Polish bishops concerned by rise in acts of desecration

POLAND
Catholic News Agency

August 31, 2020

Poland’s bishops expressed concern Saturday about a rise in acts of desecration.

In a statement issued at the end of their plenary assembly Aug. 29, the bishops called for greater respect for religious sensibilities.

“The bishops … express their concern about the increasingly frequent cases of profanation of places of worship and religious symbols, which cause pain to so many people,” the statement said.

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A shepherd has come home to his flock’: Priest cleared of sexual abuse allegations returns to ministry

ALLENTOWN (PA)
WFMZ-TV

August 31, 2020

By Jaccii Farris

https://www.wfmz.com/news/area/lehighvalley/a-shepherd-has-come-home-to-his-flock-priest-cleared-of-sexual-abuse-allegations-returns/article_6cb38c6c-ebc8-11ea-be3d-b346255f8faf.html

With Allentown Bishop Alfred Schlert by his side, Father Robert Potts returns to St. Ursula’s Catholic Church in Fountain Hill after being cleared of sexual abuse allegations.

During his first sermon this year, Potts spoke about his time away from the ministry.

“When you are in a situation such as mine, days go by and you wonder is there light at the end of the tunnel?”

Potts told parishioners at times he felt very alone, “but you realize that God is with you every step along the way.”

Potts continued, “a shepherd has come home to his flock.”

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Indian archbishop calls priest’s accusations of mismanagement ‘baseless’

MUMBAI (INDIA)
Crux

August 28, 2020

By Nirmala Carvalho

An archbishop in India has called accusations by a priest of his archdiocese “baseless, concocted and lack[ing] authenticity.”

Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar was responding to a letter published by Father Kulakanta Dandasena on Nastik Nation, an website promoting atheism in India.

In his letter, Dandasena accuses the archdiocese of financial mismanagement and discrimination against clergy from a Dalit background – the lowest class in the Hindu caste system – and the priest makes allegations that the archbishop is involved in a “scandalous” relationship with a woman.

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Volunteer At 2 Aliso Viejo Churches Accused Of Molesting Girl Since 2010

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KCAL-TV, Channel 9

August 27, 2020

A Mission Viejo man who volunteered at two Aliso Viejo churches has been arrested on suspicion of molesting an underage girl, and investigators believe he may have more victims.

Jose Andres Lopez, 67, was arrested after the victim reported the sexual assault on Sunday. The victim told Orange County sheriff’s investigators she was familiar with Lopez and was 10 years old when the molestation began in 2010.

According to authorities, Lopez was a volunteer pastor at Pacific Hills Calvary Chapel in Aliso Viejo between 2003-2005.

An additional victim who has just come forward told CBSLA’s Michele Gile that oftentimes Lopez would bring children back home following church events.

Authorities say Lopez had been volunteering at Compass Bible Church in Aliso Viejo since 2012.

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Former Havelock commissioner, Catholic school coach convicted on child porn charges

NORTH CAROLINA
WITN / WRAL-TV

August 28, 2020

A former Havelock city commissioner was convicted on child pornography charges this week.

Peter Van Vilet, 42, of 1415 Scotch Pine Court, was arrested by the State Bureau of Investigations in December and charged with 12 counts of second degree sexual exploitation of a minor. He was convicted on these charges and registered on the state sex offender registry.

The SBI found computer video files of children, some possibly as young as two years old, engaged in various sex acts with other children as well as adults, according to arrest warrants obtained by WITN.

He was a commissioner until 2014. Vilet coached cross country, youth lacrosse and junior varsity basketball at Annunciation Catholic School. He hasn’t coached there since March 2019, officials told WITN.

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Child Victims Act lawsuit says student was victim of sexual misconduct at Chenango Forks

NEW YORK
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin via PressConnects.com

August 31, 2020

By Anthony Borrelli

A teacher and a janitor who worked in the Chenango Forks Central School District during the 1980s are accused in a Child Victims Act lawsuit of separate instances of sexual misconduct against a female student.

The complaint also claims a pastor at the girl’s church tried to persuade her to drop her accusation against the janitor, who attended the same church, saying her accusation “could not be true.”

A lawsuit filed Aug. 15 in the state Supreme Court of Broome County on behalf of a woman who was about 17 when she attended high school at Chenango Forks in 1986, claims her social studies teacher, Richard Russ, engaged in sexual misconduct against her. It allegedly began after he’d invite her to his classroom for study halls or to work on projects after school.

Much like other lawsuits under the Child Victims Act, the Aug. 15 complaint argues the defendants, in this case the school district and the church, should’ve taken action once told about alleged sexual misconduct. The lawsuit, which names the Chenango Forks Central School District and Central Baptist Church as defendants, argues that didn’t happen.

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‘Our lives were in his hands’: Boys recount sexual abuse by ‘night bat’

INDONESIA
The Jakarta Post

August 30, 2020

By Margareth S. Aritonang

It was an hour past midnight on Sept. 9, 2019, when Joni, a teenage boy living in an orphanage, was awakened by what he described as a “painful feeling” on his genitals. When he opened his eyes, he beheld a nightmare.

“He was there. He was shocked,” Joni said. “I put on my pants and chased him down the stairs.”

“’What did you do to me, Brother? Why did you pull [my pants] down?’”

Recalling the horror of that night, Joni, who has chosen to use a pseudonym to protect his identity, explained how he confronted Lukas Lucky Ngalngola, the director of Joni’s orphanage, whom the boys referred to as the “night bat”. He said Lukas begged for forgiveness for “making a mistake” and got to his knees and kissed Joni’s feet.

Joni, who was 19 years old at the time, did not know what to do next with Lukas, or Brother Angelo as he styled himself. Joni wanted to hit Angelo, his sole guardian and the head of the Kencana Bejana Rohani orphanage in Depok, West Java, where Joni and dozens of other children lived under Angelo’s care.

But Joni could not think straight.

“I rushed to the chapel. I asked God to forgive my sin and his.”

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Opinion: Catholic priest says he was silenced by the church for speaking out on abuse

New Jersey
Star-Ledger

August 30, 2020

By Mark White

This spring, I received a letter from my boss ordering me to take down my blog or lose my job.

Workers all over the country have found themselves in this kind of situation. But I may yet become the first Catholic priest removed for blogging.

Until recently, I was the pastor of two parishes in southwest Virginia, one in Martinsville and the other in Rocky Mount. I love my work and my community of some 800 families. I began blogging in 2008 as an additional way of reaching the faithful. For the first decade, my digital homilies and musings attracted little attention outside my parishes.

In 2018, though, like many Catholics, I was shaken when news emerged of sexual abuse by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the archbishop of Washington.

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Reflections on a Career Spent Advocating for Childhood Abuse Survivors

UNITED STATES
LegalExaminer.com (law firm blog)

August 30, 2020

By Joseph H. Saunders

Recently a confluence of events has led me to reflect upon a significant area of my work as a lawyer. For the last two decades, I have represented and advocated for survivors of childhood sexual abuse-whether they survived abuse from a Catholic priest, minister, rabbi, or Boy Scout leader. It is difficult work not only because many states still have antiquated statutes of limitations that frustrate a survivors’ quest for justice but also because of the tremendous suffering I’ve witnessed in those two decades.

The sexual abuse of a child leaves emotional and psychological scars that can last a lifetime. I believe it forever alters the way in which a survivor interacts with the world and with others. Many survivors turn to alcohol and drugs to mask the pain and suffering. Others have been alienated from family and significant others well into adulthood. Sadly, a small number become abusers themselves. This is not a common occurrence but it happens and inevitably leads to further alienation from friends, family, and society in general. Even some attorneys refuse to represent those who themselves have abused others. It is not an easy issue but I believe mercy and compassion should trump any feelings of moral superiority on my part. The simple fact is that we are all broken. Some are more broken than others but each person deserves our understanding and assistance when we can provide it.

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Auction held at home of late priest who lived like a prince

MICHIGAN
Associated Press

August 29, 2020

An auction was held Saturday at the Lansing-area mansion of a Catholic priest who was accused of embezzling millions of dollars before he died in March while awaiting trial.

There were nearly 1,000 items for sale, including about 100 pieces of furniture from the six-bedroom home, the Lansing State Journal reported.

“It’s about four sales in one with the amount of stuff that’s out here,” auctioneer Mel White said.

The Rev. Jonathan Wehrle was pastor at St. Martha Church in Okemos.

He lived in a 12,000-square-foot mansion in Wheatfield Township, near Williamston, which included an indoor pool, an elevator, baby grand pianos, a pipe organ, three sets of washers and dryers and enough kitchen supplies to outfit a restaurant, the newspaper reported.

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Big payout for a woman abused by a ‘popular playboy priest’

CANADA
Freethinker via Patheos.com (blog)

August 29, 2020

By Barry Duke

A LAWSUIT filed almost four years ago against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kamloops in British Columbia ended this week with the victim of an abusive priest being awarded more than $800,000.

According to this report, Archbishop Emeritus Adam Exner, above right, had ample evidence that Father Erlindo Molon, left, was taking advantage of his female parishioners.

But he chose to turn a blind eye to the sexual misconduct of the man he described as “popular” and a “playboy priest” who told him “I’m only human” when his predatory behaviour was challenged.

One of Molon’s victims was a young teacher named Rosemary Anderson, and it was she who sued the diocese in 2016. The case ended with her being awarded $844,14 by BC Supreme Court judge, Justice E David Crossin, who said:

The diocese failed the plaintiff profoundly in a moment of great need. Bishop Exner was aware of troubling rumours about Fr Molon as early as the spring of 1976.

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Diocese of Greensburg host virtual farewell mass for local bishop

GREENSBURG (PA)
WTAE-TV

August 30, 2020

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Greensburg is hosting a virtual farewell mass for local bishop, Edward Malesic.

The mass will be live-streamed as a COVID-19 safety measure and will start at 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

Malesic spent five years as a bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg, and is now heading to Cleveland’s diocese.

During his time at the Diocese of Greensburg, Bishop Malesic helped lead through the grand jury findings on clergy sex abuse, the opioid crisis, financial hardships and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Greensburg Bishop Malesic bids farewell to diocese

GREENSBURG (PA)
TribLive.com

August 30, 2020

By Rich Cholodofsky

It was five years ago that Bishop Edward C. Malesic celebrated Mass at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg to formally take the reins of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Greensburg.

On Sunday, Malesic, 60, again presided over Mass at the cathedral, but this time it was to bid farewell to his flock of 138,000 Roman Catholics.

Malesic will be installed Sept. 14 as bishop for the Diocese of Cleveland.

“It’s not that I am not excited about going to Cleveland,” Malesic said in his closing homily. “Truthfully, I am. It’s another new adventure for me. So for those of you watching from Cleveland, I am coming to you with great joy. There’s no mistake about that. But the heavy heart comes from having to say goodbye to a diocese that I have called my home, and made my home, for these last five years and to bid farewell to people I have come to know as my friends.”

