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April 30, 2012

Church in need of new direction to avoid drift towards oblivion

The Irish Times


RITE AND REASON: There are a myriad of problems facing the church, not least the lack of leadership

TWO REMARKABLE statistics emerged from recent surveys. Firstly, in the census, 84 per cent of people in Ireland ticked the “Catholic” box. And secondly, in an Amárach survey on behalf of the Association of Catholic Priests, 35 per cent of Catholics said they attended Mass weekly.

After all that has happened to the Catholic Church in Ireland in the last two decades no one, I suspect, could have predicted such extraordinary results. The odds against it would have been significant. And yet here we are.

After the child abuse scandals, the failure to deal with them, the scathing reports, the inevitable condemnations, the continuing decline in vocations and church attendance and not least the growing perception that the Irish Catholic Church is in terminal decline, suddenly, extraordinarily, there are reasons for believing that belief in and commitment to the Catholic project is resilient and, numerically, still significant.

Vatican loud on liberals but silent on abuse

The Irish Times


We are witnessing the cruel humiliation of a generation of clergy that deserves better

THERE’S A column I would have written a few years ago, but can’t be bothered to write now. It was a reliable old standby about the latest abuse of power by the institutional Catholic Church. It would be fuelled by anger and by expectation – rage at the hierarchy’s latest folly but an implicit hope that the innate decency of Irish Catholicism would some day be allowed to blossom. There was something real at stake in this argument – the church’s hold on Irish public culture was so strong that everything it did mattered.

I thought about writing one of those columns in response to the Vatican’s censuring of five priests – Brian D’Arcy, Tony Flannery, Gerard Moloney, Seán Fagan and Owen O’Sullivan – simply for saying what most Catholics actually think about celibacy, women priests and homosexuality. But I couldn’t find either anger or hope.

All that’s left is a double dose of sadness – for a generation of idealists; for a society in need of moral leadership that is being given just one more, all too familiar dose of the most abject cynicism.

What we’re seeing now is the sadistic humiliation of a generation of clergy that deserves better. At a simple human level, there’s something genuinely tragic in the fate of these priests: not just those who have been silenced but all their like-minded colleagues. These were once young men and women, mostly in rural Ireland, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. They were infused with the energy of reform and renewal. The priesthood still had glamour, and it was still tied up with familial snobbery, social prestige and institutional arrogance.

Accuser In Philadelphia Priest Trial Withdrew 1 Complaint Against Reverend James Brennan

Huffington Post


PHILADELPHIA — A 47-year-old man unleashed his fury Monday at the Roman Catholic Church, staring down a church official in a Philadelphia courtroom as he described being forced as a child to engage in sex acts with a priest.

The man glared Monday at Monsignor William Lynn at the defense table and complained that only one church representative, a priest friend, had ever apologized.

"It always felt wrong. A man should not touch a child," said the man, the ninth of 10 children in his Levittown family.

Testifying in the sixth week of a clergy abuse trial focusing on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the man broke down when he recalled telling his mother in 1998 about being abused by defrocked priest David Sicoli in the late 1970s.

Sicoli molested him at the priest's shore home in Sea Isle, N.J., in the priest's red-and-white sports car and on other occasions, the man testified. Like other accusers who have testified, the boy worked at the rectory, and his mother had hopes of him becoming a priest.

Missbrauchsopfer sollte schweigen


Der Missbrauchsfall im Erzbistum Bamberg sollte nach FOCUS-Informationen mit einer Schweigeerklärung vertuscht werden.

Im Herbst 2007 trafen sich der beschuldigte Domkapitular Otto M., dessen Mitarbeiter, ein Jurist und ein Psychologe in einem Nürnberger Caritashaus mit dem heute 40-jährigen Opfer Erwin S. Dieser sollte eine Verzichtserklärung unterschreiben und sich verpflichten, nie mehr solche Vorwürfe gegen M. zu erheben. Erwin S. lehnte ab, obwohl die Kirchenmänner angeblich mit einer Verleumdungsklage drohten. M. soll als Schulleiter des Knabenseminars Ottonianum in Bamberg mehrere Jungen sexuell missbraucht haben.

Priesterrat: "Missbrauchsfälle rasch klären"


Interview Der Sprecher des Priesterrates im Erzbistum Bamberg, Michael Hofmann, lehnt eine Pauschalverurteilung der Kirche ab. Er fordert eine rasche Aufarbeitung bekannt gewordener Fälle.

Dass katholische Geistliche mit Blick auf die Missbrauchsskandale oft per Generalverdacht an den Pranger gestellt werden, missfällt dem Sprecher des Priesterrats der Erzdiözese Bamberg, Michael Hofmann. Im Gespräch mit unserer Zeitung weist der Nürnberger Theologe allerdings auch darauf hin, dass angesichts der Vielzahl der Missbrauchsfälle die katholische Kirche in Deutschland ihre Hausaufgaben erst noch machen muss. Die bekannt gewordenen Fälle müssten schnell aufgearbeitet werden - im Interesse der Opfer und um verloren gegangenes Vertrauen zurückzugewinnen. Da sich die Opfer aus verständlichen Gründen oft erst sehr spät den schlimmen Erfahrungen ihrer Vergangenheit stellen können, plädiert Hofmann für eine Verlängerung der Verjährungsfristen.

Kanunnik veroordeeld voor seksueel misbruik

RKnieuws (Nederland)

MUNCHEN (RKnieuws.net) - De kerkelijke rechtbank van het aartsbisdom München-Freisung heeft een oud kanunnik van het kathedraal kapittel van Bamberg schuldig bevonden aan seksueel misbruik.

De 67-jarige prelaat is op rust gesteld en mag geen openbare pastorale activiteit meer uitoefenen. Ook zijn titel van kanunnik-emeritus wordt ingetrokken. Het is tot op heden de hoogste prelaat die in Duitsland door een kerkelijke rechtbank veroordeeld wordt wegens seksueel misbruik.

VIDEO: Monash couple fight on for full probe into abuse

Waverley Leader

by Tim Michell

THE home of Chrissie and Anthony Foster seems like any other - filled with pictures, ornaments and memories.

But something will always be missing.

The couple’s lives changed forever when they discovered their daughters, Emma and Katie, were abused by a priest when they were in primary school.

Struggling in the aftermath, Emma later died of a medication overdose, while Katie was severely disabled in a car crash.

Mrs Foster detailed the family’s anguish in a powerful book, Hell on the Highway to Heaven.

Clergy Sexual Abuse Ten Years Later: A May 11 Conference at Santa Clara University Explor

Market Watch

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Apr 30, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Ten years after the scandal of child sexual abuse by priests rocked the U.S. Catholic Church to its core, has enough been done to protect children, prevent recurrence, and strengthen institutional accountability and transparency?

The mixed-bag answer to that question is the subject of an upcoming, daylong conference being held May 11 at Santa Clara University. The conference is based on findings from a new book, Sexual Abuses in the Catholic Church, A Decade of Crisis 2002-2012, published in October, 2011 by Praeger.

The conference will feature 13 of 23 authors of the Decade of Crisis book, who were all, in some way, part of the national effort to find justice and healing in the wake of the nationwide scandal.

The panelists include Karen Terry, PhD, the principal investigator for two nationally acclaimed John Jay College of Criminal Justice studies on the nature, scope, and causes of the abuse scandals; Barbara Blaine, who in 1988 founded the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP); Kathleen McChesney, PhD, former FBI executive who was the first executive director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Bishops; and SCU Professor Thomas Plante, a consultant on priest sexual abuse who also helps screen seminarians for sexual-abuse proclivities as vice chair of the National Review Board for the U.S. Bishops' Protection of Children and Youth office.

Priest jailed over maid sex attacks

New Zimbabwe

by Staff Reporter

A PRIEST who “put the fear of God” into his maid before raping her several times over a two-year period has been jailed for 15 years.

Ruthless Edias Ncube, 35, threatened the 21-year-old woman with death if she reported the abuse to anyone as he carried out the sex attacks between October 2008 and July 2010, a Bulawayo magistrate heard.

Ncube, a graduate pastor of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, attacked the woman while his wife – a lecturer at Solusi University – was at work or attending workshops, said Goodluck Katenaire, prosecuting.

Originally from Msilahobe in Lower Gweru, Ncube’s crimes went undetected until he made the maid pregnant.

Rome vs. the Sisters

Religion Dispatches

By Marian Ronan

Commentators offer a range of explanations for last week’s Vatican “assessment” charging a group that includes the largest number of US Catholic sisters, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) with “serious doctrinal problems” and “radical feminism.”

One frequent explanation is that the report was issued in retaliation for support given the 2009 Affordable Care Act (ACA) by Network, a Catholic social justice lobby with close ties to the LCWR. For example, in a BBC News interview several days after the release of the assessment, Sister Simone Campbell, Network’s executive director, acknowledged “a strong connection” between Network’s challenge to the US bishops over the ACA and the Vatican accusations.

No doubt there is some truth to this analysis. But it’s worth noting that the Vatican launched the investigation that culminated in this document in January 2009, more than a year before Congress passed the ACA. Given the speed with which Rome does things, it’s more than likely that while the sisters’ support for the ACA contributed to the harshness of the statement, it by no means caused it. Indeed, Pope John Paul II mandated a previous investigation of US religious in 1983, though the outcome of that process was less brutal than the current one has proven to be.

In point of fact, throughout the history of the Church, bishops and popes have struggled mightily to keep committed celibate Catholic women under control. Already in the early Christian centuries male church leaders forced virgins to describe themselves as “brides of Christ” rather than use the male martial imagery they had come to use during the Roman persecutions. The early equality between male and female desert monastics was likewise undercut when eighth century bishops began taking control of women’s monasteries and ordained monks to the priesthood for the first time (but not nuns, of course.) And as, throughout the following centuries, groups of dedicated Christian women came together—canonesses, Beguines, beatas, recluses—popes, bishops, and male theologians went to great lengths to rein them in.

Former Goose Creek pastor pleads guilty to sexually abusing child, gets 26 years in prison

The Post and Courier


A former Goose Creek pastor who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a child over an eight-year stretch was sentenced to 26 years in prison Friday.

James Doscher, a 63-year-old Ladson man, served as pastor of New Life Church in Goose Creek, authorities said. A witness who spoke on Doscher’s behalf in court said Doscher more recently served as a small group leader at Faith Assembly church in Summerville.

A circuit court judge sentenced him to 26 years in prison on a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, 20 years on a charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and 15 years on a charge of committing a lewd act on a child. The sentences will run concurrently, and Doscher must serve at least 85 percent of the 26 years.

Former Pastor Gets 26 Years For Child Sex Abuse


By Greg Hambrick

A former Goose Creek pastor plead guilty Friday to sexually abusing a child over an eight year period.

James Doscher was sentenced to 26 years in prison for criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the 1st degree. He was also sentenced to 20 years and 15 years on related charges, but the sentencing will be served concurrently. Doscher will have to serve more than 22 years before he is eligible for release.

Assistant Solicitor Anne Williams of the Ninth Circuit Solicitor’s Special Victims Unit said the maximum sentence would have been 30 years because of the "Doscher was only subject to the sentencing ranges in law at the time of the offenses," said Assistant Solicitor Anne Williams. "Because the crimes occurred 10 years ago, the maximum time he could have been sentenced to on the most serious charge was up to 30 years."

Appeals court orders new trial for Brooklyn rabbi


NEW YORK, April 27 (Reuters) - A Brooklyn rabbi convicted of sex abuse will get a new trial, after a New York appeals court ruled that prosecutors failed to promptly hand over a detective's notes about an alleged bribery attempt.

The Appellate Division, Second Department, held that Rabbi Baruch Lebovits was "substantially prejudice(d)" by prosecutors' mid-trial disclosure of a detective's handwritten notes detailing a conversation in which the alleged sex-abuse victim said he was offered a bribe by a key defense witness in exchange for his silence.

"The untimely disclosure of the interview notes precluded the defense from fully and adequately preparing for cross-examination and set a trap for the defendant which had already sprung at the time the notes were finally furnished," the court wrote in a unanimous order released last week.

Teresa Stone pleads guilty in husband's murder


KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A woman admitted in court Monday to plotting her husband’s murder with their former pastor.

Teresa Stone pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Teresa Stone’s husband, Randy Stone, was found dead March 31, 2010 in his Independence insurance office.

Teresa Stone's voice was shaky and she broke down into tears as she told the court she planned her husband's death.

The Stones’ former pastor, David Love, pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

Alleged Priest Pleads Not Guilty to Theft Charges


POSTED 2:53pm 4/30/12 A man claiming now to be a St. Louis resident, and also claiming to be a priest, has pleaded not guilty to charges including theft, financial exploitation of the elderly, and deceptive practices in Knox County.

The Reverend Ryan St. Anne Scott made the plea during a brief appearance in Knox County Circuit Court Monday morning.

Scott appeared with his attorney, dressed in religious garb including a cross around his neck, and also asked for a trial by jury. This, despite the fact that the Catholic Diocese of Peoria has previously labeled Scott a "fraudulent" priest.

Prosecutors accuse Scott of borrowing large sums of money from an elderly Galesburg woman between 2009 and last year, without paying her back.

Scott formerly owned the Holy Rosary Abbey Church in Galesburg.

Update on Father Kelly Investigation

Calaveras County Sheriff's Office

Contact: Sgt Chris Hewitt
Release Date: 04/30/12
Time: 0830 hrs

(San Andreas, CA) The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office is currently completing interviews with persons associated with the Father Kelly case. Attempts are being made to locate potential witnesses and victims, however this effort is complicated by the fact that many persons now reside out of the area.

One Detective from the Sheriff’s Office is specifically assigned to the case, and it is the intention of the Sheriff’s Office to submit a report to the District Attorney within the next 30 days.

No further information will be released pending the submission of a completed case to the Calaveras County District Attorney.

Father Kelly Facing Criminal Charges?


April 30, 2012

B.J. Hansen, MML News Director

San Andreas, CA -- The Calaveras County Sheriff's Office has released a statement regarding an investigation into Michael Kelly, a priest that previously worked in the Mother Lode.

As reported two weeks ago, the Catholic Diocese of Stockton will pay nearly $4 million to settle a lawsuit related to alleged sexual crimes that Kelly performed on an altar boy in Stockton. To read the earlier article, click here. Before working in Stockton, Kelly was a priest in Sonora, Big Oak Flat and San Andreas.

The Calaveras County Sheriff's Office has been investigating additional allegations made against the priest. Kelly has reportedly returned to his native Ireland. If additional charges are brought against Kelly, it could potentially lead to him being extradited back to the U.S.

Sheriff Gary Kuntz has released the following statement, "The Calaveras County Sheriff's Office is currently completing interviews with persons associated with the Father Kelly case. Attempts are being made to locate potential witnesses and victims, however this effort is complicated by the fact that many persons now reside out of the area. One Detective from the Sheriff's Office is specifically assigned to the case, and it is the intention of the Sheriff's Office to submit a report to the District Attorney within the next 30 days."

Sex abuse allegations unfounded against former St. Mary's priest , Archdiocese says

Wicked Local Winchester

By Jennifer Brown Bonniwell
Wicked Local Winchester

Posted Apr 30, 2012

Winchester, MA —

The Archdiocese of Boston has completed its internal investigation of sexual abuse of a minor by former St. Mary's of Winchester Rev. John M. Mendicoa and has determined the allegation to be unsubstantiated, the Archdiocese said Monday.

Mendicoa was placed on administrative leave in August 2011, after the Archdiocese received an allegation of sexual abuse of a child. Mendicoa is no longer on administrative leave and has now been assigned the status of senior priest, restricted, the Archdiocese said in a statement. The status is equivalent to retirement.

The allegation concerned conduct alleged to have occurred in the 1980s. Mendicoa was a pastor at St. Mary's in Winchester from 1986 to 1994 and at St. Michael's in Lowell from 1982 to 1986. The Archdiocese declined to say if the incident occurred in Winchester or Lowell or any further details about the victim, citing internal policy.

Quirk Testifies in Priest Abuse Trial

The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

April 30, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A man accusing a priest of sexual assault dropped a separate allegation against the same priest, the judge in an internal Catholic church trial testified Monday.

Monsignor Kevin Quirk of Wheeling, a canon lawyer who presided over Brennan's 2008 church trial, took the stand Monday in the Rev. James Brennan's criminal priest-abuse trial in Philadelphia.

Quirk, an aide to the Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, detailed allegations that Brennan sexually assaulted a 14-year-old during a 1996 sleepover at the priest's apartment.

On cross-examination, Quirk said he never delved into the man's second allegation because the accuser withdrew that complaint. That involved an accusation that Brennan abused the teen - apparently in a garden shed - when he was performing court-ordered community service at the parish.

Defense lawyer William Brennan, who is not related to his client, noted that the jury has heard about priests accused of molesting a dozen boys over many years. But James Brennan was removed quickly after the archdiocese received the complaint in 2006, because of new church guidelines on handling abuse complaints.

Pa. witness unleashes fury at Catholic church



PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A 47-year-old man has unleashed his fury at the Roman Catholic church, staring down a church official in a Philadelphia courtroom as he described how a priest forced him to engage in sex acts when he was a boy.

The man glared Monday at defendant Monsignor William Lynn and broke down when he recalled telling his mother about the alleged abuse by defrocked priest David Sicoli (suh-KOL'-ee).

Priest admitted letting teen watch porn, sharing bed with him

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin and Joseph A. Slobdzian

One of the priests on trial in the landmark clergy-sex abuse case acknowledged that he let a 14-year-old boy view online pornography and share his bed but denied touching the teen or exposing himself, according to statements he gave church investigators.

The Rev. James J. Brennan said he later realized his decision to let the boy view porn and sleep next to him that night in 1996 was “borderline” inappropriate. Still, he told interrogators at a canonical trial that he was blindsided when the young man came forward a decade later and accused him of sexual assault.

“I was just devastated,” Brennan testified in 2008.

His statements from that proceeding were introduced Monday as the Common Pleas Court trial against Brennan and Msgr. William J. Lynn opened its sixth week. Brennan is charged with attempting to rape the 14-year-old; Lynn, a former ranking official for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is accused of endangerment for not removing Brennan from ministry despite signs that he might abuse minors.

Philadelphia Child Sex Abuse Trial Revisits 2008 Church Probe of Accused Priest

CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The prosecution in the Philadelphia clergy sex abuse case today shifted its attention back to defendant James Brennan, who is accused of sexually molesting a fourteen-year-old boy in 1996 (see related stories).

Today, the jury heard statements made by Father Brennan during a 2008 church investigation of the allegations.

During questioning by one church official in 2008, Brennan denied that he had sexually assaulted his accuser. He said that nothing happened physically between them but conceded that he had made a number of regrettable decisions that night — including allowing the boy to stay overnight in the first place, giving in to the boy’s demand to watch porn on the Internet, and sleeping in the same bed the night of the alleged assault.

But in that 2008 church probe, Brennan categorically denied any physical or sexual contact. In related questioning, Brennan denied ever massaging the boy in public, although witness told church investigators that he once saw Brennan massaging the boy’s shirtless shoulders during a party at the boy’s home.

A counterculture of Catholic monks

Boston Globe

April 30, 2012|By James Carroll

The Catholic hierarchy is walling itself off ideologically, intensifying its campaign to slam shut church windows opened by the liberalizing Second Vatican Council. This month alone, the pope has rebuked the disobedience of European priests and, acting through a Vatican congregation, set in motion a severe disciplining of American nuns. The US Catholic bishops advance the pope’s agenda with their recently announced “religious liberty” campaign, timed to climax this summer — a blatant intervention in presidential politics, inevitably favoring the far right wing.

Today’s church is taking “the Benedict Option,” defined by Rod Dreher of The American Conservative as a “pioneering form of dropping out of a barbaric mainstream culture.” This approach is named after St. Benedict of Nursia, the sixth-century founder of monasticism. Joseph Ratzinger, upon his election as pope in 2005, did not take the name Benedict by accident. But the implied parallel is false: Cloistered and detached as it seems now, the monastic life was, in St. Benedict’s day, a model for forward progress.

The current Benedict’s vision seeks a purer counter-culture. Like medieval monasticism, it would preserve essentials of humane living as a dark era dawns. If this reaction leads to fewer clergy, smaller congregations, and less mainstream clout, so be it. Good riddance to the liberal “relativists,” implies this Benedict. Welcome home to the rigid “orthodox.”

If such reactionary moves further alienate majorities of Catholics, who have never seen such fervor from the pope or his bishops on behalf of children abused by priests, that is the price paid for the Benedict option. “God is not concerned so much with great numbers and with outward successes,” the pope said during Holy Week, “but achieves his victories under the humble sign of the mustard seed.”

SNAP applauds ruling in St. Louis County

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on April 30, 2012

We're grateful that a St. Louis County judge is letting Darrell & Rhonda Pitts' case against Rev. Billy Lee Little and the Christ Memorial Baptist Church move ahead. (Judge Steven Goldman issued his ruling this morning.) We're always glad when victims are given their day in court, and not left helpless because of archaic or arbitrary legal technicalities.

We hope others who saw, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Little will step forward. Keeping silent endangers others, hurts victims and helps predators.

The couple represented by Ken Chackes of Clayton (872 8420, 369 3902 cell). Little (who lives in St. Charles County with his third wife) is represented by Aaron Staebell (636-272-3606, aaron@lohmarstaebell.com). The church is represented by Cynthia S. Holmes (721-7010, officecsh@aol.com). The suit was filed in December of 2011.

List of 130 accused Minnesota abusive clerics, church staff, nuns to be provided

National Survivor Advocates Coaliton

Holding signs and childhood photos at sidewalk multiple news conferences, clergy sex abuse victims and supporters will herald a hopeful end of the insidious secrecy, minimizing and hiding heinous child sex crimes and sexual exploitation.

They will hang symbolic May Baskets with an unprecedented list of known villainous Minnesota cleric’s names and assignments on the chancery doors. They will “ring the chancery door bell” but not run away. They will wait for church officials and demand them to add names and assignments of those missing from our list, and:

¨ Announce and discuss the list of 130 villains,

¨ Ask why Minn. church officials continue to keep clergy sex crimes secret and thus continue to keep children in harm’s way,

¨ Speak publicly for the first time about a priest known to have abused children, Rudolph Henrich,

¨ Urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes to call police not church officials.

Clergy sex abuse victims and child abuse prevention advocates and members of the support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org).

Tuesday, May 1 at 1 p.m.

Outside these Catholic headquarters:
•Archdiocese St. Paul & Minneapolis, 226 Summit Ave., St. Paul
•Diocese of Winona, 55 West Sanborn St., Winona
•Diocese of New Ulm, 1400 6th St., New Ulm

Hypocrite Benedict silenced Fr Tony Flannery – A compilation… but he does not silence Cardinal Bernard Law and JP2 Army – John Paul II Pedophile Priests

Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils...

Updated April 30, 2012

Paris Arrow

This is the most number of priests from one country ever silenced by the Vatican, 6 Irish priests and still counting, read the "Vatican retaliates Ireland" below. Cardinal Ratzinger silenced the Liberation Theology priests but they were not all from one country, read about them here http://pope-ratz.blogspot.ca/2010/03/benedict-xvi-cardinal-ratzinger-and-his.html Benedict XVI just came from Cuba after lecturing Fidel Castro on the "freedom of speech" and soon as he returns to the Vatican, he does not practise what he preaches, and he silences Irish priests for speaking out what the Holy Spirit inspires them to do. Has Benedict XVI forgotten that St. Peter (the first pope) wrote and preached the least and St. Paul wrote and preached the most in the New Testament ? Yet St. Paul is outside-the-wall of the Vatican? but he is the most read and most cited in the Daily Mass and by all theological writings? May The Hague call on hypocrite Benedict XVI to stand trial soon before he falls ill or dies and thus bring the one-and-only-justice to the hundreds of thousands of children sexually abused by his B16 Army Benedict XVI Pedophile Priests Army also known as JP2 Army-John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army whose beatification is celebrated by Benedict tomorrow

Prosecutors: Look to Philly

The Little Grape

Mari Passananti

There's a photo bouncing around Facebook of an adorable child hugging an equally adorable retriever. The caption reads: "There's a special place in hell for those who abuse children and animals."

If there is indeed a hell, and there's any justice in that fiery place, the saying must be correct. And surely those who aid and abet abusers would qualify for the same "special" kind of damnation as the abusers themselves.

A landmark trial is underway in Philadelphia. For the first time, a church official (one not accused of laying a hand or other body part on a child) is charged with child endangerment. Prosecutors in the City of Brotherly Love allege that Monsignor Michael Lynn knowingly allowed sex-abuser priests under his supervision to remain in roles where they could continue to torture children.

Omaha priest accused of sexual abuse


[with video]

An allegation of sexual abuse by an Omaha priest dates to his service at Norfolk church.

Deacon Timothy McNeil, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Omaha, says the allegation against Reverend Franklin Dvorak came to light at the end of March.

He's accused of sexually abusing a female student from 1970 to 1972.

Dvorak was placed on leave Friday from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Omaha.

Witness: Man changed story at priest's canon trial

Lebanon Daily News

By MARYCLAIRE DALE Associated Press
Updated: 04/30/2012

PHILADELPHIA—The judge in an internal Catholic church trial says a man accusing a priest of sexual assault once changed his story.

Monsignor Kevin Quirk, a canon lawyer now in West Virginia, testified Monday in the Rev. James Brennan's criminal priest-abuse trial in Philadelphia.

Quirk presided over the 2008 church trial. He detailed allegations that Brennan sexually assaulted a 14-year-old during a 1996 sleepover at the priest's apartment.

On cross-examination, Quirk said he never delved into the man's second allegation because the accuser withdrew that complaint.

Billy Little: Pastor and Pyschologist Accused of Dusty Sex Scandal

Riverfront Times

By Chad Garrison
Mon., Apr. 30 2012

A retired Baptist minister and licensed psychologist who, according to his biography, once hosted a counseling program on KMOX and worked as a sports psychologist for the baseball Cardinals, stands accused today of taking advantage of a female patient.

And the plaintiffs and their attorney believe more victims may be out there.

"The primary motive of my clients is to encourage others to come forward," says attorney Ken Chackes, who's representing Darrell and Rhonda Pitt in their lawsuit against Pastor Billy Lee Little and the now-defunct Christ Memorial Baptist Church of Cool Valley. "It's our understanding that the church board established a fund for victims of Little, and it's believed that one other person came forward but that no relief was awarded."

Cynthia Holmes, the attorney representing the church, tells Daily RFT that no such fund exists. In March a St. Louis County judge dismissed the church from the lawsuit, though the Pitts are seeking to reinstate the defendant. Meanwhile, at a hearing today the attorney representing Little is expected to ask that his client also be dismissed from the case.

A False Claim to Divine Morality: Sex, Lies and Pedophiles

Huffington Post

Jeff Schweitzer

Over dinner with a group of good friends awhile ago, I was taken aback when during one of the many lively discussions someone offered a defense of the Catholic Church in the now-old-news sex abuse scandal. I had previously operated under the assumption that even the biggest Church apologist would hesitate to venture in that direction in any public debate in a mixed crowd no matter what justifications one might conjure up in private. Yes, my friend is a practicing Catholic who attends church every week, but I had assumed that her association would increase rather than diminish her outrage. Not so.

Her defense did not attempt to dismiss the facts of the case or diminish the horror of the crimes. Rather my friend offered a defense of relativity: the Church is a human institution and the number of sex abusers is no greater proportionally than in the general population. There was the tangential argument that the media unfairly targeted the Church and so gave the impression of a larger problem than really exists. Finally, coming soon after the Sandusky scandal at Penn State, she argued that the problem of pedophilia is perhaps even more prevalent in the world of sports, or at a minimum at least as bad. She posited that, as with the Church, in the case of Penn State plenty of people in a position of authority chose to turn a blind eye.

I had largely forgotten the discussion until yesterday. I was talking to the owner of an Indian restaurant who was lamenting her problems with vendors. She then made a comment that caught my attention: "I now try to deal mainly with Christian sellers." She herself is Buddhist. The implication clearly is that Christians bring to the table a higher degree of morality and therefore honesty. This assumption is so deeply embedded that no further explanation was offered in the statement -- it was considered self-evident.

My first reaction to that unquestioned assumption was to think of the more than 10,000 children alleged to have been violated by Catholic priests, and in contrast to that ugly reality, the dissonant claim to a higher morality. In that grating contradiction lays a central problem with the Church, and more generally, with religion: any embarrassing challenges to divine claims can be dismissed as the consequence of human frailties. The Church can claim simultaneously to be the arbiter of a morality inspired by god while offering the excuse that they can be expected to be no better than the general population when it comes to abusing children because it is a "human institution."

Voice of the Victims: Sex Abuse Survivors and the Church

Christianity Today

Michelle Van Loon

The news rumbled like an earthquake through evangelical circles. Tom White, the 64-year-old director of religious-persecution group Voice of The Martyrs (V.O.M.), had committed suicide after allegations that he’d molested a 10-year-old girl. For those of us who have no connection to the case or the ministry, the sad news may have been, say, a 4.0 on a spiritual Richter scale – enough to rattle a few pictures and shift our routines for a moment or two. I wonder what number on the spiritual Richter scale the little girl and her family would give to this news.

There is a predictable arc to the way many Christians talk among ourselves about high-profile cases of children victimized by high-profile spiritual leaders. We recoil in shock as the revelations of the leader’s misconduct unfolds, while simultaneously reminding ourselves of the size of his organization and the impact of his ministry has had on congregation, community and world. (In most cases, it is a “he” we’re discussing.) Days or weeks later, we may engage in a wistful airing of previously unvoiced suspicions: “He was always a little too friendly to the junior high kids, but I never felt like I could say anything because of his position.” The third act comes as those loyal to the church or organization heroically proclaim that the message of the gospel will go on.

A fallen leader has never stopped the progress of the gospel, and never will. But I do not believe we are proclaiming the gospel well when we do not put priority on first things: namely, the victim and his or her family.


Catholic League

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the way some pundits are rallying on behalf of nuns:

Anyone who has read New York Times columnists Maureen Dowd and Nicholas Kristof, and the editorials in the Boston Globe (owned by the Times), knows how contemptuous they are of the Catholic Church. There is one exception: they love left-wing dissidents. Hence, their rally for “progressive” nuns.

Yesterday, Dowd sounded like a stand-up comic when she said “the Vatican is trying to muzzle American nuns.” Maybe she should talk to the Sisters of Life and then write a column on how “muzzled” they feel.

Yesterday, Kristof also showed how clueless he is when he wrote about “a stinging reprimand of American nuns.” Perhaps he should speak to Mother M. Assumpta Long of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist and ask if she’s been reprimanded.

Nuns and priests wear gags as they protest against Vatican censorship

Irish Central

IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Published Monday, April 30, 2012

Nuns and priests wore gags in the Vatican colors as they protested in Dublin against the Catholic church’s latest censorship moves.

A silent vigil outside the Papal Nunciature was held to oppose recent Vatican attempts to silence five high profile clerics.

The move came after celebrity priest Fr Brian D’Arcy confirmed that he had been censored for his Sunday World newspaper column.

Redemptorist priests Fr Tony Flannery and Fr Gerard Moloney, Marist priest Fr Seán Fagan and Capuchin priest Fr Owen O’Sullivan have also been the subject of Vatican censorship in recent weeks.

The Dublin protest attracted more than 200 lay Catholics and religious.

April 30, 2012 - A Statement of the Archdiocese of Boston Regarding Rev. John M. Mendicoa

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

"The Archdiocese of Boston today announced that the allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by Father John M. Mendicoa has been found to be unsubstantiated. Fr Mendicoa was placed on administrative leave in August, 2011, after the Archdiocese received an allegation of sexual abuse of a child. The allegation concerned conduct alleged to have occurred in the 1980s. Fr. Mendicoa is no longer on administrative leave and has now been assigned the status of Senior Priest, restricted.

Father Mendicoa's ministry, beyond sacramental celebrations with members of his family, will be exercised with the permission of the Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia of the Archdiocese of Boston. In reaching this decision, Cardinal Sean O'Malley reaffirmed his care and concern for all persons impacted by the reality of sexual abuse of children. The Cardinal and the Archdiocese remain committed to resolving cases of this nature in a manner that is as just as possible for all involved."

Allegation against Roslindale priest unsubstantiated

Boston Herald

By Associated Press
Monday, April 30, 2012

BOSTON — The Archdiocese of Boston has determined that allegations of child sexual abuse lodged against a Boston priest last year were unsubstantiated.

The church announced Monday that the Rev. John Mendicoa has been taken off administrative leave.

Mendicoa was placed on administrative leave last August after the archdiocese received an allegation of sexual abuse of a child dating to the 1980s. He has been assigned the status of senior priest, restricted.

Mendicoa was most recently a vicar at Sacred Heart Parish in the city’s Roslindale neighborhood.

Archdiocese ...

Boston Globe

Archdiocese says allegations against Roslindale priest were found to be unsubstantiated

By Martin Finucane, Globe Staff

The archdiocese of Boston says it has determined that a child sex abuse allegation against a Roslindale priest was unsubstantiated.

The archdiocese said today in a statement that the allegation was made against the Rev. John M. Mendicoa of Sacred Heart Parish in August. Mendicoa was accused of actions in the 1980s.

Mendicoa was placed on administrative leave, but has now been taken off administrative leave and assigned the status of senior priest, restricted, the archdiocese said.

Mendicoa’s ministry is limited to celebrating the sacraments with his family, unless he gets permission from top church officials, the statement said. Mendicoa is retired and no longer a pastor of a church, a church spokeswoman said.

Documentary to shine spotlight on abuse

Donegal Democrat

By Michelle Nic Phaidin
Published on Monday 30 April 2012

Donegal will be the backdrop for a new hard hitting documentary that promises to reveal more startling facts about clerical abuse in Ireland. “The Shame of the Catholic Church” which is to be broadcast this Tuesday night outlines how decades of clerical abuse and cover up have left the Catholic Church in Ireland at breaking point.

In this programme, journalist Darragh Mac Intyre, a BBC journalist whose investigations into the Father Eugene Greene case rocked the Catholic Church, once again, unearths more truths about the manner in which clerical sexual abuse was dealt with in this country.

Paul Breslin, a native of Bealtaine who has been living in London for many years, first went public with his harrowing story of clerical abuse after he was approached MacIntyre for a 2002 BBC Northern Ireland Spotlight programme. By that point, Father Greene was already in jail. He had been sentenced in 2000 for abusing boys in west Donegal from 1962 to 1985. The former priest has since been released from jail and has escaped the attention of the press.

This documentary, promises revelations that will stun the Irish public. Mac Intyre is understood to have spent a period of time interviewing victims and those related to the subject in Donegal ahead of the Raphoe Diocese Report’s press launch last year. It is speculated that the show was broadcast to a select audience in recent weeks. However, the makers of the programme are remaining tight lipped as to the content of their Tuesday night programme.

Programme for gathering on Monday 7 May is published

The Association of Catholic Priests

Towards an Assembly of the Irish Catholic Church.

10.15: First Session: Naming the Reality
Opening words by Brendan Hoban.
Chairperson: Gerry O’Hanlon
Prayer/Reflection: Brendan Butler

Speakers: (In the following order): Joe Mulvanney; Emer Dolphin; Garry Keogh; Phil Dunne (five to six minutes each).

Open discussion.

Dublin, hundreds participate in vigil outside Holy See's Nunciature

Vatican Insider

Over 200 Catholics, including priests and nuns, protested in silence outside the residence of the papal nuncio in Dublin at the silencing of several Irish priests, and called for the lifting of this disciplinary measure and the opening of dialogue

Gerard O'Connell

More than 200 people participated in a silent vigil outside the Holy See’s Nunciature in Dublin on April 29 to protest the silencing or censuring of several Irish priests by the Vatican and to ask for the revocation of these disciplinary measures and their replacement by dialogue.

This large crowd of committed Catholics, which included several priests and many nuns, braved icy-cold weather conditions to publicly protest their strong feelings against the silencing of five Irish priests whose names have been made public and others whose names are still being kept secret.

Brendan Butler, a spokesman for the Catholic lay group We are Church Ireland which organized the vigil said, "So many Irish Catholics are expressing their anger at this heavy-handedness by the Vatican against Seán Fagan, Tony Flannery, Gerry Moloney, Owen O’Sullivan and Brian D’Arcy — all outstanding priests of the Irish Church."

Missbrauch: Priester muss in Ruhestand

Mittel Bayerische

Bamberg/München. Wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs ist ein früherer Bamberger Domkapitular von einem kirchlichen Gericht dauerhaft in den Ruhestand versetzt worden. Zugleich untersagte ihm das Gericht des Erzbistums München jede seelsorgerische Tätigkeit, wie das Erzbistum Bamberg am Montag mitteilte. Überdies darf der Geistliche, der bereits 2008 in den vorläufigen Ruhestand versetzt worden war, nicht mehr den Titel „Domkapitular“ tragen. Das Kirchengericht war überzeugt, dass der heute 67 Jahre alten Priester vor rund drei Jahrzehnten während seiner Tätigkeit in einem Bamberger Kircheninternat Schüler sexuell missbraucht hat. Im Urteil ist von sechs „minderschweren Fällen“ die Rede. Die Staatsanwaltschaft hatte ihre Ermittlungen im Jahr 2009 wegen Verjährung eingestellt.

Bamberg: Kirchengericht verurteilt früheren Personalchef


Mit einem Schuldspruch endete nach mehr als drei Jahren ein kirchenrechtlicher Prozess gegen einen früheren Bamberger Domkapitular wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs. Der 67-Jährige wurde strafweise in den Ruhestand versetzt und darf nicht mehr den Titel eines emeritierten Domkapitulars führen, wie das Erzbistum Bamberg am Montag mitteilte. Der Verurteilte ist der bisher ranghöchste deutsche Geistliche, dem sexueller Missbrauch nachgewiesen wurde. Den Prozess hatte das Gericht des Erzbistums München-Freising im Auftrag der römischen Glaubenskongregation geführt.

Dem Kirchengericht zufolge verübte der Priester während seiner Tätigkeit im Erzbischöflichen Knabenseminar Ottonianum in Bamberg zwischen 1978 bis 1984 sexuelle Übergriffe an Minderjährigen in sechs "jeweils minderschweren Fällen". Nach dem rechtskräftigen Urteil legte die Bamberger Bistumsleitung fest, dass der Priester auch weiterhin keine seelsorglichen Funktionen "in dem in der Öffentlichkeit wahrnehmbaren Bereich" ausüben darf. Erzbischof Ludwig Schick entschuldigte sich erneut in einem Brief bei den Opfern.

Geistlicher muss in den Ruhestand


Ein Kirchengericht hat einen ehemaligen Bamberger Domkapitular wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs dauerhaft in den Ruhestand versetzt. Zudem ist ihm in Zukunft jede seelsorgerische Tätigkeit untersagt, teilte das Erzbistum Bamberg mit.

Das Gericht des Erzbistums München hat außerdem beschlossen, dass der Geistliche den Titel "Domkapitular" ab sofort nicht mehr führen darf. Der 67 Jahre alte Priester war wegen des Verdachts auf sexuellen Missbrauch bereits im Jahr 2008 vorläufig in den Ruhestand versetzt worden. Er war von 1978 bis 1984 im Bamberger Ottonianum tätig.

Wir halten also fest:


Priester werden entpflichtet und anschließend wieder eingesetzt.

Die Entpflichtung erfolgt auffallend häufig nach einer Verurteilung wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs.

Das neue Tätigkeitsfeld dieser Priester ist auffallend häufig die Krankenhausseelsorge.

Was geschieht also dann mit den beiden Missbrauchspriestern, die Bischof Ackermann - aufgrund des medialen Drucks - offiziell am 10.04.2012 entpflichtet hat?

Offensichtlich ist die "Entpflichtung" eines Priesters nur eine Farce.
Und das "Kinderroulette" geht weiter!

$336m child protection boost in Vic budget

9 News

Tue May 1 2012

About $336 million will be earmarked in Tuesday's state budget to reform Victoria's broken child-protection system.

The government has released a strategy in response to 90 recommendations for an overhaul of the child protection system from a panel headed by former Supreme Court judge Philip Cummins.

It committed last February to spend more than $61 million to employ 19 extra child protection workers, expand family support services in areas of extreme demand, and establish three new centres where police, child protection officers and counsellors will work together to address child sex abuse.

Mendham clergy sex abuse memorial rededicated in show of support


Posted: Monday, April 30, 2012

By PHIL GARBER, Managing Editor

MENDHAM ‑ Bill Crane recalled how he felt when he got the phone call at his Oregon home last November that someone had shattered the memorial to clergy sexual abuse survivors at St. Joseph Church.

"It was exactly how I felt," said Crane, 46, who lived in Mendham when as a child, he was sexually assaulted by former parish priest, James Hanley. "Shattered."

The 400-pound black basalt monument was replaced at its original spot next to the West Main Street church at a public ceremony on Saturday.

Church bells rang while a bagpiper played "Amazing Grace" to an audience of about 70 people. They included Crane and survivors and family members of survivors of Hanley who, during his tenure as pastor ofSt. Joseph’s from 1972 to 1982, sexually abused more than a dozen boys in the church rectory.

New York Times Columnists Support the Nuns, Tell Bishops to Back Off


By: Scarecrow Monday April 30, 2012

A lot of Americans, Catholic or otherwise, were offended, even outraged when the Vatican presumed to lecture America’s nuns about being too devoted to helping the poor and insufficiently obedient in spreading blatantly discriminatory Vatican doctrines against gays, contraception, and the whole question of women’s place in the church.

Catholics were especially shocked at the overtly male attack on the respected nuns and appalled when the Vatican assigned an out-of-touch American Bishop to start an inquisition attempting to silence the organization representing 80 percent of American nuns.

As the Dad says in the Eddie Murphy comedy, “this is America, Jack,” and folks here are not fond of foreign rulers, let alone religious potentates, presuming to tell them what to believe. It just struck a lot of folks as being not just out of touch but unAmerican.

For a year now, Austrian Catholics debate obedience

National Catholic Reporter

Apr. 30, 2012
By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt


VIENNA, AUSTRIA -- Cardinal Christoph Schönborn is an old hand by now at dealing with Austrian church crises. Appointed archbishop of Vienna in 1995 (at the age of 50), after the late Cardinal Hans Hermann Groër had to step down after being accused of sexually abusing a minor, Schönborn has had to cope with constant demands for church reform ever since -- demands that have now become a perennial issue and frequently hit world headlines. And although he makes no secret of the fact that he is a conservative at heart and an adamant advocate of both mandatory priestly celibacy and of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, for example, he has often surprised Austrian Catholics and others by the courageous way he has tackled seemingly insolvable dilemmas. He has, moreover, never hesitated to criticize the Vatican when to his mind it was at fault or shared in the blame for crises in the Austrian church.

In his chrism Mass sermon on April 2, the Monday of Holy Week, he offered his own Jesus-solution on how priests can cope with three of the most problematic situations confronting them in their pastoral work today:

•The large number of people, including many young, conservative Catholics, who cohabit without being married;
•The large number of divorced people who remarry;
•The increasing number of same-sex partnerships.

“We priests usually give up when we are faced with complete incomprehension at what the church teaches about marriage and abstinence, proliferation and indissolubility. ... There is only one way, the way his disciples learned: get to know Jesus himself better, grow into his friendship,” Schönborn told his priests. Priests should learn to walk the tightrope between canon law and true mercy as Jesus practiced it by asking themselves what Jesus would have done in each problematic situation and then following in his footsteps, the cardinal said.

Bullying the Nuns

The New York Review of Books

[read the story]

Garry Wills

The Vatican has issued a harsh statement claiming that American nuns do not follow their bishops’ thinking. That statement is profoundly true. Thank God, they don’t. Nuns have always had a different set of priorities from that of bishops. The bishops are interested in power. The nuns are interested in the powerless. Nuns have preserved Gospel values while bishops have been perverting them. The priests drive their own new cars, while nuns ride the bus (always in pairs). The priests specialize in arrogance, the nuns in humility.

There was a vogue, just after the Second Vatican Council, for some Catholics to demonstrate their liberation from Catholic schooling by making fun of nuns, as strict disciplinarians or prissy moralists. I wrote at the time that this was untrue of the many nuns I have known, beginning with the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan, who taught me for five of my grade school years. They taught me the Latin of the old liturgy; Father Sullivan, our pastor, just got angry at words mispronounced or forgotten. The Dominicans never physically punished anyone that I saw or heard of.

They were more supportive of talent than were most of the lay teachers I met in a brief experience of public school. I had no artistic inclinations, but classmates who did were encouraged. The nuns’ genuine interest in their pupils can be seen in the fact that my seventh grade teacher kept in touch with me for all the years until her death in 1996. She was Sister John Joseph when I met her, but she recovered her real name after the Council, and as Anne O’Connor congratulated me on anything I wrote. (I would no more have kept up with Father Sullivan than with cholera.)

Hundreds protest at papal nunciature against censuring of priests by Vatican

The Irish Times


A SILENT vigil was held outside the papal nunciature in Dublin yesterday to protest against the censuring of priests by the Vatican.

Well-known priest and journalist Fr Brian D’Arcy last week said he had been censured by the Vatican over four articles he wrote for the Sunday World newspaper in 2010.

Fr D’Arcy is the fifth Irish Catholic priest known to have been censured by the Vatican recently. The others are Redemptorist priests Fr Tony Flannery and Fr Gerard Moloney, Marist priest Fr Seán Fagan and Capuchin priest Fr Owen O’Sullivan.

More than 200 lay Catholics and religious, several of whom wore gags in the Vatican colours of white and yellow, yesterday handed in a letter at the gates of the residence of papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown, calling for the censures to be revoked. It is not known if the archbishop was at home.

Protesters speak out in 'anger' at silencing of priests by Vatican

Irish Independent

By Edel O'Connell

Monday April 30 2012

A GROUP of Catholic nuns, priests and lay people wore gags yesterday as they demonstrated outside the office of the Pope's envoy to Ireland to protest at the Vatican's silencing of several dissident priests.

We Are Church Ireland says its members are "very angry and shocked" by the news that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ordered a number of priests to refrain from writing, or to clear all written work with their religious superiors prior to publication.

The protesters chose to hold their protest outside the Papal Nuncio, Monsignor Charles Brown's residency on the Navan Road in Dublin, as the 52-year-old has worked at the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 1994.

More than 200 people joined the demonstration, despite inclement weather conditions.

Priest: Slideshow sex snaps weren’t mine

The Irish Sun


Fr Martin McVeigh stirred outrage when he flashed the graphic snaps at a First Communion meeting in Pomeroy, Co Tyrone, last month.

Yesterday he begged his parishioners for forgiveness for what he described as “this awful episode”.

But in a statement the cleric insisted that the images — which popped up in a Powerpoint presentation to primary school parents — weren’t his.

One-on-one interview with Cardinal Timothy Dolan

Fox 6

[with video]

Posted on: 10:20 pm, April 29, 2012, by Ted Perry

HUBERTUS — Even before he was installed as Milwaukee’s Archbishop, there was a sense among Catholics that Timothy Dolan would not be in Milwaukee long, and they were right. Saturday, April 28th, Cardinal Dolan made a trip back to Milwaukee and held Mass at Holy Hill — his first trip back since he was elevated to Cardinal. FOX6′s Ted Perry sat down with Dolan for a one-on-one interview before he celebrated Mass.

62-year-old Timothy Dolan bursts into a room the way he arrived in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee 10 years ago. Early on, he spoke with the optimism that Catholics had longed to hear and even then, was downplaying his imminent rise. Back in 2002, Dolan said he was going to die in Milwaukee, and this weekend, he said he meant it. “I was relishing spending the rest of my life in Milwaukee because I loved it here,” Dolan said.

Dolan’s critics say he didn’t do enough to move along the healing process regarding the clergy sex abuse scandal – a point Dolan concedes, but not for lack of effort. More recent sore points for Catholics are changes to the Mass, which many find simply unnecessary, and a recent rebuke of Catholic nuns by the Vatican for straying from church doctrine.

“From the beginning, what do you see? That the church had challenges, difficulties, people leaving, divisions, dissents, wrong teaching. We’ve seen it since the beginning,” Dolan said.

Caso De Pedis, “Dalla vedova alla Curia 1 mld di lire per la sepoltura”

Blitz Quotidiano

ROMA – Ora che il caso della sepoltura di Enrico De Pedis detto ‘Renatino’ dentro la Basilica di Sant’Apollinare a Roma è stato riaperto, ‘Il Corriere della Sera’ pubblica una rivelazione: la vedova del boss della Banda della Magliana avrebbe pagato un miliardo di lire nel 1990 per quella sepoltura.

Ora che Vaticano e Stato italiano hanno trovato l’intesa per lo spostamento (entro maggio) della tomba del boss, emergono quindi dettagli sul “prezzo” da Carla Di Giovanni all’epoca della morte del marito. Una fonte vicina alla Santa Sede (interpellata dall’Ansa) ha spiegato che davanti alle insistenze del rettore di Sant’Apollinare, Piero Vergari, “il cardinale Ugo Poletti, inizialmente reticente ad approvare la concessione, di fronte a una cifra così cospicua diede la sua benedizione”. D’altronde quel fiume di danaro “fu usato per le missioni e in parte per lavori di restauro della basilica”, è la salomonica conclusione.

Vatican 'accepted one billion lire' to bury crime boss in basilica next to former popes

The Independent (United Kingdom)

Michael Day
Monday 30 April 2012

The Vatican is facing a deepening controversy over the burial 22 years ago of a notorious crime boss, with reports emerging that the church accepted a one billion lire (£407,000) payment from the mobster's widow to allow his interment in a basilica.

