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October 31, 2017

Retired priest, 96, who slammed Catholic Church for mishandling pedophilia cases facing child porn charges

New York Daily News

October 31, 2017

By Molly Crane-Newman and Larry McShane

A 96-year-old retired priest who once ripped the Catholic Church over its pedophile scandal filled his computer with pornographic photos of under-aged girls, prosecutors charged Tuesday.

Monsignor Harry Byrne “had dozens of photographs on his computer of girls eight to 14-years-old performing sex acts with men or posing naked,” said Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark.

Visitors to Byrne’s room at the St. John Vianney Center for Retired Priests in the Bronx saw the vile collection of photos, the prosecutor said.

The probe began five months ago based on complaints from the home, officials said.

Lawyer for Olympic Gymnasts: NDAs Allow Sexual Abuse to Fester


October 31, 2017

By John Manly

John Manly is the founding partner of Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, California’s leading law firm representing child victims of sexual abuse. The firm has represented more than 150 victims of clergy sexual abuse in California and hundreds of others throughout the United States. The firm also represented plaintiffs in the $140,000,000 settlement against LAUSD in the Miramonte case, the largest sex abuse settlement against a School District in the US and currently represents more than 100 alleged victims of former US Olympic Gymnastics Team Dr. Larry Nassar.

The Harvey Weinstein scandal has done more than reveal the culture of sexual abuse that has infected the entertainment industry for generations. It has placed a spotlight on perpetrators and those who protect them using the despicable practice of non-disclosure agreements to intimidate and silence victims.

Throughout the past 25 years I have represented thousands of sexual assault victims in civil lawsuits against their molesters and the institutions that facilitated their abuse. Most of these victims were children at the time they were abused. One thing is common through all these cases, the perpetrators and their accomplices dwarf their victims in wealth and power. Indeed, sexual assault is not about sex, it’s about power.

The Catholic Church, media conglomerates, international sports organizations, major universities, public school districts, and corporations have all used non-disclosure agreements to silence victims of sexual assault and molestation — even when those victims are children.

Some attorneys contend that these agreements, which amount to buying the silence of victims, benefit victims by making it faster and easier to settle cases and get them financial compensations.

That is rarely true. Far more often these agreements protect serial perpetrators often shielding them from criminal prosecution and allowing them to seek new victims. How can anyone possibly justify allowing a priest, teacher, doctor or coach to hide their crimes from the public and continue having access to children?

For many years the Roman Catholic heirarchy paid victims an average of $250,000 to settle cases under confidentiality agreements then moved the priests accused of molesting them to other parishes where they continued their abuse.

That practice was ended by the Catholic bishops in 2002, largely as a result of demands made by survivors and their attorneys, as the number of cases against priests continued to escalate.

Jury selection begins in a trial over the disputed sale of a convent involving singer Katy Perry

Los Angeles Times via City News Service

October 30, 2017

A decade after the Archdiocese of Los Angeles paid about $600 million to settle allegations of clergy abuse, memories of the scandal loomed over a downtown courtroom today as prospective jurors were interviewed for a trial pitting the religious body and singer Katy Perry against a businesswoman concerning the purchase of a former convent.

Though the lawsuit filed against Dana Hollister deals with a real estate transaction and not with inappropriate behavior by priests with young parishioners, many jurors who spoke individually with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Bowick and the attorneys said their memories of the molestations have not faded.

Archdiocese attorney Kirk Dillman and the other attorneys took turns questioning the prospective jurors, who were given a questionnaire last week to fill out regarding their ability to serve. A lawyer who said he was of the Jewish faith said he has no particular bias toward nuns or the Catholic Church in general, but was swayed by past media coverage of pedophile priests and believes that bishops and popes were heavily to blame for what happened to the victims.

“For me, the higher-ups probably had some knowledge and turned a blind eye, I suppose,” he said.

The juror also said that given the large amount of the 2007 settlement, it probably meant that the church agreed to the resolution based on the merits of the case rather than just to have it go away.

The juror, who says he manages seven attorneys in a law firm and that one of the cases they are currently handling is related to the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal, said he bears no ill will toward the church.

“I don't hate the Catholic Church, but I wouldn't go into it with a completely blank slate,” he said. The juror was one of several individuals dismissed by Bowick based on their interviews.

Another prospective juror, who called himself an agnostic, wrote on his jury questionnaire that he was “not particularly fond of the Catholic Church” and that the clergy abuse was a major reason.

“It was a pretty big scandal,” he said. “I have children of my own. I know there were a lot of false accusations, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.”

A woman who said she belonged to an Armenian church said she, too, was affected by the media coverage at the time of the abuse revelations.

“I don't mean to offend anyone in here,” she said.

She praised nuns in the church, saying they appeared to be “charitable and community-oriented.”

Yet another non-Catholic said she was disturbed by the way many abusive priests were simply moved to other parishes and said she believes high-ranking church individuals such as former Archbishop Roger Mahony were aware of the coverups.

“I don't have the greatest opinion of organized religion,” she said, adding that many of her friends are “lapsed Catholics.”

The lawsuit alleges Hollister knew she did not have the written authority of the archbishop to buy the property on Waverly Drive, but recorded the deed anyway. The archdiocese and Perry maintain Hollister's actions forced them to come to court and fight for two years to get the Hollister transaction undone.

Priest who admitted to Guam sex abuses to give evidence this week

USA Today Network

October 29, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

Former Guam priest Louis Brouillard, the only accused clergy member who has admitted to sexually abusing children on Guam, is scheduled to provide additional sworn evidence during his deposition in Pine City, Minnesota, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3.

Brouillard, 96, is accused in more than half of the 141 clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed in local and federal courts against the Archdiocese of Agana, 16 priests and three others on Guam.

The parties in the clergy abuse cases are pursuing mediation to try to settle the lawsuits, which have been filed in the wake of accusations in 2016 of child sexual abuse by three former altar boys and the mother of a fourth against Archbishop Anthony Apuron. The archbishop was removed from the island in June 2016 for a Vatican trial that the Agana archdiocese believes has concluded, though the outcome remains unknown.

Archbishop of Santa Fe pens op-ed on sex abuse within church

The Associated Press

October 29, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE — The Roman Catholic archbishop of Santa Fe says the archdiocese has received only two allegations of clergy sexual misconduct involving children since 1993 because of the numerous strict measures aimed at preventing further abuse.

Archbishop John C. Wester published an op-ed in The Albuquerque Journal on Sunday expressing “sadness and shame over the betrayal of trust” by clergy “who were supposed to love and protect our children,” and for the suffering of abuse survivors.

The op-ed follows the recent release by the archdiocese of a list of 74 clergy credibly accused of abuse and documents that shed light on how the church allowed three pedophile priests to continue to prey on New Mexico children more than 20 years ago.

“I offer my sincere apology on behalf of the Archdiocese to survivors and their families and my continued commitment to support and assist you on your road to healing and recovery,” Wester wrote.

His op-ed piece said psychological screening and background checks for prospective clergy and other zero-tolerance policies, such as training programs and workshops, are among steps taken to prevent further abuse.

Wester also said he personally meets with and apologizes to victims of clergy abuse, as did his predecessor, Archbishop Michael Sheehan.

Brad Hall, an Albuquerque attorney who has filed more than 70 lawsuits against the archdiocese on behalf of clergy abuse victims, said he welcomes any steps the archdiocese takes to prevent abuse and help survivors.

Some steps taken by the archdiocese, such as the release last month of a list of 74 clergy, were measures demanded for years by victims and long resisted by the archdiocese, he said.

Hall also said that not enough time has passed to know whether clerical abuse in the archdiocese ended in the early 1990s.

“There is an average of 30 years between sexual abuse by a person in a position of trust and the first time the survivor discloses it,” Hall said. “Hopefully, these days kids would report much sooner. But we don’t know.”

Lawsuit: Priest raped, abused Agat altar boy during confessions

Pacific Daily News

October 31, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

Capuchin priest Jack Niland allegedly raped and sexually abused an Agat altar boy during confessions around 1979, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court on Tuesday.

The lawsuit says Archbishop Anthony Apuron, other priests and the Capuchin Order were aware of Niland's sexual abuses but deliberately remained quiet.

Apuron is also accused of sexually abusing four Agat altar boys in the 1970s, and he is undergoing a Vatican canonical trial.

The latest plaintiff, identified in court documents only as J.C. to protect his privacy, said in his lawsuit that Niland sexually abused, molested and raped him in or about 1979. He was 10 years old at the time.

On several occasions, during confession, J.C. was forced to perform a sexual act on Niland, the lawsuit says.

"During one incident, while J.C. was on his knees with his eyes closed confessing, Niland pushed J.C. forward and pulled J.C.'s pants down. Niland then hunched over J.C. and began penetrating him," the lawsuit says.

J.C., now 48, is represented by attorney David Lujan. He is demanding at least $5 million in minimum damages. Niland is now deceased.

J.C. is the 142nd person to file a clergy sex abuse lawsuit in local and federal court against the Archdiocese of Agana, priests and others associated with the Catholic Church.

Niland became a Capuchin in 1967 and was ordained as a Catholic Priest in 1976, according to the lawsuit. Niland's first assignment on Guam was under Apuron at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Agat, where he worked in parishes and schools. During his assignment at the Agat Parish, Niland resided at the Mount Carmel Rectory. He died in 2009 at age 59.

Abuse victims call for payout action

The Times

October 31 2017

By Siobhan Fenton

Victims of historical child abuse have urged Northern Ireland’s politicians to release compensation which has been blocked due to Stormont’s collapse, as talks aimed at restoring powersharing have so far failed to reach agreement.

Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse (Savia), which represents people who were abused, called on James Brokenshire, the Northern Ireland secretary, to make provision for victims’ compensation if talks fail and a budget is introduced in Westminster.

After an inquiry into abuse at children’s homes, recommendations were made in January to the Northern Ireland Assembly to award compensation to victims and survivors.

New sex abuse claim filed by victim who’s not catholic

Pacific News Center

October 31, 2017

By Janela Carrera

Over a hundred lawsuits have been filed agains the church, over half of which name Father Louis Brouillard.

Guam – Once again, alleged pedophile priest Father Louis Brouillard has been named in a sex abuse lawsuit filed against the Catholic Church, this time by a victim who was not catholic.

This latest claim was filed by 50-year-old M.S.M. who says he became an altar boy in 1979 even though he was not catholic.

M.S.M. served mass at the Tumon Parish but did not receive the bread when it came time for communion. M.S.M. says after serving mass, on at least two occasions he was sexually abused by Brouillard. But the victim also says that Brouillard often walked around the rectory in the nude and allowed the altar boys to drink leftover wine from mass.

M.S.M. is seeking $10 million in damages.

Archbishop Byrnes looks back at a year on Guam

Kuam News

October 31, 2017

By Krystal Paco

A year ago today he was Vatican appointed to lead Guam's faithful amid a laundry list of controversy. To commemorate his one-year anniversary, we sit down for a one-on-one with Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes.

"I'm at a lot of firsts," said His Excellency. "The first thing was getting over the shock of coming to a place I've never been before." Exactly one year ago, the Vatican appointed Michigan's Michael Byrnes to serve as the Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Agana.

"I remember getting up that very first morning and one of the first things I had was a meeting with the lawyers," he said. Then, there were only 20 clergy sexual abuse lawsuits lodged against the Archdiocese of Agana. Fast forward to today, there are 140 and counting. "That's been a constant source of distress," said the archbishop. "I'd love to be able to do more. I just don't know the venue for it.

"I think once we're through with the legal case, I think we'll have a greater freedom to extend more pastoral care."

Now a year on the job, he reflects and prioritizes. "The sexual abuse cases is number one. Probably number two is the loss of trust, number three is the quest for financial transparency. I think that's been a key effort," he said.

Making his list of priorities, he says he wants to address the social ills affecting the island - issues ranging from domestic violence to substance abuse and high divorce rates. "If we're doing our work right, we should see a lessening of some of those issues," he explained.

Rounding out that list, he wants to continue to develop those who spread the gospel: the priests. "I've met with all of them. We've got some really good guys. This is more of a personal concern for me that we develop their ability to lead, to preach, to become even better priests than they already are," he said.

So, how would he rate himself as Guam's Sheppard for the faithful? He admits that while accountability can be painful, it's working, noting, "I think we're winning it back...I think we are."

Man, 48,claims priest raped him as altar boy

Kuam News

October 31, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Another clergy sex abuse lawsuit filed this afternoon in the District Court of Guam.

Only identified by his initials, 48-year-old J.C. names Father John "Jack" Niland, a Capuchin priest, as his perpetrator.

J.C. alleges the sexual abuse occurred at the Agat Parish, where he served an altar boy.

During confession, while J.C. was on his knees and his eyes closed confessing, he alleges the priest raped him.

Father Jack passed away in 2009.

He is suing for $5 million.

Report: Ex-priest with Island ties receives abuse settlement

Staten Island Advance

October 30, 2017

By Maura Grunlund

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A former Roman Catholic priest who served on Staten Island has received a $500,000 settlement from the Archdiocese of New York to resolve a sexual abuse claim, according to the New York Times.

Stephen Ryan-Vuotto was known as the Rev. Stephen Ryan when he served as pastor of St. Rita's R.C. Church in Meiers Corners.

Ryan-Vuotto claimed that he was violated more than 50 times beginning at age 14 with sex acts that ranged from fondling to sodomy between 1975 and 1985 by the Rev. Robert V. Lott, according to the report.

The deadline is Wednesday for victims to apply for compensation through the Archdiocese of New York Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.

Ryan-Vuotto plans to hold a news conference on Monday to encourage other victims to file complaints, according to the New York Times.

Precht, la biografía no autorizada

La Tercera

October 29, 2017

[Google Translate: Next Wednesday, March 1, Precht, the vicar's guilt, is launched by journalist Andrea Lagos. A text that explores the life of the priest Cristián Precht, who in 2012 was condemned by the Vatican for "abusive behavior against adults and minors" and separated from the priestly ministry for five years, a term that is met in December. The book is part of the Collection of the School of Journalism UDP and Editorial Catalonia. Here, an excerpt from the chapter "I have received a complaint".]

El próximo miércoles 1 se lanza Precht, las culpas del vicario, de la periodista Andrea Lagos. Un texto que indaga en la vida del sacerdote Cristián Precht, quien en 2012 fue condenado por el Vaticano por “conductas abusivas contra mayores y menores de edad” y apartado del ministerio sacerdotal por cinco años, plazo que se cumple en diciembre. El libro forma parte de la Colección de la Escuela de Periodismo UDP y Editorial Catalonia. Aquí, un extracto del capítulo “Me ha llegado una denuncia”.

El 15 de enero de 2011 asumió como nuevo arzobispo de Santiago el salesiano italiano Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, hoy chileno por gracia. Primero fue obispo de Valdivia y entre 2001 y 2006 se convirtió en la mano derecha del cardenal Errázuriz, como obispo auxiliar de Santiago. En 2006 fue trasladado como arzobispo a Concepción.

Es un legalista que toma nota de las instrucciones de Roma y cumple al pie de la letra. Fue cuestionado cuando, a pedido del nuncio Ivo Scalpolo, envió antecedentes sobre tres sacerdotes chilenos que se salían de la línea oficial en temas como el matrimonio homosexual, el aborto y el celibato: los jesuitas Felipe Berríos y José Aldunate, y el cura diocesano Mariano Puga.

Los denunciantes de Karadima afirman que en 2005, cuando Ezzati era obispo auxiliar de Santiago, fue informado de los delitos cometidos por el párroco de El Bosque, pero no hizo nada y el proceso canónico tardó cuatro años más en iniciarse.

A Precht lo mantuvo como vicario hasta julio de 2011, cuando ya había recibido dos denuncias de abusos de menores en su contra, las de Andrés y Gonzalo (ver recuadro). Entonces lo sacó elegantemente, argumentando que debía armar su propio equipo, y lo envió a una parroquia.

Former priest comes forward about abuse he endured as teen after watching 'Spotlight'

FIOS1 News

October 30, 2017

By Jessica Orbon

Stephen Ryan-Vuotto receives $500K in sexual abuse settlement from Archdiocese of NY

MANHATTAN — Former priest Stephen Ryan-Vuotto won a settlement from New York's Archdiocese after he said he suffered sex abuse at the hands of another priest when he was a teenager.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian has worked with survivors of sexual abuse for decades.

Garabedian was portrayed in “Spotlight,” a movie Ryan-Vuotto says allowed him to reclaim his life.

"I knew I was holding a secret that took a lot of energy and strength to hold for all those years, and it was very debilitating. And this was the first opportunity I saw on a grand-scale to tell the truth," says Ryan-Vuotto.

Ryan-Vuotto was 14-years-old, living in Greenwich Village when his family priest, Father Robert Lott, started sexually abusing him.

It took more than three decades and until Ryan-Vuotto was a priest himself that he decided to talk about it.

Ryan-Vuotto entered the New York Archdiocesan Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program and recently accepted a $500,000 settlement.

He is one of 181 survivors of sexual abuse who have been awarded settlements by the Archdiocese program.

The original deadline for victims to apply to receive settlements from the Archdiocese was Wednesday, Oct. 25, but the archdiocese has now extended the deadline to an unidentified date.

Former NYC Priest Reveals Abuse After Watching 'Spotlight'

West Village Patch

October 30, 2017

By Ciara McCarthy

The allegations were made against a prominent Manhattan reverend.

GREENWICH VILLAGE, NY — A former priest has accused a well known figure in the New York City Catholic church of sexually abusing him for a decade staring when the victim was 14 years old.

Stephen Ryan-Vuotto publicly made allegations against Rev. Robert Lott, a priest who worked in the Greenwich Village and Harlem communities until his death in 2002.

Ryan-Vuotto first told his story to the New York Times on Sunday before hosting a press conference with his husband, Michael Vuotto, and his lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, on Monday.

Garabedian, the attorney who was depicted in the film "Spotlight," has reached settlements totaling $2.125 million through claims against multiple New York area priests, he said on Monday.

Ryan-Vuotto's story of years of abuse came after he reached a $500,000 settlement with the Archdiocese of New York through the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Programs, which is funded by the Archdiocese of New York but independently run, he said. The program was established last year to allow victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy to apply for compensation from the church.

October 30, 2017

Australian filmmaker gets 10-year sentence for sexually abusing boys

Salt Lake Tribune

October 30, 2017

Darran Scott, 53, directed ‘Spirit of the Game,’ about LDS missionaries playing basketball in Australia.

By Sean P. Means
An Australian filmmaker who made a movie about basketball-playing Mormon missionaries has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of sexually abusing boys — some of whom he met as a leader in his local congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Darran Scott, 53, pleaded guilty to 16 charges related to the sexual abuse of 11 boys over a 25-year period, according to a report Friday by the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC). He will serve at least seven years in prison, and will be listed on a sex-offender registry for life.

In testimony to the County Court in Morwell, in the Australian state of Victoria, Scott started grooming his victims in the early 1990s, when he was a junior football coach in the suburbs east of Melbourne. He joined the LDS Church in 2005, and reportedly lured another six boys while serving as a youth leader in his ward.

The dilemma of institutional bullying

Times of Malta

October 30, 2017

By John Cassar White

The recent incidents alleging sexual harassment by Oscar-winning film producer Harvey Weinstein have opened a window on the dark phenomenon of institutional bullying.

It is wrong to assume that des­pite the much-publicised abuses of Rolf Harris, Jimmy Saville and now Harvey Weinstein, bullying by powerful people is limited to the world of entertainment.
While there is no universally accepted definition of institutional bullying, many associate bullying with a persistent pattern of mistreatment from others in authority that causes either physi­cal or emotional harm. It can include such tactics as verbal, nonverbal, psychological, physical abuse and humiliation.

Sexual abuse is just one prevalent form of bullying but there are many others.

The phenomenon of bullying exists in most organisations. In the Church we have all read about the abuse of young vulnerable children by clerics who used their authority to satisfy their lust. Church authorities were far too slow to tackle this problem, much to their own detriment as a multitude of believers lost trust in their pastoral leaders.

Fatal Fallout of Clergy Child Sex Abuse Continues


October 30, 2017

By Susan Matthews

[See also the entry for James Brzyski in BishopAccountability.org's database of accused U.S. clergy.]

I’ve been told, “Just let it go. It’s over.” The cover story from the The Philadelphia Inquirer linked below is an example of why Kathy and I won’t let “it” go. The clergy sex abuse scandal continues to claim and destroy the lives of victims and those who love them. “It” continues to put children at risk. Read James Brzyski’s timeline to see how. PA’s current statute of limitation laws allow these men to evade justice and live among us undetected.

We will shut down this site when the Catholic church makes real and lasting corrections, when the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference stops fighting child sex abuse legislative reform and when victims feel fully supported by society. In other words, we hope our nursing homes have good wifi.

Please read: “Stolen Childhoods,” by Maria Panaritis, The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 26, 2017.

We believe the victims. Please let us know how we can help.

Las denuncias de abusos clericales se disparan en Argentina

Associated Press via El Nuevo Herald

October 29, 2017

By Luis Andrés Henao y Almudena Calatrava

[This article also appeared in English. See also BishopAccountability.org's database of accused clergy in Argentina.]

Karen Maydana recuerda que tenía 9 años cuando el sacerdote Carlos José la manoseó en el banco de una iglesia frente al altar. Fue durante una confesión antes de su primera comunión.

Culpa al trauma provocado por ese momento en 2004 de un intento de suicidio cuando era adolescente. Y, sin embargo, nunca había hablado en público sobre lo ocurrido hasta este año. Luego de escuchar que dos mujeres que estudiaron en su escuela de la localidad argentina de Caseros sufrieron supuestos abusos del mismo sacerdote, se les unió como denunciante en un caso que en julio llevó a la detención del cura, sospechoso de agresiones sexuales agravadas.

Rod Dreher is the combative, oversharing blogger who speaks for today’s beleaguered Christians

The Washington Post

October 29, 2017

By Karen Heller

Rod Dreher’s life is an open book. Several, actually. “The Little Way of Ruthie Leming,” about his late sister. “How Dante Can Save Your Life,” about his love of the Italian poet. His latest, “The Benedict Option,” is a call to beleaguered Christians to divorce themselves from the increasingly secular American mainstream.

But really, every work by this conservative Christian writer is a literary act of confession, a quest for purpose and a purge of disillusionment. An influential and prolific blogger for the American Conservative — he averages 1.3 million monthly page views on his blog — Dreher is credited with helping introduce J.D. Vance of “Hillbilly Elegy” to a larger audience. He founded the “crunchy con” ideology — another book, back in 2006 — wedding cultural and moral conservatism with an organic, co-op-and-Birkenstock lifestyle.


He was raised a “Christmas-and-Easter Methodist,” but yearned for more faith in his life. He became a devout Catholic, converting in 1993.

But the priest sexual-abuse scandal wrecked him, “like having my faith pulled out of me by my fingernails.” In 2006, he and his family joined the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Another man alleges molestation by priest


October 30, 2017

By Krystal Paco

He wasn't a Catholic.

But, the latest victim to file suit against the Church alleges he too fell victim to clergy sexual abuse.

Only identified by his initials, 50-year-old M.S.M. alleges he was sexually molested by Father Louis Brouillard at the Tumon parish.

Though he didn't practice any religious belief, the complaint states his friend convinced him to become an altar boy.

Living across the Church, he served almost daily.

Guam archdiocese adopts more stringent child protection policies

Catholic News Agency via Crux

October 29, 2017

At a press conference announcing the new policies for protecting children, recently-installed Coadjutor Archbishop of Agaña, Michael Byrnes, said, “The reason we felt we needed to develop a new policy, part of it was just the inadequacy of the prior policy ... also when we decided to adopt the charter, it meant more than just a simple sexual abuse policy.”

The Archdiocese of Agaña last week adopted a new policy on child protection, following a child sex abuse scandal which has implicated the former archbishop and other clerics.

The recently-installed Coadjutor Archbishop of Agaña, Michael Byrnes, adopted the children protection policy Oct. 18, along with a safe environment program and a policy for an independent review board.

Hundreds Gather to Honor Barbara Blaine, Founder of Abuse Victims Group SNAP

NBC-TV Chicago

October 29, 2017

By Mary Ann Ahern

More than 500 friends, family and those touched by Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests founder Barbara Blaine attended her memorial in Chicago Saturday.

Blaine died suddenly in September after suffering a torn blood vessel in her heart. She was 61 years old.

Held at DePaul University, Saturday’s tribute brought together survivors of priest abuse from across the world who called her "a giant in changing the world."

Blaine started SNAP in the late 1980s while grappling with and speaking about her own trauma. She was abused as an 8th grader by a priest who taught at the Catholic school she attended in Ohio, according to SNAP's website.

In one of her first jobs after college, Blaine helped run a Catholic women's shelter on Chicago’s South Side. She devoted her life to caring for those who were often neglected – from the Cook County Public Guardian's office to her groundbreaking work forcing Roman Catholic Church leaders to remove abusive priests from ministry.

According to the organization’s website, SNAP is the nation’s oldest and largest self-help organization for victims of clergy sexual abuse with more than 20,000 members in cities across the U.S. and world.

Blaine's work took her to the Vatican, Chile, Africa, Poland, even the international court at The Hague, but Chicago was her base, where she and her husband Howard Rubin were devoted to their family.

Paedophile priest to be freed after only 4 years in prison

The Daily Telegraph

October 31, 2017

By Annabel Hennessy

A paedophile priest who betrayed the trust of families he had befriended to rape and abuse girls as young as 10 over three decades is about to walk free after spending just four years in prison.

Father Finian Egan, 81, will be released from jail on December 19, despite desperate pleas from his victims to keep him locked up.

“This sends a message not just to me, but to every child sex survivor,” victim Kellie Roche said.

It was Ms Roche’s courageous decision in 2010 to report Egan’s attacks on her while he was a parish priest at Carlingford in the 1980s that led to other victims coming forward. She even asked for the sentencing judge to lift the suppression order on her name so that she could talk about his crimes.

Ms Roche, who now works with the charity Fighters Against Child Abuse Australia, said setting Egan free was an insult to all child sex survivors.

Lawsuit: Priest abused non-Catholic teen he named 'best altar boy'

Pacific Daily News

October 30, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

Father Louis Brouillard in 1979 allegedly allowed a non-Catholic youth to serve as an altar boy, sexually abused him, and later gave him a medallion for being the "best altar boy" at the Tumon parish, a lawsuit filed in federal court on Monday states.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents only as M.S.M. to protect his privacy, said in his lawsuit that Brouillard was aware he's not Catholic, but still allowed him to serve Mass.

The $10 million lawsuit states M.S.M. lived across from the Tumon parish, so he served Mass as an altar boy almost every night and on weekends. He was around 12 years old at the time.

October 29, 2017

A Revered New York Priest Is Named a Predator

The New York Times

October 29, 2017

By Sharon Otterman

Stephen Ryan-Vuotto was 14 and had recently lost his father to lung cancer when a priest in his Greenwich Village parish began inviting him to sleep over at the rectory. His mother was happy, he recalled, because she revered priests.

In particular, she loved the Rev. Robert V. Lott, the man who had befriended her son. He had ministered to the boy’s dying father, and was starting charitable organizations. Before his death in 2002, Father Lott’s reputation grew, as he led an effort to build hundreds of low-income housing units in East Harlem. To this day, an assisted living center, a home health care organization, a community development corporation and a charitable foundation in East Harlem are named for him.

But those nights at the rectory were not innocent. In August, Mr. Ryan-Vuotto was awarded a $500,000 settlement from a compensation program being run by the Archdiocese of New York for sexual abuse by Father Lott. In an interview, Mr. Ryan-Vuotto said he was abused more than 50 times between 1975 and 1985, in acts ranging from fondling to sodomy. But he kept silent, in part because after the abuse ended, he became a priest.

Mr. Ryan-Vuotto, who was known as Father Ryan for nearly 20 years, is one of 181 victims who have been awarded settlements by the New York Archdiocese for sexual abuse by priests or deacons in claims reaching back to the 1950s. The deadline for victims to apply is Wednesday.

Escobar Gaviria: la defensa del cura recusó a Casación


October 28, 2017

[Lawyers for a priest sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexually assaulting children are asking that the sentence be nullified, arguing that: 1) the judges previously had issued an opinion in the case, and 2) one of the judge's friendship with the prosecutor.]

[See also the case summary for Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria in our database of accused clergy in Argentina.]

Pidieron el apartamiento de los magistrados por haber actuado con anterioridad, y por la “amistad” que dicen tener acusadores y jueces

“La presente causa es llevada adelante por el Fiscal Dr. Federico Uriburu como parte acusadora, quien entabla una relación de amistad con una de las integrantes de este Tribunal, la Dra. Marcela Badano; esto se confirma con la captura de pantalla adjunta al presente donde consta que la Dra. Marcela Badano es amiga del Sr. Federico Uriburu”.

Con ese argumento, los defensores del cura Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria, los abogados Milton Ramón Urrutia y Juan Pablo Temón, con el patrocinio de María Alejandra Pérez, recusaron a la vocal de la Cámara de Casación Penal, Marcela Badano, y a los otros dos integrantes del tribunal, Marcela Davite y Hugo Perotti.

Mass Saturday for hope and healing of sexual abuse survivors

Daily Herald

October 27, 2017

The Archdiocese of Chicago is holding a Mass for Hope and Healing of Child and Youth Sexual Abuse Survivors and their Families at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at Holy Family Church, 1080 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago.

Michael Hoffman and Jim Richter, both victims-survivors, will give witness. Attendees will include clergy, victim-survivors of clergy sexual abuse, family members and caregivers of survivors, church lay ministry staff, Catholic school leadership and others committed to the protection and safety of children and youth.

Uniting Church redress scheme for sexual abuse survivors under fire

Brisbane Times

October 28, 2017

By Rachel Browne

When Cheryl Brealey describes her childhood as tough, it's an understatement.

The second-oldest of nine children, she was raised in Balmain, Glebe and Leichhardt in the 1950s, well before they became the gentrified inner west.

With no money, an absent father and a mother who suffered mental health problems, she was often forced to beg shopkeepers for food.

By the age of nine, she was separated from her family and placed in Burnside Presbyterian Homes for Children in North Parramatta, where she experienced unimaginable torment for two years.

"I have suffered from physical, sexual and mental abuse," Ms Brealey said.

"It was extreme, vindictive, traumatising, sadistic violent abuse to my mind, my body, my soul and my wellbeing. They took my worth as an innocent child."

Now 64 and living in Brisbane, it took decades for Cheryl to disclose her story and work up the strength to seek compensation.
Through her lawyer, she approached the Uniting Church, which formed in 1977 when the Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational churches merged.

Cheryl was shocked to discover that because her abuse occurred in NSW, the Uniting Church's redress scheme would offer her significantly less than abuse survivors in other states.

Santa Fe prelate voices ‘sadness and shame’ over clerical sex abuse

Associated Press via Crux

October 29, 2017

Archbishop John C. Wester published an op-ed piece in The Albuquerque Journal on Sunday expressing "sadness and shame over the betrayal of trust" by clergy "who were supposed to love and protect our children," and for the suffering of abuse survivors. He also said a series of panel discussions scheduled from Nov. 7 to Jan. 31 at five parishes will "promote further transparency and healing.”

