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January 31, 2017

LDS Case Worker Goes to Navajo Nation to Persuade Girl Back into Utah Foster Home Where She Was Being Sexual Abused

Keeler & Keeler


Contact Info:

Craig Vernon Cell (208) 691-2768
James Vernon & Weeks P.A.
1626 Lincoln Way
Coeur D'Alene, ID 83814

Bill Keeler Cell (505) 979-0688
Keeler & Keeler
108 E. Aztec
Gallup, NM 87301

(January 26, 2017 - Gallup, New Mexico). IR, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, filed suit against the Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as the "Mormon" or "LDS" Church, and against LDS Family Services in the Navajo Nation District Court because she was sexually abused as a young girl during the Church's "Indian (Lamanite) Placement Program."

Since March of last year this is fifth participant from this program who has filed a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse. (Click Here for File-stamped Copy of Complaint For Personal Injury filed in Navajo Nation District Court, Window Rock District, Case No. WR-CV-50-17.)

The lawsuit discusses how IR was sexually abused repeatedly by her Indian Placement Program foster father. IR told her case worker that she wanted to be placed into another home. Nothing was done.

One of IR's attorney's, Craig Vernon explains that IR was at her wits end so she arranged for her sister to pick her up in Utah and take her back to the Navajo Nation. "This was the only way IR knew how to escape the ongoing sexual abuse," Vernon explains. "We salute IR for having the courage to get out of that abusive situation and return to the Navajo Nation," comments Billy Keeler, who also represents IR.

"Inexplicably, after IR returned with her family to the Navajo Nation, her LDS case worker traveled there to try and persuade her to return to the very home where she was being sexually abused," comments Vernon. "Thankfully, this LDS case worker failed in his attempt to persuade IR to return to that dangerous home" Keeler adds.

Keeler states that the LDS Defendants have continued to press their lack of jurisdiction claim alleging that there aren't enough contacts between the LDS Church and the Navajo Nation.
What this case shows is "an affirmative act by the LDS Defendants to enter the reservation to try and get IR back into this program," adds Keeler.


NOTE: Telephone interviews of IR or any of her attorneys can be arranged by calling/emailing Billy Keeler at (505) 979- 0688, billkeeler@keelerandkeeler.com
and/or Craig Vernon at (208) 691-2768, cvernon@jvwlaw.net

Broward church volunteer admits he tried to recruit 14-year-old parishioner for sex

Sun Sentinel

Paula McMahon

A 71-year-old Broward County church volunteer who promised a 14-year-old parishioner his BMW and inheritance if she would have sex with him pleaded guilty Monday to a federal sex charge.

Timothy Taffe, of Fort Lauderdale, admitted he aggressively pursued the minor after meeting her at game night at St. Benedict's Episcopal Church in Plantation in July. He pleaded guilty to attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity.

Prosecutors said they will recommend that Taffe, who has been jailed since he was arrested in October after showing up for what he thought was a sex date with the girl, should serve 10 years in federal prison. Taffe also will have to register as a sex offender.

Taffe, who used a wheelchair in court Monday, admitted he sent the girl emails asking her "to be his secret friend, soliciting her to meet him in private, and offering her alcohol." He also took photographs of her at church events, he admitted.

NH Senate bills would end statute of limitations for sex assaults

Seacoast Online

CONCORD - State Sens. Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth, and Lou D'Allesandro, D-Manchester, on Tuesday introduced Senate Bills 98 and 164 before the Judiciary Committee. Both bills increase protections for sexual assault survivors by eliminating the statute of limitations in sexual assault cases.

"We need to do more in New Hampshire to ensure that survivors are given the resources they need to seek justice," said Fuller Clark, prime sponsor of SB 98. "We don't know when an individual who has been traumatized will feel comfortable coming forward. The timing of these charges should not be arbitrary. The damage inflicted by rape never truly goes away. My hope is that this legislation will give survivors the chance to seek damages regardless of how many years have passed."

Current law imposes a six-year limitation on felony cases involving adult victims. In child sex abuse cases, prosecutors are given 22 years from the child's 18th birthday to bring charges forward in criminal cases, and until the victim's 30th birthday in civil cases. According to the New Hampshire Violence Against Women Survey, 41 percent of sexual assault crimes against women occur before they are 18 years old and 68 percent of sexual assault crimes against men occur before they are 18.

Florida pastor flees naked after being caught with man's wife


Jan 31st 2017

O. Jermaine Simmons, a well-known pastor based in Tallahassee, Florida, was forced to flee a house naked after a husband came home early to find him in bed with his wife.

According to details outlined in a police report, the two were having sex in the married couple's bedroom in the middle of the afternoon on Jan. 17 when the woman's husband arrived home early from work.

Officers were called to the scene after the woman called to report her husband was irate and armed with a handgun upon spotting the pastor.

Since news has circulated, the incident has sparked intense backlash on social media and in the community.

Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes cleared of sex-assault charges

The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017

A Nova Scotia judge has cleared Canada’s most prominent gay pastor of sex-assault charges that hark back to a time when homosexuality was punishable by jail time and whippings.

Brent Hawkes, who officiated the world’s first legal gay marriage and is considered an icon of Toronto’s social-justice community, was facing charges of indecent assault and gross indecency for allegedly forcing oral sex on a teenager four decades ago. Both charges have since been wiped from the Criminal Code.

During the trial a man told a Kentville, N.S., courtroom that in the mid-1970s, Rev. Hawkes forced oral sex on him during a drunken party. The man was 16 years old at the time and Rev. Hawkes was a teacher in the Annapolis Valley.

Provincial court Judge Alan Tufts handed down the not guilty verdict on Tuesday afternoon, saying he found significant inconsistencies in the testimonies of the witnesses.

Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes found not guilty of sex crimes in Nova Scotia

CBC News

A Nova Scotia judge has found prominent Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes not guilty of sex crimes dating back to the 1970s.

Hawkes, a high-profile LGBT and human rights activist who officiated at former NDP leader Jack Layton's state funeral in 2011, pleaded not guilty to charges of gross indecency and indecent assault.

As Judge Alan Tufts acquitted 66-year-old Hawkes Tuesday in Kentville provincial court, there were gasps in the packed courtroom and brief applause.

Tufts said the complainant in the case gave "vivid testimony" during the trial, but it was contradicted by other evidence. He said the testimony was not reliable enough to support a conviction.

The judge also said he didn't believe all of Hawkes's testimony, but the onus was on the Crown to prove its case.

Vatican controls archdiocese, lawyer says

Guam Daily Post

Gaynor D. Daleno, Neil Pang | Post News Staff

Taking on the Vatican won’t be easy, but attorney David J. Lujan intends to do exactly that, as he plans to move more cases – alleging pedophile priests victimized altar boys – from the local court to the federal court in Guam.

“We believe that with the naming of the Vatican, that also shows that, really, the archdiocese of Guam is ... controlled by the Vatican, which is a foreign state,” Lujan said Tuesday.

Lujan’s law firm last week filed six sex-abuse cases on behalf of former Guam Catholic altar boys in the District Court of Guam. The six cases named retired priest Louis Brouillard as the alleged predator.

As soon as today, Lujan’s law firm is expected to file more cases in federal court, and this time, these cases will be about Archbishop Anthony Apuron’s alleged abuses of altar boys, from when Apuron was still a priest.

The first six cases filed against the Archdiocese of Agana in the federal court argue that the archdiocese is under the control of the Holy See, which is the central government for Catholic churches, and thus constitutes a citizen of a foreign country for purposes of diversity jurisdiction.

Accusers locate Apuron

Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For the Post

Thousands of miles from Guam, in a quiet neighborhood in Fairfield, California, sits a quaint, two-story home. On the morning of Jan. 11, the doorbell rings and a man opens the door. He’s asked if he has seen a missing dog. A photo is taken with a cell phone and compared with those found on the internet. The photo resembles the former leader of the island’s Catholic Church, Anthony Sablan Apuron, 71, only thinner and with a goatee.

According to Post files, Apuron’s exact location was unknown and one of his last public statements last year indicated he remained “on retreat” while working with Vatican authorities to establish his innocence.

A video Apuron posted in June last year showed a view of the Vatican in the background leading some to believe he was still in Rome.

But attorney David J. Lujan, whose firm represents a number of victims of sexual abuse by clergy members who once served in parishes on Guam, maintains he knew Apuron wasn’t in Rome. Acting on suspicions that Apuron was in San Francisco, the lawyer hired investigators on three occasions and finally made contact with Apuron on the morning of Jan. 11.

Besides undergoing a canonical trial in Rome, Apuron is also facing lawsuits filed in the Superior Court and District Court of Guam for allegedly raping and sexually abusing altar boys in the 1970s.

Leading private schools probed as part of child abuse inquiry

Belfast Telegraph

More than 60 residential institutions including several top private schools are being investigated by Scotland's national child abuse inquiry.

They are among more than 100 locations where the abuse of children is said to have taken place, chairwoman Lady Smith said.

Six boarding schools or former boarding schools, including Fettes College in Edinburgh and Gordonstoun near Elgin, where the Prince of Wales was once a pupil, are being probed.

Several faith-based organisations, other "major" care providers and local authority institutions are also being looked at by inquiry staff.

Lady Smith, a senior judge who was appointed to the role in July, named a list of places being investigated as she provided an update on the inquiry's progress at a preliminary hearing.

Abuse inquiry to investigate Church of Scotland sites


Tue 31 Jan 2017
By Alex Williams

Three schools and children homes run by the Church of Scotland are among more than 100 locations to be investigated under a national abuse inquiry, its chairwoman has announced.

Ballikinrain School in Stirling, Geilsland Residential School in Ayrshire and the Lord and Lady Polwarth Home for Children in Edinburgh are all Church of Scotland sites being probed by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Delivering an update at a preliminary hearing in Edinburgh on Wednesday, Lady Smith said the investigation is "determined to get to the bottom of any systemic failures that occurred".

The probe will also examine historical allegations concerning religious orders including the Benedictines, Sisters of Nazareth and the Christian Brothers, as well as their relationships with the Catholic Church in Scotland.

Fettes, Gordonstoun, Loretto and Merchiston Castle named among schools being probed in national child abuse inquiry

Daily Record

The inquiry is also investigating faith-based organisations run by religious orders including the Benedictines, Sisters of Nazareth and the Christian Brothers.

31 JAN 2017

More than 60 residential care establishments for youngsters are being investigated by the team working on Scotland's national child abuse inquiry.

Lady Smith, the inquiry chairwoman, has revealed they are among more than 100 locations where the abuse of children is alleged to have taken place.

Boarding schools, institutions run by religious orders and local authorities are among the establishments being probed.

Famous Scottish boarding schools named in child abuse inquiry


Auslan Cramb, scottish correspondent
31 JANUARY 2017

Some of Scotland’s most prestigious private schools, including the alma maters of the Prince of Wales and Tony Blair, are to be investigated as part of a national child abuse inquiry.

Gordonstoun near Elgin, attended by Prince Charles, and Fettes College in Edinburgh, where Mr Blair was a pupil, are among 100 locations where historical abuse is alleged to have taken place.

The figure includes more than 60 residential care establishments, including institutions run by religious orders and local authorities.

Other prominent boarding schools being looked into include Loretto in Mussleburgh, Scotland’s oldest boarding School, Edinburgh’s Merchiston Castle School, the former Keil School in Dumbarton, and Morrison's Academy in Crieff, when it was a boarding school.

Lady Smith, the new chairman of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, named the schools at the start of the inquiry at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Assignment Record– Rev. Daniel R. Pater


Summary of Case: Daniel Pater was ordained for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1979. He was an assistant priest at St. Charles Borromeo in Kettering OH until 1982, when he went to Rome to study. He joined the Vatican diplomatic corps, serving in Burundi and Zaire in Africa, Australia, Vatican City, and in New Delhi, India.

In 1992 a woman reported to the Cincinnati archdiocese that Pater had sexually abused her, beginning when she was 14-years-old in the early 1980s and continuing until late 1990 or early 1991, during his trips back to OH. Pater had stepped in to counsel the girl after the accidental death of her brother. The girl was a St. Charles Borromeo parishioner and a student at Alter High School, which was adjacent to St. Charles. Pater admitted to the abuse. The girl sued in 1993 and received a settlement in 1995. Pater was sent to treatment at St. Luke's Institute in MD, then returned to ministry.

In 2004 Pater's victim again sued, along with another woman, claiming the Church did not protect children overseas from Pater. The other woman claimed, too, that Pater sexually abused her as a teenager at St. Charles in the early 1980s. The suit was withdrawn in 2006 due to a ruling by the OH Supreme Court that victims must file before age 20.

Pater resigned from his post in India in 2003, and stated he was "very sorry for what happened." He was thereafter on Administrative Leave. In February 2014 the Vatican announced that Pater was permanently removed from ministry and commended to a "life of prayer and penance."

Ordained: 1979

Former Jesuit brother charged with four counts of indecent assault

The Australian

February 1, 2017
Crime reporterSydney

A former Catholic brother who worked at Sydney’s St Ignatius College, Riverview, which counts former prime minister Tony Abbott among its alumni, has been charged with indecently assaulting children during his time at the prestigious private school.

Victor Higgs did not enter a plea during a brief court mention yesterday after being extradited from South Australia. The 79-year-old former Jesuit brother has been charged with four counts of indecent assault, allegedly involving three victims, between 1978 and 1980.

Mr Higgs worked at the exclusive school, which also counts Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher and several Olympians among its alumni, for a decade from 1971, after transferring from St Ignatius College, Adelaide.

Riverview principal Paul Hine contacted about 6500 former pupils in 2015 asking them to come forward if they knew of any child sex abuse allegations at the school. The Jesuits referred a similar allegation, an incident said to have taken place at Riverview, to police a year before. Mr Higgs left the order in 2001.

Parents in uproar over priest accused of sexual assault

Herald Sun

Monique Hore, Herald Sun
January 31, 2017

A PRIEST who was accused of molesting a seminarian, 18, in the 1980s is boarding at a parish house next to a Brighton East primary school, prompting anger among parents.

St Finbar’s parish priest Father Ian Ranson moved to reassure parents in a letter sent by St Finbar’s Primary School last Wednesday.

A meeting has also been schedule for tomorrow to “address concerns” among parents.

“Fr John’s stay is dependent on his next appointment by the Archdiocese, and, as such, he won’t have any active role in the daily life of the parish and the school,” Fr Ranson said.

It prompted calls for a boycott by pupils of the first day at school on Tuesday.

Fr Walshe was accused of the early 1980s sexual assault of an 18-year-old seminarian, who reportedly later received a $75,000 payout. The priest, who denies abuse, resigned from the nearby Mentone-Parkdale Parish in December.

Attorneys done reviewing most evidence in Irene Garza murder case

The Monitor


EDINBURG — Attorneys declared they are closer to a trial during a brief hearing in the case of a former priest accused of killing a local teacher.

John Bernard Feit, the 83-year-old former priest and lone suspect in the death of Irene Garza, listened on Monday morning as his attorney O. Rene Flores, and the prosecutors for the state, Assistant District Attorneys Michael Garza and Krystine Ramon, gave the court an update on the case that was re-initiated last year, 60 years after the killing took place.

Garza said they have gone through most, if not all, of the evidence — more than 20,000 documents.

Flores said he too was ready — aside from another 1,000 or so documents which were recently turned over to him.

Both attorneys are still awaiting the results of lab analysis of some of the evidence.

Former Queensland school principal jailed for abusing children

Brisbane Times

A former north Queensland principal and Christian Brother has been jailed for three years for abusing boys at a Catholic school in the 1970s.

Terence Patrick Aquinas Kingston, 79, was sentenced in Brisbane District Court on Tuesday for nine counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16.

The court heard Kingston abused seven boys in grade eight and nine while he was principal at St Teresa's College in Abergowrie, near Ingham, more than 40 years ago.

Chief Judge Kerry O'Brien acknowledged the former headmaster's advanced age, current ill-health and the time since the offending as mitigating factors.

But he said the nature of the abuse was such that he must serve at least nine months in jail.

Christian Brother ex-headmaster jailed for abuse of seven boys at north Queensland school

ABC News

By Nick Wiggins

A former Christian Brother and high school headmaster has been jailed for molesting seven boys at his north Queensland school more than 40 years ago.

Terence Patrick Aquinas Kingston, 79, molested the seven boys at St Teresa's College in Abergowrie, near Ingham, in 1976.

He pleaded guilty to nine counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 last year and has been sentenced in the District Court in Brisbane to three years' jail, suspended after nine months.

The court was told that over a period of months Kingston touched a number of boys on their groin.

Some of the students had first been told to strip.

He put oil on two of the boys and rubbed their genitals.

Pa. Senate reopens child sex abuse debate; deadlines to bring cases against abusers extended in new bill


By Charles Thompson | cthompson@pennlive.com

The state Senate reopened debate Monday on the thorny issue of ensuring wider paths to justice for victims of child sexual abuse.

Judiciary Committee members voted without opposition to move a bill to the Senate floor that would give future abuse victims longer windows to bring lawsuits or criminal prosecution against their tormentors.

But it does not include any changes for those adults for whom statute of limitations have already run, a demand insisted on by many advocates for abuse victims that was included in House-passed versions of the bill last year.

Action on any reforms stalled on that issue in 2016.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson County and prime sponsor of Senate Bill 261, said he wanted to move quickly to bring the issue back up now because he believes there are good changes in his bill that should be enacted, separate of the retroactivity issue.

Sex abuse reform reintroduced

Altoona Mirror

HARRISBURG — One of the most controversial legislative reforms of the 2015-16 session was reintroduced Monday, and with it, a standoff over its contents will likely be rekindled.

The measure, Senate Bill 261, would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases and remove the civil statute on certain cases against individual defendants, essentially giving most future survivors a lifetime to sue their abuser or seek prosecution.

“This bill musters constitutionality. This bill does a lot of good for victims going forward, and it also helps level that playing field between public and nonpublic institutions in the sex abuse arena” said Sen. Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, of the bill, which unanimously passed the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday afternoon.

Under the new legislation, victims would also be granted more time to sue individuals who conspired with their abuser to commit the sexual abuse or an individual who had knowledge of the abuse but didn’t report it, according to the bill.

Time limit on child abuse cases in South Australia ‘shameful’

The Australian

January 31, 2017

SA Bureau ChiefAdelaide


Pressure is mounting on the South Australian government to fall into line with the rest of the country and abolish time limits for compensation claims by survivors of child sexual abuse, which currently prevent most victims from bringing civil actions against perpetrators and institutions.

As legal experts and victim advocate groups say the Weatherill government should “hang its head in shame for dragging the chain”, the opposition is calling on Labor MPs to support legislation before parliament to remove any limitation period on institutional child sexual abuse claims, to align South Australia with other jurisdictions.

Actions for personal injury in most states must generally be commenced within three years of it happening, and this time limit had applied to victims of childhood sexual abuse in every state, despite experts saying it takes survivors an average of 20 years to speak up.

But following a national royal commission, which recommended all states remove the limitation period on claims for child sex abuse, Victoria, NSW and Queensland removed the time limits.

Preliminary Hearing, 31 January 2017

Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

Opening statement by Lady Smith, Edinburgh, 31 January 2017
Statement by Glenn Houston, Edinburgh, 31 January 2017
Press Notice 6

The Inquiry held a preliminary hearing on Tuesday 31 January 2017 at Parliament House in Edinburgh.

During the hearing Lady Smith gave a comprehensive update on the work of the Inquiry and the significant progress it has made to date

Lady Smith gave details of the investigations currently underway, confirming that over 50 residential care establishments for children are being investigated by Inquiry staff ahead of future public hearings. These are among more than 100 locations that have been identified where abuse of children has been said to have taken place.

The current investigations include institutions run by faith based organisations, other major care providers, boarding schools and local authorities. A full list is at the foot of this page.

Details were announced of the focus of public hearings to be held later this year. The public hearings will proceed in phases, with the first commencing on 31 May 2017. Phase one will cover:

* Interim reports of commissioned research
* The State’s role in, and responsibility for, children in residential and foster care in Scotland
* The history and governance of organisations providing residential and foster care
* The background to, and reasons for, the establishment of survivor groups

Panel member Glenn Houston described the Inquiry’s forthcoming publicity campaign to encourage people to get in touch with the Inquiry. He detailed the steps that would be taken to increase work with relevant organisations, the production of a range of publicity material and public information campaigns across Scotland. ...
Core Participants

The legal representatives of those organisations and individuals who have so far been recognised as core participants introduced themselves:

FBGA (Former Boys and Girls Abused of Quarriers Homes) - Stuart Gale QC
INCAS (In Care Abuse Survivors) - Simon Collins
Quarriers - Duncan Batchelor
The Chief Constable of Police Scotland - Duncan Hamilton
The Scottish Ministers - Christine O'Neill
Current investigations

Institutions run by religious orders

Sisters of Nazareth
Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul
Christian Brothers
Sisters of our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
De la Salle Brothers
Marist Brothers
Church of Scotland (Crossreach)

Other providers

Aberlour Child Care Trust
Widower’s Children’s Home

Boarding schools

Fettes College
The former Keil School
Loretto School
Merchiston Castle School
Morrison’s Academy (when it was a boarding school)

Local authority establishments

Clerwood Children’s Home, Edinburgh
Colonsay House, Perth
Nimmo Place Children’s Homes, Perth
St Margaret’s Children’s Home, Fife
Linwood Hall Children’s Home, Fife
Kerelaw Secure Unit, Glasgow
St Katherine’s Secure Unit, Edinburgh
Larchgrove Remand Home, Glasgow

Scotland-wide child abuse inquiry to hold first hearing


Scotland's national child abuse inquiry is due to stage its first public hearing.

Chairwoman Lady Smith will provide an update on the inquiry's current investigations during a preliminary hearing in Edinburgh.

She will also set out how individuals and interested parties can participate in the process, and outline the different ways the inquiry is gathering evidence.

The session, at Parliament House in the Old Town, will deal only with procedural matters so no witnesses will be called.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry is looking at historical allegations of the abuse of children in care and is currently taking evidence from people who were abused.

Scottish child abuse inquiry 'will be fully independent'

BBC News

The chairwoman of the inquiry into Scottish child abuse in care has insisted the investigation will be fully independent.

Lady Smith's comments came at the start of the inquiry at the Court of Session building in Edinburgh.

Its original chairwoman, Susan O'Brien, resigned from the post in July 2016, complaining of government interference.

The probe is expected to last four years, and will look in detail at historical abuse of children in care.

Education Secretary John Swinney has rejected calls for the remit of the inquiry to be broadened.

Lawyer who quit abuse inquiry to sue government

The Times

Daniel Sanderson
January 31 2017
The Times

The former head of Scotland’s national child abuse inquiry is suing SNP ministers for £500,000 amid claims they forced her out of the role.

Susan O’Brien, a respected QC, stood down last summer as head of the Scottish government’s inquiry, claiming she was being undermined and blaming political interference.

Court documents reveal that Ms O’Brien is claiming damages for breach of contract, arguing that moves to sack her after she made allegedly inappropriate comments at a training session had made her position untenable.

The case centres around a complaint made about Ms O’Brien by a clinical psychologist, Claire Fyvie, who is director of the Edinburgh-based Rivers Centre, an NHS facility set up to help people affected by psychological trauma. The centre had been providing support services to the inquiry temporarily.

Ein Kätzchen, kein Tiger

der Freitag

Missbrauch Eine nationale Kommission hört am Dienstag erstmals Betroffene an. Aber was kann sie bewirken? Ein Opfer sexueller Gewalt ist skeptisch

Große unabhängige Aufklärungen sexualisierter Gewalt haben in den USA, in Irland und Großbritannien stattgefunden. Man wollte herausfinden, wie weit Gesellschaft und Politik verstrickt sind – etwa in die ungeheuerlichen Taten des BBC-Moderators Jimmy Savile. Rundfunk, Polizei und Kinderheime wurden dafür unter die Lupe genommen. Nach diesem Vorbild beschloss der Bundestag die Einrichtung einer Aufarbeitungs-Kommission in Deutschland, am Dienstag werden zum ersten Mal Opfer angehört werden.

Die „Domspatzen“ als kulturelles Aufbauwerk des „Führers“?

Regensburg Digital

[On behalf of the association "Friends of the Domspatzen" the historian Roman Smolorz is to illuminate the role of the choir in the Nazi era. Now he has published a first essay, which has little hope of an unbiased review.]

Von Robert Werner in Nachrichten, Überregional

Im Auftrag des Vereins „Freunde der Domspatzen“ soll der Historiker Roman Smolorz die Rolle des Domchores in der NS-Zeit beleuchten. Jetzt hat er einen erster Aufsatz dazu veröffentlicht, der wenig Hoffnung auf eine unvoreingenommene Aufarbeitung macht.

Roman Smolorz macht es nur polnischen Interessierten leicht, seine Arbeit lesen zu können. Sein Aufsatz mit dem Thema „Der Regensburger Domchor im oberschlesischen Grenzgebiet und in Polen 1936 und 1940 – Zum deutschen und polnischen Katholizismus in der NS-Zeit“ ist nämlich in einer kleinen polnischen Zeitschrift namens Zaranie Śląskie erschienen.

Obwohl die vom Autor 2016 vorgelegten Ergebnisse keine grundsätzliche Revision darstellen, sind sie dennoch bemerkenswert. Nicht zuletzt wegen der Hintergründe des Aufsatzes, der nur einen Teil einer größeren noch unveröffentlichten Auftragsarbeit ausmacht. Der Auftraggeber von Smolorz, die Freunde des Regensburger Domchores e.V., prüft derweil eine Veröffentlichung.

Sex abuse: Prestigious NSW boys’ schools hit with 1500 lawsuits

Daily Telegraph

JANET FIFE-YEOMANS, The Daily Telegraph
January 31, 2017

SOME of the most prestigious boys’ schools in NSW face multimillion-dollar lawsuits alleging systemic sexual abuse on an “outrageous” scale.

Lawyer Jason Parkinson has more than 1500 cases against such schools as Trinity Grammar, Knox Grammar, St Patrick’s at Goulburn, Newington College and De La Salle colleges at Revesby Heights and Marrickville.

Mr Parkinson said the scale of litigation was similar to the flood of cases following the revelation of the dangers of asbestos in the 1970s and ’80s.

“There has not been a common thread of criminality or negligence that has affected more Australians than child abuse and it is more egregious than asbestos because these institutions’ reason for being was caring for children,” Mr Parkinson said yesterday.


The Tablet

30 January 2017 | by Tom Heneghan

Catholic bishops produce figures as part of new guide designed to combat child sexual abuse in the church

Nine clerics in prison and 26 under investigation on abuse charges, according to Church in France

The French bishops conference has said that nine priests and deacons are currently in prison for sexually abusing minors and 26 more clergy are being investigated by judicial authorities in such cases. A further 37 have served their sentences and been released.

The results of a recent survey of French dioceses with their 15,000 priests were released as the bishops presented an updated edition of “Combatting Paedophilia,” their 72-page guidebook for dealing with sexual abuse.

The survey and the guidebook reflected the bishops’ efforts in recent years to reorient their approach in the abuse issue to better reflect the suffering of victims. The failure to do so in the past led to the current abuse scandal in Lyon, where Cardinal Philippe Barbarin has had to admit he was slow to react in the case of a priest now awaiting both civil and canonical trials for his repeated abuse in the 1980s.

The survey noted the current 26 civil investigations were half the total reported in 2010. Since that time, 137 claims of clerical sexual abuse of minors have been made to judicial officials.

State Senate reintroduces child sex abuse bill that lifts some time limits for lawsuits

The Morning Call

Steve Esack
Call Harrisburg Bureau

In a surprise move Monday, a Senate panel resurrected and then unanimously approved a controversial bill to lift time limits for some child sex abuse victims to sue their alleged abusers and employers who protected them.

But the bill, which is identical to Senate legislation that failed last session, would not permit victims, if they are 31 or older, to retroactively sue their perpetrators as the House had sought following scathing grand jury report into child sex abuse at a Catholic diocese in western Pennsylvania.

After the Senate Judiciary Committee's 13-0 vote, Senate President Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, said he reintroduced the bill in an effort to start negotiations early.

"This is a bill I thought, because of my involvement last year, I will take the lead and we'll work it through the process and the process has just begun here," he said. "My hope is we get the bill out of the Senate this week but that is yet to be seen."

Sex abuse inquiry to hold final hearing into Australian Catholic Church

The Courier

Melissa Cunningham

31 Jan 2017

The Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse will examine the current policies and procedures of Catholic Church authorities in Australia in its final public hearing into the church.

The public hearing will be held on Monday inside the royal commission’s hearing rooms at the Governor Macquarie Tower in Sydney.

The hearing will probe existing child protection and child-safe standards within the Catholic Church, including responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Church lawyers to challenge law lifting statute of limitations on child sex abuse suits

Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com Jan. 31, 2017

U.S. District Court of Guam Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan granted on Monday separate requests of three California-based lawyers from two law firms to represent the Archdiocese of Agana in clergy abuse cases, along with local counsel John C. Terlaje.

They are Attorney Paul E. Gaspari, shareholder at the San Francisco-based law firm of Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin; Attorney Mary McNamara, a partner at the San Francisco-based law firm of Swanson & McNamara; and Attorney Britt Evangelist, an associate also at Swanson & McNamara.

The three U.S.-based lawyers have the expertise and experience that the archdiocese legal team needs, Terlaje said.

Gaspari, for example, represented Catholic archdioceses in California in clergy abuse cases, one of which resulted in the affirmation of a dismissal claim against the archdiocese.

New statute of limitations bill for child sex abuse victims introduced in Pa. Senate


JANUARY 31, 2017

by Maria Panaritis and Angela Couloumbis, STAFF WRITERS

Leaders of the Pennsylvania Senate on Monday introduced a bill to extend the amount of time that future victims of child sexual abuse would have to sue or prosecute their attackers, reviving a controversial measure that led to a legislative standoff before it collapsed late last year.

The bill, introduced by Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, seeks to eliminate the criminal statute of limitations for prospective cases of child sexual abuse and would allow future victims to sue their attackers at any age. Currently, victims may sue only for 12 years after their 18th birthday.

Scarnati's bill excluded the one provision that victim advocates and prosecutors have sought for more than a decade and that recently led to a pitched legislative battle in Harrisburg: a change that would allow victims of past abuse to sue for what happened to them many years ago. That was the centerpiece of a bill passed by the House last year and that vanished in the Senate at Scarnati's urging amid lobbying by the Catholic Church and the insurance industry.

Scarnati last year backed a version that would not allow retroactive application of the civil statute of limitations for victims up to the age of 50. Scarnati said the bill he put forth Monday replicated the one that died after the House declined to act on it. He said he does not support allowing people to sue for decades-old abuse because of concerns it would violate the state constitution.




Northern Ireland shows us the right way to address past crimes.

n 20 January this year, Northern Ireland’s Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) published its report into institutional abuse at a number of children’s care homes and juvenile justice centres, some run by religious orders, and failings by state departments responsible for home affairs and social services. This was a statutory inquiry chaired by a retired judge, Sir Anthony Hart. The inquiry was set up in 2012 by the Northern Irish Assembly, and commenced work in 2013. Its estimated cost is £13.2million. Of 526 who applied for their complaints of abuse to be considered, the inquiry accepted 493 as within its remit. The complainants were aged 55 and over; 10 per cent were aged over 75.

In marked contrast to England and Wales’ dysfunctional and unproductive Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), the HIA’s performance has been efficient and focused. It examined 15 homes or other training schools or borstals, in a series of modules. It decided which homes to investigate based on the number of complaints it received, their nature, and the type of institution. It heard evidence both from former residents and from representatives of the orders, the church, civil servants and others. Its report is exemplary: careful, rigorous and balanced.

There is no doubt that children’s care homes in Northern Ireland, which used to be run by religious orders, had been woefully understaffed and under-resourced. In 1953, an inspector wrote to the Northern Ireland Ministry of Home Affairs about four homes run by the Sisters of Nazareth in Derry and Belfast: ‘I find these homes desperately depressing….’ By 1954, things had got worse:

‘The babies’ hands were blue with cold and felt icy to touch…. The schoolchildren are now the worst off and Rev Mother agrees that they are not getting any sort of chance in life and cannot make proper development, especially those who have known nothing but this institutional care from babyhood…. What is needed here is really fundamental reorganisation so that these little creatures can have some individual loving care instead of being dragooned. Rev Mother recognises this and even went so far as to say that children playing in the gutters of the slums were better off, if they had a father and mother to care for them, however poorly.’

January 30, 2017

SNAP's new year starts with departure, lawsuit

National Catholic Reporter

Brian Roewe | Jan. 30, 2017

It is a moment of tumult and transition for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.

In mid-January, the advocacy and support group for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy learned of a lawsuit filed by a former employee alleging the group had abandoned its core mission of supporting survivors and had engaged in a "kickback" scheme with attorneys who sued the Catholic church on behalf of survivors.

But the new year initially began for SNAP without one of its most outspoken and ardent voices, David Clohessy, who left the organization after more than two decades, as first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In a statement to SNAP supporters dated Jan. 24, board chairwoman Mary Ellen Kruger said Clohessy "has voluntarily resigned from SNAP effective December 31, 2016."

In a phone interview, Clohessy told NCR he informed the board of his decision in October — months before the lawsuit was filed Jan. 17 — citing some minor health issues and a desire for a change.

"What led to the decision? Fatigue. Wanting to do something different and perhaps less stressful," he said.

"I'll certainly always be a member of SNAP," Clohessy said.

INQUIRY CASH BID Former boss of child abuse probe sues Scottish Government for £500,000 over claims she was forced to quit

The Scottish Sun

BY DOUGLAS WALKER 30th January 2017

THE former boss of a child abuse investigation is suing the Scottish Government for £500,000 over claims they forced her to quit.

Former chair Susan O’Brien QC stood down saying ministerial interference meant the probe wasn’t able to work independently.

Ms O’Brien’s legal team claim her resignation came as Holyrood forces were attempting to have her SACKED, we can reveal.

The highly respected lawyer says they had earlier threatened to remove her which they called “the nuclear option”.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry into historical abuse has been dogged by controversy and saw Ms O’Brien quit last July.

Assignment Record– Rev. Michael A. Paraniuk


Summary of Case: Michael A. Parniuk was ordained for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1981. After several years as an assistant at Our Lady of Visitation, Paraniuk was assigned to St. Bernard's in Winton Place, where he served until 2005. He was also was a long-time hospital chaplain at Cincinnati Children's, among other hospitals. In 1995 a man came forward to allege that Paraniuk sexually abused him in 1983, when the man was a young teen. Paraniuk denied the allegation; the archdiocese investigated and said the claim could not be substantiated. The man came forward with the allegation again in 2004, after the archdiocese was indicted for not reporting clergy sex abuse. The man subsequently received money from the archdiocese's victims' compensation fund and, as a result, Paraniuk was suspended from active ministry in March 2005. The archdiocese again investigated the man's claim, again deemed it unsubstantiated, and Paraniuk was returned to ministry. He was named pastor of St. Mary's in Hillsboro and in 2009 became pastor also of St. Benignus in Greenfield. In 2016 he remained at both parishes.

Ordained: 1981


Catholic League

Bill Donohue

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has been sued before, and while it has been hurt by those filings, the latest one suggests the end is near. It can’t come too soon.

The Catholic League has been tracking SNAP for years. From news releases to radio and TV interviews, we have kept the media abreast of just how corrupt the outfit is. We’ve sent people undercover to attend its public conferences; we’ve taken out ads in major newspapers; we’ve issued several lengthy reports; we’ve fielded complaints from its clients; and we’ve consulted with bishops and others. SNAP is a fraud.

The lawsuit by a former employee, Gretchen Rachel Hammond, registers several serious accusations against SNAP, all of which are supported by the Catholic League’s own investigations of the group. The two together—an eyewitness account and our research—wholly discredit its reputation and completely disarm its supporters, namely, those in the mainstream media.

Donne, orge, filmini hard: ecco cosa facevano i preti “a luci rosse” di Padova

Il Secolo XIX

The story is so crazy and yet is so compact that seems It seems to be invented by a novelist: two parish priests are involved in a round of orgies and parties, with judicial inquiry contour ( private violence and abetting prostitution), suspected embezzlement and a bishop who must precipitously return from a visit to the missions in South America.]

Alberto Mattioli
(ha collaborato Roberta Polese)

Roma - La storia è talmente pazzesca eppure così compattamente tipica che sembra inventata da un romanziere: due parroci coinvolti in un giro di orge e festini, con contorno di inchiesta giudiziaria (violenza privata e favoreggiamento della prostituzione), sospette malversazioni e vescovo che deve precipitosamente rientrare da una visita alle missioni in Sudamerica. Il tutto nella provincia benpensante e malfacente, nel bianco Veneto e nella cattolicissima Padova, a due passi dalla basilica del Santo. Roba da “Signore e signori”, anzi signore e monsignori.


Tutto inizia quando una piacente 49enne si presenta ai carabinieri per denunciare Andrea Contin, stessa età, parroco di San Lazzaro. Gergo militare a parte, la querela sembra scritta dal marchese de Sade. La donna rivela di avere una lunga relazione con il presule, e fin qui sono fatti loro e in ogni caso non reati, ma anche che il reverendo la picchiava (dunque, violenza) e la faceva prostituire (ed ecco il favoreggiamento). I militari indagano. E si apre il vaso di pandora. Don Contin nega le botte e la prostituzione, ma confessa la relazione con la signora e altre cinque donne.

Knights of Malta appoint interim leader, reinstate Grand Chancellor

National Catholic Register

January 30, 2017

VATICAN CITY – After Pope Francis asked Knights of Malta Grand Master Matthew Festing to resign earlier this week, the Order has accepted the resignation, named an interim leader and reinstated their former Grand Chancellor, Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager.

According to a Jan. 28 press release from the Order of Malta, their Sovereign Council - in an extraordinary meeting held Saturday to vote on Festing’s request to step down from office - “accepted his resignation” and informed Pope Francis of the decision.

They also announced the appointment of Grand Commander Fra' Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein as the new “Lieutenant ad interim” until a new Grand Master is elected.

Along with Festing’s resignation, the decision to annul the decrees establishing “the disciplinary procedures” recently taken against former Grand Chancellor Albrecht Boeselager as well as “the suspension of his membership in the Order” was announced.

Gordon Brown says ministers should pay out to UK child migrants as young as five who were sexually abused before being sent to Australia

Daily Mail

By Rachael Burford For Mailonline

Gordon Brown has accused the UK authorities of ­'criminal negligence' for ignoring the alleged abuse of British children sent to abroad

Thousands of British children, some as young as five, who were sent abroad to start a new life may have been sexually abused - and then moved as part of a cover up.

Former Prime Minster Gordon Brown has accused the UK authorities of ­'criminal negligence' for ignoring the alleged abuse of children who were relocated under the Child Migrants Programme from the 1920s to the 60s.

Writing in the Mirror, he claimed new evidence suggests many children fell victim to sexual predators before they left the U.K and that the Home Office was warned they were at further risk abroad.

Under the Child Migrants Programme, poverty-stricken youngsters were compulsorily deported to Australia, Canada and other parts of the Commonwealth until it was stopped in 1970.

‘Web spiders’ hunt down abuse images

The Times

Sean O'Neill, Chief Reporter
January 30 2017
The Times

The fight against the growth of online child abuse images is about to be transformed by a cyberweapon that scours the web for illegal material and demands its rapid removal.

Project Arachnid has released an army of “web spiders” that crawl across the internet tracking down abuse images, identifying the company hosting them and sending immediate take-down notices.

In a six-week trial by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, Arachnid processed 230 million pages, located 5.1 million with paedophile material and identified 40,000 unique abuse images. The Internet Watch Foundation, Britain’s trace and removal centre, says it assesses about 1,000 URLs, or web addresses, every week.

Lianna McDonald, chief executive of the Canadian centre, said early feedback from North America indicated that more than 90 per cent of images were being taken down within 48 hours of the removal notice being served. She described the number of child abuse images being located as a “reality check”.

The data harvested by the spiders, from both the open web and the so-called dark web, which is not accessible to standard web search engines, can be shared with law enforcement agencies around the world in seconds. Interpol is supporting the project and Canadian officials will visit Britain soon to share the technology with child protection bodies.

Complaint to gardaí over Bessborough file alterations

Irish Examiner

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

A participant in the Bessborough Mother and Baby Home vaccine trial has made a formal Garda complaint after it emerged files relating to the trial were altered in 2002.

In November, the Irish Examiner revealed the files of mothers and children used in the 1960/61 4-in-1 vaccine trial were altered in 2002 — just weeks after the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse sought discovery of records from the religious order running the home.

Mari Steed was born in Bessborough in 1960 and subsequently adopted in the US.

Her natural mother’s file is one of those listed as having been changed.

Earlier this month, Ms Steed made a formal complaint to the gardaí and Data Protection Commissioner concerning the matter.

In the Garda complaint, which has been seen by the Irish Examiner, she states she has also informed the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes of the complaint as it has requested her to provide documentation to it relating to her participation in the vaccine trial.

Minister for Justice needs to explain to the Dáil administration of Magdalene Scheme

The Cork

29 January 2017
By Tom O’Sullivan

Sinn Féin TD for Cork South Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has called on the Justice Minister to address the Dáil to explain the manner in which the Magdalene Redress scheme is being administered.

Deputy Ó Laoghaire made the call following the revelation that the Department of Justice is to be probed by the Ombudsman after evidence suggesting maladministration surfaced.

This follows the adjournment of proceedings by two women suing over their exclusion from the scheme on Thursday.

“When announced, the Magdalene Redress Scheme had a number of serious failings and while redress was not unwelcome, it is not the same as compensation; a great deal of other actions should have been taken for justice to truly be delivered,” he said.

Assignment Record– Rev. Francis A. (Frank) Massarella


Summary of Case: Ordained in 1941, Frank Massarella served in parishes of the Cincinnati archdiocese as a member of the Glenmary Home Missioners until 1945. From 1945-1951, with the exception of a year at Our Lady of the Holy Ghost Abbey in Conyers GA, Massarella was a Trappist monk at Gethsemani Abbey in KY, taking the name "Pius." Thereafter he was a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, working as a hospital chaplain, a high school faculty member, and assisting in a number of parishes. In 1956 Massarella was assigned as resident chaplain to Siena Retirement Home in Dayton, OH. He was on Sick Leave 1958-1959. For the next almost forty years, Massarella resided and ministered at Siena and assisted at St. John's parish in Tipp City. In 1993 the archdiocese reviewed his personnel file and found that there were complaints that he had inappropriately touched girls in 1952 and in 1953-1954. Massarella admitted to the allegations. He was allowed by Archbishop Pilarczyk to remain in "limited" ministry because, as Pilarzyk said, "it was clear that he no longer posed a threat to anybody." In 2003, after the U.S. Bishops' new policy of "zero tolerance" regarding the sexual abuse of minors, Massarella was removed from active ministry. In 2005 the Vatican ruled that he was to live a "life of prayer and penance."

Massarella died May 3, 2014 at Mercy Siena Woods Nursing Home.

Born: May 16, 1915
Ordained: June 7, 1941
Died: May 3, 2014

Victims of sex beast Bill Kenneally want to meet his priest uncle

Irish Mirror

30 JAN 2017

Victims of sex beast Bill Kenneally are willing to meet the paedo’s priest uncle, who quit his role at a local primary school after they called for his dismissal.

Monsignor John Shine, 91, was chairperson of the Holy Cross School in Tramore, Co Waterford, but victims of his abuser nephew said his position was “no longer tenable” after claims he knew about the abuse and did nothing.

He resigned from the school on Saturday, days after they wrote to Pope Francis saying he “played a key role in the shielding of Bill Kenneally after the Monsignor became aware of his nephew’s paedophile crimes as early back as 1987”.

Victim Colin Power told the Irish Daily Mirror: “I am willing to meet him, because I would welcome him disclosing the information he has. We need to know the truth. We need to know who knew what was being done to us and turned a blind eye.”

Rebel priest Fr Tony Flannery wants papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles Browne, removed

Irish Examiner

By Evelyn Ring
Irish Examiner Reporter

Rebel Redemptorist priest, Tony Flannery, has called for the papal nuncio to be removed from his post.

Fr Flannery, who is forbidden to minister as a priest, has described the papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles Browne, as the single most destructive factor in the Irish church.

He said the church’s biggest problem and the one thing he would like to change, was the way bishops were appointed. It was why the church did not have proper leadership.

“I would love to see the present papal nuncio being removed because I think he is doing great damage to the Irish church by the policies by which he is appointing bishops,” he said.

Pope’s takeover of Knights of Malta brings chance for needed reform


Austen Ivereigh January 29, 2017

[Editor’s note: Today, Crux contributing editor Austen Ivereigh comments on the drama surrounding Pope Francis and the Knights of Malta. Tomorrow, Dr. Kurt Martens of the School of Canon Law at the Catholic University of America will provide another perspective.]

ROME - When it came, the skirmish was brief. Despite their aggressive shows of defiance, the rebels’ surrender was unconditional.

Following a tense standoff between the leadership of the Knights of Malta and the Vatican, its Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, agreed to resign last week following a report by a papal commission that documents serious claims about dysfunction in his leadership.

The report highlights the need for serious reform of the order’s tiny leadership clique, drawn from around 50 “professed” Knights, who take vows, and are traditionally drawn from noble European families.

The pope named another of the senior knights, its Grand Commander, Fra’ Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein, as interim leader until his own legate was appointed.

Some speculated that the order’s ruling Sovereign Council might reject Francis’s intervention. But when it met on Saturday, the council bowed to the need for the change.

Trinity Grammar head master Milton Cujes to retire in 2017

Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

The long-serving head master of Trinity Grammar, Milton Cujes, has announced he will retire at the end of the year after a 41-year association with the Summer Hill private boys school.

Mr Cujes and the Trinity Grammar school council made the announcement ahead of this week's new school term.

The announcement follows Mr Cujes' appearance at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse last year in which he said the school should have done more to investigate claims students were sexually assaulting each other in 2000. The commission has yet to hand down findings from the public hearing.

Mr Cujes' retirement follows the sentencing of former Trinity Grammar teacher Neil Albert Futcher, who learned on Friday he would spend 11 years behind bars for sex crimes against six victims as young as 11.

Victims deserve compensation as well as justice, abuse inquiry told

The Times

Mike Wade
January 30 2017
The Times

Campaigners have urged ministers to extend the powers of an inquiry into the abuse of youngsters in care, enabling it to authorise compensation for victims.

The senior judge Lady Smith will tomorrow chair a preliminary hearing of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, but her officials have already made clear that it cannot recommend payments to victims.

Campaigners, however, have been encouraged by a report into historical child abuse in Northern Ireland published this month by Sir Anthony Hart, which concluded that victims should receive financial redress of up to £100,000.

Victims groups last night urged Lady Smith to follow suit. Alan Draper, spokesman for In Care Abuse Survivors, said: “What survivors want is justice, accountability and redress.

'The Church is in a state of utter collapse': Irish priests at odds with Vatican speak out

The Journal

TWO PRIESTS HAVE said the Vatican should change how it deals with clergy and lay people.

Fr Tony Flannery and Fr Sean McDonagh, co-founders of the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland, have both been at odds with the Vatican on more than one occasion.

Speaking to Miriam O’Callaghan on RTÉ Radio 1 today, they said the Catholic Church also needs to apologise for how it has treated women and give them more power in the Church.

Flannery (70) said his first public mass in over four years last week to mark 40 years in the priesthood. He was banned from saying mass publicly in 2012, after some people in the Vatican took issue with his stance on certain subjects.

ONLINE POLL RESULTS: Authorities not doing enough to tackle carnal abuse

Jamaica Observer

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Ninety-four per cent of the 746 respondents to a recent OBSERVER ONLINE poll said that the authorities are not doing enough to tackle carnal abuse in Jamaica.

Since the start of the year, the church has been tainted with the growing sex scandals involving members of the clergy and minors. To date at least four clergymen have been arrested for alleged sexual dealings with minors.

Three, who are a part of the Moravian church, were charged with sexual offences committed against minors while a Pentecostal pastor was last week convicted and is awaiting sentencing in February.

Off-island law firms representing the Archdiocese of Agana visited the island last week


Jan 30, 2017

The off-island law firms who represent the Archdiocese of Agana visited the island last week. In a statement from the Archdiocese, they confirm members from law firms Swanson & McNamara, as well as Weintraub Tobin, visited to perform consultative work for the cases on sexual abuse. "We are grateful for their work."

According to District Court filings, attorneys Mary McNamara, Britt Evangelist, and Paul Gaspari have filed and were approved to represent the Archdiocese alongside local attorney John Terlaje. Last week, six of the fifteen victims moved their cases from the local court to the federal court because each of the judges in the Superior Court of Guam disqualified themselves.

After pastor's sex abuse charges, his wife and congregation gather

Des Moines Register

Molly Longman , mlongman@dmreg.com Jan. 29, 2017

DALLAS CENTER, Ia. — The arrest of Dallas Center Church of the Brethren's 14-year pastor on child molestation charges tinged Sunday school and a worship service at the church Sunday, although it wasn't explicitly referenced.

About 40 people gathered in the wooden pews for worship, four days after Randy August Johnson, 52, was accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a girl from 2013 to 2014 while she was 12 and 13 years old.

Randy Johnson’s wife, the Rev. Kathy Johnson, 54, delivered the sermon on Sunday, reading from Philippians 2:16, about not living a life in vain, and leading hymns.

When she addressed the congregation, she started by saying, “Wowzers, what a week we’ve had.”

In an interview Sunday, Kathy Johnson said her husband resigned officially as pastor two weeks ago after 14 years with the church. Kathy Johnson said he’d stopped delivering sermons on Christmas Eve, when detectives told the family he was being investigated.

Former sports coach questioned over fresh abuse claims

Irish Times

Barry Roche

Gardaí have arrested the imprisoned former Waterford sports coach, Bill Kenneally for questioning after three more men have come forward with allegations that he had abused them when they were teenagers in Waterford in the 1980s.

Detectives arrested Kenneally (66) at the Midlands Prison on January 17th and conveyed him to Portlaoise Garda station where they questioned him for over six hours about the latest allegations against him before he was returned to the Midlands Prison. ...


Meanwhile Kenneally’s uncle, Msgr John Shine resigned at the weekend from his position as chairman of the board of management of Holy Cross National School in Tramore following a letter the victims wrote to Pope Francis questioning his suitability to deal with child protection.

In his statement of resignation issued by the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore on Saturday, Msgr Shine said he had decided to step down, “bearing in mind the wishes, and indeed the distress, of the victims of my nephew, Bill Kenneally”.

Msgr Shine also offered to meet the victims of his nephew when he has recovered sufficiently from a recent operation “to hear their views and to share with them all that I know of events of the past” and he expressed hope that he might “be reconciled with them in their immense suffering”.

January 29, 2017

Taoiseach urges Pope to review priest cases

The Sunday Times (UK)

Stephen O’Brien, Political Editor
January 29 2017
The Sunday Times

Enda Kenny has asked Pope Francis to review the cases of five priests disciplined by the Catholic Church, in order to “improve the environment” for the papal visit to Ireland in 2018.

The priests — including Brian D’Arcy and Tony Flannery — were sanctioned over their views on married clergy and women priests on the orders of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) .

The taoiseach spoke to D’Arcy and Flannery before he met the Pope in the Vatican last November, and briefed D’Arcy afterwards.

Kenny gave Pope Francis a number of letters from Ireland, including one from Flannery and another from an alleged victim of clerical sexual abuse.

D’Arcy did not write to the Pope, but briefed the taoiseach about his case and suggested Pope Francis might deal with these “unfair” disciplinary sanctions before his visit.


Road to Recovery


Jesuits of the Northeast Province, based on the upper eastside of Manhattan and surrounded by a parish, an elementary school, and two high schools, continue to re-victimize Neal E. Gumpel, a childhood clergy sexual abuse victim of Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, a deceased, serial pedophile Jesuit priest, by refusing to reasonably settle his claim

Jesuits admit to having credible information from approximately five (5) persons (besides the victim) about Neal E. Gumpel’s childhood sexual abuse by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, and still refuse to settle Neal E. Gumpel’s claim reasonably

A demonstration and leafleting alerting the media, parishioners of a Jesuit-sponsored parish, and general public that the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) has insulted and re-victimized a childhood sexual abuse victim of a Jesuit priest by refusing to reasonably settle his credible claim.

