« May 2016 | Main | July 2016 »

June 30, 2016

Priest prohibited from serving after 'credible' accusation of 'sexual misconduct'

NBC 10

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence said Thursday that a senior priest no longer has permission to serve due to sexual misconduct.

According to a press release from the Diocese, the Reverend B. Samuel Turillo, "is now prohibited from exercising the sacred ministry after the Diocese received a credible accusation regarding alleged sexual misconduct involving a minor that took place approximately 60 years ago."

The release notes that Turillo's faculties to serve as a priest were removed in accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

"Upon recently receiving the allegation, the Diocese immediately reported the information to the Rhode Island State Police and the Attorney General's Office," the release noted. "Simultaneously, Diocesan officials launched an investigation that concluded the allegation was of a credible nature."

Overhauling PA's child sex crimes law: A rundown of what the law does and doesn't do


By Ivey DeJesus | idejesus@pennlive.com

The prosecution of child sex crimes would change dramatically under a bill poised to go to Gov. Tom Wolf's desk.

The Senate on Thursday voted 49-0 to approve a bill that amends the statute of limitations — the time limits that govern when victims of sex abuse can bring legal action against perpetrators.

Pennsylvania joined the ranks of more than three dozen states that have overhauled child sex crime laws in wake of child sex abuse scandals, but House Bill 1947 leaves a gaping void for victims.

House Bill 1947 — which passed the House in April by a vote of 180-15 — amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) to eliminate or extend statutes of limitation in criminal and civil cases involving child sexual abuse.

Here is a rundown of what the bill would and would not do:

* The bill eliminates the criminal statute of limitations on most child sex crimes.

* The bill would allow an individual to file a civil action against institutions and organizations based on child sexual abuse until that individual reaches the age of 50. (Currently it cuts off at 30).

* The bill eliminates time limits on when victims can file a civil action against certain individual defendants. Those individual defendants include: the perpetrator; any individual who conspired with the perpetrator of child sexual abuse; any individual who knew of child sexual abuse but failed to report the abuse to law enforcement or a child protective services agency.

* The bill eliminates the criminal statute of limitations for a conspiracy or solicitation that facilitates the offenses.

* The bill lowers the standard for actions against governmental defendants from "gross negligence" to "negligence.'

* The bill does not revive time-barred civil actions.

Senate votes to nix statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases


BY CARLEY MOSSBROOK | Thursday, June 30, 2016

The state Senate unanimously passed a bill Thursday that would overhaul Pennsylvania's statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases.

After weeks of debate and the removal of a key component of the bill, the Senate passed legislation that would remove the statute of limitations for criminal cases of child sexual abuse and extend the amount of time victims have to bring lawsuits against institutions.

Under current laws, criminal cases must be brought before the victim reaches the age of 50 and lawsuits against institutions must be filed before the victim reaches the age of 30. This bill would give victims until age 50 to bring suit against institutions.

There is no age restriction to file a lawsuit against individuals who perpetrated the abuse.

The bill was originally introduced in the House, but some controversial changes were made earlier this week in the Senate Judiciary Committee that will volley it back to the House for concurrence.

Senior MI6 officer quizzed over note claiming agent aware of Kincora sex abuse

Belfast Telegraph

At least one MI6-run agent was aware of sexual abuse being committed in a notorious Belfast boys' home, according to one of the agency's historic intelligence documents.

A classified MI6 note containing the claim about the Kincora abuse scandal was presented in evidence as a senior ranking MI6 officer was questioned at Northern Ireland's Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry.

But the anonymised deputy director of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), referred to as officer A as he testified via video-link, rejected any suggestion his organisation was aware of the abuse.

He told the inquiry panel that an extensive trawl of MI6's files could find no other documentary evidence to corroborate the 1989 note.

"We have found nothing that was written at the same time that justifies that assertion or nothing in our subsequent records that backs up that assertion," he said.

Church seeks to ‘out’ minor victims of sexual abuse

Baptist News

BOB ALLEN | JUNE 30, 2016

A Southern Baptist church being sued over sexual abuse committed by a former Vacation Bible School volunteer currently behind bars is asking a court to reveal the identities of two underage victims, accusing the girls’ parents and lawyers of using pretrial publicity to malign the congregation’s reputation.

Westside Family Church of Lenexa, Kan., filed a petition in district court June 15 requesting that the teenaged sisters and their parents who sued the church June 9 not be allowed to proceed with the case with their identifies protected by pseudonyms.

Church officials accused the family of “a Pearl Harbor-styled barrage of negative publicity” against the congregation purposely timed to coincide with this year’s Vacation Bible School.

“Ordinarily, defense counsel would stipulate permission to use of an alias in a case involving a minor claiming sexual abuse,” the church claimed in the petition. “Sadly, the minors’ parents and attorneys have chosen a different path” by leaking their complaint to the media before the congregation received official notice that it was being sued.

“While the Defendant admits the sensitivity of the allegations, Plaintiffs tactically decided to ‘draw first blood’ on the issue publicly,” the church’s petition says. “In time, that may ultimately be seen in hindsight to be a bad decision. However, they should not be able to hide behind pseudonyms after systematically and intentionally initiating a campaign specifically designed to damage Defendant’s reputation.”

After 'credible' allegation of sexual misconduct, R.I. priest prohibited from serving

Providence Journal

By Karen Lee Ziner
Journal Staff Writer

Posted Jun. 30, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence said Friday that a 95-year-old senior priest, the Rev. B. Samuel Turillo, is now prohibited from serving as a priest following "a credible accusation regarding alleged sexual misconduct involving a minor that took place approximately 60 years ago."

Turillo had 10 assignments in eight cities and towns since he was ordained to the priesthood in 1946, according to a statement the Diocese issued on its website.

Turillo served at: St. Benedict, Warwick 1946-1946; St. Patrick, Providence 1946-1948; Sacred Heart, West Warwick 1948-1953; St. Mary, Cranston 1953-1954; Holy Angels, Barrington 1954-1962; St. Joseph Hospital, Providence 1962-1962; St. Anthony, Woonsocket 1962-1965; St. Ann, Providence 1965-1971; St. Joseph, Hope Valley 1971-1979 and Sacred Heart, West Warwick 1979-1994.

"It should be noted that Fr. Turillo will soon be 96 years old, that he retired from active ministry in June 1994, and is living in a private residence," the Diocese said.

Christian Schoolteacher in UK Gets 22 Life Sentences for Raping as Many as 200 Christian Children

Christian Post

By Leonardo Blair , Christian Post Reporter

A Christian schoolteacher from England who police believe sexually abused as many as 200 children from poor communities in Malaysia and bragged about his exploits online, was given 22 life sentences after admitting to 71 charges of sex abuse against children aged 6 months to 12 years.

Richard Huckle, 30, the schoolteacher from Ashford, Kent, fancied himself such an expert in abusing minors, he wrote a 60-page how-to manual for other pedophiles to follow that Judge Peter Rook QC, called a "truly evil document" according to the BBC.

"Impoverished kids are definitely much easier to seduce than middle-class Western kids," Huckle reportedly wrote online, according to the BBC. "I still plan on publishing a guide on this subject sometime."

"I'd hit the jackpot," he said on another occasion, "a 3yo girl as loyal to me as my dog and nobody seemed to care."

Pa. Senate OKs child-sex abuse bill, nixes retroactive clause

Daily Times

By Marc Levy, The Associated Press

POSTED: 06/30/16

HARRISBURG, Pa. >> The Pennsylvania Senate voted unanimously Thursday to lift time limits for some perpetrators of child sexual abuse to be sued by their victims and prosecuted by authorities, amid fresh Roman Catholic Church scandals in Pennsylvania that have inflamed a push for the legislation.

However, the Senate also rejected a provision approved overwhelmingly in April by the House to restore the ability of onetime-child victims to sue for damages if they are now older than the current legal age limit of 30.

That provision has been hotly debated, particularly with prosecutors in Pennsylvania uncovering a long-running scandal in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese and states increasingly providing that window to victims who are now older.

But the provision ran into concerns from senators that it would conflict with Pennsylvania’s constitutional case law, and it was opposed by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania, which represents for-profit insurers.

Testimony done in Mount Cashel civil trial

The Telegram

Barb Sweet

Published on June 30, 2016

Testimony in the Mount Cashel civil trial ended this morning in Newfoundland Supreme Court with Justice Alphonsus Faour acknowledging the co-operation of opposing lawyers, as well as the John Does and church officials who sat through much of the trial.

“I suppose there's an element of Stockholm syndrome to be thrown together for this length of time, but it has been difficult for everyone concerned,” Faour said in thanking the lawyers for the “remarkable” way they conducted themselves.

The trial over many of its 31 non-consecutive days has contained disturbing testimony concerning the experiences of four John Does at the Mount Cashel orphanage several years ago, as well as personal details of their lives since then and various expert opinions on child sex abuse and its impacts.

A retired military man who is a John Doe in the case was in the courtroom Thursday when Faour acknowledged that he and fellow John Doe, a retired teacher, attended many days of testimony (long after they were on the witness stands.) Faour also noted one other John Doe had been a spectator on earlier occasions.

“I know for them that it must have been quite difficult to listen to a lot of the testimony,” Faour said.

Statement from the Diocese of Providence

Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence

June 30, 2016

The Diocese of Providence today announced that in accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the law of the Church and diocesan policy, the Reverend B. Samuel Turillo, a senior priest of the Diocese, is now prohibited from exercising the sacred ministry after the Diocese received a credible accusation regarding alleged sexual misconduct involving a minor that took place approximately 60 years ago.

Father Turillo’s faculties or permission to serve as a priest have been removed in accordance with the Charter. It should be noted that Fr. Turillo will soon be 96 years old, that he retired from active ministry in June 1994 and is living in a private residence.

Upon recently receiving the allegation, the Diocese immediately reported the information to the Rhode Island State Police and the Attorney General’s Office. Simultaneously, diocesan officials launched an investigation that concluded the allegation was of a credible nature.

Father Turillo was ordained to the priesthood in 1946 and had assignments at St. Benedict, Warwick 1946-1946; St. Patrick, Providence 1946-1948; Sacred Heart, West Warwick 1948-1953; St. Mary, Cranston 1953-1954; Holy Angels, Barrington 1954-1962; St. Joseph Hospital, Providence 1962-1962; St. Anthony, Woonsocket 1962-1965; St. Ann, Providence 1965-1971; St. Joseph, Hope Valley 1971-1979 and Sacred Heart, West Warwick 1979-1994.

The Diocese of Providence takes very seriously all allegations of abuse and works closely with law enforcement agencies in accordance with the Charter and diocesan policy when an allegation of abuse is reported. Church law is firm and consistent regardless of the age of the accused priest or the time frame of the alleged incident. The full content of the Charter may be accessed through the diocesan website, www.dioceseofprovidence.org.

The Diocese urges anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse, or with credible knowledge of such abuse, by any member of the church to report the information to the Rhode Island State Police Major Crimes Unit 401-444-1000, the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office 401 274-4400 or the diocesan Office of Compliance at 401-941-0760.

Pa. Senate approves controversial change in sex-abuse law


JUNE 30, 2016

by Maria Panaritis and Angela Couloumbis, STAFF WRITERS

HARRISBURG - In a victory for the Catholic Church, the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously passed a bill Thursday that bars child sex abuse victims from suing their attackers and private institutions for incidents dating back to the 1970s.

In a 49-0 vote, the Republican-led chamber approved a change to the current statute of limitations so that future criminal cases may be brought at any time. But it blocks the filing of civil lawsuits for people abused as children decades ago - a controversial provision that had been approved by the House.

The Senate bill maintained House language permitting victims up to age 50 to bring civil actions against attackers and institutions - up from age 30, as allowed by current law. An amendment backed by Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati and approved two days ago, however, stripped House language that would have made that change retroactive.

Opponents of the measure had said it would harm the Catholic Church by exposing it to liability for actions taken by bishops or priests decades ago, potentially forcing costly payouts that would harm parishes and dioceses.

PA Senate Approves Amended Sex Abuse Statute Of Limitations Bill

CBS Philly

June 30, 2016 3:48 PM By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, PA. (CBS) – The Pennsylvania Senate has approved legislation that would give victims of child sex abuse more time to seek justice, but without a provision long sought by advocates.

The Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week removed controversial language from the bill, to the dismay of advocates.

But as the full Senate voted to approve the amended version Thursday, Harrisburg area Democrat Rob Teplitz said the bill will still do a lot of good:

“We can’t provide justice for everyone, but we can provide justice for a significant number of people.”

The bill would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases. In civil cases, the measure would also eliminate the statute of limitations for most individual defendants, and lengthen the time a victim would have to sue an organization.

Senate votes unanimously in favor of final passage of bill that overhauls child sex crime laws; bill falls short for some victims left out


By Ivey DeJesus | idejesus@pennlive.com

Pennsylvania on Thursday came one step closer to joining the ranks of states that have overhauled child sex crime laws in the wake of stunning child sex abuse scandals.

Three months after a grand jury investigation found systemic sexual abuse of hundreds of children by priests in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, the Senate by a 49-0 vote gave final passage to a bill that broadly amends and toughens the law on future sex crimes against children.

House Bill 1947, widely seen as a compromise bill out of that chamber, garnered wide support from the Senate just weeks after its constitutionality was questioned.

If signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf, House Bill 1947 would eliminate criminal statute of limitations for most child sex crimes. The bill also broadens the time frame that victims have to file civil suits against predators.

The bill, however, dashed the hopes of hundreds if not thousands of victims of past child sex abuse who had look to legislative changes in the law for justice. A retroactive measure in the bill was eliminated this week under an amendment from Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R‑Jefferson County.

Rev. Robert A. Stepek

Chicago Tribune

Rev. Robert A. Stepek, suddenly passed away on June 25, 2016, beloved son of Robert J. and Dorothy C. Stepek; loving brother of Susan (Jerry) Wachowiak and Scott (Netta) Stepek; devoted uncle of Terri (Christopher) La Via, Jeffrey (Nicole) Wachowiak, Scottie, Bobby, and Brianna; proud great-uncle of Lily, Marco, Andrew, and Bailee. Visitation: Wednesday, from 1 to 8 PM. Funeral: Thursday, at 9:15 AM, from Lawn Funeral Home, 7909 State Rd (5500 W) Burbank, IL 60459, to St. Bede the Venerable Church for a 10:00 AM Mass of the Resurrection. Interment: St. Mary Cemetery. Rev. Stepek was a former Associate Pastor at St. Symphorosa Church, St. Christina Church, St. Joseph Church in Homewood, and the former Pastor at St. Albert the Great Church. Funeral Info: 708-636-2320
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication from June 28 to June 29, 2016

IL--Chicago predator priest dies; Victims respond

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, July 30, 2016

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, national president member of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests(312-399-4747, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org)

Local Catholic officials have kept hidden the passing of Fr. Robert Stepek, a predator priest who sued his victims and who died last week. Shame on Archbishop Blasé Cupich for his hurtful secrecy.

[Chicago Tribune]

Fr. Stepek was permanently removed from active ministry in 2006 when two brothers reported having been sexually assaulted as kids by him. Then-Cardinal Francis George let Fr. Stepek sued the brothers for defamation. The brothers then sued George and Stepek. Inexplicably, Vatican officials insisted that Fr. Stepek’s status be restored, despite the credible accusations against him.


We believe that local Catholic officials ignored and enabled Fr. Stepek's crimes and then compounded their callous actions by ignoring and tolerating his hardball legal tactics.

We call on Archbishop Cupich to spread the word of Fr. Stepek’s death through church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements and beg others who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes to come forward.

Once again, Catholic officials are staying silent about a predator. Once again, the feelings of his victims are disregarded while the comfort of church officials are protected. The people Fr. Stepek violated deserve to know that he can no longer hurt anyone.

We hope Fr. Stepek’s passing will bring some comfort to those he assaulted and will prompt others he hurt to finally get help, speak out and start healing.

How They Voted

The Morning Call

Bill White

The Senate is expected to vote later today on House Bill 1947, stripped of a key provision Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The bill no longer contains any kind of retroactive access to civil courts for child sex abuse victims blocked by the current statute of limitations, removed by senators who claimed it would be unconstitutional despite conflicting testimony from experts. Many of us saw this as a capitulation to powerful lobbyists from the Catholic Church and the insurance industry, which is why I wanted to use today's post to report which senators went along with this.

In its present form, the bill removes statutes of limitations for criminal prosecution in child sex abuse cases and extends the statute from 30 to 50 for civil suits. It strengthens the provision allowing suits against public entities such as public school by requiring plaintiffs to prove negligence, as opposed to gross negligence. And it removes the statute of limitations for child sex abuse suits against individuals.

As a practical matter, that last change means that 20-plus years from now, when the first of the victims now under 30 reaches 51 and becomes blocked by the new age limit, they still will have access to court action -- as long as they sue individuals, not the institutions that may have protected the offenders.

Clearly, the language is designed to defend the Catholic Church and its insurers. It couldn't be more revealing about the committee's priorities.

This willingness to eliminate statutes in all cases where the church has no financial exposure -- criminal or suits against individuals -- puts the lie to the claims that this reluctance to change statutes of limitations is about concern that old cases are too difficult to prove and unfair to defendants. Legislators and lobbyists seem to be fine with killing the statutes, as long as it doesn't cost the church or the insurance industry money.

Parish priest dismissed over ”immoral” contact with child

Radio Poland

The bishop of Płock, central Poland, has dismissed a parish priest in the village of Szreńsk, over “immoral actions” with a child.

The priest was suspended from his duties, a spokesperson with the Diocesan Curia in Płock, Elżbieta Grzybowska, said.

According to an official statement issued by the curia, the priest himself admitted guilt to the bishop.

“We express deep sorrow over the depraved action and the harm done,” the statement reads.

How They Abuse

Times of Israel

Michael J. Salamon

They take advantage of people, especially children and teens, those who are young, or impressionable and easy prey. They also take advantage of adults – yes, they know how to play to adults too.

They are accomplished liars. They know how to draw victims in with a combination of charm and threat. They can be magically captivating. They do not hide; rather they interact openly with their victims and families.

They tend to be fearless and if caught they can be convincing in their denials. If caught on video molesting a child they can just as easily deny that it is they, despite the pictures, as they are to blame their victims. Very few are willing to acknowledge that they have a problem controlling their abusive tendencies, the first and most necessary step to address their problem.

They take advantage of the fact that the organizations they work for provide them with a pool of likely victims. And if someone reports them to their superiors at work, they believe that the desire to protect the school, camp, youth organization, whichever organization they work for, will act as cover for them – for that is the way it usually is.

Abus sexuels : quatre prêtres du diocèse de Lyon relevés de leur ministère par le cardinal Barbarin


Quatre prêtres ont été relevés de leur ministère par le cardinal Philippe Barbarin pour des faits d'abus sexuels, après avis d'un collège d'experts, a indiqué jeudi 30 juin le diocèse de Lyon. "Il s'agit de prêtres mis en cause ou non dans la presse, déjà condamnés ou non", a commenté une source diocésaine. Cette annonce intervient à la suite d'une affaire d'agressions sexuelles commises sur des scouts lyonnais par un prêtre.

Le père Bernard Preynat, mis en examen en janvier pour des agressions sexuelles sur mineurs de moins de 15 ans et déjà relevé de ses fonctions à l'été 2015, ne fait pas partie de ces quatre prêtres, a ajouté la source diocésaine.

Mesures d'accompagnement pour d'autres prêtres

A la suite des avis émis par le collège d'experts, d'autres prêtres du diocèse ont fait l'objet de mesures d'accompagnement particulières. Il s'agit de prêtres déjà jugés qui vont bénéficier d'un "suivi" du diocèse.

France's Lyon diocese sacks four priests for sex abuse


Agence France-Presse on Jun 30, 2016

Four priests of the Catholic diocese of Lyon in eastern France have been relieved of their duties for sexual abuse, a diocesan source said Thursday.

A panel of experts recommended the measure, the source added, declining to say whether the clerics had already been named since the diocese's predator priest scandal came to light in March, rocking France's Catholic Church.

French judicial authorities are aware of all four dossiers, the source said.

The dismissals come three weeks after Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon, was questioned by police over allegations that he covered up the sexual abuse of boy scouts.

One of France's most powerful Catholic leaders, Barbarin has been accused of failing to remove a priest, Bernard Preynat, from his diocese when he became aware the man had sexually abused young boys 25 years ago.

Abuse victims seek expanded assets of bankrupt archdiocese



A bankrupt Catholic archdiocese in Minnesota is girding for a fight with victims of clergy sex abuse over more than $1 billion in assets held by parishes and other local Church branches that are not part of its Chapter 11 case.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will square off in Bankruptcy Court on July 7 against the consolidation motion by its unsecured creditors.

To read the full story on Westlaw Practitioner Insights, click here: bit.ly/296AC7K

Federal court records show that a Catholic priest charged with stealing nearly $151,000 from two small parishes to fund his gambling has negotiated a diversion agreement

Daily Journal

June 30, 2016

WICHITA, Kansas — Federal court records show that a Catholic priest charged with stealing nearly $151,000 from two small parishes to fund his gambling has negotiated a diversion agreement.

The agreement filed Wednesday would delay Thomas Leland's prosecution for 18 months and result in the dismissal of the case if it's approved and he adheres to its terms. The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/294ULZ7) reports that Leland is accused of taking unauthorized reimbursements, salary advances and overpayments and too much money for conducting church services while he was the parish priest at St. Francis in St. Paul and at St. Ambrose in Erie.

Guyane : 18 mois ferme pour un prêtre coupable d'agression sexuelle sur mineur

Ere 1

Un ancien prêtre catholique de la commune de Macouria en Guyane, soupçonné d'agression sexuelle d'un mineur de moins de 15 ans, a été condamné mardi à 36 mois de prison dont 18 mois ferme par le tribunal correctionnel de Cayenne.

Guyane: un ancien prêtre condamné pour pédophilie

Le Figaro

[A former Catholic priest suspected of sexual assault on a minor under 15 years old was sentenced this morning to 36 months in prison in French Guyana.]

Un ancien prêtre catholique soupçonné d'agression sexuelle sur un mineur de moins de 15 ans a été condamné ce matin à 36 mois de prison dont 18 mois ferme en Guyane française.

Les faits se sont déroulés "entre le 1er septembre 2014 et le 31 décembre 2015" selon le parquet de Cayenne. Henri-Claude Jean-Philippe, prêtre âgé de 67 ans, a également été frappé de l'interdiction de travailler au contact des mineurs pendant dix ans.

Des prêtres infaillibles au nom de Dieu


[The doctrine of the Church places the clergy above society and its laws. It embodies a "perfect model." Hence the difficulties in taking the issue of sexual abuse.]

Par Philippe Portier, Historien et politologue.* — 28 juin 2016

La doctrine de l’Eglise place le clergé au-dessus de la société et de ses lois. Il incarne un «modèle de perfection» qui ne souffre pas la moindre remise en cause publique. D’où les difficultés à s’emparer de la question des abus sexuels.

Le scandale de la pédophilie n’a pas laissé l’Eglise inerte. A partir des années 90, après que le rapport Doyle aux Etats-Unis (1985), lui-même prolongé par des procès retentissants comme celui du père Pipala en1993, a révélé l’ampleur des abus sexuels en son sein, sa hiérarchie s’est lancée dans une opération de clarification des comportements. L’épiscopat américain est intervenu tout d’abord, en instituant, dès 1993, une commission d’étude dont les travaux déboucheront en 2002 sur la mise en place de dispositifs de sanction des prêtres pédophiles.

Deetman: ‘Hef geheimhoudingsplicht misbruikslachtoffers op’

Katholiek Nieusblad

Slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik zouden niet langer gebonden moeten zijn aan de geheimhoudingsplicht die ze soms overeengekomen zijn. Dat adviseert de voormalige Commissie Deetman “met klem” aan de Nederlandse bisschoppen en de oversten van religieuze orden en congregaties.

Laatste monitorrapport

Dinsdag publiceerde de voormalige onderzoekscommissie naar seksueel misbruik in de katholieke Kerk haar laatste monitorrapport. Daarin wordt het hele verloop van het onderzoek, gepubliceerd in 2011, tot de laatste stand van zaken rond de afwikkeling ervan belicht.

Deetman pleit voor opheffen geheimhoudingsplicht misbruikslachtoffers


[Victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church should no longer be bound by the confidentiality which they are sometimes agreed, advises Wim Deetman.]

Slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik zouden niet langer gebonden moeten zijn aan de geheimhoudingsplicht die ze soms overeengekomen zijn. Dat adviseert de voormalige Commissie Deetman “met klem” aan de Nederlandse bisschoppen en de oversten van religieuze orden en congregaties, laat het Katholiek Nieuwsblad weten.

Dinsdag publiceerde de voormalige onderzoekscommissie naar seksueel misbruik in de katholieke Kerk haar laatste monitorrapport. Daarin wordt het hele verloop van het onderzoek, gepubliceerd in 2011, tot de laatste stand van zaken rond de afwikkeling ervan belicht. In de verschillende onderzoeken en adviezen is gewezen op “de noodzaak van openbaarheid en transparantie bij de behandeling van klachten”.

Indiana pastor charged with trying to have sex with minor hangs himself in Georgia storage unit

New York Daily News

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A disgraced Indiana pastor who was charged with soliciting sex with a minor hanged himself in a Georgia storage unit.

David James Brown, 46, was found dead from a suicide around 12:10 p.m. Monday inside the Attic Self Storage in Marietta, said Cobb County spokesman Sgt. Dana Pierce.

The death was ruled a suicide by asphyxiation by hanging, officials said.

Brown, who was a senior pastor at First Christian Church in Jeffersonville, was arrested on June 15 for the depraved act in Kentucky.

Archbishop Hon Replaces 2 Key Positions in Archdiocese

Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Father Lito Abad will be the new chancellor and Father Jeffrey San Nicolas will be the new vicar general.
Guam - More changes have been implemented in the Archdiocese of Agana. Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai has replaced two key positions in the church, the vicar general and the chancellor.

The vicar general for the archdiocese was Msgr. David C. Quitugua and the chancellor was Father Adrian Cristobal. In a release from the archdiocese, Archbishop Hon announced that he is replacing Msgr. Quitugua with Father Jeffrey San Nicolas, whose official title will be Delegate of the Adminstrator.

Father Adrian Cristobal will be replaced by Father Jose Lito Abad.

The release states, “These appointments were made after Archbishop Hon had spoken personally with all of the clergy on the island and many other members of this local church.

Archbishop Hon replaces two archdiocesan leaders

Guam Daily Post

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai today named new appointees to two of the Archdiocese of Agaña's top leadership roles.

The apostolic administrator named Rev. Father Jeffrey San Nicolas as delegate of the administrator, according to a media release from the Chancery's office. In this role, San Nicholas will assume responsibilities similar to those of the vicar general and moderator of the Curia. Rev. Father Jose Antonio “Lito” Abad has been appointed chancellor.

San Nicholas replaces Rev. Msgr. David C. Quitugua, formerly serving as vicar general, while Abad replaces Rev. Father Adrian L.F. Cristobal.

According to the release: "These appointments were made after the Apostolic Administrator had spoken personally with all of the Clergy on the island and many other members of this local Church. It was the result of the weekly meetings of the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese and must be seen as a collegial effort for the purpose of promoting unity and stability in the local Church."

The two appointments take effect today.

Changes in the Catholic Church


Updated: Jun 30, 2016
By Sabrina Salas Matanane

Fr. Adrian Cristobal has been replaced as Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Agana. According to a media release, Archbishop Savio Hon Ta Fai announced that the new Chancellor is Rev. Father Jose Antonio “Lito” Abad. Additionally Archbishop Hon appointed Rev. Father Jeffrey San Nicolas as Delegate of the Administrator. This means that he will be assuming responsibilities similar to those of the Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia.

According to the press release Archbishop Hon made the appointments after speaking personally with all of the local Clergy and many other members of the local church. “It was the result of the weekly meetings of the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese and must be seen as a collegial effort for the purpose of promoting unity and stability in the local Church.

According to the Archdiocese of Agana website the following individuals comprise the Presybteral Council:

Msgr. David C. Quitugua, JCD
Fr. Adrian Cristobal
Msgr. Brigido Arroyo
Msgr. David I.A. Quitugua
Very Rev. Joseph English, O.F.M., Cap.
Fr. Jose “Lito” Antonio Abad
Fr. Patrick Castro, O.F.M., Cap.
Fr. Jose Alberto Rodriguez
Fr. Agustin Gumataotao, O.F.M., Cap.
Fr. Jeffrey San Nicolas
Fr. Thomas B. McGrath, S.J.

The appointments of Fr. Jeffrey and Fr. Abad take effect today. They are scheduled to make their public Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity during the Prayer Meeting for Unity on Saturday, July 2nd, at 7:30 p.m. at Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica. All of the Clergy, Consecrated Religious, and Lay Faithful are cordially invited and encouraged to attend, the press release stated.

Vatican-sent archbishop names new vicar, chancellor

Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News June 30, 2016

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, who currently administers the local Catholic Church, announced Thursday two new key leaders of Guam’s archdiocese.

Hon appointed Rev. Father Jeffrey San Nicolas as delegate of the administrator, assuming responsibilities similar to those of the Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, a post previously held by Rev. Msgr. David C. Quitugua.

Hon also appointed Rev. Father Jose Antonio “Lito” Abad as chancellor of the Archdiocese of Agana, a post previously held by Rev. Father Adrian L.F. Cristobal.

In a statement Thursday, the Archdiocese of Agana’s Chancery said the appointments were made after the Hon, the apostolic administrator, had spoken personally with all of the clergy in Guam and many other members of the local Church.

Word of Life trial: Beating victim admits 'inappropriately' touching children

NBC Montana

(CNN) - Christopher Leonard survived the beating in the sanctuary of the Word of Life Christian Church in upstate New York that killed his brother, Lucas Leonard.

On Tuesday, while testifying against his step-sister Sarah Ferguson, one of eight church members charged in connection with the death, Christopher Leonard admitted he had "inappropriately" touched her children.

His step-sister learned about the touching during a church "counseling session" in October 2015, he testified.

"And you were telling [Ferguson] about that, correct?" defense attorney Rebecca Wittman asked.

"Yes," Christopher Leonard responded.

FINAL - Bruce Leonard Takes The Stand In Word Of Life Trial

CNY Homepage

By Tom Coyne | tcoyne@wutr.tv
Published 06/29 2016


Bruce Leonard, father of the victims in the Word of Life Church beatings, took the stand against his step daughter Wednesday afternoon. His sons, Lucas and Christopher, were the victims of the beating administered at the church in Chadwicks in October, 2015. Lucas died of his injuries from that beating and Chris was seriously injured.

Bruce Leonard has pleaded guilty to assault in a plea deal worked out in exchange for his testimony. Leonard begins to recall the events of October 11, 2015. He took his family to the church on Oneida Street in Chadwicks. He said that the service began about noon and during the dinner break he and Lucas left the church to take care of a neighbor’s dog. He added that he had to get Pastor Tiffanie Irwin’s permission to leave the church.

Bruce testified that Pastor Tiffanie told him that she wanted his family to stay after the service. Leonard said that he didn’t know that a “counseling session” was about to start and he did not know the subject matter to be covered.

Leonard testified that many people came and went at the counseling session, including Linda and David Morey and Joseph Irwin. They have each been indicted by a Grand Jury in the case. He said that Pastor Tiffanie was directing the session and asking questions of Lucas Leonard. He says that Lucas wasn’t forth coming with information.

Word of Life Trial: Father who beat sons tells why he did it


By MICAELA PARKERmparker@uticaod.com

UTICA – The teens had admitted their sins and members of the parish were committed to a resolution.

When questioning Lucas and Christopher Leonard in the small sanctuary of the Word of Life Christian Church resulted in admissions of sexual misconduct but no reasonable explanations, discipline was introduced to the session, the father of the teens testified in court Wednesday.

Bruce Leonard, 66, was asked why he took part in the whipping with his wife and step-daughter.

“So they would understand the hurt they had caused,” Bruce Leonard said. “Discipline for punishment.”

Ferguson, 33, is one of nine defendants accused of participating in an October counseling session in the Chadwicks church that resulted in the death of 19-year-old Lucas Leonard and severe injury to his brother Christopher Leonard, 17. She faces charges including second-degree murder and first- and second-degree manslaughter.

Support centre for child victims of sexual assault proposed

CBC News

By David Bartlett, CBC News Posted: Jun 29, 2016

The Kent Centre for the Prevention of Violence wants to minimize the trauma of child victims of sexual assault by creating a place where they can get the help they need under one roof.

Most provinces and territories in Canada already have similar facilities, but there is no such facility in New Brunswick.

"There is a big need to have this kind of centre here," Angele Richard, the community development coordinator of the group said on Information Morning Moncton on Wednesday.

"The rate of police reported sexual abuse in New Brunswick has exceeded the national average annually for almost 20 years now."

Pennsylvania Senate committee reveals its twisted priorities

The Morning Call

Bill White

Priorities are important, for people and for politicians.

Most members of the state Senate Judiciary Committee made their priorities clear Tuesday. They concluded that it was more important to protect the financial resources of the Catholic Church and insurance industry than to offer justice to more victims of child sex abuse, to unmask predators to protect future children and to punish institutions that have aided and abetted in child abuse.

They did this by amending House Bill 1947, the child sex-abuse statute of limitations bill, so that it no longer provides court access to abuse victims who are blocked by present law and haven't reached age 50. Committee members ostensibly did this because they believe it's unconstitutional. In fact, the amendment contains a strange preamble attempting to justify this view.

But they had ample expert opinion at their disposal to know this issue was far from decided. What they should have done, if they weren't bowing to the wishes of powerful special interests, was allow the courts to resolve that question.

The bill in its new form still would eliminate the statute of limitations for criminal cases of child sexual abuse and extend the statute for civil cases until the victim reaches age 50, from the present age 30. Those who already are blocked by present law would remain out of luck.

June 30, 2016 Announcement from the Chancery of the Archdiocese of Agaña

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agana

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, S.D.B., Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Agaña has appointed the following Officials for the Diocesan Curia:

Rev. Father Jeffrey San Nicolas – Delegate of the Administrator (assuming responsibilities similar to those of the Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia).

Rev. Father Jose Antonio “Lito” Abad – Chancellor

These appointments were made after the Apostolic Administrator had spoken personally with all of the Clergy on the island and many other members of this local Church. It was the result of the weekly meetings of the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese and must be seen as a collegial effort for the purpose of promoting unity and stability in the local Church.

The two appointments take effect today, June 30th, 2016. The two new Officials will make their public Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity during the Prayer Meeting for Unity on Saturday, July 2nd, at 7:30 p.m. at Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica. All of the Clergy, Consecrated Religious, and Lay Faithful are cordially invited and encouraged to attend.

New archbishop announces leadership changes for Guam archdiocese


Updated: Jun 30, 2016

By Krystal Paco

While he's been criticized for his lack of action since his appointment to Guam earlier this month, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai is modifying leadership at the Archdiocese of Agana. Guam's interim archbishop says the changes are steps towards reunifying the local church.

Archbishop Hon was sent from the Vatican while Archbishop Anthony Apuron has been placed on leave.

Less than a month on the job and Guam's interim archbishop is changing up leadership. Effective today, Archbishop Hon has replaced diocesan curia. In a release from the archdiocese, he announces a new delegate of the administrator, which would assume responsibilities of the vicar general. His pick: Father Jeffrey San Nicolas, who replaces Monsignor David C. Quitugua.

Also taking a new leadership role is Father Jose Antonio "Lito" Abad, who replaces Father Adrian Cristobal as chancellor. Both appointments follow Archbishop Hon's meetings with all of the island's clergy and members of the church. The appointments, the release states, "Must be seen as a collegial effort for the purpose of promoting unity and stability in the local church."

Also in an effort to reunify the church, Archbishop Hon announced earlier this week the creation of four consultative committees, which include the scenario of the archdiocese, ongoing formation, proposal for repositioning of priests, and seminary visitation in addition to a new designated spokesperson, Monsignor Bibi Arroyo and a new support and contact person for alleged victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by a cleric, Father Patrick Castro. Father Patrick is tasked with reaching out and making contact with those who have been allegedly abused in some way.

Parishioners stand by priest accused of sexual abuse

News 12

MALVERNE - Parishioners say they are standing by a priest accused of sexually abusing a minor years ago.

Father Frank Parisi, the former pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in Malverne, is accused of sexually abusing the minor at a different parish.

Parisi stepped down from his position at Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church last month amid the allegations.

The Suffolk DA's Office has confirmed that police detectives are investigating the claim.

Supporters say they don't think that Parisi is capable of such a heinous act.

"I'm sure he will be cleared of the allegations, except that now his name is now ruined," says Pat McGoldrick, of Malverne.

Catholic church leaders fight efforts to open old child sexual assault cases

North Country Public Radio

by Brian Mann (Adirondack Bureau Chief) , in Westport, NY

Jun 30, 2016 — There is a growing effort around the country to make it easier to prosecute or bring civil lawsuits against people who sexually abuse children. Many states have already extended or eliminated the statute of limitations for reporting sex crimes against kids.

But the push to punish pedophiles has met fierce opposition from Roman Catholic organizations, who say they could be unfairly targeted and their institutions could be bankrupted.

How to punish adults who prey on kids?

These proposed laws, don't just target pedophile priests. Bridie Farrell is Roman Catholic and former top speedskater. She says it was a coach, not a priest, who sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager in Saratoga County. "It happened at his house, in his car, in his hotel room. He knew the power that he had over me," she said.

Farrell, who lives now in New York City, did what a lot of children do when they’re molested, kept silent for nearly two decades. "It was 18 years later when I was 31 that I came forward and publicly told anyone this story," she said.

June 29, 2016

Swinney plays down fears over ‘doomed’ child abuse inquiry



EDUCATION secretary John Swinney has tried to allay fears about the future of Scotland’s child abuse inquiry after a key panel member quit in protest at government interference.

Michael Lamb, a professor of psychology at Cambridge University, resigned from his position on Monday, claiming the inquiry was “doomed”.

But in a letter to survivors of historical abuse, Mr Swinney said he “entirely rejected” allegations of state meddling.

Mr Swinney said: “My primary objective is now to ensure that this situation does not impact on the progress that the inquiry has made so far, and will continue to make over the coming weeks and months. I have, therefore, acted swiftly and decisively to ensure the continuing successful operation of the inquiry and have instructed my officials to begin planning for the appointment of a new panel member to the inquiry.”

Suffolk DA investigates abuse allegations involving priest

News 12

[with video]

MALVERNE - The Suffolk district attorney is investigating claims that a Catholic priest sexually abused a minor years ago.

Father Frank Parisi, the former pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in Malverne, is accused of sexually abusing a minor years ago at a different parish.

Parisi stepped down from his position at Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church last month amid the allegations.

The Suffolk DA's Office says the Diocese of Rockvile Centre contacted it originally, but some residents say the church should have dealt with the issue many years ago.

Parishioner William Brown, of Malverne, says that the Roman Catholic Church hasn't been strict enough when it comes to cracking down on abusive priests.

He says in this case, he's somewhat surprised by the allegations against Parisi, but not completely.

Statute of limitations bill back on Senate floor



HARRISBURG -- Changes to the statute of limitations bill are now facing the state senate after passing through another committee.

But this bill comes with some speculation as to what happens next.

As currently amended, House Bill 1947 would still abolish the criminal statute of limitations prospectively, meaning a future victim of child sex abuse could go after criminal charges. The amendment passed Tuesday morning in a state senate committee.

The bill would also extend the civil statute of limitations to the age of 50 from age 30 for future victims.

Senators voted 9-4 to amend the statute of limitations bill, which took out retroactivity for civil lawsuits due to constitutionality concerns. Advocates and victims of sex abuse continue to say this bill doesn't do enough and have asked for retroactivity to let the courts decide, while insurance and catholic church lobbyists said the provision would be unconstitutional.

HIA: Kincora detective told to 'leave no stone unturned'

BBC News

A retired RUC detective has told the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry that when he started looking into events at Kincora Boys Home, the then Chief Constable Sir Jack Hermon told him to leave "no stone unturned".

Former Detective Chief Superintendent George Caskey was giving evidence at the ongoing hearing in Banbridge.

He led the Kincora Inquiries from 1980-1985.

Six people were imprisoned for sexual abuse as a result of his team's work.

Joseph Mains, Raymond Semple and William McGrath were jailed for abusing boys at Kincora.

HIA inquiry: 'No paedophile ring or prominent figures' in Kincora abuse, detective says

The Irish News

Michael McHugh, Press Association
29 June, 2016

THERE was no evidence of paedophile or prostitution rings involving members of the establishment at Kincora boys' home in Northern Ireland, a retired detective has said.

The east Belfast home has long been at the centre of allegations about a group of abusers involving high-profile political and military figures in the 1970s.

There are also claims that security services covered up the abuse in order to use the perpetrators for intelligence purposes.

Retired Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) detective chief superintendent George Caskey said: "There was no paedophile ring or prominent figures involved in abusing boys at Kincora."

However children were often legitimately moved between homes as part of normal care arrangements and an individual working at another premises may have advised a paedophile convicted of abuse about his targets, the former senior officer told retired judge Sir Anthony Hart's Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry.

Additions to Our Database and Related Links


Compiled by BishopAccountability.org

This page was last updated at 11:00 a.m. on June 29, 2016. Please refresh the page whenever you visit; it will be revised and improved frequently.

Each summer, BishopAccountability.org summarizes the names that have been added to our Database of Accused Bishops, Priests, Nuns, Brothers, and Seminarians in the last year. The list is published as the back page of the program for SNAP's annual conference.

SNAP leaders are instrumental in helping survivors come forward, and our annual list is intended to acknowledge that valuable work, and also to provide a convenient list of recent additions to the database. The text of the list that we published in the program may be viewed here.

Below we provide a linked version of the list. Click on a name to view the current Database entry for that accused person. This online version of the list has been updated to include persons who have been added to our database after the deadline for submitting copy for the program. Those additional names are marked +.

Most of the persons on this list have been publicly accused for the first time during the past year. A few were accused previously, but only came to our attention recently. Several others have been included after we reexamined their allegations and confirmed that they qualified for inclusion, based on our posting policy.

Cross-examination of final Mount Cashel civil trial witness continues

The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on June 29, 2016

Psychologist Peter Badgio told the Mount Cashel civil trial at Newfoundland Supreme Court this morning he doesn't know enough about a particular Christian Brother to say if he was a sexual sadist.

Lawyer Will Hiscock is cross-examining Badgio, called as a expert witness for the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John's, which refutes claims it should be held responsible for physical and sexual abuse of boys during the era late 1940s to early 1960s by certain members of the lay order Christian Brothers at the orphanage.

The church maintains it did not oversee the facility.

Badgio, of Philadelphia, Pa., met four test case John Does in 2010. He said he took their reports of abuse as fact as he was asked to evaluate the impact on their lives, not whether it happened.

The Does' lawyer Will Hiscock pointed out Ronald J. Lasik had a custom-made strap and challenged Badgio on whether that was a tool of sexual sadism.

Social workers support lifting of statute of limitations

Guam Daily Post

Louella Losinio | Post News Staff

The National Association of Social Workers, Guam Chapter, has expressed support for Bill 326-33, the measure authored by Sen. Frank Blas Jr. that would amend current law to remove the statute of limitations in civil cases involving child sex abuse.

Craig Burns, NASW chapter president, said the group acknowledges the courage of each and every victim who comes forward, whether in the immediate aftermath of an assault or after many decades.

“Any measure to remove barriers to victims coming forward is a move in the right direction,” he said in a release sent yesterday.

According to Burns, recent events have brought the issue of child sexual abuse and molestation into the public consciousness. “Although the events being reported occurred almost four decades ago, the issue of child sexual abuse and molestation is something that has no time limits,” Burns said.

“The impact of child abuse cascades throughout one’s lifetime with a combination of economic, social, mental health and health consequences,” he said.


The Tablet

29 June 2016 | by Richard Leonard

When they come to analyse major shifts and changes in society, cultural theorists speak of “fault lines”. They sometimes apply the London Underground’s famous safety warning: “Mind the gap”. Two recent events made me aware of contemporary Catholicism’s major fault lines, and how we need to very carefully mind the gaps.

The first was a gathering for 85 well-educated Catholics aged 18–25. Quickly, conversation settled on one of the many consequences of the clergy sexual abuse crisis: the Church’s lack of credibility in its moral teaching. It appeared none of them would give the Church’s position much weight because the gap between our teaching and practice has been revealed to be just too great.

The case study in this discussion became same-sex marriage. As well as I tried to positively present the Church’s ideas about the nature of marriage – and this was before Pope Francis said the Church should apologise for the way it treated gay people in the past – not only did these young Catholics reject these arguments, it also was clear they just didn’t understand them.

Redress scheme for sexual abuse victims above party politics

The Courier

Melissa Cunningham

June 29, 2016

National party candidate and clergy abuse survivor Paul Tatchell says lives will continue to be at risk until a redress scheme for all victims of childhood sexual abuse is implemented.

A recommendation from the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse said national redress for survivors should be fast-tracked by the federal government as a matter of urgency.

Redress for survivors is above party politics, Mr Tatchell said.

“We have a directive from a Royal Commission but we are putting it through a bureaucratic and political process which to me shows contempt for people suffering,” he said.“It’s putting politics before people.”

While Labor has pledged $33 million to establish a national redress scheme, the federal government said a single scheme would take too long to complete. Instead it is pushing for a national framework of consistent principles which would underpin redress schemes run by states and territories. Mr Tatchell said he couldn’t support the Coalition’s stance.

Call to Action

Yated Ne'eman

By Yated - Jun 22, 2016

The Novominsker Rebbe, Rav Yaakov Perlow, issued a call for action in response to the festering scourge of child abuse and molestation. As a result of his seminal address at the recent Torah Umesorah convention, several groundbreaking initiatives have been launched to ensure that our children are safe at all times.

Torah Umesorah is preparing to train hundreds of principals, rabbeim and mechanchos across the country. This training will provide them with tools not only to prevent instances of child abuse and molestation from occurring within their schools, but also to recognize symptoms among students indicating that they may have been molested outside the school setting. (Statistics show that perpetrators are rarely strangers; generally, they are people the child knows and trusts.) The training program is slated to begin this fall.

Evaluating the Novominsker Rebbe’s Call to Action on Molestation

Frum Follies

An unsigned article in Yated Ne’eman (6/22/16), A Call to Action, claims fantastic things were initiated by the Novominsker Rebbe, Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, head of the Moetzet (Council of Torah Sages of Agudath Israel of America). The naïve can be forgiven for believing they live in Moshiach times. The article starts:

The Novominsker Rebbe, Rav Yaakov Perlow, issued a call for action in response to the festering scourge of child abuse and molestation. As a result of his seminal address at the recent Torah Umesorah convention, several groundbreaking initiatives have been launched to ensure that our children are safe at all times.

Unfortunately, they leave out most of the words spoken by R. Perlow at Torah Umesorah (5/26/16) and instead imply he has said all sorts of things which he did not .

I transcribed and posted his Torah Umesorah speech where he complained about bloggers on abuse, opposed extending the statute of limitations for child sex abuse, and insisted rabbis should decide whether to report abuse to the police. Most of all, he got all defensive and lashed out at bloggers as liars. He got in a lather about how much rabbonim care. But the real issue is not caring but tachlis, action.

Agudah on Pedophilia: Too Little, Too Late!

Frum Follies

I am a non-partisan critic of Jewish organizations. I will go after any group that enables child abuse. In my last post I revealed Satmar’s sad history in the case of Yisroel Moshe (Israel) Weingarten. Today I want to talk about Agudath Israel of America. They think of themselves as the voice of torah-true Jewry. Yet they are guilty of collusion with the ongoing epidemic of sexual abuse of children by frum Jews. They can hurl thunderbolts to confront a modern orthodox rabbi who ordains one woman. They can mobilize their masses for rachmonis on Martin Grossman, a vicious Jewish murderer. But suddenly they loose their oomph and speak bikol dmamah dakah when it comes to child molesting (unless of course the offender is a goy).

After being confronted by protesters two years ago at their convention they made noises about their willingness to confront the issue. A year ago, their lay leader, Rabbi Dovid Zweibel, Esq. used their convention to speak with passion about their dawning realization about the problem and their commitment to find a way to respond. This year they unveiled their response. It took the form of high profile speech by the head of their Moetzes, the Novominsker Rebbe (Rabbi Yaakov Perlow). At their annual convention over Thanksgiving weekend, Rabbi Perlow devoted over 12 minutes to the issue. Below are his words, followed by my reactions.


Let me mention something else, another painful subject, which has arisen in our tzibbur, and it’s time that we recognize it, even in public (inaudible short Yiddish phrase). And sweep it out from under the carpet.

Agudath Israel Head Opposes SOL Reform or Going Straight to Police about CSA While Complaining that Bloggers Lie about Haredi Rabbis

Frum Follies

[with video]

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about the latest pronouncements about child sex abuse by Agudath Israel of America’s lead figure, the Novominsker Rebbe, Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, on Sunday, May 26th at the Annual Convention of Torah Umesorah, the national umbrella organization for ultra orthodox Jewish schools. Below is a full transcript of the videotaped talk with translations in parentheses and my annotations below each section.

One of the problems that we are facing, more today, that we weren’t aware of, and it has to be mentioned, for a number of reasons, is the abuse of young people, b’oifen gufni (physical abuse) and molestation, al d’avoinoseinu harabim (which because of our many sins), have gotten into our tzibur (community).

Rabbi Yaakov Perlow (RYP) is dishonest in claiming they were not aware if the problem for decades. In fact he participated in the cover-up of the sex abuse of Yehuda Kolko among many other cases where molesting teachers were allowed to keep their jobs.

It is convenient for him to claim the problems have “gotten into our community” as if the problem wasn’t festering inside.

Pastor facing sex charge found dead in storage unit

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

An Indiana pastor accused of trying to have sex with a minor died in what officials believe to be a suicide, Cobb County police said.

David James Brown’s body was discovered about noon Monday in a unit at Attic Self Storage near Marietta, Cobb police Sgt. Dana Pierce told the Lexington Herald Leader in Kentucky.

Brown, 46, was the senior pastor of First Christian Church in Jeffersonville, Ind. He was arrested June 15 after he arranged to meet with who he believed to be an underage boy to “engage in sex acts with him,” Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office told the newspaper. Brown planned the meeting over the messaging app Kik and agreed to meet the boy in Frankfort, Ky.

When he arrived, he found that he was actually corresponding with an undercover cyber crime officer, officials said.

One NY-area priest convicted, another steps down on abuse charges


Associated Press
June 29, 2016

Two New York-area developments illustrate the ongoing fallout from the child sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, with the conviction of a former Paterson, N.J., priest for criminal sexual contact with an adolescent girl and the suspension of a current Long Island pastor over an abuse charge.

The former New Jersey priest was convicted of endangering the welfare of a child and criminal sexual contact after authorities say he lured a 14-year-old girl to his living quarters and molested her.

A Passaic County jury convicted Jose Lopez of luring Tuesday, but found him not guilty of attempted sexual assault.

Prosecutors say Lopez took the girl into his living quarters at St. Mary’s Assumption Church in Passaic in 2013 and touched her inappropriately.

Lopez has denied that he touched her sexually.

Defense attorney James Porfido says Lopez often hugged and kissed the girl near her mother. He says the interactions were never sexual.

Porfido says he’s shocked by the verdict.

OH--Columbus seminarian to be sentenced for trying to have sex with infant

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release, June 29, 2016

Statement by: Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511, SNAPjudy@gmail.com

A Catholic seminarian who attracted national media attention and spent time in Ohio, Vermont and Kentucky is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday (7/1) for horrific child sex crimes.

Former Josephinum College student Joel Wright travelled to San Diego seeking infants for sex.

We hope he will be given a long sentence. This dangerous child predator, who was rejected by forty other seminaries, needs to be kept far away from kids forever.

Wright was a seminarian in Columbus diocese, but he was also sponsored by the Steubenville diocese in Ohio. He also studied in Kentucky and is originally from Vermont.

Let's hope that Vermont Bishop Christopher Coyne, Columbus Bishop Frederick Campbell, Steubenville Bishop Jeffrey Montforton and Covington Bishop Roger Foys will use pulpit announcements, parish bulletins and church websites to do what they should have done long ago – do outreach to others who may be suffering from Wright’s wrongdoing.

And we hope that current and former staff at St. Thomas More College near Covington Kentucky, Franciscan University in Steubenville and Josephinum in Columbus will aggressively seek out others with information or suspicions about other crimes by Wright and cover ups by his colleagues or supervisors.

And let’s hope that anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Wright will find the courage to come forward and contact law enforcement no matter how long ago the crimes may have happened.


Berger's Beat

. . .Robert Vonnahmen, one of the area’s most notorious pedophile priests, has passed away though no Catholic official has acknowledged it in any formal way. As recently as 2013, Archbishop Robert Carlson let Vonnahmen run ads in the archdiocesan newspaper for the San Damiano Shrine in southern Illinois which the defrocked child molester operated. .

