A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse.
Click on the headline to read the full story.
March 9, 2014
ABC - AM
CHRIS ULHMANN: It's been labelled the 'Ellis defence' and the Catholic Church has relied on it for years to avoid making payments to survivors of sexual abuse.
When John Ellis tried to sue the church over the abuse he suffered when he was an altar boy in the 1970s, the courts rejected the claim, ruling the Church was not a legal entity, nor was it liable for abuse committed by a priest.
But ahead of this week's hearing into John Ellis' case by the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse, the Church leadership is signalling a major shift that would expose the Church to civil action.
Emily Bourke reports.
EMILY BOURKE: The Catholic Church offered John Ellis $30,000 in compensation for the abuse he suffered as a teenager, and the subsequent trauma that destroyed his marriage and his career in a prominent Sydney law firm.
He rejected the offer and took his case to court, but he lost in the NSW Court of Appeal in 2007.
Over the next week, the Royal Commission will hear how the Church, and Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, George Pell handled the case.
Andrew Morrison SC, who represented John Ellis, says the ruling continues to have repercussions.
City of Angels
"Terrence McKiernan of BishopAccountability.org said it was 'breathtaking' that Francis had made the church the victim of the scandal, rather than express sorrow to the hundreds of thousands of victims or acknowledge the complicity of bishops in covering up the crimes. 'It is astonishing, at this late date, that Pope Francis would recycle such tired and defensive rhetoric,' McKiernan said in a statement." Continue Reading Here in Washington Post today.
Me: Problem with Pope calling Church victim and those of us molested by priests the problem is the Pope's words are what parishioners will hear, and that is the only thing parishioners will hear. The church set it up to end up this way from the start, they insulate the congregations against any true information about these crimes by setting the accusers up as bad guys. Great PR on the part of the church, lousy pastoral care but hey, they aren't genuine Christians, so what do you expect. They just developed a 2-century long corporation around Christianity and billions of earthlings buy into it daily. And they allowed hundreds of thousands of kids to be raped all over the world last century in order to protect their assets. That's a church?
EDMONTON – A 59-year-old man from Manning, Alberta has been charged with sexual assault and sexual interference in relation to alleged assaults involving a minor.
Manning RCMP say Abraham Azhakathu was a practicing Catholic priest when the alleged incidents occurred in 2013. It is not known where Azhakathu was praticing at the time.
The charges come after a minor, whose age and identity will not be released, reported the assaults to the RCMP.
Officers say it is not known if there are any other victims; the investigation is ongoing. However, they are encouraging any other possible victims to contact Manning RCMP at 780-836-3769 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
RCMP have a charged a Catholic priest in the Alberta community of Manning with sexual assault against a minor.
Abraham Azhakathu, 59 was arrested on Friday and charged with sexual assault and sexual interference. He was released on Saturday, with conditions that he not be alone with anyone under the age of 16 and that he reside outside the community of Manning, but not leave the province.
A minor came forward to report assaults that police believe occurred during 2013. The police were releasing few details to protect the minor’s identity, but confirmed Azhakathu was working as priest in Manning at the time.
The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, March 9, 2014
MANNING, Alta. -- A Catholic priest in northwestern Alberta has been charged in the sexual assault of a minor.
RCMP say Abraham Azhakathu, 59, of Manning, Alberta, was arrested Friday and faces charges of sexual assault and sexual interference.
Police say the alleged assaults occurred in 2013 and were reported by the minor to RCMP in Manning.
They say Azhakathu was a priest practising in the Manning area during that time.
Police are not releasing the alleged victim's age or sex in order to protect the person's identity.
iThe Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese has frozen a defined-benefit pension plan for its 8,500 parochial school teachers and support staff. The move comes as the archdiocese wrestles with a $150 million pension deficit.
The freeze means current participants will accrue no additional benefits. Those workers will be moved to defined-contribution plans to supplement retirement.
Without the weight of those accruing benefits, the archdiocese hopes to close the deficit over time by continuing to contribute 4.5% of each employee’s paycheck. Before the freeze, the archdiocese contributed 7.5% of payroll. Had the pension continued to pay the same benefits, even a 10% contribution would have left the plan with a $100 million shortfall in 30 years, according to the archdiocese’s chief financial officer.
YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - A federal judge in Yakima is scheduled on Monday hear a case involving a man who sued the Catholic Diocese of Yakima over alleged clergy sexual abuse when he was a teenager.
The man, known in court documents as John Doe, has sued for more than $3 million, alleging that when he was 17 a deacon in the Yakima Diocese repeatedly raped him one night in 1999, the Yakima Herald-Republic reported.
Police later learned the deacon had left his Zillah church the day after the alleged incident and eventually fled to Mexico. Authorities believe Aaron Ramirez has never returned to the U.S.
Doe's attorneys argue that the deacon was under the Yakima Diocese's supervision and used his position and authority to molest the teenager. They say the deacon wasn't properly supervised and that church leaders did nothing to bring Ramírez back to be questioned by authorities.
Child sexual abuse royal commission: Cardinal George Pell to appear before second hearing into Catholic Church, Ellis defence under examination
By Justine Parker
The national Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will today open its second hearing into the Catholic Church's handling of abuse claims.
The commission's eighth public hearing will examine a landmark case that established what is known as the "Ellis defence", which suggests the Church is not liable for the criminal conduct of clergy.
The two-week hearing in Sydney will examine the case of John Ellis, a former altar boy whose claim of sexual abuse by Father Aidan Duggan in the 1970s was initially dealt with under the church's Towards Healing process established in 1996.
It will also examine the outcome of his subsequent lawsuit against the church.
Former Sydney Archbishop Cardinal George Pell will appear as a witness before moving to Rome at the end of the month to take up a new role overhauling the Vatican's finances, leading the newly created Secretariat for the Economy.
The Bishop of Dover has met Jersey clergy and States members for the first time during a two-day visit.
The Right Reverend Trevor Willmott has taken over care of the Anglican Church in the Channel Islands.
It followed the Channel Islands split with the Diocese of Winchester in January.
Relations between Bishop Tim Dakin of Winchester and Jersey's Dean, the Very Reverend Bob Key, broke down over the handling of alleged abuse.
The Church has launched an investigation into mishandling of the claims made by a woman against a church warden.
The Worthy Adversary
Posted by Joelle Casteix on March 9, 2014
If someone had told me two years ago that a man like Pope Francis would be elected in 2013, I would have been skeptical. After almost 10 years of Benedict—a man with the public persona of a porcupine and pastoral nature of a curmudgeon on a bad day—who could believe that a new pope could so quickly throw off the shackles of academia and theology and become a man of the people?
But Francis did just that. And by doing so, he has enlivened the faithful and captured the attention of an adoring world.
He inspired the Catholic faithful, who have yearned for an approachable man who understands the plight of the poor and the trials of the common man.
He’s utilized great PR, capitalizing on well-managed social media and engineering photo-ops that go viral instantly.
He’s attempted to tone down some of the divisive (and sometimes hateful rhetoric) of many bishops who solely focus on gay issues and abortion.
He’s even changed the tunes of many of the bishops and cardinals, who considered their offices a “no-limit credit card” for luxury goods, fine homes and travel. (Newark Bishop Myers didn’t get the memo, apparently).
But we have also learned something else: An institutional reformer will only go so far.
When it comes to the sex abuse crisis—the crisis that has become a thematic undercurrent behind every action and reaction within Vatican walls, the pope has become absorbed into the institutional church.
Sydney Morning Herald
March 10, 2014
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will this week host the next bout of a 12-year battle over whether the Catholic Church can be sued for damages under common law, with lawyer and victim John Ellis once again facing off against Cardinal George Pell.
In 2002, Cardinal Pell, as Archbishop of Sydney, wrote to Mr Ellis telling him the aged priest who had abused him for years was too old to deal with his complaint.
The Ellis case, which went to the High Court in 2007, has been a curse for victims seeking to sue the Catholic Church because it established in case law, in effect, that the trustees that hold the assets of a church diocese cannot be sued because they are not responsible for the diocese's activities.
Scheduled witness appearance: Cardinal George Pell.
Some of the most senior Catholics in Australia have been called to give evidence, starting this week, at the royal commission. Cardinal Pell is scheduled to appear last, which would likely put him in the witness stand on Monday week.
Even before the royal commission's senior counsel, Gail Furness, begins her opening address on Monday, the battle lines are clear. They are laid out in a statement on the Sydney archdiocese's website that has incensed Mr Ellis.
By JOANNE McCARTHY March 9, 2014
MAITLAND-NEWCASTLE Catholic Diocese is in damage control after calls for the removal of a priest following his evidence to the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry.
The diocese will meet with Catholic school principals and representatives in the Taree area in the next week after complaints about Taree priest Des Harrigan’s evidence to the inquiry and alleged behaviour at the parish.
The priest told the inquiry he bought pornography in London in 2000 depicting adult males, which he left at Lochinvar presbytery after moving to Raymond Terrace.
The two pornographic magazines were later destroyed by an unidentified person.
Father Harrigan said it was ‘‘pure stupidity’’ on his part to leave the magazines at Lochinvar but he denied claiming ownership of the material to protect fellow priest James Fletcher, who had been charged with offences against male teenagers.
Published on March 09, 2014
More allegations of wrongdoing have been made in connection to activities within a St. John’s Catholic parish.
On Saturday, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John’s announced in a news release that Father Wayne Dohey has been removed from his duties as a parish priest for St. Patrick’s Parish. Archbishop Martin Currie also suspended Dohey from all ministerial duties pending the outcome of an investigation.
The archdiocese did not specify the nature of the investigation, but it did state the complaint made against Dohey is unrelated to charges recently laid in court for alleged embezzlement activity at St. Patrick’s Parish.
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John's
Following receipt of a complaint with respect to Father Wayne Dohey, Archbishop Martin Currie has removed him from his position as parish priest of St. Patrick’s Parish, St. John’s, and suspended him from all ministerial duties pending an investigation. This complaint is not related to the recent charges laid in court in connection with an alleged embezzlement of funds from St. Patrick’s Parish.
March 7, 2014
A Roman Catholic priest has been suspended from his position at a St. John's church.
Archbishop Martin Currie has removed Father Wayne Dohey as parish priest for St. Patrick's Parish, pending an investigation into a complaint.
Archbishop Currie's decision to suspended Dohey from all ministerial duties was made public in a statement issued on March 7 by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John's.
The statement did not identify the nature of the complaint, but confirmed there is no connection to recent charges that relate to an alleged embezzlement of funds at the same parish.
In 2007, Dohey was charged with sexual assault and sexual exploitation. However, those charges were dismissed.
Sydney Morning Herald
March 10, 2014
In 1996, just three months after he was installed as archbishop of Melbourne, George Pell established a humane, just, thorough and independent process to respond to the crime of sexual abuse of children by clergy and others: it has become known as the Melbourne Response.
Some months later, the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference established a similar process, called Towards Healing. The Melbourne Response was (to the best of my knowledge) the first institutional response to the crime of sexual abuse of children established by a diocese anywhere in the world.
There is debate as to the relative merits of the Melbourne Response and Towards Healing. No doubt each has its strengths and weaknesses. No doubt things can always be done better.
But one thing is clear. The rapidity with which he acted once he had the requisite authority reveals Pell's sense of the utter inadequacy of the Catholic Church's earlier responses as well as his sense of the urgency of the need to respond to the victims of abuse.
Posted at 03/09/2014
ROME - Pope Francis named top laymen from the worlds of finance and economics on Saturday to a new Vatican Council for the Economy, intended to improve scrutiny of the Holy See's scandal-plagued accounts.
The creation of the 15-member council is a major step in bringing lay people into the Vatican, and reflects a drive by Francis to make changes to an establishment often seen as murky and secretive.
The seven non-religious figures in the council include Maltese economist Joseph Zahra, former director of the Central Bank of Malta, and France's Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, chairman of mergers and acquisitions advisory firm INCIPIT and former head of the European Fund and Asset Management Association.
Spanish University of Madrid economist Enrique Llano Cueto, German former McKinsey & Company partner Jochen Messemer, and Italian University of Messina Business Administration professor Francesco Vermiglio were also named members.
George Yeo, a former Singapore Finance Minister, was named alongside retired oil executive John Kyle.
The Observer, Saturday 8 March 2014
On St Valentine's Day last month, after days of rain, Rome suddenly found itself bathed in warm sunshine. The canopy of cloudless blue materialised just in time, because in St Peter's Square around 10,000 engaged couples, from 40 countries, were gathering to receive papal blessings.
As with any event that involves Pope Francis, the level of interest outstripped all expectations. This, after all, is a pope enjoying his own extended honeymoon period. Intended for the cavernous Pope Paul VI auditorium, the first-ever festa dei fidanzati, or lovers' party, had to be transferred to the biggest Catholic stage of all.
There might have been a downpour, but of course there wasn't. As usual, in the first 12 months of what is turning out to be a game-changing papacy, things worked out brilliantly. "It was so great for us to be here," said Lucia Huang, who will marry her fiancé, Antony Lai, this December. The couple had travelled 6,000 miles from Taipei to be there. "In Taiwan this pope is a hero," added Lucia. "We know all about his small car and the way he lives." ...
What on earth is going on? A year ago the Catholic church was arguably at its lowest ebb since the Reformation. The shy, intellectual and conservative Benedict XVI had just astonished the world by retiring in exhaustion, the first pope to retire since Gregory XII in 1415. There was outrage at ongoing sex abuse scandals and associated cover-ups – Cardinal Keith O'Brien had just resigned his position after an Observer exposé of his sexual misconduct. Benedict's butler, Paolo Gabriele, had leaked private documents from Benedict's personal desk in an attempt to expose corruption within the Roman Curia. The Vatican bank was under investigation over money laundering. Amid the chaos, pews in Europe and the United States were emptying as parishioners, appalled at revelations of paedophile priests, joined those alienated by an aloof church's obsession with issues of sexual morality.
New York Post
By Gary Buiso
March 9, 2014
Some of the city’s most beloved and senior pastors will be forced to leave their flocks under two little-known rules being enforced by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, The Post has learned.
The first edict, taking effect this June, forces priests over age 80 who are administrating parishes to retire, leave their churches and find new digs.
“In order to take on the burdens of being a pastor, which is a very demanding job, we believe that a younger man should take that, and we should not be burdening our senior priests with this kind of responsibility,” New York Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling told The Post.
Pastors such as Monsignor Robert O’Connor, of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament on the Upper West Side, will have to hit the bricks.
“I’ve been here 29 years, which is a long time, and it becomes like a family,” O’Connor said. “In an ideal world, it would be great to be able to stay here.”
Cardinal Pell will be called this week to give evidence at royal commission into child sex abuse
JANET FIFE-YEOMANS THE DAILY TELEGRAPH MARCH 10, 2014
* Pell will be asked about ‘legal brick wall’ church use to protect itself against victims’ claims
THE nation’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, will be called this week to give evidence at the royal commission into child sex abuse about the legal brick wall the church used to protect itself against victims’ claims.
The Catholic Church is notorious for hiding behind what is known as the “Ellis defence’’, a NSW Court of Appeal ruling that means the church does not exist as a legal entity that is capable of being sued.
It is understood there has not been a single court judgment against the Catholic Church anywhere in Australia, although numerous cases have been settled out of court. The commission, sitting in Sydney, will investigate the case of former altar boy John Ellis who was sexually abused from the age of 14 by a priest in the Bass Hill parish in western Sydney in the 1970s.
Mr Ellis, now a solicitor, lost his case to sue Cardinal Pell, the former Archbishop of Sydney, and the Archdiocese of Sydney in the landmark ruling. The court ruled church trustees were liable for land and buildings but not for the behaviour of bishops they appointed.
SUNDAY, MARCH 9, 2014
BY LESLIE BRODY
Reports that Archbishop John J. Myers was enhancing his retirement home at the expense of the archdiocese has outraged some parents who were already fuming about his plan to take over the financial operations of Catholic elementary schools.