Sunday, January 29, 2017, from 10:00 am until Noon

On the public sidewalk in front of the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, 980 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10028 (between East 83rd and East 84th Streets) – 212-288-3588

Neal E. Gumpel; his wife, Helen Gumpel, and members of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, including its co-founder and President, Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D.

The Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) knows that Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, was a serial molester of boys. The Province settled at least one public claim against Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, in the past. Neal E. Gumpel’s credible factual account of having been sexually abused as a minor child by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, where Fr. Roy Alan Drake was a professor and Jesuit priest at Maine Maritime Academy, was credibly supported by approximately five (5) individuals, in addition to Neal E. Gumpel. Now, the Northeast Province of the Jesuits, which has found that Neal E. Gumpel’s claim is credible, has insulted and re-victimized Neal E. Gumpel by refusing to reasonably settle his claim. Demonstrators will ask parishioners and the general public to voice their outrage to the Jesuits of their parish and the leaders of the Northeast Province of the Jesuits whose offices are located around the corner on East 83rd Street and demand of the Northeast Province Jesuit leaders that they treat Neal E. Gumpel with compassion, fairness, and justice.

Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D. – Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800

After the Grand Master, Another Head Is About To Fall: That of Cardinal Burke

Settimo Cielo

Sandro Magister

Decapitated by the pope of its Grand Master, the Englishman Matthew Festing, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta not only has ratified his forced resignation on Saturday, January 28, but it has turned back the hands of time to the fateful 6th of December, 2016, reinstating in the role of Grand Chancellor the very man who on that day had been removed from it and suspended from the Order, the German Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager.

What reversed the fortunes within the Order, to the point of driving it to this act of total submission to the bidding of Pope Francis, were three acts carried out in rapid succession by the pontiff himself: the summoning of the Grand Master on January 24 with the order given to him to resign; the letter on the following day from secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin with the specification of the pope’s wishes; and finally two letters on January 27 from the pope himself, with a further specification of the role to be performed by the “pontifical delegate” whose arrival has been announced: “for the spiritual and moral renewal of the Order.”

And it is this last element that is the most newsworthy in the statement released this evening by the Order. As Settimo Cielo had correctly reported, Pope Francis has in effect granted the Order the faculty of proceeding according to its constitutions concerning its interim regency - now assumed by the Grand Commander of the Order, Fra' Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein - and the appointment of the new Grand Master. So the “pontifical delegate” will neither replace nor overlap the legitimate governance of the Order, as many had hoped or feared. Instead he will accompany it with the task of “spiritual” guide. A task, that is, very similar to the one that already belongs by statute to the cardinal patron.

The decapitation inflicted by Pope Francis on the Order of Malta is therefore twofold. Because what is falling is not only the head of Grand Master Festing, but also, de facto, that of cardinal patron Raymond Leo Burke. Meaning the ones who had brought about the removal of Boeselager in the certainty that they were thereby putting into practice the mandate entrusted to them by the pope, in a December 1 letter to Burke: to “promote the spiritual interests of the order and remove any affiliation with groups or practices that run contrary to the moral law.”

Politics and the pastor William Murphy


January 29, 2017

By Bob Keeler

As a priest, in private moments with the ill or the grieving, Bishop William F. Murphy has been admirably pastoral and compassionate.

As a bishop, he’s too often been autocratic, with a knack for committing unforced errors, marring his 15-plus years leading the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

Unfortunately, it was not Murphy the gentle pastor, but Murphy the high-handed, controversial master, who shaped his image.

Less than a week after his installation in 2001, terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center, killing nearly 3,000. In that tragic time, Murphy was at his best, reaching out quietly to comfort bereaved families.

Then, at the start of 2002, The Boston Globe began its Pulitzer Prize-winning series about sexual abuse by priests and negligence by bishops in the Archdiocese of Boston, where Murphy had been Cardinal Bernard Law’s top aide. Though no one has accused Murphy of a crime, that series started a cascade of image-staining news.

The headlines are familiar: his testimony before a Massachusetts grand jury, the same week that a Suffolk County grand jury issued a scathing report about sexual abuse here before Murphy arrived; his refusal to let Voice of the Faithful, a lay group arising from the crisis, meet on church property; his decision to commandeer a space that was to have ho-used six nuns; his taste for pricey appliances and a wine cooler that led then-Newsday columnist Jimmy Breslin to brand him “Mansion Murphy.”

Vatican confirms Apuron trial; canon lawyers say trial could last for years

Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com Jan. 29, 2017

The Vatican has confirmed Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron’s canonical trial is ongoing, and some leading canon law experts said it could last for years.

Vatican policy dictates that only Rome can investigate bishops and archbishops who are accused of sexual abuse.

Besides undergoing a canonical trial in Rome, Apuron is also facing lawsuits filed in the Superior Court of Guam for allegedly raping and sexually abusing altar boys in the 1970s.

“This is new ground, as no bishop I am aware of, who sexually abused children, has ever finished a canonical trial,” Attorney Patrick J. Wall, a world-renowned expert on canonical trials and the Catholic clergy abuse crisis, said.

Wall is a former priest and Benedictine monk. He left the Catholic ministry after he felt he was used to help cover up other clergymen’s sex abuses. He has since been advocating for hundreds of clergy abuse survivors.

January 28, 2017

Kirchenrechtler fordert verbindliche Ordnung


[The church lawyer Nobert Lüdecke has examined the guidelines of all 27 German dioceses dealing with sexual abuse. He came to a clear conclusion. He called for uniformed handling of abuse allegations in the German church.]

Der Kirchenrechtler Norbert Lüdecke fordert eine einheitliche Ordnung für den Umgang der katholischen Kirche in Deutschland mit Fällen von sexuellem Missbrauch durch Geistliche. Bislang gebe es 27 verschiedene, von denen nicht einmal klar sei, ob sie in Kraft gesetzt seien, sagte Lüdecke am Freitag bei einer Veranstaltung an der Universität Bonn. Das Kirchenrecht sehe vor, dass Bischofskonferenzen den Vatikan um eine entsprechende Gesetzgebungskompetenz in dem Fall bitten können. Dies sei zum Beispiel in den USA geschehen.

Lüdecke erklärte, dass bislang jedes Bistum die von der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz 2013 überarbeiteten Leitlinien zum Umgang mit Missbrauch einzeln in Kraft setzen müsse. Dazu reiche es nicht aus, die Leitlinien nur im kirchlichen Amtsblatt abzudrucken. Die Diözesanbischöfe müssten für ihre jeweilige Diözese die Regelungen auf Grundlage der Leitlinien erlassen, wie etwa die 2014 veröffentlichte Ordnung des Erzbistums Köln. Bei mehr als der Hälfte der deutschen Diözesen sei zweifelhaft, ob sie geltendes Partikularrecht seien, so der Professor. Er hatte mit seinen Studierenden überprüft, ob Bistümer die Leitlinien einfach übernommen oder eigene Bestimmungen formuliert haben.

Novara, parroco rivendica paternità: rissa in sala parto


[A furious fight broke out in the Maggiore Hospital delivery room in Novara. The fight was between the father of a newborn baby and the parish priest who claimed paternity of the child.]

Nella sala parto dell’Ospedale Maggiore di Novara è scoppiata una rissa furibonda fra il padre di un bimbo appena nato e un parroco che del nascituro rivendica la paternità.

I riflettori che illuminano parrochi e parrocchie non si riescono a spegnere.

Le pagine dei giornali, ancora zeppe dell’episodio di Padova ormai noto come “orge in canonica”, devono occuparsi anche del prete di Novara, padre Giorgio, che candidamente si è recato nella sala parto in cui stava per nascere il bimbo della “colpa”, almeno a detta dell’intraprendente prete che ne ha rivendicata la paternità.

La rete degli orrori del prete pedofilo, brutalizzati altri bambini. Trotta alla sbarra

Rete L'Abuso

[The network of horrors of a pedophile priest who brutalized other children. Trotta is in the dock.]

Per l’ex sacerdote e allenatore di calcio la storia non è ancora finita. Possibile nuovo processo a carico di Giovanni Trotta, 55enne già condannato per pedofilia e violenze nei confronti di minorenni. Ci sarebbero altri 9 presunti casi di abusi sui quali l’uomo dovrà rispondere davanti al giudice in un’aula di tribunale. Appuntamento con l’udienza preliminare il prossimo 7 febbraio al cospetto del gup Roberto Oliveri Del Castillo.

È l’ennesima mazzata per Trotta, già condannato alla pena di 8 anni di reclusione e al pagamento di 64mila euro di multa. L’ex sacerdote ed ex allenatore di una scuola calcio giovanile di Pietramontecorvino, era accusato di violenza sessuale aggravata nei confronti di un 11enne e di produzione, distribuzione, divulgazione, condivisione e pubblicizzazione di materiale pedopornografico ai danni del bambino. I fatti risalgono agli anni 2013 e 2014, commessi a Pietra ma anche a Casalnuovo Monterotaro.

The Knights of Malta-Vatican feud: a tale of chivalry and sovereignty

Daily Mail

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY, Jan 28 (Reuters) - On the afternoon of Jan. 24, a black BMW pulled out of a 16th century palace in Rome, crossed the Tiber River and headed for the Vatican, a short trip to end a brazen challenge to the authority of Pope Francis.

Inside the car was 67-year-old Englishman Matthew Festing, the head of an ancient Catholic order of knights which is now a worldwide charity with a unique diplomatic status.

Festing was about to resign, the first leader in several centuries of the Order of Malta, which was founded in 1048 to provide medical aid for pilgrims in the Holy Land, to step down instead of ruling for life.

The move was aimed at ending a highly-public spat between Festing and the reformist pope over the running of the chivalric institution. The weeks-long conflict had become one of the biggest internal challenges yet to Francis' efforts to modernize the 1.2 billion member Roman Catholic Church.

Child sex abuse set to cost Perth Anglican diocese more than $1m over three years


Peter Law, PerthNow
January 28, 2017

CHILD sex abuse is expected to cost the Anglican diocese of Perth more than $1 million over just three years.

Settlement payments to victims of abuse by clergy or church staff in WA soared in the past year, an internal church report reveals.

But the Perth diocese this week refused to say how many complaints of child sex abuse it had received, how many allegations were reported to WA police, how many victims received settlements or what confidentiality restrictions were attached to payments.

The Diocesan Council Report to Synod 2016 shows costs associated with settlement, counselling for victims and legals fees was expected to total $432,800 in 2016-17. The figure is $263,739 more than the original budget.

This was due to “increased claims as a result of referrals” from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the document shows.

On the Vatican's radar

Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang and Gaynor D. Daleno | Post News Staff

When six of the more than a dozen sexual abuse cases for former local altar boys were moved to the federal District Court of Guam earlier last week, one reason for the transfer of jurisdiction was the lack of local judges who didn’t have a conflict or potential conflict.

But there’s another major significance to the transfer of the six cases to the federal court.

The federal court must take jurisdiction, says David Lujan’s law firm, which is representing the accusers, because this isn’t a Guam issue alone.

The cases filed in federal court directly addresses the seat of the Catholic Church’s global leadership: The Vatican, in Rome.

“This probably already has the Vatican scared. Guam is one big, ugly monster on the Vatican's radar, and it just got real ugly,” said Tim Rohr, who has been a constant commenter on the turmoil in the local Catholic church leadership over the past few years, and runs a blog with local and international followers.

Missbrauch: Was macht Prävention so schwierig?

Sudwest Presse

[Mr Zollner, you are the Center for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. What are you doing? Hans Zollner: We are committed to the prevention of sexual abuse worldwide. That is we are training members of the Catholic Church and beyond. Through e-learning we offer learning units in five languages ​​at present. This is about questions: How to recognize abuse? What to do if you suspect? What is the legal situation in each country? We currently have 25 partner institutions worldwide.]

Vor sechs Jahren löste der Jesuitenpater Mertes eine Lawine aus als er über sexuellen Missbrauch an seinem Gymnasium berichtete. Das stürzte die katholische Kirche in eine Krise. Sie reagierte. Hans Zollner sitzt an einer der Schaltstellen. Er ist Theologe und Psychologe und arbeitet zur Prävention von Missbrauch weltweit.

Herr Zollner, Sie leiten das Zentrum für Kinderschutz an der päpstlichen Universität Gregoriana in Rom. Was tun Sie da?

Hans Zollner: Wir haben uns der Prävention von sexuellem Missbrauch weltweit verschrieben. Das heißt, wir machen Schulungen für Mitarbeiter der katholischen Kirche, aber auch darüber hinaus. Über E-Learning bieten wir Lerneinheiten in derzeit fünf Sprachen an. Da geht es um Fragen: Wie erkennt man Missbrauch? Was tun bei einem Verdacht? Wie ist die Rechtslage im jeweiligen Land? Wir haben im Moment 25 Partnerinstitutionen weltweit.

Jesuit Zollner: Missbrauch hat auch geistliche Dimension


[Jesuit Hans Zollner: Abuse also has spiritual dimension. The Vatican child protection expert spoke at the Viennese Prevention Conference: "Spiritual wounds" can destroy the faith of victims, he said.]

Wien, 27.01.2017 (KAP) Die Diskussion um Missbrauch in kirchlichen Einrichtungen hat bislang die geistliche Dimension des Verbrechens völlig übersehen: Das hat der Jesuit Hans Zollner, Mitglied der päpstlichen Kommission für den Schutz von Minderjährigen und Leiter des Kinderschutz-Zentrum CCP in Rom, am Mittwoch bei einem Wiener Symposium über die Prävention von Missbrauch dargelegt. Der Theologe, Philosoph und Therapeut bezeichnete den Kinderschutz dabei als "bleibende Aufgabe", da Missbrauch trotz aller Prävention nie völlig ausgeschlossen werden könne.

Wenn Missbrauch in der Kirche stattfinde, komme zum physischen und psychischen Trauma auch ein spirituelles Trauma hinzu, sagte Zollner. "Eine geistliche Person wird mit der Kirche identifiziert. Geschieht durch sie ein Missbrauch, dann steht dahinter noch eine weitere Dimension, denn sie repräsentiert Gott." Opfer von Missbrauch seien in Gefahr einer "spirituellen Verwundung", die den Glauben zerstören könne. Dies sei vielen in der Kirche nicht klar. "Es gibt keine Theologie angesichts des Missbrauchs", stellte der vatikanische Top-Experte für Kinderschutz fest.

Il-vittmi tal-abbużi sesswali minn qassisin se jmorru fil-Qorti Ewropea


[Victims of sexual abuse by priests in Malta will go to the European Court.]

Il-vittmi ta' abbużi sesswali minn tliet qassisin, liema vittmi ilhom 13-il sena jistennew li ssir ġustizzja magħhom billi jingħataw kumpens finanzjarju, issa permezz tal-avukati tagħhom talbu lill-Qorti biex tagħti is-sentenza. Fl-aħħar seduta li kellhom quddiem il-Qorti tal-Appell, huma talbu li tingħata s-sentenza. Il-vittmi issa qed jagħmluha ċara li l-ħsieb tagħhom hu li jkomplu l-ġlieda quddiem il-Qorti Ewropea.

Lawrence Grech f'kumment lil Inewsmalta qal li "fl-aħħar jiem kompla jinstema' l-appell wara li s-seduti ta' qabel kienu għal tliet darbiet differiti. L-avukati tagħna talbu li mmorru għas-sentenza. Is-seduta li jmiss hi fil-15 ta' Marzu. Wara il-ħsieb tagħna hu li niftħu proċeduri quddiem il-Qorti Ewropea".

Lawyer: Settlement pending in Catholic school sex case

Baltimore Sun

BALTIMORE (AP) — Lawyers for a Catholic high school girl say they've reached a tentative settlement with the Archdiocese of Baltimore in a civil lawsuit alleging she was preyed upon by a lesbian soccer coach.

Attorney Al Scanlan told The Associated Press in an email Friday that the parties have informed the Baltimore City Circuit Court of the pending settlement. Scanlan says the details will be confidential.

Archdiocese spokesman Sean Caine declined to comment on the case.

The civil lawsuit contended that Catherine Czapski (ZAP'-ski) took advantage of the girl's medical conditions, including depressive disorder and Asperger's Syndrome, to seduce her at the Bishop Walsh School in Cumberland.

Former pastor arrested for sex abuse out of jail on bond

Dallas County News

Brian Johnson, the former pastor from Dallas Center Church of the Brethren who was arrested on several charges involving sexual abuse on a child, is out of jail after posting a $10,000 bond.

According to court documents, 1st Call Bail Bonds posted the $10,000 bond on Friday.

Johnson is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 6 at 11 a.m.

Beginning in December of 2016, the Dallas County Sheriff's Office in cooperation with the Dallas Center Police Department began an investigation about a possible sex abuse by Randy Johnson, 52, who resides at 1201 Ash Street in Dallas Center.

Johnson is listed as the pastor at the Dallas Center Church of the Brethren, located at 1207 Ash Avenue in Dallas Center.

Cork woman's quest to move her mother's remains from a Magdalene mass burial site

Irish Mirror

28 JAN 2017

For years Mary Collins has campaigned fruitlessly to have her mum Angela removed from a mass burial site where she lies beside 72 other Magdalene women.

Traveller Angela was “snatched from the side of the road” when her daughter was just two years old, and spent the following 27 years in hellhole St Vincent’s home in Cork, where she stayed until her death.

Mary wants a Commission of Investigation to be set up to provide answers to the children of the Magdalene women but says she has been ignored by the Department of Justice and the nuns from St Vincent’s.

She held a graveside memorial service for her Angela and the other forgotten women.

Per la prima volta svelati i numeri dei preti pedofili francesi

Rete L'Abuso

[In France: Since the late '60s to today at least 222 children were victims of abuse by Catholic priests.]

In Francia, dalla fine degli anni ’60 ad oggi, almeno 222 bambini sono stati vittime di abusi da parte dei preti cattolici. A svelare questi dati, il primo censimento del Consiglio Episcopale d’Oltralpe (CEF) sul numero di minori finiti nelle grinfie degli orchi dietro i confessionali, che ha raccolto le voci di chi si è rivolto ai centri d’ascolto istituiti nelle diocesi a partire da aprile 2016. Secondo i numeri, il 60% delle testimonianze riguarda fatti antecedenti al 1970, il 35% tra il 1970 e il 2000 e il 4% dal 2000 ai giorni nostri. Molti degli autori degli abusi sono ormai deceduti – si legge nel comunicato stampa della CEF – ma altri stanno già facendo i conti con la legge. Dai dati risulta, infatti, che 9 sacerdoti e diaconi sono attualmente dietro le sbarre. 37 hanno finito di scontare la loro pena, mentre 26 sono sotto processo.

Reputations of many ‘good nuns’ ruined, says ex-Termonbacca boy

Derry Journal

A former resident of a boys’ home in Derry says he’s furious that the reputations of many “good nuns” have been ruined as a result of false allegations of abuse.

Bernard McEldowney, a retired policeman, spent 18 years under the care of the Sisters of Nazareth in Derry, the majority of which was spent at St Joseph’s Boys’ Home, Termonbacca.

Mr. McEldowney spoke out after the publication of the report of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry which investigated child abuse in residential institutions in Northern Ireland over a 73-years period, up to 1995.

A former senior policeman in England, Mr. McEldowney gave evidence to the HIA anonymously in 2014 but later waived his right to anonymity to voice his concerns.

He told the ‘Journal’ yesterday that, “like many former residents of Termonbacca, I had a wonderful childhood at Termonbacca and will always be grateful to the nuns who cared for me for all those years.

Former Iowa pastor, foster parent charged with child molestation

Des Moines Register

Lee Rood , lrood@dmreg.com Jan. 26, 2017

The Dallas Center pastor charged this week with 13 criminal counts for allegedly sexually abusing a teenage girl was a licensed foster parent.

But Iowa’s Department of Human Services wouldn't say Thursday whether the child he allegedly abused was under state supervision.

Randy August Johnson, 52, is accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a girl from 2013 to 2014 while she was 12 and 13 years old, according to court records.

Most of the abuse reportedly occurred at his Dallas Center home, next door to Dallas Center Church of the Brethren, where Johnson formerly was the pastor. His next court date is Feb. 6.

Tim Button-Harrison, district executive for the Northern Plains District Church of the Brethren, which oversees the Dallas Center church, declined to say when or how Johnson's employment at the church ceased.

Magdalene redress scheme to be probed

Irish Examiner

Saturday, January 28, 2017

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

The ombudsman has launched an investigation into possible “evidence of maladministration” of the Magdalene redress scheme by the Department of Justice and Equality.

The investigation was revealed in the High Court on Thursday where two women are challenging the department’s decision not to include them in the redress scheme.

The ombudsman, Peter Tyndall, notified the department of its intention to launch an investigation on December 20.

The Irish Examiner understands the investigation will consider whether the application process operated in an open and fair manner and whether the department relied on information that was irrelevant and/or incomplete, when deciding on a person’s eligibility under the scheme.

Knights of Malta insist on sovereignty amid papal takeover


Nicole Winfield January 27, 2017

ROME - The Knights of Malta is still insisting on its sovereignty in its showdown with the Vatican, even after Pope Francis effectively took control of the ancient religious order and announced a papal delegate would govern it through a “process of renewal.”

The Knights’ current grand master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, was at work Friday at the order’s swanky Rome palazzo near the Spanish Steps, pending a meeting of his governing council to either accept or reject his resignation.

The Saturday meeting is no rubber-stamp formality: It’s evidence of the order’s sovereign status under international law, which is recognized by the more than 100 countries that have diplomatic relations with the Knights of Malta and essentially consider it a state.

Festing, a 67-year-old British aristocrat, met Tuesday with Francis and said he would resign after he lost an internal power struggle that started with a scandal over condoms. Festing sacked the Knights’ foreign minister, Albrecht von Boeselager, over the condom scandal.

Sex abuse lawsuit against Archdiocese of New Orleans clears early legal hurdle

The Advocate


A sexual abuse lawsuit involving a popular former Jesuit priest survived a legal challenge Friday as a judge rejected arguments by Loyola University and the Archdiocese of New Orleans that a woman waited too long to bring decades-old rape claims against the Rev. Benjamin L. Wren.

Judge Sidney Cates IV, of Orleans Parish Civil District Court, denied a series of defense motions that contended the plaintiff, identified in court papers as Jane Doe, cannot collect damages because she failed to file suit until last year.

The woman claims that Wren raped her repeatedly between 1978 and 1985, beginning when she was 5.

The motions represented the church's first response to the allegations, even as lawyers for the archdiocese and the Jesuits of the USA Central and Southern Province, another defendant in the case, suggested the proceedings should be sealed.

Judges' recusals detailed

Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com Jan. 28, 2017

Citing conflict of interest or appearance of bias, all eight trial court judges in the Superior Court of Guam have filed 84 notices of disqualification from cases related to alleged sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

Among the judges’ reasons for recusals are their relationships with either the alleged victims of clergy sex abuses or the accused priests, including Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, as well as other defendants, such as the Archdiocese of Agana.

Judge Vernon P. Perez, for example, said he is a friend and former high school classmate of Walter G. Denton, who has accused Apuron of raping him in the 1970s.

Judge Anita A. Sukola said she is personally acquainted with Apuron and is closely related to several members of the Neocatechumenal Way, an organization within the archdiocese.

Judge Elyze Iriarte said a family member claims to have witnessed one of the accused priests, Louis Brouillard, engaging in acts similar to those described in lawsuits filed.

January 27, 2017

El cura que dio la misa por el homenaje a Cabezas en la cava tiene 13 denuncias por abuso a niños de entre 3 y 5 años


El cura que el miércoles ofició la misa por los 20 años del asesinato de José Luis Cabezas fue denunciado en 2002 por 13 casos de abuso sexual contra chicos de entre tres y cinco años.

Se trata del padre Félix Alejandro Martínez, a cargo de la parroquia Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, de General Madariaga.

En 2002, fue denunciado junto al profesor de educación física Fernando Melo Pacheco por el abuso sexual de los chicos que asistían al jardín de infantes de la Escuela Nuestra Señora del Camino, de Mar del Plata.

Procesado un maestro del Opus Dei por abusos sexuales a un alumno de 13 años

El Diario

[The judge of Getxo Emilio Lamo de Espinosa has issued a very hard indictment against a numerary of Opus Dei and professor of the Catholic catholic school in Gaztelueta, Spain, which is located in Leioa (Bizkaia). The numerary is accused to sexual abuse of minors.]

El juez de Getxo Emilio Lamo de Espinosa ha dictado un durísimo auto de procesamiento contra un numerario del Opus Dei y profesor del colegio católico masculino Gaztelueta, ubicado en Leioa (Bizkaia), al considerar suficientemente acreditados no sólo graves episodios de abusos sexuales de este docente a un menor, que en el momento de los hechos tenía 12 y 13 años, sino también que aquello provocó al hoy adulto, que denunció el caso ante los tribunales al cumplir la mayoría de edad, un aislamiento total de su entorno. Ese aislamiento propició, según el auto judicial, episodios de acoso por parte de sus compañeros de aula, estrés postraumático, pensamientos suicidas e incluso de fracaso escolar. El magistrado tomará el 14 de febrero declaración al profesor, J.M.M.S, familiar de una alta autoridad política del Estado, y fija para él una fianza de 40.000 euros como medida cautelar, aunque no decreta su ingreso en prisión preventiva.

Concerned Catholics want action for seminary issue


Updated: Jan 27, 2017

By Krystal Paco

The Concerned Catholics of Guam are asking the Presbyteral Council to put more pressure on the issues surrounding the formation of priests at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona. The CCOG sent a letter to the Council on Thursday.

CCOG Vice President Andrew Camacho states a minor seminary would better suit Guam and its needs. "The main objective is to urge the Presbyteral Council to take the issues of the seminary to Archbishop Byrnes, and kind of stress the importance. If Guam must have a seminary, it needs to follow certain criteria," Camacho says. "Does Guam need medical doctors? The answer, of course, is absolutely. Can Guam afford to build and maintain its own medical school? Definitely not, even though we have a lot of local people who are in the medical field."


Focus WTV

[The Bruge diocese is seeking information regarding former Bishop Roger Vangheluwe.]

Het Bisdom Brugge is vragende partij voor meer duidelijkheid in de zaak Vangheluwe.

Dat meldt het bisdom in een reactie op de confrontatie van gisteren tussen voormalig bisschop Roger Vangheluwe en een slachtoffer bij de federale politie in Brussel. Het bisdom was niet op de hoogte.

"We vernemen uit de pers dat er bij de federale gerechtelijke politie een confrontatie geweest is tussen Roger Vangheluwe en iemand die klacht indiende omwille van seksueel misbruik", meldt het Bisdom Brugge in een korte reactie. "We zijn mee vragende partij om duidelijkheid in deze zaak te scheppen. En we blijven als kerk, met de opvangpunten voor misbruik in een pastorale relatie, klaar staan om slachtoffers nabij te zijn, ook als blijkt dat de feiten voor het gerecht verjaard zijn."

Chris Dusauchoit uit zich als slachtoffer van kindermisbruik: "Voor de vele andere slachtoffers"

News Monkey

[Chris Dusauchoit has revealed himself as a victim of child abuse to support the many other victims.of child abuse. Mr. Duchauchoit wrote an open letter to De Standaard on the occasional of former bishop Roger Vangheluwe denying the allegation of sexual abuse when he met with one of his alleged victims. Many people were shocked Wednesday to find that the former bishop again denied everything in the confrontation. Mr. Dusauchoit got excited on Twitter, calling the former bishop a coward.]

Na bijna vijftig jaar moest het hem eindelijk van het hart. Chris Dusauchoit is een slachtoffer van seksueel misbruik. Daarover schreef hij een open brief in De Standaard. Aanleiding was de zoveelste ontkenning van oud-bisschop Roger Vangheluwe in een confrontatie met een van zijn slachtoffers.

Veel mensen schrokken woensdag toen Roger Vangheluwe in een confrontatie met een van zijn slachtoffers opnieuw alles ontkende. Ook Chris Dusauchoit liet zich horen op Twitter en noemde de oud-bisschop een lafaard. Joris Van Cauter, de advocaat van Vangheluwe, reageerde daarop dat hij van een journalist objectiviteit verwachtte. "Ik ben slachtoffer van seksueel misbruik, geen journalist", zei Dusauchoit in een duidelijke reactie.

‘Vangheluwe was weer een en al hoogmoed’


[A 34-year-old man from Meulebeke, who claims that Roger Vangheluwe abused him as a child, yesterday confronted the Bruges retired bishop.]

Oudbisschop Roger Vangheluwe was gisteren weer eventjes in het land. Het gerecht confronteerde hem met een vermoedelijk slachtoffer.

BRUSSEL | Een 34jarige man uit Meulebeke die beweert dat Roger Vangheluwe hem als kind heeft misbruikt, keek gisteren bij de federale gerechtelijke politie in Brussel de oudbisschop van Brugge recht in de ogen.

De confrontatie en het verhoor pasten in het gerechtelijk onderzoek ‘Operatie Kelk’, naar seksueel misbruik door geestelijken en mogelijk schuldig verzuim door kerkelijke oversten.

Brugse bisschop wil Vaticaan overtuigen om Vangheluwe te straffen


[The new Bruges bishop, Lode Aerts, wants to persuade the Vatican to punish former Bishop Roger Vangheluwe who admitted to sexually abusing minors.]

De nieuwe bisschop van Brugge Lode Aerts vindt dat zijn voorganger Roger Vangheluwe alsnog gestraft moet worden voor zijn toegegeven seksueel misbruik. Hij gaat daarop aandringen in het Vaticaan. Dat schrijven Het Nieuwsblad, De Standaard en de Gazet van Antwerpen vandaag.

"Bisschop Aerts is erg begaan met het lot van slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik. Hij merkt ook dat het misbruik door zijn voorganger zware littekens heeft nagelaten. Daarom vindt hij verdere stappen aangewezen", zegt zijn woordvoerster Inge Cordemans. Het Vaticaan had Vanghe­luwe voorlopig enkel ge­vraagd België te verlaten en geen publieke rol te vervullen, maar dat vindt Aerts te weinig. Hij heeft er een probleem mee dat Vangheluwe officieel nog altijd priester en bisschop is.

Un prêtre jugé à Clermont-Ferrand pour abus sexuels sur mineurs

La Croix

]A priest has faced trialin Clermont-Ferrand for sexual abuse of minors. In 2011, Father Michel Chidaine denounced himself to justice for sexual abuse of minors committed in the Central African Republic where he was on mission from 2007 to 2010. In April 2016, the diocese of Clermont-Ferrand (Puy-de-Dôme) had recognized an "error of appreciation" for allowing two years between the priest's confession and his suspension.]

Gauthier Vaillant, le 26/01/2017

En 2011, le P. Michel Chidaine s’était dénoncé lui-même à la justice pour des abus sexuels sur mineurs commis en Centrafrique, où il était en mission de 2007 à 2010.

En avril 2016, le diocèse de Clermont-Ferrand (Puy-de-Dôme) avait reconnu une « erreur d’appréciation », pour avoir laissé s’écouler deux ans entre les aveux du prêtre et sa suspension.

Le procès du P. Michel Chidaine s’est ouvert jeudi 26 janvier au tribunal correctionnel de Clermont-Ferrand (Puy-de-Dôme). Ce prêtre de 48 ans est jugé pour des « atteintes sexuelles par personne abusant de l’autorité de sa fonction » commises sur deux mineurs de moins de 15 ans entre 2007 et 2010, alors qu’il était en mission en Centrafrique. Il risque jusqu’à 10 ans d’emprisonnement.

Former Trinity Grammar teacher Neil Futcher jailed for 'predatory' child abuse

Sydney Morning Herald

Ava Benny-Morrison

A former Trinity Grammar School teacher who inflicted "systemic and predatory" sexual abuse on young boys will spend at least the next 11 years behind bars.

Wearing a prison issued green T-shirt and grasping a walking stick, Neil Albert Futcher struggled to stand as he was sentenced on Friday for his crimes against six victims as young as 11, committed up to 43 years ago.

Futcher was a primary school teacher at Trinity Grammar School and worked as a swimming coach when he abused his victims between 1974 and 1981.

He had also previously taught at Sydney Grammar School and was also a boarding master at Knox Grammar School.

Historical child abuse inquiry judge Lady Smith asked to listen to evidence locally

The National

Kathleen Nutt, Journalist / @kacnutt

THE chairwoman of Scotland’s historical child abuse inquiry is to be urged to hold public evidence sessions across the country when she announces how her work is progressing next week.

Alan Draper, of survivor organisation In Care Abuse Survivors (Incas) made the appeal to senior judge Lady Smith ahead of a key preliminary hearing of the inquiry on Tuesday at Parliament House in Edinburgh.

Draper said: “I hope she will be announcing oral evidence sessions in different parts of the country as it will make it easier for survivors, many of whom are now elderly, to take part.”

“It is to be welcomed that this hearing is taking place, although we would have liked it sooner.”

Draper said he hoped Smith would also respond positively to calls from survivors for interim payments as part of their demands for redress.

High Court Magdalenes case adjourned after Ombudsman probe revealed

Breaking News


A High Court case has revealed that the Department of Justice is under investigation by the Ombudsman for its administration of the redress scheme for survivors of the Magdalene Laundries.

The Justice for Magdalenes group says the case has been adjourned while representatives from the Department of Justice explain why the Ombudsman's investigation was not initially disclosed.

Two women are challenging the department's decision not to include them in the redress scheme, despite the fact the women worked in the laundries as children.

Katherine O'Donnell from the Justice for Magdalenes research group said: "Because they did not reveal that information to the court, the High Court had to adjourn the case to allow the Department explain why they omitted to bring this to the court's attention."

Prosecutors vow to continue fight for return of a fugitive principal to Victoria

Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun
January 27, 2017

PROSECUTORS have vowed to continue fighting for the return of a fugitive principal wanted to face dozens of child sex offences here.

Malka Leifer fled to Israel and has been on the run from Victorian authorities since 2008 after allegations of rampant sexual abuse were levelled at her while principal of Elsternwick’s Adass Israel School.

Police have been told the mother of eight molested up to 10 girls, and they say she will be charged with more than 70 child sex offences if she returns to Melbourne.

But extradition proceedings were last year halted after an Israeli judge placed Mrs Leifer on a psychiatric treatment regimen that could last 10 years.

A hearing of the psychiatric panel regarding Mrs Leifer’s case this week recommended the court order for her treatment be extended another six months because she was going through a psychotic phase.

Vatican says it started prosecuting financial crimes in 2016

Italy Europe 24

by Carlo Marroni

The process of reform of Vatican finances is a work in progress, that obviously continues (albeit slowly) even if it’s not in the spotlight.

In fact, legal proceedings were initiated in the inner circles of the Vatican against people accused of financial crimes in 2016, for the first time.

The President of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority René Bruelhart told US newspaper National Catholic Reporter in a recent interview that the first court proceedings began, with no public announcement, in 2016 and will continue at a faster pace in 2017.

“Work is increasing and we are definitely making progress to that effect,” said Bruelhart, speaking about the financial side of the reform process pushed by Pope Francis, but launched by Benedict XVI in 2010 following a judicial inquiry initiated by an Italian Court, that led in recent days to a request for conviction for two former executives of the Institute for Religious works (IOR), also known informally as the Vatican Bank.

Victims of paedophile bishop call for letters from Prince Charles to be made public


Fri 27 Jan 2017

By Premier Journalist

The victims of a paedophile bishop have called for the letters he received from Prince Charles to be made public.

Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Gloucester, was found guilty of grooming and abusing 18 male victims at a trial in 2015.

Letters from the Prince have been given to an independent inquiry into the case.

The inquiry, which was launched after Ball was convicted, is examining how the Church of England handled the case.

Clarence House said in a statement yesterday that the content of the letters would have no relevance to the inquiry.

A spokesman for the prince said: "We do not believe that the letters have any bearing on the issues before the inquiry, but we have not objected to them being shared for their consideration."

Phil Johnson, who was abused by Ball and is now chairman of the Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors groups told the Daily Mail that he believed the letters should be made public.

Former youth pastor sentenced for exchanging explicit photos with a minor


by Elizabeth Tyree

CAMPBELL Co, Va. (WSET) -- A former youth pastor has been sentenced for indecent liberties with a child and electronic solicitation of a minor.

Major L. Hillman will spend six years in prison.

Hillman will also have to register as a sex offender.

Prosecutors said a 14-year-old came to Hillman for counseling, and Hillman and the victim ended up sending each other naked pictures.

Hillman called the picture exchange a counseling technique, though he mentioned in his interview with police he knew the girl was underage and it was illegal.

CCOG proposes to shut down Redemptoris Mater Seminary

Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

CCOG Vice President Andrew Camacho wrote to the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council urging them to bring the matter to the attention of Archbishop Byrnes.

Guam - Further attempts are being made to completely do away with the Redemptoris Mater Seminary. Earlier this week it was revealed that a lawsuit was filed against the organization for legal control over the property the RMS currently sits on and now the Concerned Catholics of Guam is urging the closure of the seminary for good.

It was over four months ago when an ad hoc committee released a report on the Redemptoris Mater Seminary that made several findings about the operations of the institution. Ultimately, the recommendation was made that the seminary be shut down.

That committee was appointed by Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai who was temporarily appointed to serve as the apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana while Archbishop Anthony Apuron faced allegations of sexual abuse.

But now that there is a more permanent archbishop at the archdiocese with Pope Francis’ appointment of Archbishop Michael Byrnes, the Concerned Catholics of Guam is renewing its call for the recommendations of the ad hoc committee to be implemented.

Revealed: Charles' dozens of letters to 'calculating' paedophile bishop as victims demand they are made public

Daily Mail


Victims of a paedophile bishop last night called for dozens of letters he received from Prince Charles to be made public.

Extensive correspondence is understood to exist between the future king and Peter Ball, the 'calculating' former Bishop of Gloucester, who was jailed after admitting exploiting his position to groom and abuse 18 young men.

The prince's letters now have been handed to an independent inquiry into the case, launched after Ball was convicted two years ago.

It is not clear what role, if any, they will play in the inquiry which is examining the Church's handling of the Ball case, but Charles has not given any evidence to it either formally or informally nor has he or his team been asked to.

The content of the letters is unknown, but in a statement yesterday, Clarence House said they believed there was nothing in them which pertained to the case.

5th Navajo sues Mormon church for alleged child sexual abuse

Capital Journal

SALT LAKE CITY — A fifth person has filed a lawsuit against the Mormon church accusing religious officials of not doing enough to protect Navajo children from sexual abuse in a now defunct church-run foster program that placed thousands of American Indian children with Mormon families.

The new lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Navajo Nation court by a woman who says was sexually abused as a teenager over a three-year period from 1968-1971 by her foster father at a house in Spanish Fork, Utah. She says was 15-years-old when the abuse began.

The woman, who is identified as I.R. in the lawsuit, said she reported the abuse to her caseworker and asked to be placed in another home but nothing happened. She said the abuse ended when her family took her home.

The woman has suffered from emotional and physical problems as a result of the abuse, the lawsuit alleges.

January 26, 2017

Assignment Record– Rev. Raymond E. Larger


Summary of Case: Raymond E. Larger was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1977. He assisted at several parishes before being named pastor of St. James in 1991. He left St. Jamesin 2002 to lead Our Lady of Visitation.

In July 2003 Larger was arrested for soliciting sex from a male undercover police officer in a Dayton park. He pleaded no contest, was fined $100 and put on probation for a year. The archdiocese placed him on administrative leave. Also in 2003, Larger was accused of having sexually abused an 11-year-old St. James altar boy during 1995-1997. The accusation surfaced when his accuser filed a claim with the archdiocese's victim compensation fund. The fund was part of an agreement the archdiocese made with prosecutors after it pleaded no contest to failing to report clergy sex abuse to authorities. Larger's accuser was denied compensation. In 2005 Larger was indicted on charges related to the 2003 allegations. The man accusing him subsequently filed a civil lawsuit. The criminal charges were dismissed in November 2005 because the judge did not believe Larger's accuser. The man's lawsuit also failed. Larger was on administrative leave 2005 to 2008, when he was reinstated to active ministry after review of his case by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Ordained: 1977

Suit alleges anti-clergy sex abuse group got kickbacks from lawyers

Boston Globe

By Michael Rezendes GLOBE STAFF JANUARY 26, 2017

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a leading voice in the campaign against clergy sexual abuse, is facing a wrongful-termination lawsuit from a former fund-raiser who says the group “accepts financial kickbacks” from lawyers who represent survivors they find through the organization.

The lawsuit against St. Louis-based SNAP, which provides counseling for victims of clerical sex abuse, says that fund-raiser Gretchen Rachel Hammond was terminated after she raised concerns about money the group received from lawyers representing SNAP members.

“Instead of recommending that survivors pursue what is in their best personal, emotional, and financial interest, SNAP pressures survivors to pursue costly and stressful litigation against the Catholic Church,” the lawsuit says.

Barbara Dorris, SNAP’s outreach director, said the allegation of a kickback scheme between the organization and attorneys who represent its members is untrue.

“We haven’t ever done it, and we won’t do it. It’s absolutely untrue,” she said, noting that “there’s nothing illegal, unethical, or immoral about accepting donations from attorneys.” ...

Phil Saviano, a former SNAP board member and founder of the group’s New England Chapter, said the organization has no arrangement under which SNAP makes referrals to attorneys in return for donations.

“If there is a plan, it’s been poorly organized, because as long as I’ve been involved with them they’ve been hurting for money,” Saviano said.

The nonprofit group’s most recent disclosure to the IRS says it had just over $100,000 on hand at the close of 2014. At the time, Clohessy was receiving a salary of $86,000, as was president Barbara Blaine.

Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston attorney who has represented clergy abuse survivors for two decades, said he was puzzled by the filing earlier this month because SNAP has relatively few assets.

“I have to wonder why this lawsuit was filed, given that SNAP would not have any funds to pay a judgment favorable to the plaintiff,” he said. ...

At one point, the lawsuit says, SNAP “concocted a scheme” to conceal donations from attorneys by encouraging them to make donations to a “front foundation” called the Minnesota Center for Philanthropy, which in turn would make grants to SNAP.

The Globe could not find a charitable organization with that name but Hammond’s lawyer, Chicago attorney Bruce C. Howard, said it’s possible that plans to start the center never got off the ground. The existence of the alleged scheme, he said, is confirmed by documents retained by Hammond while working for SNAP.

Longtime leader resigns from priest sex abuse victims’ advocacy group

The Kansas City Star


David Clohessy, who for more than two decades was the face of a national victims’ advocacy group that pressured the Catholic Church to take a more aggressive stance on the priest sex abuse issue, has stepped down from the organization.

An official with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said this week that Clohessy voluntarily resigned as executive director on Dec. 31. The announcement, sent to SNAP volunteers, came seven days after a former employee filed an explosive lawsuit against the organization claiming SNAP was exploiting sexual abuse victims and receiving kickbacks from attorneys for sending clients their way.

Clohessy told The Star on Thursday that the lawsuit had nothing to do with his resignation and called the allegations in the case “preposterous.”

“I told the board in October that I would be resigning,” he said. “We had no idea the lawsuit was coming. It caught all of us completely off guard.”

Clohessy, 60, who lives in the St. Louis area, said he decided it was time for him to step aside. For now, he said, he will remain on the SNAP board. SNAP is based in the Chicago area.

French priest jailed over child abuse in Central Africa


CLERMONT-FERRAND, France - A French court sentenced a priest on Thursday to up to five years in jail after finding him guilty of sexually abusing two young boys in the Central African Republic.

The priest, whose sentence may be suspended after two years, has also been banned from carrying out any professional activity that puts him in contact with minors.

The priest had admitted to one case of abuse in a letter in 2011 to the prosecutor of his home town in central France, Clermont-Ferrand.

But investigators had initially identified a total of four victims.

However they lost track of two of them in the chaos of the Central African Republic's civil war, which erupted in 2013.

When he set out for Central Africa in 2007, the priest said he wanted to build a hospital and to "fight sorcery".

Women claim ‘unreasonable’ exclusion from Magdalene scheme

Irish Times

Mary Carolan

Two women who claim they were forced, while attending industrial schools, to work in Magdalene laundries have alleged unreasonable exclusion from a State compensation scheme.

Due to their exclusion on a “technicality” from the scheme concerning the laundries, the women view the Taoiseach’s apology over the treatment of those who worked in them as “hollow”, counsel Michael Lynn SC said.

They are suing the Minister for Justice in proceedings that opened in the High Court on Wednesday before Mr Justice Michael White.

The women claim that while attending industrial schools run by religious orders in the 1970s and 1980s, they were forced to work in Magdalene laundries which, they allege, were linked to those schools.

One of the women was aged just two when she was taken from her family for reasons unknown to her and placed in a school. She was then sent to work in a laundry for periods, the court heard.

Magdalene Laundry compensation case adjourned

Irish Times

Mary Carolan

There has been an apparent clash between the Minister for Justice and the Ombudsman, concerning the scope of a compensation scheme for women who worked in Magdalene Laundries, at the High Court.

To address that, David Hardiman SC, for the Minister on Thursday got an adjournment of proceedings by two women suing over their exclusion from the ex gratia compensation scheme administered by the Department of Justice’s restorative justice unit.

Both women claim, as children attending industrial schools in the 1970s and 1980s, they were forced to work for periods in laundries and were unreasonably excluded from the scheme on a “technicality”. They claim the scheme administrators wrongly view the schools and laundries as separate institutions when, the women allege, the laundries were linked to the schools.

In opposing their cases, the Minister pleads the scheme was not established to compensate for alleged forced labour or loss of earnings in the laundries but as part of a scheme of healing and reconciliation.

Christchurch Cathedral could be stripped of bishops' and deans' photos after a child sexual abuse hearing

Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
27 Jan 2017

PHOTOS of Newcastle’s Anglican bishops and deans could be removed from Christchurch Cathedral after shocking evidence about church knowledge of child sex offenders in the Hunter region.

The Cathedral board will decide in February if photos, including of defrocked former Dean Graeme Lawrence and Archbishop Roger Herft – the highest-ranking Australian casualty of the church’s dark history of abuse - will be removed under a diocese renewal process.

Bishop Peter Stuart told parishioners that Cathedral picture walls of former bishops and deans were distressing for some survivors of abuse “because it appears as though church is continuing to honour people” who failed to protect children or caused them harm.

Although church buildings told the history of an area’s ministry it was important to consider whether the photos should be removed and the diocese’s leadership story told in another way, Bishop Stuart said in a letter to parishioners on January 19.

More lawsuits filed against Catholic Church on Guam

Radio New Zealand

Six former altar boys on Guam have filed multimillion-dollar lawsuits against the Catholic Church over historical allegations of sexual abuse.

The lawsuits, filed in the Guam District Court, are against former island priest Louis Brouillard, the Archdiocese of Agana and the Vatican over allegations that Brouillard sexually abused them decades ago.

The lawsuits were filed in the District Court of Guam after at least eight Superior Court of Guam judges excused themselves from hearing any of the 15 clergy sex abuse lawsuits so far filed in that court.

Former Iowa pastor faces 13 charges, including sex crimes against child

Des Moines Register

Charly Haley and Linh Ta, Des Moines Register Jan. 25, 2017

A former Dallas Center pastor was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of sexually assaulting a child multiple times, authorities said.

Randy Johnson, 52, of Dallas Center faces 13 criminal charges. Johnson reportedly perpetrated multiple instances of sexual abuse on the 12- or 13-year-old girl during a year-and-a-half time period from 2013 to 2014, according to court records. The abuse reportedly occurred at a Dallas Center home and, in one instance, at a farm in Grimes.

Johnson was formerly the pastor of Dallas Center Church of the Brethren, said Tim Button-Harrison, district executive for the Northern Plains District Church of the Brethren, which oversees the Dallas Center church.

Button-Harrison declined to say when or how Johnson's employment at the church ceased. On Thursday morning, Johnson was still listed as the church's pastor on its website.

The Pope faces his adversaries

La Croix

Nicolas Senèze, Rome

By obtaining the resignation yesterday from the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Pope Francis has made an important point to those who call into question the deep reforms he is undertaking in the Vatican and the Church. Not that Brother Matthew Festing is a personal enemy of the pope, but the conflict between Francis and the Knights of Malta represents the sum of all the opposition he is encountering in his will to reform.

The chronology of events is perplexing. In early December, the Grand Master of the Order demanded the resignation of Grand Chancellor Albrecht von Boeselager, who is accused of being "a liberal Catholic, unfaithful to the teachings of the Church."

Present at this discussion, was Cardinal Raymond Burke, the pope's representative to the Order and one of his main opponents, who led a public attack against the exhortation Amoris laetitia, on possible access to the sacraments by divorcees who remarry. With three retired cardinals, he asked the pope to clarify certain points, to force him to return to the text - something that no pope had done for at least two centuries - and to lessen the magisterial scope of the Vatican.

Within the Order of Malta, the attacks against von Boeselager, who was accused of having allowed the distribution of condoms by the Order in Burma in 2005, was a moral issue. The German explained to the grand master that the matter had been settled and refused to resign. Supported, at least in silence, by Cardinal Burke, Matthew Festing insisted that it was "the will of the Holy See."

Ten days later, von Boeselager's own brother, Georg, was appointed to the superintendency of the Institute for Religious Works (known as the IOR), or the "Vatican bank". With two other bankers, he replaced officials of the IOR who, defending the idea of creating a Vatican investment fund in Luxembourg opposed by the Pope, had to resign in May. Seen against this backdrop, the attacks against von Boeselager appear more and more as a challenge to the reform of the Vatican’s finances and those who are implementing them.

Papst Franziskus misst bei der Verfolgung sexuellen Missbrauchs mit zweierlei Maß

Badische Zeitung

[No pope has spoken so severely about abuse of the Catholic Church as did Francis. His verbal condemnations of the perpetrators are numerous and merciless.]

Franziskus nannte die Pädophilie im katholischen Klerus eine "Monstrosität". Er verglich Missbrauch mit einer "schwarzen Messe". Bischöfe, die sexuellen Missbrauch durch Priester verheimlichen, sollten zurücktreten, forderte der Papst. Franziskus richtete eine Kommission ein, die den Kinderschutz in der Kirche fördern soll. Und er kündigte ein Tribunal an, in dem Bischöfe für Vertuschung zur Rechenschaft gezogen werden sollten. Es klang wie eine Revolution.

Und tatsächlich hat es Fortschritte gegeben. Ein echtes Vatikan-Gericht für Bischöfe wurde zwar nicht geschaffen. Aber seit September vergangenen Jahres gibt es zumindest eine rechtliche Handhabe gegen Bischöfe, die ihre Sorgfaltspflicht verletzen. Die Entscheidungen darüber fällen Kardinäle und letztendlich der Papst hinter verschlossenen Türen (siehe Hintergrund rechts). Entlassungen in Folge des neuen Gesetzes sind seither aber nicht bekannt geworden. Im Gegenteil. Der italienische Enthüllungsjournalist Emiliano Fittipaldi weist in seinem neuen Buch "Lussuria" (Unzucht) darauf hin, dass die katholische Kirche weiterhin ein Glaubwürdigkeitsproblem hat.


Erzbistum Berlin

[By December 31, 2016 the Archbishopric of Berlin had received 53 reports of allegations of sexual abuse or sexual assaults on minors and adults by clerics and members of religious orders and others in the church. During the past year four new allegations were made. The accusations go back to 1947 and some of the accused are deceased. Suspected abuse cases have been systematically recorded since 2002.]

