A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse.
Click on the headline to read the full story.
October 1, 2016
Updated: Sep 30, 2016
By Krystal Paco
Father Jeff San Nicolas, the delegate to the administrator, confirmed today the Vatican is preparing to hold a canonical trial for Archbishop Anthony Apuron. Among other issues at the church, Apuron stands accused of molesting at least four altar boys when he was a priest at Mount Carmel parish in Agat.
The priest told KUAM News, "I believe they are in the process of formulating the court, as Archbishop Hon had shared with me. It's not as if they have a sitting or standing court; these kind of cases are very rare in our church, so they need to put together that type of mechanism in order to put that type of trial. So they're in this type of preliminary stage right now."
Apuron was placed on leave earlier this year. In his place, the Vatican appointed Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai as Guam's apostolic administrator. Hon recently traveled to Rome to urge the Holy See to remove Apuron and appoint another bishop for the Archdiocese of Agana.
AN alleged sex abuse survivor protested outside Christ Church as the Rt Rev Steven Croft glided past in his gown for his inauguration service today.
The man, who asked to be called 'Michael', claims rape offences committed against him in 1984 were repeatedly ignored by Revd Croft, after he finally found the courage to expose his abuser.
He lodged a formal complaint of misconduct against the Bishop earlier this year to the Church of England, for safeguarding failures, and said it was "inappropriate" that the inauguration went ahead.
He said: "He will never know what it took to tell him, or the hurt he caused by doing absolutely nothing.
"He has got such a thick skin to walk through the streets thinking he is above the law. In any other profession he would have been sacked.
By NOELLE PHILLIPS | firstname.lastname@example.org
A teen-aged girl faced the youth pastor who sexually abused her and told a packed Arapahoe County courtroom how she was considering suicide when the pastor violated her trust and crushed her spirit.
“He never punched me and he never hit me,” the girl said. “But he broke me. As a person I trusted, he shattered what safety was.”
After an hour-long court hearing that featured emotional testimony, fireworks between a judge and prosecutors over sentencing, and a courtroom packed with church members split over the case, Christopher Hutchinson, 37, was sentenced to 20 years of probation as a sex offender. He also received a 90-day jail sentence and was ordered to register as a sex offender by Arapahoe County District Court Judge Natalie Chase.
A jury found Hutchinson guilty in July of one count of sexual assault on a child by a person of in a position of trust and one count of sexual assault on a child. Hutchinson had met his victim while serving as youth pastor at South Fellowship Church in Littleton and was serving as youth pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Parker when he was arrested for the crime.
Telegram & Gazette
By Telegram & Gazette Staff
WORCESTER – Judith Audette has assumed the responsibilities of Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese of Worcester, formally replacing Frances Nugent who died in July, the Catholic Diocese of Worcester announced Thursday.
Mrs. Audette, a licensed clinical social worker, had been assisting in the duties since the vacancy.
“I am grateful for the compassionate expertise that Mrs. Audette brings in helping those who come to us, often decades later, to share the pain of abuse they suffered as children by members of the Church," Worcester Bishop Robert McManus said in a press release announcing the appointment.
"Her vast experience on the issue, like Mrs. Nugent, will help us to continue to offer healing to victims who come forward seeking healing and hope.”
Mrs. Audette has served as the chairperson of the Diocesan Review Committee for the past seven years and has assisted victims through the Office for Healing and Prevention over the years. She is also the executive director of Pathways of Central Massachusetts and has extensive experience working with both victims and perpetrators of abuse, including for probation or parole.
York Daily Record
Brandie Kessler, email@example.com October 1, 2016
The Harrisburg diocese, which in the summer had responded to York Daily Record requests for information on specific priests accused of child sexual abuse, now says it will no longer answer questions about the diocese's clergy abuse history.
“Because of the secret and confidential nature of grand jury investigations, the Diocese can't discuss any specifics about the investigation except to say that the Diocese is cooperating fully with the Office of Attorney General,” Matt Haverstick, the attorney representing the Harrisburg diocese, said in an email.
The Harrisburg diocese had answered some questions regarding allegations of clergy abuse against priests who had at some point worked in the diocese. In August, the York Daily Record published the names of 15 priests who had worked in the diocese at some time and who had, at some time in their careers, been accused of child sexual abuse.
About three weeks later, the Daily Record reported that three more priests with ties to the Harrisburg diocese had been accused of sexual abuse of children at some time in their career. One allegation was new, the diocese said, and it was investigating whether it was credible. An update wasn't available Thursday because of Haverstick's statement that the diocese can’t discuss specifics of cases.
Updated: Sep 30, 2016
By Krystal Paco
In an interesting twist, just hours after the Archdiocese of Agana held a press conference to announce that all allegations of financial mismanagement made against Monsignor James Benavente were invalid, KUAM News has learned that a complaint has been filed by the Catholic Cemeteries of Guam, Inc. with the Guam Police Department and the Attorney General’s office.
According to the complaint Catholic Cemeteries alleges $13,000 was misused for the personal use of Monsignor James Benavente, specifically for his 20th anniversary dinner in 2014.
According to KUAM News files, Archbishop Anthony Apuron removed Monsignor Benavente one week after his 20th anniversary celebration. Benavente was removed as the Rector of the Cathedral and Director of the Catholic Cemeteries.
During this morning's press conference, the archdiocese cleared him of any allegations of financial mismanagement.
Updated: Sep 30, 2016
By Sabrina Salas Matanane
Just hours after the Archdiocese of Agana cleared Monsignor James Benavente of any wrongdoing, a complaint was filed by the Catholic Cemeteries of Guam, Inc. with the Guam Police Department and the Attorney General's Office. According to the complaint, Catholic Cemeteries alleges $13,000 was misused for Monsignor Benavente's 20th anniversary dinner in 2014.
According to KUAM News files, one week after the monsignor's 20th anniversary celebration, Archbishop Anthony Apuron removed him as rector of the cathedral and director of the Catholic Cemeteries.
The Archdiocese of Agana issued a statement in response to the complaint stating this matter was addressed and the findings determined Monsignor Benavente to be cleared of any financial irregularities. Additionally, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai also clarified that the Catholic Cemeteries of Guam is an entity of the Archdiocese of Agana and in no way did he authorize any individual to represent the archdiocese nor file such a complaint on behalf of the organization.
He said such misrepresentations constitutes a grave wrong and disobedience that will not be tolerated. Archbishop Hon plans to take immediate and appropriate action to discipline the person or persons involved.
Guam Daily Post
Jacqueline Perry Guzman | Post News Staff
Hours after it was announced by the Archdiocese of Agana that Monsignor James Benavente was to be cleared of any financial irregularities, local news media reported complaints had been filed on behalf of Catholic Cemeteries of Guam Inc.
The Post learned a complaint was filed against a member of the Archdiocese of Agana on Sept. 30, according to a release from Captain Kim Santos, spokeswoman for the Guam Police Department. “The case is open and under investigation. No further details are available at this time,” the release stated.
The Archdiocese of Agana sent a statement in response to the report from local news media.
“Late yesterday afternoon, the Archdiocese learned second-hand, from local news media, that an individual had filed a complaint against Monsignor James Benavente with the Guam Police and Attorney General’s Office on behalf of the Catholic Cemeteries,” the statement from the archdiocese read.
According to the statement, Catholic Cemeteries of Guam Inc. is an entity of the Archdiocese of Agana.
“Pope Francis entrusted full pastoral responsibility and administrative authority of the Archdiocese to Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, SDB, as Apostolic Administrator of Agana in June,” the statement said.
Pacific News Center
The report states that Msgr. James Benavente misused over $13,000 in church money for his anniversary dinner.
Guam - Just moments after he was vindicated, a complaint was filed against Msgr. James Benavente for allegedly spending over $13,000 in church money for his personal use.
PNC obtained a board resolution from the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Agana, signed by Attorney Jacque Terlaje, who also represents Archbishop Anthony Apuron in a separate libel and slander lawsuit filed by four of the Archbishop's alleged sex abuse victims.
The report from the catholic cemeteries was sent to both the Guam Police Department and the Attorney General's Office today. In the report, it states that two checks were written to a Joshua Perez totaling $13,620 dollars for the purpose of Benavente's 20th anniversary dinner back in June and July of 2014.
However, attached to the report is a receipt from the Catholic Cemeteries for $14,280 in reimbursement for Benavente's 20th anniversary dinner.
Pacific News Center
Written by Janela Carrera
Msgr. James Benavente was fired as the rector of the Cathedral Basilica and director of the Catholic Cemeteries in 2014.
Guam - Msgr. James Benavente has been vindicated. At a press conference today and in the presence of many of Benavente's supporters, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai and Father Jeff San Nicolas cleared him of any wrongdoing.
It's been two years since Archbishop Anthony Apuron fired Benavente from the position of rector of the Cathedral Basilica and director of the Catholic cemeteries. At the time he was removed, Archbishop Apuron accused Benavente of financial mismanagement.
Apuron never gave Benavente a chance to respond to the allegations. It wasn't until a few months ago that Benavente finally got that due process. And now, two years later and after a very public outcry over his removal, Benavente has been vindicated. Father Jeff San Nicolas read a statement written by Apostolic Administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai at the press conference today.
"I hereby declare that Msgr. Benavente's response is found both credible and satisfactory and that none of these alleged major irregularities should be held valid," Hon stated. "I thus declare that the decision of his removal be considered invalid and any statement released from the archdiocese against him or any of his staff in this matter ought to be considered invalid."
