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September 30, 2012

Pennsylvania, U.S. Virgin Islands Latest Of 55 Jurisdictions To Substantially Implement Provisions


Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Justice Department's Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) recently announced that Pennsylvania and the U.S. Virgin Islands are the latest jurisdictions to implement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.

Since the passage of SORNA, which establishes a comprehensive national system for the registration of sex offenders, a total of 16 states, three territories and 36 tribes have met the requirements for implementation. The Act is named in memory of Adam Walsh, a 6-year-old boy, who was abducted from a mall in Hollywood, Fla. on July 27, 1981.

In addition to Pennsylvania and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the states of Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming, and the United States territories of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, have also substantially implemented SORNA.

Les Boy Scouts d'Amérique ont dissimulé des cas d'abus sexuel

Nouvelle Observateur

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pendant vingt ans, les Boy Scouts d'Amérique ont omis de faire connaître aux autorités plusieurs centaines de cas d'abus sexuel commis par leur personnel encadrant, rapporte dimanche le Los Angeles Times après avoir passé en revue 1.600 dossiers confidentiels.

Selon cette enquête menée par le journal sur des dossiers de la période 1970-1991, les responsables de l'organisation n'ont eu dans la majorité des cas connaissance d'abus sexuels commis qu'une fois qu'ils avaient été signalés à la police.

Boston Archdiocese Raises $1.2 Million for Catholic Priests

CBS Boston

BRAINTREE (AP) — The Boston Archdiocese says it raised $1.2 million at its annual dinner to benefit the Clergy Funds, which pay for the care and well-being of its priests

The archdiocese said more than 1,300 people attended the 4th Annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner Wednesday at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.

Jurors: Hard to believe Lebanon County pastor's spouses 'could have suffered such horrific injuries by accident'

The Patriot-News

Published: Friday, September 28, 2012


Members of the investigating grand jury found disquieting similarities between the deaths of Betty Jean Schirmer in 2008 and Jewel Schirmer in 1999.

Both died of traumatic brain injuries. And both were married to pastor Arthur Schirmer at the time of their deaths.

Arthur Burton Schirmer already is facing trial for homicide in Monroe County for Betty’s death. Now he is also charged with the murder of Jewel in Lebanon County.

In the grand jury report, the jurors wrote, “We find it particularly disturbing and difficult to believe that both of A.B. Schirmer’s wives could have suffered such horrific injuries by accident.”

Schirmer, 64, was pastor of Bethany United Methodist Church in Lebanon at the time of Jewel’s death and, as noted by Lebanon County District Attorney Dave Arnold, “well-known in the community.”

Jackson Township pastor charged with another murder

Pocono Record

By Andrew Scott
Pocono Record Writer

September 29, 2012

Earl Goodman stood in the front doorway of his Skyline Drive home Friday in North Lebanon Township and looked across the quiet, residential street at the split-level house where his former neighbors, the Schirmer family, had lived until 1999.

"I couldn't believe what I heard," said Goodman, wearing a Good Samaritan Health Systems volunteer T-shirt.

He had heard earlier that morning that Lebanon County authorities had charged his former neighbor, Arthur "A.B." Schirmer, now 64, with murder in the April 23, 1999, death of his first wife, Jewel Schirmer, 50.

Arthur Schirmer is already awaiting a January trial on murder charges in the 2008 death of his second wife, Betty Jean Schirmer, in Monroe County.

Arthur Schirmer, Retired Pastor, Killed Both Wives...

Huffington Post

Arthur Schirmer, Retired Pastor, Killed Both Wives, Jewel Schirmer And Betty Jean Schirmer: Cops


LEBANON, Pa. -- Retired Pennsylvania pastor Arthur "A.B." Schirmer was a serial philanderer, preying on women in his church who were having trouble in their own marriages, court documents say.

Yet adultery might have been the least of his sins.

Charged two years ago in the death of his second wife, Schirmer now stands accused of killing his first wife, too, after a grand jury concluded her injuries weren't consistent with a fall down the stairs, Lebanon County prosecutors announced Friday. He intends to plead innocent, and his children say they support him.

Schirmer, 64, has long claimed he was out for a run on April 23, 1999, when he returned home to find Jewel Schirmer's body in a pool of blood at the bottom of the basement steps. Although she had suffered a fractured skull as well as injuries to her face, body, arms and legs, the coroner made no determination as to whether her death was an accident or a homicide, and the case was closed.

That decision never sat well with her brother.

Loyal friends of Msgr. Cris wish him strength


Cebu Daily News
9:13 am | Sunday, September 30th, 2012

In the furor over ivory icons and a priest’s dark past that has resurfaced after 28 years, close friends and supporters of Msgr. Cristobal Garcia wait for the storm to pass.

Santiago “Sonny” Academia, head of the Bukas Loob sa Diyos community in Cebu, said their members were alarmed to read about the controversies in the newspapers this week.

But after the initial shock, they have banded together to hold prayer vigils for Garcia, withhold judgment, and stay in touch.

“We are communicating with him through e-mail. He is talking about the cross that he has to carry,” said Academia in an interview.

“We do not believe in all these things being said. Personally, between 1,000 accusations and one word from Cris, I still believe in Cris. He has been a good shepherd to me,” said Academia who is “shepherding” five BLD districts in Cebu, Dumaguete, Tagbilaran, Ormoc and Cagayan de Oro.

Lawyer pushes to unseal Legion of Christ documents

Boston Globe

Associated Press / September 24, 2012

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island Superior Court judge heard arguments Monday on whether to unseal documents in a lawsuit contesting the will of an elderly widow who gave some $60 million to the Legion of Christ, a disgraced Roman Catholic religious order.

Bernard Jackvony, a lawyer for the niece of the late Gabrielle Mee, argued to Judge Michael Silverstein that it is in the public interest to release the documents, while Joseph Avonzato, a lawyer for the Legion of Christ, said that would compromise the order’s right to a fair trial. The judge didn’t immediately issue a decision.

Pope Benedict XVI took over the Legion in 2010 after a Vatican investigation determined its founder, the late Rev. Marcial Maciel, had sexually molested seminarians and fathered three children by two women.

Silverstein this month threw out the lawsuit, saying the niece, Mary Lou Dauray, did not have standing to sue, though he wrote in his decision that Mee had been unduly persuaded to give the Legion her money.

Erie's new Catholic bishop plans to listen first

Erie Times-News

By DANA MASSING, Erie Times-News

Just a few months ago, Monsignor Lawrence T. Persico was a parish pastor who tended a vegetable garden in the summer and shoveled snow from parish sidewalks before morning Mass in the winter.

By the end of Monday, he'll be a bishop and the leader of a 13-county Roman Catholic diocese with about 221,500 parishioners spread out over 10,000 square miles. Persico will take an oath of fidelity at vespers tonight and be installed and ordained during an invitation-only Mass on Monday.

What does Persico want people in the Catholic Diocese of Erie to know about their new bishop?

"That he's a nice guy," he said with a smile. ...

Persico had served as pastor in New Alexandria since 1998, but that was one of only several positions he held in the Greensburg diocese. His other roles included vicar general, moderator of the curia, chancellor and bishop's delegate for clergy sexual abuse.

He said he believes the sex-abuse scandal led the Catholic Church to do a great deal to rectify such problems by implementing training for clergy and others who work with youth.

"Even dioceses, today, are audited by an outside firm to make sure that each diocese is in compliance with the Charter (for the Protection of Children and Young People)," Persico said.

He encouraged Catholics not to abandon the church because they're upset with it over sex abuse or disagree with its stance on abortion, contraception, same-sex marriage or female ordination.

"I would tell them not to walk away from it, but to seek, to learn, to pray and to try to deepen their relationship to Jesus Christ," Persico said. "Because without Christ, what are we?

September 29, 2012

Assignment Record – Rev. Michael Stephen Baker

BishopAccountability.org - Assignment Record

Summary of Case: Rev. Michael Stephen Baker has been called by authorities one of the Los Angeles archdiocese's most prolific child molesters, with estimates of at least 23-28 victims, one of whom is known to have been as young as age 5. Baker told Cardinal Mahony in 1986 that he had sexually abused children. Mahony sent Baker to treatment, then allowed him to return to ministry. Baker is accused of molesting many more children after 1986. He was removed from active ministry in early 2000, when the archdiocese learned of a pending lawsuit against him. He was defrocked in December of that same year. Baker pleaded guilty in 2007 to the sexual abuse of two young brothers, and was sentenced to 10 years and 4 months in prison. He was released early, in October 2011. Within weeks he was arrested on a parole violation. In August 2012 he was arrested again when caught violating parole. Two more cases against Baker were scheduled to go to trial in November 2012.

Ordained: 1974
Incardinated: Los Angeles
Defrocked: 2002

Women as Priests

The New York Times


Published: September 29, 2012

REFORMERS within the Roman Catholic Church have been calling for the ordination of women as priests. The Vatican, however, refuses to consider the possibility and uses its power to silence those who speak out. Catholic clergy in Europe, Australia and the United States who have voiced public support for female ordination have been either dismissed or threatened with removal from administrative posts within the church.

For those who disobey the prohibition, the consequences are swift and severe. In 2008, the Vatican decreed that any woman who sought ordination, or a bishop who conferred holy orders on her, would be immediately “punished with excommunication.” It went a step further in 2010, categorizing any such attempt as delicta graviora — a grave crime against the church — the same category as priests who sexually abuse children.

Despite the official church position, clergy and laity have been fighting for the ordination of women since the early 1970s, hoping to expand upon the Vatican II reforms. And according to a 2010 poll by The New York Times and CBS, 59 percent of American Catholics favor the ordination of women.

In the last 10 years the Vatican has had to contend with a particularly indomitable group of women who seem to be unaffected by excommunication or other punishment offered by the church. The movement started when seven women were ordained by three Roman Catholic bishops aboard a ship on the Danube River in 2002. The women claimed their ordinations were valid because they conformed to the doctrine of “apostolic succession.” The group that grew out of that occasion calls itself Roman Catholic Womenpriests. There are now more than 100 ordained women priests and 11 bishops.

Trial of pope's butler starts with setback for defense


By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY | Sat Sep 29, 2012

(Reuters) - Pope Benedict's butler, accused of using his access to the pope to steal papers that he thought would expose Vatican corruption, suffered a blow on Saturday's first day of his trial when judges refused to admit evidence from the Church's own investigation.

Gabriele's arrest in May, after police found confidential documents in his apartment inside the Vatican, not only threw a spotlight on allegations of malpractice but also pointed to a power struggle at the highest levels of the Church.

The 46-year-old Paolo Gabriele, an unassuming man who served the pope his meals and helped him dress, looked pale at his first public appearance since May. He smiled as he chatted with his lawyer but often staring into space during a hearing that lasted just under two and a half hours.

His lawyer, Cristiana Arru, had asked the court to allow as evidence the results of an inquiry by a commission of three cardinals who questioned Vatican employees, including prelates, about the leaks of the documents to Italian media.

Vatileaks: Here’s how the “holy” trial works

Vatican Insider

Two days from the trial of former papal butler, Paolo Gabriele, experts explain the Vatican’s criminal justice system in a briefing

Alessandro Speciale
Vatican City

The trial of Benedict XVI’s former butler begins Saturday. This may be an unprecedented case, but thanks to the Vatican’s rather lenient penal code – which copies Italy’s liberal penal code of 1913. Before that, it copied the notorious Rocco code introduced by the Fascist regime – Paolo Gabriele risks quite a mild sentence.

“Between 6 months and 3 years” but “if aggravating circumstances are added to this, it could rise to 4 years,” Professor Giovanni Giacobbe, Promoter of Justice (i.e. Public Prosecutor) in the Court of Appeal of the Vatican City State, the second of three levels in the justice system of the world’s smallest State. Today Giacobbe held a briefing with journalists to explain the Vatican trial procedure.

The main difference with Italy’s current criminal justice system is that it is the judge – in this case it will be the group of three judges led by Justice Giuseppe Dalla Torre del tempio di Sanguinetto, rector of Rome’s LUMSA University - and not the prosecution and defence who conduct the debate. He will interrogate the accused (Gabriele and Claudio Sciarpelletti, a Secretariat of State computer technician, accused of aiding and abetting a crime, which entails a one year prison sentence) upon the request of the parties present.

Former Bronx priest continues battle with New York Diocese over sexual misconduct defamation

Irish Central

Irish Voice Reporter

Published Saturday, September 29, 2012

A former Bronx priest is suing the New York Archdiocese for libel in a landmark lawsuit, claiming sex allegations brought against him were false.

A once influential Catholic monsignor, Charles Kavanagh, was defrocked from the priesthood in 2010 for the sexual abuse of a minor, after he was convicted in a 2006 canonical trial. An appeal to a second church tribunal also found him guilty in 2010.

Last Wednesday, lawyers for Kavanagh, now 75, filed the lawsuit in Federal District Court in Manhattan, after the priest’s accuser, Daniel Donohue, told a federal judge last April that he had not been truthful about his allegations.

“No one has ever handled a case of this nature,” Kavanagh's attorney, John Dearie, told the Irish Voice.

“The significance of this is that the person who made the allegations 30 plus years ago has retracted it, apologized to the person and has asked that the archdiocese reconsider their decision to remove him from his ministry,” Dearie said.

Trial of Pope’s Former Butler Caps Turbulent Year for Church

The New York Times


Published: September 29, 2012

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI’s former butler, Paolo Gabriele, went on trial on Saturday on charges of stealing the pope’s confidential papers and leaking them to the press, an unprecedented security breach that set off an embarrassingly public airing of back-room intrigue and allegations of corruption at an institution known for its secrecy.

Mr. Gabriele appeared tired but serene throughout the two-hour hearing, which was held in a sparsely furnished, wood-paneled courtroom in a Vatican City palazzo behind the apse of St. Peter’s Basilica.

The morning was taken up with legal formalities, and the civil court — formed by a panel of three judges — upheld motions to strike some of the evidence gathered against Mr. Gabriele and to split off the trial of a co-defendant, a Vatican computer expert charged with aiding and abetting.

A spokesman for the Vatican, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the atmosphere in the courtroom was “serene.” Television cameras and recording equipment were not admitted, and a pool of eight reporters allowed inside briefed other journalists after the hearing.

Judges order separate trials for papal butler, computer expert

Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz and Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A Vatican tribunal determined the two suspects indicted for their parts in the VatiLeaks' scandal should be tried separately.

During the opening session of the trial Sept. 29, the judges said the trial against Paolo Gabriele, the papal assistant charged with aggravated theft, would continue Oct. 2. A separate trial for Claudio Sciarpelletti on charges of aiding and abetting Gabriele will be scheduled at a later date, they said.

Giuseppe Dalla Torre, the presiding judge, said four more sessions "next week should be sufficient" for completing Gabriele's trial.

Trial of papal butler adjourned


The trial of Paolo Gabriele, a former butler to Pope Benedict XVI, has been adjourned until Tuesday.

Gabriel appeared in court on Saturday to face charges of leaking confidential Vatican memos that revealed clandestine politics among the closest aides of the Roman Catholic Pope.

Gabriele faces up to four years in prison for aggravated theft in a trial that is unprecedented in the modern history of the world's smallest state.

The judge told the court in the city-state that he hoped to finish the hearing by the end of next week.

Gabriele said he grew disgusted by the "evil and corruption" he witnessed. He told investigators he was acting as an "agent" of the Holy Spirit to help the pope put the Roman Catholic Church back on track.

Using the codename "Maria", he is accused of meeting Gianluigi Nuzzi, an investigative reporter, earlier this year and passing him copies of secret papers.

Vatican court adjourns trial of ex-butler

Deutsche Welle

A Vatican court trying the pope's ex-butler for allegedly stealing confidential papers has adjourned its proceedings until next Tuesday. The former aide could face four years in an Italian jail.

The trial of Pope Benedict XVI's former aide, Paolo Gabriele, opened on Saturday in a 19th century courtroom behind the apse of St Peter's basilica which is normally off-limits to the public within the small Vatican city-state.

Gabriele did not speak at the trial opening, but is expected to testify next Tuesday. Television cameras were largely excluded from the courtroom and only eight journalists were allowed to observe proceedings throughout. They later briefed other journalists.

The court comprising three Italian law professors ruled that only evidence provided by a Vatican prosecutor and Vatican police would be admissible. The court declared that the results of a separate probe carried out by cardinals was not admissible.

Pope secretary called to testify butler trial

Business Recorder

Saturday, 29 September 2012 18:27
Posted by Muhammad Iqbal

VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI's personal secretary, Georg Ganswein, will be called to testify in the trial of the pontiff's former butler Paolo Gabriele for leaking confidential Vatican documents.

Ganswein, 56, was Gabriele's direct superior and confronted the butler about the leaks early in May after being tipped off by the Vatican police. He has already given investigators evidence about his former charge's conduct.

The first hearing in what is the Vatican's biggest court drama in decades lasted just over two hours and mainly addressed preliminary legal questions, after which the court fixed the next hearing for Tuesday, October 2.

The court also accepted a request for the trial of Claudio Sciarpelletti a Vatican computer technician who is accused of abetting Gabriele's crime to be conducted separately, though no dates were set.

UPDATE 3-Trial of pope's butler starts with setback for defence

Chicago Tribune

8:36 a.m. CDT, September 29, 2012

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Pope Benedict's butler, accused of using his access to the pope to steal papers that he thought would expose Vatican corruption, suffered a blow on the first day of his trial when judges refused to admit evidence from the Church's own investigation.

Gabriele' s arrest in May, after police found confidential documents in his apartment inside the Vatican, not only threw a spotlight on allegations of malpractice but also pointed to a power struggle at the highest levels of the Church.

The 46-year-old Paolo Gabriele looked pale at his first public appearance since May, smiling as he chatted with his lawyer but often staring straight into space during a hearing that lasted just under two and a half hours.

Evidence tossed at start of papal butler’s trial

Boston Herald

By Associated Press
Saturday, September 29, 2012

VATICAN CITY — The pope’s once-trusted butler went on trial Saturday for allegedly stealing papal documents and passing them off to a journalist in the worst security breach of the Vatican’s recent history — a case that embarrassed the Vatican and may shed some light on the discreet, internal workings of the papal household.

In its first hearing in the case, the three-judge tribunal threw out some evidence gathered during the investigation of butler Paolo Gabriele, who is charged with aggravated theft. It also decided to separate Gabriele’s trial from that of his co-defendant, a computer expert charged with aiding and abetting the crime.

Gabriele is accused of taking the pope’s correspondences, photocopying the documents and handing them off to Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, whose book "His Holiness: The secret papers of Pope Benedict XVI," was published to great fanfare in May.

Nuzzi has said his source, code-named "Maria" in the book, wanted to shed light on the secrets of the church that were damaging it. Taken as a whole, the documents seem aimed primarily at discrediting Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state and Benedict’s longtime trusted deputy. Bertone, 77, a canon lawyer and soccer enthusiast, has frequently been criticized for perceived shortcomings in running the Vatican.

Vatileaks: Trail of Pope's former butler begins

Rome Reports

[with video]

September 29, 2012. (Romereports.com) This morning, at the Pope's former butler walked into the Vatican's civil court room to start off his trial hearing. He faces a charge of aggravated theft, for his alleged involvement in the Vatileaks case.

The case is getting world wide attention and it's not just because of the scandal. This also marks the first judicial process in recent history to take place inside Vatican territory. Three Italian lay judges will preside over the case and they will follow a Penal Code that was established in the 19th century.

The Pope's butler, 46 year old Paolo Gabriele was arrested in May. He wrote a letter to the Pope where he reportedly appoligzed for his involvement in the leak of documents.

If found guilty he could face up to 4 years in prison. Along with him, a computer programmer who worked at the Vatican's Secretariat of state, is facing a lesser charge of adding and abbeting, which could lead to a year in prison. He was not present at the trial hearing, but he was represented by his lawyer.

Pope's butler goes on trial over leaked documents

The Guardian (United Kingdom)

Jo Adetunji and Tom Kington in Rome
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 29 September 2012

Benedict XVI's former butler has gone on trial in the Vatican for stealing and leaking private documents while in the pope's employ.

Paolo Gabriele, 46, who dressed the pope and travelled with him on public occasions, faces up to four years in jail after Vatican police discovered piles of stolen letters in his apartment, as well as gifts meant for Benedict, including a cheque for €100,000 (£80,000) and a gold nugget.

Gabriele had leaked the choicest letters to an Italian journalist, lifting the lid on accusations of kickbacks paid to win Vatican contracts, infighting among cardinals and claims the pope's secretary of state started rumours of homosexuality against a hostile newspaper editor.

Placed under custody in a secure room at the Vatican, the father of three confessed but claimed he was an agent of the Holy Spirit, seeking to expose and root out the "evil and corruption". An expert appointed by his lawyer suggested Gabriele was a victim of "restlessness, tension, rage and frustration".

Gabriele's case is being heard by three lay judges within the Vatican's wood-panelled court and is likely to shed light on the secret world within the world's smallest state. It is being held on a Saturday, because it is when the judges, who work in Italy's court system, have a free day.

Pope Benedict's former butler goes on trial

Yahoo! News UK


The chosen few are taken to a Vatican courtroom under tight security.

Eight journalists are permitted to attend the trial of the Pope's former butler, Paolo Gabriele, in one of the more embarrassing episodes in recent Vatican history.

Once one of the Pope's most trusted of aides, he says he wanted to clean up corruption in the Roman Catholic Church.

Former papal butler to be tried on police evidence

RTE News

The court trying Pope Benedict's former butler on charges of aggravated theft has ruled that the results of a separate investigation carried out by cardinals will not be admitted as trial evidence.

The court rejected a defence request to include the cardinals' inquiry on the first morning of Paolo Gabriele's trial.

Mr Gabriele is charged with stealing and leaking sensitive papal documents alleging corruption in the Vatican.

Pope's butler goes on trial

Buenos Aires Herald

Pope Benedict's former butler went on trial on Saturday for using his intimate access to the pope's desk to steal and leak explosive documents in what he said was an attempt to clean up corruption in the Vatican.

The 46-year-old Paolo Gabriele, who served the pope his meals and helped him dress, was being tried along with a Vatican computer expert in the city state's little-used tribunal, a small, wood-panelled room with a papal emblem on its ceiling.

Gabriele was arrested in May after police found confidential documents in his apartment inside the Vatican, throwing a global media spotlight on an institution battling to defend its reputation from allegations of graft.

A three-judge panel will decide the fate of Gabriele, whom the pope used to call "Paoletto" (little Paul), now described in Vatican documents as "the defendant".

The self-styled whistle-blower, who says he was trying to expose graft at the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, is charged with aggravated theft for stealing and leaking the pontiff's personal papers, and could be jailed for four years.

Trial starts of Paulo Gabriele, Vatican's former butler

The Telegraph (United Kingdom)

Vatican gendarmes investigating the theft of compromising documents by the Pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele, took away 82 boxes of material during searches of his apartment and other addresses, the first day of his trial heard on Saturday.

By Nick Squires, Vatican City
1:18PM BST 29 Sep 2012

In one of the biggest scandals to shake the seven-year papacy of Benedict XVI, Gabriele is accused of the "aggravated theft" of confidential papers, some of which were taken from the desk of the Pope himself.

In an indication of the scale of the alleged thefts, the court heard that some 82 cases of documents were taken away during searches conducted at Gabriele's grace-and-favour apartment and also at the Pope's summer residence, the Castel Gandolfo.

Gabriele, wearing a light grey suit and looking pale but smiling often, did not speak at the first session.

The trial was adjourned until Tuesday, when he will be questioned. The trial heard that a total of 13 people had been listed to appear as witnesses, including the Pope's private secretary, the deputy head of the Vatican's Swiss Guards, and the head of the Vatican Gendarmerie.

Pope's butler's trial adjourned

Irish Examiner

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Vatican judge has adjourned the trial of the Pope's former butler, who is accused of giving stolen letters to a journalist.

Paolo Gabriele faces up to four years in prison if convicted of aggravated theft.

He has said he wanted to expose what he calls "evil and corruption" in the church.

The case - which began this morning - will continue on Tuesday.

Father John Wauck, who is in Rome, said the attention on the case was frustrating.

New Bedford council wants to meet with bishop over St. John's closing

South Coast Today


September 29, 2012

NEW BEDFORD — City councilors have upped the pressure on the Fall River diocese to reverse its decision to close historic St. John the Baptist Church, requesting a meeting with the bishop and faulting the parish priest for not fighting on behalf of the parishioners.

"You know what could really strengthen this whole thing is if we had a priest who would stand up for the church, for the parishioners," At-Large Councilor Brian Gomes said at the City Council meeting Thursday night. "Tonight I put Father Jack on the line."

The Rev. John J. Oliveira, who is pastor of both St. John the Baptist and Our Lady of Mount Carmel churches, where St. John's parishioners will attend, has deferred requests for comment to the diocese.

David Clohessy

Culture Shocks

[audio download]

Since the news broke last year of alleged sexual abuse of minors by Penn State University ex-Iassistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, the likeness with the clerical sexual abuse cases in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have been apparent. David Clohessy of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests talks about those similarities.

Vatican court rejects some butler trial evidence


NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) - September 29, 2012 (WPVI) -- A Vatican tribunal has thrown out some evidence gathered in the investigation of the pope's butler, who is accused of stealing the pope's papers and passing them off to a journalist in the worst security breach in the Vatican's recent history.

The court also decided Saturday during the first hearing of the case to separate the trial of the butler, Paolo Gabriele, and that of his co-defendant, a Vatican computer expert.

Gabriele faces up to four years in prison if he is convicted of aggravated theft. He has already confessed, saying he leaked the documents to shed light on what he called the "evil and corruption" in the church, and asked to be pardoned by the pope.

Alleged victims tell 'Dr. Phil' of abuse by Jerry Sandusky and pedophile ring invol

New York Daily News

By Christian Red / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Friday, September 28, 2012

Travis Weaver said he found himself “pinned on the bed” of a Philadelphia hotel room held down by former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky after the 14-year-old had come out of the shower.

“I told (Sandusky) I was going to call the cops. He just laughed at me,” Weaver said on the “Dr. Phil” TV program Friday. “(Sandusky) told me no one was ever going to believe me over him. I was scared. I believed him.”

Weaver’s graphic account of the abuse he says he suffered at the hands of Sandusky was part of his interview with Dr. Phil McGraw Friday. Weaver appeared alongside Greg Bucceroni, a Philadelphia native who has said in several interviews with the Daily News that he was sexually abused by now-deceased Philly businessman Ed Savitz during the late ’70s. Weaver first went public with his story in June — shortly before Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of sex abuse of minors.

Bucceroni told The News in July that he met Sandusky at a Second Mile fund-raiser in 1979, two years after Sandusky had founded the organization. Earlier this month, Bucceroni sent emails to Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn claiming that the school’s late football coach, Phil Foglietta, paid him to have sex with him in 1979, and that Foglietta was part of a pedophile ring that included Savitz and Sandusky.

Man arrested in child porn case volunteered with church kids

Victoria Advocate

Caty Hirst
Originally published September 28, 2012

The Victoria man arrested on child pornography charges Thursday was a volunteer with the children's ministry at Faith Family Church.

Officers arrested Joshua Almeida, 32, of Victoria, about 9:20 p.m. and charged him with possession of child pornography with intent to distribute.

Stephanie Petrash has been going to Faith Family Church with Almeida for about 15 years. She also volunteers with him in the children's department.

Petrash said she has never seen Almeida try to be alone with children or witnessed children acting uncomfortable around him.

Members of group for priest abuse survivors air concerns to Fall River Diocese

Herald News

By Marc Munroe Dion
Herald News Staff Reporter


Two members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, Peter Pollard and David O’Regan, came to the city Friday to stand outside the bishop’s residence and talk to Diocesan Spokesman John Kearns about what the two originally said was a form sent home with students in diocesan Catholic schools relieving the diocese from responsibility if students are abused.

Kearns denied the allegation, saying the form, designed without the knowledge of the diocese, was sent home by Our Lady of Victory in Centerville and pertained only to a Faith Formation Program held by the church for people of all ages.

“It was not a universal form,” Kearns said. “We didn’t know they were using it.”

Kearns said the form is no longer in use.

“The Faith Formation Program involves a gathering three or four times a year,” Kearns said. “There’s a meal and then they break up into discussion groups.

Burke may be the face of Catholic conservatism

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By DAVID GIBSON • Religion News Service

VATICAN CITY • When some American Catholics worry that the hierarchy is tilting toward the Republican Party, or taking the church back to the 19th century (or earlier), they often point to Cardinal Raymond Burke as Exhibit A.

That's understandable, because love him or loathe him — and few are on the fence — Burke's many pronouncements on politics and the culture wars have given both fans and critics plenty of ammunition for their respective views.

Back when he was archbishop of St. Louis in 2004, for instance, Burke touched off a fierce debate by declaring that Catholic politicians such as John Kerry who support abortion rights should be denied Communion.

Voters who supported them were in grave peril, too, he added. He later said former New York Mayor Rudy Guliani, a Republican, who was running for president and supported abortion rights, should also be denied Communion. ...

Another of his U.S. protégés, Bishop Robert Finn of Missouri, was found guilty in September of covering up for a priest suspected of child abuse — the first bishop ever convicted in the long history of the clergy abuse scandal. When asked to comment about Finn at a September meeting with journalists, Burke demurred. "It wouldn't be proper," he said.

Philippine ivory probe team blocked from church

Asia One (Singapore)

Saturday, Sep 29, 2012

MANILA - Philippine authorities looking for religious statues made from "blood" ivory were prevented from entering a church where the banned items were allegedly kept, a government investigator said Saturday.

A joint team from the Justice Department's investigation bureau and the Environment Department were denied entry to the Shrine of the Black Nazarene in the central island of Cebu when they visited on Friday, a member said.

Security guards at the shrine, set up by a priest allegedly linked to the illegal smuggling of ivory, told investigators they would have to speak to the priest's lawyers first, said Eddie Llamedo, an Environment Department spokesman.

Charismatic group rallies behind sacked ‘ivory’ priest


By Connie E. Fernandez
Inquirer Visayas
6:07 am | Friday, September 28th, 2012

CEBU CITY—Embattled Msgr. Cristobal Garcia can find strength in a Catholic charismatic group that has been under his spiritual guidance for the last 20 years.

Members of the Bukas Loob sa Diyos (BLD) have been holding vigils and synchronized prayer brigades for Garcia since Wednesday after the monsignor has been linked to the illegal smuggling of ivory by the National Geographic magazine October cover story “Ivory Worship.”

The vigils and prayers at the Vicente Sotto School of Nursing building on Osmeña Boulevard here would continue even after the BLD members have been informed of the reason behind Garcia’s removal as their spiritual director.

Garcia was suspended and stripped of his positions at the Cebu Archdiocese on orders of the Vatican pending the Holy See’s investigation of charges of child abuse for allegedly molesting two altar boys in the United States 20 years ago.

Teacher will not fight extradition

Wales Online

Teacher Jeremy Forrest who went missing with his teenage pupil Megan Stammers will not fight extradition proceedings against him and has agreed to return to the UK "as soon as possible", his lawyers say.

The 30-year-old was arrested on suspicion of child abduction after the pair were found in the French town of Bordeaux on Thursday.

Phil Smith, from Tuckers Solicitors, said in a statement: "He has agreed to return to the UK as soon as possible without the need for protracted extradition proceedings."

Fifteen-year-old Megan is expected to travel back to her hometown of Eastbourne, East Sussex, more than a week after she went missing with her 30-year-old teacher.

Forrest, Megan's maths teacher at Bishop Bell C of E School, in Eastbourne, remains in police custody in France.

Pope's butler goes on trial for leaking Vatican documents

Channel 4 News

The former butler of Pope Benedict XVI goes on trial today in relation to the leaking of sensitive Vatican documents to the media.

Paolo Gabriele (pictured bottom left) is charged with the aggravated theft of hundreds of documents which alleged corruption in the Vatican's dealings with Italian companies, and detailed power struggles between cardinals.

Mr Gabriele, who was arrested in May and is currently under house arrest, explained his actions by saying there was "evil and corruption everywhere in the Church" and that "a shock, perhaps by using the media, could be a healthy thing to bring the Church back on the right track."

Many of the stolen documents appeared in the book His Holiness: Pope Benedict XVI's secret papers by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi. Despite originally denying the theft, Gabriele later confessed to passing the documents to Mr Nuzzi.

Paolo Gabriele: What the Pope's butler saw

The Independent (United Kingdom)

Michael Day
Saturday 29 September 2012

Rarely if ever in recent history can one person be said to have played so many roles in a single court case. The individual in question is Pope Benedict XVI, who will be the supreme judge, the victim, and according to the accused, the intended beneficiary in the Vatican leaks trial that begins this morning at the Holy See.

Benedict's former butler, 46-year-old father-of-three Paolo Gabriele, is accused of stealing sensitive documents and passing them on to a journalist whose subsequent book and TV programmes appeared to lift the lid on tawdry back-stabbing and corruption at the Vatican.

Today's trial will take place in the Vatican courtroom, employing a 19th-century penal code in place in Italy when the Vatican state came into being. The Pontiff himself will not be present. But a panel of three judges, headed by Giuseppe Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, has the power to send Mr Gabriele to an Italian prison for four years if the accused is found guilty of aggravated theft. The only other person on trial is Claudio Sciarpelletti, a 48-year-old Vatican computer expert, who faces charges of having helped Mr Gabriele.

Reinforcing Vatican claims that Mr Gabriele was a light-fingered rogue employee are the additional charges that he stole gifts intended for the Pontiff including a gold nugget, a 16th-century copy of The Aeneid and a cheque made out to Benedict for €100,000. Before his arrest, however, on 23 May this year, Mr Gabriele, with his face hidden from the camera, told the reporter Gianluigi Nuzzi that there were "at least" another active 20 whistle-blowers at the Vatican seeking to expose corruption.

Hope Project Gets Donations

Blackburn News

The Diocese of London is supporting the Silence of Hope project with a donation of $80,000.

The project offers services to survivors of male sexual abuse in Windsor, Chatham, Sarnia and London.

Project Coordinator Tom Wilken says the Diocese is currently their only funder. “We started way back six years ago where they funded us $30,000 a year and that steadily grew until it steadily grew to $80,000.”

Kentucky churches confront several cases of sex abuse by church leaders


By Valarie Honeycutt Spears — vhoneycutt@herald-leader.com

On the Sunday that followed the arrest of a former youth leader on sex-related charges, the lead pastor at Southland Christian Church addressed the issue with the congregation.

Chris Hahn, the lead executive pastor, said Southland Pastor Jon Weece talked about the "sadness we feel over what's gone on in the last week." During the sermon Sunday, Weece reminded the church of Southland's procedures for hiring employees and accepting volunteers, Hahn said.

Jonathan David Hall, 29, of Danville is accused of sending sexual emails and text messages to a 15-year-old girl he met through church. Hall, who was released from his role as a youth leader at Southland Christian Church's Danville campus, was arrested Sept. 18. He faces charges of unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sex.

Hall's case is the most recent example of a persistent problem at churches in Kentucky and across the nation, officials said.

September 28, 2012

NJ - SNAP responds to arrest of former PA Boy Scout leader

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on September 28, 2012

It is ironic that, mere days after a report is released that lauds the new policies the BSA has adopted to prevent abuse, another Scout leader is arrested on child porn charges. The fact that cases like these continue to pop up is why we constantly push for action from the outside as opposed to policy reform from within.

The fact that the police have uncovered chat logs that show Gerrett Conover abused a boy for at least seven years while he was a scout leader is disturbing. We urge scouting officials in Valley Forge, PA to reach out to all those where who in scouting at the same time as Conover and urge those who may have seen or suspected his crimes to come forward to police.

Given the evidence uncovered by police, it is difficult to believe that Conover has only ever abused one child. We find it difficult to believe that there were no warning signs that Conover was disturbed, and are interested to see what the response from Scouting officials will be on this situation. We hope it is more honest than their most recent press move.

Víctima de Karadima declara en juicio contra sacerdota curicano acusado de abuso sexual

Bio Bio

Publicado por Javier Cisterna | La Información es de Luis Cabello

José Andrés Murillo, víctima del Fernando Karadima, declaré en el juicio oral que se sigue en contra del sacerdote curicano acusado de presunto abuso sexual, Francisco Cartes.

El profesional, uno de los primeros en denunciar al párroco de El Bosque en 2003, se presentó a la instancia producto de su contacto y conocimiento de una de las presuntas víctimas.

Coach on leave after Murphy, archdiocese confer


By Aaron Swaney, Herald Writer

EVERETT -- The interim head football coach at Archbishop Murphy High School agreed to be placed on paid administrative leave while officials explore issues raised about his hiring, the school announced Friday.

The move came after school officials consulted with the Archdiocese of Seattle about information regarding Michael Allison's teaching career in Oregon, which ended after he stipulated to an inappropriate relationship with a female student.

Allison was hired by Archbishop Murphy to be a physical education teacher. He was named football coach earlier this week.

"Mr. Allison agreed to voluntary paid administrative leave to give the school time for a review of the issues that have been raised in media accounts," Greg Magnoni, director of communications for the Archdiocese, said in an email. "He denies the allegations and feels that by stepping back it will give the school administration an opportunity to resolve the matter and move on."

Letter From the President: University sends letter regarding Farrington


Dear LMU Community:

I write to you in light of recent media reports that have highlighted credible sexual abuse allegations against Brother William Farrington, S.J. While the alleged abuse did not occur at LMU, Brother Farrington is a former member of LMU’s staff and Jesuit community. Several efforts are being undertaken to assure you of our unwavering commitment to a safe and healthy environment for all, as well as to gather additional information.

The alleged abuse occurred when Brother Farrington worked at two Jesuit high schools in Northern California. This was prior to his 1987-2002 tenure at LMU, during which time he worked in the Admissions Office and lived in the Jesuit community. To the best of our knowledge, when the Jesuits assigned him to LMU in 1987, the University was not informed of any past allegations, issues or limitations respecting Brother Farrington.

Furthermore, we are not aware of any allegation of improper conduct on the part of Brother Farrington during the 15 years he worked at LMU. Nonetheless, in 2002, his Jesuit provincial assigned him to the Jesuit Retirement Community in Los Gatos, California, following a complaint made to the provincial of the California Province by one of the alleged Northern California victims. The focus of the complaint had nothing to do with Brother Farrington’s conduct at LMU.

*EXCLUSIVE w/ COURT DOCS* After SNAP Flouts Repeated Court Orders to Turn Over Documents, Lawyers Forced to File For Contempt Citation


Dave Pierre

Since David Clohessy, the National Director of SNAP, has repeatedly flaunted judges' orders to produce documents related to an important Missouri abuse case, lawyers for an accused Catholic priest have requested that the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, hold SNAP and Clohessy "in contempt of Court."

[Click to read the court documents]

Lawyers for the accused priest have repeatedly requested that SNAP and Clohessy produce documents that they possess related to cases involving the discredited theory of "repressed memory," as the bogus theory plays an important role in their current case.

After displaying a timeline of events supporting their motion, the lawyers add that SNAP and Clohessy have repeatedly sought writs in the Missouri Court of Appeals and Supreme Court to oppose court orders and have repeatedly been denied. The lawyers then declare, "SNAP and Clohessy have failed to comply with every Court-ordered deadline for discovery."

3 allege Nacogdoches priest sexually abused them 35 years ago


By Jeff Awtrey

Three former Nacogdoches residents are suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont over allegations that they were sexually abused as teenagers 35 years ago by a priest who died in 1996.

The three men, listed in the complaint as John Doe 104, John Doe 105 and John Doe 106, say Father Ronald W. Bollich used to provide them alcohol while they were between the ages of 13 and 15 and touch them inappropriately and even have them give him oral sex.

The lawsuit, filed in Jefferson County District Court, provides details into several instances of sexual assault and Bollich's relationship with the boys between 1976 and 1977.

The plaintiffs' attorney, Tahira Khan Merritt, who is out of Dallas, specializes in sexual abuse cases and is asking that anyone who has pertinent information about Bollich when he was assigned to Sacred Heart Parish to come forward and report the abuse.

Boy Scout leader faces child porn charges


[with video]

WOOLWICH, New Jersey (NBC) -- A former Pennsylvania Boy Scout leader in jail, accused of child pornography.

Federal investigators say they also found conversations on Gerrett Conover's home computer that led them to believe Conover may have also had an inappropriate relationship with a young scout.

From 1999 to 2001, Conover was a leader of Troop 284 in Radnor, according to the Boy Scouts of America organization based in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

The troop met at the Wayne Presbyterian Church.

According to the statement from federal investigators, in addition to pornographic images found on Conover's computer, they also, uncovered was an additional Internet chat in which Conover acknowledged having a long-term relationship with a boy while the boy was 10 to 17 years of age.

Palma declines comment on Msgr. Garcia


By Bernadette A. Parco

Saturday, September 29, 2012

CEBU Archbishop Jose Palma has declined to comment further on the issues involving a Cebuano priest who is facing probes in relation to a child abuse case and alleged involvement in illicit ivory trade.

He explained to Sun.Star Cebu that this is to give due respect to the legal and church procedures involved in such cases.

Despite the church’s silence and after the announcement that separate investigations are conducted by church and government agencies, statements of support continue to pour for Msgr. Cristobal Garcia.

The former Archdiocesan Commission on Worship chairman was also the business manager of the archdiocesan newsletter, founder of the Society of the Angels of Peace and the spiritual director of World Apostolate of Fatima or WAF and Bukas Loob sa Diyos (BLD).

MA - SNAP statement on secrecy in the Fall River diocese

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David O'Regan on September 28, 2012

We're here today for 3 reasons. First, we want to urge everyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Fall River area to come forward and to call police, expose wrongdoing, protect others and start healing. When victims, witnesses and whistleblowers stay silent, predators walk free and kids get hurt. But when we find the courage and strength to step forward, at least there’s a chance for healing, justice and prevention.

It is almost always possible to recover from childhood trauma. It is sometimes possible to get justice in the civil and criminal courts. And it’s sometimes possible to prevent future child sex crimes and cover ups.

But staying silent isn’t the way to do this. This can only happen when victims speak up.

Second, we want Fall River's bishop to take three steps regarding the self-serving and callous waiver that parents were given to sign - at one local parish, possibly more – relieving Catholic Church and school officials of responsibility for harm to kids.

The bishop should

--discipline the persons responsible for it.
--explain how this happened.
--promise, in writing, that he won't use that waiver again.

When Bishops Are Held Accountable

Catholic Moral Theology

By: Julie Rubio

A few weeks ago, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, MO became the first U.S. bishop to be held accountable for the child abuse by priests. Though I regret the lateness of this post, I did not think that this event should go by without comment from our blog. In the New York Times, John Eligon and Laurie Goodstein reported:

“The case began when the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, a charismatic parish priest who had previously attracted attention for inappropriate behavior with children, took his laptop computer in for repairs in December 2010. A technician immediately told church officials that the laptop contained what appeared to be pornographic photographs of young girls’ genitals, naked and clothed.

Father Ratigan attempted suicide, survived and was sent for treatment. Bishop Finn reassigned him to live in a convent and ordered him stay away from children. But Father Ratigan continued to attend church events and take lewd pictures of girls for five more months, until church officials reported him in May 2011, without Bishop Finn’s approval. The bishop was found guilty on the charge relating only to that time period.”

According to the same article, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests was happy to finally see a conviction of a bishop, but remains convinced that only jail time will bring about lasting change.

Perhaps many Catholics see the group’s demands as extreme, especially since significant attempts to correct the problem have been made in recent years. However, as Frank Bruni points out, “the case of Father Ratigan postdates all of that — by many, many years. It suggests the tenacity of willful ignorance and deliberate evasion, even when the price is nothing less than the ravaged psyches of vulnerable children.” It’s not over, not by a long shot.

AP IMPACT: Tragedy meant big money for NY minister

The Associated Press

By BRETT J. BLACKLEDGE, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Before the Sept. 11 attacks, the Rev. Carl Keyes was a little-known pastor of a small New York City congregation searching for members and money.

When the twin towers fell, his fortunes changed.

Donors poured $2.5 million into the minister's charity to help 9/11 victims. More opportunities to raise relief money would come later, with at least another $2.3 million collected for efforts along the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast, in the poorest corners of West Virginia and Tennessee, and even in remote African villages.

Tens of millions more flowed through his fingers from the sale of church properties.

But Keyes, a one-time construction worker, did more than help the needy with the millions donated — he helped himself.

Christian growth in the heart of Islam; Kazakhstan; and the butler's trial

National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on Sep. 28, 2012 All Things Catholic ...

Tomorrow, the Vatican's "trial of the century" begins. Paolo Gabriele, the 46-year-old former butler to Pope Benedict XVI, is charged with aggravated theft for allegedly being the mole at the heart of the Vatileaks scandal. (Also on trial is another former lay Vatican employee, Claudio Sciarpelletti, who faces a more minor charge.)

Italian news agencies are reporting that among the potential witnesses are Msgr. Georg Gänswein, the pope's personal secretary, and the four consecrated women belonging to Memores Domini, part of the Communion and Liberation movement, who make up Benedict's private household. They were interviewed during the preliminary investigation, and it will apparently be up to both the prosecution and the defense to decide whether they're called to testify during the trial itself.

The $64,000 question, of course, is whether others were involved in the leaks, and if so, who are they? Whether the trial will deliver a convincing answer remains to be seen, but based on conversations with colleagues during Benedict's recent trip to Lebanon, it seems clear that most of the world's vaticanisti (for sure, the Italians) are convinced that the Gabriele trial -- not the Synod of Bishops for the New Evangelization, not the "Year of Faith" or anything else -- is destined to be this fall's blockbuster Vatican story.

Bishop Bell will try to welcome Megan back to school

Eastbourne Herald

Published on Friday 28 September 2012

Bishop Bell is hoping to welcome back Megan Stammers after the teenager, who ran way with her maths teacher, was found safe and well in France.

The 15-year-old has been taken into protection and her maths teacher, 30-year-old Forrest, has been arrested on suspicion of child abduction.

The pair, who ran away together nine days ago, were found hand in hand in Bordeaux at around lunchtime today (Friday).

Cebu sources feel betrayed by writer of NatGeo story


By Connie E. Fernandez
Inquirer Visayas
1:31 am | Saturday, September 29th, 2012

CEBU CITY—Heritage experts and conservationists cooperated with National Geographic writer Bryan Christy when he told them that he was writing about Cebu’s devotion to the Holy Child Jesus.

But they felt betrayed after they had read Christy’s article online linking the veneration of the Sto. Niño to the killing of elephants for their tusks, one of the sources of ivory.

“If we knew [that he was writing about ivory icons], we would not have cooperated with him,” said Trizer Dale Mansueto, a Cebu-based historian involved in heritage conservation.

“We cooperated because we thought the story was about the devotion,” he said. “He never mentioned that he was writing about ivory.”

Christy sent Mansueto an e-mail on Sept. 25, explaining that he did not seek to call attention to ivory smuggling in the Philippines, but to make readers think about the many kinds of devotion, including to wildlife.

United States: liberal reform of Catholic Church spawning new religious movements


Richard Cimino - Religion Watch
28 Sep 2012

The effort to reform the Catholic Church along liberal lines may result less in changing the church than in generating new movements and churches completely outside of official Catholicism. That is one of the conclusions of the new book Underground Church (Brill), by sociologist Kathleen Kautzer of Regis College in Massachusetts.

The book provides a rare and comprehensive examination of liberal and radical Catholic groups and movements in the U.S. The book is based on extensive fieldwork among such reformist groups as Corpus (consisting of former priests), Dignity (gay Catholics), Women's Ordination Conference (WOC), and Voice of the Faithful (a group that formed over the priest sex abuse crisis in the American church), as well as more radical groups that have made a complete break with the church (such as schismatic parishes and some feminist groups).

In tracing the histories of these groups, Kautzer notes how they have gradually evolved from optimistic efforts of reform of the church based on a liberal interpretation and appropriation of Vatican II to a far more contentious and eventually pessimistic stance regarding the possibility of significant change in the church. Of course, the level of demands for liberal reform vary with each group. The author shows that the Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), the most moderate of the groups she studied, was able to exert pressure on dioceses and other church structures to make some policy changes, at least on the pressing issue of clergy sex abuse.

The abuse issue had given the reform movement a “second wind,” but groups such VOTF were “dealt a fatal blow,” when Pope Benedict XVI became more active in addressing issues related to the crisis and meeting with victims. In other words, the issue that had galvanized reform groups (and given them a good deal of publicity) was co-opted by the mainstream church, making their activism less necessary.

Can the Vatican Survive the Age of Digital Media?

The Atlantic

Alexander Stille

Sep 28 2012

Some institutions may not adapt to 21st-century radical transparency. The papacy's turn to inflammatory rhetoric while hit by a series of damaging leaks suggests that it's struggling.

Strange things have been happening at the Vatican this year. Beginning in January, documents written by high-level figures in the Catholic Church began finding their way into the Italian press, many of the letters to the pope denouncing instances of corruption and complaining about the direction and management of the Church.

When a book full of leaked documents, Sua Santità (His Holiness), was published in late May, the Vatican took the extraordinary step of arresting the pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele, a humble but trusted member of the papal household, and announced that officials had found numerous papal documents at Gabriele's apartment within the Vatican. At the same time, the Vatican Bank, under investigation for money laundering (charges the Vatican denies), fired its president, a respected Catholic banker, listing among the reasons for his dismissal allegations that sounded a lot like leaking: "Failure to provide any formal explanation for the dissemination of documents last known to be in the President's possession." Immediately after his firing, the former bank president hired his own bodyguard service and wrote a private memorandum to the pope, which he wished to disseminate "in case something should happen to him."