25. Januar 2017 Stefan Förner Pressesprecher
Bis zum 31. Dezember 2016 lagen im Erzbistum Berlin 53 Meldungen über Vorwürfe sexuellen Missbrauchs oder sexueller Übergriffe an Minderjährigen und erwachsenen Schutzbefohlenen durch Kleriker, vom Erzbischof beauftragte Ordensangehörige und andere Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter im kirchlichen Dienst vor. Im Jahr 2016 wurden vier neue Vorwürfe erhoben. Insgesamt gehen die Vorwürfe bis auf das Jahr 1947 zurück, die Beschuldigten sind zum Teil verstorben. Seit dem Jahr 2002 werden Verdachtsfälle sexuellen Missbrauchs systematisch erfasst.

Derzeit ist für einen zum Zeitpunkt des Vorjahresberichts laufenden Fall noch ein staatliches bzw. kirchliches Verfahren anhängig. Das andere laufende Verfahren aus dem Jahr 2015 wurde im Jahr 2016 abgeschlossen. Weiterhin wurde im Jahr 2016 ein Verfahren neu aufgenommen und auch bereits abgeschlossen, so dass es derzeit insgesamt ein laufendes Verfahren gibt.

We need to do more to tackle sexual abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses

The Times

Kathleen Hallisey

Evidence points towards a sexual abuse scandal in the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation on a scale which may be comparable to the Catholic Church, Savile or the Football Association, yet they refuse properly to acknowledge it or make effective changes to their safeguarding policies.

This is not a new issue. In 2002, the BBC Panorama programme Suffer the little children focused on allegations of sexual abuse in the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Former members of the religion claimed that the organisation maintained a database of alleged paedophiles, ie a list of names against whom complaints of sexual abuse had been made. Survivors from the US and UK were interviewed. Their stories were tragic in the way that all such stories are. But the details about how the organisation is alleged to have dealt with their claims were particularly disturbing. After summoning the courage to report the abuse to the leaders of their congregations, they claim they were only asked if there was a second witness to the abuse, and it appears none of their complaints were reported to the police by the organisation.

Little has changed since 2002. The Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to operate what is commonly referred to as the two-witness rule: for any sin committed, there must be two witnesses to the sin in order for the elders to take the matter forward and discipline the member. It matters not that the member has admitted to the same type of wrongdoing in the past. These general policies are outlined in the organisation’s in-house manual Shepherd the Flock of God. In cases of sexual abuse, there is seldom, if ever, a witness. For survivors of sexual abuse who finally find the courage to come forward, in my experience as a solicitor acting on behalf of claimants in sexual abuse cases, the application of these policies means that their complaints are usually dismissed unless the perpetrator admits the abuse, which is rare.

Proposed bill could remove D.C. sex crimes statute of limitations

GW Hatchet

By Celine Castronuovo Jan 25, 2017

A proposed bill could end the statute of limitations for sexual abuse crimes in D.C.

The legislation, proposed by Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh on Jan. 10, would end the current time limit on prosecuting cases of sexual assault, including for rape and child abuse crimes, as well as other felony sex crimes.

Under the current D.C. code, there’s a 15-year statute of limitations for first- and second-degree sexual abuse crimes. Other crimes, like child sex-trafficking, child pronography and incest, have a statute of limitations of 10 years after the victim has turned 21, according to a release on Cheh’s website.

The bill was moved to the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety and is now under review. Once it passes the committee, it will move to the Committee of the Whole in the Council.

Group of Catholics urges Yona seminary's closure

Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com

Jan. 26, 2017

A group of Catholics is urging the church to consider closing the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona and re-establishing a minor seminary that they said would be of greater benefit to the Archdiocese of Agana.

The Concerned Catholics of Guam cited recommendations by a church ad-hoc committee about four months ago, which stated the seminary should close if it does not clarify its purpose, does not seek formal accreditation to ensure the quality of its formation of priests and does not ensure its financial viability.

“It is our strong belief that the re-establishment of a minor seminary would better serve our archdiocese as it had done for nearly five decades. We urge you to bring these issues to Archbishop Byrnes,” Andrew Camacho, vice president of the Concerned Catholics of Guam, said in a letter Thursday to the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.

The council, which consists of nine priests and clergy providing advice to Coadjudtor Archbishop Michael Byrnes, has yet to respond to a request for comment. Byrnes returned to Guam on Monday.

**Blockbuster** SNAP’s Clohessy Resigns In Wake of Lawsuit Scandal That SNAP Took Lawyer Kickbacks and Exploited Victims


In the wake of last week's blockbuster lawsuit by a former SNAP director, Gretchen Hammond, alleging that SNAP was engaged in an elaborate kickback scheme with Church-suing contingency lawyers, SNAP's longtime National Director David Clohessy has announced his resignation.

Jesse Bogan at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was the first to report the news of Clohessy's embarrassing departure.

Clohessy's reckless disregard for truth

Clohessy was the ever-present face of SNAP at press conferences issuing crazy, hyperbolic, and often false statements to an all-too-willing media, whether it be wildly accusing Church officials of being evil or recklessly accusing innocent priests of being pedophiles.

Alessandro Moroni's message on reparations

Sodality of Christian Life

Dear friends,

I am writing to you today to play two very important topics:

First, our position on the first-instance filing of the complaint against Luis Fernando Figari and some members of the Sodalicio and secondly, to make known the detail of the reparations that we have been granting for the moral responsibility that we have against the people who have suffered Because of some members and former members of our organization.

When we received the tax report with the filing of the complaint, we understood that it is a decision based on the strict framework of criminal law. I would like to remind you that this investigation was not intended to demonstrate whether or not there are victims of wrongdoing of people linked to our community, but to prove if we are an illicit association to commit a crime, which has committed abduction and serious injuries. The ruling has ruled out that accusation. Which is why we agree with her.

In addition to the norms of the judicial and canonical fields, there is a necessary moral scope. That is why, with respect to Luis Fernando Figari, we have already pronounced on several occasions recognizing all the damage caused by him, condemning his actions and declaring him persona non grata. We have also requested your separation from our community and have sent all the information about your case to the Holy See.

Sodalits agree to pay 2.8 million dollars in reparations to abuse victims


Lima, Peru, Jan 25, 2017 / 02:58 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Sodalitium Christianae Vitae announced Saturday that 66 persons can be considered victims of abuse of mistreatment by members of the community. The superior general of the community, Alessandro Moroni Llabres, also said Jan. 21 that the society has set aside more than $2.8 million in reparations and assistance for victims.

Moroni's statement followed the Jan. 16 decision of Peruvian public prosecutor María del Pilar Peralta Ramírez to drop charges against the founder, Luis Fernando Figari, and other members of the community. Figari has been accused of sexual abuse, mistreatment, and abuse of power. There was a protest, which included some of the complainants, outside one of the society's pastoral centers in Lima, rejecting the decision of the attorney general's office.

The Sodalitium Christianae Vitae is a society of apostolic life which was founded in 1971 in Peru, and granted pontifical recognition in 1997. CNA's executive director, Alejandro Bermúdez, and its director of operations, Ryan Thomas, are both members of the community.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark was in May 2016 appointed as the Vatican's delegate to oversee ongoing reform of the society. The cardinal had previously served as superior general of the Redemptorists, and secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

What the North’s child abuse inquiry reveals

The Irish Catholic

by David Quinn
January 26, 2017

Another report of another child abuse inquiry was published last week. This time, the inquiry, the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry, chaired by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart, dealt with abuse in institutions in Northern Ireland.

These institutions were run by the Catholic Church, by the state, and by other voluntary bodies such as Barnardo’s and Protestant organisations. The inquiry covered the period 1922 (when partition occurred) until 1995.

It looked into the case of the notorious Fr Brendan Smyth, one of the worst abusers on this island, Kincora Boys’ Home, which was run by the state, the failure of state authorities to properly regulate or fund the various homes, as well as their failure to properly investigate abuse allegations. It also looked into a scheme, called the ‘Child Migrant Scheme’, that sent at least 138 children under the age of 14 to live and work in Australia. It is a catalogue of shame.

A total of 65 institutions had allegations made against them, but in the end the inquiry settled on 22 institutions, which were the ones against which most allegations were made.

Feb 1 court date for Moravian clergymen

Jamaica Observer

FORMER Moravian Church President Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy, Jermaine Gibson, who were on Monday charged with carnal abuse and indecent assault, are set to appear in court on February 1.

Head of the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offence and Child Abuse (CISOCA) Superintendent Enid Ross confirmed the court date on Tuesday. The two are to appear in the Manchester Parish Court.

The sex charges were reportedly laid against the clergymen in relation to the alleged sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl years ago.

Both men are currently on bail.

Maneka is right about visa regulation for child sex offenders, and MEA should listen

The News Minute

Geetika Mantri| Wednesday, January 25, 2017

In 2013, Pastor George Fernandes of New Hope for Children orphanage in Bengaluru received an e-mail from a British citizen Richard Huckle. Huckle wrote that he was interested in spending time at the orphanage and click photographs.

The unsuspecting pastor allowed George to stay at the orphanage for two days, not knowing that he was a convicted paedophile who had abused and raped up to 200 children in Malaysia.

Pastor George said Richard was never left alone with any of the children at New Hope during his stay there and no case has been filed.


Ernest Macintosh, a Nova Scotia businessman was in Nepal when he had 17 child sex abuse related charges against him in the 1970s. When Canadian police were hot on his trail, Macintosh fled to India.

As the Canadian authorities realised he was in India and wasn’t responding to summons, they began the extradition process in 2007. He was convicted of the 17 charges in 2011, pertaining to his abuse of street children in Nepal. No one knows what he did in India.

Sex abuse victims seek $30M

Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff Jan 26, 2017

Six of the 15 sexual abuse cases filed in the local court against former Guam priests and the Archdiocese of Agana have been moved to the federal court in Guam, the attorney for the alleged victims confirmed Wednesday.

Attorney Gloria Rudolph said the six civil cases filed in the U.S. District Court of Guam are for Norman Aguon, Anthony Vegafria, James Bascon, Leo Tudela, Bruce Diaz and Vicente Perez. Each of the six has accused Rev. Louis Brouillard – who is no longer a priest in Guam – of sexual abuse.

The cases for these men, who said they were young children when allegedly sexually abused, haven’t found a judge who would hear their cases in the Superior Court of Guam. Several judges have recused themselves because of conflicts or potential conflicts of interest.

“We expect to find a judge in District Court who will hear our cases,” Rudolph said.

Post-Catholics adrift, unsure of their values and in denial

Irish Times

Derek Scally

t is Christmas Eve Mass in St Monica’s Catholic Church in Edenmore, on Dublin’s northside. Around me are more memories than people.

So much has changed since I was an altar boy here in the late 1980s: the dwindling, ageing congregation and the appearance of the long, functional building. It was built in 1966 as a temporary church, but by the 1990s it had become permanent. Inside, roof tiles were added and the carpet tiles removed, replaced by a more luxurious pink carpet and blond wood pews.

By the time of the last big renovation in 1998, however, the rot had already set in. The midnight Mass is now at 8pm. What was once long and candlelit is now like a visit to a fast-food restaurant: fluorescent-lit, in and out in 35 minutes – including a three-minute homily. ...

St Monica’s is not special-looking, but it was a special place to me. So when did it all begin to fall apart?

In 1997 I was spending a J1 summer in New York when my younger brother wrote to me for the first – and to date last – time. In his excited scrawl, he wrote: “Fr McGennis is on the front of the Evening Herald!”

He meant Paul McGennis, a priest in our parish whose child-abusing past had finally caught up with him. One of his first victims, Marie Collins, has since become the eloquent public face of the clerical abuse survivor movement.

McGennis went through several trials and served time in prison. Yet, for us in St Monica’s, Fr McGennis simply vanished. There was no public discussion about him, and my parents remember no public discussion since. Other parishes took the same ostrich approach, I gather, setting us on the path to the second round of the clerical abuse scandal: exposure of the cover-up.

Leader’s resignation unrelated to lawsuit, SNAP says

Headlines from the Catholic World

Chicago, Ill., Jan 26, 2017 / 12:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A longtime leader of a controversial advocacy group for clergy sex abuse victims resigned weeks before a former employee filed a lawsuit charging the group was receiving kickbacks from attorneys who filed sex abuse cases, the group has said.

David Clohessy resigned as executive director of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests effective Dec. 31, SNAP told CNA on Wednesday.

As of Jan. 17, Clohessy was still listed as executive director on the group's website.

The organization voiced gratitude for Clohessy’s dedication; he had worked for the organization since 1991.

Clohessy told the St. Louis Dispatch that the lawsuit had nothing to do with his departure.

January 25, 2017

Former 'maiden' sues River Road Fellowship elders over sexual abuse

Star Trbune

By Jennifer Brooks Star Tribune JANUARY 25, 2017

One of the former “maidens” of the River Road Fellowship is suing the elders of the cultlike church for failing to protect her from sexual abuse that began when she was 13 years old.

The Fellowship’s founder and charismatic leader, Victor Barnard, pleaded guilty to raping two young girls in his congregation and is serving a 30-year prison term. Now one of those young women, Lindsay Tornambe, has filed a civil suit in Pine County against Barnard, his wife, and more than a dozen Fellowship elders who stood by and did nothing as Barnard isolated young women from their families and molested them for years.

“I don’t know if they’ll ever realize that what they did was wrong,” she said in an interview this week. “But I want a jury to find them guilty and I want them to deal with the consequences of their actions.”

Tornambe’s lawsuit singles out more than a dozen Fellowship members by name who, she says, were in leadership positions that would have let them observe Barnard’s treatment the 10 girls and young women he called “maidens.” One church elder, Tornambe said, provided the maidens with a sex instruction manual.

Woman files lawsuit after being abused as part of cult in Minnesota and Spokane


Samantha Kubota , KREM January 25, 2017

SPOKANE, Wash. --- A woman from a Philadelphia filed a civil lawsuit asking for damages from former cult leaders based in the Inland Northwest after she was sexually abused by a church leader for a decade.

Lindsay Tornambe realized she was abused at a New Year’s Eve party on Jan 1, 2012 after speaking with her friends about her experiences as a child while a member of the River Road Fellowship.

The leader of the cult, Victor Barnard, originally founded his religion in Minnesota. Tornambe's parents met him when she was just nine, and they uprooted their whole lives to move to join the church.

Tornambe said the sexual abuse began when she was 13. She was chosen, along with other girls who were a part of the religion, to be a "maiden." The group of girls lived together for years in the compound, serving their leader, Victor Barnard.

“Whenever he talked about having sex with me, he always said that it was a way to show me how much God loved me,” she said of the abuse.

Civil lawsuit filed against River Road Fellowship

Fox 9

By: Tom Lyden

PINE CO., Minn. (KMSP) - A woman who was sexually assaulted by cult leader Victor Barnard for nearly a decade, beginning when she was 13 years old, is now filing a civil lawsuit against 15 former leaders of his religious group, the River Road Fellowship.

The lawsuit was filed late on Tuesday afternoon in Pine County, Minnesota. The lawsuit claims the group’s leaders “negligently and tortuously exposed the 'Maidens' to the sexual perversion of Victor Barnard.” Several of the defendants had already filed motions to dismiss the pending lawsuit, claiming they were unaware of any sexual abuse. The lawsuit will also be filed in Washington where most of Barnard’s former followers now live.

The civil suit is based on the criminal case against Barnard, which police and prosecutors recently opened up for the Fox 9 Investigators.

In October, Barnard pleaded guilty to sexual assault. Charges followed a Fox 9 Investigation of two women who came forward to accuse Barnard of abusing them for a decade beginning when they were 12 and 13 years old.

Sex crime victim from ‘maidens’ cult files lawsuit targeting River Road Fellowship elders who relocated to Spokane


By Thomas Clouse
(509) 459-5495

After a decade of sexual abuse at the hands of a religious cult leader, Lindsay Tornambe boarded an eastbound train out of Spokane in 2010 and fled her life as a “maiden.”

She has returned, seeking legal vengeance.

Tornambe and her attorney, Pat Noaker, traveled to Spokane to announce that they have filed a civil lawsuit this week in Minnesota against church elders of the River Road Fellowship, many of whom relocated to Spokane.

They are connected to Victor A. Barnard, the imprisoned cult leader who eluded an international manhunt for more than a year until he slipped up in Brazil.

“I’m sure a lot of memories will come back,” Tornambe said earlier this week of her return to Spokane. “But I feel like I’m doing something about this situation and holding people accountable. And, letting people know.”

Former 'maiden' of Minn. cult leader who was sexually abused for nine years starting at age 13 files lawsuit

New York Daily News

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A former "maiden" of a Minnesota cult leader who was repeatedly forced to have sex with him for nine years starting when she was a child has filed a lawsuit against Victor Barnard and other elders of the "church."

Lindsay Tornambe claims in the suit filed this week that Barnard persuaded her to believe her relationship with him was comparable to the one "between Mary Magdalene and Jesus, or King Solomon and his concubines."

Tornambe was sexually abused starting when she was 13, and the assaults continued until she was 22, according to the suit. She is seeking damages against Barnard, the River Road Fellowship and its leaders for failing to protect her at the compound in Finlayson, Minnesota.

"Since childhood, I was brainwashed into believing that being a Maiden was a way of achieving a higher spiritual state," Tornambe, now 30, said in a press release. "It wasn't until years after I left the River Road Fellowship that I realized that the Maidens and the sex was all a lie and a manipulation by Victor Barnard."

Two women claim they were excluded from state compensation over the Magdalene laundries

Irish Independent

Two women who claim they were forced, while attending industrial schools, to work in Magdalene laundries have alleged they have been unreasonably excluded from a State compensation scheme.

Due to their exclusion on a “technicality”, the women view the Taoiseach’s apology over the treatment of those who worked in Magdalene laundries as “hollow”, their counsel Michael Lynn SC said.

They have sued the Minister for Justice in proceedings which opened on Wednesday (Jan 25) before Mr Justice Michael White.

The women claim, as schoolgirls in the 1970s and 1980s in industrial schools run by religious orders, they were forced to work in Magdalene laundries which, they allege, were linked to those schools.

Pedofiele bisschop Vangheluwe geconfronteerd met slachtoffer: "Hij ontkent alles"

De Morgen

[Bisdom Brugge is mee vragende partij om duidelijkheid - Kerknet]

[Former Bishop of Bruges Roger Vangheluwe, who has been guilty of sexual abuse of minors, has again surfaced. This morning he was confronted by one of his victims, Vangheluwe denies everything.]

Oud-bisschop van Brugge Roger Vangheluwe, die zich schuldig heeft gemaakt aan seksueel misbruik bij minderjarigen, is nog eens opgedoken. Deze ochtend werd hij geconfronteerd met een van zijn slachtoffers, Kris Verduyn uit het West-Vlaamse Meulebeke. De man beweert dat hij 25 jaar geleden door de geestelijke misbruikt werd. Vangheluwe ontkent alles. "Dit komt zeer hard aan voor mijn cliënt", zegt advocaat Walter Van Steenbrugge aan VTM Nieuws.

Vangheluwe, intussen 80 jaar, werd deze ochtend rond half 11 het gebouw van de Federale Gerechtelijke Politie in Brussel binnengereden. Het gesprek met zijn slachtoffer en diens advocaat duurde vermoedelijk een paar uur. Rond 14 uur werd de oud-bisschop, die ergens verborgen leeft in Europa, opnieuw naar buiten gereden.

Executive could be formed after poll to implement Hart recommendations, UUP says

Belfast Telegraph

A ministerial Executive could be formed after Northern Ireland's elections solely to implement the Hart child abuse inquiry's recommendations , the UUP leader said.

The public probe found evidence of widespread harm at residential homes run by churches and the state over many decades and recommended compensation be paid. Political uncertainty has left a major question mark over when that will happen.

Some survivors gave evidence to a Stormont committee on Thursday and paid tribute to inquiry chairman Sir Anthony Hart.

Margaret McGuckin, a campaigner and former resident at Nazareth House in Belfast, said: "He is our St Anthony of the sacred heart."

Sir Anthony's report recommended compensation worth up to £100,000, funded by state and voluntary institutions responsible for the residential homes where the harm occurred, with payments beginning later this year.

It’s bishops vs Duterte


By: Jhesset Enano, Leila B. Salaverria - @inquirerdotnet

A ranking official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Wednesday said the Church would continue to criticize President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, after the foulmouthed leader attacked the clergy anew on Tuesday, saying the Church was “full of shit.”

But the Church would also continue to be “understanding” and “very patient” with Mr. Duterte, who also said bishops were “corrupt” and “womanizers” like himself.

“Even before, the Church has been very, very understanding, and very, very patient,” Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Permanent Committee on Public Affairs, told the Inquirer.

“We just need to understand the President. I think [his tirade] was an outburst born out of anger,” Secillano said.

The CBCP desires to end all the bickering between the Church and the President, Secillano said, but added that Church leaders will continue to speak against the methods employed by the Duterte administration in its campaign against illegal drugs.

The Vatican has destroyed the Order of Malta’s sovereignty. What if Italy does the same to the Vatican?

Catholic Herald

by Ed Condon
posted Wednesday, 25 Jan 2017

The curia remains a place where cliques have more authority than the law. It doesn't bode well

The most remarkable thing about the Order of Malta controversy is not that the Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, has resigned. That is extraordinary enough, especially given that it was apparently on the invitation of Pope Francis. No, the most astonishing feature of the story is today’s announcement that the Pope will install an Apostolic Delegate to run the Order. In effect, this abolishes the Order as a sovereign entity. Under international law, what we are seeing is effectively the annexation of one country by another.

How did it come to this? Somehow, the small clique who rallied around the former Grand Chancellor, Albrecht Boeselager, have managed to turn a matter of the Order’s own internal governance into a full-blown diplomatic crisis between the two oldest and most prominent sovereign entities in the western world.

The clique never had much of a case. As I have written before, there is no question that, legally speaking, the commission set up on the recommendation of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State to investigate his sacking of Boeselager was and remains totally illegitimate.

It is clear that Boeselager was dismissed, following his refusal to resign, according to the approved legal process of the Order. It has been alleged that Fra’ Festing “defied” Pope Francis by dismissing Boeselager. But any opinion the Pope may have expressed before the event would have been in the much-rumoured letter on the matter from the Pope directly to Cardinal Burke, the Holy See’s envoy to the Order. This letter has not even been formally confirmed as existing, let alone leaked. Its purported contents remain the great unanswered question at the heart of this whole affair.

Defrocking of negligent bishop in child abuse case ‘null and void’

The Australian

January 26, 2017


The defrocking of a former Anglican bishop for his mishandling of child abuse complaints has been overturned by a ruling that has led to high-level calls for an overhaul of the church’s disciplinary system.

Former bishop of Grafton Keith Slater was deposed from holy orders in 2015 for failing to follow church protocol in handling historical abuse claims at a children’s home in Lismore, northeast NSW, and keeping Newcastle priest Allan Kitchingman in the clergy despite convictions for child sex offences.

Mr Slater, now living in Queensland after retiring as bishop in 2013, was also found to have failed to report abuse allegations to police as recently as 2011. He was deposed after an internal investigation following damning evidence in 2013 at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse over his handling of abuse claims.

Despite admitting most of the alleged misconduct, Mr Slater appealed to the Appellate Tribunal of the Anglican Church of Australia.

Assignment Record– Rev. Justin Paul Pechulis


Summary of Case: Justin Paul Pechulis was ordained for the Diocese of Raleigh in 1958. He assisted in Newton Grove before being named pastor of a Tarboro parish in 1962. From there he pastored parishes in North Wilkesboro, Charlotte and Asheville, which became part of the Charlotte diocese when it was established in 1971.

In 2009 Pechulis was accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a teenage boy from Philadelphia in the late 1970s. Per the suit, the boy was being abused by Philadelphia priest, John McCole, who took the boy on a trip to Asheville NC where Pechulis was pastor of St. Lawrence parish. McCole and Pechulis were friends from seminary. The alleged victim said the two priests forced him to participate in group oral sex, and a third man watched while masturbating.

Pechulis died unexpectedly at age 53 in April 1983.

Ordained: 1958
Died: April 30, 1983

Six cases where the sexual abuse scandal touches Pope Francis

LifeSite News

Elizabeth Yore

January 25, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Recent revelations concerning Pope Francis and negligence over sexual abuse of minors are calling into question his strong words condemning the cover-up of sexual abuse.

In March 2014, in an announcement that received massive publicity, Pope Francis promised a new, more improved Vatican response to the clerical abuse of minors. He reaffirmed that the Vatican would institute zero tolerance for pedophile priests. He announced the creation of a new papal commission on child protection made up of Cardinals, experts, and victims of clergy abuse. This past May, Pope Francis spoke of the scandal again by saying, "This is a tragedy, we must not tolerate the abuse of minors. We must defend minors. And we must severely punish the abusers." Yet, there appears to be a gulf between his words on reform and the reality.

The following six cases suggest a grave disconnect between Pope Francis’ public gestures on the sexual abuse cover-up and his actions.

1. The Fr. Inzoli case: Shocking papal intervention on behalf of a sexual predator

Earlier this month, Michael Brendan Dougherty reported the troubling case of Fr. Mauro Inzoli, who was accused of molesting children, including in the confessional. In 2012, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) found him guilty and defrocked him. Yet, shockingly, Inzoli won a reprieve from Pope Francis.

According to Dougherty, the Pope’s close collaborators, Cardinal Coccopalmerio and Monsignor Pio Vito Pinto, now dean of the Roman Rota, both intervened on behalf of Fr. Inzoli. Pope Francis reversed the action of the CDF and returned Inzoli to the priestly state in 2014, inviting him to "a life of humility and prayer." Coccopalmerio is a trusted confidante of Francis. However, the flashy “Don Mercedes,” as Fr. Inzoli was known, did not follow these admonishments. Dougherty reports, “In January 2015, Don Mercedes participated in a conference on the family in Lombardy.”

This past summer, civil authorities concluded the trial of Inzoli, convicting him of eight offenses, while another 15 charges were beyond the statute of limitations. Inzoli was sentenced to 4 years and 9 months by the Italian Court.

Former SNAP Director Denies Resignation Tied To Ex-Employee’s Lawsuit

CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — One of the key leaders of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has resigned, but he said his departure has nothing to do with a lawsuit filed against the organization this month by a former employee.

For almost 30 years, David Clohessy has been with SNAP. He was national director of the Chicago-based organization.

Clohessy said he told the board in October that he’d be leaving at the end of 2016.

Last week, a former employee filed a lawsuit against SNAP, claiming the non-profit colluded with attorneys who sued the Catholic church over sex abuse in exchange for “kickbacks.” Clohessy said that lawsuit had nothing to do with his resignation.

“I told the board in October I’d be leaving. The lawsuit came completely out of the blue. My last day at work was mid-December. So the lawsuit played no role whatsoever,” he said.

Support group took 'kickbacks' from lawyers suing Catholic Church, suit claims


By Mark Mueller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

A lawsuit filed in Illinois claims the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a group instrumental in exposing the clergy sexual abuse crises in the early 2000s, regularly accepts "kickbacks" from lawyers who sue the Catholic Church and puts its own financial interests above the emotional interests of victims.

The suit -- filed last week in Cook County, where the national headquarters is based -- contends a former employee, Gretchen Hammond, was harassed and ultimately fired after confronting the nonprofit group's founder and president, Barbara Blaine, its then-executive director, David Clohessy, and its outreach director, Barbara Dorris.

The group, known by the acronym SNAP, "does not focus on protecting or helping survivors -- it exploits them," Hammond contends in the suit. Hammond worked as a fundraiser for SNAP in its Chicago office from 2011 to 2013.

The suit does not allege wrongdoing in local chapters. SNAP, founded in 1988, has chapters in every state, in Canada and in Mexico.

In a statement and in telephone interviews, SNAP officials denied any impropriety, saying Hammond's claims are false.

"The allegations are not true," Blaine, the founder, said in a statement. "This will be proven in court. SNAP leaders are now, and always have been, devoted to following the SNAP mission: to help victims heal and to prevent further sexual abuse."

Clohessy, the longtime public face of the national organization, issuing statements and conducting interviews, called the allegations "preposterous and confusing."

"As best I can tell, this is the first we've heard ...

In his telephone interview with NJ Advance Media, Clohessy responded: "I've written hundreds of thousands of emails, and I can't imagine I would say that, That's just not how we operate. Period."

He also said he never gave Hammond permission to access his email and that he never gave her his password.

Pope Takes Over Knights of Malta After Condom Dispute

New York Times

JAN. 25, 2017

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican said Wednesday it was taking over the embattled Knights of Malta lay Catholic order in an extraordinary display of papal power after the Knights' grand master publicly defied Pope Francis in a bitter dispute over condoms.

The move marks the intervention of one sovereign state — the Holy See — into the governance of another, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, an ancient aristocratic order that runs a vast charity operation around the globe.

The Vatican said Matthew Festing, 67, offered to resign as grand master Tuesday during an audience with the pope, and that Francis had accepted it on Wednesday.

The statement said the order's governance would shift temporarily to the order's No. 2 "pending the appointment of the papal delegate."

The naming of a delegate signals a Vatican takeover, harking back to the Vatican's previous takeovers of the Legion of Christ and Jesuit religious orders when they were undergoing periods of scandal or turmoil.

Holy See Press Office communiqué, 25.01.2017

Vatican Information Service - Bulletin

Yesterday, 24 January 2017, in audience with the Holy Father, His Highness Fra’ Matthew Festing resigned from the office of Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Today, 25 January, the Holy Father accepted his resignation, expressing appreciation and gratitude to Fra’ Festing for his loyalty and devotion to the Successor of Peter, and his willingness to serve humbly the good of the Order and the Church.

The governance of the Order will be undertaken ad interim by the Grand Commander pending the appointment of the Papal Delegate.

Knights of Malta leader resigns, pope to name delegate to run order

National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jan. 25, 2017

ROME The showdown between the Vatican and the Knights of Malta has come to a brusque end, with the leader of the historic sovereign order resigning at the apparent request of Pope Francis.

In a statement Wednesday, the Vatican said the pontiff would also be taking over control of the order with the appointment of a new papal delegate in the coming days.

News of Grand Master Matthew Festing's resignation was first reported late Tuesday evening by the Reuters news agency, which said Francis had asked for Festing's resignation in a meeting at the Vatican earlier that day.

The resignation caps an unusually tense month for the prestigious Catholic lay order, which had been openly resisting a Vatican investigation into Festing's firing of one of their top officials. At times it seemed that one of Catholicism's most storied organizations was challenging the authority and power of the pope.

Festing's resignation appeared to surprise the order's headquarters, which was unable to answer questions about the leader's status with the group until mid-Wednesday morning. The order's website was down throughout the morning, with visitors receiving a message that the server hosting the site was overloaded.

Fort Augustus Abbey monk extradition hearing adjourned

BBC News

An extradition hearing for a former Catholic monk accused of child abuse at a Scottish school has been adjourned until next month.

A magistrate in Australia allowed Father Denis "Chrysostom" Alexander more time to make a bail application.

He has always denied allegations that he abused boys at the former Fort Augustus Abbey boarding school in the Highlands.

He was remanded in custody with the next court hearing due on 13 February.

The magistrate is then expected to decide whether or not there will be a contested extradition hearing

Pope Francis appoints two new auxiliary bishops for Milwaukee

Headlines from the Catholic World

Vatican City, Jan 25, 2017 / 07:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Wednesday the Vatican announced the appointment of two priests from Milwaukee – Fr. Jeffrey R. Haines and Fr. James T. Schuerman – to serve as auxiliary bishops for the archdiocese.

The priests have been appointed titular bishops of Tagamuta and of Girba, according to a Jan. 25 Vatican communique.

With their appointment, the bishop-elects will serve under Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, who oversees the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and will replace Bishop Emeritus Richard J. Sklba, who retired in 2010 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.

In a press release on the appointments, Archbishop Listecki said it is a “proud moment for the Church in southeastern Wisconsin. By choosing two of our own priests as our new auxiliary bishops, the Holy Father has paid a high compliment to all the priests from this archdiocese.”


Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on the resignation of David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP):

Just days after SNAP was sued by a former employee for accepting kickbacks from Church-suing attorneys, its leader, David Clohessy, quit.

He said he “voluntarily resigned” last month, but that is an incomplete, if not dishonest, account. Had it not been for a string of lawsuits and bad publicity, he would have stayed for years. He will now be remembered for running when the going got tough, leaving behind a shell of an organization that is broken both morally and financially.

British Knight Falls On His Sword In Vatican Condoms Row

Christian Today

Ruth Gledhill EDITOR 25 January 2017

The British-born head of the Knights of Malta, a chivalric and charitable order, has resigned in the latest twist in the Vatican condoms row.

Grand Master Matthew Festing, 67, was asked by Pope Francis to stand down after he refused to cooperate with a Vatican commission set up to investigate the sacking of one of his knights, Grand Chancellor Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager.

"The Pope asked him to resign and he agreed," a spokesperson for the order told Reuters.

Boeselager was fired by Festing because he had supported the use of condoms in a project for the poor. Festing then opposed the Vatican's enquiry into the dismissal of Boeselager because he said it was interference in the order's sovereign affairs. ...

Festing is from an old British Catholic "recusant" family on his mother's side. He was educated at Ampleforth and has served as a Deputy Lieutenant for Northumberland and is a trustee for Northumbria Historic Churches.

Victor Barnard Sexual Abuse Victim Sues Barnard, Cult and Cult Leaders

Noaker Law


Contact Info:

Patrick Noaker Cell (612) 839-1080
Noaker Law Firm LLC
333 Washington Avenue N., #341
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Leander James Cell (208) 818-6775
Craig Vernon Cell (208) 691-2768
James Vernon & Weeks P.A.
1626 Lincoln Way
Coeur D'Alene, ID 83814

Cult Appears to Have Left Minnesota and Reorganized in Spokane, Washington

WHAT: Press Conference Where Survivor of Cult Sexual Abuse and her Attorneys Will Discuss Lawsuit Against Victor Barnard, River Road Fellowship, its Trustees and Leaders and Concerns that the Cult May Have Reorganized in Spokane, Washington

WHO: Jane Doe 118, Coeur d'Alene Attorney Leander James and Minneapolis Attorney Patrick Noaker

WHERE: Historic Davenport Hotel
Worthy Room
10 South Post Street
Spokane, WA 99201

WHEN: 10:30 am, Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Cult's Leader David Barnard Pled Guilty to Raping Girl When She Was 13 Years Old

One of the victims of sexual assault by River Road Fellowship Cult leader Victor Barnard has filed a civil lawsuit against Barnard, the cult and other cult leaders alleging they were complicit in the operation of the cult that maintained a household of 12 to 18 year-old "maidens" who were required to have sex with Barnard as part of the religion.

Click Here for Civil Complaint

The River Road Fellowship is self-described as a Christian non-denominational biblical research, teaching and fellowship ministry that is an offshoot of The Way International. The River Road Fellowship set up a camp near Finlayson, Minnesota. One particular section of the camp was called "Shepherd's Camp."

In July 2000, Barnard gathered a group of young females at Shepherd's Camp that were referred to as the Maidens Group. The Maidens Group ranged in age from 12-24 years old. As part of the Fellowship's Teachings, Barnard gave sermons about the Maidens Group giving themselves to God, remaining unmarried, and being a privileged and honored group.

Barnard spent a lot of time with the Maidens, both individually and in groups. He taught them that he represented Jesus Christ to them. Barnard did not live in the house with his wife. Instead, he lived in a home referred to as the Lodge on the Shepherd's Camp property.

Six sex-abuse cases against archdiocese moved to federal court

Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff Jan 25, 2017

Six of the 15 sexual abuses cases filed in the local court against Guam priests and the Archdiocese of Agana have been moved to the federal court in Guam, the attorney for the alleged victims confirmed Wednesday.

Attorney Gloria Rudolph said the six civil cases filed in the U.S. District Court of Guam are for Norman Aguon, Anthony Vegafria, James Bascon, Leo Tudela, Bruce Diaz and Vicente Perez.

The cases for these men, who said they were young children when allegedly sexually abused, haven’t found a judge who would hear their cases in the Superior Court of Guam. Several judges have recused because of conflicts or potential conflicts of interest.

“We expect to find a judge in District Court who will hear our cases,” Rudolph said.

The federal cases seek at least $75,000 for each of the men.

Archbishop files lawsuit over seminary land

Pacific Daily News

Jasmine Stole, jstole@guampdn.com Jan. 25, 2017

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes is seeking a court order, affirming the church’s control over the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona, according to a lawsuit filed in Superior Court of Guam.

A hearing in the case Wednesday morning was pushed back until May 3 because none of the defendants have received the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed on Nov. 18, 2016. Nine days before that, Byrnes signed a decree canceling, repealing and rescinding the 2011 declaration of deed restriction that allowed the Yona seminary to be controlled by the Neocatechumenal Way indefinitely, Pacific Daily News files state.

The Redemptoris Mater Seminary, the Redemptoris Mater House of Formation, the Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores Catholic Theological Institute for Oceania and 50 unnamed others are identified as defendants.

6 former Guam altar boys sue priest, Vatican for $30M in US federal court

Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com Jan. 25, 2017

Six former altar boys on Guam filed multimillion-dollar lawsuits in federal court Wednesday afternoon against former island priest Louis Brouillard, the Archdiocese of Agana and the Vatican over allegations that Brouillard sexually abused them decades ago.

The lawsuits were filed in the District Court of Guam after at least eight Superior Court of Guam judges recused themselves from hearing any of the 15 clergy sex abuse lawsuits so far filed in the Superior Court, Attorney Gloria Lujan Rudolph, of the law firm Lujan & Wolff, said Wednesday.

As many as nine other lawsuits, also alleging rape or sex abuse by other former and current Catholic priests on Guam, including Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, will be filed in the District Court of Guam in the days ahead, Attorney David Lujan said.

The six former altar boys on Guam who filed the lawsuits on Wednesday afternoon include Leo B. Tudela, 73; James A. Bascon, 60; Norman J.D. Aguon, 56; Anthony J. Vegafria, 56; Vicente G. Perez, 51; and Bruce A. Diaz, 47.

They each seek not less than $5 million in general damages, for a total of at least $30 million, plus attorney’s fees, and other costs and fees, their federal lawsuits state. Each also demands a jury trial.

Archbishop Byrnes takes RMS to court over Yona property

Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Although the church's legal counsel says the lawsuit is a protective measure, they do have reason to believe that the RMS may attempt to claim interest or ownership in the property.

Guam - Archbishop Michael Byrnes has taken legal action against the Redemptoris Mater Seminary and if successful would force the RMS to completely give up any interest or ownership of the disputed property where the RMS sits on.

It's been silent on the hill on any kind of actions on the Yona seminary property since Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes took critical steps to take back ownership of the multimillion dollar property.

But now, even amid silence from either parties, a lawsuit was filed against the Redemptoris Mater Seminary operators who had previously held a deed restriction that conveyed the title to their name.

Attorney Ignacio Aguigui, who's representing the Archdiocese of Agana and Byrnes in this matter, says this lawsuit was filed as "protective action."

Alleged church sex abuse victims take lawsuits to federal court

Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

Out of the 15 lawsuits filed against the catholic church for sexual abuse, six have been filed in the District Court of Guam.

Guam - Six of the 15 lawsuits that have been filed by several former altar servers against various clergy members of the catholic church for sexual abuse have now been taken to the federal court and unlike the lawsuits that were filed in local court, the federal lawsuits all ask for $5 million in damages each.

The six plaintiffs who filed separate suits against the Archdiocese of Agana for civil claims of sexual abuse are Anthony Vegafria, Vicente Guerrero Perez, Bruce Diaz, James Bascon, Norman J.D. Aguon and Leo Tudela.

How the Church in France is tackling sexual abuse

La Croix

Anne-Benedicte Hoffner, Celine Hoyeau and Marie Malzac

justice turn in Le MansAn alleged case of paedophilia is under investigation in the diocese of Le Mans, in the northwest of France.

Fr Max de Guilbert, who has always denied any wrongdoing, was detained on remand in June 2015 accused of the crime of rape and sexual assault by a person in authority of a minor under the age of 15.

The crimes were alleged to have been committed between 1993 and 2007 on young boys when de Guilbert was stationed in the parishes of Mamers (from 1993 to 1995) and Bonnetable (from 1995 to 2007) in the north of the department of Sarthe.

After a year of pre-trial detention, the priest was placed under house arrest and sent to an abbey in Brittany before being placed under judicial supervision.

The complainants are now thought to number around a dozen. In 1995, a family filed a complaint about improper touching, but the case was discontinued for lack of sufficient evidence.

The priest was transferred; his bishop, Jacques Faivre (who died in 2010) took no particular action.De Guibert's file was sent to Rome, and an expert opinion by Fr Tony Anatrella (which is currently the subject of a canonical review) concluded that the priest was "an immature but non-paedophile personality".

Revealed: How secret church report led to rapist minister Bryan Gates being jailed for 15 years

The Sentinel

By P_Cullinane | Posted: January 25, 2017

Shamed Methodist minister Bryan Gates was arrested for historic sex offences - years after church leaders carried out their own investigation into his sordid past.

The 63-year-old retired in 1998 and had previously raped a woman in Stoke-on-Trent during his time at Longton's Central Hall.

He was one of 1,885 people investigated by the Methodist Church after concerns were raised about thier past.

Now Gates has been jailed for 15 years after being convicted of one count of rape and two counts of attempted rape.

It has emerged Staffordshire Police approached his victim after being handed the church file.

Judge David Fletcher told Gates: "You are frankly an embarrassment to the church for whom you worked. You should be deeply ashamed of the behaviour and the offences you perpetrated."

Former Aurora priest fighting expert testimony in sex abuse case

Daily Herald

Harry Hitzeman

A 50-year-old former Aurora priest accused of sexual abuse plans to fight prosecutors' attempts to have child abuse experts testify at a future trial that "inconclusive exams and/or cultures do not disprove abuse."

Alfredo Pedraza-Arias of Rockford was arrested in early 2016 on charges he sexually abused two girls younger than 13 -- one at her Aurora home and another in an office at Sacred Heart Church in Aurora -- between January 2009 and November 2014.

Defense attorney David Camic is seeking any and all possible emails that were sent between police and investigators and four proposed experts.

"If the police and experts communicated, we need to know about it," he said. "It's a statement of witnesses in the case."

Camic also expressed skepticism of testimony from four experts who, according to court records, would testify as to "how inconclusive exams and/or cultures do not disprove abuse."

Plaintiffs in cases against church seeking $5M in damages


Updated: Jan 25, 2017

By Sabrina Salas Matanane

Several cases of alleged clergy sexual abuse have now been filed in federal court seeking millions of dollars in damage against the local church and the Vatican. All of the cases filed against the local catholic church in the superior court will be filed in the District Court of Guam. Just today six cases out of the 15 local cases have been filed in federal court.

According to attorney David Lujan, who represents the alleged victims, the cases were and are being moved because all the judges in the Superior Court disqualified themselves. The local Catholic church is being sued for the alleged sexual abuse, knowing about it and not doing anything.

Several priests, including Archbishop Anthony Apuron, have been accused of sexual molestation. Fr. Luis Brouillard, who is no longer is with the local church, confessed during an interview with KUAM News last year that he sexually molested boys while he was a priest here decades ago because he thought it made them happy. In a videotaped confession he said he told the bishop at the time about it, but was told to do prayer as as penance.

Duterte accuses Catholic Church of being ‘full of sh*t’


Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has unleashed his colorfully-worded wrath on the Catholic Church again, saying the organization is corrupt, “full of sh*t,” and accusing priests of sexual abuse.

Duterte on Tuesday accused the Church and its bishops and priests of corruption, womanizing and said he was abused by a priest as a student of Ateneo de Davao University. He also said three Cabinet secretaries had been molested.

Speaking to the families of Special Action Forces who died in Mamasapano in 2015, Duterte advised the crowd to read "Altar of Secrets" by Aries Rufo to discover the truth about church officials, saying he would resign if its allegations were untrue. He added he might pen his own book about the Church, entitled "Hypocrisy."

“I challenge the Catholic Church,” he said. “You are full of sh*t. You all smell bad, corruption and all.”

3 convicted for child abuse at religious Alabama private school


by Anna Claire Vollers

It was a case that almost didn't make it to trial.

"Everybody, from Alabama, Maine, Dallas, Houston, New York - it was a herculean task and it took a lot of people at the DA's office working hard to make it happen," said Keith Blackwood, Mobile County assistant district attorney, "to make sure I had what I needed to prove my case."

In the end, three leaders of a religious Alabama bootcamp for troubled teens were convicted on multiple counts of aggravated child abuse for what they did to the children in their care.

The convictions were thanks in large part to the testimony of five former students, who told the court about the physical and mental abuse they suffered at the school.

Despite multiple investigations by the Mobile County DA's office, local law enforcement and the Alabama Department of Human Resources, it took officials five years to close down the school and another seven months to arrest the employees accused of the worst of the abuse.

Victims advocacy group announces leader's resignation in wake of lawsuit

Chicago Tribune

Manya Brachear Pashman
Chicago Tribune

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests announced Tuesday that its longtime national director, accused by a former SNAP employee of referring potential clients to attorneys in return for financial kickbacks to the group, resigned at the end of last year.

The announcement that David Clohessy, of St. Louis, left the Chicago-based organization comes a week after he and other leaders were named in a lawsuit filed by a former employee who said she was fired shortly after asking superiors whether SNAP was referring victims to attorneys in exchange for donations to the organization.

In addition to Clohessy, defendants named in the lawsuit are the organization itself, Barbara Blaine, its founder and president, and Barbara Dorris, outreach director. Dorris could not be reached for comment.

In a statement sent to volunteers Tuesday morning, Mary Ellen Kruger, the chairwoman of the board, thanked Clohessy for his nearly 30 years of service to the organization.

"His passion, his voice and his kindness have touched us all," Kruger said. "We will miss David, and we wish him much happiness. David will always be a friend and an inspiration to SNAP and its many dedicated and hardworking volunteers."

SNAP announces director named in lawsuit has resigned

Chicago Sun-Times

Andy Grimm

A longtime leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, an advocacy group that has for decades publicized allegations of sexual abuse by priests, left the organization at the end of 2016, according to a statement issued Tuesday by SNAP’s chairman.

The announcement that David Clohessy no longer is SNAP’s national director comes just days after a former SNAP staffer filed a lawsuit in Cook County, claiming the Chicago-based organization steered clergy sex abuse victims to lawyers who in turn sued the Catholic Church and then donated large sums back to SNAP.

In the lawsuit, former SNAP fundraiser Gretchen Rachel Hammond claims she saw emails from Clohessy to “prominent” lawyers in several states coordinating press events and in at least one case directly asking when SNAP could expect a donation after referring a victim. Hammond said she was fired from her job as development director for SNAP after she expressed qualms about the group’s ties to lawyers, who provided donations that in most years accounted for 50 to 80 percent of the group’s funding.

Clohessy “voluntarily resigned” from SNAP “effective Dec. 31,” according to a two-paragraph email from SNAP Board Chairwoman Mary Ellen Kruger. According to his profile on the SNAP website, Clohessy had served as the group’s national director since 1991.

Moravian ministers head to court Feb 1

Jamaica Observer

MANCHESTER, Jamaica — Head of the Centre for Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA) Superintendent Enid Ross confirmed that the Moravian ministers who were yesterday charged for carnal abuse and indecent assault will be making an appearance in court on February 1.

Former Moravian Church president Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy Jermaine Gibson will appear in the Manchester Parish Court.

The charges were reportedly laid against the men because of sexually-related incidents involving a minor that allegedly occurred in the parish years ago.

The men are currently on bail.

Perth teacher-turned-police officer charged with child sex offences

WA Today

Emma Young

Child Abuse Squad detectives have charged a former Perth Catholic school teacher, who then became a police officer, with indecently dealing with four eight-year-old boys in the 1980s.

Officers charged the 56-year-old man last Thursday as a result of their investigation into the alleged offences.

They will allege he committed them between 1984 and 1985, while teaching at a CBD Catholic college.

At the time of his arrest he was employed as a sergeant in the Central Metropolitan police district.

An ex-military whistleblower claims there’s been a decades-long cover-up over institutionalised child abuse

The Canary

Former army information officer and whistleblower Colin Wallace has condemned the findings of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry. The inquiry found no evidence that security agencies were complicit in child sex abuse that took place at Kincora Boys Home, Northern Ireland.

But Wallace claims that the British government knew about security services’ alleged involvement in the abuse for decades and did nothing. And The Canary has seen documents which appear to back up his claims.

The Kincora scandal

Joseph Mains, Raymond Semple and William McGrath ran Kincora boys’ home in East Belfast. The latter was a leader of Tara, an extremist Protestant paramilitary organisation. All three were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys.

Special Branch officers reportedly saw the former head of Britain’s MI6, Sir Maurice Oldfield, associating with boys from Kincora. And former intelligence officer Brian Gemmell has alleged in the past that MI5 used Kincora as a blackmail lever. Gemmell claims that, in 1975, MI5 put a stop to an investigation into the abuse. Also, attempts by Royal Ulster Constabulary officers to interview a senior MI5 official about the scandal failed.

Pastor found guilty of having sex with 13-year-old

The Star

Livern Barrett
January 24, 2017

Fifty-five-year-old Kingston pastor Paul Hanniford has been convicted in the Home Circuit Court for having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.

The in-camera trial which ended a short while ago featured testimonies from the victim who is now 15 years old, and her then five-year-old brother who witnessed the incident at the pastor's home.

Prosecutors led evidence that Hanniford, the pastor of a Pentecostal church, took the two children to his house under the pretence that they were going for a "drive out".

According to the prosecution, the pastor gave the five-year-old boy cornflakes and put him around a dining table.

Knights of Malta grand master ordered to resign following bitter dispute with Vatican

International Business Times

By Lara Rebello
January 25, 2017

The leader of the Knights of Malta has resigned from his position following a bitter dispute with the Vatican. Prince and Grand Master Robert Matthew Festing was asked to relinquish his role in the Rome-based Catholic chivalric and charity institution, by Pope Francis.

"The Pope asked him to resign and he agreed," a spokesperson for the order said. The group's Sovereign Council will now be required to approve the highly unusual resignation. Grand masters normally keep their positions for life.

The spokesperson added that Festing met with the Pope on Tuesday (24 January) to discuss the ongoing conflict between the order and the Holy See and asked him to formally step down. The move comes after Festing fired senior knight Grand Chancellor Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager in December for allowing the use of condoms in a medical project for the poor through Malteser International, the order's humanitarian aid agency.

Von Boeselager appealed to the Pope and a five-member commission was appointed to look into the unusual circumstances of the sacking. However, Festing refused to cooperate and called the commission illegitimate and said that it was interfering in the order's sovereignty and right to govern its internal affairs.

The grand chancellor on his part said that the condom issue was an excuse by Festing and Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, an arch-conservative, to increase the power of the institution. He said that he had closed two medical aid projects after discovering that they distributed condoms, but kept a third one running in Myanmar to continue providing basic medical services to poor people in the Asian country.

Vatican condom row: pope prevails as Knights of Malta chief resigns

The Guardian (UK)


The head of Catholic order the Knights of Malta has resigned over a bitter dispute with the Vatican about free condoms that become a test of the authority of liberalising Pope Francis.

The Rome-based chivalric and charity institution said Grand Master Matthew Festing, 67, resigned after Pope Francis asked him to step down at a meeting on Tuesday. Grand masters of the institution, which was founded in the 11th century, usually keep their positions for life.

“The pope asked him to resign and he agreed,” the spokesperson said, adding that the next step was a formality in which the group’s Sovereign Council would have to sign off on the highly unusual resignation.

Festing and the Vatican have been locked in a bitter dispute since one of the order’s top knights, Grand Chancellor Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, was sacked in December after the charity distributed condoms as part of a medical project for the poor.

Knights of Malta head resigns after dispute with Vatican


By Philip Pullella | VATICAN CITY

The head of the Knights of Malta, who has been locked in a bitter dispute with the Vatican, has resigned, a spokesperson for the Rome-based Catholic chivalric and charity institution said on Wednesday.

The spokesperson said Grand Master Matthew Festing, 67, had resigned after Pope Francis asked him to step down at a meeting on Tuesday. Grand masters of the institution, which was founded in the 11th century, usually keep their positions for life.

"The pope asked him to resign and he agreed," the spokesperson said, adding that the next step was a formality in which the group's Sovereign Council would have to sign off on the highly unusual resignation. The order would be run by its number two, or grand commander, until a new head is elected.