A Must-Read for Every Pa. Senator


by Rich Green

What happened to my constitutional rights? I was just a little kid (beginning at around 7-years-old and continued until I was nearly 15). I was raped! I was physically, psychologically, and sexually tortured by grown men who were entrusted to protect me, not abuse me!

The only real justice in this life seems to be the kind some people purchase with secret handshakes, promises of favors returned, and the enormity of money and power offered for ignoring evil.

However, I’m not surprised with this decision. I haven’t had faith in much of anything in a very long time. I suppose it has something to do with my body being forced against a urinal in the boys bathroom at school, humiliated with my trousers and underwear being yanked down below my knees, threatened with physical harm, and then raped. He told me to shut up and stand still. I tried desperately to stay quiet, but as my front torso was being shoved against the inside of the urinal I was screaming in my mind. I can still hear myself silently suffering all alone, and I can still feel the chill against my face and the salty moisture on my lips from the tears beading down the tile wall he pressed my face against it. When the pain became too much, I shouted and I tried wedging myself away from between he and the urinal.

He became so enraged he grabbed my testicles and squeezed one so hard that it was severely painful, and beyond uncomfortable for me to walk, sit still, and use the bathroom for weeks. After he was through with me, he told me to get dressed and go home. I realized then that he’d actually penetrated me so forcefully and violently that I was bleeding from his evil intrusion. I returned home after school, I ran upstairs to my bedroom, closed the door, and hid beneath the blanket in bed. I don’t believe I slept for even one second of that night following the day Rev. John J. McDevitt told me “this is what guys do together. I’m teaching you to be a man. God approves.”

Urgent: Call Pa. Senators Now


Provided by FASCA – Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse

If you ever wanted to do something to support victims of child sex abuse, protect children and expose hidden predators, IT IS NOW! HB 1947 was brutally amended by the PA Senate Judiciary Committee today.

It went to the full Senate today and was referred to Appropriations. This is normal to assess the fiscal impact of the bill.

It will come back to Senate for a vote as early as tomorrow but could be Thursday also.
Several legislators have come up with a plan on how to get the bill back to its original language, eliminating the new amendment, putting back the section related to retroactivity and get it to the governor’s desk ASAP. Gov. Wolf has previously stated he would sign the bill in its original form.

This is how you can help:

Call your Senator TODAY. (You can leave a voice message!) Find your Senator here. It’s in the column on left.

Simply ask them to: “Support the motion to revert HB 1947 to the original printer’s number.”

Share this email with family and friends. Ask them to call also.”

I know this likely doesn’t make any sense to you, but it will to the Senators. (It’s a procedural move that can accomplish good things!)

John Salveson (215) 870-0680 salveson@abolishsexabuse.org
Marie Whitehead 215-439-0536 mwhitehead@abolishsexabuse.org

Scottish child abuse inquiry witnesses 'deserve answers'

BBC News

The credibility of the Scottish government's child abuse inquiry is at risk after a key panel member resigned, an abuse survivors group has said.

Psychology professor Michael Lamb stood down on Tuesday over what he claimed were "repeated" threats" to the inquiry's independence.

Helen Holland, from In Care Survivors, said those who had already given evidence deserved answers quickly.

The Scottish government has rejected Prof Lamb's comments.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry - which concerns historical allegations in Scotland - will examine the extent of abuse of children in care, and identify any systemic failures.

It launched a formal call for evidence in March, but has already heard from some seriously ill or very elderly survivors.

Prosecutors are investigating allegations that a Long Island Catholic priest had sexually abused a minor years ago

Daily Journal

June 29, 2016

CENTRAL ISLIP, New York — Prosecutors are investigating allegations that a Long Island Catholic priest had sexually abused a minor years ago.

Newsday (http://nwsdy.li/29exuq2 ) reports that the Suffolk County District Attorney's office said Tuesday it received a complaint from the Dioceses of Rockville Centre regarding the allegations against the Rev. Frank Parisi.

Parisi has been pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in Malverne for the past 11 years.

In a note published in the June 19 parish bulletin, Parisi said he was voluntarily stepping down until "I have been cleared" of the allegations.

MissBiT - Sexueller Missbrauch durch Angehörige der katholischen Kirche im Bistum Trier


[Bishop Stephan Ackermann: Why not mention how many perpetrators were added under your responsibility in the diocese of Trier and in how many cases you ever have a responsibility that no evidence of sexual assault can be found in the personal files?]

Bischof Dr. Stephan Ackermann: Warum erwähnen Sie nicht, wie viele Täter unter Ihrer Verantwortung im Bistum Trier versetzt wurden und in wie vielen Fällen Sie selber die Verantwortung dafür tragen, dass keine Hinweise auf sexuelle Übergriffe in den Personalakten zu finden sind?

"Oft gibt es in den Personalakten aber keine Hinweise auf sexuelle Übergriffe", sagt Bischof Stephan Ackermann, Beauftragter der Bischofskonferenz für Fragen sexuellen Missbrauchs. In einer Sache ist sich Bischof Stephan Ackermann sicher: "Es gibt keine Anhaltspunkte für die massenhafte (!) Vernichtung von Akten von Missbrauchsfällen."

Forschungsverbundprojekt „Sexueller Missbrauch“ – Zwischenstand

Deutsche Bischofskonferenz

[The German Bishops 'Conference presented on 24 March 2014 in Bonn the interdisciplinary research project "Sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests, deacons and male members of religious orders in the German Bishops' Conference". Since then, several subprojects are under way, which have now been presented in a first intermediate information from the research consortium led by Prof. Dr. Harald Dressing (Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim). Below we document the presentation of the research consortium, in which the sub-projects, and findings from international studies.]

Die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz hat am 24. März 2014 in Bonn das interdisziplinäre Forschungsverbundprojekt „Sexueller Missbrauch an Minderjährigen durch katholische Priester, Diakone und männliche Ordensangehörige im Bereich der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz“ vorgestellt. Seitdem sind mehrere Teilprojekte angelaufen, die jetzt in einer ersten Zwischeninformation vom Forschungskonsortium um Prof. Dr. Harald Dreßing (Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit Mannheim) vorgestellt wurden. Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir die Präsentation des Forschungskonsortiums, in der die Teilprojekte und Erkenntnisse aus internationalen Studien vorgestellt werden.

Die Präsentation ist untenstehend als pdf-Datei verfügbar.

Weitere Informationen sind im Dossier „Thema: Sexueller Missbrauch“ zu finden.

Dateien:28.06.2016: Zwischenstand Forschungsverbundprojekt „Sexueller Missbrauch“ (MHG-Studie)

NBSCCCI review of Implementation of Recommendations of the 3rd and 8th Tranches of Safeguarding Reviews reported on in September 2015

National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church

Click here to download the overview report

Innocence of accused priests should be emphasised - report

Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Public announcements by the church that a priest is standing aside from ministry due to child abuse allegations should emphasise the presumption of innocence, updated Catholic Church child protection guidelines have said.

Published by the Church’s child protection body, its National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC), the guidelines also emphasise that in such cases, while parishioners cannot be told everything, “what they are told should be the truth.”

The Guidance on Child Safeguarding seven documents, published on Wednesday morning, also advise that when an accused priest dies before an investigation has concluded “careful thought should be given by the Church authority to the way the requiem liturgy and internment is conducted. Publicly praising the respondent’s qualities as a priest could have a seriously detrimental impact on complainants.”

Once again the inviolability of the confessional is reiterated. While “all suspicions, concerns and allegations of child abuse must be reported to the statutory authorities,” they state that “there is one exception to this rule. That is “if abuse is disclosed during the Sacrament of Reconciliation,” the documents say.

KY--Accused predatory minister dies; Victims respond

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

An accused child predator has passed away. We hope his death will prompt others who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes to come forward.

[News and Tribune]

Rev. David James Brown was arrested earlier this month and charged with use of electronic communications to procure a minor for sex. He headed First Christian Church in Jeffersonville.

We hope his colleagues and congregants now do all they can to reach out to others who may have been hurt by Rev. Brown.

No matter what church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

'Spotlight' Helped Dennis Hastert Victim Tell His Story


By Scott Viau (Patch Staff) - June 27, 2016

One of Dennis Hastert’s sexual abuse victims says the movie “Spotlight” helped him gather the courage to share his story.

Scott Cross spoke during a Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests news conference and award ceremony Sunday in Chicago. Cross said during Dennis Hastert’s sentencing that he was a “key figure in my life, as a coach and a teacher.

“The movie ‘Spotlight” was a very powerful moment for me as I struggled talking to my wife about this,” Cross said in a YouTube video of his speech posted by the Chicago Sun-Times. At the behest of his wife, Cross watched the movie alone, which helped him make the decision to come forward.

Cross said Hastert asking his brother, Illinois Rep. Tom Cross, for a letter of support also was a deciding factor.

“As I had gone into therapy, I had been looking for some thoughts on a sign of what to do. And there were several signs that came to me that said I should come forward,” Cross said.

Catholic Church takes needed step toward healing on sexual abuse cases

Kansas City Star

The Editorial Board

The special Service of Lament on Sunday was a positive, public step toward healing from decades of sexual abuse by priests within the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

It follows long-needed efforts by the Vatican last year to crack down on bishops who cover up for priests who molest children.

Under that pressure, Bishop Robert W. Finn finally resigned as leader of the diocese in April 2015. That action was too long in coming; it was three years after he was convicted of failing to report suspected child abuse by a priest, Shawn Ratigan.

Ratigan, who has been removed from the priesthood, pleaded guilty in 2013 to federal charges of producing and attempting to produce child pornography and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

NJ--Predator priest is found guilty; Victims respond

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

We’re relieved and grateful that a Paterson priest has been found guilty of child sex crimes. We applaud the brave girl who reported her suffering and hope this verdict brings her and her family some well-deserved consolation.

[The Record]

We also hope this verdict will bring solace to others who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes or cover ups in Paterson, by Fr. Jose Lopez or other clerics. And we hope these individuals will find the strength to speak up, expose wrongdoers, call police and start healing.

Finally, we hope Paterson Bishop Arthur Serratelli will

--aggressively use church bulletins, pulpit announcements and parish websites to find others with information or suspicions about Fr. Lopez and beg them to call law enforcement. It's important that courts, prosecutors and cops know as much as possible about criminals before they’re sentenced.

--insist that his flock stop publicly rallying around a now-proven predator. That kind of callousness only deters other victims of horrific sexual violence into staying silent, which enables child molesters to hurt more kids.

No matter what church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

Child protection loopholes a 'national disgrace', royal commission told

Sydney Morning Herald

[with video]

Sexual predators can move freely between youth organisations by exploiting nationally inconsistent child protection laws and loopholes in background checks, a royal commission has heard.

Giving evidence on the seventh day of a public inquiry into the Australian Defence Force, retired Air Commodore Dennis Green agreed the situation created risks for youngsters.

Commodore Green is a former director general of the Australian Air Force Cadets, where the commission has heard a number of teenagers suffered sexual abuse.

Invitation from the Apostolic Administrator

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agana

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, S.D.B., Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Agaña, cordially invites and encourages all of the clergy, consecrated religious, and lay faithful of the diocese to participate in a

Prayer Meeting for UNITY
this coming Saturday, July 2, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagatña.

New archbishop invites community to prayer service


Updated: Jun 28, 2016
By Krystal Paco

While he's being criticized for lack of action, in the latest issue of Umatuna Si Yu'os, Vatican-appointed apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai assures the community he continues to meet with clergy, religious, and others of the archdiocese including the council of priests and college of consultors. He wrote, "During my meetings and visits I have become aware of the hurt and suffering that is present in the archdiocese and would like to assure the people of God that all the clergy will work together for the unity of this local church and that prayers will be offered for those who have experienced suffering and pain in the past; for healing, strength, and renewed hope for the future."

On Saturday, Archbishop Hon also invites the community for a prayer meeting for unity set for 7:30 p.m. at the Agana Cathedral.

El escándalo llega hasta la cúpula

Pagina 12

[The scandal reaches the dome: The Public Prosecutor presented wiretaps as evidence of the active participation of the highest ecclesiastical authority to protect Nestor Monzon, priest accused of aggravated sexual abuse to a child of three years.]

Por Juan Carlos Tizziani
Desde Santa Fe

La semana pasada, el Ministerio Público de la Acusación ponderó las escuchas telefónicas al cura de Reconquista, Néstor Monzón, como pruebas de que "la Iglesia puso en marcha todo su aparato para proteger" al sacerdote que estuvo 60 días en prisión domiciliaria por supuesto "abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante" a una niña de 3 años. Así lo planteó en la audiencia del martes, ante juez Irineo Berzano, quien -a pesar de las evidencias- dejó en libertad a Monzón. Ayer, el fiscal Alejandro Rodríguez avanzó en el destape: acusó a la abogada del Obispado de Reconquista, Gabriela Contepomi, por supuesto "encubrimiento agravado" a Monzón. "Lo ayudó a hacer desaparecer pruebas de sus delitos, le dijo reiteradamente que borre todo. Lo repitió en siete oportunidades y esto es lo que hemos imputado", explicó el fiscal. Los otros en la mira son el obispo de Reconquista, Angel José Macín, a quien la querella ya denunció por el mismo cargo que pesa sobre Contepomi y podría ser imputado en los próximos días, según fuentes consultadas por Rosario/12. Y su antecesor y hoy obispo de Posadas, Juan Martínez, al que otro fiscal que interviene en la causa, Rubén Martínez, lo acusa de haberlo "abordado" afuera del Tribunal -en la audiencia imputativa a Monzón- con "una actitud de entorpecimiento de su trabajo investigativo". El fiscal regional Eladio García ya dijo en público que "hay un encubrimiento claro", así que ahora evalúa si el Ministerio Público imputará a los dos obispos. Mientras que Macín escribió una carta a la "querida comunidad diocesana de Reconquista" en la que pidió "perdón por el escándalo" y se declaró dispuesto "a colaborar con la justicia".

Diagnosis denied

The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on June 28, 2016

A clinical psychologist told a civil trial Tuesday that sexual abuse at Mount Cashel did not result in any permanent diagnosis of psychological disorders for the John Does in the case.

Peter Badgio of Philadelphia, Pa., also discounted a theory that severe beatings — including an infamous shower incident — of one of the John Does was sexual sadism.

Four test case John Does claim the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s should be held liable for the sexual and physical abuse perpetrated by certain members of the lay order Irish Christian Brothers at the orphanage during the late 1940s to early 1960s.

The church says it did not operate the orphanage, and therefore is not responsible.

Badgio was originally retained by the Christian Brothers, but they are no longer defendants in the case, as they are bankrupt. He was called to the stand Tuesday by Chris Blom, a lawyer for the Episcopal Corp.

Child sex abuse bill passes senate committee

We Are Central PA

By Lauren Handley | lhandley@wtajtv.com
Published 06/28 2016

Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pa.

House Bill 1947, the legislation that would change the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases, passed the Senate Committee Tuesday, but not before some changes were made.

The bill was first stripped of the amendment that would make it retroactive.

According to Senator John Eichelberger (R) representing the 30th District, the Senate Committee eliminated the statute of limitations for civil and criminal actions. This essentially puts no cap on the time frame a person may seek jutice. It also expanded the people who could be sued in civil lawsuits. That means, those who covered it up could also be sued.

Representative Mark Rozzi (D) of Berks County disagrees. He said the changes make it so only perpetrators can be sued, not the institutions. He added he thinks the new amendments are ridiculous.

"They got everything they wanted today," he said. "Not only were they the criminals committing the crimes but they got the right legislation that protects them. At the end of the day, you know, this amendment is ********. They did it to protect the church. Scarnati was the hit man that did it."

Word of Life church trial video: Sister tells of abuse, how pastor called out brother


[with video]

By Elizabeth Doran | edoran@syracuse.com

UTICA, NY - Grace Leonard, sister of two teens beaten at the Word of Life Christian Church near Utica, testified Tuesday about abuse she said she suffered at the hands of her brothers.

She also described how the church pastor, Tiffanie Irwin, called out her brother, Lucas Leonard, in church and asked him to stand up and say why he wanted to leave the church. Grace Leonard testified her brother said he wanted to leave the church so he could molest little girls and get away with it.

Grace Leonard, 16, who was testifying in the trial of her sister, Sarah Ferguson, said the beatings happened in a counseling session after Sunday church service on Oct. 11, 2015.

Sarah Ferguson is accused of taking part in the beatings that killed one of her half-brothers, 19-year-old Lucas Leonard, and severely injured another half-brother, Christopher Leonard, 17, at the church in New Hartford.

Survivor of Alleged Upstate New York Church Beatings Admits to Molesting Half-Sister's Children

People Magazine

BY CHRIS HARRIS @chrisharrisment 06/28/2016

Christopher Leonard, the 17-year-old survivor of an alleged prolonged beating last fall inside a secretive upstate New York church, admitted while testifying on Monday he "inappropriately" touched several children, PEOPLE learns.

The unexpected revelation came during the third day of the murder trial for Leonard's half-sister, Sarah Ferguson, as he recalled the events of Oct. 12, 2015.

That evening, Leonard and his 19-year-old brother, Lucas, were allegedly whipped and pummeled by several church members, including their own parents. The alleged violence lasted more than a dozen hours, and Lucas eventually died from injuries he'd sustained.

Prosecutors contend the alleged beatings began soon after both brothers approached church leaders with their plans to defect.

The alleged violence, authorities say, was fueled by the church's 30-year-old pastor, Tiffanie Irwin. Initially, authorities believe Irwin falsely accused the two teens of sexually abusing their younger siblings and cousins over the course of several years.

Church, Boy Scouts respond to abuse lawsuit

Gainesville Times

By Nick Watson

A former Gainesville Scoutmaster and members of First Baptist Church named in a March civil lawsuit have filed responses, claiming the statute of limitations has been reached and the entities can’t be sued.

Royal Fleming Weaver Jr. is accused of raping Robert William Lawson III during a scouting event in 1985, according to a civil action filed in Fulton County State Court.

Weaver was a former deacon with First Baptist Church, which sponsored Troop 26. Weaver was a scoutmaster for the troop from 1969-1981.

The case has since moved to Cobb County Superior Court, where the Boy Scouts of America are registered.

In its answer filed Friday, First Baptist Church called the complaint “inflammatory and appears to have been carefully framed to garner media attention.”

Word of Life: Sister of Victims Speaks Sex Abuse

CNY Homepage

[with video]

By Angie Pavlovsky | apavlovsky@wutr.tv
Published 06/28 2016


Another day of testimony in the Word of Life Case, today, a closer look at what happened behind the walls of the Leonard household.

In the eyes of her younger brother, Sarah Ferguson was his tormentor-

" If you had to rank who hit you the most- who hit you the most with the cord... Sarah." Christopher Leonard said answering D.A. Scott McNamara's question.

However to her younger sister, she's the person who saved her life.

"When you say protect, protect you from who? My two brothers Lucas and Christopher. "

Grace Leonard took the stand today, the young girl described years of sexual abuse at the hands of her brothers, acts she confided in Sarah and Pastor Tiffiane Irwin a year before the fatal counseling session.

She recalls sex abuse in her definition" being touched when you do not wish to be touched" as early as age 5, Lucas would have been 10 at the time.

Senate panel strips retroactivity provision from bill on sex abuse suits

Catholic Philly

By Amy Hill • Posted June 28, 2016

The Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee took action on House Bill 1947 today, June 28. With an 8-4 vote the committee amended the bill to strip the provision that would retroactively nullify the civil statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse cases from decades ago. The committee cited conflicts with Pennsylvania’s state constitution as the reason for the change.

The committee maintained the provision that will prospectively eliminate the criminal statute of limitations. The amendment also prospectively allows abuse survivors to sue either public or private entities under an equal standard of proof until they reach age 50, and allows survivors to sue in certain cases beyond age 50.

The amended bill passed out of the committee unanimously and is expected to be considered on the Senate floor this week. The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference will review the details of the amended bill to determine what impact it may have.

In a statement, the PCC reiterated that no matter the final resolution of the legislation, the Catholic Church will keep its sincere commitment to the emotional and spiritual well-being of individuals who have been impacted by the crime of childhood sexual abuse, no matter how long ago the crime was committed.

State Judiciary Adds Controversial Amendment to Statute of Limitations Bill


Written by Katie Meyer | Jun 29, 2016

(Harrisburg) -- The state Senate Judiciary Committee has passed an amendment to weaken a bill that aims to make it easier for victims of childhood sex abuse to file charges against their attackers.

The original proposal had a clause that allowed the law to be applied retroactively and would have enabled victims to take legal action on assaults that happened up to four decades ago.

But the amendment removes that retroactivity clause.

Some, including advocates for the Catholic Church, said the clause could introduce flawed cases against the institution.

Democratic Representative Mark Rozzi of Berks County has a personal connection to the legislation--at 13, he was abused by a priest.

Ex-priest convicted of criminal sexual contact with girl, 14

Clay Center Dispatch

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) — A former New Jersey priest has been convicted of endangering the welfare of a child and criminal sexual contact after authorities say he lured a 14-year-old girl to his living quarters and molested her.

A Passaic County jury also convicted Jose Lopez of luring Tuesday. They found him not guilty of attempted sexual assault.

Prosecutors say Lopez took the girl into his living quarters at St. Mary's Assumption Church in Passaic in 2013 and touched her inappropriately.

Lopez has denied that he touched her sexually.

Defense attorney James Porfido says Lopez often hugged and kissed the girl near her mother. He says the interactions were never sexual.

June 28, 2016

Jeff pastor accused of sex offense dies

The Courier-Journal

Bobby Shipman, The Courier-Journal June 28, 2016

A Jeffersonville pastor charged with seeking sex with a minor died Monday, according to a release from the church.

An undercover investigation nabbed David James Brown, 46, earlier this month, when he was charged with one count of prohibited use of an electronic communication system for the purpose of procuring a minor for a sex offense.

Brown was the head pastor at First Christian Church of Jeffersonville.

“We were deeply saddened to learn yesterday about the tragic passing of Dave Brown,” said Chad Boseker, a Youth Minister at the church. “Please pray for his family and our church.”

Brown traveled to Frankfort on June 15 to meet with a person he thought was a minor – in reality, an investigator who communicated with the pastor online – and was booked into Franklin County Regional Jail on a $10,000 bond.

According to online records, Brown posted bond on June 20 and was scheduled for a second preliminary hearing Tuesday at 1 p.m.

Pastor charged in Kentucky undercover sex sting dies


By Charles Gazaway, Digital Content Producer

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The southern Indiana pastor arrested earlier this month after traveling to Central Kentucky for a sexual encounter with a minor has died.

David James Brown, 46, had been arrested June 15 in Frankfort by investigators from the Kentucky Attorney General's Office. Investigators said Brown's arrest came after he used an online site to arrange a meeting for sex with a minor and arrived at the parking lot where the meeting was to take place.

Brown, who at the time of his arrest was senior pastor at First Christian Church of Jeffersonville, was charged with use of electronic communications to procure a minor for sex. He was booked into the Franklin County Regional Jail on $10,000 cash bond. The church placed Brown on administrative leave following his arrest.

In a statement issued by the church to the News and Tribune, a news gathering partner of WAVE 3 News, Youth Minister Chad Bosecker said Brown died Monday in Georgia where he was with family.

Jeffersonville pastor arrested in Kentucky dies

News and Tribune


JEFFERSONVILLE — A Jeffersonville pastor arrested earlier this month died Monday, according to church staff.

David James Brown, 46, was arrested in Kentucky after allegedly arranging to meet a minor for sex in Frankfort on June 15, according to newsgathering partner WAVE3 News.

He was later charged with use of electronic communications to procure a minor for sex and booked into the Franklin County Regional Jail on $10,000 cash bond.

Brown was a pastor at First Christian Church in Jeffersonville. The church said in a statement that Brown was put on administrative leave following his arrest, according to WAVE.

Youth Minister Chad Bosecker said Brown died in Georgia where he was with family Monday.

'My pepetrator sighs with relief': child sex abuse victim on senate committee vote


By Ivey DeJesus | idejesus@pennlive.com

Victims who were sexually abused as children decades ago have long looked to a change in the law for a shot at justice.

Those hopes were dashed on Tuesday with one swift vote from the Senate Judiciary Committee: By a 9-4 vote, the committee voted in favor of an amendment that eliminates from House Bill 1947 a measure that would have allowed victims of past sexual abuse to sue the perpetrators.

"My perpetrator sighs with relief knowing he got a free pass to continue to molest children. He will sleep well tonight," said Kristen Pfautz Woolley, a victim of child sex abuse and founder of Turning Point Women's Counseling & Advocacy Center in York. "The responsibility for every child that my perpetrator violates from this day forward lies squarely on the shoulders of the Senate Judiciary Committee members. I hope they can sleep tonight."

The measure was widely one of the last hopes for victims of clergy sex abuse in Pennsylvania. With few exceptions, most victims out of the abuse scandals in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese have timed out of the legal system due to expired statutes.

Former Passaic priest is found guilty of luring in case involving teen parishioner

The Record


A former Passaic priest faces up to 10 years in prison after being convicted Tuesday of sex charges in a case in which he was accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl, though he was acquitted of the most serious charge against him.

Jose Lopez, 37, showed no emotion as a jury in Superior Court in Paterson found him guilty of luring, child endangerment and criminal sexual contact. The panel found him not guilty of attempted sexual assault.

Passaic County Sheriff's Officers escorted Lopez out of the courtroom after Judge Sohail Mohammed revoked his bail and ordered him held at the county jail until his sentencing on Nov. 18.

Some of Lopez's supporters, who filled half of the courtroom, burst into tears and comforted each other after the verdict.

Lisa Squitieri, a Passaic County chief assistant prosecutor, said she was pleased with the verdict but did not comment further.

Most indigenous kids were healthy before they were sent to Canada’s residential schools: study

National Post

Canadian Press

SASKATOON — A study suggests most indigenous children from Saskatchewan and Manitoba were healthy when they were sent to residential schools.

Paul Hackett, a researcher at the University of Saskatchewan, says he and two others analyzed the body mass index of more than 1,700 children entering the schools between 1919 and the 1950s.

The researchers found 80 per cent of the children were at a healthy weight — better than the average Canadian child today.

Hackett says the results suggest the residential school experience set the stage for health problems plaguing indigenous people today.

He says the study also undercuts the government’s justification for performing nutritional experiments on residential school students due to their poor health.

Senate committee OKs expanded statutes of limitation in child sex abuse cases


BY CARLEY MOSSBROOK | Tuesday, June 28, 2016

HARRISBURG – The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill on Tuesday that would remove the criminal statute of limitations on sexual abuse cases moving forward and give victims until they are 50 years old to file civil suits against institutions found negligent.

The bill also would remove the statute of limitations on civil suits against individuals who committed the sexual abuse. It also would remove the statute of limitations against those who conspire with the perpetrator to facilitate the abuse and those who know about the perpetrator's abuse but fail to report it to law enforcement.

The committee also voted to strip a provision that would have allowed victims to file civil suits retroactively against institutions until the victim turns 50. The retroactive provision was part of a bill previously approved by the House.

The amendment, introduced by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R- Cameron County, passed 9-4. Those in the minority disagreed over whether the courts should decide the constitutionality of retroactive lawsuits.

“In this case, if it is a matter of sympathy or balance of equities, I would oppose the Scarnati amendment,” said Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery County, adding the committee has an “independent obligation” to decide on the bill's constitutionality.

Expert resigns from ‘doomed’ Scots historical child abuse inquiry


Tuesday 28 June 2016

An independent expert has resigned from his position on Scotland’s child abuse inquiry claiming it is “doomed” due to Scottish Government interference.

Professor Michael Lamb, a professor of psychology at Cambridge University, said the inquiry’s fact-finding was being “constrained” and “micro-managed” by ministers.

QC Susan O’Brien is leading Scotland’s inquiry into the historical abuse of children in care, which is expected to last four years.

Professor Lamb joined Ms O’Brien at a launch event in March during which the QC told abuse survivors the inquiry would “shine a light into the dark corners of the past”.

But in an open letter to education secretary John Swinney, Mr Lamb said he had grown frustrated that the Scottish Government was continuing to interfere “in ways large and small, directly and indirectly”.

Professor blasts Scottish Government 'interference' as he steps down from child abuse inquiry

Herald Scotland

Helen McArdle, News Reporter / @HMcardleHT

A LEADING academic has criticised Scottish Government "interference" as he resigned from an historic child abuse inquiry.

Professor Michael Lamb said he was stepping down "with deep regret" from the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, where he was a panel member, saying that it had "become increasingly clear over the last nine months that the Panel cannot act independently" and that the Scottish Government "intends to continue interfering in ways large and small, directly and indirectly".

Prof Lamb, of Cambridge University, tendered his resignation today in a letter to Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

He stated: "Continuing interference threatens to prevent the Inquiry from investigating thoroughly and taking robust evidence of the highest quality.

"To be worthwhile, the Inquiry must ask fearlessly about what happened to children in care, who and what institutions failed in their duties of care at the time and subsequently, how the affected individuals can ‘be made whole,’ and how we can ensure that such unconscionable events never happen again.

"Crucially, its factfinding should not be constrained or micro-managed by one of the bodies whose actions or failures to act may ultimately be criticised."

Panel member quits 'doomed' Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

BBC News

A key member of the Scottish Government's child abuse inquiry has resigned, saying it is "doomed" by government interference.

Psychology professor Michael Lamb said there had been "repeated threats" to the independence of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

The major review is scheduled to last four years, but has been criticised by survivors of abuse.

The Scottish government said it "entirely rejects" Mr Lamb's comments.

The inquiry, which concerns historical allegations of child abuse in Scotland, will examine the extent of abuse of children in care, and identify any systemic failures.

Abuse did not create life-long disturbance for man: witness

The Telegram

Barb Sweet

Published on June 28, 2016

Sexual abuse at Mount Cashel did not create happy memories for a John Doe but didn't result in a long-lasting psychological disturbance, a psychologist told a civil trial this morning.

Peter Badgio of Philadelphia, Pa., was originally retained by the Christian Brothers — no longer a party to the lawsuit — but was called as an expert for the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John's.

Four test case John Does say the Episcopal Corp. should be held liable for physical and sexual abuse by certain Christian Brothers at the orphanage in the late 1940s to early '60s.

The church contends it did not run the orphanage.

Badgio this morning was questioned about the case of a John Doe who is retired from the military and began discussing the case of a John Doe who is a retired teacher.

Pa. Senate committee votes to alter controversial child sex-abuse law


by Maria Panaritis, STAFF WRITER

HARRISBURG - A Senate committee on Tuesday voted to remove the most controversial provision of a bill that would let child sex-abuse victims sue their attackers.

By a near unanimous vote, the Judiciary Committee passed an amendment that bars the law from being applied retroactively, a move that would have enabled lawsuits by victims who were abused as far back as the 1970s.

Opponents have complained the measure would stir a flood of crippling lawsuits against the Catholic Church and other institutions.

Still intact is the plan to extend the civil statute of limitations for future victims, giving them until age 50, rather than 30, as the law now allows. The House bill, which included the retroactivity provision, overwhelmingly passed that chamber in April and Gov. Wolf had said he would sign it.

Senate panel OKs wider age limit in child sex abuse lawsuits

Herald Courier

Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Legislation in Pennsylvania to give victims of child sexual abuse more time to sue took another step forward in the Senate on Tuesday, although not without debate over whether people who have lost the legal ability to sue should get it back.

As a result, the Senate Judiciary Committee's vote narrowed portions of a bill that passed the House overwhelmingly in April, but broadened the proposal in other parts.

It comes amid scandals involving the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania and a renewed push in Pennsylvania and other states to relax laws that prevent some child sexual abuse victims from suing for damages.

The committee's half-hour hearing was dominated by debate over a House provision opposed by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania, which represents for-profit insurers, and the Senate committee ultimately removed it. That provision would have given victims the ability to sue, even if they are now older than the current legal age limit of 30.

PA Senate Panel Makes Controversial Changes To Child Sex Abuse Bill

CBS Philly

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Advocates for victims of child sex abuse suffered a major setback today when a Senate committee removed provisions from a bill that would have allowed victims to retroactively file lawsuits.

The bill already passed by the House eliminates the criminal statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases, and extends the statute of limitations for civil cases going forward. But it was amended by the Senate Judiciary Committee to eliminate provisions that would have allowed for retroactive lawsuits in cases where the current statute of limitations has already expired.

Berks County House Democrat Mark Rozzi supports retroactivity.

“Pedophiles and the institutions… they have gotten another free pass.”

But suburban Philadelphia Democrat Daylin Leach, a member of the Senate committee, says the retroactive provisions of the bill violated the state constitution.

“I really want to keep retroactivity in there. However, I just don’t feel I can.”

Wer schützte die Täter?


[Who protected the perpetrators?]


Es braucht schon einiges, damit Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig der Kragen platzt. Doch jetzt ist es so weit. Der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Bundesregierung fordert von der katholischen Kirche „volle Transparenz“, was die Aufarbeitung des sexuellen Missbrauchs betrifft. Die Namen der Bischöfe und kirchlichen Vorgesetzten, die Taten verschwiegen hätten, müssten genannt werden. Hintergrund sind die Aussagen eines Forscherteams, das seit 2014 im Auftrag der Bischofskonferenz die Fälle aufarbeitet.

Betroffene fordern, dass die Verantwortlichen mit Namen genannt werden

„Wir dürfen kein Bistums-Bashing betreiben. Wenn es ein Problem in den Führungsstrukturen gab, beschreiben wir das, aber ohne Namen zu nennen“, sagt Harald Dreßing vom Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit in Mannheim. Er koordiniert das 21-köpfige Forscherkonsortium aus Kriminologen, Forensikern und Gerontologen. Es gehe darum, die spezifischen Strukturen herauszuarbeiten, die den Missbrauch in der katholischen Kirche begünstigten. Die Ethikrichtlinie der Universität Heidelberg verbiete es, Namen zu nennen.

Graphic testimony outlines alleged sexual abuse, counseling session in Word of Life case


UTICA, N.Y. - Testimony continues Tuesday in the Sarah Ferguson trial. NewsChannel 2’s Joleen Ferris is in Oneida County court live tweeting. Follow her at @joleenferris for updates.

Witness Grace Leonard, 16, took the stand. She is Sarah’s sister and a lifelong member of the Word of Life church.

Warning: Graphic testimony below (from Grace’s account)

Grace says her brother, Lucas, watched her take a shower through a peephole. She didn’t catch him, but was told by Lucas and Pastor Tiffanie.

Grace says she was moved to the attic of the family home to keep her safe and to protect her from her brothers, Christopher and Lucas. She lived up there with Sarah and her kids. (This is the same house as the Leonards.)

She also says the younger kids (Sarah’s kids), were only in the attic a few minutes at a time because she and Sarah were worried what would happen.

The kids were not allowed to watch TV with Christopher or Lucas.

Ben Lewis handed a two-year suspended sentence in LL Camps case

The JC

Naked images of three and four-year-old girls were discovered on the iPhone of the co-owner of a children's summer camp.

When Ben Lewis, 26, was investigated by the police a pair of child's knickers were found next to one of his laptops.

He had also videoed and photographed up the skirt of a nine-year-old girl he was supposed to be tutoring for her Maths SATS, St Albans crown court heard.

Prosecutor Ann Evans said that Lewis had used a special "TOR" browser on a laptop, which allowed him to access the internet anonymously and to have the viewing history automatically deleted.

Family of Lichtenegger’s victims says church knew history of sexual violence, allowed him access to kids anyway

Shawnee Mission Post

[with court document]


Claiming that church leaders knew about his history of sexual misconduct and allowed him unsupervised access to minors anyway, the family of the latest victims of former SM East student Kessler Lichtenegger have sued Westside Family Church in Lenexa.

The civil petition, filed in Johnson County District Court Wednesday afternoon, says that church officials were well aware Lichtenegger, who lived in Prairie Village, had “an extensive and shocking history of committing sexual abuse against children” and consequently made the constant accompaniment of Lichtenegger’s father a condition of his presence at the church. But, according to the lawsuit, the church did not follow its own guidelines, and eventually allowed Lichtenegger to “interact with and supervise young children” at Westside. During a Westside children’s program in the summer of 2014, Lichtenegger, then 17, had a sexual interaction with one of the defendants, then 13, in a van on church property “while a children’s church service was going on,” according to the suit.

(KidsGIG, Westside’s annual summer vacation bible school program, is currently under way at the church).

“All key church leaders admitted to law enforcement officers that the Church did not enforce its own protocols meant to prevent Lichtenegger from gaining access to children,” reads the petition.

As a result of the charges stemming from that incident and subsequent criminal conduct he had with the first victim and her sister in the following weeks, Lichtenegger was sentenced to 17 years in prison. He is currently housed in the Ellsworth Correctional Facility.

Feds Never Told City About 'Impalement Hazards' at Unsafe Yeshiva Site

DNA Info

By Gwynne Hogan | June 28, 2016

WILLIAMSBURG — Federal safety inspectors who found a yeshiva construction site riddled with perilous worker safety conditions including "impalement hazards" in early June, failed to notify city agencies about the risk, allowing construction to continue at the site for weeks despite the dangerous conditions.

The Department of Buildings, which is the agency that actually has the authority to shut down unsafe construction sites, only learned about the hazardous conditions at 638 Bedford Ave., an under-construction yeshiva after DNAinfo New York called to ask about the violations.

Federal safety inspectors from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety & Health Administration had randomly inspected the school in Williamsburg on June 3. They found 21 serious worker safety violations including no fall protection around elevator shafts, skylights and other open holes, and a slew of "impalement hazards" due to unguarded rebar jutting up from the structure, they said.

Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov, the company that owns the site and runs several schools in Williamsburg and Borough Park, was notified of the violations June 19 and several days later OSHA issued a press release about the inspection.

Former Guam delegate candidate says he was molested by current Guam priest

Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News June 28, 2016

A former candidate for Guam delegate told senators on Monday he was the first victim of clergy sexual abuse to come forward in Guam.

Jonathan Frank Blas Diaz testified before island lawmakers on Bill 326-33, a new measure that would lift the time limit on filing a lawsuit against a child molester.

“Nobody believed me,” Diaz said.

Diaz ran for Guam delegate in the 2012 election and entered the 2014 gubernatorial race as a write-in.

Diaz said he publicly spoke about his abuse as early as 1991 and up to when he testified in 2011 on a previous bill, which became law and gave victims of child sexual abuse a two-year window to file a lawsuit.

Members of the community called him “mentally ill” because he is a “bisexual man,” he said.

“Why bisexual? Because I was molested when I was 7 years old by an older cousin, and I was molested again when I was 13 years old and molested again when I was over the age of 16,” Diaz told senators.

Klitzkie wants bill extended to punish those aiding child abusers, too


Updated: Jun 28, 2016

By Ken Quintanilla

Bill 326 may have received overwhelming support at Monday's public hearing, but one former lawmaker is hoping to broaden the legislation's language. The bill proposes lifting the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases. In light of the allegations of molestation and rape made against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, Bob Klitzkie hopes senators will consider language that will punish not just the alleged abusers, but those protecting him or her.

"I think the bill needs to be broadened so that not only child abusers, but those who aid, abet, encourage, collaborate with, conspire, cover up, etc. may also be held liable, as well as their institutions and corporate sole," he explained.

On Monday, Klitzkie testified in support of Bill 326 as well as explained why past legislation with a similar intent failed. Specifically, the law discouraged attorneys from taking on any case because provisions detailed counsel would be disciplined if they failed to prove their claim.

Former Englewood intern arrested

Jackson Sun

Craig Thomas, cthomas2@jacksonsun.com June 27, 2016

A Union University student and former Englewood Baptist Church youth ministry intern was arrested Monday.

Heath Ransom is charged with 13 counts of solicitation of a minor, 13 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one count of tampering with evidence.

Jackson Police Chief Julian Wiser said Ransom, 21, was indicted by a grand jury and was in custody as of Monday afternoon, but he did not know when Ransom would be arraigned.

Englewood Executive Pastor Paul Priddy said the church investigated Ransom over six days starting in late April and dismissed him in early May. He did not specify what the church investigated other than saying it involved "some things that were outside our policy."

The church released the following statement in a Monday afternoon press release:

Recently, Englewood Baptist Church administration became aware that one of its part-time ministry interns had violated Church policy. The administration immediately investigated the matter and, when additional facts surfaced during its investigation, acted promptly to terminate its relationship with the intern and to report the matter to local law enforcement authorities. Englewood is saddened and deeply grieved by this situation. The Church uses a thorough and rigorous process to investigate the background and character of any person admitted into its intern program and then to appropriately supervise those interns. Nevertheless, the Church is evaluating its process in this regard to lessen the possibility of a future problem. Additionally, Englewood is making all efforts to appropriately minister to those students and families impacted by this situation.

Guest Column: Add 1 legal voice backing HB 1947 sex abuse bill

Daily Times

By Thomas Neuberger, Times Guest Columnist
POSTED: 06/28/16

The Rutherford Institute in Charlottesville, a defender of civil liberties, has issued an independent 4,400 word report on the legality of HB1947. A summary follows.

The Bill Passes Federal Muster:

Applying legal terms similar to those in dispute, for almost 150 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled six times that retroactive civil laws violate no constitutional protections. “It is beyond dispute that ... [a legislature] has the power to enact laws with retrospective effect.” St. Cyr, (2001).

Constitutions Are Living Documents Subject to Changing Interpretations Over Time:

Just because a court interpreted a Pennsylvania constitutional provision one way 108 years ago does not mean it will not be interpreted differently today. Court interpretations of static language and provisions change over time. This can happen for a multitude of reasons, ranging from a better scholarly understanding of the language, to changing societal values or norms, to a simple decision by a Supreme Court to go in a different interpretational direction for public policy reasons. The case law is full of examples of this.

In 1896 “separate but equal” was forced on blacks, but in 1954 Brown held separate can never be equal. In 1986 gay sex was criminal, Bowers, but 17 years later it was legal.

Lawrence. Free speech only applied to the federal government, until after a century the states had to protect it also.

Bishop George Bell: Review to look at 'abuse' case

BBC News

An independent review is to be carried out into how the Church of England handled the case of a former bishop named as an alleged paedophile.

The church settled the civil claim of a woman who said she was abused by the late Bishop of Chichester, George Bell, in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

The review will look at how it handled the allegations, first made in 1995, and the decision to settle the case.

Bishop Bell's supporters have been critical of the church's investigation.

Betroffene fühlen sich von oben herab behandelt


[An interview with Johannes-Wilhelm Roerig, independent abuse officer for the German government. Four out of five victims of abuse in the Catholic Church were boys, according to a new study. Roerig said up until the 1980s the acolytes were almost exclusively boys..The structures within the church make it easy for clergy to approach children and many priests exploited the trust shown in them. This was part of the strategy of perpetrators, he said.

Das Thema: Missbrauch in der Kirche
Im Interview: Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, Jurist
Zur Person: Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig (57) ist Unabhängiger Beauftragter für Fragen des sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs.

Frage: Vier von fünf Missbrauchsopfern in der katholischen Kirche waren laut einer neuen Studie Jungen. Worauf führen Sie dies zurück?

Rörig: Bis zu den Achtzigerjahren waren Ministranten fast ausschließlich Jungen. Auch andere Aufgaben im kirchlichen Leben wurden vor allem von Jungen übernommen. Erst danach sind Stück für Stück auch Mädchen zugelassen und fester Bestandteil im Gemeindealltag geworden. In kirchlichen Strukturen war es für Geistliche in der Vergangenheit sehr leicht, sich Kindern zu nähern. Viele Priester haben das Vertrauen ausgenutzt, das ihnen entgegengebracht wurde. Das war Teil ihrer Täterstrategie.

Missbrauchsbeauftragter: Kirche muss Täternamen nennen


[The German government abuse officer, Johannes-Wilhelm Rorig, has called on the Catholic Church for more transparency regarding sexual abuse and to publicly name accused priests and others within the church who have abused children.]

Der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der deutschen Regierung, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, hat von der katholischen Kirche mehr Transparenz bei der Aufarbeitung sexuellen Missbrauchs gefordert.

„Die Kritik der Betroffenen kann ich sehr gut nachvollziehen. Transparenz ist das A und O“, sagte Rörig der „Passauer Neuen Presse“ (Dienstag-Ausgabe) nach der Veröffentlichung erster Forschungsergebnisse zu Ursachen und Ausmaß der Missbrauchsfälle in der katholischen Kirche.

Kirchliche Missbrauchsstudie: Priester, 39, psychisch labil, sucht Zwölfjährigen


Von Annette Langer

Es war still geworden um die katholischen Missbrauchsaufklärer. Jetzt legen sie einen Zwischenbericht vor - er zeigt, wie skrupellos und gewaltbereit sich Sexualstraftäter im Pfarrhaus gebärden.

Anfang Juli 2014 startete die katholische Kirche ein Forschungsprojekt zu Missbrauch in den eigenen Reihen. Vier Jahre nach dem großen Missbrauchsskandal in Deutschland sollte es endlich losgehen mit der Aufklärung. Kriminologen, Psychiater, Soziologen und Strafrechtler sind seitdem aufgerufen, bis Ende 2017 Licht ins Dunkel zu bringen.

Jetzt legte die Bischofskonferenz einen Zwischenbericht vor - eine Metaanalyse von Daten, die in neun Ländern, darunter den USA, Irland und natürlich auch Deutschland erhoben wurden.

Jesuiten zahlten an 32 Ako-Betroffene Geld


27.06.2016 BONN. Der Jesuitenorden gibt einen Zwischenbericht mit irritierenden Fakten heraus. Zahlen zu Tätern und Opfern bleiben unklar.

Der Jesuitenorden hat auf Anregung des Betroffenenvereins Eckiger Tisch Bonn einen neuen Zwischenbericht zur Missbrauchsaufklärung an seinen fünf Schulen vorgelegt. Der solle einerseits die Öffentlichkeit informieren. Zum anderen solle er „den Austausch unter Betroffenen und deren Gespräch mit dem Orden oder den Vertretern einzelner Institutionen auf Augenhöhe“ erleichtern, schreibt Provinzial Pater Stefan Kiechle auf der Ordenshomepage.

NT attorney general recounts abusive childhood and says: 'Do not become a victim'

The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
Monday 27 June 2016

The Northern Territory attorney general has used his farewell speech to parliament to recount his experience as a child sexual abuse survivor and tell others not to “become a victim”.

John Elferink, who will retire from politics at the NT August election, said that in his career as a police officer he used to raid haunts where he had been taken as a child, in the hope of rescuing others.

“I do recall that when I was being raped as a child that on one occasion the fellow who was doing all of this decided to take me to the local beat and share the wealth,” Elferink told the NT parliament on Monday night.

“When I was a police officer many years later, I used to go to that beat and raid it almost regularly in the hope – I think – of rescuing any other child.

“I suspect the truth is that I was looking to rescue myself.”

Emotional responses as Catholic Church representative faces community meeting over Royal Commission

ABC News

By Larissa Romensky

There were emotional reactions last night as a Catholic Church representative met with members of the Bendigo community to answer questions about the church's history of child sexual abuse.

CEO of the Catholic Church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council, Francis Sullivan, was faced with a crowd of people with mixed emotions including pain and anger and said the depth of feeling was not over from one night's meeting.

Acknowledging it has taken a long time for church leaders to admit, acknowledge failure and ultimately lead in a responsible and moral way with regards to child sexual abuse, he said that at least with the Royal Commission "people [were] fronting up and telling the truth".

He said there were many people in the room who found it personally upsetting.

"Unfortunately for most people they live these silent desperate lives, most people don't tell anyone," he said.

Church to commission independent review of Bishop George Bell sex abuse case

Brighton and Hove News

Posted On 28 Jun 2016

By : Frank le Duc

The Church of England is to commission an independent review of the handling of sex abuse claims made against the former Bishop of Chichester George Bell.

The church settled a case last year with a woman who said that the bishop abused her when she was a child.

The accompanying apology prompted criticism that the case was unfair because the bishop was not alive to defend himself and his reputation.

The Diocese of Chichester, which has its head office in Church Road, Hove, said this morning (Tuesday 28 June): “An independent review of the processes used in the George Bell case has been announced today in accordance with the House of Bishops guidance on all complex cases.

“The House of Bishops practice guidance states that once all matters relating to any serious safeguarding situation have been completed, the core group should meet again to review the process and to consider what lessons can be learned for the handling of future serious safeguarding situations.

Independent review into handling of George Bell case

Anglican Diocese of Chichester

An independent review of the processes used in the George Bell case has been announced today in accordance with the House of Bishops guidance on all complex cases.

The House of Bishops practice guidance states that once all matters relating to any serious safeguarding situation have been completed, the Core Group should meet again to review the process and to consider what lessons can be learned for the handling of future serious safeguarding situations. A review has always been carried out in any case involving allegations against a bishop.

The review will be commissioned by the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team, on the recommendation of the Bishop of Chichester, to see what lessons can be learnt from how the case was handled. The case involves the settlement in 2015 of a legal civil claim regarding sexual abuse against George Bell, who was Bishop of Chichester from 1929-1958.

The Church has always recognised Bishop Bell’s principled stand in the Second World War and his contribution to peace but it also has a duty to listen to survivors. The diocese of Chichester continues to be in touch and offer support to the survivor known as Carol, who brought the allegations in this case.

Diocese of Chichester to review processes used in Bishop George Bell case

Chichester Observer

Tuesday 28 June 2016

An independent review of the processes used in the George Bell case has been announced today by the Diocese of Chichester.

Last October the Bishop of Chichester ssued a formal apology following the settlement of a legal civil claim regarding an allegation of sexual abuse of a child against the Right Reverend George Bell, who was Bishop of Chichester from 1929 until his death on 3rd October 1958.

In a statement, the diocese said: “The House of Bishops practice guidance on all complex cases states that once all matters relating to any serious safeguarding situation have been completed, the Core Group should meet again to review the process and to consider what lessons can be learned for the handling of future serious safeguarding situations.

“A review has always been carried out in any case involving allegations against a bishop.

“The review will be commissioned by the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team, on the recommendation of the Bishop of Chichester, to see what lessons can be learnt from how the case was handled.

Federal election 2016: Xenophon not sorry for rape claims

The Australian

JUNE 28, 2016

Michael Owen
SA Bureau Chief

Nick Xenophon says he is more concerned about the welfare of former priest John Hepworth than the innocent senior cleric the ­senator named in parliament as an ­alleged rapist.

The independent South Australian senator has never apolog­ised to Monsignor Ian Dempsey for using parliamentary privilege in September 2011 to name him as one of three priests who allegedly abused retired Archbishop Hepworth, the former head of the Traditional Anglican Communion, in a Catholic seminary in the 1960s.

This is despite Monsignor Dempsey, who was suspended from his southern Adelaide parish of Brighton and Hallett Cove for 12 months, being cleared in three separate investigations by the church, police and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

An independent report by ­Adelaide silk Michael Abbott also cleared Monsignor Dempsey.

June 27, 2016

Award for Sex Abuse Attorney Seth Langson presented by Valerie Johnson

Copeley Johnson Groninger PLLC

Posted on June 26, 2016

This week Valerie Johnson presented sex abuse lawyer Seth Langson and advocate Robby Price the Kelly Crabtree Award at the North Carolina Advocates for Justice Convention. Seth sometimes works with CJG sex abuse lawyer, Leto Copeley, protecting the rights of crime victims. Here are her remarks:

I have the distinct honor of presenting the Kelly Crabtree award to Seth Langson and to Robby Price.

The Kelly Crabtree award is given to an attorney and to his client where the client’s story and the attorney’s representation made a big difference in protecting people’s rights.

Kelly Crabtree sustained life threatening injuries caused by a NC Department of Transportation truck crossing the yellow line on a mountain road. Ms. Crabtree’s damages were capped at $150,000 under the State Tort Claims Act, despite the more than $275,000 in medical bills the crash caused. Her lawyer John McCabe led the charge to change the cap to $500,000 and to make it apply retroactively to Ms. Crabtree’s case. The result of that fight and the strength of that story have helped many others in the state and inspired this award.

Seth Langson is a Charlotte attorney who has represented sexual abuse victims for 30 years. His work is his passion, and his passion is protecting those who have been abused, often children, from their abusers.

Hearings begin for Kenora, Ont., lawyer accused of misconduct on residential school files

CBC News

By Jody Porter, CBC News Posted: Jun 27, 2016

The Law Society of Upper Canada begins hearings Monday in Kenora, Ont., looking into allegations that lawyer Doug Keshen transferred thousands of dollars from residential school clients to himself.

The allegations relate to Doug Keshen's work between 2003 and 2012 when he was acting on behalf of residential school survivors.

The lawyer, who works for several First Nations in the Treaty 3 area of northwestern Ontario, has denied the allegations.

The Law Society of Upper Canada received complaints that Keshen arranged high-interest loans for clients, secured against anticipated residential school settlement funds, which is prohibited by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

There are also allegations that Keshen withdrew legal fees and disbursements from survivors' settlement funds without sending them a bill or setting out what the fees would be.

