the Man Who Called for Pope’s Resignation, ‘Disappears’

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times via The Daily Beast

August 29, 2018

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò—the man who sent shockwaves through the Catholic Church last week by accusing Pope Francis of covering up reports of sexual abuse among the U.S.’s church hierarchy and urging him to resign—has reportedly “disappeared.” Viganò, former chief Vatican diplomat in the United States, wrote the letter with the help of a conservative journalist last Wednesday. When it was released to the press Sunday, the archbishop took his leave, turned off his cellphone, and disappeared to a secret location for “his own security,” according to Marco Tosatti, the writer who helped him pen the letter. Meanwhile, Pope Francis, speaking Wednesday during his first public appearance at the Vatican after the accusations, lamented how Ireland’s church authorities failed to respond there to crimes of sexual abuse.

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Top officials leave Buffalo Diocese posts amid turmoil

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

August 29, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

Buffalo Diocese spokesman George Richert is leaving the job, as calls intensify for Bishop Richard J. Malone to step down amid a scandal over his handling of sex abuse and sexual harassment allegations.

The diocese announced on its website this afternoon that Richert will step down as director of communications, effective Sept. 7.

Richert, a former television reporter, had been in the post since 2016. The announcement followed recent calls for Malone to resign from Rep. Brian Higgins, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, and others.

“I am extremely grateful to George for his counsel during his tenure with the diocese, especially in these tumultuous times,” Malone said in the statement on the diocese’s website. “George was a valued member of my leadership team, respected in the community, and a gentleman of high integrity. I wish him the very best as he pursues other opportunities.”

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GoFundMe campaign seeks to raise $5,000 for accused priest

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

August 29, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

An online effort to raise money for a Buffalo Diocese priest accused of inappropriate conduct with a child has resulted in three donations totaling $450.

A GoFundMe campaign that began in May on behalf of the Rev. Arthur J. Smith seeks to raise $5,000.

Bishop Richard J. Malone’s handling of the allegations against Smith, 72, are at the center of a firestorm of calls for Malone to resign.

Malone returned Smith to ministry in the Buffalo Diocese and wrote the priest a glowing recommendation for ministry outside the diocese, despite complaints from a school principal who had accused Smith of inappropriate “grooming” behavior with a male elementary student.

Without explanation, former Bishop Edward U. Kmiec removed Smith in 2012 as pastor of St. Mary of the Lake Church in Hamburg. Under Malone, Smith returned to limited ministry, and not as a pastor, until this past April, when he was put on administrative leave due to a child sex abuse allegation. A diocesan investigation determined that the allegation was substantiated, and Smith was removed from ministry in June.

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Few bishops resign in the face of clergy sex abuse scandals

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

August 27, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

The odds are probably against Bishop Richard J. Malone resigning any time soon – based on the few examples of American bishops who stepped down after being exposed for covering up clergy sex abuse.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday became the latest elected official to call for Malone to step down over his handling of sex abuse and harassment complaints against Buffalo Diocese clergy.

But within Catholic tradition, powerful political leaders don’t determine whether a bishop stays or goes. Only the pope has that kind of authority.

While bishops can remove priests from ministry, they can’t remove another bishop, said Catholic Church scholar Michele Dillon. And bishops stepping down prematurely was a “fairly rare” occurrence within the church, added Dillon, professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire.

Despite revelations of cover-ups of clergy sexual abuse in dozens of U.S. dioceses, just five American bishops or archbishops resigned in the past 16 years, according to the website BishopAccountability.org, which maintains a massive database of clergy abuse cases.

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The Pope probably should resign

VATICAN CITY
CNN

August 29, 2018

By Jill Filipovic

Editor’s Note: Jill Filipovic is a journalist based in New York and Nairobi, Kenya, and the author of the book “The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness.” Follow her on Twitter. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. View more opinion articles on CNN.

As long-simmering tensions in the Catholic Church again boil to the surface over allegations of child sex crimes, a prominent — and controversial — archbishop is calling for the Pope’s resignation. Is the church confronting a coup, or is it finally facing a reckoning?

It’s both.

Of course, the church needs to be held accountable for the scandal — up to its highest leader. But there is little evidence that the new calls to oust Pope Francis are being made in good faith over genuine concern for children abused over decades — or the culture of male impunity that enabled it.

No, this current wave of outrage is led by the conservative clergy, via a recent 11-page later from Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò — the former top Vatican diplomat in the United States, who Francis chose to replace. Viganò alleges that a “homosexual current” led to the sexual abuse scandal and that Francis covered for a cardinal he knew was a “sexual predator.” The Pope’s response: “I will not say a single word on this.”

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THE CASE FOR A NY STATE GRAND JURY INVESTIGATION INTO CATHOLIC CHURCH CLERGY SEX ABUSE COVER UPS.

NEW YORK (NY)
briantoale.com

August 23, 2018

By Briane Toale

The recent Pennsylvania grand jury report that covers six of the eight Catholic dioceses in the State of Pennsylvania names 301 “Predator priests” and over 1000 victims. The jurors themselves state that in their belief, they have not identified even half of the actual number of victims.

All around the globe for the past half-century, wherever an investigation of the Catholic Church has been undertaken, the same pattern of sexual abuse and cover-up is exposed, and the lengths that the Church’s hierarchy will go to to protect their own reputation and financial holdings is revealed, yet again.

This should come as no surprise. The Catholic Church has been dealing with the issue of the sexual violation of minors for nearly its whole existence. Catholic Church canon law regularly dealt with the issue of priests having sexual contact with young boys and other violations of celibacy. The Church’s own records over the centuries show these were not rare exceptions but reliable predictors of clerical behavior.

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To be church together

UNITED STATES
joanchittister.org

August 21, 2018

Joan Chittister began writing about the issue of sexual abuse in 2002. In light of the recent release of the Grand Jury Report on Sexual Abuse of Children within Six Dioceses of the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania, we have excerpted from two of her articles that dealt with the issue.

I’m beginning to wonder if we’ve been overlooking the real meaning, the ultimate impact, of two of the most powerful lines of scripture: “And a little child shall lead them” or, alternatively, “Let the little ones come unto me.” Pedophilia, the abuse of children, has finally unmasked for all to see the operational principles of an organization that has been able for years to ignore, reject– even disdain–the cries of multiple other groups of the ignored and abused.

In a church that newly calls itself “the people of God” but clearly still thinks of itself more narrowly in terms of the pre-Vatican II definition of the church—those faithful in communion with the local bishop who is in communion with the Bishop of Rome—hearing is not a strong point. In a church such as that, questions do not need to be addressed; they can simply be denied on grounds of “unity” or “obedience” or “faith.” But to ignore the questions of women was one thing; to ignore the children was entirely another. To dismiss married priests was one thing; to protect pedophile priests was another. To claim ultimate authority by the clerical one percent of the church was one thing. To reject the authority of the people in the pews who, the new Code of Canon Law says, have not only the right but the duty “to make known their needs to their pastors” is entirely another.

