A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse.
Click on the headline to read the full story.
July 27, 2016
By Bill Code
The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney has slammed what he calls the trial by media of Cardinal George Pell, following revelations on the ABC's 7:30 program that Australia's most senior Catholic is being investigated over claims of sexual misconduct.
"The allegations against Cardinal George Pell aired on the ABC's 7:30 Report were extremely distressing for all parties, are as yet untested, and have been emphatically denied," Archbishop Anthony Fisher said in a statement.
"The community deserves the rule of law be respected. Trial by media benefits no-one."
The program revealed Victorian Police were examining complaints made against Cardinal Pell relating to alleged events in the 1970s and 80s.
Specifically, claims Cardinal Pell touched two boys inappropriately in the late 1970s, and another accusation he stood naked in front of three young boys for a period of about 10 minutes in a surf club changeroom, causing an adult witness concern.
Cardinal Pell has emphatically denied the allegations in a series of statements.
"The ABC has no licence to destroy the reputation of innocent people and Cardinal Pell, like all those who have allegations against them that have not been tested by the courts, is entitled to the presumption of innocence," his office reiterated on Thursday.
7.30 has obtained eight police statements from complainants, witnesses and family members.
George Pell has urged a criminal investigation into the ABC and rogue Victorian police whom he alleges may be involved in a “conspiracy to pervert the course of justice”, amid new claims the Cardinal molested two boys as a priest in the late 1970s.
Last night ABC’s 7.30 reported the claims that Victorian police were investigating multiple allegations of child sex abuse by the cardinal dating back to the 1970s. Two former St Alipius students, Lyndon Monument and Damian Dignan, told the program that Cardinal Pell would abuse boys at the Eureka swimming pool in Ballarat.
Cardinal Pell, now a senior Vatican official, has issued a statement in which he “refutes all the allegations made on the program” and pleaded for “a fair go”.
“The ABC has no licence to destroy the reputation of innocent people and Cardinal Pell, like all those who have allegations against them that have not been tested by the Courts, is entitled to the presumption of innocence not immediate condemnation. He is entitled to a fair go,” his Rome office said in a statement.
The Cardinal’s statement drew attention to apparent “leaking of information and allegations by elements of the Victorian Police to the ABC”.
“This is consistent with previous patterns of improper and illegal disclosure of information from such sources to a variety of media outlets. Such information has in the past repeatedly been demonstrated to be inaccurate and unfounded,” it said.
“The Cardinal calls for an investigation to assess whether any actions of elements of the Victoria Police and the ABC program amount to a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.”
The Cardinal stressed that he did not wish to harm the men making the allegations.
“I bear no ill will and have no desire to cause them harm but what they say about me is not true,” he said.
Two men have gone public with details of their abuse allegations levelled at Cardinal George Pell.
The men have given a statement to a Victoria Police taskforce, claiming Cardinal Pell groped them in a public pool in the 1970s.
Cardinal Pell has strongly denied the allegations describing claims he'd sexually abused anyone as totally untrue and completely wrong.
Neil Mitchell says - "He needs to come back and prove that. Deal with it."
Some allegations linked to the Cardinal have now reportedly been referred to the Office of Public Prosecutions for advice.
Libby-Jane Charleston Associate Editor
Australia's most senior Catholic Cleric, Cardinal George Pell has called for an investigation into Victorian police following accusations of child abuse; accusations he has strongly denied.
Pell has accused police of 'conspiring' with the ABC to pervert the course of justice. The allegations surround accusations of child abuse involving alleged incidents in the 1990s when he was Archbishop of Melbourne. Such allegations were first brought to light by News Corp in February.
The ABC's 7.30 program reported it had obtained eight police statements from complainants, witnesses and family members. The allegations arose from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and focuses on complainants from Ballarat, Torquay and Melbourne.
The case has now reportedly been referred to the Office of Public Prosecutions following an investigation by Victorian police taskforce SANO.
Wed 27 Jul 2016
By Antony Bushfield
The Church of England has sent more than 7,000 documents to the UK's independent inquiry into child sexual abuse.
At a preliminary hearing in London the chair, Dame Lowell Goddard, was told all of the documents were relevant to her investigation.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is looking into whether the Church and public bodies have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales.
A separate inquiry is being held in Scotland.
Giving an update on the progress Ben Emmerson QC said "wide-ranging requests" had been made to the Archbishop's Council for documents.
By Rebecca Camber, Crime Correspondent For The Daily Mail
The official inquiry into child sex abuse could run for a decade – and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds, it emerged last night.
The probe is receiving up to 100 fresh allegations every week – a quarter of them referred to the police.
The largest inquiry in British legal history had already been earmarked to last around five years.
But a lawyer for some of the alleged victims yesterday said it could now take ‘at least ten years’.
It sparked fury from campaigners and raised fears the probe could become ‘another Chilcot’, the Iraq war inquiry that took six years to complete – longer than British troops were in the country.
The independent child abuse inquiry has already spent almost £18million of public money and has yet to publicly question a single witness or victim.
James Macintyre 27 July 2016
Preliminary hearings are being held by the Goddard inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice this week.
The inquiry into child sex abuse in England and Wales is investigating 7,000 submissions of evidence relating to the Anglican church, according to the counsel to the inquiry.
In a preliminary hearing today at the Royal Courts of Justice, Ben Emmerson QC updated Justice Goddard, who is chairing the inquiry which could last at least another five years.
He said that 114 sources of information were being considered, along with case studies relating to church abuse, including in the Chichester Diocese.
The Anglican section of the inquiry is expected to focus to a considerable extent on abuse by the former Bishop of Lewes, Peter Ball, who was jailed last year over crimes committed in the 1980s. A legal representative of Ball was in court today.
Emmerson said that more than 7,000 items of disclosure had been received from the Archbishop's Council, and from police forces and survivors including 'core participants'. So far 188 applicants have been granted core participant status by Goddard. Of these, 36 relate to the Anglican church.
The Commission which is investigating Mother and Baby Homes has been granted an extension of time to complete its three reports.
The Cabinet, which granted the extension, said all reports will not now be completed by February 2018.
The extension is to accommodate” the large number of witnesses coming forward,” said a spokesman.
However, the delay will disappoint many women who, because of their age, were hoping for a speedy conclusion to the proceedings.
The Commission said it wanted to ensure all new information discovered is accurately recorded to give a full understanding of the social history involved.
The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes will not be asked to examine illegal adoptions that took place outside such institutions.
Minister for Children Katherine Zappone said the plight of the dwindling number of survivors of the Protestant-run Bethany Home was one reason she had asked the Commission to advise on whether the investigation's scope should be widened.
Following allegations about the deaths of 800 babies at the former Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co Galway, the commission of investigation was set up in January 2015.
How the babies were buried as well as widespread malnutrition in this and other Catholic Church-run homes prompted the last government to establishment of the commission.
The three members of the commission, who are examining 18 homes, have spoken to at least 150 witnesses and expect that to rise to above 500.
It was charged with producing three reports - a Confidential Committee Report on individuals, a Social History Report and a Final Investigation Report.
MORE THAN 400 potential witnesses came forward following a public call-out by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission.
As such, the commission has been granted an extension to the time frame for the publication of two of the three reports it is preparing.
The cabinet signed off on the extension today.
The commission said it remains committed to completing its investigations within the three year time-frame provided in the terms of reference. All reports are now due to be completed by February 2018.
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone said the extension will not delay the government’s response to the commission’s findings.
Sydney Morning Herald
London: A furious Cardinal George Pell has demanded an inquiry into the Victorian Police, accusing "elements" of the force of "conspiring" with the ABC to pervert the course of justice, relating to allegations of child sexual abuse, which he emphatically denies.
Speaking from Rome where he is based at the Vatican, Cardinal Pell said he refused to be put to a "trial by media" and said the ABC had "no licence" to destroy his reputation.
Cardinal Pell said since the allegations were first aired nearly six months ago, police had not sought to interview him.
"These disclosures and consequent publicity by the ABC clearly are apt and calculated deliberately to influence and compromise relevant judicial and prosecutorial processes," his office said. Victoria Police said it would not be providing any further comment.
The ABC's 730 program on Wednesday night aired a "special report" citing Victorian Police Commissioner Graham Ashton confirming a year-long investigation into Cardinal Pell, relating to "multiple allegations" of sexual abuse.
A priest has accused the Archbishop of York and four bishops of misconduct after they "failed to act" on allegations he was raped by a vicar.
The victim claims no-one responded when he brought the alleged offences to light.
A complaint is being reviewed by the Church of England, his lawyer said.
Clergy representatives said they were unable to comment on the claims published in the Guardian as they formed part of an active investigation.
The priest said all five men were aware of his claims he had been repeatedly raped by a vicar when he was 16 in 1984, but none of them acted.
He said he made the allegations verbally to the Right Reverend Peter Burrows, the Bishop of Doncaster; the Right Reverend Steven Croft, the former Bishop of Sheffield, and now Bishop of Oxford; and the Right Reverend Martyn Snow, a former Archdeacon of Sheffield and Rotherham, and now the Bishop of Leicester, between July 2012 and February 2013.
AS Lady Smith takes over the reins of an inquiry sullied by claims of government interference, for victims’ sakes there must be no repeat
The Scottish Government had a clear choice in front of it in recent weeks as it faced the fall-out from the two resignations from Scotland’s independent public inquiry into the abuse of children.
The inquiry, launched in March, was to be a thorough and painstaking investigation into the inhumane and cruel abuse inflicted on children and any systemic failures which allowed it, in a range of institutions including care homes, churches and independent boarding schools, going back decades.
It was right forthe government to set up the inquiry to deal with the allegations of abuse and maltreatment which simply would not go away and continued to resurface when people who had been victims found the courage and felt the time was right for them to speak out.
BREAUX BRIDGE, La. (KLFY) – An Acadiana priest has been arrested for possessing over 500 images of child pornography charges, according to the Louisiana State Police.
Father Felix David Broussard, a priest at St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge, was arrested today and booked into St. Martin Parish jail on 500 counts of pornography involving juveniles.
Broussard was released on $25,000 bond, according to The Associated Press.
Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel of the Diocese of Lafayette said Broussard was “immediately” placed on administrative leave active priestly ministry.
Master Trooper Brooks David said the State Police’s Special Victims Unit received a complaint earlier this month alleging that a computer that Father Felix David Broussard had primary access to, contained images indicative of child pornography.
Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel held a news conference at 2 p.m. from the Diocese of Lafayette on the arrest of Reverend F. David Broussard.
The Diocese said Broussard, who was a priest at St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge, was arrested earlier today by Louisiana State Police on 500 counts of child pornography.
The Associated Press reported, “neither the news release (from the diocese) nor online court and jail records indicated whether he has a lawyer who could comment on the allegations.”
LAFAYETTE, LA (WAFB) -
The Diocese of Lafayette reported one of its priests was arrested Wednesday on child porn charges.
According to the diocese’s website, Rev. Felix David Broussard, 50, a priest in Breaux Bridge, was arrested by Louisiana State Police on charges of possessing child pornography.
Officials with the Louisiana State Police say the investigation began in July 2016 after a complaint was filed.
"During the course of the investigation, over 500 images of child pornography were identified on the computer," reads a press release. "
Updated: Jul 27, 2016
The images of child pornography that led to the arrest of a Breaux Bridge priest were discovered - and reported - by a computer technician.
Lafayette Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to release the information the diocese has about the incident. The Diocese wants to be transparent and provide the public with all information it has as it receives it, he said.
The priest, F. David Broussard, has been relieved of his position at St. Bernard Church in Breaux Bridge, which includes oversight of a school there. Deshotel says there has never been a complaint against Broussard of any kind, only compliments.
"He was, the irony is, a very well-loved pastor in his parish," Deshotel said.
Deshotel said the computer in question, which allegedly contained more than 500 images of child pornography, was brought to a repair shop. The technician working on it found the images, and as is required, called the police.
Deshotel said he learned of the investigation yesterday, when State Police came to talk to him about it. He said as soon as he learned that Broussard had been arrested he issued a press release and called the press conference.
A survivor group has issued a statement about the news today that a Catholic priest was arrested on child pornography charges.
SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, called on Lafayette Bishop Daniel Deshotel to seek out any people who may have been abused by F. David Broussard, the priest arrested Wednesday after a repair technician allegedly found more than 500 images of child pornography on his computer.
During a Wednesday press conference, the bishop said no complaints had ever been received against Broussard, who was ordained in 1993. As part of his position as the priest administrator of St. Bernard Church, he also oversaw St. Bernard School, the bishop said.
In a release from David Clohessy, the international director of SNAP, said Deshotel must visit the parish immediately to seek out any possible victims or witnesses.
"Specifically, we call on Bishop Daniel Deshotel to personally visit Fr. David Broussand’s parish this weekend (and any other church where he may have been) begging victims, witnesses or whistleblowers to call police," Clohessy said. "Deshotel should also put announcements in church bulletins, parish websites and other diocesan publications and outlets."
Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette
July 27, 2016
by Diocese of Lafayette
The Diocese of Lafayette was informed and saddened to learn on July 27th that the Louisiana State Police arrested the Reverend F. David Broussard on charges of possessing child pornography. The Diocese takes these allegations very seriously and is cooperating fully in every way possible with the investigation. Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel, on learning of the allegations, immediately placed Father Broussard on administrative leave from active priestly ministry.
The Bishop and staff are providing pastoral care to the congregation of Saint Bernard Parish in Breaux Bridge, and will preach at all Masses at Saint Bernard Parish this weekend. The prayers of the diocesan community are requested.