Nearly two dozen complainants allege Keshen failed to interview them about their claims and failed to communicate with them throughout the process.

In support of Bill 326

Guam Daily Post


We join those in the community who support Bill 326 which proposes to eliminate the statute of limitations for civil cases involving child sex abuse. We continue to see child molestation as a particularly heinous crime with traumatic, long-term emotional impact. Children are often not able to understand what happened to them or why, and are unable to report the attack. That the attacker is often someone known and trusted by the young victim makes the act that much more traumatic and, we believe, difficult to report.

The bill appears to have been prompted by recent accusations of sexual abuse leveled against Archbishop Anthony Apuron. The accusations involve acts that are alleged to have occurred as long ago as 40 years, as such they are well outside the current two-year statute of limitations. Apuron has not been proven guilty of any crime, but the multiple accusations are of reprehensible acts and the victims should be able to make their accusations in court to be judged fairly. Similarly, it would be fair to Apuron to afford him the chance to face and respond to those accusing him.

In addition to violating every worthwhile moral code, child sex abuse is a grave violation of the law. That Apuron is a member of the clergy should not be relevant to the legal process. Sex abuse is an offense against the entire community, and justice should be in the purview of the community justice system.

Worldwide – outside of Guam – sex abuse of children by clergy has been one of the great scandals of the Catholic church. The revelations not only of the abuse itself, but of the cover-ups and facilitation by those in the upper levels of the church have been shocking and reprehensible. It was not until the abuse was prosecuted by secular authorities that it came to light and was addressed. As an institution, the church was late in addressing the abuse.

Pennsylvania Senate chair steps aside on child sex abuse bill


BY BRAD BUMSTED | Monday, June 27, 2016, 2:54 p.m.
Email Newsletters

HARRISBURG – The Senate Judiciary Committee at a meeting Monday did not consider a bill to extend the statute of limitations on filing child sexual abuse charges, and it didn't set an alternative date.

The committee chairman, meanwhile, stepped aside to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Advocates said they hope a vote will happen soon.

A Senate staffer close to the negotiations said it was too important to be brought up at an unscheduled “off the floor” meeting as originally thought.

If it receives a vote, the bill is expected to kill a provision allowing retroactive civil suits to be filed until the potential victim turns 50.

The House-passed bill would extend the age for filing civil suits from 30 to 50 and prevent organizations from claiming immunity if they act with gross negligence.

The House passed the bill following a statewide grand jury report in March that found widespread abuse by priests over several decades in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese.

Former Sen. Klitzkie proposes broadening of Bill 326

Guam Daily Post

Louella Losinio | Post News Staff

Former Sen. Robert Klitzkie, offering testimony in support of Bill 326-33 yesterday, said during a public hearing at the Guam Legislature that “broadening the measure is a good start toward providing justice to those who have been sexually abused by clergy and preventing such abuse in the future."

The measure, authored by Sen. Frank Blas Jr., would amend current law relative to the statute of limitations in cases involving child sex abuse.

Klitzkie said he is a lawyer but was not representing anyone yesterday.

He said justice requires broadening the reach of the legislation to provide relief to those who have suffered at the hands of child sexual abusers and to include not only the abusers but also their enablers, aiders or abettors, those who are acting in concert with them and their religious institution or corporations.

“The Cs are referenced here – condonation, cover-up and conspiracy," he said. "Recent history tells us that the three Cs are all too prevalent in the worldwide Catholic Church. The institutional hierarchy of the church condones, covers up and conspires to prevent victims of child sexual abuse from attaining justice,” he said.

Lifting of child sex abuse statutes of limitations urged

Guam Daily Post

Louella Losinio | Post News Staff

Alleged sex abuse victims of Archbishop Anthony Apuron and their supporters urged the passage of the Bill 326-33, authored by Sen. Frank Blas Jr. that would amend the law relative to the statute of limitations in cases involving child sex abuse, during a public hearing yesterday, June 27 at the Guam Legislature.

The bill strikes out a two-year statute of limitation for civil claims. “Child sexual abuse victims often need many years to overcome the pain of their abuse, and time for them to speak out about the abuse that they have suffered. Sadly, many victims of child sexual abuse are unable to proceed with civil claims against the perpetrator because those claims have been barred by the statutes of limitations,” Blas said.

Walter Denton, one of Apuron's alleged victims, said the measure would give victims of sexual abuse within and outside the Roman Catholic Church the opportunity to be silent no more. “Now it gives them recourse to be heard,” he said.

“As it stands, the current law protects the predator from his past crimes. Once the statute of limitations kick in, it protects them from being sued and prosecuted,” he said, imploring the legislature to act on the measure immediately. “So that people like Apuron and any other person or institution who has aided him or covered up for him will be held accountable, eliminate any time limitations on the right to sue or prosecute no matter how long ago.”

EXCLUSIVE: Gay, black man who claimed he was attacked by Jewish security patrol gang sues city

New York Daily News

Updated: Monday, June 27, 2016

The far-too-cozy relationship between the NYPD, city officials, and Jewish safety patrols in Brooklyn led to the beating of a gay, black man in Williamsburg, an explosive new lawsuit to be filed in federal court Monday alleges.

Taj Patterson of Fort Greene, was walking down Flushing Ave. in Williamsburg in December 2013 when he was set upon by a gang of men linked to the Shomrim, a volunteer Orthodox Jewish security patrol. He was left battered, and lost eyesight in one eye.

In aftermath, as the Daily News first reported, cops with the 90th Precinct prematurely closed the case despite having four witnesses to the assault — delaying the investigation for 48 crucial hours.

In the lawsuit, obtained by the Daily News, lawyers for Patterson claim that the city and the NYPD created an atmosphere where the security patrols not only got official recognition and money, but could act with impunity.

Archbishop Hon 'Deeply Moved' but Protesters Want Apuron Defrocked

Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Protesters have changed their message from "Apuron Resign" to "Defrock Apuron."

Guam- The number of Catholic protesters has been growing in the last few weeks. They were at it again yesterday, picketing in front of the Cathedral Basilica, but this time their message was different.

During previous protests, signs read “Apuron Resign.” But yesterday, picketers held signs that read, “Defrock Apuron.”

In the church setting, defrocking of a member of the clergy would essentially remove their title, rights and ecclesiastical status.

Mary Lou Garcia-Pereda, one of the protesters, says the message has changed because the Archdiocese of Agana has failed to take action since allegations of sexual abuse surfaced against Archbishop Apuron.

"We want him to be defrocked following the four accusations of sexual molestation and with the church’s inaction, I think it’s time that he pay the ultimate price and that he be defrocked so that he won’t hae the honor of being buried in the sanctuary of the cathedral when his time comes. We don’t want him to have any kind of semblance of respect or anything, considering what he has done to the children," explains Garcia-Pereda.

Catholic bishop apologizes for ‘betrayal’ of sexual abuse

Religion News Service

By Sally Morrow

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (RNS) A single chime rang out after each abuse victim’s statement was read over the speakers at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Kansas City, a solemn echo to enduring pain.

It was a simple, symbolic gesture but one that had an almost inexpressible resonance for those who had been abused, and for many Catholics in a diocese so identified with clergy abuse that its last bishop was forced to resign.

“The pain was so intense, I did not want to live,” said one person in testimony from victims that was read out during the special liturgy of penitence on Sunday (June 26).

At the “Service of Lament” other readers voiced similar messages of pain, and also accusations at the church itself:

“When I was brave enough to tell you the truth, you chose to side with my abuser.”


“I had faith in my God, but you betrayed my faith.”

Ken Starr’s Squalid Second Act

New York Times

Mimi Swartz JUNE 27, 2016

Houston — EDWIN EDWARDS, the colorful former governor of Louisiana, had a favorite quote often attributed to the Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu: “If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.”

I thought of this again last week as Hillary Clinton absorbed a fresh attack on her record from Donald J. Trump. Amid that, I wondered whether she’d had a chance to savor the fall of the Clintons’ nemesis, Ken Starr, and appreciate its ironies. In a political campaign as relentlessly nasty as this one, it must be hard to steal a moment of peace, much less schadenfreude.

By the time of Bill Clinton’s presidency, the dependably Republican Mr. Starr had built a prestigious career as an attorney, appellate judge and solicitor general under President George H. W. Bush. Then, in 1994, a congressional committee made Mr. Starr a special prosecutor to investigate the Clintons’ involvement in the Whitewater real estate venture and, juicier, the death of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster, a Clinton confidant.

Mr. Starr aspired higher and wanted to go deeper. Soon, his brief had expanded to investigating the sex life of a young woman named Monica Lewinsky. Relying on covert recordings of her confessions, Mr. Starr’s report read at times like a steamy romance novel: “She unbuttoned her jacket; either she unhooked her bra or he lifted her bra up; and he touched her breasts with his hands and mouth …”

The result? Mr. Clinton survived impeachment, but soiled his legacy. Both he and his wife seemed like deceitful equivocators. Questioned in front of a grand jury about his sexual relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, Mr. Clinton tried to obfuscate: “It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

For his part, Mr. Starr appeared like the Cotton Mather of his time: a prurient, punishing Puritan — a reputation that was hard to shake. He taught at several law schools, and worked, to his credit, to overturn some death penalty cases. Less admirably, he represented campaigners trying to roll back same-sex marriage in California in 2008.

In 2010, he returned to his home state of Texas as president of Baylor University, and was subsequently also appointed chancellor. It seemed a good match: a conservative son of a Christian minister at an august private Baptist university. With strong policies against drinking and premarital sex, Baylor has an enthusiasm for Jesus matched only by its passion for football.

The problem was that in its determination to dominate the Big 12 of college football, Baylor was willing to cover for several players dogged by accusations of sexual violence. In one particularly egregious case, a star player named Sam Ukwuachu was accused of sexually assaulting a female Baylor soccer player in 2013. But ambitious football programs apparently take a lenient view of such infractions.

A Baylor investigation didn’t even give Mr. Ukwuachu a slap on the wrist, allowing him back on campus to graduate. Only the prospect of his pending trial prevented him from taking the field. Finally, in August last year, Mr. Ukwuachu was convicted on felony counts and sentenced to six months in jail and 10 years’ probation.

The news from Baylor got worse. Another two football players and a former fraternity president were charged with some form of sexual violence. One, Tevin Elliott, is currently in prison for sexual assault. Eventually, five Baylor football players were accused of serious sexual assaults that took place between 2011 and 2015.

It was bad enough that the Waco police seemed less than interested in investigating the cases, but the university’s foot-dragging and subsequent stonewalling under Mr. Starr’s administration was stunning. Mr. Starr seemed to have trouble grasping the gravity of sexual misconduct charges — unless the accused happened to be the president of the United States. In 2013, the year Baylor’s scandal started brewing, Mr. Starr signed a letter urging community service rather than jail as punishment for a retired teacher named Christopher Kloman. Mr. Kloman had pleaded guilty to sexually molesting five female students in the 1960s and ’70s at the private school his own daughter had attended.

An independent investigation of Baylor found that the university authorities had consistently failed to protect its female students from sexual predators and neglected its Title IX responsibilities. Instead, administrators played down reports of abuse and discouraged women from bringing allegations of misconduct.

And where was President Starr? Ignoring the candlelight vigil for victims of sexual assault that Baylor students held outside his home. Ducking a media interview when the scandal broke. Issuing windy statements laced with legalese to the Baylor community about how much he cared. Refusing to comment on the situation until the external review was done. And releasing only a summary of that report, not the full document, to the public.

Finally, Mr. Starr was fired as president and later resigned as chancellor — “the captain goes down with the ship,” he told the sports channel ESPN earlier this month. But the university tossed him a pretty good lifesaver: He will continue as a professor at the law school.

As for Baylor’s pattern of protecting star athletes who abused women at the university, Mr. Starr claimed he “didn’t know what was happening.” Maybe it depends on what the meaning of the word “was” was.

Mimi Swartz, an executive editor at Texas Monthly, is a contributing opinion writer.

Pope Francis has a long way to go if he wants to get lapsed Catholics back

She Knows

by Theresa Edwards

I like Pope Francis.

In our home, he goes primarily by his unofficial title: His Holiness Pope Coolpants. He reminds me of another old Catholic dude I was extremely fond of, my grandfather, and his willingness to say things that Catholics don't really like to hear (gays are people/birth control pills — turns out they're not the Devil's Smarties) endears him greatly to me, an ex-Catholic who can still recite the Act of Contrition and has a box full of saint trading cards. I'm still looking for St. Tekakwitha, if anyone can hook a lapsie up.

Which is why it pains me to say that even when he comes out with more Coolpants fodder — like he did this weekend by saying Christians ought to apologize for the way they've treated the gay community and exploited women and children and poor people, and then throwing a scold in there over Brexit — I'm reminded all over again that his trousers will never be fully chill until he addresses the Catholic Church's greatest shame.

I am talking, of course, about the decades-long child abuse scandal that spanned multiple countries and resulted — just in the United States — in more than 10,000 allegations made toward nearly 5,000 men of the cloth in the church I was raised in.

To be fair, Pope Francis has publicly announced that the church will no longer be tolerating pedophile priests and the bishops who shelter them, which whew — how refreshing. He's also defrocked a few particular baddies and excommunicated a couple of monsters, which wow — super cool of him.

It's still not enough.

Former senator testifies during child abuse statute public hearing

Pacific Daily News


Former Guam senator Robert Klitzkie shares his thoughts, during a public hearing, on the way the local Catholic church leadership is handling the child sexual abuse accusations against Archbishop Anthony Apuron. Rick Cruz/PDN

St. John Vianney: Sins of Omission or Downright Deception?



Many people believe that the legislative battle in Pennsylvania right now is a matter of money. The belief that victims want civil suits for financial compensation and that the Church wants to protect its finances. What many do not realize is that victims/survivors often seek to bring civil suits for the truth that is revealed in the documents and records that are ordered to be disclosed. Along with the finances, the Church also wants to protect the evidence, but it makes for a more complicated sound bite.

The March 2016 Grand Jury report of clergy abuse in the Altoona Johnstown Diocese disclosed much previously unknown information. One thing I found in reading the document was a patient who was at the St John Vianney Treatment center in Sept /October 2012. The write up of this child predator priest, who actually was profiled by the FBI, was the complete opposite of my conversations with the Vianney staff in 2012 when I was making attempts to improve child safety after discovering one of their patients in a school parking lot. A C4C reader recently alerted me to the following video published in June 2013 which is an interview with Fr James Flavin who was the President of the facility at that time. This interview is pretty much verbatim to my conversations with Fr Flavin and other Vianney staff at the time. A total downplay of the fact that child predators stay at the facility. I heard instead about depressed nuns and overweight priests.

In the video Fr Flavin says pedophiles cannot be treated but instead it is a matter of containment and protection. Protection of whom exactly, the children or the predator? He also makes this startling claim about the facility ” we don’t really deal with the sexual issues, the serious sexual issues” . Well the internet, newspaper articles and GJ reports tell a different story and in the past we have highlighted some of the depraved men who have passed through those doors. What exactly is classified as serious or sexual if watching child pornography of 2 and 3 year old’s is not? Or molestation of childrens’ bodies..or child rape?

Please take some time to view the video. It will probably “disappear” from the internet soon. Take note of the conversation shortly after the 3 minute and 19 minute marks

Greenleaf Recuses Himself

The Morning Call

Bill White

State Judiciary Committee Chairman Stewart Greeleaf, R-Montgomery, announced over the weekend that he will recuse himself from proceedings invovling House Bill 1947, the child sex abuse statute of limitations bill.

I wrote last week about the way Senate rules never result in findings of conflicts, including cases much more obvious than Greenleaf's. At that time, what we knew was that the law firm for which he is a partner had represented a Catholic entity several years ago in its attempt to have Delaware's similar statute of limitations law declared unconstitutional. A law firm that represented child sex abuse victims in Delaware accused Greenleaf of having a conflict, but the Senate parliamentarian ruled there was no problem.

I argued that the appearance of a conflict can create credibility problems, even where there's no direct financial interest involved. By then, Greenleaf already had stacked a Judiciary Committee hearing with witnesses who argued the Pennsylvania bill is unconstitutional, and his appearance of conflict made his conduct even more suspicious than it otherwise would have been.

As you'll see in his statement below, he says he discovered another child sex abuse case in which his firm was involved, and although he continued to insist he had no conflict, he decided to recuse himself.

One of the lawyers who accused Greenleaf of the conflict, Stephen Neuberger, argued in response that the process already has been tainted by Greenleaf's involvement, a reaction I've seen in several other emails since then from victims and their advocates.

Before suicide, woman penned book about her ordeals in ultra-Orthodox world

The Times of Israel

BY STUART WINER June 27, 2016

A formerly ultra-Orthodox woman, who was found dead in her car on Sunday after apparently taking her own life days earlier, had written a short autobiography describing the rigors of living within the Gur Hasidic sect and the pain she felt when her daughters cut ties with her over her choice to give up religion.

Esti Weinstein, 50, was discovered at the Hakshatot Beach in the coastal city of Ashdod, bringing to an end a week of searches after she went missing. In the car with her body police discovered a short note.

“In this city I gave birth to my daughters, in this city I die because of my daughters,” Weinstein, once a member of a prominent family in Gur, wrote.

Eight years ago Weinstein, who had seven daughters, chose to leave the ultra-Orthodox fold, in which she had grown up and which had seen her married at 17.

“I understand that I am sick and needy, and I don’t want to continue to be a burden on you,” she wrote. “Don’t make much effort for the ceremony, something modest with a lot of flowers, and remember that this is what I chose as best for me, and also if you say that I am selfish, I accept and understand your lack of understanding.”


Berger's Beat

. . .While it’s been reported by the daily paper that 50 St. Louis area Catholic priests have been publicly accused of child sex crimes, they aren’t the only local Catholic clerics with this ignominious distinction. Others who face or have faced similar charges include seminarian Nicholas Pinkston, nun Judith Fisher and four brothers: John Woulfe, William Christensen, Gregory Sutton and Felix Bland. Said SNAP’s Barbara Dorris: “Hundreds of out-of-state child molesting priests, bishops and brothers have been sent here. . .

Catholic Church needs to be part of the solution to sexual abuse law reform

Irish Central

Tom Deignan @irishcentral June 27,2016

Earlier this month, Pope Francis translated his much-discussed “breath of fresh” air into action when it comes to cracking down on the sexual abuse crisis that has crippled the church in recent years. The pope changed church law so that bishops who may be looking the other way when it comes to predatory priests can more easily be removed.

As The Wall Street Journal noted, “The new document, entitled ‘Like a Living Mother,’ lays out a procedure for Vatican offices to initiate investigations of bishops suspected of negligence. While other sorts of negligence must be deemed ‘very grave’ by the Vatican to trigger removal, negligence of abuse cases need only meet the standard of ‘grave.’“

This does sound a little technical. Still, at least it can be counted as action taken towards attempting to solve a problem that has ruined so many lives.

Closer to home, however, a new front has been opened over fallout from the sex abuse scandals. Thus far, the response by American church authorities has not been encouraging.

For months, the New York Daily News has been railing against lawmakers in Albany who refused to pass reforms that would give sex abuse victims more time to identify and help prosecute individuals and institutions that failed to protect them. Currently, New York and other states have statutes of limitations which make it difficult for victims to get justice as the years go on.

Church Remains Silent on Child Sex Abuse Statute Bill as Dozens Show up to Hearing

Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

When a similar measure was introduced in 2010, the Archdiocese of Agana heavily opposed the measure. Today, not a single member of the archdiocese submitted testimony on Bill 326.

Guam - Emotional testimony as dozens showed up to a public hearing on a bill that proposes to lift the statute of limitations on child sex abuse claims.

Testimony provided by victims and others were overwhelmingly in support of Bill 326 and noticeably absent were representatives of the Catholic Church.

For the four victims to accuse Archbishop Anthony Apuron of sexual abuse, it was another chance for them to be heard. One by one, Roy Quintanilla, Doris Concepcion, Walter Denton and Roland Sondia’s stories were detailed once again.

All of them spoke of the need for Bill 326, noting that as victims of child sexual abuse, there should be no time limit for a victim to come forward.



Director: Skip Shea
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Year: 2016
Rating: NR

A man accidentally bumps into the priest who abused him when he was a child at a local coffee shop, sending him on a twisted journey through his past.

"Trinity" tells the story of Michael, a young artist who was sexually abused as a child by a local priest. When he accidentally runs into the priest at his sister's coffee shop it triggers a surreal trip through his past, with stopovers in three churches until he finally snaps back to the present moment and decides how to confront the monster that haunts him.

"Trinity" is a very personal film for Writer/Director, Skip Shea. The film is based on an event that happened in Shea's life when he ran into the priest who had abused him when he was a child and who was now working in a local bookstore. That random encounter triggered a dissociative experience, which is at the heart of the film.

You can feel every once of pain and anger in every single frame of the movie. I am not going to go into plot details here so not to ruin the film for those waiting to see it but to be honest it would not do the film any justice because it really needs to be seen. "Trinity" is a mesmerizing film, It is a dark, surreal and nightmarish journey through one man's fragile psyche. The story is so deep and it tells a story so horrific you will feel emotionally drained but the time the credits begin to roll and I mean that in a good way.

The film is also a brave one and it is an important one to tell because these kind of things happen way too often and nothing ever seems to be done about it. Shea does a terrific job telling his tale in a much different way than one might expect, I can say that I do not think it will be for everyone but Independent Cinema fans and even Art House fans should definitely love the film.

The film looks and sounds terrific and the score is both haunting and beautiful at the same time. And then there is the cast, everyone in the film does a fantastic job playing their roles including, David Graziano who plays the priest and Diana Porter who plays Michael's sister. Other notable stars are Beatrice Di Giovanni, Aurora Grabill, Erica Jean and Lynn Lowry. But the real star or the film is Sean Carmichael who is absolutely sensational as Michael. The emotion he brings to the character is bar none and I see him winning many awards with this performance.

IL--Victims push for stronger child sex abuse laws

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victims push for stronger child sex abuse laws
They predict: “Hastert will try to get out early”
Group says “Give us more time to expose predators”
It backs both new federal plan and state reform too
SNAP also honors one of Hastert’s victims who spoke up in court

Carrying signs and childhood photos, in the wake of Dennis Hastert’s imprisonment, abuse victims march through downtown Chicago and hold a news conference.

They will
--praise victims and others who helped get the ex-House speaker convicted, and
--urge correctional officials to look with “heightened skepticism” on what they say is a “likely move” by Hastert to seek early release for alleged health reasons

They will also
--announce their support for two federal proposals to reform the statute of limitations, and
--urge Illinois lawmakers to also relax the state’s “predator-friendly” abuse laws.

Sunday, June 26. Meet at 12:45 pm

In Chicago, meet at 12:45 pm at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart, 350 West Mart Center Drive and walk to the Illinois State Office Building (James R. Thomson Center), 100 W. Randolf St., Chicago by 1:15pm. (The group will march down Wacker E. to Clark S. streets)

A group of adults who were abused as kids by clergy, teachers and others and belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), which is holding its annual conference this weekend.

1) On Wednesday, Hastert reported to prison. But SNAP predicts that he will seek an early release claiming ill health. The group wants correctional officials to scrutinize any such claim vigorously.

“In our experience, predators often try to ‘game the system’ and exploit any loophole they can to get special treatment, pretending to be sick or have poor memories or otherwise be virtually helpless and non-threatening,” says Barbara Dorris of SNAP. “We strongly suspect Hastert will do this too and we want prison officials to examine any claims like this very carefully.”

“Our focus is on deterring future crimes and cover ups, not on making Hastert suffer,” explained Barbra Graber of SNAP. “When we harshly penalize adults who hurt kids or hide crimes, we prevent more adults from hurting kids and hiding crimes. This is being prudent, not punitive.”

[Santa Cruz Sentinel]

2) To prevent future cases like Hastert’s, SNAP also wants the Illinois state legislature to pass a law letting anyone who was abused at any time to file civil suits to expose those who committed and concealed the crimes.

The group says “the archaic, arbitrary, predator-friendly statute of limitations is the single greatest obstacle to stopping child sex crimes and cover ups.” It notes that several states, including Pennsylvania, are debating relaxing their statutes and several have already done so using civil “windows” (Minnesota, Hawaii, California and Delaware).

3) Nevada Senator Harry Reid has introduced legislation authorizing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to give grants to states that eliminate statutes of limitations on laws involving child sexual abuse, giving victims more time to come forward and report their abusers.

Who Blames the Victim?

The New York Times

[When and Why We See Victims as Responsible - Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin]


IF you are mugged on a midnight stroll through the park, some people will feel compassion for you, while others will admonish you for being there in the first place. If you are raped by an acquaintance after getting drunk at a party, some will be moved by your misfortune, while others will ask why you put yourself in such a situation.

What determines whether someone feels sympathy or scorn for the victim of a crime? Is it a function of political affiliation? Of gender? Of the nature of the crime?

In a recent series of studies, we found that the critical factor lies in a particular set of moral values. Our findings, published on Thursday in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, show that the more strongly you privilege loyalty, obedience and purity — as opposed to values such as care and fairness — the more likely you are to blame the victim.

These two sets of values have been the object of much scholarly attention. Psychologists have found that when it comes to morality, some people privilege promoting the care of others and preventing unfair behaviors. These are “individualizing values,” as they can apply to any individual. Other people privilege loyalty, obedience and purity. These are “binding values,” as they promote the cohesion of your particular group or clan.

Binding and individualizing values are not mutually exclusive, and people have varying degrees of both. But psychologists have discovered that the extent to which you favor one relative to the other predicts various things about you. For example, the more strongly you identify with individualizing values, the more likely you are to be politically progressive; the more strongly you identify with binding values, the more likely you are to be politically conservative.

Our animating insight was that these two clusters of values entail different conceptions of victims. Proponents of individualizing values tend to see a dyad of victim and perpetrator (a victim is hurt, a perpetrator does the hurting). Proponents of binding values, however, may see behaviors as immoral even when there is no obvious victim — for example, the “impure” act of premarital sex or the “disloyal” act of flag burning — and may even feel that doing the right thing sometimes requires hurting others (as with honor killings, to pick an extreme example). So we hypothesized that support for binding values would correlate with a greater tendency to blame victims.

We conducted several studies, involving 994 research participants. First we examined how their moral values related to their tendency to stigmatize victims versus to see victims as injured. We provided minimal descriptions of victims of various crimes — rape and molestation, stabbing and strangling — and asked the participants how much they considered the victims as “injured” or “contaminated.”

While we expected that all participants would be more likely to view sexual-crime victims than non-sexual-crime victims as contaminated (which is indeed what we found), we also found, surprisingly, that the more strongly people endorsed binding values, the more strongly they considered any victim to be contaminated — regardless of the nature of the crime.

Furthermore, the more people saw a victim as contaminated, the less they saw that victim as injured. Throughout, we controlled for other variables and found that it was moral values — binding values, in particular — and not political orientation, gender or religiosity that determined the results.

In another study, participants read descriptions of specific cases of rape and robbery and rated both the victim and the perpetrator on how “responsible” they were for the outcome, as well as how much a change in their actions could have changed things. We found that the more strongly people endorsed binding values, the more they strongly they attributed responsibility to victims and the more they saw victims’ behaviors as influencing the outcome. We found the opposite pattern for people endorsing individualizing values.

Can anything be done to change people’s perceptions of victims and perpetrators? In another study, we explored whether nudging people to focus on perpetrators versus victims could affect people’s moral judgments. We did so by placing either the perpetrator or the victim in the subject position in a majority of sentences in descriptions of sexual assault (e.g., “Lisa was forced by Dan” versus “Dan forced Lisa”). We then asked the participants to assign percentages of blame to the victim and perpetrator.

Consistent with our previous findings, the more participants endorsed binding values, the more blame they assigned to victims and the less blame they assigned to perpetrators. But we also found that focusing their attention on the perpetrator led to reduced ratings of victim blame, victim responsibility and references to victims’ actions, whereas a focus on victims led to greater victim blaming. This was surprising: You might assume that focusing on victims elicits more sympathy for them, but our results suggest that it may have the opposite effect.

Victim blaming appears to be deep-seated, rooted in core moral values, but also somewhat malleable, susceptible to subtle changes in language. For those looking to increase sympathy for victims, a practical first step may be to change how we talk: Focusing less on victims and more on perpetrators — “Why did he think he had license to rape?” rather than “Imagine what she must be going through” — may be a more effective way of serving justice.

Laura Niemi is a postdoctoral associate in psychology at Harvard. Liane Young is an associate professor of psychology at Boston College.

North Yorkshire charity leads global network to tackle online sexual abuse

Darlington and Stockton Times

A NORTH Yorkshire charity is launching the world’s first global network of professionals to helping children who have suffered online sexual abuse.

The Marie Collins Foundation (MCF), based in Masham near Ripon, was set up in 2011 by chief executive Tink Palmer and works with children, young people and families to help them recover after sexual abuse involving technology. It also trains including social workers, police and teachers in supporting victims.

Now it is about to lead the world’s first global network of experts dedicated to helping child victims. The Global Protection Online Network is funded by investment from the global fund pledged at the #WePROTECT Children Online summit by former Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014.

The money will be used to provide support to child victims of technology-related violence, abuse and exploitation through the Global Protection Online Network.

It will also fund a report on international research relating to the recovery of children from online abuse and carry out a survey to map out work practices and lessons learned among professionals in 17 countries identified by UNICEF as priorities.

Apuron accusers testify on bill that would lift time limit on molestation lawsuits

Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News June 27, 2016

Individuals who recently accused Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of sexually molesting them when they were altar boys in Agat in the 1970s testified Monday in favor of a bill lifting time limits on filing lawsuits against child molesters.

Another individual, Jonathan Diaz, also addressed senators at the Guam Legislature in Hagåtña, and said a seminarian who later became a priest sexually abused him when he was 13 and 16 years old. Diaz said nobody believed him when he came forward in 1991.

“You didn’t believe me. Believe them,” Diaz told senators, while pointing to the four other accusers of Apuron seated in the public hearing room of the Legislature.

Apuron hasn’t been charged with any crime.

Arizona resident Walter G. Denton, who accused Apuron of “raping” him, flew back to Guam from the mainland on Sunday just to testify in favor of Bill 326-33.

“Give us Agat boys a chance to achieve some measure of justice and closure in our lives,” he said.

Alleged sex abuse victims speak-up to support bill


Updated: Jun 27, 2016

By Krystal Paco

"Justice shouldn't have an expiration date" - that's the sentiment echoed from supporters of Bill 326, who rallied in full force for three hours at Monday's public hearing. the proposed legislation would lift the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases. The bill's introduction comes in the wake of accusations of rape and molestation made against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

And alleged victims are speaking up and asking senators for more time to confront their perpetrators and bring them to court.

Joseph "Sonny" Quinata may not be alive today, but his mother, Doris Concepcion, still seeks justice on his behalf. She said, "Apuron accused me of being a liar. If you pass this bill, want to take Apuron to court. I have nothing to gain. I want Apuron to go to court so the truth can come out."

Concepcion was joined by other accusers of the archbishop - Walter Denton, Roland Sondia, and family of Roy Quintanilla, who testified on Monday in support of Bill 326. All the victims were altar boys at Mount Carmel Church in Agat when they allege they were molested or raped by Apuron. Each of the victims waited decades before coming forward and as a result, cannot seek legal action because Guam law provides only a two -year window to do so.

Bistum zahlt Missbrauchsopfern 30.000 Euro


[The Hildesheim diocese has paid 30,000 euros to abuse victims.]

Oft vergehen Jahrzehnte, bevor Opfer sexueller Gewalt über das Erlebte sprechen. Die Täter sind dann oft schon tot und können nicht mehr zur Verantwortung gezogen werden. So etwa im Fall eines mittlerweile 70-Jährigen, der dem verstorbenen früheren Hildesheimer Bischof Heinrich Maria Janssen vorwirft, ihn Ende der 1950er-Jahre missbraucht zu haben. In Fällen wie diesen bietet die Diözese seit 2011 eine finanzielle "Anerkennung des Leids" und eine Kostenübernahme für die Therapie an. Im vergangenen Jahr sind beim Bistum Hildesheim fünf entsprechende Anträge eingegangen, darunter auch der des 70-Jährigen. Insgesamt 30.000 Euro hat es den mutmaßlichen Opfern seither ausbezahlt, 10.000 davon gingen an den Rentner. Üblich sind 5.000 Euro.

Interne Aufarbeitung: Noch keine Gutachter benannt

Die interne Aufarbeitung der Missbrauchsvorwürfe ist unterdessen noch nicht vorangeschritten. Einem Bistumssprecher zufolge sind bislang noch keine Gutachter benannt worden, die sich mit den Anschuldigungen gegen den verstorbenen Bischof Janssen und den ehemaligen Priester und verurteilten Missbrauchstäter Peter R. auseinandersetzen sollen.

Studie über Missbrauch und Gewalt


[A study commissioned by Caritas shows that children with mental illness and disabilities who lived in Catholic institutions were subjected to violence, abuse and ill-treatment.]

In Einrichtungen der katholischen Kirche für Kinder mit Behinderungen oder psychischen Erkrankungen gab es bis in die 70er-Jahre hinein Gewalt, Missbrauch und Misshandlungen. Das ergab jetzt eine Untersuchung im Auftrag der Caritas.

Anne Francoise Weber: Sie wurden geschlagen, zum Essen gezwungen, zur Strafe in den dunklen Keller eingesperrt oder zu sexuellen Handlungen genötigt. Und es waren Kinder, die sich besonders schlecht wehren konnten, weil sie durch Behinderungen oder psychische Krankheiten beeinträchtigt waren. Erst langsam wird bekannt, wie viele Gewalterfahrungen Kinder bis in die 1970er-Jahre hinein in Einrichtungen der Behindertenhilfe gemacht haben.

Sexueller Missbrauch – Schon 1700 Opfer haben sich gemeldet


[A total of 1,700 people have applied to the Catholic Church in Germany to be recognized as victims of sexual abuse by priests or other church employees and they are asking for financial compensation. Victims can receive up to 5,000 euros or possibly higher amout due to the circumstances.]

Berlin. Seit zwei Jahren arbeiten Forscher den sexuellen Missbrauch durch katholische Priester auf. Nicht überall erhalten sie Unterstützung.

Die Zahl wird fast täglich größer: Knapp 1700 Personen haben inzwischen bei der Katholischen Kirche in Deutschland beantragt, als Opfer sexuellen Missbrauch durch Priester oder andere Kirchenmitarbeiter anerkannt und dafür finanziell entschädigt zu werden. Dies teilte jetzt die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz (DBK) in Berlin mit. Opfer erhalten jeweils bis zu 5000 Euro, in begründeten Einzelfällen werden auch höhere Summen gezahlt.

Die Aufarbeitung des Missbrauchsskandals, der in der Kirche seit seiner Aufdeckung 2010 für Erschütterungen sorgt, kommt offenbar voran. „Wir rechnen damit, Ende 2017 belastbare und solide Daten liefern zu können“, erklärte der Mannheimer Psychiater Harald Dreßing jetzt in Berlin. Dreßing leitet das Forschungskonsortium, das im Auftrag der DBK den Missbrauch in der Kirche aufarbeiten soll. Dazu sichtet das Gremium seit Juli 2014 Tausende Personalakten von Priestern, führt Interviews mit Opfern und zieht Strafakten der Justiz zu Rate.

Metaanalyse zum sexuellen Missbrauch an Minderjährigen im Rahmen der katholischen Kirche

Springer Link


Der vorliegende Beitrag befasst sich mit einem Forschungsprojekt über sexuellen Missbrauch an Minderjährigen im Kontext der katholischen Kirche. Neben der Skizzierung der einzelnen Teilprojekte werden erste Ergebnisse des Teilprojekts der methodenkritischen Metaanalyse dargestellt. Die Metaanalyse gibt einen Überblick über die bisherigen empirischen Befunde zu Art und Umfang sexueller Missbrauchstaten an Minderjährigen in der katholischen Kirche und in anderen Institutionen. Hierzu wurden bisher 40 Studien über die katholische Kirche und 13 Studien über Einrichtungen, die nicht in katholischer Trägerschaft stehen, untersucht. Es werden Ergebnisse zu den Methoden der Studien sowie zu den Merkmalen von Tätern und Opfern und zu den Delikten dargestellt.

Sexueller Missbrauch Kindesmissbrauch Katholische Kirche Metaanalyse
Meta-analysis on sexual abuse of minors within the Roman Catholic Church

Preliminary results

The article deals with a research project on sexual abuse committed against minors in the context of the Roman Catholic Church. In addition to outlining the individual partial projects, the article presents the first results of the partial project on the method critical meta-analysis. The meta-analysis gives an overview of the existing empirical evidence on the nature and extent of sexual abuse committed against minors in the Roman Catholic Church and in other institutions. A total of 40 studies about the Roman Catholic Church and 13 studies about institutions outside the realm of the Roman Catholic Church have so far been examined. Preliminary results concerning the methods of the studies as well as descriptive data on offenders, victims and offences are presented.

Abuse survivor advocates push for national redress scheme in lead-up to election day

ABC News

By Emily Bourke

Advocates for survivors of child sexual abuse are ramping up their campaign for a national redress scheme ahead of this weekend's federal election.

The establishment of a national redress scheme was a key recommendation handed down by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Commission stated that a national redress scheme could help compensate 60,000 child abuse victims.

But one of the peak organisations representing abuse victims has said only the Greens and Labor parties have put forward any funding commitments for such a scheme.

The Coalition has said it supports a national, consistent approach as recommended by the Royal Commission, but has not yet made any formal funding commitment.

Bishop offers Service of Lament to begin healing for victims

Kansas City Star


There was a time when the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph hid from responsibility for the child sex abuse done by some of its priests.

On Sunday, that attitude of contempt was put to rest.

Bishop James V. Johnston Jr. laid out his vision for the diocese during a Service of Lament at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

A “visible, permanent reminder” will be dedicated to the victims, a marker that will be decided upon by a remembrance committee, comprised partly of survivors of the abuse.

A new team will assess best practices for reporting and dealing with suspected abuse. The diocese already has a set of strict protocols, but they will be measured for effectiveness and reassessed for any changes necessary to improve.

Silent Struggles: Church wields heavier hand, but even tougher stances sought

Reading Eagle

By Liam Migdail-Smith

The way Catholic leaders respond to allegations of sexual abuse of children by clergy or lay people has changed since the mid-2000s, local church leaders say.

And they said, the culture and process victims faced when confronting church leaders about the abuse in the past is not the same as today.

In the Philadelphia Archdiocese, which includes the Pottstown area, all reports of abuse are now immediately forwarded to law enforcement, spokesman Kenneth A. Gavin said.
At the same time, the victim is put in touch with a services coordinator who can help line up church funding for therapy, medication and related transportation and child care costs, he said.
And after the legal investigation is complete, the church conducts its own, separate canon-law review, he said.

Archdiocese in shambles

Saipan Tribune

By John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Posted on Jun 27 2016

The grassroots movement in the Archdiocese of Agana seeking removal of Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron has blown up into a towering inferno. It deals with four victims alleging the archbishop sexually molested them years ago. Troubling!

Initially, I dismissed it as a war of accusations and denials. The narrative shifted as more former altar boys came forward with accusations. It came right in the midst of the resignation of board members—a group under the archdiocese—responsible for investigating reported priestly pedophilia. Wasn’t this issue a national scandal in recent past?

I asked for additional information from my cousin, David J. Sablan, vice president of the Concerned Catholics of Guam, Inc., just to secure a clear history of the entire nine yards and to do justice to the issue.

Appalling the calculated agenda by Apuron who allegedly corralled money and property belonging to the Archdiocese of Agana to the Neocatechumenal Way organization headed by people from without the island. It begins to show why Apuron allegedly wanted control of the seminary property in Yona (worth about $75 million) where he thought he could silently impose command, control, and disposition without notice and consent of the faithful.

Outrage as Catholic Church honours Genocide convicts

The New Times

PUBLISHED: June 27, 2016

Genocide survivors and relatives of victims have expressed dismay at a decision by Catholic Church to celebrate silver jubilee in honour of two priests convicted for their role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Emmanuel Rukundo and Joseph Ndagijimana are among six priests whose ordination and jubilee ceremony is slated to take place on July 16 at Kabgayi Diocese.

Emmanuel Rukundo was convicted and handed a 25-year sentence by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 2009, while Joseph Ndagijimana was convicted and handed life sentence by Gacaca in the same year.

Ndagijimana is serving his sentence in Mpanga Prison in Ruhango District.

Speaking to The New Times yesterday, Prof. Jean-Pierre Dusingizemungu, the president of Ibuka, an umbrella of Genocide survivors associations, strongly condemned the celebration of the jubilee and called it a form of negation as well as provocation.

Robert L. Steadman, 90, former state Superior Court top judge

Boston Globe


In a New Bedford courtroom, Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Robert L. Steadman weighed the unfathomable crimes of pedophile former priest James R. Porter against claims that the Catholic Church hierarchy had enabled Porter’s sexual abuse of dozens of children in the 1960s.

The depths of the church sex abuse scandal had yet to be exposed on that December day in 1993 as Judge Steadman heard 22 of Porter’s victims describe shattered childhoods, suicide attempts, and lost faith. Prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Porter to serve 36 to 50 years in prison. The defense argued Porter was a repentant sex offender who needed treatment, not jail.

“The defendant stands before me today as an effigy, representing all the other named and unnamed child abusers,” Judge Steadman said, according to a New York Times account. “Yet justice requires that James Porter, the symbol, be cast aside and that James Porter, the man, be judged.”

Porter had shown “complete disregard of the physical, spiritual, and psychological impact” of his crimes, said the judge, who ordered Porter to serve 18 to 20 years for sexually assaulting 28 boys and girls.

Judge Steadman, who spent 17 years on the Superior Court bench and was named chief justice in 1988, died June 14 in the Pat Roche Hospice Home in Hingham from complications of a recent fall. He was 90 and lived in Hanover.

June 26, 2016

Hon: All documents sent to Holy See

Pacific Daily News

Jojo Santo Tomas, jsantotoma@guampdn.com June 27, 2016

In an announcement released Sunday afternoon, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai stated that all relevant documentation has been sent to those who will render a final decision.

Hon, appointed by Pope Francis as apostolic administrator for the Archdiocese of Agana on June 6, arrived in Guam in early June to oversee church operations.

His arrival comes in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct against Archbishop Anthony Apuron made by former altar boys who served in Agat almost 40 years ago.

Apuron remains Guam’s archbishop and has not been charged with any crime.

In the June 26 announcement, Hon collectively names accusers Walter Denton, Doris Concepcion, Roy Quintanilla and Roland Sondia, who made his accusations a week after Hon arrived. Hon also offered his personal prayers for all parties involved.

“… all of the relevant documentation received by the Church related to these allegations has been duly sent to the Holy See, which has final authority in cases related to Bishops,” said Hon in the statement. “I would further like to assure everyone that I have recognized the issues raised by all those concerned and, being deeply moved by the way they expressed themselves, am earnestly praying for them, without prejudice to both the alleged victims and the accused and ask for the prayers and support of the entire Church community.”

Sex Abuse Survivors Call For End To Statutes Of Limitations On Child Sex Crimes

CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — While many in Chicago joined the annual Pride Parade on the North Side on Sunday, others marched downtown to call on lawmakers to eliminate all statutes of limitations on child sex crimes.

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests rallied outside the Thompson Center, many holding up signs reading “protect our children, not their predators.”

“To stop sexual violence of children, it’s time to hold sexual perpetrators accountable,” SNAP President Barbara Blaine said.

The way to do that, Blaine said, is for lawmakers across the country to change child sex abuse laws to “step up, and reform the statutes of limitation once and for all.”

“All statutes of limitation for child sex crimes should be eliminated,” she said.

Klitzkie: Hon wasted his opportunity, turned back on survivors

Pacific Daily News

Robert Klitzki
June 26, 2016

Justice requires broadening the reach of Bill 326-33 to provide relief not only to those who have suffered at the hands of child sexual abusers, but others, to include not only the abusers but also their enablers, aiders or abettors, those acting in concert with them and their religious institutions or corporations sole.

The three C’s are referenced here: condonation, cover-up and conspiracy. Recent history tells us that the three C’s were all too prevalent in the worldwide Catholic church. The institutional hierarchy of the church condoned, covered up and conspired to prevent victims of child sexual abuse from attaining justice.

When allegations of these heinous acts first surfaced on our island, my inclination was that whoever may have committed those acts should be made to pay but that the institution, i.e. the archdiocese or corporation sole, need not be held liable in order that justice be available to victims whose claims had been barred by the running of the statute of limitations. If the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse were eliminated prospectively and reopened retroactively, the hierarchy and processes of the church would be sufficient to “clean up” the church so that child sexual abuse would become no more than a bad memory, I thought.

I was wrong. Very wrong.

Scandal now saturates the church — scandal so egregious that the pope has sent an apostolic administrator, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, to take over the archdiocese in the stead of Anthony Apuron, who still retains the naked title of archbishop. Hon came here with tremendous potential to do good. Hon came on personal appointment of the pope to clean up the mess that befalls our church.

Prospects of justice are dim

Pacific Daily News

Bill Pesch June 26, 2016

Justice denied. That just about sums up the possibility in Guam of pursuing traditional legal remedies against persons in position of trust who committed sexual crimes against minors years ago. This is the unfortunate reality facing the men who are accusing Archbishop Anthony Apuron of molesting them decades ago.

Why is the prospect of legal justice so dim? There are two main reasons. The first is an expired statute of limitations and the second is the lack of a “deep pocket.” Let’s look at both of these factors in some detail.

Those who molest minors face the possibility of both criminal and civil charges. The criminal charges can land the accused in jail, while a civil case can cost the suspect money. However, under the law, both criminal and civil actions must be filed within a specific period of time. This is known as the statute of limitations. With only a few exceptions, if you fail to file an action within the stated time, you forever lose the opportunity to pursue the matter.

The reason for statutes of limitation is based on common sense. With time, a case goes stale — witnesses forget or die, memories fade and evidence is lost or tainted. There is also the fact that victims, suspects and witnesses need to move on with their lives.

‘Spotlight’ film pushed victim to speak out against Hastert

Chicago Sun-Times

Mitch Dudek

Scott Cross, who was hailed as a hero for speaking out about the sexual abuse he suffered as as teenager at the hands of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, was lauded for his courage during an award ceremony Sunday in downtown Chicago honoring survivors of abuse.

Phil Saviano, whose abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest was an integral part of the Oscar-winning film “Spotlight,” handed Cross a plaque before several hundred people who’d gathered for an annual conference hosted by Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests at a downtown hotel.

“The movie ‘Spotlight’ was a very powerful movie for me as I struggled talking to my wife about this,” Cross told the audience after accepting the award.

Cross first opened up publicly about being abused at the age of 17 by Hastert, who was his wrestling coach at the time at Yorkville High School, while speaking in court at Hastert’s sentencing in late April.

“There were several reasons I thought about telling my story in a very open format that scared the hell out of me,” he said, according to a video of his remarks provided to the Sun-Times.

“As I was getting close to my decision to come forward, my wife had been encouraging me to go see the movie ‘Spotlight,'” he said.

“I just sat there by myself watching that movie, and it was a very powerful, powerful decision to come forward on top of Coach Hastert making some phone calls to my brother about a letter of support,” Cross said in reference to the audacious move by Hastert to seek a letter of support from Cross’s brother, former Republican ally and House Minority Leader Tom Cross.

Catholic bishop in Kansas City apologizes at special service for church sex abuse victims

Kansas City Star


Betrayal, regret, healing and forgiveness were key words at a special Service of Lament on Sunday at Kansas City’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for victims and survivors of sexual abuse within the church.

Bishop James V. Johnston Jr. went straight to the point in his homily before a full congregation that included most if not all priests from the nearly 100 parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

“I am here to confess, apologize and repent for the sins of those who held a sacred trust in the church and who betrayed that trust,” Johnston declared, saying he was speaking “for the priests and bishops and anyone in the service of the church whose actions or inactions harmed the lives of children entrusted to their care.”

This diocese, like many others, has been rocked by accounts of sexual abuse of children. It has settled multimillion-dollar legal cases involving scores of victims and their families. Former Bishop Robert Finn was charged with a criminal offense for failing to report suspected child sexual abuse. He lost his bishopric.

Defrocking of Apuron urged

Guam Daily Post

John O'Connor | Post News Staff

More than two weeks have passed since the arrival of Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana, but protests have continued in front of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica in Hagåtña despite Archbishop Anthony Apuron having been removed from local church matters amid sexual abuse allegations against him.

For months, the Concerned Catholics of Guam have protested at the cathedral, demanding that Apuron resign from his position as archbishop. But yesterday morning, that message had changed, and more than a dozen protestors holding signs stated plainly in red letters that they are now calling for Apuron's laicization from the church. Laicization, or defrocking, is the removal of a bishop, deacon or priest from his status as a member of the clergy.

Jose Martinez, a member of CCOG, said the credibility of the church and confidence in its leadership has been damaged by Apuron's actions.


"The allegations are serious enough that he should have stepped down a long time ago," Martinez said. "It's getting to the point where it's almost a mockery to be hidden so far away and not address any of the situations going in the church."

Apuron's last official communication to the people of Guam was a video message sent from Rome in which he stated that the pope had granted his request for an apostolic administrator, sede plena, meaning Hon would be in charge of pastoral duties while Apuron remained archbishop of the archdiocese.

Former Philadelphia DA Lynne Abraham speaks on HB 1947

Daily Times

By Kathleen E. Carey, Delaware County Daily Times

POSTED: 06/25/16

As a bill that extends the time childhood sexual abuse victims could file a suit against organizations that harbored their abusers sits in the state Senate Judiciary Committee, victim advocates, including former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham, say the entirety of the bill should be law.

Describing herself as the first prosecutor in the United States to “name names” in a priest-related childhood sexual abuse case, Abraham was Philadelphia’s lead prosecutor when the 2005 grand jury was convened against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Their findings, combined with another grand jury in 2011, found more than 60 priests in the diocese with evidence of abusing dozens of victims. Many of them had ties to Delaware County.

The bill, passed in the House by a 180-15 vote in April, removes the criminal statue of limitations for childhood sexual abuse cases; increases the statute of limitations from 30 years to 50 years for the filing of civil lawsuits for plaintiffs; and removes immunity for organizations found to be grossly negligent.

“I am very concerned because they are going to strip it of the retroactivity,” Abraham said of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It’s not unconstitutional to have it back to 30 now. What’s the difference? Somebody has to tell me that.”

Silent Struggles: Mark Berkery

Reading Eagle

As state lawmakers debate a plan to make it easier for victims of childhood sexual abuse to seek justice, abuse survivors are coming forward to tell their stories.

When Mark Berkery was a boy, he was raped by a family friend, and afterward his parents knew he’d need good counseling to heal.

So they introduced him to the man they trusted most to help, the Rev. Stanley Gana, a priest at Ascension of Our Lord Church in Kensington.

The Berkerys were Catholic and lived in that north Philadelphia neighborhood, and Gana convinced them he could help the boy more than a private counselor.

Gana’s archdiocese bio included “youth counseling” among his talents and interests.

Berry Street lecture takes on clergy sexual misconduct among UU ministers

UU World

ELAINE MCARDLE | 6/24/2016

With an emphasis on power dynamics and the critical need for scrupulous honesty and truth, the Rev. Gail Seavey on Tuesday night took on the painful topic of clergy sexual misconduct and exhorted her fellow Unitarian Universalist ministers to stop keeping secrets so that UU congregations and the faith can thrive and grow in a healthy manner.

“I have seen smart people, good people, fail to understand the impact of sexual misconduct, how pervasive and systemic it is, not just among us but throughout our culture,” said Seavey, speaking at the 196th Ministerial Conference at Berry Street, known as the Berry Street lecture. “For years the system at the UUA and in many of our congregations has been to protect the privileged instead of the vulnerable.”

In her talk, “If Our Secrets Define Us,” Seavey gave an historical context of clergy sexual misconduct in UU congregations, including the reluctance of UU ministers to criticize their colleagues. Some who did, she noted, were censured. Estimating that one-third to one-half of UU congregations in the U.S. have been affected by clergy sexual misconduct within recent memory, Seavey described the psychological trauma to individuals and the severe damage to congregational health, and noted the problem isn’t limited to male ministers. Facing the issue head-on rather than concealing it is not only the moral thing to do, but also results in healthier congregations and a healthier denomination, Seavey said.

“Keeping secrets about the times we fall short of our ideals stops us from developing an ever more nuanced power analysis with others who have also suffered from intersecting cultural secrets,” said Seavey, senior minister at First UU Church of Nashville, Tennessee, a congregation that suffered from ministerial misconduct before she arrived there. Since then, First Nashville became a denominational leader in addressing the problem through the creation of UU Safety Net, which seeks to effect changes in policies and procedures around clergy sexual abuse in Unitarian Universalism.

