A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse.
Click on the headline to read the full story.
August 31, 2015
Bill Donohue comments on a Catholic League-Polling Company survey of Catholics:
Earlier this month, the Catholic League commissioned The Polling Company, headed by Kellyanne Conway, to conduct a nationwide survey of Catholics. In addition to the usual questions asked of respondents, we asked about issues the media have little interest in pursuing. We also dug deeper, seeking to tap the ways Catholics are conflicted over various matters.
The problem with many surveys is that they seek to elicit a black and white response to contemporary subjects; this is especially problematic when contentious issues are being weighed. Our survey was designed to allow for a more nuanced, and therefore accurate, response.
The findings suggest that most Catholics are faithful sons and daughters, and this is especially true of practicing Catholics. To read my analysis of the survey data, click here. The analysis has been sent to the bishops of every diocese in the nation.
The News (Poland)
The funeral of a defrocked Polish bishop who died on Friday while being tried for the sexual abuse of minors is being held at the Vatican on Monday afternoon.
The service for the late Józef Wesołowski is being held in a chapel behind St. Peter's Basilica, although his body will be flown back to Poland for burial, the Vatican has confirmed.
Initial autopsy results indicated that Wesołowski, who turned 67 last month, died of a heart attack.
His trial at the Vatican began on 11 July, but was immediately adjourned after the defendant fell ill.
The child abuse charges, which concern Wesołowski's tenure as papal nuncio in the Dominican Republic between January 2008 and August 2013, were based on evidence submitted by the judicial authorities of Santo Domingo.
CITTA' DEL VATICANO
[Laicization of former nuncio Jozeph Wesolowski has upheld by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and rejected Wesolowski's appearl. Wesolowski died on Aug. 28.]
(AGI) - CdV, 31 ago. - La condanna alla riduzione alla stato laicale dell'ex nunzio apostolico Joseph Wesolowski, deceduto nei giorni scorsi, era stata confermata in appello dalla Congregazione della Dottrina della Fede, che aveva respinto il ricorso dell'imputato. Il provvedimento canonico, tuttavia, non era stato ancora pubblicato, presumibilmente per non interferire nel processo penale iniziato lo scorso luglio con un rinvio a data da destinarsi.
[Funeral ceremonies Jozeph Wesolowski, who died on Friday August 28, will be held on Monday 31 August. As determined by the Italian media, the former archbishop is to be buried as a man of the cloth. La Repubblica reports that the deceased was dressed in a cassock wore his episcopal ring. We still do not know, however, where he will be buried.]
Uroczystości pogrzebowe Józefa Wesołowskiego, który zmarł w piątek 28 sierpnia, odbędą się w poniedziałek 31 sierpnia. Jak ustaliły włoskie media, były arcybiskup ma zostać pochowany jako osoba duchowna. La Repubblica podaje, że zmarły przed złożeniem do trumny został ubrany w sutannę, zaś na palec włożono mu biskupi pierścień. Wciąż nie wiadomo jednak, gdzie zostanie pochowany Józef Wesołowski.
Józef Wesołowski zostanie pochowany w Polsce. Uroczystości pogrzebowe Wesołowskiego odbędą się 31 sierpnia (w poniedziałek) po południu w Watykanie. Później, po załatwieniu wszelkich formalności, ciało byłego duchownego zostanie przetransportowane do Polski. To właśnie w kraju zostanie on pochowany, Nie wiadomo jednak, gdzie odbędzie się pogrzeb. Obecnie trumna z ciałem zmarłego jest wystawiona w kaplicy Gubernatoratu Państwa Watykańskiego. Jak ustaliły włoskie media, Józef Wesołowski przed złożeniem do trumny został ubrany w sutannę, zaś na palec włożono mu biskupi pierścień. Wciąż nie wiadomo jednak, gdzie dokładnie zostanie pochowany Józef Wesołowski.
[Many dioceses in Germany are seeing seniors leaving the church which is evidence that the Catholic Church cannot even hold on to elderly members.]
Düsseldorf. In vielen Bistümern der katholischen Kirche in Deutschland hat sich die Zahl der ausgetretenen Senioren verdoppelt. Dies ist ein Beleg dafür, wie schwach die Kirchenbindung selbst bei älteren Menschen geworden ist. Von Lothar Schröder
Der katholischen Kirche in Deutschland gehen jetzt auch die Senioren verloren. So hat sich die Zahl der Austritte von über 60-Jährigen 2014 im Vergleich zum Vorjahr fast verdoppelt. Dies ergab eine Umfrage unserer Zeitung unter allen 27 deutschen Bistümern. Elf von ihnen verfügten über Erhebungen der Austritte nach Altersgruppen - darunter die Bistümer von Aachen und Bamberg, Essen, Münster und Würzburg.
[An 81-year-old ex-priest, who abused youngsters in Austria, must continue to be incarcerated.]
Mit 81 Jahren ist August M. einer der ältesten Gefangenen in der Strafvollzugsanstalt Stein in Krems (NÖ). Er sitzt seit März hinter Gittern, davor war er in einer Seniorenresidenz in Wels untergebracht. Der wegen jahrelangen sexuellen Missbrauchs von Zöglingen im Jänner vom Oberlandesgericht Linz rechtskräftig zu zwölf Jahren Haft verurteilte Ex-Konviktsdirektor des Stiftes Kremsmünster (OÖ) gilt als problemloser Häftling. "Er ist ein sehr ruhiger Insasse, er grüßt und sagt Bitte und Danke. Hätten wir lauter Gefangene mit derart angenehmen Umgangsformen, wäre unser Leben leichter", lobt Anstaltsleiter-Stellvertreter Roland Wanek. Der betagte Häftling falle auch nicht durch "aufdringliche" Religiosität auf, führe ein mönchisches, eher zurückgezogenes Leben. "Er besucht aber regelmäßig den Gottesdienst."
M.s Verhalten war jedoch nicht immer so mustergültig. Zwischen 1967 und 1996 lebte der Ex-Pater seine pädophile Neigung an Generationen von Stiftsschülern aus. Manche der minderjährigen Opfer wurden körperlich schwer misshandelt, teils ging er mit Ochsenpeitsche, Tritten oder beidhändig ausgeführten "Stereowatschen" auf die Schutzbefohlenen los. Es kam auch vor, dass er Kinder einfach für "vogelfrei" erklärte – Mitschüler durften den Betreffenden dann drangsalieren, ohne Konsequenzen befürchten zu müssen. M. drohte einigen auch damit, seine Pumpgun zu holen, die er bis 2010 illegal besaß.
Association of Catholic Priests
Brendan Hoban, writing in his column in the Western People, gives his reaction to Bishop Crean recently forcing a Pastoral Council to withdraw an invitation to Tony Flannery to speak in a local community hall.
"It has brought the Irish Catholic Church once more into disrepute in that it showed that other voices have no place in it, even if Pope Francis encourages them in the wider Church. It insulted Tony Flannery ...... it shows once again that the people are ahead of the priests, the priests are ahead of the bishops and the bishops, caught in the nineteenth century, are either out of touch or in abject denial." ...