Dallas Morning News
LAFAYETTE, La. — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette says one of its priests has been arrested on a charge of possessing child pornography.
In a news release on its website, the diocese said it was informed by State Police on Wednesday of the arrest of the Rev. F. David Broussard, who served the church parish of St. Bernard in Breaux Bridge.
The diocese said Broussard was placed on administrative leave. Neither the news release nor online court and jail records indicated whether he has a lawyer who could comment on the allegations.
BY RICHARD BURGESS AND LANIE LEE COOK | firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com JUL 27, 2016
The pastor of St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge was arrested Wednesday on 500 counts of possessing child pornography, images believed to have been found when he brought his personal computer in for repairs, according to the Diocese of Lafayette and State Police.
The Rev. F. David Broussard, who also oversees St. Bernard School, has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, said Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel.
Deshotel said Broussard, 50, has served as pastor at St. Bernard for two years and has served as a priest for 23 years.
The bishop said there have been no previous complaints involving child pornography or sexual abuse against Broussard.
"Never any complaints to any of us from anyone. In fact he was a much loved pastor, the irony is a very loved man in the parish," Deshotel said. "... "No complaints have been made that anything physical or any kind of physical abuse occurred."
Dominick Cross, firstname.lastname@example.org July 27, 2016
A Breaux Bridge priest arrested Wednesday for alleged possession of child pornography on his personal computer was held in high regard in the parish, according to Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel, of the Diocese of Lafayette.
The Rev. F. David Broussard, pastor of St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge, was arrested by the Louisiana State Police for 500 counts of possession of more than 500 images of child pornography.
Broussard is also the chancellor of St. Bernard School in Breaux Bridge.
At this juncture in the investigation, Deshotel said, there have not been any reports of abuse of children directly by Broussard.
“No complaints have been made that any kind of physical abuse occurred,” Deshotel said.
O diretor financeiro do Vaticano, George Pell, está a ser investigado pela polícia australiana por alegados abusos sexuais a crianças, revelou hoje um canal australiano, acusações que os chefes da Igreja Católica consideram "totalmente falsas".
As novas alegações contra George Pell, que estão a ser investigadas pela polícia no estado de Vitória, abrangem duas décadas, revelou a `Australian Broadcasting Corporation`.
Melbourne, 27.07.2016 (KAP) Medienberichten zufolge ermittelt die Polizei im australischen Bundesstaat Victoria gegen Kurienkardinal George Pell wegen des Verdachts sexuellen Missbrauchs. Nach Angaben des Fernsehsenders ABC vom Mittwoch sind die Ermittlungen eingeleitet worden, nachdem Zeugen vor dem Untersuchungsausschuss der australischen Regierung entsprechende Vorwürfe erhoben hätten. Diese betreffen laut ABC auch Vorfälle, die sich während der Amtszeit Pells als Erzbischof von Melbourne ereignet haben sollen.
Der Polizeipräsident von Victoria habe die Ermittlungen gegen Pell bereits vor vier Wochen gegenüber ABC bestätigt, heißt es. Polizeichef Graham Ashton habe damals betont, "wenn nötig" werde er Beamte nach Rom schicken, um den Kardinal zu verhören. Derzeit sei dies jedoch nicht erforderlich. Zum Stand der Ermittlungen sagte Ashton, diese seien "sehr lebendig".
Thousands of ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic boys, taught by untrained and unlicensed teachers, don’t reach the legally required public school levels in English and math. It’s time for New York’s mayor to enforce the law.
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie Jul 27, 2016
Mayor De Blasio, stop ignoring the welfare of Jewish children. Stop supporting policies that condemn them to a lifetime of poverty and illiteracy. Stop depriving them of the possibility of an honorable livelihood. Stop making them dependent on all manner of government handouts.
The children that I am referring to are ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic boys who attend New York City yeshivas. There are at least 39 of these yeshivas where boys under the age of 13 get no more than 90 minutes of English and math a day. These subjects are taught by untrained and unlicensed teachers at the end of a long day otherwise devoted exclusively to religious studies, in which the language of instruction is usually Yiddish.
Many of these children cannot speak proper English or do simple mathematical calculations. They are being denied the decent education that is the right of every American child and that the City of New York is obligated to provide. And as Mayor, it is your job to see that it is provided.
Yes, I know. The ultra-Orthodox community votes, and votes in large numbers. A very high percentage of the community votes for you, following the instructions of their religious leaders. And many of these religious leaders are terrified at the prospect of exposing their children to secular subjects, seeing those subjects as temptations that might ultimately draw those children away from their religious community.
But Mr. Mayor, you have no choice here. You must ensure that these children are educated for two major reasons. First, it is the right thing to do. If ultra-Orthodox children choose to venture beyond the confines of their own community and to find their place in the larger world, that is a choice that they are entitled to make. If they do so, they will need the skills that only education can provide. And if they should choose to remain in their own community, they will still need the skills to support their families and escape the humiliating dependence on welfare payments to which so many have been condemned.
Second, New York State law requires that adequate education be offered to every single child, without exception. The law states that instruction given in private schools or in home schooling must be “substantially equivalent” to the education provided in public schools. It is an outrage and an embarrassment that you and previous mayors, bowing to political pressure, have chosen to ignore this law. The children involved have paid the price, and so too has the citizenry of New York. When a law of such import is ignored, it breeds disrespect for all laws and for the officials charged with enforcing them.
But as you know, Mr. Mayor, it is no longer possible to look the other way. Young Advocates for Fair Education (YAFFED), founded in 2012, identified the 39 yeshivas that, in its view, offer substandard education. A year ago, it demanded that the city’s education department investigate them. You have not yet responded to their demand, but YAFFED has made it clear that it will not let you off the hook. You and your education officials must give a proper accounting of what is being done for these children.
I know the pressure that you are under.
Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, the rebbe of the Kiryas Joel-based segment of the Satmar Hasidim, has viciously attacked those who challenge the right of his students to remain ignorant of secular subjects. “We should pray,” he said in a speech to his followers, “that these evil doers should not lay their hands on the Jewish children here in America.” And mainstream Jewish organizations, which should have the courage to speak out, have mysteriously remained silent.
Some American Jews even claim that freedom of religion, guaranteed by the constitution, allows the yeshivas the unrestricted right to teach what they please, even if that means no secular education at all. But as others have noted, this is a misreading of the constitution, not to mention an affront to common sense.
There are certain things that the state can reasonably compel its citizens to do, and meeting appropriate educational standards is one of them. Freedom of religion does not give parents the right to deny their children the medical care they need to live, the seat belts they need to be safe, or the basic educational literacy they need to survive in society. Mr. Mayor, please remember that every single state has educational requirements similar to those in New York. And just as they are enforced elsewhere, they must be enforced in New York City as well.
Mr. De Blasio, I am confident that the people of New York City and New York State support the law as it now stands. And while you should enforce the law because it is your duty to do so, you should know how the overwhelming majority of Jews, including Orthodox Jews, view this matter. They see no religious reason why observant Jews should not also study secular subjects and learn the skills required to participate in the workplace and support their children. In fact, for almost all of the Jewish community, this is pretty much of a no-brainer.
New York’s Yeshiva University is evidence of that, and so too are the many yeshivas where the study of secular subjects is encouraged. Most Jews in New York, like most Jews everywhere, believe what was taught by Maimonides, the great 12th century Jewish scholar, taught: “He who dedicates himself to studying Torah but does not work, and instead lives off charity, profanes the name of God and disgraces the Torah.”
Mr. Mayor, do not abandon the yeshiva students of New York. Make sure their schools teach what they are supposed to teach. Enforce the law.
Eric H. Yoffie, a rabbi, writer and teacher in Westfield, New Jersey, is a former president of the Union for Reform Judaism. Follow him on Twitter: @EricYoffie
Senior judge Lady Smith has been appointed as the new chairwoman of the Scottish government's child abuse inquiry.
It follows the resignation of Susan O'Brien QC, who quit the post earlier this month citing government interference in the inquiry.
A second member of the three-person panel, Prof Michael Lamb, also resigned over similar concerns.
The inquiry will examine historical allegations of child abuse in Scotland.
It is expected to last four years, and will look at the extent of abuse of children in care and identify any systemic failures.
The Scottish Government
A senior judge, the Right Honourable Lady Smith, will lead Scotland’s independent public Inquiry into the abuse of children in care from next month.
Lady Smith’s appointment was announced by Deputy First Minister John Swinney in a letter to the Scottish Parliament’s Education Committee. Lady Smith has been a Judge since 2001 and was appointed to the Inner House in November 2012.
Mr Swinney said:
“I am pleased that Lady Anne Smith has accepted my invitation to be Chair of Scotland’s independent public Inquiry into the abuse of children in care. Lady Smith will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the leadership of the Inquiry, from her significant service both as a QC and as a judge, her extensive involvement in the work of tribunals and as President of the Scottish Tribunals and her role in leading the Scottish Partnership on Domestic Abuse.
“Her leadership, independence and sensitivity will be key to the Inquiry’s progress. It is in the nature of Lady Smith's background as an experienced Judge that the Inquiry will be taken forward without fear or favour to identify how individuals and institutions failed many of Scotland’s most vulnerable children. We must ensure children are effectively protected as a result of what we learn from the Inquiry.
“This is one of Scotland’s widest-ranging public inquiries ever, examining not only the abuse of children formally placed ‘in care’ in institutions, but also allegations of abuse in foster care, in long-term hospital care and in boarding schools. At the request of a number of survivors, I have agreed to consider the scope of the terms of reference. In the coming weeks I will give this matter further thought, including discussion with Lady Smith, and also taking account of last year’s consultation responses.
Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry
The Rt Hon Lady Smith has today been appointed by Scottish Ministers as Chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.
Lady Smith, a senior Scottish judge, will take up her role from 1 August 2016.
Further information on the appointment of Lady Smith can be found on the Scottish Government’s website: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Scottish-Child-Abuse-Inquiry-2796.aspx
A SENIOR judge has been appointed to lead the independent public inquiry into the abuse of children in care, weeks after its previous chair quit following claims she had made comments that were “offensive” to survivors.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced the Right Honourable Lady Smith will fill the vacancy at the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, praising her “leadership, independence and sensitivity”.
The appointment comes almost a month after her predecessor Susan O’Brien QC resigned, with formal proceedings to remove her from the high-profile role and Mr Swinney having said her comments “raised serious concerns”.
In her resignation letter, Ms O’Brien said she could “not reassure the public that this inquiry will be conducted independently of government”.
By LUCY MAE BEERS and BRIANNE TOLJ FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA and AAP
Cardinal George Pell is facing multiple child abuse allegations after two men came forward claiming they were groped by the Catholic cleric at a pool in the 1970s.
The men, who were in a Victorian primary school at the time, say Cardinal Pell, 74, abused them while they were swimming at Ballarat's Eureka Pool during the summer of 1978-79, an allegation the cardinal strongly denies.
One of the men, Lyndon Monument, told ABC's 7.30 he was reluctant to speak up because of the power Cardinal Pell held.
'I didn't like it, but because it was a church and he was George Pell, we just - you just weren't game to ever say anything, you know what I mean,' Mr Monument told 7.30.
The two men, now in their 40s, have given separate statements to Victoria Police's special Taskforce Sano last year.
ABC reported that several other complaints have been made against Cardinal Pell to the taskforce, including an alleged incident involving two boys in the 1990s.
Australian police are investigating Vatican finance chief George Pell over sexual abuse allegations, according to the Australian national broadcaster ABC. The cardinal denied the claims as "totally untrue."
Complaints against Pell go back to late 1970s, when he served as a priest in his home town of Ballarat, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported on Wednesday.
Two men told the company that Pell molested them in a Ballarat swimming pool when they were children. Another person alleged that he had seen Pell exposing himself to young boys in a beach changing room in the 1980s.
ABC claims it had obtained eight police statements from the alleged victims, witnesses and family members. Police and prosecutors have yet to decide whether the documents warrant formal charges against the 75-year old cardinal, according to the reporters.
Victoria police declined to comment, according to the AFP news agency.
At the same time, Pell accused ABC of running a "scandalous smear campaign" against him.
"The cardinal does not wish to cause any distress to any victim of abuse," his Rome office said in a statement. "However, claims that he has sexually abused anyone, in any place, at any time in his life are totally untrue and completely wrong."
Victorian prosecutors were asked by police to review sex abuse claims against Cardinal George Pell but sent the file back to detectives without recommendations.
The police file was sent to the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions in the past month but was returned by director John Champion, who advised officers any decision on charges was their call,the Herald Sun reported last night. The revelation came after the ABC broadcast statements from two men last night accusing Australia’s most senior Catholic of abusing them as boys.
Cardinal Pell, who wrote to Victoria Police in May asking if they wanted to interview him, hit back immediately. “The accusations are sheer fantasy and completely implausible,’’ he told The Australian from Rome.
It was reported in February that Victoria Police’s Sano Taskforce was investigating Cardinal Pell over allegations spanning from his time as a priest in Ballarat in the 1970s to his time as archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s, allegations which he has strongly denied.
Cardinal Pell called for an investigation into the leaks at the time and claimed they was designed to cause damage to the Catholic Church and to him just a week before he was to give evidence to the child sex abuse royal commission in February.
Australian Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s top financial officer, is facing multiple allegations of sexual abuse in his native country, according to a new report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
As he has in the past when suggestions of impropriety have arisen, Pell has vigorously denied the allegations while expressing sympathy and concerns for victims of clerical abuse.