A source at the Holy See told the Ansa news agency that "despite initial reluctance" the then vicar-general of Rome, Cardinal Ugo Poletti, "in the face of such a conspicuous sum, gave his blessing" to the controversial interment of Enrico De Pedis, the former boss of Rome's notorious Magliana gang. The money was reportedly used on missions and to restore the Basilica of St Apollinare, where the mobster was laid to rest next to popes and cardinals after his death in 1990.

The claims, which the Vatican has not commented on, may explain how such a reviled criminal was buried in such a hallowed site. Last week, to deflect growing criticism and to help resolve a 30-year-old murder mystery, it emerged that Vatican officials had decided to move the remains of De Pedis from his special crypt.

Pressure mounted earlier this month when a prosecuting magistrate, Giancarlo Capaldo, claimed senior officials at the Vatican knew much more than they were letting on about the Magliana gang's links to the Holy See, and the gang's suspected kidnap and murder of Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican official, in 1983. "There are people still alive, and still inside the Vatican, who know the truth," he said. Some believe Emanuela's father had evidence linking the Vatican Bank, Istituto per le Opere di Religione, to organised crime, and that she was snatched to keep him silent. The theory is that De Pedis, who was shot dead in 1990, organised the kidnapping.


Berger's Beat

...In a Clayton courtroom tomorrow (Monday), look for Rev. Billy Lee Little’s lawyers to ask a judge for permission to file a defamation suit against Darrell and Rhonda Pitts. The Pitts are suing Little for allegedly exploiting her during a counseling session at Christ Memorial Baptist Church in Cool Valley. Little is a former psychologist (the state yanked his license after a similar case in the 1990s). He’s also an ex-Cardinals consultant and ex-KMOX radio talk show host… Cardinal Tim Dolan’s “homecoming” mass yesterday in Wisconsin saw lower attendance than predicted. Milwaukee archdiocesan PR flak Julie Wolf estimated the crowd at about 1,200 though the basilica had prepared seating for as many as 2,500. After the event, Dolan acknowledged the criticism of clergy sex abuse victims, who say he left much work unfinished. “They have a point,” he admitted. Meanwhile, look for an announcement soon about a key St. Louis archdiocesan insider being replaced soon.

Brooklyn DA plays sex-abuse politics

New York Post


If anyone had dared to suggest that Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’ office has an official policy giving preferential treatment to Orthodox Jewish sex criminals, the critic would probably be knee-deep in editorials charging him with anti-Semitism.

Alas, what’s an Orthodox Jewish lawyer like me to say when the DA’s lieutenants themselves announce just such a policy?

I’ll say this: Hynes’ refusal to disclose almost any information about the arrest or prosecution of alleged sex offenders from the politically powerful Orthodox community is not only discriminatory; it’s also a cynical insult to the victims his office is pledged to support.

Mind you, the discrimination is no mere allegation; it’s a matter of record. In letters this month to reporters Paul Berger, of Forward, and Hella Winston, of The Jewish Week, Assistant DA Morgan Dennehy explicitly affirmed that his boss’ policy for suppressing information about sex abuse is “unique” to the “Hasidic” community.

Vatican Diary / The Holy Office puts the American sisters in the corner


VATICAN CITY, April 30, 2012 – The congregation for the doctrine of the faith has charged the archbishop of Seattle, James Peter Sartain, with bringing back to the straight and narrow the "Leadership Conference of Women Religious," the conference of religious superiors of the United States of America, initials LCWR, the cartel that connects most of the communities of sisters in the country.

He will be assisted in the enterprise by bishops Leonard P. Blair of Toledo, Ohio, and Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois. The former was also in charge of the two-year investigation, from 2009 to 2010, that led to this decision.

On the same day as the appointment of Sartain as "commissioner," on April 18, the congregation for the doctrine of the faith also made public an eight-page document of its own, in English, that reconstructs the run-up to the decision and above all presents its justifications.

Church must serve

Irish Independent

Sunday April 29 2012


MICHAEL McDowell once warned that canon law had no more status than the rules of a golf club. Sadly, the Catholic Church's response to the tightening of the rules on the reporting of sexual abuse suggests that recognition of new realities comes dripping slow to that institution.

Its hysteria over the seal of the confessional should not disguise the fact that were the new laws on child protection retrospective, or applicable over the past 30 years, quite a few Episcopal 'wounded healers' would be facing criminal sanctions. The church should face its responsibilities to children and drop its Non serviam ('I will not serve') attitude.

Former Norfolk Priest On Leave Amid Sexual Abuse Allegation


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ An allegation of sexual abuse by an Omaha priest dates to his service at Norfolk church.

Deacon Timothy McNeil, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Omaha, says the allegation against Rev. Franklin Dvorak came to light at the end of March. He's accused of sexually abusing a female student from 1970 to 1972.

Dvorak was placed on leave Friday from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Omaha. He was appointed pastor there in 2007. McNeil says Dvorak was at Sacred Heart Parish in Norfolk at the time of the alleged abuse. He says the claim has been deemed credible by a review board.

Sex cases prompt new school rules in N.J.

The Daily Journal

Written by
Colleen Diskin
The Record

HACKENSACK — Schools are forbidding teachers and coaches from befriending students on Facebook and banning them from giving students gifts or rides home to guard against situations that could potentially lead to sexual abuse of children.

Employee behavior is being more closely scrutinized and staff members are being trained to act as watchdogs as more school officials in New Jersey realize they need to do a better job policing their own.

“The worst thing that a school district can do is to ignore this and to pretend that it doesn’t go on,” said Steven Engravalle, interim superintendent in Fort Lee. “I wish it were being spoken about more. It’s still a very dark subject that people don’t want to talk about.”

Omaha priest on leave amid abuse allegation

Omaha World-Herald

By Susan Szalewski

A 68-year-old Omaha priest has been placed on administrative leave while the Catholic Church investigates an accusation he sexually abused a teenage girl in the 1970s.

The Rev. Franklin A. Dvorak, pastor at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, denies the allegation, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Omaha said.

An archdiocesan review board conducted a preliminary investigation and determined there was enough evidence to meet the church's standard for a credible allegation, said Deacon Timothy McNeil, the archdiocese's chancellor.

At Masses on Sunday, parishioners at St. Elizabeth Ann and St. James Churches were notified through a letter from Archbishop George Lucas. St. James parishioners were included because they share an elementary school with St. Elizabeth Ann, McNeil said.

Omaha priest accused of sexual abuse


OMAHA, Neb. -
Omaha's Archdiocese said it is investigating allegations of sexual abuse against a pastor.

Officials said the accusations date back 40 years.

The Rev. Franklin Dvorak is the pastor at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church at 114th and Fort streets.

Dvorak was placed on administrative leave while an investigation is completed.

The allegations surfaced at the end of March that Dvorak sexually abused a female student from 1970 to 1972 while he was at a parish in Norfolk, Neb. He has been pastor at St. Elizabeth's since 2007.

Well-wishers flock to Fr Brian's Mass as he makes light of 'terrible weekend'

Irish Independent

By Greg Harkin

Monday April 30 2012

HUNDREDS of people travelled from all over Ireland yesterday to show their support for Father Brian D'Arcy as the cleric admitted to initially thinking he would have to leave the priesthood.

More than 1,000 people attended midday Mass at the Passionist Monastery near Enniskillen and heard the priest apologise to them for the furore over the Vatican move to censor his views.

Fr D'Arcy got a standing ovation from the congregation in St Gabriel's Chapel as he managed to make light of the controversy.

April 29, 2012

Fr. Frank Dvorak, Pastor

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish

My name is Fr. Franklin Anthony Dvorak. I was born on a farm near Dodge, NE. I attended St. Wenceslaus Catholic grade school in Dodge and attended The Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio for all twelve years of my Seminary training. I was ordained by the Apostolic Delegate Luigi Raimondi in Columbus, Ohio on March 21, 1970.

My parish assignments are as follows: Sacred Heart/St. Mary’s Parish in Norfolk, NE from 1970 to 1974; St. Patrick’s Parish in O’Neill, NE from 1974 to 1979; St. Mary’s Parish in Spencer, NE from 1979 to 1985; St. Michael’s in Coleridge NE and St. Mary’s in Belden, NE from 1985 to 1989; Holy Trinity Parish in Hartington, NE from 1989 to 1995; St. Wenceslaus in Omaha from 1995 to 2007; and since then at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

I am involved in the Archdiocese Christians Encounter Christ movement and have been for over thirty-five years. I am on the Archdiocesan Priest’s Personnel Board and have served at different times for a total of over fifteen years. I am Dean of Suburban-north Deanery and have served as Dean in the various Deaneries in which I was stationed, which in turn means that I have also been on the Archdiocesan Priest’s Council and served on various committees during these times. I am on the Archdiocesan Deposit and Loan Committee and have served for over ten years. During my forty one plus years as a priest I have given many, many retreats to grade and high school students. I have served on the Archdiocesan Liturgy Committee, the Archdiocesan Young Adult Committee, on the Archdiocesan Stewardship Committee, as an Archdiocesan Consultor, and also for ten years on the Archdiocesan Natural Family Planning Committee.

I am a Chaplain for the Omaha Police Department and have been serving for the past fifteen years.

My parents are both deceased. I have a brother and two sisters. My brother is married with three married grown children. My older sister is a Notre Dame Sister, serving at St. Rose in Genoa, NE. My younger sister is married with one grown son and one deceased son.

Omaha priest on leave after abuse allegation

San Antonio Express-News

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha priest has been placed on administrative leave amid an allegation of sex abuse.

Deacon Timothy McNeil, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Omaha, told WOWT-TV (http://bit.ly/Ii8g8i ) that an internal review board found the allegation that Rev. Franklin Dvorak abused a female student from 1970 to 1972 credible.

Dvorak denies the claim.

Dvorak was ordained in 1970. He was appointed pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in 2007.

Priest On Administrative Leave, Allegation Of Sexual Abuse


Reporter: WOWT
Email Address: sixonline@wowt.com

An Omaha priest has been put on administrative leave by Archbishop George Lucas after an allegation of sexual abuse.

Reverend Franklin A. Dvorak, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Parish in Omaha is accused of sexually abusing a female student from 1970-1972.

Dvorak denies sexually abusing a minor.

A letter written by Archbishop Lucas informing parishioners of the allegation was given to St. Elizabeth Ann and St. James parishioners at the weekend Masses.

Deacon Timothy F. McNeil, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Omaha, says the allegation was reported to law enforcement officials and the Archdiocesan Review Board.

200 attend vigil at Papal Nuncio's residence in support of censured priests

RTE News

At least 200 people are taking part in a silent vigil in support of priests who have been censured by the Vatican.

Those taking part say they are committed Catholics who wish to show their solidarity with the priests, who they say are articulating the views of the majority of Irish Catholics.

The vigil, taking place outside the residence of the Papal Nuncio in Dublin, has been organised by We Are Church Ireland, an organisation which is pressing for reform in the Catholic Church.

The group has handed in a letter to the Nuncio calling for the revocation of the silencing of the priests by the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, which they say "punished these men without due process and through secretive procedures with no right to appeal".

Jimmy McPhillips on the censoring of Brian Darcy.

The Association of Catholic Priests

Good Shepherd Sunday has Jesus show us a leader’s true character, for a true leader is concerned for those in their care, and not in their own self-interest.

Sadly, for the second time in a few short weeks, I find it necessary to pen these words in support of a fellow priest, who finds himself censored for expressing his views on Church discipline.

Fr. Brian Darcy is a fellow Fermanagh man, a colleague and member of our Diocesan Branch of the ACP. Brian is a much loved and respected priest, who always comes across as warm, caring, honest, and courageous. Brian’s unique ministry has touched many Catholics and priests down the years, meaningfully and successfully evangelising where very few others has ventured.

Many Catholics comment on what a different Church we could have in Ireland, if priests, freed from fears and jealousies, would strive to emulate Fr. Brian. Then the Gospel would take precedence over the institution, and compassion would come before regulations and man made rules.

The Shame of the Catholic Church


Duration: 1 hour

Decades of clerical abuse and cover up have left the Catholic church in Ireland at breaking point. Now Darragh MacIntyre reveals new evidence of a scandal that goes to the very top of the Irish church.

Tue 1 May 2012
only on Northern Ireland

Wed 2 May 2012

BBC TwoWed 2 May 2012

except Northern Ireland (Analogue), Wales (Analogue)

Porn scandal priest to leave area

Ballymoney and Moyle Times

The priest at the centre of a stand-off over the accidental showing of pornographic images at a presentation to parents in a Co Tyrone primary school is to leave the area.

Parish Priest of Pomeroy Father Martin McVeigh announced his decision following a row that has brewed for weeks after parents were outraged when the indecent images of men were screened as the clergyman began a PowerPoint presentation in preparation for their children's First Holy Communion.

The priest, as well as Catholic primate Cardinal Sean Brady, issued statements where Fr McVeigh denied being responsible for the images, and said he destroyed the memory stick carrying the pictures because he was shocked in the aftermath of the incident.

Catholic priest apologises for displaying indecent images

RTE News

A Catholic priest in Co Tyrone has apologised unreservedly after indecent images were inadvertently projected onto a screen during a meeting of parents at a primary school last month.

In a statement this afternoon, Fr Martin McVeigh said he wanted to assure parishioners in Pomeroy that he was not responsible for the presence of the offending images in his PowerPoint presentation.

The images were shown at a First Communion meeting at St Mary's Primary School on 26 March.

He said the memory of what he described as "this awful episode" would remain with him always.

“I deeply regret my failure to check, in advance, my presentation I had no knowledge of any offending imagery existing in it,” Fr McVeigh said.

Father Martin McVeigh in 'indecent images' row requests leave

BBC News

A Catholic priest who "inadvertently" showed indecent images during a presentation at a primary school in County Tyrone has asked to take sabbatical leave.

Father Martin McVeigh projected the images onto a screen during a meeting for parents in Pomeroy in preparation for First Holy Communion on 26 March.

One child was present. Parents said 16 indecent images of men were displayed.

The priest said he had no knowledge of the offending imagery.

Priest apologises over gay porn

The Irish Times

A Catholic priest from Co Tyrone who "inadvertently" displayed gay pornographic images to a group of parents and a child has issued an unreserved apology.

The images were shown on a screen by Fr Martin McVeigh, the parish priest of Pomeroy, during a PowerPoint presentation at St Mary’s Primary School about children’s first Confession on March 26th

In a statement today, Fr McVeigh said he “deeply” regrets his failure to check his presentation in advance.

“I had no knowledge of any offending imagery existing in it. After the images were inadvertently shown, I immediately removed the memory stick from the laptop,” he said. “In my shock and upset and in my concern to ensure that the images would never be shown again, I destroyed it later that evening.”

Court nixes conviction of Brooklyn rabbi on sex-abuse charges

New York Daily News


A Brooklyn rabbi's conviction on charges of molesting a teenage boy was tossed aside on appeal Wednesday because detectives failed to disclose documents regarding bribery allegations.

Baruch Lebovits, 61, was sent to 10 2/3 to 32 years in prison based on testimony of a 22-year-old admitted drug user who claimed the rabbi sexually abused him at age 16.

Only after the alleged victim testified in March 2010 did prosecutors hand over notes indicating he had told police that Lebovits tried to bribe him.

But by then, the defense questions opened the door for prosecutors to ask about the bribery offer, which the rabbi later denied.

Orthodox child sex abuse suspects exempt from public disclosure rules

Haaretz (Israel)

By Paul Berger

Orthodox Jews convicted of or charged with child sex abuse in Brooklyn should have their identities protected because of the community’s “tight-knit and insular” nature, prosecutors claim in a response to The Forward’s request for information about the cases.

Rejecting the request under the state’s Freedom of Information Law, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office stated that Orthodox Jews deserve a blanket exemption from the usual public disclosure rules.

Rabbi’s reprieve

New York Post


The conviction of a Brooklyn rabbi who was sentenced to up to 32 years for preying on a teenage boy has been overturned by a state appeals court.

The Appellate Division ordered a new trial for Rabbi Baruch Lebovits, who was found guilty in 2010 of sexually abusing a then-16-year-old boy.

Judges this week reversed the conviction, noting that prosecutors didn’t give defense lawyers a detective’s notes about a possible plot by the teen.

“It’s an absolute victory for us,” said lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

Lebovits had charged that the teen admitted he was “going to try to make money,” the judges noted, by accusing Lebovits of sex abuse.

Dialogue within the Church: Marcolm Reville

The Association of Catholic Priests

When I tried to send a comment on 22nd May the ‘capptcha code got me, and the message was lost. Now that Brian d’Arcy has been censured I think it is important to re-send the post about ‘Dialogue within the church’

In the book ‘Future Directions’, ” A Call to Dialog within the Church” which he edited, the late Carroll Stuhlmueller C.P. wrote that, ‘the ordination of women enlarges a dialog across the entire church, male and female, and forces us to re-examine the nature and force of symbol within the sacramental system of the Catholic church. Dialog such as this unites rather than divides. It enriches and so makes the bond within the church more worthy of Jesus’ death and resurrection.’… ‘ this book presents no final answers…, the authors, however, call all of us to dialog with honesty and dignity, with openness in the pastoral and scholarly forum, that the future directions of priesthood reflect the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our midst’.

Hypocrite Benedict silenced Fr Tony Flannery – A compilation… but he does not silence Cardinal Bernard Law and JP2 Army – John Paul II Pedophile Priests

Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils...

Updated April 28, 2012

Paris Arrow

It was the right thing and the right time to do it when Ireland recently closed down its Vatican Embassy in Rome because now the Vatican Totalitarian Regime and Reign of Terror of God’s Rottweiler Benedict XVI is retaliating Ireland from his despot control Vatican Bank Tower by silencing Fr. Tony Flaherty and other outspoken Irish priests. The Vatican Titanic Ship is sinking in moral bankruptcy as it has hit icebergs in Ireland and the USA and in all countries where the JP2 Army – John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army existed during the longest papacy of Blessed John Paul II, whose beatification one-year anniversary will be celebrated in May 1 ...

Vatican's gag on Fr D'Arcy breaks BBC's guidelines

Irish Independent


Sunday April 29 2012

The BBC has become embroiled in the controversy over the Vatican's gagging of Father Brian D'Arcy.

The censuring of the 64-year-old, Fermanagh-born cleric by the Vatican led to a direct order from Rome 14 months ago that he submit his writings to a religious superior for clearance.

Fr D'Arcy has been a regular contributor to BBC radio's Pause for Thought for more than 20 years, sharing a studio with presenters including Terry Wogan, Derek Jameson and Chris Evans.

However, the revelation that he has submitted his writings to higher authorities for vetting for more than a year appears to breach BBC editorial rules though Fr D'Arcy said yesterday he had told both the BBC and the Sunday World of his problems with the Vatican 14 months ago.

Bearing down on the Sisters


By: Rina Jimenez-David
Philippine Daily Inquirer

I still remember the Maryknoll Sisters. I still remember them walking around the Maryknoll campus in Loyola Heights, in their black-and-white habits with the peaked cap and large rosaries hanging from their waists.

Most of them were Americans, and there was even a rumor circulating that one of the prettiest nuns had won a beauty contest in her home state before she heard the call. They never seemed to age. But a friend, who also grew up among religious women, explained: “Of course they never aged. All the parts that reveal a woman’s age—neck, forehead, hair, knees and hips—were concealed!”

The Second Vatican Council took place just before I stepped into high school, and pretty soon the forever-young nuns in their black-and-white habits were no more. In their place we saw old (or aging) women, their graying hair finally exposed, the monochromatic habits replaced with decorous dresses albeit in colorful prints, but the ugly shoes (or utilitarian sandals) still remained.

What didn’t change was the nuns’ spirit—a combination of daring and openness, even with hard-headed young women, and a devotion to serving the poor and the needy. Maybe this was why before I graduated and left the green and idyllic campus, the nuns had already left the college, choosing to serve the poorest communities in rural areas, and leaving the education and formation of cosseted girls from middle-class homes to the capable hands of lay teachers and administrators. ...

Recently, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a statement saying it was appointing a bishop to oversee the affairs of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which gathers most of the major women’s religious congregations in the United States. The reason? The nuns’ alleged refusal to “toe the line,” issuing statements that “disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.” More on this last statement later.

Anyway, the American Catholic columnist Garry Wills, reacting to the Vatican’s action, wrote in his blog for the New York Review of Books: “The Vatican has issued a harsh statement claiming that American nuns do not follow their bishops’ thinking. That statement is profoundly true. Thank God, they don’t. Nuns have always had a different set of priorities from that of bishops. The bishops are interested in power. The nuns are interested in the powerless. Nuns have preserved Gospel values while bishops have been perverting them. The priests drive their own new cars, while nuns ride the bus (always in pairs). The priests specialize in arrogance, the nuns in humility.”

My sentiments exactly.

Has the 'real Ratzinger' come out to play?

National Catholic Reporter


When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected to the papacy in April 2005, the popular forecast called for stormy weather ahead. This was, after all, the Vatican enforcer who had been leading a “smack-down on heresy since 1981”, in the words of T-shirts and coffee mugs marketed by a Ratzinger fan club. His rise elicited dread in some quarters and joy in others, but virtually everyone agreed big things were in the works.

During most of the past seven years, however, that anticipated upheaval has seemed a lot like the dog that didn’t bark. Back in February 2006, the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus famously voiced “palpable unease” among those most elated by Ratzinger’s election, and that disappointment endured in a swath of Catholic opinion which had begun to despair that the pope would ever impose order.

Of late, however, many observers believe the “real Ratzinger” has finally come out to play. Consider the tumult of the past month:

•On April 18, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith decreed a sweeping overhaul of the Leadership Conference for Women Religious, the main American umbrella group for the superiors of women’s orders, to correct what the congregation described as LCWR’s “corporate dissent” on issues such as women’s ordination and homosexuality, and its contamination by “radical feminism.”

•At least five Irish priests have faced Vatican-inspired discipline, with implementation left to their religious orders. Two Redemptorists have seen their writings for a church magazine either withdrawn or limited (one was also dispatched to a monastery for a six-week “reflection”), a Passionist prominent in the English media is now subject to prior censorship, and both a Marist and a Capuchin have been told to stop writing and speaking on certain hot-button topics.

Sex abuse victims recalled at Millstone Memorial dedication in Mendham

The Record

Written by
Lorraine Ash

MENDHAM — A hundred people gathered Saturday at the Church of St. Joseph for the dedication of a new Millstone Memorial, the first in the nation built to remember survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

The original monument, dedicated in 2004, was destroyed by sledgehammer in an act of vandalism last November.

Among those gathered were some of the men who were abused as boys in the rectory of the church from 1972 to 1982 when James Hanley was pastor. Hanley, who has since been defrocked, has admitted molesting about a dozen children there and at other area parishes decades ago.

“Close to 20 men disclosed they had been abused by Father Hanley,” said retired Monsignor Kenneth Lasch, who was the pastor after Hanley.

Millstone Memorial Re-Dedication (4/28/12)

The Record


Re-dedication at St Joseph's Church in Mendham of the Millstone Memorial, the nation’s first memorial in remembrance of clergy sex abuse survivors destroyed by a vandal in November 2011. Staff Video by Bob Karp

A pilgrimage with a purpose

Juneau Empire


The bishops of Alaska have been in Rome for the past week meeting with officials of the Vatican. This visit is referred to as the “ad limina apostolorum”, meaning, “at the threshold of the apostles”. Every five years bishops are called to the Vatican to give an account of their work within their diocese. First and foremost, this is a pilgrimage to pray at the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul. We celebrated Masses at the sites where both of these men were martyred for their profession of the faith. While the details of St. Paul’s martyrdom are a bit sketchy, it is understood that St. Peter was crucified upside down.

The bishops of Alaska are part of Region XII of the U.S. Bishops which make up the northwest section of the country including the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. We met with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, at the beginning of the week. During this meeting, each bishop gave the Pope a description of our life and ministry.

The bishops agreed to present different topics to the Holy Father, and I accepted to share with him the work that has taken place in creating a safe environment within our dioceses and parish communities. This June we will mark 10 years since the U.S .bishops have promulgated the ‘Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People’. Since this Charter was put into place, the Catholic Church in the US has trained more than 2.1 million clergy, employees and volunteers in how to create a safe environment. This work has also prepared more than 5.2 million children to recognize abuse and protect themselves. Background checks have been conducted on more than 1.8 million volunteers and employees, 166,000 educators, 52,000 clerics and 6,000 men preparing for ordination. We were pleased to be informed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that the Church in the U.S. has taken the lead in addressing the issue of sexual abuse which has permeated all of society. Nevertheless, I mentioned to our Holy Father that much more needs to be done. First and foremost in being pastorally present to those who have been abused, to increase our collaboration and communication with others about this issue and to continue to restore trust among the members of the Church.

Break with Rome isn't end of world

Irish Independent

Sunday April 29 2012

The Vatican's silencing of highly respected Irish priests can only distress many believers, writes Ulick O'Connor

Recently two Irish priests were silenced by the Vatican for their views on priests marrying and opening up the church to the laity. On Thursday it emerged that the Vatican had also censured Fr Brian D'Arcy, the highly respected broadcaster.

The sense of rebellion among clergy here had already reached the grass roots. The Association of Catholic Priests, which has 800 members here, had previously issued a statement reproving the Vatican for its stance towards the Irish clergy, and asked them "to go up and treat people with dignity and due process. We are not a small cohort of Catholic priests; we are at the heart of the church committed to putting in place the reforms of the Second Vatican Council".

An essential factor in enabling Irish clergy to make such a statement was the Taoiseach's remarkable speech in the Dail in November when he threw down the gauntlet to the Vatican on the subject of the clerical abuse revealed by the Cloyne Report.

Kelly: A second beginning for a monument to healing

The Record

Sunday, April 29, 2012


They carried flowers and photos and their own silent history of abuse.

But the object of their attention was a rock.

As church bells chimed and a piper played "Amazing Grace," more than 70 people gathered Saturday outside a Roman Catholic church in Mendham to rededicate a vandalized memorial to children who have been sexually abused by priests.

The crowded North Jersey landscape is dotted with all manner of local shrines and monuments in town squares or parks, often commemorating war veterans or heroic police and firefighters. But the tire-shaped stone that sits at the western edge of the parking lot at the Church of St. Joseph in downtown Mendham may be one of the most unusual memorials anywhere.

"The Millstone," as the memorial is called, is believed to be the only monument to victims of sexual abuse on Catholic Church property in the world. Its centerpiece — a hunk of charcoal-gray Columbia River basalt cut in the shape of a millstone — was destroyed last November allegedly by a local man who police say got drunk and smashed the memorial with a sledgehammer.

Censured priest warns over secrecy

The Irish Times

A high-profile Catholic priest censured by the Vatican for his writings has warned that the creation of a "veil of secrecy" worked against efforts to prevent clerical child abuse.

Fr Brian D'Arcy, a broadcaster and newspaper columnist, said he had not challenged church doctrine but was censured for articles on a number of issues, including criticism of the church response to sex abuse scandals.

The priest, from Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, who is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 2 and Radio Ulster and writes a religious column for the Sunday World newspaper, was censured by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

The four articles by Fr D'Arcy concerned how the Vatican dealt with the issue of women priests; why US Catholics were leaving the church; why the church must take responsibility for clerical child sex abuse; and homosexuality.

April 28, 2012

Bishops Play Church Queens as Pawns

The New York Times


Published: April 28, 2012


IT is an astonishing thing that historians will look back and puzzle over, that in the 21st century, American women were such hunted creatures.

Even as Republicans try to wrestle women into chastity belts, the Vatican is trying to muzzle American nuns.

Who thinks it’s cool to bully nuns? While continuing to heal and educate, the community of sisters is aging and dying out because few younger women are willing to make such sacrifices for a church determined to bring women to heel.

Yet the nuns must be yanked into line by the crepuscular, medieval men who run the Catholic Church.

“It’s not terribly unlike the days of yore when they singled out people in the rough days of the Inquisition,” said Kenneth Briggs, the author of “Double Crossed: Uncovering the Catholic Church’s Betrayal of American Nuns.”

How can the church hierarchy be more offended by the nuns’ impassioned advocacy for the poor than by priests’ sordid pedophilia?

Bishop Morlino warns dissenters to stop — or else

Wisconsin State Journal

[letter from Bishop Morlino]

DOUG ERICKSON | Wisconsin State Journal | derickson@madison.com

Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino has moved to quell a backlash against a group of conservative priests in Platteville by warning parishioners they risk formal church censure unless they stop spreading "rumors and gossip."

The action by Morlino, which two Catholic scholars called highly unusual, appears to include the possibility of offenders being prohibited from taking part in church sacraments such as communion, confession and burial.

The warning came in a five-page letter Wednesday from Morlino to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Platteville. The congregation has been roiled by opposition to the traditionalist priests, who began serving the parish in June 2010.

Within months, church donations fell by more than half, and about 40 percent of the church’s 1,200 members signed a petition seeking the priests’ ouster. The church’s 77-year-old school is set to close June 1, a loss many parishioners tie directly to the collapse of donations.

Silent Vigil outside Papal Nuncio’s Residence

The Association of Catholic Priests

The Silent Vigil outside the Papal Nuncio’s Residence will take place tomorrow, Sunday, April 29th, beginning at 3.30pm sharp. It would be good if as many as possible would attend.

Issues for discussion at U.S. Bishop’s Conference 1995

The Association of Catholic Priests

With the disciplining of Fr. Brian D’Arcy (The Tablet 28th April) Ireland now has six priests asked to be silent on several issues. Early in 1995, a group of U.S. bishops submitted a document to the Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Mission and Structure. It appeared in ORIGINS (19/6/1995), a publication of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference.

‘The need to find ways to have more open discussion in a climate of trust is best illustrated by considering current issues in the church that seem not to be addressed openly. These include the priest shortage, priest morale, ecumenical issues, school funding, women and equality in the church, the relationships of youth, Hispanics in the church, better preaching, better liturgy, better relationships with the poor, the relationship of the conference with Rome, the public face of the church on abortion, the annulment process, the loss of Eucharist, alliance of the right wing with some fundamentalist leaders, contraception, sexual ethics, the kind of candidates being attracted to priesthood, anticatholic feeling surfacing in the United States, the ordination of married men, rumours of a high percentage of homosexual men in the seminaries and in the priesthood. In particular, the issue of paedophilia among priests continues to create a very serious credibility problem for the U.S. bishops because of our perceived unwillingness to fully address and explore the reasons for this terrible tragedy.’

'A slow death' or new life? Grand Rapids Diocese restructuring plan questioned by some in church


By Heidi Fenton | hfenton@mlive.com

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- In the weeks since the Diocese of Grand Rapids announced a dramatic restructuring plan affecting churches across West Michigan, parishioners have shared mixed reactions of hope, surprise and sadness.

For many, the neighborhood churches are part of the very fabric of their lives. Memories of weddings, baptisms and funerals are tied to them. The familiar walls have been a shelter for Sunday morning greetings between friends and celebrations of newborn children.

It’s hard to imagine those things happening anywhere else than their long-time church home, many say.

They fear what could happen if that aspect of shared familiarity is gone.

U.S. Nuns Face Vatican Rebuke for "Radical Feminism" in Stances on Church Teachings, Social Justice

Democracy Now

[with video]

The Vatican has reprimanded the largest group of Catholic nuns in the United States, saying they have focused too heavily on issues of social justice, while failing to speak out enough on "issues of crucial importance," such as abortion and same-sex marriage. In a report issued last week, church leaders accused the nuns of promoting "radical feminist" ideas and challenging key teachings on homosexuality and male-only priesthood. An archbishop and two bishops — all of them male — have been appointed to oversee the nuns. "To me, it’s quite puzzling that our work with the poor, which Jesus told us to do in the gospels, would be the source of such a criticism," says Sister Simone Campbell, head of the Catholic social justice group NETWORK, which was harshly criticized in last week’s report.

Censured priest warns over secrecy

The Press Association

A high-profile Irish priest censured by the Vatican for his writings has warned that the creation of a "veil of secrecy" worked against efforts to prevent clerical child abuse.

Father Brian D'Arcy, a broadcaster and newspaper columnist, said he had not challenged church doctrine but was censured for articles on a number of issues, including criticism of the church response to sex abuse scandals.

The priest, from Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, who is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 2 and Radio Ulster and writes a religious column for the Dublin-based Sunday World newspaper, was censured by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Why Fr Brian D'Arcy is still his own man


Saturday April 28 2012

Fr Brian D'arcy is the fifth Irish priest to be told that he must submit his writings and broadcasts to the Vatican for vetting and censorship. A certain generation will react to that news with a 'Brian who?' But for those who know something of Brian D'Arcy, it will be seen as a stunning leap back to the 1950s.

D'Arcy was of a new generation of Catholic priests in Ireland in the early 1970s. Then as now, it was anachronistic to find a priest possessed of a love of, expertise in, and willingness to talk about youth culture.

At that historical nexus of rock, country and jive, Brian D'Arcy lived as chaplain to the stars. The music is now old-fashioned. Then it was cutting-edge. It was then as Bressie and LMFAO and Jessie J and One Direction are now. And D'Arcy was at the heart of it.

Two miscarriages of justice

The Malta Independent

In the space of just over a week, there have been two cases where the judiciary were forced into clearing people accused of crimes, supported by evidence and testimony, due to errors in the charge sheets drawn up against them.

This newspaper published a leading article last week, calling for changes to the law, whereby any errors in charges pressed against an accused may be changed at any time in proceedings. The leading article was published in the wake of an Appeals Court ruling which cleared Fr Godwin Scerri (since defrocked) of rape. The court had cleared him of raping a young boy in his care because of an error which stated that the crime took place in Marfa, rather than Santa Venera.

The Attorney General appealed the decision, but the law is the law and the court upheld the original decision. Let us be clear – the judiciary’s hands were tied, the law is what it is and there was no other ruling that could be given.

When things get tough for the clergy, bash the nuns

Philly Burbs

Throughout the centuries, and even in today’s world, Catholic nuns — those dedicated religious women who have devoted their entire lives to helping others while expecting very little in return — have always been (and still are) treated by many leaders of their church as second-class citizens.

Traditionally, they rank well behind the priests, monks, brothers and other male members of a paternalistic hierarchy.

Throughout most of church history and well into the past century, nuns (because they were women) could not even step onto the altar during Mass or other religious services.

This gender bias was not only found in religious matters, but in the basic differences in the day-to-day lives of both nuns and priests.

A typical example was a convent I clearly remember from my youth. It was a converted run-down building on the edge of the Kensington section of Philadelphia that had previously been a street-corner saloon.

In that dilapidated facility, a dozen sisters (our elementary school teachers) had to sleep on torn mattresses stuffed with old newspapers because they couldn’t afford to buy decent bedding. Much of their furniture was secondhand and donated by parishioners.

Reünie op seminarie Rolduc Kerkrade


Op seminarie Rolduc in Kerkrade zijn 180 oud-Rolduciëns aanwezig bij een reünie; allemaal mannen die ooit les kregen op het jongensinternaat.

Het is de eerste reünie sinds de bekendwording van het misbruik binnen de katholieke kerk. Tijdens het uitgebreide programma was er daarom ook aandacht voor seksueel misbruik.

Fr Brian D'Arcy denies questioning Catholic doctrine

RTE News

Fr Brian D'Arcy, the popular journalist who is being censured by the Vatican, has said he has never questioned the defined doctrine of the Catholic Church.

Fr D'Arcy claimed he had been told by his provincial in Ireland that the move by the Vatican 14 months ago was prompted by a headline on an article he had written for the Sunday World, a letter on homosexuality which he had published in his column and criticisms of the Catholic Church's response to clerical child sex abuse scandals.

Asked about the Vatican ban on the ordination of women priests, he dismissed Rome's argument that Jesus had never ordained a woman.

Fr D’Arcy pointed out that Jesus had not ordained a black man either, but that black men are allowed to be priests.

Kloster will für Missbrauch nicht haften

Volksbegehren Gegan Kirchenprivilegien

Gleich zweimal saß der Abt des Zisterzienserklosters Mehrerau, Anselm van der Linde, am Donnerstag vor Gericht. Zwei Opfer sexueller Gewalt fordern vom Kloster zivilrechtlich Schadenersatz

Feldkirch – Eines hatten die Kläger und der Abt beim Zivilrechtsprozess Missbrauchsopfer kontra Kloster Mehrerau gemeinsam: Alle drei Männer waren angespannt, die Situation war ihnen sichtlich unangenehm. Das war es dann aber auch schon: “Kein Vergleich, wir bleiben bei unserer Haltung”, stellte der Anwalt des Klosters, Bertram Grass, klar.

Schadenersatzforderungen, im ersten Fall 200.000 Euro, im zweiten 135. 000 Euro, werden wegen Verjährung abgelehnt. Die Opfer sollten sich an die Klasnic-Kommission wenden.
Zwei ehemalige Schüler, beide geben an, von Pater Johannes, ihrem Lehrer und Erzieher, über Jahre missbraucht worden zu sein, klagten das Kloster unabhängig voneinander. Der Einfachheit halber wurde hintereinander verhandelt.

Fr Brian D’Arcy: Vatican must take some blame for abuse

Irish Independent

Saturday April 28 2012

Journalist and broadcaster Fr Brian D’Arcy, who has been living under Vatican censure for the past 14 months, said today that Rome must take some of the blame for the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests.

In an emotional interview on RTE’s Marian Finucane Show this morning, sixty-seven-year-old Fr D’Arcy said that if there is secrecy, and no questioning mind within the Catholic Church, then no child will be protected.

Fr D’Arcy also denied ever questioning the defined doctrine of the Church.

“I have been extraordinarily careful throughout my life to never, ever, ever contradict what is a defined doctrine of faith in the church and never even question it. That’s the way I worked. I would be very careful, even to this day, not to talk about that.”

Three old cardinals in Sherlock Holmes’ shoes

Vatican Insider

The Pope has entrusted Cardinal Herranz, De Giorgi and Tomko with the task of investigating the leaked documents issue. The enquiry is set to be an uphill struggle

Vatican City

On 17 March, the deputy Secretary of State, Archbishop Angelo Becciu, agreed to be interviewed by Gian Maria Vian, director of the Vatican daily broadsheet L’Osservatore Romano and assured that the Holy See was promoting thorough investigations into who was responsible for leaking a number of confidential documents from the Vatican archives. The so-called ‘Vati-leaks’ ended up on television and in the newspapers. The deputy said that the Secretariat of State had organized an in-depth investigation which would involve everyone, without exceptions, including all Vatican institutions. A criminal investigation is to be carried out by the Promoter of Justice of the Vatican Tribunal and an administrative one will be carried out by the Secretariat of State itself. An ad hoc committee is being established by Pope Benedict XVI to shed light on the whole affair.

According to rumours circulating in the Vatican, the investigation announced by Mgr. Becciu did not yield great results and potential witnesses have not been questioned yet. Despite the efforts and commitment of General Domenico Giani, head of the Pontifical Gendarmerie, who in the last few years has developed sophisticated investigative methods, the enquiry seems to be groping in the dark. As far as the ad hoc committee (which the deputy mentions), is concerned, its establishment has only been announced today, more than a month later. A statement released by the Vatican Press Office reads: “In the wake of recent leaks of private and confidential documents on television, in newspapers and other communications media, the Holy Father has ordered the creation of a Commission of Cardinals to undertake an authoritative investigation and throw light on these episodes.”

Dissent: Neo-clericalism and the faith of the ordinary people

Vatican Insider

“Silent schisms” and the Pope’s reminder about the essential elements of the Christian message

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City

Although (understandably) a great deal of media attention has been given over the past weeks to the outcome of the dialogue between the Holy See and the Society of St. Pius X, the Fraternity founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre which could soon enter into full communion with the Catholic Church again, there is no doubt that a whole different kind of dissent of much vaster and widespread proportions is present in today’s Catholic Church. This dissent, which is spreading through central and northern Europe - in Austria, Germany, Belgium and Ireland - is leading groups of priests to sign appeals to disobedience, adopting highly critical stances against the “Roman” line of thought, on subjects such as sexuality, communion for remarried divorcees, priestly celibacy, female priesthood and the role of the laity in the Church. Meanwhile, the controversy over the stance taken by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith towards the U.S.’s Leadership Conference of Women Religious - the organisation with the largest number of major Superiors of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States - continues to rage on. The LCWR has been placed under supervision for its positions on abortion, homosexuality and priesthood, which are not in line with the doctrine of the Catholic Church. There are silent “schisms” forming which the press is necessarily and mercilessly talking about. In doing so they are are shattering the image of an ever triumphant Church. These “schisms” cannot easily be swept under the carpet as hiccups of the post-conciliar dispute or of the old progressivist fringes destined for extinction.

Dublin, vigil outside Nunciature to protest silencing of Irish protest

Vatican Insider

An Irish Catholic lay group will hold a silent vigil in front of the Holy See’s Nunciature in Dublin on April 29 to express solidarity with Irish priests who have been “silenced” by the Vatican, and to ask for a revocation of these disciplinary measures and their replacement by dialogue

Gerard O'Connell

An Irish Catholic lay group, We are Church Ireland, is organizing a silent vigil outside the Holy See’s Nunciature in Dublin on Sunday afternoon, April 29, to protest against the silencing of several Irish priests by the Vatican over the past two years. It is calling for the revoking of the disciplinary measures against them and the opening of a proper dialogue.

“We are very, very angry, indeed shocked, at the way the priests have been treated, and we want to express solidarity with our silenced priests”, Brendan Butler, the group’s spokesperson, told Vatican Insider. He said many religious women in Ireland are supporting their initiative.

Austria: What happens when a bishop wants to retire

Vatican Insider

The Archbishop of Salzburg, Alois Kothgasser, is in a hurry to retire

Giacomo Galeazzi
Vatican City

Kothgasser is 75 and in a hurry to retire. He has asked permission to pope Benedict XVI who has already met with him about a potential successor. Mgr. Manfred Scheuer’s allure as a candidate for this See grows. He is 57 years old and bishop of Innsbruck, he is also negotiating with the Austrian rebel priests to avoid a schism. Mgr. Manfred Scheuer is playing a pivotal match for the Austrian Catholic Church and has shown a certain amount of openness towards some of the requests of the “disobedient” clergy. In his opinion the seven points of the ‘Appeal to Disobedience’, promoted by the priests who support the “Pfarrer-initiative”, should be viewed individually and not as a package: for example, since there is “real need” for change on the matter of divorcees who have remarried, perhaps they could be allowed to receive the holy communion under certain conditions. “I hope the Church will carry on dealing with this matter in the years to come” said Mgr. Manfred Scheuer . He also suggested taking into consideration whether it might be “necessary from a pastoral point of view” to let “lay people deliver sermons during the Holy Communion”

The main candidate to this prestigious See in Salzburg is on the frontline, facing an explosive situation. In Austria (like in Ireland, Belgium and Germany) after the scandal of paedophilia in the clergy exploded in 2010, groups of priests kept and still keep pressuring Rome asking for reforms on matters like the abolition of the vow of celibacy, the ordination of women as priests and allowing divorcees who have remarried to take the Holy Communion. There is the risk that something may happen in central and northern Europe. Some people in the clergy fear this ‘something’ to be another schism like the Lefebvrian one, but of opposite character.

Shroud of silence over priest sex images scandal

News Letter

Published on Saturday 28 April 2012

FOUR weeks on from the scandal of a priest inadvertently showing explicit images to parents at a pre-first communion meeting, the extraordinary incident remains the subject of intense media interest.

It took place at a primary school in Pomeroy on March 26 when up to 16 pornographic pictures of men were projected onto a screen from a memory pen Fr Martin McVeigh had inserted into a laptop computer.

The priest reportedly snatched the memory device from the computer before quickly leaving the room. He was said to have returned some 20 minutes later having regained his composure but offered no apology or explanation. One child was present at the meeting.

Two weeks later, a laptop was reported to have been stolen following a burglary at a chapel adjacent to the main church.

Le procès du père Jacky Hoarau devient celui de l’Église


COUR D’ASSISES. Depuis hier, l’ancien curé de Sainte-Marie, le père Jacky Hoarau, comparaît devant la cour d’assises pour des faits de viols et d’agressions sexuelles, entre 2007 et 2008, sur un enfant de chœur de 14 ans. Le prêtre reconnaît sa faute en parlant toutefois d’un "accident". Pour son avocat, Jacky Hoarau n’est pas le seul responsable dans cette affaire. Il met en cause l’Église et son fonctionnement.

Le visage grave, habillé en civil et arborant un crucifix en pendentif, le père Jacky Hoarau a pris place, hier matin, dans le box des accusés. Un cas de figure inédit à la Réunion. Face à lui, un jeune homme élégant, entouré de ses parents. « Vous êtes victime, Monsieur. Et lui est coupable », lance, au moment de débuter les débats, Me Georges-André Hoarau, avocat du prêtre. « Il n’est pas question de contester votre statut de victime. Et il n’y a pas d’autres victimes dans ce dossier ». Un moment fort pour le jeune homme, estime son avocat Me Olivier Chopin. « La société commence à le regarder différemment. Plus comme celui par qui le scandale est arrivé mais comme une victime ».

Sur l’île de la Réunion, un prêtre comparaît pour viols présumés sur mineur

La Croix

Le procès du P. Jacky Hoarau, qui doit répondre de faits présumés de viols, d’agressions sexuelles et d’attouchements commis entre 2008 et 2009 sur un mineur de moins de 15 ans, s’est ouvert jeudi 26 avril devant la cour d’assises de Saint-Denis de La Réunion.

C’est la première fois qu’un prêtre est jugé sur l’île de La Réunion pour de tels faits. Incarcéré pendant six mois après son arrestation en 2010, le P. Jacky Hoarau, placé depuis sous contrôle judiciaire, a été renvoyé par l’Église à l’état laïc. Il encourt jusqu’à vingt ans de prison.

Pope asks US donors to pray for religious freedom

The Pilot

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Meeting a group of major U.S. donors to Catholic charitable works, Pope Benedict XVI asked them to pray "for the freedom of Christians to proclaim the Gospel and bring its light to the urgent moral issues of our time."

The pope met April 21 with about 80 members of the Papal Foundation, who presented him with an $8.5-million donation that will be used to fund scholarships and 105 Catholic projects in close to 50 countries.

Helmut Schüller: Ein Pfarrer gegen den Vatikan


Helmut Schüller war Chef der Caritas und streitbarer Generalvikar der Erzdiözese Wien. Aber erst jetzt, als kleiner Landpfarrer, macht er die Kirchenleitung so richtig nervös. Mit ihrem „Aufruf zum Ungehorsam“ sorgen Schüller und seine Pfarrer-Initiative für Aufregung bis in den Vatikan.

Von Rosemarie Schwaiger

Reue ist der erste Schritt zur Vergebung. Ein braver Katholik darf sich ruhig einmal danebenbenehmen. Wenn er hinterher seinen Fehler einsieht, Besserung verspricht und Buße tut, werden die Maluspunkte im Himmel wieder gestrichen.

Zu ebener Erde funktioniert dieses System allerdings oft nicht so klaglos. Manch ein Malheur lässt sich im Diesseits nicht mehr ausmerzen. Kardinal Christoph Schönborn etwa bereut sicher nach Kräften, was er vor nunmehr 13 Jahren angestellt hat. Seine Entschuldigung ist aktenkundig, ebenso sein Versprechen, dergleichen in Zukunft nicht mehr zu machen. Gebüßt hat er auch zur Genüge: Schönborns Aktion führte in der Erzdiözese Wien zu einer massiven Austrittswelle; in fast allen Medien wurde der Kardinal heftig gerüffelt.

Human rights museology and the National Museum of Australia’s Inside: Life in Children’s Homes and Institutions

Care Leavers Australia Network

Too many ready to call it a day
Before the day starts
Stan Cullimore, Paul Heaton, Ted Key, ‘Flag Day’, 1985

In 2004, at the official hearings of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee as part of the Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care, Leonie Sheedy, co-founder of the Care Leavers of Australia Network, demanded that there be space made available for an exhibition about the experiences of children who grew up in orphanages: ‘Get the dinosaurs out of the Australian museum, for once, and dedicate it to orphanages and children. Let our histories be visible’

Sheedy’s plea, directed at the Australian Museum, Sydney, can be interpreted as a simple preference for social over natural history museums. The National Museum of Australia arguably fulfilled Sheedy’s prescription with the exhibition Inside: Life in Children’s Homes and Institutions, on display in Canberra from November 2011 until February 2012. Sheedy’s proposal to get rid of dinosaur skeletons can also be taken as a criticism of ‘dinosaur’ practices in museums. As this paper will show, there seemed to be an initial reluctance on the part of the National Museum to create an exhibition about Forgotten Australians, and the scope, positioning and temporary nature of the exhibition reflect this. Why this unwillingness? Is the National Museum guilty of a ‘dinosaur’ mentality? Is there a museology that counters this reluctance?

The background to Inside

The federal Senate inquiry into the Forgotten Australians marked the last of a trilogy of reports into Australian twentieth-century institutional ‘care’ for children. The first was the Bringing Them Home report published in 1997, the inquiry into the historical removal of Aboriginal children, now known as the Stolen Generations, from their families. In August 2001 a Senate committee published its report, Lost Innocents, about the consequences for child migrants of the agreement between the British and Australian governments that resulted in the migration of British and Maltese children from the 1920s until 1970. In 2003 the Senate decided that the largest group of Australian children in institutionalised care, the ‘Forgotten Australians’, deserved recognition equal to members of the Stolen Generations and to the group known as ‘Former Child Migrants’.

