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October 31, 2007

Polygamist leader said he was 'immoral'

The Kansas City Star

Associated Press Writer

Sitting in jail awaiting trial, the leader of a polygamous sect renounced his role as a prophet and said he had been "immoral" with a sister and daughter decades ago, newly unsealed documents show.

Warren Jeffs' attorneys included those statements in documents they filed in July as they sought to keep jail recordings out of his September trial in the arranged marriage of a 14-year-old to her 19-year-old cousin.

Fifth District Judge James Shumate agreed that the recordings could bias jurors against Jeffs and ordered the documents sealed. He unsealed them Tuesday. ...

Among FLDS members, who cover their bodies from neck to ankle, even small physical gestures would be considered inappropriate, said Ken Driggs, a Georgia lawyer and polygamy expert. As for Jeffs' "immoral" conduct, "I wouldn't read too much into it," Driggs said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 PM

Alleged Internet Predator Arrested At Statehouse


COLUMBUS, Ohio - A man was arrested Wednesday morning at the Ohio Statehouse after authorities said he set up a meeting with a 14-year-old girl who he thought was visiting the building on a field trip.

According to police, Barry Mentser (pictured, right) chatted with an officer posing as a teenage girl on the Internet for about a year before the meeting was arranged, 10TV's Maureen Kocot reported.

Investigators told 10TV News that Mentser, 48, asked the teenager to meet him outside of the Statehouse's caf. It was there that Mentser was taken into custody, Kocot reported.

"He actually came into the Statehouse, which we weren't sure he was going to do," said Hamilton Township police Lt. Jeff Braley. "If this doesn't illustrate how far they'll go, I don't know what will." ...

10TV News learned that from 1987 to 1990 Mentser worked for Franklin County Children Services where we once represented a 12-year-old boy who had been allegedly molested by a priest, Kocot reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

Questions raised in accusations against former priest

The Union Democrat

Published: October 31, 2007

The Union Democrat

Allies of Father Michael Kelly, a former Sonora pastor accused of sexual abuse, have formed an organization to help raise funds for his legal defense.

"It's just preposterous that he would be accused of it," said Greg Dumas, a former longtime member of Sonora's St. Patrick's Church, where Kelly was pastor from 1987 to 1997.

Dumas is among several hundred of present and former parishioners who have banded together to form Friends of Father Kelly.

The alleged victim, a 33-year-old man now in the U.S. military, claims he was sexually abused by Kelly in his parents' former home in Stockton between 1984 and 1986. The victim would have been 10 to 12 years old at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 PM

EXCLUSIVE: Woman Feels Victimized Twice, By Priest and Church


A Las Vegas priest will be sentenced Thursday for assaulting a Catholic Church employee in January of 2007.

Father George Chaanine pleaded guilty to one count of battery and could face up to 15 years behind bars. His victim, Michaelina Bellamy, agreed to the plea deal two months ago, but is now having second thoughts.

In her first and only interview, Bellamy told the I-Team she feels she's been victimized twice -- once by the priest and once by the Church. ...

Michaelina Bellamy says Chaanine was able to get away with his indiscretions because he is a close friend of Bishop Joseph Pepe. She notes that the bishop went to visit Chaanine in jail but has never even phoned her after the attack.

"The bishop said he had spoken to me and that's a lie. He's never spoken to me. I think he went to see the prisoner because he was afraid he might say some personal things about the bishop, not just about the Church," she stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 PM

Lies of Little Miss Misery - memoir of abused girl is a fake, says new investigation

Daily Mail


Her memoir of a childhood destroyed by cruelty and fear was a publishing phenomenon. In fact, as this investigation reveals, Kathy O'Beirne had cynically made it all up...

Within her bestselling memoir, a harrowing tale of childhood brutality and sexual abuse, Kathy O'Beirne claims: "The Devil himself could not have dreamed up a better hell."

And, at first glance, one would have to agree.

Ms O'Beirne, who was brought up just outside Dublin, reveals in lurid detail the years she spent as a slave to sadistic nuns in the notorious Magdalene laundries, how she was raped there by two priests, gave birth at the age of 13, how nuns sold babies born at the laundries and how she had her hand thrust into boiling fat by her alcoholic father.

Her heart-rending account has become the most successful non-fiction book ever written by an Irish writer, with almost 400,000 copies sold, and has made the author an icon among other abuse victims.

But today I can reveal that the Devil may not have been involved in creating this publishing phenomenon at all.

For the hell evoked in Kathy's Story: Don't Ever Tell appears to have been dreamed up by the author.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

More Suits Filed Against Priest

Southwest News-Herald


A priest convicted oF molesting two young boys is now being sued by two brothers claiming they were sexually abused as well.

The Rev. Donald J. McGuire 77, of the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesuits, is being sued by two brothers, John Doe 117, now 28 and John Doe 118, now 19.

The brothers accuse McGuire of molesting them from 1988 to as late as 2002. McGuire is now living in Oak Lawn.

According to the suit, in 1988 McGuire began abusing John Doe 117 during the sacrament of confession. McGuire also allegedly made John Doe 117 massage his naked body.

According to the lawsuit, “McGuire also showed John Doe 117 pornography and frequently had inappropriate and sexually graphic discussions with John Doe 117, including in the confessional.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

Man who spurred abuse lawsuit dies

Telegraph Herald

The man whose lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Dubuque spurred a $5 million settlement with victims of clergy sexual abuse has died.

Jim Cummins, 62, died on Friday, Oct. 26, at his Texas home surrounded by his family. A veteran newsman with NBC News, Cummins retired earlier this year and soon thereafter was diagnosed with cancer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

State of Utah v. Warren Steed Jeffs - Court Filings

State of Utah

Documents that were sealed during the trial of Warren S. Jeffs, leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, are now unsealed and available at this Web site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Warren Jeffs Court Documents Unsealed


Details of the Warrens Jeffs case kept secret during the trial were made public Tuesday. The state unsealed court documents and they’re now open for all to see.

There are many details about Warren Jeffs’ health - like the fact that he lost 30 pounds in jail, his private conversations with family, and his own doubts about being prophet of the FLDS Church.

During his trial, Warren Jeffs appeared sickly and seemed to fall asleep. But recently unsealed court papers reveal while Jeffs was in jail he became so sick, he went to the hospital. Doctors said he was depressed.

In January, right before he went to the hospital, the documents say Jeffs called family and church members and told them, “When he was 20 years old, he had been immoral with a sister and a daughter.” ...

If you want to see these documents visit: State of Utah v. Warren Steed Jeffs Court Documents. New documents released October 30, 2007 as well as all other court documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:57 PM

Court Battles Return For Portland Archdiocese

OPB News

By Andrew Theen

Portland, OR October 25, 2007 6:04 p.m.

Advocates for victims of clergy sex abuse had harsh words for Portland's Archdiocese Thursday.

This comes in the wake of church efforts to make future defendants reveal their real identities in court.

As Andrew Theen reports, regional leaders of the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, are fighting back.

After a protracted bankruptcy battle and a $70 million settlement that appeared to wrap up the Portland Archdiocese sex abuse case this April, the Archdiocese is back in court.

Five more complaints of clergy sex abuse -- ones that were not included in the settlement -- are moving forward, and church officials have filed a motion to require those who say they were abused by priests to reveal their identities in the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Anglican Church considers future of paedophile priest


AM - Wednesday, 31 October , 2007 08:18:00
Reporter: Michael Edwards
TONY EASTLEY: The Anglican Church is considering whether to allow a convicted paedophile to remain a priest.

Advocates for the victims of sexual abuse say the credibility of the Anglican Church is at stake over the case of Robert Sharwood.

The Anglican priest will soon be released from jail after serving a year for sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy, 30 years ago.

The Brisbane diocese is holding an investigation into Sharwood's status as a member of the clergy.

The investigation has invited the victim to re-present his evidence and also warned him he could be cross-examined by his abuser.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

Garnerville parish reacts to priest's arrest on sex charge

The Journal News


(Original publication: October 31, 2007)
GARNERVILLE - One of the most important things Elizabeth Luisi learned from the Rev. Gary Mead was that it is OK to be Catholic.

"It was so nice to talk about God and about spirituality with someone of a similar age," said Luisi, a 39-year-old Stony Point resident who knew Mead as a priest at St. Gregory Barbarigo parish.

"It made me feel like being Catholic was still hip," she said.

So when Luisi learned that Mead, 44, was among 20 men charged during a sex-sting operation this month at a rest stop on Interstate 684 in Bedford, she was shocked and saddened. Police said he fondled an undercover officer and has been charged with forcible touching.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Don Sante in tv nessuna novità Mentana stoppa l'accenno al libro

Il Gazzettino

Rev. Sante's presence on TV: No Novelty. Anchorman Mentana impedes him speaking about his book.

The Rev. Sante Sguotti, the rebel priest and former parish priest at Monterosso, was invited to appear Monday on the Matrix program with Enrico Mentana. A calmer debate was held in comparison to previous appearance on the Buona Domenica program. There will still difficult moments for the priest.

Monsignor Vinicio Albanese of the Capodarco community pointed his finger at him. "And you say you discovered love?," he asked. "Now? At the age of 40 years? Certain things can happened at a certain age. How is it that only when you are 40-years-old you come to understand that you are not fit for celibacy?" he asked.

The former parish priest on Monterosso did not want to listen to those arguments and continued to repeat what the local chronicle has already written and listened to thousands of times. "In the sacred scripture there are married figures who have a family and who love God more than any person ever did," Rev. Sante answered. He said people should compare a married priest with a non-married one and see who better looks after his parish and who better helps his faithful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

American Samoan call for tougher penalties for child sex abuse

Radio New Zealand

Posted at 03:14 on 31 October, 2007 UTC

The head of American Samoa’s criminal investigation bureau says harsher penalties are needed for child sex abuse.

Commander Va’aomala Sunia says sexual abuse of minors is increasing every year and sentences are too lenient.

The governor has been criticised for dragging his heels over plans to introduce new legislation which he says could impose a life sentence on anyone convicted of sexually abusing a child aged 15 or under.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

LOMBARDI: Lack of action in Jesuit sexual abuse case speaks louder than

The Marquette Tribune

By Eric Lombardi

Two months ago I told Marquette about the Rev. Donald McGuire, a Jesuit from Chicago who has molested at least three Wisconsin children, and asked the Society of Jesus why they have not done more to address McGuire's heinous crimes.

It's taken far too long, but the Jesuits have finally responded.

The Rev. Edward Schmidt, head of the Chicago province of the Society of Jesus admitted last week the Jesuits did not do enough to stop clergy sexual abuse in general and in the case of McGuire, specifically.

"I am personally outraged that anyone, particularly a Jesuit, could abuse a child," Schmidt said, "Above all, I want to say that I am sorry."

Critics present at the press conference believed Schmidt's apology was insincere.

Cleric held for trial in sex abuse of minors

Philadelphia Daily News

olleyc@phillynews.com 215-854-5184

After allegedly performing oral sex on a 15-year-old boy, James Wilkerson - the boy's karate teacher and youth minister - told the teen, now 16, it was to improve his martial-arts skills, the teen testified yesterday in Family Court.

Dressed in a striped blue shirt and black pants, the youth spoke clearly to Judge Ann Butchart of the alleged abuse he suffered at the hands of Wilkerson, then the youth minister at Summerfield-Siloam United Methodist Church, on Dauphin Street near Tulip, in Kensington.

Throughout the boy's testimony, Wilkerson remained silent except for a few times when he whispered in his attorney's ear.

Butchart held Wilkerson for trial on charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, endangering the welfare of a child and corrupting the morals of a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Former vicar in sex case

Northampton Chronicle & Echo

A retired vicar who administered for the Church of England in Northamptonshire has been charged with sexual abuse of young boys more than 20 years ago.

Rev Colin Pritchard, aged 63, who was once in charge of St Andrew's Church in Berrymoor Road, Wellingborough, appeared at Northampton Crown Court.

He faces a single allegation of conspiracy to commit indecent assaults with Roy Cotton in Northamptonshire between 1980 and 1990.

Speaking only to confirm his name, the unmarried vicar was not required to formally enter a plea to the single charge during the 20-minute hearing before Judge Charles Wide QC.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Vicar faces sex abuse charges

Evening Telegraph

A RETIRED vicar has been charged with conspiring to commit sexual abuse of young boys more than 20 years ago.

The Reverend Colin Pritchard, 63, who served at St Andrew's Church in Berrymoor Road, Wellingborough, is charged with conspiring to commit indecent assaults against the boys between 1980 and 1990.

The allegations only came to light when a father who claims he was abused by Pritchard spoke to another vicar about concerns over sending his own child to an Anglican school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Church Sex Abuse Inquiry Continues

The Ledger

Police continue to question members and former members of First Baptist Church at the Mall about a church youth volunteer under investigation for sexual abuse.

Police met Monday with the State Attorney's Office about the investigation, said Lakeland police Sgt. Gary Gross.

A person who made allegations against the volunteer is now an adult. The student ministry volunteer has worked at the church for at least five years, Gross said.

The volunteer was asked to not continue working at the church during the investigation.

It's unclear how long the investigation may take, Lakeland police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Two More Victims Come Forward as SK Pastor Appears on Sex Charges

Kitsap Sun

By Josh Farley
Originally published 06:55 p.m., October 30, 2007
Updated 06:55 p.m., October 30, 2007

The pastor of a South Colby church made his first appearance in Kitsap County Superior Court on Tuesday on molestation and rape allegations, and two more girls — one a 10-year-old — came forward accusing him of sexual abuse.

Robbin Leeroy Harper, 60, has now been accused by a total of seven people — all females — who say he molested or raped them sometime between 1995 and 2006, when they were as young as 7, according to Kitsap County court documents in the case.

Outside the courtroom Tuesday, friends and family members of the women and girls who have come forward said Harper was "controlling" as leader of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Church Unfamiliar to Many in SK's Religious Community

Kitsap Sun

By Brynn Grimley

Many church leaders in the South Kitsap area had never heard of The Church in South Colby until police searched the pastor's house last week.

One member of the Family Church of God Pentecostal in Port Orchard said he was familiar with the church and had attended men's meetings and choir practice at the church, at 3525 Arvick Road in South Colby.

The member said The Church has two Sunday services, one in the morning and one in the evening, as well as a Saturday breakfast for church members.

The Family Church of God Pentecostal's involvement with The Church in South Colby was supportive, he said, adding "we support them and what they do."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Kitsap County, WA, pastor appears in court

The Columbian

Oct 30, 11:33 PM EDT

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. (AP) -- A 60-year-old pastor who was jailed this week for investigation of two counts of second-degree child rape has made his first appearance in Kitsap County Superior Court in Port Orchard.

Two more girls ... one a 10-year-old ... have come forward accusing Robbin Leeroy Harper of sexual abuse.

Court documents say Harper is accused by a total of seven females who say he molested or raped them sometime between 1995 and 2006, when they were as young as 7.

Harper appeared before Judge Leila Mills today. He turned himself in yesterday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

‘Pastor P’ cops a plea

The Decatur Daily

By Sheryl Marsh

A man referenced as pastor, whom police arrested twice in six years on sex charges involving children, has pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of an underage boy.

Victor Pickett, 33, of 217 Eighth St. S.W. entered the plea to first-degree sexual abuse Monday in Morgan County Circuit Court, judicial records show.

A plea agreement with the district attorney’s office will give Pickett a five-year sentence. He has applied for probation. His sentencing date is Jan. 29.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Wisconsin to hear case of five versus dioceses

The Courier-Journal

The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear the case of five Louisville-area men who tried to sue two Roman Catholic dioceses in Wisconsin, alleging they covered up a teacher's history of abusing children before he sexually abused them as youngsters in Kentucky.

A Wisconsin appeals court ruled last November that a statute of limitations barred the men from suing over the sexual abuse from 1968 to 1973 by Gary Kazmarek, a teacher and coach in the Louisville Archdiocese.

But the high court agreed last week to review the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Archdiocese gets a second auxiliary bishop

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Posted: Oct. 30, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI named Father William P. Callahan, a Conventual Franciscan and former pastor of the Basilica of St. Josaphat on the city's south side, as an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on Tuesday.

Callahan, 57, is the spiritual director at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, the elite seminary where Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan formerly served as rector. Born in Chicago, Callahan has been a priest since 1977.

When Callahan is ordained a bishop here on Dec. 21, the archdiocese will have two auxiliary bishops for the first time since the late Auxiliary Bishop Leo G. Brust, who retired in 1991 and died four years later. Dolan said that the late Pope John Paul II gave Dolan the go-ahead to apply for a second auxiliary bishop, noting that the size of the 10-county archdiocese and its about 680,000 Catholics warranted one. ...

Callahan will face some challenging transitions as the archdiocese continues efforts to sell the Cousins Center and its approximately 44-acre site in St. Francis, where the central offices and some other ministries are based. That is being done both to help pay for a multimillion-dollar settlement of clergy abuse lawsuits and to get quarters that are more cost-efficient than the underutilized, aging center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Church 'risks credibility' if pedophile remains a priest

Herald Sun

By Roberta Mancuso

October 31, 2007 05:15pm
THE Anglican church will lose all credibility if a convicted pedophile is allowed to remain a priest after he is released from prison next week, a child protection group says.

Robert Francis Sharwood, 62, of Brisbane, was jailed for 12 months last November after being found guilty of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy in Brisbane more than 30 years ago.

The boy played the organ at the same parish when Sharwood seduced him through their shared love of classical music.

During the two-and-a-half years, Sharwood, then 30, molested the boy up to three times a week, including when he picked him up after school, at the rectory, during musical concerts, at their homes and in a car.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Diocese Web site posts info on priest

The Arizona Republic

Nikki Renner
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 31, 2007 12:00 AM

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix posted on its Web site an account of sexual allegations made against a priest a day after an advocacy group pushed for the exposure.

The Rev. Donald J. McGuire, 77, was convicted of sexual abuse in Wisconsin last year on charges he molested two students at Loyola Academy in Illinois in the 1960s. McGuire conducted seminars at Mount Claret Retreat Center in Phoenix in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2001.

LastThursday, the advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests asked the diocese to use its Web site to notify the public about McGuire.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Sex Sting Nabs 20 at Highway Rest Area

EDGE Boston

by Kilian Melloy
EDGE Boston Contributor
Wednesday Oct 31, 2007

A public sex sting at a New York state rest area off Interstate 684 has resulted in 20 men being charged in a month--including a Catholic priest.

A registered sex offender was also charged, according to an article posted yesterday by the Lower Hudson Online. ...

The charge of forcible touching was brought against the Rev. Gary Mead, a Catholic priest who allegedly fondled an officer who was at the site in an undercover capacity. The article said that Mead was assigned to a Garnerville parish, St. Gregory Barbarigo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

October 30, 2007

Was jailed priest in satanic sex ring?

Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
October 30, 2007

An appeals court has reinstated a civil suit against Father Gerald Robinson, the Toledo priest convicted in 2006 of the 1980 murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl.

According to an Oct. 27, 2007 story in the Toledo Blade, by religion editor David Yonke (whose book on the case — Sin, Shame, and Secrets — contains a disturbing report that the Toledo diocese had paid for certain abortions):

'...[T]he appellate court reversed a decision in January by Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Ruth Ann Franks to throw out the woman's suit because her claims were made after the statute of limitations had expired.

'The woman sued anonymously in April, 2005, as Survivor Doe with her husband, Spouse Doe, claiming she was the victim of sexual abuse and torture during ritualistic ceremonies in the basement of St. Adalbert Catholic Church in North Toledo, starting in 1968, when she was 5, and continuing until 1975. ...

Survivor Doe's full complaint can be read here (warning: contains graphic language).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 PM

Convicted paedophile must not remain priest: victim's group


Posted October 31, 2007 11:19:00

Brisbane's Ester Centre for Victims of Abuse says the Anglican Church will lose all credibility if a convicted paedophile is allowed to remain a priest.

Robert Sharwood is due to be released next month after serving one year of a 33-month sentence for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy in Brisbane 30 years ago.

The Brisbane Anglican diocese is holding an investigation into Sharwood's status and has invited his victim to give evidence, which could include cross-examination by Sharwood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 PM

Suspended Mesa priest's case goes to high court

The Arizona Republic

Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 30, 2007 05:23 PM

A suspended Roman Catholic priest won a legal victory Tuesday when the Arizona Supreme Court decided to grant review of whether he should receive a jury trial on misdemeanor sex charges.

Such reviews are a rarity, with more than 1,000 requests filed every year with the state's highest court and only 60 or 70 opinions issued, said Cari Gerchick, a court spokesman.

The issue of whether a judge or a jury would determine the guilt or innocence of Monsignor Dale Fushek has put his trial on hold since August 2006. Fushek's attorney, Tom Hoidal, argues that his client deserves a jury trial because he could be ordered to register as a sex offender if convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:26 PM

Reformers meet; report of abuse in R.I. released

National Catholic Reporter

Providence, R.I.

The church reform organization Voice of the Faithful gathered for its national convention here Oct. 19 and 20, even as victim advocates voiced frustration with the group and the hierarchy for not doing enough to bring justice to survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

Inside the convention center, Mary Pat Fox, Voice of the Faithful’s president, urged the 500 members in attendance to move from anger to love. Keynoter Fr. Richard P. McBrien advised the organization not be confrontational with the hierarchy nor “to write off” the U.S. Catholic bishops. Fr. Donald Cozzens said Voice of the Faithful’s call for an ecclesial review of mandatory celibacy is in “perfect harmony” with the Second Vatican Council’s theology.

BishopAccountability.org, an online archive of documents related to the abuse scandal, held a news conference in Providence Oct. 19 to announce the release of a document indicating that between 1971 and 2007, 125 priests in Rhode Island were accused of sexual assault or misconduct, including 95 accused of child molestation and sexual assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 PM


The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix

The Diocese of Phoenix has learned that Fr. Donald J. McGuire, S. J., a Chicago Jesuit priest, is the subject of a lawsuit that was filed on October 23 in Cook County, Illinois. The lawsuit was brought by two men who report that Fr. Donald J. McGuire sexually abused them in Illinois and in Arizona between 1988 and 2002 when they were minors.
Fr. Donald J. McGuire, 77, is a convicted sex offender who was found guilty in 2006 in Wisconsin of molesting two students from Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois, during the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 PM

Diocese reveals sex conviction against former priest


Associated Press - October 30, 2007 8:34 PM ET

PHOENIX (AP) - An account of sexual allegations made against a priest just days after an advocacy group pushed for the exposure has been posted on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix Web site.

The Arizona Republic reports on its Web site the Diocese recognized the Reverend Donald J. McGuire as a convicted sex offender.

The 77-year-old McGuire was convicted of sexual abuse in Wisconsin last year on charges he molested 2 students at Loyola Academy in Illinois in the 1960s.

McGuire conducted seminars at a Phoenix retreat center In 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2001.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 PM

Bishop McFarland to Priests: Stop Touching Boys!

Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
October 30, 2007 2:46 PM

Just got off the phone with Malcolm Smith, a former priest in the Orange diocese who served at St. Kilian Church in Mission Viejo during the mid-1990s. Smith was there when Patrick Ziemann--then the Bishop of Santa Rosa, formerly a Mater Dei instructor--allegedly abused a boy during confession at a religious retreat. When the boy's mother complained to then-Orange Bishop Norman McFarland about the incident, His Excellency replied by stating he couldn't "conceive it as being possibly true, either as to the action alleged . . . or as to its circumstances" and said such accusations were "open to a libel suit."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 PM

Vatican under fire as 4,000 face eviction

The Guardian

John Hooper in Rome
Tuesday October 30, 2007
The Guardian

Several thousand residents in Rome who face eviction from their rented homes by the Roman Catholic church this week have accused church bodies of indulging in a "speculative frenzy".

In a letter to Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, the head of the Italian bishops' conference, a committee formed by tenants said: "We have always paid the rent and taken care of our flats. None of the evictions is for non-payment of rent; they are all because of expired leases."

The problem is most acute in the centre of the Italian capital, where a quarter of the property is owned by the Vatican and church organisations.

The protest could scarcely have come at a more embarrassing time for the Italian Roman Catholic hierarchy or its leader. Last month, Archbishop Bagnasco made a widely reported speech in which he deplored a shortage of low-cost housing. He said: "I am referring in particular to the tragedies of those such as pensioners or single-income families who are served with eviction orders and cannot find alternative [accommodation]."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

More abuse allegations target Jesuit priest

Chicago Tribune

Tribune staff report
October 30, 2007

CHICAGO - Lawyers for five men who have accused a prominent Jesuit priest of molesting them as minors announced Monday that at least 10 families have come forward with similar allegations over the last five decades, including five who are not named in any criminal or civil complaints.

Correspondence between families and Jesuit leaders, released by lawyers Monday, appears to reveal a trail of allegations against Rev. Donald McGuire dating to 1969. McGuire, 77, was convicted last year in Wisconsin of molesting two boys in the 1960s. A 21-year-old man filed suit in August alleging abuse from 1999 to 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

Decades-old letters told of concerns about priest

Chicago Sun-Times

October 30, 2007
Anguished parents and a troubled priest were writing letters to religious authorities as early as 1969 outlining concerns about Jesuit priest and now-convicted child molester Donald J. McGuire.

The documents were released Monday by lawyers for some of McGuire's alleged victims. The attorneys said the letters were brought to them by parents and others who tried to sound the alarm on McGuire but were ignored by the Jesuits.

The earliest document alleging inappropriate behavior was from 1969. The Rev. Charles Schlax contacted the Rev. John Reinke, then president of Loyola Academy, saying he was troubled by a youth's complaint about McGuire, a Loyola teacher.

The youth said McGuire was a "pervert,'' according to Schlax's letter, which the lawyers said was turned over by someone else. Schlax wrote the youth had been staying nights at Loyola, ''away from his home for a week or more,'' which was cause for "a complete investigation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Giuliani as president brings advisors like Alan Placa, the pedophile priest-lawyer who created Catholic Church policy for pedophile priests

City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

A New York grand jury ends its report on Alan Placa, pedophile priest, with these words: “Ironically, Priest F would later become instrumental in development of Diocesan policy in response to allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests.” Ironic? More like criminal conspiracy. Below are more quotes from Suffolk County about Placa, who today whispers in Rudy Giuliani’s ear, plus an interview with Richard Tollner, one of Placa’s more vocal accusers.

This guy Placa is so devious. He's also Rudy's "long time friend." Placa who diddled little boys when no one was looking, got the church to send him to law school as a young priest, so he could craft legal strategy for the church’s handling of pedophile priests. He also created a devious MO for handling those pesky parish families who make complaints against the priests, and ways to keep the settlements as low as possible.

Imagine what Placa could do as President Giuliani’s advisor: he finds out an American city is going to be attacked and responds by moving the enemy’s cells into new cities before the bombs hit. Then he convinces families of the dead that the bomb never went off in the first place so they really don’t need any reparations. That's how he handled his fellow pedophile priests and their accusers.

Usually pedophiles target children who are meek, not likely to stop sexual advances. Placa miscalculated when he went after the teenaged Richard Tollner. The Grand Jury Report described it: “The tragic death of a victim’s father led, finally, to the end of Priest F’s sexual abuse of him. At the funeral home, Priest F approached the boy and the boy told Priest F, ‘Don’t ever fucking touch me again or I’ll kill you.’"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

Documents in the Case


Lawyers for several of Father McGuire's alleged victims have obtained documents that show the Jesuits were repeatedly alerted to his alleged sexual abuse, beginning in 1969. Read some of those documents:

Victim 4
Nov. 29, 1969: First official allegations (from Alleged Victim 4)

Victim 7
Oct. 25, 2000: Letter from parents of Alleged Victim 7 to Jesuits about McGuire showing their son pornography.

Victim 8
Oct. 27, 2000: Letter from the family of Alleged Victim 8 to the Jesuits about McGuire's influence on their son.
Jan. 10, 2001: Jesuits' response to the parents of Alleged Victim 8.
Dec. 7, 2002: Letter from the family of Alleged Victim 8 to the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Victim 9
Jan. 15, 2001: Notes from Alleged Victim 9's conversation with Dominicans about his sexual abuse.

Victims 5 and 10
Oct. 18, 2007: Letter (and correction) from the father of Alleged Victims 5 and 10 retracting support for McGuire at his 2006 trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Papers: Jesuits Were Warned About Abusive Priest


by Barbara Bradley Hagerty

All Things Considered, October 29, 2007

Father Donald McGuire sexually abused two teenaged boys in the 1960s. That much is public record: He was convicted in a criminal trial last year.

As recently as nine weeks ago, Jesuit leaders insisted that they had no knowledge of any other abuse by the renowned priest. But documents show that over the past 38 years, Jesuit leaders were alerted many times about McGuire's behavior — even as criminal and civil cases were under way. That raises the question: What happened to those records?

"They either destroyed documents relevant to criminal activity, or they lied," said Marc Pearlman, an attorney for several plaintiffs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Ex-minister pleads not guilty to child porn charge

Peoria Journal-Star

PEORIA - A former minister and substitute teacher pleaded not guilty in federal court on Monday to producing child porn.

James Curtis Love, 37, was indicted earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Peoria on two counts of production of child pornography. If convicted, Love faces 15 to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and lifetime supervised release.

Love was arrested in May and charged in McLean County with four counts of aggravated battery and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He is accused of sedating teen boys and taking lewd photographs of them while they slept.

He was ordered held at the McLean County Jail pending his Dec. 17 trial date before U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm. A Dec. 10 trial has been set in the state case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Pastor booked in sex abuse case

The News Tribune

IAN DEMSKY; The News Tribune Published: October 30th, 2007 01:00 AM

A Port Orchard pastor suspected in at least two cases of sexual abuse turned himself in Monday to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.

The 60-year-old man was accompanied by his lawyer and did not make any statements or talk to detectives, said deputy Scott Wilson, a spokes- man for the department.

The News Tribune isn’t naming the man because no charges have been filed in the cases.

He was booked into the jail on suspicion of two counts of second-degree rape of a child. A preliminary court hearing is scheduled for today in Kitsap County, Wilson said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

New book shares portraits of abused


Tuesday, October 30, 2007


A new book by Carmine Galasso, an award-winning photographer at The Record, focuses on the scars of hidden wounds inflicted long ago by predatory priests and nuns.

"Crosses: Portraits of Clergy Abuse" contains black-and-white photos of 30 adults who endured excruciating ordeals as children. In detailed interviews, they share graphic memories of sexual abuse, brutal rapes and intimidation by the authority figures their families trusted most.

Patricia Anne Cahill, for example, recalls how the priest who pursued her would take off all his clothes, except for his white collar. If she tried to flee, he locked her naked inside a cold, dark closet. She was only 5 or 6.

Galasso calls his subjects victim/survivors, and spent three years traveling the country to record their faces and memories. For many, the abuse had relentless consequences, including depression, drug abuse and sexual confusion. Some were shunned by their families. A few attempted suicide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Hearing delayed again on diocese bankruptcy


The San Diego Catholic diocese's bankruptcy dismissal hearing has been postponed again.

The hearing is now set for 10:30 a.m. Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. It initially was re-scheduled for today.

The diocese filed for bankruptcy protection from childhood sexual abuse claims in February. It settled last month, agreeing to pay $198 million to 144 victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Ex-priest begins jail term in child-abuse case


BY ALFONSO A. CASTILLO | alfonso.castillo@newsday.com
10:33 PM EDT, October 29, 2007

A Long Island mother smiled outside a Riverhead courtroom Monday, confident that four years after former Catholic priest Barry Ryan struck fear into her 5-year-old son's heart, Ryan now felt terrified as he began his 2-year jail sentence.

"He deserves to be scared," said the mother of the boy whom Ryan confessed to sexually abusing in 2003. Their names are being withheld to protect the boy's identity. "Now it's time for him to live looking over his shoulder, like my little guy had to do."

Ryan, 58, was formally sentenced in 2004 after pleading guilty to criminal sexual act charges. But because he was in the advanced stages of terminal liver cancer, Suffolk County Court Judge Ralph Gazzillo agreed to put off sending Ryan to jail for seven months. Doctors expected he would not live to see the inside of a jail cell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

20 men, including a Rockland priest, charged in Bedford rest-stop sex sting

The Journal News


(Original publication: October 30, 2007)
BEDFORD - A sting aimed a men who cruise a rest area off Interstate 684 for gay sex resulted in charges against 20 men in the past month, including a Catholic priest and a registered sex offender.

The sting, which also netted a local Rotary Club president and a 72-year-old man, was prompted by a complaint from a man who stopped to use the rest area with his 10-year-old son, said Capt. Robert Meyer, state police commander in Westchester County.

"As soon as we saw that letter, we took immediate action," said Sgt. Joseph Lutz, the Somers barracks commander, who oversaw the operation. He spoke as he visited the southbound rest area just north of Exit 4 yesterday afternoon. ...

Among those arrested was the Rev. Gary Mead, a Catholic priest from Millwood assigned to St. Gregory Barbarigo parish in Garnerville. Police said he fondled an undercover officer and was charged with forcible touching.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Many Catholic schools fight to survive

Los Angeles Times

By Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 30, 2007
Troubles at St. Anne Catholic School in Santa Monica were so dire at one point that Father Michael D. Gutierrez turned to his congregation for help. He refused to give his sermon until at least 10 families stepped forward to consider enrolling their children in the financially strapped parish school.

A grim economic reality has been building for years in the nation's Catholic schools: Hit by rising costs and tuition and declining enrollment, many are fighting for survival.

The Los Angeles Archdiocese, which recently announced the closing of Daniel Murphy Catholic High School, has been beset by the same pressures, with total enrollment dropping to about 62,000 this year from more than 100,000 seven years ago. The student body at Daniel Murphy, which is subsidized by the Archdiocese, had dropped to 231 students from more than 500, and the Fairfax-area school was in jeopardy of cutting back its curriculum.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

October 29, 2007

Pastor accused of raping girls turns self in


By KOMO Staff
KITSAP COUNTY -- A pastor wanted for allegedly raping two young girls in his own congregation turned himself in to police Monday morning. And Kitsap County Sheriff's deputies say two more alleged victims have come forward.

Kitsap County Sheriff spokesman Scott Wilson said pastor Robbin Harper of the Church in South Colby was taken into custody just after 10 p.m. He's being held on $500,000 bail for investigation of second-degree child rape.

Wilson said Harper is accused of raping two young girls over a period of several years.

"There was a pattern of sexual abuse that would cover the gamut of sexual activities that occurred with Pastor Robbin Harper being the instigator," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 PM

Accused SK Pastor in Custody After Turning Himself In

Kitsap Sun

By Josh Farley
Originally published 01:26 p.m., October 29, 2007
Updated 01:26 p.m., October 29, 2007

The pastor of a South Colby church wanted by the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office in connection with allegations of sexual misconduct with young church members turned himself in this morning.

Robbin Leeroy Harper, 60, was booked into the Kitsap County jail on suspicion of two counts of second-degree rape of a child, and he is being held on $500,000 bail. He turned himself in with legal representation — attorney Thomas Weaver of Bremerton, according to the sheriff's office. He is scheduled to make an initial appearance in court Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Sheriff's Deputy Scott Wilson said detectives believe there are at least two victims, though a third person has reportedly been in contact with the office. The sheriff's office released Harper's name on Friday after serving a search warrant at his South Kitsap home. Harper was not home at the time, and sheriff's deputies announced that there was an ongoing search for him. A friend of Harper's contacted law enforcement Saturday to say Harper had not left the area.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 PM

I-team investigation


WTVG--October 29, 2007 - While Father Robinson's attorney works on his appeal, for the first time we are learning disturbing details of a letter, which set the cold case into motion.

Last year, a jury found Gerald Robinson guilty of murdering Sister Margaret Ann Paul in 1980. It was a letter to the Toledo Diocesan review board from June 2003 that sparked investigators to re-open the case. A letter filled with bizarre accounts of ritualistic sexual abuse at the hands of members of the Catholic Church, including priests.

Mark Davis is an attorney representing another unknown client who alleges similar abuse by other priest and is suing the Toledo Catholic Diocese.

Mark Davis says, "The group purposely makes it so bizarre that a child is not believable and they can escape and get away with these activities."

In one case, a woman says when she was five she was taken to the Calvary Cemetery, put into a coffin-like pine box with cockroaches. Another time, she describes being taken to an abandoned house on Raab Road to take part in satanic activities. The letter also claims much of the sexual abuse took part at St. Pius and the rituals were horrifying and sadistic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 PM

Catholic Church Aware of Donald McGuire's Abuse of Young Boys

Associated Content

By Kay Jones
Published Oct 29, 2007

While the Catholic Church has long denied knowing about Rev. Donald McGuire's pedophilia, new documents being made public on Monday indicate that at least ten separate church officials were aware of McGuire's transgressions. These documents, detailed in a press release by Jeff Anderson & Associates, could be a deciding factor on the civil suit against the Catholic Church.

The proof that three separate Catholic institutions and ten church officials were aware of McGuire's abuse is contained in over 30 pages of secret Jesuit documents according to the press release. These documents are being made public by the attorneys for the victims of McGuire as part of the civil lawsuit process.

The letters documented complaints of multiple families about McGuire during his time as a priest and span over fifty years. In the letters, families accuse McGuire of having inappropriate contact with their boys. The accusations included showing pornography, sharing a bed with young boys, and suspected sexual abuse.

According to the press release, these documents seem to prove that the Catholic church was aware the priest's pedophilia and history of being an abuser but did nothing to protect the abused or the rest of the congregation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 PM

Documents surface showing order may have known of priest abuse


By Paul Meincke
October 29, 2007 (CHICAGO) - Newly released documents shed light on sexual allegations against a convicted priest. The attorneys for victims presented documents to show the Jesuit Order knew about the alleged abuse for years.

Families who have sued Fr. Donald McGuire, 77, contended the Jesuit hierarchy knew of the behavior but did little to stop it. Attorneys for the families say they have a paper trail which reveals a pattern of deceit, concealment and deception that went on for decades.

"How could they not have known father McGuire was a child predator? How could they not have known?" asked Kevin McGuire, priest's nephew.

Fr. McGuire was convicted and sentenced for sexually abusing two young men in his care. Attorneys for others who have sued gathered correspondence saying it reveals higher-ups knew of McGuire's behavior all the way back to 1969. Concerns were raised then, saying "action is imperative less others suffer."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 PM

Former church pastor in American Samoa serves 15 days in prison for assault

Radio New Zealand

Posted at 22:15 on 29 October, 2007 UTC

A former church pastor in American Samoa is serving 15 days in prison for assaulting a 16 year old girl.

Kolose Fruean initially faced several sexual abuse charges involving the girl while he served as a pastor of the Congregational Church in Masausi village.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 PM

Church Records and the Courts


By William W. Bassett | OCTOBER 29, 2007
C atholics should recognize that a sea change is taking place in jurisprudence in the United States concerning the rights of religious institutions. The issue is confidentiality, the promise of privacy that lies at the core of the right to free exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment. Caught in storms of conflict over the crisis caused by sexual abuse of minors by members of the Catholic clergy, bishops and religious superiors can no longer assure the faithful, including priests and religious, of the confidentiality of sensitive personal communications outside the narrow strictures of the priest-penitent privilege in the sacrament of reconciliation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 PM

New York judge sends terminally ill ex-priest to prison for molesting boy

International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: October 29, 2007

RIVERHEAD, New York: A former Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to molesting a 6-year-old boy began a two-year prison sentence in New York on Monday after a judge ordered him returned from a Missouri hospice.

Judge Ralph Gazzillo previously postponed jail for Barry Ryan, who pleaded guilty three years ago, because the ex-priest has terminal liver cancer. But Gazzillo issued an arrest warrant in August, after prosecutors claimed he was using his illness as an excuse to avoid incarceration.

Ryan, 58, was arrested in Missouri and returned to New York last week, said Assistant District Attorney Rosamaria Abbate. The former priest appeared in court Monday before Gazzillo, who signed papers sending Ryan to an upstate prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

In her, priests' collars touch off night terrors

Daily Courier

By Patricia Snyder of the Daily Courier

Cynthia Falter was just 5 years old when a man of God brought her into her own personal hell.

Over four years, the former Los Angeles resident suffered fondling, groping and rape by a Catholic priest whose deeds led to her pending lawsuit settlement, said Falter, now 49.

"He took my virginity for my Communion," she said. "He said I was his little bride."

The experience has had a lifelong effect. She has had trouble keeping a job, with her relationships, with finding peace of mind.

She's still reconstructing herself, and part of that effort involves speaking out so others know they're not alone - the way she felt for so long. Falter was in Grants Pass this week, looking for property in an effort to move back to a place where she found a measure of peace in the early 1990s.

"It was a very healing thing for me to be here," she said.

Falter was living in Anchorage when Los Angeles police detectives arrested George Neville Rucker and brought him through the Alaska city after catching him on a ship bound for a two-month cruise. The retired priest was arrested on Sept. 27, 2002, on 23 felony counts of lewd acts with a child under 14 years of age based on allegations by more than 20 adult women regarding activities from the 1940s through the 1970s.

Falter later decided to come forward and join others in the hope that maybe someone, this time, would believe her.

As a child, she sought adult help but was instead beaten for claiming to be abused by the priest - a man in a position of community esteem.

"He was talking for God," she said. "He was at the right hand of God."

Later, nun Sister Mary noticed how distant she was. Falter recalled a meeting at the church after she told Sister Mary what was happening. A police officer attended. Her attorney has tried to find information about that investigation, without much luck. Falter felt alone in her experiences.

She sought out Sister Mary afterward but couldn't find her.

"She was trying to help me, and they sent her away," she said, her voice cracking.

Young Falter was terrified she was going to hell, that she was "bad."

"That feeling has never left," she said.

She ran away at age 13 and kept heading north. She's been across the nation and out of the country. She kept moving, unable to trust others despite her desire to, sometimes not recognizing the true hand of friendship. She has wrestled with drinking problems as she has tried to escape the pain.

She recalled sitting on a beach, watching couples and longing to be like them. But she instead ended up in unhealthy relationships. She's been in therapy off and on throughout her adult life. She developed a confused sense of sexuality and expectations, afraid of being raped if she didn't give men what they wanted but longing to be liked for who she was inside.

Falter often worked in construction because of the ability to just walk away. It's hard to find an employer who understands she suffers panic attacks and needs to go home where she feels safe, she said. She still experiences night terrors and flashbacks, triggered by crucifixes, church bells, priestly collars.

Molestation not only hurts a child, but it robs society of potential, Falter said. She's an intelligent woman, she added, but it shames her that her own behavior at times doesn't fit with "correct thinking."

"I could have done greater things in life," she said.

She feels a sense of accomplishment from being able to raise two sons for five years in Josephine County, away from harm and with the chance to play in the woods and the river. One is now 20 and an apprentice mechanic. The other is 25 and has served two tours of duty in Iraq. A third son, 9, was taken by authorities during the pending civil lawsuit because they said she couldn't provide for him.

Falter left Grants Pass after the death of her former mother-in-law. She felt a longing to try to connect with her own estranged relatives, but her talk of abuse created a barrier between them.

She's longed for family ties, something she's discovering in other survivors of abuse. She's joined Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which she explained is open to any victims of clergy molestation regardless of denomination.

Rucker was freed in July 2003 following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning a California law allowing prosecution of child molestation charges based on crimes before 1988. Until 1994, molesters could not be prosecuted in California more than six years after the offense, but the court said the new law couldn't be applied retroactively. Media reports at that time estimated the decision affected as many as 800 people accused or already convicted of sexual offenses.

Being abused as a child carries such shame that a statute of limitations should be eliminated, Falter said.

A participant in a civil lawsuit, she expects a settlement pay-out in December, providing the more than 500 plaintiffs agree to settlement terms against the church for not acting to protect victims of its priests. The resolution was not cause for celebration, she said.

"There's no winning," she said. "I didn't feel any kind of joy.

"I really didn't want to settle," she said. "I wanted to go to trial. I wanted the whole world to know the depth of the heresy and the depth of the secrecy."

Once attorneys are paid, she'll have enough money for some therapy and maybe to buy a house, she estimated, although she worries about her ability to keep a job to pay for utilities.

Falter's dream is to create a haven for still-struggling survivors. She imagines a place where people can interact with animals, which have meant so much to her.

In spite of her experience, Falter believes it is God who has been with her even in times of great despair, including when she contemplated suicide. She's had unusual appearances of animals she believes God sent to her, such as a dolphin, a white owl during the day, a bird landing near her face and a rogue horse turned friend.

"They always seemed to come to me when I was at my worst," she said.

She was angry with God because of what happened to her, she said. People need to protect children because abusers often are the very ones who seem trustworthy, she said. Those abused by a member of the clergy face an additional spiritual challenge.

"It's soul murder," she said.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has a Web site at www.snapnetwork.org and a toll-free number of (877) 762-7432.

Reach reporter Patricia Snyder at 474-3817 or psnyder@thedailycourier.com

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Ex-priest begins jail term in child-abuse case


BY ALFONSO A. CASTILLO | alfonso.castillo@newsday.com

A former Catholic priest whose 2-year prison stint on charges that he molested a young boy was put off for three years because he was thought to be dying from liver cancer formally began serving his sentence Monday.

Barry Ryan, 58, of Palm City, Fla., confessed to abusing a 5-year-old boy while visiting a private home on Long Island in 2003.

Ryan pleaded guilty in October 2004 to sodomy, but because he was suffering from terminal liver cancer, the victim's family agreed on a sentence of 2 years, possibly to be served outside of prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:20 PM

The Orange Diocese's Record-Breaking Streak

Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
October 29, 2007 9:41 AM

This year's edition of our annual Scariest People issue includes two entries from the Catholic Diocese of Orange: lead sex-abuse lawyer Peter Callahan and Varsity Gold, the high-school fundraising outfit that hired and proudly employees statutory rapist (and former Mater Dei boys' assistant basketball coach) Jeff Andrade. With those two entries, the Orange diocese enters the Weekly's record books as the organization with the longest consecutive streak of appearances in Scariest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

La Chiesa sfratta: "Dannoi palazzi solo ai ricchi"

La Stampa

La Stampa has an article describing how the ecclesiastical "confraternite" in Rome--owners of a quarter of the real estate in Rome center--are evicting families who have been living there for many years.

The buildings in question were donated for charitable purposes and to help poor people have a place in which to live. Families, whose members were Vatican citizens or are former employees of Vatican City, are among those living there. They are middle or poorer class citizens who sent a letter to Monsignor Bagnasco, president of the Italian bishops conference,
that said, "We ask you to give us the hope to end our nightmare of being forced to live down in a street, expelled from the social context in which we have been living for many years. We always paid the rent. In the past, we even had to build at our expense the bathroom and heating system."

The fact is that the ecclesiastical organizations, given the big real estate speculation in the center of Rome, wants to make a lot of money by evicting the poor and middle class tenants and selling them to wealthy people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 AM

Archbishop Gregory diagnosed with prostate cancer

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 10/28/07

Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta is a fighter. He has fought to expose sexually abusive priests, stop anti-immigrant legislation, reduce abortions and end the death penalty, reminding Georgia lawmakers that Jesus Christ was victim of it.

Now he is fighting the second-leading cause of death by cancer of men in the United States. He told his staff this weekend that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, said Pat Chivers, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:37 AM

Molester ex-priest will need a home

Daily Record

Sunday, October 28, 2007

James T. Hanley, a former priest who has admitted to molesting at least a dozen children in Morris County, appears to have no place to call home.

He was released this past week from a Hudson County jail after pleading guilty to a weapons offense for waving a bat at Secaucus hotel clerks last year. He told authorities he was going to live at a Garfield boarding house, where he stayed for a time last year.