The details of Myers' half-million-dollar expansion showed that church leadership "was not a trustworthy steward of our hard-earned treasure," said one mother whose children attend a parochial school in Bergen County.
The archdiocese has been pushing a campaign called Lighting the Way to exert more authority over roughly 70 parish schools in Bergen, Hudson, Essex and Union counties, starting in July.
Pastors whose parishes have elementary schools were urged to sign contracts in recent months that would give the archdiocese much more control over school budgets, hiring and curriculum than it had in the past.
Indeed, the central office in Newark will start to process bills for the schools using their tuition accounts.
SATURDAY MARCH 8, 2014
BY JEFF GREEN
The $500,000 expansion of Newark Archbishop John J. Myers’ already substantial rural retirement house has drawn the attention of Catholics across the region as much for its lavish details as for its timing, as Myers asks parishioners to contribute to his annual appeal and to a $100 million capital fundraising drive.
Almost no notice has been paid to the living quarters of the Most Rev. Bernard Hebda, whom Pope Francis named last year as Myers’ prime assistant and likely successor in what many Catholic Church observers say was the new pope’s most significant early appointment. Hebda was seen as a prelate who personified the pope’s desire for a humbler clergy that shuns the ostentation that has sometimes marked the church hierarchy.
Hebda lives in a dormitory room on the campus of Seton Hall University. The contrast between the two residences may serve as a marker in a church at a crossroads.
In all its glory, Hebda’s quarters in Xavier Hall includes a living room, a bedroom and a study, he said in a recent interview.
“I thought it would be a good idea to live close to the seminary — give me a chance to meet future priests. Also, I enjoy being around college students,” said Hebda, who did not comment directly about the expansion of Myers’ retirement home.
By Lornet Turnbull
Seattle Times staff reporter
In November, the priest at Assumption Catholic Church in North Seattle mailed a letter of welcome to parishioners, including members long dormant — those divorced and remarried, gay, tired or simply disillusioned.
“We are living in exciting times,” Father Oliver Duggan told them. “Our church, which so many had written off as not relevant in this time and age, has suddenly come to life.”
For this he credited Pope Francis for not only inspiring his own pastoral work but for breathing new life into the Roman Catholic Church. While the new pontiff hasn’t changed church teachings, the father wrote, “he has been applying those teachings in a loving and caring way.”
A year after Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio stepped onto the balcony at St. Peter’s Basilica to present himself to the world as Pope Francis, Duggan’s words stand as testament for many — Catholics and non-Catholics — who believe this “people’s pope” has shifted the tone and softened the image of the 1.2 billion-member church. ...
“A PR pope”
Yet for all the good feelings Francis’ papacy is generating — from within the halls of the nation’s Catholic schools to Catholic-run charities — some say the pope has failed to fully address some of the deep conflicts within the church.
The new pope, they say, has rarely spoken out about priest sex abuse, and three months after Francis created a commission of experts to study the best ways to protect children, no members have been appointed and no action taken.
In an interview with an Italian daily last week, Francis struck back, insisting that despite its transparency and responsibility, the church has repeatedly been criticized.
While his polling numbers far surpass those of the church he leads, in some cases reaching levels that would make him the envy of politicians, none of it appears to be bringing members back to the pews, according to a recent Pew Research Center report.
Locally, the Archdiocese of Seattle said it had no statistics to “verify a papal bump.”
John Schuster is a former priest who lives in Port Orchard and heads the local chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP); he still meets with victims today.
“He’s pretty much a PR pope,” Schuster said. “His hype and all his nice words are not matching his actions. He’s starting to show cracks in his message ... and people are going to hold him accountable.”
March 9, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
Child sexual abuse advocacy group Tzedek is one of eleven organisations singled out by the government to receive a share of $4.9 million in funding.
Tzedek is Australia’s only dedicated organisation advocating for and supporting Jewish victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.
Founder and CEO Manny Waks said: ”Tzedek, welcomes the Australian Government’s funding for its Royal Commission related activities. The Minister for Social Services, the Hon Kevin Andrews MP, has today announced that the Australian Government is investing $4.9 million in specialist support programs for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. Tzedek can confirm that it is one of these 11 organisations, and that it has recently signed a three-year funding arrangement with the Government, which will expire at the end of June 2016.
“We are delighted with this Australian Government funding and are profoundly grateful for it. It will enable Tzedek to continue in our critical work in support of the Royal Commission.
Parishioners of St. Patrick's Church will be waking up to some startling news this morning. Roman Catholic Archbishop Martin Currie has removed Father Wayne Dohey from his position as parish priest at St. Patrick's Church in the west end of downtown St. John's.
Father Dohey has been suspended from all ministerial duties pending an investigation into a complaint received.
Duluth News Tribune
By: Raya Zimmerman and Will Ashenmacher, St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL -- Ten men who worked at Minnesota churches and religious organizations were on a list that an international Roman Catholic community released of members facing child sex abuse allegations.
Crosier Province, which has a community of brothers and priests in Onamia, Minn., voluntarily released the list Friday, according to St. Paul-based law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates.
The list included eight members previously disclosed following a third-party investigation in 2002 and 11 current, former and deceased members who have allegations against them.
Crosiers work in education, chaplain service, pastoral ministry, campus ministry, jail ministry, immigration services and elder care, according to Crosier Province.
Anderson & Associates has won settlements from Catholic archdioceses nationwide for victims of clergy sexual abuse.
CLINTON, MISS. — A church where a former music minister admitted sexual abuse will host a program for all denominations to learn how to keep their ministries free of child molestation.
The Baptist Children's Village will hold the sexual abuse awareness and training program April 29 at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, The Clarion-Ledger (http://on.thec-l.com/MWDSnx) reported.
That church's former music minister, John Langworthy, admitted during a service in 2011 that he had molested boys in Texas and the Jackson area. He pleaded guilty last year to five counts of felony gratification of lust between April 1980 and December 1984.
"Reacting to abuse is not enough," said Chrystelle Thames, director of public relations at the Baptist Children's Village, which is sponsoring the program with the Christian Action Commission of the Mississippi Baptist Convention.
St. Cloud Times
A new name with ties to the St. Cloud area has surfaced on a list of Crosiers with at least one credible accusation of sexually abusing a minor against them, according to an announcement from the religious order.
The list of 19 men, released Thursday by the Crosier Fathers and Brothers, includes the names of eight Crosiers disclosed in 2002 after a third-party investigation. Newly disclosed were the names of 11 other current, former or deceased Crosiers who have credible allegations against them. One of the men on that list, Gerald Funcheon, formerly served at St. Cloud Cathedral High School.
According to the Crosiers, Funcheon served as a teacher and spiritual director at the school from 1980-1982. St. Cloud was Funcheon’s 10th stop of 14 between 1965 and 1987. He was removed from ecclesiastical ministry in 1993 and now lives in Missouri, according to the Crosiers.
Michael Mullin, president of St. Cloud Cathedral, referred comment to the Diocese of St. Cloud. Representatives from the diocese could not be reached Saturday.
by DIANA RUGG / NBC CHARLOTTE
Bio | Email | Follow: @DianaRuggwcnc
Posted on March 8, 2014
YORK, S.C. -- A York pastor accused of sex crimes against a minor was denied bond Saturday night and will stay in jail until further notice.
Cory Dean Moses, 38, turned himself in Saturday morning to face five charges against him: two counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, and three counts of first degree assault and battery.
The York Police Department said Moses surrendered at Moss Justice Center. Despite giving himself up, detectives said he refused to talk with investigators.
Police say Moses, a convicted sex offender, is accused of assaulting a teenage girl in his two churches, starting in 2009 when she was 14 years old. Moses was the pastor of New Zion Church in York at the time, but later moved to Redeemed Christian Ministries, where the abuse continued.
March 8, 2014
By Jane Gargas / Yakima Herald-Republic
YAKIMA, Wash. — For the first time, the Catholic Diocese of Yakima is going to trial over a case of alleged clergy sexual abuse.
A man, referred to as John Doe in court documents, is suing for more than $3 million, alleging that when he was 17 he was repeatedly raped one night in 1999 by a man studying to become a priest in the Yakima Diocese.
The teenager subsequently told police, but they were unable to locate the aspiring priest, called a deacon. They learned later he had left his Zillah church the day after the alleged incident and traveled to Wenatchee. A day after that, he fled to Mexico. To the authorities’ knowledge, he has never returned to the United States.
A non-jury trial before Judge Edward Shea is scheduled to start Monday in U.S. District Court in Yakima.
Doe is represented by attorneys with Tamaki Law, a Yakima law firm that has won settlements in a number of lawsuits against the Catholic Church. Earlier this year, the firm reached a proposed $15 million settlement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, Mont., on behalf of 362 people who claimed they had been sexually abused by clergy members in a series of cases dating to the 1940s.
High Court judge and the child sex ring: Adviser to Queen was founder of paedophile support group to keep offenders out of jail
By MARTIN BECKFORD
PUBLISHED: 8 March 2014
One of Britain’s most senior judges actively campaigned to support a vile paedophile group that tried to legalise sex with children, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Lord Justice Fulford, named last year as an adviser to the Queen, was a key backer of the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) which police suspect of abusing children on an ‘industrial scale’.
An investigation by the Mail on Sunday has discovered that Fulford was a founder member of a campaign to defend PIE while it was openly calling for the age of consent to be lowered to just four.
It can also be revealed that the Appeal Court judge and Privy Counsellor:
* Planned demonstrations outside courts where defendants – described by prosecutors as ‘sick’ and a ‘force for evil’ – were on trial.
* Wrote an article claiming PIE, now under investigation in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, was merely a way for paedophiles to ‘make friends and offer each other mutual support’.
* Sought help with the campaign from future Labour Minister Patricia Hewitt, then in charge of a controversial civil rights group.
* Attended meetings to discuss tactics with PIE chairman Tom O’Carroll, who has since been jailed for possessing thousands of pictures of naked children.
* Was praised by the paedophile group for coming to its defence.
Philippines Daily Inquirer
The healing priest’s rich lifestyle
SMC scuttles land donation to healing priest
Montemaria project in limbo
Another Montemaria shrine rising in Batangas City
By Tina G. Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Sunday, March 9th, 2014
(Last of a series)
“I know myself and God knows who I am.”
This is what “healing priest” Fr. Fernando Suarez has to say about criticism of how his Mary Mother of the Poor (MMP) Foundation has been handling its finances and to allegations that he is living a lavish lifestyle.
“I know that all the criticisms and lies that have been published will help me become a better person, a better priest,” Suarez said on Saturday through his spokesperson, Deedee Siytangco, who is a member of MMP’s board of directors and has been his devotee since 2006.
Siytangco said she had known Suarez for more than nine years.
“I’m among those people touched by his ministry. I had a brain tumor before but with the help of a good doctor and Father Suarez’s prayer, I was healed,” she said.
Suarez returned to Manila Friday night after a nine-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Siytangco told the Inquirer by telephone that Suarez was unavailable for an interview, as the priest was on a “perpetual adoration” and had asked her to speak for him.
No need to explain
“Father Suarez feels he doesn’t need to explain anything. He said he had forgiven all of his detractors and he would pray for them. For all these trials, he said he was privileged to have suffered with Jesus at this time when we are commemorating Lent,” she said.
Siytangco said she looked forward to the joint statement that MMP and San Miguel Corp. (SMC) reportedly would release to announce the termination of a deal for the donation of a 33-hectare SMC property in Alfonso town, Cavite province, to Suarez’s foundation.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
March 08, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas — The Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese has reached another settlement involving sexual abuse claims against a former priest who died in 1999.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports (http://bit.ly/1n5xtHe ) that terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
The leader of the diocese, Bishop Michael Olson, said in a written statement Friday that he was deeply sorry for any sexual abuse and that such actions are "a sin and a crime."
James Reilly was pastor of St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Arlington from 1969 to 1987, when he retired.
By Daniel Burke CNN
POSTED: 05:34 PM CST Mar 08, 2014
BOSTON (CNN) -
In some ways, the "Pope Francis effect" doesn't seem very effective at all.
Despite the immense popularity the aged Argentine has won since his election last year, not a jot of doctrine has changed, nor has the Catholic Church swelled with American converts.
But there's more than one way to measure a pontiff's influence on his far-flung flock.
Start asking around -- here in Boston and beyond, Catholics and atheists alike -- and it's easy to find people eager to share how one man, in just one year, has changed their lives. ...
But Boston is also a city scarred by a church sex abuse scandal that harmed hundreds of children, demoralized dozens of innocent priests and broke the bonds of trust between clergy and congregants.
To say that Pope Francis has smiled and salved all those wounds is a stretch longer than the Boston Marathon, people here say. There are plenty of ex-Catholics who'll never give the church a second look. But there are many others who say they just might.
In other words, this the perfect city to take a measure of the "Francis effect" -- to visit churches, classrooms, coffee shops and bars and learn how this Pope is shaping the lives of rank-and-file Catholics.
"He's sent us an invitation," says Mark Mullaney, president of Voice of the Faithful, a Boston-based reform group born in the wake of the sex abuse scandal.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan believes Pope Francis will meet with sexual abuse victims of the church.
The cardinal taped an interview for Sunday's "Meet the Press" on NBC.
He said he has personally met some of the victims, as have several bishops and pastors.
He also says he thinks the Pope will probably follow suit.
Dolan also said that he believes Vatican officials need to do more to address abuse allegations, but should not be singled out because child sexual abuse is a societal problem, not just the church's.
Religion News Service
Boz Tchividjian | Mar 8, 2014
Those were the first words of a short email I receive about a year ago from a person identifying himself as Michael Reagan, and who informed me that it was time for Christians to finally begin acknowledging the existence of child abuse. At first, I had no idea who this man was and why he was writing me. A short Google investigation later led me to discover that this email was from the son of my childhood hero, Ronald Reagan! That correspondence was the beginning of a dear friendship with a man that has deeply moved and inspired me in so many amazing ways.
As a child of two famous actors, Michael Reagan was not immune from the dark and destructive offense of child sexual abuse. As a young boy, Mike was sexually abused for over a year by a perpetrator who owned an exclusive after school care program and whose actions and threats shamed a little boy into silence for decades. As all sexual abuse survivors, my friend Mike has spent a lifetime processing this horrific offense as he walks along this long and difficult journey of healing. He has graciously taught me so much about an issue that I thought I knew so much about. Last week, I had the privilege of introducing Mike to students at Liberty University School of Law and then sat down and listened to him spend the next hour opening up his heart in such a raw and transparent way about this incredibly difficult and personal issue. Though what I heard cannot be adequately described in written words, I want to share just a snapshot of what this brave man taught me during that hour.
My friend Mike taught me that child sexual abuse shames survivors into silence. A shame fueled by one’s own confusion and pain. A shame fueled by a fear of what those around will think and say. A child who is taken to an isolated place and told to take off his clothes as the perpetrator takes pictures, and then later shown those pictures as the perpetrator says, “Wouldn’t you mother like a copy of this?”, will be shamed into silence. A boy who is being victimized by a male perpetrator and sits in church listening to a pastor preach that homosexuals are going to hell, will be shamed into silence. A teenage survivor of sexual abuse who is sent away to boarding school and finds himself wetting his bed each night due to the abuse trauma will be shamed into silently getting up early each morning to discreetly change his sheets before anyone else notices. An abuse survivor who finally gains enough courage to tell his stepmother only to have her initial response be concern about her own reputation, will be shamed into silence. The list could go on and on. Michael Reagan has helped me understand the destructive power of shame and that its source comes from perpetrators, loved ones, friends, and even inside our churches.
Pope Francis the CON Christ.