Church child abuse discussions in Bendigo

Bendigo Advertiser

Adam Holmes

June 26, 2016

THE Catholic Church will meet with members of the Bendigo community on Monday night to answer questions about the church’s history of child sexual abuse.

The chief executive officer of the church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council, Francis Sullivan, will hold a “Spirituality in the Pub” event at the Queens Arms Hotel in Quarry Hill.

The sessions will help form the Catholic Church’s response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Mr Sullivan said hearing the concerns of parishioners and the wider community was an important step in the healing process.

“It is always encouraging to come to community meetings such as this one and hear how ordinary people on the streets and in the pews are responding to the Royal Commission and to the changes being made in the church,” he said.

High price for lost credibility

The Times-Tribune


Pennsylvania’s Catholic bishops recently appealed to their congregations to help defeat a bill that enhances the ability of sexual abuse victims to sue. But the church’s credibility issue that gave rise to the legislation in the first place likely will be difficult to overcome.

The reforms to criminal and civil child sex crime laws are aimed at all private institutions that deal with children, rather than just the Catholic Church alone. But the legislation clearly is inspired by a blistering report by the state attorney general’s office relative to an investigation of child sexual abuse by priests and its cover-up in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese.

The bill, which easily has passed the House, would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations regarding sex crimes against children. It also would raise 20 years, from 30 to 50, the age by which victims must file civil litigation.

Church leaders contend that provision unfairly would expose the institution to far greater liability and ignores reforms that they have implemented.

But four Catholic state representatives who support the bill — Patrick Harkins and Ryan Bizzaro of Erie, Mark Rozzi of Berks County and Madeline Dean of Montgomery County — countered that the church helped create the liability and the need to increase the statutory deadline to file suit.

Silent Struggles: Decades later, sexual-assault victims tell their stories, pursue justice

Reading Eagle

Editor's note: This story contains explicit content.

The harrowing stories are each unique. They're set in different neighborhoods. They revolve around different characters. They outline different circumstances.

But a common thread binds them together.

Each begins with a child whose youth and innocence, they say, was ripped away by a man they trusted above all others and who wielded incredible power over their lives. And each ends with an adult, who decades later, is still grappling with the pain.

As Pennsylvania and neighboring states consider whether to partially reopen a window for people sexually abused as children to seek legal justice, more abuse survivors are stepping out of the shadows to tell their stories.

They seek to remind politicians that the wounds and scars left by abuse are very much part of the present.

Diocese of New Ulm working to heal damage of sexual abuse

The Journal

June 26, 2016

From The Most Reverend John M. LeVoir - Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of New Ulm, Minn.

On behalf of the Diocese of New Ulm, I want to thank the victims and survivors of sexual abuse by priests who shared their heartbreaking stories with The Journal over the past few weeks.

I hope through courageously sharing their experiences, they are helped in their healing journey. I hope in hearing their stories, awareness is raised about the scourge of sexual abuse.

I offer a sincere apology to victims and survivors of past abuse and a solemn pledge to continue to do everything I can to prevent abuse of children and young people in the future.

The Church, in partnership with parents, parish and Catholic school leadership, is working to foster a safe environment for children and young people within Church ministry and throughout our broader community.

All priests and others who work or volunteer with children in Catholic parishes or schools undergo a background check and adhere to a strict Code of Conduct. Over the past decade, thousands of local people, including all priests, have participated in abuse awareness education. Thousands of local children have received age-appropriate personal safety lessons.

Announcement of the Apostolic Administrator from the Chancery Office of the Archdiocese of Agaña

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agana

I would like to reassure the faithful and all people of good will that Church has taken into serious consideration the allegations made against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, OFM Cap., in recent months by Mr. Walter Denton, Mrs. Doris Concepcion, Mr. Roy Quintanilla, and Mr. Paul Lizama Sondia, and that all of the relevant documentation received by the Church related to these allegations has been duly sent to the Holy See, which has final authority in cases related to Bishops. I would further like to assure everyone that I have recognized the issues raised by all those concerned and, being deeply moved by the way they expressed themselves, am earnestly praying for them, without prejudice to both the alleged victims and the accused and ask for the prayers and support of the entire Church community.

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, SDB
Apostolic Administrator
Archdiocese of Agaña

Archbishop Hon Reassures that allegations against Apuron Under Investigation


Updated: Jun 25, 2016
By Sabrina Salas Matanane

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai issued a statement Sunday afternoon to reassure the island community that sexual abuse allegations against Archbishop Anthony Apuron are under investigation by the Vatican. In recent weeks several former altar boys alleged Apuron sexually molested them when he was a priest at Mt. Carmel Church in Agat.

Amid the allegations, Archbishop Hon was appointed the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana by Pope Francis. Apuron was relieved of his pastoral duties but he retains his title as Archbishop.

Here is the statement released by Archbishop Hon:

"I would like to reassure the faithful and all people of good will that Church has taken into serious consideration the allegations made against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, OFM Cap., in recent months by Mr. Walter Denton, Mrs. Doris Concepcion, Mr. Roy Quintanilla, and Mr. Paul Lizama Sondia, and that all of the relevant documentation received by the Church related to these allegations has been duly sent to the Holy See, which has final authority in cases related to Bishops. I would further like to assure everyone that I have recognized the issues raised by all those concerned and, being deeply moved by the way they expressed themselves, am earnestly praying for them, without prejudice to both the alleged victims and the accused and ask for the prayers and support of the entire Church community."

Silent Struggles: Craig Gribbin

Reading Eagle

As state lawmakers debate a plan to make it easier for victims of childhood sexual abuse to seek justice, abuse survivors are coming forward to tell their stories.

After years of suffering in silence, Craig Gribbin mustered the courage to ask for an apology.

It was early 2002. He was about 50 and finally ready to take the last step in confronting the sexual abuse he said he suffered as a teen at the hands of a priest and teacher at Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia.

Through years of self-reflection, Gribbin had started to come to peace with what happened to him. He’d become a born-again Christian, was ordained as a nondenominational minister and began helping couples through marriage counseling.

By ministering to others, he began the painful process of confronting the demons in his own past. And by the late 1990s, Gribbin knew he had a final step to take before putting his abuse behind him: Confronting the people on whose watch it happened.

Silent Struggles: Thomas Humma

Reading Eagle

As state lawmakers debate a plan to make it easier for victims of childhood sexual abuse to seek justice, abuse survivors are coming forward to tell their stories.

The day is seared into Thomas Humma’s memory.

It was the moment, he said, that he finally broke free of the priest who snaked into a central role in his life only to sexually molest him.

Though Humma hasn’t told his story publicly until now, parts of it have been recounted in media reports, at press conferences, even during state legislative sessions.

His story is intertwined with that of his childhood friend Mark Rozzi, who’s since become a state lawmaker representing part of Berks County and an advocate for abuse victims.

Their alleged abuser, Edward R. Graff, died in 2002 while awaiting trial in Texas on charges he abused a 15-year-old boy there.

Humma, who grew up in Reading and now lives on the West Coast, figures Graff pushed his luck the day he took both boys together into the rectory at Holy Guardian Angels in Muhlenberg Township. At the time, Humma was 12, and Rozzi was 13.

June 25, 2016

Sen. Greenleaf recuses himself from child sex-abuse bill


by Jonathan Lai, STAFF WRITER

The chairman of the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee said Saturday he will recuse himself from all matters regarding a contested bill that would expand the ability of child sex-abuse victims to sue individuals and private institutions decades later.

State Sen. Stewart J. Greenleaf (R., Montgomery) said he had recently learned of his law firm's involvement advising a Catholic clergyman serving as a witness in child sex-abuse suits. Neither that nor his firm's previous representation of a Catholic religious order sued by an abuse victim represent conflicts of interest, Greenleaf said, but he will no longer participate in proceedings regarding the measure to reassure the public.

"Perception and appearance in ethical matters are important - especially public perception of what legislators do in Harrisburg," Greenleaf said in a statement Saturday. "In order to project a positive perception, I voluntarily will no longer participate in any further proceedings regarding H.B. 1947, nor will I vote on the bill."

Greenleaf had not taken a public position on the bill. As head of the Judiciary Committee, he led a hearing earlier this month on the constitutionality of the legislation to extend the statute of limitations for child sex-abuse victims.

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Tax Deductible Crime

The News Hub

William H Bowen

This summer over eight million Jehovah’s Witnesses will attend their conventions to be informed this just might be the last meeting they will attend. You see, they have a version of the zombie apocalypse called the “Great Tribulation” in which members are taught the police and local authorities are going to be taken over by Satan to attack JW men, rape JW women, and kill JW children. Members are told to prepare a go-bag with survival materials so they on a moments notice can flee to bunkers till God delivers them. This message is somewhat consistent as it is the same one that has been told for over one hundred years. Each year members believe this is the very last time they will have a summer convention and they go home in a form of mental hysteria to discard material possessions and simplify their lives so they can sell more books for one of the wealthiest per capita tax deductible publishing corporations in the world.

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society produces over one billion pieces of literature each year and by declaring they are a religion can use slave labor to sell their books and pay not one dime in taxes. They go one step further by each year giving all members a piece of paper to write down the exact amount of donations they are willing to provide each month to keep God’s work moving forward. Each congregation is required to send in a specified donation each month or they will be disbanded.

Escándalo en la iglesia de Santa Fe: denuncian a un obispo por encubrir a un sacerdote acusado de pedofilia

La Nacion

[Scandal in the Church of Santa Fe: A bishop is denounced for harboring a priest accused of pedophilia.]

Los padres de la víctima de tres años apuntaron al jefe de la diócesis de Reconquista, Ángel José Macín, y a la asesora legal del obispado por encubrimiento

SEGUIRJosé E. Bordón

SANTA FE.- Escándalo en la iglesia de Reconquista, el norte de esta provincia. El sacerdote Néstor Monzón, de 47 años, acusado del delito de "abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante" en perjuicio de una nena de 3 años, que visitaba la Parroquia "María Madre de Dios", en el barrio Hospital de esa ciudad, vecina a la vivienda de sus abuelos, fue liberado tras 60 días de prisión preventiva domiciliaria. Los padres de la víctima denunciaron penalmente por encubrimiento al obispo de la diócesis, Ángel José Macín.

La causa, además, involucra a la asesora legal del obispado, Gabriela Contepomi, a quien los defensores de la familia de la menor denunciaron porque en una escucha telefónica que se incorporó al expediente, la profesional dialoga con el cura Monzón y le señala que por orden del obispo Macín debe "borrar" todos los mensajes enviados o recibidos en su teléfono móvil. El diario Reconquista Hoy publicó el audio entre la abogada y el cura en su portal.

State politicians seek cover for gutting statute reform

The Morning Call

Bill White

Politicians seek political cover while gutting child sex abuse law
I wanted to begin this column with a great rant about politicians from an old "Monty Python" episode.

It's presented in the guise of an apology for some previous content and scrolls down the screen as a very-proper narrator reads it and "Pomp and Circumstance" plays.

I didn't have space for the whole thing — you can find it on YouTube — but here's an excerpt:

"We would like to apologize for the way in which politicians are represented in this programme. It was never our intention to imply that politicians are weak-kneed, political time-servers who are concerned more with their personal vendettas and private power struggles than the problems of government … nor to imply that they are squabbling little toadies without an ounce of concern for the vital social problems of today …"

I won't endorse some of the specific language in the rant — I wouldn't call anyone "crabby ulcerous little self-seeking vermin" — but the general sentiments fit my disgust with the state Senate Judiciary Committee, which has been hard at work fashioning an appropriate excuse for gutting a bill that would reform statutes of limitations for child sex abuse survivors. I'd have added something about subservience to powerful special interests.

Victorian government should change law to allow Catholic Church to be sued

The Age

June 25, 2016

Judy Courtin

An international spotlight is shining starkly on Australia this weekend as representatives from the United Nations, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Chile, the UK, the US and Australia are gathering in Chicago for a three-day conference on sexual assault and the Catholic Church.

As the Australian speaker at this conference I am, inter alia, highlighting the fact that Australia continues to be the only country in the common law world in which there is no legal entity for the Catholic Church (and some other religious organisations) that can be sued by victims for the historical sex crimes of its clergy. This burdensome barrier to justice holds firm, despite the royal commission making a sound and easily implemented recommendation that, unless a proper defendant with sufficient assets to meet its liability is nominated by the church authority, then the property trust (the only legal entity that does exist) can be sued.

This recommendation, the implementation of which is the responsibility of our state and territory governments, was made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in its report on redress and civil litigation, published in September 2015. Critically, and unlike a recommendation of the earlier Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the handling of child abuse, the royal commission's recommendation has both prospective and retrospective effects, meaning it would apply not only to future victims, but also to existing victims.

Hon lays groundwork to reorganize church

Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News June 25, 2016

The archbishop Pope Francis sent to temporarily administer the Archdiocese of Agana has started laying the groundwork for the reorganization of the Catholic church in Guam.

But the Concerned Catholics of Guam said the two more urgent tasks should have been: reaching out to those who have said they are victims of sex abuse by Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron; and the permanent removal not only of Apuron but also three other individuals.

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai announced the formation of four ad hoc committees that could lead to a reorganization of the embattled Catholic church in Guam.

Hon also named the Rev. Patrick Castro as the new contact person “for those coming forward with allegations of having been sexually abused by a member of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Agana.”

Monsignor Brigido “Bibi” Arroyo, who also got special assignment from Hon as spokesperson for the archdiocese, said on Friday the formation of the four committees are part of the task of promoting unity, and that the church is listening to the people.

The Devil Is in the Details: How Insurance and Catholic Lobbyists Are Trying to Help Child Predators and Supportive Institutions Behind the Scenes

Hamilton and Griffin on Rights

Professor Marci A. Hamilton
Jun 25, 2016

Here is what the rumor mill says some Pennsylvania Senators are considering, with a guide to help you understand it....

When it comes to behind-the-scenes chicanery against child sex abuse victims, no one holds a candle to the insurance and Catholic Conference lobbyists and bishops. They have pulled out all the stops against victims’ access to justice, especially when states have considered windows or revival bills that permit survivors with expired statutes of limitations (“SOLs”) to go foreard despite the SOL. One or more have pulled some stunners in various states, with the result that they shut victims out of court and preserved the secrets of predators and the institutions engaged in self-protection.

As I discuss in Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children, in Colorado, Bishop Chaput put to work a public relations strategy to mislead Catholics in the pews into thinking a window is “anti-Catholic” and succeeded even though that is false. In Ohio, the night before a window would have passed in the House, the bishops persuaded members to strip out the window portion of the bill and replace it with a useless and unconstitutional “civil registry,” which has done zero for survivors.

In every state to consider revival legislation, the bishops have also trotted out lawyers with little knowledge of constitutional law to argue that a window or revival legislation is “unconstitutional.” Then when the bill passed, they challenged its constitutionality and lost in court—in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, and Massachusetts.

In the latest Pennsylvania chapter, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Stewart Greenleaf, put together no less than 5 people to testify that it is supposedly unconstitutional to revive an expired SOL in Pennsylvania. To quote survivor Michelle Gonsmann in her published letter to the Altoona Mirror: “Greenleaf lined up a parade of attorneys, most of whom had no true constitutional expertise but were deeply involved in the Catholic church or Catholic universities. These experts were clearly biased toward the Catholic church.”

Bistum Trier: causa Freisen - "Die Verantwortung des Diözesanbischofs bleibt bestehen"


The responsibility of the diocesan bishop remains"

Entgegen der Behauptung des Bistums Trier, dass Bistum habe erst jetzt (2016) von den Vorwürfen aus dem Jahr 2006 erfahren, konnte inzwischen belegt werden, dass das Bistum Trier bereits 2006 von der Staatsanwaltschaft informiert wurde. In der bischöflichen Personalkommission, in der die Meldung der Staatsanwaltschaft 2006 bekannt gegeben wurde, saßen sowohl der damalige Trierer Bischof Reinhard Marx als auch der heutige Bischof Ackermann. Damals fand auch ein Gespräch mit dem ehemaligen Freisener Pfarrer statt. Dieser versicherte dem Bistum gegenüber schriftlich, dass die Vorwürfe ihm gegenüber nicht zutreffend seien. Hätte das Bistum Trier den Verdacht gegen den ehemaligen Priester als unbegründet angesehen, hätte das Bistum Trier laut Leitlinien allerdings "die notwendigen Schritte unternehmen müssen, den 'guten Ruf der Person' wiederherzustellen"

Kritische Auseinandersetzung mit eigener Geschichte


BERLIN, 23.06.2016 // In einer heute in Berlin vorgestellten Studie setzt sich der Fachverband Caritas Behindertenhilfe und Psychiatrie (CBP) mit der Situation auseinander, dass Kinder und Jugendliche mit Behinderung in den Anfangsjahren der Bundesrepublik in katholischen Einrichtungen Gewalt, Missbrauch und Leid erfahren haben.

Die Studie "Heimkinderzeit. Eine Studie zur Situation von Kindern und Jugendlichen in Einrichtungen der katholischen Behindertenhilfe in Westdeutschland (1949 - 1975) wurde im Auftrag des CBP vom Institut für Angewandte Forschung, Entwicklung und Weiterbildung (IAF) in Freiburg durchgeführt. Mitfinanziert und mitgetragen wird sie von der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz (DBK), dem Deutschen Caritasverband (DCV), der Deutschen Ordensobernkonferenz (DOK) und der Veronika-Stiftung.

Studie: Gewalt in katholischen Behinderten-Heimen war Alltag

Deutsche Welle

[Study: Violence in Catholic disabled homes was common.]

Das Leben von behinderten Kindern und Jugendlichen in katholischen Heimen zwischen 1949 und 1975 war geprägt von Isolation, Unterordnung und Gewalt. Zu diesem Ergebnis kommt eine erste umfassende Studie zu dem Thema.

"Weinen war nicht erlaubt. Und wenn doch, gab's auch dafür Schläge", erinnert sich die Bewohnerin eines katholischen Behindertenheims. Und ein anderer berichtet: "Da wurden wir in einen dunklen Raum gesperrt (...) das war für mich das Schlimmste, was es gab."

Whom Do You Feel Bad For?

The Times of Israel

JUNE 24, 2016

Michael J. Salamon

In the last few days, following the ruling by a Beit Din in Israel, a ruling that received support from a number of prominent rabbis in Israel and the United States who represent all shades of Orthodoxy, several highly personal articles have appeared. These intimate articles describe the pain inflicted upon them by a Rabbi Meir Pogrow who was supposed to be their educator, mentor, and spiritual advisor but was in effect their abuser. The Beit Din ruling was clear: “It is forbidden,” the Beit Din wrote, for him to have any contact with women and women were warned to have no contact with him; women should not even go to his Torah website and were instructed to avoid any contact with a woman who was and seems to still be his booking agent.

The implication was clear in their ruling that this woman solicited for him and in the Beit Din’s words “functions as his agent for sin, and in this way they have knowingly (ensnared and) lowered girls into the lowest spiritual depths”.

Pogrow, often referred to as a brilliant and charismatic Torah, scholar taught at Yeshiva University High Schools in Los Angeles, Michlahlah seminary in Jerusalem, and at the Kollel of Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem and Austin, Texas. He first appeared on my radar about eight years ago when Riva (not her real name) a woman in her early twenties came to therapy following some time at the seminary in Israel. She was anxious, depressed, and afraid that she could never get married or ever trust men. She described a relationship with a rabbi at the seminary who was challenging but also extremely demanding. She complained, “He got into my head somehow and it messed me up.” As we worked through Riva’s anguish and concerns, she described how a man of prominence used his position and his intellect to groom her, manipulate her, and ultimately have her do his bidding. With time, she told me his name.

Judge sanctions Jehovah's Witnesses

San Diego Reader

By Dorian Hargrove, June 24, 2016

A San Diego Superior Court judge has ordered the Church of Jehovah's Witnesses, also known as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, to pay $4000 a day for every day that it fails to produce documents requested in a civil lawsuit brought by former parishioner, Osbaldo Padron, who claims a church elder sexually abused him when he was seven years old.

In a June 23 ruling, expected to be made final today, judge Richard Strauss admonished the church for willfully ignoring a court order to produce all documents associated with a 1997 Body of Elders letter that church leaders sent to parishes around the world in a quest to learn about sexual abuse of children by church leaders.

Over the course of the past year, the Watchtower Society and its lawyers have fought hard to keep the letter confidential, claiming that turning over the documents would infringe on the privacy of those mentioned in the letter that were not associated with the case.

Psychiatrist insists abuse wasn’t sexual sadism

The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on June 24, 2016

Philadelphia forensic psychiatrist Robert Toborowsky Friday refuted claims that some of a Christian Brother’s actions at Mount Cashel in the 1950s amounted to sexual sadism.

“No? countered Will Hiscock, a lawyer for four John Does in the Mount Cashel civil trial. “What was it? Was he loving?”

“It wasn’t loving and it wasn’t sadistic,” replied Toborowsky, a expert witness for the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s, which disputes claims it should be held liable for the sexual and physical abuse perpetrated by certain Christian Brothers at the orphanage during the era late 1940s to early 1960s.

“How was it not sadistic?” demanded Hiscock.

“What happened was not sexual sadism,” Toborowsky replied.

June 24, 2016

Police Arrest Former Pastor Paul Cunningham

Los Alamos Daily Post

Los Alamos Daily Post

Police arrested former Los Alamos Pastor Paul Cunningham last Friday evening on San Ildefonso Road and charged him with two counts of sexual exploitation of children.

According to court documents obtained by the Los Alamos Daily Post, investigators executed a search warrant at Cunningham's home, at 4732 Brisa Del Bosque, and found more than 400 explicit images of children and nine pornographic videos on computers belonging to Cunningham.

Twenty-two of the images had been shared through several social media sites.
Cunningham, 54, was caught after authorities received information in February from a detective working in the Westminster Police Department in Colorado. He was investigating a case in his jurisdiction related to child pornography and in the process found that an IP address belonging to Cunningham was suspected of sending child pornography related material to a subject in Colorado.

The detective provided a zip drive of the material to Los Alamos Sheriff Marco Lucero and Deputy Sheriff John Horne who turned it over to Los Alamos police. Police launched an investigation, which led to the former pastor's arrest.

Lawmakers take step toward eliminating statute of limitations for sex crime prosecutions

Los Angeles Times


The state Senate approved a measure on Wednesday that would end the statute of limitations for rape and several other sex crimes in California.

The measure by Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino) would allow the indefinite criminal prosecution of rape, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts, continuous sexual abuse of a child, oral copulation and sexual penetration.

Currently, prosecution of rape must take place within 10 years, unless DNA evidence is discovered afterward.

“SB 813 will help to prevent rapists and sexual predators from evading legal consequences in California simply because the statute of limitations has expired,” Leyva said. “Regardless of when a rape or sexual assault is reported, survivors must have an opportunity to pursue justice in a court of law for the unthinkable crimes committed against them.

Catholic priests in Montreal banned from being alone with children

The Gaurdian (UK)

Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent
Friday 24 June 2016

Catholic priests in Montreal will be banned from being alone with children to provide a “safety net” against allegations of abuse.

Archbishop Christian Lepine has issued a decree to implement the policy, which also covers lay workers and volunteers.

According to the decree, the move was to “ensure the safety and integrity of the people to whom we bring the Gospel message and offer our pastoral care”. But, it added, it was also “to preserve the integrity, security and good reputation of God’s people”.

In an accompanying letter, Lepine said: “Recent events brought to light the horrific reality of abuse of minors and vulnerable people by members of the church. These intolerable situations have shocked and shaken the Universal Church as well as the entire population.”

New bishop, new healing after Kansas City diocese’s sex abuse scandal

Kansas City Star


Nearly incomprehensible suffering preceded where the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph will humbly place itself on Sunday.

The diocese seeks reconciliation.

The new bishop, installed last fall, will make a public apology for decades of sexual abuse committed by diocesan priests.

Bishop James V. Johnston Jr. will lead a Service of Lament at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Johnston has asked every priest in the diocese to attend. He has requested that they bring purple vestments, a sign of penance.

Child Sex Abuse Victim Got Help

The Morning Call

Bill White

California man demonstrates importance of court access for child sex abuse victims

I got an email this morning from a San Diego man who wanted people in Pennsylvania to know how his state's statute of limitations reform bill helped him and that the tactics being used to fight a statute bill here are similar to those he has seen elsewhere.

California legislators in 2002 voted to open a one-year window for all child sex abuse victims to file suits, even if they were blocked by the statute of limitations. Paul Livingston and his brother -- abused as small children by the same Catholic school custodian -- were among the victims who filed suit, and the court settlement with the Los Angeles Archdiocese helped Paul finally get help with the aftermath of his abuse.

This reinforces one of the most important points in these efforts to give more victims access to the civil courts. When they're blocked by statutes of limitations, the cost of treating their problems -- and the social cost of leaving the damage untreated -- must be borne by the victims and by society at large. The people responsible are left unscathed.

These bills -- including House Bill 1947 in Pennsylvania, now being considered by the state Senate after overwhelmingly passing in the House -- have the potential to change that.

I’m still on the Vatican commission, says abuse survivor Peter Saunders

Catholic Herald

Saunders says he hopes to lead a 'victims and survivors’ consultative panel' to assist the commission

British campaigner Peter Saunders has insisted he is still part of the Vatican’s commission on protecting children from abuse.

In a letter published in today’s Catholic Herald, Saunders says that, although he was encouraged to resign after his strong criticisms of the speed of Vatican reforms, he is only on a “leave of absence”.

He says he hopes to lead a “victims and survivors’ consultative panel” to assist the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. This was suggested by the commission president, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, who had consulted the “C8” group of cardinals.

Saunders, the founder of NAPAC (National Association for People Abused in Childhood), had been an outspoken member of the Vatican commission until February, when he went on leave after questioning Pope Francis’s commitment to reform.

Will sex abuse claims lead more Minn. dioceses to bankruptcy?

MPR News

Martin Moylan Jun 24, 2016

Minnesota Catholic Church leaders in St. Cloud, Crookston, New Ulm and Winona are weighing what to do as their dioceses face the financial fallout from hundreds of sex abuse claims between them.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Duluth sought bankruptcy court protection after being overwhelmed by clergy sex abuse claims. Soon, some of the state's smaller dioceses will be forced to choose.

Experts are divided on the path they might take.

"It's unlikely that they're going to bankruptcy, based on national trends," said Charles Zech, director of the Center for Church Management at Villanova University.

"Every diocese in the country virtually has had some abuse cases. And only 13 have felt the need to go to bankruptcy," he said. "So, the odds are, it probably won't happen."

Heated cross-examination at Mount Cashel trial

The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on June 24, 2016

It was a fiery exchange at the Mount Cashel civil trial this morning when a Philadelphia psychiatrist was challenged for not giving more weight to the impact of childhood sexual abuse on the lives of two men.

The men are among four John Does who say the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. should be held liable for physical and sexual abuse by certain members of the lay order Christian Brothers.

The church contends it did not run the orphanage.

The heat came mostly from the Does' lawyer Will Hiscock who asked Robert Toborowsky, an expert called by church lawyers, if the fact one man's low sex drive and single status of 60 years was a red flag.

Vatican letter asks Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet to Rome for 'prayerful conversation'

National Catholic Reporter - Global Sisters Report

by Dan Stockman Jun. 23, 2016

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are among the recipients of letters from the Vatican asking congregations to explain matters learned during the apostolic visitation.

In addition to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Loretto Sisters also received letters from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL).

The Sisters of St. Joseph said in a statement their letter invited them to Rome for a "prayerful conversation" about "a few points mentioned in the letter." The statement did not say what those points were, and congregational leaders declined to say anything beyond the issued statement.

A copy of the subsequent letter sent by leadership to Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet sisters was obtained by Global Sisters Report. It says that all CSJ Province Leadership Teams received the same letter from CICLSAL and quotes from it on five matters "voicing the following concerns":

• Your desire to help bring about an 'emerging new form of religious life';

• Your Congregation's policy regarding members of the community who are known to hold positions of dissent from the Church's moral teaching or approved liturgical practice;

• We also urge you to evaluate your efforts to promote 'communion with creation', especially in light of Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato si, a comprehensive presentation on the responsible care of creation, in view of integrating its principles enunciated in the encyclical into your current efforts in this area.

The congregation's statement said the letter was presented as a follow-up to the on-site visit to the order in St. Paul, Minnesota, in late 2010. The congregation's leadership team discussed whether to accept or decline the summons, but decided the "benefits outweigh the challenges of expense and some inconvenience."

Archbishop Hon Appoints Point of Contact for Sex Abuse Victims

Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Archbishop Hon also created four new ad hoc committees in his continuing efforts of "promoting unity."

Guam - Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai is making some major changes within the archdiocese. This morning he issued a protocol for shuffling around of clergy and priests and he also appointed a new spokesperson and a new point of contact for sex abuse victims.

Another major move from the new apostolic administrator of the archdiocese Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai—it appears now he’s looking to implement some major changes in the leadership roles within the church. Today, he issued Protocol Number 2016-009 in which he appointed a new spokesperson, Msgr. Bibi Arroyo, as well as a new point-of-contact for sex abuse victims, Father Patrick Castro, who currently heads the St. Fidelis Friary.

Archbishop Hon also created four ad hoc committees for developing strategies. The four are Scenario of the Archdiocese, which will develop a scenario of what the situation should be once the new archbishop’s mandate is fulfilled. The second is Ongoing Formation which is to draw up a plan for formation of clergy members. Next is Proposal for Repositioning of Priests which focuses on a shuffling of leadership roles and priests that would quote result in a more unified Archdiocese. The final ad hoc committee will be Seminary Visitation which is to get more information on all the major seminaries on Guam.

The members appointed to these new committees are:

For scenario of situation: Fr. Adrian Cristobal (chairperson), Msgr. Arroyo, Father Jeffrey San Nicolas, Msgr. David C. Quitugua and Father Patric Castro.

For ongoing formation, Father Mike Crisostomo (chairperson), Father Lito Abad, Msgr. David I. A. Quitugua, Father Joe English and Father Gus Gumataotao.

The bishops who helped a paedophile priest with his thesis on another paedophile priest


Paedophile priest John Joseph Farrell wrote a masters thesis on another paeodphile priest, who served the same diocese. And two bishops helped him write it, writes freelance writer Kate Doak.

New documents show two Catholic bishops helped paedophile priest John Joseph Farrell with his postgraduate thesis on another paedophile priest, Crikey can reveal.

The current bishops of the Dioceses of Maitland-Newcastle and Wagga Wagga, William Wright and Gerard Hanna respectively, assisted Farrell with his postgraduate masters of letters thesis at the University of New England between 1988 and 1991.

Montreal Catholic archdiocese forbids priests from being alone with children

Toronto Star

Thu., June 23, 2016

MONTREAL—Priests and anyone else in “the orbit of the church” will be forbidden from being alone with children and other vulnerable people as part of a pilot project, the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Montreal said Thursday.

The goal is to create a “safety net” for everyone associated with the Catholic Church in Montreal, canon François Sarrazin said in an interview.

“Imagine if you are alone in a room and a child accuses you of hitting them, how will you react?” Sarrazin asked. “Whether it’s true or not, you need a witness. Not being in the room alone with someone who is vulnerable is simply being prudent.”

He said the policy will be introduced in a handful of churches across the city, starting in September.

For Carlo Tarini, a spokesman for an association of victims of priests, the new rules are “too little too late.”

He said the policy is just a way for the church to protect itself against lawsuits stemming from child-abuse scandals that have rocked the city’s diocese and the Roman Catholic Church across the globe.

Church must apologise to gay people, pope’s adviser declares

Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

A leading cardinal has said the Catholic Church should apologise to the gay community for its scandalous and terrible treatment of them, which had not changed until “very recently”.

Speaking in Dublin, Cardinal Reinhard Marx said: “The history of homosexuals in our societies is very bad because we’ve done a lot to marginalise [them].”

As church and society “we’ve also to say ‘sorry, sorry’ ”.

The German cardinal is a member of the council of nine cardinals chosen by Pope Francis to advise him.

Until “very recently”, the church, but also society at large, had been “very negative about gay people . . . it was the whole society. It was a scandal and terrible,” he told The Irish Times after speaking at a conference held in Trinity College.

Downsizing the Roman Curia is not reform

National Catholic Reporter

Thomas Reese | Jun. 23, 2016

With the election of Pope Francis, hopes were raised that the Vatican bureaucracy would finally be reformed. Sadly, that does not appear to be happening, except perhaps in the area of finances. Instead, the offices created after Vatican II are being downsized and reorganized while the older pre-Vatican II congregations and tribunals have been left untouched.

There is a good argument for this reorganization. The hope of the Council of Cardinals advising the pope is that the reorganization will make these offices more efficient and encourage better coordination. But if this "reform" was being done by any other pope, say Benedict, it would be portrayed as regressive, as an attempt to de-emphasize the issues that came out of the Second Vatican Council.

The truth is that the Vatican old guard never liked these offices and did not think much of them. The "real" Roman Curia, in their view, were the older congregations that dealt with doctrine, liturgy, clergy, religious, bishops, oriental churches, the missions, education, and making saints. The prefects or heads of these congregations have to be cardinals.

The newer councils were seen as peripheral and less prestigious. These councils dealt with ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, laity, family, migrants, healthcare workers, charity, culture, mass communications, and justice and peace. The presidents or heads of these councils do not need to be cardinals, although many of them have been.

Advocates for child sex abuse victims work to save bill

Reading Eagle

By Liam Migdail-Smith

As state senators mull possible changes to a proposed overhaul of Pennsylvania's child sexual abuse laws, victims groups are ratcheting up their calls to preserve what they say is the most important part of the plan.

Specifically, supporters of the plan want to see it include a provision that would allow victims to move forward with now-expired lawsuits against their abusers and organizations that shield them.

The calls come after reports Wednesday that the Senate Judiciary Committee plans to remove that part of the bill and replace it with a provision to give victims a way around the limits if they can prove an extreme cover-up.

John Salveson, founder of the Delaware County-based Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse, said Thursday that move would be more window dressing than substance.

Dixons Mills pastor indicted on sexual abuse, rape charges

West Alabama Watchman

A Marengo County grand jury has indicted Gregory Lucy, 59, on five counts of first degree sexual abuse and attempted rape. Lucy was arrested following the indictment.

Lucy is the pastor of the El Shaddai AOH Church of God in Dixons Mills, Ala.

According to authorities, the charges in the case involve underage church members. Lucy is out on a $375,000 bond.

Former camp counselor arrested for child molestation

Standard Speaker


A Hazle Township man who volunteered in greater Hazleton, admitted to molesting a minor at a church camp nearly six years ago, police say.

Zachary M. Lee, 24, was arrested Monday and charged with felonies for unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors, unlawful restraint and one misdemeanor count of indecent assault with a person less than 16 years old.

He was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Daniel O’Donnell, Sugarloaf Township, who released him on $25,000 unsecured bail.

O’Donnell ordered him to not have any contact with the victim, the victim’s family or any minors.


Church Militant

by Joseph Pelletier • ChurchMilitant.com • June 23, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Pennsylvania senate committee is set to scrap a provision within proposed reforms to the current child sex abuse statute of limitations that would apply the amendments retroactively.

According to two sources in the legislative process, the Republican-controlled state senate Judiciary Committee is preparing to remove, potentially as soon as this week, the controversial clause in House Bill 1947 (HB 1947) that allows alleged child sex abuse victims to file lawsuits over decades-old molestations, amid criticism from the Pennsylvania Catholic Church and local businesses.

In a letter distributed to parishes earlier this month, Philadelphia archbishop Charles Chaput outlined the issues with the proposed legislation, which he described as posing "serious dangers" for local parishes and a "clear attack on the Church."

Kristen Pfautz Woolley: Pa. Senate committee has chance to help sexual abuse victims

The Morning Call

Why PA should change statutes of limitation on sex abuse crimes

I am not Catholic.

I am a survivor of child sexual abuse. From the ages of 10-12, I was repeatedly violated by a man my parents trusted. My abuse only ended when my abuser became engaged to be married. I remember feeling relief that my nightmare was over. I didn't understand at age 12 that it was not over, nor would it ever be over.

At the age of 17, I ran into him at a local town carnival. He was pushing his newborn daughter in a stroller. He creepily proceeded to tell me how much he enjoyed changing her diapers because he found it fascinating to look at her anatomy.

I summoned the courage to report my abuse at the age of 25. I learned I had waited too long. I lost my criminal rights at age 14 and my civil rights at age 18 because of Pennsylvania's statutes of limitations at that time. To my horror, I also learned that he now had more daughters and was employed as a school janitor.

Legally I knew I couldn't just accuse him without the very real threat of a slander or defamation lawsuit. I needed incontrovertible proof.

I hired a private investigation firm, contacted my abuser and arranged to meet him. He didn't know we were surrounded by private detectives, who clearly heard him confess that he had molested me and then apologize for what he had done to me as a 10-year-old girl.

Press watchdog clears weekly over Bishop sex abuse claims

Hold The Front Page

by David Sharman Published 24 Jun 2016

A claim that newspapers should not be allowed to report on the sexual abuse of children by a long-dead bishop has been rejected by the press watchdog.

Last year the Bishop of Chichester issued a former apology following the settlement of a civil claim against one of his predecessors, George Bell, who was alleged to have abused a young woman while leading the Diocese.

Marilyn Billingham wrote to the Independent Press Standards Organisation over the Chichester Observer’s coverage of the story, arguing that the press should only report historic allegations as fact in circumstances where a court has found this to be the case.

But IPSO rejected the complaint, saying the newspaper had been entitled to rely on the information provided by the Church in an official press release.

The Observer had reported Bell, pictured above left, had “abused a young victim while leader of the diocese”, and that this news would “come as a great shock to people who regarded him as a hero”.

In February, HTFP reported that the victim had spoken exclusively to Brighton daily The Argus seven decades on from her ordeal.

Ms Billingham claimed the Observer’s report had breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, stating it was inaccurate to report as fact that Bell had sexually abused a child, because he had not been found guilty in a court of law of such offences and there was no further evidence to corroborate the allegations.

New guidelines forbid Montreal Catholic priests, lay workers to be alone with children

National Post

Graeme Hamilton | June 23, 2016

MONTREAL – Invoking past sexual abuse scandals and the need to create a “healthy and safe environment” in its churches, the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Montreal has announced new guidelines to ensure priests and lay workers are never alone with children.

“Recent events have brought to light the horrific reality of abuse of minors and vulnerable persons by members of the Church,” Christian Lépine, archbishop of Montreal, wrote in a message to the faithful dated Wednesday.

“These intolerable situations have shocked and shaken the Universal Church as well as the entire population to whom we wish to proclaim the Good News of Christ.”

A pilot project to begin this fall in 10 parishes and eventually extend to all 194 in Montreal will prohibit priests, staff and volunteers from being alone with minors. Following the lead of other organizations like amateur sport associations and the Scouts, the archdiocese will institute police screening of new hires and volunteers working with children or the vulnerable.

June 23, 2016

Indictment claims North Aurora pastor 'begged' for sex from teen girl

Chicago Tribune

Dan Campana
Aurora Beacon-News

A three-count indictment issued against the pastor of a North Aurora church includes an allegation that the 39-year-old "begged" to have sex with the teen girl he has been accused of sexually assaulting.

Ralphael Robinson "grabbed (the girl) by the wrist ... and begged her to have sex with him," the indictment states in connection to the charge of attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse, which was added to single counts of criminal sexual assault and sex abuse on which Robinson was arrested in April.

Authorities have said Robinson fondled and inappropriately touched the teen girl, who later confronted him about the incident April 18 at Kingdom Church on South Lincolnway Street. Robinson, a registered sex offender, remains held in Kane County Jail on $107,500 bond. He appeared in Kane County Court Thursday for a hearing during which his arraignment was scheduled for July 14.

Robinson is described as Kingdom Church's "senior leader" on the bio page for the Ralphael Robinson Ministries website. Although the church's website was taken down shortly after Robinson's arrest, the ministries' site features several photos of Robinson as it touts "prophetic advisement" and credit repair among its offerings. Robinson, who has been in jail since April 22, is also featured in a graphic for an event called "Manifesting Your Prophecy" which was scheduled for May 21.

GA church hires youth pastor accused of child sexual abuse — only to have him allegedly do it again

Raw Story

23 JUN 2016

Questions are being raised in Marietta, Georgia, as to how a man charged with sexually abusing a child when he worked as a youth pastor in 2013 could be hired as a youth pastor this year, in a position where he is again accused of sexual abuse, 11Alive reports.

Alexander Edwards has been charged in two cases, one from 2013 and one from this year.

He worked as a youth pastor at Providence Baptist Church in downstate Leesburg, where he was charged with two felony counts for making sexual advances on a 13-year-old boy in 2013.

Yet the case wasn’t prosecuted at the time, and Edwards was hired by another church as a youth pastor, this time at Cobb County’s Eastside Baptist Church, 11Alive reports. This despite a $5,000 bond with limitations requiring that he not have any contact with children under 18 years old.

He was arrested in April on suspicion of molesting an 11 year old in Cobb County.

Jurors deliberate in trial of Passaic priest accused of molesting 14-year-old girl

The Record


Jurors in Paterson started deliberating Thursday in the trial of a former Passaic priest who is accused of sexually molesting a 14-year-old girl three years ago.

Passaic County prosecutors said during a trial in Superior Court in Paterson that the Rev. Jose Lopez took the girl to his private living quarters inside the St. Mary’s Church on Market Street, placed her on his lap and touched her inappropriately.

Witnesses for the prosecution testified that the girl told them Lopez tried to rape her but she ran out of his suite. They also said he admitted that he took the girl into his suite and that he went “too far.”

Lopez was removed from the church after the allegations were reported to the Catholic diocese and later to authorities in 2013. Lopez maintains that he is innocent and that he never touched the girl in a sexual manner.

Ex-priest promises to repay $33,000

CT Post

By Frank Juliano Published Thursday, June 23, 2016

A priest charged with stealing thousands of dollars from his Seymour church has applied for pre-trial probation, a program for first offenders, the Valley Independent Sentinel reports.

If the Rev. Honore Kombo’s application for accelerated rehabilitation is accepted, the felony charge of first-degree larceny could be dismissed. He was arrested in late February, eight months after he was relieved of his duties at St. Augustine Church by the Archdiocese of Hartford.

Kombo, 50, said during an appearance Tuesday in Milford Superior Court that he intends to repay the nearly $34,000 by his next court date on July 26, the Valley Indy reports.

The former St. Augustine pastor, now living in Weston, allegedly embezzled at least $20,000 willed to the parish as well as checks written to the church. He is free on a $10,000 bond.

Local priest cleared of accusations

Clinton Herald

DAVENPORT — A local priest has been cleared of accusations that he inappropriately touched minors three decades ago.

The Diocese of Davenport through a press release announced that Father John Stack will be assigned to priestly ministry and service to the Diocese.

According to the release, the Diocese received a report in 2013 that stated Stack, then a chaplain at Mercy Medical Center in Clinton, inappropriately touched minors in approximately the 1980s. The Diocese reported this to the Scott County Attorney's Office in compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Diocese and the county attorney. Stack was removed from ministry while this matter was investigated.

As a result of the investigation and with the recommendation of the Diocesan Review Board, Bishop Martin Amos petitioned the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican, requesting the case be brought to trial. The trial process could have resulted in one of three judgements: innocent, guilty or that the accusations of sexual abuse of minors were not proven.

The three judges, all from outside of the Diocese of Davenport, found that the accusations of sexual abuse of minors by Stack were not proven. There was not a finding of innocence or guilt. In order to assure the rights of all, the decision was appealed for further review. The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith concurred with the finding of the judges.

Fight over child abuse bill turns rancorous

The Legislative Gazette

By Simon Rosenbluth, Gazette staff writer on June 23, 2016

Victims vow to hold lawmakers accountable, Catholic League calls legislation a ‘sham’

Child abuse victims and their advocates are going on the offensive after the Legislature failed yet again to pass the Child Victims Act (S.7296/A.9877) a bill that would make it easier for child abuse victims to seek justice.

Specifically, the omnibus bill would eliminate the criminal and civil statutes of limitations for future victims of child sexual abuse and create a one-year window for previous victims of childhood sexual abuse to file civil legal claims against their attackers and culpable institutions such as schools and churches.

An outspoken advocate for the bill, Melanie Blow, highlighted the importance of eliminating the statute of limitations for victims saying, “It takes an average of 21 years for a victim to come forth,” explaining that, by the time a victim has the courage to take legal action, it is often too late.

KS--Sex offending church workers -1 from Canada-are "outed"

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, June 23, 2016

For more information: David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, davidgclohessy@gmail.com), Barbra Graber (540-214-8874, mennonite@snapnetwork.org), Stephanie Krehbiel (734-678-2185, stephaniekrehbiel@gmail.com)

Five names added to list of sex-offending Mennonite church workers
Each admitted to sexual misconduct but none have been charged
Four live in Kansas; One, a Canadian, is a painter on cruise ships
Group demands that Mennonite Church USA end its practice of keeping secret files on clergy with sexual misconduct charges

A support group for survivors of sexual abuse is announcing the addition of five new names to their Mennonite Abuse Prevention (MAP) list. To be placed on the MAP list, offenders must have been named elsewhere through established media sources, internal institutional documents, court records, or any combination of the above.


SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says that each of these five men admitted to sexual misconduct, one of them with a teen-aged girl. However, none have faced criminal charges. Four of them live in Kansas. The fifth, a Canadian, is a painter on cruise ships. Brief histories of these predators are set forth below. Documentation and photos can be found at the associated links.

However, MAP list researcher and SNAP Mennonite member Stephanie Krehbiel of Lawreence, Kansas added, “We've learned recently that the Mennonite Church USA keeps sealed files on pastors who have had charges of sexual misconduct against them. We've even learned about pastoral search committees who have hired pastors without being informed that the pastor in question has charges of sexual misconduct against him in previous jobs. This is unacceptable. Have we learned nothing from watching the Catholic church quietly move abusive priests from one diocese to another? We demand transparency about how the church keeps track of sexual misconduct charges against individuals."

SNAP Mennonite leader Barbra Graber of Harrisonburg, Virginia, chimed in, “There's absolutely no place in a faith community for sealed files concerning a church leader's sexual misconduct."

The survivors group called on Anabaptist/Mennonite officials to publicly release the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of each and every abusive church worker.

David Clohessy, a Saint Louis, Missouri, man who is the long-time Executive Director for SNAP, also wanted to remind people that sexual predators are not just a danger within a religious group.

“Churches are quite often too quick to forgive, and when church officials keep the identity of men – or women -- who abuse kids and vulnerable adults ‘in-house’ instead of reporting to the authorities, it’s not just members of the faith community who are endangered. Anyone, including members of the public, can be at risk. Wounded victims should not have to bear the burden of warning police, prosecutors, parents and parishioners!”

Priests, catholic volunteers will no longer be alone with children


CTV Montreal
Published Thursday, June 23, 2016

The archdiocese of Montreal is implementing a plan that would forbid priests and church volunteers from being alone with children.

Final details of the plane are still being worked out as the Catholic Church looks for ten parishes in and around the city to implement the pilot project later this year.

Canon Francois Sarrazin said that given the scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church, the plan makes sense.

"There is a time for everything," he said, pointing out the idea has been in the works for several years.

"The diocese of Montreal has been working on a plan to 'filter' volunteers, to investigate parish staff, and not just the priests, but all people who are involved in the parish."

Estimated lost income potential for orphanage boys in millions

The Telegram

Barb Sweet

Published on June 23, 2016

The potential lost income for two John Does because of the effect on their lives from their Mount Cashel experiences might have hit as high as roughly $3.5 million combined.

The figures given for the two men differ because one man is retired from the military and the other is a retired teacher, but that figure is sum total based on testimony today in the Mount Cashel civil trial.

Calgary forensic psychologist Cara Brown was called to testify by Paul Kennedy, one of the lawyers for four John Does who claim that the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John's should be held liable for physical and sexual abuse they say they suffered at the hands of certain members of the lay order Christian Brothers during the era late 1940s to early 1960s.

The church contends it did not oversee the orphanage.

Many complicated factors go into the potential loss income calculations - from earnings statistics to psychological reports on the men. Brown explained the bottom line figures are based on various scenarios of the men's' potential earnings if they had no impairment (due to their experiences.)

Bully pulpit

The Economist

ABOVE the announcement for confessions on Tuesday at 7pm, the weekly bulletin for St Rose of Lima’s church near Philadelphia had an unusual notice for parishioners with the heading, “JUST SO YOU ARE AWARE”. It stated that Nick Miccarelli voted in favour of House Bill 1947. The legislation would abolish the criminal statute of limitations for future child sexual abuse cases, including rape, incest and statutory sexual assault. In addition to sitting in the statehouse, Mr Miccarelli is a member of the parish.

Many states are revising their statutes of limitations for assault. Delaware has done so—a wave of lawsuits followed—as has California. New York’s statehouse considered a bill this month that would have extended its statute of limitations by five years. Pennsylvania’s bill would allow civil cases for child sexual abuse to be filed against public and private institutions, and extend the statute of limitations for civil cases from 30 to 50 years (the average male victim does not come forward until he is in his late 30s, women come forward even later on average). The state senate’s judiciary committee is considering whether to send the bill to the floor for a vote.

Mr Miccarelli, the lawmaker and parishioner, was not the only representative singled out by the church for supporting the bill. Martina White, who represents a district in Philadelphia, has been disinvited from several church events. Another was told by a priest that he had betrayed his faith. Earlier this month a letter written by Charles Chaput, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, was distributed at Sunday services saying the bill was a “clear attack” on the church and “poses serious dangers” for parishes, charities and schools. Archbishop Chaput helped defeat a similar bill in Colorado when he was Denver’s Archbishop.

Statute of Limitations Developments

The Morning Call

Bill White

Amid reports that the fix is in to gut House Bill 1947, the bill that would reform statute of limitations laws in cases of child sex abuse, a group of current and former Philadelphia district attorneys issued a press release supporting the bill in its current form.

I don't ordinarily run press releases, but I'll make an exception, because these are people whose investigations into predators in the Philadelphia Archdiocese led to two damning grand jury reports.

I'm hearing that there's a chance the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on the bill this week. Here's a Philadelphia Inquirer story reporting some of the same things I've been hearing about the bill's likely fate.

I've also heard from a West Philadelphia woman who wanted people to know that many Catholics don't support the lobbying efforts of Catholic officials who strongly oppose the bill. Below the D.A. release, I'll share her email, with links to some excellent comments she received in the midst of gathering 3,000 signatures.

Finally, I want to recommend that you read a great op-ed column that will appear on the mcall.com website this evening and in The Morning Call Friday. It's by Kristen Pfautz Woolley of York, a strong advocate for the bill and a victim of abuse by a family friend when she was a child. I wrote about her a few years ago.

Friends testify on behalf of Passaic priest accused in sex case


By Ben Horowitz | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

on June 23, 2016

PATERSON — Friends and relatives of a Passaic priest accused of inappropriately touching and kissing a 14-year-old girl spoke on his behalf during his trial Wednesday, depicting him as a moral and caring person, according to an account in The Record.

As reported by The Star-Ledger, the Rev. Jose Lopez, now 37, was charged in 2013 with luring the girl to his church residence and kissing her. He is charged with attempted sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, luring and child endangerment, The Record said.

Seven character witnesses testified on Lopez' behalf in Superior Court in Paterson, including church member Cindy Negrete, who said she had known Lopez "a long time" and called him "an amazing person ... I know he would never, ever do something like this," The Record reported.

Gloria Shope, a retired school administrator, said she had known Lopez at a Morris County church she attended, according to the newspaper. "He is a loyal friend, trustworthy and very responsible, caring and one of the holiest priests I know," she said.

Victims feel cheated after priest facing sexual assault charges dies before going to trial

Windsor Star


Victims of an alleged pedophile priest, whose trial was repeatedly delayed, say his death this week has robbed them of the chance to confront him.

Linus Bastien died June 19 at home in Petrolia after his case dragged on with repeated delays for five years. He was 89.

One of Bastien’s alleged victims from St. Mary church in Maidstone said he was disappointed when he learned of the priest’s death.

“I knew it meant the end of the court case,” said the 52-year-old man whose identity is covered by a publication ban. “A sense of loss and knowing that me and the 11 other witnesses, we’ll be denied that sense of closure that the criminal court case would have given us.”

Bastien served at many churches throughout Essex County, starting with Most Precious Blood in Windsor in 1951.

Bankruptcy judge confirms reorganization plan

Gallup IndependentI

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., June 22, 2016

Bishop apologizes

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent

ALBUQUERQUE – The Diocese of Gallup’s Chapter 11 case took a dramatic and emotional turn during a confirmation hearing at U.S. Bankruptcy Court Tuesday.

The first hour of the hearing was devoted to walking the court through all the legal details that comprise the diocese’s plan of reorganization, which will be funded in excess of $21 million. However, the second hour of the hearing featured an apologetic statement by Gallup Bishop James S. Wall to survivors of clergy sex abuse, followed by emotional remarks by several abuse survivors from Arizona and New Mexico.