But the owner of that building previously told authorities he would not be welcomed back -- and confirmed that to the Daily Record this past week. Tenants at the boarding house said on Friday that the former priest had not turned up there. So where did he go?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Disgraced priest pleads guilty to swindling parishioners


ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

RICHMOND, Virginia - He was a picture of contrition, a man of the cloth who has admitted his sins and now wants to make amends, hoping to lighten the punishment.

Fr. Rodney Rodis, 51 and frail-looking, pleaded guilty to one count each of mail fraud and money laundering that together, could mean as much as 40 years in jail. Under a plea agreement, the disgraced parish priest agreed to pay $400,000 in restitution to the Catholic Diocese of Richmond in exchange for reducing charges from the original 10 counts – where he faces up to 200 years in jail – to only two.

Prosecutors say Rodis, a native of Cagayan de Oro City, diverted anywhere from $515,000 to $700,000 in donations to the St. Jude and Immaculate Conception church parishes in Louisa County, Virginia, about a hundred miles from Washington DC.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Reconciliation needs truth and justice, not damage control

Voice of the Faithful

Carolyn Disco, winner of the Catherine of Sienna Award, is the New Hampshire VOTF Survivor Support Chairperson.

I am both deeply moved and humbled even to be nominated, for this is an extraordinary honor. I just assumed someone of the national prominence of Justice Anne Burke would be selected. To follow in her footsteps as the second recipient of this Award was a stunning surprise. I thank the committee for naming me.

I am here because I have come to know survivors of clergy sexual abuse, both personally and through the documents from diocesan secret archives. Like many who joined Voice of the Faithful, I am repulsed by the betrayal of bishops who protected the institutional church at the expense of vulnerable children. So many survivors do not know God’s love, how precious they are in His eyes. That is what was stolen from them. The destruction of a child’s trusting relationship with God, his spiritual heritage, is especially cutting.

William D’Antonio and Anthony Pogorelc conclude accurately in their new book, Voices of the Faithful: Loyal Catholics Striving for Change that “revelations of the underbelly of the church were a surprise to (VOTF members, who) were not in possession of the ‘cynical knowledge’ of insiders who knew the church bureaucracy and of what it was capable.”

Catherine of Siena, in her day, had that cynical knowledge and set a course for doing something about it. Her voluminous letters to popes, kings, cardinals, clergy, and laity circulated widely, not being meant solely for the recipient. I believed they functioned as the medieval equivalent of op-eds, letters to the editor, commentaries, and press conferences. I imagine she might be a prominent blogger today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

“There are no cheap graces”

Voice of the Faithful

Father Kenneth Lasch could not attend the ceremony to accept one of the Priest of Integrity Awards. His acceptance speech was delivered by Ginny Hoehne, whose son was abused by a priest in the Diocese of Cleveland.

On March 21st, 1985, my life as a Roman Catholic priest, pastor and human being changed forever. It was the day on which Mark Serrano revealed that he had been molested and raped by one of my predecessors, James Hanley, in the very same rooms I then occupied as the pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Mendham, New Jersey. James Hanley also sexually abused at least 18 other young boys and men that we know of. I suspect there are still others who have yet to come forward.

Shortly after Mark’s disclosure, I made a preferential option for victims of sexual abuse by clergy or religious. In essence, I made a commitment to Mark and through Mark to all victims of sexual abuse that I would stand with them publicly and privately and would never act in their name or on their behalf without consulting them.

Moreover, I committed myself to data-based decisions as opposed to power-based decisions. By that I mean that all my decisions and actions would be based on hard and soft data rather than on force or fear or power. Church leaders tend to use force, fear and power rather than data and positive affirmation to enforce their teachings and decisions about the spiritual wellbeing of Catholics. But even when they accompany their decisions with data, they limit dialogue in such manner that stifles the pursuit of truth. In effect, truth is what they define as truth regardless of the facts. They have deleted the ancient notion of ‘sensus fidelium’ from their theological lexicon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Three priests set up failed business called Shag

Irish Independent

By Edel Kennedy
Monday October 29 2007

TWO Irish priests accused of misappropriating millions from a Florida church had formed a mortgage company with another priest called Shag Inc.

Fr John Skehan (80), originally from Johnstown, Kilkenny, and Fr Francis Guinan (64), originally from Birr, Co Offaly, are accused in relation to $8.6m missing from church coffers.

The two men are accused of using offertory dollars to keep girlfriends, take gambling excursions and foreign holidays, and buy property.

It has emerged the two pensioners invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in Shag Inc, a failed mortgage loan scheme. Records show it was formed in 1984 and dissolved a decade later.

The third priest has been named as Michael Hickey, a priest assigned to several parishes in Florida, who had a long history of drink driving.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Una domenica mattina ...

Il Gazzettino

Sunday morning in the church of Monterosso was a normal event, similar to what happened in other churches. A "new" season has started here. There was only the Rev. Giovanni Brusegan on the altar, all the benches were occupied by the faithful, the children's choir was there to cheer up the celebration and there was a clear perception that dramas and proclamations are over.

Sitting near the Rev. Sante Sguotti in the last row of benches, some little girls listened to the Mass and behind him were those believers who did not find a seat. If it wasn't that the rebel priest is well-known, there was no difference between his behavior and other people's behavior except his choice of not having communion.

Rev. Brusegan, who had delivered into his hands last Friday afternoon the decree of suspension a divinis of Rev. Sguotti signed by Bishop Mattiazzo, read it to the faithful with "displeasure" so that anyone could be informed of it, he said at the end of Mass.

Only a change of Rev. Sante's attitude and his return to communion with the church would allow him to be accepted as a priest again. After the Mass, Rev. Sante stopped briefly to speak to some people waiting for him. He said he was very well, he slept and ate regularly and he was preparing for an event that will take place in mid-November in Abano. He did not say if he will leave the parish before his set day or if he will wait for the carabinieri to dislodge him. He did not take communion for personal reasons. He added that perhaps Rev. Brusegan would have refused if he had gone to the altar but he was not sure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Norwich diocese to pay $170,000 in priest abuse case


Posted Oct. 29, 2007
6:46 AM

Stonington (AP) _ Bishop Michael Cote of the Diocese of Norwich says a settlement of $170,000 will be paid to a Pawcatuck man who claims he was molested by a priest in a Stonington church.

The word of the settlement came in a letter from the bishop read during morning services at St. Michael's Church Sunday.

Cote says the diocese's insurance company would pay the settlement to 47-year-old James Fish who says he was molested in the church more than 30 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Stunning New Documents on Convicted Predator Priest to be Released

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ --

At a news conference, attorneys for clergy sex abuse victims will disclose and discuss roughly 30 pages of previously secret Jesuit documents relating to a prominent pedophile priest, Rev. Donald McGuire, S.J. The documents are being made public today for the first time. They show that as many as ten high-ranking church officials were repeatedly warned about McGuire as early as 1969. Despite the knowledge of the Jesuits and other church leaders, no one reported McGuire's crimes to law enforcement, warned unsuspecting parishioners, or investigated, restricted or disciplined McGuire. As a result, he was free to travel the world molesting boys for 5 decades until his arrest and conviction in 2006.
The letters confirm that over the last 5 decades several families repeatedly complained to the Jesuits about sexually inappropriate conduct by McGuire with their sons, and that the Jesuits had actual knowledge as early as 1969 that McGuire was a sexual predator and child molester.
Despite the Jesuits' knowledge, they did nothing to protect children and allowed McGuire to remain in ministry traveling the world and putting countless kids at risk.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Former priest denies teenage sex abuse charge


A former priest has pleaded not guilty to sexual abuse of a 16-year-old boy.

It is alleged that Peter William Brazier, 61, of Roseworthy, committed the crimes at Buchfelde near Gawler in June.

Brazier was a priest with the Anglican Church in South Australia until about 2001.

The case will now proceed to a District Court trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Psychological assessment of priesthood candidates remains ambiguous

Indian Catholic

SAM PHRAN, Thailand (UCAN) : How "normal" must a priesthood candidate be?

To assess a candidate's "normality," he goes through a screening process that sometimes involves psychological testing, but how effective is that?

Father Lawrence Pinto, a priest-psychologist based in Mangalore, India, raised these questions on Oct. 25 in an address to about 125 bishops and priests in charge of vocations, including seminary rectors, from 20 countries at the first Asian Vocations Symposium. ...

Despite such limitations, Father Pinto admitted that assessing a candidate's psychological health may be necessary, considering "the present scenario of sexual abuse" among Catholic priests, and the existence of priests with serious personality disorders and other psychological problems.

To the often asked question of whether one can identify people likely to engage in sexual behavior with minors, Father Pinto said experts respond "no." However, he added, "certain data identify a series of risk factors that leave certain individuals more vulnerable to developing sexual behavior problems."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Catholic men who remind us of injustice

The News Journal

Harry F. Themal

Last week's celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Ministry of Caring was a tribute to a humble Capuchin friar and priest, who proved how the vision of a single individual can change an entire community.

No one has done more than Brother Ronald to enlist thousands of Delawareans with their volunteer time and donations to bring to men, women and children in our community the shelter, food, health care, job training and other help they often desperately need. ...

It's worth calling attention to his contributions and good deeds because they are far more typical of the Catholic religious than the stomach-turning abuses that have been so much in the news in recent years.

For every predator priest who has been sued, fined or jailed, there are hundreds of clergy who have served their parishes, community and God with unselfishness.

So today this non-Catholic columnist wants to mention some of those men like Brother Ronald who have reminded us of injustices and set out to try to correct them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Norwich Diocese Agrees To Settlement of $170,000 For Sexual Abuse By Priest

The Day

By Joe Wojtas Published on 10/29/2007

Stonington — In a letter read during morning services at St. Michael's Church Sunday, Bishop Michael Cote announced that the Diocese of Norwich has agreed to a $170,000 settlement with a Pawcatuck man who charged he was molested by a priest at the church more than 30 years ago.

James Fish, 47, had filed a lawsuit against the diocese, church and the Rev. Paul Hebert alleging that Hebert sexually assaulted him on several occasions in the church rectory in 1973 and 1974, when he was in the seventh grade.

The diocese and its insurance company have now paid $4.6 million to settle lawsuits filed by people who say they were sexually abused by priests who worked in the diocese. Many of those settlements occurred over the past year. Two more lawsuits are pending.

In his letter, Cote said the diocese's insurance company would pay all of the $170,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

October 28, 2007

Lakeland church volunteer under investigation

My Fox Tampa Bay

LAKELAND - An ongoing criminal investigation into allegations of abuse of former and current middle and high school aged students at the First Baptist Church at the Mall has stunned the ministry.

"I think there's a lot of hurt and distrust because it's so important to a ministry to have a basis of integrity, and that's what we've always tried to maintain," says Timothy Parcheta, Sr., executive director of the First Baptist Church at the Mall.

Parcheta says the church is fully cooperating with the Lakeland Police Department, which began investigating the sexual abuse claims last week, after receiving a complaint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 PM

Deputies: 'Predator' pastor still in the area


By KOMO Staff
KITSAP COUNTY, Wash. -- Deputies are asking for the public's help in finding a pastor accused of preying on girls and women of his own congregation.

County deputies said pastor Robin Harper of the Church in South Colby sexually molested two young girls for years.

After talking to his family, deputies on Sunday said they believe he is still in the area. Charges could be filed as early as Monday, deputies said.

Kitsap County Sheriff spokesman Scott Wilson said the pastor kept his doors wide open for young girls in his congregation.

"There was a pattern of sexual abuse that would cover the gamut of sexual activities that occurred with Pastor Robin Harper being the instigator," he said.

Police learned about the abuse after one victim, now in her early 20s, came forward last week. The woman said Harper began molesting her when she was 12 years old and continued until earlier this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 PM

Religione, il dogma in aula un'ora che vale un miliardo

La Repubblica

La Repubblica said a major source of income for the Catholic Church is provided by the Italian state which covers the expense of stipends given to more than 20,000 religion teachers in the Italian state schools and the pensions paid to those teachers who have retired.

These teachers are appointed by the Vatican. Only Catholic teachers are allowed to teach religion in the state schools. Students can refuse to attend religion classes because the teaching is not obligatory. Private schools run by the Catholic Church and other churches are helped with state money, which is contrary to what is stated in article 33 of the Italian Constitution which allows the presence of private schools as long as they are not financed by the state. The total cost to the Italian state is one billion euros a year (about $1.4 billion in U.S. dollars).

The current government now wants to stop giving the money to the religious schools because it believes students need obligatory civic and human rights education, especially after so many grave incidents of bullying and violence have occurred in the Italian state schools in past years.

The Catholic bishops are calling for revolt, protests in the squares and objection of conscience against this measure if it is taken, and is telling families the government wants to institute a "socialist catechism." The Prime Minister defended his proposal on TV saying a lay state was at the foundation of the Italian constitution and that civic education is not competing with religious teaching whether it be Catholic, Jewish, Islamic or Lutheran. He confirmed he wants to cut expenses for the Catholic schools and other private religious schools so there can be a return to the constitutional legality which the previous government had abandoned.

The situation is changing elsewhere in Europe. Spain has recently abolished many privileges the Catholic Church had in the past. The Spanish government wants to abolish the "Concordato" that fascist dictator Franco made with the Catholic church. Mussolini in the years before World War II conceded a lot of privileges to the Catholic Church in Italy.

Cardinal Maria Martini, now retired in Jerusalem, when he was cardinal of Milan said the teaching of religion in schools was offensive and asked that it be transformed into a better and serious subject of study. Vittorio Messori, a well-known Catholic intellectual, has for a long time asked to eliminate the privileges to the church and the Concordat which are demeaning to the church. Teaching of religion, he affirmed, must be done in the parish and only at expense of the believers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 PM

Insurance carriers may be ready to mediate with Diocese


SPRINGFIELD - Insurance carriers that the Diocese of Springfield has been suing over their failure to reimburse previous clergy abuse victims’ settlements are rumored to be ready to enter mediation over these claims.

In July 2004 the Diocese of Springfield reached a settlement with 46 individuals who had filed claims of abuse and misconduct against clergy. That settlement exceeded $7 million. However insurance carriers who covered the diocese during the period in which the actions were alleged to have occurred refused to fulfill the terms of their policies with the diocese.

In a lawsuit filed by the diocese it claimed that Travelers Insurance Company, Lloyds of London, Interstate Fire and Casualty, Centennial Insurance and North Star Re-Insurance had failed to meet their contractual obligations for which the diocese had paid and they had accepted premiums. For months insurance attorneys have been challenging this lawsuit, but sources close to the case have indicated they may now be ready to agree to mediation, which diocesan lawyers have been seeking from the start of this impasse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Giuliani criticized for employing priest accused of abuse


By Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) – A small group of victims of clergy sex abuse handed out fliers Oct. 24 criticizing Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani for employing a Catholic priest accused of abuse on the staff of a consulting firm founded by the former New York mayor.

Msgr. Alan Placa, a priest of the Rockville Centre Diocese, works for Giuliani Partners, a management consulting and security consulting business.

Giuliani has said he has "great confidence" in the priest, a friend of his for more than 35 years.

Rockville Centre diocesan spokesman Sean Dolan told Catholic News Service Oct. 25 that since June 2002 the diocese has asked Msgr. Placa to refrain from exercising his priestly ministry publicly, "pending completion of a canonical investigation of as yet unproven allegations" against him. He noted that the priest has not been suspended, as some news reports have stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

I got a little scripture and couldn't do it. Better off not pleasing the bishops and eating our own. Focus on the 5 percent

City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

I had plans to write a scathing post today about one of the attorneys defending the Salesians in the jury trials that start November 5 in LA. I mean, why would someone whose family had to flee from criminal clergy in Iran end up defending criminal clergy in America? That same day I had an argument with a VOTF member yelling in his ear: just drop those two goals about reforming the church and supporting good priests, 'cause if the sheeples ain’t figured it out by now, forget about ‘em.” Earlier I interviewed a guy in Boston and had trouble keeping track of which victims’ advocacy group had splintered off which group going back to the beginning. And believe me if I wanted to I could write some scathing things about SNAP.

Then I happened to have free time on Friday morning to go to a neighborhood bible study and the passage happened to be: James 4:11 as translated here from The Message: "Don't bad-mouth each other, friends. It's God's Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You're supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others?"

I’m really fortunate my daughter and I got to be homeless November 2003 to November 2005. Really. In homeless shelters you learn to get along with people no matter how much you disagree. You have to or you end up back out on the street.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

Court Reinstates Lawsuit Involving Priests’ Satanic Rituals

North Country Gazette

LUCAS COUNTY, OHIO—In a decision which will have far reaching effects in clergy abuse cases and eerily issued just days before Halloween, the Sixth District Court of Appeals in Ohio has reinstated a 2005 lawsuit involving alleged satanic rituals against a Toledo priest who was convicted last year in the 1980 murder of a nun.

Roman Catholic Gerald Robinson, now 69, was convicted in May, 2006, of the murder of a 71-year-old nun and was sentenced to 15 years to life. His request to remain free pending appeal was denied.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Così ha funzionato la "ghigliottina ecclesiastica" nel passato applicata a casi ritenuti gravissimi

Il Gazzettino


The ecclesiastical guillotine in the past was applied to very grave cases. As Dante would have said, the "group of the suspended" is very crowded. The ecclesiastical guillotine functioned well in the Padua diocese, in the remote as well as in the recent past. Falling into the trap must be avoided. The non-expert thinks any priest who cannot celebrate Mass appears to have been suspended a divinis. In fact, the decree is issued only for very grave cases and to be precise the very gravest.

More frequent are those cases in which things are decided with less formality as in the case of the Rev. Ugo Moretto, a Padua priest who was responsible for the Vatican TV Center and who renounced a brilliant career as a priest for having fallen in love. He requested in November 2001 to be defrocked and that started the procedure for his dispensation from the sacerdotal obligations.

The Rev. Rosario Gozzo was suspended with a decree of the Padua bishop and later with an act issued in conjunction ith the Fermo bishop and the San Benedetto del Tronto bishop in May 1993 because he was found guilty of being a follower of Gabriel Basmago, a kind of spiritual figure who they called a "santone."

In the early 1980s, the Rev. Albino Bizzotto had some disputes with the curia. He was the leader of the "constructors of peace" and was accused of being a communist. He was zealous in his excessive pacifism and even now behaves in the same manner. A changed climate saved him.

The Rev. Nello Castello and the Rev. Attilio Negrisolo were suspended by Bishop Girolamo Bortigno in December 1959 for only a month but in February 1960 they were suspended permanently because they were found guilty of believing in Padre Pio, a living saint. Their "calvary" ended on April 21, 1970 when they were rehabilitated by sentence from the Roman Sacred Rota.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM


Il Gazzettino


The decree was signed last Thursday and Rev. Sante Sguotti was notified on Friday. It follows the decree of his removal from the position of parish priest (issued Oct. 8, 2007) and the one starting the penal and administrative process as from Canon Law's articles 17717-1718 (issued Oct. 17, 2007.) It was signed by Bishop Antonio Mattiazzo after an examination with two priests "assessors" of the evidence and arguments and any element regarding the situation of the interested priest as it is established by Canon Law discipline (can. 1820, 2nd.)

The effect of the decree is immediate and permanent from the moment it was notified.

It establishes that:

"The diocesan presbytery Sante Sguotti is suspended from the exercise of power of his order and of government. Precisely, that includes all the acts of power of order (can. 1333, paragraphs 1,1) except what is set by canon 976 and all the acts of power for government (1333, paragraphs 1,2.) Such penal provisions have an immediate effect from the time the decree has been notified. The suspension is inflicted for an indeterminate period of time until the priest shows to amend his ways."

This means Rev. Sguotti has been suspended a divinis and it also means he cannot perform any priestly ministry or receive appointments reserved to the clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Sospeso a divinis. «Ora attendo la scomunica»

Il Gazzettino

Suspended a divinis. "I'm waiting to be excommunicated."

He is defiant. "It's only bureaucracy. Nothing changes for me. I remain a priest and I go ahead with the Church of the Sinners," said the Rev. Sante Sguotti.

Rev. Sante must have understood he had pulled the rope too much. Many seem to be tired of this story, starting with Bishop Antonio Mattiazzo who signed the decree for his suspension a divinis, and for all those parishioners who are tired of hearing Rev. Sante recite his script over and over again.

Even the hairdresser in whose shop Rev. Sante organized a press conference to respond to the decree showed discontent at seeing his salon occupied by 10 newsmen. The press conference didn't take place and people who waited for hours were disappointed.

Rev. Sguotti had lost time to prepare himself to go to some talk show. He has abandoned his battle to get back his position of parish priest. "I know that sooner or later I'll be excommunicated," he said at the door intercom at the rectory. "This will be a title I'll be proud to show when after my death I will have to deal with St. Peter," he said. He invited his parishioners to abandon him because the game had become particularly harsh. He is defiant. "It's only bureaucracy. For me nothing changes. I remain a priest and I will go ahead with the Church of the Sinners," he said.

The clergy is united in condemning the priest. The first is Rev. Brusegan, his substitute. "Now Rev. Sante is out of the church and I'll do all possible to impede him in celebrating religious functions, Eucharist means communion. He only wants disunion. Now the faithful are at a turning point: Either to follow the Catholic Church or they follow a dead branch," Rev. Brusegan said.

The suspension a divinis was sure to happen as it will be sure the priest will have to face the carabinieri if he doesn't abandon the parish's premises. Rev. Sante, since he held his first press conference, said he loved to play and his life has always been a game. Now the game is over and within a few weeks the priest could be defrocked or even excommunicated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Valley of the shadow

The Times

Reporter Amy Berg’s painful documentary exposes sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. John Koch reports

CNN reporter Amy Berg tried to do a TV news story on the paedophile Father Oliver O’Grady who sexually abused hundreds of boys and girls. Whenever an accuser came forward O’Grady was rapidly moved to a new diocese, where he still had access to children. He was eventually brought to trial, but spent only seven years in prison and now lives free in Ireland.

Berg says that she realised she was onto a bigger story when she was denied interviews by the church, in the person of Cardinal Roger Mahony, who was allegedly responsible for moving O’Grady from parish to parish to hide the scandal, without ever exposing him.

“As a journalist, whenever you’re doing a story and the main person in the story will not be interviewed, it’s a sign that you have to investigate more,” says Berg. “The church makes its own rules. They won’t talk to a journalist unless you give them all your questions in advance . ”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

'Women shouldn't be president. They are too emotional'

Irish Independent

By Colum Kenny
Sunday October 28 2007

'HilLary Clinton should not be the next president of the United States. Women are emotional. They do not make good political leaders".

The speaker was a middle-aged white mother. Just the kind of American whom you might think SHOULD be supporting Hillary Clinton. But when I met that mother on a flight from Kentucky to Texas last week, she was adamant. And typical. ...

But one of the country's leading TV programmes, Good Morning America, cut the ground from under Giuliani last week when it ran a story about how he has given a former priest who was accused of child abuse a place on his campaign team.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Pelotte photos spark lawsuit, countersuit

Gallup Independent

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Staff writer

GALLUP — If the circumstances surrounding Bishop Donald E. Pelotte’s injury haven’t been confusing enough, another civil lawsuit and another district judge have entered the public drama.

Martin R. Esquivel, attorney for Albuquerque television news reporter Larry Barker, filed a Petition for alternative writ of mandamus in McKinley County District Court in early October. With the petition, Esquivel is asking the court to compel the city of Gallup to comply with New Mexico’s Inspection of Public Records Act. He asserts the city’s legal tactic thus far — filing a civil complaint against Barker — was filed to put a “chilling effect” on future requests for public information, and he also asserts the city did not follow the requirements of the law in its legal process service of Barker.

Pelotte, 62, the Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Gallup was severely injured in his home on July 23. Before being flown to a hospital trauma center in Phoenix., Pelotte was seen by an emergency room physician at Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital. Although Pelotte said he sustained his injuries from an accidental fall in his home, the ER physician apparently suspected the bishop may have been a victim of a battery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Don Sante Sguotti sospeso a divinis

Il Corriere della Sera

The Rev. Sante Sguotti has been suspended "a divinis." The reason he can no longer act as a priest is because he declared to be in love with a woman who is mother of a child.

The decree, signed by Monsignor Mattiazzo, bishop of Padua, was given to Rev. Sante on Friday, the day after it was made known in the diocese. "The decree, which follows the other two of his removal from parish priest and the starting of a penal and administrative trial, can be read in the diocese's note that was signed by Bishop Mattiazzo after an examination held together with two priests assessors and of the arguments and after having examined every aspect of the situation of the interested party as it is set by the canon discipline. The decree has an immediate and permanent effect.

Practically, it means the priest can no longer administer the sacraments nor receive and exercise duties reserve to the clergy.

"I didn't expect they would donate a bunch of flowers," Rev. Sguotti said. "I'm not surprised. I knew that would be the outcome. I wasn't really expecting flowers for my birthday," he said. These are Rev. Sante's words when he reacted coldly to the news about his suspension "a divinis." "I'm going ahead and I'll do whatever is my intention to do," he said. The suspension impedes him from saying Mass but he announced he will try to "go ahead no matter what as far as it will be possible," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Victims in law

Albany Times Union

First published: Sunday, October 28, 2007

There is an ugly secret in New York law: As currently structured, it favors child predators over their victims, childhood sexual abuse survivors.

It does so by arbitrarily setting the statutes of limitations, so survivors are locked out of the courthouse. Survivors typically need decades to come forward and, in New York, the statutes of limitations are unduly complicated and short.

Since the survivors cannot get their claims into the legal system, their predators are not named to the public and, therefore, can continue to operate under the cloak of anonymity. That is precisely what they do, into old age.

Every state, at one time or another, had such arbitrarily set rules affecting survivors. But there is a national grass-roots movement opening the legal system to survivors at the expense of perpetrators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

SHELF LIFE: What's new at the bookstores

Asbury Park Press

"Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church" by Leon J. Podles. Crossland Press, $22.95.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

PORT ORCHARD: Wanted pastor seeking legal help, relative tells Kitsap deputies

The News Tribune

October 28th, 2007 01:00 AM

A Port Orchard pastor sought for questioning about the reported rape and sexual abuse of girls contacted a relative and was seeking the advice of an attorney, a family member told the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Scott Wilson, a spokesman for the department, said Saturday that the relative told detectives the pastor knew authorities were looking for him and was in “consultation” with an attorney.

Wilson speculated that the pastor might turn himself in to authorities but that they are still looking for him. “We still want him,” he said.

The News Tribune isn’t naming the pastor because no charge has been filed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Local Parish, Domicans Face Sex-abuse Lawsuit


CHICAGO (STNG) -- A 40-year-old man is suing a west suburban parish as well as the Dominican order of priests after being molested by a former teacher more than 25 years ago.

Joseph D. Bitterman was a “devout Catholic” and served as an altar boy at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in River Forest when he was in school there, according to a lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

A Dominican friar, named in the suit as Brother Gilbert Hensley, worked for the parish and was responsible for training altar boys and scheduling them for Mass.

Hensley worked at St. Vincent Ferrer in the ‘70s and ‘80s, according to a statement from Fr. Michael Mascari, Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Albert the Great on Saturday.
Hensley allegedly sexually abused Bitterman on at least four occasions, engaging in acts such as sodomy and oral sex, the suit said. The suit claims Bitterman “repressed” these memories until July 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Catholic congregations recognize priests’ work

The Brownsville Herald

By JOSÉ BORJÓN/The Brownsville Herald
October 27, 2007 - 11:11PM

The message was simple to Saturday’s congregation gathered at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Southmost as they listened to Rev. Mario Alberto Castro’s message on Priesthood Sunday USA, which will be celebrated today at churches across the nation: Catholic priests fight a good fight and preserve the faith.

“This celebration, called Priesthood Sunday, was started by the lay people as a way to honor priests who remain faithful to the Lord,” Castro said.

In the midst of the sexual abuse scandal that rocked the church, Priesthood Sunday was established as a way to commemorate those priests that have remained faithful to their profession and their faith in God.

“There (have) only been a few priests who have been accused, but the rest of us remain faithful,” Castro said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Adding to 'this great darkness'

The Oregonian

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Steve Duin

The Portland Archdiocese has lost its mind.

As if determined to prove it has learned nothing from past sins, and those of its priests, the archdiocese is demanding that a new group claiming to be victims of clergy abuse should be compelled to abandon their pseudonyms and go public with their identities.

Only last June, Catholic Archbishop John Vlazny apologized for the burdens carried by "the victims of sexual abuse" and conceded, "By our reluctance to bring light to this great darkness, we as a people have sinned."

The time for penance and reconciliation, apparently, has ended. This legal maneuver is an exasperating move to bully these plaintiffs and intimidate future ones.

The bankruptcy reorganization plan, approved in April, called for more than $50 million in payments to approximately 175 abuse victims, and set aside an additional $20 million to pay for future claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Jesuits pay for sins of abusers

Seattle Times

By Janet I. Tu
Seattle Times religion reporter

There was the Jesuit priest who fathered two children in Alaska decades ago but contended earlier this year that he shouldn't have to pay back child support, in part because of his vow of poverty.

Then there was the late Rev. John Leary, former president of Spokane's Gonzaga University, who sexually abused boys and young men decades ago during his tenure there.

In the last several years, cases like these have piled up against the Jesuit order in the Northwest — so much so that its leaders say they are considering filing for bankruptcy.

"We're looking at every possibility and trying to be prepared for it," said the Very Rev. John Whitney, head of the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province — the formal name of the Jesuit order in the Northwest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Friar molested me, man says

Chicago Sun-Times

October 28, 2007
A 40-year-old man is suing a west suburban parish as well as the Dominican order of friars after allegedly being molested by a former teacher more than 25 years ago.

Joseph D. Bitterman was a "devout Catholic" and served as an altar boy at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in River Forest when he was in fourth or fifth grade, according to a suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court on Friday.

The lawsuit says a Dominican, Brother Gilbert Hensley, sexually abused Bitterman on at least four occasions while working at the parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

October 27, 2007

Parroco 'ribelle': sospensione a divinis per don Sante


The Rev. Sante Sguotti can no longer function as a Catholic priest. Bishop Antonio Mattiazzo signed the measure Thursday that bars the priest from performing priestly functions or being assigned as a cleric. The order is effective immediatley. He has professed his love for a woman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 PM

Italy gripped by tale of the priest, his lover – and the property developer

The Independent

By Peter Popham in Rome
Published: 28 October 2007
Don Sante Sguotti has finally got his marching orders. The 41-year-old priest, whose entanglement with a woman in the village where he was a parish priest for eight years has been splashed across the Italian media, was informed that he is no longer permitted to carry out any of his priestly functions.

The "a divinis" order follows his removal as parish priest of Monterosso in August. "I was expecting [the suspension order] before now," he said. "Everything will continue as before. I am not thinking of appealing because it would be a waste of time. In my life nothing will change. I remain a priest."

Italy has had more than its share of priestly sex scandals in recent months. One involved an elderly celebrity priest who runs a chain of rehab centres for drug addicts, and who is under investigation for allegedly abusing young men in his charge.

In Don Sguotti's case the novelty is that he denies the charges against him – that he is living in sin with a local woman called Laura, with whom he has a one-year-old baby – yet admits stoutly that he is in love with her, but wishes to live with her "chastely", while remaining a priest....

But the same meeting revealed what appear to be the sordid roots of the affair. A psychotherapist called Armando Villani tried to make a statement to the village meeting but was angrily chased out by Don Sguotti's supporters.

Mr Villani wants to buy a patch of land in Monterosso that belongs to the church. Don Sguotti does not want the church to part with it, and has been fighting to stop Mr Villani buying it – in fact one of the conditions he gave to his bishop for quitting the parish was that the church does not sell the land.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 PM

Grandi affari alla Sacra Rota

La Stampa

La Stampa described the system by which Catholics who want an annulment of their marriages from the church, who average 8,000 a year, are not charged the affordable fees formally established by the church but they end up paying an average of 30,000 euros (slightly more than $41,000 in US dollars). This is due to a concerted fraud between many lawyers allowed to represent their clients in the ecclesiastical tribunals (there are 19 in Italy, one in each region) and some of their friends who are "monsignore" who can help them face and overcome the bureaucratic difficulties.

Former President of the Republic Cossiga recently got an annulment of his marriage after more than 30 years of marriage and he is the father of two grown sons. One of the advantages of this kind of divorce is that a Catholic maintains all rights of confession and communion and the person is not liable for any compensation or help toward the weaker and needful party.

The church has received many complaints about this system. Officially, the church does not have any economic advantage to these back room dealings. On the contrary, it is the offended party because it gives a contribution of 8.5 million euros a year to help Catholics who want an annulment and have not enough money to pay for a lawyer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

La presenza di don Sante "rovina" il percorso di fede tra Brusegan e i parrocchiani

Il Gazzettino

The presence of the Rev. Sante Sguotti "ruins" the path to faith between Rev. Brusegan and the parishioners.

Rev. Brusegan complained about Rev. Sante's presence at the meeting organized last Wednesday to discuss with parishioners their path to faith. People expressed contrasting views between those who are more obedient to the church and those who have a more elastic view of their faith and are followers of Rev. Sante.

Rev. Brusegan added, however, that the church knows how to pardon provided that the followers repent and change their attitude. This is a kind way to condemn Rev. Sante and his followers for their show of pride after their decision to break the tie with the bishop and the
traditional church.

Rev. Sante answered the criticism by saying Rev. Brusegan wants people who have a different idea of the church's mission to abandon it. In particular, he wants to impede debate over priestly celibacy and according to him all priests and true believers cannot but condemn Rev. Sante and those who share his ideas. Rev. Sante said the date in which he will leave Monterosso is Dec. 31. He said he tried to stick to his duties in the parish but the curia is stamping its feet on his hands to make him fall. Rev. Sguotti said he will not resign and it is up to them to send him away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:05 PM

Lawyer a no-show in ex-priest's sentencing


BY LUIS PEREZ | luis.perez@newsday.com
October 27, 2007
The sentencing of her son's abuser delayed once again, the mother of a 6-year-old boy molested by a former Catholic priest did little to conceal her outrage Friday.

"This has been a horror, waiting for when it's going to happen," the mother, whose identity is being withheld because of the nature of the crime, said at the Suffolk County Criminal Courthouse Friday.

In 2004, the former priest, Barry Ryan, confessed to molesting the boy, but escaped incarcertation when he told a judge he was dying of liver cancer. Ryan, 59, had been suspended from the priesthood nine years earlier.

On Friday, after Ryan was brought to the courthouse following extradition from Missouri, his attorney failed to show by his side. Prosecutors brought Ryan back to Long Island on a warrant after they suggested to the judge that the one-time cleric was contriving to avoid incarceration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:51 AM

Abuse group visits Charleston Diocese

The Post and Courier

By Adam Parker
The Post and Courier
Saturday, October 27, 2007

Representatives from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests passed through the Lowcountry on Friday to ask the Catholic Diocese of Charleston to release the names of all Catholic clergy and staff known to be sexual offenders.

Ann Brentwood, SNAP's Southeastern U.S. director, said the recent class settlement is not likely to benefit all those who were victimized in the diocese. Many fail to step forward, she said, and many remain unaware of the settlement if they live out of state. The terms of the settlement agreement required that notices be published only in South Carolina.

SNAP's appearance in Charleston, one of several stops on an advocacy tour of the South, was meant to draw attention to the issue and encourage victims to speak out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

Archbishop lauds faithful for mission resilience

The Catholic Sentinel

Archbishop John Vlazny Friday received a standing ovation at the conclusion of the Portland-area Archbishop’s Prayer Breakfast. The more than 120 people rose to their feet to honor their spiritual leader. This month, he observes the 10th anniversary of the announcement of his posting to the Archdiocese of Portland from rural Minnesota.

Earlier, the archbishop noted that the past several years have presented challenging times for the archdiocese, which just emerged from bankruptcy this year. The abuse scandal has hurt all of us, the archbishop said, creating divisiveness. He is inviting members of western Oregon parishes to gather in small prayer groups to reflect on reconciliation to bring about change.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

Suspended priest admits to theft

Richmond Times-Dispatch

The Rev. Rodney L. Rodis admitted stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Suspended Catholic priest Rodney L. Rodis pleaded guilty yesterday to two of the federal fraud and money-laundering counts against him for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his parishioners.

"Guilty, your honor," the ailing, 51-year-old Rodis said in court when U.S. District Judge Richard L. Williams asked him for his plea to one count each of mail fraud and money laundering.

Rodis will be sentenced Feb. 21.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

La fama di don Sante sbarca in Giappone ma anche su Wikipedia

Il Gazzettino

Don Sante Sguotti's fame as a rebel priest has reached Japan and his name is in Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. In addition to newspapers, Italian, French and German television, have mentioned the priest on talk shows like the Buona Domenica or program like Italia sul Due. He is now in Japan's media and is become sort of a "celebrity."

In Wikipedia, if one searches the words "celibato sacerdotale," his name will appear along with Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo. Next Monday he will have an exclusive interview with Grazia, the women's weekly magazine.

On his Web site at http://chiesacattolicadeipeccatori.it he has posted a letter he wrote to his bishop in which he suggests that they follow the strategy of accord and not one of clashing and he is asking the bishop to give him a place to live after he leaves Monterosso on Dec. 31. He gives in the letter the names of those who threw "mud" at him and started the campaign against him and set the turmoil in Monterosso.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:28 AM

Gli alberghi dei santi alla crociata dell'Ici


La Repubblica

La Repubblica gives a four-page description of how the nuns of Santa Brigida run a profitable hotel business in Rome for so-called "pilgrims." Their convent is attached to the Church of Santa Brigida, the Swedish queen who became a saint. It is located in one of the most suggestive baroque squares in Rome --the Piazza Farnese--which is also near the baroque palace built by Michelangelo and now used as the primary location of the French Embassy.

Their convent "hotel" is valued at 60 million euros and the city registers it as a "convitto," which means the nuns do not pay ICI, which would be a large sum of money because of the value of the property. ICI is the real estate tax that must be payed locally by all real estate owners. Therefore, they can charge--especially their American tourists who are the largest group of pilgrims--less than what is charged by other hotels in Rome center. This situation, as many as others all over Italy, falls under the chapter of "unfair competition" of the European Community. The nuns of Santa Brigida , also called Brigidines, run 19 hotels like this all over the world.

Former premier Silvio Berlusconi made a law which said those places were exempted from ICI and had to be considered as a charity. This happened after the Italian court of Casszione ruled the pilgrims "convitti" were really hotels and the ICI had to be payed to the cities.

Anyone can reserve a room by entering their Web site brigidine.org. In Italy, the total amount for these exemptions for these "charities" amounts to a billion euros a year. The European Union is investigating.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 AM

Former Clinton pastor's alleged sex abuse confession questioned


Oct 26, 2007 @ 06:44 PM
UTICA - When former pastor the Rev. William Procanick of Clinton sat down with investigators earlier this year, he was never told how serious the sexual abuse allegations were that he was about to be questioned on, according to testimony during a pre-trial hearing Friday in Oneida County Court.

Then, shortly after a 45-minute conversation with Oneida County sheriff's Sgt. Denise Luker, Procanick unexpectedly found himself under arrest for allegedly touching a 7-year-old girl at his residence, Luker testified.

Procanick faces charges of felony first-degree sexual abuse and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 AM

Pastor sought after sexual allegations

The News Tribune

M. ALEXANDER OTTO, The News Tribune

Published: October 26th, 2007 09:22 PM

Kitsap County deputies are seeking a rural Port Orchard pastor for questioning after he was accused of raping and sexually abusing girls who are or were members of his congregation.

“Detectives have established probable cause to arrest” the pastor of the Church in South Colby on two charges of second-degree child rape, the sheriff’s department said in an statement Friday.

“We are trying to get an arrest warrant out of prosecutors,” deputy Scott Wilson said, adding that could come as soon as Monday.

The News Tribune is not naming the 60-year-old man because no warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Audit finds diocese in compliance with child safety

The Catholic Key

By Jack Smith
Catholic Key Editor

KANSAS CITY - The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has been found to be in full compliance with the provisions of the U.S. Bishop's Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

In September an audit of the diocese's policies and procedures related to the bishops' 2002 policy was conducted by the Gavin Group, an independent auditing firm staffed by former FBI agents. Gavin Group President William Gavin notified the diocese of its full compliance in a letter dated Oct. 10.

The Charter requires every diocese to promote healing and reconciliation with survivors of the sexual abuse of minors, to guarantee an effective response to allegations of sexual abuse, and to offer community education to both adults and children in an effort to prevent future abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Church orders probe over child sex abuse

Northampton Chronicle & Echo

By Richard Edmondson
The conviction of a Northampton church warden for child sex offences has prompted the Church of England to investigate records of thousands of clergy, dating back decades, in an attempt to uncover unchecked incidents of abuse.

According to the church, more than 2,500 letters will be sent to former bishops, archdeacons, bishops' chaplains and secretarial staff urging them to come forward if they have information or concerns about child sex abuse which were not followed up at the time.

The current files of 23,000 clergy in the Church of England will also be examined by diocesan bishops, while an independent reviewer will assess whether any "causes for concern" remain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Sex suits against church dismissed

Peoria Journal Star

Saturday, October 27, 2007

of the Journal Star

PEORIA - Two more lawsuits against the Catholic Diocese of Peoria and several clergy members alleging child abuse were dismissed this week because they were time-barred under Illinois law.

Suits filed by Daniel Williams, 42, and a second person, identified as John Doe, alleging Monsignor Norman Goodman sexually abused them from 1975 to 1979 at the parish of Holy Family Catholic Church in Lincoln were thrown out after Peoria County Circuit Judge Kevin Galley ruled they were in violation of state law.

Last month, Galley threw out five other suits for similar reasons, and in June, Circuit Judge Joe Vespa also dismissed two suits, again because they were filed too late under state law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

National Support Group Wants Answers From Lowcountry Diocese

ABC News 4

Charleston, SC - A national support group for sexual abuse survivors is asking the Catholic Diocese of Charleston some tough questions.

The group is made up of people abused by clergymen in the catholic church.

Mike Coode carries the truth that a priest abused him when he was 12 years old in Memphis, Tennessee, something he says affected him his entire life.

"The abuse caused me a lot of trouble during my life and I'm not blaming it all on the abuse, but I think it had an effect. I certainly struggled with my faith and with relationships," said Coode.

But Coode has created a new relationship with S.N.A.P, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Kitsap County pastor sought after abuse alleged

Seattle Times

By Brian Alexander
Seattle Times staff reporter

Kitsap County sheriff's detectives are looking for a church pastor who is suspected of sexually abusing underage members of his congregation, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Police suspect the pastor of the South Colby church of two counts of child rape, and they think there may be additional victims.

Some of the victims may now be adults, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's deputies served a search warrant on the pastor's home Friday, according to the news release. The pastor was not at the residence or at the church. The Seattle Times generally does not name suspects who have not been charged.

Deputies, who say they have probable cause to arrest the pastor, believe he is on the run with his spouse. He is driving a red 2003 Hummer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Deputies Searching for SK Pastor Suspected of Sexual Abuse

Kitsap Sun

Kitsap Sun staff
Friday, October 26, 2007

The Kitsap County Sheriff's Office released the name Friday of a South Colby pastor suspected of illicit contact with girls who are or were members of his church.

Deputies on Friday served a search warrant at the home of Robbin Leeroy Harper, pastor of The Church in South Colby. Harper has not been charged with any crime.

But the sheriff's office said it has probable cause to arrest the 60-year-old for two counts of second-degree child rape, according to a press released issued Friday evening. Investigators believe there's a possibility that there are other victims, some of whom may now be adults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

AUDIO: Cardinal Rigali reaches out to priest sex-abuse victims

Philadelphia Inquirer

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia says it has taken steps to improve its outreach to victims of clergy sex-abuse and to prevent future abuse.

It recently mailed a three-page brochure, “Enhanced Efforts to Assist Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse,” to every registered Catholic household in the five counties it serves, inviting victims who have not yet come forward to do so.

The brochure lists some of the financial assistance it offers victims, notes the training it has given to seminarians, priests and bishops, and reports on efforts to encourage victims to come forward. These include Cardinal Justin Rigali’s radio messages, which are available here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

Sex abuse settlement talks planned

The Republican

Saturday, October 27, 2007
Staff writers
SPRINGFIELD - A second wave of clergy abuse victims is moving closer to a financial settlement as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield makes headway in a long-running dispute with its insurance carriers.

Lawyers for the diocese, the claimants and an insurance carrier yesterday confirmed the parties have agreed to enter nonbinding settlement talks in the 2-year old lawsuit.

More than three dozen people have sued the diocese for sexual abuse they say they suffered at the hands of Catholic priests once affiliated with the diocese. The diocese settled a previous round of claims for $7.7 million in 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Lawsuit against Robinson reinstated; local woman accuses priest of rape, torture

Toledo Blade


An Ohio appellate court yesterday reinstated a 2005 lawsuit filed by a Toledo woman alleging that Gerald Robinson, the Toledo priest convicted last year in the 1980 murder of a nun, was part of a group that repeatedly tortured and raped her in satanic rituals when she was a child.

The 6th District Court of Appeals said the statute of limitations does not bar the woman's claims because she did could not identify her alleged abusers "until she saw their faces/names from the television and newspaper reports about them" in 2004 and 2005.

In separate court action, attorneys representing Robinson in the murder case have asked the appellate court to release the 69-year-old Catholic priest from prison on a $250,000 property bond, with electronic monitoring, pending the outcome of his criminal appeal.

"Appellant has now languished in prison for 19 months awaiting this court's merit review of his conviction," said the 92-page motion, filed on Robinson's behalf Wednesday by attorneys John Donahue and Richard Kerger.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Lawyer to Abbey: Follow settlement

St. Cloud Times

By David Unze, dunze@stcloudtimes.com

ST. PAUL — The lawyer who represented numerous alleged victims of clergy sex abuse in what was hailed as a landmark settlement agreement with St. John's Abbey on Friday accused Abbot John Klassen of failing to live up to terms of that agreement.

St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson bases his accusation on questions about the past of a priest recently appointed to the External Review Board, which was created as a result of the settlement.

The Abbey issued a brief statement Friday afternoon that said it would not discuss in the media any allegations against a member of its monastic community. The statement further said that the Abbey would not allow unverified, hearsay allegations to destroy the reputation of one of its own.

That statement came about two hours after Anderson called for the removal of the Rev. Thomas Andert as a member of the External Review Board because of allegations that Andert acted improperly with regards to a student while Andert was headmaster of the St. John's Prep School. That occurred in the mid-1990s, Anderson contended. The university knew about the allegations against Andert as early as 1995, Anderson argued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

October 26, 2007

Bristol pastor gets 24 hours jail time, 24 hours of litter pickup, a year probation and fined $800 for DUI, indecent exposure charges

Kingsport Times News

Published 10/25/2007 By Dee Goodin

JOHNSON CITY — With several of his supporters in the sessions courtroom of Johnson City’s Downtown Centre, a Bristol, Va., preacher pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and indecent exposure Thursday afternoon.

Thomas Dale Tester, 58, 17426 Hobbs Road, Bristol, Va., pleaded guilty to the incident that occurred in late July.

According to his arrest warrant, Johnson City Police Department officers arrested Tester after he allegedly pulled up to their vehicle in a blue 2007 Toyota Camry and offered oral sex to the officers. The officers had gone to 308 S. Belmont St. to investigate an indecent exposure report.