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St. Mary’s sex-assault victims speak out

LAWRENCE (MA)
Lawrence Eagle-Tribune

August 29, 2020

By Breanna Edelstei

Women are among 11 in $1.4M Catholic church settlement

Two women who were sexually abused by the Rev. John J. Gallagher in the 1970s are speaking publicly — for the first time — about their childhood trauma with the hope of empowering other survivors and themselves.

The women, one who chooses to be named and another who does not, are among 11 people — 10 women and a man — represented by Boston Attorney Mitchell Garabedian in a joint lawsuit against the Catholic Church resolved earlier this year with a $1.4 million settlement.

In conversations with The Eagle-Tribune Thursday and Friday, the victims described sexual abuse that happened to them and others when Gallagher was assigned to St. Mary’s Church in Lawrence and the associated parish school from 1972 to 1979.

They also described the aftermath: sadness, anger, fear — the gamut of emotions — and alienation from their church.

“He taught us terror,” said the unnamed victim, who estimates Gallagher abused her hundreds of times from when she was 9 until she graduated from middle school.

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Lawsuit alleges sex-abuse at community residence overseen by Mount Loretto

STATEN ISLAND (NY)
Staten Island Advance

August 29, 2020

By Maura Grunlund

A boy was sexually abused decades ago in a community residence overseen by the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin at Mount Loretto, a new lawsuit alleges.

The boy revealed some of the abuse to a doctor and priest at Mt. Loretto during the time period when he was being sexually assaulted in the early 1980s, but the charity took no action to protect the victim, who eventually left the home and ended up living on the streets, the filing alleges.

The Archdiocese of New York and Catholic Charities of Staten Island are named as defendants in the suit, which was filed on Aug. 20 in state Supreme Court, St. George, on behalf of the anonymous victim.

“He is a survivor of abuse,” said attorney Bradley Rice, who represents the plaintiff. “It has had a profound impact on his life throughout his entire life.”

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Report reveals young order’s passion for safeguarding

AUSTRALIA
Catholic Weekly

August 30, 2020

Safeguarding steps no ‘tick-the-box exercise’ for MGLs

A young Aussie religious institute has revealed a strong culture of safeguarding following an independent audit by Catholic Professional Standards Ltd.

The report released on 19 August found that the Missionaries of God’s Love had either implemented or was substantially progressed in the implementation of all 108 (100 per cent) of the indicators relevant to them under the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards.

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Ex-priest is accused of abusing 4 kids. Monett woman says church ignored her pleas

SPRINGFIELD (MO)
Springfield News-Leader

August 29, 2020

By Harrison Keegan

For at least the past 16 years, Elizabeth Mangler has kept a file saved on her computer:

“FatherGaryCarr.doc.”

Mangler, 59, had a feeling that some day a man would come forward and accuse Father Gary Carr of child sexual abuse.

And she wanted people to know that in Monett, they tried to stop him.

“We did follow the best chain of command the Catholic Church has to offer,” Mangler said.

And she’s got the receipts.

This year, four men have come forward and accused Carr, 66, of sexually abusing them when they were kids.

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Monks leave their home of 200 years due to abbey’s former connection to school investigated for child sexual abuse

SOMERSET (ENGLAND)
CambridgeshireLive.com

August 30, 20

By Charlotte Penketh-King and Daniel Smith

Monks living at an abbey previously associated with a school investigated for child sexual abuse have decided to leave their home of over 200 years following the scandal.

Downside Abbey was formerly affiliated with Downside School in Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Somerset, before the school and abbey separated in September 2019.

The separation followed the school being highlighted in an independent inquiry into child sexual abuse where it was found ‘appalling abuse’ was inflicted upon pupils.

Both Downside School and Ampleforth School in North Yorkshire were accused of trying to cover up allegations of abuse to protect their reputation.

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[News Release] Father Robert Potts restored to ministry

ALLENTOWN (PA)
Diocese of Allentown

August 27, 2020

Father Robert J. Potts, Pastor of St. Ursula Church, Fountain Hill, has been returned to ministry after being cleared of all allegations following a 10-month inquiry conducted by independent investigators.

Father Potts will celebrate Masses at St. Ursula’s this weekend.

The allegation against Father Potts was received by the Washington, D.C., administrators of the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, who then notified the Diocese.

On the day the Diocese was notified of the complaint, Bishop Alfred Schlert removed Father Potts from ministry and directed that law enforcement be notified. The Diocese had no knowledge of the complaint before being notified of it.

The person who made the allegation told the Compensation Fund Administrators that Father Potts sexually abused him in the 1980s and early 1990s, when Father Potts, now 83, was pastor of the former St. George Parish, Shenandoah.

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Finalizó el juicio canónico al cura denunciado por abusos sexuales

[The Vatican removed the clerical state of the priesthood from Emilio Lamas]

SALTA (ARGENTINA)
Pagina12.com

August 29, 2020

Finalizó el juicio canónico al cura denunciado por abusos sexuales

El Arzobispado de Salta dio a conocer que encontraron al religioso culpable de las violaciones y que la sentencia ya es definitiva e inapelable.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATION: The canonical trial of the priest denounced for sexual abuse has ended

The Archbishopric of Salta announced that they found the religious guilty of the violations and that the sentence is now final and unappealable.]

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Avanza la investigación contra el cura denunciado por abuso sexual en un colegio de La Plata

[The investigation against the priest reported for sexual abuse in a school in La Plata advances]

LA PLATA (ARGENTINA)
Clarín

August 28, 2020

https://www.msn.com/es-ar/noticias/argentina/avanza-la-investigaci%C3%B3n-contra-el-cura-denunciado-por-abuso-sexual-en-un-colegio-de-la-plata/ar-BB18sRkX?li=BBOLz0c

Mientras esperan que la Justicia platense comience a mover el expediente de la denuncia contra el sacerdote acusado de abuso en un colegio de La Plata, familiares y ex alumnos que asistieron a ese instituto hicieron pública una carta que aporta detalles de los hechos que le imputan al religioso. La difusión de la denuncia derivó en un pedido del Arzobispo de La Plata, Víctor Fernández, para que el sospechado “no tenga contacto con menores” en sus actividades en Misiones, el nuevo destino donde fue derivado por la conducción eclesiástica.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATION: While they wait for the Justice of La Plata to begin to move the file of the complaint against the priest accused of abuse in a school in La Plata, relatives and former students who attended that institute made public a letter that provides details of the facts that are attributed to the religious. The dissemination of the complaint led to a request from the Archbishop of La Plata , Víctor Fernández, so that the suspect “does not have contact with minors” in his activities in Misiones, the new destination where he was referred by the ecclesiastical leadership.]

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Lawsuit says St. Louis priest abused boy in 1980s

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

August 28, 2020

By Robert Patrick

A federal lawsuit says the Archdiocese of St. Louis has failed to remove a De Soto priest who has had four accusations of sexual abuse against him.

A man identified in the suit only as John Doe contends the Rev. Alexander R. Anderson sexually abused him as a boy in the late 1980s at St. Joseph’s Home for Boys in St. Louis, where Doe was living at the time and Anderson was chaplain.

Anderson fondled Doe and later took him to his den for what the children called “late night with Father,” where “the touching became discussions of masturbation” and forced sexual acts, the suit says.

In a statement, officials with the archdiocese said a “third-party independent investigative team” found the allegations against Anderson “to be without merit. Fr. Anderson has denied the allegations, and the Archdiocese of St. Louis supports Fr. Anderson in defending himself against false allegations,” the statement said.

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Vatican told whistleblower priest to be a hostile witness: friend

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
Sydney Morning Herald

August 28, 2020

By Harriet Alexander

Whistleblower priest Father Glen Walsh told his next-door neighbour that the Vatican had instructed him to be a hostile witness when he was called to testify against an Archbishop accused of concealing crimes of sexual abuse.

Neighbour Jamie Hay said he chatted to Father Walsh in October 2017, about 10 days before he took his life and three weeks before the Archbishop’s trial was due to begin. Father Walsh was expecting a visit from a senior member of the clergy, who he planned to take to task over the number of paedophile priests being housed by the Catholic Church.

The conversation turned to his disillusionment with the church over its handling of sexual abuse claims and Father Walsh told Mr Hay that he had met with the Pope about the upcoming trial of Archbishop Philip Wilson, in which he was due to testify for the prosecution.

“He didn’t name anyone in particular, but he said the expectation from Rome was, they didn’t ask him but they said, ‘You will be a hostile witness’,” Mr Hay said. “He was a really devoted servant of the Catholic Church and it was heartbreaking.”

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Oblates clear former St. Mary’s priest of wrongdoing

ADRIAN (MI)
Adrian Daily Telegram

August 28, 2020

By Spencer Durham

A priest accused of financial impropriety has been cleared after two accounting reviews revealed no evidence of wrongdoing, according to the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.

Rev. Jack Loughran, provincial superior of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, Toledo-Detroit Province, issued a bulletin to the parishioners of Holy Family Catholic Parish in Adrian that said the allegations of financial wrongdoing by the Rev. William Auth were unfounded.

Auth was once an assistant pastor at St. Mary of Good Counsel Church in Adrian. He served in various roles in the church in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. He was a temporary administrator at St. Mary in 1986 and served in the role until 1991.

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Allentown priest cleared of abuse allegations

ALLENTOWN (PA)
Times-News

August 28, 2020

An Allentown Diocese priest who had Carbon and Schuylkill County ties was returned to ministry after being cleared of all allegations following a 10-month inquiry conducted by independent investigators.

The diocese announced that the Rev. Robert J. Potts, pastor of St. Ursula Church, Fountain Hill, has returned to ministry and will celebrate Masses at St. Ursula’s this weekend.

Potts had been accused last year of sexually abusing a minor in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The allegation was received by the Washington, D.C., administrators of the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, who then notified the diocese.

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Bishop’s Stortford law firm Nockolds appeals for victims of paedeophile priest Michael Studdert to claim compensation from £4.7m estate

BISHOP’S STORTFORD, ENGLAND
Bishop’ Stortford Independent

August 28, 2020

By Sinead Corr

https://www.bishopsstortfordindependent.co.uk/news/nockolds-appeal-for-victims-of-dead-stortford-paedophile-to-claim-from-4-7m-estate-9121200/

A Bishop’s Stortord law firm is co-ordinating the international search for victims of a paedophile priest who lived in the town.

Michael Studdert is suspected of carrying out sex attacks on children in England, Wales, Italy, Poland and Denmark. Nockolds Solicitors is appealing for them to come forward and claim compensation from his estate of £4,717,515.