Updated March 8, 2014
Dolan said in an interview with the New York Post today that “the church needs to do more on the issue. But he says child sex abuse is a societal and cultural problem and the church shouldn’t be singled out”. Cardinal Dolan is in the wrong because the Vatican Catholic Church claims to be the single powerhouse for cloning the Son of God, Jesus Christ and they singlehandedly systemically covered-up thousands of pedophile priests worldwide – which no other institution did in such a massive scale – and successfully did so by using the name and image of the Son of God. The higher they are, the harder they fall. The higher Catholic priests are set apart from humanity, the greater are priests’ crimes against humanity.
Today is International Women’s Day http://www.internationalwomensday.com/ . Catholic women, half of the 1.2 billion Catholic population, have the power to STOP donating to the Vatican Mammon Beast and to STOP calling priests as “fathers” out of respect for their husbands or fathers of their children, and to STOP believing in the Eucharistic powers of popes and priests to clone Christ because these ordinary homosexual men cannot clone dogs and therefore they cannot clone the Son of God either. Women should also teach their children the JP2 Army Prayer, see below, to protect them from all kinds of pedophiles, especially pedophile priests.
Pope Francis the CON Christ.
Updated March 8, 2014
The biggest problem of Goliath-bully Bill Donohue of Catholic League is his stupid faith in the Eucharist sorcery and in the feel-good Sacrament of Confession – that once the criminal confess his sins, they are forgiven-and-forgotten – not only by the priest representing God - but also by his victims. Donohue got scales on his eyes because this feel-good fiction of forgiven-and-forgotten occurs only between the priest and the criminal in the odious confession box. The feel-good theology of Confession is not the human way the evil effects of the sins of priest-pedophilia work in their victims. Or other crimes, for example, a man rapes a woman and impregnates her – after going to Confession and saying three Hail Mary’s, he is scot-free and he does not even have to take responsibility to pay for the raising-up of his child. Furthermore, the woman is not supposed to have an abortion and she is condemned to remember him and have the burden to raise- up his sperm she never asked for.
Crosier Fathers & Brothers
Media Contact: Lisa Cassidy, 602-443-7106
(Phoenix, Ariz.) – As the season of Lent begins, the Crosier Province, headquartered in Phoenix, today released an updated list of names of Crosiers with one or more credible claims of sexual abuse of minors. The comprehensive list includes Crosiers previously disclosed in 2002 following a third-party investigation, as well as current, former and deceased Crosiers who have credible allegations against them. The release of this updated list reflects the commitment of the Crosier Order to be transparent and accountable.
“It is our hope that this will bring healing, peace and comfort to the victims and their families,” stated Crosier Prior Provincial Thomas Enneking, osc. “Even though the last occurrence of abuse took place more than 20 years ago, the stigma remains for all of us. We pray for forgiveness and the opportunity to strengthen our ministry and service to everyone in need.”
We are saddened and ashamed to acknowledge this part of our history. We apologize to all victims, families and communities who have been hurt by the actions of Crosiers who were supposed to be instruments of Christ’s love and healing mercy.
The Crosiers do not tolerate sexual abuse of any kind, and we report all claims to the appropriate authorities. We have stringent policies and practices in place to do what we can to prevent sexual abuse. We are very concerned for the well-being of those who have been hurt because of sexual abuse by a Crosier.
In 2002, the Crosier Province hired an independent firm to conduct an audit of allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Crosiers. The following Crosiers were named publicly. Since then, three have died and one has left the Crosier Order.
•Neil Emon, osc
•Gabriel Guerrero, osc
•Gregory Madigan, osc
•Bruce Maxwell, osc
•James Moeglein, osc
•Richard Ohlemacher, osc
•Justin Weger, osc
In addition to those named in 2002, the following are current, former and deceased Crosiers who have one or more credible claims of sexual abuse of a minor against them.
•Timothy Conlon, osc
•Cornelius DeVenster, osc
•Eugene Hambrock, osc
•Joseph Lendacky, osc
•Anton Schik, osc
•Urban Schmitt, osc
There are two names not being disclosed at this time as the claims are under investigation. If the allegations are substantiated, those names will be added to this list on our website.
This information reflects what we know today. We have worked with our Review Committee to ensure that we are being as clear, accurate and transparent as we can. We share this information to help with the healing of those who have been hurt by the actions of members of the Crosier Order.
POSTED: SATURDAY, MARCH 8, 2014
Inside Philadelphia’s Criminal Justice Center, they’ve become as ubiquitous as the sidewalk memorials of flowers and stuffed toys for people killed in shootings and auto accidents. They are T-shirts, usually emblazoned with the photo of a crime victim and slogans urging remembrance of or “justice for.”
Now, apparently worried about the impact the T-shirts could have on criminal juries, some Philadelphia judges have begun banning them from the courtroom.
It happened during the current trial of accused Catholic priest Andrew McCormick. This time, however, it was supporters of the 57-year-old priest who got the warning. On Feb. 27, the first day of McCormick’s trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997, several of McCormick’s friends came to the 11th-floor courtroom wearing black T-shirts covered with white stylized letters reading “I stand with Father Andy.”
As a court officer began warning spectators about turning off cell phones and not taking photographs he spotted the shirts: “I see T-shirts. Turn them inside out.”
Mar 8th 2014 | VATICAN CITY
IN THE 12 months since he appeared on the balcony of St Peter’s to begin his papacy with a disarmingly unaffected “Good evening” to the crowd below, Pope Francis has won a following far beyond the Roman Catholic church. He has softened the image of an institution that had seemed forbidding during the reign of his predecessor, Benedict, and shown that a pope can hold thoroughly modern views on atheism (“The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience”), homosexuality (“If a person is gay and seeks God and has goodwill, who am I to judge?”) and single mothers (he has accused priests who refuse to baptise their children of having a “sick mentality”).
More than anything, Francis has demonstrated an extraordinary ability to communicate his ideas, and those of his faith, purely by gesture. Every recent pope has spoken of the need to treasure human life, even in its most tragic and painful manifestations. But Francis achieved more than any of them when he embraced a sufferer of neurofibromatosis, a disfiguring genetic disease. Though all popes pay lip service to the need for humility and simplicity, Benedict departed from the Apostolic Palace after his unexpected resignation in February 2013 in a Mercedes limousine. Francis drives a 1984 Renault of the sort owned by many French farm labourers.
A poll published by the Pew Research Centre on March 6th found that, in America, two-thirds of Catholics and half of non-Catholics regard the new pope as a change for the better. But whether he is attracting lapsed Catholics to return to regular observance is unclear. In a poll of Italian priests last year, more than half reported increases in church attendance. But Pew found no significant change in how often American Catholics said they went to Mass.
The task ahead is daunting. High birth rates in the developing world mean the number of baptised Catholics, around 1.2 billion, continues to grow. But there is an ever-widening gap between the doctrines of the church with regard to sex and marriage and what Catholics, particularly in the developed world, think and do. Clerical sex-abuse scandals, and the church’s complacent response, have also seen many Catholics in western Europe and North America turn away in disgust. A fear sometimes voiced privately in the Vatican is that Catholicism risks one day becoming a religion largely for Africans and Asians, confined elsewhere to a self-consciously reactionary fringe. Much therefore depends on this frugal, likeable man. ...
A misstep in his handling of the long-running scandal of clerical sex abuse poses other, perhaps greater, dangers. On this, critics accuse the pope of moving too slowly. He has set up a special commission for the protection of minors, but its role is merely advisory. Though he suspended Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, a German bishop, for his opulent lifestyle, he has so far done nothing about Robert Finn, an American bishop convicted in 2012 for failing to tell the authorities about a priest suspected of sexually abusing children.
“He has changed the topic from abuse without doing anything about it,” says Anne Barrett Doyle of the American watchdog group bishopaccountability.org. “I would never have predicted that a whole year would go by without the new pope reaching out in a meaningful way to the victims.” In his most recent interview, with Corriere della Sera, Francis appeared to suggest that the church was the true victim: it was “perhaps the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility...And yet the church is the only one to have been attacked.”
A friend called tonight. She was distressed. She had just gone to confession to a priest at the Cathedral. For her penance, the priest told her to "go to a talk" in the St. Therese Chapel on Monday night.
My friend did not respond. She knew what the talk was. She had already spent a few years in the Neocatechumenal Way and had left, and not without some pain. She didn't want to go to the "talk".
When she didn't answer, the priest asked her if that was "okay". Never having been presented with such a "penance" before and fearing that she would not receive absolution if she did not consent, she replied: "I am at your mercy".
The priest then told her to consider the penance (attending the talk) "a mercy from me to you." He then absolved her.
My friend called because she was disturbed. She felt that her sins would not be forgiven if she did not go to the talk.
This isn't the first time I've heard this, and the same scenario was posted elsewhere as a comment on this blog, but it was the first time I heard it first hand from someone I know.
She decided to go to confession tomorrow to another priest, and this time, not a neo.
Aside from the coercion to attend the neocatechumenal meeting, a coercion in the context of a confession, which is already a matter for grave concern, the priest tells her that this penance is a MERCY! And a mercy from him personally.
New York Post
New York’s Timothy Cardinal Dolan says he anticipates that Pope Francis will meet with sex-abuse victims.
Dolan told David Gregory in an interview taped Friday for NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that he has met with victims, most bishops and pastors have, too, and the pope “probably will” also.
Pope Francis has come under criticism for doing too little after announcing a commission of experts to study ways of protecting children three months ago.
Dolan says in the interview the church needs to do more on the issue. But he says child sex abuse is a societal and cultural problem and the church shouldn’t be singled out.
door Joep Dohmen
Een nalatenschap bestemd voor de Indiase zustercongregatie van Moeder Theresa is door het armlastige aartsbisdom Utrecht gebruikt om kantoorkosten te betalen voor de afhandeling van klachten van misbruikslachtoffers binnen de Kerk. Dat meldt NRC Handelsblad vandaag. Ook zouden er kerst- en sinterklaasgeschenken voor bisdombestuurders van zijn betaald.
Het geld, 300.000 euro, kwam van de in 1994 overleden Utrechtse weduwe Cornelia Witkamp. Het bedrag werd in 1995 ondergebracht in de Stichting Caritas Moeder Theresa. Bestuurders van de stichting werden toenmalig aartsbisschop Ad Simonis en zijn econoom Jacques Klok. De stichting moest uitvoering geven aan het testament van Witkamp. Zij wilde dat de zusters van Moeder Theresa “de meest verlatenen en uitgestotenen der maatschappij, waaronder drugsverslaafden” in Utrecht konden helpen. De zusters kwamen echter nooit naar Utrecht.
[Summary: The Saarbrucken newspaper reported on Feb. 17 that Bishop Ackermann issued a severe reprimand to a pastor. The man was accused to four cases of sexual boundary violations against minors. He may not exercise public priestly duties as was fined 3,000 euros. According to canon law, no crime was committed because the victims were older than 16.]
"Die Saarbrücker Zeitung hat in ihrer Ausgabe vom Montag, dem 17. Februar 2014 berichtet, dass Bischof Ackermann einem Pfarrer einen strengen Verweis erteilt hat. Mit diesem ist verbunden, dass der Geistliche ein Jahr lang sein Amt nicht öffentlich ausüben darf und eine Geldbuße von 3.000 Euro an eine Initiative zahlen muss, die sich insbesondere minderjährigen Opfern sexuellen Missbrauchs annimmt.
Dem Mann konnten vier Fälle von sexueller Übergriffigkeit und Grenzverletzung gegenüber Jugendlichen nachgewiesen werden, die dieser in den Jahren 1984 bis 1986 in Beaumarais begangen hat. Nach Kirchenrechtlichen Bestimmungen hat es sich damals aber nicht um eine Straftat gehandelt, da die Betroffenen älter als 16 Jahre alt waren. Ein entsprechendes Ermittlungsverfahren der Staatsanwaltschaft wurde wegen Verjährung eingestellt. Die Verfehlungen gegenüber zwei Messdienerinnen von denen die Saarbrücker Zeitung ebenfalls berichtet hat, sind dagegen nicht geschehen. Diese beruhen vielmehr auf einen Fehler der Deutschen-Presseagentur. Die Saarbrücker Zeitung von Freitag, dem 21. Februar eine Korrekturmeldung gedruckt. Über die Vorfälle ist der Pfarrgemeinderat am Donnnerstag, dem 20. Februar2014 in einer Sitzung informiert worden. Der Pfarrgemeinderat bedauert zutiefst, dass in der Pfarrgmeinde jungen Menschen durch einen Geistlichen so großes Unrecht geschehen ist. Ein Betroffener hat in der Sitzung geschildert, was der Pfarrer ihm angetan hat. Darüber waren alle Mitglieder erschüttert. Dennoch hat der Betroffene versichert, dass er durch die Entscheidung des Bischofs seinen Frieden mit der Vergangenheit gefunden hat.
[Summary: According to a statement from the umbrella organization for Dutch religious, the orders have paid out 9.4 million euros to victims of sexual abuse and operating costs.]
door Eric van den Berg - 7 maart 2014
Volgens opgave van de koepelorganisatie Nederlandse Religieuzen (KNR) hebben de religieuze ordes en congregaties tot nu toe 9,4 miljoen euro betaald aan kosten rond het seksueel misbruik in de rooms-katholieke kerk. De kosten bestaan uit compensatiegelden voor slachtoffers en exploitatiekosten, onder meer voor de diverse commissies.
Tot 31 december 2012 hebben de religieuzen 2,2 miljoen euro uitgekeerd aan compensaties. Deze gelden komen ten laste van de afzonderlijke instituten maar niet van de KNR. De bedragen zijn gebaseerd op de adviezen van de compensatiecommissie. Compensaties aan slachtoffers vanaf 2013 zijn nog niet officieel becijferd.
The Catholic Register
Written by Michael Swan, The Catholic Register
Saturday, 08 March 2014
Twenty-five years on, the case that began the world-wide Catholic sexual abuse scandal is still crawling through the court system and still on the minds of Newfoundland Catholics.
Three years after the Christian Brothers of Ireland filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States, 422 survivors of abuse at schools and orphanages operated by the brothers will begin receiving cheques this month. Included among them will be 90 former Newfoundland victims from the 1950s and ‘60s.
The claimants will each receive a share of $16.5 million left from the sale of Christian Brothers assets in the U.S. The cheques will begin at $5,000 and average around $39,000.
Though that’s the end of the saga in the United States, the Canadian victims — most from Mt. Cashel but about half-a-dozen from Newfoundland day schools the Irish Christian Brothers operated — are pursuing their claims against the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of St. John’s.
by Court reporter
Published on the 08 March 2014
A former priest and religious education teacher who used to live in the Harborough district has gone on trial charged with sexually abusing young girls.
David Goodstadt, who used in live in Gartree and now lives in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, denied all allegations against him, including that he raped one of the girls, who was under the age of ten.
Goodstadt, who has worked at John Mansfield School in Peterborough and the Thomas Deacon Academy, also in Peterborough, faces a total of 14 charges, dating back several years.
The alleged victims cannot be named for legal reasons.
The trial started at Peterborough Crown Court on Monday where a jury of four men and eight women were sworn in.
[Pope softening tone, not stance, O’Malley says - Boston Globe]
FRI FEBRUARY 14, 2014
The marquee item in Sunday’s Boston Globe was a big interview with Cardinal Sean O’Malley on the future of the Catholic Church. But that exclusive came with a price: certain topics that O’Malley didn't want to address were off limits. Adam Reilly has more.
Dan Kennedy is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.
Callie Crossley is the host of WGBH News' Under the Radar.
Adam Reilly is a political reporter for WGBH News.
Joshua Benton is the director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University.
Sat, Mar 8, 2014
Ian Elliott, who retired as chief executive of the Catholic Church’s National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) last July, has challenged findings of a child protection audit in Down and Connor diocese and is considering a legal action against its bishop.
Published on December 10th, the audit found that the diocese had produced an “excellent result” in fully meeting 46 of the 48 criteria for protecting children, with the two other standards partially met. The audit, attributed to the NBSC, was led by Mr Elliott over four days in the diocese last May.