Tester’s arrest warrant said the man, who reportedly was wearing a skirt at the time, then got out of his vehicle and urinated in a Belmont Car Wash bay within public view and in the presence of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

Preacher pleads guilty to driving while drunk


A Bristol Virginia Baptist preacher arrested at a Johnson City car wash in July pleaded guilty Thursday to a drunken driving charge.

Thomas Dale Tester, a.k.a. Tommy Tester, 58, of Hobbs Road, Bristol, Va., was sentenced to 11 months and 29 days, which was suspended to 24 hours in jail – 16 hours of which he has already served.

He also will have to serve 24 hours picking up litter with the Washington County, Tenn., Detention Center’s DUI litter pick-up crew.

Tester, the minister of Gospel Baptist Church at the time of his arrest, also entered a "best interest" plea to a charge of indecent exposure and was sentenced to five months and 29 days, which was suspended to probation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 PM

Preacher pleads guilty to DUI, public indecency charges

Knoxville News Sentinel

Associated Press

Originally published 12:54 p.m., October 26, 2007
Updated 12:54 p.m., October 26, 2007

JOHNSON CITY - A Virginia preacher and radio announcer has pleaded guilty to public indecency and drunken driving charges stemming from his arrest at a Johnson City car wash this summer.

Thomas Dale Tester, 58, said he doesn't remember specifics of the incident in which he was accused of urinating in public view and offering to perform oral sex on responding police officers.

Tester's attorney, Wes Higgins, said in court Thursday that his client had a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent, matching the state's legal limit for intoxication.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Former Clinton pastor appears in court on sex charge


UTICA – A former Clinton pastor will likely face trial in Oneida County Court later this year or in early January for allegations that he inappropriately touched a 7-year-old girl while trying to get her to fall asleep at his residence.

Judge Michael L. Dwyer estimated the possible trial date after the Rev. William Procanick, 53, appeared in court Friday morning for a pre-trial hearing to examine the circumstances surrounding Procanick’s alleged confession to investigators.

According to that April 13 written statement, the former pastor of Resurrection Assembly of God on Kirkland Avenue told Oneida County sheriff’s Sgt. Denise Luker that he had rubbed the girl “in a way that I shouldn’t.”

“I realized that I had crossed the line," Procanick allegedly told Luker, who was assigned to the Oneida County Child Advocacy Center at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

Roman Catholic Priest Admits Stealing from Virginia Churches


A retired Roman Catholic priest who prosecutors said stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from two rural Virginia parishes pleaded guilty Friday to federal mail fraud and money laundering charges.

Rodney L. Rodis, 51, was attired in black & white prison garb and shackled at his ankles as he entered his plea in U.S. District Court. Sentencing was scheduled for Feb 21. He faces up to 40 years in prison. Rodis embezzled money from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Bumpass and St. Jude Church in Mineral from 2002 until last year, the government said. He allegedly wired at least $515,231 of the money to his native Philippines.

Rodis had previously pleaded not guilty and was scheduled for a bench trial earlier this month.

According to court records, Rodis used the funds largely for his family, which included a spouse and three biological children. Rodis had concealed his family by living about 50 miles from the churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Miami man, 23, says he was abused by priest

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

By Mike Clary | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
12:16 PM EDT, October 26, 2007

Miami - A 23-year-old Miami man alleged Friday that he was sexually abused as a teenager by the pastor of St. Timothy's Catholic Church.

In a complaint filed in Miami-Dade circuit court by attorney Jeffrey Herman, the man identified as John Doe, said that the Rev. Rolando Castillo repeatedly abused him during a period six years ago, when the plaintiff was 17.

In alleging negligence, the lawsuit asserts "the Archdiocese [of Miami] knew or should have known that Castillo was sexually abusing boys and took no action to protect John." The suit seeks in excess of $10 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

Miami Priest Charged With Sexually Abusing Teen


Gary Nelson

(CBS4) MIAMI A lawsuit was filed against the Archdiocese of Miami on Friday regarding allegations of a Catholic priest sexually abused a member of the church in 2001.

According to the complaint, the victim, identified as "John Doe" attended St.Timothy's Catholic Church located at 5400 SW 102nd Ave.

The victim's defense attorney, Jeffrey Herman, alleged in his lawsuit that Father Rolando Castillo sexually abused him when he was 17. He's seeking $10-million in damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Rodis Pleads Guilty In Church Embezzlement Case


October 26, 2007

A retired Roman Catholic priest who prosecutors said stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from two rural Virginia parishes pleaded guilty Friday to federal mail fraud and money laundering charges.

51-year-old Rodney Rodis entered his plea in U.S. District Court. Sentencing is scheduled for February 21st. He faces up to 40 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Retired Va. Priest Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Money Laundering

Washington Post

The Associated Press
Friday, October 26, 2007; 3:12 AM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A retired Roman Catholic priest who prosecutors said stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from two rural Virginia parishes pleaded guilty today to federal mail fraud and money laundering charges.

Fifty-one-year-old Rodney Rodis was wearing striped prison garb and shackled at his ankles as he entered his plea this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Richmond.

Prosecutors say Rodis embezzled money from two Louisa County churches -- in Bumpass and Mineral -- from 2002 until last year, when he retired because of health problems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

30 months for ex-pastor who molested boys

The Standard

Nickkita Lau

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A former assistant pastor of a Kowloon church has been jailed for 30 months for molesting three teenage boys in the past two decades.

Amos Fung Chun-yip, 41, of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault between 1986 and 2005.

District Court deputy judge David Dufton on Thursday said Fung had violated the trust of parents who considered the church a safe place for their children as well as the credibility of pastors and that a deterrent sentence was needed.

After taking into consideration that Fung had sought psychological help before his arrest and the victims had not suffered serious pyschiatric damage, nor had violence been used, Dufton reduced the sentence to 30 months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:41 PM

Dade priest takes leave after abuse allegation

Miami Herald


A man filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit Friday against the Archdiocese of Miami, alleging a Miami-Dade priest sexually abused him when he was 17.

The suit claims Father Rolando Castillo molested the unidentified plaintiff in 2001 in the office of St. Timothy Catholic Church in Southwest Miami-Dade.

Castillo, 40, is the current pastor at St. Timothy, 5400 SW 102nd Ave. At the time of the alleged abuse, Castillo was an associate pastor and church administrator.

''Castillo's conduct was outrageous, going beyond all bounds of decency,'' according to the lawsuit, which requests at least $10 million. ``Upon information and belief, the Archdiocese knew or should have known that Castillo was sexually abusing boys and took no action to protect John [Doe].''

Attorneys for the plaintiff, who is now 23, announced the lawsuit at a news conference Friday afternoon in Miami.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Two Western Washington clergy sexual abuse cases settled

Seattle Post-Intelligencer


EVERETT, Wash. -- Two people who say they were abused by Roman Catholic priests in the 1950s have settled their lawsuits with the Archdiocese of Seattle for a total of $380,000.

The first settlement involved an Everett-born man, identified in the lawsuit as M.P. to protect his privacy, who said he was abused by Rev. Edward Boyle at Immaculate Conception Parish in Everett for 11 years, starting in 1956 when he was 14. Boyle is now dead.

M.P., who still lives in Western Washington, settled for $270,000, said Mary Fleck, the Seattle attorney who handled both cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

Priest Steps Down Amid Sex Abuse Allegations

Local 10

MIAMI -- A man is suing the Archdiocese of Miami, claiming a priest sexually abused him as a teenager.

The suit claims Rev. Rolando Castillo molested the unidentified plaintiff at St. Timothy Catholic Church in 2001. The plaintiff was 17 at time. He is now 23 years old.

The suit claims the Miami Archdiocese covered up the abuse. On Friday, the Archdiocese said in a statement that Castillo has denied the allegations, but he has temporarily decided to step down from his duties as pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:33 PM

Justices to hear Catholic school abuse case

The Capital Times

Pat Schneider — 10/26/2007 11:14 am

The state Supreme Court will hear a case charging that the Madison Diocese and Milwaukee Archdiocese covered up sexual abuse of students by lay teacher Gary Kazmarek in the 1960s, allowing him to continue teaching and molest children in a Catholic school in Louisville, Ky.

The suit was brought by five Kentucky men, who have already won a settlement from the Louisville Archdiocese and a criminal conviction against Kazmarek.

After leaving Louisville, Kazmarek returned to Wisconsin to teach in the Madison Metropolitan School District and was convicted in 1983 of molesting a boy at Cherokee Middle School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Rudy Employs Pal, An Accused Pedophile Priest

ProLife Blogs

News about Republican presidential wannabe Rudy Giuliani's loyalty to a pal, an accused pedophile monsignor who was removed from his priestly duties, has moved from the web to network TV.

The story of Giuliani's longtime friendship with and employment of Catholic Monsignor Alan Placa first broke back in June, here, on Salon.com. This week ABC News covered it, here.

Placa gave Giuliani an annulment from his first marriage, officiated at his second marriage, baptised his children and eulogized at the funeral of the former NYC mayor's father and mother. Salon also notes that Placa's remarks can be found in many of the high profile stories that have been written about Giuliani.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Judge weighs bad acts at trial


Friday, October 26, 2007
Star-Ledger Staff
A judge yesterday said he has concerns about allowing testimony of three men aired at the trial of a former Bayley-Ellard High School principal accused of molesting a male student.

"I want to avoid any rush to judgement by a jury," Superior Court Judge John Harper said.

Harper must decide if the prosecution can let the men testify to "other bad acts" by Frank Mattiace to help establish criminal intent.

Mattiace, 70, of Montville, faces trial on charges he fondled a 17-year-old student and tried to make the student touch him dur ing the 2002-03 school year. The Catholic school in Madison has since closed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

Hong Kong pastor admits molesting 3 boys

Khaleej Times

26 October 2007

HONG KONG - A Hong Kong pastor who molested three boys over a 20 year period because of homosexual urges was due to be sentenced by a court Friday.

Amos Fung Chun-yip, 41, molested the boys, aged 13 to 17, at his home, two of them after inviting them to play video games and stay overnight between 1986 and 2005.

Fung, who had been in charge of youth activities since joining the Christian church in 2002, confessed his crime during a counselling session with a senior pastor in September 2005.

According to a report in the South China Morning Post Friday he told his counsellor that: ‘he had sinned against a church member’s private parts.’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Catholic priest back in court; ex-Richmond employee behind bars till Dec.

NBC 12

From NBC12 News
A plea hearing is set today for a Roman Catholic priest accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from two Louisa County churches.

The reverend Rodney Rodis is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Richmond this afternoon. He previously had pleaded not guilty and was scheduled for a bench trial this week.

Rodis was charged with eight counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering. Twelve of the counts are punishable by up to 20 years in prison, one by up to 10 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

OC's Scariest People

Orange County Weekly


For more than a decade, Callahan has spun, juked and shilled for the Catholic Diocese of Orange as its lead lawyer in various sex-abuse scandals. The Tustin-based lawyer earned his silver coins at first, securing sealed settlements throughout the 1990s on a couple of cases regarding admitted pedophiles. But he’s lost his touch in the new millennium, as the Orange diocese has paid out almost $115 million in settlements since 2001 and been forced to release thousands of pages of once-secret personnel files that prove diocesan leaders not only knew about the pederasts within county parishes, but also actively protected them.

That’s why Callahan’s recent bout of braggadocio in the Jeff Andrade case—in which the diocese defended an admitted statutory rapist at Mater Dei High School—is so funny: He boasted to the press he was ready to go to trial despite mountains of evidence against his clients. And when another victim tried to argue with Callahan, he shot back, “You had your press conference yesterday.” Bad Petey! MITIGATING FACTOR: The ringtone on Callahan’s cell phone? The Notre Dame fight song.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

The passing of religion journalist Gerald Renner; Catholic activist Stephen Brady recovering from injuries; Priest comments on Catholic blogger's 'empathy' for homosexuals

Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
October 26, 2007

Religion journalist Gerald Renner has died of cancer. I quoted Mr. Renner in this 2006 column.

Stephen Brady, president of Roman Catholic Faithful, is out of the hospital and recovering from serious injuries he received in a motorcycle accident several days ago.

He writes:

"I still have no memory of what happened. The first officer on the scene said my bike was on one side of the road, a dead deer on the other and I was lying in the middle of the road unconscious in a pool of blood....

"Great to be home."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

The head of the Jesuit religious order apologizes for abuse


Associated Press - October 26, 2007 4:34 AM ET

CHICAGO (AP) - The head of the Jesuits is expressing sorrow that he hadn't done enough to prevent a member of the religious order from abusing members of the Roman Catholic church.

The Reverend Edward Schmidt of the Chicago province of the Society of Jesus expressed his sorrow yesterday (Thursday), two days after more abuse allegations surfaced against a Chicago-area Jesuit priest. However, Schmidt declined to say whether steps are being taken to remove the convicted abuser from the priesthood.

Meanwhile, a former prosecutor now advising the Jesuits said a review of the order's records turned up additional abuse allegations against the Reverend Donald McGuire.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Former Brooklyn priest heading to prison for abusing child

Empire State News

Riverhead -- An inactive Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to second-degree course of sexual conduct will be remanded to state prison on Friday.

Barry Ryan, 59, will appear before Suffolk County Court Judge Ralph Gazzillo in Riverhead. At Friday's court appearance, the judge will recall a bench warrant issued last August and send the former cleric to state prison for two years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

LA settlement checks close, Salesians still on for jury trials, Jeff Anderson holds national meeting Nov. 3: Friday roundup at City of Angels Blog

City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

City of Angels Lady is once again awash in reality TV raw video at work, so happy Friday, here is a roundup of notes from my files:

The LA Archdiocese is ready to fund the $660 million Clergy Cases 2007 settlement for 508 plaintiffs on December 1st, according to plaintiff attorney Kathy Freberg. Two weeks ago words of the settlement became final and a statement went out to plaintiffs for signature. “As long as we have everything to them on time,” Freberg said, “the diocese will release the money on December 1st. The final thing now is make sure all the plaintiffs sign the agreement,” she said.

In Minnesota, where they have lots of water and one area code, Jeff Anderson is taking his organization national with a meeting next weekend. NAPSAC is “a volunteer self-help organization of survivors of sexual abuse and their supporters,” reads the website. “We work to end the cycle of abuse in two ways: support one another in personal healing, pursue justice and institutional change.” They want to hold perpetrators responsible and make organizations accountable. They meet Saturday November 3rd at Hamline University Saint Paul Campus. You can read more about them at NAPSAC dot US.

Upcoming jury trials: All religious orders have joined the LA Archdiocese settlement except the Salesians. So jury trial for the Miani Cases is still set for November 5th. However, the January 28th date for Dominguez cases is iffy, as last summer the Riverside diocese had the cases severed and half of them stayed as the Salesians in Riverside decided they were part of the San Diego Archdiocese for the bankruptcy. Now that San Diego can’t go bankrupt the cases are again active.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

G. A. Renner Dies at 75; Wrote of Abuse Within Church

The New York Times

Published: October 26, 2007
Gerald A. Renner, a religion reporter and editor who helped uncover a trail of sexual abuse accusations against the powerful founder of a Roman Catholic religious order, the Legionaries of Christ, died Wednesday in Norwalk, Conn. He was 75 and lived in Norwalk.

The cause was abdominal cancer, said a son-in-law, Franz Lidz.

While he was a reporter at The Hartford Courant, Mr. Renner and a freelance writer, Jason Berry, wrote investigative articles for the newspaper about nine former Legionaries seminarians who said they had been sexually victimized over two decades by the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the order’s founder.

The order, begun in Mexico, is based in Rome and has its American headquarters in Connecticut.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Victims of clergy abuse urged to join support group

Savannah Now

Dana Clark Felty | Friday, October 26, 2007 at 12:30 am

As her mother lay dying of ovarian cancer, 13-year-old Laura Latch's priest went to her family home and molested Laura.

"I was too afraid to tell my father what happened because I knew he was going through so much," she said of the abuse that occurred more than 30 years ago in New York.

Latch shared her story publicly for the first time Thursday during a news conference for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Group members gathered near St. James Catholic Church to encourage victims to come forward and to push the Catholic Diocese of Savannah to release the identities of suspected abusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Clergy sexual abuse cases settled


By Jim Haley
Herald Writer

Two people who alleged they were abused by Roman Catholic priests in the 1950s have settled a pair of lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Seattle for a total of $380,000.

One of the complaints focused on the actions of the Rev. Edward Boyle at Immaculate Conception Parish in Everett. Boyle is now deceased.

The Snohomish County Superior Court lawsuit identified the alleged victim only as M.P. to protect his privacy, said Mary Fleck, the Seattle attorney who handled both cases.

The Everett-born man, who still lives in Western Washington, said he met Boyle in 1956, when he was about 14. He alleged that the abuse continued for 11 years, starting in 1956.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Church abuse case review outlined

BBC News

Thousands of files will be examined in an independent review checking for past cases of sex abuse involving clergy, the Church of England has announced.

It follows consultation with agencies including the NSPCC on how best to investigate historic abuse cases.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has acknowledged that mistakes have been made in responding to abuse claims.

A spokesman said the Church was undertaking the review for "the care, protection and nurture of children".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Jesuits 'sorry' for clergy abuse, critics say it's all talk

Chicago Sun-Times

October 26, 2007
BY SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH Religion Reporter/shogan@suntimes.com
The head of the Chicago Province of Jesuits said Thursday the order had not done enough to stop clergy sexual abuse and unveiled "new" prevention policies that other Catholic leaders adopted years ago.

The Rev. Edward Schmidt spoke out two days after more sexual abuse allegations were lodged against the Rev. Donald McGuire, who last year was convicted of molesting two Loyola Academy students in the 1960s.

"I am personally outraged that anyone, particularly a Jesuit, could abuse a child," said Schmidt, who ordered McGuire to stop wearing clerical garb only last month. "Above all, I want to say that I am sorry."

Abuse survivors called the apology a public relations smokescreen.

"The Jesuits preach safety and still let their predators roam free to abuse children," said Barbara Blaine of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Ex-abbot convicted in child sex assaults


Zeke MacCormack

JOHNSON CITY — Blanco County jurors late Wednesday gave the maximum sentence of 80 years and a $40,000 fine to William Hughes, former abbot of the Christ of the Hills monastery, for sexually assaulting novice monks in the mid-1990s.

Hughes, 57, was convicted Wednesday on four counts of sexual assault of a child. He showed no emotion as the verdict was read by state District Judge Dan Mills. He later broke down and sobbed as he asked jurors for leniency in sentencing. His lawyers had appealed for probation, noting he had no criminal record.

In closing arguments, defense attorney Eddie Shell didn't dispute that his client had sex with the victims, now 29 and 26, in the mid-1990s when they were novice monks at the monastery near Blanco. But Shell said it was unclear whether the sex had occurred before they reached the age of consent.

Daniel Uballe, who was dismissed as an alternate juror when the testimony ended, said the state proved its case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 AM

Ex-monk sentenced to 80 years in sex case

The Dallas Morning News


Associated Press

A monk convicted of sexually assaulting novice monks at a monastery outside of Blanco was sentenced to 80 years in prison.

William Hughes, 57, got the maximum sentence after a Blanco County jury convicted him Wednesday on four counts of sexual assault of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 AM

Orthodox Church Members Firm In Faith After Monk's Sentencing


Oct 25, 2007 11:30 PM EDT

In the Hill Country, members of the Russian Orthodox Church are standing firm in their faith after a guilty verdict for a former monk.

A Blanco County jury sentenced William Hughes late Wednesday to 80 years in prison on four counts of sexually assaulting a child.

After the trial, there is closure for the victims at the Christ of the Hills Monastery in the 1990s.

There is closure, as well, for those who shared the same faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 AM

Blanco Monk Sentenced To 80 Years For Child Sex Assault

Orthodox Reform

Yesterday a Blanco County jury sentenced a former monk to 80 years in prison Wednesday for four counts of sexual assault on a minor.

Hughes, 57, was convicted Wednesday on four counts of sexual assault of a child. He showed no emotion as the verdict was read by state District Judge Dan Mills. source

Accusers took the stand on Tuesday:

Two accusers took the stand Tuesday, claiming Russian Orthodox monk William Hughes sexually assaulted them.

One of the accusers testified that when he went to live at the Christ of the Hills Russian Orthodox Monastery in the 1990s as a novice monk, he was sexually assaulted by Hughes. He testified he and other novice monks were told sex was not a sin if it’s blessed by the brotherhood. source.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:13 AM

Ex-priest molester in LI case to get prison after cancer delay


RIVERHEAD, N.Y. - Prosecutors say a former Catholic priest who molested a 6-year-old boy is being sent to prison after previously escaping incarceration when he told a judge he was dying of liver cancer.

The Suffolk County District Attorney's office says Barry Ryan is due to appear in Riverhead court Friday to be sent to prison for two years. He pleaded guilty to molesting a boy in 2003, eight years after being suspended from the priesthood.

A judge had previously agreed to postpone jail for the 59-year-old, but he rescinded that decision and issued an arrest warrant for him in August after prosecutors suggested the one-time cleric was contriving to avoid incarceration.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 AM

October 25, 2007

Clergy Sex Abuse Affected Man's Life


By Alaina Anderson

A Savannah priest – sentenced to ten years in prison for sexually abusing two young boys – is up for parole next year. Now one group is working to make sure he stays behind bars.

Father Wayland Brown pleaded guilty in 2003 to the crime. It happened in Maryland during the 1970s when Brown was a seminary student in Washington, DC. Years later from 1987 to 1988, Brown served as Associate Pastor at Saint James Catholic Church in Savannah.

Thursday, members of SNAP – Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests – met near the church. Victims and their families came forward to speak out in the hopes of helping others avoid what they went through.

"The church will say, well we always ask victims to come forward. But that's not good enough. They're afraid to come. They don't trust the church. You've got to build back that care and concern and compassion and credibility and you've got to help these parents know that this occurred," says Ann Brentwood, SNAP’s Southeast Director.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 PM

Jesuit leader apologizing after sex abuse allegations


October 25, 2007 - The leader of the Jesuits in Chicago is apologizing two days after more sexual abuse allegations surfaced against a Chicago-area Jesuit priest.

Reverend Edward Schmidt says he is sorry he didn't do more to prevent abuse by Reverend Donald McGuire.

This week, two brothers who now live in Arizona filed a lawsuit, saying they were abused by McGuire many times between 1988 and 2002.

McGuire is free on bond while appealing a 7-year sentence for molesting two boys in Wisconsin.

"I am personally outraged that anyone, particularly a Jesuit, could ever abuse a child or any other vulnerable person. This goes against everything we Jesuits believe in and stand for," said Father Edward Schmidt, Chicago Province of The Society Of Jesus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Ex-priest pleads guilty after threat

North Jersey Media Group

Thursday, October 25, 2007

JERSEY CITY -- James T. Hanley, a former Roman Catholic priest at the center of a highly publicized sexual abuse case, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a weapons offense stemming from an angry outburst at a hotel.

Hanley, 71, pleaded guilty in state Superior Court as part of a plea agreement that will likely count a year already spent in jail as time served. Hanley went to jail after missing a court date last October.

Hanley admitted that he used an aluminum baseball bat to threaten three employees at the Extended Stay America Secaucus-Meadowlands hotel in 2006.

A 23-year-old desk clerk told authorities that Hanley was angered after the clerk rebuffed his sexual advances.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

COLORADO: Persecution of orthodox priest raises question: "Was it worth it Bishop O'Neill?"

Virtue Online

By Sherry Shinogle
Special to VirtueOnline
October 25, 2007

An independent forensics auditor, Robert D. Johnson CPA P.C., has found the Rev. Don Armstrong, rector of Grace Church & St. Stephen's in Colorado Springs, innocent of alleged theft and fraud. This audit was conducted at the request of the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, Bishop of CANA with whom the church is now aligned.

It is noteworthy that the Colorado Springs Police Department has done nothing significant concerning these charges, which should have been in their bailiwick from the beginning. They are allegedly still investigating.

The Rt. Rev. Rob O'Neill first inhibited Father Armstrong before the most holy of religious events on the Christian calendar -- Christmas -- and then brought him up on charges before the bishop's hand picked court. They found Father Armstrong guilty of all charges even though they admitted in their report (Betzer Report of the Diocese of Colorado) that they did not have access to all the evidentiary information. A statement from the diocese indicates that they still intend to formally pronounce sentencing upon Father Armstrong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

Controversial Danish satirists put late Pope John Paul II in hell

Digital Journal

The controversial Danish satirical group Surrend has posted a Polish-language website which puts the late Polish-born Pope John Paul II in hell, along side Nazi Germany's infamous propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels and feared SS commander Heinrich Himmler.

"Respectable Polish Catholics, the place from which I address you is fiery hot. At the beginning of my stay at the epicentre of fire I, John Paul II, was a little dismayed by the fact that having been a faithful servant of God, I ended up in hell along with such characters as Goebbels and Himmler," reads part of Surrend's www.vaticansex.pl website.

"Many think Pope John Paul II is a saint, but he didn't do anything about sex abuse of children by priests in the Roman Catholic church and this is why we think he belongs in hell," urrend founder, Danish satirical artist Jan Egesborn told Deutsche Presse Agentur, dpa, in a telephone interview Thursday.

Allegations that the Roman Catholic Church attempted to cover-up priests sexually abusing children in the United States, Ireland and other countries arose in the wake of wave of law suits lodged by plaintiffs alleging paedophilia and sex abuse by Catholic priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Child protection review ordered

Religious Intelligence

Thursday, 25th October 2007. 4:12pm

By: Ed Beavan.

THE Church of England today confirmed every diocese in the country will appoint an independent reviewer to look over files of clergy and church employees as part of a systematic review of child protection.

The broad principles for the new procedure were outlined today following an announcement by the Archbishop of Canterbury earlier this year after two high profile cases of child abuse in the Church of England.

In April former Hampshire choirmaster Peter Halliday was jailed for two-and-a-half years after admitting a trail of abuse back in the 1980s.

It emerged his suffragan bishop had been told of the abuse but allowed him to ‘leave quietly’. Then in May Somerset priest the Rev David Smith was jailed for five-and-a-half years for abusing boys over a 30-year period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

2 Arizona men accuse priest of molestation

ABC 15

Reported by: Chris Kline
Email: ckline@abc15.com
Last Update: 9:43 am

Click the play button on the video window to the right to see the story

Two Arizona brothers have filed a lawsuit against a priest in Chicago, accusing him of molesting them.

The priest, 77-year-old Reverend Donald McGuire, has already been convicted of child abuse.

The Arizona men say McGuire molested them on retreats and during confession between 1998 and 2002 when they were both minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

The Catholic Indian Mission Pedophiles Must Not Go Unpunished

The Huffington Post

Tim Giago

Writing about lawsuits can be like going to the dentist; it can be numbing and very painful. With that I will try to be as brief (no pun intended) as possible.

Two lawsuits involving the physical, mental and sexual abuse of Indian children while living and studying at Indian mission boarding schools will be heard by the South Dakota Supreme Court to determine if the suits should be dismissed because they have exceeded the statute of limitations.

Attorney Greg Yates of Rapid City, SD is representing the plaintiffs. Yates also has a law office in California, and he is a graduate of the University of South Dakota School of Law. He believes that some of the local news coverage has been inadequate and slanted toward the defendants.

The St. Francis lawsuit (Lloyd One Star and Marian Sorace) was filed in Rapid City and seeks damages against the Catholic Diocese of Rapid City; the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus; and the Denver-based Sisters of St. Francis.

The St. Paul's suit (Zephier and Cuny) was filed in Sioux Falls and seeks damages from the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls; Blue Cloud Abbey; Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, based in Pennsylvania; and the Oblate Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament of Marty.

I have read the suit filed by the plaintiffs and the charges are descriptive and they explicitly describe the acts of violence and sexual abuse performed upon the children. The children are now adults and many years have lapsed since the alleged acts of sexual abuse by the priests and nuns.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Jesuit official 'sorry' about priest's abuse

Chicago Tribune

By Margaret Ramirez | Tribune religion reporter
October 26, 2007

Two days after more abuse allegations surfaced against a Jesuit priest, the head of the cleric's religious order today said he was sorry he had not done enough to prevent abuse, but he refused to say whether steps were being taken to remove the convicted abuser from the priesthood.

"Above all, I want to say I'm sorry. I say I'm sorry to anyone who may have been abused by Donald McGuire or any member of this province," Rev. Edward Schmidt, head of the Chicago province of the Society of Jesus, said at a news conference this morning.

McGuire, 77, is accused of abusing at least five boys. He was convicted last year in Wisconsin of molesting two boys in the 1960s. In August, a 21-year-old man filed a lawsuit alleging abuse from 1999 to 2003. On Tuesday, two brothers from Arizona sued over abuse allegedly taking place from 1988 to 2002. McGuire currently lives in Oak Lawn and is appealing his Wisconsin conviction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

No Religious Haven From Abuse

The Jewish Week

by Debra Nussbaum Cohen
Staff Writer

Despite the widespread impression in the Orthodox world that sexual abuse doesn’t happen within its precincts, or happens less than in the “outside world,” a report in the November issue of the journal of the American Psychiatric Association says that Orthodox Jewish women suffer as much of it as other American women do.
Twenty-six percent of respondents in a study about the sexual lives and attitudes of married Orthodox Jewish women — 55 percent identifying as Modern Orthodox and about 45 percent as fervently Orthodox — indicated that they had at some point suffered sexual abuse.
That figure is on par with the 25 percent to 27 percent of American women in general, without regard to their marital status or religion, who have reported
in numerous studies that they had been sexually abused.
The new article also says that fervently Orthodox women are more likely than Modern Orthodox women to have experienced sexual abuse, to have experienced it multiple times and to have experienced it the first time before age 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:49 AM

Brothers say convicted Chicago-area priest molested them

12 News

Associated Press
Oct. 24, 2007 09:26 PM

Priest accused of molesting Phoenix boys
Father of alleged sex abuse victims speaks out
Man claims he was molested by Jesuit priest

CHICAGO (AP) -- Two Arizona brothers have filed a civil lawsuit in Chicago alleging a priest already convicted of child abuse molested them.

The suit alleges 77-year-old Reverend Donald McGuire of Oak Lawn, Illinois, molested the boys during confession between 1988 and 2002 in Arizona and in Chicago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Sex abuse victims want Bishop Olmstead to reach out


Father Donald McGuire was Mother Teresa’s spiritual advisor and has been jailed twice for parole violations. He is also the most high profile Catholic priest to ever be convicted for sexually abusing kids.

At a sidewalk conference, clergy sex abuse victims from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest disclosed and discussed a new child molestation lawsuit that was filed Wednesday by two brothers who claim they were repeatedly sexually abused in Phoenix by a high profile Catholic priest.

Father Donald McGuire was Mother Teresa’s spiritual advisor and has been jailed twice for parole violations. He is also the most high profile Catholic priest to ever be convicted for sexually abusing kids. Members of SNAP say yet church officials are silent about his abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Forensic Audit Faults Diocese in Armstrong Investigation

The Living Church Foundation


The Rev. Don Armstrong did not intend to violate or evade tax laws, according to the results of a forensic audit undertaken at the request of a lawyer retained by Fr. Armstrong.

The 40-page report, which was presented during a press conference Oct. 23 at the parish where Fr. Armstrong serves as rector, concluded that parish auditors failed to advise the vestry properly about regulatory issues and certain accounting functions of the parish, but in sworn depositions vestry members stated that they were informed about and approved of Fr. Armstrong’s compensation and benefit package on an annual basis. A parish trust fund which the Diocese of Colorado accused Fr. Armstrong of improperly using to pay for his children’s college education “is whole and no funds have been distributed from the trust since 2000,” the report stated.

In August, an ecclesiastical court found Fr. Armstrong guilty of financial misconduct, including failing to maintain proper church financial records and diverting church endowment money to himself and his family. Upon the advice of legal counsel, Fr. Armstrong did not cooperate with the diocesan investigation or attend the ecclesiastical trial. He and a majority of the parish left The Episcopal Church and joined the Convocation of Anglicans in North America in March.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

State Supreme Court: Accepts seven new cases


Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer


Madison, Wis. (Oct. 22, 2007) - The Wisconsin Supreme Court has voted to accept seven new cases. The Court also acted to deny review in a number of cases. The case numbers, issues, and counties of origin are listed below. Court of Appeals opinions/certification memos that are available online for the newly accepted cases are hyperlinked.

2006AP291 Hornback v. Archdiocese of Milwaukee and Diocese of Madison

This case examines the statute of limitations as it relates to civil cases involving alleged sexual assault of a child, and whether the First Amendment bars civil actions against a religious organization for damages resulting from such assaults.

Some background: In October of 2005, Kenneth Hornback, Dennis L. Bolton, Ronald W. Kuhl, David W. Schaeffer and Glenn M. Bonn sued the Milwaukee Archdiocese and the Madison Diocese.

They allege that from 1968 to 1973, Gary T. Kazmarek, a school teacher in the Louisville, Kentucky Archdiocese, sexually abused them and that the Milwaukee Archdiocese and Madison Diocese “knew or should have known of Kazmarek’s propensity for sexually abusing children.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

(Ri.Ba.) «Per me è tutta ...

Il Gazzettino

Luca Fasolato, owner of the Al Filo' restaurant in Monterosso, allows Rev. Sante Sguotti and his followers to meet in his restaurant only because he has been a friend of the priest for many years and it has nothing to do with religious convictions. He also thinks it brings more publicity for the restaurant and he does not seem to think some people would boycott the restaurant.

Mr. Fasolato said Rev. Sguotti is trying to change things in the church and it will be difficult for the priest to be successful. It is like fighting against wind mills, he said. Rev. Sguotti does not say if he is the father of a child because that is what attracts the media and the battle will be lost if he does not keep this mystery. Mr. Fasolato said he will allow Rev. Sguotti to use his restaurant because many people, young and old, follow him.

The parish at Monterosso in the meantime has become more split between the official priest, Rev. Giovanni Brusegan, and the unofficial one, Rev. Sguotti. It is between the official church of San Bartolomeo and the location chosen each time by Rev. Sguotto for the "counter-Mass."

Rev. Sguotti met yesterday with his followers to speak about the groups, activities and initiatives of the parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

Ex-Morris priest free after pleading guilty

Daily Record

Thursday, October 25, 2007

JERSEY CITY -- James T. Hanley, the former priest at the center of a Morris County sex abuse scandal, pleaded guilty Wednesday to an unrelated weapons charge for using a baseball bat to threaten Secaucus hotel clerks last year.

Hanley took a plea, which allowed him to go free after having already spent a year in jail, after rejecting a similar offer on Tuesday when he said he wanted to go to trial.

Hanley told authorities that he intended to return to a Garfield boarding house where he said he had been staying before his arrest. But law enforcement officials said it appeared he might end up homeless after getting out of jail because, during a previous court hearing, the owner of that boarding house told authorities Hanley would not be welcomed back.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Democrazia e religione

La Repubblica

Ezio Mauro, editorial director of la Repubblica, said in response to attacks on media by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone that the Vatican cannot give orders to newspapers and the Vatican cannot impose censorship. People must know how much money they contribute to the church and he concluded that the Vatican has shown incompatibility between the church and democracy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Bertone contro le inchieste sulla Chiesa "Finiamola con questa storia dei costi"

La Repubblica

Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, has criticized previous articles about the cost of the church to Italian taxpayers and said such articles must stop because the money given to the church brings fruits in favor of society.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Sides prep for ex-priest’s sex-abuse civil trial

The Times-Tribune


New documents filed this week in a federal sex abuse civil trial involving a former priest and the Diocese of Scranton indicate both sides are preparing stinging allegations.

While a memo filed Monday by the diocese alleges the young victim abuses illegal drugs and alcohol, the victim counters that former priest, Albert M. Liberatore Jr., plied him with alcohol and that the church promoted Mr. Liberatore to a higher position despite knowledge of a history of abuse.

Mr. Liberatore, 42, pleaded guilty in 2005 in Luzerne County and New York to sexually abusing the young male victim from 1999 to 2002, beginning when the boy was 14.

Mr. Liberatore, who was pastor at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Duryea when the abuse occurred, was sentenced to 10 years probation and defrocked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Sex victim to pursue clergyman

Northern Star


A MAN who was sexually abused by an Anglican clergyman in Lismore more than 30 years ago wants to sue him for damages in the NSW Supreme Court.

Shane Rich, 46, was abused by Allan Kitchingham at the North Coast Children's Home at Lismore in 1975. Kitchingham pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual assault in 2002 and was sentenced to two-and-a-half yearsin jail.

Mr Rich now wants to sue the former clergyman for damages and is seeking an extension of the time in which he is eligible to commence legal action against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Former assistant pastor indicted in abuse


Thursday, October 25, 2007

St. Tammany bureau
A St. Tammany Parish grand jury Wednesday indicted a former volunteer assistant church pastor on two counts of aggravated sex crimes involving juveniles and 100 counts of possessing child pornography.

James Griffin, 67, of Pearl River, was arrested by the Sheriff's Office on July 4, after a three-week investigation sparked by a tip from a family member of an alleged victim, authorities said.

At the time, Griffin was a volunteer associate pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church of Slidell, 62160 Airport Road. Investigators did not reveal the nature and details of the sex crimes, but said the alleged victims are not children Griffin met at the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

Administrators say pantry is staying put

Providence Journal

By Maria Armental
Journal Staff Writer

CHARLESTOWN — Repairs at a Roman Catholic Church building that houses the area’s largest food pantry are on hold following a news report — which food pantry officials have since refuted — that the food pantry plans to move, a diocese spokesman said yesterday.

“If the diocese is going to be spending scarce financial resources to repair the facility, at the very least the assurance that the food pantry would be remaining at its current location would be a reassuring statement,” said Michael K. Guilfoyle, the diocese’s communications director. ...

“The diocese is not working with us. They are more interested in protecting their criminals and paying for their lawsuits,” she said of legal expenses related to sexual-abuse claims.

Nigrelli and some food pantry volunteers accuse the diocese of trying to force the food pantry out of the building to sell it, a charge that Guilfoyle and Desmarais deny.

In addition to the construction controversy, food pantry officials have learned donations dropped in the church’s weekly collection basket but intended for the food pantry were instead deposited to the parish’s accounts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Diocese's hearing moved to Tuesday


October 25, 2007

SAN DIEGO – A hearing scheduled for today over whether to dismiss the San Diego Catholic diocese's bankruptcy case has been postponed until next week.

AdvertisementThe motion to end the Chapter 11 reorganization petition, which was filed in February, will now be heard at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Courts are among the many agencies that have been closed this week because of the wildfires and evacuations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

The uninspiring King County Prosecutor's Race (IV)

Sound Politics

Josh Feit alleged in last month's The Stranger that Dan Satterberg (as chief-of-staff to Prosecutor Norm Maleng in 2002) refused to investigate a child sex abuse and cover-up scandal at the local Catholic Archdiocese -- while concurrently advising the Archdiocese on how to respond to reports of abuse.

The Stranger isn't always fair and accurate; on the other hand the story resonated with my own experiences with Satterberg. So I requested confirmation from both Satterberg and Feit's source, an attorney who represented victims of Archdiocese priests. I think Feit is essentially right on this one.

Attorney Timothy Kosnoff has represented victims of priests in Seattle and elsewhere. He says he has seen, during legal discovery, significant evidence in sealed Archdiocese files about child abuse and cover-ups. When he asked the Prosecutor's office to authorize an inquiry to open the sealed files, Satterberg replied that he didn't have sufficient evidence to proceed:

"No shit, Dan," Kosnoff says bitterly today. "You haven't found any evidence because you haven't issued a subpoena." Kosnoff complains that "clerics were able to skate through with settlements paid for by parishioners without ever being required to account for sodomizing children. King County should have been doing its job, and I hold Dan Satterberg responsible."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Ex-priest from sex abuse case pleads guilty in hotel rage case


JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) _ James T. Hanley, a former Roman Catholic priest at the center of a highly publicized sexual abuse case, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a weapons offense stemming from an angry outburst at a hotel.

Hanley, 71, pleaded guilty in state Superior Court as part of a plea agreement that will likely count a year already spent in jail as time served. Hanley went to jail after missing a court date last October.

In entering his plea, Hanley admitted that he used an aluminum baseball bat to threaten three employees at the Extended StayAmerica Secaucus-Meadowlands hotel in 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Giuliani Hires, Defends Accused Priest

EDGE Boston

by Kilian Melloy
EDGE Boston Contributor
Wednesday Oct 24, 2007

Giuliani defended close friend and accused priest Placa (Source:Associated Press)
A Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing teenagers and ordered by the Church no longer to act as a priest was later hired by Republican nomination hopeful Rudolph Giuliani.

ABCNews.com posted the story Oct. 23, reporting that Monsignor Alan Placa’s employment by Giuliani has led to protests at the candidate’s campaign gatherings.

Placa, the report said, has long been a friend to the former Mayor of New York, and perfomed Giuliani’s wedding to second wife Donna Hanover.

Richard Tollner, who claims that he was abused by Placa in 1975 while Tollner was a student at a parochial high school in Long Island, said, "This man did unjust things, and he’s being protected and employed and taken care of."

Continued Tollner, "It’s not a good thing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

80 poems tell plight of pedophile priest's victims

Windsor Star

Sharon Hill, Windsor Star
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Mary Ann Mulhern is using poetry to give the victims of pedophile priest Rev. Charles Sylvestre a distinct voice she hopes will help prevent sexual abuse.

She's written about 80 poems for a book that could be out in April, after speaking to four victims and reading court documents from the sexual abuse case. And she's working with Chatham-Kent Crown attorney Paul Bailey, who shares her passion for speaking out on behalf of the victims and educating the public.

Wednesday, the pair discussed another poem destined for the book, after Bailey spoke to a University of Windsor class that is helping to edit Mulhern's work. Bailey, who led the prosecution against Sylvestre, told the class there will be more victims if the case is buried.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Gerald A. Renner; Religion Journalist

Washington Post

By Adam Bernstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 25, 2007; Page B07

Gerald A. Renner, 75, a religion journalist who helped uncover sex abuse allegations against the founder of a secretive Catholic order -- the Legionaries of Christ -- and whose work was credited with halting the leader's priestly career, died Oct. 24 at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut. He had abdominal cancer.

Mr. Renner, a veteran editor and reporter, had also done public relations work for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and had been a vice president of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

Veteran religion journalist Gerald A. Renner conducted investigations into alleged sex abuse by the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, a secretive and influential Catholic order. (Na - Na)

He was a religion writer at the Hartford Courant when he teamed in 1996 with freelance investigative reporter Jason Berry, who had written about sex abuse in the Catholic clergy.

They worked on several high-profile articles for the Courant about the Legionaries of Christ, which has its U.S. headquarters in Connecticut. Their reportage culminated in the book "Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II" (2004).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Group wants sex-abuse claims made public

The Arizona Republic

Ryan Kost
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 25, 2007 12:00 AM

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was asked Wednesday to publicize recent allegations that an Illinois Jesuit priest sexually abused two Phoenix boys while operating retreats in Arizona.

In a letter delivered by western regional director Mary Grant of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the organization asked Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted to make announcements in every parish about the assaults and to use its Web site, newspapers and parish bulletins to post the man's name, photo and history.

"We believe that you, Bishop Olmsted, have a moral and civic duty to publicly warn Arizona citizens about (Rev. Donald) McGuire," the letter stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Gerald Renner, 75, Wrote on Clerical Abuse

New York Sun

By Staff Reporter of the Sun
October 25, 2007

Gerald Renner, a religion reporter for the Hartford Courant who helped expose allegations of sexual abuse by the founder of a Connecticut Catholic Religious Order, the Legionaries of Christ, died yesterday in Norwalk Hospital. He was 75.

After allegations by many seminarians appeared in Renner's book "Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II" (2004, co-written by Jason Berry), the order's founder, Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, was forced by Pope Benedict XVI to relinquish his public ministry. The Pope ordered the priest to devote himself to "prayer and penitence." A reporter who got his start covering organized crime for the Reading, Pa., Eagle, Renner did public relations work for the National Council of Bishops before becoming editor of the Religion News Service in New York, in 1976.

"Vow of Silence" was the culmination of several years of reporting on Rev. Maciel and the Legionaries, who had been great favorites of Pope John Paul II, despite repeated investigations into abuses. The order claims to have 700 priests and 2,500 seminarians in 20 countries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Ex-priest admits weapons offense


Thursday, October 25, 2007
Star-Ledger Staff
After rejecting earlier plea offers, former priest and admitted child molester James Hanley pleaded guilty yesterday to a weapons offense in connection to an incident at a Secaucus hotel last year.

James Hanley, 71, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a weapon, admitting he used an aluminum bat to intimidate three employees of the Extended Stay Hotel on March 10, 2006. The hotel's desk clerk had told authorities Hanley became belligerent after the 23-year-old rebuffed his sexual advances.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 7, but under the agreement, Hanley will serve only the year he already has spent in jail since being incarcerated last October for missing a court appearance.

Despite the urging of two judges, Hanley had rejected the same plea deal twice on Tuesday at the outset of jury selection for his Superior Court trial in Jersey City. He earlier had declined similar offers on two other occasions.

Hanley walked with the help of a cane yesterday, looking frail and disheveled with a scraggly, unkempt beard. After Judge Paul DePascale accepted his plea, he was released and left court, refusing to comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

October 24, 2007

Gerald Renner, retired Courant religion writer, dies at 75


9:09 PM EDT, October 24, 2007

(AP) _ Gerald Renner, the longtime religion writer for The Hartford Courant, has died of cancer. He was 75.

Renner died Wednesday, the newspaper reported. He retired from The Courant in 2000.

He was recognized internationally for his pioneering reporting on allegations of sexual abuse within Legionaries of Christ, a Roman Catholic religious order whose U.S. headquarters were in Connecticut. He co-wrote a book with Jason Berry in 2004 titled, "Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II." The book argued that the pope protected the Legionaries founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado. The Vatican removed Maciel from the active priesthood two years after Renner's book was published.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 PM

Retired Courant Reporter Gerald Renner Dies

The Hartford Courant

By RINKER BUCK | The Hartford Courant
6:50 PM EDT, October 24, 2007

Gerald Renner, who won international recognition for his pioneering reporting in The Courant on allegations of sexual abuse within a Roman Catholic religious order, died Wednesday after a battle with cancer. He was 75 years old.

Renner joined The Courant as the religion writer in 1985, after serving as editor and director of Religion News Service in New York, and vice president of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Earlier, he worked as a reporter in the U.S. Navy, at a newspaper in Pennsylvania, and for United Press in Washington, D.C.

Until his retirement in 2000, Renner wrote hundreds of Courant news and feature stories on religious topics.

Around The Courant newsroom, Renner, who was raised as a Roman Catholic, was known for his encyclopedic reach on topics touching all faiths, whether profiling a Bloomfield rabbi returning to his native Belarus to provide a proper burial for Jews massacred by the Nazis, or chronicling the growth of Islam in America. Interfaith issues, attempts at canonizing new saints, and the acceptance of gays and lesbians in churches were recurrent themes in Renner's work.

He reached his widest audience with a series of articles and a book he co-wrote about the Legionaries of Christ, a secretive and conservative Roman Catholic order whose American headquarters is in Connecticut.

Renner learned of the Legionaries while traveling in Rome for The Courant in 1989, when Archbishop John F. Whealon of Hartford pointed out the headquarters of what he called "that controversial, conservative religious order that has a seminary in Cheshire."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 PM

Retired priest pleads not guilty in molestation case

San Francisco Chronicle

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

(10-23) 16:03 PDT Los Angeles (AP) --

Nearly 20 years after George Miller arrived as a Catholic priest at Guardian Angel Church in Pacoima, the now-retired cleric pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he molested a small boy during his tenure there.

