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April 30, 2010

The Real Horrendous and Nefarious Crime? Not Calling the Police

Patrick J. Wall

It’s papal trivia time!

In light of the recent explosion of media coverage about the clergy sex abuse scandal, revelations about the inaction of bishops to stop offenders, and the full-scale global cover-up of the rape of hundreds of thousands of children, let’s take a little quiz.

Name the Pope who insisted that all clerics who molest children be turned over to civil authorities and forced to live a life of penance at a monastery far away from children?

A) Pope John Paul II (1978-2005)

B) Pope Benedict XVI (2005-present)

C) Pope Pius V (1566-1572)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 PM

Priest’s abuse case adjourned

Belfast Telegraph

By Lesley-Anne Henry
Saturday, 1 May 2010

A fourth witness has come forward in the case against a former Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing teenage boys almost 30 years ago.

Father James Donaghy from Lady Wallace Drive, Lisburn, is facing a string of allegations including buggery, gross indecent assault against a child and threats to kill.

The offences, which also include five counts of attempted buggery and five counts of indecent assault on a male, are alleged to have been committed against boys under 16 between 1983 and 2000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 PM

Statute Of Limitations Bill Withdrawn; Emotional Issue Lacked Support In House And State Senate

The Hartford Courant

By Christopher Keating on April 30, 2010

A highly controversial bill that would extend the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases was officially withdrawn Friday - ending an emotional debate at the Capitol for this year.

The measure's chief proponents were unable to garner enough support in the House of Representatives and the Senate for the second straight year, but they promised they will try again in the future.

Sen. Mary Ann Handley, a Manchester Democrat who is not seeking re-election, said she could not say how many votes she had in the 36-member Senate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

Priest pleads not guilty to new charges, requests jury trial

St. Charles Republican

By Hal Conick, hconick@mysuburbanlife.com
St. Charles Republican
Posted Apr 30, 2010

St. Charles, IL — A Catholic priest pleaded not guilty on Friday morning to 16 counts of sexually abusing a child.

Alejandro Flores, 37, of the 600 block of Brook Forest Avenue of Shorewood is charged with 16 felonies, including predatory sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse, indecent solicitation of a child and attempted aggravated sexual abuse, in relation to the alleged sexual abuse of his currently 13 year old Godson. The heaviest charge carries up to 30 years in jail.

Flores’ defense attorney Glenn Sowa also requested a jury trial for Flores.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

Police: Charge 3 Brazilian priests with abuse

The Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO — Police in northeastern Brazil are recommending that three Roman Catholic priests be formally charged with sexually abusing boys.

The recommendation is contained in a report that police in Alagoas state gave to prosecutors Friday following their investigation of an 83-year-old priest allegedly caught on tape having sex with a young man.

Monsignor Luiz Marques Barbosa has been under house arrest for two weeks. A video was played on national television of a priest in bed with a former altar boy. A Senate commission questioning Barbosa played the tape, and he didn't deny it was him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Priest pleads not guilty to abuse charges

The Herald-News

April 30, 2010

Sun-Times Media
ST. CHARLES -- A Shorewood-area priest pleaded not guilty Friday to 16 criminal counts alleging he sexually assaulted and abused a child, then attempted to abuse a second child over a five-year span starting in 2005.

Alejandro Flores, 37, of the 600 block of Brook Forest Avenue in Shorewood pleaded not guilty to one count of predatory criminal sexual assault, six counts of criminal sexual assault, six counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, two counts of indecent solicitation of a child and one count of attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse, Kane County State's Attorney's office spokesman Chris Nelson said.

He will appear for a status hearing May 28 in front of Associate Judge T. Jordan Gallagherd.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Ex-student priest guilty of sex assault

Irish Independent

By Ann Healy

Friday April 30 2010

A former student priest was found guilty yesterday of the sexual assault of a 10-year-old boy 35 years ago.

Gerard Cleere, a native of Kilkenny who had to be extradited from England last December, had denied an allegation of buggery on a single unknown date between January 1, 1973 and December 30, 1974.

Cleere did however plead guilty before Galway Circuit Criminal Court to indecently assaulting the child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Pedophile priest victim feels pain of justice denied

The Herald

01 May, 2010
A NEWCASTLE woman, whose statement to future Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson about pedophile priest Denis McAlinden prompted an attempted secret defrocking of McAlinden in 1995, has lodged a formal complaint with police.

"On behalf of all of the victims of Denis McAlinden, I am seeking justice," the woman wrote to Lake Macquarie Detective Inspector Dave Waddell yesterday.

He is reviewing documents indicating Church knowledge that McAlinden's behaviour represented "grave problems for the community", with a forced attempted secret defrocking protecting his "good name" for the "good of the church".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Clergy sex abuse: The movie

Washington Post

By William Wan
As the clerical abuse scandal continues to spread across Europe and South America, this Interesting tidbit came across the wire this morning: The group of Boston Globe reporters who reported the story on the U.S. scandals in 2002 just inked a deal with movie producers.
According to Deadline New York, the film being developed would be in the vein of All the President's Men , the story following Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein as they pieced together the burglary coverup by Nixon and company.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

'ALL THE POPE'S PRIESTS'? Deal To Develop Catholic Church Scandal Film From POV Of Boston Globe Jo

Deadline New York

By MIKE FLEMING | Friday April 30, 2010

The producers intend to frame the movie in the vein of All The President's Men. One of the planned film's hooks is that some of the journalists are themselves Catholic and were conflicted as they researched and wrote their stories. This journalism angle seems a fascinating way to approach the topic. And, interestingly, the Boston Globe investigative team was headed by Ben Bradlee, Jr., son of the legendary Washington Post editor who stood behind Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein when their Watergate reporting was assailed by Richard Nixon's White House.

Interview with Christa Brown, Author of “This Little Light: Beyond a Baptist Preacher Predator and His Gang”

Healing and Spirituality

Dr. Jaime Romo

Christa Brown is the author of “This Little Light: Beyond a Baptist Preacher Predator and His Gang” and founder of Stop Baptist Predators. For more information, see http://stopbaptistpredators.org/index.htm

JR: I loved your book, “This Little Light: Beyond a Baptist Preacher Predator and His Gang.” What response have you received from Baptists as a result?

CB: From Baptist preachers and leaders, the response has been mostly a big yawn. But from Baptist clergy abuse survivors and other survivors as well, the response has been very positive. People write to me about particular passages – parts that triggered some memory for them or that they could relate to – and they tell me how much it meant to them. Some have said that reading my book made them feel “not so crazy.” Some told me they copied parts and took it to their therapist to try to explain what they were feeling. Some said they showed parts of it to their husband … or their wife … or their pastor … or their mother. They said it put into words something they themselves felt but hadn’t yet been able to communicate … and something they wanted others to understand. So, I’m very glad that the book has been something others have found helpful in their own journeys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese settles lawsuit with women raped by priest


FORT WORTH - Two women raped and sodomized by a Roman Catholic priest at Federal Medical Center Carswell have reached an out-of-court settlement with the Diocese of Fort Worth, according to a statement from attorneys for the women.

In 2007, Vincent Bassie Inametti, 51, pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of the women and the next year was sentenced to four years in prison.

Terms of the settlement, reached this week, were not disclosed at the women's request, said Tahira Khan Merritt, a Dallas attorney for one of them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Tainted German priest stopped from working in SA - Catholic Church

Eyewitness News

Cathy Mohlahlana

A Johannesburg-based German Catholic priest accused of molesting boys in his home country has been suspended.

The minister was sent to South Africa after claims he had sexual relations with young boys.

He allegedly also used alcohol and drugs and filmed the acts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 PM

Final report regarding Legionaries of Christ presented to the pope

Rome Reports

[with video]

April 30, 2010. Behind closed doors, Benedict XVI met the five bishops who have investigated the Legionaries of Christ. They presented the final report to the pope about the Apostolic Visitation of the Legionaries which began in July 2009 and ended last March 15.

The Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, explained that a specific decision concerning the future of the Legionaries of Christ would be made within a few days after the pope reviews and reflects on the conclusions of the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:22 PM

Boys ranch trial delayed one week

The Spokesman-Review

Kevin Graman

A Spokane County Superior Court judge agreed on Thursday to delay trial of the second child sex abuse lawsuit against Morning Star Boys’ Ranch for one week while the state Court of Appeals for Division III decides whether to review her decision to limit the testimony of former residents who claim to have been abused.

Jury selection in the case of George H. Minehart II will begin May 10 unless the higher court takes up the issue of whether Judge Kathleen O’Connor was correct in ruling that only those former residents who say they reported their alleged abuse at the time it occurred may testify. The trial had been scheduled to begin Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Test for Pope on Sex Abuse

ABC News (United States)

Apr. 30, 2010

In a case that will test Pope Benedict's stated commitment to address the sex abuse issue in the Catholic Church, he met today with five bishops who are weighing the fate of a secretive, powerful order, the Legion of Christ, founded by a well-connected priest who molested dozens of boys, fathered at least one child and may have misused funds.

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and the five bishops who investigated the Legion of Christ for the Vatican had been scheduled to meet privately, and the Pope's attendance came as a surprise. He will be deciding what reforms to mandate for the order -- whether to close the order or install new leadership from outside, as has been rumored. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the meeting may continue on Saturday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Romance Novel “Promises Kept“ Portrays Trial Of Catholic Priest


Cindy Bradford has published her second contemporary romance novel, "Promises Kept", which is available today at www.PromisesKeptTheNovel.com. Although a sequel to her first novel, "Keeping Faith", it is written to stand on its own. Faith, the main character, embarks on a mission to avenge the abuse of her father at the hands of a Catholic priest. The reader will then be caught in an emotional whirlwind as she subsequently faces an even greater challenge.

Readers of Cindy Bradford’s first contemporary romance novel, "Keeping Faith" have said: "I finished reading your book over the weekend and I am very impressed. It was as good as any Nicholas Sparks’ novel I’ve read" "Keeping Faith is one of those books that makes you feel that you can’t turn the page fast enough to see what’s going to happen next" "Romance, intrigue, travel, human foibles...it’s all here" "Ms. Bradford has managed to write a heavy subjected book in a way that we feel sadness, happiness and shock all at the right spots. I like that she was able to pull back just when you thought your emotions were going to burst.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:23 AM

Catholics in crisis

The Week

Reeling from sex-abuse scandals, the Roman Catholic Church is losing members in droves. Can it stem the decline?

posted on April 30, 2010

How severe is the crisis?
It’s “the largest institutional crisis in centuries, possibly in church history,” says the National Catholic Reporter. Worldwide, the Roman Catholic Church now has 1.1 billion members, compared with 1.5 billion Muslims and 593 million Protestants. In the U.S., all the major denominations have seen their numbers decline in recent years, but the Catholic Church has taken the biggest hit. Since the 1960s, four American-born Catholics have left the church for every one who has converted, according to a 2009 Pew study. In 2008 alone, Catholic membership declined by 400,000. More than 1,000 parishes have closed since 1995, and the number of priests has fallen from about 49,000 to 40,000 during that same period. Some 3,400 Catholic parishes in the U.S. now lack a resident priest. “Catholicism is in decline across America,” says sociologist David Carlin

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

India's Catholic bishops frame new sex abuse rules

The Associated Press


NEW DELHI — The Roman Catholic church in India has recommended a zero-tolerance policy on sexual abuse complaints against priests, a spokesman said Friday.

A plenary meeting this week of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, the apex body of the Catholic Church in the country, framed a code which includes reporting incidents of sexual abuse to the police, and defrocking and expelling priests found guilty of abuse, the conference's spokesman Babu Joseph Karakombil, said.

"The Catholic Church will take extreme measures and will not hesitate to act on allegations of sexual abuse made against any priest," Karakombil told the Associated Press. "We will have zero tolerance with regard to abuse of children in institutions run by the Church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Pope meets bishops who probed disgraced order

The Raw Story

Pope Benedict XVI had an impromptu meeting on Friday with five bishops who completed a probe into a conservative Catholic order whose founder Marcial Maciel was disgraced by abuse scandals.

The inspectors had been scheduled only to meet with Vatican number two, Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Self-examination: Catholic communicators look to address scandal

The Catholic Spirit

By John Thavis - Catholic News Service
Friday, 30 April 2010

With workshops such as "Benedict XVI, sexual abuse and The New York Times" on the program, it wasn't surprising that a conference of Catholic communicators in Rome provoked more interest than usual this year.

But those expecting a round of media-bashing were disappointed. Most of the April 26-28 discussion focused on how the church itself should be more transparent, more proactive in communicating and more journalist-friendly if it wants to get its message out on clerical sex abuse.

Sponsored by the Opus Dei-run Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, the conference over the years has become a regular networking event for hundreds of church communications personnel, including diocesan spokespersons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Mass. abuse survivors who met pope ask victims to meet at St. Peter’s Square

The Pilot

By Dennis Sadowski
Posted: 4/30/2010

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Two survivors of clergy sexual abuse who met with Pope Benedict XVI during his 2008 visit to Washington are planning to take their pleas for greater recognition of the spiritual, pastoral and mental health needs of abuse victims to the doorstep of the Vatican Oct. 31.

Olan Horne of Westfield, Mass., and Bernie McDaid of Peabody, Mass., told Catholic News Service they are planning a gathering that they hope will bring thousands of abuse victims to St. Peter's Square for a "Reformation Day."

Both men said the effort stems from a building frustration in dealing with church officials on the needs of abuse victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

The Official vs. the Unofficial Story of the Early Retirement of Miami’s Archbishop


By John-Henry Westen

MIAMI, April 29, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Miami Archbishop John Favalora announced an early retirement on April 20, only eight months before he was set to reach the normal episcopal retirement age of 75. Despite the fact that the Vatican usually only accepts early resignations for serious illness or another “grave cause,” the official explanation given by Archbishop Favalora himself says he is in “good health,” and presents no other “grave reason” for the unexpected retirement.

Meanwhile, a group of lay Catholics in the archdiocese has revealed communications that they have had with the Vatican regarding an alleged gay cabal of priests that the group claims is veritably running the archdiocese, and suggests that this situation is the real cause of the early retirement. The group says that the Vatican has investigated its claims, and found them to be well-founded. ...

However, Eric Giunta, one of the researchers that formed the group Christifidelis, a lay “watchdog” organization in the diocese, says that the sudden retirement is almost certainly the consequence of a document that his group submitted to the Vatican in 2006. That document was “an exhaustive report (hundreds of pages of text, documentation, and eye witness accounts) detailing and documenting” what he calls a “culture of sodomy and theological heterodoxy” on the part of as many as a majority of priests of the Miami Archdiocese.

Giunta reports that Sharon Baroussa, an attorney and a member of Christifidelis, represented a priest, Rev. Andrew Dowgiert, in a lawsuit filed against the archdiocese in 2005. “Fr. Dowgiert, on loan from a Polish archdiocese and soon to be incardinated in Miami, alleged that he was ‘fired’ from active ministry in the Miami Archdiocese after whistle-blowing on homosexual activity by several pastors of the Archdiocese,” he says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Paedophile priest dumped in SA


Anna Cox

A Joburg Catholic priest allegedly used alcohol, drugs, sex toys and a parish sauna while molesting boys in Germany.

And, when the allegations surfaced, the Catholic diocese in Germany shipped him off to South Africa.

According to Spiegel-online, a German news service, the priest molested several children before being sent to South Africa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM


Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today met with the five visitators of the Legion of Christ: Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M. of Denver, U.S.A.; Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello S.D.B. of Concepcion, Chile; Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Valladolid, Spain; Bishop Ricardo Watty Urquidi M.Sp.S. of Tepic, Mexico, and Bishop Giuseppe Versaldi of Alessandria, Italy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Report: Defrocked priest O'Grady was volunteering at Dutch church

Modesto Bee (United States)

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Catholic Church is rejecting criticism for failing to check the background of former Stockton Diocese priest Oliver O'Grady, a volunteer there who'd served a seven-year prison sentence in the United States for child abuse.

O'Grady did volunteer work for a Rotterdam church for less than two years, and left the Netherlands in February before his identity became known.

A statement from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests in the United States said the Dutch church "should be severely disciplined for failing to do even the most simple background check on this dangerous predator."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

4th witness in priest abuse case


A fourth witness has come forward in the case of a Catholic priest accused of child sex abuse offences, a court has heard.

Prosecutors made the disclosure as Father James Donaghy appeared in the dock on 15 charges, including multiple counts of indecent assault and threats to kill.

The offences are alleged to have been committed by the former Bangor parish priest between 1983 and 2000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Former Boonville Priest Indicted on Sex Charges

ABC 17

Posted by Erica Nochlin on Thu Apr 29, 2010

A former Boonville priest now faces multiple counts of sodomy and kidnapping more than 20 years after the alleged incidents.

Gerald Howard, formerly known as Carmine Sita, is in jail in New Jersey right now on $1.5 million bail. A Cooper County grand jury indicted him for allegedly molesting three teenage victims, and police in New Jersey arrested him Wednesday.

The abuse reportedly happened at the Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Boonville between 1983 and 1988. ABC 17 News tried to find out more, but the indictment is sealed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Utah bishop concedes Catholic Church made 'egregious errors'

The Salt Lake Tribune

By Peggy Fletcher Stack
The Salt Lake Tribune

The Most Reverend John C. Wester, Bishop of Salt Lake City, during the Cathedral Rite of Election at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in 2009. (Tribune file photo)Roman Catholic priests long have been respected, even revered, by people in the pews who entrust their lives, their children and their most intimate life-and-death moments to these men of the cloth.

It is no wonder, then, that Catholics become outraged by priests who exploited that openness and sexually abused their children and by a church that seemed slow to prevent it, said Utah's Catholic Bishop John C. Wester this week.

"It hurts so much because people trust priests. There is an openness [to priests] you don't find other places," Wester said in an interview at the pastoral center for the Diocese of Salt Lake City. "There is so much anger because it feels like betrayal."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Bishop Arborelius wants public investigation

Stockholm News

Anders Arborelius, bishop of the Catholic Church in Sweden, wants the government to investigate the accusations of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. He says to Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) that a neutral inquiry is necessary.

Bishop Arborelius has just returned from the Vatican where he had a meeting with the Pope in other matters than the sexual abuses. Now he announces that he wants an independent investigator, preferably the government, to scrutinise both the claimed abuses within the Swedish Catholic Church and his own handling of the issue.

- The government should appoint an investigator, I will write to them soon. We need to have the issue investigated by a person who has no loyalty to the Church, Arborelius says to SvD.

But the responsible minister Lena Adelsohn-Liljeroth (Minister of Culture) from the Moderate party (liberal-conservative) will not say yes without a formal request and she is sceptical.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Head of Italian Senate: Pope not afraid to 'face the wolves' in the Church

Catholic News Agency

Rome, Italy, Apr 29, 2010 / 09:11 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Holy Father has "never been inert in the face of suffering and injustice," the President of the Italian Senate said as he reflected on the impact of the five years of Benedict XVI's time as Pope. The politician noted that the Pope has opted to "face the wolves" rather than avoid addressing difficulties such as cases of priests who sexually abuse minors.

The address from the leader of the Italian Senate, Renato Schifani, took place during a Wednesday evening presentation organized by the Congregation of the Children of the Immaculate Conception, which was themed "The world suffers for a lack of thought."

Likening the Holy Father to the "messenger" of the Gospel, the image of the pastor and the fisherman, Schifani said that "Benedict XVI really knows that loving means being ready to suffer, and as pastor he gives witness to (Him) who has truly made history with men."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Salvation Army called to apologise for historic abuse cases

New Zealand Herald

By Rebecca Quilliam View as one page 3:33 PM Friday Apr 30, 2010 Facebook

John Gainsford was paroled this year after serving a third of his 10-year sentence. File photo / Rotorua Daily PostNew Zealanders who were abused in Salvation Army children's homes as long as 70 years ago say they're still waiting to hear a public apology from the church.

A group of 45 people say they suffered sexual, physical and psychological abuse for a period spanning four decades - between the 1940s and 1970s - at the hands of Salvation Army staff members.

The Salvation Army has not denied historic abuses took place in many homes run by the church, but it disputes claims it has not properly apologised.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Baptist pastor cleared of sex abuse

The West Australian

GIORDANO STOLLEY, The West Australian
April 30, 2010

Ninety minutes of deliberation was all it took for a District Court jury today to acquit a former Baptist pastor of 18 sexual assault charges alleged to have been committed against one of his parishioners.

The pastor, whose defence was that he had a consensual extramarital affair with the mother of three, was acquitted of 11 counts of sexual penetration without consent, seven counts of indecent assault, two counts of aggravated burglary and one count of assault occasioning bodily harm.

During the three week trial the jury was told by the prosecution that the former pastor had been able to commit the alleged offences by virtue of his position in the church and the high regard in which she held him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

It looks like House Bill 5473 will not go forward

The Hartford Courant

By Susan Campbell on April 30, 2010

Perhaps as early as mid-day today, legislators expect to announce the fate of House Bill 5473. The bill would have extended the civil statute of limitations on seeking redress after the sexual abuse, assault or exploitation of a minor. The bill also set strict rules for people who want to file a lawsuit.

But as the legislative session winds down, sponsoring legislators feared there weren't enough votes after St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center and the Archdiocese of Hartford launched a heavy campaign against the bill. Over the couse of decades, one of the hospital's employees, George Reardon, sexually abused and assaulted countless children in his care, and left a cache of pornographic photos as evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Top German Catholics meet pope to discuss bishop's resignation

Earth Times

Bonn,Germany - Germany's two most senior archbishops, who had earlier urged controversial German Bishop Walter Mixa to step back from public life, met Thursday with Pope Benedict XVI to discuss the case, aides said in Bonn.

Mixa offered April 22 to resign after admitting he "may" have slapped teenagers' faces and failed to properly account for orphanage funds more than 20 years ago when he was a parish priest. He has never been accused of sexual wrongdoing.

The Bonn office of the German Bishops' Conference said its chairman, the archbishop of Freiburg, Robert Zollitsch, had an audience and lunch with the German-born pope, along with Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich, and Anton Losinger, Mixa's deputy bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

ADVISORY Canon Law for Media Seminar

DFW Catholic

April 29, 2010

The USCCB Office of Media Relations and the Canon Law Society of America will sponsor a seminar on Canon Law for Media, May 25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the USCCB, 3211 4th St., NE, Washington, DC 20017-1194. Attendance will be limited to journalists, and registration is on a first come, first served basis.

Canon Law and the Sexual Abuse Crisis – An Overview. Presenter: Sister Sharon Euart, RSM, executive coordinator, Canon Law Society of America.

Canonical Trial and Other Penal Processes, Including Administrative Procedures related to sexual abuse of a minor. Presenter: Msgr. Lawrence DiNardo, Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Diocese of Oakland combats sexual abuse

San Francisco Chronicle

Sister Glenn Anne McPhee

Friday, April 30, 2010

Once again, the world is shocked by public revelations of the evil done to children through sexual abuse. And again, the Catholic community is shaken to understand that some of its clergy are evildoers.

As Catholic administrators working within the Diocese of Oakland, we are again reminded how vital it is to recognize the evil, embrace the victim and continue forward with our work of creating a safe environment for all children and young people.

In Oakland in 1988, practices already in place were formalized when the Diocesan Senate of Priests mandated guidelines to be used when sexual abuse is reported. The immediate first step was underscored: Remove the accused from service. In 2000 Bishop Cummins conducted what may have been the first apology service for all survivors of sexual abuse in the Oakland Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Teen expelled from Catholic school for leaving Church

The Local

A 17-year-old girl has been expelled from her Catholic high school in the Bavarian town of Illertissen because she chose to leave the Church.

Secession from the Church violates school rules, headmaster Manfred Schöpplein said late on Thursday, explaining that this led him to present the case to the Augsburg diocese – which runs the only university-track school in the area. It also happens to be embroiled in the huge child abuse scandal hitting the Catholic Church in Germany in recent months.

The organisation faces its gravest crisis of modern times, with decades-old claims of sexual abuse by priests surfacing. Last week Augsburg Bishop Walter Mixa, who was accused of beating children at an orphanage, though not of sexual abuse, was forced to resign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: Former Bishop Speaks Out

Suite 101

Karen Stephenson

In Australia this week, a former Catholic bishop who spent years defending victims of child sexual abuse reveals that he too, is a victim of sexual abuse.

On April 28, 2010, The Australian Women’s Weekly Magazine reported that former Catholic Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, when he was a child, was sexually abused by a stranger. To this day, at age 72, Bishop Robinson is filled with terror when a person approaches him from behind. In The Weekly Magazine interview, the retired Bishop stated, “Sixty years disappear in a split second. In that sense, the memory never goes away.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Ministry by Priest Broke Deal, Suit Says

The New York Times

Published: April 29, 2010

A woman from New York who says she was abused by a priest from the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church has filed an unusual lawsuit accusing the Jesuits of breach of contract for allowing the priest to perform public ministry even though he was barred from doing so because of a settlement stemming from an alleged sexual assault.

The suit, filed on Wednesday in a Missouri state court, revolves around the Rev. Daniel C. O’Connell, a former president of St. Louis University who was accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old college student in 1983. The Jesuits of the Missouri Province, which sponsors the university, found the accusation credible, and agreed in 2003 to pay the woman a $181,000 settlement. The Jesuits also agreed to the stipulation that Father O’Connell be removed from a teaching post at another Jesuit institution, Loyola University in Chicago, and barred from public ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Church to deregister sex abuse ex-priest

ABC News

The Catholic Bishop of Wollongong, Peter Ingham, says an 83-year-old retired priest convicted for child sexual abuse will be removed as a registered priest.

Kelvin Sharkey was yesterday sentenced in Wollongong District Court to at least 15 months jail for sexually abusing an alter boy on three occasions between 1969 and 1975.

The abuse took place while the Reverend Sharkey was the parish priest at St John Vianney's Catholic Church at Fairy Meadow and at St Bernard's Church at Batemans Bay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Catholic Church Mishandled Reports Of Sex Abuse


[with audio]

April 29, 2010 NPR religion correspondent Barbara Bradley Hagerty investigated one case from the Los Angeles Archdiocese where the Catholic church mishandled reports of abuse. She talks about the case, and how the church is handling the accusations of abuse and an alleged cover-up.


This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington.

There are two principal aspects to the scandal in the Catholic Church that started to become public in 2002: sex abuse by priests - thousands have come forward to say they were abused when they were children - and cover-up. Bishops sent pedophile priests to therapists, not to the police, and many were then reassigned to different parishes, where, too often, they abuse more children.

Last week, NPR religion correspondent Barbara Bradley Hagerty broadcast a story with extraordinary details on the mechanism of the alleged cover-up in one archdiocese, complete with reams of emails from the cardinal on down and a remarkable recording from a deposition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Priest abuse case involving ex-SLU president takes a new turn

St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Former St. Louis University President Daniel O'Connell is at the center of an unusual lawsuit involving allegations of sexual abuse by church clergy.

The breach of contract lawsuit, filed late Wednesday in St. Louis Circuit Court, accuses the Jesuits of the Missouri Province of violating terms of a 2003 settlement, which followed allegations that O'Connell abused a college student. The terms called for the organization to keep the priest out of teaching or ministry positions that would allow one-on-one contact with women.

O'Connell was SLU's president from 1974 to 1978.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Man sues Diocese of Venice for priest's abuse in '60s

Bradenton Herald


A Mississippi man who says he was abused by a Fort Myers priest in the 1960s is suing the Archdiocese of Miami, which at the time included parts of southwestern Florida.

Jimmy Wilkins, 56, says the Rev. Thomas Anglim abused him on "seven to 10 occasions'' when he was a seventh-grader at St. Francis Xavier School in Fort Myers in 1967 and 1968. His complaint, filed Tuesday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, names the Diocese of Venice, which includes Manatee as a defendant.

Anglim, who died in Ireland on Jan. 19, was a priest in the Diocese of Venice until 2004. Before becoming pastor of St. Francis Xavier church in 1966, Anglim ministered at St. Mary's in St. Petersburg, Blessed Trinity in Miami Springs, Little Flower in Coral Gables, Holy Rosary in South Miami-Dade and Sacred Heart in Lake Worth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Minister: Catholic Church should investigate

The Local

After a series of reports of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church of Sweden, Bishop Anders Arborelius wants the state to investigate, but the church minister has expressed reluctance, arguing that the church can manage on its own.

"We need an impartial investigation, we can not manage this ourselves," Arborelius told the Svenska Dagbladet daily.

"The government should appoint someone. I will write to them shortly. We need someone with no loyalty to the church to shed light on the issue," the bishop said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Former priest sent to hell of his own making

Bay Post

30 Apr, 2010

It took almost 40 years, but justice finally caught up with disgraced former Catholic priest Kelvin Sharkey yesterday when he was sentenced to a minimum 15 months’ jail.
For more local news and photos grab a copy of the Bay Post or Moruya Examiner.

The altar boy he serially sexually abused and raped as a teenager all those years ago watched with emotion from the back of Wollongong District Court as the frail 83-year-old, reliant on a walking frame, was led away by Correctives Services officers.

When handing down sentence on Mr Sharkey, Judge Paul Conlon said the former priest had grossly abused his position of trust.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

O'Grady worked at Netherlands church

Stockton Record

By Michael Fitzgerald
Record Columnist
April 30, 2010

Oliver O'Grady, the Stockton Diocese's former priest and convicted sex offender, was discovered working in the Netherlands recently and volunteering for a Catholic parish. He fled.

O'Grady, 64, should not be anywhere around children, or the Catholic Church, which defrocked him, and which, in America, pledged to screen volunteers.

But not so in Europe. And if the unbelievably voracious sexual predator O'Grady was following his modus operandi, well, pray for the children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Molestation survivor speaks at 'take back the night' rally

Waterbury Republican-American


WINSTED — When Beth McCabe was a girl of 11 and 12 living on Long Island, her family routinely welcomed a particular priest for dinner.

"He would just come over, have his scotch, break bread and eat with my family, and molest me and my sister," McCabe said.

For 25 years, McCabe kept this secret even from herself, repressing the memory as a survival technique that is not uncommon, she said, among survivors. It was not until she began helping a close friend deal with her own sexual abuse that the memories broke through.

"I was literally in a rage," McCabe said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Cases against out-of-Delaware dioceses dismissed

The News Journal

By SEAN O'SULLIVAN • The News Journal • April 30, 2010

A WILMINGTON -- A Superior Court judge has tossed out two sexual-abuse cases involving priests that were filed in Delaware but named two out-of-state Roman Catholic dioceses as defendants.

Attorneys for Sharon Tell -- who is suing the Catholic Diocese of Allentown -- and Andrew Ford -- who is suing the Catholic Diocese of Baltimore -- claimed that at least a portion of the alleged abuse that their clients suffered when they were children took place in Delaware, which they argue makes their civil cases seeking damages eligible to be heard in Delaware under Delaware's Child Victim's Act.

Judge John A. Parkins Jr. disagreed in a 44-page opinion released this week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

In Abuse Crisis, a Church Is Pitted Against Society and Itself

The New York Times

Published: April 29, 2010

VATICAN CITY — As the sexual abuse crisis continues to unfold in the Roman Catholic Church, with more victims coming forward worldwide and three bishops resigning last week alone, it is clear the issue is more than a passing storm or a problem of papal communications.

Instead, the church is undergoing nothing less than an epochal shift: It pits those who hold fast to a more traditional idea of protecting bishops and priests above all against those who call for more openness and accountability. The battle lines are drawn between the church and society at large, which clearly clamors for accountability, and also inside the church itself.

Uncomfortably, the crisis also pits the moral legacies of two popes against each other: the towering and modernizing John Paul II, who nonetheless did little about sexual abuse; and his successor, Benedict XVI, who in recent years, at least, has taken the issue of pedophile priests more seriously.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

April 29, 2010

Church of the ‘Times’


Kenneth L. Woodward

This article will appear in the May 7, 2010, issue of Commonweal.

The New York Times isn’t fair. In its all-hands-on-deck drive to implicate the pope in diocesan cover-ups of abusive priests, the Times has relied on a steady stream of documents unearthed or supplied by Jeff Anderson, the nation’s most aggressive litigator on behalf of clergy-abuse victims. Fairness dictates that the Times give Anderson at least a co-byline.

After all, it was really Anderson who “broke” the story on March 25 about Fr. Lawrence Murphy and his abuse of two hundred deaf children a half-century ago in Wisconsin. Reporter Laurie Goodstein says her article emerged from her own “inquiries,” but the piece was based on Anderson documents. Indeed, in its ongoing exercise in J’accuse journalism, the Times has adopted as its own Anderson’s construal of what took place. Anderson is a persuasive fellow: back in 2002 he claimed that he had already won more than $60 million in settlements from the church. But the really big money is in Rome, which is why Anderson is trying to haul the Vatican into U.S. federal court. The Times did not mention this in its story, of course, but if the paper can show malfeasance on the part of the pope, Anderson may get his biggest payday yet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 PM

Man found guilty of sexual assault on boy over 35 years ago

The Irish Times

ANN HEALY in Galway

A FORMER student priest has been found guilty by a jury of the sexual assault of a 10-year-old boy in Galway city over 35 years ago.

Gerard Cleere, Kilkenny, who was extradited from Leicester in England last December to stand trial, had denied he buggered the child on an unknown date between January 1st, 1973, and December 30th, 1974. He did, however, plead guilty before Galway Circuit Criminal Court to indecent assault.

Judge Raymond Groarke yesterday adjourned sentencing to July 13th and he remanded Cleere in continuing custody. He directed the preparation of a victim impact statement to be made available to the court before sentencing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 PM

Former Boonville priest indicted on sodomy charges

Columbia Missourian

BY Aimee Hall

COLUMBIA — A former Boonville Catholic priest who also worked in Columbia for a time was arrested in New Jersey on Wednesday after being indicted by a Cooper County grand jury on multiple counts of sodomy.

The defendant, the Rev. Gerald Howard, was being held Wednesday in Bloomfield, N.J., on $1.5 million bond, according to a news release from the Cooper County prosecuting attorney's office.

Howard was known as the Rev. Carmen Sita when he was assigned to the Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Boonville during the 1980s. That's where and when the alleged abuse that spawned the charges is believed to have occurred, according to a news release from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. The parish is part of the Jefferson City diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 PM

Scandals Place Catholic Church Between Ancient Traditions, Modern Faith Crisis

PBS NewsHour (United States)

[with video]

JEFFREY BROWN: Now, Margaret Warner wraps up a week of reporting from Rome, as the European abuse scandal engulfs the Vatican.

MARGARET WARNER: They call Rome the Eternal City, awash in grand monuments and the artistic remains of civilizations that have spanned the millennia, in its heart, one of the most enduring, the seat of the self- proclaimed eternal church of Roman Catholicism, the Vatican.

But now, hit with a new wave of allegations of priestly sexual abuse of the young, the ancient church and its pope find themselves caught in a very modern crisis.

That didn't keep thousands from filling Saint Peter's Square this past Sunday to hear Pope Benedict XVI's weekly blessing from his window high above the piazza. He called on priests to model themselves on Jesus, the good shepherd, who safeguards his flock and defends it from evil.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 PM

Catholic Church Must Own Up To Shame

The Hartford Courant

Revelations about Catholic priests sexually abusing children have become depressingly common. The church's response too often has been to conceal this criminal activity and quietly move priests to new assignments, where the sexual assaults often continued.

Priests have molested tens of thousands of children in Ireland, according to government reports there, and elsewhere — including many in Connecticut. In an egregious case that came to light recently, a priest from India was charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Minnesota. He returned to India, where he continued to serve as a priest despite warnings that he was a threat to children. Other cases are making news across Europe.

In recent months, several bishops have resigned, including two who admitted they sexually abused children years ago. That housecleaning was long overdue and should continue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 PM

New Push to Give Abuse Victims More Time to Sue

The Wall Street Journal

The recent wave of accusations that the Catholic Church has mishandled sexual-abuse cases is giving new momentum to state efforts to extend the time frame for alleged victims of childhood abuse to sue the church.

Legislatures in a handful of states, including Connecticut, Arizona, New York and Michigan, as well as the territory of Guam, are considering lengthening or eliminating their statutes of limitations in sex-abuse cases. On Monday, the Florida legislature voted to abolish its time limitations in any new cases filed. The church has been lobbying against such measures, which typically apply to all sexual-abuse cases, not just those involving the church.

The state efforts to extend the time period in which people can sue for harm were begun before the latest string of allegations against the church. These include allegations against church leaders, including Pope Benedict XVI when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, of failing to quickly defrock priests in Wisconsin, Oakland, Calif., and pockets of Europe, despite knowledge or warnings that the priests had sexually abused children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 PM

Inquiry launched into clergyman's affair with farmer's wife


The Church of England has launched an inquiry into allegations that one of its senior clergymen has been having an affair.

The Very Rev Dr Christopher Hardwick, the dean of Truro Cathedral, has "taken a break" from his duties after revealing he was having "difficulties with his marriage".

The Rt Rev Tim Thornton, the bishop of Truro, told his congregation on Sunday about the hiatus, but only learned of the alleged involvement with farmer's wife Susan Sainsbury "in the last few days".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 PM

Kilkenny priest released early from Florida jail

Kilkenny Advertiser

Kilkenny Advertiser, April 30, 2010.
By Naoise Coogan

A priest who originally hails from Johnstown in County Kilkenny was released from prison early yesterday in Florida USA.

Fr John Skehan was greeted with joyous celebrations by supporters and was whisked away from the Martin Correctional Institution in Florida before dawn, two hours ahead of the scheduled 8am release time to avoid media attention.

The 82-year-old had served one year of a 14-month sentence for stealing $100,000 (€77,000) from a Florida church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Pope Benedict to preside over Legion meeting's first session

Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Apr 29, 2010 / 05:52 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI will preside over the final meeting of the Apostolic Visitation of the Legionaries of Christ tomorrow, before making his decision in the case that will determine the future of the congregation.

On Friday, the Pope will meet with the five bishops who have been in charge of investigating the Legion since July 15, 2009. The bishops, who hail from Europe and the Americas, will each have the chance to address the Pope directly and present a bottom line proposal before the meeting enters a session of open dialogue. Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone will also be present at the meeting.

The five apostolic visitors are: Bishop Ricardo Watti Urquidi of Tepic, Mexico; Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver; Bishop Giuseppe Versaldi of Alessandria, Italy; Archbishop Ricardo Ezzato Andrello of Concepción, Chile; and Archbishop Ricardo Blázquez Pérez of Biblao, Spain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

Former Booneville priest arrested on child molestation charges from the 1980’s


by Ryan Famuliner on April 29, 2010

A former Mid-Missouri priest has now been arrested for charges stemming from alleged sexual assaults in Booneville in the 1980’s.

A support group called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, held a press conference outside the Diocese of Jefferson City Thursday asking the bishop to defrock a priest that went by the name of Jerry Howard. Judy Jones with SNAP says Howard came to Mid-Missouri after getting 5 years probation for molesting a New Jersey boy in 1983.

“By August of 1983, he was back here, he had changed his name, he was in the town of Booneville at the St. Peter Paul Church, and he was molesting again,” Jones said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

Former St. Louis University President named in sex suit


Kevin Killeen Reporting

ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY (KMOX Radio) -- The former President of St. Louis Uninversity is accused in a lawsuit of breaking an agreement to stay away from ministry involving women, after his alleged sexual misconduct with a female college student in 1983.

The suit filed in St. Louis Circuit court names Father Daniel O'Connell and the Jesuits of the Missouri Province. It seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.

The plaintiff, identified in the suit as "Jane Doe" of New York State, claims that O'Connell and the Jesuits violated an agreement reached after he "sexually exploited and assaulted her," while she was a Loyola College student, studying in Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

В Латвии арестовали первого священника-педофила! (фото)


Викарий Даугвпилсской лютеранской епархии Агрис-Павилс Левалдс (Agris Pāvils Lēvalds) задержан Госполицией за совращение маленьких мальчиков и водворен за решетку: слухом Латвия о нем полнилась уже много лет.

Паства одной из лютеранских церквей в Даугавпилсе и Даугавпилсском районе – в шоке. Даугавпилс – второй крупнейший город Латвии после Риги и многоконфессионален, больше всего здесь православных и католиков (бывший польско-литовский край), но есть и лютеране. Кроме многоконфессиональности, этот город ныне славится и первым священником, пойманным за педофилию. Он арестован. Пострадали лютеране:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 PM

Latvian vicar arrested on sex abuse allegations

Taiwan News

Latvian police say they have arrested three men including a Lutheran vicar on allegations that they sexually abused children.

A police statement Thursday describes the other two suspects as a security guard at a children's hospital and a former convict.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia identified the vicar as Agris Levalds, an assistant pastor in the city of Daugavpils in southeastern Latvia. Church spokeswoman Rita Bruvere said Levalds had been a Catholic priest before converting to the Lutheran church in February 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Vicar arrested over sex abuse

The Australian

A FORMER Catholic priest who converted to Protestantism and two other men have been arrested in Latvia for allegedly sexually abusing children.

The three suspects were friends and exchanged information to help each other find victims throughout the Baltic country, police spokesman Toms Sadovskis says.

They preyed on orphans or boys from dysfunctional families in a string of abuse cases going back at least five years, Mr Sadovskis alleged today. ...

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia identified the vicar as Agris Levalds, an assistant pastor in the city of Daugavpils in southeastern Latvia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 PM

Bishops draft code against child abuse

The Times of India

CHENNAI: With the clergy facing horrible child sex abuse charges in several countries, Catholic bishops of India have drafted guidelines for the clergymen across the world. From spelling out a general behavioural code for bishops and other priests to defrocking as the ultimate punishment for such crime, the guidelines focus on "wholesome safety of children in and outside our institutions".

The draft is a result of four days of deliberations by the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) and the Conference of Catholic Bishops in India (CCBI), the two apex bodies, that ended in Bangalore on Wednesday. It will be sent to the Vatican for the Pope's approval before being finalised by the end of June.

Several cases of alleged child sexual abuse against Indian Catholic priests abroad had come to light in the recent past, forcing CBCI to act. With similar cases being reported from across the world, Pope Benedict XVI had written letters to the clergy in several countries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Vatican abuse investigator ‘failed to report Californian priest’

The Times (United Kingdom)

Richard Owen, Rome Correspondent

The Pope’s chosen replacement to investigate sex abuse cases in the Catholic Church has been accused of failing to take action against a Californian priest after learning that he had allegedly molested an altar boy 11 years earlier.

Cardinal William Levada, who at the time the alleged offence came to light in 1995 was Archbishop of San Francisco, said in testimony five years ago that he had not contacted police about Father Milton Walsh because he believed that his predecessor had dealt with the case adequately. He also said he had trusted that Father Walsh would not reoffend.

Jeffrey Lena, the lawyer acting for the Vatican in US abuse cases, said that Cardinal Levada acted appropriately according to the standards of the time. There was no evidence that Father Walsh had gone on to commit any further sexual offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:03 PM

Former Boonville priest is arrested

Columbia Daily Tribune

By Daniel Cailler

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Former Boonville priest Gerald Howard will return to Missouri to face criminal charges in connection with events alleged to have occurred more than 20 years ago.

A Cooper County grand jury has returned an indictment against the former Catholic priest alleging three counts of forcible sodomy, three counts of attempted forcible sodomy and two counts of kidnapping against three minors in the mid- to late 1980s.