Studdert, who lived at The Wraglings, off Beldams Lane, made his will in February 2016, 18 months before he died “peacefully” in August 2017 and left the bulk of his assets to EAC Educational Trust. He was 78.

The former priest, Anglican minister and school chaplain set up the fund in 1985 “to relieve poverty and to advance education for the benefit of the public and particularly amongst the families of clergy of the Church of England, single-parent families and other poor families”.

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‘Angry because he was in love’: Outspoken Archbishop Oscar Cruz laid to rest

MANILA (PHILIPPINES)
ABS-CBN News

August 28, 2020

By Erik Tenedero

Archbishop Oscar Cruz, one of the strongest voices in the Philippine Catholic Church, was laid to rest on Friday in Dagupan City, where he served as metropolitan archbishop for almost two decades.

At the funeral mass at Saint John the Evangelist Cathedral, Archbishop Socrates Villegas paid tribute to his predecessor, calling him a saint who constantly sought a better Church and a better society for the people.

“He was a saint who rallied with us and joined us in picket lines against illegal gambling and prostitution, championing social justice and the rights of women,” Villegas said.

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Delaware church’s youth leader faces over 80 counts of sex abuse

UNITED STATES
Patheos (blog)

August 28, 2020

By Barry Duke

FURTHER proof that no youngster is ever safe in a religious environment comes from Delaware, where John C Sapp Jr, 34, has been indicted on more than 80 counts of sex abuse arising from sexual relationships he had with two teenage girls who attended his youth group.

Sapp, above, who served as a youth leader at Maranatha Fellowship of Dover, was indicted following a confession to his pastor in February.

A spokesman for Delaware’s Department of Justice revealed this week that the charges include 33 counts of unlawful sexual contact second degree, 29 counts of sexual abuse of a child by a person of trust first degree, 13 counts of rape fourth degree sexual intercourse victim less than 18 years old, and seven counts of rape fourth degree sexual penetration of another person without consent.

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‘Tell me why’ reckons with the dark side of Filipino Catholicism

UNITED STATES
Inverse.com

August 28, 2020

By Eric Francisco

Dontnod’s newest game nimbly explores the church’s deep roots in Filipino-American culture.

It wasn’t so dramatic when I left my faith.

12 years of Catholic education simply took its toll, leaving me with confusion, apathy, and fatigue instead of fulfillment. Rampant abuse throughout the church and the unrelenting persecution of LGBTQ communities made leaving easy. I just woke up one day and decided it wasn’t for me.

What I can’t change is my ethnicity. I am the American child of Filipino immigrants. Not unlike Irish and Italian families, Catholicism is rooted in the Filipino way of life. Ask any of us: Leonardo’s The Last Supper triggers memories of the family dining room. (Growing up, I was extra careful to not knock over one of these with a plastic lightsaber.)

When you’re Filipino, “leaving” Catholicism doesn’t mean the cultural values and expectations of Catholicism leave you. That infamous Catholic guilt manifests differently when mixed with filial piety. The possibility of disappointing parents who raised you triggers anxiety as you prioritize their satisfaction over your independence and well-being. Throw in “God is watching” and you have is a deadly cocktail of shame, emotional paralysis, and an inability to move past mistakes.

Which is why I’m so awed over a new video game that accurately depicts the toxicity of these values in a distinctly Filipino way and presents them as an opportunity for tolerance, forgiveness, and change.

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Abused and frightened, orphanage boys cry for help but the state, church fail them

INDONESIA
The Jakarta Post

August 28, 2020

By Margareth S. Aritonang and Evi Mariani

[PHOTO: The Depok Police investigation in September appeared to set itself up for failure from the beginning. Even though Angelo made a documented confession that he had molested some of the boys, the police said they could not bring Angelo to court. The police said the prosecutor’s office wanted them to add more statements from the victims and witnesses but they could not find the three boys who had made the original police reports. ]

A proverb says that it takes a village to raise a child but oftentimes, it takes only a person to ruin a child’s life and in Depok, West Java, a whole community of powerful adults seems to have abandoned children who were allegedly molested in a locally run Catholic orphanage.

Far away from their parents, with no one to look after them except for the head of the orphanage, known as Brother Angelo Ngalngola, the alleged molester himself, the children cried out for help. A collaborative team between The Jakarta Post and Tirto.id has uncovered facts that confirm that both the state and the Catholic Church heard the boys’ cries but washed their hands of them, allowing the suspect to walk free from police detention to celebrate Christmas, and a few months later set up a new orphanage and live among vulnerable boys again.

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William Segodisho joins Afternoon Drive to explain how he is doing two years after a Catholic priest apologised for sexual abuse.

SOUTH AFRICA
702 Radio, Johannesburg – FM 92.7 and FM 106

August 29, 2020

“It hasn’t been an easy road for me it was a matter of principle after so many years of not being believed and knocking on closed doors with no one wanting to give me an ear.”

“At the end of it all I think justice was done and I stand as proof to all other victims out there that as long as you know what you are saying is the truth, justice will triumph over evil.”

William Segodisho, Survivor

William Segodisho joined the Afternoon Drive to explain how he felt after former Catholic priest Father William MacCurtain issued an apology in which [he] acknowledged allegations of sexual abuse.

Segodisho was the first South African to accuse a Catholic priest of molestation when he spoke of his abuse at the hands of a British Catholic priest, who was based in South Africa during the 1980s and 1990s, at a media briefing in Rosebank, Johannesburg on 9 October 2018.

Segodisho says he could not have spoken out if it was not for his attorney, the media and the need for him to tell the truth so that something could be done. He added that the church has sent him a letter revealing that they are taking charge of sexual abuse cases that are happening within the church.

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Class-action lawsuit claims systemic negligence by archdiocese

VANCOUVER (BRITISH COLUMBIA)
B.C. Catholic

August 29, 2020

By Agnieszka Ruck

Although the Archdiocese of Vancouver isn’t commenting on a proposed class-action lawsuit, a statement says it hopes “the attendant publicity will help give any other victims/survivors the confidence to come forward and get the help they deserve.”

A proposed class-action lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of Vancouver claims the archdiocese was “systematically negligent” in protecting parishioners from abuse by clergy.

“The Archdiocese was aware of the abuse and allowed the abuse to continue. The Archdiocese was also complicit in silencing survivors, who were required to take oaths of secrecy when making complaints to the Archdiocese,” the claim states.

The plaintiff, a woman identified as K.S. in court documents, alleged she was abused by a priest at St. Francis of Assisi Parish when she was about 11 years old. The documents say she has had no contact with her abuser since elementary school and “remains terrified of priests and the power of the Archdiocese.”

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Opinion: David Shoebridge’s request for an inquest into Father Glen Walsh and other Catholic suicides deserves support

NEWCASTLE (AUSTRALIA)
Newcastle Herald

August 29, 2020

https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/6900595/david-shoebridges-request-for-an-inquest-into-father-glen-walsh-and-other-catholic-suicides-deserves-support/?cs=12

AS foreshadowed last week in the Newcastle Herald, Greens MLC David Shoebridge has written formally to the NSW Coroner, Teresa O’Sullivan, and the Attorney General, Mark Speakman, seeking a coronial inquest into the death of Catholic priest Father Glen Walsh, as well as a broader investigation into dozens of suicides, overdoses and other deaths by misadventure of boys and men from the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

This is a call that the Herald supports without qualification.

It is also a call the diocese says it supports, having posted a statement on its website yesterday, “welcoming a police inquiry into the tragic suicide” of Father Walsh.

At the same time, however, the diocese says that “as stated previously, (it) does not believe there is substantive gain to be had from further judicial inquiries”.

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Diocese of Greensburg announces ‘credible and substantiated’ child sex abuse allegations against priest

GREENSBURG (PA)
Latrobe Bulletin

August 28, 2020

By Greg Reinbold

The Diocese of Greensburg on Wednesday announced that a priest convicted of stealing money from a South Huntingdon Township church has been added to a list of clergy who have had “credible and substantiated” allegations of child sexual abuse lodged against them.

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Lawsuit claims former priest sexually abused minor at St. Mary’s in Dansville

DANSVILLE (NY)
Livingston County News

August 28, 2020

By Matt Leader

A new lawsuit details acts of sexual assault and rape former Catholic priest Eugene Emo is accused of perpetrating against a child at St. Mary’s Church in the late 1960s.

Emo’s victim, who is identified in court records only as “SWRO 1 Doe,” was 17 years old in 1968 when he told Emo during confession that he had been sexually abused by some “neighborhood boys.” Emo told Doe to go up to his bedroom in the church rectory so the two could “pray together in peace.” Once there, Emo instructed Doe to touch him sexually.

The abuse continued in this manner for a period of about four months, according to court documents. One time, Emo raped Doe in his rectory bedroom. Another time, Doe was attending a wedding at St. Mary’s when Emo took him into the vestibule and told Doe to perform oral sex on him, according to court documents.

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Priest Convicted of Theft Also a Credible Child Abuser According to Diocese of Greensburg

GREENSBURG (PA)
SNAP Network

August 27, 2020

A priest from the Diocese of Greensburg who was previously convicted of theft is also a “credibly accused” child abuser, according to church officials. We call on Bishop Edward Malesic to personally visit each parish where this priest worked, urging others who may have been hurt by him to come forward to local law enforcement.

Church officials were first informed of sex abuse allegations against Fr. Emil Payer in 2018 yet for some reason waited for two years to make those allegations public. We cannot understand why the Diocese of Greensburg waited so long to disclose these allegations but cannot help but notice that Bishop Malesic waited until he had one foot out the door to warn the public about Fr. Payer. We hope that parishioners at Greensburg churches will demand answers from their pastors and bishop about this obvious lack of transparency.

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Greensburg Priest Charged with Sexual Abuse is 54th Cleric since 2018 Grand Jury Report to be Outed as a Perpetrator

GREENSBURG (PA)
SNAP Network

August 27, 2020

A Catholic priest from the Diocese of Greensburg was arrested and charged for sexually assaulting an altar boy in 2004, making him the 54th priest since the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report to be outed as an abuser. These revelations would never have happened if it were not for the work done by A.G. Josh Shapiro. We call on attorneys general in every other state to follow in his footsteps and make tangible progress towards keeping children and vulnerable adults safer.

Fr. Andrew Kawecki is accused of abusing an 11-year-old altar boy at St. Cyril and Methodius Church in Fairchance, Pennsylvania. Despite consistent rhetoric from Catholic officials that the sexual abuse scandal is a thing of the past, it is clear that the claim is not true. In Pennsylvania, there has been an 18% increase in the number of “outed” perpetrators since the grand jury report was released.