Guam Daily Post
Jacqueline Perry Guzman | Post News Staff
At a press conference held yesterday morning at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagåtña, the delegate to the apostolic administrator Rev. Jeff San Nicolas announced that Monsignor James Benavente had been cleared of the allegations against him regarding irregularities and “financial mismanagement.”
Benavente has been assigned as parochial vicar of St. Anthony Church in Tamuning.
San Nicolas read from a letter written by Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, the apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana.
The letter stated, “Having examined all the documents and reports made available to me, I hereby declare that Msgr. Benavente’s response is found both credible and satisfactory and that none of these alleged major irregularities should be held valid.”
A former Aurora priest has pleaded not guilty to charges he sexually abused two children over a three-year span, according to court records.
Alfred Pedraza Arias, 50, is accused in a five-count indictment from March with aggravated sexual abuse between 2012 and 2014 involving the children who were both under the age of 13. Prosecutors have alleged Arias fondled the children at Sacred Heart Church in Aurora, as well as at one youth's home. Arias, who was arraigned Thursday, remains free on $50,000 bail with a court date set for Nov. 18.
Arias was charged in February and arrested in Rockford on a warrant. He now is listed with a home address in Rockford.
The Rockford Diocese, which covers Kane County, released a statement at the time which explained Arias had been out of the ministry since October 2014 amid an investigation by law enforcement and the diocese into two allegations against him. Aside from Sacred Heart, Arias worked at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Aurora and Hispanic Ministry in DeKalb, the diocese previously stated.
September 30, 2016
Press and Dakotan
BY RANDY DOCKENDORF firstname.lastname@example.org
Minnesota authorities are not pursuing a criminal investigation into a sex-abuse allegation against a Roman Catholic priest currently serving two Bon Homme County parishes.
The Rev. Joe Forcelle faces the Minnesota allegation based earlier in his ministry. He currently serves St. Leo Church in Tyndall and St. Vincent Church in Springfield. He denies the Minnesota allegation and has not faced any allegations during his 32-year ministry in South Dakota.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Forcelle and immediately reported it to law enforcement, according to archdiocesan spokesman Tom Halden.
“The alleged sexual abuse is from the late 1970s and early 1980s when (Forcelle) was serving as a priest at Saint Mark Church in Saint Paul,” Halden said in a statement.
Pacific Daily News
Joelle Casteix October 1, 2016
Survivors of sexual abuse on Guam are in a very powerful position. That can be a very scary place to be.
The new law protecting sex abuse victims is a watershed moment. Finally, survivors will be able to use the civil courts to seek accountability, justice and healing. Predators hiding in plain sight will be exposed. The public will finally learn the true scope and scale of the cover-up.
But before any of that can happen, victims need to come forward.
As a survivor who used a similar California law for justice, I know firsthand how terrifying the decision can be. As an advocate who has helped hundreds of other survivors, I understand the complex dynamics that many survivors face.
If you are a survivor of child sexual abuse on Guam, here are some important factors to remember:
* You are not hurting the church, your family, or your community by coming forward. By coming forward, you are protecting the child who was hurt so many years ago. You are also protecting children right now. You are making your church a safer place. If anyone tries to tell you that coming forward is wrong or shameful, walk away.
* You don’t have to go public. Brave survivors like Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton, and Roland Sondia blazed a trail for you. But when it comes to the legal system, crime victims have privacy rights. If you choose to file a lawsuit, you may do so as a John or Jane Doe so that the public, your employer, or your school never needs to know.
* Find your support team. You do not have to go through the decision-making or legal process alone. Talk to a therapist, supportive family and friends, and support groups like Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. Take care of your health. If you struggle with addiction, get help.
* Be patient. The legal system takes time. Some civil window sex abuse cases have been completed in less than two years. Others take more time. Organizations fight long and hard to keep their secrets hidden. Understand that you need to be patient and that things won’t happen overnight.
When elders at a mosque in Rugby learned that imam Noor Walile, above, had raped a boy, they banished him to India to avoid prosecution.
But Walile, 38, who claimed that “the devil made him do it”, later returned to the UK and he was arrested at a house in Leicester, according to this report.
He has now been jailed for six years after he pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court.
Judge Stephen Eyre QC told him:
The members of your community entrusted their young children to you for guidance and education. You were in a position of responsibility and leadership at the mosque. You abused that position and that trust, and defiled the faith you were paid to uphold.
He was a young boy entrusted to your care for guidance, and you raped him. It is hard to think of any greater abuse of the trust that had been placed in you.
If you had not pleaded guilty, the sentence would have been one of nine years.
The judge branded Wallie “an offender of particular concern” who would not be released before serving the whole of the six years if the Parole Board considers it safe to do so and will then be on licence for an additional 12 months.
[Daniel Surla, cardinal and archbishop of Montevideo Daniel Sturla said Wednesday that Uruguayan Catholic Church was able to verify the existence of 40 complaints of sexual abuse.]
El cardenal y arzobispo de Montevideo Daniel Sturla dijo el pasado miércoles que la Iglesia Católica uruguaya pudo comprobar la existencia de 40 denuncias "que había que atender".
Entrevistado por el programa Código País de Teledoce, el cardenal dijo que se recibieron 25 denuncias de abusos sexuales a través del número de teléfono que la Iglesia habilitó en abril.
Además, el programa Santo y Seña proporcionó, luego del informe sobre que se transmitió a mediados de ese mes, otras 40 denuncias.
[Pedophile priests: 400 testimonies from alleged victims have been collected by La Parole Libérée.]
Les révélations sur les scandales dans l'Eglise prennent une ampleur insoupçonnée. L'association «La Parole Libérée», basée à Lyon (Rhône), a recueilli depuis le mois de novembre 2015, 400 témoignages de personnes disant avoir été victimes de prêtres pédophiles, rapporte ce vendredi France Info.
Parmi ces victimes, certaines parlent pour la première fois, plusieurs décennies après les faits,. On peut notamment citer le cas d'un homme âgé de 93 ans : «Il a été victime d'agression sexuelle dans son enfance. Sa femme est décédée et elle n'a jamais su», raconte auprès de France Info François Devaux, cofondateur de «La Parole Libérée».
L'association a été fondée par trois anciennes victimes du père Bernard Preynat, un prêtre soupçonné de pédophilie au cours des années 1980 et 1990. Ils ont également reproché au cardinal Barbarin de ne pas avoir dénoncé ce prêtre à la justice.
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agana
First of all, I would like to reiterate the position made public in my press conference on July 27, 2016, namely, to recant and to retract all the statements released previously from the Archdiocese that have put a cloud over the name of Msgr. Benavente and compromised his right to due process.
Secondly, in the beginning of July, I instituted a process in which Msgr. Benavente was allowed to present his response to the allegations of some irregularities in the administration of temporary goods of the Church. I also instructed our Delegate to the Apostolic Administrator, Fr. Jeff San Nicolas to coordinate the process by involving different parties concerned.
Having examined all the documents and reports made available to me, I hereby declare that Msgr. Benavente’s response is found both credible and satisfactory and that none of these alleged major irregularities should be held valid. It is clear that these alleged irregularities constituted the cause of the decision to remove him from the offices as Rector of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica, Director of the Catholic Cemeteries, and to dissolve the Archdiocesan Development Group. I, thus, declare that the decision of his removal be considered invalid and any statement released from the Archdiocese against him or any of his staff in this matter ought to be considered invalid.
Obedient to his Ordinary at the time, Msgr. Benavente submitted himself to his decision and accepted an assignment as Parochial Vicar of St. Anthony’s Church.
In light of the above, and in consultation with the Presbyteral Council and Msgr. Benavente, I have come to the decision that he be given another appointment.
It is my earnest wish that we all may learn a lesson from this matter in view of promoting due vigilance over the administration, linear clarity in policy, and fraternal communication among the clergy.
+ Savio Hon Tai Fai, SDB
Archdiocese of Agana
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agana
His Excellency, Most Reverend Savio Hon Tai Fai, SDB, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Agaña, in consultation with the Presbyteral Council, announces the following appointments effective Sept. 30, 2016:
Rev. Msgr. Brigido U. Arroyo
Pastor Emeritus of St. Anthony and St. Victor Church in Tamuning, Guam
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016
Rev. Msgr. James L.G. Benavente
Pastor of St. Anthony and St. Victor Church in Tamuning, Guam
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016
Rev. Fr. Adrian L.F. Cristobal
Pastor of San Dionisio Church in Umatac, Guam
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016
Rev. Fr. Julius B. Akinyemi
Pastor of San Dimas and Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Merizo, Guam
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016
Rev. Fr. Joel de los Reyes
Parochial Administrator of San Vicente Ferrer Church in Barrigada, Guam
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016
Rev. Fr. Carlos S. Vila
Parochial Administrator of Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje in Chalan Pago, Guam
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016
Rev. Fr. Edivaldo Da Silva-Oliveira
Catholic Chaplain of Department of Youth Affairs and Department of Corrections in Mangilao, Guam
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016
Rev. Fr. Paul Gofigan
Delegate of the Apostolic Administrator for Clergy
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016
Rev. Fr. Richard Kidd
Director of Vocation and Permanent Diaconate Program
Given at Hagatña on Sept. 22, 2016
Updated: Sep 29, 2016
By Sabrina Salas Matanane
"I'm grateful for the vindication," Monsignor James Benavente said during a press conference in which it was announced that he was cleared of any allegations of financial mismanagement. In July 2014 Archbishop Anthony Apuron removed him as Rector of the Dulce Nombre De Maria Cathedral Basilica and Director of the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese.