The Roman Catholic archbishop of Santa Fe says the archdiocese has received only two allegations of clergy sexual misconduct involving children since 1993, due to the numerous strict measures aimed at preventing further abuse.

Archbishop John C. Wester published an op-ed piece in The Albuquerque Journal on Sunday expressing “sadness and shame over the betrayal of trust” by clergy “who were supposed to love and protect our children,” and for the suffering of abuse survivors.

Paedophile brother given taxpayer funds to appeal sentence

The Daily Telegraph

October 29, 2017

By Annabel Hennessy

A paedophile brother who admitted to raping and abusing schoolboys as young as nine has bizarrely been given taxpayer funding to appeal his sentence on the grounds of “good character” — even though his only evidence was a two-page letter he wrote himself.

Victim’s advocates are horrified after Michael Stanton, who last year pleaded guilty to 19 charges of historic child sex abuse, was given legal aid money to appeal his 23-year sentence on the grounds the original judge had failed to take into account his “good character”.

The appeal was knocked back by the Supreme Court last week after the only references Stanton could provide of his “good character” was “a two-page document prepared by the Applicant himself which was not otherwise supported or corroborated by any other person”.

The case comes one year after former NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton launched a review into legal aid after an investigation by The Daily Telegraph revealed millions of dollars were being spent each year to bankroll appeals from rapists and serial killers who had pleaded guilty in the first place.

Twice Silenced: The Underreporting of Child Sexual Abuse in Orthodox Jewish Communities

Journal of Child Sexual Abuse

By David Katzenstein & Lisa Aronson Fontes

Published online: July 17, 2017 (Pages 752-767, Volume 26)


Child sexual abuse remains an underreported crime throughout the world, despite extensive research and resources dedicated both to improving investigative techniques and helping children disclose their experiences. The discovery of rampant cover-ups within the Catholic Church has exposed some of the ways religious and cultural issues can impede reporting to authorities. This article examines specific factors that contribute to the underreporting of child sexual abuse within Orthodox Jewish communities. It also explores ways in which these communities have handled child sexual abuse reporting in the past and describes recent progress. Implications are offered for CSA prevention, detection, and recovery in Orthodox Jewish communities as well as other minority religious groups.

Brouillard to provide sworn evidence in abuse lawsuits

Pacific Daily News

October 29, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

Former Guam priest Louis Brouillard, the only accused clergy member who has admitted to sexually abusing children on Guam, is scheduled to provide additional sworn evidence, during his deposition, in Pine City, Minnesota, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3.

Brouillard is represented by attorney Thomas Wieser of the law firm Meier, Kennedy and Quinn based in St. Paul, according to Archdiocese of Agana attorney John Terlaje.

Among Wieser's specialties are defense of sexual abuse claims, and church and religious laws, his law firm's website says.

At the deposition, Brouillard, 96, will be represented by Wieser, Terlaje said.

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes said Terlaje and Seattle-based co-counsel Michael Patterson will also be at the deposition.

Attorney David Lujan, the counsel for all plaintiffs who have sued Brouillard in federal court, is scheduled to attend the deposition, as are attorneys for those who sued Brouillard in the Superior Court of Guam. Brouillard left Guam for Minnesota in 1981.

Archbishop: ‘Sadness and shame over betrayal of trust’

Albuquerque Journal

October 29, 2017

By Olivier Uyttebrouck

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe has received only two allegations of clergy sexual misconduct involving children since 1993 due to the numerous strict measures the church has implemented to prevent further abuse, Archbishop of Santa Fe John C. Wester wrote in an op-ed piece published in today’s Sunday Journal.

Psychological screening and background checks for prospective clergy and other zero-tolerance policies, such as training programs and workshops, are among steps taken, Wester said in the public letter and apology addressed to “My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ.”

Guest Column: Archdiocese committed to righting wrongs

Albuquerque Journal

October 29, 2017

By John C. Wester, Archbishop of Santa Fe

[See also the Santa Fe archdiocesan list of accused perpetrators. It includes more than 20 persons not previously known to be accused. See BishopAccountability.org's webpage about the Lists of Accused Priests Released by Dioceses and Religious Institutes for more information.]

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On Sept. 12 the Archdiocese of Santa Fe released a list of 74 priests, deacons and religious who have been accused of sexual abuse of children. The vast majority of these abuses occurred over 25 years ago. Since then, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has implemented a number of strict measures, including removing perpetrators from ministry, terminating employment of perpetrators, instituting a zero tolerance policy, and implementing Safe Environment and Victim’s Assistance Programs throughout the Archdiocese. As a result, since 1993 the Archdiocese has received only two reports of clergy sexual misconduct with a minor where the incident was reported to have occurred later than 1993.

On Oct. 18, Judge Alan Malott, a district court judge in Albuquerque, ordered the public release of approximately 1,000 pages of documents related to three of the most prolific child abusers to have ever served in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe: Arthur Perrault, Sabine Griego and Jason Sigler. Although their crimes were committed decades ago, it is my hope that the release of these documents to the public will further aid in the healing process for past victims and their families.

Psychological screening and background checks for prospective clergy and other zero-tolerance policies, such as training programs and workshops, are among steps taken, Wester said in the public letter and apology addressed to “My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ.”

As a result of the measures, “the Archdiocese has received only two reports of clergy sexual misconduct with a minor where the incident was reported to have occurred later than 1993,” he wrote.

Collateral damage: the family upheaval that results from abuse

Irish Independent

October 29, 2017

By John Meagher

A case of sex abuse has repercussions beyond the obvious as the families of ­perpetrators are also drawn into the trauma

Betrayal. It's the first word that Dr Marie Keenan thinks of when she considers the overriding emotion experienced when a family member is revealed to be a sex offender.

"That sense of betrayal is enormous," she says. "This is someone they loved, whom they thought they knew intimately, and now they are having to confront the most horrific news."

Dr Keenan, a lecturer at the School of Social Policy, University College Dublin, is one of the country's foremost experts of the impact of sex abuse - not just on the actual victims, but those other people caught in the slipstream.

"It's not just a private tragedy," she says, "but when these cases go to court and the names are published, it becomes a public matter as well and that can be terribly traumatic.

Dr Keenan has written extensively about the sex abuse within the Catholic church and notes "the ripple effect" of abuse. "Of course, it's hugely damaging to the victim, but I found that many of priests and some of the bishops too were greatly impacted. They had worked with someone for years and had not had the slightest inkling that there was paedophilia there. So there's a sense of guilt that they carry around with them.

"People always ask themselves why they didn't sense that something was amiss with the person in question, particularly if they worked with them for years.

'Out there among us'

"It can be very difficult to accept and, certainly, in the Church there wasn't enough counselling services provided. I would think it would be wise of 'The Irish Times' [Tom Humphries' former employer] to offer counselling to anybody who worked with him in the past."

October 28, 2017

Gerad Argeros: His own words

Philadelphia Inquirer

October 26, 2017

Excerpts from an Interview by Maria Panaritis

[Note: See also the major article Lost Childhoods.]

“The only thing that I get to control is how I tell my story.” – Gerad Argeros

Gerad Argeros, 46, says he was raped at age 11 by the Rev. James Brzyski at St. Cecilia’s in Philadelphia. In these interview excerpts, he describes a lifelong struggle with trauma and grief, and why he is choosing to speak publicly for the first time. He unsuccessfully sued the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and testified secretly before the Philadelphia grand jury that in 2005 uncovered decades of local clergy sex abuse. Brzyski, it said, sexually assaulted possibly more than 100 young boys. Argeros says decades of therapy saved him from suicide.

He had kept quiet for years about being abused at the parish.

“To get through, I started the biggest lie of my life.”

What was the lie?

“That nothing happened. That I just walked out of nothing. That I just walked out of church. … I remember when Oprah [Winfrey] came out and said she was sexually abused. I remember saying in my heart and in my body, ‘That does not happen.’ Cut to me running out of rooms screaming because I was convinced that everyone in the room was dead. When being in bed with a woman and her reaching around me in a particular way, and I would rip the room apart. … Waking up from dreams for years and years and years in a full rage. This is what kids have to do to survive. They have to disappear from themselves. And that becomes a habit.”

On the criminal statute of limitations that prevented prosecutors from charging Brzyski:

“I’m still ‘alleged.’ I’m an ‘alleged victim.’ I’m alleged not because it didn’t happen. I’m alleged because it’s never seen the light of day in court. I’m still a guy with a story. That’s all I am.”

Priest sex abuse and Hollywood sexual harassment scandals: Cultures of cover-up, cruelty and corruption

Los Angeles Times

October 27, 2017

By Steve Lopez

Eight years ago, producer Harvey Weinstein and a horde of Hollywood moguls and celebrities banded together in defense of child molester Roman Polanski.

The Polish director, who fled the U.S. in 1977 before being sentenced for forcing himself on a 13-year-old girl, had just been arrested while attending a film festival in Switzerland. The Weinstein gang was outraged at the disruption of the festival, among other things, and demanded Polanski’s release.

My, how times have changed.

* * *

And how does an entire industry go from denial to denunciation in just eight years?

“Maybe that’s the new norm,” said former Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, who called me last week to talk about the Polanski case and about Weinstein’s role in defending him.

Cooley said the long-running abuse of women by powerful men in Hollywood echoes the Catholic Church’s pedophilia scandal, which his office investigated for years, fighting against church leaders who refused to turn over documents.

He’s onto something. In each institution, sex, money, career opportunity and public image are powerful forces that breed corruption, arrogance and abuse. The church and the entertainment industry were populated by people who knew what was up, but had reason to enforce a code of silence, if not to actively engage in cover-ups.

The Lost Children of Tuam

New York Times

October 28, 2017

By Dan Barry

Tuam, Ireland

Behold a child.

A slight girl all of 6, she leaves the modest family farm, where the father minds the livestock and the mother keeps a painful secret, and walks out to the main road. Off she goes to primary school, off to the Sisters of Mercy.

Her auburn hair in ringlets, this child named Catherine is bound for Tuam, the ancient County Galway town whose name derives from a Latin term for “burial mound.” It is the seat of a Roman Catholic archdiocese, a proud distinction announced by the skyscraping cathedral that for generations has loomed over factory and field.

Two miles into this long-ago Irish morning, the young girl passes through a gantlet of gray formed by high walls along the Dublin Road that seem to thwart sunshine. To her right runs the Parkmore racecourse, where hard-earned shillings are won or lost by a nose. And to her left, the mother and baby home, with glass shards embedded atop its stony enclosure.

Behind this forbidding divide, nuns keep watch over unmarried mothers and their children. Sinners and their illegitimate spawn, it is said. The fallen.

But young Catherine knows only that the children who live within seem to be a different species altogether: sallow, sickly — segregated. “Home babies,” they’re called.

October 27, 2017

Alleged sexual abuse victims of Melbourne school principal Malka Leifer take extradition fight to Israel

Australian Broadcast Corporation

October 26, 2017

By Sophie McNeill

For the last three years, Malka Leifer has been hiding out in Israel avoiding extradition to Australia, and now her victims have come to demand her return.

"It is a bit nerve-racking and scary but at the same time I feel proud of myself," Elly Sapper said.

The 28-year-old is one of the ex-students who are alleging the former school principal abused them.

She has come to Israel with her two sisters, also alleged victims, to launch a campaign demanding Ms Leifer return to face court in Melbourne.

"I want them to really understand what we are going through and that every day this lady is running free, running wild, it's really traumatic for us," Ms Sapper said.

Ms Leifer is wanted by Victorian police on 74 charges of child sexual abuse including indecent assault and rape, allegedly committed while she was the principal of the Adass Israel ultra-orthodox Jewish girls' school in Melbourne.

But Ms Leifer has avoided every single one of her extradition hearings in the last three years, claiming she suffers from panic attacks and anxiety.

Australian officials were then shocked last year when an Israeli judge halted extradition proceedings while the former principal underwent a psychiatric treatment regime.

Evans out of jail on bond

Rushville Republican

Oct 26, 2017

By Kate Thurston

Last week, Garry Evans, 72, was arrested after an investigation into allegations of inappropriate sexual misconduct with minors.

Wednesday, Oct. 18, he was incarcerated at the Rush County Jail and facing numerous felony counts: three counts of child molestation (Level 4 Felony), four counts of sexual battery (Level 5 Felony) and five counts of child solicitation (Level 6 felony). Evans was taken into custody without incident shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday at the RPD.

No bond was set, yet Sunday, Evans was preaching at his church, Rushville Baptist Temple, located at 1335 N Spencer St., Rushville.

Evans bonded out on Thursday, Oct. 19.

Assistant Chief of Police Todd Click confirmed that Evans was out of jail.

“I’m not sure how a person with no bond can bond out of jail without a bond hearing taking place,” Click said. “It is very frustrating and I know a lot of people are upset over it.”

"We were told by the prosecutor that he was arrested with no bond. Judge Northam called the jail and told them he had to pay a $20,000 bond, so he was able to pay 10%. However, there should have been a bond hearing held where the prosecutor could argue against bond or a higher bond and that never took place," Click said.

Lawsuit: Priest told boy to strip naked for baseball uniforms

Pacific Daily News

October 27, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

Father Louis Brouillard required an altar boy to strip naked in front of a mirror so that the priest could measure his size for a baseball uniform, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court. Brouillard then took photos of the nude boy before sexually touching him, it states.

The 56-year-old plaintiff, identified in court documents only as S.F.T. to protect his privacy, alleges that Brouillard and Boy Scouts of America scout leader Edward Pereira, now deceased, sexually abused him around 1959 to 1964.

S.F.T. was about 8 to 13 years old then.

Child protection system ‘not ready’ for mandatory reporting of abuse concerns

Irish Examiner

October 27, 2017

Social workers have warned the child protection system is “in no way ready” for the introduction in six weeks time of mandatory reporting of child abuse concerns, writes Catherine Shanahan

Frank Browne, chairman of the board of directors of the Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW), said: “You have to be sure before implementing a new system that it can deliver and there is no evidence that Tusla is ready.”

He said the IASW was “never in favour of mandatory reporting”, which, they believe, will lead to a massive increase in referrals to child protection services.

As it stands, more than 800 children regarded as “high priority” cases are without an allocated social worker.

“We see it as potentially placing children at greater risk because there will be more children on waiting lists,” he said.

“Mandatory reporting might tick all the boxes, but it means social workers will have to respond to what could be very superficial concerns.”

From December 11, under the Children First Act 2015, all individuals and groups dealing with children will be obliged to report child protection concerns that cross a defined threshold to Tusla.

Apuron objects, in part, to judge's order in mediation talks

Pacific Daily News

October 27, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron has asked U.S. District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood that he not be required to participate in potential settlement talks that do not involve the four cases filed against him.

The chief judge ordered Apuron to participate in mediation talks to try to settle more than 140 clergy sex abuse lawsuits. Most of the lawsuits are against former Guam priest Louis Brouillard.

Apuron is objecting, partly, to the chief judge's order, saying it's oppressive and costly to him.

Apuron's attorney, Jacqueline Terlaje, in an Oct. 27 filing, stated that the archbishop does not want to participate in mediating the more than 130 other cases that do not name him as a defendant.

Former Catholic Brother facing historic sex assault charges over the indecent assault of a nine-year-old boy in the 1960s

Daily Mail Australia

October 27, 2017

By Nkayla Afshariyan

- A 78-year-old former Catholic Brother has been charged with child sex offences
- The man was arrested and charged on Thursday following a police investigation
- Police allege the man assaulted several young boys while a teacher in the 1960s
- A 60-year-old man claimed the abuse occurred when he was a boy, police report

A former Catholic Brother has been charged with numerous indecent assaults, after a 60-year-old man came forward to reveal the alleged abuse he suffered when he was a nine-year-old student.

Earlier this year, the alleged victim told police the Catholic Brother assaulted him when he was a young student at an Eastwood education facility in the 1960s.

The 78-year-old former Catholic Brother and teacher was taken to Eastwood Police Station on Thursday night, following a police investigation into several indecent assaults from the 1960s.

Detectives from Ryde Local Area Command began an investigation and discovered four other men, who all alleged that they had also been assaulted.

Police will allege that the five men were all assaulted within the Hillview Street, Eastwood education facility between 1967 and 1968.

The former Catholic Brother was later taken to Ryde Police Station where he was charged with fifteen counts of indecent assault.

He was granted conditional bail and is due to appear before Burwood Local Court on November 13.

Former West Hempstead resident shares story of abuse

LI Herald

October 26, 2017

By Nakeem Grant

The Diocese of Rockville Centre established an Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program for survivors of sexual abuse by local clergy, it announced on Oct. 16. But the effort does not provide a voice for victims, said former West Hempstead resident Dave McGuire.

“It’s not about reconciliation. It’s about [the diocese] protecting themselves,” said McGuire, who alleges that he was a victim of clergy abuse from 1980 to 1982. “Rather than allowing the law to be the arbiter of whatever damages had occurred and whatever compensation needs to be paid, they want to keep it a secret, and they want to do it internally.”

McGuire, who currently lives in Los Angeles, said that he was 13 when he was sexually abused at St. Thomas the Apostle parish in West Hempstead, where he attended parochial school and was an altar boy.

“I think the culture in society at that time was that the Catholic clergy was kind of superhuman in a way,” McGuire said. “They were fairly untouchable and they were really held up on a pedestal.”

Phase one of the reconciliation program, modeled after those created in the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn over the past year to help victims of abuse by priests and deacons, began on Oct. 16, and will handle claims already made to the diocese. The program is funded by investment returns and insurance programs.

Anyone wishing to file a claim of sexual abuse not previously reported to the diocese may be eligible to participate in phase two of the program, which the diocese anticipates launching in January. All claims will be investigated by the program’s administrators, including an independent oversight committee.

Bronx abuse victim recalls horrors of being part of pervy priest's 'teen club'

New York Daily News

October 27, 2017

By Laura Dimon and Rich Schapiro with Stephen Rex Brown

Jimmy Halpin grew up an ace student who was so devoted to his Catholic faith that he slept on the floor the night before exams.

“So Jesus could sleep in the bed,” said Halpin, who attended the St. Raymond’s Boys School in the Bronx.

At the age of 15, the Rev. Joseph Theisen entered Halpin’s life.

It was summertime in the early 1980s and Theisen quickly took a liking to young Jimmy. After that, Halpin’s slide into tragedy did not take long.

By the fall, the spark inside him had been snuffed, replaced by a darkness that led to years of substance abuse.

“I’m not going to be in denial about this anymore,” Halpin, now 52 and a third-grade teacher in Harlem, told the Daily News. “I was practically a child and I did nothing wrong.”

Halpin is the latest priest abuse victim to step forward after collecting a settlement from the church’s Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program for victims.

Roughly 180 victims have received payouts since the program was launched late last year.

Child abuse redress scheme: Church says it won't sign up unless states and territories do, billions on the line

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

October 27, 2017

By Clare Blumer

The Australian Catholic Church estimates it will be liable for $1 billion in compensation to child sexual abuse victims as part of the new national redress scheme, but this comes with a really big 'but'.

The Federal Government today tabled a bill for a national redress scheme for child sexual abuse victims.

Under the bill, people who were sexually abused while in Commonwealth and territory institutions will be entitled to compensation of up to $150,000.

But that is only a tiny minority of the victims, as the majority suffered abuse in state government or non-government and church institutions.

So an estimated 60,000 victims subjected to sexual abuse as children would not be eligible, unless the state and territory governments sign up.

And it doesn't stop there.

Unless everyone signs on, the victims would be able to apply for further compensation in state and territory courts.

That means that non-government institutions, particularly the churches, would not join the scheme because they would still be open to being sued in multiple jurisdictions.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter said as much in his introduction of the bill today.

"Accepting the offer of redress has the effect of releasing the participating institutions from any further liability … this means the survivor … will undertake not to bring or continue any civil claim against the responsible participating institution in relation to the specific abuse," he said.

He repeatedly urged the states and territories to sign on in his address.

Victim alleges abuse by former priest Brouillard

The Guam Daily Post

October 27, 2017

By Mindy Aguon

A former altar boy and Boy Scout alleges he was sexually abused by a priest and Boy Scout leader in the late 1950s to '60s.

S.F.T., 66, who used initials to protect his identity, filed a lawsuit yesterday against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America and retired priest Louis Brouillard.

The civil complaint, filed in the District Court of Guam, alleges that Brouillard sought permission from S.F.T.'s parents to allow him to sleep overnight at the rectory so he would not be late to prepare for Mass the following morning.

The lawsuit alleges he was 8 years old when Brouillard allegedly forced him to sleep naked and sleep next to the priest, who sexually abused him.

The abuse continued during Boy Scout outings as S.F.T. recalled the first swimming outing to Tagachang Beach in Yona with more than a dozen other boys who all rode in Brouillard's Volkswagen.

The priest and scoutmaster allegedly told the boys to remove their clothes and swim naked or they would have to walk back home, court documents state.

Brouillard allegedly frequently went to S.F.T.'s home looking for him, but the boy would run and hide in the grass whenever he heard the priest's car coming to his house.

The victim said that Brouillard was also involved with the baseball league and was in charge of the uniform orders. The lawsuit alleges the priest required the boys to strip naked in front of a mirror as he took measurements and then took nude photos of S.F.T. and then sexually abused him.

Darran Scott, former Mormon high priest, jailed for sexually abusing 11 boys

ABC Gippsland

October 27, 2017

By Robert French

A judge has jailed a man for 10 years over child sexual abuse in Victoria's east, describing him as a "sexual predator" who showed no remorse.

Darran Scott, of Archies Creek, will spend at least seven years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to 16 charges relating to child sexual abuse.

Scott, now 53, worked as a film director, actor and as a freelance cameraman for WIN News.

He started grooming his victims in the early 1990s as a junior football coach in Melbourne's eastern suburbs.

The County Court in Morwell heard he plied the boys with sleeping pills, cannabis, alcohol and pornography.

He also indecently assaulted several victims on surfing trips and at his home, near Wonthaggi on Victoria's Bass Coast.

In sentencing, Judge John Smallwood told Scott he had "ruined lives" and hadn't shown any remorse "other than self pity".

"It's a long way from the remorse anticipated from a man who has done the damage that you have," he told Scott.



October 26, 2017

by David Nussman

New York archdiocese and Brooklyn diocese pay reparation to 6 sex abuse victims

NEW YORK (ChurchMilitant.com) - Six victims of homosexual priestly sex abuse are receiving $1.8 million in settlements from the archdiocese of New York and the diocese of Brooklyn.

Attorneys announced the settlements on Wednesday. A total of eight priests were implicated in the lawsuit. One of the victims in the settlement is a woman, but the other five are men.

Commenting on the settlement, abuse survivor advocate Joelle Casteix told NY Daily News that the New York archdiocese's leadership has failed to even address the behavior of these abusive priests.

"They did nothing to tell parents," she asserted. "And they did nothing to reach out to the survivors for years. Cardinal Dolan should be ashamed of this."

Appeals court rules that sex offenders can attend church with children present

The Indy Star

October 26, 2017

By Fatima Hussein

The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that sex offenders are allowed to attend church services even while children are present to attend Sunday school.

The ruling handed down Tuesday stems from a letter the Boone County sheriff sent to his county’s registered sex offenders in July 2015 informing them of the passage of Indiana’s “serious sex offender” law. The law prohibits “serious sex offenders” from entering “school property.”

School property, under the state's interpretation of the law, includes a church if the church conducts Sunday school or has child care for children of the ages described in the statute. Sex offenders faced arrest and prosecution if they attended such a church.

Citing Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, three unnamed sex offenders sought a court injunction to attend church. They argued that preventing them from attending services, even when children are present, places "a substantial burden on their exercise of religion."

"It is a very serious infringement on rights in telling someone they cannot go to religious services," said Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana, who is representing the sex offenders.

"Everyone seeks religious service for different reasons — to exclude someone seems problematic."

He’s a police dispatcher and church elder charged with sexually assaulting teen girl

The Fresno Bee

October 26, 2017

By Brianna Calix

A Madera police dispatcher who is a church elder is charged with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl he mentored, Fresno police reported.

Fresno police received an anonymous tip on Sept. 20 about Martin Ramos, 43, and launched an investigation, Sgt. Daniel Macias said.

Investigators learned that Ramos was an elder at a Jehovah’s Witnesses church in the 4000 block of West McKinley Avenue. There, he met a teen girl and her family three years ago.

Ramos mentored the girl, and the two communicated through text messages. At one point, the two exchanged “inappropriate” photos and their relationship turned physical, Macias said.

Another $10M lawsuit claims sex abuse by priest

Kuam News

October 27, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Yet another lawsuit has been filed against the Archdiocese of Agana and the Boy Scouts of America. The latest by a former Mangilao resident only identified as 66-year-old S.F.T.

S.F.T. names both Father Louis Brouillard and Boy Scout leader Edward Pereira as his abusers.

On church grounds, on swimming trips, and camping trips, he alleges the adult men took every opportunity to sexually abuse him.

While fitting for baseball uniforms, he alleges the priest forced him to strip down and stand in front of the mirror so he could take photos.

S.F.T. is suing for $10 million.

Lawsuit filed on allegations of sexual abuse from a former Cowiche priest


October 26th 2017

by Marie Schurk

COWICHE, Wash. - A new child sex abuse lawsuit is filed in Yakima County Superior Court on allegations that a Reverend sexually abused a parishioner who was a minor at that time.

The former St. Juan San Diego parishioner filed a civil lawsuit against the Diocese of Yakima that claims Reverend Gustavo Gomez Santos abused him, according to an Oct. 25 news release.

The plaintiff said Father Santos sexually abused him at the parish rectory.

The lawsuit claims the Diocese knew or should have known about the danger the priest posed to children but did not take steps necessary to remove him from his position.

Father Santos was permanently removed from his position as of May 2017.

Byrnes marks first year as Guam's archbishop

Pacific Daily News

October 27, 2017

by Haidee V Eugenio

[Note: Includes video interview]

Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes, who marks his first year on Guam, said one of his challenges has been addressing the loss of trust in the church and island clergy.

Pope Francis appointed Byrnes, 59, on Oct. 31, 2016, giving him the rights to succeed Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron should Apuron resign, retire or is removed.

Apuron is undergoing a Vatican canonical trial and is accused of sexually abusing or raping four altar boys in the 1970s when he was the parish priest in Agat.

Byrnes said the most challenging reality for him is dealing with child sexual abuse on Guam, allegedly committed by the clergy decades ago, and restoring people's faith in the Catholic church and its leaders.

Byrnes said no current member of the clergy on Guam has been accused of abuse, and, should that happen, the Archdiocese of Agana is better equipped to deal with the matter because of new and revised policies to protect the young. Among other things, an independent panel, and not the archbishop, will decide how to proceed with accusations.

There are now 140 Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed in local and federal court, with the latest one filed on Oct. 27.

October 26, 2017

Clerical sex abuse disclosures skyrocket in pope’s Argentina

Associated Press

October 26, 2017

By Luis Andres Henao and Alumdena Calatrava

[Note: See also BishopAccountability.org's Database of Accused Argentine Priests.]

Karen Maydana says she was 9 years old when the Rev. Carlos Jose fondled her at a church pew facing the altar. It was her first confession ahead of her first Holy Communion.

She blames the trauma of that moment in 2004 for a teenage suicide attempt. And yet she never spoke about it publicly until this year. After hearing that two women who attended her school in the Argentine town of Caseros were allegedly abused by the same priest, she joined them as complainants in a case that in July led to his arrest for investigation of aggravated sexual abuse.

“Unfortunately, there are many of us. But speaking about it now also gives you strength to carry on,” Maydana, 22, said. “I have a 9-year-old niece who’s receiving her Communion this year, and this is not going to happen to her.”

The allegations are part of a growing trend: While Pope Francis struggles to make good on his “zero tolerance” pledge to fight clerical sex abuse worldwide, victims in his native Argentina are denouncing abuses in unprecedented numbers. An analysis by The Associated Press shows that the number of clerics publicly identified as alleged sexual abusers has increased dramatically in the last two years.

Rom befindet Franziskaner-Pater für schuldig

Bayerischer Rundfunk

October 26, 2017

By Klaus Rüfer

[Google translation: The CDF has concluded the church procedure against the 83-year-old Franciscan Minorite Father, M., for the sexual abuse of minors. According to this, the public celebration of the Eucharist and the donation of the sacraments, as well as any contact with minors, is prohibited. He is forbidden to stay in the dioceses of Cologne, Bamberg and Würzburg. There he was employed as a pastor in the course of his service.]

Die römische Glaubenskongregation hat das kirchenrechtliche Verfahren gegen einen 83-jährigen Franziskaner-Minoriten wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs beendet. Der für schuldig befundene Pater darf auch weiterhin keine Sakramente spenden und keinen Kontakt zu Minderjährigen haben.

Die römische Glaubenskongregation hat das kirchenrechtliche Verfahren gegen den 83-jährigen Franziskaner-Minoriten Pater M. wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjähriger abgeschlossen. Demnach wird dem für schuldig befundenen Pater die öffentliche Feier der Eucharistie sowie die Spendung der Sakramente untersagt, ebenso jeglicher Kontakt mit Minderjährigen. Ein Aufenthalt im Gebiet der Diözesen Köln, Bamberg und Würzburg ist ihm verboten. Dort war er im Laufe seiner Dienstzeit als Seelsorger eingesetzt.

Sexuelle Übergriffigkeit gegenüber Minderjährigen

Der von 1977 bis 2010 in Würzburg tätige Pater wurde im Jahr 2010 der sexuellen Übergriffigkeit gegenüber Minderjährigen beziehungsweise des distanzlosen Verhaltens beschuldigt. Das Bistum Würzburg beurlaubte den Franziskaner-Minoriten sofort von seinen Tätigkeiten im Bereich der Diözese Würzburg und entpflichtete ihn am 04.10.10. Die Ordensleitung wandte sich wegen weiterer kirchenrechtlicher Schritte an die Generalleitung der Franziskaner-Minoriten in Rom, die die Glaubenskongregation informierte.

Bistum veröffentlicht Gutachten zu mutmaßlichen Missbrauchsfällen

Diocese of Hildesheim

October 16, 2016

[Google translation:

Bishopric publishes expert opinions on alleged abuse
Report identifies omissions and gives recommendations for the future

The Diocese of Hildesheim has today published the report on several alleged abuse cases, which the Institute for Practice Research and Project Consulting (IPP) from Munich has commissioned on behalf of the diocese. The expert report, particularly in dealing with various allegations of sexual abuse against the retired priest Peter R., points out clear failings of the bishopric.]

[Note: This article provides useful links to relevant statements, as well as the report, Gutachten: Untersuchung von Fällen sexualisierter Gewalt im Verantwortungsbereich des Bistums Hildesheim – Fallverläufe, Verantwortlichkeiten, Empfehlungen (Report: Investigation of cases of sexual violence in the area of responsibility of the Diocese of Hildesheim - case histories, responsibilities, recommendations).]