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Former Liberty University Student Allegedly Had a ‘Sexual Encounter’ with Becki Falwell

LYNCHBURG (VA)
Jezebel

August 27, 2020

By Justice Namaste

Mere days after allegations came out that the now-former president of Liberty University Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife Becki Falwell were involved in a long-standing affair with their business partner Giancarlo Granda, Politico is reporting that a former Liberty University student has come forward to allege that he had a “sexual encounter” with Becki Falwell back in 2008.

The former student, who has chosen to remain anonymous, claims that he first met Becki at the age of 22 when he was attending Liberty University, and the Falwells’ eldest son Trey joined his band. Although Trey was several years younger than the other band members, he was a talented guitarist, and the Falwells allowed the band to practice in an abandoned church next to the family home in Goode, Virginia. The student and other members of the band recall when Becki began showing up at their rehearsals, offering them snacks but then staying to watch them practice.

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Un prêtre catholique américain accusé d’avoir agressé sexuellement un jeune garçon aux Cayes

[American Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting young boy in Les Cayes]

HAITI
Ayibo Post

August 26, 2020

La victime n’avait que douze ans, à l’époque des faits

[The victim was only twelve years old at the material time]

Un prêtre catholique américain est accusé d’avoir violé en 2009 un jeune homme haïtien âgé de douze ans à l’époque des faits dans un orphelinat aux Cayes. Le 25 septembre prochain, le père Marc Roméo Boisvert qui vit aux États-Unis doit se présenter devant un tribunal de la juridiction des Cayes pour répondre aux questions de la justice dans le cadre de cette affaire.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATION: An American Catholic priest is accused of having raped in 2009 a young Haitian man aged twelve at the time of the facts in an orphanage in Les Cayes. On September 25, Father Marc Roméo Boisvert, who lives in the United States, must appear before a court in the jurisdiction of Les Cayes to answer questions from the courts in the context of this case.]

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11 victims who claim Lawrence priest sexually abused them settle for $1.4M: Mitchell Garabedian

LAWRENCE (MA)
Boston Herald

August 27, 2020

By Rick Sobey

The victims were 8 to 14 years old when the abuse happened, the lawyer said

11 victims who claim Lawrence priest sexually abused them settle for $1.4M: Mitchell Garabedian

A Catholic order has agreed to pay nearly $1.4 million to 11 “courageous” clergy sexual abuse victims who claimed that a Lawrence priest abused them in the 1970s, their lawyer announced on Thursday.

Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who specializes in sexual abuse cases, said he settled the clergy sexual abuse claims with the Augustinian Order in February for a total amount of $1,375,000.

The 10 women and one man — now in their 50s — claimed that Father John J. Gallagher sexually abused them at St. Mary’s School in Lawrence, where they were students.

Gallagher, who died in 2006, was also previously accused of abusing three women when they were children at the Lawrence parish — which led to a $1 million settlement in 2018.

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Court: Church must pay $844K to victim of sex abuse by Filipino priest

BRITISH COLUMBIA (CANADA)
Inquirer.Net (Philippines)

August 27, 2020

By Teodoro ‘Ted’ Alcuitas

The Kamloops Roman Catholic Diocese must pay a priest’s sexual abuse victim $844,140 in damages, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled Aug. 25.

Rosemary Anderson, now 70, named Erlindo Molon, now 88, and the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Kamloops, A Corporation Sole, in her sexual abuse claim, seeking $2.45 million in damages.

Anderson alleged in a Dec. 22, 2016, notice of civil claim that sexual abuse at the hands of Molon started when she was 26.

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Fountain Hill pastor returns to ministry after sex abuse allegation

ALLENTOWN (PA)
LeHighValleyLive.com

August 27, 2020

By Kurt Bresswein

A Roman Catholic priest removed from the ministry last fall has been restored after being cleared of alleged sexual abuse, the Diocese of Allentown said in a news release Thursday.

Father Robert J. Potts, ordained in 1964, is assigned as pastor of St. Ursula Church in Fountain Hill and will celebrate Masses beginning this weekend.

Allentown Bishop Alfred Schlert removed Potts from the ministry and ordered law enforcement be notified last October, on the day the allegation against Potts was received. It came into the Washington, D.C.-based administrators of the diocese’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program set up for victims of sexual abuse, and the administrators in turn notified the diocese.

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Survivor of horrific abuse at Fife residential school claims victims will suffer under new financial redress legislation

SCOTLAND
The Courier

August 28 2020

By Aileen Robertson

Survivor of horrific abuse at Fife residential school claims victims will suffer under new financial redress legislation

A man who was brutally abused by priests at a Fife residential school has blasted the Scottish Government’s plans to compensate victims.

The Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill was introduced last week and if passed in Parliament, would allow victims to apply for payments of up to £80,000.

As a child, Dave Sharp, 61, was repeatedly beaten and raped by members of the Congregation of Christian Brothers at the former St Ninian’s School in Falkland.

He claims the legislation would protect the Catholic church from making compensation payments, while discouraging survivors to come forward.

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47 names of clergy abuse victims part of accidental email leak

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
National Catholic Reporter

August 28, 2020

By Christopher White

A clergy abuse victim who participated in the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s independent compensation program for survivors is alleging that the confidentiality of nearly 50 other victims was compromised when the program administrator mistakenly sent the individual an email in 2019 with the names of participants from another diocese’s program.

Since October 2016, Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros, national mediation experts who managed the compensation payouts to victims of the Sept. 11 attacks and the Boston Marathon bombing, have partnered with Catholic dioceses throughout the country to implement voluntary programs where victims pursue their claims outside of court.

Victims whose cases fall outside the statute of limitations are allowed to seek compensation under these programs, which often rely on a lower standard of evidence than court proceedings.

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‘Together we can eliminate abuse’

FIJI
The Fiji Times

August 28, 2020

By Luke Nace

Domestic violence can only be eliminated if there is a collective approach to it, says the head of the Catholic Church in Fiji, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong.

“We believe that together, we can make a change and eliminate domestic violence and sexual abuse,” he said.

Archbishop Loy Chong said the Catholic Church of Fiji, through the Caritas Archdiocese of Suva, conducted a three-day workshop titled “First Responders to Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse”.

He said workshop participants learnt how to establish first responders teams in their respective parishes and communities. He highlighted that the workshop used the “see, judge, act” method which is a tool used to help faith-based organisations respond effectively to social issues.

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The Altar Boys: new questions about suicides of clergy abuse survivors should spark another inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Conversation

August 27, 2020

By Kathleen McPhillips, Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Science, University of Newcastle. Disclosure statement: Kathleen McPhillips receives funding from the Marist Brothers and the Copley Bequest Foundation.

Investigative journalist Suzie Smith’s new book The Altar Boys is a searing read that raises new questions about the suicides of three former victims of Catholic clergy child sexual abuse.

Smith, a former award-winning ABC journalist, has been covering the clerical abuse crisis in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese for many years. She wrote the book in part to bring new attention to the three victims, whose suicides remain shrouded in mystery, despite two public inquiries.

The Altar Boys recounts the lives — and deaths — of Glen Walsh, Steven Alward and Andrew Nash. All three of them were victims of child sexual abuse by Catholic clerics in the diocese.

Andrew Nash was just 13 years old when he committed suicide in 1974 after being sexually abused at St. Francis Xavier College in Hamilton, NSW. Andrew was in the care of two Marist Brothers who have since been convicted on child sex offences.

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Seminar in Dublin church on Tuam children’s home cancelled due to Covid-19

IRELAND
Irish Times

August 27, 2020

By Patsy McGarry

Topics included ‘False allegations of child abuse against the Catholic Church, including homicide’

A “history seminar” challenging findings of various Commissions of Inquiry into child abuse and planned for Dublin’s University Church on Stephen’s Green next Sunday has been cancelled.

Advertised as a history seminar “with particular reference to the Tuam Children’s Home” likely attendees had been advised to “arrive early as numbers are restricted due to Government Covid-19 restrictions.”

A spokeswoman for Dublin’s Catholic archdiocese said staff at the University Church had “confirmed that the event due to take place this Sunday has been cancelled. Current Government guidance permitting people to gather at places of worship is for religious services only. No other gatherings are permitted.”

The theme of the seminar was: “Do modern Irish historians exaggerate the role of the Catholic Church in independent Ireland” and speakers scheduled to take part included Brian Nugent, author of the book @Tuambabies: A critical look at the Tuam Children’s Home Scandal.

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Opinion: Why my church is done singing David Haas’s songs

UNITED STATES
Christian Century

August 28, 2020

By Melissa Florer-Bixler

It’s not because we don’t believe in grace.

I find myself, from time to time, with a song running through my head:

Rejoice and be glad:
Blessed are you. Holy are you.
Rejoice and be glad:
Yours is the kingdom of God.

This song has anchored me through seasons of catastrophe for people at the margins of power. Its words, from Jesus’ beatitudes, remind me that those who suffer oppression are the bearers of God’s reign.

Now, when I sing “Blest Are They” I catch myself and wince.

The song I find myself humming was written by David Haas, a prolific Catholic songwriter whose influence extends to the Mennonite church I pastor. There are at least five Haas compositions that my church regularly sings as part of worship. Some people in my church refer to these as “heart songs.”

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B.C. court awards teacher abused by Catholic priest $844,000 in damages

VANCOUVER (CANADA)
Canadian Press

August 27, 2020

By Amy Smart

A former elementary school teacher who says she was sexually assaulted by a Roman Catholic priest more than 40 years ago in Kamloops, B.C., has been awarded nearly $850,000 in damages by a judge.

Justice David Crossin of the B.C. Supreme Court says in a decision released Tuesday that Rosemary Anderson was 27 when she began teaching at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in 1976.

It says Anderson sought comfort and solace following the death of her father from Rev. Erlindo Molon, an assistant pastor living in the rectory at the same parish.

The decision says Molon, who was about 20 years her senior, began a sexual relationship with Anderson that was born of a betrayal of trust and perpetuated by an abuse of power.

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Archdiocese of Vancouver covered up systemic abuse, silenced survivors for decades, lawsuit claims

VANCOUVER (CANADA)
CBC NEWS

August 28, 2020

By Rhianna Schmunk

Archdiocese hopes ‘publicity’ will help give survivors ‘confidence to come forward; get the help they deserve’

A woman who claims she was assaulted as a child at a Catholic elementary school in Vancouver is suing the local archdiocese for perpetuating and covering up decades of alleged systemic abuse by priests, bishops and other members of its clergy, forcing survivors into silence in order to protect their own.

The proposed class-action lawsuit filed this week said the Archdiocese of Vancouver not only knew for years about allegations of systemic sexual, physical and psychological abuse, but “fostered a culture” of misconduct and actively buried complaints filed against the clergy.

“The Archdiocese was aware of the abuse and allowed the abuse to continue … This was especially true in instances of sexual abuse,” the claim reads.