Affaire Jacky Hoarau : les paroissiens veulent tourner la page


Le procès du père Jacky Hoarau s’est achevé ce vendredi à la cour d’assises. Pour les fidèles de son ancienne paroisse de Sainte-Marie et de l’église de la Rivière des pluies, cette étape judiciaire a remué des souvenirs douloureux. Tous ont envie de tourner la page sur cette sombre affaire.

Jugé aux assises pour viols sur mineur de moins de 15 ans, l’ancien curé de Sainte-Marie Jacky Hoarau a écopé de 8 ans de prison ferme. Et même si ce n’était pas le procès de l’église, difficile de dissocier l’affaire de la ferveur des fidèles de son ancienne église. A Sainte-Marie, nombreux sont les habitants à ne plus vouloir s’exprimer. Après cette terrible histoire, la majorité préfère tourner la page.

Un prêtre séropositif condamné pour des viols

Le Bien Public

La cour d’assises de Saint-Denis de La Réunion a condamné vendredi un prêtre séropositif à huit ans de prison pour viols sur un enfant de chœur de 14 ans, après deux jours d’audience au cours desquels le fonctionnement de l’Eglise a été au centre des débats.

Le père Jacky Hoarau, 54 ans, ancien curé de Sainte-Marie (nord de l’île), a reconnu avoir abusé de l’adolescent pendant un an, de mai 2007 à juin 2008, le samedi et le dimanche après la messe, dans son bureau de la cure. L’affaire a éclaté lorsque les mauvais résultats scolaires de l’adolescent ont alerté sa mère, le conduisant à confier qu’il était abusé sexuellement par le père Hoarau. Il n’a pas toutefois pas été contaminé par le VIH.

Le père Jacky Hoarau condamné à huit ans de prison


Jugé coupable de plusieurs viols sur un enfant de chœur de 14 ans entre 2007 et 2008, l’ancien curé de Sainte-Marie, le père Jacky Hoarau a été condamné, hier, à huit ans de prison. Une sanction qu’il accepte, a indiqué son avocat. Le prêtre a demandé pardon à la victime. L’avocat général avait réclamé une peine pas inférieure à sept ans de prison.


A toutes les questions, les jurés ont répondu « oui ». Oui sur la culpabilité et oui sur les circonstances aggravantes. Impassible dans le box et debout face à la cour, le père Jacky Hoarau a écouté le président Michel Carrue annoncer sa condamnation à huit ans de prison.

L’ancien curé de Sainte-Marie s’était préparé à repartir en prison. Comparaissant libre après avoir effectué six mois de détention provisoire entre février et août 2010, il avait rassemblé des effets personnels pour son incarcération.

Priester krijgt 7 jaar cel voor verkrachting misdienaar


SAINT-DENIS (RKnieuws.net) - Het Hof van Assisen van Saint-Denis in het Franse overzeese departement Réunion heeft priester Jacky Hoarau gisteren tot zeven jaar cel veroordeeld voor verkrachting van een koorknaap.

De behandeling van de rechtszaak nam twee dagen in beslag. Priester Hoarau erkende dat hij homoseksueel is. Hij zei dat hij de feiten nooit gebiecht heeft. De priester vergreep zich aan de koonknaap in zijn parochie tussen 2008 en 2009. De zaak ging in januari 2010 aan het rollen nadat de moeder van de koorknaap aangifte deed.

Lawyers in Milwaukee archdiocese bankruptcy case seek mediator

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Lawyers for creditors in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy on Friday threatened to sue to recover $35 million it says the archdiocese fraudulently transferred to a parish trust before filing for Chapter 11 and asked the judge to appoint a mediator as a first step toward a settlement of the 14-month-old case.

Meanwhile, the attorney for 350 victims in the bankruptcy filed a state court lawsuit against a Caledonia parish, putting the archdiocese on notice that if parishes are separate legal entities as it argues in the bankruptcy, then they, too, will be sued.

"This is forced by the position the archdiocese has taken. They leave us no choice," said attorney Jeffrey Anderson.

Daryl Diesing, one of several attorneys representing the archdiocese, said he had not yet spoken to his client but denied unequivocally that any funds were sheltered to keep them from being tapped for a sex abuse settlement.

Alison O’Connor: Fr D'Arcy is victim of mafioso treatment by Vatican bullyboys

Irish Independent

By Alison O’Connor

Saturday April 28 2012

Pope Benedict is a Catholic, but is the man a Christian? That's the question going around in my head as I sit here in a rage after hearing the news that Fr Brian D'Arcy is the latest Irish priest to get the mafioso treatment by the Vatican.

These bullyboys certainly have ways of making you not talk. Brian D'Arcy is the fifth Irish Catholic priest to have been censured recently. For well over a year now, his writings and broadcasts have had to be submitted in advance to a Vatican-appointed censor.

Where, you have to wonder, do the Pope and his henchmen in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith get off? Here they are silencing good, decent men who are excellent representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, or at least the kind of church you would wish it to be.

These are priests who are intelligent and questioning and who genuinely appear to have the best interests of their church at heart.

Gagged priest speaks out over Vatican censor

Irish Independent

By Greg Harkin

Saturday April 28 2012

CENSORED priest Father Brian D'Arcy hit back at the Catholic Church hierarchy yesterday, as he was inundated with messages of support from around the world.

At the St Gabriel's Retreat centre, at the Passionist Monastery in Co Fermanagh where the celebrity priest is based, there has been a huge outpouring of support.

And it's being matched by support from around the globe, his supporters said.

Fr D'Arcy (67) was in Belfast yesterday pre-recording his Sunday music programme for BBC Radio Ulster following confirmation he has been censored by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

"Jesus Christ" and Warren Jeffs Co-Author a Letter Asking for Jeffs to Be Released From Prison

Phoenix New Times

By Matthew HendleyFri., Apr. 27 2012

If Warren Jeffs -- pedophile/leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints -- had any marbles left when he was sent to prison, he just lost the rest of them.

Jeffs, who's in prison for sexually assaulting two underage "brides," wrote a petition to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals -- allegedly co-authored by "Lord Jesus Christ" -- saying it's time for Jeffs to be released.

According to "Jesus Christ," he's going to be really pissed if Jeffs doesn't get out of prison "soon."

Waco spiritual leader: 'Use force' in disciplining of children


[Copy of the Homestead Heritage contract signed by members]

[with video]


WACO, Texas - Church leaders at Homestead Heritage, the religious commune north of Waco, are allegedly encouraging parents to brutally discipline their children.

A News 8 investigation has already uncovered evidence that church elders failed to timely report allegations of sexual abuse of at least two children within the Homestead community.

Now some former members say the brutal disciplining of children is an on-going threat, due to a private pact between church leaders and parents to severely discipline children who don't conform to church doctrine. It's an allegation church leaders deny.

Homestead Heritage is a 1,000 member congregation located on a 500-acre, gated commune north of Waco, where God and family come first. But the wholesome, carefree appearances portrayed on publicity videos, according to some who have left, is a facade, masking a quiet culture of abuse.

Statement from Homestead Heritage to WFAA, and WFAA's response



Below is the complete, unedited statement from Homestead Heritage to WFAA, and below

Statement by Homestead Heritage for WFAA

Though we at Homestead Heritage have given dozens of media interviews in the past on all facets of our community, including our beliefs, our way of life, and even answering criticisms from former members, we chose not to grant an interview for this story. Our decision was due to the known agenda of the former members who instigated this story, the way the reporter approached the story, and our desire to protect the privacy of the innocent victims and families involved.

Though we disagree strongly with the approach of this story and have ample reason to doubt that it will be presented truthfully, we feel no personal animus towards the former members who accuse us or towards the media personnel involved. Our goal with any who may differ with us has always been reconciliation, not polarization. This is one reason why we feel the public media is not an appropriate forum for airing grievances, as that course inevitably tends to drive wedges deeper. Nonetheless, we also feel an obligation to let the truth be known and to do what we can to defend the honor of Jesus Christ and His work on the earth, whether that be in our own community or in any other individual or church expression. Thus we felt it appropriate to offer some explanation of our position in these matters.

First of all, we’ve become all too familiar with the character and agenda of the disgruntled former members that are the source of these slanderous and inflammatory, yet typically subjective and unverifiable, accusations against us. We’ve always discussed with anyone on a personal level any questions on any topic, provided they were asked respectfully and they didn’t become an inquisition. But we were concerned that countering in a public media forum a laundry list of false, sensational accusations and distortions would, at best, simply lend credence to a characterization of our community that was misleading in the very framing of the questions, not to mention as a whole.

Pastor’s ‘spell’ finally broken

The London Free Press

By JANE SIMS, The London Free Press

Last Updated: April 27, 2012

It was as if Royden Wood cast a "spell" on the congregation of the now-closed Ambassador Baptist Church.

That was how one of his sexual assault victims described the hold the pastor had on his flock during the years the controversial church at the corner of King and Adelaide streets was in its full flight until it closed in 2007.

The last criminal courtroom chapter of the Ambassador Church scandal ended Friday with a six-year prison sentence for Wood.

The 62-year-old former church leader came to court without his wife Linda in anticipation of being jailed for his crimes.

Superior Court Justice Dougald McDermid said in his decision that Wood "methodically isolated his complainants, manipulated them and brought them under his control.

New Book Inspires Readers to Find Strength Amidst Hardship

PR Web

STATESVILLE, N.C. (PRWEB) April 28, 2012

“Titanic” – one of the most wildly successful films of all time – was recently rereleased in theaters in 3D, reminding moviegoers how amazing stories can spring from the well of terrible tragedies. Offering her own tragedy-to-triumph story, Ann Wagner delivers her new inspirational book, “Hope For The Hurting: A Personal Account of Overcoming Abuse and Betrayal and Gaining the Victory” (published by WestBow Press).

The memories Wagner shares aren’t easy to hear. “Hope For The Hurting” explores the haunting experience of being sexually abused by the pastor of her church. As she recalls, the person who was accused of abusing her and committing multiple sexual crimes died abruptly days before he was to face trial, leaving Wagner feeling frustrated and carrying unresolved hurt.

Wagner eventually found a way to put the pain behind her. Through the help of a counselor, and by relying on God and the Bible, she was able to experience healing. “Although I never saw earthly justice, I have hope and peace through principles that I have come to learn and accept,” she says. “This experience inspired me to share the things that I have learned with others.”

Priest's future in doubt

Newcastle Herald


28 Apr, 2012

RETIRED Newcastle Anglican Dean Graeme Lawrence says his future as a priest is in Bishop Brian Farran’s hands after losing an appeal following sexual misconduct allegations.
‘‘The ball is in his court now,’’ Father Lawrence said yesterday after a NSW Supreme Court judge dismissed his appeal to quash professional standards board findings against him.

The decision means the bishop can act on a board determination to strip Father Lawrence of Holy Orders and remove him from the priesthood. He is considering an appeal.

Bishop Farran declined to comment ‘‘until the appeal period is closed’’, when asked if he would act on the board’s decision.

Diocese assails latest charge against Cairo priest

The Daily Mail

By W. T. Eckert
Hudson-Catskill Newspapers

Published: Saturday, April 28, 2012

CATSKILL — During Tuesday’s rally against a Cairo priest accused of sexually molesting a former alter boy and current inmate, unfounded accusations against the priest were made by a one of the protesters.

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) Western Regional Director Joelle Casteix said when 2006 sexual abuse allegations were filed against Father Jeremiah Nunan, the priest “absconded to Ireland where he hid until the victim in that case, Father Mark Jaufmann, died and the case was dropped.”

That is blatantly untrue, Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Director of Communications Ken Goldfarb said.

“There was an indication that he was purposely avoiding something by going to Ireland,” Goldfarb said, “and the fact is he makes this trip every year and she used the word ‘hid.’ Everybody knew where he was.”

Nunan traveled to Ireland in 2006, where he was born and has family, Goldfarb said, and it is at the understanding of the Diocese that he has traveled there annually for more than 40 years.

April 27, 2012

In L.A. clergy abuse cases, the wheels of justice move slowly

Los Angeles Times

By Gale Holland, Los Angeles Times

April 28, 2012

Manuel Vega was in the courtroom when the Los Angeles Archdiocese agreed to pay clergy abuse victims a landmark $660-million settlement. The bailiff had to whisk some of the victims out to make room for all the high-fiving lawyers filing in for their payday, he says.

"Some were even chest-bumping," recalls the retired police officer. "To me, it looked like a frat party."

Vega, who says he was molested as a boy by a priest in Oxnard, went along with the settlement only because his attorneys assured him the church would turn over confidential personnel files that would reveal the truth about priest abusers, and those who shielded them, including Cardinal Roger M. Mahony. Four years and nine months later, Mahony is retired, but not a single page from the files has seen the light of day.

Complaints about the delay have become a litany trotted out every year, along with accusations the church is stonewalling to protect its own, and Mahony's, legacy. What's different about Vega's complaint is that he blames not only the church but his own lawyers.

"They took the money and ran," he says.

Dolan to return Saturday to lead Mass at Holy Hill

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

April 27, 2012

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan returns to Wisconsin for the first time since receiving his red cap in Rome for a special Mass of Thanksgiving Saturday at the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians, at Holy Hill.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is bracing for what could be 2,000 or more worshippers converging at the historic church and basilica to welcome Dolan, whose popularity while archbishop of Milwaukee has only skyrocketed since his move east and onto the international stage.

"You can just sense the growing anticipation. The energy in the air is just phenomenal," said Julie Wolf, spokeswoman for the archdiocese.

"I've never experienced anything like it - the closest I can come to it was at the cardinal's consistory in Rome. This man is very special," she said.

Dolan led the Milwaukee archdiocese from 2002 to 2009, coming at one of the darkest times for the local church as it reeled from revelations of clergy sexual abuse dating back decades and the public fall from grace of his predecessor, the now retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland.

Dolan's ebullient personality and pastoral presence endeared him to many in the 10-county archdiocese. Still, he had his critics, including sex abuse victims who believe he didn't do enough to address their concerns and others who considered him too theologically conservative.

The archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection two years after he left as a way to settle its mounting sex abuse claims.

Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church

Santa Clara University

A Conference Examining the Abuse Crisis

Taking on a still-controversial topic, a diverse group of experts, including victims and clergy, offers reflections on the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, examining what the church has done—and what it still needs to do—to protect children.

Conference Details

Date: Friday May 11, 2012
Location: SCU Benson Memorial Center, California Mission Room
Time: 9am - 5pm

Register by end of day Friday, May 4, 2012


Keynote Speakers
Karen J. Terry, PhD
Thomas J. Reese, S.J.

Conference Hosts
Thomas G. Plante, PhD, ABPP
Kathleen L. McChesney, PhD

Panel Speakers
Barbara Blaine
Judge Terrance Carroll
Rev. Gerald D. Coleman, SS, PhD
Rev. Thomas P. Doyle, JCD, CADC
Rev. Paul Macke, SJ
Gerard J. McGlone, SJ, PhD
Judge Michael Merz
Anson Shupe, PhD
A. W. Richard Sipe
Rev. Richard Vega

Struggles Of St. Francis

Connecticut Law Tribune


There was action on two fronts last week in one of the state’s biggest civil cases ever, marked by a new $15 million settlement involving dozens of plaintiffs and state Supreme Court arguments focusing on an earlier trial court verdict.

The long-running case involves St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, and Dr. George Reardon, who worked there for more than three decades, into the 1990s. Scores of plaintiffs said Reardon molested them as children, when they visited his office as part of a supposed child development study. Reardon died in 1999, but the hospital has been named as a defendant for not providing adequate supervision of Reardon.

Although not all the settlements have been made public, some estimates put the total damages so far at roughly $50 million.

At the state Supreme Court last week, lawyers for St. Francis Hospital tried to persuade the court to overturn the one jury verdict reached so far in the case. A man identified in court documents only as Tim Doe was awarded $2.75 million last year following a trial in Waterbury. Defense attorneys argued that there was no evidence at trial that any inkling of Reardon’s dangerousness had ever entered the hospital’s collective consciousness.

Dolan returns to the Milwaukee Archdiocese ...

SNAP Wisconsin

Dolan returns to the Milwaukee Archdiocese as Catholics learn more about his cover up of clergy sex crimes

New Cardinal plans to celebrate his promotion, not explain his stewardship of diocese which led to bankruptcy

Statement by John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director
CONTACT: 414.336.8575

Former Milwaukee Archbishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York will return to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee this weekend to celebrate his promotion to the College of Cardinals. Dolan will preside at a Mass of Thanksgiving and attend other celebrations to be held in his honor arranged by himself and church officials from Milwaukee and New York.

Amid the orchestrated fanfare, however, Dolan is unlikely to address his pivotal role in the clergy sex abuse crisis, which after decades is still unfolding in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Dolan, who promised to Catholics during his tenure here that the church would be transparent and accountable returns to an archdiocese that is suffering the consequences of his failure to do both. (For a fact sheet on Dolan’s record handling sex abuse cases click here)

Dolan, when in Milwaukee, never disclosed to Catholics the true nature and extent of the clergy sex abuse crisis in the archdiocese– the number of crimes committed, who committed those crimes, and which church officials covered them up. Only now as a result of revelations in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy, filed soon after Dolan left, are we learning the magnitude of the rape and sexual assault of children that took place in the Archdiocese.

At least 8,000 instances of child sexual assault and abuse likely occurred in the archdiocese over the last several decades, according to court records. And the identities and whereabouts of at least 100 child sex offenders employed or ministering in the archdiocese remain unknown to the public—100 more than the 44 offenders that Dolan claimed was the total number.

Dolan returns to the Milwaukee Archdiocese ...

SNAP Wisconsin

Dolan returns to the Milwaukee Archdiocese as Catholics learn more about his cover up of clergy sex crimes

New Cardinal plans to celebrate his promotion, not explain his stewardship of diocese which led to bankruptcy

Statement by John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director
CONTACT: 414.336.8575

Former Milwaukee Archbishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York will return to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee this weekend to celebrate his promotion to the College of Cardinals. Dolan will preside at a Mass of Thanksgiving and attend other celebrations to be held in his honor arranged by himself and church officials from Milwaukee and New York.

Amid the orchestrated fanfare, however, Dolan is unlikely to address his pivotal role in the clergy sex abuse crisis, which after decades is still unfolding in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Dolan, who promised to Catholics during his tenure here that the church would be transparent and accountable returns to an archdiocese that is suffering the consequences of his failure to do both. (For a fact sheet on Dolan’s record handling sex abuse cases click here)

Dolan, when in Milwaukee, never disclosed to Catholics the true nature and extent of the clergy sex abuse crisis in the archdiocese– the number of crimes committed, who committed those crimes, and which church officials covered them up. Only now as a result of revelations in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy, filed soon after Dolan left, are we learning the magnitude of the rape and sexual assault of children that took place in the Archdiocese.

At least 8,000 instances of child sexual assault and abuse likely occurred in the archdiocese over the last several decades, according to court records. And the identities and whereabouts of at least 100 child sex offenders employed or ministering in the archdiocese remain unknown to the public—100 more than the 44 offenders that Dolan claimed was the total number.

Irland: Bei Missbrauch soll Beichtgeheimnis ausgesetzt werden

ORF (Osterreich)

Die irische Regierung plant eine Verschärfung der Anzeigepflicht für Kindesmissbrauch. Ein gemeinsamer Gesetzesentwurf des Justiz- und des Familienministeriums sieht vor, das Unterlassen entsprechender Hinweise mit bis zu fünf Jahren Haft zu bestrafen, wie irische Medien am Donnerstag berichten. Priester sollten sich dabei nicht auf das Beichtgeheimnis berufen dürfen, betonten Justizminister Alan Shatter und Familienministerin Frances Fitzgerald bei der Vorstellung des Textes am Mittwochabend.

Wie hieß der Wiener Mißbrauchs-Kardinal noch einmal?


Das Schöne am Mißbrauchs-Hoax ist, daß man ihn mit den Zahlen demaskieren kann, die von den Mißbrauchs-Propagandisten veröffentlicht werden. Von Raymund Spindler.

(kreuz.net) Der rote Erzbischof von Wien, Franz Kardinal König († 2004), wird von Altliberalen und Kirchenfeinden wie ein Säkularheiliger verehrt.

Er leitete die Erzdiözese Wien in der Zeit von Juni 1956 bis zum September 1985.

Kloster will für Missbrauch nicht haften

der Standard

Jutta Berger, 26. April 2012

Gleich zweimal saß der Abt des Zisterzienserklosters Mehrerau, Anselm van der Linde, am Donnerstag vor Gericht. Zwei Opfer sexueller Gewalt fordern vom Kloster zivilrechtlich Schadenersatz

Feldkirch - Eines hatten die Kläger und der Abt beim Zivilrechtsprozess Missbrauchsopfer kontra Kloster Mehrerau gemeinsam: Alle drei Männer waren angespannt, die Situation war ihnen sichtlich unangenehm. Das war es dann aber auch schon: "Kein Vergleich, wir bleiben bei unserer Haltung", stellte der Anwalt des Klosters, Bertram Grass, klar. Schadenersatzforderungen, im ersten Fall 200.000 Euro, im zweiten 135. 000 Euro, werden wegen Verjährung abgelehnt. Die Opfer sollten sich an die Klasnic-Kommission wenden.

Quelle: Deutsche Bischofskonferenz


2.3.5 Meldungen nach Diözese

Von 474 Klienten der katholischen Hotline für Opfer von sexuellem Missbrauch liegen
hinsichtlich Meldungen konkrete Angaben zu den zuständigen Diözesen vor. Dabei
geht es um Personen, die ihren Fall direkt der verantwortlichen Diözese bzw. dem
Orden zu melden wünschten und gegenüber dem Täter weitere Maßnahmen zu
erwirken suchten, unabhängig davon, ob dieser noch lebte oder nicht (d.h. entweder
konkrete dienstaufsichtliche Strafe oder Veränderung der Akte eines verstorbenen
Täters). Z.T. hatte diese Personengruppe zusätzlich anwaltliche Begleitung bzw. ein
Anwalt rief vereinzelt im Namen eines Klienten an.

Prolific predator priest lives by playground, SNAP calls for action

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on April 27, 2012

It is one thing to punish a priest for his crimes and misdeeds he committed while wearing the collar. It is quite another to wash your hands of him, knowing full well what he has done and will likely continue to do, and consider the matter resolved. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia acted irresponsibly with their handling of Fr. David Sicoli in the past. They are acting negligently with regard to Sicoli now.

Sicoli, who was known to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to have molested at least 12 boys during his career as a priest, was quietly defrocked from the church in 2008. Today, he lives across the street from the largest playground in Sea Isle City, NJ. The Archdiocese has unleashed him on a new hunting ground in a new state. This is outrageous.

We call on Archbishop Chaput to use all of his resources to warn parents and parishioners in New Jersey of the crimes that Sicoli committed in Philadelphia. He should also provide a dossier on Sicoli to Diocese of Camden Bishop Joseph Galante, and Bishop Galante should take every possible step to ensure that Sicoli has not victimized any more children in his diocese.


Berger's Beat

April 27, 2012 11:10 am | Author: Jerry Berger

The one-time U.S. head of the Jesuits, Fr. Bradley Schaeffer, has resigned as a board member of Loyola University in Chicago under pressure because of his role in a child sex abuse case. It involves Fr. Donald McGuire who was Mother Teresa’s confessor and who is now in prison for sexually violating kids in Wisconsin. McGuire’s also accused of molesting in St. Charles, MO in 1999.

Hearing set for ex-priest seeking to have sexual conduct, rape convictions overturned


By Kacie Breeding

Published April 27th, 2012

A former Kingsport priest convicted last July of raping an altar boy three decades ago is now scheduled for a June 15 hearing in which he is seeking to have his convictions overturned.

William Casey, 78, 740 Shakerag Road, Greeneville, is seeking a "new trial, arrest of judgment or judgment of acquittal," in a motion filed Dec. 22, 2011. A hearing on the motion was originally set for March 5, but Matthew Spivey, who along with Rick Spivey represented Casey at trial, was unavailable. The new date was not immediately set at that time.

Casey was sentenced last November to 15 to 20 years on first-degree criminal sexual conduct and two concurrent 20-year terms on two aggravated rape counts. His convictions stemmed from allegations he sexually abused a young altar boy shortly after becoming priest of St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in Kingsport in the 1970s.

New suit against former St. Louis psychologist filed, SNAP responds

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on April 27, 2012

On Monday, here at the St. Louis County courthouse, arguments in a previously-undisclosed sexual exploitation lawsuit will be heard. The case is against a minister, ex- psychologist, ex-St. Louis Cardinals’ consultant and ex-KMOX radio talk show host, Rev. William L. Little.

Little (a.k.a. Billy Lee Little) is being sued (for at least the second time) for inappropriate sexual misconduct against a woman he was counseling. A similar case against him in the 1990s led to his psychologist’s license being suspended and to a financial settlement.

For 17 years, Little had a counseling show on KMOX and reportedly “became the first sports psychologist employed by a major league baseball team when he worked for the St. Louis Cardinals (1978-1982).” For 50 years, he headed Christ Memorial Baptist Church in Cool Valley (which dissolved in 2010).

Fr D'Arcy will continue to speak out on church issues

BBC News

Father Brian D'Arcy has said he will continue to speak out on controversial issues affecting the Catholic Church despite being rebuked by the Vatican.

As a newspaper columnist and a broadcaster, Fr D'Arcy has been a vocal critic of church policy on clerical sex abuse, celibacy and contraception.

As part of the disciplinary action, he must now get prior approval to cover topics dealing with church doctrine.

But he said the church has not ordered him to change any of his work since.

Fr D'Arcy hits back over year of Vatican censure


By Niall O'Connor

Friday April 27 2012

OUTSPOKEN Fr Brian D'Arcy has spoken of his "disappointment" after being censured by the Vatican for more than a year.

It has emerged that the popular newspaper columnist has been disciplined by Catholic bosses over the contents of a number of his articles.

The high-profile priest has admitted that he has been living with the censure for 14 months -- meaning all his articles must be submitted to the Vatican for approval.

Fr D'Arcy, who has previously revealed that he was abused by a priest, has been vocal in his criticism of the Catholic Church and its handling of the child sex-abuse scandal.

Fr Brian represents us better than the Vatican


Friday April 27 2012

Bono once told Father Brian D'Arcy: "You're the last one standing."

Now Pope Benedict is trying to cut him off at the knees.

After everything the Catholic Church has been found guilty of, you'd have thought it would be open to a bit of self-criticism -- but instead it has been revealed that the Vatican is censoring Fr D'Arcy's writings as if they were some 21st Century version of the Da Vinci Code.


Earlier this week, DJ Ray D'Arcy caused a stir by declaring that the Church has "in many ways, f**ked up this country".

His namesake uses much more measured language, but the authorities in Rome seem to think that Fr Brian's message is basically the same.

He has used his newspaper columns to insist that the Church should allow married priests, accept homosexuality and too confess that it broke most of the Ten Commandments by protecting so many paedophiles in dog collars.

Notes on the LCWR overhaul

National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Apr. 27, 2012 All Things Catholic

By far, the biggest Vatican story at the moment in the American media market is an announced overhaul of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the main umbrella group for superiors of the roughly 400 women's orders in the States. The move has been presented by the Vatican as a "reform" but styled as a "crackdown" in most press coverage.

As is by now well known, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's powerful doctrinal watchdog agency, has faulted LCWR for silence on issues such as abortion and euthanasia, a climate of "corporate dissent" on matters such as homosexuality and women's ordination, and the inroads of "radical feminism." The congregation appointed Archbishop James Peter Sartain of Seattle as its delegate to oversee reform, with power to do things like reviewing documents before publication and signing off on speakers for LCWR meetings.

The story has become a cause célèbre, primarily because of the deep fault lines it seems to encapsulate: men vs. women, family values vs. women's issues (especially in a domestic political season in which an alleged "war on women" is in the air), Rome vs. America, left vs. right, authority vs. dissent, the hierarchy vs. the grassroots, and so on. Depending on where one stands vis-à-vis those divides, it's easy to see LCWR as either a hero or a scapegoat.

Celebrity priest Fr Brian D’Arcy is latest to be censored by the Vatican

Irish Central

IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Friday, April 27, 2012

Celebrity priest Fr Brian D’Arcy is the latest member of the Catholic clergy in Ireland to be censored by the Vatican.

Reports on the BBC website, and in the Tablet news magazine, claim that D’Arcy’s Sunday World newspaper columns are vetted by a church censor on a weekly basis.

D’Arcy has a huge following among young people and was portrayed in the past as “Father Brian Trendy” by famed comedian Dermot Morgan.

The reports state that D’Arcy sometime outspoken views on the Catholic church have been the target of the Holy See’s main theological watchdog.

Víctima de Karadima...

La Tercera

Víctima de Karadima responde a Medina: "Una vez más demuestra la crueldad que lo caracteriza"

por Angélica Baeza Palavecino - 27/04/2012

Juan Carlos Cruz, una de las víctimas de Fernando Karadima, se mostró impactado y dolido ante las declaraciones del cardenal Jorge Medina, quien comparó a una persona homosexual con un niño que nació sin brazo.

"Las declaraciones de Medina lo único que hacen es demostrar esa mentalidad retrógrada y ofensiva, que no colabora a lo que los católicos esperamos de nuestra Iglesia", dijo a La Tercera.

Bishops Crack Down on Nuns: Decisions from a Parallel Universe


April 27, 2012 by Susan Matthews

Click here to read: “The Inquisition: Vatican issues a knuckle-rap to the nuns,” by Cokie Roberts and Steven V. Roberts, phillyburbs.com, April 26, 2012

Excerpt: “The nuns’ silence on gay marriage must be particularly galling to their new inquisitor. Archbishop Sartain has thrown the full force of his office behind a proposed ballot initiative to overturn Washington state’s new marriage equality law. His 2010 appointment to the Seattle archdiocese provoked protest from victims of pedophilia, because only a year earlier, Sartain had ordained a molester — later convicted of his crimes — despite warnings from other priests.”

Editor’s note: After being cited in Amnesty International’s report of human rights violators, this move takes “you know what.” They realize they are losing moral authority over the faithful and hope to force women’s religious orders to further their agenda. And it’s an agenda far removed from what I learned in religion class. It’s a power play – pure and simple.

The Good Sisters

National Survivor Advocates Coalition


There has been a great deal of ink, broadcast air, and cyberspace focused in the past week on the Vatican’s move against the women religious in the United States as they are organized in the Leadership Conference of Religious Women (LCRW).

There is great feeling both nostalgic and immediate expressed in the support of the vowed religious women in all approaches: the men are from Mars, women are from Venus theme, the walk with the underprivileged, the marginalized, and the poor versus the disconnected mansion men, or the social justice versus the hard right guide to sexuality.

We do not raise our voice to condemn, hurt, or deflate the sisters for God knows we have seen, know and sympathize with their plight because of the courage of the survivors of sexual abuse who have informed the Church and the society at large of the dealings of the hierarchy.

It is because of the survivors and the families of those who committed suicide that we raise our voice in the midst of the discussion about the nuns.

We raise it to ask the sisters as they pray, reflect, gather and seek to dialogue in their current crisis to come clean with the sexual abuse by nuns and do right by the survivors and their families.

Inquisition unleashed to weed out Vatican leakers

Brisbane Times

Tom Kington, Rome
April 28, 2012

VATICAN employees who have been leaking embarrassing letters about corruption and nepotism in the tiny city state are to be hunted down by a crack squad of cardinals led by a senior member of the religious group Opus Dei.

Irritated by the anonymous release of documents to the press this year, Pope Benedict has named Cardinal Julian Herranz, 82, to lead a three-man team which will haul in members of staff for questioning and rifle through files until they catch the perpetrators of what has been dubbed ''Vatileaks''.

A statement on the front page of the Vatican's daily newspaper warned the team had a full ''pontifical mandate'' to ''shed complete light'' on whistleblowers, who have lifted the lid on alleged theft and false accounting.

Cardinal Herranz was a long-time personal secretary to Josemaria Escriva, the canonised founder of Opus Dei, which has been accused of excessive secrecy for its strict control over members and undue influence within the Vatican. Cardinal Herranz has insisted that Opus Dei has ''no hidden agenda'' and is only interested in ''the message of Christ''.

Pedophile Across From Playground – Send Thank You to Philly Diocese


April 27, 2012 by Susan Matthews

Click here to read: “At trial, following a defrocked priest’s 25-year trial,” by John P. Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 26, 2012

Excerpt: “He lives across the street from the largest playground in Sea Isle City,” Dougherty replied. The exchange underscored a point prosecutors have been trying to make in their endangerment case against Msgr. William J. Lynn: that he and other leaders at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia waited so long to act on proof or suspicions of misconduct that child sex abusers escaped civil or criminal consequences.

Editor’s note: This isn’t a “Catholic” issue, this is a public safety issue. This is why all Pennsylvania citizens need to tell their state reps and senators that they demand the statute of limitations be removed for child sex abuse. Don’t accept any excuses. There is no statute of limitations for murder in PA. Child sex abuse is soul murder.

Biechtgeheim op de helling

RKnieuws (Nederland)

DUBLIN (RKnieuws.net) - De Ierse priesters zullen voortaan het biechtgeheim niet meer kunnen inroepen in gevallen van seksueel misbruik. De regering wil de wet op de bescherming van minderjarigen verstrengen. In dat kader wil de regering tot vijf jaar celstraf voorzien voor priesters die nalaten gevallen van seksueel misbruik te melden.

De Kerk herhaalt dat de schending van het biechtgeheim onduldbaar is.

Gerald T. Slevin, Philly Predator Priests & Papal Politics


As this work week ends, another outstanding piece from Jerry Slevin, commenting on the ongoing trial in the archdiocese of Philadelphia, the current political strategy of the Vatican and U.S. Catholic bishops, and the mandate to "reform" American religious women--and how these pieces fit together. This is a rich and detailed posting, and I'm grateful to Jerry for providing this information to all of us who are trying to understand how these various pieces interlock. What follows is Jerry's posting:

The nauseating selected stories oozing out of the Philadelphia Archdiocese sexual swamp are being issued almost daily from a courtroom near Constitution Hall. The stories, only a fraction of those many uncovered so far, just keep coming, as reported regularly in detail at the Philly.com website.

An aerial view of the swamp is available at my previous posting at the Bilgrimage site, and in this Wikipedia article tracking the abuse story in the Philadelphia archdiocese and in the related links cited there.

The Vatican has faced similar deluges of negative publicity before, for example, in Ireland, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Chile, and even Boston and Los Angeles. But never before has a case apparently carried such implications for the papacy. The steady stream of clerical filth exposed at the current Philly trial has flowed through the leadership periods of three important Cardinals, with extensive papal connections, especially the last one, Cardinal Justin Rigali.

Rigali's ties to the Vatican are and continue to be extensive. He served several popes closely in Rome and continues on major papal curial committees. Yesterday, a new and important special committee was set up in Rome under the powerful Cardinal Herranz to investigate the unprecedented recent leaks of embarrassing Vatican documents, so-called "Vatileaks," as reported by Reuters. Cardinal Rigali, along with Pope John Paul II, in 1991 was one of the three co-consecrators of Herranz as bishop and still serves with him on a major Vatican committee. Herranz is one of two Opus Dei Cardinals and has recently served on the committee that just directed the unexpected investigation of American nuns discussed below.

Fr Brian D'Arcy censured by Vatican

The Irish Catholic

Father Brian D'Arcy, one of Ireland's best known priests, has been censured by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in the Vatican.

It is understood that his column must now run past a Church censor.

According to The Tablet, which reported the story, the action against Fr D’Arcy was taken by the CDF last year after an anonymous complaint.

The disciplining of Fr D'Arcy brings the number of Irish priests silenced by Rome to five.

Former Newcastle Anglican Dean loses appeal

Newcastle Herald


27 Apr, 2012

Former Newcastle Anglican Dean Graeme Lawrence and Cardiff priest Graeme Sturt suffered distress after "unseemly" sexual allegations against them at a professional standards hearing, but lost a NSW Supreme Court case to have findings against them quashed.

Justice John Sackar today found a professional standards board, headed by a retired NSW magistrate, had not acted with bias when it stripped the priests of their holy orders in December 2010 after public hearings of lurid sexual allegations against them.

The judge found the public airing of group sex allegations involving priests were, "if true or untrue", distressing for Fathers Lawrence and Sturt and had "no doubt been distressing and potentially damaging to others".

"There also is no doubt that these events have arguably impacted upon the reputation of the Anglican Church of Australia."

Sex claim priests lose holy orders bid

Big Pond News

Friday, April 27, 2012

Two Anglican priests have lost their challenge to moves to strip them of their holy orders after findings of sexual misconduct involving a teenage boy in 1984.

The suspended rector of Cardiff, the reverend Graeme Leslie Sturt, 60, and the retired dean of Newcastle, Graeme Russell Lawrence, 68, challenged moves to ban them from officiating or acting in any manner as priest and cease to have any rights attached to the position.

Justice John Sackar on Friday first rejected a claim the NSW Supreme Court could not adjudicate on their grievances and then went on to dismiss their claim.

The challenge related to findings and recommendations made in December 2010 by the Newcastle Diocese Professional Standards Board (PSB).

Diocese rejects ex-Bonita Springs pastor's resignation


Written by
Lindsay Downey
Special to news-press.com

The Diocese of Venice has rejected a St. Leo Catholic Church former pastor’s resignation from the priesthood as it moves forward with a trial that accuses him of violations of obedience, celibacy and financial responsibility.

“No priest is able to renounce the Sacrament of Holy Orders or depart from the clerical state under his own volition,” the diocese Thursday said in a statement.

The Rev. Stan Strycharz submitted his resignation to the diocese April 20, three days before the start of his trial under canon law, or mandates of the Catholic Church, diocese spokesman Billy Atwell said.

The former pastor of the Bonita Springs church has not appeared at his trial as requested by the diocese and dismissed a canonical advocate appointed to defend him, Atwell said.

Irish bishop reaffirms seal of confession amid legal controversy

Catholic News Agency

Dublin, Ireland, Apr 27, 2012 / 12:03 am (CNA).- Dublin's Auxiliary Bishop Raymond W. Field says priests must maintain the confidentiality of the confessional, which may be threatened by a proposed law requiring mandatory reporting of abuse.

“The seal of the confessional is inviolable as far as I am concerned, and that's the end of the matter,” Bishop Field said in comments reported by the Irish Independent newspaper on April 26.

Remarks made the previous day by Irish Justice Minister Alan Shatter suggested that priests could be bound by requirements of the sex abuse reporting bill. Due to be introduced in the legislature later this year, the bill threatens up to ten years in jail for those who fail to report sex crimes.

“I would expect that if there was someone going to confession who was a serial sex abuser, I don't know how anyone could live with their conscience if they didn't refer that to the gardai (police),” said Shatter. He noted that existing laws already require reporting of other crimes without exempting priests.

McVerry criticises Vatican censure of D'Arcy

Breaking News


A Catholic priest is calling the censure of Father Brian D'Arcy by the Vatican "completely unacceptable".

Father D'Arcy is well known for expressing views contrary to the Church's teachings and is a regular contributor to TV and radio programmes.

In a statement yesterday, Father D'Arcy confirmed that his writings on morality have been screened for over a year now by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which oversees Catholic Church doctrine.

Father Peter McVerry - who has worked with Dublin's homeless for the past 30 years - said that unfortunately, such measures are becoming commonplace.

Charge sheet error leads to acquittal

The Malta Independent

Another charge sheet error has led to four accused people, who included three policemen, being acquitted yesterday in a case which involved all four of them assaulting a French student.

Earlier this month, an appeals court acquitted another accused, a priest, of raping a boy who was in his care, because according to the charge sheet the crime had been committed in Marfa, when in fact it occurred in Sta Venera.

Prosecutors: Predator Priest Served For 30 Years Despite Abuse Allegations

CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The jury in the clergy abuse case has now heard the very disturbing case of Father David Sicoli, who allegedly abused nearly a dozen boys over decades, starting shortly after he was ordained in 1975. This evidence is alleged to show a pattern of conduct of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia of protecting predator priests.

Evidence from the church’s secret archives shows three boys came forward in 1977 and alleged abuse and misconduct by Father David Sicoli, then in his first assignment.

Another priest found the allegations to be credible, but Sicoli remained in ministry and over the next 25 years he was the subject of countless allegations by other priests, nuns, school staff and parishioners.

A nun wrote that ‘the poor man needs help’ and begged the archdiocese to not let him get involved with youth activities to try to keep him from hurting anyone else.

The silencing of Fr Brian D'Arcy

Irish Independent

Friday April 27 2012


The news that Father Brian D'Arcy, one of the best-known and most popular priests in the country, has been censured by the Vatican and that his newspaper and magazine articles are now effectively censored in advance of publication by the church authorities will come as a shock to many lay Catholics.

For the past two decades, as the Catholic Church suffered one hammer blow after another as the full extent of the clerical child sex abuse scandal gradually emerged, Fr D'Arcy held out hope for many ordinary believers that the church would one day emerge strengthened from its ordeal.

That is why the action that has been taken against Fr D'Arcy will be so disheartening for so many. They will wonder why the Vatican apparently found it impossible to accommodate a priest who patently had the church's best interests at heart and who pointed the way toward a possible future.

Nuns deny New Guinea claims

The Australian

Verity Edwards
From:The Australian
April 24, 2012

A CATHOLIC order of nuns that allegedly removed up to 10 children of mixed race from their families in New Guinea in the 1960s has denied doing so without permission.

New Guinean-born Elizabeth Canny came forward last week and said she had been about eight when taken from her family by the Australian Union of the Sisters of Mercy and flown to Adelaide.

Mrs Canny, who is about 62 but does not know her birth date, wants the government and the Catholic Church to provide answers as to why children were taken from New Guinea and brought to Australia and how widespread the practice was.

Mrs Canny first contacted the Catholic Church in 2008 and was told the Australian Union of the Sisters of Mercy, which authorised the adoption, no longer existed.

St. Mary's rectory auctioned; bidder pays $97,900

The Post-Standard

By Elizabeth Doran / The Post-Standard

Jamesville, NY -- The rectory of St. Mary’s Church in Jamesville and its contents were auctioned this week despite the objections of former St. Mary’s parishioners

The rectory, assessed at $118,000, sold for $89,000 plus $8,900 in commission for a total of $97,900, said Amy Bush, manager of Brzostek’s real estate division. There were 17 bidders for the property; Bush would not disclose the buyer. She did say the home needs repairs.

The 2,652-square-foot rectory, at 6437 E. Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville, is a house away from the closed church.

Fr Brian D’Arcy: My pain over Vatican censure

Irish Independent

By Deric Henderson

Friday April 27 2012

WELL known priest and journalist Fr Brian D’Arcy, who has been censured by the Vatican, today broke his silence to reveal his distress over the disciplinary action.

The broadcaster and newspaper columnist, declared: "Personally I've been living with the pain of censure for 14 months and will have to live with it for the rest of my priestly life.

"In these difficult times, it is the price one has to pay when one is committed to the truth, which is the duty of both the priest and the journalist."

The priest, from Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 2 and Radio Ulster and who writes a religious column for Sunday World newspaper, was censured by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

Fr Brian D’Arcy ‘disappointed’ after being gagged by Vatican censor for 14 months

Irish Independent

By Garry O'Sullivan and Mark Hilliard

Friday April 27 2012

ONE of the country's most-popular priests has been censored for the last 14 months, it emerged last night.

Fr Brian D'Arcy, a regular broadcaster who has written a popular column in a Sunday newspaper for more than 30 years, has had to submit his writings for clearance for more than a year.

The Passionist priest said last night he was "disappointed" that there wasn't more respect for freedom of speech in the church. However, Vatican sources insist Irish clerics are not being targeted.

Earlier this month, Fr Tony Flannery had to stop contributing to the Redemptorist Order magazine 'Reality' after his column was cancelled on orders from Rome.

U.S. nuns group deserves support

San Francisco Chronicle

Brian Cahill

Friday, April 27, 2012

Led by Cardinal William Levada, the former archbishop of San Francisco, the Vatican has initiated a crackdown to control the activities of the largest leadership group of American Catholic nuns. If it were not so tragic and destructive, it would be the height of irony that the leaders of the Catholic Church, who are big fans of religious liberty when it serves their interests, now attempt to curtail the freedom and the good work of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

This group represents 80 percent of Catholic sisters in the United States. These are women who do so much of the heavy lifting in our church, especially in education, health care and social services.

The bishops worry that the conference's positions on homosexuality and the ordination of women will "give scandal," a mystifying position given that these same bishops have presided over the most serious church scandal in the past 500 years, where thousands of children were molested and hundreds of cases have been ignored or covered up.

Walking the (Catholic) Plank

Sarah O'Leary

"Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? -- New American Standard Bible, ©1995

Growing up in born-again bastion of Wheaton, Illinois, my childhood friends celebrated every type of Christianity. Among the largely Catholic population there were Covenants, Evangelical Frees, Methodists, Lutherans and non-denominational religionists who attended a variety of Christian churches. I found it most extraordinary that many of them actually read the Bible! What kind of craziness is that? Catholics I knew didn't read the Bible. The priest and selected laymen read parts of it on Sunday for us. Other important stuff was picked out and fed to us by nuns in Sunday school. But actually read it on our own? No way. I've never been in a Catholic Church that even had Bibles in the pews, let alone in our hands.

As an adult, I think I now understand why actually reading the word of God on our own wasn't encouraged in my Catholic Church, or most anyone else's. It was the same reason, I believe, the mass was in Latin for so long. If we truly understood what was going on, we might have actually learned something. We might have empowered our selves. We might have interpreted the Scriptures on our own, prioritizing God's edicts in a way that the Church might not support. How could we be blind followers if we studied the same Bible as our moral leaders? Isn't that like standing next to the magician when he's performing a trick? It made sense that the Church try to keep us ignorant and in fear (thus solely dependant on the Church for spiritual survival), rather than educated and potentially empowered.

Today's current state of my Catholic Church's dis-grace has reached a hell-hot fever pitch. As reported in the Huffington Post, we have the Bishop in Peoria, IL preaching politics against the President from the pulpit, risking the Church's tax exempt status and a bishop in Seattle who is trying to overturn gay marriage, while many in his flock (including men of the cloth) opening rebel against him. And, rather than focus on things such as world hunger or disease, the Vatican is trying to reel in a group of "radical" U.S. nuns who comprise 80% of all nuns in the U.S.

At risk of posing a question of the logically obvious: Why doesn't my Catholic Church get its own house in order first? et the plank/log/boulder/semi truck/elephant out of its own eye before it tries to remove a speck from another's eye? Maybe you've heard about the Philadelphia bishop in the middle of the current pedophilia scandal. Or the now almost countless scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church involving priests raping young boys and girls? Or the cover ups of these events by our blessed priests, bishops and higher ups executed around the world to avoid "harming" their precious church? What part of that is the work of true followers of Jesus? None of it. Not one damned bit of it. With millions around the world suffering, starving and in need of spiritual guidance, is homosexuality and birth control the best we can do?

Closed Minds – Closed Doors

Bishop John McCarthy

By Bishop John, April 27, 2012

An outspoken Australian bishop is generating a lot of interest in the discussion of the need for changes in the Church’s administrative structure and how it operates, deals with conflict and handles dialogue. I am referring to Bishop Geoffrey Robinson who was removed from office by the Holy See over a year ago for publicly expressing his views that the Church needed to confront and resolve views on certain areas like the shortage of priests and conduct a thorough review on the Church’s overall positions on human sexuality. The Vatican then removed him from office! Nevertheless, Bishop Robinson continues to challenge the Church to face some really very difficult issues.

Bishop Robinson is now on a lecture tour. Speaking in Chicago to a very mixed audience, including about 150 priests, Bishop Robinson stated that the roots of the decades long clergy sex abuse scandal lie not in any set of rules or practices, but are found deep in the culture of the Church itself-

The “major fault” of the Church in the scandal, Robinson said, is that it “refuses to look at any teaching, law, practice or even attitude of the Church itself as in any way contributing to the crisis. In studying abuse, we must be free to follow the argument wherever it leads rather than impose in advance the limitations that our study must not demand change in any teaching or law.”

Bring out the religious knuckle-rappers

Slidell Sentry

Another view By Cokie and Steven Roberts

Really? Women religious in America will now have a bishop grading their morals?

Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Given the sex-abuse scandals — in which many Roman Catholic bishops looked the other way at best and moved child molesters from parish to parish, perpetrating evil, at worst — you would think that a ruler rap on the hierarchical knuckles would be in order. “Sister” should have stepped in years ago. Instead, the Vatican has assigned a bishop to crack down on the nuns.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, aka the Inquisition, has appointed Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain to review and revamp the plans, programs and pronouncements of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an organization of the superiors of religious orders that represents about 57,000 U.S. nuns. What sins have these religious women committed that brought on the wrath of Rome?

Here’s one, according to the Vatican document: “While there’s been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the Church’s social doctrine, it is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death.” Oh, no — while these women are ministering to some poor pregnant girl and giving her the wherewithal to get health care and food for her baby, they are not loudly attacking abortion?

Another transgression: “The Church’s Biblical views of family life and human sexuality are not part of the LCWR agenda in a way that promotes Church teaching.” Translation: The nuns aren’t condemning gay marriage as they make their rounds to hospitals and social-service agencies where gay clients and their children await their care.

Waco religious commune accused of masking abuse



WACO, Texas - Homestead Heritage, just outside of Waco, has been revered as a model of Christian values. But is it a Utopian commune, or as some suggest, a extreme group of believers putting children at risk?