Monsignor Benavente said although grateful it's not a time to celebrate but instead to roll up our sleeves to continue the critical work of reconciling and rebuilding our archdiocese. Concerned Catholics of Guam Andrew Camacho was at the press conference he said this is a step in the right direction but adds the CCOG is asking the Archdiocese for the status of the Church's investigation of Fr. Luis Camacho.
Over a year ago the priest was arrested for Custodial Interference. He allegedly took a minor from school and was caught allegedly engaging in sexual contact with her.
Updated: Sep 30, 2016
By Krystal Paco
After two long years of not having an opportunity to defend himself and his reputation, that day finally came for Monsignor James Benavente. In July 2014, one week after the monsignor celebrated 20 years as rector of the Dulce Nombe de Maria Cathedral-Basilica, Archbishop Anthony Apuron suddenly removed him from the position and his position as director of Catholic Cemeteries.
Apuron accused the monsignor of mismanaging millions of dollars in church money.
His prayers were answered. Monsignor Benavente announced, "That's the greatest thing we can do is to pray for those who have done us harm, and that's what I had opted to do." For two years, he's stood accused of financial mismanagement in the church. When the allegations surfaced, Archbishop Apuron didn't allow for due process. Under the direction of apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, Benavente's name was cleared.
"I am grateful for the vindication I have received from the present administration of this archdiocese," Monsignor Benavente continued. "Having been able to respond directly to these alleged financial irregularities, we now know today that truth and justice have once again prevailed."
Pacific Daily News
Monsignor James Benavente has been cleared of allegations of financial mismanagement and has been named pastor of St. Anthony's Church, Archdiocese of Agana spokesman Father Jeff San Nicolas announced at a news conference today.
Benavente was the former rector of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica, before he was removed by Archbishop Anthony Apuron in July 2014. He was reinstated by Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai in July.
When Benavente was removed, Apuron cited financial problems in the church administration, a multimillion dollar church debt, problems with the Catholic cemetery finances and bookkeeping and missing contracts.
For several years, the archdiocese has been embattled over the removal of Benavente and Father Paul Gofigan, a land transfer worth tens of millions of dollars and conflicts between traditional Catholics and followers of the Neocatechumenal Way.
By BARBARA HEWSON FOR THE DAILY MAIL
Back in January last year, I attended a meeting at the House of Commons for the White Flowers campaign, which lobbies for justice for victims of historic ‘organised sexual abuse’.
It was an experience I can only describe as bizarre, at best.
Because apart from calls for ‘heads on spikes’, no one at the meeting seemed to know what it was they wanted to achieve.
This peculiar evening is what came to mind when I heard the two extraordinary announcements this week that lurched the troubled Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) yet further into turmoil.
On Thursday the senior lawyer of the Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Ben Emmerson QC, resigned, in a further development into the troubled independent inquiry.
To get you up to speed with this complicated subject, here's everything you need to know so far.
Theresa May first set up the inquiry in July 2014 when she was home secretary, with the aim to investigate whether "state and non-state institutions" have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse within England and Wales.
The inquiry was troubled from the start: just two days after it was established, its chairwoman Baroness Butler-Sloss faced calls to quit due to a potential conflict of interest. She resigned a couple of days after.
The next chairwoman, Dame Fiona Woolf, a leading tax lawyer and then Lord Mayor of the City of London, was in the role for under two months. She quit after questions over her suitability.
The national probe into child sex abuse will not work in its current form, a key group representing victims and survivors has warned.
The Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was thrown into disarray on Thursday after the resignation of its senior lawyer, prompting calls for it to be broken up.
C hairwoman Professor Alexis Jay said she had accepted Ben Emmerson QC's decision to step down from the post of senior counsel after two years.
The development was labelled a "disaster" for the problematic inquiry that has been blighted by resignations and is on its fourth chairwoman.
Friday 30 September 2016
Michael Mansfield QC says he is willing to replace Ben Emmerson as the top lawyer on the inquiry into institutional child abuse, but only if the inquiry is broken up.
Mansfield, a prominent barrister whom many of the survivors of child abuse have nominated to lead the process, said the inquiry had been “chaotic from beginning” and dogged by “catastrophic appointments”.
Interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme after Emmerson resigned as lead counsel to the inquiry, Mansfield said the inquiry needed a lawyer at the top, but that it was too complex to be run by one person.
He also questioned the credentials of the fourth and current chair Prof Alexis Jay, a leading social worker who led the Rotherham abuse inquiry, but insisted he could work with her.
Victims say they are "saddened, but not surprised" by the resignation of the most senior lawyer working for the independent inquiry into historical child sexual abuse.
The Shirley Oaks Survivors Association described the decision to quit by Ben Emmerson QC as "devastating".
It said some survivors were losing faith, believing the investigation's large remit was designed to fail.
Prime Minister Theresa May has said she still has confidence in the inquiry.
It was set up to examine whether public bodies, including the police, in England and Wales had failed in their duty to protect children from sexual abuse, and to examine claims of abuse involving "well-known people".
Cynthia Izaguirre, WFAA September 29, 2016
DALLAS -- On Friday, Bishop Kevin Farrell, the man who helped to unify and transform the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, will move on from the job he thought he would retire from.
Bishop Farrell has been promoted to a new position at the Vatican where he will be the highest-ranking American working directly with Pope Francis. He sat down with us for a final interview about what lies ahead both for him and the Diocese of Dallas.
"I thought it was a joke. Why would he have picked me? I do not know," said Bishop Kevin Farrell.
The bishop of the Diocese of Dallas is still taken aback by the news. How did he get the attention of the pope?
"I don't know. I would love to know why," Farrell said during our last interview in his Dallas office.
On Oct. 7, Bishop Farrell will lead a new Vatican office focusing on ordinary Catholics throughout the world. It is part of the Vatican’s effort to reach out to more people in the pews.
The pope personally tapped Bishop Farrell for the position, presumably in part because of how he turned things around in the Diocese of Dallas after a huge sexual abuse scandal that led to a $23 million settlement in 1998.
"You're sitting in this little room with the pope, and he has all the time in the world to tell you what his plan is and what he wants and why he wants it,” Farrell said. “And what are you going to do? You just can't say no.”
Sep. 29, 2016
Michael Walsh, 80, was arraigned Wednesday in charges he raped and indecently attacked a Dorchester boy more than two decades ago, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
In the 1980s and early 1990s, Walsh was an altar-boy coordinator at St. Brendan Church and a coach in the Cedar Grove Baseball League. He is charged with one count of rape of a child and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child for alleged offenses against a boy who was then in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades, the DA's office reports, adding the victim, now in his late 30s, contacted authorities earlier this year:
"Walsh allegedly used his position of authority to gain access to, 'groom, and ultimately sexually assault' him. Walsh was said to take the victim and other children out to eat and to the movies, and would drive them home; the abuse of the victim took place within Walsh's car, his home, and his office."
Walsh was released on personal recognizance, but has to stay in Massachusetts, wear a GPS monitor and surrender his passport while his case is pending, the DA's office reports.
September 29, 2016
Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent
Friday 30 September 2016
Two high-profile survivors of sexual abuse in the Church of England are to mount a protest during the enthronement of the bishop of Oxford in response to what they claim is the church’s failure to act on their disclosures.
Michael (not his real name), an ordained C of E priest, made a formal complaint of misconduct earlier this year against Steven Croft, the new bishop, claiming that he failed to properly respond to accusations of rapes allegedly committed by a serving priest in 1984.
Similar complaints of misconduct were lodged against John Sentamu, the archbishop of York, and three other serving bishops.
The C of E has rejected the complaints because they were made after a one-year time limit set by the church.
Michael claims that he told Croft – then bishop of Sheffield – about the alleged rapes in December 2012 and again in February 2013. Croft failed to act on the disclosures, Michael says.
By PRESS ASSOCIATION
The senior lawyer in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has quit, a day after being suspended from his role.
Chairwoman Professor Alexis Jay said she had accepted Ben Emmerson QC's decision to step down from the post of senior counsel after two years.
Mr Emmerson was suspended on Wednesday night amid reports he was about to resign. His departure was announced just hours after it was revealed his junior colleague Elizabeth Prochaska had also left her role.
In a statement Prof Jay said: "There is no truth in suggestions that he has resigned due to a difference of opinion with me about the next steps for the inquiry."
Prime Minister Theresa May had earlier said that the "really important" inquiry would go ahead as planned, amid claims that it was in "crisis".
In his resignation letter, posted on the inquiry's website, Mr Emmerson said he remained "totally committed to securing a fair and just result for those who matter most, the victims and survivors of childhood abuse"
He said: "Shortly after you took over, you announced a review of the inquiry's ways of working to identify any changes that may be necessary in the public interest.
Robert Mendick, chief reporter, and Tom Morgan
29 SEPTEMBER 2016
The future of the national child sex abuse inquiry was plunged deeper into crisis on Thursday night after the two most senior lawyers in charge announced their resignations.
Ben Emmerson QC, the counsel to the inquiry, quit at 10pm last night, a little over 24 hours after being suspended from the role.