Fr Tony Flannery has paid a high price for his membership of the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP). A founder member, over five years ago, in the dog-days of the Pope Benedict era, Tony and others (including myself) spelled out as our platform the need for an agenda of reform for the Church we had served for decades – and which everyone (or almost everyone) could see was dying by the day.
That we struck a nerve with our fellow-priests was obvious. Within a year or so over 1,000 priests has signed on as members. But because we didn’t fit into the tradition of priests being seen and not heard and because bishops were in denial of the reality of Catholic life in Ireland, we were regarded as ‘dissidents’, partly responsible (as Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Visitation team would later report) for the bleak situation of the Catholic Church in Ireland.
It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious. The high-powered ‘Visitors’ from overseas (Cardinals and archbishops) looked in from afar for scapegoats and the ACP, to their mind, fitted the bill. We were part of the reason, they concluded, why the Church in Ireland was in such disarray!
August 30, 2015
BY LESLEY-ANNE MCKEOWN
The inquiry will also focus on allegations arising out of St Patrick's Training School, Rathgael Training School in Bangor and Lisnevin Training School, Newtownards
A long-running public inquiry will examine allegations of historic child abuse at juvenile justice institutions when it resumes this week.
Retired judge Sir Anthony Hart is leading the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) probe, one of the UK's largest inquiries into physical, sexual and emotional harm to children at homes run by the church, state and voluntary organisations.
Its seventh module, expected to last until November, will focus on allegations arising out of St Patrick's Training School and Hydebank Young Offenders' Centre in Belfast, Rathgael Training School in Bangor and Lisnevin Training School in Newtownards.
By GREG CHRISTISON
Sun, Aug 30, 2015
Senior officers have warned that the probe – due to begin within the next month – will place a “significant demand” on the crisis-hit force.
The inquiry, which will be chaired by Susan O’Brien QC, will investigate historic abuse cases involving children in care, including both church and state-run children’s homes, boarding schools, foster care and hospitals.
Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone told a meeting of the Scottish Police Authority that there would be an impact on resources.
“It’s an inquiry that Police Scotland totally welcomes,” he said.
“It’s going to give victims of sexual abuse in the past a forum in which to raise their concerns but, inevitably, there will be an impact for us. There are demands of investigating historic crime as opposed to current crime, and how you balance current demand against historic demand is one which we are actively engaged with.”
Recommendations on how to compensate thousands of people who were abused in orphanages and children's homes across Australia will be sent to the federal government on Monday.
The recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse are a key outcome for the national inquiry, which will run until the end of 2017.
The recommendations will be made public once they are considered by the Attorney-General's office but there is no indication how long that will take.
On Sunday CLAN, a key support and advocacy network for care-leavers, called on the government to publish the recommendations without delay.
ABC - Sunday Nights
Sunday, August 30, 2015
by Jennifer Fleming
You may or may not Have been keeping your eye on the Royal Commission into sexual abuse, but on Monday last week, there was some important testimony given.You probably heard the bishop's opinion about Cardinal Pell - that he broke the unity of the Australian Catholic bishops response. Those were the headlines
But Retired Catholic bishop Geoffrey Robinson, who led the church's response to sexual abuse right up until 2004 gave MUCH more significant testimony than that. And the media seems to have largely ignored it.He got an earlier hearing because the bishop has terminal cancer.
Not only his words, but the documents TABLED in evidence are quite important in understanding how Australian Catholic leaders had one arm tied behind their back the whole time. By the Vatican. More importantly, they still do in 2015. Right now.
These matter caught the eye of our special guest , Kieran Tapsell. He's a lawyer, and the author of a book called Potiphar's wife- about the deep secrecy surrounding sexual abuse in church circles. The Pontifical Secret.
The following letter was sent by a Yeshivah Centre Melbourne victim/survivor of child sexual abuse to a member of the current (interim) Committee of Management. It is being reproduced here with the express permission of the victim/survivor.
I hope you are well.
It is important that I relate to you the following ‘conversation’ that transpired between Rabbi Telsner and myself yesterday.
After raising an important issue with Rabbi Telsner relating to positions of authority within the Yeshivah institution, I was shocked by his inappropriate and disgraceful response.
In addition to the fact that he did not attempt to understand or address the particular issue I raised (merely referring to it as an accusation from me alone, despite several complaints of similar nature by other individuals and victims), he proceeded to attack, in his words: “Individuals that are wanting to destroy the mosed [institution]”.
Rabbi Telsner referred to Manny Waks and particularly his father as a ‘Meshugane’ [crazy].
Rabbi Telsner referred to [REDACTED – another Yeshivah victim/survivor] as a problem – that he is intent on destroying the Yeshivah. He referred to the fact that [REDACTED – the same victim/survivor] wrote a “defamatory” article about him as recently as last week in the [REDACTED], “for no reason”.
Abogado del Arzobispado de Santiago: "Nuestro compromiso fundamental es con las víctimas de Karadima y con la verdad"
[The lawyer for the Santiago, Chile, archbishop said their fundamental commitment is to the victims of Fernando Karadima and to truth. This sets the stage for presentation of evidence in the cil trial which begins this week.]
Sergio Rodríguez G.
30 de agosto del 2015
“Este proceso comenzó hace casi tres años. Durante ese período hemos trabajado intensamente, analizando con cuidado todos los antecedentes de lo sucedido, para determinar si existe algún indicio de lo que señalan los demandantes respecto del arzobispado. Y no hemos encontrado nada”, dice el abogado Nicolás Luco Illanes, quien representa legalmente a la Iglesia de Santiago.
El profesional se refiere a la demanda civil entablada en 2013 por Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton y José Andrés Murillo, víctimas del sacerdote Fernando Karadima, respecto de la supuesta complicidad o encubrimiento del arzobispado en los abusos cometidos por el religioso. Específicamente, demandan $ 450 millones.
La Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago acaba de terminar la fase de revisión de los puntos de prueba. Ahora, el expediente volverá al ministro de fuero, Juan Manuel Muñoz, quien esta semana dictaría el cúmplase, con lo que comenzará un plazo de 20 días para que las partes presenten las pruebas. Frente a esta inminente etapa decisiva, Luco explica la estrategia de defensa del arzobispado.
The Irish News
30 August, 2015
A LONG RUNNING public inquiry will examine allegations of historic child abuse at juvenile justice institutions when it resumes this week.
Retired judge Sir Anthony Hart is leading the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) probe, one of the UK's largest inquiries into physical, sexual and emotional harm to children at homes run by the church, state and voluntary organisations.
Its seventh module, expected to last until November, will focus on allegations arising out of St Patrick's Training School and Hydebank Young Offenders' Centre in Belfast, Rathgael Training School in Bangor and Lisnevin Training School in Newtownards.
In June, the HIA, spent a week examining the failings that allowed notorious paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth to continue abusing children over four decades.
Retired Catholic Primate Cardinal Sean Brady was among those who gave evidence and said he hoped light would be shed on a "dark chapter" in the church's history.
Tim Diacono 30 August 2015
A defrocked priest who was convicted of sexually abusing boys at the former St. Joseph Home in Santa Venera in the 1980s has applied for parole, Sunday newspaper Illum has reported.