Videos posted on the Homestead Heritage web site present to the public the wholesome image, bolstering its perception as a beloved staple of the community for two decades. The estimated 1,000 members, crafting a pristine portrait of communal bliss.

But many who have left the church and its 500-acre, gated compound, paint a much different picture. One of a secretive and tightly-controlled religious environment.

Monsignor Lynn Takes The Witness Stand

Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog

Ralph Cipriano

For more than two hours Thursday, the jury in Courtroom 304 got to hear the defendant, Monsignor William J. Lynn, testify candidly about his bumbling pursuit of a sexually abusive priest on the loose from the archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Only it wasn't the real monsignor up on the witness stand, just a man who gets paid to play him in court. As he has done several times previously, Assistant District Attorney Anthony Pomeranz took the witness stand Thursday to read another volume of Lynn's 2002 grand jury testimony to the jury in the archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse trial.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington once again reprised his role as the grand jury prosecutor, asking the questions, while Pomeranz read Lynn's answers into the record. In the past, this prosecutorial play-acting could be dull, as the monsignor pontificated about Catholic tradition and archdiocese protocol, tossing around words like canonical, laicization and Catholocity.

But the play acting turned serious Thursday as the grand jury testimony focused on what Lynn did and, far more damaging, what he failed to do while pursuing sex abusers in collars. Sadly for the monsignor, the testimony that Pomeranz read into the record did not follow the defense script in this trial, which has been to paint the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua as the man with the ultimate power in the archdiocese, and thus, the real villain of the story.

Victim Testifies In Child Sexual Abuse Trial of PA Catholic Monsignor

Lez Get Real

Posted by: Bridgette P. LaVictoire on April 26, 2012.

The Roman Catholic Church has been waging a war against women lately, thinking that their push to enforce absolute conformity will rebuild their problems. This has to do with what they are trying to get away from- the child sexual abuse scandal.

On Wednesday, a young man told a jury about how he was sexually assaulted as an altar boy by two priests in Philadelphia. The young man turned to drugs beginning at age 11 in order to try and deal with the abuse. He has tried drug treatment almost two dozen times in order to deal with the addictions to painkillers, heroin and other drugs. He was the son of a police officer.

According to the young man, parish priest Edward Avery raped him twice after Mass back in 1999. At the time, he was ten. He is testifying in the trial of Monsignor William Lynn, a former secretary for clergy at the Philadelphia archdiocese. Avery has pled guilty to the crimes leveled against him, but that has not been told to the jurors. Defense lawyers did not cross-examine the accuser. Prior to the trial, the lawyers attacked his account of the attacks. Defense lawyers may have chosen to not cross-examine due to the fact that the judge threatened to allow the jury to find out about Avery’s plea.

2 men claim previously accused priests molested them

Southtown Star

April 26, 2012

Two men filed separate lawsuits in Cook County Circuit Court Thursday claiming Chicago Catholic priests molested them as children.

While the suits make allegations against different priests, they make similar claims against the Archdiocese, which is named as a defendant along with Cardinal Francis George. Both suits accuse the church of not notifying children’s parents and authorities about prior sexual abuse accusations against the priests.

An Archdiocese spokeswoman said she hasn’t seen Thursday’s suits and could not comment, but she said the Archdiocese acknowledges substantiated sexual abuse allegations against the two priests.

One suit focuses on the Rev. John Curran, who died in 2000 after more than 50 years serving the church. It claims Curran “fraternized with groups of children” and lured children to his room at St. Christina Parish in the city’s Mount Greenwood section, where he served from 1980 to 1993.

At trial, following a defrocked priest's 25-year trail

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin

For weeks, jurors at the Philadelphia clergy sex-abuse trial have sat through a meticulous paper case, hearing painstaking recitations of every complaint, memo, or interview related to priests suspected, but not charged, with abusing minors over the last half-century.

Time and again, one question has been left dangling: Where are these priests now?

On Thursday, a prosecutor and an investigator sought to answer that at the start of their presentation on the Rev. David Sicoli, a former pastor who was transferred eight times in 25 years amid a trail of complaints about his infatuation and misconduct with teen boys.

Sicoli was removed from ministry in 2004 and defrocked four years later. Church officials ultimately logged at least 11 credible claims against him.

Shatter row over priest libel drags on

Irish Independent

By Mark Hilliard and Fionnan Sheahan

Friday April 27 2012

JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter remained under pressure last night to apologise for supporting the RTE programme that defamed Fr Kevin Reynolds.

Mr Shatter made a public statement the morning after the RTE 'Prime Time Investigates' programme last year, which falsely accused the Galway priest of rape and of fathering a daughter with a Kenyan woman.

The minister said at the time he had watched the programme with a "sense of revulsion" at the unspeakable catalogue of abuse against children it had revealed.

Mr Shatter also contacted Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan about the programme -- saying that people were entitled to be reassured that everything was being done to counteract this "evil".

Garry O'Sullivan: Muzzling of the church's liberal wing is bizarre

Irish Independent

Friday April 27 2012

FATHER Brian D'Arcy was the inspiration for the character that would eventually become comedian Dermot Morgan's Fr Trendy, which later morphed into Fr Ted.

The recent clampdowns on him and other Irish liberal priests can only be described as 'Ted-esque' such is their bizarre nature and timing.

But there is nothing 'Ted-esque' about Fr D'Arcy, perhaps Ireland's best-known priest, a celebrity in his own right.

Fr D'Arcy is an intelligent, articulate man and priest, who knows his people and whom his flock know as a warm, caring, loving and, above all, honest and courageous figure.

This is a priest who physically got sick when he read the Murphy Report on abuse.

April 26, 2012

Man says he held secret for 30 years

Turn to 10


Jamie Wilkinson accuses his uncle, a defrocked priest, of sexual misconduct more than 30 years ago.

SNAP responds to removal of Fr. Schaeffer from Indianapolis school board

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on April 26, 2012

Yesterday, Fr. Bradley Schaeffer stepped down from his position on the Board of Trustees at Brebeuf Jesuit in Indianapolis. We are glad that this cleric has been removed from his position of honor.

Due to his involvement in covering up the crimes of Fr. Donald McGuire, it would have been preferable had Fr. Schaeffer never been elevated to this position in the first place. We look forward to the day when church officials will remove those who are complicit in child sex crimes and cover-ups due to their own moral obligations instead of public pressure.

We suspect that, since Fr. Schaeffer concealed the crimes of Fr. McGuire, we expect that he has done the same with other Jesuit abusers. We urge anyone who may have been abused at Brebeuf – whether by a clergyman, staff, or even another student – to immediately come forward and make a report to police. We hope that the removal of Fr. Schaeffer will encourage those who may have been afraid of reporting these crimes in the past to come forward today.

Judge orders SNAP to turn over years of information

The Kansas City Star

[the judge's order]


A judge overseeing a civil case against a Roman Catholic priest and the local diocese has formally ordered a victims advocacy group to turn over decades of information about its work.

In her written order filed this week, Jackson County Circuit Judge Ann Mesle directed the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and its national director, David Clohessy, to produce records going back more than 20 years.

The written order elaborates on directions she gave from the bench at a hearing last week, when she heard arguments from lawyers representing the Rev. Michael Tierney and the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph to compel the production of such documents.

The records also would be available for use in four other cases pending against Tierney, who has denied any wrongdoing, and possibly in cases against other priests in the Kansas City area and in Clinton, Mo.

Fr D'Arcy fifth priest censured by Vatican

The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent

ONE OF Ireland’s best known priests Fr Brian D’Arcy has been censured by the Vatican over four articles he wrote for the Sunday World newspaper in 2010.

Fr D’Arcy is the fifth Irish Catholic priest known to have been censured by the Vatican recently. The others are Redemptorist priests Fr Tony Flannery and Fr Gerard Moloney, Marist priest Fr Sean Fagan and Capuchin priest Fr Owen O’Sullivan.

The four articles by Fr D’Arcy concerned how the Vatican dealt with the issue of women priests; why US Catholics were leaving the church; why the church must take responsibility for clerical child sex abuse; and homosexuality.

The Vatican is also understood to have complained about headlines on some of the articles, which would have been written by editorial staff at the Sunday World.

Landmark church sex abuse case ends testimony

CBS Evening News

By Elaine Quijano

(CBS News) It could be a pivotal case for prosecutors in the nationwide scandal of child sex-abuse by Roman Catholic priests.

Five weeks of testimony concluded Thursday in the Philadelphia trial of a senior clergyman who allegedly chose to protect the church, instead of the children.

It's the first time in the U.S. that a senior official with the Catholic Church has faced charges in the church's child sexual abuse crisis.

CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano reports that Monsignor William Lynn is accused of endangering children by helping reassign priests suspected of child sex abuse to jobs where they continued to prey on boys and girls. Lynn was in charge of Philadelphia's priests from 1992 to 2004.

"Todo el tiempo el padre Karadima andaba agarrándole el poto a los jóvenes"


Mariano Cepeda llegó a El Bosque a los 18 años, cuando la iglesia aún no terminaba de construirse. Durante las siguientes 6 décadas hizo la limpieza, trabajó en la cocina, fue sacristán y desde esos cargos conoció a un Karadima muy distinto al que se impuso, durante años, como prócer de la Iglesia, como imán de las vocaciones capaz de llevar al seminario a 50 jóvenes de buenas familias.

-Todo el tiempo el padre Karadima andaba agarrándole el poto a los jóvenes- contó Cepeda a CIPER.

-Eran agarrones como con ansia. Uno los veía caminando por los pasillos de la parroquia y al cura se le iba la mano. Todos los empleados sabíamos que el padre era homosexual. Me acuerdo que a una cocinera le daba mucha vergüenza ver eso. Yo le decía que desgraciadamente esa era su tendencia. Hoy creo que es una enfermedad que él tiene. Piensa que como es sacerdote está autorizado a hacer lo que quiere, que para él nada es pecado.

Archdiocese files new round of objections to block sex abuse claims

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

April 26, 2012

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has filed a new round of motions in its bankruptcy case in an effort to throw out certain claims filed by individuals who say they were molested as children by clergy or others associated with the archdiocese.

The motions were filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court court this week. The legal basis for the objections are not known because the motions themselves are sealed under a broad court order that requires attorneys to file anything that mentions the names of victims under seal. Attorneys on both sides have declined to comment on requests for general information about the claims. A status hearing to discuss the possibility of releasing redacted motions is scheduled for Wednesday.

It is a second round of claims objections aimed at limiting the number of victim-survivors who would qualify for any settlement that results from the bankruptcy. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley issued a split decision in the prior round, rejecting a claim in which the victim had a prior settlement agreement with the archdiocese; and sending to the federal district court two others the archdiocese claimed were beyond the statute of limitations, saying that would have to be decided at trial. Appeals are pending in all of the rulings.

DPP appeals paedophile priest sentence

ABC Newcastle

The Director of Public Prosecutions has lodged documents appealing a sentence given to a former Hunter Valley Anglican Church worker who admitted sexually abusing 20 boys.

Former youth worker James Michael Brown abused the boys between the 1970s and 1990s, mainly at Kurri Kurri.

He admitted giving boys as young as eight alcohol before abusing them.

Last month he was sentenced to 10 years jail with six years non-parole.

LCWR annual assembly to go forward

National Catholic Reporter

Apr. 26, 2012
By Joshua J. McElwee

When the Vatican put the largest organization representing U.S. women religious into church receivership, saying it needed to submit to the control of an archbishop and reform its statutes, a major criticism cited was the group’s annual assemblies, which were said to have presented viewpoints that were “a serious source of scandal.”

Despite that concern, this year’s assembly of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, planned for August, is to go forward with Vatican support, NCR has learned.

Fr Brian D’Arcy latest priest to be censured by Vatican

Irish Independent

By Independent.ie reporters

Thursday April 26 2012

HIGH-PROFILE priest and broadcaster Brian D'Arcy has become the latest Irish cleric to be censured by the Vatican.

The popular BBC Radio Two contributor, author and Sunday World columnist was disciplined after concerns were raised about some of his published work.

It is understood the action by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) means the Co Fermanagh priest, regarded as liberal within the Catholic church, must now submit his writings and broadcasts to an official censor.

RI bishop keeps silent about child sex report vs. priest

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on April 26, 2012

Shame on Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin. He got a credible report of sexual abuse by Fr. Timothy Gordon and kept it secret, just like bishops have done for decades.

Remember ten years ago, when bishops pledged to be “open” about child sex cases? Here is an example of another promise by Catholic prelates broken. Why? So the reputation of church officials might be protected. Shame on every single Rhode Island Catholic employee who knew about this allegation and kept quiet.

The only reason this has surfaced is because of the bravery of James Wilkinson. We commend him for his courage and his compassion. Because he acted responsibly, kids are safer now.

Advocates call for online registry of priests accused of sexual abuse in Maine

Bangor Daily News

By Seth Koenig, BDN Staff

Posted April 26, 2012

FALMOUTH, Maine — Two men stood outside the official Falmouth home of Catholic Bishop Richard Malone Thursday morning to protest what they described as Malone’s refusal to publish an updated database of priests and church employees “credibly accused” of sex crimes against children.

The duo, Paul Kendrick and Harvey Paul, represented the Ignatius Group, a loosely knit nationwide network of supporters of victims of the alleged sexual abuses. Kendrick, who spoke to members of the media at the Twin Ponds Drive site Thursday, said he and other group members have demonstrated outside Catholic Church properties repeatedly over the years seeking the creation of a church-run database similar to the state of Maine’s sex offender registry.

Kendrick used the example of Father John Audibert, a Catholic priest who 10 years ago admitted sexually abusing a teenage boy, to illustrate his point. He said the whereabouts of Audibert since his removal from active ministry in 2002 has not been kept public, and that he remains a threat to young people wherever he is.

Irland: Beichtgeheimnis aushebeln

Radio Vatikan

Die irische Regierung plant eine Verschärfung der Anzeigepflicht für Kindesmissbrauch. Ein gemeinsamer Gesetzentwurf des Justiz- und des Familienministeriums sieht vor, das Unterlassen entsprechender Hinweise mit bis zu fünf Jahren Haft zu bestrafen, wie irische Medien am Donnerstag berichten. Priester sollten sich dabei nicht auf das Beichtgeheimnis berufen dürfen, betonten Justizminister Alan Shatter und Familienministerin Frances Fitzgerald bei der Vorstellung des Textes am Mittwochabend. Die Untersuchungsberichte über sexuellen Missbrauch in der katholischen Kirche hätten gezeigt, dass das betreffende Gesetz verschärft werden müsse, erklärte Shatter. Es sei nicht hinnehmbar, dass über solche Vergehen „ein Mantel des Schweigens“ gebreitet werde.

Kloster stellt Glaubwürdigkeit von Kläger infrage


[mit Video]

Im Prozess eines 58-Jährigen gegen das Kloster Mehrerau am Landesgericht Feldkirch haben Rechtsvertreter des Klosters die Missbrauchsvorwürfe des ehemaligen Schülers angezweifelt. Die beiden Zivilprozesse wurden vertagt.

Am Landesgericht Feldkirch wurden am Donnerstag gleich zwei Klagen gegen das Kloster Mehrerau verhandelt. Zwei ehemalige Internats-Zöglinge gehen zivilrechtlich gegen das Kloster vor, weil sie Schadenersatz für jahrelange und schwere sexuelle Misshandlung verlangen. Beide Zivilprozesse wurden vertagt.

Compromised inquiry into church sex crimes disrespects victims

The Conversation

Judy Courtin

Victorian victims of clergy sex crimes and their families have been fighting for justice for years – some for decades. The previous Labor state government did nothing for them.

The Baillieu government, despite being dragged kicking and screaming all the way, has succumbed to mounting public pressure and announced a parliamentary inquiry into the way in which religious and other organisations handle sexual abuse complaints.

The announcement came initially as a relief for victims and their families and, being a first for Australia, it has been applauded. But the applause should not go the government, but to the victims, their families and the many workers behind the scenes who have been pushing for justice in this area for years.

Pope calls in Opus Dei troubleshooter to uncover source of Vatican leaks

The Guardian (United Kingdom)

Tom Kington in Rome
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 26 April 2012

Vatican staffers who have been leaking embarrassing letters about corruption and nepotism inside the tiny city state are to be hunted down by a crack squad of cardinals led by a senior member of the religious group Opus Dei.

Irritated by the anonymous release of documents to the press this year, Pope Benedict has named Cardinal Julian Herranz, 82, to lead a three-man team which will haul in staffers for questioning and rifle through files until they catch the perpetrators of what has been dubbed "Vatileaks".

A short statement printed on Thursday on the front page of the Vatican's daily newspaper warned the team had a full "pontifical mandate" to "shed complete light" on the whistle blowers, who have lifted the lid on alleged theft and false accounting.

Herranz was a long-time personal secretary to Josemaría Escrivá , the now canonised founder of Opus Dei, which has been accused of excessive secrecy, strict control over members and undue influence within the Vatican – a reputation pushed by Dan Brown's thriller The Da Vinci Code.

Pope tries to get his own house in order

National Catholic Reporter


Fresh off approving a sweeping overhaul of America’s main umbrella group for the leaders of women’s religious orders, Pope Benedict XVI this week turned to getting his own house in order by creating a panel of three veteran cardinals to investigate the tawdry recent Vatican leaks scandal.

The Vatican announced yesterday that Benedict has created a new Commission of Cardinals “to undertake an authoritative investigation” and “to throw light on these episodes,” which it characterized as “recent leaks of reserved and confidential documents on television, in newspapers and in other communications media.”

The commission is led by Spanish Cardinal Julián Herranz, 82, formerly the president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. It also includes Slovakian Cardinal Jozef Tomko, 88, a former prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and Italian Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, 81, who resigned in 2006 as the archbishop of Palermo.

Because Herranz is a member of Opus Dei, Italy’s most influential daily, Corriere della Sera, ran the news under a headline proclaiming, “A detective of Opus Dei against the ravens in the Vatican.” (“Ravens” has become standard argot for the leakers, and has roughly the same sense in Italian as “snakes” in English.)

The 'Monsters' Among Us: Child Sex Abusers in Our Midst

Christianity Today

But how we answer the restoration question is paramount to our theology.

Second, we must extend the gospel to child sex abusers. This is a monumental task. A 2011 Slate report titled, "Are molesters really the most hated people in prison?" answered, simply, "Yes. Convicts who have committed crimes against children, especially sexual abuse, are hated, harassed, and abused." Even Christians instinctively feel that child abusers should "rot in jail" when they imagine a fellow Christian fondling a child or masturbating to such images. So when we begin preaching that such "monsters" are known and loved by Christ, it will horrify the watching world. And even us.

"Silencing" our way out of trouble: Shutting down reform by shutting up an Irish priest and American sisters

U.S. Catholic

Thursday, April 26, 2012

By Bryan Cones

It's deja vu all over again: About 150 years ago the Vatican's first response to the "modern world" of democratic reform and theological renewal was to silence and shame any Catholic who spoke positively about either. So we got the Syllabus of Errors in its various incarnations and the condemnation of "modernism" and anyone who espoused modern approaches to scriptural interpretation or the "new theology" of the early and mid 20th century. Big names there: Congar, DeLubac, Jungmann, Murray--all ordered to silence on this topic or that.

Until, of course, the Second Vatican Council undid all that nonsense and brought the church--at least theologically--into the late 19th century (still 100 years behind the rest of the world). All those silenced became heroes, the bright lights of the renewal.

Now here we are at the beginning of the 21st, and once again the Vatican (and presumably the pope) is choosing the former path: condemnation and silencing, first of American women religious, and now of the Redemptorist leader of the Irish Association of Catholic Priests, Father Tony Flannery. His crime? Raising questions and organizing pastors around issues of concern, including the church's sexual teaching and the new English translations of the Mass, and lining up with victims of abuse in the ravaged Irish church.

To be honest, this smells a bit of desperation on the part of the Vatican. The Association of Catholic Priests counts 20 percent of Irish clergy on its roster; an American counterpart is now in the works. Irish Catholics are voting with their feet, with Sunday Mass attendance having plummetted to levels seen in the rest of Europe. On this side of the Atlantic, four Catholics leave the church for every one who joins, even as the U.S. bishops double down on deeply partisan political involvement in this year's presidential election.

NY Mills priest’s sentencing postponed to sell Florida condo



Posted Apr 26, 2012


The sentencing of a New York Mills priest accused of stealing more than $87,000 from the church was postponed one more time Thursday.

The Rev. Valentine Krul, 61, of Forestport, has already been serving time behind bars in the Oneida County jail since late January after he pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny for stealing from the Church of the Sacred Heart and St. Mary Our Lady of Czestochowa in New York Mills between October 2008 and January 2011.

On Thursday, Krul was supposed to be formally sentenced by Oneida County Court Judge Barry M. Donalty to 6 months in jail, as well as 5 years of probation.

Fr D'Arcy censured by Vatican

The Irish Times


The Passionist congregation has confirmed that 14 months ago the Vatican acted against Fr Brian D’Arcy on articles he had written.

Fr Pat Duffy, provincial superior of the Passionist congregation in Ireland said in a statement this afternoon that “last year concerns were expressed to Fr Ottaviano D’Egidio, C.P. – the Passionist Superior General (in Rome) – by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) about some aspects of Fr Brian D’Arcy’s writings”

He continued that “since then Fr Brian has been co-operating to ensure he can make a contribution to journalism in Ireland. Fr Brian remains a priest in good standing.”

Fr Duffy's statement follows an article in the current issue of the UK Catholic weekly the Tablet, which reported that Fr D’Arcy, a columnist with a popular Irish tabloid The Sunday World, a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought, as well as to RTE and a best selling author “has been told he must submit his writings and broadcasts to an approved church censor.”


Catholic League

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the reaction to Vatican efforts to reform the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR):

Most Catholics identify with their parish, not their diocese; they have even less interest in Church matters beyond the diocesan level. This explains why they are non-plussed by Vatican efforts to reform the LCWR. Some liberal Catholics, as well as liberal non-Catholics, are predictably unhappy with the proceedings, and more than a few show clear signs of a nervous breakdown. What is most perplexing is the way non-Catholics have shoved their way into this internal matter.

Jim Wallis is perhaps the most prominent non-Catholic to stick his nose where it doesn’t belong. The former Marxist-turned-Protestant activist runs an organization and a magazine that is heavily funded by atheist billionaire George Soros. His reaction to the Vatican initiative was striking in one respect: he claims that the bishops do not speak for the Catholic Church. “Quite honestly,” he writes, “do most of us believe, or even most Catholics believe, that the bishops are the only ‘authentic teachers of faith and morals?’”

Liberal priest censured by Vatican

Larne Times

Published on Wednesday 25 April 2012

High-profile priest and broadcaster Brian D'Arcy has become the latest Irish cleric to be censured by the Vatican.

The popular BBC Radio Two contributor, author and newspaper columnist was disciplined after concerns were raised about some of his published work.

It is understood the action by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) means the Co Fermanagh priest, regarded as liberal within the Catholic church, must now submit his writings and broadcasts to an official censor.

The 67-year-old member of the Passionist Order has spoken out against mandatory celibacy for priests and has been a fierce critic of the church's handling of child abuse scandals in Ireland.

Fr. Brian D’Arcy is 6th Irish priest ‘silenced’ by Vatican

Inside Ireland

By Ciarán Hanna

A British Catholic weekly journal has reported that six Irish Catholic priests are being silenced by the Vatican.

The Tablet newspaper, which has been published since 1840, is reporting that five Priests have been censured from speaking to the Press.

The Vatican based Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, CDF, has warned Fr Tony Flannery, one of the leaders of the Association of Catholic Press,to stop writing for a magazine while the paper’s editor, Fr Gerard Moloney, is being investigated by the CDF.

The other priests include Fr Sean Fagan.

A supporter of Fr. Fagan wrote in a blog:

“ The silencing of Sean, after a lifetime of service to the Church, was even more painful because if any word of this action demanded by the CDF got into the media, he would be immediately be prohibited from exercising his priestly faculties.”

Woonsocket Priest Defrocked For Sexual Misconduct Allegation


By Rob Borkowski

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence has announced Rev. Timothy Gorton of Precious Blood Parish in Woonsocket has been removed from his duties after a recent allegation of sexual misconduct 30 years ago.

“The Diocese of Providence takes very seriously allegations of sexual abuse by a member of the Church. When allegations of misconduct by Rev. Timothy Gorton were received by the Diocese, allegations that date from approximately 30 years ago, law enforcement officials were notified immediately," reads the Diocese's statement.

The Woonsocket Call, which has interviewed the victim, Gorton's nephew, reports there are no charges from the reported incidents from the Narragansett Police Department. The incidents occurred in Narragansett and Cumberland.

Former Cumbrian vicar charged with sex offences


A former Cumbrian vicar has been charged with sexual crimes against four boys. 74 year old Ronald Johns is a former rector of Caldbeck and was a canon at Carlisle Cathedral. He now lives in Norwich after retiring 12 years ago.

Ex-vicar Ronald Johns charged with child sex offences

BBC News

An ex-canon of Carlisle Cathedral has been charged with a string of child sex offences dating back more than 20 years.

The Reverend Ronald Johns is charged with 15 offences on four boys including gross indecency and indecent assault.

The offences were allegedly carried out in Cumbria between 1979 and 1991.

The 74-year-old, of Kings Road, Coltishall, Norwich, has been bailed to appear at Carlisle Magistrates' Court on 10 May.

Ex-Cumbrian vicar faces child sex charges

News & Star

A former Cumbrian vicar has been charged with a string of sexual crimes against four boys stretching over 12 years.

Ronald Johns, 74, is accused of 15 offences, allegedly carried out in the county between 1979 and 1991.

Johns, a former rector in Caldbeck who was also a canon at Carlisle Cathedral, was charged last night following investigations carried out by city detectives.

Police said the church had fully co-operated during the investigation and a special helpline had been set up with the NSPCC.

Let Vicki do talkin’, bishop do the walkin’

Boston Herald

By Margery Eagan
Thursday, April 26, 2012

Let’s call it a “Catholic spring.”

Via the same social networking that created an Arab spring and toppled dictators, local Catholic activists in three short weeks collected 20,000 signatures protesting a Worcester bishop’s uninviting of Ted Kennedy’s widow, Vicki, to speak at the commencement of Anna Maria College in nearby Paxton.

The same networking could prove a powerful tool for frustrated Catholics opposed to their supposed leaders, the U.S. Catholic bishops, and hoping to organize where their dollars will go.

Yesterday thick bound books containing protesters’ signatures — and many blistering attacks — were brought to the sidewalk outside Worcester diocesan headquarters and handed to Ray Delisle, spokesman for Bishop Robert J. McManus. Delisle said McManus was not there.

McManus has declared Kennedy unfit for Anna Maria because her views on abortion and gays are out of line with Catholic teachings. Yet yesterday Delisle could point to no specific instances of her speaking out publicly on either issue — though her late husband surely did.

Meanwhile, McManus himself appears out of line with Catholic teachings on healing the post-sex abuse crisis. He’s consistently played “hard ball” with child abuse survivors, said Skip Shea, a Worcester survivor. Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston attorney who’s represented hundreds of survivors, characterized McManus as “one of the worst” bishops, refusing to provide lists of credibly accused priests or to settle credible claims as many fellow bishops, including Cardinal Sean O’Malley, have done.

Vatican laments Irish dissent, silences priests

National Catholic Reporter

Apr. 26, 2012
By Michael Kelly

DUBLIN, IRELAND -- Just weeks after a report from a Vatican inquiry into the Irish church lamented what it described as “fairly widespread” dissent from church teaching, it was revealed that the Vatican has “silenced” Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery.

The Holy See’s move provoked fury among the members of the 800-strong Association of Catholic Priests, which has accused the Vatican of issuing a fatwa against liberal clerics.

It’s not exactly clear why Flannery, a popular author and retreat director, has come under Vatican suspicion. He has voiced support in the past for opening up debates around the ordination of women, a change to the church’s ban on artificial birth control and an end to mandatory celibacy. He also provoked dismay among senior Irish bishops when he publicly backed Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s 2011 attack on the Vatican in the wake of the report into the mishandling of clerical abuse in the Cloyne diocese. Kenny accused the Vatican of “dysfunction,” “disconnection,” “elitism” and “narcissism.” Flannery described the speech as “wonderful.”

By acting against Flannery now, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith may well have scored an own goal by provoking the ire of the priests’ association. As well as his retreat work, Flannery is a founder of the association, which now represents some 20 percent of Ireland’s clergy.

Fr. Schaeffer Steps Down from Board of Trustees

The Boston College Chronicle

By Office of News & Public Affairs

Published: Apr. 26, 2012

Rev. Bradley M. Schaeffer, SJ, who had served on the Boston College Board of Trustees since 2004, resigned on April 19 after questions arose last week over his role in supervising Donald J. McGuire, a former Jesuit convicted of child sexual abuse, while Provincial of the Chicago Province of Jesuits from 1991-1997.

"As all in our community know, Boston College is a wonderful, caring institution of higher education," said Fr. Schaeffer in a statement. "I do not want to harm it or be a distraction. Therefore, I am ending my service as a trustee today."

A Boston Globe article on McGuire, who was expelled by the Society of Jesus and is serving a 25-year federal prison sentence for child sexual abuse, criticized Fr. Schaeffer's supervision of the former priest. Fr. Schaeffer has expressed regret for not having done more to prevent the abuse, saying in a statement released through the Chicago Province: "The 25 years that Donald McGuire is serving in federal prison will never be enough to lessen the anguish of the children and their families who were victimized by his reprehensible actions. While Provincial of the Chicago Province, I did my best to restrict him. I deeply regret that my actions were not enough to prevent him from engaging in these horrific crimes.

Ex-Boston College Trustee Quits 3 More Boards


By The Associated Press
Apr 26, 2012

A priest who resigned from the Boston College board of trustees following criticism of his supervision of a former Jesuit priest convicted of child sexual abuse has resigned from the boards of three other Jesuit-affiliated institutions.

Officials at Georgetown University, Loyola University of Chicago, and Brebeuf Jesuit, a preparatory school in Indianapolis, said this week that the Rev. Bradley Schaeffer had cut his ties with their schools.

The Boston Globe reports that Schaeffer allowed Donald McGuire to continue ministry despite complaints about McGuire’s behavior with boys in the early 1990s when Schaeffer led the Chicago Jesuit Province.

Priest Quits Brebeuf Board Amid Controversy


BOSTON -- A priest who resigned from the Boston College board of trustees following criticism of his supervision of a former Jesuit priest convicted of child sexual abuse has resigned from the board of Brebeuf Jesuit in Indianapolis.

The Rev. Bradley Schaeffer had cut his ties with the preparatory school and has stepped down from boards at Georgetown University and Loyola University of Chicago.

The Boston Globe reported that Schaeffer allowed Donald McGuire to continue ministry despite complaints about McGuire's behavior with boys in the early 1990s when Schaeffer led the Chicago Jesuit Province.

Fr Brian D'Arcy censured by Vatican

BBC News

Father Brian D'Arcy, one of Ireland's best known priests, has been censured by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican, according to the Tablet newspaper.

The Graan in Enniskillen, where Fr D'Arcy serves as rector of St Gabriel's Retreat, confirmed the report.

Fr D'Arcy, a Passionist priest, is a broadcaster and regular contributor to newspapers.

He recently wrote a column in favour of a married priesthood.

Oordelen over het verleden met de normen van nu?


Marc van Dijk − 25/04/12

Zaken die ooit waren aanvaard, vinden we nu soms verwerpelijk. Twee denkers filosoferen over de vraag: Hoe kunnen we oordelen over omstreden handelingen uit het verleden?

Castratie is de laatste toevoeging aan het dossier 'misbruik in de rooms-katholieke kerk', een doos van Pandora vol onaangename verrassingen.

In de Tweede Kamer gaan stemmen op om seksueel misbruik door geestelijken nader te laten onderzoeken. Daarbij hoort nu ook de vraag hoe vaak castratie voorkwam, zowel binnen als buiten katholieke instellingen.

W.Va. college says outside review found no fraud

Business Week



An independent investigation of Wheeling Jesuit University's billing practices for federal grants and programs in 2008 found no violations of laws or regulations, the school's president said Wednesday.

President Rick Beyer said the Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to turn that report over to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Wheeling, adding that the Northern Panhandle Catholic school is cooperating in the investigation.

Federal investigators are looking into whether the university and a vice president, former Mine Safety and Health Administration chief J. Davitt McAteer, conspired to use millions of federal grant and program dollars from NASA and other federal agenices for personal gain.

Wheeling Jesuit University authorizes release of special counsel report

The State Journal

By Andrea Lannom

Updated: Apr 25, 2012

After allegations of fraud surfaced against Wheeling Jesuit University and its employee J. Davitt McAteer, the university's board of trustees has authorized the release of findings in an independent special counsel report that addressed its technology centers' cost-allocation methods.

The recently filed federal court documents were filed by a NASA special agent alleging the university and McAteer fraudulently diverted federal funds to maintain non-federal aspects of the university and McAteer's law firm.

"The university has always been, and always will be, completely transparent with regards to its cost-allocation methods of its technology centers," said Wheeling Jesuit University President Rick Beyer. "Once the affidavit was reviewed, the Board of Trustees decided to release a report of an independent investigation regarding the issue, which was originally addressed by the university in 2008."

Greene County priest faces new sex abuse charges

Watershed Post

By Lissa Harris

Catholic priest Jeremiah Nunan, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Cairo and Our Lady of Knock Shrine in East Durham, has been suspended from ministry, while the Albany Diocese and the Greene County District Attorney investigate charges that he sexually abused a minor.

The Daily Mail has a brief item about the charges in today's paper.

The Albany Times-Union, which has done quite a bit of in-depth reporting on allegations of sexual abuse in the Albany Diocese, has more. This is not the first time the 74-year-old Nunan has faced abuse charges, reporter Bryan Fitzgerald writes:

In 2006, Nunan was placed on leave after allegations surfaced that he molested a child in the late 1960s and early 1970s. That case began after a California priest, Rev. Mark Jaufmann, accused Nunan of abusing him for about three years, starting in 1967, when Jaufmann was 9. Nunan was serving at St. Mary's Church in Hudson at the time.

Family assails priest, diocese

The Daily Mail

By W. T. Eckert
Hudson-Catskill Newspapers

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ALBANY — Alleged sexual abuse, apparent hush money and a lawsuit from a 23-year-old inmate were brought to the front steps of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Tuesday.

Supporters of 23-year-old Martin Morales gathered in the front yard of the Albany Diocesan headquarters Tuesday afternoon to rally against the alleged sexual abuse the former Cairo altar boy and his brother, New York State Trooper Ivan Morales Jr., experienced at the hands of Father Jeremiah Nunan.

Martin Morales filed a civil suit against Nunan for alleged sexual abuse that took place while he was between the ages of 7 and 12 during the years of 1996 and 2003. The alleged abuse then continued for a series of another five years between 2006 and 2011.

Objection Overruled: Lynn Lacks Counsel That Counts


April 26, 2012 by Susan Matthews

by Susan Matthews

I successfully navigated I-95 rush-hour traffic, paid exorbitant parking prices and made my way into the Criminal Justice Center at 13th and Filbert this morning. I didn’t know what to expect in room 304. Thus far, I’ve somehow managed to escape jury duty and traffic court. I entered the double wooden doors. Instead of TV’s Judge Judy, it was Judge Sarmina. I had to make a seating decision. Was this like a wedding? If so, I knew whose side I wanted to sit on – the prosecution. I sat next to Kathy Kane on what must have seemed far too much like a pew to victims seated nearby.

“James” was on the stand calmly delivering his testimony in response to the prosecution’s questions. He was incredibly composed throughout the specifics of his molestation by Father Edward Avery and his subsequent recollection of communication with the archdiocese. His voice only wavered during a reading of a letter he wrote to Avery years later. His emotional conflict in reconciling Avery the dear friend and Avery the molester was heart-wrenching. The full impact of the betrayal was palpable.

“James” is now a doctor specializing in hospice care, married and a practicing Catholic with five children in Catholic school. When asked how the sexual abuse impacted his life, there was a long pause. Imagine what he must have been weighing. To say his life was ruined would diminish his family and all that he has accomplished. Yet, any one of us can imagine the toll.

The prosecution delivered the timeline of what Msgr. Lynn knew about Father Avery and when he knew it. If Lynn had acted appropriately on his knowledge, the next witness might not have been sexually abused by Avery as a fifth-grade altar boy at St. Jerome Parish. My own son is just a year older. I can’t bear to recount what happened to “Billy.” Please refer to the 2011 Grand Jury Report on our Resources page.

Rev. Thomas E. Ericksen

BishopAccountability.org - Assignment Record

Summary of Case: A priest of the Superior, Wisconsin diocese, Ericksen was the subject of a 1989 lawsuit in which he was accused of sexually abusing four boys. He is said to have raped a 17 year-old boy and that boy's 8 to 9 year old cousin. Further, he is said to have been caught assaulting two boys in the rectory, one of whom was the younger cousin of the 17 year-old. Ericksen said in 2010 that he "just fondled and stuff like that", in regard to the three boys, but he denied involvement with a fourth boy. Ericksen was removed from the priesthood in 1988. He had moved to Minneapolis in 1983, then to Kansas City, MO in 2005, where he was still residing in July 2010. In July 2010 the Sawyer County, WI Police Department began a criminal investigation of the 1980s allegations.

Ordained: 1973
Incardinated: Superior

Two Former Cardinal Hayes High School Students Detail Alleged Sex Abuse


[with video]

pix11.com | @marksPIX

BRONX, NY (PIX11)— More than two decades after graduating from Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, two men claim they were sexually abused by the Dean of Discipline, Brother John Justin O'Connor.

"Two to three times a week he'd single you out in class or put you in detention, then have his way with you and terrorize you," said a now 41-year-old man who claims he was molested by Brother O'Connor for two years after he entered the high school in 1985.

Classmate Ernie Sierra, 40, said he too was abused by Brother O'Connor.

"I was afraid every day that I came to school," said Sierra. "We can no longer turn a deaf ear. There comes a time when silence is absolutely a betrayal."

Read Warren Jeffs' revelations to Texas high court

The Salt Lake Tribune

Lindsay Whitehurst

Here are the "revelations from God" Warren Jeffs filed Tuesday with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state's highest court. They're not ones we've seen mailed out before, but rather directed straight at the court.

This about a month after the appeal of his sexual assault of a child conviction was dismissed from the Third Court of Appeals because he didn't do anything with it.

In the new filing, Jeffs, who is acting as his own attorney, tells us he decided to skip the lower court and go straight to the top. He wants the judges to drop all the charges and let all the FLDS men in prison go free, especially Merril Jessop (who he seems quite concerned about these days.)

The revelation threatens God's "full whirlwind judgements" if it doesn't happen.

Warren Jeffs appeals conviction, threatens God’s wrath if he’s not freed

Fox 13

by Ben Winslow

AUSTIN, Texas — Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs has filed a new appeal of his child sex assault conviction, threatening God’s wrath if he is not freed from prison.

In revelations filed with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the Fundamentalist LDS Church leader claims Jesus Christ is asking the Texas Supreme Court to free him.

“My people have endured persecution by government powers since Joseph Smith’s day on earth; and this nation is ripened for my full judgments, living in corruption,” Jeffs writes. “Let my servant and his brethren of my Church in Texas prisons be released, for they are prosecuted for abiding my law of Celestial Eternal Marriage of Plural Marriage Celestial; my most holy pure law of salvation, necessary for them and all others to receive full salvation.”

Jeffs was convicted of child sex assault, accused of taking as polygamous brides a 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl, whom he fathered a child with. In another revelation, the polygamist leader warns of God’s punishment if he and other FLDS members convicted of charges related to underage marriages are not freed.

RI priest defrocked on sexual misconduct claims

Providence Journal

April 26, 2012

By News staff

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence has defrocked a Woonsocket priest on sexual misconduct allegations involving a relative nearly 30 years ago.

The Call of Woonsocket reports the Rev. Timothy Gorton was defrocked and stripped of his priestly duties at the Precious Blood parish earlier this month. Diocese officials confirmed the report and say they forwarded the allegations to police, who haven't filed criminal charges.

Gorton's nephew, James Wilkinson, told the newspaper that Gorton fondled him at a church in Cumberland in 1983 when he was 12, and Gorton exposed himself to Wilkinson in Narragansett later that year.

Priests must report child abuse confessions or face jail

Belfast Telegraph

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Priests could face ten years in prison if they fail to report sex abuse revealed in confession.

In a move which will further sour ailing relations between church and state, new laws requiring priests to break the seal of the confessional are expected to be enacted by the end of the year and are one element of a suite of legislation to protect children and vulnerable adults, said the Republic's Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

But the new rules have prompted accusations of “very bad lawmaking” by the government from both legal and religious experts who believe they will create an obligation which priests cannot live with under Canon Law.

Ex-altar boy testifies about sexual abuse by Philadelphia priests


By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA | Wed Apr 25, 2012

(Reuters) - A 23-year-old man testified on Wednesday in the child sex abuse case against the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese that he was molested by two priests, one of whom prosecutors said had been known to church officials as a sex abuser years earlier.

The testimony came at the trial of Monsignor William Lynn, former secretary of the clergy, who is charged with child endangerment and conspiracy over accusations he covered up abuse allegations against priests, many of whom were simply transferred to unsuspecting parishes.

The case has put a spotlight on the Philadelphia Archdiocese, the nation's sixth largest with 1.5 million adherents, and experts say has likely caught the eye of the Vatican, given Lynn's rank as the highest U.S. church official to go to trial in the abuse scandal.

We Are All Nuns

Religion Dispatches

By Mary E. Hunt

When it comes to the Vatican’s crackdown on women religious, I believe it’s time to declare that for the purpose of this struggle: we are all nuns.

The mandate by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) to reform the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) via the appointment of an Archbishop Delegate to bring the nuns back in line—below and behind the bishops—has outraged those who respect its rich legacy.

If you can spell Catholic, you are probably asking: how dare they go after 57,000 dedicated women whose median age is well over 70 and who work tirelessly for a more just world? How dare the very men who preside over a Church in utter disgrace due to sexual misconduct and cover-ups by bishops try to distract from their own problems by creating new ones for women religious?

Irish priests say they will disobey new confession box law on child abuse

Irish Central

IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Thursday, April 26, 2012

Irish priests have vowed to defy a new law forcing them to report details of sexual abused revealed in the confessional box.

Ireland’s Justice Minister Alan Shatter is to introduce new legislation which will force the clergy to reveal all details disclosed in confession.

But priests have vowed to defy the law despite the threat of a 10-year jail sentence after the introduction of the mandatory reporting legislation.

The 800 strong Association of Catholic Priests has even told the Irish Independent newspaper that its member will flout the Shatter law.

Spokesman Fr Sean McDonagh told the paper: “I certainly wouldn’t be willing to break the seal of confession for anyone -- Alan Shatter particularly.”

Church On Trial: Priest Ordered 10 Year Old Boy To Perform Striptease

The New Civil Rights Movement

by David Badash on April 26, 2012

A 23-year old man testified in court Wednesday that as a 10-year old boy he was forced by a Catholic Priest to perform a strip tease in a church storage room, Reuters reports:

Wednesday’s witness testified that in 1998 when he was 10 years old and serving as an altar boy, he was abused by Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Edward Avery, who is no longer a priest, at St. Jerome’s in northeast Philadelphia. Reuters does not identify victims of sexual assault unless they come forward to identify themselves.

Avery ordered him to do a strip tease in a church storage room, he testified.

“I was swaying back and forth and took off my clothes,” he said before detailing sex acts that he said Avery demanded.

Increase in demand at rape crisis centre

Donegal Democrat

By Declan Magee
Published on Thursday 26 April 2012

The Donegal Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre is continuing to experience an increase in demand with more than 60 per cent of clients last year having suffered sexual abuse as a child.

The centre says last year was one of its busiest in recent times with increases in demand experienced after the publication of the Catholic church’s report into clerical sexual abuse in the Raphoe dioceses and the media attention around the conviction of child sex abuser Michael Ferry.

In both cases the centre responded to an increase in demand by providing a 24-hour service.

Priest Will Defy Law On Reporting Sexual Abuse


A new law requires them to report sexual abuse disclosed to them in the confession box, failure to do so could result in a 10-year jail sentences.

Fr Sean McDonagh of the Association of Catholic Priests, which represents 800 clergymen, warned last night: "I certainly wouldn't be willing to break the seal of confession for anyone -- Alan Shatter particularly."

The defiant stance comes after Justice Minister Alan Shatter confirmed the mandatory reporting requirement would apply to priests hearing confession.

"The seal of the confessional is inviolable as far as I am concerned, and that's the end of the matter," said Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin Raymond Field.

Onus on priests to report offences unclear

The Irish Times


SEAL OF CONFESSION: THE DEPARTMENT of Justice was unable to confirm last night whether priests will be legally obliged to report serious offences against children to gardaí that are disclosed during Confession.

The issue first sparked controversy after Catholic bishops warned last year that any laws that would breach the seal of Confession would be a “serious offence” to the rights of penitents.

To date priests have been allowed to refuse to answer questions relating to what is said in the confessional under what is known as “sacerdotal privilege”.

However, Mr Shatter said yesterday the issue had become a “media obsession” and the new law would not protect priests from prosecution for failing to pass on information that arises during Confession.

Martin faced 'huge legal pressure' on restricted priest

The Irish Times

[Murphy Report: Fr. Benito - BishopAccountability.org]


THE CATHOLIC Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin has said he was put under “a huge amount of legal pressure” when dealing with the case of a priest who was recently asked to stand aside from his parish, several years after allegations of child sex abuse were made against him.

Dr Martin said he understood but regretted the decision of a child-safeguarding representative in the Dublin parish to step down after she discovered last month the priest had been on “restricted ministry” in her parish for years.

The archbishop said the matter, reported in yesterday’s Irish Times, was “a classic example of the lacunas that exist in our current legislation”, as he was restricted from sharing information about the priest as the matter was not sufficiently serious to result in a conviction.

“There is a real need to update our legislation which respects the rights of individuals but also which respects and covers the need to share information with those who have responsibility,” Dr Martin told RTÉ Radio.

Victim Of Defrocked Priest Testifies of Sexual Abuse and Addiction

My Fox Philly

Kristen Byrne, Blogger

A young man took the stand Wednesday in a clergy-sex-abuse trial involving the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, telling the jury of the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of two priests; leading to his use of drugs.

The 23-year-old testified that former priest Edward Avery sexually abused him twice in the church storage room at St. Jerome Parish in northeast Philadelphia. Both incidents happened after Mass in 1999, when he was a 10-year-old altar boy.

Prosecutors showed the jury a photograph of the young man when he was a smiling fifth grader as the jury listened to him describe his involvement in school before the abuse.

The victim told the jury that Avery would have him do a striptease to fast-paced church music as he looked on with an “eerie smile”. The witness and Avery would then masturbate and perform oral sex on each other.

Former altar boy testifies of sexual abuse at trial of two Philadelphia priests


By Sarah Hoye, CNN

Philadelphia (CNN) -- A former altar boy molested in a church sacristy testified Wednesday in the child sexual abuse and conspiracy trial of two Philadelphia priests.

"He told me God loves me, this is what God wants, and it was time for me to become a man," the witness told jurors.

Just days before the trial began, defrocked priest Edward Avery of the Philadelphia Archdiocese pleaded guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child after admitting that he sexually assaulted the 10-year-old altar boy during the 1998-99 school year. Avery, 69, was sentenced to two-and-a-half to five years.

Diocese defrocks Woonsocket priest

The Woonsocket Call

April 25, 2012


WOONSOCKET — Citing allegations of sexual misconduct that happened nearly 30 years ago, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence has defrocked a priest assigned to Precious Blood parish and ordered him to move out of the rectory.

The Rev. Timothy J. Gorton was sanctioned by the diocese over allegations brought against him by his nephew, James C. Wilkinson, according to documents obtained by The Call and interviews with the victim. Wilkinson said he was 12 years old when Gorton fondled him in the rectory of a church in Cumberland in 1983 and, later that year, when Gorton allegedly exposed himself to him at a beach cottage in Narragansett that belonged to a family friend. Despite the allegations, which have been forwarded to law enforcement, Gorton is not charged with any criminal offense.

Long troubled by the encounters, Wilksonson said he lodged a complaint with the Diocese Office of Education and Compliance in January after talking the matter over with his therapist.

In an April 10 letter to Wilkinson sent to him from the Diocese, Lt. Robert N. McCarthy, the director of education and compliance, told him that an investigation based on his complaint of “alleged sexual impropriety by your Uncle, Rev. Timothy J. Gorton ...” concluded that “the complaint was credible.” The investigation began on Jan. 27.

In a brief statement, the diocese confirmed that Gorton has been stripped of his priestly duties.

RI Priest defrocked after abuse claims


By Dan Carpenter

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) - A Rhode Island Catholic priest has been defrocked following accusations of sexual abuse.

A spokesman with The Diocese of Providence says Rev. Timothy Gorton is being accused in allegations dating back 30 years.

The Woonsocket Call is reporting Gorton has been ordered to move out of the rectory at Precious Blood Parish.

The Diocese released the following statement Wednesday night:

“The Diocese of Providence takes very seriously allegations of sexual abuse by a member of the Church. When allegations of misconduct by Rev. Timothy Gorton were received by the Diocese, allegations that date from approximately 30 years ago, law enforcement officials were notified immediately. The Diocesan Review Board, a committee comprised of laity and clergy which is charged with reviewing such allegations, thoroughly studied the matter and provided its recommendations to the Diocesan Bishop. As a result of this preliminary study, and in light of persistent health concerns, Fr. Gorton has retired from the active ministry of the priesthood and his faculties to function as a priest have been revoked by the Bishop. In accordance with Church law, the matter will be referred to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome for any further action that might be required.”