Howard was arrested yesterday in his Bloomfield, N.J., apartment on a warrant from Missouri, Bloomfield Police Chief Mark Leonard said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Diocese responds to sexual abuse lawsuit involving St. Francis Xavier priest


[with video]

BY PAT GILLESPIE • pgillespie@news-press.com • April 29, 2010

The Diocese of Venice released the following statement regarding the allegations against the Rev. Thomas Anglim:

“In August 2008 Mr. Jimmy Wilkins approached the Diocese of Venice in Florida with an allegation against Father Thomas Anglim which is alleged to have taken place in 1967 at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Fort Myers.

Immediately the allegation was presented to the Diocesan Review Board. The Review Board is a consulting body for the Bishop which deals with cases of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults and consists of laypersons and one member of the clergy. The Review Board spoke with Mr. Wilkins during a formal review of the information available. The Diocese then offered Mr. Wilkins counseling and pastoral care which was accepted by Mr. Wilkins.

At the time of the allegation, Father Anglim was in retirement which he had entered on Oct. 15, 2004. Further, at the time he was no longer physically capable of caring for himself, nor was he any longer able to speak. Father Anglim died Jan. 19, 2010.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

Group protests Lincoln Catholic Church Practices



They're calling on Lincoln's Catholic Bishop to make a change. The group Call to Action Nebraska wants the Lincoln Catholic Diocese to take part in something every other Diocese in the country is already doing.

But some people say, the church is already doing enough. In 2002, the US Council of Bishops laid out a plan to protect children from abuse in the Catholic Church. Lincoln's diocese is the only one not to adopt the standards. And one group tells us it's time for that to change.

Call to Action President Rachel Pokora, leads the protest, outside of the Catholic Chancery, against the Lincoln Catholic Diocese. "It's an issue because these are the children and the abuse it just ruins lives," Pokora said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Abuse scandal may speed global realignment of Catholicism

Catholic Culture

April 29, 2010
Writing in the New Republic, Philip Jenkins suggests that the fallout of the sex-abuse scandal could accelerate a trend that is already evident in Catholicism: the shift of Catholic influence to the global South. In Europe, Jenkins reasons, "the crisis will likely alienate already lukewarm Catholics and marginalize the minority of devoted believers." But in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, where Catholicism is expanding, the scandal has had much less effect. "Indeed, as the crisis quickens the wane of Europe's Catholic influence, it will help solidify the Church's new roots in the south," he concludes

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Richard Sipe: Pope should resign

Voice from the Desert

The following from Richard Sipe appears as on op-ed piece in the 4.29.2010 edition of the National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) News.

* * *
Received from A. W. Richard Sipe

Pope Benedict XVI is a good man. He has served the Church long and well. It takes nothing away from his goodness to suggest that he should resign his office. Nine of his predecessors have resigned, most for the good of the Church. The clerical sex abuse crisis that now exposes a corrupt pattern and practice of a system has escaped and confused many good, brilliant people and left generations paralyzed. There is no need to point fingers.

However, the Roman Catholic Church is in a period of Reformation as profound (and breathtaking) as any its history has ever recorded. The voluntary resignation of Pope Benedict XVI would be a gesture that would match the epic challenge that faces Catholicism today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Oklahoma Abortion Law: No Exceptions, Even Rape

ABC News

April 29, 2010

From the time she was 15 and repeatedly over the course of two years, Joelle Casteix -- a vulnerable teen with an alcoholic mother-- was sexually abused by her California high school music teacher.

Critics say the law could keep doctors from giving vital information to women.At 17, when Casteix discovered she was pregnant with her assailant's child, she sought an abortion, one that she says was emotionally painful, but she doesn't regret.

"For the first time in my life, I did something to take care of myself," she said. "I needed to ensure my safety and make sure he wouldn't hurt me. For me it was an act of survival."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:12 PM

How Other Religious Organizations Echo the Roman Catholic Church's Rule Against Scandal...



Thursday, April 15, 2010

This is Part Two in a two-part series of columns on religions, other than the Catholic Church, that possess precepts that have the effect of leaving clergy child sex abuse unpunished. Part One can be found here. – Ed.

In the past two weeks, there have been yet more revelations about the Catholic Church's mishandling of child sex abuse, with, for example, European bishops forced to resign. In my last column, I described, based on church documents and case law, some of the pitfalls in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints' approach to child sex abuse within the organization. In this column, I will address the struggles of institutions within the Orthodox Jewish community on these issues.

Like Other Faiths, Orthodox Judaism Is Wary of Secular Authority – But There Are Exceptions

Like the Catholic Church, Orthodox Jews have certain beliefs that tend to create a separate world from which child sex abuse victims cannot escape. The key question with respect to every religious organization that is dealing with hidden, ongoing, or persistent child sex abuse is this one: What will it take to liberate the victims? External pressures from sources such as the media and the legal system can make a difference, but it may also take some re-examination and soul-searching with respect to some of the institution's religiously motivated practices. The Orthodox Jews are making steady and promising progress in this arena. The ultra-Orthodox Jews, unfortunately, are not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

Man sues over alleged abuse by Catholic priest

Miami Herald

MIAMI -- A Mississippi man who says he was sexually abused by a Fort Myers priest in the 1960s has sued the Catholic Church.

Fifty-six-year-old Jimmy Wilkins filed the suit Tuesday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

He claims the Rev. Thomas Anglim abused him seven to ten times while he was a seventh-grader at St. Francis Xavier School in Fort Myers in 1967 and 1968. Anglim died in Ireland on Jan. 19.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

Longtime St. Francis Xavier priest named in sexual abuse lawsuit


BY PAT GILLESPIE • pgillespie@news-press.com • April 29, 2010

Longtime St. Francis Xavier priest the Rev. Thomas Anglim has been named in a sexual abuse lawsuit in Miami.

Jimmy Wilkins, a Mississippi man who went to St. Francis Xavier parish school in the 1960s, alleges in a lawsuit Anglim sexually abused him at the school while it was operated by the Archdiocese of Miami. The school is now owned and operated by the Archdiocese of Venice.

Anglim retired from the church in 2004 after 38 years. He was pastor at St. Francis from 1966 and he bears the name for the Father Anglim Academy, a school that assists students who have learning challenges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

Attorney Uncovers Docs Implicating Vatican in Sexual Abuse Coverup

Democracy Now

[video presentation]

We speak with St. Paul-based attorney, Jeff Anderson, who has filed hundreds of lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests and bishops since 1983. He filed a lawsuit last week against the Vatican in a Milwaukee court and wants the Church to release any files it has on sexual abuse cases involving priests. It was his discovery of previously undisclosed documents that fueled the latest wave of accusations leading all the way up to the Vatican. [Includes rush transcript]

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

The Myth that Norman McFarland was a Financial Genius

Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano, Thursday, Apr. 29 2010

Now that the body of former Diocese of Orange Bishop Norman McFarland is cold and in dead in the ground, let's piss on his grave--specifically, the lie passed off as fact by the mainstream media that McFarland was a whiz with the Church's finances.

It's something highlighted in his official hagiography--that McFarland saved the Diocese of Reno from bankruptcy in the 1970s, and that he shored up finances in the Orange diocese when he arrived in 1986. Current Bishop Tod D. Brown gushed to the Orange County Register that even in his final days, McFarland wanted an accounting of all diocesan expenses.

Nice story if it were true. Truth is, McFarland is more culpable than anyone for costing the Orange diocese $100 million in sex-abuse settlements. It was under McFarland's reign that the diocese's practice of hiring high-priced asshole lawyers to badger sex-abuse victims began. It was McFarland who did nothing to prosecute Michael Harris, who alone cost the diocese millions. It was McFarland who allowed other pedophiles to terrorize the pews of county churches, pedophiles who cost Catholics more millions. If McFarland were a politician and a Democrat, the Tea Baggers would categorize him as the epitome of waste.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Legionaries break silence on founder's sex abuse

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — The No. 2 official in the conservative Legionaries of Christ order has broken his silence on revelations that the group's founder had fathered children and abused seminarians, giving an interview on the eve of a Vatican meeting to discuss the order's fate.

The Rev. Luis Garza Medina told Rome's La Repubblica newspaper Thursday that he did not know before 2006 that founder Rev. Marcial Maciel had fathered a child. He also said cases of sexual abuse by priests should be referred to civil law enforcement.

On Friday, five Vatican experts are to discuss their investigation into the order with the Vatican's No. 2 official, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Bertone ordered the probe in 2009 after the Legionaries acknowledged that Maciel had fathered a daughter who is now in her 20s and lives in Spain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

We called him “Kes”

Clint Reilly Companies

We called him “Kes.” He was a big, burly guy who played center on the basketball team and hurled the shot put in track.

Kes was an excellent student; very smart. We liked him. He was our classmate at St. Joseph’s High School in Mountain View and St. Patrick’s College/Seminary in Menlo Park during the 1960s.

There were hundreds of students in the seminary and dozens in our class. The all-male seminary was filled with young Catholic teenagers and men studying to become priests from throughout the Bay Area, Sacramento and the Central Valley, as well as Hawaii.

On the two campuses, students ranged from 13 to 25 years old.

Kes and I were both students for the priesthood from the Oakland Diocese so we sometimes commuted home together on Christmas and holidays. I left in 1969 but Kes stayed and was ordained a priest in 1972.

“Kes” was Steve Kiesle, the pedophile priest who was allowed to continue in his role for years after being convicted for tying up and molesting two young boys in a church rectory in 1978.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Washington Post: Archbishop Burke ‘kicked upstairs’ because of handling of abuse allegations

Catholic Culture

April 28, 2010
The web site of The Washington Post has published the astounding-- and completely unsupported-- claim that Archbishop Raymond Burke, former Archbishop of St. Louis and current Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, was “kicked upstairs” because of improper handling of sexual abuse allegations.

“Some prelates acted in ways that constituted cover-ups,” writes Anthony Stevens-Arroyo. “Many of them have accepted blame for errors and made public statements of apology. Others, like Cardinal Law, formerly of Boston and Archbishop Burke, formerly of St. Louis, have been ‘kicked upstairs’ to the Vatican. Not only have no apologies come directly from them, one wonders if such prelates might be liable for criminal action in the USA for obstruction of justice concerning the way they handled pedophilia cases.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Clergy abuse wrongly explained

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Patrick McIlheran

In the current dredge-up of old sexual abuse cases involving Catholic priests, one feels sorriest for these men in their 50s who once were the prey.

Not so much because of the awfulness of what was done to them, though it was awful. Rather, it's that they're seeking a temporal justice they never can get.

"Somebody should be punished," said one of the victims of Father Lawrence Murphy, who molested some 200 deaf boys in St. Francis from the 1950s to the 1970s. It can't be Murphy, long since dead, as are the two archbishops who oversaw him. The district attorney who took a pass is retired, so the victims' recourse is to sue the current pope, whose only involvement, decades after Murphy molested anyone, was on the question of whether the monster would wear a Roman collar in his coffin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Convicted Former Priest Allowed to Be Transient

My Fox Houston

[with video]

Web Producer
SANTA FE, Texas - A former priest who is accused of molesting an estimated 100 children in Louisiana is allowed to be categorized as a transient -- one week after he was scheduled to move into a Santa Fe home.

Gilbert Gauthe, 64, walked out of the Galveston County jail on Friday and was supposed to live in Santa Fe, but FOX 26 News has learned that he no longer has a physical address.

Whether or not Gauthe felt pressure to not establish residence in Santa Fe because of media attention or dissatisfacation from neighbors is unclear.

Gauthe was released from jail following a two-year sentence for failing to register as a sex offender in 2008 when he was arrested by La Marque police at a state park.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

An Interview with TN Survivor Supporter, David Brown

Healing and Spirituality

Dr. Jaime Romo

Mr. David Brown is a paralegal and licensed private investigator in Tennessee. He is a survivor and change agent affiliated with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

JR: I am so happy to hear that you have taken up the work in Tennessee that Ann Brentwood, a dear and loved and dedicated survivor –advocate, began. What got you into your work as a survivor supporter?

DB: Jaime thanks for the compliment. To answer this I must go back for a little history on myself. My abuse began in the fall of 1961 and lasted till the spring of 1962. I was abused by a Catholic priest who was a teacher at my high school in Nashville. I never told anyone about my abuse. I did not feel anyone would believe me and if I had told my parents my father would have killed him. So I did what so many victims do and remained silent.

In fact I was silent for over 35 years until my wife and I were watching a story on television one Sunday night about some adult survivors in Boston. They were talking about what it was like to be a survivor. I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention when my wife touched me on my arm and asked me if that was what happened to me. I turned and look at her, and then the flood gates opened up. Please bear in mind we had only been married for 6 years and I had just turned 50 that same day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Brothers Come To Grips With Being Sexually Abused In 1968 By St. Francis Doctor

The Hartford Courant

The Hartford Courant

April 29, 2010

In the first picture, the boy is smiling, 11 or 12, happy.

In the last picture, taken hours later, it's the same child, but changed.

"Just scared to death and totally, totally confused," said Pete, the child in the picture, 42 years later.

The 100 or so pictures taken in between showed why, proof that confirmed what a part of Pete's brain had always hoped he made up or exaggerated. In the span of those pictures, Dr. George Reardon posed him naked and fondled him — the same things that Reardon is believed to have done to hundreds of other children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

A victim brings Father Kelvin Sharkey to justice, with help from Broken Rites

Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

The Broken Rites Australia victim support group has helped to obtain justice for a former altar boy who was raped by his Catholic parish priest, Father Kelvin Gerald Sharkey.

In the Wollongong District Court (south of Sydney) on 29 April 2010, Father Sharkey was sentenced to a minimum 15 months in jail after pleading guilty to the offences.

Sharkey belongs to the Wollongong diocese and he is still listed in the 2009-2010 edition of the annual Australian Catholic Directory as "Reverend Kelvin Sharkey", a "supplementary priest of the diocese". This means that he was no longer working in a particular parish but is still officially a priest of the diocese, even while he is in jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Austrian Church victims call for government investigation

Earth Times

Vienna - Austrian victims of abuse by Catholic clergy called on the government Thursday to start its own investigation of the hundreds of alleged cases that have surfaced in the past weeks.

So far, the Church has established an independent commission, and prosecutors are looking into specific incidents, but the state has not got involved in the scandal centred on physical and sexual abuse.

"Those affected feel abandoned by the state. Most of them call for an investigation by the government that takes place independently of the Church," said Philipp Schwaerzler, a psychologist who is part of a newly-formed panel of victims and experts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Appeal denied

Standard Freeholder

Former Cornwall police officer and central figure for the Cornwall Public Inquiry Perry Dunlop has seen his appeal of contempt charges dismissed by the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Toronto, Wednesday.

Dunlop served six months in jail after being found guilty on civil contempt charges in November 2007 for refusing to testify at the inquiry. He spent a further 30 days in jail in March 2008 for criminal contempt as he remain silent.

Currently residing in Duncan, B.C., Dunlop led a crusade into claims of a pedophile ring and of rampant sexual abuse within local public institutions, including the Roman Catholic church and the justice system.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Austrian group records jump in church abuse claims

Taiwan News

Associated Press

An Austrian group says 260 people have called its hot line since March 23 to report incidents of alleged abuse by clergy or employees of institutions run by the Catholic church.

The Platform Of Those Affected By Church Violence says 70 percent of the callers were men and 30 percent were women. It says 58 percent of male callers and 40 percent of female callers reported sexual abuse, with the rest reporting physical or verbal abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

PULPIT: Did church shuffle around offending Springs priest?

The Gazette

April 28, 2010

The Catholic Church has been accused of reassigning and covering up the trail of thousands of priests suspected of molestation.

Was this the case with the late Rev. Tom Kloppenborg, a priest within the Diocese of Colorado Springs for nearly 10 years?

While attending a Midwest seminary in the 1970s, Kloppenborg, who at the time was in his early 20s, had a sexual relationship with a boy said to be in his mid-teens. Kloppenborg’s report of the incident went into his personnel file. In 2002, church authorities re-discovered his admission and removed him from public ministry. The Kloppenborg incident became one of two credible sex abuse cases that came to light in the Colorado Springs diocese since its founding in 1984 — although new accusations have been brought against the Rev. Melvin Thompson, who served locally in the 1970s under the Archdiocese of Denver.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Cornwall ex-policeman's contempt appeal fails

CBC News

Ontario's highest court has dismissed a former Cornwall, Ont., police officer's appeals of his contempt convictions.

Perry Dunlop called the seven months he served in jail for refusing to testify at a public inquiry largely of his own making "cruel and unusual punishment."

He was found guilty of civil contempt in November 2007 and sentenced to six months behind bars after refusing to answer questions at the Cornwall Public Inquiry, which was looking into the way authorities responded to widespread allegations of sexual abuse in the Eastern Ontario community. He had been summoned to the inquiry from his home in B.C.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Lincoln Catholics clash over lack of participation in sex abuse audit

Lincoln Journal Star

By ERIN ANDERSEN / Lincoln Journal Star | Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010

Font Size:Default font sizeLarger font sizeForty-four Catholics gathered in front of the Lincoln Diocese on Wednesday evening -- divided by a public sidewalk and their convictions.

On one side stood 16 members of Call to Action Nebraska, a group of Catholics calling for "transparency" and urging Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz to participate in the annual sex abuse audits conducted by the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Lincoln Diocese is the only one in the United States that refuses to participate in the audit system established in 2002 to address the issues of sexual abuse of children by clergy.

Meanwhile, across the sidewalk, on the front lawn of the Catholic Chancery, stood 28 other Catholics, holding sheets of paper printed with the words "We support our bishop" and "We love our bishop."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Benedict XVI's pontificate shows his sensitive pastoral heart, Cardinal George writes

Catholic News Agency

Rome, Italy, Apr 28, 2010 / 07:44 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Reflecting on the five-year pontificate of Benedict XVI, the Cardinal Francis George wrote in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano on Wednesday that joy and love are at the foundation of his teachings and ministry. The American cardinal also praised the Pope's efforts to combat clerical sexual abuse and his efforts to reach out to victims. April 19 marked the fifth year since the election of Pope Benedict XVI as the Successor of Peter.

Cardinal George referenced the words of then-Cardinal Ratzinger in an interview given to Peter Seewald, for the book "God and the World," during which he said, "If we look at Christ, he is all sympathy and this makes him precious to us. Being sympathetic, being vulnerable, is part of being Christian. One must learn to accept injuries, to live with wounds and in the end to find therein a deeper healing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Cardinal back in the pulpit for first time since illness

Belfast Telegraph

By Anne Madden
Thursday, 29 April 2010

All-Ireland Catholic Primate Cardinal Sean Brady celebrated Mass in Armagh yesterday for the first time since he collapsed in church a fortnight ago.

He was ordered to rest after suffering a suspected heart attack and was taken to hospital by ambulance during a Confirmation Mass in Tyrone on April 13.

The highest-ranking Catholic cleric in Ireland is under pressure to resign after revelations he was involved in a secretive investigation into allegations of sexual abuse in 1975 against paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Jersey City ex-priest, guilty in 1982 of sexual assault, charged in Missouri 1980s abuse cases

The Jersey Journal

By The Jersey Journal
April 28, 2010, 8:40PM

A former St. Aloysius Church of Jersey City priest, who pleaded guilty in 1982 to sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy, was arrested at his Bloomfield apartment for allegedly sexually assaulting three Missouri men in the 1980s, according to the Boonville Daily News.

The arrest of suspect Gerald Howard, formerly known as the Rev. Carmine Sita, was announced today by Cooper County Prosecutor Doug Abele in Missouri. Abele credited the Bloomfield Police Department for assisting Missouri authorities.

A $1.5 million bond has been set

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

The Vatican: A Possible Mea Culpa

The New York Times

Published: April 28, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI might offer a mea culpa about the sexual abuse of minors by priests at the culmination of a yearlong celebration of priests at the Vatican in mid-June, a high-ranking Vatican official has said. Cardinal William J. Levada, who oversees sexual abuse cases as prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said on “PBS NewsHour” that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Benedict were to do such a thing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Priest jailed for 15 months

Illawarra Mercury

29 Apr, 2010

Disgraced former Fairy Meadow Catholic priest Kelvin Sharkey was sentenced to a minimum 15 months in jail today for the sexual abuse of an alter boy almost 40 years ago.

Handing down the sentence, Wollongong District Court Judge Paul Conlon described the 83-year-old Sharkey’s behaviour as a gross abuse of his position of trust.

‘‘He rather cruelly secured the victim’s silence by threatening that he would go to hell if he told his mother and father,’’ Judge Conlon said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Attacking the Church and Double Standards

FrontPage Magazine

Posted by William Kilpatrick on Apr 29th, 2010

In the war against jihad it might seem that President Obama’s plan to remove all discussion of Islam and jihad from our national security document would rank higher as a threat to Western security than recent attempts to link the pope to 40 year-old sex crimes in Milwaukee. But the perfect storm that has hit the Catholic Church may turn out to be of greater consequence for the West’s survival. For that reason it’s important to sort out how much of the current indignation toward Rome represents justified anger, and how much of it represents a larger anti-Christian agenda.

Non-Catholic Christians who think the recent media blitz against the Catholic Church is mainly about sex abuse should think again. Likewise, Christians would be naïve to think that those who would like to discredit the Catholic Church will be content, should they succeed, to leave the rest of Christianity alone. The attack on the Catholic Church should be seen as part of a larger attack against Christianity itself. Of course, there have been attacks on Christianity before, but never before have the stakes been so high. From the standpoint of the West’s survival it would be difficult to imagine a worse time for the pundits to launch a campaign to undermine Christian belief.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

More ripples appear for Catholic Church


THE paedophile priests scandal shredding the Catholic Church’s reputation worldwide has been especially savage in Latin America, where half the religion’s faithful live.

Ecclesiastical authorities from the region have either been begging for forgiveness as they tried to reassure their nervous flock – or echoing the Holy See’s line that the Catholic Church was being persecuted by some mysterious forces.

Colombian cardinal Dario Castrillon, for instance, said he would “never” regret his support for a French bishop who did not denounce a pederast priest, and claimed Freemasonry was behind a smear campaign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Out of the shadows

News & Obsever


FUQUAY-VARINA -- For Charles L. Bailey Jr., the triggers serve as a constant reminder of the past.

There's the sight of the square white clerical collar, the "click" of the door closing, the words of the Lord's Prayer, and especially, "thy will be done."

From out of nowhere, these random sights, sounds and phrases take him back to two horrific years from 1961 to 1963 when Bailey was repeatedly raped by a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Syracuse, N.Y.

He was 10 years old when the Rev. Thomas Neary took an interest in him. In a scheme masterminded by a serial pedophile, Neary convinced Bailey's mother to "counsel" her son as a way of preparing him for the priesthood. Roughly once a week, the priest would visit Charles in his upstairs bedroom and sodomize him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Guest column: Church hierarchy should come clean

Des Moines Register

JANET CLARK of Fort Dodge is western Iowa SNAP leader and author of "Blind Faith." Contact: j_e_m_clark@hotmail.com. • April 29, 2010

At the heart of the Roman Catholic sexual abuse crisis, the real issue is the cover-up. It's not unreasonable to hold religious leaders to a higher standard than people in other professions, but we all know there are people from every walk of life who do really bad things. Sex crimes in the Catholic Church are big news not so much because of the clergy who abused parishioners, but because of the organized, systematic nature of the cover-up.

When I began to deal with the fact that I had been sexually assaulted by a priest, I was able through my attorney to speak with several of his other victims. Through our conversations, it became clear this priest was a serial offender, well known to hierarchy and law enforcement alike. It became apparent to me that the church in which I grew up had placed me in the hands of a known predator.

That realization brought an overwhelming sense of betrayal, almost worse than the initial attack. I was baptized and raised in the Catholic Church, attended Catholic schools, joined the Legion of Mary. Coming to terms with the fact that this church failed to protect me and so many others from priests who were known to be sexually abusive was excruciating.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Pope to meet top German bishops

Earth Times

Vatican City - Pope Benedict XVI was scheduled later Thursday to meet three top bishops from his native Germany - where the Catholic church has been hit by widespread revelations of sexual abuse of minors by priests.

The pontiff was set to hold a private audience at noon (1000 GMT) with the group headed by the archbishop of Freiburg, Robert Zollitsch, who also chairs the German Episcopal Conference.

Archbishop of Munich Reinhard Marx and the auxiliary bishop of Augsburg, Anton Losinger, were also scheduled to participate in the talks

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Bishop Jim challenges the prevailing culture

Laois Nationalist

BISHOP Jim Morriarty offered his resignation to the Holy Father as Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin on the 23 December 2009.

This week, Pope Benedict has accepted Bishop Jim’s resignation. He did this because he stated in his resignation statement he “did not challenge the prevailing culture at the time.”

This prevailing culture has been revealed as a culture of cover-up, secrecy, silence and clericalism; surrounding the issue of child sexual abuse by clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Priests insulted

The Standard


Some Montreal area priests say they have been the victims of insults and vulgarity in the streets, a possible result of allegations of pedophilia and other sexual scandals that have plagued the Catholic Church.

Such has been the case for Father Raymond Gravel and some of his colleagues who have noticed some people are beginning to look at them as if they are guilty of a sexual offence.

And if the insults are not being hurled at Gravel and other priests as they walk down the street, they find it online as well.

After having one of his columns about Easter celebrations published in a Montreal newspaper in early April, Gravel was criticized by readers who found him too complacent on the subject of priests accused of pedophilia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

April 28, 2010

A slur on the church

The Herald

Jeff Corbett

In the light of news reports this week by Herald reporter Joanne McCarthy I examine in my column today some of Bishop Michael Malone's statements about the Newcastle-Maitland Catholic diocese response to priestly pedophilia. Joanne's reports are based on documents that lift a heavy veil on dealings by Bishop Malone and his predecessor, Bishop Leo Clarke, with a priest who was then the subject of serious allegations of sexual assault of children. The priest was Denis McAlinden, who died in 2005 and who was, the church has admitted, a serial sexual predator of children over many years.

The documents referred to by Joanne show that Bishop Clarke then Bishop Malone tried to have McAlinden defrocked after two allegations were made at the same time in 1995 that Vince Ryan, another of the diocese's serial pedophiles, was charged by police. Bishop Clarke had assured McAlinden that the confidentiality of the defrocking process would protect "your good name". Until then Bishop Clarke had been urging McAlinden, who was known to be a pedophile and who had moved to The Philippines, to live as a retired priest in "a climate that would be acceptable".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 PM

Inuvik to host truth commission event

CBC News

Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission will hold a national event for former residential school students in Inuvik, N.W.T.

Officials in Inuvik received notice that it will host the national event in June 2011.

The Inuvik hearing will allow former residential school students across the North to share their personal stories and feelings with the commission, which will compile an historical account of the Canadian residential school experience.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 PM

Del. judge dismisses priest abuse suits




A Delaware judge has dismissed two priest sexual abuse lawsuits, saying he does not have jurisdiction over Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Judge John Parkins Jr. on Monday granted motions to dismiss filed by the Diocese of Allentown, the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and St. Clare's parish in Maryland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 PM

CPI da Pedofilia convoca padre de Franca


Kleber Tomaz
Do G1 SP

O senador Magno Malta, presidente da CPI da Pedofilia, afirmou nesta quarta-feira (28) que convocou o padre José Afonso Dé, de 74 anos, suspeito de abusar sexualmente de adolescentes, e suas supostas vítimas para serem ouvidos pela Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito. O pároco foi denunciado pelo Ministério Público na terça (27) por molestar oito coroinhas e ex-seminaristas em Franca, a 400 km de São Paulo, e Carpinópolis, interior de Minas Gerais, em 2010, 2009, 2001 e 1995. Alguns dos denunciantes têm idades entre 12 e 16 anos.

“Ele [Padre Dé] vai ser ouvido. Vai ser convocado hoje [quarta]. A presença dele é obrigatória. Também convidamos todas as vítimas a participar da CPI”, afirmou o senador Magno Malta por telefone ao G1. O parlamentar disse que a data e o local dos depoimentos ainda não foram definidos. “Existe a possibilidade que ele ocorra em Brasília ou mesmo em Franca. Vamos estudar o que será melhor.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 PM

CPI da Pedofilia decide convocar padre acusado de crimes sexuais




A audiência pública da CPI da Pedofilia aprovou nesta quarta-feira (28) em Brasília, a convocação do padre José Afonso Dé, acusado de abusar sexualmente de coroinhas, em Franca. Os senadores querem ouvir o padre na capital federal.

Ainda nesta quarta, a CPI decidiu ir à Franca para ouvir os depoimentos das vítimas. Segundo o senador Romeu Tuma, relator da CPI, os relatos devem ser ouvidos também por psicólogos. Os parlamentares ressaltaram que o indiciado é apenas o padre e não a Igreja Católica. A audiência em Franca ainda não tem data marcada.

Desde 2008, a comissão investiga crimes sexuais contra crianças e adolescentes e exerce os mesmos poderes da polícia e da Justiça no processo de investigação, mas os trabalhos se restringem à fase de indiciamento. Os trabalhos são colaborativos para o juiz, que é o responsável pela sentença.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

Brazilian priest on pedophilia charge

News.com.au (Australia)

BRAZILIAN authorities overnight charged a 74-year-old Catholic priest with pedophilia after eight children in his church choir accused him of sexual abuse.

Father Jose Afonso De is being prosecuted for allegedly assaulting children aged 12 to 16, Sao Paulo state's public prosecutor's office said.

He has denied the allegations but has been suspended by his diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Vatican official left abusive priest in pastor job

The Associated Press


The pope's hand-picked replacement to oversee abuse cases at the Vatican did nothing to restrict a California priest after learning in 1995 that the priest had molested a 13-year-old boy a decade earlier.

Cardinal William Levada, then archbishop of San Francisco, said in a 2005 deposition obtained by The Associated Press that he did nothing and didn't contact police because he trusted the Rev. Milton Walsh would not re-offend and his predecessor handled the case adequately.

There were no known allegations of later abuse by the priest and a Vatican attorney says Levada acted appropriately under standards of the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 PM

Roman Catholic priest in Brazil charged with abusing 8 young boys, dating back to 1995

Los Angeles Times

Associated Press Writer

April 28, 2010

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest in Brazil is facing charges he abused eight boys in cases dating back to 1995, prosecutors said Wednesday, adding to a growing list of allegations against clergy in Latin America.

Father Jose Afonso, 74, is accused of abusing altar boys between the ages of 12 and 16, Sao Paulo state prosecutors said in an e-mailed statement.

Prosecutors said the reported abuses occurred this year, in 2009 and in 2001 in the city of Franca, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) north of Sao Paulo city. At least one case was reported in 1995 in the neighboring state of Minas Gerais.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Prosecutor: Ex-Boonville priest suspected of sexual assaults taken into custody

Boonville Daily News

By Nate Birt
Boonville Daily News
Wed Apr 28, 2010

Boonville -
An ex-Boonville priest suspected of sexually assaulting three mid-Missouri men in the 1980s has been taken into custody in New Jersey, Cooper County Prosecutor Doug Abele said today.

The suspect, Gerald Howard, was arrested with the help of the Bloomfield Police Department in New Jersey and the Boonville Police Department, Abele said.

A $1.5 million bond has been set, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

Local dad's cry of the heart became memo that helped change the Catholic Church

St. Louis Beacon

[2002 letter to Bishop Gregory]

By Patricia Rice, Special to the Beacon

Posted 4 p.m. Tues., 04.27.10 - The resignation of three European bishops last week -- two over their initial indifference to disclosures of criminal sex abuse by Catholic priests, one over abusing a relative -- catapults many American Catholics directly back to 2002.

That year, the Boston Globe reported on the sexual abuse of minors by priests. Other newspapers followed, telling stories of abuse going back half a century. American bishops had to explain to Catholics, civil authorities and the public why they had not reported the crimes and removed abusers from ministry.

From November 2001, when Bishop Wilton Gregory was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, he was known as a good listener. At the time, he was the shepherd of the small 107,425-member Belleville Catholic diocese. He had served in Belleville since 1994 when Pope John Paul II had dispatched him to clean up a sex abuse cesspool involving 10 percent of the Belleville diocese's priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

Report: Austrian cardinal accused of sex abuse stayed a member of Vatican congregations


VIENNA (AP) - A newspaper is reporting that a deceased Austrian cardinal remained on the rosters of Vatican congregations even after he stepped down in 1995 following sex abuse allegations.

Der Standard reported Wednesday that Hans Hermann Groer - who was Vienna archbishop from 1986 to 1995 - was listed in the 1999 directory of the Roman Catholic Church as a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:05 PM

Vatican: Pope may apologize for abuse by priests

Washington Post

The Associated Press
Wednesday, April 28, 2010

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI may issue a mea culpa for the church's handling of clerical sexual abuse cases when he attends a meeting of the world's clergy in June, the Vatican official in charge of handling abuse cases said.

Cardinal William Levada also said he intended to hold up the U.S. policy dealing with abuse as a model for bishops around the word.

Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, made the comments in an interview broadcast late Tuesday on U.S. public broadcaster PBS, his first interview since the scandal erupted several weeks ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:02 PM

Abandoned Children

Fairfield Mirror

April 28, 2010
By: Chris Simmons

When Fairfield graduate Doug Perlitz first went to Haiti in 1991, it was one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. This country with a rich heritage, second only to the United States as an independent nation in the new world and the first free black nation, had fallen into a cycle of poverty and turmoil.

The allegations against Perlitz, a 1992 Fairfield graduate and later commencement speaker, over sex abuse involving homeless boys in the Haitian town of Cap-Haitien have only added to the problems.

Perlitz is currently housed in the Wyatt Federal Detention Center in Rhode Island awaiting his Oct. 2010 trial while his accusers are now back on the streets, begging, facing threats and guilt over exposing the alleged abuse.

Cyrus Sibert, a Haitian journalist and talk show host who first broke the story in 2007, said that there is a big campaign to show the children are lying.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

Married chancellor's plea helped shape Bishop Gregory's thoughts on sex-abuse crisis in 2002

Catholic Culture

April 28, 2010
A long, impassioned letter from the married chancellor of his diocese helped shift the thinking of Bishop Wilton Gregory on the sex-abuse scandal in 2002, the St. Louis Beacon reports.

The Beacon reproduces the letter that David Spotanski wrote while he was serving as chancellor of the Belleville, Illinois diocese under Bishop Gregory, who was then president of the US bishops' conference. (He has since become the Archbishop of Atlanta.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Vatican prosecutor denies inaction on accused priest


By Hada Messia, CNN
April 28, 2010

Rome, Italy (CNN) -- The Vatican's top prosecutor for sexual crimes against children on Wednesday rejected accusations he did not do enough to stop a priest accused of child abuse on the Vatican's doorstep.

La Caramella Buona, the organization that brought accusations against the priest, did not give Monsignor Charles Scicluna enough information to start an investigation, he told CNN.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 PM

Church 'hush money' for paedophile ex-priest

Radio Netherlands

By Marijke Peters

Oliver O’Grady, the ex-Irish priest convicted of paedophile offences who was living under a false identity in the Netherlands until February this year, receives a monthly pension from the Roman Catholic church, it has been revealed.

A US lawyer who represented O’Grady’s victims says the former cleric brokered a “sinister deal” in which he refused to testify against senior church officials at his child sex abuse trial in return for cash.

Lawyer Jeff Anderson told Radio Netherlands Worldwide that Oliver O’Grady was offered the money by senior members of his diocese the night before his trial. As a result, he never testified in court against bishop Roger Mahony – now the Archbishop of Los Angeles – who was later found by the jury to have known all along about O’Grady’s abuse, but did nothing about it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:55 PM

New York Times acknowledges: lawyer steered coverage of abuse story

Catholic Culture

April 28, 2010
In a profile of Jeffrey Anderson, the New York Times reveals that the lawyer who is attempting to bring suit against the Vatican was successful in steering the Times news coverage toward his case.

Referring to Anderson's involvement in the case of Father Lawrence Murphy, the Times story notes that the aggressive trial lawyer was a main source for a front-page report critical of Pope Benedict:

The New York Times was working on a different article last month when a reporter contacted Mr. Anderson. He provided documents about the Murphy case describing how efforts by Wisconsin church officials to subject Father Murphy to a canonical trial and remove him from the priesthood were halted after he wrote a letter to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, asking for a cessation of the trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

Sex charges against Kelowna Sikh temple priest dropped

The Vancouver Sun

By Blaine Gaffney, CHBC News Kelowna

KELOWNA -- He was accused of raping a teenage girl a year ago and on Tuesday all charges against a priest working at a Sikh temple in Kelowna were stayed by the Crown.

Key evidence was apparently fabricated.

Lukwinder Singh, 30, had pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and sexual interference.

His preliminary hearing was about to begin when Singh's lawyer says the girl admitted she lied to police about being pregnant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

Pope may 'apologise' for child abuse scandals, says Levada

The Times (United Kingdom)

Ruth Gledhill

Cardinal William Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has indicated that the Pope may apologise to victims of paedophile priests in June. Read the full transcript of his interview with Margaret Warner of PBS Newshour.

Margaret asked: 'There are reports that the pope is going to make a general apology next June. A public apology at the conclusion of a Jubilee here, are those accurate? And if so what kind of apology?'

Cardinal Levada responded: 'You know I'm not a good prophet. The Pope, he's Pope, and I'm the head of this congregation. I tell him what I'm doing but he doesn't tell me everything he is going to do, so whether he is going to do that or not we'll have to wait and see but I wouldn't be surprised.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Secret sex in the celibate system

National Catholic Reporter

by A.W. Richard Sipe on Apr. 28, 2010
Examining the crisis

Sexual behavior has a long and well-documented history. Even the current problem of sexual abuse of minors is neither new nor limited to clerics. It is a practice that crosses ethnic, cultural, religious and economic strata and custom. Incest (familial contact) is the most common. However, the sexual abuse of minors by declared celibate clerics poses special issues. There are three factors that draw special attention to the sexual practices of Roman Catholic clerics today.

The moral teaching concerning human sexuality, promulgated by the church, is clear and unequivocal. Catholic bishops and priests under the aegis of the pope hold themselves up as the teachers and arbiters of human sexual morality. Human failure is more remarkable in commanders and not as easily forgiven as transgressions among the troops.

The history of sexual violations of Roman Catholic clergy and church response has been well preserved in church documents from the Council of Ancyra in 315 to the 2001 document, De delictis gravioribus, authored by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

On a crusade

Star Tribune

By KIM ODE, Star Tribune

Jeff Anderson grabbed a thick book from the table in his law office, fanning the pages as a French journalist filmed the action. "These are official Catholic directories," he said. "With these, I can find any U.S. priest, and I've got resources for foreign countries, as well." Two pieces of art, each depicting Don Quixote, leaned against the wall behind him, bookending the scene.

For years, Anderson has been vilified for his zeal in pursuing priests accused of sexually molesting children. Critics say he disrupts church protocol, spurns the promise of redemption through confession and makes a fortune from sordid lawsuits. Yet Anderson also has fervent supporters who praise the Lord that he takes on the Catholic church. The work has led Anderson to a conclusion he's long regarded as inevitable: "All roads lead to Rome."

On Thursday, Anderson filed a federal lawsuit accusing Pope Benedict and senior Vatican officials of failing to defrock a Wisconsin priest despite allegations that he molested at least 200 deaf children over 25 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:45 PM

Sex charges against Sikh priest stayed

CBC News

The Sikh community in Kelowna is reeling after learning a former priest is no longer charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

The Crown stayed all charges against Lahkwinder Singh, including one of assaulting his wife, at the start of his three-day preliminary hearing on Tuesday.

The case collapsed when the girl, now 17, confessed on Monday that she lied about a pregnancy test that she said previously proved Singh was having sex with her

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

New twist in abuse charges

The Press-Democrat

[includes a list of review board members]


A member of Bishop Daniel Walsh's advisory board on clergy sex abuse submitted his resignation just before publication of a newspaper story that revealed the panel had recommended removal of a Napa priest from ministry.

Tony Madrid, a west county psychologist and member of the Diocesan Review Board, said in an e-mail Tuesday that he does not know if Bishop Daniel Walsh has accepted his request to step down.

Madrid said last week that he would resign if it were made public that he had notified the alleged victim, Erin Brady, now 51, of the board's recommendation.

In a story Saturday, The Press Democrat reported that the seven-member review board recommended last October that Monsignor Joseph Alzugaray, pastor of St. Apollinaris in Napa, should be removed because of accusations that he repeatedly sexually abused Brady when she was in grade school more than 40 years ago. Walsh rejected that recommendation in January.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 AM

Dutch police knew about paedophile priest

HRC Handelsblad

By our news staff

Rotterdam police knew that Oliver O’Grady, a former priest who served seven years for raping children, had moved to their city and was working with children there. But it failed to report his presence to the city's mayor.

O'Grady was convicted for sexually abusing very young children in the US in 1993 and deported to his native Ireland in 2000. Mid 2008, Dutch police were alerted by the international police organisation, Interpol, that the defrocked sex offender had moved to the Netherlands' second city. In Rotterdam, O'Grady volunteered at an expat church and a women's shelter under his middle name, Francis. He supplemented his priest's pension by organising children's parties at a local McDonald's.

A spokesperson for Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said the mayor was only informed of his presence in the community last January. As Aboutaleb is responsible for public order and safety in the city, he should have been told about O'Grady living there immediately. The police not only kept the information from the mayor, but it didn't inform the organisations and companies O'Grady worked with either.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:51 AM

Area not immune to scandal

The Telegraph-Herald


The Roman Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal swirling around the Vatican and the pope is prompting questions about who knew what when and why priests were allowed to continue to molest children after bishops were notified of their actions.

In the Archdiocese of Dubuque, earlier archbishops either shuffled guilty priests from one parish to another after they learned of the abuse or sent the priests to treatment centers for psychological rehabilitation. Seldom did the bishops ask the Vatican to strip them of their priesthood.

If a priest is accused of sexual abuse today, would he stay in parish ministry? Archdiocesan Vicar General Thomas Toale thinks not.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:46 AM

Politie Rotterdam zweeg over pedofiele priester

HRC Handelsblad

Rotterdam, 28 april. De politie heeft de burgemeester van Rotterdam niet tijdig geïnformeerd over het verblijf in die stad van de Ierse ex-priester Oliver O’Grady, die in de Verenigde Staten werd veroordeeld wegens het verkrachten van kinderen.

Pas in januari dit jaar, toen O’Grady al anderhalf in Rotterdam woonde, werd burgemeester Aboutaleb op de hoogte gebracht. Dat heeft zijn woordvoerder vanochtend gezegd. De gemeenteraad heeft gevraagd om opheldering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

Former military chaplain in court on sex charges


The Canadian Press

BARRIE, Ont. — A former chief Roman Catholic chaplain of the Canadian Forces is due in court today to sex-related charges, including "buggery" and indecent assault on a male.

The charges against Roger Bazin, a priest and retired brigadier general, stem from his time as padre at CFB Borden, north of Toronto, in 1972.

Bazin was a captain at the time of the alleged incidents and was later promoted and served as Catholic chaplain general of the Forces from 1992 to 1995.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:21 AM

Priest gets probation for sex with elderly woman


CAMERON, Texas (AP) — An 86-year-old priest has been sentenced to five years' probation for forcing an elderly woman to perform a sex act in a central Texas church rectory.

The Rev. Stephen Valenta was sentenced Monday after pleading no contest to a felony charge of injury to the elderly. The plea means he didn't admit guilt but didn't contest the charge.

His attorney Chris Gunter says Valenta will remain in a monastery-type home for priests during his probation, and can't leave unless someone goes with him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Did the Vatican let Benedict XVI take the rap ...


By Damian Thompson Religion Last updated: April 28th, 2010

Long before he was Pope, Joseph Ratzinger fought to tighten the Catholic Church’s procedures for dealing with abuse allegations. Yet the Vatican has failed to convey this crucial message during an outbreak of media hysteria directed – lazily and maliciously – at Benedict. Why?