Festing and the Vatican have been locked in a bitter dispute since one of the order's top knights, Grand Chancellor Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, was sacked in December in the chivalric equivalent of a boardroom showdown - ostensibly because he allowed the use of condoms in a medical project for the poor.

Number of Peru abuse survivors reject 'offensive' compensation offer

RTE News (Ireland)

Some of the known survivors of abuse at the hands of an elite Catholic society in Peru have rejected offers of compensation, branding them "ridiculous and offensive".

Meanwhile, the influential Sodalitium Christianae Vitae announced it had reached a $2.84 million-plus reparation agreement with 35 victims of the organisation's former leaders.

The SCV, which was founded in the country in 1971 is composed of two bishops, three dozen priests and 248 brothers and was running 39 parishes, according to the latest available official figures from 2014.

The Peruvian prosecutor's office has filed 27 complaints against the SCV's founder, Luis Fernando Figari but the Attorney General said this week that no charges would be pressed due to a lack of evidence.

Last April, the SCV admitted Figari was guilty of accusations of sexual and physical abuse.

Perth policeman charged over child abuse


A 56-year-old Perth police sergeant has been charged with child sex offences that he allegedly committed while he worked as a school teacher during the 1980s.

Police say the man assaulted four boys, who were eight years old at the time, between 1984 and 1985 when he worked as a teacher at a Catholic school in the Perth CBD.

He has been stood down from work, charged with four counts of indecent treatment of a child under 14 and is due to appear before the Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

January 24, 2017

Nonprofit took kickbacks instead of helping priests' sex abuse victims, lawsuit claims

New York Daily News

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A nonprofit set up to help sex abuse victims of priests gets financial kickbacks for referring cases to attorneys seeking to sue the Catholic Church, a new lawsuit alleges.

A former employee of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) brought up the case, saying the group fired her in February 2013 after she complained to bosses about the collusion.

"Attorneys and SNAP base their strategy not on the best interests of the survivor, but on what will generate the most publicity and fundraising opportunities for SNAP," the suit filed last Thursday in Illinois federal court says.

The fired staffer, Gretchen Rachel Hammond, was hired in 2011 to do fundraising for the group, according to the suit.

Longtime leader of clergy victims group leaves as SNAP faces lawsuit

Religion News Service

By David Gibson

(RNS) A fixture in the organization working for children sexually abused by Catholic priests has resigned his post, a development that coincides with a lawsuit from a former employee alleging the group colluded with lawyers to refer clients and profit from settlements.

David Clohessy, longtime executive director of SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Tuesday (Jan. 24) that he left in December and his departure had nothing to do with the lawsuit, which was filed in Illinois on Jan. 17.

“Not at all,” Cohessy said by phone from his home in St. Louis, where SNAP has its main office. “My last day was five weeks ago, before this lawsuit ever happened.”

The lawsuit by Gretchen Rachel Hammond names Clohessy and other SNAP leaders as defendants and alleges that “SNAP does not focus on protecting or helping survivors – it exploits them.”

Après les scandales, opération "transparence" de l'Eglise sur la pédophilie


[According to a quantitative survey published by the Conference of French Bishops (CEF), nine clerics (priests or deacons), out of about 15,000 are currently "imprisoned in France for acts of sexual violence committed against minors. Thirty-seven others served their sentences and were released from prison and 26 are under indictment.]

Nouveau guide antipédophilie, publication de chiffres - en stagnation voire repli - sur les prêtres impliqués: l’Église catholique en France a une nouvelle fois affiché lundi une volonté de "transparence" sur les abus sexuels, après les mois de scandales qui l'ont secouée.

Selon une enquête quantitative publiée par la Conférence des évêques de France (CEF), neuf clercs (prêtres ou diacres), sur environ 15.000, sont actuellement "emprisonnés en France pour des faits de violences sexuelles commises sur des mineurs".

Trente-sept autres "ont exécuté leur peine et sont sortis de prison", et "26 clercs font l'objet d'une mise en examen, soit moitié moins qu'en 2010".

F: Kirche veröffentlicht Richtlinien gegen Missbrauch


[The French bishops conference published figures on abuse. Nine clergy were currently detailed for sexual offenses against minors and 37 priests have already served their sentences while 26 clergy are now in court proceedings. Seven years ago, the number of judicial procedures was twice as high. According to the bishops, 222 victims were reported and more than half the cases relate to alleged incidents that happened before 1970. Thirty-five percent of statements from victims relate to incidents between 1970 and 2000 and four percent relate to the period after 2000.]

Die Französische Bischofskonferenz hat Richtlinien im Kampf gegen sexuellen Missbrauch herausgegeben. Das sei eine der Maßnahmen, um die Kirche zu einem sicheren Ort für Kinder und Jugendliche zu machen, teilte die Bischofskonferenz am Montag in Paris mit.

Das Dokument umfasst etwa 60 Seiten mit rechtlichen Informationen zu dem Thema sowie Hinweisen zum Verhalten bei der Arbeit mit Kindern und Jugendlichen.

Lord have mercy! ...Pastors accused of abusing 12-year-old - Alleged victim vow to fight for justice

The Star

As far back as 2002, Pastor Jermaine Gibson had sexual relation with a young woman who was 12 years old at the time, the police Corporate Communications Unit alleged yesterday.

The communication arm of the police force said that two years after Gibson allegedly abused the teen, another pastor, Paul Gardner, allegedly had sexual relations with her.

Following investigations by detectives from the Centre for Sexual Offences and Child Abuse, both pastors were yesterday charged with carnal abuse.

The alleged victim, Stacy*, has welcomed the latest development.

“I am happy that they have both been charged and my resolve to see it through is even greater, especially given their insistence on saying the charges are unfounded as per the statement issued by their lawyer,” Stacy told THE STAR.

“I know that it will not be an easy journey, but I am prepared to travel to the end. Whatever the result ... . I am grateful for an opportunity to put that on the record,” the alleged victim added.
Gardner and Gibson are booked to appear in the Manchester Parish Court next week.


Gardner quit as president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and The Cayman Islands earlier this month amid allegations of sexual misconduct within the organisation. Gibson, who was his deputy, also resigned.

Lambert Johnson who is representing Gardner and Gibson, has dismissed the allegations against his clients as “vile and malicious”.

The foundation of the Moravian Church has been shaken by recent allegations of sexual misconduct by its leaders.

Spies not blamed over Kincora in a ‘travesty’ of a child abuse inquiry

Socialist Worker

[Kincora Material - Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry]

by Simon Basketter

Children suffered decades of sexual, physical and emotional abuse in homes run by the state, charities and churches in Northern Ireland, an inquiry found last week.

Sir Anthony Hart chaired the four-year Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry. He said payouts of up to £100,000 should be made to those who suffered the worst abuse or were sent to Australia.

Hart found “systemic failings” at 20 of the 22 institutions probed over allegations from 1922 to 1995.

But he rejected claims that a paedophile ring involving British establishment figures abused boys at the Kincora home in Belfast.

There have long been suspicions that security services protected William McGrath—who ran the home and did abuse children—because of his links to Loyalist paramilitaries.

Among the first to voice concerns was former Army information officer Colin Wallace in 1975. He was swiftly moved from his post.

Colin said, “The astonishing claim by the authorities, including the Intelligence Services, that they knew nothing about the allegations surrounding McGrath’s sexual activities until 1980 is a total travesty.”

Security services refused to give evidence. It emerged in the inquiry that files about Kincora have been “lost”.

Colin Wallace's statement in full

Although I initially offered to give evidence to the Hart Inquiry, I later decided not to mainly on the grounds that the Government repeatedly refused to give it the same legal powers as the corresponding Inquiry in London. I believe that both the perception and the reality of the Government’s decision is one of unfairness to the victims.

Despite my decision, I did, however, provide the Hart Inquiry with 265 pages of comment and supporting documents, drawing attention to false or misleading information contained in the transcripts of the public hearings. My reason for doing so was to enable the Inquiry to investigate and corroborate the accuracy of my past comments about Kincora and related matters, and to provide the Inquiry with the opportunity to correct the relevant errors in the its published transcripts.

Priest assaulted girl in Confessional Box

Derry Journal

The Historical Abuse Inquiry has upheld an allegation from a former resident at Nazareth House that she was sexually abused at the age of four or five by a Sister at the Bishop Street home.

The Inquiry team found that the incident was not reported to the police when the victim related it to another Sister many years later.

The Inquiry also accepted testimony from another witness that she was persistently abused from the ages of eight to 12 by a priest, including during one episode in a Confessional Box and another in a Sacristy. The priest sometimes gave her a mint after abusing her.

Two witnesses gave testimony that they were sexually interfered with after being placed with families in the country during the summer months and the Inquiry found there was a systematic failure on the part of the Sisters to report the allegations to the authorities.

UPDATE: Former Moravian president, VP granted bail

Jamaica Observer

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Former Moravian President Paul Gardner and his deputy Jermaine Gibson who were both arrested and charged with carnal abuse and indecent assault have been granted bail.

The men’s attorney Lambert Johnson confirmed the release moments ago.

After news of their charges became public earlier today, Johnson told OBSERVER ONLINE that his clients said the accusations are being done “out of sheer malice, with the intention of destroying their good name.”

The attorney said that the men’s arrest is “based on vile, malicious and tenuous allegations” adding that based on allegations “the available evidence is riddled with inconsistencies and is bereft of credibility, cogency or corroboration."

SNAP faces lawsuit claiming it colluded with clergy sex abuse victim attorneys

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Jesse Bogan St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS • The advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has for decades pressured Catholic church officials and helped expose clergy sex abuse cases that resulted in large payouts to victims and their attorneys.

Now the table is being turned on SNAP.

A former development director for the nonprofit organization claims that SNAP fired her in retaliation for confronting the organization for “colluding with survivors’ attorneys.”

Gretchen Rachel Hammond, 46, of Chicago, who raised money for SNAP from July 2011 until February 2013, filed the lawsuit last week in Cook County, Ill.

Hammond alleges that the advocacy organization, which was based in Chicago until moving to the Central West End in late 2016, didn’t have grief or rape counselors on the payroll and that SNAP ignored some victims seeking help. ...

Reached by telephone, Clohessy said the idea that SNAP was getting kickbacks was “utterly preposterous.”

Asked about the specific email, he said: “I have written tens of thousands of emails. I can’t imagine that that’s true.”

Clohessy, of St. Louis, started with SNAP in the late 1980s. In 2007, he received the Lifetime Achievement in Advocacy Award from the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, according to the SNAP website. He’s been interviewed by “60 Minutes” and countless media outlets across the country.

He confirmed Monday that he no longer works for SNAP. He said he quit about five weeks ago. He said the recent lawsuit had nothing to do with his departure.

Ex-church deacon pleads guilty to sexually assaulting girl

Daily Herald

An ex-church deacon accused of sexually assaulting a young girl over a 10-year period pleaded guilty Friday in DuPage County court and waived his rights to a jury trial.

Timothy Peltz, 52, entered blind pleas of guilty to four counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Nineteen other charges were dismissed. Peltz faces between 24 and 120 years in prison on the consecutive counts.

Authorities said Peltz frequently assaulted the girl when she was between 3 and 13 years old. Officials from Living Hope Bible Church in Roselle, where Peltz worked as a deacon until early 2016, said the abuse did not take place on church grounds or during any church activities.

The assaults stopped when the girl was 13 "because she was able to physically resist," but began again last year, according to Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Lindt.

Irish Bishops open up to the Vatican about sexual abuse

Rome Reports

[with video]

After a 10 year hiatus since their last Ad Limina, which usually takes place every five years, the Irish bishops came to Rome to discuss the state of the Church in Ireland.

They met with nearly all the major departments of the Roman Curia and Pope Francis, where open discussions took place about issues such as migration, secularism, women in the Church and outreach to the poor. However, one main topic of interest was the clerical sex abuse in the country.

Archbishop of Armagh (Ireland)

"We have shared the determined efforts we have been making to put in place robust procedures of safeguarding in the Church in Ireland. We also spoke a lot about the efforts to try to bring healing to those who have been abused and all people who have been affected by the awful trauma of the sins and crimes of people in the Church and others in society.”

The archbishop said since their last meeting with Benedict XVI, they have been working on four steps of healing and recovery: to establish the truth, to put procedures in effort to prevent future abuse, to adhere to principles of justice and to bring healing.

Two more church ministers charged with having sex with a minor


Two ministers of religion were on Monday charged with Carnal Abuse and Indecent Assault by investigators assigned to the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).

They are 36-year-old Jermaine Gibson of Lyndale Close, Kingston 20 and 54-year-old Paul Gardner of Burbank Avenue, Kingston 19. Both men are senior members of the Moravian Church, the same church as Rupert Clarke who was charged with rape after he was in December allegedly caught having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Gibson allegedly had a sexual relationship with a minor as far back as 2002, when the alleged victim was a 12 year-old girl. Gardener, allegedly, later also developed a sexual relationship with the teen.



19 January 2017 | by Christopher Lamb

Inside the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace hangs an icon of the Virgin Mary holding a finger to her lips. Titled Our Lady of Silence it was placed there on the instructions of Pope Francis. It was a not so subtle hint that those who work for the Church should not gossip, but it could equally be seen as an image for the way the Church has responded to clerical sexual abuse.

That scandal reared its head again this week with a new book by Italian journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi. Lussuria (Lust) reveals that roughly 1,200 abuse cases have been filed with the Holy See during Francis’ papacy, maintaining a depressingly similar pace to the last couple of years of Benedict XVI’s time in office. Mr Fittipaldi was one of the journalists threatened with jail by the Vatican for publishing sensitive documents that exposed financial mismanagement by Vatican officials: now he’s turned his attention to the abuse issue, alleging that Francis is doing very little to tackle the problem. Is this fair?

Former employee sues group that represents victims of clergy abuse

Catholic Herald (UK)

by Catholic News Service
posted Monday, 23 Jan 2017

Gretchen Rachel Hammond accused organisation of being motivated by an ideological hostility to the Catholic Church

A former director of development for Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (Snap) has said that the organisation is more interested in fundraising and taking kickbacks from lawyers suing the Catholic Church than in helping survivors.

Gretchen Rachel Hammond, has filed a lawsuit against the organisation in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, further accuses Snap of being “a commercial organisation” and “premised upon farming out abuse survivors as clients for attorneys, who then file lawsuits on behalf of the survivors and collect settlement checks from the Catholic Church.”

Hammond worked for Snap from July 2011 to February 2013, and is now a journalist for the Windy City Times. She claims she was fired in retaliation for a series of discoveries she made about the way settlements were being handled, and that the stress caused by Snap’s treatment of her sent her to the hospital four times and resulted in a series of health problems.

She also asserts that Snap “is motivated by its directors’ and officers’ personal and ideological animus against the Catholic Church.”

In 2011, Snap helped publicise the attempt in Europe to bring charges against Pope Benedict XVI for crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court.

Lawyer for Moravian ministers says allegations are vile and malicious

The Gleaner

Lambert Johnson, the attorney for Moravian ministers Dr Paul Gardner and Jermaine Gibson, has described the arrest and charge of his clients as vile, malicious and tenuous.

Johnson says the allegations are riddled with inconsistencies and are bereft of credibility, cogency and corroboration.

He asserts that the case is doomed to fail.

The attorney also says Dr Gardner and Reverend Gibson maintain their innocence.

Johnson says the Moravian ministers have given instructions to file a suit for defamation, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment.

UPDATE: Two more Moravian clergymen charged with carnal abuse

The Gleaner

Two more clergymen have been charged with carnal abuse.

Dr Paul Gardner and Jermaine Gibson were today charged following investigations by detectives from the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).

Superintendent Enid Ross Stewart, head of CISOCA, said Gibson, 36, of Lyndale Close, Kingston 20 and Gardner, 54, of Burbank Avenue, Kingston 19 were today charged with carnal abuse and indecent assault.

According to the police, the incidents, which date as far back as 2002.

They allege that Gibson had a sexual relationship with the girl who was twelve years old at the time.

'Doomed to failure' - Lawyer for embattled Moravian ministers says case lacks credibility - accuser vows to fight to the end

The Gleaner

Hours after detectives from the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse charged former president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and Grand Cayman, the Rev. Dr Paul Gardner, and former vice president, the Rev. Jermaine Gibson, for carnal abuse and indecent assault, the alleged victim vowed to press for justice even as an attorney representing the churchmen says the case is “doomed to failure”.

The woman who accused both Gardner and Gibson told The Gleaner yesterday that she was happy that the men have been charged, noting that “my resolve to see it through is even greater, especially given their insistence on saying the charges are unfounded as per the statement issued by their lawyer.”

The alleged victim, whose identity has been withheld, said she was prepared to seek justice. “I know that it will not be an easy journey, but I am prepared to travel to the end. Whatever the result, I know that they are (alleged) sexual predators, and I am grateful for an opportunity to put that on the record.”

At the same time, the Reverend Phyllis Smith-Seymour, the acting president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica, said the latest development in the sex scandal plaguing the church was regrettable.

Former Moravian president and VP arrested in sex scandal

Jamaica Observer

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Former Moravian President Paul Gardner and his deputy Jermaine Gibson have been both arrested and charged with carnal abuse and indecent assault.

The attorney-at-law representing the men told OBSERVER ONLINE that his clients said the accusations are being done “out of sheer malice, with the intention of destroying their good name.”

The attorney said that the men’s arrest is “based on vile, malicious and tenuous allegations” adding that based on allegations “the available evidence is riddled with inconsistencies and is bereft of credibility, cogency or corroboration."

“[Our] clients are steadfast in their declarations of innocence and having regard to the circumstances we have been instructed to file suit for defamation, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment,” the attorney’s law firm said in a statement Monday.

Two more pastors charged with carnal abuse

The Star

January 23, 2017

Former president of the Moravian church, Dr Paul Gardner, has been charged with carnal abuse.

Gardner as well as Jermaine Gibson, who was vice president of the church, were today slapped with the charges following investigations by detectives from the Centre for Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).

Superintendent Enid Ross Stewart, head of CISOCA, said the clergymen were charged about midday. She said that a court date has not yet been set.

Dr Gardner quit as president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands earlier this month amid allegations of sexual misconduct within the organisation. Gibson, who was his deputy, also resigned.

Moravian clergymen to sue as sex scandal deepens

Jamaica Observer

FORMER Moravian Church President Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy, Jermaine Gibson, yesterday instructed their attorney to file a suit for defamation, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment after they were slapped with sex charges in relation to the alleged sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl 14 years ago.

Defence attorney Lambert Johnson, who is representing both men, told the Jamaica Observer that the allegations and subsequent arrest are out of “sheer maliciousness and sheer malevolence”.

While saying that he could not go into details, Johnson said that the allegations against his clients were riddled with inconsistencies, lacked credibility, cogency and corroboration and that the case was doomed to fail.

Gardener, 54, of Burbank Avenue, Kingston 19, and 36-year-old Gibson of Lyndale Close, Kingston 20, were yesterday arrested by the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offence and Child Abuse (CISOCA) and charged with carnal abuse and indecent assault.

According to a report from the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Corporate Communications Unit, in 2002 Gibson allegedly engaged in a sexual relationship with the girl while he was a minister in the church.

Diocese launches new Protection and Safety

Roman Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has this morning announced the launch of the Diocesan Protection and Safety Council – a new body formed to advise the Bishop.

The Diocesan Protection and Safety Council (Council) will provide independent advice to the Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle on a range of issues, including promoting the protection of children and vulnerable adults within the Diocese, developing the Diocesan capacity to continue to support those who have been affected by child sexual abuse and working to rebuild a sense of trust within the community about the Diocese's commitment to protect children and vulnerable adults.

Bishop Bill Wright says the formation of the Council will foster a culture of continuous improvement throughout the Diocese, in all matters relating to the protection of children and vulnerable adults:

"The Diocese has a particularly troubled history of failing to protect children from sexual abuse and through these failures, allowed predatory individuals to continue to abuse. It is this sad history which sees us now at the forefront of safety and protection as we aim to continually push forward with any activities which minimise the risk for people suffering in the future."

"The newly formed Council will offer independent advice to ensure that the Diocese continues to develop its policies and practices in the field of professional standards."

New child abuse council in NSW Hunter


JANUARY 23, 2017

Australian Associated Press

A new council has been set up to help improve trust between the NSW Hunter community and the Catholic diocese of Maitland-Newcastle by providing independent advice on child abuse matters.

The body will also aim to promote the protection of kids and vulnerable adults in the community.

Bishop Bill Wright, who will receive the advice from a group of Catholic and non-Catholics, acknowledged the diocese had a troubled history of failing to protect children from sexual abuse.

Fionnuala O Connor: HIA report shows politicians must hold institutions to account

The Irish News

Fionnuala O Connor
24 January, 2017 01:00

Hearts and minds are already being appealed to; the battle for immortal souls cannot be far behind.

In the election campaign effectively under way already, the DUP will try desperately to stop the handling of public money being issue Number One. Politicians competing to represent the other main community will be quizzed not only on the point of having a Stormont, but also about their personal faith and morals.

Nationalist parties need to rethink positions and strategies – post-Martin McGuinness, post-Brexit, and maybe post that imaginary, unreal ‘power-sharing’ Stormont. For now Sinn Féin and the SDLP must just do the best they can with a messy set of circumstances. Perhaps the majority of their possible voters want another Stormont executive. Maybe they couldn’t care less.

But at meetings organised by passionate lay-people, and in letters from bishops read at Mass, carried in parish newsletters, Sinn Féin and the SDLP will be asked where they stand on abortion, criticised for supporting gay marriage. The doorsteps will ask if they’re about to defy the Church, or are they good Catholics.

Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Bishop Bill Wright apologised to the community in September, and now he's acting

Newcastle Herald

Joanne McCarthy
24 Jan 2017

HUNTER Catholic Bishop Bill Wright has appointed a new body to advise him on protecting children and vulnerable adults after a public apology in September for the diocese’s “particularly troubled history” of failing to protect children from sexual abuse.

The nine-member diocese protection and safety council will help “rebuild a sense of trust within the community about Maitland-Newcastle diocese’s commitment to protect children and vulnerable adults”, said a statement released on Monday.

It came four months after devastating evidence at a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse public hearing in Newcastle which revealed systemic failings in the church’s responses to child sex offenders including Father Vince Ryan and Marist Brothers Romuald (Francis Cable) and Patrick (Thomas Butler).

Bishop Wright said the Council would foster a culture of continuous improvement throughout the diocese on the protection of children and vulnerable adults after a history which includes “allowing predatory individuals to continue to abuse”.

January 23, 2017

Apology from Anglican Church over legacy of Ralph Rowe is very important, Bennett says

Toronto Star

By The Canadian Press
Mon., Jan. 23, 2017

OTTAWA—Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett says it is very important that the Anglican Church has agreed to work on a national public apology for the legacy of Ralph Rowe — a former priest who flew into indigenous communities and sexually abused children during the 1970s and 1980s.

Following a long-standing call from indigenous leaders, the church acknowledged Friday that its actions helped create a legacy of brokenness in some communities.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler, who represents 49 communities in northern Ontario, says the church must also provide resources, as well as words, to address the intergenerational impacts of Rowe’s abuse, including suicide and addiction.

Fiddler notes it was determined during court proceedings that Rowe preyed upon more than 500 children.

Wapekeka First Nation — a community that garnered national headlines this month following the suicide of two 12-year-old girls — was one of the communities affected by the legacy of the former priest and Boy Scout leader.

Assignment Record– Rev. James G. Kiffmeyer


Summary of Case: James Kiffmeyer was ordained for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1985. He taught at Fenwick High School in Middletown OH while assisted in two subsequent area parishes. In 1991 he was assigned to Elder High School in Cincinnati, residing for several years in a nearby parish.

In April 2002 Kiffmeyer went on personal leave after an allegation surfaced that he had engaged in "sexual misconduct" with a Fenwick High senior in 1986. Soon thereafter the mother of another Fenwick graduate reported to the county prosecutor's office that Kiffmeyer had molested her son as a Fenwick senior, too, in 1990. That case was quietly settled by the archdiocese in 1997. Kiffmeyer denied both accusations. During his leave he taught pharmacy at a local college. In 2006 the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrination of the Faith reinstated Kiffmeyer, instructing him "to avoid situations and persons which might endanger his living up to his priestly commitment.... ." Kiffmeyer proceeded to help out in area parishes and in 2008 was installed as pastor of Holy Family. In July 2012 he resigned, telling the bishop he had no intention of returning to priestly ministry.

Ordained: 1985

Scottish monk accused of child abuse arrested in Sydney


Monday 23 January 2017

A former Catholic monk accused of child abuse at a Scottish school has been arrested in Australia, it has been reported.

The BBC said Father Denis "Chrysostom" Alexander had been remanded in custody in Sydney pending his extradition back to Scotland to face trial.

He is one of several monks accused of abusing boys at the former Fort Augustus Abbey boarding school in the Highlands.

The Crown Office declined to comment. Father Alexander has always denied the allegations. In 2013, he was confronted by BBC Scotland in Sydney as part of a documentary which led to a police investigation.

Monk accused of child abuse arrested in Sydney

The Times

Marc Horne
January 24 2017
The Times

A former Catholic monk accused of abusing children at a Scottish school has been arrested in Australia.

Father Denis Alexander was one of several monks who were alleged to have sexually and physically abused boys at the former Fort Augustus Abbey boarding school.

In 2013 a TV investigation uncovered evidence that staff had preyed on vulnerable children at the institute on the banks of Loch Ness.

Mr Alexander, 80, has been remanded in custody in Sydney and is expected to be extradited to Scotland to face trial. He is due to face a hearing tomorrow, when it will become clear whether he intends to oppose the extradition and seek bail.

Former Catholic monk accused of child abuse at Scottish boarding school arrested in Australia

Daily Record

A former Catholic monk accused of child abuse at a boarding school in the Highlands has been arrested in Australia.

Father Denis "Chrysostom" Alexander, who is now 80, was one of several monks accused of abusing boys at Fort Augustus Abbey.

The BBC has reported that he has been remanded in custody in Sydney pending extradition to Scotland to face charges.

Father Alexander has always denied the allegations.

Ex-IOR managers Cipriani, Tulli convictions asked


(ANSA) - Rome, January 20 - A Rome prosecutor on Friday asked for sentences of one year in jail for former Vatican Bank (IOR) Director-General Paolo Cipriani and 10 months for his former deputy Massimo Tulli a trial into suspected breaches of Italy's anti-money-laundering norms linked to two suspicious operations that led to the 2010 seizure of 23 million euros, later returned to the Holy See's bank.

The Vatican Bank, or Institute for Religious Works (IOR), operated in Italy without authorization for 40 years, Rome prosecutors say in the case.

Investigators say IOR acted as a bank without central bank authorization until 2011, when the Bank of Italy told credit institutions to consider it a non-EU bank. At that point, IOR moved some of its banking activities to Germany.

However, Italian banks effectively stopped dealing with the IOR in 2010 after the Bank of Italy ordered them to enforce strict anti-money laundering criteria to continue working with it.

Vatican prosecuting financial crimes for first time, watchdog agency president says

National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jan. 23, 2017


The head of the Vatican's financial watchdog agency has revealed that the city-state began pursuing prosecutions against people accused of financial crimes for the first time in 2016, in what may be seen as a breakthrough for Pope Francis' continuing reforms.

In an NCR interview Jan. 10, the president of the Vatican's Financial Intelligence Authority said the first prosecutions had begun without public announcement in 2016 and would continue at a faster pace in 2017.

"The work there is increasing and we are definitely making progress on that end," said René Brülhart, speaking about the process carefully.

Lack of prosecutions against those accused of financial crimes has long been a concern of international experts who have examined the Vatican's financial system.

While the watchdog agency has released annual reports since 2012 detailing possible suspicious activity, for example marking 544 activities as questionable in 2015, there had as yet been no prosecutions of those responsible.

Derry institutional abuse victim embraced by Bishop of Derry during mass

Derry Now

Monday 23rd of January 2017

A Derry man who was the victim of institutional abuse has praisd the Bishop of Derry after he embraced him during emotional scenes in the city yesterday.

The Bishop, Dr Donal McKeown, delivered a homily during two services over the weekend at Eugene’s Cathedral and Long Tower, where he addressed the final report into the findings of Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA), which was set up in 2013 to look at historical abuse claims at homes throughout Northern Ireland

These included former children’s residential homes in Derry at St Joseph’s Home at Termonbacca, the Sisters of Nazareth’s children’s home at Bishop Street, Fort James and Harberton House.

The inquiry also dealt with institutions run by the Good Shepherd Sisters in Derry, Belfast and Newry.

The 2,300-page report was published at an event in Belfast on Friday morning.

In the wake of the publication, Bishop McKeown told Mass goers that the ‘focus has to be on accepting the pain and loss suffered by those who, through no fault of their own, were scarred for life by the way they were treated and let down’.

Pédophilie dans l’Eglise : une soixantaine d’affaires aux mains de la justice


[Pedophilia in the church: About 60 cases are in the hands of justice.]

Les 106 diocèses de l’Hexagone ont été priés de livrer leurs données dans le cadre d’une enquête interne de la Conférence des évêques de France. Des chiffres inédits mais qui ne disent qu’une partie de la réalité.

Pédophilie dans l’Eglise : une soixantaine d’affaires aux mains de la justice
Surtout pas de triomphalisme. «Neuf, c’est toujours neuf de trop», s’empresse de dire Ségolaine Moog, déléguée pour la lutte contre la pédophilie à la Conférence des évêques de France (CEF). Neuf ? C’est le nombre de clercs (c’est-à-dire des prêtres ou des diacres, le grade en dessous) actuellement incarcérés pour des faits d’abus sexuels sur mineurs. D’un point de vue judiciaire, les affaires de pédophilie concerneraient, selon une enquête interne de la CEF, une soixantaine de clercs catholiques. Parmi eux, 37 ont déjà purgé leur peine et 26 font l’objet d’une mise en examen. Depuis plusieurs mois, les évêques catholiques promettaient de donner des chiffres à la suite du scandale qu’a provoqué, à Lyon, l’affaire de l’abbé Bernard P. Aucun bilan n’avait été établi par l’institution depuis 2010 et les 106 diocèses de l’Hexagone ont donc été priés (non sans réticence pour certains) de livrer leurs données.

Nichts weiter als ein Papiertiger


The victim organization Netzwerk B today declared the "zero tolerance" strategy of Pope Francis against sexual abuse is nothing more than paper.] :

Die Opferorganisation netzwerkB erklärte heute zur „Null-Toleranz“-Strategie von Papst Franziskus gegenüber sexuellem Missbrauch:

„Papst Franziskus hat „Null-Toleranz“-Strategie gegenüber ‘sexuellem Missbrauch‘ versprochen. Dass die Wirklichkeit in der katholischen Kirche anders aussieht – behauptet der Enthüllungsjournalist Emiliano Fittipaldi in seinem Buch „Lussuria“ (Unzucht).

»Franziskus ist scheinheilig«


"Francis is hypocritical." Italian lawyer Sergio Cavaliere, 46, has represented ten victims of sexual abuse by priests in Italy. He laments the church is not actively combatting abuse in the church and he criticized Pope Francis.]

Der ita­lie­ni­sche An­walt Ser­gio Ca­va­lie­re, 46, hat zehn Op­fer se­xu­el­len Miss­brauchs durch Pries­ter in Ita­li­en ver­t­re­ten. Er be­klagt die man­geln­de Be­kämp­fung von Miss­brauch in der ka­tho­li­schen Kir­che und kri­ti­siert den Papst. Papst Fran­zis­kus ging hart mit Miss­brauch­stä­t­ern in der Kir­che ins Ge­richt und traf ei­ni­ge wich­ti­ge Ent­schei­dun­gen.

Byrnes back from Detroit, focused on Guam

Guam Daily Post

Neil Pang | Post News Staff

Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes arrived back in Guam yesterday to resume his duties as head of the Archdiocese of Agana.

Byrnes was installed as the coadjutor archbishop of the archdiocese by Pope Francis in late October 2016 and made his first trip to Guam on Nov. 26. Chancery officials said he made the trip to Guam in time for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, or Santa Maria Kamalen, on Dec. 8.

Unfinished business

Church officials explained that Byrnes had to return to Detroit, where he last served as an auxiliary bishop, to wrap up unfinished business. Now that he has tied up loose ends, chancery officials said that he will be able to focus completely on his duties as the head of Guam's largest faith community and the many issues it currently faces.

UTH Records 120 Cases Of Abused Children Under 8 – Bishop Mpundu

Zambia Reports

Peter Adamu | January 23, 2017

Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu has revealed that there are 120 cases recorded at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka related to abuse of children below 8.

Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu has called for a change in attitude saying the numbers shows that this was a tragedy.

Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu called the church and Zambians at large to come together and protect children.


For immediate publication
Date: 23rd January, 2017


Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) president Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu has called on the protection of Children and minors.

Speaking on behalf of other Catholic Bishops of Zambia during the opening of a one day workshop on Child protection held at Kapingila house on Monday 23rd January, 2017, Archbishop Mpundu described the statistics on reported cases of abused children as a tragedy.

Archbishop Mpundu further called for the reversal of the situation and announced that that the church stands in a singular position to spearhead the campaign.

“[I am informed that] every single month at the University Teaching Hospital 120 children below the age of 8 are abused. And these are numbers of children whom we know about. These cases reported to the police and followed up. But a greater number is not even known. This is a tragedy which must be reversed, and the church stands ready in a singular position to spearhead this campaign,” he said. ...

And Secretary for the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors Monsignor Robert Oliver commended the Catholic Church in Zambia on its stance on the protection of children and minors.
The one day Child Protection workshop at Kapingila house in Lusaka which drew 46 participants from all the 11 dioceses of Zambia was organised by Pope Francis’ 2014 set Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

The Pontifical Commission goes around the world to promote local responsibility by assisting bishops, religious superiors and there conferences to develop guidelines, norms, and establish safe environments for children through mutual sharing of best practices.


Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on an editorial in today’s Washington Post:

“On the most explosive and morally subversive challenge facing the Roman Catholic Church—clerical sexual abuse of children, and the bishops who tolerate it—Pope Francis has said the right things but done too little.”

This remarkable comment is the first sentence in an editorial in today’s Washington Post. The newspaper is living in a time warp. It cited not a single piece of new evidence, resting solely on a book by an Italian journalist that covers cases extending back over a half century ago. To make matters worse, Crux editor John Allen Jr. noted the author’s “sloppiness with facts,” about which the Washington Post is either unaware of or simply doesn’t care to mention.


What’s the source of my comment? The Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Independently, they represent the most authoritative accounts of priestly sexual abuse.

Monk accused of Fort Augustus Abbey abuse arrested in Sydney

BBC News

By Mark Daly
BBC Scotland Investigations Correspondent

A former Catholic monk accused of child abuse at a Scottish school has been arrested in Australia.

Father Denis "Chrysostom" Alexander was one of several monks accused of abusing boys at the former Fort Augustus Abbey boarding school in the Highlands.

The BBC has learned he has been remanded in custody in Sydney pending his extradition back to Scotland to face trial.

The Crown Office here said it would not comment on legal matters elsewhere.

Father Alexander has always denied the allegations.

In 2013, he was confronted by BBC Scotland in Sydney as part of a documentary which prompted a major police investigation.

Catholic Bishops call for protection of children

Lusaka Times

Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) president Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu has called on the protection of Children and minors.

Speaking on behalf of other Catholic Bishops of Zambia during the opening of a one-day workshop on Child protection held at Kapingila house on Monday 23rd January, 2017, Archbishop Mpundu described the statistics on reported cases of abused children as a tragedy.

Archbishop Mpundu further called for the reversal of the situation and announced that that the church stands in a singular position to spearhead the campaign.

“[I am informed that] every single month at the University Teaching Hospital 120 children below the age of 8 are abused. And these are numbers of children whom we know about. These cases reported to the police and followed up. But a greater number is not even known. This is a tragedy which must be reversed, and the church stands ready in a singular position to spearhead this campaign,” he said.

The ZCCB president further said that the cry of the Church is to mobilise everyone in the Church to fight the abuse of children.

“Let us put together whatever we have in terms of reflections to that we can move ahead. Our cry is to mobilise everyone in the church beginning from the family. Children are most abused by the people who know them,” he said.

Pope appoints new San Antonio auxiliary bishop

Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has nominated Msgr. Michael J. Boulette as the new auxiliary bishop of San Antonio, Texas (USA), assigning him the titular see of Geron.

He is the founder and director of ‘St. Peter upon the Water’, a center for spiritual direction and formation located in Ingram.

Msgr. Boulette was born in Hudson Falls, New York to French Canadian and Italian parents on 4 June 1950. In 1959 his family moved to Fredericksburg, Texas.

He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Saint Mary University in 1971 and his Master’s in Psychology from Trinity University in 1972.

‘Pedophile’ Prey! New Campaign Seeks To Find Victims Of Paula Deen’s Sicko Priest

Radar Online

By Melissa Parrelli
Posted on Jan 23, 2017

Paula Deen’s “pedophile” priest brother-in-law may have victimized countless helpless children, the rep for a national sex abuse survivor’s network told RadarOnline.com. And even though he committed suicide, they’re not giving up the fight for justice!

As Radar reported, Deen’s brother-in-law Henry B. Groover III was slapped with a molestation lawsuit last week, and committed suicide days later. Now, a director from SNAP, the Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests revealed exclusively to Radar that the organization is launching a campaign to find other possible victims.

“We will be in Savannah the first and second day of February to work with the media [in a press conference] in hopes of reaching thousands of people, and therefore, other possible victims,” Barbara Dorris, SNAP outreach director, told Radar exclusively.
Dorris said what disturbed her the most about this case was that “Groover was living behind the victim’s family” and that he “lived in a neighborhood where nobody knew what horrifying things he was capable of.”

Indeed, the lawsuit accused Groover of being a “pedophile” who had moved within sight of one of his alleged victims. And Radar previously spoke with other people who had lived near Groover in Savannah, who said they were “shocked” and “saddened” to hear that an accused “sexual predator” was in their neighborhood and so close to their children for all these years.

Archbishop Byrnes gets right to work


Jan 23, 2017

By Krystal Paco

He's back for good. Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes arrived on island from Detroit early Monday morning and he's getting right to work. Byrnes was Vatican-appointed and given full authority of the Archdiocese of Agana late last year.

His appointment follows allegations of child molestation made against Archbishop Anthony Apuron. Apuron faces a canonical trial in Rome as well as civil suits here at home.

Former bus driver files lawsuit

Altoona Mirror

A former bus driver for the company that transports students within the Altoona Area School District has filed a federal lawsuit claiming religious discrimination, stating she was terminated from the job she had for 14 years after refusing to be fingerprinted.

In the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Johnstown, Bonnie F. Kaite of the Juniata section of Altoona, said she was required to undergo a criminal background check 14 months ago as part
of a recently passed state law.

The background investigation included a fingerprint check.

Jehovah's Witnesses charity drops attempts to block abuse inquiry

The Guardian

Alice Ross

Monday 23 January 2017

The UK’s main Jehovah’s Witnesses charity has dropped efforts to block an investigation into how it handled allegations of sexual abuse, including of children, after a legal fight lasting more than two years.

The Charity Commission launched an inquiry into safeguarding at the religion’s main UK charity in May 2014 after receiving allegations that survivors of rape and sexual abuse, including people abused as children, were forced to face their attackers in “judicial committees”.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses, however, resisted the investigation into the Watch Tower Bible Tract Society of Great Britain (WTBTS), which oversees the UK’s 1,500 congregations and is believed to play a key role in deciding how claims of abuse are handled.

The WTBTS, which had a turnover of more than £80m last year, launched a series of legal challenges to the inquiry. These included an attempt to challenge in the supreme court the commission’s decision to start an investigation. The charity also fought in the lower courts against production orders that would oblige it to give the commission access to records showing how it handled the allegations.

Gov't To Aid Family Of 15-Y-O Girl At Centre Of Sex Abuse Case With Moravian Pastor

The Gleaner

Government has taken steps to assist the St Elizabeth family at the centre of the sexual abuse case involving 64-year-old Moravian minister, Rupert Clarke.

Clarke was arrested and charged for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old member of the family.

Two weeks after the arrest, the then president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica, Rev Dr Paul Gardener along with his deputy, the Rev Jermaine Gibson, resigned their positions amid damning allegations in an email that was made public.

Minister of Gender Affairs, Olivia Grange, says the family will be provided with housing by the charity organisation Food for the Poor.

Grange says the government will ensure that it is placed in an area where they will be safe and comfortable.

January 22, 2017

House should reject 'pedophile protection act'

Seacoast Online


We are hopeful a New Hampshire House committee will do the right thing and reject a bill that would make it more difficult to prosecute people charged with sex assault.

The legislation calls for a higher level of proof than other crimes for a heinous offense that is already underreported because of the pain it causes victims to come forward and testify. House Bill 106 states "that a victim's testimony in a sexual assault case ... requires corroboration only in cases where the defendant has no prior convictions for sexual assault."

That is outrageous.

No one is in favor of anyone going to jail or having their reputation damaged for a crime they didn't commit. However, this bill offers sexual abuse suspects a special shield from prosecution.

Sgt. Sean Ford of the Concord Police Department testified at the Statehouse on Tuesday and summed it up perfectly: "It's really nothing short of the nation's first pedophile protection act," he said, according to an Associated Press report on the hearing that drew a large crowd to Concord.

State Rep. William Marsh, R-Wolfeboro, is the sponsor of the bill. His argument is people are perceived as guilty as soon as they are accused of the crime and he points to the 2016 aggravated felonious sexual assault conviction of Concord psychologist Foad Afshar, who is serving 3 to 6 years for touching the genitals of a 12-year-old child during an appointment. Marsh argues Afshar was convicted with little evidence other than the victim's word and says the case could mean psychologists and psychiatrists may hesitate to treat children in the future.

Still waiting on the pope’s promises

Washington Post

By Editorial Board January 22

ON THE MOST explosive and morally subversive challenge facing the Roman Catholic Church — clerical sexual abuse of children, and the bishops who tolerate it — Pope Francis has said the right things but done too little. Even now, 15 years after the explosive revelations of church complicity in enabling and covering up the predations of American priests who damaged so many young lives, not a single bishop has been explicitly held accountable and stripped of his title.

The pope’s sluggish, inadequate and compromised stance in the face of this outrage is the subject of a new book, “Lust,” by a respected Italian journalist, Emiliano Fittipaldi. The book, published last week, is an indictment not just of a papal policy that has failed to live up to its ringing promises about “zero tolerance” for clerical sexual abuse, but of Francis’s papacy.

Mr. Fittipaldi reveals that the pace of complaints about sexual abuse filed with the Holy See has been virtually unchanged in the nearly four years since Francis became pope, compared with his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who was deservedly condemned for his inaction. More damningly, the book details repeated instances where church officials implicated in allegations of abuse and coverups were promoted, often to top positions in the church’s sprawling hierarchy.

One example is Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, former archbishop of Santiago, Chile, elevated by Francis to the elite, nine-member Council of Cardinal Advisers, a sort of papal kitchen cabinet in Rome. Errázuriz has long been accused of ignoring accusations of sexual abuse against a priest under his jurisdiction. Another is Cardinal George Pell, formerly an Australian bishop, who serves as the Vatican’s top finance official. He has long been accused of having shrugged off pedophilia among priests during his time in Australia. When questioned about it last year by an investigative commission in his home country, he fell back on the old canard about the church being no better or worse than society at large, a facile formulation often used by Vatican officials to avoid any admission of the church’s ingrained pattern of institutional complicity.

Paul Coghlan: Former silk took down gang boss, sex monster priest and crooked cops

9 News

The man in charge of reviewing Victoria's controversial bail system was responsible for flipping a murderous hitman who went on to testify against notorious Melbourne gangland boss Carl Williams.

Today, with his government under incredible pressure following the bloody Bourke Street massacre, Victoria's Premier turned to the cool, pragmatic head of Paul Coghlan, QC.

Coghlan was Victoria's Director of Public Prosecutions in troubled times, from 2001 through to 2007, and launched a wave of prosecutions during the state's infamous "Underbelly" gangland war.

The former top silk was also known for reopening the case against pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale so he could prosecute him with more sex abuse charges, eventually adding 13 years to his jail term.

Claim Guam Catholic Church rewarded priest who protected Apuron

Radio New Zealand

The Catholic Church in Guam is being accused of rewarding a priest who shielded its Archbishop from abuse allegations.

The Concerned Catholics of Guam has written a letter to the church questioning the decision to send Father Adrian Cristobal to study in Canada.

Its President David Sablan told Jo O'Brien Father Cristobal is also a member of an alternative movement within the Church that has caused division and abused its resources.


DAVID SABLAN: Father Adrian Cristobal was the chancellor during the reign of Archbishop Anthony Apuron who was allegedly accused of numerous sexual abuse of young altar boys when he was the pastor prior to being elevated to bishop. I would believe that Father Cristobal knew about some of these allegations but basically did not say much about it and again that's just my opinion knowing how he interacted with the Archbishop. But our concern primarily is that he has basically lied about numerous issues and now we find that this new Archbishop, Archbishop Byrnes has basically decided to send him off to study Canon Law in Canada, which in the opinion of many in Concerned Catholics it's basically a reward for his misdeeds, that's the only way we can look at it.

JO O'BRIEN: When you say a reward for his misdeeds, do you mean that he has effectively been rewarded for protecting Archbishop Apuron?

DAVID SABLAN That's kind of how we view it because of the fact that he has really been one of the individuals that has caused this division within our church here because he is a member of this Neocatechumenal Way, and he has been giving them many favours and, you know, he was also very instrumental in providing them resources from our Archdiocese to continue their religious practices here on the island and of course there's a seminary that was taken over by the Neocatechumenal Way and that has been funded by the Archdiocese and in the end we felt that he should be disciplined rather than being sent off to go study Canon Law.

Abused priest: HIA report delivers long overdue justice for victims

News Letter

The report from an official inquiry into widespread child sex abuse has delivered “a day of justice long overdue for those who suffered in these institutions run by church and state”, according to a priest who was also a victim.

Fr Patrick McCafferty was speaking after the report was published on Friday from the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry. It studied allegations of abuse in 22 homes and other institutions from 1922 to 1995.

He said: “They are vindicated at last and the report’s recommendations must be speedily implemented, including financial compensation, a small gesture by church and society towards recognition of the losses and sufferings endured by victims and survivors.

“My own experiences of abuse, in childhood and young adulthood, perpetuated by church and non-church related persons, has always given me a sense of solidarity with all survivors of sexual abuse – whether as children or vulnerable adults.

Abuse inquiry recommendations should be implemented with goodwill, says bishop

Belfast Telegraph

A Catholic bishop has said the recommendations of Northern Ireland's child abuse inquiry should be implemented with goodwill.

Noel Treanor hoped the report will help others who have been abused to find the strength and courage to come forward and report it to the authorities.

The independent probe recommended compensation payments of up to £100,000, funded by the state and voluntary institutions responsible for the residential homes where the harm occurred, with payments beginning later this year.

Those who suffered in state, church and charity-run homes should also be offered an official apology from government and the organisations involved, the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry led by retired judge Sir Anthony Hart found.

Bishop Treanor said: "Let us pray that in response to the HIA inquiry and report, our local church in this diocese and all involved in the statutory and voluntary sectors will have the grace and strength to respond with honesty, integrity and goodwill to the report's recommendations and their implementation so that the light of justice, truth and peace may shine upon us and facilitate in our society the cultivation of a civilisation of love, courtesy and care for all."

Did garda hush-up let evil priest off the hook?

Irish Independent

[Module 6 – Father Brendan Smyth - Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry]

The Finglas Episode, a chapter in the sordid life of Brendan Smyth, raises questions for the force

Maeve Sheehan

The remit of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland did not extend across the Border. If it had, An Garda Siochana would almost certainly have come under scrutiny over suspicions that it covered up the crimes of notorious paedophile Brendan Smyth.

Sir Anthony Hart, the chair of the inquiry, called it 'The Finglas Episode'.

It refers to a time when Smyth apparently had a brush with the law in the north Dublin suburb three decades ago. However, his "crime" appears to have been hushed up so successfully that the reason why the paedophile came to the attention of Finglas garda station was never established by the inquiry.

How Much Does Trump Owe Pope Francis Now?

The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on January 21, 2017 by Betty Clermont

“Evangelicals helped Trump in states he was mostly going to win anyway. Catholics? Now we’re talking about Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. And that was the election.”

White Catholics voted 60% for Trump while he received only 46% of the national popular vote.

“Trump won the highest percentage of Catholic voters (52%) for a Republican candidate since 2004. White Catholics supported Trump by a wide, 23-point margin (60% to 37%). Both white and Latino Catholics cast more ballots for Trump than for Romney in 2012.” ...

Vatican ready to do business with Trump

The second highest Vatican official, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, congratulated Trump the day after the election, noting that the election “was characterized by a large turnout at the polls.” (See “Voter turnout at 20-year low in 2016.”) He praised the president-elect: “[T]he future leader has already spoken like a leader.”

Parolin said the first issue on which the Vatican would “collaborate” with Trump was peace. The second was “the internal [i.e. domestic] issues” of the US Church such as “religious freedom.”


Eyewitness News

Shamiela Fisher

CAPE TOWN - Women's rights group Matla A Bana has praised a 1970 rape survivor for speaking out more than five decades after the attack.

A Kraaifontein pastor was this week found guilty on two counts of rape for crimes committed in 1970.

The court found the church leader raped his accuser when she was eight years old.

The woman, now 54 years old, says the accused gained her trust because he was a senior member of her father's church.

But the 78-year-old grandfather maintains his innocence, saying the church would have acted against him if he was guilty.

JCHS recommends systems for protecting children

Jamaica Observer

The Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society (JCHS) has waded in on the controversy surrounding Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke, recommending that all institutions establish systems for protecting the children under their care and with whom they come in contact.

In a news release issued on January 11, the JCHS extended sincere sympathies to the young girl involved and to her wider family.

“The nation must mourn and be enraged about any and every instance of abuse against our children and especially where people of faith are the alleged perpetrators,” the JCHS said.

“We await the outcome of the investigations but we say emphatically that the law must be allowed to take its full course in this matter,” the organisation added.

Pastor, I am not into that, you know!

Jamaica Observer

Christopher Burns

Sunday, January 22, 2017

There is everything frightening about the spate of church-related, sex abuse cases in Jamaica involving teenage children — mostly girls. What’s even more disturbing is that, although all too familiar, evidence suggests the occurrences are largely unreported.

Everything about these sexual maladies and horrifying trends should impel us to abominate, in the strongest terms, all forms of sexual abuse of our boys, girls and young women. We should condemn all forms of sexual violence, even as we accept the imperfections of men — especially men of the cloth.

Nevertheless, accepting human imperfections and failings is not an excuse for the kinds of wicked penetrative invasion or transactional relationships some of these men (and women) are foisting on our vulnerable and innocent children. Besides the serious criminal breach, there is a lasting desecration of these children’s ambition, body and promise — it is a defilement that no amount of therapy or passage of time may ever cure. Pastors or not, we cannot allow gaps in our personal economies to lull us (parents or guardians) into complacency or cause us to conjure convenient sorry-ass explanations as conduits to assist us with wriggling our way out of taking responsibility for sanctioning such terrible deeds — inadvertently or not, or on the basis of financial opportunity.

Ian Boyne | Sin, sex and the Church

The Gleaner

Published:Sunday | January 22, 2017

Ian Boyne

The problem of child sexual abuse is an endemic in Jamaica. And it has been for a long time. It is just that we are more sensitive about, and morally outraged by, this issue than previous generations.

It was a couple of years ago that it dawned on me forcefully that a very large percentage of our women were sexually molested as children. As I began to make enquiries, almost every woman I spoke to had some story about some sexually inappropriate action by an adult when she was a child. I began to make enquiries about some supposedly decent persons whom I knew as a child, and I realised that people could tell me stories about these seemingly straight-laced, holy churchmen.