2 Abuse Victims Testify at Church Official’s Trial

The New York Times


Published: April 25, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — Two men testified Wednesday of abuse they suffered as youths at the hands of a now defrocked Philadelphia priest. The two victims of Edward Avery, a former priest who has pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges, appeared during the landmark trial of Msgr. William Lynn, the former secretary for clergy at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, who is charged with child endangerment. Monsignor Lynn is suspected of allowing priests accused of abuse to remain in positions where they could continue to abuse children.

One victim, now 23, told the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas how Mr. Avery abused him in the sacristy of St. Jerome’s Catholic Church in Northeast Philadelphia in 1998, when he was 10 years old.

The man said that he had already been abused by the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, another priest who is charged with abuse, and that Mr. Avery said he intended to do the same thing with him.

“He said he heard about my sessions with Father Engelhardt and that ours were going to begin soon,” said the man, who was an altar boy.

Priest told to leave post after gardai get new case details

Irish Independent

[Murphy Report: Fr. Benito - BishopAccountability.org]

By Paul Melia

Thursday April 26 2012

A PRIEST named in the Murphy Report was asked to step aside from his ministry in February after new information relating to an allegation of child sexual abuse emerged.

The Dublin diocese confirmed yesterday that the priest, given the pseudonym of Fr Benito in the report, had been asked to leave his post after new information relating to abuse allegations made to gardai in September 2001 was passed on to authorities.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said yesterday that the new information relating to the allegations, which was received by child protection services, gardai and HSE just before Christmas, resulted in him reassessing the allegations against Fr Benito, before asking him to leave his ministry.

However, he said he could not inform the parish pastoral council, made up of members of the community, or the parish's child safeguarding officer of the allegations until recently because of legal restrictions.

5 yrs’ jail if you hide perv priests

The Irish Sun


ANYONE found guilty of staying silent about sex crimes against a child will face five years behind bars under tough new measures unveiled yesterday.

The crackdown came as Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin insisted it had become more difficult for clerics to share sensitive information with anybody other than gardai or health officials.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter told how the latest legislation he was pushing through would close a loophole and make it a criminal offence to withhold information about abuse of children or vulnerable people.

Meanwhile, a second law will make it mandatory for organisations, including churches and named professionals, to report abuse or neglect.

No Return to the Courtroom for Father Avery

Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog

Ralph Cipriano

Shortly before 2 p.m., Jeff Lindy, one of Msgr. William J. Lynn's defense lawyers, stood up in Courtroom 304 of the Criminal Justice Center to announce a deal.

The Commonwealth and the defense had agreed that there would be no questions on cross-examination of the former altar boy raped in 1998 by Edward V. Avery, the former archdiocese of Philadelphia priest now serving a prison sentence of 2 1/2 to 5 years.

Avery pleaded guilty on the eve of the archdiocese sex abuse trial to charges of conspiring to endanger the welfare of children, and raping a 10-year-old. His former victim, now 23, testified in court Wednesday about what the priest did to him. He described two sessions of oral sex and masturbation that took place after Mass in a supply closet at St. Jerome Church in Northeast Philadelphia.

Defense lawyers seemed eager to cross-examine the former altar boy, who was tearful, and did not appear overly confident on the witness stand. But the defense decided that the price of trying to poke holes in the witness's story was too high.

Sex Abuse Victim: "I Felt Betrayed"

Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog

Ralph Cipriano

The soft-spoken 49-year-old doctor on the witness stand said he was angry at himself, because the last thing he wanted to do was cry.

But it's not easy to sit in front of a jury of strangers and tell all the tawdry details from your worst personal nightmare. The doctor, however, pulled himself together, and described how he felt after a priest he trusted and admired had just molested him.

"I froze," the doctor said. "I felt betrayed, I felt confused."

The grown men in the front row of the jury box looked uncomfortable as the doctor shared his story. They stared straight ahead, or looked away, as if they shared his anguish. It was a powerful moment in Courtroom 304, and a bad day to be a defendant at the archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse trial.

He was a sixth grader when he met Father Ed Avery, the assistant pastor at St. Philip Neri in Pennsburg. The boy was impressed by the priest. Father Ed was an "outgoing, energetic, gregarious individual, very charismatic, very popular with the young people," the witness testified. "I got a lot of affirmation from him."

Priests: We won’t break seal of confession to report sex abuse

Irish Independent

By Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

Thursday April 26 2012

CATHOLIC priests will defy a new law that requires them to report sexual abuse disclosed to them in the confession box -- despite the threat of 10-year jail sentences.

It came after Justice Minister Alan Shatter confirmed the mandatory reporting requirement would apply to priests hearing confession.

Fr Sean McDonagh of the Association of Catholic Priests, which represents 800 clergymen, warned last night: "I certainly wouldn't be willing to break the seal of confession for anyone -- Alan Shatter particularly."

And Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin Raymond Field said: "The seal of the confessional is inviolable as far as I am concerned, and that's the end of the matter."

Two testify in pillar of priest abuse case

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin and Joseph A. Slobodzian
Inquirer Staff Writers

The two men followed starkly different paths to the witness stand.

The 49-year-old was raised in the outer suburbs, graduated from medical school, got married, and had five children. The 23-year-old from Northeast Philadelphia was kicked out of two high schools, attempted suicide, and spent much of the last decade hooked on heroin and prescription drugs.

But in tense and emotional testimony to a Common Pleas Court jury Wednesday, both former altar boys described a bond: Each said he was sexually abused by his parish priest, Edward Avery.

"God loves you, and this is what God wants," Avery allegedly told the Philadelphia altar boy after forcing him to dance a striptease and engage in oral sex at St. Jerome's Church in 1999, when the boy was 10.

Together, their testimony represented a pillar of the landmark conspiracy and endangerment case prosecutors are trying to prove against Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former secretary for clergy under Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua. They contend Lynn's failure to remove Avery from active ministry after learning of one allegation in 1992 enabled the priest to abuse the fifth grader at St. Jerome's seven years later.

April 25, 2012

When did nuns become the bad guys?

National Catholic Reporter

by Joe Ferullo on Apr. 23, 2012 NCR Today

About twice a month, my wife meets up with a Vietnamese-American nun in a rough part of town, and together they roam in a beat-up white van, scouring the streets for homeless women. It never takes long. The sister knows just where to look: dirty alleys, dark underpasses -- they are there.

Many of them are regulars, seeking out the van from their hidden places. The sister and my wife offer to bring them back to a church shelter; if the person refuses, they hand out bags of food and essentials then head on their way.

This slender, slight but fierce nun is apparently a clear and present danger to the Catholic church.

I'm talking, of course, about the now-infamous Vatican report that says the real trouble with the church in America is that our nuns here just can't seem to toe the line of the bishops, "who are the church's authentic teachers of faith and morals."

Funny statement, that -- as noted by Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez. He points out that, at the very moment the report was being issued, a child abuse trial in Philadelphia involving the clergy also revealed that a West Virginia bishop was accused of abuse. In Kansas City, Mo., another bishop goes on trial in September for failing to report abuse. And, Lopez writes, last year church officials paid $144 million to settle abuse allegation and cover legal fees -- more than a decade after the scandal first broke.

LCWR: Why are we not surprised?

National Catholic Reporter

by Robert McClory on Apr. 24, 2012 NCR Today

The attitude toward women that prompted the Vatican crackdown on the LCWR was there in the beginning and it's never been exorcised from Catholicism. It even got into the New Testament, in 1 Corinthians, for example, where the writer declares that women "should keep silence in the churches for they are not permitted to speak but should be subordinate. ... If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husband."

Today, we are assured by every credible Scripture scholar that this was inserted by some scribe after Paul's death; it totally contradicts his attitude toward women and his acceptance of women as co-workers. In Romans, he commends an entire list of women, including Junia, whom he calls "prominent among the apostles." Nevertheless, several putdowns of women got placed in the texts and have remained as stumbling blocks for the unwary.

The paintings in the catacombs from the first centuries give witness that women, portrayed in the garments of priests and deacons, even presiding at the Eucharist, shared in the radical equality of the Gospel. But soon the declarations of bishops and synods warn that women should not be ordained and the practice is to be snuffed out wherever it has taken root. The hierarchy alone, they reminded the people (just as they told LCWR), are the deciders.

LCWR to meet in May regarding Vatican order

National Catholic Reporter

by Joshua J. McElwee on Apr. 25, 2012 NCR Today

The leadership of the largest organization representing U.S. women religious announced this afternoon that the board of the group will meet in an "atmosphere of prayer, contemplation and dialogue" in May to discuss news that the Vatican has ordered it to revise its statutes and has appointed an archbishop to oversee the revision.

The announcement comes on the website of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which was the subject of the April 18 order from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and is signed by the group's president, president-elect, and past-president.

The statement says the national board of the group will meet from May 29-June 1 to "begin its discussion" on the matter.

The Vatican and the LCWR

National Catholic Reporter

by Phyllis Zagano on Apr. 25, 2012 Just Catholic

What's left to say? By now the whole world has heard the Vatican is going to take care of those uppity, radical feminist nuns.

Except they're not that uppity. They're not radical feminists. For Pete's sake, they're not even nuns.

Which is where the problem begins. In the sixth century, a bishop named Caesarius of Arles endowed a monastery for his sister to run, and wrote "A Rule for Virgins." You know, enclosure and all that. For about 1,000 years, that was pretty much the only choice for women who wanted to consecrate their lives to God.

While a few women were also ordained as deacons, any vocation for women soon got stuffed behind fortified walls. Over the centuries, new women's vocations broke through here and there -- the Beguines, Catherine of Siena -- until Mary Ward and others brought defunct diaconal ministries to the alleys and byways of Europe. Eventually, the church recognized this new vocation, now called apostolic, or active religious life -- "sisters" -- as opposed to cloistered, or contemplative, nuns. ...

Great theater here. Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle with Bishop Thomas J. Paproki of Springfield, Ill., and Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio, are the men in black. One of Sartain's five older sisters belongs to the conservative Nashville Domincans. Paprocki, an amateur ice hockey goalie, once blamed priestly pederasty on the devil. And Blair, secretary to the archbishop of Detroit around the time of Agnes Mary Mansour, was in it from the start.

In fact Blair, together with now-Archbishop Charles J. Brown, the new apostolic nuncio to Ireland, prepared the recommendations to the voting members of CDF.

Slipper should step down: Archbishop

News Mail

Adam Carroll | 26th April 2012

PETER Slipper is a "complex character" and a "larrikin" who should relinquish his role as an ordained priest in the Traditional Anglican Communion while allegations of fraud and sexual harassment hang over his head.

That was the assessment of Archbishop John Hepworth, who confirmed on ABC radio yesterday that he had also asked Mr Slipper to stand down as the church's senior legal officer.

"I've said to Peter that I think it is not appropriate to stand aside from the speakership and not stand aside from an important office in a church position," Archbishop Hepworth told the AM program.

Mr Slipper, the Member for Fisher, stood down as Speaker in the Federal Parliament on Sunday after allegations surfaced he misused taxpayer-funded Cabcharge dockets, a potentially criminal offence.

Tom White, Voice of the Martyrs: Dealing With Serious Sin and Pain

The Wartburg Watch

But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Matthew 18:6

By now, most of our readers – an astute bunch – have probably read of Tom White’s apparent suicide. Tom had been the executive director of the Voice of the Martyrs for many years. Voice of the Martyrs is a nonprofit, interdenominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide. In the interest of full disclosure, I have donated to this fine organization and know the wonderful work they have done, giving voice to those who are persecuted for their faith worldwide. What I am about to write in no way reflects on their many good works. I urge you to visit their website here in order to more deeply understand this vital ministry.

There is one thing that can be said, without hesitation, about The Wartburg Watch. Pedophilia is our hot button issue. Not only were we involved with a pedophile situation at a church and were under duress for doing so, we have had extensive contact with victims, their families and with SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests – pastors, too) as well as lawyers who have represented victims on a national scale.

We have advocated, along with Wade Burleson and Tom Rich, for a pedophile database within the Southern Baptist Convention which, unfortunately, has seen its fair share of abusive pastors. So far, we are being studiously ignored.

Nur das völlig Alltägliche....


Christen sind schon ein komisches Völkchen.

Komisch für den Betrachter von außerhalb jedenfalls.
Wer direkt mit ihnen zu tun hat, wird weniger amüsiert sein über die Meldungen, welche von Profi-Gläubigen jeden Tag produziert werden.

Da ist zum Beispiel der Abschaum-Bischof Gerhard Ludwig Müller aus Regensburg, dessen Anwälte einen Jungen, der bei den Regensburger Domspatzen sexuell missbraucht wurde, mit interessanten Argumenten abwehrten.


Bistum Regensburg

Als Leiter der Kommission sexueller Missbrauch im Bistum Regensburg bin ich bestürzt über die verantwortungslose Berichterstattung einiger Münchener Journalisten im Bayerischen Rundfunk. Die Beiträge in der Sendung kontrovers, in Bayern 1 und auf dem online-Portal des Senders sind eine Form des Aufheizungsjournalismus, der die wesentlichen Informationen unter den Tisch fallen lässt, den Zuschauern keine Möglichkeit lässt, sich ein sachgerechtes Urteil zu bilden und ein Bild unserer Arbeit in der Öffentlichkeit zeichnet, das ich als persönliche Herabsetzung empfinde. Ich weise diese Form der Verunglimpfung entschieden zurück und danke gleichzeitig allen Journalisten, die für eine sachliche Darstellung in der Öffentlichkeit sorgen.

Kirchenopfer klagt Klasnic-Kommission an


Wien, 25.4.2012, kurier.at

Vertrauliche Gespräche eines Missbrauchsopfers mit Psychologen der Klasnic-Kommission sollen an die Kirche weitergegeben worden sein.

Datenleck oder breiter Datenmissbrauch? Diese Frage stellt sich Herbert Loitsch. Der Niederösterreicher ist ein von der Kirche anerkanntes Missbrauchsopfer.

Im Sommer 2011 holte sich Loitsch im Erzbischöflichen Palais in der Wiener Innenstadt von der Stiftung Opferschutz 10.000 Euro Schmerzensgeld ab. Diese Summe war ihm nach ersten Clearing-Gesprächen von der unabhängigen Klasnic-Kommission zugesprochen worden.

New Trial Ordered For Baruch Lebovits

Failed Messiah

The appeals court ruled that Lebovits' conviction is reversed, on the law and as a matter of discretion, and has ordered a new trial because the D.A. did not promptly turn over a police detective's notes to the defense that documented an alleged attempt by Lebovits to bribe a victim to get the victim to drop the charges against Lebovits.


(Ind. No. 11393/08)

[*1]The People of the State of New York, respondent,
Baruch Lebovits, appellant.

Dershowitz, Eiger & Adelson, P.C., New York, N.Y. (Nathan Z.
Dershowitz, Amy Adelson, and Alan M. Dershowitz, Cambridge,
Massachusetts, pro hac vice, of counsel), for appellant.
Charles J. Hynes, District Attorney, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Leonard
Joblove and Anthea H. Bruffee of
counsel), for respondent.


Appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Kings County (DiMango, J.), rendered April 12, 2010, convicting him of criminal sexual act in the third degree (eight counts), upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence.

ORDERED that the judgment is reversed, on the law and as a matter of discretion, and a new trial is ordered.

The defendant was charged with, inter alia, 10 separate counts of criminal sexual act in the third degree. The indictment alleged, among other things, that the defendant engaged in oral sexual conduct with the complainant, a then-16-year-old boy, on 10 separate occasions, approximately once a month, between May 2, 2004, and February 22, 2005.

"Aufruf zum Ungehorsam" kein Thema bei Mannheimer Katholikentag


Vatikanstadt, 25.04.2012 (KAP) Die Verantwortlichen für den Mitte Mai in Mannheim stattfindenden Deutschen Katholikentag wollen vermeiden, dass die Pfarrer-Initiative bei dem Großevent die Szene beherrscht. Im Zuge eines Besuchs im Vatikan sagte der Präsident des Zentralkomitees der deutschen Katholiken (ZdK), Alois Glück, er sei zuversichtlich, dass es in Mannheim möglich sein werde, alle Fragen, "die uns als Katholikinnen und Katholiken bewegen in einer guten Diskussionskultur miteinander zu beraten". "Aber ich will hinzufügen: Alles, was in Österreich die Menschen bewegt, werden wir auch diskutieren - aber ohne Aufruf zum Ungehorsam", so Glück im Gespräch mit "Radio Vatikan" am Dienstagabend.

Mannheim sei "nicht nur eine Diskussionsveranstaltung", erinnerte der ZdK-Präsident: "Es ist ein geistliches Erlebnis, und es ist ein Miteinander-Ringen, Miteinander-Beten, -Feiern, -Diskutieren." Zudem gebe es nicht nur Reizthemen, "die wir ja auch nicht isoliert in Deutschland entscheiden können" - wie z.B. den Zölibat -, sondern "es gibt viele Themen, die innerhalb des bestehenden Kirchenrechts und als Antwort auf seelsorgliche Themen vorangetrieben werden können". Der "große gemeinsame Ruf" der ersten deutschen Dialogprozess-Veranstaltung sei der "Ruf nach einer barmherzigen Pastoral" gewesen. In den Vordergrund gestellt werden solle das Leitbild einer "dienenden Kirche, die nicht Selbstzweck ist".

Police: Taftville man had sex with 12-year-old, fled to Haiti

Norwich Bulletin

The Bulletin

Posted Apr 25, 2012

Norwich, Conn. —
A Taftville man was arrested Tuesday in Miami after Norwich police say he returned to the states from Haiti rather than face extradition on sex assault charges.

Luckner Sylvain, 49, whose last known address was on South A St. in Taftville, was charged with one count each of first-degree sexual assault and fourth-degree sexual assault, and two counts of risk of injury to a minor.

Police say an investigation was opened in 2006 into Sylvain's alleged sexual relationship with a then 12-year-old. Sylvain fled to Haiti when the investigation started, and did not intend to return to the U.S., police said.

The Norwich police sought help from the U.S. State Department and Haitian authorities to help take Sylvain into custody, police said.

UPDATED: Haitian community leader arraigned in child sexual assault case

The Day

By Karen Florin

Published 04/25/2012

A Haitian church and community leader from Norwich who allegedly fled the country to avoid prosecution was arraigned in Superior Court this afternoon on charges that he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl multiple times in 2006 and 2007.

Luckner Sylvain, 49, of 44 South A. St., Taftville, is a pastor at the First Haitian Baptist Church and is the co-founder of the Bethany Foundation, a group dedicated to raising funds to helping Haitian children impacted by the earthquake in January 2010.

Norwich police said Sylvain fled Norwich for Haiti on Dec. 4, 2011 after learning the victim had disclosed that Sylvain had sexually assaulted her while she and her mother lived with Sylvain and his family in 2006 and 2007. With the assistance of Haitian authorities and the U.S. State Department, Sylvain was captured and transferred to Miami, Fla. He waived extradition and was returned to Connecticut on Tuesday.

Italy to crack open mobster’s tomb in bowels of Rome church as part of search for missing girl

National Post (Canada)

ROME — Italian prosecutors have authorised police to open the tomb of a crime boss in a church in Rome, as part of a probe into the suspected kidnapping of a Vatican employee’s daughter in 1983.

Emanuela Orlandi was 15 when she disappeared. Her body has never been found and Italy has been gripped for years by a mystery which mixes a notorious band of criminals, the Magliana gang, with the murky world of Vatican finances.

Enrico de Pedis, the leader of the band which terrorised Rome in the 1970s and 1980s, has long been suspected of playing a part in her disappearance.

De Pedis, who is thought to have had ties with the Sicilian mafia, Italy’s shadowy P2 Masonic lodge and the Vatican bank, was murdered by rivals in 1990 and rather oddly buried in a basilica in Rome usually reserved for cardinals.

There are many conspiracy theories surrounding Orlandi. The band is thought to have kidnapped the young girl in an attempt to recover money invested in the Vatican’s bank — or because her father was involved in laundering their cash.

Having the Sisters' Back

Huffington Post

Jim Wallis

After an official investigation, the Vatican seems pretty upset with the Catholic Sisters here in the United States. They have reprimanded the women for not sufficiently upholding the bishops' teachings and doctrines and paying much more attention to issues like poverty and health care than to abortion, homosexuality and male-only priesthood.

There are concerns with "a prevalence of certain radical feminist themes" and they have been taken to task for "occasional public statements" that disagree with the bishops, "who are the church's authentic teachers of faith and morals."

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the largest representative group of all the Catholic sisters orders, has now been put under the control of some bishops who are to "reform" them, change the group's statutes and programs, and approve who will speak at their events.

The Vatican's approach to its concerns, to say the least, is quite regrettable. Condemnation and control were chosen over conversation and dialogue. Quite honestly, do most of us believe, or even most Catholics believe, that the bishops are the only "authentic teachers of faith and morals?"

Ex-altar boys testify of sex assaults by priest

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin

Two former altar boys on Wednesday described being sexually assaulted decades apart by the Rev. Edward Avery, a priest who remained in ministry for years after the Archdiocese of Philadelphia logged its first complaint about him.

The first witness, a 49-year-old physician, told a Common Pleas Court jury that he was 15 when Avery let him get drunk in a University City bar in the late 1970s, took him home to his nearby rectory and fondled him as he slept. More than a dozen years passed before he confronted Avery in a 1992 letter and sent copies to church officials.

After undergoing treatment at church-owned hospital, Avery was reassigned and allowed to live and celebrate Mass at St. Jerome Church in Northeast Philadelphia. That’s where the second alleged victim said Avery sexually assaulted him twice in the church in 1999, when he was 10.

“This is what God wants,” the priest told him, man testified.

The abuse by Avery and another priest plunged him into years of drug abuse and at least one suicide attempt, the witness said.

Accuser at heart of Pa. clergy-abuse case on stand

Fox News

Published April 25, 2012

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA – A young man told a jury in a criminal priest-abuse case heard Tuesday that he was sexually assaulted as a youngster by two priests and his Catholic school teacher and that he turned to drugs for respite.

A policeman's son, the witness said he started smoking marijuana at age 10 to deal with the abuse and has since tried drug treatment 23 times to battle addictions to heroin, painkillers and other drugs.

The 23-year-old testified at the trial of Monsignor William Lynn, a former secretary for clergy at the Philadelphia archdiocese who is charged with child endangerment for helping keep accused priests in ministry.

The witness told jurors that parish priest Edward Avery twice raped him after Mass in 1999, when he was a 10-year-old altar boy.

Victim Describes Sex Abuse By Philadelphia Priest Previously Named as Pedophile

CBS Philly

April 25, 2012

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Today was another day of disturbing and potentially devastating testimony in the clergy abuse case, as two victims of admitted predator priest Edward Avery describe the abuse to the jury.

Monsignor William Lynn is charged with endangering the second victim by not removing Avery from ministry after the first victim came forward.

The first victim told the jury he was molested by Father Edward Avery and came forward a decade later, in 1992, because he was concerned that Avery could hurt others.

In a soft voice at times choked with emotion, the second victim, now 23, today said he was assaulted during the 1998-99 school year, when he was a 10-year-old altar boy. He says Avery sexually assaulted him twice, telling him afterward that he “did a good job” and that God loves him.

49-year old doctor testifies about priest abuse

Daily Times

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

MARYCLAIRE DALE,Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A 49-year-old doctor is testifying in a groundbreaking clergy-abuse case about molestation he says he suffered at the hands of a now-defrocked Philadelphia priest.

The man said he was abused by Edward Avery at the ages of 15 and 18. He said he told the archdiocese about the abuse in 1992.

Avery's guilty plea days before his trial confirms that he went on to abuse a boy seven years later, in 1999, while still in parish work.

On cross examination of the doctor, he acknowledged that defendant Monsignor William Lynn not only responded to his letter but arranged a 1993 confrontation with Avery at a facility where the priest was being treated.


Catholic League - Catalyst

April Issue 2012

Readers of Catalyst know that we have long felt that Father Gordon MacRae has been treated unjustly. In 1994, he was sentenced to prison for up to 67 years for allegedly molesting a minor. His case garnered national attention when Dorothy Rabinowitz raised serious questions about MacRae’s guilt in a pair of articles in the Wall Street Journal in 2000.

Father MacRae’s case is on appeal; he is being represented by Robert Rosenthal of New York City and Cathy J. Green of Manchester, New Hampshire. The National Center for Reason and Justice is sponsoring the case. The new trial is entirely warranted.

Tom Grover is the accuser. In the early 1990s when the alleged offense took place, it was well known around Keene, New Hampshire that the Diocese of Manchester was forking out a lot of money to alleged victims. Enter Grover, an unemployed drug addict and alcoholic. He charged MacRae with molestation when he was a teenager and won a settlement of $200,000.

There were no witnesses, but there are plenty of family members and friends who are now talking. They say Grover is a liar and that he perjured himself at MacRae’s trial. We know, for example, that when Grover won in court, he paraded around flashing wads of cash and taking pictures with it. Moreover, FBI Special Agent Supervisor James Abbott, who spent three years investigating this case, has said, “I discovered no evidence of MacRae having committed the crimes charged, or any other crimes.”

Spring Cleaning Behind These Stone Walls, And News from the Front

These Stone Walls

by Fr. Gordon J. MacRae on April 25, 2012

My dear old friend, Jacquie Miles, now an avid reader of These Stone Walls from her Northwest Kentucky home, sent me this story a few weeks ago – sort of an “inside” joke:

A young man wandered into a Southern church during a healing service. The exuberant preacher invited anyone in need of prayers to step forward. The 20-year-old, thinking he had little to lose, walked up the aisle. “What can we do for you, son?” the preacher asked loudly. “I’m worried about my hearing,” the young man replied.

“Step right on up here!” shouted the preacher as his flock braced themselves for a miracle. The preacher placed his hand on the boy’s head and called upon the Lord to restore him body and soul and cast out every discomfort. After several minutes of the preacher’s ALLELUIAs and a chorus of shouted AMENs, the preacher stepped back from his subject. “How’s your hearing now, son?” the preacher asked loudly. “I don’t know,” said the young man. “It’s not ’til Thursday!”

The story was a big hit in my current locale where the only kind of hearing anyone ever worries about is the latter. If you read Ryan MacDonald’s brief “Special Report,” you know that I also have one to prepare for. I’m not sure when it’s coming, but it’s coming. It could be many months away. Justice at this level moves at a glacial pace. It takes a lot more effort and evidence to get a priest out of prison than to put one in these days. Catholic League president, Bill Donohue also wrote of these developments in a great editorial in the April issue of Catalyst entitled “Father MacRae’s Appeal.” Rill Donohue wrote:

“The website Of the National Center for Reason and Justice, (www.ncrj.org) provides all the legal information you need to make up your own mind.”

That must be true because there are some who don’t want you to read those documents and make up your own minds. Just last week, a friend read me a series of ugly comments posted by SNAP members denouncing my appeal. The comments were posted at the website of the Philadelphia Inquirer after a story about the ongoing prosecution/persecution of Catholic priests and Church officials there. I had not realized how much of a threat to the agenda of SNAP my own appeal might be until I read Ryan MacDonald’s report, “Why Do SNAP and VOTF Fear the Case of Fr. Gordon MacRae?” at his A Ram in the Thicket website.

Pope orders cardinals to investigate Vatican leaks


25 Apr 2012

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY, April 25 (Reuters) - Pope Benedict has set up a commission of cardinals to investigate the leaks of sensitive documents to the media alleging corruption and mismanagement in the Vatican.

The documents included private letters to the pope from an archbishop who was transferred to Washington after he blew the whistle on what he said was nepotism and cronyism in the awarding of contracts, and documents alleging internal conflicts about the Vatican bank.

The Vatican said the commission would be made up of three retired cardinals: Spaniard Julian Herranz, Jozef Tomko of Slovakia and Salvatore De Giorgi of Italy.

A statement said they would "undertake an authoritative investigation and throw light" on how the leaks happened.

Pope's commission into leaks holds first meeting

Jakarta Post

Associated Press, Vatican City | Wed, 04/25/2012

The Vatican says Spanish Cardinal Julian Herranz has been named to preside over a special commission set up by Pope Benedict XVI to shed light on the so-called "Vatileaks" scandal.

The Vatican said Wednesday that the Commission of Cardinals held its first meeting Tuesday to establish the method and timetable for its activities.

The commission members are Slovak Cardinal Jozef Tomko and Italian Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgio.

Pope's commission into leaks holds first meeting

Jakarta Post

Associated Press, Vatican City | Wed, 04/25/2012

The Vatican says Spanish Cardinal Julian Herranz has been named to preside over a special commission set up by Pope Benedict XVI to shed light on the so-called "Vatileaks" scandal.

The Vatican said Wednesday that the Commission of Cardinals held its first meeting Tuesday to establish the method and timetable for its activities.

The commission members are Slovak Cardinal Jozef Tomko and Italian Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgio.

Vatican: Cardinal Herranz to chair “commission” on leaked documents

Vatican Insider

The Vatican Secretary of State has stated that the Commission will “act at all levels on the strength of its pontifical mandate”

Vatican Insider staff

The Commission of Cardinals, created by order of the Holy Father, met on 24 April to decide on a method and set a timetable for its activities. The Cardinal’s Commission, which is chaired by Cardinal Julian Herranz and include Josef Tomko and Salvatore De Giorgi as members is setting to work straight away “to undertake an authoritative investigation and throw light on” the “recent leaks of reserved and confidential [Vatican] documents on television, in newspapers and in other communications media.”

Failure to report child sex abuse to be criminal offence

The Irish Times

CARL O'BRIEN, Chief Reporter

Any sports club, society or voluntary organisation that works with children faces being shut down if they fail to implement official guidelines on how to handle child protection and welfare concerns.

It is one of a number of measures contained in two new pieces of legislation published today which are likely to have far-reaching implications for how the State, voluntary groups and wider society respond to children at risk.

Details of both Bills were published today by Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald.

Under the Children First Bill, all organisations where children attend without their parents - such as schools, sports clubs or religious groups - will face a legal requirement to ensure they provide a safe environment for children.

Martin 'regret' over resignation

The Irish Times


Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin has said he regrets a recent decision by a child safeguarding representative to step down after learning a priest in her area had been on “restricted ministry” for years after child sex abuse allegations were made against him.

Dr Martin said the case in a Dublin Catholic parish was “a classic example of the lacunas that exist in our current legislation” as he was restricted from sharing information about the priest as it was not sufficient to result in a conviction.

“There is a real need to update our legislation which respect the rights of individuals but also respects and covers the need to share information with those who have responsibility,” he told RTÉ’s Today with Pat Kenny programme.

Dr Martin said there was a “very serious difficulty” around soft information and legislation had been promised for some time. Soft information is material not strong enough to base a prosecution or conviction but indicates a concern over the suitability of a person to have access to children.

„Nicht die ganze Wahrheit“


Pater Mertes bekommt von SPD-Chef Gabriel den Heinemann-Preis für besonderen Bürgermut. Ein anonymer ehemaliger Canisius-Schüler über den Mut der anderen.

Blick aus dem Canisius-Kolleg in den Innenhof. Bild: dapd

taz: Pater Klaus Mertes bekommt am Donnerstag einen Preis als Aufklärer der sexuellen Gewalt gegen Schüler am Canisius-Kolleg. Wieso bekommt er ihn zu Recht?

Anonymus: Weil er es war, der als Vertreter der Institution die Zugbrücke herunterließ. Zu uns, die wir von draußen jahrelang versucht hatten, auf die sexuelle Gewalt aufmerksam zu machen. Pater Mertes sagte den wichtigsten Satz, den es für einen Betroffenen überhaupt geben kann: „Ich glaube euch!“

Dennoch sagen Sie, Pater Mertes musste zu diesem Satz bekehrt werden. Warum?

Weil Mertes und der Orden schon seit Jahren von den Missbrauchsfällen wussten. Er hat wiederholt erklärt, dass er bereits 2006 gemeinsam mit der Ordensleitung in München über den Umgang mit Missbrauchsfällen durch den Täter S. beraten hat. „Die Täternamen habe ich dem Pater Provinzial [Chef der Jesuiten in Deutschland, d. Red.] mitgeteilt“, sagte er in einem Interview. „Ich war bei den Beratungen dabei.“


Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 25 April 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a note released this morning by the Secretariat of State:

"In the wake of recent leaks of reserved and confidential documents on television, in newspapers and in other communications media, the Holy Father has ordered the creation of a Commission of Cardinals to undertake an authoritative investigation and throw light on these episodes.

"His Holiness has determined that the said Commission of Cardinals, which will act at all levels on the strength of its pontifical mandate, shall be presided by Cardinal Julian Herranz, and shall have as its members Cardinal Jozef Tomko and Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi.

"The Commission of Cardinals celebrated its first sitting on 24 April to establish the method and timetable for its activities".

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin says it is 'difficult' for bishops to pass on information

RTE News

[Murphy Report: Fr. Benito - BishopAccountability.org]

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said that it is even more difficult now for bishops to pass on sensitive information about sexual abuse allegations about priests than before.

Archbishop Martin was speaking about the resignation of a child safety officer in a Dublin Catholic Parish who resigned after she learned of allegations of child sexual abuse made against a priest who had served there.

The priest had put on restricted Ministry for years as a result of the allegations.

However Archbishop Martin said that he removed him from Ministry when new information about an old allegation came to light.

Archbishop Martin said he understood and sympathised with the woman, who he said, must have felt betrayed.

Tom White, Voice Of The Martyrs Director, May Have Committed Suicide Amid Abuse Probe

Huffington Post


TULSA, Okla. -- Oklahoma authorities are investigating whether the executive director of an international Christian ministry killed himself amid allegations he'd molested a 10-year-old girl, police said Monday.

Tom White had been reported missing last Tuesday, the same day police in Bartlesville received a report about the alleged molestation, said Bartlesville Police Capt. Jay Hastings. White was the executive director for The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit headquartered in in the city 50 miles north of Tulsa that says it provides medical supplies, food and clothing to persecuted Christians worldwide.

Police found the 64-year-old's body at the organization's Bartlesville headquarters Wednesday. Employees discovered a letter in White's vehicle indicating he was "suicidal or possibly fleeing to avoid investigation" and turned it over to police, Hastings said.

"You can take it either way," Hastings said. "It was kind of a goodbye letter. You don't know if he was talking about himself."

VOM director's death, allegations a sad shock

Peoria Journal-Star

By Mike Miller

The death of Tom White, executive director of Voice of the Martyrs, on April 17 was a profound shock.

White, who experienced persecution himself while imprisoned for 17 months in Cuban jails, took his own life.

VOM reports that he was facing allegations of "inappropriate contact with a young girl."

"Rather than face those allegations, and all of the resulting fallout for his family and this ministry and himself, Tom appears to have chosen to take his own life," the statement says.

The Associated Press had more information, according to The Christian Post:

The AP also revealed that the police had requested from the Washington County District Court an order to have White's cell phone carrier provide "real time GPS pinging" of his phone in hopes of discovering his whereabouts. Authorities had noted in the document that White "had been reported to have molested a 10-year-old juvenile female" and disappeared as the investigation got underway.

Death of Voice of the Martyrs director may be suicide

Christian Today

Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Walter Thomas "Tom" White, head of Voice of the Martyrs, may have taken his own life amid abuse allegations.

Mr White, 64, was reported missing last Tuesday and found dead at the Christian ministry's headquarters in Oklahoma the following day.

On the day he disappeared, police in Bartlesville received a report that Mr White had molested a 10-year-old girl.

Employees found a letter in his vehcile indicating that he was "suicidal or possibly fleeing to avoid investigation", which was given to police.

Slipper shattered by allegations

Sky News

[with video]

A church leader says controversial MP Peter Slipper is shattered by the allegations of fraud and sexual harassment against him, which have been followed by calls for him to step down from his religious roles.

Archbishop John Hepworth said on Wednesday he had asked Mr Slipper to stand aside as an ordained priest and legal officer for the Traditional Anglican Communion.

Archbishop Hepworth, the primate of the pro-Rome breakaway conservative Anglican movement, said the allegations had hurt the Queensland independent MP.

'Well, he's obviously quite shattered by this,' he told ABC Radio.

Philly church official facing triple accuser


Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A key witness is set to testify Wednesday in a groundbreaking clergy-abuse case in Philadelphia.

The former altar boy says he was raped by two priests and a teacher in the late 1990s.

And he says the Archdiocese of Philadelphia had an earlier complaint against 1 of them.

Defense lawyers have attacked the man's credibility based on his history of drug and legal problems.

But one defendant, defrocked priest Edward Avery, pleaded guilty days before trial.

Jurors don't know about the plea, but could learn of it if defense lawyers go too far in challenging the witness.

'Shattered' Peter Slipper asked to stand aside as priest


A CHURCH leader says controversial MP Peter Slipper is shattered by the allegations of fraud and sexual harassment against him, which have been followed by calls for him to step down from his religious roles.

Archbishop John Hepworth said he has asked Mr Slipper to stand aside as an ordained priest and legal officer for the Traditional Anglican Communion.

Archbishop Hepworth, the primate of the pro-Rome breakaway conservative Anglican movement, said the allegations had hurt the Queensland independent MP.

"Well, he's obviously quite shattered by this," he told ABC Radio.

From trauma to transformation - St Joseph’s Home looks to a brighter future


by Gabriel Schembri - editorial@di-ve.com
Current Affairs -- 25 April 2012

St Joseph’s Home is looking towards a brighter future after nine years of infamy as the place where the notorious child abuse cases by priests took place.

In an interview, the home’s director Fr Frankie Cini told di-ve.com, “The cases are now a part of the home’s history. It is a dark chapter in the story of St Joseph’s Home, but we have to move on.”

Fr Cini said this is a case where they either come out as the victims, or survivors. The approach towards the future of the home is definitely one of survival, just as the title of this year’s Annual Booklet suggests, the House is moving from ‘Trauma to Transformation’.

Priest takes temporary leave of absence as porn row rumbles on

Tyrone Times

Published on Wednesday 25 April 2012

A PRIEST at the centre of a media storm surrounding the showing of sexually explicit to parents who had gathered in Pomeroy to hear a presentation about their children’s First Holy Communion, has taken a temporary leave of absence at his own request.

Following a stormy meeting on Friday night between around 25 of the 30 parents who had witnessed the offending imagery and representatives of the Archdiocese of Armagh, Fr Martin McVeigh’s future remains uncertain.

According to weekend newspaper reports, an 800 word Church statement clearing Fr McVeigh of any wrongdoing was read out, but was not released publicly after the lengthy meeting with parents.

When the statement suggested Fr McVeigh had given great service to the Archdiocese of Armagh, there were said to be loud objections from the floor.

Journalists Tout Dissident Nuns and Rehash Decades-Old Scandals To Bash Catholic Church Again


Dave Pierre

Since when have journalists been so concerned about internal doctrinal matters in the Catholic Church? Why are journalists suddenly fretting about the status of nuns in America?

It has been no secret that many Catholic women religious (nuns) in recent years have been in open dissent of a number of gender-related components of Church teaching, such those regarding the all-male priesthood, celibacy requirements, and, in some cases, abortion.

Because of this open dissent, the Vatican has finally taken efforts to review and monitor the leadership of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). These efforts simply seek to align the conference – a Church-recognized body – with the teachings of the Church and with Church law.

Now it seems that the Vatican's actions have journalists worked up all over the country.

Brooklyn DA Won't Release Names Of Orthodox Jewish Sex Offenders


Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes has consistently refused to divulge the identities of Orthodox Jews accused and convicted of sex crimes, giving a blanket exemption to sex offenders who commit their crimes in tight-knit Orthodox communities. Now his office has been compelled to formally explain why it won't name the accused and convicted. In response to a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request by The Forward, Assistant District Attorney Morgan Dennehy argues that releasing the names of suspects would allow others in the community to identify their victims. She writes:

The circumstances here are unique. Because all of the requested defendant names relate to Hasidic men who are alleged to have committed sex crimes against Hasidic victims within a very tight-knit and insular Brooklyn community, there is a significant danger that the disclosure of the defendants’ names would lead members of that community to discern the identities of the victims.

But the Forward points out that last year Hynes announced the arrests of 85 Orthodox Jews on sex crimes charges since 2008, refusing to release the suspects’ names, citing the need to protect the victims. "Yet that same week, Hynes issued a press release publicizing the name of a non-Jewish man convicted of raping his girlfriend’s daughter," The Forward's Paul Berger notes. "Hynes released the man’s name, the neighborhood where he lived and the victim’s age, enough information for any neighbor to identify the girl."

Paprocki on panel to review nuns' leadership group

The State Journal-Register

The State Journal-Register

Springfield Bishop Thomas John Paprocki is one of three U.S. Catholic bishops tapped to address what the Vatican says are “serious doctrinal problems” in views espoused by the leadership body representing the majority of the country’s nuns.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, founded in 1956, represents 83 percent of the nearly 56,000 women religious in the United States.

Its leader, in a speech in 2007, talked of some religious “moving beyond the church or even beyond Jesus” — a statement Paprocki described as “pretty radical.”

The delegation of bishops, appointed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith after a four-year review, will be led by Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain, who served as bishop of the Joliet diocese from 2006 to 2010. Paprocki, who has been bishop of Springfield since 2010, was tapped for his acumen in church law. The third member is Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio, who carried out the original inquiry.

Sarasota ministry worker convicted of child sex charges, police say


By TBO.com
Published: April 24, 2012

A Sarasota man who said he worked for a ministry has been convicted in a child sex case, the Sarasota Police Department said.

Joe Harrison Jr., 42, was found guilty Monday of three counts of sexual battery on a child and one count of lewd or lascivious molestation of a child.

Harrison is scheduled to be sentenced April 30.

Harrison said he was a bishop for Liberty Central Ministries International. At the time of his arrest, he listed his home address in the 1000 block of Four Seasons Circle in Sarasota.

Sarasota Bishop found guilty of Sexual Battery on a Child


SARASOTA - A Sarasota man was found guilty Monday of several counts of sexual abuse of a child.

42-year-old Joe Harrison, Jr. was arrested last year and charged with three counts of Sexual Battery on a Child over 12 years of age but less than 18 years of age by a Person in Familial or Custodial Authority and one count of Lewd or Lascivious Molestation of a Child over 12 years of age but less than 16 years of age.

The cases were prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Stickley and Assistant State Attorney Buff. Joe Harrison Jr. is scheduled to be sentenced on April 30th.

Joe Harrison Jr. identifies himself as a Bishop of Liberty Central Ministries International.

Vatican Diary / New senators in the curia. A ranking


After the latest appointments, here are the cardinals with the largest number of positions in the central offices of the Church. Among the curia, Bertone, Ouellet, and Levada. Among the residential cardinals, Scola and George

VATICAN CITY, April 25, 2012 – On Saturday April 21, a little more than two months after the last concistory, the new cardinals were finally assigned their positions as members of the various dicasteries of the Roman curia, the most important of which are the nine congregations.

This procedure indicates the real and specific influence of each cardinal in assisting Benedict XVI in the governance of the universal Church.

The decision to number a cardinal among the members of a dicastery belongs to the pope, but an important role in this kind of decision is played by the secretariat of state, headed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, while more secondary and not infrequently nonexistent is the influence of the prefect of the congregation that is receiving the new appointee.

Lawsuit: Mt. Greenwood parish altar boy claims abuse in 1980s

Chicago Tribune

By Andy Grimm
Tribune reporter

9:31 p.m. CDT, April 24, 2012

A man who served as an altar boy at a Mount Greenwood Roman Catholic parish claims in a lawsuit filed today that he was molested by a priest in the 1980s.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of a plaintiff listed as “John Doe,” claims that Fr. John Curran, a priest who served at St. Christina’s Church, 11005 S. Homan Ave., lured young boys to his room in the church rectory and molested them, and that church leaders were aware of the abuse and did nothing to remove Curran from his post or keep him away from children.

An Archdiocese of Chicago registry lists Curran among priests against whom there are “substantiated claims” of abuse. The registry also shows Curran died in March 2000.

In 2005, the archdiocese settled lawsuits filed by 24 parishioners who claimed they were abused as children by 14 priests, including Curran.

Closed NY Catholic church rectory being auctioned


JAMESVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - The rectory of a shuttered Catholic church in the Syracuse diocese is being auctioned off.

Bishop Robert J. Cunningham says the building is being sold because St. Mary's Church in Jamesville is no longer a parish and has no need for it. Cunningham says the church building will not be sold.

Meanwhile, parishioners of St. Mary's are asking Cunningham to expedite repairs to the church so it can re-open. In a letter sent Tuesday to the bishop, they say they're concerned about the possible demolition of the church.

How to properly spank a nun

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Funny how no one ever talks about the nuns.

I suppose it makes sense. After all, Catholic nuns are so rarely embroiled in sex scandals. They are never caught pants down in the rectory with a 10-year-old altar boy, teaching him of the "mystical secretions" of the Lord. They never cost the church billions in litigious payouts for rape, abuse, millennia of pedophilic atrocity and shame. For that, you gotta look to the priests.

The nuns, they keep to themselves. They work quietly, faithfully in the background, the humble and resolute handmaidens to the patriarchy, performing their work without media glare, without need to draw obnoxious battle lines around every sexual or moral issue under the sun. Or so it would seem.

Cardinal Bevilacqua Appointed A Known Pedophile As Assistant Pastor

Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog

Ralph Cipriano

The therapist, Dr. Thomas J. Tyrrell, warned in the secret archive files in 1989 that his patient, Father Peter J. Dunne, was "a very sick man" who should be "relieved from active ministry."

Father Dunne was, according to the archdiocese's secret files, an extremely intelligent homosexual with addictive sexual behavior. He was also an untreatable pedophile, and a narcissist with an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. "We are sitting on a powder keg," Dr. Tyrrell warned in 1989.

Archdiocese officials had known since 1986 that Father Dunne had sexually abused a 13-year-old member of his Boy Scout troop. The archdiocese knew that the abuse went on for three years, and that the priest had paid the victim $40,000 to keep quiet. They also knew there had to be other victims. In the archdiocese's secret files, Dr. Terrell stated that he suspected the priest was guilty of being involved in a "myriad number of sexual misconduct cases."

In 1989, a second therapist, Dr. Eric Griffen-Shelley, reported to the archdiocese that Father Dunne was skipping out on his mandatory group therapy sessions. The therapist said he was "wondering if the archdiocese is putting itself at risk with someone so uncooperative on the loose."

Judge orders SNAP to turn over abuse records

Catholic News Agency

Kansas City, Mo., Apr 25, 2012 / 12:07 am (CNA).- A Missouri judge has ordered a group that works with victims of sexual abuse by clergy to turn over decades of records to an accused Catholic priest’s lawyers who want to determine whether the group has been coaching alleged victims and plaintiffs to say they repressed memories of abuse.

Attorneys representing priests in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph sought the records from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP.

Although the group strongly denied that it coaches victims, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Ann Mesle said she will order the material to be turned over to the priest’s lawyers and the diocese’s lawyers.

“I believe they are entitled to have information on repressed memory,” she said April 20.

April 24, 2012

Slipper told to step aside from church job

The West Australian

Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth says he has advised Peter Slipper he should stand aside as the church's senior legal officer.

Archbishop Hepworth, the primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, a breakaway conservative Anglican movement, said Mr Slipper remained an ordained priest as well the church's chancellor, the senior legal adviser.

"I have said to Peter that I think it is not appropriate to stand aside from the speakership and not stand aside from an importance office in a church position," he told ABC Radio.

"We are having an exchange of texts. I am meeting him later in the week in Brisbane and his wife. They both actually have flu at the moment."

Update: Victim Of Guilty Former Priest Set To Testify

My Fox Philly

Kristen Byrne, Blogger

Blogger Kristen Byrne is in the courtroom at the Philadelphia Archdiocese priest-abuse trial.

The defense in a landmark priest-sex-abuse case involving the Philadelphia Archdiocese will have to tread softly as they question a former priest’s victim tomorrow. Defrocked priest Edward Avery, whom pleaded guilty, is no longer on trial with Monsignor William Lynn and Rev. James Brennan.

Though Avery does not stand on trial he has become a prominent player this past week.

Defense attorneys and prosecutors argued over whether the jury should be informed of Avery’s guilty plea in lieu of his victim’s testimony. The defense argued that Avery’s plea could incriminate Lynn, who is charged with conspiracy and endangering the welfare of a child.

Suit: Ex-altar boy claims priest molested him in ‘80s

Southtown Star

A man filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming a now-deceased priest molested him more than 20 years ago while he was a parishioner at St. Christina Parish in Chicago’s Mount Greenwood community.

The plaintiff, listed only as John W. Doe, filed the suit in Cook County Circuit Court against the Archdiocese of Chicago.

In it, he claims the Rev. John Curran sexually abused him in 1987 while he was a child and a parishioner of St. Christina, 11005 S. Homan Ave.

The suit claims the plaintiff, who was then an altar server at the parish, came from a devout Catholic family and trusted Curran, even though the Archdiocese previously had received reports that he was sexually abusing minors.

Child advocate quits parish after discovery of 'restricted' priest

The Irish Times

[Murphy Report: Fr. Benito - BishopAccountability.org]

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

A WOMAN who was the child safeguarding representative in a Dublin Catholic parish for over a decade has resigned following her discovery last month that a priest serving there until recently had been on “restricted ministry” for years. It followed allegations of child sex abuse against him.

She had also not been informed that the same priest was the subject of a chapter in the 2009 Murphy report on clerical sexual abuse.