Bistum veröffentlicht Gutachten zu mutmaßlichen Missbrauchsfällen
Bericht benennt Versäumnisse und gibt Empfehlungen für die Zukunft

Das Bistum Hildesheim hat heute den Bericht zu mehreren mutmaßlichen Missbrauchsfällen veröffentlicht, den das Institut für Praxisforschung und Projektberatung (IPP) aus München im Auftrag der Diözese erstellt hat. Das Gutachten benennt vor allem im Umgang mit verschiedenen Vorwürfen des sexuellen Missbrauchs gegen den pensionierten Priester Peter R. deutliche Versäumnisse des Bistums.

„Die eigene Schuld und das eigene Versagen im Umgang mit diesen Fällen lastet auf uns. Die Opfer und ihre Angehörigen bitte ich im Namen unseres Bistums um Vergebung. Uns ist sehr bewusst, dass ihnen großes Leid widerfahren ist. Mich beschämt das zutiefst, und es macht mich zerknirscht und traurig“, sagt Weihbischof Dr. Nikolaus Schwerdtfeger, Diözesanadministrator des Bistums Hildesheim.

Im Umgang mit den Vorwürfen gegen Peter R. attestieren die Gutachter dem Bistum, während seines mehr als 20-jährigen Wirkens in der Diözese Ansatzpunkte für straf- und kirchenrechtliche Ermittlungen ignoriert und den Schutz möglicher weiterer Opfer außer Acht gelassen zu haben. Auch seien Peter R. nie wirksam Grenzen aufgezeigt worden.

Child sex abuse redress scheme to cap payments at $150,000 and exclude some criminals

ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The Federal Government has tabled a bill that would entitle victims of child sexual abuse in Commonwealth and Territory institutions up to $150,000 in compensation, but it excludes victims who have served time in jail.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter said the response of institutions to claims of child abuse were "inadequate".

"No child should ever experience what we know occurred," he told the House of Representatives.

"The establishment of this scheme is an acknowledgment that sexual abuse suffered by children in institutions operated by a number of governments was wrong, a shocking betrayal of trust and simply should never have happened."

Mr Porter said the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse had estimated there were 4,000 institutions across Australia where child sexual abuse happened.

Of those:
- 2,000 were Catholic institutions
- 500 were run by the Anglican Church
- 250 were run by the Salvation Army

He said 20,000 victims were estimated to have been abused in government-run institutions and 40,000 in non-government facilities.

Apuron: Judge's report is erroneous, should be rejected

Pacific Daily News

October 26, 2017

By Haidee V. Eugenio

[Note: See also Judge Joaquin V.E. Manibusan, Jr.'s report.]

Archbishop Anthony Apuron released a recorded video Tuesday evening in which he denied allegations that he sexually abused an altar boy about 40 years ago.

Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron said a federal judge's report, stating that the clergy sex abuse lawsuits against Apuron should not be dismissed, is "erroneous and contrary to law, and should be rejected."

Apuron has again asked U.S. District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood to dismiss the complaints against him, stating the incidents, which allegedly happened more than 40 years ago, are time-barred and take away the archbishop's due process rights.

The archbishop is represented by attorney Jacqueline Terlaje.

Apuron is being sued in federal court for allegedly sexually abusing or raping four altar boys in Agat in the 1970s when he was a parish priest. He is also undergoing a Vatican canonical trial to determine his fate as a member of the clergy.

Australian Catholic Church liable for A$1 billion over child abuse

The Times

October 26 2017

By Bernard Lagan

Sydney - The Australian Catholic Church believes it will be liable for at least A$1 billion (£583 million) in compensation payments to thousands of children who were sexually abused by the clergy.

The church has already paid at least A$300 million to victims, some of whom gave evidence to a royal commission that, when it concludes in December, will have taken testimony from 8,000 people abused as children by Catholic priests, other clergy and government staff.

The royal commission has proposed a national compensation scheme for victims, which caps payments to individuals at A$150,000. Much of the compensation will be paid by Australian taxpayers but the Catholic Church has assessed its own liabilities at about A$1 billion.

Francis Sullivan, chief executive of the Australian Catholic Church’s Truth, and Justice Healing Council, said: “Our analysis is that the national redress scheme proposed by the royal commission over a ten-year period was going to cost in total about A$4 billion and of about A$4 billion we think our exposure is A$1 billion.”

The royal commission has estimated that there were 4,000 institutions across Australia in which child sex abuse happened up until the early 1980s, including those run by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, the Salvation Army and the government. Half of the institutions were operated by the Catholic Church.

Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s head of finances and a former leader of the Catholic Church in Australia, was among those to have appeared before the commission.

He was charged in June with historical sex offence charges in relation to multiple complainants. He has returned to Australia from the Vatican and his case will be heard by a court early next year.

Christian Porter, Australia’s social services minister, told parliament today that 20,000 victims were estimated to have been abused in government-run institutions and 40,000 in non-government facilities including 2,000 operated by the Catholic Church.

He said that the institutions’ response to the claims were inadequate, and announced laws that would set up the national compensation scheme for abuse victims.

“No child should ever experience what we know occurred,” he said. “The establishment of this scheme is an acknowledgment that sexual abuse suffered by children in institutions operated by a number of governments was wrong, a shocking betrayal of trust and simply should never have happened.”

Group of childhood sex abuse victims inks $1.8M settlement with two New York archdioceses

Daily News

By Edgar Sandoval and Larry McShane

A half-dozen survivors of childhood sexual abuse by priests reached a $1.8 million settlement with two New York archdioceses, their attorney announced Wednesday.

Lawyer Michael Reck, in revealing the payouts, also publicly identified a pair of Bronx priests for the first time as sexual predators: Rev. Herbert D’Argenio and Msgr. Casper Wolf.

“We see two men that the Archdiocese of New York knew were child sex abusers, and they did nothing to warn children,” said survivor Joelle Casteix, who was not part of the settlement.

Six Settlements Announced in NYC Child Sex Abuse Cases Against Catholic Priests

Spectrum News NY 1

October 26, 2017

By Lindsay Tuchman

[Note: Includes a video showing a poster naming eight accused New York priests:
- Msgr. John O'Keefe (with photo)
- Fr. Herbert D'Argenio
- Msgr. Casper Wolf (with photo)
- Fr. Peter Kihm (with photo)
- Fr. Ralph LaBelle
- Fr. Francis Stinner (with photo)
- Fr. Richard Gorman (with photo)
- Fr. Gennaro "Jerry" Gentile (with photo)

Two of these priests, D'Argenio and Wolf, are being accused publicly for the first time. Some of the settlements referenced in this article pertain to D'Argenio and Wolf. It is not clear from the article which of the other eight priests on the poster are involved in the announced settlements. A media advisory from Jeff Anderson & Associates about the settlement announcement provides assignment histories for the eight priests and two others:
- Fr. Herbert McElroy
- Fr. Francis Stinner.
See also BishopAccountability.org database entries for O'Keefe, Kihm, LaBelle, Stinner, Gorman, Gentile, McElroy, and Prochaski.]

Six new settlements in some child sex abuse cases facing the Catholic Church were announced Wednesday as part of a new program within the Diocese of Brooklyn, which also covers Queens, and the Archdiocese of New York, which covers the other three boroughs. As NY1's Lindsay Tuchman reports, two unidentified abusers were also revealed.

The law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates presented the photos of some Catholic priests who are accused of sexually abusing children in the city.

The Catholic Church has made financial settlements with their accusers, six of those settlements having been announced Wednesday.

"This is a methodology to create some acknowledgement, some accountability, and some measure of justice that's not available for survivors of childhood trauma through the court system," said Mike Reck, an attorney with the law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates.

Five men and one woman were awarded a total of $1.8 million as part of the "Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program" (IRCP), which was established by the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn.

The program is a mechanism for sexual abuse victims to file claims for financial compensation.

The six victims said they were abused as children from 1959 to 1988. Two of the priests, Father Herbert D'Argenio and Father Casper Wolf — both of the Bronx, and both believed to be dead — were publicly named by their accusers for the first time Wednesday.

Fired employee accuses Oregon bishop of assaulting female priest, misusing money

The Oregonian

October 25, 2017, updated on October 26, 2017

By Aimee Green

A former employee of the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon has filed an $845,000 lawsuit against the diocese and Bishop Michael Hanley, claiming the bishop physically assaulted a female priest and misused money donated by the deceased grandmother of Mayor Ted Wheeler.

Mary Macy, who was the top finance officer for the diocese, claims she was fired from her job last year because she spoke up about Hanley, the diocese’s leader who oversees more than 70 churches with 15,000 congregants in western Oregon.

Macy claims in her lawsuit filed Tuesday that Hanley allegedly assaulted the Rev. Margaret McMurren in Salem while he visited her congregation, Prince of Peace Episcopal Church, three years ago.

Macy saw Hanley wrap his arm around McMurren’s neck and move with her down some stairs when he came to her church in 2014 for a breakfast and service, said Matthew Ellis, Macy's attorney.

McMurren's attorney, Harris Matarazzo, told The Oregonian/OregonLive that multiple witnesses reported seeing the same thing. Witnesses also saw the bishop push the front of his body against the back of McMurren's body and heard him make discouraging comments about her age in front of congregants during the visit, he said.

Sex Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Catholic Diocese of Yakima

Associated Press via U.S. News and World Report

October 26, 2017

A lawsuit alleging sexual abuse of a minor has been filed against the Catholic Diocese of Yakima in Superior Court.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports the lawsuit was filed Tuesday on behalf of a young man who says Rev. Gustavo Gomez Santos abused him at St. Juan Diego Catholic Church in Cowiche in 2012 when the alleged victim was 16 or 17 years old.

The lawsuit claims the Diocese of Yakima knew or should have known that Gomez posed a danger but failed to prevent him from sexually abusing the plaintiff.

After the man reported the abuse to the Yakima County Sheriff's Office in May, Bishop Joseph Tyson removed Gomez from public ministry. The diocese is seeking to have him defrocked.

Sex abuse lawsuit filed against Catholic Diocese

Yakima Herald-Republic

October 25, 2017

By Jane Gargas

[Note: See also BishopAccountability.org's database entry on Gómez Santos.]

A lawsuit alleging sexual abuse of a minor was filed against the Catholic Diocese of Yakima in Superior Court on Tuesday.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a young man who said that the Rev. Gustavo Gómez Santos abused him at St. Juan Diego Catholic Church in Cowiche in 2012 when the alleged victim was 16 or 17 years old.

Last May, after the young man reported the abuse to the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, Gómez was permanently removed from public ministry by Bishop Joseph Tyson.

The lawsuit claims that the Diocese of Yakima knew or should have known that Gomez posed a danger to children but failed to take steps to prevent him from using his position as a Diocesan priest to sexually abuse the plaintiff.

The lawsuit, filed by the plaintiff’s attorney, Michael Pfau of Seattle, did not name the amount of monetary damages being sought.

Gómez has denied that any abuse occurred.

The plaintiff, a former Mattawa resident who now lives in King County, alleged that he was fondled by Gómez while he attended confirmation classes at St. Juan Diego Parish in Cowiche, where Gómez was pastor. He claimed that the priest used his position to groom and to sexually abuse him. He said the priest frequently gave him massages and subsequently sexually assaulted him in the parish rectory.

Paedophile priest sentenced on new historic indecent assault charge

Stuff/Fairfax Media

October 26 2017

By Mike Mather

A former Catholic priest jailed for molesting boys in the 1970s and 80s has been sentenced for another indecent assault.

However Mark Mannix Brown won't have to serve any more time in jail to account for his latest charge of indecent assault.

Brown, 74, was sentenced on a new charge of indecent assault on a boy aged under 12, when he appeared in the Hamilton District Court on Thursday, via audio-visual link from prison.

He is currently serving a 26-month jail term, imposed on him in August for charges against three historic victims.

The latest charge - which relates to incidents against another victim that took place between December 1, 1976 and December 31, 1977 in Raglan - resulted in a 10-month jail sentence, which will be served concurrently.

John Delaney: In his own words

Philadelphia Inquirer

October 26, 2017

By Maria Panaritis

[Note: See also Panaritis' major article Stolen Childhoods.]

John Delaney, 47, was altar boy of the year at St. Cecilia’s in Northeast Philadelphia in the 1980s – years in which he was being raped by the Rev. James Brzyski, later identified as one of the most brutal abusers ever to serve in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Delaney has been one of his most vocal victims. In excerpts from recent interviews, he talks about the damage.

He recalls an innocent childhood before Brzyski came to his parish.

“I was an athlete. I remember seeing kids up at the Fox Chase Recreation Center smoking weed, thinking, ‘Those guys are losers.’ My goal was to be like my dad. He was a cop.”

Brzyski arrived. The little boy changed.

“I was being abused, I was running away from home, I was cutting school, I was getting drunk and high. I was 13 years old, whacked out on coke, serving Mass. I passed out on the altar one day.”

Later, he would spend time in and out of prison. He married, had two kids, got divorced. He kept returning to drugs.

“It’s a very common thing with victims. It kills the pain and it takes your mind away from it. But the sad reality is that when it’s over, it’s still there — only 10 times worse.”

Stolen Childhoods

Philadelphia Inquirer

October 26, 2017

By Maria Panaritis

[Note: This major article includes photos of many Brzyski survivors, quotes from interviews with them, and video interviews with survivors, family members, and friends . It also links to In His Own Words, excerpts from Panaritis' interview with Brzyski survivor John Delaney. See also the 2005 Philadelphia Grand Jury Report's materials on Brzyski: assignment history, summary of victims and incidents, a 1984 archdiocesan document, the report's case study of Brzyski, and a brief pattern study. See also BishopAccountability.org's database entry about Brzyski.]

Decades later, the damage from one Philadelphia predator priest still torments a generation of victims.

In the rear of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, the old school friends of the man in the casket were growing agitated. The funeral service for Jim Cunningham was about to begin.

It was a terrible loss: A 45-year-old father, prison counselor, and hostage negotiator — dead by suicide.

Handkerchiefs were out in the other pews. But near the back, fury decades in the making was boiling over.

"No. I can't do it," Kevin Emery told the others. "We can't stay here for this."

Like Cunningham, each had been a student in the same Northeast Philadelphia parish school, St. Cecilia's, in the 1980s when the Rev. James Brzyski turned their community into a stalking ground. Brzyski (BRISH-kee) had sexually assaulted possibly more than 100 boys during stints at St. Cecilia's and a prior parish, St. John the Evangelist in Lower Makefield, a grand jury later asserted, but like so many abusers had eluded prosecution.

As far as any of Cunningham's boyhood friends had known, the scrawny bookworm with a million-dollar smile had been among the lucky altar boys to avoid the predator's reach. He had earned a master's degree, built a career, even won a seat on his local board of supervisors.

Victim: Priest offered basketball lessons, abused him instead

Guam Daily Post

October 26, 2017

By Mindy Aguon

Photo Caption: Louis Brouillard, now 96, has been named in dozens of clergy sex abuse cases filed in the local and federal courts on Guam.

A former altar boy and Boy Scout has come forward alleging a priest offered to teach him how to play basketball but instead sexually abused the boy in the Malojloj convent every Sunday for three months.

M.P., 56, who used initials to protect his identity, filed a lawsuit in the District Court of Guam on Wednesday against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America and retired priest Louis Brouillard.

M.P. was raised by his grandparents, who were friends with Brouillard when he was the parish priest at the San Isidro Catholic Church in Malojloj in the 1970s.

The priest requested M.P. be allowed to become an altar boy and join the Boy Scouts.

At 13 years old, immediately upon becoming an altar boy, Brouillard began to sexually molest and abuse M.P., court documents state.

After serving his first Sunday Mass, M.P. was in the convent with the other altar boys and Boy Scouts and witnessed Brouillard walking about naked, groping and fondling the boys, according to the complaint.

October 25, 2017

6 new settlements totaling $1.8M announced involving NY priest child sex abuse

ABC7 Eyewitness News

October 25, 2017

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Attorneys for child sex abuse victims have announced six settlements involving priests with the Archdiocese of New York and Brooklyn.

The settlements involve the actions of five different priests.

There were strong words from advocates for these victims at a news conference Wednesday, who claim that the Archdiocese of New York and the Archdiocese of Brooklyn did nothing about this until now. The new settlement is another $1.8 million being paid out to the six additional victims, ranging from $50,000 to $450,000 for abuse dating back to 1959.

Five priests are being talked about in this latest settlement. Three are now deceased and all have been removed as priests.

Father Gennaro "Jerry" Gentile, Monsignor Casper Wolf and Father Herbert D'Argenio were all from the New York Archdiocese.

Father Adam Prochaski and Father Herbert McElroy were from Brooklyn.

The two names that were not released until Wednesday are Father D'Argenio and Msgr. Wolf. Both are now deceased.

Monsignor Wolf is significant because he worked at Cardinal Hayes High School for nearly three decades.

Advocates for the victims say this is a shameful day for the archdiocese.

"What we have seen today is a shameful example of what the Archdiocese of New York considers business as usual," said Joelle Casteix, a victim's advocate. "When we look at Monsignor Casper Wolf and Father Herbert D'Argenio, we see two men that the Archdiocese of New York knew were child sex abusers, and they did nothing to warn children. They did nothing to tell parents and they did nothing to reach out to the survivors for years."

Defense: Investigator may have destroyed, withheld docs in case of ex-priest accused of sex abuse

Aurora Beacon-News

October 24, 2017

by Hannah Leone

A Kane County investigator in a former Aurora priest's sex abuse case may have destroyed some notes while withholding others, according to the former priest's lawyer, who is seeking information about the investigator's recent resignation from the Kane County State's Attorney's Office.

Alfredo Pedraza Arias, 51, is scheduled for a November trial on felony charges he sexually abused and assaulted two young girls between 2012 and 2014 while a priest at Sacred Heart Church in Aurora. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include multiple counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Immigration officials revoked the temporary religious worker visa for Arias, who is from Colombia. His trial has been repeatedly delayed while he faces deportation. Prosecutors have accused Arias of trying to use his deportation to avoid trial.

In a hearing earlier this month, Kane County Circuit Judge Linda Abrahamson said the recent disclosure about the notes was "like an atomic bomb" and that the trial may be affected by whether lawyers have access to the man who investigated the case for the Kane County Child Advocacy Center.

The Kane County State's Attorney's Office would not confirm the investigator's employment status, stating they don't comment on personnel matters.

The Wolf In Preist’s Clothing: Epilogue: Ex-priest Grecco gets 18 months in prison

The St. Catharines Standard

October 24, 2017

By Grant LaFleche

[Note: To read The Standard’s investigative series The Wolf in Priest’s Clothing about William O’Sullivan’s story and Donald Grecco go to www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2017/09/10/the-wolf-in-priests-clothing-complete-series]

There was no forgiveness in William O’Sullivan’s heart Tuesday for the priest who sexually abused him as a child. But there was empathy as he watched Donald Grecco be led away from a St. Catharines courtroom to serve the next 18 months of his life in prison.

“I know where he is going. I know what it is like, so I have some empathy. I’m human,” said O’Sullivan, who has served time in prison. “But when they led him away and got the handcuffs out, that was good to see.”

Justice Joseph Nadel sentenced Grecco to 18 months in prison, with three years of parole after his time is served, for three counts of gross indecency for the sexual abuse of three boys from 1975 to 1982.

Nadel also ordered Grecco’s DNA be recorded for the national sex offender registry and banned him for life from attending public places where those under 16 are likely to be, including public parks, school grounds and community centres.

Grecco is also forbidden from contacting people under 16 in any fashion whatsoever and after his release will have to stay half a kilometre away from his victims.

Grecco, who came to court wearing a winter jacket and a black toque, did not speak during the hearing and looked at the ground as he was being led away by court officers.

Grecco pleaded guilty to the charges in May. This is his second conviction for sexually abusing children while he was a Catholic priest. In 2010, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for abusing three boys.

Longtime Boise bishop, champion of social justice, dies at 78

Idaho Statesman

October 24, 2017

By Michael Katz and Nicole Blanchard

The Most Rev. Michael P. Driscoll served as the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise for 15 years. He died Tuesday of natural causes at the age of 78, the diocese announced in a statement.

Driscoll was born in Long Beach, Calif., and was ordained as a priest in 1965. He was later ordained a bishop in 1990. Pope John Paul II appointed him the seventh bishop of Boise on Jan. 19, 1999. He held that position until he retired in 2014.

The bishop oversaw several shifts in the landscape of Idaho’s Catholic churches. His outreach to the growing Hispanic community brought an influx of priests from Mexico and Colombia to Idaho, and he was closely associated with Catholic Charities, the church’s social justice arm. Driscoll founded the Idaho branch of the charity in 2000, and it now operates in both Boise and Idaho Falls.

Driscoll also emphasized the roles of youth and young adults in the church and brought to Idaho a program that provides ongoing education for priests.

As the Catholic church’s sex abuse scandal reached Idaho in the early 2000s, Driscoll stripped several Idaho priests of their ministry duties and restricted the roles of others as he offered apologies and outreach to victims. His actions were met with mixed praise and criticism, particularly from victims.

“Upon my first visit to the diocese, I soon realized that Bishop Driscoll was a pastoral and compassionate shepherd to the people and his priests by the manner in which he passed the leadership of the diocese on to me,” said Peter Christensen, who took over as bishop after Driscoll left. “His love for this diocese was evident not only in his words, but also by his pastoral care for all. He was truly a gentle and kind man.”

Weinstein scandal puts nondisclosure agreements in the spotlight

Los Angeles Times

October 23, 2017

By James Rufus Koren

Harvey Weinstein. Bill O’Reilly. Roger Ailes. Bill Cosby. The Catholic Church.

All were able to skirt years and sometimes decades of allegations of sexual harassment or assault through the use of settlements or contracts that included nondisclosure agreements: legal provisions that swear employees or alleged victims to secrecy.

Those cases — and especially the unfolding Weinstein scandal — have sparked criticism that the agreements allow powerful companies and individuals to stave off scrutiny and continue abusive practices. Now, there is a move afoot to place clear restrictions on their use.

Supuesta víctima del padre Meño en Piedras Negras, denunció haber sufrido amenazas


October 25, 2017

Por Armando Ríos

[Google Translate: Suspected victim of Father Meño in Piedras Negras, reported having suffered threats]

Presentará un libro que contiene los casos de pederastia que fueron tapados por el cardenal Norberto Rivera

Tras haber huído del Estado por una serie de amenazas, José Ignacio Martínez firmó con una asociación civil, dedicada a dar acompañamiento psicológico y legal a las víctimas de pederastia y abuso sexual infantil.

Ignacio Martínez asegura que su alineación con Inside es un parteaguas para los casos de pederastia en Coahuila, que asegura ya tiene contemplados para la atención y la denuncia, con el acompañamiento de la Pronnif y el Gobierno Estatal.

“Yo no puedo hablar de los casos, deben ser ellos. A mí me escoltaron de mi casa para sacarme del Estado, porque rayaban mis paredes, me llamaban y me dejaban cartas con amenazas. Evitamos que le pase eso a otros”, señaló.

José Ignacio Martínez, quien denunció haber sido víctima de pederastia por parte del padre “Meño”, Juan Manuel Riojas, en Piedras Negras, anunció que tendrá una visita a Monterrey, donde junto con la asociación y la familia Garza Sada se presentará un libro que contiene los casos de pederastia que fueron tapados por el cardenal Norberto Rivera.

Por su parte, Jesús Romero Colin, activista y presidente de la asociación Inside, señaló que esta asociación tiene trabajando desde este año, donde se le ha dado acompañamiento junto con su experiencia, a por lo menos 10 casos de pederastia de toda la República.

Explicó que dos de los factores que han notado del por qué residen este tipo de problemas dentro de la Iglesia, son la castidad pactada por el clero, y el alojamiento que se da a criminales que después se convierten ante la sociedad en “guías espirituales”. “Por cada cura pederasta hay por lo menos 20 víctimas. Conozco casos de curas que superan las 100 violaciones hacia niños”.

“Pretendemos visibilizar la situación, darle seguimiento a los casos en todos los aspectos, pero también crear métodos de prevención. Que las familias sepan que hay que ponerle atención al tema del abuso infantil, llámese en el clero o fuera de él. Este es un tema que sólo se puede prevenir dando información”, señaló Romero Colin.

Por último, el presidente de la asociación hizo un llamado a Raúl Vera, para coadyuvar en las investigaciones donde se señale existan casos de pederastia, y trabajar en conjunto para que no exista ni un niño abusado más.

Grace Ministry Center, pastor Mitch Olson sued by woman who alleged sexual assault

Times Herald

October 23, 2017

by Nicole Hayden

A civil lawsuit was filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court on Friday against Grace Ministry Center in Kimball Township and its former pastor Mitch Olson.

The suit was filed on behalf of the woman who accused Olson of groping her during a religious ceremony. The suit seeks in excess of $25,000. Allegations against Olson include battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Allegations against Grace Ministry Center include negligent supervision, negligent retention, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and violation of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.

The lawsuit comes after the St. Clair County Prosecutor’s Office declined to bring criminal charges against Olson after he was accused of sexually assaulting the woman, 20, of Port Huron. A police report was filed in August that stated Olson placed his hands on the woman's breasts, buttocks and pubic area during an anointing ceremony inside her apartment.

Olson resigned from his position at the church on Oct. 8, according to a recorded farewell letter he read to church members. Olson was served with the lawsuit on Sunday at Grace Ministry Center during his farewell gathering.

Brouillard allegedly lured altar boy to the states to turn him into a sex slave

Pacific News Center

October 25, 2017

By Janela Carrera

Brouillard allegedly promised to pay for the victim’s college education. But upon arriving there, J.T. says he realized that was never going to happen.

Guam – The latest sex abuse lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of Agana involves a former altar server who claims he was summoned to live with a Guam priest in the states under the guise of pursuing a college education only to discover that he was an intended sex slave.

Most of the sexual abuse lawsuits filed against the church and the priest described as having the most sexually deviant behavior involve abuse that occurred on Guam. But perhaps for the first time, this latest lawsuits details abuse that stretches all the way to Minnesota where Father Louis Brouillard relocated to after serving as a priest for over a decade on Guam.

The alleged abuse began on Guam in the early 1970s when J.T., who’s now 53 years old, served as an altar boy at the Malojloj Parish. J.T. appeared to be Brouillard’s favorite as he often pulled J.T. out of class to accompany him on errand runs, often times sexually abusing the minor during these times.

The abuse only stopped in 1976 when, according to J.T., Brouillard was transferred to another parish. As a result, J.T. left the church and never returned.

But about 5 years later, in 1981, Brouillard resurfaced in J.T.’s life when the priest, now living in Minnesota, offered J.T. a deal his parents could not refuse: to pay for J.T.’s airfair, college tuition, food and housing, so long as he moved to Minnesota to live with him.

Embu Cleric gets life sentence for defiling niece

Daily Nation

October 23 2017

By Charles Wanyoro

An Anglican Church of Kenya clergyman was on Monday sentenced to life imprisonment after he was found guilty of defiling his seven-year-old orphaned niece.

Embu Principal Magistrate Samuel Mutai ruled that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the reverend, 38, who ministered at the Embu Diocese committed the offence.

The court heard that on or before April 19 last year, at Spring Valley estate, within Embu municipality, he unlawfully and with intention assaulted the girl.

Rapist Priest In Bihar Claimed To Expel Evil Spirits: Police

Agence France-Presse

October 25, 2017

Chandrama Raj, a pastor with the Indian Mission Church in Bihar, was arrested after one of the alleged victims filed a rape complaint in September

NEW DELHI: The police have arrested a pastor in Bihar who is accused of raping two women on the pretext of driving out evil spirits, an official said today.

Chandrama Raj, the pastor with the Indian Mission Church in Bihar, was arrested after one of the alleged victims filed a complaint in September.

"We conducted a preliminary inquiry and have arrested the priest. He has been sent to judicial custody," Manu Maharaj, the senior police superintendent of the state capital Patna, told AFP.

The women accused the pastor of inviting them to his home where he promised to drive away their evil spirits through prayer. It was there that he raped them, police said.

India has a grim record of sexual assaults, with 34,651 cases reported in 2015, according to government data.

It is not the first time the church in India has faced accusations of sexual abuse.

Two high-profile exposes by former Catholic nuns have in recent years revealed the scale of sexual exploitation by priests and the prevalence of same-sex relations in Indian convents.

Last year an Indian priest was sentenced to 40 years in prison for raping a 12-year-old girl in 2014.

Bill 30, sex abuse, and separation of church and state

Halifax Examiner

October 25, 2017

By Tim Bousquet

1. Bill 30, sex abuse, and separation of church and state

“Bill No. 30 – Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth Act” was considered by the usually non-controversial Private & Local Bills committee of the legislature yesterday.

But, “[t]he committee voted to hold the bill at this stage of the lawmaking process following a presentation by lawyer John McKiggan, who has represented and continues to represent hundreds of sexual assault victims who were abused by priests,” reports Jean Laroche for the CBC:

In his presentation to the committee, McKiggan said, “I would suggest the only reason for this proposed change to legislation that has existed for over 100 years is to make it more difficult for survivors of priest sexual abuse to be able to receive just and fair compensation for their injuries.”

A lawyer acting on behalf of the archdiocese, Joel MacDonald, later told the committee that was not the intent, nor would the change protect the church organization from claims by victims.

Here’s the actual bill, the gist of which allows the Archbishop to establish parishes, abolish parishes, redefine parish boundaries, appoint priests, remove priests, decide how to govern the church, establish cemeteries, and so forth. But the bill also defines the legal relationships between parishes and the Archdiocese, which we’ll get into below.

In his statement, McKiggan discussed the extent of sexual abuse in the church:

It is public record that a number of former priests of the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth have been convicted of sexually abusing children.

What is not public record is the number of priests who have had allegations of sexual abuse made against them but who have not faced criminal charges. The Halifax Archdiocese has faced numerous compensation claims for abuse by its priests. It has never publically disclosed how many priests it is aware of that have committed acts of sexual abuse.

However, most professionals who work with survivors of sexual abuse agree that the number of victims who come forwards to pursue criminal charges are just the tip of the iceberg. Some professionals suggest that just 10% of sexual assaults are ever disclosed by victims to authorities.

A study by Dr. Anne Burges and Dr. Nicholas Croth concluded that the average pedophile will molest over 200 children during their lifetime.

I remind you that the Diocese of Antigonish is half the size of the Halifax Archdiocese. That class action resulted in claims by more that 140 victims of sexual abuse by more than a dozen priests.

One has to ask the question: How many priests is the Archdiocese aware of that face allegations of sexual abuse? How many potential victims of priest sexual abuse have had their lives destroyed by priests employed by the Archdiocese of Halifax?

You can read all of McKiggan’s statement here.

Op-Ed: Shouldn’t we all be mandated reporters of abuse? (Letter to the Editor column)

York Daily Record

October 24, 2017

by Kelly Jackson

Me too. Two tiny words, five simple letters; they say so little, yet mean so much. As a woman who endured multiple occurrences of sexual assault, I was a perfect target when my sexual harassment took place. I had been conditioned in my silence and shame; I was timid and afraid.

I was 20 years old, living on my own for the first time. With bills I could barely pay, I needed my job. I remember sneaking off during a work Christmas party, pleading with a friend over the phone to drop what they were doing and pick me up. The person who typically drove me home was my boss, and the owner of the company I was employed with; he was also the person I was trying to escape from.

