Names of priests added to Rockford Catholic Diocese sexual abuse list

ROCKFORD (IL)
Rockford Register Star

October 30, 2020

By Chris Green

Six more names have been added to the Catholic Diocese of Rockford’s sexual abuse list.

The list, updated Oct. 21, now contains the names of 21 clergy members against whom allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been substantiated.

The names of the six priests added to the list and their parish assignments are:

‒ David F. Heimann, St. Peter Church of Rockford.

‒ Joseph Jablonski, St. Therese of Jesus Church of Aurora.

‒ Ivan Rovira, St. Joseph Church of Elgin, St. Therese of Jesus Church of Aurora.

‒ Daniel Cipar, Holy Cross Church of Batavia

‒ Aloysius Piorkowski, St. Wendelin Church of Shannon, Ss. John and Catherine Church of Mount Carroll, St. Mary Church of Galena, St. Peter Church of South Beloit, St. Mary Church of Polo, St. Mary Church of Sterling.

‒ Leo Petit, St. Joseph Church of Elgin and Sacred Heart Church of Aurora.

The list found on the Rockford Diocese website is attached to a 2018 letter from Bishop David Malloy.

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Archbishop Wilton Gregory Says ‘Carry On’ Work for Racial and Societal Justice

PEORIA (IL)
WCBU / NPR

October 30, 2020

By Audie Cornish

*

On the sexual abuse crisis within the Catholic Church

I think what we have to do is see it as a continual commitment to providing a safe environment for our children, not just in the Catholic Church, not just in our schools, not just in our sports programs. …

At that time [in the early 2000s], you will recall that the attention was that this was an American problem.

In the past two decades, we see it as not just an American problem. And so I think it involves the entire church to, as you rightfully suggest, to make sure that leadership is on the right page and that we can never reassign a cleric or another church worker who has been clearly identified as a perpetrator to have public access to young people.

*

And on the Catholic sexual abuse scandal, Wilton Gregory has said…

We must admit our own failures. We clerics and hierarchs have irrefutably been the source of this current tempest.

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News Briefing: Church in the World

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Tablet

October 30, 2020

*

A retired cardinal who served as personal secretary to Pope John Paul II has denied any knowledge of sexual abuse by priests in his Krakow archdiocese. “They seek to thrust responsibility on to me when I had no such responsibility and no knowledge of this matter,” said Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, 81, responding in a Polish TV interview to questions about a prominent sexual abuse case in the Krakow archdiocese, which he headed for 11 years until his retirement in 2016. He said he had no recollection of the case, insisting it fell under the jurisdiction of another retired prelate, Bishop Tadeusz Rakoczy.

*
The three top leaders of the Focolare movement in France have stepped down after a news report said an independent commission into sexual abuse in the Church had found about 30 cases committed by a former consecrated lay member.

The investigative website Les Jours said the man was accused of abuse in 1994 but was not expelled until 2016. The leaders who resigned were Bernard Brechet and Claude Goffinet, co-leaders of the Focolare movement in France, and Henri-Louis Roche, head of Focolare’s Western European region. Accepting the resignations, Focolare headquarters in Rome said Jesus Moran, co-president of the international movement, had met with presumed victims and the French section’s abuse commission in September. On that occasion, Moran spoke of “the silence or lack of initiative sustained for years on the part of various people in positions of responsibility”.

*
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel released an interim report documenting clergy sex abuse in the state. The two-year investigation, which began with the search and seizure of documents at the state’s seven chanceries, charges 454 priests with abusing 811 victims. The special investigative team continues to make its way through all the documents seized and estimates it has examined 65 per cent of them. Eleven clergy have been charged and two have already been convicted of sexual abuse.

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Report: Cardinal Woelki would step down if implicated in abuse cover-ups

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service via The Pilot – Archdiocese of Boston

October 30, 2020

Cologne, Germany – Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki would resign from his office if the sexual abuse study he commissioned implicated him in any cover-ups, according to the Cologne Archdiocese.

The German Catholic news agency KNA said the archdiocese was confirming a report in the local Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper that Cardinal Woelki had expressed this intention before the diocesan pastoral council in November 2018. The aim of the study is to identify by name those who were involved in sexual abuse.

“This does not exempt Cardinal Woelki, and he would face up to his responsibility and accept the consequences,” the archdiocese said.

In its report, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger cited an unidentified pastoral council participant as saying that the cardinal “in his sometimes-loose manner” had explained that no consideration could be shown to anyone and that a “complete clarification” was necessary. If the study could prove his participation in a cover-up, then “the cathedral chapter will have to vote anew.”

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RI’s Catholic bishop Thomas Tobin draws fire for tweets, but feels his role is to teach

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal via

October 30, 2020

By Mark Patinkin

Mindful that he’d tweeted that certain Pride Day activities are harmful to children, I asked about church leadership having looked the other way as priests molested children.

*

“The church has a history of sexual abuse in its organization, as do a lot of other organizations,” said Tobin. “But we’ve worked hard to address that and correct it.”

He added: “I will never claim any personal moral superiority.”

Every preacher except Jesus, he said, is imperfect.

Thomas Tobin grew up in Pittsburgh – you can tell by the Steelers banner he hangs in front of his home.

His dad was a Sears salesman, his mom a homemaker.

His call to faith came early in Catholic school, inspired by the nuns and priests there.

He became auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh in 1992, bishop of Youngstown in 1995, and a decade later, began here.

Tobin, a Democrat most of his life, pointed out he has been attacked from the right, too.

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Deep State, Deep Church: How QAnon and Trumpism Have Infected the Catholic Church

NEW YORK (NY)
Type Investigations

October 30, 2020

By Kahryn Joyce

Catholicism’s increasingly powerful political right reflects fringe America, fueled by paranoia, conspiracy, racism, and the threat of apocalypse

*

In 2018, Viganò released an 11-page letter charging that Francis ignored early warnings about a defrocked cardinal who’d sexually abused minors and seminarians; he decried a Vatican “homosexual network” and called for Francis to resign. Around the world Catholic bishops’ conferences immediately voiced support for the pope, but the U.S. conference took weeks to do the same, and even then, some two dozen bishops announced support for Viganò instead.

Partly that reflected how deeply the U.S. clergy sex abuse crisis had scarred American Catholics. In the context of America’s political parties, says Massimo Faggioli, a church historian at Villanova University, the crisis came to be interpreted along polarized lines, with the left blaming hierarchical church culture and the right, essentially, homosexuality.

“On the right they’ve used that massively at every level,” says Faggioli. “Conservatives have weaponized the scandal to try to get rid of Pope Francis and said nothing about what John Paul II knew, what Pope Benedict knew. Only Pope Francis and a list of liberal cardinals or bishops.”

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Ex-priest who was subject of Oscar-nominated documentary on sex abuse jailed for 22 months over child pornography

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Independent

October 27, 2020

By Eoghan Dalton

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/ex-priest-who-was-subject-of-oscar-nominated-documentary-on-sex-abuse-jailed-for-22-months-over-child-pornography-39675246.html

A former priest has been sentenced to prison for 22 months at Waterford Circuit Court for possessing child pornography.

Oliver O’Grady (75) had been found guilty by a jury a fortnight ago, having been charged with one count of possessing a video of an underage girl engaging in a sexual act.

The court heard that he had the video on a date between December 14, 2015 and March 2016, at his residence at St Otteran’s Place, South Parade, Waterford city.

The case arose when a former housemate of O’Grady reported him to gardaí after discovering a sexually explicit video on the computer. The offence – which he denied – carries a maximum sentence of five years.

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Former Irish Catholic priest jailed for possession of child pornography

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Irish Post

October 28, 2020

By Jack Beresford

[Includes trailer of the 2006 documentary Deliver Us from Evil.]

A former Irish Catholic priest has been jailed for 22 months at Waterford Circuit Court for possessing child pornography.

Oliver O’Grady, 75, who was previously the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary Deliver Us from Evil, was found guilty by a jury a fortnight ago.

He was charged with one count of possessing a video of an underage girl engaging in a sexual act.

The case came about after one of O’Grady’s housemates reported him to gardaí after discovering a sexually explicit video on the computer.

While O’Grady claimed to have had no knowledge of the video’s existence until it was uncovered during the Gardaí investigation.

He nevertheless accepted the guilty verdict.

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Editorial: Diocese bankruptcy allows orderly compensation for abuse claims

ATLANTIC CITY (NJ)
The Press

October 29, 2020

The filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden this month was unavoidable.

Its inevitability could almost be seen in the 2019 New Jersey law that opened a two-year window for filing claims of sexual abuse against the diocese no matter how long ago the alleged action. That erased the previously applied statute of limitations for such claims. Critics of the law at the time said it would unleash a wave of lawsuits that may bankrupt nonprofit and charitable organizations, eliminating the services they provide to communities.

The diocese tried to handle the claims on its own, establishing a victim compensation fund that had decided 104 of 184 claims and paid out $8.1 million to 71 victims. But whatever chance that approach alone would be enough evaporated in the pandemic.

Government restrictions on attendance at houses of worship have decimated offertory collections at religious institutions of all kinds. A much larger Long Island diocese facing similar circumstances in New York filed for bankruptcy the same day as its Camden counterpart. It said such offerings are about 40% of its annual revenue. More than 20 dioceses nationwide have entered bankruptcy in large part to handle claims of sexual abuse.

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Jesuits delay naming suspected abusers

TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
The Catholic Register

October 29, 2020

Ottawa – The promise to release a detailed public list of all Canadian Jesuits who have been “credibly accused” of sex abuse has been delayed until at least the spring.

The Jesuits of Canada announced in December 2019 they would do what no other Canadian Catholic Church organization has done — release the names of priests “credibly accused” of abusing minors. It is a move clergy abuse survivor groups in Canada and around the world have been demanding for years. The Jesuits had planned to publish a comprehensive list by January.

Those plans, however, have been adversely impacted by the ongoing health crisis.

In a statement forwarded to Canadian Catholic News, the Jesuits’ director of communications Jose Sanchez said anti-COVID precautions have slowed the pace of reviewing historic cases and it may be well into 2021 before the results can finally be made public.

“The auditors have consolidated, digitized, reviewed and indexed a large part of the delegate, legal and personnel files of most Jesuits, particularly those that were the subject of complaints between 1950 and the present,” the statement said.

“Although they have made significant progress, the reality that our archives were closed for most of the spring and summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to process the final portion of these records. By the end of this month, independent auditors should have completed the digitization of all files and an information base to assist in the creation of a list. We estimate that both a list and the final report will be ready in the spring of 2021.”

Last December the Jesuits announced the order had hired King International Advisory Group to review all personnel and provincial files going back to 1950.

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Letter to the Editor: Church must better deal with its abuse issue

CHARLOTTESVILLE (VA)
The Daily Progress

October 29, 2020

By Mike Brinkac and Nancy Brinkac

It is with great concern and loss of trust that we read another story about the child sex scandal in the Catholic Church: “Catholic Diocese of Richmond paying $6.3M to victims sexually abused by clergy,” The Daily Progress, Oct. 16.

This is yet another example of the inherent pedophilia problem involving clergy that has plagued the church for decades.

Yet, the 51 individuals compensated by the Richmond Diocese represent just the tip of the iceberg.

A 2018-2019 report by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reported that 4,220 people filed 4,434 allegations saying they had been victims of child sexual abuse. The report represents dioceses across the United States. Of the allegations, 1,034 were substantiated.

The report was summarized in “Annual audit shows more than 4,400 allegations of clergy abuse reported,” the National Catholic Reporter, June 25.

In spite of these outrageous numbers, the NCR story gave no indication of the underlying factors that generate these problems, what is being done to correct them and the civil or criminal justice that was applied.

While the Catholic Church has accomplished great things for Christianity and social justice, this scandal is contrary to the principles in which the church is founded. It’s time for the church to become transparent and morally responsive to its faithful.

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Former paratrooper to succeed Barbarin in scandal-hit Lyon

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Tablet

October 30, 2020

By Tom Heneghan

Bishop Olivier de Germay of Ajaccio has been named the new archbishop of Lyon in a surprise appointment to the French diocese worn down by a years-long sexual abuse scandal that forced Cardinal Philippe Barbarin to resign.

A former paratrooper ordained at 37, he is an unexpected conservative choice for the historic archdiocese, whose prelate has also held the title Primate of the Gauls since 1079. His name was not among possible candidates rumoured in advance.

Reaction to the news was mixed, with secular media branding him as a homophobe close to Church traditionalists and supporters praising him as a man with experience handling difficult situations.

Bishop de Germay himself expressed surprise at the nomination and said he had no set plan for the archdiocese and would first listen to what people had to say.

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David Haas sexual misconduct report alleges 44 victims in 41 years

MINNEAPOLIS (MN)
Star Tribune

October 30, 2020

By Jean Hopfensperger

Women describe decades of sexual misconduct by church musician.

Amy Anderson has kept a letter from Catholic composer David Haas for more than 30 years, an apology he sent to her parents after they reported to the St. Paul Seminary that Haas had sexually abused their then 18-year-old daughter.

“I know that you have had several conversations with Fr. [Charles] Froehle, here at the seminary,” Haas wrote on his letterhead stationary on Jan. 22, 1988. “I had no idea that I was making Amy uncomfortable … I do, however, hold ultimate responsibility for the entire incident …”

Haas added that he was getting counseling from the Rev. Kenneth Pierre, a psychologist with the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Anderson remains baffled, and “mortified,” that Catholic leaders let Haas continue his work as artist-in-residence at the seminary and failed to monitor his future behavior.

“We thought we’d taken the necessary steps to make sure this [sexual abuse] didn’t happen again, much less to nearly 50 women,” said Anderson, referring to the avalanche of sex abuse complaints against Haas reported this year.

“This should never have happened,” said Anderson, an executive at a St. Paul-area nonprofit. “People should have been warned.”

Anderson is among 44 women who alleged sexual misconduct spanning 41 years in an October report by Into Account, a Kansas-based victims’ rights group that compiled the report.

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Name change reflects the desire to walk with victims

KANSAS CITY (KS)
The Leaven – Archdiocese of Kansas City

October 30, 2020

By Moira Cullings

“Two years ago, I never thought I would return to a church building, ever,” said Sandra.

A survivor of abuse by a representative of the Catholic Church, the journey to find healing for Sandra, whose name has been changed for anonymity, has been difficult.

“There’s a sense of loneliness,” she said. “Where do I belong?”