Miller, 69, of Oxnard was arrested July 24 on a felony complaint that accuses him of three counts each of lewd acts on a child and sodomy of a person under 14.

Miller was forced to retire from the priesthood in 1996.

He has been free on bond since his arrest and was ordered to return to court for a pretrial hearing on Dec. 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 PM

Breaking News: No new sex trial for former Kirtland pastor

The News-Herald

By: Staff reports

The Ohio Supreme Court has refused to hear a sex case involving a Kirtland church and its defrocked pastor.

Gary Coiro of Concord Township was fired from his job as senior pastor and counselor at Willo-Hill Baptist Chruch in October 2003 after a sexual relationship with Akron woman Dena Canfora was revealed.

Canfora and her husband, Mark, sued church officials for sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of fiduciary duty.

After a trial in Lake County Common Pleas Court, a jury found the church and Coiro should not be held liable for the affair since the pastor's actions were a personal, rather than professional, failure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

They Who Understand

Illinois Review

Book Review by George Kocan

“The Rite of Sodomy: Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church,” by Randy Engel, New Engel Publishing (2006), Export Pennsylvania, 1283 pages; www.riteofsodomy.com

TV cameras recently caught the Archbishop of San Francisco giving Holy Communion to men dressed up like what can best be described as blasphemous clowns. They wore heavy make-up to hide their sex and costumes to make them look like nuns. No one could miss the fact that homosexuals staged this hateful stunt to mock the Catholic Church.

Yet, Archbishop George Niederauer dutifully presented the sacred hosts as if nothing was wrong. Later on, he apologized, pleading ignorance. We are to believe that after living for two years in San Francisco, Niederauer does not know who or what the self-styled “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” are. Naturally, intelligent Catholics and other observers of the culture wars are mystified. They just do not understand. . .

However, Catholics do exist who understand and would be more than willing to clarify the issue. Steven Brady understands. An owner of a pizza delivery service, Brady devoted nearly all of his spare time to exposing the predatory homosexuality of his prelate, the Bishop of Springfield, Il, Dan Ryan. Ryan became notorious for cruising for teenaged boys and even trying to force himself on his priests. As of this writing, Brady is recovering from severe injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

Audit Finds Anglican Priest Innocent of Theft

Christian Post

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Oct. 24 2007 04:04 PM ET

A clergy member of a breakaway Episcopal church was found not guilty of stealing nearly $400,000, an independent forensic auditor reported Tuesday.

The Rev. Donald Armstrong, rector of Grace Church & St. Stephen's, was accused this year of financial misconduct by the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado, which his parish split from over a leftward "theological drift," as Armstrong put it. The recent audit, however, found no theft or tax fraud.

“I am grateful for this report, for its clarity and completeness in addressing the false accusations against me and our vestry by the Diocese of Colorado, its Bishop, and their representatives,” Armstrong said in a statement.

The audit was done by Robert D. Johnson, a Colorado Springs certified public accountant, who found that six counts against Armstrong had reasonable explanations and financial transactions, including loans and educational scholarship disbursements, were all approved by clergy members or authorized staff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

Pastor of Piscataway church faces sexual-contact charges

Home News Tribune


NEW BRUNSWICK: The 51-year-old pastor of a Roman Catholic church in Piscataway has been charged with criminal sexual contact in connection with allegations of inapproriate touching lodged against him by an employee of the Metuchen diocese.

The Rev. Edgardo D. Abano, the pastor since 1992 at St. Francis Cabrini R.C. Church, was arrested Tuesday by members of the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office Sex Crimes/ Child Abuse Unit and the Piscataway Police Department's Special Victim's Unit.

Criminal sexual contact is a fourth-degree crime which carries a maximum sentence of 18 months behind bars.

The Prosecutor's Office said in a release that the investigation began Sept. 25, based on information received directly from the Diocese of Metuchen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

Family: Our sons abused in confessional

United Press International

CHICAGO, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Two Arizona brothers have filed a lawsuit claiming that a well-known Jesuit priest in Chicago molested them during retreats.

The Rev. Donald McGuire has already been convicted in Wisconsin of molesting boys in the 1960s. He is appealing that conviction.

The Arizona family says McGuire played an important part in their religious life, convincing the mother to convert to Catholicism and introducing them to Mother Teresa, The Chicago Sun-Times reports. The father told the newspaper he only learned recently that McGuire -- invited to lead retreats in Arizona -- abused his sons while they were in the confessional, and then absolved them of their sins.

"He made a mockery of the priesthood and the confessional," the father said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Piscataway priest charged with criminal sexual conduct

NJ Blog

by Tom Haydon Wednesday October 24, 2007, 2:17 PM

A priest at a Catholic church in Piscataway was arrested and charged with repeatedly inappropriately touching a man working for the Diocese of Metuchen, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan announced today.

The Rev. Edgardo Abano, 51, pastor of Saint Francis Cabrini Roman Catholic Church on Netherwood Avenue, was arrested Tuesday and charged with criminal sexual conduct, a fourth-degree crime that carries a maximum sentence of 18 months prison upon conviction.

Authorities began investigating Abano on Sept. 25, after receiving information from the diocese, Kaplan said in a statement released today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Ex-Paterson priest accepts plea deal

NJ Blog

by Rudy Larini Wednesday October 24, 2007, 2:10 PM

Former Catholic priest and admitted child molester James Hanley pleaded guilty today to a weapons offense in connection with an unrelated incident at a Secaucus motel last year.

James Hanley, 71, who had rejected several earlier plea offers, will avoid jail time by pleading guilty to unlawful possession of a weapon, admitting he used an aluminum bat to intimidate three employees of the Extended Stay Hotel in 2006. The hotel's desk clerk had told authorities Hanley became belligerent after the 23-year-old clerk rebuffed his sexual advances.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 7. Under the agreement, the judge will count the year Hanley spent in jail for missing a court date last October as ample punishment.

Hanley had rejected the same plea deal twice Tuesday - despite the urging of two judges - as jury selection was about to begin for his Superior Court trial in Jersey City. He earlier had rejected the offer on two other occasions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

The Daily Muck


By Peter Sheehy - October 24, 2007, 9:25AM
Rudy’s adviser has a special touch with kids. Just months after Monsignor Alan Placa, a priest, “ was accused of sexually molesting two former students and an altar boy and told by the church to stop performing his priestly duties,” Giuliani asked him to join his consulting firm. The priest, who officiated Giuliani’s second wedding (#2 was Donna Hanover), is still employed by Giuliani Partners. Giuliani has stated, "I know the man; I know who he is, so I support him.” (ABC, “The Blotter”)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 PM

A Grim Story, With Unresolvable Accusations, Circling Around the Giuliani Campaign

National Review Online

I'll have more on this ABC News story a bit later, but here is the outline: Monsignor Alan Placa, a longtime friend of Giuliani and the priest who officiated at his second wedding to Donna Hanover, works at Giuliani Partners in New York. In 2002, Placa was accused of committing three acts of molestation in the 1970s.

"I know the man; I know who he is, so I support him," Giuliani told ABC News. "We give some of the worst people in our society the presumption of innocence and benefit of the doubt. And, of course, I'm going to give that to one of my closest friends."

Charges were never brought against Placa because by the time anyone came forward with charges, the statute of limitations had expired. But Placa was told by the church to stop performing his priestly duties in 2002, as two former students and an altar boy came forward with their allegations.

Several former students from the same high school say they were asked by the "Giuliani organization" to contact ABC News and vouch for Placa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 PM

“Wow we've never heard allegations like this before,” said Msgr. Urell, now recovering from deposition anxiety in Toronto

City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

“The vast majority of child sex abusers can be successfully treated,” former Southdown Institute president Sister Donna Markham

It’s so wonderful to see the church and its members take care of their own. On October 9th “In response to recent assaults on his integrity” Friends of Monsignor Urell formed announcing: "We are deeply saddened by the cases of sexual misconduct that have come to light over the years and we continue to pray for the healing of all those involved. However, it is fundamental to Catholic teaching that we forgive and minister to those who are suffering and in pain.”

Those suffering like Monsignor Urell, the priest who freaked after four hours of testifying in a deposition last summer in Orange County, and instead of returning after lunch, fled to Toronto and checked into Southdown Institute, a place where pedophile, gay, and alcoholic priests check in and six months later check out redeemed.

Poor Monsignor Urell. After years of being point man for the diocese -- the man who took in complaints about pedophile priests, after years of staring straight in the faces of crime victims and their families and feeding them blatant lies about their perpetrators, after years of denying that a pedophile priest problem even existed in Orange County --

Now Monsignor Urell has deposition anxiety and needs a six-month convalescence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

New sex crime charges for Canadian held in Thailand

CBC News

Police in Thailand filed new charges on Wednesday against a Canadian man suspected of sexually assaulting Asian boys and posting pictures of the abuse on the internet.

Christopher Paul Neil, 32, a teacher from Maple Ridge, B.C., has been charged with sexually abusing a 14-year-old Thai boy in 2003.

Neil has already been charged with assaulting the boy's nine-year-old brother that same year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

Giuliani Says Innocent Until Proven Guilty—Keeps Accused Priest As Consultant

Mother Jones

Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, despite some protests from the community, is retaining his longtime friend, Monsignor Alan Placa, as a consultant for his 2008 campaign. Placa, who officiated at Giuliana's second wedding, has been accused of sexually abusing two former students and an altar boy. He has been told by the church to discontinue performing his duties as a priest.

One of the people objecting to Giuliani's decision, an alleged victim of Placa's, says that Place abused him repeatedly in 1975 when he was a student at a boys' school on Long Island.

The candidate said of Placa: "I know the man; I know who he is, so I support him. We give some of the worst people in our society the presumption of innocence and benefit of the doubt. And, of course, I'm going to give that to one of my closest friends."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

Giuliani Hires, Defends Accused Child Molester

Short News

Months after Catholic priest Alan Placa was accused of sexually molesting three children, Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani hired Placa, his longtime friend, to work in Giuliani's consulting firm.

Victims' groups and some of Placa's accusers have begun protesting at Giuliani's campaign events. "This man did unjust things, and he's being protected and employed and taken care of. It's not a good thing," said a former student of Placa's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

A very familiar story about Rudy


Joan Walsh

Salon readers who saw this ABC News story about Rudy Giuliani's best friend, Monsignor Alan Placa, employed at Giuliani Partners though he's been credibly accused by a Long Island grand jury of both covering up and engaging in child abuse, might have felt a little déjà vu. Yes, we ran much the same story in June, complete with a first-person account by a man who says Placa abused him in the 1970s, Richard Tollner, as well as the revelation that Placa co-owns a Manhattan home with Brendan Riordan, the pastor who, despite the abuse charges, keeps Placa on as "priest in residence" at his church in Great Neck, N.Y. What you didn't see in the ABC report was any reference to Salon, even though the Associated Press picked up our story in June with full credit. Nor did the network mention the Long Island newspaper Newsday, which has led on the Placa story since 2002, and which we credited in our own story.

The good news is, this story isn't going away. Giuliani continues to say he believes Placa is innocent of the child abuse charges. He's entitled, I suppose, to take a friend's side in a painful scandal, even if there are multiple witnesses making similar accusations and their testimony was deemed credible by investigators, prosecutors and the Suffolk County grand jury. But journalists need to get more specific with their questions to Giuliani. About two minutes into an Oct. 18 clip of raw press-conference audio from Wisconsin Public Radio titled "New York Mayor Stumps in Milwaukee," you can hear the candidate give a generic answer to a generic question about the grand jury report and Placa's innocence. He says, "I know the man. I know who he is, so I support him." Instead of asking general questions, or asking about the alleged molestation, reporters should focus on the grand jury report's other finding, which is arguably more troubling. The grand jury found extensive evidence, including documents apparently prepared by Placa himself, that for years Placa suppressed valid child abuse complaints in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Placa, who served as sex-abuse "investigator" for the diocese, did not tell the families bringing the complaints of abuse that he was a lawyer. In a memo, he asked that complainants not be informed that he was a lawyer. He also bragged, in print, that the diocese had the "lowest ratio of losses to assets of any diocese ... Our system is in place and working well." Does Giuliani, a former prosecutor, believe that the grand jury report is mistaken about the coverup as well?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Ex-priest refuses to accept plea bargain for assault

The Star-Ledger

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Star-Ledger Staff
The Hudson County judges spoke calmly to James Hanley, but clearly they were exasperated.

Two judges, one at a time, in different courtrooms yesterday, did the math out loud for Hanley, to show the former Catholic priest who has admitted molesting child parishioners he would be better off pleading guilty in an unrelated assault case than going to trial.

Hanley has been in jail in Jersey City for 12 months since missing a court date in the March 2006 assault case, which stems from a baseball bat incident at a Secaucus motel. The prosecutor has offered a plea bargain that, with his time served, would free Hanley from jail immediately, Superior Court judges Peter Vazquez and Paul DePascale noted in court.

If Hanley is convicted at his trial, which began yesterday with jury selection, the longest prison sentence he could receive is five years. Given his lack of a prior criminal record -- his sex crimes were never prosecuted due to expired statutes of limitations -- he might well receive probation, but it could be an intensive probation, DePascale said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Audit clears breakaway pastor in Springs

The Denver Post

By Electa Draper
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 10/24/2007 02:21:32 AM MDT

COLORADO SPRINGS — An auditor hired by lay leaders at Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish found no fraud or theft by the Rev. Don Armstrong, parish officials announced Tuesday.

In October, a church court found Armstrong guilty of taking or mishandling about $550,000.

"We looked forward to focusing on truly spiritual matters and getting this nasty business behind us," said parish senior warden Jon Wroblewski.

In a statement, the Diocese of Colorado said that Bishop Robert O'Neill will still formally pronounce sentence on Armstrong next week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

'He did horrid things'

Chicago Sun-Times

October 24, 2007
BY SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH Religion Reporter/shogan@suntimes.com
An anguished and tearful Arizona dad said Tuesday that a Chicago Jesuit priest molested his two sons during confession.

And the dad said the priest showed the boys "dirty" magazines, such as Hustler and Penthouse, before "cleansing them" of their sins.

"He made a mockery of the priesthood and the confessional," said the dad, a devout Catholic who was in Chicago for the filing of a lawsuit against the Rev. Donald McGuire and his religious order.

McGuire, who was convicted last year of molesting two other boys in the 1960s, is living in Oak Lawn while he appeals that verdict. In August, a 21-year-old college student filed a lawsuit saying he was abused by McGuire from 1999-2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Accused ex-Dover pastor may be defrocked

Daily Record

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Roman Catholic officials said on Tuesday that they are considering defrocking Monsignor Ronald Tully, a former Dover pastor who cost them close to $1 million in legal settlements with men who claim he molested them when they were children.

Paterson Diocese officials made that revelation after they were asked about the fourth alleged victim of Tully to come forward -- a New Jersey man who says Tully molested him more than 50 times over seven years, starting when he was eight years old in 1971.

The diocese placed Tully on administrative leave in 2004 and determined he no longer would be allowed to function as a priest, a punishment handed out to several other priests after the diocese determined allegations of child abuse against them to be credible.

The diocese has defrocked just one priest since a sexual abuse scandal broke in 2002 -- James T. Hanley, a former Mendham pastor who has admitted to molesting at least a dozen children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Audit declares pastor innocent

Rocky Mountain News

By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
October 23, 2007
The Rev. Don Armstrong was found innocent today of misusing funds at Grace Church and St. Stephens, according to an independent audit arranged by the parish.

Forensic auditor Robert Johnson's findings refuted allegations that were first raised by the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado.

The diocese began investigating Armstrong in 2006 and found that Armstrong had engaged in fraud and theft of more than $500,000 in parish money over the past 10 years.

This summer, a diocesan panel, aided by the firm of Denver attorney Hal Haddon, used its fraud and theft findings to launch a separate criminal investigation by the financial crimes unit of the Colorado Springs Police Department. That investigation is continuing

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Pastor Bob Gray Hospitalized

First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- A local pastor facing molestation charges is hospitalized in critical condition.

Shands Jacksonville confirmed Bob Gray has been admitted to the hospital but would give no other specifics.

Gray is the former pastor of Trinity Baptist Church. Police arrested Gray early last year.

More than twenty women and a man have come forward claiming Dr. Gray abused them when they were children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

La "contro-messa" ...

Il Gazzettino
The "counter-Mass'' that was organized last Sunday at Resutrant Al Filo and later cancelled will become a permanent feature beginning Nov. 4. The Mass will be celebrated once every 15 days in different places and for not more than 10 people among those who are not satisfied with the official Mass celebrated by the Rev. Giovanni Brusegan at the church in Monterosso.

The Rev. Sante Sguotti said the day dedicated to helping missionaries was not a success at the parish church and there was not much contribution in terms of money by the faithful. The donations amounted to 350 euros versus 470 euros last year.

At the Al Filo, Rev. Sguotti spoke to 60 people who asked for information on what will happen to parish activities now that he has been removed as pastor.

During the evening, a decision was made and a document was written and signed by the people who participated that said all groups will continue to frequent the parish, attend Sunday Mass and will not put obstacles in the way of Rev. Brusegan's decisions. They do not want to make war against the new parish priest. Besides announcment of the "counter-Masses," parishioners learned a registered letter ws sent to Bishop Antonio Mattiazzo asking him to speak directly to parishioners. "It's not acceptable that until now the bishop has spoken through letter or his spokespersons. He must come here and be informed about what happens by the same parishioners," Rev. Sguotti said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

St. Louis County jury finds in minister’s favor

Kansas City Star

CLAYTON | Jury finds in favor of accused minister

A St. Louis County jury has found in favor of a former Lutheran minister accused in a lawsuit of emotionally and sexually abusing a teenage girl.

The jury deliberated less than an hour Monday before finding in favor of 38-year-old Chris Watson. No damages were awarded to the teen, who is now a college freshman.

Watson served at the Church of the Resurrection. The teen alleged that in 2004 she was abused by Watson under the guise of counseling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Jury quickly rejects suit against ex-minister

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By William C. Lhotka

ST. LOUIS COUNTY — Jurors who heard a teenager's allegations of abuse deliberated just 45 minutes before unanimously returning a verdict in favor of the former Lutheran minister she had accused and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

The decision late Monday rejected a civil claim for damages against the former minister, Chris Watson. The teen said he emotionally and sexually abused her in the fall of 2004, when she was 15 and he was associate pastor at the Church of the Resurrection.

In the six-day trial, defense attorney Thomas Magee compared the accusations against Watson, 38, to the Salem witch hunts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Trial, jury selection, continue in trial of ex-Paterson priest


by Jeff Diamant

Wednesday October 24, 2007, 6:22 AM
Day two of jury selection begins at 9:30 a.m. today in the trial of James Hanley, the former Catholic priest who has admitted molesting about a dozen boys in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson.

The trial is unrelated to that abuse. Hanley is accused of swinging a baseball bat 19 months ago at employees of the Extended Stay Hotel in Secaucus, after a dispute over payment for a room.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Man abused by clergyman wants to sue


Wednesday Oct 24 13:22 AEST
A man who was sexually abused by an Anglican clergyman more than 30 years ago wants to sue him for damages in the NSW Supreme Court.

Shane Rich, 46, was abused by Allan Kitchingham at the North Coast Children's Home at Lismore in 1975.

Kitchingham pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual assault in 2002 and was sentenced to two-and-a-half years jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Protect the innocent, ignore the unfaithful

The Age

October 24, 2007

IN RECENT years the moral credibility of the Anglican Church has been significantly undermined by its failure to protect children from sexual abuse at the hands of lay workers and clergy. Thus its plan — which has been approved by the general synod — to establish a national register of church officials accused of child abuse or sexual misconduct against adults has potential benefits in protecting the vulnerable and restricting the activities of predators who move too easily between dioceses or denominations.

However, the plan has several flaws that subvert its integrity and purpose and that need to be resolved before it can be considered in any way workable. Not the least is the threat an unproven allegation could pose to the civil liberties and reputation of anyone on the register. While the church says it would take steps to safeguard against this by removing vexatious, unfounded or misleading complaints, the damage may already have been done.

Making judgements about the substance of a complaint before it is included on any register is further complicated by the fact that each of Australia's 23 dioceses could have different standards by which it would measure the weight of an allegation. In the more morally conservative dioceses, those accused of adultery — which is prohibited under church rules — could find themselves on the register alongside suspected child abusers. Apart from undermining the gravity of any register, this would open it up to manipulation by whatever elements in the church would wish to impose their particular moral code. Sitting in judgement of what is a grey area in broader society is suggestive of a return to the dunking stool and is a misplaced distraction from the more necessary and laudable goal of establishing a workable register that protects the innocent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Names of cheating clergy will be put on register of sex offenders

The Times

Bernard Lagan in Sydney

The Anglican Church in Australia plans to put the names of clergy who engage in extramarital affairs on a register of sex offenders.

The morally conservative Sydney Diocese of the Church is behind the move, which will require married clergy from Iraq to have their names included on the register even if they are only accused of infidelity.

Clerical chastity — a ban on extra-marital affairs — is already in the voluntary code of conduct for clergy. The inclusion of extramarital affairs on the Church’s register of sexually inappropriate conduct would block the renewal of licences for ministers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Abuse victim seeking millions

Times Leader

By Terrie Morgan-Besecker tmorgan@timesleader.com
Law & Order Reporter

SCRANTON – A man who sued the Diocese of Scranton for sexual abuse perpetrated against him by the Rev. Albert M. Liberatore lost $1.4 million to $8.1 million in earning capacity due to psychological damage caused by the abuse, attorneys for the man say in court papers.

The estimate, prepared by an expert hired by the victim, is in stark contrast to the estimate prepared by an expert for the diocese, who pegged the man’s loss at zero to $78,000.

The issue is one of several key areas of contention that remain as the nearly 3-year-old case prepares to go to trial in federal court next month.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents as John Doe, filed suit in 2004, alleged Liberatore sexually molested him while he was an altar boy at a Luzerne County church. The suit also alleged church officials knew Liberatore had a history of sexual misconduct and failed to protect the boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Archdiocese asks that names of sex abuse accusers should be made public

The Oregonian

Posted by The Oregonian October 23, 2007 16:03PM

A historic bankruptcy settlement reached six months ago did not end the bitterness between the Archdiocese of Portland and those who say they were the victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Federal court documents filed recently by the archdiocese say that a new group of priest accusers have no right to file lawsuits under pseudonyms after coordinating with the media in an effort to seek wide exposure of their inflammatory accusations.

"This calculated, public disclosure, timed to maximize its effectiveness in generating a news story before the archdiocese could respond to a lawsuit filing, deprives plaintiff of any valid claim about a need for privacy," the papers say.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs counter that church officials have abandoned "pastoral compassion" and are playing hardball with the victims of child sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

New sex abuse allegations leveled at priest

Daily Southtown

October 23, 2007
New allegations of clergy sex abuse have surfaced against a priest and convicted sex offender living in Oak Lawn.

The Rev. Donald J. McGuire - who was convicted last year of sexual abuse spanning back to the late 1960s - faces new charges he molested two more youth as recently as 2002, according to the victims' attorney, Marc Pearlman.

Two brothers, now 19 and 28 years old, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against McGuire, alleging the Jesuit priest began abusing the elder brother in the late 1980s when he was as young as 8 years old. The abuse continued through 2002 as McGuire also molested the younger brother at the family's Phoenix home and at religious retreats, according to the lawsuit.

The abuse of both boys occurred during confessions, when McGuire showed the boys pornography and fondled them, the lawsuit states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Giuliani Defends Accused Pedophile Priest: A Warning To Us All

Blogger News Network

October 23rd, 2007 by TK Kenyon
Presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani hired a Catholic priest to work in his consulting firm just a few months after three men, two of whom were students and one, an altar boy, accused him of sexual molestation.

Monsignor Alan Placa, longtime friend of Giuliani and the priest who officiated at Giuliani’s wedding to Donna Hanover, has been placed on leave and told by the Roman Catholic Church to stop performing his priestly duties or appearing in public in ecclesiastical garb. These are strong measures taken by the Church after years of doing nothing and hushing up the problem of pedophile clergy in their midst.

Though Monsignor Placa has not been convicted of child molestation, many suspect that he may indeed be a pedophile. Mayor Guiliani has defended Monsignor Placa, saying, “I know the man; I know who he is, so I support him. We give some of the worst people in our society the presumption of innocence and benefit of the doubt, and, of course, I’m going to give that to one of my closest friends.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Man who alleges priestly abuse seeks youth home


By Craig Smith
Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Beaver Falls man who claims he was sexually abused by a priest wants the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh to spend up to $1 million to build a home for troubled youngsters that he and his wife would operate.

"I'm a hopeful person. I believe we live in a more hopeful world," said Dennis McKeown, 44, who has discussed the concept with Bishop David A. Zubik at two meetings. A third meeting is scheduled for Nov. 1.

McKeown sued the diocese in March 2004, claiming he was abused by John Hoehl, a priest who was removed from ministry in 1988 and permanently dismissed in 2004.

McKeown and two other plaintiffs recently rejected a portion of a $1.25 million settlement of 32 lawsuits against the diocese to continue pursuing their cases. Instead of taking a cash award that McKeown said could be as little as $4,000, he wants lawmakers to create a window in the state's statute of limitations so their sexual abuse lawsuits can be heard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Man wants group home for victims of priest abuse

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
By Gary Rotstein, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A Beaver County man who dropped out of a lawsuit over sexual abuse by priests is trying to persuade the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh to provide funding for a group home for young victims.

Dennis McKeown, 44, of North Sewickley, told reporters yesterday he was encouraged about the prospects after two meetings with Bishop David A. Zubik. The bishop has made no commitment, however, to fund his plan, Mr. McKeown acknowledged.

Mr. McKeown was originally part of a lawsuit filed against the diocese by victims, but dropped out from dissatisfaction with a settlement in which $1.25 million is to be paid out to 32 people abused by 17 priests between the 1950s and 1994. Mr. McKeown said that during 1979-82, he was abused while a student at Quigley High School by its principal, the former Rev. Jack Hoehl. Mr. Hoehl resigned from the priesthood in 1988 under pressure from then-Bishop Donald Wuerl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Chicago priest accused of abuse in Phoenix

12 News

Oct. 23, 2007 09:21 PM

He may be the most prominent Catholic priest convicted of sexual abuse and now two Phoenix brothers claim they were his victims.

The Chicago Jesuit priest was convicted last year of abusing two men in the 1960's. One of the victims complained about the abuse but instead of a court date, McGuire got re-assigned. He then started up a religious retreat that took him all around the work including here in Phoenix.

The two victims now 19 and 28, say the reverend showed them pornography and fondled them at their Phoenix home. The abuse started as early as the 80's and lasted until 2002.
The Attorney for the victims calls his clients courageous strong men. A lawsuit has been filed but Attorney Marc Pearlman would not talk about the financial amount. He did say the Jesuit Order failed the victims because high ranking priests knew about the abuse as far back as 1969 and allowed McGuire to minister.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Diocese Settles In Alleged Abuse Case In Pawcatuck

The Day

By Joe Wojtas , Published on 10/24/2007

The Diocese of Norwich has agreed to pay an undisclosed settlement to a Pawcatuck man who alleged that a priest formerly at St. Michael's Church in Pawcatuck sexually abused him more than 30 years ago.

According to diocesan spokes-man Michael Strammiello, the amount of the settlement and how it will be funded will be released Sunday, when St. Michael's pastor Rev. Dennis Perkins reads a letter from Bishop Michael Cote to those who attend Mass.

Strammiello said the bishop wanted to inform the parishioners about the details of the settlement before they read about it in the newspaper. The letter is also expected to contain information about the diocese's Safe Environments Program, which is designed to protect children from abuse.

James Fish, 47, had sued the diocese, the church and the Rev. Paul Hebert, who Fish said molested him in 1973 and 1974 when he was in the seventh grade.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

October 23, 2007

Catholic priest denies rape charges

Daily News

PETI SIYAME in Sumbawanga
Daily News; Wednesday, October 24, 2007 @00:01

A ROMAN Catholic priest has denied raping and impregnating a 15-year-old primary school pupil in Sumbawanga district. He was granted 1m/- bail with two sureties.

Prosecuting Inspector of Police Mgai Chassa told Senior Resident Magistrate, Ms Happiness Ndesamburo that Father Rock Vyakuyu (45) committed the offence on February 13, this year at Sopa, where he was the Parish priest.

Mr Chassa alleged that the priest had developed a lengthy intimate relationship with the young girl who was a member of the church choir. She has since been terminated from her studies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

New sex-abuse allegations against convicted priest

Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear | Tribune religion reporter

A renowned Jesuit priest convicted in 2006 in Wisconsin of molesting two Loyola Academy students during the 1960s was accused today of abusing two brothers as recently as 2002.

In a lawsuit filed today, a 20-year-old college student and his 28-year-old brother, originally from Arizona, contend Rev. Donald McGuire molested them between 1988 and 2002 when the priest appeared at retreats in Arizona organized by the boys' father and during a trip to Chicago.

This year McGuire, 77, was allowed to return to Illinois pending an appeal of his conviction because the authorities did not consider him a risk to children. He has been living on probation and celebrating mass in a private home in Oak Lawn. A judge declined to revoke the probation after another lawsuit was filed in August alleging further abuse had occurred in recent years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Commentary: Stop Sex Abuse Now

San Francisco Chronicle

By RON FOURNIER, Associated Press Writer

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

(10-23) 12:34 PDT (AP) --

We don't trust politicians. Never did. We've come to expect lawyers to be sketchy, sports stars to be juiced, and some cops to be on the take. But teachers?

The last thing we need to hear is that educators have gone the sad, scandalous way of Roman Catholic priests — once-upon-a-time untouchables now slimed by the misdeeds of a few bad actors.

But it's true. Sexual misconduct by teachers is a chronic problem in American schools. So what are you going to do about it?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 PM

Archdiocese of Mexico says case closed against Cardinal Rivera

Catholic News Agency

Mexico City, Oct 23, 2007 / 11:37 am (CNA).- The Archdiocese of Mexico, in an editorial published by its official newspaper Desde la Fe, said this week the lawsuit against Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera accusing him of covering up sexual abuse by a Mexican priest is a now a closed case, after a court in Los Angeles dismissed the lawsuit.

“Thus have the diabolical intentions of those who sued (the cardinal) over an alleged international conspiracy of the Catholic Church to protect delinquent priests have fallen to pieces,” the article stated.

Cardinal Rivera was the subject of a lawsuit in Los Angeles by Joaquin Aguilar, who claimed that the cardinal covered up abuse by Father Nicolas Aguilar, who was a priest from the Archdiocese of Mexico working in California.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

Pederasts for Giuliani!


Oh boy. So: Rudy Giuliani once hired a Catholic priest to work for his consulting company, and this priest still works there. Boss Giuliani must have been impressed by the business acumen of the priest, whose resume probably listed “Jesus = Ca$h” under “special skills.” Other special skills the priest, Monsignor Alan Placa, possesses: proficiency in Microsoft Word, extensive knowledge of the Bible, prolonged history of child molestation allegations. Giuliani was aware Placa had faced child molestation charges months before he hired him in 2002. But he didn’t care then, and he doesn’t care now. He is the one person in the world who doesn’t care.

Giuliani has described Placa as a close friend of 39 years, and defended his hiring at a campaign stop last week in Milwaukee (from ABC News):

“I know the man; I know who he is, so I support him,” Giuliani said. “We give some of the worst people in our society the presumption of innocence and benefit of the doubt,” he said. “And, of course, I’m going to give that to one of my closest friends.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Around the Net


... I'm told ABC News (TV) just did a piece on Rudy Giuliani's friend and business associate, Alan Placa. This story has been around a long time, but I believe I was the first in the conservative blogosphere to bring it up this election cycle (back in February).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:59 PM

ABC's Ross Accuses Rudy of Being Pedophile Priest's Pal


By Scott Whitlock | October 23, 2007 - 12:21 ET
On Tuesday's "Good Morning America," reporter Brian Ross continued his critical series of investigations into Republican presidential candidates. Just two weeks after he slammed Fred Thompson for his role in the 1973 Watergate investigation, the ABC correspondent looked into the fact that Rudy Giuliani's consulting firm has employed a priest that has been accused of molesting children in the '70s.

Of course, neither Ross, nor "Good Morning America" have seen fit to investigate Hillary Clinton's hiring of Sandy Berger, a man who has been convicted of stealing documents from the National Archives and stuffing them down his pants. Ross has similarly ignored the growing scandal of poor Chinese workers donating large sums of money to the Hillary Clinton campaign

Ross's October 23 report focused on Monsignor Alan Placa, who has been accused of molesting two boys in New York in the 1970s. Placa has since been forced by the Catholic Church to stop performing his priestly duties and a grand jury concluded that he did commit these actions. (The statute of limitations has expired and no charges have been brought.) Ross questioned whether such a man should be employed by Giuliani's consulting firm. However, the GMA reporter closed the segment by conceding, "...A Giuliani spokeswoman did arrange for four other students from the same school, although from a different class, to vouch for Father Placa. They said they had not molested and that they had never heard of allegations like this when they were at the school."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 PM

More Accusations Emerge Against Convicted Sex Offender Priest


CHICAGO (WBBM) - Two young men from Arizona will be filing a lawsuit today in Cook County Circuit Court alleging a Jesuit order priest living in southwest suburban Oak Lawn molested them when they were children.

WBBM's Bernie Tafoya reports.

According to Barbara Blaine of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, Fr. Donald McGuire’s newest admitted alleged victims came from a family McGuire had befriended in Arizona and Chicago.

Blaine says the 19- and 28-year old brothers never reported anything about the alleged sex abuse until four weeks ago.

Blaine says the young men's father made a comment about how he thought Fr. McGuire, a family friend, was not guilty of allegations that had been made against him elsewhere, and the oldest told his dad, "I wouldn't be too sure about that.". That led to questions from the dad and the 28-year old, a decorated former Marine, admitted he had been molested by Fr. McGuire starting when he was eight or nine years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

Giuliani Defends, Employs Priest Accused of Molesting Teens

ABC News

Oct. 23, 2007

Presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani hired a Catholic priest to work in his consulting firm months after the priest was accused of sexually molesting two former students and an altar boy and told by the church to stop performing his priestly duties.

The priest, Monsignor Alan Placa, a longtime friend of Giuliani and the priest who officiated at his second wedding to Donna Hanover, continues to work at Giuliani Partners in New York, to the outrage of some of his accusers and victims' groups, which have begun to protest at Giuliani campaign events.

"This man did unjust things, and he's being protected and employed and taken care of. It's not a good thing," said one of the accusers, Richard Tollner, who says Placa molested him repeatedly when he was a student at a Long Island, N.Y. Catholic boys high school in 1975.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

US wants extradition of prominent Ger hassid accused of sodomy

The Jersusalem Post

The Brooklyn District Attorney's office has requested the extradition of Avrohom Mondrowitz, a resident of Jerusalem and a prominent member of the Ger Hassidic sect, on child molestation charges dating back over two decades involving four boys aged 11 to 16.

The extradition request was made in January, according to Brooklyn District Attorney's Office spokesman Jerry Schmetterer. "We know that the US Department of Justice and the State Department have begun the extradition process," said Schmetterer. "It is also our understanding that the Israeli Justice Ministry has been contacted as well."

The Justice Ministry declined to comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Case of Rabbi Tobias Gabriel

The Awareness Center

CALL TO ACTION: If you or anyone you know feel they have been sexually manipulated or victimized by Rabbi Tobias Gabriel please contact The Awareness Center immediately: 443-857-5560.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Settlement reached in case of alleged sexual misconduct

The Canadian Jewish News

Thursday, 25 October 2007

TORONTO — Beth Tzedec Congregation and one of its rabbis have settled a lawsuit with two women who alleged improper sexual conduct on the part of the clergyman.

Details of the settlement were not released and neither Rabbi Tobias Gabriel nor the synagogue admitted fault or liability.

Yona Nadler, 52, had alleged that Rabbi Gabriel pressured her into a sexual relationship after participating in a program offered by the Conservative Rabbinical Assembly to train shamashim, synagogue beadles who serve as attendants, caretakers or custodians. The course was offered last summer at Beth Tzedec, and Rabbi Gabriel was one of the instructors. Nadler was the only woman in the program.

The second woman, who is unidentified, says she became sexually involved with Rabbi Gabriel while grieving the loss of one of her parents. She was mentioned, though not named, in Nadler’s statement of claim, which demanded $1.3 million from the rabbi and synagogue for breach of fiduciary duty and for pain and suffering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Don Sante: «I conti della cassa peota ora sono in ordine»

Il Gazzettino

He was able to unblock the money after intervention of the Ecclesiatical Solidarity Fund.

The Rev. Sante Sguotti said the accounts in the cassa peota are in order. After deciding not to have a counter-Mass, the rebel priest went back to the restaurant Al Filo to meet with those responsible for the groups and to discuss the future of the parish. He was pressed by some parishioners who wanted to know how things would proceed now about activity of those groups and about the catechism school for their children.

Rev. Sante answered some parishioners questions related to alleged "falsities" he spread about the cassa peota. He showed documents that to get the money from the bank account he had to follow extraordinary procedures, fill out forms and organize meetings to overcome new obstacles put by the bank after his removal from the parish. It was a real odyssey that he had to face with the help of his lawyer Giuseppe Affannato. "Only now after our interevention it is possible to use to cassa peota again," he said.

This happened because after Rev. Sante was removed the Rev. Giovanni Brusegan, new regent of the parish, and Rev. Luciano Barin asked the bank to change the signatures with the result of stopping all normal operations. Only after some time Rev. Brusegan, accompanied by the Rev. Giancarlo Smanio (president of the fund), went back to the bank to allow normal operations which required all the extraordinary actions described above by Rev. Sante.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Accused priest deserves closure

New York Daily News

Tuesday, October 23rd 2007, 4:00 AM

Patrice O'Shaughnessy

From a distance, Msgr. Charles Kavanagh looked like he was wearing a clerical collar and black sweater, typical "off-duty" attire for a priest, but he was actually dressed in a buttoned- up white shirt and a dark brown sweater, which seemed appropriate for the limbo he has been in for more than five years.

Kavanagh was accused in May 2002 of having an improper relationship with a minor 24 years before. A former seminarian said Kavanagh molested him when he was a teenager.

Kavanagh, then the pastor of St. Raymond's parish in the Parkchester/Castle Hill section and the chief fund-raiser for the New York Archdiocese, was the most prominent clergyman in New York to be accused in the widening sex abuse scandal unfolding at churches across the nation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Using power of connectivity to end abuse

The Daily Texan

Last Sunday, The Associated Press reported a seven-month investigation found sexual abuse in schools is widespread and the system for dealing with it is stacked against the victims. According to the report, academic studies show one out of 10 students don't report sexual abuse. Those who do often find themselves being a target of speculation in which communities take sides for or against their case and, in many instances, the administration either does not take action or simply foists the abusive teacher onto another school district.

Viewing sexually abusive educators as deviants assumes that taking these people out of the educational system will solve the problem. However, given that these incidents are more prevalent than previously thought and most of them go unreported, addressing the structure of the school system and how it tackles issues of abuse might be more fruitful.

In many cases, a one-to-one or one-to-many hierarchy system leads to any form of abuse. The Roman Catholic Church, in which priests oversee a large number of churchgoers, has a startling number of sexual misconduct accusations. The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that most abuse occurs when an adult child abuses an elderly parent who either lives in total isolation or only with that adult child. Trade agreements between countries follow a similar pattern - the U.S. trades with a large number of countries, while some smaller countries trade the majority of their products with the U.S. If 2 percent of America's exports go to a small country, yet 50 percent of that country's exports go to America, there cannot be trade on a reciprocal basis. That country is more dependent on America's whims than the reverse. To compare this with abuse in school, many teachers accused of sexual abuse happen to be very popular teachers. A student may report abuse, while the rest of the students fight on behalf of the teacher. In that way, the one-to-many system works against the victim of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Church problems mean pennies from heaven for Ron Burkle

New York Daily News

Tuesday, October 23rd 2007, 4:00 AM

Rush & Molloy

The problems of the Catholic Church have worked out well for billionaire Ron Burkle.

Successful sexual-abuse suits against parish priests have cost archdioceses across the country so many millions of dollars that the church has been forced to put properties up for sale.

Burkle never intended to capitalize on the church's distress, but was aware of its large landholdings in the U.S. He had the foresight to start a company that would buy up properties and either resell them or develop them, which he has done for a tidy profit, our source reports.

He did hit a speed bump when he sued Anne Hathaway's Italian boyfriend, Raffaello Follieri, over $1.3 million in personal expenses, including private jet travel, stays in fancy hotels and even doggie day care. He jettisoned Follieri as CEO of the joint venture.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Cheating Priests May Be Named

The Associated Press

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Anglican ministers accused of cheating on their spouses may be included on a proposed church database of child abusers and sex offenders, a church official said Tuesday.

The proposed register would give top Anglican officials access to any complaints made against ministers or lay workers accused of child abuse. But it would also include complaints of sexual misconduct against adults, such as adultery, even if the claims are unproven.

Philip Gerber, the professional standards director of the Sydney diocese, said potential ministers and church workers should be held to a higher moral code than other members of the community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Church denies national sex register a blacklist


The Anglican Church's national register of child abusers and sex offenders is set to include ministers and lay workers who are accused of extra-marital affairs.

The church denies it is a blacklist but says the register will be used to determine appointments and ordinations.

But other members of the Synod are alarmed and believe the plan is part of a moral crusade led by the Church's conservative wing.

The register is part of the Anglican Church's attempt to take a firm stand against sexual abuse by its clergy and lay workers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Church sex list to include cheaters, abusers


October 23 2007 at 11:21AM

Sydney - Australia's Anglican Church has sparked controversy with a proposal for a sex offenders' register that lists clergy allegedly guilty of marital infidelity alongside those accused of child abuse.

The church is considering the national register of sex offenders in response to a series of sex scandals involving clergy in recent years.

But the conservative Sydney diocese has proposed including clergy and church workers who cheat on their spouses on the list.

"We don't want to go snooping around in people's bedrooms," the professional standards director of the Sydney diocese, Philip Gerber, told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Vermont Catholic diocese now in sex abuse prevention compliance


Associated Press - October 23, 2007 7:15 AM ET

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Vermont's Roman Catholic Diocese is in compliance with a church mandate that it provide sexual abuse prevention training to all its workers.

Vermont Bishop Salvatore Matano says he was told earlier this month that the diocese has met the standards of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Last April the bishops' conference listed the Burlington diocese as 1 of only two in the country that had not met its training requirements.

Officials say that over the past six months, about 2,000 church personnel, most of them volunteers, had undergone the training.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Diocese wins approval from bishops' group

Burlington Free Press

Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington has satisfied a U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' mandate that it provide child sexual abuse prevention training to all its workers, diocesan officials said Monday.

"I am very happy that the diocese has been found in compliance," Bishop Salvatore Matano said. "This is wonderful news."

Matano said the diocese was told earlier this month that it had met the standard set by the bishop's group by a consultant who audited the diocese's efforts last month.

"It is certainly a major accomplishment for the diocese," said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the bishops' group. "It is a sign of how seriously it is trying to deal with this terrible crisis."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Derry priest acquitted: 'Awful nightmare ends'

Derry Journal

By Staff reporter
A Derry priest found not guilty of indecently assaulting a Co. Donegal schoolgirl thirty years ago says he's relieved his "awful two year nightmare" is over.

Father Patrick Crilly (63), of Tobermore Road, Desertmartin, Co. Derry, was yesterday acquitted by the direction of a judge of indecently assaulting the fifteen-year-old at Derry's Pastoral Centre, on Bishop Street, when she had gone to him for counselling about becoming a nun.

Last April, following a seven day long trial, Fr. Crilly - a former Diocesan Director of Vocations - was found not guilty by 10-2 majority verdicts of two charges of indecently assaulting the schoolgirl. However, the jury was unable to reach a verdict on two similar offences which were also alleged to have occurred in the pastoral centre between April 1977 and November 1978.

At the Crown Court in Derry yesterday, a jury of eight men and four women was sworn to hear the re-trial on the two outstanding charges. However, prosecution barrister Stephen Fowler Q.C. told Judge Philip Babington that "the prosecution in this case will be offering no evidence". Judge Babington then told the jury foreman that, as no evidence was being offered, "it is, therefore, my duty to direct you to bring in a verdict of not guilty by direction to both charges."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

October 22, 2007

Rhode Island diocese doubles number of accused priests

Catholic World News

Providence, Oct. 22, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Church officials in Providence, Rhode Island, have revealed that the number of priests accused of abusing children there is twice what had previously been acknowledged.

In court papers filed in connection with an abuse victim’s lawsuit, the Providence diocese said that 125 priests have been accused of molesting children between 1971 and 2006. That number dwarfs the total acknowledged in public statements released in 2004.

The court papers-- made public by the bishopaccountability.org web site, came in a petition submitted by lawyers for Bishop Thomas Tobin, appealing a court order that called for the release of diocesan records involving sex-abuse complaints against priests. The petition said that the request for documents was unduly burdensome, in light of the number of priests involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 PM

Priest is cleared of sex assault charges

Belfast Telegraph

Monday, October 22, 2007

By Clare Weir

An Ulster priest has spoken of his relief after being cleared of sexually assaulting a teenage schoolgirl.

Father Patrick Joseph Crilly, who lives in Desertmartin, Co Londonderry was speaking outside Derry Crown Court after a jury was instructed to find him not guilty of two charges of indecent assault on a date unknown between September 1 1977 and November 1978.

Prosecution barrister Stephen Fowler QC told the jury that no evidence would be submitted and His Honour Judge Philip Babington instructed the jury to find Fr Crilly not guilty.

Fr Edward Kilpatrick, who was himself cleared of sexual abuse allegations in 1997, was in the packed courtroom alongside parishioners and the cleric's brother Fr Oliver Crilly, who also serves in a Co Derry parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Silent Victims: Neither church nor advocates have done enough. “You don’t patch over the rot, you expose it,” says Boston organizer Paul Kellen

City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

"There could be 1400 silent victims in Providence, Rhode Island, alone."

First: Deposition transcripts from cases of 30-year Santa Barbara pedophile priest Matthew Kelly, now posted by Nye Peabody Stirling and Hale in Santa Barbara on their website (linked in left-hand column of this blog) and WO-O-O-O-O-W. You can click into the documents, read the deposition transcripts, AND copy and paste sections into your own writing.

Now it begins: nonstop proof of church crimes and coverups as documents start pouring out from resolved civil cases. Especially gratifying to me since last September when Bishop Brom said he hoped the San Diego settlements bring “closure to all the victims,” I erupted. How can settlements to about 10 percent of the crime victims bring closure?

Last week when I read this phrase: “the importance of outreach to still silent victims,” I had to phone the contact person on the press release from People of Conscience in Boston to find out more. They held a rally outside the Voice of the Faithful national meeting last week.

According to spokesman Paul Kellen, “For every one victim there are 10 others. Those are the silent victims. If they don’t come forward and identify their abuser, then we're not going to know who the guy is.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Priest cleared of abusing girl

BBC News

A County Londonderry priest has had indecent assault charges against him dropped.

Father Patrick Crilly was accused of two offences against a teenage girl dating back to the 1970s.

On Monday, the Public Prosecution Service told Londonderry Crown Court they were not offering any evidence.