The parish pastoral council was not given any of this information about the priest either. It remains unclear just how much information the current parish priest there had been told about the priest, who was given the pseudonym Fr Benito in the Murphy report.

Records: Archdiocese ignored warnings about ‘powder keg’ pedophile

Philadelphia Inquirer

An Archdiocese of Philadelphia priest active in schools and scouting was allowed to work in suburban parishes for five years after doctors diagnosed him as a pedophile, called him “a very sick man,” and told church officials he was a “powder keg” waiting to explode.

The priest, the Rev. Peter F. Dunne, paid off one accuser himself and repeatedly resisted or ignored recommendations for therapy, according to internal church records shown Tuesday to a Common Pleas Court jury.

When the pastor overseeing Dunne at a Bucks County parish in 1990 petitioned archdiocesan officials in a “very urgent plea” to get the priest some help, they responded by transferring Dunne to a parish 25 miles away in Montgomery County, the records show. Prosecutors introduced the documents as part of their bid to show that Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former secretary of clergy, enabled child sex abuse by failing to remove priests suspected of sexual misconduct. Lynn is accused of endangering two boys who were allegedly sexually assaulted by priests in the late1990s.

Prosecutors say the files on Dunne and other priests suggest Lynn and other church leaders had long recognized the signs and depth of clergy sex abuse but chose not to act.

Will Father Avery Return to Court In a Jump Suit, Part 2

Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog

Ralph Cipriano

The issue of whether former priest Edward V. Avery would return to Courtroom 304 in a jump suit was argued again in court Tuesday, and the judge decided to keep all options open.

Avery is the defrocked archdiocese priest who pleaded guilty on the eve of the archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse trial to charges of conspiracy to endanger children, and the rape of a 10-year-old boy. The jury in the case was never told why Avery suddenly disappeared from the defense table.

On Wednesday, the former altar boy that Avery raped is scheduled to appear in court as a witness. He's going to tell his story of abuse, and then the defense lawyers in the case will have to decide how hard to go after the witness in cross-examination.

As it stands now, the former altar boy poses all the risks of a suicide bomber. If the defense decides to aggressively challenge the witness's credibility, Judge M. Teresa Sarmina may grant the prosecution permission to tell the jury about Avery's guilty plea.

Parents outline decades of alleged abuse by priest

Albany Times Union

By Bryan Fitzgerald

Updated 06:41 p.m., Tuesday, April 24, 2012

ALBANY — The parents and a younger sister of two victims of alleged sexual abuse by a Greene County priest railed against the church Tuesday afternoon. Standing on a sidewalk a few hundred feet from the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese offices on North Main Avenue the family detailed the painful fallout from what they say was decades of abuse.

With their arms around each other's shoulders, Ivan Morales Sr. and his wife, Carol Morales, spoke about their sons, Ivan Jr. and Martin, and how they say Rev. Jeremiah Nunan slowly lured each of them into a web of abuse that lasted for years.

The Morales' 20-year-old daughter, Maria, says she was not abused by Nunan, but that when she was at church with her brother Martin, the priest would tell her to wait outside and be "a good little girl" while he took Martin into a nearby room.

"I never put two and two together," the College of Saint Rose junior said.

Local priest under investigation for sexual abuse

Fox 23

The Albany Roman Catholic Diocese is investigating a priest following allegations of abuse.

A press conference was held Tuesday in front of the Albany Diocesan Headquarters by the group Road to Recovery.

A lawsuit claims Father Jeremiah Nunan, Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Cairo and Our Lady of Knock Mission in East Durham, abused two people.

The alleged victims’ family says their two sons were abused over the course of many years.

Catholics4Change Supporting Victims at Trial Tomorrow


April 25, 2012 by Susan Matthews

Kathy Kane and I will be at the Philadelphia priest sex abuse trial tomorrow at 9:15 a.m. to support victims who are testifying. They bravely revisit the past and put their personal and professional lives at risk for the truth. As parents seeking protection for our children, we thank them. As citizens seeking justice, we thank them. As Catholics seeking the truth, we thank them.

Criminal Justice Building, 13th and Filbert, Rm. 304 at 9:15.

Remember: No electronic devices. No cell phones.

Slipper a complex man of faith, says Anglican head

7 News

Alison Caldwell, ABC

Updated April 25, 2012

The head of the Australian Anglican Church says Speaker Peter Slipper is a "complex" man who has taken a "strong" stand on "conservative moral issues" but has another side to his character.

Mr Slipper, who is facing allegations he rorted Cabcharge vouchers and sexually harassed a male staffer, is an ordained priest in the Traditional Anglican Communion.

Earlier this week, Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth asked Mr Slipper to stand aside from his role as a priest and legal adviser to the synod until the harassment allegations are resolved.

So far Mr Slipper has failed to do so.

This morning, Archbishop Hepworth told AM Mr Slipper was "in the tradition of the Australian larrikin MP ... that is, people who are interesting, have bad patches and very good patches".

Documents: Accused Pa. priest kept in parishes

Beaver County Times

Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Associated Press

Two Roman Catholic archbishops moved a troubled priest to new parishes despite dire warnings he was having sex with minors, according to church documents read in a Philadelphia court Tuesday.

Cardinal John Krol of Philadelphia assigned the late Rev. Peter Dunne to a suburban Warminster parish in 1987, a year after a therapist warned about any access to children.

And Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua sent Dunne to a northeast Philadelphia parish in 1989 _ after a church therapist had diagnosed him as a pedophile and ticking time bomb.

Defense lawyers for Monsignor William Lynn noted that at least three other top aides at the archdiocese knew of the diagnosis. Yet Dunne refused requests to seek laicization, and remained an active priest until his 1994 retirement _ and a priest until the day he died, in 2010.

Datalek bij Oostenrijkse Klasnic-commissie


Wenen, 24 april 2012 • Roel Verschueren

Uit een bericht in Der Standard-online blijkt dat de door de Oostenrijkse bisschoppen opgerichte “Klasnic”-commissie intieme gegevens over misbruik heeft doorgegeven aan de bisschoppenconferentie. De sinds haar oprichting betwiste “onafhankelijkheid” van deze commissie staat nu totaal op de helling.

Herbert L. richtte zich vorig jaar met een vraag over welke data over hem werden bewaard tot de Klasnic-commissie en de Stichting Slachtofferbescherming. Herbert L. is een erkend slachtoffer van seksueel misbruik en kreeg door de kerk 10.000 euro uitbetaald. Wat dit Weense slachtoffer nog precies wou navragen was, welke data met betrekking tot zijn persoon werden bijgehouden. In februari 2012 kwam het antwoord. De aangetekende brief met het antwoord die de krant in bezit heeft, draagt het briefhoofd van de Generaalsecretaris van de Oostenrijkse Bisschoppenconferentie.

De uitleg staat al in de eerste paragraaf: “Beide inrichtingen hebben het akkoord over schadevergoeding naar de Commissie voor bescherming van privaatgegevens van de Katholieke Kerk doorgegeven.” Daaruit blijkt dat eigenlijk de Katholieke Kerk verantwoordelijk is voor de privacy van de gegevens die de zogezegde ‘onafhankelijke’ Klasnic-commissie heeft verzameld.

Testimony ...

Washington Post

Testimony: Philadelphia priest called pedophile, powder keg by therapist stayed on job

By Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Jurors in a clergy-abuse trial heard Tuesday about a priest who was left in ministry for years after therapists called him a manipulative pedophile and a ticking time bomb.

The evidence was presented by prosecutors in the child-endangerment trial of Monsignor William Lynn, the longtime secretary for clergy in Philadelphia. Prosecutors say he helped keep dangerous priest-predators in jobs where they could continue to abuse children.

Tuesday’s evidence focused on the late Father Peter Dunne, who had served as a Boy Scout leader and director of a Bucks County school for delinquent boys and at one point had two young men living with him at a parish in Oxford, Pa.

The archdiocese had Dunne evaluated after an Oregon doctor complained in 1986 that he had been abused by Dunne, his former priest and Scout leader. The doctor later lost his license for molesting patients, leaving his wife and children deeply in debt, according to a 2005 grand jury report.

Abuse Case Dates Suggest Brooklyn DA Is Cooking Numbers For Kol Tzedek Hotline

The Jewish Week

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hella Winston
Special To The Jewish Week

At least eight sex abuse cases identified by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office as Kol Tzedek cases were actually reported years before the advent of the confidential hotline, The Jewish Week has learned. This information calls into question the reliability of the statistics the DA has used to tout the success of the hotline.

The Jewish Week submitted a list of more than 30 names to the Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes, asking for confirmation of those who were reported through Kol Tzedek, which was established by the DA in April of 2009 to encourage the reporting of sexual abuse among Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jews.

In statements to the media, Hynes has claimed that approximately 90 people were reported through the hotline since its advent, 14 of whom have been convicted.

The DA has for months refused to divulge the names of those reported through Kol Tzedek, but recently agreed to confirm cases if given names by The Jewish Week.

Bishop Michael J. Bransfield

BishopAccountability.org - Assignment Record

Summary of Case: Bransfield began his career as a priest of the Philadelphia archdiocese. He was a parish priest, then a teacher, chaplain and vice-principal of an archdiocesan high school. Bransfield left Philadelphia when appointed director of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC, becoming its rector when the National Shrine was made a basilica. In 2005 Bransfield was elevated to bishop of the Wheeling-Charleston diocese. In a 2012 trial of other Philadelphia clergy, Bransfield was accused of having sexually teen boys in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Another of the trial's witnesses stated that when he was a minor Bransfield spoke to him in a lewd way. A prosecutor at the trial said Bransfield was accused in a separate case of fondling a student. Bransfield denied the allegations.

Ordained: 1971


Catholic League

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on Sally Quinn’s “On Faith” blog at the Washington Post:

It’s no secret that Sally Quinn (who is not Catholic) has a problem with the Catholic Church (save for soup-kitchen Catholics). But today she outdid herself: Of the three lead stories on her Washington Post blog, three are on Catholicism. One is positive, and two are decidedly negative.

The one positive piece doesn’t count. Why? Because it’s about Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, a Catholic, who is about to sign into law a bill to outlaw capital punishment. The reason this issue doesn’t count is because it’s all window-dressing: exactly one person has been executed in Connecticut in the past 37 years. Now if Malloy were to outlaw abortion in Connecticut, that would be big news.

Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo raises the question, “Is the Church Corrupt?” You already know the answer. He ends by saying, “Catholics are loyal enough to Jesus and to each other to prevail against the Gates of Hell that now besmirch the institutional church.” Then they are no longer Catholic. Being Catholic means belonging to, and faithfully participating in, the Catholic Church. Even a fraternity insists on fidelity.

Wineke: Catholic Church reasserting control of nuns underlies hypocrisy

Channel 3000

By Bill Wineke
Special to Channel 3000

Something very strange is going on within the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.

Each week brings revelations seemingly more bizarre than those of even the week before.

Last week, the Vatican took over the leadership of American nuns and appointed an archbishop to act, in effect, as a receiver for the group. Archbishop Peter Sartain, of Seattle, now has power to remove the elected leaders of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, approve speakers at the group's conferences, set policy for the group and tell the nuns with whom they might affiliate.

The Vatican announced all this in a press release. That's how the nuns learned about it. The contempt shown the nuns couldn't have been more pronounced if the pope had mooned them in public. ...

The document doesn't say the nuns have actually done something immoral. It's not as if, say, they had numerous members of their orders who sexually abused children, or had mother superiors who covered those crimes up.

Not to be too subtle about this: The Vatican did not put the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops into receivership.

Doctrinal Assessment of the LCWR: Safeguarding the Integrity of Consecrated Life

National Catholic Register


The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith situates the introduction of its doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the section of Pope John Paul II’s post-synodal apostolic exhortation Vita Consecrata entitled “Sentire Cum Ecclesia” (To Think With the Church).

The eight-page document, published April 18, summarizes the findings of a careful investigation of the LCWR begun in 2008 and has renewal as its primary purpose:

The renewal of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which is the goal of this doctrinal assessment, is in support of this essential charism of religious which has been so obvious in the life and growth of the Catholic Church in the United States.

Recent media coverage has displayed a variety of responses to the doctrinal assessment, and members of the LCWR have issued public responses.

A Catholic ‘war on women’

Washington Post

Sally Quinn

Jesus would be rolling over in his grave if he hadn’t already left it. The pope is taking on the nuns.

The Roman Catholic Church is a hierarchical institution if there ever was one. Nobody does anything without consulting a superior. Eventually, that would lead to His Holiness. And this time he has gone too far.

When Vatican bishops issued a report condemning nuns, including those among the 55,000 members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, for “radical feminism” and ordered disciplinary action, all hell broke loose. ...

While the “radical feminist” nuns were taking care of the poor and the sick, what were the priests and bishops doing? More than a few were being accused of sexually abusing children and covering up for each other. Take the case of Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, who stepped down as archbishop of Boston in 2002 for covering up sexual abuse by priests in his archdiocese. Instead of leaving Boston in disgrace, Law was summoned to Rome by Pope John Paul II and given the plum assignment of archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. He was allowed to keep his title of cardinal and participated in the papal conclave. He resigned last November at age 80 after throwing himself a big birthday party. Let’s hope the victims of the sexual abused he covered up have been able to on with their lives as fortuitously as he has.

The numbers of sexual abuse scandals are too numerous to mention, but include the recent charges against a priest who was head of the Office of Child Protection and Safety in Northern Virginia, and is being investigated for sexual misconduct with a boy and is now on administrative leave.

Voice of the Faithful Takes Nuns’ Side

Voice of the Faithful

As the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith comes down on women religious in the United States for doctrinal impurity, Roman Catholic Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful supports the sisters.

On Wednesday, the Vatican mandated reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the largest leadership body of women religious in the United States, which represents about 80 percent of the 57,000 nuns in the country. Because of LCWR’s purported doctrinal impurity, the Vatican has appointed an archbishop to oversee the nuns’ reform.

The record of women religious in this country taking care of the most vulnerable in our society, creating the American hospital system, for example, is a primer on Gospel values. Their long service on the front lines of poverty and disease is worthy of the respect and admiration of all, VOTF among them.

Datenleck in der Klasnic-Kommission

der Standard

Markus Rohrhofer, 24. April 2012

Die Unabhängigkeit der Klasnic-Kommission steht auf dem Prüfstand. Eine Datenanfrage eines Opfers offenbart, dass offensichtlich intime Details rund um Missbrauchsfälle bei der Bischofskonferenz landen

Wien - Herbert L. wandte sich im vergangenen Jahr mit einer sogenannten Datenanfrage an die Klasnic-Kommission und die Stiftung Opferschutz. Herr L. ist anerkanntes Missbrauchsopfer und wurde bereits mit 10.000 Euro von der katholischen Kirche entschädigt. Was der Wiener noch genau wissen wollte, ist, welche Daten zu seiner Person im Zuge seiner Missbrauchsaufarbeitung gespeichert wurden. Die Antwort kam im Februar 2012 und überraschte Herbert L. Der eingeschriebene Brief, der dem Standard vorliegt, trägt nämlich den Briefkopf des Generalsekretariats der österreichischen Bischofskonferenz.

Memos: Pa. priest labeled pedophile stayed in job

The Evening Sun

By MARYCLAIRE DALE Associated Press
Posted: 04/24/2012

PHILADELPHIA—Jurors in a Philadelphia clergy-abuse trial are hearing about a priest left in ministry after therapists called him a pedophile and ticking time bomb.

The trial Tuesday is focusing on the late Peter Dunne, a Boy Scout leader who ran a school for troubled boys.

Church memos show a doctor complained in 1986 that Dunne had abused him, and asked for money for counseling.

Therapists evaluating Dunne warned he should never be around children.

Records: Archdiocese ignored warnings about ‘powder keg’ pedophile

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia allowed a priest to remain in parish ministry in 1989 after psychiatrists diagnosed him as a pedophile, described him as “a very sick man” and strongly recommended that he never be allowed to work around young people, according to internal church records.

One of the doctors who evaluated the priest, the Rev. Peter J. Dunne, “stated quite bluntly that we are sitting on a powder keg,” a church official later noted in a memo.

Dunne’s records emerged Tuesday in the trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former secretary of clergy accused of enabling child-sex abuse by failing to remove priests suspected of sexual misconduct. Prosecutors are introducing evidence about decades-old allegations against Dunne and other priests to suggests church officials for years understood the signs and depth of clergy sex abuse, but chose instead to hide the problem from parishioners, endangering children.

Dunne had been long active in scouting and archdiocesan schools when a California man reported in 1986 that the priest had pressed him into a sexual relationship when he was 13. Dunne privately arranged a settlement with his accuser. Dunne also resisted or ignored archdiocesan officials repeated attempts for treatment, despite telling one therapist that he may have had “six or seven” incidents of sexual misconduct, the records show.

Compensatiecommissie benoemd en Compensatieregeling van kracht

Melding Hulp Klacht Schade

Per 1 december 2011 heeft het bestuur de compensatiecommissie benoemd en is de compensatieregeling voor minderjarigen van kracht. Met ingang van 1 maart 2012 is eveneens de compensatieregeling voor meerderjarigen van kracht.

De leden van de Compensatiecommissie zijn:

•Mr. B. Holthuis (JPR Advocaten), voorzitter
•Mr. R.Ph. Elzas (Dirkzwager advocaten & notarissen)
•Mevr. Mr. K.H. Faase (Achmea personenschade)
•Mevr. Mr. J.M. van de Laar (Beer advocaten N.V.)
•E.S. Groot (Groot expertisebureau)

In principe krijgen alle slachtoffers die seksueel zijn misbruikt en een gegrondverklaring via de Beoordelings- en adviescommissie (BAC), of via de klachtencommssie hebben, een brief en ontvangen een aanvraagformulier voor de Compensatiecommissie. Alle overige slachtoffers die seksueel zijn misbruikt en die over een bewijsstuk beschikken zoals in de regelingen is vermeld kunnen het aanvraagformulier hier downloaden of via het meldpunt aanvragen. Ook de regelingen zijn hier te downloaden.

Why Go After the Nuns?

Religion News Service - Spiritual Politics

Mark Silk|Apr 24, 2012

The denunciation of the Leadship Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF, formerly known as the Roman Inquisition) puts this medievalist in mind of the Church's 15th Ecumenical Council, which wrapped up its business in Vienne exactly 700 years ago next week.

It was not a happy time for the papacy. In 1305, the tumultuous politics of the Italian peninsula had forced Pope Clement V to relocate the curia to the north, ushering in the "Babylonian Captivity of the Church" in Avignon that lasted for most of the century. The move put Clement under the thumb of King Philip the Fair of France, who was vigorously consolidating administrative control of the monarchy. To that end, Philip arrested the Knights Templars, seized their property, and got them to confess to heresy and sodomy by torture and burning at the stake. The main business of the Council of Vienne was the suppression of the venerable crusading order, which Clement seems to have agreed to do in exchange for Philip dropping heresy charges against a previous pope, Boniface VIII.

While they were at it, the Council also suppressed a movement of pious lay women who wore a distinctive habit and lived together in hospices, impressing many by their teaching and the sanctity of their lives. To the men who ran the church, they were dangerously out of line. As the Council put it:

The women commonly known as Beguines, since they promise obedience to nobody, nor renounce possessions, nor profess any approved rule are not religious at all, although they wear the special dress of Beguines and attach themselves to certain religious to whom they have a special attraction. We have heard from trustworthy sources that there are some Beguines who seem to be led by a particular insanity.

Archbishop Sartain Praises Women Religious as 'Great Gift' to the Church

National Catholic Register


Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle praised American religious women as a “great gift” days after being asked by Pope Benedict to help reform the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

“What I hope and pray for every day is that I, first of all, do as the Lord asks and do as the Holy Father asks,” said the archbishop, describing the task of renewal ahead to CNA on April 23.

He said he hopes “to work in a positive way,” recognizing “the wonderful contribution of religious women in the United States, and to work in a way that shows our continued love and support for their extraordinary contribution.”

Archbishop Sartain made his remarks in Rome only days after Pope Benedict XVI also publicly praised the contribution religious women make to the U.S. Church and society.

Mobilize: Support our Catholic sisters

National Catholic Reporter

by Dennis Coday on Apr. 24, 2012 NCR Today

Sisters Under Scrutiny is a new NCR blog that aims to be your one stop site gathering the latest news, actions and reactions arising from the Vatican ordered reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the umbrella organization for 80 percent of American Catholic sisters.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith April 18 ordered LCWR to reform its statutes, programs and affiliations to conform more closely to the teachings and discipline of the Church. Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain was appointed the “archbishop delegate” to oversee the organization. LCWR leaders say they were “stunned” by the move, which caught them by surprise. During the coming weeks NCR will feature on this blog the latest news and actions flowing out of this unprecedented move.

Also visit the Support our Catholic sisters Facebook page. We hope this page will become a space sisters can turn to for inspiration and that the sisters’ supports can use to organize that support.

Latin American religious recall tough decisions, emphasis on dialogue

Catholic News Service

By Ezra Fieser
Catholic News Service

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (CNS) -- The decision to take over leadership of the largest U.S. group of Catholic nuns for its "serious doctrinal problems" was not the first time the Vatican reined in a group of religious.

Two decades ago, the Vatican appointed a bishop to oversee the work of the Latin American Confederation of Religious, known by its Spanish acronym as CLAR. At the time, the confederation represented 160,000 men and women religious in the region.

"It was a very difficult moment for the confederation," said Father Gabriel Naranjo Salazar, a Vincentian priest involved in CLAR at the time and who is now secretary-general of the organization.

"It was not only difficult because it affected the (CLAR's) ecclesial independence and its mentality, but also because it seemed completely unjustified," Father Naranjo told Catholic News Service in mid-April.

Brooklyn D.A. Explains His Refusal to Name Orthodox Sex Abuse Suspects

The L Magazine

Posted by Audrey Ference on Tue, Apr 24, 2012

Late last year, Brooklyn D.A. Charles Hynes announced that over the past three years, his department had arrested 85 Orthodox Jewish men and women for sex-related crimes, including crimes against children, but refused to release the suspects' names. He would not even name the 14 people who had been found guilty of crimes and sentenced.

After continued press inquiry, including a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Jewish Daily Forward, Hynes's office released a statement today to the Forward to explain his continued withholding of information.

“The circumstances here are unique,” Assistant District Attorney Morgan Dennehy wrote in an April 16 letter to the Forward. “Because all of the requested defendant names relate to Hasidic men who are alleged to have committed sex crimes against Hasidic victims within a very tight-knit and insular Brooklyn community, there is a significant danger that the disclosure of the defendants’ names would lead members of that community to discern the identities of the victims.”

Who will watch the watchmen of America's women religious?

National Catholic Reporter

by Eugene Cullen Kennedy on Apr. 24, 2012 Bulletins from the Human Side

The sound you hear all across Catholic America today is that of Rachel's weeping again over the unnecessary and undeserved suffering that has been heaped by a righteous-sounding Cardinal William Levada, the pope's man at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the women religious of this country.

This event is one of epic sadness because it symbolizes how an organized church undercuts the immense good it does at its best by doing near to its hypocritical worst in an attack as coordinated as a terrorist strike on the heroic women who deserve credit for building the church in America into the most successful realization of Catholicism in history.

Only ambitious men "making," in the apt Italian phrase, "a career in the church" could have designed this bad-faith betrayal of the leaders of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious who had arrived in Rome for a dialogue with Cardinal Levada only to learn that the news of the empowering of a panel of bishops to supervise them had already been sent to the American bishops for public distribution. ...

Archbishop Sartain, who has just politicized his parishes by delegating them to gather signatures against legislation on same-sex marriage, according to the website Christian Child Abuse, played a still-unclarified role while bishop of Joliet, Ill., in ordaining as a priest a seminarian on whose computer gay porn with young boys had been found a few months before. This priest was convicted the next year of sexual assault of an underage boy. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP, observed: "Sartain, in our view, had a moral obligation to postpone the ordination, send [the priest] for treatment and inform the public." SNAP president Dave Clohessy later said Sartain "did none of that."

Catholic sceptics get Swiss accolade

Austrian Independent

A critical Catholic movement from Austria has received a renowned award in Switzerland.

The Austrian Preachers’ Initiative – which consists of 400 preachers – was decorated with this year’s Herbert Haag Prize. The presentation took place in the city of Lucerne. Hans Küng, one of Europe’s best-known critics of the Vatican, lauded the Austrian movement for calling on priests across Europe to be disobedient towards conservative Church leaders. Küng said a well-argued appeal for disobedience by people who had trust in the future of the Roman Catholic Church was more credible and sensible than any kind of "pseudo-obedience".

Helmut Schüller, who founded the Preachers’ Initiative in June 2011, said Küng was one of the most influential voices of a critical theology with intentions to lead the Church into a bright future in our modern society. The Herbert Haag Prize features a donation of 10,000 Euros. Schüller said he had not yet decided about how to use the money.

Ohio priest files another appeal in nun's killing

Ohio News Network

Tuesday April 24, 2012

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest convicted of killing a nun in a hospital chapel in Ohio is making another appeal for a new trial.

The Blade newspaper (http://bit.ly/JsGUNr ) in Toledo reports that an attorney for the Rev. Gerald Robinson wants a state appeals court to throw out the priest's conviction because police reports discovered after his trial could have changed the outcome.

A county judge in Toledo ruled in January that the police reports didn't contain any relevant information.

LCWR earthquake snaps tensions present since Vatican II

National Catholic Reporter

Apr. 24, 2012
By Tom Roberts


It is almost instinctively that one reaches, when attempting to explain what is going on today in the Catholic church, for metaphors out of the natural world -- storms, earthquakes, seismic shifts -- to get at the magnitude of events.

We search for the terms that explain what we're experiencing: phenomena beyond the ordinary disturbances we've learned to weather one season to the next. Just as seismologists or climatologists begin to put together patterns over time, to construct a mega-image of what is happening, so are we. Another piece of the puzzle has just fallen into place for us with the delivery last week from the Vatican of the "Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious."

The 5.8 earthquake that hit the East Coast in August was insignificant by West Coast standards, yet it was felt hundreds of miles from its epicenter in Virginia. Geologists explained that the earth's crust in this part of the world is more dense and less disturbed and fractured than that in the usual earthquake zones, allowing the seismic waves to travel further than they would, say, in Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Bevilacqua May Have Leveraged Pedophiles for PR


April 24, 2012 by Susan Matthews

Click here to read: “What the Cardinal Knew, Or How to Hoover A Pedophile,” by Ralph Cipriano, The Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog, April 23, 2012

Excerpt: “Why would Cardinal Bevilacqua knowingly consort with two known pedophile priests, and indeed allow his Archdiocese PR machine to parade the two abusers out in public with him? Maybe because the cardinal thought he owned these guys, in the tradition of J. Edgar Hoover. Both Sicoli and Gana knew that their crimes were documented in the archdiocese’s secret archives, and that they served at the whim of the archbishop, who, at the scrawl of a pen, could send them packing. So when it came to Sicoli and Gana, the cardinal had them “Hoovered,” he had their unquestioned loyalty.”

Editor’s note: I had the “privilege” of covering Cardinal Bevilacqua in the 90s as an editor with The Catholic Standard & Times and later as a freelancer for a now defunct Philadelphia monthly magazine called The Player. To say The Tierney Group was hands-on regarding coverage is an extreme understatement. I always attributed it to Bevilacqua’s enormous ego and Machiavellian style. Ralph Cipriano is dead on. In hindsight, it’s clear Bevilacqua used pedophiles to aid in his publicity spin. I hope Brian Tierney and Jay Devine were not aware of the depth his depravity. They might as well have been billing the devil.

Catholic church to pay $3.75M in Kelly claim

Union Democrat

Written by Union Democrat staff
April 23, 2012

The Catholic Diocese of Stockton, which includes parishes in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties, has agreed to settle for $3.75 million a legal claim by a Fairfax man who argued former priest Michael Kelly molested him as a youth.

In exchange for the settlement, the plaintiff has agreed to drop his case against the diocese and Kelly, according to a statement from Bishop Stephen Blaire.

“The settlement brings an end to litigation that began more than 4 1/2 years ago and that has occupied a great deal of time and focus,” he said. “We respect the right of everyone to have their day in court and we abide by the decisions that were made.”

The settlement was the latest development in a week full of surprises in the case.

Tyrone priest at center of porn scandal granted leave by Cardinal Sean Brady

Irish Central

IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Catholic priest at the center of a gay porn controversy has taken temporary leave from his duties as the parish priest of Pomeroy in County Tyrone.

According to the Irish Times, Father Martin McVeigh asked the Primate of All-Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady for a temporary leave after a meeting between local parents and the representatives of the archdiocese on Friday night proved 'inconclusive.'

The archdiocese, in an attempt to address the controversy, has reportedly been conducting an inquiry into how 16 pornographic images were 'inadvertently' shown by the priest to a group of about thirty parents and one child during a powerpoint presentation on children's first Confessions on March 26.


U-T San Diego

Written by
Greg Moran

SAN DIEGO — A Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty on Friday to a misdemeanor charge that he groped a woman in December did so only to put the case behind him and spare the community a trial, his lawyer said Monday.

The Rev. Jose Alexis Davila, 53, was placed on three years’ probation, fined $200, and ordered to do 150 hours of community service. He was also ordered to stay away from the now 20-year-old woman who initially complained that he had groped her when she visited his home on Dec. 30.

Earll Pott, one of Davila’s lawyers, said Monday that the priest entered his plea under a legal provision that allows someone to plead guilty, even though the person does not admit to the truth of the charges.

The plea has the same force and effect as a standard guilty plea, according to the San Diego City Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the case.

LCWR: A radical obedience to the voice of God in our time

National Catholic Reporter

by Jamie L Manson on Apr. 23, 2012 Grace on the Margins

In his Holy Thursday sermon, Pope Benedict XVI made headlines for criticizing those who refuse to obey the church's position on the ordination of celibate men. He traced his argument back to Christ's obedience to the will of God.

"His concern was for true obedience," Benedict said, "as opposed to human caprice."

Of course, the pontiff fails to point out that Jesus was obeying God while also radically disobeying the religious leaders and laws of his time. Like so many archconservative Roman Catholics, he is confusing God with the institutional church and its doctrine.

I suppose the pope is using some of this same logic in his treatment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. He views the sisters' unwillingness to condemn gays and lesbians or contraception or women who feel called ordained ministry as an act of "caprice."

But the basis on which the sisters focus their ministries is anything but shallow and whimsical. Their devotion is founded on a radical obedience to the voice of God as it emerges from the voices of the poor, the sick, the abandoned and the broken.

Priest again appeals murder conviction

Toledo Blade


Toledo priest Gerald Robinson has again asked the Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals to toss out his 2006 conviction for the 1980 murder of a nun, saying the state withheld key documents and his trial attorneys failed to adequately pursue "the most obvious" suspect, serial killer Coral Eugene Watts.

The latest filing states that Robinson's trial attorneys mistakenly thought Watts was in prison on April 5, 1980, when Sister Margaret Ann Pahl was found brutally slain in the sacristy of the former Mercy Hospital near downtown Toledo. But Watts was a free man "in his killing spree or 'on a rampage' at the time," living in Michigan about 40 miles from Toledo, the appeal states.

The appeals court in January, 2008, rejected Robinson's direct appeal, and, 11 months later, the Ohio Supreme Court declined to hear the case. Robinson then began pursuing an amended petition for postconviction relief, which, unlike a direct appeal, allows the court to consider information other than what was included in the trial.

Murdered Priest Honored in Crime Victims Ceremony


By Laura Silvius

Law enforcement officials, elected representatives and family and friends of crime victims gathered in St. Patrick Church in Chatham Borough Monday to honor victims of crimes from Morris County.

Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi said each year the Prosecutor's Office chooses one victim, usually a homocide victim from a prominent trial case the year before, to honor in their Recognition and Remembrance Ceremony held each April during Crime Victims' Rights Week.

This year, the Prosecutor's Office chose to honor the Rev. Edward Hinds, the former pastor of St. Patrick Church. Hinds, who was known to his congregation as "Father Ed," was stabbed 44 times by Jose Feliciano, the church custodian.

Church should not ignore signs of the times and turn its back on world

The Irish Times


RITE & REASON: Vatican style of government models itself on pre-Christian Roman imperialism

THE RESULTS of the survey conducted by the Association of Catholic Priests, when taken in conjunction with the national census figures of those who still consider themselves as Roman Catholic, has opened a window on the state of Irish Catholicism that is alarming, yet altogether predictable.

There is of course an obvious explanation for some of this disaffection, namely the clerical sex abuse scandals and the cover-up by some bishops and senior clergy of the atrocities to protect the institution. However, this explanation should not excuse church leaders from any deeper analysis of what has been happening to religious belief and practice here, for several decades now.

The anaemic summary of the findings of the Apostolic Visitation that has been published shows just how out of touch Rome and the Irish bishops are with the real feelings of the vast majority of Catholics here. Nor could one place too much confidence in the upcoming Eucharistic Congress to address the core issues that are at stake for many people.

Gesprek bisdombestuur en rector over de Priesteropleiding


BREDA (RKnieuws.net) - Rector Schnell van de Priester- en Diakenopleiding Bovendonk was vrijdag te gast bij het bestuur van het bisdom van Breda om te spreken over de wijze waarop de priesteropleiding aandacht geeft aan de persoonsvorming van studenten.

Directe aanleiding voor het gesprek is een rapportage die het bisdombestuur voorbereidt vanwege de voorgenomen start van de Diocesane voortgangscommissie inzake seksueel misbruik. Na de presentatie van het Eindrapport van de Onderzoekscommissie (de ‘Commissie Deetman’) maakte het bisdom het voornemen bekend zo’n voortgangscommissie in te willen richten.

Pembroke Priest Facing New Charges


Josh Pringle
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Pembroke priest is now facing 12 charges in relation into historic sexual assault allegations dating back 40 years.

Ontario Provincial Police charged Daniel Miller in February for alleged offences that occurred against then pre-teenage boys and an adult male between 1970 and 1980.

The OPP says the 67-year-old Miller was charged on Friday with six additional changes related to 3 additional victims in Arnprior, Deep River and Eganville dating back to 1969.

Priest denies indecent assault

Derry Journal

A priest has denied indecently assaulting a woman 20 years ago.

Fr Eugene Boland, whose address was given on court papers as Parochial House, Killyclogher Road, Omagh, denied five charges of indecent assault alleged to have occured between June 28, 1990 and June 30, 1992.

The 65-year-old, who appeared in the dock in his collar, replied “not guilty” as each of the charges were put to him.

Derry Crown Court heard the trial, which is expected to last one week, had been listed for next month.

Is the church corrupt?

Washington Post

By Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo

The trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn, secretary for clergy under a late Philadelphia cardinal, exposes every day what Pope Benedict XVI has called “the filth of the church.” As the New York Times explained, Lynn is “the first Roman Catholic supervisor in the country to be tried on felony charges of endangering children and conspiracy — not on allegations that he molested children himself.” If the allegations that Lynn ignored child sexual abuse are true, file the Philadelphia case as another clerical cover-up that will have irrevocably stained the church’s image.

If this major scandal were not enough, other Catholic news haunts the conscience: According to a report by Reuters, JP Morgan closed the Vatican’s bank account for “lack of transparency.” Catholic nuns in America, who power the nation’s Catholic hospitals, schools and social service organizations are under attack from the Vatican. Pedophilia has put mighty Irish Catholicism “at the breaking point.”

Facing the scope of these stories, Catholics can legitimately ask: “Is the church corrupt?”

The answer to that question depends on perspective. If people join the church as sinners in order to become saints, human failures are no big surprise. If most priests and faithful live the Gospel, why label the whole institution as “corrupt”? Haven’t we heard this charge many times in history?

Catholic church's crackdown on poverty-fighting nuns all about dogma

The Star-Ledger

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board

The Vatican, in its infinite wisdom, has spoken: American nuns, out there on the front lines helping the sick and suffering, are spending way too much time fighting poverty and economic injustice, and not enough time agitating against abortion and gay marriage. Instead, they should just do what the bishops tell them to.

It even assigned an archbishop to knock all the wayward sisters back in line. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the most prominent U.S. Catholic nuns’ group, said it was “stunned” by the crackdown. But it shouldn’t be. This isn’t about faith. It’s about dogma and it’s about politics.

Problem is, American nuns have become too educated. They now lead their schools, hospitals and charities. They minister to people on the margins of society, those who are discriminated against. And they recognize the church hierarchy for what it is: woefully out of touch, hypocritical and determined to stifle any dissent about the priorities of the male leadership.

Pat Cuneo: So who's really betraying Catholic Church?

Erie Times-News

Pat Cuneo

'Vatican orders crackdown on American nuns," the headline blared in last Wednesday's Washington Post. The group representing most of America's 55,000 Catholic nuns was "not speaking out strongly enough against gay marriage, abortion and women's ordination," the story read.

So, Rome named conservative Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain to overhaul the governance and plans of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and its relationship with "certain groups the Vatican finds suspect."

The LCWR does not directly represent the sisters in the Erie region, incidentally.

It's an inside fight, right? It's just a squabble about the uppity nuns' obsession with a "prevalence of certain radical feminist themes (that are) incompatible with the Catholic faith," as Rome pointed out. Religious groups can do whatever they want, right? Absolutely. Yet just how far will this kind of crackdown go before a good chunk of American Catholics, especially American Catholic women, tell Rome to go take a hike. I sense the last straw will be a lot sooner than I ever thought possible.

It turns out that the nuns' advocacy for fairness on issues large and small is the true target. So is their audacity of having an opinion where it isn't welcome. And so it is that Sister Joan Chittister, a Benedictine scholar, writer, lecturer and recognized as one of the world's most respected moralists, was left "deeply distraught" by the news.

Let's remember what Peter Slipper is charged with, and what he is not

Sydney Morning Herald

[with video]

Lenore Taylor

The statement last night by Tony Nutt, a former advisor to John Howard, is a timely reminder of exactly what Mr Slipper is charged with, and what he isn't.

Mr James Hunter Ashby's claim is about sexual harassment. It deserves to be taken seriously. It will be heard in court.

But Mr Slipper is not on trial – at least not in any court – for the allegation that he sought sexual relationships outside his marriage, however distasteful people might find that idea.

The lawsuit is not about consensual extra-marital sex, gay or straight. But the allegation that a conservative MP, married to a woman, who serves as a priest in the Anglican High church, sought a homosexual affair does seem to be a big part of the charges being debated in the court of public opinion.

Charges dropped for Scientologist

The Daily Telegraph

Janet Fife-Yeomans
The Daily Telegraph
April 24, 2012

PROSECUTORS this morning dropped charges of perverting the course of justice against one of the leading members of the Church of Scientology, Jan Eastgate.

Downing Centre Local Court was given no reasons for the decision behind the withdrawal of the charges that alleged Ms Eastgate had intimidated a then 11-year-old young girl and her mother who wanted to report sexual abuse allegations within the church back in 1985.

Ms Eastgate, who was instrumental in revealing the horrors of deep sleep therapy at the former Chelmsford Hospital in Sydney's north in the 1980s, is international president of the Scientology-linked Citizens Commission on Human Rights, which attacks psychology.

Now based in Los Angeles where she counts Tom Cruise and John Travolta among her friends, Ms Eastgate released a statement to The Daily Telegraph.

Prosecutors drop charges against Scientologist

ABC Ilawarra

By court reporter Jamelle Wells

New South Wales prosecutors have dropped charges against a Scientologist who was accused of telling a child she should deny charges of sex abuse against another church member.

Jan Eastgate is the head of the church's Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a group that works to discredit conventional psychiatric treatments.

In 2011 she was charged with perverting the course of justice.

Police claimed that in 1985 she told an 11-year-old girl she should deny any charges of sexual abuse to police and officers from the Department of Social Services.

Senior Church of Scientology member cleared of sex abuse 'coaching'

The Australian

CHARGES against a senior member of the Church of Scientology accused of coaching a child to lie about sex abuse have been dropped in a Sydney court.

Janice Meyer, an Australian citizen who lives in the US, had been charged with two counts of an act intending to pervert the course of justice in 1985 in Sydney.

She also goes by the name of Jan Eastgate.

The allegation involved threatening and intimidating an 11-year-old girl, causing her to give false information about being abused by a Scientologist to investigating police, the court has previously heard.

Scientologist cleared of sex abuse cover-up charges

Launceston Times


The NSW Director of Public Prosecutions has dropped its charges against a senior Scientologist who had been accused of telling an 11-year-old girl she should deny charges of sexual abuse against another member of the church.

Janice Meyer, also known as Jan Eastgate, is the head of the church's Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a group which works to discredit a number of conventional psychiatric treatments, including the use of medications such as Ritalin and Prozac.

In May last year, Ms Meyer was charged with two counts of perverting the course of justice over an alleged incident in 1985. Police had claimed that Ms Meyer told the 11-year-old girl she should deny any charges of sexual abuse to police and officers from the Department of Social Services.

However, in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court this morning, a representative of the DPP informed the magistrate that they had dropped all charges against her.

Judge grants Brothers pretrial date delay

The Gleaner

By Beth Smith

A former youth pastor charged here and in Colorado on sexual abuse charges will not go to trial here in May.

In Henderson Circuit Court on Monday, Ike Norment, defense attorney for John H. Brothers Jr., 42, asked Judge Karen Wilson to vacate the May 17 trial date, since Brothers is currently in custody in Colorado on sex abuse-related charges.

Norment said Brothers' has a preliminary hearing in a Colorado court in late May and asked Wilson to grant a pretrial date of July 2. Norment said by that time, he and local prosecutors hopefully would know more about what's happening with the Colorado case.

Wilson granted the July 2 pretrial date.

Guilty former priest a focus of child-abuse trial

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin

Edward Avery might be gone from the defense table at the landmark clergy-sex-abuse trial involving Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests, but he remains a pivotal figure in the case.

On Monday, prosecutors and defense lawyers clashed over what jurors could and should be told about Avery, a defrocked priest who was removed as a defendant last month after his last-minute plea to charges that he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy.

Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina suggested that jurors could even hear from Avery himself.

The issue emerged as prosecutors signaled plans to call to the witness stand this week a former altar boy who said he was abused in the late 1990s by Avery and another priest, the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, when both were at St. Jerome’s Church in Northeast Philadelphia. Engelhardt faces a separate trial later this year because he belongs to an independent religious order, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.

Delbarton monk accused of sex abuse allegations passes 2 lie detector tests, lawyer says

The Star-Ledger

By Kevin Manahan/The Star-Ledger

MORRIS TOWNSHIP —The attorney for the Rev. Luke Travers, the former Delbarton School headmaster facing allegations of sexual misconduct, said today that Travers has taken and passed two polygraph exams regarding the accusations.

Gerard Hanlon, a criminal attorney in Morristown, said Travers passed a lie detector test ordered by St. Mary’s Abbey in January, then passed another, set up by Hanlon, in March.

"Luke was so adamant about what he hadn’t done, so I set up the second one with an expert who has worked with me and (is) someone I trust," Hanlon said. "It’s the first time I’ve talked about this, but maybe it’s timely."

Abbey spokesman Anthony Cicatiello said the abbey "will not comment any further on matters related to Father Luke.

April 23, 2012

Will Father Avery Be Hauled Back Into Court In a Jump Suit?

Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog

Ralph Cipriano

The judge in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse trial left open the possibility Monday that prosecutors may be allowed to haul into court a former priest who, on the eve of trial, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and rape of a 10-year-old boy.

Edward V. Avery, a defrocked former archdiocese priest, is now serving a prison sentence of between 2 1/2 to 5 years. But his chief accuser, namely the former altar boy that he raped, is due in court on Wednesday. The question is whether defense attorneys in the case will be allowed to challenge the victim's credibility on cross-examination.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington told Judge M. Teresa Sarmina that if she rules that defense lawyers can challenge the victim's credibility, "We're back to square one, with Avery on trial here." That's when the judge suggested that the prosecution had the option of seeking permission to haul Avery back in court.

Priest's guilty plea throws wrinkle into Philadelphia sexual abuse trial


By Sarah Hoye, CNN

updated 7:09 PM EDT, Mon April 23, 2012

Philadelphia (CNN) -- Attorneys in the child sexual abuse and conspiracy trial of two Philadelphia priests debated Monday over which potential witnesses jurors would be allowed to hear regarding a third defendant who pleaded guilty to molesting boys just days before opening remarks.

Defrocked priest Edward Avery of the Philadelphia Archdiocese pleaded guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and conspiracy to endanger the welfare of child after admitting that he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy during his 1998-1999 school year. Avery, 69, was sentenced to two-and-a-half to five years.

Rev. James Brennan is accused of attempted rape of a 14-year-old, and Monsignor William Lynn is accused of covering it up. Lynn is the first high-ranking church figure charged with child endangerment for shuffling predator priests from parish to parish.

Vatican Reprimand Of U.S. Nuns Divides Faithful


[with audio]

The Vatican reprimanded America's largest organization of Catholic nuns, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The Holy See charged the LCWR with promoting programs with "radical feminist themes" that are incompatible with doctrine on issues ranging from homosexuality to women's ordination.


This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Last week, the Vatican reprimanded America's largest organization of Catholic nuns, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. While praising what it called a great contribution in schools, hospitals and among the poor, the Holy See charged the group with promotion of radical feminist themes incompatible with the faith on issues like contraception and abortion, gay and lesbian rights and the ordination of women.

Leaders of the group expressed shock and outrage. Other Catholics supported the church's obligation to ensure that its organizations uphold its doctrine. And some pointed to this dispute as the latest example of a disconnect between the Vatican and large parts of its American congregation.

We want to hear from Catholics today: How does church doctrine inform your choices? Give us a call: 800-989-8255. Email us: talk@npr.org. You can also join the conversation on our website. That's at npr.org. Click on TALK OF THE NATION.

The Roman burden

Brisbane Times

April 24, 2012

Dick Gross

It was embarrassing to observe Australian society trying to avert its gaze from the deaths of more than 40 young men. These men are purportedly suicide victims whose deaths appear to be consequent to sexual abuse in their churches. As the faces of the deceased stared out at me from reports in The Age, I felt that this loss of young life could surely not go unexamined in any civilised society.

I blogged on this matter last year based on some personal testimony I had heard about the suicide of a young victim relative of an abusing priest. Now my anecdotal evidence appears to have found support in police investigations. This is an epidemic of self-slaughter that cannot be ignored.

Yet without constant advocacy and evidence from affected Catholic parents, police and some innocent clergy, the dead and their stories would have gone unexamined. Now the growing forensic evidence of a link between Catholic child abuse and the apparent suicides of victims raises issues of church and state that could no longer be ignored.

Three Groups Want Jesuit to Resign from Position on College Board

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Blaine on April 23, 2012

We are here today representing three different groups who want a Board member of Loyola University’s Board of Trustees to resign. The three groups are SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, CCC, Coalition of Concerned Catholics and VOTF, Voice of the Faithful.

Newly-revealed church documents show that Father Bradley Schaeffer did little or nothing to stop a notorious child molesting priest under his supervision. The cleric, Father Donald McGuire, is now serving a twenty-five year sentence in federal prison. But Schaefer could have and did not stop McGuire.

Sitting on the Board of Trustees of Loyola University is a position that Schaefer should not hold. Honoring men like this is hurtful in two ways. First, it rubs salt into the wounds of already-suffering victims and already-betrayed Catholics. Second, it sends a chilling, and depressing, message to victims, witnesses and whistleblowers: "Speak up if you want to, but know that nothing will change and wrongdoers will still be tolerated, praised and promoted in this organization." So honors like this essentially discourage those with knowledge and information about heinous child sex crimes and cover-ups from stepping forward, calling police, reporting wrongdoing, protecting kids and preventing crimes.

Cardinal Mahony dodges again

Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler
April 23, 2012

It’s a coincidence, no doubt, that the Stockton diocese settled a sex-abuse case just before Cardinal Roger Mahony, the former Bishop of Stockton, was scheduled to testify.

Actually Cardinal Mahony wasn’t ready to take questions. He had left for Rome, ignoring his date with the court, and the plaintiff’s lawyer was threatening to have the cardinal held in contempt. That threat went by the boards when the case was settled.

Stockton’s Bishop Stephen Blaire says that it was “in the best interest of everybody” to reach the mutually agreeable deal, in which the diocese paid $3.75 million to a single plaintiff. The bishop hopes that no one will think the settlement is an indication that the diocese admits culpability. And certainly we can all understand that sometimes it’s better to avoid a protracted legal dispute. But $3.75 million—payable to one alleged victim—is an awfully steep price to pay for avoiding the aggravation of a trial, especially when you consider that the trial was already underway.

The diocese was in an awkward position, of course, because another key witness in the case—beside Cardinal Mahony, I mean—had gone missing. Father Michael Kelly, the priest whose alleged misconduct had triggered the lawsuit, had also skipped town, flying home to his native Ireland just before he was supposed to testify. Bishop Blaire said that he was shocked by the priest’s flight.

Child abuse: parliamentary inquiry welcomed

Maroondah Weekly


24 Apr, 2012

A YARRA Ranges parent has welcomed news of a parliamentary inquiry into the handling of alleged criminal abuse of children by religious organisations.

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu announced the inquiry last week and said it would focus on abuse not only in religious organisations but also at children's homes.

The inquiry was sparked by the recommendations of the landmark Protecting Victoria's Vulnerable Children Inquiry conducted by retired Supreme Court justice Philip Cummins.

Healesville's Ian Lawther, whose son was abused by a convicted St Brigid's parish priest more than

Brennan and Lynn - High profile Philadelphia Catholic abuse trial ongoing

Catholic Online

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It has been a month since the start of a high-profile trial in Philadelphia where Monsignor William Lynn stands accused of mishandling allegations of child abuse by priests. He is the highest-ranking church official to date to stand trial in the United States.