Mr Emmerson’s deputy Elizabeth Prochaska, the inquiry’s junior counsel, announced she had also stood down although it was claimed her decision was not linked to recent events.
In his resignation letter, Mr Emmerson insisted his decision to resign was not caused by a “difference of opinion” with Alexis Jay, the new chairman of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).
Mr Emmerson added: “It is now time for someone else to take the helm with a different leadership of the Counsel team.”
Theresa May has insisted the inquiry into child sexual abuse in England and Wales will not be scaled back despite recent setbacks.
The prime minister said she and Home Secretary Amber Rudd still had confidence in the inquiry.
She spoke after the lead counsel to the hearings, Ben Emmerson, was suspended on Wednesday and the inquiry's second most senior lawyer resigned.
Elizabeth Prochaska's resignation is said to be not linked to recent events.
Ms Prochaska told BBC Newsnight's programme: "I can confirm that after 15 months working on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, I resigned from my position as junior counsel with effect from 15 September 2016.
"I very much valued the experience of working with the inquiry and I wish all my former colleagues the best as they continue their work."
In A Mirror Dimley
Christians have a tradition of “laying hands” on each other to impart the Holy Spirit, to heal, and to bless. My church “trains” people to pray, which basically means we teach people to ask questions like, “Can I put my hand on your shoulder as I pray for you.”
Touching and consent go “hand in hand.”
Touch has a foundationally sacred and important place in the Christian tradition.
Touching each other inappropriately undermines the healing and life that God desires to impart in our lives. Our hands can be used to destroy, imprison, and wound or they can be used to impart freedom, spiritual gifts, and blessings.
Our message collapses if we approve inappropriate touching in one moment and then reach out to heal in another. (Trigger warning below for sexual abuse and rape.)
And yet, some evangelical churches and groups have attempted to do just this. If these groups are not directly responsible for sexual abuse or covering up the abuse, they at least are responsible for failing to condemn leaders who abuse women and children. Some of these leaders are even given a free pass because they’re deemed “too important” for the cause of the Gospel.
The Journal News
Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy, email@example.com September 29, 2016
The archdiocese continues to be responsible for providing O'Keefe with a place to live
Lohud and Facebook readers had a lot to say about a former Rockland priest who was permanently removed from ministry by the Archdiocese of New York following allegations that he sexually abused a minor.
Monsignor John O’Keefe, who once led Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, had been suspended last year from St. Margaret of Antioch Parish in Pearl River based on alleged abuse that occurred more than three decades ago.
Some readers were upset that no criminal charges had been brought against O’Keefe because the incidents were past the statute of limitations.
“There should be no statute of limitations on these creeps, and rather than the church continuing to provide housing, they should be incarcerated,” wrote Anthony Tascione. “Let’s not cover up these horrific deeds no matter how old they are.”
Published Thursday, September 29, 2016
A former Winnipeg priest convicted of sexual abuse has been granted day parole.
Ronald Leger previously worked at Holy Family Parish on Archibald Street. He pleaded guilty to sexually abusing three boys between 1980 and 2004.
He was sentenced to two years in prison in February 2016.
The parole board has granted him day parole, and denied a request for full parole.
During his time in the community, Leger is to have zero contact with his victims.
He will not be allowed to go near areas where kids under 18 will be. The former priest is also prohibited from having any contact with male children under 18, unless he's accompanied by an adult who knows his criminal history and have been approved by his parole officer.
September 30, 2016
The Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide has asked the NSW Supreme Court to dismiss a criminal charge alleging he failed to tell police about a priest’s child abuse, arguing it could not be proved he believed the allegations at the time.
The dispute, which is expected to go to the High Court, is being watched by police and the national child abuse royal commission as a test case for the potential prosecution of others alleged to have not disclosed such crimes.
Lawyers representing Archbishop Philip Wilson did not yesterday seek to challenge claims he was told by two children in 1976 that the priest, Father James Fletcher, had sexually abused underage boys.
“We are not talking about … moral obligations”, the archbishop’s barrister, Bret Walker SC, told the court, arguing that such abuse was not “a serious indictable offence” in the terms of legislation requiring that these crimes be disclosed.
The legislation states that a person who “knows or believes” such an offence has been committed must report that to the police, the court heard.
Thursday 29 September 2016
The prime minister has stepped in to shore up the struggling national inquiry into child abuse, saying it was a crucial investigation to stop more children becoming victims in the future.
Theresa May insisted the inquiry, which she set up while she was home secretary, would not be scaled back. She spoke on Thursday after the sudden suspension of the most senior counsel to the inquiry, Ben Emmerson QC, the previous night.
On a visit to meet serving soldiers in Bulford, Wiltshire, May said: “For too many years too many people have been raising their voice saying what had happened to them and people have not been listening, they have not been taken seriously.
“We need to investigate, we need to learn the lessons of the past and if we don’t do that we can’t guarantee we are going to be able to stop such abuse from happening again in the future.”
She said she had faith in the new chair of the inquiry – its fourth to be appointed – Alexis Jay. Jay returned from two weeks’ holiday this week and into a new controversy for the inquiry – this time, the suspension of its lead counsel, Emmerson, over what the inquiry said were recent concerns about his leadership.
Bill Donohue comments on surveys that probe support for religious liberty:
A new Pew Research Center survey on religious liberty found that the public is split on the question of whether businesses that provide wedding services should be able to refuse same-sex couples if the owner has religious objections: 48% are in agreement and 49% are not. Catholics believe, by a margin of 54% to 43%, that businesses should be required to provide services to gay couples.
Other surveys provide a different outcome. Does this mean the Pew survey is flawed? No. It means that the wording of the question strongly influences the respondent’s answer. What also matters is whether self-identification is an accurate measure of reality.
For example, last December an AP and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey found that 82% of Americans said religious liberty protections were important to Christians. Similarly, 8 in 10 Americans said that it was very or extremely important for people like themselves to be allowed to practice their religion freely.
Sydney Morning Herald
A former Catholic priest has been charged over child sexual assaults between 1999 and 2006 which took place in Leichhardt and Kempsey, NSW.
Police say the 69-year-old was arrested in Port Macquarie last Friday.
He faces multiple charges including sexual intercourse without consent, aggravated indecent assault, inciting an act of indecency with a victim under 16, committing an act of indecency and indecent assault.
Police say the charges relate to the sexual and indecent assault of a boy when he was aged between 12 and 17.
Ruth Gledhill CHRISTIAN TODAY CONTRIBUTING EDITOR 29 September 2016
More research is needed into child sex abuse in other faiths besides Christianity, a new report says.
Nearly all the academic research that has been done into child sex abuse in an institutional setting has been based on Catholic abusers, with some also done on Anglican abusers.
But there has been little research into abuse by ministers of others faiths, or in non-Christian or non-religious settings.
A report commissioned by the Australian commission investigating institutional child sex abuse says: "The largest body of research from institutional contexts is based on child sexual abuse by clergy, and the majority of this research concerns Roman Catholic clergy.
"Although the research base in this area is sufficient to provide information about patterns of abuse and to allow some comparisons with literature based on perpetrators in general, there is little literature based on or including other religious denominations and almost no literature based on religious non-Christian institutional settings.
Summary of Case: Ordained for the Society of Jesus in 1898, Louis Taelman spent most of his long career on the Crow and Flathead Indian reservations in Montana. Early on he spent four years as president of Gonzaga College in Spokane WA. Through the 1940s and into the early 1950s he was assigned to Mt. St. Michael's Scholasticate in Spokane, Washington in the role of "Indian missionary", as noted in the Official Catholic Directory. He died in 1961.
Taelman's name was included on the Diocese of Helena's list of known alleged perpetrators of child sexual abuse. The diocese posted the list to its website in April 2015 as one of the non-monetary terms of its March 2015 bankruptcy settlement.
Died: December 24, 1961
The suspension of the leading lawyer handling the national inquiry into child sex abuse has been described as a “blow for justice” by a London MP.
Ben Emmerson QC was suspended from his post as the probe had “become very concerned” about aspects of his leadership, a spokeswoman for the inquiry said. Mr Emmerson, 53, said he learned of the move via the internet and no allegations had been put to him.
The inquiry will cover the abuse of children in care in Lambeth, and Streatham MP Chuka Umunna, who has constituents who are Lambeth abuse survivors, said: , said: “As an MP to the principal survivors’ group I’m extremely concerned about Mr Emmerson’s suspension.
"Yet another blow to the search for justice.”
The suspension of the most senior lawyer on the national inquiry into child sexual abuse has been described as a "categorical disaster".
Ben Emmerson QC said he learned of his suspension from news reports and was yet to hear the allegations that had resulted in him being dropped from the £100m probe.
It is the latest controversy to hit the inquiry, which is already on its fourth chairwoman.
Former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald said the inquiry had been "careering out of control since its inception".
He added that the Government must "face up to the reality that an inquiry lasting years into dozens of public institutions going back decades, quite unable to restrain its own remit, is destined to end as an embarrassing fiasco".
By Allen Cone | Sept. 29, 2016
SACRAMENTO, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that ends a 10-year statute of limitations on rape and child molestation charges.
Beginning next year, the law, SB813, will eliminate a time limit for certain rape and child molestation victims to pursue charges.
The new law will only apply to crimes committed after the legislation takes effect Jan. 1.