One of them had come to me saying how he had been framed for molesting a little girl he was helping and he needed me to put him on to one of my big-name lawyer friends to get him off. I did. It was after he won the case that I discovered what that wretch had been up to for many years while carrying out his gospel grinding. My anger was indescribable.

My daughter, who is senior attorney with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, has prosecuted many carnal abuse and incest cases in several parishes across Jamaica. And she reports that there is a very high tolerance level for this perversion and criminality. Jurors are more eager to blame the "bad pickney dem", the "force-ripe gyal dem" who "a push it up pon the decent man them" and a "rub butter a puss mouth". These perverts can easily get character witnesses from upstanding members of their community or church.

Statement from Anglican Church on Sexual Abuse


Posted 21 January 2017

THUNDER BAY – Yesterday, January 19, the Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Alvin Fiddler, noted that the Anglican Church of Canada shares responsibility for the crisis in the communities he serves, and especially for the tragic number of young people who have died by suicide. We acknowledge that our past actions have helped to create a legacy of brokenness in some First Nations communities, and we express our willingness, in spite of failings and false starts in the past, to renew our commitment to dialogue and discernment that will help us understand more deeply and act more effectively on our responsibilities.

Over a period that spanned the 1970s and 1980s, Ralph Rowe, then an Anglican priest and a Boy Scout leader, abused young Indigenous boys in more than a dozen communities in Northwestern Ontario. We know that the trauma he inflicted was not only on persons, but also on communities, and that its impact is intergenerational.

The Anglican Church of Canada has, since it became aware of the nature and scope of Ralph Rowe’s abuse, been actively concerned about its impact.

Ralph Rowe was trained as a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and served with the Ontario Provincial Police on Manitoulin Island in the 1960s. He served as a missionary pilot prior to studying at Wycliffe College, and was ordained in 1975. He also served as a Scout Master with the Boy Scouts of Canada.

Two missed opportunities for real reform on sex abuse


John L. Allen Jr. January 21, 2017

Two stories broke this week regarding the Church’s clerical sexual abuse scandals, one in Italy and the other in the States, and in different ways, each speaks to a missed opportunity.

In Italy, a book came out titled Lussuria: Peccati, Scandali e Tradimenti di una Chiesa Fatta di Uomini (“Lust: Sins, Scandals and Betrayals of a Church Made of Men”) by journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi, one of the five defendants in last year’s “Vatileaks 2.0” trial pivoting on leaked documents from a papal commission on Vatican finances.

In the States, a former employee of the Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), the country’s best-known advocacy organization for survivors of clerical abuse, has sued the group, charging that in reality it’s a commercial operation funded by kickbacks from lawyers who sue the Church.

Here’s why each story suggests that chances to promote real reform have slipped through the cracks.

With Fittipaldi’s book, because he writes on Church finances, people expected he would expose more money-related skullduggery. Instead he focused on the sex abuse scandals, largely recycling well-worn material. (In retrospect, probably the title, “Lust,” should have been a clue about what was coming.)

Fittipaldi goes back over Cardinal George Pell’s multiple appearances before an Australian Royal Commission. He covers the scandal in Chile of Fernando Karadima, that country’s most notorious abuser priest, and Pope Francis’s appointment of a bishop known as a Karadima apologist. He recounts the story of Lawrence Murphy, an American priest believed to have molested around 200 boys at a school for the deaf up to the mid-1970s.

January 21, 2017

San Antonio Archdiocese removes priest from a parish of Anglican converts

San Antonio Express-News

By Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News

January 21, 2017

In a move that surprised members of Our Lady of the Atonement parish, the Archdiocese of San Antonio replaced Father Christopher Phillips as pastor, citing “pastoral concerns” about the former Anglican priest ordained as a Catholic in the 1980s.

Several church members said they were “heartsick” about the removal and fearful of a potential shift from the parish’s traditional Anglican-styled worship services.

The archdiocese’s decision was effective Thursday. It has appointed Msgr. Frank Kurzaj as parish administrator to assume Phillips’ role. Kurzaj, most recently pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Floresville, has served in several other parishes in the archdiocese.

A few parishioners credited Phillips with increasing the flock and focusing on Scriptural study and sacred music. He also has been managing a major expansion of its school, Atonement Academy, they added.

Many of the founding members of the parish were former Episcopalians who converted to Catholicism. Phillips, the parish’s first and only pastor, was ordained by then-Archbishop Patrick Flores, who died Jan. 9.

Gary Adshead: Child sex abuse victims deserve much better


Gary Adshead, PerthNow
January 21, 2017

EVEN after the ups and downs, which inevitably come with eight years in power, the Barnett Government hopefully learnt a lesson the hard way this week.

It managed to turn an immensely worthy cause – something it could have taken the lead on to have enshrined in law – and relegated it to just another election promise.

The issue is child sexual abuse and the existing statute of limitations that prevents victims from taking civil action against the perpetrator or an institution.

As it stands the victim, regardless of how old they were when abused, has only six years from the time of the crime to lodge a civil case.

Simply put, if a boy or girl aged six, for example, were traumatised by a paedophile employed by a church or government agency, then they must have filed a writ in the court against the institution by the time they reach the age of 12.

St Elizabeth Family In Sexual Abuse Scandal Involving Pastor To Be Relocated

The Gleaner

The St Elizabeth family at the centre of a sexual abuse case is to be relocated.

The family came to national attention after one of the children was reported to have been sexually abused by Moravian pastor, Rupert Clarke, in a case that is now before the court.

Gender Affairs Minister, Olivia Grange, and Member of Parliament for South Eastern St Elizabeth, Franklyn Witter, on Thursday visited the family, which is headed by a single mother.

She says she observed that the women and children were living in an uncompleted and unsecured two bedroom house which is in need of repair.

Grange says Food for the Poor will provide them with housing and the government will ensure it’s on lands where the family will feel safe and comfortable.

Anglican Church admits it 'helped to create' conditions for suicide crisis in Wapekeka First Nation

CBC News

By Jody Porter, CBC News Posted: Jan 21, 2017

The Anglican Church of Canada says it will continue working with First Nations in northern Ontario to confront the "legacy of brokenness" created by a pedophile priest who worked in remote communities in the 1970s and 80s.

Ralph Rowe worked as a priest and boy scout leader and flew a plane with the Anglican Church logo into remote First Nations in northern Ontario where his "abuse was massive in its scope and horrendous in its impact," said a statement on Friday from Michael Thompson, general secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada.

First Nations leaders referred to Rowe's legacy of abuse in Wapekeka First Nation during a news conference on Thursday about two 12-year-old girls who died by suicide within days of each other earlier this month.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler said Rowe was a "monster" who abused more than 500 children during his time working in northern Ontario and leading to an intergenerational suicide crisis in Wapekeka.

Missbrauch: Weber übernimmt Aufarbeitung


[Abuse: Ulrich Weber takes over investigation of the scandal at the Regensburger Domspatzen.]

Wilhelmsdorf sz Es kommt wieder Bewegung in die Aufarbeitung des Missbrauchsskandals der Brüdergemeinde. In den 1960er- und 1970er-Jahren wurden in den Heimen der Diakonie der Evangelischen Brüdergemeinde Korntal in Korntal und Wilhelmsdorf Kinder gedemütigt und sexuell missbraucht. Die Mediationsgruppe, in der Vertreter der Brüdergemeinde, des Netzwerks Betroffenenforum und der Arbeitsgemeinschaft Heimopfer sitzen, hat sich auf Ulrich Weber als Aufklärer verständigt. Anfang Februar soll er offiziell in das Amt gewählt werden.

Der Jurist ist auch Chefaufklärer des Missbrauchsskandals bei den Regensburger Domspatzen. Webers Arbeit in Regensburg wird als vorbildlich gelobt. So nannte beispielsweise der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der Bundesregierung, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig, die Aufarbeitung „wegweisend“.

Nur Lippenbekenntnisse?


[In the church, sexual abuse by priests continues to be systematically hushed up - at least the revelation of journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi.]

Rom - 20.01.2017

Emiliano Fittipaldi ist im Vatikan berüchtigt. Vergangenen Sommer saß der italienische Enthüllungsjournalist noch auf der Anklagebank im Gerichtssaal hinter dem Petersdom, weil er vertrauliche Unterlagen veröffentlichte. Mit seinem neuen Werk "Lussuria", zu deutsch "Wollust" oder "Unzucht", klagt er nun den Vatikan an. Sein Vorwurf: Papst Franziskus rede zwar von einer "Null-Toleranz-Strategie", im Vatikan und in der katholischen Weltkirche werde sexueller Missbrauch durch Priester jedoch bis heute weiter systematisch vertuscht.

Das rund 200-seitige Werk, das am Donnerstag in den italienischen Buchhandel kam, enthält keine spektakulären Neuigkeiten oder Überraschungen. Der Redakteur der Zeitschrift "L'Espresso" stützt sich weitgehend auf bereits bekannte Informationen. Anders als in seinem vorherigen Buch über die vatikanischen Finanzen kann Fittipaldi diesmal offenbar kaum auf interne vatikanische Unterlagen zurückgreifen.

Franziskus' Lippenbekenntnisse

Neue Zurcher Zeitung

von Andrea Spalinger, Rom 20.1.2017

Emiliano Fittipaldi ist nicht der Typ von Journalist, der sich einschüchtern lässt. Die Publikation seines Buches über Korruption und Geldverschwendung in der katholischen Kirche hatte dem 42-jährigen Neapolitaner einen Prozess im Vatikan wegen Veröffentlichung geheimer Dokument beschert. Nach Monaten wurde er im Juli schliesslich freigesprochen. Zu dem Zeitpunkt arbeitete der Enthüllungsjournalist bereits an einem neuen, nicht weniger brisanten Buch über sexuellen Missbrauch durch Geistliche und das Versagen der Kirche, dagegen vorzugehen. Am Donnerstag ist das Buch mit dem Titel «Lussuria» («Wollust») erschienen.

Kultur des Schweigens

Fittipaldis Quellen sind diesmal keine Whistleblower und geheimen Dokumente, sondern öffentlich zugängliche Gerichtsakten, Briefe aus Kirchgemeinden und lokale Medienberichte. Daraus zeichnet der Journalist vor allem ein ziemlich düsteres Bild über die Lage in Italien. In den vergangenen zehn Jahren wurden hier 200 Priester wegen Missbrauchs von Kindern und Jugendlichen angezeigt oder verurteilt. «Die bekanntgewordenen Fälle sind jedoch nur die Spitze des Eisbergs», betont Fittipaldi in einem Gespräch mit der NZZ.

10 key points from HIA report

Belfast Telegraph

By Claire McNeilly

1. Tax-free lump sum payment to survivors of abuse, including in homes/institutions that were not covered by the HIA inquiry. The spouses or children of the 12 people who have died since giving evidence should receive 75% of the total lump sum. Sir Anthony said the minimum payout should be £7,500 to anyone who was abused, including those who experienced a harsh environment, or who witnessed such abuse. An additional payment of £20,000 would be made to anyone sent to Australia under a migrant scheme. An extra enhanced payment would be made to anyone who was more severely abused.

2. Hundreds of victims in Northern Ireland who suffered in state, church and charity-run homes should be offered a public apology from Government and the organisations involved. Sir Anthony said: "The inquiry also identified failings where institutions sought to protect their reputations and individuals against whom allegations were made, by failing to take any action at all, failing to report matters to, or deliberately misleading, the appropriate authorities and moving those against whom allegations were made to other locations."

3. Institutions where systemic failings happened may be asked to contribute to the compensation payments. Sir Anthony said the four-year inquiry found "evidence of systemic failings" in the institutions and homes it investigated. He said the organisations that ran the abusing homes should make a financial contribution to the Stormont Executive-run scheme.

Litany of failures allowed abusers to prey on kids, HIA inquiry finds

Belfast Telegraph

By Claire O'Boyle

Hundreds of victims of historical abuse should each receive compensation of up to £100,000, an inquiry has said.

Crimes against children were widespread at State, church and charity-run homes between 1922 and 1995, with Catholic Church-run facilities the worst offenders, the long-awaited Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry report found.

As well as substantial State-funded compensation, victims should be offered a "wholehearted and unconditional" government apology for spectacular failures in their care, it said.

Sir Anthony Hart, who chaired the four-year inquiry, stressed that mistakes made by authorities directly enabled abusers to carry on ruining children's lives, even after their cruel and often depraved behaviour had been identified.

"There was evidence of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, neglect and unacceptable practices across the institutions and homes examined," the inquiry chairman said.

Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry: We have finally been vindicated, says public face of the survivors

Belfast Telegraph

By Claire McNeilly

Campaigners and victims of historic child abuse in Northern Ireland have welcomed the 'long-overdue' findings of systemic failure outlined in the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry report.

Margaret McGuckin, who has been the public face of the campaign for survivors of historical institutional child sex abuse, said it has taken a lifetime for victims to get justice.

"We have been vindicated by this inquiry and I am delighted - this is our day," she said.

"It has taken a lot of victims their whole lives to get justice, but that is what we got today.

"It will never erase the terrible memories or diminish the sadness that has become an integral part of many of us because nothing can undo the damage. There are still too many secrets being carried.

Meeting pope, Irish prelates discuss ministry of bishop, abuse scandal

National Catholic Reporter

Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service | Jan. 20, 2017


Telling the bishops of Ireland that he wanted to hear their questions, concerns and even criticisms, Pope Francis spent almost two hours in conversation with them.
In the continuing evolution of the "ad limina" visits bishops are required to make to the Vatican, Pope Francis met Jan. 20 with 26 Irish bishops and set aside a practice that began with Pope Benedict XVI: writing a speech to the group, but handing the text to them instead of reading it.

Pope Francis did, however, maintain his practice of sitting with the bishops and asking them what was on their minds.

The ministry of a bishop, the clerical sexual abuse crisis, the role of women in the church, the need to find new ways to engage with young people, the changing status of the church in Irish society, the importance of Catholic schools and methods for handing on the faith were among the topics discussed, the bishops said. They also spoke about plans for the World Meeting of Families in Dublin in August 2018 and hopes that Pope Francis would attend.

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Northern Ireland, president of the bishops' conference, told reporters that Pope Francis led a serious reflection on "the importance of a ministry of presence, a ministry of the ear where we are listening to the joys and the hopes, the struggles and the fears of our people, that we are walking with them, that we are reaching out to them where they are at." ...

One of the factors pushing such a rapid loss of public status for the church in Ireland was the sexual abuse scandal, he said. And as he told Pope Francis, just as the bishops were meeting with the pope, in Belfast leaders of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland were making public their report on the abuse of children in residential institutions, including some run by Catholic religious orders.

One of the first meetings the bishops had in Rome, he said, was with staff of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, sharing the steps the Catholic Church in Ireland has taken to prevent further abuse, to bring abusers to justice and to assist survivors "affected by the awful trauma of the sins and crimes of people in the church."

Archbishop Martin told reporters there was a recognition that Ireland had gone "through a bad time —not for us, but particularly for children who were abused, and that anything that we did would inevitably be inadequate in responding to the suffering they experienced."

Paedophile priest’s crimes ‘ignored to protect church’

The Times

Aaron Rogan
January 21 2017
The Times

The crimes of Brendan Smyth, the paedophile priest, were ignored to protect the good name of the Catholic Church, a Northern Ireland inquiry into historical abuse has found.

The Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry detailed instances of sexual abuse by priests and lay people in a 2,300-page report published yesterday that identified widespread systemic failings and extended responsibility to the Northern Irish government and church authorities.

It said that Smyth attacked children “far and wide” at residential homes in Northern Ireland from the 1940s and was eventually convicted of more than 100 offences.

He was allowed a car to travel around the country when he fled to the Republic after he was charged by police in Northern Ireland in 1991, and over many years his Norbertine religious order and others within the church failed to ensure he did not harm more children, the inquiry found.

A deliberate decision was taken to withhold information about Smyth when he was sent to other church dioceses around the world and he was given medical treatment as a “cure” despite continuing to attack minors, it said.

“For the Norbertine order and for others outside the order in positions of responsibility in the church, their overriding priority throughout was to protect the good name of the church and at all times to prioritise Father Smyth’s interests, instead of doing what was best for the children abused by him,” it said.

Northern Ireland's Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry recommends children sent to Australia receive compensation

ABC News

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry - Report Chapters

Kincora Material

By Europe correspondent Steve Cannane

The Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry in Northern Ireland has recommended children who were transported to Australia in the 1940s and '50s be given compensation for the trauma they suffered.

The inquiry found at least 138 children under 14 who were in state and church care in Northern Ireland were wrongly transported to Australia — often without their parents being told the truth about where they were being sent to.

Former child migrants who gave evidence at the inquiry said they were treated like baby convicts.

The chair of the inquiry, Sir Anthony Hart, said the Sisters of Nazareth were the worst offenders.

"They were wrong to send children to Australia who were so young," he said.

HIA inquiry evidence heard children treated like 'baby convicts'

Belfast Telegraph

Some witnesses to the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry said they were treated like child convicts.

Others claimed they were forced to eat their own vomit, preyed upon by serial sexual predators and one was told he was the product of an "evil and satanic relationship".

The poverty-stricken youngsters were among the most vulnerable in society and their experiences dated from 1922 to 1995.

They had been left in homes run by religious orders because their parents could not care for them or because they were illegitimate.

In 2014 they finally had their say as public hearings began.

One early witness said telling the truth after 65 years had finally set him free.

He spent his life alone - never to marry - after being "brutalised" by the Sisters of Nazareth nuns in Londonderry.

Lawsuit alleges clergy abuse group received attorney kickbacks

Minnesota Public Radio

Martin Moylan Jan 20, 2017

A former fundraiser for a nonprofit that's long campaigned to expose clergy sex abuse of children charges the group received kickbacks from victims' attorneys, including a prominent Minnesota lawyer.

Gretchen Hammond, who worked for the St. Louis-based Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said SNAP referred abuse victims to lawyers and then got kickbacks from lawyers in the form of donations.

SNAP denies Hammond's allegations.

The lawsuit refers to an unnamed Minnesota lawyer who apparently gave about $1 million to SNAP. Attorney Jeff Anderson said that's an obvious — and unfair — reference to him.

He said he's long supported organizations like SNAP.

"I am confident and absolutely certain we have never engaged in anything that is even close to anything that's illegal, unethical or amounting to anything close to a kickback," Anderson said.

Hammond is suing SNAP, claiming it wrongfully fired her.

Bruce Howard, Hammond's attorney, said the lawyers making donations were not named at this time because the focus of the lawsuit is on her dismissal.

Northern victims of child abuse ‘should get €115,000’, says inquiry

Irish Examiner

Saturday, January 21, 2017

David Young

Victims of historic child abuse in the North should receive State-backed compensation payments of up to £100,000 (€115,000), an inquiry has recommended.

Those abused in State-, Church-, and charity-run homes should also be offered an official apology from Government and the organisations that ran the residential facilities where it happened, the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry found.

Inquiry chair Anthony Hart outlined his recommendations after he revealed shocking levels of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse from 1922 to 1995.

He said the minimum pay-out should be £7,500 (€8,660), with the maximum amount given to those who had experienced severe levels of abuse as well as being transported to Australia in a controversial migrant scheme.

He said the organisations that ran the abusing homes should make a financial contribution to the Stormont Executive-run scheme.

Sex abuse victims had waited ‘lifetime’ for Hart report

Irish Times

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry - Report Chapters

Kincora Material

Gerry Moriarty

“Unspeakable, unspeakable,” was a quote Sir Anthony Hart, chairman of the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry, chose from one of the witnesses who gave evidence to his inquiry.

It was as good a description as any to use to try to characterise the dark nature of his 10-volume, 2,300-page exploration of the abuse suffered by hundreds of children in care homes throughout the North after partition from 1922 to 1995.

It almost goes without saying that the quote refers to serial sex abuser Fr Brendan Smyth. It came from fellow Norbertine priest Fr William Fitzgerald who had the measure of Smyth’s paedophilia and made efforts to expose him, although he too failed to bring him to heel.

Fr Fitzgerald told the inquiry: “ . . . the youngest victim of Brendan Smyth that I know of is 28 years of age. She is going to be around for another 60 years maybe or longer, and every day of her life the horrible spectre of that man will be in her mind and what he did.

Anglican Church will issue apology to victims of former minister

Toronto Star

Staff Reporter
Fri., Jan. 20, 2017

The Anglican Church of Canada announced Friday that it will make a formal, national apology to all the victims of notorious pedophile Ralph Rowe.

It is estimated the former Anglican minister Ralph Rowe abused hundreds of victims. The Anglican Church has never issued a formal apology. One of the communities Rowe targeted was Wapekeka First Nation.

Wapekeka is struggling after two 12-year-old girls died by suicide earlier this month. The community has tried to manage youth mental health issues and suicide epidemics for decades.

“Yesterday, Jan. 19, the Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN), Alvin Fiddler, noted that the Anglican Church of Canada shares responsibility for the crisis in the communities he serves and especially for the tragic number of young people who have died by suicide,” said Michael Thompson, the church’s general secretary, in a statement.

Rowe, a clergyman who used to pilot a small plane into remote northern First Nations communities in the 1970s and ’80s, targeted young boys aged 8 to 14. Many indigenous parents trusted Rowe because of his position in the church and let their children travel on camping excursions with him. Rowe was also a Boy Scout leader.

Troubled Belleville Diocese priest blasts bishop over handling of his abuse allegations

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Jesse Bogan St. Louis Post-Dispatch

OKAWVILLE, Ill. • The Rev. Steven F. Poole is a rank-and-file priest with his own demons, including a history of theft and a rocky relationship with church hierarchy.

Now the troubled priest has broken from tradition by calling out his boss and openly accusing a fellow priest of sexually abusing him as a 14-year-old boy.

Echoing the core complaints of sex abuse scandals that have shaken the church, Poole alleges that the leader of the Belleville Diocese has mishandled and disregarded his complaint, allowing the now retired priest to continue in good standing.

“This is difficult because I truly do believe in the sacred bond between a bishop and his priests as co-workers in the vineyard of the Lord,” Poole, 48, wrote in an email last year to Bishop Edward Braxton, who oversees all the Roman Catholic churches in Southern Illinois.

“I realize that my words will probably make no difference to you based upon prior experience. However, it is important for me to set this out to attempt to clear my conscience.”

The five-page letter, along with additional correspondence obtained by the Post-Dispatch, chronicles an effort by Poole over multiple years to trigger action by the diocese.

Light From A Lens


In 2002, a spotlight fell on abuse by the clergy in Boston. Later, a film was made on it.


“Church allowed abuse by priest for years.” That simple headline on November 6, 2002, kicked off nearly 600 news reports by the Boston Globe newspaper, exposing the scale of sexual abuse within the Boston Archdiocese. A total of 249 priests and brothers were accused of abuse, and the investigation estimated that these men had violated over 1,000 survivors in Boston alone.

In 2002, a four-member team of journalists at the Boston Globe newspaper in the US, showed that clergy in the Archdiocese of Boston had been abusing children for years, and that the church had been suppressing those stories. It exposed not just the scandal but also the cover-up. Some of these cases were old ones but typically, as has been the situation for many complainants within the Catholic church, these cases had received insufficient media attention, police scrutiny, and interest from the church. They won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for their work.
In 2015, the movie Spotlight was released, after over a decade since the original investigation. It served to introduce a new audience of people to the sordid side of the church. It recreated how the Spotlight team of journalists went about investigating the story for months.

Speaking to BBC News, Mike Rendez, one of the original reporters on the team, said, “We thought there would be protesters in front of the Globe.” But in fact, the team and the newspaper received wide support even from within the Catholic community.

The Sinners


The pastors who committed sex crimes...


Accused: Fr Edwin Figarez, 41

Victim: 14-year-old girl, unnamed

Crime: Rape

Place: Lourde Matha Church Presbytery, Puthenvelikkara
April 1, 2015

Legal status: Double life imprisonment awarded by the lower court

T.M. Varghese, former circle inspector of Vadakkekara who handled the case, narrates the sequence: “The mother registered a complaint with us on April 1, 2015. One day in March, the girl went to the church near their home. When she failed to return for a long time, the mother went over and found her in the presbytery. On being questioned, the girl revealed she had been sexually exploited by the priest for several months. We investigated his background, his reputation was not good. There are allegations that he was in trouble at the previous parish too.”

Figarez’s FB account has been deleted, but his Twitter account is an active commentary on himself. At the time he was preying on a minor, he was also exhorting people to pray. Figarez, who calls himself a dhyana guru, was producing music CDs. His tweets are littered with videos of him singing, saying the mass. His tagline states: “What I am is God’s gift. What I become is my gift to God.” Says Varghese, “He had a special ability to impress people. He left for the Gulf the day the complaint was filed. He returned after he got a special leave not to be arrested for a few days and soon went about spinning the story that the victim’s mother used to write love letters to him, which he rejected and so she had retaliated with this accusation.” Sandhya Rani, special prosecutor, POCSO, says Figarez had groomed the girl before raping her and cites the Ernakulam court’s remark on how Figarez had, unconscionably, gone to the extent of attributing bad character to the victim.

The Victims


The victims of sex crimes committed by pastors. In some instances, the case has yet to see light of the day


Victim: Fathima Sofiya, 17

Accused: Fr H. Arockiaraj

Crime: Rape, murder

Place: St Stanislaus Church, Walayar, Palakkad

July 23, 2013

Legal status: Trial yet to begin. Criminal Miscellaneous petition filed by Shanthi Roselin in the Kerala HC for change of the investigating agency.

Shanthi Roselin, 42, was in a Coimbatore hospital that day, looking after a relative, when she received a phone call from Fr Arockiaraj, parish priest of Stanislaus Church in Walayar, right on the forested border between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. In a highly agitated voice, he told her that her 17-year-old daughter, Fathima Sofiya, was dead. “He called me 37 times in the next few hours. He kept repeating the word ‘killed’…and then that she had committed suicide. I couldn’t believe she was dead,” says Roselin. “Some 15 of us rushed to the hospital in Walayar but she’d alre­­ady been taken to the mortuary in Palakkad. By the time we reached there, it was past 5 pm and the mortuary was closed for the day. We had to go to the police station and sign the papers for the body to be released.” The Walayar police closed the case as suicide within two weeks. Almost 18 months later, Roselin found a note written by Sofiya about the relationship between her and the priest. That’s when she got suspicious and consulted lawyers and went back to Walayar to get the case reopened.

The family got to know Arockiaraj when he was the parish priest in St Michael’s church in Coimbatore in 2006. “My daughter was in Class 6 then; he was like a family member. We continued to be in touch with him after he was transferred to Valparai and Walayar. He would come and take Sof­iya for Sunday school from here to Walayar. I trusted him so much, never thought he would her hurt so brutally. That day she left college early and went to Walayar in a taxi. Within half-an-hour of meeting him, she died in the guest room.” The post-mortem indicates she was raped. The ecclesiastical court had found Arockiaraj guilty of sexual misconduct and dismissed him. The police reopened the case, but there was no evidence to prove it was not suicide. Helped by a TV reporter who acted as her nephew, Roselin recorded Arockiaraj’s confession that it was an ‘accident’, which was aired on June 15, 2015. The minutes of the ecclesiastical court, now with the police, reveal four priests and the Bishop of Coimbatore, L. Thomas Aquinas, knew about the sexual relationship between the priest and the victim and had not reported the matter to the police. On December 6, Arockiaraj was arrested and Bishop Aquinas and priests Mudalaimuthu, Kulandairaj and Melqur were charged with giving false information.

The Sins Of Our Fathers


Sex crimes come with a tinge of holy terror when clergymen prey on the laity. An institutional response can’t be different from a Christian one. Why then does India’s Catholic Church not walk its pious talk?


We hear these children and their cries of pain; we also hear the cry of the Church our Mother, who weeps not only for the pain caused to her youngest sons and daughters, but also because she recognizes the sins of some of her members: the sufferings, the experiences and the pain of minors who were abused sexually by priests. It is a sin that shames us. Persons responsible for the protection of those children destroyed their dignity. We regret this deeply and we beg forgiveness. We join in the pain of the victims and weep for this sin. The sin of what happened, the sin of failing to help, the sin of covering up and denial, the sin of the abuse of power. The Church also weeps bitterly over this sin of her sons and she asks forgiveness. Today, as we commemorate the feast of the Holy Innocents, I would like us to renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst. Let us find the courage needed to take all necessary measures and to protect in every way the lives of our children, so that such crimes may never be repeated. In this area, let us adhere, clearly and faithfully, to “zero tolerance”.

Excerpts of the letter written by Pope Francis to Bishops all over the world, released on January 2, 2017, expressing regret and begging for forgiveness for crimes against children, asking them to show zero tolerance to such crimes.

He (Jesus) made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and the oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables and to those who sold doves he said, take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”
- John 2:15-16, The Bible
Hardly 10 kilometres from Kodungallur, Kerala, where St Thomas the apostle is believed to have first set foot and brought the teachings of Jesus Christ to the Indian shores in 52 AD, lies the village of Puthenvelikkara. This is a world unto itself, a long way off from the Vatican, where the Pope wrote his remarkable Letter to Bishops on the Feast of the Holy Innocents on December 28, speaking of “the Herods of our time”. A bylane that leads to the Lourde Matha Church turns off from the Puthenvelikkara police station, and runs along the Periyar river, twisting through a thick canopy of trees. A meditative quietude cloaks the air. But it is deceptive—for, even today, anger and sadness overwhelm the laity of the Lourde Matha church. The sanctity of the church had been violen­tly desecrated by the vile deeds of its former vicar. From January to March, 2015, Fr Edwin Figarez, 41, the then vicar of the church, had raped a 14-year-old girl several times in the presbytery in the church precincts. Despicably enough, it is reported, he had used the confessional chamber to entice the girl to his room.

When the child’s parents discovered this horror, they asked the Latin Catholic Bishop of the Kotta­puram diocese, Joseph Karikkassery, to defrock Figarez, and not allow him to say mass. Figarez was immediately suspended by the bishop. But to everyone’s dismay, perhaps in an act of disobedie­nce, the priest celebrated the mass on March 29, Palm Sunday. This is a holy day for Christians, which celebrates the humble entry of Jesus on a donkey into Jerusalem, a symbolic act, days before the cru­cifixion. That he was allowed to say the holy mass was repugnant to many in the congregation. On April 1, 2015, with the backing of a few of the church members, the mother of the victim filed a complaint at the Puthenvelikkara police station. A year and half later, on December 8, 2016, a special court in Ernakulam found Figarez guilty and sentenced him to double imprisonment under various sections of the IPC and the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act.

“We Are Trying To Fix Our Policy On Sexual Harassment



Why does the Catholic church appear to protect its clergy accused of murder and rape? For instance, in the case of Sister Abhaya’s murder, why does the Church go out of its way to defend, protect and rehabilitate the accused, ridiculing the due process of law? Palanivel Jeyapaul, who pleaded guilty of molestation in the US, was even reinstated and is back as a priest in India. Another priest, who is now convicted of rape in Kerala, was allowed to celebrate the mass on an auspicious day even after being accused of rape, dividing the parish down the middle. Are these attempts to put the laity down and turn them into second class citizens without any rights? Why does the church rehabilitate convicts like Fr Lazar of the Kollam diocese?
In a telephonic conversation with Anoo Bhuyan, Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), declined to answer questions on specific cases, but talked about the church’s position on such matters. Excerpts:

What is the official position of the Catholic church in India on cases of sexual abuse by the clergy?

We are totally against any sexual ­offence. It is not according to Catholic teaching. We are against any form of ­disrespect to the dignity of women, not just harassment or rape. If we have failed in any way, we would apologise to the people we have hurt. That is the official position. This is why we are working on our own sexual harassment policy at work. CBCI is coming out with a document within a month.

In what you have just said, there is an acknowledgement of these crimes taking place. According to the Vishakha guidelines, every workplace is supposed to have a policy to deal with sexual harassment. What is the shape of CBCI’s policy on this?

The policy is zero tolerance for sexual harassment. We want it to be easy to implement. We will have monitoring cells and complaint cells at diocese or institution level. We want to respond to complaints speedily too. We are interested that all employees are educated about their role and the respect they should show to other humans. We have also started implementing POCSO at our institutions. We are moving from school to school to make the staff POCSO-­compliant. Besides punishment, I feel proper education has to take place in ­society. We have cases within the Catholic church just as outside in the society.

Duterte to Catholic churches: 'When we were making confessions to you, we were being molested'

International Business Times

By Ananya Roy
January 21, 2017

Continuing his anti-Catholic Church rhetoric, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte questioned their "ascendancy" to criticise his drug war, a day after he challenged Catholic priests to try crystal meth to understand the problem of narcotic addiction.

In response to criticism by some churches in the country over the drug killings, the self-confessed foul-mouthed leader hurled abuses at them, citing cases of alleged sexual molestation and corruption involving priests.

"You expose me, fine. I expose you. Why? When you commit mistakes, it's okay but when we do, no? B******t. That's stupid," the firebrand leader said during the oath taking of newly promoted police officials at his official residence – the Malacañang Palace – on Thursday (19 January).

The former Davao city mayor, who revealed in 2016 that he was physically molested by a priest when he was young, said: "If you cannot even give justice to the small boys that you have molested in the past, you do not have that moral ascendancy to lecture (me) on what to do. Sanctity of life? You're enjoying your worth.

"When we were making confessions to you, we were being molested," the president said. He then raised the issues of homosexual acts allegedly taking place inside seminaries and slammed the churches over their failure to take action.

January 20, 2017

Victims feel vindicated following abuse inquiry findings, says survivors’ group

Irish Times

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry - Report Chapters

Kincora Material

Amanda Ferguson

A Belfast woman representing survivors of child abuse in care homes in the North says they feel vindicated following the publication of the the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry report which found evidence of systematic failure by institutions and the state.

“We have waited a lifetime. Today we are vindicated. Our day has come,” said Margaret McGuckin.

The 2,300 page, 12-volume report published on Friday comes after an inquiry was set up to investigate physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and childhood neglect which occurred in residential institutions over a 73-year period up to 1995.

Ms McGuckin of Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (SAVIA) – who suffered abuse from the age of three in Nazareth House in Belfast – hopes to meet Stormont politicians early next week to iron out details of the compensation scheme recommended by the inquiry team.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland programme director, said the report “laid bare the catastrophic failure by the state, and by religious bodies and others who ran children’s homes over a period of more than 70 years”.

Survivors ‘vindicated’ by report into historic abuse


Survivors have told UTV they feel “vindicated” following the publication of the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry’s findings.

The families said they are relieved, adding: “Our day has come.”

Campaigner Margaret McGukin described it as a special day, after years when “people disbelieved us and even bullied us for daring to complain”.

She added: "And now Sir Anthony Harte (inquiry chairman) has made it a special day for us where he has believed us and vindicated us."

Brendan Smyth's sex crimes 'ignored to protect good name of Church'

Breaking News

The crimes of predatory priest Brendan Smyth were ignored to protect the good name of the Catholic church, a public inquiry found.

Smyth attacked children "far and wide" at residential homes in Northern Ireland from the 1940s and was convicted of more than 100 offences, the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry found.

He was allowed a car to roam the country even after he was eventually charged by police in 1991, and over many years his Norbertine religious order and others within the church failed to take determined and vigorous steps to ensure he did not harm more youngsters, the panel found.

A "deliberate decision" was taken to withhold information about Smyth when he was sent to other church dioceses around the world and he was given medical treatment as a "cure" despite continuing to attack minors.

Sir Anthony Hart's report said: "For the Norbertine order and for others outside the order in positions of responsibility in the church, their overriding priority throughout was to protect the good name of the church and at all times to prioritise Fr Smyth's interests, instead of doing what was best for the children abused by him.

Cardinal Brady part of process which ‘silenced’ abuse victim

Irish Times

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry - Report Chapters

Kincora Material

Gerry Moriarty

A 14-year-old boy who was abused by Norbertine priest Fr Brendan Smyth was “effectively silenced” as a result of a Catholic Church investigation in which the former Catholic primate Cardinal Seán Brady was involved, the HIA inquiry reported.

The Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry report refers to the case of Brendan Boland from Dundalk in Co Louth who in the mid 1970s was sexually abused by Smyth. The then Bishop of Kilmore Francis McKiernan instigated a canon law investigation of his claims.

One of three priests who interviewed Brendan Boland in 1975 was the then Fr John Brady (now Cardinal Brady), later to be appointed Archbishop of Armagh and Catholic primate of Ireland.
Sworn to secrecy

The report details how Mr Boland as a boy was not allowed to have his parents present in the interview with him and how he was sworn to secrecy about his allegations against Smyth.
Cardinal Brady told the inquiry that an oath of confidentiality was administered to bring “solemnity” and formality to proceedings and to “ensure the evidence was clear and strong”.

‘Forgive me’: Belleville priest slept with boy who later became a priest

Belleville News-Democrat



The Rev. Albert E. “Gene” Kreher, a retired priest in the Belleville Catholic Diocese, admitted he regularly slept with but did not molest a 13-year-old boy three decades ago who sought help and later would become a priest himself.

Kreher said Bishop Edward Braxton told him in 2010 to write a letter of apology to the Rev. Stephen Poole, but kept Kreher on as the overseer of the local Boy Scouts council.

In the letter, Kreher described his behavior involving the teen at St. George Catholic Church in New Baden as “very inappropriate.”

“I am sorry that I didn’t offer my apology a long time ago, and regret the possibility that things I did a long time ago contribute to your present difficulties,” Kreher wrote. “I reach out to you praying that someday, somewhere, you will be able to find it in your power to forgive me.”

Kreher has denied he sexually abused Poole. He never faced any criminal charges and was not sued.

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/news/local/article127701274.html#storylink=cpy

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry: List of homes investigated

BBC News

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) was established to investigate child abuse that occurred in residential institutions in Northern Ireland over a 73-year period from 1922 to 1995.
The following is a complete list of homes and institutions investigated by it:

Local authority homes

Lissue Hospital, Lisburn
Kincora Boys' Home, Belfast
Bawnmore Children's Home, Newtownabbey
Fort James and Harberton House, Londonderry
Juvenile justice institutions
St Patrick's Training School, Belfast
Lisnevin Training School, County Down
Rathgael Training School, Bangor
Hydebank Young Offenders' Centre
Millisle Borstal

Secular voluntary homes

Barnardo's Sharonmore Project, Newtownabbey
Barnardo's Macedon, Newtownabbey

Roman Catholic voluntary homes

St Joseph's Home, Termonbacca, Londonderry
Nazareth House Children's Home, Londonderry
Nazareth House Children's Home, Belfast
Nazareth Lodge Children's Home, Belfast
De La Salle Boys' Home, Rubane House, Kircubbin
St Joseph's Training School for Girls, Middletown, County Armagh
Institutions run by the Good Shepherd Sisters in Derry, Belfast and Newry
Church of Ireland
Manor House, a children's home near Lisburn

The inquiry also held public hearings into two other matters,

The practice of child migration, in the 1950s, where children were sent from Catholic, Protestant and local authority homes in Northern Ireland to homes in Australia.

Fr Brendan Smyth, a member of the Norbertine Order, who was convicted of offences relating to children in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and who was alleged to have abused children within a number of children's homes within Northern Ireland.

Bishops apologise for findings of Northern Ireland child abuse inquiry


Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry - Report Chapters

Kincora Material

Fri 20 Jan 2017
By Premier Journalist

Catholic bishops in Northern Ireland have welcomed the findings of an investigation into the decades of abuse in residential homes and apologised to all those who have suffered.

The statement comes after the publication of a report by Sir Anthony Hart of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.

The report concluded that victims of historic child abuse in state, church and charity run homes between 1922 to 1995 should receive state-backed compensation payments of up to £100,000.

Inquiry chair Sir Hart said the minimum pay-out should be £7,500 with the maximum amount given to those who had experienced severe levels of abuse.

Part of the investigation focused on the activities of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

During evidence sessions the inquiry heard lurid details about the activities of the serial child molester who frequented Catholic residential homes and was convicted of more than 100 child abuse charges.

Northern Ireland victims recall the impact of child abuse


By Tara Mills
BBC Newsline

Margaret McGuckin has been the public face of the campaign for victims of historical institutional child sex abuse.

But, privately there is a reason for her involvement - her brother Kevin.

The 62-year-old still lives in care. He has a learning difficulty, which Ms McGuckin believes is directly related to what he suffered as a child.

Their mother left home when they were children, leaving their father to look after them.

But a neighbour reported them to welfare and the four children were separated and taken into care.

"Emotionally that creates disaster in the rest of your life where you can't even form bonds with anyone, never mind your family," Margaret says.

Archbishop Martin apologises for ‘harsh and brutal’ abuse

Derry Journal

The Derry-born leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland has issued an unreserved apology to all those who suffered abuse in Church-run institutions.

Archbishop Eamon Martin was speaking following the publication of a report which revealed that kids’ homes run by church and charities in Northern Ireland were the scene of widespread abuse and mistreatment of young residents.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) studied allegations of abuse in 22 homes - a number of them in Derry - and other residential institutions between 1922 to 1995. The largest number of complaints received related to four Sisters of Nazareth homes - two of which were located in Derry at Termonbacca and Bishop Street.

It found nuns physically and emotionally abused children in their care.

Report shows 'dark and disturbing chapter' says Archbishop Eamon Martin

RTE News

The Catholic Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, has told Pope Francis that the publication of the report by the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry serves as a reminder that much remains to be done if the church in Ireland is to continue along the path of penitence, reparation, healing and renewal.

Dr Martin, who is Archbishop of Armagh, said that the publication is a very significant moment.

Speaking on RTÉ's News At One, he said it is yet another moment where "all of us" are confronted by what, he said, has been a dark and disturbing chapter in the life of the church and society.

"We always need to be alert with regards to this issue. What remains to be done is always being on the alert to assure that these despicable things don't happen anymore in the future and that applies to everyone in the church and, indeed, in all of the society."

He said there has been major changes to how life in the church in Ireland has changed over the last number of years and this was discussed at the meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican this morning.

HIA sex abuse inquiry: No credible evidence British Establishment paedophile ring operated in Belfast boys' home Kincora

Belfast Telegraph

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry - Report Chapters

Kincora Material

There was "no credible evidence" of a paedophile ring made up of members of the British Establishment using an east Belfast boys home to carry out abuse, Sir Anthony Hart has said while delivering his report on historical institutional abuse at a series of children's homes run by church and charity in Northern Ireland.

Retired judge Sir Anthony Hart chaired an independent panel, the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry, helped by a team of lawyers and researchers.

On Friday he delivered his 2,300 page-long, 10 volume report saying he had the full co-operation from state, religious orders and government in its making.

Sir Anthony Hart said: "Our terms of reference, unlike other current inquiries, were not limited to sexual abuse, we examined allegations of physical and emotional abuse and other failings to provide proper terms of care."

At the notorious Kincora boys home, where there were numerous allegation made of abuse, Sir Anthony said if an adequate RUC investigation had been carried out "those sexually abused after 1976 would have been spared their experience."

'Catalogue of failures' over Kincora abuse

RTE News

Police investigations into the notorious Kincora boys' home in East Belfast in the mid-1970s were "inept, inadequate and far from thorough", the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry has found.

Inquiry chairman Sir Anthony Hart said authorities and police in Belfast were guilty of a "catalogue of failures" and said if a proper investigation had been undertaken many victims might have been spared.

However, long-standing allegations that a paedophile ring containing British establishment figures abused boys in the home in Belfast are not supported by credible evidence, the inquiry found.

It also dismissed claims that intelligence agencies were aware of such a ring and covered it up in order to blackmail the high-profile abusers.

Three staff members at Kincora were found guilty of abusing residents in the 1970s but there had long been rumours that others, including civil servants and businessmen, were involved.

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry: Reaction

BBC News

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry - Report Chapters

Kincora Material

A report detailing widespread abuse of children in residential homes in Northern Ireland has led to apologies from several institutions involved.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) examined complaints about 22 homes run by the state, churches and charities between 1922 to 1995.

It found some children were physically and sexually abused by priests and lay people entrusted to look after them.

Church leaders, politicians and victims have been reacting to the findings.

Irish Norbertines

"The Irish Norbertines recognise the tragic harm and hurt caused to innocent children by Brendan Smyth, a deceased member of our community.

"We again unreservedly apologise most sincerely for the hurt and harm caused to so many young people, while also accepting that our management of the man concerned (Smyth) and the accusations presented to us was grossly inadequate."
line break

De La Salle Brothers

"We accept and deeply regret that boys in our care were abused. We offer our sincere and unreserved apology to all those whom we failed to protect.

"That some Brothers abused boys in their care was in total contradiction of their vocations as De la Salle Brothers and of their mission as established by our founder - namely to look after the welfare and educational needs of deprived, vulnerable and abandoned children."
line break

Sisters of Nazareth

"We again apologise to anyone who has suffered abuse whether psychological, physical, sexual or neglect on any occasion when the sisters' standard of care fell below what was expected of them.

"It was always the desire of the order to provide a safe place for children and when we failed on any occasion, we want to express our deepest regret.

"This has been a traumatic time for those survivors and victims who have come forward however; we sincerely hope it has also been an opportunity to find some relief."

Bishop welcomes report of Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry

The Anglo-Celt

The Bishop of the Diocese of Kilmore, Leo O'Reilly has today welcomed the publication by Judge Anthony Hart of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry Report.

“From the outset I wish to apologise to everyone who suffered abuse perpetrated by a priest or religious. To abuse a child is a most abhorrent act, is evil and to be condemned unreservedly,” Bishop O'Reilly stated.

Thinking in particular of the survivors of abuse, he acknowledged what he described as “the long and difficult journey that they have travelled in order to achieve justice and official recognition” of the pain and trauma visited upon them as children.

The inquiry chair Sir Anthony Hart outlined in his report a series of recommendations after he revealed shocking levels of sexual, physical and emotional abuse in the period 1922 to 1995.

HIA: Victims of historic child abuse in Northern Ireland should get compensation and apology

Belfast Telegraph

Hundreds of victims of historic child abuse in Northern Ireland should receive state-backed compensation payments of up to £100,000, an inquiry has recommended.

Those abused in state, church and charity run homes should also be offered an official apology from government and the organisations that ran the residential facilities where it happened, the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry found.

Inquiry chair Sir Anthony Hart outlined a series of recommendations after he revealed shocking levels of sexual, physical and emotional abuse in the period 1922 to 1995.

He said the minimum pay-out should be £7,500 with the maximum amount given to those who had experienced severe levels of abuse as well as being transported to Australia in a controversial migrant scheme.

He said the organisations that ran the abusing homes should make a financial contribution to the Stormont Executive-run scheme.

Sir Anthony said the four-year inquiry found "evidence of systemic failings" in the institutions and homes it investigated.

Victims abused at a notorious Belfast children's home 'should receive payouts of up to £10,000' as inquiry finds 'no credible evidence to back claims an alleged Establishment paedophile ring was involved

Daily Mail

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry - Report Chapters

Kincora Material

By Martin Robinson, Uk Chief Reporter For Mailonline

A paedophile ring run by British Establishment figures did not abuse boys in the notorious Kincora boys' home in Belfast - but there were hundreds of children who were attacked by sex offenders led by a paedophile priest, a major report said today.

Inquiry chairman Sir Anthony Hart said the VIP gang claims are not supported by credible evidence and insisted the abuse did not extend beyond the three guilty staff members.

Some victims alleged to have been abused by figures including the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith, Cabinet ministers, clergymen, pop stars, spies, judges and members of the royal household.

Sir Anthony denied this happened at Kincora but did say that there was widespread sexual abuse of children and police investigations in the mid-1970s were 'inept, inadequate and far from thorough'.

He said authorities in Belfast were guilty of a 'catalogue of failures' and said if a proper investigation had been undertaken many victims might have been spared.

Hundreds of victims should be offered a tax-free lump sum compensation payment, Sir Anthony said, this would be at least £7,500 with the amount rising according to the severity of the abuse.

'Unspeakable cruelty and vicious abuse' - historical abuse inquiry releases damning report

The Journal

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry - Report Chapters

Kincora Material

Updated 4.25pm

A REPORT INTO institutional abuse at children’s homes in Northern Ireland has found that there was ‘widespread abuse’ at such facilities between 1922 and 1995.

The Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry had looked into allegations of abuse at 22 such children’s homes across Northern Ireland.

The largest number of complaints stemmed from four different Catholic-run institutions.

At those four Sisters of Nazareth homes nuns were found to have been physically and emotionally abusive to children in their care, chairman of the inquiry Sir Anthony Hart said at a press conference to launch the report today.

At those institutions, he added it was not unheard of for children to have outdoor disinfectant Jeyes Fluid put in their baths, while “the handling of menstruation and sex education, and other practices such as the confiscation of children’s belongings, represented poor childcare and amounted to systemic abuse”.

Sexual abuse had also been carried out by priests and lay people, Hart said.

Some institutions “sought to protect their reputations and individuals against whom allegations were made, by failing to take any action at all, failing to report matters to or deliberately misleading the appropriate authorities and moving those against whom allegations were made to other locations”.

Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry: 'Widespread abuse' in children's homes

BBC News

Children's homes run by church and charities in Northern Ireland were the scene of widespread abuse and mistreatment of young residents, a report has found.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) studied allegations of abuse in 22 homes and other residential institutions between 1922 to 1995.

The largest number of complaints related to four Catholic-run homes.

There was also sexual abuse carried out by priests and lay people.

* HIA report closes dark chapter in NI's past
* NI victims recall the impact of abuse
* Live coverage of abuse inquiry findings
* Homes and institutions investigated by HIA

The chair of the inquiry, Sir Anthony Hart, recommended compensation, a memorial and a public apology to abuse survivors.

He said a tax-free lump sum payment should be made to all survivors, including in homes and institutions that were not covered by the inquiry.

NI child abuse inquiry recommends payoffs for victims

Sky News

By David Blevins, Ireland Correspondent

An inquiry into historical abuse in Northern Ireland has found systematic failings in the care of children in institutions and recommended compensation.

The publication of its report brings to an end a four year examination of allegations of abuse and/or neglect at 22 different establishments between 1922 and 1995.

Inquiry chairman Sir Anthony Hart said: "We hope that in some measure the process of giving evidence… helped those who were not listened to in the past."

During public hearings at a former courthouse in Banbridge, County Down, the inquiry heard from 527 witnesses.

Some 333 had applied to give evidence and while the majority did so in person, statements from 87 were read into the record.

The inquiry found evidence of "systematic failings to a greater or lesser degree" in the majority of the children's homes it investigated.

Northern Irish children suffered decades of cruel abuse: report

Yahoo! News

By Amanda Ferguson

January 20, 2017

BELFAST (Reuters) - Children in Northern Ireland suffered decades of cruel sexual, physical and emotional abuse in institutions run by the state, charities and the Catholic and Protestant churches, an official report said on Friday.

Instances of sexual abuse by priests and lay people were detailed in a 2,300 page, 12-volume report that identified widespread systemic failings and extended responsibility to the Northern Irish government and church authorities.

"Some institutions providing residential child care were responsible for a range of institutional practices which constituted systemic abuse," Sir Anthony Hart, a retired High Court judge who chaired the four-year inquiry, told a news conference.

"There were individuals who provided excellent care and others who were cruel and abusive, physically and emotionally towards the children for whom they were responsible. This abuse has affected many people for the rest of their lives."

Victims at the news conference applauded Hart as he concluded his more than two-hour findings.

Cardinal hopes to build collaboration between CDF, child protection commission

The Pilot


BRAINTREE -- Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley expressed his gratitude to Pope Francis for appointing him a member of the Congregation for The Doctrine of The Faith and said he hopes to serve as a bridge with the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors that he presides. The appointment was announced at the Vatican Jan. 14.

"I was very honored to be asked by the Holy Father to be a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and I hope that I will be able to make a positive contribution" he told The Pilot Jan. 17.

"I hope that my participation on the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will allow us to have closer communications between our Commission and the Doctrine of the Faith which has competence in cases of sexual abuse," he said.

Pope Francis created the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in March 2014 as an advisory body at the service of the Holy Father and tasked it to propose initiatives "for protecting minors and vulnerable adults, in order that we may do everything possible to ensure that crimes such as those which have occurred are no longer repeated in the Church," according to the chirograph, a form of papal decree, that established the commission.

