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February 29, 2012

Ex-priest jailed for sex abuse of boys

The Irish Times

A former priest has been jailed for four years at Downpatrick Crown Court yesterday following his fourth conviction for child sex abuse.

Daniel Curran (61), Bryansford Avenue, Newcastle, Co Down, pleaded guilty to five charges of indecently assaulting two boys between 1989 and 1994.

The court heard how the one-time parish priest of St Paul’s in west Belfast said he could not remember how many young boys he had preyed upon because he had a drink problem at the time.

However, Judge David Smyth QC revealed he had abused “at least 13 victims” over nearly 17 years. He also noted how records from when Curran was sent to England by the Catholic Church for treatment had been asked for but had not been received.

Victims agree with Judge Kelley’s ruling: bankruptcy court no place for sex crimes investiga


Victims agree with Judge Kelley’s ruling: bankruptcy court no place for sex crimes investigation

Some of Kelley’s comments, however, demonstrate exactly why the Attorney General—not the archdiocese–must conduct full investigation

Court does not dispute figures that at least 8,000 criminal acts are alleged in filings, with at least 100 unidentified offenders

Statement by John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director

CONTACT: 414.336.8575

Judge Susan V. Kelley denied a motion today in Federal Bankruptcy Court filed on behalf of archbishop Jerome Listecki, which would have allowed the archdiocese to submit to the Attorney General of Wisconsin a “statistical analysis” of the thousands of child sex crimes found within claims submitted to the court by victims of child rape and sexual assault. Judge Kelley emphasized that the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding is intended to provide the debtor, the archdiocese of Milwaukee, the opportunity to file a plan of reorganization, not a venue for the investigation of criminal child sex crimes.

In courtroom comments, however, Judge Kelley remarked several times that based upon the claims she has reviewed there was not, in her opinion as a bankruptcy judge, a current “public safety crisis”.

Kelley did not dispute that the claims include at least 8,000 acts of alleged criminal sexual acts against children and, even more significantly, that there are at least 100 alleged offenders who are not named on the archdiocese “official” list of 43 abusive priests. Even Listecki, in his blog this week, concedes that “some new names of diocesan priests did surface in the claims process”.

Taoiseach comments on Vatican ‘undeserved’ – Newstalk survey


A survey of Catholic Priests has found 2/3 felt the criticism by Taoiseach Enda Kenny of the Vatican in the wake of the Murphy Report was undeserved.

The poll was carried out by the Moncrieff Show on Newstalk.

It was submitted to 320 priests nationwide with 114 responding.

63% believed the Vatican had handled clerical sex abuse cases poorly.

While 65% said the abuse scandals has damaged the reputation of all priests.

And 79% of them said their confidence in RTÉ had been damaged by the Fr. Kevin Reynolds libel case.

80% of priests want to be allowed marry

Irish Examiner

By Evelyn Ring

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Eight out of 10 priests believe they should be allowed to marry.

And six out of 10 who took part in a national radio survey believe women should be ordained priests.

Newstalk invited 320 priests to participate in the survey and 114 responded. Most (96%) had been serving members for 10 years or more. Many (65%) felt their reputations have been damaged by abuse scandals in the Church.

Meanwhile, 75% of priests feel Enda Kenny’s criticisms of the Vatican were undeserved.

Bankruptcy judge refuses to unseal church documents in sex abuse case


MILWAUKEE- A bankruptcy judge refused to unseal church documents related to the Milwaukee Archdiocese sex abuse scandal.

Not only did federal judge Susan Kelley disagree, she called Wednesday's hearing a distraction, by people with an agenda.

At a court hearing earlier this month, Peter Isely, a spokesman for the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) argued documents in the archdiocese bankruptcy hearing listed at least 100 never before named sex offenders. He claimed those names are a public safety and child safety concern.

Judge Kelley reviewed every single name listed in the claims spanning more than 50 years -- and could find no public safety concern.

Lawyers get 12 jurors for clergy sex abuse trial

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin

Lawyers on Wednesday added two more people to the jury for the pending conspiracy and child sex-abuse trial of three Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests.

After an eighth day of screening, prosecutors and defense attorneys had chosen six men and six women for the panel.

Lawyers for both sides still need to pick 10 alternate jurors, people who could be tapped if any of the original 12 are disqualified or forced to leave the case. That process could extend into next week.

The trial is projected to last between three and four months.

Pembroke priest charged with sex assaults dating to 1970

Ottawa Citizen

By Meghan Hurley
February 29, 2012

OTTAWA — A Pembroke priest faces charges in sexual assaults dating back to 1970, police said Wednesday.

The sexual assaults against teenage boys and one man occurred between 1970 and 1980, Ontario Provincial Police said.

Daniel Miller, 67, has been charged with three counts each of gross indecency and indecent assault.

Miller was released from custody on a promise to appear in a Renfrew court March 28.

Catholic hypocrisy at its worst


By Gene Lyons

For the record, the priest who married my wife and me in 1967 advised us that we could in good faith practice birth control. He reasoned that as Pope Paul VI was then preparing an encyclical regarding faith and sexuality, young Catholics could reasonably assume that church dogma regarding contraception would soon change to reflect contemporary realities: specifically that a couple intending to bring children into their marriage might legitimately seek to do so in their own time.

A university chaplain, he no doubt understood how the combination of Rome’s authoritarianism and theological nit-picking tended to drive educated young people from the church. Anyway, everybody knows how that worked out. Next came Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s 1968 doubling down on the church’s blanket condemnation of artificial means of birth control — a blast from the medieval past as most American Catholics now see it.

“Vatican Roulette,” we called it, and like the vast majority, declined to play. Surveys have shown that approximately 13 percent of the faithful agree with the Roman Catholic Church’s categorical ban on birth control; a mere 2 percent actually practice what the bishops preach. For most, it isn’t a serious personal issue. Sure, Your Grace, whatever. ...

Coarse jokes about priests, altar boys and contraception virtually wrote themselves. I’ll spare you. But while we’re at it, let’s light a candle for Sinead O’Connor, an eccentric woman in combat boots with a shaven head, who tore up the pope’s photo on “Saturday Night Live” in 1992 to protest clerical sexual abuse of children in her native Ireland: wrecking her U.S. career to make a point entirely lost upon most viewers at the time.

In a bankruptcy proceeding last week, the diocese of Milwaukee listed 8,000 claims of sexual abuse among its liabilities. I’m with Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce, who writes that the great contraceptive kerfuffle with the Obama administration represents a fairly obvious power play by “the institutional American church to regain the power and influence in the secular government that it lost when it was exposed to be a multigenerational conspiracy to obstruct justice.”

Addressing False Implications

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee

Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki
Archbishop Of Milwaukee

Since my return from Rome last week, I have been catching up on all the things that happened while I was away for the ad limina trip and the consistory where my friend and predecessor Timothy M. Dolan was elevated to the office of Cardinal.

The first thing that confronted me was the media coverage of the archdiocese’s Chapter 11 proceeding and statements made about the number of abuse claims filed and the safety of children in the Church today.

Any instance of sexual abuse of a minor is a disgusting sin and a horrible crime. My heartfelt apology goes out to anyone who has been harmed. When Pope Benedict visited the United States in April 2008, he rightly referred to the sexual abuse of children by priests as “evil” and a “sin,” acknowledging that the crisis was “sometimes very badly handled by Church leaders.”

However, statements reported as facts in the media, go beyond the adversarial rhetoric we have come to expect in this proceeding. On top of that, several state legislators, without having access to factual information regarding any of the claims, compounded the issue by calling for the state attorney general to investigate, unaware that both old and new claims have been turned over to and been reviewed by district attorneys for more than a decade.

Back from Rome, GOP-loving Archbishop Listecki Hits Back Again

Mal Contends...

Annysa Johnson in the MJS notes this morning that, "Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki, who just returned from a papal meeting in Rome, issued a letter to local Catholics on Tuesday excoriating the media, lawmakers and plaintiffs' attorneys in the bankruptcy."

I could not think of a less credible character than the pederast-protecting, Scott Walker-defending Listecki to excoriate anybody.

Listecki's letter is an outrage in itself referring to the legion of sexual attacks against minors by stating child rape has: “sometimes [been] very badly handled by Church leaders.”


Berger's Beat

February 28, 2012 10:39 pm | Author: Jerry Berger

From “no brainer” to “no-starter.” That’s how the New York Daily News describes an now-abandoned plan by the state American-Irish Legislators Society to honor Cardinal Tim Dolan. Initially, some of the group’s leaders were enthusiastic about feting Dolan, “But some Assembly Democratic members are said to have balked because of the church’s vehement opposition both to same-sex marriage and a bill to extend the statute of limitations past victims of sex abuse by priests.”

Sex abuse allegations in bankruptcy case reveal no safety crisis, judge says

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Feb. 29, 2012

The judge in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy said Wednesday that a review of sex abuse allegations in the case reveals no current child safety crisis and that suggestions otherwise - by lawmakers and victim advocates - are a distortion of the facts.

"We cannot control what is said by others on the courthouse steps," U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley said.

At a hearing where she rejected a request by the archdiocese to release limited statistical information about the abuse claims, Kelley admonished lawyers on both sides to, as she said, return to the business of bankruptcy, which is "primarily financial."

Kelley said the vast majority of the offenses alleged in the claims are older.

"The purpose of bankruptcy is for a debtor file a plan, to pay the valid claims. We're not here to embarrass or humiliate people or to bring up matters from the 1950s," she said.

Federal judge says no safety concern in Milwaukee Archdiocese

Fox 6

February 29, 2012, by Cary Docter

MILWAUKEE — A federal judge denied on Wednesday a motion by the Milwaukee Archdiocese to submit a statistical review of priest abuse cases.

The judge said according to her independent review, there is no current public safety concern within the archdiocese (churches and schools). She indicated the priest abuse cases provided to the court from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) are “very old.”

What happened in court Wednesday was a result of comments from the court in early February. At the time, lawyers for victims of sexual abuse said there were 100 new sex offenders identified in more than 8,000 accounts of sexual abuse (in their claims). This number was well publicized.

Members of SNAP called those numbers a “personal safety crisis.” The group wanted an investigation into who these people were in case there were CURRENT members of the archdiocese identified in court documents.

Philly Priest Trial Starts On March 26

My Fox Philly

PHILADELPHIA - An assistant restaurant manager has become the 12th juror seated in the landmark case about how the Archdiocese of Philadelphia dealt with priests accused of molesting children.

Testimony is set to start March 26.

The 12th juror was chosen Wednesday. The six men and six women are expected to hear evidence for about four months. Ten alternates will also sit through the trial.

Monsignor William Lynn is accused of endangering children by transferring two accused priests to new parishes. The 61-year-old Lynn has pleaded not guilty and blames the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua (beh-vih-LAH'-kwah) for hiding the problem.

Feds investigate Wheeling Jesuit research programs

Sheboygan Press

By Vicki Smith, Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WTW) — Wheeling Jesuit University acknowledged Wednesday it's cooperating with federal investigators who seized records from the offices of J. Davitt McAteer, the school's vice president for federally sponsored research programs and a prominent critic of the coal mining industry.

The files were removed Feb. 15, but spokeswoman Michelle Rejonis said she didn't know which federal agency was involved.

Wheeling Jesuit has many federally sponsored programs, including collaborations with NASA and a center that helps commercialize new technologies, Rejonis said, so it works with several agencies. Many of those agencies have an Office of Inspector General, an entity that investigates fraud, waste and abuse.

Feds investigate Wheeling Jesuit research programs, seize records


By The Associated Press


Wheeling Jesuit University officials said they're cooperating with federal investigators who seized records from the offices of the vice president for federally sponsored programs.

Spokeswoman Michele Rejonis said files were seized on Feb. 15 from J. Davitt McAteer's offices, and she's not sure which federal agency was involved.

Wheeling Jesuit has many federally sponsored programs, including collaborations with NASA and a center that helps commercialize new technologies.

McAteer is also director of its National Technology Transfer Center and the Erma Ora Byrd Center for Education Technologies.

Abuse Case Raising Statute Questions

The Jewish Week

Alleged victim claims Brooklyn DA didn’t aggressively pursue case; implications for FOIL.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hella Winston
Special To The Jewish Week

A 25-year-old man who is alleging that the Brooklyn District Attorney did not seriously pursue his sexual abuse case — and who is now too old to pursue legal remedies — will be speaking in Albany Wednesday in support of the Child Victim’s Act (CVA). The CVA is a bill that proposes extending the current statute of limitations on certain sex crimes against children to age 28. It also creates a one-year window during which victims of child sexual abuse can file civil suits regardless of when the alleged abuse occurred.

According to an internal memo obtained through a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request from Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes’ office by the alleged victim, Schneur Borenstein, Borenstein’s first disclosure of his abuse to anyone connected with the DA’s office was made to Henna White. He does not remember precisely when he first approached White, although said it was shortly before he turned 22.

White is the office’s liaison to the Jewish community and also plays a key role in Kol Tzedek, a confidential hotline established by the DA to encourage members of the Brooklyn Orthodox community to report sex crimes against children to the secular authorities.

„Regensburger Zustände“


Fünf Tage war ein Fernsehteam der ARD in Regensburg unterwegs. Gut ein Jahr, nachdem die katholische Kirche angekündigt hat, Konsequenzen aus den Missbrauchssfällen zu ziehen, wollte man konkret erfahren, wie Opfern geholfen wurde. Das Ergebnis der Recherchen ist kommenden Donnerstag im ARD-Morgenmagazin zu sehen.

„Beim Versuch, eine Stellungnahme der Kirche zu bekommen, sind wir gescheitert“, sagt der Fernsehautor Wolfgang Bausch. Fünf Tage waren er und ein Team des WDR in Regensburg unterwegs. Anlässlich der hier tagenden Deutschen Bischofskonferenz wollten sie herausfinden, wie die katholische Kirche ein gutes Jahr nach dem öffentlichen Bekanntwerden des Missbrauchsskandals heute mit dem Thema umgeht. Und von der Mauer des Schweigens im Bistum Regensburg zeigte Bausch sich durchaus beeindruckt.

Bishop apologises over paedophile priest

BBC News

The Bishop of Down and Connor has apologised to the victims of a paedophile priest who has been jailed for four years for sexually abusing two young boys.

Bishop Noel Treanor said that he regretted "the pain and distress" caused by Daniel Curran, 61, of Bryansford Road, Newcastle.

Downpatrick Crown Court heard the offences took place between 1989 and 1994 at Curran's family holiday home near Tyrella, County Down.

It was the fourth time he had been charged with child abuse.

Daniel Curran victim's life of nightmares

BBC News

A victim of paedophile priest Daniel Curran has said he has had nightmares about him since his childhood abuse.

On Wednesday, Curran was sentenced to four years in prison for indecently assaulting two young boys.

It is the fourth time he has been sentenced for sex offences against boys.

One of the victims in the latest case - who did not want to be identified - told the BBC of the impact of the abuse.

Jurors Selected For Philadelphia Priest Sex Abuse Case

CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson


Twelve jurors have now been selected to hear an historic case, allegations of child abuse by priests and a cover-up by a church official, Monsignor William Lynn.

Although 12 jurors have been selected, the attorneys must still pick 10 alternates because of the expected length of the trial, about three to four months. And opening statements are not scheduled to begin until late March. The court left a large window between jury selection and the taking of evidence in this high-profile, highly charged case.

In this case, two priests are charged with rape, and Monsignor William Lynn is charged with endangering children by allowing these and other alleged predator priests to remain in ministry with access to additional victims. The defendants have pleaded NOT guilty.

Finding Each Other


By Kathy Kane

So where to begin. A year ago at this time, I sat in my house furious and betrayed. I had so many emotions but no where to channel the anger. Where would my voice be heard? Shortly after the Grand Jury report, an apology was issued in the Catholic Standard and Times. It was my tipping point. It was an apology with a “But” – the worst kind of apology. More children had been harmed by priests left in ministry. Children had been put at risk. Please no more apologies. No more “praying for the evil that has occurred.” No more empty words. That might placate some people – not me. I had read the “apology” a few days before and for some reason googled it to read one more time. But this time the first thing that popped up on the search was catholics4change. Susan had included the “apology” in her links in her post titled, “Don’t Apologize for Me.” I read her few posts that were on the site at that time including, “My Lost Saints” and knew I had found my home.

“People find each other. They just do.” These words were spoken to me by a pediatrician when my children were young and just starting school. I had the typical worries all Moms have about their children making friends and finding a comfortable group to fit in. “People find each other.” So true about my experiences over the past year. I found Susan and then over the course of a few weeks found so many more local people sharing the same outrage. Then as the site grew, found so many more people from all over the US and other countries sharing the same anger, betrayal and profound sadness about what had happened to children.

We have had so many experiences over the past year. So much of our involvement taking place off site. Attending meetings, vigils, communicating with people in private emails. So many people – so much pain.

Law must help the vulnerable

Herald Sun

From:Herald Sun
March 01, 2012

THE Victorian Government is protecting the most vulnerable people in the community by changing laws allowing convicted sex offenders to work with children.

The Government is responding to a determined Herald Sun campaign by acknowledging that decisions taken by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal are not always in the interests of children and their parents.

The proposed changes are to prevent rulings in favour of applicants who have failed Working With Children checks, but then appealed against a decision by the Department of Justice not to grant them a permit.

The case against naming sex fiends

Herald Sun

Michael Holcroft
From:Herald Sun
March 01, 2012

THE Law Institute of Victoria strongly opposes the "name and shame" push with respect to serious sex offenders.

The LIV is concerned that our children and communities are protected from serious sexual predators, but "name and shame" is not the way to achieve this.

Being identified as a sexual predator removes an offender's motivation to rehabilitate.

Being publicly linked to a crime that is so stigmatised makes it difficult for an offender to obtain employment or accommodation.

Church sex abuse case in Milwaukee federal court; alleged victims ask for state investigation


MILWAUKEE - People allegedly abused by priests and others involved in the Catholic Church have asked for a state investigation into claims filed as part of a bankruptcy case involving the Milwaukee Archdiocese.

On the same day, a federal judge was to hear arguments Wednesday afternoon from lawyers on behalf of some of those victims.

Those victims want documents unsealed because, they say, it would reveal more about the breadth and scope of sex abuse in the Catholic Church.


Catholic League

[On Wednesday, February 29, Bill Donohue will appear on Fox Business Network’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight” to discuss the latest on the HHS mandate and several other topics. Donohue is scheduled to appear at 7:30 p.m. ET.]

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments as follows:

For the past several years, New York State Assemblywoman Margaret Markey has sought legislation targeting the sexual abuse of minors. Yet never once has she introduced a bill that would apply to public institutions—just private ones. Now she is back again asking her colleagues to pass a bill that would suspend the civil statute of limitations for a one-year period; it would allow alleged victims who claim they were molested in a private institution to sue, regardless of when it supposedly happened.

But what if a kid was sodomized by a public school teacher in Albany just before Thanksgiving? New York State law says it is already too late for him to sue. Markey agrees with this condition—the kid is out of luck. She could have attempted to correct this situation, but she has chosen not to. In other words, child rape in public schools is not something she will ever confront. However, if a student was allegedly groped by a Catholic teacher in the 1950s, Markey wants it to be legal to sue the teacher, the school, and the diocese in which it is located.

In the month of February alone, six public school employees have been arrested for sexually abusing a minor. And this is just in New York City! Common decency, as well as common sense, dictates that new laws designed to curb this problem should begin by targeting the public schools. Instead, Markey wants to give them a pass.

Ex-priest's abuse victim 'wanted to die'


Published Wednesday, 29 February 2012

A victim of Co Down convicted paedophile and former priest, Daniel Curran - who was jailed on Wednesday for four years - has told UTV he was "scared to live and afraid to die", as a result of the abuse he suffered.

The 61-year-old former priest, from Bryansford Avenue in Newcastle, was told by Judge David Smyth QC that a jury trial could have seen him sentenced to 18 years behind bars.

As it was, Curran had pleaded guilty at Downpatrick Crown Court to five charges of indecently assaulting two boys while he was a parish priest in west Belfast between 1989 and 1994 and was handed the four-year term.

Standing emotionless in the dock, Curran was told by Judge Smyth that he had abused the trust his position as a priest afforded him and that the acts of abuse were not isolated incidents.

Ex-priest Daniel Curran jailed for four years for abuse

BBC News

A former priest and convicted paedophile has been jailed for four years for sexually abusing two young boys.

The offences took place over a period of five years between 1989 and 1994. The boys were aged nine and 10.

It is the fourth time Daniel Curran, 61, of Bryansford Road, Newcastle, has been charged with child abuse.

Downpatrick Crown Court heard the offences took place at Curran's family holiday home near Tyrella, County Down.

Former priest jailed for abusing boys

RTE News

A former Catholic priest has been sentenced to four years in prison for abusing young boys in Northern Ireland in the 1980s.

Dan Curran was parish priest in Belfast in the late 1980s

A former Catholic priest has been sentenced to four years in prison for what a judge described as a ''systematic campaign'' of sexual abuse against young boys.

Dan Curran, 61, from Newcastle, Co Down, admitted sexually assaulting two altar boys when he was a parish priest in Belfast in the late 1980s.

The abuse took place at an isolated cottage where Curran took his victims at weekends.

6 men, 6 women seated on Philly priest-abuse jury


The Associated Press


An assistant restaurant manager has become the 12th juror seated in the landmark case about how the Archdiocese of Philadelphia dealt with priests accused of molesting children.

The jury of six men and six women are expected to hear evidence for about four months.

Ten alternates will also sit through the trial.

Monsignor William Lynn is accused of endangering children by transferring two accused priests to new parishes during the 1990s. The 61-year-old Lynn has pleaded not guilty and blames the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua (beh-vih-LAH'-kwah) for hiding the problem.

Understanding Child Sex Abuse – Straight from Survivors



February 29, 2012 by Susan Matthews

Created for the Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse, this production featured interviews with adult survivors of child sexual abuse. Six individuals, sitting alone in a room, spoke frankly and emotionally to our interviewer, telling their stories in graphic detail. These memories, some from as many as sixty years before, but still fresh in the survivors’ minds, were the only narrative.

Lawyers accuse Saginaw priest of lying about witnessing the destruction of documents related to sexual assault cover-up


Published: Wednesday, February 29, 2012

By Brad Devereaux | bdeverea@mlive.com

A judge said the discovery that Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua ordered the destruction of documents that contained the names of priests suspected of child molestation is not a reason to dismiss charges that a church official participated in a cover-up.

Lawyers of one accused priest said Rev. Joseph Cistone of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw witnessed the shredding of the documents in 1994 when he was a church official in the Philadelphia area.

Cistone is not being charged, but was mentioned in the court filing. ...

Lynn's lawyers said Rev. Cistone witnessed the shredding of the documents and misled a grand jury when he did not acknowledge the documents or their destruction during a previous testimony.

Ex-priest sentenced to four years


A former priest has been sentenced to four years in jail for the indecent assault of two boys.

Daniel Curran, who has three previous convictions for similar offences, abused the youngsters between 1986 and 1992 while he was a parish priest in west Belfast.

The boys were aged between 9 and 10 and were connected to the church.

Curran had pleaded guilty to five charges of indecent assault.

At Downpatrick Crown Court on Wednesday, Judge David Smyth QC said the offences occurred against a background of trust placed in the priest.

Archdiocese Bankruptcy Case Heads Back To Court


[with video]

MILWAUKEE -- The bankruptcy case of the Milwaukee Archdiocese heads back to a federal courtroom Wednesday as an advocacy group has asked the state's attorney general to review abuse claims.

A group of abuse survivors is asking for J.B. Van Hollen to conduct his own investigation into the claims of abuse filed in the bankruptcy proceedings.

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, went to the attorney general's office Tuesday and asked Van Hollen to have his office review the thousands of pages of claims.

The Archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2011 after it felt its legal feeds could exceed its assets.

More time needed to probe Bevilacqua's death, medical examiner says

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Jeremy Roebuck
Inquirer Staff Writer

More time is needed to determine what killed Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua last month, the Montgomery County Coroner's Office said Tuesday.

Toxicology test results expected this week are meant to determine if Bevilacqua had high or unexplained amounts of prescription medication or other chemicals in his blood when he died Jan. 31.

But definitive results have been delayed by complications from his embalming, Coroner Walter I. Hofman said.

Hofman said Tuesday he expected to know more in two to three weeks.

Prescription drugs found in late Cardinal's body


The Montgomery County Coroner says prescription drugs were found in the system of the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.

The coroner said Tuesday it will take several weeks to determine whether the amount of drugs in Bevilacqua's system matches the prescribed dosage.

District Attorney Risa Ferman ordered the review of the cardinal's death because it happened just one day after he was ruled competent to testify in the upcoming sex abuse case against two priests and a monsignor.

Obama challenged by American cardinal tipped to become next Pope

Vatican Insider

The Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, was the real “revelation” at the last consistory

Andrea Tornielli

After his arrival in the Big Apple and his surprising election as President of the U.S. bishops, newspapers and TV have begun to call him “the American Pope”. Now that the Cardinals have heard him talk of evangelization during the summit that preceded the consistory, Timothy Michael Dolan would have a good chance of becoming the next Pope, if only he had not been born in the U.S.: Americans, they say, cannot be candidates because their country is already a superpower in the world, although certain past geopolitical analyses are no longer that obvious.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri and 62 years old, he has lived in Rome for seven years, directing the North American College. Archbishop of Milwaukee from 2002 to 2009, he was transferred to New York three years ago, where as soon as he arrived he said, “My primary goal is one, namely to meet people and people”. With his entry into the most important U.S. Episcopal seat, there are those who believed it was the end of an era in which the Church was adamant about defending principles: Dolan is not intransigent and his positions are not entirely comparable to the more conservative members of the American episcopate.

Saginaw bishop implicated again in child sex cover up

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on February 27, 2012

A new long-secret Catholic church document has surfaced that says Saginaw Bishop Joseph Cistone witnessed the destruction of a list of 35 clerics who were accused of molesting children.

The document suggests that the late-Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered a cleric to destroy memos which detailed the alleged crimes of sexually abusive priests. To any reasonable observer, if true, this makes Cistone complicit in the Philadelphia cover-up as well. We are disturbed that he is in a position of power now where he could easily use the tactics he learned from his old boss in order cover up current or recent abuse in the Diocese of Saginaw.

We hope that anyone with knowledge of abuse in this diocese will come forward to police and not church officials. It is clear that the church would rather shred evidence than deal with it, and Cistone cannot be trusted to not make the same egregiously reckless decision again.

Judge won’t drop case vs. Philly Catholic official; SNAP responds

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on February 27, 2012

If a man ignores and conceals crimes, enabling child molesters to hurt more kids, what his underlings, peers or supervisors do is irrelevant. He should be criminally prosecuted.

We’re grateful that Msgr. Lynn’s trial is proceeding. We hope it will uncover even more deeply-hidden secrets about the complicity of current and former Catholic officials. We also hope it will deter even more recklessness and deceit in the future.

SNAP responds to ruling in Tennessee Supreme Court

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on February 27, 2012

For too long, corrupt Catholic officials have successfully exploited legal technicalities and deadlines to escape consequences for ignoring and concealing child sex crimes. Ever so gradually, those awful days are ending, as judges more and more often are letting juries hear cases involving pedophile priests.

We are grateful to Norman Redwing for his bravery and to Tennessee's Supreme Court for its wisdom in allowing Mr. Redwing his day in court. Victims of clergy abuse rarely get the chance to face seek justice in court, and we are glad that Mr. Redwing will have the chance to do so.

Memphis' Catholic bishop should be ashamed for trying to dodge responsibility for the alleged crimes of Fr. Milton Guthrie. We look forward to the facts coming to light through trial, and are hopeful that this decision will spur other victims, of Fr. Guthrie or any other predator, to come forward, end their suffering and report the abuse they saw, suspected, or suffered.

Rev. Slocum sentenced, SNAP responds

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 28, 2012

We are saddened that Rev. Slocum was able to escape with only probation. Children are safer when predators are behind bars, and for a felony conviction involving the abuse and concealment of a child we believe that this sentence is little more than a slap on the wrist. This sentence effectively allows Fr. Slocum to use his demonstrated cunning and deceptive ways to meet, groom, and abuse another child.

The apology given by Fr. Slocum yesterday matters little compared to the lasting effects of childhood sexual abuse. We urge Bishop Trautman of the Diocese of Erie to personally visit each parish where this predator worked and beg others who may have seen or suspected his crimes to come forward and make a report to police.

Davis, Lang travel to Albany in support of bill that would extend statute of limitations

The Daily Orange

By David Propper
Staff Writer

Albany -- Two of Bernie Fine's accusers came to Albany on Tuesday to show their support for a bill that would extend the statute of limitations concerning child sexual abuse.

Bobby Davis, 40, and Mike Lang, 45, along with their attorney, Gloria Allred, appeared at a press conference in the Legislative Office Building for the Child Victims Act that would change both the civil and criminal constraints faced by accusers. The bill, sponsored by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, would extend the statute of limitations for child molestation.

Under the current New York state law, the statute for prosecuting a child sexual offender runs out after 10 years. The new law Markey is sponsoring would allow the statute of limitations to continue until the victim is 28 years old. Additionally, the law would give victims a one-year period to sue their abuser no matter how old the victim is.

SNAP urges Attorney General to conduct investigation

CBS 58

[with video]

by Laura Rodriguez

MILWAUKEE -- Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) gathered at the state office building to submit a letter to Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.

In the letter, the group requested a meeting to urge him to conduct a full and independent investigation of the victim reports.

"If the archdiocese is admitting to, and that's why they're in bankruptcy court, that they committed or likely committed civil fraud, then criminal fraud cannot be far behind," said Peter Isely, Midwest Director of SNAP.

A SNAP press release states that "a church motion in bankruptcy court will ask Judge Kelley if Archdiocese can conduct abuse inquiry "for" the Attorney General."

Tough laws to weed out sex fiends

Herald Sun

Ashley Gardiner
From:Herald Sun
March 01, 2012

THE Baillieu Government will tighten laws that have allowed convicted sex offenders and other criminals to get working-with-children permits.

New laws will be designed to tip the balance back in favour of children and families at the expense of those seeking the permits. It follows a string of decisions by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to overturn permit refusals.

Attorney-General Robert Clark said the permit system should look after the interests of children and their families.

"The tests that apply under the current law are too focused on the interests of the individuals who apply for checks," Mr Clark said.

Inquiry push over clergy abuse cases

The Age

Reid Sexton
March 1, 2012

A PUBLIC investigation into how religious organisations in Victoria such as the Catholic Church have handled child abuse allegations is a step closer after a groundbreaking report found it should proceed.

The Protecting Victoria's Vulnerable Children Inquiry said a Baillieu government-backed investigation should proceed, with private investigations stretching back decades potentially denying victims justice.

''A private system of investigation and compensation, no matter how faithfully conducted … cannot fulfil the responsibility of the state to investigate and prosecute crime,'' it said.

Chasing shadows

The Age

Michelle Griffin
March 1, 2012

There has been a steady increase in abuse notifications, from 12,000 in 1990 to 55,000 today. Photo: Justin McManus

In 1990, there were 12,000 notifications of suspected child abuse in Victoria. Today, there are 55,000. What's going on and how can it be fixed?

SPRAWLING as a Russian novel and just as grim, the Cummins report into child welfare in Victoria caps more than 20 years of investigations of our society's thorniest problem: how to protect and care for our most vulnerable children.

There are no personal stories in the 900 densely typed pages of findings, data tables and recommendations. However, you can see the shadows thrown by the children whose unhappy lives inform the steady incline of the graphs charting abuse notifications, protection orders and, in the careful wording of bad news, adverse outcomes.

Minister flayed for gaffe on abusers

The Australia

[Cummins Inquiry report]

John Ferguson and Sophie Gosper
From:The Australian
March 01, 201212:00AM

A MINISTERIAL gaffe where the rights of pedophiles were compared with those of victims yesterday triggered the intervention of Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu a day after a report found that a quarter of children could be suspected of having been abused.

Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge yesterday compared sex offenders' rights with those of their victims.

"One of the things that is a real issue here is that we have to balance the rights of children and families and also with the rights of pedophiles," she told 3AW.

Ms Wooldridge was criticised by welfare workers and attacked in parliament over the comment.

Sexual abuse victims voice support for Assembleywoman Margaret Markey's Child Victims Act

New York Daily News

By Michael O'keefe / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, February 28, 2012

ALBANY — New York lawmakers will give sexual predators another one-year pass to abuse children if they fail to approve a bill that would extend the state’s statute of limitations in molestation cases, a Brooklyn abuse survivor said.

Bay Ridge filmmaker Chris Gavagan, who is working on a documentary about sexual abuse in sports and the abuse he suffered at the hands of his roller hockey coach, said on Tuesday that legislators’ failure to pass the Child Victims Act is like signing a “pardon for 1,000 child rapists.”

“I was here last year, and the fact that we are here again is a sign of catastrophic failure,” Gavagan said.

“Lawmakers, shame on you,” he added.

Gavagan and other sexual abuse victims spoke at a news conference organized by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, the first of three events to promote her Child Victims Act, which has passed the Assembly four times but has yet to clear the State Senate.

Monica Yant Kinney: Suspicions fester over Catholic school closings

Philadelphia Daily News

Yant Kinney, Inquirer Columnist

Two months ago, Archbishop Charles Chaput and a blue-ribbon commission delivered a death sentence to 49 Catholic schools, 20,000 students, and 1,700 teachers. Two weeks ago, the diagnosis for nearly half the afflicted was dramatically upgraded, from terminal to alive and kicking.

Should relieved families credit a modern miracle? Or is the rightsizing of religious education being handled as clumsily as the clergy sex scandal was cynically?

Put another way, did archdiocesan leaders know the threat of widespread school closures would generate millions in emotional donations at a time when the church - presumed to be sitting on a fortune - is actually hard up for cash?

6 more jurors chosen in priests' trial

Philadelphia Daily News

SIX MORE jurors were selected yesterday in the trial of three Philadelphia Catholic priests accused of sexually assaulting or endangering children.

With the five jurors selected Monday, 11 have now made the cut from a jury pool of more than 300. The selection process to find the final juror and 10 alternates is set to resume this morning.

Opening arguments begin March 26. Monsignor William Lynn, 61, is charged with two counts of child endangerment and two counts of conspiracy for allegedly allowing two priests to remain in parishes where they allegedly had abused altar boys.

Alleged abuse victims file $5m suit

The Chronicle-Herald

Ex-Yarmouth priest Albert LeBlanc, church named in action

Three men who have accused former Yarmouth priest Albert LeBlanc of abuse are seeking more than $5 million in damages, according to court documents filed Monday.

LeBlanc, now 82, already faces more than 50 sex-related charges from abuse that allegedly took place in the 1970s and ’80s. He will face those charges in a weeklong trial scheduled for May.

When the criminal charges have been resolved, a smaller group of plaintiffs will turn their attention to the civil claims filed this week in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax. LeBlanc, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax and the Diocese of Yarmouth are named in the lawsuits.

NW Pa. priest gets probation for teen relationship

The Sentinel

SMETHPORT, Pa. (AP) — A suspended Catholic priest will spend two years on probation — and his bishop already has said the priest’s felony conviction will keep him out of active ministry — for his inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old northwestern Pennsylvania boy.

The Rev. Samuel Slocum, 60, was sentenced Monday in McKean County, where he was convicted last month of concealment of the whereabouts of a child, The Bradford Era reported Tuesday.

“What he’s done, he’s taught my son to lie, to sneak out, to disobey me,” the boy’s mother told the judge, adding that her son no longer believes in God.

Prosecutors say Slocum continued to contact the boy for three months early last year and urged him to lie about their relationship to his mother even after she told the priest to stop seeing the boy. Slocum was not charged with sex crimes, though prosecutors argued some of his messages to the boy — sent on computers and a smartphone the priest gave him — were suggestive and flirtatious.

Compensatie misbruik kerk duurt langer


Slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik binnen de rooms-katholieke kerk die schadevergoeding hebben aangevraagd, moeten langer wachten op de vergoeding. De behandeling van hun aanvragen duurt langer dan gedacht, laat het Meldpunt Seksueel Misbruik RKK weten.

De eerste 47 slachtoffers die schadevergoeding hebben aangevraagd zouden uiterlijk begin februari uitsluitsel krijgen. Dat gaat nu zes weken langer duren.

Langer wachten op geld na misbruik kerk

De Telegraaf

AMSTERDAM - Slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik in katholieke instellingen moeten veel langer wachten op een schadevergoeding dan voorzien.

Dat staat in een brief van het Meldpunt Seksueel Misbruik RKK, schrijft de Volkskrant.

Plaintiffs ask to see archdiocese's papers

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Feb. 28, 2012

Attorneys for sex abuse victims in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy case are asking the court to unseal thousands of pages of documents they say will show the breadth and scope of the sex abuse crisis, and alleged coverup, in the local church over the last half century.

At issue is whether the 350 claims filed by clients of attorneys Jeffrey Anderson and Michael Finnegan do or do not detail more than 8,000 individual sex acts and name about 100 suspects - 75 of them priests - not previously identified by the archdiocese, as the two argued at a court hearing this month.

The archdiocese has suggested those numbers are misleading and has asked the court for permission to compile statistical information about the claims for the state attorney general's office, which has been asked by lawmakers and victim rights advocates to launch an independent investigation into the abuse allegations. The court is scheduled to take up that motion Wednesday.

Anderson argued in documents filed late Monday that the archdiocese's request doesn't go far enough. He asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley to unseal more than 500 claims, with identifying information about victims and previously unidentified suspects redacted; the depositions of Archbishop Rembert Weakland and Bishop Richard Sklba, both retired, and defrocked priest Daniel A. Budzynski; and numerous other documents.

Kaum jemand nimmt das Geld


Montag, 27. Februar 2012

Von Christian Althoff

Paderborn/Bünde (WB). Viele ehemalige Heimkinder lehnen es ab, Geld aus dem 120-Millionen-Fonds zu beantragen, den es seit Jahresanfang gibt. Sie kritisieren, dass sie eine weitreichende Verzichtserklärung unterschreiben sollen.

In den kirchlichen und staatlichen Heimen Westfalen-Lippes wurden zwischen 1945 und 1980 jährlich 6000 bis 9000 Kinder und Jugendliche aufgenommen. »Oft reichten banale Anlässe wie Unsauberkeit oder Lügen, um Kinder in Heime zu stecken«, weiß Professor Bernd Walter, Leiter des Instituts für westfälische Regionalgeschichte. Viele Heimkinder wurden misshandelt, sie mussten Erbrochenes essen oder ohne Lohn in der Landwirtschaft oder für Unternehmen wie Claas, Hella und Miele arbeiten.

Bistum Würzburg zahlt 29 000 Euro an Opfer

Main Post

Die katholischen Bischöfe in Deutschland sehen die Vertrauenskrise durch sexuelle Übergriffe von Geistlichen offenbar bewältigt. Jedenfalls ist das Thema bei der Frühjahrskonferenz der katholischen Oberhirten in Regensburg bis Donnerstag nicht auf der Tagesordnung. Dies bestätigte der Vorsitzende, Erzbischof Robert Zollitsch, am Montag.

950 Männer und Frauen, die von Priestern oder Mitarbeitern missbraucht wurden, haben in Deutschland eine finanzielle Entschädigung erhalten. Dies meldet das „Westfalen-Blatt“. Für die Kirche scheint der Skandal damit erledigt zu sein. „Alle Anträge auf Opferentschädigung sind bearbeitet worden. Uns liegen keine offenen Fälle mehr vor“, sagte Matthias Kopp, Sprecher der Bischofskonferenz.

Missbrauch in der Kirche: 209000 Euro für 32 Opfer


Mittwoch, 29. Februar 2012

Von Christian Althoff

Paderborn (WB). Das Erzbistum Paderborn hat insgesamt 209000 Euro an 32 Menschen ausgezahlt, die von katholischen Geistlichen sexuell missbraucht worden sind.

Diese Zahlen nannte gestern Ägidius Engel, der Sprecher des Erzbistums. »Damit ist jetzt über alle Anträge auf Entschädigung, die bei uns eingegangen sind, entschieden«, sagte Engel. In 15 Fällen seien zudem Therapien vermittelt worden. Auch hätten Erzbischof Hans-Josef Becker und Generalvikar Alfons Hardt Gespräche mit Opfern geführt.

‘Wie oproept tot ongehoorzaamheid breekt niet met de kerk’


BRUSSEL (RKnieuws.net) - “We maken fundamentele verschuivingen mee die groeipijnen veroorzaken, maar het heeft geen zin achteruit te kijken.” Dat zegt Oostenrijks theoloog Michael Kuhn (53), een bevoorrecht waarnemer van de christelijke protestbeweging in zijn land. Hij is het oog en oor van de Oostenrijkse bisschoppen bij de Europese Unie.

De Oostenrijkse christenen werden wereldnieuws sinds 382 pastoors midden vorig jaar opriepen tot ongehoorzaamheid – het Pfarrer-Initiative. De protestbeweging loopt voort en vindt navolging in heel Europa. In Vlaanderen is er het initiatief Gelovigen nemen het woord van de Werkgroep Kerkenwerk. De vernieuwingsgolf roept niet alleen sympathie op; er zijn scherpe tegenreacties. “Ik heb twee petjes op”, lacht de perfect Nederlandstalige Michael Kuhn.

Duitse kerk geeft geld aan 950 slachtoffers pedofil

HLN (Belgie)

In Duitsland krijgen zo'n 950 mannen en vrouwen die door priesters en andere medewerkers van de katholieke kerk seksueel misbruikt werden, een schadevergoeding. Dat meldt het katholieke persagentschap Apic onder aanhaling van het in Bielefeld verschijnende Westfalen-Blattes.

Een door het Duitse episcopaat opgerichte commissie behandelde zo'n 1.000 aanvragen voor schadeloosstelling. Die zijn nu allemaal verwerkt, waardoor er geen lopende zaken meer zijn.

Overhaul to protect Victorian children at risk

The Australian

John Ferguson, Victorian political editor
From:The Australian
February 29, 2012

A LOST generation of vulnerable Victorian children has been failed by governments and the legal system, but those responsible for overseeing the systemic departmental chaos will not be pursued by the Baillieu government.

The Cummins inquiry into child protection yesterday backed a ground-up overhaul of child services in Victoria as well as broad changes to the way the Children's Court operates.

It found the growth in suspected child abuse and neglect was so great that almost one in every four children born last year would be the subject of at least one welfare protection report by their 18th birthday.

The inquiry has recommended greater reporting demands on the clergy, with exemptions for the rite of confession, and a whole-of-government response to the child welfare crisis. It has backed a new Commission for Children and Young People and accused Victorian governments over many years of having failed on crucial early-intervention procedures.

Inquiry rules sex fiends' identities should be revealed

Herald Sun

Ashley Gardiner and Grant McArthur
From:Herald Sun
February 29, 2012

PARENTS and families should have a right to know if a paedophile is living among them, a new report says.

Suppression orders on the names of child sex offenders comfort paedophiles and undermine confidence in the legal system, it says.

The 900-page report into child abuse, commissioned by the Baillieu Government and tabled in State Parliament yesterday, pulled apart the state's Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act.

"Repeal would enhance the protection of vulnerable victims and would affirm the principle of open courts," the report said.

Government defends rights of sex offenders

Daily Telegraph

February 29, 2012

THE rights of vulnerable children have to be balanced with the rights of pedophiles when it comes to naming sex offenders, the Victorian government says.

One of the 90 recommendations of an inquiry into the state's child protection system was to change the law allowing for the identities of child-sex offenders to be suppressed by the courts.

Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge said while she had personal sympathy for the recommendation, pedophiles' rights had to be considered.

"We have to balance the rights of children and families also with ... the rights of pedophiles," she told Fairfax Radio today.

Report into vulnerable children in Victoria


[with audio]

Anna MacDonald reported this story on Tuesday, February 28, 2012

MARK COLVIN: The Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu, once described the protection of vulnerable children as one of the biggest crises facing the state.

Now there's a long-awaited report on the issue and it calls for sweeping changes to the way the state cares for children most at risk.

It’s also suggested a formal investigation into how religious organisations respond to claims of sexual abuse.

But child welfare agencies are wanting to know where the money will come from for the proposed changes.

Anna MacDonald reports.

ANNA MACDONALD: One of the first moves Ted Baillieu made when he became Premier was order a review into Victoria's child protection services.

Oakleigh couple welcome church sex abuse inquiry call

Waverley Leader


AN OAKLEIGH couple devastated by church sexual abuses has welcomed a recommendation for a state government investigation.

The Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry was tabled in parliament yesterday, with recommendations to investigate the reporting of sexual abuse in religious organisations.

The recommendation left Oakleigh parents Chrissie and Anthony Foster, who have campaigned for justice for their daughters for years, hopeful an investigation could be launched in the next month.

The recommendation read: “A formal investigation should be conducted into the processes by which religious organisations respond to the criminal abuse of children by religious personnel within their organisations.

Report of the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry

Protecting Victoria's Vulnerable Children Inquiry

The Panel delivered the Report to the Minister for Community Services on 27January 2012. The Report was tabled by the Minister for Community Services in Parliament on 28 February 2012.

The Report is now available to the public.

It is split into three Volumes.
•Volume 1 includes the Executive summary and Lists of recommendations, findings and matters for attention as well as an Implementation plan.
•Volume 2 comprises eight parts and contains 23 chapters. For ease of downloading, this Volume has been divided into sections.
•Volume 3 is composed mostly of the appendices. See below for more information on the contents of the Report.

Volume 1:

The entire Volume 1 can be downloaded here (PDF, 2.55MB).
•Terms of Reference
•Executive summary
•List of recommendations
•List of findings and matters for attention
•Implementation plan

Volume 2:

Click on the links below to download the individual parts or chapters of the Report.

Part 1 – The impact of abuse and neglect (PDF, 1.28MB)
•Chapter 1: The Inquiry’s task (PDF, 336KB)
•Chapter 2: Vulnerability and the impact of abuse and neglect (PDF, 881KB)

Protecting Victoria's Vulnerable Children Inquiry

Victoria Online

29 Feb, 2012

The Inquiry Panel, comprised of the Honourable Philip Cummins, Professor Emeritus Dorothy Scott OAM and Mr Bill Scales AO presented its Report to the Minister for Community Services on 27 January 2012. The Report was tabled by the Minister for Community Services in Parliament on 28 February 2012.

To read the report please go to: www.childprotectioninquiry.vic.gov.au

Victorian government considers change to laws protecting child sex offenders

The Australian

THE Victorian government will urgently consider repealing a law that protects the identities of child sex offenders.

An inquiry headed by former Supreme Court judge Philip Cummins has made 90 recommendations to government to reform the the state's child protection system.

One of the most controversial, supported by a majority of the inquiry panel, is to change the law allowing courts to suppress the names of child sex offenders.

Premier Ted Baillieu says the government will seek advice from police and other justice officials about the recommendation.

'Name and shame' law on cards in Victoria

9 News

By Melissa Jenkins

The Victorian government will urgently consider repealing a law protecting the identities of child sex offenders.

But there are concerns such a change would increase the number of children harmed and encourage vigilante behaviour.

An inquiry headed by former Supreme Court judge Philip Cummins has made 90 recommendations to reform the state's child protection system.