If parole is granted, it would mean that Carmelo Pulis would only have spent half of his six-year prison sentence behind bars.
Police investigations into allegations of paedophilia by three members of the Missionary Society of St. Paul commenced in 2003, after one of the victims, Lawrence Grech, went public about the abuse he suffered while residing at St. Joseph’s Home. Other victims eventually followed his suit, and the scandal let to the home’s closure later that year.
In 2011, Pulis, 78, and Godwin Scerri, 78, were defrocked and jailed for five and six years respectively after a court found them guilty of sexually abusing ten boys in their care in the 1980s.
By Rubén Rosario
Many people would love an audience with Pope Francis, my kind of pope, during his weeklong U.S. trip next month to Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia.
Tom O'Connell of Hudson, Wis., is one of them. Heck, as a humble but still wretched sinner, I also want to hug or shake his Holiness' hand -- I don't kiss rings -- and then bend his ears. But I would gladly have Tom take my place on the long line of remote hopefuls.
"I realize there are hundreds of others who would like to meet you and all have very great need," the funeral home owner wrote in a typed letter he sent the pope at his Vatican address in February.
"I feel my circumstances and situation needs to be heard, not just because my family needs to heal, but also because the tragic chain of events that led to the loss of three lives, damage to other young lives and damaged faith in God is being repeated over and over," the two-page missive continues. "Helping my family to heal will hopefully lead to healing for many other families and the Catholic Church. It would show your healing power to the many who have suffered."
On Feb. 5, 2002, a medical examiner arriving to get signatures on a death certificate found Daniel, 39 -- O'Connell's second-oldest son and the director of the family-run business -- shot to death in his office at the O'Connell Funeral Home in downtown Hudson. Nearby lay the body of James Ellison, 22, a University of Minnesota mortuary sciences intern. For nearly two years, the case remained unsolved and the subject of rumors about who did it. A double homicide is big news in a bucolic place like Hudson.
PRIEST'S SECRET LIFE REVEALED
Cops, after chasing well over 1,000 tips and leads that went nowhere, dug up evidence pointing at the most shocking and unlikeliest of killers: an associate pastor at nearby St. Patrick Church.
CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
[VATICANO.-The Office of the Promoter of Justice announced that the Vatican appointed a commission of experts to conduct the autopsy on the body of Joseph Wesolowski, who died on Friday at dawn, and who was awaiting trial on charges of sexual violation minor when he was ambassador in Dominican Republic. Wesolowski's sudden death has aroused doubts and suspicions in Dominican Republic and other countries.The Vatican authorities insist that the former papal nuncio died of "natural causes."]
VATICANO.-La Oficina del Promotor de Justicia del Vaticano anunció que nombró una comisión de de expertos para llevar a cabo la autopsia al cadáver de Jósef Wesolowski, muerto el viernes en la madrugada, y quien estaba a espera de juicio por cargos de violación sexual de menores cuando estuvo de embajador en República Dominicana.
La muerte repentina de Wesolowski ha despertado dudas y sospechas en República Dominicana y en otros países.
Las autoridades vaticanas insisten en que el ex nuncio del papa murió por “causas naturales”.
[Juan Carlos Cruz, who spoke out against abuse he suffered by priest Fernando Karadima, arrived in Osorno, Chile, to participate in a series of activities by people who want the resignation of Bishop Juan Barros. Barros is accused to witnessing abuse of minors by Karadima but not acting on that knowlege.]
Juan Carlos Cruz llegó hoy a la ciudad sureña para participar de una serie de actividades en la zona, donde se exige la renuncia del obispo.
ADNRADIO.CL | AGOSTO 29 DE 2015
Esta jornada llegó a Osorno Juan Carlos Cruz, uno de los denunciantes del caso Karadima quien viajó a la ciudad sureña realizar una serie de actividades con los laicos de la zona, quienes exigen la salida del obispo Juan Barros por encubrir al ex párroco de El Bosque.
"No tengo palabras para describir cómo fue encontrarme con cientos de personas en el aeropuerto, es gente tan valiente y tan comprometida que no entiendo como Juan Barros no ve eso y no renuncia", dijo Cruz en conversación con ADN, quien también se reunirá con el clero diocesano de Osorno.
By RAY DUCKLER
Saturday, August 29, 2015
During the Watergate investigation 41 years ago, Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee, wondering about Richard Nixon’s role in the scandal, asked, “What did the president know and when did he know it?”
Baker’s succinctly worded curiosity has resonated through the decades, and it remains relevant as we examine the nationally covered rape trial that ended in superior court Friday.
What did those in charge at St. Paul’s School, trusted with teenage students at a college-like campus, know about something called the “senior salute,” and when did they know it?
Owen Labrie, charged with raping a 15-year-old St. Paul’s School freshman while he was an 18-year-old senior, was acquitted of the most serious charges, aggravated felonious sexual assault.
He was, however, found guilty of statutory rape because of the victim’s age and a felony charge of using a computer to lure a minor.
At least one school official, we heard, knew something was going on, before the national media descended on the city to cover what’s been called a culture of sexual misconduct.
“I came to understand the senior salute as one element of a larger vernacular the kids at St. Paul’s used to describe a wide range of relations between students, some of which, I would say, included sexual (activity),” Chad Green, dean of students at the school, testified this week.
Religion News Service - Rhymes with Religion
Boz Tchividjian | Aug 28, 2015
When the abusive behavior of Christian leaders is uncovered, all too often the immediate response is not an unconditional admission or a genuine expression of authentic repentance. Instead, a common response is a new narrative. A false narrative. A narrative that attempts to paint a picture of the situation without any regard for truth. A narrative designed to protect reputations and preserve future incomes. A narrative designed to keep the leaders in the spotlight and the victims out of the way.
Since many of these leaders tend to be narcissistic, the primary purpose of the false narrative is to enable them to hold onto the spotlight as they crave affirmation and continued relevance in a world that is quick to turn the spotlight elsewhere. Seeking out friendly media interviews is one way that provides opportunities for offending leaders to elaborate and “sell” their new narrative. Social media is also a very effective means to communicate this narrative because it tends to attract those who crave the leader’s attention and who will be quick to “like”, “share”, “comment”, “reply” or “re-tweet” the leader’s narrative. These same followers will often be quick to vilify and attack anyone who questions or criticizes the leader or the narrative.
Though false narratives vary with each offending leader and each situation, three types seem to be common amongst offending leaders:
Redefine Narrative: Offending leaders are often quick to try and change the narrative from one of abuse to something less offensive and more acceptable to the watching public. One way this is accomplished is to re-defining the abuse with terms such as “mistake”, “misjudgment”, “failure” or “misunderstanding”. Such a redefining is usually coupled with the offending leader publicly expressing sorrow and asking for forgiveness. Do you see what’s happening? The false narrative subtly minimizes the actual abuse, as the offending leader appears to be repentant about a far less serious offense. The hope is that this approach will prompt many to express support for the offending leader as “humble” and “Godly”, while castigating anyone who expresses doubt or who attempts to point out the false narrative.