“I want to first begin by acknowledging the reason why we’re here today, and the reason is because bad people, bad men committed bad and sinful acts against good people,” Wall told the small group of abuse survivors in the courtroom. “And there’s no excuse for that. There never was and there never will be an excuse for that.”

“These are men who are supposed to represent Jesus Christ and draw people into a deeper relationship with him,” Wall added. “And they did the complete opposite. So I want to start by saying I’m sorry for that.”

Wall, who repeatedly referred to clergy sex abuse survivors in the Gallup Diocese as “our survivors,” thanked the abuse claimants in the courtroom.

“Thank you for your courage to stand up, to come forward to tell your story,” he said. “I know it wasn’t easy. I know it was very difficult, but I’m grateful for your courage, so thank you very much.”
The bishop said he wanted to do all that he could do to heal past abuse, harms and hurt. He also said he was “personally looking forward to having healing services” throughout the diocese, as well as writing letters to abuse survivors.

“And the reason why I want to do that is I want to bring the light of Christ into this in order to help our survivors heal,” he said

Generational crime

Attorney James Stang, legal counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, which represents the interests of abuse claimants in the case, asked for and received permission from Judge David T. Thuma to allow abuse survivors to gather around a table usually reserved for attorneys so they could support one another as they made statements to the court.

Stang noted that this has not been a regular bankruptcy case where the claims are paid, the ledgers are cleared and people simply move on.

“These folks will live with this experience, obviously, the rest of their lives. And I refer what happened to them as a generational crime,” he said, explaining the lifelong impact clergy sex abuse has on the survivors, their parents and their children.

“I want to apologize,” Stang added. “I want to apologize because our system doesn’t do justice to these folks.”

Four of the abuse claimants, two women and two men, stood to deliver remarks to the bishop and the court. All agreed to be publicly identified.

Prudence Jones, of Gallup, who was molested as a child on the Navajo Nation by Brother Mark Schornack, a Franciscan friar, was the first to speak.

“Bishop Wall, I want you to know that I accept your apology,” an emotional Jones said. “But I also want you to know that the amount of suffering I endured because of Brother Mark is immeasurable and lifelong. The pain he caused me reverberated through my family, and sadly my daughters were raised in the shadow of that pain.”

Jones told the bishop he could further her healing process by releasing the files of abusive clergy — something Wall has declined to do.

“I had been opposed to approving the reorganization plan because the non-monetaries did not include releasing these documents,” Jones said. “Bishop Wall, the first time we met, I told you I forgave Brother Mark because it was the right thing to do. And I asked you to do the right thing. I’m still waiting.”

‘Unrepentant criminals’

“The misdeeds of the clergy and the suffering to those we represent is not illusory, it is real,” Criss Candelaria said. “I have seen it. People must believe that it is true because it is true.”

Candelaria, an attorney in Pinetop, Arizona, is a former longtime Arizona prosecutor. He has been public in the past about being targeted as a child for grooming by the Rev. James Burns. During Tuesday’s hearing, Candelaria called clergy abusers “unrepentant criminals.”

Candelaria, who has served as chairman of Stang’s committee, said he was disappointed that Gallup diocesan officials rejected some of the non-monetary provision proposals the committee made that would enhance the protection of children and vulnerable adults. Candelaria asked the diocese to reconsider those recommendations.

“Please do more, not less,” he said.

Candelaria, however, gave credit to some in the diocese.

“And I’d like to thank some clergy — almost all unknown — who took action to protect children and vulnerable people through the years,” Candelaria said, specifically citing the Rev. Tim Farrell, the pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Farmington, who was not in attendance at the court hearing.

JoAnn Stoltenberger, a resident of the Farmington area, also credited Farrell’s support.

“He helped me through this whole process,” she said. “If it wouldn’t have been for him, I don’t know what I would have done.”

Stoltenberger, who was abused as a child by the Rev. Julian Hartig, a Franciscan friar, talked about her healing process.

“But through all this I’ve learned forgiveness, especially toward myself,” she said. “I felt so much guilt over the years even though I knew it wasn’t my fault. And Father Julian, I forgive you. You can’t have another day of my life.”

Plan approved

Phoenix resident Larry Hellman was the final abuse survivor to speak. Hellman shared how his abuse by the Rev. Clement Hageman, which started with a horrific rape when he was 11, destroyed his childhood dream of becoming a priest, left him with post-traumatic stress disorder and set him up for years of self-sabotaging behavior.

More recently, he said, the Diocese of Gallup reneged on its commitment to pay for the psychological counseling that was assisting him.

“The Catholic Church promised to cover the cost of these visits,” Hellman said. “Ultimately, I was released because guess what? The Catholic Church refused to pay the bill. I know how it feels to be violated 50 years after the first assault.”

In spite of those criticisms, Susan Boswell, the lead bankruptcy attorney for the diocese, reported to the court that the abuse survivors in the case voted to approve the diocese’s plan of reorganization. From the 57 claimants, Boswell said, 50 “timely ballots” were filed by the voting deadline. Of those, 46 claimants voted to approve the plan. Four claimants did not vote either way so their ballots were not counted. Three more ballots arrived after the voting deadline. Although those ballots weren’t counted, the claimants had voted to accept the plan. The remaining four claimants who didn’t cast a vote signed certifications and releases.

At the conclusion of Tuesday’s hearing, Thuma agreed to confirm the plan, which is slated to have an effective date in July.

Sisters’ Lawsuit Against Pennsylvania Diocese Claims Sex Abuse by Priest

Insurance Journal

Andrew G. Simpson | June 23, 2016

Two sisters have sued a Catholic priest, his central Pennsylvania diocese and two ex-bishops who supervised him, saying the cleric molested them repeatedly as girls — including one at her first Communion party.

The younger sister, who is now 47, said she met the Rev. Charles Bodziak at St. Leo Church in Altoona, where he was the parish priest, when she was in second grade. At the party her parents threw after her first Communion, Bodziak groped her buttocks and gave her an open mouth kiss, according to the lawsuit.

Bodziak, now 74, repeatedly molested the girl until she was in sixth grade, taking her on school trips where she was fondled, kissed and assured “that what he was doing was ‘OK’ because he was a priest,” her lawsuit said.

The lawsuit filed by her older sister, now 49, makes similar allegations against Bodziak, covering the time when she was 8 to 14 years old. She said Bodziak gave her wine on several occasions before molesting her. Bodziak assaulted her in the rectory after summoning her from school and molested her while she practiced the organ in church, according to her lawsuit.

Jail for Vic ex-priest over rape in office


A predatory ex-Catholic priest has been jailed for drugging and raping a student after inviting the boy to play computer games in his office.

Michael Scott Aulsebrook, 60, was the boarders' co-ordinator at Salesian College Rupertswood when he attacked the boy in the 1980s.

He lured the boy to play on his computer after lights-out and gave his victim a soft drink spiked with a sedative.

After raping him, Aulsebrook said: "Get out of my sight. You disgust me". He was found guilty of the rape, but also pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault against two other victims, one male and one female.

Tourisme sexuel: un Français condamné à 16 ans de prison pour avoir abusé d'au moins 66 garçons


[Darantiere Thierry, a French citizen, 52, former director of a Catholic retirement home, was sentenced Wednesday to 16 years in prison for raping and sexually abusing at least 66 boys in at least 3 different countries.]

Thierry Darantière, un Français de 52 ans, a été condamné ce mercredi à 16 ans de réclusion criminelle pour avoir violé ou agressé sexuellement au moins 66 garçons dans au moins 3 pays différents.

Après plus de 5 heures de délibérations, le verdict est tombé. Thierry Darantière, un Français âgé de 52 ans, a été condamné à 16 ans de réclusion criminelle pour avoir violé ou agressé sexuellement au moins 66 garçons au Sri Lanka, en Tunisie et en Egypte. Une peine assortie d'une injonction de soins dans le cadre d'un suivi socio-judiciaire de dix ans, qui est inférieure aux réquisitions de l'accusation qui réclamait 18 ans de réclusion. L'avocat général a parlé d'un dossier "hors norme" de pédophilie.

Westschweizer Kommission für Missbrauchsopfer gegründet


Lausanne, 22.6.16 (kath.ch) Personen, die durch einen Priester oder Seelsorger missbraucht wurden, können sich in der Westschweiz an eine neue Kommission wenden. Die Kommission mit dem Namen «Cecar» soll anhören, schlichten, urteilen und wiedergutmachen. Sie wurde am Dienstag, 21. Juni, in Lausanne den Medien vorgestellt. In der Kommission wird die katholische Kirche durch Bischof Charles Morerod und einen ehemaligen Freiburger Staatsrat vertreten. Gegebenenfalls kann sie auch in der Deutschschweiz aktiv werden.

Pédophilie : nouvelles mesures en Suisse et en Allemagne

La Croix

[The Catholic Church in Western Switzerland has created a neutral, independent commission for the repair of pedophilia crimes or offenses. In Germany an internet page was opened by the church to promote anonymous testimony about sexual abuse.]

Isabelle Demangeat avec cath.ch, le 22/06/2016

L’Église catholique en Suisse romande a créé une commission neutre et indépendante pour la réparation de crimes ou délits de pédophilie. En Allemagne, une page Internet a été ouverte par l’Église pour favoriser des témoignages anonymes sur les abus sexuels

Une commission indépendante d’écoute, de conciliation, d’arbitrage et de réparation sur les questions de pédophilie a été créée par l’Église catholique en Suisse romande. Dès le mois de septembre, les victimes d’abus sexuels commis au sein de l’institution vont pouvoir demander réparation auprès d’elle, y compris pour des faits prescrits.

Bolivien will Missbrauch in Kirche untersuchen


La Paz - 21.06.2016

Boliviens Regierung will Missbrauchsfälle innerhalb der katholischen Kirche vom Justizministerium untersuchen lassen. Vizepräsident Alvaro Garcia Linera sagte am Montag (Ortszeit) bei einer Pressekonferenz, nicht nur aktuelle, sondern auch länger zurückliegende Vorwürfe aus den vergangenen 15 Jahre müssten Gegenstand der Untersuchung werden.


Vice Presidencia del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia

[The justice ministry will investigate complaints of sexual abuse made against members of the Catholic Church.]

(LA PAZ).- El vicepresidente del Estado, Álvaro García Linera, manifestó, hoy, en conferencia de prensa, que el Ministerio de Justicia investigará casos de abusos por parte de algunos miembros de la iglesia católica hacia menores de edad, en los últimos 15 años.

“He pedido a un funcionario del Ministerio de Justicia que me haga un resumen de las denuncias de violación a niños y niñas, cometida por algún funcionario de la iglesia católica”, expresó el mandatario de Estado.

En este sentido, García dijo, “las personas y familias en las que sus niños o niñas hayan sido objeto de violación por parte de algún funcionario de la iglesia, por favor, (se les pide) se acerquen al Ministerio de Justicia para relatar y denunciar este delito”.

Missbrauchsvorwürfe im Bistum Trier: Vorwürfe im Geheimarchiv verschwunden?

Eifel Zeitung

[Allegations of abuse in the Diocese of Trier: Allegations in secret archives disappeared?]

Trier. Das Bistum Trier hat offenbar kirchenrechtliche Untersuchungen zu Missbrauchsvorwürfen verschleppt. Das haben Recherchen des WDR 5-Magazins „Diesseits von Eden“ zum Umgang des Bistums mit Missbrauchsfällen ergeben.

Demnach wurden das Bistum und sein damaliger Bischof Reinhard Marx, heute Vorsitzender der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, bereits 2006 von der Staatsanwaltschaft über Ermittlungen gegen einen Priester informiert, die wegen Verjährung eingestellt wurden.

Online-Umfrage zu Missbrauch durch Priester startet


[The Mannheim Central Institute of Mental Health will launch in July an online poll for asking about sexual abuse of minors by priests, deacons and other members of the Catholic Church.]

Berlin - 21.06.2016

Das Mannheimer Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit startet im Juli eine Online-Umfrage zum "Sexuellen Missbrauch an Minderjährigen durch Priester, Diakone und andere Mitarbeiter der katholischen Kirche". Betroffene können sich melden und "ihr erlittenes Leid mitteilen", heißt es in einem entsprechenden Flyer, den der Psychiater Harald Dreßing am Dienstag in Berlin vorstellte.

Die Auswertung der Umfrage wird Teil der Studie der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz zur Aufarbeitung des 2010 bekannt gewordenen Missbrauchsskandal sein. Ziel sei es, "Licht in das Dunkel des lange Zeit totgeschwiegenen Tatbestands des sexuellen Missbrauchs im Verantwortungsbereich der katholischen Kirche bringen". Die Betroffenen seien dazu die eigentlichen Experten. Die Studie soll Ende 2017 abgeschlossen sein.

Missbrauch in katholischer Kirche: Forscher starten Online-Umfrage


[Abuse in the Catholic Church: Researchers launch online survey]

Das Forschungsprojekt der katholischen Kirche zum sexuellen Missbrauch durch Priester, Diakone und Ordensangehörige wird um eine Online-Befragung ergänzt. Wie die Forschungsleiter Harald Dreßing und Dieter Dölling am Dienstag in Berlin mitteilten, werde dazu ein Fragebogen ins Internet gestellt, der helfen soll, das Dunkelfeld von Missbrauchstaten besser zu beleuchten. Angesprochen sind Betroffene, die dort anonym Angaben zu ihren Erfahrungen machen können.

Zu finden ist der Fragebogen auf der Seite http://flevaweb.zi-mannheim.de. Für den Start der Umfrage muss die Losung "MHG2016" eingegeben werden. Die Befragung startet am kommenden Montag (27. Juni) und soll Ende Juni 2017 enden. Die Online-Umfrage als Teil des Forschungsprojekts erfolgt den Angaben zufolge in Kooperation mit dem Unabhängigen Beauftragten für Fragen des sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig.

Former Seymour Priest Hopes To Resolve Criminal Case

Valley Independent Sentinel

BY Ethan Fry | JUN 22, 2016

The Seymour priest accused of stealing money from his church applied for a pretrial program Tuesday meant for first-time offenders.

If the Rev. Honore Kombo’s application for “accelerated rehabilitation” is accepted and he complies with the court’s requests, the criminal case could be dismissed.

Kombo was relieved of his duties at St. Augustine Church on Washington Avenue in July 2015, after discrepancies were found in the church’s financial statements.

Seymour police arrested Kombo in March, alleging he took tens of thousands of dollars intended for the church. He was charged with first-degree larceny, a felony.

Catholic League head says abuse victim groups want to “rape” Catholic Church

Irish Central

Dara Kelly @irishcentral June 23,2016

New York’s state legislatures ended their 2016 session at the weekend without acting on new legislation to help survivors of child sex abuse.

Responding to the news, Catholic League spokesperson Bill Donohue was jubilant, writing on his website: “The bill was sold as justice for the victims of sexual abuse, when, in fact, it was a sham: the proposed legislation that failed to make it to the floor of the New York State legislature in the wee hours of Saturday… was a vindictive bill pushed by lawyers and activists out to rape the Catholic Church.”

Critics have called Donohue’s language appallingly insensitive, given the international scope of the child sex abuse crisis in the church, but the outspoken lobbyist was taking no prisoners.

“If the statute of limitations were lifted on offenses involving the sexual abuse of minors, the only winners would be greedy and bigoted lawyers out to line their pockets in a rash of settlements,” Donohue continued.

Word of Life defendant Bruce Leonard enters guilty plea 24 hours ahead of trial


[with video]

By Joleen Ferris Jun. 22, 2016

Twenty-four hours before his trial on murder and other charges was set to begin, Word of Life defendant Bruce Leonard entered a guilty plea in Oneida County Court. Before Leonard, the father of the two teen victims, could plead guilty to two charges of assault, he had to make a plea allocution, where he detailed his involvement in the beating death of Lucas, 19, and the assault of Christopher, 17. The process was clearly painful for Leonard, who faltered at the podium, having to sit down several times.

"How many times would you estimate you whipped Lucas?" asked Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara, the prosecutor. "I'm going to say 20," replied Leonard. "It was forceful."

Leonard acknowledged that he and Word of Life Pastor Tiffanie Irwin were upset that Lucas had gone with his sister to another church. McNamara revealed Lucas' punishment from Irwin.

"Assignment, write 700 times, 'I will not lie. I will not be rebellious. The rebellious will be cast out. Psalms 5.10,'" said McNamara.

The prosecutor tried to establish how much control Tiffanie Irwin, still facing murder and other charges, had over Bruce Leonard.

"Would it be fair to say that Tiffanie Irwin had a lot of control over you and your family?" asked McNamara. "On that particular....um, substantial influence. I don't know if you could say a lot of control but substantial influence," replied Bruce Leonard. McNamara read several text messages from Leonard to Irwin, where he tells her how much time he spent reading the Bible that day and what parts he'd read.

Youth pastor facing molestation charges also charged in south Georgia

11 Alive

[with video]

Valerie Hoff and Michael King, WXIA June 22, 2016

MARIETTA, GA – 11Alive News has learned a Marietta youth pastor accused of molesting an 11-year-old boy was charged in another incident near Albany, Ga., three years ago.

But Alexander Edwards’ case was never prosecuted there until recently.

11Alive News is looking into how a serious felony charged involving sexual abuse of children could fall through the cracks.

The District Attorney in Lee County says he has a backlog of cases and this one has not been a priority until recently, when they found out about the Cobb County charges.

Edwards was re-arrested and indicted in Lee County late last month. He is now out of jail on bond, but with heavy restrictions, including an ankle monitoring bracelet, and no access to children, the internet or social media.

Brazil extradites US sect leader accused of sex abuse


Agence France-Presse on Jun 22, 2016

Brazil has extradited a US sect leader accused of 59 felony counts of criminal sexual assault against young girls, allegedly committed "in the name of Christ," prosecutors said Wednesday.

Victor Arden Barnard, 54, fled the United States in 2014 after he was charged with the assaults. He was arrested in February 2015 in the tourist beach town of Pipa in northeastern Brazil.

Brazil gave the go-ahead for his extradition last week, prosecutors said in a statement.

Barnard is the founder of the so-called River Road Fellowship in the northern US state of Minnesota.
The self-proclaimed pastor stands accused of assaulting the daughters of his followers from 2001 to 2009 at a campsite where they were living.

Two of the girls, aged 12 at the time, escaped the camp in 2009, and accused Barnard of repeatedly assaulting them.

To Love and Protect

America Magazine

Jun 22 2016 | Blase J. Cupich

Safeguarding young people is at the core of the church's ministry.

A year ago this July, as Pope Francis apologized to a group of victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, he said the church must ask for “the grace to weep before the execrable acts of abuse which have left life-long scars.” He told them that his heart weeps in anguish when he recognizes that what was done to victims was “something more than despicable actions. It is like a sacrilegious cult, because these boys and girls had been entrusted to the priestly charism in order to be brought to God.” He also pledged decisive action that would bring this sense of horror, utter violation and sacrilege to the structure of church leadership by issuing policies that would hold bishops and religious superiors accountable. This spring, Pope Francis did just that, with the publication of “Like a Loving Mother.”

This decree has received wide coverage by the media and commentators. The major part of the decree outlines a process for the removal of church leaders for acts that do grave damage to the church. As a result, most reports and comments (whether favorable or not) have framed this decree as a tool to punish church leaders.

Those who applaud it note that finally church leaders will be held accountable. Those who criticize it object that nothing has changed. They decry that there is no tribunal as originally announced, and they question if handing this task off to four different Vatican offices will dilute the resolve to dismiss bishops for negligence, as the new document promises.

Why the best chance to end the abuse crisis rests with you

National Catholic Reporter

Nicole Sotelo | Jun. 23, 2016

During my youth, I passed through the heavy doors of St. Theresa Parish hundreds of times after Mass. While most of those memories have vanished into an amalgam of childhood impressions, I do recall a specific encounter one Sunday with Fr. George Bredemann. My mother chatted with him as we three children stood near. I recall him looking down at us and me feeling uncomfortable. Mostly, I remember his eyes.

It was only years later that I learned he was one of the most notorious of the priests who abused children in my home diocese of Phoenix, Arizona. Fr. George was eventually arrested, convicted, and jailed. Justice did not arrive because our bishop, Thomas O'Brien, stood with the survivors; in fact, he wrote a letter to the court asking for leniency in Fr. George's sentencing. Justice was served because a Catholic parishioner saw what was happening and took action.

Currently, little is being done to hold bishops accountable when it comes to their negligence in handling abuse cases. So it should be no surprise that U.S. Catholics across generations gave Pope Francis only a 54 percent approval rating of "excellent" or "good" when asked how they would evaluate his performance in addressing the sex abuse crisis.

While Catholics gave Pope Francis better marks than his predecessor, he still falls short when you compare his 54 percent approval rating on sex abuse with his 81 percent rating at "spreading Catholic faith."

How the Catholic Church continues to fail child abuse survivors


Bolt Burdon Kemp

Dino Nocivelli

United Kingdom June 21 2016

I am a solicitor specialising in child abuse cases and this sometimes results in me pursuing the Catholic Church.

The issue

Child abuse is abhorrent, regardless if you are TV star or a priest or a family member.

I have had a number of personal difficulties however in dealing with cases against the Catholic Church. I direct you to a recent case that I settled against them.

The issue with the Catholic Church, more than any other organisation or faith that I have been against, is their lack of compassion and their overly aggressive nature. In the abovementioned case, there were a number of allegations that raised particular concern:

* To allege a 15 year old boy consented to his family priest (who was in his 60s) performing sexual relations?

* To allege the same 15 year old may have been experimenting even though he had girlfriends at the time and has had never had another sexual relation with a man?

* To allege the fact that this boy continued to see the priest indicated consent?

These allegations all fly in the face of psychiatric opinion that holds the power imbalance and process of manipulation and grooming often results in individuals “letting” offences to take place and this can continue even after they have reached the age of 16. It is this same manipulation and grooming process that frequently prevents victims of child abuse from reporting the assaults for a number of years, if ever.

The solution

I have listened to Pope Francis for a number of years discuss the Vatican’s need to expose and to finally deal with child abuse –

At the same time, I have seen firsthand how the Pope’s words are merely that and that the church continues to treat survivors with the same disdain as they always have. It appears as clear as day that the church cares more about their own priests rather than survivors of child abuse. In my view, protecting the Vatican’s money and reputation can never be worth more than addressing the needs of a survivor of child abuse.

Mount Cashel was worst-case scenario for boys: expert

The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on June 22, 2016

New York forensic psychologist Alan M. Goldstein, in his last hour testifying at the Mount Cashel civil trial in Newfoundland Supreme Court Wednesday, painted a scene at the orphanage that became the “worst-case scenario” in which boys there lacked love, support and stability.

With some 200 boys placed in the facility due in many cases to the death of a parent, Goldstein questioned the training the Irish Christian Brothers had to handle the boys — some of them troubled — and speculated about their ability to manage with counselling rather than with yelling and beating.

For the four men at the centre of the civil case, Goldstein said they had memories of life before Mount Cashel and were vulnerable because of the pain of loss and the need to adjust.

And he said superimposed on the situation were certain Brothers who had a proclivity to abuse boys.

June 22, 2016

No action taken on child sex crime bill by Senate panel; negotiations on amendments continue


By Ivey DeJesus | idejesus@pennlive.com

on June 22, 2016

The head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who last week stacked a hearing in favor of opponents seeking to defeat a proposed child sex crime reform bill, on Wednesday evening struck a more sensitive tone to victims of child sex abuse when asked why the panel had not taken action on the bill.

Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery County, said House Bill 1947 had not been taken up during a breakout meeting of the session on Wednesday because of ongoing negotiations to the bill.

Greenleaf, chairman of the committee, said members of his committee were still considering negotiations with "regards to the legislation that give victims the ability to sue such as fraudulent concealment."

As of midday Wednesday, it had not been confirmed whether the judiciary committee would take up the bill, amid negotiations to amendments. The panel met after a recess but did not take up the bill.

RI--RI Supreme Court rule against child abuse victims

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com

We’re very sad that Rhode Island’s highest court has sided with corrupt Catholic officials and against child sex abuse victims of a notorious predator priest. Many judges across the US acknowledge that bishops have committed fraud by hiding the crimes of child molesting clerics and that, as a result, victims should get their day in court. We are distraught that wounded Rhode Island victims apparently won’t have this opportunity to expose and deter wrongdoing.

[Providence Journal]

No matter what lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

R.I. Supreme Court denies damages for 2 who claimed they were abused by priest

Providence Journal

By Karen Lee Ziner
Journal Staff Writer

Posted Jun. 22, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Rhode Island Supreme Court has upheld a Superior Court decision denying damages to two plaintiffs who alleged they were sexually abused more than four decades ago by a Roman Catholic priest.

The court affirmed Superior Court Judge Netti C. Vogel's ruling that the statute of limitations had elapsed, and that the plaintiffs did not meet the threshold for "unsound mind disability."

Helen L. (McGonigle) Hyde and Jeffrey Thomas had separately sued The Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence in 2008, alleging they were molested by the late Rev. Brendan Smyth, who served as visiting priest, counselor and teacher at Our Lady of Mercy School and Church in East Greenwich for three years. Theirs were cases of recovered memory: both were between 6 and 9 years old at the time of the alleged abuse.

Smyth became notorious after he was convicted of 141 indecent assaults against children across his native Ireland over four decades. He died in 1997 in prison in Ireland.

Hyde, an attorney from Connecticut, and Thomas, a Massachusetts resident, argued in their appeal that Vogel erred when she decided that the statute of limitations barred their claims. They also argued that Vogel unfairly denied their request to seek discovery "on the alternate tolling theory that the defendant fraudulently concealed their causes of action from them."

Witnesses speak on behalf of former Passaic priest facing attempted sex assault charges

The Record


Several relatives and friends of a Passaic priest accused of sexual conduct testified Wednesday on his behalf, describing him as a humble and caring person who strengthened the church he worked for.

“I have known him for a long time and he is an amazing person,” Cindy Negrete, a member of the church, said about the Rev. Jose Lopez as she testified in Superior Court in Paterson. “It’s very sad because he shouldn’t be in this position. I know he would never, ever do something like this.”

Lopez’s cousin, the Rev. Leonardo Lopez, said he has known the 37-year-old Lopez for 34 years, going back to the days when they were young boys growing up in the same neighborhood in their native Colombia.

“He is a very good person and I have never seen anything inappropriate in his life,” Leonardo Lopez said.

My rapist confessed, but he can’t be charged (column)

York Daily Record

Kristen Pfautz Woolley June 22, 2016

The Catholic Church and others stand in the way of reforming Pa.’s child sex abuse statute of limitations.

I am not Catholic.

I am a survivor of child sexual abuse. From the ages 10-12, I was repeatedly violated by a man my parents trusted. My abuse only ended when my abuser became engaged to be married. I remember feeling relief that my nightmare was over; now someone else would take care of my abuser’s sexual needs. I didn't understand at age 12 it was not over, nor would it ever be over. I did not understand that my abuse was something I would have to learn to carry.

My first lesson that it would never end came when I was 17. It had been five years since I had seen my abuser. I ran into him at a local town carnival. There he was pushing his newborn child in a stroller. He creepily proceeded to tell me how much he enjoyed changing the child’s diapers because he found it fascinating to look at the child’s anatomy – a flashback-inducing conversation that sent a cold chill down my spine. I was left paralyzed in fear. This was his own child he was talking about.

Sources: Pa. senators plan to block lawsuits for decades-old sex abuse


JUNE 22, 2016

by Angela Couloumbis and Maria Panaritis, STAFF WRITERS

HARRISBURG - A Senate committee is expected this week to strip out the most contentious aspect of a bill that would expand the ability of child sex-abuse victims to sue for decades-old attacks, according to two legislative sources familiar with the move.

The Republicans who control the Senate Judiciary Committee plan to remove the provision that would have applied the law retroactively, said the sources, who said they were not authorized to publicly discuss the plan. Hailed by victims' advocates, such language could have opened the door to a wave of new lawsuits for attacks that occurred as far back as the 1970s.

The bill easily passed the GOP-led House this spring - and is supported by Gov. Wolf - but became the source of intense lobbying in the Senate, its last stop before becoming law.

Opponents, most notably the Catholic Church, have argued that it would unfairly cripple if not bankrupt churches and their members who deserve no blame for decades-old abuse. Four lawyers, including Solicitor General Bruce L. Castor Jr., told senators last week that such a provision would also violate the state constitution.

Cross-examination at Mount Cashel civil trial upsets John Doe

The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on June 22, 2016

A John Doe left the courtroom this morning, followed by his friend and fellow John Doe, during cross-examination of New York forensic psychologist Alan M. Goldstein in the Mount Cashel civil trial.

The man left quietly and returned after a break, rubbing his face. He told The Telegram outside court he understands the principles of what lawyers do to break down liability, but said “It all gets too much.”

The man, retired from the military, was hearing his file come up in the cross-examination of Goldstein by Chris Blom, who represents the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s. At the point Doe left the room, Blom had been asking a series of questions in which Goldstein allowed he did no intelligence testing on Doe. Blom had also pointed out none of Doe’s siblings had gone to college or university.

It was part of a line of questions seeming, as a defence strategy, to point the cause of the man’s issues in a direction other than abuse at Mount Cashel, specifically sexual abuse, or to point out a lesser impact on his life of any abuse.

Mark Rozzi denied permission to address Senate panel voting on child sex crime law; Senate panel pulls bill


By Ivey DeJesus | idejesus@pennlive.com
on June 21, 2016

UPDATE: The Senate Judiciary Committee was set to vote on House Bill 1947 on Wednesday but pulled the hearing, which was set for 2 p.m. This report has been updated to reflect the information.

A state House lawmaker who has become the defacto leader in the General Assembly for an effort to reform child sex crime laws has asked a Senate panel to invite him to its voting meeting for a proposed legislation that would reform the law.

Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks) on Monday sent Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a letter in which writes:

"As the maker of the revival amendment that was the subject of last Monday's Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, I respectfully request to be invited to the voting meeting on House Bill 1947 in order to address the committee on the merits of my amendment as to the intent and effect on House Bill 1947."

In an email to PennLive, a spokesman Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), noted general procedural policy that only the prime sponsor of the legislation be invited to address the committee at a voting meeting.

A Grievous Error in Judge Joseph LaPlante’s Court

These Stone Walls


Federal Judge Joseph LaPlante dismissed without testimony Fr Gordon MacRae’s recent hope for justice. No U.S. court has allowed this defendant to utter a single word.

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post by Ryan A. MacDonald, author of “The Trial of Father MacRae: A Conspiracy of Fraud.”

I am not here to cast Donald Trump-like aspersions upon a judge whose decision I simply do not like. I have no doubt that Father Gordon MacRae would bar me from publishing here if I did. I am simply here to describe a grievous error that occurred in United States District Court in Concord, New Hampshire, and other facts that continue to trouble me greatly a year after I published an important article on this site: “Judge Joseph LaPlante Denies Priest’s Appeal.”

Many people have come to believe that the 1994 prosecution and trial of Father Gordon MacRae, and subsequent appeals, have left an innocent man in prison and a gaping wound on the integrity of the criminal justice system. One issue that I and others simply cannot comprehend is that no one in this system – absolutely no one – has allowed this accused priest to utter a single word in his own defense.

After the prosecution rested its case in 1994 – with lots of theatrics but no evidence – Judge Arthur Brennan addressed MacRae directly, outside the presence of the jury. He cautioned MacRae against testifying in his own defense. If he did so, the judge warned, the door would be opened to allow other claims from Thomas Grover, his brothers, and others to come before the jury and taint its view of this case.

Minneapolis playwright to 'Trust' St. Cloud with play

St. Cloud Times

Alyssa Zaczek, azaczek@stcloudtimes.com June 22, 2016

Minneapolis playwright and actor John Woehrle will bring his play "Trust" to The Black Box Theatre & Gallery this August.

The play is centered on Michael, a young man who returns to his fictional alma mater in Minnesota to find that Father Daniels, the priest who abused him in his youth, is now the president of the institution.

Michael Novak, partner at Donohue Novak at Law in St. Cloud, plays a bishop in the production, and feels that the play offers a timely, tactful look at a sensitive subject.

"The play was written, in a sense, to be an intervention," Novak said. "It is a riveting tale of survivorship."

Novak went on to explain that the clergy abuse survivor's group SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) had a role in the development of the project.

Retired Catholic priest facing sex crime charges dies

CBC News

Linus Bastien, an 89-year-old charged with several sex-related offences he was alleged to have committed while serving as Catholic priest in southern Ontario decades ago, has died.

Police charged Bastien, of Chatham, Ont., with several offences over the years, dating back to the 1950s.

Locally, Bastien was assigned to St. Mary's Parish in Maidstone and St. Paul's Catholic Church in LaSalle.

Un prêtre accusé d’agression sexuelle décède avant d’être jugé

Ici Radio

Un prêtre catholique retraité accusé d'agression sexuelle sur des enfants est mort avant la fin de son procès.

Le père Linus Bastien est décédé le 19 juin à Pétrolia. Âgé de 89 ans, il avait servi dans différentes paroisses de la région entre 1951 et 1997, notamment aux paroisses Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire de Windsor, Saint-François-Xavier à Tilbury et Saint-Joachim à Saint-Joachim.

Arrêté en 2011, le père Linus Bastien était accusé d'avoir agressé une dizaine d'enfants dans trois paroisses du sud-ouest de l'Ontario dans les années 1970. Son procès devait commencer prochainement.

Retired Windsor-Essex priest facing sex-related charges has died


Last Updated Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A retired Windsor-Essex priest, who was facing several sex-related charges, has died.
Linus Bastien, 89, passed away on Sunday.

First arrested in 2011, Bastien was facing 30 criminal charges including; gross indecency, indecent assault and one count of sexual assault on a person under 14 years old.

His death means there will be no criminal trial, which was scheduled to begin in October.

Laotian man arrested at Los Angeles-area monastery on state child pornography charges

U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A Laotian man in the United States on a religious worker visa is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in state court on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography, following a probe by the Riverside County Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Task Force, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Kounzong Saebphang, 26, of Laos, is charged with two felony criminal counts. He was arrested June 1 at the Wat Lao Buddhist Monastery in Riverside where he resided as a monk. The arrest came following the execution of a federal search warrant at that location.

The probe began last year when investigators on the SAFE Task Force received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about the possible distribution of child pornography. The SAFE investigators sought assistance from HSI after determining there could be international implications.

Based on the evidence in the case, Saebphang allegedly possessed child pornography on at least one digital device found at his residence at the monastery and he is charged with distributing child pornography to another person through a social media website. The investigation, including forensic examinations of the items seized during the execution of the search warrant, is ongoing.

238 suspects nabbed across Southern California in child predator sweep

Los Angeles Daily News

By Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News

POSTED: 06/20/16

A two-month sweep of suspected child predators wanted for everything from negotiating sex tourism on the internet to possessing and selling pornography netted 238 arrests across Southern California, including a Buddhist monk, authorities announced Monday.

The sweep was part of a national effort called Operation Broken Heart, launched by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a multi-agency effort. Operation Broken Heart was first conducted in 2014.

The latest operation, which was conducted in April and May, included agents with federal Homeland Security Investigations and child exploitation units from Los Angeles, Long Beach, Orange County and Fontana.

Those arrested included a 26-year-old Buddhist monk from Riverside and an Australian man who came to Los Angeles specifically to buy a 6-year-old boy who was being sold on the internet, officials said during a news conference in Exposition Park. Nationwide, 61 task forces conducted similar operations between April and May. A total of 1,368 arrests were made across the country as part of Operation Broken Heart, officials said.

238 arrested in sweep of suspected child sex predators

Los Angeles Times

Veronica Rocha

A monk from Riverside and an Australian man looking to buy a 6-year-old boy were among 238 people arrested during a two-month operation targeting child predators in Southern California, officials said Monday.

Conducted by the Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes against Children task force, “Operation Broken Heart III” targeted offenders wanted for the sexual exploitation of children, child prostitution, sex tourism and possessing and distributing child pornography, said Deputy Chief Matt Blake of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Among those arrested during sweeps in April and May were entertainers, community leaders, white-collar professionals and clergy members, said John Reynolds, acting special agent in charge for U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations.

“The incidence of child sexual exploitation has reached staggering proportions,” he said at a news conference.

Law enforcement officials said the arrests underscore the importance of families maintaining an open dialogue about Internet safety.

“Parents and kids need to have frank conversations about how to stay safe in cyberspace,” Reynolds said.

Children and teens, he said, are spending more time on the Internet and social media sites, where child predators often look for victims.

Buddhist Monk Among 238 Alleged Child Sex Predators in SoCal Arrested in Multiagency Sweep


A monk from Riverside and an Australian man looking to buy a 6-year-old boy were among 238 people arrested during a two-month operation targeting child predators in Southern California, officials said Monday.

Conducted by the Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes against Children task force, “Operation Broken Heart III” targeted offenders wanted for the sexual exploitation of children, child prostitution, sex tourism and possessing and distributing child pornography, said Deputy Chief Matt Blake of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Among those arrested during sweeps in April and May were entertainers, community leaders, white-collar professionals and clergy members, said John Reynolds, acting special agent in charge for U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations.

238 arrested in “Operation Heartbreak” sting on child predators in California, 1,400 accused perverts busted nationwide

New York Daily News

Hundreds of suspected child predators were busted in a two-month sting across Southern California, police announced Monday.

Among the 238 people arrested in the “Operation Broken Heart III” sweep by the Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes against Children task force were clergy members, community leaders, entertainers and white-collar professionals, John Reynolds, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations special agent said at a press conference.

There had been nearly 900 investigations with 250 search warrants out for possible predators during the sweep in April and May.


Herald Review

By Kelly Grinsteinner Hibbing Daily Tribune

HIBBING – Not guilty was the verdict of a 12-member jury for the former Hibbing priest accused of sexual misconduct.

Brian M. Lederer, 30, was facing four counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree and two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree.

The alleged incidents occurred during the 2014-2015 school year after school hours at Assumption School. One incident took place in a residence, and other actions occurred on a school bus.

Lederer, the former priest at Blessed Sacrament Parish and Assumption Catholic School, was arrested and charged on May 7, 2015. He was then placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Duluth.

Prosecutors still mulling porn charge against Hibbing priest

Grand Forks Herald

By John Myers

The St. Louis County Attorney's Office still is deciding whether to move forward with a charge of possessing child pornography against Brian Lederer, the Catholic priest who on Monday was found not guilty on separate charges of inappropriately touching four girls.

A jury of six men and six women took less than two hours to find Lederer not guilty of charges that stemmed from allegations by four girls, ages 11-13 at the time, that Lederer had touched them inappropriately.

Lederer, 30, who had been a priest at Blessed Sacrament Parish and Assumption Catholic School in Hibbing, was charged in May 2015 with four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

With those charges now behind him, Lederer still faces a felony charge of possessing child pornography that allegedly was found on his computer when investigators used a search warrant looking for evidence in the other cases.

Sixth Judicial District Judge David Ackerson in December ruled the pornography charge should not be tried as part of the abuse allegations

Cardinal: Abuse survivors must be central to any safeguarding policy

Independent Catholic News

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has sent a message to the annual Anglophone Safeguarding Conference currently underway in Rome.

He stresses that although much has been done, there's much more to do "in both the prevention and response to this crime."

The Rt Revd Marcus Stock, Bishop of Leeds and Vice Chair of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission, delivered the message to delegates at the event that runs from 20 - 23 June and is jointly hosted by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales and Kenya's Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Describing the abuse of children and vulnerable people as a betrayal of trust and a "betrayal of the trust of faith", Cardinal Nichols stresses that abuse "destroys a level of human trust but also destroys the trusting faith particularly of a child or of a vulnerable person, at any age. Their trust in God is shattered. And the essence of the mission of the Church is to offer and witness to the trustworthiness of the Word of God. Any form of abuse, and particularly of children, within the Church is therefore a betrayal of the very essence of the purpose and character of the Church. It is a most profound wound."

The Cardinal goes on to make it clear that the primary focus and motivation of the Church's work in the vital area of safeguarding must be set on those who have been deeply injured in their humanity, in their capacity to trust and relate to others, and in how they form trusting relationships:

"The wellbeing of the survivors of abuse, and our responsibility for what has been done, must drive us forward in this work of listening to them. It is that attentive listening which then enables us to respond more adequately to their needs and to create environments in which they are truly safe and supported."

Why Does the Rabbinical Council of America Refuse to Protect Children from Child Molesters?


Eric Allen

Six weeks ago, I emailed Rabbi Mark Dratch, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), and published a detailed letter expressing my concern that the RCA was not doing nearly enough to protect Orthodox children from sexual assault.

The 2,000-word letter pointed out how the RCA hasn’t implemented or enforced four separate sets of child-safety resolutions that it has adopted over the last 23 years. I asked him to require that all RCA rabbis publicly prohibit from their synagogues, schools and yeshivas anyone convicted of a child sex crime. I wrote this letter in part because, in a phone call that I had with Rabbi Dratch 7 months ago, he told me that he wouldn’t commit to enforcing the RCA child protection resolutions or require rabbis to ban child sex offenders from Orthodox institutions.

He also told me in that phone call that publicizing the identities of convicted Orthodox child molesters was a “no-brainer” — yet the RCA still doesn’t do it.

I cited an essay that Rabbi Dratch wrote 10 years ago that advocates for abusive rabbis to be excommunicated and defrocked, yet the RCA, to my knowledge has never done so to an abusive rabbi.

Priest abuse victim speaks out

Siouxland News

[with video]


At just 12 years old, Tim Lennon says he was raped by Father Peter Murphey after the priest joined the Blessed Sacrament parish in 1960.

"That sadness, or depression, anger, they don't leave," said Lennon.

Lennon, who's lived in California for years, was one of 12 in an Irish-Catholic family. His sister Cathy Frisch who lives in Dakota Dunes, says there was always something "different" about her brother compared to other kids.

"I do see some things that he went through in high school," said Frish. "He's pretty reclusive at times. It wasn't that he didn't have friends; he did go out, but it just didn't seem like he was happy."

Lennon believes it was his twin daughters turning 12 a few years ago, the same age he says he was molested that the memories started resurfacing, long after Father Murphy passed away in 1980. It was through newspaper ads Lennon posted in Father Murphey's previous parish locations. Lennon says he learned he wasn't the only one.

Survivors of Ireland’s notorious homes for ‘fallen women’ where babies were ‘left to die’ speak out

i News

Katie Grant
Wednesday June 22nd 2016

The Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home is notorious for the hundreds of babies and children who died there. Katie Grant meets a group of former “Home Babies” who suffered unimaginable hardships and are determined to expose the truth about the church-run institutions

Marie* beams with pride as she describes her two adult children. Unlike her, they were well-educated, could read and write by the time they started nursery and grew up showered with love and affection. Her joy is plain to see. But the 64-year-old Irish émigré has been keeping a secret their entire lives. Marie was born in the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home, an institution for unmarried mothers, and suffered years of abuse at the convent-run orphanage where she resided.

For decades Marie’s “impure” background was a source of enormous shame for her yet she yearned to be open with her children. In 2014, history caught up with her and the prospect of broaching the subject became unthinkable. “They love me so much that I think it would break their hearts,” she says.

Bon Secours: nearly 800 dead

Two years ago this month, an amateur historian went public with the terrible discovery she had made while researching Bon Secours, which operated in Tuam, Galway, between 1925 and 1961. Almost 800 babies and children had died at the home during that period, Catherine Corless revealed. Denied headstones and coffins, all the babies and children were interred in unconsecrated ground next to the home, she said. Her findings sent shock waves across Ireland.

Judge nullifies $14.5M defamation claim against clergy sex abuse crusader

Bangor Daily News

By Darren Fishell, BDN Staff

Posted June 21, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine — A federal judge has tossed out a jury’s $14.5 million verdict against a Freeport-based advocate for children sexually abused by clergy, finding the plaintiffs’ defamation case had a fatal flaw from the start.

U.S. District Court Judge John Woodcock ruled Monday that the federal court did not have jurisdiction over the complaint from Catholic brother Michael Geilenfeld and a nonprofit for which he worked because most of his life, assets and affairs are in Haiti and not his home state of Iowa.

In his opinion, Woodcock called the introduction of the late jurisdiction question “an extraordinary turn of events.”

“To say that the defendant raised this issue late is an understatement,” Woodcock wrote in the introduction to his opinion, “but unlike virtually any other legal issue, a court’s jurisdiction cannot be waived and may be raised at any time, even after a verdict and on appeal, because jurisdiction goes to whether the court can legally hear the case.”

Orphanage Santa dies; was American serviceman stationed in NL

The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on June 21, 2016

Several decades after a gesture of kindness to all Newfoundland orphans from an American serviceman, a former Mount Cashel orphanage resident’s eyes filled with tears Tuesday.

“He was just fantastic,” said the grieving man — not being named here because there is a publication ban on his identity due to the ongoing Mount Cashel civil trial.

The man was talking about Earl Chilton, who has nothing to do with the trial, but brought a bright spot to a dark time in the Avalon Peninsula man’s life back in the 1950s while he was a boy at the now infamous Mount Cashel orphanage and Chilton was stationed at the nearby American base Fort Pepperrell in Pleasantville.

The former orphanage resident received an email from Chilton’s family that the 89-year-old ex-serviceman had died Monday in Bowling Green, Va.

Chilton brightened the lives of hundreds of Newfoundland orphans through a fundraising effort to give them Christmas gifts — for some the only ones they ever had as children.

Gallup Diocese Clergy Abuse Settlement Approved

Wall Street Journal

Jun 22, 2016

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup, N.M., on Tuesday won court approval of its plan to compensate clergy sexual abuse victims, paving the way for it to exit bankruptcy.

Following a hearing at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Albuquerque, N.M., Judge David Thuma signed off on the $25 million plan, which is largely funded by contributions from the diocese, insurance carriers, parishes and sales of the diocese’s property.

The bulk of the funds will be used to compensate victims, according to Susan Boswell, the diocese’s lawyer. Fifty-seven victims filed claims against the diocese, though not all will receive a payout because of prior settlements.

“This is, monetarily, a good resolution for the abuse victims,” Judge Thuma said. “I think it’s more money that any of us thought could be raised in this case.”

In return for victim compensation, the plan provides legal protections for the diocese and the other contributors that will shield them from future lawsuits tied to past abuse.

Convicted Peeping-Tom Rabbi Barry Freundel Wants His Jail Sentence Reduced to One Year


By Harry Jaffe on June 21, 2016

Barry Freundel, the former rabbi of Georgetown’s Kesher Israel synagogue who pleaded guilty last year to secretly filming a women’s changing room at a ritual Jewish bath, was back in court Tuesday appealing his jail sentence. Freundel argued in DC’s Court of Appeals that the six-and-a-half year sentence he received last year on a slew of voyeurism charges was illegal and should be reduced to less than a year.

Freundel was sentenced in May 2015 on 52 counts, one each for the 52 women he admitted to videotaping without their permission before and after they prepared for the mikvah, a dunk in a bath that Orthodox Jewish women use for ritual cleansing and conversion. Freundel argued that the judge should have sentenced him for a single count of voyeurism, which would carry a one-year jail term.

Freundel’s lawyers made the same argument last May before DC Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Alprin, who heard the case and delivered the sentence. Alprin denied the motion to reduce the sentence. Freundel appealed.

The rabbi’s downfall, which will continue into next year as his victims pursue a civil case against him, has shattered DC’s Orthodox Jewish community. From humble origins in Brooklyn, Freundel, 65, became an authority in modern orthodoxy and rabbi to Kesher Israel, one of the most prominent synagogues in the District. He taught at Georgetown and Towson Universities, advised the White House on spiritual matters and became the country’s chief authority on Orthodox conversion.

Rabbi Barry Freundel Appeals 6-Year Prison Sentence in Mikveh Peeping


Julie Wiener
June 22, 2016

( JTA ) — An attorney for Rabbi Barry Freundel argued in a Washington, D.C., appeals court that the rabbi’s prison term for secretly videotaping women in his synagogue’s mikvah was too long.

The attorney argued Tuesday that the 6 1/2-year sentence handed down last year was illegal, The Associated Press reported . Freundel, a once-prominent modern Orthodox rabbi in Washington, had pleaded guilty.

According to the AP, the court “seemed likely to reject” the attorney’s argument that the sentence should have been limited to one year in prison. The website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Columbia said it “will likely take several weeks to several months after the argument for the Court of Appeals to issue its decision.”

Freundel, 64, began serving his sentence in a Washington jail in May 2015. However, at his request the following month, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia recommended that he be transferred to a federal correctional facility either in Otisville, New York, or Miami.

Appeals court hears case of rabbi who videotaped nude women

Baltimore Sun


WASHINGTON (AP) — A once-prominent Orthodox rabbi's argument that his sentence for secretly videotaping nude women at a Jewish ritual bath should have been limited to one year in jail seemed unlikely to sway a Washington appeals court at a hearing Tuesday.

Rabbi Bernard Freundel, a former Towson University professor, was arrested in 2014 after one of his recording devices was discovered at the National Capital Mikvah in Washington. Prosecutors found he filmed some 150 women using recording devices hidden in a clock radio, a fan and a tissue box holder, and he ultimately took a plea deal in the case and was sentenced to approximately 6 1/2 years.

Freundel acknowledged as part of the plea deal that from 2009 to 2014 he secretly recorded women in a showering and changing area of the mikvah, a ritual cleansing bath he worked to have built. A statute of limitations would have barred prosecutors from charging Freundel for every recording, and he pleaded guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism, a charge that carries up to a year in jail.

A judge sentenced him to 45 days on each count, running the sentences one after another.

On Tuesday, his lawyer, Jeffrey Harris, argued to a three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals that the sentences should have merged and run concurrently, meaning Freundel would have served 45 days.

Meir Pogrow’s Manipulations as Remembered by a Seminary Student

Frum Follies

Shayna Goldberg describes what is obviously Pogrow in a post on her brother-in-law’s FaceBook wall

I knew this rabbi. 18 years ago, I came to Israel for the year to study Torah in a seminary [Michlalah] where he taught. He lived on campus with his young family in the apartment right beneath mine. From the first time I met him, my overwhelming gut instinct was to stay away. There was something creepy about the way he knew all of our SAT scores by heart, even before we arrived. The way he knew exactly who was registered for an Ivy League college.

The way he pursued and initiated chavrutot with very specific girls. Never the weak ones. Only the “best and the brightest.” It felt like a kind of game for him. A challenge. Could he crack the toughest ones? Break them down and then rebuild them? By some, it was considered flattering if he chose you. And there were girls who were hurt and devastated because they didn’t make the cut.

Once he forged that connection, he was manipulative, he played mind games, and he fostered dependence and hero worship. He was sarcastic, biting, and cynical, and he used his sharp mind and his Torah knowledge in cunning ways. He was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. He knew Torah by heart, and of course his way of looking at things was always “right.” You could never really challenge his read or his understanding because he was held up by everyone as the ultimate talmid chacham. He had mastered Torah. And he was only 27.

Swiss Catholic Church sex abuse victims may seek reparations


By Simon Bradley

Victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Switzerland may now seek financial compensation and other forms of reparation in cases that have exceeded the statute of limitations. This follows the launch of an independent sexual abuse commission. However, payments are likely to remain symbolic.

The fight against sexual abuse within the Catholic Church took a step forwards on Tuesday with the official launch of CECAR, a sexual abuse commission that is “neutral and independent of the authorities of the Catholic Church”.

CECAR is the result of almost six years’ negotiations and agreement between victims’ groups, parliamentarians and the Swiss Bishops Conference. The initiative is aimed at victims who were minors at the time of the incidents, but whose cases have encountered legal time limits.

“Exceeding the statute of limitations does not wipe out suffering,” said Charles Morerod, the Bishop for Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg at a news conference in Lausanne. He was one of the co-signatories of an accord in 2015 between the Catholic Church and the victims’ group SAPEC that led to the creation of CECAR.

Abuse survivors approve Gallup Diocese settlement

Las Cruces Sun-News

Associated Press June 21, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE — Victims of clergy sexual abuse have approved of a plan for the Gallup Diocese to dole out millions of dollars in compensation.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that an attorney for 57 abuse survivors told a federal judge Tuesday that all had signed off on the plan.

Under the agreement, each claimant will receive roughly $350,000.

The Gallup Diocese is establishing a fund of between $21 million and $25 million for professional fees and settlements.

Man sues Archdiocese of St. Louis alleging abuse by priest

Washington Times

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A Kansas City, Missouri, man has filed a suit against the Archdiocese of St. Louis, saying he was the victim of repeated sexual abuse by a now deceased priest.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/28MkBVD ) reports that Tom Viviano alleges that Father Charles DeGuire forced him to perform oral sex on him multiple times at St. Aloysius Gonzaga and on a boat.

The Associated Press usually doesn’t name victims of sexual assault, but Viviano spoke publicly about the lawsuit at a press conference outside the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica on Tuesday.

The misconduct allegedly took place when Viviano served as an altar boy from fifth to eighth grade. DeGuire worked at the parish, which shuttered more than 10 years ago.