I did not have a name for what had occurred that night, I only knew it made me extremely uncomfortable, it was inappropriate, and I needed to get out of there immediately. This man was old enough to be my father; he would continue his unwanted advances and manipulations until he fired me seven months later.

I moved on with my life. I found a better job and was happy to be away from his perverted grasp. Other than calling my friend that night, it would be years before I realized or spoke of what happened. This summer, as my 15-year-old daughter began putting in job applications, I relayed to her my cautionary tale. I warned her of things to be concerned about. I told her to never be silent, accepting or overlook unwanted advances. I told her I would always listen, I would always support her, and I would always believe her.

Some of the places my daughter considered applying to made me wary. I realized, though I have found my voice and am no longer afraid to use it, in my mind sexual harassment is what I have come to expect in our society. I want different for her. Even in small town U.S.A., I wonder if that is possible.

As I reflect on the barbaric, perverted stories being retold the past two weeks, the words which continue running through my mind are: complicit and complacent. There is no escaping the barrage of news, concerning the latest Hollywood scandal; each new encounter released, is more harrowing than the last. My stomach turns as I scroll past the overwhelming updates, while my body fills with a familiar sense of dread and disdain.

Time has facilitated healing, yet the events of the past week have left me emotionally triggered and exhausted. On a level no one ever dreams themselves being on, I associate with these women who have chosen to come forward and the ones who still cannot. I understand their anguish, their fear and their shame. I understand why there are many women who will suffer in silence and will never find their voice. Many women will never be capable of speaking about something so unspeakable. Many women will bear the scars from this man for years to come.

In 1991, our nation was enthralled as a judiciary committee, composed of only men, spent days on Capitol Hill inquiring about sexual harassment. As the committee conducted its investigation, they made no qualms about shaming and blaming Professor Anita Hill for the degrading, debilitating sexual harassment she endured. In the end, it did not matter; Clarence Thomas’s nomination was approved, and Professor Hill was left to pick up the pieces of her life. The player may be different, but the game has not changed; this is the same revolting pig we have seen many times before, except he is wearing different lipstick and designer sunglasses.

One of many tragedies surrounding this situation is that this is 2017, yet this archaic behavior still not only exists, it is tolerated. Tolerated by a society that believes this is acceptable, leaving victims to believe they have no recourse. While the spotlight is on Hollywood for the moment, this behavior is still happening across our country in big cities and small towns alike. I am certain if one were to conduct a thorough history on sexual harassment in the workplace, they would find it could be traced back to when women were first allowed to enter the offices and factories. For centuries, women have been objectified and sexualized, a chauvinistic male driven society has been complacent and complicit. Women are still considered the “weaker” sex. In many instances, they have no choice but to be silent or tolerable, if they desire to be employed or succeed in a man’s world.

I was raised in an era in which I repeatedly heard the phrase, "We cannot get involved in this situation, it is a private matter." Afterwards, those same individuals would turn a blind eye, to appease their own conscience; it was complacency out of convenience. None of their excuses held water then, nor do they now.

Decades later, those same individuals would be mandated reporters, required by law to report any form of assault. We have made progress; sadly though, not enough. There are many individuals who are required to report abuse: from educators, doctors, nurses, social workers, to first-responders, police and clergy. Shouldn't we all be mandated reporters? We have all seen where generations of the: it is not my problem, this is a private matter mentality have led us.

Need examples? The abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church, Jerry Sandusky and Penn State. Too many lives destroyed at the hands of abusive predators, enabled by a complicit society. There is much truth in the adages: there is strength in numbers and there is safety in numbers. The pathetic fact that it took the strength and safety of many to bring the reprehensible actions of this sexual predator to light is inexcusable. Victims should not live in fear of retribution because they seek justice; the truth must be heard and believed. It should make no difference whether it is one victim or a thousand victims coming forward.

Lawsuit: Boy whipped, tried to expose priest's sexual abuses

Pacific Daily News

October 25, 2017

by Haidee V Eugenio

An early 1970s altar boy said his grandparents whipped him after he tried to tell them that Father Louis Brouillard sexually abused him, a lawsuit filed Wednesday afternoon in federal court says.

Now 56, the plaintiff identified in court documents only as M.P., said his grandparents didn't believe him about Brouillard.

He was 13 or 14 years old then and an altar boy at San Isidro Catholic Church of Malojloj, where Brouillard was a priest. M.P. also was a member of the Boy Scouts of America.

The grandparents whipped him after he got into an argument with Brouillard, who at the time had allegedly been abusing him for about three months. In his lawsuit, M.P. said he couldn't take what the priest was doing to him so he decided to tell his grandparents.

M.P., in his lawsuit, said Brouillard drove past him as he was walking to his house to tell his grandparents but the priest beat him to it. Brouillard reached the house first.

The lawsuit says Brouillard told M.P.'s grandparents that he was a bad boy for not obeying him and did not deserve to be a member of the Boy Scouts of America. The boy tried to tell the truth, the lawsuit says, but was whipped instead.

Sentencing for disgraced former Catholic priest


October 24, 2017

A former Niagara area priest has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for sexually abusing three boys in the 1970’s and 80’s.

77 year old Donald Grecco walked into the St. Catharines courthouse alone where he was handed an 18-month sentence and also ordered a lifetime ban on contact with anyone under the age of 16. He will also be registered as a sex offender. Justice Joseph Nadel called him a pathetic and selfish individual who had wrecked 6 lives.

One of the lives he was referring to was William O’Sullivan. It’s been a long time coming for William, Grecco began abusing him at St. Kevin’s church in Welland when he was just nine years old.

“It began as all these monster do with a pat, an arm around the shoulder, a tap on the bum.”

Clergy abuse pre-mediation talks begin

Pacific Daily News

October 25, 2017

by Haidee V Eugenio

U.S. District Court Senior Judge Alex Munson met Wednesday afternoon with most of the attorneys for plaintiffs and defendants in Guam's nearly 140 clergy sex abuse lawsuits, as parties pursue mediation to try to settle the cases.

The 2:45 p.m. meeting in federal court was behind closed doors, and the details discussed were confidential.

Munson serves as the discovery master in the planned mediation, which the parties said will happen around March 2018. That's much later than the original target of late October or early November, following preliminary talks in Honolulu in September.

Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, through his attorney, Jacqueline Terlaje, took part in the pre-mediation meeting, as ordered Oct. 17 by Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood.

Apuron has a pending motion to dismiss the lawsuits filed against him by former altar boys who accuse him of sexually abusing or raping them in Agat in the 1970s. The archbishop's attorney has said they won't consider any mediation until after the Vatican decides on Apuron's canonical trial.

Church revamps child protection policy

Pacific Daily News

October 24, 2017

by Haidee V Eugenio

Child sexual abuse allegations against Archbishop Anthony Apuron went unchecked for years because of an inadequate policy for the protection of children and young people, according to Archbishop Michael Byrnes, who said the island's Catholic church has completely revised its policy.

Byrnes said the decision about whether to move forward with an investigation rested with the archbishop. That decision now will be made by an independent body, he said Tuesday.

Apuron, who is facing a canonical trial at the Vatican which could decide his future as a member of the clergy, has been accused of raping or molesting four altar boys in Agat decades ago, when he was a parish priest. The former altar boys and the family of a deceased former altar boy also have sued Apuron and the church in federal court, demanding millions of dollars.

Byrnes was appointed by the pope as Apuron's eventual replacement.

Under church policy, if an archbishop is accused of sexual abuse, the Vatican is to be notified immediately.

"So, if God forbid, one of our current clergy were to be accused of sexual abuse of minors, there would be an investigation that would be automatically prompted and the results of that investigation will go not directly to me, but to the independent review board, which is made up of a number of people who helped work on this policy," Byrnes said during a press conference Tuesday.

The revised policy requires employees and volunteers to immediately report any allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy to the archdiocese and to civil authorities.

Failure to report immediately could result in disciplinary action, including dismissal, and could result in civil or criminal penalties under Guam law.

The policies can be viewed on the archdiocese's website, www.aganaarch.org.

"These documents will help instigate a change of culture in our archdiocese," Byrnes stated in a cover letter for the policies.

The review board also decides whether accused clergy will be suspended while an investigation is conducted.

In Rome, NZ expert speaks out on abuse

NZ Catholic via Catholic News Service

October 25, 2017

NZ Catholic Staff

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A New Zealand member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors has said the Church needs to listen better to victims of sexual abuse.

Bill Kilgallon, the director of the National Office for Professional Standards in this country, was among members of the commission who met Pope Francis at the Vatican on September 21.

Mr Kilgallon told the Catholic News Service that the Church needs to listen better to victims of abuse and it must be clear, firm and honest in proving that abuse has no place in its institutions.

Protecting children is not only central to Christ’s teachings, but “you can’t give people their childhood back. We get only one chance”, he said.

Mr Kilgallon added that as the commission helps advise dioceses, bishops’ conferences and religious orders about best practices and good guidelines, “those churches which have good structures and good safeguarding arrangements, the risk is that they become complacent”.

It is vital these countries keep “renewing and reviewing” their policies and practices, especially with external audits, he said.

“We know what you need for a safe environment,” he said, but the problems are: convincing countries that are struggling because of a lack of information, resources or personnel to reach out for help; getting information to everyone, including parents and children; and convincing those with guidelines in place that they need to be coupled with real action.

The CNS story reported that more than 200 workshops or seminars have been held all over the world, including at the Vatican, seeking to raise awareness about the crime of sexual abuse against minors and vulnerable adults, and the Church’s duty to educate, train and protect its members.

But commission members acknowledge that more needs to be done. On September 21, Pope Francis had his first face-to-face discussion with members of the commission that was formed in 2014 and, during the meeting, members summarised the work they have accomplished and detailed a number of recommendations, including regarding the invocation of “pontifical secret” during abuse investigations and trials.

October 24, 2017

Judge tosses charges against friar

Altoona Mirror

October 24, 2017

By Kay Stephens

Kopriva concluded statute of limitations expired for Schinelli

Child endangerment and criminal conspiracy charges have been dismissed against one of the three Franciscan friars accused of failing to properly supervise Brother Stephen Baker, a suspected predator accused of molesting youth while working at a Johnstown Catholic high school.

In a ruling issued Monday, Blair County Judge Jolene G. Kopriva concluded that the state’s previous statute of limitations — requiring prosecution of sexual offenses against minors to be filed no later than two years after the minor turned 18 — would have expired in 2014 for friar Anthony “Giles” Schinelli, a former administrator for the Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular, Hollidayburg.

But due to a 2007 change in the statute extending the prosecution time frame to a minor’s 50th birthday, Kopriva concluded that friars Robert J. D’Aversa and Anthony J. Criscitelli, who succeeded Schinelli as ministers provincial, are subject to charges and their cases should move forward.

Release of Santa Fe court records a step in countering abuse, archdiocese says

Catholic News Agency

October 24, 2017

The release of court records related to sex abuse allegations against three Catholic priests several decades ago will serve as “an additional step in healing for survivors, their families, our Church, and communities,” the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has said.

“Going forward, the archdiocese intends to continue promoting transparency in its efforts to protect children and young people from sexual abuse by clergy or anyone else in the community, while at the same time being careful to respect the rights of those who may be falsely accused, and respect the privacy of abuse survivors and their families,” the archdiocese said Oct. 18.

It said the documents were related to three priests “credibly accused of sexual misconduct with minors” in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s.

Among the documents are hundreds of pages of court records that concern allegations against the clergy. They include letters indicating that Church leaders knew of sex abuse allegations that had been made against three priests.

A New Mexico judge ordered their release after a request from KOB-TV.

Judge Throws Out Charges Vs. Friar Accused of Abuse Cover-Up

The Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report

[See also the entry on this case in BishopAccountability.org's list of U.S. dioceses and religious orders that have faced criminal charges.]

A judge has dismissed charges against one of three friars accused of improperly supervising a Franciscan brother who was accused of molesting more than 100 children, most at a Pennsylvania high school.

The judge found 74-year-old Anthony "Giles" Schinelli didn't conspire to cover up abuse allegations. The judge also concluded the statute of limitations ran out on a child endangerment charge, because his supervision of the brother ended in 1994.

But the judge found evidence the other two friars supervising Brother Stephen Baker did conspire to cover up allegations before and during Baker's tenure at Johnstown's Bishop McCort Catholic High School in the 1990s. The judge found the statute of limitations didn't expire in their cases because the alleged conspiracy lasted until 2010.

Baker killed himself in 2013, before church officials paid more than $8 million to settle claims by former McCort students

Ex-priest Grecco gets 18 months in prison

St. Catharines Standard

October 24, 2017

By Grant LaFleche

The Wolf in Priest's Clothing: Epilogue

[See also The Wolf in Priest's Clothing: Complete series]

There was no forgiveness in William O’Sullivan’s heart Tuesday for the priest who sexually abused him as a child. But there was empathy as he watched Donald Grecco be led away from a St. Catharines courtroom to serve the next 18 months of his life in prison.

“I know where he is going. I know what it is like, so I have some empathy. I’m human,” said O’Sullivan, who has served time in prison. “But when they led him away and got the handcuffs out, that was good to see.”

Justice Joseph Nadel sentenced Grecco to 18 months in prison, with three years of parole after his time is served, for three counts of gross indecency for the sexual abuse of three boys from 1975 to 1982.

Nadel also ordered Grecco’s DNA be recorded for the national sex offender registry and banned him for life from attending public places where those under 16 are likely to be, including public parks, school grounds and community centres.

Philippine House's failure to renew license of Catholic radio network sparks censorship concerns

The Christian Times

October 24, 2017

By Jardine Malado

The Philippine House of Representatives has failed to renew the license of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to operate its radio network, prompting concerns that it may be an attempt to censor the Church. ...

... The Church had been critical of the rising number of deaths in the government's war on drugs, and it has also staunchly opposed the attempts to restore the death penalty.

Last week, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, an ally of Duterte, castigated the bishops for their failure to address the issue of sexual abuse by priests.

"They prey on minors, so many of them ... are pedophiles, let them clean up their ranks before criticizing government," he said, adding that the bishops should aim their sermons on sinful priests instead of criticizing the war on drugs.

Bill held after abuse victims' lawyer questions reorganization of church diocese

The Canadian Press via 680News.com

October 24, 2017

A Nova Scotia legislature committee has shelved a private members bill that would reorganize the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth amid concerns from a lawyer representing sexual abuse victims.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said the local bills committee acted properly when it voted Tuesday to hold the bill after a presentation by John McKiggan, who represents hundreds of sexual assault victims who were abused by priests.

The Halifax lawyer told the committee he believes the bill would allow the archdiocese to divest itself of assets and place them into sub-corporations held by individual parishes.

McKiggan suggests the intent for the proposed change to century-old legislation was to “make it more difficult for survivors of priest sexual abuse to be able to receive just and fair compensation for their

La Iglesia debe escuchar a las víctimas

La Nacion

October 23, 2017

By Sergio O. Buenanueva [Bishop of the Argentine diocese of San Francisco]

[Google Translate: The Church must listen to the victims. ... The crisis over sexual abuse is strongly shaking the Catholic Church. In Argentina is just beginning. And as it happened in other countries (United States, Ireland or, closer to us, Chile), its beginning has been painful and explosive. Cases like those of Grassi or the Próvolo Institute in Mendoza have moved the society, also generating a domino effect: the victims are encouraged to expose their drama. In some cases, after a long time of suffering. They perceive - and rightly so - that public opinion, the media and, above all, Justice are with them.]

La crisis por los abusos sexuales está sacudiendo fuertemente a la Iglesia Católica. En la Argentina está recién comenzando. Y como ocurrió en otros países (Estados Unidos, Irlanda o, más cerca de nosotros, Chile), su inicio ha sido doloroso y explosivo. Casos como los de Grassi o el Instituto Próvolo en Mendoza han conmovido a la sociedad, generando también un efecto dominó: las víctimas se sienten animadas a sacar a la luz su drama. En algunos casos, después de mucho tiempo de sufrimiento. Perciben -y con razón- que la opinión pública, los medios y, sobre todo, la Justicia están con ellas.

¿Está preparada la Iglesia en la Argentina para esta crisis? Desde 2010 los obispos abordamos esta problemática. El primer paso fue la elaboración de unas guías para responder a las denuncias. El texto fue revisado por la Santa Sede, está ahora vigente y ayuda a dar una respuesta más ágil, clara y eficaz a las denuncias. Sin embargo quedan muchos aspectos por mejorar, entre otros: sentido y límites del secreto pontificio, colaboración con la justicia del Estado, comunicación más transparente, mayor precisión en las penas.

Emiliano Fittipaldi: ‘Para Francisco, a pedofilia é uma questão secundária’

Jornal de Comunidade Cultura e Arte

October 20, 2017

[Interview of Italian journalist Emiliano Fittipaldo about his latest book, published earlier this year. It focuses on Pope Francis's handling of the crisis of clergy sex abuse. Fittipaldo portrays the Pope as 'a person who speaks publicly against pedophilia, but does not do enough or does nothing within the Catholic Church to eradicate this type of behavior.']

O investigador dos podres da Igreja Católica Emiliano Fittipaldi tem novo livro. Depois da corrupção, dedica-se à falta de ação do Vaticano contra a pedofilia.

O Vaticano pô-lo em tribunal por causa do seu último livro Avareza. E quanto a este, acha que eles vão fazer queixa de si outra vez?

Acho que não porque a escolha do Vaticano foi uma escolha estúpida, para além de ser contra a liberdade de imprensa. Mas o que mais os incomodou foi que ao me fazerem arriscar uma pena de prisão transformaram o meu livro num sucesso mundial e desta vez com Luxúria não voltaram a cometer o mesmo erro e a escolha política e estratégica que fizeram foi a de se calarem, o problema é que, assim, tudo o que eu escrevi aqui, que é muito pior do que escrevi em Avareza, acaba por ser automaticamente confirmado.

Mas o Papa não deve estar muito satisfeito consigo?

[risos] Não sei: o trabalho do jornalista é o de ver a diferença entre aquilo que o poder conta através da propaganda e a realidade. Para mim, o Papa é um dos poderosos deste mundo, respeito muito a fé e o papel religioso que ele tem, mas como jornalista tenho de avaliar a sua liderança. Em Avareza e Luxúria tento explicar quais foram os escândalos no Vaticano que ele não conseguiu ou não quis explicar. Não estou muito interessado no que o Papa pensa sobre mim, o meu interesse é que os leitores sejam instruídos sobre o que o Vaticano e o Papa fazem ou não fazem para acabar com a pedofilia e neste caso o Papa não conseguiu alertar o público sobre o que aconteceu.

Panel discussions planned on clerical abuse

Albuquerque Journal

October 23, 2017

By Olivier Uyttebrouck

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe officials will field questions about clerical sexual abuse in a series of panel discussions scheduled from Nov. 7 to Jan. 31 at five parishes around the New Mexico, the archdiocese said Monday.

The announcement came less than a week after a court-ordered disclosure of church records about three former Archdiocese of Santa Fe priests, and about a month after the archdiocese released a list of 74 clergy who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children, together with an apology to survivors.

The Rev. John Daniel, the archdiocese’s vicar for clergy, issued an email asking all parishes to publish the time and place of the panel discussions at least twice in their church bulletins.

“The purpose for these Panel Discussions, are to help with healing and transparency,” Daniel said in the email.

The panels will be held at parishes in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, Clovis, and Las Vegas, N.M. Panelists will be available to “answer questions, address concerns and give information,” according to the email.

Archdiocese mandating training for adults interacting with youth


October 24, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Starting next month, the Archdiocese of Agana will go live with an online resource to ensure every adult that comes in contact with youth - at church or in the classroom - gets a regular refresher course on safe boundaries and mandated reporting.

Anywhere from 500 to 800 individuals who work at or with the Church will need to log on and take a refresher course. "Any adult who's going to be in regular contact, especially in some type of leadership role with young people, must go through this training," explained Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes upon announcing their Choice Program, one he's used himself years ago as a priest.

"We've decided to adopt the Virtus online program for the protection of minors," he stated.

The program, according to the website, provides training on the signs of child sexual abuse, methods and means by which offenders commit abuse, and easy steps one can use to prevent child sexual abuse.

To date, 130-plus clergy sexual abuse lawsuits have been filed in the local and federal courts.

Priest accused of sexually assaulting school aged girl pleads guilty to amended charges

Fox6 News

October 23, 2017

[See also the entry for Marsicek in BishopAccountability.org's database of accused U.S. clergy.]

A long-time priest accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting an elementary school aged girl in Wauwatosa pleaded guilty on Monday, October 23rd to three amended counts of fourth-degree sexual assault (a misdemeanor). 76-year-old Robert Marsicek was initially charged with three counts of first-degree child sexual assault – contact with a child under age 13.

Marsicek, known to many as Father Bob, was charged in connection with events that allegedly took place at St. Pius X Grade School in Wauwatosa. The alleged molestation took place from 2007 through 2010.

In December 2016, a 15-year-old girl went to Wauwatosa police to discuss allegations that she was sexually assaulted by Marsicek.

According to the criminal complaint, the alleged victim told police Marsicek was the priest at the school. She said starting in first grade, Marsicek would “hug her” and often touch her in inappropriate ways. The complaint indicates these incidents happened from first through fourth grade.

Assignment History– Msgr. Francis J. Manzo


October 24, 2017

Summary of Case: Francis J. Manzo was ordained for the Diocese of Brooklyn in 1962. He was an assistant priest in several parishes before joining the faculty of Cathedral Prep Seminary in 1967, where he was Dean of Students 1971-1980 . From there he pastored St. Catharine of Alexandria parish for twelve years, moving in 1992 to Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He had been elevated to Monsignor status in 1986.

Manzo was named in a lawsuit in 2002 as having "violently abused" an altar boy while assigned to St. Catharine's. The lawsuit claimed that Manzo was reassigned in 1992 after being accused. The Official Catholic DIrectory shows Manzo to have been Absent on Leave 1994-2002, after which he is no longer indexed. A September 2016 parish bulletin indicates that Manzo was still a Brooklyn priest.

Church unveils sexual abuse policy reform

The Guam Daily Post

October 24, 2017

By John O'Connor

Afters months of development, and amid multiple sex abuse lawsuits that accuse former Guam priests and others in the church, the Archdiocese of Agana has unveiled its amended sexual abuse policy.

The policy includes new policies for the independent review board – which oversees sexual abuse allegations against clergy – and the archdiocese's safe environment program.

The new overall policy is aligned with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, according to Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes.

Between 500 and 800 clergymen and adults who work with children – including volunteers – will be required to take mandated online training courses developed by Virtus Online. Training is expected to be completed by January 2018.

Background checks will be conducted in tandem with the training.

Malojloj man latest to accuse priest of molestation


October 24, 2017

By Krystal Paco

A 53-year-old Malojloj man is the latest person to come forward alleging child sex abuse involving the local Catholic Church. Identified only as J.T., it was between 1972 through 1976 that he was sexually molested by Fr. Louis Brouillard who was the priest at San Isidro Catholic Church and a Boy Scout Master. JT during that time was an altar boy and Boy Scout.

He alleges Fr. Brouillard sexually molested him on parish grounds and during Boy Scout outings. Several years later Fr. Brouillard was reassigned to Minnesota. In 1981 he wrote to JT's parents offering to pay for his college tuition, air fare, food and housing. Although JT didn't want to go, his parents convinced him that it was an opportunity he could not pass up.

Under the impression he would be attending college, not soon after he arrived, Fr Brouillard took him to Canada where he allegedly tried to force JT to have sex with him. The victim pushed him away, refused and told the priest he would not be his sex toy. This was the last time JT ever saw or had a sexual encounter with Brouillard.

In an interview with KUAM last year, the priest confessed to sexually molesting boys in Guam, saying he thought it made them happy.

Archdiocese committed to protecting youth against sexual abuse

Pacific News Center

October 24, 2017

By Jolene Toves
The Archdiocese of Agana is implementing a revised policy intended to protect our island’s youth from sexual predators in hopes of rebuilding faith in the Catholic Church.

Guam – Over the last several years the Archdiocese of Guam has found itself in the midst of sexual abuse scandals, to date over 100 cases of sexual abuse has been filed against the church. But even more alarming in each case it is alleged that the Archdiocese was aware and conspired to cover-up the widespread sexual violence.

In September, both the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and the Center for Constitutional Rights, in a report to the UN argued “that the Holy See has not made substantial progress in genuinely acknowledging, internalizing and implements the full range of policies and practices that would center children’s best interest and protect them against sexual violence.”

Today, it appears that at least for the Archdiocese of Guam, they are attempting to make a change, through the implementation of policies addressing the problems of sexual abuse by clergy, employees and volunteers.

Man says he refused to be priest's sex toy in US

Pacific Daily News

October 24, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

Father Louis Brouillard is accused of bringing another altar boy and Boy Scout from Guam to Minnesota and Canada decades ago, allegedly to continue sexually abusing him.

J.T., now 53, said in his lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday, that he thought Brouillard brought him to Pine City, Minnesota, around 1981, to attend college, which is what Brouillard told his parents.

According to the lawsuit, Brouillard had sexually abused J.T. earlier on Guam, from 1972 to 1976.

J.T. said in his lawsuit that he lived with Brouillard and his parents in a two-bedroom retirement home.

#MeToo brings to light scope of sexual assault, victims' suffering

National Catholic Reporter

October 23, 2017

By Phyllis Zagano

A few days ago, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted: "If you've been sexually harassed or assaulted write 'me too' as a reply to this tweet." Since then, some half million people tweeted "Me Too." More than twelve million people posted #MeToo on Facebook.

Sexual assault is no joke.

Sometimes they tell tragic stories. Sometimes they name names. Sometimes they just say #MeToo.

They are women and men, girls and boys. They share the common bonds of anger, hurt, resentment and doubt. How could they be treated like that, like what? Like an object? Like an animal? Like a piece of meat?

Their stories are remarkably similar. The professor, the director, the editor, the priest, the manager — always someone with the power to create or destroy a career or a life — physically or emotionally cornered their prey and, more often than not, pounced. These are the up-close-and-personal harassments and assaults: the off-tune comments; the brushing past and "accidentally" touching private places above or below the waist; the promise of some sort of help in return for "favors."

There is rape, yes, but there are also the subtle line crossings that curdle the soul.

There is the leering and staring, the equally disturbing at-a-distance harassments. The person granted a whistle or a catcall when walking down the street, or the one who is "checked out" coming into a room does not forget it.

Please remember, it's not just women and girls. Men and boys are often targets of entitled strangers (or friends, or acquaintances or superiors) who only know about defined boundaries on maps. These days we hear more about women and girls.

The salacious facts about the latest celebrity that now spread across newspapers underscore the national interest in little more than salacious facts. Today's news is forgotten once it wraps tomorrow's fish. The names paraded across television screens soon drop into a memory hole. Today: Harvey Weinstein. Yesterday: Bill Cosby, Anthony Weiner, and Jerry Sandusky. Other celebrity scandals have already faded. Who remembers Roman Polanski?

Celebrities aside, there are the 6,721 accused priests and bishops in the United States counted by bishopaccountability.org. The sickness of going after children is mind-boggling, but we know at least some are predators intent on abusing older teenagers. Besides these, the uncounted legion of priests with paramours (male or female) brings abuse to a new level. And, we have no idea of the number of fathers among the fathers; we only know of the few whose children or consciences eventually outed them.

October 23, 2017

Priest pleads guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges of sex assaulting a child at Wauwatosa school

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

October 23, 2017

By Bruce Vielmetti

[See the entry for Marsicek in BishopAccountability.org's database of accused U.S. clergy.]

A Milwaukee priest pleaded guilty to three counts of misdemeanor sexual contact with a girl while at a Catholic school in Wauwatosa between 2007 and 2011.

Robert Marsicek, 76, who was removed from ministry in 2013, was charged in February with three felony counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child, but as a result of negotiations with prosecutors entered his pleas to fourth-degree sexual assault, a misdemeanor that involves sexual touching.

Sentencing was set for Dec. 15. He remains free on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond and conditions that he have no contact with the victim or anyone under the age of 18.

According to the original complaint, Marsicek touched the girl while at Pius X Parish and school in Wauwatosa between 2007 and 2011. Among the incidents, she said Marsicek at one point laid on her and touched her breasts and at another reached under her jumper to "pat" her vagina.

Marsicek told detectives that the girl was clingy and liked to sit on his lap, and that he told her it was not acceptable. He said he did not remember the other details of her allegations. The complaint references similar incidents involving boys in California.

Asked if he was aroused by boys and young girls, Marsicek allegedly told detectives, “Certainly, I’m aroused (by) just the cuteness and beauty of them," but not to the level that he would want to have sex with them.

Vintage ‘Bernardin Bishop’ says Pope Francis is vindicating his legacy

Crux Now

October 23, 2017

By Christopher White

As Bishop Gerald Kicanas prepares to hand over the reigns of the diocese of Tucson, Arizona next month, he looks back on his 51 years as a priest and a Church that has dramatically changed since he was first ordained. In an interview with Crux, Kicanas laments the current polarization in the Church and says he hopes to see more "Francis-like actions" by the U.S. bishops.

When Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona, officially hands over the reigns of his diocese to his successor next month, he says he’ll leave behind a place that seemed virtually in ruins when he got there, but which has now been remade.

In the spirit of Pope Francis, Kicanas is proud to boast that his diocese is eager to “share the journey” and to promote Christian discipleship in its totality. Such a mission, he says, requires both administrative savvy and an attractive witness to the gospel - both of which have defined the bishop’s time in Tucson.

Kicanas arrived in Tucson in 2001 to serve as coadjutor bishop of the diocese right as the clergy sexual abuse crisis was close to a boiling point. The diocese, then led by Bishop Manuel Moreno, had been plagued by numerous sexual abuse cases from previous years, and together he and Bishop Kicanas put the house in order.

Secret children of Catholic priests: Solid Associated Press report takes one very strange turn


October 23, 2017

By Terry Mattingly

All journalists who hold jobs in which they have to write hard-news stories on tight deadlines – in wire-service newsrooms, for example – know about the challenge of writing short, accurate summary paragraphs that package lots of facts into very few words.

My college mentor, the famous J-prof David McHam, used to put it this way: A journalist is someone who can write a solid 500-word story in 20 minutes, even with a headache.

You really have to watch out for the transition paragraphs, however, the ones in which you try to give readers a big idea in a punchy sentence, or two. You can end up with strained logic, or worse. Hold that thought, because we will return to it later.

Recently, a careful reader of this blog sent me the URL for an Associated Press story that ran at Crux focusing on a complex and very difficult subject. The headline is rather calm, considering the scandalous subject: "Pope’s advisers on sex abuse also take up children of priests." Here is the overture:

Cash restriction removed from child sex abuse suspect's bond


October 23, 2017

Prattville AL - A judge has updated the bond requirements for John Edgar Harris, a former Prattville church employee who was arrested and charged with child sex crimes on Oct. 13.

Harris is charged with one count of first-degree sexual abuse and one count of facilitating the travel of a child for an unlawful sex act. His $150,000 bond initially required payment in cash, but that restriction has since been removed.