By Steve Duin | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on August 29, 2015
The major independent Catholic institutions in the area – including Marylhurst University, the University of Portland, and high schools like St. Mary's Academy – have a simple code of conduct:
Live out your faith. And stay off the Archbishop's radar screen.
Alexander King Sample – who was installed 29 months ago, replacing John G. Vlazny – is more conservative than most Catholics in town. He's also more alert to challenges to his authority.
That preeminence provides essential context to the Lauren Brown debacle at St. Mary's. The administration's attempt to bury the story after her dismissal is a reminder of the tactics that prolonged the priest sexual-abuse crisis, a scandal that should have ended the unforgiving Catholic lectures on sexual morality.
A network for people who were raised in orphanages and children's homes has called on the government to publish without delay recommendations on redress for thousands of abuse survivors.
On Monday the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hand over its findings on how to compensate people who were abused as children while they were in care at government and non-government facilities.
It is not known when the government will publish the recommendations.
The recommendations from the commission are a key outcome for the national inquiry, which will run until the end of 2017.
Commission chair Peter McClellan announced last week the August 31 hand-over to the Attorney General's office.
Requests for legal advice from women who suffered sexual abuse in childhood have been on the increase since a 2014 court ruling that granted a woman’s request for compensation.
With the aid of lawyers, the woman is campaigning for a suspension of the statute of limitations, which often prevents victims from filing lawsuits or criminal complaints.
Since the Sapporo High Court ruling in September 2014, lawyer Toko Teramachi, who worked for the plaintiff, has received about 20 inquiries from women in their 30s and 40s who claim to have experienced similar sexual abuse.
“I was surprised to learn there were so many victims,” Teramachi said.
The high court ruling, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in July this year, ordered an uncle of the plaintiff, in her 40s, to pay her about ¥30 million ($246,000), including ¥20 million in damages and ¥9 million to cover medical costs for treating depression attributed to the abuse.
BY DAVID SINGLETON AND BOB KALINOWSKI, STAFF WRITERS
Published: August 30, 2015
The simple rite unfolded on a lazy summer afternoon, light on pomp but weighted with possibility for the Diocese of Scranton.
Parishioners filled almost every pew last month at Our Lady of the Eucharist Parish in Pittston to witness history in the making as the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., bishop of Scranton, installed Sister Mary Ann Cody, I.H.M., as parish life coordinator to shepherd the faith community in the absence of a resident priest.
The Rev. Jeffrey Walsh, based at St. Peter’s Cathedral Rectory in Scranton, will serve as the sacramental minister, but Sister Cody will provide Our Lady of the Eucharist’s day-to-day pastoral and organizational leadership in a role the bishop described as “faithful witness, wise teacher and servant leader.”
Sister Cody, a longtime Catholic educator who previously acted as the parish’s pastoral associate, is the first parish life coordinator within the diocese.
She won’t be the last.
After a long period of tumult and upheaval during which it shuttered churches and schools, consolidated parishes, wrestled with finances and dealt with fallout from the clergy sexual abuse scandal, the Diocese of Scranton confronts a new challenge.
A diminishing number of active priests to minister to the spiritual needs of the nearly 280,000 Roman Catholics in Northeast Pennsylvania in the coming years will require the diocese to embrace other forms of pastoral leadership.
August 29, 2015
30 August 2015
A Gozitan priest who was defrocked by the Vatican in 2013 has not yet been notified of his dismissal by the Gozo bishop, Mario Grech.
Grech’s dithering has led to calls for his resignation, with a number of Gozitan priests reporting the bishop’s misconduct to the Vatican.
MaltaToday is informed that in March 2013, the Vatican had upheld its original decision to defrock Dominic Camilleri, who in 2003 was first investigated by the Maltese church over the sexual abuse of minors.
However, the Gozo bishop has not executed Camilleri’s dismissal and sources have told MaltaToday that this could be connected to the shamed priest’s alleged threats to expose other cases of sexual abuse involving Gozitan priests.
Patheos - Love, Joy Feminism
Breaking: Leadership of Josh Duggar’s Treatment Center Allegedly Involved in Sex Abuse Coverup
August 28, 2015 by Libby Anne
Earlier this week Josh Duggar checked into Reformers Unanimous (RU), a Christian residential addiction treatment program in Rockford, Illinois, run by North Love Baptist Church and co-founded by the church’s authoritarian Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) pastor, Paul Kingsbury. Over the past twenty-four-hours, I have spoken with a number of individuals involved with or affected by either North Love or Kingsbury. Of primary importance are allegations that Kingsbury is actively supporting an accused sex offender, Richard DeVall, who is serving as a missionary in Bolivia and is sponsored by North Love Baptist Church. If true, this would seem to disqualify Kingsbury from running a recovery program for individuals suffering from porn addiction and sex addiction*, but Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches seem to run by their own rules.
There are some striking similarities here. After Josh Duggar molested his younger sisters as a teenager, he was sent to one of Bill Gothard’s training centers to take part in a construction program while receiving Christian mentoring. A decade later, Bill Gothard resigned after several dozen women leveled accusations of sexual abuse against him. This time Josh has been sent to Reformers Unanimous, a program founded by a church that has a history of involvement in Gothard’s Institute for Basic Life Principles and which focuses on physical labor and Bible study. Paul Kingsbury, co-founder and chair of Reformers Unanimous, is alleged to be providing financial support through his church to an accused sex offender who has refused to return to the country to face charges. In other words, the Duggars appear to have sent Josh for round two of the same failed treatment. ...
Kingsbury’s Alleged Support for an Accused Sex Offender
Several years ago, Bob Jones University invited GRACE, an organization run by Billy Graham’s grandson and Liberty University professor Boz Tchividijian, to conduct an investigation of their handling of rape and sexual assault on campus. The final report released by GRACE detailed a situation in the early 1990s where BJU expelled and then readmitted a man accused of sexual assault. According to the GRACE report, “the alleged perpetrator minimized the extent of his crime, but he admitted to touching her inappropriately without her consent while he believed she was sleeping.” The perpetrator was readmitted to BJU after claiming that he had reconciled with his victim, but this was later revealed to be a lie.
This man, identified as Richard DeVall, is currently serving as a missionary in Bolivia. According to the GRACE report, his victim finally went to the authorities in 2012. Shortly after this she received a letter of apology from DeVall. Not satisfied, she contacted DuVall’s missionary agency, Baptist Pioneer Mission (BPM), asking them to remove him from the field “due to potential risks he could pose to others.” They refused, telling her that DeVall “had been repentant to the mission board by confessing his offense and writing a letter of apology.” When she asked whether BPM would encourage DeVall to return to the United States to face charges for his crime, the board responded that they would “use any legal means to protect” DeVall. In spite of claiming in his apology letter that he would “cooperate and work with all those who are involved in the issue,” DeVall insisted that the matter must be handled “in a Biblical way” and, according to GRACE, has refused to return to the United States to face criminal charges.
BETHANIA PALMA MARKUS
29 AUG 2015
A leader at the Christian rehabilitation center Josh Duggar supposedly checked into is helping another accused sexual predator avoid prosecution by keeping him abroad, Patheos reports.