PHILADELPHIA, PA (Catholic Online) - Attorneys for Monsignor Lynn readily acknowledge the multiple cases of abuse, including the allegation of abuse by Rev. James Brennan who allegedly raped a 14-year-old boy in 1996.

Lynn was responsible for managing 800 priests throughout the archdiocese of Philadelphia and allegations of abuse landed on his desk. It was his responsibility to handle those notifications including those regarding Brennan.

Accusers say the Monsignor did not handle them correctly. Monsignor Lynn is accused of covering up the allegations and transferring accused priests to other parishes without notifying the parishioners.

Victims' attorney appeals ruling on sealed testimony of bishops

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

April 23, 2012 .

An attorney for 350 alleged victims in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy has appealed the judge's April 5 decision to keep sealed depositions of retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland and Richard Sklba, along with related documents.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley refused to unseal the evidence saying it contains scandalous information and could inadvertently identify victims who are named in the documents. Weakland and Sklba, who also is retired, handled the archdiocese's sex abuse cases for nearly three decades.

Minnesota attorney Jeffrey Anderson had argued that all names and identifying information would be redacted. He filed the appeal late last week, calling the release of the information a "public imperative."

Trial: Priest told of attempted seminary gang rape

Palm Beach Post

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — A Catholic priest admitting a sexual relationship with a teen said he had been the victim of an attempted gang rape by fellow seminarians, according to testimony in a clergy-abuse trial.

Testimony on Monday also mentioned Pope Benedict XVI, who weighed in on the priest's 2005 censure when he was a Vatican official known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

Documents show the priest had admitted to the Philadelphia archdiocese in 1992 that he had sex with the high school student for several years. An archdiocesan treatment center concluded the priest was not a pedophile, but was affected by his "traumatic sexual development." He remained in ministry for another decade.

It's not clear if the trauma reference was to the alleged seminary assault. The priest told a therapist he had been tied down by several seminarians who tried to rape him and that a friend came to his rescue. But the same friend later twice abused him, the priest told the therapist, according to documents read in court.

Correction: Priest Abuse-Trial story

13 News


(AP) — In a story April 21 about the priest abuse trial in Philadelphia, The Associated Press erroneously reported the name of the law school where Timothy Lytton teaches. It is Albany Law School, not the University of Albany law school.

Sent from the confessional to be castrated

Catholic Church Conservation

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kerk drong bij chirurgen aan op castratie homo’s :: nrc.nl

The Roman Catholic Church in the fifties and sixties urged surgeons to castrate homosexual boys and men. This is evident from statements made by scientists who were interviewed this morning by the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament.

Professor of medical history, Mart van Lieburg reported that he had spoken with two surgeons. They confirmed that they received direct orders from a bishop to perform castration. van Lieburg did not identify the bishop. After the hearing van Lieburg nuanced his statement: "I spoke with two surgeons. From one of them I heard that the bishop, who incidentally is still alive, called for the castration of a homosexual man." (Cathcon- seems he thought “order” was a bit strong- but, that said, in the

Historian Marnix Koolhaas also reported that priests who acted as confessors to homosexual boys referred them directly to surgeons. That numbers are involved, Koolhaas does not known. "But it could have been a practice that was not unusual," said Koolhaas.

German Jesuit Sees Causality Between Homosexuality and Abuse

The Eponymous Flower

The director of the Institute for Psychology at the Jesuit Gregorian University in Rome has spoken.

(kreuz.net) Child abuse isn't a problem for the Catholic Church.

This is what the Vice Rector of the Jesuit led Papal University of the Gregorian in Rome, Father Hans Zollner, said to Polish news ‘Rzeczpospolita’.

The Jesuit leads the 'Institute for Psychology' at the Gregorian.

This is independent of the Church

For example the Jesuit mentioned the Islamic Schools in England, in which five hundred children were sexually abused in 2011.

The abuse of children is a general problem -- independent of religious back ground.

Seventy percent of the cases occur in the family.


Catholic League

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the way some are reacting to the Vatican’s decision to reform the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR):

Over the years, I have met many nuns who have been distraught over the way some in their ranks have lost their way. Now that the Vatican is seeking reforms, these nuns feel vindicated. That is why it is disturbing to read the way some of the Vatican’s critics are trying to defend the indefensible. Keep in mind that only 3% of the 55,000 nuns in the U.S. actually belong to the LCWR, though one would never know this by reading the secular press. But facts don’t matter to those gone loopy.

Joan Vennochi of the Boston Globe wants to know why the pope doesn’t “crack down on protectors of pedophile priests” instead of nuns. But there is nothing to crack down about. As the latest report on priestly sexual abuse shows, no credible accusations were made in 2011 against 99.98% of the priests. Besides, the problem has been homosexuality, not pedophilia (less than 5% of the old cases dealt with pedophilia).


Berger's Beat

April 23, 2012 11:28 am | Author: Jerry Berger

SNAP plans to appeal a KC judge’s ruling that the group must turn over hundreds or thousands of pages of communications between its leaders and victims, witnesses, whistleblowers, police, prosecutors and journalists. The group’s outreach director Barbara Dorris, who has been subpoenaed by Archbishop Robert Carlson’s lawyers in a clergy sex suit involving Fr. Joseph Ross, detects a double standard: “Bishops blast President Barak Obama saying it’s wrong to allegedly try to force someone to violate his or her conscience. But that’s precisely what Missouri Catholic officials are trying to do to us – by forcing us to turn over confidential communications from hundreds of deeply wounded child sex abuse victims, victims who have been promised – and who deserve – privacy.”

Vatican: New transparency laws have now been made official

Vatican Insider

The decree issued on 25 January which renewed Vatican financial laws according to the 2010 anti money laundering standards has been confirmed before the 90 day deadline. There has been ongoing controversy over the power given to the Vatican Financial Information Authority (AIF) led by Cardinal Nicora

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City

Emergency decree No. 159 which contains the new anti money laundering laws published last 25 January has been an ordinary law since last 2 April, when it was confirmed as such by the Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City State. The law is to be published officially tomorrow, one day before the end of the 90 day deadline given for its enforcement (after which it would have lapsed, had it not been approved).

No significant modifications have apparently been made to last January’s version of the text – which Vatican Insider had published in full. The Council of Europe’s Moneyval team (a Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism) is currently monitoring the Vatican’s conformance to international financial standards. Meanwhile, the Vatican is hoping to be added to the “white list” of “virtuous” Countries.

Week five begins in the Philly abuse trial

National Catholic Reporter

by Brian Roewe on Apr. 23, 2012 NCR Today

The fifth week in the trial of two Philadelphia clergy began this morning, following a week that presented more stories of abuse by former priests, as well as a surprising accusation.

The trial of Msgr. William J. Lynn is the first against a church official for the cover-up of sex abuse. He is charged with child endangerment and conspiracy for his role in an alleged cover-up of sexual abuse by priests in the Philadelphia archdiocese during his tenure as secretary of clergy from 1992-2004 under the late former archbishop Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.

Lynn’s co-defendant in the trial is Rev. James J. Brennan, a priest accused of a 1996 attempted rape of 14-year-old boy. Both he and Lynn have pleaded not guilty.

The biggest stir from last week’s testimony centered on a West Virginia bishop, the Most Rev. Michael Bransfield of the Wheeling-Charleston diocese. On Wednesday, multiple reports told of a witness who testified that he had been sexually abused by the Rev. Charles Gana inside a home owned by Bransfield, and that Gana had told him that Bransfield, who was a friend from their seminary days, was having sex with a boy.

Guilty priest now focus of child abuse trial

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin

Prosecutors and defense lawyers at the conspiracy and child-sex abuse trial of two Philadelphia priests battled Monday over whether and what jurors can be told about a third defendant who was accused of assaulting multiple boys and pleaded guilty days before the trial began.

That defendant, defrocked priest Edward Avery, was sentenced to 2 ½ to five years in prison after admitting that he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy in the late 1990s.

Avery also pleaded guilty to conspiring with Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former Archdiocese of Philadelphia official on trial for allegedly endangering children by allowing Avery and another priest, the Rev. James J. Brennan, to live at parishes despite signs they might abuse minors.

The jurors have been told that Avery is no longer a defendant at the trial, but they have not been told why. His guilty plea did not require him to cooperate with investigators or testify at the trial.

Priest: Seminarians Tried to Gang Rape Me

NBC 10


Monday, Apr 23, 2012

A Catholic priest admitting a sexual relationship with a teen said he had been the victim of an attempted gang rape by fellow seminarians in Philadelphia.

Testimony in a clergy-abuse case Monday also mentioned the pope, who weighed in on the priest's 2005 censure before becoming Pope Benedict XVI.

Documents show the priest admitted to Monsignor William Lynn in 1992 that he had sex with the high school student for years. A church-run hospital concluded the priest was not a pedophile, and he stayed in ministry until the priest-abuse crisis broke in 2002.

More Shocking Testimony In Philadelphia Priest Sex Abuse Case

CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Another stunning allegation was disclosed during testimony today in the Philadelphia clergy sex abuse case: an attempted gang rape at the St. Charles Borromeo seminary several decades ago.

The newest testimony was presented as the prosecution tries to show that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and some of its officials had a history of failing to act against alleged sexual predators.

The evidence from the church’s “secret archive” file said that a Father Thomas Wisniewski remained in active ministry for a decade after admitting in 1992 that he had had sex with a teenage boy for years.

During therapy after Wisniewski’s alleged admission, according to the archives, the priest claimed that he had been the target of an attack by other seminarians when he was at St. Charles Borromeo. He said a group of seminarians held him down and tried to have sex with him, but a friend saved him from the attack.

Legislatively Speaking – Child abuse prevention

Milwaukee Courier

By Senator Lena C. Taylor

Since becoming a mother twelve years ago, I have found a new and unexpected concern for the safety of my child and thousands of children like him. This is not to say that men or younger women cannot or do not worry about the safety of children. That said, the stress and great joy of motherhood has greatly shaped my priorities as both a private citizen and a public servant.

The matter of child abuse weighs heavily upon my mind. I have been disturbed the stories I have been reading. For example, Philip Caminiti, formerly a pastor at Aleitheia Bible Church here in Milwaukee, was found guilty of instructing congregants at his church that infants and toddlers were never too young to be beaten with wooden rods.

Caminiti claimed his teachings were in accordance with the Bible, but any true Christian would say that Caminiti knows nothing about the teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the Bible I read, Jesus proclaimed peace even against feared enemies. Caminiti distorted our faith and used it to excuse violence against children! In recent months, few news stories have so greatly affected me. How could this happen?

Though encouraging others to harm children is most certainly a terrible crime, I believe that protecting abusers may be a worse offense. Reverend Lawrence Murphy, who taught at a Milwaukee school for the deaf, died in 1998. He was accused of sexually abusing about 200 boys.

Rev. Terry W. Specht

BishopAccountability.org - Assignment Record

Summary of Case: Specht was placed on administrative leave in April 2012, due to an allegation that he had engaged in "sexual misconduct" with a teenage boy in the late 1990s. Specht was ordained in 1996, after a 21-year Navy career, where he worked on submarines. As a priest he was a high school chaplain and assistant principal, as well as the diocese's director of the Office of Child Protection and Safety, from 2004-2011. At the time of his removal from active ministry Specht was a parish pastor. Police launched a criminal investigation. Specht denied the allegations.

Ordained: 1996
Incardinated: Arlington diocese

Katholischer Psychologe: Schwule sind eher Kinderschänder


Der Vizerektor der Päpstlichen Universität Gregoriana in Rom warnt davor, dass sich Homosexuelle grundsätzlich eher an Kinder vergehen als Heteros.

Im Interview mit der polnischen Tageszeitung "Rzeczpospolita" erklärte der aus Regensburg stammende Psychologieprofessor Hans Zollner zwar, dass nicht jeder Schwule ein Kinderschänder sei und es auch "keinen direkten kausalen Zusammenhang" zwischen Homosexualität und dem sexuellen Missbrauch von Jungs gebe. Allerdings gehe von Schwulen ein "höheres Risiko" aus, Kinder sexuell zu belästigen. Aus diesem Grund müsse die Katholische Kirche bei der Auswahl von Priestern besonders auf die sexuelle Orientierung achten, erklärte der Jesuit. Er begründet seine Aussage damit, dass nach Angaben der vatikanischen Glaubenskongregation 70 Prozent der Opfer von Übergriffen durch katholische Geistliche Jungen gewesen seien.

Another Closed Catholic Church Plans Vatican Appeal

Fox 8

April 23, 2012, by Ted Achladis

SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio — Another closed Catholic church is planning to appeal to the Vatican, Fox 8 News reports.

Saint Margaret Mary in South Euclid announced on Sunday night that it had begun the appeals process.

The parish was closed by Bishop Richard Lennon back in 2010.

Members believe that the church was on the original list of closings overturned by Vatican decree. Just last week, Lennon announced that he would not appeal the ruling and reopen 12 churches. Parishioners say Lennon’s announcement was the first time they heard that the appeal had been denied for Saint Margaret Mary. They claim the Diocese of Cleveland knew since early March, but neglected to say anything.

Catholic priest denies child sex allegations

Newcastle Herald


24 Apr, 2012

A CATHOLIC priest defending lurid child sex allegations has accused his alleged victims of fabricating claims against him to obtain compensation from the Church.
The priest, who cannot be identified, says at least one of four men who made statements to police about alleged offences against them in the 1980s and 1990s made up claims.

The priest alleged known Catholic paedophile priests could have sexually assaulted the two men.

But a Sydney District Court jury heard yesterday it would have been easier for the men to obtain compensation if they had made allegations against the known paedophile priests.

‘‘If it was his motive to get money, why wouldn’t he [the alleged victim] just say [the name of a known paedophile priest]?’’ a barrister for the Crown said during summing up at the end of the five-week trial.

Eric Justin Toth FBI Most Wanted: Stop child pornography to end child sexual a

The Washington Times

DALLAS, April 22, 2012 – Since March 14, 1950 the FBI’s most wanted list has displayed the faces that instill fear in our hearts and exposed the evil glare of America’s most despised criminals. The FBI selects individuals for this list only after careful consideration by FBI officials and in concert with the many field offices throughout the country.

After US troops killed the man behind the attack on the World Trade Center, convicted terrorist Osama bin Laden, the most wanted list had a vacancy.

Last week, the FBI filled the spot that had once held the name of the most hated man in America with Child Pornographer Eric Justin Toth.

Lucia Grillo Joins Impetus Ensemble's VATICAN FALLS Cast

Broadway World

Impetus Ensemble will add Lucia Grillo to the cast of this special presentation of an ambitious new play, Vatican Falls, written by Frank J. Avella (author of “Consent”) and set against the backdrop of the Catholic sex abuse scandal. The staged reading will be presenTed May 15, 2012 at 6:45PM at the National Comedy Theatre. All proceeds from the play will benefit SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests).

Based on factual material, “VATICAN FALLS” follows the life of one survivor who struggles with understanding how those closest to him could damage him the deepest. The multi-genre, non-linear play probes the conflicting feelings involved in most sexual abuse situations and dares to confront the truth about the ever-growing scandal and the Church’s complicity in it.

“VATICAN FALLS” was set to have its World Premiere in Rome, Italy, last May but was cancelled the night before opening amidst controversy and claims of death threats. This will mark the first U.S. presentation of the play to an audience since the last workshop in 2010. We hope to raise awareness about the real facts concerning the scandal and about this very important group that has provided a safe haven for survivors since 1988.

Pa. monsignor: Tough choice on challenging accuser

New Jersey Herald

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - PHILADELPHIA - The defense in a clergy-abuse trial is between a rock and a hard place in deciding whether to challenge the credibility of a man who says he was raped by two Catholic priests and his fifth-grade teacher.

If they do, a judge is likely to let jurors hear that 1 of the priests has pleaded guilty.

The accuser is set to testify Wednesday in the child-endangerment trial of Monsignor William Lynn.

Australia PM defends scandal-hit speaker's appointment

Asia One

Monday, Apr 23, 2012

SYDNEY - Prime Minister Julia Gillard Monday defended her appointment of Peter Slipper as Australia's speaker as court documents alleged he used his position to pursue sexual relations with male employees.

The married Slipper, 62, stood aside from his role on Sunday after claims he harassed former aide James Ashby, 33, with explicit text messages, unwanted advances and inappropriate comments between January and March this year.

He is also accused of fraudulently misusing taxpayer-funded taxi services.

In Federal Court documents published Monday, Ashby accused Slipper, an ordained Anglican priest, of "using his position to pursue relationships of a sexual nature with young male employees".

Govt to support Slipper return

Sky News

Controversial MP Peter Slipper could return to the Speaker's chair with Gillard government support before the sexual harassment claims against him are resolved.

The former Liberal turned independent MP stood aside as Speaker pending a possible criminal probe into allegations he misused taxpayer-funded Cabcharge vouchers.

He also faces civil claims - to be heard by the Federal Court next month - that he sexually harassed a former male aide. He strenuously denies all the allegations.

The scandal on Monday overshadowed the first day of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's trip to Singapore.

Peter could still be parish priest: primate

The Australian

Jared Owens
From:The Australian
April 24, 2012

PETER Slipper's ambition to serve as a parish priest could still be realised, despite the sex and fraud scandals engulfing him, the leader of Australia's Traditional Anglican Communion affirmed yesterday.

The independent MP, who has stood aside as Speaker while allegations of abusing public entitlements are tested, is already an ordained priest in Australia's breakaway conservative Anglican movement and acts as "chancellor" -- a senior legal adviser -- to primate John Hepworth and his pro-Rome synod.

Speaking from Adelaide, Archbishop Hepworth yesterday reaffirmed he would ensure that Mr Slipper stood aside from that role until allegations of sexual harassment were resolved. But he also described Mr Slipper as a devout Christian of "enormous ability" and said he was welcome to train for a public role in the church, including that of parish priest, if he was cleared of the complaint.

Bullying Bishops: Reformers of the Reform

Another Voice

Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior using force or coercion to afflict others.

Bullying consists of three basic types of abuse – emotional, verbal, and physical. It can use subtle methods of coercion such as intimidation or not so subtle methods involving condemnation and punishment. It is always destructive and demeaning. Bullying has no place within the community of faith.

Bullying can range from simple one-to-one bullying to more complex institutionalized bullying in which the bully may have one or many “lieutenants” who assist the primary bully in his or her bullying activities.

Reviewing events of the past couple weeks, it is clear that contemporary Roman Catholic leadership in Rome, along with the Vatican’s lieutenants in the USCCB, have launched an aggressive program of Catholic bullying.

Guess Who the Vatican Is Picking on Now …

Philadelphia Magazine

Sandy Hingston

As if the Catholic Church didn’t have enough on its plate, it just announced that it’s appointing an archbishop to whip its wayward American religious sisters into line. That’s right! Instead of worrying about, say, which of its clergy are repeat pedophiliac abusers, or its latest money-laundering scandal, or the “Vatileaks” corruption kerfuffle, the Holy See sees fit to drill down on those rowdy, rambunctious women in black and white.

Actually, they don’t wear black and white much anymore, which is part of the problem, apparently. A few years back, the New York Times ran a piece on the Vatican’s multi-year investigation, known as an “Apostolic Visitation,” into whether American nuns were going astray. That article stated that some sisters “surmise that the Vatican and even some American bishops are trying to shift them back into living in convents, wearing habits or at least identifiable religious garb, ordering their schedules around daily prayers and working primarily in Roman Catholic institutions, like schools and hospitals.” How you gonna keep ’em down on the farm once they’ve seen American social injustice, right?

When Peter and Paul disagree

The Irish Catholic

Garry O'Sullivan

An 88-year-old nun/sister wrote to me this week congratulating the paper’s coverage of the Fr Flannery/Vatican controversy (we broke the story) and signed off saying, “Thank God, He is in charge.” Amen sister!

I couldn’t agree more and although I’m less than half her age, I share her tiredness. Self-described Vatican II liberals lining up to bash their heads against the equally stubborn heads of more conservative priests and bishops and Vatican officials. It’s all a bit predictable.

The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) are of course right that the Church should permit discussion and dialogue and it is also true that the Vatican are having a PR nightmare by failing to communicate their point of view leaving the secular media to have a field day thrashing the Church.

Others have pointed out that Fr Flannery et al have had the last 40 years to discuss these issues unfettered in the religious press and in an inviting secular press.

Bishops resisting diocesan shake-up

The Irish Catholic

Michael Kelly

There is “deep unease” among some members of the hierarchy over Vatican plans to slash the number of Irish dioceses, The Irish Catholic understands.

Despite this, however, the Vatican is intent on pushing ahead with the reform a well-placed source has confirmed.

In comments to this paper, theologian Fr Vincent Twomey has also predicted that “they [Irish bishops] will resist it tooth and nail”.

The proposal – which could see the current 26 dioceses cut to just 11 – has been a key part of the Vatican’s plan for reform of the Church in Ireland.

What the Cardinal Knew, Or How to Hoover A Pedophile

Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog

By Ralph Cipriano

As the religion reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer in the early 1990s, my assignment was to profile Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua.

At the time, I was negotiating with the cardinal's PR guys for a face-to-face interview with Bevilacqua. The cardinal's men offered some suggestions. If I wanted to do a story about the cardinal, I should see him in action first. They wanted me to accompany the cardinal on one of his famous, carefully choreographed "parish visits."

These were glorified photo ops where Bevilacqua would visit a local parish, say Mass, and then mug for the cameras. It was all part of the cardinal's public image as an energetic, charismatic shepherd out among his adoring flock. The cardinal's PR guys also suggested several priests in the archdiocese who would be good to interview about the cardinal, boosters who would say positive things about what a wonderful job the cardinal was doing to re-energize the archdiocese.

It took months for the cardinal's PR people to settle on just the right parish, and just the right pastor, for the cardinal's parish visit, which would be the subject of photos for a big Sunday spread in the Inquirer profiling the new archbishop.

There were some ground rules for my participation in the parish visit. One, I could not travel with the cardinal; I would have to follow in the car behind the cardinal's chauffeur-driven Ford Crown Victoria. Two, I could not speak to the cardinal unless he addressed me first. And last, if he did deign to speak to me, I had to refer to him as His Eminence. Not Cardinal, not Cardinal Bevilacqua, but His Eminence.

The parish visit went off as scheduled. The parish we visited was Our Mother of Sorrows, an ethnic Slavak church in Bridgeport, Montgomery County. The pastor of the parish was Father Stanley M. Gana.

Priest: Tweet if you love nuns, as sisters face critique

USA Today

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY

Have you tweeted at #WhatSistersMeanToMe about the nuns in your life?

Rev. James Martin, culture editor for America magazine, wrote an ode to the sisters and launched a the hashtag to rally praise for them after the major group of women religious (their proper title although nuns and sisters fit headlines and Twitter counts better) now that some are under fire.

The Vatican wants the powerful women's voices to stress the Catholic vision for marriage and sexuality and to spend more time campaigning against abortion,gay marriage, and women's ordination.

Author says women's conference should return to authentic religious life

Catholic News Agency

Washington D.C., Apr 22, 2012 / 04:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- An expert on religious women in America believes that renewal within the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) will require “very strong self-evaluation” and cooperation with the Vatican's recent call for reform.

“After having studied this for many years, I think it was 40 years in the making,” said Ann Carey, author of the 1997 book “Sisters in Crisis: The Tragic Unraveling of Women’s Religious Communities.”

Carey told CNA on April 20 that ever since the LCWR revised its statutes in 1971, it has had a rocky relationship with the Vatican.

St. Margaret appeals Bishop Lennon's closure to the Vatican


Parishioners of the Saint Margaret Mary Church located at 4217 Bluestone Road in South Euclid, informed Bishop Richard G. Lennon of the Diocese of Cleveland that they have begun proceedings to appeal his decision not to reopen their church.

Bishop Lennon was informed of the appeal on Sunday, April 23rd, 2012.

It was widely reported on March 7, 2012 that the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy has issued 13 decrees calling for the reopening of the churches who appealed their closure. St. Margaret Mary was listed as one of the thirteen to be reopened. The Congregation specifically ruled that the Bishop erred both legally and procedurally in his church closing actions.

Dear Mom and Dad, I’m not a Catholic Anymore

Gone Mild

Dear Mom and Dad,

I’m not Catholic anymore. I feel like I owe you an explanation, and I hope that if you’re somehow able to hear and react to me anymore, that you’ll understand.

Catholicism was a huge part of who you were. You worked so hard and sacrificed so much to send me to Catholic schools. You were so proud of me when I made my First Communion, and my Confirmation. Dad, I remember you leading us in the Rosary when we went on long trips. I remember going to Church every Sunday morning, and singing the hymns. Dad, I remember your deep voice booming a vibration I could actually feel, standing next to you.

Church was at the center of everything. Dad, I remember you being part of the men’s club of Ascension Parish – the Ascenders. And Mom, I remember you being president of the Mother’s club of our school.

Follow Up: SNAP Deposition Round 2

Anglocat on the Prowl

In the absence of a written order, it's a little hard to know what to make of this story. On the one hand, the judge in the lawsuit against Fr. Joseph Tierney and the Diocese of Kansas City-St.Joseph has ordered a second deposition of David Clohessy, Director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ("SNAP"). As I wrote in my prior post discussing the first day of the deposition, not only did Catholic League President William Donoghue misstate the testimony and its legal import in his eagerness to brand Clohessy a "con man," but many of the questions did not go to relevant issues in the litigation, and seemed to me to be more aimed at discrediting SNAP than at eliciting evidence for the case against Tierney and the Diocese, and suggested to me that the deposition was abused to harass SNAP.

On the other hand, the judge has said that she intends to "limit the original document request to several broad categories related to sexual misconduct by priests in the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese," focusing on the question of repressed memory, specifically regarding the plaintiff's claim that he had repressed his memories of the abuse, and was therefore, under Missouri law, entitled to a tolling--a partial judicial waiver--off the statute of limitations. s the judge is quoted as saying, "I believe they [lawyers for Tierney and the diocese] are entitled to have information on repressed memory." In another article, from the Kansas City Star, the judge is quoted as saying "that she planned to order another deposition for Clohessy and possibly have a retired judge sit in to rule on disputes over whether documents or answers could be properly disclosed and answered."

Bistümer wehren sich gegen Aufarbeitung des Missbrauchsskandals durch das Kriminologische Forschungsinstitut Niedersachsen


Das Kriminologische Forschungsinstitut Niedersachsen stößt bei der Aufarbeitung des Missbrauchsskandals in der katholischen Kirche immer noch auf Widerstand. Im vergangenen Sommer hatte die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz das Institut beauftragt, in einem dreijährigen Forschungsprojekt die Personalakten der Kirche auf Missbrauchsfälle zu untersuchen. Die Bistümer Hildesheim und Trier stellten Akten für erste Auswertungen zur Verfügung; inwieweit die anderen 25 deutschen Diözesen ihre Personalakten übergeben, ist aber immer noch nicht ganz geklärt. Viele Pfarrer fürchten offenbar, dass bei Weitergabe der Akten an die Wissenschaftler vertrauliche Daten an die Öffentlichkeit geraten. Seinen Mitarbeitern würden "doch überhaupt keine Akten direkt ausgehändigt", beschwichtigt Institutsleiter Christian Pfeiffer die Kleriker.

Ein Brief an den Papst



Auch wenn es das Zentrum der katholischen Weltkirche ist: In Rom sorgt das kleine Österreich derzeit für einigen Gesprächsstoff, in erster Linie wegen der Pfarrerinitiative und deren Aufruf zum Ungehorsam. Dass es deswegen einen direkten Dialog zwischen Papst Benedikt XVI. und dem Proponenten der Initiative, Pfarrer Helmut Schüller, geben wird, sieht man im Vatikan eher als unwahrscheinlich an. „Wenn es ein Problem in einem Land gibt, wird der Papst zu den Bischöfen sagen: Das ist eure Arbeit, diese Probleme zu lösen“, so Pater Frederico Lombardi SJ, Leiter des Vatikanischen Presseamtes zu österreichischen Journalisten.

Auf den direkten Dialog hatte ja Helmut Schüller gehofft, nachdem Papst Benedikt bei der Chrisam-Messe am Gründonnerstag den „Aufruf zum Ungehorsam“ in seiner Predigt direkt ansprach. Mit der Frage: „Ist Ungehorsam ein Weg, um die Kirche zu ermutigen?“ Ein Satz, der in Rom als rein rhetorische Frage gedeutet wird, als klare Verurteilung des Ungehorsams. Der Grazer Bischof Egon Kapellari zum Text in der Papst-Predigt: „Der Text war moderat, hat keine Türe zugeschlagen, niemanden verletzt, ist aber keine Einladung an die Initiative, auf diesem Weg fortzufahren.“ Er sieht das Wort „Ungehorsam“ als Tabubruch an.

'Paus laat seksueel misbruik ongestraft voortwoekeren'


MA 23 apr 2012 | 11.15
Veel slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik door priesters "blijven lijden onder dit misbruik omdat de paus de feiten ongestraft laat voortwoekeren", aldus de Belgische Werkgroep Mensenrechten in de Kerk in de Belgische krant Het Laatste Nieuws.

Maandag 23 april is het precies twee jaar geleden dat de Belgische bisschop Roger Vangheluwe ontslag nam nadat bekend was geworden dat hij twee neefjes seksueel had misbruikt. Deze datum grijpt de werkgroep aan om zich kritisch uit te laten over de manier waarop de kerk omgaat met het misbruik.

Schüller schreibt Papst


Erhitzte Situation! So bezeichnet die Erzdiözese Wien die "Causa Stützenhofen". Die Auseinandersetzungen in der katholischen Kirche Österreichs werden auch weiter vom Vatikan scharf beobachtet. Am Dienstag verlautete aus informierten Kreisen in Rom, der Kardinal könnte die Bitte erhalten, "die Sache Stützenhofen dem Heiligen Stuhl näher zu erklären". Ebenso, wie es mit Helmut Schüllers "aufmüpfiger Pfarrer-Initiative" weitergehen soll, die offenbar keine Chance auf ein persönliches Gespräch mit dem Papst hat. Was im NEWS-Gespräch auch Christoph Kardinal Schönborn durchblicken lässt.

Preis für Helmut Schüller


Der Sprecher der Pfarrerinitiative, Helmut Schüller, hat in Luzern den "Herbert-Haag-Preis 2012 für Freiheit in der Kirche" verliehen bekommen. Der Vorsitzende der gleichnamigen Stiftung, der Theologe und Kirchenkritiker Hans Küng, würdigte in seiner Laudatio Schüllers "Widerstandskraft". Der Geehrte bedankte sich seinerseits für die "neuen Impulse" und nahm neben den ermutigenden Worten auch 10.000 Euro für die Pfarrerinitiative mit.


Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 21 April 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed the following cardinals, created in the consistory of 18 February as members of dicasteries and offices of the Roman Curia:

1. Cardinal George Alencherry of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars, India; Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, and Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, as members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

2. Cardinal George Alencherry of Ernakulam-Angamaly of the Syro-Malabars, India; Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, archbishop of New York, U.S.A.; Cardinal Lucian Muresan, major archbishop of Fagaras and Alba Julia of the Romanians, Romania; Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, and Cardinal Edwin Frederick O'Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, as members of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

3. Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, as member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Women still have a ways to go

Seattle Times

Jerry Large
Seattle Times staff columnist

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the pioneering American feminist, found the Bible degrading to women, so she wrote her own version, The Woman's Bible.

She paid a price for her audacity, and it looks like a lot of contemporary women are being punished for asserting themselves in much milder ways than Stanton did.

Last week The Vatican announced it has picked J. Peter Sartain, the archbishop of Seattle, to take control of the largest organization of Roman Catholic sisters. The church has been investigating sisters and nuns for the past few years and concluded there is some radical feminist stuff going on.

Some sisters even think women ought to be ordained; some, the church believes, have spent too much time on social justice and too little fighting abortion and gay marriage.

'Catholics and the New Age'

Renew America

By Matt C. Abbott

In light of recent headlines involving the Vatican's announced "house-cleaning" of the modernist Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), I'm publishing excerpts from the introduction to Father Mitch Pacwa's book Catholics and the New Age.

Originally published in 1992, Father Pacwa's book is still timely, especially given that many religious communities have, over the last few decades, become infected by the New Age Movement (among other things) and have lost the true faith.

Thanks to Kathleen M. Carroll of Franciscan Media for allowing me to publish this material in my column. Click here to order a copy of the book.


A campus chaplain at a Catholic university recommends crystals, the energy source of Atlantis, for personal help.

A Catholic women's college offers workshops in Wicca (witchcraft) and the goddess within. Astrology columns appear in the school paper....

Push to widen sex abuse inquiry

The Age

Jane Lee
April 23, 2012

THE state government has been urged to widen the inquiry into sex abuse by priests to consider how to make it easier for victims to sue the Catholic Church.

Premier Ted Baillieu last week announced that a parliamentary committee would investigate the handling of the criminal abuse of children in churches and other organisations.

However, the inquiry's terms of reference do not cover the church's immunity from civil lawsuits for past sexual abuse.

Editorial: So-called N.J. 'Child Protection Act' has deceptive, fatal flaw

Times of Trenton

Published: Monday, April 23, 2012

By Times of Trenton Editorial Board

The testimony during the ongoing clerical abuse trial in Philadelphia has been as graphic as it’s been heartbreaking.

Powerless victims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests are now old enough to tell their stories – and be heard. They have described methodical and brazen predators, freely roaming among vulnerable children.

Closer to home, New Jersey State Police have rounded up more than two dozen people who are suspected to have traded in child pornography.

As a society, we are more vigilant. We have learned, painfully, that priests should no longer be considered sacrosanct. And the state police have developed a high-tech means of identifying distributors of child pornography.

Why Did the Stockton Diocese Pay $3.75 Million to Settle Clergy Abuse of Children?

Bay Citizen

By Tim Lennon |April 22, 2012

Why does the church pay to settle cases of sexual abuse of children by clergy? And why do they pay so much? These questions can be answered by asking another question: what does Bishop Blaire of Stockton Diocese accomplish by stopping the civil trial?

Stopping the trial halts the testimony of church officials who would no longer be able to hide behind their high positions to avoid testifying. It is no accident that Cardinal Mahony was next up to testify, they wanted to avoid that at all costs. Cardinal Mahony has a sordid history of coverup ups of clergy abuse both in Stockton diocese where he was bishop but also in Los Angeles where he was Archbishop. His sordid history would be exposed to the public for all to see.

Church officials would have been be forced to testify under oath. Stopping the trial allows these church officials to keep hidden their decades long practice of endangering the children of the area.

Bishop of Hull: 'We'll help inquiry into clergy abuse'

Hull Daily Mail

Monday, April 23, 2012

THE Bishop of Hull has backed calls by a charity for an inquiry into child abuse by the clergy.

Bishop Richard Frith told the Mail he would support any inquiry and would co-operate "fully" with any requests made.

His support comes after solicitor David Greenwood, who is representing more than 150 victims of abuse at a notorious East Yorkshire care home for boys, launched a campaign for an inquiry.

Accused priest’s diocese pays victim $3.75m

Irish Examiner

By Stephen Rogers

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Californian diocese has agreed to pay $3.75m (€2.8m) to a man abused as a child by the Tipperary priest who last week fled the US to return to Ireland.

On Apr 6, Fr Michael Kelly, who maintains his innocence, was found "liable" of sexual misconduct against the then 10-year-old boy in the Stockton diocese more than 20 years ago.

The victim has now waived his anonymity and identified himself as Travis Trotter, a former altar boy at the Cathedral of the Annunciation.

Fr Kelly is also separately under criminal investigation by US authorities over accusations of abuse in another county.

Too much for him to take

California Catholic Daily

The Diocese of Stockton has settled a sexual abuse lawsuit for $3.75 million after the priest involved -- whom the bishop previously said he believed to be innocent -- fled the country.

On April 6, a San Joaquin County Superior Court jury found Fr. Michael Kelly, 62, liable for damages in a civil suit filed against him alleging he sexually molested a former altar boy in the mid-1980s at the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton.

A second phase of the trial -- in which Fr. Kelly was expected to be a key witness -- had been scheduled to begin on April 16, but Fr. Kelly left the country the day before for his native Ireland, leaving behind a letter for Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire explaining why. The second phase was scheduled to assess whether the diocese was financially responsible for Fr. Kelly’s alleged misconduct.

As a consequence of Fr. Kelly’s departure, the trial had to be postponed. In the interim, the diocese and the plaintiff reached an out-of-court settlement.

April 22, 2012

Priest at centre of gay images storm granted temporary leave

The Irish Times

GERRY MORIARTY, Northern Editor

A CATHOLIC priest embroiled in controversy over the display of gay pornographic images has taken temporary leave from his duties as parish priest of Pomeroy in Co Tyrone.

Fr Martin McVeigh requested and was granted temporary leave by Primate of All-Ireland Cardinal Seán Brady after a meeting in Pomeroy between local parents and representatives of the archdiocese of Armagh on Friday night proved “inconclusive”.

The archdiocese has been conducting an inquiry into how the images were “inadvertently” shown by the priest to a group of parents and one child on March 26th.

Priest absconds to Ireland

The Irish Times


What is believed to be one of the largest individual settlements in the history of the US clerical sexual abuse scandal involved a priest who recently absconded to Ireland in the middle of court proceedings there.

The settlement of $3.75 million (€2.83 million) between the Californian diocese of Stockton and a man now in his 30s was announced on Friday and involved Fr Michael Kelly (62), a native of Tipperary.

Fr Kelly was removed from ministry in the US on April 6th after a jury found unanimously against him in this case alleging sexual abuse in the 1980s.

Catholic War On Women Targets The Nuns

Lez Get Real

Posted by: Bridgette P. LaVictoire on April 22, 2012

If you want to know how a war is going, do not talk to the generals. Anyone who is not in the field or just tours the front lines occasionally won’t really know how things are going. Why? Because they are not there every day. To them, the casualties are numbers and at arm’s length. When was the last time that General David Petraus held a rifle and fired at someone in the Taliban? When was the last time that Marine Commandant General John Amos did the same?

Really, don’t bother asking anyone above the rank of Captain how the war is going because they will have, at best, a fuzzy idea of how things are going, and their jobs largely depend upon not knowing if the battle on the ground is a major fuck up.

So, if you want to know just how healthy the Catholic Church is, the last person you want to talk to is the Pope. After that, you don’t want to talk Cardinals, Archbishops or bishops. Don’t bother talking to them. They don’t have a clue what is going on, and their ignorance is bliss for them because they honestly do not want to know. All they want to know is that their jobs and their positions are secure.

Thus, it is not surprising that Pope Benedict is going after the nuns. It is also not surprising to note that, as John Zogby writes at the Huffington Post, “the bishops have adopted a Nixon-like ‘circle the wagons’ defensive posture during their disgraceful ‘defend the institution at all costs’ approach to the pedophile scandal, making us wince in shame at their outrageous behavior, it was our women religious figures who held high the social gospel, in word and deed — reminding us why we could still be proud of the Catholic church and its teachings.”

Australia's Speaker (and ordained priest) hit by sexual harassment claims

The Independent (United Kingdom)

Roger Maynard
Monday 23 April 2012

Australia's minority Labour government was embroiled in a crisis last night after the Speaker of the Federal Parliament agreed to step aside, pending an investigation into allegations he sexually harassed a male member of his staff and misused travel entitlements.

Peter Slipper, who resigned from the Liberal coalition last November after accepting Labour's invitation to become Speaker in the House of Representatives, was accused of making "unwelcome advances"to his media adviser and abusing his taxi vouchers.

A father-of-three and ordained priest in the Traditional Anglican Communion Church, Mr Slipper "emphatically"denied the allegations but said it was appropriate to stand aside until the criminal investigation was resolved. "Once it is clear they are untrue, I shall return to the Speakership," he said.

Vatican attacks ...

Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils...

Vatican attacks American nuns: A compilation. USA nuns live Gospel, serve the poor and sick...while Benedict XVI lives in luxury out-of-touch-with-reality in Vatican Bank Tower

Paris Arrow

Benedict XVI has returned to his original nature as God's Rottweiler mauling anyone who disagrees with him and this time on his 7th anniversary as Pope he is mauling American nuns. Upon his return from the communist Cuba where he acted as God's representative and lectured Fidel Castro, he is turning out to be worse than his old self Cardinal Ratzinger by silencing Irish priest Fr. Tony Flaherty and other liberal Irish priests and now he wants to "change" American nuns according to his Vatican mindset which is really out-of-touch-with-reality because all he does all day is count the Vatican Billions as he dress up to have his face covered with movie-star make-up foundations to hide his ugly face and dress up in papal robes that could feed 10 African villages for 10 years to have his photo-op taken with European royalties and world millionnaires and billionnaires. Sister

Unlocking the culture of clergy sex abuse

Eureka Street

Michael Mullins April 22, 2012

We do not criticise the police force as a whole when there are revelations of corruption. We tend to believe that police men and women protect us and do at least a fair job of upholding the law. Our condemnation is confined to police drug rings and the like and, most importantly, the evil culture that sustains them.

There is every reason why we should apply the same principle in our response to sexual abuse within the Church. In other words, let's avoid scapegoating the Church in general and focus instead on convicted abusers and, most particularly, the culture that has sanctioned their actions, even if identifying it is a lengthy and costly process.

Bishop James Moriarty led the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin in Ireland until he resigned in 2009 after he was criticised in the Murphy Report into the handling of clerical child sex abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese. He was one of many church leaders who effectively allowed sexual abuse to occur under his watch.

'With the benefit of hindsight, I accept that, from the time I became an auxiliary bishop, I should have challenged the prevailing culture,' he said in his statement of resignation.

Identifying and describing the culture that prevailed should count for almost everything in the investigation of clergy sex abuse (as indeed with corrupt behaviour in the police force and other professions). Individual abusers, and those in authority who failed to act, were a product of a culture that accepted, at best, the existence of sexual abuse as an abhorrent fact of life and, at worst – among offenders – that sexual gratification at the expense of those subject to one's authority was a 'perk' of the job (like funds from crime for corrupt police).

Witnesses Give Details Of Alleged Rape And Sex Abuse By Chief Monk

The Sunday Leader

By Emma Wallace - reporting from London

The rape and sexual abuse cases against Ven. Pahalagama Somaratana, chief monk of Selsdon Buddhist Temple in London, continued proceedings at Isleworth Crown Court this week.

When Somaratana first arrived in England, in 1978, he was 32 years old. He was part of Chiswick Temple from 1978 to 1981, and thereafter went on to create his own Temple in Selsdon, South Croydon, where he remains today.

Key prosecution witnesses took to the stand to tell their account of what had allegedly occurred during 1978-79 and 1984-86. Both witnesses were aged between 9 and 10 when the first was allegedly raped and both were sexually abused.

The court heard that a majority of the alleged rape and indecent assaults occurred primarily after the Temple’s Sunday school. The accused would routinely visit classes where approximately 20 children, aged between 4 to 16, attended each week.

Pfarrer-Initiative erhielt Herbert-Haag-Preis 2012


Wien, 22.04.2012 (KAP) Die österreichische "Pfarrer-Initiative" hat am Sonntagabend in Luzern den Herbert-Haag-Preis 2012 für Freiheit in der Kirche erhalten. Obmann Helmut Schüller nahm die mit 10.000 Euro dotierte Auszeichnung stellvertretend entgegen. Ausgezeichnet werde die Pfarrer-Initiative, weil sie die "Not in der Seelsorge" aufgreife, hieß es in der Begründung der Schweizer Stiftung. Ihr "Aufruf zum Ungehorsam" vom Juni 2011 greife "die Not der Seelsorge auf, die in der katholischen Kirche immer weniger durch Priester gewährleistet werden" könne und trete ihr "mit klaren Postulaten und entschiedenem Handeln mutig und unerschrocken" entgegen", so die Stiftung.

Gemeinsam mit der Pfarrer-Initiative zeichnete die Stiftung stellvertretend die drei Schweizer Laienseelsorger Monika Hungerbühler (Basel), Monika Schmid (Zürich-Effretikon) und Charlie Wenk (St. Gallen) aus, die in priesterlosen Gemeinden als Gemeindeleiterinnen und Gemeindeleiterinnen sowie in der City-Seelsorge Dienst tun.

Prijs voor ‘ongehoorzame’ priesters

RKnieuws (Nederland)

LUZERN / WENEN (RKnieuws.net) - Het Oostenrijkse Pharrer-Initiatieve, dat opgeroepen heeft tot ongehoorzaamheid in de Kerk, heeft zondag in Luzern de prestigieuse Herbert Haag Prijs 2012 voor vrijheid in de Kerk gekregen. De Herbert Haag Stichting, die de prijs toekent, wijst op de grote weerklank die het Oostenrijkse initiatief in het buitenland genoot.

Ook ik ben slachtoffer ...

Bert Smeets

Ook ik ben slachtoffer van misbruik in een internaat. Ik ben na een hoorzitting in mijn gelijk gesteld en kom in aanmerking voor een compensatie regeling. Nu is er echter het grote prbleem dat de kerk probeert ons in hokjes te plaatsen (categorie schadevergoeding misbruik) Ik heb hier heel veel moeite mee want wie bepaalt wat mijn immateriele schade is die ik geleden heb na het misbruik.

Esse est percipi

Bert Smeets

Zijn is waargenomen worden

Beitel het in de muren
brand het in de glasramen
kap het in de gebinten
van hun kathedralen

Stuur hen op foto
schrijf hen in brief
dicht hen in bundel
jouw gekerkerd verdriet

American nuns contest Vatican’s accusations

According to Sister Campbell, the questions raised against those who announce the Gospel through their own life are incorrect

Vatican Insider staff

Speaking to the BBC, Sister Simone Campbell, head of en/homepage/news/detail/articolo/suore-nuns-monja-stati-uniti-united-states-estados-unidos-8087/“Network”, a Catholic association which promotes social justice, responded to the indications given by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in relation to the tough doctrinal evaluation which dealt a strong blow to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the association representing the majority of Catholic women religious in the United States.

The document issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith speaks of the “dissent” shown by American nuns, whom it accuses of ignoring or questioning the Catholic Church teachings on abortion, homosexuality and priesthood. As a result, they face being “monitored” for five years by the Bishop of Seattle.

Silent Vigil outside the Apostolic Nunciature: April 29th

The Association of Catholic Priests

Today 20th April We are Church Ireland announces a silent vigil in support of those silenced priests , Sean Fagan, Tony Flannery, Gerry Moloney , Owen OSullivan and others who wish to remain anonymous.

It will take place at the residence of the Papal Nuncio to Ireland , Archbishop Charles Brown, the Apostolic Nunciature , 183 Navan Road , Dublin 7 on Sunday 29th April 2012 at 16.00 hours.

It is important that Irish committed Catholics show their solidarity with these priests who are articulating the views of the majority of Irish Catholics as evidenced in the recent Amarach survey.

We call for the revocation of these silences by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which punished these men without due process and through secretive procedures with no right of Appeal.

Sisters of mercy, devotion -- and dismay

National Catholic Reporter

by Thomas C. Fox on Apr. 21, 2012 NCR Today

The Los Angeles Times has chimed in, adding another incredulous voice to many more certain to come, as reasonable observers consider the Vatican's destructive attack on U.S. women religious last week.

Columnist Steve Lopez writes that when he first heard of the Vatican doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the umbrella group of 80 percent of U.S. women religious now under attack by Rome, he thought it was some kind of satire, "a parody of the out-of-touch Vatican patriarchy."

No, Steve, the men in Rome seem to think that without ever entering into serious conversation with LCWR they can order these women into some kind of straight jacket Vatican think. Get on the band wagon, they command the women. Condemn same sex liaisons; stand up for our failed anti-abortion political campaign; step away from the programs which have an actual track record of reducing abortions while assisting women raise children.

So very strange. The men in gowns don't speak to the women in pants.

Archdiocese of Milwaukee Bankruptcy Comes with Troubling Numbers

Injury Board Blog Network

by Mike Bryant
April 22, 2012

The February bankruptcy of Archdiocese of Milwaukee was something I have written about before. What wasn't found out until the filing was the magnitude of the abused children involved. The report disclosed at least 8,000 instances of child sexual abuse and 100 alleged offenders - 75 of them priests - who have not previously been named by the archdiocese.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which has been covering the ongoing story reported :

Peter Isely of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests speculated that some are likely members of religious orders, such as Capuchins or Franciscans. Order officials do not typically make public the names of their accused members, and the archdiocese claims it is not responsible for them, though they have historically helped to staff its parishes and schools.

"This is a public safety crisis, a child safety crisis that needs to be investigated," Isely said at a news conference on the federal courthouse steps, surrounded by fellow survivors and reporters.

Bishop’s aide must testify in abuse trial

News and Sentinel

April 21, 2012

By JOHN McCABE , The Wheeling Intelligencer

WHEELING - Monsignor Kevin Quirk, an aide to the Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, will testify in the clergy sex abuse trial currently under way in Philadelphia, a judge has ruled.

Ohio County Circuit Judge Ronald Wilson issued the four-page ruling late Thursday. He said Quirk "is a material witness and that his live testimony at this trial, where he will be subject to direct and cross examination, is essential to ascertaining the truth."

Wheeling attorney William Kolibash, who is representing Quirk, confirmed his client will now testify in the case of the Rev. James Brennan, who's on trial in Philadelphia for an alleged 1996 child-sex assault. Brennan has denied those charges.