Power struggles and scandal are nothing new in the Vatican. Pope Alexander VI, for one, was accused of poisoning his enemies and sleeping with his daughter, the infamous Lucrezia Borgia. But until now the pope had been able to count on the loyalty and discretion of his inner circle and a hermetically sealed culture of silence, discretion, and secrecy that has often been compared with that of the Kremlin at the height of Soviet power. Now the last and most ancient of the world's absolute monarchies is suddenly in the fishbowl culture of the 21st century, where the most-trivial and the most-important details alike become transparent.

Sexual Abuse in the Church: Characteristics of Abusers,and Protecting the Flock

BeyondOpinion.com:: Christian Apologetics Ministry

Posted on September 27, 2012 by Mark Webster

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
(1 John 2:1-6 ESV)

Here are excerpts and links to some very important articles dealing with sexual abuse in churches. If you attend a church please read and see if any of the advice can be implemented where you attend. It is discouraging to see how sexual predators get away with multiple offenses when fellow church members,deacons,and elders should be spotting their aberrant behavior. Ignorance is not bliss.

Here is an excerpt to an article dealing with the profile of a religious leader who is a predator -

What are the characteristics of the ministers, pastors, priests, rabbis and other clergy responsible for sexually abusing just over three percent of women who regularly attend religious services?

The perpetrators of this pervasive adult sexual abuse are likely to be charming, even charismatic and apparently self-assured while actually driven by an unquenchable need for attention, affection, admiration and control.

Cumbrian vicar’s sex abuse was hidden by church


By Nick Griffiths and Pam McClounie

Last updated at 14:22, Friday, 28 September 2012

Church leaders didn’t tell police about claims of child abuse against a cathedral canon because they thought he wouldn’t do it again.

Instead of alerting authorities to the allegations made against the Rev Ronald Johns they moved him from his post in Carlisle to Caldbeck.

The Diocese of Carlisle has admitted that it “mishandled” the situation surrounding the perverted clergyman after he pleaded guilty to a string of sex crimes.

Johns, now 75, committed the offences against three boys over an eight-year period.

At Carlisle Crown Court, he admitted 10 offences committed between 1983 and 1991. He will be sentenced for them in November.

Speaking after yesterday’s hearing, diocese spokesman Richard Pratt, the Archdeacon of west Cumbria, apologised.

Fugitive British schoolgirl, teacher found in France


By Laurent Abadie (AFP)

BORDEAUX, France — A British schoolgirl and her married maths teacher, who triggered a Europe-wide hunt after running away together a week ago, were found Friday by police as they strolled in a southwestern French city.

The teacher, Jeremy Forrest, 30, was arrested and placed in custody in Bordeaux's central police station, while Megan Stammers, 15, was under police protection, officials said.

"The couple were found on a public street in the centre of Bordeaux," a spokesman said, adding that Stammers was in good health and would be reunited with her family "as soon as possible".

The pair were located thanks to "credible testimony given 48 hours ago, which did not come from the couple's entourage," the prosecutor's office said.

Megan Stammers found 'safe and well' in Bordeaux

BBC News

Megan Stammers, the Eastbourne schoolgirl who went missing with her maths teacher, Jeremy Forrest, has been found 'safe and well' in Bordeaux, France.

Mr Forrest, 30, has been arrested on suspicion of child abduction, and Megan, who is 15, has been 'taken into protection'.

The couple hadn't been seen since they boarded a cross-channel ferry on 20 September.

Megan Stammers and Jeremy Forrest found in Bordeaux

The Guardian

Robert Booth and Kim Willsher in Paris
guardian.co.uk, Friday 28 September 2012

The missing schoolgirl Megan Stammers and her teacher Jeremy Forrest have been found in the French City of Bordeaux.

The 15-year-old, who went missing on 20 September and was last seen on a ferry to France with her 30-year-old maths teacher, has been taken into protection.

According to French authorities the pair were stopped by police on the main high street running through the centre of Bordeaux called Rue Sainte-Catherine at 1.15pm French time on Friday. According to another police source quoted by the French press, they were on their way to a job interview.

Forrest has been arrested on suspicion of child abduction. He had been the subject of an European arrest warrant and the international police search involved Sussex police working with Interpol.

Bishops’ Accountability

America Magazine

The case that led to the conviction of Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph on a misdemeanor count for failing to report suspected child abuse is a grim one. The Rev. Shawn Ratigan, a parish priest who had been previously suspected of inappropriate behavior around children, downloaded pornographic photos of young girls onto h is laptop and created some himself, which was discovered when he brought his computer in for repair. Several people tried to alert the bishop to this and other incidents, but, as The New York Times reported, Bishop Finn resisted removing him from ministry in order to, as he told some priests, “save Father Ratigan’s priesthood.”

The U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” adopted in 2002, outlines the default response when a credible accusation is made about sexual abuse involving a priest. The details are reported to the police, and the priest is removed from ministry while an investigation takes place. If found guilty, he is removed permanently and is, in some cases, laicized. But what happens when his supervising bishop is found guilty of negligence or malfeasance? Catholics may wonder who determines whether the bishop will be removed, whether and how he is punished or does penance and whether the U.S. bishops’ conference or the papal nuncio has any say. So far it seems that any response is left up to the offending bishop himself. The initial response from Bishop Finn’s diocese was a statement saying he “looks forward to continuing to perform his duties.” But he may be unable to perform those duties if he is under a cloud. As there are clear directives regarding a priest (or a deacon, brother or sister) who has committed a crime related to sexual abuse, there must be equally clear directives about their bishops.

Catholic Magazine Calls Church out on Sexual Abuse Response

Nonprofit Quarterly

Written by Rick Cohen Created on Friday, 28 September 2012 13:20 .

October 1, 2012; Source: America

America, the national Catholic weekly magazine, has an editorial in its current edition that warrants attention from the nonprofit sector. The America editors draw a comparison between the sad and inadequate efforts of the United States to escape its responsibility for the use of torture (during military conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and—to our surprise—Libya, back when the Qaddafi regime was a purported U.S. ally) with the efforts of some Catholic bishops to sidestep responsibility for dealing with sexual abuse perpetrated by the priests they supervise.

The U.S. Bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” instructs supervisors about how to deal with credible accusations of a priest sexual abuse, which includes reporting the information to the police, removing the priest while investigations are going on, dismissing the priest permanently if he is found guilty, and sometimes defrocking or laicizing the guilty party. America asks, in light of the conviction of Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn, “what happens when [the priest’s] supervising bishop is found guilty of negligence or malfeasance?”

Bishop Finn has been convicted of a misdemeanor for failing to report the suspected child abuse of Rev. Shawn Ratigan, a parish priest who had been charged with inappropriate behavior around kids and was then shown to have downloaded pornographic pictures of girls onto his computer laptop (revealed when he brought the laptop in for repairs). Finn reportedly resisted taking action on reports about Ratigan’s behavior, according to America, so that he might, as he allegedly told colleagues, “save Father Ratigan’s priesthood.” While the bishops seem to have a regime in place for dealing with future Ratigans, America suggests that the problem of punishing or removing a recalcitrant bishop like Finn “is left up to the offending bishop himself,” which basically means no punitive action. Although Finn has been convicted, the diocese has no plans for dismissing him and actually issued a statement that Finn looks forward to returning to his duties as a bishop.

Episcopal Church finances

Virtue Online

by George Clifford
Episcopal Cafe

Sept. 28, 2012

The Economist recently featured a scathing indictment of how the Roman Catholic Church manages its finances ("Earthly Concerns," pp. 19-23, August 18, 2012). Settlements in child abuse cases totaling $3.3 billion over the last 15 years, which have averaged more than $1 million per case, and the bankruptcies of several U.S. dioceses combined to pique the authors' curiosity about the Roman Catholic Church's finances.

The Roman Catholic Church has 196 dioceses in the U.S., divided into 34 metropolitan provinces with 270 bishops and about 100 million members. They comprise approximately 18,000 parishes, served by 40,000 priests and 17,000 married deacons.

Estimates for 2010, the latest year for which data is available, show that the Roman Church spent $171 billion. Healthcare institutions, colleges, and universities spent almost $150 billion of that total. Only $11 billion went to parish ministry and a relatively paltry $4.7 billion to charity, although Catholic Charities provides important services and is the nation's largest charitable organization. Altogether, the Catholic Church has about 1 million employees in the U.S. By way of comparison, General Electric's 2010 revenues were $150 billion and Wal-Mart employed 2 million people that year. ...

So, how well does The Episcopal Church manage its finances? Errors in budget proposals for the next triennium that were published before this year's General Convention implicitly raised questions about the competence of our financial management. From my review of national documents, reading several dioceses' financial reports, and hearing complaints about a lack of financial transparency in at least some TEC congregations, I know that our financial management is much better than what happens in the Roman Catholic Church (e.g., we require regular audits) but leaves room for significantly improving transparency.

No good reason exists to keep TEC finances shrouded in mystery. Shadows invite, even encourage, wrongdoing. Dioceses should publish a full accounting of their income and expenses - with three exceptions. First, financial reports rightly aggregate assistance provided to individuals into a single line item. Identifying the individual recipients of such aid demeans the recipients' dignity and provides no essential information to donors or other interested parties. Annual audits and appropriate oversight can ensure that the funds do not benefit the wrong people.

Second, financial statements rightly aggregate staff salaries and benefits - except for key employees. Donors and other interested parties do not have any legitimate need to know how much an office assistant or receptionist earns. Budget committees, managers, and auditors appropriately manage such matters. Organizations with salary scales or wage guidelines will usefully publish that information to promote transparency, demonstrate good stewardship, and model paying living wages with benefits.

Vestal: Victim seeks to extend abuse statute

The Spokesman-Review

Shawn Vestal
The Spokesman-Review

It happens every time a victim of child sexual abuse wins a lawsuit: the cries that these people are only in it for the money.

Only in it for the money. Only in it for the money. It’s a club wielded by those whose moral compasses are just spinning wildly. But the lawsuit-only system of addressing these past crimes does beg a question: What about other avenues of justice? What if the clock never stopped ticking on the criminal prosecution of child rapists?

Virginia Graham would like to see that happen. Specifically, she would like to see Washington lengthen its statute of limitations for sex crimes against children, and along with John Ahern – who’s done as a legislator but not finished with this issue – she’s turning that into a full-time mission.

“Right now, we only hold the rich or the insured accountable,” Graham said. “What kind of justice is that?”

In Washington, there are a handful of crimes for which the prosecution clock never stops ticking: murder, homicide by abuse, arson if a death results, vehicular homicide, hit-and-run if a death results. Graham and Ahern want Washington to join the growing number of states that are adding child rape to that list – or at least extending their statutes of limitation.

Miss. ending insurance fraud suit after 11 years

San Antonio Express-News

HOLBROOK MOHR, Associated Press

Updated 9:16 a.m., Friday, September 28, 2012

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — State officials are dropping the remnants of an 11-year-old lawsuit after collecting as much money as they think they can get in reparations for insurance fraud by a convicted financier who claimed Vatican ties.

Attorneys for Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney filed a motion Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Miss., that seeks to voluntarily dismiss the last three defendants, including an elderly priest. Claims against the Vatican were dropped earlier this year. A judge has not ruled on the motion.

The lawsuit originally was filed in 2001 by Cheney's predecessor, George Dale, after financier Martin Frankel bilked insurers in five states out of $200 million during the 1990s. Insurance regulators in Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas joined the lawsuit.

Frankel is in prison after pleading guilty to 24 counts of fraud and racketeering.

Betroffenheit über das eigene Nichtstun im Bundestag


Am 27. September 2012, etwa ab 20 Uhr abends, besprach der Deutsche Bundestag den Gesetzesentwurf des SPD-Bundestagsfraktion für eine “Verlängerung der straf- und zivilrechtlichen Verjährungsfristen bei sexuellem Missbrauch von Kindern und minderjährigen Schutzbefohlenen”.

Damit wurde der Entwurf vom 9. Oktober 2010, der immerhin, wenn auch verhalten, den Forderungen von netzwerkB entgegenkommt, erstmalig behandelt. Der Tagesordnungspunkt geht nun auf einen besonderen Geschäftsordnungsantrag der SPD zurück.

Vertreter von netzwerkB waren auf der Zuschauertribüne anwesend, um die Debatte zu verfolgen, darunter Norbert Denef. Die Video-Dokumentation befindet sich hier:

Pädo-Priester nach 20 Jahren suspendiert

20 Minuten

In den 80ern hatte er Sex mit zwei Messdienern in den USA – dann folgte eine steile Karriere in der philippinischen Kirche. Nun wird Priester Cristobal Garcia von seiner Vergangenheit eingeholt.

Ein hochrangiger katholischer Priester im philippinischen Cebu wurde auf Anweisung des Vatikans suspendiert – wegen Untersuchungen zu einem 20 Jahre alten Kindesmissbrauchs-Fall. Cristobal Garcia war schon im Juni von der Bildfläche verschwunden. Als offiziellen Grund hatte die Kirche in Cebu aber erst gesundheitliche Gründe angegeben.




Bilanz in Fulda

Mit einer live von domradio.de übertragenen Pressekonferenz ist die DBK-Herbstvollversammlung in Fulda zu Ende gegangen. Zum Abschluss zogen die Bischöfe auch eine positive Bilanz der Telefonhotline für Heimkinder. Im Steit um das Betreuungsgeld stellten sie sich hinter Bundesfamilienministerin Kristina Schröder.

Die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz hat sich hinter das geplante Betreuungsgeld gestellt, zugleich aber eine Ausweitung auf alle Eltern kleiner Kinder gefordert. Auch Eltern, die öffentliche Betreuung in Anspruch nähmen, sollten zumindest anteilig in den Genuss dieser Leistung kommen, erklärte der Vorsitzende der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, Erzbischof Robert Zollitsch, am Freitag in Fulda zum Abschluss der Herbstvollversammlung der Bischöfe. Viele Familien nutzten einen Betreuungsmix; sie dürften nicht völlig vom Betreuungsgeld ausgeschlossen werden.

Heimkinderfonds ist sehr gefragt


Bereits 120 bayerische Anträge auf Unterstützung wurden bewilligt

München - Gut dreieinhalb Monate nach der Anhörung ehemaliger Heimkinder im bayerischen Landtag haben bereits etliche der Betroffenen Leistungen aus dem eigens für sie gebildeten Bundesfonds erhalten - als Ausgleich für die körperliche Gewalt und die seelischen Grausamkeiten, die ihnen in den Heimen in den Jahren zwischen 1949 und 1975 zugefügt worden waren. Nach Auskunft von Stefan Rösler, dem Leiter der Anlauf- und Beratungsstelle für ehemalige Heimkinder in Bayern, wurden bislang 60 Anträge auf Rentenausgleich sowie weitere 60 Anträge auf Hilfe bei Folgeschäden bewilligt. 'Für die Betroffenen ist das ein Riesenerfolg', sagte Rösler. Einige seien angesichts des späten Ausgleichs für ihr Leid in Tränen ausgebrochen: 'Sie können nun endlich mit der Vergangenheit ihren Frieden machen', sagte er. Die anfängliche Kritik mancher Betroffener, der Fonds sei nichts weiter als 'Betrug', habe mittlerweile abgenommen.

Allein was die Folgeschäden betrifft, die aus den früheren Misshandlungen resultieren, sind für ehemalige Heimkinder Fondsleistungen bis zu 10000 Euro möglich. In einigen anderen Bundesländern hätten die Anlaufstellen eine solche Bilanz nicht vorzuweisen, sagte Rösler: 'Wir gehören zu den erfolgreichsten Anlaufstellen, die Betroffenen sind mit unserer Arbeit zufrieden.' Doch der Preis dafür ist hoch. 'Wir arbeiten permanent an unserer Kapazitätsgrenze - und auch darüber hinaus', erfuhren die Abgeordneten des Sozialausschusses. Für die Betroffenen seien lange Wartezeiten dennoch unvermeidlich - und einige, insbesondere die psychisch stark Belasteten, kämen damit nur schwer zurecht.

Keine Schließung des Aloisius-Kollegs



Das Aloisius-Kolleg in Bonn soll geschlossen werden, dafür sind sieben ehemalige Schüler der Privatschule vor Gericht gezogen. Sie alle wurden nach eigenen Angaben von Patres und Angestellten des Kollegs missbraucht. Das Verwaltungsgericht in Köln hat über den Fall beraten und die Klage abgewiesen.

Papst Benedikts Ex-Kammerdiener vor Gericht


Er steht im Mittelpunkt der Vatileaks-Affäre: Paolo Gabriele, ehemaliger Kammerdiener von Papst Benedikt XVI. Der 46-Jährige soll Geheimdokumente gestohlen und an italienische Medien weitergegeben haben – nun muss er sich vor Gericht verantworten.

Über die Motive von Paolo Gabriele ist nur wenig bekannt. Bislang wurde der Ende Mai festgenommene frühere Kammerdiener von Papst Benedikt XVI. als diskreter Diener seines Herrn beschrieben, die vatikanische Justiz spricht aber auch von einer „schwachen“ und „ängstlichen“ Persönlichkeit. Wollte er nur das Beste für den Papst? Oder wurde er in einem Komplott manipuliert? Auf solche Fragen könnte der am Samstag beginnende Prozess gegen Gabriele Antworten geben.

Stellungnahme der KSJ Trier zur Umgangsweise mit Fällen sexualisierter Gewalt von Mitarbeitern der Seelsorge im Bistum Trier


Auch mehr als zwei Jahre nach den großen öffentlichen Skandalen in Deutschland, die immer neue Fälle ans Licht brachten, verweigert die Kirche den ehrlichen Blick in die eigenen Abgründe. Die strukturellen Zusammenhänge nicht erkennen zu wollen, ist der Hauptgrund für ihre Orientierungslosigkeit und ihren unangemessenen Umgang mit den Opfern. Das führt zur unbewussten Übernahme von Täterstrategien und zur Benutzbarkeit von Tätern.

Eine evangeliumsgemäße, an den Erkenntnissen der Humanwissenschaften und am eigenen Kirchenrecht ausgerichtete Vorgehensweise legt folgendes nahe:

Beim Umgang mit Fällen sexualisierter Gewalt muss der Blick auf die Opfer oberste Priorität haben. Aus der Opferperspektive müssen alle Entscheidungen getroffen werden, sie muss die leitende Handlungsoption sein. Heilung der zugefügten Wunden und Linderung der zugefügten Schmerzen kann nur geschehen, wenn die Täter zur Schuldanerkenntnis und zum Schuldbekenntnis geführt werden. Das wird verhindert, wenn Täter, die ihr Amt missbraucht haben, weiterhin im Amt bleiben dürfen. Priester, die straffällig geworden sind, dürfen nicht mehr in die Seelsorge und an den Altar zurückkehren. Sie sind mindestens auf Dauer zu suspendieren (im Extremfall zu laisieren); ihnen kann ein anderes Arbeitsfeld in der Kirche ermöglicht werden, das keine spezifisch priesterlichen Voraussetzungen erfordert. Täter sind außerdem an entsprechenden Sühneleistungen zu beteiligen.

Missbrauchs-Verfahren eingestellt

Borkener Zeitung

-mmi- Das Strafverfahren gegen die Leiterin eines Dülmener Kindergartens wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs und Körperverletzung gegen mehrere ihr anvertraute Jungen im Alter von drei bis vier Jahren ist von der Staatsanwaltschaft Münster eingestellt worden. „Das ist eine gute Nachricht für uns, und wir werden nun gemeinsam sehen, wie wir unsere Mitarbeiterin in Zukunft am besten unterstützen können“, erklärte Daniel Cord, Sprecher des evangelischen Kirchenkreises Steinfurt-Coesfeld-Borken als Träger der Einrichtung.

Ab wann ist sexueller Missbrauch verjährt?


Berlin/MVPO Die strafrechtliche Verjährung bei sexuellem Missbrauch wurde am 28. Oktober 2012 im Deutschen Bundestag kontrovers diskutiert.

Es ist erstaunlich, dass das Thema strittig ist. Argumente, die gegen eine
Verlängerung auf 20 Jahre sprechen, wie die SPD sie fordert, gibt es letztlich nicht.

Die SPD Bundestagsabgeordnete Sonja Steffen hat in ihrer Rede erklärt, warum
eine Verlängerung notwendig ist: "Menschen, vor allem Kinder, haben oftmals die Fähigkeit, erlittenes Leid in eine innere Schublade zu stecken. Oft dauert es Jahre, bis es wieder ins Bewusstsein tritt." Derzeit liegt die Frist der strafrechtlichen Verjährung bei 10 Jahren. Zwar beginnt diese erst mit dem 18. Geburtstag des Opfers, jedoch spätestens, wenn das Opfer Ende zwanzig ist, kann der Täter strafrechtlich nicht mehr belangt werden.

Psychologist provides analysis of Catholic church's sex abuse scandal

Buffalo News

BY: Jay Tokasz

At the height of the clergy sex abuse scandal in 2002, Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea urged the nation's Catholic bishops to lead "the revitalization and restoration of souls" damaged by sexual abuse.

A decade later, Frawley-O'Dea painted a far less-hopeful portrait of the Catholic Church's handling of sexual abuse during a 45-minute talk Thursday at Canisius College.

Frawley-O'Dea - a Charlotte, N.C., trauma psychologist and author of two books about the church's sexual abuse crisis - spelled out how a culture of "clerical narcissism" resulted in a diminished capacity for empathy for sex abuse victims, particularly in church hierarchs more concerned with status and the accoutrements of their offices than with leadership and pastoralism.

"There's a sense that morality comes with the status, rather the morality is something you've got to keep working at," Frawley-O'Dea said during a 20-minute question-and-answer session that followed her talk.

Bishop Joseph Devine should pray for vulnerable

Daily Record

JOAN BURNIE puts forwards the view the Catholic Church should put the same effort into purifying its own ranks that it does chasing abortion issues.

ABORTION is seldom an easy decision. There are few women who treat it lightly and maybe those who do aren’t those most fit to receive a Mother’s Day card.

But the recent intemperate, strident remarks from Bishop Joseph Devine, in which he linked abortion to the Nazi death camps, was a rant too far.

Such comparisons not only belittle the full, foul horror of the Holocaust itself but do nothing to encourage a civilised debate. ...

Coincidentally, on the same day as the bishop was making his comments, the Catholic Church in Victoria, Australia, was becoming yet another place to concede that many children, possibly thousands, could have been abused by their priests.

If the church’s hierarchy had put one 10th of the zeal into exposing the paedophiles within their midst, as they do campaigning and preaching against matters of personal conscience, such as abortion and gay marriage, they could have rooted out this evil much earlier than they did.

They denied and delayed, while playing pass the parcel with priests who were an evident danger to children.

So I put it to the bishop – had you and other princes of the church acted quicker, there might not be so many abused and damaged adults across the world who wish they had never been born because of the abuse they suffered.

Former Reading priest Richard Nachajski sentenced for stealing $400,000 from church


Author: Ryan Hughes, Reporter, Ryan.Hughes@wfmz.com

A former Roman Catholic Priest was taken out of court in handcuffs Thursday, convicted of stealing more than $400,000 from his church.

Richard Nachajski was once a beloved man of the cloth, even given the nickname "Bishop of Millmont," but now the former pastor of St. Anthony's of Padua Church in southwest Reading is a convicted felon.

Berks County Judge Scott Keller sentenced him to two to seven years in prison.

"People were hurt to know he lived, in my opinion, this double life," said Marianne Adam, an active member of the church.

Father Peter Donnelly denies abuse allegations

BBC News

A Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing a young girl almost 30 years ago has been giving evidence for a second day at his trial in Belfast.

Father Peter Donnelly said although there may have been opportunities to abuse the girl: "I don't go around seeing opportunities to misbehave.

"That's not the way I have lived my life. I go around trying to be a witness for Christ," the priest said.

He denies six counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency.

Gov't expands probe into 'blood' ivory


by Agence France-Presse

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine authorities said Friday, September 28, they had launched a nationwide investigation into Catholic devotees collecting religious figures made of "blood" ivory smuggled from Africa.

The probe, launched this week, was initially focused primarily on one priest who was quoted in a National Geographic article allegedly giving instructions on how to smuggle ivory and naming carvers who would turn it into statues.

However the head of the National Bureau of Investigation's environment division, Sixto Comia, said his officers had now also begun looking into other owners of ivory figures, amid concerns that the trade was extensive.

"This is a nationwide operation. Those people who like religious statues, especially the rich, they want ivory. Some of them know it is illegal but there are people still importing it," he told AFP.

Ex-priest who took $425,000 from Millmont church gets prison

Reading Eagle

Holly Herman
Reading Eagle

A Berks County judge showed no mercy Thursday when sentencing a former Roman Catholic priest to two to seven years in state prison for stealing $425,000 from a Millmont church between February 1998 and 2009 to lead a lavish lifestyle.

Judge Scott D. Keller said that Richard Nachajski, 66, now of York, does not deserve a break. He then imposed a sentence harsher than prosecutors had requested.

Nachajski pleaded guilty to stealing money from St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church accounts.

Just before sentencing, Nachajski said he has been burdened with regret.

Greek church will celebrate milestone in ‘painful time’

The Columbus Dispatch

By JoAnne Viviano
The Columbus Dispatch
Friday September 28, 2012

Members of Columbus’ Greek Orthodox Church are forging ahead this weekend with a 100th-anniversary celebration and the welcoming of a new dean while coping with a presiding priest’s confession to attempted rape of a child.

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, on the edge of the Short North, will play host to the top church official in the U.S. — Archbishop Demetrios — and the top regional official — Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh — for the events.

The Rev. Patrick N. Hughes, interim dean of the church, was arrested last week after Franklin County deputy sheriffs said he used the Internet to solicit boys for sex. He pleaded guilty yesterday and was sentenced to six years in prison.

“The plans are going on as originally scheduled, but the difference will be in the spirit of it, obviously less celebratory and one of coming together in healing,” said Bishop Andonios, chancellor of the Archdiocese of America.

Dark stain of Irish gulag system not yet addressed

Irish Times


ALMOST EVERY European state has a dark stain on its conscience – totalitarian violence at home and/or colonial violence abroad.

Ireland, to its great credit, has not had a totalitarian government and, as an independent State, has been broadly anti-colonial. But it has its own dark stain and its own unfinished business – with the hundreds of thousands of people it locked up in the Irish gulag. The survivors of the Magdalene laundries are, as RTÉ’s Prime Time will highlight tonight, among those who are still waiting for a simple acknowledgement of a nasty truth: that this State imprisoned and enslaved astonishing numbers of its own citizens.

This story is one of those in which the plain facts seem like hysterical exaggerations, making reality incredible. Breathtaking numbers of citizens were kidnapped, confined and enslaved with the active collusion of the State. Ireland operated a huge, highly organised system of unlawful imprisonment into which hundreds of thousands of people disappeared, sometimes for good. Shamefully, the State is still refusing to face this fact.

In a very important recent book, Coercive Confinement in Ireland, Eoin O’Sullivan and Ian O’Donnell have brought together documents and statistics that begin to map the system. By “coercive confinement” they are not talking about what that term would mean in a normal society – people being sent to prison by the courts because they have been found guilty of breaking the law. For most of the history of the State, the lawful prison system was dwarfed by the shadow system of confinement, made up largely of industrial schools, Magdalene homes and mental hospitals.

'VatiLeaks' trial will be landmark event for Vatican tribunal

Catholic News Service

By Cindy Wooden and Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- For the Vatican's criminal court, the trial of Paolo Gabriele and Claudio Sciarpelletti for their alleged part in leaking papal correspondence will be unusual and may lead the Vatican to invoke a never-used cooperation agreement with Italy.

Giovanni Giacobbe, promoter of justice in Court of Appeal of Vatican City State, explained to reporters Sept. 27 how the Vatican conducts a criminal trial. But he also admitted that such trials are "extremely" rare, and the only thing remotely similar was a trial for drug possession on Vatican property some 10 years ago.

If Gabriele and Sciarpelletti are found guilty and are sentenced to jail time, they would serve that time in an Italian prison under the terms of a decades-old Italian-Vatican agreement that has never been used, Giacobbe said. Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981, was handed over to Italian police and found guilty in an Italian court, not a Vatican court.

Gabriele, who was arrested in May after Vatican police found papal correspondence and other items in his Vatican apartment, faces a charge of aggravated theft, which Giacobbe said carries a possible sentence of up to four years. Sciarpelletti, who had a copy of a document from Gabriele in his desk at the Vatican Secretariat of State, was charged with aiding and abetting Gabriele. He faces up to one year in prison.

Trial Of Pope's Ex-Butler To Shine Big Light On Tiny Vatican


The trial of Papal butler, Mr Paolo Gabriele for breach of trust begins on Saturday' in the Vatican City, and the trial is expected to beam light on the tiny religious state headed by Pope Benedict XVI.

Gabriele is also charged for stealing and leaking the pontiff's personal papers.

The Vatican has certainly seen more sensational trials in its long history, including the Inquisition ordered by the papal see for

Galileo to recant his theory that the earth revolves around the sun, and that which led to the burning of philosopher Giordano Bruno at the stake for heresy.

But even those cases, both in the 17th century, did not involve a breach of trust by a papal aide the issue at the core of this Saturday's trial of papal butler Paolo Gabriele.

Newsmaker: Paolo Gabriele, the papal butler who fell from grace


By Naomi O'Leary

VATICAN CITY | Thu Sep 27, 2012

(Reuters) - By day, Paolo Gabriele was a member of the Vatican's innermost circle, the "papal family", possessing a key held by fewer than 10 people to an elevator leading from a small Vatican courtyard directly into Pope Benedict's apartments.

By night, he was a different man, obsessed with helping root out what he saw as corruption in the Roman Catholic Church.

The pious butler who helped Pope Benedict dress and served him his meals now finds himself on trial for aggravated theft, accused of stealing documents in what could prove to be the most sensational Vatican trial in decades.

Gabriele, 46, a reserved family man and devout Catholic, told investigators he acted for the good of the Church.

While tending to the man Catholics believe is Christ's vicar on earth, the clean-cut, black-haired butler said he saw "evil and corruption everywhere in the Church", and began leaking the papers that would cause one of the biggest crisis of Pope Benedict's papacy.

Megan Stammers: Arrest warrant issued for maths teacher

BBC News

A European arrest warrant has been issued for the maths teacher who travelled to France with missing teenager Megan Stammers.

Jeremy Forrest, 30, and the Eastbourne schoolgirl, 15, have not been seen since they crossed the Channel from Dover to France on 20 September.

Sussex Police are expected to release more details about the warrant during a press conference later.

Mr Forrest's father Jim is also due to appeal for his son to come home.

Megan police defend four-day delay over warrant

The Times

Rhoda Buchanan, Laura Dixon, John Simpson
Last updated at 4:59PM, September 27 2012

A European arrest warrant was not issued for the teacher who ran away with the schoolgirl Megan Stammers until four days after the pair were reported missing, police said yesterday.

Sussex Police defended itself over claims that it should have acted sooner, as the father of Jeremy Forrest, the missing teacher, issued an appeal for his son to make contact.

Teachers accused of crimes against their pupils could be granted anonymity

The Guardian

Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Friday 28 September 2012

Teachers accused of committing criminal offences involving children at their school will be granted anonymity under regulations which come into force next week.

Under the restrictions the married teacher Jeremy Forrest, who has gone missing in Europe with his 15-year-old student Megan Stammers, might not have been identified.

The provisions, introduced under section 13 of the Education Act 2011, mean teachers will become the first group to receive automatic anonymity when accused of a certain category of criminal offences. Once the teacher has been charged he or she can be identified.

Police, the media or anyone else would have to apply to a court to have the reporting restrictions lifted. Critics have warned the restrictions could hinder police appeals and searches for missing suspects.

Teachers anonymity law criticised

The Press Association

The married teacher missing with his teenage pupil might not have been identified under a new law that comes into force next week.

Teachers will become the first group of people in British legal history to be given automatic anonymity when they are accused of a criminal offence.

The move could hinder searches like the one for missing teacher Jeremy Forrest, who is thought to be in Europe with his 15-year-old student Megan Stammers, said critics.

The provision, in section 13 of the Education Act 2011, gives anonymity for a teacher when the complaint is made by or on behalf of any pupil at the school at which the individual teaches.

Court asked to seal correspondence in Schaap case

NWI Times

Bob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345

HAMMOND | The defense and prosecutors have asked the court to seal all correspondence received in conjunction with the child sex case involving disgraced Pastor Jack Schaap.

The parties argue in a motion filed Thursday the content of the letters and emails suggest they were "meant for the Court's consideration only and not for public consumption."

The correspondence also contains information, such as home and email addresses, and other personal and confidential information that must be redacted by law from public filings.

Mary Hatton, spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office, declined to comment on the content of the correspondence.

Minn. pastor charged with criminal sexual conduct

Sacramento Bee

The Associated Press

WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A Minnesota pastor is charged for an alleged affair he had with a 16-year-old girl who was a parishioner.

The Dakota County Attorney's office has charged 39-year-old Gustaro Resendiz Talabera (tal-ah-BEHR'-ah) of West St. Paul with third-degree criminal sexual conduct and deprivation of parental rights.

County Attorney James Backstrom says Talabera was found Thursday in Joliet, Ill. Talabera was arrested and the girl was taken into protective custody.

Backstrom says the girl did not attend school Wednesday. She told her mother she would be home sick, but she was missing.

Former Norwich pastor sentenced in molestation case

The Bulletin

The Bulletin

Norwich, Conn. —

A former First Haitian Baptist Church pastor will spend 2½ years in prison, starting this winter, after pleading guilty to molesting a 12-year-old girl on multiple occasions in 2006, when she was living with family in Norwich.

Luckner Sylvain, 49, of 44 S. A St., Taftville, pleaded guilty Wednesday in New London Superior Court under the Alford Doctrine, a legal procedure in which the defendant does not admit guilt, but agrees that the state has enough evidence against him to get a conviction.

Sylvain was facing charges of first-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.

In addition to his prison term, which begins in December, Sylvain will have to register as a sex offender and spend 10 years on probation.

Q&A: Marci Hamilton

New York Law Journal

By Jeff Storey
New York Law Journal

September 28, 2012

Marci Hamilton, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, stepped out of the Ivory Tower onto the public square to decry what she sees as the widespread cover-up of child sexual abuse by institutions like Pennsylvania State University, the Roman Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America.

Hamilton represents victims of abuse in court and lobbies for changes in state statutes of limitations that would make it easier for victims to sue. Frequently quoted in the media, she has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and accompanied one of her Penn State clients to a taping this week in Los Angeles of The Dr. Phil Show.

Hamilton has taught at Cardozo since 1990, specializing in constitutional law, the First Amendment and religion and the law. She has two master's degrees, one in philosophy and one in English, from Penn State and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law (Cambridge, 2005) and Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge, rev. 2012).

Q: One of your academic specialties is church-state relations. Do you think organized religion has a disproportionate influence on public policy in the United States?

A: Our elected representatives have a history of being overly deferential to religious leaders and lobbyists, with tragic results for children. Until recently, there was a tendency to assume that there is an equation between religion and the protection of children, which is a mistake. Christian Scientists have lobbied the federal and state governments for exceptions to the medical neglect laws, making it easier for faith-healing parents to let their children suffer, be permanently disabled, and even die. Catholic and Mormon hierarchies have lobbied for exceptions to child abuse reporting statutes, and Catholic bishops continue to lobby aggressively against statute of limitations reform for child sex abuse victims, so that the victims cannot go to court.

September 27, 2012

Governors at Megan Stammers' school did not know about probe into Jeremy Forrest


Governors at Megan Stammers’ school weren’t told police were probing her relationship with teacher Jeremy Forrest.

Headmaster Terry Boatwright was due to suspend the maths master last Friday but the governors only found out when the pair were reported missing.

Three board members at Bishop Bell C of E are leading church figures from the Diocese of Chichester.

Yesterday a spokesman for the diocese said: “The board was not involved.”

Lucy Duckworth, from the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said last night: “This is a disgrace which calls into question the judgment of the headteacher.

"The board has a right to know.”

New Archbishop Murphy coach had troubles in Oregon

My Northwest

By Tim Haeck
97.3 KIRO FM Reporter

The man named this week as interim head football coach at Archbishop Murphy High School in Mill Creek has a history of problems as a teacher in Oregon.

As a football coach and teacher at Gresham High School, Michael Allison admitted to an unprofessional relationship with a student. While he denied any physical contact with the girl, he admitted to inappropriate cell phone calls and e-mails.

A state investigation also concluded that Allison, quoting from the report: "failed to report to school district officials that a student had romantic feelings toward him." The Herald reports Allison surrendered his license to teach in Oregon in 2010.

Interim Murphy coach once accused of misconduct


By Aaron Swaney, Herald Writer

EVERETT -- The man named Tuesday as interim head football coach at Archbishop Murphy High School surrendered his teaching license in Oregon after an investigation concluded he engaged in inappropriate conduct with a high school student.

Michael Allison was hired as a physical-education instructor at Archbishop Murphy High School this summer and was an assistant football coach. His promotion came after Bill Marsh suddenly resigned as coach of what's considered one of the strongest football teams in the state.

Allison, 41, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Archbishop Murphy athletic director Jerry Zander said the school was aware of the Oregon allegations before hiring Allison.

Two men join sex abuse suit against Catholic Diocese of Beaumont

Beaumont Enterprise

By Heather Nolan

Published 5:38 p.m., Thursday, September 27, 2012

Two East Texas men who claim they were sexually abused by a priest in the late 1970s have been added as plaintiffs to a personal injury lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont.

The new plaintiffs are identified only as John Doe 105 and John Doe 106. They live in Cherokee County and in Nacogdoches County, respectively.

John Doe 104 originally filed the lawsuit in April, claiming the late Ronald Bollich routinely assaulted him sexually in 1976 and 1977.

Bollich, whom the lawsuit said died in 1996 at the age of 59, was assigned to the Sacred Heart Parish in Nacogdoches. That parish was governed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont at the time the alleged events occurred, according to the court filing.

Church workers, officials attest to monsignor’s piety, generosity


By Bernadette A. Parco

Friday, September 28, 2012

A GOOD friend, generous and dedicated to the promotion of the faith—these were the words that some priests and church workers use to describe Msgr. Cristobal Garcia, who is facing an investigation by the Vatican in relation to a 20-year-old sexual abuse case.

“Cris provides a sense of continuity to deeply cherished religious traditions. His deep commitment to Sinulog, for instance, was a positive factor to the celebrations,” said Fr. Carmelo Diola, Dilaab Foundation Inc. overall steward.

Diola said it was Garcia who was behind the creation of a website for the Friends of Pedro Foundation Inc. in 2000, leading to the formation of Dilaab in 2007.

Judge Arthur Brennan Sentenced Father Gordon MacRae to Die in Prison

A Ram in the Thicket

By Ryan A. MacDonald

Former New Hampshire Judge Arthur Brennan was arrested at a Washington, DC protest in October 2011. In 1994, he sentenced Fr. Gordon MacRae to die in prison.

I spent some time last month poking around inside These Stone Walls, an extraordinary website that by all odds should not exist. I once wrote of all the random factors that had to coalesce for this story of a Catholic priest falsely accused and wrongfully imprisoned to be told. "The Prisoner-Priest Behind These Stone Walls" tells that tale, and hopefully has drawn some fair minded souls to this remarkable site.

Spend just a minute or two at the "About" page at These Stone Walls, and consider its simple math. On September 23, 1994, in Cheshire County Superior Court in Keene, New Hampshire, Judge Arthur Brennan sentenced Catholic priest, Gordon MacRae to consecutive prison terms for a combined sentence of 67 years in prison. The sentence was imposed after a highly problematic jury trial in which MacRae was convicted of having sexually assaulted Thomas Grover during counseling sessions in 1983 when Grover was 15 years old.

The accused priest was between 25 and 30 years old when his "crimes" - now deemed by many to be fictitious - were claimed to have occurred. MacRae was 41 years old when the sentence was imposed. He is now 59 years old and still in prison. Barring the just outcome of a pending new appeal based on new evidence in the case, the priest will be 108 years old when his sentence is fully served and he is free to leave prison. There is no other possible conclusion. Judge Arthur Brennan sentenced Father Gordon MacRae to die in the New Hampshire State Prison.

The unholiest of PR spin

Sydney Morning Herald


Judy Courtin

The Catholic Church's sincerity must be challenged when it says it is putting abuse victims first.

FACING the Truth is the title of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne's submission to State Parliament's inquiry into the handling of child abuse by churches and others. The title also becomes the leitmotif of a church press release on the submission - that the church of today has been ''open about the horrific abuse that has occurred in Victoria and elsewhere'' and ''we put the child first''.

What is designed to look like a confession and a genuine mea maxima culpa, is nothing but unholy PR spin.

First, consider the numbers. Archbishop Denis Hart claims about 620 cases of child abuse relating to crimes committed over the past 80 years have been upheld by the church in Victoria. This does not reflect the true number. According to the Victorian Law Reform Commission, a maximum of 10 per cent of people who were sexually assaulted as children will ever report those crimes to police. Whether more or fewer people will report to the police than the church, we don't know. But broadly this figure means we have more than 6000 victims of Catholic clergy sex abuse in this state.

Second, the church claims that by ''facing the truth'' it is being open about the horrific abuse. If this were so, the church would, today, hand to police all its secret archives holding thousands of documents relating to decades of clergy sex offences and their cover-ups. On this latter point the press release is silent. The church instead hides this evidence.

Greek Orthodox Priest Pleads Guilty To Attempted Rape, Sentenced To 6 Years


[with video]

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A Greek Orthodox priest accused of trying to solicit sex from young boys entered a guilty plea in court Thursday afternoon.

Patrick Nicholas Hughes was sentenced to six years in prison after being arrested last week on one count of attempted rape and one count of attempted unlawful conduct with a minor.

Authorities said Hughes, 56, tried to arrange a meeting to have sex with two boys, ages 9 and 14.

O’Brien said in his Thursday afternoon court appearance, Hughes waived his right to indictment and entered a guilty plea to the Bill of Information.

Supporting potential victims


Posted on September 27, 2012

by Editorial Board

“Enough with evading the issue, LMU. Be transparent. Tell us the facts. Hopefully, even with this information, no one at LMU during [Brother William J.] Farrington [S.J.]’s time at the University will come forward. But, with the unfortunate chance that that is not the case, give them the opportunity to tell their story. Reporting abuse takes innumerable levels of strength. Show that you care. Extend your hand.”

Those words formed the conclusion of the Loyolan’s board editorial just 10 days ago (“Enough with evading the issue, LMU,” Sept. 17, 2012), urging the University to take action in the wake of the allegations of sexual abuse against former LMU employee Farrington at his previous schools, Bellarmine College Preparatory and Jesuit High School (as reported in the Sept. 17 Loyolan article “Jesuit accused of sexual molestation spent 15 years working at LMU”). On Tuesday, President David W. Burcham extended that hand in two separate letters: one to the current LMU community (reprinted below) and one to alumni who attended LMU from 1987-2002, when Farrington worked here.

Burcham informed recipients in both letters of Farrington’s time at LMU and of the allegations, which were deemed “credible” by the presidents of both Bellarmine Prep and Jesuit High. The letters also made clear that no claims of abuse at LMU have surfaced, and that he was reassigned to the Jesuit Retirement Community in Los Gatos, Calif. following a complaint from an alleged victim at one of Farrington’s previous schools. Additionally, in his letter to alumni, Burcham urged “anyone with credible information of wrongdoing on the part of Brother Farrington during his time at LMU to contact Rebecca Chandler, LMU Vice President of Human Resources.”

Ex-vicar Ronald Johns admits to child sex offences

BBC News

An ex-canon of Carlisle Cathedral has admitted a series of child sex offences dating back more than 20 years.

Ronald Johns pleaded guilty at Carlisle Crown Court to assaulting three teenage boys between 1983 and 1991.

The 75-year-old, of Kings Road, Coltishall, Norwich, was bailed to return to Carlisle Crown Court on 19 November for sentencing.

Outside court the Archdeacon of West Cumberland Richard Pratt apologised "unreservedly" to Johns' victims.

"We've been deeply shocked and grieved by The Reverend Ron Johns' admission of child sexual abuse," he said.

Priest pleads guilty to one count of attempted rape

The Columbus Dispatch

By John Futty
The Columbus Dispatch
Thursday September 27, 2012

The acting dean of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Columbus pleaded guilty this afternoon to a bill of information accusing him of trying to meet two boys for sex.

Patrick N. Hughes, 56, was sentenced to six years in prison by Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Mark Serrott.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys recommended the sentence. The maximum for one count of attempted rape is eight years.

Hughes was arrested last week by deputy sheriffs. He was accused of posting an online ad “ looking for taboo sex with no age restrictions,” a prosecutor said during Hughes’ initial appearance in court.

Priest Charged With Sex Abuse Enters Guilty Plea; Gets 6 Years


Published: September 27, 2012

A Columbus Priest accused of soliciting sex from a minor online appeared in court Thursday afternoon and pleaded guilty to the charges against him.

Patrick Hughes, 56, was arrested and charged with attempted rape and attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Hughes was sentenced to six years in prison. He cannot be rewarded time for good behavior and will have to register as a Tier 3 sex offender for life. Once he is released from prison, he will be placed on probation for five years.

This is my story

Watch Keep

This is my story of how I came to be an advocate for survivors of child sexual abuse and the personal price I would pay as a result. But I would do it again.

I loved my church, Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas. I spent my years in high school as a dedicated member of the youth ministry, and while attending Baylor University, I spent my summers as an intern on the youth staff at Prestonwood. It was there I met my then youth music minister, John Langworthy. John soon became a close friend of our family, even living in our home for a while in the mid 1980s while on staff at Prestonwood and attending seminary. I was in his wedding in Mississippi. He was a friend and mentor.

The person that I knew though was not reality. The reality was a wolf masquerading in sheep's clothing, albeit a very talented, charming, magnetic, charismatic one. The entire time I knew him, he was sexually molesting boys at Prestonwood, some of them my friends. Some of the abuse took place in the church building, the former Prestonwood location on Hillcrest at Arapaho in Dallas. This came as a shock to all of us when he was suddenly fired in June of 1989 and packed up quickly and moved back to his home state of Mississippi. I heard the rumors like many in the youth group then. I was 20 and on staff as an intern. I did not know exactly who the victims were at the time. The Prestonwood executive staff, headed by Dr. Jack Graham, heard Langworthy confess to these child sex crimes, along with Neal Jeffrey, then youth pastor, but no one reported these crimes to the police as required by Texas state law. They even had a few of the victims that they knew sit down with church attorneys to give statements, but none of this information was reported to the police.

New Law: California Computer Techs Must Report Child Pornography

The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on September 27, 2012

A new California law makes commercial computer technicians mandatory reporters in cases of child pornography. The bill, AB 1817, was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown this week.

Here is the crux of the bill, according to a press release from the CA K.I.D.S. Coalition:

Commercial computer techicians will now be required to report child sexual abuse images if they discover them during their normal course of work.

The last time this law was updated, it applied to employees in photo and video processing labs. With the dawn of digital media, not only was the old law outdated, but barely scratched the surface of a now-booming digital trade in sexual exploitation images of children.

Had a law like this been in effect in Kansas City, numerous children victimized by Fr. Shawn Ratigan could have been saved from abuse.

Now, if computer techs run across child abuse images (child porn) on a computer, they won’t grapple with the questions of “should I? or shouldn’t I?”

CA - Vatican comes clean about priest’s removal, SNAP responds

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on September 26, 2012

We are glad that the Vatican has finally taken action to remove Msgr. Cristobal Garcia. However, this belated move does not change the fact that their actions in the past have done more to harm children than removing Garcia today does to protect them.

In 2005, after Garcia admitted abusing altar boys, church officials did nothing as the predator priest fled to the Philippines. More recently, they allowed his Filipino diocese to propagate the myth that he was removed “due to health reasons.” These lies and inaction could only have endangered kids.

We hope that there is a serious shakeup due to this mishandling, but we doubt that such a thing will occur. The men who covered for Fr. Garcia in the Philippines should be severely punished. Sadly, we doubt they will even receive a slap on the wrist.

OH - SNAP applauds arrest of Orthodox priest in Ohio

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on September 27, 2012

It is disturbing how easily predators are able to find potential victims by using the internet. For that reason, we are grateful to Columbus police for apprehending Fr. Patrick Hughes before he had the chance to potentially victimize more children.

Parents must remain vigilant and be sure to monitor the internet activity of young, unsuspecting children who may be pursued by predators such as Rev. Hughes. Child predators are often charismatic and deceptive, and what seems safe and innocent from behind a computer screen can turn out to be nefarious.

NY - SNAP applauds Rabbi in buffalo for speaking out against alleged predator

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on September 27, 2012

We are disturbed that Rabbi Shlaman has been able to escape his sordid past and once again be in active ministry. At the same time, we are proud of the response from community members, most notably Rabbi Keith Karnofsky, who have openly spoken out against Shalman returning to the pulpit and done his part to warn church goers of Shalman’s crimes.

In order for real change to happen, efforts like those of Rabbi Karnofsky must become commonplace, not rare. We are glad to see that he has taken the lead in this situation, and hope that the rest of the members of the Buffalo Board of Rabbis will follow his example.

At the same time, we are dismayed that people – such as Hillel Board Chairman Dan Lenard – are excusing Shalman’s sexual impropriety due to his knowledge of the Torah. Rather, we think that those who practice the morals taught in Torah rather than know its contents are better fit to lead temple services.

Rabbi who was ousted for inappropriate relationship assists in services

Buffalo News

BY: Jay Tokasz

Rabbi A. Charles Shalman, expelled in 2008 from the worldwide Rabbinical Assembly amid allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a member of his congregation, has resurfaced as a featured participant in High Holy Day services at Hillel of Buffalo.

Shalman assisted last week during Rosh Hashana services at Hillel, the primary Jewish student organization on the University at Buffalo campus, and he is slated to do the same again tonight and Wednesday for Yom Kippur, Judaism's most solemn holiday.