One of the most controversial, supported by a majority of the inquiry panel, is to repeal parts of the law relating to serious sex offenders that allows courts to suppress their names.

Child welfare report calls for church abuse inquiry

ABC - The World Today

Liz Hobday reported this story on Wednesday, February 29, 2012

ELEANOR HALL: The report from the Cummins Inquiry into vulnerable children in Victoria has made wide-ranging recommendations to improve the State Government's child protection systems.

But committee also recommended changes to the way that religious organisations deal with abuse, and it says a new investigation is needed to look at that issue.

In Melbourne, Liz Hobday reports.

LIZ HOBDAY: The Cummins report isn't short on advice. After a year looking into child welfare in Victoria it's made more than 90 recommendations.

Among the more controversial is the recommendation that religious ministers should be subject to the mandatory reporting of child abuse.

Here's the Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge on ABC Melbourne's Jon Faine program:

MARY WOOLDRIDGE: Well another obviously very controversial and important recommendation...

JON FAINE: It shouldn't be controversial. Why should it be controversial?

MARY WOOLDRIDGE: Well, because any extension to mandatory reporting from a system we've had that's been in place for 15 years has implications but we...

Residential schools an "assault" on aboriginals, says commission

St. Albert Gazette

Wednesday, Feb 29, 2012

By Kevin Ma | St. Albert Gazette

Residential schools were an assault on aboriginals and local schools should teach students about them in order to affect reconciliation, says a federal commission.

The federal Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its interim report last weekend. The report, part of the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, is part of an ongoing effort to reveal the truth of Canada’s residential school system to the public.

About 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were taken from their homes and placed in residential schools, the commission found, where they were forbidden to speak their own languages and often mentally, physically and sexually abused. “Generations of children were traumatized by the experience,” the report read.

Cardinal George should reconsider, meet Irish prime minister

Chicago Sun-Times

By Colum Kenny February 29, 2012

DUBLIN — Viewed from Ireland, Cardinal Francis George’s decision not to dine with the prime minister of Ireland at the Chicago Irish Fellowship Club St. Patrick’s Day dinner this year certainly looks like a snub. His absence will not impress Catholics in Ireland.

But George says that he was not told last week that Prime Minister Enda Kenny would be attending. When he turned down the invitation, his office says, it was simply because of a prior commitment to attend a youth retreat.

My suggestion would be that he think again. In reporting the news last week, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed raised the possibility that George’s decision not to meet with Kenny might be part of an Ireland-Vatican tiff. The cardinal’s office denies this, however, saying the cardinal once even declined an invitation from the pope so as to keep a date with 300 parish leaders in Chicago.

Catholic bishops and the pope’s representative in Ireland have consistently mishandled child sex-abuse scandals. The Irish government’s recent decision to close its Vatican embassy (among others) as a “cost-cutting exercise” has been seen in Ireland as an expression of official frustration.

Former Bristol magistrate faces sex abuse charges

Bristol Evening Post

A FORMER Bristol magistrate and church pastor has been charged with sexually abusing a teenage boy.

James Hennah is accused of three counts of illegal sexual touching between 2007 and 2010.
The 39-year-old, who was a prominent member of the Bristol Community Church in Kingswood, is also charged with watching his alleged victim, who was under 16, "doing a private act" without consent, for his own sexual gratification, in 2010.

He appeared at Exeter Magistrates' Court for the first time yesterday.

February 28, 2012

Coroner: Bevilacqua had prescribed drugs in system

Philadelphia Daily News

Philadelphia Daily News

Several prescription medications were found in Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua's body at the time of his death, but the Montgomery County coroner won't know for a few weeks whether those drugs matched prescribed levels.

Walter I. Hoffman unveiled the preliminary results of his autopsy of Bevilacqua yesterday.

Hoffman also warned that results may be inaccurate due to the body having already been embalmed when the test was taken. He said testing will be completed around March 10.

Should Catholics be jurors in priest sex-abuse trial?

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin

One of the first juror candidates called Tuesday into the courtroom where two current and one former Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests await trial was a 32-year-old man who said he worked in corporate finance and lived in Northern Liberties.

According to a questionnaire the man filled out, he was Catholic and once lived in or near the Bucks County parish where one of the accused priests worked.

Next up came a 44-year-old college administrator, who attended parochial school and grew up in Mount Airy, the neighborhood where another defendant was a parish pastor.

Then an 18-year-old unemployed barista took the stand. She graduated in 2011 from Archbishop Prendergast High School in Drexel Hill.

Each reflected a recurring dilemma for the defendants and lawyers in the landmark case: Should they choose Catholic jurors? And if so, how will those jurors' own experience with the church affect their judgment?

Arrested Pastor Takes Plea Deal In Child Abuse Case


EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. -- The former church leader and superintendent of Hilltop Baptist Church in Colorado Springs entered a guilty plea in exchange for several charges being dropped by prosecutors.

Pastor Frankin "Wayne" Knight took the deal on Feb. 17. Knight pleaded guilty to being an accessory to a crime and failure to report suspected child abuse, according to court records.

Friends of Knight told CALL7 Investigators that he planned to move to Texas.

SNAP Milwaukee letter to Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen


February 28, 2012

To: J. B. Van Hollen, Wisconsin Attorney General

From: Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Re: Request for a meeting with victims concerning an investigation into child sex crimes and fraud by the Milwaukee Archdiocese

Attorney General Van Hollen,

We are writing on behalf of childhood victims of rape, sexual assault and abuse by clergy sex offenders from the Milwaukee Archdiocese, our families, and the clergy that support us. Our organization, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org) is the oldest and largest self-help community of survivors of clergy sex crimes in the world, founded in 1989 and currently with over 10,000 members in the United States alone.

We are requesting a meeting with you to discuss the need for a formal inquiry into the reports of child sex abuse contained in claims submitted to the federal bankruptcy court by 570 victims from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The victim reports detail at least 8,000 acts of criminal abuse by 100 alleged offenders never before identified by the archdiocese, and span 50 years. We urge you to conduct your own investigation of these reports, including the status and whereabouts of these offenders, along with examining for criminal culpability any church official involved in the fraudulent cover up of these crimes. Much of this evidence is contained in tens of thousands of pages of internal church documents and depositions currently sealed in court proceedings and unavailable to the public. We strongly believe victim reports, eyewitness testimony, documents and depositions, and other evidence must be fully investigated and reviewed by you and result in a definitive and comprehensive conclusion concerning the nature and scope of these crimes.

Catholics4Change – One Year Later


February 28, 2012 by Susan Matthews

This blog was born one year ago in the wake of the 2011 Grand Jury report on clergy sex abuse. So much has unfolded since then and yet so little has changed.

It started with my grief and anger and continues with the concerned and committed people who comment here and share my outrage.

More than two dozen priests were removed from ministry (their fates yet to be determined). These priests, despite undisclosed allegations and serious concerns, had been left in ministry by leadership until pressed by the District Attorney’s office. One of those priests was a life-long friend of my husband. He was my first boss at The Catholic Standard and Times. He also married us and baptized our children. This was the second blow to the family. The first came after a 2005 Grand Jury report revealed Father Peter Dunne, another family friend, had been a known pedophile to the Archdiocese since the 1960s. Yet, he was made chaplain of the Boy Scouts and director of Camp Neumann in the 70s.

But it’s not just personal. Almost every area Catholic I know has been impacted by this cover up. It’s soul crushing for all – especially the victims. Speaking with them about their abuse has taken me to dark places. The difference is I can leave and go back to “normal” life. They can’t. All I can do is shine a light on the truth.

Coroner: Medication In Bevilacqua's System

My Fox Philly

PHILADELPHIA - The Montgomery County coroner's office tells Fox 29 that preliminary findings show prescribed pharmaceuticals in the system of the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.

The coroner didn't detail the type of drugs, but Bevilacqua, who was 88, was reportedly being treated for dementia and cancer at the time of his death.

Coroner Walter I. Hofman told Fox 29 on Tuesday that his office is now testing to see if the amount of drugs in Bevilacqua's system at the time of his death matches the prescribed dosage. He says the process will take several weeks.

The coroner said his office is doing drug analysis and pharmacokinetics testing and he hopes to close the case out by March 10.

Autopsy: Bevilacqua had prescription drugs in system


February 28, 2012 (WPVI) -- A preliminary autopsy report on the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua shows he had prescribed pharmaceuticals in his system at the time of his death last month.

The Montgomery County coroner, however, says more testing is needed.

District Attorney Risa Ferman ordered the review, citing the timing of the cardinal's death on January 31st, and a ruling the previous day that he was competent to testify in the sex abuse case against two priests and a monsignor.

Cardinal Bevilacqua Toxicology Results


By David Chang

The preliminary results of Anthony Bevilacqua’s toxicology tests are now in.

The Montgomery County coroner says all drugs found in Bevilacqua’s system were prescribed by doctors.

Further testing needs to be done to determine if those drugs were at the correct levels his doctors had prescribed. Those results are expected to be in by March 10.

Bevilacqua died on January 30 at the age of 88. Church officials say the Cardinal was suffering from cancer and dementia. He died at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Lower Merion.

11 jurors seated for Philly priest abuse trial


Updated: Feb 28, 2012 5

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Eleven jurors have been chosen so far to hear a landmark priest abuse case in Philadelphia.

The trial is expected to reveal the inner workings of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Prosecutors say two cardinals and others protected predator-priests to save the archdiocese's reputation - and finances. But only one church official is on trial.

Monsignor William Lynn is accused of endangering children as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004. The 61-year-old Lynn has pleaded not guilty and blames the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua (beh-vih-LAH'-kwah) for hiding the problem.

Voice of the Faithful Agrees Conspiracy Memo in Priests’ Case “Shocking

Voice of the Faithful

NEWTON, Mass. – A newly discovered memo presented to a Philadelphia court by Philadelphia archdiocese’s lawyers proves archdiocesan officials engaged in a conspiracy to cover up clergy sexual abuse in 1994. The memo also proves the Catholic Church reform group Voice of the Faithful’s long-held contention that Church hierarchy have covered up clergy sexual abuse to protect the Church’s reputation and assets at the expense of child victims of clergy sexual abuse.

According to media reports of court documents submitted by the archdiocese’s own lawyers, who called the memo a “shocking discovery,” Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, then archbishop of Philadelphia, ordered a list of abusive priests shredded. Also according to reports, the lawyers assert in the documents, “As this newfound memorandum proves, the District Attorney’s Office is entirely correct in its belief and assertion that an overarching Archdiocesan conspiracy existed in Philadelphia in the 1990s.”

The lawyers are defending Msgr. William Lynn, who has been charged with child endangerment for covering up clergy sexual abuse and transferring abusive priests from parish to parish while in charge of archdiocesan priest assignments.

A deep look into Philly's clerical culture

National Catholic Reporter

by Tom Roberts on Feb. 28, 2012 NCR Today

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, with its roots deep in the soil of a secretive, authoritarian, Irish Catholicism, produced a tightly wound clerical culture unparalleled in this country for its loyalty to itself.

When it comes to clericalism, with its unwritten but clearly understood code of the bishop as prince with the power to bend the culture to his will through the distribution of benefices and punishments, with the means to exact unfailing loyalty, “Philly” was always in a league of its own.

The culture is unraveling there, and has been since District Attorney Lynne Abraham decided in 2003 to impanel a grand jury, even though the statutes of limitation would probably prevent her from bringing charges, to look into the matter of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests.

The resultant history is well known – an unprecedented documentation of inner church workings, of unimaginable crimes against children, of cover up and shuffling of abusive priests from parish to parish with no warning to the affected congregations.

Rumored new doctrinal czar has liberation theology ties

National Catholic Reporter


Although speculation about who’s in line for top Vatican jobs is a favorite indoor sport in Catholicism, usually to be taken with a grain of salt, you can sometimes tell a rumor is serious when pot shots start falling on the would-be nominee.

By that standard, Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller of Regensburg, Germany, has to be considered a hot tip for the next prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s powerful doctrine office currently headed by American Cardinal William Levada.

Levada will turn 76 in June, and it’s long been rumored that Müller, 64, is a top candidate to take over. This week, traditionalist Catholics in Italy began circulating e-mails suggesting that Müller, a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and a lifelong friend of Pope Benedict XVI, is not a man of “secure doctrine.”

Don Seppia resta in carcere, rischio recidiva

Citta di Genova

Genova - Riccardo Seppia resta in carcere a Sanremo. Lo ha deciso la Cassazione che ha ritenuto “particolarmente elevato” il rischio di recidiva per l’ex parroco di Sestri Ponente, sotto processo a Genova per vari reati a sfondo sessuale ai danni di minori.

La Cassazione su don Seppia

La Repubblica

La Corte Suprema si esprime sulla richiesta di arresti domiciliari presentata dal sacerdote di Sestri accusato di pedofilia: "Elevato il pericolo di recidiva. Incontestabile la predilezione dell'imputato a scegliere i bambini e i giovani stranieri più indifesi. Inadeguata ogni altra misura cautelare diversa dal carcere"

Il pericolo di recidiva per Riccardo Seppia, l'ex parroco di Sestri Ponente in custodia cautelare nel carcere di Sanremo e sotto processo a Genova per vari reati sessuali ai danni di minori, è "particolarmente elevato". Lo sottolinea la Cassazione condividendo la decisione del Tribunale del riesame di Genova che, lo scorso 16 giugno, ha negato all'imputato gli arresti domiciliari in una comunità per tossicodipendenti.

Advocacy group: Clock ticking for any sex-abuse victims at Salinas school

The Californian

Written by
Sunita Vijayan

If anyone suffered sexual abuse at the hands of former Palma High School employees, time is running out to seek justice, a national support group for clergy-abuse victims said Monday.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, also named three men who once worked at the private Salinas school and who have been accused of sexual abuse. They are: Brother Jerome Heustis, the Rev. Gerald Funcheon and Brother Robert Brouillette. Their names were also included in a statement released by Brother Patrick Dunne, Palma's president.

The school has been named as one of the Christian Brothers schools that employed men who are alleged to have sexually abused children — news that came at the heels of a court order stemming from the April bankruptcy filing of the Irish Christian Brothers and New Rochelle, N.Y.-based Christian Brothers Institute following sex-abuse claims.

Hidden Dangers of Meditation and the Pitfalls of the Guru/Disciple relationship

Down the Crooked Path

Child Abuse by Buddhist Clergy

The Time Has Come To End Child Monk Sex Slavery - Pedophilia Among The Buddhist Clergy

Professor Gananath Obeysekara's views on buddhist child monks and sexual abuse within monastery

In a recent article Dr. Obeysekere was quoted regarding his views on child monks. The article stated:

" ... But one major reason Obeyesekere opposes child recruitment is that the very young are vulnerable to sexual abuse, which he says is ''notoriously associated'' will all forms of institutionalized monasticism.

The possibility of child abuse in Buddhist monasteries ''must be faced honestly and squarely,'' he stressed.

Victims to Wisconsin Attorney General...

SNAP Wisconsin

Victims to Wisconsin Attorney General: “Conduct your own clergy child sex abuse and fraud investigation”

After an impromptu press conference holding signs and childhood photos, victim/survivors of clergy sexual assault who are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, and Fr. James Connell, Vice Chancellor of the Milwaukee Archdiocese and victim advocate, will attempt to hand deliver a letter to the Milwaukee Office of Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen concerning a new court motion to be heard Wednesday in Milwaukee Federal Bankruptcy court filed by the archdiocese of Milwaukee.

In the new motion, archdiocesan lawyers will ask to submit to Van Hollen their own “statistical analysis” of the criminal evidence contained in 570 victim claims, which detail at least 8,000 acts of criminal abuse by 100 alleged offenders never before identified by the archdiocese of Milwaukee. Victims want Van Hollen to conduct his own investigation of the new reports and offenders, not have church officials do it for him, along with examining tens of thousands of pages of internal church documents related to the abuse of children and the fraudulent cover up of these crimes, which have spanned some 50 years.

Tuesday, February 28, 12:30 p.m.

In the lobby of the State Office Building, outside of the Department of Justice, Office of Crime Victim Services (Room 180), 819 N. 6th Street, Milwaukee.

Archdiocese of Mil. sex abuse victims ask J.B. Van Hollen to conduct own investigation

Fox 6

MILWAUKEE — The ongoing bankruptcy case against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has taken a new turn after 100 new sex abusers have been identified in court documents.

Now, victims of the child sex abuse scandal want to ask Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to conduct his own investigation into the clergy sex abuse claims, instead of having church officials do it for him.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, otherwise called SNAP, says the Archdiocese has covered up these crimes for decades and the Attorney General should look into it as fraud.

“These 100 sex offenders need to be investigated. We need to find out who they are, we need to find out where they are, and we need to find out exactly what crimes they have committed,” says SNAP Director Peter Isely.

Ein himmlisches Interview für 7000 Euro

Berner Zeitung (Schweiz)

Von Nina Merli.

Sogar der Vatikan muss sparen: Um einen Teil der Reisekosten des anstehenden Zentralamerika-Besuches zu decken, werden Journalisten zur Kasse gebeten.

Die katholische Kirche hat im Augenblick keinen einfachen Stand: Rücktrittsgerüchte des Kirchenoberhauptes Papst Benedikt XVI. machen die Runde, von einem Mordkomplott gegen den Papst war vor kurzem die Rede. Die zahlreichen, öffentlich gewordenen Missbrauchsskandale haben den Ruf der Kirche ramponiert und erst noch viel Geld gekostet: Nach Schätzungen von US-Experten haben die daraus resultierenden Prozesse und Entschädigungen die Kirche rund zwei Milliarden US-Dollar gekostet. Ausserdem hat die italienische Regierung beschlossen, dass der Vatikan in Zukunft ebenfalls eine Immobiliensteuer (ICI) für seine kommerziell genutzten Gebäude zu bezahlen hat. Und weitere Kosten stehen an: Ende März wird der Papst Mexiko und Cuba besuchen – kein billiger Spass, reist der Heilige Vater doch für gewöhnlich mit einem rund 30-köpfigen Tross von Betreuern und Mitarbeitern.

Westfalen-Blatt: Katholische Kirche zahlt 950 Menschen in Deutschland Entschädigung für Missbrauch durch Geistliche


Bielefeld (ots) - In Deutschland haben etwa 950 Männer und Frauen, die von Priestern oder anderen Mitarbeitern der katholischen Kirche sexuell missbraucht worden sind, eine finanzielle Entschädigung erhalten. "Alle Anträge auf Opferentschädigung sind bearbeitet
worden. Uns liegen keine offenen Fälle mehr vor", sagte Matthias Kopp, der Sprecher der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, dem WESTFALEN-BLATT (Dienstagsausgabe). Vor einem Jahr, am 2. März 2011, hatte die katholische Kirchen in Deutschland ein Programm gestartet,
um Opfern Therapien zu vermitteln und ihr Leid mit einer Geldzahlung anzuerkennen. "Die Orden und Bistümer haben uns seitdem etwa 1000 Entschädigungsanträge vorgelegt", sagte Kopp. Ein eigens eingerichtetes Komitee der Bischofskonferenz habe die Schilderungen
geprüft und in 95 Prozent der Fälle empfohlen, an die Betroffenen zu zahlen.

3 Former Palma High Employees Accused Of Sexual Abuse


By Susanne Brunner

SALINAS, Calif. -- Former employees of a Central Coast private school are accused of sexual abuse. On Monday, demonstrators rallied outside Palma High School in hopes of bringing the accusations to light.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), held pictures of a former priest and two former brothers who served at Palma high sometime between 1964 and 1985. They said Father Gerald Funcheon, Br. Jerome Heustis, and Br. Robert Brouilette all have sexual allegations leveled against them, and wanted the Salinas community aware of it.

"Our goal is to reach out to alumni, our goal is to reach out to people who live in the Salinas Valley who did attend school here and who may have been abused," said Joelle Casteix with SNAP.

Retired KC police chief will lead Catholic review board

The Kansas City Star

The Kansas City Star

Former Kansas City police chief Jim Corwin has agreed to lead a local Catholic board that investigates allegations of child sexual abuse within the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Corwin said he was humbled to take the position. ...

Corwin, a Presbyterian, retired from the Police Department in September after 32 years of service.

He replaces Jim Caccamo, a Catholic who announced his resignation from the board earlier this month, saying that the turmoil of the past year had “exhausted” him.

Shredded-memo motion denied to defense in predator-priests trial

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
Inquirer Staff Writer

The discovery of Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua's 1994 order to shred a memo about 35 Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests suspected of molesting children is no reason to dismiss the case against one of his key aides, a judge ruled Monday.

Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina denied a bid by defense attorneys to drop the charges after prosecutors argued that the shredding directive and other recently unearthed files were the equivalent of "a smoking gun" that bolstered, not weakened, their case against Msgr. William J. Lynn.

The documents, they say, prove Lynn plotted with Bevilacqua, the longtime archbishop who died Jan. 31, and others to protect abusive priests and shield the church from lawsuits.

They said Lynn's attorneys misportrayed the files last week in a bid to try out a new strategy - "a combination of the dead-guys-did-it and the I-was-only-following-orders defenses" - and to sway potential jurors.

5 jurors selected in priest-abuse case

Philadelphia Daily News

Daily News Staff Writer

THE FIRST FIVE jurors were selected yesterday in the child-sexual-abuse trial of three Philadelphia Catholic priests.

Jury selection was scheduled to resume this morning, with 30 more potential jurors to be interviewed, Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina said last night.

Earlier in the day, Sarmina rejected a defense motion requesting that child-endangerment charges be dropped against a former Catholic church official due to the discovery of new evidence.

She ruled after prosecutors asserted that the new evidence actually will help them prove the guilt of Monsignor William Lynn.

Palma part of bankruptcy case involving child sex abuse allegations

Monterey Herald

Herald Salinas Bureaumontereyherald.com

Contrary to prior assertions, Palma High School could become a bargaining chip in a massive bankruptcy case involving child sex abuse allegations against the Irish Christian Brothers.

Palma's corporate entity, the Christian Brothers Institute of California Inc., is named as a defendant in one of the lawsuits that prompted the Christian Brothers to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy in New York in April.

The plaintiff in that suit alleges he was molested at O'Dea High School in Seattle by Brother Edward Courtney, who was transferred to the school by his superiors despite numerous earlier claims of molestation. Those superiors were at the provincial headquarters, located in Salinas from 1969 to 1976.

Tennessee Supreme Court: Lawsuit alleging abuse by priest can go forward

Jackson Sun

Written by
Sheila Burke
Associated Press

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled Monday that a man who says he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest in the 1970s can go ahead with his lawsuit against the Diocese of Memphis.

Norman Redwing, 51, sued the diocese in 2008, nearly 30 years past the statute of limitations. Typically, victims have only a year after their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.

The suit claims he was abused from 1972 to 1974 by now-deceased priest Milton Guthrie, and that church officials knew or should have known the priest was “a dangerous sexual predator with a depraved sexual interest in young boys.”

February 27, 2012

Priest convicted of inappropriate relationship spared jail

Buffalo News

A Catholic priest convicted of having an inappropriate relationship with a teenage boy last year was spared jail today.

The Rev. Samuel Slocum, 60 — a native of Smethport, Pa., who studied for the priesthood at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora — was ordered by Senior Court of Common Pleas Judge William F. Morgan in Smethport to serve two years on probation on his Jan. 18 conviction on concealment of the whereabouts of a child and corruption of minors.

Slocum was not accused of having a sexual relationship with the boy, who testified at trial that he and his brother and other friends often visited Slocum at the rectory at Our Mother of Perpetual Help Church in Lewis Run, Pa.

Priest Returns to Cincinnati Amid Allegations

City Beat

For the second time in three years, a Catholic priest has been pulled from parish duties from out of state and returned to Greater Cincinnati following allegations of sexual abuse.

The Rev. Robert F. Poandl was relieved of his ministry assignment as pastor of Glenmary missions in Georgia earlier this month and ordered to return to the Glenmary Home Missioners residence in Fairfield.

The action was taken after the Rev. Chet Artysiewicz, Glenmary president, was informed of an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a minor against Poandl. The abuse allegedly occurred about 30 years ago. Poandl, who is 70, has denied the allegation but isn’t allowed to publicly function as a Catholic priest during the investigation process, Artysiewicz said.

Artysiewicz is Poandl’s direct supervisor.

Mark Driscoll Gets Emotional in Sermon on Sexual Assault

The Christian Post

By Lillian Kwon, Christian Post Reporter

February 27, 2012

It was the one sermon Mark Driscoll never wanted to preach. But on Sunday, the Seattle pastor stood in front of thousands and delivered an emotional sermon on sexual assault, which his wife is a victim of.

Sexual assault is an epidemic, Driscoll emphasized to Mars Hill Church. And to ignore it is to create a church culture where people can't be honest about what's been happening to them.

Displaying the weightiness and sensitivity of the topic, Driscoll shed a few tears throughout the sermon, which he based off of chapter seven of his latest book, Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together. The only time he gets emotional, he pointed out, is when women and children are in danger.


Supreme Court of Tennessee

April 7, 2011 Session


Appeal by Permission from the Court of Appeals, Middle Section
Circuit Court for Shelby County
No. CT-005052-08 D’Army Bailey, Judge
No. W2009-00986-SC-R11-CV - Filed February 27, 2012

This appeal involves a dispute regarding the civil liability of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis for acts of child sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated by one of its priests in the 1970s. A victim of this alleged abuse filed suit against the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis in the Circuit Court for Shelby County seeking monetary damages. The Diocese moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine deprived state courts of subject matter jurisdiction and that the victim’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations. The trial court denied the Diocese’s motion. The Court of Appeals held that the statute of limitations had run on the victim’s claims and that the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine barred state courts from considering the victim’s negligent hiring and retention claims but not the negligent supervision claims. Redwing v. Catholic Bishop for Diocese of Memphis, No. W2009-00986-COA-R10-CV, 2010 WL 2106222 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 27, 2010). We granted the victim’s Tenn. R. App. P. 11 application for permission to appeal. We have concluded that the Court of Appeals erred by concluding that the state courts lack subject matter jurisdiction over the victim’s claims and that the victim’s claims are barred by the statute of limitations.

Tennessee Supreme Court OKs Memphis Diocese Sex Abuse Case

Nashville Scene

[court decision]

Posted by Jonathan Meador on Mon, Feb 27, 2012

Sexual abuse proceedings against the Catholic Diocese of Memphis can now continue following an order issued today by the state's highest court.

The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that the charges brought by Norman Redwing, a Memphis man who alleges he was sexually abused in the 1970s by Father Milton Guthrie, a now-deceased diocesan priest, can continue by effectively detonating one of the church's prized legal tactics — dubbed ecclesiastical abstention doctrine — which conveniently obstructs legal discovery by shielding the church behind First Amendment protections and allow it to party like it's 1399.

From a press release (bold emphasis Pith's) released today by the Supreme Court:

The Diocese asked the trial court to dismiss the case, arguing that the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine deprives state courts of jurisdiction over cases against the church and that the victim’s claims were barred by statute of limitations. The Supreme Court determined that religious organizations are not shielded from suits involving property rights, torts (like Redwing’s claims) and criminal conduct as long as the court can resolve the dispute by applying neutral legal principles and is not required to rely on religious doctrine to decide the case.

3 former Palma High School teachers accused of sex abuse


Three former Palma High School staff members have been accused of sexually molesting children in the past.

Palma High in Salinas is one of many schools in the Irish Christian Brothers school network that's being accused of hiring and harboring men convicted of, or credibly accused of, child sexual abuse.

A letter is being sent out to Palma alumni this week that states alumni have until Aug. 1 to file lawsuit claims if they were sexually abused, and the Irish Christian Brothers network is declaring bankruptcy.

Joelle Casteix, the regional director of Survivors Network Of Those Abused By Priests, spoke to reporters in front of the private and prestigious all-boys school on Monday.

Names of former Palma High employees accused of child molestation reveal

The Californian

The names of three former Palma High School employees accused or convicted of sexually abusing students were revealed today at a news conference in front of the Salinas private school.

The names come from two sources: a spokeswoman for SNAP – Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests -- and a written statement from Palma High Principal Patrick D. Dunne.

According to Dunne, the three former employees are:
>> Gerald Funcheon, 1984-85
>> Jerome Heustis, 1976-82
>> Robert Brouilette, 1964-68.

SNAP, an advocacy group founded on behalf of supporting sex abuse victims, revealed the names in an effort to urge anyone who may have been a victim of sexual abuse to come forward and make a claim against the Irish Christian Brothers, a New York-based Catholic order that runs dozens of schools in across the US - including Palma High. The order has declared bankruptcy and, according to federal bankruptcy rules, a deadline of Aug. 1 has been set for anyone wanting to make a claim against them.

Former Damien Memorial High Employee in Trouble Again… Alleged Child Abuse in California

Damon Tucker: Hawaii News and Island Information

Posted on February 27, 2012 by Damon

Well it looks like former Damien Memorial High employee Rev. Gerald Funcheon is in trouble again.

…Another of the named men is the Rev. Gerald Funcheon. Palma President Brother Patrick Dunne confirmed Friday that Funcheon was chaplain and taught at the school from 1984 to 1985. Newport Beach attorney Mike Reck said he is preparing a lawsuit and bankruptcy claim on behalf of a former Palma student who alleges he was molested by Funcheon.

Funcheon was a Crosier priest from Minnesota who had been banished from the Diocese of Indianapolis after allegations of sexual abuse, according to Joelle Casteix, regional director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), which has called this morning’s press conference.

Savannah Catholic Diocese Named in Lawsuit on Sex Abuse


By: JoAnn Merrigan | WSAV-TV
Published: February 27, 2012

(Savannah, GA) The Catholic Diocese of Savannah is being named in a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by a former priest. The Diocese website confirms the suit was filed in Jasper County, South Carolina.

Accordinging to the website, the suit alleges sexual abuse of a minor over 25 years ago by father Wayland Y. Brown. The Diocese, Raymond W. Lessard, bishop at the time, and current Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer are named as defendants.

According to the Diocese: Bishop Lessard removed Brown from active ministry in 1988. In 2003, Brown was convicted in Maryland on charges of child molestation. He served five years of a 10-year sentence. In 2004 a decree from the Vatican imposed laicization upon Brown. (reduced to lay status.)

Ex-police chief to lead KC diocese review board

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Associated Press | Posted: Monday, February 27, 2012

Retired Kansas City police chief James D. Corwin has been appointed chairman of a board dealing with sex abuse allegations in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese.

The diocese announced in a news release Monday that Corwin will succeed Jin Caccamo, who resigned in early February from the Independent Review Board.

The seven-member board assesses child sexual abuse allegations and makes recommendations to the bishop on how they should be handled. The board works with an ombudsman, who investigates reports of sexual misconduct by clergy, employees or volunteers in the diocese.

Retired KC police chief to head Catholic review board

The Kansas City Star

The Kansas City Star

Former Kansas City Police Chief Jim Corwin has agreed to lead a local Catholic board that investigates allegations of child sexual abuse within the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Corwin said he was humbled to take the position.

“This is both an honor and an obligation,” he said in a written statement. “I believe that my service will be worthy work for our community.”

The diocese’s seven-member Independent Review Board investigates allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against priests or deacons and makes recommendations to the bishop as to whether the subject should be retained in the ministry or removed.

Greg Jarrett Says Everybody Loves Cardinal Timothy Dolan? Really?


Fox "News" does love culture war wedge issues which they can spin into "controversies" and "outrages" that are used to further divide the world into their dualistic world view of good vs. evil. Fox has designated the management of the Empire State Building as part of the evil forces (could it be Satan?) that are continuously fighting against the forces of good. The "outrage" is their refusal to light up their building to honor NY's Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Head of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue, whose claim to speak for Catholics is dubious, says Catholics are angry. Never wanting to waste an opportunity to pander to victimized Christians, Fox News (Dolan's personal network) is running with the outrage meme. Last Friday, Megyn Kelly and Donahue got a tad apopletic over this issue. And on Saturday's news block, this topic was part of Heather Childers' women's panel. But when Childers tossed to Greg Jarrett, all semblance of journalistic objectivity flew out the window with an amazingly idiotic quote from Jarrett.

Childers' panel, a regular feature on Saturday afternoons, is a decent piece of TV journalism as there is always at least one non right wing partisan in the group. The discussions cover a variety of topics. Jehmu Greene and Sally Kohn had no problem with the Empire State decision, as, they say, it is a private business. Andrea Tantaros disagreed. Nothing surprising here. But when Childers tossed over to Jarrett, he whined about how this is a lousy decision because "everybody," not just Catholics and New Yorkers, "loves Cardinal Dolan." Really?

First of all, the issue doesn't seem to be resonating beyond the pale of Fox News and Donahue's "Catholic League." I daresay that your average American probably doesn't even know who Dolan is. I also daresay that many Catholics probably don't even know who their own bishop is. But it is apparent that there are some who actually don't like Dolan. The pro-choice community is aware that he is a point person in the resistance to the HHS contraception mandate and they aren't too pleased about what is considered another assault on women's reproductive rights by the Catholic Church. And David Clohessy, the executive director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said, about Dolan, that "He's charming and affable but as bad or worse than most bishops when it comes to clergy sex crimes and coverups." Clohessy's group accuse Dolan of being "deceitful and secret" in allowing an accused sexually abusive priest to resign rather than deal with the problem.

Identities revealed of three former Palma employees accused of child sexual abuse

Monterey Herald

[with video]

The Herald has confirmed the identities of the three religious employees who will be "outed" at a press conference this morning by a group that claims Palma High is one of many Irish Christian Brothers schools that harbored men convicted or credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

Not all of the men are accused of molesting boys at Palma, whose students have until Aug. 1 to come forward with any claims of abuse or lose their right to do so. The court-ordered deadline comes from the federal court where the Irish Christian Brothers and the Christian Brothers Institute of New York have declared bankruptcy in the wake of mounting abuse allegations.

One of the men, Brother Jerome Heustis, was Palma's principal for six years in the 1980s. He has been accused by at least two boys, one of whom, Robert Hoatson, is suing Heustis and is a creditor in the bankruptcy case. Hoatson is expected to be present for this mornings' press conference, scheduled for 11:45 a.m in front of Palma.

Another of the named men is the Rev. Gerald Funcheon. Palma President Brother Patrick Dunne confirmed Friday that Funcheon was chaplain and taught at the school from 1984 to 1985. Newport Beach attorney Mike Reck said he is preparing a lawsuit and bankruptcy claim on behalf of a former Palma student who alleges he was molested by Funcheon.

Tenn. Supreme Court: Abuse Case Can Proceed

Memphis Daily News

By Bill Dries

The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled Monday, Feb. 27, that allegations of child sexual abuse 40 years ago involving the Catholic Diocese of Memphis can go forward.

The ruling in the case of Norman Redwing vs. The Memphis Catholic Diocese reverses a state appeals court ruling and upholds the original ruling by Circuit Court Judge D’Army Bailey.

Bailey ruled and the Tennessee Supreme Court unanimously upheld the decision that Redwing’s claims were not barred by the statute of limitations at least at this point.

Philly Judge Denies Monsignor's Bid to Drop Case

NBC 10

A Philadelphia monsignor will go on trial on child endangerment charges despite new defense evidence that he says shows an archbishop was calling the shots.

Monsignor William Lynn says the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua had a list of accused, still-active priests destroyed in 1994 -- a decade before the sex abuse scandal exploded.

Lynn asked a judge to dismiss the felony child endangerment and conspiracy charges he's facing. He says a grand jury might not have pursued him if it had seen the memo about the cardinal ordering his aides to destroy the list.

Judge rules Philadelphia cleric's cover-up trial must go on

Chicago Tribune

By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA, Feb 27 (Reuters) - A judge on Monday refused to dismiss charges against the highest ranking Roman Catholic cleric in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia pedophilia
scandal, saying new evidence from the Church's "secret archives" was not enough to derail the trial.

With jury selection already underway, Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina made the ruling in the case against Monsignor William Lynn, who would be first Church official to
stand trial in a child sex abuse case if opening arguments begin as scheduled on March 26.

Lynn, 61, who is charged with conspiracy and child endangerment for covering up for predator priests, sat stoically behind his lawyers and listened.

First Jurors Picked For Priest-Abuse Trial

My Fox Philly

PHILADELPHIA - Three jurors have been seated to hear a landmark priest abuse case in Philadelphia involving two priests charged with rape and a monsignor charged with protecting them -- and failing to protect children.

Monsignor William Lynn says he has evidence showing the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua was calling the shots. But a judge on Monday refused to throw out his case.

Lynn says a newly unearthed memo shows he gave Bevilacqua a list of 35 still-active, accused priests in 1994.

Philadelphia prosecutors call the list a "smoking gun" that shows Lynn's deep involvement in the church conspiracy.

Several jurors seated in Philly priest abuse case

Seattle PI

MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press

Updated 12:08 p.m., Monday, February 27, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jury selection moved surprisingly quickly Monday in a landmark priest abuse case in Philadelphia involving two priests charged with rape and a monsignor charged with protecting them — and failing to protect children.

Several jurors were seated for what could be a four-month trial, after assuring the judge they could fairly evaluate the sensitive issues.

Meanwhile, Monsignor William Lynn lost a last-minute bid to have his unprecedented child endangerment case throw out based on new evidence found in a 10th floor safe at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

A memo turned over by the archdiocese only this month states that the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered his top aides to shred a list of 35 accused priests still in ministry in 1994 — a decade before the child abuse scandal exploded.

Tennessee Supreme Court reinstates priest sex abuse suit filed by Memphis man

Commercial Appeal

By Lawrence Buser

Posted February 27, 2012

The Tennessee Supreme Court today reinstated a lawsuit by a Memphis man who claimed he was the victim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest when he was a teen in the early 1970s.

The suit filed in 2008 by Norman Redwing was thrown out by an appellate court, which ruled that the statute of limitations had long since passed.

Generally, a suit must be filed within one year, but Redwing contended that the Memphis Catholic Diocese had concealed its knowledge of inappropriate conduct by Father Milton Guthrie toward minors.

The Supreme Court agreed and said the lower court’s dismissal of the case was premature.

Judge rejects dismissal in child sex cover-up case against cleric


From Sarah Hoye, CNN

updated 1:53 PM EST, Mon February 27, 2012

Philadelphia (CNN) -- A judge on Monday rejected a motion to dismiss charges against a Philadelphia archdiocese official accused of covering up evidence of suspected sexual abuse of children.

Attorneys for Monsignor William Lynn had asked a judge to throw out charges against him based on a March 1994 memo showing Philadelphia's archbishop at the time, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, ordered the destruction of a secret list naming 35 Catholic priests suspected of abuse.

The defense said the memo, composed by Lynn's then-supervisor, Monsignor James Molloy, proved that Lynn informed his superiors -- including the archbishop -- that priests in the archdiocese were assaulting children.

‘Celibaat niet grondslag gewijde ambt’


BRUGGE (RKnieuws.net) - ‘Gehuwde mannen kunnen wel tot diaken, maar niet tot priester worden gewijd. De Latijnse Kerk meent dat het beter is de aloude discipline van het verplichte priestercelibaat te behouden, al is het niet de grondslag van het gewijde ambt. Misschien dat een concilie het ooit anders beslist’. Dat zegt mgr. Jozef De Kesel, bisschop van Brugge, in een gesprek met Kerk & leven.

Judge Says Bevilacqua Memo Doesn’t Destroy Case Against Msgr. Lynn

CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A municipal judge today rejected a defense motion to dismiss the child endangerment case against Philadelphia priest Msgr. William Lynn because of newly discovered evidence in the clergy abuse case.

Lynn is charged with endangering children by allowing predator priests to remain in ministry, thereby giving them access to abuse more children.

But the defense cited new evidence — a memo that the late cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered the shredding of a list of problem priests. The defense suggested that Lynn was not “in the loop” of the decision making that protected the priests.

Judge Denies Monsignor's Bid To Drop Case

My Fox Philly

PHILADELPHIA - A Philadelphia monsignor will go on trial on child-endangerment charges despite new defense evidence that he says shows an archbishop was calling the shots.

Monsignor William Lynn says the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua had a list of accused, still-active priests destroyed in 1994 -- a decade before the scandal exploded.

Lynn asked a judge to dismiss the felony child-endangerment and conspiracy charges he's facing. He says a grand jury might not have pursued him if they had seen the memo about the cardinal ordering his aides to destroy the list.

Update on Catholic Leaders' Attack on SNAP in Missouri (with a Glance at Philadelphia)

National Catholic Reporter

William D. Lindsey

It has been a while since I've offered readers an update of what's being done to the victim advocacy group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in Missouri. As I noted last month (and here), SNAP is facing unprecedented challenges in Kansas City and St. Louis as attorneys working for the Catholic hierarchy play hardball legal games with the group, demanding that it disclose private communications that have nothing to do with the cases for which these disclosures are being demanded.

SNAP had predicted that the time and money required to defend itself against these tactics would have a negative impact on the operation of the origination--in fact, SNAP leaders have stated that this appears to be precisely the goal of the Catholic officials using the legal system to attack SNAP in this way. And as Joshua McElwee reports at National Catholic Reporter last week, that's exactly what's happening.

The demands made by attorneys in Missouri are having serious financial implications for SNAP, as its leaders now spend large portions of their time seeking to deal with those demands. And the demands continue to proliferate: attorneys making the initial demands for depositions have just made new filings seeking more depositions and refuting SNAP's claim that its confidentiality should be respected, since it functions in a way akin to a rape-crisis center.

Evangelische Kirche entschädigt Opfer

Kleine Zeitung

Bei der Diakonie haben sich weitere Missbrauchsopfer gemeldet. Experten des "Weissen Rings" prüfen jeden Fall. Zahlungen gelten als sicher.

Was ich zu hören bekam, war schrecklich", sagt Hubert Stotter. Der Direktor der Diakonie de La Tour traf ehemalige Kärntner Heimkinder, die in evangelischen Einrichtungen missbraucht oder misshandelt wurden. "Konkret haben sich acht Personen bei uns gemeldet", sagt Stotter.

Former chief to lead Catholic review board

St. Joseph News-Press

February 27, 2012

Former Kansas City Chief of Police James D. Corwin has been named chairman of the Independent Review Board for the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, diocese officials announced Monday.

The board advises Bishop Robert Finn on the fitness for ministry or continued employment of any person accused of sexual misconduct with a minor in a parish, school or diocesan program.

Mr. Corwin will succeed Jim Caccamo, who stepped down after serving a five-year term.

“I am very humbled to be asked to chair the Independent Review Board,” Mr. Corwin said. “This is both an honor and an obligation. I believe that my service will be worthy work for our community.”

Philly judge denies monsignor's bid to drop case

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia monsignor will go on trial on child endangerment charges despite new defense evidence that he says shows an archbishop was calling the shots.

Monsignor William Lynn says the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua (beh-vih-LAH'-kwah) had a list of accused, still-active priests destroyed in 1994 — a decade before the sex abuse scandal exploded.

Lynn asked a judge to dismiss the felony child endangerment and conspiracy charges he's facing. He says a grand jury might not have pursued him if it had seen the memo about the cardinal ordering his aides to destroy the list.

Archdiocesan official accused of covering up abuse begins trial

National Catholic Reporter

Feb. 27, 2012
By Brian Roewe

The trial for the first church official charged with the cover-up of child sexual abuse is under way in Philadelphia, as jury selection began Feb. 21 for Msgr. William J. Lynn and two codefendants. Lynn faces charges of felony child endangerment and conspiracy.

Prosecutors allege the former archdiocesan secretary of clergy recommended parish assignments for the codefendants, Fr. James J. Brennan and former priest Edward Avery, that would place them in contact with children, knowing they had abused or been accused of abusing children in the past.

Brennan and Avery will stand alongside Lynn when the trial opens March 26. Both men face charges of molesting the same St. Jerome Parish altar boy on separate occasions.

Judge: Won’t dismiss charges against Msgr. Lynn

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin

A judge today said the discovery of Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua's 1994 order to shred memos about dozens of Philadelphia-area priests suspecting of molesting children is no reason to halt the upcoming conspiracy trial of one of his key aides.

Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina denied a defense motion after prosecutors said that the recently unearthed documents only strengthen their case that Msgr. William J. Lynn was part of a broader scheme by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia hierarchy to conceal clergy sex abuse.

"The newly discovered documents . . . are in fact the equivalent of a smoking gun for the prosecution case against Lynn," Philadelphia prosecutors wrote in a response filed this morning. "They show Lynn to be the most active participant in a well-orchestrated conspiracy among Archdiocese officials to cover up the sexual crimes of priests and to keep known child molesters in active ministry."

Bevilacaqua's order to shred the memo Lynn wrote about 35 allegedly abusive priests was disclosed Friday by the monsignor's lawyers. A copy of the memo and the instructions to shred it were discovered by archdiocesan officials in a locked safe in 2006, but not turned over to prosecutors until this month.

Puccini meets Watergate in 'Vatileaks' scandal

National Catholic Reporter

Feb. 27, 2012

By John L Allen Jr


ROME -- Perhaps only the Vatican could invent a scandal that manages to be almost comically silly and overblown, then suddenly ugly and mean, and finally deadly serious, all wrapped into one wildly complicated Italian melodrama.

Think Puccini meets Watergate, and you’ll have some inkling of the climate in Rome in mid-February.

Beginning in late January, supposedly confidential Vatican documents began appearing in the Italian press, with fresh revelations at one stage coming almost every day. As the leaks mounted, so did official frustration; a Vatican spokesman publicly slammed the “disloyalty” of it all, while the Vatican newspaper compared the leakers to a bunch of “wolves.”

One sure sign a scandal has made the big time is when a single word is enough to conjure it up, like “Watergate” or “Enron.” In this case, the Vatican’s own spokesman, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, supplied the sound bite. By comparing the current mess to the Wikileaks saga, Lombardi inadvertently gave birth to “Vatileaks.”

As of this writing, nobody really knows who’s behind the avalanche of secret documents, or what their motives are for putting them into play. Most observers concur, however, that it’s not about whistleblowers trying to promote reform, but rather personal and political axes being ground.

In Attack on Vatican Web Site, a Glimpse of Hackers’ Tactics

The New York Times


Published: February 26, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — The elusive hacker movement known as Anonymous has carried out Internet attacks on well-known organizations like Sony and PBS. In August, the group went after its most prominent target yet: the Vatican.

The campaign against the Vatican, which did not receive wide attention at the time, involved hundreds of people, some with hacking skills and some without. A core group of participants openly drummed up support for the attack using YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Others searched for vulnerabilities on a Vatican Web site and, when that failed, enlisted amateur recruits to flood the site with traffic, hoping it would crash, according to a computer security firm’s report to be released this week.

The attack, albeit an unsuccessful one, provides a rare glimpse into the recruiting, reconnaissance and warfare tactics used by the shadowy hacking collective.

Anonymous, which first gained widespread notice with an attack on the Church of Scientology in 2008, has since carried out hundreds of increasingly bold strikes, taking aim at perceived enemies including law enforcement agencies, Internet security companies and opponents of the whistle-blower site WikiLeaks. ...

Hackers initially tried to take down a Web site set up by the church to promote the event, handle registrations and sell merchandise. Their goal — according to YouTube messages delivered by an Anonymous figure in a Guy Fawkes mask — was to disrupt the event and draw attention to child sexual abuse by priests, among other issues

Philly priest sex abuse case cover-up?