After reorganizing South Jersey parishes, Galante's tenure may be cut short

Philadelphia Inquirer

By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer

When he took charge of the Diocese of Camden on April 30, 2004, Bishop Joseph A. Galante had no plan to close parishes - let alone embark on the most sweeping reorganization any Catholic diocese in the nation has ever seen.

Four years after arriving here from Dallas, however, he stunned his 500,000-member flock with news he was closing or merging nearly half the 124 parishes in the six counties.

Likening the process to the quick sting of "pulling off a Band-Aid," he conceded his "radical" approach would cause grief and anger. But in years to come, he promised, it would bring community, "vibrancy," and financial solvency to the congregations.

Today, the 73-year-old bishop says his stewardship of the ambitious overhaul might end sooner than he once expected. Poor health could force him to step down well before his scheduled retirement in 15 months.

After a decade battling the Type-2 diabetes he "inherited from my father and grandfather," Galante has entered what he calls "end-stage" kidney failure. Two months ago, he began dialysis treatments three days a week at a Camden clinic.

Law: Rectifying a glaring anomaly

The Malta Independent

We will start by saying that the judge in the appeal filed by the Attorney General in relation to the rape of a boy by a defrocked priest was absolutely correct in terms of law.

The case refers to Godwin Scerri, who was cleared by the Magistrates’ Court, and subsequently the appeals court, of raping a young boy who was in his care. The victim had testified that he was raped in Santa Venera, but the charge sheet issued by the prosecution referred to the location as being Mtarfa. In appealing, the Attorney General’s Office argued that the accused could still be found guilty, irrespective of where the act took place.

The judge, on the other hand, observed that the prosecution had plenty of time to rectify the mistake, and did not do so. As we said, this is completely correct in terms of law, but we also have to say that it is a grave miscarriage of justice. Godwin Scerri, 75, was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for abusing this same and other boys in his care. But he has been cleared of what is the most serious charge of all – the rape of a young boy, in his care, and all down to some anomaly in our legal texts.

A scandal the government needed like hole in the head

Sunday Telegraph

Miranda Devine
The Sunday Telegraph
April 22, 2012

ALLEGATIONS in court documents that its handpicked Speaker, Peter Slipper, sexually harassed a young male adviser are another scandal our terminally ill government can do without.

And this time, the scandal threatens the reputation and dignity of the institution of Parliament itself, not just the minority Labor government and its Independent backers.

In documents filed in the Federal Court, James Ashby, 33, claims Slipper subjected him to sexual harassment after hiring him as a media adviser in December, weeks after being installed as Speaker.

Ashby alleges that Slipper, 62, recruited him to his personal staff "for the purpose of pursuing a sexual relationship".

Slipper, who is married and is an ordained priest of the Traditional Anglican Communion church, allegedly made unwanted sexual advances and sent suggestive text messages to Ashby, who is openly homosexual.

Slipper crisis rocks Julia Gillard as Speaker Peter Slipper steps aside

The Australian

David Crowe, National Affairs Editor
From:The Australian
April 23, 2012

JULIA Gillard has lost crucial ground in federal parliament as she seeks support for next month's budget after a sex and fraud scandal forced Peter Slipper to step aside as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The Prime Minister faced new doubts over her political judgment and her ability to pass contentious reforms, including budget cuts.

Mr Slipper announced the move to stand aside late yesterday to limit the damage from a sexual harassment claim and an investigation into his parliamentary expenses, as he declared his innocence on both counts. ...

Mr Slipper lost another position last night when the Australian leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion, John Hepworth, asked him to vacate his role as a priest and chancellor in the church.

The developments rocked the government over the weekend after revelations that one of Mr Slipper's former advisers, James Ashby, had lodged a statement of claim in the federal court alleging sexual harassment.

Dear Archbishop: more contrition, please, less deflection

Brisbane Times

Bill Farr
April 23, 2012

On the matter of sex abuse by clergy, Denis Hart still doesn't get it.

ON THIS page on Friday, the Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, defended the Catholic Church's record in dealing with the ever-increasing fallout from decades of sexual abuse by clergy. He predicted the state parliamentary inquiry announced last week would find that his church has been ''fair'' in its dealings with victims.

Sadly, from the outside, that is hard to accept.

I started school in the Catholic system in the early 1960s, and have followed - with more than a passing interest - the slow drip-feed of horrific stories of abuse as they have become public. It came close to home for me about three years ago with the exposing of a priest who, for a short time, was a family friend. It was a shock to realise that he was a serial abuser.

Archbishop and friend to ask Slipper to step down as priest

The Australian

Rebecca Puddy
From:The Australian
April 23, 2012

EMBATTLED MP Peter Slipper will be asked to stand down from his role as a priest in the Traditional Anglican Communion while allegations he sexually harassed a male adviser and misused taxpayer money are investigated.

Australian leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion John Hepworth said yesterday Mr Slipper, an ordained priest, would be asked to stand down in the wake of the allegations made by James Ashby.

As chancellor of the breakaway TAC, Mr Slipper is the chief legal adviser to Archbishop Hepworth.

The move to suspend Mr Slipper from his church role came yesterday, soon after the Queensland MP stood aside as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

"Feiten ongestraft 2 jaar na ontslag Vangheluwe"


Morgen is het twee jaar geleden dat Roger Vangheluwe ontslag moest nemen als bisschop van Brugge, omdat hij twee neven in hun kindertijd seksueel had misbruikt. De Werkgroep Mensenrechten in de Kerk neemt de verjaardag te baat om erop te wijzen dat veel slachtoffers van misbruik in de Kerk "blijven lijden onder dit misbruik omdat de paus de feiten ongestraft laat voortwoekeren".

Van kardinaal Godfried Danneels en van zijn opvolger, aartsbisschop André-Joseph Léonard, ontving de Werkgroep Mensenrechten in de Kerk "geen enkel moreel signaal" dat ze er bij paus Benedictus XVI zouden hebben op aangedrongen werk te maken van een bestraffing.

Confusion over status of Holy Communion gay porn parish priest in Tyrone

Irish Central

IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Published Sunday, April 22, 2012

There is confusion over whether a parish priest in Tyrone has been cleared after showing gay porn to a room full of First Communicant parents.

The Irish Catholic Church called an inquiry into the County Tyrone priest, Father Martin McVeigh, who displayed indecent images during a primary school presentation in March “inconclusive."

Originally, they called the priest cleared but later amended that after parents protested.

The Archdiocese of Armagh sent representatives to meet with parents from the town of Pomeroy in Co. Tyrone to talk about the incident. Another meeting is planned to further investigate the issue. The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have confirmed that no crime was committed during the presentation.

‘Homo’s groter gevaar voor seksueel misbruik’

RKnieuws (Nederland)

ROME (RKnieuws.net) - Homoseksuelen vertegenwoordigen een groter gevaar voor seksueel misbruik. De Duitse jezuïet Hans Zollner, psycholoog en vice-rector van de pauselijke gregoriaanse universiteit in Rome, zegt in een interview met de Poolse krant Rzeczpospolita dat er zeker geen rechtstreeks verband is tussen homoseksualiteit en pedofilie maar dat in deze groep het gevaar groter is. De stelling van Zollner is wetenschappelijk helemaal niet onderbouwd.

American nuns ...

Washington Post

American nuns stunned by Vatican accusation of ‘radical feminism,’ crackdown

By Michelle Boorstein and Elizabeth Tenety, Published: April 20

American nuns struggled to respond Friday to a Vatican crackdown on what it calls “radical feminism” among the women and their purported failure to sufficiently condemn such issues as abortion and same-sex marriage.

Some nuns in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious characterized the disciplinary action announced Wednesday as an “ambush,” but others — including the leadership — said they couldn’t publicly comment on a system that mandates their obedience. The 1,500-member conference represents the vast majority of the country’s 57,000 nuns.

“People are stunned,” said Sister Pat McDermott, president of the 3,500-member Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, based in Silver Spring. “They’re outraged, angry, frustrated, they don’t know where this came from and how to hold it.”

Thousands of people joined a Twitter drive to support the Leadership Conference, which represents more than 80 percent of American nuns. Using the hashtag #whatsistersmeantome, one person wrote of the nun who “was the rock of our Catholic campus.” Another man tweeted about how his father lost his own mother at 13. “It was the Mercy sisters who consoled and loved him onward.”

Irish bishops' palaces are exempt from homes charge

Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

By Ken Foxe

It may have the country’s largest private property portfolio but despite owning thousands of houses, the Catholic Church does not have to pay a cent in household charges.

The Church, which at one point owned or occupied at least 10,700 houses, schools, halls, churches and shops around the country, has an exemption from all property taxes because it is a charity.

With 1,368 parishes in Ireland – many containing several parochial homes and other properties – the Church may be getting off the hook for up to €500,000 a year in Environment Minister Phil Hogan’s new tax, despite its massive wealth and land interests.

Bishop: Presumed innocent



Ugly allegations have been made, indirectly, against the spiritual leader of West Virginia's 76,000 Catholics. But everyone should keep America's justice principles clearly in mind: No criminal charge has been filed against Bishop Michael Bransfield regarding events 30 years ago. Under law, each person is presumed innocent unless convicted. Nobody should rush to judgment.

Testimony in a disturbing Philadelphia trial implied that the West Virginia bishop was connected to child-molesting priests, made suggestive comments to altar boys, and allowed priests to take boys to his beach home. Thursday, Bransfield issued a statement saying, in part:

"I have never sexually abused anyone.... This case has gone on for seven years or more.... Contrary to the statements, I do not own, and never owned, a farm in the Scranton area, upstate New York, or anywhere else, for that matter.

Gilmore is adamant -- embassy in Vatican will not reopen

Sunday Independent

By Willie Kealy

Sunday April 22 2012

THE Government is planning to open several new embassies around the world in places as far apart as South America and Asia -- but there will be no U-turn on the controversial decision to close down the Irish embassy in the Vatican.

This has been disclosed by the Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore in an interview with the Sunday Independent.

The Vatican embassy closure provoked a political reaction, particularly among Fine Gael backbenchers, and was the subject of a heated debate at the Labour Party conference last weekend.

But in the end, the delegates voted to back Mr Gilmore's decision, which was made in his capacity as Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Defending his decision, Mr Gilmore said last week: "We had a small diplomatic service, much smaller than most countries of our size.

Further meeting to be held about gay porn display at primary school

Sunday Independent

Sunday April 22 2012

A meeting between Catholic hierarchy and Co Tyrone parishioners about a gay porn controversy has had an "inconclusive" outcome, the Catholic Communications Office said yesterday.

The office also said there would be no further comment from the hierarchy about the circumstances surrounding the accidental display of male homosexual pornographic images during a power-point display at St Mary's Primary School in Pomeroy last month.

The parish priest, Fr Martin McVeigh, who is on voluntary "temporary" leave, has denied any knowledge of the images, which were contained on a memory stick he had been using as a display aide to a talk on Communion.

An audience of 26 parents, teachers and an eight-year-old boy were present when 16 separate images were displayed by the projector.

Porno priest keeps his job

The Irish Sun


PARENTS were furious when they were told a priest who accidentally showed gay porn images at a school would KEEP his job.

Catholic church officials held a meeting with locals in Pomeroy, Co Tyrone, on Friday night.

A statement was read out, acquitting parish priest Fr Martin McVeigh of wrongdoing — but it was withdrawn after the meeting.

Many parishioners were unhappy after hearing the statement, which is understood to have said there was NO evidence against the priest.

An Archdiocese spokesman said matters had proved “inconclusive”.

Rape victim tells of his numbness as priest is cleared

Times of Malta

Sunday, April 22, 2012 by
Ariadne Massa

Listening to the news bulletin describing how a defrocked priest was cleared of rape over a technicality, his victim felt a numb pain squeezing him inside.

But while the ruling sparked outrage online, LC, who only feels safe going by his initials, is devoid of anger.

“I never thought I’d see my case on the news. The hurt remains, and every day is a challenge not to let anger reign. Who knows what I’ll do if I let anger take over; I don’t want to go there,” the 34-year-old told The Sunday Times following Wednesday’s court decision.

LC was the only boy to be raped from the 11 who were abused by priests in Sta Venera’s St Joseph Home. However, the rape charge against Godwin Scerri, who has since been defrocked, collapsed because of a mistake on the charge sheet over where the abuse took place.

California parish to pay out $3.75 million in settlement for Irish priest

Irish Central

IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Published Sunday, April 22, 2012

A $3,75 million settlement has been reached in the case of an Irish priest found liable in a civil case of child abuse in California.

A civil jury in Stockton, Southern California, found Fr. Michael Kelly, a Tipperary native, liable for molesting a young boy.

The Diocese of Stockton has now agreed to pay the victim and his legal representation $3.75 million.

“This 4 ½ years of litigation and 10-week trial has been the most difficult experience of my life, but I feel I have received justice today, not for me, but for that 10-year old boy who Fr. Kelly hurt so badly,” said the victim, now in his 30s, in a statement after the settlement was reached, according to FOX40 News.

Pope’s ire aimed at wrong target

Boston Globe

By Joan Vennochi
Globe Columnist
April 22, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI can’t wait to crack down on “radical feminist” nuns.

But will he ever really crack down on protectors of pedophile priests?

A Vatican-led investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious cites the nuns’ silence on abortion and same-sex marriage. How bad is that up against the silence of church officials, from parish priests to the Vatican, who ignored and concealed child sex crimes?

By ironic coincidence, news about the Vatican’s effort to rein in the conference — the largest and most influential group of Catholic nuns in the United States — broke the same day the Rev. Bradley M. Schaeffer resigned from the Boston College Board of Trustees after growing public criticism over the role he played in supervising a former Jesuit priest who allegedly molested dozens of children over a span of 40 years.

The juxtaposition of the two events exposes a familiar church mindset.

Church demands a full apology for D'Arcy's F-word accusation

Irish Independent


Sunday April 22 2012

[read the story]

The Communications Office of the Irish bishops has demanded a full apology and retraction from radio presenter Ray D'Arcy after he told listeners "the Catholic Church, in many ways, has fucked up this country".

D'Arcy, regarded as Ireland's most successful independent broadcaster, made the comments live on air during a review of the morning newspapers -- a regular segment on his Today FM show which boasts 245,000 listeners.

Catholic communications chief Martin Long has demanded that the station and presenter retract the "insulting" and "offensive" comment on air tomorrow.

Monica Yant Kinney: Vatican's rebuke of nuns ignores their good works

Philadelphia Inquirer

Monica Yant Kinney, Inquirer Columnist

Last week, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his 85th birthday by issuing a rebuke of an unlikely foe:


Following a bizarre three-year inquisition of American sisters' "quality of life," the Vatican slammed nuns for devoting their lives to educating the poor, treating the sick, and feeding the ravenous. Women religious are "charitable," but all this social-justice work has fostered a "radical feminism" the pope wants to tamp out, ASAP.

The Vatican says the sisters sinned by supporting President Obama's health-care plan and helping homosexuals. But nuns are also guilty of staying too "silent" on issues like abortion.

You can read the eight-page "doctrinal assessment" (http://bit.ly/JamGHa), but I'll summarize the conclusion: Nuns need to remember their place and obey the men who run the church.

Lombardi: The Pope’s Eighth Year

Vatican Radio

Celebrations for Pope Benedict’s 85th birthday and the 7th anniversary of his election to the papacy have now come to their end. The people of Bavaria will continue their celebrations, as many were not able to come to Rome. As the eighth year of the Pope’s pontificate begins, we believe it proper to wish the Pope all the best. ...

It is our hope that dissenting groups will hear his invitation to be in communion with the Church and receive this invitation with respect and attention, and with an understanding of its significance. We hope also that the journey towards renewal of the Church in Ireland, following an apostolic visitation to that country, will continue and intensify after the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin; and that, following the sexual abuse crisis, the Church may offer a genuine service for all society in the protection of children, with the commitment of the various Episcopal conferences, through healing, purification, and prevention.

Victims owed a national inquiry

The Age

April 22, 2012

Paul Daley

Few countries are much good at exploring their darker sides. We wait for ugly boils to surface and lance them in the hope they won't recur, long before we look for the causes.

The great social injustices of Australia's recent past fit awkwardly with the way we'd define ourselves as a nation. We have found that definition in Anzac because the legend - of the supposedly egalitarian digger and of endurance - is an easily adaptable metaphor to our sport, the arts and politics.

Many historians and social observers in the 1960s and '70s predicted the Anzac myth and legend would decline in cultural influence as the men of the 1st Australian Imperial Force became extinct. But the reverse may actually have happened as they become more idealised.

Sisters of mercy, devotion — and dismay

Los Angeles Times

By Steve Lopez

April 21, 2012

In Philadelphia last week, a child sex-abuse trial involving Catholic clergy led to a bombshell — a bishop from West Virginia was accused of abuse.

In Kansas City, a Catholic bishop goes on trial in September, accused of failing to report suspected child abuse.

So who's in trouble with the Vatican?


TOWN HALL: Church has learned to protect children (poll)


April 21, 2012


The Joshua Carrier saga is the latest reminder that safety in our public schools is woefully inadequate. It is past time that Congress, the president, the U.S. Department of Education and school boards devise a plan to protect our kids.

For a blueprint, they should start by looking to the Catholic Church in the United States.

Carrier, a former cop who worked in public schools, had been charged with 186 sexual assault charges involving children. He was acquitted on 36 assault counts and the jury deadlocked on 150 others, for which Carrier may be tried again. Jurors convicted him on 21 counts of child pornography, which alone could land him up to 36 years in prison.

Stories of sexual assaults in public schools have become routine. Anyone interested in the scope of the problem in Colorado should simply log onto Google and conduct this search: “Colorado teacher sexual assault.” Or simply watch the news each night and see how many days go by before a story pops up about a teacher facing charges of sexual impropriety with a student. It is epidemic.

Vigilance, not fear, best approach to prevention of youth sexual abuse

Idaho Press-Tribune

By MIKE BUTTS mbutts@idahopress.com

TREASURE VALLEY — Shocking stories about child sexual abuse at the hands of youth service professionals made national headlines in recent months.

The stories left people wondering how such incidents can happen with trusted adults.

The fact is sexual abuse of children is so prevalent that the “Enough Abuse Campaign” of Massachusetts claims “each of us probably knows someone who has been victimized or who has abused.”

Officials with the campaign call child sex abuse a “silent and violent epidemic.”

Child advocates in the Treasure Valley say knowledge, procedures and attitudes about child sexual abuse can go a long way toward protecting kids from assaults that can leave them with life-long emotional scars.

When a child is sexually abused, its impact is so strong it damages the entire community, Idaho Children's Trust Fund Program Developer Wickes MacColl said.

Part of the challenge of preventing child sex abuse comes from the low incidents of reporting of the crime and the stigma associated with it. Victims are threatened by offenders not to report incidents and adults are reluctant to report suspicions because of fear of false accusations. The topic is often not brought up between parents and children.

Sprague abuse case must create community conversation


Sixty-seven percent of sexual abuse victims are children under age 18. About 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before they turn 18.

The statistics are alarming.

Even more alarming is the fact that nearly 90 percent of the time, the abuser is not a stranger.

“It’s almost always someone they know, love or trust,” said Debbie Joa, Prevention and Protection Coordinator for the Salem-Keizer School District.

A family member, a close relative, a neighbor, a pastor, a scout leader, a coach or a teacher, anyone could violate that trust. We have seen the headlines across the country over the years, from widespread abuse by priests in the Catholic church to high-profile charges against a former assistant football coach at Penn State University.

Now closer to home and fresh on all our minds are the recent arrests of five Mid-Willamette Valley teachers — all within a span of less than two weeks — on sexual abuse charges. One of the teachers is from Sprague High School.

Missouri judge orders SNAP to give documents to church

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ASSOCIATED PRESS | Posted: Sunday, April 22, 2012

KANSAS CITY • A group that supports victims of sexual abuse will have to turn over decades of records to lawyers representing priests in the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, but the type of information that must be released will be limited, a Jackson County judge has decided.

Attorneys for the diocese sought records stretching back more than 20 years from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests in an effort to determine whether SNAP has been coaching victims and plaintiffs to say they repressed memories of abuse for years.

SNAP has strongly denied coaching victims.

If defense lawyers can prove that the plaintiffs did not actually suppress memories of sexual abuse for decades, judges would have to throw out the lawsuits under a five-year statute of limitations that the Missouri Supreme Court reaffirmed in 2006, The Kansas City Star reported.

Ousted priest at center of abuse trial

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin and Joseph A. Slobodzian
Inquirer Staff Writers

Six years have passed since Stanley Gana was ousted from the priesthood over child-sex abuse claims, and another decade since he was removed as a pastor by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Yet prosecutors at the conspiracy and endangerment case against two Philadelphia priests spent much of last week telling jurors about the 69-year-old defrocked cleric.

As the landmark trial reached its midway point, Gana, who was left in ministry despite claims he raped multiple boys, represented a centerpiece of sorts.

His was a textbook example, prosecutors say, of how the archdiocese and its former secretary for clergy, Msgr. William J. Lynn, cared more about protecting the institution than abuse victims.

It also served as a backdrop for the most stunning revelation in the trial's first month: Allegations from two witnesses and a prosecutor that a sitting prelate, Bishop Michael Bransfield of West Virginia, may have known about sexual misconduct by Gana or abused minors himself.

Clerical sexual abuse case - Correcting charge sheet would have been too risky, insists AG’s office

The Malta Independent

by Francesca Vella

Article published on 22 April 2012

As the Attorney General lost an appeal relating to a defrocked priest having been cleared of rape due to a mistake in the charge sheet, the Justice Ministry insisted that correcting the charge sheet “at an advanced stage of the case” would have been too risky because it could have led to the case being time-barred and dropped altogether.

A few days ago, the Opposition’s spokesmen for justice and home affairs, José Herrera and Michael Falzon, said the mistake in the charge sheet could have been revised when there was the opportunity to do so. They also said then Justice Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici should assume political responsibility for the lack of investment in the Office of the Attorney General, which deals with prosecutions among other things.

The Justice Ministry said however, that the matter has nothing to do with the number of people employed at the AG’s Office, and Dr Herrera and Dr Falzon’s declaration about political responsibility shows that the PL believes there could be some form of political interference in the AG’s office.

California High Court Reviews Two Child Sexual Abuse Cases

Digital Journal

April 22, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Two recent California child sexual abuse cases ruled upon by the Supreme Court of California looked at violations of trust in two distinct institutional settings: sex abuse by clergy and sex abuse by teachers. One case was decided in favor of the student plaintiff, while the other decision set back an action brought by a group of former parishioners.

The cases looked at two issues common to civil actions against schools and churches: to what extent an institution can be held liable for the actions of employees, and the statute of limitations for sex abuse lawsuits brought by adults for harm they suffered as children. They also underscore one common aspect of these cases: people who suffered molestation or other abuse at the hands of adults sometimes have to exhaust their legal options in pursuit of justice. ...

Statutes of Limitations for Sex Abuse Claims Against Clergy

Just three weeks later, the California Supreme Court again weighed in on an important child sexual abuse issue in Quarry v. Doe. In that case, a group of six brothers sued the Roman Catholic Bishop of Oakland, alleging negligence in allowing a priest to commit acts of sexual abuse against them when they were children.

The men alleged that they had all been sexually abused and molested by an associate pastor while they were altar boys at the St. Joachim parish in Hayward, California, during 1972 and 1973. In a deposition for another church sex abuse case, the priest had admitted to sexually abusing the brothers.

A reliable safety net for children

The Sun Chronicle

Let's talk about sexual abuse of children.

You'd rather not, you say? It's too sensitive an issue, too hard to talk about.

How about when you talked with your own children about it. Was it difficult then?

You never did talk to the kids about it? Oh...

April is Child Sexual Abuse Protection Month. Newspapers often participate in such promotions by promoting a community-wide dialog. But, as alluded to above, as deeply as the community obviously cares about the safety of children, child sex abuse is not a conversation starter. That's not to suggest that Sun Chronicle readers haven't talked about child sex abuse. Twenty years ago next month when it came to light that James R. Porter, a defrocked priest, had sexually abused dozens of youngsters while assigned to North Attleboro in the early 1960s. Many other incidents, though less notorious, have made headlines in the interim. Indeed, we observe regretfully that child sex abuse has never been far from the headlines - just a little over a week ago our front page reported 32 Massachusetts men, including two area residents, had been arrested in a crackdown on an Internet child pornography ring.

The anger following these incidents is palpable. It usually results in pressure on child service and law and order agencies to do something about it. And when the anger passes, the average citizen is no better prepared to talk about child sex abuse than before - what questions, for instance, to ask a child who you might suspect is being abused, or how to talk to your own children about their dealings with adults.

April 21, 2012

Pa. priest trial painful, poignant for Catholics

U-T San Diego

By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press

11:16 a.m., April 21, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — Graphic testimony in a Philadelphia clergy-abuse trial this month has ripped open secret church files and reopened old wounds among Catholics as scarred men and women tell jurors that priests groped, molested or raped them as teens.

The testimony has proven both painful and poignant, especially that of a 48-year-old man who said he had been in love with his parish priest during a five-year sexual relationship that began in ninth grade - and jealous when the priest allegedly bedded down at his farmhouse with other teens.

The stories have been told before, in two Philadelphia grand jury reports and in lawsuits filed around the country.

Sister Simone Campbell Fires Back At Vatican Criticism

The Huffington Post

By Alana Horowitz

The head of a Catholic lobbying group is fighting back against criticism from the Vatican.

"I've no idea what they're talking about," said Sister Simone Campbell told the BBC. "Our role is to live the gospel with those who live on the margins of our society: the hungry, the poor, the ill. That's all we do."

Campbell was responding to charges that her group, NETWORK, is engaging "corporate dissent." The Vatican ordered an investigation of U.S. nun group Leadership Conference of Women Religious and its ties to NETWORK, who supported President Obama's health care reform push. The Vatican accused the Leadership Conference of promoting "certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith."

Campbell told the AP that she believes the link between the crackdown and the health care reform support is clear.

Verurteilter Kinderschänder steht hinter Volksinitiative gegen Sex-Koffer

Aargauer Zeitung

Am Dienstag hatte B.S. bei der Lancierung der Initiative «Schutz vor Sexualisierung in Kindergarten und Primarschule» seinen grossen Auftritt, gestern trat er aus dem Komitee zurück. Grund: Er sass wegen sexuellen Handlungen mit Minderjährigen. von Pascale Hofmeier und Benno Tuchschmid

Es sind happige Vorwürfe, die eine besorgte Mutter von zwei Kindern erhebt: Wegen Kinderschändung sei B. S. 1996 zu mehreren Jahren Haft verurteilt worden. S. ist einer der Gründer und Präsident des Basler Elternkomitees, das den Einsatz des Basler Sexkoffers und den Sexualkundeunterricht in Kindergarten und Primarschule bekämpft und auf Bundesebene die Volksinitiative «gegen die Sexualisierung von Kindergarten und Primarschule» initiiert hat. Die Unterschriftensammlung wurde diese Woche lanciert. B. S. ist auch Mitglied des Initiativkomitees. Besser gesagt: Er war dort Mitglied.

Fehlstart einer Volksinitiative


Die Promotoren der Volksinitiative gegen Sexualkundeunterricht für Kinder unter neun Jahren haben einen schlechten Start erwischt. Der Co-Präsident des Komitees war im Jahre 1996 wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs verurteilt worden. Nun trat er aus dem Initiativkomitee zurück.

dgy. «Der Angeklagte hat das Vertrauen des Opfers und sein Bedürfnis nach Nestwärme jahrelang in einer Art und Weise ausgenützt, die degoutant ist», fasste der Präsident der ersten Baselbieter Strafkammer nach dem zweitägigen Prozess gemäss Medienberichterstattung zusammen. Die Worte galten einem Mann, der eine Cousine seiner damaligen Freundin zwischen dem 12. und 15. Altersjahr immer wieder zum Geschlechtsverkehr missbraucht hatte. Er wurde deswegen am 26. September 1996 zu dreieinhalb Jahren Zuchthaus verurteilt.

Niederträchtig, irreführend und unehrlich


Der Kriechbischof war erst geheilt, als ihn einer von den kirchenfeindlichen Mißbrauchs-Wahnsinnigen ins Gesicht spuckte.

(kreuz.net) Das ‘Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests’ ist eine US-Lobbygruppe für angebliche Opfer von Mißbräuchen im kirchlichen Raum.

„Diese Gruppierung ist niederträchtig, irreführend und unehrlich“ – erklärte der Buchautor Dave Pierre am 5. Januar vor dem US-Magazin ‘Catholic World Report’.

Der gute Ruf


Waldkraiburg - Wie konnte es passieren, dass in einem Klosterinternat jahrzehntelang Schüler misshandelt und missbraucht wurden, ohne dass jemand etwas unternahm? Gibt es ein System dahinter?

Das sind die Fragen, die Rainer Stadler in einer Lesung aus dem Buch "Bruder, was hast du getan?" am 23. April in Waldkraiburg beantworten möchte.

Zusammen mit seinem Kollegen Bastian Obermayer recherchierte der Journalist mehr als ein Jahr zu den Vorwürfen gegen das Internat Ettal. Gegen anfänglichen Widerstand des Klosters setzten sie durch Gespräche mit über 60 ehemaligen Schülern nach und nach ein Gesamtbild zusammen. Eines, in dem Gewalt an der Tagesordnung ist, unter Erziehern und Schülern wie auch unter Schülern. Und wo Mönche, die sich an Kindern vergehen, keine Konsequenzen zu fürchten haben.

Meine grausame Kindheit

der Standard

Leopold Federmair, 20. April 2012

Müssen wir denn kämpfen? Brauchen wir den Widerstand? Ich gestehe, Mutter, ich bin missbraucht worden. Meine Erfahrungen mit Klosterbrüdern und dem schwulen Fußballtrainer

Warum nicht ich? Diese Frage stelle ich mir im Nachhinein, Jahrzehnte später, jetzt, wo alle von dem reden, worüber jahrzehntelang niemand zu reden wagte, auch nicht die Opfer, die Geschädigten oder die, die im Nachhinein einen Grund dafür finden, warum es ihnen im Leben schlecht ergeht. Der Mönch, der sie im Kindesalter missbraucht hat, ist schuld. Da ist ihnen unverhofft eine Erklärung zugeflogen, die immer in Reichweite war.

Ich bin nicht missbraucht worden. Warum nicht? - Ja, hätte dir das denn gefallen? Auch die Gegenfrage muss ich mir stellen, auf die weiß ich sogar eine Antwort (aus Schaden wird man klug): Nein, das hätte mir nicht gefallen. Der alte Mann, den alle aus Scham, oder weil es die Rechtsprechungsgepflogenheiten so wollen, Pater A. nennen, leitete damals den Knabenchor, und ich hätte in diesem Chor gern mitgesungen. Der Pater, auch als Musiklehrer tätig, nahm mich nicht auf, obwohl ich, wenn ich mir alte Fotos ansehe, doch ein hübscher Junge mit weichen Zügen war: genau die Art, die nach dem Geschmack von Pädophilen vom Schlage des Paters sind.


Voice from the Desert

The Hunger Strike for Justice that began March 25, 2012 in Boston was temporarily suspended on Thursday, April 19, 2012, after the Jesuit province in New England, located in Boston, indicated a willingness to resolve this. This occurred on the morning of the 26th day of the Hunger Strike.

The Jesuit province in New England is a separate legal entity from the College of the Holy Cross and the Archdiocese of Boston, who share responsibility with the Jesuit province for egregious errors of oversight and supervision that took place, and who lied to the victim of clergy sexual abuse.

The victim decided to suspend the hunger strike temporarily through next Tuesday, April 24, to give the province time to clarify its response and to see if the other parties are going to resolve this too.

As media in Boston recently pointed out, Jesuits are VERY slow to hold themselves responsible in any situation, so the victim in this case has already made plans for resuming the Hunger Strike on Wednesday after giving the Jesuits a week to hold themselves accountable.

Priest takes leave after indecent pictures accidentally shown in public

RTE News

A priest who has been under investigation since indecent images were shown during a meeting at a primary school in Co Tyrone has taken temporary leave of absence.

Parents met representatives of the Archdiocese of Armagh in Pomeroy last night to discuss their concerns after indecent images were inadvertantly shown at a local primary school three weeks ago.

In a statement, the Archdiocese of Armagh said the outcome of the meeting was "inconclusive", and that a further meeting would take place in the future.

An investigation was launched after pornographic pictures were displayed during a meeting for parents who were preparing their families for First Communion at St Mary's Primary School.

Philadelphia priest abuse trial a test case for Catholic church


By Sarah Hoye, CNN

Philadelphia (CNN) - It's been four weeks since the beginning of the trial of the highest ranking U.S. Catholic Church leader charged with covering up the crimes of priests against children.

The main issue is not whether sex abuse occurred, as defense attorneys have pointed out, but how the Archdiocese of Philadelphia - Monsignor William Lynn in particular - handled the allegations against priests in the diocese.

The trial against Lynn and the alleged offending priest, the Rev. James Brennan, has already created a shake-up in Philadelphia's Catholic leadership, according to Catholic commentator and blogger Rocco Palmo.

"It's a shift you see once in 200 years," Palmo told CNN.

United States: Communities appeal to the Vatican for the return of their priests

Vatican Insider

In Cleveland, Ohio, an unprecedented case has erupted, pitting parishes against the bishop

Giacomo Galeazzi
Vatican City

In U.S. states with a traditionally strong Catholic presence, many parishes are starting to close. The Diocese of Cleveland has suppressed 29, while 41 others are being merged. The paedophile priest scandal is obviously not extraneous to this phenomenon.

We might almost say it is a “job security crisis” in the sacristy. To stem the crisis of vocations, prelate Richard G. Lennon is restructuring his dioceses and amalgamating parishes - but the priests who have been removed and reassigned are rebelling with an appeal to the Holy See. In Cleveland, Ohio, an unprecedented case has erupted. Three of the 29 priests whose parishes were suppressed (and their churches closed) by Diocesan Bishop Lennon have appealed to the Congregation for the Clergy for the immediate restoration of the parishes and the re-opening of churches for worship. Throughout the Rust Belt (a manufacturing area in the Northeast U.S.) and in the inland towns toward the Midwest, Catholic communities are lamenting the closing of parishes.

This is a five-year trend that has now reached Cleveland. Bishop Richard G. Lennon, head of the Cleveland diocese (which includes more than 750,000 Catholics), has closed 29 parishes and merged 41 others. The restructuring plan actually cut 52 parishes out of a total of 224. But lean times are not over for American churches. Over the past few years the dioceses of Chicago, Detroit, and Boston have closed or aggregated dozens of parishes, in some cases to alleviate the financial difficulties caused by the paedophilia scandal. And now it’s New York: the archdiocese of the Big Apple announced that it will lock up 31 churches and 14 schools, clearing the way for the most extensive reorganization in the last 150 years.

Meeting over indecent images at Communion 'inconclusive'

Breaking News

The Catholic Church is describing as "inconclusive", a meeting last night between parents in the Parish of Pomeroy in Co. Tyrone and representatives of the Archdiocese of Armagh, to discuss an incident involving a local priest last month.

The meeting was called after indecent images were projected onto a screen during a power-point presentation that Father McVeigh was giving at a meeting for parents in preparation for First Holy Communion.

Father Martin McVeigh, who was granted temporary leave by Cardinal Seán Brady at his own request, said he had no knowledge of the images.

Priest gay porn investigation ongoing


The Catholic Church says the outcome of a meeting in Pomeroy to discuss the investigation into the conduct of a parish priest, who accidentally showed gay porn at a primary school meeting, was 'inconclusive'.

Father Martin McVeigh is under investigation after around 16 pornographic images were shown at a public meeting during a Powerpoint presentation at St Mary's School last month.

He was hosting the presentation at the school when the pictures, which had been stored on a memory stick, were shown to 26 parents and an eight-year-old child attending the event.

Parents from the school met with representatives from the Archdiocese of Armagh on Friday night.

Church janitor gets life in prison for fatally stabbing Chatham priest

The Star-Ledger

By Alexi Friedman/The Star-Ledger

CHATHAM BOROUGH — The Rev. Edward Hinds was a spiritual leader and counselor, a compassionate and forgiving man, and in the end a martyr, friends, relatives and the Morris County prosecutor said yesterday at the sentencing of the former church custodian who killed him.

After more than an hour of dramatic words from those who knew and loved the longtime Chatham church pastor, a judge in Morristown ordered that Jose Feliciano, 66, spend the rest of his life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Judith Ann Conk, who with her husband, Richard, knew Hinds for 40 years, found no solace in the life sentence. There is only solitude and grief over the pastor’s death, she said.


U-T San Diego

Written by
Greg Moran

SAN DIEGO — A Roman Catholic priest was sentenced to three years of probation Friday by a San Diego Superior Court judge after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge for groping a woman who was visiting him in December.

Jose Alexis Davila, 53, was also ordered to complete 150 hours of community service and have no contact with the 20-year-old victim.

He will also have to pay a fine of $200.

He is a priest at St. Jude’s Shrine of the West in San Diego’s Southcrest neighborhood.

Stockton Diocese to pay 3.7 Million for Fr. Kelly Abuse Suit


Joey Piscitelli

On Friday morning, the Stockton Diocese settled a lawsuit against Fr. Michael Kelly, for 3.7 million, according to the spokesman for the Diocese. Fr. Kelly was found liable last week for a child sex abuse case, and he fled to Ireland this week. This case was a highly disputed case, and many supporters of the priest were very vocal during the last month about their belief that the current Pastor of St. Joachims, in Lockeford, was not only innocent; but he was a target of a plaintiff who had “false memorys” and was fabricating a tale for money.

The case will have a far reaching impact, as it was a case of highly disputed “repressed memory”, claimed by the victim, Z7 John Doe, represented by attorney John Manly.

Fr. Kelly had sent a letter to Bishop Blaire of Stockton a few days ago, complaining that he had stomach problems because of the trial, and he disappeared shortly afterwords. Cardinal Roger Mahony, who was the Bishop of the Diocese of Stockton at the time of the abuse 25 years ago, was expected to take the stand this week, and the church apparently was doing some damage control, before Cardinal Mahony was due to testify. Mahony had been suspected of shuffling Fr. Kelly in the Diocese, and the accusation, if proven in court, would have been devastating to the church. Mahony had previously been accused of transporting infamous serial molester Fr. Oliver O’Grady in the same diocese, and a past lawsuit accusing Mahony and the diocese for the same activity had resulted in a 30 million dollar court judgment the diocese.

This case may very well affect similar cases in California and other states, as it will set a precedent for jury trial decisions in repressed memory claims of child sex abuse. The jury had decided by unanimous decision in favor of the plaintiff in the case, and this fact can additionally influence public opinion on the subject.

SNAP amends complaint filed with Hague court

Toledo Blade


NEW YORK — An advocacy group for victims of clerical sexual abuse has filed supplemental documents with the International Criminal Court in The Hague in support of its claim that Vatican officials and bishops deliberately covered up for priests who molested children.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said the new allegations arose after nearly 500 victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers from 65 countries contacted the organization after it filed the complaint with the court in September.

In addition to the new documentation, attorneys from the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is representing SNAP, told the court prosecutor that it believes Catholic leaders in the United States were making orchestrated legal efforts to retaliate against SNAP for filing the complaint.

Judge Rules Quirk Must Testify

The Intelligencer

Managing Editor

WHEELING - Monsignor Kevin Quirk, an aide to the Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, will testify in the clergy sex abuse trial currently under way in Philadelphia, a judge has ruled.

Ohio County Circuit Judge Ronald Wilson issued the four-page ruling late Thursday. He said Quirk "is a material witness and that his live testimony at this trial, where he will be subject to direct and cross examination, is essential to ascertaining the truth."

Wheeling attorney William Kolibash, who is representing Quirk, confirmed his client will now testify in the case of the Rev. James Brennan, who's on trial in Philadelphia for an alleged 1996 child-sex assault. Brennan has denied those charges.

Delbarton monk facing sexual misconduct allegations leaves local abbey

The Star-Ledger

By Kevin Manahan/The Star-Ledger

MORRIS TOWNSHIP — Rev. Luke Travers, the former headmaster of Delbarton School in Morris Township and target of a string of sexual misconduct allegations over the past year, has left St. Mary’s Abbey, which has severed official ties with him, according to a terse statement released today by Abbot Giles P. Hayes.

In a two-sentence statement, Hayes — who oversees the abbey and the all-boys private school — said Travers has "separated himself" from the abbey. Hayes directed any inquiries regarding Travers to his attorney.

Several messages left for the Morristown attorney, Gerard Hanlon, were not returned tonight.

After releasing the statement, Hayes refused to answer additional questions. Abbey spokesman Anthony Cicatiello said inquiries about Travers’ status as a monk "are personal and need to be answered by him."

Youth Pastor Arrested On Six New Charges

NBC Miami

By Karen Franklin
Friday, Apr 20, 2012

A Fort Lauderdale youth pastor accused of having sex with several underage boys appeared in bond court Friday on six new charges.

Jeffery London, 48, was held on no bond for four new sexual assault charges and was granted $15,000 bond for sexual battery and lewd and lascivious conduct charges, according to online jail records. He is facing a total of 36 counts, including sexual assault and sexual battery, and remains in custody in the Paul Rein Detention Facility.

Prosecutors asked that the judge issue new no-contact orders between London and the two new reported victims.

Additional molestation charges brought against former Fort Lauderdale pastor

Orlando Sentinel

Two more people have accused a former Fort Lauderdale pastor of molesting them, according to a Broward Sheriff's Office report.

The new charges against Jeffery London, 48, include four counts of sexual battery on a child, sexual battery and lewd or lascivious battery. This brings the number of accusers to eight.

One person, now 19, told detectives Thursday that London molested him in Coral Springs five years ago, the Sheriff's Office said. According to the police report, London offered him a cellphone and clothing in exchange for oral sex. He had the teenager sleep in his bed and performed a sexual act on him, the report said.

Liberal jolt has positive role to play in church

The Irish Times


The clergy can embrace sincere questioning but not to the point of killing core beliefs

ODDLY, BERTRAND Russell, who once declared religion to be “a disease born of fear and a source of untold misery to the human race”, might have some wisdom to offer in the current Catholic debate about “silencing” and the legitimate uses of authority.

He said every community faces two dangers. The first is ossification, through too much discipline and reverence for tradition. The second is dissolution, when growth of individualism makes co-operation impossible.

I know many of the men associated with the Association of Catholic Priests. Some of them are my friends. I admire Fr Seán McDonagh immensely for his work on environmental issues. Fr Bobby Gilmore has worked very hard for the rights of migrants, and before that, for justice for the Birmingham Six.

Group to hold vigil against Vatican’s silencing of liberal priests

Irish Examiner

By Claire O’Sullivan

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A lay religious group will hold a silent vigil outside the residence of the papal nuncio in protest at the silencing of four liberal priests.

Participants are being encouraged to wear gags as a symbol of protest outside the Apostolic Nunciature in Dublin, on Sunday week.

It was revealed recently that Fr Tony Flannery, a founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, was ordered by Rome to discontinue writing for the Redemptorists’ magazine.

His editor, Fr Gerry Moloney, was also warned not to publish any content that ran contrary to church teachings.

Two years ago, Fr Owen O’Sullivan, a Capuchin, and Fr Sean Fagan, a Marist, were also silenced for controversial writing.

Moving beyond the Church? The CDF and the LCWR


Posted by Mollie Wilson O'Reilly

The CDF’s “Doctrinal Assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious” is, in my reading, rather short on evidence of the LCWR’s urgent need for reform. One of the few concrete examples given is a keynote address (pdf) delivered by Laurie Brink, OP, at the 2007 LCWR assembly:

The Cardinal [William Levada] offered as an example specific passages of Sr. Laurie Brink’s address about some Religious “moving beyond the Church” or even beyond Jesus. This is a challenge not only to core Catholic beliefs; such a rejection of faith is also a serious source of scandal and is incompatible with religious life. Such unacceptable positions routinely go unchallenged by the LCWR…

Was Sr. Brink rejecting core Catholic beliefs in her address? The Elizabeth Johnson affair has made me skeptical of such claims, so I decided I ought to read her talk for myself.

The subject of Sr. Brink’s address was the various ways congregations of women religious might confront their futures. After each section, there is an invitation for the sisters present to discuss the points raised among themselves, and I must say, reading it, I felt like I was eavesdropping. It wasn’t addressed to me, and their discussions should not be constrained by what outside observers might take out of context. But now that the CDF has made it a matter of general interest, I’m glad I read it. I found that the section referred to above was not at all what the CDF’s description led me to expect. I also found that the rest of the address was relevant to the CDF’s concerns in a number of suprising ways.

Lombardi, Church offers child protection service to everyone


(AGI) Vatican City - The Church has created a child protection service to combat paedophilia. Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, in a statement broadcast by Vatican Radio, explained: "The healing of wounds, purification and prevention after the sex abuse crisis needs to be consolidated throughout the Church with the commitment of the various bishops' conferences, in order to become a true service for the whole of society for the protection of minors." The spokesman added: "We hope that the process of renewal of the Church in Ireland after the Apostolic Visit continues and is strengthened thanks to the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin. . .

Cardinal Wuerl visits Institute for Works of Religion

Vatican Radio

The Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, DC, Donald W. Wuerl is in Rome this week at the head of a delegation from the Papal Foundation – a US lay organization that supports the charitable works of the Holy Father. As part of their visit to Rome this week, Cardinal Wuerl and several delegates from the Foundation toured the Institute for the Works of Religion – the IOR. Philippa Hitchen asked Cardinal Wuerl about the reasons for his visit and especially to discuss the ongoing efforts to ensure transparency in line with international banking norms and procedures.

Below is a transciption of Cardinal Wuerl's interview with Philippa Hitchen.

CW “Well we were invited to come and learn first hand directly from the people responsible for the Institute, how it functions and how it carries out its activities. And so, we were very pleased to have the board of the Papal Foundation have this experience and we spent two hours this morning reviewing with the leadership of the Institute what it does and how it does it. It was clearly an effort to be as transparent as possible with how this Institute that cares for funds to carry out the works of religion actually goes about its business. I found it to be a very reassuring thing as did the members of our, our board who were there, manyof whom are people who are deeply engaged in finance, they know the world of finance, they know the world of accountability and book keeping and they told me they were quite impressed with the whole procedure.”

PH So what kind of assurances did you receive that the IOR is really is committed to compliance with international norms because as you know there have been accusations of a lack of transparency in the past?

CW “One of the things that struck me as most convincing was the fact that they have outside auditors, they have just like we in the Church in the United States use outside auditing firms to come in and take a look at what we’re doing and then report on how well it complies with the regulations. Well, they do the same thing at the Institute, they’ve had on the level of just book keeping analysis and on the level of procedural analysis, they’ve had outside firms come in examine them and say you’re in complete compliance. They’ve also asked the entities that have the oversight on the part of international institutions to do the same thing and they were pointing out to us today that they have gotten a clean bill of the health every time they’ve asked for outside auditing.”

A chance to heal unholy wounds

WA Today

Bronwyn Pike
April 21, 2012

FOR many years, religious organisations have grappled with the need to improve the ways they deal with abusive behaviour by their own clergy. In my previous role as director of social justice in the Uniting Church during the 1990s, I worked with my colleagues to develop sexual abuse complaints procedures. In that task I gained an appreciation of just how challenging and complex this issue can be.

The inquiry announced this week into sexual abuse by clergy and community leaders provides a timely opportunity to heal historical wounds and ensure children are safer. However, unless the inquiry is informed by a deep understanding of the unique culture and doctrines of religious organisations, it may do more damage than good.

Most people are genuinely bewildered at the churches' apparent inability to confront the systemic sexual abuse of children by priests and other religious leaders. In the face of overwhelming evidence and public dismay, the churches appear paralysed and insensitive to public sentiment by insisting on ''in-house'' solutions that fail to meet the test that justice be done and be seen to be done. The reasons for this are complex and go to the very nature and theological basis of the churches.

Boston College should be tough on priests who covered up abuse

Boston Globe

April 21, 2012


By now, the story of predator priests in the Roman Catholic Church and the young victims they sexually abused is so sadly familiar that it’s hard to shock people. But fresh details are still cause for outrage, especially when they loop back to Boston and raise new questions about accountability.

As reported recently by the Globe, the Rev. Bradley M. Schaeffer was the leader of the Jesuits in the Chicago area when an anguished father came to him in 1993 with concerns about an inappropriate relationship between the charismatic retreat leader Donald J. McGuire and the man’s young son. Schaeffer never investigated the complaint or contacted police. Instead, he sent McGuire for treatment of a sexual disorder, and later expressed doubts that the treatment had been effective. But he didn’t take further steps against him, except to ban him from traveling with anyone under 21.

McGuire went on to commit more offenses, and today is serving 25 years in federal prison for repeatedly molesting a 13-year-old boy in the early 2000s. Meanwhile, the Jesuits face a lawsuit for their failure to protect one of McGuire’s alleged victims. Schaeffer, who looked the other way so long ago, went on to become a member of the Boston College Board of Trustees and leads a study center for future Jesuit priests that is affiliated with BC.

W.Va. monsignor must testify in Pa. abuse trial


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- An aide to West Virginia's Catholic bishop has been ordered to testify in a clergy sexual abuse trial under way in Philadelphia after a state judge declared him "a necessary and material witness."

Ohio County Circuit Judge Ronald Wilson issued the ruling late Thursday, and Monsignor Kevin Quirk's attorney, William Kolibash, provided it to the Associated Press on Friday.

Kolibash referred further questions to the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.

"We needed to have a valid legal process, which we do now have," the diocese said in an e-mail. "Accordingly, Monsignor Quirk will appear."