Healing from abuse is complicated, and perhaps even more so when the abuse occurred at the hands of a representative of the church, often leaving the victim survivor to feel betrayed and outcast from their faith community.

That’s why the office for protection and care for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, formerly known as the office of child and youth protection, is working fervently to atone for church abuse by taking responsibility for the harm caused.

“Although we cannot turn back time, we can work to prevent abuse today and respond to a survivor’s needs with a sense of urgency and respect,” said director Jenifer Valenti.

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Name change reflects the desire to walk with victims

KANSAS CITY (KS)
The Leaven – Archdiocese of Kansas City

October 30, 2020

By Moira Cullings

“Two years ago, I never thought I would return to a church building, ever,” said Sandra.

A survivor of abuse by a representative of the Catholic Church, the journey to find healing for Sandra, whose name has been changed for anonymity, has been difficult.

“There’s a sense of loneliness,” she said. “Where do I belong?”

Healing from abuse is complicated, and perhaps even more so when the abuse occurred at the hands of a representative of the church, often leaving the victim survivor to feel betrayed and outcast from their faith community.

That’s why the office for protection and care for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, formerly known as the office of child and youth protection, is working fervently to atone for church abuse by taking responsibility for the harm caused.

“Although we cannot turn back time, we can work to prevent abuse today and respond to a survivor’s needs with a sense of urgency and respect,” said director Jenifer Valenti.

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Fort Myers man gets 5 new charges of sexual abuse against children after 2 more victims come forward

FORT MYERS (FL)
WINK

October 29, 2020

Michigan’s attorney general has filed five additional charges against a Fort Myers man after accusations of sexual assault against two more minors in the 1970s.

Joseph Comperchio, 67, originally had six charges pending involving sexual abuse of minors, but five more have been added.

Comprerchio was arrested back on September 14 on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

He is accused of sexually abusing the minors while he was the drama and music teacher at St. John Catholic School in Jackson County, Michigan in the 1970s.

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Fort Myers man gets 5 new charges of sexual abuse against children after 2 more victims come forward

FORT MYERS (FL)
WINK

October 29, 2020

Michigan’s attorney general has filed five additional charges against a Fort Myers man after accusations of sexual assault against two more minors in the 1970s.

Joseph Comperchio, 67, originally had six charges pending involving sexual abuse of minors, but five more have been added.

Comprerchio was arrested back on September 14 on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

He is accused of sexually abusing the minors while he was the drama and music teacher at St. John Catholic School in Jackson County, Michigan in the 1970s.

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Bail set at $150,000 for Slidell priest accused of molesting a teen boy

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WWL 4 CBS

October 27, 2020

https://www.wwltv.com/article/news/crime/bail-set-for-slidell-priest-accused-of-molestation/289-63cbaf95-8897-41fc-a00b-2b1645f0c33e

Church officials said Wattigny disclosed the alleged abuse to them on Oct. 1, and they immediately reported the admission to law enforcement.

Slidell – Bail for a Catholic priest in jail over allegations of molesting an underage boy in Slidell was set at $150,000 on Tuesday morning.

Patrick Wattigny had not made bond as of early Tuesday afternoon. During a hearing in front of St. Tammany Parish bail commissioner Daniel Foil, Wattigny said he would retain a defense attorney.

That attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Wattigny, 53, appeared before Foil a day after arriving at the St. Tammany Parish jail in Covington. St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies brought him to the lockup Monday, four days after police in West Point, Georgia, arrested Wattigny on a warrant accusing him of four counts of molestation of a juvenile.

Wattigny was in West Point because he owns a home there. Police arrested him at his home after receiving a call saying authorities believed Wattigny was in their jurisdiction.

If convicted of molestation of a juvenile, Wattigny could face a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison per count.

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Bail set at $150,000 for Slidell priest accused of molesting a teen boy

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WWL 4 CBS

October 27, 2020

https://www.wwltv.com/article/news/crime/bail-set-for-slidell-priest-accused-of-molestation/289-63cbaf95-8897-41fc-a00b-2b1645f0c33e

Church officials said Wattigny disclosed the alleged abuse to them on Oct. 1, and they immediately reported the admission to law enforcement.

Slidell – Bail for a Catholic priest in jail over allegations of molesting an underage boy in Slidell was set at $150,000 on Tuesday morning.

Patrick Wattigny had not made bond as of early Tuesday afternoon. During a hearing in front of St. Tammany Parish bail commissioner Daniel Foil, Wattigny said he would retain a defense attorney.

That attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Wattigny, 53, appeared before Foil a day after arriving at the St. Tammany Parish jail in Covington. St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies brought him to the lockup Monday, four days after police in West Point, Georgia, arrested Wattigny on a warrant accusing him of four counts of molestation of a juvenile.

Wattigny was in West Point because he owns a home there. Police arrested him at his home after receiving a call saying authorities believed Wattigny was in their jurisdiction.

If convicted of molestation of a juvenile, Wattigny could face a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison per count.

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Napier church fence tied with ribbons to raise awareness of child sexual abuse

AUCKLAND (NEW ZEALAND)
New Zealand Herald

October 25, 2020

By Shannon Johnstone

A tide of ribbons will be a permanent fixture on the St Patrick’s Church Napier fence as part of the Loud Fence movement.

The Loud Fence movement began in Australia in 2015, at St Alipius Boys’ School in Ballarat, a site of abuse, and the movement aims to raise awareness of clerical and religious child sexual abuse.

There have been Loud Fence events in New Zealand before but this is the first that has been created by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) Aotearoa.

SNAP Aotearoa national leader and abuse survivor Dr Christopher Evan Longhurst said the movement began as a protest but is now “an acknowledgment of the wrongdoing”, a healing process for survivors and an opportunity to raise awareness of the issue to safeguard children for the future.

It is also a non-partisan, non-political and non-religious movement.

Napier is Longhurst’s hometown and he felt it was important to get the support of the local community.

“Hawke’s Bay was the place of horrendous clerical child sexual abuse in the local Catholic community.

“So, this Loud Fence is also an opportunity for them [survivors] to understand that they’re not alone. The shame is not ours and there is only dignity in surviving that kind of abuse.”

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Napier church fence tied with ribbons to raise awareness of child sexual abuse

AUCKLAND (NEW ZEALAND)
New Zealand Herald

October 25, 2020

By Shannon Johnstone

A tide of ribbons will be a permanent fixture on the St Patrick’s Church Napier fence as part of the Loud Fence movement.

The Loud Fence movement began in Australia in 2015, at St Alipius Boys’ School in Ballarat, a site of abuse, and the movement aims to raise awareness of clerical and religious child sexual abuse.

There have been Loud Fence events in New Zealand before but this is the first that has been created by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) Aotearoa.

SNAP Aotearoa national leader and abuse survivor Dr Christopher Evan Longhurst said the movement began as a protest but is now “an acknowledgment of the wrongdoing”, a healing process for survivors and an opportunity to raise awareness of the issue to safeguard children for the future.

It is also a non-partisan, non-political and non-religious movement.

Napier is Longhurst’s hometown and he felt it was important to get the support of the local community.

“Hawke’s Bay was the place of horrendous clerical child sexual abuse in the local Catholic community.

“So, this Loud Fence is also an opportunity for them [survivors] to understand that they’re not alone. The shame is not ours and there is only dignity in surviving that kind of abuse.”

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Diocese of Scranton Adds Eight Names to List of Credibly Accused Individuals

SCRANTON (PA)
Diocese of Scranton

October 29, 2020

The Diocese of Scranton announces that eight additional names have been added to its list of individuals who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

Bishop Joseph C. Bambera has consistently asserted that the abuse of minors cannot be tolerated. In maintaining his and the Diocese of Scranton’s commitment to protect children and young people, the Bishop stated that it is his hope that the publication of these additional names will be a step forward in the healing process for survivors.

In August 2018, the Diocese published on its website a list of all clergy, staff and volunteers who had been credibly accused of child sexual abuse. Since that time, eleven additional names were added to the list in January 2019 and two more names were added in October 2019. The most recent additions to the list involve allegations of abuse submitted to the Independent Survivors Compensation Program (ISCP).

The Diocese assesses the credibility of allegations of abuse utilizing a process that includes, as appropriate, assessments by outside counsel and investigation by a former FBI agent. In addition, the Diocesan Review Board, an independent, consultative body comprised of members of the laity, a religious sister and one priest, performs a case-by-case review. The Diocese also takes into account the determination by the Administrators of the ISCP, for allegations that were submitted in that program. All allegations are submitted to the appropriate District Attorney’s Office. Allegations that are corroborated by secular legal proceedings, canon law proceedings, admission by the accused, and/or other information or evidence are deemed credible.

These names have been added to the list of credibly accused individuals:

Diocesan Clergy

Byrne, Edmund F.
Conboy, Joseph T.
Corcoran, Francis P.
Ferrett, Walter L.
Kelly, Joseph P.
McGroarty, Hugh Harold

Members of Religious Orders

Reiner, Julius (C.P.)

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Diocese of Scranton Adds Eight Names to List of Credibly Accused Individuals

SCRANTON (PA)
Diocese of Scranton

October 29, 2020

The Diocese of Scranton announces that eight additional names have been added to its list of individuals who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

Bishop Joseph C. Bambera has consistently asserted that the abuse of minors cannot be tolerated. In maintaining his and the Diocese of Scranton’s commitment to protect children and young people, the Bishop stated that it is his hope that the publication of these additional names will be a step forward in the healing process for survivors.

In August 2018, the Diocese published on its website a list of all clergy, staff and volunteers who had been credibly accused of child sexual abuse. Since that time, eleven additional names were added to the list in January 2019 and two more names were added in October 2019. The most recent additions to the list involve allegations of abuse submitted to the Independent Survivors Compensation Program (ISCP).

The Diocese assesses the credibility of allegations of abuse utilizing a process that includes, as appropriate, assessments by outside counsel and investigation by a former FBI agent. In addition, the Diocesan Review Board, an independent, consultative body comprised of members of the laity, a religious sister and one priest, performs a case-by-case review. The Diocese also takes into account the determination by the Administrators of the ISCP, for allegations that were submitted in that program. All allegations are submitted to the appropriate District Attorney’s Office. Allegations that are corroborated by secular legal proceedings, canon law proceedings, admission by the accused, and/or other information or evidence are deemed credible.

These names have been added to the list of credibly accused individuals:

Diocesan Clergy

Byrne, Edmund F.
Conboy, Joseph T.
Corcoran, Francis P.
Ferrett, Walter L.
Kelly, Joseph P.
McGroarty, Hugh Harold

Members of Religious Orders

Reiner, Julius (C.P.)

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Diocese of Scranton: Eight more accused of sexual abuse

MOOSIC (PA)
WNEP 16 ABC

October 29, 2020

By Elizabeth Worthington

Only one of the accused clergy members is living: Monsignor Joseph Kelly.

More than two years later, the fallout from Pennsylvania’s scathing Grand Jury report on clergy sex abuse continues in Scranton.

Another well-known priest joins the dozens of members of the Diocese of Scranton who have been accused of sexually abusing a minor.

80-year-old Monsignor Joseph Kelly served as the head of Catholic Social Services for a decade and was heavily involved with St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen in the city. He is now retired.

Monsignor Kelly is one of the eight people the diocese added to its list of those “credibly accused” of sexual abuse on Thursday.

Six of those people were clergy members and Monsignor Kelly is the only clergy member still living of the group.

One layperson and one member of a religious order were also included in the list.

The other clergy members are Edmund Byrne, Joseph Conboy, Francis Corcoran, Walter Ferrett, and Hugh McGroarty.

In a statement provided to the media, Monsignor Kelly adamantly denied the accusations:

“I say to my family, my friends, my former parishioners, that these claims are absolutely not true. I have spent the last 54 years as a priest who believes in and practiced respect for the dignity and safety of all I came in contact with, especially those under my supervision.”

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.

Diocese of Scranton: Eight more accused of sexual abuse

MOOSIC (PA)
WNEP 16 ABC

October 29, 2020

By Elizabeth Worthington

Only one of the accused clergy members is living: Monsignor Joseph Kelly.

More than two years later, the fallout from Pennsylvania’s scathing Grand Jury report on clergy sex abuse continues in Scranton.

Another well-known priest joins the dozens of members of the Diocese of Scranton who have been accused of sexually abusing a minor.

80-year-old Monsignor Joseph Kelly served as the head of Catholic Social Services for a decade and was heavily involved with St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen in the city. He is now retired.

Monsignor Kelly is one of the eight people the diocese added to its list of those “credibly accused” of sexual abuse on Thursday.

Six of those people were clergy members and Monsignor Kelly is the only clergy member still living of the group.

One layperson and one member of a religious order were also included in the list.

The other clergy members are Edmund Byrne, Joseph Conboy, Francis Corcoran, Walter Ferrett, and Hugh McGroarty.

In a statement provided to the media, Monsignor Kelly adamantly denied the accusations:

“I say to my family, my friends, my former parishioners, that these claims are absolutely not true. I have spent the last 54 years as a priest who believes in and practiced respect for the dignity and safety of all I came in contact with, especially those under my supervision.”

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.

Monsignor Joseph Kelly, 7 others added to diocese’s ‘credibly accused list’

WILKES-BARRE (PA)
Citizens Voice

October 29, 2020

By David Singleton

The Diocese of Scranton on Thursday placed a well-known priest who led Catholic Social Services for many years on its list of individuals who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

Monsignor Joseph P. Kelly, a popular member of the community widely recognized for his work on behalf of disadvantaged children and adults, was among eight new people added to the list.

The new additions included six members of the diocesan clergy, all of whom except Kelly are deceased, along with a religious brother and a former diocesan lay teacher.

Kelly, 80, immediately pushed back against the “credibly accused” designation in a sharply worded statement, urging the people of the diocese to reject it and accept that the claims against him are “completely false and fraudulent.”

While it is true some priests in the diocese abused minors, “which is both a sin and a crime, I am not one of them,” he 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.

Monsignor Joseph Kelly, 7 others added to diocese’s ‘credibly accused list’

WILKES-BARRE (PA)
Citizens Voice

October 29, 2020

By David Singleton

The Diocese of Scranton on Thursday placed a well-known priest who led Catholic Social Services for many years on its list of individuals who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

Monsignor Joseph P. Kelly, a popular member of the community widely recognized for his work on behalf of disadvantaged children and adults, was among eight new people added to the list.