Added on February 27, 2012

CNN's Susan Candiotti reports on a memo that says a Philadephia cardinal ordered a priest sex abuse file shredded.

Victims of Dead Priest Sue Catholic School

Courthouse News Service


CLAYTON, Mo. (CN) - Sexual abuse was so prevalent a Catholic prep school that students had a name for it: the "Meinhardt treatment," one of the alleged victims claims in St. Louis County Court.

John Doe 116 sued the Marianist Province of the United States, Chaminade College Preparatory school, and Marianists Provincial Martin Solma, in his official capacity.

Doe claims the Rev. Louis Meinhardt would watch young boys shower and grab their genitals.

He claims that Meinhardt, who was a teacher and coach at the upscale private school in west St. Louis County from 1958 to 1982, earned several nicknames, including "the kissing coach" and "Screwie Louie." Meinhardt repeatedly told students to "come here and give me loving" and "let me pat you on the bo-bo," according to the complaint.

Irish-American pols ...

New York Daily News

Irish-American pols group skips salute to Cardinal Dolan in disagreement with church views

By Kenneth Lovett / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Updated: Monday, February 27, 2012

It's not just the folks at the Empire State Building who are snubbing Cardinal Dolan — a group of Irish-American state legislators in Albany have dissed him, too.

A push to make Dolan the guest of honor at the March 12 annual dinner for the New York State American-Irish Legislators Society was squashed amid internal controversy, multiple sources said.

“Dolan was the first one mentioned to honor, given his recent ascension to cardinal, and originally it looked like it was leaning that way,” said one supporter of the idea. “It was a no-brainer.”

But some Assembly Democratic members are said to have balked because of the church’s vehement opposition both to same-sex marriage and a bill to extend the statute of limitations for past victims of sex abuse by priests.

Northern PA priest to learn sentence


Published : Monday, 27 Feb 2012

Luke Smith
Posted by: Emily Lenihan

BRADFORD, N.Y. (WIVB) - It's sentencing day for a Northern Pennsylvania priest who was accused of an inappropriate relationship with a teenage boy.

A jury convicted Father Samuel Slocum last month of concealment of the whereabouts of a child and corruption of minors.

Holy Terror

Esquire - The Politics Blog

By Charles P. Pierce

Dear Mr. President:

The next time the members of this besilkened organized crime family, or any of the politicians they have on the spiritual pad, or any of the journalists they have on the sacramental take, come out with any "moral objection" to any policy your administration proposes — up to and including sacrificing a bull to Apollo on the Truman balcony, if you so desire — you have my permission as a practicing Catholic to laugh helplessly in their faces and to chase them down the hallways of the West Wing with a seltzer bottle. Or a flamethrower. Your choice....

Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua ordered aides to shred a 1994 memo that identified 35 Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests suspected of sexually abusing children, according to a new court filing.

Clap them all in irons. Every goddamn one of them. God's curse upon the whole criminal enterprise.



In re: Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Chapter 11, Debtor.
Case No. 11-20059-svk.
United States Bankruptcy Court, E.D. Wisconsin.

February 24, 2012.


SUSAN V. KELLEY, Bankruptcy Judge.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee (the "Debtor") objected to Proofs of Claim number 76, 77, and 131 (the "Claims") filed by three individuals who will be referred to in this decision as Claimants A-12, A-13, and A-49.1 The Debtor moved for summary judgment, arguing that the Claims should be disallowed as time-barred under Wisconsin's statute of limitations. The summary judgment motion was fully briefed, and the Court heard oral argument on the motion on February 9, 2012. After consideration of the written submissions and the argument of counsel, the Court issued an oral ruling at the hearing, which is memorialized by this decision. For the reasons stated below, the Court grants in part and denies in part the Debtor's Motion for Summary Judgment.


The Debtor filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code on January 4, 2011. Claimants A-12 and A-13 filed Claims 76 and 77, under seal, on September 6, 2011, alleging that Father Franklyn Becker and Choir Director Robert Schaefer, respectively, sexually abused them. On December 20, 2011, the Debtor filed Objections to the Claims, urging disallowance under 11 U.S.C. § 502(b)(1) because the Claims are "unenforceable against the debtor . . . under any agreement or applicable law."2 In its Motion for Summary Judgment, the Debtor argued that Wis. Stat. § 893.54(1) bars the Claimants' negligence based claims, and that Wis. Stat. § 893.93(1)(b) bars the Claimants' fraud based claims. With respect to the negligence claims, the Debtor maintains that the three-year statute of limitations began to run on the later of the last date of abuse — during 1974 for Claimant A-12 and 1982 for Claimant A-13 — or the date when each Claimant reached 18 years old. Regarding the fraud claims, the Debtor contends that the six-year statute of limitations started no later than July 8, 2004, when the Debtor published a list of abusive priests on its website and disseminated this list via local media. As the Debtor's argument goes, six years from July 8, 2004 is July 8, 2010, and thus, by January 4, 2011 when the Debtor filed bankruptcy, the statute of limitations had expired.

In response, the Claimants filed Affidavits stating that they did not discover that the Debtor was the cause of their injuries until 2009 at the earliest, and argued that the issue of when they reasonably should have discovered the Debtor's role in their injury is not a question that should be decided on summary judgment.

Taking note of the monsters who walk among us

The Record

What is the worst crime you can think of? There is a crime so heinous that it encompasses many of the most violent acts in one. Unfortunately, the worst crime imaginable has the most innocent and vulnerable of victims: our children. There is no worse crime than child pornography.

The idea that grown men can sexually abuse a child in unspeakable ways is mind-boggling. Children are gullible and easily persuaded. They can’t defend themselves physically or psychologically against adults and therefore are at their mercy. These children have no say in what is happening to them. They are held captive against their will and forced to perform on camera. They have no rights and live in fear every day. That is what child pornography is about.

We tell our children that there is no such thing as monsters, but monsters do walk among us. They prey on children in parks, schoolyards, quiet neighbourhoods and social activities. I’m afraid to let my kids walk to school alone because these predators may lay in waiting.

Former Nova Scotia Roman Catholic bishop Raymond Lahey was caught with 155,000 pornographic images of children, some including bondage and torture. Lahey was sentenced to 15 months in jail but walked away from the Ottawa courthouse as a free man. Based on his pre-trial time in custody, he was deemed to have served his sentence.

Another FLDS purge coming?

Fox 13

[with video]

Ben Winslow, Reporter
Fox 13

More people may soon be kicked out of Warren Jeffs' polygamous church.

The imprisoned polygamist leader has reportedly set a new deadline to purge more people he has declared to be "unfaithful" from the Fundamentalist LDS Church, according to non-profit groups who work with those inside the closed societies.

"There was a proclamation made last week asking that any non-believing parties need to be removed from the community by February 29," said Nicole Nystrom with the group Holding Out Help. "I don't know what the magic number is about February 29, but I assume it's just the end of the month and they're trying to clean out."

Jury duty a serious task

Pocono Record

February 27, 2012

Lawyers who are selecting jurors in the Philadelphia priest abuse case better look for good readers — and hope they do their homework.

These jurors will hear and review evidence related to charges that Monsignor William Lynn endangered children by keeping predatory priests in the ministry. During the course of the trial, jurors will have access to two boxes filled with complaint files. Until now, the files have been closely guarded, kept in the private archives of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

News reports say the files include several decades of complaints against dozens of priests from the diocese, and that they include sex therapy notes and legal advice.

From 1992 to 2004, Lynn served as secretary of clergy for the archdiocese, a role that included overseeing the files now marked for presentment. Going to trial with Lynn are two accused priests, but altogether the jury will hear about 22 accused priests. These are the individuals Lynn knew about or took action about, according to their files. Prosecutors hope to prove that Lynn continued assigning to new parishes priests he knew were accused of inappropriate behavior with minors, and that his actions helped keep the complaints about them secret.

Tk'emlups Chief applauds report


The commission looking into the legacy left behind by residential schools in Canada released it's interim report this past week.

Shane Gottfriedson, the Chief of the Tk'emlups Indian band, says he's pleased wit the work the truth and reconciliation commission has done.

Educating the public about what happened at residential schools is one of the key recommendations from the report.

Gottfriedson says that would go a long way in helping the public understand the position many first nations are in today.

Dysfunction in the Church and the ALP

Eureka Street

Michael Mullins February 26, 2012

As an institution stricken with dysfunction, the ALP shares a bleak outlook with unions, churches and other organisations that are similarly sustained by shared ideals and belief systems, but are struggling. They all find it difficult to sell their values to a wider public and to recruit new generations of members.

There seems to be a tension between marketability and remaining faithful to the original charism or inspiration. In the past, these have worked in tandem, as they should. But it could be that the institutions have lost their nerve and no longer know how to be authentic, despite explicit and well-publicised attempts to be 'real'.

There is a defensiveness that shows itself in a culture of denial that rejects effective self-examination in favour of actual or de facto authoritarianism. In 2010 British Jesuit psychologist Brendan Callaghan wrote in Thinking Faith of a defensiveness that is also common in the corporate world:

All large institutions develop mechanisms of defensiveness. IBM, General Motors, Lehman Brothers — all have also paid the price for having developed an internal culture which made it impossible for those with responsibility to see the truth ...

Sinéad O'Connor: A Mea Culpa

Pop Matters

[with video]

By Bill See 27 February 2012

It’s time to apologize to Sinéad O’Connor. Remember her? Ripped up a picture of the Pope on Saturday Night Live before adding, “Fight the real enemy” to protest child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and the complicity of the church hierarchy? Already a platinum record and a number one single to her name, Sinéad’s career was never the same again. Here is the clip…

That indelible moment now seems prophetic as revelations of paedophilia in the Catholic Church by priests in Sinéad’s Irish homeland, across Europe and here in the US came to light.

Sinéad knew very well that she would be eviscerated for taking such a stand, but she did it anyway because it was that important to her. “I knew my action would cause trouble,” she said, “but I wanted to force a conversation where there was a need for one; that is part of being an artist. All I regretted was that people assumed I didn’t believe in God. That’s not the case at all. I’m Catholic by birth and culture and would be the first at the church door if the Vatican offered sincere reconciliation.”

February 26, 2012

Bernie Fine accusers Davis, Lang in Albany Tuesday to support bill to extend statute of limitations for child sex abuse

The Post-Standard

By Emily Kulkus / The Post-Standard

The two men accusing former Syracuse University basketball coach Bernie Fine of molesting them when they were children will appear with their lawyer in Albany on Tuesday in support of a bill that aims to extend the statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims in New York state.

The bill would allow child victims of sexual abuse to report the crime up to five years after his or her 23rd birthday. The current law allows a victim to report up to five years after his or her 18th birthday. The proposed legislation extends the statute five years for criminal and civil cases.

Should it be passed, the bill would also create a one-year window during which former child victims could report incidents of sex abuse regardless of when it occurred. California and Delaware have allowed for similar windows, resulting in hundreds of lawsuits, many against the Catholic Church.



di Gianluigi Nuzzi GLI INTOCCABILI 25 01 2012 "CONGIURA IN VATICANO"

Delbarton ex-headmaster 'under tightest restrictions' after sex abuse allegations

The Star-Ledger

Sunday, February 26, 2012

By Kevin Manahan/The Star-Ledger

BERNARDS — Not long ago, the Rev. Luke Travers strolled the sprawling bucolic grounds of Delbarton School as the high-profile headmaster of the exclusive Morris Township all-boys academy, sought out by the rich, famous and politically connected who wanted their sons enrolled.

Now, according to school officials and others familiar with the case, Travers is a virtual prisoner who rarely leaves the grounds, and when he does, he must be chaperoned.

Four men have come forward to say they are victims from decades ago as an eight-month investigation continues into Travers’ alleged sexual misconduct. When the allegations were made public last month, Travers was exiled from a Virginia abbey, where he had been working, and sent back to Morris County. Abbot Giles P. Hayes, who runs St. Mary’s Abbey and the private school, said Travers "is and will remain under the tightest restrictions" at the abbey.

No criminal charges have been filed, and the allegations are outside the statute of limitations. If the investigations yield no criminal charges, but religious officials nonetheless determine a monk has violated his vows and victimized teen boys, abbey officials must decide: What do they do with him?

Diocese of Limerick unaware of Vatican plan to appoint new bishop over Easter

Limerick Leader

Published on Sunday 26 February 2012

THE Diocese of Limerick has received “no indication” from the Vatican that a new Bishop of Limerick will be appointed over Easter.

Reports this week suggest that the vacancies in Limerick and Cloyne - two of seven dioceses around the country currently without bishops - will be the first to be filled.

But a spokesman said there had been “no indication to the diocese as to when an appointment will be made although we do hope that it will be sooner rather than later”.

Limerick has been without a bishop since the resignation of Dr Donal Murray in December 2009. His departure was clouded in controversy after his handling of child abuse complaints while auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Dublin was criticised in the Murphy Report. Part of the reason for the delay in appointing new bishops was the Vatican’s intention to reform the Irish Church in the wake of the abuse scandals.

Trial date set in lawsuit over looted insurers

The Wall Street Journal

Associated Press

NEW YORK — More than a decade after it was filed, a federal judge in Mississippi has set a tentative trial date in a lawsuit stemming from scams run by a notorious financier who looted $200 million from insurance companies and created a charity that claimed to have Vatican connections to further his scheme and cover his tracks.

Former Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale sued numerous people and entities in 2001 over Martin Frankel's pyramid scheme that bilked insurers in five states during the 1990s. Insurance regulators in Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas joined the lawsuit. In 2002, the Vatican was added as a defendant, but claims against the church were dropped earlier this month

The lawsuit is tentatively scheduled for trial in April 2013 in Jackson for the remaining defendants, including several Frankel associates. Frankel is not a defendant in the lawsuit. His assets, including hundreds of diamonds, 21 cars and SUVs, an airplane and two mansions were auctioned off years ago to provide restitution.

Who’s Behind the Leaked Letters Roiling the Vatican?

The Daily Beast


Feb 26, 2012

Barbie Latza Nadeau

Newly leaked letters to Pope Benedict XVI have laid bare sordid allegations of corruption and infighting within the Holy See. Is it a ploy to influence who the next pope will be?

Are “Vatileaks,” as the Vatican leaks have been dubbed, really just a brilliant campaign strategy ahead of the next papal conclave or a sneaky way to show fiscal transparency ahead of a key European Union decision on the Vatican’s anti-terrorism finance compliance?

For weeks, Vatican reporters in Rome have been lapping up salacious details about alleged church corruption and holy infighting that’s been drip-fed from a yet-unknown source inside the hallowed halls of the Holy See.

The first leaked letters on Vatican stationery, complete with the Holy See Chancellery stamp, came to light in late January, when Italy’s acclaimed independent La7 news program, The Untouchables, broadcast private letters sent in 2011 from Cardinal Carlo Maria Vigano to Pope Benedict XVI and other higher ups in the Roman Curia. Vigano had been making marked progress in his battle against corruption and cronyism as deputy governor in charge of financial reforms of Vatican City. But he was fiercely disliked by a number of high-ranking cardinals, who were successful in getting their nemesis moved out of Rome.

Gangster Enrico De Pedis was buried in a Catholic basilica in Rome

Toronto Star

Published On Sun Feb 26 2012

Sandro Contenta
Feature Writer

ROME—One of Italy’s most notorious gangsters, Enrico De Pedis, is buried in a Roman Catholic basilica near Piazza Navona.

Why the Vatican allowed a top mobster to be buried in Sant’Apollinare has been a source of furious speculation since 1997, when the resting place of De Pedis — gunned down seven years earlier — was first revealed.

The answer taking shape looks like something bestselling author Dan (The Da Vinci Code) Brown would have had trouble dreaming up.

The story goes back to the 1980s and includes money-laundering allegations against the Vatican’s bank, the attempted assassination of the late Pope John Paul II, the murder-suicide of two Vatican Swiss guards, and the widely publicized kidnapping of a teenage girl.

Lawsuit Claims Abuse At The Hands Of Church Officials

NewsChannel 5

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A popular local church is being sued, accused of sexual abuse and manipulation. The allegations have been made against Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

The claims were made on behalf of four former female parishioners. According to the suit, the women were sexually exploited and abused during counseling sessions sponsored by the church. The lawsuit goes on to claim that this abuse was not an isolated incident. The plaintiffs accuse the church of recruiting woman for exploration, sexual battery and psychological and spiritual manipulation for nearly ten years.

The charges were filed against the church and specifically against Bishop Joseph Walker III who one woman claims participated and aided the abuse.

The church released this statement about the allegations:

"The only thing this action demonstrates is that anyone can sue, sometimes anonymously, no matter how ridiculous the claims nor how sensational the charges. It is truly sad that a church and its leaders can be attacked with such shocking and ugly charges when the apparent motive is to extract huge sums of money from the congregation and its leaders.

Local pastors speak out against Denver preacher's wrapping of a Torah around a scandal-rocked Atlanta bishop

The Denver Post

By Electa Draper
The Denver Post

A viral YouTube video in which Denver-based Christian preacher Ralph Messer literally wraps scandal-rocked Atlanta Bishop Eddie Long in a Torah scroll during a showy ritual has created a painful backlash against the local Messianic Jewish community, its leaders say.

Half a dozen pastors, who claim Jewish heritage but hold the Christian belief that Jesus is the Son of God, say they have a responsibility to speak out against the Jan. 29 incident at Long's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta.

Long's Georgia church has been troubled since five young men made allegations of sexual misconduct against the bishop that resulted in May in an undisclosed, out-of-court settlement with four of them for more than $1 million.

Church in the City senior pastor Michael Walker and other metro Messianic Jewish leaders told The Denver Post that the bizarre ritual acted out in Atlanta was an outrage, offensive to both the Jewish and Messianic Jewish communities, and it continues to hurt their congregations.

Is Cardinal George latest participant in Ireland-Vatican tiff?

Chicago Sun-Times

By MICHAEL SNEED msneed@suntimes.com

† The Errin’ Aisle? Cardinal Francis George has RSVP’d he is unavailable to attend this year’s Irish Fellowship Club’s St. Patrick’s Day Dinner on March 16. His eminence is otherwise engaged. But speculation is running rampant amongst the Chicago Irish: Is the reason Cardinal George is absenting himself from the annual Irish fest because Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny will be there?

† Background: Ireland’s government, furious over the clergy sex-abuse scandal, has recently shuttered its embassy to the Holy See (Vatican) for reported “cost-cutting” measures.

† The big question: Has Cardinal George now become the latest participant in the “cold war” between Ireland and the Vatican over its shamrock fury of the Catholic Church’s failure to tell the truth about its major sexual-abuse scandal there?

† Answer: The cardinal’s office tells Sneed that Cardinal George has a previous engagement that night: He is attending a youth retreat at Guerin College Prep High School in River Grove.

Chicago cardinal said to snub Irish Prime Minister’s visit over Vatican Embassy closure

Irish Central

IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Published Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago has turned down an invitation to the Irish Fellowship Club’s St. Patrick Day dinner, and speculation is rife that it is because Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny is the main speaker, the Chicago Sun Times has reported.

Kenny lashed out at the Vatican in a widely reported attack last year over their refusal to cooperate in the inquiry into child sexual abuse in the diocese of Cloyne in Cork.

Then, late last year, the Irish government decided to close their Vatican Embassy in a move widely seen as related to the strong criticism of the Vatican role in the sex abuse scandals.

Now Cardinal George has refused an invitation to the prestigious St.Patrick’s eve event on March 16th run by an organization with deeply Catholic roots and a major donor to Catholic charities.

Catholic Church official 'hung out to dry,' defense says

Los Angeles Times

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — A Roman Catholic Church official facing trial in a child-abuse scandal created a list of problem priests in 1994, but the archbishop of Philadelphia had it destroyed, according to a defense memo.

Msgr. William Lynn, who is accused of keeping predator priests in ministry and transferring them from parish to parish, wants his child endangerment case dismissed because of new evidence turned over by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, including his list of 35 accused priests.

Lynn took it upon himself to review secret church files after becoming secretary for clergy in 1992, and he later gave a list of accused, still-active priests to his superior, Msgr. James E. Molloy.

Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua had Molloy shred four copies of the list, according to a memo signed by Molloy and a witness. But Molloy kept a copy in a locked safe at the archdiocese, where it was found in 2006, after Lynn had moved on, according to his motion.

February 25, 2012

Allentown bishop at meeting where cardinal ordered sex abuse memo shredded

The Express-Times

By Express-Times staff and wire

Bishop Edward P. Cullen was in on a 1994 meeting in which Philadelphia Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered a list of 35 problem priests destroyed, according to a court filing.

Cullen, who served as bishop of the Diocese of Allentown from 1998 to 2009 and still lives in the Allentown area, had previously served as top aide under Bevilacqua.

Matt Kerr, a spokesman for the Allentown diocese, referred requests for comment to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

In Philadelphia, Monsignor William Lynn is facing trial in a priest-abuse scandal; jury selection is under way. Lynn is the first U.S. church official charged for allegedly keeping predator-priests in ministry.

Malooly praises monsignors in letter

The News Journal

[letter from Bishop Malooly]

[Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up in the Diocese of Wilmington via BishopAccountability.org]

Written by
The News Journal

Bishop W. Francis Malooly on Friday released a letter saluting three of his top deputies, saying they had his "complete support and gratitude" and rejecting charges that they engineered a cover-up of child sexual abuse by priests in the diocese.

Malooly said he will not ask for the resignations of monsignors J. Thomas Cini, Clement Lemon or Joseph Rebman, all of whom, in the bishop's view, have served honorably.

"These men love God, the Church and the people of our diocese, and they take very seriously the work of protecting children," Malooly wrote. "They have my complete support and gratitude."

In the letter, posted Friday afternoon on the website of the Dialog, the diocese newspaper, Malooly acknowledges the mistakes of previous bishops and says the diocese would have served abuse survivors, their families and the church better by disclosing the names of abusive priests.

Philadelphia priest says cardinal ordered child abuse cover-up

Press TV (Iran)

The highest ranking cleric charged in a Philadelphia pedophilia scandal asked a judge on Friday to dismiss his case because his boss - the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua - ordered a list he made of predator priests be shredded.

Lawyers for Monsignor William Lynn, 61, filed the motion to dismiss conspiracy and child endangerment charges as jury selection in the case was underway in Common Pleas Court.

Lynn, who served the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese as secretary of the clergy during Bevilacqua’s time as archbishop from 1987 to 1998, would be the first church official to stand trial in a child sex abuse case if opening arguments begin as scheduled on March 26.

As clergy secretary, Lynn on his own initiative reviewed secret church archives and created a list of 35 priests who had been involved in abusive conduct or were classified with a sexual disorder, Lynn’s lawyers said in court documents.

Cardinal 'ordered list of predator priests destroyed' as its writer requests

Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

A Roman Catholic church official accused of keeping predator priests in ministry and transferring them from parish to parish has requested the case against him dismissed after new evidence shows his list of priests had been destroyed.

Facing trial, Monsignor William Lynn created the list of problem priests in 1994, but Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua had it destroyed, according to a defense memo filed Friday.

Lynn wants his child endangerment case dismissed because of new evidence turned over by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia which includes one surviving list of the 35 accused priests.

Lynn took it upon himself to review secret church files after becoming secretary for clergy in 1992, and he later gave a list of accused, still-active priests to his superior, Monsignor James E. Molloy.

SNAP responds to new lawsuit filed against the TX United Methodist Church

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on February 24, 2012 ·

Shame on the Texas delegation of the United Methodist Church. It is bad enough that they were aware that Pastor Kendall Graham had inappropriate relations with his congregation, but to simply move him around and let him adopt a young girl is unconscionable. By allowing Graham to do this, they essentially condemned this woman to a life of abuse. Their inaction in this matter is sick.

We hope that there is an investigation into why officials at St. Paul United Methodist Church chose to ignore reports of Graham’s inappropriate behavior. At that moment, church officials had a chance to uncover and stop the abuse that Jane Doe was being subjected to. Instead they turned a blind eye. We hope that this suit is able to bring some of the complicit officials involved to justice.

Lynn: Bevilacqua shredded predator priests list


February 25, 2012
By Denis Devine & the AP

The celebrated Catholic leader who died last month destroyed, back in 1994, a list of priests who had been the subject of accusations of sexual abuse but were still active in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, according to testimony by another priest on trial for failing to protect children from predator priests.

A memo filed by defense attorneys representing Monsignor William Lynn on Friday said that Lynn created a list of 35 priests who had been accused of sexual abuse, but his superior, the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua shredded it. Another copy of the list was found in 2006 in a locked safe at the archdiocese.

Lynn: Bevilacqua Trashed Bad Priests List

My Fox Philly

PHILADELPHIA - A Philadelphia church official facing trial in the priest-abuse scandal says he created a list of problem priests in 1994 -- but Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua had it destroyed.

Monsignor William Lynn says the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has recently turned over a surviving copy that corroborates his claims.

Lynn asked Friday to have his conspiracy and child-endangerment case thrown out based on the new evidence. Jury selection is under way.

Lynn is the first U.S. church official charged for allegedly keeping predator-priests in ministry.

Philadelphia priest says cardinal ordered abuse list shredded


By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The highest ranking cleric charged in a Philadelphia child abuse scandal asked a judge on Friday to dismiss his case because his boss - the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua - ordered the shredding of a list he made of predator priests.

Lawyers for Monsignor William Lynn, 61, filed the motion to dismiss conspiracy and child endangerment charges as jury selection in the case was underway in Common Pleas Court.

The real criminals, the lawyers argued in court documents, were Bevilacqua, who died last month, and his closest advisors. These included Lynn's former supervisor Monsignor James Molloy, who died in 2006, now retired Bishop Edward Cullen of Allentown and Bishop Joseph Cistone, now head of the diocese in Saginaw, Michigan, none of whom were charged in the case.

Lynn, who served the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese as secretary of the clergy during Bevilacqua's time as archbishop from 1987 to 1998, would be the first church official to stand trial in a child sex abuse case if opening arguments begin as scheduled on March 26.

Repressed memories focus of priest child sex abuse trial

The Record

By Jennie Rodriguez-Moore
Record Staff Writer

February 25, 2012

STOCKTON - Arguments in a civil trial where a popular priest from the Diocese of Stockton is accused of child sex abuse centered on a 37-year-old man's recovered memories.

The Rev. Michael Kelly of St. Joachim Church and the Catholic Church are defendants in the civil suit where opening statements were heard Friday.

"This is a case about innocence stolen," John Manly, a Newport Beach attorney, said.

Accused Pa. monsignor: Cardinal had my list of 35 active, accused priests destroyed in 1994

Star Tribune

Article by: MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - A Roman Catholic church official facing trial in a priest child abuse scandal created a list of problem priests in 1994, but Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua had it destroyed, according to a defense memo filed Friday.

Monsignor William Lynn, who's accused of keeping predator priests in ministry and transferring them from parish to parish, wants his child endangerment case dismissed because of new evidence turned over by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, including his list of 35 accused priests.

Lynn took it upon himself to review secret church files after becoming secretary for clergy in 1992, and he later gave a list of accused, still-active priests to his superior, Monsignor James E. Molloy.

Bevilacqua had Molloy shred four copies of the list, according to a memo signed by Molloy and a witness. But Molloy kept a copy in a locked safe at the archdiocese, where it was found in 2006, after Lynn had moved on, according to his motion.

"It is clear from the Molloy memo, and (its) belated production, that Monsignor Lynn has been `hung out to dry,'" the defense motion says.

Del. bishop stands by 3 aides

Delmarva Now

[letter from Bishop Malooly]

[Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up in the Diocese of Wilmington via BishopAccountability.org]

Written by
Associated Press

DOVER — The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington is rejecting calls from victims of priest sex abuse for the resignations of three top-ranking church officials.

Bishop Francis Malooly said in a letter to the diocese Friday that none of the three clerics “engineered a strategy to conceal priest sex abuse.”

He also said Monsignors Thomas Cini, Clement Lemon and Joseph Rebman never put children at risk by placing an abusive priest back in ministry, but instead implemented a zero-tolerance approach implemented in the mid-1980s.

Attorneys: Cardinal ordered memo on priests destroyed


(CNN) -- A Philadelphia archdiocese official on trial for allegedly covering up the sexual abuse of children has asked a court to throw out charges against him based on a 1994 memo showing Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered a list of suspected abusive Catholic priests to be destroyed.

Attorneys for Monsignor William Lynn asked a Philadelphia court to dismiss charges of conspiracy and child endangerment based on documents that Lynn had informed his superiors -- including the cardinal -- that priests in the archdiocese were assaulting children.

"The recent unexpected and shocking discovery of a March, 1994 memorandum composed by Monsignor James Molloy, Monsignor Lynn's then-supervisor, on the topic of this review, clearly reveals that justice demands that all charges against Monsignor Lynn be dropped," Lynn's attorneys said in a filing.

Lawyers Reveal Bevilacqua Ordered Shredding of Memo


February 25, 2012 by Susan Matthews

I’m sure Church leadership is hoping this news gets overshadowed by the good news of high schools remaining open. This information is rife with implications. While the defense is using it to benefit Lynn, it points to major conspiracy. Contributing Catholic parents must feel completely violated by the abuse of trust. So many children were placed in harm’s way. It’s hard not to feel like a pawn in their game of power, money and lies.

“Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua ordered aides to shred a 1994 memo that identified 35 Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests suspected of sexually abusing children, according to a new court filing….” Click here to continue reading: “Lawyers: Bevilacqua ordered memo on priests to be shredded,” by John P. Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 25, 2012.

Canada commission issues details abuse of native children

BBC News

A commission examining Canada's policy to separate indigenous children from their families says the abuse created a legacy of turmoil.

From the country's formation in the 19th Century until the 1970s, the children had to attend schools where they were stripped of their identity.

Many of the 150,000 children also suffered physical abuse from the staff at the church-run boarding schools.

An interim report says children left the schools "as lost souls".

'Many survivors are in terrible pain'

Winnipeg Free Press

By: Terri Theodore

Posted: 02/25/2012

VANCOUVER -- Tears form in Barney Williams' eyes and his hand rests over his heart when he speaks about how important a report on residential schools is for First Nations who grew up in the church-run schools.

"Many survivors are in terrible pain," said Williams, himself a residential school survivor and an elder with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which released its interim report Friday.

He said the report is proof many of the 150,000 aboriginal children who were put in the residential school system suffered horrible neglect or physical and sexual abuse.

Williams, 73, went to a residential school on the west coast of Vancouver Island, not far from his Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation reserve, near Tofino, B.C.

He was "not quite seven" when he was first sexually assaulted, he stated. "Pedophiles have their victims. They used you for a while until they found another victim."

Tough lessons from residential schools

The Chronicle-Herald

February 25, 2012

By TERRI THEODORE The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — The education system was the vehicle for inflicting generations of abuse and pain on aboriginal people in Canada so it must also be the vehicle for redemption, says the head of the commission studying the legacy of the schools.

Justice Murray Sinclair, the commission’s chairman, released the group’s interim report, which among other things, recommends Canadian children begin to learn about the residential school tragedy as part of their schoolwork.

Sinclair said during the commission hearings, panel members were struck by the amount Canadians don’t know about aboriginal people and the sorry legacy of residential schools.

"It has been through the use of an education system by the Canadian government that we have established and created the situation that exists within aboriginal communities and within aboriginal families in this country," Sinclair said at a news conference Friday.

Ottawa, churches withholding documents...

The Globe and Mail

[with videos]

[interim report]

Ottawa, churches withholding documents, residential schools commission says

Tamara Baluja

OTTAWA— Globe and Mail Update
Published Friday, Feb. 24, 2012

Ottawa is restricting access to federal archives and withholding several key documents on church-run residential schooling, says the Truth and Reconciliation Commission charged with exposing the dark legacy of this period in aboriginal education.

The commission’s mandate is to create a comprehensive historical record of residential schooling in Canada with a purpose of helping victims to heal and encourage reconciliation between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians. But in an interim report released Friday in Vancouver, the commission says the federal government and some churches are frustrating their efforts to search through their archives and causing “considerable delay.”

“It is unlikely that the document collection process will be completed without a significant shift in attitude on the part of Canada and those parties who have been reluctant to co-operate,” Mr. Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the commission, wrote in the report.

The commission was established in 2008 through the court-approved Residential Schools Settlement Agreement that was negotiated among legal counsel for former students, the churches, the Assembly of First Nations and the federal government.

National News: Assembly of First Nations National Chief Welcomes TRC Interim Report, Calls for Commitment and Concrete Steps Forward

Northumberland View

[interim report]

Includes Statement from the Liberal Party of Canada
OTTAWA, Feb. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - Following a three day national forum on First Nations driving change toward safe and thriving communities, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo welcomed the interim report today released by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), further calling for a commitment by governments and all Canadians to engage in concrete reconciliation efforts.

"In this interim report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission draws important conclusions and points to clear steps toward reconciliation," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. "Real reconciliation, though, is achieved through action and change. We must all work together to ensure these important recommendations are implemented in ways that address the needs of all residential schools survivors and families, and to ensure that from now on education will only be used to support and improve the continued and sustained success of First Nations as an investment in Canada's collective future."

Truth and Reconciliation interim report


The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its interim report in Vancouver today (February 24). Justice Murray Sinclair, the chair of the commission, spoke to reporters about what he said is a need for education on the history and impacts of residential schools.

Court filing: Bevilacqua ordered shredding of memo identifying suspected abusers

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
Inquirer Staff Writer

Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua ordered aides to shred a 1994 memo that identified 35 Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests suspected of sexually abusing children, according to a new court filing.

The order, outlined in a handwritten note locked away for years at the archdiocese's Center City offices, was disclosed Friday by lawyers for Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former church administrator facing trial next month.

They say the shredding directive proves what Lynn has long claimed: that a church conspiracy to conceal clergy sex abuse was orchestrated at levels far above him.

"It is beyond doubt that Msgr. Lynn was completely unaware of this act of obstruction," attorneys Jeffrey Lindy and Thomas Bergstrom wrote.

Mendenhall: The politics of contraception

Wicked Local Marlboro

By Lee Mendenhall/Guest columnist
The MetroWest Daily News

With many far more important issues to address, the Republican right has seized on the Obama Administration’s reasonable requirements for contraceptive coverage in health plans as another club to attack him with, and as usual, rage replaces reason in all the far-right flacks’ fulminations.

It’s taken pages of reading for me to find some of the facts, but I commend the MetroWest Daily News editors for including some calmer writers who have made the following clear: 1) 28 states already have similar requirements in place; 2) the requirements do NOT apply if all the employees share the religion which wishes to exclude the coverage; and 3) the administration has offered to lighten the requirements considerably.

Yet this isn’t enough to satisfy the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops or the GOP opportunists who, when they think they smell Obama’s blood, are driven to pile on lies and falsifications enough to bury all truth and rational thinking. ...

Also greatly disturbing is how the Catholic Church, with such great potential and actual power to do good, risks squandering the opportunity given it by its founding grace and deep material, intellectual, and spiritual resources. Many parish priests are fine, upright men who sacrifice much to help others, but a significant number who rise in the hierarchy seem to have lost their way. The public face of the church as presented by the U.S. Bishops partly seems a cynical program to blame everything else (the sixties, gay culture, birth control) as a way to evade responsibility for enabling rampant child sexual abuse and then trying to cover it up. If misdirected energy hadn’t been spent on demonizing contraception and homosexuality, squabbling for decades over ecumenical liberalization, etc, etc, perhaps better attention to internal affairs could have prevented the horror of priestly pedophilia and the resulting hemorrhage of payouts and parishes.

Former pastor sentenced after Alford plea on molestation allegations

Washington Post

By Justin Jouvenal

The 30-year-old glared down from the witness stand at the former pastor accused of molesting him as a boy and demanded one thing: “I just want you to say you’re sorry — that’s it.”

The man he addressed, Tommy R. Shelton Jr., sat less than 10 feet away in a Fairfax County courtroom. Shelton, 66, stared past him in stony silence.

Stephanie L. Schwab, 26, who grew up in Manassas, was arraigned in federal court in Alexandria.

“You can pretend you didn’t do this, but you know you did,” said the man in the witness stand Friday. “Look at me.” And then, finally, their gazes met.

Soon after, Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Brett A. Kassabian sentenced Shelton to six years in prison on charges stemming from allegations of molestation from the mid-’90s, when Shelton was leader of the Community Church of God in Dunn Loring.

Savannah diocese, bishops sued over priest child abuse case

Savannah Morning News

By Jan Skutch

The Catholic Diocese of Savannah and two of its bishops have been sued in South Carolina over alleged sexual abuse of a minor by former priest Wayland Y. Brown.

The suit, filed Nov. 16 in the Court of Common Pleas in Ridgeland, alleged that Brown abused a Savannah youth whom he met through youth programs at Savannah’s St. James Catholic Church and school in the mid-1970s.

According to the suit, the victim, a “devout Catholic” identified as John Doe, was sexually abused by Brown on various church and school properties as well as in various locations in South Carolina.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah and bishops Raymond Lessard and Gregory Hartmayer are named as defendants in the suit.

‘Service of Healing’ set for sex abuse victims


By: Forum staff reports, INFORUM

FARGO – A “Service of Healing” for victims of sexual abuse will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday at Recovery Worship, 3910 25th St. S. in Fargo.

Resources from Lost and Found Ministry will be available, along with counselors, pastors and a local priest for those who wish further assistance.

Ex-Palma employees accused of abuse

Monterey Herald

Herald Salinas Bureaumontereyherald.com

Palma High School in Salinas has been identified as one of the Christian Brothers schools that employed brothers or priests who were accused of child sexual abuse.

The Herald has learned that former Palma students will receive court-ordered notifications that they have until Aug. 1 to make an abuse claim or lose their right to do so in the future. A lawyer for one Palma alumnus said he is readying a claim.

The action rises out of the April bankruptcy filing by the Irish Christian Brothers and the Christian Brothers Institute of New York in the wake of sexual abuse claims.

An attorney representing the plaintiffs in the claims said the court agreed to issue the Christian Brothers a "bar date," or claim deadline, on the condition they identify all schools where alleged perpetrators were employed.

Civil trial against Lockeford priest goes to court

Lodi News-Sentinel

Posted: Saturday, February 25, 2012

By Katie Nelson/News-Sentinel Staff Writer

The lawyer for a man who contends he was abused by Father Michael Kelly of Lockeford says the man is a former U.S. Air Force pilot who had to give up his career because he was haunted by repressed memories of the abuse.

The lawyer also contended during opening statements Friday that Kelly has a history of inappropriately touching children dating back to the late 1970s.

Kelly's lawyer, however, said there is no way the popular parish priest could be guilty of such abuse.

During Friday's court session, Kelly sat only feet from the plaintiff, who contends the priest began abusing him when he was in the fifth grade at Annunciation School in Stockton. Kelly has vigorously proclaimed his innocence. At least 20 supporters appeared in court on his behalf Friday.

February 24, 2012

Malooly won't ask for resignations of priests accused in clergy sex abuse cover-up


[letter from Bishop Malooly]

[Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up in the Diocese of Wilmington via BishopAccountability.org]

By Amy Cherry

Updated Friday, February 24, 2012

Bishop Francis Malooly says he won't ask for the resignations of three priests accused of masterminding a cover-up of decades of sexual abuse.

After shocking documents were released last week as part of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington's settlement with victims of abuse, survivors of sexual abuse called for Monsignors Cini, Lemon, and Rebman to step down.

In a letter posted on the Dialog, the Diocese's newspaper, Malooly says the priests have his "full support and gratitude."


Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Documents released recently by the Diocese of Wilmington have once again brought to public attention the past criminal misconduct of some clergy and the mistakes made by Bishops in handling these crimes. In coverage of the documents, the media has also reported that certain clergy sexual abuse survivor advocates have called for the resignations of Monsignors Cini, Lemon and Rebman for being what they termed "architects" of a diocesan "concealment strategy" regarding sexual abuse.

None of these three dedicated priests ever engineered a strategy to conceal priest sex abuse. None of these men have ever put children at risk by placing an abusive priest back in ministry nor would they ever have had the authority to do so. What the documents show is that in 1985, within months of Bishop Robert E. Mulvee's arrival as Bishop of Wilmington, two families reported to the Diocese that their teenage sons had been abused by a diocesan priest. Bishop Mulvee determined that the Diocese had an obligation to report the abuse to civil authorities and the abuse was reported. Following this incident, the Diocese, under the leadership of Bishop Mulvee, developed a diocesan reporting policy. A Policy on Child Abuse and Neglect was adopted in November 1985, making the Diocese of Wilmington one of the
first dioceses to implement a mandatory abuse reporting policy.

Bishop Mulvee implemented a "zero tolerance" approach to clerical sex abuse matters in the mid-1900's, more than 15 years before this standard was promulgated nationally in the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Monsigno's Cini, Lemon and Rebman implemented this approach, and in no case handled by them was an abusive priest ever returned to ministry by the Bishop. In part because of this approach, there have been no reported incidents of abuse by a diocesan priest in ministry in more than 20 years. In saying this I do not overlook the tragic abuse by Francis DeLuca of a family member after his removal from ministry, during his retirement in Syracuse, New York. Additionally, our diocese annually has been found compliant with the Charter since it was adopted nearly a decade ago.

UPDATE 1-Philadelphia priest says cardinal ordered child abuse list destroyed

Chicago Tribune

By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA, Feb 24 (Reuters) - The highest ranking cleric charged in a Philadelphia pedophilia scandal asked a judge on Friday to dismiss his case because his boss - the late
Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua - ordered a list he made of predator priests be shredded.

Lawyers for Monsignor William Lynn, 61, filed the motion to dismiss conspiracy and child endangerment charges as jury selection in the case was underway in Common Pleas Court.

Lynn, who served the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese as secretary of the clergy during Bevilacqua's time as archbishop from 1987 to 1998, would be the first church official to stand
trial in a child sex abuse case if opening arguments begin as scheduled on March 26.

Lawyers press for more SNAP documents, testimony

National Catholic Reporter

Feb. 24, 2012
By Joshua J. McElwee

KANSAS CITY, MO. -- Attorneys who deposed the director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in January are requesting he be compelled to give more testimony and allege that the group is not covered by confidentiality protections afforded to rape crisis centers, court filings reveal.

The documents, dated Feb. 10 but obtained by NCR on Wednesday, relate to a Kansas City, Mo., court case that made headlines in December when it became the first where lawyers sought the deposition of a SNAP leader and requested that the organization hand over 23 years of internal records, correspondence and email.

Speaking to NCR, David Clohessy, the group's director and subject of the Jan. 2 deposition, said the continuing legal battle over the case has left the group "basically broke" and "without enough money for the next payroll."

Clohessy, who said after his deposition that he had refused to answer many of the lawyers' questions and to submit many of the requested documents, also said the financial struggles led him to release his lawyer. He said he is currently representing himself in the case while he searches for a lawyer willing to serve pro bono.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Welcomes TRC Interim Report, Calls for Commitment and Concrete Steps Forward

Digital Journal

[interim report]

OTTAWA, Feb. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - Following a three day national forum on First Nations driving change toward safe and thriving communities, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo welcomed the interim report today released by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), further calling for a commitment by governments and all Canadians to engage in concrete reconciliation efforts.

"In this interim report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission draws important conclusions and points to clear steps toward reconciliation," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo. "Real reconciliation, though, is achieved through action and change. We must all work together to ensure these important recommendations are implemented in ways that address the needs of all residential schools survivors and families, and to ensure that from now on education will only be used to support and improve the continued and sustained success of First Nations as an investment in Canada's collective future."

In its 30 page report, citing 20 recommendations, the TRC concludes the Indian residential school system constituted an assault on First Nation children, families, culture and communities. The report also highlights the importance of recognizing the unique legal status of First Nations as the original peoples of Canada, encouraging all levels of government to work with First Nations based on this understanding. Specific recommendations include support for health and healing of all survivors, the need for culture and language programming, parenting supports, access to documents, and records as well as restoring funding to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

"While we support all survivors and their families on their individual healing journeys, we must at the same time turn the page on this dark chapter of our shared history and work toward a future that unleashes the full potential of our peoples in this country," said National Chief Atleo. "By acting now in mutual respect, support and partnership we can and will achieve a better day for First Nations in this country - where First Nation education is reflective of our strong languages, cultures and traditions and supports our success at every level."

Lynn: Philly Cardinal Had List of Priests Shredded


By: MARYCLAIRE DALE | Associated Press
Published: February 24, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (AP) A Philadelphia church official facing trial in the priest abuse scandal says he created a list of problem priests in 1994 but Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua (beh-vih-LAH'-kwah) had it destroyed.

Monsignor William Lynn says the Archdiocese of Philadelphia recently turned over a surviving copy that corroborates his claims.

Lynn asked Friday to have his conspiracy and child endangerment case thrown out based on the new evidence. Jury selection is under way.

Lynn is the first U.S. church official charged for allegedly keeping predator-priests in ministry.



[*EXCLUSIVE REPORT* Alarming New Evidence May Exonerate Imprisoned Priest]

#93-S-0218-0228, 1076-1078, 1229-1231, 1554-1557
(212) 353-3752
(603) 669-8446

Now comes Defendant-Petitioner, Gordon MacRae, by and through counsel, and hereby
states as follows:


In the early 1990s, it was well known in and around Keene, New Hampshire that the local
Catholic diocese was paying huge sums of money to young men claiming to have been abused by their childhood priests. Tom Grover, a drug addict and alcoholic with neither a job nor prospects, looked to his own payday. Grover accused father Gordon MacRae of having molested him as a teenager, and sued the New Hampshire diocese. He won nearly $200,000 dollars for his efforts and his testimony convicted MacRae of terrible crimes.

There was no evidence to support Grover’s claims, other than his testimony. There was not
a single witness to the acts alleged in Grover’s stories of molestation though they were to have happened in busy, populated places. The convictions – and the money – turned on Grover’s performance.

Recently, newly discovered evidence has revealed that before trial, Grover admitted to friends
and family that his accusations were lies manufactured for diocese cash, and that he would, and did commit perjury at MacRae’s trial. Those people have also reported Grover’s conduct after he got his money – conduct that included more admissions of perjury, and that undermines any notion that his stories were anything but lies.

In addition to Grover’s overall fraud on the criminal justice system, review of the record in
the light and context of the new evidence also reveals a trial marked by actions and inaction of defense counsel that not only undermined the defense, but served the state, and assured the conviction.

The conviction here came during a period of time that has since been widely recognized as
fostering a wave in sexual abuse accusations and convictions – often in cases in which the claimed acts were objectively impossible, but also in cases like this, in which accusations were technically possible, but objectively unlikely. As Grover admitted to his friends and family, his efforts toward MacRae’s conviction were based on that wave of false convictions. Thus, as those times largely gone by nourished the prosecution and fostered the conviction, a measured and historically aware review reveals that it was unjust and must be vacated.

Lawyers: Bevilacqua ordered memo on priests to be shredded

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin

Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua ordered two key aides in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to shred all copies of a 1994 memo that identified 35 priests suspected of sexually abusing children, according to a new court filing.

The order, outlined in a handwritten note locked away for years in church files, was disclosed for the first time Friday in a motion by lawyers for Mgsr. William J. Lynn, the former church official facing trial for enabling abusive priests.

They contend the shredding directive proves the church conspiracy to conceal clergy sex abuse occurred at levels far above Lynn, and that he has been unjustly accused.