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Here’s why the ethical priorities of the Catholic Church are so badly warped

SEATTLE (WA)
Raw Story

August 29, 2018

By Valerie Tarico

As Pennsylvania investigators worked to confirm up to 1000 cases of sexual abusecommitted by Catholic priests, a panel of Catholic ethicist-theologians appointed by the bishops was also hard at work.

Like the Pennsylvania team, the panel serving the bishops sought to ensure that Church-affiliated institutions weren’t ignoring sexual evils. Good on them! you might think. They’re finally taking responsibility for the mess created by their obsession with priestly abstinence.

You’d be wrong.

Bad, Bad Birth Control

The goal of the panel wasn’t to investigate, punish, heal or prevent child sex abuse. It was to ensure that Catholic-controlled healthcare systems don’t look the other way while doctors and other care providers offer contraception, vasectomies, tubal ligations, or abortions (or sexual transition care or death with dignity).

The panel concluded that the bishops must prevent these evils in any institution where they have a say, including secular hospitals that have been acquired by or affiliated with Catholic healthcare corporations. In the past, mergers between Catholic-owned and secular hospitals have sometimes carved out separate legal entities to allow continued provision of reproductive and end-of-life services that are prohibited by the religious directivesgoverning Catholic healthcare “ministries.”

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Scandal of the cesspit babies: Liam Neeson joins fight for Pope to confront truth about 800 children dumped in a mass grave by Irish NUNS as star makes film about tragic home for unmarried mothers

TUAM (IRELAND)
Daily Mail

August 25, 2018

By Sheron Boyle

Pope Francis was greeted by rapturous crowds as he toured the streets of Dublin yesterday at the start of his historic visit to Ireland – only the second ever to the country by a Pontiff.

It was a warmth that will no doubt have come as some relief, given the cold shadow of abuse now covering the Catholic Church. That shadow will be all-too apparent once again today when Francis travels to Knock and its famous shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

For Knock in the west of Ireland is just a short distance from another, darker landmark – a mass grave containing the remains of up to 800 babies and children at a former home for unmarried mothers in Tuam, Co Galway.

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2 N.J. priests ‘step aside’ after sexual misconduct allegations

NEWARK (NJ)
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

August 29, 2018

By Kelly Heyboer

Two New Jersey priests have left their parishes in Hudson and Bergen counties while Catholic Church officials investigate separate sexual misconduct allegations that date back decades, an archdiocese official said.

The Rev. Gerard Sudol, priest in residence at Our Lady of Czestochowa Catholic Church in Jersey City, stepped down from his post last week, said James Goodness, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark. Sudol was accused of sexually abusing an altar boy while he was assigned to a church in Ridgefield Park in the 1980s and 1990s.

Sudol faced similar accusations in the 1990s but was permitted to return to working in parishes, church officials said.

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Will we ever know the truth?

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

August 22, 2018

By Phyllis Zagano

Pennsylvania is bad enough. What if the other 49 shoes drop?

Will other U.S. attorneys general follow Pennsylvania’s lead? Will they launch investigations? Will they rid of us these troublesome priests … and bishops?

Probably not. Even as we reel in heartsick disbelief at staggering stories, the problem’s roots may be too deep.

We must assume decay began long before the Pennsylvania report’s 1947 start date. In the U.S., as elsewhere, a generational infestation now exhibits its epic proportions. Too many priest-abuser’s stories begin with their own abuse at the hands of a priest or priests.

Maybe we should have paid more attention to last century’s priestly exodus. Many priests left to marry. Many others simply left. Why? Not all who remained are dishonest, but what honest man could maintain sanity and remain silent if he knew bishops and others hid more than simple shenanigans? For years.

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After Pennsylvania, What Pope Francis Should Say in Ireland

NEW YORK (NY)
The New Yorker

August 22, 2018

By James Carroll

Pope Francis will make a fate-laden journey to Ireland this weekend. On Sunday, when he addresses a throng of Catholics in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, he will recall the last papal visit to Ireland, that of John Paul II, in 1979. But another papal address of that year should also come to mind. In June of 1979, John Paul II spoke to more than a million Poles in a field outside of Krakow and set in motion events that changed history. But that was then. Nowhere is the difference between what the Polish Pope confronted and what the Argentinian Pope now faces greater than in Ireland, which is ground zero of the collapse of Roman Catholic moral authority. Polish Catholicism was ascendant as the Cold War was winding down; Irish Catholicism is buckling. The hospitable Irish will receive Francis warmly, but an undercurrent of heartbreak and anger will also greet him. What can he possibly say?

Just two weeks ago, a Pennsylvania grand jury found that, over the course of seventy years, three hundred priests abused a thousand young victims—and likely many more who have not yet been identified—with bishops resolutely protecting the perpetrators rather than the children. “This is the murder of a soul,” one victim testified. The Vatican responded to the revelations in Pennsylvania with an expression of “shame and sorrow,” words that Francis repeated on Monday, in an unprecedented letter to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, though neither statement moved beyond perfunctory generalities of regret. But in Ireland, the priest-abuse scandal—in 2009, it was revealed that bishops had colluded with the police in order to protect predators—rocked the nation as, perhaps, nowhere else.

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Catholics deserve better than the excuses offered by the archbishop

LOUISVILLE (KY)
Courier-Journal

August 29, 2018

By Cal Pfeiffer

Archbishop Kurtz’s offensive and insensitive comments in a recent Sunday edition of the Courier Journal proves he is part if the problem of deceit and deception by bishops covering for pedophile priests.

As stated in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury’s Report, “It seemed as if there was a script. Through the end of the 20th century, the diocese developed consistent strategies for hiding child sex abuse. While the patterns were fairly apparent to us from the documents, we also had experts review them: special agents assigned to the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group: Behavioral Analysis Unit III – Crimes Against Children.

The agents identified seven factors that arose repeatedly in the diocesan response to child abuse complaints:

First – Use of euphemisms: Mischaracterizations of assaults and misleading designations for the removal of priests for a complaint of child sexual abuse. Violent criminal sexual acts, for example, were often described as “inappropriate” contact or “boundary issues.” The temporary or permanent removal of a priest from service was often coded as “sick leave” or “leave.”

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Curia ‘clarifies’ position on Felix Cini

MALTA
manueldelia.com

August 29, 2018

The following is a statement by the Communications Office of the Archdiocese of Malta issued earlier this afternoon. I will comment on this in a separate post:

The Communications Office refers to articles published in the media over the last 48 hours about Fr Felix Cini, a priest of Maltese nationality incardinated in the Diocese of Grosseto, Italy. In view of the concerns that have been raised, the following clarifications ought to be made in the best interest of the community.