That means women who made allegations against comedian Bill Cosby won't be helped by the new law. Cosby is facing one criminal case stemming form alleged sexual abuse and he has denied allegations by dozens of women nationwide.
The state Senate and Assembly unanimously approved the bill last month and the governor signed it without comment Wednesday.
Protect NY Kids
Contact Melanie Blow firstname.lastname@example.org
Fighting for Children and Advocates Call for Boycott, protest of Cardinal Dolan’s rededication of Coleman High School chapel
On Monday Oct. 3 at 10 AM members of the political action committee Fighting for Children, survivors of child sexual abuse, and advocates will protest Cardinal Dolan’s rededication of the chapel at the John A Coleman high school, and are urging elected officials to boycott the rededication, on account of Cardinal Dolan’s opposition to eliminating the Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse and his efforts to keep survivors of clergy sex abuse from receiving fair compensation.
“Cardinal Dolan hid church funds in Wisconsin as Bishop and was ordered by the highest court in Wisconsin to release the funds to victims of sexual abuse within the diocese. Cardinal Dolan has led the opposition to the Omnibus Child Victims Act in NY and has refused to meet with victims. The Catholic Church spent over 2 million dollars to defeat the CVA.” said Gary Greenberg, founder of Fighting for Children, a PAC that supports candidates who pledge to support the Omnibus Child Victims Act, a bill that will eliminate New York’s Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse and make it easier for victims to sue their abusers or institutions that facilitated their abuse.
“The Catholic Church is the only major organization fighting against the passage of the Omnibus Child Victims Act, but they put up a massive fight. Statutes of Limitations for child sexual abuse ensure most victims of child sexual abuse cannot access justice, and that ensures 90% of sex offenders stay on the street. The church argues ‘this legislation will bankrupt churches’, which is both untrue, and essentially boils down to ‘we don’t want to be held accountable for our actions’, which is not a good argument.” says Melanie Blow, COO of the Stop Abuse Campaign.
“One fifth of New York’s children will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18, and 90% of the people who abuse them never see a day behind bars. The Omnibus Child Victims Act will fix that by ensuring victims have access to justice, which protects children. We urge people who care about children to boycott this event and educate themselves about child sexual abuse and the role the Cardinal Dolan is playing in New York to keep sex offenders on the streets” says Andrew Willis, CEO and co-founder of the Stop Abuse Campaign.
“We must hold those who abuse children accountable regardless of their rank, their affiliation, or how long ago the crime was committed. Passing the Omnibus Child Victims Act now will make New York State a state that protects its children, not predators.” said Ali Boak, senate candidate for the 40th district.
The protest will be in Kingston NY (thruway exit 19) about five minutes from the exit. Stay tuned for more details.
The Globe and Mail
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2016
An emotional, decade-long battle ended quickly Wednesday for hundreds of former students of Newfoundland and Labrador residential schools.
After a two-day hearing, a provincial Supreme Court judge gave his expedited approval for a $50 million class-action settlement with the federal government.
“Everybody is thrilled,” said the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Steven Cooper.
“You have to remember that when we started this claim, we said it was worth $50 million. Well guess what, we settled for $50 million. That doesn’t happen very often in litigation.”
The settlement was reached in May, but required Justice Robert Stack’s approval before any money could be paid out. Because of his expedited ruling Wednesday, the payment process can begin once the 30-day appeal period ends.
Victims of child abuse have told a Northern Ireland Assembly committee today that The Executive Office has failed to prepare for the establishment of a compensation scheme following the conclusion of the Historic Institutional Abuse Inquiry.
The representatives of a range of child abuse survivor groups told the Committee for The Executive Office that despite a November 2015 announcement by Sir Anthony Hart, chair of the Historic Institutional Abuse Inquiry, that he will recommend a financial compensation scheme for victims when he reports in January 2017, Ministers have made no preparations to set up such a scheme and some have repeatedly refused to meet with victims.
Victims from four different survivor groups have come together with experts from Amnesty International, Ulster University and other organisations to establish a Panel of Experts on Redress which has now produced two reports setting out proposals for a compensation scheme. But despite repeated requests over a period of nine months, the groups say that neither the First Minister nor successive DUP Junior Ministers have agreed to meet with victims to discuss the way ahead. Victims say that Sinn Féin Junior Ministers have met the group in their capacity as MLAs on several occasions and that the deputy First Minister has agreed to meet them in the near future.
Victims’ campaigners want The Executive Office to consult with abuse survivors about the establishment of a compensation scheme. They want Ministers to set up a negotiation process to agree the details of the scheme and the financial contribution to be made by religious orders and other organisations which ran many of the children’s homes where abuse took place.
Margaret McGuckin of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (SAVIA) said:
“It is the responsibility of The Executive Office to set up a redress scheme for victims of institutional abuse. But as far as we can tell, they have done next to nothing to prepare for the establishment of such a fund despite the end of the public inquiry and the imminent delivery of Sir Anthony Hart’s report.
By Laura Gartry
Charges against a West Australian man accused of raping a child at a Christian mission in Western Australia's South West more than 40 years ago have been dropped.
Philip Howard Street, 74, pleaded not guilty to six child abuse charges stemming from his employment at the Roelands Christian Mission near Collie in 1974 and 1975.
The mission was once home to hundreds of Stolen Generations' children, with about 500 Aboriginal children housed there from the 1940s to the 1970s.
In February, Mr Street, from Albany, was charged by a specialist police taskforce set up to investigate claims that came to light during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
He had pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape and four counts of indecent treatment of a child under 14 in a Bunbury court in May.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
29 September, 2016
A new research report conducted for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has examined available evidence regarding the characteristics, motivations and offending behaviour of child sexual abuse perpetrators in both institutional and non-institutional contexts.
Royal Commission acting CEO, Marianne Christmann, said the report, Evidence and frameworks for understanding perpetrators of institutional child sexual abuse, explores the principal themes found in the literature and examines research specific to perpetrators of child sexual abuse in institutional settings.
This report demonstrates that it is possible to identify commonalities in the characteristics of studied adult perpetrators of child sexual abuse and children or young people with harmful sexual behaviours. Despite these identified commonalities, the characteristics of perpetrators are still considerably diverse.
“The report is an important contribution to the work of the Royal Commission through providing a detailed understanding of what is known from the literature about the motivations and behaviours of perpetrators of child sexual abuse. This will be valuable for informing strategies to prevent the perpetration of child sexual abuse in institutional settings in the future” Ms Christmann said.
The key findings of the study included:
* The literature suggests that the majority of identified adult perpetrators of child sexual abuse are male, with between 6 and 11 per cent of child sexual abuse perpetrated by females.
* There appears to be clusters of perpetrators who first commit contact sexual abuse between the ages of 11 and 15, and in their late 20s to early 30s
* Compared to other groups, adult men who sexually abuse children tend to have experienced higher rates of physical and sexual abuse and emotional abuse or neglect as children. Male adolescents with harmful sexual behaviour also report experiencing greater rates of childhood abuse than comparison groups. However, there is a lack of evidence to support a unique association between childhood sexual abuse and subsequent sexual offending.
* Exposure to violent pornography is a concern in relation to harmful sexual behaviour among adolescents.
* Research on perpetrators of child sexual abuse in institutional settings is fairly limited and is most commonly concerned with patterns of child sexual abuse by clergy, with some research on perpetrators in educational, sporting and out of home care settings.
* Descriptions of strategies used by perpetrators to gain access to children and the identification of situational factors that deter them from offending can be used to inform the prevention of child sexual abuse in institutional settings.
In seeking to understand what is known about the characteristics of perpetrators, this review does not diminish or find justification for perpetrator behaviour; there is no justification for child sexual abuse.
The Royal Commission appointed Dr Michael Proeve, Professor Paul Delfabbro, and Ms Catia Malvaso from the University of Adelaide to undertake the research.
Read the full report.
Matthew Weaver and Sandra Laville
Thursday 29 September 2016
The suspension of the most senior lawyer to the troubled public inquiry into institutional child abuse has been called a devastating blow to survivors of abuse.
Ben Emmerson QC was suspended before he was expected to resign over apparent disagreements about the remit of the inquiry under its fourth chair, Alexis Jay. It is the latest setback to the inquiry after the resignations of three previous chairs, and has fuelled fears that the process is “careering out of control”.
Ian McFadyen, a campaigner and survivor of abuse, said the inquiry had been beset by “catastrophe after catastrophe”.
Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme about the impact of Emmerson’s suspension, he said: “It is one of the largest inquiries that the United Kingdom is to undergo and legal advice and counsel of his quality and expertise is essential ... This is a devastating blow for survivors.”
BuzzFeed News Reporter
California will no longer put a deadline on the prosecution of rape and other sexual assaults.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed the Justice for Victims Act, which eliminates the criminal statute of limitations on rape, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts, continuous sexual abuse of a child, oral copulation, and sexual penetration. Previously, a perpetrator could only be convicted within 10 years of the crime.
“Rapists should never be able to evade legal consequences simply because an arbitrary time limit has expired,” State Sen. Connie Leyva said in a statement. “There must never be an expiration date on justice!”
The bill had received unanimous support from Republicans and Democrats in the state legislature. The California Women’s Law Center was involved in drafting its language, and local district attorneys and the California Police Chiefs Association also supported it. Six California women who have accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting them testified before lawmakers.
By Kenrick Cai | Thursday, September 29
The real-life investigative reporter in "Spotlight" offered an inside look into the Academy Award-winning movie and the story behind it Wednesday night.