"It is beyond doubt that Monsignor Lynn was completely unaware of this act of obstruction," attorneys Jeffery Lindy and Thomas Bergstrom wrote.

Dolan’s D&C

National Survivor Advocates Coalition


Any cursory reader of the news in the last two weeks can’t help but know that Timothy Dolan belongs to the most exclusive men’s club in the world: the Roman Catholic Church’s College of Cardinals.

If you are a New Yorker – or a New Jerseyite — or a traveler to anywhere in the circular range of the New York media you have not been able to escape this traveling show of his pre-consistory trip to the Holy Land, his departure from his Fifth Avenue digs for the trip to Rome, his arrival in Rome, the fact that he took a shower at North American College in Rome before going out for a bowl of pasta, his New York decaled jacket approach to press conferences throughout the week, his restaurant visits with family and traveling band of 1,000 in tow, his chosenness for the pre-consistory speech, his working-the-room jaunt down St. Peter’s aisle, his bounding with skirt hem lifted to Pope Benedict to get his hat and ring, his pasta weight gain that keeps him from taking his ring off his finger to see the coat of arms of the man who put it there, his post consistory receptions, his continuing press conferences, and his bag piped arrival back at his New York Fifth Avenue digs. Not to mention the coverage of his tailor, his ringmaker, and his mother, Whew!

All of that dust, we do believe, is the really the architecture of a Dolan D&C strategy: the diversion and charm offensive in the face of the highest stakes to date in the clergy sexual abuse scandal.

The birth control bishops


Rose Aguilar

San Francisco, CA - Forget child abuse. The Catholic Bishops would rather spend their time, money, and resources on birth control and women's sex lives. The main debate over the past few weeks in the United States has been about birth control. And guess who's dominating it? The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the country's official organisation of the Catholic hierarchy.

The bishops are up in arms over the Obama administration's rule that would have required health insurance plans, including Catholic-affiliated hospitals and universities, to offer free contraception. Once the bishops took to the airwaves to criticise the decision, the administration modified its policy so that insurance companies, not Catholic hospitals or universities, pay for contraception. But that didn't appease the bishops - or Republican extremists.

On February 16, House Republicans thought it was necessary, with all the economic problems the US is facing, to hold a hearing on the contraception rule. The panel was comprised of five men - five religious men who without any kind of health background (watch this video, towards the end).

Is it time for a Jacobin pope? Plus, musings on an American

National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Feb. 24, 2012 All Things Catholic

As a thought exercise, ask yourself what period of time the following paragraph about the Vatican seems to reflect.

"For those who've seen the place in better days, the Vatican looks deeply troubled. In the absence of strong leadership, internal tensions seem to be bursting into view. Even at the height of his powers, the pope took scant interest in governance. As he ages and becomes more limited, a sense of drift is mounting -- a conviction that hard choices must await a new day, and probably a new pontiff."

Although it seems perfectly apt in February 2012, in fact, that paragraph was written in late 2004. That's the irony: Many cardinals who elected Benedict XVI thought they were buying an end to the crisis of governance in the twilight of John Paul's reign, only to find they'd simply traded it in for a newer model.

In the abstract, Joseph Ratzinger seemed the man to put things right. As the saying went, Ratzinger was in the curia but not of it -- he knew where the bodies were buried, but he was never the stereotypical Vatican potentate, forever building empires and hatching schemes. Plus, he's hardly the extrovert John Paul was, so it seemed reasonable he might invest more energy in internal business.

Seeking Abuse Victims

America Magazine

From CNS, staff and other sources | MARCH 5, 2012
Catholic bishops should find out what is keeping victims of sexual abuse around the world from coming forward, said Bishop R. Daniel Conlon, right, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People. U.N. statistics have shown “that sex abuse is widespread and crosses all cultures and societies” and is not just a phenomenon plaguing the church or Western nations, he said on Feb. 13. A mandate from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith requires all bishops to establish anti-abuse guidelines by May of this year.

Selbsternannte Opfervertreter


netzwerkB Positionspapier “Selbsternannte Opfervertreter” Stand 24.02.2012 (als PDF herunter laden)

Position netzwerkB’s zur Bundesinitiative der Betroffenen von sexualisierter Gewalt und Missbrauch im Kindesalter e.V. (http://www.die-bundesinitiative.de/)

Zur Koordination der über 500 Opfervereine gründete sich am 20. August 2011 die Bundesinitiative für Betroffene (BI) und wurde am 2. Dezember 2011 im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichtes Scharlottenburg eingetragen unter: 95 VR 31053 B. Anspruch war es, den aufwändigen Dialog zwischen den Betroffenen zu koordinieren und eine einheitliche Position der verschiedenen Betroffenenverbände für den Runden Tisch zu erfassen. Es dürfte klar sein, dass sich allein aus diesem Anspruch noch kein Alleinvertretungsanspruch der BI für die Betroffenen ergab. Ein halbes Jahr nach Gründung der BI steht die Einlösung des Anspruchs dieser Initiative mehr als in Frage. Gerade fünf Vereine sind noch Mitglied. Dennoch gilt die Initiative der Regierung als repräsentative Stimme der Betroffenen und wird nun mit mehr als 27.000 Euro finanziert.

Gods Woord bezit wonderlijke helende kracht

Reformatorisch Dagblad

Gods Woord bezit wonderlijke helende kracht bij de verwerking van seksueel misbruik, ervoer 
Linda van der Ploeg.

Als slachtoffer van seksueel misbruik ben ik blij met het Movisierapport over huiselijk geweld in orthodox-protestants Nederland en de aandacht die eraan besteed wordt in de krant. Het artikel ”Jarenlang zwijgen over incest” (RD 15-2) raakte me diep. Het lijkt veel op mijn verhaal. Ik werd jarenlang seksueel misbruikt binnen het gezin en de (reformatorische) familie.

Detectives, Historians Solve Murder By Priest From 1894

Local 12

[with video]

An Irish family is thanking Cincinnati Police for helping them find peace more than a hundred years after the murder of one of their ancestors. A priest murdered Mary "Mollie" Gilmartin on a Cincinnati street in 1894. The Gilmartin family never knew the details of the murder, until Cincinnati detectives and local historians recently got involved. Local 12's Deborah Dixon tells us how the Gilmartin family finally got their answers.

The Cincinnati Enquirer headlines screamed "Ghastly.. Father O'Grady Kills.. Pursued the Girl He Had Sworn to Cherish. The girl was Mollie Gilmartin. She was sent to live with relatives here in on Chestnut Street. And near the home is where 20 year old Mollie was killed on April 25th 1894.

She was trying to start a new life without Father Dominick O'Grady, the priest from her hometown parish who left the church to marry Mollie. Her brother, a priest in Chicago, intervened and sent her to Cincinnati to live with family.

That April morning as Mollie walked to her clerking job at Pulvermachers Galvanic Belt Company on East Sixth Street. She saw a glimpse of Father O'Grady and tried to make her way back home. What happened next are in police and newspaper reports. "The lifeless body sank to the ground, face powder burned, auburn hair singed by the flame."

Suit filed against Marianists, claiming sexual abuse by Chaminade teac

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

BY JENNIFER MANN • jmann@post-dispatch.com > 314-621-5804

ST. LOUIS COUNTY • A former Marianist cleric at the Chaminade College Preparatory School was so well-known for his inappropriate behavior toward showering students that they had a name for it: the "Meinhardt treatment," according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

Rev. Louis Meinhardt, a teacher and coach at the Creve Coeur prep school from 1958 to 1982, would allegedly watch juvenile boys shower and grab their genitals, earning several nicknames including "the kissing coach." He also, according to the suit, used common catch phrases including "come here and give me loving" and "let me pat you on the bo-bo."

Earlier this month, the leader of the Marianists, Rev. Martin Solma, revealed that more than a dozen former students had come forward with decades-old allegations of verbal and sexual abuse by Meinhardt and another former cleric, Rev. John Woulfe, who was at the school for nine years ending in 1977. Both are now deceased.

Woman Says Pastor Abused Her for Years

Courthouse News Service


HOUSTON (CN) - A Jane Doe plaintiff claims the United Methodist Church did not protect her from a philandering pastor who adopted and began molesting her when she was 14, and made her get an abortion after impregnating her while she was in high school.

Doe sued Pastor Kendall Graham and trustees of the United Methodist Church's Texas delegation in Harris County Court, for more than $25 million.

Doe claims the church knew about Graham's "inappropriate contact and relationships with female members" of his congregations, but rather than get rid of him they moved him to different churches around Texas.

Jury pool grows for clerics' sex-abuse trial

Philadelphia Inquirer

Prosecutors and defense lawyers Thursday identified about 100 more potential jurors for next month's child-endangerment and sex-abuse trial of two current Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests and one former archdiocese priest.

By the end of a third day of reviewing juror questionnaires, the lawyers had agreed to call nearly 200 people back for courtroom interviews. The lawyers and Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina will start those interviews Monday to find 12 jurors and 10 alternates for the trial. The judge also denied a motion by one of the defendants, the Rev. James J. Brennan, for a separate trial.

Former Priest “So drunk” he did not remember abusing two boys

Inside Ireland

By Olivia Kerr

A court has heard that a former priest and a convicted paedophile was so drunk at one point that he did not remember abusing two young boys.

This is the fourth time that Daniel Curran, 61, of Bryansford Road, Newcastle, has been charged of child abuse.

He pleaded guilty to five charges of indecent assault against two young boys in 1986.

Down Crown Court heard that the incidents took place at Curran’s family holiday home near Tyrella, County Down.

Residential-schools commission ...

The Globe and Mail

[Truth and Reconciliation Commission interim report]

[Compensating native residential school abuse]

Residential-schools commission calls for national awareness campaign

Tamara Baluja AND Gloria Galloway

OTTAWA— From Friday's Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012

The commission that was established to reveal the dark legacy of church-run residential schools for aboriginal children says all Canadians should be made more aware of the sorry chapter in their country’s history.

In an interim report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to be released on Friday in Vancouver, Mr. Justice Murray Sinclair says comprehensive awareness efforts are needed to ensure that the rest of Canada fully understands the pain of the students who attended the schools and the parents whose children were taken from them.

Judge Sinclair recommends that every province and territory review its public-school curriculum to assess what, if anything, is being taught about the residential schools and to develop age-appropriate educational material. In addition, the TRC would like to work with the governments to develop unique local campaigns to educate the general public on residential schools.

After assessing statements and testimony from thousands of survivors and more than 100 former employees of the schools, Judge Sinclair says “we were reminded afresh that all of this happened to little children who had no control over their lives.”

About 150,000 first nations, Inuit and Métis children were forced to attend the government schools throughout the 1900s. The last one closed outside Regina in 1996.

Reconciliation report shines light on 'dark chapter' in Canadian past


By Teresa Smith, Postmedia News February 23, 2012

The Indian Residential School system was "not simply a dark chapter from our past," says a report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. "It was integral to the making of Canada."

That a young Canada benefited from an education system designed to assimilate Aboriginal Peoples — by taking away their children and re-educating them — is difficult to swallow.

But, as the report released late Thursday says, the fact that this idea is news to many Canadians is part of the problem.

It goes further, saying the Residential School system was only part of a system designed to gain control of aboriginal land. "The Canadian government signed treaties it did not respect, took over land without making treaties, and unilaterally passed laws that controlled nearly every aspect of aboriginal life."

Teach history of residential schools: report

Winnipeg Free Press

By: Staff Writer

Posted: 02/24/2012

THE pending report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission says residential school survivors should have greater access to mental health care and recommends curriculum changes for Canadian public schools that would broaden awareness of the history of residential schools, the CBC reports.

The interim report, which is scheduled for official release in Vancouver today, was leaked to the broadcaster on Thursday.

Residential school information should be available in public schools across the country, the report suggests, with individual schools addressing the implications the residential schools had in specific regions.

The report also advises that the formal apology delivered by the federal government should be framed and distributed to every secondary school in the provinces and territories by Ottawa.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission to release interim report, historical work

Winnipeg Free Press

By: The Canadian Press

Posted: 02/24/2012

VANCOUVER - A commission set up to help First Nations heal from abuses they suffered in residential schools is about to release an interim report and a new historical publication.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada will release the documents during a presentation this morning at Simon Fraser University's downtown Vancouver campus.

About 150,000 aboriginal children were forced to attend the schools, the first of which opened in the 1870s and the last of which closed in 1996.

Report on residential schools advises curriculum changes, wellness sites: CBC


By Postmedia News, Postmedia News February 23, 2012

The pending report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission says residential school survivors should have greater access to mental health care and recommends curriculum changes for Canadian public schools that would broaden awareness of the history of residential schools, the CBC reports.

The interim report, which is scheduled for official release in Vancouver on Friday, was leaked to the broadcaster on Thursday.

Residential school information should be available in public schools across the country, the report suggests, with individual schools addressing the implications the residential schools had in specific regions.

Sinclair is correct -- it was genocide

Winnipeg Free Press

By: Christopher Powell

Posted: 02/24/2012

Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, has declared that Canada's Indian residential school system was an act of genocide. This statement will disturb many Canadians. Some will say that our collective soul-searching over the Indian residential schools has gone on long enough, or too long, and that indigenous people should just let go of the past and move on.

But Justice Sinclair was right to make this declaration. Acknowledging Canada's responsibility for genocide is necessary to heal the great harm done by this traumatic historic event. It is necessary both for indigenous peoples, and for non-indigenous Canadians as well.

The Indian residential school system, in both its stated intent and its observable effects, meets the definition of genocide specified in the United Nations Genocide Convention of 1948. Article 2 of that convention defines genocide as certain acts "committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such," and includes in the specified acts, "forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

Closing Vatican embassy 'a mistake'

The Irish Times


Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin has described the Government’s decision to close the Vatican embassy as a “mistake” that he believes will be reversed.

Speaking this evening at the Mater Dei Institute’s Spring Lecture Series, Dr Martin said that he feared that the controversy surrounding the decision had “taken on a life of its own” and was not a debate which was in the best interests of the Church or the Government.

“While I believe that the change in status of the Embassy was a mistake and that it will in time be changed, the current polemic is distracting us from the real challenges of Church State relations and from the real crisis questions facing the Irish Church,” he said.

Spokesman defends record as Polish bishops prepare to adopt guidelines

U.S. Catholic

Thursday, February 23, 2012

By Jonathan Luxmoore Catholic News Service

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- The spokesman for the Polish bishops' conference defended its handling of sexual abuse accusations against Catholic clergy as the bishops prepared to adopt guidelines on the issue.

"The church is the only institution in Poland systematically dealing with this -- no one else is," said Father Jozef Kloch, conference spokesman. "Although we're being used as a whipping boy, we know from data there's a much lower incidence of pedophilia among Catholic priests than clergy from other denominations, as well as teachers, home care employees, sports coaches and, unfortunately, parents and relatives."

Father Kloch told Catholic News Service Feb. 22 that, in March, the bishops would vote on new guidelines developed in line with instructions issued by the Vatican last May. The Polish document was prepared by the church's legal counsel.

St. James employee remembers Braley

Wicked Local Salem

By Sarah Thomas/sthomas@wickedlocal.com
Salem Gazette

Posted Feb 23, 2012

Salem —

From 1986 to 1990, Salem’s St. James parish was home to Rev. James E. Braley, a pastor who was recently placed in administrative leave after Archdiocese officials received an allegation of sexual abuse of a child.

Braley, who served most recently as the pastor of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha parish in Plymouth, also served in churches in Lynn and Marblehead. Church officials have said that the abuse was alleged to have happened in the early 1980s, a time when Braley was serving at St. Peter parish in Cambridge and Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree.

Diane Santos, administrator of religious education at St. James, said she started with the church 26 years ago, around the time that Braley arrived in Salem.

RTS award for UTV documentary


UTV has won a prestigious Royal Television Society award for a documentary on paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

Reporter Chris Moore, executive producer Paul Clarke and camera operator Drew Welsh were in London to pick up the award on Wednesday night.

'The Resurrection of Brendan Smyth' was aired on UTV in December 2010.

It followed the trail of broken lives left behind by the sex predator who raped and assaulted children in Ireland, Britain and America as the Catholic Church covered up his crimes.

Journalist Chris Moore, who broke the Brendan Smyth child sex abuse story in a UTV documentary in 1994, believes many children were abused by the paedophile priest after allegations first emerged in the 1970s.

Opening arguments in clergy sex abuse trial on Friday morning

Lodi News-Sentinel

By Ross Farrow/News-Sentinel staff writer

STOCKTON — Opening arguments in the sexual abuse lawsuit against Lockeford priest Michael Kelly will begin at 10 a.m. Friday in Department 42 at San Joaquin County Superior Court, 222 E. Weber Ave., fourth floor, Stockton.

Kelly, priest at Lockeford's St. Joachim's Catholic Church, is accused by an unnamed plaintiff of sexually assaulting him during the 1980s, when Kelly served at Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton. Kelly has not been charged criminally.

Now facing 62 total sex-related charges, priest consents to remand

The Western Star

Published on February 24, 2012

Cory Hurley
CORNER BROOK — The Roman Catholic priest who turned himself in to police in December after nine alleged victims of sexual abuse came forward against him has again willingly gone into custody following more charges.

George Ansel Smith, 74, appeared in provincial court in Corner Brook Thursday afternoon. Attorney Tom Williams elected, on behalf of the former western Newfoundland priest, to proceed via judge alone in Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

There were another 24 sex-related charges before the court against Smith, who was already facing 38 charges — including 13 counts of gross indecency, 11 counts of indecent assault on a male, seven counts of sexual assault, four counts of unlawfully committing a gross indecency and three counts of unlawfully assaulting with intent to commit an indictable offence. Those offences, alleged to have happened between 1969 and 1989 in six different communities, including Port Saunders, Corner Brook, Stephenville, St. Fintan’s, Cape St. George and Deer Lake.

February 23, 2012

Lack of Vatican co-operation over child sex abuse led to closure of embassy

The Irish Times

OPINION: Lay voices who make a living defending the church should see sense on embassy issue, writes PATSY McGARRY

PROTAGONISTS IN the row over the closure of Ireland’s embassy to the Holy See have included some Fine Gael backbenchers not heard from before. Certainly they were silent following the Cloyne report last July, when no one produced a rosary beads at a parliamentary party meeting either.

Recently they’ve had to deal with voters angered at Fine Gael Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan’s stand on septic tanks and household charges. It was a help to have a Labour Minister’s decision to seize on.

The row would not be complete without Fianna Fáil input. On Valentine’s Day Senator Terry Leyden was accused by Fine Gael’s Paul Coghlan of jumping up and down like a jackass on the issue. Leyden is no jackass but would recognise a chance to embarrass political opponents before drawing his first breath of a day, even on Valentine’s Day.

1 trial for Philly ex-church official, 2 priests



PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A priest charged with raping a teen while on leave from the Philadelphia archdiocese will go on trial next month in a church conspiracy case, despite defense objections.

A judge refused Thursday to give the Rev. James Brennan a separate trial. Brennan, 49, wants a short trial involving a single accuser.

Instead, he will be at the defense table for months while prosecutors seek to build a conspiracy and child-endangerment case against Monsignor William Lynn, the long-time secretary for clergy. Prosecutors plan to air sex-abuse complaints lodged against two dozen priests over several decades to show Lynn kept problem priests around children.

Lynn, for his part, has fought unsuccessfully to sever his case from his two co-defendants, both charged with rape. Brennan, 48, and defrocked priest Edward Avery, 69, are each charged with raping a single victim, accusers who came forward in time to meet newly expanded state time limits for child-sex assault.

Priest faces 24 more sex-related charges

The Globe and Mail

Corner Brook, Nfld.— The Canadian Press

Published Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012

A Roman Catholic priest is back in custody in western Newfoundland after 24 more sex-related charges were brought against him.

George Ansel Smith consented to returning to prison after being released from jail in December when he faced 38 charges, including gross indecency, sexual assault and indecent assault.

Those charges involved nine complainants who allege they were abused by Mr. Smith between 1969 and 1989 when he was working in Deer Lake, Nfld.,

Mr. Smith has elected to be tried by judge alone in Supreme Court and his arraignment is scheduled for March 5.

Ex-priest Daniel Curran admits to abuse charges

BBC News

A court has heard that a former priest and convicted paedophile was so drunk he could not remember abusing two young boys.

It is the fourth time Daniel Curran, 61, of Bryansford Road, Newcastle, has been charged with child abuse.

He has pleaded guilty to five charges of indecent assault against two young boys dating back to 1986.

Downpatrick Crown Court heard that the offences took place at Curran's family holiday home near Tyrella in County Down.


Berger's Beat

...Great honor for the guys who have made a living covering breaking news. . .It was a loss for barrister Gerald Noce, who represents the Marianists, a religious order that runs Catholic schools. Noce had sought a writ from an appeals court to stop a civil lawsuit against Brother William Mueller, who worked at Vianney and Chaminade in the 1960s and 1970s. Mueller, who now lives in Texas, has been accused of sexually violating more than 50 students in three states, often drugging them first. Word is that Clayton lawyer Ken Chackes will file the first abuse case this week against Brother Louis Meinhardt, a teacher who spent 30 years at Chaminade. .

Truth commission's interim report leaked

CBC News

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is calling for changes to Canadian public school curriculums and for mental health care for residential school survivors.

The commission's interim report was leaked Thursday to CBC News, a day before the three commissioners — chair Murray Sinclair, Wilton Littlechild and Marie Wilson — release the report in Vancouver.

Their 20 recommendations address education, health and commemoration, among other issues.

The commission calls for all provinces and territories to develop residential school education materials for public schools. Provinces and territories should hold education campaigns about the history and impact of residential schools in their jurisdictions, the commission says.

LDS bishop set for trial in failure to report case


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Mormon bishop is set for trial June 1 on charges of witness tampering and failing to report a teen girl's complaint of sexual abuse.

Prosecutors say 43-year-old Gordon Lamont Moon advised the 16-year-old girl last July not to report an alleged assault to authorities.

Utah courts spokeswoman Nancy Volmer says a judge in Duchesne's 8th District Court set the trial date on Thursday.

Trial date set for LSD Church bishop in failure-to-report case

The Salt Lake Tribune

By Aaron Falk
The Salt Lake Tribune

A June trial date has been set for a Mormon bishop accused of failing to report allegations of child abuse after meeting with a girl in his Duchesne congregation.

Gordon Lamont Moon, 43, will stand trial June 1 on a third-degree felony count of tampering with a witness and a class B misdemeanor of failure to report child abuse.

According to a court document, the 17-year-old girl was sexually abused by a younger teen in July. The girl’s father later asked Moon to speak with the girl.

Trial set for Mormon bishop accused of failing to report abuse

Deseret News

By Geoff Liesik, Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Feb. 23 2012

DUCHESNE — A one-day jury trial has been scheduled for an LDS Church bishop accused of telling a teenage girl not to seek a protective order and failing to report the girl's disclosure that she had been sexually abused by a relative.

Bishop Gordon Moon is charged in 8th District Court with witness tampering, a third-degree felony, and failure to report abuse, a class B misdemeanor. Moon was arraigned on the charges Thursday, entering not guilty pleas to both counts.

His trial is set for June 1.

But Moon's attorney, David Leavitt, said Thursday that he intends to challenge the constitutionality of the witness tampering charge prior to trial.

Former Kinkora priest facing another 24 sex-related charges back in custody

The Guardian

Published on February 23, 2012

CORNER BROOK, N.L. — George Ansel Smith, a Roman Catholic priest who'd previously served in P.E.I., consented to going back into custody after 24 more sex-related charges have come before the Newfoundland courts against him.

Smith had been administrator at St. Malachy's Church in Kinkora when he was suspended as a P.E.I. priest in May 2010 following the allegations that he'd abused nine young males in Newfoundland between 1969 and 1989.

He was released from jail in December, when there were 38 charges in total against him. When he appeared in provincial court in Corner Brook this afternoon, that total had risen to 62.

SNAP blasts Archbishop Carlson

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on February 23, 2012

Week after week, month after month, new child sex abuse allegations surface against current and former St. Louis priests, nuns, seminarians, brothers and other Catholic officials. Some are diocesan, some belong to religious orders.

But who signs their paychecks doesn’t really matter. What matters is that some of these predators are still alive and often live and work here in St. Louis (and elsewhere) among unsuspecting families, neighbors and colleagues. What matters is that each revelation brings added pain to Catholic parishioners in St. Louis. And what matters is that some or most of their victims live here in St. Louis.

Recently, victims from Chaminade, a St. Louis Catholic school, have found the courage and strength to speak up. In just three weeks, Catholic officials here admit that they’ve heard from 15 victims of Brother Louis Meinhardt who taught and coached at Chaminade for 30 years.

Newfoundland priest faces 24 new sexual abuse charges

CBC News

A Roman Catholic priest who worked in Newfoundland and Labrador for many years is facing 24 new sexual abuse charges, bringing the total number of charges against him to 62.

George Ansel Smith was in court Thursday afternoon in Corner Brook.

Smith, who worked in parishes from Newfoundland's southwest coast to the tip of the Northern Peninsula, was charged in December after a lengthy investigation by the RCMP.

Ex-priest seeking new trial

Keene Sentinel

Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2012

By Casey Farrar Sentinel Staff

A former Keene priest convicted nearly two decades ago of sexually abusing four boys is seeking a new trial, claiming new statements from people close to one victim show he was after money when he made the accusations.

Gordon J. MacRae, 58, was convicted by a Cheshire County jury in September 1994 of five counts of sexual assault against a 15-year-old boy during the summer of 1983 in the rectory of St. Bernard’s Church in Keene, while MacRae was a Roman Catholic priest there.

A month later, MacRae avoided more slated trials by pleading guilty to three additional counts of sexual assault — one count each involving three other boys, including a boy who said he was 12 years old when MacRae fondled him in the rectory of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church in Hampton.

In the Keene trial case, MacRae received the maximum sentence — 331/2 to 67 years in prison — meaning he wouldn’t be eligible to seek release until 2028, when he’d be 74 years old.

Priest facing additional 24 sex-related charges

The Telegram

Published on February 23, 2012

George Ansel Smith, a Roman Catholic priest, consented to going back into custody after another 24 sex-related charges have come before the courts against him.

He was released from jail in December, when there were 38 charges in total against him that involved nine complainants claiming to have been abused by Smith between 1969 and 1989. When he appeared in provincial court in Corner Brook this afternoon, that total had risen to 62.

Contraception Furor v. Catholic Realities

Religion Dispatches

By Mary E. Hunt

Anyone who thinks that the much-discussed compromise offered by the Obama administration will end the US Catholic Bishops’ efforts to eradicate contraception and otherwise truncate women’s rights is sadly mistaken. Their show of ecclesial muscle, noticed big time by the White House in an election year, only serves to reinforce and reinscribe a moral authority that many Catholics no longer grant to the hierarchy. We understand ourselves in far more mature, differentiated, and autonomous fashions that vary widely among us. We vote accordingly.

The furor over the provision of contraceptive services focuses attention on the Catholic community, a quarter of the US population. Generalizations are hazardous, and the obvious is not usually what it appears to be. There are not two teams (the bishops and the rest of us), nor are there just conservatives and progressives. As that quarter of the population, we range from Opus Dei to Catholics for Choice, from parish members to base community adherents, from students to seniors, and everyone in the middle.

We do not speak in one voice, and no one speaks for all of us. We each have one vote. Not even the seemingly middle-of-the-road folks, like some media members and lobbyists who claim to be the voice of Catholic reason, represent anyone but themselves. This is the contemporary Catholic situation, and anyone who tries to persuade otherwise has a bridge to sell in Brooklyn.

Nonetheless, the current flap over health care reveals three Catholic realities: it is about birth control, it is not about religious liberty, and it is not over. ...

The institutional Roman Catholic Church squandered the political clout it once enjoyed. Clergy sexual abuse cases and their cover-up by bishops are unspeakable crimes that cost more than just the billions of dollars spent to adjudicate cases and compensate victims. They cost credibility. The result is that the institutional Church increasingly relies on very personal issues, like contraception, to feather its nest having relinquished any claim on the death penalty, wars, the economy, and the environment where its moral weight could be so helpful. No one cares what it teaches. This is lamentable, but it opens up space for many Catholic points of view to emerge in the polls. And emerge they have, and emerge they should.

Lawyers seek jurors ...

Washington Post

Lawyers seek jurors for Philly priest abuse trial; monsignor charged with endangering children

By Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — About 150 potential jurors will be questioned next week about their ability to spend several months hearing a landmark priest sex abuse case in Philadelphia.

Lawyers are reviewing jury questionnaires filled out by residents of the heavily Catholic city.

It remains unclear how much they will be asked about their religious beliefs or possible experiences with child sex assault.

Monsignor William Lynn is set to go on trial March 26 on charges he endangered children by keeping predators in ministry.

Predator priest gets warning; SNAP responds

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on February 23, 2012 ·

We’re grateful to this judge for being firm with this dangerous priest. Like so many child molesters, Wenthe seems to believe laws don’t apply to him. We hope he does end up behind bars. That way, kids will be safer.

We call on Archbishop John Nienstedt to publicly disclose Wenthe’s status, residence and current work assignment. Secrecy about proven sex offenders only endangers kids.

Sex offender priest balks at probation conditions, gets hauled to court

Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
Posted: 02/23/2012

A former St. Paul priest got a stern dressing-down by a judge this morning for failing to cooperate with his probation officer.

Christopher Wenthe, formerly of Nativity of Our Lord parish in St. Paul, was convicted Nov. 15 of criminal sexual conduct in a case that involved a 21-year-old penitent. He is serving one year in the Ramsey County workhouse.

Ramsey County District Judge Margaret Marrinan summoned the 47-year-old Wenthe to her courtroom after the probation officer contacted her about problems.

Ex-priest ‘drunk’ while abusing boys


A court has heard that a former priest and convicted paedophile could not remember abusing two young boys because he had carried out so many offences and had been too drunk.

Daniel Curran has pleaded guilty to five charges of indecent assault against two young boys dating back to 1986.

He appeared at Downpatrick Court for a pre-sentence hearing on Thursday afternoon.

This is the fourth time Curran has been before a court for abusing children.

Action taken on 2 Hawaii predator priests

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 23, 2012

Two Hawaii priests deemed guilty of molesting kids have been dealt setbacks recently.

One sought release from prison but was denied parole, while the other has been permanently ousted from the priesthood by the Vatican.

Fr. Robert Mac Santry, a former priest of the Diocese of Honolulu who is now residing in Georgia, has been “dismissed from the clerical state,” effective immediately. As of this time, it is unknown what infractions caused Santry to be ousted. A priest can be dismissed for a multitude of crimes, including sexual abuse and financial fraud.

“Bishop Clarence Silva owes it to his parishioners, and especially to Santry’s neighbors in Atlanta to disclose what his crime was,” said David Clohessy, Executive Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Whether it was child abuse or fraud, we call on Bishop Silva to live up to his promise to be open and honest about clergy crimes and make a full accounting of what happened with Santry.”

Fr. Mark Matson, a Catholic priest of the Colorado-based Theatine Fathers order was tried and convicted in 2000 in Hawaii for sexual assaulting a 13-year-old boy. Matson was sentenced to twenty years behind bars. Last week, a Hawaii parole board voted to keep him in jail after Matson applied for release after 12 years.

Matson had been accused of abusing young boys in both Colorado and California before being arrested in Hawaii.

Maciel's Legion continues to unravel

National Catholic Reporter

by Tom Roberts on Feb. 23, 2012 NCR Today

Sandro Magister writes about the continuing changes to the Legion of Christ being arranged by Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the pontifical delegate to whom Benedict XVI has given full power to remake the scandal-plagued religious order and its associated lay movement Regnum Christi, with its hundreds of consecrated men and women.

It is essential to remember that the Legion, a now failed project built on utterly fraudulent life of its founder, the late Marciel Maciel Degollado, was the ideal expression of Catholic priesthood and lay witness for Pope John Paul II. Maciel and the Legion represents more than a blind spot or a dark chapter in John Paul's papacy. It represented, more importantly, the model of priesthood, leadership and witness that John Paul advocated.

As I point out in my book, The Emerging Catholic Church: A Community's Search for Itself : Maciel had protectors in very high places. He traveled with the pope on some of his journeys and, as late as 2004, John Paul honored the Legion by entrusting it with the management of Jerusalem's Notre Dame Center. John Paul II also praised Maciel that year for 60 years of "intense, generous and fruitful priestly ministry." In a letter the pope said he wanted to join in the "canticle of praise and thanksgiving" for the great things he has accomplished and said Maciel has always been concerned with the "integral promotion of the person." The Legion was clearly John Paul II’s idea of what a religious order and what Catholic expression should be."

Pastor admits to child porn charges


(Cleveland) - More than a year after his arrest, a minister from Olmsted Falls is pleading guilty to more than 80 counts of child porn related charges.

Reverend Dr. Mark Griggs was rounded up in "Operation Lake Effect", a massive child porn sting in December of 2010. Griggs was the pastor at Saint Andrew's Presbyterian Church.

Griggs plead guilty Wednesday to 43 counts of Pandering Sexually Oriented Matter Involving a Minor, 40 counts of Illegal Use of a Minor in Nudity-Oriented Material, and 1 count of Possessing Criminal Tools.

Griggs was originally charged in a 112 count indictment that included downloading, trading, and possessing child pornography. Between July 2008 and November 2010, Griggs traded child pornography over the internet from his house and church. Prosecutors said Griggs downloaded and saved images of sexually abused children to his computer that depicted children being raped in various ways.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s tough task - sexual abuse scandals and political battles

Irish Central

Irish Voice Editorial

Published Thursday, February 23, 2012

Newly appointed Cardinal Timothy Dolan certainly grabbed the lion’s share of media attention last week in New York when he received his red hat from Pope Benedict in Rome on Saturday.

The new cardinal is everything his predecessor Cardinal Edward Egan was not -- avuncular, brilliant with a quote, hands on and charming.

He is a perfect fit for New York, where big is better and an outside personality is needed to break through the clutter.

Dolan certainly made his name in Italy too last week, with an Italian newspaper ranking him among the “papabile,” the handful of cardinals who could become the next pope.

New Lawsuit Claims Fmr. Priest Sexually Abused 4 Boys


7:42 am, February 23, 2012, by Sarah Clark

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph faces a new lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by former priest John Tulipana.

Tulipana was forced out of the ministry in 1994. He’s accused of sexually abusing four boys from one family on fishing trips, camping trips and at the boys’ home while serving at St. Catherine of Siene Church in Kansas City.

Tulipana was ordained in 1972. The abuse against the four boys, ages 10 to 16, is alleged to have started in 1976.

According to a statement from SNAP, the Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests, two separate complaints had been filed against Tulipana alleging abuse prior to 1993. In 1993 and 1994, Tulipana was ordered to undergo psychological evaluations at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and at the Servants of the Paraclete in Jimenez, New Mexico. At the conclusion of these evaluations, Tulipana was allowed to return to ministry.

Progress on culling pool of potential jurors for sex-abuse trial

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
Inquirer Staff Writer

By late Wednesday, about 200 people had been disqualified as potential jurors for the child-sex abuse and endangerment trial against three current or former Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests.

That signaled progress. It meant that almost 100 others had made the cut, based on their responses to a questionnaire. Those people will be asked to return next week for courtroom interviews.

Just two days into the selection process, the pool of remaining candidates was large enough that one lawyer wondered if court officials needed to keep calling people to the courthouse.

"We have enough to get a jury now," attorney Michael Wallace said, though others weren't as sure.

Vatican embassy closure was a mistake but it's time we moved on, says Martin

Irish Independent

By Colm Kelpie

Thursday February 23 2012

ARCHBISHOP of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin yesterday said it was time to "move on" from the row over the closure of Ireland's embassy to the Vatican.

After an Ash Wednesday Mass on the campus in University College Dublin, Dr Martin said that while he believed it was a mistake to close the embassy at the Villa Spada in the Holy See, it would reopen in time.

"I think it was a mistake to close it, but let's be realistic, for a moment," he said. "For some period of time you'll have a non- resident ambassador, a very competent person, a very committed person, I don't think the polemic is helping anybody anymore.

Leaked Vatican documents stir controversy

The Marquette Tribune

By Andrea Anderson

February 23, 2012

Leaks and conspiracy theories are crossing the tall walls of the Vatican, and the holy city is getting heavy press attention after reports of suspicions of money laundering at the Vatican’s bank, an ailing Pope Benedict XVI and internal conflict with his right-hand-man and Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

The rumors come partially as a result of the Jan. 25 broadcast of private letters sent to Bertone and the Pope from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former deputy governor of Vatican City and currently the Vatican ambassador in Washington state.

The Vatican has claimed these letters are authentic.



(AGENPARL) - Roma, 21 feb - "Gli Intoccabili", il programma di Gianluigi Nuzzi su LA7, torna sui documenti riservati del Vaticano che negli ultimi mesi sono stati pubblicati dai media, prime tra tutte le lettere di Carlo Maria Viganò (nunzio apostolico a Washington) al Santo padre, rese note un mese fa dallo stesso programma. La puntata di domani, in onda alle 21.10, darà voce con un'intervista esclusiva - realizzata dallo stesso Nuzzi in una località segreta - a uno dei cosiddetti 'corvi', uno tra coloro che hanno reso pubblici tali documenti. "Lavoro in Vaticano da una ventina d'anni", racconta in un passaggio. Alla domanda se si senta un 'corvo' risponde "assolutamente no" e, sul numero delle 'talpe' interne alla Santa Sede afferma che "potrebbero essere una ventina". Il motivo? "Un rigurgito, un gesto di rabbia", dice".


Davide Maggio

Gli Intoccabili tornano a svelare i segreti dei Sacri Palazzi, infiltrandosi laddove si aggirano falchi, colombe e… corvi. Stasera il programma di La7 condotto da Gianluigi Nuzzi indagherà sui documenti vaticani che hanno delineato una ‘lotta’ interna alle mura leonine. La trasmissione aveva già mostrato alcune lettere inviate al Papa in cui si faceva riferimento a “situazioni di corruzione e prevaricazione“, suscitando l’ira della Santa Sede.

Nella puntata odierna Gli Intoccabili daranno voce a uno dei cosiddetti “corvi” che hanno reso pubbliche quelle scottanti carte. In un’intervista realizzata da Nuzzi, la spia ha dichiarato che le ‘talpe’ in Vaticano “potrebbero essere una ventina“. Il motivo? “Un rigurgito, un gesto di rabbia“. “Forse c’è una sorta di omertà a non fare emergere la verità delle cose” ha aggiunto il delatore.

“Il nostro è un Paese dove si può entrare, fare una strage e andarsene indisturbati e dopo 24 ore nessuno può mettere bocca su quello che è successo. Oppure sparisce una ragazzina e per 30 anni non si riesce a trovare una persona che dica qualcosa su come può essere andata“

Vatican ruled by 'omerta' code of silence, whistle-blower claims

The Telegraph (United Kingdom)

The Vatican is ruled by a climate of fear and an 'omerta' code of silence, a whistle-blower has claimed.

By Nick Squires, Rome
6:00AM GMT 23 Feb 2012

The mole claims to be one of more than 20 people within the Holy See who have leaked sensitive documents to the Italian media in the last few weeks, in an affair that has been compared to the WikiLeaks scandal and dubbed "Vati-leaks".

The unidentified man, who said he had worked in the Vatican for more than 20 years, made the claims in an interview to be aired on Italian television on Wednesday night.

His face was hidden and his voice digitally distorted when he appeared on the TV channel, La7.

According to extracts of the interview, the whistle-blower said the Vatican was engulfed in intrigue, secrecy and a climate of intimidation. ...

The whistle-blower said the Vatican is a place where "you can commit a murder and then disappear into the void" – a reference to a murky scandal in the Swiss Guard in 1998, when a young soldier shot dead the corps' commander and wife before apparently committing suicide.

Legionaries. The Young Vicar and the Restless Virgins


A new man at the top of the congregation: the German Heereman. Meanwhile, however, many consecrated women are leaving. The torment of their leader, Malén Oriol. The silent revolution of Cardinal De Paolis

by Sandro Magister

ROME, February 23, 2012 – For one week, a new man has been at the head of the Legionaries of Christ. He is young, only 36 years old. He is German, from Bavaria. He belongs to the noble lineage of the van Zuydtwyck. He has a brother who is a religious, and a sister who is a consecrated virgin. His parents testified for him in St. Peter's Square, in the pope's presence, on the eve of the closing of the Year for Priests, on June 10, 2010.

His name is Sylvester Heereman. He is the new vicar general of the Legion, in the role that previously belonged to Father Luis Garza Medina, the most powerful of the close collaborators and then successors of the infamous founder Marcial Maciel.

The appointment came unexpectedly, on February 16, with a statement from Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the pontifical delegate to whom Benedict XVI has given full powers in order to avert the downfall of the Legion and of the associated lay movement Regnum Christi, with its hundreds of consecrated men and women.


Anselm van der Linde
Abt von Wettingen-Mehrerau

Abtei Mehrerau: Unabhängige Opferschutzkommission wurde eingerichtet, um auch bei Verjährung Entschädigungszahlungen zu ermöglichen. Keine Haftung des Klosters für vorsätzliche Handlungen von Mitgliedern der Gemeinschaft.

(Bregenz, 21.02.2012) Die Abtei Mehrerau hat gestern, 20.02.2012, fristgerecht die
Beantwortung der Klage eines Opfers von sexuellem Missbrauch bei Gericht eingebracht.
Generell stellt Abt Anselm van der Linde dazu fest: „Um den Opfern des oft jahrzehntelang
zurückliegenden und dadurch juristisch verjährten Missbrauchs auf alle Fälle eine
Entschädigungszahlung zu ermöglichen, wurde von der Bischofskonferenz die
Opferschutzkommission eingerichtet. Dort werden Opfer unabhängig, sensibel und diskret
beraten und unterstützt. Und es werden in möglichst kurzer Zeit Entschädigungen und
Therapiekosten ausbezahlt.“

Retired Priest to Enter Plea


A retired Roman Catholic priest is expected to enter a plea in court today on a variety of sex charges. George Ansel Smith is facing 38 offences including gross indecency, indecent assault and sexual assault. A 16-month investigation by the RCMP revealed the incidents happened over a 20-year period between 1969 and 1989, while Smith was stationed in different communities on the west coast.

Boy Scouts face sex assault lawsuit


[with video]

Erin Logan

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) - Two Connecticut men are filing a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America for sexual assaults they say happened when they were kids.

The men who are filing the lawsuit partnered with Attorney Kelly Clark from Portland, Oregon who has 60 cases in 14-states against the Boy Scouts.

"Why me? Why did you choose me?"

It's a question the now 41 year-old victim has wanted to ask his alleged abuser David "Dirk" Davenport for over two decades as he's battled relationship problems, addictions, and shame. However he has been in panic mode since his eight year-old daughter was born. ...

Boy Scouts of America issued the following statement:

"The abuse of anyone, and especially children, is abhorrent and intolerable, and the Boy Scouts of America continues to evolve our multi-layered youth protection efforts. In the 25 years since the events described, Scouting has mandated training and education for everyone in our organization and designed policies that prevent one-on-one contact between youth and adults. Today, anyone suspected of abuse is immediately removed from Scouting, reported to law enforcement and Scout executives and added to our Ineligible Volunteer Files.

Boy sues Scouts over sexual abuse, claims mass abuse cover-up

Digital Journal

By Yukio Strachan
Feb 22, 2012

Santa Barbara- The Boy Scouts of America has until Friday to produce more than 5,000 records, kept secret for decades, detailing allegations of sexual abuse by scout leaders across the nation.

The attorney for the plaintiff, Santa Barbara attorney Timothy Hale, told the Santa Barbara Independent that the files, which will not be made public on Friday, showed that the Boy Scouts of America has maintained thousands of secret “perversion files” detailing child molestation cases, involving up to 20,000 scouts abused by leaders during 1965-85 alone, and perhaps 100,000 since 1925.

“For 70 years, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has concealed from the public the fact that sexual abuse has pervaded the institution,” hiding from parents the fact that their children were and still are at heightened risk of being targets of “pedophilic wolves,” Hale charged in the Superior Court suit.

Man accused of child sex offense is wanted by U.S. marshals


States marshals in New Mexico added Sergio Luevano, who is accused of child sex abuse, to their district's Most Wanted listed.

Luevano was indicted by a grand jury on second degree criminal sexual contact of a minor charges April 14, 2011.

Police said that during March 2010, Luevano touched or applied force to the unclothed intimate parts of a child under the age of 12. Luevano is a member of the Jehovah Witness Church and confessed to elders in the church that he did touch the child, police said.

It could take a month just to pick a jury for three priests' abuse trial

Philadelphia Daily News

Philadelphia Daily News
deanm@phillynews.com 215-854-5949

TYPICALLY, it does not take trial attorneys a week to read the questionnaires from prospective jurors before ever interviewing those people.

But that's going on this week in the largest courtroom at the Criminal Justice Center, as attorneys and Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina lay the groundwork to impanel a jury in the trial of three Philadelphia Catholic priests accused of raping and endangering altar boys beginning in the 1990s.

Sarmina has said that the jury-selection process could take a month.

Jury selection rarely takes more than a day or so. But for a trial that will feature the intersection of two emotionally charged issues - religion and child abuse - taking such a long time to pick a jury is understandable and necessary, said Marita Green, chair of Voice of the Faithful of Greater Philadelphia.

Boy Scouts sued over alleged sex abuse in Conn.


Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. - Two men in their early 40s sued the Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday, claiming scouting officials failed to protect them from a sexually abusive scoutmaster in Connecticut when they were children in the mid-1980s.

The plaintiffs, identified only as John Roe 1 and John Roe 2, filed a negligence lawsuit in state court in New Haven against the national organization and its Connecticut Yankee Council chapter. They say they were sexually abused on several occasions by David "Dirk" Davenport when he was the leader of Troop 490 in Madison.

The men allege scouting officials knew or should have known that before Davenport came to Connecticut in 1983, he had been accused of molesting boys in Montana, Nebraska and Minnesota in the 1970s and early 1980s, sometimes when he was a scoutmaster in those states.

From "Pillar Of The Community" To Prisoner To Pastor


Dirk Davenport, who pleaded guilty in the 1980's to sexual assault of nine Boy Scouts, is serving as an associate pastor at a Florida church. His actions in the 1980's led to a lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Boy Scouts of America.

By Pem McNerney

An Associated Press Report says the man at the center of a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America involving repeated cases of child sex abuse is serving as an associate in congregational care at SunCoast Cathedral MCC in Venice, Fla.

"Davenport, 74, didn't return a phone message left Tuesday at the SunCoast Cathedral Metropolitan Community Church in Venice, Fla., where he is an associate pastor. His home phone number is unlisted," the Associated Press report in The Miami Herald said.

A woman who answered the phone Wednesday morning at the church said Davenport was not in, but that he was expected in later that evening. She said he serves as an associate pastor at the church, helping the senior pastor with the care of the congregation. She said she did not know about the reports of child sex abuse and did not know whether it was the same Davenport and declined to answer further questions.

Why do men become Catholic priests?

BBC News

By Eamonn Walsh
BBC News

Years of sexual abuse scandals have hit the image of the Catholic Church and its priests face long hours and modest wages. So what drives the young men who want to be ordained?

Just around the corner from the designer shops and fancy restaurants of London's Kings Road stands Allen Hall. It is home to a small number of men in the middle of a journey.