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Priest convicted of molesting children is not a ‘full-time priest’ – Curia

MALTA
Times of Malta

August 29, 2018

Vatican allowed Fr Felix Cini to remain a priest after two years in therapy

Fr Felix Cini, a Maltese priest convicted in Italy of molesting 17 children, is not a full-time priest and is not allowed to exercise his ministry in Malta, the Curia has said.

In a statement, the Curia said Fr Cini was also not allowed to be in contact with minors or to work in any parish.

“On occasions, Fr Cini requested permission to concelebrate mass. This was only granted in exceptional circumstances such as funerals of relatives and neighbours, and on special occasions. The last Mass he concelebrated was in May 2018,” the Curia said.

This follows media reports that Fr Cini, who was convicted in 2004 of child molestation and possessing child pornography, had concelebrated mass in Bormla and taken part in a Pentecost procession in May, accompanying children receiving their first communion.

Reports quoted the Curia as saying that the priest was in Malta to assist his ailing mother.

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On handling part-time priests

MALTA
manueldelia.com

August 29, 2018

The Church needed to manage the reaction to my blog post of two days ago reporting that a priest convicted of molesting 17 children and banned for life by a civil court from ever dealing with children was now working as a priest in Bormla.

I reported what they had told me when I published the first story, that he was only saying mass on “special occasions”. And today I carried in full their statement, which they sent out to all media, clarifying that Felix Cini is not, as reported by this website, working in Bormla parish “in practice as a full-time priest”. He appears to be working part-time instead.

I certainly agree that it is important that the facts are straight. But I think it is important to take into account what is not in doubt and has not be contested by the diocese today:

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The Catholic Church must confess its sins. All of them.

NEW YORK (NY)
The Week

August 30, 2018

By Edward Morrissey

In the 16 years since The Boston Globe conducted an award-winning investigation into child abuse in the local Catholic diocese, the church has found itself in a constant and recurring crisis over sexual abuse of children and seminarians. The crisis has stretched across three pontificates, numerous countries, and has involved an ever-expanding number of priests, bishops, and even cardinals. And it’s only getting worse.

Over the last two weeks, we have seen why. Three responses from the church’s leadership, in the U.S. and in the Vatican, paint the 2,000-year-old organization as still blind to its predicament — more caught up in politics than in resolution, and its ordained and laity more interested in fighting an ideological war than in demanding accountability at every level of the church.

The latest episode of this crisis started with a grand jury report in Pennsylvania that identified hundreds of alleged abusers within the Catholic Church, and the failings of leadership to put an end to it. The report itself is damning but complex, with outright villains and others who failed to confront evil forcefully enough. Cardinal Donald Wuerl came under particular criticism for failing to act, a charge that Wuerl decided to rebut at his current assignment in the archdiocese of Washington — by publishing a website called “The Wuerl Record.” The website extolled Wuerl’s efforts to curtail child abuse while serving as the bishop in Pittsburgh and his “work as a longtime advocate and voice on this issue.”

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Aly Raisman blasts USAG hire of former Larry Nassar defender: ‘Slap in the face for survivors’

UNITED STATES
Yahoo Sports

August 29, 2018

By Jason Owens

On Tuesday, USA Gymnastics announced that it was hiring Mary Lee Tracy as the elite development coordinator for its women’s program.

During the early stages of the Larry Nassar scandal being exposed, Tracy, a coach and owner of the Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, spoke on Nassar amid news that a coach who had worked at her gym in the early 2000s was found guilty of multiple sex crimes against children.

Tracy defended Larry Nassar in 2016

While she condemned that man, Ray Adams, in an interview with WCPO in Cincinnati, she spoke well of Nassar, who was later sentenced to 175 years in prison for serially abusing hundreds of young gymnasts over the course of several years.

“My Olympians have all worked with Larry,” Tracy told WCPO in the Dec. 2016 interview. “We were all defending him because he has helped so many kids in their careers. He has protected them, taken care of them, worked with me and worked with their parents. He’s been amazing.”

At the time of Tracy’s interview, more than 50 gymnasts and patients had accused Nassar of abuse.

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Where does the Catholic Church go from here?

NEW YORK (NY)
The Week

August 30, 2018

By Rachel Lu

Has Pope Francis been knowingly complicit in protecting sexual predators? That’s the question Catholics are debating this week, as the Church’s summer of scandal bleeds into what promises to be a very interesting fall.

The controversy exploded anew this weekend after Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a retired Vatican nuncio to the United States, published a detailed letter claiming that Pope Francis had personally rehabilitated the disgraced Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, with full knowledge of his history of sexual predation. According to Viganò, Pope Benedict XVI had ordered the former cardinal to retire from public ministry. McCarrick lived some years in uneasy defiance of this command until Francis, having been apprised of the situation, went out of his way to release the former cardinal from the ineffectual sanctions and elevate him to a position of high visibility and influence.

If this account is true, it will spell the end of Francis’ soft-liberalization agenda for the Church. Neither he nor his protegees will have any remaining credibility. Whether or not the pope immediately resigns, such a development would signal a new chapter for Roman Catholicism.

The Catholic world is still grappling with the staggering implications of Viganò’s testimony, scrambling to determine whether the available evidence supports his claims. No significant holes have yet been punched in Viganò’s account, though it is replete with references to people, dates, and documents. Francis’ closest supporters have tried to present the retired diplomat as a disgruntled careerist lashing out against old enemies. It’s clear enough that the whole affair is saturated in Church politics, but unfortunately, the pope’s own credibility is presently quite thin.

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Victim speaks out over alleged sexual abuse at hands of former St. Martinville priest

ST. MARTINVILLE (LA)
KLFY

August 27, 2018

By Rebeca Marroquin

Although the name of a sexual abuse victim isn’t normally released, Doug Bienvenu says he’s speaking out for the first time in over 40 years because he feels it’s time his story came to light.

“Some horrible things happened… This priest was molesting me, and this went on for quite a while,” he says.

He tells us he was only 9 years old when he says he experienced sexual abuse at the hands of, now deceased, Father Kenneth Morvant of St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church.

“We were young, we were kids and we all wanted to be altar boys. We thought it was a cool thing and we got to get away for the weekends and spend the nights at the rectory where the priest lives,” explains Bienvenu.

He alleges that once there, the priest would provide him with alcohol and claims Morvant would wait until Beinvenu was drunk to sexually molest the then, 9-year-old boy. He says this continued until one day it was too much for the boy to handle.