Northern Ireland child abuse inquiry singles out police and church

The Guardian

Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent
Friday 20 January 2017

Police were guilty of a “catalogue of failures” over the abuse of boys at a Belfast care home run by a paedophile ring, a comprehensive report into child mistreatment across Northern Ireland has found.

The historical institutional abuse inquiry, established in 2014, found that a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) investigation into sexual abuse at the Kincora care home in east Belfast was “inept, inadequate and far from thorough”.

The report, released on Friday, also accused the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland of ignoring repeated warnings about a serial paedophile, Fr Brendan Smyth, who sexually assaulted and raped dozens of young victims.

The implications of the Smyth scandal and other clerical abuse in the region were so serious that a senior Catholic cleric was due to discuss the findings with the pope later on Friday.

Kincora care home was run by a number of paedophiles whom it was alleged were agents of the state. They included the prominent Orange Order member William McGrath, who was accused of being an informer for MI5 and special branch in the 1970s, spying on fellow hardline loyalists.

Pedophile priests in Italy receive no leniency during sentencing


by Roberta Lunghini - 2017.01.20

In Italy, a priest pedophile will receive no leniency even if he committed the crime outside of the church. Because in the eyes of the victim, he always represents a point of reference for the role that he plays. The Supreme Court rejected the appeal of a priest who had been condemned for having molested minors and for having forced them into having sexual relations with him. The Supreme Judges upheld the modern doctrine of the Catholic Church by explaining the basis of individual rights, which in sex crimes, takes into account the abuse of power by a minister of faith and his failure to uphold the evangelical duties. Not only in church, but also when he is participating in the community in a variety of capacities: facilitating recreation, providing assistance, or performing activities related to his mission, including psychological support to parishioners or anyone else who might be in need.

Boston Globe Report Prompts Vt. Lawmakers to Update Sex Abuse Laws

My Champlain Valley

By Rachel Aragon | raragon@nexstar.tv
Published 01/19 2017


An investigative report puts a spotlight on loopholes in Vermont's sex abuse laws.

Now lawmakers are grappling with how to close them.

The Boston Globe's Spotlight team recently published a report exposing loopholes in New England's sex abuse laws.

"I'm very proud Vermont had fewer loopholes than many of the other New England states, but we do have some," said Dick Sears, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

On Thursday, exactly one month after the Globe's story was printed, lawmakers sat down to discuss those loopholes outlined in the report.

"There's concern that there just isn't, aren't strong enough laws in place that can help prevent abuse," said reporter Todd Wallack, member of the Boston Globe Spotlight Team.

Archbishop Byrnes returning to Guam on Sunday


Jan 20, 2017

By Krystal Paco

The island's faithful will once again have a leader. Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes is scheduled to arrive from Detroit on Monday, January 23. Archbishop Byrnes visited briefly late last year, shortly after he was appointed and given full authority of the Archdiocese of Agana.

Meanwhile, no updates are available on Archbishop Anthony Apuron who faces a canonical trial in Rome for allegations of child molestation.


Church Militant

A callous disregard for victims. Financial kickbacks from Church-suing tort lawyers. Retaliation.

A stunning new civil lawsuit filed in Illinois by a former insider at SNAP confirms what many of us have known all along: SNAP is not an organization designed to help victims of clergy sex abuse but a gang hellbent on shaking down the Catholic Church through a seedy web of lawyer kickback schemes, lawsuits and bigotry.

Dennis Coday at the National Catholic Reporter was the first to report the news of this stunning lawsuit.

Gretchen Hammond was hired by SNAP in 2010 as director of development to oversee the group's fundraising operations and to boost cash inflow to the group. Ms. Hammond did so with great success, but the more she learned about the inner workings of SNAP, the more she came to learn that SNAP was not simply an innocent "victim advocacy group." Hammond began "collecting documents in preparation of exposing SNAP's acceptance of kickbacks from attorneys."



Thursday, January 19, 2017

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A lawsuit was filed by against SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, by a former employee of the sex abuse victims' advocacy group.

The former employee claims she was fired after she learned the group's officers conspired with attorneys for sex abuse survivors and that SNAP accepted financial kickbacks for referring abuse victims to attorneys.

SNAP president Barbara Blaine said in a statement: "The allegations are not true. This will be proven in court. SNAP leaders are now, and always have been, devoted to following the SNAP mission: To help victims heal and to prevent further sexual abuse."

Former SNAP worker says clergy-abuse group colludes with lawyers

Chicago Sun-Times

Andy Grimm
@agrimm34 | email

A Chicago-based advocacy group that has led a national crusade to expose sexual abuse by Catholic clergy is being sued by a former executive who claims the not-for-profit colluded with lawyers who sued the church in exchange for “kickbacks” on the multimillion-dollar settlements they won.

The onetime employee, Gretchen Hammond, worked as a staff fundraiser for the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. She claims the group referred clergy-abuse victims to lawyers, who, in turn, sued the church. SNAP collaborated with those attorneys, getting advance copies of lawsuits and hosting press conferences, leveraging the publicity for fundraising efforts, the lawsuit states.

Hammond was fired from SNAP after she probed the organization’s fundraising, the lawsuit alleges.

“In reality, SNAP is a commercial operation motivated by its directors’ and officers’ personal and ideological animus against the Catholic Church,” the lawsuit states. “SNAP’s commercial operation is premised on farming out abuse survivors as clients for attorneys, who then file lawsuits on behalf of the survivors and collect settlement checks from the Catholic Church.”

SNAP President Barbara Blaine issued a brief statement Wednesday denying the allegations in the lawsuit, filed this week in Cook County Circuit Court.

“The allegations are not true. This will be proven in court,” Blaine said. “SNAP leaders are now, and always have been, devoted to following the SNAP mission: To help victims heal and to prevent further sexual abuse.”

Hammond copied files from the group during her stint as head of fundraising for the group from 2011 to 2013.

In an interview Wednesday at the office of her lawyer, Bruce Howard, Hammond said that SNAP was aware that its connections to lawyers who had sued the church was a frequent line of attack from critics of the organization — and that she was barred from so much as using the word “lawyer” in office emails or fundraising records.

Australia's oldest Catholic boys' boarding school to formally apologise to sex abuse victims

ABC News

By Gavin Coote

Australia's oldest Catholic boys' boarding school is set to apologise to students who were sexually abused by staff during their time there.

St Stanislaus College in Bathurst has been at the centre of child abuse investigations for almost a decade, and a number of priests, chaplains and teachers have been convicted.

Towering over the historic New South Wales city, 'Stannies' as it is commonly known, takes students from some of the most remote and far-flung parts of the state.

But retired journalist Terry Jones, who lives in Bathurst, said it was not such a grand past for dozens of students who went there.

Q&A: Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry in Northern Ireland

Irish Times

The Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry is publishing its report three years after it began taking evidence.

What is the HIA?

Men and women, who were vulnerable children in care in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995, have come before the public inquiry to give accounts of abuse in their childhood while in residential institutions run by the state and religious orders.

It was established by Northern Ireland’s powersharing government to make recommendations on redress for past harm.

Retired judge Sir Anthony Hart chaired a panel of three which heard evidence in open session alongside an acknowledgement forum for private story-telling.

What issues did it address?

It was established to inquire into allegations of sexual, physical and emotional harm inflicted on children while they were in care.

Background: Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry

RTE News

The Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry is publishing its report three years after it began taking evidence.

Men and women, who were vulnerable children in care in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995, have come before the public inquiry to give accounts of abuse in their childhood while in residential institutions run by the state and religious orders.

It was established by Northern Ireland's powersharing government to make recommendations on redress for past harm.

Retired judge Anthony Hart chaired a panel of three which heard evidence in open session alongside an acknowledgement forum for private story-telling.

What issues did it address?

The inquiry was established to probe allegations of sexual, physical and emotional harm inflicted on children while they were in care.

Griffey bill to end statutes of limitations on certain sex crimes gets approval from House committee

Daily World


Thu Jan 19th, 2017

A bill eliminating the statutes of limitations for certain felony sex offenses was unanimously passed out of the House Public Safety Committee Thursday.

Rep. Dan Griffey, a Republican from Allyn, introduced House Bill 1155, which would allow prosecutors to bring charges at any time after the commission of some sex crimes, including rape and rape of a child, child molestation, sexual exploitation of a minor and voyeurism.

“Sexual abuse isn’t something victims get over and move on from. It’s something they deal with the rest of their lives,” said Griffey. “What message are we sending to sexual abusers and survivors? The people that commit these heinous crimes should never feel free from prosecution, and victims should always feel like they have a voice.”

Current criminal statutes of limitations laws in Washington differ depending on the age of the victim, the type of crime committed and other factors.

Men with repressed memories of sex abuse sue Presbyterian church

Chicago Sun-Times

Sara Freund

Two men filed separate lawsuits Thursday alleging they were sexually abused by a Presbyterian pastor in the 1980s at a church in the West Side Ukrainian Village neighborhood.

The lawsuit names the Chicago Presbyterian Church, Presbytery of Chicago, San Marcos Church and Church Extension Board of the Presbytery of Chicago as defendants.

The men claim they were sexually abused in the 1980s by Pastor Douglas Mason, who ministered youth at the San Marcos Church at 2028 W. Augusta Blvd., according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

Pastor Mason died in early 2006, according to the Presbytery of Chicago.

In 2007, the Presbytery reached a settlement with four people who accused the pastor of sexual abuse, according to a statement from Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Kickbacks for suing the Church? Lawsuit claims major misbehavior at SNAP

Headlines from the Catholic World

Chicago, Ill., Jan 19, 2017 / 05:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A former employee of the controversial Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests has filed a lawsuit claiming wrongful termination for challenging the organization’s misbehavior, including alleged kickbacks from attorneys who were suing the Church on behalf of sexual abuse victims.

In the lawsuit, Gretchen Rachel Hammond, a past development director of SNAP, claimed to have been fired after coming to learn “SNAP does not focus on protecting or helping survivors – it exploits them.”

Although the plaintiff “had explicitly stated to potential donors that SNAP did not engage in kickback schemes,” Hammond’s discoveries while employed there allegedly showed otherwise – and the reputed proof is on an external hard drive.

“SNAP routinely accepts financial kickbacks from attorneys in the form of ‘donations.’ In exchange for the kickbacks, SNAP refers survivors as potential clients to attorneys, who then file lawsuits on behalf of the survivors against the Catholic Church,” the lawsuit charges. “These cases often settle, to the financial benefit of the attorneys and, at times, to the financial benefit of SNAP, which has received direct payments from survivors’ settlements.” ...

Advocacy group for victims of priest sex abuse is sued over alleged kickbacks

The Kansas City Star


A former employee of a national victims’ advocacy group is suing the organization, saying she was fired after questioning what she said was evidence that it was accepting kickbacks for referring sex abuse victims to attorneys.

The civil lawsuit, filed Tuesday against the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, alleges that instead of protecting or helping survivors of sexual abuse, the organization neglects and exploits them.

The suit was filed by Gretchen Rachel Hammond in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill. Hammond worked for SNAP from July 2011 through early 2013, the lawsuit says.

“SNAP routinely accepts financial kickbacks from attorneys in the form of ‘donations,’ ” the lawsuit alleges. “In exchange for the kickbacks, SNAP refers survivors as potential clients to attorneys, who then file lawsuits on behalf of the survivors against the Catholic Church.”

Gerald Ridsdale, former Catholic priest, faces court over historical sexual abuse charges

ABC News

By Emma Younger

Former Catholic priest Gerard Ridsdale has faced court via video link from prison charged with numerous historical sexual abuse offences against 11 alleged victims.

The 82-year-old is facing 36 charges including rape, buggery, indecent assault and assault.

Police allege he committed the crimes against girls and boys between 1961 and 1988 in numerous locations across western Victoria.

They include Ballarat, a location between Ocean Grove and Wendouree West, Merbein, Edenhope, Riverside, a location between Apsley and Edenhope, Mortlake and Quantong.

Ridsdale faced court from a correctional facility where he is serving a sentence for separate offending.

North abuse inquiry: ‘The crying would break your heart’

Irish Times

Some witnesses to the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry said they were treated like child convicts.

Others claimed they were forced to eat their own vomit, preyed upon by serial sexual predators and one was told he was the product of an “evil and satanic relationship”.

The poverty-stricken youngsters were among the most vulnerable in society and their experiences dated from 1922 to 1995.

They had been left in homes run by religious orders because their parents could not care for them or because they were illegitimate.

In 2014 they finally had their say as public hearings began.

One early witness said telling the truth after 65 years had finally set him free.

Assignment Record– Rev. Thomas A. Kuhn


Summary of Case: Thomas A. Kuhn was a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, ordained in 1967. For over twenty years he worked at Elder High School as a teacher, vice principal and then principal. During that time he was assigned to a series of area parishes as an assistant and, for several years, pastored one. Kuhn left Elder in July 1988. The following year he began a twelve-year stint as pastor of Incarnation in Centerville, OH which is near Dayton and in the northern reaches of the archdiocese. He was also involved with nearby Alter High School as a teacher and sports team chaplain.

In the early 1990s Incarnation parents began to complain to the school principal that Kuhn was showing undue attention to their young sons, sending them to class late after mass and taking them out of class to his home. The principal confronted Kuhn, but the behavior continued. A former Alter High student said in 2002 that in 1994 she informed the archdiocese that a former student told her Kuhn had touched him in ways that made him feel uncomfortable. Reportedly, the archdiocese did nothing. In 1997 Alter's principal reported Kuhn to the archdiocese and Children's Services after a male student told two teachers that Kuhn had stuck his hand down the boy's pants. Kuhn was allowed to remain in ministry until May 2002, when he was under investigation by the Sheriff's Department for possible "misuse" of church computers. He had been on leave for a few months earlier in the year for treatment of alcoholism. Bishop Pilarczyk stated publicly that Kuhn was "guiltless," leading to the objections of former students, parents and fellow priest, Rev. Lawrence Breslin. Kuhn was known to lavish boys with money and expensive gifts, and to provide them with alcohol. During November 2001-January 2002, he hosted four boys and a girl in his home, gave them alcohol and masturbated in front of at least one of them.

In October 2002 Kuhn was charged with one count of public indecency, six counts of furnishing alcohol to minors and four counts of allowing minors to possess or consume alcohol on his premises. He pleaded no contest in June 2004 in October 2002 was sentenced to five years' probation and fined $10,500. In 2005 he violated the terms of his probation and was jailed for thirty days.

Kuhn was laicized in October 2014.

Ordained: 1967
Laicized: 2014

Questions over investigation into Guam Archbishop

Radio New Zealand

The time it is taking for the Vatican to investigate allegations against Guam's Catholic Archbishop is being questioned.

The Vatican placed Archbishop Anthony Apuron on leave last June after former altar boys accused him of sexual abuse in the 1970s.

In November, his successor Archbishop Michael Byrnes, said a canonical trial had been initiated.

But the Concerned Catholics of Guam President David Sablan said they hadn't heard anything about how it is going.

"We're concerned about the time it's taking because most of the facts are very clear. But I think there are others in the Vatican who are very supportive of Archbishop Apuron and if they are trying to cover up this whole mess that he has been involved in here in Guam then they would be complicit in basically what he has done to harm the church here."

January 19, 2017

Priest Gerald Ridsdale faces packed court room on fresh child-sex charges

The Courier

Tammy Mills
20 Jan 2017

Notorious priest Gerald Ridsdale has fronted a packed Melbourne court on Friday morning on fresh child-sex charges.

The 82-year-old, was charged on December 28 with multiple offences against a number of alleged victims from across Victoria, appeared via videolink for a filing hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

The charges include rape, buggery and unlawful and indecent assault of children between the 1960s and 1980s, when he was a priest in the Ballarat diocese.

Mr Ridsdale said little in the short administration hearing except to confirm subsequent court dates with Magistrate Gwynn Carolene.

Baptist Pastor Says Jamaica Is In A Period Of Religious, Moral Distress

The Gleaner

The keynote speaker of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast Reverend Burchell Taylor this morning appealed for Jamaicans to pursue justice.

Speaking to political and religious leaders at the annual event, Reverend Taylor said justice should be pursued as at the policy level with human dignity.

Reverend Taylor stressed that justice is the responsibility of every Jamaican adding that no one should be content with being a beneficiary of injustice.

Reverend Taylor’s appeal comes amid immense backlash aimed at the church amid the Moravian sex scandal involving a 64-year-old Moravian pastor who is charged with the sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl.

Pastor accused of not reporting sexual abuse accepted into ARD program


By John Beauge | Special to PennLive
on January 19, 2017

SUNBURY - The pastor of a Northumberland County church charged with failing to report to authorities an alleged sexual abuse incident has been accepted into a special probation program that does not require admission of guilt.

Gregory L. Clendaniel, 54, of Paxinos, on Thursday in Northumberland County court was accepted into the accelerated rehabilitative disposition program.

If he successfully completes terms of his probation he could apply to have his record expunged.

District Attorney Tony Matulewicz said he normally would not approve ARD in cases in which the victim was a minor, but there were issues when Clendaniel learned of the incident.

Clendaniel, as the pastor of the Augustaville Wesleyan Church, is under the law required to report sexual abuse incidents.

Ottawa priest convicted of molesting boys back in jail after allegedly visiting kids pool 96 times

The Ottawa Citizen


A disgraced Ottawa priest convicted of molesting altar boys in the 1960s and 1970s has been re-arrested after he allegedly visited a Lowertown swimming pool frequented by children – a breach of his release conditions – nearly 100 times.

Gatineau police arrested Jacques Faucher, 80, on Monday, nine days before he was scheduled to be sentenced on historical sex crimes involving three children. Faucher was free on bail while awaiting sentencing.

Police allege he attended the kids section of the Ottawa Lowertown Community Centre and Pool 96 times between Nov. 24, 2015 and Dec. 22, 2016, according to court documents. The documents claim he did not once visit the adult swimming pool in that one-year period. Neither the police, nor the court documents viewed by the Citizen detailed how authorities determined Faucher had visited the pool 96 times.

Ottawa police arrested the former priest in 2013 after five male complainants came forward with allegations he molested them when they were between the ages of nine and 13 at the former Notre-Dame-des-Anges parish near Tunney’s Pasture.

Ex-worker sues priest sex-abuse victims advocacy group, says it exploited survivors

Chicago Tribune

Manya Brachear Pashman
Chicago Tribune

A former employee of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has sued the victims advocacy group, alleging that SNAP exploited victims of sexual abuse by clergy in return for financial kickbacks from attorneys.

According to a lawsuit filed this week in Cook County Circuit Court, Gretchen Rachel Hammond worked as a director of development from July 2011 until she said she was fired in February 2013, shortly after asking superiors whether SNAP was referring potential clients to attorneys in exchange for donations.

In addition to the organization, defendants named in the lawsuit are Barbara Blaine, its founder and president; David Clohessy, executive director; and Barbara Dorris, outreach director.

Blaine said in a statement that "the allegations are not true.

"This will be proven in court," she said. "SNAP leaders are now, and always have been, devoted to following the SNAP mission: To help victims heal and to prevent further sexual abuse."

Neither Clohessy nor Dorris could be reached for comment.

Though it did not name attorneys, the lawsuit said several high-profile litigators across the country had donated a large percentage of SNAP's income.

Jeff Anderson, a prominent Minnesota attorney for victims of clergy sex abuse, confirmed that he makes regular donations to SNAP, as well as other nonprofit organizations that advocate for the safety of children. But he said he does not do it in exchange for referrals.

"I have supported SNAP and a lot of other organizations that help survivors throughout the country, unapologetically," he said.

"The allegation is explosive because it's unethical," he added. "I've never done it nor would I ever do it."

Man files suit against former midstate youth minister for alleged sex abuse

The Telegraph


A man who attended Macon’s Mulberry United Methodist Church in the 1980s has filed suit against a former youth minister there, alleging that he was molested as a child.

The lawsuit, which names Perry Sandifer as the sole defendant, alleges that the man was 12 or 13 years old when Sandifer groped him and engaged in other “unwanted and non-consensual sexual contact.”

Darl Champion, the plaintiff’s lawyer, said his now 46-year-old client suppressed many of the memories from the alleged molestation, but they later resurfaced after he become an adult.

“It’s about accountability,” Champion said when asked why his client filed the suit.

SNAP denies ex-employee’s claim of kickback scheme


The country's most visible advocacy group for survivors of clerical sexual abuse is denying claims made by an ex-employee, who charges in a lawsuit that the group “does not focus on protecting or helping survivors, it exploits them," including taking kickbacks from lawyers suing the Church.

A lawsuit by an ex-employee charges that the Survivors Network Of Those Abused By Priests (SNAP), a highly visible advocacy group for survivors of clerical abuse, is actually “a commercial operation motivated by … personal and ideological animus against the Catholic Church,” and that it routinely engages in kickback schemes with lawyers suing the Church.

“SNAP does not focus on protecting or helping survivors - it exploits them,” says the lawsuit, filed Jan. 17 in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.

“SNAP routinely accepts financial kickbacks from attorneys in the form of ‘donations.’ In exchange for the kickbacks, SNAP refers survivors as potential clients to attorneys, who then file lawsuits on behalf of the survivors against the Catholic Church,” the suit alleges.

“These cases often settle, to the financial benefit of the attorneys and, at times, to the financial benefit of SNAP, which has received direct payments from survivors’ settlements.”

News of the lawsuit was first reported on Wednesday by National Catholic Reporter editor Dennis Coday.

On Thursday, a SNAP official denied the claims in a brief written statement to Crux.

“The allegations are not true,” said Barbara Blaine, the group’s president.

“This will be proven in court. SNAP leaders are now, and always have been, devoted to following the SNAP mission: To help victims heal and to prevent further sexual abuse,” she said.

Arrestan a exvoluntario de una iglesia en el norte de Texas con cargos de abuso sexual a menores


NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas.- Un exvoluntario de la iglesia católica San Juan el Apóstol en North Richland Hills, Texas, fue arrestado este miércoles y se le imputaron cargos por abusar sexualmente de menores de edad mientras laboraba en la guardería del recinto religioso.

Francisco Guevara, de 65 años de edad, enfrenta dos cargos por abuso sexual continuo a un menor y uno por cometer actos indecentes con un menor.

De acuerdo con las autoridades, los actos ocurrieron alrededor de 2009 y se estima que sus víctimas tenían entre cuatro y nueve años de edad. Asimismo, informaron que dos de los tres incidentes por los que es acusado ocurrieron en North Richland Hills, mientras que el otro sucedió en Colleyville.

Ridsdale in Vic court over child sex abuse


Former Catholic priest Gerald Ridsdale will face court over dozens of fresh historical sexual abuse offences.

The 82-year-old has been charged with more than 36 offences including rape, buggery, indecent assault and assault.

It's alleged the offences occurred at various locations in the western region of Victoria between the 1960s to the 1980s.

Ridsdale was charged by the Sano Taskforce, which was set up to investigate historical and new allegations of child sex abuse involving religious and non-government organisations.

He is due to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Friday via video link.

Historic child abuse inquiry will be judged on 'truth it delivers'

Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland's public inquiry into child abuse at residential homes run by churches and the state will be judged on the extent to which it delivers truth and justice, campaigners said.

The Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry is due to publish its report on Friday.

Evidence from hundreds of witnesses during 223 days of hearings outlined claims of brutality and sex abuse dating back to the 1920s at the homes. Some of those allegations have been challenged by the religious orders involved.

Retired judge Sir Anthony Hart chaired an independent panel which investigated, helped by a team of lawyers and researchers.

Sir Anthony has already indicated that compensating victims will be among his recommendations.

Stormont ministers will have to decide on what happens next amid a crisis engulfing powersharing.

New Book by Vatileaks Journalist Alleges Vatican Inaction on Abuse


Gerard O'Connell | Jan 19 2017

Emiliano Fittipaldi, one of the two Italian journalists charged in the Vatileaks 2 trial, has written a new book called Lust (Lussuria) in which he accuses several high-ranking prelates in the Vatican, Italy and elsewhere, some close to Pope Francis, of covering up or undermining investigations of priests under their jurisdiction who sexually abused minors over past decades.

In the 200-page book, published on Jan. 19, Mr. Fittipaldi recycles stories already published in the Italian or international media about the abuse of children and minors by clergy and recounts denials or cover-ups related to these crimes. Some cases date back 40 or more years; others are more recent. He also cites scandals of adult homosexual behavior involving clergy.

The Vatican has declined to comment on the book, but an authoritative source in Rome who wished to remain anonymous told America that he was struck by the “animus” against the church and the Vatican that comes through page after page of Mr. Fittipaldi’s book. He noted moreover that the author gave scant attention to the significant progress made on this problem over the past 16 years, starting under John Paul II and followed with greater impetus by Benedict XVI. Progress on ensuring a safe environment for children throughout the Catholic Church is moving forward under Francis, who is pursuing a “zero tolerance” policy on reports of abuse.

Report cites pastoral protection in Virginia abuse case

Mennonite World Review

Jan 19, 2017 by Mennonite World Review staff

An external review of responses to reports of sexual abuse in a Virginia congregation has led Mennonite Church USA staff to conclude the lead pastor acted in ways that protected the alleged perpetrator, to the detriment of caring for the victim.

In their response to the report, the staff members recommend ways to prevent future problems, including “regular trainings on healthy boundaries” for all pastors in the denomination.

On Jan. 14, MC USA released a report by D. Stafford and Associates, along with a list of findings by MC USA Executive Board staff. The findings state that Pastor Duane Yoder of Lindale Mennonite Church near Harrisonburg did not disclose everything he knew about allegations of sexual abuse that have been deemed credible.

According to the findings, “on multiple occasions, the decisions, actions and inactions of Pastor Yoder resulted in protection of [former Eastern Mennonite University vice president of enrollment Luke] Hartman rather than support for [Lauren] Shifflett,” who approached Lindale staff.

The investigation was formally requested by Virginia Mennonite Conference in May. On March 20, Lindale pastors and elders acknowledged that an alleged “abusive relationship” involving Hartman was brought to staff attention in August 2014 when Shifflett approached associate pastor Dawn Monger.

‘Predator!’ Neighbor Of Paula Deen’s ‘Pedophile’ Priest Says He Hid Sick Double Life

Radar Online

By Melissa Parrelli
Posted on Jan 19, 2017

As police dig into their suicide investigation of Paula Deen’s alleged “pedophile” priest brother-in-law , Henry Groover III, neighbors told RadarOnline.com that they are completely “shocked” and “saddened” to hear that an accused “sexual predator” was so close to their children for all these years!

Henry — known as Hank by longtime neighbors who told Radar they consider themselves “like family” — is the brother of Deen’s husband Michael Groover and the man Deen called her “spiritual advisor.” In fact, he had been spending time on the Groover family compound in Savannah for the past two months, according to neighbors, after bouncing back-and-forth between New Orleans and Texas for his work as a priest.

A few neighbors, who choose to remain anonymous, told Radar that they grew up with brothers Hank, Mike and Nick in the same neighborhood where the Groover family has had property for decades. One said they “have nothing but good things to say about the whole family.”

When your beloved pastor/priest turns into your betrayer


Inemesit Udodiong

Growing up in Nigeria, the only person that offers the type of peace, security that you should expect from parents is your priest in my case, pastors in other cases.

In fact, some children/young adults would often run to the church for refuge when the home fails to provide the safety they need.

Thus, the church becomes this sanctuary in a hostile world, while the Men of God become the closest thing to our Father in Heaven.

So, it is safe to say that any form of sexual abuse by these highly regarded people is something that can not even be imagined.

Unfortunately, the sad, painful reality is that these things happen. Sometimes, our beloved pastor becomes our very own worst nightmare.

Prete accusato orge, 9 donne coinvolte


[A priest is accused of having orgies and nine women were involved.]

E' una storia boccaccesca che pare senza fine quella delle orge in canonica organizzate da un prete padovano, don Andrea Contin, con parrocchiane e altri amici sacerdoti. Emerge dall'inchiesta che sono almeno nove le donne che avrebbero avuto rapporti sessuali con il religioso e con almeno un altro sacerdote: è stato lui a confessarlo, confermando agli investigatori di aver avuto incontri hard 'a tre' - con l'amante del parroco, e quest'ultimo - in un'altra parrocchia della provincia di Padova.

Don Andrea Contin, l’amante: “Ha un figlio”. Altro prete che partecipava alle orge doveva celebrare le nozze di Belen

Il Fatto Quotidiano

Una rivelazione al giorno, una storia che sembra non aver fine. L’inchiesta su don Andrea Contin e la sua attività sessuale sfrenata riserva novità a getto continuo. Adesso trapela la notizia che a una delle sue amanti il parroco di San Lazzaro a Padova avrebbe rivelato di avere un figlio di 4 anni, non riconosciuto, ma che contribuisce a mantenere. E spunta il nome del secondo prete che avrebbe partecipato a orge in canonica, si tratta di don Roberto Cavazzana, parroco di Rovolon, il sacerdote che alcuni anni fa avrebbe dovuto celebrare le nozze di Belen Rodriguez. Ce n’è abbastanza da alimentare gossip e settimanali scandalistici. Non bastava un prete trasgressivo che si circondava di parrocchiane di mezza età e praticava scambi di coppia, adesso spunta il secondo religioso, un personaggio già noto alle cronache rosa.

TheMediaReport.com SPECIAL REPORT *** Lawsuit by Ex-SNAP Insider Exposes Lawyer Kickback Schemes, Exploitation of Victims, and Corruption of SNAP [w/ Court Docs]


David Pierre

A callous disregard for victims. Financial kickbacks from Church-suing tort lawyers. Retaliation.

A stunning new civil lawsuit filed in Illinois by a former insider at SNAP confirms what many of us have known all along: SNAP is not an organization designed to help victims of clergy sex abuse but a gang hellbent on shaking down the Catholic Church through a seedy web of lawyer kickback schemes, lawsuits, and bigotry.

Dennis Coday at the National Catholic Reporter was the first to report the news of this stunning lawsuit.

Gretchen Hammond was hired by SNAP in 2010 as director of development to oversee the group's fundraising operations and to boost cash inflow to the group. Ms. Hammond did so with great success, but the more she learned about the inner workings of SNAP, the more she came to learn that SNAP was not simply an innocent "victim advocacy group." Hammond began "collecting documents in preparation of exposing SNAP's acceptance of kickbacks from attorneys."

Opposition parties table motion on HIA Inquiry

News Letter

Opposition parties in Northern Ireland have requested the Speaker allow the Assembly to discuss the recommendations of the report from the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry next week.

The motion, signed by the Ulster Unionist Party, SDLP, Alliance Party, Green Party, People Before Profit and TUV, would see the Assembly have the opportunity to discuss the report by the inquiry before dissolution.

Ulster Unionist Party leader, Mike Nesbitt said there has been anger that the report now cannot be actioned due to the current political crisis at Stomont. He added: “Of all the people who will suffer because of this current political impasse, victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse are at the forefront.

To prolong the wait for redress for those who suffered would be unforgivable. “The publication of the report will have been a day survivors have waited decades for. Yet they find themselves plunged into further uncertainty without an Executive in place to action the recommendations.

Duterte tells Church: ‘Preach about drug problem’



IN A series of tirades against the Catholic Church, President Rodrigo Duterte called out the priests anew to preach about the effects of the drug problem, instead of lambasting his administration’s war on drugs.

“You keep on yakking. I heard there was one church allegedly exhibiting extrajudicial [killings],” Duterte said Thursday at the oath-taking of the Philippine National Police at the Palace’s Rizal Hall. ...

Despite the Church’s call, the President remained unfazed and merely taunted the priests, attacking their luxurious lifestyle.

“What did the Church do? The Catholic Church has collected millions [of pesos] every week, all throughout many churches. Where is the people’s money? We [in the government] can explain where the money went. How about you?

The priests, bishops have decent clothing, cars, and house,” Duterte said. “Even your chalice is gold while your followers have nothing to eat. If you want, I can melt the Malacañang’s chandelier to give you an additional gold,” he added.

Duterte also accused the church of asking former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to give them cars even though there was a principle of separation between the church and the state.

“Let’s be frank here. We don’t have to hide anything. You expose me, fine. I will expose you. Why is it okay [if you commit] mistake while it’s not okay for us? Bull**t. That’s absurd. Just help [if you want to address] extrajudicial killing,” Duterte said.

After Pope blessing, Duterte challenges abusive priests to 'showdown'


Thursday, 19 January 2017

By Neil Jerome Morales

MANILA, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Undeterred by a blessing from Pope Francis, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte launched an angry rebuke on Thursday of priests and bishops critical of his drugs war, accusing them of homosexuality, corruption and of abusing children.

Duterte was furious over concerns by the Catholic Church of alleged extrajudicial killings during his crackdown and lambasted clergymen for denouncing him instead of using their influence to get people off drugs.

His no-holds-barred tirade came a day after one of Duterte's top advisers met Pope Francis at the Vatican and said the Pontiff had told him he would bless the Philippines, and "also bless your president".

In a speech to policemen, the firebrand leader of one of only two majority Catholic Asian countries challenged the church to a "showdown" and threatened to expose priests and bishops for a litany of abuses.

Child sex abuse victim's identity accidentally revealed by royal commission

Brisbane Times

Jorge Branco

The royal commission into child sex abuse has broken its own non-publication order, revealing the identity of the victim of a notorious paedophile.

The former Brisbane Grammar School student was among many victims who gave statements or fronted the commission under a pseudonym to protect them.

But the royal commission failed to redact his name in a statement given to its investigation into the horrific abuse carried out by serial paedophiles Kevin Lynch and Gregory Robert Knight in two Brisbane private schools.

That statement, which was properly redacted after Fairfax Media brought it to the commission's attention on Wednesday, had been published on its website, likely during hearings held across two weeks in November 2015.

Sexual Assault in the Amazon

New York Magazine

January 18, 2017

Ainlay Dixon, her husband, and three of their four children were in a town in central Ecuador, midway through a South American tour, when a guide approached and offered to take them on a four-day jungle excursion to see the “authentic” Amazon: an indigenous village led by a real shaman. To get there, the family took a 4x4 as far as they could down a rutted road, which soon dwindled to a trail; they made the rest of the way on foot. Eventually, they arrived at a small village where they were introduced to the village chief, a well-known shaman who’d had tourists flocking to his remote village ever since he’d been featured on a news show in Ecuador. That night, the shaman held a welcome ceremony for the new guests. They sat in a thatched roof hut while he blew pungent tobacco smoke on them, invoking a charm of protection. The novelty of the experience was tempered by the presence of another American — a strawberry-blonde Harvard Divinity School student named Lily Ross, who had been living in the village for the past few weeks, working for a grassroots nonprofit and researching shamanic practices.

Over the next few days, the Dixons’ children played soccer with the village kids. The family went on walks in the jungle with the shaman’s son, who rattled off the names and medicinal uses of the plants they came across. The day before the Dixons were set to depart, Ross asked Ainlay if they could speak privately. The two women found a space to sit in a guest hut, and Ross said that she and the shaman were in love. Something immediately struck Ainlay as off. “She would say that it was meant to be, and she would say that it was forever — but she was in a daze, talking almost in a monotone,” Ainlay said. Her concern piqued, Ainlay gently suggested that Ross was so isolated in this village, and so immersed in a culture that wasn’t her own, that perhaps she had lost her bearings a little bit. “That’s when she told me that they were bonded through this — I forget the name of the drink that they do. You know, the medicine. Through the medicine, they were bonded. And that he was really powerful.”

Volunteer in nursery at Tarrant County church jailed on child sex charges

Dallas Morning News

Matt Peterson, Breaking news editor

A one-time volunteer in the nursery at a North Richland Hills church was arrested Wednesday on charges of child sexual abuse, police said.

Francisco Guevara, 65, of Colleyville was booked on two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child and one count of indecency with a child.

He remains in the North Richland Hills Jail on $125,000 bail.

The allegations date back seven years when Guevara was working at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, police said.

At the time of the alleged abuse, the victims were between 4 and 7 years old. Two of the offenses occurred in the nursery, police said, and the third took place in Colleyville.

Former Church Volunteer Arrested For Sexual Offenses


NORTH RICHLAND HILLS (CBSDFW.COM) – North Richland Hills police have arrested a former volunteer of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church for sexually related offenses.

Francisco Guevara, 65, of Colleyville, was arrested Wednesday on two charges for continuous sexual abuse of a child and one charge of indecency with a child.

His bond was set at a total of $125,000 for the charges.

Guevara is currently being held at the North Richland Hills Detention Facility.

Police said detectives and the church were made aware of multiple offenses after an “outcry statement” was made by one of the victims last July.

Alleged victim of sexual abuse steps forward

Providence Journal

By Karen Lee Ziner
Journal Staff Writer

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Meg Yarbrough will join the Women's March on Washington on Saturday as a personal statement against sexual abuse; and against a president whom she opposes.

The 48-year-old registered nurse is also shedding anonymity in her own allegations against former Episcopal priest Howard W. "Howdy" White Jr. Previously quoted anonymously in The Providence Journal, Yarbrough says she wants to use her name because "hiding implies I did something wrong, which I certainly did not."

White, ex-assistant chaplain at St. George's School in Middletown, was one of six named alleged perpetrators in a scandal involving widespread sexual abuse dating to the 1970s, that roiled the elite Episcopal school last year. He was charged last month with sexually assaulting a St. George's student in Boston in 1973.

"I'm tired of being quiet," Yarbrough said in a phone interview Wednesday from her suburban Washington home. While she cannot change the past, "what I can control is how my life is now. And this is my first step."

No public hearing into Bathurst schools' historic sex abuse cases

Western Advocate

19 Jan 2017

CALLS to have a public hearing into historic child sexual abuse which occurred at three Bathurst schools have gone unanswered.

Retired Bathurst journalist Terry Jones says “he can’t believe” the Royal Commission investigating Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will not hold an open public inquiry into any of the abuse which occurred at St Stanislaus’ College, The Scots School or All Saints’ College.

Prior to his 2012 retirement, Mr Jones covered court matters for the Western Advocate involving former staff from both St Stanislaus’ and All Saints’.

He said at the time, former St Stanislaus’ headmaster John Edwards opened his door “on every occasion” responding to media inquiries because “he wanted transparency”.

Devon Dick | Wickedness vs weakness in sex scandal

The Gleaner

January 19, 2017

The recent report that a married pastor has been charged with carnal abuse and rape of an underage child raises issues for Christians as to whether a paedophile is a sign of weakness, wickedness or sickness.

Glenn Tucker in the Letter of the Day (January 13) argued based on the work of James Cantor of the University of Toronto who theorises that paedophilia is caused by biological susceptibility. Tucker concludes that 'nobody chooses to be a paedophile'. How he knows that not even one paedophile made a conscious decision? However, because one has a predisposition to certain action it does not mean he has no control over sexual urges. One does not have to act on one's preferences and proclivities. If Tucker is correct, then we will no longer have just LGBT but we would have to add a 'P' for paedophile to make it LGBTP because some argue that nobody chooses to be LGBT. However, paedophiles make a conscious decision. It is not a sickness.

But is it a weakness? The Bible has different words for the English word 'sin'. Weakness would be when one misses the mark and fall short of expectations. So when a man and a woman, who are not in love, become intimate out of lustful desires, then that could be considered weakness. However, there is wickedness which is rebelling against God's will; engaging in lawlessness; deliberately and stubbornly engaging in iniquity. It is presumptuous sinning. It is flying in the face of God.

Safety within our churches

LaGrange News

by Melanie Ruberti

LaGRANGE – The issue of child sexual abuse still remains a taboo topic of conversation in many churches around the nation – and in Georgia.

Sadly, the abuse is the number one reason congregations ended up in court between 2010 – 2014, according to Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services.

But the organization hopes to change that statistic and start conversations about sexual abuse in churches around Troup County.

Twin Cedars held a Church Safety Summit for members of the faith community and local law enforcement agencies on Tuesday at the Coleman Center off Lincoln Street. The group trained participants to recognize the signs a child may have been abused and how to prevent an incident from happening within their church.

“We hope these churches that are here today will take this information and talk to their congregation members about it,” explained Kim Adams, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center of Troup County. “We hope they’ll use the information to change or shape new policies regarding children within their church.”

January 18, 2017

‘Stop subsidie voor stichting slachtoffers misbruik in kerk’


Jolanda van de Beld
17 januari 2017

Het ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport (VWS) gaat deze woensdag in gesprek met de stichting Koepel Landelijk Overleg Kerkelijk Kindermisbruik (KLOKK) na klachten van onder anderen een voormalig lid van de Raad van Toezicht. Deze Frans Verhallen, die in november uit onvrede opstapte als toezichthouder, vindt dat de overheidssubsidie voor de stichting moet worden stopgezet. Hij zegt zijn werkzaamheden als gevolg van „de halsstarrigheid van de directeur” te hebben gestaakt. De directeur, Guido Klabbers, „doet niet wat de Raad van Toezicht vraagt”, aldus Verhallen. „Ik word gebruikt als entourage.” Volgens betrokkenen zijn ook de andere twee leden van de Raad van Toezicht recentelijk opgestapt.

Priest named in lawsuit commits suicide


Wednesday, January 18th 2017

The priest named in a recent lawsuit has committed suicide.

According to the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department, a suicide investigation was launched Tuesday into the death of Henry Groover III.

Groover was arrested in 2003 for exposing himself to a Metro officer.

Sex abuse advocacy group SNAP sued by former employee

National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Jan. 18, 2017

A former employee of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is suing the advocacy group, claiming she was fired after she learned that SNAP's principal officers collude with attorneys representing sex abuse survivors and that SNAP accepts financial kickbacks for referring abuse victims to attorneys.

The charges by Gretchen Rachel Hammond were made in papers filed with the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, yesterday, Jan. 17. Hammond worked as a director of development, raising funds for SNAP from the summer 2011 until February 2013 when she was fired.

The filings say Hammond was fired after she "learned ... [that] SNAP does not focus on protecting or helping survivors — it exploits them. SNAP routinely accepts financial kickbacks from attorneys in the form of 'donations.' In exchange for the kickbacks, SNAP refers survivors as potential clients to attorneys, who then file lawsuits on behalf of the survivors against the Catholic Church. These cases often settle, to the financial benefit of the attorneys and, at times, to the financial benefit of SNAP, which has received direct payments from survivors' settlements."

Defendants in the lawsuit are SNAP, Barbara Blaine, the founder and president of SNAP, David Clohessy, the executive director of SNAP, and Barbara Dorris, SNAP's outreach director.

Former North Richland Hills church nursery worker accused in child sex abuse case



A former volunteer at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in North Richland Hills was arrested Wednesday, accused of sexually abusing children while working in the church nursery.

Francisco Guevara, 65, of Colleyville faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child and one charge of indecency with a child, police said.

The allegations stem from incidents that happened up to seven years ago when the victims were between 4 and 7 years old, police said.

Two of the offenses happened in North Richland Hills and one in Colleyville, police said.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/northeast-tarrant/article127288214.html#storylink=cpy

Pastor, 2 others convicted of child abuse at Mobile religious private school


By The Associated Press
on January 18, 2017

Three people have been convicted on child abuse charges linked to a private church school on the Alabama coast.

A statement sent by twitter from Mobile County prosecutors Wednesday says 55-year-old Pastor John Young was convicted on five counts of aggravated child abuse related to the Saving Youth Academy, which was also called Restoration Youth Academy.

"A lot of us didn't make it to freedom."

Forty-eight-year-old William Knott and 42-year-old Aleshia Moffett were convicted on three counts each. Sentencing for all three is scheduled for Feb. 22.

Authorities say they three were linked to a Christian, boot camp-style residential school for troubled young people.

Who Blames the Victim?

New York Times

When and Why We See Victims as Responsible: The Impact of Ideology on Attitudes Toward Victims

When and Why We See Victims as Responsible

JUNE 24, 2016

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.

Audit Finds Archdiocese Compliant With Charter For Protection of Children, Young People

Catholic New York


The archdiocese has been found in compliance with all audited articles within the U.S. Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People for the 2015-2016 audit period.

StoneBridge Business Partners of Rochester performed the on-site audit of the archdiocese Dec. 7-8, according to Edward Mechmann, director of the archdiocesan Safe Environment Program.

The conclusions are based upon inquiry, observation and review of specifically requested documentation to StoneBridge during the audit.

“It’s a real testament to how significant the charter has been to us,” and how committed both Cardinal Dolan and his predecessor, the late Cardinal Edward Egan, have been to it.

“It’s a very gratifying accomplishment,” Mechmann added. “It was a serious, good audit.”

A mix of rage and compassion as news of child sexual assault charges sinks in

Guelph Today

by: Rob O'Flanagan

From rage to compassion.

People living in close proximity to the Elora Road Christian Fellowship north of Guelph are trying to make sense of recent troubling news involving the church and school at 5696 Wellington Road 7.

Alleged sexual assault incidents involving children under the age of 16, and dating back to the 1980s, came to light this week.

Henry (Henk) Katerberg, founder and former pastor of the church, has been charged with sexual assault on a person under 16. Now an old man, Katerberg is said to still live in Guelph-Eramosa. He was pastor when the sexual assault is alleged to have taken place.

Arend “John” Dekorte, 66, of Fergus, faces a similar charge. He is the current principal of the Elora Road Christian School, and was a teacher between 1981-86, the time in question.

Paula Deen ‘Pedophile’ Priest Suicide: Cops Begin Death Probe

Radar Online

By MELISSA CRONIN & Dylan Howard
Posted on Jan 18, 2017

New details of the disturbing suicide of Paula Deen‘s “pedophile” priest brother-in-law are expected to emerge later this week, RadarOnline.com can reveal.

A rep for the Georgia Bureau of Investigations confirmed to Radar that the autopsy of Henry B. Groover, II – Deen’s brother-in-law and the man she called her “spiritual advisor” – will take place on January 19.

As Radar reported, Savannah police opened told Radar that a suicide investigation was opened on January 17.

Groover – the brother of Deen’s husband Michael Groover and a Dominican priest – committed suicide just days after he was served with an explosive new lawsuit that accused him of drugging and sexually assaulting a young man, Ancil Harvey Gordon III.

Die wichtigsten Fakten seit 2010


[The scandal surrounding the decade-long sexual abuse of many children and adolescents in institutions of the Catholic Church shattered throughout Germany. A review.]

Der Skandal um den jahrzehntelangen sexuellen Missbrauch vieler Kinder und Jugendlicher in Einrichtungen der katholischen Kirche erschütterte 2010 ganz Deutschland. Ein Rückblick:

Januar 2010: Am Berliner Canisius-Kolleg werden erste Verdachtsfälle bekannt. Ein Untersuchungsbericht enthüllt später, dass der Orden sexuelle und körperliche Gewalt gegen Kinder über Jahrzehnte vertuscht hat.

Februar 2010: Triers Bischof Stephan Ackermann wird zum Beauftragten der katholischen Kirche für Missbrauchsfälle ernannt.

März 2010: Der Skandal erreicht die Regensburger Domspatzen. Es wird bekannt, dass es auch bei dem weltberühmten Knabenchor Fälle von Missbrauch gegeben haben soll.

Altri parroci alle orge con don Andrea

Corriere del Veneto

[Other pastors were at orgies with Don Andrea. A priest confesses: "I too was attending."]

PADOVA Adesso agli atti c’è pure una confessione. Succede tutto venerdì pomeriggio. Interrogato in procura come persona informata sui fatti, un cinquantenne sacerdote e parroco di una comunità nei colli Euganei cede e ammette di essere lui «l’altro prete» ad aver partecipato alle orge di don Andrea Contin, l’ex parroco di San Lazzaro indagato per violenza privata e favoreggiamento della prostituzione. A parlare di lui, che non è indagato ma ha ammesso di aver fatto sesso con don Contin e la sua amante, è la stessa parrocchiana di 49 anni che il 6 dicembre ha vuotato il sacco nella stazione dei carabinieri di Padova principale, dando la mossa decisiva per far partire l’inchiesta. In una riga la donna indica con precisione l’identità del sacerdote e la sua parrocchia. La stessa dove don Contin la portava per fare sesso. Incontri a tre o di coppia, a cui in alcune occasioni l’ex parroco di San Lazzaro preferiva partecipare soltanto nel ruolo di attento spettatore.

'Lussuria' gives paedophilia figures


New book by Fittipaldi, Holy See gets over 400 cases per year

(ANSA) - Rome, January 18 - Despite a crackdown announced by Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, some 518 reports of 'graviora delicta' were made in 2015, "the vast majority of which involving sexual abuse of minors", according to a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Catholic Church department that deals with priestly sex abuse. Sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, long covered up by ecclesiastical authorities, is the subject of Emiliano Fittipaldi's new book 'Lussuria' (Lust), which will be in Italian bookshops from Thursday. The journalist, who went on trial and was acquitted for the 'Vatileaks 2' case and his previous book, 'Avarizia' (Avarice), has once again focused on the Vatican. ANSA has seen an advance copy of 'Lussuria', which recounts how the Vatican said that of the 587 cases opened in 2014 by its disciplinary office, over 500 involved the crimes of 'the most dishonorable type'. In 2013, the first year of Pope Francis's papacy, out of 522 complaints filed by dioceses and ecclesiastical institutes and bodies from "various parts of the world", some 84.8% (443 cases) were 'graviora delicta', including "401 charges against priests with a child under 18 years old", Monsignor Silvano Tomasi said in May 2014 at a Committee against Torture hearing that requested information on the issue.

How Problematic Priests Are Warehoused

Houston Press

The Buried Abuse of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese


Since at least 1947, when a religious community called the Servants of the Paraclete opened one of the first treatment centers for priests grappling with pedophilia and substance abuse, dioceses have often warehoused problematic priests.

The “rehab” facility closest to Houston is Splendora’s Shalom Center, whose website states, “We genuinely seek to create a spirit of Gospel compassion, a nonjudgmental atmosphere and a safe environment where healing and growth can happen.”

The Shalom Center is included in a 1995 U.S. Conference of Bishops survey on treatment centers, in which it’s described as dealing mostly with priests suffering from “behaviors related to pornography, sexual exploitation, exhibitionism, voyeurism, and prostitution.” The survey, available on the Bishop Accountability website, notes that initial assessments and referrals are available for priests dealing with “pedophilia and ephebophilia [sexual attraction to adolescents].”

In the survey’s anonymous comments section, where diocesan officials can share their thoughts, one official wrote that Shalom is “sometimes too eager to ‘excuse’ priest offender[s]”

More severe cases, such as that of the Reverend Donald Leroy Stavinoha, are usually sent to facilities in New Mexico and Missouri.

On a May night in 1986, Stavinoha stopped by the home of a parishioner, a single mother whose young son he’d taken a special interest in, according to court records. For two years (beginning when the boy was seven), “Father Don” would stop by the home, which was within walking distance of Immaculate Heart of Mary in the East End, sometimes bringing San Juan candles. Once he performed a blessing of the house.

But on that night, Stavinoha told the nine-year-old boy’s mother that he was taking the boy “to play video games.”

Instead, Stavinoha went to 7-11, where he bought a Slurpee for the boy and a six-pack of beer for himself.

New Hampshire sexual assault evidence bill meets strong opposition

Concord Monitor

Monitor staff
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

No one witnessed the repeated sexual abuse of Angie Semertgakis at the hands of her stepfather, beginning when she was just 9 years old.

Semertgakis, now in her 30s, testified Tuesday before the House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety that she lived in “hate, fear, and shame,” and for years was afraid to tell her story. The abuse took place when no one was home and under the darkness of night, she told lawmakers in her plea for them to shoot down a bill that would require more proof in certain sexual assault cases.

When prosecutors filed the sexual assault case against Semertgakis’ abuser decades ago, he had no criminal record. If the case had gone to trial, jurors would have decided the man’s fate based on the girl’s testimony alone. In the end, he took a plea deal.

Existing law in New Hampshire does not require corroboration of a sexual assault. A bill introduced by a Wolfeboro Republican is proposing to change that by requiring corroboration in cases where the defendant has no prior convictions. The bill, however, leaves the definition of corroboration open-ended.