Shalman's return to the pulpit as Torah reader has caused considerable consternation in some circles of the Jewish community, including a letter from a local rabbi to the Hillel board chairman strongly objecting to the move.

"We all know that Rabbi Shalman is a gifted, knowledgeable and charismatic teacher. However, given his refusal to own up or change, it is not appropriate for him to work with the young, vulnerable student population at Hillel," Rabbi Keith M. Karnofsky wrote in a letter obtained by The Buffalo News.

Clarksburg man claims attorney incompetence in 2001 murder case

The Gazette

by Jeremy Arias Staff writer

A Clarksburg man who is appealing his second-degree murder conviction for stabbing a priest to death in 2000 must prove that his defense attorneys did not properly represent him at trial.

Robert Paul Lucas’ current attorneys are arguing that his former attorneys should have objected to comments made by prosecutors during closing arguments at his August 2001 trial.

At a hearing Sept. 20, Judge Sharon V. Burrell gave Lucas until Oct. 10 to submit an updated transcript detailing the objectionable statements.

Lucas, 37, was found guilty of the second-degree murder of Monsignor Thomas Wells, 56, a pastor at the Mother Seton Parish in Germantown. Lucas was also found guilty of robbery with a dangerous weapon and first-degree burglary and was ultimately sentenced to 42 and a half years.

Wells was found dead from multiple stab wounds in his bedroom at the Germantown rectory after he was missed during morning mass on June 8, 2000. The wife of Lucas’ employer began to suspect his involvement in the murder about a week later and police arrested him after discovering Lucas wearing boots that matched bloody prints left at the scene, court documents state.

Upon his arrest, Lucas confessed to the murder. During the trial, Lucas said Wells sexually assaulted him after Lucas drunkenly broke into the rectory looking for a place to clean up, Montgomery County Assistant State’s Attorney Ann Bosse said.

Man Convicted in Stabbing Death of Germantown Priest Wants New Trial


By Tiffany Arnold

A Clarksburg man convicted of killing a Germantown priest has asked for a new trial, claiming his former attorneys should have objected to prosecutors' comments during closing arguments at his 2001 trial, The Gazette reported Thursday.

Robert Paul Lucas, 37, is appealing his second-degree murder conviction for stabbing to death Monsignor Thomas Wells, a 56-year-old pastor at Mother Seton Parish, whom Lucas claimed had sexually assaulted him, according to The Gazette.

According to court records accessed by Patch, Wells was in court Sept. 20. A judge gave him 20 days to submit a transcript detailing the objectionable statements.

Ivory smuggling charge against priest reveals abuse investigation

Catholic News Agency

By Kevin J. Jones

Cebu, Philippines, Sep 27, 2012 / 10:50 am (CNA).- A National Geographic story on ivory smuggling has renewed focus on a prominent Philippines priest accused of sexual abuse in Los Angeles in the 1980s.

Monsignor Cristobal Garcia, an ivory collector, told a National Geographic correspondent he could smuggle ivory into the U.S. by wrapping it in “old, stinky underwear” and pouring ketchup on it.

The smuggling remarks, published in the October 2012 issue of National Geographic, caused a controversy which revealed that Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu suspended the priest in June because of the Vatican’s ongoing investigation of the child abuse case against him.

In a Sept. 26 statement from the Cebu archdiocese, Archbishop Palma explained that the abuse investigation began “long before the (ivory trade) controversy erupted.”

National Geographic story links Philippine priest in ivory smuggling

National Catholic Reporter

Sep. 27, 2012
By Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON -- A National Geographic magazine cover story identifies a Philippine Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse in the United States as fueling his country's illegal trade in ivory.

In the course of his research for the October issue, Bryan Christy learned that Msgr. Cristobal Garcia, director of worship for the Archdiocese of Cebu, Philippines, had been accused of child sex abuse more than two decades ago but was still serving in priestly ministry. Christy said he was "surprised. Yes, I was surprised."

The article highlights Garcia's extensive ivory religious icon collection and quotes him giving tips on how to smuggle ivory into the Philippines. It also included details of the sexual abuse complaint against him from the 1980s, when he served as a Dominican priest in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He was expelled from the Dominicans and returned to the Philippines.

In a statement Wednesday, the Cebu Archdiocese said the Vatican had been looking into the sexual abuse complaints against Garcia "long before the (ivory trade) controversy erupted."

Megan Stammers search continues in France

BBC News

French authorities are helping search for an East Sussex teenager thought to be with a teacher from her school.

Megan Stammers, 15, from Eastbourne, is believed to have crossed the Channel with Jeremy Forrest, 30, a maths teacher at Bishop Bell C of E School.

Police said Mr Forrest, of Ringmer, East Sussex, who got married last year, was travelling with Megan in his black Ford Fiesta.

Megan's mother and stepfather are to make a new appeal for her to come home.

Several appeals have been posted on Twitter and Facebook, including one by her sister Brooke who tweeted: "Keeping hope that we'll have good news soon. Need our meg home safe and sound #keepfaith #findmeganstammers."

Former Somerville priest accused of sex abuse dead

Wicked Local Somerville

By Auditi Guha
Wicked Local Somerville

Posted Sep 27, 2012

Somerville —

A former Somerville priest who was recently accused of sex abuse reportedly committed suicide this week.

"With sorrow I received news this evening that the Rev. Paul LaCharite has died, an apparent suicide," said Bishop M. Thomas Shaw of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts in a statement on Sept. 26. "This is a shocking tragedy, and I've asked our diocesan community to pray for everyone concerned."

Formerly of St. James Episcopal Church in Somerville, LaCharite, 65, was affiliated with the Old North Church in Boston and was arrested Sept.10 on on one count of assault to rape a child under 14 and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child.

"Father LaCharite is innocent of these charges," said his defense attorney David Meier to reporters outside the courthouse after his arraignment Sept. 10 where he denied the charges and was issued a $10,000 bail.

Fall from grace

Malaya Business Insight

Published on Friday, 28 September 2012

Written by ROMEO Y. LIM

‘The double scandal case of Msgr. Cristobal Garcia not only disgusts but repels me. This man has not only sinned against but betrayed the trust of his spiritual flock.’

AS I have often stated in many columns, I am not a religious man. I am, however, spiritual.

I have faced the barrel of a gun many times in my past and pulled the trigger on enemies of the state many times. In fact, I shot dead a thief when I was only 13 years old.

But whether spiritual or religious, it has always been ingrained in my head ever since I could understand right and wrong that priests and nuns were the epitome of virtue and sanctity.

In my youth, I was often awed by priests and nuns because every one from my parents to my older siblings turned meek and very respectful no matter what mood they were in when they were met by the parish priest.

Father Ronald Bollich: Two More Men Accuse Beaumont Diocese of Negligence in Alleged Abuse

Houston Press

By Craig Malisow
Thu., Sep. 27 2012

Two more men have joined a lawsuit accusing a deceased Beaumont priest of molestation.

Identified as John Does, the two men join another anonymous plaintiff who sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont and Bishop Curtis Guillory in April over abuse that allegedly occurred in 1976 and 1977. The accused priest, Father Ronald W. Bollich, died in 1996 at age 59.

The new plaintiffs' allegations include a night of near-naked "wrestling," in which Bollich plied boys with alcohol while spending the night in Bollich's quarters in the rectory. After telling two of the plaintiffs and at least one other boy to strip down to their underwear, Bollich wrestled with the boys, pinned them to his bed, and "began pawing and groping the boys' genitals," according to the suit.

In another alleged incident involving a new plaintiff, Bollich "pushed the boy's head and mouth down towards his erect penis."

Beaumont Diocese: Two more file sexual assault claims

Beaumont Enterprise

This seemed inevitable.

Five months ago, a Dallas County man — known in the complaint as “John Doe 104″ — filed a sexual abuse claim against the Catholic Diocese of Beaumont, alleging he was sexually abused by a priest in the late 1970s. The priest, Ronald Bollich, passed away in 1996 at the age of 59.

We wondered at the time if there might be any others.


It turns out Bollich might have terrorized many more.

According to the Houston Press, two more “John Doe” accusers just joined suit. And the picture they paint is a disturbing one.

The new plaintiffs’ allegations include a night of near-naked “wrestling,” in which Bollich plied boys with alcohol while spending the night in Bollich’s quarters in the rectory. After telling two of the plaintiffs and at least one other boy to strip down to their underwear, Bollich wrestled with the boys, pinned them to his bed, and “began pawing and groping the boys’ genitals,” according to the suit.

Norwich pastor pleads guilty to molesting girl

The Day

Karen Florin
Former Haitian church leader Luckner Sylvain pleaded guilty in Superior Court Wednesday to molesting a 12-year-old girl multiple times while she lived with his family in 2006 in Norwich.

Sylvain, 49, will be sentenced in December to 2½ years in prison followed by 10 years of probation for risk of injury to a minor and will be required to register as a sex offender.

Sylvain pleaded guilty under the Alford Doctrine, which indicates he does not agree with the state’s allegations but does not want to risk the possibility of a harsher sentence if convicted at trial.

Sylvain is co-founder of the Bethany Foundation, a group dedicated to raising funds to help Haitian children affected by the earthquake in January 2010. He was formerly affiliated with the First Haitian Baptist Church in Norwich.

How To Smuggle Ivory: Philippine Priest Faces Probe After Giving Smuggling Tips To National Geographic

International Business Times

BY Amrutha Gayathri | September 27 2012

A Roman Catholic priest in the Philippines inadvertently prompted an investigation against himself after he offered advice for an article on the ivory trade in the National Geographic magazine on how to smuggle ivory statues.

The article with a section titled "How to Smuggle Ivory" has Monsignor Cristobal Garcia instructing readers on the best way to smuggle an ivory statue to the U.S. It is to “wrap it in old, stinky underwear and pour ketchup on it. So it looks sh**ty with blood. This is how it is done.”

Garcia also gave the reporter, phone numbers, location and names of his favorite ivory carvers, all in Manila, along with advice on whom to go to for high volume, whose wife overcharges and who doesn’t meet the deadlines.

The article says Garcia is one of the best-known ivory collectors in the Philippines and was dismissed from service at St. Dominic’s of Los Angeles in the mid-1980s for sexually abusing an altar boy in his early teens.

Ex-Somerville Priest in Child Molestation Case Found Dead


By Chris Orchard

Paul LaCharite, an Episcopal priest who was recently charged with sexually assaulting a child while he served at Saint James Episcopal Church in Teele Square, was found dead in a car Wednesday night, according to the Boston Herald.

Police said he died of an apparent drug overdose, the Herald reports.

According to the newspaper, police found the body of LaCharite at about 7:40 p.m. inside a gray 2006 Saturn that was parked in the sixth floor of a Government Center parking garage.

LaCharite served at Saint James Church in the 1990s and early 2000s, and it was alleged that during this time he sexually assaulted a child whose family had long ties to the church.

The priest pleaded not guilty to charges against him on Sept. 10.

Priest Charged With Sex Abuse Expected To Appear In Court


Published: September 27, 2012

A Columbus Priest accused of soliciting sex from a minor online is expected to appear in court Thursday afternoon and plead guilty.

Patrick Hughes, 56, was arrested and charged with attempted rape and attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m., and according to a release from the Franklin County prosecutor, Hughes is expected to waive his right to indictment followed by the filing of a bill of information, and subsequent guilty to plea to the bill of information.

Detectives said Hughes allegedly posted an ad on an adult social networking site, looking for sexual relations with children. A detective responded to the ad and began communicating with Hughes.

Judge Seeks to Finalize Case vs. St. Mary’s Priest

Los Feliz Ledger

By Norma Zager, Ledger Contributing Writer

FINLEY AVENUE—Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael P. Linfield requested Sept. 19th attorneys involved in the closure of St. Mary’s of the Angels church to file what’s known as a “summary judgment” in order to proceed with the eviction of Father Christopher Kelley—who was fired from the church in June.

Since Kelley’s firing, he and some followers have ensconced themselves in the church’s basement and rectory, ignoring the dismissal.

A barrage of court dates and charges have kept the church’s main rectory closed to parishioners as Kelley continued to hold services in the basement.

According to Diocese of the West Canon Tony Morello—who has taken charge of the church since Kelley’s firing—the Judge’s request gives Kelley’s firing validity.

According to Morello, additionally an Ecclesiastical inquiry is scheduled for October 11th. At that time Kelley will be called upon to answer the charges brought against him including violations of the church and his vows. One potential outcome may be to deny Kelley his priesthood.

Prosecutor: Greek Orthodox Priest To Enter A Guilty Plea In Attempted Rape Case


Thursday September 27, 2012

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said Thursday that a Greek Orthodox priest is expected to enter a guilty plea in court Thursday afternoon.

Patrick Nicholas Hughes, 56, was arrested last week on one count of attempted rape and one count of attempted unlawful conduct with a minor. Authorities said Hughes tried to arrange a meeting to have sex with two boys, ages 9 and 14.

O’Brien said in his Thursday afternoon court appearance, Hughes will waive his right to indictment and enter a guilty plea to the Bill of Information.

Last week, Sheriff Zach Scott said that Hughes used a website to try and arrange the meeting, but he was actually exchanging messages with detectives.

Ivory Worship

National Geographic

By Bryan Christy

Photographs by Brent Stirton, Reportage by Getty Images

IN JANUARY 2012 A HUNDRED RAIDERS ON HORSEBACK CHARGED OUT OF CHAD INTO CAMEROON’S BOUBA NDJIDAH NATIONAL PARK, SLAUGHTERING HUNDREDS OF ELEPHANTS—entire families—in one of the worst concentrated killings since a global ivory trade ban was adopted in 1989. Carrying AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades, they dispatched the elephants with a military precision reminiscent of a 2006 butchering outside Chad’s Zakouma National Park. And then some stopped to pray to Allah. Seen from the ground, each of the bloated elephant carcasses is a monument to human greed. Elephant poaching levels are currently at their worst in a decade, and seizures of illegal ivory are at their highest level in years. From the air too the scattered bodies present a senseless crime scene—you can see which animals fled, which mothers tried to protect their young, how one terrified herd of 50 went down together, the latest of the tens of thousands of elephants killed across Africa each year. Seen from higher still, from the vantage of history, this killing field is not new at all. It is timeless, and it is now.

In an overfilled church Monsignor Cristobal Garcia, one of the best known ivory collectors in the Philippines, leads an unusual rite honoring the nation’s most important religious icon, the Santo Niño de Cebu (Holy Child of Cebu). The ceremony, which he conducts annually on Cebu, is called the Hubo, from a Cebuano word meaning “to undress.” Several altar boys work together to disrobe a small wooden statue of Christ dressed as a king, a replica of an icon devotees believe Ferdinand Magellan brought to the island in 1521. They remove its small crown, red cape, and tiny boots, and strip off its surprisingly layered underwear. Then the monsignor takes the icon, while altar boys conceal it with a little white towel, and dunks it in several barrels of water, creating his church’s holy water for the year, to be sold outside.

Garcia is a fleshy man with a lazy left eye and bad knees. In the mid-1980s, according to a 2005 report in the Dallas Morning News and a related lawsuit, Garcia, while serving as a priest at St. Dominic’s of Los Angeles, California, sexually abused an altar boy in his early teens and was dismissed. Back in the Philippines, he was promoted to monsignor and made chairman of Cebu’s Archdiocesan Commission on Worship. That made him head of protocol for the country’s largest Roman Catholic archdiocese, a flock of nearly four million people in a country of 75 million Roman Catholics, the world’s third largest Catholic population. Garcia is known beyond Cebu. Pope John Paul II blessed his Santo Niño during Garcia’s visit to the pope’s summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, in 1990. Recently Garcia helped direct the installation of Cebu’s newest archbishop in a cathedral filled with Catholic leaders, including 400 priests and 70 bishops, among them the Vatican’s ambassador. Garcia is so well known that to find his church, the Society of the Angels of Peace, I need only roll down my window and ask, “Monsignor Cris?” to be pointed toward his walled compound.

“Blood Ivory” in the Philippines

National Geographic

Posted by Bryan Christy in A Voice for Elephants on September 26, 2012

“Blood Ivory: Ivory Worship” is generating keen interest in the Philippines. The country’s ivory trade has been the cover story of the Philippine newspapers this week and is receiving similar attention across the country, especially on the island of Cebu.

Earlier today Jose S. Palma, Archbishop of Cebu, held a press conference, “Ivory Worship and Msgr. Cris Garcia” (see below), in which he reportedly announced that ivory collector Monsignor Garcia had been suspended and stripped of his position in the archdiocese of Cebu on orders of the Vatican. Palma emphasized that this move was not the result of my investigation, which features Garcia, but rather is the result of Garcia’s sexual abuse of minor boys while serving in Los Angeles, California in the 1980s. The case was exposed by Brooks Egerton of the Dallas Morning News as part of that newspaper’s 2005 series, “Runaway Priests: Hiding in Plain Sight.” My story cited the Dallas Morning News story and reiterated Garcia’s past.

“Let it be made clear that the Church supports the ban on ivory,” Palma says in his written statement for the press today. He then opened the door to an important possibility for elephants and the Africans who risk their lives to protect them: “…in the past ivory was one of the materials used in the adornment of liturgical worship…in no way does [the Church] encourage the use of ivory for new implements.”

Bishops: Ivory, sex abuse controversies related to RH bill

Philippine Daily Inquirer

By Tina G. Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
8:18 pm | Thursday, September 27th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—Some Catholic prelates believe that the issues involving Msgr. Cristobal Garcia were being used by their enemies to discredit the Church and may also have something to do with its stand on the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill.

“The enemies are using that particular case [of Garcia] in Cebu to discredit the Church, I think,” said Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, member of the Permanent Council of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

“The great majority of Catholic priests are good,” he said, adding that the “smear campaign” may have something to do with their continued opposition to RH bill.

Garcia was linked by National Geographic to the illegal ivory trade. He has also been suspended and stripped of all his positions in the Archdiocese of Cebu on orders of the Vatican while the Holy See investigates the child abuse case that stemmed from accusations that he molested altar boys more than 20 years ago in the United States.

Trial of pope's ex-butler to shine big light on tiny Vatican

Yahoo! News

By Philip Pullella | Reuters

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican has certainly seen more sensational trials in its long history. The Inquisition ordered Galileo to recant his theory that the earth revolves around the sun, and philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for heresy.

But even those cases, both in the 17th century, did not involve a breach of trust by a papal aide - the issue at the core of this Saturday's trial of papal butler Paolo Gabriele for stealing and leaking the pontiff's personal papers.

One of the worst crises in Pope Benedict's papacy will play out in a small Vatican tribunal, where a three-judge panel will decide the fate of the 46-year-old Gabriele, whom the pope used to call "Paoletto" (little Paul) and who is now described in Vatican documents as "the defendant".

The case will put the inner workings of the tiny Vatican, the world's smallest state, in the type of media spotlight it usually strives to avoid.

Campaigners make call for changes in the laws

Yellow Advertiser

Special report: Child abuse and the churches

EXCLUSIVE by Charles Thomson

CAMPAIGNERS have claimed the case of Barry Snow highlights the need for new laws on how religious groups handle child abuse allegations.

Snow, 51, of St Lawrence Gardens, in Leigh, was reported to the Jehovah’s Witness church in the late 1970s and admitted to repeatedly molesting a girl under the age of 10.
Mr Snow committed the offences in his late teens.

But instead of notifying police, the church imposed its own sanctions, allowing him to escape justice in the courts. He then went on to abuse a second girl in the early 1980s.

Judge Jonathan Black criticised the church’s handling of the allegations, but campaigners pointed out that there are currently no UK laws requiring churches to report child abuse to police.
The Jehovah’s Witness church has a Child Safeguarding Policy in place, but the campaigners say it is not strong enough.

Boy Scouts of America Apologize for Sex Abuse

Youth Today

September 26, 2012 by Patrick Boyle

After more than 20 years of rejecting accusations that it mishandled the problem of sex abuse in its ranks, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) yesterday admitted that its response was sometimes “wrong” and apologized to victims.

“There have been instances where people misused their positions in Scouting to abuse children, and in certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong,” the BSA said in a “Open Letter to the Scouting Community.”

“For any episode of abuse, and in any instance where those involved in Scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest apologies and sympathies to victims and their families.”

It’s unclear whether victims will feel moved by the organization’s statement. “The apology is not accepted,” said Matt Stewart, a California man who settled an abuse lawsuit against the BSA in 2007. Saying that the organization apologized only after lawsuits and media reports exposed its failure to prevent and confront abuse, Stewart said, “The Boy Scouts covered up these cases. How can you put an ‘I’m sorry’ behind that?” ...

It is unclear if the BSA’s new approach will dilute some of the fury that victims and the public might feel as the stories continue. In the Catholic Church scandal, the reluctance of Church leaders to publicly apologize (they eventually did) is often cited as fueling the onslaught of lawsuits and media coverage.

“Apologies are usually easy and vague,” said David Clohessy, director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). “They can often seem like public relations moves, rather than sincere gestures.”

That’s how Stewart sees it. “That’s the mantra of other organizations that allowed this to happen for decades,” he said. “Once they get caught, they issue an apology.

“The lives of the victims are ruined. How can you tell me sorry after I was abused for 13 years?”

Parish acknowledges contract mistake

Cape Cod Times

By Sean Teehan

September 27, 2012

CENTERVILLE — A contract distributed to members of a local church that drew public scrutiny was written with the best of intentions, the church's pastor said.

"All the sudden, we're thrust in this public relations disaster," the Rev. Mark Hession, pastor at Our Lady of Victory Parish, said.

A report by a Boston television station this week said parents bringing their children to Our Lady of Victory for religious education were asked to sign a form agreeing that, "Should we choose to allow another adult to provide supervision to a child, the ultimate supervision and safety of that child is still our responsibility and ours alone."

The document further stipulates parents "specifically agree not to hold the diocese or any of its employees or contractors liable for any accident, illness or harm that may result from the trip or activity," the report said.

But the program to which the form refers is the GIFT program, a multigenerational gathering in which parish families gather for a meal before breaking up into religious study and prayer groups separated by age. About 180 people attend each of these events.

Hammond megachurch pastor Schaap admits sex with teen girl, says he ‘was not aware of law’

Southtown Star

By Teresa Auch SChultz Sun-Times Media September 26, 2012

Jack Alan Schaap, the former pastor of a Hammond megachurch, said Wednesday he didn’t know he was committing a crime when he transported a teen girl across state lines for sexual activity.

“I was not aware of the law,” he said during a hearing in federal court in Hammond.

He did say, though, he was aware it was unprofessional conduct and a sin.

Schaap, 54, of Dyer, Ind., was charged last week with taking someone under the age of 18 across state lines for sexual activity and ordered held without bond. Wednesday, he described the three trips he and the teen took, starting on June 20.

Schaap, wearing orange prison garb, said someone else actually transported the girl, who was then 16, into Crete but that he made that happen. They took another trip to Illinois a week later, after she had turned 17, and then a third trip on July 10 to Michigan, near the city of Cadillac.

Running Wild In The Streets – Robert Wild SJ

What They Knew

[with video]

Robert Wild SJ Takes Over As Advancement Director for the Newly Combined Chicago-Detroit-Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus.

As the video report above shows, Robert Wild SJ knew when to leave a party before the cops showed up. Wild, “The Pied Piper of Marquette” knew how to run the funding circuit back in the good days when child sex abuse was kept quite in the Chicago Province. He could tell a joke or wipe a tear away with one hand and pick your pockets with the other.

Woman denies lying over priest abuse claims

Belfast Telegraph

Thursday, 27 September 2012

A woman who claims she was sexually abused by a priest when she was a child has said she “felt sorry” for him at one stage.

The 40-year-old told Belfast Crown Court that before she reported her alleged abuser to police in September 2010 “I felt sorry for Father Donnelly”.

Catholic priest Peter Donnelly (69) denies six counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency alleged to have occurred between July 31, 1983, and August 1, 1987, when his alleged victim was aged between 10 and 14 years old.

Donnelly, from Drumaroad Hill in Castlewellan, was curate at St Matthew's Church in Belfast’s Bryson Street at the time.

O’Brien calls for immediate Magdalene survivors apology

Cork Independent

Sinn Féin Cork North Central TD Jonathan O’Brien has called for the Government to apologise to the survivors of Magdalene laundries as soon as possible. “Every day counts for these women, many who are elderly,” he told the Cork Independent.

The final report of the committee investigating the treatment of women in Magdalene laundries will be published before the end of the year at the latest, according to Minister of State for Justice Kathleen Lynch. Only after the publication of the report will a Government apology be possible, according to Ms Lynch.

The Labour TD said, “it would be improper to conclude (the report) without examining additional information” that committee chairman Senator Martin McAleese was still identifying.

Last night a Sinn Féin private members' motion calling for an apology, pensions and a helpline for survivors of the Magdalene laundries, that was endorsed by victim’s advocacy group Justice for Magdalenes (JFM), was subject of a vote in Dáil Éireann.

Rev. Paul A. LaCharite, Episcopal priest charged with sex abuse, found dead

Boston Globe

By Travis Andersen, Globe Staff

An Episcopal priest who was arraigned earlier this month in a Somerville courtroom on charges that he repeatedly sexually assaulted a child who was a former parishioner has died, his lawyer and the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts said on Wednesday night.

“With sorrow I received news this evening that the Rev. Paul LaCharite has died, an apparent suicide,” Bishop M. Thomas Shaw of the Episcopal Diocese said in a statement. “This is a shocking tragedy, and I’ve asked our diocesan community to pray for everyone concerned.”

LaCharite, 65, had pleaded not guilty on Sept. 10 to charges that he sexually assaulted the former parishioner, who is now 26, over a ten-year period at the St. James Episcopal Church in Somerville, where the priest had been assigned from 1989 to 2005.

“This is an unspeakable tragedy,” said David Meier, a lawyer for LaCharite, who was found dead on Wednesday night in Boston. “Father Paul LaCharite was truly an innocent man who was driven to the depths of despair by a false accusation.”

Katholische Kirche wiederholt Entschuldigung


Luzern. 27.9.12 (Kipa) Dass es zu Übergriffen kam, war bekannt, das Ausmass jedoch schmerzt, kommentierte Bischofsvikar Ruedi Heim die kirchliche Untersuchung "Hinter Mauern" zu Gewalt in Luzerner Kinder- und Jugendheimen im Zeitraum 1930 bis 1970. Zwei Studien wurden am Mittwoch in Luzern vorgestellt. Die zweite Studie "Bericht Kinderheime im Kanton Luzern" schreibt von Praktiken, die heute als "Foltermethoden" bezeichnet werden und sexueller Gewalt in den Heimen.

Die Zuständigkeiten in den Heimen sind heute zum Teil schwer eruierbar. Es bestand eine Verflechtung von staatlichen Gremien und Kirche. Zum Teil bestimmte der Bischof die Leitung eines Heimes, der Staat segnete als Aufsicht die Wahl ab. Im Heim selber arbeiteten dann Ordensfrauen. Solche Bedingungen hätten den Missbräuchen zum Teil Vorschub geleistet, erklärte Markus Furrer, Professor für Geschichte an der Pädagogischen Hochschule Luzern, gegenüber der Presseagentur Kipa.

Relikt aus Weimarer Zeiten

Kolner Stadt-Unzeiger

Die Kirchensteuer in Deutschland beträgt in der Regel neun Prozent der Lohn- und Einkommensteuer und wird über das staatliche Finanzamt eingezogen. Die katholische Kirche strich 2011 fast fünf Milliarden Euro Steuern ein.

In Deutschland ist die Kirchensteuer eine gesetzlich festgelegte Abgabe der Kirchenmitglieder. Rechtliche Grundlage bilden die in das Grundgesetz übernommenen staatskirchenrechtlichen Artikel der Weimarer Verfassung.

Kirchensteuer, Weltbild und die kirchliche Wahrhaftigkeit


Offener Brief an die DBK: „Die Handhabung der Kirchensteuer ist unwahrhaftig, weil es Sie „für viele Menschen als Vertreter eines florierenden Großunternehmens mit angehängtem defizitärem Religionsbetrieb erscheinen lässt“. Von Michael Schäfer

Fulda (kath.net) Dr. phil. Michael Schäfer (Foto) wendet sich in einem offenen Brief an die Mitglieder der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz:

Hochwürdigster Herr Bischof,
noch nie hat mich die Kenntnisnahme einer kirchlichen Verlautbarung so empört wie die Lektüre des „Allgemeinen Dekretes der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz zum Kirchenaustritt“. Faktisch wohl ein Schachzug im Kontext anstehender gerichtlicher Auseinandersetzungen, setzt das Dokument das zivilrechtliche Verlassen der „Kirchensteuer-Gemeinschaft“ auf eine Stufe mit dem öffentlichen Abfall von der Kirche als Glaubensgemeinschaft und belegt diesen Akt mit höchsten kirchlichen Strafen.

Pope's ex-butler goes on trial for leaked papers

Bloomberg Businessweek

By Nicole Winfield on September 27, 2012

VATICAN CITY (AP) — There was a time when a Vatican trial could end with a heretic being burned at the stake. Paolo Gabriele doesn't risk nearly as a dire fate, but he and the Holy See face a very public airing over the gravest security breach in the Vatican's recent history following the theft and leaking of the pope's personal papers.

Gabriele, the pope's once-trusted butler, goes on trial Saturday, accused of stealing the pope's documents and passing them off to a journalist — a sensational, Hollywood-like scandal that exposed power struggles, intrigue and allegations of corruption in the highest levels of the Catholic Church.

Gabriele is charged with aggravated theft and faces six years in prison if convicted by the three-judge Vatican tribunal. He has already confessed and asked to be pardoned — something most Vatican watchers say is a given if he is convicted — making the trial almost a formality.

To be sure, trials are nothing new at the Vatican: In 2011 alone, 640 civil cases and 226 penal cases were processed by the Vatican's judiciary, 99 percent of which involved some of the 18 million tourists who pass through the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica each year. And that's not counting the marriage annulments, clerical sex abuse cases and other church law matters that come before the Vatican's ecclesial courts.

Cops: Priest in sex flap ODs in parking garage

Boston Herald

[click here to read the story]

By O’Ryan Johnson
Thursday, September 27, 2012

An Episcopal priest who was accused of sex crimes against a young parishioner died of an apparent drug overdose last night on the sixth floor of the Government Center parking garage, police and his lawyer said.

Police said they were called to the garage about 7:40 p.m. and found a man inside a gray 2006 Saturn. Police attempted to perform CPR on the man, but were unsuccessful. Boston EMS declared the patient dead at 8:05 p.m., and the call was referred to the Medical Examiner, police said.

Attorney David Meier confirmed the man was his client, the Rev. Paul A. LaCharite, 65, formerly of St. James Episcopal Church in Somerville. LaCharite was charged with one count of assault to rape a child, and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, according to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.

Meier, who last spoke to LaCharite on Tuesday, defended him last night.

Mass. Episcopal priest charged with sex abuse dies

San Francisco Chronicle

BOSTON (AP) — A Boston Episcopal priest charged with sexually abusing a young parishioner has been found dead of an apparent drug overdose.

His lawyer confirmed to the Boston Herald (bit.ly/QyeSlj) that the Rev. Paul LaCharite was found dead Wednesday night in a parking garage.

LaCharite pleaded not guilty this month to a charge of assault with intent to rape a child and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child. He formerly worked at St. James Episcopal Church in Somerville. Authorities say the abuse began in the 1990s.

His lawyer, David Meier, called LaCharite's death "an unspeakable tragedy." He tells the newspaper that LaCharite was "truly an innocent man who was driven to the depths of despair by a false accusation."


Rockland County Times

Posted September 27th, 2012

Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe announced last Thursday that Baudilio Ramos, 59, of Spring Valley has been convicted of sexually abusing a three-year-old boy.

The jury in the trial found Ramos guilty of one county of sexual abuse in the first degree, a felony, and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

The incident occurred on September 26, 2011 when the victim’s mother left the young boy in Ramos’ care for a moment. The boy’s family attended Iglesia La Mision Asamleas de Dios Church in the Village of South Nyack and met Ramos through the church several years earlier.

On the day of the crime, Ramos was driving the church van to help the boy’s mother with a church related errand. The mother left the child with the Ramos while she handled some administrative matters.

Megachurch workers plead not guilty to 'covering up rape of girl, 13, for TWO WEEKS'

Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED:01:03 EST, 27 September 2012

Five suspended Victory Christian Center employees pleaded not guilty to charges of failing to report child abuse in an initial arraignment Wednesday morning related to a sexual abuse case at the church.

Paul Howard Willemstein, 32, associate youth pastor; Anna Alisa George, 24, high school outreach program director; Harold Frank Sullivan, 73, human resources director; Charica Dene Daugherty, 27, assistant senior high youth pastor; and John Samuel Daugherty, 28, senior high youth pastor, are scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing Oct. 31.

The Victory Christian staff members, including Senior Pastor Sharon Daugherty's son and daughter-in-law, were suspended from their employment pending disciplinary action.

Judge critical of church in handling child abuse claims

Yellow Advertiser

EXCLUSIVE by Charles Thomson

A JUDGE has criticised a Christian church for its handling of a child abuse allegation during the 1970s.

A hearing at Basildon Crown Court last week revealed that ‘elders’ of the Jehovah’s Witnesses knew a teenage member had molested a child.

Although the church imposed sanctions, it did not notify police and the man went on to molest another young girl during his mid 20s.

Barry Snow, 51, of St Lawrence Gardens, in Leigh-on-Sea, was convicted of nine counts of sexual abuse alleged to have taken place between the late 1970s and early 1980s.

5 Victory Christian Workers Plead Not Guilty To Failing To Report Sex Abuse

News On 6

Lori Fullbright, News On 6

Five Tulsa church employees accused of waiting more than two weeks to report the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl at their church have been ordered back to court Oct. 31.

Prosecutors filed misdemeanor charges last week against Victory Christian Center employees John Daugherty, Charica Daugherty, Paul Willemstein, Anna George and Harold "Frank" Sullivan, saying they didn't report allegations in a timely manner.

A judge entered not guilty pleas for the five Wednesday. The workers have been suspended by the church pending an investigation.

Prosecutors say the girl told employees Aug. 15 she had been raped but police weren't told until Aug. 30.

Charges possible for leader of Victory Christian

Tulsa World

By JARREL WADE World Staff Writer
Published: 9/27/2012

Charges are still possible and under consideration against Victory Christian Center Senior Pastor Sharon Daugherty related to a sexual abuse investigation that has already led to charges of failure to report child abuse against five other church staff members, Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris said Wednesday.

Harris said he could not detail any of his office's discussions about any possible charge against Daugherty while the investigation is ongoing.

"That would be unethical," Harris said.

On Aug. 30, Victory Christian staff reported having received allegations that a teenager was raped at the church on Aug. 13, according to court records. Reports from Victory Christian and from court records differ on the date Victory Christian employees were first told - either on Aug. 15 or 16.

Hadley to be sued for defamation

7 News

Lawyers for NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith have begun defamation proceedings against broadcaster Ray Hadley in the Supreme Court today.

Hadley is being sued for comments he made about Mr Smith on air earlier this year.

Mr Smith is a former parishioner of Catholic priest Father Finian Egan, who is facing 20 charges of child sexual abuse dating from the 1960s.

It is understood the defamation case relates to allegations aired by Hadley that Mr Smith told another priest that an alleged victim of Father Egan wanted $1 million from the church.

Mr Smith has previously said he cannot remember making the comments.

Priest in ivory scandal suspended earlier by Vatican for sexual abuse

GMA News

September 27, 2012

A Catholic priest linked to ivory smuggling was suspended on orders of the Vatican earlier this year over charges that he sexually abused an altar boy while he was serving as a priest in Los Angeles over 20 years ago.

The charges of abuse against Monsignor Cristobal Garcia are currently being investigated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, CatholicCulture.org reported.

"Msgr. Garcia was suspended from ministry in the Archdiocese of Cebu because of separate accusations of sexual abuse," it added.

A separate report on dzBB radio early Thursday quoted Cebu Archdiocese spokesman Msgr. Achilles Dakay as saying Garcia was suspended and stripped of his positions as early as June.

Greenfield lawyer John Stobierski, citing Jerry Sandusky case...

The Republican

Greenfield lawyer John Stobierski, citing Jerry Sandusky case, says other priest should have reported Richard Lavigne's child sexual abuse

By Buffy Spencer, The Republican

SPRINGFIELD –When details of Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s child sexual abuse hit the news, local lawyer John J. Stobierski said he saw a parallel with a case he is prosecuting.

Stobierski was in front of Hampden Superior Court Judge Constance M. Sweeney Wednesday seeking to add the Rev. Robert Thrasher to a case pending against two former bishops of the Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese..

Sweeney promised a decision on the matter soon.

The suit by Peter J. Caffrey – filed in 2010 – accuses the Most Rev. Bishop Emeritus Joseph M. Maguire and the Most Rev. Thomas L. Dupre of negligence. It says they allowed Caffrey to be molested by now-defrocked priest Richard R. Lavigne in North Adams in 1976 and 1977.

Stobierski told Sweeney Thrasher had walked in on Lavigne abusing two other children in different instances about five years prior to Caffrey’s abuse, and had a legal duty to report the abuse to superiors.

Hadley not in court but in hospital


NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith began defamation action against Ray Hadley today in the Supreme Court. Neither Hadley or Smith attended the hearing. Hadley is in hospital having tests for suspected pneumonia.

The defamation case relates to allegations aired on 2GB that link Smith with his former Catholic parish priest Father Finian Egan, who is facing 20 charges of child sexual abuse dating from the 1960s.

The court action concerns Hadley’s allegation that Smith told another priest that an alleged victim of Father Egan wanted $1 million from the church. Smith is on record saying he cannot remember making the comments.

The case was adjourned until December.

Priest accused of sexual assault found dead


(NECN) - A Somerville, Mass. priest accused of sexually abusing a young parishioner has been found dead after an apparent drug overdose.

Police tell The Boston Herald that the body of Rev. Paul Lacharite was found on the sixth floor of the Government Center parking garage.

Lacharite was recently charged with one count of assault to rape a child and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14.

September 26, 2012

Vatican suspends Cebu priest


By Ador Vincent Mayol
Cebu Daily News
8:15 am | Thursday, September 27th, 2012

The Cebu-based priest at the center of an ivory smuggling scandal was ordered suspended by the Vatican but it was for another reason – a 20-year-old child abuse case in California involving altar boys.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma yesterday said the past case against Msgr. Cristobal Garcia was brought to the Vatican’s attention even before the priest’s name appeared in the October issue of National Geographic magazine’s cover story “Ivory worship”.

“The Church is also aware of the gravity of the crime of pederasty. In recent pronouncements, the Church has stated her regret for the failure to address the problem in a more decisive and effective way,” said Palma who read a prepared statement before taking questions.

“Cultural practices have contributed to the misunderstanding of the problem.”

Minister Kathleen Lynch says calls for Magdalene apology 'premature'

RTE News

A Government minister has said a Dáil motion calling for an apology and redress for victims of the Magdalene Laundries was "premature".

Labour TD Kathleen Lynch told the House that an inter-departmental committee, chaired by Senator Martin McAleese, will report by the end of the year, allowing for a proper debate and a Government response.

Proposing the motion, Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald said time is not on the side of the Magdalene women.

She said it was not in doubt that there was cruelty against them, and State collusion with religous orders who "enslaved them for commercial gain

She said the McAleese committee was quantifying the extent of the collusion, but the existence of collusion and cruelty was established.

Magdalene laundries apology motion defeated

RTE News

Sinn Féin motion calling on the Government to provide redress for survivors of the Magdalene laundries has been defeated in the Dáil by 75 votes to 43.

Mary Lou McDonald said the motion did not require the Government to pre-empt the findings of the report.

Fine Gael's Dinny McGinley said the motion was premature as it came ahead of a report by Senator Martin McAleese on the issue, which is due to be completed before the end of the year.

Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald said that the women involved in the Magdelene laundries were due a full apology, compensation, and pension rights.

Northern Ireland's institutional child abuse inquiry to begin next week

RTE News

An investigation into institutional child abuse is to begin next Monday in Northern Ireland.

The inquiry will investigate allegations of child abuse in both state and church run institutions.

The Stormont Executive established the inquiry after intense lobbying by survivors and victims of child abuse.

The move comes in the wake of the Ryan Report which uncovered decades of endemic abuse in some religious institutions in the south.

Right Wing Catholics and Pedophile Priests

City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

It was his Catholic conscience that caused Sargent Shriver* to create the Peace Corps, Job Corps, and Head Start in the 1960s. In 2011 it was his Catholic conscience that moved Paul Ryan** to oppose Social Security and claim a passion for Ayn Rand’s Objectivist theories. Republican Newt Gingrich converted to Catholicism so he could marry his third wife and run for president as someone who is prayerful.

When it comes to pedophile priests, on the right the Catholic League defends the “high number of falsely accused priests,” along with David Pierre whose website and books criticize SNAP for its “left wing” politics, as if it's a given that left-wing means something bad.

What happened to the socially conscious Catholics, the politically compassionate such as the Kennedys? This century Catholics are part of the most extreme elements of the Republican Party in the USA, and somehow siding with the priests in the pedophile crisis got tagged onto this right wing Catholic phenomenon.

A Self-Perpetuated Authority

The pedophile priest apologists end up running each other’s talking points on each other’s websites. They self-publish books, and review each other's self-published books, and give the appearance that Catholics are Republicans who think pedophile priests have gotten a bad rap. A kind of legitimacy results from the redundancy.

Former Pastor Of Simsbury Church Found Guilty Of Misdemeanor Sexual Assault

The Hartford Courant

By DAVID OWENS, dowens@courant.com
The Hartford Courant

7:02 p.m. EDT, September 26, 2012
The former pastor of a Simsbury church has been found guilty of misdemeanor sexual assault for touching an 18-year-old man's pubic area while administering confession.

The Rev. Edward Warnakulasuriya, 54, was pastor at St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church in the Tariffville section of Simsbury until his removal in July 2011, when the Archdiocese of Hartford learned that Warnakulasuriya was under investigation. The priest was arrested by Simsbury police on Aug. 11, 2011.

Warnakulasuriya was initially charged with three counts of fourth-degree sexual assault, but pleaded no contest Sept. 19 to a single count of fourth-degree sexual assault as part of a plea bargain.

Senior Assistant State's Attorney Debra Collins sought a 120-day prison sentence and three years of probation, but Superior Court Judge Howard Scheinblum opted for no jail, according to a transcript of the sentencing hearing in Enfield. Warnakulasuriya will be on probation for three years.

Pastor spared abuse trial

Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

A Baptist preacher arrested in May will not stand trial for sexual assault of a child after a Texas grand jury found insufficient evidence to prosecute.

The Ennis Daily News reported Sept. 26 that an Ellis County grand jury returned a “no bill,” or refusal to indict, in favor of Mark Allen Green, 41, a cowboy church preacher arrested May 31 after the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office received reports he was in an improper relationship with a minor.

A prosecutor in the county’s district attorney’s office said that because grand jury proceedings are secret, he could not comment except to say that no indictment has been handed down in the case.

Victory Christian Center employees plead not guilty to failing to report abuse

Tulsa World

By JARREL WADE - Tulsa World | Published: September 26, 2012

Five suspended Victory Christian Center employees pleaded not guilty to charges of failing to report child abuse in an initial arraignment Wednesday morning related to a sexual abuse case at the church.

Paul Howard Willemstein, 32, associate youth pastor; Anna Alisa George, 24, high school outreach program director; Harold Frank Sullivan, 73, human resources director; Charica Dene Daugherty, 27, assistant senior high youth pastor; and John Samuel Daugherty, 28, senior high youth pastor, are scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing Oct. 31.

The Victory Christian staff members, including Senior Pastor Sharon Daugherty's son and daughter-in-law, were suspended from their employment pending disciplinary action.

Gagliardi: Knowledge of Sex Abuse Since 1950′s

Behind the Pine Curtain

According to an upcoming report, Saint John’s University football coach John Gagliardi recently admitted that he has been aware of sexual misconduct at Saint John’s since the 1950′s.

In fact, it was Gagliardi’s report to Father Dunstan Tucker which led to a perpetrating faculty member’s swift exit from Saint John’s after a high school recruit (and potentially a minor) from Florida confided in Gagliardi that he had been molested by the faculty member following a tour of the campus.

According to Gagliardi, the perpetrating faculty member later took a job at high school in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is unclear what steps, if any, Gagliardi took to protect the students at that high school.

Confusion over Euro hunt for Megan

The Press Association

Confusion reigns over how intensely the search for runaway schoolgirl Megan Stammers and her teacher was being conducted on the Continent.

Sussex police has said it was working with Interpol and the French authorities over the disappearance of the 15-year-old and 30-year-old maths teacher Jeremy Forrest.

But BBC News reported Interpol was unable to confirm it was working on the case of the missing schoolgirl from Eastbourne in East Sussex.

Neither she nor Mr Forrest has a profile on the crime agency's website, www.interpol.int, under its "yellow notices" section which "help locate missing persons, often minors, or to help identify persons who are unable to identify themselves".

Sexual Assault Alleged At Wheeling Jesuit

The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register

September 26, 2012

By TYLER REYNARD Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - City police have launched an investigation into a 20-year-old Wheeling Jesuit University student's allegation she was sexually assaulted by five male students in a campus dorm Saturday night.

According to Deputy Police Chief Martin Kimball, the woman said she and a male student were together Saturday night at the Rathskeller. Commonly referred to as the "Ratt," the Rathskeller is an on-campus pub that serves beer and non-alcoholic drinks.

The pair then went back to Thomas More Hall, the woman said, near the Currie Drive entrance to the campus.

According to the university's website, Thomas More Hall houses male and female students.

From Priests to Boy Scouts -- It's Time to Lock Up Child Molesters for Good

Huffington Post

Steve Siebold

According to confidential Boy Scouts of America files, hundreds of cases of alleged sex abuse by Scout leaders went unreported to police between 1970 and 1991. What makes the matter even worse is the position that the organization is taking now.

Boy Scouts Chief Executive Wayne Brock wrote in an open letter to parents that all scouting activities now require at least two adults present, and that all scout leaders and volunteers must submit to a criminal background check and take a mandatory training course on protecting youths from abuse.

That's all fine and great, but what about the victims? What about all those innocent children who were abused during that 21 year period? Where is the justice for them? Not only was the abuse quietly swept under the table and never reported, but the Scouts have shown no remorse, no regret and don't seem sorry for what happened.

Just like the Catholic Church that failed to report thousands of allegations of sex abuse against children and transferred church leaders accused of such crimes to new locations, the Boy Scouts promised these individuals who were caught up in an abuse scandal that the information would not be leaked to the public to protect their standing in the community.

Hammond pastor pleads guilty in federal sex case

NWI Times

Marc Chase marc.chase@nwi.com, (219) 662-5330

HAMMOND | With an orange jail jumpsuit and leg shackles replacing the suit and tie he wore to a previous hearing, disgraced Pastor Jack Schaap admitted Wednesday to having three sexual encounters with a parish girl beginning when she was 16.

Schaap, 54, formally pleaded guilty in Hammond federal court before U.S. District Court Judge Rudy Lozano, admitting to a charge that could bring 10 or more years in prison.

Schaap, former pastor of Hammond's First Baptist Church, entered the courtroom Wednesday in an orange Porter County Jail jumpsuit and leg irons. Throughout the proceedings, he periodically winked and gave a thumbs up to family members and others gathered in the visitors gallery.

One man seated in the gallery and holding a Bible whispered a quiet prayer to Jesus when Schaap took his seat in the defendant's chair.

Archbishop Palma: NatGeo article biased


By Connie E. Fernandez, Jhunnex Napallacan
Inquirer Visayas
4:07 am | Thursday, September 27th, 2012

CEBU CITY—Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma has ordered an inventory of all ivory pieces owned by Msgr. Cristobal Garcia, whom National Geographic linked to the illegal ivory trade, to determine if these were acquired before 1981, the year the Philippines became a signatory to an international ban on ivory trade.

Palma on Wednesday said the Archdiocese of Cebu would cooperate in the investigation being conducted by the government and would not condone the illegal trade of ivory.

But Palma also took exception to the article’s alleged bias against Filipinos’ religious practices.

Msgr. Achilles Dakay, media liaison officer of the archdiocese, said the NatGeo article was biased and created the impression that Garcia had benefited from the killing of elephants so he could make ivory pieces.

US - Victims group doubts Boy Scouts abuse "reforms"

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on September 26, 2012

According to today's NY Times, Boy Scout officials are ramping up their public relations efforts on child sexual abuse before the release of more damning documents about child sex crimes and cover-ups in the weeks ahead. (Story here).

At best, it's reckless to assume that recently-enacted abuse policies in scouting are making any impact. At worst, such claims are disingenuous.

It is important to remember that in the early 1990s virtually every US Catholic diocese similarly tried to reassure the public about predators by touting similar policies, programs and procedures. But of course, there is vast difference between printed words and actual behavior.

The new youth protection policies the Scouts are talking up look good. But remember how new many of these new policies actually are:

- Their mandatory reporting policy became effective in 2010.
- Youth Protection Training only became required in 2010.
- Background checks for volunteers only became policy in 2008.

Boy Scouts claim kids safer with them than at home


By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 2:23 PM EDT, Wed September 26, 2012

Los Angeles (CNN) -- The Boy Scouts of America released a study Wednesday that claims children were safer from sex abuse in the Scouts than when at home or school.

The report was prepared by a psychiatric expert hired by the Scouts to review so-called "perversion files" kept by the organization from 1970 to 1991.

A newspaper review of the files published last week said they showed scouting officials "failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters to police and often hid the allegations from parents and the public."