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Cardinal insists Church will take ‘concrete action’ on abuse

IRELAND
The Irish Times

August 28, 2018

By Colin Gleeson Thurles

Senior cleric coy on whether allowing priests to marry might solve shortage of priests

A senior cleric has insisted the Catholic Church will follow up Pope Francis’ apology to victims of clerical abuse with “concrete actions” to ensure children are protected and perpetrators are held to account.

Some 55 per cent of Irish people believe Pope Francis “did not go far enough” when he addressed the issue of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church on his visit to the Republic last week, according to an opinion poll in The Irish Times.

Cardinal John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington, New Zealand, has said Pope Francis did “extremely well” in his handling of the clerical abuse issue during his 36-hour visit.

“I thought he did extremely well to address it at the beginning of the mass at Phoenix Park. He was up front about it. He apologised for it.”

Cardinal Dew, who was speaking to The Irish Times on the fringes of a pastoral conference on “the future of the Irish parish” in Thurles, Co Tipperary, also addressed criticism that the Pope failed to outline concrete actions to be taken.

“It’s hard to know what people actually want,” he said. “But I think now that people have been speaking about this, I’m sure there will be. I’m sure there will be some concrete actions taken.

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Catholic young adults pray for survivors of clergy abuse, wounded church

ST. PAUL (MN)
Catholic News Service

August 28, 2018

By Matthew Davis

As the sun set Aug. 20, about 120 Catholics gathered on the steps of the Cathedral of St. Paul to pray for survivors of clergy sexual abuse and for a cleansing of the Catholic Church.

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Among them was Pennsylvania native Corey Furdock, for whom the grand jury report issued Aug. 14 detailing clergy sexual abuse claims in that state hit especially close to home.

“My childhood priest was on the list, and it [abuse] was speculated back when he was removed in 2006. He just kind of disappeared,” said Furdock, 27, a parishioner of the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis.

“It’s been really difficult,” he added. “Here, it’s a national headline that I think everyone can grieve [about], but being from there, having that relationship to the church … it’s painful.”

The prayer vigil included evening prayer from the church’s Liturgy of the Hours and petitions related to abuse survivors and the scandal.

Many attendees held candles. Most were in their 20s and 30s and came from parishes across the Twin Cities.

A group of young adult Catholics has been meeting for informal discussions in the wake of recent clergy sexual abuse revelations, including the Pennsylvania report, credible allegations of abuse against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, and accusations of sexual harassment against a former vocations director in the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, who died in 2008.

Those gatherings led a few attendees to organize the Aug. 20 vigil, after discussions sparked a desire to bring people together to pray for the abuse victims and the church.

They spread news of the event by word-of-mouth and social media. “We don’t know where to begin. So join us for evening prayer and intercessions,” began the Facebook invitation. “It will be a simple evening on the steps of the cathedral to pray for the Lord’s healing, mercy, justice to be made present in these dark times. It is also an opportunity for us, as young adults, to band together and not be swayed by the evil that is so clearly present.”

“The fact that there were so many people here, I think is a really huge sign of hope that people haven’t become so bitter that they don’t want to pray for the church anymore,” said Jenny Lippert, 26, a parishioner of St. Paul in Ham Lake, about the vigil.

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How the Media Fails Church Coverage

UNITED STATES
Commentary Magazine

August 29, 2018

By Sohrab Ahmari

Dissociation and projection.

The Catholic Church—the religious body which I joined in 2016 and which I affirm to be Jesus Christ’s One True Fold—is going through an ordeal. It is an ordeal, perhaps, of the kind that only comes about once every half a millennium or so. As a believer, my feelings seesaw between fear and joy. I fear for the future of the Church. I take joy in the long overdue cleansing, even if it means breaking the false truce between orthodox and heterodox forces in the Church.

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The unbearable ugliness of the Catholic Church

NEW YORK (NY)
The Week

August 29, 2018

By Damon Linker

How will the Roman Catholic Church survive the scandals engulfing it on every side?

It’s a hyperbolic question, but one with a serious intent.

Of course the church will continue to exist in some form. Two-thousand-year-old institutions with a billion adherents and solid growth rates in the developing world don’t disappear overnight, no matter how thoroughly corrupt they are revealed to be.

But in what form will it survive?

Four decades ago, Ireland was among the most homogeneously and fervently Catholic countries in the world. When Pope John Paul II visited in 1979, he was greeted by crowds of well over a million people. Last weekend, three months after the overwhelming passage of a referendum that repealed the pro-life provision of the Irish constitution, Pope Francis addressed a crowd roughly one-tenth the size.

What has changed? In the intervening years, Irish Catholicism has been crushed by an avalanche of scandals involving the widespread decades-long abuse (sexual and otherwise) of children in the country’s schools and childcare system.

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Sexual abuse within church adds to trauma of abuse

DUBUQUE (IA)
KWWL

August 28, 2018

By Jalyn Souchek

Therapists for sexual abuse victims say abuse damages a person but abuse done so within a church only heightens the trauma.

Currently, the Vatican is struggling to respond to claims that Pope Francis helped cover up sexual abuse. He’s accused or protecting American Cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, who last month resigned in disgrace. This all comes after a Pennsylvania grand jury report that detailed hundreds of pedophile priests and suggested victim numbers may in the thousands.

Allegations against the church are nothing new nor are they new to the state of Iowa. In Dubuque, the archdiocese has paid over $5 million in settlements to sexual abuse survivors from cases that spanned the 1940’s to the 1970’s.

“With all sexual abuse there’s an element of power and control but then when you have the whole weight of the heighten of the church,” Catherine Essers, a sexual assault therapist at Riverview Center in Dubuque, said.

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Louis C.K. Hasn’t Earned His Comedy-World Redemption

NEW YORK (NY)
The Daily Beast

August 28, 2018

By Danielle Tcholakian

The renowned stand-up comedian made what many have labeled a “comeback” performance on Sunday night. But he’s yet to atone for his sins—far from it.

After a fall from grace that continues to roil the comedy community, Louis C.K. took a nine-month sabbatical (a trip to Europe, as disgraced men do). This week, he returned to the Comedy Cellar, apparently unannounced, and did a set in which he discussed “typical” topics for him—“racism, waitresses’ tips, parades,” according to The New York Times. It appears he did not address his past misdeeds or any lessons he may have learned in his time out of the public eye.

It seems C.K. would like everyone to forget his transgressions. For the record, he masturbated in front of women with whom he worked. He asked them first, but acknowledged himself “that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question”—something many of his fans seem unable to accept. For the past nine months, his fans have continued to rage against the women who dared speak out about how he made them feel, how he took advantage of them, and how his power jeopardized their careers and their safety. Other than the lone statement he made in November 2017, he hasn’t spoken about the issue again—not to calm his raging fans, not to expound upon how wrong he was to get them to understand, not to share how he learned that what he did was wrong, not in any way at all.