The new additions included six members of the diocesan clergy, all of whom except Kelly are deceased, along with a religious brother and a former diocesan lay teacher.

Kelly, 80, immediately pushed back against the “credibly accused” designation in a sharply worded statement, urging the people of the diocese to reject it and accept that the claims against him are “completely false and fraudulent.”

While it is true some priests in the diocese abused minors, “which is both a sin and a crime, I am not one of them,” he 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.

To End Sexual Abuse in Churches, Dismantle Purity Culture

NEW YORK (NY)
Marie Claire

October 28, 2020

By Leslie Goldman

The Christian church’s norms provide the perfect cover for sexual predators—and leave their victims feeling like the sinners.

With tears in her eyes, Shannon Dingle approached a female volunteer, the lone woman on an all-male staff at a friend’s church youth group. Dingle was 16 and had finally worked up the courage to disclose that she had been repeatedly raped as a child. “We had just heard a talk on purity and modesty, which was the only context in which sex was ever discussed in the church, so it felt like, Okay, at least we’re kind of in the right area,” Dingle, now 38, recounts. “They were talking about the choices people make, and I kept thinking about how my experiences so far hadn’t been a choice.”

The volunteer’s intended role was to be present if any girls wanted a female shoulder to lean on. So Dingle shared with her the truth about her rapes. “It never occurred to me that [my words] would be met with anything other than understanding.” But Dingle was hit hard by quite a different response: “She asked me if I had repented for my role in what happened.”

Also seared into Dingle’s memory is the time she attempted to confide in a pastor’s wife while on a youth mission. “My abuse included a lot of physical abuse as well, so that’s what I started with, because it was easier. She got this look of horror and disgust on her face and said, ‘But he didn’t rape you, did he?’” Dingle recalls. “It was as if she could understand and accept the idea of physical abuse, but she would look at me differently if there was any degree of sexual abuse.”

For years, Dingle more or less buried these exchanges, eventually starting therapy, marrying, and having children. Then in 2017, she stumbled upon #ChurchToo, a #MeToo offshoot. Spoken-word poet and author Emily Joy and author and trauma researcher Hannah Paasch created the hashtag on November 20, 2017, as an online platform for individuals who’ve experienced abuse at the hands of clergy or whose abuse was reported to clergy, only to be ignored, covered up, or flung back in their faces. “When I was 16 years old I was groomed for abuse by a man in his early 30s who was a ‘youth leader’ in my evangelical megachurch Northwoods Community Church in Peoria, IL,” Joy’s series of tweets began.

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.

To End Sexual Abuse in Churches, Dismantle Purity Culture

NEW YORK (NY)
Marie Claire

October 28, 2020

By Leslie Goldman

The Christian church’s norms provide the perfect cover for sexual predators—and leave their victims feeling like the sinners.

With tears in her eyes, Shannon Dingle approached a female volunteer, the lone woman on an all-male staff at a friend’s church youth group. Dingle was 16 and had finally worked up the courage to disclose that she had been repeatedly raped as a child. “We had just heard a talk on purity and modesty, which was the only context in which sex was ever discussed in the church, so it felt like, Okay, at least we’re kind of in the right area,” Dingle, now 38, recounts. “They were talking about the choices people make, and I kept thinking about how my experiences so far hadn’t been a choice.”

The volunteer’s intended role was to be present if any girls wanted a female shoulder to lean on. So Dingle shared with her the truth about her rapes. “It never occurred to me that [my words] would be met with anything other than understanding.” But Dingle was hit hard by quite a different response: “She asked me if I had repented for my role in what happened.”

Also seared into Dingle’s memory is the time she attempted to confide in a pastor’s wife while on a youth mission. “My abuse included a lot of physical abuse as well, so that’s what I started with, because it was easier. She got this look of horror and disgust on her face and said, ‘But he didn’t rape you, did he?’” Dingle recalls. “It was as if she could understand and accept the idea of physical abuse, but she would look at me differently if there was any degree of sexual abuse.”

For years, Dingle more or less buried these exchanges, eventually starting therapy, marrying, and having children. Then in 2017, she stumbled upon #ChurchToo, a #MeToo offshoot. Spoken-word poet and author Emily Joy and author and trauma researcher Hannah Paasch created the hashtag on November 20, 2017, as an online platform for individuals who’ve experienced abuse at the hands of clergy or whose abuse was reported to clergy, only to be ignored, covered up, or flung back in their faces. “When I was 16 years old I was groomed for abuse by a man in his early 30s who was a ‘youth leader’ in my evangelical megachurch Northwoods Community Church in Peoria, IL,” Joy’s series of tweets began.

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.

Vatican court continues trial on alleged abuse at minor seminary

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service via Catholic Philly

October 28, 2020

By Junno Arocho Esteves

Vatican City – At a criminal trial involving alleged sexual abuse at a minor seminary located in the Vatican, the Vatican City State criminal court accepted a motion to allow the alleged victim to seek damages from the seminary and the religious institution that runs it.

Giuseppe Pignatone, president of the court, approved the motion Oct. 27, the second day of the trial against Father Gabriele Martinelli and Msgr. Enrico Radice. Pignatone also announced that the next session of the trial would be Nov. 19.

Father Martinelli, 28, is accused of abusing a younger student from 2007 to 2012. Although he and his alleged victim were under the age of 18 when the abuse allegedly began, the court accused him of continuing to abuse the younger student when Father Martinelli was already 20.

Msgr. Radice was rector of the St. Pius X Pre-Seminary, run by the Diocese of Como’s Opera Don Folci, at the time the alleged abuse occurred. The diocese, however, was not included in motion approved by the court.

Dario Imparato, the alleged victim’s lawyer, argued that as an entity charged with overseeing the minor seminary, the Opera Don Folci exhibited a “lack of vigilance” and “great negligence” regarding the abuses that allegedly occurred on their watch.

Although Vatican prosecutor Roberto Zannotti, as well as lawyers for Father Martinelli and Msgr. Radice, objected to the motion, Pignatone deliberated for nearly 30 minutes before announcing his decision that the request was “accepted and authorized.”

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.

Vatican court continues trial on alleged abuse at minor seminary

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service via Catholic Philly

October 28, 2020

By Junno Arocho Esteves

Vatican City – At a criminal trial involving alleged sexual abuse at a minor seminary located in the Vatican, the Vatican City State criminal court accepted a motion to allow the alleged victim to seek damages from the seminary and the religious institution that runs it.

Giuseppe Pignatone, president of the court, approved the motion Oct. 27, the second day of the trial against Father Gabriele Martinelli and Msgr. Enrico Radice. Pignatone also announced that the next session of the trial would be Nov. 19.

Father Martinelli, 28, is accused of abusing a younger student from 2007 to 2012. Although he and his alleged victim were under the age of 18 when the abuse allegedly began, the court accused him of continuing to abuse the younger student when Father Martinelli was already 20.

Msgr. Radice was rector of the St. Pius X Pre-Seminary, run by the Diocese of Como’s Opera Don Folci, at the time the alleged abuse occurred. The diocese, however, was not included in motion approved by the court.

Dario Imparato, the alleged victim’s lawyer, argued that as an entity charged with overseeing the minor seminary, the Opera Don Folci exhibited a “lack of vigilance” and “great negligence” regarding the abuses that allegedly occurred on their watch.

Although Vatican prosecutor Roberto Zannotti, as well as lawyers for Father Martinelli and Msgr. Radice, objected to the motion, Pignatone deliberated for nearly 30 minutes before announcing his decision that the request was “accepted and authorized.”

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.

Law firm demands Diocese of Fresno publicly name accused priests as other dioceses

FRESNO (CA)
Fresno Bee

October 28, 2020

By Yesenia Amaro

[With video of Esther Hatfield Miller.]

Pressure is mounting for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno to publicly name priests who have been accused of sexual misconduct as other dioceses have done.

The national law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates on Wednesday announced the Diocese of Fresno in May offered financial compensation to a survivor, but the diocese still refuses to publicly name the accused priest.

In a statement released late Wednesday afternoon, the Diocese of Fresno said it was its policy to not comment or respond to matters that involve active litigation.

The priest in question is Father Anthony Moreno. In early January, Moreno joined the growing list of priests in the Diocese of Fresno who have been accused of sexual misconduct. That was when a lawsuit was filed against the diocese by a victim identified as Toni Moreland.

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.

Law firm demands Diocese of Fresno publicly name accused priests as other dioceses

FRESNO (CA)
Fresno Bee

October 28, 2020

By Yesenia Amaro

[With video of Esther Hatfield Miller.]

Pressure is mounting for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno to publicly name priests who have been accused of sexual misconduct as other dioceses have done.

The national law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates on Wednesday announced the Diocese of Fresno in May offered financial compensation to a survivor, but the diocese still refuses to publicly name the accused priest.

In a statement released late Wednesday afternoon, the Diocese of Fresno said it was its policy to not comment or respond to matters that involve active litigation.

The priest in question is Father Anthony Moreno. In early January, Moreno joined the growing list of priests in the Diocese of Fresno who have been accused of sexual misconduct. That was when a lawsuit was filed against the diocese by a victim identified as Toni Moreland.

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

Former Youngstown priest sues diocese for unsubstantiated abuse claims

LIVONIA (MI)
Mahoning Matters

October 29, 2020

By Justin Dennis

William Smaltz, who served St. Edward Parish decades ago, claims the diocese never interviewed him on the abuse allegations the diocese linked to him in 2018. The diocese removed his name from a list of credibly accused clergy more than a year later.

Youngstown – The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown is facing another defamation suit from a former Youngstown priest.

The diocese in October 2018 published former St. Edward Parish priest William Smaltz’ name in a list of diocesan clergy who have been accused of sexually abusing a minor.

The diocese in May removed Smaltz’ name from the list, after it received new information and followed up on the claims against him, and found them to be unsubstantiated.

But Smaltz’ lawsuit, filed Friday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, claims the damage to his reputation had already been done.

According to the suit, the diocese did not interview Smaltz on the abuse allegations, which the suit calls “inconsistent and vague.”

“A different priest who was serving at the same parish as Mr. Smaltz has been charged on multiple accounts of sexual abuse/misconduct whose identity the accuser most likely confused with Mr. Smaltz,” reads the suit. “Despite inconsistencies and lack of investigation, the [diocese] claimed that the witness’ statements were credible.”

The suit does not identify the “different priest.”

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

Former Youngstown priest sues diocese for unsubstantiated abuse claims

LIVONIA (MI)
Mahoning Matters

October 29, 2020

By Justin Dennis

William Smaltz, who served St. Edward Parish decades ago, claims the diocese never interviewed him on the abuse allegations the diocese linked to him in 2018. The diocese removed his name from a list of credibly accused clergy more than a year later.

Youngstown – The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown is facing another defamation suit from a former Youngstown priest.

The diocese in October 2018 published former St. Edward Parish priest William Smaltz’ name in a list of diocesan clergy who have been accused of sexually abusing a minor.

The diocese in May removed Smaltz’ name from the list, after it received new information and followed up on the claims against him, and found them to be unsubstantiated.

But Smaltz’ lawsuit, filed Friday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, claims the damage to his reputation had already been done.

According to the suit, the diocese did not interview Smaltz on the abuse allegations, which the suit calls “inconsistent and vague.”

“A different priest who was serving at the same parish as Mr. Smaltz has been charged on multiple accounts of sexual abuse/misconduct whose identity the accuser most likely confused with Mr. Smaltz,” reads the suit. “Despite inconsistencies and lack of investigation, the [diocese] claimed that the witness’ statements were credible.”

The suit does not identify the “different priest.”

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

Former Youngstown priest sues Diocese for defamation

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WKBN

October 28, 2020

A former priest in the Youngstown Diocese, who was removed from a list of accused sex offenders, has now filed a defamation lawsuit.

William Smaltz claims his name was added to the offender list without a proper investigation.

The suit claims Smaltz has suffered emotional distress since the diocese released the list almost two years ago.

Smaltz was ordained as a priest in 1956 and served the Church for 18 years.

In court documents, Smaltz said he was never interviewed as part of the investigation into the sexual abuse allegations. He maintains that the accuser “likely” confused him with another priest who was serving at the same parish as Smaltz.

On Oct. 30, 2018, the Youngstown Diocese released a list of names to the media that they deemed to be “credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.” Smaltz’s name appeared on that list but was later removed.

Smaltz says even though his name was taken off the list the damage was already done, saying it damaged his character and reputation, according to court documents.

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

Former Youngstown priest sues Diocese for defamation

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
WKBN

October 28, 2020

A former priest in the Youngstown Diocese, who was removed from a list of accused sex offenders, has now filed a defamation lawsuit.

William Smaltz claims his name was added to the offender list without a proper investigation.

The suit claims Smaltz has suffered emotional distress since the diocese released the list almost two years ago.

Smaltz was ordained as a priest in 1956 and served the Church for 18 years.

In court documents, Smaltz said he was never interviewed as part of the investigation into the sexual abuse allegations. He maintains that the accuser “likely” confused him with another priest who was serving at the same parish as Smaltz.

On Oct. 30, 2018, the Youngstown Diocese released a list of names to the media that they deemed to be “credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.” Smaltz’s name appeared on that list but was later removed.

Smaltz says even though his name was taken off the list the damage was already done, saying it damaged his character and reputation, according to court documents.

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.

Reviled by Catholic leaders, this NJ activist has helped many victims of clergy sex abuse

NEWTON (NJ)
New Jersey Herald

October 28, 2020

By Deena Yellin

As an advocate for survivors of clergy sex abuse and a watchdog of the Catholic Church, Robert Hoatson is accustomed to provoking the wrath of Catholic leaders.

He’s also no stranger to the consequences of his nearly five decades of activism, including being fired from his job, suspended from the priesthood and treated with disdain by church colleagues.

So when Hoatson was recently informed that he’s receiving an accolade for his crusade from a Catholic institution, he was shocked.

“They called me out of the blue and said they now realize I was right and my work is crucial and they’re giving me this honor,” said Hoatson in disbelief.

The West Orange resident will be inducted next month into the Essex Catholic High School Hall of Fame, alongside a roster of some 200 Catholics who were honored for professional achievements and service to their communities.

Hoatson, a 1970 graduate of the school, will join ex-Yankees catcher Rick Cerone (class of 1972) and Martin Liquori (class of 1967), a record-setting runner who competed in the 1968 Olympics.

The Newark-based school, which was sponsored by the Archdiocese of Newark and operated by the Irish Christian Brothers, closed in 2003 but maintains an active alumni group.