However, as published, its findings “do not reflect the findings from the fieldwork,” Mr Elliott said yesterday. Such were his concerns at what he found last May that, after the first two days there, he met and reported to Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor and NBSC chairman John Morgan. “I made them directly aware of the findings,” he said yesterday. “I am deeply concerned at attempts by the diocese to attribute that review [audit] to me.”
SHANE PHELAN PUBLIC AFFAIRS EDITOR – UPDATED 08 MARCH 2014
Northern Presbyterian Ian Elliott was the Catholic Church's child protection watchdog for six years when he stepped down from the role in 2013.
Prior to taking the job, he had been the lead adviser on child protection at the North's Social Services Inspectorate, and also worked as divisional director of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
During his time with the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, Mr Elliott (66) wrote several hard-hitting reports and came into conflict with a number of senior clerics.
The board was set up in 2007 by a number of Catholic organisations to offer advice on best practice in safeguarding children, assist in the development of procedures, and to monitor ongoing safeguarding practices.
By George Houde
Special to the Tribune
11:35 a.m. CST, March 6, 2014
A former Willow Creek Church volunteer who admitted to sexually abusing a boy at the church was indicted today in a separate alleged child sexual assault.
Robert Sobczak, 20, is accused of criminal sexual assault of a teenage relative who has a development disability, according to court records. Sobczak is accused of forcing the boy to perform a sex act at a home in Schaumburg where the two were attending a birthday party.
The alleged assault occurred in March 2013, the month after an investigation began into Sobczak’s abuse of a boy at the church but before Sobczak was charged in that abuse.
In that case, Sobczak eventually pleaded guilty to criminal sexual abuse of the 8-year-old, who was in a church program for children with special needs. Sobczak was a volunteer in that program. He received two years of probation in that case, but was placed back in custody in lieu of a $500,000 bond when he was rearrested in the Schaumburg case last month.
The Daily Beast
The Hosanna Church was the heart of a child sex abuse scandal shrouded in reports of devil worship and rituals with cat blood and pentagrams. Is this the case behind 'True Detective'?
Is there any monster in this world worse than man?
The residents of the small, south Louisiana town of Ponchatoula discovered in 2005 there were monsters committing unspeakable acts to children and animals. The evil was reportedly carried out inside a church.
A splinter cult reportedly formed by leaders and members of the Hosanna Church became the salacious heart of a child sex abuse scandal that rocked and shocked the community following newspaper and broadcast reports of devil worshipping and occult rituals involving animal blood and pentagrams.
Last month, Nic Pizzolatto, the South Louisiana-reared creator of HBO’s critically acclaimed pulp-thriller True Detective, told an Entertainment Weekly reporter that viewers of his show can piece together parts of the plot and forthcoming ending by Googling the words “Satanism,” “preschool,” and “Louisiana.” Pizzolatto then said, “You'll be surprised at what you get.”
Mississippi church leaders, employees and volunteers need tools to equip them in preventing sexual abuse of children — and to ensure children’s safety by keeping would-be perpetrators from coming through the church doors in the first place.
Organizers of an April 29 conference open to all religious denominations hope that information will change mindsets, raise awareness and empower pastors to operate ministries free from child molestation.
The host site: Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, which for years employed as music minister now-convicted child sex offender John Langworthy, who admitted during a service at the church in August 2011 that he molested young boys in Texas and the Jackson area more than 20 years ago.
Langworthy last year pleaded guilty to five felony gratification of lust charges involving five boys ages 10-13 between April 1980 and December 1984. He received no jail time.
BY JONATHAN MCFADDEN
March 7, 2014
YORK — An international support group for people who have been abused by church leaders is demanding that the denominational organization that employed a North Carolina pastor accused of sexually assaulting a girl at two York churches answer “why they allowed a convicted sexual predator to work?”
After issuing a statement Friday afternoon, the executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said the Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas needs to use its resources to “aggressively seek out anybody who might have seen, suspected or suffered this minister's crimes."
More, “they need to beg every single witness or victim to contact law enforcement ” and “aggressively reign in anyone who might be tempted to publicly support this minister or attack his accusers.”
Those statements come a day after police issued warrants for Cory Dean Moses, 38, of Charlotte, accusing him of assault, criminal sexual conduct with a minor, and committing or attempting a lewd act. Authorities on Friday were still looking for Moses, York Police Lt. Rich Caddell said. Members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team searched for Moses at his home, but found it empty.
Wall Street Journal
By KATY STECH
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth L. Perris plans to retire after 30 years on the Oregon bench.
Judge Perris, 62, who is known for mediating disputes in Detroit’s bankruptcy and for other financially struggling cities, plans to retire in January. She’ll use the extra time to continue mediation work, travel and “not [have] to be on 6 a.m. conference calls,” according to a statement from her chambers.
Judge Perris handled the bankruptcy of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland in 2004, the first of about a dozen bankruptcies that dioceses around the country have filed to deal with sexual abuse claims.
The former head of a child protection watchdog may sue a Catholic bishop over a report that praised safeguarding practices within the bishop's diocese.
Ian Elliott, who retired from the National Board of Safeguarding Children (NBSC) last July, is considering legal action against Bishop Noel Treanor.
The bishop leads the Diocese of Down and Connor in Northern Ireland.
Mr Elliott disagrees with the December 2013 report and claims the diocese tried to link his name to its findings.
The NBSC report stated that between 2009 and 2013, Bishop Treanor's diocese had compiled "fully" with 46 of 48 criteria considered necessary for good child protection practice.
It concluded: "This is an excellent result and indicates the very successful and effective investment of time and resources by the Diocese of Down and Connor in its child safeguarding services over the last five years."
Saturday, March 08, 2014
Priests who abused children should be forgiven for past “mistakes” and allowed return to ministries where they have authority over minors, a Catholic Church group has claimed.
By Fiachra Ó Cionnaith
Irish Examiner Reporter
The stance, which has sparked a backlash from abuse survivors who said nothing has been learned from recent scandals, was made by the Association of Catholic Priests after child protection watchdog talks. Speaking after meeting with the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) on Wednesday, the association said it is wrong to block priests who have “made a mistake or mistakes in their earlier life” from returning to the altar.
And while the move contradicts basic child protection standards, the group claimed priests who show “no pattern of re-offending” must be given “mercy”.
“Many older priests are excluded because of a mistake or mistakes they made in their earlier life, and where there was no pattern of re-offending. We questioned the justice of this, and the witness from a church, one of whose core teachings is mercy and forgiveness,” wrote the association, which represents 25% of priests.
In the same statement the group’s spokesman, Fr Tony Flannery, suggested audits of child protection standards in dioceses are potentially mistreating priests and bishops — not protecting children from harm.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
BY BILL MILLER
FORT WORTH — The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth reached a settlement this week with a person who accused former priest James Reilly of sexual abuse, according to a news release from the diocese on Friday.
Terms of the settlement were confidential and the person asked to remain anonymous, said Pat Svacina, a spokesman for the diocese.
He said he was unaware if similar cases are pending.
Reilly was assigned to St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church in Arlington from 1969 through 1987. He retired in 1987, moved to Philadelphia and died in 1999.
It wasn’t clear Friday night how many cases involving Reilly the diocese has settled. According to previous Star-Telegram reports, one Dallas lawyer said in June 2012 that 26 of her clients had settled claims against the former priest. All her clients were male.
SHANE PHELAN PUBLIC AFFAIRS EDITOR – PUBLISHED 08 MARCH 2014
The former priest at the centre of the Down and Connor row was described by one of his victims as a "a violent sexual predator".
Jim Donaghy (55) was jailed for 10 years in 2012 after being convicted of 23 sex abuse charges against a young adult and two teenage altar boys.
The former parish priest for Bangor, Co Down, stepped down in 2004 when a complaint against him was made to the police.
One of his victims, Pat McCafferty, was a student priest when he was first abused by Donaghy in Co Wexford.
Fr McCafferty described the abuse he suffered at the hands of Donaghy as "brutal", "horrendous", and worse than the death of his mother.
It started when Donaghy was a deacon and it continued after he was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Down and Connor.
SARAH MAC DONALD
Survivors of clerical abuse have lashed out at the Association of Catholic Priests over its description of incidents of abuse by priests as "mistakes".
Marie Collins told the Irish Independent she was "shocked" by the ACP's comment.
And a priest, who was himself the victim of clerical abuse, described the ACP's attitude as "despicable".
It came after ACP's Fr Sean McDonagh and Fr Tony Flannery "raised the difficulties around historical allegations" with the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church this week.
On its website, Fr Tony Flannery stated that they had "questioned the justice" of excluding many older priests from ministry "because of a mistake or mistakes they made in their earlier life" where there was "no pattern of re-offending".
PAUL VALLELY Author Biography Saturday 08 March 2014
No Pope had ever before dared to take the name Francis. And for good reason. St Francis of Assisi was the son of a rich merchant who in the 13th century cast aside his lavish lifestyle, giving away the fine clothes off his back. They called him Il Poverello – the little poor one. But this was more than an embrace of poverty. It was a challenge to what the man who was to become the first Pope Francis has called the "luxury, pride, vanity of the civil and ecclesiastical powers of the time".
A pope who took the name of the great saint of the poor would be casting down a gauntlet that he, and his church, should be tested against the most demanding of standards. On 13 March, 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio took that name. One year on, how has Pope Francis measured up?
As his attitudes and priorities emerge, it is clear that he wants a church for the poor, that puts mercy before moralising, compassion into action and which embraces rather than excludes. There is still debate about whether the 266th pontiff is doctrinally liberal or conservative. But there is no doubting that he is a radical. It has also become clear that there are three key areas on which he has yet to deliver if he is to fulfil the promise of his chosen name. ...
The third challenge is over the institutional church's complicity in cover-ups of paedophile priests. A recent UN report highlighted tens of thousands of crimes by priestly abusers over several decades in a dozen countries. Francis has an equivocal record on this. In Buenos Aires he took a tough line on abuse, ridiculing the practice in the US, UK and Ireland of simply moving paedophile priests to a new parish. He told fellow bishops in Argentina to remove suspects from active ministry and try them in a church court. But he did not advocate involving the police, which is a key demand of many victims' groups, and in his time the Argentine bishops missed the Vatican 2010 deadline to create safeguards against new abuse.
In his first year, Pope Francis has not spoken publicly at any length on clerical sex abuse. In private, he has told officials in the CDF to act decisively. He has announced a new Commission on the Protection of Minors. But he has yet to reveal who will sit on it – or what its brief will be. And a papal diplomat recently accused of sexually abusing boys in the Dominican Republic was not reported to the police there; instead, he was recalled to the Vatican for prosecution.
The truth is that the Vatican is split over whether offending priests should be reported to the civil authorities or dealt with by internal Church procedures. But Pope Francis should be in no doubt that the latter will not be enough to satisfy victims, who want to see abusers reported direct to the police. Anything less will see his Church continue to stand in the pillory of public condemnation.
March 7, 2014
Deep concerns at handling of clerical abuse case were cut out of church report: author
BY SHANE PHELAN – 08 MARCH 2014
The former head of the Catholic Church's child safety watchdog has revealed that serious concerns he had about the handling of an abuse case in Northern Ireland were omitted from an official report.
Ian Elliott alleges that the Diocese of Down and Connor blocked the release of information it held about its handling of the case of ex-priest Jim Donaghy, who was jailed for 10 years in 2012 for abusing two altar boys and a trainee priest.
Mr Elliott investigated the diocese last May, a month before his retirement from the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church.
The report on the diocese that was subsequently published by the safeguarding board last December, did not refer to his concerns, and gave the diocese a clean bill of health.
The Bishop of Down and Connor, Dr Noel Treanor, declined to answer questions about the "contents and integrity" of the report, saying it was a matter for the safeguarding board.
CINCINNATI —Catholic school teachers in the Cincinnati Archdiocese will soon see a much more detailed morality clause in their new contracts.
At the top, it reads "Teacher-Minister" and the morals clause has grown from a line or two to an entire paragraph.
The new contract clearly spells out to teachers that they must refrain from any conduct or lifestyle that contradicts Catholic doctrine or morals.
The language reads, "Such conduct or lifestyle that is in contradiction to Catholic doctrine or morals includes, but is not limited to, improper use of social media/communication, public support of or publicly living together outside marriage, public support of or sexual activity out of wedlock, public support of or homosexual lifestyle, public support of or use of abortion, public support of or use of a surrogate mother, public support of or use of in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination, public membership in organizations whose mission and message are incompatible with Catholic doctrine or morals, and/or flagrant deceit or dishonesty."
Teachers will be required to initial that section to indicate agreement and sign their name or risk possible termination.
The archdiocese said this is meant to clear up any confusion about what’s expected and what Catholic doctrine accepts and rejects.
Michael D. Clark, email@example.com March 7, 2014
Teachers in Cincinnati Archdiocese schools could lose their jobs if they violate a new employment contract that clamps down on their personal lives beyond school walls.
The new contract obtained by The Enquirer has doubled in size and is strikingly different from previous Archdiocese teacher employment agreements.
For the first time, it details prohibited practices such as gay "lifestyles," out-of-wedlock relationships, abortions and fertility methods that go against Catholic teachings.
The contract for the 2014-15 school year explicitly orders teachers to refrain "from any conduct or lifestyle which would reflect discredit on or cause scandal to the school or be in contradiction to Catholic doctrine or morals." It goes so far as to ban public support of the practices.
by ALISON MORROW / KING 5
Posted on March 7, 2014
Ever since Eastside Catholic students began protesting Mark Zmuda's termination last December, their goal always aimed far outside Sammamish.
"Maybe even more than just theoretically, this case could end up before the United States Supreme Court," said employment attorney Jeffrey Needle.
Zmuda announced Thursday that he is suing Eastside Catholic and the Seattle Archdiocese for wrongful termination after he lawfully married his male partner.
The crux of Zmuda's argument, explained in documents he'll discuss at a news conference on Friday, is that he never served in a religious role.
The jury in the sex-assault trial of Rev. Andrew McCormick, a Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy at a Northeast Philadelphia church in 1997, finished its first full day of deliberations Friday without a verdict and will resume its deliberations Monday.
Before leaving, the Common Pleas Court jury of nine women and three men asked Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright to again instruct them in the law when they return.
McCormick, 57, is charged in five counts involving sexual assault, child endangerment and corrupting minors in an incident that allegedly occurred when McCormick was a priest at St. John Cantius Church in Bridesburg.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia jury has deliberated for more than a day in a Philadelphia priest-abuse case without reaching a verdict.
The jury returns Monday to continue weighing charges against the Rev. Andrew McCormick.
The 26-year-old accuser says he was molested in 1997, after his mother talked to the priest over concerns her 10-year-old son was gay.
McCormick denies the account. The 57-year-old priest has been on trial for about two weeks.
His lawyer notes that no one else has ever accused McCormick of child sexual abuse.
However, McCormick has been suspended from ministry over a complaint about his closeness with another altar boy.
When Borough Park resident Sam Kellner went to authorities with allegations that Satmar Rabbi Baruch Lebovits had molested his son, he risked becoming a pariah in his insular ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. Sure enough, Kellner was shunned from his community, was unable to do business with his neighbors, and ultimately had to pawn his silverware to survive. In the most shocking twist of all, however, Kellner was indicted by Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes on dubious charges of trying to extort Lebovits before turning evidence over to the authorities. Today, new Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson finally dropped the charges against Kellner, a case that he referred to on the campaign trail as "botched."
“After a careful review of the evidence, we have concluded that the charges against Samuel Kellner must be dismissed. We’ve reached this conclusion because we do not believe that we can prove these charges at trial,” said District Attorney Ken Thompson in a statement.