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Editorial: Bishop Malone should resign

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

August 28, 2018

News Editorial Board

Rejecting public calls to resign, Bishop Richard J. Malone on Sunday used a biblical metaphor.

“The shepherd does not desert the flock in a difficult time,” he said.

The sad truth is that Bishop Malone has lost his way, as well as his credibility, in his handling of abuse allegations against priests in the Diocese of Buffalo. It is time for him to step down. The diocese needs a leader who is not confused about the nature of the crisis enveloping the church.

To be clear, many of the sexual abuse scandals that have emerged in the past six months involved incidents that happened years or decades ago, well before Malone took over here. He has spoken of his desire to heal the past victims, and in March the diocese established the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, to give recompense to victims of priest sex abuse.

In an interview with The Buffalo News in June, Malone said “there’s nothing being hidden” from the public about abuse allegations.

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Two Women Describe Louis C.K.’s ‘Uncomfortable’ Comedy Cellar Set

NEW YORK (NY)
Vulture

August 29, 2018

By Hunter Harris

As the New York Times reported, when Louis C.K. took the stage for a surprise set at the Comedy Cellar Sunday night, he was met with applause. The short set was his first appearance after he released a statement in November admitting to sexually harassing five women following a New York Times exposé. Two women who sat through C.K.’s set told Vulture that though the small venue’s audience was overwhelmingly supportive of the comedian, one joke about rape whistles was “uncomfortable,” and that there seemed to be a divide between how men and women reacted to C.K.’s presence.

The women were at the Comedy Cellar that night to see another comedian on the lineup when C.K. appeared onstage after a brief introduction from the night’s emcee. “It felt like he was being thrust upon the audience without telling them,” one woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told Vulture. “The audience was very loud when Louis C.K. walked in. They were clearly supportive and surprised when he showed up, but there were a number of women sitting in the front row,” the woman said. From her seat to the left of the stage, she could see a pair of women sitting stone-faced. Her friend, who asked be identified with the initials S.B., noticed the same reaction: “There were at least four to five females that I could see, and three or four of them were not having it. They were just looking at him, deadpan, straight, not having it.”

S.B. said the audience was mostly white, with lots of couples. Both women say the set was awkward, but the first woman was particularly upset by it. “It was an all-male set to begin with. Then, it’s sort of exacerbated by [C.K.’s] presence,” she said. “If someone had heckled him, I think they would’ve been heckled out. It felt like there were a lot of aggressive men in the audience and very quiet women. It’s the kind of vibe that doesn’t allow for a dissenting voice. You’re just expected to be a good audience member. You’re considered a bad sport if you speak out.”

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Religion, abuse and the role of the secular state

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

August 29, 2018

Readers respond to Polly Toynbee’s claim that respect for the rights of religion has gone too far

Well said, Polly Toynbee (The culture of respect for religion has gone too far, 28 August). The dreadful deeds that have taken place in religious establishments responsible for teaching, instructing or caring for children over the generations is unconscionable. Under the badge of religious exceptionalism, evil people (mostly men) have wreaked huge damage on countless numbers of children, physically, emotionally and morally.

Now that the evidence of their misdeeds is being revealed, often through the bravery of victims who have succeeded in pulling back the curtain of secrecy and silence, we need to take a stand. We have acquiesced while the state stands back, allowing religion to occupy a place apart. Secular oversight is too often seen as unnecessary. We privilege religious schools, we take no interest in the fate of children consigned to their control, subjected to different codes of practice and, too often, the depredations of unscrupulous adults. We choose not to monitor the fate of children withdrawn from mainstream schools and educated in unofficial establishments, or “at home” by parents with religious intent.

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The Disclosure and Barring Service checks countless numbers of volunteers working with children in the open, public sphere, but sees no need to know what is happening in the private, religious domain. It’s time, as Polly Toynbee suggests, for us to rethink the religious presence in our legislature and be unequivocal as to the right of all children to receive the same level of protection decreed as necessary and required by the law of the land.
Gillian Dalley

London

• Polly Toynbee rightly highlights the shame of abuse within religious institutions, but takes the argument too far in launching a familiar attack on faith in general. She overlooks that many of the great social reforms have been led by religious figures, including William Wilberforce’s battle against slavery, Elizabeth Fry’s prison reforms and anti-apartheid campaigners such as Trevor Huddleston. Movements that have helped thousands of people have been founded out of the roots of faith, like the Salvation Army (William Booth) and the Samaritans (Chad Varah).

The NHS, whose 70th anniversary we mark this year, was inspired by the thinking of William Beveridge, but also influenced by the archbishop William Temple, who held this office from 1942 to 1944. Faith has and can be a catalyst, inspiration and motivator for social change.
Zaki Cooper

Trustee, Council of Christians and Jews

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The culture of respect for religion has gone too far

IRELAND
The Guardian

August 28, 2018

By Polly Toynbee

Ireland’s confrontation with its dark past shines a searchlight on Catholicism. But all religions can be havens for abusers

The pope has flown home after a roughing-up in Ireland. Just a few years ago it was unimaginable that a gay taoiseach would dare berate a visiting pontiff face-to-face about the “dark aspects” of Ireland’s history and “brutal crimes perpetrated by people within the Catholic church”.

Leo Varadkar’s magnificent assault eviscerated his country’s past cultural capture by the church. “The failures of both church and state and wider society created a bitter and broken heritage for so many, leaving a legacy of pain and suffering,” he said. “It is a history of sorrow and shame.” The sorrow is not just for victims of monstrous priestly abuse, but the abuse of an entire society in thrall to clerical oppression: lives crimped, warped and blighted, no escape from the church’s domination of everything. The best Irish literature breathes that pernicious incense.

Pope Francis’s visit to Ireland had the opposite effect of the healing intended: it set a seal on the liberation of a nation broken free with its votes on same-sex marriage and abortion. Varadkar’s government plans to loosen the grip of the Catholic church over primary education, ripping out indoctrination by the roots.

The pope apologised for the “grave scandal”, for the failure “adequately to address these repellent crimes” that “remain a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community”. But the Irish horrors are beyond apology, the women enslaved in Magdalene laundries, babies snatched into forced adoption, and 800 children’s bodies dumped into a cesspit at a convent in Tuam. For thousands revealed to have been abused by Catholic priests around the world, whose crimes were covered up by bishops and the Vatican, no mere apology will do.