Semertgakis and many other opponents called the bill “dangerous” for New Hampshire.

“This bill is an abolishment to the empowerment of a child who finally breaks free from their offender and finds their voice and courage to talk about their abuse,” she said.

Proposed change in sexual assault statute called 'pedophile protection act'

Union Leader

New Hampshire Union Leader

CONCORD — A proposal to change state law regarding evidence in sexual assault cases amounts to “nothing more than a pedophile protection act and rapist shield law,” according to Concord Police Detective Sean Ford.

But the sponsor of House Bill 106, Rep. William Marsh, R-Wolfeboro, says no one should be charged, let alone convicted, solely on the basis of an alleged victim’s testimony with no other corroboration.

The two men took turns at the witness table on Tuesday, as the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee heard nearly four hours of testimony on a bill that would require the allegations of victims to be corroborated by other evidence in sexual assault cases where the defendant has no prior conviction.

Marsh, a board certified ophthalmologist, said he was moved to sponsor the bill after Bow psychologist Foad Afshar was convicted last year of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old male patient in 2015 solely on the patient’s testimony.

The hearing room was packed with opponents of the bill, many mobilized by the N.H. Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, wearing pink stickers that read, “I believe victims. Oppose HB 106.”

- See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/state-government/Proposed-change-in-sexual-assault-statute-called-pedophile-protection-01182017#sthash.2AXUdJm1.dpuf

Gardner vows to clear his name

The Gleaner

The Rev Dr Paul Gardner, former president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica, has issued a statement indicating that he will be working assiduously to clear his name.

Gardner resigned last Thursday, two days after a woman wrote to the bishops of the Moravian church raising damning allegations against him. This follows the arrest and charge of their colleague pastor, Rupert Clarke, who was caught in a compromising position with a minor last year. Gardner's deputy, Jermaine Gibson, against whom similar allegations were made, also resigned.

The former president described the allegations as "vile and unfounded" and noted that while he remains committed to the church, he has stepped aside to allow thorough investigations to take place.

"I have been committed to a life of service to my church and my country, which I always did with unquestioned integrity for more than 30 years," he declared.

Committee Identified To Probe Allegations Against Moravian Ministers

The Gleaner

The acting president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands Reverend Phyllis Smith says the members of an independent committee have now been identified to probe complaints against two senior ministers.

The President Dr Paul Gardner and Vice-President Jermaine Gibson resigned last week after the complaints were made in a seven-page email containing damning allegations against them.

The independent committee is to be mutually agreed by the complainant and the bishops of the Moravian Church.

The acting church president Reverend Phyllis Smith Seymour says the invitations to the prospective committee members are now being dispatched and she is hoping they can complete their deliberations and make their recommendation by April 17.

'HELL NO, I WON’T GO': Hampton principal stays put


January 18, 2017

Heather Murray — the Hampton High School principal, who came under intense public criticism for attending Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke’s bail hearing — has refused to take a recommended two-week leave stemming from the controversy.

Murray said that she didn’t agree to going on leave and will be staying put.

As such, Murray was on the job Monday after shooting off a letter — through her attorney Andre Earle of the form Earle & Wilson — informing Trevor Blake, chairman of the school board, over the weekend that she would not be going on the announced two weeks leave.

The leave should have commenced on Monday, January 16. The announcement of the leave followed a meeting with Education Minister Ruel Reid, Blake, Murray and other education officials.

The meeting was to discuss allegations that Murray interfered with journalists trying to capture images of Clarke being led from the St Elizabeth Parish Court on January 4.

Inquiry calls for whistleblowers on child abuse

Herald Scotland

Stephen Naysmith

THE inquiry into historic cases of childhood abuse has called for whistleblowers to shed light on past offences as it emerged costs have risen by £1 million in the last three months.

As the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry published updated details of how it will handle anonymity for witnesses and manage evidence, it urged foster carers, health staff and children’s home workers to come forward insisting they will be protected.

It comes as overall costs for the inquiry rose to £3.5m.

Child abuse inquiry costs soar by £1m in 3 months

The Times

Will Humphries
January 18 2017
The Times

The cost of the historical child abuse inquiry in Scotland has risen by £1 million over the past three months.

The inquiry has published updated details of how it will handle anonymity for witnesses and manage evidence, urging foster carers, health staff and children’s home workers to come forward, insisting they will be protected.

The update also shows that overall costs for the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry have risen to £3.5 million, with more than £1 million spent in the last three months of 2016.

Set up by the Scottish government in October 2015, the inquiry is expected to last four years. Lady Smith, the chairwoman, is expected to hold a preliminary hearing on January 31.

Campaigners believe that there are potentially thousands of survivors in Scotland and overseas who could provide evidence to the inquiry, although the number of those who have so far come forward has not been disclosed.

Gardner’s lawyer says accusations ‘completely untrue’

Jamaica Observer

ALPHEA SAUNDERS Senior staff reporter saundersa@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Attorney Lambert Johnson yesterday dismissed accusations of sexual misconduct made by a church member against his client, Dr Paul Gardner, who last week stepped down as head of the Moravian Church in Jamaica in order to facilitate a probe.

“They are completely untrue, have no basis in reality or in fact, and seem to be the wild imaginings of someone who is just determined to cause him harm,” Johnson told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

He also denied that the same congregant had written a letter of complaint against Gardner to the church board. “No such letter was written to the church,” he emphasised.

Gardner has also been accused by a former minister of the church, Dr Canute Thompson, of not acting on concerns raised by him about sexual misconduct in the church, and specifically in relation to Rev Rupert Clarke, who is now at the centre of a scandal that has hit the church. Clarke was arrested on rape and carnal abuse charges in December last year.

Ex-pastor, principal of religious institution charged in sex assaults

Daily Courier

GUELPH-ERAMOSA TOWNSHIP, Ont. - Police have laid sexual assault charges against a former pastor and the current principal at a religious institution near Guelph, Ont.

Provincial police say they began investing allegations of sexual assault believed to have taken place between 1981 and 1986.

They say the alleged offences took place at the Elora Road Christian Fellowship Church and the Elora Road Christian school, which are both in the same building.

Church founder and former pastor Henry "Henk" Katerberg, 80, has been charged with sexual assault on a child under 16.

Eddie Long And The Black Church’s Legacy Of Child Sexual Abuse

Atlanta Daily World

Ahmad Greene-Hayes

On Sunday, January 15, Bishop Eddie Long passed away. Long was the prominent Atlanta pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, which at its height, boasted a congregation of over 25,000. A man of many controversies, Long had been closely scrutinized by the United States Senate for potentially profiting off of his church’s tax-exempt status.

He also came under fire for his homo-antagonistic sermons and his book, Deliver Me From Adam, in which he cloaks homophobia, misogyny and patriarchy in the lexicon of self-help. Long’s quest to cast out the spirit of homosexuality, however, did not stop there. Some have argued that he fathered and pastored a homophobic theological legacy at New Birth. In 2005, for example, he hosted his infamous “Sexual Orientation and Reorientation Conference” to convert LGBTQ Christians into heterosexuals.

Just five years later, in 2010, Long was accused of sexually abusing four young men—Anthony Flagg, Spencer LeGrande, Jamal Parris and Maurice Robinson, who were teenagers at the time of their accusations. Like most predators, Long allegedly “groomed” these teenage boys into nonconsensual sexual activity. As noted on child rape survivor Oprah Winfrey’s website, grooming includes targeting vulnerable victims, gaining the victim’s trust, filling a need or void, isolating the child, sexualizing the relationship and maintaining control. Long was said to have used his prosperity gospel-accrued wealth to lavish Flagg, LeGrande, Parris and Robinson with private planes, expensive jewelry and luxury hotel rooms. According to the lawsuits brought by the young men, he then exploited his identity as a pastor and spiritual leader to add God’s blessing on his sexually perverse behaviors.

Ex-pastor, principal of Guelph-area Christian school charged in alleged sex assaults


Police have charged a former pastor and the current principal of the Elora Road Christian Fellowship and School with sexual assault in alleged crimes dating back to the 1980s.

Henk Katerberg, 80, of Guelph-Eramosa Township, used to lead the Elora Road Christian Fellowship Church, and has been charged with sexual assault on a child under 16.

John Dekorte, 66, of Fergus, currently serves as principal of the attached school, and faces two counts of the same charge.

Police say the alleged offences took place between 1981 and 1986 at the church and school, which are located in the same building on Wellington Road 7 near Highway 6.

Katerberg spoke to CTV and said he was innocent. Dekorte’s wife denied the charges on her husband’s behalf.

Hampton Board slaps Reid, doesn’t support Murray going on leave

Jamaica Observer

The Hampton School Board has delivered a slap to the face of Education Minister Ruel Reid, stating that it does not support Principal Heather Murray going on leave, as indicated by the minister last week.

The board also made reference to a January 13 letter from Reid, saying that it did not reflect an accurate outline of the key decisions and agreements made in a meeting on January 11 between the minister, the board and Murray.

“At no time was the issue of the Child Care and Protection Act mentioned or raised,” Board Chairman Trevor Blake stated in a January 16 letter to Reid.

“There could never have been any agreement that the action of Mrs Murray was inconsistent with the principle of the Act, and we categorically refute that assertion,” Blake said.

UPDATE: Music director at a Queens church charged with sexually abusing girl during private lessons


By Emily Davenport / edavenport@qns.com / Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The music director of a Jamaica church has been charged with sexually abusing a young girl while giving her private singing and piano lessons at her home.

“Instead of being a role model to all of his students, the defendant is accused of taking advantage of his position as a church choir director to gain access to a young child for his own sexual gratification. These are deeply disturbing allegations that, if proven true, are deserving of severe punishment,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a statement on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

According to police, 69-year-old Rafael Diaz, music director for the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, was arrested at his Forest Hills home on Saturday, Jan. 14.

Published reports indicated that the victim, who was a parishioner and is now 15, told investigators that, when she was 11 and 12 years old, Diaz would use four fingers to touch her diaphragm and fondle her breast over her clothes while making her sing different notes. Diaz also asked the victim if she had started her menstrual cycle and then allegedly put his hand over her clothing on her private parts.

Police say that the abuse took place over the course of two years. It is alleged that after the victim told her father what occurred, he and Diaz had a controlled telephone conversation in which Diaz allegedly admitted that he touched the daughter and that it happened five or six times. It ended when the piano and singing lessons stopped.The victim’s father reported the abuse to the church on Thursday, Jan. 12, after he was made aware of it by the victim.

January 17, 2017

Priest Says Church Defamed Him for Objecting to Cover-Up

Courthouse News Service


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CN) – A priest sued the Diocese of Palm Beach, claiming it defamed him in retaliation for his objections to its attempted cover-up of a foreign clergyman’s pedophilia.

In a lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County, the Rev. John Gallagher claims that the way the Catholic Church treated him “shows without question that it has learned nothing from its history and continues to cover up acts of priest pedophilia.”

Gallagher says the Diocese of Palm Beach went on a campaign to sully his reputation after he publicly objected to its unwillingness to cooperate with police in a pedophilia investigation involving Joseph Palimatton, an assistant priest from India who was serving at Gallagher’s Holy Name of Jesus church in West Palm Beach.

Palimatton arrived at the church from India in December 2014, and within a month, he stood accused of a sex crime: He allegedly showed images of child pornography to a 14-year-old, including “numerous photographs of minor children who were naked and had erect penises.”

Unbeknownst to Father Gallagher, Palimatton had been involved in several sexual abuse events, the lawsuit claims. The Catholic Church in India had transferred him to Gallagher’s church allegedly without disclosing his past abuses.

NH bill seeks to change sexual assault standard

Seacoast Online

By Brian Early bearly@seacoastonline.com

CONCORD -The state's House Committee on Justice and Public Safety will hold a hearing on Tuesday on a bill that would require corroboration to a victim's testimony in sexual assault cases where the defendant has no prior convictions.

The bill has generated intense interest, especially for advocates of sexual assault victims, and the hearings are expected to be widely attended.

Rep. William Marsh, a Wolfeboro Republican, introduced House Bill 106 that adds 13 words and strikes out four others to the law dealing with sexual assault and related offenses. The proposed law states that "the testimony of the victim (in sexual assault cases) shall be corroborated in prosecutions ...; only in cases where the defendant has no prior convictions." The bill was co-sponsored by two others; however, one has since withdrawn her support.

Marsh said the scales of justice seem to be in favor of the victim. "We're guilty as soon as we're accused at this point in time, and that's a problem," Marsh said in a call on Monday. One reason for introduction was the 2016 conviction of Concord psychologist Foad Afshar of aggravated felonious sexual assault. A jury found Afshar, whose license had lapsed, guilty of touching the genitals of a 12 year old during an appointment, and he is now serving a 3- to 6-year prison sentence. Afshar is appealing the case.

Cardinal Pell’s office dismisses attacks as opposition to reform

Headlines from the Catholic World

Vatican City, Jan 17, 2017 / 12:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In reaction to a new book claiming that Pope Francis has in fact done little to combat clerical sex abuse, and that Cardinal George Pell is implicated, the Australian cardinal's office has dismissed the claims as motivated by opposition to reform.

“These most recent attacks on the Vatican, economic reforms and Cardinal George Pell are not only regurgitating false claims but appear to have a more sinister intent,” read a Jan. 15 statement from the office of Cardinal Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.

“Those opposed to the reforms and threatened by the progress in establishing transparency and addressing illegalities and malpractice have long used lies, smears and public attacks as diversionary tactics.”

A new book by Italian journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi called Lussaria, or “Lust”, details claims that under Pope Francis, the Vatican has failed to adequately address sex abuse committed by clerics. The book will be release in Italian on Thursday.

According to the Guardian, “In some of the twenty cases of alleged sexual abuse by priests in Italy in 2016, Fittipaldi writes, priests have been convicted of abuse without the church taking any canonical action against them.”

The Washington Post writes that Fittipaldi “claims to have unearthed documents showing Pell also sought to financially aid priests who had been jailed on pedophilia charges.”

Vatican orders Knights of Malta to cooperate with papal inquiry


By Philip Pullella | VATICAN CITY

The Vatican demanded on Tuesday that the leaders of the Knights of Malta, a worldwide Catholic chivalric and charity group, cooperate with an inquiry into alleged irregularities ordered by Pope Francis.

In the latest salvo of a battle of wills between the heads of two of the world's oldest institutions, a Vatican statement also rejected what it said was an attempt by the Rome-based Knights to discredit members of a papal commission of inquiry.

Both sides have been locked in a bitter dispute since one of the order's top knights, Grand Chancellor Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, was sacked on Dec. 6 in the chivalric equivalent of a boardroom showdown - ostensibly because he allowed the use of condoms in a medical project for the poor.

The all-male hierarchy of the group, whose top leaders are not clerics but take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, have defied the pope, refusing to cooperate with the investigation of the sacking or recognise the inquiry's legitimacy.

"The Holy See counts on the complete cooperation of all in this sensitive stage," the statement said, adding that it "rejects ... any attempt to discredit (commission) members."

Editorial: The harmful consequences of a bad bill

Concord Monitor

Friday, January 13, 2017

In the 1760s, English jurist William Blackstone wrote in the Commentaries on the Laws of England that “it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” The principle, which became known as Blackstone’s formulation, is that government should always err on the side of innocence.

We were reminded of that ratio when reading the text of a perhaps well-intentioned but definitely misguided bill introduced by Rep. William Marsh, a Wolfeboro Republican, and co-sponsored by Reps. Jess Edwards, an Auburn Republican, and Mary Heath, a Manchester Democrat, which would require corroborating evidence in sexual assault cases where the defendant has no prior convictions.

Marsh says the case of psychologist Foad Afshar of Bow, who was sentenced to three to six years in prison for sexually assaulting a young patient in 2015, was the impetus for the bill. Marsh’s daughter was a student of Afshar’s at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and told her father that she didn’t believe the man she knew was capable of the crime for which he was convicted. That was enough, it seems, for Marsh to file legislation that would weaken the state’s sexual assault laws. It’s not enough for us, and should not be enough for the members of the House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety, which will hold a hearing on the bill Tuesday.

As Amanda Grady Sexton of the N.H. Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence says, the deck is already stacked against victims of sexual assault in the criminal justice system. In fact, she told us, it’s extremely difficult to find someone to prosecute any sexual assault case that isn’t a slam-dunk. HB 106 would codify “the false assumption that sexual assault victims are less credible” than victims of other crimes, she said, and it is a false assumption: The number of false reports in sexual assault cases is in line with other crimes – a rate of 2 to 8 percent, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Grady Sexton also correctly points out that the bill violates the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment, which says that no state can “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” HB 106 would hold victims of sexual assault to a different standard than victims of other crimes.

Criticism of bill that requires corroboration of sexual assault victim testimony


A bill up for hearing next week would require the testimony of victims in sexual assault cases to be corroborated, but some say this is dangerous, and would undo progress New Hampshire has made on the subject of victim's rights.

The current law (RSA 632-A:6), states that "the testimony of the victim shall not be required to be corroborated in prosecutions" in sexual assault cases.

But House Bill 106 would adjust that to state: "The testimony of the victim shall be corroborated in prosecutions under this chapter only in cases where the defendant has no prior convictions under this chapter," reports the Union Leader.

Advocates for the bill say that the new phrasing would help protect citizens from false accusations.

Proposed N.H. Bill Would Change Sex Assault Burden of Proof

Valley News

By Jordan Cuddemi
Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Lebanon — Advocates for victims of sexual assault are organizing opposition to a bill in the New Hampshire House that would require more than a victim’s testimony as evidence to convict a defendant of a sexual assault.

The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the bill in Concord this morning. The legislation would increase the burden of proof that is needed to find someone guilty of sexual assault by requiring prosecutors to present corroborating evidence that an attack occurred, according to the language.

“We all view it as a very dangerous bill,” said Peggy O’Neil, the executive director of WISE, the Upper Valley’s support agency for sexual and domestic assault survivors. “This bill raises the burden of proof for a victim of sexual assault to an unrealistic level.”

Although the bill, at this stage, doesn’t define what constitutes corroborating evidence, O’Neil and other advocates said such evidence likely would include DNA testing or an eyewitness account.

DNA evidence is a “very complicated science” that isn’t as straightforward as some television shows portray it, O’Neil said, and sexual assault often happens behind closed doors.

He said, she said: Raising the bar in rape cases

Union Leader


Sometimes the solution is worse than the problem.

False charges of rape and sexual assault can ruin an innocent person’s life. But such false charges also make it harder for real victims to be believed. Now a handful of lawmakers at the State House want to raise the standard for criminal prosecution.

The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee takes up HB 106 this morning. The bill would require an alleged sexual assault victim’s testimony to be corroborated, unless the defendant had a previous conviction for sexual assault.

By their nature, sexual assault cases rely on the testimony of the two people involved. Juries first have to decide if a crime occurred. They must judge the credibility of the accuser and the accused.

Setting a different evidentiary standard based on a defendant’s prior actions is likely unconstitutional. Requiring third-party testimony or physical evidence of rape would make “he said-she said” cases impossible to prosecute.

- See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/editorial/He-said-she-said-Raising-the-bar-in-rape-cases-01172017_#sthash.56T29HKP.dpuf

Rape, Child Molestation Allegations Would Require Outside Corroboration Under Ridiculous New Hampshire Bill


Elizabeth Nolan Brown |Jan. 17, 2017

In New Hampshire, those who commit rape or sexual abuse without witnesses present could be all but guaranteed to get away with it under a new proposal from state Rep. William Marsh (R-District 8). The measure, House Bill 106, stipulates "that a victim's testimony in a sexual assault case shall require corroboration" when the defendant has no prior sexual-assault convictions. It does not elaborate about what kind of corroboration would be sufficient.

Marsh told the Concord Monitor he drafted the bill, introduced last week, after hearing about the conviction of Concord psychologist Foad Afshar, who was found guilty of sexually assaulting a young client. Marsh's daughter thinks Afshar is innocent, and Marsh said he "trust(s) my daughter's judgments of people."

He just wouldn't want jurors to trust his apparently impeccably intuitive daughter if she were assaulted and no one else could confirm it...

As Amanda Grady Sexton, Concord city councilor-at-large, points out, Marsh's bill "would be saying a victim's sworn testimony isn't good enough, even if it's been viewed as credible by 12 sworn jurors." In other words, it would be creating a higher standard of proof for rape and sexual assault than for any other crimes.

Critics: Sex assault law changes 'dangerous'

Union Leader

New Hampshire Sunday News

The testimony of victims would have to be corroborated in most sexual assault cases, under a bill coming up for a hearing this week.

Proponents say the measure would better protect those falsely accused of such crimes.

But victim advocates and law enforcement officials say the bill is "dangerous" and would reverse decades of progress that New Hampshire has made on victims' rights.

Under current law (RSA 632-A:6), "the testimony of the victim shall not be required to be corroborated in prosecutions" in sexual assault cases.

House Bill 106 would change that to read: "The testimony of the victim shall be corroborated in prosecutions under this chapter only in cases where the defendant has no prior convictions under this chapter."

And that would be the vast majority of such cases, says Amanda Grady Sexton, director of public policy for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. "What this does is it sends a message that victims of sexual assault are not to be believed," she said.

The Saga Surrounding a Jamaican Pastor Accused of Sexual Misconduct Continues

Caribbean 360

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tuesday January 17, 2017 – There has been some more serious fallout in and outside the Moravian Church in Jamaica which has been shaken by allegations of sexual misconduct within its ranks.

Church president Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy Jermaine Gibson have resigned from the church’s highest body – the Provincial Elders Conference – which has embarked on a mission to get to the bottom of the embarrassing scandal.

According to the Jamaica Observer newspaper, the executive is mounting a probe into the damning allegations after receiving a letter containing charges of sexual abuse.

The church’s troubles erupted after 67-year-old Pastor Rupert Clarke was charged with carnal abuse and rape of a 15-year-old girl on January 3.

Padova, sesso in canonica: "Oltre a don Contin altri sacerdoti coinvolti nei festini"

La Repubblica

In Padua, other priests in addition to priest Andrea Contin were involved in sexual misconduct.]

ROMA - Non c'è solo l'ex parroco di San Lazzaro a Padova, don Andrea Contin, del quale si parla anche nell'ultimo libro di Emiliano Fittipaldi, al centro della vicenda che vede il sacerdote indagato per violenza privata e favoreggiamento della prostituzione. Nelle otto pagine della denuncia firmata dall’amante 49enne del religioso, infatti, la donna ha dichiarato che altri preti partecipavano alle orge.

L'inchiesta, partita il 21 dicembre 2016, con la perquisizione nella canonica, si allarga, stando a quanto riporta Il Mattino di Padova e coinvolge altri membri della Chiesa, sempre del Padovano. Per loro, si legge sempre sul sito del quotidiano veneto, non ci sarebbe al momento il rischio di essere iscritti nel registro degli indagati, dato che non risulterebbero pagamenti da parte loro per partecipare a quegli incontri di gruppo.

Enthüllungsbuch: Italiens Kirche vertuscht Missbrauch


[A new revelation book accuses the Catholic Church in Italy of systematically covering up sexual abuse by priests. Over the last decade, more than 200 priests have been convicted or charged for sexual delinquency, writes the author Emiliano Fittipaldi in a pre-release of the daily "La Repubblica" (Monday). This scandal, however, is "never exploded with its whole explosive force" unlike in the USA, Ireland, Australia or Belgium.]

Ein neues Enthüllungsbuch wirft der katholischen Kirche in Italien vor, sexuellen Missbrauch durch Priester bis heute systematisch zu vertuschen. In den vergangenen zehn Jahren seien landesweit mehr als 200 Priester wegen Sexualdelikten verurteilt oder angeklagt worden, schreibt der Autor Emiliano Fittipaldi in einer Vorabveröffentlichung der Tageszeitung "La Repubblica" (Montag). Dieser Skandal sei jedoch anders als in den USA, in Irland, Australien oder Belgien "nie mit seiner ganzen Sprengkraft explodiert".

In Italien gebe es weiterhin ein "System, das die Ungeheuer schützt", so Fittipaldi. Der italienische Journalist nennt in dem Artikel einige Beispiele. Demnach sollen Priester von Bischöfen weiter als Seelsorger eingesetzt worden sein, obwohl sie wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs vorbestraft waren oder unter Verdacht standen.

Assignment Record– Rev. Walter (aka Vaclovas aka Wenceslaus) Katarskis


Summary of Case: Katarskis was ordained in his native Lithuania in 1942. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1948 and settled into work as a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, in Dayton and Vandalia parishes. In 1972 he became the sole priest at Holy Cross in Dayton, the Lithuanian parish where he served for twelve years after his arrival to the U.S. He remained at Holy Cross until his death in 1993.

In 2002 a woman reported to the archdiocese that when she was 10-11 years old in the early 1960s and a student at St. Albert the Great in Dayton, Katarskis sexually abused her. Katarskis was a St. Albert's assistant 1960-1965. In 2010 the woman spoke publicly of the alleged abuse prior to filing a police report; she said she did not want to sue, but wanted the Church to know about its predator priests, and to encourage other victims to come forward.

Born: June 27, 1916
Ordained: 1942
Died: December 20, 1993

Joliet priest says diocese failed to follow protocol to protect children

Chicago Tribune

Christy Gutowski
Chicago Tribune

Standing before parishioners in his historic Joliet church, the Rev. Peter Jankowski said years of internal conflict had brought him to this difficult moment. In an emotional homily, the parish priest publicly blew the whistle on his diocese for alleged past failures that he said put children at potential risk.

Jankowski delivered the homily three times two Sundays ago, including once in Spanish for his multicultural congregation. Before he left the pulpit, he asked members at St. Patrick's Catholic Church to pray for him as he embarks on a public crusade — including a direct appeal to Pope Francis.

His homily did not cite any specific examples of abuse. Rather, in church documents later obtained by the Tribune, Jankowski for years has complained that his retired predecessor showed lax enforcement 10 years ago of the U.S. bishops' 2002 charter regarding child sexual abuse. In a September letter to the pope, Jankowski said that his superiors, including Joliet Bishop R. Daniel Conlon, failed to act upon his repeated complaints over the years to ask the retired priest to stop interfering in his ministry.

Diocese officials noted an independent firm has found the diocese compliant with the charter each year since 2003, when it began annual audits.

The dispute pits a first-time parish priest against a veteran cleric so loved that he has an honorary street designation outside the church. In a larger sense, it underscores the difference between an old-school approach and the modern church's promise to be more transparent and vigilant.

Knights of Malta insist ouster over condom scandal was legal


Nicole Winfield January 17, 2017

VATICAN CITY - The head of the embattled Knights of Malta is seeking to discredit a Vatican investigation into the removal of a top official over a condom scandal, insisting that he followed the rules in the dismissal.

In the latest development in the showdown between the ancient Catholic lay order and the Holy See, Fra’ Matthew Festing explained and defended his actions in a Jan. 14 letter to the Knights’ membership.

“Suffice it to say, whilst I was trying to enjoy a peaceful Advent and Christmastide, I have barely been able to concentrate on anything else,” he wrote. “It has been extremely tiring and I am sure many of you have had your Christmases disturbed by similar preoccupations.”

Festing said he was only protecting the order’s sovereignty in refusing to cooperate with a commission appointed by Pope Francis to investigate the ouster of Albrecht von Boeselager.

Press release concerning the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Holy See Press Office has issued the following Press Release concerning events relating to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta:


In relation to the events of recent weeks concerning the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the Holy See wishes to reiterate its support and encouragement for the commendable work that members and volunteers carry out in various parts of the world, in fulfilment of the aims of the Order: tuitio fidei (the defence of the Faith) and obsequium pauperum (service to the poor, the sick and those in greatest need).

For the support and advancement of this generous mission, the Holy See reaffirms its confidence in the five Members of the Group appointed by Pope Francis on 21 December 2016 to inform him about the present crisis of the Central Direction of the Order, and rejects, based on the documentation in its possession, any attempt to discredit these Members of the Group and their work.

The Holy See counts on the complete cooperation of all in this sensitive stage, and awaits the Report of the above-mentioned Group in order to adopt, within its area of competence, the most fitting decisions for the good of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and of the Church.
Rome, 17 January 2017

Head of embattled Knights of Malta defends his actions and says 'extremely tiring' conflict with Vatican disturbed his Christmas


Associated Press
17 JANUARY 2017

The head of the embattled Knights of Malta is seeking to discredit a Vatican investigation into the removal of a top official over a condom scandal, insisting that he followed the rules in the dismissal.

In the latest development in the remarkable showdown between the ancient Catholic lay order and the Holy See, Matthew Festing explained and defended his actions in a January 14 letter to the Knights' membership.

"Suffice it to say, whilst I was trying to enjoy a peaceful Advent and Christmastide, I have barely been able to concentrate on anything else," he wrote. "It has been extremely tiring and I am sure many of you have had your Christmases disturbed by similar preoccupations."

It has been extremely tiring and I am sure many of you have had your Christmases disturbed by similar preoccupations

Cambridge-educated Mr Festing said he was only protecting the order's sovereignty in refusing to cooperate with a commission appointed by Pope Francis to investigate the ouster of Albrecht von Boeselager.

Knights of Malta fight civil war over Catholic reforms

The Times (UK)

Tom Kington, Rome
January 16 2017
The Times

The British grand master of the Knights of Malta, a thousand-year-old Roman Catholic chivalric order, has staged a coup d’état at the organisation and is surrounding himself with a powerful, unelected clique, it has been alleged.

A senior member, who declined to be named, said that Matthew Festing, 67, a former Grenadier Guards officer and Sotheby’s auctioneer, had violated the order’s constitution in an attempt to grab power.

In December Mr Festing suspended Albrecht von Boeselager, the order’s grand chancellor, the equivalent of its foreign minister, accusing the German aristocrat of allowing the distribution of condoms, which is against Catholic teaching, as part of the order’s charity work. Mr von Boeselager said that he had put a stop to the condom handout when he became aware of it. “In what amounts to a coup d’état the grand master has seized control of the government of the order from those elected,” said the member, who is American.

The Order of Malta was founded in the 11th century to care for pilgrims in the Holy Land. Today it manages humanitarian operations and still considers itself a sovereign state, maintaining diplomatic relations with 106 countries from Rome. The order’s members commit to obeying the Pope but when Pope Francis ordered an investigation into Mr von Boeselager’s ousting, Mr Festing denounced the inquiry as an intrusion into the order’s sovereignty. The row has been cast as a clash between the conservative wing of the church and Francis’s brand of liberal Catholicism.

The church’s ambassador to the order, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, who is seen as siding with Mr Festing, is a long-time conservative foe of the Pope. Mr Festing warned members not to disagree with the sacking when questioned by Vatican inspectors but the member preferred to speak out. “It was the grand master who chose to involve the Holy See in the matter over a year ago,” the member said. “He cannot simply retreat from the process set down by the Holy Father because it no longer seems to suit his purpose.”

Vatican fights attempt to discredit Knights of Malta probe


Inés San Martín January 17, 2017

ROME-Adding another piece to the puzzle in the ongoing saga involving the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the Vatican issued a statement Tuesday commending the work being done by the members of a committee created by Pope Francis to look into the order, and also not-so-subtly reminded the group that despite its sovereignty, it’s still a Catholic institution.

The statement says the Holy See wishes to “reiterate its support and encouragement” for the work being carried out by the members and volunteers around the world, “in fullfilment of the aims of the Order: tuitio fidei (the defense of the faith) and obsequium pauperum (service to the poor, the sick and those in greatest need).”

The following graph, however, says that for the support of that mission, the Holy See “reaffirms its confidence” in the five-member commission appointed by Pope Francis on Dec. 21 to “inform him about the present crisis” in the orders’ direction.

The feud began on Dec. 8, when the order decided to ouster Albrecht von Boeselager, the group’s chancellor. Since then, many observers have pointed towards a scandal regarding the distribution of condoms in Myanmar as the reason for the move.

WA election 2017: Pledge to lift limits on child abuse victims seeking damages

ABC News

By Nicolas Perpitch

The Barnett Government has promised to introduce legislation to scrap the six-year statute of limitations on when victims of child abuse can take civil against their perpetrators or institutions if it is re-elected.

Premier Colin Barnett said the Liberals would also remove limitation periods for serious physical abuse.

The statute of limitations restricts when victims can launch civil action to seek damages to a six-year window — a constraint the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse recommended be lifted.

Labor has also pledged to lift the restriction for child abuse victims if it wins government, potentially assuring the changes will pass through State Parliament regardless of who wins the March state election.

Tasmania Police considers abuse apology

Great Lakes Advocate

Chris Clarke

17 Jan 2017

Tasmania Police is weighing up a historic apology to child-sex abuse victims in institutionalised care whose cries for help were initially not believed by officers.

Police forces across the country are considering the apology and Tasmania Police said it could follow suit, after the idea was put forward at a meeting between all commissioners of police in Melbourne in September.

It follows the Royal Commission into Institutionalised Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, during which it was revealed many claims of abuse in orphanages Australia-wide fell on deaf ears - and in some instances children who ran away from their ordeals were even returned to their abusers.

But victims will be made to wait until at least December, as police forces wait to hear what findings the Royal Commission will hand down.

Police commissioners planning to apologise to victims of institutional child sex abuse

ABC News

By Patrick Wright and David Sparkes

Australia's police commissioners are considering issuing an apology to victims of child sex abuse following the release of a royal commission report later this year.

The matter was considered at a meeting of Australia's police chiefs in September after a request from the Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN), which supports and advocates for people abused as children in orphanages, foster care and other institutions.

Victoria Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton, who chaired the meeting, said while an apology was likely, commissioners would consider the child abuse royal commission's final report, due to be released in December, before making a decision.

"We did have a chat with the royal commission regarding the timing of their final report," he told ABC Radio Melbourne.

Police may apologise to child sex victims

Perth Now

Rachael Burnett, Australian Associated Press
January 16, 2017

Police chiefs will consider a national apology to victims who were ignored by officers and sometimes beaten when they reported institutional child sex abuse.

They will wait until after Australia's child sexual abuse royal commission hands down a final report before "comprehensively" examining the need for an apology and what it might look like.

Victoria Police chief Graham Ashton says the issue is of serious concern and acknowledged the "long lasting impact of abuse on the most vulnerable in our communities" in a letter to the Care Leavers Australasia Network.

Thousands of adults across Australia have reported suffering psychological, sexual and physical abuse while they were children in care over a period of decades.

Freedom fighters for victims of child abuse

Lawyers Weekly

17 January 2017

Lisa Flynn

2016 was an important year in our history. It has been one of the most successful in shaping how we respond to reports of child sexual abuse, writes Lisa Flynn.

As we usher in 2017, it is important that we reflect on the lessons we have learnt and resolve to keep doing better to stop child abuse and continue to respond to survivors of abuse positively and compassionately.

We need to do better in our religious institutions.

The inquests into the Catholic and Anglican churches sex abuse claims exposed major failings in how churches in Australia have dealt with children being sexually violated and the lasting and devastating impact this has on victims.

We heard evidence from brave survivors within the various churches, of reports being made of abuse at the time yet no action being taken. What becomes perfectly apparent in these cases is that the church’s priority was to protect the church’s public image rather than to protect the children. This is a stark contrast to the duty of care and service they commit themselves to.

Pope Francis appoints Cardinal O’Malley to CFD role

Catholic Outlook - Diocese of Parramatta

Pope Francis has appointed the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, widely seen as a leading reformer in the Catholic hierarchy, as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the powerful Vatican department that deals with clerical sexual abuse cases.

The appointment is being seen by many as a further move by the Pope to ensure bishops are held accountable for their failures to protect minors from clerical sexual abusers.

Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Catholic Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council, welcomed the news saying the appointment reflects the influential role Cardinal O’Malley is playing in addressing the child sexual abuse crisis in the Church.

“He is certainly among the people in the Catholic world committed to the protection of minors and vulnerable people from sexual abuse,” Mr Sullivan said. “And he has, for many years, been an outspoken campaigner for bishops to be more accountable, particularly in the area of child protection. Having him on one of the Vatican’s most influential and powerful departments sends a clear signal that the protection of children is very much uppermost in the Pope’s mind.”

Flynn: Cardinal Sean on panel shows papal priorities

Boston Herald

Ray Flynn

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Pope Francis’ appointment of Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — which reviews clergy sex abuse cases — underscores the level of trust the pontiff has for our archbishop and sends a clear message about his priorities at a critically important time for the church.

I have no doubt that Cardinal Sean, who was named president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in 2014, will use his new leadership role to ensure that any bishops and priests who are found to have violated their sacred trust are removed and dealt with harshly and swiftly.

Richard Gaillardetz, chairman of Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry, said the appointment “recognizes the extent to which the pope has trust in O’Malley.”

“One of the criticisms of Francis that has the most substance is he has been slow in responding to the clerical sexual abuse crisis,” Gaillardetz said. “Cardinal O’Malley is someone he trusts, who has been in his ear to tell him this is a more important and serious issue than he may have realized.”

By continuing to bring clarity and consistency to Francis’ fight to identify and remove the abusive clergy members who have sullied the reputations of countless good, holy priests around the world, O’Malley will take his expertise onto the global stage and let Catholics know his task is the pope’s highest priority.

Man loses compensation case over East Yorkshire school abuse

BBC News

A man who claimed he was abused at an East Yorkshire Catholic school has lost a legal action for compensation.

He is one of 249 men suing the Catholic Church over alleged historical sexual abuse at St William's residential school in Market Weighton.

Only one man out of five initial cases heard at the High Court in Leeds has been awarded compensation.

In December, a judge ruled in favour of one claimant and ordered the church to pay £14,000 in damages.

At the same hearing, His Honour Judge Gosnell dismissed three other claims.

Children demand urgent attention, says Samuels

The Gleaner

Women and children will, for the first time, be the focus of the 37th National Leadership Prayer Breakfast, which takes place at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in St Andrew on Thursday, according to the Reverend Dr Stevenson Samuels, chair of the committee that plans this annual event.

"For the first time this year, we have also felt the need to include prayers for children. We feel that these are vulnerable groups with regards to crime and violence plaguing our society. Children demand urgent attention," he declared.

Samuels bemoaned that children were abused by adults and also experienced high levels of poverty, neglect by parents, little moral and spiritual training, in addition to insufficient access to other things.

His comments came yesterday at the Church of the Open Bible Church in St Andrew.

Michael Abrahams | Retraumatising childhood sex abuse survivors

The Gleaner

The Moravian Church sex scandal has escalated a national conversation on the sexual abuse of children. The story reads like a sordid soap opera, with allegations and revelations being spat out at maddening velocity. Apart from the alleged victims and their families, and the families of the accused, there is an entire subset of our population that is also in pain and being tormented while suffering in silence. It is the women, and men, who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

What many of us fail to understand and appreciate is that whenever there is public discourse about the sexual abuse of minors, survivors of this egregious violation experience a nauseating feeling of déjà vu. They are restimulated, as the bombardment via traditional and social media, and workplace and other discussions, stir up unpleasant memories, producing negative emotions and triggering depression relapses. Feelings of sadness, shame, embarrassment, anger and guilt are once again brought to the fore, and these women, and men, are forced to relive and deal with their traumatic histories all over again.

Over the past week, I have had conversations with six women, in different decades of life, who have confessed to me that the present imbroglio has reopened old wounds, with the revelation of each new detail piercing them like daggers thrust into their hearts.

Sonia* is 26 years old and was molested as a child by a family member who was very active in church. She commenced therapy last year to deal with the effects of her trauma and has been doing well, but the present crisis has deeply affected her. She remarked to me that she feels like a “derailed train”. As a matter of fact, during our conversation, she broke down and had to terminate the discussion.

55 cases of sexual relations with minor for Easter session of St Catherine courts


The Easter session of the opening of the St Catherine Circuit court recently had a record of 150 new committed matters; 132 cases carried from the previous session; 16 murders; 66 rapes and 55 sexual relations with a person under the age of 16.

There has been heavy ongoing national spotlight on the sexual abuse of minors by adult males locally, following the arrest and charge of 64-year-old Moravian Church pastor Rupert Clarke for having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Declaring the Circuit open, Justice Marsha Dunbar-Green reminded both sides of the councils of the Goodyear proceedings that they can approach her to know what the plea would be if their clients who are known to be guilty would receive instead of having a lengthy trial.

Justice Dunbar-Green outlined that it was a pleasure for her to be back in St Catherine after spending much of her maiden years there.

Queens Music Director Arrested For Alleged Sexual Abuse Of Student

CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The music director for a Queens church has been arrested for the alleged sexual abuse of a juvenile parishioner.

Police say Rafael Diaz of Forest Hills was arrested at his home Saturday. Last Thursday, the alleged victim’s father came to the church and reported that Diaz had sexually abused his daughter during private piano lessons over the course of two years.

According to the Diocese of Brooklyn, the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish in Queens was not aware that Diaz was hired by the alleged victim’s parents to give their child private music lessons at their home.

The diocese says they immediately contacted the NYPD and are cooperating with authorities during the investigation.

Vatican not doing enough to fight sexual abuse in Catholic Church, author alleges

Christian Daily

Lorraine Caballero 17 January, 2017

The Vatican is not doing enough to stop the sexual abuse happening inside the Catholic Church, according to Italian author Emiliano Fittipaldi.

In an upcoming book titled "Lussuria" (Lust), Fittipaldi cites court documents and interviews with priests and judicial officials to paint a picture of Pope Francis' first three years of papacy. The author says the pontiff has done "close to nothing" to address the sexual abuse cases that have tainted the Catholic Church's image, The Guardian details.

"The principle message of the book — the problem — is that the phenomenon of paedophilia is not being fought with sufficient force. Across the world, the church continues to protect the privacy of the paedophiles and also the cardinals [who protect them]," Fittipaldi told the Guardian in an interview. "Francis is not directly defending the paedophiles, but he did close to nothing to contrast the phenomenon of paedophilia."

In Pope Francis' letter to the Catholic Bishops released at the beginning of the year, the pontiff reiterated the church's "zero tolerance" for sexual abuse. He said this in light of the church's reported cover-up of such incidents, including the enabling and relocation of clergy who molest children, Mediaite reports.

Despite the "zero tolerance" stance on sexual abuse, Fittipaldi says around 1,200 plausible complaints of such incidents from all over the world have been brought to the Vatican in Pope Francis' first three years. Of the 20 such cases in Italy last year, some of the accused priests have reportedly been convicted of abuse and yet the church has not implemented any disciplinary action against them.

Bankruptcy status near end for Diocese

Manteca Bulletin

By ROSE ALBANO RISSO Bulletin Correspondent
POSTED January 17, 2017

The Catholic Diocese of Stockton will come out of its bankruptcy status in the next few weeks after the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California approved the “consensual plan of reorganization” filed three years ago by Bishop Stephen Blaire.

The approved plan provides “$15 million to survivors of sexual abuse as well as non-monetary commitments which are important aspects of any healing process.”

The announcement was made to diocesan parishioners during the Masses on Sunday and the anticipated Masses on Saturday. The full text of the announcement was also included as an insert in the parish bulletins.

In the bilingual (Spanish and English) written statement from the diocese’s communications director, Sister Terry Davis, Bishop Blaire stated, “We wish to thank all of the parties, including the court appointed mediator Judge Gregg W. Zive, Judge Klein, the sexual abuse survivors, the insurers, the creditors’ committee, and their respective counsel, our counsel, and the entire Catholic community, for helping bring this very difficult chapter in the history of the Diocese to an equitable resolution.”

The reorganization plan held a number of key provisions resulting from months of negotiations involving the creditors, insurance carriers, the diocese and other parties, all of which had to vote on the proposed plan. The plan received “nearly unanimous approval,” according to the announcement.

The Buried Abuse of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese

Houston Press

How Problematic Priests Are Warehoused


On the phone, the former Houston priest didn’t recognize the name of the 13-year-old boy he molested in 1978.

So much time has passed since that third encounter with the boy, in the Town & Country Village movie theater in Memorial City, where the priest slid his hand into the boy’s jeans and masturbated him. It’s hard to keep track of these things, and besides, the priest says, it’s old news.

Father Walter Dayton Salisbury, now 85, has moved on with his life since pleading no contest and serving three years’ probation. He left Houston in the early 1980s for Washington, D.C., where he was charged with molesting another boy, then spent some time at a parish outside Mobile, where he was accused again, but not charged. He eventually returned to his home city, Bar Harbor, a quaint little town in coastal Maine, where he found an apartment across the street from a K-8 public school. He became active in the community, joining the Order of the Founders of the Patriots of America, whose website states that membership is open to men of “good moral character and reputation.”

Salisbury was one of more than a dozen priests named in a November 2016 press release by the local chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, as part of the group’s push for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston to publicly identify, for the first time, all of its priests who’d been accused or convicted of crimes against children.

When the Houston Press reached Salisbury in October for a comment on the group’s efforts, he chuckled. “I’m certainly not going to say anything to vigilantes, no,” he said in a New England accent, referring to the group (known as SNAP).
When the Press mentioned his Houston victim’s name, Salisbury said, “That doesn’t ring a bell at all.”

Told who it was, Salisbury said, “Good Lord, I mean...that’s 30 years ago, or whatever it is.”

Unlike Salisbury, his victim couldn’t so easily forget a name.

“The first time I ever ejaculated was from some dirty old man’s hand,” the victim told the Press in December. (We’re calling the man, who asked not to be named, “Darren.”)

He also never forgot about how, when the movie was over and Salisbury was driving him back home, the priest — who served for decades as the chaplain of Texas Southern University’s Catholic Newman Center — pulled over in an alley, unzipped his pants and put the boy’s hand around his penis. ...

As Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of the Massachusetts-based nonprofit Bishop Accountability, puts it, “Texas has one of the most victim-hostile statute[s] of limitations in the country.”

Although the religious order Salisbury worked under — the Josephites — and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine, released statements on Salisbury’s crimes in 2004, Houston’s top Catholic clergy have acknowledged the diocese’s predator priests only if forced to through criminal charges, civil lawsuits or media reports. ...

In 2004, as part of a historic, yet hardly transparent, initiative, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops tasked the John Jay College of Criminal Justice with producing a report on abuse in the church, based largely on self-reported numbers. Covering the years 1950-2002, the report indicated that 4,392 priests and deacons had been accused of child sexual abuse, or 2.7 percent of the overall population of Catholic clergy working during that time.

That rate has risen to 5.6 percent today, according to Anne Barrett Doyle of Bishop Accountability, which calculates and reports the numbers annually. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has never amended its figure of 22 priests and 4 deacons — a 1 percent rate.

“That is just insane,” Barrett Doyle said, noting that in the small diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, “We know of more than 90 accused clergy.”

Brother of priest avoids jail for abuse of altar boy

Belfast Telegraph

By Ashleigh McDonald

A priest's brother, who sexually abused an altar boy while volunteering at the Clonard Novena, has been spared a jail sentence.

Belfast Crown Court heard yesterday that Martin Cassidy is currently taking chemical castration medication at his own request.

He was placed on probation for three years after he admitted abusing the altar boy in 1988.

The 67-year-old from Orchard Mews in Belfast - who hasn't worked in 40 years and has a criminal record including 13 previous sexual offences - was also made the subject of a five-year Sexual Offenders Prevention Order and will be on the Sexual Offenders Register for the same period.

Passing sentence, Judge Patricia Smyth revealed that Cassidy's last sexual offending was committed in 1990 and said she felt the public would be best protected by the pensioner participating in the Sex Offenders Treatment Programme as part of his probation.

Editorial | Moravians Not The Victims

The Gleaner

It would be a mistake if, in the midst of their crisis, the Moravians of Jamaica were to merely circle their wagons and nurture a grievance of persecution, of which, judging by the remarks of some of their congregants and pastors, there are troubling signs.

In this regard, we repeat our advice to the church to allow the law, unfettered by attempts at stonewalling or cover-up, to take its course in the unfolding allegations of sex abuse against clergy. This approach is likely to lead, in time, to purer healing.

With no more than 20,000 members, the Moravians are not near being a major congregation in Jamaica. But over their more than two and a half centuries in the island, the church's mission has been substantial. They have contributed greatly to education and social welfare. Now, in the face of a deepening sex scandal, the Moravians face questions about moral authority, which, potentially, could lead to a fracturing of the institution.

Earlier this month, Rupert Clarke, 64, a pastor to a congregation in the parish of Manchester, was arrested for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old minor in neighbouring St Elizabeth. He is under investigation for a similar, earlier affaire, with an underage girl from the same family.

January 16, 2017

Queens music teacher arrested for alleged sexual abuse of 12-year-old student

New York Daily News


A Queens music teacher was arrested for sexually abusing a girl while giving her singing and piano lessons at her home when she was 12 years old, police said Monday.

Rafael Diaz, 69, was arrested Saturday and charged with sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. Diaz was music director for the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, where his victim was a student.

Sources said the girl’s family made arrangements for her to receive private lessons at home, where the alleged abuse occurred.

Diaz was charged with sexual conduct against a child less than 13, sexual abuse in the first degree and acting in a manner injurious to a child under 17.

Education Ministry To Comment February On Hampton Principal's Leave Challenge

The Gleaner

The Education Ministry says it will not comment on the latest development involving Principal of the St Elizabeth-based Hampton School, Heather Murray, until next month.

Murray is challenging the education ministry’s decision to send her on two weeks leave.

It's the latest in a string of developments after Murray went to the St Elizabeth Parish Court at the bail hearing of Moravian pastor, Rupert Clarke, who is on a sex charge.

She also attempted to block the media from taking his images.

Cardinal O’Malley joins Vatican office that reviews sex abuse cases

Boston Herald

Chris Villani Monday, January 16, 2017

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley’s recent appointment to a Vatican council tasked with prosecuting sex abuse cases may impact the church’s role in preventing and responding to the crisis, local experts say.

Pope Francis named the head of the Boston Archdiocese to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of a series of appointments the Vatican announced over the weekend.

“Not only is it an area where the cardinal can be useful, but it recognizes the extend to which the pope has trust in O’Malley,” said Richard Gaillardetz, chair of the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College.

“One of the criticism of Francis that has the most substance is he has been slow in responding to the clerical sexual abuse crisis,” Gaillardetz said. “Cardinal O’Malley is someone he trusts, who has been in his ear to tell him this is a more important and serious issue than he may have realized.”

Judges should stay out of residential school claims, Ontario Appeal Court rules

The Globe and Mail

TORONTO — The Canadian Press
Published Monday, Jan. 16, 2017

Judges have no general right to interfere with compensation decisions involving claims by victims of Canada’s notorious Indian residential schools, Ontario’s Court of Appeal said Monday.

In written reasons for an oral decision rendered in December, the Court of Appeal said a Superior Court justice overstepped his powers by awarding money to a rape victim whose claims were rejected under the independent assessment process known as the IAP.

“The IAP represents a comprehensive, tailor-made scheme for the resolution of claims by trained and experienced adjudicators, selected according to specified criteria and working under the direction of the chief adjudicator,” the Appeal Court said.

“Allowing appeals or judicial review would seriously compromise the finality of the IAP and fail to pay appropriate heed to the distinctive nature of the IAP and the expertise of IAP adjudicators.”

Sister Rose Clarisse Gadoury, 87, of Marlborough

Community Advocate

Marlborough – Sister Rose Clarisse (Pauline) Gadoury, 87, a Sister of St. Anne, died Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 in UMass Marlborough Hospital.

Born in Dudley, she was the tenth surviving child of Emilien and Rosanna (St. Martin) Gadoury. She attended St. Anne School in Webster and the former St. Anne Academy (Marlborough), earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music from Anna Maria College (Paxton), an MA from Duquesne University, and a Doctoral degree in ministry from Boston University, School of Theology, and received an Honorary Doctorate in Education from Anna Maria College. ...

She was a member of the Advisory Board for the Vicar for Religious, and the Office of Pastoral Ministries in the Archdiocese of Boston. She served as a member of the Bishop’s Pastoral Care Committee for Sexual Abuse for the Diocese of Worcester.

Catholic school teacher charged with molesting student

New York Post

By Tina Moore January 16, 2017

A 69-year-old Catholic school music teacher was arrested for sexually abusing a girl while giving her singing and piano lessons at her Queens home when she was 11 and 12 years old, police sources said.