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Camden Catholic teacher accused of sexually assaulting student

CAMDEN (NJ)
Cherry Hill Courier-Post

August 27, 2020

By Jim Walsh

A Camden Catholic High School teacher had sex with a student about 60 times over an 18-month period, according to a probable cause statement for the woman’s arrest.

Bridget Sipera, 36, of Cherry Hill, allegedly initiated a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old boy in January 2019, according to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.

Sipera, who was also the coach of the girls’ lacrosse team at Camden Catholic, admitted to offenses “which took place in multiple towns,” the prosecutor’s statement alleged.

It noted she could face additional charges.

Sipera’s employment as a teacher and coach at Camden Catholic “was terminated immediately,” the Cherry Hill school said in a statement Thursday.

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Former priest accused of rape asks for case to be dismissed

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
KRQE

August 26, 2020

A former priest accused of raping a young girl nearly three decades ago is asking a judge to dismiss his case. The attorney general’s office says 81-year-old Sabine Griego raped the girl at Queen of Heaven church in Albuquerque in the early 90s.

Griego was arrested in 2019. Griego’s attorneys claim prosecution delays and witness credibility is enough to dismiss the case. Arguments are still going on.

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Lee Bartlett, former priest in Worcester, Leominster and Southbridge, accused of abusing teen in 70s, loses status

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette Staff

August 26, 2020

By Cyrus Moulton

Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing a man when he was a teenager in the 1970s has been laicized at his request, Bishop Robert J. McManus of the Worcester Diocese announced Wednesday.

Lee F. Bartlett III, 74, was dispensed from the clerical state by Pope Francis and, as a result, may not function in any capacity as a priest or be referred to as a priest or as “Father” in writing such as in event announcements or obituaries.

The laicization follows the Catholic Church’s commitment to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the diocese announced.

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Priest accused of financial misconduct at Brazil’s second largest shrine

SÃO PAULO (BRAZIL)
CRUX

August 26, 2020

By Eduardo Campos Lima

A priest who runs the Basílica do Divino Pai Eterno in Trindade, in Goiás State, one of the most important points of pilgrimage in Brazil, is under investigation for allegedly embezzling more than $21 million donated to the shrine.

The shrine is the only one in the world dedicated to the Divine Eternal Father.

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Erie Diocese issues statement on abuse-related lawsuits

ERIE (PA)
The Bradford Era

August 27, 2020

By Marcie Schellhammer

Despite a policy of declining comment on litigation, the Erie Diocese did just that Wednesday, reminding the public that the ability of 31 suits lodged against the diocese to move forward depends on the success of a case being considered in the state Supreme Court.

The 31 cases, one of which was filed in McKean County by abuse survivor Ed Rodgers, relate to allegations of sexual abuse dating back years, and are not new allegations, the statement indicated.

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ROZANSKI BRINGS BAGGAGE TO ST. LOUIS

Springfield (MA)/St. Louis (MO)
ChurchMilitant

August 25, 2020

By Kristine Christlieb

Sex abuse victims from two states want justice

St. Louis’ new archbishop, Mitchell T. Rozanski, is under siege from sex abuse survivors in two states.

Protestors gathered outside the city’s Cathedral Basilica on Monday while survivors from Springfield, Massachusetts, Rozanski’s former diocese, are warning Catholics in St. Louis of the cleric’s history of delay tactics.

Olan Horne, who is a survivor advocate and is himself a sex abuse victim, has firsthand experience with Rozanski while he was bishop of Springfield.

He says Pope Francis should not have elevated the cleric to his new post: “Bishop Rozanski has no right going to St. Louis when he has left such spilt milk here in Springfield. These cases are still not resolved.”

One case involves Bp. Christopher Weldon, now deceased, who led the Springfield diocese from 1950–1977.

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Victim of sexual abuse by former Kamloops priest awarded $844,000

KAMLOOPS (B.C., CANADA)
Kamloops This Week

August 26, 2020

By Michael Potestio

Rosemary Anderson filed a lawsuit against the church, alleging she was sexually assaulted more than 40 years ago by Father Erlindo Molon after she was hired as a teacher at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help school in North Kamloops in the fall of 1976.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Kamloops will pay a former schoolteacher $844,140 in damages as a result of a sexual assault case ruling in a B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.

Rosemary Anderson filed a lawsuit against the church, alleging she was sexually assaulted more than 40 years ago by Father Erlindo Molon after she was hired as a teacher at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help school in North Kamloops in the fall of 1976.

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Greensburg Diocese reveals ‘credible’ sex abuse claims against priest convicted of theft

GREENSBURG (PA)
Trib Live

August 26, 2020

By Jacob Tierney

A priest convicted of stealing money from a South Huntingdon church has been added to a list of suspected sex abusers, according to the Diocese of Greensburg.

Bishop Edward C. Malesic on Wednesday issued an update on the diocese’s handling of sex abuse allegations as he prepares to depart for Cleveland, revealing previously undisclosed allegations against the Rev. Emil Payer.

An independent investigation found allegations that Payer sexually abused multiple minors and adults in the 1980s to be “credible and substantiated,” according to the diocese. Law enforcement officials informed the diocese of the sex abuse allegations against Payer in 2018.

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Fayette County priest charged with sexual assault

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

August 26, 2020

By Peter Smith

Authorities on Wednesday arrested a Roman Catholic priest from the Diocese of Greensburg on charges that he sexually assaulted an altar boy on multiple occasions from 2004 to 2007, beginning when the alleged victim was 11.

The Rev. Andrew Kawecki surrendered to agents of the office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro in Fayette County, where the alleged offenses occurred, according to the office.

Father Kawecki, 65, is charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, a felony; corruption of minors, a misdemeanor; and two counts of indecent assault, one a felony and the other a misdemeanor.

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Priest accused of sexually assaulting boy over 3-year period

FAIRCHANCE (PA)
AP

August 27, 2020

A Pennsylvania priest has been charged with the sexual assault of an altar boy during a three-year period that started when the victim was 11, authorities said.

The Rev. Andrew Kawecki, 65, of Scottdale, surrendered Wednesday at the Attorney General’s office in Fayette County, where the alleged offenses occurred. He’s charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and two counts of indecent assault.

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Fayette County Priest Arrested For Allegedly Sexually Abusing Altar Boy

HARRISBURG (PA)
KDKA

August 26, 2020

Father Andrew Kawecki, now facing charges of indecent assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, served at 15 parishes in the Diocese of Greensburg since 1980.

A Fayette County priest accused of sexually abusing an altar boy for three years has been arrested.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the arrest of Father Andrew Kawecki Wednesday afternoon. Kawecki, facing charges of indecent assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, surrendered to officials at a district court in Fayette County this morning.

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Greensburg Diocese Priest Facing Sexual Abuse Charges

FAIRCHANCE (PA)
KDKA

August 27, 2020

The priest has served in 15 parishes in the Greensburg Diocese since 1980.

A priest in the Greensburg Diocese is facing sexual abuse charges.

The alleged victim is a former altar boy and police say the victim told them Father Andrew Kawecki forced him to have sex when he was 11.

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

Priest abuse lawsuit: Former student sues Red Bank Catholic, St. James Church

RED BANK (NJ)
Asbury Park Press

August 27, 2020

By Michael L. Diamond

Lawsuit alleges that abuse occurred in the early 1980s.

A former student at Red Bank Catholic High School was sexually abused in the early 1980s by a priest who has faced accusations of abuse at other assignments, according to a lawsuit recently filed in state Superior Court..

The lawsuit says Francis McGrath abused the student, who is identified only by the initials B.T., in 1982 and 1983, causing permanent emotional and mental anguish. McGrath, now 70, was removed from ministry and left the priesthood in 1995.

The lawsuit was filed July 29 in Mercer County. It names as the defendants the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton, St. James Church in Red Bank and Red Bank Catholic High School.

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

Sexual Abuse Class Action Lawsuit Launched Against the Diocese of Quebec

QUEBEC (CANADA)
TopClassActions.co (attorneys’ blog)

August 24, 2020

By Miriam Pinkesz

Two alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests in the 1950s and 1960s have launched a class action lawsuit Canada on Friday against the Diocese of Quebec.

The application to institute the class action lawsuit was filed at the Quebec City courthouse on behalf of victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

The Quebec sexual abuse class action lawsuit covers “all persons, as well as their heirs, who were sexually assaulted by members of the clergy or lay pastoral personnel under the responsibility of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Quebec and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Quebec between January 1, 1940 and the judgment yet to be passed.”

Thousands of Potential Sexual Abuse Victims

According to one of the lawyers involved in the Quebec sexual abuse class action lawsuit, statistically, 10% of priests within the Catholic Church commit abuse. Knowing that there was an average of 1,000 active priests on the territory of the Diocese of Quebec during the period covered by the proposed Quebec sexual abuse class action lawsuit, the number of victims could be very high.

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

Action collective contre le diocèse de Québec pour agressions sexuelles

QUEBEC (CANADA)
Radio-Canada

August 21, 2020

https://ici.radio-canada.ca/premiere/emissions/c-est-encore-mieux-l-apres-midi/segments/entrevue/194180/alain-arsenault-avocat-action-collective-diocese-quebec-agression-sexuelle

Le Diocèse de Québec pourrait faire face à une action collective menée pour des cas d’agressions sexuelles remontant à aussi loin que 1940. Une demande d’autorisation à la Cour supérieure du Québec a été déposée par les avocats des victimes présumées. Me Alain Arsenault, a piloté de nombreuses demandes d’exercer une action collective visant des congrégations religieuses. C’est lui qui va mener le dossier avec Me Marc Bellemare. Le point avec Me Arsenault.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATION: The Diocese of Quebec could face collective action in cases of sexual assault dating back as far as 1940. An application for authorization to the Superior Court of Quebec has been filed by lawyers for the alleged victims. Mr. Alain Arsenault, has led numerous requests for collective action targeting religious congregations. It is he who will lead the case with Me Marc Bellemare. Update with Mr. Arsenault.]

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

Allégations d’agressions sexuelles: recours contre le diocèse de Québec

[Allegations of sexual assault: recourse against the diocese of Quebec]

QUEBEC (CANADA)
Journal de Québec

August 21, 2020

By Kathleen Frenette

Il pourrait y avoir des milliers de victimes

[There could be thousands of victims]

Délestées depuis le mois de juin du délai de prescription qui les empêchait d’agir, deux présumées victimes qui auraient servi de jouet sexuel à des prêtres dans les années 50 et 60 ont décidé d’intenter un recours collectif contre le diocèse de Québec.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATION: Relieved since June of the statute of limitations which prevented them from acting, two alleged victims who would have served as a sex toy for priests in the 1950s and 1960s decided to bring a class action against the diocese of Quebec.]