“He’s a very courageous person to take on the juggernaut of the Catholic church,” said William Vantuono, one of several alumni who nominated Hoatson for the honor. Vantuono noted that Hoatson protested outside the venue of the school’s alumni dinner to raise awareness of inappropriate conduct by ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, whose name was subsequently removed from the hall of fame.

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.

Reviled by Catholic leaders, this NJ activist has helped many victims of clergy sex abuse

NEWTON (NJ)
New Jersey Herald

October 28, 2020

By Deena Yellin

As an advocate for survivors of clergy sex abuse and a watchdog of the Catholic Church, Robert Hoatson is accustomed to provoking the wrath of Catholic leaders.

He’s also no stranger to the consequences of his nearly five decades of activism, including being fired from his job, suspended from the priesthood and treated with disdain by church colleagues.

So when Hoatson was recently informed that he’s receiving an accolade for his crusade from a Catholic institution, he was shocked.

“They called me out of the blue and said they now realize I was right and my work is crucial and they’re giving me this honor,” said Hoatson in disbelief.

The West Orange resident will be inducted next month into the Essex Catholic High School Hall of Fame, alongside a roster of some 200 Catholics who were honored for professional achievements and service to their communities.

Hoatson, a 1970 graduate of the school, will join ex-Yankees catcher Rick Cerone (class of 1972) and Martin Liquori (class of 1967), a record-setting runner who competed in the 1968 Olympics.

The Newark-based school, which was sponsored by the Archdiocese of Newark and operated by the Irish Christian Brothers, closed in 2003 but maintains an active alumni group.

“He’s a very courageous person to take on the juggernaut of the Catholic church,” said William Vantuono, one of several alumni who nominated Hoatson for the honor. Vantuono noted that Hoatson protested outside the venue of the school’s alumni dinner to raise awareness of inappropriate conduct by ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, whose name was subsequently removed from the hall of fame.

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

Former priest files defamation suit

WARREN (OH)
The Vindicator

October 28, 2020

By Ed Runyan

Youngstown – Former priest William B. Smaltz of Youngstown and his wife, Noreen, filed suit against the Diocese of Youngstown on Tuesday alleging defamation after the Diocese included Smaltz’s name on a list of priests it called “credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.”

The Diocese released the list to the public Oct. 30, 2018, and various news outlets published articles on it.

In May, however, the Diocese said it was removing Smaltz’s name from the list after further investigation and additional information indicated that the earlier allegations against Smaltz are “no longer deemed to be credible,” according to Vindicator files.

The suit was filed in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court and is assigned to Judge Anthony D’Apolito.

Over his time as priest, Smaltz was assigned to St. Edward Parish in Youngstown, St. Mary Parish in Massillon, Our Lady of Lourdes in East Palestine and St. Mary Parish in Conneaut, the Diocese has said.

The suit states that Smaltz was ordained a priest in 1956 and served in the Catholic Church 18 years. He received dispensation to leave the priesthood and got married. He and his wife had four children, the suit states.

The Diocese conducted an investigation of claims regarding priests sexually abusing minors but failed to interview Smaltz when the accuser “made inconsistent and vague claims concerning him,” the suit states.

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

Former priest files defamation suit

WARREN (OH)
The Vindicator

October 28, 2020

By Ed Runyan

Youngstown – Former priest William B. Smaltz of Youngstown and his wife, Noreen, filed suit against the Diocese of Youngstown on Tuesday alleging defamation after the Diocese included Smaltz’s name on a list of priests it called “credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.”

The Diocese released the list to the public Oct. 30, 2018, and various news outlets published articles on it.

In May, however, the Diocese said it was removing Smaltz’s name from the list after further investigation and additional information indicated that the earlier allegations against Smaltz are “no longer deemed to be credible,” according to Vindicator files.

The suit was filed in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court and is assigned to Judge Anthony D’Apolito.

Over his time as priest, Smaltz was assigned to St. Edward Parish in Youngstown, St. Mary Parish in Massillon, Our Lady of Lourdes in East Palestine and St. Mary Parish in Conneaut, the Diocese has said.

The suit states that Smaltz was ordained a priest in 1956 and served in the Catholic Church 18 years. He received dispensation to leave the priesthood and got married. He and his wife had four children, the suit states.

The Diocese conducted an investigation of claims regarding priests sexually abusing minors but failed to interview Smaltz when the accuser “made inconsistent and vague claims concerning him,” the suit states.

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

Former priest who downloaded child abuse imagery jailed

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

October 27, 2020

By Darren Skelton

Oliver O’Grady sentenced to 22 months for viewing video of girl on loaned computer

Defrocked priest Oliver O’Grady was sentenced to 22 months in prison at Waterford Circuit Court on Tuesday after being found guilty by a jury earlier this month of possessing child abuse imagery.

O’Grady had been accused of using a computer that had been loaned to him by a housemate at 21 Otteran Place, South Parade, Waterford, to download a video showing an underage girl being abused.

O’Grady denied the charge, but admitted that the computer was used to search for images and videos of “young boys in underwear”. O’Grady’s main defence had been that he shared the house with many other people and the computer was used in a “common area”. He denied ever downloading or seeing the video.

The prosecution highlighted O’Grady’s activities on the computer to link him to the video. His email account, which was verified with his phone number, had been used to download the video.

He had been searching for items of a religious nature, such as the lyrics to O Holy Night and the Catholic Magnificat at the same time as he was searching for images of “young boys in underwear”.

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

Former priest who downloaded child abuse imagery jailed

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

October 27, 2020

By Darren Skelton

Oliver O’Grady sentenced to 22 months for viewing video of girl on loaned computer

Defrocked priest Oliver O’Grady was sentenced to 22 months in prison at Waterford Circuit Court on Tuesday after being found guilty by a jury earlier this month of possessing child abuse imagery.

O’Grady had been accused of using a computer that had been loaned to him by a housemate at 21 Otteran Place, South Parade, Waterford, to download a video showing an underage girl being abused.

O’Grady denied the charge, but admitted that the computer was used to search for images and videos of “young boys in underwear”. O’Grady’s main defence had been that he shared the house with many other people and the computer was used in a “common area”. He denied ever downloading or seeing the video.

The prosecution highlighted O’Grady’s activities on the computer to link him to the video. His email account, which was verified with his phone number, had been used to download the video.

He had been searching for items of a religious nature, such as the lyrics to O Holy Night and the Catholic Magnificat at the same time as he was searching for images of “young boys in underwear”.

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.

Derry man who says priest abused him hits out at church probe

BELFAST (NORTHERN IRELAND)
Belfast Telegraph

October 28, 2020

By Donna Deeney

Bishop found there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to support claims dating back 28 years

A man who alleges he was abused by a priest in Londonderry 28 years ago has criticised the Catholic Church’s investigation.

Denis Cairns was just 13 years old when he claims he was abused by a priest attached to the Nottingham diocese.

He has now received a letter from the Bishop of Nottingham, Patrick McKinney, in which the Bishop said he was “unable to reach the required moral certainty” demanded of him after considering the evidence from Mr Cairns and the priest at the centre of his allegation.

Bishop McKinney said: “It is the case that it was impossible to discern the degree of proof that is required, therefore I have decreed that due to insufficient or conflicting evidence no penalty can be applied to (named priest).”

Mr Cairns reported his alleged abuse to the then RUC in 1997, when a file was sent to the PPS. It did not pursue a prosecution on the grounds that it was Mr Cairns’ word against that of the priest he alleged abused him.

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.

Derry man who says priest abused him hits out at church probe

BELFAST (NORTHERN IRELAND)
Belfast Telegraph

October 28, 2020

By Donna Deeney

Bishop found there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to support claims dating back 28 years

A man who alleges he was abused by a priest in Londonderry 28 years ago has criticised the Catholic Church’s investigation.

Denis Cairns was just 13 years old when he claims he was abused by a priest attached to the Nottingham diocese.

He has now received a letter from the Bishop of Nottingham, Patrick McKinney, in which the Bishop said he was “unable to reach the required moral certainty” demanded of him after considering the evidence from Mr Cairns and the priest at the centre of his allegation.

Bishop McKinney said: “It is the case that it was impossible to discern the degree of proof that is required, therefore I have decreed that due to insufficient or conflicting evidence no penalty can be applied to (named priest).”

Mr Cairns reported his alleged abuse to the then RUC in 1997, when a file was sent to the PPS. It did not pursue a prosecution on the grounds that it was Mr Cairns’ word against that of the priest he alleged abused him.

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Vatican abuse trial: Victim petitions to sue pre-seminary and religious group

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Agency

October 27, 2020

By Hannah Brockhaus

Vatican City – At a hearing Tuesday of an ongoing abuse and cover-up trial against two Italian priests, the Vatican court accepted a request from the victim’s lawyer to sue the institution where the alleged abuse took place, as well as the group which oversees it.

The Oct. 27 hearing was the second in the trial against defendants Fr. Gabriele Martinelli, 28, and Fr. Enrico Radice, 72. Martinelli was charged earlier this month with using violence and his authority to commit sexual abuse over a number of years, and Radice was charged with impeding investigations into the abuse.

The defendants, who have not publicly addressed the accusations against them, were present, together with their lawyers, at the hearing, which lasted three-quarters of an hour.

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Vatican abuse trial: Victim petitions to sue pre-seminary and religious group

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Agency

October 27, 2020

By Hannah Brockhaus

Vatican City – At a hearing Tuesday of an ongoing abuse and cover-up trial against two Italian priests, the Vatican court accepted a request from the victim’s lawyer to sue the institution where the alleged abuse took place, as well as the group which oversees it.

The Oct. 27 hearing was the second in the trial against defendants Fr. Gabriele Martinelli, 28, and Fr. Enrico Radice, 72. Martinelli was charged earlier this month with using violence and his authority to commit sexual abuse over a number of years, and Radice was charged with impeding investigations into the abuse.

The defendants, who have not publicly addressed the accusations against them, were present, together with their lawyers, at the hearing, which lasted three-quarters of an hour.

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Sexual abuse allegations against priest, employee, Vancouver archdiocese

VANCOUVER (BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA)
Vancouver Courier

October 27, 2020

By Jeremy Hainsworth

“Culture of entrenched clericalism that enabled perpetrators of sexual abuse:” suit

An unnamed man who alleges sexual abuse by two Roman Catholic priests is suing the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver (RCAV), a Corporation Sole, the Catholic Independent Schools of Vancouver (CISVA) and the estates of two men.

The John Doe alleges in documents filed in B.C. Supreme Court Oct. 23 that North Vancouver Holy Trinity Parish pastor Father John Kilty, now dead, committed multiple acts of sexual assault and battery on him when he was six.

He further alleges Raymond Clavin, whose status is unknown, committed similar acts. The suit said Clavin was a former Christian Brothers pupil and coach, teacher or employee of CISVA.

“At all times material to the abuse, the RCAV and/or the CISVA were complicit in a culture of entrenched clericalism that enabled perpetrators of sexual abuse to continue to commit their grievous crimes, and wherein witnesses, complainants and whistleblowers were silenced,” the suit said.

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Sexual abuse allegations against priest, employee, Vancouver archdiocese

VANCOUVER (BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA)
Vancouver Courier

October 27, 2020

By Jeremy Hainsworth

“Culture of entrenched clericalism that enabled perpetrators of sexual abuse:” suit

An unnamed man who alleges sexual abuse by two Roman Catholic priests is suing the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver (RCAV), a Corporation Sole, the Catholic Independent Schools of Vancouver (CISVA) and the estates of two men.

The John Doe alleges in documents filed in B.C. Supreme Court Oct. 23 that North Vancouver Holy Trinity Parish pastor Father John Kilty, now dead, committed multiple acts of sexual assault and battery on him when he was six.

He further alleges Raymond Clavin, whose status is unknown, committed similar acts. The suit said Clavin was a former Christian Brothers pupil and coach, teacher or employee of CISVA.

“At all times material to the abuse, the RCAV and/or the CISVA were complicit in a culture of entrenched clericalism that enabled perpetrators of sexual abuse to continue to commit their grievous crimes, and wherein witnesses, complainants and whistleblowers were silenced,” the suit said.

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New Orleans archdiocese seeks laicization for all clergy credibly accused of sex abuse

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Agency

October 27, 2020

By Kevin Jones

While allegations against two New Orleans-area priests have again raised questions about the Church’s response to clergy misconduct, the Archdiocese of New Orleans has confirmed that for the past two years it has been seeking to laicize clergy who have been removed from ministry for credible reports of sexual abuse.

“In the Archdiocese of New Orleans, very soon after the publication of the 2018 Clergy Abuse Report, conversations began in an effort to seek the laicization of those living clergy that had been removed from ministry for abuse of a minor and this is in process,” Sarah McDonald, communications director at the New Orleans archdiocese, told CNA Oct. 26.

“This is a highly technical canonical process and clergy have canonical rights that must be respected.”

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New Orleans archdiocese seeks laicization for all clergy credibly accused of sex abuse

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Agency

October 27, 2020

By Kevin Jones

While allegations against two New Orleans-area priests have again raised questions about the Church’s response to clergy misconduct, the Archdiocese of New Orleans has confirmed that for the past two years it has been seeking to laicize clergy who have been removed from ministry for credible reports of sexual abuse.

“In the Archdiocese of New Orleans, very soon after the publication of the 2018 Clergy Abuse Report, conversations began in an effort to seek the laicization of those living clergy that had been removed from ministry for abuse of a minor and this is in process,” Sarah McDonald, communications director at the New Orleans archdiocese, told CNA Oct. 26.

“This is a highly technical canonical process and clergy have canonical rights that must be respected.”

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Pope names new bishop for Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield

AMHERST (MA)
Amherst Bulletin

October 27, 2020

By Michael Connors

Springfield – The Rev. William D. Byrne, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., was named by Pope Francis on Wednesday as the 10th bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield.

A native of Washington, D.C., Byrne, 56, will replace Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, who after six years of leading the diocese was tapped this summer to become the archbishop of St. Louis. The announcement of Byrne’s new position was made in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, U.S. papal nuncio.

At a news conference Wednesday, Byrne said that when he received the call informing him of his appointment, he realized it was “a profound gift of not just being a bishop, but being a bishop here in western Massachusetts.” Byrne was ordained as a priest in 1994 and has most recently served as pastor of the Our Lady of Mercy parish in Potomac, Maryland.