Could it have been because telling the truth about Benedict would tarnish the reputation of Pope John Paul II?

That’s the suggestion made by John Allen who, despite writing for America’s ultra-Left National Catholic Reporter, is widely regarded as the most authoritative Vatican commentator in the English-speaking world. Even the great Fr Z rates him. (Compare Allen’s measured output with the endless anti-Benedict sniping of the Tablet’s Rome “correspondent”, Bobbie Mickens.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:06 AM

Bishops look for fresh approach to tackling abuse

Ethiopian Review

Catholic bishops met in the German city of Wuerzburg on Monday to discuss draft guidelines on dealing with allegations of sexual abuse more effectively.

“We have reworked the guidelines and made them clearer and more precise,” said the conference representative on abuse, Bishop Stephan Ackermann, referring to recently drafted rules.

The Trier bishop said that he was optimistic the next meeting of the bishops’ conference could ratify the guidelines in June.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Pope sets example in meeting with abuse victims, cardinal says

Vatican News Service

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bishops worldwide are encouraged to meet with victims of clerical sex abuse, just as Pope Benedict XVI has done, said the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

"There is nothing that helps bishops or priests learn about this problem better than meeting with the victims and hearing their stories," U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada said in a televised interview April 27.

Pope Benedict XVI has met with victims several times, and "that's an example to bishops," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Abuse trial priest had school job


A second woman who claims she was sexually abused by a priest as a child has said she went to police years later after discovering he was working at a girls' school in Belfast.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told Omagh Crown Court that Fr. Eugene Lewis showed no signs of remorse for what he had allegedly done to her and she thought he might be abusing other children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

New sex abuse cases hit Catholic Church

The Foreigner

The Norwegian Catholic Church has been told of seven new cases of sexual offences against minors in the past week.

“We have very little concrete information for now. It’s either up to those who subjected to abuse or their family members who must decide whether to go to the police,” Rønnaug Aaberg Andresen, head of the Church’s professional advisory committee tells Adresseavisen.

None of the new cases involved Georg Müller, now disgraced former Bishop-prelate of Trondheim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Church suspend Rev over affair

The Sun


A SENIOR clergyman has been suspended from his cathedral duties over his relationship with a farmer's wife he counselled through a divorce.

The Very Reverend Dr Chris Hardwick, 52, Dean of Truro Cathedral in Cornwall, helped mum-of-three Sarah Sainsbury when she turned to the church over the breakdown of her marriage.

Rev Hardwick, a dad-of-two, told officials he was planning to leave his music teacher wife Linda but denied anyone else was involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

Inquiry launched after Truro Dean alleged to have had affair

This is the West Country

AN inquiry has been launched by the Diocese of Truro after claims that the dean of the cathedral was having an affair.

The Bishop of Truro, Tim Thornton, has started the inquiry to establish if there are grounds for a more formal disciplinary process. The diocese said: "The break-up of any marriage is a sensitive matter, often emotionally charged, and may involve people beyond the immediate family." It added: "As a caring organisation, the diocese has pastoral procedures that are implemented in the event that the marriage of any priest runs into difficulties.

The allegation comes the day after the Bishop of Truro Right Rev Tim Thornton confirmed the Very Reverend Dr Christopher Hardwick was taking time off to solve problems relating to his marriage. In a short statement released yesterday, Bishop Tim said: “The Very Reverend Dr Christopher Hardwick, Dean of Truro, will be taking a break from his cathedral and diocesan duties until further notice, in order to devote time to resolving personal issues relating to his marriage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Notorious abuser Gauthe lives as transient

Catholic Culture

April 28, 2010
The notorious Louisiana priest whose abuse of dozens of children led to the first major American clerical abuse scandal is living as a transient, thus enabling him to avoid publicizing his address. Under Texas law, registered sex offenders must list a permanent address unless they are transients.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

TVN Special Report ...

The Santiago Times

Written by Loretta van der Horst

A special National Television (TVN) report Monday sharpened the national debate on the sexual abuse charges brought last Wednesday against a well-known and much revered Catholic priest, Fernando Karadima.

The TVN report showcased testimony by five (now) professionals who said they were sexually abused by Karadima as young men.

Rev. Karadima, 80, retired five years ago from the Church El Bosque in upscale Providencia, a district of Santiago. Over the decades Karadima has counselled many of Chile’s most influential Catholic families and their children. He is now facing a double investigation, one by the Church and another by District Attorney Xavier Armendáriz.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Accuser 'horrified' at meeting priest

Fermanagh Herald

The evidence of the second witness claiming abuse by Father Lewis continued yesterday (Tuesday).

Apart from encountering Father Lewis at the time when she began university in 1978, the witness said that she saw little of him in the intervening years.

However, when she encountered him at the family home following her father's Months' Mind Mass in 2003, she said she experienced a 'whiplash of anger'. Despite this, she said she continued to be polite and didn't say anything to anyone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Sister tells of abuse by priest in family home

Fermanagh Herald

A 75-YEAR-OLD priest has gone on trial charged with indecently assaulting three young sisters on dates unknown between August 1963 and September 1973 at their home in Fermanagh.

Father Eugene Lewis, a member of the White Fathers, with an address at Cypress Grove House, Templeogue in Dublin denies the 11 charges which the court heard were committed in the family home while the priest, who was based at the White Fathers College in Blacklion, was visiting.

The charges before the court relate to alleged incidents in both the family kitchen and in the bedroom the girls shared.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Resignation 'raised the bar'

Leinster Express

By Staff Reporter
BISHOP John Moriarty has "raised the bar" on accountability through his resignation and apology to clerical sex abuse victims, according to Portlaoise Parish Priest Monsignor John Byrne.

Msgr Byrne said Bishop Moriarty has introduced a "new concept" of accountability in acknowledging that he had not challenged the culture of the time.

"I think he was very much admired for this," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Appeal targets witness ruling


Kevin Graman The Spokesman-Review

With jury selection set to begin Monday in the second Morning Star Boys’ Ranch sex abuse lawsuit, attorneys for a former ranch resident are seeking to delay the trial while they appeal a Spokane County Superior Court judge’s decision limiting the testimony of other alleged victims.

Attorneys for plaintiff George H. Minehart II are asking the state Court of Appeals for Division III to review Judge Kathleen O’Connor’s ruling last week that only former ranch residents who reported abuse at the time of the alleged incidents can testify.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Polish poll has rare good news for Catholic Church


WARSAW (Reuters) - Support for the Roman Catholic Church has risen in Poland, a survey showed on Tuesday, despite child sexual abuse scandals that have badly eroded its authority and reputation in many other countries.

The TNS OBOP survey, conducted from April 8 to 19 among 1,056 people, showed 73 percent of Poles had a high regard for the church's work, up 5 percentage points from March. Only 18 percent of respondents viewed the church critically.

The survey coincided with a plane crash on April 10 that killed Poland's president, his wife and 94 others, mostly senior military and political officials. The disaster triggered a week of national mourning in which the church played a central role.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Priests must side with abuse victims, says seminarian in Vatican paper

Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To emerge from the sex abuse crisis, priests must make it clear that they are on the side of truth and the victims of abuse, said an article in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.

The article, which appeared April 24, was written by Davide Russo, a young Italian seminarian studying at the Pontifical Regional Seminary in Molfetta, Italy. He said he and his fellow seminarians were "following with indignation and concern this sad affair" of revelations of the sexual abuse of minors by priests.

"We friends at the seminary have often asked ourselves how all of this could have happened, how is it that the same person could first celebrate the sacred mysteries and then carry out such a serious crime, taking advantage of children who, by nature, need to be defended, safeguarded, welcomed and protected? All of this causes me discomfort and unease," he wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Catholic clergymen regret sex scandals

The New Vision

By Mathias Mazinga

THE Rector of Ggaba National Major seminary, the Rev. Fr. Paul Masolo, has apologised to Christians over the sex scandals reportedly committed by priests.

Masolo asked Christians not to leave the Church, arguing that the highly publicised scandals were being committed by a few priests.

“Forgive us for the mistakes that some of our priests make and do not abandon the Church. Continue praying for our priests,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Priest at his child abuse trial in Rome: 'I am not a monster'


From Hada Messia, CNN

Rome, Italy (CNN) -- A priest accused of child abuse denied the charges Tuesday in a high-profile trial taking place in the shadow of the Vatican.

"I am not a monster. I am innocent," the Rev. Ruggero Conti said in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

LDS Church youth leader to face sex abuse trial

The Salt Lake Tribune

By Jason Bergreen
The Salt Lake Tribune

A former Farr West church youth leader was ordered to stand trial Tuesday on charges he groped and fondled four teenage girls at his home in 2007 and 2009.

Cory C. Campbell, 37, faces one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony. He also faces two second-degree felony counts of forcible sexual abuse and two counts of sexual battery, both are class A misdemeanors.

On Tuesday, in 2nd District Court in Ogden, Campbell waived his right to a preliminary hearing on four of the charges. But Judge Michael Lyon heard testimony concerning the aggravated sexual abuse charge, which involved a girl who was 11 or 12 when the alleged abuse occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Time Is Right To Pass Bill Extending Statute Of Limitations On Child Sexual Abuse Claims

The Hartford Courant

Susan Campbell

April 28, 2010

How low will they go, do you think?

How much deceit and intimidation will opponents of House Bill 5473 employ to make their case? House Bill 5473 extends the civil statute of limitations on seeking redress after the sexual abuse, assault or exploitation of a minor. The bill also sets strict rules on who may file a lawsuit, but opponents — including the Archdiocese of Hartford and St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center — have pulled out the stops. Their strategy, so far, has included:

•Messages from the pulpits of Connecticut's Roman Catholic churches urging parishioners to oppose the bill.

•A church bulletin insert that falsely called the bill discriminatory and blamed the whole thing on trial lawyers.

•Running that bulletin as a large newspaper ad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Lack of child services 'unconscionable'

The Irish Times

PATSY MCGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent

The Government’s continuing failure to provide therapeutic and support services for sexually abused children has been described as “unconscionable” by CARI, a voluntary support agency for children.

“We are set to fail this generation as surely as we have failed earlier (ones) unless we put these essential services in place immediately”, its chief executive Mary Flaherty said.

The agency’s national clinical director Dr Niall Muldoon called for recognition that over 80 per cent of child abuse was by family members and other trusted adults.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

No amount of ‘historic apology’ Benedict makes will matter -- unless he fires the first criminals Cardinal Bernard Law & Cardinal Roger Mahony

Benedict XVI Ratzinger: God's Rottweiler

Paris Arrow

Benedict made a ‘historic apology’ when he came to Washington for his birthday in 2008, when he went to Australia for World Youth Day in 2008, and when he went to Malta for his birthday this April 2010, where he shed a few tears while meeting with a few (handpicked for propaganda) victims. He’ll probably make another ‘historic apology’ when he goes to Fatima on May 13, 2010. Now a big 'historic apology' is being planned for June 2010 with thousands of priests from all over the world at St. Peter's Square. But, no matter how many ‘historic apology’ Benedict XVI makes, unless he fires the first criminals in the USA Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston and the guiltiest criminal Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles who condoned and covered-up the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army in the USA, his papal apologies will always be worthless and futile.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Catholic Church first must get past denial


Peter Boulay • April 28, 2010

The dark cloud that has descended on the Roman Catholic Church has elements of sex abuse as its most prominent feature, but the American bishops' malfeasance through cover-up is of greater weight. Anyone who thinks the crisis is close to being over is naive.

The Catholics in the pews are fighting mad. They see the continuing conduct of the bishops, including their failure to admit their cover-ups, as schismatic: The bishops have willfully separated themselves from the main body of the church and are lost in their own black cloud of denial.

One archbishop has canceled his subscription to the local newspaper in an overly righteous foot-stamping tantrum. Denial needs an arch-villain, so blame the press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Paying for the Sins of the Fathers, and of Others, Too

The New York Times

Published: April 27, 2010

Should it be possible to sue the city of New York for sexual abuse by public school teachers that happened decades ago? How about doctors or hospital attendants? Police officers? Welfare workers? Playground attendants?

For nearly a year, the city has tiptoed around that question, but in the coming months, there may be no ducking it. Legislation in Albany would force public officials to answer for the crimes of earlier generations, just as Catholic bishops have.

What began as an effort by legislators to expand judicial accountability for sexual abuse by Catholic clergy has grown to cover people in every walk of life. One bill would temporarily suspend the statute of limitations, and allow people who say they were abused as children to file lawsuits up to age 58 — that is, 40 years after they turned 18.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Ex-priest won’t be living in Santa Fe

The Daily News

By T.J. Aulds
The Daily News
Published April 28, 2010

SANTA FE — A former priest convicted of 34 counts of child molestation and child pornography possession won’t be staying in Santa Fe, but people elsewhere might never know whether he’s living next door.

Gilbert John Gauthe, 64, was released from the Galveston County Jail on Friday after serving a two-year sentence for failing to register as a sex offender. The former Roman Catholic priest admitted to sexually abusing 11 boys in Louisiana two decades ago, authorities said.

Gauthe was supposed to move in with a friend in Santa Fe, and his address is listed on the Texas Department of Public Safety’s sex offender registry, but after word got out he decided to move elsewhere, Galveston County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Clergy celibacy open to review, says Vatican

The Times of India

VATICAN CITY: The vow of celibacy by the clergy may be open to review, the Vatican's second highest ranking official has said.

"It is not that it is untouchable," Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone was quoted as saying by Spain's Catalan public television on Tuesday.

"There are married priests in the Catholic as well as oriental church," Bertone said.

But clerical celibacy is a "positive and fruitful tradition", the top Vatican official said adding, "It is the non-respect of celibacy that brings with it serious risks and that then has very painful consequences".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Priest in Mexico suspended over S.F. charges

San Francisco Chronicle

Jill Tucker, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Catholic priest was stripped of his duties in Mexico this week pending an investigation into sexual abuse allegations coming out of San Francisco - a suspension coming more than a decade after a woman reported the claims and urged church authorities to keep her former clergyman away from children.

The priest, Teodoro Baquedano Pech, was suspended while the Archdiocese of Yucatan investigates allegations of sexual abuse dating to the 1960s and 1970s.

Sylvia Chavez, the alleged victim of the abuse, came forward about 12 years ago to report the abuse and repeatedly warned the Mexican Catholic officials about Pech. The suspension came just days after a Washington Post article detailed the allegations, which included fondling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:32 AM

Defend children or the church?

Detroit Free Press


As revelations of childhood sexual abuse by clergy have become epidemic across the globe, the Vatican has instituted a number of measures to increase transparency and action in dealing with the crisis. The pope has now met with victims, accepted the resignation of a number of bishops, and issued a directive on how to properly report abuse to civil authorities.

These steps are welcome and necessary, but, with all due respect, they don't mean much to the countless victims of priest sex abuse who have yet to experience anything approaching justice. Survivors of these heinous crimes, including far too many in Michigan, have suffered for years in ignominy and silence.

They will continue to do so unless Michigan joins the growing movement of states across the country that are introducing and enacting laws to reform their statutes of limitation for childhood sexual abuse. Survivors typically need decades to come forward, and the legal system offers the only viable means of identifying child predators who are operating under the radar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Priest child abuse case continues

BBC News

A woman who claims she was abused by a priest said she decided to report him to police after discovering he was working at a girls school in Belfast.

Father Eugene Lewis, 75, is accused of abusing three sisters in their County Fermanagh home over a 10 year period between 1963 and 1973.

The woman, who cannot be named, said she thought he might be abusing again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

Bishop accepts his failure to challenge

Leinster Express

Published Date: 28 April 2010
By Staff Reporter
THE OUTGOING Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin Jim Moriarty has accepted that he did not challenge the "prevailing culture" of the Catholic Church in relation to child sexual abuse.

Commenting on his resignation, which was offered on December 23 last but only accepted last week, Bishop Moriarty also admitted that he did not believe he would have had to resign when the Murphy Report was first published.

"The decision to offer my resignation was the most difficult decision of my ministry. I did not anticipate resigning when I first read the Murphy Report, because I was not directly criticised. However, the Murphy Report covers far more than what individual Bishops did or did not do. Renewal must begin with accepting responsibility for the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Catholic Church hears more abuse claims

Sydney Morning Herald


Norway's Catholic Church has been informed of seven new possible cases of paedophilia by priests, bringing the total number of suspected cases in the Scandinavian country to 18, media say.

The new complaints, all logged in the past week, were however not expected to immediately lead to legal proceedings.

"We have very little concrete information for the time being," Church ethics council head Roennaug Aaberg Andresen told Adresseavisen, a local daily in the central city of Trondheim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

April 27, 2010

Accusations against Mexican cardinal are false, asserts archdiocese

Catholic News Agency

Mexico City, Mexico, Apr 27, 2010 / 05:48 pm (CNA).- At the conclusion of Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of Mexico City, the president of the College of Catholic Lawyers, Armando Martinez Gomez, held a press conference in which he presented a detailed report with documentation showing the accusations against Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera covering up abuse are false.

Joaquin Aguilar Mendez has repeatedly claimed he was raped by former priest Nicolas Aguilar Rivero and that Cardinal Rivera covered up the abuse.

According to the Archdiocese of Mexico City’s news service, armed with sworn testimony from the plaintiffs as well as medical records of Joaquin Aguilar Mendez and Nicolas Aguilar Rivero, Martinez explained that “Joaquin Aguilar was never raped,” and that “his calumnious statements against Cardinal Norberto Rivera lack all credibility.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 PM

Chile Catholic church hit by abuse claims, bomb

Fox News

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile's Roman Catholic Church was shaken by a series of dramatic televised interviews of men alleging they were abused by a respected former priest, followed hours later by a bombing that damaged a church's facade.

Four men detailed their claims — which also are the subject of police and church investigations — on a state channel Monday night. Now adults, they said the alleged abuse by Father Fernando Karadima began about 20 years ago when they were between 14 and 17 years old, in his residence at the Sacred Heart of Jesus church in an elegant neighborhood of Santiago.

Dr. James Hamilton, now a surgeon, said between sobs that the abuse began with an act of masturbation when he joined the priest's Catholic youth group and continued for years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 PM

Accused priest spent time counseling teens in Springs

The Gazette

April 27, 2010

At St. Mary’s High School in Colorado Springs, the Rev. Melvin Thompson spent much of his time counseling boys and girls.

But the priest’s employment at St. Mary’s is now under a microscope in the wake of allegations that he molested a boy in the early 1970s.

Thompson, suspended this month from a Denver church after the allegations, was a chaplain at the school in 1970 and 1971, St. Mary’s principal John McCord said Tuesday. Chaplain duties at the school involve close proximity to children and teens, and includes hearing their confessions, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 PM

Ierse 'pedopriester' actief in Nederland


Hoe kan het dat een priester die in de Verenigde Staten veroordeeld is in een van de grootste pedofiliezaken binnen katholieke kerk, in ons land zonder problemen aan de slag kan bij diverse instanties waarbij hij mogelijk ook met kinderen werkte?

De Ierse krant Sunday Tribune berichtte zondag dat Oliver O'Grady onder de naam 'brother Francis' van 2008 tot februari dit jaar vrijwilliger geweest bij de Heilige Hartkerk in Schiedam. Ook zou hij kinderfeestjes georganiseerd hebben voor een fastfoodketen in Rotterdam en deed hij vrijwilligerswerk bij welzijnsinstantie 'Missionaries of Charity' die onder meer opvang voor vrouwen en kinderen verzorgt.

Het nieuws kwam aan het licht toen collega's van de Schiedamse communiteit ‘Christus onze Verlosser’, O'Grady herkenden in de documentaire 'Deliver us from Evil' die twee weken geleden op de Nederlandse televisie werd uitgezonden.


How can a priest in the United States convicted in one of the largest Catholic church pedophilia cases come into our country and easily get work with various bodies to which he may have also worked with children?

The Irish newspaper Sunday Tribune reported on Sunday that Oliver O'Grady, under the name "Brother Francis" from 2008 until February this year volunteered at the Sacred Heart church in Schiedam. He also organized children's parties at a fast food chain in Rotterdam and did volunteer work in a welfare agency called "Missionaries of Charity" which cares for women and children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 PM

Rome priest on trial for abuse defends pope

Washington Post

The Associated Press
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ROME -- A politically connected priest on trial for allegedly sexually molesting young boys proclaimed his innocence Tuesday and denounced what he said was "mud" being thrown on the pope concerning the clerical abuse scandal.

The Rev. Ruggero Conti made a spontaneous declaration during a court hearing in Rome. He is accused of sexual violence and prostitution concerning seven young boys who frequented his parish in a working class neighborhood of Rome.

In police interrogations, the boys - some as young as 13 at the time of the alleged abuse - said Conti would masturbate them and force them to perform oral sex on him in his home where he frequently invited them to eat dinner and watch movies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 PM

Jerry Moore: Catholic Church must remember who and what it’s supposed to serve

McCook Suburban Life

By Jerry Moore, jmoore@mysuburbanlife.com
Suburban Life Publications
Posted Apr 27, 2010

Western suburbs — The Roman Catholic Church is on the verge of losing what little credibility it has left.

For more than 20 years, a sexual-abuse scandal has been deteriorating the church’s moral authority. Recent reports that Pope Benedict XVI, in a previous role, may have been an obstacle in dealing with the controversy diminishes the church’s position that it’s seriously addressing the problem.

The scandal has struck the western suburbs like it has most regions of the country. Robert E. Mayer, a former priest, was convicted in 1992 of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl at St. Odilo Parish in Berwyn, where he served as pastor from 1990-91. He previously served as pastor of St. Dionysius Parish in Cicero from 1988-89.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 PM

Exclusive | Cardinal Levada: 'We Should Hold Ourselves to a Higher Standard'

PBS NewsHour (United States)

[with video and audio]

MARGARET WARNER: Cardinal Levada, thank you for having us.

CARDINAL WILLIAM LEVADA: You are welcome. It's my pleasure. I'm a great fan of the NewsHour.

MARGARET WARNER: Thank you. And I apologize for my voice. Last week the pope accepted the resignation of two prominent bishops in Europe. Another bishop tendered his resignation in this clergy sex abuse scandal. Are there going to be more?

CARDINAL WILLIAM LEVADA: I don't think there is any way to predict. There have been several in the past, over the past 10 years let's say for various reasons. There is no way of predicting that, but I wouldn't be surprised.

MARGARET WARNER: Is there a new test really, a new standard for bishops to meet in the way they handle clergy sex abuse cases?

CARDINAL WILLIAM LEVADA: I think the standard is not new but it's being applied more rigorously than in the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 PM

Will Bishops Handle Abuse Cases Differently?

CBS News

(CBS) The head of the Vatican's office for enforcing church doctrine, Cardinal William Levada, says the Catholic Church's sex abuse crisis could include more bishops resigning, reports CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano.

"There is no way of predicting that but I wouldn't be surprised," Quijano said in an interview Monday with PBS' "NewsHour."

The interviewer, Margaret Warner, asked if there was a new standard for bishops to meet in the way they handle clergy abuse cases.

"I think the standard is not new but it's being applied more rigorously than in the past," Levada said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 PM

Cardinal Levada says media bias, lawyers skewing coverage of scandal

Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Apr 27, 2010 / 06:58 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, granted an interview to PBS in which he analyzed the ongoing sex abuse scandal. Saying that the Church was caught off guard by the wave accusations, he pointed to the high profile government report in Ireland, media bias and lawyers as contributors to painting an unfair and unbalanced portrait of the Church.

PBS’s Margaret Warner noted in her interview, set to air on April 27, that “We've had people say to us that this is the worst crisis the church has faced in a couple hundred years,” and asked the cardinal if he concurred.

“It's a big crisis. I think no one should try to diminish that,” Cardinal Levada told PBS. “I think the crisis is particularly grave because priests are ordained to be good shepherds ... this is anything but being a good shepherd when you abuse children and you violate their innocence … So this is a crisis, if you will, that I think caught most of us by surprise,” he affirmed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 PM

A Frenzied Pace for the Lawyer Behind Suits Against the Vatican

The New York Times

Published: April 27, 2010

ST. PAUL — Jeffrey R. Anderson, the lawyer whose pursuit of the Roman Catholic Church has been perhaps the loudest, is the center of his own tornado. As employees race in and out of his ornate offices, Mr. Anderson is planning a news conference in Los Angeles about an abusive priest, answering calls from the family of a victim of another from Florida, and preparing a lawsuit in Milwaukee naming the Vatican and the pope as defendants. And this is only a Monday.

Mr. Anderson, 62, has been filing suits against priests and bishops since 1983 and, at least once before, against the Vatican itself. But a new wave of accusations reaching ever closer to Rome has emerged in recent weeks, helped along, in part, by Mr. Anderson’s discovery of previously undisclosed documents. Now he is receiving new calls and pressing new cases, with more court filings and news conferences, at an almost frenzied pace.

His critics call him a headline chaser and a self-promoter. And even some in the legal community refer to his role as co-counsel in so many abuse cases around the country as “the Jeff Anderson franchise system.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 PM

Pedophile priest flees back to Ireland, where he is a free man

Irish Central

By NIALL O'DOWD, IrishCentral.com Publisher

Notorious pedophile priest Father Oliver O'Grady is back in his old haunts in Ireland a free man after fleeing Rotterdam in Holland, where it was discovered that he was working with children and in a local Catholic church, calling himself "Brother Francis."

O'Grady abused hundreds of children during his thirty years in America as a priest. One victim was only nine months old. He served seven years out of a 14-year prison sentence before being deported to Ireland in 2003.

O'Grady was unmasked in Holland a few weeks ago after a 2006 documentary called "Deliver us from Evil" was finally shown in the country. The documentary is based on his activities while in America and the priest was immediately recognized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Pastor tells of love for accuser

The West Australian

GIORDANO STOLLEY, The West Australian
April 28, 2010, 2:35 am

A former Baptist pastor told a District Court jury yesterday that he loved the woman who has accused him of sexual assault and that there was no way he could be the father of her aborted child because he "was shooting blanks".

The pastor said that during the time of the alleged offences he had fallen in love with the woman and believed she had fallen in love with him, so much so that his wife felt their marriage was threatened.

"It was obvious we were close, perhaps too close … (she) had some concerns," he said.

And when the woman called him from abroad in February 2005 to tell him she was pregnant with his child, he said he was stunned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:59 PM

Holding clergy and church leaders legally accountable for child abuse


[audio presentation]

As the worldwide call for accountability grows louder, we talk about what state and federal governments can do to protect children against sexual abuse by clergy. Our guest are law professor MARCI HAMILTON and SISTER MAUREEN PAUL TURLISH, an educator and victims advocate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:55 PM

Vatican Set To Rule On Legionaries Of Christ

WBUR (United States)

[with audio]

By Jason Beaubien

April 26, 2010

The powerful Legionaries of Christ has admitted sexual abuse by its founder Father Marcial Maciel. The Vatican ordered an investigation into the group last year, and results are expected to be released soon.


We turn now to one former priest who's tried for years to get answers about the founder of a powerful Catholic order in Mexico. Last week, we had a conversation about that order, the Legionaries of Christ, which has admitted its founder abused you seminarians.

NPR's Jason Beaubien has more, from Mexico City.

JASON BEAUBIEN: Mexico is a deeply Catholic country, with more than 75 percent of the population identifying themselves as members of the faith. Ever since colonial times, the Catholic Church has played a central role in Mexican society.

Father Jose de Jesus Aguilar Valdes with the Mexican Archdiocese says the church made mistakes in handling sexual abuse by priests in the past, but he says there hasn't been the level of abuse here that's been alleged in Europe or the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Investigator 'disappointed, not surprised' pedophile allegations not reported to police

The Herald

28 Apr, 2010

THE retired NSW Police assistant commissioner who oversaw the charging of pedophile priest Vince Ryan in 1995 was "disappointed but, sadly, not surprised" when told of secret moves to defrock Denis McAlinden in the same weeks without reporting allegations about him to police.

Retired Assistant Commissioner John Ure, who in 1995 was head of the North Region Major Crime Squad, said it was very disappointing to hear that the church was apparently aware of serious allegations concerning McAlinden at about the same time investigations were being undertaken into Ryan and Monsignor Patrick Cotter, who had "decided to say nothing" about Ryan's offending.

Mr Ure said in his view it would be a matter of serious concern if senior members of the church had known of allegations about McAlinden but failed to report them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Maitland Newcastle diocese document confirmed church's stance

The Herald

28 Apr, 2010

A MAITLAND Newcastle diocese document sent to Denis McAlinden and filed under Michael Malone's name only days after he was made bishop confirmed the official church attitude towards McAlinden had not changed.

"I regret that one of my first duties as Bishop is to continue Canonical procedures against one of the priests of the Diocese," the document, dated November 2, 1995, said.

"Because of the gravity of the allegations against you, the evidence supporting those allegations, and after full and continual consultation with Bishop [Leo] Clarke over many months, I have no alternative but to reaffirm the contents of Bishop Clarke's letter to you of October 19," the document said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

Secrets of the bishops: How Hunter church leaders failed to report pedophile priest

The Herald

28 Apr, 2010
SENIOR Australian Catholic Church figures tried to secretly force a notorious Hunter pedophile priest from the priesthood, in full knowledge of the criminal nature of allegations against him, the "grave problems for the community" his behaviour represented and without reporting him to police.

Documents obtained by The Herald show two bishops, Leo Clarke and Michael Malone, and a future archbishop, Philip Wilson, had roles in an attempted "speedy" laicisation, or defrocking, of Father Denis McAlinden in October 1995, in which he was assured by Bishop Clarke that "your good name will be protected by the confidential nature of the process".

This was despite the Church having evidence of the priest's sexual abuse of children over many years.

Documents show the future Australian Bishops Conference president and Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson, Maitland Newcastle Bishop Michael Malone, his predecessor the late Bishop Clarke and a number of senior priests in the diocese had knowledge of allegations against the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

Bishop resignations over abuse demonstrate Church’s 'zero tolerance,' explains prelate

Catholic News Agency

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, Apr 27, 2010 / 12:04 pm (CNA/Europa Press).- Bishop Francisco Cases of the Canary Islands explained this week that the resignations of bishops involved in the sexual abuse of minors demonstrate the Church’s “zero tolerance” policy in dealing with the issue.

“It is another example of the policy of clarity and zero tolerance that the Church has,” he said. “It doesn't matter whether it is the Pope who brings it about (resignation) or the person in question.” However, he continued, “it is more authentic when the person in question resigns after realizing what he has done.”

He stressed the need to be more aware of abuse statistics, not only within the Church, but in all parts of society, saying such data is “alarming.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:37 PM

Archdiocese held liable for acts of sexual abuse committed by employee


April 26 2010
The Court of Appeal has considered, in the case of Maga v Trustees of the Birmingham Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church, whether an employer could be held liable for acts of sexual abuse committed by one of its employees. The case centred around allegations by Maga that a priest, C, employed by the Archdiocese had sexually abused him whilst he was a child.

The Court of Appeal held that the Archdiocese was indeed liable. In doing so, it noted that the acts in question must have been 'within the scope of the employment' to create any liability on the part of the Archdiocese. In considering this requirement, it held that the test to be applied in this regard was whether the wrongdoing was so closely connected with the employment that it would be fair and just to hold the employer vicariously liable. It consider that a broad approach should be adopted when establishing the scope of the employment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 PM

Technology undermining Catholic church structures

National Catholic Reporter

Thomas C. Fox

I toured China for three weeks in late 1998. Computers hooked to the expanding Internet were being set up in hotels frequented by tourists. While public Chinese access to electronic information was still in its infancy then -- and still largely restricted to foreigners -- I remember thinking to myself that the country was facing another revolution and that accessible information would be its catalyst. Secretly I was cheering it on. ...

But there’s more. As noted above, the Internet has decentralized information and allows it to be sent globally in an instant. It occurred to me the other day that this latest round of church sex abuse reportage, which began in Germany three months back, is the largest eruption since 2002 — and the first such eruption since blogs and social networking and news sites matured on the Internet.

Remember how for much of our lives we heard it said that things change slowly within our church, over centuries, if at all. Well, in an age requiring rapid response to remain part of any ongoing conversation, this approach increasingly works against us. It was one thing when news of a papal action took weeks or longer to get across the globe. Today news assessments take place within minutes. To be influential one needs to be fast, nimble and flexible, like it or not.

One recent example supports the point. By the time Pope Benedict XVI issued his long awaited response on sex abuse last month to the Irish church, the story had already migrated to Germany and beyond. When his letter omitted any reference to the German situation, many in Germany were hurt. Others were offended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

Clergy abuse scandal in the Catholic Church

KDHX on Demand

[audio presentation]

David Lorenz of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) discusses ongoing developments in the abuse by clergy of youth world wide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

A Good Bad Week For Catholicism

The New York Times

Ross Douthat

Last Wednesday, the Vatican formally accepted the resignation of Bishop James Moriarty, the third Irish prelate to step down over his role in sex abuse cover-ups. The next day, a German bishop, Walter Mixa of Augsburg, offered his resignation over allegations that he’d been involved in physical abuse at an orphanage in the 1970s and ’80s. Then on Friday it was Belgium’s turn: The bishop of Brugges resigned after publicly admitting to having sexually abused a minor two decades ago. And over the weekend, Sweden’s lone Catholic bishop announced his willingness to resign over a woman’s claim that he’d failed to respond to an allegation of sex abuse against one of his diocese’s priests.

You could call this an awful week for the church, but I’d call it a relatively good one. The crimes and cover-ups aren’t new; what’s new are the resignations, and the sense that bishops as well as priests are facing accountability for things done and left undone. This spirit of accountability hasn’t reached the college of cardinals yet, unfortunately, where a few retirements to monastic life would be extremely welcome. But change comes slowly, and compared to how the U.S. bishops responded to the crisis in 2002, the series of resignations and proferred resignations on the continent counts as progress.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:03 PM

Child sex `no breach of virtue', some priests believe

The Australian


SOME priests didn't see the molestation of boys as a breach of their celibacy vows, retired Catholic bishop Geoffrey Robinson says.

The former auxiliary bishop of Sydney blames the absence of women from church life as a catalyst for the sexual abuse crisis enveloping the faith.

In an interview with The Australian Women's Weekly, Bishop Robinson says boys suffered more than girls at the hands of pedophile priests partly because they were more available to them, with nuns tending to play a greater role in the religious education of young girls.

There was also a view among some offenders with whom he had worked that a priest's celibacy vows weren't broken if a boy was involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 AM

Drummey: In defense of Pope Benedict

Daily News Tribune

By James J. Drummey/ Local columnist

Posted Apr 27, 2010

FRAMINGHAM — Media reports that Pope Benedict XVI, when he was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, failed to curb sexual abuse by priests in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Munich, Germany, are blatantly false. Not only has the Holy Father repeatedly denounced the crimes of priests and the failures of bishops, but he instituted policies to combat child abuse when he was Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (SCDF) in 2002. He insisted that the crimes of abusers be designated as graviora delicta, that is, most grave crimes, which put them in the same category as crimes against the Holy Eucharist, and he established a "fast-track" dismissal from the clerical state for those convicted of such crimes.

The specific charges against Cardinal Ratzinger have no truth to them. For example, referring to 1980, when Ratzinger was Archbishop of Munich and Friesing, the New York Times carried this headline: "Pope Was Told Pedophile Priest Would Get Transfer." The Times offered no proof of this, saying only that his office "was copied on a memo" about the transfer of Fr. Peter Hullerman, a known abuser, into his archdiocese to receive therapy.

Furthermore, it has been established that while Hullerman was undergoing treatment, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese, Fr. Gerhard Gruber, assigned him to a Munich parish without the knowledge of the archbishop. Gruber recently took "full responsibility" for the assignment of Hullerman and said that Ratzinger knew nothing about it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Book on Clergy Abuse Scandal to be Released by Catholic Publisher

Religion Press Release Services

MARYKNOLL, NY—From the United States, Ireland, Germany, Holland, and Italy come nearly daily reports of clergy sexual abuse, and more questions about the roles and responsibilities of church leaders. Now When Values Collide: The Catholic Church, Sexual Abuse and the Challenges of Leadership by Joseph Chinnici offers an extraordinary view of the crisis, its roots and repercussions in the first book by one who had to face the crisis as one of the leaders of his order.

Of the book, Father Donald Cozzens, author of The Changing Face of the Priesthood says, "There is no better analysis of church leadership and the sexual abuse scandals." James O'Toole, Boston College, writes "Chinnici offers his own knowledge and experience to help the Church restore the shattered bonds of trust." Scott Appleby of Notre Dame adds, "If Catholics are to learn from this mess and set forth on the path of healing and renewal, they would do well to pay close attention to Father Chinnici's astute analysis." And the bishop of St Cloud, Minnesota, the Most Reverend John F. Kinney, adds, "His reflections based on his Franciscan heritage are a most valuable insight into the challenges of leadership in these times."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Priest pleads no contest in Rockdale sex assault case

Temple Daily Telegram

by Jeanne Williams | CAMERON Writer
Published: April 27, 2010

CAMERON - The Rev. Stephen Valenta, a Franciscan friar indicted last April on a sexual assault charge and scheduled to go on trial Monday before 20th District Judge Ed Magre, pleaded no contest and will serve five years unadjudicated probation cloistered in a friary.

Valenta, 86, had pleaded innocent and was scheduled to go on trial before the judge, but proceedings were delayed as his attorneys met with prosecutor Kerry Spears to work out details of a plea agreement.

Valenta was indicted April 16, 2009, by a Milam County grand jury on third-degree felony sexual assault in connection with an incident May 21, 2008, in which a visiting priest at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Rockdale forced a Rockdale woman to perform oral sex in the church rectory.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

''Suspenden'' al padre Teodoro Baquedano

Diario de Yucatan

La Arquidiócesis de Yucatán fija su postura frente al tema el abuso sexual de algún ministro contra menores de edad: se investigará

Comunicado de prensa

La Arquidiócesis de Yucatán y el Arzobispo, monseñor Emilio Carlos Berlie Belauzarán, hacen del conocimiento del Pueblo de Dios y de la opinión pública las siguientes consideraciones:

1. El abuso sexual a menores de edad, perpetrado por algún ministro de culto, es considerado un delito grave por el derecho civil y el canónico, por lo que amerita con justa razón penas severas dado que las victimas son personas indefensas e inocentes cuyos derechos deben ser siempre protegidos por el Estado y por la Iglesia.

2. Este Arzobispado y su Pastor, se hacen solidarios con las víctimas inocentes y sus familias y manifiestan que para ellas siempre estarán abiertas las puertas de la comprensión, el apoyo espiritual y psicológico, la escucha y la justicia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Suspende Arquidiócesis de Yucatán a cura; lo acusan de abuso sexual


Ciudad de México.- El arzobispo Emilio Berlie, de Yucatán suspendió al sacerdote Teodoro Baquedano Pech, para investigarlo después de que una mujer lo acusara de abuso sexual por una mujer en Estados Unidos.

Y aclaró que no se cuenta con documentación oficial para iniciar contra el cura un juicio canónico, además que durante los años que ha servido a esta Arquidiócesis, cuyo ministerio inició en 1975, no se ha recibido ninguna queja de conducta inadecuada.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Renuncia otro cura acusado por pederastia en México

El Mexicana

Judith García / El Sol de México

Ciudad de México.- A una semana de difundirse la lista de curas pederastas refugiados en México, cae el segundo clérigo acusado de abuso sexual de menores: la Arquidiócesis de Yucatán aplica medidas cautelares y retira provisionalmente de su oficio al presbítero Teodoro Baquedano Peck, informó el director de la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Sexual por Sacerdotes (SNAP, por sus siglas en inglés), en México y América Latina, Eric Barragán.

Fue denunciado en 1993, en San Francisco, California, luego de la violación de una menor de edad. Sin embargo, el caso no procedió por que ella tenía 30 años de edad cuando lo denunció.

En la década de los 80 fue abusada y la Diócesis de San Francisco llegó a un arreglo para que se excluyera el caso. Desgraciadamente, cuando el caso llegó a los tribunales, el plazo de prescripción del crimen había terminado. El cura se refugió en Yucatán.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Church in Mexico relieves priest of duties years after woman alleges abuse

Washington Post

By N.C. Aizenman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Roman Catholic Church officials in Mexico have temporarily relieved a priest of his parish duties pending further investigation of long-standing allegations that he sexually abused a girl in San Francisco during the 1960s and early 1970s, according to a press release issued Monday in Spanish by the Archdiocese of Yucatan.

The priest, the Rev. Teodoro Baquedano Pech, 70, who has denied engaging in abuse, had been ministering in several rural hamlets near Yucatan's state capital, Merida.

A recent Washington Post article described how for 12 years Baquedano's alleged victim, Sylvia Chavez, now 54, and top church officials in San Francisco repeatedly warned church leaders in Yucatan about the priest. In 2003 a top deputy of Emilio Carlos Berlie Belaunzarán, the archbishop of Yucatan, responded in a letter that "we have taken all precautions to restrict Father Baquedano's access to children." Baquedano was never removed from ministry, however.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Convicted Irish priest active in the Netherlands

HRC Handelsblad

By our news staff
An Irish priest who was convicted for sexually abusing children in the United States has been living in the Netherlands and working as a volunteer. Feature - Catholic nuns also abused children

Oliver O'Grady, who was defrocked after his conviction, helped as a deacon at masses at the Church of the Holy Heart in Schiedam. He also volunteered at a women's shelter and worked as an organiser of children's parties, according to a report in the Irish newspaper the Sunday Tribune.

O'Grady was at the centre of one of the biggest paedophilia cases in the Roman Catholic Church. In 1993, he was convicted for raping two underage brothers. He was accused of abusing over 20 boys and girls, including a baby. After having served half of his 14 year sentence, he was deported to Ireland in 2000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Saint or Anti-Church?

Healing and Spirituality

Dr. Jaime Romo

Dom Helder Camara, Bishop of Recife, and pioneer of Liberation Theology is often quoted, “If I may give food to the poor, they call me a saint. If I ask why the poor do not have food, they call me a communist.”

An educational parallel to Liberation Theology is called Critical Pedagogy. The Brazilian philosopher and educator Paolo Freire (1921- 1997) popularized this advocacy oriented questioning process (i.e., critical thinking, learning, and acting). Critical pedagogy emphasizes dialogue, praxis (action informed by social justice values), naming the world (e.g., dynamics of oppression), and a connection with participants’ lived experiences. Freire and Camara knew that few human encounters are exempt from oppression because, by virtue of race, class, gender, and ethnicity, people tend to be victims and/or perpetrators of oppression.

In light of religious authority sexual abuse, I believe Freire and Camara would pose this problem differently today. If I show compassion to survivors of religious authority sexual abuse, they call me a saint. If I ask why there are so many survivors of religious authority sexual abuse, they call me anti-Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

A lack of respect

Yorkshire Post

IT is highly ironic that the Government should be forced to say sorry to the Vatican for mocking the forthcoming Papal visit when Pope Benedict XVI is under so much pressure to issue a more fulsome apology over paedophile priests, a scandal that continues to envelop the Roman Catholic Church.

Yet what does it say about the ineffective running of this country when the Foreign Office has to set up a special unit to prepare for the Pope's pilgrimage to the UK – and then its officials have nothing better to do than suggest, among other ideas, that he opens an abortion clinic, blesses a gay marriage and launches a condom range in between meeting celebrities like TV talent show winner Susan Boyle

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Trial opens today for ex-Ringwood Scout leader accused in sex assault on boy

Daily Record

The Record

A former Boy Scout troop leader from Ringwood goes on trial today in state court on charges he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old boy.