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The pope’s ‘no comment’ on sexual abuse cover-up allegations isn’t good enough

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Los Angeles Times

August 27, 2018

By Michaek McGough

Let’s stipulate, as the lawyers say, that an Italian archbishop had an ideological ax to grind when he claimed that Pope Francis lifted the restrictions his predecessor had placed on a cardinal accused of sexual misconduct. Go ahead and assume for the sake of argument that Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano — a former Vatican ambassador in Washington, D.C., — was disgruntled and out for revenge.

That doesn’t mean the pope can continue to refuse to comment on it.

Vigano accused Francis of reversing a decision by Pope Benedict XVI to impose limitations on the activities of then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., who according to news reports had a a 50-year history of sexual relations with male seminarians and young priests. (After a church investigation found credible an accusation that McCarrick also had abused a minor, Francis accepted his resignation from the College of Cardinals.)

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The Pope and Credibility

NEW YORK (NY)
The Wall Street Journal

August 28, 2018

By James Freeman

What does a good shepherd owe to his flock?

Pope Francis doesn’t have to run for re-election and the world’s Catholics cannot choose to recall him from office. But given a detailed public allegation last weekend from an archbishop in the church that the Pope ignored evidence of sexual abuse by a cardinal, the spiritual leader of more than one billion people perhaps owes his flock at least an explanation. So far, they’re still waiting for one.

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Catholics are Facing a Very Real Emergency

UNITED STATES
Rewire.News

August 29, 2018

By Mary Hunt

What’s needed is a massive overhaul so that Catholic communities can be run by trained lay people rather than be ruled by incompetent and sometimes criminal bishops.

Catholics have a term for our current situation: in extremis. It means far out, near the end. For example, if an unbaptized baby is in danger of death and there is no priest to baptize, anyone can perform a valid and licit baptism. For all of the well-catalogued reasons of priest pedophilia, abuse of vulnerable adults, bishops covering up crimes, and now the ex-nuncio’s screed depicting dueling factions of higher-ups, the institutional church is in extremis. Extraordinary means are necessary not to save the institution but to give people their pastoral due. This is a Catholic Pastoral Emergency.

None of the however-well-meaning statements from church authorities has provided concrete, useful, outside-the-box solutions for Catholics who are grappling with the depth and breadth of clergy criminal behavior, its cover-up, and the morally tawdry crowd that’s airing their dirty vestments in public. While it will take years to absorb the depravity and deception, people have concrete pastoral needs today.

The primary concern ought to be for the victim/survivors and their families. It’s disconcerting to hear bishops continue to tell people to report crimes to church officials. If a child is abused, it’s a crime: report it to the police just as you would report any rape or robbery. Eventually, the institutional church may be involved, but it has proved itself incapable of handling such cases; the chances of being re-victimized are high and there’s no reason to put people at further risk.

Similar concern is for people in parishes whose priests and bishops were offenders. These folks have had their sense of church community shattered, their faith shaken. They’re questioning their deepest commitments and trying to figure their way forward. Again, Catholic priests are the last ones to consult. Catholic clergy have lost credibility. Insider arguments and jockeying for position have left even the most pious of Catholics disgusted. The priests’ training for and habits of handling sexual abuse are simply not up to the needs of their people. The pastoral problems are here and now. It will take resources from outside the Catholic Church to deal with them.

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Catholic priest to lead Newark rally against church sex abuses

NEWARK (NJ)
North Jersey Record

August 28, 2018

By Deena Yellin

A priest who says he was sexually assaulted three decades ago will lead a demonstration against church sexual abuses on Wednesday, in front of Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

The Rev. Desmond Rossi, a priest in the Diocese of Albany, said the aim of the “National Day for Reform” is to gather the Catholic community together for prayer and to plan for the future.

The event, called for 1 p.m., will include prayers for the health of the church, and a call for changes that will lead the church back to sanctity, he said.

Father Robert Hoatson, a former priest with the Archdiocese of Newark, said he’s glad Rossi is having the event to push for change within the church.

Hoatson, who will be among the speakers Wednesday, said he’s distraught that those who knew about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s alleged misconduct did nothing. McCarrick resigned from the College of Cardinals in July amid abuse allegations.

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Catholic Church insiders are calling for Pope Francis to resign. Here’s why.

VATICAN CITY
Vox

August 28, 2018

By Tara Isabella Burton

The internal politics informing the church’s reaction to the clerical sex abuse crisis.

Reeling from new claims of unfettered sexual abuse at the hands of priests and cover-ups by high-ranking officials, the Catholic Church is facing one of its most serious and divisive crises of the 21st century.

Last weekend, a former Vatican official, ex-papal nuncio Carlo Maria Viganò, published an incendiary open letter calling for Francis to resign for willfully turning a blind eye to ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s decades of sexual abuse and harassment against junior seminarians under his authority. (McCarrick has also been accused of abusing two minors; Viganò does not make any mention of those cases and does not imply Francis knew about them.)

Viganò claims that Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, had imposed sanctions against McCarrick, mandating that he carry out the remainder of his life in prayer and seclusion, only for Francis to lift the ban upon ascending to the papacy in 2013. During Francis’s papacy, McCarrick served as a trusted Vatican adviser and influential voice on both internal church appointments and global affairs.

Viganò’s letter contains serious charges. Fundamentally, it alleges that Francis was knowingly negligent in dealing with known abuse by a major Catholic figure. But reading between the lines, it’s also possible to see in Viganò’s letter a wider political concern: the accusation that Pope Francis’s liberal ideology and lax attitude toward homosexuality fostered a culture of sexual abuse, propped up by a gay lobby operating at the highest echelons of the Vatican.

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Colonialism and the Crisis Inside the Crisis of Catholic Sexual Abuse

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Rewire.News

August 27, 2018

By Kathleen Holscher

The emphasis on largely white contexts in national media coverage of Catholic clerical sexual abuse in the United States obscures the ways race and colonialism have structured the crisis in other communities.

Like others who study American Catholicism, I’ve spent time recently with the Pennsylvania grand jury report naming credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The heavily publicized, 900-page document is a civic tour de force; it names 301 Catholic priests who, during the twentieth century, were employed across 6 dioceses in Pennsylvania. It records their alleged crimes—and those of bishops who protected them—in excruciating detail.

From the vantage point of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where I live and teach, the grand jury report provides not only a horrific portrait of some parts of Catholic life in a mid-Atlantic state; it offers reminders too of the devastating and often overlooked history of clerical sexual abuse here in the U.S. Southwest. New Mexico was arguably the epicenter of 20th century priestly sexual violence; several of the clergy named in the grand jury report made their way eventually from Pennsylvania to New Mexico. They came because, for much of the century, bishops from across the nation disposed of their worst offenders by sending them for “treatment” here. The priests came to the Via Coeli Monastery, run by the Servants of the Paracletes in the mountains near Jemez Springs. The monastery opened in 1947, and over the years more and more of its residents were men who, according to the congregation’s founder, were “addicted to abnormal practices” including “sins with the young.”