The jury was then ordered to find him not guilty by direction. After leaving the court, Father Crilly said the "awful nightmare" was over.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Priest cleared of abusing girl

Derry Journal

A Derry priest has been found not guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old schoolgirl thirty years ago.

Father Patrick Crilly, a former Diocesan Director of Vocations, was acquitted on two charges of indecently assaulting the girl when she had gone to him for counselling about becoming a nun in the late 1970s.

This morning, the Public Prosecution Service told Derry Crown Court it was not offering any evidence.

The jury was then ordered to find him not guilty by direction. After leaving the court, Father Crilly said he was relieved the "awful nightmare" was over.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Don Sante va a messa. Seduto tra i fedeli

Il Gazzettino

The Rev. Sante Sguotti attended Mass yesterday, sitting with the faithful. Those who are close to him convinced him not to celebrate another rival Mass. The former parish priest seems to be more and more isolated.

Rev. Sguotti did not celebrate the counter-Mass he organized at Restuarant Al Filo yesterday, disappointing the media and the Sky TV station which was present to film the event. Rev. Sguotti instead attended Mass in the church of Monterosso and was seen to be calm and tranquil. His close friends urged him not to celebrate the restuarant Mass to avoid another split among followers, another big schism. While some of his followers showed banners in the streets saying they didn't care about the 40 people who put their signatures inviting the priest to go, some were upset about the "truth" which Rev. Sante had spread after the decree of removal from his parish: The "cassa peota" had never ceased to operate, according to the bank's authorities, because it can be blocked only in very specific cases like a crime or death of one of the signers of the account. All these polemics are wearing out the community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

$25 million short

California Catholic Daily

The Diocese of San Diego will be forced to sell its chancery and seminary if parishioners cannot come up with the $25.3 million sought by the bishop to help pay off last month’s $182.9 million settlement reached with alleged victims of sexual abuse.

In a letter dated Oct. 15 sent to all 99 parishes of the diocese, Bishop Robert Brom asks “everyone in the diocese” to participate in what he terms “a sacrificial giving campaign which we are calling Embracing Our Mission.”

In his letter, Bishop Brom refers to the sex-abuse settlement as “compassionate outreach to our brothers and sisters who suffered sexual abuse within the family of the Church,” even though the diocese fought long and hard against the civil lawsuits and at one time considered declaring bankruptcy. The diocese has since said it will withdraw its bankruptcy petition.

According to supporting documents provided with the bishop’s letter, the settlements require payment of $152,721,350 for “111 Diocesan Cases,” and another $30,269,098 for “22 religious order cases.” Of the total, $75,650,000 will be paid by insurance, $17 million will be paid by religious orders (“anticipated”), $20 million will come from “diocesan unrestricted assets,” $40 million from sale of “high school properties,” and another $5 million from the sale of “miscellaneous properties.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Ireland’s Catholic head apologises for sex abuse

Gulf Times

Published: Monday, 22 October, 2007, 02:38 AM Doha Time

DUBLIN: Ireland’s top Roman Catholic prelate has apologised for the “horrific evil” of sex abuse involving thousands of children placed in the care of clerics in residential institutions.
Archbishop Sean Brady told a Saturday service for abuse victims he could not “adequately apologise to all those who have been hurt while they were entrusted to the Church’s care” over the last 70 years or more.
“Nothing can ever make up for the terrible wrongs that have been done. But what I can assure you of is my absolute determination to try to change things for the better,” said the Primate of All Ireland.
“I still find it difficult to understand and feel a great shame that some of those who should have been most trusted, some of those who should have protected children, committed such horrific evil and crimes against them,” added Brady, due to be made a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI next month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 AM

Carolyn B. Disco: Diocese's new Web site hides some uncomfortable truths<

The Union Leader


The colorful new Web site launched this month by the Diocese of Manchester (www.catholicchurchnh.org) is full of information about issues and activities in the Catholic church across the state. Unfortunately, the child safety section contains misinformation that seriously undermines Bishop John McCormack's commitment to transparency and truth.

A notation below the entry for the attorney general's audit released last January notes, "The report confirms that the Diocese of Manchester has complied with the letter and spirit of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, all articles of the Agreement with the State of New Hampshire, and the diocesan sexual misconduct policy."

Would that it were so.

That is a terrible misrepresentation of the findings that noted the Diocese did nothing to verify through documentary means who should actually be on the parish lists of teachers and volunteers working with children; that there was no printout of sex offender registry checks to verify their completion; that there were numerous discrepancies between dates on spreadsheets and databases, and the actual documentation in the files; that there was no formal mechanism to record and track the resolution of issues or non-compliance matters -- to name a few outstanding items. (See pdf pages 30-34 -- audit pages 29-33 -- of the attorney general's audit, available online at www.doj.nh.gov.)

The most serious charges involved Rev. Edward Arsenault's "word games," and a lack of candor and cooperation with the state's auditors.

October 21, 2007

Ex-minister denies he manipulated teen

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By William C. Lhotka

St. Louis County — A former Lutheran minister testified Friday that he never abused a teenager — emotionally or sexually — when he was an associate pastor at the Church of the Resurrection in south St. Louis County and she was 15.

Chris Watson, accused in a civil suit in St. Louis County, denied claims that he touched her improperly and planted ideas that she was unloved by her parents and suicidal.

The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod is named as a defendant along with Watson.

The plaintiff, now a college freshman, says Watson manipulated her under the guise of counseling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

Charity Director Accused of Theft

The New York Times

Published: October 21, 2007
RIVERHEAD, N.Y., Oct. 20 (AP) — The director of a Catholic charity stole about $700,000 in donations and thrift shop proceeds to finance her gambling habit, pouring much of the stolen money into lottery tickets, prosecutors said.

The director, Pauline Winterbottom, 52, of Greenport, pleaded not guilty on Friday to grand larceny and was ordered held in $100,000 bail. She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Her lawyer, William Moore, declined to comment on Friday.

Ms. Winterbottom had run the North Fork Parish Outreach Center for six years, said Lucie Kwon, an assistant district attorney for Suffolk County. The charity is based in Southold and run by the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Ms. Kwon said auditors discovered the missing money in a review of the parish’s books this summer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Miglior scelta don ...

Il Gazzettino

Santino Boza, an entrepreneur in Monselice, offerred the Rev. Sante Sguotti a job in his metallurgy plant. As it turned out, the offer was allegedly a provocation against the rebel priest. Rev. Sguotti took the offer seriously and went to the appointment yesterday afternoon to find out what kind of job was being offerred.

A member of the Italian Parliament, Ms. Paola Gosis, was also at the meeting. She belongs to the North League (Lega Nord, a party close to the Vatican) who wanted to know why he was rebelling against the church. The entrepreneur, trying to scare the priest, said the job would be heavy and would require a big sacrifice. He had to work as a blacksmith. The priest affirmed he would not mind and would like to start soon.

The entrepreneur answered that he can only start after Jan. 7 for procedural reasons. "I belong to a peasant's family and I know hard labor," the priest said. "If you need me before that date, even for one day, I'll be available," he added.

The priest will celebrate 11 a.m. Mass at the restaurant Filo restaurant in Monterosso.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Un via-vai di abitazioni intorno a don Sante

Il Gazzettino

The Rev. Sante Sguotti has been helping illegal immigrants. He explained how he assists those illegal immigrants who are good people but risk being deported because they have no job.

Rev. Sguotti gets a loan from a bank and buys a house where the illegal immigrant is allowed to live. He continues to pay until the immigrant is able to get a permit to stay legally in the country, find a regular job and earn income to pay back the money. The immigrant then become the owner of the home and continues to pay the mortgage.

This is the reason Rev. Sante now owns four homes. He bought others for the same reason in the past. Rev. Sguotti has been criticized in the past for being "very rich" and owner of many houses. He now owns four houses, among them on in Padua, where victims of sexual abuse live, and in Lovertino where he had a press conference a week ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Lay Catholic group wraps up national conference in Providence

My Fox Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- The Catholic lay group Voice of the Faithful wraps up its two-day national conference in Providence.

And it’s signaling it may be preparing to tackle controversial issues such as whether priests should be allowed to marry.

The group was formed in 2002 amid anger over the clergy sex abuse scandal. But it’s recently struggled with fundraising and focus as anger over the scandal has subsided.

The keynote speaker, Notre Dame theologian Reverend Richard McBrien, says Voice of the Faithful has had success demanding increased accountability from church leadership. But he says it wasn’t time to declare victory.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Dave Woods: Faith, not fashion, drives comments

The Joplin Globe

It’s been more than a year since the Globe’s readers and online viewers first read about the allegations of child-sexual abuse involving leaders of the Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church.

Investigators alleged that the church’s pastor, Raymond Lambert, along with other congregation members, sexually abused young girls at the compound the church owns in McDonald County. One of the accused congregation members, Laura Epling, the wife of one of the church’s deacons, is charged with second-degree statutory sodomy stemming from the alleged abuse of a 16-year-old girl.

Epling is to stand trail on the charge in mid-November. Last week, her attorney filed a motion in court to keep members of an activist group, Bikers Against Child Abuse, from wearing their leather biker gear in the courtroom during the trial. Epling’s attorney contends the gear is inappropriate for the courtroom and could be unsettling to some jurors.

Each time an update on this story hits the pages of the Globe, a firestorm of comments soon follows. When the news of this latest motion to keep biker gear out of the courtroom was published, Globe viewers dashed to their computers and the debate on faith — not fashion — flared up again online at joplinglobe.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Accused sex offender not under investigation in B.C., says AG

CBC News

Attorney General Wally Oppal says there are no specific allegations against accused child sex abuser Christopher Neil in B.C.

Oppal says his earlier statements on the matter were misinterpreted and that police are only looking into some tips from the public about Neil, who was arrested in Thailand yesterday.

"We have no indication, nor are we aware of any complaints to date, regarding individual instances of alleged criminal conduct by Mr. Neil within B.C.," said a press release from Oppal's office late Friday afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Group wants list of abusive priests

The Decatur Daily

BIRMINGHAM (AP) — A support group for victims of clergy sexual abuse called for newly installed Roman Catholic Bishop Robert Baker to list names of abusive priests in the Birmingham diocese.

Ann Brentwood, Southeast regional director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, held a news conference Friday on a sidewalk near St. Paul’s Cathedral.

She called for the bishop to make public lists of all offending clergy in the Birmingham diocese; all offending clergy transferred out of Birmingham to other dioceses; and all the parishes, hospitals and schools where those offending clergy have worked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Delaware careful to screen teachers

The News Journal

By CRIS BARRISH, The News Journal

Posted Sunday, October 21, 2007
While public and private schools in Delaware follow laws and policies designed to prevent predators from getting jobs and to fire them for sexual misconduct, such safeguards haven't been foolproof.

Since 2001, 11 public school teachers in Delaware have had their license revoked, and one man employed as an instructional aide and coach lost his permit, for sexual crimes and other sexual indiscretions, state officials said last week.

Currently one teacher revocation case is pending, and the state is seeking to revoke the permit of one aide.

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, which sets rules for 1,200 elementary and high school teachers, said no cases of teacher abuse have occurred in recent years. Cases of sex abuse by priests in and out of schools that have become public in recent years all took place at least 20 years ago, diocese spokesman Bob Krebs said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Providence diocese revises number of priests accused of abuse

SouthCoast Today

October 21, 2007 6:00 AM
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence has lowered its own count of priests accused of sexual assault or sexual misconduct since 1971 from 125 to 85 after a review of its documents.

The higher number was included in a court filing by Bishop Thomas Tobin, head of the diocese.

That count of 125 was much higher than the 56 priests the diocese reported in 2004 that had been accused of sexually abusing a minor between 1950 and 2002.

But the diocese said on Saturday that the discrepancy is because the number reported in 2004 included only credible allegations. The number in the recent court filing included an unspecified number of allegations that were "vague, anonymous, withdrawn, or ultimately found to be false."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Catholic group accused of not supporting abuse victims

Boston Globe

By Anna Badkhen, Globe Correspondent | October 21, 2007

PROVIDENCE - As members of Voice of the Faithful met at the convention center for seminars and award presentations, celebrating the group's fifth year, people who said they were victims of priests' sexual abuse gathered outside and criticized the group for falling back on its original pledge to support them and failing to express outrage at a new report citing higher numbers of priests accused of sexual abuse in Rhode Island.

Voice of the Faithful, a lay Catholic reform group, which once was on the crest of the effort to prosecute abusive priests, did not respond to the report during the conference attended by 600 to 700 people from across the nation, said John Moynihan, spokesman for Voice of the Faithful.

"We've set an agenda [for the conference] and that's the agenda we're keeping," he said. "We just haven't had the time to absorb it."

The report, released by a victim advocacy organization Friday, said that between 1971 and 2007, 95 priests in Rhode Island were accused of sexual assault or sexual misconduct toward children. In 2004, it was reported that 56 priests had been accused of sexual abuse of a minor between 1950 and 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Diocese revises number of priests accused of abuse


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- After reviewing its documents, the Diocese of Providence says 85 of its priests have been accused of sexual assault or sexual misconduct since 1971.

That's lower than the diocese's count of 125 that a child sex abuse survivor's group discovered in a court filing.

Both numbers are higher than what the diocese reported in 2004, when it said 56 priests were accused of child sex abuse between 1950 and 2002.

The diocese said the number in the court filing was inflated because it included vague, anonymous, withdrawn or false allegations. And after a careful document review, the diocese decreased that count of 125 to 85.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

October 20, 2007

Judging Giuliani by the company he keeps

The Carpetbagger Report

Last week, after Bernie Kerik’s legal troubles got worse, Rudy Giuliani vowed to “check more carefully” into the background of his associated from now on.

How’s that working out? Not too well.

The man named yesterday by the Giuliani campaign to a law enforcement outreach campaign post in Minnesota was forced to resign a government job in 2004 when proof surfaced that he’d admitted to repeatedly using the word “nigger” in the past, Election Central has learned. ...

* Alan Placa was accused by a grand jury report of sexually abusing children, as well as helping cover up the sexual abuse of children by other priests. Giuliani then put Placa, his life-long friend, on the payroll of Giuliani Partners. (Adds Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, which tracks suspected priest abuse, “I think Rudy Giuliani has to account for his friendship with a credibly accused child molester.”)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Review: Fear, sex are driving forces within Children of God cult

San Francisco Chronicle

Mary D'Ambrosio

Friday, October 19, 2007

Jesus Freaks
A True Story of Murder and Madness on the Evangelical Edge
By Don Lattin

You couldn't beat it for tabloid fodder: Anointed prophet of a secretive evangelical mission-cum-sex cult slits the throat of an ex-nanny, and then kills himself, in protest against the cult leaders, his parents, for years of sex abuse he says he and many other children suffered. And he made a video first.

"My question is, you know, what about these [expletive] perverts? You know - aren't they the real terrorists?" suggested Richard Peter Rodriguez, 29, methodically loading bullets into the clip of his Glock 23 on a table crowded with other weaponry.

"Terrorizing little kids. Driving them to suicide. Isn't that like murdering them, basically? You [expletive] with their minds so much that they can't go on. They really can't go on."

Don Lattin, the former religion reporter for The Chronicle and one of the nation's foremost writers on alternative religion, had already written about this '60s cult, Children of God, in his Chronicle series "Children of a Lesser God," and his book about child survivors of cults, "Following Our Bliss."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:10 PM

'Orsmond was jealous of the boys'


October 20 2007 at 12:23PM

By Kashiefa Ajam

A former Boys Town staffer says it was an "open secret" that the late Catholic Bishop of Johannesburg, Reginald Orsmond, had allowed boys to sleep in his room.

This comes after at least three ex-students accused Orsmond, the founder of Boys Town, of sexual molestation.

The woman staffer, whose identity is known to Weekend Argus, said this week that nobody had ever thought it unusual for the boys to sleep in Orsmond's room - but when pop star Michael Jackson was accused of molesting young boys, she had realised the boys might have been abused.

"It was the 1970s; it never occurred to us," she said. "All of the staff was aware of this. At the time I didn't realise there was any harm in it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

Accused priest to plead guilty in theft case

Richmond Times-Dispatch

The Rev. Rodney L. Rodis, the retired Roman Catholic priest accused of stealing $500,000 from his Louisa County parishioners, will plead guilty next week rather than go to trial.

U.S. District Judge Richard L. Williams has canceled the bench trial that was to start Thursday. He scheduled a plea-agreement hearing for Rodis at 2 p.m. Friday.

The agreement with prosecutors had not been filed yesterday. Rodis' initial plea was not guilty when he was arraigned Sept. 6.

Rodis, 51, was indicted by a federal grand jury Aug. 21 on 13 counts -- eight of mail fraud, two of wire fraud and three of money laundering. The indictment alleges that Rodis wired $515,231 in embezzled money to addresses in the Philippines, his native country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Ncube adultery case takes new twist


Caroline Murapa

BULAWAYO – The adultery lawsuit against disgraced former Archbishop Pius Ncube took a new twist this week after lawyers representing Onesimus Sibanda were compelled to withdraw heads of argument they had filed last month Zimdaily has learnt.

The heads of argument were filed under case number HC1883/07 following the cleric’s court application which sought to compel Sibanda to reveal specific details concerning the adultery allegations that Ncube stands accused of committing.

Advocate Nicholas Mathonsi who represents Ncube in a letter addressed to Munyaradzi Nzarayapenga, Sibanda’s lawyer, copied to the High Court Registrar and dated 21 September wrote:

“We notice that on 12 September 2007, you filed heads of arguments in this matter. We wish to bring to your attention that the said heads of arguments were filed prematurely given that our notice of opposition was only filed on 27 September 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Merrimack woman honored

Nashua Telegraph

MERRIMACK – Carolyn Disco of Merrimack was the recipient of the Catherine of Siena Award from the Catholic reform group Voice of the Faithful. It is the highest award that VOTF gives to a layperson.

In announcing the award, the nominating committee stated: "Carolyn has just amazed all of us with her dedication to the support of the abused, attempting to right what is wrong with the hierarchy in New Hampshire as well as throughout the country. Carolyn has provided a wealth of information on a minute's notice with regard to the law, both civil and canon."

The award is given to those that encounter corruption and crisis in the church and make an effort to end it, according to VOTF President Mary Pat Fox.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Birmingham diocese asked to identify abusive priests

The Birmingham News

Saturday, October 20, 2007
News staff writer

A support group for victims of clergy sexual abuse wants the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham to list names of abusive priests.

In a sidewalk news conference Friday near St. Paul's Cathedral, Ann Brentwood, Southeast regional director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, called for newly installed Bishop Robert Baker to make public lists of:

All offending clergy in the Birmingham diocese.

All offending clergy who were transferred out of Birmingham to other dioceses.

All the parishes, hospitals and schools where those offending clergy have worked.

Brentwood said she has mailed a letter to Baker asking for this information. She and SNAP volunteer Mike Coode took similar letters to Catholic bishops in Little Rock and Jackson, Miss, earlier this week. Next week they will carry similar letters to bishops in Atlanta, Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Group Asks Catholic Diocese of LR to Release Names of Predator Priests

Fox 16

Reported by: Sandra Kirk
Email: skirk@fox16.com
Last Update: 10/17 6:39 pm

Members of a group known as SNAP, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, say a pedophile priest was moved from Tennessee to Arkansas in order to teach. Victims gathered outside Catholic High School off University Wednesday to tell their story. FOX16's Sandra Kirk learned how SNAP is helping other victims.

The priest no longer teaches at Catholic, he died in 1978. But this chapter of SNAP started in Arkansas just two months ago, to serve as a support group for clergy sex abuse victims. Now, they want people to know they're here and want more victims to come forward.

David Brown, West Tennessee SNAP Coordinator, remembers Father Paul Haas in vivid detail. "He had a tendency of wearing sandals and back in the 60's that was cool and he would pin a live bumble bee on his shirt...and that was one of his lures to attract children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

Group Decries Abuse By Priests

Arkansas Matters

A group of people who claimed to have been sexually abused by priests are trying to get the attention of local church officials.

Members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, rallied in front of Catholic High this morning.

The group’s goal is to urge people who saw, suspected, or suffered child sex crimes to come forward.

Group director David Brown claims a priest who died in the 1970's sexually abused him while he attended school in Memphis--that priest was then transferred and taught for a year at Catholic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Group Wants Sex-Offender Priests Identified


A support group for those who have been sexually abused by clergy wants the Catholic Diocese of Jackson to list the names of those pedophile priests.

At a press conference Thursday, members of SNAP, or Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, urged Bishop Joseph Latino to reveal the names of the accused. The group gathered on the steps of St. Peter Catholic Cathedral in downtown Jackson.

In a letter to Bishop Latino, they've asked that the church post on their website the names of all admitted pedophiles, what their status is, and where they live. They also want to know when an accused priest from another diocese transfers to Jackson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

"Quello che mi preoccupa ...

Il Gazzettino

The Rev. Giovanni Brusegan, substitute parish priest in Monterosso, complained about the behavior of many parishioners who do not have the courage to be free and say what they think while the ardent followers of Rev. Sante Sguotti are instead active and outspoken.

He accused Rev. Sante of having impeded him in doing his parish work because the former pastor did not promptly give him the keys to parish property. He said that one cannot mix play and reality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

(Ri.Ba.) Don Sante lascia ...

Il Gazzettino

There is good news that the rebel priest could leave the parish for good within three months. The decision was made by 40 parishioners who notified the curia. That was the decision set previously by the priest for him to go. He was satisfied for at least there is now some democracy, he said.

The Rev. Sante Sguotti did not go to the curia to respond to the accusations against him at the trial. There are other accusations against him and tomorrow a special commission will come from Rome to put an end to the story.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Sexual misconduct plagues US schools: Surdy finds more than 2,500 teachers punished in 5 years

The Salt Lake Tribune

By Martha Irvine and Robert Tanner
The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 10/19/2007 05:35:51 PM MDT

EDITOR'S NOTE - Sensational cases make headlines, but the scale of sexual misconduct by teachers in America's schools gets little attention. The Associated Press has spent months digging through public records to document the problem in every state, revealing a disturbing national picture. This story is the first in a three-day series on an overlooked blight on our education system.

A young teacher in Iowa sheepishly admits that he fondled a fifth-grader's breast. But he doesn't lose his teaching license until one persistent victim and her family go public - 40 years after the first accusation.
A teacher in Michigan, who'd already lost his license in another state, goes to prison after he films himself molesting a boy.
These are only a few instances of a widespread problem in American schools: Sexual misconduct by the very teachers who are supposed to be nurturing the nation's children.
Students in America's schools are groped. They're raped. They're pursued, seduced and think they're in love. ...
The findings draw obvious comparisons to sex abuse scandals in other institutions, among them the Roman Catholic Church. A review by America's Catholic bishops found that about 4,400 of 110,000 priests were accused of molesting minors from 1950 through 2002.
Clergy abuse is part of the national consciousness after a string of highly publicized cases. But until now, there's been little sense of the extent of educator abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Pastor facing rape charges now under fire for lavish homes


PORTLAND, Ore. - A Portland pastor in court Friday facing numerous charges of sexual misconduct including rape is now under suspicion by former church members of taking money from the church.

People KATU News spoke to who said they were former members of the Casa del Padre church say the $1.4 million Ridgefield home where police arrested Sergio Alvarizares this week is not his only home.

They displayed real estate documents that showed three homes listed in the pastor's name and they say they wonder how he paid for them.

Marco Miranda, a former church member who previously said a woman told him Alvarizares sexually abused her, said "On Sunday they tell us 'hey guys, we get in $40,000 this week, and God that's good, blah, blah, blah.' But then next week he says 'I don’t have no more money, guys, we need to get more money!'"

A former assistant to Alvarizares said that the pastor never let anyone see the financial records of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Updated: Judge doubles bail for pastor accused of rape, abuse

The Oregonian

Posted by mbrence October 19, 2007 14:18PM

A Multnomah County judge today doubled bail to $5.8 million after Sergio Alvarizares, a 38-year-old pastor of a Northeast Portland church, pleaded not guilty to 15 sex-related crimes and surrendered his passport.

The state unsuccessfully sought to raise bail to $10 million, arguing that Alvarizares is a flight risk, has access to funds and might return to his native country, Guatemala.

"We have a person who leads a lavish lifestyle, who's well-experienced in fundraising and has contacts to a number of foreign countries," argued Chris Ramras, Multnomah County deputy district attorney.

Instead, the judge doubled the bail, initially set at $2.8 million.

Alvarizares faces charges stemming from allegations that he raped or sexually abused six women parishioners between January 2003 and March 2007. Some of the crimes allegedly occurred in his church, Det. Jeff Sharp said. Police interviewed eight women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Cries of abuse, outrage erupt at church

The Oregonian

Saturday, October 20, 2007

MAXINE BERNSTEIN The Oregonian Staff
At least 100 people were gathered for Sunday afternoon prayer at a Northeast Portland church when a woman stood to interrupt the preacher's sermon with some alarming allegations.

Pastor Sergio Alvarizares, she said, had used sweet talk and lavish compliments to draw her into his office, lock the door and make unwanted sexual advances.

Soon, other women rose to make similar accusations. A ruckus erupted, and the pastor tried to shout over them from the pulpit, "That's a lie! That's a lie!"

Church leaders and the pastor's son called police. "The crowd is going wild," one caller said, ". . . while the pastor is trying to preach." A dispatcher alerted officers: "Complainant says church people inside are out of control. . . . Everyone is hostile at the preacher."

The Sept. 30 event at Casa del Padre, a nondenominational Spanish-speaking church, sparked a two-week police investigation that resulted in a 15-count indictment against Alvarizares on charges of rape and sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Diocese's silence doesn't benefit the flock

Peoria Journal-Star

Michael Miller

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The silence coming from 607 NE Madison Ave., Peoria, is nearly as deafening as the bells that ring on Sundays next door at St. Mary's Cathedral.

Catholic Diocese of Peoria press releases are almost nonexistent these days. That wouldn't be a big deal if things weren't going on, but they are. We used to cover some diocesan events when we knew about them. At the least, we could let you know about them.

Lately, nobody's telling us about them. ...

It's not just the media getting the cold shoulder from the diocese, though. Some victims of clergy sexual abuse, especially those representing the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, haven't been able to get a response from Jenky to their entreaties.

A rare communication by the diocese last spring and a recent sermon by Jenky, though, may offer an insight into the institution's attitude.

After the diocese denied me an interview with Jenky for a story on his first five years as bishop here, a statement was issued that said, "The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria will continue to reserve the right to communicate with his own flock and with neighbors of good will in a manner that he deems appropriate."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Allowing married priests may be group’s next goal

Providence Journal

By Richard C. Dujardin
Journal Religion Writer

PROVIDENCE — Voice of the Faithful — the Catholic lay group formed in the midst of the anger and frustrations of Boston-area Catholics over the priest sexual-abuse scandal — opened a two-day national convention at the Rhode Island Convention Center yesterday and signaled that it will be gearing up to speak out more forcefully on such topics as a married priesthood and the selection of bishops.

The Rev. Richard McBrien, a theologian at the University of Notre Dame and a longtime friend of the group, acknowledged in a keynote speech on the fifth floor of the convention center — not far from where Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin was having his bishop’s ball — that in his 42 years of public speaking, his speech last night was one of the most difficult and challenging to prepare.

“Why so? Because I am aware that Voice of the Faithful has reached a crossroads, and that it is in the process of now trying to decide whether to continue on the road it has been on for these past five years or to move in a new direction.”

The priest said it was not his role to throw his lot with one side or the other, but rather to offer his perspective, remarking that while the group has accomplished much in demanding more accountability on the part of bishops in their handling of clergy sexual abuse, it’s still not the time for the group to declare victory or to leave the field.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Marianists order settles repressed-memory suit

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Heather Ratcliffe

KIRKWOOD — A man who claimed a repressed memory of alleged sexual abuse by a St. John Vianney High School teacher has agreed to settle with the Catholic religious order that operates the school.

Under the settlement terms, Bryan Bacon will receive $160,000 from the Marianist Province of the United States, a St. Louis-based order. Bacon claimed that Brother William Mueller blindfolded, threatened and molested him in 1985, while Mueller was an assistant principal and religion teacher.

"I'm certainly relieved its over," Bacon said Friday. "(The settlement) brings closure to this part of the process."

The case, filed in 2005, was set for trial Nov. 26 in St. Louis County Circuit Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

New R.I. report raises questions on clergy abuse

Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff | October 20, 2007

Between 1971 and 2007, 125 priests in Rhode Island were accused of sexual assault or sexual misconduct, including 95 accused of child molestation or sexual assault of a minor, according to a court document filed by Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence.

That number is higher than the 56 priests that Tobin's predecessor, Bishop Robert E. Mulvee, reported in 2004 as having been accused of sexual abuse of a minor between 1950 and 2002.

The diocese said yesterday that the discrepancy is because the number reported three years ago included only credible allegations, while the number in the more recent court filing included an unspecified number of allegations that were "vague, anonymous, withdrawn, or ultimately found to be false." The diocese also said the higher number, which it said was adjusted to 85 after a careful document review, also includes allegations made after 2002, when a large number of alleged victims came forward as the clergy sexual abuse crisis erupted nationally.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Abuse victims slam church

The Pawtucket Times


PROVIDENCE - Several survivors of alleged sexual abuse by clergymen gathered to raise awareness of those abuses on Friday, citing a court document filed by the Diocese of Providence as suggesting that sexual abuse has been more common in the church than the diocese has revealed in the past.
The group gathered in Jackson Gardner Park, with some members holding signs bearing pictures of victims and accused Catholic church officials, even as rain began to fall at the end of the event.
Survivors of alleged abuse by priests spoke, as did Anne Barrette Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, an organization spreading word of abuses discovered or alleged in the church via the Internet.
In an introductory speech marked by clear, strong emotions, Doyle began by encouraging victims not necessarily to sue, but to speak out, pointing to information in a court document suggesting that more than twice as many victims had been reported in Rhode Island as previously believed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Del. priest honored for supporting abuse law

The News Journal

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

Posted Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Rev. Richard A. Reissmann is no stranger to those on the outside looking in. The priest, who has served the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington for 44 years, has made it his business to find such people and stand beside them.

Reissmann, now 69, marched with black leaders in Selma, Ala., in the 1960s, urging the United States to treat its citizens equally. Later, he marched on behalf of the poor in Wilmington, where slumlords were ignoring cries for decent housing.

His walk to a podium in Dover last spring was no less significant to Delaware victims of sexual abuse. There, the pastor of St. John the Baptist/Holy Angels parish in Newark urged state lawmakers to eliminate a two-year civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse and allow victims of older crimes the opportunity to sue those who had abused them.

"We must give the courageous ones the opportunity to make their case," he told the legislators. "If we as a society place money, power or privilege as superseding justice, then we are a society that has become tepid, weak and immoral."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

'Do we have an epidemic or not?'

National Post

Adrian Humphreys, National Post
Published: Saturday, October 20, 2007
A 32-year-old English teacher from B.C. allegedly travels to Asia to have sex with young boys and shares pictures of the encounters over the Internet; a married 39-year-old Ontario man simply walks into the next room of his condominium to sexually abuse his toddler daughter and allow others to offensively examine her through an online camera.

Both appalling cases of child sexual abuse linked to Canada came to wide public attention this week: the first in the global hunt for Christopher Paul Neil, the Maple Ridge, B.C.,man arrested in Thailand yesterday, and the second, a father in St. Thomas, Ont., who cannot be named to protect the daughter he admitted in court on Monday to abusing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Family supports suspected pedophile

Nova Scotia News

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — The younger brother of accused Canadian pedophile Christopher Neil says he’s relieved his brother is in custody and renewed calls to see him returned to Canada to face any possible charges here.

His comments came hours after British Columbia’s attorney general said police in the province are looking into complaints about Neil related to time he spent as a substitute teacher in the Vancouver area.

Matthew Neil told reporters gathered outside his basement apartment Friday that he hasn’t spoken to his brother since he was arrested and paraded before reporters in Bangkok.

Matthew Neil said his family is "relieved and we want to see this move forward to the next phase of the event.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

October 19, 2007

Pastor sentenced in molestation of 13-year-old boy

Sacramento Bee

By Crystal Carreon - Bee Staff Writer
Published 4:32 pm PDT Friday, October 19, 2007

In a Sacramento County courtroom teeming with parishioners, a south Sacramento pastor was ordered Friday to serve up to a life sentence in prison for molesting a 13-year-old boy at a Meadowview library in the spring.

Frederick Deshawn Dew was sentenced to 15-years-to-life for the aggravated sexual assault of the child on March 8; Dew was also sentenced to an additional seven years for molesting the child.

Superior Court Judge Michael P. Kenny handed down the sentence after a morning hearing where Dew addressed the court, with his church supporters seated behind him.

The founder and pastor of Praise Tabernacle church on 44th Street, expressed sympathy for the victim and his family, but maintained that he was innocent of any crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 PM

Priest Abuse Lawsuit Settled


Associated Press Writer

(KTVI - myFOXstl.com) --
A St. Louis County man who said he was sexually abused by a Vianney High School principal in the mid-1980s has settled a lawsuit with the Roman Catholic religious order that operates the school.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, announced the settlement Friday. Bryan Bacon, 37, of Kirkwood, will receive $160,000 from the Marianist Province of the United States, based in St. Louis.

The lawsuit is among several alleging wrongdoing by William Mueller, an ex-cleric who worked at several Catholic schools, including Vianney and two others in the St. Louis area.

Mueller, 71, now lives in San Antonio. A telephone listing for him could not be found. Calls to his attorney's office went unanswered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

Adoption Files Unsealed in Local Greek Priest Investigation

First Coast News

By Jackelyn Barnard
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE,FL -- Court records involving a First Coast Priest who tried to adopt one of his parishioners have been released.

The file was sealed until Thursday afternoon, after the boy's family's petition was granted by a judge to have the file unsealed.

First Coast News obtained the file exclusively on Friday.

According to court records, the petition for adoption for the boy was filed by The Very Reverend Nicholas Graff in August 2005.

Graff was the priest at the St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church for the last 17 years. Church members say he retired from the post in June.

Graff states in his petition that he desired to adopt the young man and that, "I have enjoyed a parental relationship with him for the past seven years and wish to legally adopt him as my child and heir."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM


Daily Express

By Andrew Drummond in Bangkok and Cyril Dixon in London

THE world’s most wanted paedophile was paraded in public yesterday after a global manhunt traced him to a remote bolthole in Thailand.

Christopher Neil, 32, was flown to Bangkok and put in front of the cameras by police after a tip-off led to his arrest.

Neil ñ nicknamed Vico ñ became the focus of an international search after images of him abusing children were posted on the internet with his face digitally disguised into a ìswirlî pattern.

Yesterday, as Thai police warned he faces up to 20 years in jail, details of Neilís sinister double life emerged, including his work with children as a teacher and chaplain.

Family and friends described Neil as an ordinary Canadian from a respectable family who had trained as a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 PM

Group Wants Diocese To Name Accused Priests


JACKSON, Miss. -- A group is asking the Diocese Of Jackson to name priests accused of sex abuse.

Members of SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the Jackson diocese should do more to prevent sexual abuse by priests.

They claim priests who have been accused of abuse but never convicted of sex abuse have been transferred to other dioceses around the country, including Jackson.

"They are on no lists anywhere because they have not been prosecuted because the bishops have stalled and stalled until the statutes of limitations have run out," SNAP regional director Ann Brentwood said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 PM

Support grows for St. Andrew’s sex abuse memorial

Jamaica Plain Gazette

By JOHN RUCH October 19, 2007

FOREST HILLS—The mother of local children sexually abused years ago by a St. Andrew the Apostle Church priest is attempting to get the site officially landmarked as a permanent monument to the abuse crisis.

Besides preserving the actual building, which is up for redevelopment, Maryetta Dussourd also hopes to see some sort of victims’ memorial at the site. The ideas remain vague, ranging from a monument to a museum.

There are possible sources for inspiration. A monument to survivors of priest abuse was established in 2004 at a still-functioning Catholic church in northern New Jersey. That monument—dramatically shaped like the proverbial millstone around one’s neck—was the first of its kind in the nation and possibly the world.

Another survivors’ monument was set up in April at an Iowa church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Providence Diocese


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- A national research organization says it has shocking new allegations against the Providence Diocese.

The group, including three people who say they were victims of clergy sexual abuse, are holding a news conference Friday afternoon.

They are demanding a full investigation into the diocese after they say church officials admitted 125 priests have been accused of sexual misconduct in the last 35 years. That's a number much higher than had previously been reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 PM

Canadian accused of internet sex crimes also under investigation in B.C.

CBC News

Christopher Neil, a Canadian arrested in Thailand on suspicion of sexually abusing young boys, is under investigation in B.C., the province's attorney general has confirmed.

Wally Oppal said the RCMP has received several claims from residents of Metro Vancouver alleging they were abused by Neil, although no charges have been laid in Canada.

The police investigation in this country is active and has been going on for some time, Oppal said.

"The RCMP is investigating," said Oppal, "They have sent material over to our office and the criminal justice branch will determine whether or not charges will be laid. But I can safely say that's the direction in which we are now moving."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

Gays face fallout after Cornwall paedo witchhunt

Capital Xtra

Claude McIntosh / Capital Xtra / Friday, October 19, 2007

CORNWALL — Hollywood scriptwriters would have been hardpressed to come up with a more intriguing plot: a paedophile ring with a membership list of prominent citizens holding wild sex orgies in a secluded cottage a few miles east of this quiet community of 46,000.

The ring was said to include a Roman Catholic bishop, priests, the Cornwall police chief, other high-ranking police officers, a probation officer, a Crown attorney and some of the community's leading businessmen.

Vulnerable boys, some as young as 10 years old, were, so the story went, lured to the den of iniquity with gifts and money. The clan used them as personal sex toys with rituals that included men clad in white sheets lusting after their naked, young prey who had candles inserted into their rectums.

The ring operated with impunity for years, thanks to a membership that included people in positions of power. ...

Leroux's testimony was indeed shocking — but not because it exposed a clan of paedophiles.

Instead, Leroux, under questioning by inquiry counsel Peter Engelmann came clean.

The paedophile clan story was made up. A piece of fiction, he said. In fact, many of the people he named in his affidavit were his friends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 PM

Documents List Previously Unknown Priest Abuse Allegations

Turn to 10

PROVIDENCE -- An advocacy group for church sex-abuse victims said Friday that newly revealed court documents suggest the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence has been less than forthcoming about the number of priests accused of sexual misconduct.

Members of BishopAccountabilty.org passed out copies of the documents near Providence Superior Court.

The group said the documents show 125 priests in the diocese were accused of sexual abuse since 1971. In 2004, the diocese reported 56 cases of sexual abuse since the 1950s.

Advocates for alleged sex-abuse victims called for state and federal investigations.

Judge Netti Vogel ordered the documents released during a court case last year. The diocese told NBC 10 that the court's order was broader and covered a different time frame, which accounts for the difference in numbers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

R.I. priests’ abuse cases double, report says

Providence Journal

By Tom Mooney
Journal Staff Writer

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence acknowledged in a court document of having more than twice as many priests accused of sexual misconduct in recent decades than it had ever publicly acknowledged, claimed a national group yesterday that tracks cases of sexual abuse by priests.

The revelation, said the group BishopAccountability.org, came in a case filed by one alleged victim, Christopher Young, which is now before the state Supreme Court.

In a January document explaining why the diocese couldn’t produce all the records asked for, church lawyers said the request was unduly burdensome because since 1971 it had heard allegations “in one way or another” against about 125 priests.

In a 2004 report — part of national survey on priest sexual abuse following the scandal that broke in Boston — the Providence diocese reported that 56 priests had been accused of sexual abuse between 1950 and 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

Charity director in Half Moon Bay charged with soliciting sex

San Francisco Chronicle

John Coté, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The director of a Half Moon Bay charity has been charged with a misdemeanor count of soliciting prostitution for allegedly offering a woman $500 to have sex with him after she asked him for help finding a job, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Michael David Niece pleaded not guilty to the charge Tuesday in San Mateo County Superior Court through his attorney. Niece was not present in court, and an answering machine message at the Half Moon Bay home he shares with his wife indicated they were on a pilgrimage in Italy.

Niece, 65, co-founder and director of the Coastside Catholic Worker charity, is accused of offering to pay a 35-year-old woman for sex after she went to him in August for help finding a job, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

Report: No. of R.I. priests accused of sex abuse doubles

Providence Journal

The Diocese of Providence has admitted that more than twice as many priests as originally reported have been accused of sexual misconduct against children in the last 35 years, according to a national group that tracks such cases.

The Diocese of Providence has admitted that more than twice as many priests as originally reported have been accused of sexual misconduct against children in the last 35 years, according to a national group that tracks such cases.

The revelation, said the group BishopAccountability.org, came in a case filed by one alleged victim. In a January document explaining why it couldn’t produce all the records asked for, the church said the request was “unduly burdensome’’ because since 1971 it had heard allegations against 125 priests, said the group.

According to Anne Doyle, codirector of the group, the church had previously said it had heard allegations against 56 priests since 1950.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

Suspended Vatican Priest Draws Up List of Homosexual Bishops and Clerics


Gerlie Anobong - AHN News Writer
Vatican, Rome (AHN) - A high profile Vatican cleric dismissed after he was exposed on broadcast media making advances to a young man apparently had a list of homosexual priests and bishops in the Roman Catholic Church's principal body, reports said on Friday.

Sixty-year-old Father Tommaso Stenico had "a detailed dossier" of all the homosexual Vatican clerics with a list of names and incidents involving these priests and bishops working at the Curia, according to a reporter in the news weekly.

Stenico, who was also engaged in a Catholic television station Telepace, drew up the said list out of disgruntlement at having waited in a long period to be honoured as bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

Creep of the Week: Monsignor Tommaso Stenico


By D'Anne Witkowski
Originally printed 10/18/2007 (Issue 1542 - Between The Lines News)

"There's a man who leads a life of danger.

To everyone he meets he stays a stranger..."

Monsignor Tommaso Stenico, a high-ranking Vatican official, is under fire after being caught on tape putting the moves on a young man and insisting that gay sex wasn't sinful.

But he can explain. He was just pretending to be gay. You know, to help the church get rid of people who actually are.

"With every move he makes,

another chance he takes..."

This pretending, Stenico told La Repubblica, was done "to better understand this mysterious and faraway world which, by the fault of a few people -- among them some priests -- is doing so much harm to the church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Parish Predators: Are Daniel DiNardo and Juan Carlos Patino-Arango Cut from the Same Cloth?

Houston Press

Fri Oct 19, 2007 at 01:34:53 PM
The wet blankets over at the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests have issued a statement about Texas’s first cardinal. Seems that every time the Catholics want to have fun and build multi-million dollar cathedrals while at the same time paying Vinson & Elkins to drag victims’ names through the mud, those SNAP sad-sacks have to bring up that nasty old molestation stuff.

The latest whining involves Daniel DiNardo, who came out of left field (actually, Sioux City, Iowa) to become the first cardinal from the South. Citing a 2002 article in the Des Moines Register, a SNAP statement claims that DiNardo – who became the Sioux City Diocese’s bishop in 1997 – failed to report a priest accused of child molestation to parishioners or police.

According to the Register story, the Rev. George McFadden was forced into retirement and treatment in 1992, “immediately after the first allegations of sexual abuse were made against him.”

However, McFadden was not formally suspended until 2002, five years after DiNardo become bishop. The story quotes DiNardo as saying “In retrospect, as we look back, we would say that even that limited activity . . . is not indicated for someone who has abused minors….I can only say that it was wrong."

David Clohessy, national director of St. Louis-based SNAP, told the Houston Press this morning, “Most bishops have tried to defend the indefensible by feigning ignorance and saying ‘Gee, in the ‘70s and ‘80s we simply didn’t understand pedophilia. Well, you know, this case…was in the 90s, right?....Middle schoolers during this time period knew that child sexual abuse was a crime and should be reported to police. But DiNardo never called 911.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Thomas J. Tobin's Petition for Writ of Certiorari


This publicly filed petition by Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence provides a new and shocking admission regarding the diocese’s total number of accused priests. Tobin filed the petition in January 2007 to overturn a judge’s order that the diocese release abuse documents in a civil case. To show that the plaintiff’s request for documents (see "List each incident ...") is “unduly burdensome,” Tobin explains in the petition that the diocese has known of 125 accused priests between 1971 and 2006 (see "With respect to the interrogatory...").

After the judge restricted the files to just those involving allegations of child rape and/or intimate sexual contact with a child (see "She did, however, modify ..."), Tobin says, he was able to reduce his accused priest tally to 95 (see "By November 1, 2006 when ..."). But this modified order would still require him to review and copy 100,000 to 130,000 pages (see "The affidavits and motion ..."). Finally, Tobin argues, the documents aren’t even relevant—they won’t support the plaintiff’s attempt to show that when he was abused in 1981, the diocese was routinely mismanaging abusers. That’s because, Tobin says, before 1981, the diocese knew of only one bad priest (see "Analysis of the interrogatory ...").

Tobin’s admission of 125 accused priests since 1971 is more than twice the total announced by the Providence diocese in 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

What I've Been Thinking

OC Blog

A reader commented regarding yesterday’s Frank Mickadeit column asked, “What were you thinking, Jubal?”

An excellent and appropriate question.

I’ve been thinking about a number of things these past couple of weeks that I’ve been involved in Friends of Monsignor John. First off, I want to express again how sorry I am about posting the unredacted deposition and Memorandum of Understanding from the recent settlement, and ask the forgiveness of those victims whose names are in them. I posted the deposition so people could read it for themselves and draw their own conclusions, rather than rely on third-hand accounts – but I had no intention of making the names public. I didn’t say to myself, “Oh, it doesn’t matter that there are victims names in the depo.” Mentally, I just didn’t think about the names being in there. And the moment it was brought to my attention, I took it down.

I made a mistake and I am deeply, sincerely sorry for it.

Monsignor Urell is my pastor. He’s been there for me and my family when we’ve needed him, and when I learned he’d broken down and been hospitalized, I wanted to be there for him. That’s why I’m part of Friends of Monsignor Urell (and to clarify some misconceptions in the media, neither John Hanna or I founded the group, and we are the only active politicos in it).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

Jubal Speaks

Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
October 19, 2007 9:58 AM

Nearly a week after posting an unredacted deposition revealing the names of six Orange diocese sex abuse victims, Friends of Monsignor John Urell webmaster Matt "Jubal" Cunningham posted a lengthy apology on his powerful, widely read OC Blog. Cunningham's mea culpa is rather extraordinary in that his previous commentaries about the Orange diocese sex-abuse scandal antagonized sex-abuse survivors and their supporters with his spin for Urell, the Orange diocese's former person in charge of investigation sex-abuse claims who didn't do the greatest of jobs.

"There were faithful, hurt Catholics who came to the Diocese for help and were treated as potential legal liabilities rather than members of the flock to be shepherded and cared for," wrote Cunningham. "And in my heart, I can’t account for that. It saddens and angers me they were treated that way, and I believe victims have every right to seek recompense from the Church and the Church has an obligation to make amends to victims of abuse by its clergy and employees."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM


Il Gazzettino

After the weekly magazine "Visto" and now the weekly magazine "Chi", tabloids are filling their pages with photos of Tamara Vecil, the alleged lover of the priest in love. Newspaper stands yesterday had the latest issue of "Chi" which featured photographic reportage about "the woman of the priest."

The photos were taken by some paparazzi who for days without stop were positioned with powerful telecameras at Lovertino, part of the Albettone in Vincenza province near the border with the Padua province. They were waiting for the woman to get out of "her" home, which is really Don Sante Sguotti's home.