In response, the Boy Scouts released what it said is an "independent review" by a University of Virginia psychiatry professor Wednesday, ahead of the "increased media attention" it expects with the release of more files.

Child Protection Still an Afterthought

Jeff Anderson & Associates

Jared Shepherd

In yet another stunning example that child protection continues to take a backseat to protecting Catholic institutions and the religious, it is reported that the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts requires parents to sign a liability waiver when sending their children for religious education. The Parental Contract for Diocesan Activities rests the ultimate responsibility for supervising a child on the parent even if the child is entrusted to the church for activities and programming. Most importantly, parents must “specifically agree not to hold the Diocese or any of its employees or contractors liable for any accident, illness, or harm that may result from the trip or activity.” This preemptive focus on eliminating liability indicates that protecting youth from a broad range of harms, including child sexual abuse by clergy, is not the Diocese’s first priority. Given the track record of the Roman Catholic Church on the issue of childhood sexual abuse, including the recent tragic failures in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph, this approach should come as no surprise.

On the one hand, it is a shameful practice for an institution to absolve itself of any and all legal responsibility in the realm of child protection. On the other hand, maybe it is a good thing. Finally, a Diocese is recognizing the inherent danger in parents sending their children to their church under the supervision and care of clergy. By signing these waivers, parents are on notice that attendance at a church in the Diocese of Fall River is equally dangerous to their children, if not more so, as bungee jumping, white water rafting, and skydiving. The danger in allowing their children to be supervised by clergy can, therefore, be first in a parent’s mind, even if it’s an afterthought for the Diocese of Fall River.

MN-SNAP urges three dioceses to work with police

Minnesota SNAP

Statement by Bob Schwiderski, Minnesota SNAP Director, Contact: 952-471-3422

We are glad that Fr. Curtis Carl Wehmeyer has been removed from ministry following allegations of molesting one boy and exposing himself to another. However, the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis, can and should do a lot more in this case.

According to reports, Wehmeyer’s actions and the abuses with three counts of criminal sexual conduct, are alleged to have taken place in 2009 and 2010. The fact they happened so recently means it is likely that there could be more criminal charges in this matter. If the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis wants to prove to its flock that it truly cares about protecting kids and preventing further abuse, church officials should work diligently to help law enforcement uncover the facts of this matter.

Archbishop John C. Nienstedt should use all of the resources available to him to reach out to others who may have information on Fr. Wehmeyer’s alleged crimes. Nienstedt should visit each parish where Wehmeyer worked and actively seek out victims or witnesses at each location.
He should also request the Bishops of the Diocese of Duluth and the Diocese of Winona actively seek out victims or witnesses at each State Park camping trip location and other suggested ‘Abuse Camper – Will Travel’ camping locations.

With reported Wehmeyer statements as: “Wehmeyer stated he cannot get in trouble because he is a Catholic priest and way too many people depend on him” and the report he “ told one of his victims not to tell anyone or the “parish would fall apart,” The three diocesan leaders should also recognize many, many people are also depending on them and they also do not want their parishes to fall apart.

Will a criminal conviction finally get the American bishops' attention?


By Phil Lawler -CatholicCulture.org

So now an American bishop is a convicted criminal. Do you suppose there's any chance the other bishops will finally get the message?

Bishop Robert Finn has been convicted in a court of law for doing what scores of other American bishops have done in the recent past. It's true that Bishop Finn will not serve actual jail time, and his criminal record will be erased after he completes a term of probation; but the judge had the authority to put him behind bars for a year.

In Pennsylvania, meanwhile, Msgr. William Lynn is already behind bars, for doing what his cardinal-archbishop apparently told him to do.

Some intelligent observers argue that Bishop Finn (and Msgr. Lynn, for that matter) should not have been convicted. But I am inclined to accept the judgment of the courts-as Bishop Finn, at least, has apparently done. Any loyal Catholic should also be troubled by the prospect of a secular court passing judgment on a bishop's exercise of episcopal ministry. But in this case there is no doubt in my mind that civil officials are emboldened to police the bishops because the bishops have so calamitously failed to police themselves.

Church, State chase leads on ivory traffic


By Bernadette A. Parco and Kevin A. Lagunda

Thursday, September 27, 2012

DIFFERENT church and state groups will investigate the trade and collection of religious items made from ivory, following a magazine article that quoted a Cebu priest on the trade.

The Cebu-based and National Commission on Cultural Heritage of the Church, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will conduct separate inquiries.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma will tap the Archdiocesan Commission on the Cultural Heritage of the Church to investigate religious items made from new ivory, including the collection of Msgr. Cristobal Garcia.

Vatican suspends Cebu priest


Thursday, September 27, 2012

CEBU CITY -- A high-ranking official of the Archdiocese of Cebu has been suspended from his duties while the Vatican City investigates a child abuse case filed against him in the United States more than two decades ago.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said the US case against former Archdiocesan Commission on Worship chairman Msgr. Cristobal Garcia has been elevated to the Holy See or the office of Pope Benedict XVI, which initiated the investigation.

Check our new look and tell us what you think.

“The case started before the present controversy (on the ivory trade) erupted,” said the archbishop during a press conference Wednesday morning.

Palma is also president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), which apologized in 2002 for the abuses committed by priests but emphasized that errant priests were a minority.

Vatican finally suspends priest who admitted sex with boys

Dallas Morning News

By Brooks Egerton/Reporter
11:01 am on September 26, 2012

Roman Catholic Church leaders have changed their story about why an internationally prominent priest dropped out of sight this summer. Now they say that the Vatican ordered Monsignor Cristobal Garcia’s suspension from ministry because of sexual abuse allegations, according to the Philippines’ leading newspaper.

Earlier this week, Filipino church officials portrayed Garcia’s absence as simply the result of health problems.

The new announcement coincides with a National Geographic story about the black market in elephant tusks. It quotes Garcia as giving advice on smuggling ivory icons and refers to my 2005 article on him — in which the priest admitted having sex with U.S. altar boys, providing them drugs and fleeing to the Philippines.

It isn’t clear why Garcia stayed in ministry after the admission. He continued to lead a large group of boys at a rural religious compound and oversaw worship practices for the massive Cebu Archdiocese. Among his international credentials: He led his cardinal’s advance team in Rome when Pope John Paul II declared a Filipino sainthood candidate to be blessed.

The secrets that we keep

Manila Standard Today

By Jenny Ortuoste | Posted on September 27, 2012

It took a foreigner to open the Filipino public’s eyes to the tragedy of illegal ivory trading in the Philippines.

Bryan Christy’s article on the topic for National Geographic’s October 2012 issue was posted online as early as last week, and broke on Twitter when the link to the story was posted by activist Carlos Celdran, who urged authorities to investigate the matter. The story was picked up this week by local newspapers.

According to Christy, he came to the country five times to “get a lead on who was behind 5.4 tons of illegal ivory seized by customs agents in Manila in 2009, 7.7 tons seized there in 2005, and 6.1 tons bound for the Philippines seized by Taiwan in 2006. Assuming an average of 22 pounds of ivory per elephant, these seizures represent about 1,745 elephants.”

His search led him to interview Monsignor Cristobal Garcia of Cebu Archdiocese, member of a wealthy family and a collector of religious art, whose extensive collection includes ivory pieces.

Christy says Garcia gave him tips on how to purchase ivory and smuggle it into the United States, among them this: “Wrap it in old, stinky underwear and pour ketchup on it,” [Garcia] said. “So it looks shitty with blood. This is how it is done.”

Priest Investigated in Ivory Smuggling Inquiry in Philippines

The New York Times


Published: September 26, 2012

MANILA — Philippine law enforcement officials said on Wednesday that they were investigating whether a senior priest in the Roman Catholic Church was involved in the smuggling of elephant ivory to feed the country’s passion for religious icons.

The investigation was prompted by an article in the October issue of National Geographic magazine that quotes Msgr. Cristóbal Garcia, a senior church official on the central Philippine island of Cebu, as telling an American reporter how to smuggle illegal elephant ivory figurines into the United States. “Wrap it in old, stinky underwear and pour ketchup on it,” he is quoted as saying, to deter inspection.

The Philippine National Bureau of Investigation and the country’s wildlife protection agency are investigating the claims made in the article, government officials said.

The Philippines is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, a treaty that regulates international trade in plants and animals. The trading of ivory has been banned under the treaty since 1990.

Vatican sacked Cebu priest months ahead of ivory scandal, says church exec


By Connie E. Fernandez
Inquirer Visayas
12:04 am | Thursday, September 27th, 2012

CEBU CITY—Msgr. Cristobal Garcia has been suspended and stripped of all his positions in the Archdiocese of Cebu on orders of the Vatican while the Holy See investigates the child abuse case that stemmed from accusations that he molested altar boys more than 20 years ago in the United States.

Msgr. Achilles Dakay, Cebu archdiocese media liaison officer, said Garcia’s suspension happened months before the monsignor was implicated by a National Geographic article on the illegal trade of ivory in the Philippines.

Dakay’s announcement came after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said that Garcia could face up to four years in prison unless he could show proof that he legally acquired his huge collection of religious icons made of ivory.

The National Bureau of Investigation said it was gathering evidence against those involved in the illegal sale of ivory, which an environmentalist lawyer calls the “new blood diamond” in the international trade.

UPDATE: German court: Catholics who don't pay religious tax must leave church

National Catholic Reporter

Sep. 25, 2012
By Jonathan Luxmoore, Catholic News Service

WARSAW, Poland -- The German bishops' conference defended a controversial decree that said Catholics who stop paying a church membership tax cannot receive sacraments.

"There must be consequences for people who distance themselves from the church by a public act," said Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg, conference president, in defending the Sept. 20 decree.

"Clearly, someone withdrawing from the church can no longer take advantage of the system like someone who remains a member," he said at a news conference Monday as the bishops began a four-day meeting in Fulda. "We are grateful Rome has given completely clear approval to our stance."

The archbishop said each departure was "painful for the church," adding that bishops feared many Catholics were unaware of the consequences and would be "open to other solutions."

SNAP Director: More Sexual Molestation Victims of Religious Brother Emerge in Carmichael


By Joshua Staab

In the wake of new sexual molestation accusations lodged against a former Jesuit High School teacher, a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says he has letters from at least four more Carmichael locals alleging abuse by Brother William Farrington.

Joey Piscitelli, Northern California Director of SNAP, said Farrington's purported Carmichael victims contacted him directly within the past 13 days, after a former student at San Jose’s Bellarmine College Preparatory School went public with accusations that Farrington molested him there in the 1960s. The Carmichael letter-writers claim they were abused by Farrington while he worked at Jesuit High School, Piscitelli said, though he did not give details of the allegations.

SNAP is a victim's rights group focused on bringing awareness to past and present cases of sexual misconduct by clergy members.

"Most of these clergy predators have escaped justice or punishment, as the antiquated statute of limitations has passed for conviction, and the abusers have slid by the radar, and are not posted on Megan’s Law database," Piscitelli said in an e-mail.

Megan Stammers: school was at centre of grooming scandal three years ago

The Telegrah

By Telegraph reporters
12:36PM BST 25 Sep 2012

In February 2009 Bishop Bell Secondary School teacher Robert Healy, then aged 27, was jailed for seven years after he admitted grooming and sleeping with two girls aged 15 and 16.

After the court case another female pupil's mother said she would remove her daughter, 12, from the school because she felt the school's leadership team had failed to protect students from the paedophile teacher. The court heard the relationship was known around the school.

Healy had groomed both girls on the social networking website Bebo which was popular with teenagers. Other pupils at the school knew what was going on before he was caught.

It was reported today that pupils at Bishop Bell were aware of the closeness of Mr Forrest and Miss Stammers, and had told a teacher seven months ago that they had been seen the pair holding hands on an aeroplane following a school trip. The pair are believed to be in France.

Missing Megan not the first scandal at Bishop Bell

Eastbourne Herald

Published on Tuesday 25 September 2012

SCHOOLGIRL Megan Stammers running away with her maths teacher is not the first time Bishop Bell School has faced a relationship scandal.

The 15-year-old fled the Channel on Thursday evening (September 24) with Jeremy Forrest and police are now working with French authorities to try and trace them.

This week it emerged Bishop Bell School was investigating a relationship between the pair before they ran away.

Terry Boatwright, executive headteacher at Bishop Bell, said, “Because the investigations are on-going we’re not going to comment in detail. However, the school and the county council had been addressing and investigating concerns that had been raised, in line with procedure, when this happened. That investigation will continue and we will decide what action to take.”

Michael Gove warned about Megan Stammers' school several months ago

The Telegraph

By Victoria Ward
1:11PM BST 26 Sep 2012

A child protection campaigner contacted Michael Gove's office to raise “serious concerns” about the school of teenager Megan Stammers several months ago, it has emerged.

Lucy Duckworth said she wrote to the education secretary, warning that she feared the Bishop Bell School’s child protection policies were “inadequate”.

The former consultant for the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said the Eastbourne school was "extremely hostile" when she wrote several times asking to see its child protection policy and claimed that staff refused to send her a copy.

She told the BBC: “I've written to (the school) and several other officials including Michael Gove, and Stephen Lloyd MP, several times since February this year and stated their child protection policies have been inadequate throughout this time."

Gove contacted by child abuse campaigner over missing Megan's school concerns


A child abuse campaigner claims she wrote to Education Secretary Michael Gove about her concerns over the school of missing 15-year-old Megan Stammers.

Lucy Duckworth said she has had requests for meetings with Mr Gove turned down. She also wrote to Bishop Bell school asking to see their safeguarding policies and claims staff were hostile to her request.

When the policy was put online this year, Ms Duckworth alleges it contained a number of inadequacies.

She said: "What we found was there was a whole section on safe recruiting but very little on how to effectively protect children. I'm convinced that, had that policy been in place, the parents would have been able to make a decision on their prolonged contact and Megan would be with us.

Swami Prakashanand Saraswati flees US to escape molestation charge

Indian Express

An 83-year-old wheel-chair bound Indian spiritual guru, a fugitive after being convicted of groping two young girls, may have sneaked clandestinely into India, a US court has been told.

US Marshals, still looking for him, suspect that Prakashanand Saraswati, known to his devotees as Swamiji, may have fled America in connivance with his close associates.

Just days after a Hays County jury in Texas convicted him in March 2011 on 20 counts of indecency for molesting two teenagers, the self-styled guru has been missing.

A judge sentenced him in absentia to 14 years in prison on each count and the guru also forfeited USD 1.2 million in bond and promissory notes.

Philippine Officials to Prosecute Ivory Smugglers

National Geographic

A Cebu priest known for his collection of religious icons carved from ivory may have incriminated himself with his revelations on the illegal trade in an investigative report appearing in National Geographic and reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Philippine newspaper reported on its front page today.

Monsignor Cristobal Garcia could face up to four years in prison unless he could show proof that his ivory collection was acquired legally, the Inquirer reported the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Tuesday.

Bryan Christy reported in the October 2012 issue of National Geographic that he traveled to the Philippines to understand the country’s ivory trade. In the town of Cebu he met Garcia, a senior Catholic cleric and one of the best known ivory collectors in the Philippines, who told Christy how to smuggle religious carvings from illegally obtained elephant ivory into the U.S. Trade in ivory is banned by an international treaty signed and verified by both the Philippines and the U.S.

Priest suspended on 20-year-old child abuse raps


By Connie E. Fernandez
Inquirer Visayas Chief of Bureau
8:15 pm | Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

CEBU CITY, Philippines— Msgr. Cristobal Garcia has been suspended and stripped of his positions in the archdiocese of Cebu on orders of the Vatican while the Holy See investigates accusations he molested altar boys more than 20 years ago in the United States.

Msgr. Achilles Dakay, the archdiocese’s media liaison officer, said Garcia’s suspension came months before the priest was implicated by a National Geographic article in illegal trade of ivory in the Philippines.

Dakay said Garcia was suspended by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma in June on instructions of the Vatican because of the ongoing investigation of the child abuse case filed against him.

As part of the penalties, Garcia is not allowed to say Mass in public and hear confessions and has been stripped of his positions in the archdiocese, including his chairmanship of the committee on worship.

Fr Peter Donnelly trial: Witness 'felt sorry' for priest

BBC News

A woman who claims she was sexually abused by a priest when she was a child has said she "felt sorry" for her alleged abuser at one stage.

The woman, 40, told the trial of Catholic priest Peter Donnelly, 69, that before she reported her allegations to police in September 2010, "I felt sorry for Fr Donnelly".

She said she did not go to the police sooner was because she was "afraid".

"The simple reason being I blamed myself," she added.

"I thought the blame would come back on me."

Church Backs Ivory Ban; Fair Hearing For Bishop Sought

Manila Bulletin


September 26, 2012, 6:33pm

ARCHBISHOP PALACE, Cebu City – The Catholic Church Wednesday expressed full support for the ban on ivory but sought a fair and just hearing for a bishop linked to alleged smuggling of ivory.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, in a press conference yesterday, stressed that the Catholic Church supports the ban on ivory as it is consistent with the doctrine on stewardship of creation, and the Church respects the laws of the land.

Ivory is considered a by-product or derivative from elephant tusk but its collection is one of the illegal acts identified in Republic Act 9147 or Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

“The Church does not condone ivory smuggling or other illegal activities, although in the past, ivory was one of the materials used in the adornment of liturgical worship,” he said. ...

“He gave me phone numbers and locations. If I wanted to smuggle an icon that was too large to hide in my suitcase, I might get a certificate from the National Museum of the Philippines declaring my image to be antique, or I could get a carver to issue a paper declaring it to be imitation or alter the carving date to before the ivory ban,” Christy narrated in his article, referring to his conversations with Garcia.

In the same article Christy described Garcia as a fleshy man with a lazy left eye and bad knees where in the mid-1980s, according to a 2005 report in the Dallas Morning News and a related lawsuit, Garcia, while serving as a priest at St. Dominic’s of Los Angeles, California, sexually abused an altar boy in his early teens and was dismissed.

Blick zurück in eine düstere Zeit

Neue Zurcher Zeitung

(sda) Heimkinder hatten es nicht leicht. Stigmatisierung, behördliche Willkür, Geldmangel, ein repressives Strafwesen und die tabuisierte Sexualität begünstigten in Luzerner Kinder- und Jugendheimen zwischen 1930 und 1970 Misshandlungen und Missbrauch.

Zwei Studien

Das geht aus zwei Berichten zur Vergangenheit der Kinder- und Jugendheime im Kanton Luzern hervor, die am Dienstag in Luzern vorgestellt wurden: Die vom Regierungsrat in Auftrag gegebene Studie von Professor Markus Furrer von der Pädagogischen Hochschule Zentralschweiz (PHZ) und die von der Katholischen Kirche des Kantons Luzern initiierte Studie «Hinter Mauern» von Professor Markus Ries.

Konkordat endlich anpassen


„Die Kirche ist doch kein Turnverein“; Leserbriefe 24. September, „Wer austritt, ist kein Katholik mehr“; Politik 21. September, „Scheinheiligkeit schreit zum Himmel“; Leserbrief 24. September

Es gibt also doch den „deutschen Weg“ in der globalen Kirche: Wenn wir in Deutschland in der Katholischen Kirche sind und bleiben wollen, müssen wir wegen des Konkordates Kirchensteuer zahlen. Wer keine Kirchensteuer zahlen will, wird aus der Kirche ausgeschlossen. Wenn aber zahlreiche deutsche Katholiken dringend notwendige Reformen erbeten bzw. fordern, werden sie mit den Worten, die Katholische Kirche muss die gesamte Welt im Blick haben und kann auf Deutschland keine Rücksicht nehmen, abgewimmelt. Wo bleibt hier die Gleichheit der Argumente? Bei dem einen geht es ums Geld, bei dem anderen um Lösung von Problemen. Aber anscheinend ist wieder einmal das Geld wichtiger als der gläubige Mensch. Es ist ja auch praktisch, ohne eigene Anstrengung Einnahmen zu erzielen. Es wird Zeit, dass dieses Konkordat endlich der Neuzeit angepasst wird. Theodor Kreis

Wer Katholik sein will, muss Kirchensteuer zahlen


Ein Austritt aus der Kirchensteuer, aber nicht aus der katholischen Kirche als Glaubensgemeinschaft ist in Deutschland nicht möglich. Der Freiburger Kirchenrechtler Hartmut Zapp scheiterte mit seiner Klage vor dem Bundesverwaltungsgericht - obwohl er sich auf die Gesetze des Vatikans beruft.

Im Streit darüber, ob jedes ihrer Mitglieder Kirchensteuer zahlen muss, hat die katholische Kirche vor Gericht einen Erfolg errungen: Ein reiner Austritt aus der Kirchensteuer, aber nicht aus der katholischen Kirche als Glaubensgemeinschaft ist in Deutschland nicht möglich. Das entschied das Bundesverwaltungsgericht in Leipzig.

Verhandelt wurde der Fall des Freiburger Kirchenrechtlers Hartmut Zapp. Der emeritierte Professor für Kirchenrecht hatte 2007 erklärt, aus der Kirche als "Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts" auszutreten - und seither keine Steuern mehr bezahlt.

Ärzte und Pfarrer sollen Kindesmissbrauch melden


Essen. Die Zahl der Missbrauchsfälle steigt weiter: Im Jahr 2011 gab es bundesweit 12.444 Anzeigen wegen Missbrauchs von Kindern – 4,9 Prozent mehr als im Vorjahr. Seit Jahren streiten Experten über eine gesetzliche Pflicht für Ärzte und Geistliche, solche Straftaten bei der Polizei anzuzeigen.

Die Zahl der Missbrauchsfälle steigt weiter: Im Jahr 2011 gab es bundesweit 12.444 Anzeigen wegen Missbrauchs von Kindern – 4,9 Prozent mehr als im Vorjahr. Seit Jahren streiten Experten über eine gesetzliche Pflicht für Ärzte und Geistliche, solche Straftaten bei der Polizei anzuzeigen. „Wir lassen die Kinder erbarmungslos im Stich“, kritisiert ein bekannter Fahnder, der frühere Ulmer Inspektionsleiter Manfred Paulus. „Wir müssen darüber reden, ob aus der Schweigepflicht im Strafgesetzbuch nicht eine Anzeigepflicht wird“, sagte er der WAZ.

Das Gesetz untersage etwa Kinderärzten, Verdachtsfälle ohne Zustimmung der Eltern der Polizei zu melden. Dabei kämen Täter oft aus dem familiären Umfeld. Selbst Jugendämter würden unter Berufung auf den Strafrechts-Paragrafen 203 (Verletzung von Privatgeheimnissen) auf Anzeigen verzichten. Nur die Polizei müsse Verdachtsfälle verfolgen. Doch da kommen die Fälle eben oft erst gar nicht an.

Neues Forschungsnetz will Missbrauchsopfern schneller helfen


Ulm / sz Rund 50 Wissenschaftler aus ganz Deutschland haben an der Universität Ulm jetzt bei einem zweitägigen Treffen ein Forschungsnetz über Ursachen und Folgen sexuellen Missbrauchs bei Kindern und Jugendlichen gegründet. Das Netzwerk wird vom Bundesforschungsministerium mit insgesamt 20 Millionen Euro gefördert.

Gut jeder siebte Erwachsene berichtet nach einer aktuellen Studie über schweren emotionalen, körperlichen oder sexuellen Missbrauch oder eine schwere Vernachlässigung in Kindheit und Jugend. „Unsere Gesellschaft hat hier Defizite, denen wir uns auch wissenschaftlich stellen müssen“, erläutert Prof. Lutz Goldbeck, Leiter der Sektion Psychotherapieforschung und Verhaltensmedizin an der Ulmer Uni-Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie/Psychotherapie.

I-Team: Diocese Pulls Parental Contract That Absolved Church Of Liability

CBS Boston

[with video]

By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent

September 25, 2012

CENTERVILLE (CBS) – In the wake of an I-Team report, the Catholic Church’s Fall River diocese has reversed its policy on a controversial letter distributed to parents that says the church is not responsible for the safety of their children.

When parents brought their children to Our Lady of Victory Catholic church in Centerville for religious education, they were asked to sign a document absolving the church of any liability for the safety and welfare of their children.

In that Parental Contract for Diocesan Activities, parents had been asked to state, “We specifically agree not to hold the Diocese or any of its employees or contractors liable for any accident, illness or harm that may result from the trip or activity.”

Lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, who has represented hundreds of people, who in the past were molested by priests and other Catholic church employees, was critical of the parental contract.

Parental contract absolving church's liability pulled


[with video]

CENTERVILLE, Mass. (WHDH) -- Our Lady of Victory in Centerville is at the center of a controversial parent contract that the parish pulled Tuesday.

The contract had parents agree that when another adult supervises their child the "...ultimate supervision and safety of that child is still our responsibility and ours alone."

Parents also had to agree not to hold the "...Diocese or any of its employees or contractors liable for any accidents, illness or harm..."

“That's extremely troublesome. I wouldn’t sign this or send my kids,” said Chris Picariello.

“It’s the responsibility of the parent to investigate and check out who they’re sending their child to be in the care of, so I would sign it,” said Bonnie Scott.

Neue Bürgerinitiative für Heimkinder


Wien (ptp023/25.09.2012/17:05) - Eine neue parlamentarische Bürgerinitiative für Heimkinder setzt sich für die Wiedergutmachung des Unrechts in der Fürsorge- und Heimerziehung ein.
Sie sammelt Unterschriften für ihr Anliegen und bringt Vorschläge für Gesetzesänderungen auf Bundesebene ein.

Seitens der EinbringerInnen wird das Vorliegen einer Bundeskompetenz in folgender Hinsicht angenommen: Da die Unrechtshandlungen, um die es in der vorliegenden Initiative geht, vielfach in Form von strafbaren Körperverletzungen oder Gesundheitsschädigungen erfolgten, betrifft deren Wiedergutmachung die Rechtsmaterie des Verbrechensopfergesetzes (VOG). Es wird angestrebt, dieses Gesetz und das ABGB um einige Regelungen zu ergänzen, die der speziellen Opfersituation von Kindern und Jugendlichen in Erziehungseinrichtungen besser gerecht werden. Dazu ist nur der Bundesgesetzgeber in der Lage.

Rechtsanwalt Dr. Christian Sailer hat das Anliegen der Initiative in beiliegendem Text formuliert, begründet und erläutert. Den vollständigen Text finden Sie im Anhang "Wiedergutmachung des Unrechts".

German Catholic Church issues ultimatum: No money, no sacraments

Vatican Insider

The German Episcopal Conference’s decision has sparked a debate within the country’s Catholic world, leading to widespread controversy

Alessandro Speciale

It may seem over the top but this is the whole point of the decree issued last week by the German Bishops’ Conference, with the approval of the Holy See.

The decree requires that faithful who declare to a registry office that they are no longer members of the Catholic Church, will no longer be able to actively participate in Church life and there receive the sacraments.

Essentially, Germans who ask to no longer be registered as Catholics – and therefore no longer pay the country’s church tax (8-9% of their annual income tax bill) – will no longer be able to receive the sacraments of confession, communion or confirmation and when they die, they will not be allowed a Catholic funeral. They will also not be able to work as volunteers in Catholic associations, sing in Catholic choirs or even work in Catholic institutions such as schools or hospitals.

AUS - SNAP blasts promotion for Sydney’s Cardinal

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on September 24, 2012

Today the Pope is promoting Cardinal George Pell to the Congregation for Bishops, a powerful international body within the church. We believe this promotion is hurtful to victims.

Victims in Pell’s diocese of Sydney have reported that the process there for reporting abuse, known as Towards Healing, is more of a smoke-screen for the diocese than a way to help victims. Some have charged Towards Healing as actively lobbying to prevent victims from getting legal representation. According to an article in the Canberra Times, 95% of Australian victims have described the system as “abusive, highly adversarial, legalistic and traumatic.”

We think that by promoting such a Cardinal as Pell who has been this antagonistic to victims is indicative of the fact that, despite lengthy statements and calls by the Pope to “bind up the wounds” of clergy abuse victims, actual church policy is to sweep claims under the rug and avoid embarrassment. When church officials are rewarded for doing more to hinder abuse claims than to actual heal them, we find it hard to imagine that the Vatican is serious about healing, and is more concerned about damage control and avoiding scandal.

MA - Victims blast Fall River bishop for parents' legal form

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

[I-Team: Parental Contract Absolves Cape Cod Church Of Liability - CBS Boston]

Posted by David Clohessy on September 25, 2012

A Boston news outlet reports that the Fall River Catholic officials are requiring parents at one parish to sign a legal form that is apparently designed to help protect the diocese in child sex abuse and cover up cases.

The contract says: “We specifically agree not to hold the Diocese or any of its employees or contractors liable for any accident, illness or harm that may result from the trip or activity.”

We are outraged by this legal maneuver. Catholic officials should be focused on protecting innocent kids, not protecting its often corrupt hierarchy.

It is also another indication that church officials are still unwilling to accept responsibility for putting dangerous clerics around kids. To try and absolve themselves - in advance - of any potential wrongdoing just shows that church officials care more about keeping their reputations clean and their lawyer fees low than they do about protecting kids.

Vatican reverses priest's suspension

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

BY TIM TOWNSEND • ttownsend@post-dispatch.com > 314-340-8221

An Illinois priest, forced out of his parish by Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton for improvising prayers during Mass, has had his suspension reversed by the Vatican.

The Vatican decided in favor of the Rev. William Rowe on one of three counts, saying Braxton had not followed the proper procedure. Rowe said an accompanying letter from Braxton informed him that the bishop would appeal that final Vatican decision to a higher church court.

The Vatican's reversal of Rowe's suspension means the priest can celebrate Mass outside the Belleville diocese, Rowe said, so long as he has the approval of the bishops' governing other dioceses where he would say Mass.

Vatican probes priest in alleged ivory smuggling


By Dennis Carcamo (The Philippine Star) Updated September 26, 2012

MANILA, Philippines - A ranking official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines on Wednesday said the Vatican has already initiated a probe into the alleged involvement of a Cebu church official in ivory smuggling.

Based on the article by the National Geographic magazine, Msgr. Cristobal Gracias admitted having acquired some of the religious artifacts made of ivory via smuggling.

"In regard to the matter of Msgr. Garcia’s past, the case has been elevated to the Holy See and it has initiated the investigation into it long before the present controversy erupted. I have also fulfilled the Holy See’s instructions regarding submission of documents and acting upon related consequences," CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said.

New O’Grady lawsuit alleges 1990s abuse

The Union Democrat

Written by Alexander MacLean, The Union Democrat
September 25, 2012

A San Andreas woman has filed a lawsuit against the Stockton Catholic Diocese and defrocked priest Oliver O’Grady, claiming she was molested as a child by O’Grady while he served at St. Andrew’s Parish two decades ago.

The alleged victim, now 31, says O’Grady molested her when she was 11 and 12 years old from 1991 to 1992, according to the lawsuit, which was announced to the public Sunday by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, also known as SNAP.

The complaint for damages filed in San Joaquin County Superior Court in August also names several parishes under the Stockton Diocese, where it claims criminal allegations against O’Grady were known but not reported to law enforcement.

A now 25-year-old Bay Area man filed a similar lawsuit in May, saying the former priest abused him in 1992 — one year before O’Grady was convicted of four counts of lewd and lascivious acts against two other boys.

Magdalene survivors still held hostage to politics

Irish Times


OPINION: Dáil Éireann will vote this evening on a motion addressing the Magdalene laundries. Two facts are fundamental to the debate preceding it.

First is the indisputable fact that three years after Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) circulated an apology and redress scheme for survivors of the laundries, 22 months after the Irish Human Rights Commission called for a statutory inquiry into alleged abuses and provision of redress in appropriate cases, and 15 months after the UN Committee Against Torture obliged the State to ensure that within one year survivors obtained redress, the women at the centre of this debate find themselves in exactly the same position as when this all started.

No apology, no pension, no lost wages, no redress and no acknowledgement that what happened to them was wrong. A population of Irish women, aging and elderly, living at home and abroad, many vulnerable and marginalised, is left waiting as time slips by.

Second is that there is overwhelming evidence of State involvement in the Magdalene laundries – sending women to the institutions and ensuring they stayed there; direct and indirect financial support; and failing to regulate the commercial laundries and thereby prevent human rights violations.

Church does not condone ivory smuggling—CBCP

Philippine Daily Inquirer

By Jocelyn R. Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
6:18 pm | Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—Amid a controversy involving a Cebu priest allegedly connected to illegal ivory trade, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines on Wednesday said the Catholic Church does not condone ivory smuggling even if in the past it was a main ornament used for liturgical worship.

In a statement on Wednesday, CBCP President Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma stressed that while ivory artifacts crafted long before the ban were considered the cultural heritage of the Church, it was not encouraging the use of ivory for new implements.

“Let it be made clear that the Church supports the ban on ivory as it is consistent with her doctrine on stewardship of creation,” said Palma, a co-signatory in a petition by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) calling for the transfer of Manila Zoo’s lone elephant, “Mali” to a sanctuary in Thailand.

Catholic Tax! German Catholics lose rights

Catholic Online

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

German Catholics have left their churches following priest sex scandals

If they fail to pay a special tax, Germany's Roman Catholics will be denied the right to Holy Communion or a religious burial. A German bishops' decree has just come into force says that anyone failing to pay the tax, which is an extra eight percent of their income tax bill - they will no longer be considered a Catholic.

While Catholics make up around 30 percent of Germany's population, the number of the former faithful leaving the church has climbed to 181,000 in 2010. The exodus has been blamed on revelations of sexual abuse by German priests.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The bishops say they have been alarmed by the number of Catholics leaving the Church, and such a step would be seen as a serious act against the community.

All Germans who are officially registered as Catholics, Protestants or Jews pay a religious tax of eight to nine percent on their annual income tax bill. The levy was introduced in the 19th Century in compensation for the nationalization of religious property.

"If your tax bill is for 10,000 euros, then 800 euros will go on top of that and your total tax combined will be 10,800 euros," Munich tax accountant Thomas Zitzelsberger says.

Exile and mercy: Mass marks 10 years since bishops’ charter

Catholic San Francisco

September 26th, 2012
By Michelle Martin

CHICAGO – The Scripture readings at a Chicago Mass celebrated to mark the 10th anniversary of the U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” offered the despair and isolation felt by an exile in the Book of Lamentations and the comfort of God’s mercy in the beatitudes.

Their juxtaposition shows the balance we all need, Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago said in his homily at a “Mass of Atonement and Hope” celebrated Sept. 15 at Holy Family Church, site of the archdiocese’s Healing Garden.

The garden, dedicated in June 2011, offers healing and reconciliation to all hurt by clergy sex abuse.

The concelebrants of the Mass were the cardinal and five priests who are involved with the Chicago archdiocese’s response to clerical sexual abuse. It included prayers for victims and their families, for those who assist them and for the forgiveness of perpetrators. It ended with a blessing of facilitators of the Virtus program, which trains church workers about the signs of sex abuse, how to recognize adults who are trying to take advantage of children and how to thwart opportunities for abuse.

Philippines to question priest in ivory trade

CBS News

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine authorities say they will question a Roman Catholic priest about ivory smuggling after his collection of ivory religious icons was featured in National Geographic magazine.

Monsignor Cristobal Garcia is quoted in the October issue of the magazine as describing how to bring ivory figurines into the United States.

National Bureau of Investigation official Sixto Comia said Wednesday that authorities are investigating the origin of ivory icons widely used in the predominantly Roman Catholic country. He said Garcia will be questioned but declined to give further details.

Victory Christian Center Abuse Scandal: Chris Denman Charged By 4th Accuser

Huffington Post


TULSA, Okla. -- A fourth victim of alleged abuse at a 17,000-member Tulsa megachurch has come forward, and police said Tuesday that there might be a fifth.

At the same time, members of Victory Christian Center are beginning to speak publicly about the allegations that have shaken the worldwide ministry's foundations and tarnished the reputations of its pastor and her family members.

Prosecutors added two additional charges Monday against 20-year-old Chris Denman, a former church employee. He was arrested Sept. 5 on a complaint alleging that he raped a 13-year-old girl in a stairwell on the ministry's campus in August and molested a 15-year-old girl. He faces new charges of making a lewd proposal to a child and using a computer to commit a sex crime involving a 12-year-old girl.

Another ex-church employee, 23-year-old Israel Castillo, was arrested last week and is charged with making a lewd proposal to a 15-year-old girl and using a computer to commit a sex crime.

Bishop Kinney outlines challenges of long career

St. Cloud Times

St. Cloud Bishop John F. Kinney talked about the challenges facing his diocese, his career, his retirement plans and victims of sexual abuse during a Rotary of St. Cloud luncheon today .

The 75-year-old spiritual leader of the Catholic diocese is the longest-serving bishop in the U.S. The ninth bishop of the St. Cloud diocese was a guest speaker at Le St-Germain Suite Hotel. ...

Kinney appeared in good humor and good spirits on Tuesday despite the use of a cane. However, he eventually brought up the sex scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church in recent years.

“The most difficult committee that I was asked to chair were the first years of the committee on the sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church, and I chaired that committee for eight years beginning in the 1990s,” said Kinney, who has sat down with the victims.

“I would want to say that our Safe Environment Program here in the Diocese of St. Cloud is one of the best in the United States … and we are a leader internationally as far as how to address the question of the care and protection of young people in our society.”

Evergreen Park priest accused of sexual abuse removed from ministry


September 25, 2012

Rebecca Kruth

A priest from a southwestern Chicago suburb has been removed from ministry after being accused of sexual abuse.

The Archdiocese of Chicago says after the allegations surfaced in June, Rev. Gary Miller of St. Bernadette’s Parish in Evergreen Park left the church voluntarily. The misconduct allegedly took place more than 30 years ago while Miller was serving at St. Leonard Parish in Berwyn.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County State’s Attorney were both made immediately aware of the situation, the archdiocese said in a statement.

The Independent Review Board found the accusations to be credible and recommended the priest be removed from the ministry, according to the archdiocese.

Evergreen Park priest removed from ministry, accused of sexually abusing minor 30 years ago in Berwyn


September 25, 2012 (EVERGREEN PARK, Ill.) (WLS) -- A Roman Catholic priest in southwest suburban Evergreen Park has been removed from ministry following allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Chicago Archdiocese says the Reverend Gary Miller resigned from St. Bernadette Catholic Church over the weekend.

The archdiocese says accusations first surfaced in June that Miller engaged in the sexual abuse of a minor 30 years ago at St. Leonard Parish in Berwyn.

Priest Charged With Sex Abuse Working On A Plea Deal


[with video]

Bishop Andonis with the Archdiocese of New York says Father Nicholas Hughes will not fight the sex abuse charges against him and is working on a plea deal.

Hughes has been the interim priest for the past year at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in the Short North.

He was arrested on Sept. 19 by the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children task force for soliciting sex over the internet.

Investigators say the 56-year-old thought he was chatting with the parents of a 9-year-old and 14-year-old boy.

September 25, 2012

Megan cop shock: Police knew about 'relationship' between schoolgirl and maths teacher before pair fled to France

The Mirror

Police were investigating maths teacher Jeremy Forrest over concerns about his relationship with pupil Megan Stammers BEFORE the pair ran away.

Sussex Police had already launched a probe and were talking to Megan's parents and her school headteacher, Terry Boatwright, when the pair suddenly fled to France on Friday.

Bishop Bell head teacher, Terry Boatwright said: "The school, in conjunction with the local authority, Megan's parents and the police, had been addressing and investigating those concerns, in line with procedure, when this happened."

Do you know Jeremy Forrest? Call us free on 0800 282 591 or email mirrornews@mirror.co.uk

Two men with links to missing Megan Stammers' school accused of child sex offences

The Mirror

Two men with links to missing Megan Stammers' school have been accused of child sex offences, it was revealed today.

In 2009, supply teacher Robert Healy, then aged 27, was jailed for seven years at Lewes Crown Court after grooming two Bishop Bell pupils on social networking site Bebo.

A former chairman of governors, Canon Gordon Rideout, 73, is due to appear at Crown Court next month charged with 38 child sex offences over an 11-year period from 1962.

The school, in Eastbourne, has previously acknowledged the links but said he was not a member of staff and the allegations were historical and unrelated to the school.

Child abuse campaigner Marilyn Hawes, a teacher for 25 years, launched a strong condemnation of the school authorities, saying the head teacher should resign.

Schoolgirl who ran away with married teacher 'could be anywhere in Europe'

The Independent

Kevin Rawlinson

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Megan Stammers, the 15-year-old who is believed to have run off to France with her married maths teacher, could now be “anywhere in Europe”, police said tonight.

Officers plan to ask the teenager’s friends if they were given warning that she planned to disappear with Jeremy Forrest, 30.

Detectives urged Megan’s classmates not to be scared to hand over any information.

Officers also released a security video showing the pair holding hands and walking arm in arm aboard a ferry from Dover to Calais at 9.30pm last Thursday.

Megan Stammers: school knew of concerns over teacher friendship

The Guardian

Caroline Davies
The Guardian, Tuesday 25 September 2012

Police were informed about concerns of an inappropriate relationship between 15-year-old Megan Stammers and her married maths teacher shortly before the pair fled to France.

Officers were told last week as Bishop Bell C of E school in Eastbourne investigated suspicions over the closeness of the schoolgirl and Jeremy Forrest, 30.

Questions have been raised over how education officials dealt with the warnings.

The school was criticised as Sussex police appealed to Megan's friends to come forward if they knew of the pair's plans.

Releasing CCTV images of the two walking hand-in-hand aboard the Dover to Calais ferry, Chief Inspector Jason Tingley said he hoped the photographs would help the public recognise the pair. "Although they entered France, it is possible that they are elsewhere now," he said.

A teacher’s sacred duty smashed to smithereens

Daily Mail

By Sandra Parsons

All children have a right to expect the adults around them to behave responsibly, especially those whose job it is to teach them.

And Jeremy Forrest, the 30-year-old married maths teacher who has run away to France with 15-year-old Megan Stammers, has not so much broken what should be an inviolable bond of trust as smashed it to smithereens.

In February – that’s an incredible seven months ago — a fellow pupil reported Mr Forrest to another teacher after seeing him and Megan holding hands on the plane back from a school trip to Los Angeles. The school, Bishop Bell C of E in Eastbourne, admits it has been ‘investigating concerns’ — and, according to some reports, Mr Forrest was due to be suspended the day after he disappeared with his pupil.

Whatever the truth, the fact that he was not only allowed to continue teaching Megan but was also giving her extra maths tuition after school, so long after the alarm was first raised, almost beggars belief.

Police release photo of missing British schoolgirl

New Zealand Herald

Police have released a CCTV image of a missing British schoolgirl and her 30-year-old maths teacher on board a ferry to France.

Megan Stammers, 15, boarded the Channel ferry with her maths teacher Jeremy Forrest late last week after he spent months grooming her to escape on an "adventure" with him.

Her parents have issued a heartfelt plea for her to return, with father Martin Stammers telling media: "It's been hell. We have no idea where she is".

Sussex Police Chief Inspector Jason Tingley said a photo released today would aid the British and French police hunt for the pair.

Another teacher ...

Daily Mail

Another teacher at the runaway's school was jailed after grooming two young girls for sex

By Tom Kelly, Claire Ellicott and Inderdeep Bains

Parents at Megan Stammers’s school demanded an inquiry into its child protection procedures last night as more under-age sex scandals emerged at the Church of England comprehensive.

Incredibly, another teacher at Bishop Bell C of E School in Eastbourne was jailed three years ago for preying on teenage girls after grooming them on a social networking site.

In addition, a former chairman of governors at the same school is due to stand trial on alleged child sex offences next month. Some parents said their children were too scared to attend class after it was revealed how staff failed to remove married maths teacher Jeremy Forrest despite warnings that he was having a relationship with Megan seven months ago.

Richard Chapman, who has two children at the school, said: ‘Something needs to be done now, otherwise, where will it stop? And who will be next? The school has let everyone down and it is not like this is the first time it has happened. The school needs to be investigated from the very top levels of management. Something is not right there.’

Megan Stammers: Bishop Bell School under fire over record

BBC News

The school of missing Megan Stammers has come under fire from a charity over its safeguarding record.

Megan, 15, who goes to Bishop Bell C of E School, in Eastbourne, and teacher Jeremy Forrest, 30, took a ferry from Dover to Calais, on Thursday.

In 2009, a teacher from the school was jailed for grooming pupils and in March it emerged a retired priest had been allowed to remain as a governor despite child sex allegations against him.

The school has defended its record.

East Sussex County Council and bosses at the school have both confirmed they were investigating the pair's relationship before they disappeared.

German bishops defend exclusion of Catholics who stop paying tax

Catholic News Service

By Jonathan Luxmoore
Catholic News Service

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- The German bishops' conference defended a controversial decree that said Catholics who stop paying a church membership tax cannot receive sacraments.

"There must be consequences for people who distance themselves from the church by a public act," said Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg, conference president, in defending the Sept. 20 decree.

"Clearly, someone withdrawing from the church can no longer take advantage of the system like someone who remains a member," he said at a Sept. 24 news conference as the bishops began a four-day meeting in Fulda. "We are grateful Rome has given completely clear approval to our stance."

The archbishop said each departure was "painful for the church," adding that bishops feared many Catholics were unaware of the consequences and would be "open to other solutions."

Voice of the Faithful honors Hofstra professor


A Hofstra University religion professor known for advocating in favor of women deacons in the Roman Catholic Church has won an award from Voice of the Faithful, a Catholic group that is highly critical of the church hierarchy and its handling of the sex abuse scandal.

Phyllis Zagano was given the St. Catherine of Siena Distinguished Layperson of the Year Award at the group’s 10th annual conference held Sept. 14 in Boston. Zagano is one of only five Catholics to win the award from the group in its 10-year history.

“I was honored and a little bit overwhelmed,” Zagano said yesterday. “It was quite consoling that someone out there is listening.”

Ivory Investigation Sparks Coverage and Inquiries in the Philippines

National Geographic

National Geographic’s undercover investigation into how the global religious market for ivory is a driving force in the slaughter of thousands of African elephants has prompted extensive media coverage — and calls for an official inquiry — in the Philippines.

Bryan Christy reported in the October 2012 issue of National Geographic that he traveled to the Philippines to understand the country’s ivory trade and possibly get a lead on who was behind 5.4 tons of illegal ivory seized by customs agents in Manila in 2009, 7.7 tons seized there in 2005, and 6.1 tons bound for the Philippines seized by Taiwan in 2006. Assuming an average of 22 pounds of ivory per elephant, these seizures represent about 1,745 elephants, Christy wrote.

Christy met Monsignor Cristobal Garcia, a senior Catholic cleric and one of the best known ivory collectors in the Philippines, who told Christy that if he wanted to buy an ivory Santo Niño, a carving of the Christ child, he would have to smuggle it to get it into the U.S. “Wrap it in old, stinky underwear and pour ketchup on it,” Garcia said. “So it looks shitty with blood. This is how it is done.” International trade in elephant ivory has been banned for the last 22 years.

Read Bryan Christy’s article ‘Ivory Worship’.

Assignment Record – Rev. James E. Gaudreau

BishopAccountability.org - Assignment Record

Summary of Case: A priest of the Boston archdiocese, ordained in 1969, Gaudreau was accused in Sept. 2012 of having sexually abused a minor in 2006. He was placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation.

Ordained: 1969
Incardinated: Boston

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput talks to parents of victim of clergy abuse during trip to Harrisburg

The Patriot-News

By IVEY DEJESUS, The Patriot-News

Ever since their son killed himself in 2006 after years of enduring sexual abuse at the hands of his priest, Art and Elaine Baselice have been trying to get a private audience with a high-ranking Catholic Church official.

On Tuesday, they left their New Jersey home at dawn and headed for Harrisburg where Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput was expected to meet with legislators.

The Baselices stood in the dim hallway of the Capitol’s East Rotunda, she holding a framed portrait of their son Arthur; he a poster that included photos of the two abusive priests.

The Baselices did not leave the state Capitol disappointed: After meeting with lawmakers and shaking hands with state employees who stopped by to greet him, Chaput asked to meet with the couple.

“He was apologetic. He was understanding. He was sorry,” said Elaine Baselice, unable to fight back tears. “He would like to see things changed.”

Accused priest in hospital

North Bay Nugget

By MARIA CALABRESE, North Bay Nugget

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

NORTH BAY - An 87-year-old Roman Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse dating back to 1958 is in hospital, a North Bay court heard Tuesday.

Charges against John Edward Sullivan were adjourned to Oct. 9 for his lawyer to receive medication information.

Sullivan, who resides in Montreal, was an ordained priest at the Pro-Cathedral of the Assumption when the sexual offences are alleged to have taken place at various times from 1958 to 1979.

Evergreen Park priest removed

Chicago Tribune

By Manya Brachear
Tribune reporter

September 25, 2012
A Roman Catholic priest in southwest suburban Evergreen Park has been removed from ministry following an allegation that he engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor while assigned to St. Leonard parish in Berwyn more than 30 years ago, according to the Chicago Archdiocese.

This past weekend, the Rev. Gary Miller resigned as pastor of St. Bernadette Catholic Church, where he has served as pastor since July 2001. Miller could not be reached for comment. The archdiocese did not say in the statement whether he denied the allegation.

Priest who had sex with boys vanishes from public eye

Dallas Morning News

By Brooks Egerton/Reporter
10:00 am on September 25, 2012

An internationally prominent Catholic priest has dropped out of sight in the Philippines, years after admitting to me that he had sex with altar boys in the U.S. and supplied them with drugs.

Monsignor Cristobal Garcia’s sudden low profile coincides with a new National Geographic article on the ivory trade. It calls Garcia “one of the best known ivory collectors in the Philippines” and quotes him as giving advice on how to smuggle ivory into the U.S., in defiance of a 1989 global trade ban.