Gene Giordano, 58, was charged in 2005 with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, based on allegations that he fondled the boy in 1999 in the defendant’s Valley Road home. The charges represented the revival of a then-six-year-old case that prosecutors dropped because, they said, the alleged victim was too young to testify in court.

Additional allegations, however, in 2004 against Giordano involving other boys prompted investigators to revisit the case. Auhorities in 2005 decided to pursue charges , saying the initial alleged victim had become emotionally mature enough to make an effective witness.
Giordano was in charge of the children’s music programming at St. Catherine of Bologna Roman Catholic Church on Erskine Road. He also was the leader of Boy Scout Troup 96, based out of St. Catherine’s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Bishop, flock look to future

The Times-Tribune

The installation of a bishop is one of the grand events in the Catholic Church. It's a joyous occasion marked by ceremony that draws upon the institution's ancient traditions and emphasizes the spiritual mission of the church.

Monday's installation of Bishop Joseph C. Bambera as the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton was a particularly significant occasion for the region's Catholics. Coming amid an international crisis involving the Vatican's handling of sexual abuse by some members of the clergy, and amid continuing uncertainty over the status of many long-standing Catholic institutions in the region, Bishop Bambera's installation was a reassuring reminder of the church's resilience.

Part of that is due to Bishop Bambera's service prior to his installation, following the resignation last year of former Scranton Bishop Joseph Martino. He showed a steady hand as an interim administrator, gaining the confidence of people throughout the diocese. And it's partly due to the role of Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, who oversaw the diocese with diligence in the eight months since Bishop Martino's resignation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Time limits will end to file sex-abuse cases

Miami Herald

Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau
TALLAHASSEE -- Michael Dolce took 20 years to tell his story. And by then it was too late.

The neighbor who raped him at age 7 never saw a courtroom because the time limit to file a case expired.

``I was absolutely terrorized,'' said Dolce, 41, a Royal Palm Beach attorney. ``And it took a long time to get to a place in recovery where I could even say the name of the man who did this to me.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Catholic sex abuse crisis calls for reform

The Daily Caller

By John Rossomando | Published: 04/27/10

The priestly sex abuse scandals have established a need for the Catholic Church to thoroughly reform itself from within in order to stop the bleeding and regain the confidence of millions of Catholics worldwide whose faith has been shaken by it. The reforms must be real, concrete and pastoral rather than ones that come across as superficial and insincere.

A letter written by Luigi Mocenigo, the Venetian ambassador to the Vatican, in 1559 could just as easily have been written today amid the current crisis:

“In many countries, obedience to the pope has almost ceased, and matters are becoming so critical that, if God does not interfere, they will soon be desperate . . . Thus the spiritual power of the pope is so straitened that the only remedy is a council summoned by the common consent of all princes. Unless this reduces the affairs of religion to order, a grave calamity is to be feared.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Ken Chupita: Leaders aren't supposed to take refuge in silence

Winona Daily News

By KEN CHUPITA / Winona | Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2010

People in leadership positions are expected to lead, teach and explain during good times and bad.

These are rough times for the Catholic Church, which is arguably experiencing its greatest scandal, one that makes its past selling of indulgences look quaint by comparison.

Yet the bishop of this diocese is publicly silent.

In the public discussion of this continuing sexual abuse scandal, Daily News editor Darrell Ehrlick appears to be acting more like a responsible bishop than is Bishop John Quinn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Future Pope Tried to Get Fuller Inquiry in Abuse Case

Star News

KATRIN BENNHOLD Published: Tuesday, April 27, 2010

VIENNA — As Pope Benedict XVI has come under scrutiny for his handling of sexual abuse cases, both his supporters and his critics have paid fresh attention to the way he responded to a sexual abuse scandal in Austria in the 1990s, one of the most damaging to confront the church in Europe.

Defenders of Benedict cite his role in dealing with Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër of Vienna as evidence that he moved assertively, if quietly, against abusers. They point to the fact that Cardinal Groër left office six months after accusations against him of molesting boys first appeared in the Austrian news media in 1995. The future pope, they say, favored a full canonical investigation, only to be blocked by other ranking officials in the Vatican.

A detailed look at the rise and fall of the clergyman, who died in 2003, and the involvement of Benedict, a Bavarian theologian with many connections to German-speaking Austria, paints a more complex picture.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Where the pope's words resonate


By Cameron Abadi — GlobalPost
Published: April 27, 2010

TRAUNSTEIN, Germany — In the Church of St. Veit and Anna, which sits alone atop a hill in the Bavarian town of Ettendorf, every pew was packed and some people were standing. On this first Sunday after Easter, people shuffled over a bit to make room for two latecomers, but the new arrivals knew to simply close the heavy oak doors behind them and remain in place while joining in with the choir.

The service offers a glimpse of a sort of idealized past, the kind of loyal German Catholic congregation that would have existed long before the wider church's current descent into turbulence and rancor.

The last weeks have been an all-out crisis for the church, which represents 1 billion Catholics worldwide, with much of the scandal centered in Germany. What started as a trickle of reports of abuse by priests in Germany has become an ever-worsening flood. The public has been almost as outraged by the Vatican's efforts at damage control as by the abuses themselves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Australian bishop calls for ‘total systemic reform,’ says celibacy discipline should end

Catholic Culture

April 27, 2010
Saying that “the current crisis facing the Catholic Church arising out of sexual abuse is arguably the most serious challenge the Church has faced since the Reformation,” an Australian bishop says that the Church needs “total systemic reform.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

April 26, 2010

Vatican mulls future of Legion of Christ, global religious order founded by abusive priest

Los Angeles Times

AP Religion Writer

April 25, 2010

One of the next tests for Pope Benedict XVI in the burgeoning clergy abuse crisis is deciding the fate of a once-prominent, strict religious order that now admits its late founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, fathered at least one child and molested underage seminarians.

Results of a Vatican investigation that Benedict ordered last year into the Legionaries of Christ are expected to be released soon, at a time when the Roman Catholic Church is under intense pressure to aggressively confront abuse.

The case is far more complex for Benedict and his aides than uncovering what Maciel did. Although Legion officials insist they have only just learned of Maciel's misdeeds, many critics suspect the clergymen knew that the founder hurt children and led a double life, but did nothing about it. Maciel, who died in 2008 at age 87, had groomed many of the top leaders for their posts. The current general director, the Rev. Alvaro Corcuera, was at Maciel's deathbed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 PM

Piltdown Man demands Pope's resignation

Catholic Culture

By Diogenes | April 26, 2010

The sign of a truly dedicated propagandist is the willingness to push ahead with an argument even when the facts don't support it. Newspaper readers in the Boston area are blessed with the work of two truly dedicated propagandists.

The Boston Globe offers James Carroll, who has, over the years, developed a habit of rewriting history as needed to support his arguments. In his most recent column attacking the Catholic Church, for instance, Carroll evidently thought that it would strengthen his overall argument to report that after the First Vatican Council, Rome established institutions like the North American College to train promising seminarians from various countries, and began negotiating concordats with national governments. Actually the first Rome-based national seminaries date back to 300 years before Vatican I, and the earliest concordats came 700 years before that council. But why quibble over a millennium when there's an argument to be made?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 PM

Priest accused of sexual assault pleads no contest


[with video]

By Louis Ojeda Jr.

TEMPLE - An elderly New York priest arrested in Milam County for sexual assault last year entered a plea of no contest to a lesser charge of injury to the elderly on Monday.

The alleged incident involving Stephen Mary Valenta, 86, of Staten Island, N.Y., occurred in May 2008 while he was reportedly filling in for the regular parish priest at St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 PM

Woman denies making rape allegation against priest to secure compensation

The Irish Times

A WOMAN who claims she was raped by a priest whom she thought was going to counsel her about an affair she was having has denied making the allegation to gain compensation.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, made the claim against Father Eugene Lewis (75), a member of “the White Fathers”, also known as the Society of Missionaries of Africa.

Fr Lewis, with an address at Cypress Grove House, Templeogue, Dublin, is on trial at Omagh Crown Court, accused of sexually abusing the woman and two of her sisters when they were girls growing up on their family farm in Co Fermanagh between August 1963 and September 1973.

He denies the 11 charges of indecently assaulting the siblings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 PM

Bozek could leave St. Stanislaus to start his own church if agreement is reached


By Linda Leicht • News-Leader • April 26, 2010

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported today that the Rev. Marek Bozek announced Sunday that he may be leaving St. Stanislaus Koska Church in St. Louis to start his own church.

Bozek, a former priest of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese, confirmed the report, explaining that he will leave St. Stanislaus if the church is able to work out an agreement with the Archdiocese of St. Louis to bring the church back into the Roman Catholic Church and the archdiocese.

Bozek, a native of Poland who was ordained a priest in Springfield in 2002, left the Springfield diocese in December 2005 to take the position of priest at St. Stanislaus, formerly the official Polish parish in St. Louis. The action was taken without the permission of either the bishop of Springfield or the archbishop of St. Louis. This led to Bozek’s excommunication that same month and his laicization in 2009.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 PM

I didn’t accuse priest of rape to get a payout, woman tells court

Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

A woman who claims she was raped by a priest she thought was going to counsel her about her affair with a married policeman has denied doing it for the money.

Father Eugene Lewis, of Cypress Grove House, Templelogue in Dublin, is on trial at Omagh Crown Court accused of sexually abusing the woman and two of her sisters when they were little girls growing up on the family farm in Co Fermanagh between August 1963 and September 1973.

He denies the 11 charges of indecently assaulting the now grown women, who can’t be named or identified.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 PM

Jeffrey S. Lena: Lawyer at center of Vatican storm


Apr 26th, 2010 by Frances Dinkelspiel.

An unassuming Berkeley man has emerged at the center of the Vatican’s unfolding clerical sex abuse scandals.

Jeffrey S. Lena, whom the Associated Press describes as “a tennis-loving, Saab-driving solo practitioner from Berkeley“, is the Vatican’s go-to guy on matters concerning sexual abuse of parishioners by priests.

Lena, 51, who works out of a small law office on Keith Avenue above Codornices Park, has repeatedly argued, generally successfully, that the Vatican’s sovereign status gives its immunity from lawsuits around priests who abuse children. But as more people step forward to claim priests abused them, and more blame is heaped on the Vatican for its slow response to the crisis, Lena is at the center of a growing vortex of lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 PM

A Better Chance at Justice for Abuse Victims

The New York Times

By Lawrence Lessig
Published: April 26, 2010

LAST week, Pope Benedict XVI told victims of sexual abuse by priests in Malta that the Catholic Church was doing all it could to investigate abuse accusations and find ways to safeguard children in the future. With the pope’s pledge, and the resignation in recent days of three European bishops involved in the sex abuse scandal, it might appear that the church is finally taking responsibility for failing to protect children against molesters for hundreds of years.

But the church is not doing everything in its power to help victims. In fact, it is worsening the sins of the past by taking a leading role in preventing abused children from getting the compensation they need to help remedy past abuse.

I saw this behavior firsthand when I represented a victim of child sexual abuse in a case brought against a nonsectarian private school in New Jersey. The trial court in that case had held that a state statute immunizing charities against negligence also protected the school even if its employees acted “willfully, wantonly, recklessly, indifferently — even criminally.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 PM

Church's denial makes it hard for abused to heal

Lexington Herald-Leader

By Steven Mangine

For even the slickest public-relations firm, The Vatican would certainly make a tough client. As a small minority of severely disturbed priests tortured children, a large majority of their managers in Rome tortured the truth.

Benedict XVI's official homilist selected Good Friday to compare criticism of the Vatican to the mistreatment of Jews. Then at the Easter Mass in St. Peter's Square, Cardinal Sodano observed that, like Jesus, Pope Benedict, "when he was reviled, reviled not in return." Later Sodano dismissed the shocking, thoroughly documented and persistent revelations of priest abuse and bishop enabling over three decades as "the gossip of the moment."

Recently, the Vatican's official newspaper tried to walk back some of its more egregious distortions. It admitted that earlier comments by Vatican officials dismissing the allegations had been "poor communication," and "not prudent.''

It concluded, most imprudently: ''Let's be clear. Everyone has communications problems.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Open letter to Pope Benedict XVI

Beautiful Software

Chuck Connell

Dear Pope Benedict,
I am sure the past couple months have not been a lot of fun for you. I understand you were planning to retire before you were elected pope, so maybe you wish someone else were dealing with the current situation. But it is you in charge now, whether you wanted the job or not.

I am writing to tell you that you have an opportunity to be one of the greatest popes in history. You can be a leader, not just a figurehead, and here is how:

 Implement a set of policies worldwide to prevent physical and sexual abuse of children by anyone who works for the Roman Catholic Church.

 Cooperate with civil authorities to prosecute anyone associated with the church who is credibly suspected of abuse, regardless of when the abuse occurred.

 End the practice of moving abusive priests around the world to avoid embarrassment and prosecution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:23 PM

Catholic sex abuse scandal could trigger donations slump, Vatican warns

Guardian (United Kingdom)

John Hooper in Rome guardian.co.uk, Monday 26 April 2010

Vatican officials fear the clerical sex abuse scandal could have a devastating effect on the finances of the Italian church, undermining what until now has been a bastion of the faith.

Italian taxpayers have until the end of July to declare their income for 2009 and, under a system in force in several European countries, they can opt for a proportion of their taxes to be paid to the church.

In Italy, 0.8% of income tax revenue is divided between state-run aid organisations and recognised denominations and religions according to the preferences expressed by taxpayers on their returns.

"The media always talk of class actions, compensation for the victims of abuse by the clergy and the legal fees which, since 2001 have forced the American dioceses to sell schools, hospitals, convents and universities," the daily La Stampa quoted a Vatican source as saying. "But in fact the biggest economic damage is done by the collapse in donations."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

The Church, Sexual Abuse, and "Anti-Catholicism"

America Magazine

Posted at: Monday, April 26, 2010
Author: John W. Martens

There is an important article by Joseph Bottum at The Weekly Standard.com on the recent “odd hysteria,” that is, the media’s response and role in the recent and revived claims regarding sexual abuse by priests and cover-ups of this abuse by some in the Church’s leadership. That Bottum calls it an “odd hysteria” does not mean that he considers claims about sexual abuse in the Church to be concocted nor that he feels there have not been grave errors made by the Church hierarchy, only, in my words, that the Catholic Church has been made to bear far more of the weight of the sin of sexual abuse in our culture than for which it is responsible. As I read Bottum, and as the article is titled, “Anti-Catholicism, Again: The Permanent Scandal of the Vatican,” he believes that there is a deep animus against the Catholic Church on display in the “odd hysteria,” that has its roots in the Protestant reformation and that was imported across the Atlantic Ocean to the USA centuries ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

Benedict XVI Encourages Child Protection Workers


VATICAN CITY, APRIL 25, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is thanking and encouraging all those who work to protect children from violence and exploitation. The Pope addressed these workers today after praying the midday Regina Caeli with the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

"I direct a special greeting to the Meter Association, which, for the past 14 years, has promoted the national day for children who are victims of violence, exploitation and indifference," he said.

Last year the association, founded by Father Fortunato Di Noto, helped U.S. and Italian authorities uncover and prosecute 100 online pedophile communities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Suing the pope: A guide

The Week

posted on April 26, 2010

A Wisconsin man recently became the latest alleged sex abuse victim to sue Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican. But the Vatican is a sovereign nation, and — as its head of state — the pope is often considered immune from such suits under international law. Is it possible to sue the Pontiff? Here's a quick guide:

What's the Wisconsin case about?
The Wisconsin plaintiff, identified as "John Doe 16," says Pope Benedict and other senior Vatican officials failed to discipline Rev. Lawrence Murphy who allegedly molested up to 200 boys at a school for the deaf from 1950 to 1974 before his 1998 death. (Watch a BBC report about the claim.) The plaintiff's attorney, Jeff Anderson, is arguing that the Vatican is essentially a global business empire, with the pope as CEO — liable for what goes on in individual dioceses, due to its "commercial activity" (i.e. fundraising) there.

What are John Doe 16's chances of success?
Many legal experts say the lawyer's argument won't stand up in court. To date, individual dioceses have typically been treated as independent entities. But Anderson also hopes the lawsuit will force the Vatican to turn over "secret" documents on other accused priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

Scandal again challenges Catholic Church

Blue Ridge Now

The word Catholic means universal or worldwide. For centuries, the Roman Catholic Church has claimed to be the only true, worldwide church of Christ, and the pope to be Christ's sovereign on the earth.

How sad then that the most widely discussed characteristic of the Catholic Church of late has been the charges coming, literally, from all parts of the world of the sexual abuse of minors, most often young boys, by priests who have used their cassock and collar to camouflage their identity as pedophiles and child molesters.

Are all Catholic priests child molesters or pedophiles? Absolutely not. In fact, the great majority are good men who have dedicated their lives to serving God by helping humanity. That being said, there is good reason for alarm in the Catholic world.

In the past few months, reports of predatory sexual behavior by priests have surfaced around the world, first from Germany, then from Ireland and Australia, then from the United States, then from the island of Malta, and most recently from Brazil, Chile and other Latin American countries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:03 PM

Deliver Us From Evil: A Letter to the Catholic Church

The Huffington Post

Amy Berg

Dear Pope Benedict, Archbishop Mahony and all other members of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church,

Last Wednesday, a Dutch television station broadcast Deliver Us From Evil, my 2006 documentary about the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. A few days earlier, the subject of my film, notorious pedophile Oliver O'Grady, was contacted by Dutch police officers, tipped off by his neighbors who had seen an advertisement for the film. Over the course of his 30-year career as a Catholic priest in California, O'Grady abused hundreds of children and is now living on the lam in Europe. O'Grady quickly disguised himself and fled, taking a train from Rotterdam to Schtipol. He managed to catch the last plane out of Amsterdam on Aer Lingus at 20:45. Ironically, had the film aired a few days later, he likely would have been stuck in Holland due to the volcanic eruption the following day.

As you might imagine, after the film aired in Holland, residents of O'Grady's community in Rotterdam were outraged and contacted me and two of the advocates featured in the film, attorneys John Manly and Jeff Anderson. After I spoke to one Rotterdam family, I discovered to my dismay that O'Grady had been masquerading himself as "Brother Francis" and had been volunteering at their local parish. This is alarming on several levels, especially in light of the Church's recent commitment to screen all volunteers and laypeople working in the church in order to protect the children and the community. Needless to say, the community was terrified and is still in a state of panic and shock. Another family told me they had been very close friends with O'Grady and had even traveled with him along with their nine-month-old child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

Pedophile priest was volunteer in Dutch church


April 26, 2010 14:48 EDT

AMSTERDAM (AP) -- The Dutch Catholic Church is rejecting criticism for failing to check the background of a volunteer who'd served a seven-year prison sentence in the U.S. for child abuse.

Defrocked Irish priest Oliver O'Grady did volunteer work for a Rotterdam church for less than two years, and left the Netherlands in February before his identity became known.

A statement from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests in the United States said the Dutch church "should be severely disciplined for failing to do even the most simple background check on this dangerous predator."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:55 PM

Israel jails man for 'holy semen' sex abuse

BBC News

An Israeli man has been imprisoned for 10 years for tricking women into sexual acts by claiming his semen was holy and had healing powers.

Nissim Aharon, a former employee at the Israeli defence ministry, was convicted of rape, sodomy, indecent acts and aggravated fraudulent acquisition.

Women paid him large sums of money, believing he was a holy rabbi who could heal body and soul, the court said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Holy anger and what you can do about it

National Catholic Reporter

by Nicole Sotelo on Apr. 15, 2010 Young Voices

When Jesus saw abuse happening, he did not shrink from challenging even the most powerful institutions; he was outraged and then got strategic. He had what I call "holy anger."

When Jesus saw the commercial desecration occurring in the temple, he "overturned tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves." (Mark 11:15) He didn't resort to physical violence, but rather used his righteous anger to stop the mechanisms that were defiling the sacred structure.

Would that we would do the same to the hierarchical church systems that are responsible for the physical and sexual abuse of thousands of children globally.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

History will judge the Catholic faith

Cincinnati Enquirer

By Daniel Frondorf • April 26, 2010

As the clergy sex abuse scandal continues to evolve globally and is no longer simply an American anomaly, survivors of clergy sex abuse all around the world, like me, are left to wonder how and why we were forsaken by seemingly indifferent Roman Catholic leadership all those years ago.

Surely the holy, ordained men running the world's most pre-eminent religious organization were concerned for the children and teenagers who were molested, fondled, abused, sexually handled, mistreated, sodomized and even raped by priests and other employees and agents of the Catholic religion? When reports of this abuse came to their attention, the welfare of the kids and their wounded souls certainly were the top priority?

Sadly, we have discovered that no, in fact, we were not.

Instead, Catholic leaders and administrators from local levels to the highest offices of the Vatican were more concerned with protecting their image, reputation and stature, as well as dealing with the offending parties in a rehabilitative manner. The victims and survivors were seemingly forgotten, apparently because the "psychology of the day" told Catholic leaders that if no significance was given to the abuse, the offended child would simply brush it off as just another ordinary but slightly painful childhood event. As years passed and wounded kids grew up and became capable of dealing with their demons, the truth about the Catholic Church is increasingly coming to light after decades of silence and darkness

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:41 PM

Rome priest on trial for abuse in Vatican backyard

Fox News

ROME (AP) — The bishop responsible for a politically connected priest accused of molesting seven boys has admitted in court papers obtained by The Associated Press that he knew of the allegations for two years but didn't remove the priest from working with children.

The case of Rev. Ruggero Conti, who once advised Rome's mayor on family policy issues, resumes in court on Tuesday after a several-week break as attention increasingly turns to clerical sex abuse in the Vatican's backyard.

A week after Pope Benedict XVI wept with victims of clerical sex abuse in Malta and promised everything in the church's power to protect children and bring abusers to justice, Italian victims are now seeking a papal audience.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:37 PM

Benedict XVI & Bertone, liars of Fatima?

Benedict XVI Ratzinger: God's Rottweiler

Paris Arrow

Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to visit Fatima, Portugal, on May 13, 2010, on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima.

Our Lady of Fatima in her First Secret of Fatima in 1917 showed Jacinta with her brother Francisco and cousin Lucia a vision of Hell with demons and souls in human form. “That is where poor sinners go”, she said. Is it possible that pedophile priests were burning in it but that vision was withheld from being revealed so as not to shock Catholics and weaken their respect for priests?

Now, with the recent revelations of thousands of pedophile priests condoned and covered-up by John Paul II for more than 26+ years of his papacy, hence the name, John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army, could it be possible that many of those souls in that Fatima vision of Hell were specifically pedophile priests? Our Lady of Fatima can see Heaven and Hell, so why can she not also see - and show - the many evil pedophile priests of the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Armny and reveal it to the Fatima seers?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

Ierse pedofiele priester werkte in Nederland

Radio Nederland

Een uit het ambt gezette pedofiele priester uit Ierland heeft enkele jaren in Nederland gewoond en met kinderen gewerkt. Dat meldt de Ierse krant The Sunday Tribune.

Oliver O'Grady werkte van 2008 tot februari dit jaar als diaken in de Heilig Hartkerk in Schiedam-Zuid, waar ook Engelstalige diensten zijn. Hij liet zich daar 'Brother Francis' noemen. Verder deed hij vrijwilligerswerk bij een opvangcentrum in Rotterdam voor dakloze vrouwen en hun kinderen. Ook werkte hij in een Rotterdams fastfoodrestaurant, waar hij hielp bij de organisatie van kinderfeestjes.

De inmiddels 64-jarige O'Grady heeft sinds 1973 meer dan twintig meisjes en jongens seksueel misbruikt, onder wie een negen maanden oude baby. Dat misbruik had plaats in de Verenigde Staten, waar O'Grady in 1971 na zijn priesterwijding heenging. Hij zat daar zeven jaar in de gevangenis tot hij in 2000 werd uitgezet naar Ierland. Daarna kwam hij naar Nederland. Inmiddels woont hij in Dublin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

Pedopriester werkte met kinderen in Rotterdam

Brabants Dagblad

maandag 26 april 2010 | 16:44

SCHIEDAM (ANP) - Een Ierse priester die meer dan twintig jongens en meisjes seksueel heeft misbruikt, is van 2008 tot februari dit jaar vrijwilliger geweest in de Heilig Hartkerk in Schiedam. Dat heeft de Ierse krant Sunday Tribune zondag bekendgemaakt.

De H. Hartkerk in Schiedam-Zuid heeft de berichtgeving over priester Oliver O'Grady bevestigd aan NRC Handelsblad en de Wereldomroep, die daarover maandag berichtten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:51 AM

Notorious Irish pedophile priest discovered working with kids in Holland

Irish Central

by Niall O'Dowd

Notorious Irish pedophile priest who abused children for many years in America has been discovered helping out as a church deacon in Rotterdam under an assumed name and working a shelter for abused women and their children.

Father Oliver O'Grady served as a priest at St. Anne's Catholic Church in Lodi, California from 1971 to 1978. He later served at Church of the Presentation in Stockton, California, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Turlock, California, St. Andrew's Parish in San Andreas, California, and St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Hughson, California.

In 1993 he was convicted on four counts of "lewd and lascivious acts" on two minors, the brothers John and James Howard, and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Attorney Jeff Anderson said the Howards were repeatedly molested between 1978 and 1991, from age three to 13. Anderson claimed church officials knew that O'Grady had abused children as early as 1976 and 1984 but had done nothing. Police had been informed of earlier charges and had declined to prosecute.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 AM

Maciel, serial abuser: Let the apologies begin

U.S. Catholic

Monday, April 26, 2010
By Bryan Cones

The publisher of the Legionaries of Christ-backed National Catholic Register, Father Owen Kearns, has finally apologized to the victims of the Legion's founder, Father Marcel Maciel, a pathological liar and abuser who, as Jason Berry has reported for the National Catholic Reporter, bribed his way through the Vatican to gain favors for the Legion and its lay affiliate Regnum Christi. Why it took Kearns so long to apologize to victims is unclear, though Kearns says in the statement he as been ready to do so for some time.

It remains to be seen whether other high-profile defenders of Maciel will issue their own apologies, notably papal biographer and commentator George Weigel and Mary Ann Glendon, the former ambassador to the Holy See. The late Father Richard John Neuhaus is beyond apology, though his journal First Things offers this defense in his case.

The Maciel case is a perfect example of seeing only what one wants to see, and one reason why victims of child sexual abuse are rarely believed. Who could imagine that someone so "holy" could ever be guilty of such crimes?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:39 AM

Oliver O’Grady, priest convicted of child sex abuse, volunteered in Dutch church; SNAP responds

Voice from the Desert

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434 cell

After a conviction and prison sentence, a now-defrocked, notorious predator priest (who assaulted boys, girls and at least one infant), has re-surfaced helping at a Rotterdam Catholic church under another name.

Dutch Catholic officials should be severely disciplined for failing to do even the most simple background check on this dangerous predator.

It’s irresponsible for Catholic officials to recruit, educate, ordain, hire, train, transfer and shield predators, then ‘cut them loose’ when the heat gets too intense, letting them walk free and molest again. Church hierarchy must, at an absolute bare minimum, promptly take three steps. First, it must do everything possible to make sure that pedophile priests, nuns, brothers, bishops and seminarians get prosecuted effectively and imprisoned for as long as possible. (This means voluntarily turning over to law enforcement all files relating to accused predators and aggressively using church websites, pulpit announcements, diocesan newspapers, and parish bulletins to beg victims and witnesses to call law enforcement when accusations against a cleric surface.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

When a Pope Needs Friends by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Rabbi Smuley Boteach

Since the public announcement of my upcoming meeting with Pope Benedict this Wednesday at the Vatican, courtesy of my friend Gary Krupp, many of my close Jewish friends have expressed not approval but disappointment. 'They blamed the pedophile priest scandal on Jews and compared the attacks on the Church to anti-Semitism. How could you, Shmuley?' 'The Pope was in the Hitler Youth and he wants to make Pope Pius XII, who never condemned the holocaust, into a saint.' 'The Church has always been anti-Semitic. You're being used.'

Come now. Jewish insularity is the ultimate obstacle to the dissemination of Jewish values, while Jewish contempt for the non-Jewish world because of its past immorality and Jew-hatred is itself immoral and hateful. Pope Benedict is being kicked to the curb in nearly every part of the world. But I as a Jew do not forget that for all his failures in properly handing the abomination of pedophile priests, for which the Church must atone and repent, Benedict has been a great friend to the Jewish community, visiting an unprecedented three Synagogues in four years as well as the State of Israel. And whom does it benefit to see a mighty Church fall? The millions of orphans the Church tends to worldwide? The schools it runs and the pupils it teaches? The hope its priests give to the poor, especially in the third world?

I have been one of Pope Pius XII's foremost critics in the entire world. But Benedict is not Pius and before we holler for his demise let's recall that as the Cardinal Secretary of State he did more to extend the Church's hand in friendship to other people's and faiths than nearly anyone who preceded him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Pedofiele priester O'Grady actief in Schiedam

HRC Handelsblad

Rotterdam, 26 april. De Ierse priester Oliver O’Grady, in de Verenigde Staten veroordeeld in een van de grootste pedofiliezaken in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk, was van augustus 2008 tot februari dit jaar vrijwilliger in de Schiedamse H. Hartkerk. Om in zijn levensonderhoud te voorzien, organiseerde hij kinderfeestjes voor een vestiging van een fastfoodketen in Rotterdam. Dat meldde de Ierse Sunday Tribune gisteren.

Parochianen van de communiteit ‘Christus onze Verlosser’, die Engelstalige missen houdt in de kerk in Schiedam, herkenden in vrijwilliger Francis O’Grady de veroordeelde pedofiel Oliver O’Grady. Dat gebeurde nadat de VARA op 14 april de documentaire Deliver us from evil (Verlos ons van het kwade) uitzond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Paedophile Irish priest worked with expats in Rotterdam

Dutch News

Monday 26 April 2010

An defrocked Irish priest who has served seven years in a US jail for child abuse, has been living an working in Rotterdam, Irish paper the Sunday Tribune reported at the weekend.

Rotterdam expats attending the Church of the Holy Heart, Christ Our Redeemer, had no knowledge of the past of the man who called himself Brother Francis, the paper said.

He also volunteered at a homeless shelter and worked at a fast-food restaurant in Rotterdam where he helped organise children's parties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Research project - Survivors abused as adults

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

I am working on my Master of Pastoral Ministry through the University of Dallas, and I am researching the abuse of adults by Catholic clergy for my final Capstone Project. I would appreciate receiving personal written accounts of such abuse from primary and secondary victims/survivors. You may send your story under an assumed name and through an anonymous email if you so wish.

All names given will be changed for the project. In sharing your story, you give me permission to use part or all of it (with names changed) at my discretion in my final paper. Though not all stories will be quoted, all will be of assistance to my research, and will be appreciated and respected. If you are comfortable with me using all or part of your story for future projects or publications (always with names changed), please indicate this when you send your story. I will not do so without your permission. Your privacy is of utmost importance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:59 AM

NEW National Survivor Study! Research Participants Invited

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Scott Easton is a licensed master's level social work (LMSW) and a doctoral candidate at the University of Iowa. He is currently conducting a national study on the well-being of male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Participants will be asked to complete a one-time, anonymous online survey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Priest arrested for raping woman

Press Trust of India

Muzaffarnagar, Apr 26 (PTI) A priest allegedly raped a woman, who came here for treatment, at a temple in Jawalagiri mandir in Meerut, police said today.

55-year-old Tarkeshver Ranand, who raped the victim yesterday, has been arrested, they said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Priest convicted of child sex abuse volunteered in Dutch church

Radio Netherlands

An Irish priest who was convicted for sex offences against children has been working as a volunteer at a church near the Dutch port city of Rotterdam. The priest, Oliver O'Grady, who was defrocked after his conviction, was helping as a deacon at Masses at the English-speaking Church of the Holy Heart, Christ our Redeemer. He also volunteered at a women's refuge centre.

Found guilty of sexually abusing two brothers, Mr O'Grady spent seven years in a prison in the US, after which he was deported to Ireland. He was also accused of having abused over 20 boys and girls, including a baby.

The church in Schiedam is serving the expatriate community in Rotterdam. A priest at the Roman Catholic church told the press that he did not know about O'Grady's background. Local parishioners told reporters that they were shocked when O'Grady's past history was revealed in a church announcement last week. The ex-priest was using the alias "Brother Francis", and his true identity was only discovered when Dutch TV aired a documentary entitled "Deliver us from evil" earlier this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

'Romeo' Catholic Priest suspended


Randy Roman Catholic Priest Rev. Father Charles Asamoah, who inflicted multiple cutlass wounds on 42-year-old Janet Dwamena Agyapomaa aka Yaa Kwahu, after their secret amorous affair turned sour, has been released from police detention.

He has been charged with attempted murder and is expected to report at 9.00am daily at the Fomena Police Station where the case is pending, as law enforcement officers wait for the victim’s release from hospital to assist them in investigations.

Upon learning about the scandal, the Obuasi Diocese of the Catholic Church has suspended Rev. Fr. Charles Asamoah from celebrating Mass with his parishioners and has since Sunday been replaced by Rev. Fr. Maxwell, who was the celebrant of yesterday’s service at Bodwesango, DAILY GUIDE gathered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Swedish bishop ‘ready to resign’ over handling of abuse allegation

Catholic Culture

April 26, 2010
Less than two weeks after he urged victims of clerical abuse to come forward so that “the guilty priests-- if they are still alive-- can receive just punishment for the crimes they have committed,” Sweden’s sole bishop says he is ready to resign amid claims that he failed in 203 to adequately address an abuse allegation. A woman alleges that after she informed the bishop she had been abused by a priest who was having an affair with her mother, she was referred to a therapist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Look, we sued the Pope !

Point of Law

Lawyers for the Vatican have called the lawsuit against Pope Benedict and the Holy See a "publicity stunt." I wouldn't go so far as to say that - it has a chance of surviving a motion to dismiss and there may be, embedded in its fifty four pages, a theory that might get to the jury. But there is a sense in which that a publicity stunt is precisely what it is and there may be some larger lessons here about the American liability system.

The lawsuit arises from the predations of a pedophile priest in Milwaukee named Father Murphy. It's a nasty case. Murphy abused numerous young boys at a school for the deaf, largely in the fifties and sixties, but perhaps extending to the early seventies when he was (quite improperly) quietly shuffled away to an early retirement. It is clear that the Milwaukee Archdiocese - in particular Archbishop Meier - failed to act in ways - during the 1960s - that would have halted the abuse. There is no evidence that the Vatican, much less the Pope, had any knowledge of or involvement with Father Murphy during this period. By the time the Vatican (and then Cardinal Ratzinger as head of the Office for the Propagation of the Faith) became aware of Murphy's offenses, it was the late 90s. The Milwaukee Archdiocese had brought a belated action to defrock him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

NSAC: If Credibility is the Goal, US Cardinal Law Must Be Removed from Position of Naming Bishops

National Survivor Advocates Coalition

The United States based National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) said today that if the Vatican has changed its strategy in the sexual abuse crisis and is “moving to get rid of bishops tainted by the scandal” as indicated by news reports then Cardinal Bernard Law must be relieved of his position on the Vatican Congregation for Bishops.

If credibility and accountability are truly what Pope Benedict is aiming for, Cardinal Law must be dislodged from all privileged positions not only his post as Archpriest of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major but most importantly his place of considerable influence in the making of new bishops in his own likeness, the coalition said.

If Pope Benedict doesn’t remove Cardinal Law, we call upon Cardinal Law, in all justice after the Pope’s acceptance of the resignation of two Irish bishops named in the Murphy Report, to do the right thing and step aside, the coalition said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Knights of Columbus celebrate local priests at appreciation dinner

The Republican

By Elizabeth Roman, The Republican
April 25, 2010

CHICOPEE- Close to 300 people gathered at the Castle of Knights on Memorial Drive Sunday to say “thank you” to current and retired priests who serve local parishes.

“We just want them to know that we appreciate them and that their work does not go unnoticed,” said Grand Knight and organizer of the event Gerry Lacasse, who sported a pin that read “In solidarity with our priests.” The event was hosted by area Knights of Columbus. ...

He said the event is “a reminder that the vast majority of priests are dedicated to their faith and to their work” although there has been a focus on a small number who have done wrong.

While the Catholic church has been under scrutiny for sexual abuse scandals across the world, Sunday’s event was meant to be uplifting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Caretaker appointed to run Moriarty's former diocese

Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Monday April 26 2010

A CARETAKER administrator will run the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin until the Vatican names a successor to Bishop James Moriarty.

The former bishop's resignation was accepted by Rome last week.

The new administrator is Monsignor Brendan Byrne, the parish priest of Tullow, Co Carlow. Since 1998 he has been the diocese's number two cleric as its Vicar General.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

US scandals affect local views on Vatican crisis

Cincinnati Enquirer

By Dan Horn • dhorn@enquirer.com • April 26, 2010

The clergy abuse scandal in America eight years ago has little to do with the abuse crisis now swirling around the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI.

But it may have everything to do with how American Roman Catholics are responding to the current crisis.

The troubles in Rome today are viewed by many here through the prism of a scandal that engulfed the American church for several years beginning in 2002. The financial and spiritual wounds from those years remain, and the lingering pain has influenced perceptions of the problems confronting the Vatican.

Catholics who were frustrated and angry over the church's response - or lack thereof - to abusive priests in 2002 are outraged by the more recent accusations that the pope failed to punish abusers when he was a bishop and a cardinal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Changes have been made in the church

Cincinnati Enquirer

By Judge Nick Kuntz • April 26, 2010

One of the greatest responsibilities adults ever face is the protection of children under their care.

That is a duty that falls heavily upon those who minister in the name of the Catholic Church because children are entrusted to the Church in so many ways - in schools, in religious education, in Scouting, on field trips and in sports. Parents have a right to expect that their children are as safe as humanly possible in all of these situations.

In earlier years, the Church's actions to prevent crimes against children under its care and the reactions to abuse when it happened were often inadequate or worse. I can assure you, as chair of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati's Child Protection Review Board, that things have changed.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has in place a series of policies, procedures and recommendations known as the Decree on Child Protection. The first version, then called the Decree on Child Abuse, took effect in 1993. Since then the Decree has been revised every five years in the light of experience to make it an even more effective vehicle for ensuring the safety of children. Suggestions for improvements are always welcome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Vatican yard sale not a solution

Cape Breton Post

Staff ~ The Cape Breton Post

Melt the Vatican gold and sell the artworks to pay the cost of civil lawsuits against Catholic Church entities over the sexual abuse of children by priests.

That’s a not uncommon prescription heard around Antigonish diocese in recent months, as vigorously expressed in an opinion piece by Arichat’s Marie-Louise Samson (Weekend Feedback: Let Rome Pay, April 17).

Appealing as it may sound, there are some problems with idea. For one thing, it would have to be a voluntary. There’s an idea that the Vatican might somehow be held liable for complicity in protecting abusive priests and hiding their crimes, but if this were seriously pursued through the court systems of the world the only sure winners would be the armies of lawyers.

Another problem, as noted by Rev. Daniel Doucet (Weekend Feedback: World’s Less Fortunate Would Have First Dibs on Vatican Treasures, April 24), is that if the Vatican were to liquidate its treasures for ready money there’d be higher priority claimants than parishes in the developed world struggling with legal settlements – the world’s poor, for example.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Dutch Church Promises Full Abuse Investigation

NPR (United States)

[with audio]

by Eric Westervelt

April 26, 2010 Reports by Dutch media about sexual abuse from the 1950s through the 1970s have prompted a wave of new allegations against the Catholic Church in the Netherlands.

The church is promising an "independent, open and transparent" investigation into allegations of widespread abuse of children by priests at Catholic boarding schools across Holland.

Dutch musician Bert Smeets, lead singer for the band Bedroom Monkeys, says he was one of the sexually abused at a boarding school in the early 1960s. He sips black tea outside the 12th century Our Sweet Lady cathedral in Maastricht, one of the oldest Catholic churches in the Netherlands -- and a place Smeets hasn't stepped foot in for years. He recalls running to one of the head priests at his school and telling him what happened. Smeets says that priest promptly beat him severely and told him he was lying.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Child abuse in the Catholic Church: why Ireland kept quiet


DUBLIN: The extent of the unimaginable sexual and physical abuse suffered by thousands of children in Catholic-run institutions in Ireland is becoming clear, but why did it remain secret for so long? Reports AFP.

Academics and victims say that the Church itself as well as police, teachers and even victims' families all helped maintain the veil of secrecy.

This was because of the huge authority wielded by the Church in Ireland which meant that some parents actually blamed children for bringing abuse on themselves.

Until the early 1990s, “it was simply impossible to challenge the Church”, said Kevin Lalor, head of the School of Social Sciences and Law at the Dublin Institute of Technology.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

The Pope, pedophilia & the class struggle

Workers World

By Sara Flounders

Published Apr 25, 2010
More than 150 years ago Karl Marx explained that “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle. Patrician and plebian, lord and serf, in a word oppressor and oppressed.” The struggle is an “uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight.” With modern society come “new conditions of oppression and new forms of struggle.”

A fierce struggle has gripped the Catholic Church for the past 25 years as some of the most oppressed survivors of childhood sexual abuse have increasingly demanded an accounting against individual priests and ultimately against the powerful church hierarchy, including bishops and cardinals who consistently protected the abusers.

This demand for justice erupting from below has now done the unthinkable. It has exposed the role of the present pope, Pope Benedict XVI, in a monstrous international criminal cover-up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

One lawyer behind many allegations of Catholic Church abuse


By Dan Gilgoff, CNN
April 26, 2010

(CNN) -- The last month has seen a blizzard of new sex abuse accusations against the Catholic Church from across the United States. Almost all of them -- and the intense media attention they've garnered -- can be traced to one man: a Minnesota lawyer named Jeff Anderson.

Last week, an alleged victim of priest abuse in Wisconsin announced a lawsuit against the Vatican itself. Anderson is representing the alleged victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Detroit archdiocese steps up initiative to protect children

Detroit Free Press


In the basement of a Catholic church in Grosse Pointe Park, a police detective urged the crowd to help protect children from sexual abuse.

"Ultimately, it's up to you to get involved," Grosse Pointe Park Police Detective David Loch said last week at St. Clare of Montefalco. "You have to take an active role."

The advice came during a training workshop that is part of an ambitious effort by the Archdiocese of Detroit over the past six years to help prevent abuse. In light of new reports about whether Catholic leaders properly handled abusive clergy, the Archdiocese of Detroit says it is recommitting itself to protecting children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Priest's abuse left son's life in shambles, parents say

Daytona Beach News-Journal


ORMOND BEACH -- Joe and Toni McMorrow no longer have faith in the church that both of their families belonged to for generations.

Their trust is gone.

Back in 2002, they saw their A-student son, a Maryland teenager with aspirations of attending the Air Force Academy, spiral into depression and drugs, finally dropping out of high school.

"It was just horrible seeing a bright, happy person go in that direction," Toni McMorrow told a small group gathered Sunday at the Ormond Beach Public Library.

The McMorrows said they confided at first in a priest, their parish's high school group leader and a confidant to their then-14-year-old son. A year later, while in drug rehab, their son shocked his parents, accusing that very same priest of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Commentary: Church Should ‘Abandon Shame,’ Embrace Accountability


[with audio]

BOSTON — This commentary was written by Peter Pollard, a clergy abuse survivor from Hatfield.