Other bond restrictions placed on Harris include requirements that he wear an ankle monitor at all times, that he cannot leave the state of Alabama, that he have no contact with anyone under the age of 19, and that he cannot enter property owned by his previous employer, Glynwood Baptist Church of Prattville.

Harris' preliminary court hearing has been reset for November. He remains in the Autauga Metro Jail at this time.

Glencoe Police Department Letter Regarding Reverend James Devorak

Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

October 20, 2017

Source: Tom Halden, Director of Communications

Link to letter from Glencoe Police Chief James R. Raiter regarding allegation against Reverend James Devorak:


Statement Regarding Reinstatement of Reverend James Devorak

Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

October 20, 2017

Source: Tom Halden, Director of Communications

From Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda

I have accepted the recommendation of the Archdiocesan Ministerial Review Board (MRB) and the Director of the Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment to return Father James Devorak to ministry in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Father Devorak is a retired priest of the Diocese of New Ulm who has served parishes in the Archdiocese since 2015.

In July 2017, an accusation of an alleged single incident of sexual abuse said to have occurred in 1995 was reported to the Glencoe Police Department. On August 31, 2017, the Glencoe Police Department announced that it had completed its investigation, that Father Devorak had fully cooperated in the investigation and that no charges would be brought. Further, Chief of Police James Raiter issued a letter stating that “[a]fter a thorough and exhaustive investigation into this allegation by Captain Wyatt Bienfang, the facts became clear that this one allegation was unfounded, meaning the allegation had no merit. It is my hope that this one allegation will not over shadow the life’s work of Father James Devorak.” (Chief Raiter’s September 8, 2017 letter is posted on the Archdiocesan website)

On October 6, 2017, the Diocese of New Ulm Clergy Review Board recommended that Father Devorak’s authority to engage in ministry be reinstated. Also on October 6, 2017, Monsignor Douglas Grams, Vicar General of the Diocese of New Ulm, informed the Archdiocese in writing that Father Devorak had been reinstated to ministry. In his letter, Monsignor Grams stated that other than the 1995 allegation there are no other allegations in Father Devorak’s past. Additionally, Monsignor Grams wrote that “[o]n October 5, 2017, Jeff Anderson [an attorney retained by the accuser] called Tom Weiser [an attorney retained by the Diocese of New Ulm] to let him know Jeff Anderson’s office was withdrawing from the representation of the individual who made the claim against Father Devorak. Mr. Anderson stated his office had conducted its due diligence review and did not want a cloud over Father Devorak because of his client’s claim.”

More former students sue over alleged abuse at boarding school

Charleston Gazette-Mail

October 23, 2017

By Lacie Pierson

Nine former students of a now-closed boarding school have filed lawsuits this month saying they suffered severe abuse as part of a “culture of silence and secrecy” among officials at two schools in West Virginia and Tennessee.

The lawsuits, filed in Kanawha Circuit Court from Oct. 13-17, are the latest legal actions taken in the case of Miracle Meadows School in Salem, Harrison County. Two other former students filed a similar lawsuit in January.

The former students said school staff sexually assaulted and mentally and physically abused them while denying them food and an education at the school, which state officials closed in 2014, following the arrest of two employees on child abuse and neglect charges.

Miracle Meadows is one of 14 defendants named in each of the lawsuits. Other defendants include Susan Gayle Clark, former director of Miracle Meadows; Seventh-Day Adventist Church North American Division and the Advent Home Learning Center in Calhoun, Tennessee, about 45 minutes northwest of Chattanooga; and its director, Blondel Senior.

All of the plaintiffs were minors during their time at the schools, and they are identified by their initials in the complaints filed in court last week.

Guam's Catholic Church does not believe perpetrators remain in clergy

Radio New Zealand (RNZ)

October 23, 2017

Guam's Catholic Church says it does not believe perpetrators remain in the clergy despite a growing number of historical sexual abuse complaints.

In the latest of more than 130 lawsuits a former altar boy alleges he was abused by a now deceased priest for five years from 1969.

Another new lawsuit alleges Archbishop Anthony Apuron advised a victim of abuse by a priest in the 1990s that prayer would help him to get over it.

But Archdiocese spokesperson Tony Diaz said under the church's new Archbishop they had adopted a charter to protect children, introduced training, and were encouraging victims and others to come forward.

"I can't say with full confidence right. We seem to be on top of the situation. The Archbishop has regular meetings with the priests themselves. So we do not believe that there are clergymen right now who have abused.

He said if anyone had an inkling of abuse they had to speak out about it.

Guam's Catholic Church says clergy now free of sexual abusers

Radio New Zealand (RNZ)

October 23, 2017

The historical sexual abuse scandal in Guam's Catholic Church continues to grow with allegations made against another priest.

A lawsuit has also been filed in relation to abuse by a now defrocked priest in the 1990s - raising questions about whether abuse may have been occurring more recently. But the church says it has now taken steps to prevent abuses.

Jo O'Brien reports.



A deceased priest Monsignor Jose Guerrero is the latest to be accused of sexual abuse - his victim was just nine years old when five years of alleged abuse began in 1969. Another complainant says he tried to report eight years of abuse by a priest in the 1990s to Archbishop Anthony Apuron in 1999. His lawyer David Lujan says the Archbishop's advice that prayer would help him get over it is not surprising, given accusations of abuse have also been made against him.

October 22, 2017

La visita del Papa Francisco: luces y sombras

La Prensa Austral

October 22, 2017

By Marcos Buvinic

[Google translation of excerpt: But, also, the awaited visit of Pope Francis, puts before our eyes the ambiguity that crosses all the human realities, even if they are bearers of the Spirit of God. The shadow that crosses the life of the Church in Osorno with the presence of Bishop Barros -discerned Karadima-, presence that remains despite the damage that means the division of the community and the loss of credibility, as well as the lack of respect to a responsible laity who tries to confront the plague of clericalism. If, until now, the painful situation of the Church of Osorno is maintained - and it affects the whole Church - we will have to wait for what Pope Francisco does and says, and how he relates to the community he treated as "foolish" and Left handed.]

Como todas las cosas de este mundo y las situaciones de la historia humana, la próxima visita a Chile del Papa Francisco está atravesada por luces y sombras. Mientras se prepara la visita del Papa al pueblo chileno y, particularmente, a los católicos del país, es importante y conveniente hacernos conscientes de esta realidad, para no caer -por un lado- en un triunfalismo ridículo y lleno de añoranzas de otros tiempos, o -por otro lado- en la indiferencia indolente o el rechazo irrespetuoso a una de las mayores figuras del mundo actual y líder espiritual de los católicos, que representamos una parte muy importante de la población chilena.

Lo más luminoso es -evidentemente- la visita de Francisco, una de las figuras y voces más relevantes de nuestro tiempo, y un líder espiritual que con sus gestos sencillos y su palabra clara ha traído una luz de esperanza en los complejos tiempos que vive la humanidad. Sus gestos y palabras son una interpelación a la conciencia de todos a construir un mundo más humano y bueno para todos. Significativas son sus intervenciones en favor de la paz allí donde la violencia y la guerra destruyen vidas e ilusiones, también en la defensa del medio ambiente como el cuidado de la casa común; su acción en favor de los refugiados y migrantes, así como su cercanía, consuelo y esperanza ante tantas formas de dolor humano.

* * *

Pero, también, la esperada visita del Papa Francisco, pone ante nuestros ojos la ambigüedad que atraviesa todas las realidades humanas, aun cuando ellas sean portadoras del Espíritu de Dios. La sombra que atraviesa la vida de la Iglesia en Osorno con la presencia del obispo Barros -discípulo de Karadima-, presencia que se mantiene a pesar del daño que significa la división de la comunidad y la pérdida de credibilidad, así como la falta de respeto a un laicado responsable que intenta enfrentar la peste del clericalismo. Si hasta ahora se mantiene la dolorosa situación de la Iglesia de Osorno -y que afecta a toda la Iglesia-, habrá que esperar qué hace y dice el Papa Francisco, y cómo se relaciona con la comunidad a la que trató de “tonta” y “zurda”.

Missbrauch: Eine schwere Hypothek für das Bistum

Norddeutscher Rundfunk

October 20, 2017

By Florian Breitmeier

[Google translation of one paragraph: The report was written because those affected by sexualized violence in the bishopric of Hildesheim had the courage to speak about their terrible experiences. Victim associations have established the public. Children and adolescents, men and women have not been silent like so many Church officials. What would have been a strong signal, if Auxiliary Bishop Schwerdtfeger and Bishop Ackermann had particularly appreciated this in their statements.]

Eine unabhängige Studie hat dem Bistum Hildesheim jahrzehntelange schwerwiegende Versäumnisse im Umgang mit sexuellen Missbrauchsfällen angelastet, die symptomatisch für die katholische Kirche insgesamt gewesen seien. Zu diesem Ergebnis kommt das vom Bistum beauftragte Institut für Praxisforschung und Projektberatung (IPP) aus München, das seine Ergebnisse am Montag vorgelegt hat.

Ein Kommentar von Florian Breitmeier, NDR Redaktion Religion und Gesellschaft

Die Forscher vom IPP haben ganze Arbeit geleistet und eine bemerkenswerte Studie vorgelegt. Beispielhaft zeigt sich: Institutionen mit extrem hierarchischen Strukturen und hohem moralischen Anspruch sind bei Skandalen in den eigenen Reihen nur bedingt aufklärungsfähig. Der selbstsichere Glaube daran, dass die Kirche ihre Angelegenheiten allein regeln kann, war lange Zeit weit verbreitet, nicht nur am Hildesheimer Domhof.

Worte finden für das Unglaubliche

Die klaren Worte und schonungslosen Bekenntnisse der Weihbischöfe am vergangenen Montag sind deshalb aller Ehren wert und in der katholischen Kirche nicht selbstverständlich. Allerdings waren die Fehler der Bistumsverantwortlichen über Jahrzehnte hinweg auch so haarsträubend, dass es einem beim Lesen des Berichts die Sprache verschlägt. Es galt, Worte zu finden für das Unglaubliche. Zum Glück haben die Bistumsverantwortlichen ihre Fehler offensiv angesprochen und die Opfer um Vergebung gebeten. Das war ein wichtiger Schritt, der Anerkennung verdient. Vor zwei Jahren, 2015, als die neuen Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen Peter R. in einer WDR-Dokumentation bekannt wurden, war die Reaktion des Bistums noch eine ganz andere. Da wurde auf der damaligen Pressekonferenz relativiert, verharmlost und Journalisten schäbiges Verhalten vorgeworfen.

Als Oberhirte kann man Verantwortung nicht delegieren

Ein ganz anderer Ton herrschte am vergangenen Montag. Aus traurigem Grund. Das schonungslose Gutachten des IPP verfehlte seine Wirkung nicht. Demut allenthalben aufgrund eindeutiger Erkenntnisse. Keine Frage: Die vorgestellten Ergebnisse hätten einen Rücktritt an der Bistumsspitze gerechtfertigt. Bischof Norbert Trelle hat das für sich stets abgelehnt und nicht auf eine Veröffentlichung der unangenehmen Ergebnisse in seiner Amtszeit gedrängt. Das steht für sich. Unangenehme Aufgaben kann man als Oberhirte vielleicht delegieren, Verantwortung aber nicht.

Trelle als Chefaufklärer?

Rückendeckung bekommt der emeritierte Hildesheimer Bischof gleichwohl. Weihbischof Nikolaus Schwerdtfeger war es gleich zu Beginn der Pressekonferenz wichtig zu betonen, dass Norbert Trelle das unangenehme Gutachten angestoßen habe. Sehr flott nach der Pressekonferenz in Hildesheim meldet sich der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der deutschen Bischofskonferenz, Stephan Ackermann, zu Wort. Auch er dankt zunächst Norbert Trelle dafür, dass er dieses Gutachten angestoßen habe. Diese doch sehr binnenfixierte Sicht darauf, wer wann was angestoßen hat, kann dann doch Anstoß erregen. Es stößt bitter auf, wenn hohe katholische Würdenträger ausgerechnet in dieser Frage ganz amtsbrüderlich dem Hildesheimer Bischof besondere Tatkraft attestieren, ihn indirekt zu einer Art Chefaufklärer machen. Aber: Die entscheidenden Impulse für dieses Gutachten hat nicht Norbert Trelle gesetzt.

Opferverbände stellten Öffentlichkeit her

Das Gutachten wurde geschrieben, weil Betroffene sexualisierter Gewalt im Bistum Hildesheim den Mut hatten und haben, über ihre schrecklichen Erlebnisse zu sprechen. Opferverbände haben Öffentlichkeit hergestellt. Kinder und Jugendliche, Männer und Frauen haben nicht geschwiegen wie so viele kirchliche Amtsträger. Was wäre es für ein starkes Signal gewesen, wenn Weihbischof Schwerdtfeger und Bischof Ackermann dies in ihren Statements besonders gewürdigt hätten.

Eine vergebene Chance.

The church has forgotten an inconvenient truth in its opposition to same-sex marriage

Sydney Morning Herald

October 17, 2017

By Anna Krien

In Senator Penny Wong's much celebrated speech in the Senate opposing the Coalition's postal plebiscite, she responded with contempt to Liberal senator Mathias Cormann's comment that the plebiscite on marriage equality could be a "unifying moment". "But I tell you," she said in a steely voice, "have a read of some of the things which are said about us and our families and then come back here and tell us this is a unifying moment."

She recalled the Australian Christian Lobby's description of children brought up in same-sex family units as "the stolen generation". "We love our children," Wong said passionately.

* * *

Ah, the children. The "yes" campaign needs only two words to respond to the ACL, the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church and the other religious heavy-hitters' concerns about the "children".

If there is ever a moment in time when a vast spectrum of Australian religious institutions and their lobby groups should shut right up about the protection of children, it is now, in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

For four years now, since 2013, the royal commission has revealed institutionalised silence and cover-ups of children sexually abused within the framework of various churches. To date, thousands of horrific stories have been heard – of children being preyed upon, sexually abused, their families groomed, and most importantly of numerous religious authorities not only looking the other way but enabling the abuse to continue. That many of these same institutions even deign to utter the words "children" and "protection" in the current marriage equality debate is contemptuous.

The Church's child abuse record doesn't disqualify it from opposing same-sex marriage

Sydney Morning Herald

By Kevin Donnelly

Author Anna Krien's recent condemnation of the church's apparent hypocrisy (The Age, 17/10) in arguing that heterosexual marriage is best for children while being guilty of failing to address historical child abuse appears convincing.

A closer reading, though, reveals it for what it is.

While Krien's argument is emotionally persuasive she fails to provide a rational argument linking the two. Yes, the church clearly opposes same-sex marriage but to simply dismiss its arguments because of its failure to address paedophilia is wrong.

Firstly, the Catholic Church has long admitted it failed to protect children and that it did not do enough to bring the guilty to justice and to properly recompense victims.

Francis Sullivan, the head of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, describes this as "a massive failure on the part of the Catholic Church in Australia to protect children from abusers".

In 1996 when then-archbishop of Melbourne George Pell implemented the Melbourne Response it, notwithstanding a number of shortcomings, represented one of the first attempts to properly address the issue.

South Korea church scandals under spotlight in new film

Agence France Presse via Prothom Alo

October 21, 2017

Catholic corruption and sex abuse allegations have made global headlines for years. Now a new film shines a spotlight on scandals at South Korea's vast and politically powerful Protestant churches.

South Koreans are enthusiastic religious believers, with 44 percent practising or considering themselves religious, according to state data. Protestants are the largest group, followed by Buddhists and Catholics.

The country is home to several of the world's biggest "megachurches", with hundreds of thousands of members, while conservative evangelical church groups boast millions of followers and enormous political lobbying power.

Many star pastors build enormous personal fortunes and often pass control over their churches to their own children in a generational power transfer.

But corruption or sex scandals involving evangelical leaders make frequent headlines, as do court battles over lucrative congregations.

Review of Maher and O’Brien’s Tracing the Cultural Legacy of Irish Catholicism

Slugger O'Toole

October 20, 2017

By Gladys Ganiel

[Note: The passage from the Ryan report, mentioned in this review, may be found here at paragraph 3.149.]

There is much insightful reading in a new collection of essays edited by Eamon Maher and Eugene O’Brien, Tracing the Cultural Legacy of Irish Catholicism: From Galway to Cloyne and Beyond (Manchester University Press, 2017).

Maher, who lectures in Humanities at the Institute of Technology, Tallaght, has co-edited a number of collections on Irish Catholicism in recent years – all of which have made a valuable contribution in conversations about the future of the Church.

Titles such as Contemporary Catholicism in Ireland: A Critical Appraisal (2008) and The Dublin/Murphy Report: A Watershed for Irish Catholicism (2010) were published by Columba, a popular press based in Dublin that has since folded.

* * *

Maher and O’Brien, who lectures in English Language and Literature at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, have assembled a fascinating series of contributions. In most chapters, the writing and argumentation are accessible to both popular and academic audiences.

Maher and O’Brien ensure that all the contributions are read in light of the clerical abuse scandals.

The scandals are emphasised not only in the subtitle of the book but also in their Introduction. So in the opening pages of the book, they contrast the ‘euphoria’ of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Ballybrit Racecourse, Galway, in 1979 at a special mass for young people, with how priests and religious were abusing children across the island.

They reproduce a particularly harrowing passage from the 2009 Ryan Report on Child Abuse, detailing abuses at St Joseph’s Industrial School, Ferryhouse, Clonmel, about events that happened on the same day as the Pope’s visit to Limerick (p. 3):

The other boy was sent for, and Fr Stefano described how ‘the two boys sat in my office and unfolded to me a most horrific story of what had been happening to them.’ The boys told Fr Stefano story after story of cruelty and abuse. The worst, as far as he was concerned, was the abuse of one of the boys during the Pope’s visit to Ireland in 1979. The whole school went to see the Pope in Limerick, except for one of the two boys who was not allowed to go because of his record of absconding. Br Bruno volunteered to stay back and supervise him. The boy told Fr Stefano that, when the rest of the boys left, ‘this Brother came and raped me in my bed’. (Ryan, 2009: II, 2, 87; italics in original)

Maher and O’Brien then comment:

Therefore, while the Pope was speaking about the value of children in the Catholic world view some forty miles away, a Rosminian brother was raping two boys who had been placed under his care by both the Catholic Church and the State.

Maher and O’Brien’s Introduction is followed by a chapter by the Irish Times’ religious affairs correspondent, Patsy McGarry, which delves in greater detail into the scandals. It also explores the role of the media, including a succession of television documentaries, in unravelling an authoritarian Catholic culture.

Cemetery Won’t Allow Mention of ‘Rapist’ Priests at Grave


October 21, 2017

Wheaton, Ill. – A Kalamazoo man is in a dispute with a Roman Catholic diocese over his efforts to install a marker at his mother’s gravesite at a Chicago-area cemetery that proclaims her support for victims of “rapist” priests.

Jack Ruhl says the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet will not allow a marker at his mother Marguerite Ridgeway’s gravesite at a cemetery the diocese owns because it includes “explicit language,” The Chicago Tribune reported.

Ruhl wants to install a marker that reads: “She supported priest rapist victims.”

Op-Ed: Harvey Weinstein's alleged pattern of harassment echoes that of child sexual abusers

Los Angeles Times

October 22, 2017

By Paul Mones

There are many striking aspects to the breathtaking fall of Harvey Weinstein — the volume of women who have come forward, the number of years his alleged behavior remained an open secret, the sheer brazenness of that alleged behavior and, now, the ripple effects it is having well beyond Hollywood.

But as an attorney who has represented scores of victims of child sexual abuse, sexual assault and sexual harassment across the country, here’s what I find most remarkable: The similarities between the pattern of harassment that Weinstein allegedly engaged in, and the patterns of abuse that emerge in an entirely different context — namely, the sexual abuse of children in trusted institutions.

Although the specifics are different, the psychological and behavioral dynamics at play among the perpetrators and victims are virtually identical. The way in which Weinstein allegedly wielded power and relied on institutional silence echoes the manner in which Catholic priests were able to perpetrate grievous wrongs against generations of children.

Child abusers are consummately skilled in identifying vulnerable kids and knowing exactly what to say and do to accomplish their goals. Little is left to chance. They use their positions of power to cajole, knowing, for example, that praise and hints of special treatment are necessary in order to begin the process of initiating control.

October 21, 2017

Guam's Catholic Church abuse scandal widens

Radio New Zealand

September 20, 2017

By Jamie Tahana

[Note: We missed this important summary article and broadcast during our Tracker blogging in late September.]

In 1985, a 15-year-old boy was invited to do yard work at the local church, that soon led to invitations to watch TV, and then to drink seminary wine with the priest. One day, according to a lawsuit, the priest assaulted him - then dozens of times after that.

In another case, a 7-year-old was first abused on his 7th birthday, and then more than 100 times after that. Another claims he was assaulted in the car on his way to his grandmother's funeral.

These are just some of the allegations detailed in more than 100 lawsuits filed against the Catholic Church on Guam in the past year. New allegations continue to surface, along with signs of a systematic, decades-long cover-up.

So far, 16 priests, two archbishops and a bishop have been implicated in alleged abuse that spans from the mid-1950s to the early 1990s.

"It will continue getting bigger," said David Lujan, the lawyer representing a majority of the plaintiffs. "I still have another probably 15 more cases that I have yet to file and I keep getting phone calls from new clients. I suspect it's going to grow to at least 150, if not more."

The north Pacific island of 160,000 is one of the most Catholic places in the world - about 85 percent of the population identifies as Catholic.

NZ priest's secret children to come out of hiding

Radio New Zealand

October 19, 2017

By Phil Pennington

The secret children of a Catholic priest in New Zealand are about to reveal their identity to their local bishop, and a New Zealander who personally briefed the Pope on the topic says the Vatican has recognised the right to know one's parents

The adult siblings are among thousands internationally who have contacted the Coping International website, which offers support to the children of clergy.

The site's founder Vincent Doyle - an Irish man who himself is the son of a priest - said he expected many more New Zealanders who are priests' children, or their mothers, to come forward as they gained courage to speak up.

"We've been contacted from a number of people in New Zealand - one family where there's more than one child to the same priest, to the same woman - but they're going to be making moves in the coming future to the respective diocese and they'll be contacting the bishop concerned."

The family had contacted his website in the last three months, and granted him permission to speak a little about their situation, but most details remained confidential such as how many children there were and where they had grown up.

They were among 13,500 people worldwide who had been in touch with Mr Doyle since he started the website in late 2014.

Institut stellt Gutachten vor Missbrauch: »Muster des Wegschauens« im Bistum Hildesheim

Kirche + Leben

[Google Translation of First Paragraph: In the abuse case of the suspended priest Peter R., the independent Munich Institute for Practice Research and Project Counseling has accused the Diocese of Hildesheim and the Jesuits with a "pattern of the way to look." The threat posed by Peter R. had been consciously accepted by the Catholic bishopric over the decades, said expert Peter Mosser in Hildesheim on Monday.]

Im Missbrauchs-Fall um den suspendierten Priester Peter R. hat das unabhängige Münchener Institut für Praxisforschung und Projektberatung dem Bistum Hildesheim und den Jesuiten ein »Muster des Wegschauens« vorgeworfen. Die Gefährdung durch Peter R. sei von dem katholischen Bistum im Laufe der Jahrzehnte wissentlich in Kauf genommen worden, sagte Gutachter Peter Mosser am Montag in Hildesheim.

Insgesamt konnten Mosser zufolge elf gemeldete Fälle sexualisierter Gewalt während der Tätigkeit des Priesters in Hildesheim nachgewiesen werden, sechs davon seien den damaligen Bistumsverantwortlichen bekannt gewesen.

Vorwurf gegen Bischof weder bewiesen noch entkräftet

Der suspendierte Priester Peter R. gilt als einer der Haupttäter im Missbrauchsskandal am Berliner Gymnasium Canisius-Kolleg. Später arbeitete er rund 20 Jahre lang im Bistum Hildesheim.

Vorwürfe gegen den verstorbenen Bischof Janssen, zwischen 1958 und 1963 einen Jungen sexuell missbraucht zu haben, konnte das Gutachten weder beweisen noch entkräften. Dass in diesem Fall glaubwürdige Indizien nicht unter den Teppich gekehrt worden seien, sei ein großer Fortschritt, so Mosser. Ein Betroffener hatte sich Anfang 2015 an das Bistum Hildesheim gewandt. Eine Anerkennungszahlung von 10.000 Euro erfolgte laut Gutachten möglicherweise vorschnell. Auch hier hätte das Bistum professioneller vorgehen können, hieß es.
Die aktuellen Bemühungen des Bistums Hildesheim zur Vorbeugung von Missbrauch entsprächen dem Stand der Zeit, so die Gutachter. Dennoch solle sich die Diözese um weitere Professionalisierung bemühen.

Missbrauch – scharfe Kritik an Haltung des Bistums

Hildesheimer Allgemeine Zeitung

October 16, 2017

[Google Translation of title and first paragraph - Abuse: Sharp criticism of the attitude of the bishopric. Whether the former Hildesheim bishop Heinfrich Maria Janssen sexually abused teenagers or not, will probably never be enlightened. This is the conclusion reached by the experts of the Munich Institute IPP, which commissioned the Bishopric of Hildesheim to deal with the cases of Janssen and the former Jesuit Peter R.]

Hildesheim - Ob der frühere Hildesheimer Bischof Heinfrich Maria Janssen Jugendliche sexuell missbraucht hat oder nicht, wird sich wohl nie aufklären lassen. Zu diesem Schluss kommen die Gutachter des Münchner Instituts IPP, die das Bistum Hildesheim mit der Aufarbeitung der Fälle Janssens und des früheren Jesuitenpaters Peter R. beauftragt hatte.

Mit Blick auf den Fall R. übten die Gutachter teilweise scharfe Kritik am Vorgehen des Bistums. Weihbischof Heinz-Günter Bongartz bot deshalb seinen Rücktritt an. Der amtierende Bistumsleiter Nikolaus Schwerdtfeger lehnte das Ansinnen aber ab.

„Im Fall Janssen ist es unmöglich, die Vorwürfe zu belegen oder zu widerlegen“, sagte Gutachter Peter Mosser. Für Schwerdtfeger, der das Bistum nach dem Ende der Amtszeit von Norbert Trelle bis zur Bestimmung eines neuen Bischofs leitet, heißt das: „Die Unschuldsvermutung gilt. Aber der Zwiespalt bleibt.“

Diocese of Sioux City in Compliance with Dallas Charter

The Catholic Globe of the Diocese of Sioux City

October 19, 2017

By Joanne Fox

[Note: See also the BishopAccountability.org database entry on the important case of Fr. Peter B. Murphy.]

The Diocese of Sioux City submitted its audit on Aug. 30 pertaining to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (Dallas Charter) to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and is in compliance.

According to Dan Ellis, diocesan coordinator of the office of safe environment, during the 2016-17 fiscal year, there were nine new allegations of misconduct reported to the diocese. All of the allegations pertained to priests who are currently retired or are deceased. There were no new allegations regarding any priests currently serving in the diocese.

Ellis stressed the importance of the church remaining diligent in the work of protecting children. He noted that in every case of abuse, there were warning signs that were either not recognized or not reported.

“The child protection measures that the Catholic Church takes cannot guarantee every child will be shielded from abusers – nothing can do that,” he said. “But we can, and do, insist that every adult who works with our children knows the warning signs of an abuser, and how to report those warning signs.”

St. Pius first NM stop for Perrault

Albuquerque Journal

October 20, 2017

By Olivier Uyttebrouck

[Note: See the Perrault, Sigler, and Griego files.]

St. Pius X High School leaders were hit with a “bombshell” in 1970 when they were told of allegations of sexual abuse against the Rev. Arthur Perrault, a teacher at the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s flagship high school.

Those allegations remained secret for decades, but documents released this week pull back the curtain on how those school leaders and the archbishop responded.

And the documents show that, once again, a priest was simply moved to another post where he had access to new victims. They also show that Perrault was sent to St. Pius in the first place as a “good test period” to allow the archbishop to observe the 20-something priest after he was released from a Jemez Springs center that treated pedophile priests.

He was at the school four years and was later accused of molesting 11 victims during that period, from 1966-1970.

In 1970, St. Pius board members were approached by the father of a student, who asked to meet with them because “one of his sons that was at Pius had been involved with Father Perrault,” a board member recalled in a 1992 deposition. The father said that as a result of the abuse, his son “was so messed up that he had been thinking about suicide.”

The father, who is not identified in the deposition, said he discussed the abuse with then-Archbishop of Santa Fe James Davis. The allegations were electrifying, the board member said, because Perrault was chairman of the theology department at the archdiocese’s flagship high school.

In wake of Weinstein abuse scandal, Catholics call Church to leadership


October 20, 2017

By Claire Giangravè

After thousands of men and women tweeted #metoo, recounting their experiences of sexual harassment and expressing support for victims in the wake of abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Catholics say the Church should take a position of leadership in the fight against the exploitation of women.

Rome - When ‘Charmed’ actress Alyssa Milano asked her twitter followers to answer #metoo if they had also been victims of sexual harassment or assault, she probably wasn’t expecting to initiate a global viral trend.

In the wake of sexual abuse allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, thousands of women - and men - have taken to their social media accounts to tell their stories and show support for victims.

Many leading Christian voices spoke up, including Catholics, who underlined that not only do people of faith object to such injustices, but also that the Church should take charge when it comes to sexual harassment.

“The Catholic Church should take a leading role, not only in raising people’s awareness of the crime against human dignity that is sexual abuse but also the Catholic Church should likewise lead in promoting healing,” said Dawn Eden Goldstein, assistant professor of dogmatic theology at the Holy Apostles College and Seminary of Connecticut, in an interview with Crux.

In wake of Weinstein abuse scandal, Catholics call Church to leadership


October 20, 2017

By Claire Giangravè

After thousands of men and women tweeted #metoo, recounting their experiences of sexual harassment and expressing support for victims in the wake of abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Catholics say the Church should take a position of leadership in the fight against the exploitation of women.

Rome - When ‘Charmed’ actress Alyssa Milano asked her twitter followers to answer #metoo if they had also been victims of sexual harassment or assault, she probably wasn’t expecting to initiate a global viral trend.

In the wake of sexual abuse allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, thousands of women - and men - have taken to their social media accounts to tell their stories and show support for victims.

Many leading Christian voices spoke up, including Catholics, who underlined that not only do people of faith object to such injustices, but also that the Church should take charge when it comes to sexual harassment.

“The Catholic Church should take a leading role, not only in raising people’s awareness of the crime against human dignity that is sexual abuse but also the Catholic Church should likewise lead in promoting healing,” said Dawn Eden Goldstein, assistant professor of dogmatic theology at the Holy Apostles College and Seminary of Connecticut, in an interview with Crux.

Man wants mom's tombstone to say she 'supported priest rapist victims,' but diocese objects

Chicago Tribune

October 20, 2017

Marguerite Ridgeway was a fervent Catholic until her faith was shaken when church sex abuse scandals came to light, particularly a decades-old trauma recounted by her daughter-in-law.