The magazine refers to my 2005 investigative piece on the priest, who had fled the U.S. after an altar boy was found in his bedroom. He’s one of over 200 Catholic clergymen we found who crossed international borders to escape justice and stay in ministry.

Filipino church leaders helped Garcia reinvent himself as an authority on worship practices and leader of boys at a rural religious compound. Now he’s said to be resting and receiving treatment for hypertension, according to today’s Cebu Daily News.

Gov’t to prosecute ‘blood’ ivory traders

Philippines Daily Inquirer

By DJ Yap, TJ Burgonio, Nancy C. Carvajal
Philippine Daily Inquirer
12:10 am | Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

A Cebu priest known for his collection of religious icons carved from ivory may have incriminated himself with his revelations on the illegal trade in an investigative report appearing in the National Geographic and reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Msgr. Cristobal Garcia could face up to four years in prison unless he could show proof that his ivory collection was acquired legally, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Tuesday.

The NatGeo report, titled “Ivory Worship” and written by Bryan Christy, who visited the country five times for the report, said Garcia had even advised him how to smuggle religious icons made from ivory into the United States.

Mundita Lim, director of the DENR-Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), said regional environmental officials launched a probe of the report that the priest was in possession of ivory Sto. Niño figures acquired using questionable means.

Palma: Church doesn’t condone trade in ivory


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

CEBU CITY (Updated) -- Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said the Catholic Church does not condone killing animals to make their parts into religious items, like taking the tusks of elephants and carving these into ivory statues.

“Of course, we are saddened by the news Cebu was identified as a source of the ivory trade,” Palma told Sun.Star Cebu.

He was referring to a National Geographic magazine article, “Blood Ivory”, where the writer, Bryan Christy, includes a lengthy interview with Msgr. Cristobal Garcia, the Archdiocesan Commission on Worship chairman.

Palma, who is also the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president, said he recently signed up with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to transfer an elephant from the Manila Zoo to Thailand, where it can be provided with better care and treatment.

Msgr. Garcia proud of ‘matchless’ collection of religious icons


By Connie E. Fernandez
Inquirer Visayas
1:20 am | Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

CEBU CITY—Msgr. Cristobal Garcia has always been proud of his collection of religious icons and paintings.

He displayed them in exhibits during the weeklong festivities to celebrate the feast day of the Holy Child Jesus every third Sunday of January.

Some of the religious images can also be seen at the museum inside the compound of the Society of Angels of Peace, a congregation Garcia founded in Talisay City, Cebu.

His collections range from 300-year-old heirlooms to newly carved pieces, paintings, statues and “stampita” (scapular) bought in and outside the country.

So far, no one in Cebu can match Garcia’s collection. Those who know him say that he can very well afford these expensive art pieces.

Laguna prelate defends priest tagged in ivory smuggling

Philippine Daily Inquirer

12:30 am | Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

A Catholic prelate came to the defense of Msgr. Cristobal Garcia, who was caught in a controversy involving ivory smuggling in the Philippines.

Msgr. Jose Barrion, chairman of the cultural heritage committee of the diocese of San Pablo, Laguna province, said he believed that Garcia’s collection of ivory-made religious images, were acquired a long time ago.

“When you say collection, we’re talking here of antique pieces, items that existed hundreds of years ago,” Barrion said in an interview.

“The images in Monsignor Garcia’s collection were not recently made, those are antiques, probably made long before the law banning ivory trading was implemented,” Barrion said.

Having spent 7.5 million fighting victims...

SNAP Wisconsin

Having spent 7.5 million fighting victims, Archbishop Listecki appears to be reversing course

September 25, 2012

Having spent 7.5 million fighting victims, Archbishop Listecki appears to be reversing course

Archdiocese signaling major breakthrough to be announced next week with 570 victims

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director (Milwaukee)
CONTACT: 414.429.7259

Charles Dickens once wrote that the courts are where lawyers “spin masterly fictions” so judges can “waste their days reading mountains of costly nonsense.”

It is being reported today just how costly this nonsense has been for Catholics of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

The Archdiocese, which filed for bankruptcy in January of 2011, was ordered into mediation this summer with nearly 570 victim/survivors by Federal Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley. As Dickens might have predicted, Archbishop Listecki has spent an obscene 7.5 million dollars on lawyers and consultants, and not a dime on helping to heal or provide restitution to those harmed. And much of that money, all of it incidentally deriving from charitable contributions, has been used by the archdiocese to file and argue endless court motions and legal technicalities to throw out of court most of the 570 victim/survivors who have filed restitution claims. The archdiocese has also used those millions to prevent the release to the public of nearly 60,000 pages of secret church documents and depositions detailing decades of cover-up of child sex crimes by dozens of priests and employees of the archdiocese.

Ironically, when Archbishop Listecki went into bankruptcy court in January 2011 he claimed that the archdiocese had to file because it was unable to cover more than 4.5 million in mediating abuse claims, yet he has put that amount and 3 million dollars more into the pockets of lawyers in the last 22 months alone. And while Listecki has spent millions on lawyers he has so far only offered $300,000 dollars to victims and even that amount he wants to restrict to an alleged “therapy fund” to be controlled, of course, by the archdiocese.

Report: Fugitive Texas Hindu guru likely in India

Houston Chronicle

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Court documents show that a Hindu guru who became a fugitive after being convicted of molesting two teenagers at his Texas ashram is likely in India.

The Austin American Statesman (http://bit.ly/Sj8TwW ) reported Tuesday that Prakashanand Saraswati (prah-KAHSH'-ah-nahnd sah-rah-SWAH'-tee) was apparently able to flee sentencing with the help of followers who are now under investigation by federal prosecutors.

A Hays County jury convicted the 83-year-old guru in March 2011 on 20 counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact. He skipped sentencing after the trial while free on a $1 million bond and hasn't been seen since.

Group Protests Greek Orthodox Church


[with video]

COLUMBUS -- The group SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is protesting out in front of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

The group says it wants to reach out to other who may have been hurt in light of the recent arrest of Father Patrick Nicholas Hughes last week.

Hughes was arrested by the Franklin County Sheriff's office for trying to meet up for a sexual encounter with two boys, ages 9 and 14.

He was the acting dean at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in the Short North.

Kenny checked phone at Pope meeting

Belfast Telegraph

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has come under fire for using his mobile phone during a meeting with the Pope.

Mr Kenny was accused of behaving discourteously as Pope Benedict XVI made an address in Italy at the weekend.

A Government spokesman said the Taoiseach would not comment on the video footage that showed him browsing on his touch-screen phone during the event.

Priest Gary Miller ousted after Berwyn abuse allegations

My Suburban Life

By Brett Schweinberg, bschweinberg@mysuburbanlife.com
Berwyn Life

Posted Sep 25, 2012

Berwyn, IL —
A Catholic priest serving in Evergreen Park has been removed from duty by the Archdiocese of Chicago after allegations surfaced that he abused a minor in Berwyn more than 30 years ago.

According to a statement from the Archdiocese, the church’s Independent Review Board determined that there is reasonable cause to suspect Miller had sexually abused a minor while serving at Berwyn’s St. Leonard Parish.

The incident was immediately reported to the Department of Children and Family Services as well as the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops plenary to examine updated guidelines on cleric

The Catholic Register

Written by Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News
Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Ste. ADÈLE, Que. - At their annual plenary Sept. 24-28 the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) are examining the prevention of clerical sexual abuse as part of its packed five-day agenda.

The 90-plus bishops gathered from across Canada will receive the updated guidelines prepared for submission to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, conference president Archbishop Richard Smith said in his annual president’s address at the Mont-Gabriel Hotel here Sept. 23.

“Of course our ongoing response must extend far beyond the articulation of protocols and procedures to an embrace in love and compassion of any person, family or community affected by this scourge,” Smith said.

The reflections will also deal with the impact of the clerical sexual abuse crisis on the ministry of priests and how bishops can provide better support. It will also look at the conditions that increase the risk of sexual abuse with an eye to prevention, according to the CCCB program for the week, most of which is closed to visitors and news media.

Woman was suicidal over 'priest abuse'


A woman, who claims she was abused by a Catholic priest as a child, gave tearful evidence about the choices she faced - reporting the alleged abuse or committing suicide.

The 40-year-old woman told the jury how she "turned to drink" in an effort to block her memories of abuse at the hands of 69-year-old Peter Donnelly.

The alleged abuse, which happened in the 1980s, was reported to police two years ago.

Donnelly, from Drumaroad Hill in Castlewellan, was curate at St Matthew's Church, Bryson Street, Belfast at the time.

Father Peter Donnelly trial - Witness recounts 'abuse'

BBC News

A woman who claims she was sexually abused as a child by a Catholic priest in east Belfast has gave tearful evidence at his trial in the city.

Testifying at Belfast Crown Court over a live TV link up, the 40-year-old woman said she had considered suicide before reporting the alleged abuse.

The priest, Peter Donnelly from Drumaroad Hill in Castlewellan, faces seven charges of abuse on dates between 31 July 1983 and 1 August 1987.

The 69 year old denies the charges.

During her testimony, the woman told the jury how she "turned to drink" in an effort to block her memories of the abuse she says she suffered at the hands of the accused.

I-Team: Parental Contract Absolves Cape Cod Church Of Liability

CBS Boston

[with video]

By WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve

September 24, 2012

CENTERVILLE (CBS) – When parents bring their children to Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Centerville for religious education, they’re asked to sign a document, obtained by the I-Team, which absolves the church of liability, and puts it all on the parents.

It’s called the Parental Contract for Diocesan Activities, and in it parents agree that: “Should we choose to allow another adult to provide supervision to a child, the ultimate supervision and safety of that child is still our responsibility and ours alone.”

And further that: “We specifically agree not to hold the Diocese or any of its employees or contractors liable for any accident, illness or harm that may result from the trip or activity.”

Mitchell Garabedian, a lawyer for hundreds of people sexually abused by Catholic priests, was critical of the parental contract.

Jährlich Hunderte Missbrauchs-Diagnosen


Deutsche Ärzte diagnostizieren pro Jahr mehr als 4000 Missbrauchsfälle bei Minderjährigen. Oft verschließt das Umfeld der Betroffenen die Augen.

München. Jedes Jahr wird in deutschen Arztpraxen bei mehr als 4000 Minderjährigen Missbrauch diagnostiziert. Das ergibt sich aus einer hochgerechneten Auswertung von Patientendaten der Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), die am Montag in München veröffentlicht wurde. Missbrauch im medizinischen Sinne umfasst nach Definition der Weltgesundheitsorganisation Vernachlässigung, körperlichen, sexuellen und psychischen Missbrauch. Wie hoch die Dunkelziffer sei, könnten selbst Fachleute nur schwer schätzen, hieß es.

Die Krankenkasse unterstrich die Bedeutung einer schnellen und zweifelsfreien Diagnose. Nur dann könne sachgerecht reagiert werden. Alle beteiligten Berufsgruppen und Institutionen müssten dafür eng zusammenarbeiten. Denn die Hilfen, die ein misshandeltes Kind benötige, könnten meist nicht von einer Person oder Einrichtung erbracht werden. Auch würden die strengsten Gesetze nichts helfen, wenn die den Kindern nahe stehenden Personen aus Unwissenheit oder Unsicherheit vor Gewalt die Augen verschlössen.

Erzbischof Müller: Die Polarisierungen überwinden

Radio Vatikan

Erzbischof Gerhard Ludwig Müller will die Polarisierungen in der Kirche überwinden helfen. Das sagte er im Interview mit Radio Vatikan. Mitte September beginnt im Vatikan traditionsgemäß das Arbeitsjahr nach den Ferien, für Erzbischof Müller ist es das erste Jahr in dieser Position in Rom. Er war am 2. Juli zum Präfekten der Glaubenskongregation ernannt worden. Pater Bernd Hagenkord hat mit ihm gesprochen.

Herr Erzbischof, ganz neu ist Ihnen die Glaubenskongregation ja nicht, sie sind ja bereits Mitglied gewesen, aber seit etwas über 80 Tagen haben Sie das Amt des Präfekten inne. Sind Sie schon in Ihrem neuen Amt und in Rom angekommen?

Offener Brief von Pfarrer Guido Johannes Ittmann an die Priester im Bistum Trier und die Pfarrangehörigen der Pfarrei Herz Jesu, Püttlingen-Köllerba


Bereits mehrfach wurde in diversen Medien (Spiegel, SWR, Saarbrücker Zeitung) über die Pfarrei Herz Jesu, Püttlingen im Zusammenhang mit Fällen sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjähriger berichtet.
Als ehemaliger Pfarrer dieser Pfarrei habe ich im Sommer 2010 drei Sexualstraftäter angezeigt, darunter zwei ehemalige in der traditionalistischen Martingemeinde in Köllerbach tätige Priester sowie einen dort in einflussreicher Stellung tätigen Laien.

Dies geschah auch auf dem Hintergrund, dass ein Betroffener einen der Täter ermorden wollte und mich darüber in Kenntnis setzte.

Sexueller Missbrauch in Australien


Das volle Ausmaß des sexuellen Mißbrauchs in der katholischen Kirche Australiens wird deutlicher. Vor einem parlamentarischen Untersuchungsausschuß in Victoria erklärte die Kirche, daß 620 Kinder Opfer von sexuellem Mißbrauch durch Priester geworden seien. Die Fällen liegen bis zu 80 Jahren zurück.

Die beiden Töchter von Chrissie Foster, Emma and Cathy, wurden durch den gleichen Priester mißbraucht und traumatisiert. Emma begann Selbtmord, Cathy verfiel der Trunkenheit und dem Drogenmißbrauch. In einem Verkehrsunfall trug sie erhebliche Hirnverletzungen davon. Die Täter, so Chrissie Foster, haben so viele Leben ruiniert, soviel Todesfälle und Leid verursacht, daß sie aus der Gesellschaft entfernt und bestraft werden müssen.

Bischofskonferenz verteidigt harte Linie


Fulda (RPO). 126 000 Deutsche sind 2011 aus der katholischen Kirche ausgetreten.

Das schmälert die Kirchensteuer-Einnahmen. Bischöfe wollen damit auch den Zugang zum Kirchenleben versperren. Reformer halten dagegen nichts von "Pay und Pray".

2011 sind über 120.000 Menschen aus der katholischen Kirche ausgetreten. Ihnen wollen die Bischöfe nun auch die Teilnahme am Kirchenleben untersagen. Foto: dpa, Oliver Berg

Die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz bleibt bei ihrer harten Linie im Umgang mit Kirchenaustritten. Wenn sich Menschen in einem öffentlichen Akt von der Kirche distanzierten, müsse das Konsequenzen haben, sagte Erzbischof Robert Zollitsch (Freiburg) zum Auftakt der Herbst-Vollversammlung am Montag in Fulda. Ein am Donnerstag veröffentlichtes und vom Vatikan bestätigtes Dekret stellt klar, dass es nicht möglich ist, aus der Kirche auszutreten und zugleich gläubiges Mitglied zu bleiben. Damit macht die katholische Kirche die Mitgliedschaft von der Zahlung der Kirchensteuer abhängig.

Ex-Jugendbetreuer räumt alle Taten ein

Mein Flotwedel

LÜNEBURG. Mit dürren Worten hat sich der Erzieher, der vom Celler Amtsgericht in erster Instanz wegen schweren sexuellen Missbrauchs eines Kindes und Missbrauchs von Schutzbefohlenen zu zweieinhalb Jahren Haft verurteilt worden war, gestern beim Opfer entschuldigt. Neben zwei Sätzen, in denen sich der Mann persönlich äußerte, erklärte sein Anwalt Ernst-Otto Nolte, dass der 30-Jährige die Taten einräume, die Verantwortung übernehme und für die Schäden eintrete.

Hätte er das schon zu Prozessbeginn im Februar in Celle gemacht, wären der Hauptzeugin und einer Reihe Jugendlicher intime und belastende Aussagen vor Gericht erspart geblieben. „Ein Geständnis in zweiter Instanz ist nicht so viel wert wie ein Geständnis in erster Instanz, es ist aber immer noch gewichtig“, sagte der Vorsitzende Richter der Berufungskammer in der Urteilsbegründung. Zugleich betonte er die schwere Schuld des Angeklagten. Was dem Opfer geschehen sei, „ist in der Lage, die Entwicklung eines jungen Menschen gravierend zu beeinflussen“. Das Gericht entschied sich dennoch zu einer vergleichsweise milden Strafe und verurteilte den Angeklagten zu einer Freiheitsstrafe von zwei Jahren auf Bewährung. Die Bewährungszeit beträgt vier Jahre. Dem Täter wird zudem ein Bewährungshelfer an die Seite gestellt.

Priest's whipped cream initiation ceremony banned at high school

The News

The Salesian Society has said that pupils licking cream off a monk's bare knees will no longer be part of initiation ceremonies at a high school run by monks in Lubin, southern Poland.

Father Alfred F. Leja, chief inspector at the society, which supervises educational standards at the St Dominik Salvio high school in Lubin, said that initiation ceremonies involving a priest with white foam on his knees, with first year pupils kneeling before him, “crossed the boundaries of good taste” and would no longer occur.

Last week it was reported that the school had photographs on its web site of 13 year-old pupils kneeling before a priest, who had what TV Odra said was whipped cream on his knees – the school claims it was shaving foam – during an initiation ceremony for first year students.

The children appear to be licking the cream off the priest's legs in the photos, which have now been withdrawn from the school web site.

Bundestag verhandelt Verjährungsfristen


[Deutscher Bundestag]

Nach zwei Jahren Untätigkeit der SPD und der übrigen Parteien und einem Runden Tisch von Politik und Institutionen, dessen Ergebnisse den Belangen der Täter und deren Organisationen mehr entgegenkommen als den Interessen der Opfer (z.B. bei Fragen wie Anzeigepflicht und Höhe der Entschädigung), bringt die SPD das Thema Verjährungsfristen im zivilrechtlichen Bereich, als auch im strafrechtlichen Bereich, bei sexuellem Missbrauch von Kindern und minderjährigen Schutzbefohlen, auf die Tagesordnung des Deutschen Bundestages am Donnerstag den 27. September 2012.


12.) Beratung Ber (6.A)
gemäß § 62 Abs.2 GO
zum Entwurf SPD Verlängerung der straf- und zivilrechtlichen Verjährungsfristen bei sexuellem Missbrauch von Kindern und minderjährigen Schutzbefohlen
- Drs 17/3646, 17/…. -
(TOP 12, 00:30 Stunden)

Un sacerdote argentino, acusado de abusar de medio centenar de seminaristas

Religion Digital

(RD/Agencias/Valores Religiosos).- El sacerdote argentino Justo José Ilarraz ha sido acusado de abusar sistemáticamente de chicos de entre 12 y 14 años, entre 1984 y 1992. El Arzobispado de Paraná admitió las "faltas gravísimas" del cura, aunque aclaró que fue apartado del ejercicio del sacerdocio "hasta que la Santa Sede resuelva la situación". Lo acusan de haber violado de más de 50 chicos a lo largo de ocho años.

Ayer se supo que la Justicia provincial trabaja en el inicio de una causa en la que se investigará la denuncia formulada por el quincenario Análisis de la Actualidad, dando cuenta de que el Arzobispado de Paraná nunca denunció el abuso cometido por el cura Justo José Ilarraz contra no menos de 50 chicos de entre 12 y 14 años, quienes recién comenzaban su carrera religiosa y estaban bajo su tutela en el Seminario Menor de esa capital.

Church watchdog contract to end

Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

THE CATHOLIC Church’s child protection watchdog, the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC), has said the contract of its chief executive, Ian Elliott, will conclude at the end of June 2013. Mr Elliott will be 65 next summer.

In a statement yesterday the NBSC added that “the board will engage in discussions and examine with Mr Elliott whether and how his work with the board can continue beyond that point”.

It said “we would like to make it clear that the board has not been subject to any pressures in this regard. While those discussions are ongoing, we will not be making any further statements.”

The NBSC is funded by the Irish Catholic bishops, the Conference of Religious of Ireland and the Irish Missionary Union.

**VOICE OF THE FAITHFUL CONFERENCE** At Aging, Left-Wing Lovefest, Writers From National Catholic Reporter Unleash Nastiness Against Church


Dave Pierre

The 10th anniversary conference of Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) in Boston this month proved to be anything but "faithful" to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church.

Youthful rebellion

TheMediaReport.com was there when Jamie L. Manson, a writer for the dissident newspaper National Catholic Reporter, unleashed a vitriolic attack on Catholics who have the audacity to be faithful to the Magisterium.

The title of Manson's talk was "Church and young Catholics: Is there a future?" but Manson reserved her harshest venom for those young Catholics who have celebrated Church orthodoxy. After deriding those who would attend "World Youth Day," Manson unleashed a barrage that can only described as bigoted, condescending, and nasty.

According to Manson, orthodox Catholics:
■"don't want to see women's equality in church or even in society" (!);
■"do not want to see gays and lesbians and transgendered people treated with dignity";
■"are in denial about the sex abuse crisis";
■"are afraid of cultural flux and uncertainty"; and
■"are afraid of the world."

Departing Catholic Bishop Vann was an asset to the broader North Texas community



If it was true, as some critics said back when, that Roman Catholic Bishop Kevin Vann was too timid in dealing with difficult issues, that won't be his legacy when he leaves the Diocese of Fort Worth in December.

It's hardly surprising that Pope Benedict XVI assigned Vann to Orange County, Calif., the fastest-growing Catholic diocese in the country. The Fort Worth Diocese grew from 400,000 to 710,000 during Van's seven years here. But that's only one of the many challenges he ably handled.

Vann, 61, is a former lab technician who spent most of his life in Illinois. He was ordained bishop after his predecessor, Bishop Joseph Delaney, died in July 2005.

Where Delaney exercised tightly centralized authority, Vann was out in the parishes of the 28-county diocese, affable and approachable, and he reached out to other religions.

Wanted Hindu guru escaped to India, officials say


By Eric Dexheimer

Two days after a Hays County jury convicted Prakashanand Saraswati of 20 counts of indecency with a child for groping two teenagers who lived at the Hindu ashram he'd founded, newly filed court documents say his followers met in a devotee's home a mile up the road in Driftwood to plan how to spirit him out of the country before his sentencing.

Later that night of March 6, 2011, or early the next morning, at least one of them accompanied the guru, who uses a wheelchair, over the Mexican border to Nuevo Laredo, according to the documents. After secretly moving just south of Tijuana in mid-2011, Prakashanand — who'd shaved his long white beard and cut his shoulder-length hair — then used a fake passport to escape to India in November.

The information, as well as other details of how Prakashanand's followers in Texas and across the country clandestinely moved the spiritual leader while evading law enforcement, is included in court documents filed in Hays County. An affidavit in support of a search warrant signed last week by a Hays County judge seeks access to Yahoo email accounts of a preacher and close associate of the guru's who lives in India.

Although many of the assertions in the document came from law enforcement interviews with devotees, much also was obtained from cellphone records and private emails written between Prakashanand's followers.

Priest goes on trial accused of sexually abusing schoolgirl almost 30 years ago<

Belfast Telegraph

A Catholic priest has gone on trial accused of sexually abusing a young girl almost 30 years ago.

The Belfast Crown Court jury of six men and six women heard claims that when the alleged victim was performing various duties at the parochial house of St Matthew's Church — on Bryson Street in the Short Strand area of east Belfast — she was subjected to numerous bouts of abuse at the hands of 69-year-old clergyman Peter Donnelly.

The priest, with an address at Drumaroad Hill, Castlewellan, Co Down, was curate at the church at the time and denies six counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency alleged to have occurred on dates between July 31, 1983, and August 1, 1987.

He stood down from his position in the Drumaroad parish last year when the allegations came to light.

Winnipeg researchers net $500K for residential schools study

CBC News

The University of Winnipeg has received a $500,000 grant to study the intergenerational impacts of Canada's residential schools system.

The university announced on Monday that its Oral History Centre has received the grant from the Aboriginal Healing Foundation to produce a digital storytelling project.

As part of the project, researchers will speak with aboriginal men who were raised by those who were students of residential schools.

The latest study builds on similar research that was carried out in 2010, when six aboriginal women shared their stories of being raised by mothers who had to attend the schools.

Defrocked priest accused again

Modesto Bee

Bee Staff Reports

Another woman has come forward, saying she was abused by defrocked priest Oliver O'Grady from 1991 to 1992, when he served in St. Andrew's Parish in San Andreas, according to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

The woman, now 51, is identified in court papers as "Jane Doe 51," according to the Record of Stockton. She said she was sexually abused by O'Grady when she was 11 and 12. She said the diocese covered up the crimes and has filed suit against it.

O'Grady, convicted of molesting two boys from Turlock, served seven years of a 14-year sentence before being deported to his native Ireland. He is in prison there on child pornography charges.

Clergy sex abuse victims upset Rev. Charles Abdelahad still active


[with video]

(NECN: Katelyn Tivnan) - The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is concerned with how the Orthodox Church is handling the release of a convicted abuser.

Reverend Charles Abdelahad has completed a 90 day jail sentence for abusing a parishioner at St. George's Cathedral in Worcester where he was a pastor. SNAP is concerned he will be reinstated in his role in the Orthodox Church despite the conviction.

The reverend took a leave of absence from the Worcester cathedral following his arrest. In May, he was found guilty of assaulting a 45-year-old female parishioner during counseling sessions. The assaults allegedly consisted of biting, kicking and beating the woman with a bat.

German Catholics told to pay income tax or risk excommunication

ABC - The World Today (Australia)

Mary Gearin reported this story on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 12:42:00

ELEANOR HALL: The Catholic Church has suffered from declining numbers in its congregations for decades. This is not helped by the continuing revelations worldwide about sexual abuse within the church.

In Germany the declining congregations have led to a loss of cash flow as well.

But now German bishops have decreed that any German Catholic who doesn't pay a significant tax to the church will be excommunicated, as Europe correspondent Mary Gearin reports.

ANDREAS JANKE: I'm very sad, I feel it's a pity.

MARY GEARIN: Andreas Janke has had to pay his penance for choosing not to pay tax as a Catholic in Bavaria.

ANDREAS JANKE: I lost all my rights as Catholic. In the bible says nothing written that you have to pay tax and you should pay willingly from your free will.

MARY GEARIN: Germany's church tax is based on the notion of tithing, and it's the way money flows to all religions in some European countries, including Switzerland and Austria.

Mom Says Church Reacted 'Wickedly' to Rape

Courthouse News Service


(CN) - An Oklahoma megachurch waited two weeks to inform a mother that her 13-year-old had been raped by one of its employees, then it lied about having contacted the police and blamed the child, the parent says in court.

In connection to the alleged incident, Victory Christian Center, of Tulsa, admitted last week that its former employee Chris Denman has been charged with first-degree rape.

The victim, whose name is abbreviated to M.B. in the complaint, sued the church through her mother in Tulsa County Court on Friday. Courthouse News redacted the mother's name from the complaint and its coverage to protect the child.

M.B. says Denman raped her in a stairwell during a church summer camp on Aug. 13, and that she reported the rape to church officials the next day.

4th girl comes forward in Victory Christian scandal, 3rd to accuse former employee Chris Denman


Posted: 09/24/2012

TULSA - Another possible victim has come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct against former Victory Christian Center employee Chris Denman, the fourth involving a former church employee in recent months.

The 12-year-old girl is the third minor to bring claims of sexual abuse against Denman. Denman, 20, was arrested Sept. 5 for raping a 13-year-old girl at a church event and molesting a 15-year-old girl.

Counts of lewd proposal to a child and use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime were attached to Denman's initial charges of first-degree rape, forcible sodomy, lewd molestation and use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime.

The original allegations against the former church intern have ignited a firestorm in recent weeks as six other Victory Christian employees have been arrested -- one Israel Castillo for making a lewd proposal to a minor and using a computer to facilitate a sex crime and five others for failure to report child abuse.

Money, 'revenge' cited as roots of pastor's sex abuse charge

The Daily Item

By Thor Jourgensen / The Daily Item
LYNN — Carmen Sierra wept over the Archdiocese of Boston's announcement that the Rev. James Gaudreau, pastor of St. Joseph's Church where Sierra has worshiped for 45 years, faces an allegation of child sexual abuse.

"I don't believe that. He's the best. Everybody cares about him," Sierra said Monday.

She lives three blocks away from the brick church on Union Street where another long-time parishioner, Jimmy Gonzalez, said more than 800 people attend 11:30 Mass on Sunday morning. Gonzalez on Monday said he thinks "revenge" motivated the accusation against the stern, sometimes confrontational Gaudreau.

"During all these years, Rev. Gaudreau has made a lot of enemies," Gonzalez said.

Catholic priest accused of covering up abuse terminally ill

ABC News

A court has been told a New South Wales Catholic priest charged with covering up sex abuse is terminally ill.

Today was to be Father Tom Brennan's first appearance in court after being charged with covering up buggery and indecent assault offences by a defrocked Hunter Valley priest in the 1970s.

The charges stem from Brennan's time as a principal at a Newcastle Catholic high school.

He is also charged with assaulting an eight or nine-year-old boy.

Australian bishops pledge cooperation with abuse inquiry

Catholic News Agency

Melbourne, Australia, Sep 25, 2012 / 12:01 am (CNA).- The Catholic bishops of Australia’s Victoria state have said the Catholic Church in Victoria will cooperate “fully” with the Australian state’s parliamentary inquiry into child abuse.

“Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has caused deep concern among Catholics and the wider community,” Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne said Sept. 21. “It is shameful and shocking that this abuse, with its dramatic impact on those who were abused and their families, was committed by Catholic priests, religious and church workers.”

The Victorian parliament has launched an inquiry into how religious and other non-governmental organizations handled child abuse, following suicides by dozens of people abused by clergy, Agence France Presse reports.

The Catholic bishops said the incidence of abuse has fallen “dramatically” from the “appalling numbers” in the 1960s and 1970s. In the last 16 years, the Catholic Church in Victoria has upheld about 620 cases of criminal child abuse, with most claims regarding incidents between 30 and 80 years ago.

Woman says she was victimized at age 11

The Record

By Jennie Rodriguez-Moore
Record Staff Writer

September 25, 2012

STOCKTON - A woman has come forward, saying she was abused by defrocked priest Oliver O'Grady from 1991 to 1992, when he served in the St. Andrew's parish in San Andreas.

Identified in court papers as "Jane Doe 51," the woman said O'Grady molested her when she was 11 and 12 years old. She is now in her 30s.

She filed a civil lawsuit for an unlimited, undetermined amount against the Diocese of Stockton in August at San Joaquin County Superior Court, claiming the diocese failed to protect her by covering up O'Grady's sex crimes and continuing to employ him.

The civil complaint says Jane Doe 51 comes from a devoutly religious family. She was baptized, confirmed, received the sacraments, went to confession with O'Grady and celebrated weekly Mass at the church.

September 24, 2012

Bishops’ Edict Angers Catholics in Germany

IHT Rendezvous


BERLIN — Matters of faith have been much on German minds in recent times with debate raging among its Muslim and Jewish minorities over a court’s challenge to the practice of infant circumcision and, as I wrote in my latest Page Two column, over the country’s response to the contentious, American-made video denigrating the Prophet Muhammad that has stirred anger across the Muslim world.

But, in a development that has made fewer international headlines, many of Germany’s Roman Catholics are becoming increasingly incensed by an effort endorsed by the Vatican to ensure that churchgoers continue to pay a mandatory tax.

The decades-old church tax, as it is known, earns the country’s Protestant and Catholic churches a total of some €9 billion a year. Germans can avoid paying the levy – up to 9 percent of their assessed income tax — if they formally leave the church.

As of Monday, Germany’s Roman Catholic Bishops have decreed, those who leave the church may no longer qualify for religious ceremonies such as a Christian burial and may not partake in confession or communion; become a godfather at baptism or confirmation; or hold office within the church. But it will now be open to them to discuss a return to the fold with their priests.

German Catholics criticise sanctions for those who opt out of 'church tax'

The Guardian (United Kingdom)

guardian.co.uk, Monday 24 September 2012

Roman Catholic activists in Germany have criticised a decree that denies sacraments and religious burials to people who opt out of a "church tax".

Bishops issued the decree on Friday, warning Catholics who stop paying the tax they would be excluded from all religious activities, including working in a church, becoming a godparent or taking part in parish activities.

"'Pay and pray' is a completely wrong signal at the wrong time," the reformist movement We Are Church said on Monday. The group said the decree "shows the great fear of the German bishops and the Vatican about further serious losses in church tax revenue".

A conservative group called the Union of Associations, which is loyal to the pope, asked why Catholics who stopped paying the tax would be punished but those it called heretics could stay in its ranks.

St. Bernadette Priest Steps Down Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations


By Lorraine Swanson

Rev. Gary M. Miller, the senior pastor at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Evergreen Park, has stepped down from his duties as pastor amid sexual misconduct allegations with minor over 30 years ago.

The Archdiocese of Chicago announced on its website that Miller resigned as of Sunday, Sept. 23, and has been removed of all ministerial duties.

The allegation was made to the Archdiocese of Chicago on June 30, 2012, that Miller had engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor while assigned to St. Leonard Parish in Berwyn.

Deal could be near between archdiocese, sex abuse victims

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Sept. 24, 2012 5:57 p.m.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee and victims of sex abuse by priests and others in authority have extended their court-ordered mediation into next week, prompting speculation that one of the Catholic Church's largest bankruptcies could be nearing a close.

Lawyers for both sides met for another session Monday with the mediator, retired U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Randall J. Newsome of San Francisco, in hopes of hammering out a settlement that would compensate victims and allow the archdiocese to continue its mission.

Archdiocese spokesman Jerry Topczewski said "much progress" has been made. But neither he nor attorneys representing victims would comment on the substance of the talks, or whether they believed a settlement was imminent.

"Based on the status of the talks, we thought it was appropriate to continue. But I wouldn't talk about the status beyond that," said James Stang, the lead attorney for the creditors committee.


Truth and Reconciliation Commission

September 20, 2012 – The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) will host hearings in Thompson (September 25 and 26) and at Sagkeeng First Nation (October 2 and 3).
The hearings will provide an opportunity for those affected by the Indian Residential School system and its legacy to share their experiences with a TRC Commissioner (Dr. Marie Wilson in Thompson; Chief Wilton Littlechild at Sagkeeng) as well as with community members and anyone else who would like to learn about and bear witness to the schools’ legacy. Those who want to make a private statement to the Commission will also be able to do so.

Thompson: September 25, 26 at River Lodge, 351 Jasper Avenue
Sagkeeng: October 2, 3 at Sagkeeng Arena Multiplex

Bisdom wil dat Simonis spijt betuigt


[Summary: The Utrecht archdiocese has asked Cardinal Ad Simonis to repent because of his role in covering up sexual abuse.]

Het aartsbisdom Utrecht roept kardinaal Ad Simonis op om spijt te betuigen omdat hij niet fel genoeg heeft opgetreden tegen seksueel misbruik. Simonis was 'eindverantwoordelijk' voor een misbruikgeval in de jaren '80. .

In 1983 werd hij van seksueel misbruik door de Overijsselse pastoor Boonk schriftelijk op de hoogte gesteld. Volgens het aartsbisdom heeft Simonis, die destijds bisschop van Utrecht was, 'onvoldoende adequaat gereageerd'. De bisdomstaf sluit zich aan bij de oproep van een slachtoffergroep.

Australische R.-K. Kerk geeft seksueel misbruik toe

Friesch Dagblad

Melbourne | De Rooms-Katholieke Kerk in de Australische staat Victoria heeft bevestigd dat er sinds de jaren dertig van de vorige eeuw meer dan zeshonderd kinderen seksueel zijn misbruikt. Dat meldde de BBC.

De meeste gevallen van misbruik vonden plaats tussen 1960 en 1980. De kerk onderzoekt nog 45 andere gevallen. Er zijn nauwelijks meldingen binnengekomen van misbruik dat na 1990 zou zijn gepleegd, aldus Denis Hart, aartsbisschop van Melbourne. Dat komt volgens hem doordat er sinds de jaren tachtig strenger wordt opgetreden. Hart vindt het misbruik „afschuwelijk en beschamend”. In een statement zegt hij dat het belangrijk is om open te zijn over het misbruik.

New lawsuit filed against Stockton Diocese over alleged abuse by O'Grady

The Record

September 24, 2012

STOCKTON – Another woman has come forward, saying she was abused by defrocked priest Oliver O'Grady from 1991 to 1992, when he served in the St. Andrew's parish in San Andreas, according to the SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

The woman, now 51, is identified in court papers as "Jane Doe 51." She said she was sexually abused by O'Grady when she was 11 and 12. She says the diocese covered up the crimes and has filed suit against it.

O'Grady, convicted of molesting two boys from Turlock, served seven years of a 14-year sentence before being deported his native Ireland. He is serving time in a prison there, having been convicted of child pornography charges.

Rev. Abdelahad may have resumed duties

Telegram & Gazette


WORCESTER — The Rev. Charles M. Abdelahad, who took a voluntary leave of absence as pastor of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral last year after being charged with sexually assaulting a female parishioner, may have returned to his ministerial duties.

Officials with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said today that parishioners of St. George's have told them that they have seen Rev. Abdelahad working with choir members and taking part in worship services at Antiochian churches in Dedham and Norwood.

“Why take the risk? That's the question that Orthodox Church officials and members must ask themselves about Father Abdelahad,” said David O'Regan, an official with the Worcester chapter of SNAP. “Why let him be around vulnerable adults in a church setting, given his conviction on charges of assault and battery.”

Rev. Abdelahad was sentenced to serve 90 days of a two-year jail term at the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction after being convicted in May of abusing a 45-year-old woman during counseling sessions held over a three-year period at the Anna Street church.

Catholic Prayer Tax: German Group Slams 'Pay To Pray' Decree

Huffington Post


BERLIN -- A Catholic reform group in Germany criticized the country's bishops Monday for declaring that believers who refuse to pay religious taxes won't be able to receive the sacrament, become godparents or work in church institutions.

A century-old agreement with the state adds up to nine percent to the income tax bill of Germany's 25 million registered Roman Catholics, earning the church more than (EURO)4 billion ($5.2 billion) annually. The same tax applies to Protestants and Jews.

The churches use the income to pay employees' salaries and fund social work such as care for the elderly. The churches themselves aren't taxed by the state but instead pay an administrative fee for the collection of religious tax. Donations represent a far smaller share of the churches' income than in the United States.

The Catholic bishops' decree in Germany last week is part of an attempt to stem the steady flow of people who opt out of paying religious taxes. It declares that they have committed a "grave lapse" and effectively left the church.

Priest linked to sex abuse in US, expelled by Dominicans

Philippine Daily Inquirer

3:07 am | Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Who is Msgr. Cristobal E. Garcia?

Belonging to the Archdiocese of Cebu, he is the head of the Commission on Worship; the rector of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Jesus Nazareno in Cansojong, Talisay; and director of the archdiocese publications, “Bag-ong Lungsuranon” and “Mag-ambahan Kita,” according to the 2008-2009 Catholic Directory of the Philippines.

His high-profile ministry is a far cry from his situation some 20 years ago when he was expelled from the Dominican Order. Garcia then was working in the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

His expulsion reportedly came after a nun told police that an altar boy had been found in his bed in a Los Angeles rectory.

According to a listing from the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles that was reported in the Los Angeles Times, Garcia was accused of “molesting two youths” from 1980 to 1984.

Priest John Taylor accused of rape

Kent Online

A priest from Margate has denied raping a woman earlier this year.

John Taylor appeared at Canterbury Crown Court earlier today to formally enter a plea of not guilty to rape on February 22.

The 48-year-old of Canterbury Road used to work at the Old Roman Catholic Church in St Mildred’s Road, Westgate, and wore a cross on a chain over his black suit as he sat in the dock.

MA - SNAP urges Archdiocese to work with police

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on September 24, 2012

We are glad that Fr. James Gaudreau has been removed from ministry following this allegation of sexual abuse. However, the Archdiocese of Boston can and should do a lot more in this case.

According to diocesan spokesperson Kellyanne Dignan, the abuse in question is alleged to have taken place in 2006. The fact that it has happened so recently means it is likely that there could be criminal charges in this matter. If the Archdiocese of Boston wants to prove to its flock that it truly cares about protecting kids and preventing further abuse, church officials should work diligently to help the Boston police uncover the facts of this matter.

Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley should use all of the resources available to him to reach out to others who may have information on Fr. Gaudreau’s alleged crimes. He should also visit each parish where Gaudreau worked and actively seek out victims or witnesses at each location.

MA - Convicted priest is back in church

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
--disclose that a Worcester-area priest is still in active ministry despite a recent criminal conviction,
--urge his church supervisors to immediately and permanently oust him, and
--prod anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes to call police, expose wrongdoing, protect others and start healing.

Monday, September 24 at 1 p.m.

On the sidewalk outside the Worcester District Court House, 225 Main Street (corner of Martin Luther King Jr Blvd) in Worcester, MA

Three victims of sexual abuse and their supporters who are members of a self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org)

Lynn priest accused of child sexual abuse

Boston Globe

By Matt Rocheleau and Gal Tziperman Lotan
Globe Correspondents
September 23, 2012

A Roman Catholic priest who has worked at a church in Lynn for the past three decades has been placed on paid administrative leave because of an accusation of sexual abuse of a child, the Archdiocese of Boston announced Sunday.

The Rev. James E. Gaudreau, 69, arrived at Saint Joseph Parish in 1984 as the Spanish apostolate for the Lynn area and became the church’s pastor in 1993, archdiocese spokeswoman Kellyanne Dignan said by phone.

The alleged abuse occurred in 2006, but the archdiocese was notified only recently, Dignan said. Gaudreau was placed on leave Friday. Dignan declined to release the age of the child or other details.

Archdiocese officials said they have notified police about the case and have launched an investigation. Lynn police declined to comment.

Priest resigns after accusations of sexual misconduct

WGN News

10:10 a.m. CDT, September 24, 2012

A Catholic priest in Evergreen Park has resigned after being accused of sexual misconduct.

Reverend Gary Miller has stepped down from his duties as pastor of St. Bernadette parish.

The Archdiocese of Chicago received a report in June saying Miller was sexually involved with a minor at St. Leonard parish in Berwyn, more than 30-years ago.

The archdiocese has reported the case to DCFS, and is sending a report to the Vatican.

Priest accused of abusing girl in the 1980s

BBC News

A Catholic priest went on trial on Monday accused of sexually abusing a young girl almost 30 years ago.

Belfast Crown Court heard claims that the alleged victim was abused by 69-year-old Peter Donnelly at the parochial house of St Matthew's Church, Belfast.

The priest, from Drumaroad Hill in Castlewellan, was a curate at the time.

He denies six counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency between 31 July 1983 and 1 August 1987.

Opening the case against him prosecuting lawyer Kate McKay warned the jury that although such offences "may raise the hackles" of people, they had to set aside any feelings of sympathy or prejudice in deciding the case.

University investigates alleged molester


Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2012

Adrien Jarvis, Editor in Chief

News broke last week that a former 15-year Jesuit employee of LMU, Brother William Farrington, S.J., had been accused of sexual misconduct at two schools where he previously worked. The University has since launched an investigation into Farrington’s time at LMU, according to President David W. Burcham. So far, no similar allegations have been made against him during his tenure at the University.

“As of now, I can say confidently that … there’s no evidence of any complaint or wrongdoing while he was here – not even rumors,” said Burcham.

However, Northwest Regional Director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) Joey Piscitelli believes that alleged victims at LMU will come forward.

“He was in a position [at LMU] in admissions to actually talk to people who are under the age of 18.

… For him to be there for that long, and for him to be a serial molester, the chance that he didn’t molest somebody there, I think, is very little,” said Piscitelli. He added that since the first alleged victim from Farrington’s former place of employment, Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, Calif. came forward on Sept. 11, he has received five calls from others claiming sexual misconduct by Farrington.

Belfast priest goes on trial over alleged abuse in 1980s

RTE News

Catholic priest has gone on trial in Belfast accused of sexually abusing a young girl almost 30 years ago.

69-year-old Peter Donnelly from Castlewellan in Co Down, who was a curate at St Mathew's Church in Belfast, denies six charges of indecent assault and one gross of indecency alleged to have occurred between July 1983 and August 1987.


Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed: ...

- Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia, as a member of the Congregation for Bishops.

Catholic Church in Australia comes forth with child abuse cases

Catholic Online

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

More than 600 children are estimated to have been sexually abused by priests since the Thirties

The archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart has described the recently revealed statistics as "horrific and shameful." Australia's Roman Catholic Church has finally come forward to admit that more than 600 children have been sexually abused by its priests since the Thirties in the state of Victoria.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Campaigners say the actual figure could be closer to as many as 10,000 victims. The recent admission came in a submission to a state parliamentary inquiry into the handling of abuse cases.

The church confirmed that the 620 cases went back 80 years, the majority of the instances taking place between the Sixties and the Eighties. There are an additional 45 cases under investigation.

Archbishop Hart said it was important to be open "about the horrific abuse that has occurred in Victoria and elsewhere."

In a written statement, Hart continued, "We look to this inquiry to assist the healing of those who have been abused, to examine the broad context of the church's response, especially over the last 16 years, and to make recommendations to enhance the care for victims and preventative measures that are now in place."

Twin priests focus of legal action over sex abuse

The Chronicle-Herald

September 24, 2012 By DAVENE JEFFREY Staff Reporter

Three men who claim they were sexually assaulted by priests decades ago are suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish.

In Halifax court documents filed late last week, William Muirhead, 49, of Stellarton, John Parsons, 62, of Bras d’Or and Myles Parsons, 63 of Nanaimo, B.C., all seek damages under $100,000 for assault and emotional harm.

The diocese has not yet filed a defence and none of the allegations have been proven in court.

However, each claim holds the diocese vicariously liable in negligence and assault.

According to the documents filed in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, twin brothers Clair and Claude Richard were parish priests at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church at Little Bras d’Or in the 1960s.

The priest who ‘gambled parish funds in Las Vegas’... but has vowed to win back his collar

Daily Mail

By Paul Thompson

PUBLISHED:19:10 EST, 22 September 2012

A priest from Co. Offaly who won infamy by being jailed for using parish funds to finance lavish trips to Las Vegas and presents for his mistress has been let out of prison early – and has vowed to win his collar back.

When Fr Francis Guinan was jailed for plundering Church money, he was accused of being involved in the worst case of embezzlement in the US Catholic Church’s history. Condemned as a ‘professional money launderer’, he was defrocked and banned from setting foot in his former parish.

Lurid tales of nights spent gambling in Las Vegas while accompanied by his much younger mistress ensured that his trial garnered headlines around the world.

Taoiseach remains silent after meeting with pope

Irish Times


TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny’s encounter with Pope Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo on Saturday passed off without any significant exchange between the two men.

Mr Kenny had attended the papal audience as part of a delegation from the Centrist Democrat International (CDI) group, which held a two-day meeting in Rome.

Still tired from his pastoral visit to Lebanon last week, the 85-year-old pontiff kept the audience brief, preferring to pose with the CDI delegation for a group photograph rather than exchange individual greetings with the 100-plus group. Among those who attended the audience along with the Taoiseach were Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras, Albanian prime minister Sali Berisha and the spokesman for the Syrian National Transitional Council, George Sabra.

The Taoiseach had nothing to say to the waiting Irish media, given that he had had no significant exchange with Pope Benedict. On this, his first meeting with the pontiff since his stinging criticism of the Holy See in the Dáil last summer, many had wondered if there would be any further “dialogue” with the pope on the clerical sex abuse issue. However, in the context of a group meeting, that had never seemed a realistic possibility.

Florida Irish priest who embezzled for Las Vegas trips wants his collar back

Irish Central

IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Monday, September 24, 2012\

An Irish priest who used parish funds for trips to Las Vegas and presents for his mistress has vowed to win his status as a priest back after getting out of prison early.

When Fr Francis Guinan was sentenced for four years in a Florida prison for embezzling the Church's money, he was also defrocked and banned from ever setting foot again in his former parish.

According to the Irish Mail on Sunday, the 69-year-old priest from Birr, Co. Offaly, insists he is innocent. He hopes that if he is given a chance to explain his story during a Church tribunal review, he will have the opportunity be a priest again.

"What people heard in the court when I was jailed was not the whole truth. There was a picture that was painted of me that was not true. All I can hope is that when my case is looked at again, people will learn different facts. I want my side of the story to be heard. How I have been portrayed is not right. I am innocent," he told the Daily Mail.

Disrupting worship service in MO could mean jail time


Posted by Brandi Hunter, Video Journalist

SENATH, MO (KAIT) – A person who intentionally disrupts a house of worship in Missouri could face jail time, according to a newly enacted Missouri law.

Senate Bill No. 755, or the House of Worship Protection Act took effect August 28.

According to the act, "a person commits the crime of disturbing a house of worship if such person intentionally and unreasonably disturbs a building used for religious purposes by using profanity, rude or indecent behavior, or making noise. A person commits the crime if they engage in such behavior within the house of worship or so close to the building that the services are disturbed."

Senath resident Justin Casey believes the Protection Act is necessary.

"There's a lot of people that come and disrupt church because some people don't agree with it," he said. "You don't want them to go into your house and disrupt what you got to do and law protects that so why not protect church like that." ...

The ACLU filed the suit on behalf of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), and Voice of the Faithful of Kansas City.

SNAP and Voice of the Faithful members believe their protests outside Catholic churches in support of sexual abuse victims could be deemed illegal under the House of Worship Protection Act.

Lynn pastor accused of sex abuse

The Daily Item

By Cyrus Moulton / The Daily Item
LYNN — The Archdiocese of Boston has placed the Rev. James E. Gaudreau, pastor of St. Joseph’s Church, on administrative leave after receiving an allegation of sexual abuse of a child, according to an Archdiocese statement Friday.