“And at that moment, I prayed for the people and the clergy, the priests of this diocese, and have continued to do so each and every day as I prepare myself to join you in our new home,” Byrne said. “I prayed also for myself — I prayed that I may be a gift to this local church.”

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Pope names new bishop for Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield

AMHERST (MA)
Amherst Bulletin

October 27, 2020

By Michael Connors

Springfield – The Rev. William D. Byrne, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., was named by Pope Francis on Wednesday as the 10th bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield.

A native of Washington, D.C., Byrne, 56, will replace Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, who after six years of leading the diocese was tapped this summer to become the archbishop of St. Louis. The announcement of Byrne’s new position was made in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, U.S. papal nuncio.

At a news conference Wednesday, Byrne said that when he received the call informing him of his appointment, he realized it was “a profound gift of not just being a bishop, but being a bishop here in western Massachusetts.” Byrne was ordained as a priest in 1994 and has most recently served as pastor of the Our Lady of Mercy parish in Potomac, Maryland.

“And at that moment, I prayed for the people and the clergy, the priests of this diocese, and have continued to do so each and every day as I prepare myself to join you in our new home,” Byrne said. “I prayed also for myself — I prayed that I may be a gift to this local church.”

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Vatican Court Hears Unprecedented Sexual Abuse Criminal Trial

WASHINGTON (DC)
National Public Radio

October 26, 2020

By Sylvia Poggioli

[With audio that is somewhat different from the printed text.]

An unprecedented trial is underway this month at the Vatican, the result of a whistleblower going public.

A young priest is charged with sexually abusing an altar boy over a five-year period inside Vatican City walls. An older priest is charged with covering up the abuse.

It’s the first criminal trial for sexual abuse to take place in the Vatican court.

The first hearing of the trial, held earlier this month, lasted just eight minutes — enough for the Vatican court to hear graphic descriptions of the charges. The alleged victim, identified by his initials, LG, was forced “to undergo carnal acts, acts of sodomy and masturbation at different times and in different places inside Vatican City,” according to charges read out by the court clerk.

The alleged abuse took place from 2007, when the victim was 13, until 2012.

The crime scene is the closed world of the St. Pius X youth seminary, whose residents — some as young as 11 — are known as the “pope’s altar boys.” They serve Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and are considering becoming priests.

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Rosmini College sex abuse: Brother William Jackson groped boys during music lessons

AUCKLAND (NEW ZEALAND)
New Zealand Herald

October 26, 2020

By Elizabeth Binning

An Auckland lawyer and former politician has come out in support of Rosmini sex abuse victim, saying he too was groped by brother William Jackson.

And, the school itself has been contacted by another former student who said they had a similar experience with Jackson, a music teacher at the Catholic school in Auckland during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The Herald today revealed Jackson, who went on to become a priest but was later stripped of his title, doesn’t remember sexually abusing young boys but apologised for it anyway, saying he believes their accounts of what happened during private music lessons.

But, despite the apology and a police investigation, the 78-year-old who went on to become a priest won’t be held to account in New Zealand because he’s living in England and deemed too old.

One of Jackson’s victims, a man called Tim who received an apology and compensation from the Church, has gone public with his experience in the hope others who suffered in silence for several decades would be encouraged to come forward too.

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Slidell priest Patrick Wattigny in St. Tammany jail after molestation arrest in Georgia

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WWL 4 CBS

October 26, 2020

By David Hammer

https://www.wwltv.com/article/news/investigations/david-hammer/slidell-priest-patrick-wattigny-in-st-tammany-jail-after-molestation-arrest-in-georgia/289-b4f320e8-5186-4e9d-91e2-9159d728e229

The Archdiocese of New Orleans said Wattigny self-reported Oct. 1 that he had abused a teen in December 2013.

A long-time Slidell priest accused of molesting an underage boy between five and seven years ago has been extradited from Georgia to the St. Tammany Parish jail.

Patrick Wattigny arrived Monday evening at the jail in Covington wearing an Archbishop Rummel t-shirt and a mask around 5:40 p.m. after a five-hour drive from the Troup County jail in western Georgia, where he was arrested Thursday as a fugitive from St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputies, who had issued a warrant for his arrest on four counts of molestation of a juvenile.

Wattigny was the pastor at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church in Slidell since 2013 and also served as chaplain at Pope John Paul II High School until he was removed this summer for sending inappropriate texts to a current student.

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Ex priest escapes justice: Rosmini College sex abuse investigation – William Jackson admits conduct

AUCKLAND (NEW ZEALAND)
New Zealand Herald

October 26, 2020

By Elizabeth Binning

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/ex-priest-escapes-justice-rosmini-college-sex-abuse-investigation-william-jackson-admits-conduct/ADC4HCZJYBEAMF2FAPE5KOPDJM/

A former Catholic priest who has apologised for sexually abusing young boys at Rosmini College won’t be charged due to his age and the fact he now lives in England.

William Jackson was questioned by police in 2018 following allegations he abused four boys during his time at the Auckland Catholic boys’ school in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The former music and religious studies teacher, who was known as Brother Jackson then and went on to become Father Jackson, was sent to New Zealand in 1968 — despite having abused a young boy at a school in Tanzania two years earlier.

The 78-year-old has told police and the Kiwi victims he doesn’t remember touching anyone — but apologised for the “ugly events” anyway.

“I personally have no clear recollection of what happened but I do believe your account of my sexual abuse in your regard,” he said in a letter to one victim last year.

“I feel terrible that you remember me as the cause of your suffering.

“There is little I can do to heal your painful memories, except to deeply apologise for what I did …”

The Church has also apologised for the harm caused by Jackson and paid one victim $30,000 in compensation for his “terrible experience”.

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New lawsuit alleges Catholic priest and teacher raped 6-year-old B.C. boy in the 70s

OTTAWA (CANADA)
CBC News

October 27, 2020

By Bethany Lindsay

A B.C. man who says he was sexually assaulted by a Catholic priest and a Catholic school teacher when he was a boy in the 1970s is the latest to file suit against church authorities in Vancouver.

The alleged victim, who filed a claim in B.C. Supreme Court last week under the pseudonym John Doe, says he was just six years old when he was abused by Father John Kilty and Raymond Clavin in North Vancouver.

In a written statement, Doe alleges the abuse he suffered “included the full spectrum of violations from sexual touching to full blown rape.” He says it has taken him more than 40 years to feel comfortable making these allegations public.

“I cannot find the right words to explain how the sexual abuse that I endured at age six has impacted my life,” Doe said.

“When the most intimate moment of one’s young life is simultaneously the most horrifying and disgusting, there is a suffocation of every authentic experience from that moment onward. The stain of these traumatic events has, and continues to, permeate all facets of my life experience.”

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Revealed: ex-members of Amy Coney Barrett faith group tell of trauma and sexual abuse

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

October 21, 2020

By Stephanie Kirchgaessner

[See also Inside the People of Praise, the Tight-Knit Faith Community of Amy Coney Barrett, by Ruth Graham and Sharon LaFraniere, New York Times (October 8, 2020).]

People of Praise hire lawyers to investigate historical sexual abuse allegations as former members speak of ‘emotional torment’

Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the supreme court has prompted former members of her secretive faith group, the People of Praise, to come forward and share stories about emotional trauma and – in at least one case – sexual abuse they claim to have suffered at the hands of members of the Christian group.

In the wake of the allegations, the Guardian has learned that the charismatic Christian organization, which is based in Indiana, has hired the law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan to conduct an “independent investigation” into sexual abuse claims on behalf of People of Praise.

The historic sexual abuse allegations and claims of emotional trauma do not pertain specifically to Barrett, who has been a lifelong member of the charismatic group, or her family.

But some former members who spoke to the Guardian said they were deeply concerned that too little was understood about the “community” of People of Praise ahead of Barrett’s expected confirmation by the Senate next week, after which she will hold the seat formerly held by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Two people familiar with the matter say that more than two dozen former members of the faith group, many of whom say they felt “triggered” by Barrett’s nomination, are participating in a support group to discuss how the faith group affected their lives.

“The basic premise of everything at the People of Praise was that the devil controlled everything outside of the community, and you were ‘walking out from under the umbrella of protection’ if you ever left,” said one former member who called herself Esther, who had to join the group as a child but then left the organization. “I was OK with it being in a tiny little corner of Indiana, because a lot of weird stuff happens in tiny little corners in this country. But it’s just unfathomable to me – I can’t even explain just how unfathomable it is – that you would have a supreme court justice who is a card-carrying member of this community.”

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Catholic church needs to continue apology to Indigenous people

SAN RAFAEL (CA)
Marin Independent Journal

October 25, 2020

By Frank Lindh

As a lifelong Catholic and an active parishioner at Saint Raphael Church in San Rafael, I believe it is fundamentally wrong for the civil authorities – or the church authorities – to characterize the pulling down of a Father Junipero Serra statue as a “hate crime” during an otherwise peaceful demonstration on Indigenous Peoples Day.

I am disappointed to read that’s exactly what San Rafael Police Department officials are aiming to do.

In 2006, then-retired Roman Catholic Bishop Frank Quinn celebrated Mass at St. Raphael’s in order to commemorate the founding of Mission San Rafael. During his homily, he offered an apology for the mistreatment of the Miwok people by the Franciscan friars.

Later, Quinn recalled the event. “I’ve studied the Miwoks and I regret that they were treated unfairly,” he told the Catholic News Service in an interview quoted online. “They didn’t expect an apology, so some of the Indians even wept. I looked upon it as a time of reconciliation.”

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Ohio Priest Accused of Sex Trafficking Played Father Figure To Victims, Enabled Drug Addiction

NEW YORK (NY)
International Business Times

October 26, 2020

By Suneeta Sunny

Michael Zacharias, 53, former Ohio priest who was arrested in August 2020, is facing a 10-count indictment with charges that include sex trafficking of minor, sex trafficking of an adult by fraud, and coercion. He has also been accused of sexually exploiting the minors by enabling their drug addiction.

A Federal Grand Jury in Cleveland on Friday handed down Michael, a 10- count indictment. Michael was arrested on Aug. 18, 2020 and has remained in Federal Custody since then. Michael has been accused of engaging in sexual acts and grooming of minors since late 1990s when he was enrolled as a seminarian.

According to the court documents, he continued to abuse victims while he served as a priest at various religious institutions in the Northern District of Ohio and elsewhere.

“This defendant is accused of using his status and position as a religious and community leader to seek out troubled minors and exploit their personal challenges for his own satisfaction,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in the indictment. He added that the indictment is a step towards serving justice for the victims, families and community harmed by the defendant and his alleged acts.

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Diocese appears for Chapter 11 First Day motions

CAMDEN (NJ)
Catholic Star Herald

October 22, 2020

By Michael Walsh

With the Oct. 1 announcement of filing for Chapter 11 reorganization under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the Diocese of Camden appeared for the First Day motions on Oct. 7 at the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of New Jersey, federal court building in Camden in front of Judge Jerrold N. Poslusny Jr.

In court that day were Bishop Dennis Sullivan, Father Robert Hughes, Vicar General of the Diocese, Laura Montgomery, Director of Temporal Services and head of the diocesan Finance Department and attorneys for the Diocese, including those from the law firm of McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, LLC who are representing the Diocese in the reorganization. Also in attendance, in person and via telephone, were attorneys representing sex abuse victims with lawsuits against the diocese.

First Day motions, usually conducted one week after the initial filing, are utilized by organizations seeking financial relief on an expedited basis and typically include, but are not limited to, requests to: maintain existing banking accounts and cash management systems; maintain and set adequate assurance for utility companies; pay prepetition payroll; etc., with admissible evidence to support the request. In the case of the Diocese, the First Day motions were done for just these reasons. All motions and accompanying documents can be found on the PrimeClerk link on the diocesan website: www.camdendiocese.org/reorganization.

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‘People don’t want to talk about it,’ but reports of children being exploited online have spiked substantially

NEW BEDFORD (MA)
South Coast Today

October 24, 2020

By Dustin Racioppi

https://www.southcoasttoday.com/news/20201024/people-dont-want-to-talk-about-it-but-reports-of-children-being-exploited-online-have-spiked-substantially

Trenton NJ – As New Jersey started locking down in the COVID-19 pandemic, a convicted rapist and registered sex offender from Oklahoma named Aaron Craiger stepped off a Greyhound bus in Atlantic City. He had a phone with child sexual abuse materials on it and graphic plans to carry out his sexual fantasies with two 11- and 12-year-old girls.

Instead, Craiger was met on March 18 by undercover law enforcement in a four-month sting that led to the arrests of 19 men, one woman and one juvenile male accused of sexually exploiting children online.

While the world has battled the health and economic effects of the coronavirus, another global issue has raged in tandem with little notice — and without the additional money and resources needed to effectively battle it, experts said. Online child abuse and exploitation, already one of the biggest and growing crime challenges nationally, has spiked as COVID-19 has forced more people indoors with abusers and children spending more time on the internet.

The increase in reports tracks in the United States and abroad during the pandemic, experts said. Tips to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the clearinghouse for such information in the United States, nearly doubled from 6.3 million in the first half of 2019 to 12 million through June of this year. Reports of online enticement similarly spiked during that timeframe, from 6,863 to 13,268.

“Online child exploitation right now is probably one of the biggest problems, from a crime perspective, in our country,” Pizzuro said.

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Survivor group slams Fresno Catholic churches for withholding names of accused priests

FRESNO (CA)
Fresno Bee

October 26, 2020

By Yesenia Amaro

It remains unknown when the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno may release its list of credibly accused priests of sexual misconduct two years after it began to ponder what to release to the public.

An advocacy organization says the diocese is stalling the release of names of accused priests because it doesn’t want to encourage more lawsuits from victims. The diocese would not comment on that claim.

Almost all dioceses in California released their lists, naming credibly accused priests, in 2018 and 2019, but the Diocese of Fresno has yet to share that information with the public. The Archdiocese of San Francisco is the only other entity that has not released that information.

In September 2018, former Bishop Armando X. Ochoa began to work with a review board to determine what information the Diocese of Fresno would make public. In February 2019, officials announced the diocese had hired Kinsale Management Consulting to review records going back to the 1950s — as other dioceses in the state did — before it could release any information.

At the time, a diocese official said the names of priests accused of sex crimes would be released within a year, which would have been in early 2020.

Cheryl Sarkisian, chancellor at the Diocese of Fresno, last week said the investigation “is a work in progress.” She would not say how much longer the investigation is expected to take to be completed or what is delaying it.