Now Ridgeway’s son wants to install a marker at his late mother’s gravesite in Wheaton bearing the inscription “She supported priest rapist victims.”

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet, which owns Assumption Cemetery, has objected to what it calls the “explicit language” of the epitaph.

Ridgeway’s son, Jack Ruhl, of Kalamazoo, Mich., recently sent a rendering of the planned marker to the cemetery, along with a $350 check to cover the installation fee.

“I ask that you do not dishonor the memory of my mother by further delay in installation of her grave marker,” he said in an email to officials with the diocese earlier this month.

An attorney for the diocese in an Oct. 6 letter proposed removing the word “rapist” and substituting softer language, such as “She supported clergy sex abuse victims,” or “She supported victims of clergy sex abuse.”

The letter described the word rapist as “graphic, offensive and shocking to the senses.”

A Papua New Guinea bishop confirms police investigation and backs reinstatement of priest

Newcastle Herald

October 21, 2017

By Joanne McCarthy

A Papua New Guinea Catholic bishop says he will reinstate an Australian Vincentian priest to a PNG high school despite a police investigation of allegations involving school students, and a church investigation confirming the priest touched students’ legs and sometimes slapped them.

Bishop Rolando Santos said Australian Vincentian priest Neil Lams was “firm, upright and committed” and he was not changing the priest’s assignment as chaplain to the PNG school. The bishop reserved the right to take defamation action against people, including school teachers, who complained about the priest’s behaviour.

A church investigation report, which Bishop Santos supplied to the Newcastle Herald, found no evidence to support allegations Father Lams sexually abused two female students at a Catholic high school in eastern PNG.

But investigators for the PNG Catholic Church Office of Right Relationships in Ministry found evidence of confessional “incidents”, where Father Lams touched students on the legs and asked questions about sex that left students “embarrassed or scared or hurt or surprised”.

Photo Caption - Criticism: Port Stephens woman Wendy Stein and Vincentian Bishop Rolando Santos in Papua New Guinea. Bishop Santos has criticised Ms Stein for reporting sexual abuse allegations to police.

October 20, 2017

El juicio por abusos contra el cura Justo Ilarraz será el 13 de noviembre

Diario El Argentino

October 19, 2017

[Google Translate: The trial for abuses against the priest Justo Ilarraz will be on November 13. The start date for one of the most anticipated debates this year is scheduled for November 13. The priest is accused of abusing children and adolescents at the Lower Paraná Seminary between the late 1980s and early 1990s, and will now sit in front of the court composed of Alicia Vivian of the Court of Trials and Appeals of Gualeguaychú); Edwin Ives Bastian (member of the Concordia Court of Appeals and Trials); and Darío Crespo (member of the Court of Appeals and Gualeguay).]

La fecha de inicio para uno de los debates más esperados de este año está prevista para el 13 de noviembre. El cura está acusado de abusar de niños y adolescentes en el Seminario Menor de Paraná -entre fines de la década del ’80 y los primeros años de la década del ’90-, y ahora deberá sentarse frente al tribunal compuesto por Alicia Vivian (vocal del Tribunal de Juicios y Apelaciones de Gualeguaychú); Edwin Ives Bastian (vocal del Tribunal de Juicios y Apelaciones de Concordia); y Darío Crespo (vocal del Tribunal de Juicios y Apelaciones de Gualeguay). Cabe señalar que este último también integró el tribunal que juzgó y condenó en los primeros días de septiembre al cura Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria; y que el defensor del cura colombiano, Milton Urrutia, se tornará querellante para el juicio a Ilarraz; consignó Análisis Digital.

“Su mayor defensa siempre fue la prescripción”, recordó hace un tiempo atrás la abogada querellante Rosario Romero, sobre la estrategia que aplicó el cura Ilarraz para defenderse en la causa judicial. La gravísima denuncia periodística por abusos a menores en el Seminario de Paraná se hizo en septiembre de 2012, a raíz de la investigación publicada por la revista Análisis. Entonces, la Procuración General del Poder Judicial decidió abrir una investigación de oficio. La causa comenzó con innumerables traspiés y demoras, tanto así que hace ya más de cinco años de aquella publicación que conmocionó a la prensa provincial, nacional e internacional. Incluso, actualmente existe un recurso que debe resolver la Corte Suprema de Justicia de la Nación, en el cual los defensores del cura reclaman que los delitos se declaren prescriptos.

El juicio llevará varios días de noviembre e incluso algunos de diciembre en los tribunales de Paraná, además tendrá varias singularidades: probablemente sea a puertas cerradas por el tipo de delitos que se juzga. Entre los testigos pasará el cardenal Estanislao Esteban Karlic, quien al momento de los hechos denunciados era obispo de Paraná, jefe directo y muy cercano a Ilarraz; también declarará el actual obispo Juan Alberto Puiggari, en la época de los hechos investigados estaba a cargo del Seminario Mayor, entre otros sacerdotes y autoridades de la Iglesia Católica.

New Mexico judge orders release of clergy sex abuse records

The Associated Press

October 19, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Archdiocese of Santa Fe has released hundreds of pages of court records related to sexual abuse allegations against clergy members in response to an order from a New Mexico judge, marking the largest disclosure of such records since alleged victims began suing the archdiocese nearly three decades ago.

Church officials said in a statement issued after Wednesday’s (Oct. 18) release that they hope the disclosure along with the recent publication of a list of clergy accused of sexual misconduct will serve as an additional step in healing for survivors, their families and parishioners.

The documents include letters showing church leaders knew of sexual abuse allegations that had been leveled against three priests from the 1960s through the 1980s.

Judge Alan Malott’s order stems from a request by KOB-TV , which intervened in several abuse cases for the purpose of obtaining the records. The Albuquerque station had argued that much of the information should no longer be guarded by a court-protected confidentiality order.

“I think it’s important because it gives people who have been abused the concrete validation of their claims,” Levi Monagle, an attorney for some of the victims. “It’s one thing to know your own truth, but it’s another thing to see that truth acknowledged by people in the highest positions of power within an institution like the church.”

The records paint a picture of a diocese that repeatedly assigned priests accused of sexually abusing children to posts where they could abuse again, the Albuquerque Journal reported . The records include letters and reports from psychologists to church leaders that detail allegations against the three priests.

Former Bishop of Chester Victor Whitsey was an abuser, police told

Church Times

October 20, 2017

By Madeleine Davies

CHESTER police have announced that they have conducted an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse made against a former Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Victor Whitsey, who died in 1987.

They confirmed on Tuesday that, were he alive today, he would have been spoken to by police.

Alleged victims of the Bishop say that they reported the abuse, one on the following day, but that no action was ever taken.

The current Bishop of Chester, Dr Peter Forster, and the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, supported the investigation into “allegations of sexual offences against children and adults” by Bishop Whitsey, and have apologised to those who came forward.

The allegations date from 1974 onwards, when Bishop Whitsey was Bishop of Chester, and continued after 1981 when he retired and moved to Blackburn diocese, with permission to officiate. They relate to 13 complainants, five male and eight female.

Pope Francis reveals what will happen to priests guilty of child molestation

Daily Post

October 19, 2017

By Chijioke Jannah

Supreme leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, on Thursday vowed that priests who were indicted in cases of sexual indecency against children would no longer be given a right of appeal against being kicked out of the Church.

Pope Francis, who added that he would never pardon any of such priests, said he had learned his lesson after allowing an Italian Bishop to not defrock a priest who had been found guilty of acts of abuse, and who then committed similar offences two years later.

The Catholic Pontiff said this while addressing his child abuse advisory panel at the Vatican.

Francis also acknowledged that the Church had been slow to wake up to the scale of the problem of clerical abuse, which has done enormous damage to its standing in many countries.

He said, “The abuse of a minor, if it is proven, is sufficient for there to be no possibility of appeal. If the proof is there, the punishment is definitive.

“And as for requests for papal pardons, I will not sign anything for these crimes.

“The means of resolving the problem are also arriving a bit late.

“That is the reality, the old practice of moving (paedophile priests) from one diocese to the other put people’s conscience to sleep.”

Francis has repeatedly vowed to rid the church of the scourge of paedophilia through a zero-tolerance approach which his predecessors proved incapable of implementing.

But his credibility on the issue has been hit by the resignation of two members of his advisory panel over opposition to changes from within the Vatican hierarchy.

Victims’ organisations also maintain that the church remains reluctant to hand paedophile priests over to criminal justice authorities.

Lawyer not surprised Guam church abuse victim was shunned

Radio New Zealand

October 20, 2017

A lawyer for church sexual abuse complainants on Guam is not surprised an alleged victim was 'shunned' when he tried to report abuse.

A former altar boy alleged Archbishop Anthony Apuron encouraged him to pray as a way of getting over repeated abuse by a priest in the 1990s.

The man, who is now 40, is seeking five million US dollars in damages for the abuse which allegedly occurred over eight years.

His lawyer David Lujan said the Archbishop's response was understandable given the accusations of abuse that had been made against him.

"Because the victim is reporting the abuse to another abuser, in fact the abuser-in-chief," he said.

"Apuron has been abusing young kids for a couple of decades already at that point."

Mr Lujan said he believed there were more recent cases of abuse in Guam's Catholic Church but the victims were yet to come forward.

New developments in disturbing case involving Catholic priests in NM

KOAT Action 7 News

October 19, 2017

By Nancy Laflin

There are new developments in a disturbing case involving Catholic priests in New Mexico -- a judge is allowing hundreds of pages of court records to be unsealed.

Attorneys involved in this case say the documents detail that the Catholic Church was put on notice of predatory priests dating back to the 1960's. Many of them were sent to New Mexico and ended up in parishes throughout the state.

For years KOAT has been telling you about a place called the Servants of the Paraclete. Priests from all across the country were sent to northern New Mexico for counseling and therapy, including priests who were accused of sexually molesting children.

Now unsealed documents detail exactly what happened in those cases -- dating back decades.

Mitchell Garabedian vs. the Catholic Church

Bostonia (Boston University magazine)

Fall 2017 (originally published Summer 2017)

By Lara Ehrlich • Photos by Jackie Ricciardi • Videos by Devin Hahn

A Boston lawyer crusades against clergy sex abuse — as told by clients and colleagues, survivors and Secret Files

In 2002, Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian represented 86 people who claimed to have been molested or raped as children by Father John J. Geoghan, a Catholic priest from Dorchester, Mass. The case led to a $10 million settlement for Garabedian’s clients, and to a Boston Globe Spotlight team investigation that exposed an international epidemic of abuse and coverup extending all the way to the Vatican. Garabedian has since represented more than 1,000 victims in 14 countries, and he still gets more than 20 calls a month from alleged victims seeking his help.

The Globe investigation was rewarded with a Pulitzer Prize, and became the subject of the 2015 Academy Award–winning film Spotlight. Actor Stanley Tucci portrays Garabedian (CGS’71, CAS’73) in the film with such intensity, the Boston attorney says, that many reporters are now terrified of meeting with him.

People who know him don’t disavow that intensity, but, they say, there are other sides to the sometimes fearsome lawyer who grew up on a farm in Methuen, Mass. He is witty, and he is generous, a trait inherited from his father, whose farmhands often came to him for advice. His family attended an Armenian Apostolic church every Sunday. “It was a very peaceful, kind way to live,” says Garabedian, whose office, piled high with boxes and papers, is just around the corner from Faneuil Hall, where his family once sold vegetables grown on their farm.

Bostonia talked with him, and with people who know him well, about the scandal, his commitment to the victims, and what drove him to take on the Catholic Church.

October 19, 2017

Redacted Timelines and Supporting Documents Regarding Fr. Arthur Perrault, Fr. Jason Sigler, and Fr. Sabine Griego


October 19, 2017

These files and supporting documents were redacted and released pursuant to Judge Alan M. Malott’s October 11, 2017 Order Allowing Disclosure, in Jane Doe "D" et al. v. Archdiocese of Santa Fe et al. Judge Malott was responding to the Plaintiff's request for permission to release the documents supporting their timelines of transfers, notice, and abuse, and to KOB-TV's request for access to those documents. The timelines and supporting documents were produced by the Law Offices of Brad D. Hall.

We have optimized the files for somewhat easier download (they are still quite large), and we have added page numbers to each file in the lower left corner of the page, for easier handling and reference. We have not changed the content of the files in any way.

Some supporting documents listed in the timelines do not appear in the files. They were removed to comply with Judge Malott’s Order before the files were released.

• Exhibit 1: Redacted Timeline of Fr. Arthur Perrault with Supporting Documents [406 pages; 49 megabyte file]

• Exhibit 2: Redacted Timeline of Fr. Jason Sigler with Supporting Documents [405 pages; 47 megabyte file]

• Exhibit 3: Redacted Timeline of Fr. Sabine Griego with Supporting Documents [181 pages; 17 megabyte file]

Abuse at exclusive schools revealed by royal commission

Daily Telegraph

October 17, 2017

By Janet Fife-Yeomans

Two of Sydney’s most exclusive religious schools have come under fire from the child sex abuse royal commission after boys were “raped” with a homemade wooden dildo at one school while other boys were bullied and one called a “cum rag” at another.

The shocking abuse at Parramatta’s The King’s School and Trinity Grammar at Summer Hill — where parents pay up to $60,000 a year for tuition and boarding — was not adequately dealt with by the schools, the royal commission said today.

The commission had heard that at Trinity, a year 9 boarding student was found by the boarding house master on the floor, crying, his face covered in black boot polish and his trousers down in August 2000.

He had been sexually assaulted with a large wooden dildo, dubbed “the anaconda”, that one of the boys made in a school woodwork class.

The royal commission found that it was not the only time “the anaconda” was used and the headmaster Milton Cujes was “likely” told about it later that day.

However without an investigation by the school psychologist Katherine Lumsdaine, the school would have done nothing, the commission said.

Abuse royal commission: Trinity headmaster misled council over assault

The Australian

October 18, 2017

By Stefanie Balogh

[Note: See also the text of the report and the hearings, submissions, and exhibits that support it.]

Abuse royal commission: Trinity headmaster misled council over assault
Trinity headmaster Milton Cujes did not inform the school council he was aware of allegations made by CLB, the royal commission says.

The Royal Commission into child sexual abuse has found a headmaster at one of the nation’s leading boys’ schools misled his school council over the alleged abuse of a student who accused boarders of carrying out assaults with a wooden implement dubbed “the anaconda’’.

The commission has today released its report into problematic and harmful sexual behaviours of children in schools. It examined three NSW government run primary schools, an independent boarding school, The King’s School in Parramatta, Trinity Grammar in Summer Hill, and Shalom Christian College in Queensland.

The infamous case of the wooden dildo, which was made in woodwork class and called “the anaconda’’, at Sydney’s elite Trinity Grammar led to two boarders pleading guilty to indecent assault charges which occurred in the boarding house in 2000.

A Year 10 boarder, known as CLA, was the main victim.

But separate allegations were also raised involving a Year 9 boarder known as CLB.

The commission’s report said the senior master and boarding master “knew that CLB had alleged that other boys in the boarding house had sexually assaulted boys and used wooden dildos on boys in the boarding house on multiple occasions before 11 August 2000’’.

It found Trinity’s headmaster Milton Cujes was given CLB’s incident report and knew of the allegations. CLB’s incident report alleged some boarders had tried to “rape’ him on August 11, 2000 and this was not the first time they had tried.

He alleged a boarder had made a “dildo in wood tech class’’ but it was not used that day.

“He (Mr Cujes) did not initiate an investigation of the allegations at any time before 7 September 2000. It is clear from his evidence that Mr Cujes did not inform the school council at any time on or before 13 February 2001 that he had been given CLB’s incident report on 11 August 2000,’’ the report said.

The commission said it was satisfied Mr Cujes was present at the school council meeting on February 13, 2001 and did not inform the school council he was aware of the allegations made by CLB and the effect of not disclosing that he, the senior master and boarding master were aware of allegations was that the “council was misled’’ about the adequacy of the response to the incident on 11 August 2000.

“Both Trinity and Mr Cujes submitted that a proposed finding that the school council was misled about the adequacy of the school’s response to the incident in the boarding house on 11 August 2000 should not be made because it is not available on the evidence,’’ the report says.

Despite this the commission found it was Mr Cujes had misled the school council.

“The effect of Mr Cujes misleading the school council was that the school council passed a resolution stating that it believed that ‘existing procedures were properly followed’ and expressed ‘full confidence in the Head Master and Staff in this regard’,’’ the report said.

“We accept … that the school council would not have passed the resolution if it had not been misled.’’

Then senior school psychologist, Katherine Lumsdaine, the commission said, was concerned that senior staff would not investigate the allegations so commenced her own inquiries, finding numerous accounts of students being sexually assault with the wooden dildo.

The commission said it was satisfied that if Ms Lumsdaine had not interviewed the boys and reported her conclusion there would have been no investigation of the sexual assaults that were occurring in the boarding house at Trinity in 2000.

“Save for Ms Lumsdaine’s investigation, Trinity did not seek out other boys who may have been sexually assaulted. Support was not given to the boys affected,’’ the commission said.

This report follows a public hearing held in Sydney in October and November 2016.

The report also said that Mr Cujes did not recall seeing CLB’s incident report and three senior staff members were investigating the incident. “His impression was that ‘the behaviour was a dorm rumble that got out of hand’,’’ the report said.

“He said that he did not ask for the details, because three trusted members of staff were already involved.’’

During last year’s hearings, he said he had “no idea that there was a sexual element’’ to the allegations and he had delegated responsibility for the investigation into the incident and it was not “put to one side’’.

The royal commission also found the prestigious The King’s School in Parramatta in Sydney’s west was beset with a culture of bullying in 2013 including an incident where a student was humiliated at a cadet camp.

Today’s report found the failure of senior management at the school to deal with the incident was “candidly’’ accepted by former headmaster Dr Timothy Hawkes.

CLC, who was a Year 10 student in 2013, woke up one night at a cadet camp to find another student had ejaculated onto his sleeping bag.

CLC was bullied over the following months including being called a “cum rag’’ and “cum dumpster’’.

On one occasion, students renamed The King’s wi-fi networks “CLC is a cum rag’’.

The student raised the alarm in August 2013, telling staff he had been bullied at the cadet camp.

Over the next fortnight, the deputy headmaster, Andrew Parry, conducted an investigation into the camp incident and the bullying, which broadly confirmed CLC’s allegations, the commission said.

Dr Parry discussed it with the Castle Hill police who advised him in an email that a criminal act had been committed and incident should be reported to police.

But no report was made.

The commission found it was “satisfied that the measures King’s took to address the bullying of CLC were ineffective. King’s also did not adequately address CLC’s parents’ concerns about the school’s response to the bullying of CLC’’.

“The commissioners found that in 2013 a bullying culture existed at King’s, both inside the boarding houses and in the school more generally,’’ the report said, and the school’s measures to address the bullying were ineffective.

CLC left King’s in Year 10 and began in Year 11 in 2014 at St Ignatius’ College, Riverview, which addressed bullying differently.

CLC told commission his experience at Riverview was “very different’’.

Combined tuition and boarding fees at The King’s School and Trinity are about $60,000 per senior school student.

Trinity Grammar’s spokesperson and council chairman Richard Pegg said the school “acknowledges with regret that its initial response to the incident of 2000 was inadequate’’.

“As the Head Master stated to the commission ‘we could have done better, we should have done better’,’’ Mr Pegg said.

“From the day the School became fully aware of the seriousness and extent of the issue and reported it to the authorities, the school committed itself unreservedly to the review and taking of appropriate measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all students.’’

Mr Pegg said “the welfare and wellbeing of our boys are paramount and we will consider seriously for implementation all recommendations that the Commission makes in its final report’’.

Top NSW private schools failed to address sex abuse claims: royal commission report

Sydney Morning Herald

October 18, 2017

By Rachel Browne

[Note: See also the Royal Commission's Report of Case Study No. 45.]

Two of the state's most exclusive private schools failed adequately to investigate and address allegations of sexual abuse involving students, a royal commission has found.

Senior management of The King's School in Parramatta did not report the alleged sexual assault of a student in 2013 to authorities, despite a police officer's written advice to do so.

The inaction was described by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse as "a failure by the senior management of King's".

In its report into harmful sexual behaviour of children in schools, the royal commission also found senior management at Trinity Grammar School in Summer Hill did not adequately investigate allegations that students were being "raped" in the boarding house.

The report found that senior management, including headmaster Milton Cujes, were made aware of the allegations of sexual assault involving boarders in 2000.

School psychologist Kate Lumsdaine initiated her own inquiry because she was "concerned that senior staff would not investigate the allegations", the report determined.

"We are satisfied that, if Ms Lumsdaine had not interviewed the boys and reported her conclusion, there would have been no investigation of the sexual assaults that were occurring in the boarding house at Trinity in 2000," the commissioners wrote.

Report into problematic and harmful sexual behaviours of children in schools released

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

October 18, 2017

[Note: See also the text of the Report of Case Study No. 45: Problematic and harmful sexual behaviours of children in schools, and the Case Study No. 45 page with links to hearings transcripts, submissions, and exhibits.]

The Royal Commission into Institutional Reponses to Child Sexual Abuse's Report of Case Study 45 - Problematic and harmful sexual behaviours of children in schools - was released today.

This report follows a public hearing held in Sydney in October and November 2016.

The King's School, Parramatta NSW

The Royal Commission examined the response of The King's School to an incident of harmful sexual behaviour involving CLC, a former King's student, at a cadet camp in April 2013.

CLC, then in year 10, awoke one night to find that another student had ejaculated onto his sleeping bag. Over the following months, CLC was bullied by students, who called him 'cum rag' and 'cum dumpster'. On one occasion, students renamed the King's wi-fi networks 'CLC is a cum rag'.

In August 2013, CLC disclosed the cadet camp incident and the bullying he was experiencing to staff at King's. Over the next fortnight, the deputy headmaster, Dr Andrew Parry, conducted an investigation into the camp incident and the bullying, which broadly confirmed CLC's allegations.

Dr Parry telephoned the youth liaison officer at Castle Hill police station to discuss the incident. Following this conversation, the police officer sent Dr Parry an email advising that a criminal act had been committed and that the incident should be reported to police. However, no report was made.

Lawsuit accuses prominent church of not reporting abuse

Baptist News Global

October 18, 2017

By Bob Allen

A new lawsuit alleges that one of South Carolina’s largest and most respected Southern Baptist churches failed to report to police evidence of child sex abuse by a volunteer youth worker as required by law.

The lawsuit filed Oct. 10 in Richland County, S.C., claims a now 17-year-old teen identified under a pseudonym began attending First Baptist Church of Columbia, S.C., with family members when he was in elementary school.

When he was 11 and starting middle school, the youth says he began attending a Sunday night discussion group led by an adult volunteer who groomed the child and over time “gradually escalated his inappropriate and illegal activity” to include lewd text messages and “intentional touching.”

When informed of the messages, the lawsuit claims, church leaders did not turn over findings of their own investigation to law enforcement in compliance with a state law requiring certain professions, including clergy, to report information they receive in their professional capacity that gives them reason to believe a child has or may have suffered abuse or neglect.

A statement on the church website says the congregation became aware of the allegations last fall. An investigation by a church committee found the volunteer had violated church policies, and disciplinary action was taken. The volunteer no longer attends First Baptist, the statement says, and is prohibited from further contact with students.

New twist to the case of the Surrey pastor charged with sex assault

Global News/CKNW

October 17, 2017

By Jeremy Lye

Weeks after multiple sexual assault charges were laid against a Surrey pastor and his wife, a Bible camp on Vancouver Island where he has been listed as a director, may have been the scene of other assaults.

Samuel Emerson has reportedly been taken off the board at Cowichan River Bible Camp, although the Canada Revenue Agency’s website still has him listed as a “Director-Trustee Official.”

Meanwhile, CKNW has spoken to a woman who says as a teenager she used to be a regular guest at the camp.

“It started out with really long hugs, then their face would get closer to me and they would start giving me kisses on the cheek and then they’d start kissing me on the lips and then the next thing you know they’re caressing me to the point where they’re touching my genitals.”

“At that point, I realized something’s wrong and there’s nothing I can do about it and it’s completely out of my control, you ask them to stop and then they go ‘you’re the one who’s going to be in trouble.'”

Hunter Pentecostal Christian pleads guilty to sexually abusing boys

Newcastle Herald

October 18, 2017

By Joanne McCarthy
By day he was the committed Pentecostal Christian youth pastor who ran a Hunter refuge for youths and praised Jesus during Assemblies of God church services at Hamilton.

By night Christopher Laban Bridge was a sexual predator, whose abuse of two boys was known by at least one Assemblies of God church leader from the early 1970s, before Bridge moved to the Hunter to take up a youth pastor position.

Court documents show Bridge moved to a Hamilton Assemblies of God church in 1975 after a Dubbo Assemblies of God minister was told Bridge sexually abused two boys in far west NSW. Bridge went on to sexually abuse a third boy at Charlestown in 1976 and a fourth boy at Cardiff in the early 1980s.

Bridge, 69, of Yarramalong, has entered guilty pleas to sexually abusing the four boys, including a boy who was abused at a Hunter refuge for “young people with drug addictions” after Bridge told him: “I need to check you to see if you are a virgin.”

Police say 4 accusers claim abuse by Little Rock doctor

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

October 19, 2017

By Ryan Tarinelli

Police said Wednesday that four people have accused a Little Rock doctor and church mentor of sexual assault.

James Nesmith, 53, was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with one count of second-degree sexual assault, according to a police report.

Lt. Michael Ford, a Little Rock police spokesman, said Wednesday that a church pastor had reported allegations against Nesmith to the Child Abuse Hotline in 2015. According to Ford, the pastor reported that four people said they were sexually assaulted by Nesmith.

"It's an ongoing investigation and we are expecting, probably, more victims to come forward," Ford said at a news conference Wednesday.

Leslie Taylor, a UAMS spokesman, said Tuesday that Nesmith is an associate professor at UAMS and a physician at Arkansas Children's Hospital. She said Nesmith, who was hired in 1995, was involved in adolescent and sports medicine.

Court docs: Rushville pastor lured young girls into office with candy, molested them

Fox 59

October 19, 2017

Rushville, Ind. – Officers with the Rushville Police Department arrested a pastor on child molestation charges following an investigation into sexual assault allegations at the Rushville Baptist Temple.

Garry Evans, 72, was charged with 3 counts of child molest, a Level 4 Felony; 4 counts of sexual battery, a Level 5 Felony; and 5 counts of child solicitation, a Level 6 Felony.

According to court documents, the investigation began on September 4 when a 3-year-old girl disclosed info to her mother who then reported the incident to the Department of Child Services.

In an interview with police, the girl said Evans took her into his office by herself to get candy. Once in the office, Evans pulled down his pants and made the girl touch his penis. He then told the girl not to tell anyone.

Officers obtained a search warrant, and it was executed on September 22 at the Rushville Baptist Temple Church in the 1300 block of North Spencer Street.

As word of the allegations spread throughout the church, it prompted several other women to ask their daughters about it. According to court documents, police interviewed four more girls all under the age of 10 who said they were molested by Evans.

Opinion: Moving an accused abuser to public schools is a new low for the Catholic Church

Los Angeles Times

October 19, 2017

To the editor: It is appalling that officials in the Seattle Roman Catholic Archdiocese took accommodation of child sexual abuse by a member of the clergy to an unimaginable low. They removed a priest repeatedly accused of child molestation from their diocese — and then recommended him for hire in a public school. (“The Catholic Church knew he was an abuser, but helped him get a job in public schools,” Oct. 13)

Thus this priest was able to become a public school teacher and continue assaulting minors. The church’s apology and $1.3-million payment to a victim doesn’t mean justice has been done. Perhaps this sad case will prompt laws making church officials criminally liable for failure to report sexual assault allegations to police, as many states now require.

The state of Washington, alas, permits “penitent privilege” to shield child abusers from law enforcement scrutiny. Deference to religion should end short of allowing children’s lives to be irreparably ravaged.

Edward Alston, Santa Maria


To the editor: On the one hand, I empathize with churches that do their utmost to secure devout, law-abiding clergy, yet wind up with chronic sex offenders in their pulpits.

On the other hand, I feel that any church whose administrators strive to cover up clergy sexual assaults should answer to the law (if not to their god) . . .

My view: Let's talk about married priests

Derry Now

October 15, 2017

By Father Paddy O'Kane

[Note: The photo at the top of this article is not identified. It shows Anglican priest Father Alberto Cutié, who left the Catholic Church and married in 2009. He is pictured with his wife, stepson, and infant daughter in Biscayne Park FL in 2011.]

Story one. Three years ago in Lourdes we were sharing the hotel with another pilgrimage from Liverpool. In the bedroom next to mine there was a Roman Catholic priest and his wife.

All above board. He had been an Anglican minister and became a convert, one of the many to leave their church in protest against the introduction of women priests and bishops.

Story two. After dinner one evening on a recent pilgrimage I passed this question around the room: ‘”If you were Pope Francis for a day what changes would you make?”

I was surprised by how many who said: “The first thing I would do would be to would allow priests to marry.”

Story three. Let’s face it, we have a crisis. This year the national seminary in Maynooth had only eight students entering to study for the priesthood. Half of these will probably leave during their training. When I went there in 1966 there was over 80!

Priest-less parishes are appearing all over Ireland and may be here in this diocese before long.

'Priests should be allowed to marry' says Derry clergyman


October 19, 2017

A Londonderry priest has said he believes marriage should be an option for Catholic Church clergymen.

Fr Paddy O'Kane, of Holy Family Church in Ballymagroarty, said the move could help address the global shortage of Catholic priests.

A quarter of Catholic parishes worldwide now have no resident priest.

Fr O'Kane said the Church may have to "take another look at celibacy and women priests."

"Many priests might choose to be celibate, but for those who want to get married it should be an option," he said.

8 recent films that take on the church: Across the globe, cinematic portrayals of Christianity are increasingly emphasizing its faults

Christian Century

October 19, 2017

By Philip Jenkins

With the Roman Catholic Church hit by scandals involving abusive clergy, the figure of the pedophile priest has attracted the attention of some of the most significant filmmakers around the globe. Anti­clerical works of art are nothing new, but the proliferation of hostile images of the church can hardly fail to make a lasting impact on public opinion.

The brilliant 2015 Chilean film The Club is set at a remote seaside house that serves as a refuge for disgraced clergy whose sins are mainly sexual in nature. That same year brought another devastating Chilean study of a serially abusive cleric, Karadima’s Forest. The Mexican film Perfect Obedience (2016) describes abusive priests in a tale in­spired by the true-life career of Marcial Maciel, the influential founder of the worldwide Legion of Christ movement. The Irish film Calvary (2014) has at its center a fine and even heroic priest, but one whose life is destroyed by the fury of an abuse victim seeking revenge against the church.

Each of these films is impressive as an artistic production, and each contains superb acting. But each also carries a potent ideological message: the abuse scandals not only reveal the sins of individuals but are symptoms of comprehensive neglect and connivance by the church as an institution. Such systematic failings poison the work of even the best pastors. None of the films suggests any hope for the institution.