Matt Carroll—former database reporting specialist for The Boston Globe investigative team called Spotlight and self-professed “data geek”—discussed the team’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation that uncovered pervasive child sex abuse within the Boston Catholic Church and "Spotlight," the 2015 film made about it. Sponsored by the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy, the event was held in the Sanford School of Public Policy for an audience of about 40 people.
“This whole movie thing was a total whirlwind,” Carroll said. “I was talking to my wife about it, and she said the Pulitzer was a big deal for a weekend. This was a big deal for months.”
The Boston Globe published about 600 stories related to the sexual abuse scandal throughout 2002. Carroll spoke of the drastic effects the articles had on the Boston community just two or three days after the first article was released.
Timna Jacks, Education Reporter
29 Sep 2016
A serial paedophile and former Geelong Grammar teacher who Victoria Police was set to charge with abusing students at the elite school is free in Ireland after being deported in an extraordinary inter-agency bungle.
The man had served time in a Queensland prison on child abuse charges, but was deported on his release after Victoria Police failed to flag their investigation with Immigration.
The Irish citizen was accused in last year's federal child abuse royal commission of fondling the penis of a pre-teen Geelong Grammar boy while masturbating in church, stroking a six-year-old student's penis in bed, and instructing senior students to perform sexual acts in underground rooms.
The man, a former Geelong Grammar student, has been convicted of child abuse offences on four separate occasions, and was set to face new charges over alleged abuse at the prestigious school between the late 1960s and mid-1970s, and in 1980.
Thu 29 Sep 2016
By Alex Williams
The most senior lawyer on the national inquiry into how the Church and other UK institutions dealt with the sexual abuse of children learned of his suspension from news reports on the internet.
Ben Emmerson QC has been taken off-duty after the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) had "recently become very concerned" about aspects of his leadership, a spokesperson for the probe said.
Lawyers acting for the inquiry's counsel said last night: "Mr Emmerson has read this evening on the internet that he has been suspended from the [IICSA]. If, and when, allegations are put to him, he will respond appropriately."
The suspension of Mr Emmerson has been seen as another dent to the credibility of the IICSA, which was established by the then-home secretary Theresa May in 2014.
Nadia Khomami and Matthew Weaver
Thursday 29 September 2016
Ben Emmerson QC has been suspended from the the troubled inquiry into institutional child abuse before he was expected to resign over disagreements with the fourth chair, Alexis Jay. His suspension is the latest setback to an investigation that has lurched from “catastrophe to catastrophe”, according to leading campaigner and child abuse survivor Ian MacFadyen.
The former director of public prosecutions, Lord MacDonald, said the inquiry had been “careering out of control since its inception”.
Here is a summary of the inquiry’s brief and beleaguered history:
7 July 2014
Theresa May, then home secretary, announces a public inquiry into child abuse prompted by allegations of a cover-up of the crimes of prominent offenders such as Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith. She says the inquiry has the remit of investigating whether “state and non-state institutions”, including churches, Westminster, schools, the BBC, hospitals and care homes, have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse within England and Wales. May says:
Our priority must be the prosecution of the people behind these disgusting crimes … Wherever possible – and consistent with the need to prosecute – we will adopt a presumption of maximum transparency. And … where there has been a failure to protect children from abuse, we will expose it and we will learn from it.
Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, the retired senior judge who chaired the Cleveland child abuse inquiry in the late 1980s, is appointed as chairwoman. The former president of the family division of the high court, who coined the phrase “listen to the children” in her Cleveland report, says she is honoured to be asked to carry out “this important work”.
Thursday 29 September 2016
Trust and confidence are the two things stripped away from children who are sexually abused by adults, often for life. As adults themselves, many describe how they struggle and fail to trust anyone, particularly authority figures who wield power in institutions.
The one thing, perhaps the primary requirement, of a national public inquiry into the sexual abuse of tens of thousands of children over decades within England and Wales, was to seek their trust and gain their confidence.
Yet in the last few months the shambolic goings on at the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) – the sudden departure of another chair, the manoeuvrings in secret over its remit, the future of the project to gather the testimonies of victims and the suspension late on Wednesday night of its lead counsel Ben Emmerson – may have dealt a fatal blow to those aims.
Secrecy and a lack of transparency have encroached upon the inquiry, sitting in its Millbank offices looking out over the seat of power. And – according to those with knowledge of the inquiry process – driving in the background throughout has been the silent hand of Home Office apparatchiks, who remain behind the scenes, as the shambles unfolds. When heads fall – three chairs, members of the senior counsel team and now potentially Emmerson – the bureaucrats from the Home Office and government remain in place. No wonder some victims laugh at the idea it is independent.
By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune SEPTEMBER 29, 2016
The Ramsey County attorney’s office released the final mountain of documents from its criminal investigation into the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis this week, providing new details of allegations of sexual advances by former Archbishop John Nienstedt and of the church’s mishandling of convicted sex offender Curtis Wehmeyer.
Nienstedt’s interactions with seminarians drew concern from young men and clergy leaders more recently than had been revealed before, including during his seven-year tenure in St. Paul ending in 2015, according to files. That’s in addition to the previously reported allegations of sexual improprieties with adult men made by former colleagues in the Detroit area dating to the 1970s.
Documents show that former Archbishop Harry Flynn — like Nienstedt — gave special attention to Wehmeyer, a former priest, including overriding a 1996 recommendation by the archdiocese’s vocation office that Wehmeyer not be admitted into seminary.
By 2013, and after multiple episodes of sexual misconduct, Wehmeyer was convicted of sexually abusing two boys in Wehmeyer’s camper when it was parked outside his St. Paul church. He was sentenced to five years in prison.
Documents also indicate that Wehmeyer used that camper to visit the lake home of Joseph Kueppers, the archdiocese’s chancellor for civil affairs, where Wehmeyer would spend some weekends from about 2007 to 2012. According to a deacon with a lake home nearby, Wehmeyer sometimes performed Sunday masses at the lake home. Kueppers, a former parishioner of Wehmeyer, was noted for “not disclosing information” by attorneys investigating Nienstedt.
Nienstedt, who had a social relationship with Wehmeyer, has denied any sexual relationship with him. In files from the St. Paul police investigation also made available this week, Wehmeyer says the same, that he had no sexual relationship with the archbishop. He blames much of his troubles on his drinking.
Press and Dakotan
By Randy Dockendorf email@example.com
A priest serving two Bon Homme County parishes has been placed on administrative leave.
Bishop Paul Swain of the Diocese of Sioux Falls has taken the action following a sex-abuse allegation against the Rev. Joe Forcelle, who serves St. Leo Parish in Tyndall and St. Vincent Parish in Springfield.
Swain addressed the allegation, which Forcelle denies, in a written statement.
“The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has informed me of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by Reverend Joseph T. Forcelle when he served in the Archdiocese,” Swain wrote.
“The child sexual abuse allegedly took place in the late-1970s and early-1980s when Father Forcelle was serving as a priest at Saint Mark Parish in Saint Paul, MN. The archdiocese reported this allegation to civil authorities.”
September 28, 2016
I have recently returned from the Public Hearing of the Royal Commission into the response of Catholic Church authorities to allegations of child sexual abuse by John Joseph Farrell. The hearing has not formally concluded but has been adjourned. In due course the Royal Commission will publish a report on their findings and recommendations.
This statement is my personal reflection following my attendance at the Royal Commission Hearing. It is my hope that by reading this you may come to an understanding of my own depth of sorrow and shame for the failings of our Church and Diocese and that you might be informed of the changes that have been taking place in the Diocese to ensure that our parishes are safe places for all the children and vulnerable in our care.
Listening to the victims and survivors
Along with others from the Diocese I sat in the Royal Commission hearing room and listened to the statements and evidence given by the survivors. I was deeply moved by their testimony. It is crucial that the Church truly hear their cry.
I listened to two survivors. I heard of their horror, pain, fear and hurt. I heard of their betrayal, of their inhuman treatment, and of the torment they continue to suffer as a result of the abuse they endured. I heard of the long lasting effects this abuse has had on their lives. Their courage and integrity shone through in their testimony. They are brave and dignified men whom I hold in high esteem. I thank them for their testimony and assure them that I will never forget.
Victims of historical sexual, physical and emotional child abuse in church and state institutions in Northern Ireland have accused Stormont of failing to face up to the need to provide proper compensation for their suffering.
Two victims who addressed the Northern Assembly’s Executive committee on Wednesday were also critical of the Catholic Primate Archbishop Eamon Martin.
Jon McCourt of Survivors North West and Margaret McGuckian of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse said that when they met Archbishop Martin in July they got the impression that he felt the Catholic church was the victim rather than the survivors.
Mr McCourt said they felt “belittled” at the meeting.
“The church, I think, just literally fobbed us off and in fact there was a point where both Margaret and I were going to get up and leave the meeting because we were more or less told that if the church hadn’t done what it done in the ’50s or ’60s things could have been a lot worse for us,” he said
“In other words, we were made to feel so belittled in that meeting,” added Mr McCourt.
Los Angeles Times
SEPT. 28, 2016
Sex offenders will soon have to report their email addresses, user names and other Internet identifiers to police under a bill Governor Jerry Brown signed Wednesday.
It will apply to people convicted on or after Jan. 1, 2017 of Internet-related sex crimes.