The patience of the photographers was rewarded on Tuesday when they got the prize. The woman left her home to go to the hairdresser. She would never have thought that such a normal errand would have cost her tens of photographs in one of the major weekly magazines in Italy.

She made a good face to foul play and went on her way for the appointment at the hairdresser's salon.

The "Chi" photo service announced existence of the photos on Wednesday evening at "Studio Aperto" where some of the photographs were shown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 PM

Oral Roberts president asks to take leave after accusations of improprieties

Religion News Blog

AP, via the Boston Herald, USA
Oct. 17, 2007

TULSA, Okla. - Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts asked the school’s board of regents for a leave of absence Wednesday amid accusations of lavish spending at donors’ expense and illegal involvement in a political campaign.

The 58-year-old son of the evangelist who founded the school said he would continue in his role as chairman and chief executive of Oral Roberts Ministries.

“I don’t know how long this leave of absence will last, but I fully trust the members of the Board of Regents,” Roberts said in a statement released by the university. “I pray and believe that in God’s timing, and when the Board feels that it is appropriate, I will be back at my post as president.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:50 PM

Suspended Catholic cleric has Vatican gay list -- report


Agence France-Presse
Last updated 11:16pm (Mla time) 10/19/2007

ROME -- A high profile Vatican cleric suspended after he was shown on television making advances to a young man allegedly had a list of homosexual priests and bishops in the Roman Catholic Church's governing body, Italy's Panorama weekly reported Friday.

Father Tommaso Stenico, 60, had "a detailed dossier" of all the homosexual clerics at Vatican "with a list of names and circumstances implicating a certain number of priests and even bishops working at the Curia," Ignazio Ingrao, reporter for the conservative news weekly said.

Stenico also sent his superior Cardinal Claudio Hummes a report denouncing the moral degradation within the Curia, which could make the Vatican "tremble," Ingrao said.

According to Panorama, Stenico, who also worked for a Catholic television station Telepace and owns a white BMW car, also drew up the list out of resentment at having waited so long to be named a bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

La Curia processa don Sante per atti impuri

Il Gazzettino

The rebel parish priest has gone beyond any limit. Church officials have started a penal administrative procedure.

The curia is trying Rev. Sante Sguotti for having committed impure acts.

It is alleged that he violated the sixth commandment, refused obedience to his superior and incited his parishioners to disobey the bishop.

From Mount Sinai to Monterosso, the commandments make the rebel priest tremble. To ruin is day yesterday, he received a letter from the curia notifying him of the "starting of the penal administrative trial." Rev. Sguotto at 11 a.m. today will have to appear at the curia to explain his reasons.

The trial has been started for scandal in "de sexto" matter, meaning it is about the sixth commandment that forbids impure acts, for having disobeyed a legitimate superior and for having "incited to disobedience against the bishop."

These are grave accusations in which Rev. Sante will have to bow his head. The curia in using the sixth acommandement, is saying that it believes the love between Rev. Sante and Tamara (or Laura as the priest calls her) has never been as platonic as he says.

This is the allegation but as for penance, the priest risks his right to say Mass and be, as it's said in technical terms, "reduced to the lay status." To sum it up, the risk is the former parish priest of Monterosso could also be transformed into a "former priest."

Rev. Sante's view of the curia does not soften. "The bishop behaves like an absolute tyrant. He only wants to impose his power," the priest eplained. The harsh judgment is extended to the Rev. Giovanni Brusegan, whom he met a few days ago.

"I found him very angry at me. He accused me of unduly influencing the minds of many people at Monterosso. Then he said I was a hypocrite and a liar," he said. This is very different behavior from one usually seen in Rev. Brusegan.

No one knows now what the former parish priest is going to do. If he will go to the curia to explain his reasons or if he'll ignore once more the invitation-imposition of the bishop, we will find out during the day. It is sure Rev. Sante does not seem to be frightened even by this trial.

"The representation of my person by those who want to harm me makes me even appear better than I am for it is their malevolence which made me a personage in the media and on TV," he said. Welcome then to this new decree, the priest said, "I'll be forced to become more famous!"

If predictions of the rebel priest come true, we will have to get accustomed to his presence at Buona Domenica and other TV shows.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

City prosecutor takes over case vs Fr. Ben

Cebu Daily News

By Nilda Gallo
Cebu Daily News
Last updated 11:54am (Mla time) 10/19/2007

Cebu City Prosecutor Nicholas Sellon will be taking over the case of Fr. Benedicto Ejares, who is accused of acts of lasciviousness filed by seven high school students.

Sellon yesterday acted on the two motions filed by their lawyers, Gerardo Carillo and Butch Cañares. One motion was to overturn the decision of two prosecutors who recommended that the case against Ejares be dropped. The other motion was for the same two prosecutors to inhibit themseleves from resolving the motion.

While Sellon denied the motion for inhibition filed against Assistant Prosecutor Alexander Acosta and Reviewing Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane, he would resolve the motion to overturn anyway, since both Acosta and Gubalane voluntarily inhibited themselves from the case, “to dispel any doubt of bias or prejudgment.”

Sellon said there was nothing in the case's records that would show that Acosta and Gubalane had done anything irregular that would merit their inhibition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Catholic lay group to meet in Providence

Boston Globe

October 19, 2007

PROVIDENCE, R.I. --A Catholic lay group formed after the priest sex abuse scandal will hold its convention in Providence this year.

Voice of the Faithful is gathering Friday and Saturday at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

Among the guest speakers is noted theologian Richard McBrien, whose keynote address will open the convention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Anglican bishop suspends abuse investigation

Globe and Mail


October 19, 2007

Anglican officials yesterday put in limbo their inquiry into abuse allegations against two priests who were headmasters of a now-closed private school in Eastern Ontario - angering several former students who accused the church of trying to protect itself from legal action.

The announcement by the bishop of the diocese in which Grenville Christian College was located near Brockville came two days after a Toronto law firm sent notices to the diocese, the school and one of the former headmasters, saying it represented a group of former students considering civil action.

Bishop George Bruce interviewed about 40 former students of the school who claimed they variously experienced physical, sexual and psychological abuse at the school.

He informed them by e-mail yesterday that he had been advised by legal counsel to suspend his investigation until "a possible Ontario Provincial Police investigation arising from similar allegations against the individuals you had complained about as well as the possibility of a civil class-action lawsuit ... are resolved."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Aitkens join Cunningham in Urell support

The Orange County Register

Register columnist

The interesting alliance of liberal and conservative local political leaders involved in aiding a top Catholic priest continues to grow, with the significant addition of Democratic honcho Wylie Aitken's law firm.

Wylie's son and partner, Darren Aitken, faxed a letter to victims' attorney John Manly this week saying he now represents conservative blogger Matt Cunningham and that he could find "no legal prohibitions on third parties possessing or publishing" the documents Cunningham posted that revealed the names of sexual-abuse victims.

To catch you up: Republican activist Cunningham, former O.C. Democratic Party Chairman John Hanna (as well as south-county political and communications consultant Meg Waters) last week formed "The Friends of Monsignor John Urell." Their intent: to support the popular pastor and one-time diocesan official who had a mental breakdown during a deposition in July and about a month later was sent to a psychiatric hospital in Canada. Bishop Tod Brown is facing contempt-of-court-allegations that he deliberately sent Urell away so he couldn't testify in a sexual-abuse case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Canadian pedophile arrested in Thailand


2007-10-19 06:24:42 -

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - The Canadian schoolteacher who has become the world's most wanted suspected pedophile was arrested by police Friday in northeastern Thailand, police said.
«Bingo! We've got him,» police Maj. Gen. Wimol Powintara told The Associated Press.
The suspect, 32-year-old Christopher Paul Neil, was arrested in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima and was expected to be brought to the capital, Bangkok, later in the day, Wimol said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 AM

October 18, 2007

Child Porn Possession Gets Former Youth Minister 5 Years


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A former Jacksonville youth pastor indicted on two child pornography charges was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment on Thursday.

A former worker at Lake Shore Baptist Church on Blanding Boulevard, 36-year-old Richard Steven Sweat, of Orange Park, was found guilty of the receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography after a three-day trial.

According to court documents, Sweat downloaded videos of child pornography on Sept. 5 and 6, 2005, using a file-sharing program designed to find and share documents, photographs, music and videos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:08 PM

Youth pastor arrested on child sex charges

Shelby County Reporter

By JUSTIN AVERETTE / News Editor / Posted: Thursday, October 18, 2007 4:41 PM CDT
A former youth pastor faces charges of traveling to Tennessee to have sex with a teenage girl.

Donald Brent Page, 33, was indicted Tuesday by a Memphis grand jury on charges of crossing state lines to have sex with a minor. The Calera resident was arrested Oct. 6 for traveling to Tennessee to meet who he thought was a 13-year-old girl for sex, according to Memphis FBI.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports Page used the online name "badlilboy8898" to arrange a meeting with the girl, who was actually a member of the FBI's Crimes Against Children Task Force. He was arrested at a Memphis apartment with condoms and wine coolers in hand.

Prior to his arrest, Page served as youth minister of Dogwood Grove Baptist Church in Montevallo. Church pastor Todd Burr said Page called him the night of his arrest to resign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 PM

Bradford Church Official Accused Of Sex With Boy

The Morning News


BRADFORD -- A former music director of a church in Bradford is charged with raping a 13-year-old boy.

Police say Timothy Dean Clark, 38, was arrested Tuesday. Clark was minister of music and outreach at the Bradford Baptist Church in White County. He remained in jail Thursday morning in lieu of $100,000 bond and has a court date set for Dec. 4.

Authorities say an investigation is continuing into Clark's alleged activities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 PM

Aarrrgggh sometimes you've just got to rant and rave

City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

With teeth clenched I snarl into the phone, “Who gives a sh--, what the f-- difference does it make.” Same reaction I’ve had every time someone’s pointed out an error in logic from a recent blog, as the Salesians are, in fact, not totally part of the Catholic Church. (See EXTRA: Salesians not part of Catholic Church, Oct. 14) Then in that Catholic tone of voice begins the lecture on hierarchy and the difference between a brother and a priest --

And I’m snarling into the phone. “I don't care if he’s a brother or a priest or a monk or a bishop, AND do you think the mom who’s kid got raped cares if he’s called a priest or a brother?” Alarmed at my own level of rage I stop and look at it more closely. “Because no matter what, the conversation then veers off and you're talking about the hierarchy of the church and who reports to who and you're not talking about the real problem, the pedophile priests."

“So cut through the crap?”

“Yeah, Cut through the crap.” I shout so loud the neighbors suddenly get quiet.

Once a week anger management doesn't seem to be enough for me these days as I do research on sex crimes in the Catholic Church. I contemplate the wrestling team in a Pittsburgh Catholic School, a very expensive Catholic school by the way, where parents were sacrificing a lot to pay the tuition, and the boys took part in the wrestling team in some cases because their parents thought it was healthy and good for the soul. And the wrestling instructor, a Catholic priest, kept the kids after class for orgy like parties fueled with liquor and drugs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 PM

Diocese responds to Arkansas chapter of SNAP

Arkansas Catholic

Published: October 18, 2007

Representatives of the advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests held a press conference near Catholic High School for Boys in Little Rock Oct. 17.

They announced the opening of a SNAP chapter in Arkansas and asked the Diocese of Little Rock to release the names of all priests who have ever served in Arkansas that have been accused of sexual abuse.

This request was also made in an open letter to Msgr. J. Gaston Hebert, diocesan administrator, the same day. The letter was also posted on the organization's Web site www.freewebs.com/snapark.

SNAP has held similar press conferences in recent weeks, seeking to compile a list of priests who have been accused of sexually abusing minors and "vulnerable adults."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 PM


Mission City Record

By Sheena Jackson
Black Press

Oct 18 2007

The lead suspect in an international pedophile investigation studied in Mission to be a priest.

Thai police named Christopher Paul Neil, a 32-year-old Canadian formerly of Maple Ridge, as a suspected pedophile who allegedly appears in 200 Internet images abusing young boys in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Neil attended The Seminary of Christ the King in Mission as a student from 1995 to 1999, Father Abbot John confirmed.

After he completed his arts studies, he chose to discontinue further studies for the priesthood.

“We are only just learning about the details of this story as it develops,” said Father John. “These are serious allegations of a most reprehensible conduct. Our hearts go out to the victims of all such crimes.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Vatican Sex Sting


Newsweek Web Exclusive
Updated: 10:06 AM ET Oct 18, 2007
It's another story the Vatican could have done without. A high-ranking church official in Rome is caught by a hidden camera making what appear to be advances to another man. The scenes, in which the priest questions the Roman Catholic church's teaching on homosexuality, are then broadcast on Italian television.

That's the position the Vatican, still trying to deal with the long-running fallout from pedophile priests, finds itself in after the official, Monsignor Tommaso Stenico—who has responsibility for matters relating to the clergy—was filmed during an encounter with a youth he was reported to have met on a gay Internet chat room.

The priest invited the young man to his office after work hours and, during the course of their conversation on homosexuality, started complimenting the youth on his appearance. The young man told the priest he was "about to commit something with me that is a sin in the eyes of God." Stenico, 60, replied: "No, I don't consider it a sin." When the youth questioned how the priest could ignore the church's teaching that homosexual acts are sinful, the priest cut short the meeting and showed him the door—but not before placing his hand on the back of his leg and saying, "You're so hot." The priest asked his guest not to talk with anyone on the way out. ...

The case has raised questions about the extent of homosexuality in the Vatican. Those who dismiss Stenico's explanation believe the priest may be part of a small "underground" gay community of Vatican officials. Some officials readily admit such a community exists, but according to one, "it's not a formal network through which they are able to protect themselves." Others have long regarded Rome as a haven for gay priests, sent to the Vatican because they would not survive in a parish. "Rome's famous for it," said one parish priest in Italy who asked not to be named. "They've got to go somewhere, and so are given something innocuous to do in Rome." For some, that perception was underscored last year, when a senior ranking monsignor was involved in a high-speed police chase after being pulled over in a Rome district known for male prostitution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

Church Members May Seek Legal Action After Pastor Arrested

Fox 12

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Several members of a local church said they’ll take legal action after their pastor was arrested on rape charges.

Sergio Alvarizarez was transferred from Clark County to the Multnomah County Jail Thursday morning after his arrest on Monday.

Police said they linked Alvarizarez, 38, to the sexual assault of eight women who are associated with his church, Casa Del Padre Church. ...

FOX 12 has learned that several members of the congregation are hiring an attorney to try and get back their church donations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Motion in Ejares case gets stalled


AFTER previously failing to secure an indictment, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 almost dropped the ball again on the acts of lasciviousness, harassment and child abuse charges filed against Fr. Benedicto Ejares.

Cebu City Prosecutor Nicolas Sellon, in a two-page order issued late yesterday, found a “procedural defect” in the motion for reconsideration that DSWD lawyer and Cebu City Councilor Gerry Carillo filed.

Sellon, who earlier approved the dismissal of all charges against the priest, hinted that Carillo and his co-counsel Alvin Butch Cañares cannot represent the high school students because they have not been authorized to do so.

But instead of throwing away the motion, he gave Carillo and Cañares seven days to correct the lapse by submitting an affidavit of verification signed by the seven Abellana National High School teenagers who complained against the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Parish council releases statement about Gondek situation

The Dispatch

The Diocese of Charlotte of the Roman Catholic Church issued the following statement today on behalf of the parish council of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Lexington. The church's pastor, Father Al Gondek, has been placed on administrative leave after a Delaware man alleged sexual misconduct by Gondek 47 years ago. Check The Dispatch tonight for a full story.

The parish family of Our Lady of the Rosary Church was shocked and saddened to hear of the allegations made recently against our pastor, Fr. Al Gondek. Fr. Al has denied these allegations. We understand that The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People adopted by the Catholic Church necessitates his being placed on administrative leave during the investigation. However, we miss him greatly and support him wholeheartedly. We hope that these allegations will be investigated quickly and his good name restored.

Fr. Al’s nine years as our pastor have been characterized by a desire for unity, and he has worked tirelessly to energize our parish for greater spiritual growth, community involvement, and personal interaction. Perhaps nowhere is his vision of unity more obvious than in our Hispanic community. Fr. Al has become a strong advocate for Hispanics, even learning Spanish in his spare time. He has been a driving force behind the Latino Roundtable and served as an effective liaison between Hispanics and the local community. The entire Hispanic congregation wishes to express their gratitude for Father’s efforts on their behalf.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

GUEST BLOG: The Salesians: Record Holder Pedophiles, by Joey Piscitelli

City of Angels

"The Salesians fight every victim tooth and nail, an utter disgrace to all Catholics."

(Editor's Note: Civil cases involving the Salesians Religious Order were not part of the $660 million settlement in LA last July. Jury trials on calendar so far regarding Salesians: Nov. 5 cases involving Father Titian Miani; January 28th cases involving former priest, Jesus Dominguez. Attorneys meet this morning for a status conference on cases involving Brother Ernie Martinez.)

By Joey Piscitelli

There is no Catholic Order’s abuse record that I know of that comes close to the Salesians of California. The record number of accused and convicted sex abusers from Salesians of California is by far the largest, and the longest list in the state. In addition, there is no Catholic Order that I know of that fights victims so vehemently and apparently as hatefully as the Salesians based in California.

I attended Salesians School in Richmond California and was molested by the Vice Principal of the school, Fr. Steve Whelan. About the same time period, Fr. Bernard Dabbenne was made principal of the school, even after a complaint was made that Dabbenne was an abuser. Dabbenne was later convicted of child molestation in San Francisco. An administrator of the same school, Fr. Richard Presenti, an accused serial molester, and an admitted molester, was later made principal of a Salesian School, even after the Salesians knew Presenti was a molester. Bro. Sal Billante, head of the Boys club at the school, was also a serial molester, and was later convicted, and was later to spend several years in San Quentin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 AM

Cardinal grew up in Castle Shannon

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Thursday, October 18, 2007
By Ann Rodgers, Cindi Lash and Jonathan D. Silver, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Boyhood friends of Cardinal-designate Daniel N. DiNardo recall a smart youngster who even at the tender age of 12 was preparing for an ecclesiastical life.

"We would play priest together. In fact, my mother made vestments for him to play in," the Rev. Donald M. Fest of Washington, D.C., said yesterday, reminiscing about his grade school days at St. Anne School in Castle Shannon.

"It was dreaming. It was acting on a call that we really didn't understand, but we had it in our heart that this is something we wanted to be and do." ...

At least one person spoke against the selection.

David Clohessy of St. Louis, national director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said Cardinal-designate DiNardo had an "abysmal" record for dealing with clergy sex-abuse issues while serving as bishop of the Sioux City, Iowa, diocese from 1997 until 2004. He said he was "disappointed" by the selection.

Mr. Clohessy objected to the cardinal-designate's handling of abuse allegations leveled against a priest, which dated to the 1960s, in Sioux City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

Advocacy Group Seeks Names From Catholic Diocese


Wednesday October 17, 2007 5:29pm

Reporter: Anne Pressly Posted By: Scott Munsell

Little Rock - A victim's advocacy group new to Arkansas is pushing the Catholic Diocese to release names of clergy known to be abusers.

(David Brown, Jr., Abuse Victim) “For years and years and years, I would wake up in the middle of the night and smell of a very stale, smoky breath--I was smelling the breath of my perpetrator as he was raping me. My wife would ask me, 'What's going on?' And I would say, 'Sinuses'."

David Brown, Jr. was a student at Father Ryan High School in Nashville, Tennessee when he met Reverend Paul Haas. What Brown says started as a student-teacher relationship in 1961, soon turned into the unthinkable.

(Brown) “He abused me and raped me repeatedly. It ended in 1962. He was arrested in Centennial Park in Nashville that summer."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

Sex-assault conviction is reinstated

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Heather Ratcliffe

St. Louis — The conviction of a former Baptist minister from the Bootheel for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl was reinstated Wednesday after twice being overturned in state and federal appeals courts.

The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Louis reversed a decision by a three-member panel of its own judges.

At issue was whether James R. Niederstadt, 55, of Malden, Mo., could be convicted of forcible sodomy despite the fact that his victim was asleep when he fondled her in 1992.

The teen had been entrusted to him by her parents, who were missionaries abroad. She was ill, and when she awoke to find him fondling her, he told her he had been taking her temperature, court documents say.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

Ex-altar boy to fight on against Mexico cardinal

Washington Post

Wednesday, October 17, 2007; 9:33 PM

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A former altar boy vowed on Wednesday to continue his legal fight against the head of Mexico City's Roman Catholic diocese despite a U.S. court's dismissal of a suit that accused the clergyman of protecting a priest wanted for sex abuse.

A Los Angeles judge ruled on Tuesday that U.S. courts had no jurisdiction in the case against Cardinal Norberto Rivera. The lawsuit rocked the church in predominantly Roman Catholic Mexico.

Joaquin Aguilar Mendez says he was raped in Mexico at age 13 by a priest named Nicolas Aguilar Rivera, who is wanted on multiple abuse charges in Mexico and the United States.

He said Cardinal Rivera helped move the priest between Mexico and the United States to shield him from arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Rudy Giuliani and His Moment to Stand Up for Child Sex Abuse Survivors



Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007

The Republicans appear to have a tin ear for the national tragedy of widespread child sex abuse. Approximately 25% of girls and 20% of boys are sexually abused. Yet 90% of them never go to the authorities. The cost to society in healthcare (resulting from addictions, among other problems), lost productivity, and the deadweight of misery is mind-boggling. The Republicans, though, act as though it is one of those problems that will just go away. Leading Presidential contender Rudy Giuliani is merely the latest Republican to appear callous to the millions of sex abuse victims.

As I noted in a column written a year ago, the scandal over the inappropriate actions of

Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) with congressional pages tarnished not just Foley himself, but Republican leaders too. Then-

House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and his staff failed to act on information about Foley's transgressions long before the rest of us learned about the way pages were being treated. Others who knew Foley was a potential problem, yet failed to act decisively, included House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-OH); John Shimkus (R-IL), head of the Page Board; Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA), whose page was involved; and Rep. Thomas Reynolds (R-NY), chair of the House Republican campaign organization.

Over the year that has passed since then, these

high-level Republicans have not been held accountable. Instead, the scandal disappeared from public view.

The Republicans had a moment when they could have been heroes to the millions of sex abuse survivors by allying against Foley and his practices. They could have initiated commissions, done studies, and held hearings on this national problem. Instead, after throwing Foley out (as they should have), they chose business as usual.

Is Rudy Giuliani any different? The evidence to date suggests the answer is "No."

Rudy Giuliani Has Strong Ties to Alan Placa, Who Has Been Accused of Sex Abuse and Covering up Others' Abuse by a Suffolk County, NY, Grand Jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

SD Diocese Sends Letters Asking For Abuse Settlement Help

10 News

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego Catholics may get a letter from their priest soon, asking for money to help pay the nearly $200 million settlement for alleged sexual assault victims.

The Roman Catholic San Diego Diocese hopes to raise $25 million through the "Embracing Our Mission" campaign. Last month, the diocese agreed to settle a raft of sexual assault allegations against priests for $198.1 million.

Bishop Robert H. Brom, in a letter dated yesterday, asked parishioners to help cover the expense "we incurred recently through compassionate outreach to our brothers and sisters who suffered sexual abuse within family of the church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Scola: «Don Sante? Ce ne occupiamo»

Il Gazzettino

ABANO -- The Patriarch of Venice was in Padua yesterday and tried to avoid comment about the rebel priest in Monterosso.

Scola: "Rev Sante? We are taking care of that." "We have to accept the painful attention with which the church faces this story," he said.

Cardinal Angelo Scola was in Padua yesterday for an intense full day of ecclesiastical appointments. He did not refrain from answering questions from journalists about the Rev. Sante Sguotti, former parish priest in Monterosso. In particular, the patriarch of Venice was asked to comment during a meeting at the theological faculty of the Triveneto about the rebellion of he priest against his diocese and the decisions taken by Bishop Antonio Mattiazzo..

"I followed the story by reading superficially the newspapers' headlines," the cardinal answered in a first attempt to avoid the issue. Then with a group of newsmen and TV cameras which had fomed around him, he promptly added, " I believe we can't do anything but to accept the painful attention by which the local ecclesiastical authority has been facing with this story," he said.

According to the patriarch, the diocese of Padua, which is a suffragan diocese of the Patriarchate of Venice, is looking after the case of Rev. Sante Sguotti "in full respect of the person's rights but, at the same time, in respect of the faith too," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

Iowans say DiNardo 'so holy and so fun'

Des Moines Register


Catholics in the Sioux City diocese knew Daniel DiNardo -- bishop there from 1998 to 2004 -- was destined for higher leadership roles in the world's largest church.

DiNardo, now archbishop of the Diocese of Galveston-Houston in Texas, was named a cardinal Wednesday.

Pope Benedict XVI named 23 new cardinals, tapping two Americans to join the elite ranks of the "princes" of the Roman Catholic Church.

DiNardo was praised in Sioux City partly because he took a direct approach to the issue of child sex abuse by clergy. He worked with priests and instituted programs to protect children in the future and recommended that one Sioux City diocesan priest with repeated allegations of abuse be removed from the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:22 AM

Ex priest appears in court on child sex charges

This is Hampshire

By Clare Kennedy

A FORMER Catholic priest has appeared in court to face four charges of indecently assaulting two teenagers more than 20 years ago.

Brian Rutledge, 68, stood in the dock at Southampton magistrates during a ten-minute hearing while the charges were read out.

All of the allegations against Rutledge, of Waldergrove Close, Woolston, who used to work in the city, relate to the 1970 and 1980s.

He faces one charge one charge of indecent assault between March 1979 and March 1980, one charge of indecent assault on a boy under 16 between September 1986 and September 1987 and a final charge of indecent assault between March 1981 and March 1982.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Thai boy claims abuse by Canadian suspect


BANGKOK (AFP) — Thailand issued an arrest warrant Thursday for a suspected Canadian paedophile who is the target of a global manhunt, accusing him of abusing a nine-year-old boy while trying to find a job teaching here.

The warrant was issued for 32-year-old Christopher Paul Neil, who is accused by Interpol of sexually assaulting 12 boys and posting 200 pictures of the crimes on the Internet.

Neil was tracked to Thailand after hundreds of people around the world responded to an unprecedented global appeal from Interpol for help finding the man shown in the pictures.

The Thai boy, who is now 13, came forward after seeing Neil's photo in the newspaper, police Lieutenant General Wimon Pao-in said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

Vatican publicly washes its dirty linen amid homosexual scandal


As a rule, the Vatican does not wash its dirty linen in public. However, the Holy See had to comment on the latest sex scandal involving a Roman Catholic priest. A Vatican spokesman confirmed Sunday that a high-ranking priest had been suspended following his appearance on a controversial TV program in Italy earlier this month. The priest was secretly filmed making advances to a young man and asserting that gay sex was not sinful during the program broadcast October 1 by La7, a private Italian television network. Several colleagues of the priest recognized his Vatican office in the background, despite the fact that his face was blurred and his voice was disguised in the footage. “I cannot deny the fact than the incident has taken place,” said Father Federico Lombardi, chief spokesman for the Vatican, in a statement released on Sunday.

It stands to reason that the Vatican was reluctant to identify the priest, but truth will out or so the saying goes. As it turned out, the priest in question is known as Monsignor Tommaso Stenico, the BBC reports. Monsignor Stenico is relatively high-ranking Vatican official. Before his coming out of the closet, Monsignor Stenico headed an office an office in the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy, the main office overseeing all the world’s Roman Catholic priests. Although Monsignor Stenico does not deny taking part in the controversial program, he claims he has been misunderstood. “I pretended to be gay in order to gather information about those who damage the image of the church with homosexual activity,” the priest insisted in his letter posted on Petrus, a Catholic web site. “I was caught on hidden camera; otherwise I would have never said those words in the first place,” Monsignor Stenico added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

International legal tussle may wait alleged pedophile

Vancouver Sun

Darah Hansen, Vancouver Sun
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2007
VANCOUVER - Canada's sex-tourism law could face a major legal test if federal authorities try to bring home a Maple Ridge fugitive wanted for allegedly raping children in Asia.

Christopher Paul Neil, 32, is the subject of an international manhunt after Interpol released what appears to be a photo of Neil in connection with the rape of a dozen boys in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Neil, a private school teacher who once aspired to be a Catholic priest, is believed to be hiding out in Thailand since disappearing from his job at an English-language school in South Korea on Oct. 11. He was caught on camera the same day at Bangkok airport, arriving from Seoul.

Today, Thai authorities sought their own arrest warrant for Neil after a boy accused him of paying for oral sex. Immigration police at 54 Thai border posts were ordered to keep a close watch for Neil, and to scour tourist hangouts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

This cardinal cannot be sued

California Catholic Daily

Cardinal Norberto Rivera of Mexico City will not be tried in a Los Angeles court on civil charges of conspiring with Los Angeles church officials to protect a priest who allegedly molested a Mexican youth. On Oct. 16, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle said he lacked jurisdiction in the case.

The lawsuit, filed by Joaquin Mendez, 26, says that in the late 1980s, Rivera, then bishop of Tehuacan, Mexico, conspired with Cardinal Roger Mahony to protect Father Nicolas Aguilar, a priest Rivera sent to the Los Angeles archdiocese. Mahony received Aguilar into the archdiocese after receiving a Jan. 27, 1987 letter in which Rivera wrote that the priest was suffering from “family problems and ill health.” Rivera claims he sent Mahony a subsequent letter on March 23, 1987 giving “a brief report on the priest’s homosexual problems.” Mahony has said he received the first but not the second letter.

Jeff Anderson, Mendez’s attorney, told the October 2006 Los Angeles Mission that “homosexual problems” is code for "a history of sexual abuse.”

Rivera’s attorney, Steve Selsberg, says the evidence shows that Rivera did not know Aguilar had been allegedly molesting children when he sent him to Los Angeles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

October 17, 2007

MEXICO : Cardinal Off the Hook, But Sex Abuse Controversy Rages On


By Diego Cevallos

MEXICO CITY, Oct 17 (IPS) - The Roman Catholic Church in Mexico celebrated a legal ruling that dismissed a case against Cardinal Norberto Rivera in which he was accused of protecting an alleged pedophile priest, while the press published Church guidelines in which the clergy are asked to sign a letter releasing the archdiocese of responsibility in case of charges of sex abuse.

"The charges against Monsignor Rivera were false, as has been demonstrated," Catholic priest Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the archdiocese of Mexico City, told IPS.

He was referring to a verdict handed down by a judge in Los Angeles, California who ruled Tuesday that he had no jurisdiction to try Rivera, who was accused of conspiring to transfer a priest accused of molesting boys to that U.S. city.

But "Valdemar is lying, because no one declared that Rivera was innocent," said Eric Barragán, Mexico and Latin America director for the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), which sponsored the case against Rivera. "What happened is that the judge argued that he does not have jurisdiction," he commented to IPS.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 PM

Are Docs 'Smoking Gun' Of Local Priest Abuse?

NBC Sandiego

SAN DIEGO -- Some people are calling nearly two dozen pages of letters and documents a smoking gun in a case of a cover-up of local priest abuse

NBC 7/39 obtained 23 pages of letters and documents on Tuesday. They appear to be written by a mother and father whose son was molested by a priest almost 40 years ago.

Two individuals NBC 7/39 spoke with said the letters prove the San Diego Diocese knew about pedophile priests and did nothing about it.

These letters, which are dated "1969," are addressed to the then-bishop Francis Furey. The victim's name has been blacked out in the letters, in which the parents describe how their son was molested by the Rev. William Kraft, who has since died.

The mother wrote to Furey that her son was "pale as a sheet," and that "Father Kraft held him real tight from behind." She also said that Kraft "nuzzled in his hair," and then she continued in more graphic detail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 PM

Texans Celebrate State's First Cardinal

The Associated Press

By MATT CURRY – 3 hours ago

DALLAS (AP) — Texas Catholics celebrated the appointment Wednesday of one of their two archbishops to become the state's first Roman Catholic cardinal.

Daniel N. DiNardo, archbishop of the Catholic Diocese of Galveston-Houston, was among 23 new cardinals named Wednesday by Pope Benedict XVI. Benedict said he would elevate the prelates at a Vatican ceremony Nov. 24.

"It says something about Texas and how wonderful Texas is in the terms of the growth of our Catholic faith," DiNardo said Wednesday at a news conference in Houston. ...

David Clohessy of St. Louis, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said DiNardo had an "abysmal" record dealing with clergy sex abuse issues while serving as bishop of the Sioux City, Iowa, diocese from 1997 until 2004, and that his record didn't improve in Houston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

Pope Names 23 Cardinals; 1st for Texas

The Associated Press

By NICOLE WINFIELD – 6 hours ago

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI named 23 new cardinals Wednesday, giving Texas its first "prince" of the Roman Catholic Church in a clear recognition of the growing Latino presence in the U.S. church.

The appointment of Archbishop Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston brings the number of American cardinals to 17 — second only to Italy — and increases the American contingent's clout in any conclave to elect a future pontiff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

Sex abuse victims respond to promotion for Houston/ex-Iowa bishop

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

We're disappointed by this choice and believe Catholics should be disappointed too.

DiNardo's selection rubs even more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of clergy sex abuse victims and their loved ones. His record in Sioux City was abysmal. His record in Houston shows no improvement.

Beginning in the 1990s (and likely longer), Sioux City church officials knew of repeated charges of child molestation against an admitted abuser, Fr. George B. McFadden (dating back into the 1960s). (DiNardo was Sioux City bishop starting in 1997.) For at least five years DiNardo had the chance to disclose McFadden's hurtful actions to police, prosecutors, parishioners, and the public, and to keep McFadden from other vulnerable children. He stayed silent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 PM

Family struggles with aftermath of clergy sex abuse

Orthodox Reform

A moving article on the terrible after-effects of clergy sexual abuse was published today on WJBC.com.

When you think of clergy sexual abuse, people often think of older adults and young children. However, a couple from Bloomington says their son would have been 26 last week, but Eric Iliff never made it because he said he was abused at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York. They say the scars he suffered never healed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

More on the Defenders of the Bumblin' Friends

Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
October 17, 2007 3:22 PM

A commentator on my previous post about the latest pee-pee battle between OC Blog god Matt "Jubal" Cunningham and Newport Beach lawyer John Manly pointed out something that deserves further examination. The lawyer helping Cunningham and the Friends of Monsignor John, Darren Aitken, not only is Cunningham's former classmate at Servite High School (the all-boys Catholic prep in Anaheim) but is also the son of Wylie Aitken, one of the county's more prominent lawyers and a longtime Democratic Party activist. Aitken, in turn, is a proud Catholic who is listed as a Silver Sponsor in this year's edition of the Red Mass, going so far as to join Darren in presenting Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown with gifts of bread and wine to consecrate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Friends of Monsignor John Fully Repentant, Involve More Politicos

Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
October 17, 2007 10:28 AM

The bumblin' Friends of Monsignor John got walloped yesterday on the radio by the John and Ken Show, and today in print by Orange County Register columnist Frank Mickadeit for their, well, bumblin' (read our archives for background on the matter, por favor). Mickadeit elicited the first public response on the controversy from the Friends' website administrator and OC Blog god Matt "Jubal" Cunningham, who told Frank the posting of unredacted depositions which revealed the names of Orange diocese sex-abuse victims was a "stupid accident. … We have nothing against the victims. I feel horrible." Good to know. But later on in Mickadeit's column, Cunningham says something strange: "We can understand now that victims would see some of the content as being insensitive."

Now? Now?! NOW?!?! Only after getting a cease-and-desist letter from victims' lawyer John Manly does Cunningham and the Friends "understand" that previously anonymous sex-abuse victims "would" interpret the posting of their names without permission as being "insensitive"? For all of Cunningham's posts about claiming to sympathize with victims of priestly molestations while simultaneously defending his pastor Urell, Cunningham shows time and time again that he simply doesn't get it. Curiously, he's yet to mention the fiasco on OC Blog, even as readers leave scolding comments.

Even worse, the Friends aren't out of the woods yet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

San Diego Diocese in need of a financial miracle

Catholic News Agency

San Diego, Oct 17, 2007 / 10:04 am (CNA).- The financial situation in the Diocese of San Diego is looking grim in the wake of the $198 million sexual abuse settlement. Hoping to prevent the sale of the diocesan headquarters and seminary, Bishop Robert Brom has launched a fundraising campaign called “Embracing Our Mission.”

“I need your help to cover the expense we incurred recently through compassionate outreach to our brothers and sisters who suffered sexual abuse within the family of the church,” Bishop Brom wrote in a letter that will be sent to every member of the diocese.

If the “Embracing Our Mission” campaign is not successful, Brom said the diocese has only two other properties that could be sold – its headquarters in Bay Park and St. Francis Seminary in Linda Vista.

The appeal is not limited to just the laity. Priests are being asked to contribute the equivalent of one of their monthly salary or $1,535 to help reach the $25 million needed.

The idea for priests to contribute actually came from the clergy of the diocese. Fr. Charles Fuld, pastor of Ascension Church in San Diego, said he wrote a “very enthusiastic” letter urging people to contribute.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:24 PM

Synagogue settles sex lawsuits

Toronto Star

Oct 17, 2007 04:30 AM
Sandro Contenta
Staff Reporter

Two women accusing a rabbi of sexual misconduct have agreed to an out-of-court settlement with the rabbi and a prominent Toronto synagogue, their lawyer says.

The defendants in the case – Rabbi Tobias Gabriel and Beth Tzedec Synagogue – make no admission of fault or liability in the settlement, Simona Jellinek, the women's lawyer, said yesterday.

Negotiations began after Richmond Hill resident Yona Nadler, 52, filed a statement of claim in Ontario Superior Court last July, alleging she was coerced into a sexual relationship by Gabriel a year earlier.

Her lawsuit demanded $1.3 million from Gabriel and Beth Tzedec for breach of fiduciary duty and the pain and suffering she claims the relationship caused her and her marriage. The rabbi was accused of abusing the trust of a deeply religious woman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

School rabbi charged with sexual acts with student


By Jennifer Fernandez
Staff Writer
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007 3:00 am
GREENSBORO — The American Hebrew Academy's former director of campus life is facing charges that he had sex with a student, police said.

Rabbi David Alan Stein, 35, is expected to turn himself in today, Greensboro police Sgt. A.T. McHenry said.

Stein left the school in the spring, shortly after police began their investigation, police Capt. Gary Hastings said.

Since then, Stein has been in San Clemente, Calif., living with his parents and working at an insurance company, McHenry said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM


Spirit Daily

By Michael H. Brown

Two events converged last week to tell us it's time for the Vatican to begin a major review of Church hierarchy, and if necessary, a purge.

One was in the U.S., where an archbishop in San Francisco gave Communion to two congregants dressed in drag. They were part of a homosexual outfit that annually mocks nuns -- and usually does so in a church hall rented to them by nuns. Obscenely, they call themselves "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence." ...

The second event was in Rome itself: there, a hidden video showed a monsignor in the Holy See meeting with a man who had posed as a homosexual in a chat room looking for a tryst.

The official, Monsignor Tommaso Stenico, was allegedly invited to have sado-masochistic sex and arrangements were made for a meeting at the monsignor's office in St. Peter's Square. Unknown to Monsignor Stenico, the other man, who said he wanted to expose the hypocrisy of the Catholic church, arrived equipped with concealed video and audio recording equipment.

It was bad enough that it was a Vatican priest. Worse still, Monsignor Stenico was the capo ufficio, or section head, at the Vatican ministry responsible for the clergy! (He says he was only pretending to be gay.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Pastor jailed 7 yrs for rape

The Daily Times

13:48:53 - 17 October 2007

A Samaritan Church Pastor who was caught pants down by his wife raping a mentally ill woman in a bush was on Monday starting a seven-year jail term with hard labour.

Robert Masamba of Kanfosi Village T/A Katunga in Chikwawa was arrested by police last week and charged with defiling an imbecile.

Chikwawa First Grade Magistrate was told that it was not the first time the preacher man had lured the 35-year-old woman into sex. The woman is now pregnant.

“The suspect admitted the charge and revealed that he had sleept with the victim for three times this year alone,” said Chikwawa Police spokesperson Sunday Ngulube.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 AM

Geoghan’s murderer names priests who molested him; Riverside Sheriff hunts Father Dominguez, fugitive pedophile; another day in the life of the church

City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

I thank God daily for landing me here with this story to write. Every document I open, every hearing I attend, another drama plays out in front of me. This week we find another fugitive priest whose fled to Mexico. Plus Fr. John Geoghan’s murderer forwarded a second poem and this one names the seminarians who molested him. Ah the joys of researching sex crimes in the Catholic Church.

The January trial concerns crimes of former Salesian Religious Order priest Jesus Armando Dominguez. The Riverside County DA believes “Father Jesse” fled to Mexico in January 2005 right before he was charged with 58 counts of sex crimes against minors. If he’s ever caught and convicted he could serve 43 years in prison. “The Warrant is still outstanding on Dominguez, all documents have been under seal since July 12 2005,” is all a Riverside DA spokeswoman would say by phone.

In court Tuesday Judge Haley Fromholz denied plaintiffs’ motion to compel the Riverside Sheriff’s Department to comply with their subpoena for records on Dominguez. (Case #BC308472) Last week the the Bishop of Riverside tried to get the jury trial continued from its January 28, 2008 date, but Judge Fromholz refused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Catholic Charity director charged in sex case

Palo Alto Daily News

By Michael Manekin / MediaNews

The director of a prominent Catholic charity in Half Moon Bay offered a Hispanic woman money in exchange for sex after she came to his organization seeking help in finding a job, authorities reported.

Michael David Niece, 65, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in San Mateo County Superior County to one count of solicitation of an act of prostitution.

Niece, who runs the Coastside Catholic Worker with his wife Kathy, was arrested and released by police on Aug. 14.

The alleged victim, a 35-year-old woman who speaks little English, had approached the police earlier that day, and investigators set up a sting operation to catch Niece in the act of solicitation, said Half Moon Bay police Chief Don O'Keefe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Don Sante presenta il ricorso contro la rimozione

Il Gazzettino

ABANO - The rebel priest from Monterosso doesn't give up. His lawyer has delivered the "defensive memory" to the Congregation for the Clergy. The document was attached with 52 pages of probatory documents. German television is also showing interest in the story.

The Congregation for the Clergy yesterday morning was sent the appeal against the removal issues by Bishop Antonio Mattiazzo. Rev. Sante Sguotti and his lawyer, Marco Cardinale, do not give up. The document was handed to Giovanni Carru, undersecretary of the congregation.

The appeal consists of 27 pages plus the 52 additional pages of attachments which are documents containing the evidence proving the facts stated in the appeal.

Even if it was not possible to know the content of their thesis (the documents cannot be made public during the investigation), it seems the rebel priest has good reason to ask for annulment of the decree for his removal.

Rev. Sante's lawyer has listed a large number of violations in that decree, both procedural and substantive, in addition to more than 10 violations of the canon law relating to positive norms, to "natural-divine" rights and the general principles of canonical equity. All of this is mixed with "numerous and incredible abuses of power" and "incontestable arbitrary acts."

It seems the battle between the Monterosso priest against the curia is just starting. It is sure that for the final ruling we must wait perhaps three years, but it seems the rebel priest has good cards to pay. "I wasn't lost in the listing of the facts or in academic discussions, the lawyer said. "I can't reveal my arguments. I mainly dealt with facts related to all those many irregularities which have mostly disconcerted me affter many years of experience in this job. I can't know what the outcome will be. It's sure that if there will be a negative ruling I'll represent the case to the Apostolic Signatura (the Vatican appeals court).

Meanwhile, the light of the national media are continuing to shine on Rev. Sante. After the tabloid interview at Buona Domenica, the former parish priest spoke on the microphones of Radio 101 on Monday, yesterday on those of Radio 24 and today he wil be on the first German channel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Unlikely duo inadvertently outs victims

The Orange County Register

Register columnist

The "Friends of Monsignor John Urell" made a big mistake when it posted his deposition on its Web site, www.friendsofmonsignorjohn.com. They forgot to redact the names of the sexual-abuse victims mentioned during the five hours of question-and-answer-and-refuse-to-answer Urell underwent last summer. Not all victims have agreed to have their names made public. At least six names were wrongly spun into cyberspace.

Victims' attorney John Manly immediately sent a letter to Web-site operator and well-known O.C. politico Matt Cunningham that asked: "Are you insane?" Cunningham redacted the names and reposted the deposition, along with an apology saying it was an inadvertent mistake. Cunningham says the unredacted version was up for about 22 hours.

He called it a "stupid accident. … We have nothing against the victims. I feel horrible." So does John Hanna, another well-known leader of the "Friends."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Abuse claim withdrawn

ic Coventry

Sep 3 2005

A WOMAN who filed a High Court writ against a former Coventry Cathedral minister and psychotherapist who she alleged abused her, has withdrawn her claim.

The woman, who lives in Leamington, was suing The Rev Dr Barrie Hinksman for more than £50,000.

The writ, filed in July 2003, claimed he abused her during private therapy sessions between 1985 and 1995.

It was for "damages for personal injuries, loss and damage in consequence of the emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse suffered whilst receiving therapy from [Barrie Hinksman]".

A spokesman for the Royal Courts of Justice confirmed the case had now been discontinued. The woman has agreed to pay Dr Hinksman's legal costs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Don’t drop case vs Fr. Ben, fiscals asked

Cebu Daily News

By Nilda Gallo
Cebu Daily News
Last updated 04:26pm (Mla time) 10/17/2007

STUDENTS who accused Fr. Benedicto “Ben” Ejares” of acts of lasciviousness have asked the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office to reconsider its resolutions dropping the case against the diocesan priest.

They said he should be indicted for violations of child welfare rights.

To strengthen their complaint against the priest, lawyers Gerardo Carillo and Alvin Butch Canares attached to their motion the transcript of the interviews of the seven students of the Abellana National School.

The interviews, which were conducted by city social workers, described the trauma suffered by the students when the priest allegedly touched their arms, backs and shoulders, the lawyers said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

YOUR VIEW: Church still needs openness and justice

New Bedford Standard-Times

Ms. Markey lives in Mattapoisett.
October 17, 2007 6:00 AM
I feel motivated to update your readers on the present status of Voice of the Faithful in the Fall River Diocese. We are still ignored by the hierarchy in this diocese. We are not allowed to meet in our churches but continue to meet in libraries and the Friends Meeting House. We have had speakers, discussions, liturgies, and days of recollection to share ideas.

Many of us are planning to attend the National Conference of VOTF in Providence on Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21. (Information on where, topics of seminars, and speakers is available by going to the VOTF web site: www.votf.org.)

As dioceses across the world continue to pay out multi-millions of dollars to victims of abuse, who will ever know the true cost of this scandal?

The monies paid to lawyers to defend abusers and the money paid as "hush money" over the years will never be known. Meanwhile, victims and their families suffer the trauma caused by those they should most be able to trust — parish priests, teacher priests, and bishops who transfer them from place to place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Bishop may have stirred ‘Americanists’ with stand

Telegram & Gazette

Kenneth J. Moynihan

A few years ago, when revelations of sexual abuse by priests began to tumble daily from the front page of The Boston Globe, I was able to fit most of the pieces together, sordid as the story was. What various people had done or not done seemed to be in accord with what I understood of the world with one major exception. I could not figure out what the bishops could have been thinking during their long cover-up. In time I learned more, and I think I understood more.