In 2008, Kellner's son told him he was sexually abused by his Rabbi. After searching out other instances of abuse by Lebovits (and after meeting early resistance from DA Hynes), Kellner finally succeeded in providing enough evidence that Lebovits was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to 10 ½ to 32 years in prison for a long history of sexual abuse. It was after the trial that Hynes turned his attention on Kellner, in a move that would likely have a chilling effect on anyone else from reporting sexual abuse in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community (which also happened to vote as a bloc for Hynes for decades).
BY JONATHAN MCFADDEN
firstname.lastname@example.orgMarch 7, 2014
YORK — An international support group for survivors of abuse at the hands of the clergy is demanding that the denominational organization that employed a North Carolina pastor accused of sexually assaulting a girl at two York churches answer "why they allowed a convicted sexual predator to work."
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) on Friday afternoon issued a statement calling for the Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas, headquartered in Greenville, to answer unanswered questions in light of warrants being issued for Cory Dean Moses, 38, of Charlotte.
Police on Thursday said they issued warrants for Moses that will charge him with assault, criminal sexual conduct with a minor and committing or attempting a lewd act.
Over a five-year period, authorities say he sexually assaulted, fondled and molested a girl while he was pastor at New Mount Zion Church on U.S. 321 in York, and then later at Redeemed Christian Ministries on Ross Cannon Street.
By Reba Riley
If there’s one thing I know the power of, it’s a name.
For the better part of a decade I suffered from a chronic mystery illness that was attacking me from the inside out. Countless doctors and specialists couldn’t diagnose me, couldn’t give me a name for what was happening. They told me it was all in my head — that I could pull myself out of it if I just tried harder.
I believed them.
Debilitating fatigue and pain became a way of life. My physical distress was second only to the mental torture that went like this, “I am doing this to myself. I do not have an actual medical condition. These symptoms are not real. There is nothing wrong with me.”
But there was something wrong with me. After eight years of sickness, a doctor handed me a slip of paper. On the paper was the name of the disease I had been fighting; the disease that had been fighting me.
I wept with joy. (Which confused my poor doctor more than a little bit.)
I had a name. The symptoms were real. I did have a medical condition. I was not doing it to myself.
Road to Recovery
MARCH 7, 2014
Archbishop Myers and his extravagant expenditures make it untenable for him to continue as a church leader
Archbishop Myers must be removed or resign immediately as Archbishop of Newark
What: A leafleting and media event calling for the removal of Archbishop John Myers as
Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey
When: Sunday, March 9, 2014 from 11:30 AM until 1:30 PM. Press conference at 1:00
Where: In front of the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, 89 Ridge Street, Newark,
Who: The co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity that
assists victims of sexual abuse and their families who is a former priest of the Archdiocese of Newark and has consistently called for the removal of Archbishop Myers for at least the past ten years; sexual abuse victims and their families; concerned parishioners of Newark Archdiocesan parishes who have had enough of Archbishop Myers’ extravagant spending.
Why: Since John J. Myers became the Archbishop of Newark, NJ, in 2001, he has used
parishioners’ contributions to: a) air-condition the Cathedral Basilica so he didn’t “sweat” during religious services, and renovate his own quarters at the Cathedral rectory – COST – $2,000,000.00; b) purchase an extravagant home in rural Hunterdon County – COST – approximately $700,000.00; c) build an addition on his Hunterdon County vacation/retirement home to the tune of at least $500,000.00. Myers clearly has no business spending extravagantly, especially since Pope Francis has called on bishops to live simply as a sign of solidarity with those they serve. The Newark, NJ area has some of the poorest Congressional Districts in the United States, yet Archbishop Myers treats himself lavishly, insisting on being called “Your Grace,” and living extravagantly Archbishop John J. Myers must be removed or resign immediately as Archbishop of Newark.
Contacts: Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D. – Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250
By Roger Starkey / March 7, 2014
A former principal at Collinsville Christian Academy had been charged with two felony counts of attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a male between the ages of 13-18
Robert Allen Lane, 57, of the 1200 block of Antler Drive in Troy, allegedly made two attempts to fondle a male student between the ages of 13-18. Both incidents occurred on school property, during normal business hours, in the fall of 2013.
According to charges filed by the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office, the first incident occurred between Sept. 1, 2013 and Nov. 1, 2013. Lane allegedly touched the leg of the victim, with the intent to arouse the victim sexually, and attempted to fondle him.
The second incident occurred between Nov. 1, 2013 and Nov. 7, 2013. Again Lane allegedly touched the leg and stomach area of the victim, attempting to sexually arouse and fondle him.
Lane was the principal at Collinsville Christian Academy from Aug. 2010 to Dec. 2013. Officials at the school could not be reached for comment.
March 7, 2014, by Vera Culley
COLLINSVILLE, IL (KTVI) – The Madison County State’s Attorney has filed criminal sexual abuse charges against a former Collinsville principal.
Robert Allen Lane, 57, was principal at Collinsville Christian Academy until December 2013.
Authorities say a former student made allegations against Lane about incidents that happened on the school campus during school hours.
Now police believe there may be more victims. Lane is charged with two counts of Attempted Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse. He is out on a $10,000 bond.
Anyone who may have been victimized by Lane is asked to contact the Collinsville Police at 618-301-4444.
BY ELIZABETH DONALD
March 7, 2014
COLLINSVILLE — The former principal of the Collinsville Christian Academy has been charged with twice trying to sexually abuse a former student.
Robert Allen Lane, 57, of Troy, has been charged by the Madison County state's attorney's office with two felony counts of attempted aggravated sexual abuse, a Class 3 felony.
According to Collinsville Police, the investigation involved a boy between the ages of 13 and 18 who was a student at the school. The student alleged two sexual incidents on the school's campus during normal business hours.
Lt. Todd Link of Collinsville Police confirmed that there was "one victim locally so far," but said there may be other victims. Lane had previous teaching positions in other places throughout the state, he said.
"We're still following up on those leads," Link said.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Former principal at Collinsville Christian Academy charged with sexual abuse
By Kim Bell email@example.com 314-340-8115
COLLINSVILLE • The former principal at Collinsville Christian Academy has been charged with twice trying to sexually abuse a former student. Both incidents allegedly happened on campus during business hours last year, before he was dismissed by the school board.
The Madison County state's attorney on Thursday charged Robert Allen Lane with two counts of attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Lane, 57, lives in Troy. He was dismissed by the school board last November or December.
Bail was set at $100,000. With the approval of Judge Richard Tognarelli, Lane posted 10 percent of that and has been released from custody. He could not be reached for comment Friday morning.
The Collinsville Police Department started its investigation after hearing allegations from a former student at the academy.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Friday, March 7, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A former principal of a Collinsville Christian Academy has been charged with attempted sexual assault. We want school officials to aggressively reach out to any other victims.
[St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
Robert Allen Lane allegedly tried to sexually assault a student twice on school property. We believe there are more victims. School officials have an obligation to seek out anyone else who many have seen, suspected or suffered abuse.
Church officials who worry about shrinking Christian schools should insist that their officials take real measures, not symbolic ones, to end the long-standing and dangerous church culture of recklessness and deceit in child sex abuse cases. That will no doubt help stem declining enrollment in religious schools.
This case is a reminder that public schools are inherently safer than private schools. There is more openness and more accountability in public schools than private schools. And there's less incentive to ignore or conceal child sex crimes in public schools than private schools.
First, law enforcement and fiscal authorities can more readily and easily audit and investigate public schools than private schools.
National Catholic Reporter
Dennis Coday | Mar. 7, 2014 NCR Today
The four men — three priests and an ex-priest — whose allegations of sexual misconduct against Scotland’s Cardinal Keith O'Brien forced the cardinal’s resignation a year ago, say local church authorities are stonewalling an investigation of O’Brien. They have made a direct appeal to Pope Francis to “sort this out.”
O’Brien made international headlines last year when the accusations surfaced, just as the cardinal was preparing to travel to Rome for the conclave that would elect Francis pope.
After the allegations were public, O’Brien announced he would not attend the conclave and then he resigned.
The men are seeking a public apology for "the victims of O'Brien and all those affected by abuse throughout the church" and an investigation into governance in the diocese. Specifically, they want to know:
how O'Brien had come to be appointed,
the extent of his predatory behavior
whether those close to him had been maneuvered into positions of power under his leadership and
about potential sacramental abuse by O'Brien.
O'Brien 's successor, Archbishop Leo Cushley, insists that only Rome can initiate an inquiry into O'Brien's sexual behavior.
I’m so absolutely grieved! So tired of reading about sexual abuse scandals in the church. Beyond all the pedophilia in the Catholic Church, there are plenty of Protestant sexual scandals making headlines. The sexual abuse in the church needs to stop!
The latest allegation comes against Jesus People USA in Chicago. A 90-minute documentary film, No Place to Call Home, puts the allegations on the big screen. The Chicago Tribune reports that Heather Kool, 38, has filed a lawsuit saying she was abused in the 1980s by members of Jesus People USA.
For all the high-profile cases, there are many smaller instances that we never hear about. In February, a man was indicted for sexually abusing a 6-year-old girl in a Mountain View church bathroom in Anchorage, Alaska. Also in February, a Maryland man was charged with sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl when he served as a deacon at Grace Apostolic Church.
Again in February, a Southwestern Illinois man was charged with four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse on a teenager—and five other males have since come forward with similar complaints about the deacon at the First Baptist Church. And would you believe, in February, a Willow Creek Church volunteer in Chicago was charged with aggravated sexual abuse for molesting two boys. Also in February, a South Jersey church organist was charged with sexually abusing five boys in 30 days.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Friday, March 7, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com )
We are thrilled but not surprised at a Brooklyn prosecutor's decision to drop charges against a whistleblower in a clergy sex abuse case.
[New York Times]
Sam Kellner is a hero, not a crook. He deserves praise, not persecution. Every New York parent should be grateful for his courage and his compassion. And Charles J. Hynes and his staff should be ashamed of themselves.
Hundreds of thousands of kids are molested every year because thousands of otherwise-decent but timid adults take the path of least resistance and do nothing when they suspect or learn about child sex crimes. The few who are brave enough to speak up should be rewarded, not attacked.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priestst
For immediate release: Friday, March 7, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A North Carolina pastor, who was working in South Carolina, has been accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl. He is already listed on the sexual offender registry in North Carolina. We are disturbed that a registered sex offender was allowed to work as the pastor of a church.
We want church officials at Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas, an international organization headquartered in Greenville, S.C., which Faith Chapel and New Mount Zion (where Cory Dean Moses allegedly abused a girl) are members, to answer why they allowed a convicted sexual predator to work. As far as we can tell parishioners were given no warning.
We are grateful for this brave victim speaking up and for the York Police Department admitting there are most likely more victims. We urge anyone who suffered, suspects or witnessed abuse to come forward report to police and start healing.
Published on March 07, 2014
A U.S. group representing victims is denouncing the apology that the Christian Brothers order issued to victims there and in Canada.
“Church abuse apologies are virtually meaningless. Whether long or short, clear or vague, prompt or delayed, they don't protect a single child, expose a single predator or uncover a single cover up,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
The comments came in a news release issued after The Telegram reported today online that officials of the order in New Jersey had sent apology letters to some 420 victims, including former residents of the Mount Cashel orphanage in St. John’s.
“Apologies like this are smart public relations and legal defense maneuvers. And it's tragic that they often come only after Catholic institutions are sued and Catholic officials are forced to act,” Clohessy said.
Jared Taylor The Monitor
EDINBURG — Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra said he wants a fresh set of eyes to take another look at the Irene Garza cold murder case.
And he said he already has a man in mind to do the job.
Who’s that? Ricardo Rodriguez, the former state district judge who soundly defeated him in Tuesday’s Democratic Primary.
Guerra said he would send a letter to Rodriguez today asking him to assume the role of special prosecutor assigned to examine the evidence against John Feit, the former McAllen priest never charged with but widely suspected of killing the 25-year-old beauty queen in 1960.
“He got a mandate from the people, according to the turnout,” Guerra said, referring to Rodriguez garnering nearly 64 percent of the electorate, adding that it was “not just a little victory.”
“It’s a mandate. It’s a landslide. So if that’s what the people want — if that’s what he wants and that’s what (Garza’s family) wants, he should get it.”
Bill Donohue comments as follows:
On the website of the liberal Catholic outlet, Commonweal, Mollie Wilson O’Reilly accuses Pope Francis of ignoring the problem of priestly sexual abuse. According to her, “he [the pope] has said and done little about the scandal itself,” maintaining that “things haven’t been fixed.” Similarly, Father Thomas P. Doyle says the pope “has done almost nothing” about this issue,” calling one of the pontiff’s efforts “so meaningless it is almost comical.” An editorial in the National Catholic Reporter also expresses its chagrin with the pope on this issue, imploring him “to meet with victims of clergy sex abuse.”
Here are some fast facts. We know from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice that 81 percent of the sexual abuse of minors was the result of male-on-male sex, and that less than 5 percent involved pedophilia. In other words, the Church witnessed a homosexual scandal.
Perhaps these people haven’t noticed but the scandal largely ended over a quarter century ago in the U.S., and has witnessed a marked decline in other nations. The data show that most of the abuse occurred between 1965 and 1985. In the last six years, a grand total of 7.0 credible accusations have been made against 40,000 priests. In short, there is little left for the pope to “fix.”
It is particularly galling for liberal Catholics to admonish the pope on this issue when their hero remains former priest Anthony Kosnik. His book, Human Sexuality, suspended all moral judgment on homosexuality, sodomy, and bestiality, and was taught to seminarians in the 1970s. It was commissioned by liberals at the Catholic Theological Society of America and was given a first-place award by the liberal Catholic Press Association. Subsequently, it was condemned by the bishops, but to this day it is celebrated by the National Catholic Reporter.
New York Daily News
A controversial extortion and bribery case involving sex abuse in Brooklyn’s Hasidic community will be dropped by prosecutors Friday, the Daily News has learned.
But that may not be the last word in a convoluted case that turned into political football during last year’s contentious district attorney race.
All 10 counts against Samuel Kellner, 52, charged with trying to blackmail the son of accused molester Baruch Lebovits out of $400,000 and also bribing a witness, are expected to be dismissed “after a careful review of the evidence” by new DA Kenneth Thompson.
“We've reached this conclusion because we do not believe that we can prove these charges at trial,” Thompson said.
The New York Times
By SHARON OTTERMAN
MARCH 7, 2014
Brooklyn prosecutors announced Friday that they will move to dismiss all charges against an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man indicted three years ago on charges he paid a young man to falsely testify that he had been sexually abused.
The move came as vindication for the defendant, Sam Kellner, 52, who had publicly and loudly argued since 2011 that the case against him was a fiction invented by the supporters of a prominent Hasidic cantor, Baruch Lebovits, who had been convicted of child sex abuse in 2010.
“After a careful review of the evidence, we have concluded that the charges against Samuel Kellner must be dismissed in the interest of justice," said the Brooklyn district attorney, Kenneth P. Thompson. “We’ve reached this conclusion because we do not believe that we can prove these charges at trial.”
Mr. Kellner had helped encourage young witnesses to come forward against Mr. Lebovits.
On Thursday night, Mr. Kellner’s lawyer said prosecutors had informed him that the extortion indictment would be dropped.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
By Charisma L. Miller, Esq.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn’s new district attorney has stayed true to his campaign promise to dismiss criminal charges against a Brooklyn father caught up in a questionable sex abuse case.
Kings County District Attorney Ken Thompson announced that the DA’s Office has moved to dismiss pending charges against Samuel Kellner, a whistleblower in several sexual abuse cases. The DA’s decision follows an internal reassessment of the case, as Kellner faced several charges brought by the previous administration.
Sam Kellner was a vocal member of Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community who spoke out against covered-up sexual abuse within that community. Kellner’s own son, according to Kellner, was the victim of abuse by Brooklyn cantor Baruch Lebovits. In a turn of events, Kellner was charged with coaching his son to falsely accuse Lebovits in a scheme to extort money from the alleged abuser.