“The Archdiocese will work with the parish if there is any help that they need,” said Archdiocese spokesperson Kellyanne Dignan in a phone interview Sunday. She declined to give any information on the complaint other than it involved a child, and the conduct in question is alleged to have occurred around 2006. The alleged conduct “was only recently reported to the Archdiocese,” the statement said.

“To protect the privacy of the individual and to protect the integrity of the investigation, I cannot get into any more details of the complaint,” Dignan said.

Gaudreau, 69, has been at the St. Joseph’s since 1984 and its pastor since 1993, Dignan said. She said that the Archdiocese provided staff to assist with pastoral care and to celebrate Masses on Saturday and Sunday and informed parishioners. Dignan said Masses will continue as scheduled.

September 23, 2012

Reflections of a Voice of the Faithful Dropout


By Susan E. Jordan -Catholic Citizens of Illinois

My introduction to Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) was in March of 2002 when I lived in the Boston area.

After the Boston Globe launched its now famous investigative reporting of the clergy sex abuse scandal in early January, many Catholic parishes in the Boston area held listening sessions for concerned parishioners. Within a few months, a steady group of these Catholics from throughout the Boston area began to convene on a regular basis at St. John the Evangelist parish in Wellesley. From an initial gathering of perhaps 30 people on a Monday night, these weekly gatherings grew to over 500 attendees with coverage by CNN, PBS and other major media outlets. This was the genesis of Voice of the Faithful.

My initial reaction to an increasing awareness of the scandal was a desire to figure out some concrete and compassionate way to reach out to the victims (survivors) of clergy sexual abuse. I had never encountered anyone who had experienced such abuse; and any stories I had read or heard I had simply dismissed as Catholic bashing. With the incessant coverage by the Boston Globe, Catholics were bombarded with endless accounts of new abuse cases. The VOTF gatherings brought together abuse survivors with concerned Catholics. The initial intent seemed laudable and credible: 1) support the survivors-work towards healing; 2) recognize "priests of integrity" (this peculiar title always baffled me, but my interpretation was that most priests are faithful to their vows); 3) shape structural change within the Church-to eliminate future abuses. The VOTF mantra "Keep the Faith, Change the Church" was intended to reflect the spirit of the Second Vatican Council toward greater involvement of the laity.

As the VOTF meetings progressed, I found myself included in the Leadership Council. However, I noticed a change in the composition of attendees at these leadership meetings: on one occasion I learned I was sitting between representatives from Call to Action and WomenChurch. I also noticed the VOTF platform was beginning to shift from the original intent of helping survivors to challenging Church teachings on contraception and other issues. During the planning meetings for VOFT's first convention in June of 2002, I put forth suggestions for speakers like George Weigel, Richard John Neuhaus and Mary Anne Glendon. The visceral reaction seemed to convey that my recommendations were akin to Hitler and Stalin. When I was turned down as VOTF's first Executive Director, I realized the Holy Spirit had been watching over me and guiding me right out the door for some time. Deo Gratias.

Assignment Record – Bishop William Stephen Skylstad

BishopAccountability.org - Assignment Record

Summary of Case: William S. Skylstad was ordained a priest of the Spokane diocese in 1960. He was a minor seminary teacher and parish priest, and held several chancery positions, including Chancellor. He was appointed Yakima bishop in 1977, where he served until his appointment as bishop of Spokane in 1990. Skylstad was involved in a number of U.S.C.C.B. committees. He was elected U.S.C.C.B. vice-president in 2001 and U.S.C.C.B. president in 2004, a position he held until 2007. In Dec. 2005, Skylstad was accused of having sexually abused a minor female in the early 1960s. Skylstad denied the accusation. His lawyer hired an investigator who determined there was no evidence to support his accuser's claim. Skylstad retired in 2010, and served as apostolic administrator of Baker, OR Jan. 2011-March 2012.

Ordained: 1960
Appointed: Bishop of Yakima Feb. 22, 1977
Appointed: Bishop of Spokane April 17, 1990
Retired: June 30, 2010

Al Jazeera speaks to spokesman from SNAP - the survivors network for those abused by priests


Published on Sep 22, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish

David Clohessy, a member of SNAP - the survivors network for those Abused by Priests speaks to Al Jazeera from St. Louis, Missouri in the U.S.

Convicted priest Oliver O’Grady/Stockton Diocese named in new abuse suit

The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on September 23, 2012

Convicted priest named in new sex abuse lawsuit
Young girl was molested in San Andreas CA parish
She is the latest of former cleric’s dozens of victims
Deported from US, he’s now in Irish prison for child porn
“Come forward and report abuse,” victims’ group begs
Anyone born after 1977 still has legal rights, they say

Another alleged victim of a notorious Stockton Catholic predator priest, who was convicted of and deported for child sex crimes, has filed a sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit in San Joaquin County Superior Court.

The woman, Jane Doe 51, charges that she was sexually abused by ex-cleric Oliver O’Grady in 1991-1992, when she was 11 and 12 years old. According to the suit, the abuse took place at St. Andrew’s parish in San Andreas.

Members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, think that this may not be the last O’Grady victim to come forward.

“How many more O’Grady victims are suffering in silence?” said Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP’s volunteer Western Regional Director. “O’Grady destroyed children across Stockton, yet his bosses did little to protect children – and even less to help victims. I fear there may be many more victims who don’t know they have rights to seek justice.”

Lynn priest placed on leave after child sexual abuse accusation

Boston Globe

By Gal Tziperman Lotan
Globe Correspondent
September 23, 2012

A Lynn Roman Catholic priest was placed on paid administrative leave Friday because of an accusation of sexual abuse of a child, the Archdiocese of Boston said in a statement today.

The Rev. James E. Gaudreau, 69, arrived at St. Joseph Parish in 1984 as the Spanish apostolate for the Lynn area and became the church’s pastor in 1993, Archdiocese spokeswoman Kellyanne Dignan said in a phone interview.

The alleged abuse occurred in 2006, but the Archdiocese was only notified recently, the statement said.

Dignan declined to release the age of the child or other details.

Lynn pastor placed on leave amid allegation of sexual abuse of child


LYNN, Mass. —
The Archdiocese of Boston announced Sunday that it has placed Rev. James E. Gaudreau on administrative leave of absence as a result of receiving an allegation of sexual abuse of a child.

Gaudreau is the pastor at St. Joseph's in Lynn. The archdiocese said the alleged conduct occurred in 2006 and was recently reported to them.

Police were immediately notified to investigate the complaint. As a result, the Archdiocese placed Gaudreau on leave pending the outcome.

The Archdiocese said they will work to resolve the case as expeditiously as possible and in a manner that is fair to all parties.

Mass. Roman Catholic priest placed on leave amid allegation of child sexual abuse

The Republic

September 23, 2012

BOSTON — The Archdiocese of Boston has placed a Roman Catholic priest in Lynn on leave because of an allegation that he sexually abused a child in 2006.

The archdiocese released a statement Sunday saying the Rev. James Gaudreau will remain on an administrative leave of absence pending the outcome of an archdiocese investigation. Gaudreau is the pastor of St. Joseph Parish.

Church officials say the allegation was only recently reported to the archdiocese, and they have notified police.

Gaudreau couldn't be reached Sunday. An operator for a call service for the St. Joseph rectory declined to take a message.

Lynn Priest Accused Of Child Sex Abuse

CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) – A priest from Lynn is facing allegations of child sex abuse.

The Archdiocese of Boston announced Sunday that Rev. James E. Gaudreau of St. Joseph’s in Lynn is alleged to have abused a child in 2006. The incident was only recently reported to the church.

The Archdiocese says they notified the police and have begun an investigation into the complaint.

Gaudreau has since been placed on leave.

Streit um Kirchenaustritt bald vor Bundesverwaltungsgericht


Das Bundesverwaltungsgericht in Leipzig wird sich am 26. September mit der Möglichkeit eines teilweisen Austritts aus der katholischen Kirche befassen. Der emeritierte Freiburger Kirchenrechtler Hartmut Zapp hatte 2007 seinen Austritt aus der katholischen Kirche „als Körperschaft öffentlichen Rechts“ erklärt und keine Kirchensteuern mehr gezahlt. Gleichzeitig betonte er jedoch, er verstehe sich weiterhin als gläubiges Mitglied der Kirche. Dies will die katholische Kirche nicht akzeptieren. Im Hintergrund des seit 2007 anhängigen Rechtstreits steht Zapps Kritik an der Verwaltungspraxis von Kirchensteuererhebung und Kirchenaustritt in Deutschland. Er argumentiert, die deutschen Bischöfe ignorierten weltkirchliche Regelungen. Der Vatikan habe 2006 klargestellt, dass ein vor staatlicher Stelle erklärter Austritt nicht für eine Exkommunikation, also die Aberkennung aller kirchlichen Rechte, ausreiche. Dies sehen die deutschen Bischöfe anders. Mittlerweile gibt es bundesweit mindestens zwei weitere Streitfälle um einen teilweisen Kirchenaustritt. Zapp hatte mit seiner Klage in erster Instanz Recht erhalten. Der Verwaltungsgerichtshof Baden-Württemberg entschied dann aber im Sinn der Kirche und stellte im Mai 2010 fest, dass ein teilweiser Kirchenaustritt unzulässig sei: Eine Austrittserklärung könne nicht auf den staatlichen Rechtskreis beschränkt werden.

13-Jährige lecken Schaum von des Priesters Knien

20 Minuten

von Simone Kubli - Ein katholischer Priester musste sich rechtfertigen, nachdem Fotos eines bizarren Initiationsrituals an seiner Schule in Lubin aufgetaucht waren. Nichts ist, wie es scheint. Oder doch?

Der erste Eindruck täuscht: Die Bilder zeigen keine obszönen Sexpraktiken, die hier ein kurzgeschorener Mann im Kreise hübscher Blondinen sitzend über sich ergehen lässt. Nein, der Rohrstock auf seinen Beinen ist keine Peitsche. Der weisse Schaum, den die Mädchen von seinen Knien lecken, ist kein Schlagrahm. Demzufolge ist in der Dose, die auch kein Dildo ist, auch kein Schlagrahm drin.

Mal wieder die katholische Kirche


Geschrieben von
Jochen Hoff

Sonntag, 23. September 2012

Es ist schön, dass es laut einer offiziellen Untersuchung in Australien seit 1990 nur noch wenige Missbrauchsfälle durch Mitarbeiter und Priester der katholischen Kirche gegeben hat. Wie glaubwürdig das angesichts der zugegebenen mindestens 620 Fälle aus den vergangen Jahrzehnten ist bleibt dem Urteil des Lesers selbst überlassen.

In den USA ist der katholische Bischof von Kansas City (Bundesstaat Missouri), Robert Finn, zu einer zweijährigen Bewährungsstrafe verurteilt worden, weil er die Polizei monatelang nicht über ihm vorliegende Hinweise informiert, wonach ein Priester möglicherweise Kinder sexuell missbraucht habe. Gleichzeitig wurde in Deutschland der Blogger Jochen Hoff auch in zweiter Instanz wegen Schmähkritik verurteilt weil er mit harten aber ehrlichen Worten darauf hingewiesen hatte das der Regensburger Bischof Müller den Kindesmissbrauch des Pfarrers von Riekhofen erst ermöglicht und damit unterstützt hatte, weil er diesen nach seinem ersten Kindesmissbrauch wieder in der Kinder und Jugendarbeit eingesetzt hat.

Justice Story: Killer priest murders nun ...

New York Daily News

Justice Story: Killer priest murders nun in chapel sacristy, leaves demonic stab pattern over her heart

By David J. Krajicek / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Sunday, September 23, 2012

The nun's killer left behind a pointed message.

Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, 71, was murdered on the morning before Easter in 1980, an ungodly act on Holy Saturday. Her body was found in the chapel sacristy at Mercy Hospital in Toledo, Ohio.

She had been confronted by her killer as she prepared for that day’s services. Pahl was choked to death’s door, jabbed mercilessly with a letter opener, and then sexually violated. She was found with an altar cloth shrouding her torso.

It was a ritual murder with hallmarks of pathological rage.

Among 31 stab wounds, nine punctures over her heart formed the outline of an inverted Crucifix, a demonic symbol. She had been stripped below the waist and defiled with a cross.

The homicide was unthinkable. Who would do such a thing to an elderly nun?

Australian Roman Catholic Church admits to 600 child sex abuse victims ...

God Discussion

[with video]

Australian Roman Catholic Church admits to 600 child sex abuse victims — SNAP says it's time for Catholic abusers and enablers to be treated like criminals, not with favoritism

Al Jazeera reports that Australia's Roman Catholic Church has confirmed that more than 600 children have been sexually abused by its priests since the 1930s in the state of Victoria. The archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, described the figures as "horrific and shameful."

The child abuse scandals and coverups have caused concern worldwide. In Belgium, there were at least 300 victims and it was reported that a former head of the church advised a victim not to go public. Thousands of abuse cases became public in Ireland, and one report found that four archbishops effectively turned a blind eye to the problem for almost 30 years. There was outrage in the United States when it was discovered that church officials were covering up abuse by two priests in Boston by moving them from post to post. These are just a few of the incidents reported over the past few years. ...

David Clohessy, a member of SNAP — the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests — commented about the Church's admission of Australian abuse.

"We are grateful that so many victims in Australia have spoken up and are continuing to speak up," Clohessy said. "We do believe that these figures [the 600 admitted by the Church] are very low. It would be naive to assume that Church officials who have worked for decades to conceal the abuse would suddenly do a complete reversal and be totally forthcoming. We think that many more kids in Australia have been abused and frankly, are still being abused. We're not very impressed with the Church hierarchy's response so far."

Clohessy thinks that the parliamentary inquiry is a positive influence. "Church officials oftentimes, in a crisis like this, appoint their own panel to investigate. We think those are, just frankly, a diversion and a waste of time. There's a much better chance at getting to the truth if governmental bodies investigate. But beyond that, there also has to be criminal prosecution, not just of the predator priests, but of each and every current and former Catholic official who knew of or suspected the crimes and hid them. Only then will there really be reform in the Church and will kids be safer. We have to go after the higher-ups, not just the child molester clerics themselves."

Al Jazeera asked Clohessy what bothers him the most, after all these years. Clohessy is disturbed by each abuse case that SNAP receives and added, "What is the most problematic or the most troubling to me personally is that we still do see a lot of secular officials who treat Catholic officials with kid gloves and with favoritism and with special treatment. Let's face it. Many of these highly respected, highly educated bishops are in fact acting like criminals and they need to be treated that way. We need to see police and prosecutors and governmental authorities coming down on these complicit church officials like a ton of bricks; otherwise, the crimes and the cover-ups simply continue."

Klare Abläufe im Verdachtsfall


Kirche – Evangelische Gemeinde Mörfelden stellt Schutzkonzept gegen sexuelle Übergriffe auf Kinder und Jugendliche vor


Ein Jahr lang arbeitete die evangelische Gemeinde Mörfelden an ihrem Schutzkonzept gegen sexualisierte Gewalt an Kindern und Jugendlichen. Mit den Sommermonaten begann die Umsetzung. „Wir wollen damit Verantwortung übernehmen“, erklärt Pfarrerin Andrea Schätzler-Weber. Es sei wichtig, die Augen vor möglichen sexuellen Übergriffen nicht zu verschließen und die Kinder bestmöglich zu schützen.

Aufgestellt wurde das Konzept vom Kinder- und Jugendausschuss der Gemeinde, in dem Pfarrerin Barbara Schindler und Herbert Böhnke federführend mitarbeiteten. Professionelle Unterstützung kam vom Verein Wildwasser, der von sexuellem Missbrauch Betroffenen und deren Angehörigen Hilfe anbietet. Nachdem die Walldorfer Kirchengemeinde ihr Konzept zum Jahresanfang fertigstellte, haben nun beide evangelischen Gemeinden ein Präventionskonzept.

Taoiseach attends Pope Benedict address with other Christian Democrat party leaders

RTE News

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has attended an address by Pope Benedict with his European political allies in Italy.

The meeting was a group event and did not involve any exchange between Mr Kenny and the Pope.

Pope Benedict addressed the delegation briefly saying the authentic progress of human society cannot forgo policies aimed at protecting and promoting marriage.

It is understood that the meeting at Castel Gandolfo did not involve any exchange between the Taoiseach and the Pope.

COPS Jesuit Style or the Sensitive Incidents Team

What They Knew

“Dedicated to the Men in Black who protect their fellow brothers from law enforcement.”

This week has continued another horrid month for the California Province of the Society of Jesus. That poor California Province Public Relations Director is earning his paycheck this year…

But his job is nothing compared to that of the Sensitive Incidents Team (SIT) of the California Province. Now skipping past the numerous puns about “SIT-ting on evidence” or “abbreviated SIT because thats usually what they do and never call the police.” They are the “SWAT Team for Jesuit Child Sex Abuse” and they have been busy. First we had the summer of Jerold Lindner SJ. With the total of victims at over 8 between the San Jose and Sacramento areas, there is the William Farrington SJ “sensitive incident”. Thanks to the work of these dedicated Jesuit “ninjas” we will never know how many other abusers this group has hid in the shadows from legitimate criminal investigation.

Occasionally, we here at What They Knew get criticized for being anti-clerical and giving the impression that there are no good Jesuits. That is simply not true. There are a many Jesuits who do wonderful things and you can read about them on the numerous Jesuit websites the Society has paid very good money for. Also of note there are a few very good Jesuits who abhor the abuse of children, despise their corrupt Superiors and detest the cover-up / code of silence. These anonymous Jesuit priests toil thanklessly to get the truth out at huge risk and help us get documents and assist this website as a means of change for an organization they believe would be restored minus the criminal element within. But more from them later.

For Victims of Sexual Abuse, Much Healing Remains

National Catholic Register


Stories in the news over the past year have shown the horrific reality of something Catholics learned when the clergy sexual-abuse crisis rocked the Church in the United States — the sexual abuse of children is a much larger problem than most people realize, one that has destroyed countless innocent lives and, sadly, does not receive the attention it deserves until a "big name" is involved.

One out of four females and one out of six males are abused before they reach the age of 18.

Society still has not come fully to terms with the sweeping scope of this problem and the reality that so many people are living with the pain it has caused.

Victims of abuse — from within their churches, their schools and even their families — carry heavy burdens of crippling shame. This sometimes results in "self-treatment" to deaden the pain with drugs and alcohol. There can be difficulties with relationships, trusting others or managing anger.

Sadly, many lose their faith in God and even end their own lives.

Pell should face up and 'fess up

Canberra Times

The victims of sexual abuse say they felt stripped bare, humiliated, embarrassed, bullied, belittled and disbelieved, JUDY COURTIN writes

Valiant gentlemen,
Let us survey the vantage of the field
Call for some men of sound direction
Let's want no discipline, make no delay,
For, lords, to-morrow is a busy day.

- Shakespeare, Richard III

The Catholic Church is nervous and preparing for battle. Legal fortifications are being erected, especially around the Sydney and Melbourne Archdioceses. Opening arguments for the defence are in position and the hierarchy is hunkering down.

Perhaps, like King Richard, the clergy offenders and their protectors are collectively dreaming of the ghosts of their victims - those who have survived and those who have died prematurely.

As Archbishop George Cardinal Pell and Archbishop Denis Hart plan their ecclesiastical battle strategy, or perhaps it is a strategy for self-survival, it is apparent they are trying to distance and isolate themselves and their archdioceses from the rest of the Catholic Church in Australia.

Calls for a Royal Commission in NSW are escalating and the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations is looming.

Victory Christian Center explains 2-week lapse in reporting rape claim

Tulsa World

By JARREL WADE World Staff Writer
Published: 9/23/2012

Victory Christian Center leaders began encouraging their congregation to speak up about sexual abuse this weekend following charges involving sexual crimes against children at the church and a two-week lapse in reporting the allegations to police, according to a church statement.

In addition, Victory Christian officials provided to the World a detailed account of the two weeks before police were notified.

The message to the congregation comes after the church fired two staff members who were later charged with child sex crimes and five other staff members were charged with failure to report child abuse. Police said last week that their investigation has revealed more possible victims with a possibility for a third suspect, but parents of new possible victims have not cooperated.

In her statement Saturday to her congregation during weekend services, Victory Christian Senior Pastor Sharon Daugherty said she has grieved about the situation and encouraged anyone with knowledge of child abuse to report it to authorities.

September 22, 2012

Watseka residents come to accused priest’s defense


By Bob Okon bokon@stmedianetwork.com September 22, 2012

WATSEKA — Talk to people in Watseka about the Rev. F. Lee Ryan, and you hear that he’s a great guy.

“Father is well liked by everybody in this town,” said Gary Cahoe while cutting hair at his downtown barber shop. “I don’t think you would hear anything bad about him.”

“He’s very caring,” said Lonnie Dirks, bereavement, community outreach and crisis intervention coordinator for Iroquois Memorial Hospice. She has worked with some of the same shut-ins who Ryan has seen as a priest during his 20 years as a pastor at St. Edmund’s Parish in Watseka.

“He’s fun. That’s one reason everyone likes him,” Dirks said. “He’s very positive. You ask him to be somewhere, and he’s there.”

Benedicts Bishops: Bishop Kevin Vanns' Appointment to Orange Continues the Winning Roster

Catholic Online

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Bishop Kevin Vann's appointment means that one more foundation stone is in place in a critical - and rapidly growing - Diocese in the United States of America. Benedict the Builder continues to fortify the Church with living stones. When this papacy is recounted in history, Pope benedict XVI's apostolic work will be credited with having re-secured the Catholic Church in a time of trial so that she could inaugurate the new missionary age of the Third Millennium. His appointment of Bishops is key to that entire undertaking.

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - In the wake of the announcement of Bishop James Conley's appointment to Lincoln, Nebraska we hear another announcement of good news, Bishops Kevin Vann of Fort Worth, Texas, will soon be the fourth bishop of Orange, California.

Benedict the Builder is placing the Foundation stones in place upon which will be built a firm foundation for the Church in the United States. She is being secured and made ready for the challenges we face. From the beginning of his service to the Church, Pope Benedict XVI has been about rebuilding the Church.

When this papacy is recounted in history, Pope benedict XVI's apostolic work will be credited with having re-secured the Catholic Church in a time of trial so that she could inaugurate the new missionary age of the Third Millennium. His appointment of Bishops is key to that entire undertaking.

Pope does not greet Irish Prime Minister

Vatican Insider

Ireland’s Prime Minister , who attacked the Vatican in a July 2011 speech over its failure to protect children, attended a papal audience but the pope did not greet him or any other leader present

Gerard O’Connell

Ireland’s Prime Minister (Taoiseach), Enda Kenny, attended a papal audience with other European political leaders linked to the internationalCentrist Democratic movement at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo this morning, September 22, but the Pope did not greet him or any of the other political leaders present.

Pope Benedict spoke to group of some 100 political leaders from across the globe on the need for ethics in economics, and the importance of defending human life -from conception to natural death, and marriage.

The Italian politician, Ferdinando Casini, greeted the Pope on behalf of the whole group, and presented him with a book.

Given the group’s size, nobody had imagined that Benedict XVI would greet them all individually, but it had been expected that he would shake hands with the European Prime Ministers, including Ireland’s Enda Kenny, who was seated on the front row alongside the Greek Prime Minister. This did not happen.

Iroquois County: Lawyer lashes out at treatment of priest

Daily Journal

By Dennis Yohnka

While a group of parishioners at St. Edmund Catholic Church in Watseka support the Rev. Lee Ryan, their embattled former pastor, they are not offering vocal support out of concern it will hurt his chances to return to the ministry.

Kankakee attorney Leonard Sacks is also supportive of Ryan, and he has no qualms about speaking up.

"In my opinion, [Ryan] is being thrown under the bus in an attempt to give the impression that the church is coming down hard on abusers," Sacks said in an interview Friday

Watseka: Embattled priest passed a polygraph

Daily Journal

By Dennis Yohnka

Last week's on-again, off-again reinstatement of the Rev. Lee Ryan, former pastor of St. Edmund Catholic Church in Watseka, reopened the emotional wounds of a parish.

It also brought a new voice into a generally stifled discussion of the priest's innocence or guilt -- a matter that will never come to a real courtroom.

Ryan, 79, was removed from the ministry in May 2010, based on claims of sexual abuse filed by a Florida man, now 52.

What should the Taoiseach say to the Pope?

New Statesman

Enda Kenny must acknowledge the damage done by the Catholic Church to Ireland

By Aaron Vallely Published 22 September 2012

Ireland's very own bronze-haired, twinkly-eyed Taoiseach Enda Kenny is today meeting Pope Benedict XVI in Rome. As to what should be on his lips is anyone's guess. One hopes that he is mindful of our history, and that his smile does not take precedence over the articulation of anger felt by our - although economically burdened - still optimistic people and that he makes the Catholic Church acknowledge the irrevocable damage inflicted by them and their institution head-on, face to face.

"A society of albanised peasants," was the damning depiction of 1960s Ireland declared by the late writer, Sean O'Faolain. Run, as he said we were then, by a completely obscurantist, repressive, regressive and uncultivated church, it was theocracy that managed the holy land of Ireland. And it was here, as in other places, that politics and religion have had an incestuous relationship. Ireland is a wicked example of what can go wrong.

While most of the west in the 19th century was industrialised and urbanised, Ireland remained an impoverished Catholic society, shackled with arrested development, where the men of the holy cloth had the last word not only in sermon, but on all sorts of policy, public and social. The Catholic Church was the alpha and the omega. There was deep attachment to land and faith, tradition and ritual. The modernisation of Ireland, however, inevitably would be in opposition to religion. Television, the sexual revolution and globalisation, all contributed fiercely. It was the sex scandals, though, that would be the killer element in the implosion of the church.

Taoiseach meets Pope Benedict during Rome visit

Irish Times

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has met with Pope Benedict XVI in Rome.

The Fine Gael leader’s meeting with the Pontiff is his first since he castigated the Vatican for its inaction in dealing with the issue of child abuse in Ireland.

He is in Rome as part of a two-day meeting of the Centrist Democrats International group hosted by the Italian leader, Mario Monti.

The group is affiliated with the European People’s Party, of which Fine Gael is a member.

Mr Kenny was among a group of European political leaders who met Pope Benedict at his residence at Castel Gandolfo.

Taoiseach meets with Pope Benedict 16th


A meeting is underway between the Taoiseach and Pope Benedict this afternoon for the first time since Mr Kenny launched a fierce attack on the Vatican’s record on handling clerical child sex abuse.

Enda Kenny has insisted he’s not at all uncomfortable about today’s encounter with the Pope – which is part of a visit by a group of centre right politicians.

In his July 2011 speech, the Taoiseach accused the Vatican of dysfunction and elitism in its failure to tackle the clerical abuse problem.

No comment from Taoiseach after meeting with Pope

Irish Examiner

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has met Pope Benedict for the first time since he attacked the Vatican's record on clerical child sex abuse in a Dáil speech last year.

Mr Kenny was part of a delegation of centre-right politicians who visited to the pontiff's summer residence near Rome.

The Taoiseach declined to comment on the meeting following the short encounter.

He is in Rome as part of a two-day meeting of the Centrist Democrats International group hosted by the Italian leader, Mario Monti.

Taoiseach declines to comment after meeting Pope Benedict at Castel Gandolofo

RTE News

Taoiseach Enda Kenny declined to comment following his meeting with Pope Benedict at his residence at Castel Gandolfo near Rome.

A Government spokesperson said Mr Kenny met the Pontiff and that they exchanged pleasantries.

This is the first encounter since Mr Kenny strongly criticised the Vatican's response to child sex abuse in the Dáil.

At that time, Mr Kenny spoke about what he called the dysfunction, the disconnection, the elitism that dominates the Vatican today.

Mr Kenny met with the Pontiff as part of a delegation representing centre-right political parties from around the world.

Michael Kelly: Kenny's meeting with the Pope is a chance to give hope to Catholics

Irish Independent

By Michael Kelly

Saturday September 22 2012

[Enda Kenny's speech that criticized the Vatican]

ENDA Kenny will certainly not be the most high-profile of European leaders meeting Pope Benedict this afternoon. However, despite never having met before, both men have been on opposite sides of a very public spat.

Today's meeting at the Pope's summer residence will be the first time an Irish government minister has met the head of the Catholic Church since a series of high-profile clerical-abuse reports were published. The encounter, albeit brief, is also an opportunity to look forward to a relationship built on mutual respect.

Mr Kenny's 2011 speech excoriating the Vatican's handling of abuse marked a decisive turning point in church-State relations. Never before had a Taoiseach spoken of the Vatican in such stark terms.

Accusing it of adopting a "calculated, withering position" on abuse in the wake of the Cloyne Report, the Taoiseach undoubtedly captured the public mood.

Ohio Greek Orthodox Priest Arrested For Trying To Have Sex With Underage Boys

Greek Reporter

By A. Papapostolou on September 21, 2012

A Greek Orthodox priest in Ohio has been arrested on charges including attempted rape after allegedly trying to arrange to have sex with boys, police said.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said in a release the Rev. Patrick Hughes, 56, was arrested at 7 p.m. Tuesday when he arrived at a location where he thought he was going to meet two boys, ages 9 and 14, for a sexual encounter, The Columbus Dispatch reported Thursday.

Hughes, acting dean at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Columbus, had posted a notice on an adult website “indicative of someone looking for sexual relations with children,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release. A detective assigned to the county Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force responded to the post and set up the meeting.

Cardinal Marx of Munich Reassigns Child-abuser to Parish Work

The Eponymous Flower

Edit: you'll possibly remember the St. Polten, Austria debacle which closed a seminary and involved a corrective suspension of two priests both its Rector, Father Ulrich Kuechl and the Sub-regent, Doctor Wolfgang Rothe. Kreuz.net has learned that Father Rothe is being reassigned to a parish by the Old Liberal Cardinal of Munich. We think the double standard in this matter will continue and the Liberal regime which abets such outrages will facilitate the "clean up" while the Church itself will continue to suffer their poor management and bad faith.

Germany. The priest who stumbled into a homosexual scandal, the Ex-subregent of St. Polten in Austria, Father Wolfgang Rothe, is going to be a Parish Vicar in Munich. The Old Liberal Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising has signed the decree of appointment on July 9th. Father Rothe will assume the position in September. He is the Parish Vicar in a Munich Parish organization "Transfituration of Christ -- St. Micheal". He was last active as a chaplain in a convalescent home.

It's been an interesting summer for reassignments and such. Bishop Finn of Kansas City was recently tried and found guilty for the misdemeanor offense of "failing to report child abuse". This was widely hailed by many as a symbol of the clergy's protected status and the continuing corruption in the Church. There were a few bloggers even on the traditional side who uncritically accepted the New York Times, professional victim side of all this.

Violence against women an age-old story

CT Post

In the halls of the New York State Assembly, there's a scandal going on. In a case of the alleged sexual harassment of two female staffers by Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver authorized a secret settlement payment in excess of $100,000.

According Mr. Silver: the payment was made on the advice of counsel that it would be better to settle than to go to trial; the payment was kept secret in deference to the alleged victims' request for confidential mediation; the decision to bypass the Assembly's bipartisan ethics committee was made to protect the identity of the complainants.

According to Gloria Allred and Kevin Mintzer, lawyers representing Lopez's complainants, Silver's "truthiness" leaves room for debate. ...

From 1950-2002, the Catholic Church alone paid out $572,507,094 in partial restitution to victims of its coverups. How much more in taxes and tithes will it take?

What isn't being gotten in "it must not get out that it does happen here" school of denial is that Vito Lopez is an old-school predator: he targets women.

Ask yourself: when have you heard of girls being molested, raped, by pedophile priests? Indeed, the recent spate of high-profile cases have all headlined the sexual abuse of boys. In a society as open to homophobic suggestion as ours, by ignoring victimized girls, we've been encouraged to link the pedophilia of priests to homosexuality.

"Of course it happens to girls. I'm one of them," says Barbara Blaine, founder of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests). Blaine was 12 when a priest raped her.

St. Paul priest charged with sexual misconduct involving two boys

Minnesota Public Radio

by Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
September 21, 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Authorities in Ramsey County have charged a priest in St. Paul with molesting a young boy in his parish, and exposing himself to another.

Curtis Wehmeyer, 47, is accused of sexual contact two years ago with a 12-year-old boy and the boy's older brother, who was 14 at the time of alleged sexual misconduct. The boys attended the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul.

Wehmeyer was arrested in June. He faces three counts of sexual misconduct. The criminal complaint details incidents during the summer of 2010 in a camper trailer in the parking lot at the church and on a camping trip at Big Sandy Lake near Aitkin.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said the boys' mother came to authorities earlier this summer. The mother reported Wehmeyer had allegedly touched the younger boy inappropriately. The complaint also says he offered the boys drugs and alcohol and showed them porn.

Monsignor Ian Dempsey returns to work despite police sex-crimes investigation

Herald Sun

THE Catholic Church has cleared a priest accused of raping breakaway Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth more than 40 years ago to resume parish duties.

Monsignor Ian Dempsey has resumed duties at the Hallett Cove and Brighton parishes, despite an ongoing police sex-crimes investigation, The Australian reported today.

Vicar-General Philip Marshall defended the decision to allow Monsignor Dempsey to resume ministry on the basis an independent investigation by Michael Abbott QC last year found no substance to the allegations.

The Advertiser revealed earlier this month that the Director of Public Prosecutions, Adam Kimber, was considering whether to lay charges against Monsignor Dempsey.

Bishop Vann leaving Fort Worth to take over fastest growing diocese in nation


By Bill Hanna

Bishop Kevin W. Vann, who led the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth through a difficult period of settling sex abuse cases and oversaw massive growth of the 28-county diocese during his seven-year tenure, is leaving to become the bishop in Orange, Calif.

Pope Benedict XVI named Vann to the new position, which he will take over in December.

Vann, 61, was installed as the third bishop in Fort Worth in July 2005, just one day after the death of Bishop Joseph P. Delaney. He will become the fourth bishop of the Orange Diocese, which, with an estimated 1.3 million Catholics, is the 10th-largest and fastest-growing Catholic diocese in the country.

One of his tasks will be overseeing the transformation of the Crystal Cathedral, the former home of evangelist Rev. Robert Schuller, into the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Orange Diocese.

Papal Nuncio left Ireland after vast sums of money found in his bank accounts

Irish Central

IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Published Saturday, September 22, 2012

A former Papal Nuncio left Ireland under a cloud after vast sums of South American funded money were found in his bank account.

Archbishop Gaetano Alibrandi left Dublin and the Vatican’s diplomatic service in 1989 after investigations into his financial affairs.

The Irish Times reports that the money originated in South America where Alibrandi had served as Papal Nuncio to Chile from 1961.

He led the Chilean delegation to the second Vatican Council, which opened in October 1962.

New Bishop of Orange County Diocese speaks Spanish, hails from Texas


New Bishop Kevin Vann surprised everyone in the crowd at the Marywood Pastoral Center in Orange by speaking to them in Spanish.

He even made a few jokes, taking off one of his very Texan black cowboy boots and showing them to the cameras. They’re embroidered with his initials and an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Bishop Vann — who has been a priest for 30 years — said he has no specific plans yet for the Diocese of Orange. But he expressed his desire to work with the local Catholic community, including departing Bishop Tod Brown, to learn the ropes.

Bishop retires from Rochester diocese


Bishop Matthew H. Clark announced Friday morning that his resignation from the Diocese of Rochester was accepted by the Pope.

At a news conference, Clark delivered the news and was joined by the new Apostolic Administrator for Rochester, Bishop Robert J. Cunningham of Syracuse. Cunningham will lead the Diocese of Rochester until a permanent replacement is named. The Rochester diocese includes Tompkins, Tioga, Chemung. Steuben and eight other Finger Lakes region counties.

“It’s important to remember that the work of the church goes on,” Cunningham said.

Interim bishop named for Rochester Diocese

The Citizen

Pope Benedict XVI on Friday officially accepted the resignation of Matthew Clark, the longtime bishop of the Diocese of Rochester, and Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham was named as a temporary replacement.

According to a news release from the Diocese of Rochester, Cunningham has been appointed as Apostolic Administrator of the diocese until a new bishop is named. He will continue to lead the Diocese of Syracuse during the transition.

Clark submitted his resignation July 15, his 75th birthday, as required by church law. Clark was the eighth bishop of Rochester, serving from 1979 until Friday. The diocese said Clark's tenure was second to only the diocese's first bishop, Bernard McQuaid.

Kevin W. Vann appointed to lead Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange

Los Angeles Times

By Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times

September 22, 2012

A Texas bishop was appointed Friday to lead the fastest-growing Catholic parish in the nation, Pope Benedict XVI announced.

Kevin W. Vann, 61, will succeed Tod Brown as the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange at a formal ceremony in December. Brown, who has been leader of the Orange County diocese since 1998, reached the Vatican's mandatory retirement age of 75 last November.

"Bishop Vann enjoys an enviable record of success and I am exceedingly pleased by his appointment," Brown said at a news conference in Orange.

The diocese, he said, has accomplished much in the 14 years since he has been bishop, but "much work remains to be done."

Pushing the Jesuits Back

What They Knew

[with video]

The Jesuits are back in the news again. This time the California Province is being implicated in the death of one of their own, a fellow Jesuit who was sexually abused and forced to live with his abusers at Sacred Heart Retreat Center in Los Gatos. Thanks to the courage and dedication of John Chevedden the story is finally getting out and hopefully his brother’s death will be properly investigated. With the offer of a $5,000 reward for information regarding his brother’s mysterious death, John is offering a way out for some Jesuit in the California Province. Here is a chance to come clean, do what Jesus would and get enough for a new start after the Society.

Anyone with information about Jim Chevedden’s death should contact the family at truthforjim@yahoo.com

Arbeit für Heimkinder war laut Historikern "Erziehungsziel"

Der Standard

Thomas Neuhold, 31. August 2012

Salzburger Historiker verlangen eine einheitliche Regelung zur Entschädigung von Heimkindern. Der Missbrauch war "gesellschaftlicher Konsens" und die "Verantwortungskette" war lang

Salzburg - Voraussichtlich im Oktober werden die Salzburger Universitäts-Historiker Ingrid Bauer, Tina Kubek und Robert Hoffmann ihre Forschungsergebnisse zur Situation der Heim- und Pflegekinder im Land Salzburg von 1945 bis in die 1980er-Jahre vorlegen. Die Studie entsteht im Auftrag der Landesregierung. "Das Land ist von sich aus aktiv geworden und an das Institut für Geschichte herangetreten", lobt Bauer die Sozialabteilung. In manchen Bundesländern habe die Forschung noch nicht einmal begonnen.

Erziehungsheime waren „Zentren des Missbrauchs und der Gewalt“

Tiroler Tageszeitung

Wien – Bis weit ins letzte Drittel des 20. Jahrhunderts hinein waren die Kinder- und Jugendheime in Österreich „Zentren der Gewalttätigkeit und des sexuellen Missbrauchs“. Zu diesem Befund kommt der österreichische Journalist und Sachbuchautor Hans Weiss in seinem Buch „Tatort Kinderheim“, das am Montagabend in der Wiener Hauptbücherei präsentiert wird. Bei einigen Heimen habe es sich um regelrechte „Kindergulags“ gehandelt, hält Weiss fest.

Der mit Titeln wie „Bittere Pillen“, „Schwarzbuch Markenfirmen - Die Machenschaften der Weltkonzerne“ und „Schwarzbuch Landwirtschaft“ bekanntgewordene Autor hat für sein aktuelles Werk die Vorgänge in 135 Heimen und Internaten untersucht. Mit 45 Zöglingen, die psychische, körperliche und sexuelle Gewalt erlebt haben, hat Weiss persönlich gesprochen. Weiss hat auch Täter und Täterinnen mit den wider sie erhobenen Vorwürfen konfrontiert. Zusätzlich zu seinen eigenen Recherchen lässt er bereits andernorts erschienene journalistische Arbeiten und gedruckte Erinnerungen Betroffener in seinen Bericht einfließen.

Tiroler Heimkinder arbeiteten für Bundesheer

Der Standard

Zudem sollen auch Landesorganisationen Heimkinder beschäftigt haben - Bericht des Landeskontrollamtes aus dem Jahr 1977 dokumentiert Vorgänge

Innsbruck - In der Causa um Zwangsarbeit von Heimkindern der Tiroler Landeserziehungsanstalt St. Martin in Schwaz sind weitere Details bekanntgeworden. Auch das Land Tirol und das Bundesheer soll die Mädchen für sich arbeiten haben lassen, berichtete die "Tiroler Tageszeitung" (TT) in ihrer Sonntagsausgabe. Das gehe aus einem Landeskontrollamtsbericht aus dem Jahr 1977 hervor, der unter anderem die Vorgänge in der heimeigenen Lohnwäscherei dokumentiere.

Vatican Diary / The pope's favorites


They are the cardinals, the bishops, the priests whom Benedict XVI has wanted to add to the participants in the upcoming synod. Three of them are from Opus Dei. And another three from Communion and Liberation

VATICAN CITY, September 22, 2012 – In recent days, another 36 names have been made public of churchmen whom Benedict XVI has called to be part of the thirteenth general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will be held from October 7-28 on the theme: "The new evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith."

The names are those of 12 cardinals, 20 archbishops and bishops, 4 priests.

They will be added to the synod fathers elected by the episcopal conferences of the whole world and by the union of superiors general of the religious orders (who in any case must be approved by the Holy See and the official list of which has not yet been published), and also to the members of the assembly by right, like the secretary general of the synod and the dicastery heads of the Roman curia.

The leadership figures of the synod have also been appointed by the pope. Like the three presidents delegate, cardinals John Tong Hon, bishop of Hong Kong, Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Guadalajara in Mexico, and Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Like the presenter general, Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, archbishop of Washington in the United States. And like the special secretary, Pierre-Marie Carré, archbishop of Montpellier in France.

Scanning the list of synod fathers appointed directly by the pope, one encounters names of churchmen who have been selected out of institutional propriety (like cardinal dean Angelo Sodano) or because they head important ecclesial organisms that include regional or continental episcopal conferences.

Anti-child abuse campaigner tells of personal tragedy

ABC News


Anti-child abuse campaigner Chrissie Foster who is fighting for change within the Catholic system discusses the tragic story of her daughters, who were abused over a number of years by members of the clergy.


Sky Valley Chronicle


(MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA) -- In yet another horrific tale of child sexual abuse at the hands of clergy, the Roman Catholic Church in the Australian state of Victoria has confirmed that more than 600 children have been sexually abused by priests going back to the 1930s.

According to published reports, the number of confirmed abuse cases within the church were released to a state investigation into the handling of abuse cases by religious and non-government organizations.

In the release of information church officials said the 620 cases went back 80 years but the majority of cases took place between the 1960s and the 1980s.

A report by The Saturday Age (theage.com) newspaper in Victoria says all but 13 of the cases were before 1990.

The four Victorian dioceses of the church gave a joint report on the abuse cases to the State Parliament inquiry on Friday.

Australian Catholic Church Admits to Hundreds of Child Sex Abuse Cases

International Business Times

By Geetha Pillai

September 22, 2012

The Roman Catholic Church in the Australian state of Victoria has admitted to hundreds of child sex abuse cases by church officials, including priests and church workers, dating back to the 1930s.

In a submission to a Victorian parliamentary inquiry, the church confirmed it knew of 620 cases of sexual abuse. Another 45 cases are being investigated by church authorities.

The Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, described the numbers as "shocking and shameful" and extended the full cooperation of the church to the inquiry.

"We have been open about the horrific abuse that has occurred in Victoria and elsewhere," said Hart.

"It is shocking and shameful that this abuse, with its dramatic impact on those who were abused and their families, was committed by Catholic priests, religious and church workers.

Australian Roman Catholic Church admits child sex abuse

The Telegraph (United Kingdom)

The Catholic Church in the Australian state of Victoria has revealed its clergy were responsible for more than 600 "shameful and shocking" cases of child sexual abuse dating back to the 1930s.

By Jonathan Pearlman, Sydney
9:19AM BST 22 Sep 2012

The Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, said the figures were "horrific” - though campaigners said the number of victims could be as high as 10,000.

The church has revealed to a parliamentary inquiry that its complaints department has upheld 618 complaints of abuse in the past sixteen years. The inquiry was announced after it emerged that 40 victims in the state had committed suicide.

Freeland found guilty of sexual abuse, likely to appeal

Chillicothe Gazette

CHILLICOTHE --A Washington Court House man who was found guilty of nine sex abuse charges from the 1990s involving children likely will appeal his conviction.

Just after noon Friday, the jury in the trial of Gary W. Freeland, 61, returned guilty verdicts on four counts of rape, two counts of felonious sexual penetration, and three counts of gross sexual imposition.

Judge Wm. Jhan Corzine ordered a victim-impact statement, but not a presentencing investigation.

"I don't really see the point in a PSI when life in prison is a sentence for a number of these offenses," Corzine said in court, adding he doesn't want to waste resources.

Sentencing has been tentatively scheduled for 2 p.m. Oct. 5 in Ross County Common Pleas Court. Corzine noted sentencing will be complicated since the laws have changed and some of the charges no longer exist in the form they did when the crimes took place in 1994 and 1995.

Five of 14 sex abuse charges dismissed in Freeland trial

Chillicothe Gazette

Written by
Jona Ison
Gazette Staff Writer

CHILLICOTHE -- After a judge dismissed five of 14 sexual abuse charges against a Washington Court House man, the jury began deliberating on the remaining charges on Thursday afternoon.

Gary W. Freeland, 61, took the stand on Thursday in Ross County Common Pleas Court, offering a "No, sir" to every direct question about sexual conduct alleged to have happened in 1994 and 1995. The testimony came after Freeland's attorney, Jim Boulger, started the day with a motion to dismiss charges.

Judge Jhan Corzine dismissed the charges after determining the state had failed to provide evidence to back up their elements. The dismissed charges included a rape that was alleged to have happened in a basement bathroom at Tabernacle Baptist Church.

Mother Of Alleged Sex Abuse Victim Files Lawsuit Against Victory Christian

News On 6

Tami Beyersdoerfer, NewsOn6.com

TULSA, Oklahoma -
The controversy surrounding Victory Christian Center intensified Friday, as the mother of an alleged sexual abuse victim filed a lawsuit against the church, claiming employees willfully concealed allegations of rape on the church campus.

According to the petition, the mother is accusing the megachurch of gross negligence and intentional or reckless infliction of emotional distress, with regard to the way church leaders handled her daughter's allegation that she was raped on the Victory Christian campus.

The suit claims that Chris Denman, 20, who was arrested and charged with rape and child molestation on September 5, forced the 13-year-old into sexual intercourse and forced her to perform oral sex.

Read the nine-page petition filed by the victim's mother on Friday.

The mother alleges that the church failed to do a proper investigation into Denman's background before he was hired to work at the church's Camp Victory, which is where the mother claims her daughter first met Denman, and then, once notified of the alleged assault, failed to report it to the proper authorities and the parents.

Fort Worth bishop heads to California


[with video]


Posted on September 21, 2012

FORT WORTH -- Bells of Saint Patrick's Cathedral echoed through downtown Fort Worth at noon Friday, calling parishioners to Mass.

Many arrived with heavy hearts.

"It's a sad day," said worshiper Felipa Hernandez. "We love Bishop Vann. Our hearts are with him."

The news that Pope Benedict XVI has reassigned Bishop Kevin Vann to the Diocese of Orange in southern California had just come in.

In fact, Bishop Vann was already in California as congregants in North Texas lifted prayers for him.

Mother of alleged victim in Victory Christian case files lawsuit

Tulsa World

[the lawsuit]

By JARREL WADE World Staff Writer
Published: 9/22/2012

The mother of a 13-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by an employee at Victory Christian Center filed a lawsuit against the church Friday claiming church officials blamed the girl for her involvement in an attempted cover-up, court records show.

The lawsuit, filed in Tulsa County District Court, claims the church intentionally inflicted emotional distress by not reporting the alleged crime to police or the victim's parents for about two weeks after learning of the assault.

"Rather than contacting the appropriate authorities, defendant (Victory Christian Center) chose to conduct its own 'investigation' with the ultimate purpose of doing damage control as opposed to protecting" the victim, according to the lawsuit.

Timeline of Bishop Vann's tenure in Fort Worth


Bishop Kevin Vann in Fort Worth

May 2005 -- Vann, formerly a monsignor in the Springfield, Ill., diocese, is appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to lead the 28-county Fort Worth Diocese, replacing Joseph Delaney, who had been bishop since September 1981.

July 12, 2005 -- Delaney, who had been ill for years, dies on the eve of Vann's ordination as successor.

July 13, 2005 -- Vann is installed as third bishop of the dioceses.

February 2006 -- The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests delivers a letter to Vann, urging him to call for the Rev. Joseph Tu Ngoc Nguyen's removal from a Houston parish. Nguyen had formerly worked at an Arlington church, where he was accused of sexual misconduct with six women and girls.

September 21, 2012

Kenny defends criticism of Holy See ahead of visit

Irish Times


AHEAD OF a brief meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in Castel Gandolfo this morning, Taoiseach Enda Kenny was yesterday unrepentant about his criticism last year of the Holy See’s response to the clerical sex abuse crisis in Ireland.

Complaining in the Dáil about the “dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day”, Mr Kenny suggested that the Holy See had responded to the sex abuse crisis with the “gimlet eye of a canon lawyer”.

Asked by The Irish Times if he would feel “uncomfortable” when meeting the pope this morning for the first time since the July 2011 speech, the Taoiseach said that he was happy to meet him.

“I think that the matter that I raised in the Dáil in regard to the Catholic Church has been beneficial in the sense that it has brought about a new sense of reality. In my dealings with church authorities since then, there has been a realism and an understanding that the scars of the past have to be dealt with and dealt with fully and that we have to put in place foundations for the future which demonstrate the sense of values that we have for our country and for our peo

Nuncio quit Dublin role after bank accounts questioned

Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

THE FORMER papal nuncio to Ireland archbishop Gaetano Alibrandi left Dublin and the Vatican’s diplomatic service in 1989 after it emerged there were large amounts of unaccounted for money in three Irish bank accounts belonging to him.