I raise the question because there are common threads between the controversy over sexual misconduct and the much less dramatic controversy last week between the bishop of Worcester, the Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, and the president of the College of the Holy Cross, the Rev. Michael C. McFarland. One thread that ties the two stories to each other is what might be called and has been called — the Americanist question. I use the word loosely to refer to the notion that typically American values, especially those related to democracy and individual liberty, might be weakening the attachment of American Catholics to the Roman church and its teachings.

In an 1899 encyclical addressed to the American bishops, Pope Leo XIII warned that “The underlying principle of these new opinions is that, in order to more easily attract those who differ from her, the church should shape her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age and relax some of her ancient severity and make some concessions to new opinions.” The pope condemned the “new opinions” as attempts to “tone down” church teachings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Judge clears Mexico church leader in suit

Daily Breeze

By Gillian Flaccus
The Associated Press

A lawsuit accusing Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera of conspiring with Roman Catholic officials in the United States to shelter a pedophile priest was dismissed Tuesday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu M. Berle found Rivera could not be held accountable in a U.S. court because the plaintiff didn't have enough evidence against him, said Mike Finnegan, the plaintiff's attorney.

Steve Selsberg, an attorney representing the Mexican cardinal in Los Angeles, said the judge found no evidence of conspiracy after reviewing a year's worth of discovery collected by attorneys from both sides.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Portland Pastor Arrested On Rape Charges


PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Portland pastor accused of rape was arrested Monday at his home in Ridgefield, Wash.

Police said they linked Sergio Alvarizares, 38, to the sexual assault of eight women who are associated with his church.

Officers responded to the Casa Del Padre Church on Northeast Alberta Street on a disturbance call last month. When police arrived, they found several members of the church arguing with Alvarizares about allegations of improper sexual contact, according to the Portland Police Bureau.

Later that night, six women reported sexual assault to the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office. Two more alleged victims have been identified since the initial reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Portland church pastor accused of sex attacks on 8 women


By DAVID KROUGH, kgw.com Staff

The pastor of a Northeast Portland church was arrested for rape and sex abuse Monday, accused of abusing up to eight women.

Portland sexual assault detectives arrested 38-year-old Father Sergio Alvarizares at his Ridgefield, Washington home after a two week investigation.

According to Sgt. Brian Schmautz, police were called to a scuffle in front of the Casa del Padre church on NE Alberta on September 30, where some members of the church were arguing with Alvarizares about the accusations.

Later that night, deputies in Multnomah County got phone calls from six women reporting a sexual assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Pastor accused of emotional abuse

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By William C. Lhotka

ST. LOUIS COUNTY — A college freshman who takes medication for depression and anxiety claims part of her distress stems from emotional abuse by a Lutheran minister in 2004, when she was 15.

She testified Tuesday in her damage suit in St. Louis County Circuit Court that for three or four months she felt she was under the emotional control of the Rev. Chris Watson. He was then pastor of the Church of the Resurrection, on Sappington Road in south St. Louis County.

Watson and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod are named as defendants in a civil suit. No criminal charges were ever filed against Watson, who resigned as pastor and a minister in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Pastor accused of sexually abusing eight women in Portland

The Oregonian

10/16/2007, 10:27 p.m. PDT
The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Detectives arrested a pastor accused of sexually abusing eight women associated with a church known as "Father's House," which serves a Spanish-speaking population, the Portland Police Bureau said Tuesday.

Sergio Alvarizares, 38, of Ridgefield, Wash., was charged with one count of rape, two counts of attempted rape and 10 counts of sex abuse, said Sgt. Brian Schmautz, a police spokesman.

The investigation began on the last Sunday of September, when officers were called to the Father's House on a disturbance call. Several members of the church were arguing with the suspect about allegations of improper sexual contact. Later that night six women called the authorities to report a sexual assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Catholic reformers meet in Providence

Providence Journal

By Richard C. Dujardin
Journal Religion Writer

PROVIDENCE — Voice of the Faithful, the organization of reform-minded lay Catholics spawned by the priest sex-abuse scandal that erupted in the Archdiocese of Boston five years ago, will hold its third national convention beginning Friday at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

The two-day event, featuring more than 30 workshops and talks by such luminaries as the Rev. Richard McBrien, a theologian at the University of Notre Dame, is expected to draw between 500 and 700 participants, according to the group’s president, Mary Pat Fox.

The number is only a fraction of the 4,200 who turned out for Voice of the Faithful’s first convention at the Hynes Convention Center in 2002, but organizers say that should not be seen as a decline.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Ruling may end abuse suit against prelates

Los Angeles Times

By Greg Krikorian and John Spano, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
October 17, 2007
A lawsuit accusing the two most powerful Roman Catholic prelates in the Western Hemisphere of negligence was partially resolved Tuesday, when a Los Angeles judge ruled he had no jurisdiction to decide whether Cardinal Norberto Rivera of Mexico City had conspired with officials in the U.S. to protect an alleged pedophile priest.

Barring an appeal or a decision to refile the case in Mexico, the ruling by L.A. County Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle effectively ends the case against Rivera, who was accused last year of concealing the sexual transgressions of a longtime priest.

In his lawsuit, Joaquin Mendez, now 26, also charged that Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony conspired with Rivera to hide the actions of Father Nicholas Aguilar, enabling him to continue to molest boys in the United States and Mexico for years.

It was not immediately clear whether the case against Mahony was also resolved. A spokesman for the cardinal said Tuesday that Mendez was among 508 victims of sexual abuse who will share in a landmark $660-million settlement announced by the archdiocese in July.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Mexican cardinal won't face U.S. trial in sex-abuse suit

The Seattle Times

By Kevin G. Hall
McClatchy Newspapers

A California judge ruled Tuesday that the Mexican cardinal who leads the world's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese can't be sued in the United States on allegations that he covered up the actions of a pedophile priest.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle said his court lacked jurisdiction to hear a civil suit brought against Cardinal Norberto Rivera of Mexico City by a Mexican-born man who says he was molested by a priest Rivera once oversaw. Berle said the case should be heard in Mexico.

The accuser, Joaquin Aguilar Mendez, alleged that Rivera and Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony conspired to cover up the actions of the pedophile priest in the late 1980s and that their actions allowed him to remain a practicing priest in Mexico and abuse Aguilar in 1994.

The priest, the Rev. Nicolas Aguilar Rivera, transferred to Los Angeles from Mexico and returned to Mexico after he was charged in Los Angeles with 19 counts of child sexual abuse. The priest is no relation to the cardinal or the plaintiff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 AM

Woman claims abuse by priest

The Denver Post

By Electa Draper
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 10/17/2007 01:48:00 AM MDT

A Colorado woman has filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Denver alleging that the late Monsignor Thomas Patrick Barry sexually assaulted her around 1970, when she was an adolescent living with him.

Denise Eckhardt's complaint, which was filed in Denver District Court, says she suffers from multiple personalities and other psychological disorders.

The suit said she has recovered once-suppressed memories of sexual abuse through extended psychiatric therapy, and she will continue to require medical and psychological treatment as a direct result of Barry's abuse.

Barry died April 1, 2003, at the age of 97.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Wanted pedophile suspect taught in B.C.

Times Colonist

Meagan Fitzpatrick, CanWest News Service
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The Canadian man at the centre of an international manhunt over allegations of sexually abusing children abroad had worked as a substitute teacher in B.C. this year, and had wanted to be a priest.

The family of Christopher Paul Neil, 32, of Maple Ridge say they are devastated by the allegations and want him to surrender to authorities.

Neil has been identified by Interpol as the man wanted in the sexual abuse of a dozen young boys in Vietnam and Cambodia. He spent the last several years teaching in various Asian countries and, until last week, was working in South Korea. Police believe he fled to Bangkok on Oct. 11 when he realized he was being hunted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

October 16, 2007

Paroled Episcopal rector suspended

San Francisco Chronicle

Matthai Chakko Kuruvila

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Episcopal Diocese of California is investigating an allegation of sexual misconduct involving Rev. James Tramel, who became an icon of redemption after he was ordained in prison while serving a sentence for second- degree murder.

An adult member of Trinity Episcopal Church in San Francisco, Tramel's parish, filed the complaint with the diocese Tuesday, and Tramel, 39, was suspended that day from all pastoral, administrative and sacramental duties, according to diocesan spokesman Sean McConnell.

Parishioners at the church were told of the suspension during Sunday morning services, McConnell said.

Reached on Sunday, Tramel said Bishop Marc Andrus had instructed him not to speak on the matter. Andrus said the alleged sexual misconduct occurred over time and did not involve criminal activity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 PM

Priest Ordained in Jail Temporarily Inhibited

The Living Church Foundation


The Rev. James Tramel, the California priest whose highly publicized ordination occurred while he was in prison, has been temporarily inhibited by the Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop of California.

Fr. Tramel, rector of Trinity Church, San Francisco, was inhibited from priestly duties Oct. 9 pending the outcome of a formal investigation by the diocese. The ecclesiastical investigation was prompted after an adult under the pastoral care of Fr. Tramel filed a formal complaint alleging that Fr. Tramel had violated the church’s policy on sexual misconduct. The complaint does not involve allegations of criminal misconduct, a diocesan spokesperson said.

“We take allegations of misconduct very seriously in the Diocese of California and will proceed with diligence and the highest level of care,” the diocese stated in a release. “The spiritual, emotional, and physical well being of all parties is our utmost concern. Because of this, and in compliance with the canons of The Episcopal Church, further details will not be discussed at this time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 PM

Former Sonora priest denies allegations of molestation

The Union Democrat

The Union Democrat

A former Sonora priest, placed on administrative leave by the Stockton Diocese following allegations he molested a former parishioner, defended himself in a letter to diocese members, "categorically, unequivocally, and emphatically" denying the claim.

In his letter to "friends, parishioners and longtime acquaintances," Father Michael M. Kelly asserts his innocence and relates "deep sadness and anger" that he was even sending out a letter to inform people of the allegations set against him.

"I am totally and completely innocent of this accusation ... and I plan to defend my ministry and my honor," Kelly's letter said.

Father Kelly, now with a parish in Lockeford, was pastor at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Sonora from 1987 to 1997.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 PM

Alleged pedophile worked with B.C. school, N.S. air cadets

CBC News

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 | 6:15 PM ET
CBC News
The lead suspect in an international pedophile investigation volunteered at a B.C. school and was a chaplain with the air cadets in Nova Scotia.

Christopher Paul Neil, 32, lived in Maple Ridge, has family in the area and volunteered at Saint Patrick's School in Maple Ridge in 2000 and 2001. The volunteer work was part of his training at Christ of the King seminary, where Neil was studying to become a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 PM

Woman Sues For Sexual Abuse By Teacher In 1970s


MIAMI -- The archdiocese of Miami faced yet another sexual abuse lawsuit on Tuesday when a teacher was accused of a sex crime.

A woman claimed a teacher sexually assaulted her while she was a student at Monsignor Pace High School in the 1970s.

According to the lawsuit, the teacher was Mary Deming, who now works in Georgia.

The alleged victim claimed she told school officials about the abuse, but nothing was done.

"The abuse went on for a period of years," plaintiff lawyer Jeffrey Herman said. "The allegations of the complaint are that this girl reached out for help to several priests with the archdiocese of Miami who worked at the high school, and that all three of these priests concealed it, told her to keep it quiet and failed to help this girl at all."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 PM

Che don Giovanni ...

Il Gazzettino

Everyone knew the Rev. Giovanni Brusegan would not have an easy life. But nobody would have guessed that beyond the finger pointing against the bishop's delegate was Rev. Sante Sguotti himself. "Rev. Giovanni can never be found," explained the rebel priest. "I was expecting that he would be more available but that's not the case. He arrives, says Mass and then disappears. For that, when I wrote the calendar for the celebrations I have listed a great number of them so that he'll be forced to be present as much as possible," Rev. Sguotti said.

"Those who accused me," he continued, "said that I hadn't any time to spend for my parish and now they accept Rev. Giovanni who is always busy and can't look after the parish well," he said. "Yes, he was a good candidate to be regent parish priest of Monterosso but he is, however, often absent. And besides that his behavior is too much judgmental," the priest added.

It wasn't enough a lot of letters of solidarity were sent to the rebel priest saying "remain with us," "don't go," "you were much better."

But even if there was a removal decree, a pledge of obedience to the bishop, the so-called moving to Lovertino, Rev. Sante remains at Monterosso and continuing to use the parish office, the community center and courageous attempts to co-celebrate Masses.

Rebellion? Self-inflected wounds? It's soon to say. It is sure, however, that a certain bent for martyrdom was shown by Rev. Sante during the last intervention at Buona Domenica. It was 25 minutes live in which the former parish priest of Monterosso was first massacred by Alessandra Mussolini, then attacked by the guests and finally booed by the public. "I lost seven to one," he commented. "I was only applauded once, perhaps out of compassion. But it's difficult to give intelligent answers to stupid questions. I accepted that as I was in a gym. It's like when one trains for karate to be able to defend oneself in case of attack," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 PM

Mexican priest abuse case dropped

BBC News

A judge in Los Angeles has dismissed a lawsuit against a Mexican cardinal accused of conspiring to move a known child abuser to the US Catholic church.

The judge said there was not enough evidence to try Cardinal Norberto Rivera in a US court, the plaintiff's lawyer told the Associated Press.

The plaintiff alleged that Mr Rivera sent the priest to the Los Angeles diocese knowing he had abused children.

Mr Rivera, of Mexico City, said he was unaware of claims against the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Lawsuit against Mexican cardinal dismissed in LA


By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles court on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit against Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera that accused him of conspiring with U.S. Roman Catholic officials to shuttle a priest wanted for sex abuse between Mexico and California.

Los Angeles Superior Court judge Elihu M. Berle ruled that the U.S. courts had no jurisdiction in the case, which has rocked the Catholic Church in predominantly Catholic Mexico.

"The court said that this case should be in Mexico, not in California. They dismissed it on a legal technicality not on the merits of the case at all," said Mike Finnegan, a lawyer for the plaintiff.

The lawsuit was filed last year by former altar boy Joaquin Aguilar Mendez of Mexico City, who said he was raped in Mexico at age 13 by a priest named Nicolas Aguilar Rivera. The suit also claims that Aguilar was shunted between Los Angeles and Mexico City by Catholic Church officials to avoid arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

US govt sides with Vatican in child sex abuse case

Brisbane Times

Brett Barrouquere | October 17, 2007 - 6:14AM

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky - The US administration partially sided with the Vatican in a lawsuit seeking class-action damages from the Roman Catholic church and its headquarters for an alleged cover-up of priests sexually abusing children in the United States.

The US Justice Department and State Department argued in a friend of the court brief that the Holy See may only be sued as a foreign country, not a religious institution, because the US government recognises it as a foreign state. US law provides immunity to foreign countries from most lawsuits.

The filing to the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals comes in a case brought by three men alleging the Vatican orchestrated a cover-up of US priests sexually abusing children. Louisville attorney William McMurry is seeking class-action status, saying there are thousands of victims across the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 PM

Pius and Impious

Christianity Today

Sheryl Henderson Blunt | posted 10/16/2007 08:39AM

In July, the state-run media accused a leading opponent, Roman Catholic archbishop Pius Ncube, of committing adultery, leading to his resignation in September. More recently, Mugabe protégé Nolbert Kunonga, the Anglican bishop of Harare, pushed to disband the Central African province of which Zimbabwe's Anglican church is a member. Leaders within the province had angered Mugabe by denouncing his administration's corruption and economic mismanagement.

Zimbabweans contacted for this story said the president's desperation to stamp out opposition has increased as the country's economic crisis has deepened. Inflation reached 14,000 percent recently, and the International Monetary Fund predicts it could rise to 100,000 percent by year's end. Unemployment hovers around 90 percent.

"You get the feeling the wheels are falling off," said a white Zimbabwean educator who asked that his name not be used. Pastors in major cities, where protesters have been rounded up by the hundreds and brutally beaten, describe an atmosphere of intense paranoia in which they are regularly subjected to surveillance and intimidation. Government operatives sit in on church services and question churchgoers, they said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Federal grand jury indicts former pastor on child pornography charges

Commercial Appeal

By Lawrence Buser
Originally published 03:22 p.m., October 16, 2007
Updated 03:22 p.m., October 16, 2007

A former Cordova church pastor already facing state charges of sexually assaulting a teenage boy during a five-year relationship was indicted today on federal child pornography charges.

Steven C. Haney, 47, former head of Walnut Grove Baptist Church at 8801 Walnut Grove Road, is accused of enticing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing pictures.

The federal charge carries a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Haney, who was pastor there for 20 years before stepping down last November, also is charged with possession of child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:16 PM

Alleged victims plead v. ruling


SEVEN teenage school girls are asking the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office to reconsider its earlier ruling clearing Fr. Benedicto Ejares of any inappropriate behavior allegedly committed while hearing a confession.

They also want Assistant City Prosecutors Alexander Acosta and Fernando Gubalane to inhibit themselves from taking part in any proceedings related to their pleading.

Instead, the girls, in a motion for reconsideration filed by their lawyer Gerardo Carillo, said they want Cebu City Prosecutor Nicolas Sellon to resolve the matter.

Carillo, also a Cebu City councilor, said the statements of the victims who said they were shocked by what happened to them could not be taken lightly as a
misunderstanding of Ejares’ intentions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 PM

Prosecutors oppose delay in sentencing priest


11:40 AM EDT, October 16, 2007

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Federal prosecutors are opposing a request by a priest to delay his sentencing for stealing from his church to support a lifestyle of high-class shopping and travel.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in December after he pleaded guilty last month to a federal fraud charge. He resigned last year as pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church in Darien.

He has asked to have his sentencing delayed until April, after he undergoes chemotherapy treatment for prostate cancer which has spread to his bones and lymph nodes and become resistant to traditional chemotherapy.

Prosecutors say if Fay is sentenced to prison, his reporting date can be delayed to accommodate medical treatments. Authorities also say the Bureau of Prisons can address his medical needs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Parish priest guilty of child sex attacks

The Argus

By Sam Underwood

A parish priest was today found guilty of 15 sex attacks on two young brothers.

Father Dermot Keaveney, 72, was convicted of the offences which took place more than 30 years ago.

He was serving as a priest at various churches in Brighton and Hove at the time of the crimes.

As Keaveney was taken down to the cells one of his victims shouted: "Die you paedophile."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Italy’s Media Focus on Clergy Abuse Allegations

National Catholic Register


October 21-27, 2007 Issue | Posted 10/16/07 at 10:57 AM

Following a spate of unsubstantiated claims of sexual abuse by priests, Italy’s Church leadership fears that an unbalanced media fixation on the issue is coming to its shores.

In August, a well-known priest who has devoted his life to establishing rehabilitation centers for drug addicts was accused by four former patients of sexual abuse. In the face of widespread media coverage, Father Pietro Gelmini, or “Don Pierino” as he is familiarly known, strongly protested his innocence.

The 82-year-old priest said the allegations were made by former adult patients who had been thrown out of his Incontro (Encounter) Community for theft. In early September, the Italian press reported that another 50 people had claimed the elderly priest abused them.

However, none of the accusers have brought formal charges against Father Gelmini, whose community numbers 164 centers in Italy and 74 in other countries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

Priest faces jail for sex attacks

BBC News

A former Catholic parish priest is facing jail after being found guilty of 15 sex attacks on two young brothers.

Father Dermot Keaveney, 72, of Beacon Hill, Hindhead, Surrey, was convicted at Lewes Crown Court of offences which took place more than 30 years ago.

He was serving as a priest at various churches in Brighton and Hove, in East Sussex, at the time of the crimes.

Keaveney, who had denied the charges, was remanded in custody for sentencing on 13 November.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

AP Exclusive: Suspected pedophile in global manhunt worked as chaplain advising young cadets

International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: October 16, 2007

TORONTO: A suspected pedophile, the subject of an unprecedented global Interpol manhunt, worked as a chaplain and counselor advising children for the Canadian military and was studying to become a priest, those who worked with him said.

Before becoming an English teacher in Asia, Christopher Paul Neil, 32, worked as a chaplain from 1998 to 2000 at an air cadet summer training center in Nova Scotia, said Captain Hope Carr, a public affairs officer for the Canadian military.

Neil's duties would include spiritual advising for children ages 12 to 18 and teaching a moral issues class, Carr said.

"If young people were very homesick and having trouble coping away from home at a camp, he would be there to counsel," Carr said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:12 PM

San Diego diocese seeks to raise $25 million for abuse settlement

San Jose Mercury News

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 10/16/2007 12:05:52 PM PDT

SAN DIEGO—The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego is asking parishioners to donate $25 million to help pay for its $198.1 million settlement with childhood sex abuse victims.

The diocesan headquarters and a nearby seminary may have to be sold if the campaign is unsuccessful, Bishop Robert H. Brom wrote in a letter dated Monday that will be sent to parishioners with a note from individual pastors.

Brom wrote that the he hoped donations would pay the portion of the settlement that is not covered by insurance, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

"I need your help to cover the expense we incurred recently through compassionate outreach to our brothers and sisters who suffered sexual abuse within the family of the church so that we can continue, without serious jeopardy, the many other aspects of the mission," Brom wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

Suspected Pedophile Left Tracks on Web

The Associated Press


PARIS (AP) — A suspected pedophile being hunted by Interpol contributed to an online forum for teachers, and police say they believe he wrote under a pseudonym about the risks of catching HIV from oral sex and how to erase pornographic computer files "so no one will see."

Two teachers who knew and socialized with Christopher Paul Neil, a 32-year-old Canadian now being sought for allegedly abusing young boys, told The Associated Press he wrote extensively online under the pseudonym "Peter Jackson." They described him as a social, fun-loving person, and said no one in their circles suspected him of pedophilia.

The worldwide manhunt for Neil, who eluded police for years, is now centered on Thailand. Authorities say Neil flew into Bangkok on a one-way ticket Thursday and is still at large.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 PM

Bangkok manhunt after internet child-sex suspect identified

The Standard

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Interpol identified a suspected serial pedophile being hunted across Asia as Christopher Paul Neil, a Canadian now believed to be in hiding in Bangkok.

Neil, 32, whose digitally swirled face in internet photos of child sex abuse was unscrambled by German police computer experts, arrived in Thailand from South Korea - three days after the pictures were released.

He taught at an international school in Bangkok three years ago.

In neighboring Cambodia, where police say Neil was photographed sexually abusing small boys, border authorities have been alerted in case he tries to sneak out of Thailand by land.

Neil, who had been known only by the codename "Vico," was captured on security cameras at Bangkok airport on Thursday. He looks significantly older and balder and is wearing glasses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 PM

More details coming out about world's most wanted alleged pedophile


VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - Neil studied to be a priest at the Christ of the King seminary in Mission.
Paul Schratz speaks for the Vancouver Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church.

"I don't know if it was their recommendation that he go into teaching. I understand from the seminary that he was not recommended for the priesthood and then he left."

The college of teachers says Neil never taught in a public school in British Columbia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 PM

Suit Dismissed Against Mexican Cardinal

The Associated Press

By GILLIAN FLACCUS – 1 hour ago

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday against Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera, who had been accused of conspiring with Roman Catholic officials in the United States to transfer a priest accused of sexual abuse between the two countries.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu M. Berle found Rivera could not be held accountable in a U.S. court because the plaintiff didn't have enough evidence against him, said Mike Finnegan, the plaintiff's attorney.

"It was a legal technicality," he said. "It didn't reach any of the merits of the case, and it didn't get to the key issues in the case, which is Cardinal Rivera's complicity in sending (the priest) to the United States as a child molester."

The judge's ruling also dismissed claims against the Mexican Diocese of Tehuacan, where the cardinal was bishop at the time he transferred the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

Cardinal Herranz: Vatican first to want an “internal cleansing”

Catholic News Agency

Rome, Oct 16, 2007 / 01:01 pm (CNA).- In an interview with the Italian daily “La Repubblica,” Cardinal Julian Herranz, president emeritus of the Commission for Legislative Texts of the Holy See, said in response to news of a Vatican official suspended over accusations of homosexual activity that the Vatican is the first to want a “profound internal cleansing.”

“We are the first to want an internal cleansing, but that cleansing will be done with respect for human rights and after the ruling of judicial authorities,” he said.

Cardinal Herranz noted that Msgr. Tommaso Stenico, the priest involved in the scandal that rocked the Vatican this past weekend “has been immediately suspended from his position while he awaits a verdict from the Tribunal.”

Despite the evidence from the program “Exit” which showed him making homosexual advances towards another man, Msgr. Stenico says he is innocent and that he was pretending to be gay in order to discover “the true enemies within the Church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 PM

Catholic sex-abuse victims protest at college board meeting

The Orange County Register

October 15th, 2007 · 2 Comments · posted by rsrisavasdi
Two clergy sex-abuse activists attended the board meeting today of the Rancho Santiago Community College District, calling for a written apology from its president regarding the release of victims’ identities.

Joelle Casteix, the southwest regional director for Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, said she asked president John Hanna to sever his ties with “Friends of Msgr. John Urell,” a group that recently made headlines when it took a full-page ad in the Orange County Register to support a controversial priest.

In July, Urell broke down and didn’t finish a deposition in a now-settled Mater Dei sex-abuse lawsuit, prompting Bishop Tod Brown to send him to a Canadian treatment center. Urell’s medical condition is the subject of an attempt to hold Brown in contempt because Urell left though he was was under court order to testify about his past handling of sex-abuse complaints in the diocese.

Despite settling lawsuits that usually make such a pre-trial motion moot, diocese attorneys want to proceed with the December 3rd contempt hearing, saying it would clear the bishop’s name.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

The Continuing Story of the Bunglin' Friends of Monsignor John

Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
October 16, 2007 10:02 AM

Go visit the website of the Friends of Monsignor John, the brave individuals who sought to publicly support the Catholic Diocese of Orange's longtime point man in its horrendous sex-abuse scandal. Notice anything different? Notice there are no more comments, deleted or otherwise? Notice there are no more depositions, redacted or otherwise? Notice there isn't even the text of the group's full-page ad in the Orange County Register from last week? Granted, websites constantly evolve, but the Friends of Monsignor John are reeling yet again from another callous mistake.

Yesterday, Newport Beach attorney John Manly--who has sued Catholic dioceses across the world for their pedo-protecting ways--fired another letter to the Friends and its most prominent members, Rancho Santiago Community College District board president John Hanna and OC Blog boss Matt "Jubal" Cunningham. In a previous letter, Manly demanded that the group take down Urell's unredacted deposition because it revealed the names of six sex-abuse survivors without their permission. This time around, Manly was angrier.

Manly was upset because the Friends had posted an unredacted copy of the Memorandum of Understanding that solidified Bishop Tod D. Brown's $6.685 million settlement between his diocese and four molestation victims of Orange diocese teachers. "You had no right to discover the identity of or client, and you had no right to see an un-redacted version of the Memorandum of Understanding," Manly wrote to Hanna and and Cunningham. "So, where did you get it?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

"Preti gay, la Chiesa farà pulizia”


From La Repubblica

Orazio La Rocca interviewed Cardinal Julian Herranz, jurist and president of the Vatican disciplinary commission. To recap, Monsignor Tommaso Stenico was suspended from his job at the Vatican for having confessed to being gay. Here are the questions and answers.

La Rocca : Cardinal Herranz what do you think of the Stenico's case?

Cardinal : It's a case about which I can't now express my opinion. It's better that the competent authorities are allowed to work for the investigators are trying to clarify the episode. It's better they work serenely, far from the clamor of mass media, for processes cannot be made through the newspapers but in their proper place. The Vatican has taken immediate action with a suspension provision. The tribunal will make the final decisions.

La Rocca: Will it take a long time?

Cardinal: I don't know. I repeat, let the competent judges work in peace. It's not to be forgotten that it is the Holy See that first is interested in cleaning in its house. Upon conditions a due process will take place to ascertain the real responsibility.

La Rocca: What are the sanctions that could be decided against Monsignor Stenico?

Cardinal: I wouldn't like to speak about it. At a general level, crimes committed against the sixth commandment regarding the sexual sphere, canon 1399 of the canon law provides a severe punishment, as far as the elimination of the priest status for that priest who sins with a 16-year-old minor. But it's the general rule and I don't know if that could be applied to this case.

La Rocca: What's is felt in the Vatican when something like a prelate committing grave crimes or ceding to sexual temptations happen?

Cardinal: Surely it is sad, but there is also the awareness that these cases happen rarely, even uniquely. They don't touch the community because in the Church, in the Holy See, in the various congregations there are many people, in the laity and clergy, strongly involved to serve the Pope in a serious, determinate and love for the word of Christ. When someone makes mistakes, he is judged according to the canon law or according to the provisions set
by the Roman Curia, but always in the respect of the rights, with no prejudice and following a regular process.

La Rocca: What's the health state of the Vatican on the moral point of view?

Cardinal: Very well, notwithstanding some isolated cases. That's shown by the fact that the disciplinary commission I preside over isalmost with no work. I repeat, the Holy See 's personnel is highly motivated. We can have someone who makes mistakes but the Church
knows how to intervene.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Broken marriages, addictions, Geoghan's murderer, a whole new breed of criminals created by church and its pedophiles

City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

It’s easy to see why the Salesians want to distance themselves from the Catholic Church in the Nov. 5 jury trial in LA. When the whole story comes out about how pedophile priests affected American society it’s going to be embarrassing for anyone to associate with the Catholic Church. We haven’t even started to gauge the collateral damage done to this country by the pedophile priest epidemic, what advocate Dennis McKeown in Pittsburgh calls the “vicious cycle.” Or what Joseph Druce, who murdered John Geoghan last year, describes as "tortuous memories of shame embedded in the soul." Druce's poem is at the end of this post.

The Salesians don’t want to “inflame” jurors by mentioning the LA Archdiocese, the Pope, any settlements paid to victims of Catholic priest sex crimes so far, the name Cardinal Roger Mahony, all of which is understandable considering the LA archdiocese and the Catholic Church’s reputation. Salesian attorneys write: “Evidence concerning ADLA and/or Mahony serves no purpose other than to unfairly prejudice defendants by inflaming the jury and creating bias in favor of plaintiffs.”

Problem is the Salesians are just as guilty as the Catholic Church and Mahony and they all are a long way from justice. Consider this: a budding pedophile sees a Catholic priest being a pedophile so he becomes a priest. After decades of watching priests get away with pedophilia, predators become more bold. Look at the increase in violence against children in the United States in the last 50 years, with police finding mutilated bodies of young boys and girls. While priests got more bold with their altar boys, pedophiles graduated from sex crimes against children to violence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

«Mi rivolgerò al Papa per restare un prete»

Il Gazzettino


" I'll ask the Pope to allow me to remain a priest"

The Rev. Sante Sguotti is now present in all media. After two invitations at Buona Domenica, Rev. Sguotti yesterday went on the afr from microphones at Radio R101. This time, too, he blamed Bishop Mattiazzo, proclaiming himself to be an innocent victim.

"In all this story, first they judged me guilty and then they started the process against me. Yet even in the canon law there is a rule by which first there is a process and afterwards there is the penality," the priest said. This was the outburst of Rev. Sguotti, the rebel priest of Monterosso, made yesterday on the Radio R101 microphones in an interview with Marco Balestri on the Molto Personale (Very Personal) program.

"They withdrew persmission to confess before the canon law process, which is an abuse of power on the part of the bishop," he said. He later denounced the church for allowing abortions to avoid scandals. "Any way, I don't think it's obligatory to marry for having children. It's sufficent they are born in a context of welcome and love," he said. He said he will ask Pope Benedict XVI to dispense him from the obligation of celibacy while remaining a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM


Il Gazzettino

Rebel & Temporizer

He is a rebel and a temporizer. The Rev. Sante Sguotti, priest in love, does not indicate he will bend to the will and dictates of the Paduan curia. His story of barricadero, of a Don Quixote
fighting the wind mills of the clerical affectivity, is now able to acquire a meaning: that of uncovering to the public the difficulty of the Padua diocese to handle delicate issues.

There is an inborn fragility when those who wield power are not capable of gaining due respect. In the Rev. Sante story, Archbishop Antonio Mattiazzo privileged a waiting tactic. As the Roman General Quinto Fabio Massimo wore out Hannibal's troops and avoided a direct clash, the bishop thought that prolonging the canonic procedure, issuing bit by bit his provisions between a delay and another, he would have weakened the desire of the priest in love to fight

Things didn't go as he hoped and that is clear to everyone. The determination shown during the past days by Rev. Sguotti makes one understand how much the delaying tactic is playing in the priest's favor. Between one appeal and another, from the Congregation of the Clergy to the
Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (the Vatican's highest appeal court), the priest has had time to launch other challenges, organize protests, participate in TV programs, give interviews, unveil all the church's shames at the local, national and world level.

In this picture, his having been removed from the parish seems not to be a big deal as will as the impediment to confess (which was a penality inflicted even to a saint, Padre Pio). Even the probable suspension of "a divinis" or the less likely excommunication would not be insurmountable obstacles. On the contrary, the outcome could be that Rev. Sante will end up as a kind of prophet, a martyr victim of the hierarchy. It remains to be analyzed why the curia played this game --a losing tactic--that is on the defense and not on the attack.

There is someone who says this behavior is inevitable because Rev. Antonio Mazzola, since 1997 to last summer a bishop delegate for the city pastoral council, was not involved in the matter. His capacity of negotiator had solved many thorny issues in the past. Other people say there are other problems (the capacity for a dialogue, for example) and they are connected to the top of the Paduan ecclesiatical pyramid. In any case, it will be useful, for laity and believers, to reflect on the low level of capacity in management of this story. It is too high a price, perhaps too high, in terms of credibility and trustworthiness. It's not to be ignored there ae other cases till unsolved, silent for their nature or temporarily silenced and all of them with the potential to explode.

Among these cases is one about the Rev. Paolo Spoladore, singer and songwriter, who cannot say Mass in public but who has a big following; the case of Rev. Marino Ruggero, sent away from the parish of Villa Teolo and founder of a pub; the story of the Rev. Marco Girardi, former chaplain at the Padua jail. For these reasons, waiting for the next shocking event it would be better if the curia would study resolutive and more efficent strategies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

The Christian struggle with homosexuality

New Statesman

Martin Reynolds

Published 16 October 2007

The outing of Vatican highflier Monsignor Tommaso Stenico in a secretly filmed TV sting where he tells a young man he saw nothing sinful having gay sex and then asks the young man if he “likes” him ... offers a real insight into the struggle the Roman Catholic Church is having in its home country over homosexuality.

Not so long ago the idea of exposing a Catholic priest’s peccadilloes would have been anathema to most Italian media outlets. The fact that the Vatican has its fair share of gay priests, bishops, Cardinals and Popes was universally known and privately acknowledged but rarely if ever reported there.

This cosy relationship fractured when countries began introducing legislation recognising the civil rights of homosexuals and giving their partnerships the status of family. The Vatican has been a violent opponent of this process and opposed Civil Partnerships and gay marriage across the world and lately in Italy where the conflict between Church and liberal reformers has been heated.

An attempt earlier this year to bring civil partnerships to Italy foundered in part due to the massive lobbying from the Vatican and attitudes in Italian society hardened on both sides. Fr Tommaso is just the latest victim in this battle and he will not be the last.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM


Irish Independent

Looked at objectively, the Vatican is a gayer place than Bingo night at the George -- all those single men, all wearing their lovely colourful frocks, surrounded by good food and wine in one of the most romantic cities in the world?

And the latest scandal is suitably flamboyant.

Monsignor Tommaso Stenico has been suspended after he was caught propositioning a young man in his office. And, officially, the Church is against filthy poovery. Nudge nudge, wink wink.

Say no more etc.

Monsignor Stenico, who complained to the man who entrapped him that "you don't fancy me" actually says he has been working a careful double bluff and has been trying to expose a Satanic cult which has been targeting priests for homosexual humiliation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Former Darien pastor asks for sentencing delay

The Advocate

Published October 16 2007

Staff and wire reports

NEW HAVEN - A former Darien priest who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in church money to support a lifestyle of high-class shopping and travel is asking for a delay in sentencing, saying he is dying of cancer.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay pleaded guilty in federal court last month to interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud. Fay resigned last year as pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church.

Fay, who faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 4, asked that his sentencing be delayed until April. He said his prostate cancer has spread to his bones and lymph nodes and has become resistant to chemotherapy.

Fay has begun a different chemotherapy designed to delay the cancer. His attorney said in a court filing that those in his condition generally have an expected lifespan of several months, but his doctor cautioned against applying statistics to his case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Brom asks Catholics to help pay settlement


By Sandi Dolbee

October 16, 2007

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego hopes to raise $25 million in donations to help pay its portion of a $198.1 million settlement reached last month with childhood sexual abuse victims.

"I need your help to cover the expense we incurred recently through compassionate outreach to our brothers and sisters who suffered sexual abuse within the family of the church,” Bishop Robert Brom wrote in a letter to be sent to parishioners in San Diego and Imperial counties.

If the “Embracing Our Mission” campaign is not successful, Brom said the diocese has only two other properties that could be sold – its headquarters in Bay Park and St. Francis Seminary in Linda Vista.

Brom's letter, dated yesterday, is part of an every-member mailing that will include a letter from the local priest and a return envelope. The packets are to be sent out by Oct. 26.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

October 15, 2007

Bishop Kunonga, Amai Chisamba in sex scandal


Tue, 16 Oct 2007 00:09:00

Isabel Panyangara

The Right Reverend of the Anglican Church Bishop Nobert Kunonga has been caught in a shaking sex scandal with the talk-show host Amai Rebecca Chisamba of the popular television serial programme, amid revelations that the much-touted Pius Ncube “sex” saga was nothing considering that the two Harare figures are in the habit of banging each other infinitely, Zimdaily can reveal.

According to a senior member of the Africa Unity Square-domiciled church Reverend Kunonga and Amai Chisamba are usually seen sneaking into the church premises at odd hours as if they are religiously on church business.

The official said that the affair has been going on for months and because of the affair Amai Chisamba has been elevated to become deputy chairlady of the Mothers’ Union in the Anglican Harare Diocese. Coincidentally Amai Chisamba was also the best “girl” when Kunonga and his wife had a lavish wedding anniversary late last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

«Voglio fare il prete senza l'obbligo del celibato» Don Sante non si arrende e si appella al Papa

Il Messagero

" I want to be a priest without obligation for celibacy"
Rev. Sante doesn't give up and he makes an appeal to the Pope

The Rev. Sante Sguotti, the priest of a little town near Padua who was removed from his parish because of a relationship with a woman. does not give up and he wants to make an appeal to Pope Benedict XVI.

"I'll ask the Pope to be dispensed from celibacy and to be allowed to be a priest," he said today at the microphones of R101.

The priest said at first they said he was guilty and then they prepared to indict him and process him. "Yet even in the canon law there is the rule of first being processed and then you get the penalty only if you are found guilty," he said. Rev. Sguotti has never conceded nor denied being the father of a child.

"They withdrew my right to confess before the canonical process. It's an abuse of power on the part of the bishop," Rev. Sguotti said. "Even in the church they decided to practice abortion to avoid scandals. In any case, I think it's not obligatory to marry to have children. It's only necessary they are born in the context where they are loved," he said.

In recent days since the order of removal from his parish was made by Bishop Antonio Mattiazzo, Rev. Sguotti let it be known he would not leave his parish. "I don't leave Monterosso. I'll be the moral parish priest of the town people who do not accept such a kind of imposition on the ground that it is the right of the people to decide who must be their pastor," the priest said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

Holy See Suspends Embroiled Monsignor Cardinal Calls for Serenity


ROME, OCT. 15, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See suspended a priest who declared himself a homosexual on an Italian television program.

Monsignor Tommaso Stenico, who worked at the Congregation for Clergy, is being investigated by the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia.

The 60-year-old priest claims he is the victim of a trap set by the television station.

Cardinal Julián Herranz Casado, president of the Disciplinary Commission, confirmed the suspension today in the Italian daily La Repubblica.

The cardinal affirmed that the Holy See "has promptly intervened already, with suspension," but noted that a final decision will only come with a decision from the commission.

Cardinal Herranz asked that investigators be allowed to work "with serenity […] away from the clamoring of the media" as they try to clarify the situation, "since the process should not be done in the newspapers, but rather by the institutional structures."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

Vatican promises action after priest's gay advance


By Phil Stewart

6:45 a.m. October 15, 2007

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican promised on Monday a speedy investigation into a senior official at the Holy See who was filmed by a hidden camera making homosexual advances, and to discipline him if necessary.

Monsignor Tommaso Stenico, a top official at the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy which oversees priests around the world, was heard on Italian television telling a young man he was 'hot' and that homosexual sex was not sinful.

Stenico, who did not know he was being filmed and whose face and voice were distorted in the broadcast, says in his defence that he was only pretending to be gay to learn about people trying to 'harm' the Church with homosexual behaviour.

Cardinal Julian Herranz, president of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia, said the Vatican would act quickly after suspending Stenico from duty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

U.S. partially backs Vatican in priest-abuse suit

The Courier-Journal

By Peter Smith
The Courier-Journal

The U.S. government has taken the Vatican's side -- at least in part -- in a Louisville-based priest-abuse lawsuit seeking class-action damages from the Roman Catholic headquarters.

Lawyers for the U.S. State and Justice departments argued in a friend-of-the-court brief that the Vatican can only be sued as a foreign state -- a status that grants it broad protections from lawsuits -- and not as a private religious organization.

The U.S. government brief defends the constitutionality of the law that sets limits on when foreign governments can be sued, and the right of the president alone, and not the court system, to decide which countries to recognize.

But the U.S. lawyers didn't dispute a U.S. District Court's judge's ruling that allowed the plaintiffs to sue the Vatican within the limits of the law governing lawsuits against foreign states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Wife 'sickened to her soul' over improper conduct allegations


(CNN) -- The wife of the president of Oral Roberts University is denying allegations of improper behavior, saying the claims "sicken" her.

Richard Roberts and wife Lindsay appear on CNN's "Larry King Live" last week.

Lindsay Roberts, in a statement on the university's Web site, said the allegations against her "sicken me to my soul. ... I live my life in a morally upright manner and throughout my marriage have never, ever engaged in any sexual behavior with any man outside of my marriage as the accusations imply."

The suit, filed earlier this month, has drawn international attention to the private Christian school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, founded by evangelist Oral Roberts, father of university President Richard Roberts.

The new allegations come in an amended version of the wrongful termination suit filed by three former professors, who say they lost their jobs after reporting that Roberts and his family lavishly spent school money for personal expenses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Showdown Between Sex-Abuse Survivors, Hanna Tonight

Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
October 15, 2007 10:40 AM

It's hard to argue against survivors of Catholic sex abuse when the subject is the church's sex-abuse scandal, yet that's what Rancho Santiago Community College District board president John Hanna must do this afternoon. You'll recall that last week, the spin-friendly group Friends of Monsignor John posted an unredacted version of John Urell's July deposition in which the names of six molestation victims of Orange diocese priests and lay workers were revealed without their permission. Hanna is the group's spokesperson, so Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) will attend today's RSCCD board meeting and demand the board, "publicly censure their board president for using a new website to disclose the names of sex abuse victims without their permission, force him to withdraw his support of the controversial new 'Friends of Monsignor Urell' group" and "insist that he make a public written apology for the gross and hurtful violation of privacy." SNAP also claims the move "was a deliberate attempt to punish those victims and scare other victims into staying silent."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:21 PM

Pastor indicted in aggravated sexual assault of a child

Texarkana Gazette

By: Lynn Larowe - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 10/15/2007

A local pastor accused of fathering the child of a 13-year-old member of his congregation has been formally indicted by a Bowie County grand jury for aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Willie Fay Arnold, 60, of Texarkana, Texas, is accused of sexually assaulting the girl in the home of her grandmother in Texarkana, Texas. The assaults happened when no others were in the home on at least three separate occasions, court documents say. The girl reported the incident in March 2006 to the director of a local pregnancy center, according to an arrest affidavit.

It is unclear whether Arnold is still pastor of a Church of God in Christ congregation in Queen City.

Investigators say the victim told police and an interviewer at the Child Advocacy Center she had feared telling about the assaults because of Arnold’s position in the church and his relationship with her family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Lawyer wants biker garb banned in courtroom


By Brad Belote

PINEVILLE, Mo. (AP) - An attorney for a woman accused of sexually abusing a teen while part of a fringe church in southwest Missouri wants a judge to ban biker clothing in the courtroom.

Laura Epling's trial had been set to begin Wednesday but has been rescheduled for November 16th. The motion stems from the potential presence at the trial of Bikers Against Child Abuse, a national group of motorcyclists whose mission is to help and to protect abused children.

Black leather vests emblazoned with the BACA patch are the groups trademark clothing.

Epling is charged with one count of second-degree statutory sodomy for allegedly helping the church pastor sexually abuse a 16-year-old girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Vatican official suspended in homosexual scandal

Catholic World News

Vatican, Oct. 15, 2007 (CWNews.com) - An Italian priest serving in the Roman Curia has been suspended after a television broadcast videotapes in which the cleric made homosexual advances at another man.

Msgr. Tomasso Stenico confirmed to reporters that he had been suspended from his position in the Congregation for the Clergy. But the Italian priest insisted that he is not an active homosexual, despite the evidence supplied by the television broadcast.

The "Exit" program that aired on Italy's La7 network on October 1 captured a priest inviting a young man to engage in intimacies, and saying that he did not consider homosexual acts sinful. Although the priest's face was obscured in the television broadcast, his voice and his office were recognizable, and Msgr. Stenico did not attempt to deny that he was the cleric on the film.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:21 PM

Priest asks for sentencing delay, citing cancer


12:36 PM EDT, October 15, 2007

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A former Darien priest who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in church money is asking for a delay in sentencing, saying he is dying of cancer.

Rev. Michael Jude Fay pleaded guilty in federal court last month to interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud. Fay resigned last year as pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church.

Fay, who faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 4, asked that his sentencing be delayed until April. He says his prostate cancer has spread to his bones and lymph nodes and has become resistant to chemotherapy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Diocese given top grade for charter compliance

Pittsburgh Catholic


The Diocese of Pittsburgh was found once again to be in full compliance with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” following a thorough audit of diocesan policies and practices in August.

The audit was conducted by The Gavin Group Inc., an independent auditing organization headquartered in Boston. An independent audit is required under the charter guidelines.

This was the fourth audit conducted on the diocese since 2003. In each of the previous audits, the diocese was found to have met and exceeded the charter’s requirements.

The charter has action articles that call on every diocese to promote healing and reconciliation with victims/survivors of sexual abuse of minors, to guarantee an effective response to allegations of sexual abuse of minors, to ensure the accountability of these procedures and to protect the faithful in the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Missing Information From LAT in Coverage of Church Abuse Suits


By Dave Pierre | October 14, 2007 - 22:42 ET
On Tuesday (10/9/07), the Los Angeles Times published this story about four women reaching a $6.8 million settlement in molestation lawsuits against the Catholic Church's diocese of Orange County, California.

The article, by Christine Hanley, exhibits the paper's continuing lack of fairness in coverage of the Church abuse narrative. Hanley's piece omits much important information.

1. Wrote Hanley,

The deal came about a week before [Christina] Ruiz's lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial in a case that had already exposed [Orange County Bishop Tod] Brown to a contempt-of-court order, and rekindled the anger leveled at the church. Ruiz accused former Mater Dei assistant basketball coach Jeff Andrade of molesting her for more than a year, starting when she was 15. In a deposition taken as part of the lawsuit, Andrade admitted to having had sex with the then-teenager.