An appeals court overturned Lebovits’s conviction after his attorneys, Arthur L. Aidala and Alan M. Dershowitz, brought attention to Kellner’s indictment.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Friday, March 07, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com )
Church abuse apologies are virtually meaningless. Whether long or short, clear or vague, prompt or delayed, they don't protect a single child, expose a single predator or uncover a single cover up.
Apologies like this are smart public relations and legal defense maneuvers. And it's tragic that they often come only after Catholic institutions are sued and Catholic officials are forced to act.
(Often, some church apologies seem “good” or “sincere” when compared with even more awful earlier apology attempts by other church officials. That's the wrong standard to use.)
Virtually every step the Christian Brothers have taken about abuse have been forced on them by wounded victims, aggressive journalists, determined police, skilled prosecutors or outraged donors and Catholics.
We are not impressed by the Christian Brothers' “promise to ensure it never happens again.” If they were sincere, we'd see tangible, proven preventative steps taken voluntarily, not lip service and empty 'policies' that are ignored or violated.
Christian Brothers officials should permanently post on their websites the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of every proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting cleric.
By WAFF.com Staff
A former Colbert County children's pastor charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse and sodomy, pleaded guilty in court Friday morning.
Jeff Eddie pleaded guilty to 16 counts of sodomy, three counts of sexual abuse of a child and one count of child porn.
Eddie served as a children's pastor at Highland Park Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals. Eddie was arrested in early February and charged with more than 30 counts of child porn, sexual abuse of a child, and sodomy.
According to court documents, Eddie confessed to performing sex acts multiple times on children from his church.
by GLENN COUNTS / NBC Charlotte
Posted on March 6, 2014 at 3:39 PM
YORK, S.C. -- A York, S.C. pastor is in trouble with the law, accused of sexually abusing a young teenage member of his church.
Cory Dean Moses, 38, is wanted for first-degree assault and battery. Investigators say the victim was just 14 years old when the abuse started, and continued until she was 19.
"When she was about 16, she challenged him on his touching her and that's when he told her look if you go tell anybody I’m going to tell them you came and touched me, and you initiated the contact. So he had a sphere of influence over her," said York Police Department Lt Richard Caddell.
This was not Moses’ first brush with the law. In 2003 he was convicted of indecent liberties in Gastonia for sexually abusing two young teenage girls.
Posted: Thursday, Mar. 06, 2014
YORK Arrest warrants have been issued for a York pastor already on North Carolina's sex offender registry who is now accused of sexual contact of a child at his church.
Police have issued warrants for Cory Dean Moses, 38, of Charlotte, who was a pastor of New Mount Zion Church on Hwy. 321 and at Redeemed Christian Ministry on Ross Cannon Street at the time of the incidents. Both churches are in York.
Five warrants were issued, four for incidents at New Mount Zion in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and one at redeemed Christian Ministry in 2013. The charges include assault, criminal sexual conduct with a minor and committing or attempting a lewd act.
The female victim, now 19, claims the harassment started in 2009 when she was 14. Moses told the girl he "always liked the way she looked" and that she "filled out nicely," the report states. She said he touched her inappropriately several times and exposed himself to her, according to a York police report.
YORK, S.C. (AP) — A York pastor convicted of sex offenses in North Carolina is accused of sexually abusing a teen who attended his churches in South Carolina.
Investigators have warrants charging Cory Dean Moses, 38, with charges including assault and battery, criminal sexual conduct with a minor and committing or attempting a lewd act.
Moses was a pastor of New Mount Zion Church and at Redeemed Christian Ministry. Authorities say the abuse began when the teen was 14 years old and continued until she was 19.
The teen says Moses told her she had "filled out nicely," touched her inappropriately several times and exposed himself to her, according to a York police report.
MARCH 7, 2014 BY SUSAN MATTHEWS
Rah, rah, sis boom bah. Are you feeling it? The Archidiocese of Philadelphia hopes so. They will be announcing the details of the World Meeting of Families for September 2015 during a press conference later today. I’m sure they want this to serve as a pep rally for area Catholics beleaguered by the priest pedophile coverups of the past and current scandals.
“This forthcoming international event has the power to transform, in deeply positive ways, not just the Catholic Church, but also our entire community. At the conclusion of tomorrow’s news conference, you will be provided with additional information. Please pray for the success of our endeavors as we continue to plan the World Meeting of Families—Philadelphia and prepare for our city and region to be on the world stage next year,” wrote Kenneth Gavin, director of Communications.
I can think of a few more immediate ways to transform the Catholic Church and the entire community. What about you?
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: March 07, 2014
PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia jury is deliberating for a second day in the trial of a Roman Catholic priest charged with molesting an altar boy in 1997.
The Rev. Andrew McCormick denies the 26-year-old accuser's account.
The accuser says he was abused after his mother sought counsel from McCormick because she thought her 10-year-old son was gay.
The defense questions why only one person has accused McCormick of sexual abuse if he is a sexual predator.
However, he has been suspended from ministry since 2011 over other allegations involving his relationships with children and pornography.
The former pastor of a Baptist church in Bucks County was charged Thursday with sexually assaulting a girl more than 20 years ago, police said.
Scott B. Sechrist, 61, served as pastor of the Morrisville Baptist Church and lived in the Levittown section of Bristol Township, where the assaults occurred, police said. Sechrist allegedly knew the girl's family from his church.
The alleged assaults began in 1989 when the girl was about 9. She reported the pastor in 1992, court records show, but no charges were filed at the time. Bristol Township Lt. Terry Hughes said an explanation will come out in court but declined to comment further.
[with copy of the letter]
Published on March 07, 2014
Victims of sexual and physical abuse at the former Mount Cashel orphanage are among those receiving a long-owed apology from the Christian Brothers that takes direct and unequivocal blame.
“Words cannot capture the depth of our regret and sorry for the abuse inflicted on children entrusted to our care by members of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers in the United States and Canada,” reads the apology obtained by The Telegram.
“We understand that in place of safety, security, and well-being, many children were instead subjected to physical and/or sexual abuse at the hands of some of our Brothers.”
“We are genuinely sorry and offer a sincere apology to all those who have been directly or indirectly caused to suffer as a result of the deplorable actions of these Brothers. Similarily, we are gravely disappointed in the actions taken by some in past leadership in failing to respond appropriately to allegations against our Brothers. Children should have always been treated as our highest priority, and it is with heavy hearts that we express shame and revulsion for the abuse and ill-treatment suffered by those who, as children in our care, should have been protected.”
Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, NM, March 3, 2014
By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
ALBUQUERQUE – It’s been nearly four months since the Diocese of Gallup filed for Chapter 11 reorganization, and a bar date deadline for clergy abuse claimants still has not been announced.
In a preliminary hearing Feb. 14, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge David T. Thuma expressed concern that considerable time has been devoted to sorting out a number of problematic bank accounts in the Gallup Diocese while more effort needs to be focused on moving the case toward settlement.
With references to the contentious bankruptcy case of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Thuma made it clear he did not want the Gallup Diocese case to follow down that same path. The Milwaukee Archdiocese has reportedly spent more than $11 million in litigation fees while only proposing to set aside $4 million to compensate clergy abuse claimants.
“We need to figure out a way to get the minimum facts before the committee and the debtor that they would need to settle this case, and we need to start thinking about how we get a whole lot closer to the end zone, to use a sports metaphor,” Thuma said. “I don’t want this case to be like the Milwaukee case where the debtor says all the money that could have been paid to creditors has been spent on litigation. I would be pretty unhappy if that happens in this case.”
Bank accounts resolved
Thuma helped move the case forward Feb. 21, when he issued an order resolving the disputed bank accounts issue.
Initially the problem centered on parish bank accounts that had been improperly opened using the diocese’s tax identification number rather than the parishes’ I.D. numbers. After the diocese filed its Chapter 11 petition, the problem was compounded when many of those same parishes closed the original bank accounts without authorization and transferred the money into new accounts.
The question then became did the bank accounts belong to the parishes whose officials opened the accounts, or did they belong to the Gallup Diocese because they were originally opened with the diocese’s tax identification number?
Thuma didn’t address that question with his order. Instead he agreed to allow the parishes to continue using the accounts “in the normal course of their operations, consistent with past practice,” and he required the Gallup Diocese to make monthly reports regarding account activity in each account.
He also didn’t grant any liens on the real and personal property of those parishes as requested by attorney James I. Stang, counsel for the Unsecured Creditors Committee which represents clergy sex abuse claimants. Stang had requested Thuma grant liens on the property as insurance against those bank account funds being depleted by the parishes.
Thuma did rule that if the Gallup Diocese, the Unsecured Creditors Committee, or the U.S. Trustee Office wanted to obtain a final judgment from the court about ownership of the bank accounts, they could commence an adversary proceeding and name the parishes as defendants.
Thuma’s order sidestepped questions whether any of the parishes’ real or personal property was property of the Gallup Diocese, whether parishes are separate legal entities from the diocese, whether some or all of the funds in the disputed bank accounts were property of the diocese, and whether parishes were bound by his court order. Those questions have permeated legal sparring in the bankruptcy case, but they have not been formally addressed by the court.
In the preliminary hearing of Feb. 14, Thuma did indicate some support for an argument advanced by Stang that the diocese has flip-flopped on whether parishes are separate legal entities from the diocese. Prior to its Chapter 11 petition, Stang argued, the Gallup Diocese had stated that under civil law, parishes in the diocese are not separately incorporated and have no separate legal existence apart from the diocese. Stang cited documents written by diocesan attorneys in the Arizona clergy sex abuse lawsuit Moya v. The Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Gallup.
“According to the debtor, whether the parishes are part of the Debtor or separate legal entities appears to be a completely ‘flexible’ concept which is solely dependent on which position is most self-serving for the Debtor at the time the representation is made to the courts,” Stang stated.
“I’m certainly not critical of the committee to call attention to the fact that in state court the debtor took the opposite position, and I frankly think there is some significance to that,” Thuma said during the hearing.
The next hearing in the case, scheduled for March 12, concerns two motions by Susan G. Boswell, the lead bankruptcy attorney for the diocese. The first motion is a request for the court to extend the diocese’s exclusive period to file a reorganization plan, and the second motion is a request to extend the diocese’s time to assume or reject some property leases.
Regarding the first motion, Boswell said the Gallup Diocese has been working with Stang’s committee.
“In connection with this, the debtors are working with the Committee on a comprehensive list of property, possible recovery of funds for the estate, and analysis of insurance coverage to maximize recovery to the creditors,” Boswell stated in the motion. “While the debtors have made progress toward identifying potential sources that might be used to fund a plan of reorganization, there is still work to be done and the debtors hope that with more time, the Debtors and the Committee can agree on a consensual plan.”
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Friday, March 7, 2014
Statement by Mary Caplan of New York City, SNAP Leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 917 439 4187, firstname.lastname@example.org )
A female Catholic school religion teacher in the New York Archdiocese has pled guilty to raping a boy. Now, archdiocesan staff, under Cardinal Tim Dolan, must launch an aggressive public drive to find others who may have seen, suspected or suffered her crimes. And authorities must treat this criminal just like a male sex offender, with no special treatment.
So the justice system can do its job, and sentence her appropriately, those with more information about Amanda Iles' crimes must be prodded to come forward.
So that Dolan can do his job, and help others hurt by Iles, everyone else Iles hurt must be found and comforted.
So that all wrongdoers are identified and punished, anyone who may have ignored or hidden Iles' crimes must be reported to police and prosecutors.
In many child sex abuse cases in Catholic institutions, there are other school or church employees who saw or suspected or even knew about child sex crimes and chose to be silent or complicit. So there may well be other staff who broke the law here. We urge law enforcement to investigate as diligently as possible and file charges, if possible, against anyone – whether a paid employee or an adult volunteer – who failed to promptly call secular authorities the minute they knew about or had an inkling of Iles' crimes.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Friday, March 7, 2014
For more information: David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Director (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com
Victims seek bishop's help
Predator priest was sued twice for abuse
He allegedly sexually assaulted two kids in Louisiana
Group wants Catholic officials to reach out to victims
“Prelates should warn unsuspecting families about him,” SNAP says
A now retired priest was sued twice for molesting kids in Louisiana was “outed” in Florida last week.
A support group for clergy sex abuse victims wants Lafayettte Bishop Michael Jarrell to “aggressively reach out” to others he may have hurt and explain why he has “put children in harm's way by keeping silent about the two settlements and the predator's whereabouts for years.”
In 2003, Fr. Marshall Larriviere was accused in a lawsuit of molesting a girl in the 1960s. Later, another girl joined the lawsuit. In 2008 the Lafayette Louisiana Catholic diocese quietly settled with the two victims for an undisclosed amount.
“For more than a decade, Bishop Jarrell and his colleagues have promised to be 'open' about clergy sex crimes but repeatedly break those promises,” said David Clohessy, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “As best we can tell, despite these pledges, Bishop Jarrell told no one – or very few – about these settlements or about Fr. Larriviere's move to Florida.”
07 March 2014 by James Roberts
Pope Francis has been criticised by victims’ groups for what they say is an inadequate response to questions about clerical child abuse that he gave in an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Wednesday.
“The Catholic Church is probably the only public institution to act with transparency and responsibility [on the issue],” the Pope claimed. “No one has done more. And yet the Church is the only one to be attacked.”
Victims’ advocates said his tone was reminiscent of the defensive rhetoric adopted by the Vatican 10 years ago.
“Under Pope Francis the Vatican continues to deny its role in creating and maintaining a culture where upholding the reputation of the Church is prioritised over the safety of children,” said Maeve Lewis, executive director of the Irish victims' support group One in Four.
Unlike his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis has rarely spoken out about abuse. Instead, he has focused on projecting his merciful vision of the Church and reforming the Vatican bureaucracy.
The Vatican spokesman, the Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, said on Wednesday that the upheaval of those reforms had delayed getting a promised commission on abuse off the ground. But he said the commission would eventually propose new initiatives to protect children and be a model for the Church and society at large.
National Catholic Reporter
David Gibson Religion News Service | Mar. 7, 2014
The Vatican is trying to reassure Catholics and the public that Pope Francis takes the clerical sex abuse crisis seriously in the wake of defensive comments Francis made this week, the first serious bump in the road for a pope approaching the first anniversary of his election with sky-high approval ratings.
In an interview published Wednesday (March 5) with an Italian newspaper, Francis was asked about the scandal that has shaken the faith of many Catholics, especially in the U.S., and why he hasn’t fought back against criticisms of the church’s record.
Francis began by acknowledging that “the cases of abuse are terrible because they leave very profound wounds,” but he then shifted to praise the policies on abuse instituted by his predecessor, Benedict XVI, while asserting that the Catholic Church has “advanced a lot, perhaps more than anyone” in battling the sexual abuse of children.
“The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution that moved with transparency and responsibility,” the pope continued, arguing that most abuse occurs in the home or other community environments. “No one else did as much. And yet, the church is the only one being attacked.”
That prompted a torrent of criticism from victims advocates and others who noted that Francis did not apologize for the abuse, has not disciplined any bishops who covered up for abusers and has yet to meet with any abuse victims or name any members to a commission he promised to establish three months ago.
“His comments reflect an archaic, defensive mindset,” said Barbara Dorris of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.
“He is triumphalist about clergy abuse of children and silent about the complicity of bishops,” said Terence McKiernan, head of BishopAccountability.org.
“Hearing the Pope use the abuse-occurs-elsewhere excuse is truly disheartening,” said the U.S.-based church reform group Voice of the Faithful, echoing a sense of disappointment among many Catholics who hoped the pope’s pledges and moves to reform the church on many levels would extend to an examination of conscience on clergy abuse.
By Terence McKiernan and Anne Barrett Doyle
[See also McKiernan's statement on the interview.]