According to a program on the ABC network, Pell faces accusations from the Australian cities of Ballarat, Torquay and Melbourne dating from the period in the 1970s, 80s and 90s when Pell served as a priest and, later, as the Archbishop of Melbourne.
Pell today is the Prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, a new body created by Pope Francis to oversee his project of financial reform.
According to ABC, a police taskforce in the state of Victoria - which includes Melbourne - called SANO, set up to investigate complaints coming out of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, has been examining the allegations against Pell.
Rebekah Cavanagh, Herald Sun
July 27, 2016
CARDINAL George Pell has rejected claims by two men that he sexually abused them.
Two men, now in their 40s, came forward to detail to the ABC their claims that Cardinal Pell touched them inappropriately in Ballarat’s Eureka pool in 1978-79.
Another man also claimed he saw the cardinal exposing himself to three boys in the change rooms at the Torquay Surf Club in the summer of 1986-87.
The claims are among several that the Herald Sun revealed back in February were being investigated by Victoria Police’s Taskforce Sano, set up to probe allegations emerging from a state parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse.
Within the past month, the force referred a brief of evidence on Cardinal Pell to the Office of Public Prosecutions for consideration, asking for an opinion on whether to lay charges against the world’s third-most powerful Catholic.
Sources told the Herald Sun Director of Public Prosecutions John Champion had declined to give an opinion and referred the file back to police, saying it was their decision.
George Pell: The surf club allegation
7.30 BY LOUISE MILLIGAN AND ANDY BURNS
UPDATED WED JUL 27
One of the earliest complaints against Cardinal George Pell being investigated by Victoria Police goes back to the summer of 1978-79 when he was Episcopal Vicar for Education in the Ballarat diocese.
One of the schools he was responsible for was the now notorious St Alipius primary school, where the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse has heard a ring of paedophile Christian Brothers abused many children.
Whilst there is absolutely no suggestion that George Pell was involved in that paedophile ring, former St Alipius students Lyndon Monument and Damian Dignan allege that the Cardinal repeatedly touched their genitals and anuses while playing a game in Ballarat's Eureka pool, where he would throw them and other boys up into the air.
"I'm disgusted, bitter, angry. I just want him to come back and look me in the eye," Mr Monument told 7.30.
Many of the former St Alipius pupils who have spoken to 7.30 say he was often seen at the school throughout the 1970s.
"He was always like the godly figure we had to look up to, and we'd even get told in class, 'Brush your hair and tuck yourself in,'" Mr Monument said.
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agana
July 27, 2016
Dulce Nombre De Maria Cathedral-Basilica, Hagatña
Today, I want to address Mr. Roy Quintanilla, Mrs. Doris Concepcion, Mr. Walter Denton and Mr. Roland Sondia regarding their allegations of child abuse against Archbishop Apuron while he was a priest in the parish of Agat in the 1970s. I also want to address anyone who may be out there who has been harmed by any Church official. This is an extremely serious matter and I am treating it as such.
I want to personally welcome today those members of the media who have made the time to attend this press conference. I am committed to serving in the Archdiocese in an open and transparent fashion, and I appreciate your attention to these important matters.
Let me first make it clear that the Holy Father appointed me the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese after learning of the allegations against Archbishop Apuron. Because this is a serious matter regarding a Bishop, only the Holy Father has the authority to investigate and according to Church law it must be submitted to the Holy See (Cfr. Christus Dominus 21, Canon 401§2). I do not have the authority to investigate Archbishop Apuron in this matter. My obligation is to ensure that all of the documentation related to this matter reaches the proper offices of the Holy See. This I have done promptly and with due diligence. I forwarded all of the statements by the plaintiffs to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the competent authority of the Holy See in matters of reported sexual abuse by a member of the clergy, including Bishops and Archbishops. The Congregation has diligently kept the Holy Father informed about the process in order to receive his prompt advice or directives. I will report on the progress of this matter as information becomes available to me.
I would also like to say a few words regarding the reactions of the Archdiocese to the reports made by the plaintiffs and other commentators, such as Mr. Tim Rohr. These statements were published on the Archdiocesan website and released to the press regarding the motivation of plaintiffs in making their reports public and about Mr. Rohr’s intentions in raising questions about the financial matters of the Archdiocese. Immediately after I arrived on Guam, I ordered the removal of these statements from all Archdiocesan media organs, including the website of the archdiocese and that of the archdiocesan newspaper.
Let me be clear that in no way do my priest counselors nor I endorse the contents of these statements. Under my administration, it should now be very evident that such statements did not, and do not – in the least – represent the opinion of the Archdiocese of Agaña on the handling of sexual misconduct allegations against any member of the clergy, including a Bishop, nor do they represent the opinion of the Archdiocese on those who raise questions about the handling of church finances.
As I mentioned previously, I take all reports of sexual misconduct by officials of the Church very seriously and I have not, do not, and will not consider a person presenting such reports as malicious or calumnious, or motivated by a desire to attack the church or any other improper purpose. Instead, the Archdiocese should always assume and believe that the intent of those who make allegations of sexual abuse is to bring to light serious claims of abuse. I am gravely troubled by what the plaintiffs have brought forward here. Archbishop Apuron’s prior statements were not consistent with the gravity with which the Church approaches all allegations of abuse. I recant and retract all such statements. I also specifically recant and retract all statements implying or suggesting that Mr. Rohr was part of a conspiracy involving an improper and clandestine real estate transaction, or that he had any improper motives in raising questions about the financial matters of the Archdiocese.
I have requested the clergy to celebrate Masses and to organize prayer gatherings for those who were wounded by the Church in the past and to show support for all those who are currently suffering as a consequence. I myself in prayer meetings and Masses prayed explicitly for them and in my messages I asked the people of God to pray continuously for them. I also appointed Fr. Patrick Castro, OFM. Cap. as a priest contact person to offer support and pastoral care to all those who have reported sexual misconduct by a Church official.
I also pledge to do all in my power to ensure a safe environment in the Church for all, especially the most vulnerable. In this regard the Archdiocese has been making concerted efforts: it has now completely revised the policy for responding to reports of sexual misconduct by an official of the Church, which now includes a clause for the eventuality of the Archbishop (Ordinary) being accused; he must recuse himself from the proceedings. The Moderator of the Curia, in this case Fr. Jeffrey San Nicolas, is then obliged to inform the Holy See of the matter through the Apostolic Delegate in Pacific Oceania, in this case Archbishop Martin Krebs.
The Moderator is further obliged to send all of the pertinent information related to the matter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, through the same Apostolic Delegate and to follow the directives of the Holy See. The revised policy was created by a panel of professional and lay persons who helped draft the revision and will be involved in its enactment; a new coordinator of the response for such allegations has also been appointed in the person of Deacon Leonard Stohr; the policy also foresees training programs. The revised policy will be published in the Archdiocesan media and will also be made available to the press.
Besides the roles of Fr. Patrick Castro and Deacon Leonard Stohr, I, as pastor appointed by Pope Francis for the care of souls in the Archdiocese of Agaña, would like to express my sincere desire to personally meet with Mr. Quintanilla, Mrs. Concepcion, Mr. Denton and Mr. Sondia. I will travel personally to meet with those who are off-island, if they wish, or the Archdiocese will arrange for their travel to Guam to meet with me. I kindly ask them to please contact me, or my secretary Mrs. Liza Weisenberger at the Chancery to make arrangements: Tel. 1.671.562-0000, Fax 1.671.477-3519.
Thank you and God bless you
+Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, SDB
Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Agaña
July 27, 2016
Updated: Jul 27, 2016
By Krystal Paco
Clearing their names at today's press conference hosted by apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, were Father Paul Gofigan and Monsignor James Benavente.
As announced by the archbishop today, both have been restored.
Father Gofigan was removed three years ago for not following a directive of Archbishop Anthony Apuron, while Monsignor Benavente was removed two years ago for alleged financial mismanagement. "We never really left," Gofigan stated. "But at least the atmosphere of oppression is gone. And I can feel it."
He added, "I believe that sentiment goes around with a lot of priests. That culture of fear. That culture of oppression. Today I feel that that heavy burden has been finally released and my name is cleared. My name has been dragged through the mud. One thing I've learned is patience."
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)
A Ft. Worth Catholic volunteer is being investigated on three child sex abuse reports. Ft. Worth’s bishop must go to that church this weekend and aggressively prod anyone with information or suspicions to call police.
It’s not enough for church employees to claim they’re “cooperating with authorities.” (In our experience, that usually means they’re doing the bare minimum to avoid being charged with obstruction of justice.) Catholic officials gave this volunteer access to kids. So they owe it to parents, parishioners, police, prosecutors and the public to use their vast resources to actively help law enforcement solve this case and to find and help others who may have been hurt by this volunteer.
Specifically, we call on Bishop Michael Olsen to personally visit St. John the Apostle parish this weekend (and any other church where the volunteer may have been) begging victims, witnesses or whistleblowers to call police. He should also put announcements in church bulletins, parish websites and other diocesan publications and outlets.
No matter what lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Statement by Mark Crawford, NJ State Director, SNAP 732-632-7687
The head of New Jersey’s largest Catholic jurisdiction, Newark Archbishop John Myers, is 75, the age at which prelates submit their resignations to Rome. We hope Pope Francis replaces him quickly.
In the days ahead, Myers should take five steps to better protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth.
Specifically, Myers should:
· have a letter read at all parishes on Sunday calling on anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered abuse to come forward, contact secular authorities and seek help.
· post names and work histories of all archdiocesan and religious clergy who have worked within the archdiocese and have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse on the church websites and in the archdiocesan newspaper, the Advocate, so kids will be safer.
· publicly release the files of all clergy who are proven, admitted or credibly accused abusers, so others will be safe and those who have been harmed will know they are not alone.
· order the church lawyers and lobbyists of the Catholic Conference to stop opposing statute of limitations reform for those sexually abused as children and support the passage of better child safety laws, eliminating any statute of limitations for child sexual abuse.
· ensure all diocesan and religious order priests in the archdiocese who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse no longer have access to children and are in a secure and permanently supervised environment.
We don’t know Archbishop Myers will do going forward. But we know what he has not done in the 15 years he has had the opportunity to act.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
27 July, 2016
The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing to inquire into the response of Catholic Church authorities in the Maitland-Newcastle region to allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy and religious. The public hearing will commence on 29 August 2016 in Newcastle.
The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into:
1. The experience of survivors of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and religious in the Maitland-Newcastle region.
2. The response of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle to allegations of child sexual abuse made against Father Vincent Ryan.
3. The response of the Marist Brothers to allegations of child sexual abuse made against Marist 4. Brothers including Francis Cable (Brother Romuald) and Thomas Butler (Brother Patrick).
4. The impacts of child sexual abuse on survivors, families, and the community in the Maitland-Newcastle region.
5. Any related matters.
Any person or institution who believes that they have a direct and substantial interest in the scope and purpose of the public hearing is invited to lodge a written application for leave to appear at the public hearing by 8 August 2016.
Updated: Jul 27, 2016
By Krystal Paco
Following his retraction of statements made by previous church administration, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai also retracted statements made against blogger Tim Rohr. For the last three years, Rohr has documented Guam's church controversies on his blog JungleWatch.
In a statement from Rohr, he says he accepts Archbishop's Hon retraction and will no longer pursue legal action against him.
Instead, his fight continues with another opponent, namely the priests who made such libelous statements against him, Father Edivaldo Oliveira and Father Adrian Cristobal.
By Grace Garces Bordallo | AP July 26
HAGATNA, Guam — Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, the temporary administrator appointed to Guam by the Vatican in early June, is disavowing the church from statements made by his predecessor, who is facing sexual abuse allegations.
In a news conference in Guam on Wednesday, Hon said former Archbishop Anthony Apuron’s prior statements were not consistent the way the church approaches allegations of abuse. He said he recants and retracts all of Apuron’s statements.
Apuron had strongly denied the accusations.
“As I mentioned previously, I take all reports of sexual misconduct by officials of the Church very seriously and I have not, do not, and will not consider a person presenting such reports as malicious or calumnious, or motivated by a desire to attack the church or any other improper purpose. Instead, the Archdiocese should always assume and believe that the intent of those who make allegations of sexual abuse is to bring to light serious claims of abuse,” Hon said at a news conference.
“I also pledge to do all in my power to ensure a safe environment in the church for all,” he said.
ABC - 7.30
Read Cardinal Pell's full statement here.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Reporter: Louise Milligan
Police are investigating multiple child abuse allegations against Cardinal George Pell. Cardinal Pell has emphatically denied the allegations.
SABRA LANE, PRESENTER: Tonight, a special report. Rightly or wrongly, over the course of the child abuse royal commission, one figure has emerged as a lightning rod for the anger of Catholics. Cardinal George Pell has been grilled over what he knew about clergy abuse of children in the Church's care. Tonight, 7.30 changes the focus of that discussion to reveal a series of allegations levelled against the Cardinal himself. Victoria's Police Commissioner recently confirmed his Taskforce Sano is investigating George Pell over multiple allegations. We can reveal that investigation has been going for more than a year and involves a number of complainants spanning decades. 7.30 understands that file has been sent to the Office of Public Prosecutions for advice. The Cardinal has issued a statement saying he emphatically and unequivocally rejects any allegations of sexual abuse against him. 7.30 acknowledges the Cardinal is entitled to a presumption of innocence and that the allegations are yet to be tested by any court. In an investigation over several months, reporter Louise Milligan and producer Andy Burns spoke to scores of witnesses and other sources, piecing together the complaints being examined by the police. Many of those they spoke to are concerned that the full picture may never emerge and that's why they've decided to tell their story publicly. Because of the nature of the story, a warning that it contains details that may distress some viewers.
LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: The town of Ballarat has long been a staunchly Catholic place and Catholic Ballarat's favourite son was a strapping young priest called George Pell.
LYNDON MONUMENT: George Pell was like a father figure. He was the biggest figure in the Church in Ballarat.
LOUISE MILLIGAN: It was to be a brilliant career. Archbishop of Melbourne, ...
GEORGE PELL, CARDINAL: We place ourselves in the presence of God, our loving father.
LOUISE MILLIGAN: ... Archbishop of Sydney, ...
GEORGE PELL: And suffering and evil will not have the last word.
LOUISE MILLIGAN: Now Cardinal based in the Vatican, he's one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church.
27 Jul 2016
Allegations of Ballarat’s Cardinal George Pell sexually abusing children in the 1970s through to the 1990s have emerged.
Alleged victims told the ABC’s 7.30 Report program Cardinal Pell abused them as children in locations across Victoria including in Ballarat, Toquay and Melbourne.
The program revealed Victoria Police's Taskforce SANO has been examining allegations from complainants for more than a year, and is looking into incidents that allegedly happened during Cardinal Pell's time as Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.
The program has obtained eight police statements from complainants, witnesses and family members who are helping the taskforce with its investigation.
Cardinal Pell has categorically denied the accusations.
He described the claims as "totally untrue and utterly wrong".
BY JERRY GAUL
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has denied an appeal to again reinstate the conviction of Monsignor William J. Lynn.
State justices issued an order on Tuesday that affirmed the ruling by state Superior Court judges in December that overturned the conviction of the first Roman Catholic church official in the United States to be charged with child endangerment and ordered a new trial.
Lynn was serving a 3- to 6-year sentence in a Northeast Pennsylvania prison.
However, Lynn could be released as early as Wednesday, according to BigTrial.net.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Thomas A. Bergstrom, Lynn’s lawyer, told the legal blog. “We’ll file a bail motion first thing in the morning.”
Last December, a panel of state Superior Court judges ruled that the trial court had "abused its discretion" when admitting evidence against Lynn.
Local News 8
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -
Attorneys are battling over whether Mormon Church President Thomas S. Monson should be required to testify in a case about alleged sexual abuse that occurred within a now-defunct church program that placed thousands of American Indian children with Mormon families.
Lawyers for four people suing the religion say Monson has "unique information" because he was a high-ranking leader in the religion during the time the abuses occurred.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disagrees in a new court filing, saying Monson's duties in the 1960s-1970s didn't include oversight of the program. Monson became president in 2008.
The four alleged victims accuse religious leaders of not doing enough to protect them from their abusers.
Updated: Jul 27, 2016
By Krystal Paco
According to Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton and Roland Sondia, they weren't invited to today's press conference in which Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai retracted previous statements made by the Archdiocese of Agana and Archbishop Anthony Apuron.
Despite today's retraction, the alleged victims of the Archbishop Apuron's sexual abuse will be moving forward with the libel and slander lawsuit against the church and Apuron in hopes of getting the truth.
It's a step in the right direction. Quintanilla, "I think it's good that he felt compelled for whatever reason to retract those statements be it a lawsuit was what motivated them to retract it. Nonetheless, I'm glad he did." Sondia added, "This should've been done when he took over as the apostolic administrator."
And Denton noted, "It also has to stem from the pressure that he's received from not only the victims, but the people of Guam and all the protestors coming out there every Sunday."
Today's retraction however isn't enough for the three men - all former Agat altar boys who allege they were molested by Anthony Apuron nearly four decades ago. While it's too late to pursue criminal charges, they say they'll proceed with suing the church and Apuron for libel and slander in hopes of forcing Apuron to appear before a judge. "And if it's going to take a month, a year, whatever it takes, we're going to continue to fight for this," Sondia said.
Sydney Morning Herald
Police are investigating child-abuse allegations against Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, Cardinal George Pell, the ABC has reported.
The allegations have now been referred by Victoria Police to the Office of Public Prosecutions for advice, the ABC reports.
The ABC's 7.30 program has revealed that Taskforce Sano has been examining allegations from complainants in Ballarat, Torquay and Melbourne for more than a year, and is looking into incidents that allegedly happened during Cardinal Pell's time as Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.
The program has obtained eight police statements from complainants, witnesses and family members who are helping the taskforce with its investigation. The allegations were repeated on 7.30 on Wednesday night, and include:
* that Cardinal Pell would touch the genitals of children while swimming in a public pool in Ballarat in the late '70s
* that he was naked in the change rooms on a regular basis in front of children
* that he exposed himself to three young children in another change room, at the Torquay Surf Club in 1986 or 1987.
Cardinal Pell vehemently denied the allegations, with his office saying he "emphatically and unequivocally rejects any allegations of sexual abuse against him".
CATHOLIC cleric George Pell has denied claims that he sexually abused children as police revealed they are investigating a series of child sex abuse allegations against him.
The ABC 730 program revealed that Victoria Police are investigating several complaints from the 1970s to the 1990s from complainants in Ballarat, Torquay and Melbourne for more than a year.
Victoria Police’s Taskforce SANO, which investigates complaints from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, is looking into the allegations.
The allegations relate to a period when Cardinal Pell was the Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.
ABC 730 stated it had eight police statements from complainants, witnesses and family relatives, who are assisting the Victorian taskforce.
Updated: Jul 27, 2016
By Krystal Paco
The church previously called Archbishop Anthony Apuron's accusers liars whose motive was to oust Apuron and destroy the Catholic Church. Now, face-to-face with a $2 million lawsuit, the church is taking back their words and hoping to correct the wrongs made by previous church leadership.
And for the first time ever since his appointment to Guam over a month ago, apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai addressed the press.
While plaintiffs in the libel and slander lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana and Archbishop Apuron are looking to clear their names, so is the apostolic administrator. Archbishop Hon announced, "Archbishop Apuron's statements were not consistent with the gravity with which the church approaches all allegations of abuse. I recant and retract all such statements."
Last Friday, Archbishop Hon was officially served the $2 million libel and slander suit filed earlier this month against the archdiocese and Apuron. While he's not listed as a defendant, the suit names Archbishop Hon for failing to retract previous statements made by Apuron and then-church leadership. He continued, "Immediately after I arrived on Guam, I ordered the removal of these statements from all diocese media organs, including the website of the archdiocese and that of the archdiocesan newspaper."
Instead, he offers a different message to alleged victims, saying, "I take all reports of sexual misconduct by officials of the church very seriously and I have not, do not, and will not, consider a person presenting such reports as malicious, or calumnious, or motivated by desire to attack the church or any other improper purpose."
Annette Blackwell - AAP on July 27, 2016
The Hunter Valley in NSW, best known for its wine industry, is about to become the focus of major inquiries into pedophile activity by Anglican and Catholic clergy.
On Wednesday, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse confirmed that within weeks of an inquiry into an alleged pedophile ring operating in the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle it will open an investigation into the Catholic Church in the Hunter.
The Anglican inquiry starts on Tuesday and will run until August 12.
It will concentrate on what senior Anglican clergy did to stop priest Peter Rushton and a network of pedophile clergy accused of preying on children for decades.
These hearings are not the first to concentrate on child abuse in the Hunter.
Pacific Daily News
Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News July 27, 2016
A Vatican-appointed archbishop currently overseeing the local Catholic Church said Wednesday he recants and retracts statements made by Archbishop Anthony Apuron that were aimed at those who accused Apuron of sexual misconduct.
Apuron, the local church leader who currently isn’t in charge of daily operations, had called those accusations malicious and calumnious.
“The archdiocese should always assume and believe that the intent of those who make allegations of sexual abuse is to bring to light serious claims of abuse,” Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai said in his first press conference since Pope Francis appointed him in June to temporarily oversee the Catholic Church in Guam.
Hon’s recanting and retraction of Apuron’s statements came days after Hon’s name was included as a defendant in a libel and slander lawsuit filed by three former altar boys and the mother of a fourth altar boy who accused Apuron of sexually assaulting them in the late 1970s in Agat.
27 Jul 2016
THEY are Hunter child sex offenders the Catholic Church protected for decades – priest Vince Ryan and Marist Brothers Thomas Butler and Francis Cable.
They are now the focus of a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse public hearing into Maitland-Newcastle diocese, starting on August 29.
The royal commission formally announced the details of a hearing on Wednesday after the Newcastle Herald reported on Saturday the Hunter would be the focus of back-to-back royal commission hearings – into the Anglican Church from August 2, and then the Catholic Church.
The royal commission will sit in Newcastle four years after the Herald’s Shine the Light campaign for a royal commission, and four years after the suicide of child sex victim John Pirona, whose death became the catalyst for the campaign.
July 27, 2016
Two men have come forward claiming Cardinal George Pell groped them at a Victoria pool in the 1970s.
The men, who were in primary school at the time and have given a statement to Victorian police, say Cardinal Pell abused them when he would frequent Ballarat’s Eureka Pool during the summer of 1978-79.
One of the men, Lyndon Monument told ABC’s 7.30 he was reluctant to speak up because of the power Cardinal Pell held.
“I didn’t like it, but because it was a church and he was George Pell, we just - you just weren’t game to ever say anything, you know what I mean,” Mr Monument told 7.30.
The two men, now in their 40s, have given separate statements to Victoria Police’s special Taskforce Sano last year.
Cardinal Pell, who was a priest in Ballarat in the 70s has denied the allegations, saying claims he has sexually abused anyone, at any place and at any time were “totally untrue and completely wrong”.
27 Jul 2016
Police are reportedly investigating child-abuse allegations against Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, Cardinal George Pell, the ABC has reported.
The allegations, previously covered by Fairfax, have now reportedly been referred by Victoria Police to the Office of Public Prosecutions for advice.
Taskforce Sano, which has been investigating complaints coming out of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, has been examining the allegations against Australia's most senior Catholic cleric.
The ABC's 7.30 program has revealed the taskforce has been examining allegations from complainants in Ballarat, Torquay and Melbourne for more than a year, and is looking into incidents that allegedly happened during Cardinal Pell's time as Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.
The program understands that the case against Cardinal Pell has been referred by Victoria Police to the Office of Public Prosecutions for advice.
Two men have reportedly come forward claiming Cardinal George Pell sexually abused them at a Victorian pool in the 1970s.
The men, who were in primary school at the time, say Cardinal Pell abused them when he would frequent Ballarat's Eureka Pool during the summer of 1978-79, according to the ABC.
The men have reportedly given a statement to Victoria Police.
One of the men, Lyndon Monument, told ABC's 7.30 he was reluctant to speak up because of the power Cardinal Pell held.
"I didn't like it, but because it was a church and he was George Pell, we just - you just weren't game to ever say anything, you know what I mean," Mr Monument said.
The two men, now in their 40s, have given separate statements to Victoria Police's special Taskforce Sano last year.
Ben Brennan - Yahoo7 News on July 27, 2016
Police in Victoria are investigating multiple child abuse accusations against Australian Cardinal George Pell.
The ABC reports Taskforce SANO has been investigating allegations against Australia’s most senior Catholic for a year. The claims originate from his home town of Ballarat, as well as from Torquay and Melbourne.
Cardinal Pell has unequivocally rejected the claims as totally untrue.
Taskforce SANO was set up to investigate claims stemming from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
It has reportedly passed its case to Victoria’s Office of Public Prosecutions for advice.
According to ABC, two men in their forties say the Cardinal touched them inappropriately at Ballarat’s Eureka swimming pool in the summer of 1978-79.
Torquay businessman Les Tyack also gave a statement to the royal commission saying that in 1986-87 he found Cardinal Pell naked in the Torquay Surf Life Saving Club change rooms with three boys aged between eight and 10.
Two men have alleged Cardinal George Pell groped them in a Ballarat pool in the 1970s, claims Cardinal Pell has "emphatically denied".
27 JUL 2016
Two men have told Victoria Police they were abused as children by Cardinal George Pell when he was a priest in Ballarat in the 1970s.
Speaking to ABC's 7.30, the men say Cardinal Pell would grope them while they swam at Ballarat's Eureka Pool during the summer of 1978-79.
He would also often change in front of them.
"He'd undress and then he would say to us to undress," Lyndon Monument told 7.30 on Wednesday.
"So we would undress and then he would teach you how to dry your testicles and in between your bum and stuff like that."
Cardinal Pell was a priest in Ballarat in the 1970s and 80s before going on to become the Archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney.
He is now a cardinal in the Vatican.
Cardinal Pell has "emphatically and unequivocally" denied abuse allegations.
Rebekah Cavanagh and wires, The Daily Telegraph
CARDINAL George Pell has rejected claims by two men that he sexually abused them.
Two men, now in their 40s, came forward to detail to the ABC tonight that Cardinal Pell touched them inappropriately in Ballarat’s Eureka pool in 1978-79.
The claims are among several which the Herald Sun revealed in February were being investigated by Victoria Police’s Taskforce Sano.
We can now reveal the force referred a brief of evidence on Cardinal Pell to the Office of Public Prosecutions for consideration within the last month, requesting an opinion on whether or not to charge the world’s third most powerful Catholic.
But the Director of Public Prosecutions John Champion declined to give an opinion and referred the file back to the police, saying it was a decision for them.
The case spans four decades, with the Ballarat-born cardinal accused of abusing children — now adults aged in their late 20s to early 50s — between 1978 and 2001.
The two men who told the ABC tonight they had made statements to the police, say he touched them inappropriately in the summer of 1978-79 when he was playing a throwing game with them at the town’s Eureka pool.