Rafael Diaz, music director for the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, was arrested Saturday and charged with sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

The girl, now 15, told investigators Diaz would touch her diaphragm with four fingers and then fondle her breast with his hands over her clothes while making her sing different pitches, the police sources said.

He once asked her if she had started her menstrual cycle and then allegedly put his hand on her private parts over her clothing. The assaults happened four or five times in the girl’s former home between May and June in 2014, the sources said.

Cardinal Levada on Pope Benedict, the CDF and the Prosecution of Clergy Sexual Abuse

National Catholic Register

Joan Frawley Desmond

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Amid calls for the decentralization of the Roman Curia by some Church leaders and theologians, Cardinal William Levada, the prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), underscored the CDF’s crucial role as the arbiter of faith and morals for the universal Church.

Cardinal Levada also suggested that the CDF was especially qualified to oversee the prosecution of clergy abuse cases, a responsibility given to the congregation by Pope St. John Paul II in his 2001 document Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela, issued motu proprio (on the pope’s own initiative).

Over the past month, media outlets have reported on proposals within the Vatican to shift the prosecution of abuse cases to another dicastery. These reports have not been publicly confirmed, and Cardinal Levada did not address them directly. Rather, he reflected on the CDF’s unique expertise in dealing with these often-complicated cases over the past 16 years.

Cardinal Levada, 80, the former archbishop of San Francisco who retired as prefect of the CDF in 2012, offered his comments during a wide-ranging Register interview on Jan. 9 at his residence on the grounds of St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, California. The conversation touched on his decades of service to the Church as a theologian, bishop and prefect of the CDF, and he also discussed the legacy of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Police chiefs planning to apologise to child-sex abuse victims

The Australian

January 17, 2017
Crime reporterSydney

The nation’s police commissioners are set to make a historic apol­ogy to the victims of child-sex abuse in institutional care who were not believed when they reported these crimes or, worse, were returned to their abusers.

The true number of such abuse victims will never be known as records were not kept, have since been lost or were destroyed.

That such an apology is being considered at this level shows both its extent and the damage done are feared to be significant.

More than half a million children are estimated to have spent time in an orphanage, home or foster care over the past century. They represent more than 40 per cent of the 6349 people who have given evidence in private to the child abuse royal commission to date saying they were abused.

In a letter sent last week and seen by The Australian, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton says the Australian and New Zealand Police Commissioners Forum met recently to discuss a potential apology to those affected. Writing to the Care Leavers Australasia Network, which represents people who were in ­institutional care and has campaigned on the issue for several years, Mr Ashton says the other police commissioners “asked me to convey their sincere empathy about the concerns … raised”.

Concerned Catholics questions priest’s canon law studies

Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com Jan. 16, 2017

A group of Catholics is raising concerns about a recent decision to send a priest to Canada to study canon law. The priest defied an archbishop’s decision to reassign him to Umatac and has been accused of a string of alleged misconduct throughout the years. Canon law governs the Catholic Church.

The Concerned Catholics of Guam Inc. said Father Adrian Cristobal is “one of the most despicable clerics” in the Archdiocese of Agana for his conduct.

A few days before he was to leave Guam, Cristobal said that his being sent to study canon law is “nothing out of the ordinary.” The Concerned Catholics disagrees.

Priest unhappy with parish shift

“Father Adrian Cristobal should be disciplined, not rewarded, for lies he has perpetrated that has harmed the Church on Guam. He is one of the priests at the center of this division within our Church,” Concerned Catholics president David Sablan said in a Jan. 10 letter to the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council.

Former Moravian head quits as chairman of Teachers’ Service Commission

Jamaica Observer

AS the sex scandal surrounding the Moravian church in Jamaica deepens, Dr Paul Gardner, who was head of the organisation up to Thursday, has also quit his chairmanship of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

Education Minister Senator Ruel Reid, in a release late Saturday night, said the resignation was immediate. Gardner was appointed chairman of the commission last year May.

Speaking with the Jamaica Observer yesterday, Reid indicated that the resignation was due to the scandal rocking the church organisation. “In discussions he recognised that there are some serious allegations against him which render his continuance untenable and he therefore, in principle, has agreed to step aside to clear his name and his integrity and, having tendered his resignation, I have to accept it. I thank him for his services to the TSC and Jamaica and I wish him the very best in his future endeavours,” he said.

Dr Gardner and vice-president of the church, Rev Jermaine Gibson, quit the executive of the church on Thursday as allegations of sexual misconduct continued to rock the organisation.

Abuse accusations against clerics still runs high under Pope Francis, book claims

Washington Post

By Anthony Faiola and Stefano Pitrelli January 16

The Vatican has continued to receive a high number of reports of sexual abuse by clerics during Pope Francis’s papacy, according to a new book that also reexamines allegations against several of the pontiff’s top advisers involving coverups or worse.

The book by Italian journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi — an advance copy of which was provided to The Washington Post, and which is to be published Thursday — argues that little has changed in the way the church handles sexual abuse cases despite Francis’s creation of a special commission for the protection of minors and a declaration of “zero tolerance” of abuse.

The church “is still afraid of the taboo,” Fittipaldi said in an interview.

Francis has been credited by some with taking more decisive action on abuse cases than his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, did. Francis has set down a process for removing bishops for negligence in the handling of abuse cases and ordered the trial before a church tribunal of a Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic after accusations of sexual abuse surfaced. But Francis also has promoted officials who have been tainted by accusations of abuse or coverups, and the Vatican has been accused of still not doing enough.

Pope has done 'close to nothing' to stop clerical sex abuse, author claims


Mon 16 Jan 2017
By Premier Journalist

An Italian author has lashed out at Pope Francis, claiming the Catholic leader has not followed through on his promise to have a zero tolerance approach on clerical sex abuse.

Emiliano Fittipaldi makes the accusations against the Pope in his new book Lussuria ('Lust') which will be released in Italy on Thursday.

Fittipaldi claims that 1,200 complaints of child sex abuse were taken to the Pope in his first three years of papacy. He writes that in Italy, a number of priests have been convicted of abuse but the church did not take any canonical action against them.

The author also suggests that Australian cardinal George Pell, who has been accused of protecting abusers in his archdiocese, has remained in a senior position despite the complaints against him.

January 15, 2017

Assignment Record– Rev. Damion Jacques Lynch


Summary of Case: Damion J. Lynch was ordained for the Diocese of Charlotte in 1991. He was assigned to St. Elizabeth's in Boone and was a chaplain at nearby Appalachian State University. In 1995 Lynch disclosed to Bishop Curlin an "indiscretion" on his part involving a St. Elizabeth's altar boy in his early teens. Lynch was placed on leave in November 1995 and sent for psychological testing. The family received settlement money, agreeing to keep quiet and to release the diocese from further damages. Curlin assigned Lynch to another Charlotte parish 1997. In 1998 the same family sued after they said they discovered that their son's twin brother had also been molested by Lynch, and that the abuse of their boys occurred repeatedly and not just once, as they had thought. Lynch then asked for a leave of absence. He was not returned to ministry.

Ordained: 1991

How the Death of Bishop Eddie Long Exposes the Black Church’s Dangerous Hypocrisy


Written by Ernest Owens

The death of Bishop Eddie Long struck a nerve with me that I would have never imaged. Perhaps it was the hypocrisy found in Kim Burrell’s anti-LGBT remarks earlier this month or the fact that I now see more Black clergyman popping up to support President-Elect Donald Trump — who also has a VP that believes in LGBTQ conversion therapy. Maybe it's the deep distrust with faith communities that have given me a bittersweet reaction to Long’s passing.

When I saw the news break on social media, I automatically took to Twitter to see the reactions. Many were celebrating Long as a “spiritual warrior,” a “mentor,” and a “church leader.” No one, in the first few moments his death became public, would dare speak on the allegations surrounding him reportedly coercing young adult men for sex. No one would speak on the congregation members who would denounced and publically attacked these men for speaking to the media. And nobody would talk about the hypocrisy of his church and how they defended a man who has held anti-LGBTQ positions while seemingly living a double life.

This morning, I had enough with allowing church folks on my Facebook timeline and Twitter feed fail to recognize their double standards at the expense of my emotional tillage. I called it out, all of it. I went off about the Black church and how it likes to erase LGBTQ folks and our trauma out of the narrative. I explained how “love, grace, and mercy” is only given to those who preach hetrosexism, but not for the same-gender loving and those afflicted by sexual abuse. It was a Sunday, so I gave a social media sermon that went viral. Enough was enough and I wasn’t having it.

Antigay Pastor Eddie Long, Once Accused of Sex Abuse, Dead at 63


JANUARY 15 2017

Eddie Long, the antigay Georgia megachurch pastor once accused of sexually abusing young men in his congregation, has died at age 63.

Long died Sunday of “an aggressive form of cancer,” said a statement released by his church to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Long, who held the title of bishop, was senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, a suburb of Atlanta. In 2010 four men who had been members of the church filed a lawsuit alleging that Long had coerced them into sexual relationships, enticing them with money, trips, and expensive gifts. A court dismissed the suit and the men reached a settlement with Long in 2011.

The bishop did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement, and he always denied the allegations, but even after the settlement, his accusers maintained they were telling the truth. Long’s public stance was also consistently antigay; he preached against homosexuality, offered counseling to “cure” people of being gay, and opposed marriage equality.

New rabbinical decree mandates reporting sexual harassment

Israel Hayom

Following recent scandals involving well-known religious figures, a new ruling determines it is not only permissible, but a duty to report sexual harassment to the police • "There is more common language with police today," prominent rabbi says.

Yehuda Shlezinger and Israel Hayom Staff

In the wake of several recent scandals involving well-known figures from the religious public -- among them former Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris; former head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, Davidi Pearl; Rabbi Ezra Scheinberg and others -- a new religious ruling states unequivocally: Sexual harassment or abuse must be reported to the police.

A comprehensive halachic document compiled by the Puah Institute for fertility, medicine, and Jewish law cites five halachic sources and determines that it is not only permissible, but an obligation, to complain about sexual harassment.

The document was drafted ahead of the 17th Puah Institute Conference, which will be held Wednesday.

In attendance will be doctors and rabbis, with the goal of teaching municipal, neighborhood and community rabbis about the latest innovations in the fields of gynecology, fertility, genetics and more. This year, a panel at the conference will specifically examine the religious duty of reporting sexual harassment to the authorities.

Assignment Record– Rev. Robert Yurgel, OFM.Cap


Summary of Case: Robert Yurgel was ordained for the Capuchin Franciscan Friars of the Province of the Sacred Stigmata of St. Francis in 1996. He was assigned in 1997 to the Diocese of Charlotte NC, where he worked in several area parishes. In October 1999 he was transferred out of the diocese, returning briefly to his order in New York, then assigned to the Diocese of Paterson NJ. He resided at a Passaic parish while working as a hospital chaplain. He occasionally said mass in Hackensack.

In 2008 a 23-year-old man reported to the Charlotte-Meckenburg police that Yurgel sexually abused him beginning in 1999 when he was a 14-year-old altar boy at St. Matthew's in Charlotte, and Yurgel was an assistant priest. The young man said the abuse occurred at St. Matthew's, at Our Lady of Consolation where Yurgel was next assigned, in a car in the parking lot of St. Michael's in Gastonia where Yurgel sometimes presided over a Spanish mass, and at the boy's home when his parents were out. Yurgel was arrested in NJ and extradited to NC; he pleaded guilty and was sentenced in February 2009 to at least seven years and eight months in prison, and was ordered to register as a sex offender.

Yurgel's victim sued the Charlotte diocese and Capuchin Franciscans in 2008, claiming they covered up his case, and that the diocese knew of sexual misconduct by Yurgel in 1999. The diocese and order settled with the man in 2010.

Ordained: 1996

L'Espresso anticipa il libro di Fittipaldi su Vaticano e pedofilia


Roma - Sul nuovo numero dell'Espresso, in edicola da domenica 15 gennaio, l'inchiesta di copertina è firmata da Emiliano Fittipaldi ed è dedicata ai 'vizi cardinali', ovvero a come parte della Curia continua a proteggere prelati accusati di pedofilia..

Il giornalista ha scritto un libro, in uscita il 19, sull'argomento e nel video racconta la difficile battaglia di Francesco contro la pedofilia. Fittipaldi spiega come gli alti prelati, alcuni vicini al Papa, hanno continuato a insabbiare le denunce sulle violenze sessuali ai bambini. Nel numero in edicola domenica con Repubblica, anche un'intervista al figlio del criminale nazista Hans Frank, processato a Norimberga.

Abuse in Catholic church 'not being fought with enough force' claims new book

The Guardian (UK)

Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome

Sunday 15 January 2017

The last time Italian journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi wrote an exposé about corruption at the heart of the Roman Catholic Church, it landed him in a Vatican court facing a possible jail sentence on charges that he had illegally obtained confidential church papers in the course of his reporting.

Now, six months after the 42-year-old reporter was cleared of all charges, Fittipaldi is taking on the church again. This time in a new book that accuses Pope Francis of doing “close to nothing” to stop clerical sexual abuse in Italy and around the world, despite the Argentinean pope’s frequent assertions that he has zero tolerance for the abuse of children or those who protect abusers.

In Lussuria (Lust), which will be released in Italian by publisher Feltrinelli on Thursday, Fittipaldi methodically pores over court documents and cites interviews with priests and judicial officials to paint a damning picture of the first three years of Francis’s papacy. Fittipaldi claims that 1,200 plausible complaints of molestation against boys and girls from around the world have been brought to the Vatican’s attention in that period. In some of the twenty cases of alleged sexual abuse by priests in Italy in 2016, Fittipaldi writes, priests have been convicted of abuse without the church taking any canonical action against them.

Fittipaldi also devotes attention to the case of Australian cardinal George Pell, who was appointed by Francis to reform church finances and has remained in that senior position despite questions over whether Pell protected serial abusers in his archdiocese in Australia decades ago. Pell has denied the allegations against him but a counsel assisting a royal commission looking at child abuse in Australia has argued that there was evidence that Pell should have taken stronger action against one paedophile priest whose case has been examined. ...

“The principle message of the book – the problem – is that the phenomenon of paedophilia is not being fought with sufficient force. Across the world, the church continues to protect the privacy of the paedophiles and also the cardinals [who protect them],” Fittipaldi said in an interview with the Guardian.

“Francis is not directly defending the paedophiles, but he did close to nothing to contrast the phenomenon of paedophilia,” he added.

It is not a new charge against the pope. While Francis is popular, especially for his strong views in support of poor and marginalised people, groups that advocate for survivors of sexual abuse have regularly criticised Francis for failing to take concrete steps to prevent and expose abuse, even though he has used strong words to condemn sexual violence by priests. A papal commission created by Francis early in his papacy has only met three or four times in its history, Fittipaldi said. Separately, a Vatican proposal to create a tribunal to investigate bishops who cover up for abusers, which was celebrated by advocacy groups when it was announced in 2015, has inexplicably been stalled.

Cardinal O’Malley Appointed To Vatican Office That Reviews Abuse Cases

CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Pope Francis has appointed Boston’s Archbishop, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith–a move church officials say will expand his global involvement in the prevention of clergy sex abuse.

John Allen, the editor of Catholic news website Crux, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe that O’Malley’s appointment reflects the influential role he’s played in addressing the church sex abuse crisis.

“This appointment is another confirmation that he is essentialy this pope’s, and essentially the entire church’s go-to man in the fight against child sexual abuse,” said Allen. “If you want a signal that you’re serious about something, and you want a signal that you’re serious about reform, you want Cardinal O’Malley to be involved with it.”

Pope Francis created a commission to recommend abuse policy changes in the church, and put O’Malley in charge–but Allen says this appointment gives him more reach.

“It really is the Congregation for the Faith that applies those recommendations in the area of imposing discipline–not merely on priests who abuse, but also on bishops who cover up abuse,” he said.

La Diócesis de Gipuzkoa exigirá certificado de penales tras los casos de abusos sexuales contra menores

El Mundo

[The Bishop of San Sebastián, José Ignacio Munilla, announced today that the diocese will now require a criminal record certificate for persons working with children in the diocese. Munilla dedicated his homily at Sunday Mass celebrated at the cathedral to the accusations made against the former vicar-general, Juan Kruz Mendizabal, who was convicted in a church canonical procedure of sexual abuse of a minor.]


El obispo de San Sebastián, José Ignacio Munilla, ha anunciado hoy que exigirá certificado de penales a las personas que trabajen con menores en la diócesis y ha señalado que su "agenda queda disponible para atender de forma prioritaria los casos" de abusos sexuales "que puedan presentarse".

Munilla ha dedicado íntegramente su homilía de la misa dominical que ha celebrado en la catedral del Buen Pastor de la capital guipuzcoana al caso del ex vicario general de Gipúzkoa, el sacerdote Juan Kruz Mendizabal, condenado en un procedimiento canónico por dos casos de abusos sexuales a menores sucedidos en los años 2001 y 2005 y denunciado por una tercera víctima por hechos similares acaecidos en 1994.

Munilla ha trasladado también un mensaje de apoyo a los sacerdotes, de los que ha dicho que "son como los aviones", que "solo son noticia cuando caen".

Irish bishops to meet Pope Francis on 10-day visit to Vatican

Irish Times

Paddy Agnew in Rome

Migration, economic austerity, secularism, clerical sex abuse, falling attendance at Mass, the decline in priesthood vocations and the Catholic Church’s mission of mercy to those on the periphery will be just some of the many hot-button issues touched on by Irish bishops during their traditional “ad limina” visit to Pope Francis and the Holy See, beginning on Monday morning.

The “ad limina apostolorum” (to the threshold of the apostles) visit, which usually takes place every five years, in some senses represents an occasion when the local, often far-off branch gets a chance to report in person to head office.

Over the next 10 days, there will be an exchange of views between the visiting bishops and the heads of nearly all the major departments of the Roman curia.

The high point of the visit will come next Friday when the pope receives the almost 30-strong Irish delegation in audience.

Boston’s archbishop joins Vatican office on clergy sex abuse

Seattle Times

By The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Boston’s archbishop has been appointed to a top Vatican office that handles cases of clergy sex abuse.

The Vatican’s press office announced Saturday that Pope Francis named Cardinal Sean O’Malley the newest member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which enforces church teachings and also judges sex abuse cases. O’Malley will remain the archbishop of Boston.

The move strengthens O’Malley’s role as a key figure in the church’s work to prevent abuse. In 2014 he was named president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, an advisory body for the pope.

Married priest suspended for alledgedly sending woman lewd selfies

New York Pos

By Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein

January 15, 2017

A Long Island priest has been suspended for allegedly sending sinful selfies.

Father Luke Melackrinos, a married father of three and the spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Paul, was called into a Nassau County police station on Jan. 8 to address a complaint involving “inappropriate email exchanges he had with a woman,” according to a letter sent to parishioners by his bishop.

No charges were filed against Melackrinos but he was “immediately placed on a leave of absence” because “there is a certain code of behavior expected of our clergy,” read the letter written by Bishop Andonios Paropoulos, the chancellor of the Greek Orthodox church in the United States.

Melackrinos “consented to immediately begin seeing a professional for evaluation so we can determine the proper course of action,” the bishop wrote.

I was sexually abused as a teen by the N.J. priest arrested for child porn | Opinion


By Anonymous

I am the unnamed sex-abuse victim of Kevin Gugliotta, the poker-playing priest arrested on Oct. 29 on child pornography charges. mentioned in Mark Meuller's story in The Star-Ledger on Dec. 6.

The article made it clear that the Newark Archdiocese's statement was misleading if not an outright lie: "There are no allegations that he engaged in similar activities in New Jersey,"

In fact, before Gugliotta was ordained, he sexually assaulted and sexually harassed me when I was a teenager. In 2003 - nearly 15 years after I was abused - I came forward to the Archdiocesan Review Board. Archbishop John J. Myers relied on a technicality of canon law to excuse Gugliotta, since my allegations stemmed to years before he was ordained. Worse, the archbishop then assigned him to posts where he had supervision over children.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin is our own Pope Francis. He replaces Myers, whose neglect has left children exposed to sexual abuse.

The church, under Myers, sat on these very serious allegations, right up until they knew the newspaper would shed light on it.

Today, I want to add insight how perpetrators of child sexual abuse take time to build a network of trust and confidence by cultivating love and respect in families and communities, such that their acts, when they come to light, seem unbelievable.

I also want to speak to the culture within the Catholic church that denies and hides the behavior of perpetrators - a culture that fails to protect children and young adults, condemning them to a lifetime of shame and secrecy from which it is very difficult, if not impossible in some cases, to recover.

The true cost of child sexual abuse

New York Daily News

Sunday, January 15, 2017

After failing to change the law last year, New York State is set once again to consider doing away with the statute of limitations on prosecuting sex crimes against children — this time with Gov. Cuomo hopefully leading the reform charge against a likely intransigent state Senate.

Under current statutes, a victim must seek justice in criminal or civil court by her 23rd birthday, or she loses the opportunity to do so forever.

To understand why this is so perverse, you have to try to grasp the psychological impact that child sex abuse has on those subjected to it.

I was sexually abused at age 8 by a male figure, and then again by my mother from the ages of 9 to 13 until the police removed me from my home. There was a lot of domestic violence and physical abuse, but the sexual abuse impacted me the most. I developed eating disorders, depression, psychosis, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal ideation. I dropped out of high school and failed out of college twice.

Moravian Church Left Battered And Wounded By Sex Scandal, Says Acting President

The Gleaner

The acting president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica, the Reverend Phyllis Smith-Seymour, has issued a statement saying the institution has been left battered and wounded arising from the arrest sex scandal now gripping it.

The statement issued this morning comes two days after the Moravian president Dr Paul Gardner and his deputy Jermaine Gibson resigned following damning allegations against them contained in a seven-page email.

The bishops of the church have told the complainant that an independent committee mutually agreed by her will be set up to investigate.

This morning's statement also follows the December 28 arrest of Rupert Clarke, the 64-year-old pastor of the Nazareth Moravian Church in Manchester.

Another ‘kairos’ moment for the church: Addressing sexual abuse

The Mennonite

Gordon Houser is the editor of The Mennonite magazine. Hannah Heinzekehr is the Executive Director of The Mennonite, Inc. This editorial appeared in the October issue of The Mennonite.

From Gordon

It seems that issues arise in the Mennonite church at times that feel like “kairos” moments, moments of opportunity for change and for focus by the broader church.

I felt that happened in the early 1990s, when we were confronted by a growing number of cases of sexual abuse by Mennonite leaders. At the time, I was editor of The Mennonite when it was the magazine of the General Conference Mennonite Church. I was part of a group of Mennonite leaders who attended a conference in February 1992 called “Men Working to End Violence Against Women.”

For most of us who participated, this was a life-changing experience, a time of repentance from ignoring the violence against women that was endemic to our society— even our church.

Around this time, stories emerged of sexual abuse by several prominent Mennonite church leaders, including Urie Bender, Jan Gleysteen, John Howard Yoder and others. At that time, Meetinghouse, a group of Mennonite editors, worked on developing guidelines for reporting these abuses. And we reported those we learned about.

NY--Victims to Cuomo: NY can follow Hawaii’s successful lead with Child Victims Act

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Joelle Casteix, volunteer western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests SNAPNetwork.org, (949) 322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com

New York Governor Cuomo is making a bold and victim-friendly move by adding the Child Victim’s Act to his agenda. We applaud him for making child safety a priority—by helping victims in both private and public institutions.

In 2014, the State of Hawaii extended their 2-year civil window for victims of child sexual abuse.
Their original window, enacted in 2012, only applied to victims who had been sexually abused in private institutions. The two-year extension broadened the law and allowed survivors who had been abused in public and private schools and institutions to use the civil justice system to expose their abuser.

The law was very successful, allowing hundreds of victims to come forward, exposing dozens of predators, and keeping Hawaii’s children safer in public and private institutions. Governor Cuomo can do the same for New York.

If Hawaii can write a law that helps survivors and protects children, New York can certainly do the same.

O’Malley named to Vatican office that reviews abuse cases

Boston Globe


Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley was appointed Saturday to a powerful Vatican office that reviews sex abuse cases, expanding his global involvement in the prevention of clergy sex abuse, according to church officials.

O’Malley’s appointment to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope Francis was announced by the Vatican press office.

The duties of the Doctrine of Faith office, which is responsible for Catholic teaching, were expanded to include the review and handling of clerical abuse cases in the early 2000s, said Thomas Groome, a professor of theology and religious education at Boston College.

O’Malley’s appointment to the office is a reflection of the influential role he’s played to address the global clergy sex abuse crisis, Groome said. ...

Phil Saviano, a sex abuse survivor, said the appointment is “certainly a step in the right direction” by the Vatican to address the needs of victims. But Saviano said Francis needs to be more transparent regarding both the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“Whether anything significant will come from it, and whether he will be willing to reveal the details of what he does with this committee, so that we can judge if it’s a good thing or another way of stalling for time ... we’ll have to tell,” he said.

Saviano added that he’s been impressed with O’Malley’s outlook regarding the clerical obligation to report sexual abuse cases to civil authorities.

Anne Barrett Doyle, codirector of www.bishop-accountability.org, said O’Malley has a reputation of being “the pope’s go-to man for clergy sex abuse,” but she has not been impressed with his work thus far.

“The [Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors] is taking very modest steps and hasn’t achieved anything like real change,” Doyle said. “So I don’t know how he can cause the CDF to change.”

Moravian Church says it’s committed to maintaining high moral standards

Jamaica Observer

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Moravian Church in Jamaica has admitted that it was hurting from the allegations of sexual misconduct that have resulted in one of its pastors being arrested and charged, but reiterated its commitment to proclaiming the gospel of Christ for the benefit of mankind.

At the same time, the church said it was re-examining its policies and processes, as it sought to deal with all the allegations made, with the purpose of maintaining the high moral standards that it has always espoused and expected of all its servants and workers.

“As has been done since 1754, we will continue to act with sound governance in a responsible and responsive way. Within this context, the Moravian Church deeply regrets the circumstances that have led to the arrest of a member of its clergy — a matter that is now before the Courts of Jamaica,” acting president of the church, Rev Phyllis Smit-Seymour, said in a statement.

The Moravian Church was plunged into controversy on January 3 when news emerged that 64-year-old pastor Rupert Clarke was arrested in December by the police ,who said they caught him in “a compromising position” with a 15-year-old girl in his car in St Elizabeth.

Another churchman wanted for sexual abuse of a minor in St Elizabeth


The police in St Elizabeth are in possession of a warrant for the arrest of a man who has been accused of sexual touching and ‘grooming’ of an 11-year-old girl in the parish last October.

Head of the St Elizabeth Police Division, Superintendent Lansford Salmon, has indicated that the man is Zachariah Wright, popularly known as ‘Brother Zacky’, a member of the Top Hill Church of God of Prophesy in the parish.

Superintendent Salmon is seeking the public’s assistance to get Wright into police custody. He also called for persons to begin to expose more sexual offences

It comes against the background of heavy ongoing national spotlight on the sexual abuse of minors by adult males locally, following the arrest and charge of 64-year-old Moravian Church pastor Rupert Clarke for having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

St Elizabeth councillors debate matter involving arrest of pastor

Jamaica Observer

BY GARFIELD MYERS Editor-at-Large South Central Bureau myersg@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, January 15, 2017

BLACK RIVER, St Elizabeth — Inevitably, following the recent arrest of a Moravian pastor for alleged rape and sexual intercourse with a minor in Austin, south-eastern St Elizabeth, child abuse took centre stage at last Thursday’s meeting of the St Elizabeth Municipal Corporation (Parish Council).

Police chief in St Elizabeth Supt Lanford Salmon set the tone during his report on crime when he urged councillors and their constituents to report to the police and the Child Development Agency (CDA) any suspicions they may have of child abuse.

“When offences are suspected people should move away from the ‘hush hush’ mentality … you should tell your constituents to say what they know. Some of these things stay for years and fester and no one says anything,” said Salmon.

He cautioned, however, that even as the police needed the support of the public, everyone should understand that there “are many, many sides to stories”.

Fresno State AD reveals molestation as child, tells other victims ‘don’t be ashamed’

The Fresno Bee


In a residential treatment facility last month, 44 years of anxiety, guilt and shame began to lift off the shoulders of Fresno State Athletic Director Jim Bartko.

Bartko checked himself into Sierra Tucson, which provides rehabilitation services in Tucson, Ariz., on Dec. 20 with the intent of addressing issues with insomnia and anxiety that began as a child. After some inconclusive tests, a therapist asked Bartko a poignant and terrifying question: “Why did you not sleep when you were 11?”

In that moment, Bartko decided it was time to finally tell someone that he was molested around 35 times in the early 1970s by his childhood Catholic priest and basketball coach, Stephen Kiesle, in the rectory of Saint Joseph Church in Pinole, about 18 miles north of Oakland.

After leaving Sierra Tucson on Jan. 7, Bartko told his story of abuse for the first time to his mother, wife and children. Wednesday, he opened up to his colleagues in an email to the Fresno State athletics department staff.

Editorial | Incomplete justice for abuse victims without retroactivity


The Pennsylvania Legislature is expected to again consider extending the state’s statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, a proposal passed in 2016 by the House but watered down in the Senate.

A central issue is whether the lifting of the statute should be retroactive for civil cases – meaning should victims be permitted to sue for damages in cases that might be decades old.

Last year, the House approved retroactivity while the Senate pulled that stipulation from its legislation.

We urge both chambers to pass raising the statute of limitations and making the change retroactive – providing some measure of justice for sexual assault victims.

The Catholic Church and the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania oppose the measure. That’s understandable, as they would risk losing millions of dollars either settling old cases or, if required by the courts, paying damages.

January 14, 2017

Cardinal O’Malley appointed to Vatican office for Doctrine of the Faith

Catholic News Agency

Elise Harris

Vatican City, Jan 14, 2017 / 10:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Saturday it was announced that Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston has yet another reason to come to Rome, with his appointment as the newest member of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Already a member of the Pope’s Council of Cardinals and President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, O’Malley’s appointment to the CDF, announced in a Jan. 14 communique from the Vatican, adds yet another major role to the list of duties he is accumulating.

Headed by Cardinal Gerhard Muller, the CDF is also home to a new judicial section established by the Pope last June to handle cases of “abuse of office” on the part of a bishop or religious superior accused of being negligent in handling instances of child sexual abuse.

In sign of resolve, Pope taps O’Malley for Vatican office handling abuse cases


Inés San MartínJanuary 14, 2017

ROME- In a move likely to be read as an attempt by Pope Francis to show resolve in the fight against clerical sexual abuse, the pontiff has named Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, widely seen as the leading reformer in the Catholic hierarchy, as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the powerful Vatican department that handles abuse cases.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, traditionally known as the “Holy Office,” is headed by German Cardinal Gerhard Muller. Its main responsibility is defending Catholic teaching, but since 2001, it’s also played lead in prosecuting cases under Church law for priests charged with sexual abuse.

Last June, Pope Francis also announced that the congregation would house a new legal section designed to impose accountability not only on abuser priests, but also on bishops and other Catholic superiors who covered up that abuse.

Since then, however, the launch of the new tribunal has been delayed amid legal and administrative wrangling, and O’Malley’s appointment may well reflect a desire by Francis to kick-start the process.

Making O’Malley a member of the doctrinal congregation does not imply a move to Rome, and he will remain the Archbishop of Boston.

Other Pontifical Acts, 14.01.2017

Vatican Information Service - Bulletin

The Holy Father has: ...

- appointed Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, United States of America, and president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, as member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Pope Appoints Cardinal O’Malley as Member of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith


Gerard O'Connell | Jan 14 2017

Move will strengthen link with commission on sexual abuse

The Vatican made the announcement at noon on Saturday, Jan. 14, and highlighted the fact that the cardinal-archbishop of Boston also serves as president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors that Francis instituted in 2014.

The cardinal’s appointment as a member of the C.D.F. means there is now a direct link between the commission and C.D.F., which has the central role is dealing with all cases of the abuse of minors by clergy, as well as bishops who are negligent in their duty to protect children. It ensures that the C.D.F. and the commission will be able to work more closely together, while fully respecting their distinct and very different roles.

Francis set up the commission in March 2014 as an advisory body to him, and asked it to propose “the most opportune initiatives for protecting minors and vulnerable adults, in order that we may do everything possible to ensure that crimes such as those which have occurred are no longer repeated in the Church.” He also entrusted it with another important task: “to promote local responsibility in the particular Churches, uniting their efforts to those of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for the protection of all children and vulnerable adults."

Abuse In The Missionary Boarding School: Richie's Story

Ashley Easter

Today, I would like to announce a guest post by Dianne Darr Couts, President of MK (Missionary Kid) Safety Net. I met Dianne at the 2016 SNAP conference in Chicago where I was first introduced to the great need for MK advocacy. MKSN does amazing work to protect and support children (adolescent and adult) who were victimized while their parents were on the mission field. The story you are about to read is true and may be triggering to some survivors.
Missionary Kid Safety Net: Hope, Healing, Support and Advocacy

In the predawn hours of a fateful August morning, five-year old Richie was torn screaming from his mother's arms and put in a pickup truck with another child and a man he barely knew. The truck carried him 400 miles away across the dry savannah of Mali, West Africa and into the rain forest of Guinea. After dark on the second day, it pulled up outside a dormitory on the top of a hill. Richie's sister Dianne, barely twelve, heard the truck and flew outside to swoop him up in her arms - only to be reprimanded harshly by the dorm mother and told to go back to bed. The next morning, after a brief, joyful reunion with his brothers David and John, there was a grim warning: "Richie, it's bad here. It's really bad."

By Richie's sixth birthday two weeks later, he knew what his brothers meant. The first grade teacher was vicious and cruel, denying children access to the bathroom until they urinated in their seats, yanking children from their desks by their ears, and going into fits of rage over minor things like a child's inaccurate drawing of a pig. The classrooms opened onto a veranda and her outbursts and the children crying could be heard by everyone - the principal, the other teachers and the older students. But the sounds died in the forest, never reaching the ears of Richie's parents much less the mission board in America that was responsible for the school and the children under its care.

'It came as a big shock to find my mother was being locked in and tortured like I was'

The Journal

FOR MARY COLLINS and her daughter Laura Stewart, a trip from the UK to Cork this month will be full of difficult memories. Together, they will travel to St Finbarr’s cemetery in Glasheen on the 27th to light candles and remember Angelina Collins, Mary’s mother who died at a Magdalene laundry.

They will remember not just Angelina, who they say died after years of abuse, but the other women and children of Magdalene laundries across Ireland. Mary grew up in an industrial school after being removed from her mother’s care, and said she suffers post-traumatic stress disorder from the abuse she suffered there.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, the pair underlined how much they believe the Irish State needs to apologise to the children of Magdalene women – a State apology was given to the women themselves in 2013 – and how they feel they have been forgotten by Ireland.
image (1) The Collins family.

It’s understood that at least 1,663 former Magdalene women are buried in Irish cemeteries – many in unmarked graves. In 2013, Taoiseach Enda Kenny apologised to Magdalene women in an emotional speech, saying the laundries “have cast a long shadow over Irish life”.

Collins told TheJournal.ie that her mother, an unmarried Traveller woman, was put into a Magdalene laundry, while Collins was put into an industrial school.

Feligreses se tomaron Catedral de Osorno para pedir renuncia de obispo Barros


[Catholic lay men and women went to the Osorno cathedral on Friday to state once again their rejection of Bishop Juan Barros as their bishop due to his relationship with abusive priest Fernando Karadima.]

.La organización Comunidad de Laicos y Laicas de Osorno se tomó este viernes la Catedral de la comuna, reiterando su rechazo al obispo Juan Barros y su relación con el sacerdote Fernando Karadima.

Los manifestantes llegaron hasta el recinto cerca de las 11:00 horas y lo tomaron por "la grave e insostenible crisis de división provocada por la llegada del obispo Juan Barros Madrid y su dudosa formación en la disuelta Pía Unión Sacerdotal, que funcionaba en la parroquia del Bosque de Santiago de Chile".

Junto a esto, solicitaron la presencia de Barros en el lugar para realizar una reunión.

La Iglesia condena por abusos sexuales a Juan Kruz Mendizabal, ex vicario general de Gipuzkoa


[The Catholic Church has condemned the former vicar general of Gipuzkoa, Juan Kruz Mendizabal for two cases of sexual abuse of minors in 2001 and 2002, confirmed the Spanish bishopric of Donostia in a statement.]

En un comunicado, la Diócesis donostiarra ha informado de que el pasado mes de marzo las autoridades diocesanas tuvieron conocimiento de las acusaciones que pesaban contra Mendizabal, en concreto, de «tocamientos deshonestos realizados a dos menores en el año 2001 y en el año 2005».

El Obispado ha decidido relatar los hechos tras constatar que los afectados por los abusos habían decidido hacer público el caso en un escrito al que ha tenido acceso Efe.

En este documento, los afectados explican que los abusos sucedieron cuando Mendizabal ejercía como sacerdote de la parroquia donostiarra de San Vicente de la Parte Vieja de Donostia y era responsable del grupo juvenil de tiempo libre Xirimiri Gazte Taldea.

Fr. Luke Melackrinos Suspended from St. Paul’s Cathedral in Hempstead

The National Herald

By Theodoros Kalmoukos - January 13, 2017

BOSTON– Rev. Luke Melackrinos was placed on suspension from all his liturgical and administrative duties as presiding priest at the prestigious St. Paul’s Cathedral in Hempstead, NY for his alleged inappropriate contact electronically with an adult female parishioner.

According to sources from within the parish and also the Archdiocese Fr. Melackrinos was sending electronically inappropriate photographs of himself to his female parishioner.

Trial date for former priest accused of brutal assaults against pupils at Highland school

The Press and Journal

A former priest who taught at a Highland school will go on trial in May accused of a string of brutal assaults against his pupils with weapons including a spiked golf shoe and a hockey stick.

Father Benedict Seed, 83, was due to go before a jury later this month at Inverness Sheriff Court.

But yesterday, his lawyer Clare Russell told Sheriff Margaret Neilson that she was not yet prepared for trial.

She explained: “I have just today received an 81 page statement by a prosecution witness which I will need to peruse and that will take some time.

“I also wish to look at this witness’s mental health record. In addition, there is a potential defence witness in Italy who will require to be interviewed.” Ms Russell said.

Exploitation sexuelle : nouvelles accusations portées contre un prêtre catholique

Ici Radio

Au Manitoba, quatre nouvelles accusations d'agression et d'exploitation sexuelle ont été déposées contre le prêtre fransaskois Omer Desjardins.

Ces accusations criminelles découlent d'incidents qui se seraient produits en 1988 et 1989, quand la victime était pensionnaire à Credo Home, un centre d'hébergement jeunesse de Winnipeg géré par les Oblats de Marie-Immaculée. Omer Desjardins doit comparaître à Winnipeg le 16 janvier.

Par ailleurs, la présumée victime a décidé de briser le silence après avoir appris que l'homme d'Église a été condamné pour agression sexuelle sur une mineure.

Winnipeg Oblate priest charged with historic sexual assault

CBC News

By Caroline Barghout, CBC News Posted: Jan 12, 2017

It is a secret he's kept for 28 years. Now Joe is ready to talk about the sexual abuse he said he endured at the hand of a Winnipeg priest.

It was October 1988 when Joe first met Father Omer Desjardins. He was working as the night caregiver at Credo Home, a Winnipeg group home run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a Roman Catholic religious community of priests and brothers commonly referred to as the Oblates.

Joe had just turned 15 and didn't want to live with his mother and her boyfriend. He became a ward of Child and Family Services and was placed in the group home.

"We didn't really talk to him much cause he didn't show up for work until 9 or 9:30 p.m., somewhere around there and bedtime for us was 10:30 p.m. on school nights," said Joe, 43, who does not want his last name used.

But within a few weeks Joe said Desjardins started coming into his room to talk.

"It was pretty normal stuff," Joe said. "Within a couple weeks, he was coming into the bedroom every night. It started off he'd be rubbing your back. Eventually his hands would slowly start to move."

Victims Still Healing From Child Sex Abuse Scars Could Soon Find Justice

TWC News

By Seth Voorhees
Friday, January 13, 2017

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- A proposal which would waive the statute of limitations on prosecutions of people who've abused children, and allow victims to sue abusers up to 50 years after the attack took place, is long overdue, say advocates for victims of child sexual abuse, like Jill Knittle.

Knittle was abused for six years as a child, until she was 13. She didn't tell friends until she was in her 20s, and didnt talk openly about it until her 40s. That's often the case, as victims struggle internally every day.

"It's definitely a grieving process, because you lost your childhood way too early," Knittle said.

"What we really know about sex abuse is one in 10 children, by the time they turn 18, will suffer from some form of sexual abuse, but less than one in 10 report it as a child," said Mary Whittier, executive director of Bivona Child Advocacy Center.

Middle-aged man claims young priest he met through gay dating site sexually assaulted him

Irish Independent

Sarah MacDonald

A middle-aged man has claimed he was sexually assaulted on Catholic church property by a young cleric he met through a gay dating site.

It is understood that Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has been made aware of the allegations.

The gardaí's sexual assault unit has reportedly also been informed but cannot launch an investigation until the alleged victim comes forward to them.

It is alleged that the young member of the clergy first met the individual in 2015 on the site which is geared towards those interested in mature men.

In his profile, the young cleric expressed a preference for men aged between 50 and 90.

Too many men preying on young girls

The Star

Leighton Levy
January 13, 2017

The case of Heather Murray, the beleaguered principal of Hampton High School for Girls, is a perfect example of how we Jamaicans can get so easily distracted from the more important issues.

It is also another example of how religion turns intelligent people into idiots.

The quick back story is that Moravian pastor Rupert Clarke is alleged to have been caught by police in a compromising position with a 15-year-old girl in his car and charged him. He was brought to court and released on $800,000 bail. Murray, who describes herself as a friend of Yvonne Clarke, the pastor's wife, appeared at the court hearing, and went as far as to shield the accused pastor from the media.

In her defence, she said she was only supporting the pastor's wife, but has since apologised and described her actions as inappropriate. She has also been sent on leave by the school?s board, even as people are lobbying for her to be fired.

The bigger issue is, however, that it has distracted us from a serious issue in this country.

New Speaker For Prayer Breakfast To Be Announced Monday

The Gleaner

The chairman of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast Committee, Reverend Dr Stevenson Samuels says ‎on Monday, a new guest speaker will be announced for the 37th National Leadership Prayer Breakfast.

‎It follows the decision of Moravian Bishop Stanley Clarke to withdraw from the event scheduled for the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

A statement from the committee said Clarke, a former president of the Moravian Church in Jamaica advised the Breakfast Committee that the current controversy engulfing his denomination could overshadow the message he would wish to deliver to the nation at the breakfast.

There has been intense public attention on the Moravian church since the December 28 arrest and subsequent charging of 64-year-old pastor Rupert Clarke for having sex with a minor.

Two juicy ironies in the current saga featuring the Knights of Malta


John L. Allen Jr. January 13, 2017

ROME - Just to be clear from the beginning, I have no insider information regarding the news now making the rounds about the Knights of Malta, either in terms of the factors that led to the ouster of Albrecht von Boeselager, the group’s chancellor, or Pope Francis’s decision to create a committee to look into the situation.

What I can say at a distance, however, is that for anyone familiar with the Vatican over a stretch of time, there are at least a couple of truly juicy ironies at work.

As has been widely reported, Boeselager was suspended Dec. 8 after refusing an order to resign over revelations that the order’s charity branch distributed thousands of condoms in Myanmar on his watch. Boeselager reportedly insisted that he didn’t know about the program, and stopped it when he learned of it.

Boeselager also said that the top Knight, Fra Matthew Festing, in the presence of the order’s patron, American Cardinal Raymond Burke, told him Pope Francis wanted him removed, although the Vatican has denied the pope was involved.

On Dec. 22, the Vatican announced Pope Francis had created a committee to examine the situation. The five members are Italian Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, former permanent observer of the Holy See to the U.N. in Geneva; Jesuit Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda, a noted canonist and former rector of the Gregorian University; and laypeople Jacques de Liedekerke, Marc Odendall, and Marwan Sehnaoui.

'Victims Of Sexual Abuse Can Still Turn To Church'

The Gleaner

Amid the Moravian Sex Scandal, one group is appealing for victims of abuse to seek refuge in the church despite the immense backlash after a senior Moravian pastor was charged with a sex charge.

The Christian Brethren Assemblies Jamaica says it notes that the incident has caused many citizens to be experiencing deep feelings of hurt, distrust and betrayal toward the church community.

However, chairman of the group's leadership and education committee, Byron Buckley, says victims of abuse should not be deterred by the actions of a few as they can find refuge in the church.

Church requests part of lawsuit to be dismissed

Ledger Independent

WENDY MITCHELL wendy.mitchell@lee.net

VANCEBURG – Attorneys for Vanceburg Christian Church have filed a motion for dismissal, in a lawsuit filed against the church for alleging not take measures to prevent the abuse by a former pastor of an unnamed victim.

In the motion, filed Friday, attorney Michael E. Nitardy requested four parts of the claim to be dismissed, “… for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”

Nitardy requested the personal injury, intentional infliction of emotional distress or “outrage,” respondeat superior liability, and punitive damages counts of the lawsuit to be dismissed.

He attached past case law to support his request.

Editorial | The Year Of Truth-Telling

The Gleaner

Saturday | January 14, 2017

For a culture that prizes secrecy, Jamaica is shaping up to be a different place in 2017 because of the growing nationwide clamour for openness, transparency and accountability.

Rocked by recent allegations of a pastor of the Moravian Church having sex with a 15-year-old girl in his car, the Church and other long-established institutions are being forced to drill deep and confront the difficult issue of sexual abuse and sexual violence.

Based on the mounting pile of charges and countercharges, it is obvious that the drilling has to be deep enough to get beyond the apologists and into the bedrock that enables abusive behaviour by persons who are placed in positions of trust. It is happening now - there are intense feelings of shock, outrage and confusion, with the result that layers of deceit and denial are being peeled away as the nation comes face to face with the scourge of sexual abuse.

It's a welcome step, and it is hoped that the indignation is not reserved for church leaders. Although it is difficult to get solid statistical evidence, it is believed that dozens of little girls and boys have been abused, tortured, used and left broken and mentally battered. Rarely is anyone held criminally liable for the wrong done to these children. Possible prison term for the abuser and shame of the victim are not the only reasons the voices of the abused go unheard; often adult relatives enable the abusers by pretending that it is not happening in exchange for economic gain. And the abusers understand too well that they can buy their way out of justice.

You Got Served! Paula Deen’s Brother-In-Law Slapped With ‘Pedophile’ Suit


Paula Deen’s brother-in-law has been served with a lawsuit that alleges he preyed upon a child sex victim while serving as a priest, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Henry Groover III – the brother of Deen’s second husband, Michael Groover and a Dominican priest – was served with the bombshell lawsuit in Savannah Georgia, around noon on January 12. And from the looks of it, he was not happy.

As Radar reported, Groover is at the center of a series of lurid claims in the new civil suit brought by Ancil Harvey Gordon III, and his wife, Heather Amanda Gordon.

The couple has claimed in their complaint that Ancil was victimized by Groover as a young child.

“From the years 1983 to present … [Groover] lured and otherwise enticed the minor Ancil Havery Gordon III into the illegial sexual acts,” the document alleges, claiming that Groover even “used LSD, alcohol, MDMA, cocaine and other illicit substances to lure and otherwise attract” the boy.

Diocese bankruptcy plan approved

Turlock Journal

By Sabra Stafford
Crime Desk sstafford@turlockjournal.com 209-634-9141, ext. 2002

The Diocese of Stockton announced this week that a judge has approved their bankruptcy plan, including the establishment of a $15 million trust for survivors of sexual abuse committed by church officials.

On Tuesday a judge from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California approved the Roman Catholic Bishop of Stockton’s consensual Plan of Reorganization. The plan provides $15 million through cash contributions and a promissory note to fund a trust for the exclusive benefit of survivors of clergy sexual abuse; provide non-monetary commitments such as therapy and counseling; payment of at least 50 percent of what is owed to general unsecured creditors; and restructuring of secured loans.

The plan received nearly unanimous approval in voting by the sexual abuse survivors and other creditors, according to the Diocese.

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Stockton filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2014 after a series of costly sexual abuse settlements left them financially drained. Once the Diocese made the decision to file for bankruptcy they began a notification process that over the course of three months led to 34 new claims of sexual abuse.

$38M sought in suit against former priest

Albuquerque Journal

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
Saturday, January 14th, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A man who alleges he is one of 38 people sexually abused by a former Albuquerque priest asked a judge this week to order Arthur Perrault to pay $38 million in punitive damages, or $1 million for each of his alleged victims.

Kenneth Wolter, 35, who filed the civil lawsuit last year in 2nd Judicial District Court, testified Wednesday that he wanted to send a message to Perrault on behalf of the 38 known victims “and the silent people who haven’t come forward.”

Perrault, who vanished from his Albuquerque parish in 1992, turned up last year in Tangier, Morocco, working at an English-lauguage school for children. Perrault, who was absent from a hearing Wednesday, was fired in May when school officials learned of the allegations, the school’s director has said.

District Judge Denise Barela Shepherd did not rule this week on Wolter’s request for damages, but she found that Perrault had failed to properly respond to a civil complaint and summons served to him in Morocco in May. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is not listed as a defendant in the lawsuit, which alleges a battery charge against Perrault.

January 13, 2017

Proposed bill would make changes to child sexual abuse lawsuits


By Kayla Root
Published: January 13, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A state lawmaker doesn’t think there should be a statute of limitations on child sexual abuse lawsuits.

Under current state law, an alleged victim of sexual abuse must file a lawsuit within three years of the alleged abuse, or by their 24th’s birthday whichever is later.

State Senator Mary Kay Papen a democrat out of Dona Ana County has introduced a bill that would get rid of that statute of limitations.

Gov. Cuomo calls for law to extend statute of limitations for child abuse


[with video]

January 13, 2017

A sex abuse survivor says child victims deserve more time to speak up or file a lawsuit against their abuser.

To do that, it would take a new state law and that's what Governor Cuomo is asking for.

During one of his State of the State addresses this week, he publicly supported giving victims a longer time period to accuse their abuser in court or bring a lawsuit against an institution. But some fear this could bankrupt school districts, churches or synagogues.

Right now, a victim of child sex abuse has until their 23rd birthday to accuse their abuser of a crime. After that, the statute of limitations runs out. For years, advocates have tried to change the laws, but it's always been stopped in the legislature.

Now, because of the governor's support, they think victims will finally get what they deserve.

Jill Knittel is a financial advisor in Rochester who was in her forties before she admitted in public that she was a victim of child sex abuse from the age of 6 to 13. By then, the statute of limitation to prosecute her abuser had run out.

With book on sex abuse, author hopes to help himself, others heal

Catholic Philly

By Natalie Hoefer • Catholic News Service • Posted January 13, 2017

Shrinking the Monster“Shrinking the Monster: Healing the Wounds of Our Abuse,”
by Norbert Krapf.
In Extenso Press (Munhall, Pennsylvania, 2016).
236 pp. $14.95.

In the 1950s, Norbert Krapf was sexually abused — along with scores of other boys — by a priest of the Diocese of Evansville, Indiana, who was loved and respected by the community.

After five decades of silence, Krapf — a retired professor, author and award-winning former Indiana Poet Laureate — confronted the monster of his past both by outing the then-deceased priest to the bishop and, in 2012, publishing a book of poems called “Catholic Boy Blues” to help himself and other victims heal.

This year, Krapf published “Shrinking the Monster: Healing the Wounds of Our Abuse.” In Krapf’s own words, the book is a “prose memoir about the experience of writing those poems, with an emphasis on the process of my recovery from the abuse.” That experience, as outlined in the book, was a journey of pain, struggles, victories and healing.

Why write on such a dark, painful topic that many would, as he admits, rather not read about?

The answer is twofold. First, as Krapf reiterates at several points, the book is to help other victims of child abuse heal, and to further his own healing. But that doesn’t mean the book is only for victims.