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Beyond ‘Moviegate,’ deep questions remain on Vatican’s China gamble

DENVER (CO)
Crux

October 25, 2020

By John L. Allen Jr.

Rome – Almost 75 years ago, Arnold Toynbee described what historians are trying to find as they scour the past in his book Civilization on Trial:

The things that make good headlines are on the surface of the stream of life, and they distract us from the slower, impalpable, imponderable movements that work below the surface and penetrate to the depths. But it’s really these deeper, slower movements that make history, and it is they that stand out huge in retrospect, when the sensational passing events have dwindled, in perspective, to their true proportions.

If ever there was a week on the Vatican beat to perfectly capture that contrast, this has been it. Two storylines are fighting it out to dominate Vatican coverage, and so far it’s no contest: A media frenzy over manipulation and censorship of a few seconds of papal verbiage on civil unions in a new documentary has overwhelmed the Vatican and China renewing their deal on the appointment of bishops for another two years.

Care to guess, 100 years from now, which of those two developments will seem a “sensational passing event” and which a “deeper, slower movement that makes history”? And the kicker is that arguably, both stories reflect the same defining instinct of Pope Francis.

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Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who slammed Trump, to become first African American cardinal

McLEAN (VA)
USA Today

October 25, 2020

By John Bacon

The Washington, D.C., archbishop who slammed President Donald Trump’s visit to a Roman Catholic shrine in the city will become the first African American cardinal, the Vatican announced Sunday.

Archbishop Wilton Daniel Gregory, 72, is one of 13 men who will assume the rank of cardinal in ceremonies Nov. 28. Cardinals rank only behind the pope in church hierarchy, and together they vote to elect popes. Cardinals wear red to signify their willingness to shed blood in service of the church.

“With a very grateful and humble heart, I thank Pope Francis for this appointment which will allow me to work more closely with him in caring for Christ’s Church,” Gregory said in a statement.

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Pope Francis Appoints First African-American Cardinal

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

October 25, 2020

By Elizabeth Dias and Jason Horowitz

Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, was among 13 new cardinals named on Sunday.

Washington – Pope Francis on Sunday named Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, a cardinal, elevating the first African-American to the Catholic church’s highest governing body, a groundbreaking act in a year when demands for racial justice have consumed the country.

The rise of Archbishop Gregory, who is also the first American named to the College of Cardinals since 2016, comes as debates over how to address the legacy of slavery and racism have extended to the Catholic church, which for centuries excluded African Americans from positions of power.

“By naming Archbishop Wilton Gregory as a Cardinal, Pope Francis is sending a powerful message of hope and inclusion to the Church in the United States,” Archbishop José H. Gomez, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement.

The move is the latest sign that, seven years into his papacy, Pope Francis continues to redirect the church toward greater acceptance of those on the margins. He has worked to diversify the College of Cardinals, center the poor and migrants and warned of the threat of climate change. Last week Pope Francis expressed support for same-sex civil unions, staking out new ground for the church’s recognition of gay people.

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The Rise of Wilton Gregory, the First African-American Cardinal

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

October 25, 2020

By Christina Morales

Archbishop Gregory led the U.S. Roman Catholic Church’s response to its sexual abuse crisis and more recently has pushed for better race relations in the church. Here is what we know about him.

Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., and a leader of the U.S. Roman Catholic Church’s response to its sexual abuse crisis, was among 13 new cardinals that Pope Francis announced on Sunday. The move positions Archbishop Gregory, 72, to become the first African-American cardinal next month.

He has been a national figure since 2002, when, as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he presided over the adoption of a zero-tolerance policy toward priests guilty of sexual abuse. He was elevated from his position as the bishop of Belleville, Ill., to lead the Archdiocese of Atlanta in 2005 before Francis installed him in Washington last year.

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Black D.C. archbishop’s rise marks a historic moment

WASHINGTON (DC)
Associated Press

October 26, 2020

By Elana Schor

Washington D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory is set to become the first Black U.S. prelate to assume the rank of cardinal in the Catholic Church, a historic appointment that comes months after nationwide demonstrations against racial injustice.

Gregory’s ascension, announced on Sunday by Pope Francis alongside 12 other newly named cardinals, elevates a leader who has drawn praise for his handling of the sexual abuse scandal that has roiled the church. The Washington-area archbishop also has spoken out in recent days about the importance of Catholic leaders working to combat the sin of racial discrimination.

The 72-year-old Gregory, ordained in his native Chicago in 1973, took over leadership of the capital’s archdiocese last year after serving as archbishop of Atlanta since 2005. The ceremony making his elevation official is slated for Nov. 28.

“With a very grateful and humble heart, I thank Pope Francis for this appointment which will allow me to work more closely with him in caring for Christ’s Church,” Gregory said in a statement issued by the archdiocese.

Gregory helped shape the church’s “zero tolerance” response to the sexual abuse scandal while serving as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2001 to 2004. During that period, the bishops adopted a charter designed to govern its treatment of sexual abuse allegations made by minor children against priests. The church’s efforts since 2004 have helped achieve a sharp reduction in child-sex abuse cases. But some abuse continues to occur, and the church’s procedures for addressing abuse continue to incur criticism from those who feel there’s a lack of consistency and transparency.

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Australian police not investigating Vatican money transfer

CANBERRA (AUSTRALIA)
Associated Press

October 22, 2020

By Rod McGuirk

Australian state police said Friday they’re not investigating the transfer of money from the Vatican to Australia, throwing doubt on Italian media speculation that it might be linked to the overturned convictions of Cardinal George Pell for child sex abuse.

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera speculated in recent weeks that Vatican investigators were looking into whether Pell’s nemesis at the Holy See, ousted Cardinal Angelo Becciu, wired 700,000 euros ($823,000) in Vatican money to a bank account in Australia, and whether that money was tied to Pell’s sex abuse trial.

Victoria Police, which in 2017 charged Pell with child sex abuse, said the Australian intelligence agency responsible for detecting international financial crime, AUSTRAC, had confirmed that Vatican money had been wired to Australia.

But AUSTRAC had “not advised Victoria Police of any suspicious activity related to these transactions,” the police department said.

“In the absence of any other evidence or intelligence, Victoria Police has noted the advice from AUSTRAC. We are not at this time conducting any further investigation,” a police statement said.

But it does not rule out criminality or corruption in the money transfers.

Australian Federal Police said Wednesday it was “undertaking a review of the relevant information” provided by AUSTRAC. A review of evidence is a preliminary step toward an official criminal investigation.

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French cases lead Focolare to promise investigation of handling abuse claims

WASHINGTON (DC)
Caholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

October 22, 2020

By Cindy Wooden

The president of Focolare has accepted the resignations of the lay movement’s top leaders in France and announced the group will ask an independent committee to investigate how allegations of the sexual abuse of minors have been handled.

“The task of this body will be to listen to the presumed victims and to gather further testimonies, as well as investigating eventual omissions, cover-ups or silence on the part of those responsible for the movement,” said a statement released Oct. 22 by the Focolare movement, which is headquartered outside of Rome.

“In the interest of the completeness of the investigation and to guarantee full transparency,” the statement said, Maria Voce, president of Focolare, accepted the resignations Oct. 21 of Bernard Brechet and Claude Goffinet, co-leaders of the Focolare movement in France, and of Henri-Louis Roche, leader of the movement’s Western Europe region.

In 2016, the Focolare movement dismissed a consecrated member of the group, identified only as JMM.

A young woman had alleged in 1994 that JMM had raped and sexually molested her in 1981 and 1982 when she was 15 and 16. The Focolare movement said they relieved JMM of his “responsibilities regarding young people” when the allegations were made.

In 1998, in a civil court case, he admitted to molesting her and was ordered to pay damages. He did not admit to raping her.

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Pope announces a consistory for the creation of 13 new cardinals

VATICAN CITY
Vatican News

October 25, 2020

On 28 November, there will be 13 new additions to the College of Cardinals: 9 are under 80 years of age, among them is the Guardian of Sacro Convento in Assisi, Father Mauro Gambetti.

The Church will have thirteen new Cardinals. Nine of them are younger than 80 and therefore, have the right to participate in a future conclave. Four others are older than 80 years of age. Pope Francis’s announcement came as a surprise, after the recitation of the Angelus of Sunday, 25 October. He communicated the news regarding the creation of the new cardinals to the faithful present in St Peter’s Square as well as to those connected throughout the world.

Two of the new Cardinals work in the Roman Curia: the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, Maltese Mario Grech and the Italian Marcello Semeraro, former Bishop of Albano and the new Prefect for the Congregation of the Causes of Saints.

Six other pastors in the Church throughout the world are joining them: the Archbishop of Kilgali, Rwanda, Antoine Kambanda; the Archbishop of Washington, United States, Wilton Gregory; the Archbishop of Capiz, in the Philippines, Jose Fuerte Advincula; the Archbishop of Santiago, Chile, Celestino Aós Braco; the Apostolic Vicar of Brunei, Cornelius Sim; the Archbishop of Siena, Italia, Augusto Paolo Lojudice.

In addition, the Pope has also appointed the current Guardian of the Franciscan Sacro Convento in Assisi, Mauro Gambetti.

To these Cardinals who are younger than 80 years of age, Pope Francis has also added four other Cardinals who are older than 80. They are: Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, Archbishop Emeritus of San Cristóbal de Las Casas (Mexico); former Apostolic Nuncio Silvano Tomasi, former permanent observer at the United Nations in Geneva who then worked in the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development; Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Papal Household; and the pastor of the Shrine of Divine Love, Father Enrico Feroci.

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Francis names 13 new cardinals, including Washington’s Archbishop Gregory

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

October 25, 2020

By Joshua J. McElwee

Rome – Pope Francis named 13 new Catholic cardinals Oct. 25, including two Vatican officials; archbishops in Rwanda, the Philippines and Chile; and Washington, D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory.

In an unexpected announcement at the end of the pontiff’s traditional Angelus prayer, the pontiff said he would install the new cardinals during a consistory at the Vatican Nov. 28 — setting the stage for an unusual and possibly unprecedented ceremony, held during the midst of a continuing global pandemic.

Gregory, who has served as the archbishop of Washington since May 2019, will be the fourth American cardinal created by Francis, following Chicago’s Blase Cupich, Newark’s Joseph Tobin and Kevin Farrell, the prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.

Five of the other new cardinals named lead global dioceses: Kigali, Rwanda Archbishop Antoine Kambanda; Capiz, Philippines Archbishop Jose Advincula; Santiago, Chile Archbishop Celestino Aos Braco; Brunei Apostolic Vicar Bishop Cornelius Sim; and Siena, Italy Archbishop Augusto Paolo Lojudice.

The two Vatican officials named cardinals were Bishop Mario Grech, the new head of the Vatican’s office for the Synod of Bishops; and Bishop Marcello Semeraro, who has replaced the disgraced Cardinal Angelo Becciu as the head of the Vatican’s sainthood office.

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Findlay priest faces 10-count indictment, including sex trafficking of a minor

TOLEDO (OH)
WTOL

October 23, 2020

By Jenson Strock

Michael Zacharias, 53, is accused of exploiting the drug addiction of minor victims by paying for their habits in exchange for alleged sex acts.

Fndlay OH – A former Findlay priest is the subject of a 10-count indictment, facing charges that include sex trafficking of minor, sex trafficking of an adult and minor by force, fraud and coercion.

The indictment was handed down by a federal grand jury in Cleveland on Friday against Michael J. Zacharias, 53. He was arrested on Aug. 18 and has since remained in federal custody.

“This defendant is accused of using his status and position as a religious and community leader to seek out troubled minors and exploit their personal challenges for his own satisfaction,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “This indictment is a step toward finding justice for the victims, families and community harmed by the defendant and his alleged acts.”

According to court documents, from approximately 1999 to July 2020, Zacharias is accused of sex trafficking of a minor victim and using force, fraud or coercion to sexually traffic other minors and adults.

During this time, he was enrolled as a seminarian and served as a priest at various religious institutions in the Northern District of Ohio.

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Findlay Priest, Zacharias Indicted for Sex Trafficking

JACKSON TOWNSHIP (NJ)
Shore News

October 24, 2020

Findlay OH – U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman announced today that a federal grand jury sitting in Cleveland has returned a 10-count indictment charging Michael J. Zacharias, age 53, with sex trafficking of a minor and sex trafficking of an adult and minor by force, fraud, or coercion. The defendant was arrested on August 18, 2020, and has remained in federal custody since that time.

“This defendant is accused of using his status and position as a religious and community leader to seek out troubled minors and exploit their personal challenges for his own satisfaction,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “This indictment is a step towards finding justice for the victims, families and community harmed by the defendant and his alleged acts.”

“Michael Zacharias used his respected position to prey on and take advantage of youth and adults for his own sexual gratification,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge. “We must hold accountable to the fullest extent of the law those who violate their sacred trust to molest and harm our children.

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Clergy abuse

SALINA (KS)
Diocese of Salina

October 21, 2019

It recently has come to our attention that a priest, Fr. Ed Prather (deceased – date of death: November 26, 1996), from the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, had several credible allegations of sexual misconduct with minors. Fr. Prather did not have ministerial faculties to participate in ministry in the Diocese of Salina. However, he did reside in the parish rectory at St. Edward Parish in Belleville, Kansas for approximately one (1) year and Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Hays, Kansas for one (1) summer. Although Fr. Prather is currently on the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City’s “list of priests with credible accusations” there have been no allegations received while he resided in the Diocese of Salina.

If anyone has any information concerning inappropriate sexual behavior concerning Fr. Prather while he resided in the Diocese of Salina, please contact the Kansas Protection Report Center at 1-800-922-5330 and/or the KBI Crime Hotline at 1-800-572-7463 and/or the Office of Safety and Security for the Diocese of Salina on the Diocese of Salina’s website by either submitting an abuse report online or call the diocesan report abuse hotline (785) 825-0865 or email your abuse report to – reportabuse@salinadiocese.org. All reports received by the Office of Safety and Security for the Diocese of Salina concerning abuse of minors are immediately reported to law enforcement and the Department of Children and Families.

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The Pope and Pell: ‘One of the most fascinating relationships in Rome’

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Guardian

October 24, 2020

By Andrew West

The Pope is understood to have believed in Cardinal George Pell’s innocence of child sexual abuse charges. But their different visions of the Catholic church puts a limit of their alliance

Suddenly, it seems, George Pell is everywhere. Freed from a Melbourne jail in April after the high court unanimously quashed his conviction for child sexual abuse, the cardinal joined the rest of the country in house-bound isolation as the first wave of Covid-19 hit.