Times Live (South Africa)
AFP | 27 July, 2016
Vatican finance chief George Pell is being investigated by Australian police over child sexual abuse allegations, a report by the national broadcaster said Thursday, as the leading Catholic cleric denounced the claims as "totally untrue".
The new allegations against Pell being probed by police in Victoria State span two decades, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported, and came just months after the cardinal admitted he "mucked up" in dealing with paedophile priests in the state.
When he was the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney in 2002 Pell was accused of historic sex abuse claims but was later cleared of any wrongdoing.
The ABC said it had obtained eight police statements from complainants, witnesses and family members helping the police investigation. The report included claims Pell touched two boys inappropriately in a pool in the late 1970s.
But the 75-year-old strongly denied the allegations in a statement to the ABC, saying "claims that he has sexually abused anyone, in any place, at any time in his life are totally untrue and completely wrong".
[with copy of a statement from the office of Cardinal Pell]
7.30 By Louise Milligan and Andy Burns
When local businessman Les Tyack walked into the Torquay Surf Club change rooms one day in the summer of 1986-87, he encountered a scene that struck him as "very odd" — George Pell with three boys he estimates were aged between 8 and 10.
"I said, 'Hi George', and at that time he was towelling, had the towel going across his shoulders drying his back, but he was facing three young boys standing about three or four metres across from him," Mr Tyack told 7.30.
He thought it was "a little strange", but he put his gear onto the bench and had a shower.
"I was in the showers for probably five to 10 minutes and when I came out the boys had got dressed," Les Tyack said.
"But Pell just had the towel over his right shoulder, still facing the boys, and the boys were looking at him, there was no communication between them, but Pell was looking at the boys they were looking at him."
"I immediately thought this is not right, there is something amiss here."
Mr Tyack says the thing that disturbed him was that the naked Pell had stood there for 10 minutes facing the boys.
Cardinal George Pell has been one of most prominent and controversial figures in the Australian Catholic Church for decades. Take a look at his career from regional Victorian priest to one of the most senior people at the Vatican.
Pell's introduction to the Church
George Pell was born in 1941 in Ballarat and grew up in the western Victorian city, where he attended the Loreto and St Patrick's colleges.
He began his studies into priesthood at Corpus Christi College in Werribee and later travelled to Rome to study at the Propaganda Fide College. In 1966 he was ordained as a Catholic priest and began his work in the Ballarat Diocese.
Over the next 20 years he was heavily involved in Catholic Church organisations, including the Catholic education sector.
7.30 BY LOUISE MILLIGAN AND ANDY BURNS
UPDATED WED JUL 27
Police are investigating multiple child abuse allegations levelled directly against Australia's most senior Catholic cleric Cardinal George Pell, the ABC's 7.30 program has revealed.
* Victoria Police investigating multiple complaints of sexual abuse by Cardinal George Pell
* Complaints range from the 1970s to the 1990s, when Pell established the Catholic Church's response to sexual abuse allegations
* Pell describes the claims as "totally untrue and utterly wrong"
Victoria Police's Taskforce SANO, which investigates complaints coming out of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, has been examining the allegations by complainants from Ballarat, Torquay and Melbourne for more than a year.
They include allegations about incidents which allegedly happened during Cardinal Pell's time as Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.
7.30 understands that the Pell case has been referred by Victoria Police to the Office of Public Prosecutions for advice.
7.30 has obtained eight police statements from complainants, witnesses and family members who are helping the taskforce with their investigation.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton confirmed last month that the taskforce was investigating multiple allegations against the Cardinal and, if necessary, detectives would fly to Rome to interview George Pell, although the Chief Commissioner said "it had not been put as necessary to me at this point in time".
July 26, 2016
Wednesday 27 July 2016
A Victoria police taskforce has reportedly been investigating Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic and a top Vatican official, for more than a year and has referred child abuse allegations to prosecutors.
Pell has consistently denied the allegations and said claims he abused young children in Victoria are “totally untrue and completely wrong”.
The ABC has reported police are investigating multiple allegations of abuse by Pell in Ballarat, Torquay and Melbourne.
Pell’s office has made a statement to the ABC denying the allegations and describing them as “nothing more than a scandalous smear campaign”.
“If there was any credibility in any of these claims, they would have been pursued by the royal commission by now,” the statement said.
National Catholic Reporter
Brian Roewe | Jul. 26, 2016
A decision from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Tuesday opened the door for Msgr. William Lynn to exit state prison as he awaits a new trial for his role in the supervision of a sexually abusive priest of the Philadelphia archdiocese.
The state Supreme Court rejected a petition from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to review an appeal court’s overturning of Lynn’s 2012 conviction for endangering the welfare of a child. Lynn, the archdiocesan secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, was the first U.S. church official convicted for his handling of sexual abuse allegations.
In December, a three-judge Superior Court panel vacated the conviction and ordered a new trial after it found the trial court “abused its discretion” by allowing the prosecution to enter as evidence 21 supplemental cases of sexual abuse -- some dating back to 1948, or three years before Lynn was born.
The Superior Court ruling was the second time in two years it reversed the priest’s conviction. A week later, Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams appealed that ruling, which the state Supreme Court denied Tuesday.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“God weeps,” Pope Francis said during his visit to Philadelphia last September. The topic was the church’s sad response to the sexual abuse of children by priests. “I commit to the careful oversight to ensure that youth are protected.”
Some careful oversight should be directed to the U.S. District Court in St. Louis. There a priest charged in 2014 with the sexual abuse of a minor has gone on a fishing expedition. To try to prove that Father Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang is a victim of an elaborate conspiracy, his lawyers are seeking emails that could identify victims in unrelated cases.
The lawsuit was filed against the city and two city police officers who investigated the claims of a boy who said Jiang had abused him on two occasions in 2011 and 2012. Jiang was charged in April 2014 with two counts of statutory sodomy, but 14 months later, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce dismissed the charges without explanation. She said her “office remains hopeful that charges will be refiled in the future.” Jiang filed his lawsuit shortly after the charges were dismissed.
Also named in the lawsuit were the boy’s parents; the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests; and two of SNAP’s local officers, David Clohessy and Barbara Doris. Because the city is a defendant, the suit was filed in federal court. That’s where things get tricky.
Israel’s Mako news service posted a hetefore unrevealed three-year-old recording of Rabbi Eliezer Berland saying:
Totally, she was raped from beginning to end.
After, it she asked is it permitted, she asked after the first time I raped her if she is permitted to her husband [or whether she was an adulterous wife who had to be divorced].
Beyond any doubt she is permitted to her husband.
She did not understand what happened. She asked me, “What happened? What happened here?”
JULY 26, 2016
by Joseph A. Slobodzian, STAFF WRITER
Pennsylvania's Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that Msgr. William J. Lynn, the first Catholic church official convicted for a supervisory role over priests accused of sexually abusing children in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, must have a new trial.
The ruling came as the high court rejected an appeal by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, which challenged a lower court's order of a new trial.
The unsigned one-sentence order confronts District Attorney Seth Williams with the thorny question of how to retry the landmark case after an appellate ruling that removed one of the pillars of the prosecution.
Lynn, now 65 and serving a three- to six-year prison term, was not accused of molesting children. He was accused of child endangerment because prosecutors say that as archdiocesan secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, he reassigned pedophile priests to new parishes, where they preyed on more children.
To establish that Lynn was part of a longstanding cover-up of pedophilia in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, prosecutors introduced historical information on clergy sex abuse: about two dozen examples, some dating to the 1940s.
Joseph Flaig, Reporter, covering the Epping Forest district. Call me on 07795 316 211 / @JosephFlaigEFG
A woman says she has been vindicated after a report confirmed that teenage girls were drugged and abused emotionally, physically and sexually at a “frightening, violent and unpredictable” home for girls.
The review, which found cruelty was sometimes “normalised” at the Church of England-run Kendall House between the 1960s and 1980s, was carried out after years of campaigning from Ongar mother-of-three Teresa Cooper, who was sent to the home aged 14.
Ms Cooper has suffered lasting health problems ever since but had no existing conditions or illnesses when she was placed in the home.
Dr Sue Proctor, who investigated abuse by Jimmy Savile at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, led the investigation and said that the truth would not have been revealed without Ms Cooper’s efforts.
TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2016
By Ralph Cipriano
Msgr. William J. Lynn, the central figure in the prosecution of the Philadelphia archdiocese for sex abuse, is a free man.
That’s because today, the state Supreme Court, in a one-page decision, announced it would not review a second reversal of Lynn’s conviction by the state Superior Court.
After serving 33 months in jail, and 15 months under house arrest, Lynn could be on a bus to Philadelphia as early as tomorrow.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Thomas A. Bergstrom, Lynn’s lawyer. “We’ll file a bail motion first thing in the morning.”
Lynn, the former secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004, was convicted in 2012 on one count of endangering the welfare of a child. He was sentenced to three to six years in jail by the trial judge in the case. M. Teresa Sarmina.
The alleged victim in the case, however, was Danny Gallagher, aka “Billy Doe,” who had all kinds of credibility problems, as recounted in a Jan. 29th Newsweek cover story headlined "Catholic Guilt: The Lying, Scheming Altar Boy Behind A Lurid Rape Case.”
The state Supreme Court has denied the Philadelphia District Attorney’s attempt to reinstate the conviction of Monsignor William J. Lynn, the first Catholic Church administrative official convicted over sexual abuse committed by other priests.
The justices issued a one-page order Tuesday denying the prosecutor’s appeal in Commonwealth v. Lynn. The District Attorney’s Office had asked the court to reverse a decision from the Superior Court that had vacated Lynn’s child endangerment conviction, and ordered a new trial in the case.
A spokesman for District Attorney R. Seth Williams said the office is currently reviewing the decision.
Lynn’s attorney, Thomas A. Bergstrom of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, said he was pleased with the decision and will work to get Lynn released soon.
“We are hopeful we will be able to get a motion filed and an order to get him released from custody as soon as we can, because right now he is an unconvicted and un-sentenced prisoner,” Bergstrom said. .
Donal O'Regan Donal O'Regan
26 Jul 2016
A PRIEST has appeared in court charged with multiple counts of indecently assaulting a young boy over a three-year-period.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Judge Marian O'Leary at Limerick District Court this morning.
Sergeant Michael Reidy gave evidence of arresting the accused prior to court for the purpose of charge.
He said the defendant, whose aged in his early 60s, made no reply as each of the eight charges were put to him.
The offences are alleged to have taken place at a location in East Limerick over a three year period in the late Eighties and early Nineties.
A priest has been remanded on bail, charged with indecently assaulting a boy, writes David Raleigh.
The accused who cannot be named appeared before a sitting of Limerick District Court this morning.
He is charged with eight counts of indecent assault against the boy, contrary to Common Law, and Section 62 of the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861.
The offences are alleged to have taken place on dates between September 1, 1988 and August 1, 1990.
Detective Garda Mike Reidy, Roxboro Road station, gave evidence that he "met the defendant by appointment before the court at 10.15am and formally arrested him".
"In reply to all of the charges he had nothing to say...no reply to the charges," Dtc Gda Reidy said.
IT was a cruel game played out by vile abusers in an idyllic and retile valley which in the coming weeks will be revealed as the nation’s “epicentre for organised paedophilia”.
The game of “spotlighting”, ostensibly a weekend camping pursuit by young Anglican boys and their religious leaders was actually a guise for child sexual abuse.
Revelations of how Anglican priests and their paedophile gang chased boys and raped them in the wilds of the Hunter Valley will unfold in coming weeks.
And the Hunter Valley, known for its vineyards, its coal industry and its fertile soil for crops, will emerge as something more sinister.
This valley of the damned is now being recognised as a playground for not only priests from the Catholic Church practising systematic abuse, but their Anglican counterparts.
It is the Anglican Church’s turn to be exposed for its widespread practice of grooming and sexually assaulting young Hunter Valley boys.
We Are Central PA
Ebensburg, Cambria County, Pa.
A former 'house parent' for Bishop Carroll Catholic School's international exchange program is accused of sexual assault.
John Thornberry, 28, is facing several charges after two international exchange students said he inappropriately touched them.
Ebensburg Police say they were informed on February 9, 2016 that an incident had accused by Bishop Carrol's CEO, Jerome Stephens and upon investigating the found the initial incident happened back in December of 2014.
The Altoona-Johnstown Diocese operates an international exchange student program and provides dormitory-style living for the students involved on Bishop Carroll High School's campus. Thornberry was hired in August of 2014 and passed all clearances mandated. As a house parent, he lived on campus and would help with homeworks, transportation and keeping account of the exchange students.
Victim one told police that Thornberry touched his penis and he knew that he had previously touched another student, victim two. Victim two, a former student, said Thornberry said he wanted to see his penis and had tried to touch him when he was alone in his room. Victim two said he was about to fight off Thornberry. Victim two now attends a different high school in the United States. Police say they believe there is a third victim, but are unable to reach him because of returning to his native country.
Lou Raguse, KARE July 25, 2016
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. - One of St. John's University's top administrators is temporarily giving up some of his duties in the wake of a 23-year-old sex abuse allegation.
Father Doug Mullin is currently the vice president in charge of student development, which includes overseeing the athletics department. He will continue with his VP duties, but has moved out of the dorms, where he was a long-time faculty resident. And he temporarily will step back from public priestly ministry.
Mullin strongly denies the accusation, and St. John's University and St. John's Abbey are aggressively fighting the claim on his behalf.