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

Columbus Catholic Diocese settles priest sexual abuse case for $1 million

COLUMBUS (OH)
Columbus Dispatch

August 26, 2020

By Danae King

https://www.dispatch.com/news/20200826/columbus-catholic-diocese-settles-priest-sexual-abuse-case-for-1-million?fbclid=IwAR2uJNYrPkySswwuH6pnPgC2rLuRsvKKnYbzMznJUMA20mnd90q1_pIGJEM

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus settled a lawsuit alleging that one of its priests sexually abused a minor for $1 million.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus is paying $1 million to a man who said he survived sexual abuse at the hands of a priest and high school teacher as a minor.

The diocese announced the settlement Wednesday, ending a lawsuit filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court in July 2018.

Kevin Heidtman, who is now in his 30s, said in the lawsuit that longtime St. Charles Preparatory School teacher Monsignor Thomas Bennett, who is deceased, sexually abused him and others and the diocese knowingly let it happen.

The abuse took place when Heidtman was a freshman at St. Charles Prep from 2002 to 2003, he said. Bennett taught U.S. history and economics at St. Charles Prep from 1964 until shortly before his death in 2008.

A diocese release said Bishop Robert Brennan decided to settle the lawsuit on the advice of attorneys. The diocese noted it did not admit guilt in the settlement.

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

Exalumnos exigen investigar abusos de un sacerdote

[Alumni demand to investigate abuses of a priest]

LA PLATA (ARGENTINA)
El Patagónico

August 26, 2020

Exalumnos y familiares de exalumnos que asistieron a un colegio católico privado de La Plata exigieron hoy que se investiguen los abusos cometidos por un sacerdote que se desempeñaba como docente y confesor en el establecimiento.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATION: Former students and relatives of former students who attended a private Catholic school in La Plata demanded today that the abuses committed by a priest who worked as a teacher and confessor in the establishment be investigated.]

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

Publican una carta para que «no queden impunes» las denuncias contra el sacerdote trasladado a Iguazú, Raúl Sidders

[They publish a letter so that the complaints against the priest transferred to Iguazú, Raúl Sidders, “do not go unpunished”]

LA PLATA (ARGENTINA)
Misiones Online

August 26, 2020

La nota fue firmada por 100 alumnos, exestudiantes y sus familiares y docentes del colegio San Vicente de Paul en La Plata donde el cura presentaba funciones hasta ser enviado a la diócesis en la ciudad de Misiones, por una acusación formal y penal en su contra por abuso sexual realizada por una exalumna de esa institución.

[GOOGLE TRANSLATION: The note was signed by 100 students, former students and their families and teachers from the San Vicente de Paul school in La Plata where the priest presented functions until he was sent to the diocese in the city of Misiones, for a formal and criminal accusation against him for sexual abuse carried out by a former student of that institution.]

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

Church settles sex abuse cases for $1.4M

LAWRENCE (MA)
Lawrence Eagle-Tribune

August 26, 2020

By Breanna Edelstein

Case involves 10 women, 1 man who attended St. Mary’s School in Lawrence

The Catholic church has agreed to pay $1.4 million to settle a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse against 11 children who attended St. Mary’s School in Lawrence, according to the victims’ joint attorney, Mitchell Garabedian.

Garabedian, who is well known for representing victims of clergy sexual abuse, said the clients in this case were all victims of the Rev. John J. Gallagher between 1974 and 1978, when Gallagher was assigned to St. Mary’s Church and taught at the parish school.

The victims at the time — both female and male — ranged from 8 to 14 years old, Garabedian said.

According to Gallagher’s obituary, he died in 2006 at age 87. He was assigned to schools in New York, Pennsylvania and Florida, as well as locally at Merrimack College in 1969 and 1970 and St. Mary’s from 1972 to 1979.

This case against him involves 10 women and one man — now between 54 and 58 years old — who say they were abused by Gallagher in the gym and cafeteria at St. Mary’s School, the swimming pool of the Lawrence Reform School and the Lawrence YMCA.

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

Fayette priest charged with sexually assaulting altar boy

PENNSYLVANIA
Observer-Reporter

August 27, 2020

By Alyssa Choiniere

https://observer-reporter.com/news/localnews/fayette-priest-charged-with-sexually-assaulting-altar-boy/article_c580323c-fdc8-5e94-9a81-1c8cea1cdf9c.html

A Fayette County priest was charged with sexually assaulting an altar boy multiple times when the boy was between the ages of 11 and 14.

The Rev. Andrew Kawecki, 65, turned himself in to agents from the office of the attorney general at Fayette County Magisterial District Judge Daniel C. Shimshock’s Masontown office Wednesday, according to Attorney General Josh Shapiro. The alleged abuse of the boy, who is now in his 20s, began in 2004, Shapiro said.

The alleged “forced sexual encounters” occurred in the back room of Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church in Fairchance, where Kawecki prepared for services before Mass, Shapiro said. Kawecki would often ask for the boy specifically when he was conducting Masses, and would allegedly assault him before or after Mass when the boy was dropped off early by his parents. The alleged abuse continued until the boy’s family left the church in 2007, Shapiro said.

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

New details of child sex abuse claims against two priests in Greensburg Diocese revealed

PENNSYLVANIA
WTAE-TV

August 26, 2020

By Bob Mayo

New details about alleged child sexual abuse by two different Diocese of Greensburg priests were revealed Wednesday.

One priest, who the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office says served in 15 Greensburg Diocese parishes since 1980, is charged with sex crimes against an altar boy spanning several years in Fairchance, Fayette County.

The crimes were allegedly committed inside the sacristy of St. Cyril and Methodius Parish and in an upstairs bedroom of that church’s rectory.

Father Andrew Kawecki, 65, is charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault, and corruption of minors against the altar boy, who was 11 years old when the abuse allegedly started in 2004. It allegedly continued for several years.

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

Erie diocese puts number of abuse lawsuits at 31

ERIE (PA)
Erie.com

August 26, 2020

By Ed Palattella

A total of 21 suits were filed in Erie County, others filed elsewhere, including 8 in Philadelphia County.

The Catholic Diocese of Erie’s potential legal problems over the clergy abuse crisis extend beyond Erie County.

Though the diocese is facing 21 lawsuits filed at the Erie County Courthouse, it must also deal with another 10 suits filed elsewhere in the 13-county diocese and statewide, including in Philadelphia.

The suits concern claims of a cover-up and fraud by the diocese, with the plaintiffs saying clergy within the diocese abused them as minors.

The filings are related to the two-year anniversary, on Aug. 14, 2018, of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s release of the statewide grand jury report on the sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.

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

Germany: Over 1,400 youths accuse Catholic religious orders of sexual abuse

GERMANY
Deutsche Welle

August 27, 2020

Hundreds of monks, nuns, and other members of Catholic religious orders in Germany have been accused of sexually abusing children and teenagers. The orders are among the last Church organizations to address the issue.

As the German Catholic Church seeks to acknowledge decades of sexual abuse perpetuated and covered up by its clergy, one faction of the church remained relatively silent — until now.

A survey into sexual abuse within religious orders found that at least 1,412 people approached the organizations claiming they were sexually abused as children, teenagers or as wards. The research, published on Wednesday, was conducted by an umbrella group for the leaders of religious orders in Germany (DOK).

The DOK acknowledged the pain caused by its members and recognized its “failure” in tackling the issue.

At least 654 monks, nuns and other members of the orders were accused of abuse. Around 80% of the victims were male and 20% female.

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Parishioner sexually abused by Kamloops Catholic priest 40 years ago awarded $800,000

BRITISH COLUMBIA (CANADA)
Vancouver Sun

August 27, 2020

By Keith Fraser

‘Fr. (Erlindo) Molon’s abuse caused the plaintiff pain, anguish, grief and humiliation. It deeply affected her self-confidence. She has carried these wounds throughout her life,’ judge rules

A parishioner who was sexually abused by a Catholic priest in Kamloops more than 40 years ago has been awarded more than $800,000 in damages, believed to be the highest award for a sexual abuse victim in B.C.

Rosemary Anderson, who was 26 years old at the time of the abuse and is now 70, had travelled to the Interior community in 1976 to take up a job as an elementary school teacher at Our Lady of Perpetual Help school.

Her father had recently died and she was grieving him and went to Father Erlindo Molon for comfort, guidance and care, but the priest took advantage of her and repeatedly sexually assaulted her over the course of several months in the rectory and in her home.

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

Strengthened clerical abuse guidelines welcome, but much still to be done

IRELAND
The Irish News

August 27, 2020

The Vatican, under the direct intervention of Pope Francis, has strengthened its guidance to bishops on how the Catholic Church should combat clerical abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. Paula Jefferson of law firm BLM outlines the changes

http://www.irishnews.com/lifestyle/faithmatters/2020/08/27/news/strengthened-clerical-abuse-guidelines-welcome-but-much-still-to-be-done-2045819/

NEW guidelines from the Vatican advise that clerical sex abuse claims should be reported to the police and civil authorities.

The Vatican office responsible for investigating sexual abuse of minors committed by clerics, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has published new guidelines in the form of a manual for bishops and other senior officials setting out clear and detailed rules on how to deal with clerical child sex abuse claims.

This manual, which was circulated on July 16, has been drawn up at the express request of Pope Francis who called for procedures to be laid out step-by-step to avoid any further confusion in the area.

Pope Francis has made the fight against clerical child sexual abuse and its cover-up a priority of his pontificate.

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

Strengthened clerical abuse guidelines welcome, but much still to be done

IRELAND
The Irish News

August 27, 2020

The Vatican, under the direct intervention of Pope Francis, has strengthened its guidance to bishops on how the Catholic Church should combat clerical abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. Paula Jefferson of law firm BLM outlines the changes

http://www.irishnews.com/lifestyle/faithmatters/2020/08/27/news/strengthened-clerical-abuse-guidelines-welcome-but-much-still-to-be-done-2045819/

NEW guidelines from the Vatican advise that clerical sex abuse claims should be reported to the police and civil authorities.

The Vatican office responsible for investigating sexual abuse of minors committed by clerics, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has published new guidelines in the form of a manual for bishops and other senior officials setting out clear and detailed rules on how to deal with clerical child sex abuse claims.

This manual, which was circulated on July 16, has been drawn up at the express request of Pope Francis who called for procedures to be laid out step-by-step to avoid any further confusion in the area.

Pope Francis has made the fight against clerical child sexual abuse and its cover-up a priority of his pontificate.

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

#LetUsSpeak: Victoria blocks sexual assault victims from using real names

VICTORIA (AUSTRALIA)
News.com.au

August 26, 2020

By Nina Funnell

For years this young girl was abused by her father in her childhood bed. She hoped 30c under her pillow could save her

https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/letusspeak-victoria-blocks-sexual-assault-victims-from-using-real-names/news-story/821647419aee0cdbba5f89678c5a6a14

Tens of thousands of sexual assault survivors in Victoria have been stripped of their legal right to tell their stories using their real names.