The residents of Allen Hall, a Catholic seminary, are spending up to six years preparing to become Roman Catholic priests.

The student priests, known as seminarians, believe they are answering God's calling in dedicating their lives to the work of the Church.

Counselling available to students

The Whig-Standard

By Danielle VandenBrink The Whig-Standard

School officials are offering counselling to students at Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School following news of sexual abuse allegations against their former priest.

Father Rene Paul Labelle, 62, of Seeleys Bay was charged with sexual assault, sexual exploitation and invitation to sexual exploitation Monday.

Provincial police say the allegations were brought forward by a man who was a teenager at the time of the incident, alleged to have happened in the summer of 2004.

Convicted child molester MacRae wants a new trial

New Hampshire Union Leader

Published Feb 23, 2012

A Catholic priest convicted in 1994 of sexually assaulting boys wants a new trial, claiming new evidence exposes his chief accuser as a manipulative liar intent on making money off the church.

Writing in support of their motion for a new trial for Gordon MacRae, attorney Robert Rosenthal of New York City and Manchester lawyer Cathy J. Green say new evidence reveals the accuser admitted to friends and family “his accusations were lies manufactured for diocese cash.”

MacRae was convicted at trial of sexually assaulting the teenager, then pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting three other boys. He is serving a 33 1/2 to 67 years prison sentence. He maintains his innocence.

Woman raped by priest speaks out


[with video]

By: Joe Vigil, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Mary McCarthy Stanton, who said she was molested and raped by a priest in the 1960's, felt compelled to speak out after seeing recent TV coverage of the death of former Santa Fe Archbishop Robert Sanchez.

Sanchez stepped down from his post, in part, after failing to take action against priests accused of sexually abusing children.

Stanton said she was bothered by how easily people were willing to forgive Sanchez when he died. ...

Below is a statement released by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe:

"Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan, along with bishops from across the country, have acknowledged a sad reality of modern life: protecting children from sexual predators is not easy and cannot be taken for granted. To address this issue, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has a Victims Assistance and Safe Environment Coordinator who oversees programs for children and adults to make everyone aware of how serious we are about protecting our children. "

February 22, 2012

Sparta Pastor arrested for sexual assault


By Kevin Millard

SPARTA, Wisconsin (WXOW) - A pastor of a Sparta church is arrested on allegations he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl.

Sparta Police Chief Michael Kass says in a release that James Monson, 41, was taken into custody Monday evening on charges of Sex with a Child Age 16 or Older and Sexual Exploitation by Therapist.

Kass says Monson is the Pastor of the Gaining Ground Community Church, 620 Industrial Drive in Sparta.

Monday, the parent of the girl went to Sparta Police to report what was believed to be inappropriate touching between Monson and her daughter.

Wisconsin pastor arrested for sexual assault of a child

SNAP Wisconsin

February 22, 2012

Statement by John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director
CONTACT 414.336.8575

The pastor of Gaining Ground Community Church, located in Sparta Wisconsin, was arrested and taken into custody on charges of sex with a child age 16 or older and sexual exploitation by a therapist. Sparta police were notified by the victim’s mother that the pastor, James Monson, had inappropriately touched her daughter. When interviewed by police the victim reported she had sexual contact with Monson on several occasions.

This brave victim and her mother are to be commended for contacting and working with law enforcement officials. The Sparta police department is likewise to be applauded for their diligence in investigating this reported crime. It has been demonstrated time and time again that the sooner law enforcement authorities are involved in a possible child sex crime the better the chances are that predators will be prosecuted and prevented from harming additional youngsters.

The arrest of Pastor Monson is further evidence that the sexual abuse of children is an epidemic in Wisconsin and throughout the country. That is why Wisconsin legislators have introduced the Child Victims Act. State Representative Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay) who sponsored the legislation remarked “This is a huge issue, the number of children in Wisconsin and this country that are being sexually assaulted by adults. It’s a tragic epidemic and we have to step up and do something about it”.

This important child protection measure would remove the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, the very crime that Monson is reported to have committed. All major law enforcement organizations and agencies have endorsed this important legislation. Citizens in Wisconsin should contact their respective representatives and urge them to pass the Child Victims Act.

Suit claims former KC priest abused 4 boys in family

The Kansas City Star

The Kansas City Star

A former Kansas City-area Catholic priest sexually abused four boys in an Independence family, a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court alleges.

John Tulipana, who left the ministry in the mid-1990s, purportedly abused four boys while serving at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Kansas City. The suit alleged that the abuse began in 1976 and occurred on camping trips and at the family’s home.

The suit names Tulipana and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph as defendants. It does not identify the plaintiffs.

Tulipana could not be reached for comment Wednesday. A recording on his home phone line said the number had been disconnected.

Ariz. Sheriff Babeu Seeks Independent Probe of Allegations


Beleaguered Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeau on Tuesday asked authorities in a neighboring county for a comprehensive, independent investigation into allegations against him and his office.

Babeu asked the Gila County Sheriff's Office and County Attorney's Office to "look into allegations of human rights violations, threatening and intimidating, misuse of public resources, theft of property, theft of identity, fraud and impersonation."

In a one-page letter to Gila County Sheriff John Armor and County Attorney Daisy Flores, Babeu said he had instructed his office and political staff "to fully cooperate with your inquiry in an effort to settle these allegations made against me."

Paul Babeu was told as child by priest, “Father Lavigne hasn’t broken you in”

Tucson Citizen

by DA Morales on Feb. 22, 2012

Paul Babeu sues Catholic priest for sexual abuse.

Former Berkshire County Commissioner, Paul Babeu, is suing a former priest, accusing him of sexual abuse.

The suit was recently filed by Babeu who now lives in Arizona. It is the eleventh lawsuit filed this year against the Rev. Richard Lavigne.

Springfield Diocese Bishop Thomas Dupre has begun proceedings to defrock Lavigne, who recently completed a ten-year probation sentence.

from December 18, 2002.

How did that lawsuit turn out?

Attorneys Seek New Trial For Priest Convicted Of Abuse


KEENE, N.H. -- Lawyers for a former Keene priest convicted of sexually abusing three boys are questioning his main accuser's story and fighting to get him a new trial.

The Rev. Gordon MacRae was convicted in 1994 of sexually abusing boys in the 1980s. He has always maintained his innocence, and his attorneys said new statements from some who knew the main accuser cast doubt on the charges.

"We have information from these people that the church was seen at the time as almost as a cash machine," said attorney Robert Rosenthal. "You make an accusation and you can get a nice settlement, and the accuser here, as well as his relatives, did just that."

In the motion for a new trial filed by Rosenthal and attorney Carol Green, they said the accuser "had a reputation -- at least among the community of family and friends -- as a schemer and liar."

SNAP responds to ruling in the Diocese of LaCrosse

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 22, 2012

We are disappointed that the Diocese of LaCrosse was able to avoid responsibility for covering-up Ray Bornbach’s alleged crimes. Our hearts ache for Ms. Varga and the abuse she suffered.

We hope that despite the ruling yesterday, she is able to find justice by publicly exposing the wrongdoing by this predator and the Diocese. We hope that other victims of Bornbach or any priest from the Diocese of LaCrosse will now come forward and report their abuse.

Picking jurors in Phila. clergy abuse case likely to be a long slog


February 22, 2012
By Elizabeth Fiedler

Today lawyers and a judge continue to plod through jury selection in the Philadelphia Archdiocese abuse case. It could take weeks to pick the 12 jurors and 10 alternates to hear the case of two former parish priests charged with abuse, plus a former, ordained administrator charged with endangering children.

Jury selection in a high-profile, high-stakes case like this clergy abuse trial is "very, very, very hard," said Edward Ohlbaum, a professor of law at Temple University's School of Law.

He said it will be a real challenge to find jurors who are unaware of the grand jury investigation into abuse by Catholic clergy that led to these charges, or who don't have strong feelings about the general topic of abuse by clergy.

"The law doesn't require that somebody sit on the jury without opinions," Ohlbaum said. "But the law does say that if somebody has an opinion that favors one side or the other, that the opinion can not be fixed. We want people to be able to set aside their prejudices - because we all have them. And that's really a hard job to be able to set that aside."

Kansas City priest accused of molesting 4 brothers


By Carey Gillam

KANSAS CITY | Wed Feb 22, 2012

(Reuters) - Catholic leaders in Kansas City covered up years of sexual abuse of several young children by a priest who led a Christian organization for youth, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by four brothers who say they were victimized as children.

The lawsuit, one of more than two dozen pending in Kansas City alleging abuse by area priests, was filed in Jackson County Circuit Court in Kansas City, Missouri. It names Father John Tulipana and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph as defendants, alleging molestation dating to the 1970s and 1980s.

Tulipana resigned in 1994 after a 22-year career with the church when it became public that the Catholic Church paid his accusers and had them sign confidentiality agreements. Tulipana was not prosecuted criminally. He did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

Jury selection in Pa. priest abuse resumes


Published: Feb. 22, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Jury selection entered the second day Wednesday in the sex-abuse and child-endangerment trial of three Philadelphia priests, official said.

Six defense attorneys and three prosecutors spent much of the session examining questionnaires filled out by 250 potential jurors.

William Brennan, a defense attorney for the Rev. James J. Brennan, accused of sexually abusing a boy in the 1990s, told The Philadelphia Inquirer the jury selection could take weeks, indicating one potential juror who made the first cut had written on a questionnaire, "As a Catholic, I am disgusted by these allegations."

Manitoba Attorney Disbarred for Charging 55 Residential School Survivors $1 Million

Indian Country Today Media Network

First they were abused at residential school. Then they were each charged thousands in fees by the very attorney who was supposed to help them obtain redress.

Fifty-five residential school survivors in Manitoba are getting their due, reimbursed for a total of nearly $1 million in fees that Howard Tennenhouse charged them collectively for negotiating their compensation under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

Tennenhouse was disbarred on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to charging the survivors $932,501.80 as fees, APTN reported. This was in addition to the 15 percent that the government pays attorneys on each settled claim, and should only have been levied if approved by an adjudicator, according to CBC News.

He was allegedly using the money to buy foreign real estate, APTN said.

Former Montana Boy Scout leader sued for child sex abuse

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 22, 2012

We suspect that there are men in Montana right now who are suffering because they were hurt as kids by Davenport. We hope they'll find the strength and courage to step forward, call police, protect kids, expose wrongdoing and start healing.

We also hope that every person who has any information or suspicions that could shed light on these allegations will call police so that the full truth might become clear.

If you have knowledge or suspicions - however old, small or seemingly insignificant - about child sex crimes, it's your moral and civic duty to call police. Please summon the courage to do what's right, call law enforcement and hopefully prevent more devastated lives.

Clergy sex victims blast Canadian lawyer who stole

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on February 22, 2012

It's beyond heartbreaking that anyone would steal from deeply wounded adults who suffered so much as kids.

We hope this disgraceful lawyer will be hit with the most severe consequences possible and that there will be some kind of restitution.

WTF: Church Bans Children to Keep Pedophile Pastor?


Tuesday Feb 21, 2012 – by Britni Danielle

A church in Jacksonville, Florida is coming under fire for its controversial decision to ban children from its church services.

According to a local Jacksonville news affilate, Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church has banned children from attending Sunday services because their new pastor, Darrell Gilyard, is a registered sex offender and cannot have contact with children.

In 2009 Gilyard plead guilty to lewd conduct and lewd molestation of two underage girls. While he was the pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church Gilyard molested a 15-year-old girl and sent a lewd text message to another. Under the conditions of his plea agreement, Gilyard cannot have “unsupervised contact with children under 18 years old,” and his new church has taken extraordinary steps to help Gilyard stick to the terms of his deal.

Strong support for Schüller

Austrian Independent

A vast majority of Austrians approve a controversial group of Catholic priests’ demands.

Pollster Oekonsult said yesterday (Tues) 87 per cent of residents of the country welcome Helmut Schüller’s plan to go international with his Preachers’ Initiative. Schüller, who once headed Caritas Austria, established the initiative around half a year ago. The group says the Roman Catholic Church should allow preachers to ignore celibacy. The preachers also support liberal Catholics' appeal for women to hold sermons.

Oekonsult also found that 86 per cent of Austrians know the group organised by Schüller. The Probstdorf parish priest claims that 400 Austrian Catholic preachers joined his initiative in past months. He recently appealed to the Conference of Austrian Bishops to stop ordering more parishes to merge.


Catholic League

The Catholic League’s 2011 Annual Report on Anti-Catholicism is now available. It covers all the major issues that the Catholic League dealt with in 2011, along with many others that came to our attention.

The report covers the following areas: activist organizations; the arts; business/workplace; education; government; and the media.

There are special sections as well: our exposé of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP); our response to a Rolling Stone article and a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia; a reprint of our ads in defense of the Catholic Church that appeared in the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune; a lengthy analysis of the John Jay Report on Sexual Abuse; a detailed account of the attacks on Bishop Robert Finn by SNAP and the Kansas City Star; and a section on the War on Christmas.

Chief Whip refuses to name irate priest

Enniscorthy Guardian

Tuesday February 21 2012

CHIEF Whip Paul Kehoe has refused to identify the priest who gave him an ear bashing recently about the Government's decision not to post an Irish ambassador to the Vatican. However, the Minister of State confirmed that he was indeed on the receiving end of a complaint from a member of the clergy.

'It did happen,' commented Paul Kehoe who revealed that the criticism was voiced not at Mass but at what he called a 'function'. He was mystified as to how the matter came to have come to the attention of the national press and refused to elaborate any further on what occurred.

However, he was happy to say that he sympathised with the suggestion that the Republic of Ireland should have an embassy in the Vatican. He suggested that many members of Fine Gael share the concern expressed by the anonymous priest.

Former Read priest charged

The Intelligencer

By QMI Agency

Provincial police have charged a Roman Catholic priest who once served as parish priest in Read in connection to an incident dating to 2004.

Rene Paul Emile Labelle, 62, of Seeleys Bay, was charged Monday with sexual assault, sexual exploitation and invitation to sexual exploitation.

The charges relate to an incident alleged to have happened to a man who was a teenage boy in the summer of 2004.

Labelle was released from custody on a promise to appear.

Listecki to lead Ash Wednesday Mass at Pius XI in turbulent time for Catholics


MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee's Archbishop was to say Ash Wednesday Mass at a local Catholic high school, all amidst a combination of difficulty and celebration for the Archdiocese.

Archbishop Jerome Listecki was to hold Mass at Pius XI High School on Wednesday to mark the beginning of Lent.

The last several months have been tough for the Archdiocese, as the church filed for bankruptcy.

Less than two weeks ago, it lost a court hearing involving clergy sex abuse victims. A bankruptcy judge ruled that more than 550 sex abuse claims could proceed in court.

"It is clearly a victory for the survivors that have filed into this court," said Peter Isely, a spokesman for the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Clergy in German speaking countries divided over “Call to Disobedience”

Vatican Insider

An open war is going on in the German speaking Catholic world between liberals and conservatives, with numerous appeals and counter-appeals

Alessandro Alviani

The conflict between liberal and conservative currents in the German speaking Catholic world has led to “an open split” within the clergy. This is according to the latest issue of the German news magazine Der Spiegel. A communiqué published last week by the Network of Catholic Priests, a conservative group made up of approximately 500 parish priests, caused the clash that has been going on for months now to escalate. The communiqué, signed by Fathers Guido Rodheudt, Hendrick Jolie and Uwe Winkel as well as German, Austrian and Swiss priests, launches a harsh attack on the “Call to Disobedience” which was published last summer by the Priests’ Initiative, a liberal movement with roots in Austria, that is asking for a review of the Church’s stance on homosexuality, celibacy and women’s access to the priesthood. “The Priests’ Initiative is yet another sad symptom of the de facto schism that has existed under the bishop’s noses in German speaking territories,” the communiqué said. This schism “does not separate lay people from the clergy, or German speaking Countries from the Roman Curia,” but rather, those who accept the Church’s doctrine and system from those who are on the path towards “creating a Church of their own.”

The document strongly criticises the reaction of bishops to the Call to Disobedience amongst other things. The impression is that “bishops are afraid to speak frankly and prefer to look on as the Pope’s authority as pastor of the whole Church is undermined.” In German speaking Countries today, “those who draw attention to forms of liturgical and doctrinal disobedience are branded as “disloyal”, whilst those who launch appeals in favour of disobedience are courted” and receive more attention. This leads one to draw conclusions as to “the mental attitude of those who are responsible for German speaking dioceses.”

Pope wants new Nuncio to "solidify and strengthen the Holy See's relations with Ireland"

Vatican Insider

“Something new is indeed happening. I am convinced that the Lord is preparing something beautiful for his Church”, the new Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Brown, said in Dublin’s pro-Cathedral, after presenting his credentials to the President of Ireland

Gerard O'Connell

As he began his mission to Ireland, the new Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles J. Brown, delivered two messages. He said Pope Benedict XVI had sent him to “solidify and strengthen relations” between the Holy See and the Irish Republic and to assure the Irish people of his “great love for them” and his determination to combat the abuse of minors by clergy and assist victims.

He conveyed the first message when he presented his credentials to the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, on February 16, and he delivered the second when he preached in Dublin’s pro-Cathedral three days later.

The New York born archbishop arrived in Dublin on January 31, after being ordained bishop some weeks earlier by Pope Benedict, at whose side he had worked in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1994-2005.

SNAP blasts promotion of new bishop in Houston

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 21, 2012

It doesn't bode well that this new bishop has spent his entire career in an archdiocese that has a disturbing track record on child sex abuse and cover up. We are concerned about the promotion of Scheltz given his track record and those of his bosses.

In 2008, we named Cardinal Daniel DiNardo as one of the five worst Cardinals in the US church.

We pointed out then that he had mishandled cases both as the Archbishop in Houston and the Bishop in Sioux City, IA. Since then, he has done nothing to prove that he is able to properly handle clergy sex abuse cases.

Known child molesting clergyman put back in pulpit; SNAP responds

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 21, 2012

A Jacksonville TV station is reporting that Rev. Daryl Gilyard, a convicted child molester, is back in a Jacksonville pulpit. He is now working at Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church.

How reckless can Baptist officials be? They should be ashamed of themselves.

'Scandal' that reports on church child sex abuse still not complete

The Irish Times

It is “a scandal” that reviews of the handling of child abuse allegations in all 26 dioceses are not complete, six years after the National Board for Safeguarding Children was set up, Baroness Nuala O’Loan has said.

The former Northern Ireland police ombudsman yesterday praised the integrity of Ian Elliott of the national board but said the board was under-resourced.

“History tells us that there may today still be men in active ministry, against whom allegations were made, which were never investigated,” she said.

Jury process delayed in Philly priest case


[with video]

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - February 21, 2012 (WPVI) -- Jury selection has been delayed at least a day in the landmark priest sex-abuse trial of a longtime Roman Catholic church official in Philadelphia.

Monsignor William Lynn is the first U.S. church official charged for allegedly keeping accused priests in ministry.

The 61-year-old Lynn is scheduled for trial with the Rev. James Brennan and former priest Edward Avery, both charged with rape.

Jury selection may take several weeks. Lynn was in court with his lawyers Tuesday, when the court delayed the start of jury selection without explanation.

Boy Scouts sued over alleged sex abuse in Conn.

Miami Herald

Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Two men in their early 40s sued the Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday, claiming scouting officials failed to protect them from a sexually abusive scoutmaster in Connecticut when they were children in the mid-1980s.

The plaintiffs, identified only as John Roe 1 and John Roe 2, filed a negligence lawsuit in state court in New Haven against the national organization and its Connecticut Yankee Council chapter. They say they were sexually abused on several occasions by David "Dirk" Davenport when he was the leader of Troop 490 in Madison.

The men allege scouting officials knew or should have known that before Davenport came to Connecticut in 1983, he had been accused of molesting boys in Montana, Nebraska and Minnesota in the 1970s and early 1980s, sometimes when he was a scoutmaster in those states.

The lawsuit also claims the Boy Scouts officials kept confidential "perversion files" dating back to the 1920s that contained information on alleged pedophiles. The plaintiffs allege Boy Scouts officials knew scouting programs were being targeted by pedophiles, but they took no steps to protect boys or warn local troops, scouts or their families about the dangers.


Just Between Us


(Attorney Hale describes his representation of children allegedly sexually molested by officials in the Boy Scouts of America, and details legal attempts to make public that organization’s “perversion files.”)

Lawyer disbarred, pleads guilty to taking nearly $1 million from residential school survivors


By Kathleen Martens
APTN National News
WINNIPEG — Howard Lorne Tennenhouse was disbarred by the Law Society of Manitoba Tuesday after pleading guilty to taking nearly $1 million from 55 residential school survivors.

Complaints from the former students helped expose the Winnipeg lawyer. Tennenhouse was acting on their behalf in claims for compensation for abuse they suffered as children at Indian Residential Schools.

It’s the first time anyone at the disciplinary hearing, conducted at the Law Society’s Winnipeg offices, had heard of a lawyer losing his licence to practice law for over-charging residential school survivors.

Hundreds of lawyers across Canada are working with thousands of survivors as part of the Independent Assessment Process of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The process compensates survivors for sexual and the worst physical abuse suffered at the church-run schools.

Lawyer disbarred in fee grab

Winnipeg Free Press

By: Alexandra Paul

Posted: 02/22/2012

His law career finished after being disbarred for overcharging residential school victims, Howard Tennenhouse was anything but contrite as he lashed out at the fate he had been dealt Tuesday.

In a call to the Free Press after the Law Society of Manitoba meted out his punishment, the former lawyer, who pleaded guilty to professional misconduct, argued he was the real victim of the case, not his clients.

He criticized the law society, the federal residential school compensation agency and the media -- and even suggested his clients were somehow responsible for his troubles.

"What I'm upset about is I had to (be) disbarred and slammed in the media as someone who was stealing from the Indians, when that's not what I did," Tennenhouse said in a telephone interview.

Lawyer gets turfed

The Province

A Winnipeg lawyer has permanently lost his licence to practise law after pleading guilty to overcharging residential school survivors who were owed compensation for abuse they suffered as children.

And those adults - all 55 of them - will get every penny they are owed.

Native school survivors' lawyer disbarred

CBC News

A Winnipeg lawyer has been stripped of his licence to practise law because he overcharged 55 former residential school students of almost $1 million.

Howard Tennenhouse pleaded guilty on Tuesday to professional misconduct for taking more than $950,000 in excess fees from former students he represented in federal compensation claims.

The Law Society of Manitoba, which disbarred Tennenhouse, said all former students will be reimbursed, either by Tennenhouse himself or by the society.

Allan Fineblit, the law society's chief executive officer, said half of the money has already been recovered and cheques will be going to the affected survivors as soon as possible.

Archdiocese seeks court ruling to refute abuse allegation

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Feb. 21, 2012

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee signaled Tuesday that it will move to deny an assertion by a victims' attorney that claims filed in its bankruptcy detail 8,000 incidents of sexual abuse and name as many as 100 offenders not previously identified by the archdiocese.

The move comes a day after nine legislators asked Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to investigate the alleged offenses and anyone who might have concealed sex crimes against children.

Attorneys for the archdiocese on Tuesday filed a motion calling the assertion by attorney Jeffrey Anderson misleading and said it appears to compromise the confidentiality order issued by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley to protect victims who seek anonymity.

The archdiocese is seeking a clarification of the order so it can respond to Anderson's allegations without identifying victims.

Advocate group protests former Atlanta priest

CBS Atlanta

[with video]

By Bernard Watson

Father Robert Poandl is a longtime Catholic Priest - but Judy Jones says he's also a child predator.

"It is clear that he is a danger to kids," said Jones, an Associate Director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "He should not be put out there in these small parishes."

Last week Poandl, who was once assigned to the Archdiocese Atlanta, was relieved of his duties in Savannah after he was accused of sexual misconduct that allegedly took place nearly 30 years ago. It is the second allegation against the priest in three years. In 2010, a West Virginia judge dropped child molestation charges against Poandl because of procedural issues. Poandl maintains he is not guilty. SNAP said the church should not have allowed Poandl to continue working.

"It is totally inexcusable. If someone in a corporate environment had committed crimes within the corporation, not necessarily something that was going to be picked up by law enforcement, they would have been fired on the first offense, not the second offense," said Steven Spaner, who is with SNAP.

Vatican whistleblower on Italian TV

Edmonton Journal

February 22, 2012

A private Italian channel said it will broadcast Wednesday an interview with a man who claims to have leaked confidential documents from the Vatican as an "act of anger."

A spate of leaks has hit the Vatican in recent weeks, with media publishing letters from a whistleblower alleging rampant corruption, as well as accusing the Vatican bank of failing to implement laws against money laundering.

2 former Madison residents file lawsuit over sex abuse while in the Boy Scouts

Middletown Press

By Alexandra Sanders, Register Staff
asanders@nhregister.com / Twitter: @asanders88

MADISON — Two former residents filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that they were sexually abused by a local Troop 490 scoutmaster when they were Boy Scouts in the mid-1980s.

The lawsuit, filed against the Boy Scouts of America on a national level and the Connecticut Yankee Council, alleges that the two men were sexually abused over a year and a half when the boys were 13 to 15 years old by David “Dirk” Davenport when he was their scoutmaster, and BSA did nothing to prevent the alleged incidents from occurring.

The abuse allegedly occurred on multiple occasions in 1983 and 1984, often in connection with scouting activities at Davenport’s home; St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Madison, where scout meetings occurred; and at Camp Deer Lake in Killingworth, a Boy Scout camp.

Giving child sex abuse victims more time to sue abusers

Radio Iowa

February 21, 2012 By O. Kay Henderson

Iowans who were sexually abused as children would have more time to file a lawsuit against their alleged abuser if a bill pending in the Iowa Senate becomes law.

Today, someone who was sexually abused as a child must file a lawsuit against their alleged abuser after they turn 18 — and before they turn 19. Bill LaHay of Des Moines says when he was a child, he was abused by a Catholic priest and he’s urging legislators to change the law.

“Anything that offers a person — a survivor, a victim — more time to come to terms with that is a good thing,” LaHay says.

Under the bill, victims of child sexual abuse would have nine more years to file a lawsuit against their abuser seeking damages — right up until the victim reaches the age of 29. LaHay says few 18-year-olds understand the consequences of the abuse they may have suffered as a child.

Jury selection begins in church sex abuse trial

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
Inquirer Staff Writer

Lawyers and a judge on Tuesday launched what they say could be a monthlong effort to impanel a jury to decide the fate of three Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests accused of endangering or molesting children.

About 250 prospective jurors completed the first step - a questionnaire on their backgrounds, beliefs, and ability to serve.

Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina canceled an afternoon session so she could review the first batch of surveys. She did not explain her decision, but ordered prosecutors and defense attorneys to resume the process in court Wednesday.

Final claim dismissed in diocese fraud suit

LaCrosse Tribune

Chris Hubbuch | chubbuch@lacrossetribune.com | Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A judge dismissed the last of three legal claims Tuesday against the Roman Catholic Diocese of La Crosse in a 2008 lawsuit that accused the diocese of covering up sex abuse allegations against a priest.

In keeping with his earlier rulings, La Crosse County Circuit Judge Scott Horne said the plaintiff, Brenda Varga, failed to demonstrate fraud and that her attorneys shaded facts in their complaint to get before the courts and fish for more information to support "a questionable lawsuit."

The diocese issued a statement saying in part, "This case illustrates the procedural difficulties in allowing the filing of old claims, particularly where plaintiff's lawyers are willing to make misrepresentations of fact to the court. ... The willingness to take liberties with the requisite facts in a case such as this does not further, and in fact deprecates, founded and credible claims of sexual assault and fraud."

February 21, 2012

Group Protests Priest Over Sex Abuse Allegations


[with video]

CINCINNATI - Members of a support group called SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) protested at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral on Tuesday.

They want Cincinnati's Archbishop Dennis Schnurr to denounce or discipline Father Robert Poandl, who they claim sexually abused at least two boys.

"We're not here to start a fight with the Cincinnati Archbishop, but to work cooperatively and call on them to do as much as they can to reach out to other victims of Father Poandl," said SNAP president Daniel Frondorf.

Police charge priest


GANANOQUE - The OPP charged a Roman Catholic priest in connection to an alleged sex assault dating back to 2004.

Rene Paul Emile Labelle, 62, of Seeley's Bay was charged Monday.

Labelle was charged with sexual assault, sexual exploitation and invitation to sexual exploitation.

The charges relate to an alleged incident against a then teenage boy in the summer of 2004.

Third charge dismissed in Diocese of La Crosse abuse case

News 8000

LA CROSSE, Wis. -- A La Crosse County judge dismisses a third charge against the Diocese of La Crosse in a case that accused them of covering up a priest who allegedly had a history of child abuse.

In a civil case that began in 2008, Brenda Varga said she was assaulted by Father Raymond Bornbach in 1971, and that the Diocese knew Bornbach had a history of abuse, but did nothing about it.
Bornbach was removed from the ministry in 2004, and died in 2006.

Judge Scott Horne dismissed the third and final charge of negligent misrepresentation at a hearing Tuesday afternoon.

Nach Missbrauch setzt Kloster Mehrerau auf Verjährung

Der Standard

21. Februar 2012 17:43

Bregenz - Das Kloster Mehrerau reagiert auf die Schadenersatzklage eines ehemaligen Schülers mit Verjährungseinwand. Der heute 57-Jährige war in den 1960er-Jahren von einem Geistlichen mehrfach vergewaltigt worden. Die Klage auf Schmerzensgeld und Verdienstentgang ist die erste zivilrechtliche Klage eines Missbrauchsopfers, strafrechtliche Verfahren gegen den von mehreren Männern beschuldigten Geistlichen waren wegen Verjährung eingestellt worden.

Jury process delayed in Philly priest case

York Dispatch

The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA—Jury selection has been delayed at least a day in the landmark priest sex-abuse trial of a longtime Roman Catholic church official in Philadelphia.
Monsignor William Lynn is the first U.S. church official charged for allegedly keeping accused priests in ministry.

The 61-year-old Lynn is scheduled for trial with the Rev. James Brennan and former priest Edward Avery, both charged with rape.

Jury selection may take several weeks. Lynn was in court with his lawyers Tuesday, when the court delayed the start of jury selection without explanation.

They are due back in court Wednesday.

Priests for Life in $608,000 debt, faces financial peril

National Catholic Reporter

by Tom Gallagher on Feb. 21, 2012 NCR Today

In another urgent fundraising letter dated February 2012, Priests for Life is seeking $608,000 "in the next two weeks in to pay bills that are now over 90 days old."

Fr. Frank Pavone, the embattled national director of Priests for Life, states that the "financial problem we're facing is the combination of two things, really; neither of which we had any control over."

In this missive, Pavone drops from his letterhead the role of national director of the Gospel of Life Ministries.

The two outside factors that have put Priests for Life in this critical situation are the economy and donors reneging on paying their pledges, he writes.

Markham case moves forward

The Daily News

By NIKKI YOUNK - Staff Writer, The Daily News

MARINETTE, Wis. - The criminal case against a Niagara, Wis. man accused of sexual assault and battery is moving forward.

According to the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access website, Harold Markham was arraigned in Marinette County Court on Monday. His next scheduled court appearance is a status conference on March 30.

Markham, 46, faces one felony count of repeated sexual assault of a child, one misdemeanor count of battery, and one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.

Arrest of Out of State Pastor...

SNAP Wisconsin

Arrest of Out of State Pastor for Child Sex Crimes Underscores Legislators Request to AG to Investigate New Abuse Claims

February 21, 2012

Statement by John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director
CONTACT 414.336.8575

The former pastor of a Michigan church, Harold Markham, who was arraigned in Marinette County Court on Monday on charges of repeated sexual assault of a child in Wisconsin, illustrates the obvious, but overlooked fact that a significant number of sex offenders cross state lines. If convicted of the charges Markham faces 41 years in prison. Markham, a resident of Wisconsin, was working as a pastor at Norway Baptist Church in nearby Norway, Michigan. Sexual predators, of course, likely have more than one victim, and it is possible that Markham, like many child predators, has victims residing in multiple states.

Significantly, Pastor Markham is not the only out of state offender who has faced justice in Wisconsin in recent years. Even though Markham’s alleged offenses are more recent, the state of Wisconsin has a little known “fleeing sex offender law” which allows prosecution of sexual predators who commit child rape or sexual assault and then flee the state, regardless of when their crimes occurred. If there is time left on the criminal statute, in other words, and the offender crosses state lines, the time left on the statute effectively “tolls” or “freezes”. This provision, which was upheld by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2008, has resulted in the prosecution of at least 22 clergy during the past decade.

The significance of Wisconsin’s fleeing sex offender law was highlighted this week by a group of Wisconsin legislators who have issued a letter to Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen urging him to launch an investigation into the reported 8,000 child sexual assaults that were perpetrated against children in the archdiocese of Milwaukee. The crimes, documented in claims filed by victim/survivors in the archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy case, reveal that there are at least 100 alleged offenders, 75 of them priests, who have not been publically identified by church officials. It is likely that a number of these offenders were transferred out of Wisconsin before the statute of limitations expired on their criminal acts and they could still face prosecution.

Serious allegations require serious investigation

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Ernst-Ulrich Franzen for the Editorial Board

Feb. 21, 2012

The allegations of what is in documents filed in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy are serious: 8,000 alleged sex offenses and as many as 100 previously unidentified offenders. And although the allegations cannot be independently verified because the documents are sealed, they deserve serious investigation, at the very least to determine if they are true.

That's why nine Democratic lawmakers were right Monday to call on the state's attorney general to investigate the allegations. It is possible that in those alleged 8,000 offenses and 100 possible offenders, there are cases that could still be prosecuted, and if there are, the state should prosecute with vigor. It may be the case that all cases are beyond the statute of limitations but it is worth an investigation to make sure.

The Journal Sentinel's Annysa Johnson reported Tuesday that the nine sent a letter to Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, calling the allegations, if true, "nothing short of a public safety crisis." And they asked him to investigate the alleged perpetrators and anyone who may have concealed a sex crime against a child.

New papal envoy to Ireland "insults" victims & Catholics, SNAP says

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 20, 2012

Archbishop Brown's comments about his boss are an insult to Catholics and victims. It's probably good for Brown's career to publicly praise Pope Benedict for his alleged work on the church's on-going heinous child sex abuse and cover up crisis. But it's just not accurate.

If Pope Benedict has been, as Brown claims, "relentless and consistent" in ousting pedophile priests, where's the evidence? We can think of one such child molesting cleric against whom Benedict has belated and begrudgingly taken some action: Fr. Marcial Maciel. Despite decades of widely-documented crimes and corruption, the Pope told Maciel to live "a life of prayer and penance." That's it.

And how about those thousands of other church employees who have ignored or concealed suspicions or knowledge of dreadful child sex crimes? What has Benedict done about any of them? Nothing.

The 2001 edict, telling bishops to report abuse cases to Rome, was as much or more about damage control than anything else. Imagine how many thousands of kids would have been spared devastating horror had then-Cardinal Ratzinger pushed for and won an edict telling bishops to report abuse cases to police and prosecutors instead.

Disgraced American Bishop was honored guest at Ireland’s Vatican Embassy

Irish Central

IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A shamed American cleric was wined and dined at the Irish embassy in the Vatican – less than 10 years after he was forced to resign as Archbishop of Boston in a clerical sex abuse scandal.

Cardinal Bernard Law attended a number of farewell parties for Irish and British diplomats at the Embassy, recently closed down by the Dublin government.

A row is still ongoing in Ireland over the decision to shut the embassy to the Holy See with Fine Gael back-benchers campaigning to reverse the ruling.

Now the news that Cardinal Law was regularly feted at the embassy has caused outrage amongst support groups for those abused by Catholic Church clerics in Ireland.

Kids turned away from church


A Northside church has been at the center of a controversy for nearly a month since allowing a registered sex offender to return to the pulpit.

In 2009, Darrell Gilyard pleaded guilty to lewd conduct and lewd molestation. The victims were underage girls in his congregation at Shiloh Baptist Church.

In the past few weeks, Gilyard began preaching at Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church on the Northside. His new position drew protests from other pastors and the New Black Panther Party.

Lawmakers call for state investigation into church sex-abuse


MADISON (WSAU) Nine Democratic state lawmakers have asked the Justice Department to investigate an attorney's claim that eight-thousand sex offenses were committed by people connected with the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese. At a court hearing last week, Jeff Anderson said up to 100 previously undisclosed offenders committed the crimes. If it's true, the legislators said it's nothing short of a "public safety crisis." And they said the hiding of the offenses might have resulted in hundreds of other abuses against children as well.

Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck says the agency will review the lawmakers' request. Anderson made the allegation to a judge investigating compensation claims by over 570 victims of sex abuse by priests. Those claims were made as part of the church's Chapter-11 bankrtupcy reorganization. Peter Isley of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said he would welcome a Justice Department review.

Jury selection begins in priests’ case

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
Inquirer Staff Writer

Jury selection began this morning in the historic child-endangerment and sex-abuse case against three clerics from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

As many as 250 prospective jurors will fill out a questionnaire today as part of selection process that could take as long as a month.

Twelve jurors and 10 alternates are expected to be chosen for the trial, whose opening arguments are scheduled for March 26, with Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina presiding.

On trial will be a former church official, a priest and an ex-priest.

Paul Babeu, conservative Arizona sheriff, now openly gay

Independent Voter Network

Posted 02/21/2012 by Bob Morris

This is one of those bombshell stories with multiple facets that branch off into all manner of areas: gay rights, immigration & border control, potential abuse of power, sexual assault by a priest, and a mediagenic sheriff about to run for Congress.

Late last week, Phoenix New Times broke a major story saying that Pinal County AZ Sheriff Paul Babeu had a gay sex affair with a Mexican (known only as Jose, for privacy). They broke up, and Jose now claims that Babeu threatened him with deportation. Babeu quickly held a press conference strongly denying the allegations but also said “I am gay.”

Students of crisis management and damage control take note. Babeu did this part right. Regardless of how the serious charges of abuse of power turn out, Babeu did not dodge, evade, or obfuscate about his sexuality. By stating pointblank he is gay, he saved himself weeks of pointless denials and defused at least that part of the crisis. For a public figure to do that is commendable. For a sharply conservative, immigration border hawk sheriff in Arizona to do so is rather extraordinary.

It should be noted that Babeu is not a hypocrite when it comes to his sexuality as he appears to have never made any anti-gay statements publicly. Babeu and his boyfriend met in 2006 on gay.com, a dating website. Jose says Babeu claimed he loved him and wasn’t seeing anyone else, but Jose soon suspected him of cheating. So he set up an account on another gay dating website under the assumed name of Matt and contacted Babeu, who was also on the site. He showed Phoenix New Times photos Babeu sent to him as Matt, some of which showed Babeu naked from the waist down.

Midwest couple drives to Georgia to protest priest

CBS Atlanta

By Bernard Watson

A Missouri couple is in Atlanta Tuesday to protest a Catholic priest accused of child sex abuse.

The couple, who are members of Survivors Network of those Abuse by Priests, said they want to draw attention to a priest who has been suspended from the Georgia Catholic Parishes for the second time in three years because of child sex allegations.

SNAP plans to host a news conference outside Christ The King Cathedral in downtown Atlanta.

CBS Atlanta news reporter Bernard Watson is heading to the news conference.


Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 21 February 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. George A. Sheltz of the clergy of the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, U.S.A., vicar general, chancellor and moderator of the Curia, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 23,257, population 5,811,010, Catholics 1,146,908, priests 427, permanent deacons 357, religious 687). The bishop-elect was born in Houston in 1946 and ordained a priest in 1971. He has served as pastor of various parishes of his diocese, and as director of the Secretariat for Clergy and Chaplains.


Giza Death Star

February 21, 2012 By Joseph P. Farrell

My friend George Ann Hughes of The Byte Show forwarded me this disturbing article:

Shining light on Baptist clergy sex abuse

We have all, of course, heard by now of the rampant sexual abuse of children within the Roman Catholic Church, and of the attempts by some of its clergy to exercise influence to cover it up, with allegations of this attempted cover-up going all the way up to the Vatican itself. Indeed, the late Fr. Malachi Martin wrote of this practice in conjunction with ritual abuse and a hidden network of co-opted clergy practicing it in his last book, the novel Windswept House. For those able to read between the lines of Fr. Martin’s novel, it, like his other great fictionalized account of ecclesiastical politics, Vatican, pulls the veil back on a church riddled with factions, networks, infiltrators, and pederasts.

Now it seems there are rumors of similar widespread scandals within the various denominations of the Baptist religion. What one wonders is, where is the outrage of the media here? The Catholic Church, rightly, has been the focus of mainstream media attention and outrage for the scandals that have rocked it for the past two decades, but where’s the outraged mainstream national media coverage of similar scandals in other churches? To my knowledge, there has been very little. Of course, every now and then, we are treated to stories of famous evangelical preachers being given the “outrage” treatment, but we are not led to believe that it is a widespread problem, but the occasional moral”hiccup”.

But this website belies the idea that such abuse is “occasional”, but rather, is more widespread than might be suspected. And that raises a significant question: Just why is such abuse so widespread within not just the Catholic Church, but by implication, within so many churches? Why, every few years or so, are we told about stories of child-sex rings: the Franklin Scandal, the recent Penn State allegations, and on and on?

New auxiliary bishop named to Galveston-Houston archdiocese

Houston Chronicle

A Houston native has been named the new auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Monsignor George Arthur Sheltz, 65, will be introduced at 10 a.m. today as the new auxiliary bishop, according to a diocesan release. The archdiocese has been without an auxiliary bishop since March 2010.

Sheltz, who has been a priest since 1971, will assist Cardinal Daniel DiNardo in overseeing the 1.2 million Catholics across 10 counties in the Houston area.

Boston Archdiocese Bloated Payroll: Inaction

Boston Catholic Insider

BCI obviously struck a raw nerve with our last post, “Bloated Payroll” about the 17 people earning more than $150K a year. We continue today with a brief recap on that post, and then below our commentary on how the Boston Archdiocese has managed to delay acting on this problem for years and continues to delay.

By means of a recap from last time, the annual report for the 2011 fiscal year (page 83), says the number of people making $150K or more in that fiscal year was 17. In the 2006 Annual Report, there were just 2 people in the Chancery paid more than $150K. So the number of people making $150K or more per year has increased by more than 8X since 2006.

In addition, the total compensation paid to people making more than $150K has also increased by a factor of about 9X since 2006. The Boston Archdiocese is paying about $3,500,000 in such salaries today vs $373,000 in 2006–$3.1 million more to people making $150K+ a year. The archdiocese has a fiduciary responsibility to be a good steward of donor funds, and this does not appear to be happening.

Advocate: Christie Must Act on Delbarton Scandal


By Michael Daigle

An activist who has publicized accusations of sexual misconduct at Delbarton School says he's called on Gov. Chris Christie for help addressing the allegations, but gotten no reply.

On Jan. 23, Patrick Marker wrote a notarized letter to Christie, himself a parent of Delbarton students, requesting the governor take action regarding Delbarton and its sponsor, St. Mary's Abbey. He said the governor should appoint a special prosecutor to “conduct interviews and review abbey personnel files, Abbey Review Board notes, and Delbarton School files for any indication of conspiracy, deception, corruption and intimidation.”

It's been a month, and Marker said he's gotten no response. Calls to Christie's office this week by Patch went unanswered as well.

Marker, of Washington, DC, created and maintains UndertheGreenWave.com. On it, he discusses accusations of impropriety at Delbarton, including one that has resulted in an investigation of the school's former headmaster, the Rev. Luke Travers.

The Church's scandals are having serious repercussions on Christians in India

Vatican Insider

Interview with Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo on the faith situation in India: "I can see and feel churches getting emptier. It is vital therefore for us to stay united and close the Pope"

Fabio Marchese Ragona

“Whoever does a thing like this is not a real Christian. Here in India we were really sad to hear about the letters.” The comment was made by 72 year old Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi, in North-Eastern India, who spoke with a steady voice and a tone that sounded almost reproachful. According to the latest report published by the Catholic Secular Forum, 2141 Christians suffered violence, persecution and discrimination in India, in 2011. The cardinal came to Rome to take part in the consistory called by Pope Benedict XVI. He said this was a great moment of celebration with the Holy Father and the 22 newly created cardinals, but at the same time, it is a moment to reflect on the events going on in the Roman Curia.

So, Eminence, the news about the Secretariat of State’s leaked letters has reached India as well?

Yes, the news reached us very quickly and we were greatly saddened by it. Whoever is responsible for this does not lead a true Christian life.

Did cardinals in the consistory talk about it at all?

Many of the older cardinals spoke about it and said on a number of occasions: “We stand by the Pope.” But it is not just a matter of talking about unity. It also needs to be put into practice. Otherwise what is the point in us being created cardinals? Certainly in order to stand by the Pope and help him in the administration of the universal church.

Local Parishioners Encouraged by Decision to Reopen Adams Church


By Ray Hershel

(HOLYOKE, Mass.) (WGGB)–Parishioners of closed churches in the Springfield area are applauding a decision to keep an Adams church open.

They say what happened in Adams gives them hope for the future.

Parishioners at St. Stanislaus parish in Adams are thrilled.

The long fight to keep their church open was successful.

The diocese approved a plan to reopen St Stanislaus as a chapel mission of the parish.

Map: Detroit Archiocese reveals plans

Detroit Free Press

Martha Thierry, Graphic Artist


The archdiocese maintains that some church closings and mergers are needed because of the severe priest shortage, population shifts and financial necessity. Here is a quick look at which churches will close, merge and cluster in the coming years. By the end of the year, 214 additional parishes, not included here will submit plans to the archdiocese to collaborate, cluster and potentially merge or close down the road.

Replacement minister stays on to help in healing

Kennebec Journal


GARDINER -- With the help of Rev. George Lambert, Christ Episcopal Church is recovering from the investigation and suspension of its minister.

Rev. Jacob Fles was placed on a two-year suspension after he was found to have engaged in sexual misconduct consisting of "inappropriate language and interpersonal boundary violations."

Fles had been placed on paid administrative leave since late September 2011 while the Episcopal Diocese of Maine investigated allegations of sexual misconduct, financial impropriety and improper clergy conduct. The investigation found no evidence of financial misconduct.

Lambert has been conducting Sunday services since October. Then in January, Bishop Stephen Lane asked him to stay on as priest in charge.

31 Catholic parishes face consolidation

The Detroit News

[reorganization plan]

By Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — Archbishop Allen Vigneron said Monday he hopes a sweeping restructure of local Catholic parishes will result in stable churches that are able to evangelize and get more people back into the pews.

Under the changes to the Archdiocese of Detroit's 267 parishes, two churches will close by year-end and 31 will merge by 2013.

Additionally, seven parishes will merge within the next four years as a result of the reorganization given final approval by Vigneron.

Six other parishes will have to submit "acceptable" debt repayment plans by June or be forced to close or merge with another nearby parish. Seven others have cluster arrangements that are still being worked out. In all, 53 parishes are affected.

Patriarch Of Family Accused Of Sex Crimes Released


LIBERTY, Mo. -- The patriarch of a family accused in a western Missouri sex crimes case was ordered released on his own recognizance Friday, pending his trial on charges that he and four of his sons molested young relatives three decades ago.