Attorney Jeff Anderson served St. John's Abbey with the lawsuit just prior to the May deadline for the Minnesota Child Victims' Act, which extended the statute of limitations temporarily and allowed victims to file old sex abuse lawsuits.
But St. John's Abbey fired back, asking a judge for a dismissal even before the plaintiff publicly filed the lawsuit.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiff, who is referred to as "Doe 304," was a former student at St. John's Prep, a boarding school for grades 6-12. In 1993, Mullin was the Dean of Students at St. John's Prep. The plaintiff, now in his late-30s, claims in the lawsuit Mullin sexually abused him when he was 15.
A spokesman for St. John's Abbey provided a written response, stating in part:
Fr. Mullin adamantly denies the allegation. Saint John’s Abbey has full confidence in Fr. Mullin’s denial and, by filing the complaint in court—at Fr. Mullin’s request—is seeking to restore his good name," said Br. Aelred Senna. "Fr. Mullin has voluntarily stepped back temporarily from public priestly ministry and also from his longtime role as Faculty Resident in the residence halls at the University. Saint John’s University has full confidence in Fr. Doug Mullin’s innocence and expects him to be completely vindicated in this matter. Fr. Mullin continues in his Vice-Presidential role with Saint John's University, as would any other employee facing an unproven allegation of wrongdoing.
Sunday 17 July 2016
A British man who travelled to Verona in an attempt to forgive the Catholic missionary who sexually abused him at Mirfield seminary in Yorkshire almost 50 years ago is being prosecuted in the Italian courts on three counts of “trespassing, stalking and interference in private life”.
Mark Murray, 60, who filmed his encounter with Father Romano Nardo at the Verona headquarters of the Comboni missionaries in April last year, said he was “appalled and disgusted” when a letter summoning him for criminal proceedings in Verona on 14 September arrived at his home in Wales last week.
“The Combonis know these ‘crimes’ are not true. They are trying to intimidate me. It’s all about power and control. They are trying to send out a message to say, ‘Don’t dare take us on’.”
In 2014, the Observer reported exclusively on widespread abuse at Mirfield in the 1960s and 70s after a group of 11 British men settled out of court with the missionary order, receiving sums of between £7,000 and £30,000.
Murray, who has suffered lifelong psychological problems as a result of his experiences, received the maximum sum after revealing a horrifying litany of sexual and emotional abuse that included having a cross carved in his chest with a finger nail. “This has all had a massive effect on my emotional wellbeing,” he said.
Office of the Attorney General
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane's office today announced criminal charges have been filed against a former employee of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School accused of the sexual assault of an international exchange student.
John Bowman Thornberry, 28, is also charged with the attempted sexual assault of a second international exchange student.
The alleged incidents occurred while Thornberry worked as a house parent in a residence hall for students of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School, located in Ebensburg, Cambria County. The school is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.
"This is a disturbing case of a trusted school official violating the very students he was obligated to watch over and care for," Attorney General Kane said. "It is unacceptable for anyone to harm a child."
Thornberry's arrest is the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Office of Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigations and the Ebensburg Police Department. The investigation began after an administrator from Bishop Carroll Catholic High School contacted authorities to report the allegations involving Thornberry.
According to a criminal complaint filed in support of the charges, as a house parent Thornberry was tasked with assisting students with homework assignments and transportation. He was also responsible for accounting for students' whereabouts when they were outside the classroom.
The alleged sexual assault and the alleged attempted sexual assault occurred between December 2014 and February 2016. The alleged incidents occurred in the school residence hall where the student victims were living, investigators stated in a criminal complaint.
The Office of Attorney General assumed jurisdiction of the case following a referral from Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan.
The Office of Attorney General has investigated other incidents of child sexual abuse involving individuals associated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. The 37th statewide investigating grand jury in March released a report that detailed the sexual abuse that hundreds of victims endured at the hands of priests and other religious leaders associated with the diocese. The abuse occurred over a period of at least 40 years.
Thornberry, of Mills Rivers, N.C., is charged with one count each of institutional sexual assault, criminal attempted sexual assault, attempted indecent assault, indecent assault, corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of a child. Thornberry is awaiting a preliminary arraignment.
Attorney General Kane thanked the Ebensburg Police Department for its work on this investigation.
The case will be prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Daniel J. Dye of the Office of Attorney General's Criminal Prosecutions Section.
Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact the Office of Attorney General at 888-538-8541.
By Ivey DeJesus | email@example.com
A former employee of a high school in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese has been criminally charged with sexually assaulting a student.
The Attorney General's Office on Tuesday announced criminal charges in connection to the sexual assault of a minor on a former employee of a high school in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese.
The Attorney General's Office on Tuesday released the criminal complaint against John Bowman Thornberry, 28, a former employee of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Ebensburg, Westmoreland County.
Thornberry is accused of the sexual assault of an international exchange student. He is also charged with the attempted sexual assault of a second international exchange student.
The alleged incidents occurred while Thornberry worked as a house parent in a residence hall for students at the school.
"This is a disturbing case of a trusted school official violating the very students he was obligated to watch over and care for," Attorney General Kathleen Kane said in a written statement. "It is unacceptable for anyone to harm a child."
The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown earlier this year was the focus of a grand jury investigation into systemic clergy sex abuse. The two-year investigation uncovered the widespread sexual assault of hundreds - possibly thousands - of children across the diocese, and its coverup by church officials.
BY RON MUSSELMAN TUESDAY, JULY 26TH 2016
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Kathleen Kane's office announced Tuesday that criminal charges have been filed against a former employee of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School accused of sexually assaulting an international exchange student.
John Bowman Thornberry, 28, of Mills Rivers, N.C., also is charged with the attempted sexual assault of a second international exchange student.
The alleged incidents occurred while Thornberry worked as a house parent in a residence hall for students of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School, located in Ebensburg, Cambria County.
The school is affiliated with the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.
Thornberry is awaiting a preliminary arraignment.
"This is a disturbing case of a trusted school official violating the very students he was obligated to watch over and care for," Kane said. "It is unacceptable for anyone to harm a child."
Pacific Daily News
Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News July 26, 2016
Nearly two months after the Vatican sent him to temporarily oversee the Catholic Church in Guam, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai will not only hold his first press conference but also confirmed that a revision of the local church’s policy for responding to sexual abuse accusations would include language on how to respond to allegations against the archbishop himself.
Hon’s first press conference set for Wednesday morning also comes five days after his name was included as a defendant in a libel and slander lawsuit filed by former altar boys who accused Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of sexually assaulting them in the late 1970s.
Former altar boys Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton and Roland Sondia, along with Doris Concepcion, mother of another former altar boy, Joseph Quinata, accused Apuron of sexually molesting altar boys when he was parish priest at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Agat.
Through their attorney David Lujan, the former altar boys revised on Friday their $2 million libel and slander lawsuit, naming other defendants and citing more examples in which the local church allegedly defamed them after they made their allegations against Apuron public.
The accusers said Hon, who has temporarily assumed Apuron’s duties in Guam, should be held equally accountable for past statements by the church because the church has not retracted or repudiated any of the statements.
Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent
Tuesday 26 July 2016
The archbishop of York and four serving bishops have been accused of misconduct by a Church of England priest who claims they failed to act on allegations he was repeatedly raped by another vicar when he was 16.
The priest says none of the five senior clergy properly responded to his disclosures, made verbally and in writing, of the rapes which he alleged took place in 1984.
“Michael” – whose identity is known to the Guardian, but who wishes to remain anonymous – filed the complaints under the C of E’s clergy disciplinary measure (CDM) against John Sentamu, the archbishop of York and second highest-ranking figure in the church; Peter Burrows, the bishop of Doncaster; Steven Croft, a former bishop of Sheffield, and now bishop of Oxford; Martyn Snow, the bishop of Leicester; and Glyn Webster, the bishop of Beverley.
All five have contested the complaints because they were made after the church’s required one-year limit.
Spokespersons for Sentamu and the four bishops said they could not comment on a matter that was the subject of an internal church process and a police investigation.
Sentamu has previously said he was “deeply ashamed” that the church failed “both to watch and to act, where children were at serious risk” in a separate abuse case concerning a C of E dean.
James Macintyre 26 July 2016
The Archbishop of York and four bishops have been accused of misconduct by a Church of England priest who claims they failed to act on allegations that he was repeatedly raped by another vicar in 1984, when he was 16.
The Guardian reported that the anonymous priest filed the written and verbal complaints under the CofE's clergy disciplinary measure (CDM) against John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York; Peter Burrows, the bishop of Doncaster; Steven Croft, a former bishop of Sheffield, and now bishop of Oxford; Martyn Snow, the bishop of Leicester; and Glyn Webster, the bishop of Beverley.
All five have contested the complaints on the grounds that they were made after a one-year time limit for complaints that is required by the church.
The priest, known only as 'Michael', has filed a misconduct complaint against the alleged rapist, who is currently the subject of a police investigation into Michael's claims.
The alleged rapist, who continued to work as a CofE priest for at least a decade after the alleged offences, is now retired, though he is still licensed to officiate as a priest.
PATRICK BILLINGS, Mercury
July 23, 2016
PEOPLE are told not to speak ill of the dead. So the joy that victims of Paul Ronald Goldsmith experienced on learning of his death was admittedly a “bizarre feeling”.
But their lives have not been normal since the man dubbed Tasmania’s worst paedophile unleashed his reign of terror in the 1970s.
Goldsmith died two months ago in Tanzania where he fled to in 2012, reportedly with troubling plans to work with disadvantaged children.
It is not known how the 71-year-old died.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade wouldn’t elaborate for privacy reasons after confirming the death on Monday. However, the Mercury has been told he had broken his leg which may have led to complications in the impoverished East African country.
Goldsmith, a trainee Catholic priest-turned-successful insurer, was jailed in 2005 for sexually abusing 20 teenage boys aged between 13 and 16.
By Andrew Davis
Published: July 25, 2016
It was a crowning moment for the director, producers and actors. February 2016, “Spotlight” wins the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Behind the movie is the story of the victims, abused by men they trusted, their priests.
One of those victims now lives in Savannah.
Michael Corbett was a teenager, just 17, and thinking about becoming a priest himself.
Those thoughts, and his life was changed forever by Father Robert Gale in a Boston rectory back in 1993.
“He went to the bedroom and stripped down to his underwear,” explained Corbett. “But did it so he was standing right in front of me the whole time.”
Updated: Jul 26, 2016
By Krystal Paco
A continued public hearing for legislation that would lift the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases is set for Thursday. Last month, dozens rallied in support of Bill 326, stating "justice shouldn't have an expiration date".
Among the bill's supporters were Archbishop Anthony Apuron's alleged victims - Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton, Roland Sondia, and Doris Concepcion on behalf of her late son, Joseph "Sonny" Quinata. The bill's author, Senator Frank Blas Jr., says a substituted version will be heard on the measure based off recommendations from the last public hearing. Some of the changes include ensuring the bill is specific to sexual abuse and not any other crimes along with preventing "frivolous suits" from being filed.
The hearing starts at 10am at the Legislature's Public Hearing Room in Hagatna.
VATICAN CITY, July 26 (Reuters) - The Vatican and the Bank of Italy on Tuesday signed a cooperation agreement aimed at regularising their relations and ending years of Italian mistrust over the operations of the Holy See's bank.
The agreement, signed by BOI Governor Ignacio Visco and Rene Bruelhart, the Vatican's top financial regulator, comes after years of financial reforms, most of them under Pope Francis, to bring the Vatican and its troubled bank up to international standards to guarantee transparency and combat money laundering. (Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Crispian Balmer)
STAFF at a Stoke-on-Trent school said today they were 'horrified' to discover a former teacher had abused pupils at a previous school where he worked more than three decades ago.
Paul Kelly had preyed on boys at a St Ninian's School in Falkland, Fife, which educated youngsters from troubled backgrounds.
But the offences may never have come to light had it not been for the tenacity of one victim, who made a complaint to diocesan officials in 2013.
It led to one of the biggest abuse inquiries of its kind to be carried out by Police Scotland, with Kelly among several former staff to be charged with sex offences.
Monday 25 July 2016
The first of hundreds of people are to begin giving testimony to a public inquiry into child sexual abuse, in an unprecedented national “truth-telling” project designed to catalogue decades of suffering.
More than 2,000 people have contacted the Goddard inquiry to say they have suffered abuse, and 600 have consented to take part in the truth project.
The inquiry was set up in 2015 in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal to gather evidence on historical institutional child abuse in Britain. The inquiry is also seeking victims who were abused and who reported the abuse to a person in authority but the report was either ignored or not acted on properly.
Dru Sharpling, the Goddard inquiry panel member overseeing the truth project, encouraged anyone who had suffered child sexual abuse within an institution, a private organisation or at the hands of a person of public prominence to come forward.
Despite public inquiries over the last two decades, such as the Waterhouse inquiry and the Utting report into child abuse in care homes, the institutions of government have failed to deliver justice for survivors or tackle child abuse. And official inquiries have repeatedly absolved central government and the establishment from guilt. Yet there is still no indication of when the £18m Goddard child abuse inquiry will hear evidence regarding high-level abuse and coverups at Westminster.
The inquiry’s truth project began this week but, sadly, the testimonies given to it by survivors will have no direct legal consequences and will only be used as ballast to the final inquiry report; a form of window dressing that may leave many survivors not only bound to secrecy about their testimony but also deeply distressed.
In announcing the initial inquiry two years ago, the then home secretary, Theresa May, declared its remit was to look into institutional responses to all child sex abuse allegations, whatever the circumstances. With estimates of the number of child abuse survivors stretching into the millions, many thought this was a clear signal the government would try to bury the Westminster scandals by casting the net too wide.