With the resignations of Irish bishops in the ongoing Catholic Church clergy abuse scandal, it appears the Vatican may be finally moving beyond a strategy of dealing with the crisis solely through declarations of shame, sadness and vague promises of woefully overdue reforms. Ironically, the things I learned recovering from sexual abuse by a priest, and later, working with sex offenders, may hold some lessons for the Church.

Here’s the deal: whether it’s deserved or misplaced, shame is always a dead-end street. Real healing only comes when guilt and responsibility for harmful actions is properly laid. That is what has been lacking in the Church’s response until now.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Commentary: Church Allegations Unjust, ‘Sensationalized’


[with audio]

Published April 26, 2010

BOSTON — This commentary was written by Carol McKinley, a self-described Catholic activist in Boston.

As a Catholic hungry for justice and truth, I’m disappointed by the unfair allegations that Pope Benedict XVI was complicit in obstructing justice in cases of sexual abuse.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith did not have jurisdiction over pedophile priests until 2001. Catholics familiar with the hierarchy are troubled by the gross exaggerations accusing the pope of aiding and abetting the sexual abuse of children.

It’s akin to putting the onus of misconduct by a soldier in Iraq on the president as the commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Bishops look for fresh approach to tackling abuse

Deutsche Welle

Roman Catholic bishops have met to discuss how they can better combat child abuse within church institutions. Members of the bishops’ conference decided that more emphasis should be placed on victims.

Catholic bishops met in the German city of Wuerzburg on Monday to discuss draft guidelines on dealing with allegations of sexual abuse more effectively.

"We have reworked the guidelines and made them clearer and more precise," said the conference representative on abuse Bishop Stephan Ackermann, referring to recently drafted rules.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Wise words (no, not those) in NYTs


I know some of you are tired of reading about the Vatican, clergy sexual abuse and, of course, the mainstream coverage of all of that.

However, please allow me offer an enthusiastic “Amen!” on behalf of the recent online commentary offered by New York Times columnist Ross Douthat about the Vatican and its ongoing difficulties relating to the mainstream press.

I do this, in part, as a way of saying, “Please read this,” as opposed to suggesting that you wade through the “Why we did absolutely nothing wrong” opus published this weekend by the newspaper’s public editor, Clark Hoyt. Look, if you must, for the headline, “Questioning the Pope.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

April 25, 2010

In Crisis, Catholic Church Plays ‘The Jew’

Religion Dispatches

By Benjamin Weiner
April 25, 2010

Why has the Catholic Church made so many controversial statements about Jews as it wrestles with a sexual abuse crisis? One could argue that, in the heart of a wounded church, a play is being made for the shroud of the victim.

As the Holy See continues to respond to the latest uproar over pedophilic priests—specifically the accusation that the Pope himself, when still Cardinal Ratzinger, was intimately involved in covering up the actions of serial molesters—the matter has become strangely entwined with another of the Church’s persistent headaches: the Jewish question.

First, on Good Friday, the Pope’s personal preacher offered a homily in which sustained criticism of the Vatican’s failure to stanch a hemorrhaging of child sexual abuse was equated with the persecution of Jews. The orator, the Reverand Raniero Cantalamessa, left most of the heavy lifting to the text of a letter he had received from an unnamed Jewish friend, which he cited extensively: ”I am following with indignation the violent and concentric attacks against the Church, the Pope and all the faithful by the whole world. The use of stereotypes, the passing from personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt remind me of the more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.’”

After this mind-bending comparison, it was perversely refreshing to read a statement that appeared a couple of days later on the Catholic website Pontifex, deploying the Jewish people on the battlefield of this scandal in the manner to which we are more accustomed. Giacomo Babini, emeritus bishop of Grosseto, is alleged to have suggested that the “powerful and refined” nature of the assault on the Pope’s character indicated it was part of a concerted “Zionist attack.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 PM

Q&A: Archbishop Gregory: ‘This should be a time for healing’

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Tom Sabulis
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Catholic church in North Georgia continues to grow, even as it deals with huge challenges — welcoming transplants and immigrants; planning new churches and schools; and reassuring parishioners about reports involving sexual abuse by priests.

Gregory, 62, recently addressed the growing pains, along with the new scandals, facing the Vatican.

The Atlanta archdiocese, according to Archbishop Wilton Gregory, now lists 850,000 Catholics in the territory: 95 parishes in 69 counties, served by 275 priests.

Q: What do you make of the criticisms leveled at the church in the past several months for covering up sexual abuse by priests?

A: I wish you were limited to [only] the last several months. It has taken on a new energy. It’s focused on the way that Rome, the Holy See, has handled these cases on the international level. Eight years ago we were more focused on the cases that faced the bishops of the United States. So it’s a reintroduction of an issue that has now taken on an international dimension.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

Sweden's Catholic leader takes blame for abuse silence

Inquirer (Philippines)

Agence France-Presse
First Posted 04:01:00 04/26/2010

STOCKHOLM—The head of Sweden's Catholics said Sunday he takes full responsibility for the failure to probe the alleged abuse of two sisters by a pedophile priest, first reported to the Church in 1990.

On Sunday, the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily published an interview with one of the alleged victims, who claims the Church kept quiet on her case for the past two decades despite repeated attempts to obtain justice.

"As a bishop I take full responsibility for that and am prepared to face the consequences," Anders Arborelius, the bishop of Stockholm, Sweden's only Catholic diocese, said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 PM

Pope's U.K. visit not in jeopardy after memo gaffe: Vatican

National Post (Canada)

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican moved Sunday to calm the waters after a British official document suggested the pope should open an abortion clinic and bless a gay marriage during his visit later this year.

"For us the case is closed," said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi after Britain's Foreign Office issued an apology following the publication of the internal document by the British newspaper the Sunday Telegraph.

A cover note on the document said it was produced in a brainstorming session and accepted that some of the ideas -- which also suggested Pope Benedict XVI should launch a line of condoms -- were "far-fetched".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Vatican fury at 'dark forces' in Britain: Aides warn offensive Foreign Office memo threatens Pope's historic visit


By Sam Greenhill, Nick Pisa and Jason Groves
Last updated at 11:07 PM on 25th April 2010

The Pope's visit to Britain has been plunged into jeopardy by 'dark forces' within the Foreign Office, Vatican officials declared yesterday.

They were furious at a 'seriously offensive' memo by Whitehall officials containing suggestions of what Benedict XVI might do during the trip - including opening an abortion clinic.

Other ideas involved getting the Pope to launch a range of 'Benedict' condoms, apologise for the Spanish Armada and bless a gay marriage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Catholic church faces possible class action

Times Colonist

By Monique Muise, Canwest News Service
April 25, 2010

The Roman Catholic Church in Quebec could soon be facing another major lawsuit over alleged sexual abuse at the hands of its priests.

A bid to launch a class action lawsuit against the church was filed this past week at the Montreal courthouse.

The statement of claim alleges that up to five priests were involved in the systematic abuse of young boys in the 1980s at the now-shuttered Séminaire St. Alphonse, in Ste. Anne de Beaupré, just outside Quebec City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 PM

Catholic bishops in India likely to set new guidelines on handling sex abuse complaints

Winnipeg Free Press


NEW DELHI - Roman Catholic archbishops in India are likely to set final guidelines to be followed in cases of sexual abuse complaints against priests, church officials said Sunday.

The new policy is expected to recommend cases be forwarded to lay authorities for action. That would be in line with policy recently spelled out by the Vatican, an official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

The Vatican posted on its website April 12 what it claimed was a long-standing policy telling bishops to report abuse to police, where civil laws require it. Such a policy had never been explicitly stated, however, and the guideline was not an official instruction from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Pope 'could cancel UK visit' over 'offensive' Foreign Office memo


By Gordon Rayner and Nick Pisa in Rome

Senior Papal aides suggested the Foreign Office had not taken strong enough disciplinary action against those responsible for the document, which suggested the Pope should open an abortion clinic, bless a homosexual marriage and launch his own range of condoms while he is here.

No-one has lost their job over the memo, which was sent to Downing Street and at least three Whitehall departments, and the civil servant who authorised it has simply been moved to other duties.

One highly-placed source in the Vatican said: “This could have very severe repercussions and is embarrassing for the British government - one has to question whether the action taken is enough.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Pope: priests must protect kids

Bloomberg Businessweek



Pope Benedict XVI told priests Sunday to safeguard children in their charge from evil and win the "absolute" trust of their flock, even as his own papacy is clouded by accusations he and other top churchmen failed to protect minors adequately from pedophile clergy.

Since a trip to Malta a week earlier when he wept with adults who had been sexually abused as children by priests, Benedict seems to be stepping up his reaction as the scandal deepens and widens, posing the most challenging crisis in decades for the Roman Catholic church.

Benedict, in remarks to the public in St. Peter's Square Sunday, told priests they must "fight for the defense of the flock," defend their charges from "evil" and ensure that faithful can place "absolute trust" in their pastors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Reports: Pope may cancel U.K. visit

United Press International

VATICAN CITY, April 25 (UPI) -- Pope Benedict XVI may cancel a planned visit to Britain after a memo by government workers mocked him and criticized the Catholic Church, published reports say.

The Daily Telegraph and The Times of London Online cited Vatican sources saying the memo prompted the pope to consider scuttling the trip, scheduled for Sept. 16-19. The memo, titled "The Ideal Visit," was written by junior Foreign Office workers after a brainstorming session on ways to welcome the pontiff, the office said.

Sections of the memo published by the Telegraph suggested launching "Benedict" condoms and called on the pope to open an abortion clinic, bless a gay marriage, sponsor a network of AIDS clinics, ordain a female priest and train bishops on how to respond to child-abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Catholic priest defies minister of justice

The Foreigner

Published on Sunday, 25th April, 2010 at 21:15 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson

Silence is golden

It looks as though parts of the Norwegian Catholic Church are sticking to their principles, no matter what.

“I have an absolute duty of confidentiality relating to issues I hear under confession, no matter what the politicians demand,” Pater Rolf Bowitz of St Svithun Catholic Church in Stavanger tells Stavanger Aftenblad.

A possible one-year jail sentence for those who fail to report, or otherwise prevent cases of sexual abuse of minors hasn’t ruffled his clerical collar.

Last week, Knut Storberget, Labour’s (Ap) Minister of Justice, announced he’ll be proposing a bill of amendment to Parliament regarding the obligation to prevent serious criminal acts (avvergingsplikt).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Google fined for 'pedophile' libel

Sydney Morning Herald


Google has been fined $US8,500 ($A9,169) in Brazil after an anonymous internet user posted defamatory messages on one of its sites against a priest, calling him a "pedophile" media reported on Sunday.

A court in the state of Minas Gerais ruled in favor of the 54-year-old priest, identified by his initials JR, after rejecting Google's argument that the US web giant was not responsible for what users posted on its Orkut social networking site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 PM

Chilean Cardinal Pledges Full Abuse Investigation

ABC News (United States)

By FEDERICO QUILODRAN Associated Press Writer
SANTIAGO, Chile April 25, 2010

A top Roman Catholic official in Chile acknowledged in a letter Sunday that he suspended an investigation into alleged abuses by a priest because he was looking for more evidence.

But Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz assured parishioners the church investigation is again under way into the retired Rev. Fernando Karadima, who also is the subject of a Chilean prosecutor's criminal probe.

"After an initial investigation ... I suspended the matter to wait for new evidence, analyze more deeply what we already had and hold new consultations with experts in canonical law," Errazuriz said in the letter, which was read aloud to all parishes in the archdiocese of the capital, Santiago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

Belgian Cardinal Accused of Ignoring Abuse Reports

The Wall Street Journal

BRUSSELS—One of Europe's most respected clerics was accused over the weekend of ignoring reports of sexual abuse by the bishop of Bruges, who resigned last week over the scandal.

Belgium's Godfried Danneels, a retired cardinal who was once a contender for the papacy, was allegedly informed in the 1990s that Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, now 73, had molested a young man. Monsignor Vangheluwe admitted to the abuse last week, and Pope Benedict XVI accepted his resignation Friday.

The Dutch-language daily De Standaard reported on Friday that two former priests had personally informed Cardinal Danneels, 77, about Bishop Vangheluwe's abuse several times between the mid-1990s and early 2000s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

Abuser's Catholic Order Awaits Vatican Judgment

ABC News (United States)

By RACHEL ZOLL AP Religion Writer
April 25, 2010

One of the next tests for Pope Benedict XVI in the burgeoning clergy abuse crisis is deciding the fate of a once-prominent, strict religious order that now admits its late founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, fathered at least one child and molested underage seminarians.

Results of a Vatican investigation that Benedict ordered last year into the Legionaries of Christ are expected to be released soon, at a time when the Roman Catholic Church is under intense pressure to aggressively confront abuse.

The case is far more complex for Benedict and his aides than uncovering what Maciel did. Although Legion officials insist they have only just learned of Maciel's misdeeds, many critics suspect the clergymen knew that the founder hurt children and led a double life, but did nothing about it. Maciel, who died in 2008 at age 87, had groomed many of the top leaders for their posts. The current general director, the Rev. Alvaro Corcuera, was at Maciel's deathbed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:30 PM

Notorious paedophile priest found 'helping' with children

Sunday Tribune (Ireland)

Defrocked Irish cleric Oliver O'Grady discovered running children's parties, volunteering at women's refuge and assisting at Dutch church

EXCLUSIVE Ali Bracken Crime Correspondent

'DEFROCKED Irish paedophile priest Oliver O'Grady has been living in the Netherlands where he acted as a church deacon assisting mass and helped out at a shelter for vulnerable women and their children, the Sunday Tribune has discovered.

The photograph published here today shows O'Grady, a serial abuser who has served seven years in a US prison for his crimes, watching over a christening at a Rotterdam church where he used his middle name, Francis.

The expatriate community attending the Church of the Holy Heart, Christ Our Redeemer, had no knowledge of the past of the man who called himself "Brother Francis". He also volunteered at a homeless shelter and worked at a fast-food restaurant in Rotterdam where he helped organise children's parties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:25 PM

All faith communities must stop putting children at risk

National Catholic Reporter

by Bill Tammeus on Apr. 21, 2010

Ever since I began reading about the priest sexual abuse scandal years ago, I have wondered whether Protestants would have handled it any better than Catholics have.

I doubt it, although Protestant failures almost certainly would have been different from Catholic miscarriages.

The primary Catholic failure, as I judge it from the outside, has been the inexcusable propensity to protect the church at the expense of children.

By contrast (but nonetheless related to the Catholic response), the Protestant failure probably would have been to assume that perpetrators could be cured by God’s grace and thus given countless chances.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Ministers apologise for insult to Pope


By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent

The astonishing proposals, leaked to The Sunday Telegraph, were contained in secret papers drawn up earlier this month by civil servants following a 'brainstorm’.

The ideas, included in a memo headed 'The ideal visit would see ...’, ridiculed the Catholic Church’s teachings including its opposition to abortion, homosexual behaviour and contraception. Many appeared to be deliberately provocative rather than a serious attempt to plan an itinerary for the September visit.

The proposals, which were then circulated among key officials in Downing Street and Whitehall, also include the Pope opening an abortion ward; spending the night in a council flat in Bradford; doing forward rolls with children to promote healthy living; and even performing a duet with the Queen.

In reference to the hugely sensitive issue of child abuse engulfing the Catholic Church, the Government document suggests that the Pope should take a “harder line on child abuse – announce sacking of dodgy bishops” and “launch helpline for abused children”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Secret lives of the lost boys

Times of Malta

Claire Bonello

Days after meeting Pope Benedict, XVI, two Maltese men at the centre of a Church abuse scandal tell Claire Bonello they do not feel animosity towards the priest who caused them distress. They are angry, however, about the justice system.

Lawrence Grech's first proper swimming lesson took place when he was 11 years old. That is when he got thrown into the deep blue waters off the Ċirkewwa coast.

With nothing to cling on to, the skinny orphan flailed around to stop himself from going under. He gasped for air but ended up gulping seawater and paddling even more desperately than before.

Just as his head was about to disappear under the water, strong arms held him up, lifting him to safety.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Wake up and face reality

Times of Malta

Fr Joe Borg

One of the very important meetings that took place during the Pope's visit to Malta was the unannounced meeting he had with a group of men who recounted horror stories of their experiences while being 'cared for' at a Church home for children at St Venera.

All Maltese media referred to the meeting as one between the 'alleged' victims and the Pope. On the other hand, the highest authority of the Catholic Church, undoubtedly for reasons it believes to be valid, decided to drop the word 'alleged' when referring to these experiences.

The Vatican Information Service (VIS) cannot be accused of being a sensationalist news service. It is difficult to find a more prim and proper news service. It cannot be accused of dropping the word 'alleged' because it wanted to be sensationalist. I do not think it dropped the word for lack of knowledge of how such incidents were being reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Disgraced priest released from prison overnight


STUART, FL -- A Martin County Corrections employee tells Newschannel 5 that Father John Skehan was released from prison early Sunday morning.

The former Delray Beach priest served less than a year behind bars for his role in the disappearance of a half million dollars from the collection plate at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Swedish bishop apologizes for not investigating child abuse claims

The Republic (United States)

STOCKHOLM — The Swedish Catholic Church has issued an apology after a newspaper revealed it had not investigated claims of child sexual abuse by a priest.

Bishop Anders Arborelius says he takes "full responsibility and is prepared to face the consequences" for not investigating the case, that was first reported to the church in 1990.

Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter reported earlier Sunday that a woman and her sister were sexually abused by a priest in the 1950s-1960s. It said the church didn't investigate their claims until last week, despite repeated reports from the women to church officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Is the news media being fair to the pope?…John Shelby Spong answers

Voice from the Desert

Sally and Jon from The Washington Post, write: Is the news media being fair to the pope? Is the media biased against the Catholic Church or its hierarchy? How would you advise the pope?

Dear Sally and Jon:

The bias in the media is not against the Catholic Church. That is little more than face-saving defensiveness. The bias is against the abuse of children and young people by priests. The bias is against a systematic cover-up on every level of the Catholic hierarchy. The bias is against saying how deeply this abuse is regretted on one hand and on the other promoting Cardinal Bernard Law, one of the most guilty prelates in America, to a position in the Vatican where he will no longer have to answer questions under oath.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Abuse too heavy a cross to bear

Boston Herald

By Margery Eagan
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Boston Herald Columnist

The long-simmering pot may, at last, be boiling over.

Boston’s Catholic sex-abuse crisis has now gone global. Last week bishops in Germany, Belgium and Ireland resigned in disgrace. For the first time, a lawyer has sued the Vatican itself in U.S. federal court, demanding that it “disgorge the secrets” in its files, just as Boston lawyers once demanded of then-Cardinal Law, and won.

In an amazing repudiation of Pope Benedict XVI, the German church vicar who had claimed responsibility for protecting a pedophile priest in then-Joseph Ratzinger’s diocese has changed his story. Now Gerhard Gruber says he only took the blame after being bullied by higher-ups hoping to protect the Pope.

Last week, as well, abuse survivor Bernie McDaid, who met with Benedict himself two years ago, detailed plans for what he calls a “Day of Reformation” at St. Peter’s Square in Rome. He has chosen Oct. 31, the day the Reformation in Europe began with Martin Luther posting his 95 theses on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany. ...

Terry McKiernan is the founder of BishopAccountability.org, which has meticulously documented the careers of such bishops. Yesterday McKiernan said real change in the church, if it comes at all, will come from a “more boring” route: a dry-up of money from Germany and America, the Vatican’s chief sources of cash, plus police investigations and lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Deeds, Not Words

America Magazine

John F. Kavanaugh | MAY 3, 2010

W as it a sign, a warning to us Catholics, that the continuing child-abuse scandal flared once again, this time during Holy Week? We saw a parade of articles, attacks and defenses—all, by my reading, beside the fundamental point. Some of the defenses were embarrassing, ranging from self-serving claims that Catholic clergy members are no more abusive than any other group, that the criticisms amounted to gossip and media bias against the church, that everything was to blame but ourselves. Even Pope Benedict’s heartfelt but stern letter to the church in Ireland seemed not to register in any meaningful way. Words failed.

Among the scribes of culture and church, allusions were made to Holy Week itself. But no one asked why Jesus himself was rejected and executed.

We are at a crossroads: the way of Maciel or the way of Romero.The Gospel reading for the eve of Passion/Palm Sunday makes it quite clear that Jesus was a threat to vested national and religious interests. “If people believe in him, we will lose our land and our nation.” The reigning powers saw that he was a danger to their property, privilege and power. Even his apostles, arguing over who would be first in the kingdom, have to be rebuked by Jesus. In Luke’s account Jesus says: “Among pagans, it is the kings who lord it over them.... This must not happen with you.” The Christ-formed leader must never “lord” it over others. And any Christian leadership rejecting that command is destined not only to failure, but to being a countersign to the Gospels. Such leaders might muster sympathy for their own caste, but precious little for any other. This is the worm at the core of many believers’ discontent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Caruana Colombo confirms Church not obliged to report sex abuse cases

The Malta Independent

by Francesca Vella

Judge Victor Caruana Colombo, head of the Archbishop’s Curia’s Response Team, that was set up to deal with cases of child sex abuse by members of the clergy, has confirmed to The Malta Independent on Sunday: “At the moment there is no law in Malta obliging the Church to report child sex abuse cases to the police.”

The Malta Independent on Sunday spoke to Judge Caruana Colombo, particularly in view of somewhat conflicting media reports regarding the interpretation of the new Vatican guidelines vis-à-vis the work of the Response Team.

The guidelines make it clear that child sex abuse cases should be reported to the police, if required by law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Churches should engage in fight against sexual abuse- Rev. Nguimbi

Angola Press

Luanda – The secretary general of the Council of Christian Churches in Angola (CICA), reverend Luís Nguimbi, on Saturday in Luanda urged churches to hold awareness campaigns on the increasing cases of sexual abuse.

Speaking to Angop on church's role in the pacification of minds in face of the increasing rate of child sexual abuse in Angola, the reverend stated that while the psychologists and sociologists study the society and man in particular, the church also has the mission to take problems of the country to God.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Pope Hails Anti-Pedophilia Group

The New York Times

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI told priests Sunday they must protect their flock from harm and regain trust as he hailed efforts to battle pedophilia but did not mention the sex abuse scandals buffeting his papacy.

Benedict noted Sunday was Italy's national day to remember children who are victims of violence and offered praised for a group, led by an Italian priest, that pioneered efforts in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation to combat ''violence, exploitation and indifference'' toward children.

The pope didn't mention the word pedophilia, but the association he cited, known as Meter, has denounced cases of pedophile priests in Italy. The group was founded by the Rev. Fortunato Di Noto. Earlier this year, Di Noto lamented that some of these cases were handled ''with imprudence'' by the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Catholic Church in crisis following sexual abuse scandal

News Provider

The German Catholic Church is in crisis following the sexual abuse scandal accompli and hidden for decades in schools and boarding schools across the country. Several studies published today show that one in four is faithful leave the Catholic Church.

A survey by the Forsa institute, one of the largest polling companies in Germany, supports this finding and adds that 77% of the respondents have the impression that the Catholic Church hierarchy still tries to conceal clergy sex scandals.

The dropouts are visible. In the diocese of Bamberg, where until recently the casualties did not exceed 200 to 300 worshipers per month have been recorded during March 1400, in Würzburg, has risen from 400 to over 1,200. In Augsburg, the lowest since early this year now total more than 4,300 faithful. In Regensburg, have multiplied by five.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Priest sex abuse: WWMD?

The Arizona Republic

by Karina Bland - Apr. 25, 2010
The Arizona Republic .

What would Mary do?

The cover story of the April 12 Newsweek magazine raises the question of what Jesus' mother, Mary- or any women, for that matter - would have done differently in handling the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests.

For sure, Mary would not have screwed it up so badly.

On Wednesday, Pope Benedict XVI spoke publicly for the first time about decades of clerical sexual abuse within the church. He told the crowd in St. Peter's Square in Rome that he gave "assurances of the church's action" at a recent meeting with eight men who said they were abused by priests in a church-operated orphanage on Malta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

An unholy mess

India Today

The sex scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church from the Americas to Europe may have hogged international headlines, but for Kerala, cases of rape and sexual abuse by priests and nuns, and attempts by the church to brush such cases under the carpet, have had a history of recurring as media stories.

Sex is taboo for nuns in all Christian denominations and for priests in most of them. Yet a section violates this rule with impunity, even resorting to murder to silence the voices that may blow the whistle. And in most such cases in Kerala, the church has had no qualms in flexing its financial, religious and political muscles to shield the black sheep from the law of the land. The Sister Abhaya case is a classic example.

According to the CBI, Sister Abhaya, a 17-year-old college student in Kottayam, had inadvertently stumbled upon the tryst of Father Jose Poothrikkayil, Father Thomas Koottoor and Sister Sephy at the St Pius X Convent on March 2, 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

SoCO Church Announces Local Link to Alleged Abuse


[with video]

An announcement was made Saturday at the Divine Redeemer Catholic Church in Colorado Springs. Rev. Jim Klein, Pastor for Divine Redeemer said a former priest from the church is accused of molesting a boy during the 1970's.

The Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs is asking anyone with abuse allegations contact the diocese office.

The accused priest, Fr. Melvin Thompson is on suspension by the Denver Archdiocese, pending an internal investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Professor's view: Witch hunt for gay priests off base when target should be child abusers

Duluth News Tribune

By: Iver Bogen

Pope Benedict XVI in August 2005 ordered an investigation of America’s 229 Catholic seminaries in order to eliminate gay seminarians. The week of Sept. 27, Vatican investigators began the “witch-hunt” at the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. The question posed to the students: “Are you, or have you ever been, a homosexual?”

The investigation was reminiscent of the house arrest of Galileo in his home near Florence from 1633 until his death in 1642 for espousing the Copernican heliocentric view of the universe. The church does not suffer “heretical” thinking well and is extremely slow in altering its doctrines to be consistent with scientific progress as well as changes in cultural mores regarding acceptable human behaviors.

In the 1994 edition of the Catholic Catechism, the church had this to say about homosexuality: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Pedophile priest's release raises concerns

Daily World

By Amanda McElfresh • For the Daily World • April 25, 2010

LAFAYETTE — Former Acadiana priest and convicted pedophile Gilbert Gauthe was released from a Texas jail this week after serving a two-year sentence for violating that state's sex offender registration laws.

Gauthe, 64, had been incarcerated in the Galveston County jail since April 2008, after he failed to properly notify law enforcement authorities when he moved.

His release has raised new concerns for some in Acadiana, particularly those connected with his victims. Gauthe served 10 years of a 20-year sentence after being convicted in 1985 of molesting several Vermilion Parish boys while a priest with the Diocese of Lafayette. He also had been stationed at churches in Broussard and Iberia Parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Harrisburg diocese: We'll restore confidence


By Patriot-News Op-Ed
April 25, 2010

Make no mistake, sexual abuse of a child is wrong.

That is why the Diocese of Harrisburg has made strong and decisive steps to combat it. Critics of the church, including this newspaper’s editorial board, have misrepresented the policies of the Catholic Church.

Locally, the diocese maintains zero tolerance regarding child abuse.

One credible allegation immediately and permanently removes the accused from ministry. Multiple background checks are conducted on every adult who interacts with children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Church must be vigilant on abuse

The Daily Advocate

The name seemed destined to resurface. And, amid the recent flurry of accusations that Pope Benedict XVI may have helped conceal reports of sexual abuse of children by priests, there it was — Gilbert Gauthe.

Gauthe, once a priest in Acadiana, was to be released Thursday from jail in Galveston County, Texas. He was arrested in April 2008 for violating the Texas sex offender registration law. Fifteen years ago, Gauthe was accused of touching a Texas 3-year-old inappropriately. At that time, he had only recently been released from prison in Louisiana, where he was the epicenter of an earthquake. The Vatican is still feeling aftershocks.

The crimes and allegations involved go back nearly 40 years. The Roman Catholic Church continues to struggle with the effects of the crimes and, in what may be a tougher and more important struggle, its role in hiding them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Former Congressman Mark Foley, abused by Maltese priest, also hopes for apology

The Malta Independent

Following last Sunday’s landmark meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and a group of Maltese victims of abuse, former Congressman Mark Foley, who was himself abused by a Maltese priest in his youth told the Florida press that he is hoping for the same thing for him and for all victims of clergy abuse.

Fr Anthony Mercieca had abused Mr Foley as a child, abuse that the priest himself has admitted to when he had served in Florida.

“The priest befriended me and started slowly making me feel like a special child, and, as time went by, things advanced and we were going to steam rooms and places where I had no idea what we were doing but nonetheless, it was happening,” he told the WPTV television station after hearing the news of Sunday’s meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Church takes steps to aid healing, ensure safety

Battle Creek Enquirer

Victoria Cessna is director of communications and Deacon Patrick Hall is director of the Office of Safe Environment for the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo.

When a precious child's innocent life is harmed our hearts break - for them and for their families. We, as a Catholic community, are deeply saddened and distressed over the ongoing scandal of accounts of clergy sexual abuse being so highly publicized. Sexual abuse of children leaves lifelong scars; it is a crime which steals the peace and joy that each child deserves as a birthright. While we are not able to erase the past, and nothing that can be said or done can ever right the wrongs, the Catholic Church is committed to keep working tirelessly and passionately to protect all children, and to provide whatever opportunities possible to bring about healing for any and all victims.

While recent headlines and news reports provide details on past cases of clergy sexual abuse, those same reports have omitted the significant changes made within the Church, both here in the Diocese of Kalamazoo and in all Catholic dioceses in the United States, to safeguard our precious children.

Since 2002, with the implementation from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops of the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People," the Diocese of Kalamazoo has done the following to aid in the healing and restoration of victims and their families and to ensure the highest level of safety possible to all children:

• Began and continues a Trauma Recovery Program for all Catholic adult victims and survivors of any childhood trauma and/or neglect. This program, which is offered free of charge to all Catholics regardless of who abused them - clergy, parent, sibling, relative, teacher, coach, neighbor, etc. - is directed by licensed professionals with the goal to help individuals learn new tools to improve their lives and to heal by learning to integrate their feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Since the fall of 2002, approximately 300 people have participated in the program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Victoria priest addresses Catholic church sex scandals

Victoria Advocate

Erica Rodriguez • Originally published April 24, 2010

The Rev. Stan DeBoe, pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, is familiar with sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

DeBoe, a Trinitarian, spent three years beginning in 2005 addressing the issue with victims and abusers. The experience left him with hope for healing and focus on prevention in the church, he said.

"That probably had to be one of my most challenging jobs," he said. "It's not always easy to look at the dark side of our lives, and this really made us look at what sin was like inside of the church and how we can bring hope and healing out of it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Quinn says ownership of religious schools should go to state

Sunday Tribune

Conor McMorrow

Face in the crowd: new Labour TD Jerry CowleyTHE 18 religious congregations, which were heavily criticised in the Ryan report into residential institutional abuse, should transfer the legal ownership of their schools to the state to help share the costs of the Redress Board, according to the Labour party's education spokesman Ruairi Quinn.

Quinn welcomed the government's decision that the congregations should share the costs of the Redress Board on a 50:50 basis. But as the religious orders need to find an extra €200m to reach this goal, he claimed that Labour in government would negotiate with the congregations to secure the transfer of the schools and educational infrastructure at no cost to the state. "This transfer by the religious congregations would go a long way towards making a fair and just contribution to the massive redress costs," said Quinn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Convicted paedophile priest worked at shelter with children

Breaking News

A convicted paedophile priest spent time living in the Netherlands where he helped out at a shelter for vulnerable women and their children, according to newspaper reports.

A Sunday Tribune article says that Oliver O'Grady acted as a church deacon assisting mass.

According to the nespaper, defrocked priest Oliver O'Grady's crimes include the sexual abuse of over 20 boys and girls - including a nine-month-old baby.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Pope hails anti-pedophilia group

Taiwan News

Pope Benedict XVI is praising an Italian priest's group which battles pedophilia.

Benedict's encouragement for clergy and lay people to work to prevent sexual and other abuse of children comes after weeks of accusations he and other top churchmen helped perpetuate systematic cover-ups of molester priests worldwide.

The pope told pilgrims and tourists gathered in St. Peter's Square Sunday that he was grateful for those who are supporting his papacy with prayers but made no direct mention of the accusations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Vatican denies celibacy link to priest sex abuse


Vatican number two Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone insisted Sunday there was no cause-and-effect link between priestly celibacy and the child sexual abuse revelations rocking the Roman Catholic Church.

"There is no direct link between celibacy and the deviant behaviour of certain priests," Pope Benedict XVI's secretary of state told the Spanish newspaper Vanguardia.

"On the contrary, it is precisely the failure to remain celibate that gradually degrades the life of a priest, until he ceases to be an example, a gift, a spiritual guide for others," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

April 24, 2010

Church Fighting To Deny Justice To Victims

The Hartford Courant


April 25, 2010

Several weeks ago, a victim in the St. Francis Hospital child sexual abuse case called me, sobbing and suicidal.

"Nobody cares," he said. "Nobody cares."

The Archdiocese of Hartford doesn't care, I told him. But Catholics care. People care. Someday, I said, the church and the hospital will apologize, acknowledging their responsibility, under the weight of public pressure, legal obligation or moral repentance.

Do not give up, I told the victim, now over 50 years old. An apology is worth the fight.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 PM

Springs church announces that priest accused of abuse worked in parish

The Gazette

April 24, 2010
The Gazette
Before his sermon this evening at Divine Redeemer Catholic Church, the Rev. Jim Klein read a statement from Michael Sheridan, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs.

Melvin Thompson, a Denver priest accused of molesting a boy in the early 1970s, was a pastor during that time at the Springs church, the announcement said.

“He asked that anyone with abuse allegations contact the diocese," Klein read from the statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 PM

Church scandal’s next wave: Abused girls

Toronto Star

By Mary Ormsby

Father Charlie told the girl with the cascading brown curls and frilly frocks that she was pretty. Special. One of his favourites.

In the small Ontario town of Pain Court, a French-Canadian community near Chatham, Father Charlie’s attention was prized by devout Roman Catholic families like Cecilia McLauchlin’s. His interest in their daughter meant the popular priest, once described as “next to God,” publicly approved of how she was being raised.

So when a gynecologist examined the girl for recurring vaginal infections, it didn’t occur to anyone that Father Charlie was the cause of her physical pain.

Cecilia McLauchlin was only 5 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 PM

Times public editor on sex-abuse coverage


April 24, 2010, 5:17 pm Posted by Paul Moses

I was wondering when the public editor at The New York Times, Clark Hoyt, would deal with the avalanche of criticism over the paper’s stories that examined Pope Benedict XVI’s handling of clergy sexual abuse cases. Now, he has. He concludes:

Like it or not, there are circumstances that have justifiably driven this story for years, including a well-documented pattern of denial and cover-up in an institution with billions of followers. Painful though it may be, the paper has an obligation to follow the story where it leads, even to the pope’s door.

Hoyt focuses on the article that attracted the most controversy, a March 25 story on the case of the Rev. Lawrence Murphy, the Milwaukee priest who admittedly molested dozens of deaf boys and possibly as many as 200.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 PM

Pope will make historic apology for abuse

The Independent (United Kingdom)

By John Phillips in Rome

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Pope Benedict XVI is planning to make the first general apology for the abuse of children and minors by Roman Catholic priests when he meets thousands of clergymen from around the world in June at the climax of the International Year for Priests, Vatican sources say.

In the past there have been papal or church apologies for individual cases of paedophilia or for abuse in specific countries, for example during the German pontiff's recent visit to Malta. What is being prepared now would be the first time a pope seeks to atone publicly for the extent to which paedophilia has been a major stain on the modern history of the church touching a constellation of countries, say the sources at the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy. It could be considered comparable to the historic step that the previous pope, John Paul II, took in apologising to the Jews for historic church anti-Semitism and for misdeeds during the Crusades, they say.

Vatican officials hope such an unprecedented act of penance by Benedict, together with thousands of clergymen in St Peter's Square, 9-11 June, will do much to lay to rest the scandal and defuse protests that might disrupt his trip to Britain in September. The encounter will form the climax of the special year of events designed in part to encourage vocations to the cloth but which instead has been marred by the mushrooming paedophile scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 PM

Defrock whip to curb abuse

The Telegraph

New Delhi, April 24: Church authorities in India are coming out with a radical policy on sexual abuse, including “defrocking” priests found guilty, the tough measures coming in the wake of a series of scandals that have buffeted the wider Catholic Church.

The move comes nearly a week after Pope Benedict, in his first gesture since a new wave of sexual abuse scandals swept over Roman Catholicism amid allegations of cover-ups, promised that the Church would do “all in its power” to bring the guilty to justice.

An Indian priest, too, was charged with sexually abusing a minor in America.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 PM

Abuse of a ‘boy’ or a ‘young man’?


[with video]

Anyone who picked up a major newspaper today knows that one of the hot stories on the other side of the Atlantic is the resignation of Bishop Roger Vangheluwe of Brugge, Belgium — the latest star to fall in the current wave of clergy sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church.

But why did the bishop resign? This is where to plot gets more complicated. On closer inspection of the words located in between some crucial major-media quotation marks, it appears that we may have another translation problem on our hands. Yes, we’re talking about the New York Times, again.

Here is the top of one report from Catholic News Service, a source that tends to take church documents very seriously. Let us attend:

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of a Belgian bishop who admitted to sexually abusing a young man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 PM

Male sexual abuse victims demand better treatment from Ottawa, Quebec

Canada East

Jonathan Montpetit, THE CANADIAN PRESS

MONTREAL - The problem, for Dr. Real Cloutier, was that no one believed him when he tried to speak about the abuse he suffered as a child in Quebec's orphanages.

So he stopped talking about it for more than forty years. The decades of silence took their toll: he once put a gun in his mouth, but couldn't pull the trigger.

Now in his sixties, Cloutier still can't escape the nightmares-the psychological ravages that come with being a victim of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 PM

Questioning the Pope

The New York Times

Published: April 24, 2010

A TOP Vatican official said The Times “lacks fairness in its coverage of Pope Benedict.” The archbishop of Brooklyn urged parishioners to “besiege” the paper and send a message that the Catholic Church will no longer be its “personal punching bag.” Writers in The Wall Street Journal and other publications have assailed the paper.

“Falsehood upon falsehood,” the Rev. Raymond J. de Souza, a priest and professor at Queen’s University in Ontario, wrote in Canada’s National Post.

Hundreds of people have written to me. “I am outraged each time The Times intentionally disparages the Catholic Church, its pope and its bishops,” said Richard Kelly of Pittsburgh. Edwina and Gene Cosgriff of Staten Island wrote that The Times was guilty of “a yellow journalism hatchet job on a holy, venerable, outstanding religious leader.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

Belgium abuse charges ignored: retired priest

CBC News (Canada)

A retired priest in Belgium said he told church authorities years ago about allegations that the country's longest-serving bishop had sexually abused a boy, but the complaints were ignored.

Rik Devillle told Belgian media he reported the allegations to Godfried Danneels, then archbishop ,15 years ago after he learned of the claims from a confidant of the boy's family.

Roger Vangheluwe was forced to resign Friday after admitting he sexually abused the child while serving as pastor and then bishop of the Flemish city Bruges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:29 PM

Belgian Cardinal denies cover-up of bishop sex abuse


Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels on Saturday denied covering up sex abuses committed by the bishop of Bruges, who has admitted the charges and resigned.

A retired priest, Rik Deville, said after the abuse came to light on Friday that he had informed the cardinal of the matter in the 1990s, but had received no response.

The cardinal, who stood down as Belgian primate last year, denied Deville's charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:21 PM

Cardenal Errázuriz anuncia carta pastoral sobre casos de abuso sexual


Después de una reunión con el Presidente Sebastián Piñera en la que también participó el presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal, Alejandro Goic, el arzobispo de Santiago, cardenal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, señaló que divulgará una carta pastoral que redactará para los representantes de la iglesia chilena explicando la situación de los abusos sexuales cometidos por sacerdotes.

“Sobre este tema yo le voy a escribir una carta a los párrocos y, por lo tanto, a las comunidades cristianas. Este fin de semana ustedes lo van a conocer, y por eso no quisiera pronunciarme más sobre el tema”, dijo Errázuriz al retirarse de La Moneda.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Llama el obispo de Tehuacán a no magnificar abusos del padre Aguilar

La Jornada

Viernes 23 de abril de 2010, p. 43
Puebla, Pue., 22 de abril. El obispo de la diócesis de Tehuacán, Rodrigo Aguilar Martínez, pidió que los medios de comunicación no magnifiquen las denuncias por casos de pederastia cometidos por el sacerdote Nicolás Aguilar Rivera y en contra de esa demarcación religiosa, la cual presuntamente protegió al cura que abusó de decenas de niños durante su estancia en esa región.

“Estos hechos son dolorosos, se deben enfrentar, pero no se tienen que magnificar más de lo que son. Aunque hay hechos negativos, también existen acciones positivas de muchos sacerdotes”, expresó el jerarca eclesiástico, al tiempo de manifestar su disposición a colaborar en las investigaciones, “ya que siempre existirá disposición por parte de la diócesis para responder a los hechos sin evadirlos”, afirmó.


The bishop of the Tehuacan diocese, Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez, asked the media not to magnify the allegations of pedophilia allegedly committeed by priest Nicolas Aguilar Rivera and against church officials who are said to have protected the priest.

The fact are painful and they must be faced but the issue does not have to be magnified even more, he said. Although there are negative facts, there are also many positive actions by priests, he added.

Meanwhile, Joaquin Aguilar, a leading activitist of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, revealed that between 110 and 120 cases of child abuse have been documented against children who were abused by Nicolas Aguilar but he added there could be dozens more since Guatemalan children spent the ight and received refuge by this priest when he served in a parish in Tehuacan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Sacerdotes acusados pueden seguir cometiendo abusos, alerta la SNAP

La Jornada

Carolina Gómez Mena

Sábado 24 de abril de 2010, p. 35
Aunque la Conferencia del Episcopado Mexicano y la Arquidiócesis de México critiquen la lista de 68 clérigos identificados como pederastas por la Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Sexual por Sacerdotes (SNAP, por sus siglas en inglés), un hecho concreto es que “todos los sacerdotes citados ahí, ejerzan o no, o se encuentren en otras diócesis, fueron acusados de abusar de menores y lo seguirán haciendo donde estén, oficien o no”, aseveró Eric Barragán Burgueño, presidente para América Latina de la red.

En entrevista, Barragán Burgueño dijo que el listado es “tan útil”, que casi inmediatamente después que se dio a conocer, el cardenal Norberto Rivera Carrera suspendió de su ministerio a Lucas Antonio Galván Valdez para analizar su situación legal y canónica, tras ser identificado como pederasta, determinación que “no pudo tomar el cardenal durante los ocho años que ejerció este sacerdote en la Arquidiócesis de México”. De no ser por la revelación de la lista, “seguiría oficiando”, consideró.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

'Ik wist het al langer'

Het Nieuwsblad

WINGENE - Norbert Bethune van rent-a-priest was gisteren niet geschokt over de onthullingen van bisschop Roger Vangheluwe. Hij kaartte de zaak al eens aan, maar kreeg geen gehoor.

Priester Norbert Bethune was in de jaren negentig een voortrekker in de strijd tegen kindermisbruik binnen de kerk. 'Ik ben helemaal niet geschokt door het nieuws dat we te horen kregen', zegt Bethune. 'Ik wist het al langer.'