The changes to the Judicial Proceedings Reports Act – which were quietly introduced in February – silence all sexual assault victims whose offenders have been found guilty, by banning them from ever speaking out under their real identities.

The new ‘gag laws’ have been described as a “major victory” for convicted paedophiles and rapists, as their victims are now “muzzled” and prohibited from self-identifying in publications – including media and autobiographies – regardless of their consent.

The laws also apply irrespective of when the crime occurred or when the offender was found guilty, meaning that many Victorian survivors who have lawfully been able to tell their stories in the past are now censored.

This includes scores of high profile survivor advocates – including several clergy abuse victims from Ballarat – some of whom have been speaking out for decades.

These individuals will now potentially face jail time if they continue their advocacy work under their real names.

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

#LetUsSpeak: Victoria blocks sexual assault victims from using real names

VICTORIA (AUSTRALIA)
News.com.au

August 26, 2020

By Nina Funnell

For years this young girl was abused by her father in her childhood bed. She hoped 30c under her pillow could save her

https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/letusspeak-victoria-blocks-sexual-assault-victims-from-using-real-names/news-story/821647419aee0cdbba5f89678c5a6a14

Tens of thousands of sexual assault survivors in Victoria have been stripped of their legal right to tell their stories using their real names.

The changes to the Judicial Proceedings Reports Act – which were quietly introduced in February – silence all sexual assault victims whose offenders have been found guilty, by banning them from ever speaking out under their real identities.

The new ‘gag laws’ have been described as a “major victory” for convicted paedophiles and rapists, as their victims are now “muzzled” and prohibited from self-identifying in publications – including media and autobiographies – regardless of their consent.

The laws also apply irrespective of when the crime occurred or when the offender was found guilty, meaning that many Victorian survivors who have lawfully been able to tell their stories in the past are now censored.

This includes scores of high profile survivor advocates – including several clergy abuse victims from Ballarat – some of whom have been speaking out for decades.

These individuals will now potentially face jail time if they continue their advocacy work under their real names.

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

#LetUsSpeak: Gerald Ridsdale, Ballarat survivors gagged under new laws

AUSTRALIA
News.com.au

August 27, 2020

By Nina Funnell

https://www.news.com.au/national/crime/letusspeak-gerald-ridsdale-ballarat-survivors-gagged-under-new-laws/news-story/81d626a0e0a5c820147371b177463786

They bravely showed their faces to bring paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale to justice. Now in a shock move, they’ve all been silenced.

Victims of notorious convicted paedophile Gerald Ridsdale are among those who have lost the right to self-identify in the media, as have dozens of other clergy abuse victims and other survivors in Victoria.

Under new state laws – quietly introduced in February – victims can no longer speak to media under their real names, in any case where the offender has been found guilty. The only exception is if they obtain a court order – a process which can cost thousands of dollars.

The #LetUsSpeak campaign was launched yesterday to petition the changes and funds are being raised to support individual victims to take their fight to court.

The new laws also apply to all past cases meaning that countless victims who have previously spoken to the media to push for inquiries and reforms have now lost that right.

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

#LetUsSpeak: Gerald Ridsdale, Ballarat survivors gagged under new laws

AUSTRALIA
News.com.au

August 27, 2020

By Nina Funnell

https://www.news.com.au/national/crime/letusspeak-gerald-ridsdale-ballarat-survivors-gagged-under-new-laws/news-story/81d626a0e0a5c820147371b177463786

They bravely showed their faces to bring paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale to justice. Now in a shock move, they’ve all been silenced.

Victims of notorious convicted paedophile Gerald Ridsdale are among those who have lost the right to self-identify in the media, as have dozens of other clergy abuse victims and other survivors in Victoria.

Under new state laws – quietly introduced in February – victims can no longer speak to media under their real names, in any case where the offender has been found guilty. The only exception is if they obtain a court order – a process which can cost thousands of dollars.

The #LetUsSpeak campaign was launched yesterday to petition the changes and funds are being raised to support individual victims to take their fight to court.

The new laws also apply to all past cases meaning that countless victims who have previously spoken to the media to push for inquiries and reforms have now lost that right.

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

Top cop Jeff Little sues over portrayal in book

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 27, 2020

By Kieran Gair

Hachette Australia is being sued by a top NSW detective who argues that the company allowed celebrated police whistleblower Peter Fox to portray him in a new book as a “callous” and incompetent person who helped “cover-up” the crimes of pedophile priests.

In a statement of claim lodged in the Federal Court on Tuesday and obtained by The Australian, Detective Inspector Jeff Little alleges Mr Fox’s book, Walking Towards Thunder, contains a litany of defamatory statements that have brought his reputation into “public disrepute, odium, ridicule and contempt”. Hachette Australia is yet to file a defence.

Mr Fox, a former Detective Chief Inspector, was a vocal and frequent critic of the strike force established in 2010 by NSW Police to investigate alleged concealment by church officials of child sexual abuse by clergy in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese.

Inspector Little, who was appointed in early 2011 to lead Strike Force Lantle, became a target of public vitriol after Mr Fox revealed explosive allegations about child abuse in the Catholic Church, prompting then Prime Minister Julia Gillard to launch a royal commission.

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

Top cop Jeff Little sues over portrayal in book

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

August 27, 2020

By Kieran Gair

Hachette Australia is being sued by a top NSW detective who argues that the company allowed celebrated police whistleblower Peter Fox to portray him in a new book as a “callous” and incompetent person who helped “cover-up” the crimes of pedophile priests.

In a statement of claim lodged in the Federal Court on Tuesday and obtained by The Australian, Detective Inspector Jeff Little alleges Mr Fox’s book, Walking Towards Thunder, contains a litany of defamatory statements that have brought his reputation into “public disrepute, odium, ridicule and contempt”. Hachette Australia is yet to file a defence.

Mr Fox, a former Detective Chief Inspector, was a vocal and frequent critic of the strike force established in 2010 by NSW Police to investigate alleged concealment by church officials of child sexual abuse by clergy in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese.

Inspector Little, who was appointed in early 2011 to lead Strike Force Lantle, became a target of public vitriol after Mr Fox revealed explosive allegations about child abuse in the Catholic Church, prompting then Prime Minister Julia Gillard to launch a royal commission.

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

Teacher accused of abuse was trusted by victim’s family

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Associated Press

August 26, 2020

A woman’s family thought a former Phillips Exeter Academy teacher was her “guardian angel” before he was charged with sexually assaulting her, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

The parents trusted Szczesny “Jerzy” Kaminski, 59, with their daughter and dined with him when visiting her in Exeter, according to an affidavit made public after his arrest.

A judge released Kaminski after setting bail at $50,000 with conditions that included no contact with the family and no unsupervised contact with unrelated minors, according to his lawyer Amy Spencer.

Police began investigating Kaminski in March after the Rockingham County Attorney’s Office received a call from an attorney representing the now 20-year-old woman. The attorney claimed Kaminski, a Phillips Exeter teacher for nearly three decades, began engaging in inappropriate sexual contact with the student in 2014 when she was in ninth grade.

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

Greensburg Diocese priest charged with sexually assaulting altar boy

HARRISBURG (PA)
WHTM-TV

August 26, 2020

A Fayette County priest has been arrested for assaulting an 11-year-old altar boy for three years starting in 2004, the state Attorney General’s Office announced.

Father Andrew Kawecki, 65, was arrested Wednesday and has been charged with indecent assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.

The alleged victim, now in his late 20s, told prosecutors that Kawecki forced sexual encounters with him when he was 11. He said it took place in the back room of St. Cyril and Methodius Church in Fairchance where Kawecki prepared for services before mass.

The AG’s Office said Kawecki often requested his altar server to work during masses the priest was conducting. The assaults continued until the family left the parish in 2007.

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

O.C.’s bishop, a $12-million problem and a secret fight stretching to the Vatican

ORANGE COUNTY (CA)
Los Angeles Times

August 26, 2020

By Harriet Ryan

The FedEx envelopes landed at dawn on the doorsteps of some of Orange County’s most influential Catholic philanthropists — real estate developers, attorneys, CEOs and other church stalwarts who had raised tens of millions of dollars over the years for the local diocese.

Inside were letters from Bishop Kevin Vann that boiled down to two words: You’re fired.

Those June missives ignited a revolt inside the Orange County church that has burned all the way to the Vatican while remaining largely hidden from the diocese’s 1.3 million rank-and-file Catholics.

At its heart is a falling-out between a circle of well-connected laypeople who helped the church rebound financially from the clergy abuse scandal two decades ago, and a prelate staring down fresh money problems brought on by the pandemic and a new round of molestation lawsuits.

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

New survey of German religious orders finds decades of abuse accusations

BONN (GERMANY)
Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

August 26, 2020

A new survey of heads of German Catholic religious orders found abuse allegations against at least 654 members over a period of decades, reported the German Catholic news agency KNA.

The survey of 392 orders found at least 1,412 children, adolescents or wards were the victims of sexual abuse. Of the victims, around 80% were male and around 20% female, KNA reported.

Franciscan Sister Katharina Kluitmann, president of the German Conference of Catholic Superiors, said there was an unquantifiable additional number of unreported cases. She said the victims had suffered additional pain from the way they were treated by leaders and other members of orders.

“We deeply regret this and acknowledge our failure once again,” she said.

The German Conference of Catholic Superiors sent a questionnaire to the heads of the orders in 2019 and received responses from around three quarters of them (291 of 392), covering 88% of the members of religious orders in Germany today.

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

News Release: AG Pax­ton Files Ami­cus Brief in Texas Supreme Court Defend­ing Reli­gious Liberty

TEXAS
Office of Attorney General of Texas

August 25, 2020

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an amicus brief in the Texas Supreme Court urging it to protect the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lubbock’s First Amendment rights to be free from state courts interfering with church doctrine and governance. By allowing a Catholic cleric’s defamation claim against the Diocese of Lubbock to proceed, the State’s brief argues, the lower court failed to give proper respect to the Diocese’s autonomy.

“Defending our religious liberty is one of my top priorities,” said Attorney General Paxton. “I will continue to fight for church autonomy and ensure that religious institutions are free from government interference. A church should not be subject to legal sanction for confronting serious societal problems, like sexual abuse, when matters of church governance or church doctrine are at issue.”
The case involves a decision by all the Roman Catholic dioceses in Texas to release the names of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor. The dioceses released these accusations as part of a Church-wide policy of transparency and accountability for addressing sexual abuse and alleged sexual abuse by clergy. The Diocese of Lubbock determined that an ordained Deacon of the Catholic Church had been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor female with mental disabilities on two separate occasions. The Deacon sued the Diocese of Lubbock for defamation because it released his name –along with other clergy who had been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor—on the Diocese’s website. The trial court concluded that the First Amendment prohibits Texas courts from adjudicating the claim but the court of appeals disagreed, forcing the Diocese to file its petition with the Texas Supreme Court.