Many of the priests who moved to Via Coeli were eventually released into work with children and adults in New Mexico. The career of Fr. Edward Graff, detailed in the Pennsylvania grand jury report, exemplifies this pattern. Graff was a priest in the Diocese of Allentown for nearly thirty years. During his time there, the grand jury tells us, he “raped scores of children.” Eventually, in the late 1980s, Graff was removed to the Paracletes for treatment. Upon his release, Bishop Thomas Welsh of Allentown “authorized [the priest] to begin ministry to the needy in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico” under the continued supervision of the congregation. Archbishop Robert Sanchez of Santa Fe agreed, and granted Graff “limited faculties” to carry out work with the homeless and with AIDS patients in Albuquerque.

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Pope Francis reportedly has no intention of resigning

VATICAN CITY
Good Morning America

August 28, 2018

By Ben Gittleson and David Wright

Pope Francis has no intention of stepping down as he fights accusations that he protected a former archbishop accused of sexual abuse, Italian news agency ANSA reported, citing “close associates” of the pope.

The pontiff was “embittered” by a letter written by the Vatican’s former ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, in which the former diplomat accused the pope and his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, of knowing of abuse allegedly carried out by the former archbishop in Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the associates said, according to ANSA.

But, they said, Francis, 81, “is not thinking about resignation,” ANSA reported.

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Catholic Lay Group Wants More Responsibility To Investigate Clergy Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES
NPR

August 28, 2018

By Tom Gjelten

A group of Catholics empowered to advise U.S. bishops on their handling of clergy sex abuse is accusing the bishops of “a loss of moral leadership” and recommending that lay Catholics like themselves should henceforth be responsible for investigating clergy misconduct.

The National Review Board, a lay panel established in 2002 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a strongly worded statement that allegations against former Washington, D.C., Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and accounts of clergy abuse detailed in a recent Pennsylvania grand jury report reflect “a systemic problem within the Church that can no longer be ignored or tolerated by the episcopacy in the United States.”

The NRB was created as part of the U.S. bishops’ response to revelations in 2002 that Catholic authorities had covered up evidence of criminal sexual misconduct by Catholic clergy in the Boston area. The 11-member panel was supposed to work “collaboratively” with the bishops’ Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, but the statement released Tuesday suggested that model had proved inadequate.

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US cardinals defend themselves over cover-up storm

NEW YORK (NY)
AFP

August 28, 2018

US cardinals defended themselves Monday against accusations of a Catholic Church cover-up on sex abuse detailed by a conservative bishop who has called on Pope Francis to resign.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, a progressive, expressed “shock, sadness and consternation” at the wide-ranging allegations, which he said “cannot be understood as contributing to the healing of survivors of sexual abuse.”

“Together with Pope Francis, we are confident that scrutiny of the claims of the former nuncio will help to establish the truth,” Tobin said.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a former Vatican envoy to the United States, said Saturday he had told Francis of the allegations against prominent US cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2013.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington — who himself faces calls to resign for covering up abuse while formerly bishop of Pittsburgh — denied any knowledge that his predecessor had been either sanctioned or accused of abuse.

“During his entire tenure as archbishop of Washington no one has come forward to say to him, ‘Cardinal McCarrick abused me’ or made any other like claim,” said a statement from his archdiocese.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the questions raised by Vigano “deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence.”

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Louis C.K., Matt Lauer, and Aziz Ansari all resurface: Is it already comeback time for the men of #MeToo?

UNITED STATES
Yahoo Celebrity

August 28, 2018

By Taryn Ryder

Was there a Men of #MeToo conference we didn’t know about? Louis C.K., Matt Lauer, and Aziz Ansari — three stars who have grappled with sexual-misconduct scandals — reemerged within days of each other, perhaps with the hope of putting their respective allegations in the rearview mirror.

Louis C.K. made a surprise appearance at the Comedy Cellar in New York City on Sunday night, performing a 15-minute set that touched on what owner Noam Dworman called “typical Louis C.K. stuff” — racism, waitresses’ tips, and parades.

“It sounded just like he was trying to work out some new material, almost like any time of the last 10 years he would come in at the beginning of a new act,” he told the New York Times.

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Explosive letter claims Pope Francis helped cover up cardinal McCarrick sex abuse

UNITED STATES
Yahoo View

August 27, 2018

“The corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy,” the Vatican’s former ambassador to the U.S. purportedly wrote in a letter calling on Francis to resign.

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Presentan querella por abuso sexual contra presbítero suspendido de Puerto Aysén

[Sex abuse complaint lodged against suspended Puerto Aysén priest]

CHILE
El Mostrador

August 29, 2018

Ayer se materializó el ingreso de una querella por abuso sexual contra el cura de Puerto Aysén Porfirio Díaz, por parte de María Fernanda Barrera, quien hace unos meses hizo pública esta denuncia. Según consigna Cooperativa, los hechos sucedieron en 2003, lo cual significa que la causa podría ser declarada prescrita. No obstante, según la abogada Betsabé Carrasco, la posible existencia de otras denuncias podría empujar el avance de la causa.

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Justicia verá este miércoles recurso interpuesto por Precht contra Arzobispado de Santiago

[Court to consider appeal by Precht against the Archbishop of Santiago]

SANTIAGO, CHILE
BioBioChile

August 29, 2018

By María José Villarroel and Nicole Martínez

A las 9:00 horas la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago revisará el recurso de amparo interpuesto por el sacerdote Cristián Precht en contra del Arzobispado de Santiago y el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati, por la medida cautelar que lo obliga a residir en Santiago, mientras dure una investigación en su contra por el denominado Caso Maristas, lo que, a juicio del cura, afecta sus derechos constitucionales.

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Desperté y lo vi desnudo: la cruda denuncia contra cura que habría embriagado a joven para violarlo

[“I woke up and I saw him naked:” Former seminarian shares detailed accusation against priest]

CHILE
BioBioChile

August 29, 2018

By Nicolás Parra

Sin revelar su identidad -en sus propias palabras “por miedo y vergüenza”- el exseminarista que denunció haber sido violado por el investigado párroco de Hualqui, Reinaldo Méndez Sánchez, entregó un desgarrador testimonio y relata su verdad: fue obligado a embriagarse y durante la madrugada siguiente despertó cubierto de semen.

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Sacerdote acusado de violación: Arzobispado penquista ratifica reapertura de investigación

[Priest accused of rape: Archbishop Penquista ratifies reopening of investigation]

CHILE
BioBioChile

August 29, 2018

By Nicolás Parra and Óscar Valenzuela

El Arzobispado de Concepción confirmó que se reabrió una investigación canónica contra del párroco de Hualqui, Reinaldo Méndez, tras la denuncia de un exseminarista por una violación que habría ocurrido en 2002 en la comuna de Santa Juana.