But by July the man who was once No 3 in the Vatican hierarchy was dining with the former prime minister Tony Abbott in a Sydney club. And in late September, he returned to Rome, three years after taking leave from his job as the head of Vatican finances to answer the charges in Melbourne.

On 12 October, Pell had a reportedly friendly, half-hour meeting with Pope Francis, and last weekend he celebrated mass on the 10th anniversary of the canonisation of Australia’s first saint, Mary McKillop. Abbott was in the front pew.

Close by was a former speaker of the US House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, whose wife is ambassador to the Holy See. The presence of the Gingrich couple is significant because they represent Catholics in the US who have long considered Pell a champion of their orthodox style and theology.

Do not be surprised at more photographs from Rome of Pell presiding at mass, perhaps meeting old Vatican colleagues – basically doing what one might expect of a cardinal in semi-retirement.

But Pell has returned to a Rome gripped by an extraordinary conspiracy theory. A former Vatican official and Pell adversary, Cardinal Angelo Becciu, allegedly funnelled money – a reported $1.1m – to sources in Australia in an attempt to secure Pell’s conviction.

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Fr Frank’s Homily

PARRAMATTA (NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA)
Catholic Outlook – Diocese of Parramatta

October 24, 2020

By Fr Frank Brennan SJ

Today is the National Day of Sorrow and Promise, when we hold the victims of child sexual abuse in our church front and centre acknowledging our sin, weeping in the name of our Church, and begging forgiveness for the wrong we have done. We hope to sow seeds of peace walking alongside those wanting to invite us to accompany them on their journey of truth, justice and healing. Understanding those who would not want us to accompany them on such a journey, we hold them silently in prayer.

What can any priest say on such a day, seeking to break open the word of today’s Gospel where Jesus makes love of God and love of neighbour inseparable, telling us that “on these two commandments hang the whole law, and the Prophets also?” In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus constantly returns to this idea of the law and the Prophets being fulfilled in one. During the Sermon on the Mount, he had said, “So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.” (7:12) What can any of us who lived an ideal childhood oblivious to any abuse happening in our church or society say or do, seeking to treat those who have suffered abuse as we would like them to treat us?

First, we must listen. And even though we’ve now had years of revelations with commissions of inquiry and raised public awareness, there’s still a lot of listening we need to do, particularly when it comes to the spiritual violence and hurt caused by a priest violating a child, when the child has nowhere to turn, thinking that parents would find even the suggestion of violation an impossible abomination. Much has changed and for the better, hopefully reducing the prospect of future abuse. But the pain, suffering, destruction and spiritual desolation of past abuse remains.

Recently, a survivor, Wendy Holder reached out to me. One of her brothers is an alumnus of Newman College. Wendy suffered the most appalling abuse by not one, but two priests – first when she was aged 12, having moved interstate at a time of great vulnerability and need for pastoral care after the death of her brother, and then when she was transitioning to university. She is a psychologist. She is on a journey beginning “to understand the impact of child sexual abuse by religious people on a child’s spiritual development, and the resultant damage to their adult spiritual formation.” She found sanctuary at Mary MacKillop Place during Easter 2018 and then a couple of times at the Benedictine Abbey at Jamberoo the following year. Thank God for such sanctuaries where religious women can provide a haven amidst the wonders of creation. Wendy published her reflections of her visits to MacKillop Place and the Jamberoo Abbey: Poetry of a Survivor.

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Scouts’ abuse claims may become largest case against a single national organization

McLEAN (VA)
USA Today

October 23, 2020

By Rachel Axon and Cara Kelly

As a Nov. 16 deadline looms for abuse survivors to come forward to make claims in the Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy, a judge’s ruling could allow the case to become the largest-ever child sexual abuse case against a single national organization.

Late last week, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein allowed the Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice to join mediation discussions, giving a group representing 28,000 clients a say in any future settlement agreement.

So far, 7,300 victims represented by the 10 law firms in the coalition have signed consent forms allowing the attorneys to negotiate on their behalf. More are expected to sign before the November deadline to file proof of their allegations.

That means tens of thousands of victims, who are considered creditors in the bankruptcy proceeding, could vote on any future settlement with the Boy Scouts.

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Thousands file sexual abuse claims against Boy Scouts as deadline in bankruptcy looms

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

October 22, 2020

By Kim Christensen

Faced with a looming deadline next month, thousands of accusers have submitted sexual abuse claims against the Boy Scouts of America in a bankruptcy that could cost the youth organization and its insurers hundreds of millions of dollars — or more.

The Scouts, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in February amid declining membership and an onslaught of new abuse lawsuits, will not say how many claims have been submitted to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

But some plaintiffs’ lawyers say claims continue to pour in, predicting that tens of thousands will meet the Nov. 16 deadline. The massive response, they say, suggests a far broader abuse problem in Scouting than has been previously recognized and could drastically reshape the 110-year-old youth group.

“When this bankruptcy is finally resolved, the Boy Scouts will not be the same Boy Scouts of America,” said Paul Mones, a Los Angeles attorney who sits on a committee in the bankruptcy proceedings that represents victims.

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Pope appoints America’s first African American cardinal, D.C.’s Wilton Gregory

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

October 25, 2020

By Chico Harlan

Rome – Pope Francis announced on Sunday that he would name Washington’s archbishop, Wilton Gregory, a cardinal next month, making him the first African American to earn such a title.

Gregory will be one of the 13 cardinals in the new class, a promotion that comes at a time when he is also trying to rebuild trust in an archdiocese rocked by sexual abuse cases.

The move was widely anticipated, as Washington archbishops are typically named as cardinals after their appointments. But it is nonetheless symbolically significant in the U.S. Catholic Church, where Blacks have been underrepresented among the leadership.

Gregory was appointed as Washington’s archbishop last year, taking over for Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who had been accused of mishandling clerical abuse cases.

Gregory, 72, will be eligible to vote for the next pope until he reaches the cutoff age of 80. Francis announced the names of his new cardinals while speaking from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, where he delivers his Sunday Angelus. The Vatican said the ceremony to name the new cardinals would take place Nov. 28, though it is unclear if tightening coronavirus restrictions in Italy might interfere.

Among the other new cardinals, four are already over the age of 80, according to the Vatican. The new cardinals include Marcello Semeraro, an Italian who was recently appointed as the head of the church’s saint-making body, and the archbishop of Kigali, Rwanda, Antoine Kambanda.

Gregory has long been among the foremost Catholic leaders in the United States, having lead the national conference of Catholic bishops in the early-2000s, when it was making its first attempt to draw up anti-abuse guidelines. Gregory had been the archbishop of Atlanta before coming to Washington.

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Pope names 13 new cardinals, includes WDC Archbishop Gregory

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

October 25, 2020

By Frances D’Emilio

Pope Francis on Sunday named 13 new cardinals, including Washington D.C. Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who would become the first Black U.S. prelate to earn the coveted red hat.

In a surprise announcement from his studio window to faithful standing below in St. Peter’s Square, Francis said the churchmen would be elevated to a cardinal’s rank in a ceremony on Nov. 28.

Other new cardinals include an Italian who is the long-time papal preacher at the Vatican, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, a Franciscan friar; the Kigali, Rwanda, Archbishop Antoine Kambanda; the Capiz, Philippines, Archbishop Jose Feurte Advincula, and the Santiago, Chile, Archbishop Celestino Aos.

Another Franciscan who was tapped is Friar Mauro Gambetti, in charge of the Sacred Convent in Assisi. The pope, when elected in 2013, chose St. Francis of Assisi as his namesake saint, and earlier this month, the pontiff journeyed to that hill town in Umbria to sign an encyclical, or important church teaching document, about brotherhood.

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The Catholics Who Hate Joe Biden—And Pope Francis

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Atlantic

October 21, 2020

By Tish Durkin

Some of Trump’s most committed Catholic supporters have leveled dark charges against Biden as they battle to sway the vote in crucial swing states. And wait until you hear what they think of the pope.

Joe Biden or Donald Trump: Who’s the better Catholic? If this seems like an odd question to raise in the context of a race for the highest secular office in America—and a race in which one of the two candidates is Protestant—never mind. Both campaigns, and their surrogates, are hotly contesting the answer.

The ex–Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz slammed Biden as a “Catholic in name only” in his appearance at the Republican National Convention.

“President Trump is ignoring Catholic teachings on care for the Earth, feeding the hungry, welcoming the immigrant,” Sister Simone Campbell, a social-justice activist who led a prayer at the Democratic convention, fired back in an interview with me not long after.

*

There is no reason to assume that strident doctrinal appeals, harnessed to baroque conspiracy theories, will attract most Catholic voters; in fact, the most recent polling data, which show Biden gaining on Trump among white Catholics, strongly suggest that they won’t. On the whole, American Catholics don’t, for example, just accept the concept of birth control; they use it. A majority favors at least some degree of legal abortion—and even those who don’t would probably balk at the idea of Francis as Lucifer’s wingman. To the degree that Catholics are also Americans who admire the Founders of this country—particularly Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin—they might feel the urge to back away slowly from avowed enemies of the Enlightenment.

And yet, a lot has happened, in the Church and in the world, since Obama won a second term. The revival of the sexual-abuse crisis in 2018 unquestionably led all kinds of Catholics to turn fresh rage on the Church hierarchy. The internet, which was still in its baby stage when the previous sexual-abuse crisis hit in 2002, has provided multiple platforms to amplify that anger, and repurpose it. Meanwhile, the Trump phenomenon has made conspiracy-based extremism the stuff of politics, and virtually everything the stuff of political polarization, including Francis himself. In 2014, the pontiff was rated equally favorably by American Catholics in both political parties, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Four years later, he was 10 points more popular among Democrats than among Republicans. Given these developments, it’s certainly conceivable that at least some Catholics have taken a sharp right turn since 2012, or might, if particular messaging were to hit them.

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At least 454 priests accused: Michigan reveals ‘startling’ clergy abuse report

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Free Press

October 23, 2020

By Tresa Baldas

The scope of clergy abuse in Michigan is much worse than what Catholic officials have been reporting as state investigators have now identified more than 400 accused priests and 800 victims after reviewing thousands of paper documents seized during 2018 raids, according to state records and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Moreover, SNAP says, Michigan may have a bigger clergy abuse problem than Pennsylvania, where an explosive 2018 abuse scandal involving hundreds of priests and more than 1,000 children continues to haunt the Catholic Church.

That same year, Michigan launched its own investigation, which SNAP says is producing similar startling numbers.

According to a report issued this week by Attorney General Dana Nessel, 454 accused priests and 811 victims have been identified so far in an ongoing two-year priest abuse investigation involving seven dioceses across the state. Her office notes the number could change as the investigation continues.

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Handling of abuse allegations divides AG candidates

SHARON (PA)
The Herald

October 24, 2020

Harrisburg – Heather Heidelbaugh, Republican candidate for Attorney General, said current attorney general Josh Shapiro should not have publicized the names of priests who weren’t charged but were accused of molesting children in a grand jury report detailing the abuse of at least 1,000 children across the state over decades.

Hardly any of the priests named in the report were charged because the crimes occurred so long ago that the state’s statute of limitations had expired. Efforts to open a window to allow survivors of child sex crimes to sue despite the statute of limitations have stalled, though the General Assembly could vote next year to put a Constitutional amendment question about opening a window for lawsuits on the ballot.

With those statutes of limitations in place, the attorney general shouldn’t have named the priests accused of crimes because they didn’t have the opportunity to clear their names in any meaningful way, Heidelbaugh said.

Heidelbaugh is facing Shapiro, the Democratic incumbent, in the November election.

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Priest Sex Trafficked Teen Drug Addicts for Decades: DOJ

NEW YORK (NY)
Daily Beast

October 23 2020

By Blake Montgomery

At least one of the victims said he was afraid to report the alleged abuse because of the optics of a young drug addict making allegations against a respected priest.

An Ohio priest respected as a “religious and community leader” has been sex trafficking vulnerable minors and adults for more than two decades, the Department of Justice announced in an indictment unsealed Friday.

A grand jury has charged Rev. Michael J. Zacharias, age 53, with sex trafficking minors and sex trafficking both minors and adults by force, 10 counts in all. Federal authorities arrested Zacharias on August 18 and have kept him in custody since. He taught at St. Michael’s Parish in Findlay, Ohio.

“Michael Zacharias used his respected position to prey on and take advantage of youth and adults for his own sexual gratification,” said Brian Russ, the FBI special agent in charge of the investigation.

One victim, whose identity was not disclosed, said Zacharias began grooming him while still a seminarian in 1999, according to court documents. The victim was then 12, still in the sixth grade, and Zacharias allegedly abused him throughout his teen and adult years. Zacharias allegedly paid the victim for oral sex, and the victim returned to the priest many times to feed a dependency on painkillers. The victim said his drug addiction stemmed in part from feelings of self-loathing and questions about his sexuality brought on by the abuse he suffered at Zacharias’ hands.

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Priest found guilty of sexual assault defrocked by Montreal archdiocese

OTTAWA (CANADA)
CBC News

October 23, 2020

By Leah Hendry

In 2019, Brian Boucher was found guilty of sexually abusing 2 boys between 1995-2011

Montreal – Brian Boucher is no longer a priest.

Boucher was sentenced to eight years in prison last March for sexually abusing two boys when he worked as a priest in LaSalle in the 1990s and the Town of Mount Royal, around 2010.

The news of Boucher’s laicization came as a great relief to parishioner Kurt Reckziegel, who attends Our Lady of the Annunciation church in TMR.

“I’m glad to see it’s happened,” said Reckziegel. “It doesn’t help the victims of the past, but maybe it will save some young people in the future.”

Montreal Archbishop Christian Lépine formally dismissed Boucher from the clerical state last year, but the decision was subject to appeal. No appeal was filed this summer, so the decision stands.

Erika Jacinto, a spokesperson for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal, said from the moment of Boucher’s dismissal, all financial support to him stopped.

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Rev. Pat Wattigny, Louisiana priest accused of sexual abuse, arrested in Georgia

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Times-Picayune and Advocate

October 23, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas and David Hammer

Police in Georgia have arrested Roman Catholic priest Patrick Wattigny on a St. Tammany Parish warrant accusing him of sexually abusing a minor while he was leading a Slidell church, authorities said Friday.