Bethune stond destijds samen met Rik Devillé aan het hoofd van de werkgroep Mensenrechten in de Kerk. 'Daar hebben we toen al uit de omgeving van het slachtoffer een melding binnen gekregen. We hebben toen trouwens, tijdens de naweeën van de Dutroux-affaire, heel wat meldingen van seksueel misbruik binnengekregen. Maar we werden nestbevuilers genoemd en we zijn heel vaak tegen gesloten deuren gebotst.'


WINGENE - Norbert Bethune said yesterday he was not shocked by revelations of Bishop Roger Vangheluwe. Bethune was in the 1990s a pioneer in the fight against child abuse within the church. He said he knew that the bishop had abused a minor and had reported it years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Pedo Priest Once Again Released From Prison Amidst Vatican Scandal

Chattah Box

(Texas) – Gilbert Gauthe, the infamous priest who was convicted in 1985 of sexually abusing 35 children, and was suspected of molesting dozens more, has been released from jail yet again.

Gauthe caused mass shock around the world long before the current scandal to hit the Vatican, after it became clear that he had been using his position in the church to abuse as many as 100 children. ...

And now he is back, living in Santa Fe, Texas, according to his sex offender registry. Right next door to a woman who babysits her six young grandchildren every week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

2 ex-priests: we reported Belgian bishop sex abuse

The Associated Press

BRUSSELS — Two former priests say they told church authorities years ago about allegations that Belgium's longest-serving bishop abused a boy but were stonewalled until he was forced to resign Friday.

Norbert Bethune, who was dismissed after a doctrinal conflict with superiors, and retired priest Rik Devillle told Belgian media that they reported the allegations to Godfried Danneels, then archbishop.

Bethune said he reported the allegations seven years ago. Deville said he learned of the charges from a confidant of the victim's family and reported them 15 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Catholic Church must have 'nothing to hide': Vatican


VATICAN CITY — The Roman Catholic Church, embroiled in scandal over waves of paedophile priest scandals, must show it has "nothing to hide," the Vatican spokesman said Saturday.

"This is the time for truth, transparency and credibility," Federico Lombardi said at a conference on digital communication.

"Secrecy and discretion are not values that serve the majority," he said, Italian news agencies reported. "We need to be in a position to say we have nothing to hide."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

Leaders meet as Church sex abuse cases grip Chile

BBC News

The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Chile have met the country's president amid a growing sex abuse scandal involving a number of priests.

Earlier this week, the Church in Chile formally apologised to abuse victims, saying nothing could justify it.

Monsignor Alejandro Goic, head of the Church in Chile, said there had been 20 confirmed or alleged cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

More abuse victims come forward: ‘It is unfair that justice is not granted quickly’

Malta Independent

by Chiara Bonello

Two other victims of priestly abuse have come forward in the past days, alleging that they too have experienced abuse at the hands of the same priest, Lou Bondi told a news conference outside the law courts yesterday.

Mr Bondi, who is helping the victims in their media relations, was speaking following a meeting between six of the victims and the President of Malta, George Abela, which he described as cordial.

He said that one could understand why it took victims so long to come forward in some cases, as this was such a traumatic experience. The victims are glad that their meeting with Pope Benedict XVI may encourage other victims to speak out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Catholic Priest Arrested

Modern Chana

JANET DWAMENA Agyapomaa aka Yaa Kwahu, a 42-year-old resident of Obuasi Pomposo, has been revived from coma after a Roman Catholic Priest, Rev. Father Charles Asamoah, allegedly inflicted multiple cutlass wounds all over her body when their secret relationship turned sour.

The woman, who claimed to be a girlfriend of the priest's, was found in a pool of blood on Thursday morning at a roadside at Bodwesango by some passersby who rushed her to St. Louis Hospital in the community before she was referred to AngloGold Ashanti Hospital in Obuasi.

Rev. Fr. Charles Asamoah, Parish Priest of the Bodwesango Catholic Church, has been arrested and detained by the police in Fomena in connection with the incident.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Vatican spokesman: Church able to heal from wounds



VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican spokesman said Saturday that the Catholic Church is capable of healing the wounds inflicted on it by the clerical sex abuse scandal, but that the time had come for "truth, transparency and credibility."

The Vatican is moving to get rid of bishops tainted by the scandal - either those directly responsible of abusing children or ones who had sought to shield abusive priests.

The Rev. Federico Lombardi said a recent meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and abuse victims in Malta brought the victims new hope. He said the meeting had been held in the context of a living, dynamic church that is "capable of recognizing its wounds sincerely but also of obtaining the grace of healing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Quebec school sex abuse settlement threatened

CBC News

A compensation deal for the alleged victims of a sexual abuse scandal at Bishop's College School in Quebec's Eastern Townships is at risk of collapsing, CBC News has learned.

At least 30 former students have joined a $58-million class action lawsuit against the school, alleging they were molested by an Anglican minister who was a teacher and housemaster at the school in Lennoxville, Que., in the 1950s and 1960s.

An out of court settlement between the school and the lawyer representing some claimants is to be presented to a Quebec Superior Court judge on April 30.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

Bring the Pope to Justice


By Christopher Hitchens | NEWSWEEK
Published Apr 23, 2010

Detain or subpoena the pope for questioning in the child-rape scandal? You must be joking! All right then, try the only alternative formulation: declare the pope to be above and beyond all local and international laws, and immune when it comes to his personal and institutional responsibility for sheltering criminals. The joke there would be on us.

The case for bringing the head of the Catholic hierarchy within the orbit of law is easily enough made. All it involves is the ability to look at a naked emperor and ask the question "Why?" Mentally remove his papal vestments and imagine him in a suit, and Joseph Ratzinger becomes just a Bavarian bureaucrat who has failed in the only task he was ever set—that of damage control. The question started small. In 2002, I happened to be on Hardball With Chris Matthews, discussing what the then attorney general of Massachusetts, Thomas Reilly, had termed a massive cover-up by the church of crimes against children by more than a thousand priests. I asked, why is the man who is prima facie responsible, Cardinal Bernard Law, not being questioned by the forces of law and order?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Catholic bishop Vangheluwe may have made more victims

Digital Journal

Child psychiatrist Peter Adriaenssens does not know if bishop Vangheluwe made more victims, but he considers this a real possibility.

"The bishop has told me categorically that there would not be any other stories and that there is only one victim, but I have lots of experience and I am not naive", says Adriaenssens. "The possibility that there are several victims is real".

However, De standaard, a leading Dutch-language newspaper in Belgium, also reports that there elements that make him hesitate. "Never before have I met a perpetrator who admitted everything so rapidly and so completely without looking for excuses. But then, the complaints were so clear that there was only one reply possible".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Former Fairbanks pastor stays out of jail before abuse trial


by Chris Freiberg / cfreiberg@newsminer.com

FAIRBANKS — The former pastor of a Fairbanks church accused of having sex with a teenage girl does not have to post bail while his case is pending.

Shawn Anthony Justice, the 32-year-old former pastor of Corinthian Baptist Church, was back in court Friday morning to get his third party custodian approved and have a judge set other conditions of release.

He has pleaded not guilty to 12 counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, a class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Lay pastor arrested in second abuse charge

The Spectrum

BY TIFFANY DE MASTERS • tdemasters@thespectrum.com • April 24, 2010

ST. GEORGE - Additional child sex abuse charges were filed against a lay pastor at Living Word Christian Fellowship who also ran an unsuccessful bid to unseat Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, four years ago in the race for U.S. House of Representatives.

St. George Police Officer James Schafer said Kris Lounsbury, 62, was arrested Thursday on the new charges. He said a 10-year-old girl confided in her father that Lounsbury, 62, allegedly had touched and fondled her over an extended period of time.

"The evidence brought forward substantiated the claims," Schafer said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

America's Catholic Cardinals...


Denis O'Hayer (2010-04-23)

ATLANTA, GA (WABE) - On Friday, April 23rd, America's Catholic Cardinals gathered in Atlanta for a dinner to raise money for Catholic University in Washington.

But they got together as new charges emerge, seemingly each day, about the Vatican's response, over decades, to sexual abuse of children by priests.

Thursday, April 22nd, the Vatican denied it had any role in the abuse of some deaf students by a Wisconsin priest. The church was responding to a Federal lawsuit. And on the same day in Ireland, a bishop resigned, saying he didn't do enough to end the coverup of sexual abuse there. This, just days after Pope Benedict acknowledged sins of the church, without specifically mentioning abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Vatican Abuse Scandal Intensifies as Another Bishop Resigns

PBS NewsHour

[with video]

JUDY WOODRUFF: Next: The resignation of another bishop has capped off a tumultuous week for the Vatican and the pope.

Margaret Warner is in Rome tonight.

MARGARET WARNER: News of the resignation splashed across newspapers in Belgium today: a sex scandal in Bruges. Belgian bishop resigns.

Seventy-three-year-old Roger Vangheluwe served as bishop of Bruges since 1984. He's the first Belgian priest to resign in the latest wave of the clergy sex abuse scandal. A spokesman for the diocese read his statement.

PETER ROSSEL, spokesperson, Bruges Diocese (through translator): When I was not yet a bishop, and sometimes after, I sexually abused a young person from within my close entourage. This has marked the victim forever.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

President to look into court case delay

Times of Malta

Cynthia Busuttil

President George Abela pro-mised to "verify" the reasons behind the delay in a court case against three priests accused of sexually abusing orphans at St Joseph's Home.

During a meeting with six men who claim to have been abused by clergy at the Santa Venera home, Dr Abela said he had taken note of their complaint, although he could not enter into the merits of their case.

Ten men who spent some years at the home have testified against Fr Charles Pulis, Fr Godwin Scerri and Bro. Joseph Bonnett behind closed doors in front of Magistrate Saviour Demicoli in a case that has been dragging on since 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Church to co-operate with police

Peterborough Examiner


The top Anglican cleric in Kingston says police investigating a sexual abuse complaint against former choirmaster John Gallienne have not asked for the church's help but it is prepared to assist.

"If we are approached, we will co-operate fully and openly with the authorities to the best of our ability," Rt. Rev. George Bruce told QMI Agency in an interview.

Bruce is the Bishop of the Diocese of Ontario, an eastern Ontario district that covers five counties and includes 45 parishes, including St. George's Cathedral.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Victims upset at Berlin roundtable on sexual abuse in school

Digital Journal

By Riccardo Valsecchi.

Berlin - On April 23, a roundtable against child abuse has begun its work. The Berlin committee was set up by the Federal German Government in order to discuss assistance to victims and develop approaches to prevention.

The committee was presided by the Minister for Family, Elderly, Women and Youth Dr. Kristina Schroeder, the Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and the Minister for Education and Research Prof. Dr. Annette Schavan.

The approximately 60 participants were divided in three working groups: the first will be dealing with issues of prevention and intervention; the second with legal and political consequences; the third with preparing German's teachers and doctors in order to understand where the children are suffering sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Dallas-Fort Worth Catholics stand behind pope as he pledges to address abuse

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Special to the Star-Telegram

Fort Worth Bishop Kevin Vann and other local Roman Catholics welcomed Pope Benedict XVI's pledge this week to forcefully prosecute priests accused of sex abuse.

During his regular audience in Rome on Wednesday, he told of meeting sex abuse victims in Malta and promised to swiftly deal with pedophile priests.

His statement came amid a storm of international criticism, particularly from victim advocates, contending that Benedict has acted too slowly and even covered up sex abuse cases in the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Catholic priest who had worked in KC area is accused of molesting boy in Texas

The Kansas City Star

The Kansas City Star

A former Kansas City area Catholic priest is the subject of a civil lawsuit and criminal investigation in Texas involving the alleged sexual abuse of a minor.

The Rev. John M. Fiala is accused of assaulting a 16-year-old boy at gunpoint and during private catechism classes in 2007 and 2008 while Fiala was a pastoral administrator at Sacred Heart of Mary parish in Rocksprings, Texas.

Fiala served in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas in 2001 and 2002 and was spiritual director from 1998 to 2001 at a religious order that had a house in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

More woes for church

Montreal Gazette

April 24, 2010

The Roman Catholic Church in Quebec may soon be facing another major lawsuit over alleged sexual abuse at the hands of its priests.

A bid to launch a class action suit against the church was filed Thursday at the Montreal courthouse. The statement of claim alleges that up to five priests were involved in the systematic abuse of young boys in the 1980s at the now-shuttered Séminaire St. Alphonse, in Ste. Anne de Beaupré, just outside Quebec City.

Among other allegations, the document states that the priests "consulted with one another and conspired in an effort to determine which students they would abuse, and divided (the victims) up amongst themselves." The main plaintiff, Frank Tremblay, 40, claims he was repeatedly fondled in a priest's bed and otherwise abused "physically, sexually, mentally and emotionally" several times a week over a four-month period between October 1982 and February 1983.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Bishop Walsh rejected call to remove Napa priest

The Press Democrat


Bishop Daniel Walsh has rejected the recommendation of his own advisory panel and refused to remove a Napa priest accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a grade-school-age girl more than 40 years ago.

The seven-member Diocesan Review Board spent two years investigating abuse charges by Erin Brady, now 51, against Monsignor Joseph Alzugaray, pastor of St. Apollinaris Church in Napa.

In October, the board recommended to the bishop that Alzugaray be removed from ministry, according to Brady and diocesan sources.

But in January, Walsh notified the review board that he had decided against their recommendation and would keep Alzugaray in active ministry at St. Apollinaris, where he continues to serve.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Uncertain leadership in Vatican while crisis over priests rages

The Star Phoenix (Canada)

By Tom Heneghan, Reuters

April 24, 2010

When countries are threatened or institutions are in trouble, they look to their leaders to show the way out of the crisis.

The Vatican is in trouble, its moral authority sapped by mounting allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests in the past and cover ups by bishops supervising them.

But strong leadership from the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church is hard to discern. Pope Benedict, who marked the fifth year of his papacy this week, rarely mentions the crisis and some aides have made things worse with comments that are mostly defensive and sometimes offend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Murder mystery that still haunts a village 40 years on

Irish Independent

Bernadette Connolly was just 10 years old when she disappeared close to her home near Collooney, Co Sligo. Kim Bielenberg returns after four decades to find her family and neighbours still in shock

Saturday April 24 2010

On Fridays it was normally Ann Connolly who set out on her bike to fetch the fish for tea. But on April 17, 1970, one of her younger sisters, Bernie, was given the job of cycling a couple of miles to the neighbours to pick up the groceries.

Bernie would have set off on the errand with that sense of excitement that any 10-year-old feels when she is given such a grown-up duty. She had her gleaming Raleigh Astronaut bike, which she had received from Santa the previous Christmas.

There was little traffic on the country road and Bernie's mother Maureen had no reason to believe that there was any imminent danger.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Word going out on priest


By Christopher Burbach

Letters will go out in church bulletins and priests will make announcements this weekend at the Nebraska parishes formerly served by a priest who has been accused of sexual assault in Texas.

The Rev. John M. Fiala, 51, is accused in a civil lawsuit of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy at gunpoint and during private catechism sessions two years ago at a parish in Rocksprings, Texas.

Texas authorities also are pursuing criminal charges against Fiala. They plan to take evidence to a grand jury next month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Tulsan sent in place of cardinal

Tulsan World

By BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer

Bishop Edward J. Slattery, just back in Tulsa after being stranded at the Vatican by the volcanic ash cloud that shrouded Europe, flew to Washington, D.C., on Friday to celebrate a special Mass in place of a retired Vatican cardinal implicated in a clergy sexual abuse cover-up.

Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos bowed out of the Mass, which is being held in honor of the pope's fifth anniversary, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Catholic Church in the nation.

Castrillon Hoyos has been criticized for writing a letter praising a French bishop for shielding a priest who was later convicted of raping minors and received an 18-year jail sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

April 23, 2010

Bishop issues statement on abuse, planning special service on Sunday

Contra Costa Times

[the bishop's statement in English and Espanol]

Wesley G. Hughes, Staff Writer

SAN BERNARDINO - Bishop Gerald Barnes, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of San Bernardino, has scheduled a mass and special liturgy for those affected by abuse and violence at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Bernardine Parish on North F Street in San Bernardino.

In addition, the bishop has issued a statement about recent reports of sexual abuse in Ireland and Germany to be read during weekend mass in all parishes in the diocese.

The twin announcements were posted Friday on the diocese website

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 PM

Boy Scouts Ordered to Pay $18.5 Million in Abuse Case

The New York Times

Published: April 23, 2010

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Boy Scouts of America were ordered Friday to pay $18.5 million in a lawsuit that has focused new attention on the secret files the Scouts keep to document claims of sexual abuse by troop leaders and volunteers.

Known variously as the “perversion files,” the “red flag files” and the “ineligible volunteer files,” the documents have been maintained for more than 70 years at the Scouts’ national office in Texas. Yet even after scores of abuse cases against the Scouts in recent decades, the case here is one of the few times that substantial portions of the files have been made accessible to a jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 PM

Lounsbury arrested on new sexual abuse charges

The Spectrum

BY TIFFANY DE MASTERS • tdemasters@thespectrum.com • April 23, 2010

ST. GEORGE — Additional child sex abuse charges were filed against a lay pastor at Living Word Christian Fellowship who also ran an unsuccessful bid to unseat Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, four years ago in the race for U.S. House of Representatives.

St. George Police Officer James Schafer said Kris Lounsbury, 62, was arrested Thursday on the new charges. He said a 10-year-old girl confided in her father that Lounsbury, 62, allegedly had touched and fondled her over an extended period of time.

“The evidence brought forward substantiated the claims,” Schafer said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 PM

Former Convicted Priest Relased from Jail

My Fox Houston

[with video]

SANTA FE, Texas - He is a pedophile priest accused of molesting an estimated 100 children in Louisiana. The trial of Gilbert Gauthe in 1985 was the first in U.S. history where details of a priest's sexual abuse were made widely public.

On Friday, Gauthe walked out of a Galveston County jail and took up residence in Santa Fe, Texas.

The crimes committed by the former priest have been the subject of countless stories and even a movie. Anyone can imagine the reaction of residents in the quiet neighborhood in which he will now live.

Gauthe, 64, does not look like a serial predator, but in 1985, he was convicted on 34 counts of child molestation and possession of child pornography in Louisiana. With good behavior, he was out of prison in less than 10 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 PM

Church warned not to breach abusive priests' human rights

The Independent (United Kingdom)

By Jerome Taylor, Religious Affairs Correspondent

Saturday, 24 April 2010

The Vatican's fight-back against a lawsuit that names the Pope as a defendant in a sexual abuse scandal was mired yesterday by further revelations of abuse and controversial comments from a senior Catholic cleric defending the church's history of sheltering abusive priests.

As Vatican lawyers in the US moved to shield the Pope from the legal challenge, Belgium's longest-serving bishop announced he was resigning, admitting that he had abused a boy 25 years ago. Roger Vangheluwe, 73, who had served as Bishop of Bruges since 1984, made the announcement as church officials confirmed that they were investigating 20 alleged cases of clerical abuse in Belgium.

In a statement yesterday, the bishop said: "When I was still a simple priest, and for a while when I began as a bishop, I sexually abused a young man in my close entourage. I profoundly regret what I have done and I offer my sincerest apology to the victim, his family, the Catholic community and society in general."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

Chilean Priest Under Investigation for Alleged Sexual Abuse

Latin American Herald Tribune

SANTIAGO – An 80-year-old Chilean priest who trained numerous other clergy members, five of whom went on to become bishops, is being investigated by prosecutors and church officials for alleged sexual abuse of minors, local media reported.

Santiago Archbishop Francisco Javier Errazuriz confirmed the church probe against Fernando Karadima Fariña, erstwhile parish priest at the Sagrado Corazon de Jesus de El Bosque church in Santiago’s upscale Providencia neighborhood.

The investigation was launched after a former altar boy at the parish named James Hamilton Sanchez, now a 44-year-old doctor, accused Karadima Fariña of sexual abuse. The allegations date back about two decades and therefore Hamilton may not have been a minor when the alleged abuse occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 PM

Prominent Chicago Catholic Calls On Pope For Tougher Action


Bernie Tafoya Reporting

CHICAGO (WBBM) -- A prominent Chicago Catholic is calling on Pope Benedict to take tougher action against bishops who looked the other way when they learned priests in their diocese had molested children.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke says Pope Benedict should force any bishop to resign if he has ever transferred child molester priests to other parishes or dioceses.

Today, a Belgian bishop resigned and admitted that he had molested at least one child when he was a priest and early on when he had become a bishop.

In 2002, when the priest sex abuse scandal erupted in the United States, Burke was among those named to a National Review Board to oversee initial efforts by the Catholic bishops in the United States to start cleaning up its act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

NCR obtains correspondence: retired vicar general denies pressure in Munich pedophile case

National Catholic Reporter (United States)

Apr. 23, 2010
By Thomas C. Fox

Msgr. Gerhard Gruber, the former vicar general of the Munich archdiocese, has denied a published report he was pressured to assume responsibility for assigning a pedophile priest to do local parish work during the tenure of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as archbishop.

His denial appeared in the April 21 edition of the German publication, Suddeutsche Zeitung. NCR has obtained a copy of his letter of denial.

Gruber was responding to an earlier report that appeared in another German publication, Der Spiegel, in which he said he took sole responsibility for the assignment after coming under great pressure from unnamed church sources “take the pope out of the firing line.” The report said Gruber expressed unhappiness to friends at being given the sole blame in public

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

Official: Abuse victims receive threats in Brazil

The Associated Press

BRASILIA, Brazil — A Brazilian official says that three former altar boys allegedly sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest have received threats and are under police protection.

An adviser to the Senate pedophilia commission says the three were threatened after they denounced Monsignor Luiz Marques Barbosa for allegedly molesting former altar boys in northeastern Alagoas state.

Renato Paoliello said Friday that a priest collaborating with authorities is also receiving police protection after being threatened. Paoliello did not specify what kind of threats the four received.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

How LA Archdiocese Mishandled A Pedophile Priest


[with audio]

by Barbara Bradley Hagerty

April 23, 2010

The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles is still reeling from a major sex abuse scandal that broke eight years ago. A federal grand jury is investigating the church for how it handled sex abuse allegations, and the church is still fielding lawsuits even though it has already paid out $660 million to more than 500 victims.

An NPR investigation reveals that Cardinal Roger Mahony, his top officials or even his review board failed to act when presented with pedophile priests -- and in particular, the case of one of the most notorious abusers, Father Michael Baker.

In 1986, Cardinal Mahony, the Archbishop of Los Angeles, found out that Father Michael Baker had been abusing boys from an impeccable source: the priest himself told him. Father Baker told Mahony that he had molested two boys, beginning in 1978. According to Tod Tamberg, a spokesman for the Archdiocese, Mahony responded the way everyone did back then.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Catholic sex-abuse crisis: A victim’s parents to speak Sunday in Ormond Beach

Orlando Sentinel

The parents of a young man who said he was abused by a Catholic priest will tell their story this Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Ormond Beach Public Library.

Toni and Joe McMorrow will tell how they grew frustrated with what they describe as the church’s reluctance to act in the case of the priest who molested their son, Brandon Rains, who is now in his early 20s, in 2001 and 2002 when the family lived in Maryland.

The Rev. Aaron Cotes was convicted and sentenced in 2009 in Maryland to 10 years of probation on charges of abusing Rains. He is restricted from having unsupervised contact with minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

"Always in need of being purified"(3): Suggestions for Change

America Magazine

Posted at: Friday, April 23, 2010 12:48:40 PM
Author: John W. Martens

3. How do we allow the Church to meet the standards that Jesus set for it in the treatment and reception of children? All I can do as an individual Catholic is propose ideas, imperfect though they may be, for change that will serve the most vulnerable amongst us, as Jesus intended. I should be clear that for me it is not a question whether there should be leaders in the Church, a pope, bishops, priests and deacons. These offices have been established by Jesus and the early Church and reflect the authority given by Jesus to the apostles. For me the question is, rather, how can those leaders be put in a position so that they can fulfill the mandates given to them by Jesus? On the sexual abuse crisis, most institutional authorities did a terrible job of responding to the crisis of priests who abused and then scandalized the faithful, and still do today, covering up the abuse, the abusers, and those who were abused. They had in mind not first and foremost the welfare of children, as Jesus taught, but the perpetuation of institutional structures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Bishop Lahey faces no charges in N.S.

CBC News

RCMP in Nova Scotia won't lay any criminal charges against former Antigonish bishop Raymond Lahey, who faces child pornography charges in Ontario.

The RCMP said Friday it has concluded its investigation and returned the property it seized to the Roman Catholic diocese.

Members of the RCMP technical crime unit and child exploitation team searched Lahey's former residences in eastern Nova Scotia last October, after Lahey was charged in Ottawa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

The Inflation of Victimhood


A Commentary by Jan Fleischhauer

Bishop Walter Mixa, who submitted his resignation Thursday amid accusations of violence and financial irregularities, had to go. But the Catholic Church is mistaken if it believes that it has earned itself some breathing space. The abuse debate will not be silenced.

For 12 weeks now, the Catholic Church in Germany has been rocked by an abuse scandal. Now a German bishop has quit his office. But Bishop Walter Mixa's exit was not because of sexually abusing minors, but rather because of a few slaps in the face and the sloppy use of Church funds.

Sources in the Catholic Church talked of "relief" at Mixa's departure, while Alois Glück, president of the Central Committee of German Catholics, also described Mixa's resignation as a "great relief."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

L'entourage de l'évêque est "choqué"


"L'entourage de l'évêque (ndlr: Roger Vangheluwe) est surpris, choqué et désarçonné" après que l'évêque de Bruges a démissionné pour avoir abusé pendant des années un jeune garçon de son entourage.

"Ce qui arrive est incompréhensible pour les collaborateurs directs de l'évêque et, par extension, pour tout le diocèse", a déclaré Peter Rossel, le porte-parole de l'évêché de Bruges. "L'entourage de l'évêque est surpris, choqué et désarçonné, parce qu'il n'existait aucune indication que l'évêque vivait sous la pression d'un tel problème".


The entourage of Bishop Roger Vangheluwe is surprised, shocked and dumbfounded after the Bruges bishop resigned and admitted to abusing a young boy. Peter Rossel, spokesman for the diocese, said what happened is incomprehensible both to the bishop's entourage and to the whole diocese. He said they saw no indication that the bishops lived under the pressure of such a problem.

The College of Consultors of the diocese will meet as soon as possible to appoint someone to assume the ordinary business of the diocese until the pope appoint's a new bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:01 PM

Cardinal Castrillón must feel trapped

National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Apr. 23, 2010 All Things Catholic

Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos must feel trapped in a "Twilight Zone" episode, in which, in a flash, the whole course of his life has turned out differently. Now 80, not long ago Castrillón was a consummate Roman powerbroker, a man admired for the nerves of steel that once allowed him to stand up to drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. Novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez at one point hailed his fellow Colombian as "this rustic man, with the profile of an eagle."

For most of the last two decades, Castrillón, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy from 1996 to 2006, was widely considered a serious contender to become the first Latin American pope.

Today, even if he weren't almost 81, Castrillón would have about as much chance of becoming pope as Sinead O'Connor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

Sex Abuse and the Catholic Church Part 2

Northland's News Center

[with video]

Posted by Boua Xiong

Father William Graham runs the Catholic Studies program at the college of Saint Scholastica.

It's been hard for Graham to hear about the sex abuse cases involving the Catholic Church.

"We want to for sure keep in mind what Pope Benedict is calling us to right now: a season of repentance and of penance because when anyone has been hurt, the whole church mourns," he said.

While the church is calling out for repentance, survivors of clergy abuse are calling for answers.

"I want them to admit that they were wrong and that there was a cover up," Tim Caroline, a survivor of clergy sex abuse said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

Germany: Plans for compensation in abuse scandal

The Associated Press


BERLIN — Germany will set up a plan to compensate victims of sexual abuse and impose new rules to prevent such crimes in the future, using funds from the institutions responsible for the abuse, a minister said Friday.

After a spate of abuse allegations in the Roman Catholic church and elsewhere, a government-led panel has started debating the issue and is hoping for a decision by the end of the year, Family Minister Kristina Schroeder said.

"I am convinced at the end of this process, there will be suggestions for material and immaterial compensation," Schroeder said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

Si dimette il vescovo di Bruges "Ho abusato di un giovane"

la Repubblica

CITTA' DEL VATICANO - Si è dimesso il vescovo di Bruges monsignor Roger Vangheluwe, che ha ammesso di aver abusato sessualmente di un giovane e di averlo fatto per di più dopo la sua nomina alla guida della dicoesi, avvenuta nel 1984. La Sala Stampa della Santa Sede ha reso noto che il Papa ha "immediatamente" accettato le dimissioni e ha diffuso il testo di una dichiarazione del vescovo.

"Quando ero ancora un semplice sacerdote e per un certo tempo all'inizio del mio episcopato - ha confessato il presule - ho abusato sessualmente di un giovane dell'ambiente a me vicino. La vittima ne è ancora segnata. Nel corso degli ultimi decenni, ho più volte riconosciuto la mia colpa nei suoi confronti, come nei confronti della sua famiglia, e ho domandato perdono. Ma questo non lo ha pacificato. E neppure io lo sono".


The bishop of Bruges resigns
"I sexually abused a young man"

The prelate confessed his victim "is still disturbed" by the rape, and his request for pardon "didn't pacify him". The Vatican dismisses a lawssuit against Pope Benedict filed in a US federal court: "It's only a strumentalization".

VATICAN CITY - The bishop of Bruges, monsignor Roger Vangheluwe, resigned after his admission of having sexually abused a young man, and moreover of having done that soon after his nomination as head of the diocese in 1984. The Press Room of the Holy See reported the Pope "immediately" accepted his resignation and issued the text of the bishop's statement.

"When I was a simple priest and for a certain period of time after my nomination as a bishop - the prelate confessed - I sexually abused a young man frequenting the diocese. The victim is still suffering from that. In the course of the last decades I often recognized my faulty behavior to him and to his family and I asked for pardon. But that didn't pacify him. Nor do I feel pacified" .

Vangheluwe added in his statement that "the media storm of the past weeks has increased the trauma. I can't go on in such a situation". "I'm profoundly sorry - he ended - for what I did and I present my most sincere apologies to the victim, his family, the entire catholic community and society at-large. I presented to the Pope Benedict XVI my resignation from bishop of Bruges. It was accepted on Friday and so I retire".

Meanwhile the Vatican dismissed a sex abuse lawsuit filed in the name of a victim of a pedophile priest in Wisconsin against Pope Benedict XVI and the cardinals Angelo Sodano and Tarcisio Bertone. "While legitimate lawsuits have been filed by abuse victims, this is not one of them", said Jeffrey Lena, the American lawyer of the Holy See. He said the lawsuit presented by his collegue Jeff Anderson on behalf of a victim of Fr. Lawrence Murhphy was " an attempt at a broader attack meant to re-characterize the Catholic Church as a worldwide 'business enterprise' ". According to Lena, the case brought against the Vatican is a "remake of old theories already dismissed by the US courts".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:13 PM

RCMP say no charges will be filed against Bishop Lahey in Nova Scotia

Winnipeg Free Press

HALIFAX, N.S. - The RCMP in Nova Scotia say charges will not be laid in the province against a bishop accused of possessing child pornography in Ottawa.

The RCMP say they have completed an "in-depth and thorough analysis" of computers and storage devices that were seized during searches last October from Bishop Raymond Lahey's former residences in Antigonish and Sydney.

The Mounties say no criminal charges will be laid based on their examination of those electronic devices.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:10 PM

Belgian bishop admits abuse, resigns

American Magazine

Posted at: Friday, April 23, 2010
Author: Austen Ivereigh

On this side of the Atlantic we don't go for headlines with commas in them -- an American newsroom custom which we've resisted. The obvious headline was: "Belgian bishop resigns over abuse".

But you would have thought, wouldn't you, that meant a bishop resigning for failing to handle properly the case of an abusive priest?

But in this case, that of 73-year-old Roger Vangheluwe, the Bishop of Bruges for more than 25 years, it is the bishop himself who abused. He has confessed it, and resigned, leaving everyone around him reeling.

In a statement read out today at a press conference in Brussels by Archbishop Andre-Joseph Léonard, Bishop Vangheluwe said that the abuse had occurred “when I was still a simple priest and for a while when I began as a bishop", adding: “This has marked the victim forever".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 PM

Roger Vangheluwe, Bishop of Bruges, resigns over child sex abuse

The Times (United Kingdom)

Joanna Sugden

A senior Catholic bishop has resigned after admitting to sexually abusing a child. He is the latest and most senior cleric to stand down in the crisis engulfing the church.

Roger Vangheluwe, Belgium’s longest-serving bishop, said that he was “enormously sorry” for the “wound” he had inflicted on a young boy about 25 years ago.

“When I was not a bishop, and some time later, I abused a boy,” he said in a statement. “This has marked the victim forever. The wound does not heal. Neither in me nor the victim,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:05 PM

Milwaukee lawsuit against Pope Benedict claims Catholic Church covered up U.S. priest sex abuse

New York Daily News

By Brian Kates

An Illinois man has filed a federal lawsuit against the Vatican claiming top Catholic church leaders called off punishment of the priest accused of sexually abusing boys at a Wisconsin school for the deaf.

The suit, filed Thursday in Milwaukee federal court, claims top leaders at the Vatican knew about allegations of sexual abuse at St. John's School for the Deaf but took no steps to discipline the accused priest, the Rev. Lawrence Murphy.

The lawsuit is the latest development in the burgeoning priest sex abuse scandal that has reached from the lowest levels of the church to the highest strata of the Vatican, including the Pope himself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Nazi slander of Catholic priests

Spero News

By Massimo Introvigne

In 1937 propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels organized a campaign to discredit the Catholic Church after Pope Pius XI severely criticised the Nazi regime.

“There are cases of sexual abuse that come to light every day against a large number of members of the Catholic clergy. Unfortunately it’s not a matter of individual cases, but a collective moral crisis that perhaps the cultural history of humanity has never before known with such a frightening and disconcerting dimension. Numerous priests and religious have confessed. There’s no doubt that the thousands of cases which have come to the attention of the justice system represent only a small fraction of the true total, given that many molesters have been covered and hidden by the hierarchy.”

An editorial from a great secular newspaper in 2010? No: It’s a speech of May 28, 1937, by Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945), Minister of Propaganda for the Third Reich. This speech, which had a large international echo, was the apex of a campaign launched by the Nazi regime to discredit the Catholic Church by involving it in a scandal of pedophile priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

British leaders join forces against Pope Benedict XVI

The Australian

Peter Wilson, Europe correspondent From: The Australian April 24, 2010

POPE Benedict was a surprise player in Britain's televised leadership debate but not in a way the pontiff would have enjoyed.

Gordon Brown and his two challengers for the prime ministership lined up to criticise the Pope and the Catholic Church on issues ranging from abortion and contraception to gay rights, embryo research and the covering-up of child abuse by priests.

The three party leaders were asked about the Pope during a section of the Sky TV debate that was devoted to foreign affairs, and their criticism of the church was the one area of virtually total consensus in their 90-minute debate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

Bishop Resigns; Scandal Reaching John Paul?

Fox News

April 23, 2010 - 10:02 AM | by: Greg Burke
A Belgian bishop resigned on Friday after admitting to abusing a young man decades ago. The resignation came one day after an Irish bishop was forced to step down for failing to report pedophile priests when he was in Dublin.

Both men were made bishops – considered successors of the apostles in Catholic teaching – by Pope John Paul II.

Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of Bishop Roger Joseph Vangheluwe of Bruges, Belgium, and Vangheluwe issued a statement saying he profoundly regretted what he had done to the young man, a minor at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 PM

Evangelical journal sees US bishops still lagging in credibility on abuse

Catholic Culture

April 23, 2010
World magzine, a weekly published by Evangelical Christians, brings an unusual perspective to the sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church:

In Europe, both the church and the state have responded better to the Catholic abuse scandal than they did in America, but big problems remain.

In the US, the World story explains, the hierarchy has not yet acknowledged its own role in expanding the scandal. The article quotes CWN's Phil Lawler:

I don't think that the American hierarchy has yet realized that there are two parts to the scandal and they have dealt with the abusive priest part of the scandal but not with the complicit bishop part.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Vatican says US lawsuit against Pope 'without merit'

BBC News

The Vatican says a lawsuit brought against Pope Benedict and two Church officials by a US man who says he was abused by a priest is "without merit".

Vatican lawyer Jeffrey Lena said the lawsuit, filed in a Milwaukee court, "rehashes old theories already rejected by US courts".

Lawyers for the alleged victim want the Church to release any files it has on sexual abuse cases involving priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

a Vatican struggle over abuse policy

Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler | April 23, 2010

With the latest revelations by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, a clear picture begins to emerge from what had been a haze of confusion about the Vatican's approach to sex-abuse complaints.

There was a conflict within the Roman Curia over how these complaints should be handled. That conflict apparently endured through much of the pontificate of John Paul II. It ended with the election of Benedict XVI.

Writing (in French) on his religious-affairs blog, veteran Vatican analyst Jean-Marie Guenois of Le Figaro explains what happened. The Congregation for the Clergy, under Cardinal Castrillon, argued for protective treatment of accused abusers. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) under Cardinal Ratzinger, argued for decisive disciplinary action. Sometimes Cardinal Ratzinger had his way, as in the handling of the Groër case; sometimes he was frustrated, as with Maciel case; sometimes the results were indecisive, as with the Burresi case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

Belgian bishop resigns over abuse of boy

Washington Post

Friday, April 23, 2010

VATICAN CITY/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A Belgian Catholic bishop resigned on Friday after admitting he had sexually abused a boy when in charge of the diocese of Bruges.

"When I was still a simple priest, and for a while when I began as a bishop, I sexually abused a boy in my close entourage," the bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, said in a statement issued at a news conference in Brussels.

"I profoundly regret what I have done and I present my sincerest apology to the victim, his family, the Catholic community and society in general," said the 73-year-old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Catholic Church removes top aide to controversial German bishop

The Hindu (India)

The Catholic Church on Friday removed a top aide to Walter Mixa, the German bishop who had handed in his resignation two days earlier over allegations that he lied about slapping minors.

Bishop Mixa, 68, has never been accused of sexual misdeeds or covering up paedophilia in the church, but was criticized for taking two weeks to issue a grudging admission that he slapped the faces of teenagers in an orphanage and spent orphan funds on expensive art.

His spokesman, 50-year-old Dirk Hermann Voss, has been removed from his duties as head of media, the diocese of Augsburg said.

Voss, a lawyer by training, spearheaded Bishop Mixa’s defence campaign after allegations surfaced in late March that Bishop Mixa hit teenagers when he was a parish priest before 1996.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

US lawyer for Vatican calls abuse suit 'completely without merit'

Catholic News Agency

Berkeley, Calif., Apr 23, 2010 / 10:52 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a statement released by the Holy See's Press Office on Friday, the Vatican's lawyer in the U.S., Jeffrey Lena, states that a recent lawsuit against the Holy See regarding an abusive priest from Wisconsin is not legitimate. The case does, however, show an attempt by "certain U.S. lawyers" to take advantage of the judiciary for media relations, he argues.

The declaration from the lawyer comes after the filing of a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District Court of Milwaukee, naming the Vatican as a defendant in a case about abuses committed by Fr. Lawrence Murphy. The Wisconsin priest, who sexually abused hundreds of minors between 1950 and 1974 at St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee, died in 1998.

Lena responds in the statement released on Friday, "first and foremost, sympathy is due to the victims of the criminal acts committed by Fr. Lawrence Murphy. By sexually abusing children, Murphy violated both the law and the trust that his victims had placed in him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Pope accepts Belgian bishop's resignation after admission of abuse

Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Apr 23, 2010 / 09:58 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI officially accepted the resignation of Bishop of Bruges Roger Joseph Vangheluwe on Friday. The bishops resignation was seen as "indispensable" for truth by the president of the Belgian bishops.

Bishop Vangheluwe's resignation was officially announced by the Vatican just after noon local time. The resignation is the second in as many days due to involvement in cases of pedophilia in the Church.

Accompanying the brief note from the Vatican announcing Pope Benedict's decision was an official statement from the bishop himself admitting his own guilt of committing sexual abuse against a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 PM

Convicted priest to be released from prison

Miami Herald

The Associated Press
INDIANTWON, Fla. -- A Florida priest who pleaded guilty to stealing money from his church is set to be released from prison Sunday after serving about a year of his 14-month sentence.

The Rev. John Skehan, 82, was sentenced last year for stealing more than $370,000 from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach where he served for 40 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM


Catholic League

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a story in today's New York Times about a case of alleged sexual abuse committed by a Chilean priest:

If a 17-year old guy has sex with an older guy for twenty years, and continues to have sex with him at the age of 38—while he is married with children—is there anyone who would believe his claim that he was sexually abused? The answer is yes: the New York Times would. That's exactly what happened in the case described in today's newspaper involving a homosexual affair between Chilean priest Fr. Fernando Karadima, now 79, and Dr. James Hamilton, now 44.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Benedict XVI’s phony sorrow, superficial shame & crocodile tears in Malta; how long will he continue his Papal lies and Papal parody?

Benedict XVI Ratzinger: God's Rottweiler

Paris Arrow

To celebrate his 83rd birthday and the 5th year of his papacy in Malta, Benedict XVI goes on and on with his Papal lies and Papal parody of "protecting the young" and "bringing the guilty cleric to justice". How long will he hold on to his Papal charade? The media and the peoples of the world are not as stupid as he thinks. He should know the idiom: 'Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me'. Well, this time the shame in on him. Benedict promises “CHEAP JUSTICE”. But costly justice means: Fire Cardinals Law, Mahony & guilty Bishops! Expose John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army http://pope-ratz.blogspot.com/2010/04/benedict-promised-cheap-justice-costly.html. Unless he do these costly justice, his promises are meaningless.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

Rehabilitating Peter, praising women

National Catholic Reporter

by Ross Beaudoin on Apr. 23, 2010
Examining the crisis

A homily for the Third Sunday of Easter

The gospel reading [for April 18] is a double-header. We get two stories in one. Both stories are about the apostle Peter, and they take up most of Chapter 21 of the Gospel of John.

Scholars tell us that Chapter 21 was added to the Gospel, which originally ended with Chapter 20, and that this “postscript” material probably dates around 60 years after the death of Jesus. These added stories must have been very important to the early Christian community. The question becomes: Why did the Johannine community feel the need to add these stories to the Gospel?

I believe that John’s community added these stories because there was a need to rehabilitate the image of Peter and reaffirm Peter’s role in the Christian community.

At the same time that we reflect on Peter, we are also being invited by the gospel readings to a better understanding of the role of women in the early church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Md. pastor charged with sexually abusing teen

The News Journal

Associated Press • April 23, 2010

CHESTERTOWN, Md. — A Chestertown pastor has been charged with sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jerry Darnell Bartley was arrested Wednesday and charged with six counts of sodomy and one count each of second-degree child abuse, sex abuse of a minor, sex abuse of a minor continuing course of conduct and second-degree assault. His bail was set Thursday at $500,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Peggy Noonan's Church History

American Spectator

By John M. Haas on 4.23.

Peggy Noonan is usually so good. But I am afraid she is stuck in the past with regard to the Catholic Church's response to sexual abuse (Wall Street Journal, April 17). She charges Vatican officials with complacency and declares, the "more relaxed the institution, the less likely it will reform."