Edmonton Catholic school trustee wants reporting of sexual abuse added to Alberta curriculum

Edmonton Journal


Published on: June 21, 2016

School children should learn in every grade how to prevent and report sexual abuse and assault, says the board chairwoman of Edmonton Catholic Schools.

The Catholic school board voted 6-1 Tuesday to push the Alberta government to include in its revamp of the K-12 curriculum annual lessons to empower children against sexual abuse.

“(Perpetrators) say, ‘This is our secret,’ and they scare the children, and they intimidate them, and the children don’t have the capacity to know what to do, who to talk to, who to trust,” board chair Marilyn Bergstra said.

Some public schools in the U.S. are required to teach sexual assault prevention thanks to Erin’s Law. The law is named for sexual assault survivor Erin Merryn, who pushed for states to pass the law requiring school districts to teach children to “tell on anyone who tries to touch their private parts.”

David Lujan demanding information from archdiocese


Updated: Jun 22, 2016

By Krystal Paco

The attorney representing all of Archbishop Anthony Apuron's accusers demands answers. In a letter addressed to Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai on Tuesday, Attorney David Lujan wants to know the status of the investigation into allegations made against Apuron. Archbishop Hon was appointed by the Vatican as an apostolic administrator while Apuron was placed on leave.

All of Apuron's alleged victims were altar boys at Mount Carmel Church in Agat where Apuron was a priest at the time.

The Rise of Pope Francis

The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on June 22, 2016 by Betty Clermont

n 1990, there were 877 priests in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires.

Typically, priests are selected for auxiliary bishop – the first rung up the hierarchical career ladder – from those who have distinguished themselves working for the (arch)diocese. For example, the new auxiliary bishop in Philadelphia had been coordinator and spiritual director of the archdiocesan seminary, an auditor and had served on three boards for the archdiocese in addition to heading five parishes

At the time he was chosen in 1992 as auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio was assigned to the Jesuit Church in the city of Córdoba, 435 miles northwest of Buenos Aires, and had never held a position working for the archdiocese.

Additionally, like all Jesuits, Bergoglio had vowed to “never strive for or ambition any prelacy or dignity outside the Society.” He would become the only Jesuit to head the Buenos Aires archdiocese in its 400 year history and the only Jesuit pope of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Church in Latin America

Since the time of the Spanish and Portuguese conquistadores, prelates of the Church aligned with the mostly European-descent ruling class. However, in the early 1960s, the Latin American Episcopal Council, known by its Spanish acronym CELAM, helped push the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) toward a more progressive stance. At their 1968 conference in Medellin, Columbia, CELAM officially supported the liberation theology more fully developed by Gustavo Gutiérrez in A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics and Salvation.

The final document produced at Medellin declared: “The Church – the People of God – will lend its support to the downtrodden of every social class so that they might come to know their rights and how to make use of them.” Liberation theology was falsely characterized as “Marxist” because Gutiérrez had written: “Poverty is not inevitable; collectively the poor can organize and facilitate social change.”

Everything You Need to Know About Victor Barnard, the Creepy Cult Leader Accused of Sexually Assaulting Minors

New York Magazine

By Catie L'Heureux

It's hard to believe anyone could rape and brainwash so many people and get away with it for so long, but Victor Barnard did. The Minnesota religious cult leader convinced 150 people he was like God, invited them all to live on an isolated campground, and coerced the parents in the group into letting him rape their oldest daughters (his "maidens") for years, all in the name of Jesus Christ.

Fifty-four-year-old Barnard fled the U.S. two years ago after two women accused him of abuse, sparking an international manhunt and landing him on the U.S. Marshals Service’s Most Wanted List. He was captured and held in Brazil for over a year until last weekend, when he was finally extradited back to Pine County, over an hour's drive north of Minneapolis. On Monday, Barnard appeared in court for the first time, facing 59 counts of first- and third-degree sexual assault of minors from the two women who claim he raped them for years.

The judge set bail at $1.5 million. Prosecutors, who are preparing for Barnard's next court appearance on July 5, say Barnard's followers are now liquidating their assets to pay for his release.

How did this happen? Here, the horrifying story of Barnard's cult, the "maidens" he allegedly assaulted, and how he might be brought to justice.

The cult: Before setting out on his own, Barnard was first a member of the Way International, a nondenominational Christian sect known for encouraging followers to interpret the Bible on their own terms. With tens of thousands of followers in 35 countries, the group fell apart in the mid-1980s. Its founder and his successor were both accused of brainwashing and having sex with female followers.

Woman wins lawsuit against church and pastor over alleged sexual abuse as a child


[with video]


CLINTON, Md. (ABC7) — A woman who says she was the victim of repeated sexual abuse by a pastor when she was 13 and 14 is speaking out to ABC7 -- and now that pastor's church has been ordered to pay $656,000 in damages for pain and suffering.

The alleged victim, who asked us to call her by her first name of Angel, says the sexual abuse happened in 2008. She says "Apostle" Jean Auguste took an interest in her from the time she and her mother joined Abundant Harvest Church, then in Clinton, Maryland when she was 12 years old.

When she was 13, Angel says Auguste invited her and her mother to live with him and his family. Angel says her mother had just left an abusive relationship.

A lawsuit alleges that during a time when all of the adults were out of the house except for Auguste, he entered Angel's room, touched her inappropriately, then pressured her into losing her virginity by having sexual intercourse, telling her she would be cursed by God if she refused him.

Child abuse survivor succeeds in claim against Catholic Church


Bolt Burdon Kemp

Dino Nocivelli

United Kingdom June 21 2016

We are happy to report that one of our clients has recently succeeded in a compensation claim for injuries suffered at the hands of a Catholic priest for childhood sexual abuse.

Background – the abuse

Our client was sexually assaulted by his family priest Father Michael Smith from the approximate age of 15 to 17. This abuse took place at Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church, Tonbridge, Kent where Smith was the parish priest.

Father Michael Smith was a constant presence in our client’s life from birth. He performed a number of religious ceremonies including his Baptism, First Confession, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Our client also confessed to him on a number of occasions.

Our client and his family were an active member of the congregation and our client was made an altar server by Smith while still at primary school before he was employed to work at the church about 15 years old and this is when the sexual assaults commenced.

Movie Review: Spotlight

The Aucklander

John Cousins
John is a senior reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

The gritty realism of double Academy award winning movie Spotlight is a reminder of what can be achieved when the writers, director and cast stay resolutely true to the ideals of storytelling.

Spotlight would have failed the emotional test if it had succumbed to over dramatising the true story of how Boston reporters revealed the shocking extent of sexual abuse by priests.

Instead, the sure hand of co-writer and director Tom McCarthy delivered a gut-churning cinematic tour-de-force in which the grown-up victims of the sordid sexual predilections of priests helped grafting reporters from The Boston Globe's Spotlight team to lift the lid.

Everywhere in Spotlight are glimpses of pathos and human frailty, balanced against the determination of the church's hierarchy and their civilian allies to keep the sins of priests institutionalised.

June 21, 2016

Suit filed against Archdiocese of St. Louis alleges sexual abuse by deceased priest

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Ashley Jost St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS • A Kansas City man filed suit Tuesday against the Archdiocese of St. Louis claiming he was the victim of repeated sexual abuse by a priest who has since died.

In his suit, Tom Viviano alleges that Father Charles DeGuire forced him to perform oral sex on him "on numerous occasions" at St. Aloysius Gonzaga and on a boat that the suit said DeGuire either owned or used.

The alleged misconduct took place when Viviano was an altar boy in fifth to eighth grade. DeGuire worked at the parish, which closed in 2005.

The lawsuit also alleges that a visiting priest was aware of the abuse and another priest participated, Viviano's attorney Rebecca Randles said.

According to BishopAccountability.org – a website that has a database of Roman Catholic priests, nuns, brothers, deacons and seminarians who have been publicly accused of sexual abuse against children or possession child pornography – DeGuire is the 50th St. Louis priest accused of misconduct.

Girl's mother and former pastor testify in Passaic priest's attempted rape trial

The Record


A Passaic woman testified on Tuesday that her 14-year-old daughter told her a priest at a Catholic church in her neighborhood sat her on his lap and touched her inappropriately three years ago.

The mother, whose name is being withheld to protect her daughter’s identity, testified in Superior Court in Paterson that the family lived across the street from the St. Mary’s Assumption Church on Market Street, where The Rev. Jose Lopez was a priest.

The mother said her daughter started going to the church at a time when she was depressed and that she felt better once she started going regularly and met Lopez frequently.

She said Lopez was like a family member who was often invited to meals or other occasions at their home.

In 2013, however, Lopez told her that “he went too far” with her daughter but assured her that all he did was place her on his lap and hug and kiss her, she said. Lopez also told her that the police were involved and asked her not to say anything bad about him if investigators asked her about him, she said.

Altoona-Johnstown Diocese: serial predator priest on leave as precaution


By Ivey DeJesus | idejesus@pennlive.com

The Altoona-Johnstown Diocese on Tuesday confirmed it had placed on leave a predator priest named in two sex abuse lawsuits.

Tony DeGol, spokesman for the diocese, said Bishop Mark Bartchak had placed the Rev. Charles Bodziak on leave in January "as a precautionary measure" pending further investigations into multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, including child sexual abuse, leveled on the priest dating back more than 30 years.

Bodziak was removed from his assignment at St. Michael's Church in St. Michael

Bodziak was on Tuesday named defendant in lawsuits filed in Blair County by two women who claim he molested them as children more than 40 years ago.

"His status has not changed, and the Diocese does not discuss any pending or current litigation," Degol said.

Judge, survivors sign off on Gallup Diocese settlement

Albuquerque Journal

By Maggie Shepard / Journal Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Victims of predatory priests and workers with the Diocese of Gallup have finally agreed to and won a multi-million dollar settlement for their claims, a federal judge ruled this morning.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma in May approved a plan for the payments, but the plan had to be approved by a vote among claimants.

James Stang, a Los Angeles attorney who represents 57 claimants in the case, said in May that he anticipated his clients would approve the proposed settlement.

And on Tuesday, Thuma announced in court in Albuquerque that the victims did approve the plan. The agreement will provide an estimated $350,000 per claimant, though amounts likely would vary depending on circumstances.

Thuma formally sanctioned the settlements before a courtroom filled with attorneys and some of the survivors.

The largest share – $11.55 million – will be provided by the Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America, a nonprofit that insures many Roman Catholic dioceses. Catholic Mutual insured the diocese from 1977 to 1990, when some of the abuses occurred.

The Diocese of Gallup will contribute $3 million and may have to sell its chancery offices in Gallup, subject to the terms of a loan agreement with a bank.

John Does consistent in not lying, psychologist tells Mount Cashel trial

The Beacon

Barb Sweet
Published on June 21, 2016

None of the four John Does showed signs of lying during psychological testing, a New York forensic psychologist told the Mount Cashel civil trial this morning.

“I’m amazed,” said Alan M. Goldstein, remarking the consistency is something he has never seen before.

Goldstein evaluated the four former residents of Mount Cashel in 2009 and again this year, on behalf of their lawyers.

Four test case John Does represent about 60 former residents from the 1940s to ‘60s who say the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s should be held liable for physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by certain members of the lay order Christian Brothers.

The church contends it wasn’t involved in the orphanage’s operation.

Goldstein this morning finished up testifying about his reports on the four men in direct questioning by their lawyer Will Hiscock. He already testified about two of the men Monday.

Altoona-Johnstown priest named in sex abuse lawsuit; attorney hopeful claims will circumvent time-barred statute


By Ivey DeJesus | idejesus@pennlive.com
on June 21, 2016

A priest who was named a child predator in a grand jury report on widespread clergy sex abuse in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese was on Tuesday named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by two women who claim he molested them as children.

The women filed the lawsuits in Blair County court against the Rev. Charles F. Bodziak, the diocese and several church officials.

PennLive does not name victims of sexual abuse, however, Renee Rice and Cheryl Haun, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, have decided to be named by the media in their hope of helping other victims come forward, said their attorney Richard Serbin.

According to the lawsuit, Bodziak sexually abused the women - who are sisters - over a period of years beginning when they were between the ages of 7 and 9. The priest, the lawsuit states, allegedly plied the girls with alcohol to facilitate his crimes.

Bodziak was removed by Bishop Mark Bartchak in January in the wake of findings from a grand jury investigation launched by the Attorney General's office into reports of widespread clergy sex abuse in the diocese. He was named a child predator in that investigation. No priests have been charged as a result of the grand jury report, as the statute of limitations had expired for each case mentioned in the investigation report.

Former St Ambrose pupils' radio documentary 'The Abuse Trial' wins big in New York


Cara Cunningham

A LANDMARK radio documentary about the crimes of jailed teacher Alan Morris has won Gold at the prestigious New York Festivals.

Former St Ambrose College pupil David Nolan made a documentary 'The Abuse Trial' for BBC Radio 4 back in January.

It focuses on the case of Alan Morris, the former deacon who was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2014 for a string of sexual abuses carried out on St Ambrose schoolboys between the 1970s and early 1990s.

The programme features interviews with victims, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service, as well as recordings of Morris's police interviews.

It was presented by former journalist David, produced by Jo Meek and Sale resident and fellow former pupil, Phil Maguire, acted as executive producer.

The PRA Productions documentary was named Gold Radio Winner in the Information/Documentary competition at the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards on Monday June 21.

Blair County attorney announces new civil lawsuits against suspended priest


By Dave Sutor

ALTOONA – Civil lawsuits have been filed in Blair County against a priest who was identified as an alleged sexual predator in a report issued by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General earlier this year.

Two female plaintiffs have accused the Rev. Charles Bodziak of molesting them, beginning when they were younger than 10, over a period of years, according to their attorney, Richard Serbin, who announced the lawsuits during a press conference Tuesday in his Altoona office.

They are sisters, now 47 and 48, who did not even know, as children, that the other was also allegedly abused by Bodziak, who reportedly facilitated his actions with alcohol, according to Serbin.

Along with Bodziak, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona–Johnstown, former Bishop Joseph Adamec and Monsignor Michael Servinsky (executor for the estate of Bishop James Hogan) were also named as defendants.

“Three bishops were made aware of Father Bodziak's sexual interest in children,” Serbin said.

“They knew that he was a child predator. Bishop Hogan, Bishop Adamek, and (current) Bishop (Mark) Bartchak all ignored the risk to children. He was moved from one parish to another within the diocese.”

Bodziak, who was born on Sept. 22, 1941, was suspended from his post at St. Michael Roman Catholic Church in St. Michael in January due to allegations he sexually abused children decades ago. He had been serving at St. Michael since 2010.

"Bishop Bartchak placed Father Bodziak on leave in January as a precautionary measure while the diocese re-examines an allegation of sexual misconduct involving minors against Father Bodziak dating back more than 30 years," said diocese spokesman Tony DeGol.

"His status has not changed, and the diocese does not discuss any pending or current litigation."

The abuse is alleged to have occurred when Bodziak was at St. Leo’s in Altoona, which was from 1973 and 1979-unknown, according to the grand jury report. It was one of at least a half-dozen parishes where Bodziak served.

“It's sad for him just to be moved around from parish to parish and not be punished for anything he had done,” the older sister said.

Both cases fall outside the state's current statute of limitations, which allows victims who were under the age of 18 when the abuse occurred to file civil charges until age 30. Serbin thinks this is a legal exception, though.

“Yes, the lawsuits can be brought forward,” Serbin said.

“The next question is, can the diocese assert as a defense the statute of limitations? The answer is yes. However, I believe the facts in this case fall within one of the exceptions that are permitted to extend the statute of limitations, specifically I have counts of fraud and withholding of pertinent information that was only known to the diocese.”

Criminal charges can be brought until age 30 for individuals born before Aug. 27, 2002, with the limit moving to age 50 for alleged victims born after Aug. 27, 2002.

Serbin said the sisters' cases serve as examples why, in his opinion, the statute of limitations should be eliminated.

“It angers me that Father Bodziak will never have jail time, and they should. We've had to live with this our whole lives, and they just get to walk away,” the younger sister said.

Bodziak was among the more than 30 priests identified as accused child sexual predators in the grand jury report released by the attorney general.

The investigation into the diocese started when Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan asked the AG's office to look into allegations of sexual abuse made against Brother Stephen Baker, who, from 1992 until 2000, was assigned to what was previously called Bishop McCort High School.

The grand jury report alleged a woman reported in 2003 that Bodziak “repeatedly engaged in sexual intercourse with her” when, at age 16 in 1971, she was living in foster care in Lock Haven.

"We are saddened that these two girls were sexually abused by Father Charles Bodziak, but hopefully they are feeling a sense of relief for taking action to expose the truth and therefore protect others," said Judy Jones of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

"Let's hope that any others who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by Father Charles Bodziak will find the courage to come forward and contact law enforcement no matter how long ago it happened.”

The Tribune-Democrat does not name the victims or alleged victims of sexual assault.

MN--Victims: “Prosecutors should now seek porn charges against priest”

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Now that Fr. Brian Lederer has escaped responsibility for his other child sex crimes, we urge prosecutors to renew their child pornography case against him. That’s the best way to keep this predators away from his prey.

The Duluth News Tribune reported yesterday that “Authorities also charged Lederer with possession of child pornography after recovering images of suspected child pornography from his computer. . “ and “Lederer could ‘potentially’ still be prosecuted on that pornography charge,” according to prosecutors.

We firmly believe this is a crucial step toward ensuring the safety of kids in the Duluth area.

We also believe that Duluth Bishop Paul Sirba should should turn over Fr. Lederer’s full personnel file to law enforcement agencies every place where the priest worked. He should personally visit every parish where Fr. Lederer ever was, even briefly, and beg anyone who may have information or suspicions about him to call police or prosecutors. He should send the same message through church websites, parish bulletins and pulpit announcements across the whole diocese.

This isn’t rocket science. These aren’t expensive, controversial or unprecedented moves. They are the least that a caring shepherd should do in this situation.

And if he refuses, priests and other church employees in northern Minnesota should step up and do all they can to seek out others who may have been hurt by Fr. Lederer.

MO--The 50th local St. L area abusive priest is sued

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

The 50th local St. Louis area abusive priest is sued
Cleric has never been accused or sued before
The victim, Tom Viviano, speaks publicly for 1st time
Two other priests, man says, saw but didn’t stop the crimes
SNAP to others: “Even if perpetrator is dead, it’s important to speak up”

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, a clergy sex abuse victim will speak for the first time publicly and disclose that

--his new child sex abuse and cover up case is being filed,
--it “outs” a never-before-accused local Catholic priest, and
--at least two other priests saw the abuse happened but did not stop it.

Leaders of SNAP will also
--note that this alleged priest is the 50th local predator priest to be publicly accused of child sex crimes,
-- beg victims of predators – living or deceased - to NOT contact church or school officials, but instead to contact independent sources of help, like therapists, law enforcement and support groups, and
--urge St. Louis’ archbishop to post predator priests’ names on church websites, “for the safety of kids and the healing of victims.”

TODAY, Tuesday, June 21, 2016 at 1:30 p.m.

Outside the Catholic Cathedral, 4431 Lindell (near Taylor) in the city’s CWE

A Missouri man and St. Louis native, Tom Viviano, who is filing a lawsuit and speaking publicly for the first time about the abuse he suffered, along with three-four members of an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

1) With the filing of this new case, 50 priests who work/worked or live/lived in the St. Louis archdiocese are now proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesters, according to an independent website called BishopAccountability.org.

Tom Viviano’s new civil child sex abuse and cover up suit accuses a now-deceased priest, Fr. Charles M. DeGuire, with repeatedly molesting a boy in the in the 1960s at St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a now-closed parish on the Hill in south St. Louis City. The crimes started in 1967 when he was roughly ten and in the fifth grade. The crimes happened on church grounds, in church buildings and a boat with other boys and two other clerics – a Fr. Kearnan and Fr. Morris or Morrisey – present.

The suit says at one point “an individual walked in on Fr. DeGuire’s abuse, finding (the boy) on his knees in front of (the priest) at the parish.”

Fr. DeGuire also worked at our Lady of Lourdes parish in University City. He has passed away and is believed to have retired in the 1970s after living at Regina Cleri in Shrewsbury.

St. Louis lawyers Tom Buckley and Gerald Noce (480 4160) represents accused Catholic officials.

Kansas City attorney Rebecca Randles (816 510 2704, Rebecca @randlesmatal.com) represents Viviano and has represented dozens of abuse victims across Missouri and Kansas. Several months ago, she represented a young woman settled her abuse case for $181,000 and her unusual “breach of contract” case for $82,000. It involved sexual exploitation by former president of St. Louis University president Fr. Daniel O’Connell, who SNAP believes lives in the Central West End now.

Lawsuits: Sisters abused by same Pennsylvania priest as kids

San Diego Union-Tribune

ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — Two sisters have sued a Catholic priest, his central Pennsylvania diocese and two ex-bishops who supervised him, saying the cleric molested them repeatedly as girls — including one at her first Communion party.

The younger sister, who is now 47, said she met the Rev. Charles Bodziak at St. Leo Church in Altoona, where he was the parish priest, when she was in second grade. At the party her parents threw after her first Communion, Bodziak groped her buttocks and gave her an open mouth kiss, according to the lawsuit.

Bodziak, now 74, repeatedly molested the girl until she was in sixth grade, taking her on school trips where she was fondled, kissed and assured "that what he was doing was 'OK' because he was a priest," her lawsuit said.

The lawsuit filed by her older sister, now 49, makes similar allegations against Bodziak, covering the time when she was 8 to 14 years old. She said Bodziak gave her wine on several occasions before molesting her. Bodziak assaulted her in the rectory after summoning her from school and molested her while she practiced the organ in church, according to her lawsuit.

Abuse victims file civil suit

We Are Central PA

[with video]

Altoona, Blair County, Pa.

Two more victims of child sexual abuse are now coming forward and they've filed a civil lawsuit against the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese.

Two sisters say they were molested by Father Charles Bodziak starting at only eight and nine years old.

They say Bodziak used alcohol to abuse them for years.

Renee Rice and Cheryl Haun are filing the civil suit, calling out the diocese as a whole, Bishop Joseph Adamec, Monsignor Michael Servinksy who is executor of the late Bishop James Hogan, and Father Charles Bodziak.

Attorney Richard Serbin says he expects the diocese will claim the statute of limitations has run out. But he says there are other factors to this case, like fraud, that would support the civil suit.

Sisters abused by same priest as kids file lawsuits


ALTOONA -- Two sisters have sued a Catholic priest, his central Pennsylvania diocese and two ex-bishops who supervised him, saying the cleric molested them repeatedly as girls - including one at her first Communion party.

The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown declined comment on the allegations, and attempts to reach former Bishop Joseph Adamec and a representative for the late ex-Bishop James Hogan weren't immediately successful.

Hogan was bishop when the Rev. Charles Bodziak allegedly molested the girls, who are now 47 and 49. Adamec was bishop when the diocese was allegedly notified of the abuse allegations.

Bodziak was suspended in January due to unspecified abuse allegations.

Assignment Record– Msgr. George V. Rieffer


Summary of Case: George V. Rieffer was ordained for the Santa Fe archdiocese in 1939. He quickly rose to prominence in the archdiocese, holding many leadership positions throughout his career which included Assistant to the Archbishop early on, roles with the Marriage and Archdiocesan Tribunals, Archdiocesan Consultors, Dean, and ultimately, Vicar General. Rieffer was Rector of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary 1945-50, and was elevated to Monsignor in 1948. He also pastored several parishes, including Immaculate Conception in Las Vegas NM 1950-67. Rieffer retired in 1980 and died in 1991.

In a lawsuit filed in May 2016 Rieffer was accused of sexually abusing and raping a girl beginning in 1952, when she was 6-yrs-old. The abuse allegedly occurred many times in the rectory of Immaculate Conception parish. The girl was said to have been a parishioner and student of the parish school.

Born: September 13, 1912
Ordained: 1939
Retired: 1980
Died: September 7, 1991

Malverne pastor steps down

LI Herald

By Rossana Weitekamp

The Rev. Frank Parisi, the pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Malverne for the past 11 years ago, announced in an open letter to parishioners last weekend that he had been accused of “inappropriate behavior with a minor” in an incident that occurred just over 20 years ago.

Parisi wrote that the allegations were presented to the diocese during the previous week, and that in accordance with diocesan policy, he had left his position at Our Lady of Lourdes. “I have voluntarily stepped away from active ministry until such time that these allegations have been investigated and I have been cleared of them,” he wrote. “I would ask you to pray for me during this difficult time.”

The letter, which was printed in the church’s weekly bulletin and read at each mass over the weekend, was met with audible gasps from those in attendance. Our Lady of Lourdes has a congregation of over 2,400 families from Malverne and the surrounding areas.

Bishop Andrzej Zglejszewski told the Herald on Monday that Monsignor Paul Rahilly, who retired in September, would be the church’s interim pastor. Rahilly led the congregation at St. Joachim Church in Cedarhurst for 20 years.

Malverne priest accused of misconduct

News 12

MALVERNE - A Catholic priest in Malverne is being investigated over claims of misconduct.

Father Frank Parisi worked at Our Lady of Lourdes church. It was announced in church last weekend that Parisi had stepped down amid allegations of inappropriate behavior with a minor.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre says the alleged misconduct reportedly occurred years ago and does not involve anyone from the parish.

Philadelphia Archdiocese Campaigns Against Abuse Victims' Recourse Bill


June 21, 2016

Heard on Morning Edition

The bill would give sexual abuse victims more time to sue abusers. David Greene talks to state Rep. Nick Miccarelli, who voted for the legislation; then found out his parish wasn't happy about it.

Archdiocese to sell final Cathedral Hill property to Cathedral Heritage Foundation

The Catholic Spirit

Maria Wiering | June 20, 2016

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is planning to sell a 94-year-old office building to the Cathedral Heritage Foundation and a separate limited liability company for $900,000 pending U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval. The archdiocese filed a motion for the sale and purchase agreement with the court June 20.

Located at 244 Dayton Ave. in St. Paul, the Dayton Building is the third and final building the archdiocese has sold of its Cathedral Hill properties. The sale includes a vacant lot at 250 Dayton Ave.

Joseph Kueppers, the archdiocese’s chancellor for civil affairs, said that the sale means the archdiocese “has sold all of our available real estate to marshal as many assets as we can for the victims [of clergy sex abuse], which has been our goal.”

In May 2015, the archdiocese listed for sale three buildings adjacent to the Cathedral of St. Paul that house its central corporation offices and the archbishop’s residence. The archdiocese sold the Msgr. Ambrose Hayden Center to the Minnesota Historical Society for $4.5 million in November. In April, it sold the chancery building and attached archbishop’s residence to a limited liability company owned by Premier Bank Chairman Donald Regan for $3,275,000. It also sold a residence near Northfield for $365,000 in February.

Priest: Bishop Guilfoyle suspended him for social media

The Altoona Mirror

June 21, 2016

By Russ O’Reilly (roreilly@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

The Rev. Brian Saylor said that Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School officials suspended his privileges to attend school functions because of the celebrities he followed on social media and the racy photos they posted on their sites.

"While there was no ill-will intended, I should have realized under the current environment that exists how my innocent actions could be misinterpreted and viewed negatively by others," Saylor wrote in a statement.

Acts of child molestation by dozens of diocesan priests, which had allegedly been covered up by church officials over the past 40 years, were enumerated in a statewide grand jury investigation report published in March.

Saylor's mysterious suspension following that report concerned parents. Neither the high school nor Bishop Mark Bartchak explained the decision, and Saylor previously declined to comment. Some parents who spoke with the Mirror said they had concerns as Saylor prepares to become pastor of the diocese's new middle school in the fall.

Former Salesian priest Michael Aulsebrook jailed for rape, sex assaults

The Age

June 21, 201

Adam Cooper
Court reporter for The Age

A Catholic priest who raped a student at a notorious boarding school and then told the boy he disgusted him has been jailed for 8½ years.

Michael Aulsebrook, 60, on Tuesday became the latest of a string of priests who taught at Salesian College Rupertswood in Sunbury to be jailed for sexually abusing children, after he was found guilty in April of raping the boy in 1988.

The victim, who was a Year 7 student, was also raped by another priest at the school, David Rapson, in a separate incident that same year.

Aulsebrook is no longer a priest but was the boarding co-ordinator in 1988 and lured the boy to his office one night with the offer of playing computer games.

Hope Wins! An Ancient Lesson About Overcoming Fear

The Good Men Project

I was reminded recently of an important lesson about trauma recovery. The teacher was the son of a friend, a young man who spoke at his bar mitzvah about the competing motivations of fear and hope.

The example he gave was based on a story from the Bible. I’ve never been a reader of the Bible and my appreciation of the young man’s wisdom had nothing to do with the religious aspects of the story, which I’d never previously heard. (My apologies in advance if I distort any details in the retelling).

What impressed me was his understanding, that for many who experience trauma, when visualizing happiness, fear is often a stronger force than hope – at least for a time. In my work with men, I’ve found this can be especially true for men who had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood, though it is also often the case for those who experienced physical and emotional abuse as well.

The prohibition imposed on boys at an early age against expressing emotions like sadness, fear, and vulnerability makes it particularly difficult to feel safe enough to address the range of negative feelings that often result from childhood abuse. The fear of shame,disbelief, or ridicule can outweigh hope and the belief that healing is possible. According to the story, after the Israelites escaped from slavery in Egypt they were stranded in the desert.

Moses sent out twelve “spies” to determine whether the land of Canaan could be conquered and become their new home. Ten of the twelve returned, overcome by fear of what they imagined would be necessary to successfully achieve the Promised Land. Some even thought it would be better to return to Egypt and the familiar experience of captivity rather than face the unknown. Only two, Joshua and Caleb, believed that happiness and success was worth the struggle. On that day, fear and despair prevailed

Pa. legislators seems unconcerned about conflicts

The Morning Call

Bill White

State Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery, has been under steady fire since last week's committee hearing on whether the statute of limitations reform bill for child sex abuse cases is constitutional.

Testimony focused on the part of House Bill 1947 that retroactively extends the statute for civil child sex abuse cases from 30 years old to 50. All but one of the five lawyers who testified at the hearing said that provision would be struck down by Pennsylvania courts because of the state constitution's "remedies clause" and more than a century of court decisions and that it should be removed from the bill.

Critics have complained that Greenleaf rigged the hearing by not balancing it with more people who feel the retroactive provision is constitutional, including the Delaware state solicitor, who was on hand to testify about the way Delaware's similar law survived a constitutional challenge.

Greenleaf pointed out that a University of Pennsylvania law professor also was prepared to testify to the bill's constitutionality but ended up having a conflict and couldn't attend. His written testimony was included in the record.

Assignment Record– Rev. Freddie Byrd


Summary of Case: Freddie Byrd was ordained a priest of the Owensboro KY diocese in 1988. He worked in a number of parishes and, beginning in 1997, pastored several. He was a faculty member in the late 1980s at Owensboro Catholic High School, and at St. Meinrad Seminary in IN during the 1990s. In 2008 a 23-year-old man shot and killed himself outside of Blessed Mother parish, where Byrd was pastor. The man left a suicide note in which he said he experienced "pain and torment" because of sexual abuse in the Catholic church. He mentioned Byrd, and said of him, "I forgive you." He did not name Byrd as an abuser. In June 2016 Byrd was suspended from ministry due to allegations that he had sexually abused a 17-year-old boy in 1983, prior to ordination.

Ordained: 1988

Judge dismisses defamation case, $14.5 million verdict against Freeport man

Portland Press Herald

[The judge's ruling]

sdolan@pressherald.com | @scottddolan | 207-791-6304

In a sharp turn of events, a federal judge dismissed a complex defamation case against Paul Kendrick of Freeport on Monday, nearly a year after a jury awarded a $14.5 million verdict against him.

Kendrick lost at trial in U.S. District Court in Portland last summer, but an appellate court in Boston issued a ruling in February that put the entire case in question by asking whether the case ever belonged in federal court.

U.S. District Judge John Woodcock Jr. answered that question by backtracking through more than three years of litigation to rule that the plaintiff in the defamation lawsuit, Michael Geilenfeld, wasn’t living in the United States when he filed his claim against Kendrick and therefore the case had no grounds to be heard in a U.S. court.

The ruling dismissing the case doesn’t mean that either side necessarily wins, but more likely that the case will continue on through appeal, further arguments and possibly another trial.

Kendrick was accused of defamation after he began a widely disseminated email campaign in January 2011 accusing Geilenfeld, the American founder of an orphanage in Haiti, of sexually abusing the boys in his care. Kendrick later widened the campaign to include Hearts with Haiti, the North Carolina charity that raised donations to fund the orphanage. Kendrick declined to comment Monday other than to point out that authorities in Haiti have closed Geilenfeld’s orphanage and brought new child abuse allegations against him based on statements by more former orphans.

In Pa.'s statute of limitations debate, state Constitution should be guide, not an excuse: Editorial


By PennLive Editorial Board

on June 20, 2016

The fate of a state House bill that would allow victims of sexual abuse to seek expanded civil and criminal redress could now rise or fall on language in the Pennsylvania Constitution that appears to bar the General Assembly from retroactively altering the statute of limitations in such cases.

The language in the bill, prompted in large part by the Catholic Church's child sexual abuse scandal, was the topic of a three-hour hearing before the state Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

As PennLive's Ivey DeJesus reported, lawmakers heard from five expert witnesses, only one of whom testified in support of the bill sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Ron Marsico, R-Lower Paxton Twp.

The bill would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations in such cases and expand the look-back in civil actions by an additional 20 years.

That's hardly a balanced perspective. And it appeared to suggest - fairly or unfairly - that the Senate panel had its mind made up even before the badly needed legislation landed on its side of the Capitol.

Sexual abuse to blame for men’s troubles: psychologist

The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on June 20, 2016

Sexual abuse they suffered at Mount Cashel broke one man and created a house of cards for another, a forensic psychologist told the Mount Cashel civil trial Monday.

Alan M. Goldstein of New York is the second such expert called by lawyers on behalf of four John Does who are test cases in the lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s.

The men represent about 60 claimants who say the Episcopal Corp. should be held liable for the physical and sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of certain members of the lay order Irish Christian Brothers during the late 1940s to early 1960s.

The church says it did not oversee the orphanage.

Goldstein’s testimony differs from New Mexico forensic psychologist William Foote in that by the time he got involved, there was more information for him to review. Foote evaluated three of the John Does in 2000, and Goldstein evaluated all four men in 2009 and spoke to them again this year.

St Patrick’s finally hands over 13,500 adoption files to Tusla

Irish Examiner

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

More than 13,000 files from St Patrick’s Guild adoption agency have transferred to Tusla, the Child and Family Agency — almost three years after the agency ceased to operate.

The agency held approximately 13,500 adoption files — one quarter of all adoption files in the country. It closed in 2013, with the transfer expected to take between 12 to 18 months.

The Irish Examiner understands that issues around indemnity against any legal action taken by people seeking their records was a significant factor in the transfer delay.

Tusla declined to confirm it had been indemnified in respect of the records but it had “obtained the appropriate protection in respect of known potential issues”.

St Patrick’s Guild has been excluded from the Mother and Baby Homes Commission, despite the Irish Examiner revealing that the government was in 2013 informed that the agency had knowledge of “several hundred” illegal birth registrations.

Prominent rabbi and educator accused of sexual abuse

Jerusalem Post

Meir Pogrow has taught at Yeshiva University High Schools of Los Angeles, the Michlahlah seminary in Jerusalem, and was head of the Kollel of Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem and Austin, Texas.

Rabbi Meir Pogrow, a prominent rabbi and educator living in Beit Shemesh, has been accused of misusing his authority and position for his sexual gratification by an ad hoc rabbinical court of senior rabbis in Israel and the US, which issued a warning notice instructing women to avoid all contact with the individual.

Pogrow is the founder of a website and study program called Master Torah, designed to aide the study of religious texts and retain the knowledge acquired.

According to the Master Torah website, Pogrow has rabbinical ordination from several authorities, including from the Chief Rabbinate and is qualified as a rabbinical judge.

Jail for Vic ex-priest over rape in office

7 News

By Caitlin Guilfoyle - AAP on June 21, 2016

A predatory ex-Catholic priest has been jailed for drugging and raping a student after inviting the boy to play computer games in his office.

Michael Scott Aulsebrook, 60, was the boarders' co-ordinator at Salesian College Rupertswood when he attacked the boy in the 1980s.

He lured the boy to play on his computer after lights-out and gave his victim a soft drink spiked with a sedative.

After raping him, Aulsebrook said: "Get out of my sight. You disgust me".

He was found guilty of the rape, but also pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault against two other victims, one male and one female.

Evangelical Association of Malawi Awarded as Child Protection Champions

Nyasa Times

June 21, 2016

Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM), an umbrella mother body of 122 Christian denominations and organizations in Malawi, was amongst the few stakeholders that were awarded on Monday in Lilongwe for their steadfast and resilient efforts in strengthening child protection in Malawi under the Eye of the Child Annual Award.

The Church mother body was awarded the Eye of the Child Annual Award alongside other religious bodies like Muslim Association of Malawi, Malawi Council of Churches, Quadria Muslim Association and the Seventh Day Adventist by the Eye of the Child Annual alongside other religious bodies like Malawi Council of Churches.

“We would like to thank the Eye of the Child, the Ministry of Gender, FAWEMA, and other partners for recognizing us for our great work in child protection. This is an encouragement to us, and it gives us the energies and an opportunity to do more so that the child is protected both spiritually and socially.

Catholic Leaguer gloats over killing anti-child abuse bill: It was an attempted ‘rape’ of the church

Raw Story

20 JUN 2016

Catholic League President Bill Donohue on Monday gloated after he successfully helped kill a bill in the New York legislature that would have made it easier for sex abuse victims to bring cases against their accusers.

As The New York Daily News reports, Donohue sent out an email to supporters after the defeat of the Child Victims Act, an act that he said was designed “to rape the Catholic Church.” The bill would have extended the timeframe that victims can bring forward cases by five years and would have opened up a six-month period for victims to revive older cases.

“The bill was sold as justice for the victims of sexual abuse, when, in fact, it was a sham,” Donohue wrote in an email obtained by The New York Daily News. “[It was] a vindictive bill pushed by lawyers and activists out to rape the Catholic Church.”

Donohue’s accusation that the bill would have “raped” the church certainly seems in poor taste given that the bill was meant to help people who had been raped by Catholic priests.

Then again, Donohue is used to being intentionally provocative, such as when he suggested both Islamist radicals and murdered cartoonists both bore equal blame for the Charlie Hebdo massacre, or when he ripped Pope Francis for the grave sin of accepting the science behind climate change.

FLDS leader Lyle Jeffs has escaped custody


SALT LAKE CITY (KSTU) -- Polygamist leader Lyle Jeffs has escaped custody, federal authorities confirmed to FOX 13.

A warrant was been issued for the Fundamentalist LDS Church leader's arrest, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah said Monday.

Jeffs was released from jail on June 9 while he was awaiting trial on food stamp fraud and money laundering charges. His lawyers successfully argued that with a delay in his trial sought by federal prosecutors, he should be released. The U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah argued that Jeffs should remain in jail because he is a flight risk.

Schlensker hearing postponed

The Union Democrat

Published Jun 20, 2016

A district court judge on Monday postponed setting a new trial date for a woman whose conviction on charges of unlawful sex with a boy in her church youth group was overturned on appeal.

Ember Dawn Schlensker, 32, appeared before Judge Donald Segerstrom with her attorney, Michael Chastaine, of the Sacramento area.

Chastaine said he only recently became Schlensker’s attorney and asked for more time before a trial date is set.

Segerstrom rescheduled the hearing for 1:30 p.m. July 18 in Department 1.

‘Inappropriate’ behaviour claim robustly dealt with – Maynooth

The Irish Catholic

by Cathal Barry
May 26, 2016


Maynooth has insisted that robust procedures are in place to handle complaints against seminarians after allegations of a gay culture in the seminary were made in an anonymous letter to the Irish bishops.

The letter – which allegedly named seven seminarians and two staff members – claimed that members of the seminary community had allegedly been involved in inappropriate behaviour of a homosexual nature.

The letter claimed that there was a gay subculture within the seminary and allegedly urged members of the Irish hierarchy to intervene as a matter of urgency to address the complaints made in the anonymous missive.

The correspondence – sent to the hierarchy’s executive secretary Msgr Gearóid Dullea – is said to have caused extreme divisions in the seminary community with one person using the word “poisonous” to describe the atmosphere in Maynooth as the academic year comes to an end.

Allegations of a gay subculture rock Maynooth, Ireland’s top seminary

Irish Central

Dara Kelly @irishcentral June 21,2016

Ireland’s national seminary, St. Patrick's College in Maynooth, has strongly denied its president’s just announced sabbatical is in any way connected to recent anonymous claims of a gay subculture in the Catholic seminary.

A statement published on the college's website last week that said Monsignor Hugh Connolly “has advised the staff of his plans to take sabbatical leave for the academic year 2016-2017,” raised eyebrows because it coincides with the last year of his tenure as president of the national seminary, which currently has more than 60 men studying for the priesthood.

The statement continued, explaining that Connolly would remain as president until the completion of his term in the summer of 2017 and he would continue to exercise certain administrative duties throughout the year.

Connolly’s departure comes in the wake of controversial allegations made about life in the seminary. The Irish Catholic reported that an anonymous source had claimed in a letter to college authorities last year that some seminarians had been guilty of misconduct of a homosexual nature.

Former after-school care assistant pleads guilty in sex case

AZ Family

Updated: Jun 20, 2016

Posted by Phil Benson

A former after-school care assistant has pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor

Lawrence Amaral appeared in Maricopa County Superior Court Monday. He originally faced 10 counts after he was arrested in October 2014.

A judge set sentencing for Thursday, Sept. 8 at 8:30 a.m.

Amaral worked as an after-school care assistant at St. Louis the King Catholic School.

He was taken into custody after deputies say several hundred images of child pornography were found on his home computer.

Former Pompton Lakes pastor suspended from Virginia parish in light of abuse allegation

The Record


POMPTON LAKES – A former pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church has been suspended by church leaders in Virginia, where he most recently served, over an allegation of child sexual abuse that predates his 15-year tenure in Pompton Lakes.

Rev. Kevin Downey was placed on administrative leave two weeks ago by the Diocese of Arlington, Va. In a statement, the diocese said Downey had recently been accused of abusing a boy in 1990, while he was vice president of development at Quincy University in Illinois.

Downey denies the accusation, the statement said.

Downey was an assistant priest at St. Mary’s in Pompton Lakes from 1993 to 1999, and he served as the parish pastor from 2002 to 2011.

Before he left New Jersey to become a pastor in Triangle, Va. in 2011, the staff of the Pompton Avenue church renamed part of the building Downey Hall in his honor.

June 20, 2016

MN--Victims applaud $1.5 million bail on accused religious predator

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priestso

For immediate release: Monday, May 16, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

We are thrilled that a judge has set a $15 million bail for the head of a religious sect who’s accused of child sex crimes.

[Fox News]

Victor Barnard was extradited from Brazil. We share the judge’s concern that a lesser bond might have enabled him to abscond again.

We hope every single person who saw, suspected or suffered crimes or cover ups by Barnard or others in his sect will call police, protect others, deter wrongdoing and start healing.

The Cult Next Door

Chicago Magazine

For decades, the people of Hinsdale gave little thought to the mysterious brick building in town. Then came a scandal.


The building, red bricked, colonnaded, crowned with a white cupola, sits on a grassy knoll in northwest Hinsdale. Unmarked, unremarkable, it barely registers as anything more than a garden-variety administrative headquarters of unknown provenance.

That isn’t to say that the decades-old property, situated on 223 acres in this Shangri-la of a western suburb of multimillion-dollar estates and country club splendor, has escaped notice over the years.

The sight of teenage girls walking arm in arm in a nearby park, identically dressed in chaste ankle-length skirts, red scarves knotted around their necks, and modest Mary Janes, and of teen boys seemingly stamped out on a Wonder Bread assembly line—always in dark suits, white shirts, and ties—drew the occasional stare.

“Everyone kind of thought it was very strange. Like, what do they really do there?” says one longtime Hinsdale resident. “They always seemed very secretive.”

Then, in 2014, came a scandal. Some of those same red-scarfed girls accused Bill Gothard, the charismatic leader of the Institute in Basic Life Principles—the ultraconservative Christian organization operating out of that Hinsdale building—of inappropriately touching them. Gothard stepped down after an internal probe. But since then, 18 former staffers, interns, and volunteers have joined in a lawsuit accusing him of “sexually, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and/or psychologically [abusing]” them. In many cases, the plaintiffs were underage at the time and had been recruited to work for the organization by Gothard himself. The suit also takes on IBLP, accusing it of initially covering up Gothard’s actions, which the plaintiffs claim took place “over the course of several decades.”

Bail Set for Alleged Cult Leader Accused of Sex Assault


Dave Aeikens
Updated: 06/20/2016

Bail was set Monday for a man accused of sexually abusing girls who were followers in his alleged cult.
A Pine County District Court judge set conditional bail for 54-year-old Victor Barnard at $1.5 million and unconditional bail at $3 million.

The conditions include wearing a GPS, forfeiting his passport and not leaving Minnesota.

Barnard was extradited to Minnesota Saturday. He was arrested in Brazil about a year ago and is charged with 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Prosecutors say Barnard was the leader of the River Road Fellowship in Finlayson, Minnesota. He is accused of molesting female minors during a 10-year period.

Bail set at $1.5 million for sect leader charged with abuse

Fox News

Associated Press

PINE CITY, Minn. – A judge set bail at $1.5 million Monday for a religious sect leader who's charged with sexually abusing girls at a secluded compound in rural Minnesota.

Victor Barnard, 54, made his first state court appearance since his extradition from Brazil. U.S. marshals delivered him to the Pine County Jail on Saturday.

Pine County prosecutors charged Barnard in April 2014 with 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct for allegedly having sexual relationships with two girls in his "Maidens Group" at his River Road Fellowship compound near Finlayson, about 90 miles north of Minneapolis.

The U.S. Marshals Service put him on its most wanted fugitives list, and authorities finally caught up with him in a Brazilian resort town in February 2015. Brazilian authorities said he had arrived in Brazil in March 2012.

Jury acquits Hibbing priest accused of molesting girls

Star Tribune

Associated Press JUNE 20, 2016

HIBBING, Minn. — A jury has acquitted a Hibbing priest accused of molesting four girls.

Jurors deliberated about two hours Monday before finding 30-year-old Brian Lederer not guilty on all counts.

Lederer was facing four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, all felonies.

The alleged incidents happened during the 2014-2015 school year after hours at Assumption Catholic School. Prosecutors said another incident happened at a home and others on a school bus.

Lederer took the witness stand Friday to deny the allegations. The Hibbing Daily Tribune (http://bit.ly/28JuSxh ) reports he had no comment after his acquittal.

Affaire Barbarin: les parties ont un mois pour examiner le dossier


[The Lyon prosecutor on Monday gave Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and his accusers one month to make any requests for action or to comment on the record before deciding what action is to be taken regarding the investigation of the cardinal.]

Lyon - Le parquet de Lyon a donné un mois au cardinal Philippe Barbarin et à ses accusateurs pour formuler d'éventuelles demandes d'actes ou observations sur le dossier, avant de décider des suites à donner à l'enquête visant l'archevêque, a-t-on appris lundi de source judiciaire.

Cette décision a été signifiée vendredi aux avocats des mis en cause - le cardinal et d'autres responsables du diocèse - et des plaignants - des victimes d'un prêtre pédophile lyonnais - qui ont reçu copie intégrale de la procédure à cette occasion. Le délai court jusqu'au 18 juillet.

Le 8 juin, le cardinal Barbarin avait été entendu durant dix heures dans un commissariat lyonnais par les policiers de la Brigade départementale de protection de la famille, dans le cadre d'une enquête préliminaire pour "non-dénonciation" d'agressions sexuelles sur mineurs et "non-assistance à personne en danger" (et non "mise en danger de la vie d'autrui" comme évoqué jusqu'alors).

Jury finds Iron Range priest 'not guilty' in child sex abuse case

Northlands News Center

By Ramona Marozas

Hibbing, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- An Iron Range Catholic priest was cleared of all criminal sexual conduct charges in St. Louis County court in Hibbing, Minn., Monday.

In a multi-day trial, three girls testified against Father Brian Lederer, regarding six charges of criminal sexual misconduct, plus one count of possession of child pornography.

Four cardinals raised to rank of cardinal-deacon

Catholic Culture

June 20, 2016

At an ordinary consistory on June 20, Pope Francis raised four cardinals from the rank of cardinal-deacon to that of cardinal-priest.

Each of the new cardinal-priests has been a cardinal-deacon for ten years, having received their red hats from Pope Benedict XVI in March 2006; and each is above the age of 80 and thus ineligible to participate in a papal conclave. They are:

* Cardinal William Levada, the retired prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and, prior to that, Archbishop of San Francisco;
* Cardinal Franc Rodé, the retired prefect of the Congregation for Religious and, prior to that, Archbishop of Ljubljana, Slovenia;
* Cardinal Andrea Cordero di Montezemolo, the former archpriest of the Roman basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls and a veteran Vatican diplomat; and
* Cardinal Albert Vanhoye, the French Jesuit who is former rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute.

Another forensic psychologist called to testify in Mount Cashel trial

The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on June 20, 2016

Becoming an orphan doesn't have to mark a person for life, a forensic psychologist told the Mount Cashel civil trial in Newfoundland Supreme Court.

Alan Goldstein of New York said the loss of a parent is unforgettable, but he said if a child — who loses both parents or is unable to be cared for by the surviving parent — is placed in a facility that is safe, they can thrive.

Goldstein was called to testify — as an expert on the impact of child sexual abuse among causes of impairment — by lawyers for a group of former residents of the Mount Cashel orphanage during the 1940s to early '60s.

They say the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. should be held liable for physical and sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of certain members of the lay order Christian Brothers at Mount Cashel.

Catholic League President celebrates defeat of Child Victims Act, says bill was pushed by activists 'out to rape the Catholic Church'

New York Daily News

Monday, June 20, 2016

ALBANY — The gloating head of the Catholic League on Monday ripped into the “victims’ lobby” he says is out to “rape” the Catholic Church over the issue of child sex abuse.

In a vitriolic message emailed to his supporters, Catholic League President Bill Donohue celebrated the defeat of the Child Victims Act that would have made it easier for kid sex abuse victims to seek justice.

“The bill was sold as justice for the victims of sexual abuse, when, in fact, it was a sham,” Donohue wrote.

He blasted the legislation as ”a vindictive bill pushed by lawyers and activists out to rape the Catholic Church.”

And he described bill’s sponsor Assemblywoman Margaret Markey (D-Queens) as “the principal enemy of the Church.” He gleefully pointed out that Markey was wrong when she previously told the Daily News, which he also ripped for its campaign on the issue, that the measure would come to the floor for a vote before the end of the legislative session.

Minnesota priest found not guilty in sexual abuse case

Grand Forks Herald

By John Myers

HIBBING — Catholic Priest Brian Lederer was found not guilty Monday of all six charges against him of inappropriately touching young girls.

A jury of six men and six women deliberated less than two hours before returning the verdict in State District Court after a four-day trial.

Lederer, 30, the former priest at Blessed Sacrament Parish and Assumption Catholic School in Hibbing, was charged in May, 2015 with four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. The charges stem from allegations by four girls, age 11-13 at the time, that Lederer touched them inappropriately.

The most serious charges against Lederer carried a potential penalty of up to 25 years in prison.

Lederer had been on administrative leave by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Duluth pending the outcome of the legal process.

Advertisements generate calls from sex abuse victims

Guam Daily Post

Louella Losinio | Post News Staff

An undisclosed number of individuals have contacted the Concerned Catholics of Guam since the group's advertisements soliciting victims of sex abuse by members of the clergy came out last month.

More alleged victims have been contacting CCOG since the appearance of the ads in local media. Dee Reyes Peredo, one of the points of contact named in the ads, said: “There are victims who are not readily willing to come forward because of pain, embarrassment.”

She added that some of those who have contacted the organization would talk about others that they know have been abused or whom they have witnessed being abused.

The names are different but the stories are the same all over, she said.

Peredo confirmed that calls have been coming from different villages across the island. “There’s numbers,” she said, adding that there are those who are trying to come forward but still trying to gather the strength to do so from people who support them.

Kyrgyz Imam Detained, Faces Allegations Of Sexually Abusing 10-Year-Old Boy

Radio Free Europe

By RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service
June 20, 2016

A Kyrgyz imam has been detained for questioning in southern Kyrgyzstan after being accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy.

The Jalal-Abad regional police department's spokesman, Myktybek Turdubekov, told RFE/RL on June 20 that the 58-year-old imam was detained after a woman from the village of At-Basar filed a complaint alleging that her son had been regularly raped by the imam.

Authorities did not release the name of the imam and did not immediately file charges against him.

Turdubekov said the detained imam could face rape charges in the case.


Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on a New York abuse bill that failed:

The bill was sold as justice for the victims of sexual abuse, when, in fact, it was a sham: the proposed legislation that failed to make it to the floor of the New York State legislature in the wee hours of Saturday (the session that began on Friday ended at 5:00 a.m. the next day), was a vindictive bill pushed by lawyers and activists out to rape the Catholic Church.

The principal enemy of the Church, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, was confident that her bill would pass. On May 30, she told her allies at the discredited Daily News—the paper broke every tenet of journalism in its war on Catholicism—that “there is a strong movement in our house to bring [the bill] to a vote in the next few weeks.” On June 5, she told her buddies, “I really think we have a chance of getting this bill passed.”

If the statute of limitations were lifted on offenses involving the sexual abuse of minors, the only winners would be greedy and bigoted lawyers out to line their pockets in a rash of settlements. The big losers would be the poor, about whom the attorneys and activists care little: When money is funneled from parishioners to lawyers, services to the needy suffer.

The Resistance Against Female Genital Mutilation in India is Growing

The Wire


Khatna has been practiced by generations of Bohra families in secrecy and silence but now women are speaking up.

On June 9, Judge Johnson of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Australia passed a landmark judgment. Shabbir Vaziri, a senior Bohra priest, was sentenced to 11 months in jail for promoting, perpetuating and enforcing the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the community. This was the first case in history in which Bohras, including a mother and a nurse, were prosecuted for conducting FGM on two small girls. The four-year-long trial concluded with the sentencing verdict, at which jail time was handed out to the priest, while a much more lenient sentence of home detention was enforced on the mother of the two girls and the 80-year-old nurse who performed the procedure. Clearly, the judge differentiated between the mother and nurse, who were forced to perpetuate the practice and the priest – a representative of the clergy – who actively enforced the continuation of FGM in the community.

Just over a month before the verdict, on April 15, the community’s religious head, the Syedna Muffadal, spoke about a subject that had never before been spoken about openly. In a public sermon in Mumbai, he said:

“It must be done. If it is a man, it can be done openly and if it is a woman it must be discreet. But the act must be done. Do you understand what I am saying? Let people say what they want… What do they say? That this is harmful? Let them say it, we are not scared of anyone.”

Those who attended the sermon were certain that this was a reference to khatna, or female genital mutilation (FGM), even though the term was not used. This is because FGM is the only practice that is practiced secretly on women. The sermon was a crystal clear exhortation to the community to practice khatna, even if there is opposition to it.

Rabbi Meir Pogrow Denounced for Sexual Misconduct by Six Rabbis from US and Israel

Frum Follies

An Israeli rabbinical court issued a ruling (6/14/16; 8 Sivan 5776) denouncing 46-year-old Rabbi Meir Pogrow for sexual misconduct with women (see image below). The court ruling which I hope to translate in full was signed by Rabbis Menachem Mendel Shafran (Bnei Brak, Israel; a Hasidic posek on the Bais Din of R. Karelitz), Chaim Zev Malinowitz (Beit Shemesh, Israel; the dominant Yeshivish rav in Beit Shemesh), and Gershon Bess (Los Angeles, CA; a product of the Lakewood BMG constellation of yeshivas). The ruling was written as a set of directives to Meir Pogrow about restrictions the Beit Din is imposing on him.

The ruling was followed by a Public Danger Warning with a synopsis of the ruling in Hebrew and English telling the public to avoid Pogrow in all sorts of roles. The advisory to females focused on any sort of interaction. The advisory section addressed to males spoke of not using his website or learning from him. He was explicitly called a rasha (evil person), a status with halachic implications. For example, one does not console a rasha in mourning.

The danger warning is undated but was in circulation by 6/20/16, within about a week of the original ruling.The warning was signed by two members of the rabbinical court (Rabbis Malinowitz and Bess) and three additional signers:

* Rabbi Mordechai Willig (a prominent member of the faculty of the RIETS rabbinical seminary of Yeshiva University),
* Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits (Sanhedria, Jerusalem and Previously with Aish Hatorah as Rosh Kollel), and,
* Rabbi Elimelech Kornfeld (Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel, the son-in-law of the Ner Israel Rosh Yeshiva, R. Aaron Feldman).

Cathedral protest

Guam Daily Post

PICKET LINE: About three dozen protestors walk a picket line in front of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral Basilica yesterday just before the 9:30 a.m. Mass. The protestors continue to demand the resignation of Archbishop Anthony Apuron, particularly in light of recent accusations that the archbishop sexually abused altar boys when he was a parish priest in Agat four decades ago. Frank Whitman/Post

5,52 Milliarden Euro Vermögen


[The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Munich and Freising on Monday provided detailed information on its financial situation. Accordingly, the assets at the end of 2015 were just over 5.52 billion euros. This is the highest amount that has been released in a German Catholic diocese.]

München - 20.06.2016

Das Erzbistum München und Freising hat am Montag erstmals umfassend Auskunft über seine Finanzsituation gegeben. Demnach belief sich das Vermögen seiner sechs größten Rechtsträger Ende 2015 auf gut 5,52 Milliarden Euro. Das ist die höchste Summe, die ein deutsches katholisches Bistum bisher veröffentlicht hat.

Das Erzbistum Köln hat ein Vermögen von 3,42 Milliarden Euro (2014) ausgewiesen, die Erzdiözese Paderborn eines von rund 4 Milliarden Euro, wobei der Erzbischöfliche Stuhl und das Domkapitel noch nicht erfasst sind.

Why did it take the archbishop's accusers so long to come forward?


Updated: Jun 20, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Now four individuals have surfaced in recent weeks accusing Archbishop Anthony Apuron of rape or molestation. While decades have passed since the alleged incidents, many have questioned why the victims waited so long to come forward. Here's what medical professionals have to say.

Experts call the condition "delayed disclosure". Maresa Aguon explained, "We get people who come in decades after the abuse has occurred. Something prompts them to come forward. Something prompts them to tell somebody." As program manager for Healing Hearts Crisis Center, Guam's only crisis center since 1993, in light of recent accusations made against the archbishop, she says victims will often wait before reporting, especially because Guam is such a small island community.

"A lot of times these children are abused by somebody in power or by somebody that they love and trust. They understand these complexities. Even as children as young as 10 to 12 years old, they understand certain things such as if I come forward, people may not believe me. Sometimes they're told explicitly that nobody's going to believe them," she explained.

This appears to be the case for most of Apuron's accusers: Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton, and Roland Sondia. They are joined by Doris Concepcion, whose son Joseph "Sonny" Quinata who was on his deathbed over a decade ago when he confided in his mother he, too, was a victim. Each of the surviving victims reported trusting Apuron, who was a priest at Mount Carmel Church in Agat at the time of the alleged incidents.

Each of the men has expressed no interest in prosecuting Apuron, but instead have demanded he step down as head of the Agana archdiocese as well as make a public apology.

Church went too far in its apologies, says Bishop Doran

Irish Independent

Greg Harkin

A Catholic bishop has said the Church has probably gone too far in its apologies but is in a better place because of it.

Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran (62) also says the Church is one of the safest places in society as a result of the abuse scandals.

And he says there are still some priests who avoid children altogether as a result.

Dr Doran also spoke of how he believes Ireland has lost some of its spirit of volunteerism because of State intervention.

The Dubliner was appointed to his diocese - which covers parts of counties Sligo, Roscommon, Galway and Westmeath - two years ago.

Bishop, diocese need to resolve latest concerns

The Altoona Mirror

June 19, 2016

While the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese should not resort to poorly thought-out, knee-jerk reactions regarding concerns brought to its attention, there are significant matters - such as current concerns over the status of two parochial school leaders - that should not be hanging unresolved.

In light of the rampant, decades-long child sex abuse scandal and cover-up exposed earlier this year, parents of children enrolled in Catholic schools of the diocese, as well as other diocese parishioners, are right in expecting expeditious diocesan response to new issues having tentacles construed as relating to the scandal, as well as issues perceived as having an indirect tie.

The fact that parents and parishioners haven't gotten a response regarding the two school leaders in question is cause for dismay and raises questions about the pace at which the diocese is trying to heal from the sordid scandal revelations that seriously damaged its reputation.

That pace does not qualify as only a local concern. It deserves interest all the way up to the Vatican.

The scandal has caused many Catholics to question their faith and their clergy and has negatively impacted financial support from some loyal parishioners, who during their adult lives, have opened their wallets and pocketbooks generously on behalf of their church and diocese.

Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Mark L. Bartchak ought to be sticking to his pledges of transparency and about cleaning up remaining issues directly or indirectly related to the scandal. Regarding the two school officials, his onging silence is contrary to that promise, duty and expectation.

It came as a shock to Altoona-Johnstown parishioners that past diocesan leaders had used millions of dollars of their contributions for payments to abuse victims, with the intent of ensuring their silence. Now, the non-reaction of the diocese regarding the two school leaders at the center of the current concerns has again raised the issue of silence.

Parishioners and school students' parents are justified in being disturbed about that.

The two school leaders, Sister Donna Marie Leiden and the Rev. Brian Saylor, have been labeled "unwelcome" at Johnstown's Bishop McCort Catholic High School and Altoona's Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School.

Leiden, currently the diocese's education director, was principal when two child molesters - one a priest and one a teacher who was studying to become a church deacon - preyed on more than 80 McCort students.

Saylor, pastor of the diocese's new Altoona middle school, a member of the school's board of trustees and former teacher, is the subject of concern for recent social media activity contrary to the prohibition of school-affiliated adults contacting students on a personal social media account.

Saylor also is involved with the diocese's youth summer camp.

Guilfoyle and McCort currently are independent of the diocese and its bishop, but Bartchak is a member of the board of trustees for both Catholic educational facilities. As a trustee, he was party to the decision to ban Saylor, according to BG President Joe Adams.

Although the Leiden-Saylor issue wasn't in the public spotlight until recent days, Altoona area parochial school parents reportedly have been waiting for weeks for a statement from Bartchak on Saylor's status, and the Bishop McCort community has been waiting for the same about Leiden.

It's important that the bishop's silence end quickly.

Priest jailed over abuse of fourth altar boy

Sunshine Coast Daily

Rae Wilson | 20th Jun 2016

A FORMER Anglican priest must serve three more months in jail after pleading guilty to molesting a fourth altar boy while acting for the church.

Barry John Greaves, 79, was jailed in 2009 for sexually abusing three altar boys when he was working as an Anglican rector for the Boonah and Harrisville districts in the early 1980s.

Judge Gilbert Trafford-Walker heard those boys, aged between 11 and 16 at the time, were forced to engage in mutual oral sex and masturbation with Greaves.

Today, Brisbane District Court heard Greaves encouraged a 13-year-old boy to get his mother's permission to travel from Cunnamulla to Thargomindah to be his altar boy during a mass between December 11, 1969, and December 20, 1970.

Judge Tony Moynihan said Greaves indecently dealt with the teen in a shower in a granny flat behind the church and it was fortunate the boy refused to get into a sleeping bag him afterwards.

Residents of 27 County Homes unable to give evidence to Mother and Baby Homes Commission

Irish Examiner

Monday, June 20, 2016

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

People who lived or worked in 27 County Homes will not be able to give evidence to the Mother and Baby Homes Commission.

The Commission has been tasked with examining the treatment of unmarried mothers and their babies between 1922 and 1998 in 14 Mother and Baby Homes, as well as “a representative sample of County Homes”.

The Commission has now settled on four County Homes for this sample — St Kevin’s Institution (Dublin Union), Stranorlar County Home, Co Donegal (St Joseph’s), Cork City County Home (St Finbarr’s) and Thomastown County Home, Co Kilkenny (St Columba’s).

The Commission said the four homes selected “best met the criteria” of serving a similar function to Mother and Baby Homes, “having regard to factors such as the number of relevant births, the duration of such operations, and the typical length of accommodation period of these mothers and children”.

However, with regard to people who lived or worked in Ireland’s approximately 27 other County Homes, the Commission said that, “at present”, it “does not intend to take evidence from people who were resident in other County Homes.”

Hillsborough Sheriff Accuses Youth Pastor of Having Sex with Minor

Tampa Bay Reporter

ODESSA – A youth pastor has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a juvenile member of his church, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Samuel Armand Sutter, 26, of 11506 Fountainhead Drive, Tampa, was charged with five counts of lewd and lascivious behavior with a victim aged 12 to 16 and five counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, according to deputies and Hillsborough jail records.

Deputies said that, Sutter began a sexual relationship with the female minor in October, when he was the youth pastor at the church the victim attends. The relationship escalated to numerous sexual encounters. The victim admitted the relationship after her mother found sexual pictures, videos and text messages exchanged between Sutter and the girl. The girl’s mother contacted deputies. The sexual encounters occurred primarily at Sutter’s home, but also happened twice in the ladies restroom at Openwater Church, 15612 Race Track Road, Odessa, deputies said.

Tampa youth pastor arrested and charged with sexual battery on juvenile

Tampa Bay Times

TAMPA — A youth pastor at Openwater Church in Odessa was arrested Saturday and charged with sexual battery on a juvenile, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Samuel Armand Sutter, 26, of Tampa faces five counts of lewd and lascivious behavior with a victim aged 12 to 16, and five counts of sexual battery.

Sutter "began a sexual relationship" with a girl who attends Openwater Church in October 2015, deputies said in a news release. Their relationship "escalated to numerous sexual encounters," mostly at Sutter's home but twice in the women's bathroom at the church on Race Track Road, deputies said.

The victim's mother found photos, videos and texts of a sexual nature on her daughter's phone, deputies said, and the daughter told her mother about the relationship. The mother then called the Sheriff's Office.

Child abuse survivors PAC targets N.Y. state senator's seat in next election

New York Daily News

Sunday, June 19, 2016

ALBANY - A political action committee created by an upstate investor and child sex abuse survivor has its first target - state Sen. Kemp Hannon.

Gary Greenberg said his Fighting for Children PAC is endorsing Democrat Ryan Cronin's challenge to Hannon (R-Nassau County).

Greenberg said he chose to target Hannon first for his stated opposition to a bill to make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice.

"It's black and white; if you're not going to support the bill, then you're for the predators," Greenberg said.

The PAC will donate a maximum $11,000 to Cronin's campaign, recruit volunteers to help him, and organize protests in the district against Hannon's opposition to the Child Victims Act.

Inquirer editorial: Pa. Senate's poor excuse for ignoring sexual abuse victims


A bogus hearing staged by the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee last week suggested some members are determined to protect the Catholic Church and insurance companies instead of securing justice for the victims of pedophiles and the institutions that protect them.

Considering a bill passed by the House that would give abuse victims more time to file criminal and civil claims, the committee limited testimony to the question of the measure's constitutionality. That was interesting given that committee Chairman Stewart Greenleaf's law firm represented the Norbertine Fathers, a religious order that was sued by abuse victims, and opposed a similar statute-of-limitations bill in Delaware on constitutional grounds. Greenleaf (R., Montgomery) says he had nothing to do with the case, but he didn't disclose the potential conflict before it was revealed by the Inquirer's Maria Panaritis.

Greenleaf and the rest of the committee heard testimony from four lawyers who argued that the bill would run afoul of the state constitution and one who disagreed. Attorney General Kathleen Kane's top aide, Bruce Castor, the former Montgomery County district attorney who made a secret deal not to prosecute Bill Cosby for sexual assault, was among those arguing that it's unconstitutional. Making the spectacle more bizarre, Kane herself - who was stripped of her law license amid criminal charges that she leaked confidential grand jury information - urged the Senate to pass the bill anyway.

Kane has sanctimoniously declared war on child abusers, but when she had a chance to make a lasting impact on the problem, she took a dive by presenting this confounding dual opinion. If the bill isn't constitutional, Kane's office should be working with the Senate to help it pass constitutional muster.

Eamon Cooke aided abuse victim’s campaign against church

Irish Times

Conor Lally

The convicted paedophile Eamon Cooke helped a woman to launch a campaign against the Catholic Church seeking compensation over clerical child sex abuse while he himself was abusing children.

The Irish Times understands Cooke then used his relationship with the woman, without her knowledge, to get access to children so he could abuse them.

The woman was abused for years as a child and Cooke befriended her and assisted her campaign for justice when she believed the church had promised to assist her but then failed to do so.

Cooke died earlier this month after being linked by a witness to the disappearance, presumed murder, of Dublin schoolboy Philip Cairns, who went missing in 1986.

Gardaí have identified a number of sites that may be searched in a bid to find the remains of the boy, who was 13 when he disappeared. One of the sites is in Co Sligo at a house Cooke was linked to, and there are at least four other sites in south Dublin and north Wicklow.

New York Child Sex Abuse Reform Bill Is Blocked — Again


Sam Kestenbaum
Matt H. Wade

Barring an eleventh hour deal, New York’s legislature prepared to end its session without passing a bill that will make it easier for child sex abuse survivors to seek justice as adults — legislation that advocates have been pushing for a decade.

By June 17, the bill’s backers were still pushing for a vote in the State Assembly on a modified version of the bill. But the Senate hadn’t scheduled a vote, leaving little chance that Governor Andrew Cuomo would be signing a bill into law.

This comes after months of campaigning to reform New York’s sexual abuse statute of limitations, which is among the shortest in the nation. A coalition of activists and survivors, many from Jewish communities who say they were molested at yeshivas and Jewish day schools, support a bill to give child sex abuse survivors more time to file charges. The governor had publicly announced his support for reform in broad terms, but did not back a specific bill.

“The bill is dead,” said Gary Greenbatt, a New York investor and sex abuse survivor who had been supported the legislation.

Under New York law, someone who is abused as a child has until the age of 23 to bring a civil lawsuit to court. The Child Victims Act, as this legislation is known, seeks to both lift time limits for victims to file civil suits and provide a one-year “look back” window during which past victims who have already exceeded the statute of limitations could go to court. Assemblywoman Margaret Markey introduced the Child Victims Act a decade ago.

Applauding local religious leaders for acknowledging 'a great sin'

Lancaster Online



Earlier this month, Lancaster County religious leaders from a mix of Christian denominations added their names to a letter to the state Senate Judiciary Committee. They urged quick passage in the Senate of House Bill 1947, which was approved overwhelmingly in the state House in April. The bill would abolish the statute of limitations for future criminal cases of child sexual abuse, and extend by 20 years the time for victims to bring civil suits against their assailants and an agency whose negligence enabled the abuse. Victims would have until age 50 to initiate civil cases under the bill. The proposed law would be retroactive, meaning victims now 30 to 50 years old could still bring civil suits. The retroactive provision in the bill is strongly opposed by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference — the public affairs arm of the Catholic dioceses in this state — and the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the bill last Monday.

We applaud the more than two dozen local Christian leaders who have taken a public stand on the side of victims of childhood sexual abuse.

They include the Rev. Dr. Carol Lytch, president of the Lancaster Theological Seminary; Beth Kuttab, president of Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness; and ministers and deacons from Brethren, Episcopal, Mennonite, United Methodist, Lutheran and United Church of Christ churches.

The letter they signed, which was circulated by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, called the sexual abuse of a child “a great sin, as well as a crime,” and asserted that “survivors deserve the opportunity to seek justice and hold those who harmed them accountable.”

We hold this view, too.

Sex abuse survivors' resources for recovery

National Catholic Reporter

Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea | Jun. 20, 2016

Editor's note: This is Part 4, the conclusion of "Hell, hope and healing," an NCR four-part series on sexual abuse. You can read the series introduction, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, which are also available at the feature series page Hell, hope and healing.

When someone decides to embark on healing from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and/or when concerned loved ones of a survivor want to help that person begin to heal, it can be confusing to know how to start. This last article in the series focuses on finding the best healing resources.

It is a slice of all the resources available to someone and does not represent either endorsement or rejection of any particular source. Many of the resources listed here provide links to still other sources of information or help.

Best first responders

The sad truth is that abusive families or institutions are unlikely ever to consistently put the interests of children before their own, no matter how many laws are passed or promises made. We are the best hope of preventing child abuse and responding to it quickly when it occurs.

If enough of us believe that every child is our child, that we are responsible for the safety of every child we know, we can be the most effective instruments of change.

If we believe, with Pope Francis, that churches are field hospitals, then we are the nurses, paramedics, doctors and, of course, the patients in our own communities. Any one of us can pick up the phone at any time if we know or suspect a child is being abused or neglected. It's anonymous and it is the right thing to do. Here's how to do it:

Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-Child). This is a number every one of us should memorize. Although each state has its own laws regarding child abuse reporting, any person can anonymously report known or suspected child abuse to the hotline and they will contact appropriate local investigative authorities within 24 hours. It is easy. Use it. Use it if you know or suspect that a priest, a teacher, a bus driver, your best friend's husband, your next-door neighbor or, yes, your own Uncle Louie is abusing or neglecting a child.

June 19, 2016

Outing a Charismatic Sexual Predator

Emes Ve-Emunah

I am not inclined to dwell on stories of sexual abuse. Not because I don’t think they are serious issues. Of course I do. They are perhaps among the most serious issues affecting Orthodox world. Sex abuse is as much a part of Orthodoxy as it is in the rest of the world. Experts in the field generally testify to that effect.

The argument against such thinking has always been that a Torah based life will preclude such behavior… that our sense of ethics and morality will hold sway over us. While that may generally be true, we are not the only ones that have a moral code or lead lives based on biblical values.

The reason the statistics are likely be the same is because being a sexual predator has nothing to do with the moral code of the community from which a predator comes. I believe it is a mental illness known as obsessive-compulsive disorder combined with the desire to satisfy abnormal sexual urges.

In the case of sexual predators it is the inability to control impulses of a sexual nature. So that someone that might otherwise be an exemplary individual – even a pillar of the community – will act on those impulses when no one is looking. They develop patterns of behavior that seek out victims to satisfy those urges and find ways to keep their victims quiet. Thus they can be walkinh around in a community for years, getting tons of respect and accolades galore while they secretly satisfy their abnormal sexual urges in private. Until they are caught.

New faces join protesters against Archbishop Apuron

Pacific Daily News

Jojo Santo Tomas, jsantotoma@guampdn.com June 20, 2016

Protesters filled the walkway in front of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica on Sunday morning, marching as they have at different locations around Guam for the last few months.

The protests have called for Archbishop Anthony Apuron to resign as head of Guam’s Catholic church. And while the initial protesters mostly accused Apuron of mismanagement, the last few weeks have been all about sexual abuse accusations stemming from incidents more than 30 years ago.

The protesters have usually been members of organized church groups such as the Concerned Catholics of Guam and Laity Forward Movement, but many people have joined the protests on personal accord – such as Jose Okada of Dededo.

Okada said that although he’s not a member of any group, he came to Hagåtña Sunday because he wanted to show that he too, wanted Apuron’s resignation. His words were spiked with Chamorro inflection as he shared the thoughts that were once restricted to family.

“Before, I was just … you know, his attitude, nai? And then, things started coming out that he was abusing kids!” Okada said. “So that’s why I’m really here, for him to just get out, adai, step down, ‘sa we don’t need a bishop that is in there that is molesting kids.”

Investigation process for accused bishops ‘vague’

Pacific Daily News

Jasmine Stole , jstole@guampdn.com June 19, 2016

After a fourth person came forward Wednesday accusing Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron of molesting him almost 40 years ago, apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai said that necessary steps would be taken to present the matter to the Holy See.

But what those steps are have not been made public. A canon lawyer also said there’s little known about how bishops accused of abusing minors are investigated.

Roland Sondia, 54, said Wednesday that Apuron molested him one night when he was a 15-year-old altar boy and Apuron was then a parish priest, both serving for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Agat.

The Agat resident recited the alleged events of the night in 1977 at a press conference last week, standing before his family and the media on the steps of the pastoral center at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagåtña. He said he told Apuron to stop when Apuron rubbed his private parts, but Apuron persisted. Sondia said he then broke away from Apuron and left the rectory in Agat in the middle of the night.

In recent weeks, two other men, Roy Quintanilla and Walter Denton, have publicly and directly accused Apuron of sexually abusing them when they were altar boys. Doris Y. Concepcion, mother of a former Agat altar boy, also has accused Apuron of abusing her now deceased son.

Pesch: Child sexual abuse allegations prompt legal questions

Pacific Daily News

Bill Pesch June 19, 2016

We, as a community, are finally having a conversation that we should have had years, if not decades, ago. That conversation centers around child sexual abuse within a religious setting. Because of recent events, we are currently focused on the Catholic church and more specifically on the allegations pending against Guam’s top Catholic leader, Archbishop Anthony Apuron. I am hopeful, as are others, that over the next few weeks and months this conversation will be broadened to include what legal action can be taken against any and all child sexual abusers who hold religious positions and those in leadership positions who did little or nothing to stop the abuse.

In approaching this topic, let’s be honest with ourselves. The allegations of sexual abuse within the Catholic church on Guam should come as no surprise to most of us, especially those of us over the age of 50. In a private setting, most of us will admit that we know one or more minors who were allegedly abused by priests or deacons. Many of the alleged abuses occurred years ago and almost all went unreported and unpunished.

Cultural, familial and religious constraints often prevented the minors from telling family and friends about the abuse. Unfortunately, often when they did confide in an adult, the adult insisted the matter remain secret. Seemingly, in the few cases of abuse that were brought to the attention of church officials, the alleged offender was simply transferred away from Guam to another unsuspecting parish. As a result, the abuse continued.

A famous paraphrase aptly summarizes this situation: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” We certainly aren’t alone in this dilemma. This pattern of abuse, silence, and cover up has frequently been repeated in Catholic parishes throughout the United States, and many other countries as well.

Why abuse victims wait until their twilight years to come forward


Polly Dunbar
19 JUNE 2016

For more than 60 years, Sylvia Woosley kept a terrible secret. When she finally spoke publicly last week about the sexual abuse she suffered from the age of 10 at the hands of the late Sir Clement Freud, her words hinted at the corrosive guilt and shame she had carried with her all that time: “I want to die clean.”

Now in her late seventies, Sylvia decided to break her silence in an ITV Exposure programme, aired last Wednesday. She watched it at the home of David Henshaw, its executive producer. “Afterwards, I asked her how she felt, and she said, ‘I just feel very happy’,” he says. “She looked 10 years younger. She was very eloquent, talking about how it was the child in her who wanted to be heard and believed, and when that finally happened, she felt a huge sense of relief and peace.”

Many watching may have wondered, why now? But strikingly sad as Sylvia’s story is, it is not uncommon for abuse victims appear to wait until their twilight years to reveal their experiences - the thought of taking their suffering to their grave finally outweighing the pain incumbent in unburdening themselves.

“We get calls from people as old as 90, some of whom have never told anybody about what they went through as children – not even their closest family members,” says Pete Saunders, chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC). “The average time for a victim to speak out is 22 years after the last incidence of abuse, but it can be much, much longer.

“Towards the end of people’s lives, they often reflect back and feel a need to address unresolved issues. Victims can realise what happened to them was an absolute disaster which clouded everything in their lives.”

Missbrauchsopfer müssen sich nach Antragstellung gedulden


Antragsstau beim Fonds Sexueller Missbrauch: Von mehr als 4.500 Anträgen von Opfern sexuellen Missbrauchs bis Ende März seien erst 66 komplett abgearbeitet worden, berichtet das Hamburger Nachrichtenmagazin "Der Spiegel".

Antragsstau beim Fonds Sexueller Missbrauch: Von mehr als 4.500 Anträgen von Opfern sexuellen Missbrauchs bis Ende März seien erst 66 komplett abgearbeitet worden, berichtet das Hamburger Nachrichtenmagazin "Der Spiegel". "Die derzeitige Bearbeitungsdauer beträgt circa 13 Monate", heiße es in einer Antwort des Familienministeriums auf eine kleine Anfrage der Linksfraktion.

Offiziell informiert wurde das Bistum schon 2006


Das Verfahren wurde von der Staatsanwaltschaft wegen Verjährung eingestellt. Aber die Staatsanwaltschaft informierte auch das Bistum über die Ermittlungen. So eine Information ist vorgesehen, wenn eine Tat zwar nicht strafrechtlich geahndet wird, aber disziplinarrechtliche Schritte gegen den Beschuldigten denkbar sind. In der bischöflichen Personalkommission, in der die Meldung der Staatsanwaltschaft bekannt gegeben wurde, saß auch der damalige Trierer Bischof Reinhard Marx. Das bestätigt die Pressestelle des Erzbistums München-Freising, wohin Marx 2008 gewechselt ist.

Vom Bistum Trier will niemand zu dem Fall ein Interview geben. Schriftlich lässt man wissen: "Das Bistum Trier hat seinerzeit nach den damals gültigen Leitlinien gehandelt. Diese haben noch nicht, wie dies die späteren Leitlinien von 2010 bzw. 2013 tun, vorgesehen, dass in den Fällen, da die staatlichen Ermittlungsbehörden einen Fall nicht aufklären können, die Kirche eigene Ermittlungen anstellt." - Kirchenrechtler Bier widerspricht: Schon die ersten Leitlinien der Bischofskonferenz zum Vorgehen bei Missbrauch durch Geistliche hätten ein anderes Vorgehen erfordert: "Es heißt konkret in den Leitlinien von 2002: 'Jede Verdachtsäußerung wird umgehend geprüft.'

Missbrauchsvorwürfe verschwinden in Geheimarchiven


[Abuse allegations disappear in secret archives. The diocese of Trier has initiated a canonical preliminary investigation against a priest on suspicion of sexual abuse. Apparently very late: The allegations were in the diocese in 2006.]

Von Christoph Fleischmann

Das Bistum Trier hat wegen des Verdachts auf sexuellen Missbrauch eine kirchenrechtliche Voruntersuchung gegen einen Priester eingeleitet. Offenbar reichlich spät: Die Vorwürfe waren im Bistum schon 2006 aktenkundig - und auch der Bistumsspitze bekannt.

"Er hat mich am Wochenende eingeladen zu sich. Da hatte ich nichts dagegen - wusste ja nicht, was der vorhat. Bin halt mit zu ihm, freitags abgeholt, 16 Uhr, und sonntags wiedergebracht in das Heim." Was Michael W. - nennen wir ihn so - erzählt, hätte man im Bistum Trier schon 2006 zur Kenntnis nehmen können. Vorausgesetzt, man hätte sich an die eigenen Regeln gehalten und sich schon damals für eine Akte der Staatsanwaltschaft Saarbrücken interessiert. Denn die hatte damals gegen einen Priester im Bistum ermittelt und das Verfahren wegen Verjährung eingestellt. Darüber wurde das Bistum, dem damals Reinhard Marx vorstand, heute Vorsitzender der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz, auch informiert. Aber es geschah nichts.

EXCLUSIVE: Q&A with The Boston Globe investigative reporter Walter Robinson

The Sagamore

Chloe Jepsen, Staff writer
June 18, 2016

The movie “Spotlight,” which was directed by Tom McCarthy, won the Academy Award for Best Picture this past year. It follows “The Boston Globe’s investigative journalism team,” as it investigated and reported on widespread sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The team, known as “Spotlight,” was led by editor Walter Robinson and included reporters Michael Rezendes, Matt Carroll and Sacha Pfeiffer, who were played by Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Brian d’Arcy James and Rachel McAdams, respectively.

The Sagamore conducted a Q&A with Robinson about the original investigation and his thoughts on the movie interpretation of it:

Q: How close was the Spotlight movie to what you actually did?

A: It was very close. It’s not a documentary, and, obviously, it’s not a transcript. It’s a dramatization. Here’s the best way I can explain it: you and I are having a conversation right now, and if we weren’t taping it, but it was an important conversation, and somebody came to us and said ‘I’m doing a movie and one of the scenes is going to be that conversation,’ you would tell the person what transpired. It might be thirty seconds of your recollection, and then the person would call me and say, ‘Tell me what happened when you two talked,’ and I would recall what happened. Then, the person writing the movie would go off and write a scene. None of the words coming out of the mouth of the actor playing you or the actor playing me would be what we actually said because even we don’t remember the exact words. But the question is would it faithfully capture what actually happened? The film very accurately captured what happened in real life.

RI General Assembly ends overnight session early Saturday morning

NBC 10


Providence, RI — Rhode Island lawmakers burned the midnight oil, and then some, to wrap up the 2016 legislative session.

The General Assembly officially wrapped up the year after 6:00 a.m. Saturday.

The Senate passed the State's nearly nine billion dollar budget just after 1:30 a.m., and there were still many pieces of legislation left to tackle for both Senators and Representatives. ...

One piece of legislation that also passed related to schools, would add educational institutions to the State's mandatory reporting requirements to ensure schools report allegations of abuse to the Department of Children Youth and Families. The bill's sponsors say it closed a loophole that came to light with the revelation that decades of alleged abuse at St. George's school in Middletown was not reported to authorities and there was no law requiring the school to do so.

N.Y. Legislature, Gov. Cuomo abandon child sex abuse victims: ‘Our elected officials chose predators over victims’

New York Daily News

Saturday, June 18, 2016

ALBANY — In the end, state lawmakers protected the predators.

The state Legislature ended the 2016 legislative session about 5 a.m. Saturday without acting on legislation to help survivors of child sex abuse.

An all-night session to wrap up up the legislative year did not lead to a last-minute miracle that victims and advocates were hoping for.

"The survivors were thrown a tattered raft in this stormy session," said Kathryn Robb, an advocate and sexual abuse survivor.

Gary Greenberg, an upstate investor who was sexually abused as a child in 1966, said survivors won't forget when every seat in the Legislature is up for election.

Ottawa seeks top court ruling on residential school records

Toronto Star

Ottawa Bureau Reporter
Sat., June 18, 2016

OTTAWA—The federal government is asking the Supreme Court to overturn a decision that gives residential school survivors the ultimate say in what happens to their testimony.

Ottawa has asked the Supreme Court to determine if residential school survivors’ testimony count as “government documents” and should remain archived with the federal government.

If the court agrees, it would overturn a recent decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal, which agreed survivors should have the opportunity to archive their testimony with the arm’s-length National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, a hub at the University of Manitoba that serves as the permanent repository for records related to the residential school system.

It would also mean the fate of the documents will rest with the government, not the survivors.

If survivors do not decide to have their testimony archived, the Ontario Superior Court ruled the testimony should be destroyed within 15 years.


Church Militant

By Juliana Freitag

Read Part I and Part II of this series.

Earlier in May a third cleric from Brindisi was sentenced to four years of incarceration: Fr. Francesco Legrottaglie, 67, was convicted for possession of child pornography. The sentence also included a 1,600-euro fine, a five-year ban from public office, and a perpetual ban from schools and any other institutions attended by minors.

In November 2015, Legrottaglie was arrested "in flagrante" during a police visit to his house, where they found thousands of files named after Catholic saints containing images and videos of explicit child-related sexual material. The prosecution claims the priest often looked for online interaction with the youngsters and secretly recorded the video chats.

The route that led the magistracy to Legrottaglie has been kept secret, but it's likely linked to all of the other recent scandals in the Brindisi archdiocese, owing to the fact that all cases have been conducted by state's attorney Milton Stefano di Nozza, who ordered Legrottaglie's arrest.

This isn't the first time the priest has been taken in by the authorities. In 1991, when he was the priest of a parish in Ostuni, the parents of two little girls pressed charges against him, and in 1992 he was sentenced to 1 year and 10 months for "violent libidinous act". At the time of the condemnation he had already been transferred to a military parish in the city of Bari. After the conviction Legrottaglie was sent to mission in Congo, and when the priest returned in 2010, the Curia of Brindisi-Ostuni, under the discerning guidance of Archbishop RoccoTalucci, nominated him a chaplain at Brindisi's hospital. He later returned to his hometown Ostuni, where he was allowed to be an assistant in a local parish, which is where he was last arrested.

Officials: Pastor arrested after child sex investigation


FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — An Indiana pastor has been arrested in Kentucky after authorities say he traveled to Frankfort to meet a minor for sex.

Local news outlets report that officials arrested 46-year-old David James Brown Wednesday on a charge of prohibited use of an electronic communication system for the purpose of procuring a minor for a sex offense.

Attorney General Andy Beshear's office said in a news release that Brown used an online messaging application to communicate with an undercover investigator posing as a minor. Brown asked the undercover investigator to have sexual relations with him.

Officials say Brown traveled to Frankfort to meet the minor and was arrested by investigators there.

The shame of it: New York's Legislature closes 2016 session without enacting child sex abuse law

New York Daily News


The fight is not over, because this is a fight for morality over money, for justice in daylight over sins buried with the force of law.

New York’s Legislature closed the 2016 session without enacting a law that would empower childhood victims of sexual abuse to bring alleged predators into courts now closed to them.

Gov. Cuomo washed his hands of the bill. He will not be able to do so forever, because the hurt he accepts is too real, too severe.

Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan as much as told those of lost innocence and scarred lives to go to hell. The public will be reminded that Flanagan and his GOP forces stand with predators and their protectors.

Democratic Speaker Carl Heastie inched ever so close to letting the Assembly pass a reform bill — then lost his nerve on even okaying a vote that would have been but a symbolic statement. He and his members will be called to account for failing to do what they knew was right.

In the Spotlight

Guam Synday Post

A Shot of Jac | Jacqueline Perry Guzman

If you have ever been a victim of sexual abuse you would understand the confusion, hurt, humiliation, shame, disgust and immeasurable other emotions and feelings you cannot explain. There is a part of you that wonders if you somehow asked for this or if you deserve it in some way. This is the reason I can understand victims not coming forward for decades, especially when their abusers are a part of the church— a place where they are taught to follow directions of the leaders because they are stewards of god himself.

Imagine the confusion of being hurt by someone your mother and father told you to listen to and respect regardless of the way they treat you behind closed doors.

After the 2016 Academy Awards announced its winner for Best Picture I was convinced I had to see “Spotlight” as soon as possible. The trailer was an already easy marker for me to know it was an incredible film but winning the Academy’s top bill made it a no-brainer.

The preface of hidden secret sex abuse in the church hit a gut-wrenching place in me. It was all too familiar in a dark, secret cloudy memory where in the schoolyard boys and girls would tease little boys for being touched on their privates by priests. Although none of it ever came about or to the attention of grown-ups, all the kids knew these things sometimes happened and the men of the cloth who we were taught to respect and listen to were doing all the time. To the point of schoolyard bullying? Twice the victimization?

Kentucky representative pens novel on faith, healing after abuse

Lexington Herald-Leader


Kentucky state Rep. Jim Wayne has made a career of writing professionally as a veteran legislator and contributor to publications like The National Catholic Reporter and America, but Wayne’s latest work is a departure from explanations of social policy or bill proposals.

The Louisville Democrat published his first book this month, a novel called The Unfinished Man.

In Wayne’s fiction debut, Father Justin Zapp is a self-exiled priest in an Indiana parish who is forced to face his own psychological wounds from sexual abuse when he learns of a systematic cover-up of abuse within the church.

Wayne said he had been interested in writing for a long time but had only written pieces on social and political policy until he took a graduate course at the University of Louisville.

His professor encouraged him to continue and in 2008, Wayne enrolled at Spalding University in Louisville. Taking time between legislative sessions and elections, Wayne received a Master of Fine Arts in fiction in 2012.

With Sacred Heart lawsuit, questions over whether parishes are liable

Grand Forks Herald

By Becky Jacobs on Jun 18, 2016

A Twin Cities attorney and Diocese of Crookston monsignor say they want the same thing: healing and justice for survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

But where attorney Mike Finnegan and Monsignor Mike Foltz differ is who should be sued in the latest wave of lawsuits related to the recent May 25 deadline of the Minnesota Child Victims Act.

Sacred Heart in East Grand Forks was one of the parishes sued before the deadline with claims that the Rev. Stanley Bourassa, who died in 2004, committed sexual abuse of a minor while assigned to the parish from 1965 to 1968.

It's not that parishes weren't sued before in clergy sexual abuse cases, but there has been a conscious decision to include both parishes and the diocese more recently, Finnegan said.

"They were sued in all the Minnesota cases across the state right now to protect the survivors' rights," said Finnegan, who works with Jeff Anderson & Associates, which is known for its role in pursuing cases involving clergy abuse. "It was kind of a mixed bag historically of whether the parish has been sued or not."

June 18, 2016

A Church in Crisis

Guam Sunday Post

Cover story

Tony Azios

Announcements following Sunday Mass typically focus on matters important to a healthy, functioning community, but mundane to the outside world - reminders of an upcoming fundraiser, a change of schedule for the weekly men’s meeting, details of a rosary in honor of a parishioner’s mother. But last Sunday night, as the 6 p.m. Mass wrapped up at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Yigo, Rev. Patrick Garcia took the opportunity to lead the congregation in a drill.

“Members of the media may come up to you and ask who the archbishop is,” he reportedly said. “Don’t embarrass yourself. Say Savio Tai Fai Hon, not Anthony Apuron.”

Garcia instructed the congregation to repeat Hon’s full name after him several times aloud. As dusk fell, Our Lady of Lourdes echoed with the chorus of the name of a man sent by the Vatican to remedy a church in crisis.

One way or another

Before the recent allegations of sexual abuse against Archbishop Apuron (who currently retains the title but none of the administrative authority of the office), a series of diverse scandals has steadily rocked the foundations of the Archdiocese of Agaña. Much of the conflict is rooted in a perceived power struggle between mainstream Catholics and the Neocatechumenal Way - an organization within the Catholic Church with practices outside traditional Catholic custom. Far beyond a theological disagreement, the situation has devolved into allegations of fiscal mismanagement and the appropriation of community assets; open accusations of corrupt, self-serving relationships among some archdiocesan leadership; the transfer of control of a valuable piece of real estate functioning as a seminary from archdiocesan control to a board controlled by Neocatechumenal officials; the removal of two popular priests; and, the perceived neglect of some parishes in favor of others.

Many devout Catholics on Guam now refuse to attend services held by priests adherent to the Neocatechumenal Way, also known as the NCW. Many “Neos” return the sense of distrust toward the island’s traditional Catholics, claiming persecution by slander.

“The [local] Church is divided. That is a fact,” said David Sablan, vice president of Concerned Catholics of Guam (CCOG), a nonprofit organization formed to give voice and direction to concerns regarding the NCW on Guam and Apuron’s alleged misconduct.

“Apuron has basically abdicated his office to support one particular organization within the archdiocese when he really should be at the head of all of the organization,” said Sablan. “He’s not doing that, and as a result we’re basically without a shepherd and are in a confused state.”

FNQ Catholic schools show support for abuse victims with loud fences

The Cairns Post

June 18, 2016

Kimberley Vlasic
The Cairns Post

FENCES across the Far North are being adorned with brightly coloured ribbons as Catholic schoolchildren show their support for the victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

Mount St Bernard College at Herberton and Cairns’ St Monica’s College and St Andrew’s Catholic College are among schools participating in the Loud Fence movement.

It started in May last year when residents were invited to tie ribbons to the front fence of St Alipius Parish School in Ballarat, Victoria, where a Royal Commission uncovered a history of child sexual abuse.

St Monica’s Assistant Principal of Religious Education Adrien Innes said the school’s 660 students had responded very positively to the Catholic Education initiative.

“Even students on block exams have come in to tie a ribbon on the fence,” she said.

Apuron's 2014 accuser "at peace"

Pacific Daily News

Jasmine Stole , Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno and Shawn Raymundo, sraymundo@guampdn.com
June 18, 2016

When Archbishop Anthony Apuron was publicly accused in 2014 of having allegedly molested a boy while Apuron was a parish priest almost 30 years ago, accuser John Toves’ calls for an investigation went unheard.

After days of failed efforts to seek an audience with Apuron, and after having exhausted media interviews and sending letters to officials of the Catholic church locally and to Pacific representatives of the Vatican, then 50-year-old Toves left Guam and returned to his life in California. The Archdiocese of Agana threatened Toves with a lawsuit if he didn’t stop accusing the archbishop.

“They were communicated through all the proper channels, but they weren’t forwarded beyond certain points,” Toves said Thursday. “My documents never reached that far.”

At the time, Toves said when he was a 16-year-old altar boy, Toves’ cousin and co-seminarian at a high school seminary in Guam, was allegedly sexually abused. The alleged victim also was an altar boy, in the parish in Agat where Apuron was a priest, according to Toves’ allegation.


Mesabi Daily News

Tony Potter | Hibbing Daily Tribune

HIBBING — The former Hibbing priest accused of criminal sexual misconduct took the stand Friday afternoon in St. Louis County District Court in Hibbing.

Brian M. Lederer, 30, is facing four counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree and two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree.

Defense Attorney Peter Wold began by asking Lederer if he knew the girls who are accusing him of the sexual criminal misconduct to which he confirmed.

Wold asked Lederer a series of questions relating to whether or not the accusations against him are truthful. Lederer denied all accusations.

Keep speaking up, even to deaf ears: How sexual assault survivors should react to Albany's failure to fix the statute of limitations

New York Daily News

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Does a verdict without a sentence distort justice? Such a verdict was reached in Pennsylvania recently when the grand jury report on sexual abuse by clergy in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown — where hundreds of boys were abused by dozens of priests over a 70-year span — found “the acts of the predator priests and their enabling bishops . . . to be criminal.”

“However,” the report continued, “they cannot be prosecuted at this time. The statute of limitations for many of the loathsome and criminal actions detailed in this report has expired. In some limited cases the unnamed victim or victims are too deeply traumatized to testify in a court of law.”

Yet such hard evidence of real crimes proven but not prosecutable has yet to change the hearts and minds of political leaders in Pennsylvania or New York. Despite a valiant effort by this newspaper to shame them into action, Albany politicians once again chose safety over bravery, snubbing serious legislation to advantage victims of childhood sexual abuse.

Faced with this kind of legal impotence in at least two states, where do we turn for justice? Not to the Catholic Church. A year ago, Pope Francis raised our hopes when he proposed establishing a new Vatican tribunal to hold bishops accountable for complicity in criminal abuse.

June 17, 2016

Tony McCorkell reveals secrets of the wealthy Christian sect Exclusive Brethren

Sydney Morning Herald

June 18, 2016

Michael Bachelard
Investigations Editor, The Age

Known for its obsession with privacy and its silencing tactics, the Exclusive Brethren has managed to avoid any scrutiny over alleged child sex abuse. Until now.

LATE ONE night, a frightened girl whispered a terrible secret into her mother's ear. It was about the man in whose house she was living – an elder of the Christian sect to which they all belonged.

But if the girl thought telling her mum would make it stop, she had not reckoned on the power of the Exclusive Brethren.

Just days after her disclosure in mid-2002, the girl's mother brought her back to the man's house in a NSW regional town. The elder's wife took the child into the room where it had happened. Then the interrogation began. For hours the woman questioned the little girl. She made her act out the attacks.

"She wanted me to show her what [her husband] had done to me, she wanted me to demonstrate," the girl later told a judge.

So long did it go on that the child's own mother left the room to sleep.

Later still, the perpetrator himself, Lindsay Jensen – nearly two metres tall, weighing 100 kilograms, rich, pious, respected in his religious community – came in and confronted the girl himself.

Advocates fault new SBC president’s record on child sex abuse

Baptist News

BOB ALLEN | JUNE 17, 2016

Advocates for survivors of clergy sex abuse say they are disappointed the Southern Baptist Convention has elected a new president once accused of shielding a child molester.

“We’re disappointed that the Southern Baptist Convention just elected Bellevue Baptist pastor Steve Gaines as president,” said David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “He covered up abuse by minister Paul Williams for at least six months.”

Gaines, elected by acclamation June 15 as president of the nation’s largest faith group behind Roman Catholics, nearly lost his pulpit 10 years ago for not telling his church that a longtime staff member had confessed in counseling to sexually abusing a family member 17 years earlier.

Gaines kept the secret for six months until details of the incident appeared in a blog.

Bellevue Baptist Church fired Paul Williams, minister of prayer and special projects who served at the church 34 years, in January 2007 after an investigation into a “moral failure” he had confessed to Gaines six months earlier.

Church clears former Clinton chaplain of molestation accusation, will return to service



DAVENPORT, Iowa — A former chaplain at Mercy Medical Center in Clinton has been cleared by the Catholic Church after being accused of molestation. He will be reassigned to ministry and service to the Diocese of Davenport.

In 2013, Father John Stack was accused of touching minors inappropriately in the 1980s. The Diocese reported the accusations to the Scott County Attorney and Stack was removed from ministry. The case went through a trial process through the Doctrine of Faith at the Vatican, where three judges found that the accusations of sexual abuse could not be proven, reports the Diocese.

“There was not a finding of innocence or guilt,” stated the press release.

Pope calls bishops' negligence a crime: this is important

National Catholic Reporter

Thomas P. Doyle | Jun. 17, 2016

When it comes to holding bishops and religious superiors responsible for the cover up of clergy sex abuse, Pope Francis' June 4 apostolic letter on ecclesial accountability is not only a distinct improvement over the proposal made a year ago to establish a tribunal to hold bishops accountable, it is possibly the most positive and hopeful signal to come out of the Vatican to date.

Canon lawyer Kurt Martens -- among others -- told NCR, "Everyone seems to be excited about the new [aposotlic letter] but there is really no change." However, there is something breaking with this pronouncement -- the official recognition by the church's highest authority of hierarchical negligence in dealing with sex abuse by clerics. It is not only acknowledged but named as a crime.

The apostolic letter, or motu proprio known by its Italian title, Come una madre amorevole ("As a loving mother"), has some remarkable positive points that deserve mention:

* Negligence can be punished if it has hurt individuals and/or the community. It is vital that the disastrous impact on the Christian communities because of the bishops' actions of lack thereof be acknowledged for what it is.

* The norms for removal do not demand that the pope have "moral certitude" of the culpability of the bishop. He can be removed or forced to resign for failure in the diligence required of him. This is a far cry from having to prove "grave moral culpability." These factors can go a long way in eliminating the possibility of lengthy litigation or protracted appeals which many feared would be the undoing of a tribunal process.

* The U.S. bishops were criticized for not including superiors of religious communities under the Dallas Charter and Essential Norms. The pope plugged that hole in his Apostolic Letter by making it clear that major religious superiors, that is, provincials and superiors general, can also be subjected to this process.

* Unilateral removal is now a distinct reality and distinguishes between removal and an "invited" resignation. Victims, survivors and others have rightly criticized this pope because, rather than removing several U.S. bishops who were blatantly guilty of dereliction of duty, he allowed them to resign or retire. Everyone knew what was really happening yet it served as an insult to the victims and others so gravely wounded by these prelates' intentional actions. ...

What is so special about this latest development is the acknowledgement that the negligent and irresponsible actions of many bishops was not based on their ignorance about the nature of sex abuse or advice given by medical experts -- two of the many silly excuses offered -- but that their actions and inactions were willful and potentially criminal. This is a mind-blowing change from the past where every effort was made to protect and exonerate the bishops above every other consideration.

Time affects memories, but essence of abuse carries on: expert

The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on June 17, 2016

A forensic psychologist acknowledged in Newfoundland Supreme Court the effect on memory of the passage of time - decades since a group of men say they were physically and sexually abused at Mount Cashel.

William Foote of New Mexico, said while specific details can be affected, people will remember the essence of abuse and experts like him take it for what it is.

Chris Blom, lawyer for the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John's in the Mount Cashel civil trial, noted it was 40-plus years since the boys were at the orphanage by the time Foote interviewed five former residents in 2000.

Three of those men are among four test case John Does who say that the church should be held liable for the physical and sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of certain members of the lay order Christian Brothers from the late 1940s to early 1960s. They represent about 60 claimants.

Blom also suggested Foote, called by lawyers on behalf of the orphanage boys, unfairly depicted to the court that Mount Cashel was a cruel and sadistic experience for all boys over that time period.


Hibbing Daily Tribune

By Kelly Grinsteinner Editor kgrinsteinner@hibbingdailytribune.net

HIBBING — The fourth and eldest accuser alleging a former Hibbing priest of sexual misconduct testified Friday during the third day of trial in St. Louis County District Court in Hibbing.

Brian M. Lederer, 30, is charged with four counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree and two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree.

Three of the juvenile accusers testified Wednesday, recounting how Lederer touched them inappropriately on more than one occasion. Three parents have also testified, including the mother of two of the girls.

He is accused of snapping bras while massaging shoulders, grabbing two of the girls’ breasts, touching them in the buttocks, and touching and lifting two of them in the groin area.

The incidents took place during the 2014-2015 school year after school hours at Assumption School. One incident took place in a residence, and other actions occurred on a school bus.

Diocese of Davenport Press Release about Rev. John Stack

Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport - The Catholic Messenger

Diocese of Davenport Press Release about Rev. John Stack

DATE: June 17, 2016

FROM: Deacon David Montgomery
Director of Communication
Diocese of Davenport

PHONE: 563-888-4222

RE: Rev. John Stack

In 2013, the Diocese of Davenport received a report which stated that Father John Stack, Chaplain at Mercy Medical Center in Clinton, inappropriately touched minors in approximately the 1980s. The Diocese reported this to the Scott County Attorney in compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Diocese and the County Attorney. Father Stack was removed from ministry while this matter was investigated.