Read a copy of the brief here.

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Pope questioned child abuse whistleblower

AUSTRALIA
The Saturday Paper

August 20, 2020

An Australian priest claimed he was summoned to the Vatican to be questioned by the Pope regarding his testimony against an archbishop accused of concealing child sexual abuse. Father Glen Walsh met with the pontiff in 2016, reports The Sydney Morning Herald, ahead of his testimony against Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson, accused of concealing allegations of sexual abuse of former altar boys in the Newcastle-Maitland diocese in the 1970s. After the meeting with Pope Francis, Cardinal George Pell was allegedly waiting outside, and lifted his hand for the priest to kiss his ring. Weeks before the archbishop’s trial was set down, Walsh was allegedly told he had no future in the diocese. Just before he could give testimony, Walsh took his own life. Wilson was found guilty of concealment charges in May 2018 on evidence that included statements by Walsh, but the conviction was overturned on appeal.

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Opinion: The Altar Boys will reopen wounds for some, and provide vindication and salvation for others

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

August 20, 2020

https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/6886724/we-need-to-read-what-suzanne-smith-and-others-have-to-say-about-the-toll-of-clerical-abuse/

Sadly, one of the worst indictments of our society has been the terrible and insidious prevalence of child sexual abuse across a range of once trusted institutions.

Julia Gillard – who as prime minister ordered the Royal Commission that did so much to calibrate the extent of the problem – thanked the Newcastle Herald’s Joanne McCarthy for convincing her of the need for an investigation.

Others, too, played substantial roles, including Sydney journalist Suzanne Smith, whose reports for ABC’s Lateline program were crucial in attracting the attention of a national audience.

Now, spurred by the suicides of two men abused in the Hunter – one a close friend and colleague – Smith has a book on the subject, The Altar Boys, being published today.

As we indicate in our front page report, it is not a comfortable read. It was not intended to be.

What’s more, Smith has put her investigative abilities to good use and come up with new evidence about the cavalcade of abusers who hid – and were hidden by others – within the supposedly sacred spaces of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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New bishop will lead Catholics during period of change

BEAUMONT (TC)
Beaumont Enterprise

August 19, 2020

By Chris Moore

Bishop-elect David Toups, whose ordination Friday will put him in charge of the Catholic community in Southeast Texas, arrives during what many foresee as a time of dramatic change for the church both globally and locally.

The challenges include reversing an ongoing decline in the number of priests, addressing the role of gender in the church, and rebuilding trust after a massive sex-abuse scandal that has cost the church hundreds of millions of dollars and done untold damage to its reputation.

The Rev. Luis Urriza of Beaumont has seen much change in his 76 years as a priest, most of it at Cristo Rey Church, which he helped build on Avenue A.

He knows more change is ahead, and he believes rebuilding the ranks of the priesthood must be a priority.

Urriza, 99, thinks that sometime “down the road” the church will even consider allowing priests to marry. He says he would not necessarily oppose such a change.

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“By not acting, you’re enabling.” Why survivors are abandoned to protect institutions.

MICHIGAN
Michigan Radio

August 25, 2020

By Anne Clark

Dr. Robert E. Anderson was a physician at the University of Michigan from the late 1960s to early 2000s. Hundreds have accused him of sexually abusing them in the time period. The doctor is not here to answer for his actions. Most—but not all—of the people accused of enabling him are gone too. What, then, does justice look like?

The following interview is featured in this story by Anna Clark about those survivors, his enablers, and the institution that is finally facing a reckoning.

Amos Guiora grew up in Ann Arbor, and his father was a faculty member at the University of Michigan medical school at the time that Dr. Robert Anderson worked there. He describes himself as “the world’s biggest Michigan football fan” and “the ultimate son of Ann Arbor.”

Now, he is a law professor at the University of Utah and the author of the forthcoming book Armies of Enablers: Survivor Stories of Complicity and Betrayal in Sexual Assaults. It looks at the culture of complicity that made systemic sexual abuse possible at Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, Ohio State University, Penn State, and the Catholic Church. The only son of two Holocaust survivors, he is also the author of The Crime of Complicity: The Bystander in the Holocaust.

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Law banning sexual abuse victims from speaking out could be changed

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

August 26 2020

By Georgie Moore

The Victorian government says it’s willing to revisit laws requiring sexual assault survivors to ask courts for permission to speak publicly about their experiences.

Victoria’s Attorney-General Jill Hennessy says the changes had been designed to make it easier for survivors.

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Vatican rules that Benedictine abbot should not return to his community

ENGLAND
CNA

August 26, 2020

The Vatican has ruled that the abbot of Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire, England, should not return to his community, four years after he stepped aside during an investigation into allegations against him.

Fr. Gabriel Everitt, the abbey’s prior administrator, announced the Holy See’s decision concerning Fr. Cuthbert Madden in a letter to the Ampleforth Society, a 16,000-strong group with ties to the Benedictine monastery.

“The Holy See has studied the case carefully, including the external scrutiny of Ampleforth and the fact that Fr. Cuthbert’s mandate as Abbot expires in January 2021,” Everitt wrote.

“It does not support his return to Ampleforth as Abbot or as a resident member of the community but wishes him to be free to live in a Benedictine community of his choice with the consent of the host Abbot.”

The ruling was reported by the British Catholic weekly The Tablet Aug. 25.

Madden was first elected abbot in 2005, then re-elected in 2013 for a second eight-year term. He stepped aside in August 2016 after allegations of indecent assault were lodged against him, while strenuously denying the claims.

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Youth Leader Indicted on 89 Counts of Child Sex Abuse, SNAP Responds

DELAWARE
SNAP Network

August 25, 2020

A Delaware youth leader has been indicted on 89 charges related to child sex abuse. This is an extremely disturbing case that demands answers from church officials about how this man was able to secure his position and then abuse children for multiple years.

John C. Sapp Jr. was a youth leader at Maranatha Fellowship in Dover, Delaware, where he is accused of using his position to groom and then abuse at least two girls. This reportedly went on for years yet somehow remained under the radar of church officials, despite the fact that some incidents were said to have occurred on Fellowship premises. We are glad that Sapp has now been indicted and that the public is aware of the accusations, but we believe that further investigation by the church is warranted to make sure that this will not occur again. The community should want to know if proper vetting procedures are in place and followed. Also, the Fellowship should want to discover whether any signs of criminal behavior were missed or ignored by church leaders.

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Baptist Pastor Charged with Child Sex Abuse and Human Trafficking

KALAMAZOO (MI)
SNAP Network

August 25, 2020

A Baptist pastor from a Kalamazoo church has been charged with multiple counts of human trafficking and child sexual abuse, disturbing news that will hopefully rally the community to support his victims and take steps to encourage others who were hurt to come forward.

According to his attorney, Rev. Stricjavvar Strickland will turn himself in to Michigan State Police to be arraigned on 11 charges related to child sexual abuse and human trafficking. Communities are safer when such serious allegations are reported to law enforcement for prosecution.

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Case settled for $1 million after claims Columbus priest sexually abused student

COLUMBUS (OH)
WTOL 11

August 26, 2020

The settlement was announced on Wednesday.

The Catholic Diocese of Columbus announced a $1 million settlement to a former Saint Charles Preparatory School student after claims Monsignor Thomas Bennett abused the student.

A complaint by the student, who attended the school in the early 2000s, was filed in 2018 claiming he was abused by Bennett.

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Bransfield Accuser Calls Disgraced Bishop’s Apology ‘Inadequate’

WHEELING (WV)
The Wheeling Intelligencer

Augst 26, 2020

By Mike Jones

The former traveling secretary for Michael Bransfield — who said the disgraced bishop sexually abused him while leading the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston — called his recent apology to his victims and the faithful “inadequate and unsatisfactory.”

The man, who identified himself as VGD in a four-page letter sent to The Intelligencer, took exception to Bransfield’s brief apology dated Aug. 15 as part of his amends to leave the church in good standing.

“Unfortunately, former bishop Bransfield’s letter does not meet the basic conditions of Catholic contrition, or apology, specifically in the context of reconciliation,” VGD said in his response. “In the Catholic tradition, we do not apologize for actions ‘attributed to’ us or for hypothetical ‘ifs.’”

Bransfield resigned from his position in September 2018 following accusations of misappropriating church funds and sexually abusing young seminarians and priests during his 12-year reign.

As part of his amends, current diocesan Bishop Mark Brennan last November ordered Bransfield to pay nearly $800,000 in restitution and personally apologize to his victims. The Vatican approved a reduced restitution this month, ordering Bransfield to pay $441,000.

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Is it time to rename Mount Cashel Road?

NEWFOUNDLAND (CANADA)
The Telegram via Saltire

August 25, 2020

By Barb Sweet

In the aftermath of a Court of Appeal decision, a victim says it’s time to rethink street names

A John Doe involved in the recent civil case involving 1940s to ‘60s victims of abuse at an infamous St. John’s boy’s orphanage says the city should rename Mount Cashel Road and other streets honouring the Christian Brothers’ order.

Mount Cashel Road is a relatively short street tucked away behind Elizabeth Avenue, and runs from New Cove Road to Torbay Road across from the former orphanage site, and its namesake connection to the disturbing institution is clear.

Below Howley Estates, built on the site of the former Mount Cashel Orphanage, is a series of streets named in the mid-1960s to honour various Christian Brothers from early periods of the orphanage’s history.

“I’d like to see them all changed,” said the man, who is in his early 80s and was one of five brothers sexually abused at the orphanage.

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BREAKING: Catholic priest sex abuse victim awarded $844,140

KAMLOOPS (CANADA)
Powell River Peak

August 25, 2020

By Jeremy Hainsworth / Glacier Syndicated

“He exploited the vulnerability of a young woman,” said Justice David Crossin

The Kamloops Roman Catholic Diocese will pay a priest’s sexual abuse victim $844,140 in damages, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled Aug. 25.

Rosemary Anderson, now 70, alleged in a Dec. 22, 2016, notice of civil claim that sexual abuse at the hands of Erlindo Molon, now 88, started when she was 26. She names Molon and the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Kamloops, A Corporation Sole, in the claim.

She had sought solace from her priest after the death of her father in September 1976. Instead, Molon began groping her, starting a sexual relationship that went on for several months. Anderson testified she felt trapped.

“Molon’s conduct was an egregious, and indeed reprehensible, abuse of power,” Crossin said in his decision. “He exploited the vulnerability of a young woman entrusted to his care to engage in a prolonged and repeated course of sexual exploitation. His conduct was clearly wrong, by the standards of any time. He also demonstrated a brazen indifference to the harm caused by his actions.”

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