But Peggy has apparently not noticed that tremendous reform has occurred. In fact, more reform has taken place in the Catholic Church than in any other social institution in which the abuse of minors has occurred. In 2002 the U. S. Bishops approved a Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. They hired the John Jay College of Criminal Justice to conduct an independent investigation of the problem. They established a National Review Board chaired by a woman (Peggy called for a woman's touch), Justice Anne M. Burke. The National Review Board monitors the policies of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection of the bishops and oversees its annual audit. Five of its current 13 members have that "woman's touch." One of the original members of the Review Board was a media representative, William Burleigh, at the time head of the Scripps news agency. This was surely expressive of a desire on the part of the bishops for transparency.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Words matter

National Catholic Reporter

by Kate Childs Graham on Apr. 22, 2010

The sex abuse scandal within the Catholic church has been reported on in every way, shape and form. However, many journalists neglect to make the distinction between the Catholic church and the culprits of the sex abuse scandal. Instead, they write sensationalist headlines about how the Catholic church is plagued with pedophilia or how the church is a hide-out for sex abusers.

My reaction to this has been: No, this is wrong. It isn’t the Catholic church that has a problem with abuses of sex or power, it is members of the hierarchy. After all, we, the faithful, the church, do not condone the actions of the perpetrators of sexual abuse or those who have sought to cover up these crimes. We are as shocked and appalled as the rest of the world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Scituate claim win against Archdiocese to tax the closed Cabrini church

The Patriot Ledger

By Jennifer Mann
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Apr 23, 2010

SCITUATE — The town is claiming a significant victory in its effort to collect over $200,000 in property taxes on a closed church that is owned by the Archdiocese of Boston.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston has withdrawn a Suffolk Superior Court complaint, in which it had asked a judge to rule the town could not tax the St. Frances X. Cabrini Church as long as it was not being used for a non-religious purpose.

The archdiocese will continue to pursue appeals before the state Appellate Tax Board, which were filed for each of the years the church was taxed, spokesman Terrence Donilan said. Donilan said the archdiocese’s stance remains strong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Irish Government wants the Church to pay its share of abuse compensation

National Secular Society

The Irish Government is pressing the country's Catholic organisations to add €200 million to the €477 million they have apparently already contributed to a fund for victims of abuse in Church-run institutions. Taoiseach (prime minister) Brian Cowen said that the overall costs of programmes to help abuse victims will be €1,360 million; he is asking Church officials to pay half of that cost. The €1,360 million figure refers to the response to victims of physical and sexual abuse in institutions such as foster homes and juvenile detention centres that were run by religious orders on behalf of the state. The Ryan Report, which revealed the extent of abuse in those institutions, said it was "the shared responsibility of both the state and the congregations" to help the victims.

Keith Porteous Wood, Executive Director of the National Secular Society, said: “We had already suggested that the Church should pay at least half, so this development is welcome, albeit the Church’s fair share is a lot more. There must also be an independent audit of the amount the Church is claiming credit for having contributed. A report produced by lawyers argued convincingly that a material element of the Church’s contribution has been made in kind and the value of these assets has been significantly overvalued. The report (written in 2008) found no evidence at that stage of any major land sales by the Church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

SNAP says Lawsuit Against Pope is No 'Publicity Stunt'


[Click Here to read the suit.]

By Jon Byman, Heather Shannon
MILWAUKEE - Victims of priest sex abuse are suing Pope Benedict.

The victims filed a federal lawsuit in Milwaukee against the Pope and other top Vatican officials. The suit claims the Vatican leadership covered up claims of sex abuse.

The 55 page lawsuit was filed Thursday.

"We're here because we're trying to bring to the world this terrible crime," said Arthur Budzynski through a translator. Budzynski is a victim of Father Lawrence Murphy. Murphy is believed to have abused some 200 boys while he ran the St. John's School for the Deaf between 1950 and 1974.

The victims claim the catholic church knew about it and did nothing to stop it. "Father murphy may have stolen our bodies, but the cardinal and the archbishops stole our voices," Budzynski said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Belgian bishop resigns after admitting abuse


(Reuters) - A Belgian bishop resigned Friday after admitting he had sexually abused a young man when he had been running the diocese of Bruges.

"When I was still a simple priest and for a while when I began as a bishop, I sexually abused a young man in my close entourage," the bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, said in a statement at a news conference in Brussels.

"I profoundly regret what I have done and I present my sincerest apology to the victim, his family, the Catholic community and society in general."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

New Lawsuit Shows Letters to Vatican on Sexual Abuse Earlier Than Previously Thought

The New York Times

Published: April 22, 2010

Documents released in a lawsuit filed Thursday against Pope Benedict XVI show that the Vatican was informed more than a year earlier than previously thought about the case of a priest who molested deaf boys for two decades at a boarding school in Wisconsin.

One victim of the priest wrote two letters to the Vatican’s secretary of state in 1995 asking Pope John Paul II himself to read his anguished letters and “excommunicate” the priest, the Rev. Lawrence Murphy.

Father Murphy, who died in 1998, admitted to a psychologist hired by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee that he had molested 34 children when he worked at St. John’s School for the Deaf in St. Francis, Wis., from 1952 to 1974. Church officials concluded that there might have been as many as 200 victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Church 'unchristian to abuse survivors' -- resigning bishop

Irish Independent

By John Cooney

Friday April 23 2010

THE former Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin has called for reform of the Irish church to tackle the roots of the secretive, clericalist culture that led to cover-ups of paedophile priests.

Bishop James Moriarty issued his call after Pope Benedict XVI yesterday officially confirmed acceptance of his resignation, offered last December in the wake of public fury at the shocking findings of the Murphy investigation into the archdiocese of Dublin.

"The decision to offer my resignation was the most difficult decision of my ministry," Bishop Moriarty, said in a statement. "I did not anticipate resigning when I first read the Murphy Report, because I was not directly criticised.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Bishops 'should quit over abuse cover-up'

Belfast Telegraph

Friday, 23 April 2010

All bishops who failed to challenge the culture of cover-up over child abuse should resign if the Irish Catholic Church has any hope of moving forward, an abuse survivor said.

Marie Collins, who was abused by Father Edmondus in a children's hospital almost 50 years ago, said it was undignified for senior clerics implicated in the scandals to cling to power.

"I think any bishop who didn't challenge the cover-up or who actually worked that policy of cover-up should go before the Church in Ireland has any chance of moving forward and getting any sort of trust or respect back," Ms Collins said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

L'évêque de Bruges démissionne pour actes de pédophilie

Le Vif

L'évêque de Bruges Roger Van Geluwe, 74 ans, a présenté sa démission après qu'il a reconnu avoir abusé d'un jeune garçon "avant qu'il soit évêque et un peu après". Sa démission a été acceptée. L'évêque indique avoir reconnu à plusieurs reprises sa faute auprès du jeune garçon, mais que ni lui, ni le garçon n'ont pu guérir de cette blessure.

L'archevêque de Malines-Bruxelles, Mgr Léonard, a annoncé la nouvelle vendredi à Bruxelles, la voix parfois tremblante, visiblement marqué. "Cet événement sera ressenti de manière douloureuse dans toute la communauté catholique de Belgique, d'autant que l'évêque Van Geluwe était considéré comme un évêque dynamique et généreux", a-t-il déclaré.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Belgique: Benoît XVI accepte la démission de l’évêque de Bruges, coupable d’actes pédophiles


Mgr Roger Vangheluwe a reconnu avoir abusé d’un jeune de son entourage proche

Rome, 23 avril 2010 (Apic) Benoît XVI a accepté la démission de Mgr Roger Vangheluwe, évêque de Bruges, en Belgique, vendredi 23 avril 2010. Cet évêque, dans une déclaration diffusée par le Bureau de presse du Saint-Siège, avoue avoir "abusé sexuellement d’un jeune de (son) entourage proche". Il a commis ces abus lorsqu’il était simple prêtre mais aussi au début de son épiscopat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Pédophilie: l'Eglise catholique belge secouée par la démission d'un évêque

le Parisien

L'évêque de Bruges en Belgique Roger Vangheluwe, 73 ans, a démissionné vendredi en reconnaissant avoir "abusé d'un jeune" garçon de son entourage il y a plusieurs années, ajoutant son nom à une longue liste d'ecclésiastiques victimes de scandales de pédophilie.

"Quand je n'étais pas encore évêque et également un certain temps après, j'ai abusé sexuellement d'un jeune de mon entourage proche. La victime en est encore marquée", a indiqué Mgr Vangheluwe dans une lettre lue vendredi par un responsable de l'Eglise belge lors d'une conférence de presse.

"Durant les dernières décennies, j'ai à plusieurs reprises reconnu ma faute envers lui, ainsi qu'à sa famille et j'ai demandé pardon. Mais ceci ne l'a pas apaisé. Moi non plus", ajoute le texte de la lettre.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Pope accepts Belgian bishop's resignation

RTE News (Ireland)

Friday, 23 April 2010

Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of a Belgian bishop who admitted to sexual abuse.

'When I was still a simple priest and for a while when I began as a bishop, I sexually abused a young man in my close entourage,' the Bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, said in a statement released by the Vatican.

In the statement, Roger Vangheluwe asked for forgiveness for his offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Belgian bishop resigns, apologizes for sexual abuse

USA Today

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium's longest serving bishop resigned Friday, saying he was "enormously sorry" for having sexually abused a young boy about 25 years ago.

The resignation of Roger Vangheluwe, 73, the Bishop of Bruges since 1984, was the first from Belgium since a child abuse scandal began testing the Catholic Church several months ago in Europe and the United States.

Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard of Belgium read a statement in which Vangheluwe announced his resignation and admitted to sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Belgian bishop resigns over sex abuse case - Summary

Earth Times

Vatican City/Brussels - Pope Benedict XVI accepted Friday the resignation of a bishop in the Belgian city of Bruges who has admitted to sexually abusing a boy earlier in his career.

The Vatican said Roger Vangheluwe, 74, is to quit after serving for 25 years as bishop of Bruges.

"When I was still just a priest, and for a certain period at the beginning of my episcopate, I sexually abused a minor from my immediate environment," Vangheluwe said in a declaration made at a news conference in Brussels.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

U.S. lawsuit against pope not legitimate: Vatican


By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican on Friday dismissed as illegitimate a lawsuit filed in the United States against Pope Benedict and his top aides over a case of sexual abuse at a school for deaf boys in Wisconsin.

"The case against the Holy See and its officials is completely without merit. Most of the complaint rehashes old theories already rejected by U.S. courts," Vatican lawyer Jeffrey Lena said in a statement.

"While legitimate lawsuits have been filed by abuse victims, this is not one of them," the lawyer said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Cornerstone or stumbling block?

The Pilot

Dwight G. Duncan

Pope Benedict has been the successor of St. Peter, visible Head of the Church, for five years, as of April 19. But because the sexual abuse of minors by priests and other persons in positions of trust has been a widespread and longstanding problem in the Church as elsewhere, people are now blaming the pope for not having done enough to address this problem. The irony here is that, of all the prelates in the Catholic Church, the pope has probably done more than anyone to vigorously address the problem, especially since 2001 when his Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith acquired general jurisdiction over the matter.

Let the sunshine in. My point here is a different one: to see the matter in deeper perspective. St. Josemaria Escriva used to love to recite the Creed at St. Peter’s. When he got to the part ‘‘I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church,” he would say three times over, “I believe in my Mother the Roman Church,’’ and then add, ‘‘in spite of everything.’’ He once told this to Cardinal Tardini, who worked for many years as Cardinal Secretary of State at the Vatican. Tardini asked him what he meant by that. ‘‘I mean in spite of my failings and yours,’’ replied St. Josemaria.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Archbishop’s Journal: A pastor’s homily on the Church’s failure

Catholic San Francisco

April 21st, 2010
By Archbishop George H. Niederauer

In recent weeks the issue of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy has been in the news, with an emphasis this time around on Europe and on accusations leveled at Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. The Catholic Church in this country has learned that, in this matter, the first two concerns must be the healing of victims and the protection of children. For eight years now that has been our special concentration as a Church.

Still, the present media storm has also caused dismay and confusion for Catholics and non-Catholics as well. I have asked the editor of Catholic San Francisco to reprint the following homily delivered by Rev. Msgr. Robert McElroy, Pastor of St. Gregory Parish, San Mateo, on April 11, 2010, Divine Mercy Sunday.

To be sure, Msgr. McElroy did not do the impossible by addressing all the significant aspects of this complex issue within one homily. However, he did address three key questions in a clear and balanced way: 1) How could good men have moved previous offenders into other parishes? 2) What has changed in the approach of U.S. bishops in the protection of children and young people against such abuse? 3) What are we to think of the Pope’s role in these matters?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Mexican Archdiocese Blasts Abuse-Related Suit Against Cardinal

Latin American Herald Tribune

MEXICO CITY – The Catholic archdiocese of Mexico City on Thursday blasted the lawsuit filed this week in U.S. federal court accusing Cardinal Archbishop Norberto Rivera of shielding a pedophile priest.

The suit “is nothing more than a media and opportunistic deception, taking advantage of the adverse environment the Catholic Church is suffering because of the criminal behavior of some bad priests,” said the archdiocese in a communique sent on Thursday to Efe.

Rivera is named along with U.S. Cardinal Roger Mahony and Mexican priest Nicolas Aguilar in the suit filed Tuesday by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM


Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 23 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Bruges, Belgium, presented by Bishop Roger Joseph Vangheluwe, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM


Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 23 APR 2010 (VIS) - Given below are the texts of two declarations, one by Bishop Roger Joseph Vangheluwe of Bruges, Belgium, concerning his resignation from office, and the other by Archbishop Andre-Mutien Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium. Both declarations were delivered during a press conference held at midday today in Brussels.

"When I was still just a priest, and for a certain period at the beginning of my episcopate, I sexually abused a minor from my immediate environment. The victim is still marked by what happened. Over the course of these decades I have repeatedly recognised my guilt towards him and his family, and I have asked forgiveness; but this did not pacify him, as it did not pacify me. The media storm of recent weeks has increased the trauma, and the situation is no longer tenable. I profoundly regret what I did and offer my most sincere apologies to the victim, to his family, to all the Catholic community and to society in general. I have presented my resignation as bishop of Bruges to Pope Benedict XVI. It was accepted on Friday and so I retire".

Declaration by Archbishop Andre-Mutien Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels.

"We are facing a particularly serious situation. Our thoughts go first and foremost to the victim and his family, some of whom have learned the shocking news only today. For the victim this has been a long Calvary, which has clearly not yet ended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM


Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 23 APR 2010 (VIS) - With reference to the lawsuit against the Holy See which lawyers in the United States have filed at a federal court in Milwaukee, in the name of a victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy, the Holy See Press Office reiterates a declaration released by Jeffrey Lena, the Holy See's attorney in the U.S.A., the complete text of which is given below:

"First and foremost, sympathy is due to the victims of the criminal acts committed by Fr. Lawrence Murphy. By sexually abusing children, Murphy violated both the law and the trust that his victims had placed in him.

"While legitimate lawsuits have been filed by abuse victims, this is not one of them. Instead, the lawsuit represents an attempt to use tragic events as a platform for a broader attack - this one dependent on re-characterising the Catholic Church as a worldwide 'business enterprise'.

"The case against the Holy See and its officials is completely without merit. Most of the complaint rehashes old theories already rejected by U.S. courts. With regard to Murphy himself, the Holy See and its officials knew nothing of his crimes until decades after the abuse occurred, and had no role whatsoever in causing plaintiff's injuries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Mexico City archdiocese bars priest guilty of Colo. assault.

The Denver Post

The Mexico City archdiocese said Thursday that it is barring a priest who pleaded guilty in 1989 to sexually assaulting an 11-year-old Colorado girl from working there.

Lucas Antonio Galvan has been stripped of his license to work as a priest in the city because he failed to provide documents about his past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Catholic bishops apologised over sex abuse shame rocking the church


Catholic bishops apologised today and said there were ‘no excuses’ for the child sexual abuse scandals that have rocked the church.

A statement described the crimes carried out by some priests and religious figures as a ‘profound scandal’ and said: ‘They bring deep shame to the whole church. But shame is not enough. The abuse of children is a grievous sin against God. We express our heartfelt apology and deep sorrow to those who have suffered abuse.

‘We ask their pardon and the pardon of God for these terrible deeds. There are no excuses.’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

DOMINIC LAWSON: Why is the unashamed child abuser Polanski lauded while the repentant Pope is vilified?


By Dominic Lawson

Last weekend I went to see a new film by a child-abuser. Very good it was, too. Roman Polanski's The Ghost shows no diminution in the artistic powers of one of cinema's most enduring talents: I understand why reviewers have been unstinting in their praise.

Yet Polanski has not been doing the usual TV interviews that accompany critical acclaim. He is under house arrest in his Swiss chalet, fighting the attempts of a Californian court to extradite him for the sexual abuse of a 13-year- old girl, Samantha Geimer, in 1977.

The world of film, indeed, of art in general, regards this (Polanski's arrest, not his abuse of a 13-year-old girl) as a scandal. This was clearly evident when Hollywood actress Whoopi Goldberg last year defended him with the observation: 'I know it wasn't rape-rape.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Archdiocese details priest's sexual abuse


[with video]

by Lannie Walker

Guam - The Guam Catholic Church says abuse allegations against former priest Father Raymond Cepeda date back over five years. Deacon Jeff Barcinas, spokesman for Archbishop Anthony Apuron, tells KUAM News that only one victim that he knows of reported abuse by Fr. Cepeda and he says the victim was not a minor.

Barcinas says the process to laicize Cepeda took several years and required the consent of the Pope. Cepeda, a former priest at the Santa Barbara Church in Dededo, was officially removed from the clergy last December.

"All I know from when the alleged incident was from when the incident was first reported to the Archbishop. At that time the archbishop did take the necessary action to suspend that time Father Ray Cepeda from any ministry for whoever the victims; and whoever is affected would not be affected by his presence."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Lawsuit tries tough sell: Vatican as business

The Associated Press


MILWAUKEE — A lawsuit from the U.S. aims to place blame for priest sexual abuse at the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church by claiming the Vatican controls leadership, fundraising and doctrine down to the lowest levels.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. federal court claims top leaders at the Vatican knew about allegations of sexual abuse at St. John's School for the Deaf outside Milwaukee and called off internal punishment of the accused priest, the Rev. Lawrence Murphy.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of an Illinois man by St. Paul, Minn.-based attorney Jeff Anderson, who also has a pending lawsuit against the Vatican in Oregon

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Report: Belgian bishop resigns over sex abuse case

Earth Times

Brussels - A bishop in the Belgian city of Bruges has resigned over a sexual abuse case, the Belga news agency reported Friday, quoting a relative of the prelate.

However, no details were known of the events that led Roger Vangheluwe, 74, to quit after serving for 25 years as bishop of Bruges.

A press conference has been announced at 1000 GMT in Brussels by the Archbishop of Belgium, Andre Leonard, and the bishop of Tournai, Guy Harpigny, who sit on the committee dealing with sex abuse allegations in the Belgian Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Catholic nuns also abused children

HRC Handelsblad

So far, reports of abuse within the Church have focussed almost exclusively on male clerics. But many young children also suffered at the hands of Catholic nuns.By Joep Dohmen

In the late 1950s, the Roman Catholic Hospital of Our Dear Lady Mother of in Eindhoven was hell for Petra Jorissen. The reason it was had a name: sister Johanetty. "We will break that little will of yours, break it," she would squeal, as she forced the remains of a meal Jorissen had just thrown up back down her throat.

Jorissen, now a 59-year-old journalist, recalled how the sister would also come to her room at night. "When I heard the squeaking of her lacquered men's shoes I immediately knew it was her," Jorissen said. "Only after she had come to my bed would she turn on her flashlight. By then, she had always carefully closed the curtains surrounding it." The sister would then fondle her genitals.

The nun did not ruin her life, Jorissen said, although she still sees her "devilish face" flash in front of her eyes at least once a day. She is not looking for financial compensation, she said. "But I do hope that there will be an inquiry into the pedagogical practices of female clerics in the 1950s and 60s."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Bishops begin to resign, signalling emergence of new Vatican strategy

The Globe and Mail (Canada)

Nicole Winfield

Vatican City — The Associated Press

Heads are starting to roll in the Catholic Church's child abuse scandal.

Weeks after Europe awoke to reports of clerical sex abuse in its own backyard, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of an Irish bishop who acknowledged failing to report abuse to police, while a German bishop also offered to step down.

The developments appeared to be part of a new strategy by the Vatican of getting rid of bishops who sought to protect the church from scandal rather than safeguard children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Judging priests: Papal purgatory

Chicago Sun-Times

April 23, 2010

BY MICHAEL SNEED Sun-Times Columnist

Advise and consent?

• The situation: Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, an old friend who was once a leading female lay member of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, has some advice for Pope Benedict XVI, who is dealing with bishops who protected pedophile priests.

• Burke's advice: Fire 'em all!

• The upshot: Justice Burke, who once headed the lay review board of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops investigating sexual clergy abuse, has been angered by the snail's pace used by the American bishops dealing with the church's nightmare crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Prominent Chilean priest accused of abuse

Catholic Culture

April 23, 2010
A Chilean prosecutor launched an investigation on April 22 into whether Father Fernando Karadima Fariña, a revered 80-year-old priest, sexually abused five men. A leader in the Catholic Action movement, Father Karadima, who helped train five of the nation’s bishops, stands accused of abusing young men while hearing their confessions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Bishop Slattery replaces former Vatican prefect as celebrant for DC traditional liturgy

Catholic Culture

April 23, 2010
Bishop Edward Slattery has replaced Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the former prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, as the celebrant of an April 24 Mass in the extraordinary form at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. The Mass will be the first solemn pontifical high Mass at the shrine in 45 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Uganda: Pope's Envoy Apologises for Child Sex Scandals


The New Vision

Taddeo Bwambale
22 April 2010

Kampala — The Catholic Church has regretted the sexual abuse of minors at the hands of priests and other church leaders.

The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Paul Tschang, apologised on behalf of the church for the numerous cases of sexual abuse involving children.

"We feel pain and shame for this horrible crime, a crime which hits the most vulnerable. We express our sympathy and solidarity towards the victims of the heinous crime," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Belgian Catholic bishop of Bruges resigns

BBC News

The bishop of the Belgian city of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, has resigned after admitting sexual abuse of a boy earlier in his career.

Bishop Vangheluwe said the abuse had happened when he was a simple priest and continued when he started as a bishop, a Vatican statement said.

The Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI had accepted the resignation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Catholics ready for Church exodus, poll finds

The Local

Published: 23 Apr 10
Online: http://www.thelocal.de/society/20100423-26739.html

Nearly a quarter of Germany’s 25 million Catholics are considering turning their backs on their Church in the wake of the child abuse scandals, a survey published Friday found.

The poll of more than 1,000 Catholics by the Forsa Institute published by daily Bild, found 23 percent of Church members said they were thinking of leaving.

Even among those who described themselves as devout, 19 percent were considering walking away, the poll found.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Chilean Abuse Case Tests Loyalty of a Parish

Herald Tribune (United States)


SANTIAGO, Chile — The Rev. Fernando Karadima is one of Chile’s most respected and influential priests. Some go so far as to call him a “living saint,” who for half a century trained dozens of priests and helped mold thousands of young Catholics from Santiago’s elite.

Now four men who were once devoted followers have filed a criminal complaint alleging that Father Karadima, now 79, sexually abused them in secret for years.

One man said he had reported the abuse to Father Karadima’s superiors in the Archdiocese of Santiago as many as seven years ago, but they took no action. All four men have filed formal complaints with the archdiocesan tribunal and, receiving no response, spoke publicly for the first time this week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Abuse isn't just a Catholic problem

The Times

Jack Valero

When I was growing up in the late 60’s and early 70’s sexual abuse of minors by relatives or older friends was not uncommon. But none I knew had been abused by priests; the perpetrators were teachers and relatives.

And that has been the case ever since. In all my years trying to help people with their spiritual struggles, none of those who have confided in me that they were abused as children has ever told me they had been abused by a priest.

It seems amazing that, despite moving within Catholic circles for so long, the first victim of clerical sexual abuse I ever met was when I appeared recently on the BBC Big Questions programme.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Pope accepts resignation of Belgian bishop for abuse


VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict accepted the resignation Friday of a Belgian bishop who admitted to sexual abuse in a statement issued by the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Man seeks right to sue accused Quebec City priest


MONTREAL — A man wants to sue a priest who was charged last year with sexually abusing him and several other young students under his watch at a school near Quebec City.

A civil action filed at the Montreal courthouse Thursday indicates one of the victims is seeking $750,000 from Rev. Raymond-Marie Lavoie, who used to work at the now defunct Saint-Alphonse Seminary in Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre, near Quebec City.

The statement of claim contains allegations not proven in court, and a Quebec Superior Court justice must authorize the suit for it to proceed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

April 22, 2010

Priest won't change sex abuse guilty pleas

ABC News

A New South Wales Hunter Valley Catholic priest accused of molesting dozens of boys has decided against reversing some of his guilty pleas.

Last year, John Sidney Denham, 66, pleaded guilty to 29 offences but later said he wanted to change some of his pleas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 PM

Quebecer seeks to sue priest for alleged abuse

CBC News

A man wants to sue a priest who was charged last year with sexually abusing him and several other young students under his watch at a school near Quebec City.

A civil action filed at the Montreal courthouse Thursday indicates one of the victims is seeking $750,000 from Rev. Raymond-Marie Lavoie, who used to work at the now defunct Saint-Alphonse Seminary in Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré, near Quebec City.

The statement of claim contains allegations not proven in court, and a Quebec Superior Court justice must authorize the suit for it to proceed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

Clean-out needed 'to show younger people that change . . . is possible'

The Irish Times

DARA deFAOITE in Carlow

LOCAL REACTION: THE ACCEPTANCE by Pope Benedict XVI of Bishop Jim Moriarty of Kildare and Leighlin’s resignation was largely welcomed within the diocese, albeit with some sadness and respect for Dr Moriarty who had served as bishop there for eight years.

“We’re sad to see him go,” said Fr Declan Foley, parish priest at Bagenalstown. “His record was absolutely superb in the Kildare and Leighlin diocese. We understand and respect the decision he made to step down, and maybe it will be seen as a show of leadership to the hierarchy, as being a proactive move on his part. I feel his credibility has been enhanced very much by showing leadership in the whole area.”

Fr Adrian Carbery, parish priest in Kildare town, said Dr Moriarty’s resignation is “the strongest statement he could possibly make in relation to the issues concerned and regarding the importance of protecting people rather than the kind of reaction that was endemic in the church previously”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

Suit: Vatican No. 2 got letter from abuse victim

The Associated Press


MILWAUKEE — A neatly typed letter dated March 5, 1995, is addressed to the No. 2 man at the Vatican and recounts the story of a priest who preyed on deaf boys trapped in dormitories with no chance of escape.

The letter to Cardinal Angelo Sodano from one of the Rev. Lawrence Murphy's alleged victims is more evidence for those trying to learn what Vatican officials knew about abuse claims at St. John's School for the Deaf outside Milwaukee and when.

The document was revealed Thursday in yet another lawsuit aimed at the highest reaches of the Roman Catholic Church. It's also significant because it involves Sodano, a strong defender of Pope Benedict XVI's handling of the global clergy sexual abuse crisis and a man whose own record on a separate high-profile case has come under scrutiny.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 PM

Cardenal Castrillón incluye a masonería en ataques a Iglesia


El cardenal colombiano Darío Castrillón Hoyos aseguró el jueves que muchas de las acusaciones contra miembros de la Iglesia Católica por pederastia hacen parte de una campaña de persecución que, según él, en algunos casos proviene de la masonería.

"Lástima que haya --no me da miedo usar la expresión-- 'idiotas útiles' dentro (de la Iglesia) que se prestan para este tipo de persecución, pero no me da miedo decir que en algunos de los casos está por dentro la masonería unida a otros enemigos de la Iglesia", dijo Castrillón en una entrevista con la radio local RCN.

Pero el religioso no quiso dar mayores detalles de la supuesta confabulación de los masones en contra de la Iglesia porque "como no soy tonto, no digo todo lo que sé. Eso lo dicen los borrachos, los niños o los tontos, y no soy ni niño ni borracho ni tonto".


Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos said Thursday that many accusations against members of the Catholic Church are part of a campaign of persecution and in some cases are coming from Freemasonry.

He said he was not afraid to use the expression "useful idiots" within the church that lend themselves to this kind of persecution. He said Freemasonry and other enemies of the church are involved in the campaign. Castrillon Hoyos refused to give further details of the alleged conspiracy of Masons against the church. He said he is "no fool" and would not say all he knew.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 PM

Seguir la ley de la Iglesia no es encubrir, dice cardenal Castrillón

W Radio

Jaime Andrés Ospina | Abril 22 de 2010

En diálogo exclusivo desde Roma con la W, el cardenal Darío Castrillón dijo que nunca "encubrió y felicitó" a un obispo por no haber denunciado a un sacerdote acusado de pedofilia porque la Iglesia Católica es "clarísima en el repudio" de esas practicas.

"La Iglesia es clarísima en el repudio de la pedofilia. El Papa Benedicto XVII nos está llevando por el camino de Cristo y fue Él quien nos habló de los grave que es escandalizar a un niño", explicó el cardenal.

Castrillón ha recibido muchas críticas por la publicación de una carta de felicitación a un obispo francés por no haber denunciado ante la administración civil a un sacerdote acusado de pederastia.


In an exclusive talk with the W from Rome, Cardinal Dario Castrillon said he never "covered up and congratulated" a bishop for failing to report a priest accused of pedophilia because the Catholic Church has clearly repudiated such practice.

He said that Pope Benedict XVI is leading the church down the path of Christ and it was he who spoke of child abuse as shocking, the cardinal said. The cardinal has come under fire for publishing a letter of congratulations to a Frenchbishop for failing to report a priest accused to pedophilia to the civil administration.

Castillon said his letter was not concealment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

Cardenal colombiano Castrillón reafirma posición y denuncia a la masonería


22 de Abril de 2010, 04:08pm ET
BOGOTA, 22 Abr 2010 (AFP) -
El cardenal colombiano Darío Castrillón dijo este jueves que no se arrepentirá "nunca" por el apoyo que dio a un obispo francés que no denunció a un sacerdote pedófilo, y acusó a la masonería de estar tras la campaña contra la Iglesia por esos escándalos.

"De esto no me arrepentiré nunca. Y mantengo esa posición porque esa es la posición tradicional de la Iglesia", puntualizó en declaraciones telefónicas desde Roma a la radio RCN de Bogotá.

Castrillón reaccionó así a las críticas suscitadas por haber enviado en mayo de 2001, cuando se desempeñaba como prefecto de la Congregación para el Clero del Vaticano, una carta elogiando la actitud del obispo francés Pierre Pican por no haber denunciado a la justicia los abusos del sacerdote Rene Bissey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 PM

Mexico church bars priest with abuse conviction

The Associated Press


MEXICO CITY — The Mexico City archdiocese said Thursday it is barring a priest who pleaded guilty in 1989 to sexually assaulting an 11-year-old Colorado girl from working in the city.

The office of Cardinal Norberto Rivera said that Lucas Antonio Galvan has been stripped of his license to work as a priest in the city because he failed to provide documents about his past. Rivera's spokesman, Hugo Valdemar, said the decision shows the church is taking sex abuse allegations seriously.

Galvan can still practice in churches elsewhere in Mexico, however.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 PM

Colombia cardinal defends church's abuse policies

Fox News

BOGOTA (AP) — A senior cardinal defended the Roman Catholic Church's practice of frequently not reporting sexual abusive priests to the police, saying Thursday it would have been like testifying against a family member at trial.

Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos also said in a radio interview that Pope Benedict XVI, formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was involved in a 2001 decision to praise a French bishop for shielding a priest who was convicted of raping minors.

"The law in nations with a well-developed judiciary does not force anyone to testify against a child, a father, against other people close to the suspect," Castrillon told RCN radio. "Why would they ask that of the church? That's the injustice. It's not about defending a pedophile, it's about defending the dignity and the human rights of a person, even the worst of criminals."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

Vatican cardinal bucked US bishop on abuse

National Catholic Reporter

[with links to several documents]

Apr. 22, 2010
By Jason Berry

Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the former Vatican official who sent a letter in 2001 praising a French bishop for sheltering an abusive priest, had earlier intervened, against the wishes of a U.S. bishop, on behalf of an American abuser priest, according to documents that were part of a lawsuit.

Castrillon pressured Bishop Manuel Moreno, who was bishop of Tucson, Ariz., from 1982-2003, to allow a priest sex abuser to take a pension and work outside the diocese, despite allegations that would later jolt the diocese and cost millions to resolve. Fr Robert Trupia "sexually abused dozens of minor boys" before he was defrocked in 2004, according to documents in the civil case.

The litigation surrounding the case opens a rare window on the operation of the Vatican legal system.

Castrillon, who was named a cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 1998, sparked a new episode in the Vatican crisis last week when his 2001 letter to a French bishop surfaced, praising him for sheltering a predator. Moreover, Castrillon implicated the late John Paul II in that decision. "After consulting the pope ... I wrote a letter to the bishop congratulating him as a model of a father who does not hand over his sons," Castrillon was quoted in the daily La Verdad as telling a religious conference in Spain on April 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 PM

Oklahoma bishop to celebrate solemn high Mass at national shrine

Catholic News Service

By Chaz Muth
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The group organizing the first pontifical solemn high Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington in 45 years said April 22 that Bishop Edward J. Slattery of Tulsa, Okla., would be the main celebrant.

The Maryland-based Paulus Institute for the Propagation of Sacred Liturgy made the announcement a day after it said it would replace Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos as celebrant of the April 24 Mass.

Members of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, had criticized the institute's choice of the cardinal because of his handling of a clergy sex abuse case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Case Against Vatican In Sex Abuse Lawsuit Outlined


[the complaint]

[Documents regarding Murphy which were sent to the Vatican]

[victim's letter to the Vatican]

(Minneapolis, MN) -- A legal volley has been fired by an Illinois man who claims he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest while a student at a deaf school for children in Milwaukee.

The suit filed in U.S. District Court alleges Vatican officials, including Pope Benedict, for years covered up hundreds of cases of abuse by a now-deceased Wisconsin priest.

Attorney Jeff Anderson contends senior Vatican officials also had a secret policy of refusing to cooperate with law enforcement officials on such matters.

Anderson has released court documents appearing to indicate the Pope's involvement in the case surrounding Reverend Joseph Murphy stems from when he was then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Ecclesiastical Culture: Walking the Walk

Catholic Culture

by Dr. Jeff Mirus, April 22, 2010

In addition to raising questions about Church-State relations with respect to ecclesiastical persons who have committed crimes (see When Should a Bishop Expose a Priest to Civil Authority), the Castrillon Hoyos affair demonstrates the degree to which the episcopal culture around the world reflects the curial culture in Rome. One step down, the same principle—that the rest of the Church largely reflects the episcopal culture—is demonstrated by Bishop Lawrence Brandt’s exceptional refusal to allow dissident nuns to advertise for vocations in his diocesan media. The sad truth is that, over the past generation or so, ecclesiastical culture from the very top down has been strong on talking the talk. But as for walking the walk, well, not so much.

When I refer to “walking the walk” I am talking about effective administrative discipline, which is the primary means any organization uses to ensure that it properly reflects its mission at every level. In my past commentaries on the need for discipline in the Church, I have frequently mentioned that Pope John Paul was not an effective administrative disciplinarian. I don’t expect great men—even saintly great men—to be good at everything, and it does seem clear that John Paul II left Benedict XVI with a considerably larger number of bishops around the world who are likely to respond properly to disciplinary instructions in the future. God alone can judge whether John Paul II did all he could have done. But the fact remains that administrative discipline was seldom effectively utilized during his pontificate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:45 PM

Suit Against Pope, Vatican Details Wisconsin Abuse


MILWAUKEE April 22, 2010

The case of a Wisconsin priest accused of preying on boys at a school for the deaf was presented to the Vatican by one of the victims a year earlier than previously thought, according to documents revealed Thursday in another lawsuit aimed at the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church.

A man identified in the lawsuit as "John Doe 16" of Illinois wrote a March 5, 1995, letter to then-Vatican Secretary of State Angelo Sodano alleging that the Rev. Lawrence Murphy molested him for a number of years. Previously, it was believed that the Vatican first learned of the allegations against Murphy in a July 1996 letter from Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland.

Murphy, who died in 1998, is accused of sexually abusing some 200 boys at the school from 1950 to 1974. His case drew renewed scrutiny after the recent release of documents suggesting that a Vatican office led by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger -- now the pope -- failed to aggressively discipline Murphy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:41 PM

‘I pity the Catholics who believed in their leaders’

The Times

Catherine Nixey

Sunday morning Mass at the Brompton Oratory Catholic Church, in Kensington, southwest London. At a signal, the congregation stands. In unison, they speak: “We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty.” They are reciting the Nicene Creed, as Roman Catholics have recited it for centuries before.

Today such a statement of belief seems a difficult one to profess. Not only because of the abuses of children committed by priests worldwide, in Ireland, Malta and Germany, but also because of the extent to which the Catholic Church has attempted to cover it up — that implicates even Pope Benedict XVI himself, whose alleged cover-up of abuse in America has led the critic Christopher Hitchens, with the support of Richard Dawkins, to call for his arrest.

On Monday, the Pope cried and expressed his “shame and sorrow” for the Maltese abuses. Yesterday, the Catholic Church in England and Wales offered public repentance. But are such acts enough to convince the Catholic faithful that their Church — which the Pope describes as a “wounded, sinner Church” — is still, as the creed calls it, a “holy Church” for which one can, in the literal and the metaphorical sense, stand? These are questions that all those within the Catholic family must ask. It is a family to which I belong. Not only because I was brought up a Catholic, but also because — before they met and married — my father was a monk for 14 years and my mother a nun for 12. What to think now of the institution to which they gave so much of their lives? Can it survive this?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Report Links Late Priest’s Fund Raising to Church Inaction on Abuse Claims

The Chronicle of Philanthropy

A prominent priest's fund-raising ability may have shielded him from church censure for alleged sexual abuse, National Public Radio reports, citing an investigation by a Catholic news organization.

Father Marcial Maciel, who built the wealthy Legion of Christ order, weathered accusations of sexual abuse of seminarians from the 1950s until 2006, when Pope Benedict dismissed him from the ministry, according to a series of articles in the National Catholic Reporter, an independent newspaper that covers the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 PM

Ex-nun refuses to hand over journal

The Times Record


A former nun ordered to turn over her personal journal to lawyers defending a priest charged with child sex abuse is refusing to do so.

Robert Poandl, 68, of Cincinnati is charged with sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy when he filled in for a priest at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Spencer in August 1991.

The boy, also from Cincinnati, allegedly accompanied Poandl on his one-day trip to Spencer more than 18 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Setting the Record Straight

National Catholic Register

by Father Owen Kearns, LC , Publisher Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010

A version of this publisher’s note was originally published as a Register Exclusive.

This is in some way a special edition of the Register, giving our readers an overview of what is involved in the firestorm over the Church’s handling of clergy sexual abuse.

Doing this thoroughly requires setting the record straight regarding previous Register coverage of the abuse scandal surrounding Father Marcial Maciel. I had intended waiting until the Holy See issued its findings after the apostolic visitation of the Legionaries of Christ, mostly to give myself enough time to wrap my mind and my heart around all I have learned about our founder.

I realize, though, that even if I don’t feel quite ready to talk about my role in defending our founder and the grief my words must surely have caused, the readers of the Register are ready and it is better that I speak now. To be honest, they have probably been ready for some time.

I publicly defended our founder as spokesman for the Legion of Christ in early 1997 and as publisher in the National Catholic Register in November 2001 and May 2006. On each of these occasions I believed completely that the allegations against Father Maciel were false. I trusted him and his profession of innocence. I know now that I was wrong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

Fool Me Once. . .


April 21, 2010
Posted by Cathleen Kaveny

In an article on the Legionary of Christ-published National Catholic Register, Fr. Owen Kearns, L.C., issues a statement admitting his founder Maciel’s wrongdoing, and issuing what I think is a tepid apology to Maciel’s accusers. The statements comes two weeks after the Legionaries’ own official statement distancing themselves from their founder, and after rumors that the Vatican would place the order in receivership started surfacing. Objectively speaking, one could say that it is an expedient rather than a prophetic apology.

As spokesperson for the LC, Kearns did not only defend his founder. He strongly attacked those who came forward to speak against him. He put in place an editorial policy for the National Catholic Register that downplayed the accusations. Arguably, this policy contributed to an active cover up.

Now some Catholics see no reason to doubt Kearns‘ claim that he was duped by the Legion. REGAIN doesn’t treat the apology with the same acceptance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Abuse victim in Malta: Pope Benedict XVI is a 'saint'

Catholic News Agency

Rome, Italy, Apr 22, 2010 / 01:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Vatican analyst Andrea Tornielli spoke with Joseph Magro, 38, one of eight victims of clerical abuse who met with Pope Benedict XVI during his recent visit to Malta. Magro said the meeting “was truly a most beautiful gift, after all this suffering, we all cried, even the Pope.”

In the interview published by the Italian daily Il Giornale, Magro, who proudly showed the rosary he was given by the Holy Father in Malta, shared details about his meeting with the Pope.

“I did not have any faith in priests. Now, after this moving experience, I have hope again. You people in Italy have a saint. Do you realize that? You have a saint,” he said, referring to Pope Benedict XVI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Minnesota Attorney Files Lawsuit Against Pope, Vatican


[the court document]

MILWAUKEE -- A lawsuit aimed at Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican, and two cardinals was filed Thursday morning in St. Paul, Minn.

The lawsuit claims all parties involved helped cover up for an abusive Wisconsin priest.

The federal lawsuit centers around Father Lawrence Murphy who abused at least 200 hundred children at the School for the Deaf in St. Francis decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:34 PM

All 'silent' bishops should resign: Abuse survivor Collins

Breaking News

All bishops who failed to challenge the culture of cover-up over child abuse should resign if the Church has any hope of moving forward, an abuse survivor said tonight.

Marie Collins, who was abused by Father Edmondus in a children’s hospital almost 50 years ago, said it was undignified for senior clerics implicated in the scandals to cling to power.

“I think any bishop who didn’t challenge the cover-up or who actually worked that policy of cover-up should go before the Church in Ireland has any chance of moving forward and getting any sort of trust or respect back,” Ms Collins said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Murphy assault victims to sue pope today

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Updated: April 22, 2010

A victim of the late Father Lawrence Murphy, a Catholic priest accused of molesting as many as 200 deaf boys over decades beginning in the 1950s, is expected to file a lawsuit in federal court in Milwaukee Thursday afternoon naming Pope Benedict XVI and other top Vatican officials as defendants.

The lawsuit is expected to contend that Benedict, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and top Vatican officials "were provided detailed proof and direct admission by Murphy of criminal acts" but failed to alert federal authorities, place Murphy into sex offender treatment, remove him from the priesthood, alert parishes where he was working, or inform members of the deaf community of Murphy's criminal history, according to SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

Evidence is expected to include a certified letter written by the unidentified victim to a top Vatican official in 1995, said Jeff Anderson, the Minneapolis lawyer representing church victims in Milwaukee and around the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

German Bishop Resigns in Latest Blow to Church

The New York Times

Published: April 22, 2010

BERLIN — A German bishop accused of beating children decades ago when he was a priest has tendered his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI, the diocese in Augsburg said Thursday, the latest blow to the Roman Catholic Church in Germany as it grapples with a swirling sexual-abuse scandal.

The accused man, Bishop Walter Mixa, was one of the church’s most prominent and outspoken conservatives in Germany, and he aggressively defended himself for weeks against charges of physically abusing children in a Bavarian orphanage.