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Iglesia suspende a excapellán de Carabineros y sacerdote de Talca por casos de abusos sexuales

[Church suspends two clergy members after sex abuse allegations deemed credible]

CHILE
The Clinic

August 28, 2018

By EFE [news agency]

La Iglesia suspendió hoy a otros dos sacerdotes tras comprobar que los hechos relacionados con abusos sexuales en los que se habían visto envueltos en el seno de la institución son verosímiles. El primer caso viene consignado en un comunicado de la diócesis de Talca, donde se explica que con fecha 28 de agosto se ha decretado el cierre de la investigación previa efectuada por una denuncia de abuso sexual a un menor, que fuera recibida en contra del presbítero Luis Felipe Egaña Baraona.

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Priests worry of a ‘2002 redux’

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

August 29, 2018

By Sean Philip Cotter

Voice ‘frustrations’ at meeting

Catholic priests voiced their “frustrations and anxieties” over renewed church sex abuse scandal as Cardinal Sean O’Malley sought to address cover-up allegations to the clergy of the Boston archdiocese yesterday.

“Is this 2002 redux?” The Rev. Paul Soper, the archdiocesan secretary for evangelization and discipleship, said was the overriding concern of the approximately 300 priests who attended O’Malley’s meeting at St. Julia’s in Weston.

Soper was referring to the year the massive Boston archdiocese sex abuse scandal made worldwide headlines.

“They worry we’re falling into that kind of abyss,” Soper said of the churchwide scandal now exploding in Pennsylvania with allegations of official mishandling reaching Boston and even Rome.

O’Malley’s closed-door meeting at the church lasted more than an hour and a half. Priests speaking afterward said O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, gave his side of the story in the scandal involving the ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick — which he is alleged to have ignored. He had another archdiocesan official talk about the ongoing investigation into abuse allegations at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton. The meeting also included a town-hall section where priests were able to speak their piece, with many voicing worries or frustrations.

“It was a struggle for everybody,” said one priest who didn’t give his name.

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How A Respected Jewish Educator Preyed On Children For A Half-Century

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Forward

August 28, 2018

By Ari Feldman

By his own admission, Stanley S. Rosenfeld, a Jewish educator who worked primarily in New York City and Rhode Island, sexually abused “hundreds” of children — nearly all middle school-aged boys — during his five-decade career. From a beloved summer camp in New Jersey, to elite Orthodox schools in New York, to a small Conservative synagogue in Rhode Island, Rosenfeld assaulted and molested children with near impunity, charged with a crime exactly once.

Nearly all the people who knew him, including his victims, described him as friendly, pleasant and a good teacher. But his acts of sexual violence — ranging from genital groping to performing nonconsensual fellatio — marred the childhoods of people now between 30 and 76 years old.

The Jewish institutions that employed him are still reckoning with the aftermath.

So is Rosenfeld.

The Forward first published an article about Rosenfeld in July. At the time, it was not known whether he was still alive. The next day, this reporter located Rosenfeld living in a nursing home in Providence, Rhode Island. He is 84 years old.

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Woman Formerly Known as “Jane Doe” Speaks Exclusively with WMAR-2 News [with video]

BALTIMORE (MD)
WMAR-2 News

August 28, 2018

By Christian Schaffer

Calls for Grand Jury Investigation into church

On a table inside Jean Hargadon Wehner’s home in Howard County, sits a rock with the word “Courage” carved into it — right next to a picture of Sister Catherine Cesnik.

“This is a woman who I felt should be spoken of, should be honored, should be discussed within the church,” Hargadon Wehner told WMAR-2 News’ Christian Schaffer, in an exclusive interview.

In the 1990s Hargadon Wehner sued the Archdiocese of Baltimore, under the name of “Jane Doe.” Then last year she re-surfaced, in the Netflix series “The Keepers.” This is the first time since the release of that series that we are hearing from her.

Hargadon Wehner is featured prominently. She names the disgraced priest Joseph Maskell as one of her abusers, when she attended Archbishop Keough High School back in the late 1960s.

On the last day of school in the spring of 1969, Sister Cesnik asked Jean whether she was being made to do something she didn’t want to do, and whether priests were involved. And she said yes. The nun told her she would take care of it, and to have a good summer.

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State attorney general: Pittsburgh Bishop Zubik ‘not telling the truth’

HARRISBURG (PA)
Trib Live

August 28, 2018

By Wes Venteicher and Natasha Lindstrom

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro accused Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik of lying about an alleged cover-up of child sex abuse in his diocese and said bishops in Greensburg and Harrisburg fought to block the release of a grand jury report detailing abuses.

“Those insinuations are false,” Matt Haverstick, legal counsel for the Greensburg and Harrisburg dioceses, told the Tribune-Review late Tuesday. “The dioceses of Greensburg and Harrisburg have always supported the release of an accurate grand jury report. I’m not sure I can say the same thing about the Attorney General’s office.”

Shapiro fought to get the grand jury report released publicly two weeks ago. It contained allegations against 301 priests in six of Pennsylvania’s dioceses and efforts by church leaders to cover up the abuse.

He told the New York Times in a story published Monday that bishops of the Greensburg and Harrisburg dioceses worked “behind the scenes to shut the report down” while saying publicly that they supported the release.

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‘Monsignor Meth’ fails drug test, may go back to prison

HARTFORD (CT)
The Associated Press

August 26, 2018

Court records say a former Roman Catholic priest dubbed “Monsignor Meth” because he ran a meth distribution ring has failed a drug test and may have to return to prison.

The Hartford Courant reports that court documents show Former Bridgeport Diocese Monsignor Kevin Wallin recently tested positive for amphetamine at the facility where he’s been receiving treatment.

Probation officer Jose Vargas is urging the court to suspend Wallin’s supervised release.

“Mr. Wallin has rendered a positive drug test for amphetemine, failing to follow the conditions of supervised release by re-engaging in the illegal use of drugs,” Vargas wrote.

Wallin is expected to appear before Judge Alfred V. Covello on Aug. 30. His public defender didn’t immediately respond to an email on Saturday.

Wallin was sentenced to 65 months in federal prison and entered a supervised release program in November 2016.

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Retired priest under investigation for child pornography, Archdiocese of St. Louis says

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

August 27, 2018

By Erin Heffernan

A retired Roman Catholic priest with the Archdiocese of St. Louis is being investigated in connection to child pornography, the diocese announced Monday.

Church officials were informed Friday that a retired priest had been discovered viewing what appeared to be child pornography and they immediately contacted police and the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, the archdiocese announced in a statement.

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