Crimes of sexual abuse are by no means the only indictment against the church. The Chilean church exposed in The Club also has to come to terms with its collaboration with that country’s homicidal military dictatorship of the 1970s. The British film Philomena (2013) addressed the once common custom that forced Ireland’s young unmarried mothers to give up their babies to adoption. As in the abuse films, clergy and nuns emerge as ruthless and flint-hearted.

Quite apart from these spectacular scandals, many other recent films depict the Catholic Church as largely irrelevant to the lives of its faithful. One Italian contribution is Alice Rohrwacher’s Heavenly Body (2011), a study of a teen­age girl preparing for confirmation. Heavenly Body is in no sense an anti-church film, and it shows the brave if ultimately doomed efforts of lay teachers to make religious training lively and enjoyable. The problem is that any successes occur despite the contributions of the priests rather than because of them. The priests are wholly involved in their political and business dealings and barely even go through the motions of working with youth.

Priest released from Port Aransas church; parishioners ask for reasons

Caller Times

October 17, 2017

By Monica Lopez

A Catholic church in Port Aransas is left without a priest after he was removed Wednesday by the bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Rev. Krzysztof Bauta, known as Father Kris by his parishioners, said he was called into the bishop's office Wednesday and was told he was being removed from St. Joseph Parish.

"I was very distraught and shocked," Bauta said. "I asked him why and I was not given a reason."

* * *

"The pastoral change at St. Joseph’s Parish in Port Aransas was not prompted by allegations of sexual misconduct. As a matter of procedure, the Diocese of Corpus Christi is declining to comment further. This has not caused a change in the current Mass Schedule or the administration of the Sacraments," the diocese stated. "With proper oversight, accountability and in keeping with the law, any funds donated for Hurricane Harvey relief will be used for that purpose."

Priest charged with East Gosford child sex offences in the 90's

Triple M 105.1

October 19, 2017

A former Catholic priest who also worked as a teacher has been charged with historical child sex offences dating back to the 80s and 90s.

It will be alleged the man indecently assaulted three young boys a number of times; firstly a young boy whilst he was employed as a teacher in Campbelltown in the 80s, and then two other boys when he was a Parish Priest in the East Gosford area in the 90s.

Following an extensive investigation by Brisbane Water detectives, yesterday police arrested a 78-year-old man at Coonabarabran.

He was charged with 13 child sex related offences and granted conditional bail to appear before Gosford Local Court on 31 October 2017.

Former Campbelltown Catholic priest charged with historic sex offences

Wollondilly Advertiser

October 19, 2017

A former Catholic priest who also worked as a Campbelltown teacher in the 1980s and 1990s, has been charged with historic sexual assault offences.

It is alleged the 78-year-old man assaulted three boys. One of the boys was allegedly assaulted during the man’s time as a teacher in Campbelltown.

The other two boys were allegedly assaulted when he worked as a Parish Priest in East Gosford in the 1990s.

He was arrested by Brisbane Water detectives at Coonabarabran yesterday.

A cautionary tale: Clergy sex abuse victim’s confidentiality breached

Gallup Independent

October 21, 2017

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola

[Note: See also BishopAccountability.org's database entry on Schornack, with links to complaints, newsletters, and other sources.]

Flagstaff, Ariz. – The story of plaintiff Jane L.S. Doe’s clergy sex abuse lawsuit in Coconino County Superior Court should be a cautionary tale for all sex abuse victims.

Particularly for any abuse survivor who is given promises that his or her identity and personal information will be kept confidential by attorneys and the court system.

In the case of Jane L.S. Doe v. the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and St. Michael Indian School, Doe’s real name, identifying information and confidential details about her abuse have been published all throughout the public court file for months courtesy of the attorneys for the Sisters and Catholic school and her own attorney is now scrambling to seal all those documents.

The breach of Doe’s identity and confidential information came to light recently after a Gallup Independent reporter drove to Flagstaff to inspect the court file. Doe’s exposed information includes her name, date of birth, current address, previous employer, tribal census number, her parents’ names, her mother’s occupation and census number, and current and former spouses' names.

The file also includes pages from Doe’s St. Michael's school records, including transcripts of her high school grades, as well as a copy of Doe’s confidential proof of claim that was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court during the Diocese of Gallup's Chapter 11 reorganization. Although personal names were redacted on the claim form, which details her sexual abuse, the same names can be found elsewhere in the file.

Information laid bare

Doe is a middle-aged Navajo woman who was sent as a child to St. Michael Indian School in St. Michaels, Arizona, where she was sexually molested by the late Brother Mark Schornack, OFM, a Franciscan brother who drove a school bus and threw roller skating parties for St. Michael students. Doe is not an “alleged victim” and Schornack was not an “alleged abuser.” As an abuse claimant in the Diocese of Gallup’s bankruptcy case, her claim was deemed credible by court officials. Schornack has been publicly identified by the Gallup Diocese as a credibly accused child sex abuser.

Court docs exposed: Brother assigned to area while at treatment center for sex abusers

Gallup Independent

October 17, 2017

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola

[Note: See also BishopAccountability.org's database entry on Brother Mark Schornack OFM. The letter linked below was reproduced when this story ran in the Gallup Independent .]

Flagstaff, Ariz. — Usually it takes a judge’s order to pry the lid off a clergy sex abuser’s confidential personnel file.

But in the case of Brother Mark Schornack, OFM, it just took a mistake by a courthouse employee to publicly release restricted documents that were supposed to be filed under seal.

That mistake was made in Flagstaff’s Coconino County Courthouse with the case Jane L.S. Doe v. Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and St. Michael Indian School. The documents reveal that Schornack, who has been identified as a credibly accused child molester by the Diocese of Gallup, was accepted into the Franciscan religious order while he was a patient at Via Coeli, the notorious New Mexico treatment center known for treating and recycling Catholic clergy sex abusers.

“Your application for admission to the brotherhood has been approved,” the Rev. Herbert Klosterkemper OFM wrote to Schornack Feb. 14, 1952. “You may arrange to report at St. Michael Mission, St. Michaels, Arizona, around the end of this month.” The letter was marked “Restricted Material” and “Confidential SJB001548” by the Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

And with this acceptance letter, the Franciscans sent Schornack straight to his first mission assignment on the Navajo Nation and the Diocese of Gallup. According to the diocese’s list of credibly accused abusers, Schornack worked in the diocese from 1952 to 1984. Known mostly for driving a school bus and throwing roller skating parties for children, Schornack also had at least one assignment in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe at Jemez Pueblo in 1985. He died in January 2012 after being a resident at the Little Sisters of the Poor facility in Gallup.

Petaling Jaya priest under probe for allegedly sexually abusing adopted daughter

New Straits Times

October 19, 2017

By Faisal Asyraf

A priest is being investigated over allegations that he had sexually abused his own adopted daughter since 2009.

Police sources said the 49-year old man had allegedly molested the 17-year-old girl and forced her into peforming oral sex on him.

He is also said to have also forced the girl to sleep naked with him at night.

The incidents were believed to have taken place in a house in Petaling Jaya.

Sources said the girl’s nightmare began when her biological father died and her mother, a Chinese citizen, returned to China and entrusted the priest to take care of the girl.

She began living with the priest on Nov 15, 2009 as his adopted daughter.

“After several months, the man began to sexually abusing the girl. He threatened to hurt her if she told other people what he was doing," said the source.

On Oct 17, the girl finally worked up enough courage to run away from the house. She called her mother to tell her what happened and also lodged a report at the district police headquarters.

Awareness of the sins of the fathers

Albuquerque Journal

October 18, 2017

By Olivier Uyttebrouck and Maggie Shepard

[Note: The front page of the Albuquerque Journal showed excerpts from a document relating to each priest. The article includes summaries of the three priests whose files have been released: Jason Sigler, Sabine Griego, and Arthur Perrault. See also BishopAccountability.org's database entries on Sigler, Griego, and Perrault.]

Nearly 1,000 pages of Archdiocese of Santa Fe court records were released to the public on Wednesday, including letters written showing that church leaders knew of allegations of sexual abuse against three priests long before the priests left or were barred from ministry.

The records, released by order of District Judge Alan Malott, mark the largest release of Archdiocese of Santa Fe records since alleged victims of clerical sexual abuse began filing lawsuits against the archdiocese in the early 1990s.

The records include a wide variety of documents from the archdiocese’s personnel files, including letters written by three archbishops of Santa Fe, some in correspondence with bishops of other dioceses where the three priests lived and worked.

The records comprise what had been a secret history of the careers of former priests Jason Sigler and Sabine Griego, who both live today in New Mexico, and Arthur Perrault, who has fled the country.

Malott issued the order in response to a request by KOB-TV LLC, which filed in July as an intervenor in seven clerical abuse cases for the purpose of obtaining court records.

The records were obtained in the course of lawsuits filed by Albuquerque attorney Brad Hall, who has filed more than 70 lawsuits since 2011 on behalf of alleged clerical abuse victims. Hall compiled the records to support “timelines” he uses in ongoing lawsuits against the archdiocese.

Why we fought to unseal records detailing abuse by NM priests, and what's next


October 18, 2017

By Chris Ramirez

[Note: This video includes scenes from Judge Alan Malott's courtroom, a brief interview with survivors' attorney Levi Monagle, and a statement of KOB's planned approach to the three released files.]

For decades, the Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe has kept thousands of files on priests who abused children a secret, guarded by a court-protected confidentiality order.

KOB and members of its legal team challenged that secrecy in court. Judge Alan Malott agreed with the station that much of the information should no longer be kept in guarded files, saying that’s time to make the information available to the public.

Watch the above video to hear from KOB’s Chris Ramirez on why the station waged the fight, and what we plan on doing next.

October 18, 2017

The church covered up a catalogue of abuse, then installed a paedophile priest, but 30 years after he ruined another boy's childhood no-one has visited to say 'sorry'

Devon Live

October 17, 2017

By Anita Merritt

Parishioner calls for Bishop of Exeter to stand in pulpit and apologise for the cover-up that allowed Peter Cranch to repeatedly assault a choirboy

The Bishop of Exeter is being asked to apologise in person to the congregation of a church where a known paedophile was installed as a vicar.

Rev Peter Cranch was known to have abused boys in Cornwall and Devon in the 1970s before the church moved him to All Saints Church in Exmouth, where he went on to subject a choirboy to a horrific catalogue of abuse, sexually assaulting him hundreds of times.

In 2004, Cranch was sentenced to eight years in prison for serious sexual assaults against the boy. Then aged 57, he was found guilty of six charges of assaulting a male under 16, four of a serious sexual assault and two of indecency with a child. The boy had been attacked over a five-year period between 1985 and 1990 at All Saints. The judge accused him of "stealing his victim's childhood".

Although the then Bishop of Exeter, Michael Langrish, apologised for the Church's conduct after Cranch's conviction, no senior clergy have ever appeared in person to apologise to the All Saints' congregation, despite a lengthy campaign by parishioner Graham Martin

Sacred Hearts Academy fires teacher for alleged ‘inappropriate behavior’ with 2 students

Honolulu Star Advertiser

October 17, 2017

By Kristen Consillio

Sacred Hearts Academy, on Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki, has fired a teacher after a report of “inappropriate behavior.”

Sacred Hearts Academy, an all-girls Catholic school in Kaimuki, has fired a teacher after two high school students reported “inappropriate behavior,” according to a letter sent to alumnae on Friday .

“We immediately investigated and dismissed the teacher on the same day the incidents were reported. We notified authorities, and the parents filed a police report. This is now a police matter, and we are fully cooperating with the investigation,” Betty White, head of school, said in the letter. “We acted quickly and deliberately in responding to our students who were very courageous in reporting the inappropriate behavior of this teacher.”

Not Much To 'Smile' About In Roddy Doyle's Intense New Novel

National Public Radio

October 18, 2017

By Michael Schaub

Irish novelist Roddy Doyle has always had a lot of literary tools in his belt, but the one he's most known for is his sense of humor. His first three novels, The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van, were all laugh-out-loud funny, and even his most serious novel, The Woman Who Walked into Doors, which dealt with alcoholism and spousal abuse, had its (darkly) humorous moments.

Fans of Doyle might be expecting more of the same with his latest novel — it's called Smile, after all, and although its plot involves a broken relationship, Doyle has managed to mine humor out of similar situations before. But there are no laughs in Smile; the few jokes it has aren't designed to be funny. It's a shocking book, at times almost unbearable to read, and it's by far the most serious of Doyle's career. It also proves that there may not be anything that the novelist can't do.

Smile follows Victor Forde, a 54-year-old Irish man with an undistinguished career as a journalist and a long-term relationship that has recently dissolved. He's moved from the home he used to share with his famous wife into a lonely apartment, and spends his nights haunting a local pub. One evening, he meets a former secondary school classmate named Fitzpatrick; Victor has no memory of him, and isn't happy to make his acquaintance: "I didn't like him. I knew that, immediately."

When the resolutely uncharming Fitzpatrick starts teasing Victor about their days at a Christian Brothers school ("What was the name of the Brother that used to fancy you?"), it opens a floodgate of unhappy memories. One of the first is a comment that a Brother made in class: "Victor Forde, I can never resist your smile." It's quickly followed by the memory of another, more serious incident that's been gnawing at Victor for decades.

Not Much To 'Smile' About In Roddy Doyle's Intense New Novel

National Public Radio

October 18, 2017

By Michael Schaub

Irish novelist Roddy Doyle has always had a lot of literary tools in his belt, but the one he's most known for is his sense of humor. His first three novels, The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van, were all laugh-out-loud funny, and even his most serious novel, The Woman Who Walked into Doors, which dealt with alcoholism and spousal abuse, had its (darkly) humorous moments.

Fans of Doyle might be expecting more of the same with his latest novel — it's called Smile, after all, and although its plot involves a broken relationship, Doyle has managed to mine humor out of similar situations before. But there are no laughs in Smile; the few jokes it has aren't designed to be funny. It's a shocking book, at times almost unbearable to read, and it's by far the most serious of Doyle's career. It also proves that there may not be anything that the novelist can't do.

Smile follows Victor Forde, a 54-year-old Irish man with an undistinguished career as a journalist and a long-term relationship that has recently dissolved. He's moved from the home he used to share with his famous wife into a lonely apartment, and spends his nights haunting a local pub. One evening, he meets a former secondary school classmate named Fitzpatrick; Victor has no memory of him, and isn't happy to make his acquaintance: "I didn't like him. I knew that, immediately."

When the resolutely uncharming Fitzpatrick starts teasing Victor about their days at a Christian Brothers school ("What was the name of the Brother that used to fancy you?"), it opens a floodgate of unhappy memories. One of the first is a comment that a Brother made in class: "Victor Forde, I can never resist your smile." It's quickly followed by the memory of another, more serious incident that's been gnawing at Victor for decades.

France considers tough new laws to fight sexual harassment and abuse

The Guardian

October 16 2017

By Kim Willsher

MPs to debate measures including a clear age of consent after court dropped rape charge in case involving an 11-year-old girl

French MPs are to debate legislation to crack down on sexist or sexual aggression and harassment, especially assaults on children.

A proposed legal bill would set down a clear age of consent for minors after a shocking case in which a rape charge was dropped when a court decided an 11-year-old girl had consented to sex with a man more than twice her age.

It will also give traumatised child victims more time to come forward to bring criminal charges against their attackers.

The announcement on Monday from the French equality minister, Marlène Schiappa, could hardly have come at a more appropriate time, with scores of French women coming forward to detail incidents of harassment and assault following the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

A Twitter appeal by the radio journalist Sandra Muller using #balancetonporc (squeal on your pig), encouraging women to publicly shame their attackers, was top of the French Twitter trend list over the weekend. A second international campaign #MeToo is now trending in France.

Do You Care About the #MeToo Trend? Beth Moore & Kay Warren Explain Why You Should

CBN News

October 17, 2017

By Heather Sells

Thousands of women are self-identifying on social media as victims of sexual assault or harassment, and they include women whose offenders were church leaders or who were told to keep quiet by church leaders.

Actress Alyssa Milano started the #MeToo hashtag on Sunday and since then thousands of women have publicly shared their stories. They want the world to know that the abuse which Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is being accused of is rampant across the country.

Bible study leader Beth Moore has shared publicly for years about her childhood sexual abuse, but on Sunday she tweeted of a mentor who told her at age 25 "that people couldn't handle hearing about sexual abuse and that it would sink my ministry."

Call to open Church records to abuse survivors

Irish Examiner

October 18, 2017

By Conall Ó Fátharta

The Government must push the Catholic Church and religious orders to open their records to abuse survivors and academics.

Catriona Crowe, former head of special projects at the National Archives of Ireland, said that it “should not be a matter of grace and favour” that survivors are granted full access to records, but a matter of right.

She said Ireland had seen unprecedented disclosures relating to treatment of vulnerable women and children across a unique archipelago of institutions — mother and baby homes, Magdalene laundries, industrial schools, and reformatories. She said the only way to achieve a complete picture of what happened is to have full access to their archives.

She said these institutions were run largely with the blessing of the State and, as a result, the State should now intervene.

“There should be very high-level talks between the Catholic Church and the State and the outcome of that should be that the Catholic Church would agree to put its records into an independent repository, including their parish records.”

Ms Crowe said some religious records were regarded as “a private fiefdom” by the Catholic Church, the dioceses, and religious orders.

Victim reported sex abuse to Apuron and Cristobal but was allegedly “shunned away”

Pacific News Center

October 18, 2017

By Janela Carrera

The former altar boy left the church after he was turned away while seeking help.

The most recent sex abuse lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of Agana details sexual abuse that went on for a period of 8 years. The former altar server says he even reported the abuse to Archbishop Anthony Apuron and former Chancellor Father Adrian Cristobal but was “shunned away.”

It is perhaps the longest period of sexual assault that has been reported since the scores of sex abuse lawsuits have been filed, and it appears to be the most recent–the allegations took place between 1992 to 1999.

Filed by now 40-year-old P.P., the alleged sexual assault happened at the Santa Barbara Catholic parish in Dededo—the alleged abuser, now defrocked priest Raymond Cepeda.

P.P. says it began when he confided in Cepeda as a trusted mentor. Instead of helping the 15-year-old aspiring priest, Cepeda “took advantage of his vulnerability.”

Lawsuit: Priest lured boys into homosexual lifestyle, smoking

Pacific Daily News

October 18, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com

Father Louis Brouillard allegedly gave altar boys access to pornographic homosexual literature, allowed them to smoke, and treated them to restaurants while also sexually abusing them during Boy Scouts swimming trips, a lawsuit filed in local court on Tuesday states.

S.S., a plaintiff in the latest clergy sex abuse lawsuit, alleged that Brouillard sexually abused him on the grounds of the Barrigada parish and at Boy Scouts outings in or around 1978 to 1979, when he was about 12 to 13.

He was an altar boy and a Boy Scout at the time.

S.S., represented by attorney Michael Berman, demands a jury trial and at least $10 million in damages.

The lawsuit states Brouillard walked around naked in front of S.S. and other altar boys.

"While in his room, Brouillard had on display pornographic homosexual literature, showing adult males with underage boys, thereby hoping to entice S.S. into a homosexuality lifestyle with him," states the lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of Guam late Tuesday afternoon.

New priest accused of raping boy for 5 years

Pacific Daily News

October 18, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com

Another priest, the now-deceased Monsignor Jose Ada Leon Guerrero, was added to the list of Guam clergy accused of sexually abusing or raping children.

A plaintiff, identified in court documents only as C.M.V. to protect his privacy, said in his complaint filed Wednesday that the priest sexually abused him, including penetration, when he was about 9 to 13 years old from about 1969 to 1973.

The priest allegedly abused the boy about twice a week for almost five years, and the priest would remind the boy not to tell anybody, the lawsuit says.

On several occasions, the priest would give the boy a gift to silence him, the complaint says.

Assignment Record – Rev. William T. White


October 17, 2017

Summary of Case: William T. White was a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, ordained in 1958. He worked as an assistant priest at a Manhattan parish early on, going on to spend a decade at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, where he served as a counselor and dean of students. That assignment was followed by a year with the Archdiocesan Department of Education, then six years as principal of Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx. From there White spent twelve years as pastor of a parish in New Rochelle. There is a gap in his assignments 1994-1995. During 1995-2002, White taught at St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida in the Palm Beach diocese, while assisting at area parishes.

In 1997 a man reported to the archdiocese that White sexually abused him over a three-year period, beginning when the man was a 17-year-old Stepinac student in the 1970s. White admitted to the abuse. The former student received a settlement in 1998. White wasn't removed from ministry until March 2002, when the clergy sex abuse crisis was a major focus of attention in the news media. In 2004 White was accused in a lawsuit of having sexually abused a boy, ages 9-11, from 1959 to 1961, at Holy Cross parish in Manhattan.

Ordained: 1958

October 17, 2017

Alleged victim of clergy abuse shares story as diocese unveils fund

News12 Long Island

October 16, 2017

As the Diocese of Rockville Centre unveils a compensation fund for victims of clergy sex abuse, a Long Island man who says he was sexually abused by a priest decades ago is sharing his story.

Thomas McGarvey says he grew up in a typical Irish Catholic family. He also says he was abused by a priest at St. Catherine of Sienna in Franklin Square, starting when he was 16.

Ever since then, McGarvey says he has struggled in both his personal and professional life.

"It almost ended my marriage," he says. "I had to take an early retirement from American Airlines."

McGarvey's attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, has represented clergy sexual abuse victims in Boston and in New York for years.

"Six different priests have been named to me by victims within the Diocese of Rockville Centre spanning a period of 21 years of abuse," Garabedian says.

On Monday, the Diocese of Rockville Centre unveiled its new Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program. Officials say it is for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy within the diocese.

Motion filed to unseal documents involving prior First Baptist Church sex abuse

WIS-TV, Channel 10

October 17, 2017

By Caroline Patrickis

A popular Columbia church is at the center of a lawsuit claiming sex abuse - again.

The family of a teen filed a civil lawsuit in Richland County against First Baptist Church of Columbia accusing a former youth ministry volunteer of sex abuse last week.

The attorneys behind the lawsuit say they’re hoping to unseal documents in a previous civil lawsuit case from years ago. Among many allegations is that the church did not notify the police department about on-going sex abuse happening in the church.

The church is no stranger to child sex assault allegations: in 2002, the church was sued after a man was convicted of abusing a minor more than once at First Baptist Church.

The attorney behind this lawsuit, John Simmons, says he’s filed a motion to uncover the details in that case that he calls a cover-up. The lawsuit also names the church and several staff members, including their now-retiring pastor.

Pro-Child Victims Act PAC presses for constitutional convention

Albany Times Union

October 17, 2017

By Matthew Hamilton

The founder of a PAC formed to supposed candidates in favor of the stalled Child Victims Act in the Legislature is urging sexual assault survivors to vote yes on holding a constitutional convention in November.

Fighting for Children PAC founder Gary Greenberg, a sexual abuse survivor, said Tuesday that a constitutional convention, which would be held in 2019, would allow victims of sexual abuse to run as delegates and ultimately propose amendments reforming sexual abuse statutes.

Delegates would be selected in 2018 if a convention process is triggered.

Greenberg said he is looking into spending on online advertising and signs in support of a convention.

The Child Victims Act has been a controversial proposal at the Capitol. The Assembly passed a version of the bill, which would extend the statute of limitation for criminal and civil child sex abuse cases. The state Senate declined to take such legislation up at the end of the legislative session in June.

Assignment Record – Rev. James W. Devorak


October 17, 2017

Summary of Case: James W. Devorak was ordained for the Diocese of New Ulm in 1972. He went on to assist parishes in Marshall and Wilmar, after which he pastored in Graceville, Barry, Glencoe, Fairfax, Lake Benton, Stewart, Granite Falls, Montevido, Clara City, Rosen, Nassau and Ortonville. He also had assignments in parishes in Hutchinson, Darwin, Kandiyohi, and Lake Lillian. After his retirement in July 2015, Devorak worked as an assistant at two Roseville parishes, in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

In August 2017 Devorak was removed from public ministry due to an allegation against him of sexual abuse, stemming from his time in Glencoe in the 1990s. Glencoe police were investigating. Devorak denied the allegation.

Ordained: 1972
Retired: 2015

Guam archbishop to join talks on settling island's priest sexual abuse cases

USA TODAY Network / Pacific Daily News

October 17, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood on Tuesday ordered Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron, or his attorney, to participate in premediation talks to try to settle 134 Guam clergy sex abuse cases.

Apuron's attorney, Jacqueline Terlaje, who participated at a status hearing Tuesday afternoon via phone, confirmed they will take part in the talks. Judge Alex Munson will be the discovery monitor and California-based Antonio Piazza has been recommended to serve as a mediator.

Apuron has a pending motion to dismiss four clergy sex abuse cases filed against him, saying they are time-barred and infringe upon his constitutional rights. He also earlier asked the civil court to wait for the results of his Vatican canonical trial before seeking to include him in mediation.

Earlier in October, Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes, who currently is in charge of the Catholic Church on Guam, said he was told by a Vatican official that a decision has been made in Apuron's trial. Byrnes, however, said he has yet to receive information on the specific charges and the specific verdict, as well as the punishment, because the judges have yet to sign off on the decisio

40-year-old claims molestation by Dededo priest


October 17, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Another lawsuit filed just as Church status hearings wrapped up late this afternoon.

A 40-year-old man with the initials P.P. alleges he was sexually molested by Raymond Cepeda from 1992 through 1999 when he was a priest at the Santa Barbara Catholic Church in Dededo.

The alleged abuse started as sexual comments, touching, massages, fondling and groping on a daily basis.

The abuse ultimately resulted in masturbation and oral copulation.

Others knew about the abuse as P.P. states a retreat facilitator walked in on one of the incidents.

He also reports telling Monsignor Ziolo Camacho who told him to meet with Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Apuron allegedly told him that "P.P. needs to pray about these types of evil in the world and that P.P. would get over it, if he prayed about it."

He also tried to meet with spiritual director Father Adrian Cristobal who reportedly shunned him away.

P.P. is suing for 5-million dollars.

Cepeda, meanwhile, was defrocked in 2009 or 2010.

Renewal of CBCP broadcast franchise not acted upon by House


October 17, 2017

By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives has failed to renew the broadcast franchise of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for its television and radio service, which expired last August 7.

House Bill No. 4820 seeking the extension of the franchise for another 25 years was filed January this year, but it remained mired at the committee level.

“It has been referred to the committee on legislative franchises, and it is awaiting hearing,” Albay Representative Joey Salceda, the bill’s author, said. ...


The Church and the Duterte administration have been at odds over the rising number of deaths in the President’s war on drugs. The Church has also staunchly opposed the restoration of the death penalty, which the House approved on third and final reading. The Senate, however, has yet to act on the bill.

Last week, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez also slammed the bishops for not addressing the issue of sexual abuse by priests.

“Mga minor pinapatulan, ang dami nila … mga pedophiles, ayusin muna nila iyong hanay nila bago sila putak nang putak laban sa gobyerno (They prey on minors, so many of them … are pedophiles, let them clean up their ranks before criticizing government),” he had said.

He added that instead of homilies against the war on drugs, “bakit hindi sermunan iyong mga pari na ang daming ginagawang kabulastugan (why not direct the sermons on sinful priests)?”

Long Island Diocese Creates Compensation Fund For Clergy Abuse Victims

WSHU Public Radio

October 17, 2017

By Nicole Shannon


On Long Island, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre has started a compensation program for victims of clergy sexual abuse.

The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation program will allow victims who previously reported abuse to apply for compensation. Victims who accept the compensation must agree not to pursue legal action against the diocese.

Bishop John Barres made the announcement on the Diocese’s television channel. “I think it's a powerful moment for all of us to be united in communion and mission to take this next step, to really reach out at an extraordinarily deep level to our survivors of clergy sexual abuse, their friends, their family and the entire community.”

Critics of the program say the diocese is reacting to increased pressure by legislators, who are discussing lifting the statute of limitation that requires victims to come forward before they turn 23.

In January, the program will open up to victims who haven’t previously reported abuse.

Late Bishop of Chester abused children, witnesses allege

Christian Today

October 17, 2017

By Harry Farley

The late Bishop of Chester, Hubert Victor Whitsey, would have faced police questioning were he still alive after more than 10 allegations of child sex abuse were made by witnesses, the Church of England admitted on Tuesday.

The abuse is said to have happened from 1974 while Bishop Whitsey was still in his role in Chester and from 1981 after he retired and was living in the Blackburn diocese. Before his promotion to Chester, he had been Bishop of Hertford and earlier worked as a parish priest in Chorley, South Ribble and Bolton.

The Archbishop of York apologised to those affected, saying he is 'deeply sorry' and describing sex abuse as a 'heinous crime' in a statement alongside the current Bishop of Chester, Dr Peter Forster.

Investigation into sex abuse by bishop

Lancashire Post

October 17, 2017

By Emma Pearson

Police have launched an investigation into sexual abuse by a former bishop who retired to Lancashire

Cheshire Police have published details of an investigation into historic child sex abuse by Hubert Victor Whitsey, the former Bishop of Chester.

The Church of England Bishop, who has since died, retired in 1981 and came to live in Lancashire, where he grew up and had worked as a priest before becoming bishop.

Cheshire Police said it has looked into allegation of abuse of boys and girls dating from the 1970s and 80s, which covered both the time he was bishop and his retirement in the Diocese of Blackburn.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey said: “Cheshire Constabulary has published a report into the findings of an investigation into allegations of non-recent sexual abuse made against a former Bishop of Chester. Operation Coverage focused on allegations made against the late Bishop Hubert Victor Whitsey, which date back to the 1970s and 1980s. They relate to 13 victims (five male and eight female).

Former Bishop of Chester was 'almost certainly' a child abuser

The Standard (Chester, England)

October 17, 2017

By Steve Creswell

A FORMER bishop of Chester was “almost certainly” a prolific abuser of children, a law firm acting on behalf of alleged victims has said.

Specialists at Slater and Gordon have been working with a number of men and women who claimed to have been abused by the late Bishop Hubert Victor Whitsey in the 1970s and 1980s.

In total eight women and five men have made complaints about the Anglican clergyman, who died in 1987 at the age of 71.

Cheshire Police conducted a thorough investigation into the allegations and have now concluded that Whitsey would be brought in for questioning, if he were alive today.

However, chiefs have stressed that this is no indication of his guilt.

Former bishop of Chester investigated over abuse allegations

The Guardian

October 17, 2017

By Harriet Sherwood

Victor Whitsey, who died in 1987, would have been interviewed over allegations if he were alive, police say

The former bishop of Chester, Victor Whitsey, is being investigated 30 years after his death over allegations of sexual abuse in the latest scandal involving high-profile figures in the Church of England.

A lawyer representing four of the alleged victims has claimed the abuse was covered up by the C of E and has called for a independent review.

The allegations date from the late 1970s when Whitsey was bishop of Chester, and in the 1980s after he had retired and was living in the diocese of Blackburn.

The C of E said it had supported a police investigation into allegations of sexual offences against children and adults. The police told the church that, had Whitsey still been alive, he would have been interviewed in relation to 10 allegations. Whitsey died in 1987.

Long Island Diocese Creates Fund for Victims of Clergy Abuse

The New York Times

October 16, 2017

By Sharon Otterman

Thomas McGarvey was going through a hard time as a teenager in 1981 when he first reached out to his parish priest, the Rev. Robert L. Brown, for spiritual guidance and someone to talk to.