There were also indications the inquiry would have no powers to order key documents and witnesses. Only survivors’ brave and outspoken opposition prevented May’s appointment of Lady Butler-Sloss and then Fiona Woolf from heading the inquiry. Survivors’ groups such as Whiteflowers, to which I belong, organised vigils, protests and lobbies to focus the inquiry on the establishment and delivering justice for victims.
[with court document]
Updated: Jul 26, 2016
By Krystal Paco
There are new developments to report in the alleged child sex abuse scandal that's has rocked the local Catholic Church. Archbishop Anthony Apuron and the Archdiocese of Agana have been served.
Four people have come forward accusing Apuron of sexual molestation, which he has denied.
Because the statute of limitations has run out to pursue criminal charges, the accusers filed the libel and slander lawsuit in hopes of forcing him to appear before a judge.
Signed, sealed, and hand delivered - the Archdiocese of Agana and Archbishop Apuron are now both in receipt of the libel and slander lawsuit against them. According to a declaration of service that was filed at the Superior Court of Guam, apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai received the legal papers on Friday, but didn't want to take them. According to Christopher Allen, a special process server for the courts, "Mr. Savio Fai refused to sign receipt of documents and tried to give the documents back to me. I promptly left the area, leaving the documents in Mr. Fai's hand. Nothing further."
On Monday, the same court official served Apuron via Alina Fantanote, who is of "suitable age and discretion and who resides with the defendant."
26 Jul 2016
A Hunter Valley pastor is leading a push for legislative change for harsher penalties for people who fail to report child sexual abuse to police.
Pastor Bob Cotton from Maitland Christian Church says the current penalty for concealing a serious indictable offence – a maximum of two years’ imprisonment – is inadequate punishment for those who cover-up the sexual abuse of children.
Pastor Cotton said he was spurred into action after a close friend, who had been abused by Anglican church worker James Michael Brown in Kurri Kurri, died of drug and alcohol abuse.
“The ancillary offences do not fit the facts of the cases, and ‘conceal serious indictable offence’ does not reflect the criminality,” Pastor Cotton said.
“It is only a local court matter and frankly, it is an insult to the victims.
July 25, 2016 By Robbie Owens
NORTH RICHLAND HILLS (CBS11) – A search for answers—and perhaps a child predator—is underway in North Richland Hills. Police are investigating allegations of child sexual abuse at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church.
The accusations became public over the weekend after a statement from the Fort Worth Diocese was read at each mass.
In part, the statement references having received “reports very recently of sexual abuse of children by a layman who is a member…” The accused has been described as a volunteer at the church, although a name has not been released. According to the statement, “…abuse is alleged to have occurred over the last seven or so years.”
Three children have brought accusations. Two of the incidents allegedly occurred on church property, perhaps “during evening prayer meetings.”
An alleged third incident involving the suspect occurred in Colleyville, but, North Richland Hills Police are leading the investigation into all of the incidents and Monday told reporters that they intend to move cautiously.
Police are looking into claims of sexual abuse at a church in North Richland Hills after the congregation made the allegations public during its weekend services.
During every mass at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church on Sunday, a letter was read.
The letter said: “The Diocese of Fort Worth has received reports very recently of sexual abuse of children by a layman who is a member of St. John the Apostle parish. The abuse is alleged to have occurred over the last seven or so years.”
North Richland Hills police say it was over the last three to seven years.
"Allegations that happened several years ago,” said investigator Keith Bauman. “Too early to say this has it’s been an ongoing situation.”
Police say the allegations involve three children ages 5 to 10 — children who are now in their teens.
By Jeff Smith
A volunteer is accused of sexually abusing children at a North Richland Hills church.
Police are investigating three complaints of sexual abuse of children, two of which allegedly happened at Saint John the Apostle Church on Glenview Drive.
All three complaints involve children who, at the time of the alleged misconduct, were between the ages of five and 10. Now, officers say the victims are teenagers.
"We've had allegations of sexual misconduct and we take them seriously. But we also need information and evidence to move forward," said North Richland Hills Police Investigator Keith Bauman. "There are three specific situations that we are looking into."
Two instances of sexual misconduct allegedly happened inside the Catholic church during evening prayer meetings.
July 25, 2016
Pacific Daily News
Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News July 26, 2016
Nearly two months after the Vatican sent him to temporarily oversee the Catholic Church in Guam, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai confirmed on Sunday that a revision of the local church’s policy for responding to sexual abuse accusations would include language on how to respond to allegations against the archbishop himself.
At least four individuals publicly accused Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of sexually molesting altar boys in the 1970s when Apuron was parish priest at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Agat.
But since the public accusations in May and June, the local church or the Vatican has not released any detail about any investigation into Apuron.
Church law states only the Vatican can investigate an archbishop, but it’s unclear whether an investigation has even started.
Apuron hasn’t been charged with any crime and remains archbishop, but he’s been temporarily stripped of his administrative authority over the Archdiocese of Agana.
BY BILL ROBERTS
The Rev. Victor Jagerstatter was charged Monday with raping a Mountain Home Air Force Base airman while the airman lay passed out in the early morning hours of July 9.
Jagerstatter, 39, is a Catholic priest at Our Lady of Good Counsel parish. He was released on his own recognizance despite the prosecutor’s request for a $20,000 bond.
Nearly 100 parishioners from the Mountain Home church and others in Weiser and Caldwell overflowed into the courtroom. Many were wearing “I Stand with Fr. Victor” badges. Others carried posters which read “Fr. Victor is innocent.”
They recited the Lord’s Prayer and sang “Amazing Grace” in the hallway outside the basement courtroom.
MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho (KBOI) -- Editor's Note: The following story contains sensitive content
The victim in an alleged rape involving a Mountain Home priest says he woke up to Victor F. Jagerstatter attempting to give him oral sex, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Court documents state that on July 9, the victim, an Airman at the Mountain Home Air Force Base, was intoxicated and passed out in a room he rented from Jagerstatter's house on 13th Street North after a night of drinking. Sometime after he passed out from intoxication, the court documents state, the victim woke up and saw Jagerstatter kneeling beside his bed moving toward him attempting oral sex.
"The victim screamed and Victor Franz Jagerstatter asked him if he wanted breakfast," the affidavit states.
Jul 25, 2016
MOUNTAIN HOME - A Mountain Home priest made his initial court appearance Monday afternoon in the Elmore County Courthouse after police say he sexually assaulted a man.
On Friday, Mountain Home Police arrested 39-year-old Victor Jagerstatter for sexual abuse and exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
The charge has since been changed to rape, according to the Idaho State Respository.
Jagerstatter is a priest of the Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Parish in Mountain Home. The parish serves Mountain Home, Glenns Ferry, Grandview and Bureau.
Jagerstatter was booked into the Elmore County Jail about 11 a.m. Friday, according to a jail supervisor.
Court documents released Tuesday say the victim -– a member of the U.S. Air Force stationed at the Mountain Home Air Force Base -- reported to Base family advocacy officials that he had been sexually assaulted. The case was investigated by Special Agent Keith Tyler of the Office of Special Investigation.
According to the document, the victim told Tyler he was renting a room from Jagerstatter on East 13th Street North in Mountain Home. He attended a party on July 8th, drank alcohol, then returned to his rented room and passed out about 3 a.m. the following morning.
Guam Daily Post
Neil Pang | Post News Staff
The lawsuit filed against Archbishop Anthony Apuron and the Archdiocese of Agana was amended Tuesday, July 19, and now references a number of additional statements made by the archdiocese which the plaintiffs see as strengthening their case of slander and libel.
On July 1, a group of four accusers – Roland Sondia, Walter Denton, Edith Doris Concepcion and Roy Quintanilla – filed a suit for libel and slander against the archdiocese and Apuron.
The newly added statements were released by the archdiocese in response to allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct made against Apuron. In these statements, the allegations are referred to as "nonsense," described as "another malicious and calumnious accusation against the Archbishop" and that "the true nature of the plaintiffs' suit is to destroy the Catholic Church and discredit the archbishop by whatever means."
In the amended suit, the plaintiffs allege that the various statements issued by the archdiocese were prepared and released on behalf of Apuron by Rev. Edivaldo Da Silva Oliveira, the media relations coordinator of the archdiocese and personal secretary of Apuron.
The amended suit notes that none of the statements released by the archdiocese have been retracted and that the statements continue to represent the position of the archdiocese and Apuron. Further, it states that all statements released prior to archbishop Hon's appointment are equally attributable to him as to his predecessors.
The West Australian
Sophie Morris and Nick Butterly - The West Australian on July 26, 2016
The most senior Anglican in Australia has backed church officers who revealed that the Archbishop of Perth Roger Herft may have failed to properly report details about a notorious paedophile priest in NSW.
Primate of the Anglican Church, Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier, even offered a prayer of support and gratitude for those who last week said there was no record that Archbishop Herft had referred complaints about the paedophile to police.
He gave no public backing to Archbishop Herft and said the allegations of abuse, aired on the ABC last week, were “shocking and distressing”.
“We pray for the perpetrators of abuse and those involved in covering up this criminal behaviour that they might acknowledge the evil and damage that they have done and be brought to justice with repentance and a will to change their lives,” he said.
ELIZABETH EISENSTADT-EVANS | COLUMNIST
“It’s not over,” said state Rep. Mark Rozzi on Monday, moments after throwing the grand jury reports on sexual abuse of children on the steps of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.
The Berks County lawmaker, himself a victim of abuse, was most likely referring to his ongoing battle to retroactively extend the period in which victims of decades-old childhood abuse could sue those who molested them, dropping the statute of limitations in criminal cases and extending the window for civil ones from age 30 to 50.
HB 1947, which overwhelmingly passed the House this past spring, was stripped of the retroactivity language when it arrived in the state Senate after lobbying by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and other groups. They argued that the provision was unconstitutional, unfairly targeted private institutions like churches and would result in the closure of parishes and ministries. Both the Diocese of Harrisburg and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which opposed the House legislation, sent out letters to be read from the pulpit and included in parish newsletters.
“The constitutionality defense is an issue that bishops typically raise when they find themselves between a rock and a hard place,” says Marci Hamilton, an attorney specializing in the constitutional separation of church and state and a resident senior fellow in the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
Pacific Daily News
Steve Limtiaco, firstname.lastname@example.org July 25, 2016
The former altar boys who accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron of sexually assaulting them have revised their $2 million libel and slander lawsuit, citing more examples in which the local church allegedly defamed them after they made their allegations public.
The revised lawsuit also argues that Archbishop Savio Tai Fai Hon, who has temporarily assumed Apuron’s duties in Guam, should be held equally accountable for past statements by the church because the church has not retracted or repudiated any of the statements.
The revised lawsuit accuses Apuron and the church of making defamatory statements against the accusers, despite knowing, “there had already been a history of sexual abuse committed by priests in the Agana Archdiocese.”
Since May, three former Agat altar boys and the mother of a deceased former altar boy have come forward to publicly accuse Apuron of sexually assaulting the boys when he was parish priest in the late 1970s.
Roy Quintanilla stated his allegations on May 17, followed a couple of weeks later by Doris Concepcion, who said her deceased son, Joseph A. Quinata, had told her Apuron molested him. Walter G. Denton in early June stated Apuron had raped him during a sleepover, and Roland Sondia in mid-June stated Apuron had molested him.
The Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide will ask the NSW Supreme Court to dismiss a criminal prosecution alleging he failed to report child abuse by a priest.
Archbishop Philip Wilson, the most senior Catholic official worldwide to be charged with such an offence, had unsuccessfully argued that the prosecution was “unjustly oppressive” to him, and “will culminate in an unfair trial”, court documents show.
His appeal will be heard before a Supreme Court judge in September, days after the end of two royal commission hearings into child abuse within the Catholic Church, including in the archbishop’s former diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in NSW.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will devote two public hearings into abuse within the Newcastle area over the next few months, with the city’s Anglican Church also under investigation. The commission is expected to hear evidence of a potential pedophile ring involving former Anglican officials.
The diocese’s bishop, Greg Thompson, last year apologised to abuse victims who suffered in “a culture that intimidated them and kept them silent’’.
25 JUL 2016
MARCI A. HAMILTON
The wild ride of this year’s presidential election has left many looking for landmarks that will guide their choice for the next president. One place to figure out who stands for what lies in the 2016 Republican and Democratic Platforms. So I decided to explore how each party deals with children.
It would not have been irrational to assume that this would be the year when the epidemic of child sex abuse might find its way onto a platform. After all, Spotlight won the Oscar Award for Best Picture. Institutions in every category that have recklessly dealt with the sexual abuse of children continue to fall over themselves as they choose between defensive silence, self-serving denials, and lame mea culpas. Indeed, there have been so many institutions outed, it is impossible to name them all here.
Suffice it to say that tony prep schools, universities, sports, and religious organizations have had some problems. Pitched battles between fragile adult survivors of abuse and the Catholic bishops over statutes of limitations for child sex abuse and rape have dominated politics and headlines.
And talk about a demographic: 20-25 percent of the American public is sexually abused as children. That is an “interest” that might well persuade a voter to cross party lines, depending on the Party’s message on child sex abuse. For this large number of Americans, however, the Platforms just nibble around the problem.
One needs to cast a wide net for “children” in each Platform to find some indication of how the Party views the epidemic of child sex abuse. Neither uses the phrase “child sex abuse.”