Duggar has purportedly sought treatment at Reformers Unanimous — a facility run by North Love Baptist Church. The pastor of North Love Baptist, Paul Kingsbury, helped a man accused of sexual assault remain on a religious mission overseas to avoid prosecution in the United States, according to Patheos.
Richard DeVall, a missionary currently serving in Bolivia with Baptist Pioneer Mission Agency, was accused of committing sexual assault in the 1990s on the campus of Bob Jones University (BJU), according to Patheos. DeVall was expelled as a result of the allegations, but then readmitted.
The victim went to authorities in 2012 with the accusations. Shortly thereafter, DeVall contacted her asking for her forgiveness.
The victim contacted Baptist Pioneer Mission Agency, asking that DeVall be removed from fieldwork because of the risk he posed to others. When she requested DeVall be returned to the United States to face criminal charges, she was told the missionary agency would protect him. DeVall then refused to return to the U.S., insisting the matter would be handled “in the Biblical way.”
Santo Domingo.– The National District prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reynoso said Friday that the death of former Polish archbishop and the Vatican's former ambassador to Santo Domingo, who faced trial on charges of pedophilia in the Dominican Republic, is "unfair" to the victims.
"I always wondered why a new date was not given for the trial of Wesolowski, not even after leaving the hospital," the National District prosecutor wrote on her Twitter account.
According to a statement from the Vatican, Jozef Wesolowski, 67, was found dead in his Vatican room early Friday, where he had lived since last year, after he was placed under house arrest.
THE former papal envoy to the Dominican Republic, who went on trial at the Holy See this summer for alleged sexual abuse of minors, died of a heart attack, according to initial autopsy results, the Vatican said Saturday.
A Vatican statement indicated that laboratory results, expected in coming days, could elaborate on the cause of the sudden death of Jozef Wesolowski, a 67-year-old Pole, on Thursday evening at the Vatican.
The Vatican announced the death on Friday.
After work performed so far, “and from the initial conclusions based on the macroscopic examination, a natural cause of death, due to a cardiac event, is confirmed,” said the Vatican statement.
The Vatican prosecutor’s office appointed a panel of three experts coordinated by a forensic medicine professor at Rome’s Tor Vergata University to determine the cause of death.
A Vatican trial against Wesolowski was an opportunity for Pope Francis to show he’s carrying out pledges to punish high-ranking churchmen accused of sexually abusing minors or covering up abuse.
Sat, Aug 29, 2015
The Holy See today stated that the autopsy on the former papal nuncio Josef Wesolowski, who died on Thursday night in the Vatican, has concluded that he died as a result of a “heart event”.
In its statement, the Holy See said that the autopsy was carried out by a “commission of three experts”, led by professor of forensic medicine Giovanni Arcudi of Rome’s Tor Vergata University, adding:
“The autopsy took place [Friday] afternoon and, from initial examination of the corpse, it was determined the natural cause of death was attributed to a heart event.”
Archbishop Josef Wesolowski was charged with child abuse and possession of child pornography. In June 2014, he was found guilty by a church disciplinary panel and deemed no longer fit to serve as a priest. Photograph: Danny Polanco/EPAArchbishop on trial for paedophile crimes found dead in Vatican
The statement said that, in the coming days, “the [chief prosecutor] will receive further results of the usual laboratory tests . . . ”
Archbishop Wesolowski (67), formerly papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, was about to stand trial in a Vatican City court, accused of a wide variety of criminal offences relating to paedophilia.
His sudden death has prompted intense specultation.
A ten-year-old girl was allegedly molested by a priest of a Gurdwara in Jagjitpur village near here.
The incident took place on August 22 when the girl was returning home from the Gurdwara, police said today.
Phagwara DSP Manpreet Singh Dhillon said the accused 'Baba' Roshan Singh tried to molest the girl but she ran away.
The matter was first brought to the notice of the village panchayat, he said.
Hibbing Daily Tribune
By Kelly Grinsteinner Editor email@example.com
HIBBING — The Hibbing priest charged with sexual misconduct in May now faces an additional charge of criminal sexual conduct and a new charge of possession of child pornography.
Brian M. Lederer, 29, appeared before Judge David E. Ackerson in St. Louis County District Court in Hibbing Thursday. During the hearing, Ackerson granted the prosecution’s motion to amend the formal complaint to reflect the two additional charges.
Lederer was ordained in June 2012 and was an associate pastor at Blessed Sacrament when was arrested and charged. He often had contact with children of the parish and students at Assumption School.
Once charged, Lederer was placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Duluth. While on leave, he is not allowed to minister as a priest and/or have contact with anyone under age 18.
ST. LOUIS (MO)
“Blind eye: Pope Francis has done little to combat priest sex abuse.” That’s the headline in the latest issue of Ms. Magazine penned by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael D’Antonio. “Nearly all of the recent action taken by the church has been spurred by whistleblowers, victims and advocates outside the church speaking out,” he writes, citing the KC Bishop Robert Finn case as an example. (Finn hails from our town.)
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils
The much awaited “Vatican trial of the century” of ex-Papal Nuncio pedophile pimp Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski hanged around Pope Francis’s neck and it spoke louder than all his Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Team script speeches – and louder than his papal necklace with a crucifix… so it had to be rid off … (especially before his USA-Cuba papal visit) – either by divine intervention or human intervention – and as everyone already knows – anything is possible inside the Vatican State filled with secrets of Pope Crimes and Vatican Evils throughout the centuries.
Ex-Papal Nuncio Archbishop Wesolowski was really the epitome archetypal embodiment of the Vatican crimes against humanity’s children in half-of-20th-century and 21st century and he was one of the biggest living proofs of the JP2 Army – John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army.
CITTA' DEL VATICANO
La Rosa Rossa
L'ex nunzio Jozef Wesolowski, deceduto la notte scorsa in Vaticano, è stato trovato morto questa mattina intorno alle 5.00, davanti alla tv accesa, da un francescano del Collegio dei Penitenzieri - i frati che confessano i fedeli nella Basilica di San Pietro -, presso i quali l'ex presule polacco abitava, con divieto di lasciare i confini vaticani, in attesa del processo per pedofilia e pedopornografia. Era sotto processo in Vaticano per gli atti di pedofilia che avrebbe commesso a Santo Domingo e per il possesso di materiale pedopornografico all'interno del proprio PC.
La notizia della morte di Wesolowski è stata confermata dalla Santa Sede. Józef Wesołowski, già Nunzio Apostolico. "Il Santo Padre è stato doverosamente informato di tutto", chiude la nota della Santa Sede.
Die Autopsie an den verstorbenen ehemaligen Nuntius Józef Wesolowski hat ergeben, dass er wegen einem Herzstillstand gestorben ist. Das teilte der Vatikan an diesem Samstag mit. Die vatikanische Justizbehörde hatte kurz nach dem Tod des wegen Kindesmissbrauch beschuldigten ehemaligen Vatikandiplomaten eine Untersuchung verordnet. Die Autopsie wurde von drei Experten durchgeführt unter der Leitung eines Experten der römischen Universität Tor Vergata. Die Untersuchung fand am Freitagnachmittag statt, so die Vatikannote. Wesolowski war am Donnerstagabend im Vatikan verstorben. Die Autopsie hat ergeben, dass es sich um „einen natürlichen Tod“ handelte. In den kommenden Tagen werde die vatikanische Justizbehörde weitere Resultate, die von einem Labor getätigt werden, in Betracht ziehen.