As a result of the investigation and with the recommendation of the Diocesan Review Board, Bishop Martin Amos petitioned the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican, requesting the case be brought to trial. The trial process could result in one of three judgements: innocent, guilty or that the accusations of sexual abuse of minors were not proven. The three judges, all from outside of the Diocese of Davenport, found that the accusations of sexual abuse of minors by Father Stack were not proven. There was not a finding of innocence or guilt. In order to assure the rights of all, the decision was appealed for further review. The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith concurred with the finding of the judges.

After receiving the conclusion from the Vatican, Bishop Amos will assign Father Stack to priestly ministry and service to the Diocese.

To report child sexual abuse Contact the Iowa Department of Human Services Child Abuse Hotline: 800‐362‐2178 If the abuse involves clergy or church personnel, also notify Alicia Owens, Victim Assistance Coordinator: 563‐349‐ 5002 PO Box 232 Bettendorf, IA 52722‐0004 vacdav@diodav.org We apologize for all those who have been abused and continue to pray for them. Information regarding this process can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/upload/FAQs-canonicalprocess-sexual-abuse.pdf.

Local priest cleared of abuse charges

Quad-City Times

Deirdre Cox Baker dbaker@qctimes.com

Three years after charges of clergy abuse were brought against him, the Rev. John Stack has been cleared by the Vatican and will work again in the Diocese of Davenport.

The findings were announced Friday by Deacon David Montgomery, the diocese's spokesman.

Stack was accused in 2013 of inappropriately touching minors in the 1980s. The charge was reported to the Scott County Attorney's Office, the process the diocese now uses in abuse cases. Stack was removed from his ministry at Mercy Medical Center in Clinton while the investigation went forward.

Bishop Martin Amos petitioned the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican, requesting that Stack's case be brought to trial before three judges, none of whom is from the Davenport diocese.

‘Special forces’ armed with skills to fight abuse

Catholic Register

June 16, 2016

The Catholic Church has launched a new kind of "special forces" in the fight against child abuse.

Nineteen men and women from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas became the first graduates awarded special certification in the safeguarding of minors — an initiative begun in Rome in 2016 to help dioceses, bishops' conferences, religious orders and other Church bodies excel in child protection.

The graduates — who are psychiatrists, theologians, canon lawyers, educators and child protection officers — were honoured June 14 during a graduation ceremony at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University.

Pope Francis sent a personal letter for the occasion, praising the new graduates and telling them, "I wish you courage and patience; be brave and committed."

The five-month, intensive program is run by the Center for Child Protection at the university's Institute of Psychology and grew out of an e-learning program, but offers more active discussion and group work with onsite, face-to-face instruction by experts in a variety of fields.

The diploma course includes six in-depth interdisciplinary seminars on: defining the problem of sex abuse; children's rights; the importance of sacred and safe spaces; the abuse of faith in abuse scandals; the liberating force of truth and justice; and how to help survivors and their families.


The Tablet (UK)

17 June 2016 | by Christopher Lamb

Financial reforms that have already been put in place are irreversible, claims Pope Francis' treasurer

The financial reforms of the Holy See are “irreversible” and have ensured there are no more “pools of darkness in the Vatican”, the papal treasurer has said.

Cardinal George Pell, who is Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, told The Tablet: “The Vatican is committed to transparency, international cooperation and the use of contemporary international standards in financial reporting.”

He pointed out, however, that the “full implementation of such changes will take time” and that work needed to be done to bring expenditure under control.

Last week, the Holy See announced that an audit by PricewaterhouseCooopers (PwC) would no longer take place and they would instead assist an internal Auditor General with the work.

Cardinal Pell, who helped commission the original audit from PwC, said the new arrangement “is not a rejection of financial reform” but instead “a recognition that the many challenges in transitioning to full implementation must fit the context and a way forward is being found.”

Opinion: Turn to God with your burden

Pacific Daily News

Thomas Garrido
June 17, 2016

The recent news on the accusations against Archbishop Apuron is tragic in many respects.

First to Mr. Roy T. Quintanilla: No one is impeccable. Romans 3:23 – “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I am a sinner and I still disappoint God and loved ones to this day. We stand alone accountable before God for our own deeds. God is the original authorized judge, jury and executioner. Roy, you have taken it upon yourself to take this tragic incident to the public light. However, the burden of proof is upon you to substantiate your charges. Your burden is great. Without a confession or proof, we expose the accused to incarceration or acts of revenge and injury to family, friends, career, employer and church.

I am not unsympathetic with you, Roy. I too was sexually abused as a minor more than 55 years ago. … You and I likely shared most of the same emotions. There are several points I am trying to make to you regarding our experiences.

One: I wished that my love for God and my parents was much, much stronger. I speak of a love that does not share with shame or fear and does not need to sum up courage to speak out to the proper people. I do not blame my parents or anyone for the lack of such a love. God had a wonderful plan for me in the future.

New York Legislature passed laws on boozy brunches, cremated cats and hunting for her — but squat for sex abuse victims

New York Daily News

Thursday, June 16, 2016

ALBANY — While state leaders appear ready to turn their backs on child sex abuse victims again this year, they found time to shower love on female hunters, brunch-goers and pet lovers.

Barring a last-minute miracle, the state Legislature was preparing to end its session on Friday with no deal on a bill to make it easier for child sex abuse survivors to seek justice — something victims and advocates have pushed for a decade.

But lawmakers this year did manage to pass an array of apparently more pressing legislation.

Among them is a bill to allow the use of fluorescent pink, instead of just orange, hunting attire in order to attract more women and young people into the woods.

Kathryn Robb, a child sex abuse survivor and advocate, was flabbergasted.

“It’s more important to fashionably dress female hunters than it is to protect children from sexual abuse and give victims of sexual abuse justice?” Robb said. “Wow. That is something much greater than outrageous.”

Top Bishop launches probe after Kilwinning priest is jailed for gambling £96,000 church funds

Daily Record


Bishop Bill Nolan will ask the Holy See to appoint a tribunal to investigate Father Bell’s conduct after he was jailed for 10 months after previously pleading guilty to embezzling the money.

The Diocese of Galloway have confirmed Father Graeme Bell’s future in the church is to be considered.

The parishioners of St Mary’s – and St John’s in Stevenston – who have endured a difficult year were also praised by the church who will now hold a ‘church tribunal’ to decide Mr Bell’s fate.

A spokesperson said: “This is a sad day for the Diocese of Galloway as Father Graeme Bell is sentenced.

“However, given amounts involved it is not surprising he has received a custodial sentence and we hope that in prison he will continue to receive the support he needs and which the diocese has offered him over the past year.

Other Pontifical Acts, 16.06.2016

Vatican Information Service - Bollettino

Vatican City, 16 June 2016 – The Holy Father has appointed: ...

- Fr. Emmanuel Gobilliard as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Lyon (area 5,087, population 1,960,898, Catholics 1,255,000, priests 546, permanent deacons 68, religious 1,817), France. The bishop-elect was born in Saumur, France in 1968 and was ordained a priest in 1997. He holds a degree in moral theology from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University, and has served in a number of pastoral roles including diocesan head of student chaplaincy, diocesan co-ordinator of youth pastoral ministry, member of the Episcopal Council, and missionary in Madagascar as teacher in the interdiocesan seminary of Fianaransoa. He is currently rector of the Cathedral of Le Puy-en-Velay.

KS--Big Baptist church tries to forcibly "out" abused kids

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, June 16, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

In a new court filing, a Kansas City church is trying to force two girls who were abused by a now-imprisoned child molester to publicly reveal their names. We are appalled.


This mean-spirited move will deter others who see, suspect or suffer child sex crimes into staying silent, enabling more predators to hurt more kids. It will also rub more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of this suffering family. It is a shameful move by officials who profess to be “Christians.”

Last week, in public, Westside Family Church officials played “good cop.” This week, in court, Westside is playing “bad cop.” This week is what counts, because now, they’re not just talking, they’re acting. And they’re acting like cold-hearted CEOs, not caring shepherds.

If Westside pastor Dan Chaverin gets his way, two little girls who belonged to his church and sexually abused and exploited by a twice-convicted, admitted predator, may have to publicly reveal their identities. How stunningly callous is that?

Southern Baptists elect known clergy-sex-abuse-cover-upper as president

Stop Baptist Predators

Christa Brown

At its June 14-15 annual meeting in St. Louis, the Southern Baptist Convention elected Steve Gaines as SBC president. Gaines, who is the pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, was implicated in a widely-publicized clergy child molestation cover-up about nine years ago.

Here's what was uncovered at the time: Gaines knew for at least six months that a Bellevue staff minister, Paul Williams, had molested a child, and Gaines simply kept quiet. He did not report the crime to the police, and he also kept Williams’ conduct a secret from the congregation. If a blogger had not made the news public, there’s no telling how long Gaines would have persisted in keeping Williams’ dangerous conduct under wraps.

Nevertheless, despite the fact that Gaines had obviously chosen to prioritize the protection of his staff minister rather than the protection of kids, and despite Gaines’ secrecy, the church chose to retain Gaines as its senior pastor. Gaines faced virtually no consequences.

Furthermore, not only did Gaines keep quiet about the fact that a staff minister had admitted to molesting a child, thereby leaving other kids at greater risk, but he also allowed Williams to continue to serve as a counselor for congregants who had been sexually abused as children. Can you imagine how those people felt when they learned that the very minister who had been counseling them was someone who himself had molested a kid? As one woman later explained her pain: “That a suspected pedophile might have been titillated by the story of her abuse at the hands of a since-deceased relative -- the thought turns her stomach.”

Standen victims seek compensation

Western Advocate

Louise Thrower

June 17, 2016

INDECENT assault victims of Brother William Standen are seeking compensation from the Christian Brothers Oceania in the wake of his conviction and sentencing.

A Canberra law firm has also revealed it acted in past civil matters for other victims of Brother Standen, who were “beaten like a dog.”

The 67-year-old Standen, known as Brother Dave, was sentenced to nine years two months’ jail with a non-parole period of four years, seven months in Sydney District Court last Friday.

He had pleaded guilty to 17 charges of indecent assault on boys aged 12 to 14, and one act of indecency on a boy, while he was a teacher and dormitory master at St Patrick’s College, Goulburn between 1978 and 1981.

More PTSD symptoms confirmed by psychologist at Mount Cashel trial

The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on June 16, 2016

A lawyer’s cross-examination of a forensic psychologist Thursday in Newfoundland Supreme Court challenged the expert with other potential causes of some Mount Cashel survivors’ life problems, including anger over corporal punishment, accepted by society in the 1950s as a form of disciplining children.

Chris Blom, one of the lawyers representing the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s at the civil trial, pointed out to William Foote — an expert from New Mexico brought into the case by lawyers for a group of former orphanage residents — that one of the John Does was physically abused by certain Christian Brothers for several years before he was sexual abused, suggesting the physical trauma was more likely to blame for his anger issues.

Blom also questioned Foote about the likelihood of a child of alcoholic parents developing their own substance abuse issues — the John Doe who went into the military had parents with drinking problems and the atmosphere of soldiering in his day was also hard drinking.

After court Thursday, that John Doe told The Telegram the lawyer was off-base about why his military career, though long, earned him a retirement with a low rank. He said later in his career, he learned to be a good soldier, but by then it was too late to rise through the ranks and he attributes his anger to Mount Cashel.

Lawsuit: Student faced physical, sexual abuse at WV Christian school

Charleston Gazette-Mail

Ryan Quinn , Staff Writer

A lawsuit is ongoing against a now-closed Kanawha County Christian boys boarding school and its leaders over allegations that a student was starved and physically abused and — because of alleged lax supervision — sexually abused by another student, and the minor’s lawyer expects the litigation to expand.

“We certainly have had other people reach out to us who are victims of that organization, and we would anticipate filing suit on their behalf,” said Charleston-based attorney Troy Giatras, the lawyer representing the minor and his guardian ad litem in the case against Blue Creek Academy, which Giatras said was in the Clendenin area, near the border of Clay and Kanawha counties.

The lawsuit also names Bible Baptist, a Belva church sponsoring the school, as a defendant, along with James Waldeck and J.R. Thompson, Blue Creek Academy’s former director who, according to The Daily Beast, has started a new religious school in Montana. In answers to the lawsuit, the defendants have denied the allegations.

In an extensive article published online Sunday — titled “Rapes, Daily Beatings, and No Escape: Christian School Was Hell For These Boys” — The Daily Beast reported on the allegations of child abuse and educational neglect at Blue Creek Academy, fitting it into a larger trend of problems at Christian schools that have less oversight, or nearly no oversight, compared to public schools.

Attorney wants answers about deacon's possible role


Updated: Jun 17, 2016

By Krystal Paco

The attorney representing most of Archbishop Anthony Apuron's alleged victims wants answers.

Attorney David Lujan has now twice addressed Archdiocese of Agana sexual abuse response coordinator Deacon Larry Claros on his role as the SARC and whether Claros can properly and objectively investigate if the alleged perpetrator is his boss.

Last month the archdiocese announced plans to convene the archdiocesan review board in response to the allegations made against Apuron. Soon after however, many of the board's members resigned or recused themselves. No update has been provided on the board's status and Deacon Claros did not respond to KUAM's multiple inquiries as of news time.

Casey County Pastor Charged With Sex Crime

LEX 18

[with video]

CASEY COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) – According to the Casey County News, a pastor has been indicted and arrested after he was accused of a sex crime against a minor.

George Wayne Cole, 55, was arrested on June 10th, the newspaper reports.

He is charged with two counts of unlawful imprisonment and first degree sexual abuse.

Cole was taken to the Clinton County Jail and later posted bond.

Queen City Christian Church pastor arrested on Sodomy charge


Allegations of sexual abuse against a Queen City, Missouri pastor have landed a man behind bars.

Multiple sources reveal the pastor of the Queen City Christian Church, George Bradburn, 68, was arrested on Tuesday, June 14at his home in Queen City on a charge of first-degree sodomy involving a teen.

A lengthy investigation by the State Technical Assistance Team, from the Missouri Department of Social Services, resulted in the minister admitting that fondling of the victim began at age 13.

The allegation was first reported to the Kirksville Police Department, who then forwarded information to Schuyler County Sheriff Joe Wueker on May 12, 2016.

The victim stated at approximately age 9 he began spending time at the church assisting in various duties such as cleaning or helping out, when he and Bradburn became good friends. When he was approximately age 12, Bradburn began touching his private parts, both over and under the clothing, with his hands. The teen recalled this happening “several times per week” until the age of approximately 15, at which time the boy went to live in another part of Missouri. He stated Bradburn would come pick him up once per month and bring him back to Queen City for visits, at which time the victim reported the encounters continued by Bradburn. This cycle continued until the victim turned 18.

Minister faces felony statutory sodomy charge

Kirksville Daily Express

Posted Jun. 16, 2016

Queen City, Mo.

A Queen City, Mo., minister faces a felony charge after being accused of sexually abusing a minor for more than five years.

George Bradburn, 69, of Queen City, was recently charged with statutory sodomy in the first degree by the Schuyler County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

According to a press release, the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office received a tip from the Kirksville Police Department in April about the alleged sexual abuse.

In an interview with law enforcement, the victim stated when he was about 9 years old he was introduced to the suspect as the pastor of a local church. The victim later began spending time around the church and became good friends with the suspect.

Extending the statute of limitations

National Catholic Reporter

Thomas Reese | Jun. 16, 2016

A number of states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, are considering extending the statute of limitations dealing with the sexual abuse of minors. It is a well-documented fact that many victims of abuse do not come forward until long after their abuse occurred.

While a statute of limitations serves a reasonable purpose by preventing prosecution and litigation over actions in the distant past where witnesses, evidence, and alibis are missing and memories are foggy, it is galling to see criminals escape justice on a technicality.

For criminal prosecutions, modifying the statute of limitations is only constitutional for future crimes. In the United States, we cannot extend the statute of limitations for crimes committed in the past.

Civil suits are a different matter. States like California, Virginia, Minnesota, and Delaware have extended the statute of limitations for civil suits against the church when church officials did not protect children from abuse by priests. Often the legislation provides a one- or two-year window during which victims can sue the church for cases that under current law would have been disallowed under the statute of limitations.

Safe environment

St. Louis Review

Safe Touch, a curriculum offered annually to all children enrolled in archdiocesan schools and PSR programs, teaches children about healthy boundaries and personal safety. The curriculum was updated in 2016 to include resources for adults and children regarding safety and responsibility when using technology and social media.

Predators gain access to children and teens through social media and gaming sites where they can immediately begin the grooming process. Predators can remain anonymous and no longer have to leave their homes in order to abuse a child or a teen. A predator no longer needs physical access to make contact with a child or teen. It is important to educate children on technology safety and monitor their usage regardless of age or gender. Children and teens must be taught to identify and report inappropriate electronic contact in the same way they are taught about inappropriate in person contact.

The Safe Environment Program also recommends NetSmartz, a program of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which provides age-appropriate resources for staying safe online. For more information, see www.netsmartz.org.

For more information on Safe Touch and the Safe Environment Program, contact director Sandra Price at (314) 792-7271 or email sandraprice@archstl.org, or visit www.archstl.org/sep.


Mesabi Daily News

Kelly Grinsteinner | Hibbing Daily Tribune

HIBBING — The mother with a set of daughters both accusing a former Hibbing priest of sexual misconduct took the stand Thursday during trial day two in St. Louis County District Court in Hibbing.

Brian M. Lederer, 30, is facing four counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree and two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree.

Three of the juvenile accusers testified Wednesday, recounting how Lederer touched them inappropriately on more than one occasion.

He is accused of snapping bras while massaging shoulders, grabbing two of the girls’ breasts, touching one in the buttocks and lifting another by her groin area.

The incidents took place during the 2014-2015 school year after school hours at Assumption School. One incident took place in a residence, and other actions occurred on a school bus. Lederer was arrested and charged on May 7, 2015.

Victoria’s top cop Graham Ashton reveals detectives might go to Italy to interview Pell over child sex abuse allegations

The Advertiser

June 17, 2016

Keith Moor
Insight Editor
Herald Sun

VICTORIA’s top cop has revealed detectives might go to Italy to interview Cardinal George Pell about child sex abuse allegations.

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton was this week reluctant to talk about the Cardinal Pell probe during a wideranging interview with the Herald Sun to mark his first year in the job.

“We don’t give running commentary on ongoing investigations,” he said.

But comments Mr Ashton made when pressed by the Herald Sun confirmed Sano taskforce detectives are investigating multiple sexual abuse allegations made against Cardinal Pell.

The Herald Sun asked Mr Ashton if the Cardinal Pell investigation might result in Sano sex crime specialists being sent to the Vatican to speak to Cardinal Pell if he didn’t return to Australia.

Pennsylvania Catholic church using 'mafia-like' tactics to fight sex abuse bill

The Guardian (UK)

Stephanie Kirchgaessner in New York
Friday 17 June 2016

The Catholic church in Pennsylvania has been accused of employing “mafia-like” tactics in a campaign to put pressure on individual Catholic lawmakers who support state legislation that would give victims of sexual abuse more time to sue their abusers.

The lobbying campaign against the legislation is being led by Philadelphia archbishop Charles Chaput, a staunch conservative who recently created a stir after inadvertently sending an email to a state representative Jamie Santora, in which he accused the lawmaker of “betraying” the church and said Santora would suffer “consequences” for his support of the legislation. The email was also sent to a senior staff member in Chaput’s office, who was apparently the only intended recipient.

The email has infuriated some Catholic lawmakers, who say they voted their conscience in support of the legislation on behalf of sexual abuse victims. One Republican legislator, Mike Vareb, accused the archbishop of using mafia-style tactics.

“This mob boss approach of having legislators called out, he really went right up to the line,” Vareb told the Guardian. “He is going down a road that is frankly dangerous for the status of the church in terms of it being a non-profit.”

Under US tax laws, organisations like churches that are classified as non-profit groups are not supposed to be engaged in political activity, though they are allowed to publish legislators’ voting records in some cases.

June 16, 2016

Victims decry makeup of St. George’s search committee

Boston Globe

By Bella English GLOBE STAFF JUNE 16, 2016

A committee charged with finding the next headmaster of St. George’s School is already coming under fire for not including any victims of alleged sexual abuse at the school, the scandal that many believe led to Eric Peterson’s recent decision not to seek renewal of his contract after next year.

Two weeks ago, Peterson, 50, informed trustees that he will leave by the end of the 2016-2017 school year. St. George’s has been embroiled in controversy since December, after Anne Scott and two other alumnae told of being molested or raped by athletic trainer Al Gibbs in the late 1970s.

In a letter to the school community on Thursday, Tad Van Norden, a St. George’s alumnus and trustee, introduced himself as chair of the new search committee, which is made up of trustees, parents, faculty and alumni. Nine of the 12 search committee members are trustees, who have also been criticized by victims for their handling of the scandal. Of the remaining three, two are faculty members and the other is co-chair of the school’s Parents’ Committee.

Van Norden said the committee, aided by the executive search firm Spencer Stuart, hopes to identify candidates in the early fall, and a head of school by year’s end.

New info in sex abuse case

Dalles Chronicle

By Neita Cecil
As of Thursday, June 16, 2016

A police interview with the senior pastor of First Christian Church showed that church officials had “expressed concerns” about the behavior of a youth leader who was eventually convicted of sexually abusing teen girls.

Michael Cele Stephens, 20, was sentenced to 15 years in prison early this year for sexually abusing six teen girls. He met his victims through the church youth group and 4-H.

One of his victims has sued First Christian Church for $5 million, alleging the church was negligent in not heeding and investigating warning signs that Stephens was grooming girls for sexual abuse.

Stephens befriended his victims, eventually exchanging sexual texts and photos.

He abused them at their homes, their relative’s homes or his relative’s homes, and in a parking lot.

MP Stephen Jones says sexual predators moved freely at Edmund Rice College in the 1980s

Sydney Morning Herald

June 16, 2016

Angela Thompson

Boys at Wollongong's Edmund Rice College in the 1980s knew sexual predators moved freely among them, and would share advice about who to avoid being alone with, Throsby MP Stephen Jones — a former school captain — has revealed.

Following another teacher's admission of guilt over historic child sex crimes at the West Wollongong all-boys college, Mr Jones said the school had felt like a "dumping ground" for paedophiles whose crimes were overlooked by those who could have ended the abuse.

"There was a whole bunch of them [paedophiles] at the time I was there," said Mr Jones, who graduated from the school in 1983.

"Boys would [avoid them] in all sorts of ways. We would just talk amongst ourselves about it — 'don't get caught with this person or that person'."

Brother John Vincent Roberts was allowed to teach at the school despite at least one prior complaint of abuse at another NSW Christian Brothers School.

In Wollongong Local Court on Wednesday, Roberts, 73, admitted to 11 charges relating to the sexual abuse of a young male student at Edmund Rice in the late 1980s.

Brother allowed to keep teaching despite abuse allegations

Canberra Times

June 17 2016

Christopher Knaus and Cydonee Mardon

A former Catholic brother has pleaded guilty to repeatedly molesting a child at a school in Wollongong, where he was allowed to teach despite two prior complaints of abuse, including one at St Edmund's College.

The first known complaint about John Vincent Roberts, now 73, was made in Christian Brothers schools in NSW at some point before 1978, when he moved to the order's ACT school, St Edmund's.

Here, he allegedly abused another student during his five-year stint in Canberra between 1978 and 1983.

Roberts was allowed to continue teaching, and he moved to Wollongong, where he taught at the prestigious Edmund Rice College.

He again abused a child in Wollongong, this time repeatedly molesting a 12-year-old boy in the late 1980s.

Accusers' lawyer presses anew for answers on Church investigation

Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News June 17, 2016

For the second time in two weeks, the attorney for at least three of Archbishop Anthony Apuron’s accusers is pressing the Guam Catholic church for answers related to its ability to conduct an impartial investigation into multiple child molestation allegations against Apuron.

Attorney David J. Lujan informed the local Catholic Church’s sexual assault response coordinator Deacon Larry Claros that he now also represents Walter Denton and Doris Concepcion, mother of Joseph “Sonny” Quinata, in addition to Roy Quintanilla.

Claros leads a group in the local Catholic Church charged with reviewing sexual abuse allegations involving the clergy and other church officials and personnel.

Lujan’s June 13 letter was sent two days prior to the public accusation against Apuron by a fourth individual, Roland Sondia.

Claros and the Archdiocese of Agana were sought for comment on Lujan’s letter, but hadn’t commented as of early Thursday evening.

When allegations against Apuron came out in recent weeks, the archbishop and his representatives threatened to sue individuals they said were spreading malicious and calumnious lies. Thus far, no lawsuit has been filed or has become publicly known.

Some label Markey as ‘anti-Catholic’

Queens Chronicle

Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2016

by Christopher Barca, Associate Editor

Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Maspeth) has been catching hell in recent days over her claim that Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, head of the Diocese of Brooklyn, tried to bribe her in 2007 to end her support of legislation to extend the statute of limitations for lawsuits over child sex abuse allegations.

“She’s definitely anti-Catholic,” Tony Nunziato, Markey’s two-time Assembly race opponent, said at the Juniper Park Civic Association last Thursday. “Her attack against the bishop was horrendous.”

The assemblywoman — who for a decade has been fighting to pass reforms to the statute of limitations regarding child sex abuse crimes — told the Daily News last Tuesday that DiMarzio offered her $5,000 to drop her support for such legislation

However, the clergyman denied the allegation in a June 7 letter to Markey and in a letter last weekend to the diocese, calling it “patently false.”

Statutes of Limitation retroactivity would violate Pa. constitution

Catholic Philly

By A.B. Hill • Posted June 16, 2016

The Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee hosted a hearing this week regarding the legality and constitutionality of House Bill 1947. The measure, passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in April, proposes to remove the criminal statute of limitations (SoL) for childhood sexual abuse and raise the civil SoL from age 30 to 50 moving forward.

It also retroactively opens the civil SoL from survivor’s age 30 to age 50.

Experts on Pennsylvania’s constitution presented their opinions to Judiciary Committee members with a particular focus on the retroactive provision of the bill.

“The purpose of today’s hearing is not to hear about those facts (that child abuse occurred),” said committee chairman Sen. Stewart J. Greenleaf (R-Bucks, Montgomery). “These matters are highly complex and I expect that this committee will require ample time to carefully consider today’s testimony and weigh each side.”

Sen. Aguon advocates to protect sexual abuse victims

Pacific Daily News

Shawn Raymundo, sraymundo@guampdn.com June 17, 2016

In the wake of a fourth person accusing Archbishop Anthony Apuron of child molestation, Sen. Frank Aguon Jr., D-Yona, on Thursday released a statement apologizing to all victims of sexual abuse for not coming to their aid sooner.

“After a great deal of prayer and consideration over the current state of affairs — which have been profoundly painful for everyone — I sincerely apologize for not immediately coming to the defense of the alleged victims of child sexual abuse,” he said.

On Wednesday, Roland Paul L. Sondia became the fourth person to publicly accuse Apuron of sexual abuse. Sondia, 54, alleged that Apuron molested him when he was 15-years old during a sleepover at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church rectory in 1977.

Sondia and two other former altar boys of the Agat church have recently given similar accounts of Apuron, when he was the parish priest, sexually abusing them during sleepovers at the rectory back in the 1970’s.

Doris Concepcion also alleged that Apuron molested her son, Joseph Quinata, when he was an altar boy in the 70s. Quinata briefly told his mother of the incident shortly before he died 11 years ago.

Q&A on the ‘unplanned pregnancies’ of the Catholic Church


John L. Allen Jr.June 14, 2016

On Tuesday, the Vatican released its latest reflection on what German Cardinal Gerhard Müller amusingly has called the “unplanned pregnancies” of the Catholic Church, meaning its sprawling galaxy of new lay movements, most of which have been born in the last 100 years and have had their real growth since Vatican II.

One has to say “latest” because this is hardly the first time various departments and officials in the Vatican have issued documents, released interviews, given talks, organized meetings, etc., on the relationship between the hierarchy and what English-speakers often call the “new movements.” ...

For the movements, what they gain out of a healthy working relationship with the hierarchy is access to dioceses, institutional support, and long-term viability. For the bishops, what they gain, aside from the fresh blood of gung-ho lay missionaries and a reliable way to boost Mass attendance, is a degree of quality control and a way to handle problems when they arise.

A recent story out of Peru illustrates why that’s important for both sides. As documented in Crux by Austen Ivereigh, a large movement there called the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae has been rocked by an abuse scandal involving its founder, Luis Fernando Figari.

Ivereigh reported that a local church tribunal tried for four years to get the Vatican to act on those allegations before anything happened. Had there been a more cooperative relationship, it’s possible the problems could have been flagged and resolved earlier.

Probably, that story should also be a wake-up call for bishops with new movements in their own backyards to take a closer look, in the spirit of trying to defuse a possible bomb before it goes off.

Pennsylvania HB 1947 Testimony

SOL Reform

Marci A. Hamilton
Academic Director and Chairman, Board of Directors
(215) 746-4165

Resident Senior Scholar
Program for Research on Religion
Co-chair, Common Ground for the Common Good Project
Fox Leadership Program
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 353-8984 (cell)

Sen. Stewart J. Greenleaf
PA Senate Judiciary Committee
Main Capitol, 19 EW
Harrisburg, PA 17120
June 13, 2016
RE: Constitutionality of HB 1947

Dear Sen. Greenleaf and Members of the Committee:

Thank you for asking me to testify at this hearing on the constitutionality of HB 1947, which modestly amends Pennsylvania’s statutes of limitations (SOLs) for child sex abuse.

I am a Resident Senior Fellow in the Program for Research on Religion in the Fox Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania; a co-chair of the Common Ground for the Common Good project; and the Academic Director of CHILD USA, an interdisciplinary think tank on child abuse and neglect. After 26 years of full-time teaching, I now hold the Paul R. Verkuil Research Chair at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. My book, Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge University Press 2008, 2012), and website, www.sol-reform.com, are the leading resources on child sex abuse statutes of limitations, and I have researched, written, and testified on the issue in many states and abroad. The views expressed in this testimony are solely my own.

The issue this Committee has asked me to focus on is whether the revival of a civil SOL for child sex abuse is consistent with the Pennsylvania Constitution. The short answer is that along with a majority of the states, it is constitutional in Pennsylvania to revive an expired civil SOL.

HB 1947 does not violate due process under the Pennsylvania or Federal Constitution.

Let me first set aside the due process issues in this arena. It is unconstitutional to revive a criminal SOL, because it violates the Ex Post Facto Clause. Stogner v. California, 539 U.S. 607, 610 (2003). At the same time, it is not a due process violation and, therefore, it is constitutional to revive a civil SOL. Landgraf v. USI Film Prods., 511 U.S. 244, 267 (1994). Under the federal Constitution, revival of a civil SOL is constitutional if two due process requirements are met: (1) clear legislative intent and (2) the change is to a procedural element, like a statute of limitations. See Republic of Austria v. Altmann, 541 U.S. 677, 692-93 (2004); see also Landgraf, 511 U.S. at 267-68; Chase Sec. Corp. v. Donaldson, 325 U.S. 304, 311-15 (1945); Campbell v. Holt, 115 U.S. 620, 6 S. Ct. 209 (1885).

Some Baylor University Donors Don’t Get It About Sexual Assault

Liberal America

By Darrell Lucus on June 13, 2016

In case you missed it, two weeks ago Baylor University announced it was firing head football coach Art Briles in the wake of overwhelming evidence that his program had utterly mishandled allegations that players had raped and sexually assaulted women. Well, a flurry of activity on Monday revealed just how far gone Baylor’s football culture had become. A small, misguided, and mind-blowingly stupid cabal of Baylor donors has been angling to bring Briles back as head coach.

When the Baylor Board of Regents announced that Briles was out, it officially characterized the move as an indefinite suspension with intent to terminate him as soon as it was legally possible to do so. However, USA Today reported that a small minority of Baylor donors are pushing for a compromise–have Briles sit out the 2016 season and allow him to return in 2017. According to KCEN-TV in Waco, some Baylor players have been briefed on the proposal.

However, according to USA Today, such moves are “unlikely to result in any action.” There’s very good reason to think this is a wasted effort. The findings of fact from an independent investigation into Baylor’s response to sexual assault so unnerved university officials that they immediately forwarded the report to the NCAA and Big 12 Conference. Bringing back a coach who, at best, was disengaged from how disciplinary issues were handled wouldn’t exactly allow Baylor to look good with the NCAA, and would all but assure heavy sanctions.

Catholic extremists do ‘untold damage’ to church, says priest

Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

Catholicism in Ireland is being abandoned to obsessive extremists and a religious media more anxious to protect its pockets than engage with realities of faith in the world, a leading priest has said.

“If bishops or priests or intelligent ‘lay’ Catholics are not prepared to reflectively engage in the public market-place then that space is left open to obsessive Catholic extremists who seek to psychologically bludgeon anyone who doesn’t agree with them – and do untold damage to the Catholic faith in Ireland – and to religious media who often seem more anxious to protect their pockets than to engage with the realities of faith in the world,” said Fr Brendan Hoban.

Co-founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, Fr Hoban was commenting on recent remarks by the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin bemoaning the dearth of Catholic intellectuals in Ireland.

“Diarmuid Martin has pointed us in the right direction,” Fr Hoban said, but “the difficult truth is that there is little institutional support for intellectual debate in the Catholic Church – as distinct from cheer-leaders”.

He said: “For example, there is little or no respect for theologians in the upper reaches of the Irish Church, by which I mean theologians of the calibre of Enda McDonagh, Gabriel Daly, Sean Fagan, Vincent McNamara and others rather than those others of whom great things were expected but who now seem often to use every opportunity to ingratiate themselves with church authorities, with an eye to promotion.”

Bellevue Baptist pastor Steve Gaines new president of Southern Baptist Convention

The Commercial Appeal

By Kayleigh Skinner of The Commercial Appeal

A Cordova pastor was named the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis, on Wednesday.

Pastor Steve Gaines of Bellevue Baptist Church was elected after the first vote resulted in a tie between Gaines and North Carolina pastor J. D. Greear of The Summit Church of Raleigh-Durham.

Of the 5,784 ballots cast, Gaines received 44.1 percent; Greear received 44.97 percent, according to a statement from the convention. A second runoff election produced similar results.

To avoid another runoff election Wednesday morning, Greear withdrew the race Wednesday and Gaines was elected by acclimation.

Gaines agreed to accept the presidency after a talk with Greear, saying "we need to leave St. Louis united," according to the statement.

MI--Accused Catholic sex offender case gets more delays; Victims urge “speed”

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, June 16, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

A Detroit Catholic school official charged in 2014 with child sex crimes continues to win delay after delay after delay. For the safety of kids, the healing of victims and the health of the church and its schools, we urge judges and prosecutors to speed up this case.

[C & G Newspapers]

It’s been more than a year and a half since a Ray Township teacher at Austin Catholic Academy first faced allegations that he sent sexually graphic emails to a child.

We call on Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron to personally visit the school where the alleged predator worked, begging victims, witnesses, employees, former employees, alumni, students, staff and whistleblowers to call law enforcement if they have any information or suspicions about the alleged crimes.

Bill lifts statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases


Updated: Jun 16, 2016

By Ken Quintanilla

A bill that would lift the statute of limitations in cases involving child sex abuse will go up for a public hearing on June 27. Introduced by Senator Frank Blas, Jr., Bill 326 was referred to Senator Frank Aguon Jr.'s committee. Aguon says he is working with Blas to strengthen the measure.

The hearing on the 27th gets underway at 10am at the Guam Legislature in Hagatna.

Wollongong MP speaks of sadness as Edmund Rice College apologises over historical abuse of student

ABC News

By Nick McLaren

An Illawarra MP has spoken of his sadness after his former school admitted it had let one of its students down by failing to protect him from a paedophile Christian Brother.

Stephen Jones is the Federal Member for Whitlam and a former school captain and dux at Edmund Rice College in West Wollongong.

The conviction, and likely jail sentence, of a former Christian Brother has prompted the catholic MP to reflect on his own personal experience at the school.

John Vincent Roberts, aged 73, yesterday pleaded guilty to 11 of 21 charges relating to the historical sex abuse of a 12-year-old boy at the school.

Police only became aware of the abuse as a result of hearings before the royal commission into child sexual abuse last year.

Former St Edmund's brother John Vincent Roberts pleads guilty to abusing child in NSW

Canberra Times

A former St Edmund's College brother has pleaded guilty to repeatedly molesting a child at a school in Wollongong, where he was allowed to teach despite prior complaints of abuse.

The first known complaint about John Vincent Roberts, now 73, was made in Christian Brothers schools in NSW at some point before 1978, when he moved to the order's ACT school, St Edmund's.

He allegedly abused another student during his five-year stint in Canberra between 1978 and 1983.

Roberts was allowed to continue teaching, and he moved to Wollongong where he taught at the prestigious Edmund Rice College.

Former preacher facing new child porn charges

Times Record News

By Times Record News

A former preacher in Young County has been arrested on charges of child pornography.

A news release from the Texas Rangers stated Dennis Harmon Bell was first arrested on March 17 on one count of possession of child pornography from his residence in Graham. On June 8, a Young County grand jury indicted Bell on five counts of possession of child pornography.

Bell was arrested Tuesday and charged with the four new counts. His total bail was set at $87,500 and he was not in Young County Jail on Wednesday afternoon.

Legal aid project for Mother and Baby Homes witnesses

Irish Examiner

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Jack Power

Justice for Magdalenes Research and Adoption Rights Alliance have launched a pro-bono legal initiative to assist witnesses drafting statements to the state commission of inquiry.

The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes will not provide any legal advice to affected individuals who wish to submit a witness statement to the body.

Speaking yesterday, Maeve O’Rourke, of Justice for Magdalenes, said legal advice would be crucial to people or relatives of those affected by abuse in Mother and Baby homes.

“It is something that people should have been provided with,” she said, given the potential major legal implications of the of the commission’s findings. The statements compiled with the help of the Clann initiative could be used by individuals as the basis to take action seeking compensation from the

Ms O’Rourke stated that future reparations could come in many forms for potential victims, from financial compensation, to access to medical records and the identification of the whereabouts of remains.

Archbishop Hon Rescinds Decree that Threatens CCOG

Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Archbishop Hon's decree also rescinds another decree. However, details of that decree are not being released to the public.

Guam - Archbishop Savio Tai Fai Hon made perhaps his first big move since taking over the helm at the Archdiocese of Agana.

He rescinded a general decree that threatened catholics with harsh consequences if they associated with the group Concerned Catholics of Guam.

Archbishop Hon rescinded the decree, which is numbered 2016-028, a day after CCOG wrote to Pope Francis with demands for the decree to be rescinded and for an apology from the author of the decree, Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Archbishop Apuron, who’s administrative authority was removed earlier this month by Pope Francis, has not issued an apology.

Meanwhile, Archbishop Hon also rescinded another decree, namely, decree number 2016-022. That decree was never made public and in a statement to the media, Archbishop Hon’s assistant, Father Ted Novak said the second decree pertains to a private matter and details of the decree will not be released to the public.

Hon nullifies Apuron's decrees


[with video]

Updated: Jun 16, 2016

By Krystal Paco

It appears the island's interim archbishop doesn't agree with Archbishop Anthony Apuron's last orders. Just hours before the Vatican placed Apuron on leave last week, Apuron issued decrees intended to place gag orders on those he alleged were part of a malicious smear campaign to oust him.

The Concerned Catholics of Guam organization doesn't need the church's blessing after all. In a release dated June 15, Vatican-appointed apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai rescinded a previous decree issued to the CCOG. The decree was intended for local Catholics to cease any contact with the CCOG and alleged the organization was instigating and soliciting a malicious smear campaign to oust Apuron. The decree was published online on the Archdiocese of Agana website, but removed shortly after.

According to CCOG president Gregory Perez, part of the decree called for the CCOG to publicly retract all their allegations against Apuron. "He wanted us to something to apologize to him. Apologize for what? For being Catholics and standing up for what we believe is true? For truth and justice and accountability and transparency? So that's why I didn't view the decree as anything important or anything to worry about - because that decree was challenging my right and everyone else's right as a Catholic to stand up and ask," he shared with KUAM News.

Archbishop Hon's work doesn't stop there. Hon goes on to rescind a second decree that was never made public. According to Father Tadeusz Jan Nowak, the second decree rescinded pertains to a private matter and was not published by the archdiocese. KUAM News, however, has confirmed the decree was a gag order issued to Deacon Steve Martinez. Martinez was a former sexual abuse response coordinator for the Archdiocese of Agana until 2014, when he says he was dismissed for speaking up about a conflict in church policies. In a previous interview with media, Martinez clarified that church policy currently reads that the archbishop is responsible for determining what sexual abuse allegations get investigated, even if he stands as the accused.

Archbishop's latest accuser talks about faith on KUAM Radio


Updated: Jun 16, 2016

By Krystal Paco

Roland Sondia and his wife Frances thank the community for their support. The couple appeared on KUAM Radio this morning On Wednesday, Sondia publicly accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron of molesting him decades ago, when he was only 15 years old. Although Apuron has denied child sex abuse allegations and blames such allegations for the growing divide in the church, Sondia hopes his story can help make the local Catholic Church whole again.

"I'm not going to destroy the church," he said on KUAM Radio this morning. "My effort is to bring the church back together - to unify the church and make it whole again. He divided the church, and the church is the people, of course. We're just approaching the individual. We want this individual to acknowledge what he did and apologize to all the Catholic faithful here on the island."

Sondia and his wife Frances were guests on Isla63-AM's talkradio with Jess Lujan.

The Latest: Church rescinds decree for Guam Catholics

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — The Latest on accusations that Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron sexually abused minors when he was a parish priest in the 1970s (all times local):

3:30 p.m. Thursday

A Catholic Church official has rescinded a recent decree that was aimed at preventing Catholics from associating with a group that calls for the removal of Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron, amid allegations of sexual abuse.

Three men have accused Apuron of sexually abusing them while they were minors in the 1970s and Apuron was a parish priest.

Apuron — who has not been charged with any crime and has denied the allegations — issued the decree opposing association with Concerned Catholics of Guam on June 5.

As the allegations began surfacing, the Vatican this month appointed Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai as temporary administrator.

Guam church's ban on whistleblower group annulled

Pacific Daily News

Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno, gdumat-ol@guampdn.com June 16, 2016

The whistleblower group Concerned Catholics of Guam is officially no longer a “prohibited society” in the eyes of the Guam Catholic church's leadership.

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana, issued a decree Thursday rescinding Archbishop Anthony Apuron’s June 5 decree banning Concerned Catholics and its supporters from local churches.

Apuron issued the decree shortly before the Vatican clipped his administrative powers at the archdiocese in light of mounting allegations he sexually abused minor altar boys when he was a priest at a parish in Agat decades ago. Apuron hasn't been charged with any crime.

Apuron’s ban on Concerned Catholics was supposed to go into effect June 14, but the archdiocesan leadership under Hon placed it under review.

Hon stated in his June 16 decree he rescinded and annulled Apuron’s decree “after seven days of consultation and reflection, with deep concern for the best interests of the Archdiocese of Agana, particularly for the promotion of reconciliation and deeper communion of all members of this particular church.”

TD church sued over sex abuse

Dalles Chronicle

By Neita Cecil
As of Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The mother of a sex abuse victim has sued First Christian Church in The Dalles for $5 million, alleging the church did not adequately supervise the youth leader who abused her teen daughter.

This is the second leader from First Christian to be convicted of sexually abusing church youth in the last three years.

The victim from that earlier criminal case sued the church in 2013 and reached an undisclosed settlement in 2014.

Later in 2014, youth leader Michael Cele Stephens, now 20, began abusing girls he met through youth group at the church, said attorney Peter Janci, whose firm has brought both lawsuits against the church.

The latest suit, filed last Thursday in Wasco County Circuit Court, alleges the church was negligent in failing to investigate warning signs involving Stephens, who was recently sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing six teen girls.

Recently defrocked priest once served in Sanford


Ellen W. Todd
Sanford News Writer

PORTLAND — A Roman Catholic priest who once served at the former St. Ignatius Parish in Sanford has been dismissed by the Vatican following a charge of sexual abuse.

Antonin R. Caron, who retired in 1994, was an ordained priest for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and was an associate pastor at St. Ignatius Church in the 1970s. He was transferred to Waterville in 1978.

The Portland Diocese received a complaint regarding sexual abuse of a minor by Caron from an individual in November of 2012. The complainant reported that the sexual abuse occurred in the early 1980s.

After receiving the complaint, the Diocesan Office of Professional Responsibility conducted a full investigation and, as with every report of possible sexual abuse of a minor by a church representative, immediately notified public authorities. Upon completion of the investigation, the case was referred to the Diocesan Review Board, an independent review entity comprised mostly of lay people, which confirmed the findings of the Office of Professional Responsibility that the claim of abuse was substantiated, according to a news release from the diocese.

Hoylman pushes Albany to pass child sex-abuse reform, but Senate stalls

The Villager

BY MICHAEL OSSURGUINE | The Omnibus Child Victims Act, or Senate Bill S6367, is the latest effort from state Democrats to reform the statute of limitations on victims of child sexual abuse. The bill, though still in committee, has momentum in the Senate as victims are stepping forward and Senate Democrats are arguing against entrenched opposition.

State Senator Brad Hoylman introduced the Senate version of the bill with several co-sponsors, including Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the leader of the Democratic Conference.

The proposed act amends the Criminal Procedure Law and the Civil Practice Law to eliminate the statute of limitations, and offers a one-year “civil window” during which civil suits that were previously barred could be filed. Versions of the Child Victims Act have won significant bipartisan support in the Assembly, but the Senate’s G.O.P. majority has so far kept the act from coming to the floor for a floor vote.

“I have spoken to several Republican colleagues that say they support the general concept of the bill,” Hoylman said, adding he hopes to bring it to the floor before the end of this year’s legislative session on Thurs., June 16.

Abuse allegations follow leader of Peruvian Catholic sect to Rome

The Guardian (UK)

Dan Collyns in Lima and Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome
Thursday 16 June 2016

Only the faint sound of shuffling feet could be heard behind the heavy wooden door of the apartment in Rome where Luis Fernando Figari has lived since 2010. And then, silence.

Close by, another tenant in the upscale apartment building – which sits a short walk from Campo de’ Fiori in the centre of the city – vaguely recognised a picture of Figari taken decades ago, which showed him standing beside Pope John Paul II. She had seen him around, but only rarely.

What residents don’t know is that the now frail, bearded man who lives in their building founded a Catholic sect in Peru which answers only to the Vatican and which he once ran like a new age guru.

Figari – who is a layman, not a priest – is now considered persona non grata within the group, the Sodalitium of Christian Life, following allegations by former followers that he physically, emotionally and sexually abused them.

But he is also considered legally untouchable, both in Peru and the Vatican – even though the new leader of the sect has said Figari is guilty of many of the allegations that have been lodged against him.

June 15, 2016

Trial of accused priest opens in Hibbing

Duluth News Tribune

By Lisa Kaczke

HIBBING — A Hibbing priest accused of sexually abusing four girls was "grooming" the girls and their families by befriending them, St. Louis County prosecutor Jeff Vlatkovich told jurors Wednesday.

"Any time he saw an opportunity to get what he wanted, he took it," Vlatkovich said in his opening statement as the criminal sexual conduct trial of Brian Michael Lederer began in State District Court in Hibbing.

A 12-year-old girl was the first of the alleged victims to take the witness stand in the trial that is expected to last five days. She recounted the surprise she felt when Lederer allegedly touched her inappropriately several times at Assumption Catholic School in Hibbing, while her father recalled in his testimony the shock he felt on the day his daughter told him about the touching.

"You always think it'll happen to someone else, in some other town. You don't think it'll happen in your family," the girl's father said.

However, Lederer's defense attorney, Peter Wold of Minneapolis, said the allegations are the result of an infatuation the girls had with Lederer, who was described as a young priest beloved by Assumption students. The touching occurred at times when other adults and students were in the room and were nothing more than misperceived and misunderstood moments, possibly caused by hard feelings of rejection and jealousy over Lederer, Wold said. Once two sisters came forward with allegations, it snowballed into four girls making allegations, three of whom were classmates, he said.

Former priest, attorneys inspect alleged crime scenes

The Monitor


EDINBURG — The former priest accused of killing a McAllen teacher and beauty queen was back at the scene of the alleged crime Tuesday during a walkthrough with his attorney.

Feit’s attorney O. Rene Flores and the state’s attorney, Michael Garza, inspected the grounds of the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle on Tuesday, where John Bernard Feit once lived and where the state alleges he hid Irene Garza’s body before dumping it in a nearby canal.

Flores on Wednesday declined comment on what he and his staff looked at and reviewed during the walk-through.

The Edinburg-based attorney said he and Garza were not permitted to speak to the media regarding the walk-through.

The 83-year-old former priest is accused in the April 1960 death of Irene Garza, a schoolteacher and beauty queen who was last seen going to confession at McAllen’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Her body was found five days later after it was dumped in a canal.

Home for Mexico’s Pedophile Priests an Open Secret, Members of Clergy Say

Latin American Herald Tribune

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – The house used until 2001 to rehabilitate Catholic priests accused of being pedophiles in Mexico is an open secret that no dares to discuss, Cardinal Emeritus Juan Sandoval Iñiguez said.

The Alberione house in San Pedrito, a town outside the city of Tlaquepaque, is located in a poor area between Pemex and Alba streets.

The property, which has large gardens, a two-story house and another building, is under the care of sisters from the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master, an order founded by Santiago Alberione.

In response to questions from EFE, the women said they did not know of the rehabilitation program’s existence and said the property was used by Kairos, a “full training” program for nuns described on the order’s Web site.

Whole Foods CEO Remains Loyal to Marc Gafni Despite Abuse Claims


Sam Kestenbaum
June 15, 2016

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey is standing by his friend Marc Gafni, a controversial New Age guru and former rabbi accused of abuses of power through his career, including molestation of a teenage girl.

Mackey until recently sat on the board of Gafni’s think-tank, Center for Integral Wisdom. Activists have been pushing Mackey to publicly denounce Gafni.

In a recent statement given through a publicist Mackey said he did not condone sexual assault — but would believe Gafni was innocent until he was proven guilty, and that he would remain loyal to his friend.

“Loyalty and the presumption of innocence are important values to me, so I will not join those who are condemning him,” Mackey said. “I am, at once, presuming Marc’s innocence and firmly standing against what he’s accused of.”

The statement appeared first in a LinkedIn post by Nancy Levine, a recruiter in Marin County who has been blogging regularly about Gafni. Julie van Amerongan, director of programs and events of Conscious Capitalism a business ethics group at which Mackey is a board member, emailed the statement and verified it in a later exchange with the Forward.

Evenly Split, Southern Baptists Pick President after Candidate Quits

Christianity Today

Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra
POSTED 6/15/2016

In an unusually contested race, Southern Baptist messengers elected Tennessee pastor Steve Gaines as their next president this morning.

Gaines replaces Ronnie Floyd, who has served the maximum two consecutive terms. SBC presidents are elected one year at a time; the post is largely honorific, except for its ability to fill certain leadership positions.

The SBC actually meant to elect a new president yesterday. But a rare tight race between the top two out of three candidates—North Carolina pastor J. D. Greear (45%) and Gaines (44%)—led to a runoff vote. (A candidate must receive just over 50 percent of the vote to win.)

Yesterday’s runoff vote was also too close to call, with Gaines receiving 49.96 percent of the votes and Greear receiving 47.8 percent. (More than 100 ballots were disqualified, yet were included in the determination of the total number of votes needed for a victory.)

This morning, in a surprise move, Greear pulled out.

“I spent a good amount of time last night praying, and believe that for the sake of our convention and our mission we need to leave St. Louis united,” he told the messengers. “In this room, we have various minor points of difference between us … but we are united by a gospel too great and a mission too urgent to let any lesser thing stand in our way. And one of the candidates leaving the convention with a 51 to 49 victory on a third ballot is just not going to serve our mission well. So I am respectfully withdrawing my candidacy as president.”

BREAKING: Steve Gaines elected SBC president by acclamation after J.D. Greear withdraws

Christian Examiner

by Joni B. Hannigan | 15 June, 2016

ST. LOUIS (Christian Examiner) –Steve Gaines, 59, pastor of the Memphis area Bellevue Baptist Church was elected by acclamation as the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention today following a historic and unprecedented delay the first day of the June 14-15 SBC annual meeting.

The surprise announcement came at the start what was to be a third vote for president at the end of the June 15 morning session.

North Carolina pastor J.D. Greear withdrew his nomination to lead the largest non-Catholic denomination in America after two inconclusive votes, but then made a motion to elect Gaines by acclamation.

"I've said from the beginning it is tricky to lead the SBC," Greear said. "I've spent a good amount of time praying and I believe for the sake of our convention and our election we need to leave St. Louis united. ... We are united by a Gospel too great, and a mission too urgent, to let a lesser message stand in our way. I am respectfully withdrawing my candidacy as president."

When a first vote split three ways between the three nominees for president – Gaines; Greenville, North Carolina pastor J.D. Greear; and New Orleans pastor David Crosby – failed to secure a 50 percent vote for any candidate,