The money is believed to have originated in South America. He had been papal nuncio to Chile from 1961 and led the Chilean delegation to the second Vatican Council, which opened in October 1962.

Dr Alibrandi was papal nuncio to Ireland from 1969 and during his 20 years in the Republic he is believed to have been involved in the appointment of 26 Catholic bishops.

The disclosures about the circumstances of his departure from Ireland and the Vatican’s diplomatic service were disclosed in the Dr Garret FitzGerald Memorial Lecture at UCC last night by Seán Donlon, former secretary general at the department of foreign affairs.

Texas priest to take over as Bishop of Orange

The Orange County Register


ORANGE – The incoming bishop of the Diocese of Orange, a North Texas priest with the Virgin of Guadalupe stitched into his boots, promised to "love you and do my best to serve you" as he was introduced Friday.

Fort Worth Bishop Kevin Vann will succeed Bishop Tod D. Brown, who turned 75 last year and, following tradition, offered his resignation to the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI announced on Friday that Vann would become the fourth bishop of Orange County's 36-year-old diocese.

Vann said he sees similarities between Orange County and his diocese in North Texas, especially the fast pace of its growth and its diversity. In introducing him as the new bishop, the Diocese of Orange highlighted his work to encourage immigration reform. He also oversaw the construction in Texas of one of the largest Catholic churches in the nation to serve a Vietnamese congregation.

Vann takes over the tenth-largest and fastest-growing diocese in the country and will oversee the development of the Crystal Cathedral into a Catholic cathedral. He also enters a diocese that has struggled for more than a decade with a clergy sex-abuse scandal.

Former local priest arrested in child sex sting

Bucyrus Telegraph Forum

COLUMBUS — A former area priest has been arrested by Franklin County Sheriff’s Office on sex charges.

Patrick Hughes, also known as Rev. Nicholas Hughes, was arrested Wednesday night. Police said he was arrested by the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children task force on suspicion of attempted rape and attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Hughes served at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Mansfield. He had lived at St. Theodore House, a small monastery in Galion. He left there in 2009.

Pope names new bishop for Orange, Calif.; New York bishop retires

National Catholic Reporter

Sep. 21, 2012
By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON -- Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Kevin W. Vann of Fort Worth, Texas, 61, to be bishop of Orange, Calif., and accepted the resignation of Bishop Tod D. Brown, 75, who has headed the diocese since 1998.

The pope also accepted the resignation of Bishop Matthew H. Clark of Rochester, N.Y., 75, and named Bishop Robert J. Cunningham of Syracuse, N.Y., 69, as apostolic administrator of the Rochester diocese until a successor to Clark is named and installed.

The appointments were announced Friday in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Clark celebrated 33 years as Rochester's bishop and the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination at a special Mass Sept. 16 at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester. When he turned 75 on July 15, he submitted his resignation, as canon law requires for all bishops.

Ten years after revelations of massive sex abuse cover-ups, many victims never get their

CBS News

By Julia Dahl

(CBS) NEW YORK - The recent revelations that the Boy Scouts of America have spent years covering up sexual abuse reports against their scout leaders came as no surprise to Professor Marci Hamilton.

"Boy Scouts, the Catholic church, the Citadel, Penn State, the Mormon church - it's all the identical problem," says Hamilton, a professor at Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University and the author of "God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law."

"They'll ignore wrong-doing and bad behavior because it's in the best interest of the institution not to have bad publicity."

But the bad publicity has rained down, inserting "pedophile priests" into the lexicon and turning a storied college sports program into a national disgrace. And the tales keep on coming. This week alone, an official at USA Swimming was banned for life from the sport for covering up for a coach who allegedly began a sexual relationship with a swimmer when the girl was 13-years-old; and the leader of a megachurch in Tulsa, Okla. was hit with charges that she knew about sex abuse allegations against former church employees but kept the matter in-house instead of going to police.

Parish priest charged with molesting children


ST. PAUL, Minn. - A St. Paul parish priest is charged with criminal sexual conduct for allegedly molesting children under the age of 16.

Curtis Carl Wehmeyer, 47, faces three separate counts involving sexual acts on two brothers, now ages 15 and 16.

The criminal complaint says Wehmeyer, then priest at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, abused the boys inside his camper trailer parked in the church parking lot and on a camping trip.

The victims tell prosecutors that during the summer of 2010 Wehmeyer provided them with alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes, showed them pornographic images and videos on his computer then fondled them and masturbated in front of them.

St. Paul priest charged with two-year sexual abuse of boy


ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -
A St. Paul priest has been charged with sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy over the past two years. Three charges of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct were filed Thursday against 48-year-old Curtis Wehmeyer following a three-month investigation.

The Church of the Blessed Sacrament learned in June that Reverend Curtis Wehmeyer may have been abusing a boy within the church. The next day the church spoke with the victim, and then contacted St. Paul police who opened an investigation.

According to the criminal complaint, the boy's mother was the one who reported the alleged abuse to the church on June 21. Wehmeyer was immediately relieved of his duties, and on his way out told the boy's mother, "(The boy) doesn't lie. I intend to plead guilty and spare your family the embarrassment."

The victim, now-14, alleged Wehmeyer gave him alcohol and marijuana and sexually abused him inside a camper parked outside the church. He says his brother was also inside the camper on one occasion, and that Wehmeyer would play pornographic movies and remove his pants.

St. Paul priest charged with molesting two boys

Star Tribune

Article by: DAVID CHANEN , Star Tribune
Updated: September 21, 2012

A St. Paul priest was charged this week with sexually abusing two boys in his camper trailer on the church's parking lot in 2010.

Curtis Wehmeyer, 47, was arrested in June after one of the boys told his mother. The boys were 12 and 14 at the time of the alleged abuse, according to the criminal complaint filed Thursday in Ramsey County District Court.

Wehmeyer, of Oakdale, was relieved of his duties as pastor at Church of the Blessed Sacrament when he was arrested. The church declined to comment Friday and referred media calls to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Calls there weren't immediately returned.

According to the complaint: Wehmeyer brought the boys to his trailer, showed them pornography and gave them alcohol and marijuana. He then allegedly would touch their genitals. One of the boys was molested during a camping trip in Aitkin County, the complaint said.

St. Paul Priest Charged With Abusing 2 Boys

CBS Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A former pastor at a St. Paul parish is being charged with criminal sexual conduct after he was accused of molesting one boy and exposing himself to another.

A criminal complaint says Curtis Carl Wehmeyer was the parish priest at The Church of the Blessed Sacrament. He was removed from duty in June after church officials learned of the allegations.

According to the complaint, a boy told authorities Wehmeyer abused him throughout the summer of 2010, when he was 12. He said Wehmeyer took him to a camper trailer on church grounds and touched him inappropriately while showing him pornography. The complaint says Wehmeyer also exposed himself to another boy, too.

Bishop Kevin W. Vann to Succed Bishop Tod D. Brown

Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange

The Next Roman Catholic Bishop of Orange Announced: Bishop Kevin W. Vann to Succeed Bishop Tod D. Brown as the Fourth Bishop of Orange

Orange, CA (September 21, 2012) --- His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI has announced today that Bishop Kevin W. Vann (61) will succeed Bishop Tod D. Brown as the Bishop of Orange. Bishop Vann, the current Bishop of Fort Worth, Texas, will be installed as the fourth Bishop of Orange in December. Bishop Brown was advised of the new appointment by the Papal Nuncio, the official representative of the Holy See for the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.

Bishop Brown, who was appointed the Bishop of Orange on the 30th of June 1998, reached the mandatory retirement age last year and completes 14 years of service as the leader of the tenth largest Roman Catholic Diocese in the United States. The Diocese is comprised of 62 parishes and diocesan centers and has a population of 1.2 million Catholics. ...

In response to Bishop Vann's appointment as his successor, Bishop Brown said:

"The Diocese of Fort Worth has enjoyed a dynamic period of growth and the demands for comprehensive pastoral services there are not unlike those we have experienced, here in the Diocese of Orange. Bishop Vann enjoys an enviable record of success and I am exceedingly pleased by his appointment as my episcopal successor.

"While we have accomplished much in the years since I succeeded Bishop Norman MacFarland, including the recent acquisition of the former Crystal Cathedral and its campus, much work remains to be done. This work will require an administrator with proven skills and a spiritual leader with an abundance of faith. Bishop Kevin Vann has these attributes and much more. We are all blessed by his selection and I assure you - that I will do all I can to help make his transition to this important new responsibility enjoyable and productive.

"I plan to address the Diocese sometime soon and to reflect on the journey we have taken together. For now, the news is not about me - it is about our Diocese of Orange stepping into the future with its dynamic new leader.

Bishop Vann’s Comments for Press Conference

Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange

[en espanol]

Diocese of Orange, California
21 September 2012

Dear members of the media present today, and all who are here. I am very grateful for your presence and for your welcome. I especially thank Bishop Brown and Msgr. Heher for their wonderful welcome. Bishop Brown and I have known each other for 31 years. He was a priest on the sabbatical program at the North American College in Rome, and I was a newly ordained priest studying canon law. We were in residence at the Casa Santa Maria of the North American College at the time. And, in the same residence, Msgr. Heher and I were studying together during the same time period. When we were younger (!) priests!! And, Bishop Dominic and I have known each other for several years, and he was my guest in Fort Worth last December when we dedicated the new Church of Vietnamese Martyrs in Arlington, Texas, one of the biggest Vietnamese parishes here in the United States. So it is a blessing for me to be with you all here and see familiar faces.

I have learned over the years to try to place each day, every decision in the presence of the Word of God as it starts, to surround me and guide me, and all of us. Today is the feast day of St. Matthew, Apostle and evangelist. The first reading for today’s feast day in the Church’s calendar is from St. Paul to the Ephesians when he says “Brothers and Sisters: I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace: one Body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

I cannot think of a better section of Sacred Scripture for me, for all of us today, to describe to what we are called as the Body of Christ. One of the many blessings I have learned from the HIspanic people is that the Church called by them as the “Family of God”. And, that, I believe with all my heart is who we are: this is what I have learned from my years in Fort Worth, and from what I have learned about all of you so far from Bishop Brown.

You see, when Bishop or a priest is transferred from one parish to another or one Diocese to another, they leave one family behind and gain another. I have so much to be grateful to God for the people of the Diocese of Fort Worth, and north TExas and beyond. I will miss them very much. But, I promise that as we grow together in this exciting and dynamic time of the Diocese of Orange, I will love you and do my best to serve you, with the Lord’s help. That is one thing I learned in Fort Worth, and what I will live here.

Texan is OC's Next Catholic Bishop


Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop Kevin W. Vann of Fort Worth, Texas, to take over the much more populous Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange from Tod D. Brown, who is retiring after 14 years because he has reached the age of 75.

Brown planned to hold a news conference in Orange at 11:30 a.m. Friday to publicly announce his retirement and introduce the 61-year-old Vann, a native of Springfield, Ill., who became bishop in Fort Worth in July 2005 and soon will be Orange's fourth bishop.

Before attending seminary in 1976, Vann worked as a medical technologist, according to a biography on the Fort Worth diocese's website.

After taking over the Fort Worth diocese, Vann issued a stinging rebuke of his predecessor, saying Bishop Joseph Delaney's handling of sex-abuse allegations against priests was a "huge moral failure."

Bishop Vann to head fastest growing US diocese

Catholic News Agency

By Carl Bunderson

Washington D.C., Sep 21, 2012 / 09:46 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Kevin W. Vann of Fort Worth, Texas has been named the fourth bishop of Orange, Calif. by Pope Benedict XVI.

Bishop Vann will succeed Bishop Tod D. Brown, who offered his resignation to Pope Benedict earlier this year upon reaching the age limit of 75.

The appointment and resignation were both announced Sept. 21 in Washington, D.C. by Archbishop Carlo M. Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Vann will shepherd the nation’s tenth largest and fastest growing diocese.

The diocese’s total population is 3.2 million, of whom 41 percent, or 1.3 million, are Catholic.

Germans risk church expulsion over tax

Irish Times


CATHOLIC BISHOPS in Germany have announced plans to effectively excommunicate believers who refuse to pay the country’s controversial church tax.

The “general decree”, effective from September 24th, excludes non-payers from Communion, Confirmation and Confession or belonging to a Catholic congregation. Catholic funerals will also not be possible “if the person who has left the church has not shown any sign of remorse before death”.

The church says non-payment violates an obligation on its members to make a “financial contribution that allows the church to fulfil its role”.

Germany’s church tax has its origins as compensation for church property seized by state authorities in the early 19th century. Two centuries on, the tax, calculated as up to 8 per cent of income tax, raises approximately €5 billion annually for the Catholic Church; the Lutheran church receives €4 billion. It is collected by the state tax authorities and forwarded on to churches for a handling fee.

Catholics to exclude dodgers of church tax

The Australian

The Times
September 22, 2012

ROMAN Catholics in Germany who decline to pay the country's church tax will be denied communion, confession and a religious burial under moves signed by the Pope that, in effect, excommunicate them.

The decree, issued yesterday by Germany's bishops and approved by Benedict XVI, seeks to end a long-running dispute over the implications for Germany's 24.6 million Catholics of opting out from a church tax. It will block churchgoers who choose not to pay the optional levy from becoming godparents or belonging to a Roman Catholic congregation.

The church tax, which is collected by provincial authorities and is between 8 per cent and 9 per cent of income depending on the state collecting it, raises almost €5 billion ($6.2bn) a year.

"The declaration of leaving the church before the competent civil authority ... is a deliberate and wilful alienation from the church and is a grave offence against the Christian community," states the decree, which comes into effect this weekend.

German bishops get tough on Catholics who opt out of church tax


By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

PARIS | Fri Sep 21, 2012

PARIS (Reuters)- Germany's Roman Catholic bishops have decreed that people who opt out of a "church tax" should not be given sacraments and religious burials, getting tougher on worshippers who choose not to pay.

Alarmed by a wave of dissenting Catholics quitting the faith, the bishops issued a decree on Thursday declaring such defection "a serious lapse" and listed a wide range of church activities from which they must be excluded.

Germans officially registered as Catholics, Protestants or Jews pay a religious tax of 8 or 9 percent of their annual tax bill. They can avoid this by declaring to their local tax office that they are leaving their faith community.

The annual total of church leavers, usually around 120,000, rocketed to 181,193 two years ago as revelations about decades of sexual abuse of children by priests shamed the hierarchy and prompted an apology from German-born Pope Benedict.

Former Tariffville Priest Found Guilty of Sex Assault Charge


By Jeff Brush

A former priest at St. Bernard's Catholic Church in Tariffville was found guilty of a sex assault charge brought against him in 2011.

Reverend Edward Warnakulasuriya, 54, was arrested by the Simsbury Police Department on Aug. 11, 2011 and charged with three counts of fourth degree sexual assault.

A warrant for the arrest of Warnakulasuriya says he touched an 18-year-old male inappropriately after the man had gone to the priest’s residence for confession.

Warnakulasuriya was given a suspended 1-year sentence and 3-years of probation when he appeared before Judge Howard Scheinblum at Enfield Superior Court on Sept. 19.

Ky. man loses appeal in death of pedophile priest

Daily News

Associated Press

The Kentucky Court of Appeals has rejected an attempt by a Lexington man to withdraw his guilty plea to beating to death a convicted sex offender and retired priest with a pickax.

Judge Michelle M. Keller wrote on Friday that 32-year-old Jason Anthony Russell cannot show he was too incompetent to seek to back out of the agreement with prosecutors within three years of going to prison.

Russell is serving a 30-year sentence at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville. His projected release date is Dec. 12, 2033.

He pleaded guilty in 2005 in Lexington to attacking and killing 78-year-old Joseph Pilger, who previously admitted to abusing four boys in western Kentucky in the 1960s when he was a pastor in Sturgis.

Texas Bishop to Head Diocese of Orange

Orange County Business Journal

By Jane Yu Friday, September 21, 2012

Fort Worth Bishop Kevin Vann has been named the new head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.

Vann will succeed Bishop Tod Brown, who plans to retire in December after 49 years as priest, the last 14 as bishop.

The Diocese of Orange was founded in 1976, when it split from the Los Angeles Archdiocese. It now includes about 1.2 million Catholics here.

Vann has led the Diocese of Fort Worth since 2005. The Texas diocese grew nearly 80% to 710,000 members during his tenure.

Texas bishop reportedly to replace Brown

The Orange County Register



A Roman Catholic priest in North Texas has been named bishop of the diocese of Orange County, the Associated Press is reporting.

Pope Benedict XVI on Friday announced the appointment of Fort Worth Bishop Kevin Vann.

The 61-year-old Texas priest takes over for Bishop Tod Brown, who is retiring. Brown is 75.

Vann will be installed in December. He's led the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth since July 2005. The diocese serves about 710,000 congregants.


ORANGE – Bishop Tod D. Brown, who has led the Diocese of Orange through explosive growth, historic change and some of the darkest years of its clergy sex-abuse scandal, will announce his retirement on Friday morning.

Texas Priest Named New Bishop Of Orange Diocese

CBS Los Angeles

ORANGE (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest in North Texas has been named bishop of the diocese of Orange, Calif.

Pope Benedict XVI on Friday announced the appointment of Fort Worth Bishop Kevin Vann.

The 61-year-old Texas priest takes over for Bishop Todd Brown, who is retiring. Brown is 75.

Much of Brown’s tenure was marked by a priest abuse scandal where he agreed to a $100 million settlement for 90 alleged victims.

Vann will be installed in December. He’s led the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth since July 2005. The diocese serves about 710,000 congregants.

New bishop for Orange County is named, SNAP reponds

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on September 21, 2012

Today, Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Fort Worth has been promoted to lead the Diocese of Orange County, CA, replacing outgoing Bishop Tod Brown. Neither of these men have been friends to victims; while Brown actively perpetuated cover-ups and allowed abusive priests to remain in ministry, Vann refused to remove abusive priests or to apologize to victims for the cover-ups perpetrated in his diocese.

In 2006, Bishop Vann called a press conference to apologize to abuse victims for their suffering, but refused to acknowledge that cover-ups had gone on or to take steps to ensure that future cover-ups would not take place. Similarly, only last year, repeated his refusal to acknowledge or apologize for cover-ups when a case against Msgr. James Reilly was settled out of court.

In many cases, the covering-up of abuse can be worse than the actual abuse itself, because it allows a predator continued access and chances to turn more innocent kids into victims of sex abuse. The fact that Bishop Vann has repeatedly refused to acknowledge the pain caused by these cover-ups is telling.

It appears that this move, sadly, is garbage-in garbage-out. We would have hoped that the Vatican would have had the sense to promote a cleric that came from a diocese with a cleaner record or who had actually taken steps to oust predators instead of concealing them.

Fort Worth Catholic bishop moving to California diocese


By Darren Barbee

Fort Worth Bishop Kevin Vann, who led the diocese through a tumultuous period of gut-wrenching exposure of child abuse, is headed west.

Pope Benedict XVI has named Vann, who saw the Fort Worth diocese expand by nearly 80 percent to 700,000 Roman Catholics, as the new bishop of the Orange, California Catholic Diocese. Vann's new job starts in December.

Vann, 61, was installed as the bishop on in July 2005 after the death of ailing Bishop Joseph Delaney.

Vann will become the fourth bishop of the Orange Diocese. That diocese has an estimated 1.3 million Catholics.

Accused priest back in ministry

The Australian

Verity Edwards
From:The Australian
September 22, 2012

THE Catholic Church has cleared priest Ian Dempsey to return to parish duties, despite an ongoing police sex-crimes investigation into allegations he raped former Traditional Anglican Church primate John Hepworth more than 40 years ago.

This comes as the Director of Public Prosecutions, Adam Kimber, considers whether to lay charges against the priest.

Vicar-General Philip Marshall told The Weekend Australian Monsignor Dempsey's resumption of ministry was justified on the basis of an independent investigation by Michael Abbott QC last year, which found no substance to allegations made by Archbishop Hepworth. "It was now evident that despite the fact the matter was referred to police as long ago as November 2011, it is obvious that any inquiries by police could take some time to be completed," Father Marshall said.

"His return to ministry, which is founded on his right to the presumption of innocence, does not contravene any of the church's policies or any civil requirements, therefore there was no reason for him not to resume his parish duties."


Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, (VIS) - The Holy Father: ...

- Appointed Bishop Kevin W. Vann of Fort Worth, U.S.A., as bishop of Orange in California (area 2,025, population 3,037,000, Catholics 1,291,000, priests 269, permanent deacons 96, religious 412), U.S.A. He succeeds Bishop Tod D. Brown, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Rochester, U.S.A., presented by Bishop Matthew H. Clark, upon having reached the age limit.


United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop Kevin W. Vann of Fort Worth, Texas, 61, to be bishop of Orange, California, and accepted the resignation of Bishop Tod D. Brown, 75, from the pastoral government of the diocese. The pope also accepted the resignation of Bishop Matthew H. Clark of Rochester, New York, 75, from the pastoral governance of the Rochester diocese and named Bishop Robert J. Cunningham of Syracuse, New York, 69, as apostolic administrator of the Rochester diocese until the appointment and installation of a new bishop there.

The appointments were publicized in Washington September 21, by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Kevin Vann was born May 10, 1951, in Springfield, Illinois and was ordained a priest for the diocese of Springfield in 1981. He earned a doctorate in canon law in 1985 from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome. In the Springfield Diocese he served as associate pastor, pastor, and on the staff of the diocesan tribunal. In 2005, he was named coadjutor bishop of Fort Worth, Texas, to succeed Bishop Joseph Delaney, who died one day before Bishop-designate Vann was ordained bishop.

Bishop Brown, a native of San Francisco, was ordained priest of the Diocese of Monterey-Fresno, California, in 1962. He was named bishop of Boise, Idaho in 1988, and Bishop of Orange in 1998.

Texas Roman Catholic priest moving to California

Houston Chronicle

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest in North Texas has been named bishop of the diocese of Orange, Calif.

Pope Benedict XVI on Friday announced the appointment of Fort Worth Bishop Kevin Vann.

The 61-year-old Texas priest takes over for Bishop Todd Brown, who is retiring. Brown is 75.

Vann will be installed in December. He's led the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth since July 2005. The diocese serves about 710,000 congregants.

Vatileaks: No television cameras in the courtroom during cross-examination

Vatican Insider

The trial of Paolo Gabriele and IT technician Claudio Sciarpelletti begins on 29 September. The two stand trial for their alleged involvement in the Vatican document leak scandal

Vatican Insider staff

The President of the Tribunal of Vatican City State, Giuseppe Dalla Torre has issued a decree “ruling that the first hearing of the trial of Paolo Gabriele and Claudio Sciarpelletti, will take place at 9.30 a.m. on 29 September. The two accused were sent for trial by the examining magistrate on 13 August,” a statement released by the Holy See Press Office states.

“The hearing – the statement adds – will take place in the audience hall of the Tribunal of Vatican City State. The parties concerned have been notified of the decree."

For Orange, A Moving Vann – B16 Taps Fort Worth for Crystal Chair

Whispers in the Loggia

Over recent years, it’s hard to think of a national project on which Bishop Kevin Vann hasn’t been intimately involved.

From serving on the three-member USCCB team that oversaw the Stateside implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus and mediating the bench’s oft-delicate relations with the nation’s Catholic hospitals, to filing suit against the Federal government over the contraceptive mandate of the Obama administration’s sweeping health-care reform, the 61 year-old prelate has cris-crossed considerably more ecclesial turf than the sprawling 28 counties of Northwest Texas he’s overseen since 2005.

Now, however, the latest task comes via Rome... and given its centerpiece, well, it’s worth its weight in Crystal.

This morning, the Pope named the energetic head of the booming Fort Worth church to lead the diocese of Orange, succeeding Bishop Tod Brown at the helm of the 1.3 million-member fold in Los Angeles’ southern suburbs.

Barring an expedited succession in Chicago – the nation's third-largest diocese, where Cardinal Francis George, 75, is undergoing a fresh round of treatment for a recurrence of cancer – the move will be 2012's most significant handover of an American see in terms of size.



Il Santo Padre ha accettato la rinuncia al governo pastorale della diocesi di Orange in California (U.S.A.), presentata da S.E. Mons. Tod D. Brown, in conformità al can. 401 § 1 del Codice di Diritto Canonico.

Il Papa ha nominato Vescovo di Orange in California (U.S.A.) S.E. Mons. Kevin William Vann, finora Vescovo di Fort Worth (U.S.A.).

S.E. Mons. Kevin William Vann

S.E. Mons. Kevin William Vann è nato a Springfield (Illinois) il 10 maggio 1951. Dopo aver frequentato la Saint Agnes School e la Griffin High School, ha conseguito il Baccellierato in "Tecnologia Medica" alla Millikin University a Decatur (Illinois). Diventato seminarista nel 1976, ha frequentato l’Immaculate Conception Diocesan Seminary a Springfield e poi il Kenrick Seminary a Saint Louis (Missouri). Successivamente ha ottenuto il Dottorato in Diritto Canonico presso l’Angelicum a Roma.

Ordinato sacerdote per la diocesi di Springfield in Illinois il 30 maggio 1981, ha svolto gli incarichi di Vice Parroco della Blessed Sacrament Parish a Springfield (1985-1990); Difensore del Vincolo (1985-1994); Giudice del Tribunale di Appello per la Provincia ecclesiastica di Chicago (1985-1994); Amministratore parrocchiale della Saint Mary Parish a Pittsfield, della Holy Redeemer Parish a Barry e della Holy Family Parish a Greggsville (1989-1990); Parroco della Saint Benedict Parish a Auburn (1990-1992) con responsabilità di Amministratore parrocchiale della Saint Mary Parish a Pawnee (1991); Parroco della Our Lady of Lourdes Parish a Decatur (1992-2001) con responsabilità di Amministratore parrocchiale dell’Our Lady of the Holy Spirit a Mt. Zion (1995), della Saint Isidore Parish a Bethany e della Sacred Heart Parish a Dalton City (1995-1997); Vicario foraneo (1996-2001); Incaricato del Vescovo per la pastorale agli ispanici della diocesi di Springfield (1999-2005); Vicario per il Clero e Parroco della Blessed Sacrament Parish (2001-2005).

Nominato Vescovo Coadiutore di Fort Worth (Texas) il 17 maggio 2005, è succeduto a tale Sede il 12 luglio 2005 ed ha ricevuto la consacrazione episcopale il 13 luglio successivo.

Nel seno della Conferenza Episcopale è Membro del Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance e del Committee on Migration. Inoltre, è l’Episcopal Liaison alla Catholic Health Association.

Catholic Church admits it failed sex abuse victims, in submission to Victorian Go

Herald Sun

THE Catholic Church has admitted it failed victims of sexual abuse, and says it has upheld 620 cases of criminal child abuse by clergy in the past 16 years.

Four Victorian dioceses combined to make a submission to a State Government inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other non-government organisations.

Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart said in a statement the submission, titled Facing the Truth, was open about the church's failings.

"In Facing the Truth we have been open about the horrific abuse that has occurred in Victoria and elsewhere,'' he said.

Church lodges submission to Vic abuse inquiry


The Catholic Church in Victoria will today lodge the Church’s submission, titled Facing the Truth, to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Non-Government Organisations, the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, announced in a media release.

"We will co-operate fully with the Inquiry, and in Facing the Truth, we have been open about the horrific abuse that has occurred in Victoria and elsewhere," Archbishop Hart said.

"Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has caused deep concern among Catholics and the wider community. It is shameful and shocking that this abuse, with its dramatic impact on those who were abused and their families, was committed by Catholic priests, religious and church workers.

Exclusive: Dueling Jewish Submissions...

Failed Messiah

Melbourne Jewry's roof body, the JCCV, has submitted a self-serving report to a Victorian Parliamentary committee regarding the steps it claims to have taken to combat child sexual abuse and to properly handle allegations of these crimes when they do occur. But a submission made by Jewish alleged victims of these crimes at Chabad's Yeshivah Centre shows the depth of the child sexual abuse problem in that segment of the Jewish community – including reporting coverups of child rape and sexual abuse carried out by Chabad's leaders. It also helps to expose the JCCV's lack of action and its unethical handling of its most senior staff member, now just resigned, who is sleeping with a convicted pedophile. Here are both reports.

Note that many of JCCV's activities detailed in their submission do not appear to have gone much further than issuing the press releases. Also note that from what I've heard over the years from many of the contacts I have in Melbourne, including alleged victims in the Chabad child sex abuse scandal and people close to victims in the Adass scandal from a few years ago, the JCCV did not really follow through on its promises to help victims through its constituent organizations.

The JCCV also had, until last month, an executive director who was sleeping with David Cyprys.

Cyprys is accused of raping and molesting at least 12 children in Chabad's Yeshivah Centre and/or in related programs. But he also pleaded guilty before this having inappropriate sexual contact with a child. He was allowed to pay a fine and have a conditional release – orchestrated, I'm told, by senior members of the Chabad community.

Oz Catholic Church admits it ‘failed’ sex abuse victims


Sydney, Sept 21 (ANI): A Catholic Church in Melbourne has admitted it failed to extend support to victims of sexual abuse, and admitted that it was ‘too slow to react’ to the complaints of abuse.

Four Victorian dioceses made a report in response to a Victorian State Government inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other non-government organisations.

According to the Herald Sun, Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart said in a statement the report, titled Facing the Truth, was open about the church’s failings.

“In Facing the Truth we have been open about the horrific abuse that has occurred in Victoria and elsewhere,” he said.

Submission by the Catholic Church in Victoria ...

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne

The Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, announced on behalf of the leaders of the Catholic Church in Victoria that today they would lodge the Church’s submission, Facing the Truth, to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Non-Government Organisations.

“We will co-operate fully with the Inquiry, and in Facing the Truth we have been open about the horrific abuse that has occurred in Victoria and elsewhere.

“Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has caused deep concern among Catholics and the wider community. It is shameful and shocking that this abuse, with its dramatic impact on those who were abused and their families, was committed by Catholic priests, religious and church workers.
“In our submission we discuss the Church’s commitment to caring for children, the failures of the Church, and the developments in society’s and the Church’s understanding of the pernicious nature of paedophilia. It includes a detailed chronology from 1961 to today of such developments in the English speaking world.

“The Church, both internationally and in Australia, has continued to review and refine its processes, procedures, and practices. We put the child first, and our refined measures promote the protection of children.

Ballarat church admits Catholic clergy had head in the sand

ABC Ballarat

[with audio]

Father Shane Mackinlay says the Catholic Church of Victoria's submission to a parliamentary inquiry, which will look into how the church handled child abuse allegations, admits its failure to respond to complaints. The church says it is now facing the truth.

The Catholic Church of Victoria has submitted a document titled 'Facing the Truth' to the state parliamentary inquiry into the handling of alleged criminal abuse of children by religious and other organisations.

It says the submission talks about the clergy's commitment to caring for children and acknowledges its past failures.

A submission co-signed by 32 Ballarat victims details a long list of physical and sexual abuse at the hand of the church.

Father Shane Mackinlay of the Ballarat Diocese admits that the church had its "head in the sand" for a long time.

Church admits to hundreds of child sex abuse cases

ABC News

By Danny Morgan

The Catholic Church in Victoria has confirmed 620 cases of child sexual abuse by clergy since the 1930s.

It is the first time the church has publicly released the figure.

In a submission to a Victorian Parliamentary inquiry, the church revealed the cases of criminal child abuse have been upheld by its own complaint procedure.

It says the cases go back 80 years, but the vast majority relate to abuse in the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

Most of the cases reported came from Ballarat and Mortlake, in regional Victoria, and Oakleigh and Rupertswood.

Vic Catholics to tell 'shameful' truth

The Age

By Charisse Ede
From: AAP
September 21, 2012

THE Catholic Church in Victoria says it has upheld more than 600 cases of criminal child abuse by clergy in the past 16 years.

The church says the incidence of abuse has fallen dramatically since "appalling" numbers in the 1960s and 1970s and it has received very few complaints of abuse that has taken place since 1990.

Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart said sexual abuse in the Catholic Church was "shameful and shocking" and the church would fully co-operate with a Victorian parliamentary inquiry on child abuse.

He said the church's inquiry submission, Facing the Truth, acknowledged the suffering endured by children who had been in the church's care and the church renewed its apology to them.

Church admits 620 child abuse cases

The Age

September 21, 2012

Barney Zwartz

The Catholic Church in Victoria today admitted that it had upheld 620 cases of criminal child abuse by clergy in the past 16 years.

Most of the cases were before 1990, some dating back to the 1930s, the church said in a statement about its submission to the parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child abuse by churches and non-government organisations.

As the church has earlier said it had upheld some 330 cases via the Melbourne Response protocol it launched in 1996, this suggests that the other Victorian dioceses of Ballarat, Sale and Sandhurst (Bendigo) have upheld nearly 300 complaints. This figure has not been released before.

Submissions to the inquiry close today, and public hearings are expected to begin early next month.

The four Victorian dioceses have combined to make one submission, titled Facing the Truth, signed by Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart, Ballarat Bishop Peter Connors, Sale Bishop Christopher Prowse and Sandhurst Bishop Les Tomlinson, plus the state and national heads of Catholic Religious Orders, Sister Helen Toohey and Sister Annette Cunliffe respectively.

2nd arrest made in abuse probe at Tulsa megachurch


TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Tulsa police have arrested a second suspect as an investigation continues into allegations of sexual abuse by former employees at a south Tulsa megachurch.

Police say 23-year-old Israel Shalom Castillo, a former employee at Victory Christian Center, surrendered at the Tulsa County Jail on Thursday morning. He was booked on allegations of making a lewd or indecent proposal to a minor and using a computer to commit a sex crime.

His next court date is Sept. 28 and jail records did not list whether he had an attorney.

Youth Volunteer Gets 15 Years in Sex Cases

ABQ Journal

By Bill Rodgers / Journal Staff Writer
on Fri, Sep 21, 2012

Parents brought their sons to a church program hoping that they would grow in their faith, but the boys instead got the “nightmare of their lives,” said state District Court Judge Michael Vigil.

Vigil heard from two families whose young boys were sexually abused by 36-year-old Anthony Martinez of Santa Fe while he was a youth program volunteer at Santa Maria de la Paz Catholic Church. The father of one victim told Vigil his son, a “loving child with much faith in the Lord,” went from being a good student and athlete to being withdrawn, depressed and suicidal because of Martinez’s actions.

Before sentencing Martinez to the maximum 15-year penalty available under a plea deal for two different sex crime cases, Vigil told the families that he hopes their children can heal.

Sex abuse claims stem from Tulsa megachurch



TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- A 17,000-member megachurch in south Tulsa has been rattled by allegations that five employees waited two weeks to report the rape of a 13-year-old girl in a campus stairwell, allegedly by a church worker.

Police say the girl is among at least three victims of alleged sex crimes by two former employees of Victory Christian Center who face criminal charges. Investigators say more could surface.

Authorities have also charged five ministry employees for waiting two weeks before reporting to police the alleged rape of the 13-year-old.

Former youth leader at Southland Christian Church charged with sex crime


By Valarie Honeycutt Spears — vhoneycutt@herald-leader.com

A former youth leader at Southland Christian Church's Danville campus is accused of sending sexual emails and text messages to a 15-year-old girl he met through church.

Jonathan David Hall, 29, of Danville was charged with unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual activities.

Hall was arrested Tuesday by the Kentucky State Police Electronic Crime Branch as part of an undercover Internet Crimes Against Children investigation, state police said Thursday in a news release.

Police said a search of Hall's home uncovered nude photos of what appeared to be juvenile girls. Those girls apparently live in at least three other states, police said. The investigation is continuing, and additional charges are pending.

Sex-assault case heads to the jury

The Tribune-Democrat

Kathy Mellott kmellott@tribdem.com

BEDFORD — A Bedford County jury began deliberations late Thursday evening in the sexual assault case of a traveling preacher charged in the April 2, 2009, molestation of an 11-year-old girl.

The Rev. Walter Bradshaw, 63, of Lexington, N.C., faces 24 charges related to the sexual abuse of the girl, now, 15, who along with her mother was befriended by the minister while he was preaching at the Alum Bank God’s Missionary Church.

Bradshaw, a carpenter by trade who conducted revival services for years throughout Pennsylvania, including the Cambria-Somerset region, stopped in Bedford the day of the alleged abuse to visit with the girl and her mother, according to his testimony.

Hearing reveals impact of clergy abuse

Associated Baptist Church

The sentencing hearing for a former Southern Baptist evangelist convicted of video voyeurism offered a rare public glimpse into the emotional, marital and spiritual impact suffered by victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

News analysis by Bob Allen

Women secretly videotaped while showering or in front of a bathroom vanity in the home of a popular Southern Baptist evangelist compared the experience to rape, while young husbands described anger at being betrayed by a friend they considered a brother in ministry Sept. 14 in a courtroom in Hernando, Miss.

Sammy NuckollsSammy Nuckolls, 33, a former traveling evangelist popular at youth events including summer camps sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and more than $80,000 in fines and restitution after being found guilty on 13 counts of video voyeurism.

Nuckolls was arrested last October while staying in a private home in Gosnell, Ark., during a local church revival where he was preaching. His hostess discovered a hidden camera spy pen set up in a bathroom to photograph her as she prepared to shower.

Catholic Church in Victoria "facing the truth" makes submission to child abuse inquiry

Christian Today

Friday, 21 September 2012

The Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, announced on behalf of the leaders of the Catholic Church in Victoria that today they would lodge the Church’s submission, Facing the Truth, to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Non-Government Organisations.

“We will co-operate fully with the Inquiry, and in Facing the Truth we have been open about the horrific abuse that has occurred in Victoria and elsewhere.

“Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has caused deep concern among Catholics and the wider community. It is shameful and shocking that this abuse, with its dramatic impact on those who were abused and their families, was committed by Catholic priests, religious and church workers.

“In our submission we discuss the Church’s commitment to caring for children, the failures of the Church, and the developments in society’s and the Church’s understanding of the pernicious nature of paedophilia. It includes a detailed chronology from 1961 to today of such developments in the English speaking world.

Catholic Church admits it failed sex abuse victims...


Catholic Church admits it failed sex abuse victims, in submission to Victorian Government inquiry

THE Catholic Church has admitted it failed victims of sexual abuse, and says it has upheld 620 cases of criminal child abuse by clergy in the past 16 years.

Four Victorian dioceses combined to make a submission to a State Government inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other non-government organisations.

Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart said in a statement the submission, titled Facing the Truth, was open about the church's failings.

"In Facing the Truth we have been open about the horrific abuse that has occurred in Victoria and elsewhere,'' he said.

September 20, 2012

Did Los Gatos Priest Commit Suicide?


By Sheila Sanchez

The brother of the late Los Gatos Jesuit priest Jim Chevedden held a news conference in front of the San Jose Hall of Justice Wednesday at noon to announce a $5,000 reward for any information about his death.

John Chevedden says his brother's demise, which San Jose Police said was a suicide after he jumped from the third story of the parking structure across from the courthouse on Hedding Street, is suspicious enough to reopen the investigation.

Jim Chevedden died in May 19, 2004 on his 56th birthday and according to his brother was coincidentally driven to the courthouse on that fateful day for jury duty by Father Jerold Lindner, the cleric who was beat up in May of 2010 by one of his alleged victims of abuse. That man, William Lynch, was acquitted on July 5 of felony assault and elder abuse of Lindner.

Now John Chevedden wants the San Jose Police Department to open the investigation into his brother's death and is asking the California Province of
the Society of Jesus, headquartered in Los Gatos in a large compound at 300 College Ave., to turn over any records and documents related to the death to the authorities.

A Tribe’s Epidemic of Child Sex Abuse, Minimized for Years

The New York Times


Published: September 19, 2012

SPIRIT LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION, N.D. — The man who plays Santa Claus here is a registered child sex offender and a convicted rapist. One of the brothers of the tribal chairman raped a child, and a second brother sexually abused a 12-year-old girl. They are among a number of men convicted of sex crimes against children on this remote home of the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe, which has among the highest proportion of sex offenders in the country.

Federal officials are now moving to take over the tribe’s social service programs, according to members of the tribe, government officials and documents. The action comes after years of failure by government and tribal law enforcement officials to conduct proper investigations of dozens of cases of child sexual abuse, including rape.

While members of the tribe say that sexual violence against children on the reservation is common and barely concealed, the reasons for the abuse here are poorly understood, though poverty and alcohol are thought to be factors. The crimes are rarely prosecuted, few arrests are made, and people say that because of safety fears and law enforcement’s lack of interest, they no longer report even the most sadistic violence against children. In May 2011, a 9-year-old girl and her 6-year-old brother were killed on the reservation after being raped and sodomized.

ND - SNAP responds to rampant abuse allegations on Native American reservation

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on September 20, 2012

It's heartbreaking to learn of the extent of child sex crimes at Sprit Lake Indian Reservation in North Dakota and the woefully inadequate response to it from authorities.

Poverty, discrimination and historic maltreatment by governmental figures in no way excuses child sex crimes and cover ups. While we sympathize with Native Americans who have been neglected and oppressed in many ways, we sympathize even more with their children, especially those at Spirit Lake, whose innocence has been shattered while police, prosecutors and federal officials have moved slowly and ineffectively to stop these heinous crimes.

OH - Columbus priest arrested for soliciting sex from a minor online, SNAP responds

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on September 20, 2012

We are grateful to police for pursuing these charges. It is sad that with the advent of modern technology, the reach of child predators has grown exponentially. Because of the easy access to children that the internet provides, we urge parents to be careful to monitor their children’s online activity and report any suspicious messages or conversations to secular authorities.

We hope that the church officials at The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Columbus, OH will immediately and aggressively seek out others in their congregation who may have seen, suspected, or suffered crimes at the hands of Fr. Patrick Nicholas Hughes. The fact that Fr. Hughes was allegedly setting up meetings with these boys leads us to believe that there may be others who were contacted by him.

Poland- Photos reveal disturbing initiation ritual, SNAP responds

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on September 20, 2012

We are deeply concerned over photographs showing an “initiation” ritual posted on the St. Dominika Savio Silesian School’s website. No matter what you call it, the pictures are clearly showing inappropriate behaviour with minors.

We applaud Polish officials for getting in an uproar over the pictures and launching an investigation.

Father Marcin Kozyra, who is head of the school and shown in the photos, insisted that there is nothing wrong with the pictures. According to him it is a long running tradition at the school and no one has ever complained before.

Just because no one has ever complained, does not mean it is not abuse. We demand the Fr. Kozyra be fired from his position and a full investigation started.

A Rotten Legacy Ends – Bishop Tod Brown Retires

The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on September 20, 2012

From my SNAP statement:

Today, the Diocese of Orange has announced the retirement of Orange County, California Bishop Tod D. Brown. We will learn the name of his successor tomorrow.

Simply put: we are grateful to see him go. Why? The facts of his tenure are shocking for victims of abuse, Catholics and the Orange County community.

For more than ten years, Brown cultivated an environment that fostered and rewarded the cover-up of clergy abuse. Need some examples? Since he became Bishop of Orange, he:

– Sent his former highest ranking priest out of the country to avoid a sex abuse and cover-up deposition and then faced criminal contempt of court charges,

– Used an over-priced PR stunt to announce “reforms” in his diocese – reforms that he never took seriously,

– Kept numerous priests in ministry who had been accused of abuse, and then removed them in events that deceived parishioners and shamed victims about the true nature of the abuse,

– Currently keeps an accused priest in ministry, even transferring him to a wealthy south county parish without giving complete information to parishioners, and

Oakdale priest, 47, charged in sex assault of boy, 12

Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
Posted: 09/20/2012

An Oakdale priest has been charged with criminal sexual conduct involving a 12-year-old boy.

The boy reported to his mother that Curtis Carl Wehmeyer, 47, pastor of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul, had been sexually abusing him in a camper trailer in the church parking lot, according to a criminal complaint.

The priest owned the trailer.

Church officials went to the rectory June 21 after the mother called police and "advised defendant that he was immediately relieved of his duties and instructed to leave the premises," said the complaint, filed late Thursday, Sept. 20, in Ramsey County District Court.

Jury Convicts Amish Group of Hate Crimes

The New York Times


Published: September 20, 2012

Samuel Mullet Sr., the domineering leader of a renegade Amish sect, and 15 of his followers were convicted of federal conspiracy and hate crimes Thursday for a series of bizarre beard- and hair-cutting attacks last fall that spread fear through the Amish of eastern Ohio.

The convictions of Mr. Mullet, along with several relatives and others from his settlement who carried out the assaults, could bring lengthy prison terms. The verdicts were a vindication for federal prosecutors, who made a risky decision to apply a 2009 federal hate-crimes law to the sect’s violent efforts to humiliate Amish rivals.

Defense lawyers in the case and an independent legal expert had argued that the government was overreaching by turning a personal vendetta within the Amish community, and related attacks, into a federal hate-crimes case. But the jury accepted the prosecutors’ description of the attacks as an effort to suppress the victims’ practice of religion, finding Mr. Mullet and the other defendants guilty on nearly all the multiple charges they faced of conspiracy, hate crimes and obstruction of justice.

Catholic Diocese of Orange Bishop/Pedophile Protector Tod D. Brown to Retire--HOORAY!!!

Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano
Thu., Sep. 20 2012

Just got word that tomorrow, Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown is going to announce his retirement, and his successor will also be named.


This represents only the second good thing Brown has done in his 14 years heading Orange County Catholics--the first, of course, being his decision to buy the Crystal Cathedral instead of building a $100 million cathedral up the street from South Coast Plaza.

Bishop for Calif's Diocese of Orange to retire


The Associated Press
Created: 09/20/2012

ORANGE, Calif.—The bishop of the Diocese of Orange is retiring after 14 years as head of the nation's 10th largest Roman Catholic diocese.

Bishop Tod D. Brown will introduce his successor at a news conference Friday.

Brown was ordained in 1963 and installed as Bishop of Orange in 1998.

As head of the 1.2-million person Orange County diocese, Brown oversaw a $100 million settlement to victims of sexual abuse in 2004.

At the time, the settlement was the largest ever.

Milwaukee’s deaf survivors of Fr. Murphy at heart of Oscar winning filmmaker’s new documentar

SNAP Wisconsin

CONTACT: Peter Isely SNAP Midwest Director, 414.429.7259 , John Pilmaier SNAP Wisconsin Director, 414.336.8575

In what is being called by critics as an “explosive” new documentary by Oscar winning filmmaker Alex Gibney about child sex crimes and cover up in the Catholic Church, “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” will make its US premier October 5 at the Milwaukee Film Festival.

The film (see trailer) will be shown at the Oriental Theater Friday October 5th at 7:00 p.m. Information about purchasing tickets can be found online at the Milwaukee Film Festival website. HBO is scheduled to air the documentary on cable next year.

Gibney’s film alternates between the story of child sex crimes by Fr. Lawrence Murphy at Milwaukee’s St. John’s School for the Deaf, the cover up of those crimes by the Vatican and officials at the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and the vast, unfolding dimensions and implications resulting from the still continuing revelations of tens of thousands of such crimes from around the globe.

Critics are calling the film “chilling”, “eye-opening” and “a powerful movie which could galvanize audiences “around the world.” Variety says the film weaves” a “meticulously researched” and “staggering arsenal” of interviews, documents, and archival materials into a “uniquely devastating account of priestly pedophilia into an excoriating indictment of the entire Vatican power structure.”

Pressure mounts to stop removal of Church Watchdog

The Irish Catholic

20 Sep 2012


Garry O’Sullivan

There is growing pressure from influential political and Church figures to stall an attempt by the Irish bishops and religious congregations to let Ian Elliott step down next summer this newspaper can reveal. Mr Elliott is CEO of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC) whose shareholders and funders are the bishops’ conference, the Conference of Religious in Ireland (Cori) and the Irish Missionary Union (IMU).

Earlier this month questions were raised about the continuation of Mr Elliot’s contract beyond next summer – Mr Elliot reaches retirement age – but the Chairman of the Board John Morgan refused to say whether it would be renewed or not.

However The Irish Catholic has learned that there has been pressure brought to bear on the Board by some at shareholder level to ensure that Mr Elliot would step down as CEO next summer and his contract would not be renewed. This paper has also learned that there is a growing political consensus North and South that Mr Elliot should continue in the job and this view has been communicated informally to the Board.

Adding her voice to this consensus, Baroness Nuala O’Loan writing in this newspaper asks why Mr Elliot’s age is cited as a reason to seek his retirement when bishops and many who hold high office in Ireland are much older than him, and concludes that his age is immaterial given his record. She writes: “The question must be asked: Why is Mr Elliott’s contract not going to be renewed to enable him to finish the audit of the dioceses and religious congregations?

Priest Arrested For Soliciting Sex From Minor Online, Deputies Say


By: Alex Mazer | NBC4

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A Columbus Priest was arrested Wednesday evening for soliciting sex from a minor online, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

Patrick Hughes, 56, has been arrested by the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force for attempted rape and attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Detectives say the investigation began early Wednesday morning after Hughes posted an ad on an adult social networking site. The nature of the ad indicated he was looking for sexual relations with children. A detective responded to the ad and began communicating with Hughes.

During the conversation, Hughes believed he was setting up a meeting with two young boys, ages 9 and 14, to engage in sexual activity, according to the sheriff’s office.