Shelby Sebens, Reuters
Posted at 08/29/2015
PORTLAND, Ore. - Authorities in the Philippines are searching for a Catholic priest from Oregon who went missing while facing criminal charges for allegedly hiding a camera in a church bathroom, officials with the Archdiocese of Portland said on Friday.
Father Ysrael Bien is accused of personal invasion of privacy, tampering with physical evidence, and initiating a false police report, according to a search warrant issued last week by a Washington County Circuit Court judge.
The camera, disguised as an electrical outlet, was found in late April near a toilet in the men's bathroom of the St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood, Oregon.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A former pastor from West Virginia appeared in a LaGrange County courtroom Thursday afternoon to face a felony charge of child molestation.
Police arrested James R. Smith, 24, in West Virginia on August 11, according to our partners at KPC Media. He was extradited to LaGrange County and has been held in the LaGrange County Jail.
Detectives started investigating after a young boy said Smith assaulted him in the bathroom of a home while the two were visiting family in LaGrange County.
West Virginia officials charged Smith, a former pastor, with a similar offense last year. He was charged with first-degree sexual abuse after a young boy there said Smith assaulted him numerous times over the course of five years.
CITTA' DEL VATICANO
[An autopsy performed on the late Jozef Wesolowski shows he died of a "cardiac event."]
A seguito dell’improvvisa scomparsa, avvenuta nella tarda serata di giovedì 27 agosto u.s., del già Nunzio Apostolico Józef Wesołowski, l’Ufficio del Promotore di Giustizia vaticano, nell’ambito degli adempimenti di propria competenza, ha disposto l’effettuazione di un esame autoptico, nominando una Commissione peritale di tre esperti, coordinata dal Prof. Giovanni Arcudi, docente di Medicina Legale nell’Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”.
Gli accertamenti sono stati effettuati nel pomeriggio di ieri e, dalle prime conclusioni tratte dall’esame macroscopico, risulta confermata la causa naturale del decesso, riferibile ad evento cardiaco.
Nei prossimi giorni l’Ufficio del Promotore di Giustizia acquisirà le ulteriori risultanze degli usuali esami di laboratorio effettuati da detta Commissione.
The Associated Press
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican says an autopsy has determined that its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, who went on trial at the Holy See this summer for alleged sexual abuse of minors, died of a heart attack.
It indicated Saturday that laboratory results coming later could better describe the "cardiac event" responsible for the sudden death of Jozef Wesolowski, a 67-year-old Pole, on Thursday evening at the Vatican. A Vatican statement says initial conclusions point to a heart attack.
Alcohol, beatings and sex predators: Inside Sunbury’s Salesian mansion of pure evil
JAMES was in year 9 when he was first called to the principal’s office.
It was the late 1980s and he was expecting “six of the best” — a favoured punishment of Father Julian Fox, whose weapon of choice was a pool cue.
Entering the office he saw an older priest sitting in an armchair, and felt a little safer. At least he wasn’t alone. But not even an audience could stop Fox.
He beat the boy then ordered him to drop his pants, sexually assaulting him.
As James left the office, he was stopped by the older priest who handed him a toy puzzle — a reward.
“Good boy,” he told him, patting him on the shoulder.
James is one of hundreds of boys abused by the very men who had been entrusted with his care.
Santo Domingo.- In der Dominikanischen Republik war Josef Wesolowski lange Zeit der Nuntius des Vatikan. Als damaliger Botschafter des Papstes hatte der Kirchenmann sich an minderjährigen Jungen vergriffen und wurde wegen mehrfachen sexuellen Missbrauchs, Besitz von pornographischem Material (Kinderpornos) und anderer Verbrechen angeklagt. Die Katholische Kirche hatte den Ex-Erzbischof aller Ämter enthoben und danach lebte Wesolowski in der Vatikanstadt, unter strengen Auflagen. Sämtliche elektronische Geräte wurden ihm untersagt (Tablet, PC, Smartphone) und bei dem ersten Prozesstag fehlte Wesolowski. Die Anwälte entschuldigten die Abwesenheit durch eine plötzliche Erkrankung, der Prozess wurde verschoben.
August 28, 2015
CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
[Yeni Reynoso, the Dominican prosecutor who led the investigation against Wesolowski in the Caribbean country, said on his Twitter account that the death of the ex-nuncio is "unfair to the victims." The official wrote that he always wondered why the trial was stopped.]
VATICANO (AP). El exembajador del Vaticano en República Dominicana, que fue acusado por fiscales de la iglesia de abusar sexualmente de menores en el país caribeño, falleció de causas aparentemente naturales, anunció el viernes la Santa Sede.
Jozef Wesolowski fue encontrado muerto en su habitación en el Vaticano a primera hora del viernes, dijo un comunicado del Vaticano. El fiscal de la ciudad-Estado ordenó una autopsia de inmediato y que sus resultados serán dados a conocer cuanto antes.
El Vaticano dijo que el papa Francisco estaba al tanto de lo sucedido.
Yeni Reynoso, fiscal de la capital dominicana y quien encabezó la investigación contra Wesolowski en el país caribeño, dijo en su cuenta en Twitter que el deceso del exnuncio es “injusto para las víctimas” del exsacerdote.
La funcionaria escribió que “siempre me pregunté por qué el juicio de #Wesolowski fue dejado sin fecha el día de la suspensión y después de salir del hospital”.
BRUSSEL (KerkNet) – De Pool Jozef Wesolowski (67), de van kindermisbruik verdachte voormalige apostolische nuntius in de Dominikaanse Republiek, werd vrijdagmorgen dood in zijn kamer aangetroffen. Volgens een onderzoek stierf hij een natuurlijke dood. De resultaten van de autopsie worden weldra bekendgemaakt. De Pool, die onder huisarrest stond, was al enige tijd ziek. In juli verbleef hij geruime tijd in een ziekenhuis in Rome. Jozef Wesolowski werd in 2014 wegens het misbruik door het Vaticaan teruggezet in de lekenstand en van al zijn priestertaken en rechten ontheven.
AUGUST 28, 2015
Below is a statement from the victim and her family following the verdicts in the St. Paul’s School rape case.
“Our family, like many others, have read several articles on campus sexual assault in recent years with concern as our daughters progressed through school. But never in our worst nightmares could we have imagined that we would be experiencing this issue firsthand with our 15-year-old daughter during her first year of high school. The reality of this national epidemic has hit home and there is overwhelming sadness for the large number of students suffering from sexual violence everyday in this nation.
Today, a measure of justice has been served for victims of sexual violence. While he was not convicted on all charges, Owen Labrie was held accountable in some way by a jury of his peers for crimes he committed against our daughter. This conviction requires him to take ownership for his actions and gives him the opportunity to reflect upon the harm he has caused. There is no joy in this outcome, however, as our daughter can never get back what she has lost nor can St. Paul’s School ever be our community again.