Yair Ettinger Jul 25, 2016
Rabbi Eliezer Berland, the leader of Israel's Shuvu Banim Hasidic community, was brought to court for a hearing on extending his police detention on Monday. The police asked the court to extend Berland’s detention by another few days for questioning in order to complete their investigation.
Berland is suspected of sexual and other offenses and was arrested when he returned to Israel last week from South Africa under an extradition agreement.
Some 1,000 of his followers protested his arrest outside the Rishon Letzion Magistrate's Court in support. Some of his supporters carried pictures of the rabbi or signs, with slogans such as "The people are with the saint."
Berland, 79, is one of the leaders of the Bratslav Hasidic movement in the country and is considered a holy man by his followers.
By Esther Tagoe - Jul 23, 2016
The Nigeria Security Forces have rescued a nine-year-old boy who was chained at a church. Korede Taiwo, was chained for weeks at the Key of Joy Parish of the Celestial Church of Christ in Ajiwo, Ogun state, Nigeria.
A statement released by the security forces said that the boy was rescued at about 10:30AM on Friday. The case has since been transferred to the appropriate authorities for further investigation, the statement said.
According to the statement released by the Security Forces, the boy was chained because he repeatedly stole (soup) from his stepmother. The step-mother, Kehinde reported to his father, Taiwo Francis, a Pastor in the church. Francis reportedly chained the boy to a log of wood inside a room within the church premises.
The statement added that security officials patrolling the area were informed by a resident that a boy is being held in chains in the church. They moved in following the tip-off.
The shocking picture above was taken shortly after the nine-year-old was rescued on Friday by Nigerian security forces from the Key of Joy Parish of the Celestial Church of Christ in Ajiwo, in the state of Ogun.
According to this report, Korede Taiwo was chained for weeks at the church and starved.
A statement released by the security forces said the boy had been punished because he repeatedly stole soup from his stepmother, Kehinde. She reported the theft to his father, Taiwo Francis, a pastor in the church. Francis then chained the boy to a log of wood inside a room within the church premises.
The statement added that security officials patrolling the area were informed by a resident of the boy’s plight and he was then rescued, despite opposition from church members.
According to the statement:
The boy was tired and pale, he was not able to talk when we rescued him. On getting to the church there was serious resistance by members, led by the pastor’s wife Kehinde.
National Catholic Register
NEWS ANALYSIS: Cardinal George Pell’s Secretariat of the Economy has had its wings clipped in recent weeks, in terms of its authority to oversee the Vatican’s financial operations.
BY EDWARD PENTIN
VATICAN CITY — The Secretariat for the Economy has suffered two blows to its authority in the past few weeks in what inside sources say is a concerted effort to obstruct revealing financial information and possible misconduct in the Roman Curia.
However, some of the decisions have helped to clarify roles in the financial reform process and, together with new monitoring procedures, could significantly help to root out mismanagement and corruption in the long term.
On June 10, the Vatican announced it was ending an external audit of the Holy See’s finances by the accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers. The audit, which cost around €500,000 ($550,000) to complete, had already been suspended in April, just four months after it had begun, on the grounds that the Vatican wanted to obtain “clarifications.”
The Vatican said in its June 10 statement that the financial scrutiny would now be executed by the Vatican’s own auditor general, and that PwC would henceforth “play an assisting role” and be “available to those dicasteries that wish to avail themselves of its support and consulting services.” It argued that having an external audit carried out by its own auditor general is “normally the case for every sovereign state.”
[The charitable Joseph Foundation built a 1.2 million-euro retirement home for former Bamberg Archbishop Karl Braun. The deal is controversial because the foundation also builds home for needy families.]
Von Matthias Drobinski, Bamberg
Seinen 85. Geburtstag feierte der Bamberger Alt-Erzbischof Karl Braun bescheiden und daheim, am 13. Dezember 2015. Zum Fest berichtete der Bamberger Fränkische Tag, Braun lebe "eher zurückgezogen in seinem Haus in Wildensorg", westlich der Domstadt. Das sei ein "Tribut an das Alter", heißt es in dem Porträt, aber auch "ein selbst auferlegtes Muss als Emeritus, der seinem Nachfolger auf dem Bischofsstuhl das tägliche Feld zum Beackern überlässt". Braun, der mehr als zehn Jahre Bischof von Eichstätt war und dann bis 2001 Erzbischof von Bamberg, sagte, er mühe sich nun, "tiefer in das Mysterium einzudringen", in das Geheimnis des Glaubens. Der Artikel trägt den Titel: "Der Mystiker von Wildensorg".
Es ist schön dort. Man fährt durch Bambergs romantische Gassen nach Westen hinauf. Der Ort ist beschaulich mit viel Grün, ein Teich macht ihn verwunschen. Man schaut übers fränkische Land; die Villen der wirklich reichen Leute stehen jenseits der Hügelkuppe, wo man die Stadt zu Füßen hat. Das Haus des Erzbischofs ist schmal, aber weit nach hinten gebaut, vorne wohnt der alte Herr, unterm Dach ist die Kapelle. Hinten leben die drei Schwestern, die ihn versorgen. Im Vorgarten wächst ein Rosenbaum.
An Irish priest has been given a key role in an investigation into an astonishing corruption scandal that has convulsed Argentina for the past month.
The case, which involves a former government minister attempting to stash about US$9 million (€8.2 million) mostly in cash at a small convent near Buenos Aires, has rocked the country’s political system.
Fr Tom O’Donnell (64), from Templeglantine, west Limerick, has been appointed to lead the Catholic Church’s investigation into the affair. The Pallotine missionary is the parish priest of St Patrick’s parish in Mercedes, about 70km from Buenos Aires.
Fr O’Donnell told The Irish Times that his investigation team had a narrow focus on how the nuns at the convent came to be embroiled in the affair, but they would be co-operating fully with the civilian authorities.
Updated: Jul 25, 2016
By Krystal Paco
Archbishop Anthony Apuron's accusers - Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton, Roland Sondia, and Doris Concepcion on behalf of her son Joseph "Sonny" Quinata - have filed an amended complaint for the libel and slander suit against Apuron and the Archdiocese of Agana. The new complaint adds paragraphs alleging it was Father Edivaldo Oliveira, who prepared and released video and press release statements on behalf of the archdiocese and Apuron.
The statements denied all allegations of molestation made against Apuron and called the accusers out for a malicious smear campaign to oust the archbishop and destroy the Catholic Church. Added paragraphs also name apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, who has yet to retract the previous statements.
No word on whether the defendants have been served the legal documents, which were initially filed on July 1. According to archdiocese spokesperson Monsignor Bibi Arroyo, they are being represented by Attorney John Terlaje.
My Sunshine Coast
The Palaszczuk Government is working through a number of recommendations to respond to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse, including the removal of the statute of limitation for child sexual abuse claims.
We welcome the indication from the LNP that it would support any progress of this issue.
The recommendation as proposed applies to both government and non-government entities and so consultation would be important. As such, the government would welcome bipartisan support from the LNP on the Royal Commission recommendation.
The Palaszczuk Government has said it also wants the Australian Government to progress a national redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.
BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD
NEWARK — As he prepares to submit his mandatory letter of retirement this week, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers sat for an interview and reflected on his often controversial 15-year tenure as New Jersey’s highest-ranking Roman Catholic prelate.
In a wide-ranging discussion, Myers offered advice to Pope Francis on conducting himself before the media and challenged Governor Christie’s personal stance on birth control, as well as the governor’s hard line in barring Syrian refugees, even very young ones, from entering the state.
And in rare remarks, the archbishop offered a full-throated defense of his decisions in episodes in which he faced harsh criticism: his handling of two priests — one in Wyckoff — who were accused of sexually assaulting children, and the church’s $500,000 investment in upgrading his Hunterdon County retirement home.
Some of what Myers had to say is covered in what may be his last pastoral letter to his flock: “To Whom Shall We Go?” in which the 74-year-old prelate laments the secularization of society and implores people of all faiths to deeply immerse themselves in their religion.
Many Orthodox rabbis and institutions are affiliated with one or more major Orthodox umbrella groups. These groups include the Orthodox Union, Agudath Israel of America, Torah Umesorah, the Rabbinical Council of America and the National Council of Young Israel.
Over the last several years, I have tried to convince several of these groups, numerous prominent rabbis and the Jewish Federations of North America to take even minimal steps to protect Orthodox children from the rampant sexual abuse found in our communities. My efforts went nowhere.
Most of the time, my phone calls and emails were ignored. In the rare instance that I was actually able to have a conversation with a rabbi or leader of one of these groups, they would not agree to do anything to protect our kids.
To my knowledge, none of these major Orthodox groups or the Jewish Federations have any publicly posted a set of child protection rules. Rabbis who do want to protect the children in their care have little or no direction from their affiliated organizations as to how to make their institutions safe for children.
In the absence of any guidance on this issue from most of our religious or Jewish lay leadership, I have written a set of child safety recommendations that all rabbis and Orthodox institutions can and should implement immediately.
I urge anyone interested in stopping the unrelenting plague of child sexual abuse in Orthodox communities to send this list to your rabbi, principal, board of directors, or president of your synagogue, school or yeshiva. If they stall, delay, make excuses or refuse to, ask them why protecting our children from sexual abuse is not a priority for them.
1) Publicize the names of the hundreds of Orthodox child molesters who are known to rabbis.
Frequently, victims or their parents report to their rabbi when a child has been sexually abused. In many instances, rabbis cover up the molester and demand that the victim remain silent about their abuser. Parents and employers can’t protect the children in their care if they don’t know who the predators are that deliberately target Orthodox kids for sexual abuse. “The List” on my website is a good place to start for this information.
2) Ban and excommunicate anyone known to have harmed children in the past.
Many studies show that there is no drug or therapy that cures child sex offenders from their desire to sexually abuse children. They are never safe around kids, and they should never have access to them.
By LAURA MOWAT
According to the shocking figures obtained by a Freedom of Information Request by The Mail on Sunday, 725 crimes were reported in the past year with 368 of them relating to children.
Spokesman for the charity Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors, Phil Johnson, said: “We’ve seen numbers increase dramatically in the past few years because of the Jimmy Savile effect, but those that go to the police are in the minority.”
Most cases were in churches but the figures also included offences at mosques and Sikh temples.
Graham Wilmer, of The Lantern Project, which supports child sex abuse victims, added that based on the number of those who do not report crimes, the real number of offences could be ten times higher.
Justin Humphreys, Head of Safeguarding at the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service, believes reporting of sexual abuse has improved since the Jimmy Savile case.
Updated: Jul 25, 2016
By Krystal Paco
Over a month on the job and Guam's interim apostolic administrator, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, is speaking out on the allegations of possible sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy. Archbishop Hon was appointed by the Vatican to lead the Agana Archdiocese in the midst of allegations of rape and molestation made against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who has since been placed on leave.
While he's yet to address island media, Archbishop Hon is providing weekly messages to the faithful via the Umatuna Si Yu'os, the catholic newspaper of the Archdiocese of Agana. This week, he addresses the divide in the church as a result of the allegations of sexual abuse by clergy. "Everybody wants to have good and holy priests. There is no doubt about it. Unfortunately, when scandals break out, we priests appear suspicious of committing something bad or of covering it up," he wrote.
Hon further notes that the vast majority of priests are not sex abusers, and that no one is immune from trials and temptations. "sometimes, priests do fall." He adds that the Agana Archdiocese is learning a lesson and making efforts to improve policy for responding to allegations of sexual abuse perpetrated by a church official. The current policy, he says, is being revised by experts and will be approved by the Presbyteral Council.
"It will include clear provisions for the event of accusations against the Archbishop himself. Hopefully the policy will heighten awareness and promote transparent and respectable moral behavior."
Although sinful clergy can validly celebrate sacraments, Hon states it doesn't mean they should be active pastors. "It all depends on the gravity of the matter and the situation of the pastor concerned." He closes with asking for prayer for the bishops, priests, and deacons so they may remain with Christ.
July 24, 2016
BY LAURA HILL
A former County Durham archdeacon will appear in court today as part of one of the UK’s biggest investigations into historic sex abuse.
George Granville Gibson, a former Archdeacon of Auckland, has denied eight counts of sexual assaults against two men dating back to the 1970s and 1980s.
Gibson will stand trial at Durham Crown Court accused of eight charges of indecent assault.
The retired cleric was charged in 2014 as part of Operation Seabrook, one of the UK’s largest investigations into historic sex abuse.
He has denied the charges against him.
Gibson held a number of posts with the Church of England before serving as Archdeacon of Auckland.
The Dallas Morning News
By Julieta Chiquillo Follow @jmchiquillo email@example.com
The Dallas Morning News
Published: 24 July 2016
North Richland Hills police are investigating allegations of child sexual abuse by a volunteer at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, officials said.
A deacon read a letter about the investigation to parishioners during Saturday and Sunday services at the church on 7341 Glenview Drive, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
The letter stated that several children reported that the abuse happened on church property during evening prayers, according to the Star-Telegram. No priest or deacon is involved in the investigation.
MONSEY - A Rockland rabbi is facing a slander lawsuit over a tweet that identified a level 3 sex offender in Monsey.
The lawsuit was delivered to Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, written in Hebrew and filed in Israel, where Yona Weinberg currently lives. Weinberg served time in state prison for having sex with a child under the age of 14.
A longtime educator in Rockland, Horowitz posts parenting videos on YouTube and produces children's books to help parents talk to kids about sex abuse. He says he has no plans to stop warning the community about sex offenders on social media.
"I have a responsibility to the children and their parents and there's no way I'm going to give up on that," says Horowitz.