A judge released Burrell Mohler Sr., 79, on an own recognizance bond, which obligates him to show up for further court proceedings. It will be the first time Mohler has been free since November 2009, when he and four of his sons were accused of sexually assaulting the young girls for several years at the family's rural farm. The alleged victims, who said they'd repressed the memories, said some of them were forced as children into marriages with the men.

Mohler's attorney, Kimberly Benjamin, argued that he has been "rotting in jail" with serious health issues while his trial continues to be delayed.

*EXCLUSIVE REPORT* Alarming New Evidence May Exonerate Imprisoned Priest

The Media Report

[Click here to read this man's signed statement]

Dave Pierre

Eye-popping new evidence is shining a new light on one of the most disputed cases of the entire Catholic Church abuse narrative.

Rev. Gordon J. MacRae and his attorneys have filed a motion for a new trial in New Hampshire based on astonishing new declarations.

The motion for a new trial contains multiple, uncollaborated signed statements from a number of people who were close to accuser Thomas Grover at the time Fr. MacRae's 1994 criminal trial, and these statements indicate that Grover perpetrated a massive fraud in falsely accusing the cleric of abuse.

1. The motion contains an astonishing 2008 signed statement from the former stepson of accuser Grover, who was in the company of Grover for a period of years before, during, and after Fr. MacRae's 1994 criminal trial:

"[O]ver a number of months and years, Thomas Grover discussed the sex abuse allegations of [Father] Gordon MacRae with me. Grover often stated to me that he was going to set MacRae and the church up to gain money for sexual abuse. Grover would laugh and joke about this scheme …

"On several occasions Grover told me that he had never been molested by MacRae.

Benedict’s ‘theology of saints’ offers a way to spiritual healing for abuse victims

Catholic News Agency

By Dawn Eden

An Irish woman made headlines last week when, as the first clergy-abuse victim ever to address a Vatican conference, she expressed hope that the Church might “become a leader in child protection.”

Speaking to a reporter prior to addressing the “Towards Healing and Renewal” symposium at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, Marie Collins said, “If the Catholic Church can become a leader in child protection, in the world, then it would be a start towards this terrible evil being controlled.”

With those words, Collins revealed what is truly at stake in responding to the abuse crisis. The sins committed against children in the Church represent the intrusion of a wider culture in which the dignity of the human person is routinely violated. Healing the Church is the necessary precursor to healing the culture. Developing an authentically Catholic pastoral approach to healing from abuse is the missing piece of the Church’s efforts to spread the gospel of life.

Former Provo LDS Bishop avoids arrest warrant by fleeing to Venezuela


Reported by: Don Hudson

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Police say a man who was accused of sexual abuse in Utah County is avoiding the law in Venezuela.

Eneudo Petit was an LDS bishop when he was accused of sexual abuse of two minor girls who are related to him. ABC 4 News has obtained his graphic, seven page arrest warrant that details the charges and allegations. To learn even more about the situation we also spoke to police and to people who know the 39-year-old wanted man.

One of those we spoke to is Ryan Ostler of Springville. "People like this need to be caught and brought to justice and punished for the things that they do." Ostler knows Petit because he served with him as a counselor of an LDS ward in Provo. "People respect Bishop's and find it hard to believe that something this atrocious could be done by someone that everybody trusted." Ostler says he served with Petit for two years and shared a lot of experiences - including one situation that is eerily similar to what Petit is charged with today. "A young girl came into his office and said that her uncle was molesting her."

Prelate forced to resign over sex cover-up

Irish Independent

[Disgraced cardinal was guest at Vatican embassy]

By Cormac McQuinn and John Cooney

Tuesday February 21 2012

Cardinal Bernard Law, once one of the most influential members of the clergy in the US, was born in Mexico to American parents in 1931.

He attended Harvard University in the 1950s and was later ordained a priest at the age of 30.

As a young priest in Mississippi he was involved in the civil rights movement to end racial segregation in the 1960s.

He was first appointed a bishop in Missouri in 1973. Said to have been a close ally to Pope John Paul II, he was later appointed as Archbishop of Boston, the fourth largest diocese in the US, in 1984 and became a cardinal a year later.

Katholische Kirche muss weltweit 1,5 Milliarden Euro zahlen

Der Standard

In Österreich wurden Zahlungen in der Höhe von 6,4 Millionen Euro zuerkannt

Eine Welle an Enthüllungen sexueller Missbrauchsfälle erschütterte im Jahr 2010 die katholische Kirche weltweit. In Irland, Deutschland, Italien und nicht zuletzt auch in Österreich meldeten sich zahlreiche Opfer. Den Anfang machten Enthüllungen der Murphy-Kommission im November 2009. Im Auftrag des irischen Justizministeriums wurden, unter der Leitung der Richterin Yvonne Murphy, Missbrauchsfälle in der Erzdiözese Dublin öffentlich untersucht. Man kam zu dem folgenschweren Ergebnis, dass landesweit über Jahre hinweg mehr als 2.000 Kinder in kirchlichen Einrichtungen misshandelt, geschlagen oder sexuell missbraucht worden waren.

Disgraced cardinal was guest at Vatican embassy

Irish Independent

By Cormac McQuinn

Tuesday February 21 2012

A CARDINAL who was forced to resign as Archbishop of Boston over a child sex abuse cover-up scandal attended parties at Ireland's Vatican Embassy last year.

Disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law attended farewell bashes for the Irish and British ambassadors in Ireland's former embassy to the Holy See, the lavish Villa Spada mansion.

The revelation that such a controversial figure was an honoured guest in the embassy just last year comes as the row over its closure continues to rage.

And it will anger victims of abuse after a string of reports into child sex abuse by the clergy in this country have been released in recent years.

Murió el ex arzobispo Edgardo Storni

La Nacion

SANTA FE.- El ex arzobispo de Santa Fe monseñor Edgardo Gabriel Storni murió ayer a los 75 años en La Falda, Córdoba, donde se había recluido poco después de su renuncia, en 2002, envuelto en un escándalo por supuesto abuso sexual denunciado por ex seminaristas.

Había nacido el 6 de abril de 1936. Se ordenó sacerdote en 1961 y fue nombrado obispo titular en 1976. En 1984, asumió la diócesis de Santa Fe, tras la muerte de Vicente Zazpe.

Falleció en Córdoba monseñor Edgardo Storni, juzgado por abuso sexual

Cadena 3

El ex arzobispo de Santa Fe, monseñor Edgardo Gabriel Storni, falleció ayer en la ciudad de Córdoba, a los 75 años, según confirmaron a Cadena 3 desde el Sanatorio Allende, donde se encontraba internado.

Storni fue investigado por orden del propio Vaticano en 1984, al recibirse denuncias de 47 seminaristas que lo acusaban por acoso sexual.

Murió monseñor Edgardo Storni, ex arzobispo acusado de abuso sexual

La Capital

La Falda.— El ex arzobispo de Santa Fe monseñor Edgardo Gabriel Storni, quien en 2009 fuera condenado por abuso sexual, falleció ayer a los 75 años en una casa de retiro de esta ciudad cordobesa, donde residía desde enero de 2003.

Fuentes eclesiásticas confirmaron que Storni murió a las 17.30 en la casa donde residía desde que había sido aceptada su renuncia por las acusaciones en su contra por abuso sexual.

Former Archbishop accused of sexual abuse dies

Buenos Aires Herald

Santa Fe’s former Archbishop Edgardo Storni, who was accused of aggravated sexual abuse, died at 75 years old at La Falda City, Córdoba province.

Storni was Archbishop of Santa Fe City until October 1 of 2002, when he tendered his resignation before the Pope John Paul II after being charged for sexually abusing seminarists.

In 2002, the Archbishop resigned and sent a letter to the Pope stating that he did not accept “blames” or “accusations.”

Three months later, Storni pleaded not guilty before the Judiciary and was replaced by the current head of the Argentina Episcopate José María Arancedo.

Cops probe claim that ... 73-y-o deacon fondles child at church

Jamaica Star

Rasbert Turner, Star Writer
Police yesterday charged a 73-year-old deacon with breaches of the Child Care and Protection Act after he was accused of having sex with an 11-year-old girl at the church where they both attend.

The senior, who had been under investigations following an incident last December, is alleged to have attempted to bribe the child with sweets and $50 for her to keep quiet about the alleged assault.

He has been charged with sexually grooming a child, sexually touching a child and having sex with a person under the age of 16.

Police said the senior church member was charged following an investigation by detectives at the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse.

In conversation: Thomas Collins


by Brian Bethune on Monday, February 20, 2012

Guelph, Ont.-born Thomas Collins, archbishop of Toronto, is among 22 prelates joining the College of Cardinals in Rome on Feb. 18, placing him among the governing elite of the Roman Catholic Church.

Q: You are both a pastor and a politician. Does that make it difficult to talk to the media?

A: I suppose it does. You’re always concerned that [what you say] be expressed the right way, and that’s a constant issue.

Q: You are about to become one of the Pope’s advisers in governing the worldwide Church. What are the major issues facing it?

A: Because it is a worldwide Church, that varies from place to place. In Toronto, where the mass is celebrated every Sunday in 37 different languages, we have people from all over the world, and so many of them are facing persecution. That’s one of the key issues. For some years we have had a refugee office to help people. That goes to the origins of our diocese, which was founded that way in 1847 when people fleeing the Irish famine—not exactly persecution but certainly hardship—came here, 40,000 immigrants in the summer of 1847. Our first bishop, Michael Power, working with the Anglican community as well, was really the driving force behind organizing the response. ...

Q: For outsiders at least, the sexual abuse of children by clergy, and the Church’s response to it, is the single greatest issue facing the Church. Do Catholics feel that way?

A: That’s a very serious issue, obviously, but I think there are many things we need to deal with. I think that’s something we have to learn from, we have to learn where we’ve done wrong and where we’ve not handled it well. I think we have learned, but we can always learn more. It’s an issue, it’s an important issue, but it’s not the only issue.

Q: You were also one of the five bishops, the apostolic visitors, sent to Ireland in the wake of its child-abuse scandal. Why were you chosen?

A: I don’t know for sure. All of us, though, were Irish in descent: two Canadians, two Americans and a Briton. There may have been a feeling that we had kind of an affinity for the culture.

Nuncio to Irish Catholics: Pope knows abuse scandals made lives tough

National Catholic Reporter

Feb. 20, 2012
By Michael Kelly, Catholic News Service

DUBLIN -- Pope Benedict XVI is acutely aware that recent years have been tough for Irish Catholics as a result of the clerical sex abuse scandals, said the new apostolic nuncio to Ireland.

Speaking during a Mass to mark his formal welcome as Pope Benedict's representative in Dublin on Sunday, U.S. Archbishop Charles Brown said the pontiff understands "that these recent years have been difficult for Catholic believers in Ireland."

Brown said the pope was "scandalized and dismayed as he learned about the tragedy of abuse perpetrated by some members of the clergy and of religious congregations. He felt deeply the wounds of those who had been harmed and who so often had not been listened to."

Arizona sheriff Paul Babeu, originally from Western Mass., resigns from Mitt Romney's Arizona campaign after misconduct allegations by former lover

The Republican

By Conor Berry, The Republican

With just one week until Arizona’s Republican presidential primary, a Western Massachusetts native and U.S. congressional candidate has resigned as co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s Arizona campaign.

The resignation of Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu came following allegations he was romantically linked to a Mexican immigrant who claims Babeu threatened him with deportation if he ever publicly revealed their relationship.

Babeu, a former Berkshire County commissioner and North Adams city councilor, parted ways with Romney’s campaign after an alternative weekly magazine reported he allegedly threatened to have his former lover deported if the man refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement to keep their past romance private. ...

Known for his hardline stance on illegal immigration and other conservative causes, Babeu was among the Western Massachusetts men who claimed they were sexually assaulted as children by Richard R. Lavigne, a former priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield. Babeu also claimed he was sexually assaulted in Vermont by George Paulin, a former Catholic priest from Montague who worked in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.

Lavigne pleaded guilty in 1992 to molesting two former altar boys. Several years later, the diocese settled lawsuits with 17 alleged sexual abuse victims for $1.4 million. Lavigne was defrocked in 2004 and remains the only publicly identified suspect in the unsolved 1972 murder of Springfield altar boy Daniel Croteau, though Lavigne was never charged with a crime.

In 2003, Babeu agreed to drop his lawsuit against the Burlington diocese after a settlement was reached. The terms of that settlement, including the precise sum of money awarded to Babeu, were not publicly disclosed.

9 Democrats call for church abuse probe

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Feb. 20, 2012

Nine Democratic lawmakers called on the state's attorney general Monday to investigate 8,000 alleged sex offenses and as many as 100 previously unidentified offenders an attorney says are described in documents filed in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy.

The nine sent a letter to Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, calling the allegations, if true, "nothing short of a public safety crisis." And they asked him to investigate not just the alleged perpetrators, but anyone who may have concealed a sex crime against a child.

"We know that, left unchecked, child sexual predators will reoffend," said the letter signed by state Sens. Lena Taylor, Julie Lassa, Robert Jauch and Jessica King; and Reps. Sandy Pasch, Chris Taylor, Robert Turner, Terese Berceau and Kelda Helen Roys.

"The concealment of these offenses may already have facilitated hundreds of additional crimes against young people," they said.

GIAGO: Addressing the most discriminatory bill ever passed in South Dakota

Native American Times

20 February 2012 Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)

Representative Steve Hickey (R-Sioux Falls) introduced a bill to repeal a bill that was passed last year that set a statute of limitation for child sex abuse civil suits.

House Bill 1104 was slipped quietly through the state legislature last year even drawing the support of the Representative from the Pine Ridge Reservation, Jim Bradford. The bill limited the time to file civil suits to three years from the time a victim was abused or three years from the time a victim reasonably discovered they were harmed by the abuse. The bill also read that those that had not reached the age of 40 could still file a suit.

Since nearly all of those involved in lawsuits against the Catholic Church for child sexual abuse are far past the age of 40 and nearly all of them are Native Americans, House Bill 1104 was clearly one of most discriminatory bills ever introduced and passed by the South Dakota State legislators.

But here is the clincher as explained by Rep. Hickey. “In 2010 an attorney for a Catholic Church who is presently litigating cases for the Church in our state drafted Bill 1104 to place an arbitrary and discriminatory statute of limitations on childhood sex abuse civil litigations. The bill was not circulated for co-sponsors and no opponent testimony. Those affected by it did not know about it until it passed. The fact that it was drafted by a church attorney so it would shelter his client; those details were not mentioned on the House or Senate floor.”

Jury selection to begin in Philadelphia archdiocese scandal case

Local 10

Author: By the CNN Wire Staff

Published On: Feb 21 2012

Jury selection begins Tuesday in the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese trial, a case experts have called one of the most sweeping sex abuse scandals in America.

The Philadelphia scandal could open a historic chapter in the abuse crisis, church watchers say, changing the way the American criminal justice system deals with such alleged cases.

A grand jury last year charged four priests and a parochial school teacher with raping and assaulting boys in their care.

The charges were unusual because they went beyond accusations against priests. A church higher-up was charged with covering up the abuse, which church experts say had never happened in the United States before.

February 20, 2012

Detroit archdiocese reorganization plan finalized

The Detroit News

[reorganization plan]

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — Two Catholic churches are slated for closure while close to 31 others are expected to merge under a massive reorganization plan finalized by Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron.

Another seven parishes will be merged into three between 2014 and 2016, according to the final plan.

The archbishop scheduled a 4 p.m. news conference Monday to discuss the final plan involving the future of 267 parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

The news conference is at the Blessed Pope John Paul II Parish, 5830 Simon K. St.

Pastoral Plan for the Archdiocese of Detroit

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit

Find your parish plan >>

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron

In introducing the pastoral plan resulting from Together in Faith, Phase Two, I want very much to express to all of you— the clergy, religious, and faithful of the Archdiocese of Detroit— my own clear sense that we must understand this pastoral planning process in the context of the sacred mission the Lord Jesus has entrusted to our local Church. We are called to share Christ in and through the Church. Only with a very keen sense of God’s purpose in bringing us “together in faith” can we understand the intensive pastoral planning in which we are engaged.

In November, I received and prayerfully considered input from our Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, which itself built upon thoughtful input from 1,500 parishioners from throughout the six counties of the Detroit archdiocese. After consulting the auxiliary bishops, pastors, and others, I have come to my decisions regarding the next steps in the Together in Faith process. Along with the approved parish action plans, and the mission priorities fundamental to this entire process, on these Web pages you will see what I have concluded, what has been communicated to those involved, and the resources shared with the parishes.

Together in Faith calls us to continue to plan for the future of our parishes in light of the circumstances unique to each local situation. With such planning, we can address the realities facing us. We can look to the future, prepared to meet what serious challenges that inevitably arise in the life of our parish communities— instead of reacting to crisis situations as they arise, or simply maintaining the status quo without looking forward.

Catholic archbishop orders 44 parishes merged...

Detroit Free Press

Catholic archbishop orders 44 parishes merged into 20 by 2016, but churches can be spared

By Patricia Montemurri and Niraj Warikoo
Detroit Free Press Staff Writers

Detroit Catholic Archbishop Allen Vigneron released Monday a complicated, wide-ranging restructuring of 267 parishes. The plan rejected several recommendations submitted to the diocese in November.

At least 44 parishes will be merged and reduced to 20 parishes by 2016 – but a newly-merged parish may retain two or three churches. Vigneron directed many more parishes to merge in the coming years, but did not always specify a date by which the merger needs to take place.

From the looks of the plan, much will depend on the availability and health of the priests that head parishes, and the parish’s ability to maintain their finances.Vigneron directed most parishes to collaborate on the services they offer, find ways to streamline, and in many cases, identify possible cluster or merger partners for down the road if something happens to their pastors or the bottom line becomes red. That goes for growing suburban parishes and smaller, stable parishes in Detroit.

APNewsBreak: Detroit goes from 267 to 214 parishes

Livingston Daily

By David N. Goodman, Associated Press

DETROIT (WTW) — Southeastern Michigan's 1.3 million Roman Catholics will have 53 fewer parishes by year's end though a mixture of mergers and closures made necessary by population shifts and a shortage of priests, Archbishop Allen Vigneron said Monday.

Vigneron described the wide-ranging restructuring of the Archdiocese of Detroit at an afternoon news conference releasing results of the latest phase of an intense, months-long study called "Together in Faith." It involved 1,500 lay people as well as clergy.

"The life of the church here in the Archdiocese of Detroit cannot simply continue without significant changes," Vigneron said in an open letter to Detroit-area Catholics that was released in advance to The Associated Press. "Faith and prudence demand that we act now to ensure that we will be able to do God's work effectively in the years to come."

The archdiocese now has 267 parishes and will have 214 by the end of 2012. Vigneron says two parishes will close outright, while others will merge, reorganize or go through financial reviews to determine their future.

Jury selection to begin in Philadelphia church abuse scandal


By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA | Mon Feb 20, 2012

(Reuters) - A criminal trial in the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese pedophilia scandal gets underway on Tuesday, a case likely to be watched closely as one defendant is the first high-ranking U.S. cleric to go to trial in a child sex abuse case.

Selection of a jury to hear child endangerment charges against Monsignor William Lynn and more severe sex abuse charges against two others is set to begin in Common Pleas Court.

While Lynn is not charged with sex abuse, the others on trial -- one priest and one defrocked priest -- are accused of sexually abusing children between 1996 and 1999. Another priest and a former archdiocese school teacher facing sex abuse charges will be tried separately.

The case not only puts a harsh spotlight on the Philadelphia Archdiocese, the nation's sixth largest with 1.5 million adherents, but is worthy of attention from the Vatican, given Lynn's rank as the highest U.S. church official to go to trial, experts say.



In re: Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Chapter 11, Debtor.
Case No. 11-20059-svk.
United States Bankruptcy Court, E.D. Wisconsin.

February 17, 2012.


SUSAN V. KELLEY, Bankruptcy Judge.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee (the "Debtor") objected to Proof of Claim number 131 (the "Claim") filed by an individual who will be referred to in this decision as Claimant A-49.1 The Debtor moved for summary judgment, arguing that the Claim should be disallowed because the Debtor and Claimant A-49 participated in pre-petition mediation, resulting in a settlement agreement and release. The Debtor also contends that the Claim is time-barred under Wisconsin's Statute of Limitations.

The summary judgment motion was fully briefed, and the Court heard oral argument on the motion on February 9, 2012.2 After consideration of the written submissions and the argument of counsel, the Court issued an oral ruling at the hearing, which is memorialized by this decision. For the reasons stated below, the Court grants the Debtor's Motion for Summary Judgment and disallows the Claim.


The Debtor filed a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code on January 4, 2011. On October 7, 2011, Claimant A-49 filed the Claim, alleging that Father David Hanser, Associate Pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Brookfield, Wisconsin, sexually abused Claimant A-49 in 1977 or 1978, when Claimant was 7 years old. The Claim indicates that the Debtor established a mediation program for victims of clergy sexual abuse, and that Claimant A-49 participated in the mediation program and settled his claim for $100,000. In January 2007, the Debtor and Claimant A-49 executed an Agreement and Mutual Release (the "Settlement Agreement"). (Affidavit of Francis LoCoco, Exh. A, filed 12/20/11 under seal).

On December 20, 2011, the Debtor filed an Objection to the Claim, urging disallowance under 11 U.S.C. § 502(b)(1) because the Claim is "unenforceable against the debtor . . . under any agreement or applicable law." The Debtor also moved for summary judgment, claiming that even if all factual allegations are presumed true, the Claim cannot be allowed as a matter of law. The Debtor argued that under the Settlement Agreement, Claimant A-49 released the Debtor from any and all liability for any action described in the Claim.3

‘Wounded’ Church can be healed by Papal Nuncio

Irish Examiner

By Noel Baker

Monday, February 20, 2012

The new Papal Nuncio began his mission to Ireland by echoing the words of Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin in pledging to help heal a "wounded" Church.

At the liturgical reception for Archbishop Charles J Brown, the new Apostolic Nuncio said Pope Benedict had been "scandalised and dismayed" over the abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests.

The comments from both men, made at Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral, come as the row over the closure of Ireland’s Embassy in the Vatican rumbled on.

Nuncio to Ireland: Pope scandalised by abuse

Vatican Radio

Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland Archbishop Charles J Brown celebrated his first Mass in Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral Sunday, where he told those present that Pope Benedict XVI “knows the recent years have been difficult for Catholic believers in Ireland”.

In his homily the New York native, who was appointed papal representative to Ireland by Pope Benedict XVI in January, said the Holy Father “was scandalised and dismayed by the abuse perpetrated by some members of the clergy and of religious congregations”.

Speaking from personal experience Archbishop Brown, a former official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told those present that the Pope has been relentless in trying to make changes within the Church and help those abused by clerics and that he “felt deeply the wounds of those who had been harmed and who so often had not been listened to”.

A Rift in the German-Speaking Catholic Church


A call by reform-minded Catholics in the German-speaking world for the church to soften its stances on homosexuality, divorce and celibacy among priests and to end its ban on women in the clergy is drawing loud criticism from conservatives. They argue the group is threatening to create a schism within the Catholic Church.

With its often more progressive stances on some controversial issues, the arm of the Catholic Church in the German-speaking world has long posed problems for Rome. Now a modern day schism is threatening the area's priestly establishment. The brewing split exposes a rift in the German speaking world between more liberal reform minded and conservative Catholics regarding the future of the church. The stakes are high, with the number of men applying for the priesthood in decline as the church loses appeal among younger generations.

The liberal Pastors' Initiative wants to reverse that trend, which has forced parishes to close, by making priesthood more accessible. Last June it put out a "Call for Disobedience," calling for a rewrite of the church's long standing views against homosexuality, divorce and celibacy.

The group wants the priesthood to be opened up to women and to allow priests to marry. It says that communion should be more accessible, including to members of other churches and to those who have divorced. They want qualified laity to be able to give sermons and believe that churches should have a stronger local presence, rather than relying on sermons from traveling "celebrity" priests. The movement has its roots in Austria, where it counts more than 400 priests and deacons as members. But it is gaining ground across Europe with sympathetic clergy in France, Ireland and other countries expressing support. The Austrian group even has its own German Facebook page, with more than 900 likes.

Police to question noted cleric over sexual abuse

The Jakarta Post

Dicky Christanto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 02/20/2012

The Jakarta Police will summon Hasan bin Ja’afar Assegaf, an influential cleric accused of sexually abusing some of his male students.

“We must watch our every step carefully. Right now, we have questioned 11 victims and plan to examine their psychological state and determine the validity of their reports,” Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said on Saturday.

He said that once the police felt that they had solid evidence, they would summon Hasan for questioning.

“If he is indeed the perpetrator, then he will face hard time, thus give us room to complete the preliminary examinations first,” he said.

Legion of Christ's Women Take Drastic Measures

The Christian Post

By Clara Morris , Christian Post Contributor

February 20, 2012

The women of the Legion of Christ are taking action which may devastate the Legion. The female leader of the Legionaries of Christ has resigned, sparking 30 members to leave the movement.

The Washington Post reported that Malen Oriol asked to resign as the assistant to the general director of the Legion.

Though her title was just assistant to the general director, Orial lead the Legionaries of Christ's consecrated woman. Her oversight consisted of about 600 women. These women recruited and fundraised for the Legion, and they also worked in Legion of Christ schools.

The Legionaries have been riddled with scandal for many years. In 2009 it was revealed that their founder Reverend Marciel Maciel, was guilty of many abuses.

Reformatorische kerken werken aan meldpunt misbruik


Binnen verschillende reformatorische kerken wordt al enige tijd gewerkt aan het in leven roepen van een meldpunt voor seksueel misbruik en huiselijk geweld. Dat zegt ds. F. Mulder, voorzitter van het deputaatschap kerkelijke dienstverlening van de Gereformeerde Gemeenten.

Het plan om een gezamenlijk meldpunt te beginnen wordt ook bestudeerd door de vertegenwoordigers van Gereformeerde Gemeenten in Nederland en de Oud Gereformeerde Gemeenten. Het deputaatschap van de Gereformeerde Gemeenten zoekt ook contact met de Hersteld Hervormde Kerk met de vraag te participeren.

Ireland has confirmed it is closing its embassy to the Holy See

Vatican Insider

There is a glimmer of hope that the embassy will reopen if the financial situation improves

Vatican Insider staff

The Irish government will not revoke its decision to close its embassy to the Holy See, at least not straight away. Dublin’s deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister, Eamon Gilmore said so today.

Gilmore told Ireland’s National television broadcaster RTÉ TV that the decision will only be re-examined if the financial situation in Ireland improve or if the Vatican reviews its request for Ireland to have two separate embassies, one in Italy and one in the Holy See.

Sarmina described as smart, fair, and ambitious

Philadelphia Inquirer

February 19, 2012|By John P. Martin, Inquirer Staff Writer

Around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina took the bench in her fifth-floor courtroom in Philadelphia's Criminal Justice Center.

A week had passed since defense lawyers in the child sex-abuse and endangerment case of three priests had launched their latest legal broadside, saying an offhand comment from the judge had showed bias against the Catholic Church. They wanted her to withdraw from the case.

It was Sarmina's turn to respond. In her hands was a tautly written, six-page ruling, which she read aloud.

The attorneys, she said, had distorted her comment that anyone who didn't agree child-sex abuse had been "widespread" in the church was "living on another planet."

Cheap Striped Suit

National Survivor Advocates Coalition

The Church’s response to the sexual abuse crisis is beginning to resemble a cheap striped suit.

You know the kind. The suit that might look good from a distance or even holds up across a lunch or dinner table for a couple of wearings.

But over the long haul, the stripes at the seams, the cuffs and collar don’t match, the material miserably rumples and when cleaned the stiffening completely abandons ship.

That’s about the way the last two weeks have shaped up or wimped out.

Two conferences on sexual abuse took place in Rome: the symposium titled “Towards Renewal and Healing” followed by the “Anglophone Conference on the Safeguarding of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults.” The symposium was a first, the conference has been an annual event since 1996.

Tánaiste: We’re not going to reverse Vatican embassy decision

The Journal

TÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE has said that the decision to close three Irish embassies around the world, including the embassy to the Holy See, will not be reversed by the government.

Speaking this morning, the Tánaiste said that the decision will be reviewed when Ireland’s financial circumstances improve.

He also called on the Vatican to show “flexibility” over its insistence that the embassy to the Holy See should not be in the same building as the embassy to Italy.

Vatican embassy closure stands

The Irish Times

The Government’s decision to close the Vatican embassy will not be reversed Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said today.

Mr Gilmore said the decision will only reviewed in the context of improved financial circumstances or if the Vatican relaxes its requirement about having two separate buildings for the Italian and Holy See embassies.

The Tánaiste said David Cooney, appointed non-resident ambassador to the Holy See, has been instructed to open talks on the matter with Vatican officials as soon as his credentials are accepted.

Mr Cooney, secretary general at the Department of Foreign Affairs, is expected to push the Vatican for flexibility on the issue.

Lifeline for Vatican Embassy? Talks on sharing with Rome Embassy to start

Irish Independent

By Ed Carty

Monday February 20 2012

A SENIOR civil servant appointed non-resident ambassador to the Vatican is to open talks with the Pope's representatives on sharing an embassy building with other diplomats assigned to Rome.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said the option of using one site to house staff liaising separately with the Holy See and the Italian Government will be on the agenda.

David Cooney, secretary general of the Department of Foreign Affairs and one of the country's most senior civil servants, will be responsible for the delicate discussions.

"If the Vatican relaxes the requirement about having two separate buildings then we will look at the Vatican situation again in that context," the Tanaiste said.

Black Collar Crimes

Black Collar Crimes

This Web site has brief entries about clergy of various religious groups who have been accused of misconduct.

Charente : le frère Luigi condamné

Sud Ouest

Par Bertrand Ruiz

Dix-huit mois de prison avec sursis pour le religieux reconnu coupable d'agressions sexuelles sur un mineur de douze ans

Le tribunal d'Angoulême vient de condamner frère Luigi, un missionnaire mexicain de la congrégation Saint-Jean à Cherves-Richemont prénommé Robert San Augustin Gomez dans le civil, à dix-huit mois de prison avec sursis, pour atteinte sexuelle sur un enfant de douze ans en 2009.

Vaticano, i soldi e la guerra


di Tommaso Cerno e Marco Damilano

Siamo entrati nello Ior, la banca della Santa Sede: che ha un patrimonio di 5 miliardi di euro ed è di nuovo nella tempesta. Come tutti i vertici della Chiesa, dove è in corso un'incredibile lotta tra cardinali. Un'anticipazione dell'ampia inchiesta in edicola sull'Espresso
(17 febbraio 2012)

Pubblichiamo qui di seguito uno stralcio dall'ampia inchiesta sullo Ior e sui retroscena della lotta in corso all'interno del Vaticano, sull'Espresso in edicola oggi.

Una partita finanziaria cruciale per il Vaticano e per lo Ior. Convincere l'Europa a inserire il piccolo stato e la "banca di Dio" nella "white list" dei paesi virtuosi. Ma anche un gioco di potere fra cardinali che ha come bersaglio Tarcisio Bertone, il potente segretario di Stato che qualcuno in Vaticano vorrebbe sostituire. Una partita fatta di documenti ufficiali e di dossier segreti, di consulenti finanziari e di strane figure che si muovono nell'ombra.

Why the 'Vatican Bank' doesn't exist

National Catholic Reporter


Over the years, few Catholic outfits have generated intrigue quite like the “Vatican Bank.” Speculation about its inner workings has boomed again in recent days, with a series of leaked Vatican documents about purported shady transactions, claims of stonewalling of Italian inquests, and alleged loopholes in anti-money laundering laws.

The current issue of l’Espresso, Italy’s most widely read newsmagazine, captures the mood with an eye-catching cover story under the headline, “God’s Bank: Dossiers, Accusations, and Venom.”

Whatever one makes of those reports, there’s a slight problem with the premise: The “Vatican Bank,” as such, doesn’t actually exist.

To be sure, there is something inside Vatican walls called the “Institute for the Works of Religion” (often referred to by its Italian acronym, IOR). While it supports papal initiatives and the pope’s ambassadors in various nations, the IOR also takes deposits, makes investments, and moves money around the world, mostly on behalf of Catholic entities such as dioceses and religious orders.

According to the l’Espresso piece, the IOR has roughly 33,000 clients, most of them located in Europe, though some 3,000 are in Africa and South America. All told, the value of its holdings, known as its “patrimony,” is estimated at roughly $6.5 billion.

Catholic victims claim new betrayal

The Age

Cameron Houston
February 19, 2012

A SUPPORT group set up by the Catholic Church to counsel victims of clerical sexual abuse is being investigated over allegations of mistreatment and breaches of patient confidentiality.

At least seven victims of sexual assaults by Catholic priests are believed to have lodged formal complaints against staff of the group, Carelink, with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Carelink was established by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne as part of its Melbourne Response in 1996, which was the church's internal structure to deal with hundreds of sexual assault cases across Victoria.

A letter seen by The Sunday Age confirms that Carelink is the subject of an investigation by the Psychology Board of Australia on behalf of the regulator.

Recusal rebuffed in church sex abuse comment

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Monday, February 20, 2012

By Amaris Elliott-Engel, The Legal Intelligencer

The Philadelphia judge presiding over a criminal case in which a Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia church official is charged with endangering youth allegedly abused by priests declined to recuse herself after she remarked during an earlier proceeding, according to defense lawyers, that someone would have to be living on another planet to not think there is widespread child sex abuse in the church.

Judge Teresa Sarmina of Philadelphia Common Pleas Court said she phrased her comment about sex abuse in the past tense. But defense counsel said they were not misquoting the judge.

During a hearing Wednesday, Judge Sarmina said her comment was made during a working session over questions to be posed to potential jurors. She said the session involved candor, a give-and-take between the bench and opposing counsel, and even questions posed from the perspective of a devil's advocate.

February 19, 2012

Benedict XVI stifles rumours regarding his resignation

Vatican Insider

In his speech to newly created cardinals, Ratzinger indirectly denied speculations regarding resignations


“Pray also for me, that I may continually offer to the People of God the witness of sound doctrine and guide holy Church with a firm and humble hand.” The Pope that imposed the red biretta on the 22 new cardinals yesterday morning was gentle but firm, concluding his speech with a message that seemed to indirectly deny his forthcoming resignation. A number of people have been hinting at his resignation, particularly since the tensions in the Vatican, the leaked documents and the poisonous comments going round in an attempt to discredit one cardinal or another. All this portrays the Vatican as a place rife with scheming and people dossier fights. “It is not easy to enter into the logic of the Gospel and to let go of power and glory,” Benedict XVI repeated to the College of Cardinals, pointing out a different path yet again.

When Ratzinger was elected Pope, he said: “My real government programme is not to do as I wish or pursue my ideas, but to listen, along with the whole Church, to the word and will of the Lord and let myself be guided by him, allowing him to lead the Church at this moment in time in history.” He was trying to point out a truly evangelical way of exercising authority, but his words were interpreted as the plan of a theologian Pope who was trying to “fly high” leaving the reins of government to his collaborators. The poison that has been poured in recent weeks and the extent to which it has attracted the attention of international public opinion seem to indicate that the Pope’s message was not heeded.

Paul Babeu, the Suddenly Openly Gay Pinal County Sheriff...

Phoenix New Times

Paul Babeu, the Suddenly Openly Gay Pinal County Sheriff, Vows to Continue Congressional Run, Serve Out Remaining Term as Sheriff -- Despite Mexican Ex-Lover's Insistence That Sheriff's Camp Threatened Him With Deportation

By Monica Alonzo
Sat., Feb. 18 2012

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu turned a nearly hour-long press conference to address allegations of threats that he and his attorney made to Babeu's ex-boyfriend into a parade of people defending his right to be gay.

He asked a slew of own employees and friends to the microphone to offer him their unyielding support, trying to spin the situation he finds himself in into an attack on his homosexuality -- which until he confirmed it today was something he never talked about publicly. Indeed, many people New Times spoke with yesterday were amazed to learn that the tough-talking, right-wing Republican lawman is gay.

The huge irony is that Jose, Babeu's ex-boyfriend and a Mexican national, says threats of deportation came because he refused to sign an agreement not to disclose details of his relationship with the sheriff. (New Times is withholding Jose's last name because of these threats.)

Arizona sheriff with Massachusetts ties denies misconduct

Boston Globe

By Shira Schoenberg, Globe Correspondent

Paul Babeu, an Arizona sheriff and congressional candidate with a history in Massachusetts politics, resigned as Mitt Romney’s Arizona campaign cochairman after the Phoenix New Times reported that Babeu threatened to deport an illegal immigrant with whom he previously had a relationship.

Babeu acknowledged that he is gay but denied any misconduct. He said he would continue his Republican campaign for representative from Arizona’s Fourth Congressional District. ...

Babeu made headlines again during the Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal in the early 2000s. Babeu alleged that a priest molested him in a Vermont rectory in December 1984 and January 1985.

Babeu alleged that he had previously been assaulted by a priest in Springfield. He Babeu said he confided in his brother two years later, who told the bishop of the Burlington, Vt., diocese.

In 2003, the Globe reported that Babeu, received a settlement in the “low five figures” from the Vermont diocese, according to his attorney. Babeu also filed a civil lawsuit against the two priests and the Springfield Diocese, the Globe said. He received a settlement from the Springfield diocese.

Fr. Georg: The eminence grise protecting Benedict XVI

The Pope’s secretary is gaining increasing mediation power among Vatican leaders

Vatican City

From the moment Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope, even Avvenire, the newspaper published by the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), has focused on his secretary’s robust countenance, describing him as a “Blond, 1 metre 80 cm tall, athletic body and distinctly good looking man.” For a long time he was just the priest in a black cassock that took care of Benedict XVI’s agenda. More than a butler but not quite a spin doctor. Things have changed however since the “dossier war” broke out, in the Vatican, between the old guard who were close to Angelo Sodano and the current leadership loyal to the Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

As the successor to Fr. Stanislao Dziwisz in the second half of John Paul II’s pontificate, Fr. Georg Gaenswein has become the barycentre and mediator of a Curia that is writhing with poison pen letter writers and spies. This 50 year old man, who combines athletic build with the grizzled charm of Hugh Grant, is the son of a blacksmith from the Black Forest, a former postman and a Pink Floyd fan. From family quarrels about the length of his hair, he went on to develop a passion for the stock market until he finally found his true love: theology. After obtaining a degree in Canon law in Munich, he arrived in the Vatican entering the Congregation for Divine Worship and the following year entered the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. For the past decade he has shown complete dedication to Benedict XVI. The Pope’s secretary is no longer just the “guardian angel” of the papal apartment but the “dominus” of the Holy See which upon his arrival he had described to mass media as a mixture of fear and aloofness: “The Vatican is also a court and so like in any court, rumours and gossip exist here too.

St. Leo Catholic Church gets good news...

Detroit Free Press

St. Leo Catholic Church gets good news, other Catholics to learn their parish's fate at weekend mass

By Patricia Montemurri, Elisha Anderson and Niraj Warikoo
Detroit Free Press Staff Writers

Parishioners at St. Leo Catholic Church – which is renowned for its outreach to the homeless, hungry and destitute – got good news Sunday.

The church, on Grand River near Warren on Detroit’s westside, will stay open, but as part of a merged parish with St. Cecelia, about two miles away on LIvernois near the Jeffries.

“Yes, we will be open. We’re not closing down. We’re changing, “the Rev. Theodore Parker, said to the applause of about 200 congregants at St. Leo’s noon mass.

In November, the Archdiocese of Detroit listed St. Leo’s, once the home parish of peace activist and retired Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, as one of the churches it planned to close in the coming years --- in a proposed realignment of 270 parishes across the six-county archdiocese to deal with a severe priest shortage and financial shortfalls.

Where the Boys Aren’t

The New York Times


Published: February 18, 2012

HOW do you marry God after you’ve kissed the King?

Easy. Just ask Dolores Hart.

The 73-year-old Benedictine nun is planning to attend the Oscars next Sunday. She will be a lot more covered up than she was the last time she went to the ceremony — in 1959, as a presenter and a gorgeous starlet who had given a blushing Elvis his first screen kiss.

Grace Kelly deserted Hollywood at 26 to become the bride of a prince. Hart, dubbed “the next Grace Kelly,” deserted Hollywood at 24 to become a bride of Christ.

That stunning spiritual elopement is the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary called “God Is Bigger Than Elvis,” a rare look behind the walls of the cloistered abbey in rural Connecticut where Hart has lived for half a century. (It will be shown on HBO in April.)

“God was the vehicle,” she said of her odyssey. “He was the bigger Elvis.”

Nuns in America are a dying breed, and the church’s antediluvian male hierarchy gets more worked up about allowing Catholic women contraceptives than investigating sexual abuse of children by priests.

Van Toorenburg: R.K. Kerk dient beloften aan slachtoffers na te komen


De R.K. Kerk dient haar beloften aan de slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik na te komen en daarover publiekelijk verantwoording af te leggen. Dat zei CDA woordvoerder Madeleine van Toorenburg tijdens een debat over het eindrapport van de commissie Deetman, over seksueel misbruik binnen de Kerk. Van Toorenburg: “Dat betekent dat de Kerk het leed dat de slachtoffers is aangedaan dient te erkennen. Daarnaast dient de Kerk goede hulpverlening te organiseren en te zorgen voor een goede compensatieregeling. Ook dient zij alles in het werk te stellen om dergelijk leed in de toekomst te voorkomen.”

De regering heeft aan de Tweede Kamer laten weten dat de commissie Deetman op verzoek van de Kamer opnieuw aan de slag gaat. Met een vervolgonderzoek dat specifiek ingaat op het misbruik van meisjes en (jonge) vrouwen in de katholieke instellingen. Van Toorenburg is tevreden met deze toezegging. Van de meerwaarde van een parlementair onderzoek is het CDA echter op dit moment niet overtuigd. Van Toorenburg: “Het is namelijk zeer de vraag of er meer boven tafel zal komen. Dat geeft Deetman zelf ook al aan in zijn rapport. Ook is het niet per definitie in het belang van de slachtoffers”. Mocht echter blijken dat Justitie in het verleden de deur naar aangifte en vervolging doelbewust heeft dichtgehouden, dan staat het CDA open „voor welk onderzoek dan ook”, aldus Van Toorenburg.

Consider this your homework

The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on February 19, 2012 in Clergy Abuse Crisis

If you care about clergy sex abuse victims, you should read this. If you think that the Catholic Church is doing everything right in the scandal, you must read this. And then you must read it again.

Thousands of pages of child sex abuse and cover-up documents are now public in the Wilmington Delaware Diocese bankruptcy. They outline the long-term and shockingly recent tragic, gut-wrenching, enraging, cavalier, disgusting, and criminal actions of priests, brothers, bishops, employees and church officials. And they show how kids were thrown under the bus over and over and over again.

From the Delaware News Journal:

One 2009 letter mentions a report that abuser priest Joseph A. McGovern, removed from ministry about two decades ago, had expressed his desire to move overseas to a place more amenable to “man/boy pedophiliac relationships.” A file on the investigation into allegations against another abuser priest includes photographs the priest took of a young boy emerging from a shower, wrapped in a towel. Scrawled across them are the priest’s handwritten notes, most with sexual connotations.

Start here for an overview of the documents and what they entail. Full copies are online here.

Fortunately, this story has a hero. His name is Matt Conaty. If it were not for him and his family, victims in Wilmington would still be isolated, Catholics would be in the dark, and dangerous men would be roaming free to abuse more kids.

Birmingham: Archbishop Longley visits All Souls where Bede Walsh served

Independent Catholic News

By: Peter Jennings

Posted: Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, made a special visit to All Souls Catholic Church in Coventry, today, Sunday 19 February, a parish where the convicted paedophile, Bede Walsh served as a priest.

The visit followed the statement made by Archbishop Longley at Cathedral House, Birmingham, on 7 February after Bede Walsh, a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, was convicted by a jury of 21 sexual offences against eight boys. The offences took place between the 1970s and the early 1990s. Bede Walsh is due to be sentenced on 9 March.

The Archbishop of Birmingham and Canon Timothy Menezes, the Vicar General, spoke to parishioners both before and after the 11.15am Mass.

During his homily, Archbishop Bernard Longley said: “When I was last with you in Coventry to celebrate Mass here at All Souls I came to bless your statue of Our Lady Queen of Peace in the parish garden. That was during September 2011 and I am grateful to the Parish Priest, Father Michael Brandon, for welcoming me back today.

Boy Scouts sued in sexual abuse case

Los Angeles Times

By Kim Christensen, Los Angeles Times

February 19, 2012
The mother of a Santa Barbara County teenager says he was wronged twice — once by the 450-pound Boy Scout leader who sexually abused him in 2007, and then by a local Scouts executive who she says told her not to call police.

"He said that wasn't necessary, because the Scouts do their own internal investigation," said the woman, whose name The Times is withholding to protect her son's identity. "I thought that was really weird.... I thought it was really important to call the sheriff right away." ...

In addition to unspecified damages, the lawsuit seeks to force the Scouts to hand over thousands of confidential files detailing allegations of sexual abuse by Scout leaders and others around the nation. It contends the files will expose the Scouts' "culture of hidden sexual abuse" and its failure to warn boys, their parents and others about the "pedophilic wolves" who have long infiltrated one of America's oldest youth organizations.

In January, after reviewing some of the files, a Santa Barbara Superior Court judge rejected the Scouts' argument that the documents are irrelevant to the lawsuit and ordered the organization to turn over the most recent 20 years' worth of records to the boy's lawyers by Feb. 24, with victims' names removed. The judge ordered the lawyers not to disclose the files publicly.

Homily of Archbishop Charles John Brown, Apostolic Nuncio

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin

Pro-Cathedral of Dublin
19 February 2012

Dia libh go léir!

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is an honour and a joy for me to celebrate Holy Mass with you this morning here in this historic Pro-Cathedral. I am deeply grateful to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin for his kind invitation and for his very gracious welcome. I would like to begin by thanking the priests, as well as the men and women religious here today, and the many members of different Catholic organizations and associations. In a particular way, I am grateful for the presence of representatives of other Christian communities. I thank the representative of the Lord Mayor for coming and the members of the diplomatic community, my colleagues. I am appreciative also of the presence of a representative of the Government of Ireland, officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and all the other public authorities here present. Thank you for welcoming me.

This Mass is my first public celebration of the Church’s liturgy since I was received by the President of Ireland last Thursday, and delivered to him the Letter from Pope Benedict XVI appointing me as Nuncio – which is the first public act of any new ambassador. I was grateful for the very warm welcome accorded me by the President and by the members of the Government who were there with him.

Having presented my credentials to the President, I must say that I can think of no better way of marking the beginning of my service in this country than by celebrating Mass in this place, the Pro-Cathedral of this diverse and dynamic Archdiocese. I stand before you this morning as someone who represents various realities: I am the descendent of men and women of Ireland, who emigrated from this island, possessing little more than the treasure of their Catholic faith, which they, through the generations, have passed on to me. Were it not for the faith of Ireland, I would not be a Catholic today. I am someone who worked for many years in the Roman Curia, the central administration of the Catholic Church, where I had the privilege of working with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI; I am a newly-ordained Bishop of the Catholic Church and as such, with all my limitations and defects, a successor of the Apostles.