We still feel betrayed that St. Paul’s School allowed and fostered a toxic culture that left our daughter and other students at risk to sexual violence. We trusted the school to protect her and it failed us. We continue to feel anger and disappointment for the lack of character and integrity that the young men of St. Paul’s School showed, laughing and joking with Owen Labrie at graduation about “slaying” our daughter. Both the school and these young men should bear the shame of these crimes along with Owen Labrie.
While we stood together as a family through this process, it was our young daughter who took the stand to speak the truth and request justice. We admire her bravery in coming forward and speaking out in the face of great adversity. It is truly her courage that has made this measure of justice possible today.
New York Daily News
BY NICOLE HENSLEY
A priest caught with a hidden camera in a Sherwood, Ore., church fled to the Philippines to evade an arrest warrant signed last week, local reports said.
Rev. Ysrael Bien left the country in defiance of the Archdiocese of Portland’s orders to stay put while on administrative leave from the St. Francis Catholic Church.
“I didn’t expect him to disobey,” Archbishop Alexander Sample told the Oregonian.
A teenage boy had found a hidden camera disguised as an electrical outlet in a church bathroom and handed it over to Bien.
The ensuing drama has left parishioners not expecting the 34-year-old priest to return or ever be found.
POLONIA/CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
Tras la muerte del ex nuncio apostólico en República Dominicana Josef Wesolowski, la fiscalía estatal polaca archivará las investigaciones en su contra por abuso sexual, según señaló un vocero de la fiscalía del distrito de la capital Varsovia. "Una vez muerto el sospechoso, congelaremos el proceso", señaló.
La Fiscalía de Varsovia investigaba de forma independiente las acusaciones de abuso sexual contra el ex nuncio de origen polaco.
Un sacerdote que trabajó durante la época de Wesolowski como nuncio en República Dominicana fue condenado en mayo a siete años de cárcel por abuso sexual de niños en el Estado caribeño y en Polonia. Además, fue suspendido del sacerdocio.
Below is a letter from the St. Paul’s School administration to the school community addressing the Owen Labrie verdict:
By now you have likely learned of the verdicts in the trial of Owen Labrie ’14. The trial has been deeply painful for all of us in the St. Paul’s community, but especially for the young woman who has suffered through this nightmare. From the beginning – some 15 months ago – to the conclusion of the trial, she and her family have shown remarkable moral courage and strength. Her resolve and unwavering commitment to the pursuit of the truth have been inspiring to us and to many outside our School community.
In June of 2014, when we first learned about these disturbing events, and informed you of the arrest of Owen Labrie, we pledged that we would use this case and the issues raised by it to learn more about ourselves and to make our School better. We began more than a year ago by conducting a comprehensive review of the safety of our School environment and of our reporting procedures to ensure they continue to meet the highest standards. We also made policy changes and enhanced programming in several key areas to further support our students in making St. Paul’s the healthiest residential learning environment possible. In addition, we invited independent experts and researchers to our campus to advise us on the best ways to strengthen the trust, respect and understanding that is so critical for a tight-knit, fully residential community like ours. More information about the speakers and the topic areas they covered can be accessed on the “From the Rector” page of our website under the “Focus on Healthy Community” section.
With advice and guidance from a team of public health professionals, we developed and began implementing additional programming to strengthen our community through enhanced education and prevention efforts in such areas as harassment, bullying, gender-based violence, and substance abuse. Our work continues as we strive to strengthen our Living in Community curriculum, develop new bystander intervention training for all students and heads of house, and conduct a review of School policies and practices surrounding student conduct and discipline. Our expectation is that these efforts will allow our faculty, staff, administration, and students to continue to be engaged in critical introspection with an eye to improving how we live together.
The topics raised by the trial have been an area of focus for the School for some time, and these same issues have been highlighted for the broader St. Paul’s community through testimony in court and recently in the press. To the frustration of many, the public discussion of the trial over the past two weeks has inaccurately portrayed St. Paul’s School and our culture. The allegations about our culture are not emblematic of our School or our values, our rules, or our student body, alumni, faculty, and staff.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Friday, Aug. 28
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)
Kids are safer now that Wesolowski has passed. But sadly, now no one will ever know how many Catholic officials concealed his crimes for how many months or years.
Had Vatican officials turned over Wesolowski to secular authorities, as they should have, he might have already been tried, convicted and imprisoned. And more truth about wrongdoers in his case might have surfaced.
Two weeks ago, the BBC reported that Wesolowski was walking freely in Rome:
Last year a church official disclosed that he saw Wesolowski walking freely in Rome:
This is incredibly irresponsible and dangerous. During his time in Rome, we hope Wesolowski did not hurt more children.
We hope Wesolowski’s passing brings some measure of comfort to his victims. We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered Wesolowkski’s crimes to contact secular authorities. Though he obviously won’t be prosecuted, it’s possible that some clerics who ignored or concealed his crimes might be brought to justice.
We also hope that Vatican officials stop their centuries-old practice of handling clergy sex crimes and cover ups. Child molesting clerics should be dealt with by the independent, unbiased professionals in secular law enforcement, not by biased, secretive church colleagues.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Catholic News Service reports that:
In its official statement about his death, the Vatican referred to him as "His Excellency Monsignor Josef Wesolowski," even though he was dismissed from the clerical state in June 2014 after an investigation by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
His appeal of the dismissal was denied, Father Benedettini said, "but was not officially communicated so as not to aggravate the situation" while he was awaiting the separate criminal trial. He was still listed as an archbishop in the 2015 edition of the "Annuario Pontificio," the Vatican yearbook.
The Catholic Report
Please allow me to say I know how this hurts but there is a path to healing and moving forward. When you are ready to tell someone, we are here for you. It helps to tell someone, I know it is scary, you are at your all time low, your trust factor it at the lowest point, but when you do you, you will feel better about yourself. This will lead to control, which leads to moving to a better way of life.
Once you are on the path to talking to someone , you will want your life back and you will have to make decisions. These are the steps I took and found to be of value.
* Telling Someone: This is a is tough one to figure out. What I did was start small. Start with your closest friends and family. Now the next step is talking with the police. In the past some police forces were reluctant to file a report. In fact, in my case it took multiple times for the police to file a report. That is not the case anymore. I do recommend that someone be there with you as this will be a big challenge, but it is necessary. The last thing you want is for another child to go through what you went through, file the report. The police will take it from there and inform all concerned parties. The next person who needs to know is a lawyer. You will need to understand what your rights are. If you do decide to move forward with legal proceedings, you need to have someone who's job it is to protect you. If you are worried about information being revealed you are protected by attorney client privileges and they are bound by law to keep everything confidential. On a side note, for me it was educational, illuminating and empowering. While the last paragraph was a few sentences it is hard to do but rewarding.