Wattigny’s arrest comes a little more than three weeks after he allegedly admitted to the Archdiocese of New Orleans that he had started sexually abusing a teenage boy in 2013. He faces four counts of molestation of a juvenile, all stemming from the same victim, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the priest started grooming the victim when the boy was 15. It began with conversation that led to telephone calls, text messages and then private visits, investigators said. Wattigny, now 53, is accused of molesting the teen at least four times between Christmas Eve 2013 and New Year’s Eve 2015, including some occasions in a church rectory.

At the time, Wattigny was the pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist near Slidell.

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Man sues Catholic Church in Vancouver alleging he was drugged and sexually abused by priest

VANCOUVER (BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA)
Vancouver Sun

October 24, 2020

By Keith Fraser

Man alleges he was drugged, sexually abused by priest while he attended Catholic school in North Van in ’70s.

A man is suing the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver over allegations that a former priest and a former teacher sexually abused him in the mid-1970s.

The man, who is only identified as John Doe in the lawsuit, says that Father John Kilty, an ordained priest of the Vancouver Archdiocese who served as pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in North Vancouver from 1956-1982, targeted him while he was a six-year-old student at Holy Trinity Elementary around 1974 and ’75.

He claims that Raymond Clavin, a former pupil of the Christian Brothers who was employed as a teacher, also committed multiple acts of sexual assault and battery on him.

The abuse allegedly included the full spectrum of violations from sexual touching to full-blown rape with Kilty allegedly drugging the plaintiff against his will.

In a statement released by his lawyer, Sandra Kovacs, John Doe says that he was invited by other children and Father Kilty into Kilty’s home for a can of pop, a home that was vibrant with kids going in and out freely.

Kilty, who is no longer alive according to the suit, was kind to him at a time when he needed support and kindness, and he did not realize that his friendly gestures were techniques to groom an “unsuspecting and wide-open little boy” for sexual abuse, says the plaintiff.

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Explosive findings: Archdiocese clergy protected priest who allegedly stole $1M for sex, vacations

WOODLAND PARK (NJ)
The Record

October 20, 2020

By Abbott Koloff and Deena Yellin

A church investigation conducted last year — which has yet to be made public by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York — revealed that a priest who allegedly stole $1 million from two parishes to pay for sex, lavish vacations and a New Jersey shore home was protected for years by clergy at the archdiocese headquarters and avoided criminal prosecution despite significant evidence the archdiocese itself recently found.

After the investigation concluded, the case was sent to Rome and the archdiocese promised parishioners of St. Frances de Chantal in the Bronx and St. Frances Xavier Cabrini on Roosevelt Island that the priest, Peter Miqueli, would be laicized. The parishioners were also promised that the findings would be made public.

But the promise to release the findings has not been kept.

Rev. Peter Miqueli resigned Saturday after a lawsuit against him accused him of stealing church money and paying a male prostitute.

Over the summer, Miqueli’s body was found at his Brick Township home, where he had used stolen money to pay a man for bondage, discipline and sadomasochistic sessions, according to a lawsuit filed several years ago.

Days after his body was found, the archdiocese’s judicial vicar and lead investigator in the case, Father Richard Welch, was transferred to Rome. In a recent email, the New York Archdiocese said the priest’s death put an end to the case, and “no judgment was ever passed.”

“I think the cover-up continues,” Jack Lynch, a St. Frances de Chantal parishioner, said in a recent interview. “He told me he had overwhelming evidence,” he said of Welch.

Parishioners say they are still waiting to be briefed on the findings from the archdiocese’s investigation of Miqueli — and that the findings remain relevant. Linda Heimer, a parishioner of the Roosevelt Island parish, said Welch’s investigation appeared to be “the last chance to do something about this,” and that she had been hoping there would be some restitution for her parish, where the bulk of the money was allegedly stolen. She said that her church should receive proceeds from the sale of Miqueli’s Brick home, which was purchased in 2009 while Miqueli was her parish pastor.

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Bishop of Beverley faces ban for telling abuse victim to ‘move on’

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Times

October 22, 2020

By Kaya Burgess

A Church of England bishop could face a life ban from office after being accused of telling the victim of a paedophile bishop to “forget it and move on”.

The Bishop of Beverley, the Right Rev Glyn Webster, 69, has been criticised in a report for allegedly failing to investigate reports that the late Victor Whitsey, a former Bishop of Chester, had repeatedly sexually abused a boy in the 1970s, starting when he was 14.

An independent review commissioned by the church found today that Whitsey, who died in 1987, was a prolific paedophile who groomed and abused a “large number” of children and young people over 15 years.

It published details of “appalling” assaults against at least 18 victims …

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Patton priest placed on leave after accusation

ALTOONA (PA)
Altoona Mirror

October 23, 2020

Allegation made of inappropriate conduct involving minors

The Rev. Ananias Buccicone, OSB, pastor of Queen of Peace Parish in Patton, has been placed on leave from public ministry after an accusation of recent inappropriate conduct involving minors.

The allegation was reported to authorities, and law enforcement is investigating, according to Tony DeGol, director of communications for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

Father Buccicone, 58, was ordained a priest in the Benedictine Community of St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe in 1993. A native of Tarentum, he served in various roles outside of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown before being appointed pastor of Queen of Peace in 2002.

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Four more sex abuse suits filed against Delbarton School Catholic order, 16 cases now pending

PARSIPPANY (NJ)
Daily Record

October 22, 2020

By Abbott Koloff

The Catholic order that runs the Delbarton School in Morris Township now faces 16 sexual abuse lawsuits in state court after four more were filed Thursday naming Timothy Brennan, a priest and former teacher who died late last year and who has been the focus of at least 20 complaints since the 1980s.

St. Mary’s Abbey and the Order of St. Benedict New Jersey, which runs Delbarton, has settled at least 10 complaints involving Brennan over the years. Brennan is also named in 10 of the pending lawsuits. All but one of the pending cases have been filed since Dec. 1, 2019, when the state loosened restrictions on filing sex abuse lawsuits, suspending the civil statute of limitations for two years.

Brennan was sentenced to probation in 1987 after pleading guilty to aggravated sexual contact with a 15-year-old Delbarton student. The religious order later settled a complaint by the student’s family by paying more than $1 million.

At least nine order clerics and one Delbarton lay teacher have been accused of sexual abuse in 30 lawsuits over the past two decades. The order has settled 14 of those complaints since 2006. One order priest accused of abuse still had voicemail at the abbey this year. The priest, Benedict Worry, has been named in two lawsuits, one settled by the abbey and the other pending.

The lawsuits filed Thursday allege abuse in the 1970s and 1980s at the Delbarton School and at St. Elizabeth of Hungary parish in Linden, where the Order of St. Benedict ran a school. In addition to the order, the Linden parish and the Newark Archdiocese were named as defendants in two of the complaints.

One plaintiff was an 11-year-old parishioner at the Linden church in 1974 when he allegedly was abused by Brennan. The other three plaintiffs were Delbarton students, according to court papers. One of them was allegedly abused in the 1970s while Brennan lived at the Linden parish, their attorney said. The other two were allegedly abused in the mid-1980s, according to court papers.

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‘VeraCity: Unrepentant’ investigating abuse in the Canadian Catholic Church

TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
CityNewsToronto

October 21, 2020

By Adran Ghobrial

[45 minute documentary]

‘VeraCity: Unrepentant’ is a Citytv original documentary uncovering the secret history of child sexual assaults that was kept silent by an order of Canadian Catholic priests. Taking the hunt for accountability all the way to Vatican City.

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Survivor calls on Canadian Catholic Church to release names of priests accused of assault

TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
CityNewsToronto

October 22, 2020

By Jessica Bruno

An Ontario man who survived abuse at the hands of a now-convicted Catholic priest has taken his 111-week protest to the doorstep of Toronto’s Catholic Church.

William O’Sullivan says was inspired to travel from Niagara to Toronto by the CityTV documentary, “Veracity: Unrepentant,” which uncovers how an order of priests known as the Basilian Fathers shuffled perpetrators through schools and communities.

“This is yet another example of how priests were involved in systemic predation of children not just in Niagara, but all over Canada. That’s why we need a public inquiry,” he says in a statement. “How did they get away with it so long? How much did it cost Canadian communities all these years in mental health, addiction and social services dealing with all these broken adults? Not to mention the heartbreaking human costs to victims and families.”

This winter, O’Sullivan plans to walk from Niagara to Ottawa to raise public awareness and support for an inquiry. A House of Commons petition he started with the support of Niagara Centre Member of Parliament Vince Badawey has garnered more than 1,200 names. It closes at the end of November.

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Michigan’s clergy abuse probe identifies 454 accused priests, 811 victims

LANSING (MI)
MichiganLive

October 21, 2020

By Justine Lofton

[With 5-minute video statement by AG Nessel.]

A two-year investigation into sexual abuse in Michigan’s Catholic churches has, so far, identified 454 accused priests and 811 victims, and led to charges against 11 clergymen.

Of the 11 charged, two have been convicted thus far. Their sentences were for 60 and 45 days in jail.

“We are committed to ensuring that every case of sexual abuse and assault is thoroughly reviewed and that whenever we are able to pursue justice for a victim, we do so aggressively and relentlessly,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “We must all commit to breaking down the walls of silence that so often surround sexual assault and abuse. In the end, we hope this investigation provides a voice to those who have suffered in silence for so long and shines a light on those offenders who have escaped punishment for their crimes by hiding in shadows.”

Authorities executed search warrants in October 2018 on all seven of Michigan’s Catholic dioceses. Two-hundred and twenty boxes of paper documents and more than 3.5 million digital documents were seized for review by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office’s Clergy Abuse Investigative Team.

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Clergy abuse investigation reaches two-year mark

MARQUETTE (MI)
The Mining Journal

October 22, 2020

Lansing – Millions of documents have been reviewed and 11 men have been or are being prosecuted by Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office since authorities executed search warrants two years ago on all seven of Michigan’s Catholic dioceses as part of the state’s investigation into clergy abuse.

According to the Michigan Attorney General’s office, 42 Michigan State Police troopers, five officers from other law enforcement agencies and 15 special agents from the Attorney General’s office executed search warrants on Oct. 3, 2018, at Michigan’s seven dioceses. In that effort, they seized 220 boxes of paper documents and more than 3.5 million digital documents.

Due to a slowdown in court operations as a result of COVID-19, no charged cases have been resolved through plea deals or trial since late 2019. However, the review of documents has continued along with other steps to further the investigation. To date, the department has:

• Completed the paper document review of the Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Marquette dioceses. Of the 220 boxes of paper documents seized, about 78 boxes remain;

• Completed the electronic document review of the Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Marquette dioceses;

• Hired and trained a full-time victim advocate to support the hundreds of victims identified in the course of the investigation;

• Continued to refer the completed criminal investigations back to the respective dioceses; and

• Followed up with victims who have not been interviewed with a trauma-informed interviewer, including those whose cases are barred by the statute of limitations, where the accused priest has died or any other reason that makes criminal prosecution impossible.

Through the department’s review of paper documents alone, 454 accused priests and 811 reported victims have been identified. That number may change as investigatory efforts continue.

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Pope Francis, in Shift for Church, Voices Support for Same-Sex Civil Unions

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Times

October 21, 2020

By Jason Horowitz

The comments, shown in a new documentary, are the strongest yet from a pontificate that has taken a more tolerant and inclusive tone.

Rome – Pope Francis expressed support for same-sex civil unions in remarks revealed in a documentary film that premiered on Wednesday, a significant break from his predecessors that staked out new ground for the church in its recognition of gay people.

The remarks, coming from the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, had the potential to shift debates about the legal status of same-sex couples in nations around the globe and unsettle bishops worried that the unions threaten what the church considers traditional marriage — between one man and one woman.

“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” Francis said in the documentary, “Francesco,” which debuted at the Rome Film Festival, reiterating his view that gay people are children of God. “I stood up for that.”

Many gay Catholics and their allies outside the church welcomed the pope’s remarks, though Francis’ opposition to gay marriage within the church remained absolute.

His conservative critics within the church hierarchy, and especially in the conservative wing of the church in the United States, who have for years accused him of diluting church doctrine, saw the remarks as a reversal of church teaching.

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Archbishop Aymond asking all diocesan priests credibly accused of child sex abuse to leave the clergy entirely

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Times-Picayune and Advocate

October 21, 2020

By David Hammer and Ramon Antonio Vargas

He is considering requesting two possible church trials for priests who were implicated in separate sex scandals this month

In his most aggressive action to date while managing the fallout of an ongoing clerical molestation scandal, New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond is asking all diocesan priests on his list of religious men credibly accused of molesting children to leave the Catholic clergy entirely.

Aymond is also considering more aggressive action, including possible church trials in Rome, to force out Patrick Wattigny and Travis Clark, two priests who were implicated in separate sex scandals this month.

Wattigny allegedly admitted to the archdiocese on Oct. 1 that he sexually abused a minor in 2013. He is now being investigated by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office. That same day, police in Pearl River booked Clark with obscenity after he was discovered taping himself engaged in three-way sex with two dominatrices — including one who is an avowed Satanist — on the altar at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish.

Since 2018, Aymond has been privately asking credibly accused clergy to voluntarily leave the priesthood and return to the laity through a process called “laicization,” according to archdiocesan officials. The late Dino Cinel, who was acquitted of child pornography-related charges in the 1990s, voluntarily underwent that process in 2010, Aymond’s second year as New Orleans’ archbishop.

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Leave now: Aymond tells priests on abuse list to leave clergy

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WWL

October 21, 2020

Considering church trials for two priests accused of recent sexual misconduct

New Orleans Archdiocese Archbishop Gregory Aymond reportedly has told priests credibly accused of sexual misconduct to permanently separate themselves from the clergy.

The Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate reports Aymond is going as far as have two priests, one who admitted to misconduct and another caught in sexual acts on the altar of their church, to face church trials in Rome.

The two in question are Patrick Wattigny and Travis Clark.

Wattigny, caught texting with a minor by the Vatican’s electronic security unit, underwent a retreat to address his issue and then came clean to the Archbishop about his alleged abusing of a child a number of years ago.

Meanwhile, Clark was in the act of taping sexual acts with two prostitutes on the Altar of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Pearl River.

Aymond is asking those who have wound up on church’s black list to leave the clergy and return to laity of the church through “laicization.”

But, Aymond reserving the right to force out such priests who do not heed his request and in the activities of Wattigny and Clark, it appears he’s ready to make examples of them.

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