This morning, however, I stand before you principally as the representative of the Bishop of Rome, the successor of the Apostle Peter, Pope Benedict XVI. In his name, I greet you all and I bring you his best wishes for all the people of Ireland, for the government, and all the members of the diplomatic community. As I mentioned, I have worked for many years very closely with the Holy Father and I can tell you from my personal experience that he has always had – and he continues to have – a great love for the people of Ireland and a high regard for the Catholic Church in Ireland, with its history of missionary richness and tenacious faith. Pope Benedict knows as well that these recent years have been difficult for Catholic believers in Ireland. Again I speak from my own experience when I tell you that Pope Benedict was scandalized and dismayed as he learned about the tragedy of abuse perpetrated by some members of the clergy and of religious congregations. He felt deeply the wounds of those who had been harmed and who so often had not been listened to. From the beginning, Pope Benedict was resolute and determined to put into place changes which would give the Church the ability to deal more effectively with those who abuse trust, as well as to provide the necessary assistance to those who had been victimized. Pope Benedict has been relentless and consistent on this front, and I assure you that he will continue to be.

Liturgical Reception for Apostolic Nuncio

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin

Words of Welcome from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin at Solemn Liturgical Reception in St. Mary's Pro Cathedral on Sunday February 19th to welcome His Excellency Archbishop Charles J. Brown,Apostolic Nuncio in Ireland and (below) the Homily from Archbishop Brown.

In our ceremony this morning we call to mind Archbishop Brown’s mission as the representative of the Holy See in Ireland: his task is to witness among us, within the Church and within society in Ireland, to the mission of the successor of Peter - a mission to foster deeper communion in the life of the Church and to foster communion, harmony and peace in the human family that is so often fragmented.

We wish you God’s blessing as you begin your ministry. We wish you personally fulfilment and happiness and we assure you of a warm welcome and support. We welcome the help of Pope Benedict in leading our wounded Church towards repentance and healing. We desire to work together to build a different, more humble Church, but also a renewed Church, confident of the contribution of the teaching of Jesus Christ for the Ireland of tomorrow.

New Irish envoy: Pope consistent on stopping abuse

CBS News

(AP) DUBLIN — The Vatican's new American envoy to Ireland says Pope Benedict XVI has been "relentless and consistent" in seeking to oust child abusers from the priesthood worldwide.

Archbishop Charles Brown spoke Sunday at his first public Mass following his arrival in Ireland, a traditionally Catholic land rattled by nearly two decades of pedophile-priest scandals.

The 52-year-old Brown, a Manhattan native, has never been a Vatican diplomat before.

He spent a decade working alongside today's pope inside the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. That powerful Vatican body enforces church policies, including the removal of pedophiles from the priesthood.

Archbishop calls for ‘renewed’ and ‘more humble’ Catholic church

The Journal

ARCHBISHOP DIARMUID MARTIN has welcomed the Vatican’s new Papal Nuncio and called on him to work with the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland for a “more humble” church.

Martin’s call came in his welcoming of the new Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown to Ireland at a service in the Pro Cathdral in Dublin earlier today. ”We welcome the help of Pope Benedict in leading our wounded Church towards repentance and healing,” Martin said.

“We desire to work together to build a different, more humble Church, but also a renewed Church, confident of the contribution of the teaching of Jesus Christ for the Ireland of tomorrow.”

Pope to new cardinals: ‘Forget power and glory’

National Catholic Reporter

Italian paper calls Dolan a papal candidate


Pope Benedict XVI legendarily thinks in centuries, so it’s almost always a category mistake to read his public oratory as a commentary on current events. Yet it was hard to listen to him this morning without at least flashing on the recent Vatican leaks scandal, which has created widespread impressions of power struggles and senior churchmen stabbing one another in the back.

In comments today to 22 new cardinals taking part in Benedict’s fourth consistory, with most of the Vatican’s senior leadership looking on, the pope issued a strong plea for a spirit of service. ...

There was also more evidence of a boomlet around Dolan this morning in the Italian media. Il Messaggero’s Vatican writer, Franca Giansoldati, published a piece on the consistory under the headline, “Among the 22 new cardinals, a new papabile breaks out: the American Dolan.”

Confessions of a nuns’ driver

The Standard

DAVID ODONGO lifts the veil on the secret life of renegade nuns

When a community proudly gathered to celebrate the ordination of their first son into priesthood at a lavish outdoor ceremony in Western Kenya, a little secret ripped through the audience: "He has a son!"

Strangely, there was no reproach but some sort of secret triumph — a tacit acceptance that even though the celibate young priest would now serve Jesus, his lineage, in true African sense, would never end.

Two decades later, when he was elevated to head a parish, he had filled out into a handsome middle-aged man. At a ‘homecoming party’ held in his parent’s home, two nuns — one a primary school headmistress — openly clashed, with one shouting, "This is my house!"

Two wives

Old women lounging on the grass smiled knowingly. The word quickly spread: "Our son has two wives!"

So whereas the Vatican maintains that celibacy is here to stay, in Kenya, the sexual transgressions of many a priest are quietly known and accepted so long as they are heterosexual. After all, they are just men — African men!

Pope 'scandalised by clergy abuse'

Belfast Telegraph

Pope Benedict XVI was scandalised and dismayed by the abuse perpetrated by some members of the clergy and of religious congregations, his new envoy to Ireland has said.

Archbishop Charles J Brown told Massgoers in Dublin the Pope knows the recent years have been difficult for Catholic believers in Ireland.

The new papal nuncio maintained the Holy Father has been relentless in trying to make changes within the Church and help those abused by clerics.

"Again I speak from my own experience when I tell you that Pope Benedict was scandalised and dismayed as he learned about the tragedy of abuse perpetrated by some members of the clergy and of religious congregations," said Archbishop Brown, in his homily at the Pro-Cathedral of Dublin.

Martin says Vatican embassy may reopen 'in some way'

The Irish Times


Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin has said he is confident the Irish embassy to the Vatican will reopen "in some other way"’.

Dr Martin said it would be a “leaner embassy’’, adding that one had to look at the cost involved.

“I keep stressing that the Vatican is very important in today’s world,’’ he added.

He was speaking to journalists at the Pro Cathedral in Dublin today, before a liturgical reception for the new papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles J Brown.

Non-Monetary Undertakings and Stipulations

Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington

As part of the settlement between the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Inc. and survivors of clergy sexual abuse, certain non-monetary undertakings were agreed to. These include two mutually agreed upon lists of non-monetary stipulations.

Non-Monetary Undertakings of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Inc.
Non-Monetary Provisions Relating to Documents

As stipulated in the documents, the Diocese of Wilmington is required to post on this website, “the names of all known diocesan clergy or lay employees regarding whom there are admitted, corroborated or otherwise substantiated allegations of sexual abuse, molestation and rape of minors.“ Here is that list:

• Paul Calamari*
• Edward B. Carley1
• Eugene F. Clarahan1
• Francis P. Cornely1
• Francis G. DeLuca2
• Douglas W. Dempster
• Henry J. Dreyer1
• Edward F. Dudzinski2
• Richard F. Gardiner1
• Peter J. Harney1
• William E. Irwin1
• John A. Lind1
• Leonard J. Mackiewicz1
• Kenneth J. Martin
• Joseph A. McGovern
• Walter D. Power1
• Francis J. Rodgers
• John A. Sarro
• Gerard C. Smit*
• Carmen D. Vignola1
• Charles W. Wiggins
• Harry D. Walker2

Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up in the Diocese of Wilmington


Documents and Other Resources

As part of the Non-Monetary Undertakings and Stipulations in the settlement between the Diocese of Wilmington and survivors of clergy sexual abuse, the diocese committed to release documents relating to the sexual abuse of minors by priests in the diocese. Today BishopAccountability.org has begun to post the documents.

We start with selected documents from the Clarahan, DeLuca, Dudzinski, and Smit files. Today and into next week, we will post documents from other priest files, and additional documents from files that have already been sampled on this page. We will also provide important documents on the operations of the Diocese of Wilmington.

In the spirit of the non-monetary provisions, we are taking a cautious approach to the redaction of survivors' names in the documents. However, if we have redacted a survivor's name in the documents and he or she would prefer to be named, or if redactions need to be improved in other ways, please contact us, and we will make the adjustments.

Refresh this page often to see the latest additions.

First-Ever U.S. Trial of Catholic Official for Covering up Sex Abuse


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Monsignor William Lynn of the Philadelphia archdiocese is about to become the first Catholic official in the U.S. to stand trial for his actions during the child sex abuse scandal that rocked churches across the country.

With jury selection scheduled to begin February 21, Lynn is charged with endangering the welfare of young men who were allegedly raped by priests and with conspiracy to cover up the abuse.

Other senior Catholic officials have been criminally charged for allegedly covering up sex abuse claims, but Lynn is the first to go to trial.

Metro Detroit Catholics learn fate of their parishes

Detroit Free Press

By Patricia Montemurri
Free Press Staff Writer

Catholics attending weekend mass late this afternoon began to learn the fate of their parishes, as pastors announced decisions made by Archbishop Allen Vigneron to close or merge some parishes to deal with an escalating priest shortage, population shifts and financial shortfalls.

At Our Lady of Fatima parish in Oak Park, the Rev. Paul Chateau told parishioners at 4:30 p.m. mass that Vigneron decided that the Oak Park parish should merge with St. James in Ferndale by mid-2013. Even as a merged parish, it appears both churches could stay open as long as there is a pastor available, or until either one incurred an operating deficit. The directive also said the merged Our Lady of Fatima/St. James parish should also collaborate with nearby Our Lady of LaSalette in Berkley if need be for a further merger down the road.

All three churches, Vigneron said, need to submit a contingency plan that could include closing church buildings and selling the property, if “a current pastor is no longer available, if a replacement is not available or assigned, or when one of these parishes begins to experience a net operating deficit,” according to Vigneron’s directive.

3 Catholic churches to consolidate

Click on Detroit

As many as 48 churches across southeast Michigan may be forced to close their doors for good.

Saturday night Local 4 learned of three parishes that will be affected.

According to parishioners in Ferndale, they were told by their priest that the plan is for St. James Church to merge or cluster with two other churches, one in Oak Park and one in Berkley within two years.

St. James has been a Ferndale landmark for almost a century, but between now and July parishioners must meet with members of Our Lady of Fatima in Oak Parkto decide where to attend mass and pick a new name, among other things.

St. Stans gets reprieve -- set to reopen Palm Sunday

Berkshire Eagle

Saturday February 18, 2012
Berkshire Eagle Staff

ADAMS -- After 1,150 days of occupying a Catholic church slated for closing, parishioners of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church are celebrating the pending reopening of the church as a place of worship.

The Rev. Daniel Boyle, priest at the Parish of Pope John Paul the Great, announced that St. Stan’s would be reopened as a mission, or satellite location, of Pope John Paul the Great. Its first Mass since closing will be at 8 a.m. on April 1, which is Palm Sunday, he said.

It is extremely rare that a closed Catholic church reopens. Upon its closing in 2008, parishioners occupied the church, keeping vigil day and night since then. Observers credit the 150 to 200 vigilers for safeguarding the structure and its artifacts. After the closing was announced, an appeal to the Vatican on behalf of the church’s parishioners was filed in September of 2008.

After three-year vigil, St. Stanislaus Church in Adams reopening for services

The Republican

By Lori Stabile, The Republican

ADAMS – The bells rang Saturday at St. Stanislaus Kostka, which protesters have been occupying non-stop for more than three years, signaling the church’s reopening as a site for regular Catholic worship under a plan announced that day.

“We are thrilled,” parishioner Robin J. Loughman said. “It’s what we were hoping for and what we expected.”

Father Daniel Boyle, pastor of the Blessed John Paul the Great Parish community, made the announcement to the congregation on Saturday.

Boyle said that the diocese approved a plan he had submitted to reopen St. Stanislaus Church as a “chapel-mission” of the parish. His plan followed a Vatican decision to keep the church in religious use.

Child sex-abuse scandal in Australia's Jewish community spills into U.S.

Haaretz (Israel)

Members of the Australian Jewish community say suspected child molesters ended up in the United States after community leaders failed to report them to law-enforcement authorities.

By Paul Berger

A child sex abuse scandal in Australia’s Jewish community has spilled into America, as a pending extradition, arrests in Australia and a slew of cover-up allegations put that community’s response to molestation under scrutiny.

Australian police are seeking to extradite convicted child molester David Kramer, currently in jail in Farmington, Mo., on suspicion of having abused children at a Chabad school in Melbourne during the 1990s.

Kramer, who was reportedly spirited out of Australia by one of Melbourne’s Chabad leaders following abuse allegations, is halfway through a seven-year prison sentence for sodomizing a 12-year-old boy in St. Louis.

According to members of the Australian community, he is not the only molester to end up in the United States after Australian community leaders failed to report them to legal authorities. Other molesters fled the country more recently as suspicion of abuse fell on them, community members say.

Martin wants Nuncio to build 'humble' church

RTE News

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has welcomed the new Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown to Ireland.

The Archbishop said the Archdiocese of Dublin wants to work with him to build a different, more humble, yet renewed church.

His made his comments in a sermon at the Pro Cathedral in Dublin this morning.

Archbishop Brown replaced Giuseppe Leanza in the wake of the report into child abuse in the Cloyne diocese.

DA to file child-porn charges against Robert Ernest Kirchhoff


Written by
Robert Allen

Prosecutors are pursuing a charge of child pornography against a former Loveland church volunteer who's already confessed to sexually assaulting a child.

Robert Ernest Kirchhoff, 54, remains in custody with $100,000 bond after District Judge Julie Field denied a reduction request Friday.

Kirchhoff, who volunteered with preteens at Resurrection Fellowship Church until the charges surfaced, is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl he was babysitting after meeting her family through the church.

He admitted the crime to police and said before his arrest he had "no choice but to run," Deputy District Attorney Greg Biggers said while arguing against bond reduction.

Community reaction to new details in Scouts Canada report

CBC News

The CBC's The Fifth Estate has uncovered details in two past sexual abuse cases handled by Scouts Canada that were never reported to police.

Recently uncovered documents show that in 1978 scouting leaders in Brockville, Ont., suspected there "may be several undesirables who have been involved in Scouting and removed discreetly without their files being flagged."

The news generated a large response from the CBC Community. Many voiced disappointment and condemnation of Scouts Canada's conduct. We can't reprint all of them, but here's a selection: ...

•"It's not just about the Catholic church, the Anglican church or any church. It's not just about the scouts, teachers, politicians or residential school operators. It's really about adults in authority because of their position and adults in authority because of their size and personality. It includes both men and women...It's everywhere in our society. It's among the rich and the poor, different cultures, races, etc. We just don't know about it until it hits the news...It's a world problem much like and part of bullying. And the solutions....wish I knew, except to continue to discuss openly, educate and help the vulnerable become more powerful."

Christian camp abuse victim criticizes lenient sentence for pastor

Edmonton Journal

By Stephane Massinon, Calgary Herald February 18, 2012

CALGARY — The victims of a historic sexual assault perpetrated by the manager of a summer camp say they are disappointed with the sentence the abuser received and worry it will discourage victims of other historic cases from ever coming forward.

Mark Archibald, 56, was sentenced to 12 months of house arrest, then six months of abiding by a curfew, on Friday in Red Deer.

The Crown had sought a sentence of federal time of two years and an additional four or five months after Archibald pleaded guilty last year to the indecent assault of three teenage boys in the 1970s while running a Christian camp.

“Jake,” the complainant who wrote the letters containing the allegations against Archibald that got police involved last year, said he was hoping for jail time.

Former pastor sentenced for assaults on youths in '70s

Vancouver Sun

By Stephane Massinon, Calgary Herald
February 18, 2012

It's a story that's haunted Jake for over 30 years.

And in April 2011, the 46-year-old Red Deer man took some paper to a quiet field near his Red Deer home and began to pen a letter to the Canadian Sunday School Mission and the Evangelical Free Church of Canada.

By his own admission, his life was in turmoil.

"My life was spinning out of control with personal is-sues," Jake says. "I had a lot of problems with guilt, violence, shame."

It was a story he once sought to suppress. In the late 1970s, at the age of 14, he was sexually molested by the manager of Camp Silversides, a Christian summer camp run by the Canadian Sunday School Mission.

His abuser, Mark Archibald, was in his mid-20s and Archibald was his pastor, his mentor and his friend when he sexually assaulted him at a Calgary motel.

Catholic victims claim new betrayal

WA Today

Cameron Houston
February 19, 2012

A SUPPORT group set up by the Catholic Church to counsel victims of clerical sexual abuse is being investigated over allegations of mistreatment and breaches of patient confidentiality.

At least seven victims of sexual assaults by Catholic priests are believed to have lodged formal complaints against staff of the group, Carelink, with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Carelink was established by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne as part of its Melbourne Response in 1996, which was the church's internal structure to deal with hundreds of sexual assault cases across Victoria.

A letter seen by The Sunday Age confirms that Carelink is the subject of an investigation by the Psychology Board of Australia on behalf of the regulator.

Secret church files detail anguish

The News Journal

[with video]

[View documents released by the diocese]

[Diocese of Wilmington's accounting of abuser priests, as required by the terms of its bankruptcy settlement]

Written by
The News Journal

It was March 4, 2009, and the bishop's right-hand man, Monsignor J. Thomas Cini, was sitting in a conference room in Bart Dalton's Wilmington law office.

Cini, vicar general of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and pastor of St. Ann's Catholic Church, was surrounded by lawyers, answering questions under oath about a priest who had sexually abused children while working as a teacher in two Catholic schools.

The priest in this case, Paul Daleo, was a Capuchin friar, not a diocesan priest. But he was under contract to teach in the diocese, and no priest can minister here without the bishop's permission. So attorney John Manly was pressing Cini to learn what the diocese knew about Daleo before granting that permission.

Manly zeroed in on a controversy that arose in 1979, when Daleo was teaching sex-education courses at St. Edmond's Academy and St. John the Beloved. "What in Father Paul's résumé stands out at you as making him qualified to teach kids about sex?" Manly asked Cini.

"Well, he did a lot of it," Cini replied.

"Well, you may think that's funny," Manly shot back. "I don't, and I'm sure Mr. Conaty doesn't."

Matthias Conaty, sitting nearby, was in fourth grade at St. Edmond's when Daleo first took an interest in him. For almost four years, Daleo raped and sexually assaulted him. Now a grown man with children of his own, Conaty was suing Daleo, the diocese, the school and the religious order.

February 18, 2012

Government loses face over Vatican and we lose faith

Irish Examiner

By Shaun Connolly

Saturday, February 18, 2012

GOD-hating, priest-baiting, loony leftie Eamon Gilmore secured a key plank of his evil secular masterplan to make us a nation of pagans by shutting down the Vatican embassy.

Except, of course, he didn’t. He made a perfectly sensible decision, but his big mistake was to lose control of the narrative surrounding it — which is always deadly dangerous in politics.

And so the agenda was driven, not by Gilmore, but by the religious right, who portrayed the move as a direct attack on their faith, and by hardcore liberals who saw it as a totemic victory against an old enemy.

Labour’s amateur-hour media presentation added to the confusion, with muddles over costings and when the Vatican was, or was not, added to the embassy hit list — so the overriding impression was left in many people’s minds that we have broken off diplomatic relations with the Vatican City State and are now at war with them.

Who's Leaking the Vatican's Secrets?

The Atlantic Wire

Seth Abramovitch

Today was a joyful one at the Vatican, as 22 archbishops from around the world were elevated to the elite rank of cardinal -- but behind the scenes, things are considerably less harmonious. In a mystery befitting a Dan Brown novel, a series of unflattering leaks have emerged from the Vatican in a relatively short period of time, Time magazine reports. The leaks are serious enough that Federico Lombardi, a spokesman for the Holy See, issued a statement comparing them to Wikileaks' own targeting of the United States Government, implying they were being released by someone looking to harm the church's reputation. "We must resist and not allow ourselves to be swallowed by the whirlpool of confusion, which is what those with bad intentions want," Lombardi wrote.

The most damaging leaks emerged in late January, The Washington Post reports, when an Italian television program produced letters exchanged between the Holy See's ambassador yo the U.S., Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, who was overseeing the Vatican's financial reforms committee until October 2011:

Naming names close to Bertone, they make allegations of crooked contracting and of a campaign of defamation against the [Vatican] secretary of state [Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone].

Bertone, the Pope's second-in-command, was "appointed in 2006 run the day-to-day affairs of the Vatican while the pope focused on affairs of the spirit," Time writes, but has "faced fierce opposition from the Vatican's diplomatic staff, which has made little secret that it regards him as an outsider." Bertone's predecessor, Cardinal Angelo Sodana, refused to vacate his office for months after Bertone started the job, and the secretary of state has been accused of jockeying to put an Italian in line as the Pope's successor.

Archbishop of New York leading the consistory

Vatican Insider

While one of the most important moments in the life of the church is officially beginning, and new protagonists are being discovered or confirmed as the next cardinals

Giacomo Galeazzi
Vatican City

"The Church is in need of deep conversion," warns the Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan. Significantly, the Pope has entrusted the introduction at the pre-consistory meeting to a bishop outside the ropes of the Curia. "Betrayal and falls: we must recognize our sins and purify ourselves," agrees the Minister of Divine Worship, Antonio Canizares Llovera. "Those who publish confidential texts are unfaithful to their mission," stigmatizes Joao Braz de Aviz, Head of Religious. "Vatileaks" (the secret papers on the IOR and the other intrigues, passed to the media) hangs on the Pope’s "Senate" gathered yesterday Pope behind closed doors. The "paper war" going on in the Curia has created tensions at the summit of the 133 cardinals convoked by Benedict XVI to address the most urgent problems of the Church.

The confidential letters of the ex-number two of the Governorate, Viganò (with allegations of corruption leveled against the Secretary of State), the confidential letter on the IOR and a memo on an alleged assassination attempt against the Pope are fueling the conflict of "shots fired by dossier" between the old management, closer to the Dean Sodano, and the current leadership, linked to Bertone. A strategy, including poison-pen letters, to pressure the Pope to change the 77-year-old Secretary of State. Benedict XVI expressed his hope that the Church would be spoken of for her faith and not for her scandals. But even the faith is passing through a phase of crisis, highlights the Minister of the New Evangelization, Rino Fisichella, while Dolan urges recognizing even in "places classified as materialistic (the mass media, entertainment, finance, art) an opening to the transcendent, the divine".

Statement on Cardinal Edward Egan's Recent Retraction of Apology to Survivors of Sexual Assault

Male Survivor

Washington, DC, February 16, 2012 --(PR.com)-- Reacting to Cardinal Edward Egan's recent retraction of the apology he gave to survivors of sexual abuse committed by priests in his own diocese, Mikele Rauch, a member of the MaleSurvivor Weekend of Recovery team and author of Healing the Soul After Religious Abuse issued the following statement:

"The inability for Cardinal Egan to see the damage of his retraction is profoundly disturbing. What we know is that for the representatives of the church to shamelessly deny responsibility for what they have done as well as deny its impact on survivors, is itself a consequence of shame and hubris. The truth is, it is not up to the Church to say they have done enough. We stand with every survivor who has been silenced, denied, or blamed - and we understand how Cardinal Egan's retraction is re-traumatizing to every survivor who has already suffered by the crimes done to them by members of the clergy. We support all male survivors who choose to stand in protest against any institution who denies responsibility in their failure to protect vulnerable victims."

Bloated Payroll

Boston Catholic Insider

We got word that the Boston Archdiocese is not going to answer our questions about the deceptive claim of a “balanced budget” in the 2011 Annual Report, and that will be the topic of an upcoming post. In the meantime, we thought we would take a closer look at the bloated payroll, which contributed to what the Annual Report shows is a $4.2M operating loss for 2011. We also look at the slow pace of action by the new Compensation Committee.

Number of People Earning More than $150K

According to the annual report for the 2011 fiscal year (page 83), the number of people making $150K or more in that fiscal year was 17. If you compare that to the 2006 Annual Report, before outgoing Chancellor Jim McDonough arrived, you will see there were just 2 people in the Chancery paid more than $150K. So the number of people making $150K or more per year has increased by more than 8X since 2006.

The total compensation paid to people making more than $150K has also increased by a factor of about 9X since 2006. In 2006, those two people paid over $150K per year were paid $393K in salaries. According to the 2011 Annual Report as well as information from other sources, the 17 people at the Pastoral Center making more than $150K today in aggregate are paid somewhere close to $3.5M a year in salaries. Just to reiterate, that is about 9 times more than was paid in 2006 in $150K+ salaries vs 2006.

Spain: When a bishop cuts his own wages

Mgr. Novell, the Iberian Peninsula’s youngest prelate, has decided to cut his monthly salary by 25%, thus reducing it from 1200 to 900 Euro. “This way we show our solidarity to those suffering from the crisis”

Mauro Pianta

It is likely some will accuse him of demagogy. But 42 year old Xavier Novell, Spain’s youngest bishop whose praises are often sung in women’s newspapers, is going ahead with his plan. “I am reducing my salary by 25%: from 1200 to 900 Euro a month. I am doing this to show my genuine solidarity to those who have been hit hard by the crisis.”

Catholic news agency ACI Prensa reported Mgr. Novell’s reasons for making this gesture: “Catholics cannot remain impassive in the face of need; we cannot we cannot act like the passers-by in the parable of the Good Samaritan and ignore this. Everyone – he stressed yesterday as he presented his pastoral document on the crisis - can do something. This crisis was caused by the fact that we all wanted to live beyond our means. We can only come out of this crisis if we work together: in the Diocese we have taken the first step by making this small sacrifice…”

SNAP responds to settlement in the Diocese of Monterey

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on February 17, 2012

While no amount of money can restore the childhood lost or innocence shattered as a result of childhood sex abuse, we are glad that Fr. Edward Fitz-Henry victim is able to walk away with some feeling of justice.

Since the diocese and the bishop's hand-picked review board have both said this is a credible allegation, Fr. Fitz-Henry should be immediately put in a remote, secure, independent sex offender treatment center so kids will be safer. instead of sitting on their hands. We also urge Bishop Garcia to immediately visit every parish where this predator worked and beg other victims and witnesses to come forward.


Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 18 February 2012 (VIS) - Following are the names of the twenty-two new cardinals created by Pope Benedict XVI in this morning's consistory, and the titular or diaconate churches he assigned to them:


- Cardinal Fernando Filoni, diaconate of Nostra Signora di Coromoto in San Giovanni di Dio.

- Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, diaconate of San Domenico di Guzman.

- Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, diaconate of San Ponziano.

- Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, diaconate of San Cesareo in Palatio.

Disgraced priest is paroled



WATERBURY — A former city priest at the center of a scandal that rocked the Sacred Heart/Sagrado Corazon Church has been paroled to Maryland, according to Department of Correction records.

The Rev. Kevin Gray convinced a parole board in October to release him from prison early before he had completed a three-year prison sentence for larceny.

Fugitive priest faces sanctions

Monterey Herald

Herald Salinas Bureau

A judge issued strict sanctions Friday against a fugitive priest in a lawsuit by his molestation victim.

Judge Lydia Villarreal ruled the Rev. Antonio Cortes will not be allowed to present evidence in his own defense, should he ever return to face the civil allegations.

Cortes, who pleaded no contest in March to more than a dozen charges involving the molestation of a 16-year-old parishioner, is believed to be in Mexico. He fled after being released from jail in December. A warrant was issued for his arrest for failing to report to his probation officer and register as a sex offender.

He could also face contempt-of-court charges.

Chris Lavorato, the victim's attorney, said he was preparing a contempt motion against Cortes when he fled to Mexico. Lavorato, unable to serve that motion, went into court Friday to ask Villarreal to grant a default judgment against the priest or issue an "evidentiary sanction" prohibiting him from presenting defense evidence in the future.

Vatican Confidential: Why Are So Many Rumors Coming out of the Holy See?


By Stephan FarisSaturday, Feb. 18, 2012

Maybe the Vatican is not so good at keeping secrets after all. In the past few weeks, the Holy See has sprung a series of leaks. Their contents range from allegations of corruption and cronyism in Rome, to internal criticism of a Vatican effort to tackle money laundering, to a bizarre letter speculating about an assassination attempt on Pope Benedict XVI.

Each leak would be embarrassing enough on its own. Together, they add up to a picture of disarray at the top tiers of the Catholic Church, even as the Vatican prepares to admit 22 more bishops to the College of Cardinals on Saturday, expanding the ranks of those who could one day become pope. "The real news isn't the content of these documents," says Andrea Tornielli, a long-time Vatican watcher. "It's the fact that all these documents are coming out at the same time."

Just who the leaks have in their sights is less than clear. In a statement posted Monday on the Vatican Radio's website, the spokesman for the Holy See, Federico Lombardi, compared the rapid-fire disclosures to the Wikileaks revelations in the United States and seemed to imply that the documents were being released in order to discredit the church. "We must resist and not allow ourselves to be swallowed by the whirlpool of confusion, which is what those with bad intentions want," Lombardi wrote.

Wim Eijk geïnstalleerd als kardinaal

ND (Nederland)

Aartsbisschop van Utrecht Wim Eijk wordt zaterdag in het Vaticaan tot kardinaal benoemd. Paus Benedictus XVI maakte Eijks promotie vorige maand bekend. Naast Eijk worden nog 21 andere kardinalen gecreëerd.

De ceremonie, het zogeheten consistorie, begint zaterdag met een gebedsviering. Hierbij krijgen alle kardinalen hun bonnet, de kenmerkende rode hoed, en een kardinalenring.

Vati-leaks overschaduwt consistorie

NOS (Nederland)

Door correspondent Andrea Vreede, in Rome

Vandaag is het een feestelijke dag in het Vaticaan. Voor de vierde keer sinds zijn verkiezing in 2005 houdt paus Benedictus XVI een consistorie. Dat is een speciale vergadering waarbij de paus nieuwe kardinalen benoemt. Of liever, creëert, zoals deze plechtige handeling officieel heet. Dit keer zijn het er 22.

Maar het feest wordt overschaduwd door een rel binnen het Vaticaan. Afgelopen week verschenen vertrouwelijke stukken uit de hoogste regionen van de Kerk in de pers. Het kijkje achter de anders zo gesloten deuren van het Vaticaan wordt al Vati-leaks genoemd in de pers.

Pope creates 22 new cardinals


VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI led a solemn ceremony in Saint Peter's Basilica on Saturday to induct 22 new cardinals into the prestigious college that will one day elect his successor.

The 84-year-old pope, who entered the vast basilica on a rolling platform wearing red and gold vestments, presented the new "princes of the Church" with scarlet-red birettas and gold rings during the consistory that Vatican observers say could increase the chances of the next pope being Italian.

The new cardinals "are asked to serve the Church with love and vigour, with the clarity and wisdom of masters, with the energy and moral force of pastors (and) with the faith and courage of martyrs," the pope said.

Eighteen of the 22 newcomers are under 80, the cut-off age for cardinal electors.

Critics say the appointments show a strong bias towards Europe as out of the 125 "elector cardinals," 67 are now from Europe, with just 22 from South America, 15 from North America, 11 from Africa and 10 from Asia and the Pacific.

Future Toronto cardinal Thomas Collins dismisses Vatican controversy, Pope plot

Toronto Star

Sandro Contenta
Staff Reporter

ROME—With a new ring and red hat, Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins becomes a prince of the Roman Catholic Church on Saturday, a cardinal in the elite group that will choose the next pope.

Collins expects a moving ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica, where Pope Benedict XVI will “create” 22 new cardinals. But the down-to-earth cardinal-designate, who will now be known as “His Eminence,” also anticipates moments of unease.

“It’s a rather complex liturgical ceremony and I always feel a little bit lost in things like that,” Collins, 65, said in a recent interview with the Star. “But I’m sure there will be people who will tell you where to stand and what to do.”

Pope Adds 22 Cardinals To Club To Elect Successor


by The Associated Press

February 18, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday brought 22 new Catholic churchmen into the elite club of cardinals who will elect his successor, in a greatly simplified ceremony that took account of evidence the 84-year-old pontiff is slowing down.

Benedict presided over a ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica to formally create the 22 cardinals, who include the archbishops of New York, Prague, Hong Kong and Toronto as well as the heads of several Vatican offices.

Preparations for the ceremony have been clouded by embarrassing leaks of internal documents alleging financial mismanagement in Vatican affairs, and reports in the Italian media of political jockeying among church officials who, sensing an increasingly weak pontiff, are already preparing for a conclave.

Pope leaves stamp on Church future with new cardinals


Philip Pullella

4:54 a.m. CST, February 18, 2012

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - - Pope Benedict, putting his mark on the Catholic Church's future, on Saturday inducted 22 men into the exclusive club of cardinals who will one day elect one of their own to succeed him.

Among the most prominent in the group is New York's Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is already being touted by some Vatican experts as a possible future candidate to become the first American pope.

Benedict, who turns 85 in April and is showing signs of his age, elevated the men to the highest Church rank below him at a ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica known as a consistory.

Ex-resident defends priest as caring, professional

The Chronicle-Herald

February 18, 2012

A former resident of Talbot House is asking the public to not pass judgment before knowing the facts of the complaint against Rev. Paul Abbass.

Greg Carter says that he saw no signs of inappropriate conduct by the Roman Catholic priest during his 18-month stay between late 2001 and 2003 at the recovery home for male drug addicts.

Abbass took a leave from his post as executive director of Talbot House on Feb. 3 and has been relieved of his duties with the Diocese of Antigonish after at least one complaint was filed with the Community Services Department.

"I worked there after my stay and kept in contact for three years afterward and had a fairly close relationship with Father Abbass," said Carter in a phone interview from his Dartmouth home Friday.

Residential schools were genocide, says truth and reconciliation chair

Hamilton Spectator

WINNIPEG The chairman of Canada’s truth and reconciliation commission says removing more than 100,000 aboriginal children from their homes and placing them in residential schools was an act of genocide.

Justice Murray Sinclair says the United Nations defines genocide to include the removal of children based on race, then placing them with another race to indoctrinate them. He says Canada has been careful to ensure its residential school policy was not “caught up” in the UN’s definition.

“That’s why the minister of Indian Affairs can say this was not an act of genocide,” Sinclair told students at the University of Manitoba Friday. “But the reality is that to take children away and to place them with another group in society for the purpose of racial indoctrination was — and is — an act of genocide and it occurs all around the world.”

About 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Metis children were forced to attend the government schools over much of the last century. The last school closed outside Regina in 1996.

Miramonte Elementary School, an amusement park for pedophiles

Washington Times

HOUSTON, February 17, 2012 – The serene exterior of Miramonte Elementary School in South Los Angeles provides a false facade hiding a house of horrors where child sex abuse was part of the curriculum. Authorities charged two teachers, Mark Berndt and Martin Springer, of sexually abusing the students placed under their care by unsuspecting parents.

Parents in this largely Latino neighborhood are consumed with outrage over the sacrifice of their children’s safety at the altar of silence. School officials knew for more than a year that authorities were investigating the activities of the two teachers, but told parents nothing. ...

Background checks and references are a limited tool in screening out pedophiles, and counseling for victims will not “un-ring the bell” of childhood sexual molestation. Since the abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church hit the press, society has begun to slowly educate itself on the tragedy of childhood sexual abuse.

The Sandusky scandal has changed the tenor of that lesson into a crash course that has resonated around the world. Last year, the Dutch Catholic Church was gripped by scandal as allegations of childhood sexual abuse rocked its members. Each time abuse is revealed, the wall of silence begins to crumble more and humanity sails into uncharted waters, frantically searching for a map to navigate the horrible reality of childhood sexual abuse.

The teacher who molested me was someone who had mastered the art of both blending in and gaining the trust of a child. This monster-predator made sure no one would believe my allegations and when I did not meet his demands, he manipulated others, to punish me for acts I did not commit.

Diocese settles suit over claims former Mission priest abused boy

Morgan Hill Times

About a year after the allegations went public, the Diocese of Monterey has settled a lawsuit involving suspicions that a former Mission San Juan Bautista priest in 2005 sexually abused a then 14-year-old member of the Madonna Del Sasso parish in Salinas.

The diocese settled with the accuser for $500,000 in the civil case involving former Mission priest Father Edward Fitz-Henry, according to an announcement from the Diocese of Monterey. The accuser filed the civil lawsuit in February 2011.

Friday’s statement from the church organization pointed out that the settlement did not “admit any liability on the part of either Fr. Fitz-Henry or the Diocese” and that it releases both parties from further monetary liability. The settlement amount was negotiated between the two parties.

Fitz-Henry has denied the allegations and filed a cross claim against Monterey Bishop Richard Garcia alleging misconduct in the aftermath of the revelations last year. The diocese in its statement contended the bishop followed proper “procedures to protect children” as outlined in church documents.


Wicked Local Plymouth

By Rich Harbert
Wicked Local Plymouth

Posted Feb 17, 2012

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Church will survive its recent clergy sexual abuse turmoil, in large part, because of the man who stands accused, says the pastor charged with carrying on.

Rev. William Williams, pastor of St. Peter Church in downtown Plymouth, said this week that Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha parish will persevere without the Rev. James Braley because of the support systems and staff “Father Jim” put in place over the last 10 years.

Early this week, Williams was assigned to serve as administrator of the West Plymouth church in the wake of Braley’s sudden suspension. The Archdiocese of Boston placed Braley, the pastor of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha since 2001, on leave last Sunday as a result of an allegation of sexual abuse of a child in the early 1980s.

A spokesman for the Middlesex County District Attorney confirmed this week that the office received the referral about Braley and is reviewing the allegation. Braley was assigned to St. Peter Parish in Cambridge in Middlesex County from his ordination in 1975 until 1981.

Omaha abuse allegation sent to Vatican


By Christopher Burbach

An allegation that an Omaha priest sexually abused a youth in the early 1990s will go to the Vatican for further investigation.

The Archdiocese of Omaha announced Friday that its investigation of the allegation against the Rev. Al Salanitro was complete and that it had "met the church's minimum standard for a credible allegation." That does not mean local church officials determined Salanitro, who has denied the allegation, was guilty; rather, that it met the standards for Vatican investigation that were set by the Catholic Church's more stringent rules on handling sex abuse allegations.

The man, from Carter Lake, Iowa, accused Salanitro of sexually abusing him about 20 years ago while Salanitro was pastor at Omaha's Holy Cross Catholic Church. Salanitro has said he never sexually abused any minor.

Suspended priest sues Monterey diocese

Santa Cruz Sentinel

Herald Salinas Bureaumontereyherald.com
Posted: 02/17/2012

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey is being sued by one of its own priests for not defending him against claims of child molestation.

The Rev. Edward Fitz-Henry filed a cross-complaint against the diocese Wednesday after it paid $500,000 to a man who claimed he was molested by the priest when he was a minor in 2005.

Fitz-Henry was suspended from his role as a priest in January 2011. At the time, he was the popular pastor of Mission San Juan Bautista.

Police probe Talbot House complaint

The Chronicle-Herald

February 18, 2012


Cape Breton Regional Police confirmed Friday they are investigating a complaint against a staff member at the Talbot House rehabilitation centre in Frenchvale.

"Talbot House has raised some concerns with police regarding one of its employees," said spokeswoman Desiree Vassallo.

"We are looking further into that information and will determine whether there’s anything that needs a criminal investigation."

Rev. Paul Abbass took a leave from his post as executive director of Talbot House on Feb. 3 and has been relieved of his duties with the Diocese of Antigonish after at least one complaint was filed with the Community Services Department.

February 17, 2012

Monterey Diocese Settles Lawsuit Against Priest in Sex Abuse Case


SALINAS, Calif- The Diocese of Monterey says that it has settled a lawsuit against Fr. Edward Fitz-Henry. The Diocese paid $500,000 to settle the lawsuit but in the settlement they do not admit to any liability.

In the lawsuit the victim claims that he was the victim of Fitz-Henry between 2005 and 2007 when he was a parishioner at Madonna del Sasso parish. Because of the allegations, Bishop Garcia suspended Fr. Fitz-Henry from ministry and the church conducted an internal investigation.

While investigating the 2005 incident the church claims to have found out about an incident in 1992. In a statement the Diocese said that before the investigation it thought that the 1992 incident was just a "non-sexual boundary violation involving a minor."

Priest sues Diocese of Monterey after settlement

The Monterey County Herald

Posted: 02/17/2012

The Rev. Edward Fitz-Henry filed a cross claim against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey on Wednesday after it paid $500,000 to a man who claimed he was molested by the priest when he was a minor in 2005.

Fitz-Henry was suspended from his role as a priest in January 2011. At the time, he was the popular pastor of Mission San Juan Bautista. "John R.J. Doe," now in his early 20s, claimed the molestations occurred when he was an altar boy and choir member at Madonna del Sasso Church in Salinas.

Fitz-Henry's attorney, Daniel de Vries, said the priest is suing because the diocese did not stand by him and defend him. Instead, de Vries said, he learned about the settlement after it had been made.

In a prepared statement released Friday, diocese spokesman Tom Riordan said Fitz-Henry was suing over actions the district made in keeping with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and other church documents.

Vatican To Review Allegations Against Omaha Priest


OMAHA, Neb. -- The Omaha archdiocese said the results the investigation of an Omaha priest accused of sexually abusing a minor more than 20 years ago are being sent to the Vatican.

An advisory panel and Archbishop George Lucas determined that the evidence in the investigation of Rev. Al Salanitro met the church's minimum standard for a credible allegation.

"The general rule is that all sexual abuse cases must be referred to the Holy See," said Deacon Tim McNeil, the chancellor of the archdiocese. "The only exception would be when the allegation is manifestly false. In other words, if there is a semblance of truth to the allegation, Archbishop Lucas is obliged to seek the intervention of the Holy See."

Archdiocese: Abuse By Priest A "Credible Allegation"


Case of the Rev. Al Salanitro goes to Rome

The investigation into sexual abuse allegations against an Omaha priest is moving forward. The Archdiocese announced Friday the allegations meet the minimum requirements to refer the case to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in Rome.

Reporter: WOWT
Email Address: sixonline@wowt.com

The investigation into sexual abuse allegations against an Omaha priest is moving forward. The Archdiocese announced Friday the allegations meet the minimum requirements to refer the case to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in Rome.

The Archdiocese of Omaha reported in December that a man claimed he’d been sexually abused as a minor by the Rev. Al Salanitro in the 1990s when the priest was associate pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Omaha.

The allegation was reported to Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine.

Deacon Tim McNeil, chancellor of the Archdiocese, said Archbishop George J. Lucas and the Archdiocesan Review Board, an 11-member volunteer board of childcare experts, law enforcement officials, attorneys, clergy and mental health professionals that advises Lucas on the protection of young people, concluded the evidence met the church’s minimum standard for a credible allegation.

N.S. Catholics face more turmoil as top priest leaves under cloud


By Heather Yundt, Postmedia News February 17, 2012

John MacEachern, 65, remembers when he read the news in the morning paper.

"I was sad," he said Friday. "It drained the blood out of my head."

On Thursday, the Diocese of Antigonish in Nova Scotia announced that Rev. Paul Abbass — a top priest in the diocese — would be taking a leave of absence following complaints filed against him at a Cape Breton drug-and-alcohol rehab centre for men.

MacEachern — a Catholic involved with the diocese — called this yet another storm for members of the diocese.

"It's a group of people out to sea and they keep getting buffeted by storms," he said. "People are adjusting to the storms as they get on, and then they settle in, and then another storm hits, and then they adjust again."

Groups Condemn Appointment of Archbishop Dolan to Cardinal of New York

The Center for Constitutional Rights

Dolan’s Track Record Exemplifies Cover-up Practices Within Catholic Church Hierarchy


February 17, 2012, New York – The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) strongly condemn Pope Benedict’s appointment of Archbishop Timothy Dolan to Cardinal of the Archdiocese of New York. Dolan’s mishandling of child sexual abuse cases is well-documented, from failing to report direct admissions by offending priests to actively lobbying against reforming statutes of limitations on child sexual abuse cases in Wisconsin. The archbishop’s track record is consistent with the Catholic Church’s record of covering up child sex abuse allegations.

On September 13, 2011, CCR and SNAP filed a complaint before the International Criminal Court charging that Vatican officials are responsible for policies and practices of cover-up that have enabled widespread and systemic rape and sexual violence against children and vulnerable adults. Together with the complaint, they submitted more than 20,000 pages of supporting materials consisting of findings and reports of commissions of inquiry and grand juries, testimonies, and other documentary evidence of sex crimes by Catholic clergy and of the policies and practices involved in the cover-ups.

Among the documents submitted in support of the complaint are letters between Dolan and then-Cardinal Ratzinger concerning Father Franklyn Becker. Becker was diagnosed as a pedophile as early as 1983 when serving in Milwaukee and, though the archdiocese of Milwaukee knew he continued to re-offend, Becker was nonetheless allowed to continue to work in several parishes. It was only when Becker was arrested in California in 2003 for the sexual assault of a child that Dolan wrote to Ratzinger requesting that Becker be defrocked. Ratzinger’s office replied that Dolan should inquire whether Becker would voluntarily request his own defrocking rather than be laicized involuntarily by the Vatican.

Why cardinal-to-be Timothy Dolan matters


By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) – At the Vatican on Saturday, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan will be elevated to the College of Cardinals. The move will further cement Dolan's standing as America's top Catholic.

"This is the most exclusive club in the Catholic Church," said John Allen, CNN's Vatican analyst, of Dolan's elevation. As a cardinal, Dolan will join the ranks of those who will choose the next pope. The College of Cardinals was established in 1150. Its main role is to advise the current pope and pick his successor. The elevation alone brings speculation that Dolan himself could one day be elected to lead the global church.

"In many cases you also become, at least informally, a candidate to be the next pope, because the next pope will almost certainly come from the roughly 120 cardinals under the age of 80," Allen said. Once a Cardinal reaches 80, he is no longer able to participate in the election of the pope or enter the secret conclave where cardinals gather when the time comes to select the next pope, typically upon the prior pope's death.

His Eminence Timothy Michael Dolan Becomes Cardinal: SNAP Responds


William D. Lindsey

This weekend, His Eminence the Most Reverend Archbishop Cardinal-Elect Timothy Michael Dolan will be made a cardinal of the Roman Catholic church. A cardinal's scarlet beanie is the highest honor a pope can confer on a member of the Roman Catholic church.

As His Most Reverend Eminence is honored in this most prestigious way, the group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests is issuing a press release asking journalists, the public, and Catholics to think twice about precisely whom and what we're honoring when we applaud the awarding of a red beanie to Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan. As SNAP notes,

1. His Eminence kept quiet nine months after child pornography was found last Valentine's day on the computer of Lawrence Gordon, assistant principal of St. Michael's Academy in the Bronx.
2. When Father Jaime Duenas of his diocese was arrested on child sex charges, not only did His Eminence fail to ask Catholics or others to do anything to assist the criminal investigation, but he also wrote a "mean-spirited statement" that he posted on his blog, attacking the teenaged victim making credible allegations against Father Duenas.

Former resident made complaint against N.S. priest


A former addiction worker says a former resident of Talbot House made the complaint against a Cape Breton priest.

For 17 years, Rev. Paul Abbass has been executive director of Talbot House, an addiction and treatment facility in Frenchvale, Nova Scotia.

He's also been the spokesman for the Diocese of Antigonish.

Dave Mantin is a former New Brunswick addiction worker, who now runs the Surivors Network for those Abused by Priests.