Law enforcement can use the information only to investigate a sex crime, kidnapping or human trafficking.
The bill amends parts of California law enacted in 2012 when voters passed Proposition 35, an anti sex-trafficking law.
Proposition 35 passed by statewide ballot with more than 80% of the vote. It increased punishments for human traffickers and expanded the definition of human trafficking to include the creation and distribution of child pornography.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - California Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a bill to end the statute of limitations for rape, a measure inspired by accusations against comedian Bill Cosby, some of which surfaced decades after alleged crimes occurred.
Cosby, who built a long career on family friendly comedy, including his long-running NBC sitcom "The Cosby Show," has steadfastly denied ever assaulting anyone and has insisted that all his sexual encounters were consensual.
He is charged in Pennsylvania with drugging and sexually assaulting a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand, at his home in 2004. In California, he faces a civil suit by a woman now in her 50s who alleges that Cosby plied her with alcohol and molested her in 1974 at the Playboy Mansion when she was aged 15.
By DON THOMPSON, Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The emotional stories of women who say they were sexually assaulted more than a decade ago by comedian Bill Cosby prompted California state lawmakers to approve a bill to eliminate the state's 10-year limit on filing rape and related charges.
On Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown announced that he has approved the legislation to revoke that limitation.
Beginning next year, the bill will end the statute of limitations in certain rape and child molestation cases. It will also end the time limit on older cases in which the statute of limitations has not yet expired.
The new law, SB813, will not, however, help women who made allegations against Cosby dating back more than 10 years, including some from the 1960s.
Cosby has repeatedly denied the sex abuse allegations made by dozens of women nationwide. He is facing just one criminal case stemming from sex abuse. A trial is set to begin in June in Pennsylvania.
Yorkshire Post Radio
The most senior lawyer on the national probe into child sexual abuse has been suspended from duty.
It comes after the independent inquiry became "very concerned" about aspects of QC Ben Emmerson's leadership, a spokeswoman said.
She said Mr Emmerson, who is counsel to the inquiry, has been "suspended from duty so that these can be properly investigated".
The spokeswoman added: "Suggestions in the press that Mr Emerson was considering resigning after raising disagreements over the future direction of the inquiry are untrue.
"They are not a matter on which he has advised the chair of the inquiry or the panel."
It had been reported that Mr Emmerson was preparing to quit after clashing with the investigation's new head Alexis Jay.
Robert Mendick, chief reporter
28 SEPTEMBER 2016
The senior lawyer to the national child abuse inquiry has been suspended from his £400,000-a-year post, plunging the investigation into its worst crisis yet.
Ben Emmerson QC was removed over concerns about his leadership, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) said in a statement.
He had earlier been reported to be on the verge of resigning as counsel to the inquiry following an alleged clash with its new chairman, Professor Alexis Jay.
Insiders loyal to Prof Jay had described Mr Emmerson as “arrogant” ahead of the announcement.
This will be very distressing to many survivors for the inquiry to have suffered another setback
Gabrielle Shaw, NAPAC
In its statement, IICSA said: “The inquiry has recently become very concerned about aspects of Mr Emmerson’s leadership of the counsel team. He has therefore been suspended from duty so that these can be properly investigated.
The most senior lawyer working for the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse in England and Wales has been suspended from duty.
The inquiry said it had "become very concerned about aspects" of Ben Emmerson QC's leadership of his team.
Mr Emmerson said he was "unable" to comment at this time.
The inquiry said press suggestions Mr Emmerson was considering resigning after raising disagreements over its future direction were untrue.
In a statement, it said: "They are not a matter on which he has advised the chair or panel."
It said he had been suspended so matters "can be properly investigated".
The inquiry was set up in 2014 to examine whether public bodies including the police have failed in their duty to protect children from sexual abuse. It will also examine claims of abuse involving "well-known people".
Sandra Laville and Owen Bowcott
Wednesday 28 September 2016
The most senior lawyer on the public inquiry into institutional child abuse in England and Wales was suddenly suspended on Wednesday over what the inquiry said were concerns over aspects of his leadership.
Ben Emmerson QC had been expected to resign in the coming days, apparently over disagreements over the remit of the inquiry under its fourth chair, Alexis Jay. But in a move that surprised those close to the discussions, the inquiry announced late on Wednesday that Emmerson, a respected human rights lawyer, was to be suspended and put under investigation.
“The inquiry has recently become very concerned about aspects of Mr Emmerson’s leadership of the counsel team,” the statement from the independent inquiry said.
“He has therefore been suspended from duty so that these can be properly investigated. Suggestions in the press that Mr Emmerson was considering resigning after raising disagreements over the future direction of the inquiry are untrue. They are not a matter on which he has advised the chair or panel.”
Whatever the reasons behind Emmerson’s suspension, the apparent secrecy surrounding events is the latest issue to cause concern among victims’ groups.
Senator Connie M. Leyva
SB 813 Eliminates Statute of Limitations for Rape in California
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
SACRAMENTO – After earning unanimous bipartisan support in both the Senate and Assembly, Governor Jerry Brown today signed SB 813 authored by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) that will eliminate the statute of limitations for rape and related crimes in California.
Co-sponsored by San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos and the California Women’s Law Center (CWLC), SB 813 will ensure justice for victims and survivors of felony sexual offenses by allowing the indefinite criminal prosecution of rape, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts, continuous sexual abuse of a child, oral copulation, and sexual penetration. Existing California law presently generally limits the prosecution of a felony sexual offense to only 10 years after the offense is committed, unless DNA evidence is found which then offers a victim additional time. According to the United States Department of Justice, only two in 100 rapists will be convicted of a felony and spend any time in prison. The other 98 percent will never be punished for their crime.
“Governor Jerry Brown’s signature of SB 813 tells every rape and sexual assault victim in California that they matter and that, regardless of when they are ready to come forward, they will always have an opportunity to seek justice in a court of law,” Senator Leyva said. “Rapists should never be able to evade legal consequences simply because an arbitrary time limit has expired. There must never be an expiration date on justice! Today’s approval of SB 813 is a testament to the hard work and commitment by a broad coalition of sponsors, supporters and advocates that have testified, written editorials, spoken with legislators, written to the Governor and kept the fight alive for the countless rape victims that have already spoken up and also those that have yet to come forward. I would like to specifically thank San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos, California Women’s Law Center Executive Director Betsy Butler, women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred and the many End Rape SOL members for fighting to make sure that all rape victims regain their voice and legal rights not just in public, but also in the courtroom.”
Before proceeding to the Governor, principal coauthors Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), Assemblymember Autumn R. Burke (D-Inglewood), Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) and Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Carpinteria)—as well as coauthors Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine), Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose), Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte), Senator Marty Block (D-San Diego), Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield), Senator Holly J. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), Senator Richard D. Roth (D-Riverside), Assemblymember Rocky J. Chávez (R-Oceanside) and Assemblymember Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale)—had signed on in support of SB 813.
The “Justice for Victims Act” is supported by Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeffrey Rosen, California Police Chiefs Association, Crime Victims United of California, End Rape SOL, Peace Officers Research Association of California, as well as many other law enforcement, women’s rights, public safety, labor, victim’s rights and community organizations.
SB 813 takes effect on January 1, 2017.
The Worthy Adversary
September 28, 2016 Joelle Casteix
In what can be called the “pleasant surprise of the decade,” I just got word that CA Governor Jerry Brown just signed SB 813 into law, which eliminates the statute of limitations for rape.
From Senator Connie Leyva’s press release:
Co-sponsored by San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos and the California Women’s Law Center (CWLC), SB 813 will ensure justice for victims and survivors of felony sexual offenses by allowing the indefinite criminal prosecution of rape, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts, continuous sexual abuse of a child, oral copulation, and sexual penetration. Existing California law presently generally limits the prosecution of a felony sexual offense to only 10 years after the offense is committed, unless DNA evidence is found which then offers a victim additional time.
After Brown’s utter failure with his veto of SB 131, this is welcome news.
By Emma Grimshaw | Posted: September 28, 2016
An Evangelical church left a 'significant delay' in reporting one of its pastors had sexually abused a 14-year-old and a senior leader tried to persuade the boy's family to drop the allegations an inquiry concluded.
Bristol Community Church, based in Kingswood, has been blasted for a series of errors which amounted to serious misconduct and failure to protect its young and vulnerable member.
The results for the long-awaited inquiry into the church, which last year changed its name to Bourne Christian Centre, were published on Friday.
In 2012 the church's pastor James Hennah, who also worked as a magistrate and a Bristol Grammar School counsellor, pleaded guilty to abusing a boy after befriending him and his family at a church group he ran.
The government has been accused of dragging its feet over compensation for victims of historical child abuse.
Campaigners claim political leaders have "shied away" from the issue of financial redress and reiterated appeals for urgent action.
Margaret McGuckin said: "We are asking and pleading to our government, please come off the fence, stop these excuses and get something sorted.
"How many more of us are going to be dead and gone?"
The plea was made as members of an expert panel examining potential compensation schemes briefed MLAs on the Executive scrutiny committee at Stormont.
Ms McGuckin, a high-profile member of the panel, added: " What people want is to be compensated so that for the remainder of their life they can live in some sort of peace and tranquillity, and to afford some comfort.
By Gareth Gordon
BBC News NI Political Correspondent
Child abuse survivors have said they felt so "belittled" during a meeting with the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland they almost walked out.