Po aferze z lizaniem na kolanach: Nauczmy dzieci mówić stop


Marzena Żuchowicz

Musimy bardzo intensywnie pracować nad tym, by dzieci w Polsce zaczęły zdawać sobie sprawę z tego, że autorytet nie może sobie pozwolić na wszystko - uważa rzecznik praw dziecka Marek Michalak

Zdjęcia z otrzęsin pierwszoklasistów z Gimnazjum Salezjanów w Lubinie obiegły internet i wywołały oburzenie. Widać na nich ks. Marcina Kozyrę, dyrektora szkoły, siedzącego w krótkich spodenkach i klęczące przed nim dzieci. Na kolanach ksiądz ma bitą śmietanę (niektórzy uczniowie podają, że był to krem do golenia), a dzieci są w pozach, które sugerują, że ją zlizują. Buzie mają umazane pianą. O sprawie pisaliśmy w "Gazecie" w środę i w czwartek. Sprawą zajęły się kuratorium i prokuratura. Ks. Marcin Kozyra przyznał, że rytuał dotykania przez dzieci ustami piany na jego nogach to szkolna tradycja - forma hołdu oddawanego mu podczas otrzęsin. "Do tej pory nikt nie zgłaszał zastrzeżeń" - tłumaczył.

Skandal w gimnazjum salezjańskim. Dzieci zlizują pianę z kolan księdza dyrektora (FILM)

Gazeta Wroctawska

Ewa Chojna

Skandal w Salezjańskim Gimnazjum im. Dominika Savio w Lubinie. Na wyjeździe integracyjnym przed rozpoczęciem roku szkolnego uczniowie pierwszych klas zlizywali bitą śmietanę z kolan księdza Marcina Kozyry, dyrektora tej szkoły.

Polish police in a lather ...

New York Daily News

Polish police in a lather over creepy ‘initiation’ photos showing teens licking whipped cream off priest’s knees

By Corky Siemaszko AND Philip Caulfield / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Polish authorities have launched a probe about a possible perv priest after photos surfaced showing teenage boys and girls licking whipped cream off his knees during a bizarre "initiation ceremony."

The priest's school, however, doesn't see what all the fuss is about.

The creepy snapshots were taken during an initiation ceremony for freshmen at St. Dominika Savio Silesian School in Lubin, southeast Poland.

The shots show a group of boys and girls on all fours - some of them in cat make-up - taking turns licking white foamy cream off Father Marcin Kozyra's knobby knees.

In one set, Kozyra is sitting in a battered armchair with a rod across his lap.

O.C. Catholic Bishop Tod D. Brown to retire

The Orange County Register


ORANGE – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange has scheduled a press conference on Friday morning to announce the retirement of Bishop Tod D. Brown and to announce his successor.

Brown has served as bishop for 14 years. The diocese described him in a brief press advisory as instrumental in the recent decision to buy the Crystal Cathedral and rename it Christ Cathedral. But Brown has also been dogged in recent years by the Catholic Church's child sex-abuse scandal, and questions about what he knew.

Brown's successor will be introduced at the press conference, scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. Friday, according to the diocese. He will oversee a diocese of 1 million Catholics, the 10th-largest and fastest-growing in the nation.

The diocese declined further comment beyond what was in its brief press advisory.

Civil suits 'not best mechanism' to address abuse, says archdiocese

Catholic Sentinel

Catholic News Service

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia archdiocesan officials said a new round of civil lawsuits filed Sept. 18 "are not the best mechanism to promote healing in the context of the very private and difficult circumstances of sexual abuse."

"We have not received copies of the cases that the plaintiffs have said they intend to file, so we cannot provide more detailed information on those particular lawsuits at this time," said a brief statement posted on the archdiocesan website the same day.

"We will work to assure all victims of sexual abuse receive appropriate assistance," the statement said.

A total of nine plaintiffs filed eight lawsuits against the archdiocese and its priests, according to an Associated Press story. The plaintiffs claim the Philadelphia Archdiocese covered up abuse allegations made against seven priests decades ago.

Bronx priest working to clear his name

Catholic Online

[with video]

A former Bronx priest is suing the Archdiocese of New York for libel. Charles Kavanaugh was accused of sexual abuse by a teenage boy who later admitted he made up the allegations. However, Kavanaugh says the archdiocese persisted in libeling him anyway.

NEW YORK, NY (Catholic Online) - Specifically, Kavanaugh was convicted in a secret court trial of the misconduct and stripped of his position, despite the recantation. Later, the Archdiocese repeated the allegations in a press release.

The allegations against Kavanaugh were made in 2002 by Daniel Donohoe, who said the priest jumped into a bed with him and rubbed against him. He also claimed Kavanaugh held his hands during prayer in a manner that made him feel uncomfortable.

However, the now-adult Donohoe has recanted his allegations saying, "The statement was not true and I apologize for it." The apology was submitted to a federal court in a sworn statement.

Columbus Greek Orthodox Priest Accused Of Attempting To Meet Underage Boys For Sex Acts


COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children Unit is investigating a central Ohio priest accused of soliciting sex.

According to the ICAC Unit, Father Patrick Nicholas Hughes is accused of trying to meet two underage boys to engage in a sex act.

Hughes, a priest at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church on North High Street, was arrested on Wednesday and is currently jailed on $100,000 bond.

Hughes is charged with two felony counts of attempted rape.

Enough with evading the issue, LMU


Posted: Monday, September 17, 2012

by Editorial Board

Transparency. It’s a common theme in Loyolan board editorials about the University’s actions. But the current Loyolan staff has never been more serious in its call for transparency than now.

News broke last Tuesday, Sept. 11, that Brother William Farrington, S.J. – who worked at LMU for 15 years, from 1987 to 2002 – has been accused of sexually molesting a former student at San Jose’s Bellarmine College Preparatory and of “improprieties” involving two former students at Jesuit High School near Sacramento – both schools that Farrington worked at prior to arriving at LMU (See “Jesuit accused of sexual molestation spent 15 years working at LMU,” Page 1). Although no lawsuit has been or is currently filed against Farrington, both Bellarmine Prep and Jesuit High’s presidents have called the accusations “credible.”

Both schools made sure to inform hundreds of alumni who attended during Farrington’s tenure, urging anyone who may have been abused by Farrington to come forward. Both presidents wrote letters about the situation, apologizing for the potential harm done. Spokesman for Jesuit High School Jordan Blair is quoted in the Sept. 12 Sacramento Bee article “Ex-Jesuit High teacher accused of inappropriate conduct with student” as saying, “We are acting with full transparency. … We wanted to make sure this information was out there.”

When the Loyolan asked LMU’s Vice President for Communications and Government Relations Kathleen Flanagan whether the University would follow suit, she said, “As far as I know, there was nothing that happened at LMU, so there would be no reason to do it.”

High rates of sexual abuse of minors in Uganda 'a tip of the iceberg'

The Africa Report

Parents and children rights organisations in Uganda have urged the authorities to act following an upsurge in cases of sexual abuse of minors.

The African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN) said it had received 17 cases of minors who were raped in just two weeks.

According to the country's annual crime and traffic safety report for 2011 7,690 cases of rape were recorded that year.

"If we are to go by the police statistics, at least 21 children are defiled everyday in Uganda," said Marlon Agaba, an ANPPCAN information officer. "These reported cases are however a tip of an iceberg as many cases aren't reported due to a multiplicity of factors."

"One absurd case is of a seven year old girl who was defiled and her uterus damaged, she is currently recovering at a Kampala Hospital."

"Another case is one involving a Pastor in Mukono who was caught in a lodge with a 17 year old girl.

Five big questions about the 'Jesus' wife' discovery

National Catholic Reporter

Sep. 20, 2012
By Daniel Burke and David Gibson, Religion News Service

In a surprise announcement that seemed scripted by the novelist Dan Brown, a Harvard professor revealed an ancient scrap of papyrus Tuesday that purports to refer to Jesus' wife.

The so-called "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" presents a dialogue between Jesus and his disciples, said Karen King, a well-respected historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School.

The fourth-century fragment says, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife ...,'" according to King. The rest of the sentence is cut off. The fragment also says "she will be able to be my disciple," according to King.

The discovery that some ancient Christians thought Jesus had a wife could shake up centuries-old Christian traditions, King suggested.

But even King acknowledged that questions remain about the receipt-sized scrap, which contains just 33 words and incomplete sentences. Here are five of the biggest questions.

Pictures of kids licking cream off priest's knees spark outrage

The Sun (United Kingdom)

A POLISH Catholic priest has been forced to defend himself after pictures emerged of children licking cream off his legs.

The photos show an "initiation ceremony" at the Salesians' high school in Lubin, southern Poland.

In them 13 year-old pupils, both male and female, are seen licking whipped cream off a priest's bare knees as well crawling up a flight of stairs.

The priest in the images, who is the school's principal, has defended his actions by saying such ceremonies for first year pupils have been an annual event for many years.

Adding that no one has ever complained, he said he saw nothing wrong in his actions.

Fünf Opfer beim Bistum bekannt

Frankfurter Rundschau

Opfer erheben Vorwürfe wegen sexuellem Missbrauch in einem katholischen Kinderheim in Rüdesheim. Die Kirche sieht dafür jedoch keinen „zweifelsfreien Beweis“.

Das Bistum Limburg kennt fünf Personen, die den Vorwurf erheben, vor Jahrzehnten im katholischen Kinderheim St. Vincenzstift in Rüdesheim-Aulhausen sexuell missbraucht worden zu sein. Das teilte Bistumssprecher Martin Wind der Frankfurter Rundschau auf Anfrage mit. Diese Menschen hätten sich beim Missbrauchsbeauftragten des Bistums, Guido Amend, gemeldet.

Ob sie tatsächlich Opfer von Übergriffen geworden seien, könne aber nicht „im Sinne eines zweifelsfreien Beweises der Vorwürfe“ aufgeklärt werden, teilte Wind mit. Dieser Beweis könne „schon deswegen nicht erfolgen, weil der Hauptbeschuldigte, der ehemalige Leiter des Stiftes, Müller, seit 1970 nicht mehr am Leben“ sei.

Katholische Bischöfe ächten Steuerverweigerer

Die Welt

Die deutschen Bischöfe haben Sanktionen für Kirchenaustritte beschlossen: Wer keine Kirchensteuer zahlt, wird faktisch exkommuniziert. Die Oberhirten reagieren mit klarer Kante auf ein heikles Thema. Von Lucas Wiegelmann

Die Frage ist so alt wie das Christentum selbst. Schon die Apostel Petrus und Paulus haben sich darüber in die Haare bekommen. Und wenn es stimmt, was im Katechismus steht, dann wird diese Frage spätestens nach unserem Tod noch einmal ziemlich wichtig werden: Wer gehört eigentlich zur Kirche? Wer ist Mitglied in der Gemeinschaft der Gläubigen – und wer muss draußen bleiben?

Diese Frage ist unter deutschen Katholiken derzeit umstritten wie lange nicht mehr. Seit einigen Jahren vertreten manche Gelehrte die Auffassung, man könne auch katholisch sein, ohne Kirchensteuer zu zahlen. Es müsse möglich sein, aus der Kirche als Körperschaft öffentlichen Rechts auszutreten, damit die Steuer zu umgehen – und sich trotzdem weiterhin als gläubig und als Mitglied der Kirche zu empfinden.

Alumni should be told about allegations against teacher, paper says

The Sacramento Bee

REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK: A story about an ex-Jesuit teacher William Farrington - accused of improper conduct with a student - has sparked controversy here and in Los Angeles.

The Bee story outlined how Jesuit High and San Jose's Bellarmine College Preparatory School sent emails to alumni telling them that "credible" accusations had been made against Farrington, who had taught at both schools. It asked anyone who may have been victimized to contact authorities.

The editorial board of the "Los Angeles Loyolan" - Loyola Marymount University's student newspaper - cites the story and asks university officials why they have not issued a similar letter to alumni who may have come in contact with Farrington when he worked in the registrar's office there between 1987 and 2002. The editorial demands "transparency."

The editorial says the case is even "more troubling" because the Jesuit brother reportedly was barred from working with minors in 1987- the year he was removed from Jesuit.

Irish prime minister who attacked Vatican, to meet the Pope

Vatican Insider

[Enda Kenny's speech regarding the Cloyne Report]

Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, who attacked the Vatican for its failure to intervene to prevent child abuse by priests, will meet the Pope this week

Gerard O'Connell

Ireland’s Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny, will meet Pope Benedict XVI next Saturday, September 22, together with other European political leaders of the Centrist Democrats International Group, that is the global international political group dedicated to the promotion of Christian democracy. There is some speculation in Ireland that Kenny may use the occasion to invite the Pope to visit the country.

It will be their first encounter since Kenny openly attacked the Vatican in a speech to the Dail (the Irish Parliament’s lower house) on 20 July 2011 for failing to intervene in ways that could have prevented the sexual abuse of children by priests in the Republic.

He then accused the Vatican of putting the institution before children, dissuading Irish bishops from reporting abuse cases to the civil authorities, and attempting to obstruct a Government Commission of Inquiry into the abuse of children by priests in Cloyne diocese in recent years. He said the Cloyne report revealed “the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism, the narcissism, that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day”.

Professor discovers reference to Jesus’ “wife” on ancient papyrus

Vatican Insider

A recently discovered scrap of papyrus dating back to the 4th century, presented at a conference in Rome, makes reference to Jesus having a wife

Andrea Tornielli

A piece of papyrus written in Sahidic, a Coptic dialect of Lower Egypt, has rekindled the Jesus marriage debate. Professor Karen King of Harvard Divinity School presented the scrap of papyrus at a conference in Rome. It reads: “Jesus said to them, 'My wife ....'”.This is the first and only explicit reference to Jesus having a wife, the New York Times reported.

In her study, which will be published in the Harvard Theological Review in January 2013, Professor King warned that this finding does not constitute definitive proof of Jesus having been married, although everything indicates that the fragment is genuine: various experts have excluded the possibility of the text having been added later on, to an ancient piece of papyrus. The fragment is small, it only measures 4 by 8 centimetres and only bits of longer sentences are legible.

Professor King stated: "It is not evidence, for us, historically, that Jesus had a wife," but it highlights that the question of his possible marriage and his sexuality were often the subject of intense debate. The writing on the papyrus suggests the text was written in the second half of the 4th century. But its contents could have been copied form a 2nd-century Greek text. There could be a link with between this text and other texts of the time, known as the Gospels of Thomas and Mary – texts which were born out of a Gnostic context.

As is known, the Church only recognises the “canonical” Gospels of Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as authentic texts. These date back to the 1st century: Matthew and John were apostles while Mark and Luke were followers of Peter and Paul. Although the common belief is that ecclesiastical authorities imposed the canonical gospels over other texts which were rejected as “apocryphal”, this is not quite true. The canonical gospels were the most widespread among Christian communities, which recognised the apostolic origin of these texts and thus their link with eye witnesses of Jesus’ life. So the canonical gospels were canonical well before they were actually defined as such. A fragment discovered in the Vatican Library by Ludovico Muratori proves that these gospels were being read and venerated as far back as the year 157.

Jaryd Rudolph’s return angers alleged victim

Boston Globe

By Bob Hohler
Globe Staff / September 20, 2012

Six months ago, the Boston College football team suspended Jaryd Rudolph after he was charged with violating a female student’s privacy by audiotaping her having consensual sex with his teammate in a campus suite the players shared. But Rudolph never missed a game.

With the criminal charge pending, Rudolph has played all three games this season for the Eagles. The 6-foot-4-inch, 295-pound junior, a graduate of Silver Lake Regional High School in Kingston, has emerged as BC’s starting defensive right tackle despite a team spokesman saying before the season that Rudolph’s football future would remain uncertain until the case was adjudicated.

The female student is hurt and angry, according to her attorney, Mitchell Garabedian. He said the woman, who is undergoing counseling because of emotional distress stemming from the incident, believes BC acted insensitively by clearing Rudolph to play and not informing her of its decision.

According to Garabedian, the woman was stunned to learn by watching a televised game that Rudolph had returned to the football field.

What Scout abuse scandal teaches us


By Patrick Boyle, Special to CNN

updated 8:04 AM EDT, Thu September 20, 2012

Editor's note: Patrick Boyle is a veteran journalist who serves as communications director for the Forum for Youth Investment, a nonprofit that helps communities improve their services for youth, and a parenting blogger for the Huffington Post. He served as editor of Youth Today for 13 years and is the author of "Scouts' Honor," which examines sex abuse in the Boy Scouts of America.

(CNN) -- After being smacked in the face by wave upon wave of sex abuse scandals for the past decade, it's easy to feel nothing but angry or numb.

So Joe Paterno's statue came down, a slew of dioceses went bankrupt, and thousands of once-secret documents about molesters in the Boy Scouts will soon be made public. It's fair to ask: Have we learned anything?

That makes it a good time to step back and look beyond individual villains to the big picture. When you put together the stories of Penn State, the Roman Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts and other organizations hit by abuse scandals, you see they reacted in much the same way. Their behavior was shocking, but it was more common than we knew.

Thanks to lawsuits and news reports, we now see this: For decades, some of our most trusted institutions -- from schools, camps and sports leagues to correctional facilities, foster care agencies and religious groups -- have inadvertently enabled child molesters at the expense of victims. While leaders in many youth-serving organizations have confronted the abuse problem head-on, others routinely erred on the side of molesters, ignored the extent of abuse in their ranks, hid abuse from authorities and misled the public.

Schoolchildren 'Licked Cream Off Polish Catholic Priest Father Marcin Kozyra's Legs' In Initiation Ceremony (PICTURES)

The Huffington Post UK

The Huffington Post UK | By Jessica Elgot Posted: 20/09/2012

A Polish catholic priest has been forced to defend himself after pictures emerged of children licking cream off his legs.

The photos show an "initiation ceremony" at the Salesians' high school in Lubin, southern Poland -which Father Marcin Kozyra, who is also the school's principal, said was entirely innocent, and such ceremonies for first year pupils had taken place for years.

In the pictures, 13 year-old pupils, both girls and boys, are seen licking whipped cream off a priest's bare knees as well crawling up a flight of stairs.

Father Kozyra said he saw nothing wrong in his actions or the pictures being posted on the school's website.

Parents of some pupils have come out in support of the priest in a letter, where they claimed that the whipped cream was actually shaving foam and nobody was forced to eat it.

Probe launched into Polish priest...

Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

Probe launched into Polish priest who gets young children to lick whipped cream off his knee in creepy school initiation

By Jill Reilly

PUBLISHED:05:41 EST, 20 September 2012

A police investigation has been launched after a series of photos emerged showing schoolchildren licking whipped cream from the knee of a Polish priest.

The images - which are apparently part of an 'initiation ceremony' at Salesians High School in Lubin, southern Poland - show both male and female 13-year old pupils taking part in the bizarre practice.

Father Marcin Kozyra, who is also the school's principal, has defended his actions by saying such ceremonies for first year pupils have been an annual event for many years.

Philadelphia priest's lawyers say key witness lied to convict their client


By Sarah Hoye, CNN

Philadelphia (CNN) – Defense attorneys for a senior Roman Catholic official convicted in the child sex abuse scandal said this week that prosecutors persuaded a defrocked priest to falsely admit to sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy in exchange for their client’s conviction.

Monsignor William Lynn, 61, was found guilty in June of one count of child endangerment, and is serving a sentence of 3 to six years at a minimum-security facility. The trial judge denied bail pending his appeal.

The trial marked the first time U.S. prosecutors charged not just the priests who allegedly committed abuses, but also a church leader for failing to stop them.

Pastor of Ascension Parish suspended for abuse allegations

Catholic Philly

Father Michael Chapman, 56, pastor of Ascension of Our Lord Parish in Philadelphia, has been placed on administrative leave by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput following allegations of sexual abuse of minors.

The priest was suspended in March 2011 for an alleged violation of the Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s guidelines for conduct by all church personnel.

After a probe of the allegation by a team of investigators and evaluation by the Archdiocesan Review Board, Archbishop Chaput found Father Chapman suitable for ministry in May 2012 (background).

The archdiocesan Office for Child and Youth Protection, as part of the Honesty, Healing and Hope in Christ parish restoration initiative, consequently began working with Ascension Parish to prepare for Father Chapman’s return to ministry. Before he returned, the Archdiocese received allegations of sexual abuse of minors against Father Chapman in May 2012.

Reward offered for info on death of SJ priest


Carolyn Tyler

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The family of the Jesuit priest who died in San Jose eight years ago is offering a reward for information about his death. Police ruled the death of James Chevedden a suicide, but the family is not convinced of that. They believe it was a homicide and they want police to take a second look.

James Chevedden, a Jesuit priest, died on his birthday, May 19, 2004. Authorities say Father Chevedden, who was on jury duty that day, committed sucide by jumping from the roof of a parking structure across the street from the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice. His family doesn't believe that's the case. " I question whether he was hurled over because hee seemed to be motionless," Chevedden's brother John told ABC7 News.

In the years before his death, Father Chevedden had accused another priest living at a church facility in Los Gatos of sexually abusing him. The Jesuits reached a $1.6 million settlement with the family following Chevedden's death. A spokesperson Wednesday said, "We are not going to comment. It's a settled legal matter."

Still, the family and supporters are asking the Jesuits to turn over any information they have to police and they are asking law enforcement to open a new investigation. "There's so many inconsistencies& Suicide jumpers don't land on their back. They land on their feet or their head. There's just so many questions," said Joelle Casteix with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Challenge to Mrs. Mee's will dismissed; niece's appeal likely

Valley Breeze

By GERRY GOLDSTEIN, Valley Breeze & Observer Correspondent

SMITHFIELD - As a devout Catholic, the late millionaire Gabrielle Mee entrusted her faith - and her finances - to the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado.

According to court documents, she "worshipped him nearly as a saint."

But in the end, Father Maciel, as he was commonly known, was unmasked as a sexual predator who disgraced the religious order he founded in 1941, the Legionaries of Christ.

For years, Mee, who knew Maciel personally, gave his international order millions of dollars, joined it as a "consecrated woman" in her old age, and then willed it all her assets.

Jack Schaap of First Baptist Hammond Facing 10 Years in Prison for Teen Affair

The Christian Post

By Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post Reporter

Jack Schaap, former pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond in Indiana, has signed a plea agreement in the U.S. District Court in Hammond admitting his relationship with a young woman when she was just 16. Schaap was charged with inappropriate behavior and taking a minor across state lines for the purpose of sex, and may be facing up to 10 years in prison.

"I have agreed, as set forth in a separate filing with the Court, to wave my right to Indictment by a federal Grand Jury with respect to the charge of transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and to plead guilty to that charge," reads Schaap's plea agreement in court documents obtained by The Christian Post.

The court document also states that the expected sentence for such a crime could be up to 120 months, or 10 years incarceration.

Schaap, who was removed from his position at the end of July, admitted to committing adultery with the girl, now 17 and a church member. First Baptist Church of Hammond relieved the pastor of his duties last month after a deacon apparently found a text message on his cell phone that showed the pastor and the girl kissing.

Former Hammond pastor faces 10 years to life for sex offense

NWI Times

Marc Chase marc.chase@nwi.com, (219) 662-5330

HAMMOND | An Apple iPad, iPhone, digital camera and digital voice recorder belonging to a disgraced former Baptist pastor are among the evidence showing he had a sexual relationship with a minor, according to court documents made public Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors allege former Pastor Jack Schaap used those — and other — electronic devices when he carried on a sexual relationship with a minor, driving the girl to both Illinois and Michigan between June and July to commit the acts.

Schaap, who signed a plea agreement with prosecutors Tuesday admitting to the charge of transporting a minor across state lines for sexual acts, appeared at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Hammond federal court. Schaap was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals to await a plea hearing set for 1 p.m. Sept. 26.

During Wednesday's hearing, U.S. District Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry asked Schaap if he understood the possible sentences he could face if convicted of the charge.

'Child prostitute' links Jerry Sandusky to Brooklyn prep school ...

Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

'Child prostitute' links Jerry Sandusky to Brooklyn prep school abuse scandal and football coach who 'paid him for sex'

By Daily Mail Reporter

A man, describing himself as a former child prostitute, claimed to have had sex with a football coach who belonged to a pedophile ring which included Jerry Sandusky.

Greg Bucceroni, now 48, said he was paid for sex as a teenager by former Brooklyn Poly Prep coach Phil Foglietta in 1979.

Foglietta, who is now dead, has been accused of raping and assaulting students at the New York prep school over a 20-year period.

In a letter sent to authorities at Poly Prep this week, Bucceroni said he met Foglietta as a teenager through Second Mile charity in Pennsylvania.

'Child prostitute' links Jerry Sandusky to Brooklyn prep school ...

Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

'Child prostitute' links Jerry Sandusky to Brooklyn prep school abuse scandal and football coach who 'paid him for sex'

By Daily Mail Reporter

A man, describing himself as a former child prostitute, claimed to have had sex with a football coach who belonged to a pedophile ring which included Jerry Sandusky.

Greg Bucceroni, now 48, said he was paid for sex as a teenager by former Brooklyn Poly Prep coach Phil Foglietta in 1979.

Foglietta, who is now dead, has been accused of raping and assaulting students at the New York prep school over a 20-year period.

In a letter sent to authorities at Poly Prep this week, Bucceroni said he met Foglietta as a teenager through Second Mile charity in Pennsylvania.

Self-described 'child prostitute' ...

New York Daily News

Self-described 'child prostitute' connects Jerry Sandusky to Poly Prep sex abuse scandal and coach Phil Foglietta

By Christian Red / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

A Philadelphia man who claims to have been paid to have sex with former Poly Prep football coach Phil Foglietta in 1979 as part of an alleged pedophile ring that included Jerry Sandusky sent an email to several Poly Prep officials Monday - including current headmaster David Harman - detailing the explosive allegation.

Greg Bucceroni, 48, was a teenager when he said he met Foglietta at a Second Mile fund-raiser near State College, Pa. The Second Mile organization, which helped at-risk youths, was founded in 1977 by Sandusky, the former Penn State football coach who was convicted on 45 counts of sexual abuse of minors in June. Sandusky, who is scheduled to be sentenced next month, is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison.

In the email to Poly Prep, Bucceroni said he was “a child prostitute” and was associated with a pedophile ring that included Sandusky, Foglietta, now-deceased Philadelphia businessman Ed Savitz and former Wharton School of Business professor Lawrence Scott Ward, who is serving a lengthy prison sentence for trafficking in child porn and smuggling photos and videos of himself having sex with a teenage Brazilian boy.

The Case of the "Bishop with a Human Face" Dismissed by the Pope


In Slovakia, Archbishop Bezák has the support of the media. He is seen as open and modern. But Benedict XVI has removed him. For bad management of the assets of the diocese and for infidelity to doctrine and discipline

by Sandro Magister

ROME, September 20, 2012 – At the end of last spring, an article from www.chiesa focused on the many cases of bishops asked to resign by the Vatican because they were seen as no longer capable of fulfilling their office, or, in the case of refusal to resign, "relieved" of their posts personally by the pope:

> Vatican Diary / The "who's who" of the deposed bishops

A few days after the publication of this article, another case of this kind emerged in Slovakia.

The news is in a terse statement from the Vatican dated July 2:

"Il papa ha sollevato dalla cura pastorale dell’arcidiocesi di Trnava (Slovacchia) S.E. Mons. Róbert Bezák, C.SS.R.".

The deposed archbishop, 52 years old, a Redemptorist, has left his post and has also been obliged to reside outside of the archdiocese. But his case appears to be far from closed. It is invading the Slovakian media and dividing public opinion, Catholic and not. Leading intellectuals and artists have closed ranks in defense of this "bishop with a human face," according to them unjustly driven out for having wanted to expose the malfeasance of his predecessor Jan Sokol, who retired in 2009 after reaching the age limit.

Magdalene survivor group seeks redress

Cork Independent

Posted on 20/09/2012

by Brian Hayes Curtin

A graveyard in the former Magdalene laundry in Sunday’s Well under the control of NAMA is "neglected, forgotten and discarded - just the way these women were treated during their lives", according to Katherine O'Donnell of the organisation Justice for Magdalenes.

“The Sunday’s Well site is now in NAMA with very neglected graves without proper headstones. The graves are untended and not properly marked."

According to Ms O’Driscoll, a senior lecturer in UCD, when the women entered the institutions, they were given a generic name, often based on a saint like Mary of Knock or Mary of Fatima and the gravestones may not have had the women’s real names.

The Sunday’s Well institution was run by the order of The Good Shepherd.

“We would hope that the sisters have proper records of who is in the graveyard,” she said, adding that the victims deserved their graves to be well tended.

Holy Cross prof: Jesus’ marital status needs more study

Telegram & Gazette


Historians and religious scholars said they are intrigued about the discovery of an ancient Egyptian document suggesting that Jesus Christ had a spouse, but they stressed that the faded, fourth century piece of papyrus doesn’t provide conclusive proof that the rabbi from Nazareth had been married.

“This is a fascinating find but there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before one can definitely say that Jesus was married,” said Virginia C. Raguin, a professor of art history at the College of the Holy Cross.

On Monday, Karen L. King, a historian of early Christianity at the Harvard Divinity School, announced that she had in her possession a fragment of papyrus written in Coptic with the words: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife. . .’ ”

The eight-lined fragment — smaller than a business card — further states, “She will be my disciple.”

The revelation by Ms. King, Harvard’s Hollis Professor of Divinity, caused a buzz in the academic world and reignited debates that go back to the early days of Christianity about whether or not Jesus was married.

Program teaches adults prevention of child sexual abuse

LaGrange News

“Stewards of Children,” a child sexual abuse preventive program, was presented to adults from a variety of area agencies who provide services to children Tuesday at the First Presbyterian Church of LaGrange,.

The program introduced and reinforced practical steps that adults could take to help them to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.

This program was offered through the partnership of the Governor’s Office for Children and Families and the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, working with Darkness to Light, an international nonprofit organization. The “Stewards of Children” course is approved for three hours of continuous education by both the National Association of Social Workers, and the National Board for Certified Counselors. The two facilitators of the program were very knowledgeable and skilled in the presentation of the day’s informative, and at times sensitive, material.

Ex-minister says he paid to suppress sex allegations


By Jane Sims, QMI Agency

GODERICH, ONT. - A United Church minister said he forked over $26,000 to a man accusing him of childhood sexual abuse to keep the allegations from going public.

"False allegations of sexual abuse when they go forward destroy people's lives," said David Woodall, 56, at his Superior Court trial.

Woodall, the former executive secretary of the London, Ont., Conference of the United Church of Canada, flatly denied Wednesday morning he sexually abused two boys by putting his hand down their sleeping bags. The boys were at a sleepover at a Clinton, Ont., church two decades ago.

He said he didn't remember either boy at one of the Clinton church's youth group annual sleepover between 1991 and 1993.

New head of doctrinal congregation says abuse victims are first concern

U.S. Catholic

By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The senior Vatican official with authority for investigating priests accused of sexual abuse said that, in such cases, "always and everywhere the most important concern is for those who have been the victims of this terrible abuse."

Archbishop Gerhard L. Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said the congregation also has an obligation to ensure that the process of justice does not "become a lynching."

The archbishop, who was appointed to his office in July, spoke about the doctrinal congregation and its work in an interview with the German service of Vatican Radio. The broadcaster's English and Italian programs published translated excerpts of the interview Sept. 19.

The German archbishop said he believes he was appointed to the job because he is a theologian and, as a theologian, he will "try to understand what is ailing the church today. In many countries there is a strong polarization: traditionalists against progressives or whatever you would call them."

Minister denies putting hands down boys’ pyjamas in church sleepover two decades ago

Huron Bullet News

HEATHER BOA Bullet News GODERICH – David Woodall says he did not put his hands down the pyjamas and touch the penises two young boys during a church sleepover in Clinton two decades ago.

So when he received an email in March 2008 from a man who accused the minister of touching his and another boy’s penis, saying he would go the church and the police if he weren’t paid thousands of dollars, “I was actually flabbergasted. I felt like I was going to have to somehow deal with [the complainant] and what he had to say,” Woodall told the jury during the third day of a trial in Superior court in Goderich.

Woodall, 56, faces a number of charges related to sexual assaults on two male complainants who were young boys when a youth group sleepover was held at the Ontario Street United Church – which is now Clinton United Church – between 1991 and 1993. He was the church’s minister from 1985 to 1994. The two complainants, now in their early 30s, cannot be identified.

Woodall started two youth groups at the church: one for boys and girls in Grades 9 to 13 and one for boys and girls in Grades 7 to 8. Depending on the size of group and the year, there were as many as five adults involved. During sleepovers, the church followed the Camping Association of Canada’s standard of one adult per four youth.

Ballarat men cite long list of church child abuse

ABC News

Thirty-two men from Ballarat, in central Victoria, will allege extensive physical and sexual abuse by members of the clergy in a submission to a state parliamentary inquiry.

The statement to the parliamentary inquiry into the handling of abuse by religious organisations details the experiences of 11 victims.

It has also been signed by 22 men who did not want to detail their abuse but who say the cases presented reflect their experiences.

The statement also names the alleged perpetrators of the crimes.

An author of the submission, Stephen Woods, says it lists an extraordinary number of physical attacks on children.

Church abuse victims submit long list of atrocities

ABC Ballarat

Submissions for a parliamentary inquiry, which will look into how the church handled abuse allegations, close this week. Stephen Woods is calling on other victims to come forward.

Stephen Woods talks about the abuse he encountered from the age of 11 as freely and openly as he would discuss his first car or where he grew up.

Abused by two Christian Brothers and a priest while attending Ballarat's St Alipius Christian Brothers School and St Patrick's College, he says it's just part of his history.

"This was not my fault, that was one of the things I had to decide years ago."

In April this year, the Victorian Government announced a parliamentary inquiry into the handling of alleged criminal abuse of children by religious and other organisations.

Schism or Bust: The Irish Catholic Church in Flux

The Platform

As a historian of early modern Irish and British history, there aren’t many things that capture my attention quite like the potential for a schism, and the events currently unfolding on Ireland are impossible to ignore.

To say that it has been a difficult time for the Catholic Church in Ireland is somewhat of an understatement; clerical abuse, sex scandals, Papal tyranny, and archaic notions of society that have finally begun to catch up with those who once knew absolute power on the island.

Some say the Church has headed down a road of terminal decline, “haemorrhaging previously committed members and surrendering its moral authority”, all the while refusing to acknowledge the gravity of the issue and remaining unwilling to alter the status quo.

And needless to say the press is all over it with articles like: ‘Church in Need of New Direction to Avoid Drift Towards Oblivion’, and ‘Republic of Ireland Abandoning Religion Faster Than Almost Every Other Country’

Allegations against former music teacher Wiliam Jackson serve as reminder, experts say

The Patriot-News

By IVEY DEJESUS, The Patriot-News

Reports that a member of a church community has been charged with sexually molesting boys who were under his charge raise troubling scenarios for child sexual abuse experts.

Authorities allege that William Jackson, 57, a former music teacher at Bible Baptist Church in Shiremanstown, began molesting boys in his music class two years ago, court documents state.

Sean McCormack, chief deputy district attorney and head of the child-abuse unit in Dauphin County, said child predators usually get away with their crimes for a longer period of time than law enforcement initially suspects.

“It doesn’t surprise me when we begin investigating a case to find out that somebody has abused someone else in the past,” he said. “The statistics show that when someone gets caught, they’ve usually had X number of other victims prior to getting caught.”

Ex-Priest Sues NY Archdiocese for Libel in Sex Abuse Allegations

NBC New York

[with video]

By Jonathan Dienst and Joe Valiquette

Thursday, Sep 20, 2012

A one-time leading Bronx priest is suing the Archdiocese of New York for libel, claiming the sex abuse allegations he once faced are false, and that church officials knew it when they repeated them in a public news release.

In his court filing, Charles Kavanagh says his chief accuser recanted allegations he made in 2002 that Kavanaugh molested him when he was a teen during a church trip to Washington, D.C.

“The statement was not true and I apologize for it,” one-time accuser Daniel Donohue wrote in a sworn statement submitted in federal court.

Donohue had claimed Kavanaugh jumped into his bed in the D.C.-area hotel room and rubbed against him. Donohue also said that when Kavanaugh held his hands during prayer, it made him uncomfortable.

“The pointed finger has come back. He has withdrawn the only allegation against Monsignor Kavanaugh,” said Kavanaugh’s attorney John Dearie.

For 10 years, Kavanaugh fought to clear his name. He originally filed a lawsuit against Donohue, but dropped it after Donohue admitted his story about what happened 30 years ago was false.

Defrocked monsignor sues in NYC sex abuse scandal

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A defrocked Roman Catholic monsignor who once led fundraising for the Archdiocese of New York has sued the church for libel.

Charles Kavanagh's lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan. Kavanagh accuses the archdiocese of libeling him by saying he had sexually abused a teenage student in the 1980s even though the now-middle-aged man admits he lied.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

The church defrocked the 74-year-old Kavanagh in 2010, eight years after the accuser claimed the clergyman touched him inappropriately during a trip to Washington D.C.

Kavanagh was the archdiocese's vicar of development in the 1990s.

Defrocked Priest Files Libel Lawsuit Against Church


A defrocked priest who once led fundraising for the Archdiocese of New York has filed a libel lawsuit against the church.

Charles Kavanagh was dismissed by the Vatican in 2010 after a church court found him guilty of sexually abusing a minor.

The accuser, now a middle-aged man, claimed Kavanagh touched him inappropriately during a trip to Washington in the 1980s but now admits he lied.

Defrocked Priest Sues New York Archdiocese for Libel Over Sexual Abuse Statement

The New York Times


Published: September 19, 2012

A once-prominent Roman Catholic monsignor who was removed from the priesthood in 2010 for sexual abuse of a minor took the unusual step on Wednesday of filing a federal lawsuit against the New York Archdiocese, claiming he had been libeled in a church statement.

Lawyers for the former monsignor, Charles M. Kavanagh, now 75, filed the lawsuit in Federal District Court in Manhattan, citing what they said was a startling turn of events that took place earlier this year. In April, Mr. Kavanagh’s accuser, Daniel Donohue, told a federal judge that he had not been truthful in one of the most damaging parts of his testimony to a secret church tribunal that considered sexual abuse charges against Mr. Kavanagh in 2006.

Mr. Donohue, now 48 and living in Portland, Ore., alleged in 2002 that Mr. Kavanagh had repeatedly molested him in the late 1970s, when he was a high school student at Cathedral Preparatory Seminary in Manhattan and Mr. Kavanagh was the rector there.

According to the civil complaint filed on Wednesday, the 2006 church tribunal, whose findings were never fully disclosed publicly, found Mr. Kavanagh guilty of holding hands with Mr. Donohue while Mr. Donohue’s hand was in his lap, and judged that to be sexual abuse of a minor. The church tribunal also found “to a moral certainty” that Mr. Kavanagh, wearing only underwear, had pressed up against Mr. Donohue in bed on a trip to Washington when Mr. Donohue was a high school senior, the complaint said.

St. Agatha Catholic School Parents Seeking Removal of Priest

NBC South Florida

By Diana Gonzalez

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012

A group of parents at a South Florida Catholic school are taking action after their parish priest was allowed to remain on the job following sexual abuse allegations.

Some parents at the St. Agatha Catholic Church and school in southwest Miami-Dade have banded together to try to get Father Rolando Garcia removed.

A man sued Garcia and the Archdiocese of Miami recently, alleging childhood sexual abuse dating back to the 1980s, when Garcia was attending seminary in Palm Beach County. The man wants to remain anonymous.

“The parents are asking if he can be transferred to a church that has no school attached to it, so there’s no interaction with children at all,” parent Sebastian Rejon said. “That's the overall consensus as a group.”

Defrocked monsignor sues in sex abuse scandal

New York Post


Last Updated: 6:01 AM, September 20, 2012

A defrocked priest sued the Archdiocese of New York for libel today over claims that a recent press release suggested "multiple accusers" had levelled sex-abuse allegations against him.

Charles Kavanagh was booted from the priesthood in 2010 after a secret church court found him guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy about 30 years earlier.

Kavanagh later filed a defamation suit against accuser Daniel Donohue, who recanted his allegations during a mediation session earlier this year.

Kavanagh's Manhattan federal court filing says church officials subsequently issued a "false and deliberately misleading" statement that "deliberately implied there were multiple accusers when they knew Donohue was the only accuser."

The suit -- which seeks unspecified damages -- also alleges the Archdiocese "deliberately withheld the information that the 'crime' the plaintiff was found guilty of was 'handholding in the lap during prayer,' something no reasonable person would consider 'sexual abuse of a minor.'"

Convicted molester is still a priest

The Press-Enterprise

As we reported on PE.com yesterday, the Rev. Alejandro “Alex” Castillo faces another civil lawsuit alleging sexual abuse.

Castillo is the Ontario priest who served eight months in jail for molesting a 12-year-old boy. The sentence could have been up to 22 years in prison but the parents of the victim agreed to a plea deal to spare the boy the pain of testifying.

One question that attorneys for the alleged victims have asked me is why Castillo continues to be a priest.

Anthony De Marco, the Pasadena attorney representing the man who filed the lawsuit on Monday, said the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino isn’t doing enough to strip Castillo of his priesthood. The diocese should urge the Vatican to laicize Castillo, he said.

Our View: Bishop does right with his reversal

Southtown Star

September 20, 2012


After a disturbing decision to return a priest accused of child sexual abuse to ministry, Joliet Diocese Bishop R. Daniel Conlon changed his mind this week and returned the priest to permanent leave.

It’s clearly the right move, but we’re left wondering why the Catholic Church made it necessary — the priest never should have been brought back.

Conlon last week assigned the Rev. F. Lee Ryan to a limited ministry for homebound parishioners in the Watseka area after the Vatican had ruled that Ryan did not violate church law, apparently because the alleged victim of abuse was not younger than 16 — the age of consent under church law.

Ryan was removed as an active priest in May 2010 by Conlon’s predecessor after a diocesan review panel found credible evidence that he had a sexual relationship in the 1970s with a student at Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox.

Priest dies before sex abuse trial

Irish Independent

By Mark O' Regan and Patsy McArdle

Thursday September 20 2012

AN 84-year-old Irish priest extradited from the United States to face sexual assault charges against teenage boys has died while awaiting trial.

Fr Francis Markey was due to appear in court in Monaghan later this year for allegedly raping a 15-year-old boy in 1968 during a religious pilgrimage to Lough Derg. It was claimed the priest subsequently abused the same teenager after the funeral of the boy's father in Co Galway the following November. In November 2005 the man told his wife and a councillor after reading a copy of the Ferns Report into allegations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Ferns, Co Wexford, when it all came back to him.


Galway News

September 20, 2012

It's reported that an 84 year old priest charged with the alleged sexual assault of a boy in County Galway over 40 years ago has died while awaiting trial.

The priest was due to appear in court in Monaghan for allegedly raping a 15-year-old boy in 1968 during a religious pilgrimage to Lough Derg.

It's also claimed he abused the same teenager after the funeral of the boy's father in County Galway.

The former cleric was arrested by US marshals at his home at Miller Court in South Bend, Indiana in 2009 and was extradited to Ireland in July 2010.

September 19, 2012

Brooklyn DA to keep underage sex video locked up in Hasidic spiritual counselor case

New York Post


Last Updated: 6:39 PM, September 19, 2012

An explicit video of an underage girl having sex with her boyfriend will remain locked in a safe at the Brooklyn district attorney’s office — for now.

The tape is a point of contention in the ongoing case against Nechemya Weberman, 53, a Hasidic spiritual counselor charged last year with sexually abusing the same girl.

His attorneys want the video and related investigative files made available to jurors in Weberman’s trial, scheduled to begin next month.

They argue that the tape, secretly recorded by the girl’s father with Weberman’s involvement, triggered her “extreme” anger at Weberman, and a vengeful accusation that he forced her to have sex with him.

Supreme Court Judge John Ingram today denied the request, citing the “very sensitive nature of that videotape.” He also noted that Weberman’s name only appeared once in the case file, and that investigators never interviewed Weberman about the video. The boyfriend was never charged.

Victims' group calls for Kansas City bishop’s resignation

National Catholic Reporter

Sep. 18, 2012
By Dennis Coday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A national advocacy group for survivors of childhood sexual abuse has called for the resignation of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., Bishop Robert Finn, who was convicted Sept. 6 of failing to report suspected child abuse.

About 15 people joined the leaders of the National Survivor Advocates Coalition on Sunday in a public square three blocks from the diocesan cathedral for a demonstration calling for Finn's resignation.

"A criminally convicted bishop cannot lead. Bishop Finn should resign or be removed," said Kristine Ward, chair of the coalition, on the steps of Barney Allis Plaza in downtown Kansas City.

Ward, who is from Dayton, Ohio, said the leaders of the coalition came to Kansas City to be in solidarity with local Catholics and urge them to action.

"The courts have acted and now must the church," Ward said. "The moral issue of a criminally convicted bishop who sits as chief teacher in the diocese must be confronted head on."

'Priest of Porn' Is Arrested : Crime: Suspect wanted in Los Angeles is arrested in Spokane, Wash. Police say he led a ring that produced child pornography.

Los Angeles Times

December 14, 1989


A former Roman Catholic priest sought by Los Angeles police on child pornography charges has been arrested by sheriff's deputies in Spokane, Wash., authorities said Wednesday.

John Bauer, 53, who Los Angeles police said led a four-man ring that produced pornographic videos of boys in Hollywood and Mexico, was arrested late Tuesday night.

Authorities said Bauer is being held without bail on federal charges that he fled California to avoid prosecution. He probably will have an extradition hearing next week.

Spokane County sheriff's deputies stopped Bauer and a friend on an interstate highway on the outskirts of the city, said Sheriff's Detective Mark Henderson. A source had informed deputies that Bauer was in town for a day and was apparently headed to Seattle, Henderson said.

Blast from the Past: 'Porno priest' John Bauer dies in California prison

Bozeman Daily Chronicle

Whitney Bermes, Chronicle Staff Writer
Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012

This headline jumped out at me when I was flipping through the archives today. Quite an interesting story. Enjoy.

"'Porno priest' John Bauer dies in California prison" - By Joan Haines, Oct. 29, 1992

John Bauer, the former Catholic priest who opened Bozeman's only adult book store and became known as the "porno priest," died Monday night in a medium-security federal prison i San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Bauer, 55, a Bozeman native, was serving an eight-year term in the California Men's Colony after pleading guilty in 1990 to three counts of producing and distributing child pornography.

Prison authorities told Pete Ramsey of Santa Barbara, a friend of Bauer's Monday evening that he died of a massive heart attack. Ramsey said Bauer had been ill, suffering from high blood pressure. Chief Deputy Coroner Don Hines said today Bauer died of coronary artery disease.

Assignment Record – Bishop Daniel Leo Ryan

BishopAccountability.org - Assignment Record

Summary of Case: Ordained a priest of the Joliet diocese in 1956, Ryan held a number of chancery positions before being appointed auxiliary bishop in 1981. In 1983 he was elevated to Bishop of Springfield, IL where he served until his abrupt retirement in 1999, at age 69. His retirement was announced the day after a civil lawsuit was filed which claimed Ryan knew one of his priest was sexually abusing a child, but did nothing. Ryan had long been the subject of rumors that he engaged in "sexual improprieties" with adult men, including prostitutes and priests. In 1986 Ryan announced he was an alcoholic and underwent three months of treatment. He stepped down from public ministry in 2002 after accusations surfaced that he had sexually abused a 15 year-old boy in 1984. He is last known to be living in an assisted living facility in Joliet.

Ordained: May 3, 1956
Consecrated: Auxiliary Bishop of Joliet IL, Sept. 30, 1981
Appointed: Bishop of Springfield IL, Nov. 22, 1983
Retired: Oct. 19, 1999

The Future of Bishop Robert Finn


By Stephen Steigman and Steve Kraske

The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is still reeling from Bishop Robert Finn's conviction this month for failing to report child sexual abuse.

Members of a national Catholic organization -- the National Survivor Advocates Coalition -- on Sunday demanded that Finn resign. A spokeswoman for that group said simply, "A criminally convicted bishop cannot lead."

The bishop is the highest-ranking U.S. Catholic cleric to be convicted in the church’s decades-long child sexual abuse scandal.

Canada- Last day for residential school abuse claims to be filed, SNAP responds

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on September 19, 2012

Today is the last day for aboriginal Canadians, who suffered abuse while in the residential school system, to file a claim. After today the only way to file a claim will be through court action.

The Canadian Independent Assessment Process was created to handle compensation cases regarding sexual and, other kinds of abuse, of children in the residential school system.

While we applaud the Canadian government for creating the IAP and for extending the deadline last year, we believe putting time constraints on reporting sexual abuse to be insensitive and dangerous.

We hope that anyone who suffered abuse in the residential school system finds the courage and the strength to report their abuse before the deadline at 11:59 tonight. We also hope that since the number of abuse cases reported have “increased exponentially in the past three months”, that the Canadian government will extend the deadline.

IL - Victim of Joliet priest speaks out

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Yesterday I received a call from the Diocese and learned that the Bishop has changed his decision about returning Fr. Ryan to ministry. The spokesperson, Molly Fara, told me she wanted me to be the first to know so that I would not learn about the Bishop’s new stance from the press.

I told her that while I think the Bishop is finally exercising good judgment regarding Fr. Ryan, I was curious to know what Fr. Ryan has been doing and where he has been since he was removed in the first place. I asked her if Fr. Ryan was just an unemployed priest free to roam the streets with now more time on his hands.

She told me that he just returned from Europe where he was vacationing and that he just returned home recently. I told her that made no sense at all but she said he would be supervised.

Because of how the Joliet diocese has treated me, I'm not very confident that in fact he will be.

I also wanted her to be aware of a recent incident that happened to my mother this past Sunday while she attended Mass. I told her my mother frequently attended Mass and that she usually met and sat near a regular group of acquaintances. And at the end of Mass she and her friends would normally greet the priest with a handshake or a hug and they would express their gratitude for his message.

However, last Sunday was different in that the priest approached the group before mass started and said hello to everyone individually in the group except my mother. She extended her hand to the priest but he refused to acknowledge her, turned his back and walked away.