We are writing to express our concern regarding the interview with Pope Francis in Corriere della Sera and La Nacion, and to ask for your help in mitigating the interview’s effects. In his remarks, as you know, Pope Francis unfortunately represents the Church as the victim in the sexual abuse crisis, enduring attacks despite its “transparency” and “accountability,” which Francis characterizes as perhaps second to none. He personally praises Pope Benedict, while not even personally mentioning the victims of abuse, whose “cases” are terrible, Pope Francis says, and whose “statistics” are impressive.
The Holy Father’s impersonal treatment of the church’s own victims is sadly in keeping with his failure, during the first year of his pontificate, to act on the scourge of clergy abuse or meet with a single victim. The victims themselves cannot help but notice that Pope Francis has met with many people of all kinds, and has been praised for his humble and accessible ways. Is there something about the victims of sexual abuse by priests and religious that disqualifies them from the Holy Father’s kindness and regard?
* * *
Judging from the Pope’s long silence and inaction regarding clergy abuse, and his words in Corriere della Sera yesterday, Pope Francis himself needs to be evangelized and radicalized by the survivors’ experience, and that process must clearly begin with you. Two roads diverge from this moment for Francis. Will he continue to demonize the media, ignore the victims, and triumphalize the changes that have been forced on the Church by survivors, investigative reporters, and secular investigations? Or will he seize the opportunity to see the survivors as the Church’s own poor and dispossessed – her particular responsibility?
Seizing the opportunity is not just about papal meetings with victims – a genre that you invented. We think you would agree that Pope Francis has the character and the skills to transform the scripted encounters of Benedict’s pontificate into something deeper and more productive. But Pope Francis also has the leadership skills and organizational gifts to transform the Vatican abuse bureaucracy. Placing the Commission under the CDF, if the Congregation continues to be led by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, is a decision taken to limit change and creativity. Müller is simply not the right man for the job. We feel strongly that you and Francis need someone like Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in Rome, if the CDF and the Commission are to be converted into a transparent and accountable force for children’s rights. And nothing less than such a transformation will extricate the Church from its dire circumstances – the endemic rape and torture of children by priests and religious, and the cover-up by your colleagues.
Stuart Cumming 7th Mar 2014
FORMER Toowoomba Catholic school principal Terence Hayes' job is in jeopardy as his bosses await findings from the Royal Commission into sex abuse.
Mr Hayes last month told the commission he had not referred information to police about teacher Gerard Vincent Byrnes, who raped and assaulted 13 children at a Toowoomba Catholic primary school.
A spokesman for Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Brisbane yesterday confirmed Hayes was on leave from his position as a Year 7 teacher at St Eugene Catholic College in Burpengary.
ARCHBISHOP Charles J. Chaput this morning will announce who will travel to the Vatican with him, Gov. Corbett and Mayor Nutter to help plan an event in Philadelphia.
Kenneth A. Gavin, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, said the timing of the trip also would be detailed at a news conference at 10:45 a.m. in Center City.
Corbett and Nutter will be with Chaput at the news conference, Gavin said last night.
The trip is part of the planning for the 8th World Meeting of Families, to be hosted by the Archdiocese in September 2015. Corbett and Nutter were named honorary co-chairmen last year.
The news conference will be streamed live on the Archdiocese website, www.archphila.org, and on www.worldmeeting2015.org.
MENSAH M. DEAN, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER DEANM@PHILLYNEWS.COM, 215-568-8278
POSTED: Friday, March 7, 2014
THE PHILADELPHIA Catholic priest on trial for allegedly molesting an altar boy in 1997 was suspended from ministry in 2011 after he twice gave deceptive answers during polygraph tests when asked about touching children's genitals, a prosecutor said yesterday.
The revelation about the Rev. Andrew McCormick, 57, was made in court by Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp. It was made following the closing arguments by defense lawyer William J. Brennan and after the jury had been escorted from the room.
Kemp told Common Pleas Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright of the tests administered by the Archdiocese because Brennan had told the jury during his closing that McCormick's suspension from his church duties had nothing to do with child-molestation allegations.
Once the jurors returned to the courtroom, Bright instructed them to disregard Brennan's assertion regarding the circumstances of McCormick's suspension. She did not mention the polygraph tests, which were not entered as evidence during the two-week trial.
Erik Shilling 10:18 p.m. EST March 6, 2014
A former religion teacher at Archbishop Stepinac High School has pleaded guilty to the second-degree rape of a 14-year-old student in June.
Amanda Iles' admission came after she reached a plea agreement with prosecutors that will see her spend up to six months in the Westchester County jail, in addition to nearly 10 years of probation. Iles, 28, will also have to register as a sex offender.
She will be sentenced May 27 after pleading guilty to the felony on Tuesday in Westchester County Court in White Plains.
Iles surrendered to police in November after she was accused of sexual encounters with the boy on several occasions over four days at her 118 Grand Blvd. home in Eastchester, just days after the end of the school year.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
March 07, 2014
WHITE PLAINS, New York — A former religion teacher at a Catholic high school in suburban New York has pleaded guilty to having sexual encounters with a 14-year-old male student.
Amanda Iles entered the plea Tuesday after reaching an agreement with prosecutors.
According to the Journal News (http://lohud.us/1hSC6jc ), she must spend six months in the Westchester County jail and register as a sex offender. She also faces nearly 10 years of probation.
She was a teacher at Archbishop Stepinac High School.
Iles surrendered to police in November. Prosecutors say the incidents happened at her Eastchester home between June and July.
By JOANNE McCARTHY March 7, 2014
A WOMAN taking ground-breaking legal action against the Catholic Church after a 14-year sexual relationship with a priest hopes it opens the doors for other women struggling after secret relationships with clergy.
Jennifer Herrick, 60, was 19, sexually naive and had a severe physical disability when Father Tom Knowles, then 27, suddenly grabbed her in her parents’ home and kissed her after a church event. She was 22 when he initiated sex.
He ended the relationship in 1989 when she was 35 and he was 42, allegedly telling her ‘‘I’m surprised you hung on as long as you did’’, she said in a statement of claim filed in the NSW Supreme Court last July.
Ms Herrick, of the Central Coast, lodged the breach of trust claim after her complaint to the priest’s order, the Blessed Sacrament Fathers, in 2011 resulted in Father Knowles being stood down for 16 months and a Church probe that confirmed the long-standing sexual relationship.
El exsacerdote Edwin Antonio Viera, deberá comparecer el jueves al Tribunal de Arecibo para enfrentar acusaciones por supuestos actos lascivos contra un menor, ocurridos en el 2009, mientras que el vicario de la Diócesis de Arecibo acudirá ante la Unidad de Delitos Sexuales del Cuerpo de Investigaciones Criminales (CIC) de Vega Baja, para cooperar en relación a otro caso de abuso sexual contra un menor.
Según trascendió el juez Manuel Oriola, será el que atenderá el caso.
El secretario de Justicia, César Miranda convocó una conferencia de prensa para las 12:00 del mediodía en la sede de esa agencia, para ofrecer detalles sobre casos de pederastia.
Por otro lado, el abogado de la Diócesis de Arecibo, Frank Torres Viada dijo en entrevista radial (NotiUno) que “para la Diócesis de Arecibo, son buenas noticias que el Departamento de Justicia haya podido conducir una investigación adecuada que culmine en la radicación de cargos de presuntos implicados en casos de abuso sexual en caso de menores”.
El Nuevo Herald
[Defrocked priest in Puerto Rico charged with lewd acts amid widespread probe]
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Un clérigo apartado del sacerdocio en Puerto Rico fue acusado de actos lascivos en un caso que según los fiscales fue contra un monaguillo de 13 años.
El encausamiento el jueves de Edwin Mercado Viera ocurre en medio de una investigación penal sobre numerosas acusaciones de abuso sexual de menores en al menos cuatro diócesis en la isla caribeña.
La fiscalía acusa a Mercado, de 53 años, de manosear al niño en el 2007.
Catholic News Agency
Vatican City, Mar 6, 2014 / 08:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Recent appointments are beginning to show a pattern of how Pope Francis’ reform of the Roman Curia will be carried out, with a seemingly diminished role for the Secretariat of State.
For the first time, the president of the cardinals’ commission overseeing the Institute of Religious Works, or Vatican bank, is not chaired by the Secretary of State.
On March 4, the cardinals’ commission of the Institute for Religious appointed Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major and a former nuncio, as its president.
According to the Institute’s constitutions, the cardinals elect their president. However, Pope Francis reportedly voiced his preference that the new president of the board not be the Secretary of State, but rather his longtime friend Cardinal Abril y Castello, who was apostolic nuncio to Argentina from 2000 to 20003.
[Not every conversation with a pastor is subject to confidentiality, according to Hamburg-Lubeck Bishop Kirsten Fehrs. She has called for more open discussion of sexual abuse in the church.]
Nicht jedes Gespräch mit einem Pfarrer unterliegt der Schweigepflicht. Die dürfe nicht verletzt werden, aber bei Missbrauchsfällen müsse gehandelt werden, sagte die Hamburg-Lübecker Bischöfin Kirsten Fehrs.
Die Hamburg-Lübecker Bischöfin Kirsten Fehrs will angesichts von Missbrauchs-Fällen in der Kirche die Schweigepflicht von Seelsorgern verstärkt zum Thema machen. "Wir müssen uns auch mit den Dilemmata der seelsorgerlichen Schweigepflicht befassen", sagte die evangelische Theologin am Samstag auf der Nordkirchen-Synode in Lübeck-Travemünde.
Het tv-programma Brandpunt Reporter berekende dat het misbruikschandaal de bisdommen 8,5 miljoen kost. Volgens berekeningen van Katholiek.nl loopt de teller verder op tot boven de 16 miljoen euro. En misschien wel tot 27 miljoen.
Het seksueel misbruik in de rooms-katholieke kerk kost de bisdommen 8,5 miljoen euro. Dat bericht het televisieprogramma KRO’s Brandpunt Reporter vanavond. Van alle bedragen gaat het merendeel (64%) naar de commissie Deetman en het meldpunt misbruik. Iets meer dan 3 miljoen euro (36%) hebben de bisdommen uitgekeerd aan slachtoffers.
[Summary: The court case involving German pastor Georg K. has been postponed. Germany wants to extradite him from South Africa on sexual abuse charges. The legal process has been going on for years now.]
Willich/Kreis Viersen. Erneut ist das Verfahren gegen den aus Willich stammenden Pfarrer Georg K. vertagt worden. Der Geistliche muss sich in Brits bei Johannesburg verantworten, weil er sich Jungen genähert haben soll. Der Prozess läuft seit Jahren, genau so lange kommt er nicht von der Stelle. Das ist die schlechte Nachricht.
In Südafrika werden zwei Fälle bearbeitet
Die gute: Die Angelegenheit scheint sich tatsächlich dem Ende zuzuneigen. Bereits beim nächsten Termin am 3. April soll geprüft werden, wie mit dem deutschen Auslieferungsgesuch verfahren wird. Das hat die Staatsanwaltschaft am Donnerstag erklärt.
[Summary: Pope Francis has defended the priests of Rome against unjust accusations. He publicly declared his attachment to the city's clergy.]
Rom, 6.3.14 (Kipa) Papst Franziskus hat die Priester Roms gegen ungerechte Beschuldigungen verteidigt. Er erkläre öffentlich seine Verbundenheit mit dem Klerus der Stadt, denn die Verleumdungen gegen einige von ihnen hätten letztlich die ganze Priesterschaft belastet, sagte er am Donnerstag, 6. März, bei der Fastenaudienz für die Geistlichen seiner Bischofsstadt. Namen und Hintergründe nannte Franziskus nicht.
Jedoch bezog er sich offensichtlich auf den suspendierten Geistlichen Patrizio Poggi, der neun Priester beschuldigt hatte, regelmässig in einem männlichen Prostituiertenring zu verkehren. Die Aussagen hatten sich als falsch erwiesen, und Poggi, der bereits zu fünf Jahren Haft wegen Pädophilie verurteilt worden war, wurde im vergangenen Juni wegen Falschaussage erneut inhaftiert.
By JAMIE DEAN
Issue: "Inside the wire," March 22, 2014
Posted March 7, 2014
Officials at Bob Jones University (BJU) in Greenville, S.C., announced on Feb. 25 they had reached an agreement with the Christian organization GRACE to complete an investigation into BJU’s response to reports of sexual abuse.
The Christian university asked GRACE (an acronym for Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) in November 2012 to conduct an independent investigation into complaints concerning BJU’s response to students who reported they had been sexually abused at some point in their lives.
After a year of conducting confidential surveys and interviews, GRACE announced BJU terminated the agreement on Jan. 27. The school’s initial letter to GRACE didn’t indicate clear reasons for terminating the project, but BJU officials later said they had grown concerned about how GRACE was conducting the effort.
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
By Ralph Cipriano
William J. Brennan, defense lawyer for Father Andrew McCormick, referred to his client's Roman
Catholic priest's collar as "the elephant in the room."
In his closing argument, Brennan reminded the jury of 9 women and 3 men that they were picked to hear this case because they said they could be impartial about the subject of a Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing a child.
Brennan reminded jurors that "Father Andy" didn't have to take the witness stand. He conceded his client is "a bit of an awkward guy." Father Andy turned "beet red" on the witness stand, Brennan admitted; the priest looked like "a deer in the headlights." But Brennan was hoping that jurors remembered what Father Andy had told them, that he wasn't a child molester.
In her closing argument, Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp turned Father Andy's Roman collar into a weapon to be used against him. She reminded the jury about how arrogant the priest had been with a mother who was upset that Father Andy was planning to take her son to Poland for a week, without consulting her first.
William D. Lindsey
A Selection of Responses to Pope Francis's Anniversary Remarks about the Abuse Crisis: Pope "Reading from a Script That Should Have Been Abandoned Years Ago"
A selection of responses to Pope Francis's anniversary remarks about the abuse crisis and the Catholic church:
Father Tom Doyle, National Catholic Reporter:
In his interview with Corriere della Sera Wednesday, Francis sounds like he is reading from a script that should have been abandoned years ago: "The Catholic church is maybe the only public institution to have moved with transparency and responsibility … No one else has done more. Yet the church is the only one to be attacked." Unfortunately Holy Father, the Catholic church has not moved with transparency and responsibility. It has done just the opposite. Whoever prepared the pope’s briefing papers on the sex abuse issue ought to be fired.
Mollie Wilson O'Reilly, Commonweal:
Francis is not the first defender of the church to speak as though it's obvious that sexual abuse is rampant in any organization you can name, and we just don't hear about it because the media hates the Church. There have been revelations of abuse and cover-up in other institutions: scouting, private schools, Hasidic communities. But it isn't just distorted perspective that makes the church's sex-abuse problems stand out: it's the scale of the abuse and the mishandled response, the persistence of the problem, and the lack of transparency and responsibility that has made the church's scandal such a mainstay in the media for so long. Then, too, there's the fact that the church is a church, which ups the conscience-shocking factor. And it's a church with a very strong, very visible authority structure, so when leaders commit crimes -- or fail to admit mistakes -- it reflects badly on everyone and everything.
Terence McKiernan, Bishop Accountability:
By the end of the Pope's remarks, the Church itself has become the victim: "No one else has done more. Yet the Church is the only one to be attacked." It is astonishing, at this late date, that Pope Francis would recycle such tired and defensive rhetoric, apparently blaming the survivors and the journalists who have informed us about these crimes. What little transparency and accountability the Church has shown, has been compelled by survivors, journalists, advocates, and activists. Pope Francis, who is famous for his humility, should have acknowledged this crucial contribution.
BY TYLER O'NEIL, CP REPORTER
March 6, 2014
WASHINGTON – Experts denounced the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child's recent report in which it suggested the Catholic Church alter its positions on fornication, contraception, homosexuality, and abortion. The report, they said, is an attack on the Catholic Church and an overreach of U.N. power.