Pope to appoint 22 new cardinals amid Vatican scramble for power

Telegraph (United Kingdom)

The Pope will appoint 22 new cardinals in a lavish ceremony at the Vatican on Saturday, against a backdrop of leaks, back-stabbing and jostling for power in the Holy See.

By Nick Squires, Rome
6:24PM GMT 17 Feb 2012

The new appointees will join an elite group of cardinals who will have the task of electing the next Pope on the death of Benedict XVI, who turns 85 in April.

Seven of the new "princes of the church" are Italian, making the prospect of the German Pope being succeeded by an Italian pontiff more likely, Vatican observers said.

Their election will increase to 67 the number of "elector cardinals" who are from Europe, against 22 from Latin America, 21 from Africa and Asia and 15 from North America.

Of the European cardinals, 30 will be Italian.

The appointments come after a torrid few weeks for the Holy See, with claims of corruption and nepotism, questions over the transparency of the Vatican bank and murky reports of an assassination plot within the next 12 months against Benedict.

Vatican leaks scandal looms large at meeting to elevate new cardinals

Washington Post

By Alessandro Speciale| Religion News Service, Updated: Friday, February 17

VATICAN CITY — It isn’t anywhere on the official agenda, but as Roman Catholic leaders meet in Rome this weekend, looming in the background will be a recent string of Vatican leaks that reveal a bitter power struggle among the hierarchy.

In recent weeks, several confidential memos and documents by senior Vatican officials have appeared in the Italian media. The leak is “unprecedented in recent history,” says Massimo Faggioli, a church historian at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

The scandal started in late January when an Italian television program showed letters written to Pope Benedict XVI by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the Vatican’s U.S. ambassador, asserting widespread corruption and waste in the Vatican procurement process. Vigano, who at the time was secretary general of the office that oversees Vatican City, begged Benedict not to send him to the United States. His removal would cause “disarray and discouragement” in those who shared his anti-corruption struggle, Vigano said.

Rome notebook: Dolan's the rock star of this consistory

National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Feb. 17, 2012 NCR Today

ROME -- Theologically all cardinals may be equal, but in terms of celebrity appeal, some are obviously more equal than others. Each consistory, when a pope inducts new members into the church’s most exclusive club, tends to have its own “rock star” – that one new cardinal who is head and shoulders above everyone else on the buzz meter.

In February 2001, when John Paul II created a whopping 42 new cardinals, that rock star was Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, a handsome, young polyglot who seemed the new face of the church in Latin America. In March 2006, Benedict’s first consistory, it was Stanislaw Dziwisz of Poland, John Paul’s longtime personal secretary, because it felt like a celebration of the late pope’s life and legacy.

This time around, the rock star of the consistory is quite obviously Timothy Dolan of New York.

A Witch Wins Justice: A Memoir of Victory Worthy of a Witch


Joey Piscitelli

A Witch Wins Justice is an absolute page-turner! It is the true story of Joey Piscatelli and his unfortunate experiences being sexually molested by a priest, the principal of Salesian High School in Richmond, CA. Piscatelli's case, unlike scores of others was actually tried by a jury in a civil proceeding in 2005. Piscatelli prevailed against all odds against Salesian High School and the Catholic Church. Piscatelli's book is an inspiration to many who have similarly suffered. Piscatelli is truly a person who turned years of suffering into victory.


Berger's Beat

February 17, 2012 10:06 am | Author: Jerry Berger
Cardinal-designate Tim Dolan of NYC – who gets his red hat tomorrow – will receive another, admittedly-lesser distinction in May – an honorary degree from Manhattan College. Meanwhile, a Minnesota attorney who has represented more clergy sex abuse victims than any other lawyer in the US, Jeff Andreson, says he plans to depose Dolan in a case involving some 200 youngsters who say they were molested by Fr. Lawrence Murphy at St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee between 1950 and 1974.

Bishop Fabbro addresses sex abuse by priests



Bishop Ronald Fabbro apologies to the sexual abuse victims of priests in the Diocese of London and about plans to prevent such abuse in the future.

Monterey Catholic Diocese settles abuse case


SALINAS, Calif. -
The Catholic Diocese of Monterey announced Thursday that it has settled a lawsuit with a parishioner who made allegations of sexual abuse against a former priest, Father Edward Fitz-Henry.

In a letter addressed to all priests of the Monterey diocese and obtained by KSBW, the diocese counsel announced a $500,000 settlement with the priest's accuser.

In the letter, the counsel said the diocese chose to settle the sex abuse case because "during the investigation into the 2005 allegation, the diocese learned information about a 1992 situation that we previously believed was a non-sexual boundary violation involving a minor."

The letter goes on to explain that the Diocesan Independent Review Board believes the violation is a credible violation of the charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, and that the next step is for the diocese to send Fr. Fitz-Henry's case to Rome in the next few weeks.

’Peg man claims sex abuse at Catholic school

Winnipeg Sun

By Paul Turenne,Winnipeg Sun

First posted: Friday, February 17, 2012

A Winnipeg man has come forward claiming he was repeatedly sexually abused by a priest while he was a student at a North End Catholic school nearly 60 years ago.

The 64-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect his identity, filed a lawsuit with Manitoba's Court of Queen's Bench last week alleging that a priest at Holy Ghost School on Selkirk Avenue fondled and masturbated him two or three times per week in a basement bathroom at the school when he was in Grade 3 in the mid-1950s. The man alleges the priest tried several times to get him to do the same in return.

"The plaintiff would try to run away from (the priest) in order to avoid or stop the sexual assaults, but would be caught and hit by (the priest)," the suit alleges.

Vatican Is Shaken by Leaks

The New York Times


Published: February 17, 2012

VATICAN CITY — As the world’s Roman Catholics prepare for the addition of 22 new members to the College of Cardinals, the Vatican has become embroiled in an embarrassing scandal in which a number of leaked documents have drawn back the curtains on the church’s inner workings.

The internal Church squabbling, predictably dubbed “Vatileaks” by the Italian news media, became public about three weeks ago with the disclosure on television and in newspapers of confidential letters written by a top Vatican official who had denounced alleged corruption and financial mismanagement in Vatican City.

The widespread feeling among experts who follow the Vatican is that the letters were a volley in a battle among officials jousting for power in a papal court whose anointed leader, they say, is more concerned with theological questions than with the day- to-day affairs of state.

Every journalist who follows the Church has described the current controversy as part of “a clash between cardinals in the Curia,” even though the Vatican is denying it, said Paolo Rodari, who writes about the Vatican for two newspapers. The e-mails and letters and documents that have made their way into print “could not get out unless they came from someone inside,” he added.

Pope Benedict wishes to strengthen relations between Ireland and the Holy See

Irish Central

IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Friday, February 17, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI hopes to "solidify and strengthen" relations between Ireland and the Hoy See according to the new Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles J. Brown.

Archbishop Brown,a new York native, formally presented his credentials to the Irish President Michael D Higgins, on Thursday at the president’s resident in Áras an Uachtaráin.

By taking up office as the representative of Pope Benedict in Ireland, Brown replaces his predecessor Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza who was recalled to the Vatican in the wake of the findings of the Cloyne Report, into sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

Papal Delegate writes to consecrated men and women

Regnum Christi

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, c.s., Papal Delegate to the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi, wrote to the consecrated members of the movement February 15. In his letter, he reviews the process of their renewal to date and progress in verifying the vocation to the Third Degree in the Regnum Christi Movement. He also outlines organizational changes designed to move the process forward.

(Translation of the original letter in Italian)

Rome, 15 February 2012

Dear consecrated men and women of Regnum Christi,

After completing his visitation, the Apostolic Visitator delivered his report in September of 2011. We thanked him and began to study it. He draws attention to many positive points, but also to a good number that need correction or improvement. In obedience to the task given us by the Holy See, we began to undertake the path of discernment. The outset was rather laborious, but as we moved forward the path became clearer.

We saw that we needed in the first place an “illuminative phase” that would help us to detect more clearly the path to follow. We therefore made the effort to meet, help and support each other in our desire to renew our adherence to the consecrated life in Regnum Christi. The meetings held for this purpose in Mexico and Brazil guided by Fr Ghirlanda, and here in Rome by me with the help of Fr Agostino Montan, were in everyone’s opinion highly positive. After these encounters we were convinced that our reflection on the vocation of consecrated life in Regnum Christi was on the right path; that your vocation is authentic, and there was a renewal of the commitment to preserve and persevere in it.

As we reflected on the lay consecrated vocation in Regnum Christi linked with the Legion of Christ, we found points of substantial agreement that reflect the lived experience of many of you over many years: we are in agreement on the lay consecrated vocation, we have seen that association is the path to pursue, we have also confirmed that consecrated life in Regnum Christi is linked to the charism of the Legion, in the perspective—which needs deeper examination—of a single ‘Charismatic Family’ in which Legionaries, consecrated lay men and women, and non-consecrated lay members share in different ways in the one charism. As well as these acquired points, we also singled out the means to cooperate with Legionary priests in this process, even if many points still remain to be clarified. We also realized that within our own communities we needed time for reflection. The desire to not rush the process and to give more space for reflection was also expressed. Both I and my collaborators also reached the same conclusion. We have therefore thought of extending the time of reflection and of re-examining some aspects of how our work is organized, the better to prepare the inner workings of the governance of the association of the consecrated men and women.

Pope'S Envoy Scrambles to Contain Legion Fallout


By: NICOLE WINFIELD | Associated Press
Published: February 17, 2012

VATICAN CITY (AP) The pope's envoy to the disgraced Legion of Christ religious order is scrambling to contain fallout from the resignation of the head of the Legion's women's branch and the decision of 30 members to split from the movement.

In a letter released Friday, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis urged those leaving not to "try to persuade or proselytize" others to come along with them, and confirmed that the exodus wasn't just of rank and file members but included senior directors as well.

Pope Benedict XVI tapped De Paolis to take over the Legion in 2010 after a Vatican investigation determined that its founder, the Rev. Marciel Maciel, was a pedophile and fraud who had created a cult-like movement where members endured emotional, spiritual and psychological abuse. The revelations were particularly scandalous given that the Legion was one of the fastest-growing religious orders and that Maciel was revered in the Vatican for his ability to attract priests and money.

De Paolis has insisted that to survive, the Legion must reform itself from the inside out and he has refrained from imposing major changes from the outside. But he has faced criticism that he is moving too slowly, that the Legion's problematic internal culture hasn't changed, and that the same superiors who covered up Maciel's crimes remain in positions of authority.

It’s best for Pope Benedict to stay away form Ireland, for now

Cormac MacConnell

At the time of writing on a bright spring morning, the word on the wires is that the Pope is considering coming to Ireland later this year for an upcoming Eucharistic Congress. He has been invited by the Irish hierarchy.

He is a very wise old man, and I'm sure that at the end of the day he will decide not to come. The time is not opportune at all.

How times change! The huge and emotive Eucharistic Congress of the last century was one of the most iconic events in the entire history of the new Irish nation.

Five questions about the Vatican's leaks scandal

National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Feb. 17, 2012 All Things Catholic

In the run-up to a consistory, Rome takes on the atmosphere of a college reunion. Church people from all over turn up, making it hard to walk down the street without bumping into someone you know. That's been the case this week, ahead of Saturday's consistory in which Pope Benedict XVI will create 22 new cardinals, including Americans Timothy Dolan and Edwin O'Brien.

This week, whenever such a chance encounter has occurred, conversation fairly quickly has turned to one question above all: What the hell is going on around here?

The basis for the question, of course, is the mushrooming Vatican leaks scandal, in which confidential documents are appearing in the papers almost on a daily basis, putting the Vatican in a highly unfavorable light. By now, there are almost too many to keep track, but big-ticket items have included:

•Letters written to the pope and to the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, by the current papal ambassador in the United States, Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, complaining of corruption in Vatican finances and a campaign of defamation against him. At the time, he was the No. 2 official in the Vatican City State, and desperately trying to avoid being sent away.

Whiff of scandal clouds Pope ceremony in Vatican

BBC News

By David Willey
BBC News, Rome

Pope Benedict XVI will place red hats on the heads of 22 new cardinals on Saturday amid an atmosphere of scandal-mongering, rumour and media leaks from inside the Vatican.

The leaks concern alleged internal divisions and even malpractice among the senior bishops and cardinals at the heart of the Roman Catholic Church.

Most of the new cardinals will be granted the right to take part in the election of Pope Benedict's successor.

It is the fourth Vatican Consistory since Benedict was elected Pope seven years ago, and is being held to bring the College of Cardinals to its full electoral quorum of 120, after deaths and age disqualifications depleted its numbers.

‘Vatileaks’ scandal...

Washington Post

‘Vatileaks’ scandal, Vatican intrigue cast cloud over ceremony to create new cardinals

By Associated Press, Updated: Friday, February 17,

VATICAN CITY — A scandal over leaked Vatican documents and reports of political infighting, financial mismanagement and administrative chaos in its frescoed halls have cast a cloud over this weekend’s ceremony to create 22 new cardinals.

With Pope Benedict XVI slowing down as he nears his 85th birthday, Saturday’s ceremony has taken on the aura of a pre-conclave summit. Reports abound in the Italian media of cardinals and their supporters jockeying for prominence ahead of a future papal election, and of a Vatican bureaucracy in disarray as Benedict focuses his waning strength on other matters.

All that has weighed on Saturday’s consistory, where the 22 new princes of the church will get their red hats, or birette, and be formally welcomed into the elite men’s club that will elect Benedict’s successor. That ceremony will bring up to 125 the number of cardinals worldwide eligible to vote for the next pope.

My Peace I Give You

Ave Maria Press

My Peace I Give You
Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints

Author: Dawn Eden
Foreword by: Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, S.V.
Price: $16.95
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
ISBN: 978-1-59471-290-6
Imprint: Ave Maria Press

On-sale date: April 9, 2012

Church angered as Prime Time wins IFTA award

Irish Examiner

By Nick Bramhill

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Catholic leaders have launched a stinging attack on organisers of the IFTAs for presenting an award to suspended RTÉ series Prime Time Investigates.

The investigative series has been temporarily axed to allow for a probe by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland into the defamation of Fr Kevin Reynolds in one of its programmes.

But a group representing Ireland’s priests say they are incensed that the under-fire series scooped a prestigious gong at last weekend’s IFTAs for an unrelated episode, which probed standards of care in nursing homes.

The Association of Catholic Priests also said it believes "Mission To Prey", the programme in which Fr Reynolds was defamed, would actually have won the award for Best Current Affairs/News had the state broadcaster not been dragged to court in November.

Priest convicted of molestation faces deportation

San Francisco Chronicle

Will Kane

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A former Roman Catholic priest who was sentenced to 10 years behind bars in 2005 for molesting a girl in Daly City is facing possible deportation after being freed from prison this year.

Jose Superiaso, 57, a former priest at St. Andrew Church in Daly City, pleaded no contest in 2005 to lewd acts with a child under 14 and was sentenced to 10 years in state prison, with credit for the almost 2 1/2 years he spent in jail before his conviction, said Steve Wagstaffe, San Mateo County district attorney.

Superiaso was freed in January and was promptly taken into custody by federal authorities, who will ask a judge to deport him to his native Philippines, said Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Superiaso is a lawful permanent resident of the United States but can be deported because he was convicted of a crime, Kice said.

Vatican told to pay taxes as Italy tackles budget crisis

The Independent (United Kingdom)
Michael Day

Friday 17 February 2012

After several years of scandal in which the Catholic Church has faced allegations of financial impropriety, paedophile priests and rumours of plots to kill the Pope, the Vatican is now facing a new €600m-a-year tax bill as Rome seeks to head off European Commission censure over controversial property tax breaks enjoyed by the Church.

As the EC heads closer to officially condemning the fiscal perks enjoyed by the Catholic Church and introduced by the Berlusconi administration, Prime Minister Mario Monti has written to the Competition Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, saying that the Vatican will resume property tax, or Ici, payments.

Mr Almunia said in 2010 that the exemption amounted to state aid that might breach EU competition law. A parliamentary proposal by the Italian Radicals party last August to repeal the exemption, with a successful petition on Facebook, upped the pressure. A spokesman for Mr Almunia appeared to give the thumbs-up yesterday: "It is a proposal that constitutes a significant progress on the issue and I hope will be implemented," he said.

The Church celebrates its new "princes"

Vatican Insider

Consistory, Benedict XVI imposes the red hat on the new cardinals that will be entering the world's most exclusive "club": the cardinal electors who vote for the Pope

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City

Saturday, February 18th, Benedict XVI will impose the red hat on 22 new “princes of the Church”, ready to defend the faith and the Pope “usque ad sanguinis effusionem”, which means: “unto the shedding of our blood”, symbolized by the red colour of their cassocks. Eighteen of the newly “created” (the appointment of cardinal is referred to in this manner because it depends on the free will of the Pope) will join the world’s most exclusive “club”, the group that will be responsible for voting for the Pope, while the remaining four, who are over 80, will receive the red biretta for merits acquired during their long service, but they cannot participate in a Conclave because they are beyond the age limit for cardinal electors.

Along with the red hat (the classic “three-cornered hat”, but without the tassel), the new cardinals will also receive from the Pope's hands the note of appointment with the name of the Roman Church assigned to them - each cardinal receives one – together with the Cardinal ring. Until the last consistory, held in November 2010, the Pope presented the ring the day after the imposition of the biretta, during a Mass in St. Peter's concelebrated with the new cardinals. The ritual has been revised and streamlined, and now newly elected cardinals will receive everything in one go, on Saturday morning.

Catholic churches begin to learn their fates this week

Detroit Free Press

By Patricia Montemurri
Detroit Free Press Staff Writer

There is a reason for excitement among some metro Detroit Catholics, as news regarding the pending church closures trickled out Thursday.

At least four historic churches in Detroit will be saved. And there are indications that the list of shuttered parishes will be fewer than the 48 originally recommended in November.

Interactive map: A detailed look at Detroit's Catholic churches

"We are rejoicing," said Rhonda Gilbert, 67, of Detroit, a parishioner at St. Charles Borromeo near Belle Isle in Detroit. She learned from her pastor this week that the church, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will remain open.

"We got our letter Wednesday," said Gilbert, referring to letters Archbishop Allen Vigneron sent this week to pastors and 270,000 registered Catholic households detailing the fate of each of the 270 parishes across the six-county Archdiocese of Detroit.

Prelate: Bishop can ask for dismissal from priesthood of Pinoy in US molestation case

GMA News

A senior prelate said the Philippine bishop who ordained the Filipino priest convicted of child molestation in the United States should initiate the dismissal process from the clerical state as penalty.

Retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz said the bishop of the diocese where Father Jose Superiaso, 57, was ordained should be the one to file charges against him.

Superiaso was ordained in the Archdiocese of Manila.

“The first move would have to come from his bishop in the Philippines, meaning to say his bishop will be the one with the authority to file charges against the priest for the imposition of penal sanctions,” Cruz said.

Winds of change: Papal nuncio presents credentials

Irish Examiner

By Stephen Rogers

Friday, February 17, 2012

His predecessor left under a cloud of controversy, so it was left to the new papal nuncio to Ireland to promise to do "everything in my power to solidify and strengthen the relations between the Holy See and Ireland".

Archbishop Charles John Brown made the pledge as he presented his credentials to President Michael D Higgins.

Last July, the man he replaces, Archbishop Guiseppe Leanza, was recalled to Rome after the publication of the Cloyne Report into the Church’s handling of abuse claims against 19 clerics in the diocese. It accused the Vatican of being "entirely unhelpful" to Irish bishops in their attempts to put proper child safeguarding procedures in place. When the investigating commission wrote to Archbishop Leanza during its inquiry, he replied that he was "unable to assist" it.

Sexueller Missbrauch an Behinderten


Zum ersten Mal untersuchte ein Wissenschaftlerteam im Rahmen einer repräsentativen Studie, wie viele Bewohnerinnen von Behindertenheimen sexuell missbraucht wurden. Geistig behinderte Frauen wurden in speziell vereinfachter Sprache befragt. Sechs Prozent der Frauen mit geistiger Behinderung berichteten von sexueller Gewalt, die sie selbst in Heimen oder Einrichtungen erlebt hatten.

In absoluten Zahlen heißt das: mehrere tausend Frauen wurden in den Behindertenheimen und -Einrichtungen zu Missbrauchsopfern. Die Täter sind meist Bewohner aber eben auch Personal. Verantwortlich für den Schutz und die Sicherheit der Bewohnerinnen sind die Träger beziehungsweise die Betreuer. Oft wird den Betroffenen nicht geglaubt. Die Einrichtungen versuchen zudem alle Vorfälle unter der Decke zu halten. Eine Meldepflicht in Verdachtsfällen besteht nicht. Selten kommt es daher zu Anzeigen, fast nie zu Anklagen oder Verurteilungen

Rick's Rants Friday February 17th/2012

Halifax News Net

... It goes from worse to bad for the Catholic Church in Nova Scotia. A high ranking church member has been relieved of his duties while an inquiry is underway into accusations of sexual abuse and a complaint about access to medication. At the centre of this potential scandal is Reverend Paul Abbass, a man who's face has become very familiar to Nova Scotians as a spokesman for the church after the Bishop Raymond Lahey scandal. Abbass was the longtime head of Talbot House, a Cape Breton addiction centre. Community Services is investigating. The RCMP's also aware of the allegations.

Canada's cardinal designate looks to the past for future guidance

Medicine Hat News

Friday, 17 February 2012

Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - The picture on Thomas Collins' desk depicts a 16th-century cardinal who fought to return the Catholic faith to its roots while managing one of the largest religious communities in his country.

The present-day Archbishop of Toronto now plans to look to that image for inspiration as he prepares to follow in his idol's footsteps.

Collins, 65, is about to become the 16th Canadian to be elevated to the position of cardinal, an elite group of advisers handpicked by the Pope. Collins and 21 new appointees will don their red hats on Saturday at an official ceremony at the Vatican. ...

The pontif personally appointed Collins to a team probing rampant allegations of sexual abuse in Ireland in 2010, Smith said, adding his friend was also pegged to serve on the Vatican communications council before his elevation to cardinal.

Former Archbishop Williams chaplain suspended on abuse charge

Wicked Local Braintree

By Bob Aicardi
Wicked Local Braintree

Braintree —

The Rev. James E. Braley, chaplain at Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree from 1981 to 1986 and pastor of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Plymouth since 2001, has been placed on administrative leave as a result of an allegation of sexual abuse of a child.

In its Feb. 12 statement announcing the suspension, the Archdiocese of Boston said the claim concerns conduct alleged to have occurred in the early 1980s.

“The Archdiocese immediately notified law enforcement of the allegation and has initiated a preliminary investigation into the complaint,” the statement declared. “Father Braley will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of the preliminary investigation. The decision to place Father Braley on administrative leave represents the Archdiocese’s commitment to the welfare of all parties and does not represent a determination of his guilt or innocence as it pertains to the investigation. The Archdiocese will work to resolve this case as expeditiously as possible and in a manner that is fair to all parties.”

Braley, through his lawyer, adamantly denied any wrongdoing and maintained his innocence. “Obviously he’s upset by these allegations,” Quincy attorney William Sullivan said. “He just is solid and strong that he did not do anything inappropriate.”

DiManno: Impunity at the top of the Church

Toronto Star

By Rosie DiManno

Dictators, who tend not to die peacefully in their beds, are among the few on this planet who can claim a job for life.

And then there’s the pope.

No challenge to his authority, no Catholic Spring, no curia putsch allowed there; can’t be dislodged for reasons of poor health, psychological trauma or colossally bad judgment in ministering to the world’s nearly 2 billion faithful.

Pontiffs are sitting pretty once elected by conclave. The last pope to resign was Gregory XII in 1415, a strategic maneuver to end the battle for the papacy (three vying) that was known as the Western schism. The Code of Canon Law contains no apparatus for yanking a Bishop of Rome who’s botched it.

While popes are not technically “infallible’’ — a misconception of nuance; they’re only “error-free’’ when performing in their official capacity to promulgate dogma on faith and morals — they can’t be given the sack for getting it spectacularly wrong because, in those matters that most directly affect us, they’re unimpeachably right. Got it?

Understanding arcane intricacies of canon law is as challenging as that whole Father-Son-Holy Ghost trinity thing, which is why most Catholics simply take it on faith. Faith, however, has never in modern memory been so fragile, so at risk, as under Benedict XVI, with alarming numbers abandoning the Church, at least in the West.

Benedict may be indubitably pious and unmatched as a scholar-pope but, on his watch, the Catholic Church has sunk into a morass of unprecedented scandal. The latest crisis — explosive documents obtained by an Italian investigative TV show in what’s been dubbed “Vatileaks’’ — arises from a three-way private correspondence, which included the pope, with an archbishop who blew the whistle on what he saw as a web of corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the Vatican, an alert that got the poor man transferred, from deputy governor of Vatican City to Vatican ambassador in Washington. The rippling accusations encompass everything from awarding of tenders for work to inside-connected contractors at ridiculously inflated prices to yet more questions being asked about the Vatican bank, 30 years after its predecessor (Banco Ambrosiano) collapsed amidst lurid allegations about money-laundering, freemasons, the Mafia and the mysterious death of its chairman — “God’s banker,” Roberto Calvi.

Judge: Sex-abuse trial can target both priest and diocese

The Record

By Jennie Rodriguez-Moore
Record Staff Writer

February 17, 2012

STOCKTON - Attorneys for a 37-year-old man, who accuses a Lockeford priest of molesting him as a child, may argue in a civil trial that the Diocese of Stockton is liable and it somehow benefited from the reverend's actions, a judge ruled Thursday.

But first the plaintiff's attorneys must prove that the Rev. Michael Kelly, 62, sexually abused the altar boy during the 1980s while he served at Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton.

Kelly, now at St. Joachim Church in Lockeford, has served at various parishes throughout San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.

San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Bob McNatt heard motions this week to determine which facts will be admissible in the upcoming trial.

Commentary: Ex-priest avoids responsibility for sexual assaults

The Northwestern

Written by
Mike Nichols

Unless you're a king or a demigod or, as Mark Twain once wrote, somebody with a tapeworm, it's usually a good idea to avoid referring to yourself with the pronoun "we."

I'm not sure who Norbert Maday, a defrocked Illinois priest sitting in a courtroom in Oshkosh the other day, thought he was when he tried to explain away the things he did 25 years ago to two suburban Chicago boys on a retreat in Winnebago County.

"We're just committing what we call a mortal sin and we're sorry because of the weakness that, that we allowed, allows to do it," he told a courtroom in garbled but, nevertheless, extremely revealing language.

Maday didn't have a codefendant. His attorney, Ralph Sczygelski, said the former priest has some health issues but the lawyer didn't mention worms. So I don't think that explains the use of "we" either.

February 16, 2012

N.S. priest takes leave after sex, drugs complaint

The Chronicle-Herald

February 16, 2012


UPDATED 8:52 p.m.

A high-ranking member of the Roman Catholic Church who is the head of an addictions centre in rural Cape Breton has been relieved of his duties pending the outcome of an inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse and access to medication.

Rev. Paul Abbass, the executive director of Talbot House in Frenchvale for 17 years, is the subject of a review after a complaint was made to the provincial Community Services Department, which oversees the addiction-treatment facility.

No one from Community Services, Talbot House or the Diocese of Antigonish would reveal the reason for the review.

But Dave Mantin of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said he has received two separate complaints about Abbass’s behaviour from former residents of Talbot House in the past year.

Pa. Priest Faces Trial On Child Abuse Cover-Up Charges


[with audio]

by Barbara Bradley Hagerty

February 17, 2012

Between 1992 and 2004, Monsignor William Lynn was the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's point person for allegations of clerical abuse. When he heard a claim, he was supposed to investigate and, if warranted, remove or turn the priest over to police.

But as two grand juries reported in 2005 and 2011, that often didn't happen.

"He willingly oversaw numerous reports of child sex abuse," says Cardozo law professor Marci Hamilton, a consultant to the first grand jury. "And he willingly put these men in positions where they had second, third, fourth opportunities to abuse children in new settings."

In most of those cases, the statute of limitations barred prosecutors from bringing criminal charges. But two cases have not expired, and prosecutors say Lynn criminally endangered two young men, allegedly raped when they were 10 and 14, by looking the other way.

Nova Scotia government, police probe complaint against priest at rehab centre

Winnipeg Free Press

By: The Canadian Press

HALIFAX - Police and the Nova Scotia government are looking into a complaint against a priest who headed up a rehabilitation centre for addicts in Cape Breton.

Officials with Talbot House said Thursday that Rev. Paul Abbass has taken a leave of absence from his position as executive director of the facility, but offered no details on the nature of the complaint.

The board of directors said in a statement it is investigating the complaint, which it became aware of through the province's Department of Community Services on Feb. 2.

"It is an unfortunate and challenging situation for all involved," John Gainer, Talbot House board chairman, said in the statement.

Pembroke, Claxton priest removed from church duties over abuse allegations

Savannah Morning News

By Jan Skutch

A Catholic priest who was pastor of missions in Pembroke and two others in the Diocese of Savannah has been removed from his duties pending an investigation of alleged sexual abuse from nearly 30 years ago.

The Rev. Bob Poandl, 70, has denied the allegations, but has stepped away from his ministries and returned to the Cincinnati-based Glenmary Home Missioners pending completion of an investigation into the allegations.

Poandl served as pastor at Holy Cross Church in Pembroke, St. Christopher Church in Claxton and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sand Hill near Claxton. He has served off and on in the diocese since 2007.

He left in 2009 after other abuse allegations in West Virginia, but those charges later were dismissed.

Saarbrücker Initiative: "Bischof soll über Missbrauch reden


Saarbrücken/Trier. Die „Saarbrücker Initiativgruppe haupt und ehrenamtlicher Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter in der katholischen Kirche des Bistums Trier“ hat in einem offenen Brief an Bischof Stephan Ackermann diesen gebeten, „zeitnah“ zu einer weiteren offenen Gesprächsrunde zum Thema sexueller Missbrauch an Minderjährigen im Bistum Trier einzuladen. Ackermann, der auch Missbrauchsbeauftragter der katholischen Kirche für ganz Deutschland ist, habe dies am Ende einer ersten Gesprächsrunde mit rund 200 haupt- und ehrenamtlichen Bistums-Mitarbeitern und anderen Interessierten am 11. Januar selbst angekündigt.

Unterzeichner des Schreibens der Gruppe, der nach eigenen Angaben 43 Katholiken angehören, ist der Saarbrücker Pastoralreferent Heiner Buchen. Buchen erinnerte in dem Schreiben an das damalige Gespräch, an dem die Gruppe beteiligt war. Die Unterredung, die „zeitlich eng begrenzt“ gewesen sei, habe „kaum die Chance“ geboten, „tiefergehende Fragen zu diskutieren“.

Sex abuse becomes an epidemic

Dallas Voice

David Webb

The seemingly never-ending reports of lawsuits and criminal complaints being filed by people alleging they were sexually molested by members of the clergy might make one wonder if directing worship is, or ever was, the main objective of those seeking ordainment.

Since my youth I’ve heard people grumble that the pastors, priests, rabbis and others calling the faithful to their churches on Sunday mornings were interested primarily in personal glory and how much cash they could raise from their flocks, but I never heard anything about them expecting a donation of flesh as well.

That is, I never heard about it until the mid-1980s when the scandals involving Catholic priests sexually abusing male youths began surfacing.

When the media first began covering the scandal I imagine the reaction of most people was that a few cases would surface, and that would be the end of it. Who would have ever dreamed that 25 years later the scandal would have grown to epidemic proportions and spread worldwide to other religions and institutions as well?

Bankrupt Wis. Church Tries To Limit Abuse Claims


[with audio]

by Chuck Quirmbach

February 16, 2012 from WPR

Nine Catholic archdioceses around the country have filed for bankruptcy over the past decade, including the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. In each case, this followed multimillion-dollar claims from victims sexually abused by priests and other Church employees.

Milwaukee's case is different from all the others in one important way. The church there is playing legal hardball and trying to dramatically limit the claims of 570 people who say they were abused. Despite the bankruptcy, Catholic churches in Milwaukee are still open for worship.

It's Mass at St. Vincent Pallotti church and about 200 parishioners sing, pray, and then watch a videotaped appeal from Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki. The church is beginning an annual fund drive. Listecki makes it clear that the money will go for programs like Catholic schools and adult day care and not be part of the year-long Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.

Leading African prelate backs 'zero tolerance' on abuse

National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Feb. 16, 2012 NCR Today

ROME -- One of Africa’s leading Catholic prelates this week endorsed a strong “zero tolerance” policy on child sexual abuse, saying that “to abuse the trust of a child, an innocent child, is something we cannot tolerate.”

Cardinal Polycarp Pengo of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, also candidly acknowledged that until recently, Catholic leaders across Africa believed that “child abuse is not our problem,” but he said they’re now coming to see it happens in Africa too – including, he said, within the Catholic church.

Pengo said he would back any victim or parent who wishes to report child abuse to police and prosecutors, but also said that in some African societies civil governments lack the capacity to deal with the problem, or simply believe they have “more important things to do.”

Complaint filed against Nova Scotia priest

CBC News

The priest who has spoken for the Diocese of Antigonish in recent years is the subject of an unspecified complaint.

A criminal investigation is underway into an unspecified complaint against Father Paul Abbass — who runs Talbot House — a men's addiction and rehabilitation facility outside Sydney, Cape Breton Regional Police confirmed Thursday.

The complaint was related to an employee of Talbot House, police said.

It is not known if the employee was the source of the complaint.

Nova Scotia priest steps down from rehabilitation centre job after complaint

Winnipeg Free Press

By: The Canadian Press

HALIFAX - A priest who heads a rehabilitation centre for recovering addicts in Cape Breton has stepped down after a complaint was filed against him.

Officials with Talbot House said today that Rev. Paul Abbass has taken a leave of absence from his position as executive director of the facility, but offered no details on the nature of the complaint.

The board of directors says in a statement it is investigating the complaint, which they became aware of through the province's Department of Community Services.

Abbass has also given up his duties as the spokesman for the Diocese of Antigonish, which was led by Bishop Raymond Lahey until he stepped down after being charged with importing child pornography.

N.S. Catholic priest takes leave after complaint

Herald News

February 16, 2012

By MARY ELLEN MacINTYRE Cape Breton Bureau

A high-ranking member of the Roman Catholic Church and executive director of an addictions centre in Cape Breton has been relieved of his duties while an inquiry is underway.

Father Paul Abbass, who has headed up Talbot House in Frenchvale for 17 years, is the subject of a review after a complaint was made to the Department of Community Services.

The nature of the complaint against Abbass was not made public and it is unknown at this point if police are investigating.

Abbass is parish priest of St Mary's parish, which is on the grounds of Talbot House, a Sydney-area addictions treatment centre for adult men. He has also taken a leave from his diocese and parish duties, as episcopal vicar and as director of pastoral services for the diocese.

Missouri Catholic bishop seeks dismissal of cover-up charge


By Kevin Murphy

KANSAS CITY, Missouri | Thu Feb 16, 2012

(Reuters) - The Roman Catholic bishop in Kansas City has asked a court to dismiss charges he failed to report suspected child abuse by a priest on grounds he was not mandated to do so.

Bishop Robert Finn, leader of the 133,000-member Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, is scheduled to go on trial in September in Missouri's Jackson County Circuit Court on charges he failed to inform authorities for months that Father Shawn Ratigan had child pornography on his laptop computer.

Ratigan pleaded not guilty to felony child pornography charges last year. Finn, the highest-ranking Catholic official ever to face U.S. criminal charges in a child sexual abuse case, and the diocese both pleaded not guilty in October. The cover-up charge carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Catholic bishops fight for authority over U.S. flock


By Stephanie Simon

Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:15am EST

(Reuters) - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is a powerful institution, at least on paper.

But a recent debate over contraception coverage has exposed a deep divide between the 271 active bishops and the rank-and-file U.S. Catholics who are supposed to follow their moral authority. It also has raised questions about why some prominent Catholic intuitions ignore the bishops' teachings - and whether the bishops will be able to reassert their authority.

The gulf has left some politicians, ever eager to court the Catholic vote, struggling to figure out who now speaks for the Church. Some ordinary Catholics in the pews are wondering the same.

"The bishops have lost their monopoly on speaking, and they have lost a lot of their clout," said Father Thomas Reese, a Georgetown University theologian and church scholar.

Diözese an Missbrauchsopfer: Wir bedauern, aber Sie lügen!


„Perfides Nachtreten.“ So nennt die Therapeutin eines Opfers von sexueller Gewalt ein Schreiben der Diözese Regensburg. In wohlgesetzten Worten wird der heute 63jährige Mann darin zum Lügner abgestempelt. Wenn er die Gründe wissen wolle, könne er sich ja an den Anwalt des Bistums wenden, schreibt ihm Generalvikar Michael Fuchs. Wir veröffentlichen den Brief im Original.

Die Therapeutin von Udo Kaiser war entsetzt. Als „perfides Nachtreten“ bezeichnet sie ein Schreiben des Bistums Regensburg an den 63jährigen Tenor und Schauspieler. „Ich werde zum Lügner abgestempelt“, sagt uns Kaiser am Telefon über das Schreiben, das er vier Tage vor Heiligabend bekommen hat und das ihn für einige Wochen in eine tiefe Depression gestürzt hat. „Das hat mich völlig zurückgeworfen. Ich habe mich wieder gefühlt wie der kleine Junge von damals.“

Verklaring goed gedrag katholieke kerk


Door Bart Tuinman

16 February 2012

Het duurt niet lang meer voordat priesters een officiële verklaring van goed gedrag van de overheid moeten gaan laten zien als ze een functie binnen een kerk krijgen of van (kerkelijke) baan wisselen.

De komende maanden wordt de zogenoemde Verklaring Omtrent Gedrag (VOG) verplicht voor priesters en andere kerkelijke medewerkers.

Waarom ik de Katholieke Kerk niet verlaat

Friesch Dagblad

In reactie op de onthullingen over seksueel misbruik binnen de R.-K. Kerk riep Maarten ‘t Hart in NRC Handelsblad ‘fatsoenlijke mensen’ op hun kerk te verlaten. Patrick Chatelion Counet legt uit waarom hij daar geen gehoor aan geeft.

Patrick Chatelion Counet

Het is moeilijk om van jezelf te zeggen dat je een fatsoenlijk mens bent. Onder de titel ‘Waarom katholieken niet in opstand komen’ daagt Maarten ’t Hart in NRC Handelsblad katholieken uit hun kerk te verlaten. Hij acht het ‘totaal onbegrijpelijk dat nog enig fatsoenlijk mens lid kan of wil blijven van zo’n organisatie... reeds tweeduizend jaar de oudste en grootste misdadigersorganisatie ter wereld’. Een keuze uit twee kwaden. Of men roept zichzelf uit tot fatsoenlijk mens - niet enkel voor katholieken een zonde - en treedt toe tot de club van fatsoenlijken waartoe ’t Hart klaarblijkelijk behoort, of men blijft bij een verwerpelijke organisatie, ‘de aftandse firma God & zoon’ (Zoon met een hoofdletter, mijnheer ’t Hart).

Aartsbisschop Eijk accepteert ontkerkelijking


UTRECHT - Dat steeds minder mensen betrokken zijn bij de katholieke kerk, is niet te stoppen. Aartsbisschop Wim Eijk (58) accepteert dat de Nederlandse kerkprovincie krimpt.

''Een dieptepunt, een tijd die we geduldig moeten doormaken'', zei de aartsbisschop van Utrecht in een interview met het ANP en NU.nl. Zaterdag wordt Eijk kardinaal, na de paus de hoogste rang in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk (RKK).

Commentaar: Aarzeling rond parlementair onderzoek misbruik terecht

Reformatorisch Dagblad

Met het deze week door minister Opstelten aangekondigde onderzoeksrapport-Deetman II is een parlementair onderzoek naar het seksueel misbruik in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk, waar een deel van de Kamer eerder voor pleitte, voorlopig buiten beeld. Dat komt hard aan bij PvdA en SP die het afzien van een eigen Kameronderzoek als een gemiste kans beschouwen. In het licht van de overigens onbetwiste ernst van de kwestie zien zij het als een onverantwoord besluit.

Deetman hoeft niet naar refo’s


Door: Dirk Jacob Nieuwboer

Er zou onderzoek moeten komen naar seksueel misbruik onder orthodox protestanten, vindt adviesbureau Movisie. Dat is makkelijker gezegd dan gedaan.

De lucht uit de rooms-katholieke beerput trekt net een beetje over of de volgende misbruikkwestie in religieuze kring dient zich al weer aan. Nu staan de ‘orthodox-protestanten’ in het verdachtenbankje.

Man Facing Rape Charges Allowed Religious Trip To Vatican


BOSTON -- A Quincy developer facing statutory rape charges was granted permission to travel to Italy for a private guided tour of the Vatican.

William O'Connell, 72, was indicted on four counts of statutory rape, stemming from his alleged involvement with a now 15-year-old girl during a two-year period, according to the Patriot Ledger.

Norfolk County Superior Court Judge Kenneth J. Fishman granted O'Connell's request to travel to Rome at the end of this month.

According to a request filed in court, the purpose of his trip is to "have a religious experience by having many private guided tours of the Vatican in order to more thoroughly understand the history of the Roman Catholic Church," the newspaper reported.

VVD, PVV en CDA: Parlementair onderzoek RKK-misbruik nu niet aan de orde

Reformatorisch Dagblad

DEN HAAG – De coalitiepartijen VVD en CDA en gedoogpartij PVV zijn op dit moment niet overtuigd van de meerwaarde van een parlementair onderzoek naar het misbruikschandaal in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk.

Dat bleek woensdagmiddag tijdens een Kamerdebat.

CDA: mogelijk onderzoek misbruik


Het CDA wil mogelijk een parlementair onderzoek naar de rol van de overheid bij het seksueel misbruik in de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk. "Zodra blijkt dat iemand bij de politie is geweest of een zaak bij het OM aanhangig heeft gemaakt en het is weggewuifd, dan moet dat worden onderzocht", zei Kamerlid Van Toorenburg in de Tweede Kamer. De Kamer praat vandaag over het rapport van de commissie-Deetman.

Verder onderzoek

Het CDA is nu nog niet voor zo'n onderzoek, maar als de regeringspartij het idee van een aantal oppositiepartijen steunt, ontstaat een parlementaire meerderheid. Een eerdere onderzoekscommissie heeft geen aanwijzingen gevonden dat dingen in de doofpot zijn gestopt. Maar als blijkt dat de overheid toch de deur heeft dichtgehouden, moet er alsnog een onderzoek komen, vindt het CDA.

Deetman doet nader onderzoek misbruik in kerk


(Novum) - Wim Deetman is bereid een aanvullend onderzoek te houden naar misbruik van meisjes en vrouwen in de katholieke kerk. Deetman verwacht dat het rapport dit najaar gereed is. Vertegenwoordigers van de katholieke kerk hebben ingestemd met het onderzoek. Dat schrijft minister van Veiligheid en Justitie Ivo Opstelten (VVD) in een brief aan de Tweede Kamer.

Deetman was voorzitter van de commissie die seksueel misbruik in de katholieke kerk heeft onderzocht. Eind vorig jaar werden de resultaten gepresenteerd. Uit het rapport bleek onder meer dat tussen 1945 en 1981 tussen de tien- en twintigduizend kinderen zijn misbruikt in katholieke instellingen. Het misbruik was bekend binnen de ordes en bisdommen.

Voorlopig geen parlementair onderzoek seksueel misbruik

Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal

15 februari, debat - "Jammer dat de overheid buiten beeld blijft". Arib (PvdA) wil een parlementair onderzoek naar het seksueel misbruik in katholieke instellingen en de rol van de overheid daarbij. Maar zij krijgt voor dit voorstel nog onvoldoende steun..

Uit een onderzoek van de commissie-Deetman blijkt dat in katholieke instellingen tussen 1945 en 1981 10.000 tot 20.000 kinderen zijn misbruikt. De kerk wist ervan, maar deed niets, concludeert Deetman. Maar welke rol heeft de overheid eigenlijk gespeeld?, vraagt Arib. Iedere schijn van een doofpot moet worden vermeden, benadrukt Gesthuizen (SP). Net als Dibi (GroenLinks) wil zij dat de Kamer de rol van de overheid, OM en politie gaat onderzoeken.

Cardinals and the Concistory: Past and present

Vatican Insider

Cardinals govern during the sede vacante transition phase as they elect the new Pope

Vatican Insider staff

Both electors and non electors have the important role of advising the Pope; a role which Wojtyla and Ratzinger have strengthened in recent years. Indeed, Benedict XVI has continued John Paul II’s decision for the Concistory to be preceded by a consultation with cardinals for the exchange of opinions on issues that have been brought to the Church’s attention.

Cardinals have had the power to elect Popes since 1059. In 1150 the College of Cardinals was formed, with a dean and a Camerlengo (whose responsibilities formerly included the fiscal administration of the Patrimony of St. Peter), and from the 12th Century onwards, prelates outside Rome also began to be appointed as cardinals. Still today, each cardinal receives the title or diaconate of a Roman diocese or a suburbicarian diocese, from the Pope. This is a symbolic of the Roman clergy’s long tradition with the Pope being the Bishop of Rome.


Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 16 February 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father visited the Major Seminary of Rome for the occasion of the feast of its patroness, Our Lady of Trust, which falls on Saturday. The Holy Father visited the chapel before going on to meet with auxiliary bishops of Rome, superiors of diocesan seminaries and 190 seminarians.

Following the reading of the Gospel, Benedict XVI pronounced a "lectio divina" on the passage from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans in which the Apostle invites the faithful not to conform to this world but to transform themselves and renew their minds in order to discern the will of God, "the good and acceptable and perfect".

"We can reflect upon the Church today", he said in his off-the-cuff remarks. "There is much talk about the Church of Rome, many things are said. Let us hope that people also talk about our faith. Let us pray to God that it may be so".

The Pope then went on to refer to the force of evil which, in today's world, also emerges "in two great powers which are good and useful in themselves but easily open to abuse: the power of finance and the power of the media. Both are necessary, both are useful, but so subject to misuse that they often go against their true goals".

Ratzinger hints at the troubles facing the Curia

Vatican Insider

In his address to Seminarians today, Benedict XVI said “The whole world is talking about the Church of Rome, let us hope it is also talking about our faith”

Vatican Insider staff

“The whole world is talking about the Church of Rome, let us hope it is also talking about our faith.” These were the words pronounced by the Pope during this afternoon’s “lectio divina” with Seminarians from Rome who met him at the Lateran University on the Feast of Our Lady of Trust. “Let us hope that people are not talking about just anything but that they are talking about the faith of the Roman Church,” Benedict XVI said, alluding to the recent controversy in the press concerning the Roman Curia.

The Pope’s reflection referred to the Letter to the Romans, in which, as he stressed in his address to the future priests of the Diocese of Rome, “Paul speaks to us, because he speaks to Romans of all times.”

During the “lectio divina” Ratzinger also warned Seminarians against the “power of finance and the media” which “are necessary and even useful, but so open to abuse that they can go against man.”

The “power of finance,” the Pope said, transforms money from “instrument” to “greed,” “a power that oppresses man.” “Christians oppose conformism and submission,” the Pope said.

In as far as “public opinion” is concerned, “we need information, but this can not be overcome by the power of appearance, which in the end only gives importance to what is said rather than to the truth and man becomes only concerned with appearances.”