The Worthy Adversary
Posted by Joelle Casteix on August 28, 2015
Tell me what is wrong with these two excerpts from this week’s news:
Francis, 78, a Jesuit from Argentina, is moving in a similar direction, McCartin said. He has overhauled the Vatican bureaucracy, encouraged open debate within the church, instituted a mechanism for removing bishops who covered up the priest sex-abuse scandal and adopted a simple lifestyle as pope, trying to emulate his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi. (emphasis mine)
From the NY Times:
Francis is not the first pope to have addressed the issue of sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy, but he has drafted new rules giving prosecutors more leeway in the cases, allowing criminal charges to be applied to Vatican employees anywhere. He is also the first pope to take action against superiors accused of covering up for priests. (emphasis mine)
Have you guessed? Are you stumped? Okay, okay. I’ll tell you. Francis hasn’t taken action against superiors who covered up for abusing priests nor has he instituted a mechanism for removing bishops.
Allowing KC/St. Joseph Robert Finn to resign three years after a conviction for child endangerment or allowing Archbishop John Nienstedt to resign in the wake of a huge sex scandal is NOT a mechanism.
Unless “allowing complicit bishops to freely resign with full rights, power, and honors—and no punishment, accountability, or shame” is a mechanism, of course.
These men have not been publicly sanctioned. Francis has said NOTHING publicly about how these men allowed criminals to wreak havoc on the children in their dioceses. They were not forced out of their jobs. There was never a public reason given by the Vatican for accepting the resignations.
Owen Labrie guilty of misdemeanor sex-assault charges; acquitted of more serious charges
By Allison Manning @allymanning
Boston.com Staff | 08.28.15
A prep school graduate who was headed to Harvard before he was arrested on rape charges last year was found not guilty Friday of the more serious charges of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl, but guilty of three misdemeanor sexual assault charges.
Owen Labrie, now 19, could face 12 months of incarceration for each misdemeanor conviction and having to register as a sex offender for 10 years.
Labrie was also found guilty of one felony charge of using a computer to solicit the girl and a misdemeanor count of endangering children.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A former senior at a New Hampshire prep school has been acquitted of felony rape but convicted of misdemeanor sex charges regarding a 15-year-old freshman.
The jury of nine men and three women on Friday found Owen Labrie, of Tunbridge, Vermont, not guilty of raping the girl in an academic building at St. Paul’s School two days before he graduated last year.
But they found him guilty of three misdemeanor sex assault charges.
CONCORD, N.H. -- A jury has found former New Hampshire prep school student Owen Labrie not guilty of all three felony sex charges but guilty of lesser offenses -- including three charges of misdemeanor sex assault -- in his rape trial for allegedly assaulting a 15-year-old female student two days before he graduated last year.
Labrie, of Tunbridge, Vermont, faced nine charges, including the three felony sex assault charges that carried potential sentences of 10 to 20 years in prison.
Labrie was also found guilty of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, and of using a computer to lure the girl, a Class B felony. He was found not guilty on a simple assault charge.
The jury deliberated 7 and a half hours. Labrie wept after the verdict was read.
National Catholic Reporter
Joshua J. McElwee | Aug. 28, 2015
The disgraced former papal ambassador who was to be the first to be tried by the Vatican for sexual abuse of minors and for possession of child pornography has died while awaiting trial.
Former archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who served as the pope's representative to the Dominican Republic until being accused of sexual misconduct with minors in 2013, was found dead "during the first hours of the morning," the Vatican said in a statement Friday.
At first inspection, the statement said, the death seemed to be of natural causes. An autopsy is expected to be completed Friday, it said, with the results communicated "as soon as possible."
Pope Francis "has been duly informed," the statement concluded.
Wesolowski, a native of Poland, had served in the church diplomatic post since 2008 but was recalled to Rome two years ago after allegations of abusing young boys and possessing child pornography.
By: Angus MacKinnon, Agence France-Presse
August 28, 2015
VATICAN - Josef Wesolowski, a former Polish archbishop who had been due to be the first cleric tried in the Vatican for child sex abuse, has been found dead in his apartment in the city state.
Wesolowski, 67, was found slumped in front of his television, officials said, and the Vatican said in an official statement that it appeared the disgraced former prelate had died of natural causes.
An autopsy was to be carried out during the day and the results published as soon as possible, the Vatican said, adding that Pope Francis was being kept fully informed.
Wesolowski's death came six weeks after his landmark trial was suspended after only seven minutes because of an undisclosed illness which resulted in the accused being hospitalized on the eve of its start.
Wesolowski was charged with possessing child pornography in Rome in 2013-14, and the sexual abuse of minors during his 2008-13 stint as the Vatican nuncio, or ambassador, in the Dominican Republic.
by ERIK ORTIZ
Jurors reached a verdict Friday in a rape trial that pitted the credibility of a former student of an elite New Hampshire prep school against his accuser.
Owen Labrie, now 19, faces nine criminal counts in the alleged rape of a freshman girl in May 2014 at their boarding academy, the prestigious St. Paul's School in Concord.
The two-week trial has cast a harsh light on the school, whose alumni include Secretary of State John Kerry, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, a Kennedy and three Vanderbilts.
Catholic News Agency
Vatican City, Aug 28, 2015 / 09:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Jozef Wesolowski, the laicized, former apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic who faced criminal charges of possession of child pornography and pedophilic acts in Vatican City died on Friday at the age of 67.
The Holy See press office announced Aug. 28 that Wesolowski dead in his room at the Vatican's Collegio dei Penitenzieri in front of a TV, which was turned on, at about 5 am by a Franciscan religious.
The Vatican has said that preliminary investigations indicate he died of natural causes, but an autopsy will be performed nonetheless.
In 2013, allegations arose that then-Archbishop Wesolowski had engaged in sexual misconduct. He resigned as apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic on Aug. 21 of that year. After the printing of the original accusations, a 13-year-old boy came forward with further allegations that Wesolowski had solicited him for sexual favors in exchange for money.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release Friday, August 28
Statement by northern Minnesota SNAP leader Verne Wagner (firstname.lastname@example.org, 218-340-1277)
A Catholic priest, Fr. Brian Lederer, who was arrested in May of 2015 now faces 5 felony counts. A fourth victim has come forward and child pornography has been found on his personal computer. Lederer is currently free on bail.
What we should ask is whether the seminary where Lederer came from ever suspected or had any documentation showing concerns that this priest was a danger to children. Hibbing, MN was Lederer's first assignment. Did the Duluth Diocese do any background checks on him with the seminary? Last year Fr. Timothy Backus was appointed by Duluth Bishop Paul Sirba to work in Ministry as a Vice President at Essentia Hospital and Associate Pastor at St. Michaels parish in Duluth knowing that he has been credibly accused of molesting a young boy in 1990's. In this day and age and with their past record publicly known how could they not properly perform vetting these men.
Is the Duluth Diocese even doing background checks and if so how?
What did the seminary where Lederer came from know? How did Lederer slip through the churches screening for pedophiles? Do they even do screening and if so how?
Prosecutors need to ask these questions in order to protect our children from future priests. It's well documented that the public cannot depend on Bishop Surba to keep these accused pedophiles out of our towns and away from our children
We beg people to remember charges are not convictions. Now more than ever we urge anyone who have been victimized by Lederer or other clergy to call 911 and report these men. We also ask anyone with knowledge regarding child abuse by clergy to contact law enforcement to help us protect our children.