Accusations have also surfaced of financial irregularities at the orphanage’s foundation. A lawyer hired by the foundation has raised questions about thousands of dollars spent on wine, art, jewelry and even a tanning bed while Bishop Mixa was chairman of the foundation’s board in the 1990s. Bishop Mixa was a priest in the town of Schrobenhausen from 1975 to 1996.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

Catholic child abuse scandal intensifies

Financial Times

By James Boxell, Home Affairs Correspondent

The child abuse scandal that has engulfed the Vatican intensified on Thursday after two more bishops offered to resign and the leaders of 5m Catholics in England and Wales issued the strongest admission of guilt yet to emerge from the church.

The offer of resignation by Walter Mixa, Bishop of Augsburg in southern Germany, will be particularly unwelcome for Pope Benedict XVI as the two men are close allies. Bishop Mixa is alleged to have beaten children at a Catholic children’s home in the 1970s and 1980s. He has not been accused of sexual abuse.

Pope Benedict on Tuesday accepted the resignation of James Moriarty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin in Ireland, over the mishandling of allegations during his time in the Dublin Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

No court for Chelmsford priest accused of prostitution in NH

Boston Herald

By Associated Press
Thursday, April 22, 2010

NASHUA, N.H.— A court appearance has been postponed for a Massachusetts priest nabbed in a Nashua prostitution sting operation last week.

Thirty-one-year-old William Ventura of Chelmsford, Mass., was one of eight men arrested by Nashua police after responding to a Craigslist ad indicating prostitutes were operating out of the hotel. They weren’t, but the police were

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Retired priest accused of abuse appears in court, facing 10 years in prison


Mike McWilliams, The Asheville Citizen-Times

MARION - A former Catholic priest accused of molesting a boy in Western North Carolina made his first court appearance Wednesday in McDowell County.

William "Bill" Casey, 76, is charged with crimes against nature. He was arrested Monday in Greene County, Tenn., on a fugitive warrant from McDowell County. He returned to Marion on Tuesday, posted $5,000 bond and was released from custody.

Asheville attorney David Belser is representing Casey on the charge, said Capt. Vic Hollifield of the McDowell County Sheriff's Office. Casey was released after his court appearance and ordered to have no contact with children without adult supervision. Casey will return to court May 12 for a probable cause hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Abuse victim backs Pope's pledge

ABC News

A Hunter Valley victim of clergy abuse says he hopes the Roman Catholic Church's zero tolerance policy of sexual abuse is not just "lip-service".

Pope Benedict has publicly promised that the church will take action to deal with abuse by priests around the world.

Catholic priests in the Hunter Valley are believed to have abused more than 70 children since the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

English, Welsh bishops ask Catholics to do penance to atone for abuse

Catholic News Service

By Simon Caldwell
Catholic News Service

LONDON (CNS) -- The bishops of England and Wales are asking Catholics to carry out acts of penance each Friday in May to help atone for clerical abuse crimes.

In a statement to be read at all parishes April 24-25, the bishops assured Catholics that effective child protection procedures are in place. However, they said, it is "time for deep prayer and reparation for atonement" of the sins of priests and other Catholics who have abused children.

"We invite Catholics in England and Wales to make the four Fridays in May 2010 special days of prayer," the bishops said in their statement, released April 22.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Church: local priest defrocked

Pacific Daily News

By Steve Limtiaco • Pacific Daily News • April 23, 2010

The island's Catholic Archdiocese late last year removed Guam priest Raymond Cepeda from the priesthood after it investigated "serious allegations" of sexual abuse allegedly committed by him, the church said yesterday in a written statement.

Cepeda had worked in the Santa Barbara and other Catholic churches on Guam. The Archdiocese of Agana said it also reported him to civil authorities.

The church also announced two Capuchin friars with ties to Guam were punished by that religious order because of sexual abuse allegations leveled against them while they were at off-island ministries. The Capuchin Franciscans permanently revoked their ability to engage in public ministry, the order told the local Archdiocese in a letter last month. The Archdiocese yesterday released a copy of that letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Ill. man sues Vatican, pope over Wis. abuse case

The Associated Press


MILWAUKEE — An Illinois man who says he was molested by a Wisconsin priest as a child filed a federal lawsuit Thursday accusing Pope Benedict XVI and senior Vatican officials of failing to protect children from a man the Vatican knew was a possible child molester.

The Vatican had no immediate comment.

The plaintiff, identified in court papers as John Doe 16, said he was repeatedly molested by the Rev. Lawrence Murphy while he was a student at the Milwaukee-area St. John's School for the Deaf. The lawsuit says the abuse occurred over a number of years and included incidents where Murphy solicited sex in the confessional.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Alleged Wis. abuse victim sues Vatican, Pope Benedict

Minneapolis Star Tribune


Last update: April 22, 2010 - 12:08 PM

A St. Paul attorney sued in federal court Thursday, alleging that Pope Benedict and other senior Vatican officials long covered up at least 200 cases of child sexual abuse by a Wisconsin priest.

The case was filed in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee on behalf of an Illinois man who says he was molested by the Rev. Joseph Murphy, who is accused of molesting at least 200 children at a suburban Milwaukee school for the deaf.

The suit contends that the Vatican and its hierarchy were "well aware of the centuries-old practice of childhood sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests and clerics."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

Priest sex video on sale in Brazil

Herald Sun (Australia)

A VIDEO of a priest receiving oral sex in a church from a former choir boy was being sold in the streets of Brazil, in another stinging twist to the paedophile scandal enveloping the Catholic Church.

The hidden-camera images were being sold illicitly, with a Bluetooth video file downloaded to the purchaser's mobile telephone upon payment of $US3 to $US6, the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported.

The video was allegedly that of Monsignor Luiz Marques Barbosa, 84, engaged in oral sex in front of a church altar with a 19-year-old former choirboy who says on tape he was abused by Barbosa for many years, since he was a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 PM

Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal Fallout Spreads In Europe

The New York Times

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Fallout from the Catholic child sex abuse scandal spread across Europe on Thursday as the Vatican retired an Irish bishop, a German offered to step down and prelates in England and Wales apologised for the "terrible crimes" of priests.

The Vatican said Pope Benedict, under criticism from victims for not doing enough about past cases of abuse by priests now being revealed, had accepted the resignation of Bishop James Moriarty, the third Irish bishop to leave over the scandal.

In Germany, Walter Mixa, who is bishop for Augsburg and for the German armed forces, offered to resign late on Wednesday after admitting he physically abused children decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

First Europe, then the US – now abuse claims sweep Latin America

The Independent (United Kingdom)

By Jerome Taylor, Religious Affairs Correspondent

The paedophile priest scandal currently enveloping the Vatican has spread to one of the most Catholic areas of the world following a string of new abuse revelations throughout Latin America.

Reports of priests raping or abusing minors have now emerged in Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, Mexico and Chile causing growing anger in a continent that is home to nearly half the world’s Catholics.

In Brazil an 83-year-old priest has been arrested after he was secretly filmed in bed with a 19-year-old altar boy. The footage was broadcast on national television networks prompting a police investigation which led to the arrest of Monsignor Luiz Marques Barbosa and two other priests in the north eastern state of Alagoas. They have since been accused of abusing boys as young as 12 and have been suspended by their diocesan bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

Bishop: 'Shame' on Brazil church in sex scandal

The Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO — A Roman Catholic bishop in Brazil says he strongly supports the police investigation of three priests in his region accused of sexual abuse.

Bishop Valerio Breda's says the case has brought "shame and dishonor" on the church. His open letter was made public on Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:08 PM

“Welcome to Wittenberg”

Voice from the Desert

Richard Sipe is one of the prophetic voices in the long struggle for the Church to face truth squarely.

The New Yorker recently quoted from a Sipe speech in 1992. The address was titled “Welcome to Wittenberg.”

A portion of the speech appears here today because we believe some NSAC subscribers might not know all of the shoulders we stand on.

- Kristine Ward, Chair, NSAC


Is reform possible? An alcoholic problem is not cured by merely giving up drinking. What is needed? A spiritual transformation that progressively takes full responsibility for one’s actions and their consequences, reevaluates relationships, and institutes a new way of life and being…there are fourteen facts (truths) in the area of its celibate/sexual practice that the Church must face to reform (transform) itself.

1. Sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic clergy is a long-standing problem. Besides the historical accounts in Lea and Boswell we have cases on U.S. file from 1908 through 1917 and consistently from the 1930s through the 1980s.

2. The phenomenon of the sexual abuse of minors is a worldwide problem among Roman Catholic clergy. It is every bit as prevalent in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. and in Boston as it is in Chicago. Europe and England are ten years behind the United States in bringing the problem to public attention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

German Catholic bishop resigns in disgrace, church members‘ exodus continues

Deutsche Welle

A prominent German bishop has offered his resignation to the pope, over charges of beating children under his supervision. Meanwhile, more and more German Catholics are leaving their scandal-plagued church.

The bishop of Augsburg, Walter Mixa, has written a letter to the pope offering his resignation after being accused of using violence against children in his care, and of misusing funds donated to a local orphanage.

His decision comes after senior figures in the German Catholic Church - who do not have the authority to call on him to resign -suggested he take a leave of absence from his post, a move which revealed a rare lack of solidarity within the ranks of the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Bishop Resigns Amid Claims of Violence and Financial Irregularities


On Thursday the Catholic Church in Augsburg confirmed their bishop, Walter Mixa had sent a letter of resignation to the pope. Mixa has been accused of violence against children and there are investigations into financial irregularities. News of his resignation has been welcomed by almost everyone, even the Church itself.

Walter Mixa, the Bishop of Augsburg, Germany has tendered his resignation, his office confirmed on Thursday. In his request to the pope, the 68-year-old said he would be resigning both from his bishopric in Augsburg and as the Bishop of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces. The ongoing public discussion about his character over the past few weeks had weighed heavily upon priests and the faithful in his bishopric, his letter said. The Augsburger Allgemeine and the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspapers reported Thursday that the letter had been sent the previous evening.

With his resignation Bishop Mixa wanted to prevent further damage to the Church and to make a new start possible, the press release from the bishopric of Augsburg stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Denver man files suit against Catholic religious order

The Denver Post

By Kirk Mitchell
The Denver Post

A 49-year-old Denver man has filed a lawsuit against a Catholic religious order claiming a priest molested him repeatedly while he attended a seminary in Denver in 1976.

The man, identified as John Doe in the suit filed in Denver County District Court Tuesday, said that he was sexually abused by Father Mark Matson, who was the rector of St. Andrew's Seminary.

The suit filed by Florida attorneys Alan Molk and Adam Horowitz, names The Theatine Fathers, a religious order formed in Colorado, as a defendant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

Civil suit filed against former Hawaii priest for sex assault of teen

Honolulu Advertiser

A former Roman Catholic priest who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2000 for sexually abusing a 13-year-old O'ahu boy is at the center of a civil lawsuit filed yesterday in Denver, Colo.

The lawsuit alleges Mark Matson repeatedly assaulted a 15-year old boy while the teen was attending St. Andrews Seminary in Denver in 1976.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the former student, identified only as "John Doe," who is now 49 years old and a resident of the Denver area. The complaint contends that when the student confronted Matson about a series of sexual assaults, the priest claimed to have found marijuana in the boy's belongings and had him expelled from the Denver seminary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Jailed Hawaii priest accused of mainland sex assault

Hawaii News Now

[with video]

By Jim Mendoza

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mark Matson was a Catholic priest in Hawaii and chaplain at Tripler Army Medical Center.

In 2000 he was convicted in Honolulu of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy.

In the mid 1970s Matson supervised young boys at a Colorado seminary.

Court documents filed Tuesday in Denver allege he sexually assaulted one of them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

An Interview With Northern California Survivor Supporter, Connie Valentine.

Healing and Spirituality

Dr. Jaime Romo

JR: Connie, we met on the first day of the 16th Annual Northern California Child Sex Abuse Awareness conference “Whistle Blower Children: What happens when children report sex abuse”. I was impressed by the positive energy around advocacy to end sexual abuse. What got you to organize this event?

CV: Thank you, Jaime. In 1992 a small group of incest survivors attended a conference on child sexual abuse in San Francisco. The workshop leader Libbe HaLevy recommended developing Incest Survivors Speakers’ Bureaus all over the country to speak out about sexual abuse, particularly incest. Our group is the only one we know who followed her wise advice. You can see our website at www.issb.us.

During the intervening 18 years, our little local group healed individually and collectively through good trauma therapy and group support. We began our conferences 16 years ago to bring the issue of child sex abuse to community awareness in hopes it will help to end this scourge. The conferences are a collaborative effort and your comments make us realize that we have come a long way. We really do feel positive about healing from, and ending, sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:29 AM

This is the full story of Father Michael Charles Glennon, one of Australia’s most notorious child-abusers

Broken Rites

By a Broken Rites researcher

When the Catholic Church ordained Father Michael Glennon as a priest for the Melbourne Archdiocese, it gave him easy access to children. This launched Father Glennon on a career of child-sex crimes.

By the year 2003, Fr Michael Glennon had been convicted five times (and was serving a long jail sentence) for child-sex offences, involving a long list of children, mostly boys. However, these were not his only victims — they were merely those who eventually spoke to the police. The world will never know exactly how many children Father Glennon abused. Even Glennon himself would have lost count of the real number.

Broken Rites has researched Glennon’s criminal prosecutions. We have also interviewed some of his victims, who helped to bring him to justice. Broken Rites referred two families to an appropriate police unit to report Glennon's offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

Catholic church says sorry over child sex abuse scandals


Mark Tran, Henry McDonald in Dublin guardian.co.uk, Thursday 22 April

Catholic bishops in England and Wales today asked for forgiveness and offered a "heartfelt" apology for the child abuse scandal that has engulfed the church.

A joint statement presented by the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, was issued at the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, and will go out to all parishes at the end of a plenary meeting in Leeds.

The statement described the crimes carried out by some priests and religious figures as a "profound scandal" and said: "They bring deep shame to the whole church. But shame is not enough. The abuse of children is a grievous sin against God. Therefore we focus not on shame but on our sorrow for these sins ... We ask their pardon, and the pardon of God for these terrible deeds done in our midst. There can be no excuses."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

Catholic Church child abuse scandal: Archbishop Vincent Nichols expresses 'deep shame'


[Archbishop's statement]

By Peter Hutchison
Published: 11:00AM BST 22 Apr 2010

The leader of Catholics in England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, has issued a statement expressing "deep shame" over the child abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church.

Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols Photo: AFP/GETTY IMAGES The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, referred to the "inadequate response by some church leaders" to the "terrible crimes" committed.

He said: "The criminal offences committed by some priests and religious are a profound scandal. They bring deep shame to the whole church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 AM

Catholic Donors Give While Priests Abuse Children


By Flavia Krause-Jackson and Gadi Dechter

April 22 (Bloomberg) -- Margaret McSherry, a 79-year-old widow, keeps giving 7 pounds ($10.85) a week to Holy Family Church in Belfast as the investigation of pedophile priests spreads to three continents.

“I am a practicing Catholic Christian and I always will be,” said the retired nurse in Northern Ireland. “The Church needs money to keep itself up.”

Loyalty such as McSherry’s to the world’s oldest Christian denomination, with more than 1 billion followers, helps explain why anger at the Roman Catholic Church and Pope Benedict XVI for failing to prevent priests in five countries from abusing children won’t lead to a drop in Sunday collections and donations to local parishes, said Joseph Claude Harris, a Seattle-based expert on Catholic finance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:15 AM

Analysis: Walter Mixa’s resignation can be a new beginning for Catholics

The Times

Ruth Gledhill

Walter Mixa’s resignation is a refreshingly prompt response to the allegations of child abuse made against him, although no doubt it could never have come soon enough for those children, now adults, who report that he beat them with sticks, a carpet beater and, when that broke, his fists.

The Pope must now accept that resignation, or all the apologies pouring forth from bishops’ conferences worldwide will seem meaningless.

Bishop Mixa is totemic in this sorry saga because, although no claims of sex abuse are alleged against him, the charges of beatings are serious. Importantly, he is a staunch conservative and a friend and ally of his fellow German, Benedict XVI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

Thank you, Archbishop Nichols. Your apology for the child-abuse horror is exactly what we needed


By George Pitcher World Last updated: April 22nd, 2010

Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, has shown the Roman Catholic Church, from Ireland to the Vatican, how to do it in his response to his Church’s institutional child-rape revelations. With real humility and genuine penitence, he has expressed a “heartfelt apology and deep sorrow to those who have suffered abuse, those who have felt ignored, disbelieved or betrayed.”

By saying “the failings of some bishops and religious leaders in handling these matters…are aspects of this tragedy which we deeply regret and for which we apologise” directly flies in the face of dreadfully high-handed, self-satisfied and complacent responses to the crisis that have emerged from some quarters of his Church. This is not, as some Catholic bishops have appallingly claimed, about an anti-papist media conspiracy. Nor is it about “idle gossip” or the Church not responding to “dominant opinion”, as the Vatican has variously and repulsively claimed. It is not, God help us, the consequence of “homosexuality” in the priesthood as one episcopal wiseacre revoltingly had it. It is about the most terrible crimes committed against vulnerable children by the very people that they should have been most able to trust for holy, unconditional love.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Statement by the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales

Roman Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales

Child abuse in the Catholic Church has been such a focus of public attention recently, that we, the Bishops of England and Wales, wish to address this issue directly and unambiguously.

Catholics are members of a single universal body. These terrible crimes, and the inadequate response by some church leaders, grieve us all.

Our first thoughts are for all who have suffered from the horror of these crimes, which inflict such severe and lasting wounds. They are uppermost in our prayer. The distress we feel at what has happened is nothing in comparison with the suffering of those who have been abused.

The criminal offences committed by some priests and religious are a profound scandal. They bring deep shame to the whole church. But shame is not enough. The abuse of children is a grievous sin against God. Therefore we focus not on shame but on our sorrow for these sins. They are the personal sins of only a very few. But we are bound together in the Body of Christ and, therefore, their sins touch us all.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Archbishop issuing statement on child safeguards

The Independent

By Amy Murphy, Press Association

Thursday, 22 April 2010

A Catholic archbishop will today issue a statement about the safeguarding of children after sex abuse accusations that have rocked the Church.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, will present the statement to go out to all parishes in England and Wales at the end of a plenary meeting in Leeds.

The statement, at the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, comes as Pope Benedict XVI made his first public remarks calling for change since the crisis erupted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

New Square appoints Vaad to deal with sexual abuse

The Jewish Star

by Michael Orbach

Issue of April 23, 2010/ 9 Iyar, 5770

At noon on a Sunday afternoon, Isaac Brewer sits at his desk in the back of Fax Unlimited, the electronics store he operates on Route 59 in Spring Valley. The flat-screen monitor on his desk displays several camera views that let him watch the unattended front of the store. Every so often, a customer walks in and Brewer dishes with them over what printer to buy, and every so often, the phone rings and Brewer switches fluently between Yiddish and English, telling one customer that he’ll be happy to drop off a toner at so-and-so’s mother-in-law. And in between conversations, Brewer speaks about sexual abuse.

“The problem has been going on since the world has been created,” explained Brewer, black waistcoat and gray sweater draped over the back of his chair. “But the Rebbe felt a need to get serious about it and to help victims and stop predators… The Rebbe has given us a carte blanche.”

Brewer is part of a six-member committee established 18 months ago by the Skverer Rebbe, Rabbi Dovid Twersky, to combat sexual abuse inside the New Square chasidic community. The committee, known simply as the Vaad, in many ways represents a giant leap forward for the community in dealing with sexual abuse. Advocates for victims of sexual abuse are not as charitable, however, and view the Vaad as a continuation of the legacy of cover-ups that have tainted the larger Orthodox community’s past dealings regarding sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Guam Archbishop Apuron Knew of Alleged Abuse Since 2004

Guam News Watch

Written by Michael Rudolph, Guam News Watch Reporter
Thursday, April 22, 2010

GUAM – Deacon Jeff Barcinas told Guam News Watch that the first instances of credible allegations of sexual abuse against Father Raymond Cepeda were brought to the attention of Archbishop Anthony Apuron in 2004 before it was reported to Rome for the formal investigation.

The formal investigation took almost five years to completely remove Cepeda from the church in December of 2009.

Deacon Barcinas goes into further detail during our interview:
"The alleged incident took place did happen here on Guam...Father Ray Cepeda was...we received the information from Rome in December of 2009 then the Archbishop took the process forward not only removing father Ray from his ministry with the parish but also away from other victims affected by his presence."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Abuse cases must be dealt with openly


For most churchgoing Americans, nothing shakes faith more than indiscretions of the clergyman or clergywoman heading the local church.

Many know that faith is much more than what is proclaimed by the pastor or priest on Sunday morning. But for many others, a disconnect between what is preached and what is practiced can derail a trust relationship between more than just individuals. An entire institution might be abandoned in situations such as those that have rocked churches over the past couple of decades.

This is particularly true in matters of sexual abuse of minors or those in vulnerable places in their lives. It explains why so many God-fearing, churchgoing Americans, Europeans, Central Americans and others have reacted with disbelief when allegations against the clergy have been raised.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Irish bishop resigns, says he didn't report abuse

The Associated Press


VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation Thursday of an Irish bishop who admitted he didn't challenge the Dublin church's policy of covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests.

Bishop James Moriarty of Kildare is the third Irish bishop to resign in the past four months as a result of the Irish abuse scandal, and two more have offered to go. He said he was stepping down because he realized that "renewal must begin with accepting responsibility for the past."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Pope ally offers resignation in Germany over abuse claims

Telegraph (United Kingdom)

By Nick Squires in Rome

Bishop Walter Mixa of Augsburg, in southern Germany, denied for weeks that he had used violence against youngsters. But the bishop from the Pope's native Bavaria later admitted that he "may have" slapped the children while a priest decades ago.

Some of the victims, who are now adults, allege that he hit them in the face with full force and beat their bare skin, shouting: "Satan is in you and I must drive him out."

In his letter of resignation to Benedict XVI, the bishop wrote: "I ask the forgiveness of all those to whom I may have been unfair and to those who I may have caused heartache."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

'Anyone Who Thinks Like Mixa Shouldn't Be a Bishop'


Embattled German Bishop Walter Mixa submitted his offer to resign to the Vatican on Wednesday amid allegations that he physically abused children and misappropriated church funds. German commentators welcome the move, saying it sparks hopes of greater transparency in the Catholic Church's abuse investigation.

Week by week, the Catholic Church's abuse scandal has widened, spreading across Europe and beyond. Within Germany, Bishop Walter Mixa has often been at the crux of the debate. The leading German bishop has been accused of hitting children decades ago. At first, he denied the accusations, but he eventually admitted that he might have slapped some children.

On Tuesday, Mixa apologized -- but his words sparked more criticism than praise because they failed to specify just who he was saying sorry to. Adding to the blemish on his reputation, the bishop is also under investigation for having possibly misappropriated funds from a children's home he used to oversee to buy such things as a tanning bed, expensive artworks and wine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

German bishop ‘who beat orphans’ resigns

The Times (United Kingdom)

Roger Boyes, Berlin

The resignation of the conservative Bishop of Augsburg – accused of thrashing orphans with a carpet beater – has given a powerful boost to reformers in the German Catholic Church who are trying to stop the mass desertion of believers.

It took almost three weeks to persuade the controversial bishop, Walter Mixa, 68, to step down and restore the credibility of the Church as it attempts to tackle and contain the growing scandal of physical and sexual abuse of children in its care.

The bishop is a close ally of Pope Benedict XVI and he had evidently counted on papal support as he stood firm against claims from at least six former pupils at a Catholic-run orphanage in Bavaria. At an Easter service he declared that he had a "clean heart."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Bishop offers resignation, abuse issue buffets Germany - Feature

Earth Times

By: Jean-Baptiste Piggin

Berlin- A German Catholic bishop, Walter Mixa, 68, confirmed Thursday his resignation offer as anger mounted in Germany at perceived attempts to sweep news of violence and sex abuse in the church under the carpet.

Mixa, who became a bishop in 1996, has not been personally accused of sex abuse. Nor has he been implicated in what many claim was a systematic cover-up lasting into the 1990s of crimes by junior clergy.

Instead he stumbled over his begrudging admission that he slapped - or possibly boxed the ears - of teenaged residents of an orphanage. He also admitted accounting irregularities with orphanage funds while he was parish priest of the town of Schrobenhausen from 1975 to 1996.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

German bishop tenders resignation to pope

Sydney Morning Herald

April 22, 2010

One of Germany's most divisive bishops has offered to resign after admitting to hitting children, his diocese said Thursday, hoping the move would allow the embattled Church a "new start".

In an extremely rare step, the bishop of Augsburg in southern Germany, Walter Mixa, who is also bishop of the German military, offered to quit in a letter to German-born Pope Benedict XVI sent on Wednesday.

"I am and have been fully aware of my own weaknesses," Mixa, known for incendiary comments on political matters that sparked outrage in the Jewish community and beyond, wrote in a letter published by the Augsburg diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

German bishop to resign over abuse

Al Jazeera

A leading German Roman Catholic bishop facing allegations of child abuse has offered to resign, his diocese has said.

Bishop Walter Mixa wrote a letter to the pope on Wednesday, the Augsburg diocese said, in order to "avert further damage to the Church and allow a new start".

Mixa, who had denied that he had hit children decades ago, later admitted he had slapped them. Some victims say he hit them with full force in the face.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

BREAKING NEWS: Archdiocese of Agana ...

Pacific Daily News

The Archdiocese of Agana, in a statement just minutes ago, confirmed that Raymond Cepeda was stripped of his priesthood in December last year as a result of an investigation into "serious allegations of abuse."

"Unfortunately, Guam has not been immune from the problems that we have been reading about in other communities. At the conclusion of an investigation of serious allegations of abuse by Father Raymond Cepeda, the archdiocese had Father Raymond laicized in December of 2009. He is no longer a priest," according to the archdiocese's statement.

Laicize is a process to reduce one's status to a lay person.

"The archdiocese has reported the case to civil authorities so we cannot comment at this time," according to the archdiocese.

Bishop Defends Blaming Devil for Abuse Payouts

Chicago Public Radio

[with audio]

Produced by Chip Mitchell on Thursday, April 22, 2010

Paprocki says large damage awards leave the church with fewer resources for charity.

A top Chicago-area Catholic is trying to clarify some remarks about sexual abuse by priests. We report from our West Side bureau.

Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki oversees parishes on Chicago’s West Side and nearby suburbs. The church this week announced he would become the bishop of a diocese based in Springfield.

Some advocates for sexually abused children are criticizing the promotion. They’re pointing to a 2007 homily in which Paprocki blamed the devil for a tide of lawsuits facing the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Lawyer seeks files on all accused priests

Superior Telegram

By: Duluth News Tribune, Superior Telegram

A Minneapolis lawyer well-known for representing victims of clergy sexual abuse is demanding the Vatican release its files on every accused priest in the world in connection with a now-deceased cleric who worked in the Diocese of Superior, Wis., and Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Attorney Jeff Anderson is seeking “injunctive release against [the] Vatican for release of lists of offenders and secret files in all clergy abuse cases” in a federal lawsuit alleging now-Pope Benedict XVI and two of his aides engaged in “fraud and concealment” covering up the abuse of more than 200 deaf children by the late Rev. Lawrence Murphy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Cardinal won't lead Mass after scandal

The Washington Times

By Julia Duin

A Colombian cardinal slated to be the main celebrant of a pontifical solemn high Mass Saturday at the Washington's National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception has stepped aside because of security concerns after his name surfaced in the church's clergy-abuse scandal.

Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, 80, was named in the French press last week for writing a 2001 letter praising French Bishop Pierre Pican of Bayeux-Lisieux for refusing to denounce one of his priests, the Rev. Rene Bissey, who went on to be sentenced to 18 years in prison for raping a boy and abusing 10 other young men. The bishop received a suspended three-month jail sentence for not reporting the priest to police.

"I congratulate you for not denouncing a priest to the civil administration," Cardinal Hoyos wrote in French. "You have acted well and I am pleased to have a colleague in the episcopate who, in the eyes of history and of all other bishops in the world, preferred prison to denouncing his son and priest."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Invitation to Cardinal Is Withdrawn

The New York Times

Published: April 21, 2010

A former top Vatican cardinal who planned to lead a Latin Mass in honor of Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday at the Basilica in Washington has been disinvited by the conservative Catholic group organizing the event because of fresh controversy over the cardinal’s role in the sexual abuse scandal.

Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, a Colombian who formerly headed the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy, came under fire last week when a Web site posted a letter he wrote in 2001 praising a French bishop for refusing to hand over to the police a priest who had raped children.

“I congratulate you for not denouncing a priest to the civil administration,” Cardinal Castrillón wrote to Bishop Pierre Pican, who was convicted in France for failing to report sex crimes against children. “You have acted well, and I am pleased to have a colleague in the episcopate who, in the eyes of history and of all other bishops in the world, preferred prison to denouncing his son and priest.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

SNAP Responds ...

Pacific News Center

Written by Kevin Kerrigan
Thursday, 22 April 2010

Guam - The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [SNAP] has issued a statement in response to the Archdiocese admission today that a Guam Priest was defrocked following an investigation of sexual abuse allegations.

In the statement SNAP's Western Regional Director Joelle Casteix writes:

While it is always a positive step when church officials come clean about abuse, it's also terribly unfortunate and reckless that it took repeated requests by survivors, outside press reports, hidden church documents and media attention to get any transparency about sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Agana.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

SNAP comments on priest's defrocking


by Lannie Walker

Guam - ‎​The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests issued a comment on the Archdiocese of Agana coming out about the allegations of abuse involving Catholic priests Raymond Cepeda, Randy Nowak and Andrew Mannetta. Earlier today the Archdiocese of Agana admitted Fr. Cepeda had been laicized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Catholic Church Sex-Abuse Reports Reveal Mixed Messages

Politics Daily

Sister Mary Ann Walsh

The discovery of a letter from Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos that praised French Bishop Pierre Pican for refusing to report a priest/abuser to civil authorities shows the disconnect on handling sexual abuse of minors between the bishops in the United States and at least one Vatican congregation in Rome. It even shows a disconnect among offices in the Holy City.

Cardinal Castrillon wrote his letter in 2001, when he was prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Clergy. His view stood in contrast to that of the U.S. bishops, who nine years before, in 1992, had issued their five principles for dealing with accusations of sexual abuse. No. 3: "Comply with the obligations of civil law as regards reporting of the incident and cooperating with the investigation."

The bishops repeated that mantra into the 21st century. Reporters who covered religion could recite it, having heard it about a thousand times. Given the cardinal's attitude in his missive to the French cleric in 2001, it's no wonder Pope John Paul II decreed the same year that cases of sexual abuse of minors must go not to the Clergy Congregation or other congregations that oversaw priests and religious, but to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Chile’s Catholic Church Apologizes For Abuse

The Santiago Times

Written by Alia Alhafny
Wednesday, 21 April 2010

For the first time in history Chile’s Conference of Catholic Bishops apologized for sexual abuses committed by religious leaders in a document released this week.

The Bishops acknowledged that there have been 20 accusations against priests for sexual abuse filed in the country’s courts in recent years.

“There is no place in the priesthood for those who abuse minors,” said Bishop Alejandro Goic, head of the Bishop’s Conference. “And there is no circumstance which justifies this crime. To the people directly affected and to the communities in Chile which have seen in any priest the cause for scandal, we apologise, and we urge you to communicate any violations to us. It is completely our commitment to relentlessly expose events like these so that extremely serious crimes are not repeated.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Claims emerge of sexual abuse by Catholic Church clergy in Guam

Australia Network News

The Catholic Church on Guam is facing sexual abuse allegations against some of its clergy.

More than 20 people have come forward to contact a victim's assistance group to report abuse.

The Church has so far denied any knowledge of specific allegations, but says it has a policy of investigating any accusations and to assist victims where needed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Sex Abuse and the Catholic Church Part I

Northland's News Center

[with video]

Posted by Boua Xiong

Tim Caroline has spent almost 40 years of his life replaying one night.

"We had an overnight retreat at the Dunrovin Retreat Center on the Marine in St. Croix and it was there that I met Brother Raimond Rose who would be the person who would be the perpetrator," recalled Caroline.

That over night retreat changed Caroline's life and his faith forever.

According to Caroline, Rose invited him and a few other boys back to the retreat center the following weekend. Rose provided the then junior high boys with alcohol and marijuana. It was during that evening Caroline said he was molested.

Caroline had been brought up in a very traditional catholic home. He went to a catholic school and his brother even became a priest. But being molested by a clergyman left him confused and angry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Archbishop-Elect of Miami Thomas Wenski: Orlando Was Good Preparation

The Ledger

By Cary McMullen

ORLANDO | A couple of days before being named the next archbishop of Miami, Bishop Thomas Wenski was in Polk County doing two things he is known for - speaking out on behalf of immigrant workers and riding his Honda Goldwing motorcycle.

On Sunday, he joined a march down South Florida Avenue in Lakeland organized by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to press growers and distributors like Publix Super Markets for higher wages for tomato pickers.

He then cruised down to Fort Meade and celebrated Mass the next morning at the tiny St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Mission Church....

The sex-abuse scandal that has hit the Catholic Church around the world largely bypassed the Diocese of Orlando. On Tuesday, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, accused Wenski of "deception, delay and recklessness" involving two priests, including one who left the diocese before Wenski arrived. The other, the Rev. Carlos Bedoya, former pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church in Haines City, was removed from his parish in Deltona in November 2006 after he was investigated by police for participating in sexual battery against a male adult. No charges were ever filed against Bedoya, but Wenski was criticized by SNAP for not disclosing the accusation to parishioners.

Wenski said Wednesday that "the crisis has been surmounted" in the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Archdiocese confesses: priest was defrocked


[with video]

by Lannie Walker

Guam - The Archdiocese of Agana has come clean, admitting Father Raymond Cepeda was removed from the clergy last December amidst allegations of sexual abuse. A press release issued today confirms a former priest within the Catholic Church in Dededo was laicized, or removed from his status.

The release states, "At the conclusion of an investigation of serious allegations of abuse...the Archdiocese had Fr. Raymond laicized in December 2009". Fr. Paul Gofigan replaced Cepeda at the Santa Barbara Church. Asked if he was aware of why Fr. Raymond left the church," Fr. Paul said, "No, he just it was supposed to be for medical reasons - that was what we were told there was not reason to suspect anything."

It wasn't until the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests questioned the status of Cepeda in the church community that a response, weeks later, was given by the Archdiocese. The release further stated, "Public concern about abuse with in the Catholic Church both here in Guam and in other parts of the world has risen in recent weeks and in response the Archdiocese of Agana is committed to redoubling its efforts to reach out to victims of sexual abuse in the community and take steps to appropriately punish those who have betrayed their trust."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Victims want 'abuse' priests defrocked

Sydney Morning Herald


A church-related victims' group is calling on the Vatican to defrock about 100 Melbourne priests implicated in sexual abuse claims which have been substantiated by church investigations.

The Melbourne Victims' Collective, a group of 27 primary and secondary alleged sex abuse victims, wants the priests stripped of their titles and privileges.

A Fairfax newspaper (The Age) reported on Thursday that almost 300 sexual abuse allegations had been substantiated in Melbourne by the Catholic church since 1996 but only one priest had been defrocked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

German bishop offers to resign over abuse

The Associated Press


BERLIN — A leading conservative Roman Catholic bishop in Germany has written to Pope Benedict XVI offering to resign amid persistent allegations of physical abuse and financial misconduct, the Augsburg Diocese said Thursday.

Bishop Walter Mixa wrote a letter to the pope on Wednesday, the Augsburg diocese said in a statement, offering to step down in hopes of allowing a "new start" for his diocese. He said he would cooperate fully with investigators and offered an apology.

"I ask the forgiveness of all those to whom I may have been unfair and to those who I may have caused heartache," Mixa wrote, acknowledging that he was "fully aware of my own weaknesses."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

More analysis of scandal

Jamaica Observer

Michael Burke

No one seems quite sure what causes sexual deviancy, but it is mostly learnt behaviour. If we search for solutions to this problem we will not find them if we think it concerns only Roman Catholic priests, especially in Jamaica where incidents of sexual deviancy are growing while the Roman Catholic population is less than three per cent.

Last week, my piece was entitled "Unacceptable no matter who does it". It was with respect to the pending paedophilia scandal among priests in the Roman Catholic Church. In the Jamaica Observer online, Carlos King wrote that "there will always be people who manufacture excuses". I know that I manufactured none as I made it quite clear that it was unacceptable no matter who does it.

I appealed for balanced reporting as homosexuality and paedophilia are not exclusively Roman Catholic problems. I also wrote that those who say that homosexuality and paedophilia would cease if the celibacy law for priests were abolished need to answer a few questions. Why are these crimes prevalent, even among married couples?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

New molestation charge against priest

Chicago Sun-Times

April 22, 2010

BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter
A Catholic priest already accused of sexually molesting a St. Charles boy faces new charges that he attempted to abuse a second youth -- the boy's older brother.

The new charges filed against the Rev. Alejandro Flores were contained in a grand jury indictment released Wednesday by Kane County prosecutors.

In January, Flores was charged with sexually abusing the west suburban boy beginning in 2005 -- when the youngster was 8 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Bastarache to meet with abuse victims

Times & Transcript

By Craig Babstock
Times & Transcript Staff

Former Supreme Court justice Michel Bastarache wants to meet with people who were sexually victimized by the Bathurst clergy.

Bastarache was hired by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bathurst a few weeks ago to track down victims of sexual abuse and offer them compensation on behalf of the diocese. The Ottawa-based lawyer says the diocese is trying to address the issue of compensation now, rather than wait until it comes before a judge in the form of a lawsuit.

"They understand it's more or less unavoidable that these things would go to court unless there was some action taken," says Bastarache. "It's a way for the bishop here to acknowledge their responsibility. They're not going to fight and say they're not responsible."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Enough is enough: stop bashing the church


Charles W. Moore is a Nova Scotia based freelance writer and editor. He can be reached by e-mail at cwmoore@gmx.net. His column appears each Thursday.

These are challenging times for faithful Catholics, with seemingly relentless and demoralizing parade of new revelations and allegations of clerical sex abuse surfacing almost daily, the cost of hundreds of millions in compensation paid to victims worldwide straining the financial viability of many parishes.

Pope Benedict XVI is under withering fire, not for any personal culpability in crimes, but for his allegedly ineffectual handling, even cover-up, of sex abuse files coming under his purview as a German bishop decades ago, and later as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. There've been calls for Pope Benedict's resignation and taunts from public atheists like Christopher Hitchens, who wrote that Benedict XVI's "whole career has the stench of evil." Even more over-the-top was British UN judge Geoffrey Robertson last week calling on the U.K. government to detain the Pope during his forthcoming visit to Britain, and send him to the International Criminal Court to be tried for "crimes against humanity."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM


Vatican Information Service

VATICAN CITY, 22 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the dioceses of Kildare and Leighlin, Ireland, presented by Bishop James Moriarty, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Pope accepts resignation of Bishop of Kildare

BBC News

Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of the Bishop of Kildare.

Bishop James Moriarty offered to resign in December following publication of the Murphy Report into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Bishop Moriarty, who was auxiliary bishop in Dublin from 1991-2002, was barely criticised in the Murphy Report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

SNAP To File Lawsuit Against Pope, Vatican in Milwaukee


By Melissa McCrady with Jay Sorgi
MILWAUKEE - A group representing sexual abuse victims is filing an unprecedented lawsuit Thursday against the Vatican, a lawsuit that names Pope Benedict XVI.

The suit stems from the Fr. Lawrence Murphy sex abuse case.

At 12:00 p.m. CDT Thursday, clergy abuse survivors will walk into the Federal Courthouse in Milwaukee and file a lawsuit against the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Abuse victims rally for bill to do with priests

New Haven Register

By Ed Stannard, Register Metro Editor

HARTFORD — Victims of sexual abuse by priests passed out leaflets Wednesday seeking support for a bill that would erase time limits for bringing lawsuits, while the Roman Catholic Church in Connecticut claims that it is being unfairly targeted.

The bill removes the statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims against private organizations, lifting the previous cap of 30 years beyond the age of majority, or until a victim turns 48.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests sponsored the rally at which victims handed out leaflets to worshipers leaving the Cathedral of St. Joseph after Mass. Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP’s outreach director, said more than 30 people participated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Diocese appoints SC justice to negotiate settlements

The North Bay Nugget

A New Brunswick diocese plagued by a sexual abuse scandal has appointed a former Supreme Court justice to determine how to compensate victims.

In a statement read at parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bathurst on the weekend, Bishop Valery Vienneau announced an independent process has begun to compensate at least 18 victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

The Acadian Peninsula diocese became the centre of controversy in October after retired Roman Catholic priest Levi Noel, 84, pleaded guilty to 18 sex-related charges involving boys between 1958 and 1981. The victims were between the ages of eight and 16 at the time of the abuse. He pleaded guilty to four additional charges in January.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

UK Catholic Church sorry

Straits Times (Singapore)

LONDON - Roman Catholic leaders in Britain have apologised for child abuse by clergy, saying the scandal has brought shame on the church.

Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, the head of the church in England and Wales, said the crimes of some priests were a 'profound scandal' that 'bring deep shame to the whole church.'

He expressed the church's 'heartfelt apology and deep sorrow to those who have suffered abuse, those who have felt ignored, disbelieved or betrayed.' Nichols made the apology in a statement issued Thursday on behalf of bishops, to be sent to parishes across the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Corrected: Pope accepts resignation of third Irish bishop

Washington Post

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Corrects Cardinal Brady's title in ninth paragraph

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict has accepted the resignation of Bishop James Moriarty, the Vatican said Thursday, bringing to three the number of Irish bishops who have stepped down due to the sexual abuse crisis.

Moriarty tendered his resignation in December, after an official report named him among Church leaders in the Dublin archdiocese who had covered up cases of child sex abuse by priests for 30 years.

He was auxiliary bishop of Dublin from 1991 until his appointment as bishop of Kildare and Leighlin in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Clay Shirky: On the necessity of waste, the power of institutions ...

Nieman Journalism Lab

By Joshua Benton

Internet thinker Clay Shirky and veteran investigative journalist Walter Robinson came to Harvard this week to talk about how the Internet has changed the art of digging up dirt on powerful institutions. Robinson led The Boston Globe’s Pulitzer-winning investigations into priest abuse in the Catholic Church; Shirky has written extensively on how the fact-finding and fact-sharing mechanisms of journalism are changed by technology.

Our Laura McGann was there and filed this report highlighting Shirky’s major points, but we also wanted to post the entire conversation to let you hear for yourself what they were talking about. There’s some discussion specific to the state of the Catholic Church, but for the most part it’s a conversation about how investigative work is made both more effective and (arguably) less common by the Internet — with an emphasis on how the declining role of giant, storied newspapers is impacting what some powerful folks can get away with.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

April 21, 2010

Adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse at Cathedral of St. Joseph

The Hartford Courant

By Susan Campbell on April 21, 2010

At noon today, about 30 people gathered at Hartford's Cathedral of St. Joseph to protest the Archdiocese of Hartford's opposition to House Bill 5473, which extends the civil statute of limitations on seeking redress after the sexual abuse, assault or exploitation of a minor. The bill also sets strict rules for people who want to file a lawsuit.

That's Beth McCabe to the left, of SNAP CT, holding a photo of herself as a girl. McCabe is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. She was joined by survivors and their supporters, including Paul Kellen (pictured below), of Medford, Mass., who stood holding photos of children sexually abused by church clergy.

People handed out leaflets clarifying the bill, and countered information put out by the archdiocese in its heavy lobbying effort.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 PM