Although she had reported it before, Hanley conveniently omitted the fact that Andrade was dismissed by the school in April of 1997 after the school suspected a relationship. (A September 12 article by Hanley reported that the two "had sex over a period of about 18 months, possibly hundreds of times, in the gymnasium, classrooms, his house and several times in a Las Vegas hotel room, according to the lawsuit." Simply awful abuse by Andrade.) Police also investigated the case the same year, but they did not file charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Vatican promises inquiry into 'gay' priest

RTE News

The Vatican has promised a speedy investigation and disciplinary action if necessary after a senior official who was filmed by a hidden camera was show on Italian television making homosexual advances.

Monsignor Tommaso Stenico, a top official at the Congregation for the Clergy, which oversees priests around the world, was heard telling a young man he was 'hot' and that homosexual sex was not sinful.

However, Mgr Stenico, who did not know he was being filmed and whose face and voice were distorted in the broadcast, says that he was only pretending to be gay to learn about people trying to 'harm' the Church with homosexual behaviour.

AdvertisementCardinal Julian Herranz, president of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia, said the Vatican would act quickly after suspending Mgr Stenico from duty, but declined to say what sanctions could be brought.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 AM

«I parrocchiani invitano il vescovo a Monterosso»

Il Gazzettino

ABANO -- The impatience of the 800 souls of the community is growing and ther letter sent to the curia on Sept. 26 still has not been answered.

The parishioners invite the bishop to Monterosso, is what they asked.

The Rev. Giovanni Brusegan yesterday allowed the Rev. Sante Sguotti to co-celebrate the Mass, but the former parish priest did not go to the pulpit.

It's sure that Rev. Sguotti is not strictly complying with the rules and it sure as well that Bishop
Antonio Mattiazzo is criticized by many faithful. The last aspect emerges from a letter a group of parishioners recently sent to the curia's chief inviting him for a visit to Monterosso. They wrote how it is you have not deemed to spend a few hours of your precious time in this community? Is is due to the fact our bishop considers us all vulnerable and fragile persons who have lost their faith and on Sundays they fill the church for no reasons at all? It's useless to say that this letter, sent on Sept. 26, never got an answer.

Frustration among the 800 souls is rising for their beloved Rev. Sante was sent away, for their bishop does not give the parish the attention it deserves. The new parish priest sent by the curia, Rev. Giovanni Brusegan, was much scrutinized by the most ardent followers of the rebel priest.

Yesterday, Rev. Brusegan officially presented himself to the community but he incurred at least two gaffes which did not help him much. First, an excess of confidence brought him to call some little boys "imbranati" (which means slow). In the second episode, wanting to appear humorous he pointed his finger toward a group of boys sitting in the last row. "Who knows how long they have not been confessing, perhaps 20 years. And they could even smoke. I wonder what they smoke!" he said.

It is useless to say these "sympathetic" words were not digested by the majority of the parishioners who are already in a bad mood for not seeing their beloved parish priest up in the pulpit.

Rev. Sante was allowed to co-celebrate the Mass. The letter sent by the bishop to Monterosso reminded the parish that Rev. Sguotti could neither celebrate nor co-celebrate Mass. He was authorized to do so by Rev. Brusegan. "I don't think it rght that Rev. Sante wouldn't be allow to co-celebrate," he explained. "He is a brother who must be loved and I don't want to divide the community more as it is already in a state of turmoil for the past weeks," he said. As soon as Mass ended, Rev. Sguotti changed his clothes and left through the back door, got into a car to go to Venice airport for a flight to Rome. It was just in time for his appointment at the Buona Domenica television show.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Contestato dalla Mussolini e fischiato dal pubblico: «Esca dalla Chiesa»

Il Gazzettino

At Buona Domenica
Contested by Mussolini and booed by the public: "You must leave the church."

How is it difficult to earn 5 thousand euros in 25 minutes! Two hundred euros a minute for a real and concrete crossed fire.

The Rev. Sante Sguotti, the rebel parish priest, landed at Buona Domenica and once more there was a tempest of questions, criticisms and polemics. It would have been enough to to count the applause he received (clapping of hands only twice) and the applause received by his critics (by turn Alessandra Mussolini, journalists and guests invited for the program) to find out the majority in the audience were hostile.

"A priest is a priest," commented Allessandra Mussolini. Otherwise it is better for him to leave the church and become a volunteer. Above all if he is a good father he must say the truth once for all. He cannot force his son in the future to bear the psychological violence of asking for a DNA test or similar things, Ms. Mussolini said.

No answer to her question satisfied the public, who clapped their hands in favor of Mussolini and who reminded him of his promise to be chaste. "I have always been convinced of the importance of chastity, but then I have understood there is no competing between spirituality and love, answered Rev. Sguotti. "You can't say 'I love God' without having ever loved a person," he said. In the past, women were considered the object of temptation but now it's time to change, he added.

One wonders what pleasure Rev. Sguotti found entering the "ring" of the Sunday trash show where surely nobody is interested in his battles againt priest celibacy and pedophilia and everybody wanted only one answer: Is or isn't the priest the father of a child?

But when one of the opinionists called Rev. Sguotti "diabolico" (satanic), that was the high point of the program. Mary, too, had a home to look after, a family, Rev. Sguotti answered. She also was in love yet she loved God as no one has ever done, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Church, education officials deal with aftermath of sex arrest

Journal Gazette

Associated Press

Members of All Saints' Episcopal Church in Cayce are praying for Heyward Hickman, and like his colleagues in education, they are trying to balance the man they know with the sex charges filed against him last week.

Lexington County Sheriff James Metts said Hickman, 39, had sex with two young brothers more than 100 times each between 1996 and 2001. The boys were 8 and 11 at the time the alleged abuse started and Hickman met them through their parents, Metts said.

Hickman faces four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a child younger than 11 and two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a child younger than 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

On holding schools liable for sex abuse

San Jose Mercury News

By Patty Fisher
Mercury News
Article Launched: 10/15/2007 01:33:50 AM PDT

At first glance, it has to be a loophole. Why should public school principals who tolerate sexual abuse on their campuses be treated differently from church officials who do nothing about child-molesting priests?

If a child is molested by a teacher, it's a crime whether the teacher works for a public or a private school. So why does the law say the Roman Catholic Church must pay millions of dollars in claims over abuse that happened long ago, while school districts get off without paying a cent?

I've been wrestling with these questions since the Mercury News reported this month that a woman who was molested years ago by her middle-school teacher had to drop her lawsuit against the Palo Alto Unified School District over a technicality: She didn't file a claim with the district - a warning that a lawsuit is coming - within six months of the wrong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Sex, lies and videotape: turmoil at the Vatican

The Guardian

John Hooper in Rome
Monday October 15, 2007
The Guardian

The Vatican was last night at the centre of an unusually public sex scandal after acknowledging it had suspended a senior official who was filmed apparently propositioning a young man in his office.

Monsignor Tommaso Stenico, a capo ufficio, or section head, at the Vatican ministry responsible for the clergy, insisted yesterday he was not gay. He said he had posed as a homosexual to research a plot by satanists.

The affair is the latest of several indications that the traditional immunity enjoyed by the Catholic church in Italy over sex scandals is gradually giving way.

The Pope's spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said on Saturday he was unable to deny rumours that the Vatican had suspended one of its top bureaucrats following a report shown on Italian television. A few hours later a website identified the official as Mgr Stenico, a 60-year-old official who ranks joint third in the hierarchy of his department, known as the Congregation for the Clergy.

A programme broadcast on October 1 by La7 - the only national channel not owned by Silvio Berlusconi or the state - included a sequence it said had been filmed secretly in a Vatican office. The six-minute sequence was said to have been captured by a young man who had come into contact with a Vatican official via an internet chatroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 AM

Vatican priest caught in TV sex sting

The Times

Paul Bompard in Rome
A high-ranking Vatican priest has been suspended after a TV programme, using a hidden camera, recorded him making advances to a young man and asserting that gay sex was not sinful.

Monsignor Tommaso Stenico, 60, is the director of one of the three departments that make up the Congregation for the Clergy, the Vatican “ministry” for the clergy.

Yesterday he claimed that he was pretending to be gay in an attempt to unmask a Satanic plot to seduce Catholic priests to homosexuality and thus discredit the Church. “I only pretended I was gay to study how priests are seduced,” said Mgr Stenico, a frequent guest on television programmes discussing religious issues. “There are people who go after them . . . I really believe there is a diabolical plan by groups of Satanists.”

Mgr Stenico admits inviting a man whom he met on a gay website to his office, across the piazza from Saint Peter’s Basilica, after expressing an attraction to sado-masochism. What he did not know was that the young man was working for a TV investigation on homosexuality among Catholic priests and went to the tryst with a concealed video camera. The footage was shown this month by La 7, the national TV channel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 AM

October 14, 2007

EXTRA: Salesians Religious Order not part of Catholic Church and other ways to conceal evidence in jury trial coming November 5th

City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

“They say there is no non-privileged information. In other words the Salesians have information they believe is privileged. I’m asking for at the minimum a privilege log.” -- Plaintiff Attorney Tony DeMarco

In an interview below DeMarco talks about his attempts to squeze evidence out of the Salesians in pretrial discovery. But it doesn't matter anyway as according to their Motion in Limine #5 the Salesians really don’t have anything to do with the Catholic Church at all.

Walking into court Thursday at 8:20 the hearing was already in session and Tony DeMarco was saying: “We've received nothing substantive there has been no agreement.” Outside we talked on tape:

DEMARCO: We've got witnesses who testified that they made complaints about Miani, that he sexually molesting kids back in the fifties when they were students at a school run by the Salesians. We've asked for any records they have relating to those students, a fairly reasonable question.

Especially since those students have absolutely no objection to us getting to those records.

The Salesians have objected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 PM

More allegations against Richard Roberts


Edited by: Phil Berman
Email: berman@kjrh.com
Last Update: 10/12 11:09 pm

Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts now faces more shocking allegations in a lawsuit filed against him.

A second petition was filed today in district court that includes the university's Board of Regents as a defendant.

Inside the petition is a scandal vulnerability assessment which contains a web of new allegations.

It claims Mrs. Roberts spent the night in the university's guest house with an underage male on 9 separate occasions.

It states there are 29 photos of Mrs. Roberts and the underage male alone in her sports car after city-wide curfew.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 PM



Channel 5: Rev. Sante doesn't reveal the paternity of the child

Rome -- The Rev. Sante Sguotti appeared today on the Buona Domenica program on Channel 5 and never officially denied having had a child with the woman he declared to love. Today, he made clear he did not want to say who the child's father is in order to keep attention on the issue related to many priests in Italy.

Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of the late and slain fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and a member of Parliament, harshly reproached the priest. She said if he loves a woman who is also the mother of his child he needs to leave the priesthood and become a volunteer. Rev Sguotti since yesterday was officially deprived of his parish due to a decree from the Padua bishop. However, he celebrated Mass this morning. "I always believed you can't serve God if you never were in love," the priest said during the program. He added the church must give him and other people the possibiity to experience love for it is surely a positive one and the faithful themselves can be better served. Whoever is in love can donate more love, he said.

The priest will carry his battle to at event Nov. 17-18 at Abano Terme called "Walking towards the full reintegration in the communion of the church for newly formed Catholic couples who had separated from their original married partners, and Catholic couples who were divorced from their original partner and then remarried with a new partner."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 PM

"Cara Papa, così non va": Sacerdote critica le costose vacanze di Benedetto XVI

Agenzia Radicale

"Dear Pope, that's not good": A priest criticizes the costly
vacation of Benedict XVI

Saturday October 13 2007

The vacation of Pope Benedict XVI in Cadore last summer are the privilege of a caste and are not near Jesus "who hadn't even a stone upon which to keep his head." These are the words of the Rev. Armando Trevisiol, an elderly priest of the Parish of Carpenedo at Mestre, Venice, who has openly criticizied the cost of the Holy Father's vacation. He put his criticisms into his weekly flier that is handed out to the faithful at the cemetery.

Rev. Trevisiol, as is reported today in Il Corriere del Veneto, launched his public reprimand after the people had to pay out a million euros for the pope's mountain vacation. The priest has been close to the poor and needy throughout his years of priesthood.

The priest in his letter to the pope criticized those who badly advised the pope on the expensive vacation. Rev. Trevisiol, much loved in Mestre for his charity work, said the church must set an example to the faithful. "Too many are your sons (the priest underlines in his message) who cannot afford a vacation to allow you to spend two billion lires for a vacation (one million euros," he said.
"To me, frankly, that vacation appeared excessive," the priest commented. "I say that respectfully and without any act of rebellion," he said. Rev. Trevisiol recalled finally that the church must always be at "the service of the people, of the weakest, not of the powerful."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Vatican Official Insists He's Not Gay

Washington Post

The Associated Press
Sunday, October 14, 2007; 9:13 AM

VATICAN CITY -- A Vatican official suspended after being caught on hidden camera making advances to a young man said in an interview published Sunday that he is not gay and was only pretending to be gay as part of his work.

In an interview with La Repubblica newspaper, Monsignor Tommaso Stenico said he frequented online gay chat rooms and met with gay men as part of his work as a psychoanalyst. He said that he pretended to be gay in order to gather information about "those who damage the image of the Church with homosexual activity."

Vatican teaching holds that homosexual activity is a sin.

"It's all false; it was a trap. I was a victim of my own attempts to contribute to cleaning up the Church with my psychoanalyst work," La Repubblica quoted Stenico as saying.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Giallo sull'outing tv del monsignore "L'ho fatto per smascherare i veri gay"

La Repubblica

LaRepubblica carried an article today on Monsignor Tommaso Stenico, the Vatican official who was suspended after discussing his homosexuality on Italian television. He now says he is not gay but was doing research on homosexual priests and believes satanists are targeting priests.

He said he has been a priest for 36 years and has worked for the Roman curia for 25 years. He has been a psychologist for more than 30 years in the Lazio region, which includes Rome as the provincial capital. He said he has always cared about humankind, of its spirit and psyche.

The monsignor claims he had a plan to unmask homosexuality of a certain number of priests. He said he decided to be a "thief among thieves" in the double role of priest and psychoanalyist. "In this way I discovered that my suspicions were real. That there is a plan of groups of satanists who are targeting priests," he said.

The monsignor said he found the truth and acted as an informer when he contacted the Web site. He said he invited those people because "for me it was important only to know, not to practice." He said he was only "playing the game" to get information. "Obviously I would never have imagined to become a target myself," he said.

"I'm a person who doesn't love scandals, who doesn't create them, who isn't lookng for it. On the contrary I try to contain and switch it off. How could I create the scandal I'm accused of?" he questioned.

"I love the Congregation for the Clergy, its activity, the pastoral care for the priests. My thinking is openly known. At my age you can't cheat," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Sbloccata la cassa peota

Il Gazzettino

"We remind you to abstain from the function of parish priest, from co-celebrating the Sunday Mass and relative functions unless there has been an explicit request on the part of Rev. Giovanni Brusegan." This is from the letter sent to Monterosso by the bishop of Padua regarding the situation of the Rev. Sante Sguotti.

Be careful, Rev. Sante, don't do things which are beyond your reach. But it is useless to say that the rebel priest will try to co-celebrate the Mass no matter what while it seems unlikely that the substitute priest, Rev. Giovanni Brusegan, would turn his back on the curia only a few days after his appointment.

If it happens, however, then it can be said a "strange air" in blowing the the area of Abano for the parish priests.

Another appointment for the Rev. Sante story, apart rom his appearance today on the Buona Domenica television program this afternoon, will be delivery of his appeal against the curia's decision to remove him from his parish. With no fear the former parish priest let it be known he does not consider himself "removed" from the parish at Monterosso.

One reason is his attempt to co-celebrate Mass and be near his parishioners and community life. He also explained, "I was not able to carry all my belongings from the rectory." He said he hoped the curia would show some humanity and allow him more time to be organized.

There is some good news for the faithful. Thanks to a letter signed by Attorney Giuseppe Affannato it is possible to get back the funds of the "cassa peota," which is a solidarity fund where participants can get small loans. The funds were blocked by the curia the same day it was decided to issue the removal decree against Rev. Sguotti. Once again Rev. Sguotti pointed his finger against the "hunger for money" shown by the curai when soon after delivery of the decree it hastened to tighten its hands around the parish cash.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Outed gay clergyman ousted by Vatican

Kazakhstan News.Net

Saturday 13th October, 2007

A clergyman who appeared on Italian TV earlier this month admitting that he was gay has been suspended by the Vatican.

Tommaso Stenico, has confirmed that he appeared on an investigative program about gay priests on an Italian commercial TV channel.

He told his interviewer that he did not regard himself as being in a state of sin because of his homosexual activities but was forced to keep them secret because of the church's teaching on the subject.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Vatican suspends monsignor seen on TV making advances to man

The Plain Dealer

Sunday, October 14, 2007
Frances D'Emilio
Associated Press
Vatican City- The Vatican said Saturday that it had suspended a monsignor from a senior post at the Holy See after an Italian TV program using a hidden camera recorded him making advances to a young man and asserting that gay sex was not sinful.

The Vatican did not identify the monsignor by name. But Monsignor Tommaso Stenico confirmed in a telephone interview with the Associated Press that he had been suspended from his post at the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy, an office that aims to ensure proper conduct by priests.

"Don't condemn me," Stenico said, adding that the program "was done fraudulently" because it used a hidden camera.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Diocese hopes for $28M in capital campaign

Arizona Daily Star

By Stephanie Innes
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 10.14.2007

Two years after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson is launching a capital campaign, asking donors for $28 million.
Among other things, the money will go toward buying land for parishes and schools in areas where the population is growing, including Pinal County and Yuma, Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas said Friday. The diocese includes some 350,000 Catholics in 74 parishes.
Kicanas said a feasibility study, combined with support and encouragement he's heard from parishioners and clergy, indicate it's a good time for the diocese to embark on a capital campaign, which will be the first in its history and could last up to two years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Possible conflict seen in work Satterberg did for archdiocese

The Seattle Times

By Janet I. Tu
Seattle Times religion reporter

Until recently, King County Interim Prosecutor Dan Satterberg served as a legal resource for a board that was helping the Seattle Archdiocese revise its policy for handling reports of sex abuse by priests.

Satterberg, who is running as a Republican for King County prosecuting attorney, said his role was to make sure any policy complied with state law and that the archdiocese notified prosecutors and police immediately when an accusation came in.

It's a role that an attorney for many victims in the church's sex-abuse scandal says gives at least the appearance of a conflict of interest — although others disagree.

Seattle attorney Timothy Kosnoff said the basis for his contention dates back to 2002, when he sent a letter to the King County Prosecutor's Office asking it to look into the cases of 49 priests identified by the archdiocese as having been accused of abusing minors, dating back to 1950.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Priest put on leave in Lexington

News 14

10/13/2007 01:23 PM
By: News 14 Carolina Web Staff

LEXINGTON, N.C. -- A Catholic priest in Lexington was just suspended after an allegation of sexual abuse nearly half a century ago.

Father Albert Gondek served as pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary for the past nine years. Friday, Michael Sowden alleged in a civil lawsuit filed in Wilmington, Delaware that Gondek molested him at a summer camp in 1960, at which point the accuser was 12.

Friday, the diocese of Charlotte immediately put Gondek on administrative leave. Friday, the diocese of Charlotte immediately put Gondek on administrative leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Daniel Murphy HS Closing Archdiocese

Canyon News

LOS ANGELES - Daniel Murphy Catholic High School for boys in the Fairfax District will cease to exist at the end of the 2007-2008 school year after an announcement made this week from the Los Angeles Archdiocese. The reasons are a decade-long decline in enrollment combined with increased operating costs and severe financial challenges faced by the Archdiocese accelerated the decision to close the school at the end of the current academic year, according to an Archdiocese press release.

"Despite efforts to increase student enrollment over the past ten years, the student population has continued to decline, and is now down to 231 students," said Tod Tamberg, spokesman for the Archdiocese. "A further decline in enrollment would have resulted in the cutting back of the curriculum, negatively impacting the school’s ability to offer a quality education to the students. This prospect, combined with the severe financial challenges now facing the Archdiocese, accelerated the decision to close the school in 2008."

Among those financial situations is the $660 million paid to the victims of the priest sexual abuse scandal that the Archdiocese and Cardinal Roger Mahoney settled in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

October 13, 2007

GIG HARBOR: Former pastor sentenced to at least 111/2 years for child rape

The News Tribune

THE NEWS TRIBUNE Published: October 13th, 2007 01:00 AM

A former Gig Harbor pastor who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a young relative was sentenced Friday to at least 111/2 years in prison.

Stephen Philip Kerr, 31, entered the plea in June to two counts of first-degree child rape. Pierce County prosecutors originally charged Kerr with four counts of first-degree child rape and two counts of first-degree child molestation.

Until shortly before his arrest in early May, Kerr had served as senior pastor of Gig Harbor Church of the Nazarene. He’d been in the position for about two years.

He voluntarily handed over his ministerial credentials when the allegations surfaced.

Prosecutors said Kerr tried to have intercourse with a 7-year-old girl, fondled her and showed her sexual movies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 PM

Pastor sentenced for molesting young girl


By KOMO Staff
TACOMA - A pastor in Pierce County was sentenced Friday for molesting a 7-year-old girl. But before the sentence was handed down, the prosecutor told the judge there is probably another victim.

He said Pastor Stephen Kerr has admitted to also molesting a 2-year-old, but won't say who the victim is for fear he'll face more charges.

"The state has extreme concerns in this case regarding the fact that there is another victim out there the defendant has not identified who is not getting counseling and treatment," the prosecutor said.

The Gig Harbor Church of the Nazarene was rocked last May when Kerr turned himself in. Investigators say he molested the 7 year-old while showing her child porn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

Taiwan pastor faces 15 years in jail for sex abuse--report


Agence France-Presse
Last updated 11:44am (Mla time) 10/13/2007

TAIPEI--Taiwanese prosecutors have indicted a pastor for sexually abusing 13 women in his congregation and are seeking a 15-year prison term for the man who has a prior conviction for molestation, a report said Saturday.

Tang Tai-shen, 58, was Friday indicted for allegedly sexually assaulting the women under the pretext of offering sex counselling and videotaping the sessions, the Apple Daily News said.

Eight female staffers, including Tang's daughter-in-law, in charge of recruiting followers for Tang's movement were also indicted for molesting the women, the report said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 PM

W. Tennessee Pastor Indicted on Rape Charges


Posted: 4:54 PM Oct 13, 2007

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A former church pastor has been indicted on charges of rape and sexual battery by an authority figure.

Former Walnut Grove Baptist Church pastor Steven Haney is accused of engaging in a five-year sexual affair with a church member that began when the boy was 15-years-old.

The 47-year-old man was arrested in July and is free on a $25,000 bond. He stepped down as pastor of the church in November after serving 20 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 PM

Vaticano: monsignore, non sono gay


Monsignor Tommaso Stenico said he has sent a note to his superiors and he denies that he is gay. He was suspended by Vatican superiors after they realized he had been interviewed anonymously on the Exit television program and discussed his gay sexuality. The Catholic Web site Petrus, for which the monsignor had been a collaborator until a few days ago, published some of his statements. Monsignor Stenico affirmed he is not gay. "I wanted to write a book, a research about the problem of homosexuality among priests," he said. The television station betrayed his good faith, he said. In substance of the interview, the priest said he gave only a study of the issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

Vatican reveals Templar secrets

The Times

VATICAN CITY The Knights Templar, the medieval Christian military order accused of heresy and sexual misconduct, will soon be partly rehabilitated when the Vatican publishes trial documents it has closely guarded for 700 years.

It is publishing only 799 copies of the minutes of trials against the Templars, Processus Contra Templarios - Papal Inquiry into the Trial of the Templars, which will sell for €5,900 (£4,115).

The giant work will come in a soft leather case, with detailed reproductions of original Latin parchments and the wax seals used by the 14th-century inquisitors.

“Nothing before this offered scholars original documents of the trials of the Templars,” said Professor Barbara Frale, a medievalist at the Vatican’s Secret Archives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

Vatican bars gay priest for "anonymous" TV confession



The priest appeared on a TV documentary with three other clerics, to talk about their homosexuality. Then the Vatican suspended the priest for acknowledging homosexual relations.

The Vatican has suspended a senior priest in the Holy See who acknowledged homosexual relations in a supposedly anonymous television interview, but was identified by superiors from background shots of his office.

In a major embarrassment for the Roman Catholic Church's hierarchy, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said on Saturday the monsignor, whose name was not released, was suspended from duty pending an internal investigation.

Local media identified him as a senior figure in a Vatican department which oversees matters relating to priesthood and said he also made regular appearances on Vatican television.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

Chiesa ed omosessualità

La7 Blog

The Italian-language Exit program featuring priests who were interviewed about their homosexuality can be found at this link. One of the priests was a highly-placed Vatican official in the Congregation for Clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Vatican Bars Gay Cleric After TV Program

The Associated Press

By FRANCES D'EMILIO – 1 hour ago

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican said Saturday it has suspended a monsignor from a senior post at the Holy See after an Italian TV program using a hidden camera recorded him making advances to a young man and asserting that gay sex was not sinful.

The Vatican did not identify the monsignor by name. But Monsignor Tommaso Stenico confirmed in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that he had been suspended from his post at the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy, an office which aims to ensure proper conduct by priests.

"Don't condemn me," Stenico said, adding that the program "was done fraudulently" because it used a hidden camera.

In the program on private Italian network La7, a man identified as a priest is heard saying that he "didn't feel he was sinning" by having sex with gay men.

Rome daily La Repubblica reported Saturday that Vatican officials recognized the monsignor's office in the background of the program, which aired Oct. 1.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Vatican suspends gay cleric after television interview


ROME (AFP) — The Vatican has suspended a senior cleric who declared his homosexuality on a television programme, even though his face and voice were made unrecognisable, Italian media reported Saturday.

"His superiors are treating this situation with the required discretion and respect due to the person concerned, even if this person has committed errors," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told the Italian news agency ANSA.

"The authorities are obliged to act with the necessary severity against behaviour that is incompatible with religious service and the mission of the Holy See," Lombardi said.

The daily La Repubblica did not name the priest but identified him as an official around 60 years old in the Congregation for the Clergy, the Vatican department which manages the 400,000 Catholic priests across the world. ...

The story took another turn later Saturday when Petrus, an online newspaper following Pope Bemedict XVI's pontificate, named him as Tommaso Stenico, a former employee, and cited a letter from him denying he was gay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

Church considers sex-abuse register

Sydney Morning Herald

Sarah Price
October 14, 2007

ANGLICAN Church members who have been accused of sexual misconduct or child abuse, or have been found guilty of committing such an offence, could find themselves on a national register.

Protocols regarding the proposed register are to be debated at the Anglican Church's general synod, which starts in Canberra on Saturday.

The issue was raised at the last synod, in 2004, but problems with the proposed legislation resulted in it being rewritten.

Garth Blake, SC, the chairman of the church's professional standards commission, said access to the proposed register would only be available to three people in each diocese - the bishop or archbishop, the delegate of the bishop or archbishop and the director of professional standards.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM



This links to an Italian-language site that tells about the Exit television program in which three priests were interviewed regarding their gay lifestyle and also included participation by a boy who said he meets homosexual men, including priests, on certain Web chat sites. One of the priests has been identified as a Vatican official.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 PM

Prete gay, il Vaticano lo sospende dall'incarico

Agenzia Radicale

He confessed to being gay in front of cameras of La7 on the Exit program. His voice was camouflaged, his face was obscured. But to no avail for the high Vatican prelate has been identified by Vatican authorities and is being rapidly punished. "I can't deny the facts," conceded Father Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson. He said the Vatican is acting quitckly and is handling the issue with due reserve and respect.

The Monsignor, who works at the Vatican for the Congregation for Clergy, was part of a program led by anchorwoman Ilaria D'Amico, who researched the issue. Her work started with an email in which a gay boy said he habitually frequented Web chat sites for homosexuals and he had met with priests. The cameramen then documented all the phases, from the baiting on the chat room to the registered phone calls to setting the dates of the meetings, and then with a hidden camera they filmed these meetings when they took place.

The high prelate did not refrain from giving his support to the investigation by giving the anonymous interview, which then provoked intervention of the Holy See. The monsignor, in fact, has been suspended from his job and from his office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Carvajal: A funny church


By Orlando P. Carvajal
Break Point

IT was most unfortunate that the City Prosecutor adlibbed something about priests being the alter egos of Christ. This is only partially true because the truth of the matter is all Christians are alter egos of Christ. We and not just priests are supposed to mirror Christ’s life in our own lives.

The young girls who found the courage to express through a legal suit their feeling of being violated by Fr. Ben Ejares’s impropriety, to say the least, are also alter egos of Christ. By rejecting Fr. Ejares’ inappropriate behavior they became better alter egos of Christ than the priest most probably was.

The statement is unfortunate because now we can no longer tell whether the City Prosecutor’s judgment on Fr. Ben Ejares’ case was based on evidence or on this gracious but erroneous preconceived notion of what a priest is supposed to be. The City Prosecutor would seem to imply with the statement that Fr. Ejares could not have done what he was accused of doing, could not have done it because he is Christ’s alter ego. This logic simply sucks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Ex-Bath mayor guilty

The Morning Call

By Tyra Braden | Of The Morning Call
October 13, 2007

Former Bath Mayor Elizabeth L. Fields will spend the next 30 months on probation for stealing money from a borough church where she worked as a volunteer secretary.

Fields, 66, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one felony count of theft. Charges of receiving stolen property and tampering with public records were dropped.

In addition to probation, Northampton County Judge Stephen G. Baratta ordered Fields, of Bath, to perform 250 hours of community service and undergo a psychological evaluation and any treatment recommended. She also was ordered to make restitution of $6,000 to Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, 210 E. Northampton St.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Don Sante, nuovo show in televisione

Il Gazzettino

The Rev. Sante Sguotti, the rebel priest from Monterosso, is back on Buona Domenica, the television show with anchorwoman Paola Perego. It's sure we will not forget to remind the audience of the forthcoming release of his book that tells his story.

The priest said by midday on Saturday he must deliver the drafts to the editor and the book could be in book stores in about 12 days. Despite his book, press conferences and TV shows, Rev. Sguotti does not want to satisfy the curiosity of those who have been following the story fromt he beginning: Is he or is he not the father of a child?

This time he will get less money for his TV appearance. He is getting 5,000 euros and not 10,000 euros. What will he do with the money? The priest said he will use the money as he did the first time he was on television -- 40 percent will go to the state for taxes, 15 percent for charity, 10 percent for the parish and 35 percent to the Catholic Church of the Sinners at
http:// chiesacattolicadeipeccatori.it.

Rev. Sguotti yesterday afternoon was guest on "Italia sul due" on the second state radio station RAI (Radio Audizioni Italiane). An interview with the former parish priest was aired in which he repeated the same information tht everyone knows.

Parishioner Emanuel Babolin, president of the local soccer team, spoke from the RAI studio in Venice. Babolin said people love him because he did a lot of favors for the town. They would see him working many times at 7 a.m. and he would spend time with parishioners and boys of the patronato, a local association.

The program ended with a radio poll in which 65 percent of those responding said they would be happy to accept a married priest into their parish.

La Difesa del Popolo, the weekly diocesan magazine, dedicated a large amount of space to the story. In an editorial, the Rev. Cesare Contarini, magazine director, concluded with the exhortation, "Brother Rev. Sante, find the way back home."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 AM

Vatican bars prelate in gay row

BBC News

By David Willey
BBC News, Rome

The Vatican has confirmed local newspaper reports that a high-ranking Catholic priest has been suspended.

The man, who works in the department in charge of clergy around the world, appeared on Italian TV earlier this month admitting that he was gay.

The unnamed prelate or monsignor was suspended pending further investigations, said chief Vatican spokesman Father Frederico Lombari.

Monsignor is the title normally given to senior Vatican officials.

Father Lombardi said that although the case was being treated as confidential, the priest had clearly acted in a way that was incompatible with his status inside the world headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.

The unnamed prelate appears to have acted ingenuously by appearing on an investigative programme about gay priests on an Italian commercial TV channel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Ex-priest jailed for sex with girl, 8

Adelaide Now

October 13, 2007 12:00am

A FORMER minister of the Reformed Church of Australia has been jailed for at least 18 months for sexually abusing a young girl.

Nico Teekens, 67, of Hope Valley, was sentenced in the District Court.

Acting Judge Andrew Wilson found him guilty on two charges of indecent assault.

The court heard Teekens sexually abused the girl in 1992 and 1994 when she was aged between eight and 10.

Judge Wilson said the second incident happened about a year after Teekens had been confronted by the girl's parents over the first.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Keller man accused of sexual abuse turns himself in

The Dallas Morning News

By WENDY HUNDLEY / The Dallas Morning News

The owner of a popular Keller children's attraction who is under investigation for child molestation surrendered to Tarrant County authorities late Friday afternoon.

Clinton Don Simpson, a minister and the owner of Mr. Don's Whistlestop, turned himself in to the Tarrant County Sheriff's Department after a warrant was issued for his arrest on two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14. His bail was set at $150,000.

Neither Mr. Simpson nor his Fort Worth attorney, Lisa Mullen, could be reached for comment Friday. On Thursday, however, Ms. Mullen said that her client was innocent and his family cautioned residents not to "rush to judgment" about Mr. Simpson. ...

Ms. Mullen said her client, who is also a preacher at Haslet Church of Christ, is an upstanding person and is innocent of the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Apologizing San Francisco Archbishop Has History of "mistakes" Related to Homosexuality


By John-Henry Westen

SAN FRANCISCO, October 12, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Nearly a week after being filmed giving communion to two gay activists dressed as 'nuns' Archbishop George H. Niederauer has apologized in a column for the diocesan Catholic San Francisco newspaper. In his column, the San Francisco Archbishop repeats statements previously given to LifeSiteNews.com about not being aware of any disruption, nor recognizing any "mock religious garb." (see coverage: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/oct/07101004.html ) ...

In 1986, Niederauer wrote a letter to an Orange County judge asking that a priest convicted of 26 counts of felony child sexual abuse be spared prison time - the priest received no jail time for the offences. Niederauer wrote that the boys involved might have mistaken "horsing around" for molestation. Niederauer later admitted that the letter had been a "mistake." (a copy of the letter is available here: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/docs/orange/andersen/or... )

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

INTERNATIONAL DIGEST: Mexico cardinal knew about child abuse, group claims

Baptist Press

Posted on Oct 12, 2007 | by Mark Kelly
MEXICO CITY (BP)--Mexico's leading Roman Catholic cardinal knew a Mexican priest might be molesting children when he transferred him to the United States, a victim's rights group has alleged.

To support their claim, the Survivor's Network of Those Abused by Priests released letters written in 1987 between Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera and Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, as well as 1986 police report in which Nicolas Aguilar, a priest in Mexico's Puebla state, was accused of molesting boys during overnight stays.

The documents had been filed by attorneys defending Rivera against charges in Los Angeles that he and Mahoney conspired to protect Aguilar, according to the Associated Press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Del. man claims he was abused by priest working in North Carolina


By RANDALL CHASE | Associated Press Writer
5:20 PM EDT, October 12, 2007

WILMINGTON, Del. - A Wilmington man alleged Friday that he was sexually abused as a young boy by a priest who now heads a parish in North Carolina.

Michael Sowden, 59, claims that Rev. Albert J. Gondek fondled him while he was attending a summer camp in Maryland more than 45 years ago.

Sowden's attorney, Thomas Neuberger, sent a letter to Bishop Peter Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte on Friday, asking Jugis to remove Gondek from his pastorate at Our Lady of the Rosary church in Lexington, N.C.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Stockton Priest Accused Of Sexual Abuse


(CBS13) STOCKTON A Stockton priest is accused of sexual abuse decades after the alleged activity took place. Tonight, I spoke with the priest's lawyer who talked about why the accuser is only now coming forward.

The priest has a congregation in Lockeford, but the molestation allegedly happened at a cathedral in Stockton more than 20 years ago. The anonymous victim, now 33, says Father Michael Kelly molested him while he worshiped at the Cathedral of the Announciation.

“But the church is running scared because they’ve had so many of these claims,” says Al Ellis, Kelly's attorney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Ex-priest loses teaching license after complaint


Cheryl Wittenauer
The Associated Press

St. Louis — The state has revoked the teaching and counselor certificates of James Beine, a former St. Louis-area priest and teacher accused of sexual misconduct.

Attorney General Jay Nixon said he filed a complaint with the Missouri State Board of Education in January. He sought the revocation based on Beine's possession of child pornography, his inappropriate sexual contact with a minor and a review of records in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

The board revoked the certificates Oct. 4.

Beine, who also goes by the name Mar James, had a lifetime certificate to teach English and Latin in seventh to 12th grades, and a lifetime counseling certificate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Claim against priest spurned

Modesto Bee


Don't tell Jean Varni of Modesto that Catholic priest Michael Kelly is guilty of sexual abuse against any child.

"When he just came to (Our Lady of) Fatima, we were one of the first families he met. It cannot be," said Varni, who has known the priest since he arrived in the Stockton Diocese from Ireland in 1973.

Kelly, pastor of St. Joachim in Lockeford, has been accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy in the family's Stockton home in the mid-1980s. The 56-year-old priest was placed on paid administrative leave until the allegation is resolved -- a process that could take years to complete.

No lawsuit had been filed as of Friday, but the accuser, now 33 years old, is represented by John Manly of Orange County. Manly, who has represented many victims of sexual abuse by clergymen, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Relieving pain of priest abuse isn't just a SNAP

Peoria Journal-Star

Michael Miller

Saturday, October 13, 2007

It doesn't matter how many cups of mints are on the table at a meeting of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests or how much coffee is being brewed - the gathering still reeks of pain.

The central Illinois SNAP chapter allowed me to attend a support group meeting recently with certain restrictions about what I reported. A SNAP meeting is similar to a 12-step meeting - a lot of potentially embarrassing, confidential information is shared.

But, also like a 12-step meeting, it's believed that sharing that embarrassing, confidential information helps a victim of sexual abuse by a trusted member of the clergy become a survivor.

The meeting I attended had only two abuse survivors and the father of an abuse victim who didn't make it, committing suicide earlier this year. Chapter chairman Jeff Jones, a former Pekin resident now living in Rockford, said more abuse victims usually show up at the meetings, held on the first Tuesday of each month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

October 12, 2007

"Friends of Monsignor John" Not Friends to Sex-Abuse Victims

Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
October 12, 2007 3:21 PM

The "Friends of Monsignor John," a support group for embattled Diocese of Orange Monsignor John Urell that counts as members OC Blog founder Matt "Jubal" Cunningham and Rancho Santiago Community College District board president John Hanna, claim they care about sex-abuse victims. Indeed, a page on their website asks readers to "Please pray for these young women [who recently settled civil suits against the Orange diocese], for their healing, their serenity and that their hearts will always remain open to Christ."

As we wrote before, we didn't see much concern for those women when Urell supporters showed up in court last Monday. And now it can be told that any concern for sex-abuse victims these friends of Urell purport to keep in their hearts is just chasing after wind.

The Weekly has learned that for the past two days, the Friends of Monsignor John website made available an unredacted version of Urell's deposition, the deposition that made the monsignor go loco. In the course of the deposition, the names of six sex-abuse victims were revealed. None of them consented to having their names revealed to the public, and so the depositions made available to the press and posted online by the Orange County Register had the names redacted. Besides, it's common sense: don't publish the name of a sex-abuse victim without their permission. Try telling that to Friends of Monsignor John.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Bishop Brown Too Nice for Once!

Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra, Main
October 12, 2007 11:29 AM

On Oct. 9, Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown issued a letter to the county's Catholics explaining his recent $6.685 million settlement with four sex-abuse victims of diocesan lay employees. He talked about apologizing to two of the victims (read a different account here), about how sex abuse is wrong, and all that jazz. Then His Excellency said the strangest thing about Mater Dei High School, where two of the settled cases occurred:

I want to say a few words to the Mater Dei High School community. You have been through a lot during the past few years over the handling of these painful matters. You are an excellent school, providing a well-rounded learning experience, with first-rate academic and athletic programs but most importantly exemplary faith formation. Your administrators, teachers and support staff are second to none.

I am proud of your strength and determination to ensure the high quality of the educational experience for your students.

Either Bishop Brown really is a nice guy, or he's an absolute idiot. Brown shouldn't be offering condolences to the Santa Ana Catholic high school; he should be revoking its charter and subjecting administrators to the stocks. Mater Dei has been Ground Zero in the Orange diocese sex-abuse scandal, with more settled cases originating originating from the athletic powerhouse than any other parish. President Patrick Murphy, the same man who wouldn't tell the Mater Dei community who are their latest statutory rapists (former assistant boys' basketball coach Jeff Andrade and choir director Larry Stukenholtz), was principal at the time Andrade and Stukenholtz did their evil deeds and Mater Dei teachers and administrators ignored blatant warning signs. Legendary boys' basketball coach Gary McKnight was the man who invited Andrade back to campus. And it's been the poor, tortured Mater Dei community that's been calling Andrade victim Christina Ruiz a slut and worse for years. Mater Dei has been "through a lot," Bishop Brown? What did Christ say about children and millstones?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

Suit Against Diocese Expanded to Include Conspiracy Claim


10/12/2007 11:26 AM ET; Updated 1 PM ET

WILMINGTON, Del, (AP/WBOC)- A Wilmington man alleged Friday that he was sexually abused as a young boy by a priest who now heads a parish in North Carolina.

Michael Sowden, 59, claims that Rev. Albert J. Gondek fondled him while he was attending a summer camp in Maryland more than 45 years ago.

Sowden's attorney, Thomas Neuberger, sent a letter to Bishop Peter Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte on Friday, asking Jugis to remove Gondek from his pastorate at Our Lady of the Rosary church in Lexington, N.C.

"Gondek should be immediately removed from all his positions with your parish and diocese and all his faculties should be suspended so that children can be protected from the threat he poses," Neuberger wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

Meramec Music Director Under Cloud In Sex Case

The Webster-Kirkwood Times

October 12, 2007
Officials at St. Louis Community College say they are looking into allegations that the music director on the Meramec campus in Kirkwood has a history of sexual abuse.

Larry Stukenholtz, who has denied the allegations, has been employed by the community college district since 2001.

Last week, the Catholic Church settled a sexual molestation lawsuit in California in which Stukenholtz was accused of raping a 17-year-old girl at a school where he was once an instructor. On Oct. 5, Stukenholtz case and three others were settled with the Roman Catholic Diocese in Orange County.

The amount of the settlement exceeded $6.5 million. Sarah Gray, a victim who was at first unnamed in the action, has decided to go public. She alleged that Stukenholtz raped her in 1998 when he was choir director at Mater Dei High School, a Catholic school in Santa Ana, Calif.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Urell tried to heal as well as conceal

The Orange County Register

Register columnist

A "Friends of Monsignor John Urell" has formed. They believe, as do I, that Urell is not a molester, that he was sent to a psychiatric facility for treatment of a breakdown that arose from the pressure of dealing with molesters, their victims and the legal fallout.

What must it have been like to be one of the top officials in the Diocese of Orange and having to try to clean up the mess? To comfort victims while trying to protect the Diocese? By taking a glimpse into the case of a priest the church has acknowledged in documents was a serial molester, Rev. Eleuterio (Al) Ramos, one can get a sense.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Don Sante: «Ho già ricevuto due proposte di lavoro»

Il Gazzettino

Abano -- The Rev. Sante Sguotti will not be a trucker but he has been offerred employment as a salesman. Two companies because of media publicity contacted Rev. Sguotti, the rebel priest of Monterosso, to offer him jobs.

He has been offered a job as sales representatives in the territory of Padua and Vicenza. "My preference was to work as a trucker," the priest said. He does not like being a sales representatives but he said he will speak to them so he can better understand their proposal.

Meanwhile, there is a continuing flow of reports to the Web site http://www.chiesacattolicadeipeccatori.it. Three people who said they are victims of sexual abuse by priests reported their abuse on the site. The first report came from a priest from Verona who said he had been sexual molested by other priests when he was an adolescent in seminary.

The second came from a lay person from Rovigo who said he had been raped by his religion teacher. The third report came from a priest in Rome who he was molested by clergymen before, during and after seminary. From the written words, there emerges a tragedy of violence on minors and the shame which forced them to keep this abuse secret for so many years.

One of the writers said at least half the priests would like to change the church as it is now. He added that the fact there is no standing upon these issues is confirmation that in the church freedom of speech is zero.

There is no stopping the battle of Rev. Sguotti, the former parish priest, and Bishop Antonio Mattiazzo. He said his lawyer is working hard on his case and the priest said he intends to sue the four people who spread what he called the slander which caused his removal by the bishop from the parish.

Rev. Sguotti said regardless of the removal decree by the bishop he intends to be at Monterosso on Sunday to try and co-celebrate Mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Birthday party host in Keller accused of sexual abuse

The Dallas Morning News

By WENDY HUNDLEY and SCOTT GOLDSTEIN / The Dallas Morning News

KELLER – Police investigators say they want to talk to possibly hundreds of children who may have been victims of a man they say confessed to sexually abusing "multiple" youngsters who attended birthday parties at his home-based business over the past decade.

An arrest warrant for aggravated sexual assault was issued Thursday for Clinton Don Simpson, 65, a minister and owner of Mr. Don's Whistlestop, a miniature half-mile railroad track Mr. Simpson constructed on his Buckner Lane property.

Keller police are offering assistance to parents who are concerned that their children may have been inappropriately touched by Mr. Simpson. They urge parents not to question their children themselves because doing so could harm the case. Parents should contact the Keller police directly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Pastor Jackson charged with sex assault

Kilgore News Herald

An investigation that began in June led Kilgore police to arrest and charge a Kilgore man on charges of sexual abuse, Kilgore police detective Tony Stone said this morning. Larry Jackson, 54, of Kilgore, was arrested Tuesday and charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. The charge is a first degree felony offense.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Catholic priest placed on leave

Modesto Bee


last updated: October 12, 2007 02:00:42 AM

The Rev. Michael Kelly, pastor of St. Joachim Catholic Church in Lockeford, has been placed on administrative leave after being accused of abusing a 10-year-old boy in the mid- 1980s.

Kelly, 56, has served at a number of parishes in Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Tuolumne counties, including Our Lady of Fatima in Modesto, St. Jude's in Ceres and St. Patrick's in Sonora.

During the mid-1970s, Kelly also played an instrumental role in the creation of the Modesto Youth Soccer Association.

"We categorically deny the allegation," said Albert Ellis, a Stockton attorney who said he has known Kelly for more than 30 years. "It's absurd. It never happened. The guy has a stellar record. He's extremely well-liked and well-respected."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Priest abuse alleged

Tracy Press

A Lockeford priest who was once assigned to St. Bernard’s Catholic Church has been accused of child sexual abuse, according to reports published Thursday on newspaper Web sites.

Stockton Police Detective Roseann Clark confirmed Thursday that the Diocese of Stockton told the department that the Rev. Michael Kelly was recently accused of sexual abuse of a child sometime between 1984 and 1986. She said Kelly has not been arrested and detectives have yet to follow up on the accusation.

“The victim was not the one who made the initial report,” Clark said. “We’re still in the process of trying to contact the victim.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Lockeford Priest Accused Of Sexual Abuse

Fox 40

October 11, 2007

LOCKEFORD — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton has placed a priest on administrative leave amid allegations that he sexually abused a boy in the 1980s.

The Rev. Michael Kelly was a priest at the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton when the alleged abuse occurred from 1984 to 1986. Most recently the 56-year-old has presided at St. Joachim's Church in Lockeford.

The alleged victim is now 33 years old.