They told a Stormont committee that Archbishop Eamon Martin had given the impression that he felt the church was now the victim.
Jon McCourt and Margaret McGuckian also claimed the Executive Office had let victims down by failing to establish a compensation scheme following the end of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA).
And they claimed ministers had ignored repeated requests for meetings over a nine-month period.
But they reserved their strongest criticism for the Catholic Church, claiming that during a meeting with Archbishop Martin in Armagh in July he seemed to believe it was turning from an issue of concern about the abuse of children into a financial argument about compensation.
[From the BishopAccountability.org datbase: Walsh was ordained for the Grand Rapids MI diocese in 6/02; he was placed on leave in 7/02 after the Grand Rapids diocese learned of allegations of sexual abuse of two children while he was a lay person 40 years previously in another (unspecified) diocese. Walsh was 65 and a former Air Force Sergeant at time of his ordination. Walsh is a native of Boston MA.]Grand Rapids, MI Source:
DORCHESTER - A former altar boy coordinator is facing two counts of rape of a child and three counts of indecent assault from an incident that happened in the late 1980s and early 1990s, said the district attorney.
Michael Walsh, 79, was an altar boy coordinator at Dorchester's St. Brendan's on Rita Road. when the assaults occurred, said the Suffolk County. He later became a priest but was relieved of his priesthood duties in 2002.
According to 2002 Grand Rapids Press story, Walsh was removed from the priesthood when an attorney for two alleged victims called the Grand Rapids diocese's attorney about assault incidents years before. Walsh was serving the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan at the time.
Court paperwork says that Walsh used his position as an altar boy coordinator as well as his job as a Cedar Grove Baseball coach to "gain access, groom, and ultimately sexually abuse the alleged victim, when he was in fourth, fifth and sixth grades."
Walsh was never a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston. In a statement, the Archdiocese said they wouldn't comment on the legal proceedings.
BOSTON (CBS) – A former altar boy coordinator at a Dorchester church was arraigned Wednesday on charges that he sexually abused a child in the 1980s.
Prosecutors say Michael Walsh, who was altar boy coordinator at St. Brendan’s Church in Dorchester, sexually abused a child over the course of three years starting in 1988.
The victim, now 38 years old, just came forward to police this year.
Walsh pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of child rape and indecent assault and battery. The crimes allegedly occurred between 1988 and 1991 when the victim was in fourth through sixth grades.
Prosecutors say Walsh used his position as an altar boy coordinator and as a coach with Cedar Grove baseball to gain access and sexually abuse the victim.
DORCHESTER, MA (WHDH) - A former priest appeared in court Wednesday on rape and assault charges.
Michael Walsh, 80, also served as an altar boy coordinator in Dorchester.
Walsh was accused of raping a child in the late 1980s and 1990s when he served at St. Brendan’s School.
The victim, now 38 years old, came forward and reported the abuse to law enforcement this past summer.
Prosecutors said the statute of limitations has not expired because Walsh has lived out of state for more than a decade, which puts the statute on hold.
By Gintautas Dumcius | firstname.lastname@example.org
BOSTON - Michael Walsh, who once served as an altar boy coordinator at St. Brendan's Church in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, was arraigned Wednesday on charges of raping a child and indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14.
Just days away from turning 80 years old, Walsh pleaded not guilty to the charges in Suffolk Superior Court.
The clerk magistrate, Anne Kaczmarek, imposed conditions that included GPS monitoring, staying away from the victim and witnesses, no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16, and surrendering his passport and remaining in Massachusetts.
A Suffolk County grand jury indicted Walsh on Sept. 16.
In a statement filed by prosecutors on Wednesday, Walsh allegedly used his position as an altar boy coordinator, as well as a coach with Cedar Grove Baseball, from Sept. 1988 through June 1991 to "gain access to, groom, and ultimately sexually abuse the alleged victim" when the victim was in the fourth, fifth and sixth grades.
[Today the Independent Abuse Commission starts hearing from victims of sexual abuse. Former Canisius College student Matthias Katsch warns that sexual abuse of minors is not a phenomenon of the past and members should look at the issue in the "here and now." He believes there are seven to eight million abuse survivors in Germany.]
Matthias Katsch, former student at Canisius College, calls by the Independent Commission Abuse uncovering social and institutional structures that facilitate the abuse.
One should not stop there, to hear examples of stories of abuse and perceive, but it needs to be talked about responsibilities at all levels, warns Katsch. "In environments where the institution and in society, so that these acts are actually less in the future."
Heute beginnt die Unabhängige Missbrauchskommission mit Opferanhörungen. Der ehemalige Canisius-Schüler Matthias Katsch warnt davor, sexuelle Gewalt gegen Minderjährige als Erscheinung der Vergangenheit zu betrachten. Es geschehe auch "hier und heute".
Matthias Katsch, ehemaliger Schüler am Canisius-Kolleg, fordert von der Unabhängigen Missbrauchskommission die Aufdeckung gesellschaftlicher und institutioneller Strukturen, die Missbrauch begünstigen.
Man dürfe nicht dabei stehen bleiben, Beispiele für Missbrauchsgeschichten zu hören und wahrzunehmen, sondern es müsse auch über Verantwortlichkeiten auf allen Ebenen gesprochen werden, mahnt Katsch. "Im Umfeld, in der Institution und in der Gesellschaft, damit diese Taten tatsächlich in der Zukunft weniger werden".
[The Munster diocese has closed an investigation into abuse allegations made against a priest but now it is up to the Vatican to decide.]
Abgeschlossen ist die Voruntersuchung des Bistums Münster gegen einen zuletzt in Horstmar tätigen Priester wegen der sexuell intendierte Handlungen an einem Kind. Die Glaubenskongregation im Vatikan wird entscheiden, welche Konsequenzen der Fall für den Geistlichen hat.
Abgeschlossen ist jetzt die kirchenrechtliche Voruntersuchung des Bistums Münster gegen einen zuletzt in Horstmar tätigen Priester, der sexuell intendierte Handlungen an einem Kind vorgenommen haben soll. Das Ergebnis der Voruntersuchung geht nun an die Glaubenskongregation im Vatikan. Sie wird entscheiden, welche kirchenrechtlichen Konsequenzen der Fall für den Geistlichen hat.
Hazel Torres 26 September 2016
It was a case of a shameful "wrong send" that resulted in the tragic death of a pastor.
Pastor Letsego of Christ Embassy in Limpopo, South Africa reportedly hanged himself in shame after he mistakenly sent photos of his genitals to members of his church using the WhatsApp texting service in mobile phones.
According to the online news source Live Monitor, the married pastor intended to send the pictures to his mistress who, it is said, is a member of the same church.
Worse, the news source said the pastor sent a message that reads "Wife is away, it's all yours tonight" along with the photos.
To his utter dismay, he reportedly realised his mistake right after pressing the send button of his mobile phone.
Pastor Letsego of Christ Embassy in Limpopo, South Africa reportedly hanged himself after he accidentally sent photos of his genitals to members of his church using the WhatsApp mobile phone texting app.
According to this report, the married pastor intended to send the pictures to his mistress, a member of the same church.
The message that accompanied the photos read:
Wife is away, it’s all yours tonight.
He reportedly realised his mistake right after pressing the send button of his phone.
Members of the WhatsApp church group who received the photos and message were shocked and outraged. They tried to call up the pastor, who wouldn’t answer. The pastor then left the group.
The following day, he was found hanging in his rented church house.
Said one of Pastor Letsego’s congregants who declined to be named:
Pastor’s antics have always been a cause for concern. He was always seen in the company of one of the deacons named Miriam and we suspected there was more to their friendship than meets the eye.
Quizzed by his wife and congregants, he would shrug off the allegations and say as a pastor he was a father to everyone and Miriam was his favourite daughter.
By John R. Ellement GLOBE STAFF SEPTEMBER 28, 2016
A 79-year-old former Roman Catholic priest who supervised altar boys as a laymen in a Dorchester parish is now facing rape and indecent assault charges in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston Wednesday.
Michael Walsh is scheduled to be arraigned on two counts of rape of a child and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, according to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office, which is prosecuting the case.
While a layman, Walsh served as the volunteer “altar boy coordinator’’ at St. Brendan’s Church in Dorchester from 1988 to 1991 and is alleged to have assaulted a boy during those years, prosecutors said.
Walsh also served as a layman in the same capacity at Saint Francis de Sales Church in Charlestown in the mid to late 1950s, prosecutors said.
Walsh retired, moved to Florida where he later entered a Maryland seminary and was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in Grand Rapids, Mich. in 2002 when he was in his mid-60s, prosecutors said. That same year, two adult survivors alleged that Walsh abused them while he was working at the Dorchester parish, leading church leaders to revoke his ministry, prosecutors said.
BOSTON —A former priest accused of child rape and assaults he allegedly committed while he was an altar boy coordinator at a Dorchester church is scheduled to face charges Wednesday.
Michael Walsh, 79, is expected to be arraigned Suffolk Superior Court on two counts of rape of a child and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child.
Officials said Walsh allegedly committed the assaults against one boy during the late 1980s and early 1990s while at St Brendan's. Previously, Walsh was a layman at St. Francis de Sales Church in Charlestown.
Walsh later became a priest, but was relieved of those duties in 2002.
Suffolk prosecutors were able to bring the charges in part because Walsh spent many years in Florida and Michigan, tolling the statute of limitations.