While the committee's report emphasized the Catholic Church's clerical sexual abuse scandals, it also called on the Vatican state to alter its positions on other, unconnected moral issues. The Geneva report criticized the Vatican's opposition to contraception, homosexuality, and abortion in cases of child rape and incest.
Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), called the panel's report "a dagger to the heart of motherhood," and denounced it as an overreach of U.N. power. "A treaty-monitoring organization has told a religion to change its teaching on fundamental issues," Ruse declared at a Family Research Council panel on Wednesday.
Three panelists from the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute and the Family Research Council have strongly criticized the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child’s recent report on the Vatican’s response to the child sex-abuse scandal, the Christian Post reported.
The committee called on the Holy See to reconsider its teaching on abortion, make “sexual and reproductive health” part of the curriculum of all Catholic schools.
International Business Times
By Athena Yenko | March 7, 2014
Through a poll conducted with phone interviews of 1,340 Americans from Feb 14 to 23, Pew Research Center found that Pope Francis is "immensely popular among American Catholics," but not inspiring enough to increase the number of Catholics to attend Mass or do volunteer work.
"There has been no measurable rise in the percentage of Americans who identify as Catholic. Nor has there been a statistically significant change in how often Catholics say they go to Mass," the survey said.
Forty per cent of those interviewed said they were now praying more often; 26 per cent said they were more excited about their faiths because of the pope but the frequency of making a confession or volunteering for church has not improved.
On the other hand, 42 per cent of those interviewed said they occasionally attend mass, while 18 per cent admitted never going to church.
Bucks County Courier Times
Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014
By Jo Ciavaglia Staff writer
A former Morrisville church pastor is accused of repeatedly molesting and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl, who originally reported the crimes to police in 1992.
Bristol Township reopened the investigation last October after receiving an investigation referral from the Bucks County District Attorney’s office involving the sexual assault allegations, which allegedly took place between 1989 and 1992, according to court records.
Bristol Township police Lt. Terry Hughes said Thursday that he could not comment on why charges were not filed in 1992 but he said the information would come out at trial.
A detective interviewed the now 34-year-old woman who alleged that she was sexually assaulted and raped by Bristol Township resident Scott Sechrist, a former pastor at a Baptist church in Morrisville. The girl’s family and Sechrist’s family had become friends through the church, police said. Police did not know the name of the church.
Independent Catholic News
There is a rare chance to hear writer Dawn Eden when she comes to speak at Newman House in Gower Street this Friday, 7 March at 7pm.
Dawn is the author of 'My Peace I give you – Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints' and also 'The Thrill of the Chaste - finding fulfilment while keeping your clothes on'.
An ex-rock journalist, she is a convert from Judaism and someone for whom sex abuse (from a janitor in a synagogue and from her mother’s friends) was a reality from which she recovered. She is passionate about our need to find healing in Christ and through his saints and she is very keen to encourage the Church to reach out and get wiser about how to help victims.
Anchorage Daily News
BY MATTHEW SCHOFIELD
McClatchy Foreign Staff
March 6, 2014
ROME — Seated in one of the thousands of stacking chairs packed between the enfolding arms of St. Peter’s Square, pointed at a small stage on the steps of one of the world’s most recognizable places of worship, Texan Bob Boillet uses the word everybody seems to be using when talking about the head of his church, Pope Francis.
The word? “Hope.” It’s a big word for many Roman Catholics these days. There’s hope for inclusion, for acceptance and mostly for forgiveness.
“He talks about a more open-armed church. I like that,” the 48-year-old San Antonio resident said. “Actual change won’t be easy, especially when that change is about some dearly held beliefs. But he talks about a more open, more accepting church, and that gives me hope.”
It’ll be a year ago next Thursday when a puff of white smoke from the Sistine Chapel announced that the Roman Catholic Church had a new head. The choice was a 76-year-old Argentine cardinal named Jorge Mario Bergoglio. He arrived to find a church that many thought was out of touch with the modern world.
His church was struggling most visibly with a child sex abuse crisis, but there were other problems, such as how to deal with the modern realities of marriage, divorce and contraception. The Vatican bank had been shunned by most of Europe’s central bankers. There were reports of homosexual orgies that involved members of the Vatican’s government, fueled by a series of leaks of secret Vatican reports.
Cardinal George Pell will take the stand during a public child sex abuse hearing in Sydney to explain his handling of an abuse complaint.
The man who will control the Vatican's purse strings, Cardinal George Pell cut his financial teeth by bean counting when it came to compensating Australian victims of Catholic Church child sex abuse.
That's the harsh hypothesis the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will test at a public hearing opening in Sydney on Monday.
It is looking at the response of the Catholic Church to the complaint of child sexual abuse made by John Ellis.
Ellis famously started civil action in 2004 against the church and Dr Pell over abuse he suffered as an altar boy at the hands of priest Aidan Duggan in the Sydney parish of Bass Hill from 1974 to 1979.
Washington Square News
Posted on March 7, 2014 | by Nina Golshan
It has been almost one full year since Pope Francis was elected to take Pope Benedict XVI’s place in the Vatican. He has been hailed by both the Catholic community and its critics for his openness to bringing much needed reform to the outdated ethos of the church. His forthcoming attitude has alleviated some concerns about how the Vatican can reconcile its beliefs with those of its more youthful and liberal followers. However, for all of his efforts to reconnect, Francis has failed to truly address the patterns of sexual abuse and exploitation by clerics supported by the Vatican.
In a recent interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Francis made comments defending the church’s response to reports of sexual abuse, claiming that it is “the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility. No other has done more. And, the church is the only one to be attacked.” It is true that the church has been under scrutiny for quite some time — last month, a UN committee issued a report criticizing the Church’s policies on a range of issues, calling for the removal of any known sexual abusers and release of records of sexual assault allegations against clerics.
It is also true that he has publicly acknowledged the problem, and in December he created a committee to evaluate methods to protect sexually abused children and more effectively screen men seeking to become priests for sexual deviance. This committee, however, is strictly advisory, and there is almost no information available regarding how it has gone about measuring the breadth of the problem. The “transparency” Francis speaks of does not exist.
JOSEPH A. SLOBODZIAN, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
LAST UPDATED: Friday, March 7, 2014
A Philadelphia jury is to resume deliberations Friday in the case against the Rev. Andrew McCormick, a Catholic priest charged with sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy at a Bridesburg parish in 1997.
The jury of nine women and three men spent three hours Thursday reviewing the evidence before going home.
McCormick, 57, is charged with sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault, child endangerment, and corruption of a minor.
Earlier Thursday, the jury - and a packed courtroom - heard emotional closings by defense lawyer William J. Brennan Jr. and Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp.
Posted by Shannon Antinori (Editor) , March 06, 2014
A former clergyman who worked in Joliet was included on a list of priests who have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse, according to a victim advocacy group.
Last month, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released list of credibly accused priests, including Fr. Kenneth Gansmann, who was pastor of a Minnesota church from 1949 to 1959.
According to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Gansmann worked at the St. John the Baptist Friary in Joliet from 1945 to 1948. Back then, the church was still part of the Archdiocese of Chicago, according to Diocese of Joliet Director of Communications Edward Flavin.
"Kenneth Gansmann was not a diocesan priest in Joliet," Flavin told Patch. "Our diocese was erected in 1949." A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Chicago also said it did not have any records on Gansmann, saying he was a member of the order of Franciscan friars.
The New York Times
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
MARCH 7, 2014
In his latest interview, Pope Francis did not mince words in declaring that “women must have a greater presence in the decision-making areas of the church.” What this means precisely remains to be seen, but the pope wisely took care to stress that women must be allowed to be a force for reform in the Roman Catholic Church. He said in an extensive interview on Wednesday with an Italian newspaper that a “theological deepening” of women’s role is under discussion, with a cardinal assigned to “working in this direction with many women experts in different areas.”
As usual, his words offered hope that there would be a new direction for the hidebound Vatican bureaucracy. Chauvinism clearly seemed at work in the continuing investigation ordered by Rome into the organizations of American nuns, many of which were mainstays in charitable church missions when local dioceses were brought low by the priest sexual abuse scandals. In the interview, the pope defended the church’s handling of the pedophilia scandal, contending it moved with “transparency and responsibility.” This was far from true in the United States, where too many in the hierarchy conspired to cover up crimes and keep secular authorities in the dark. One can only wonder how different this scourge might have been had women actually held decision-making positions.
On other subjects, he offered a fresher outlook, saying that while there was no change in the ban on artificial contraception, greater pastoral care was needed to take into account “people’s situations, and that which it is possible for people to do.” In the words of The National Catholic Reporter, the pope was “walking a bit of a tightrope.”
March 6, 2014
AND so to one of my favourite Catholic stories, on the eve of another confronting royal commission public hearing into the church that will feature evidence from soon-to-leave-these-shores Cardinal George Pell.
This is the story about the Pope, the former Marist Brothers school student, and the 300 metres of red carpet.
The former Marist student is a friend of mine. We run together. Whenever we’re especially tired, or it’s raining, or it seems like our destination is too far away to bear thinking about, I ask him to tell me the story about the carpet, and suddenly we’re smiling again.
It started back in July 2008, a week before Pope Benedict XVI was due in Sydney for World Youth Day festivities, with a phone call to the former Marist student from a mate. The mate was plumbing-in thousands of port-a-loos at Randwick racecourse for the church event.
Summary of Case: Marshall R. Larriviere was ordained a priest of the Lafayette, Louisiana diocese in 1963. He served in the diocese until around 1980, mainly as director of the Deaf Apostolate. From there he worked as a Navy chaplain based in California, Rhode Island, Florida, several Virginia locations and Washington state. He retired in 1994 and has been living in the Venice, Florida diocese since at least 2003. In 2003 Larriviere was accused of having sexually abused two girls in the 1960s in Abbeville, Louisiana. One of his accusers said the priest forced her to perform oral sex on him when she was 8 years-old, and raped her when she was 13. Larriviere's accusers received settlements from the diocese in 2008.
A jury has deliberated for two hours without reaching a verdict in the latest Roman Catholic priest-abuse case in Philadelphia.
The Rev. Andrew McCormick has testified that he never abused a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997.
The 57-year-old McCormick has been suspended from ministry since 2011 over other allegations involving pornography and his relationships with children.
The defense witnesses include former altar boys who say they traveled to Poland with McCormick and were not molested.
By Nick Kenney
MEMPHIS, TN -
(WMC-TV) - A COGIC pastor was sentenced to six years in prison on sexual battery charges on Thursday.
Michael Bryant, the former pastor of Hour of Restoration COGIC, admitted to inappropriately touching and exposing himself to a 16-year-old over the past two years.
"It was a lustful situation that basically overwhelmed me," Bryant testified during Wednesday's hearing. "Never happened to me before."
Bryant pleaded guilty to the charges. He asked Criminal Court Judge Mark Ward to spare him prison time.
"I was embarrassed. I felt bad. I really didn't feel right preaching every Sunday knowing what I was doing," said Bryant. "I want probation so I can go out and get help and be able to work at the same time. I want to live. I want to live."
March 6, 2014, by Jessica Gertler and George Brown
(Memphis) A now-former COGIC pastor told his story for the first time when he pleaded guilty to molesting an underage family member for the past two years.
Thursday, Michael Bryant was sentenced to six years in prison as part of a plea deal.
He had hoped to get probation instead so he could get psychological help and work.
“I take full responsibility with everything that has happened, and I regret that it happened,” said Bryant.
Bryant said he’s sorry for fondling a 16-year-old family member as many as two times a month for two years.
By Samantha Bryson
Posted March 6, 2014
A COGIC pastor who admitted to sexually abusing a teenage family member for two years was denied a suspended sentence by a Shelby County judge Thursday and will have to serve the six-year sentence handed down in February.
Michael Bryant, 48, pleaded guilty to sexual battery by an authority figure following his Dec. 12 arrest. He was the pastor of Hour of Restoration Church of God in Christ.
Pope Francis the CON Christ.
Who’s the liar: Pope Francis or UN? Vatican secret thousands/files covered-up by Bishops versus UN open/thorough investigators. Francis Pinocchio nose getting bigger
Updated March 7, 2014
Who is more credible: Pope Francis or the UN?
Who would you rather believe? Pope Francis and the Vatican/Holy See – or - the United Nations and its secular dedicated members of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child?
Pope Francis should have starred in the new movie, Son of God, because he is the “official” Vicar of Jesus Christ. With Rolling Stone and multi-magazines covers under his belt, Pope Francis should have also won the Oscars for Best Actor because he is a natural professional performer – the greatest Jesuit pretender and impostor of Jesus Christ. His fellow Jesuit, Thomas Reese, even boast of “The Francis Effect: Pope Francis is the most talked about person in the world. He has been on the cover of almost every magazine, he makes the news almost every week, and he is a Twitter and Facebook sensation. He drew huge crowds in Rio de Janeiro and continues to draw large crowds in Rome”. Obviously, the Jesuit measure for Christ and salvation is - fame and fiction.
Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director
In a plan that could have been pulled from the archives of the old Soviet Union, Archbishop Jerome Listecki has filed in federal bankruptcy court a proposed church operated mental health “treatment fund” in lieu of providing financial restitution to hundreds of victims of childhood sexual assault by clergy in the Milwaukee Archdiocese.
Listecki had earlier stated that his treatment fund would total $500,000. With 575 victims filed into court this breaks down to about $900.00 of treatment costs per rape and abuse victim. But the new fund would only cover about 120 victims.
Last month, Listecki proposed a reorganization plan that averages about $6,000 per victim who filed a case in the bankruptcy. Average per victim settlements in all other church bankruptcies across the US are $400,000. The archdiocese has paid $12 million dollars in costs to bankruptcy lawyers since filing three years ago.
Accessing the fund according to Listecki’s plan would require the approval of the archdiocese who would then control all future mental health treatment as well. Victims would be required to surrender confidential therapy treatment records and notes. The archdiocese would also determine the length of treatment (which they have placed at 26 therapy sessions), approve clinical methods, and reserve the right of termination.
And if that’s not enough control ceded to the archdiocese over the lives and mental health care of the victims of their pedophile priests, the archdiocese, after the approval of the plan, could change any provision of it at will, without court approval or oversight.
El Nuevo Dia
Por Limarys Suárez Torres / email@example.com
Tras escuchar las argumentaciones del fiscal de distrito de Arecibo y de la defensa del exsacerdote Edwin Mercado Viera, el juez superior Manuel Orriola encontró causa para arresto contra el excura por actos lascivos en contra un menor de edad.
Cerca de las 10:15 a.m. el juez Orriola, que preside la sala 401 del Tribunal de Arecibo, inició la vista de Regla 6 contra el excura y allí recibió prueba documental presentada por el fiscal de distrito Wilson González Antongiorgi y prueba exculpatoria de la defensa.
El Nuevo Dia
[Summary: About 15 or 17 priests are being investigated for possible acts of pedophilia by state and federal authorities. Charges have been made against former priest Edwin A. Viera and against the evangelical pastor Pedro Santiago Marrero. Justice Secretary R. Cesar Miranda Rodriguez called on potential victims to seek justice regardless of the statute of limitations.]
Entre 15 y 17 sacerdotes católicos son investigados al presente como posibles implicados en actos de pederastia en medio de la pesquisa que realizan en conjunto las autoridades estatales y federales sobre el escándalo de abuso sexual en la iglesia.
El secretario de Justicia, César R. Miranda Rodríguez, y el fiscal general José Capó, informaron que esta mañana presentaron cargos contra el exsacerdote, Edwin A. Mercado Viera, y contra el pastor evangélico, Pedro Santiago Marrero, y confirmaron que se han reunido con las autoridades federales para evaluar si los religiosos investigados incurrieron en delitos bajo dicha jurisdicción.
Miranda hizo un llamado a posibles víctimas a acudir a la justicia, específicamente dentro de las diócesis investigadas de San Juan, Caguas, Mayagüez y Arecibo, no importa si piensan que ya el delito prescribió.