Instead, Mr. McGarvey said he became a victim. At age 16, he began sleeping over at the rectory of St. Catherine of Sienna Parish in Franklin Square, N.Y, in Father Brown’s room, under the noses of the other priests and staff, he said. It was there that the abuse occurred, he alleged, in encounters ranging from fondling to rape. And through the eight years it continued, from 1981 to 1989, Mr. McGarvey alleged, no one helped him, even though he revealed the abuse in confessions with other priests.

“I thought I could trust Father Brown,” Mr. McGarvey, who is now 52, said in an emotional interview on Monday. “I thought I had a friend, but he took advantage of me.”

Several years ago, Mr. McGarvey finally began talking about the abuse, he said. He contacted a lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, who told the Diocese of Rockville Centre, which includes Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. But because Father Brown had died in the mid-1990s, their lawyer replied by letter that it was “wholly impossible for the Diocese to investigate this claim at this juncture,” Mr. Garabedian said.

Lawsuit: Apuron told victim he would 'get over' sexual abuse

The Guam Daily Post

October 17, 2017

By Mindy Aguon

A former altar boy described eight years of sexual abuse at the hands of a former priest in a civil suit filed in the District Court today. He alleges he made several attempts to report the abuse to church officials, but was told he would "get over it, if he prayed about it."

P.P., who used his initials to protect his privacy, alleges the abuse began when he was 15 while serving as an altar boy and facilitator for the Catechism program at the Santa Barbara Church in Dededo.

The civil complaint, filed by P.P.’s attorney, David Lujan, alleges the teen aspired to become a priest and confided in Raymond Cepeda in 1992 about some childhood experiences in hopes the priest would help him overcome it.

"Instead Cepeda exploited the trust and confidence… and took advantage of his vulnerability," court documents state.

The alleged abuse began with sexual comments from Cepeda that turned into daily massaging, groping and fondling as the priest offered to "pleasure" the boy, the lawsuit states.

In 1993, during an overnight retreat at the Nuestra Senora de Las Aguas Catholic Church in Mongmong, Cepeda allegedly told the boy not to take his pain medication and said he would "take care of him," then sexually abused him.

October 16, 2017

Man says Franklin Square priest abused him

Long Island Herald

October 16, 2017

By Ben Strack

Comes forward as Diocese of RVC launches victim compensation program

The same day that the Diocese of Rockville Centre unveiled its compensation program on Monday for victims of clergy sexual abuse, Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian stood outside the diocese’s headquarters on North Park Avenue with one of his clients, asserting that the church, through the program, is “trying to put a positive spin on an evil situation.”

The man he is representing, Thomas McGarvey, was 16 when he alleges that a priest began sexually abusing him at St. Catherine of Sienna Church in Franklin Square. The abuse spanned from 1981 to 1989, he said, and that priest has since died.

McGarvey, who now lives in Queens, said he would often stay over in the rectory with the priest, who abused him, adding that the priest also made sexual advances on his brother. “I was ashamed of it,” McGarvey said. “I was trying to hide it.”

Now, he said, he is considering participating in the diocese’s new Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program — designed to grant financial settlements to victims — to put the past behind him and move on with his life

The 'Madness' of Barbara Blaine: 'Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo'

National Catholic Reporter

October 12, 2017

By Peter Isely

"Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo." — Virgil

This quote in Latin is not a Catholic one. It is from Virgil, the great first century Roman poet. It can be translated in various ways, most literally, "If I cannot deflect the superior powers, then I shall move the River Acheron," and more commonly, "If I cannot bend the heavens, then I shall move the powers of hell."

This is the epitaph I would give to my generous, difficult and "mad" friend of over 25 years, Barbara Blaine, whose sudden death Sept. 24 I am still finding incomprehensible. I place Virgil's defiance, spoken by the goddess Juno, an infinite distance from Archbishop Wilton Gregory's quote in The New York Times obituary for Barbara: "May God have mercy on her soul."

Sigmund Freud famously placed Virgil's quote on the title page of his masterwork, The Interpretations of Dreams. It is the motto for any radical change. It points to the need for disturbing and interrupting the unexpressed, underground structure of our daily life. Of all forms of violence, the one with the most catastrophic consequences is not personal or interpersonal but "systematic": the kind of violence imposed by the fluid, seemingly natural functioning of our economic, political and religious systems.

It's one thing to try to change the written laws, difficult as that is (as Barbara knew very intimately from years of trying to push for reforms in sexual abuse statutes), but real change only erupts when the unwritten laws of a system are disturbed. It was Freud who, through his clinical work on the unconscious, recognized that what bonds and binds individuals to a system are its secret, half-spoken, shadowy rules. What really cements group loyalty and submission is not the open agreement on which laws to keep but the "somehow always already known" ones that everyone secretly agrees to break.

My favored translation of Virgil's saying is, "If you cannot move the upper regions, dare to move the underground." Was this not Barbara's supreme wager and ethical act? If you cannot move the upper regions of the Catholic Church, its pope and hierarchy, then dare to move the underground of its child sexual abuse survivors. Create a path for the upsurge from within its actually existing hell, not the one of theological fables, but the real one where across the centuries the bodies of hundreds of thousands of children have been sexually violated and dumped into the great black hole of institutional Catholicism to suffer and disappear. Bring these stories from hell to the surface, raise them up, speak to them: Shake the underground.

Remembering Barbara Blaine, a visionary advocate for survivors everywhere

The Daily Outrage - The Center for Constitutional Rights blog

September 26, 2017

By Pamela Spees

Barbara Blaine, founder and former president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, died on Sunday, September 24, 2017. She was only 61. We are devastated by the loss of our friend and colleague.

CCR’s work with SNAP launched in September 2011 with the filing of a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) requesting investigation and prosecution of high-level Vatican officials, including then-Pope Benedict, for the widespread and systematic rape and sexual violence within the Catholic Church. Barbara was the energy and inspiration behind the efforts to bring the issue to international human rights bodies. She had an early instinct and vision that the International Criminal Court was an appropriate forum to deal with the Vatican, an entity with a global presence and reach that fostered a climate where widespread and systematic rape and sexual violence were being committed and covered up with impunity. She was absolutely right.

SNAP started out as a tiny group of survivors of sexual violence by priests, who came together to support and validate each other. To reassure one another that they weren’t “crazy,” as they were sometimes described back then, before the world had begun to comprehend that this was actually happening, and grasp the magnitude and extent of it all and how far up the chain it went in the Vatican (all the way to the top). Barbara talked about how reading Our Bodies, Ourselves gave her the idea to help survivors take matters into their own hands and take control of their own healing and their lives. That little support group eventually exploded into an internationalized movement of over 25,000 survivors in countries around the world.

Barbara described how in the early days they thought if they could just let the bishops know what had happened to them, the problem could then be solved. Then they learned the unthinkable – that the bishops had known all along, and more, that the Vatican had known too. They were able to rally from their own shock and sense of betrayal and isolation to begin the process of calling out the Vatican and church officials – a tiny David taking on Goliath.

No one ever envisioned back then that they would eventually be responsible, in part, for getting a pope to resign and forcing a church spokesperson to emerge during the ensuing conclave to angrily remind the media that SNAP doesn’t get to decide who the next pope is.

Chicago's Cardinal Cupich not expected to be moved to Rome

National Catholic Reporter

October 16, 2017

By Joshua J. McElwee

Cardinal Blase Cupich is not expected to leave the Archdiocese of Chicago for a new position at the Vatican, several sources close to the prelate say.

A recent rumor that Cupich would replace Cardinal George Pell as the head of the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy is "totally without foundation" said one of the sources, who said they had been told as much by the Chicago cardinal.

Cupich has been the archbishop of Chicago since 2014. A rumor about his possible transfer to Rome appears to have been initiated by Chicago Sun-Times gossip columnist Michael Sneed, who cited discussions in "Jesuit circles" in a recent column.

Pope Francis created the Secretariat of the Economy in 2014 to consolidate and oversee the Vatican's various financial offices. Pell, an Australian who is serving as the secretariat's prefect, returned to his home country over the summer to fight charges of historical sexual abuse against minors.

There is no indication that Francis is seeking to replace Pell while the cardinal fights the charges against him.

Should the pope decide to replace Pell, it appears unlikely he would choose an American for the job as the Vatican already has an American in high-level leadership with Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who leads the new Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.

[Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent. His email address is jmcelwee@ncronline.org. Follow him on Twitter: @joshjmac.]

Former pupil allegedly abused by Ealing priest denies being a 'professional victim'


October 16, 2017

By Greg Wilford and Katy Clifton

The witness was called a fantasist after claiming he was raped and indecently assaulted by Andrew Soper

A former west London pupil - who won a £135,000 settlement after claiming he was sexually abused by a school priest - was accused of being a fantasist on Monday (October 16).

The alleged victim first came forward after claiming he was raped and indecently assaulted by Andrew Soper, 74, at St Benedict's School in Ealing in the 1970s.

The man, who remains anonymous for legal reasons, had his claim for criminal compensation refused when the case was dropped, but in 2012 he made a civil application for more than £800,000.

St Benedict's initially offered £25,000 before agreeing to settle the case for £135,000 “without prejudice” or any admission that Soper was guilty of abuse, the Old Bailey heard.

Suspended priest says church diverting resources from sex abuse victims


October 16, 2017

By Belinda Grant Geary

A Perth priest suspended for allegations of "blasphemy" says the Anglican church is wasting valuable resources disciplining him instead of supporting victims of abuse.

Reverend Chris Bedding was stood down from his role as priest at Darlington Parish two weeks ago after a complaint was lodged with the Perth Diocese Professional Standards Board last year.

Father Bedding, who moonlights as a comedian, said a string of allegations of misconduct have been levelled against him, which claim his Facebook posts and critically acclaimed comedy show Pirate Church feature "tones of blasphemy".

The progressive priest said the Professional Standards Board was formed primarily to support victims of clerical abuse and believes valuable resources are being wasted pursuing him.

Welby says sorry to sex abuse survivor whose 16 letters were ignored

The Times

October 16, 2017

By Kaya Burgess

The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a personal apology to a victim of sexual abuse within the church who sent 16 letters to Lambeth Palace about his ordeal with no response.

Three prominent bishops have also raised concerns in a separate letter to the Church of England’s insurers that the process of “horse-trading” between lawyers over abuse claims has shown “little concern” for the impact on survivors.

This comes just days after one of the bishops, the Bishop of Buckingham, the Right Rev Alan Wilson, told The Times that the church’s stock response to abuse reports was to “hide behind the sofa and call the lawyers”.

One survivor, known as Gilo, who suffered abuse at the hands of a senior church figure as a teenager, sent a total of 17 letters to the archbishop’s office and received only one response from Lambeth Palace, from a correspondent clerk who offered prayers.

Bishops challenge Ecclesiastical over ‘horse trading’ of survivor settlements

Church Times

October 16, 2017

By Madeleine Davies

THREE bishops have sharply criticised the record of Ecclesiastical, the insurance company, over its treatment of abuse survivors on behalf of the Church of England.

In a letter to Mark Hews, the chief executive of the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group (EIG), the bishops condemn “horse trading” between lawyers negotiating settlements for abuse survivors.

The letter was sent after a meeting with a survivor, and calls on the insurer to consider revisiting both past settlements and its overarching approach to claims, questioning, for example, whether fairness should be taking precedence over justice and reconciliation.

The move was welcomed by the survivor, Gilo, also known as “Joe”, who first spoke of “offensive horse trading” years ago, when he was awarded £35,000 in a settlement with the diocese of London (News, 4 December), an experience he described as “demeaning, degrading”. He believes that the Church must remove all responsibility for handling of survivors from Ecclesiastical (News, 28 July).

Ecclesiastical has issued a strongly worded response to the bishops, stating that their letter “seriously misrepresents” the company’s actions and “misunderstands how insurance works”.

St William's child abuse victims call for compensation law change


October 16, 2017

A petition calling for a change in the law to help sex abuse victims seek compensation has been handed into Downing Street.

It comes as 249 men are suing the Roman Catholic Church over abuse claims against St William's children's home in East Yorkshire between 1970 and 1991.

Two of St William's former employees were jailed last year for abusing boys.

Their victims want the current three-year limit for personal injury damages to be abolished.

More than 60,000 people have signed the petition, which was started by Darren Furness, a former resident at the home in Market Weighton, which closed in 1992.

He said: "We want the government to intervene and get rid of the three-year limitation period that's holding the victims of St William's back, including myself.

Kindesmissbrauch tausendfach vertuscht: Weil nicht sein kann, was nicht sein darf


October 15, 2017

By Katharina Kluin

[Google Translate: In the GDR (East Germany), sexual abuse of children was not only outlawed, but also a political taboo."There was no such thing" in socialist society. The first systematic investigation shows that there were thousands of victims whose suffering was hushed up from the top. Those affected almost always remained alone.]

[This article addresses a newly published report, Historische, rechtliche und psychologische hintergründe des sexuellen Missbrauchs an Kindern und Jugendlichen in der DDR (The historical, legal and psychological background of sexual abuse of children and adolescents in the GDR).]

In der DDR war sexueller Kindesmissbrauch nicht nur geächtet, sondern auch auch ein politisches Tabu. "So etwas" hatte in der sozialistischen Gesellschaft nicht mehr vorzukommen. Die erste systematische Untersuchung zeigt: Es gab Tausende Opfer, deren Leid von höchster Stelle vertuscht wurde. Die Betroffenen blieben fast immer allein.

"Den Kindern die Zukunft" stand in großen Lettern an einem der Heime, in die sie Corinna Thalheim steckten. Man sollte ja glauben, der sozialistische Staat sorge gut für diejenigen, die es schwer hatten. Doch die Zukunft, auf die Corinna Thalheim einmal gehofft hatte, gab es nicht.

Man schrubbte sie unter der kalten Dusche "zur Begrüßung" blutig. Zwang sie in die Ausbildung zur Putzfrau. Und als sie schließlich dreimal "entwichen" und dreimal wieder aufgegriffen worden war, endete alles, woran Corinna Thalheim noch geglaubt hatte, im Jugendwerkhof Torgau, drei Monate vor ihrem 18. Geburtstag. Torgau, das hieß: Hantelspurts bis zur Ohnmacht, Schimmelfressen, Einzelarrest in Dunkelheit. Erzieher, die sich fluchtartig versetzen ließen, weil sie Menschen waren. Und Erzieher, die blieben, weil sie Sadisten waren.

Des présumées victimes d’un prêtre apostrophent Monseigneur Lacroix

Le Soleil

October 15, 2017

By Ian Bussières

[Men who say they were sexually abused by a priest, now deceased for more than 30 years, took advantage of the visit of Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix in Thetford Mines on Sunday to demonstrate in front of the St. Alphonsus Church and to present their grievances to the Archbishop of Quebec, whom they have been trying to meet for five years.]

Des hommes disant avoir été agressés sexuellement par un prêtre décédé depuis plus de 30 ans ont profité de la visite du cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix à Thetford Mines dimanche pour manifester devant l’église Saint-Alphonse et pour présenter leurs doléances à l’archevêque de Québec, qu’ils tentent de rencontrer depuis cinq ans.

Pierre Bolduc, Denis Cloutier, Jean Poulin et Jean-Yves Tardif disent avoir été victimes de sévices sexuels de la part du prêtre thetfordois Jean-Marie Bégin alors qu’ils avaient entre 7 et 13 ans, soit de 1965 à 1980. Ils accusent le diocèse de Québec d’avoir transféré le prêtre de paroisse en paroisse, lui permettant de faire d’autres victimes. Le prêtre s’est enlevé la vie en 1986 à son chalet du lac de l’Est, à Disraeli.

Juste avant la célébration dominicale, MM. Bolduc, Cloutier et Poulin et leur porte-parole Roger Lessard sont entrés dans l’église Saint-Alphonse avec leurs pancartes pour s’adresser directement à Mgr Lacroix. «C’est la première fois qu’on lui parle. Il a toujours refusé de rencontrer les victimes. On voulait le rencontrer depuis 2012 et il nous a plutôt fait rencontrer par un avocat. On voulait lui dire que c’était immoral et hypocrite, et que le diocèse avait eu du front d’avoir fait changer de paroisse un prêtre qui a fait au moins quatre victimes», a expliqué Roger Lessard au Soleil.

Un sacerdote fue procesado por abusar sexualmente de una adolescente de 13 años

RIO GRANDE, Tierra del Fuego (ARGENTINA)
MinutoUno.com (M1)

October 15, 2017

[Google Translate: A priest was indicted by Fuegian justice for the crime of aggravated sexual abuse against a 13-year-old girl who is the daughter of a friend of his, and, although the priest may remain at large, a restriction was imposed on him not to approach that family. The accused priest, Cristian Vázquez , denied his responsibility in the case and declared that the denunciation was part of an apparent "revenge" by the minor because of the relationship that he had established with her mother.]

[See also the entry for Vázquez in BishopAccountability.org's database of accused clergy in Argentina.]

El cura está acusado de abusar de la hija de una amiga pero negó su responsabilidad y aseguró que la denuncia formaría parte de una aparente "venganza".

Un sacerdote fue procesado por la justicia fueguina por el delito de abuso sexual agravado contra una adolescente de 13 años que es hija de una amiga suya y, si bien puede permanecer en libertad, se le impuso una restricción para que no se acerque a esa familia.

Así lo indicaron este domingo fuentes de la investigación y señalaron que el sacerdote acusado, Cristian Vázquez, negó su responsabilidad en el caso y aseguró que la denuncia formaría parte de una aparente "venganza" de la menor de edad por la relación que él había entablado con la madre.

El procesamiento fue dispuesto recientemente por el juez de Instrucción Daniel Cesari Hernández, de la ciudad fueguina de Río Grande, contra el religioso al entender que existe el grado de sospecha suficiente exigido en la etapa de instrucción para considerarlo autor del delito de "abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante con acceso carnal, agravados" por su condición de sacerdote.

Priest puts in words the loneliness and isolation of Church's lost tribe

The Independent

October 16, 2017

By Sean Hayes

Fiction: A Lost Tribe, William King, Lilliput Press, €15.00

Struggling with the near impossible expectations of the priesthood is a familiar subject in the work of William King, parish priest at Rathmines. His previous novels, which include The Strangled Impulse (1997, 2014) and Leaving Ardglass (2008), address such issues, while also punctuating a wider national tale that has seen Ireland shaken by scandal, and the near collapse of the Catholic Church.

Thomas Galvin finds himself at the steps of Coghill House, St Paul's seminary, where he trained almost five decades previously, for a retreat with his ageing counterparts in the clergy. Through alternating chapters, he relives the memories of his youth, and recounts how he and his peers were seduced by the promise of power, and the supposedly modern outlook now favoured by the Vatican Council.

What is most striking, perhaps, is how far the church has fallen in the eyes of Irish society today. The seminary that once turned away hopeful entrants now has just one student up for ordination this year.

Diocese of Rockville Centre to unveil abuse compensation program


October 16, 2017

By Bart Jones, bart.jones@newsday.com

[See also the Rockville Centre's new website about its Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program]

The Diocese of Rockville Centre on Monday is to unveil an independent compensation program for victims of clergy sexual abuse, a move that is likely to involve dozens of victims and cost the diocese millions of dollars.

The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation program is similar to ones started over the past year in the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Under the program, victims deemed eligible for financial compensation must agree not to pursue legal action against the church in the future in order to collect.

“With this program we are making a major commitment to the ongoing healing of survivors of acts of child sexual abuse committed by clergy,” said Bishop John Barres, spiritual leader of the diocese of 1.5 million Catholics, in a statement set to be released Monday.

“We as a Church recognize that no amount of monetary compensation could ever erase or undo the grave harm suffered by survivors of child abuse,” Barres said. “Still, we embrace Christ’s healing power and the Mission of Mercy of the Catholic Church as we begin our Independent Reconciliation and Compensation program.”

The program will be administered by Kenneth R. Feinberg, who currently is in charge of the funds in New York and Brooklyn, and Camille Biros, a business manager in his Washington, D.C., law firm who also has been closely involved in administering those and other funds. The two will independently determine who is eligible for compensation and how much money will be offered in Rockville Centre.

Feinberg also has administered the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, as well as compensation programs stemming from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Boston Marathon terrorist attack, the shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, and abuse claims brought against Jerry Sandusky, the former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach.

“I think it is a wonderful step that the diocese is taking,” Biros said in an interview. “It follows two very successful programs which are still ongoing in Brooklyn and New York.”

The programs are “a recognition that there was wrongdoing and I think that’s what a lot of the claimants . . . are pleased about after all these years,” she said.

More than 200 cases have been settled in New York and Brooklyn out of 437 received so far, Biros said. To date no offer of compensation has been rejected by an alleged victim, she added.

It was not immediately clear how many victims will come forward in Rockville Centre, but Manhattan-based attorney Michael Dowd said he has 35 clients claiming clergy sex abuse in the diocese.

Dowd, who also is handling cases in Brooklyn and New York, said settlements accepted by his clients in the Archdiocese of New York’s program generally have ranged from the low- to mid-six figures, though he believes some in the Diocese of Brooklyn could exceed $1 million.

Rockville Centre said it will pay the compensation “by using funds from investment returns over time and insurance programs.”

The Archdiocese of New York announced its compensation program in October 2016, followed by the Diocese of Brooklyn in June.

Rockville Centre also said an Independent Oversight Committee will monitor implementation and administration of its program. Its three members include the Honorable A. Gail Prudenti, dean of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University and former chief administrative judge of the Courts of New York State; Michael Cardello III, a partner with the law firm of Moritt Hock & Hamroff; and Thomas Demaria, director of the Psychological Services Center of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at LIU Post.

Two weeks ago, Rockville Centre sent out letters to people who previously had filed complaints with diocesan officials, informing them that a compensation program would be announced later in the month.

The news was met with both praise and skepticism among some lawyers for clergy sex abuse victims and victims themselves.

“This is clearly a step in the right direction,” Dowd said. “It can’t possibly . . . make up for all the suffering that people have endured. [But] it’s clearly better than nothing.”

Mitchell Garabedian, a Boston-based attorney who represents victims in Boston and New York, said he will recommend to his clients that they participate in the program if they think it will help them heal.

But he also said he believes it is an effort by the Catholic Church in New York to act before state legislators lift a statute of limitations that requires victims of child sex abuse to file charges before they turn 23.

That could open the church to scores of lawsuits and potentially tens of millions of dollars in damages. It could also require the church to release information detailing the abuse including names of priests.

“The Catholic Church is feeling the heat with regard to the pending statute of limitations issues in the legislature and they are reacting to it,” said Garabedian, who was portrayed by actor Stanley Tucci in the 2015 film “Spotlight” about the church sex abuse scandal in Boston. “You have an entity that has allowed the wholesale sexual abuse of innocent children by priests for decades upon decades. They are not all of a sudden nice people.”

In response, diocesan spokesman Sean Dolan said: “Until the Archdiocese of New York announced its IRCP in October of 2016, it was not clear that a program like this could work in a diocese of our size. After substantial study, and once it became clear that it could work, Bishop Barres determined that this is the right thing to do.”

Dowd said he does not think the statute of limitations will be altered anytime soon. The Catholic Church has lobbied against efforts to overturn the law, saying it could nearly bankrupt the church.

Tom McGarvey, 52, a Jamaica resident who alleges he was abused by a priest in the diocese when he was 16 to 24 years old, and has suffered many personal and professional problems since then, said, “I’d rather have a victims sex abuse act passed” lifting the statute of limitations.

But he said he plans to participate in the diocese’s program. “At least I can put it [the abuse] behind me and move forward,” he said. “Then I could go on with my life.”

Rockville Centre’s program, like the ones in Brooklyn and New York, will operate in two phases.

In phase one, starting Monday, alleged victims who previously had reported abuse to church officials can apply for compensation, the diocese said. In phase two, anticipated to start in January 2018, alleged victims who never had reported allegations of abuse can apply.

Victims who are awarded compensation can choose to reject it and pursue other legal options on their own.

“We encourage survivors of abuse to come forward in a timely fashion to seek compensation through this independent program,” Feinberg said in a statement.

Both Dowd and Biros said they believe the model adopted by the three dioceses could spread to others around the state.

“You are going into the three biggest dioceses in New York and you are finding out that it works,” Dowd said. “It’s doing something for victims.”

October 15, 2017

Missbrauch: Bistum veröffentlicht Gutachten

NDR (Public broadcaster)

October 13, 2017

By Florian Breitmeier

[GOOGLE TRANSLATE: The Catholic bishopric Hildesheim presented the report on the abuse allegations against the deceased Bishop Heinrich Maria Janssen and the retired priest Peter R. on Monday at 11 am. The 250-page document was written by the Independent Institute for Practice Research and Project Consulting in Munich.]

Das katholische Bistum Hildesheim stellt am Montag um 11 Uhr das Gutachten zu den Missbrauchsvorwürfen gegen den verstorbenen Bischof Heinrich Maria Janssen und den pensionierten Priester Peter R. vor. Das rund 250 Seiten umfassende Dokument wurde vom unabhängigen Institut für Praxisforschung und Projektberatung in München verfasst.

Der Vorwurf sexualisierter Gewalt gegen den 1988 verstorbenen Bischof Janssen wurde im Herbst 2015 bekannt. Ein ehemaliger Messdiener hatte sich an die Kirche gewandt: Janssen habe ihn von Ende der 1950er- bis Anfang der 1960er-Jahre regelmäßig sexuell missbraucht. Das Bistum hielt die Schilderungen des heute rund 70 Jahre alten Mannes für plausibel und leistete 2015 nach Prüfung entsprechender Aussagen eine Anerkennungszahlung für das erlittene Leid. Als ein juristisches Schuldeingeständnis wollte das Bistum dies aber ausdrücklich nicht verstanden wissen. Später wurde das Bistum unter anderem dafür kritisiert, es habe mit der Zahlung das Ansehen des beliebten Bischofs beschädigt, ohne die Entscheidung aufgrund konkreter Beweise rechtfertigen zu können.

L’association La Parole Libérée veut voir l’église indemniser les victimes d’abus sexuel


October 14, 2017

L’association a transmis un projet de réforme pour la prise en charge « des victimes d’actes de pédophilie commis par des clercs ».

[GOOGLE TRANSLATE: The (survivors') association has forwarded a draft reform for the "care of victims of acts of pedophilia committed by clerics." In a report revealed this Friday to the newspaper Le Monde, the association La Parole Libérée has asked the Catholic Church of France to compensate the victims of clergy, as is the case in other European countries. Indeed, during a scandal in Germany, several hundred children of a Catholic choir had been sexually abused between 1945 and the beginning of the 1990s.]

Dans un rapport révélé ce vendredi au journal Le Monde, l’association La Parole Libérée a demandé à l’Église catholique de France d’indemniser les victimes des membres du clergé, comme c’est le cas dans d’autres pays européens. En effet, lors d’un scandale en Allemagne, plusieurs centaines d’enfants d’un choeur catholique avaient subi des sévices sexuels entre 1945 et le début des années 1990. Pour ce préjudice, les institutions religieuses avaient indemnisé chaque victime jusqu’à 20 000 euros.

La Conférence des Évêques de France (CEF) se défend en rejetant toute responsabilité envers les membres du clergé, mettant en évidence la non-présence de rapport salarié/employeur entre les prêtres et les évêques. Dans les colonnes du Progrès, le porte-parole de la CEF rappelle que les victimes peuvent obtenir réparation du préjudice en se portant partie civile devant les tribunaux.

Dans le rapport transmis par l’association La Parole Libérée, ces derniers ont réalisé un « testing », consistant à envoyer un message à 33 cellules d’accueil sur une prétendue victime d’abus sexuels. Les retours relayés par l’association font part d’une réponse de la part de 28 diocèses et de la CEF, et seulement deux d’entre eux auraient alerté le procureur de la République.

Pour rappel, l’association La Parole Libérée a été créée en décembre 2015 à Lyon par d’anciennes victimes du prêtre Bernard Preynat, mis en examens en janvier 2016 pour des abus sexuels, et dont les faits remontent de la fin des années 1970 à 1991.

Vatican: Canada did not seek extradition for diplomat wanted on child pornography charges

Catholic News Service via Catholic Herald

October 14, 2017

Canadian authorities did not request the extradition of a Vatican diplomat who has been charged by police in Canada of accessing, possessing and distributing child pornography, a Vatican spokesman said.

“No request for extradition has come from Canada and no trial has been set at the Vatican” for the diplomat, Mgr Carlo Capella, who had been working in the United States, said Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman.

The Vatican investigation “requires international collaboration, and it has not ended yet,” he added.

The Italian monsignor, who had been working at the Vatican nunciature in Washington, was first recalled to the Vatican after the U.S. State Department notified the Holy See in August of his possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images.

Religious institution-focused training in child abuse prevention now available


October 6, 2017

By Anna Nguyen

Training is available to help adults who work with children to pick up on signs of abuse.

Did you know mandated reporters are people who are required by law to report suspected child abuse? To tell them about their obligation, the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance provides child protection and Mandated Reporter Training.

Recently, the PFSA began offering religious-based institutions specialized training materials for their mandated reporters of child abuse. Reverend Kathy Nice of the Presbytery of Kiskiminetas had requested these materials to better meet their training needs.

We spoke with Reverend Nice and Angela Liddle, MPA, President and CEO of Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance about MDT and the need to tailor the training for the religious community.

Justin Welby apologises to sexual abuse survivor for C of E failings

The Guardian

By Harriet Sherwood

October 15, 2017

Archbishop of Canterbury writes personal letter to survivor known as Gilo for his office’s failure to respond to 17 letters

The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has personally apologised to a sexual abuse survivor for his office’s failure to respond to 17 letters seeking help and redress.

Three bishops have also urged the Church of England’s insurance company to review its settlement with the survivor, saying they are “very concerned about the way in which the claim was handled at the time”.

In a letter to the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group (EIG), the bishops expressed disquiet that “horse-trading” between lawyers over settlements has had “little concern for the impact” on survivors.

The two letters are the latest developments in a long struggle by Gilo – who is also known as Joe, and whose surname is withheld at his request – to force the C of E to acknowledge both the abuse he experienced as a teenager at the hands of a senior church figure and its failure to respond properly to his disclosures.

Gilo told dozens of C of E figures, including three bishops and a senior clergyman later ordained as a bishop, of his abuse over a period of almost four decades. A highly critical independent report commissioned by the C of E into Gilo’s case said last year that the failure of those in senior positions to record or take action on his disclosures was “deeply disturbing”.

Doubts Grow Over Archbishop’s Account of When He Knew of Abuse

The New York Times

October 14, 2017

By Ceylan Yeginsu

The Anglican Church has been embroiled for most of this year in a scandal involving decades-old abuses that occurred in elite Christian holiday camps for boys where Justin Welby worked in his 20s, before eventually assuming his current post as the Most Rev. Archbishop of Canterbury.

The archbishop has said that he knew nothing of the abuse until 2013, when the police were informed about it, and he apologized in February for not having done more to investigate the claims further.

But now the grown men who were victims of the abuse as boys are coming forward to challenge the archbishop’s version of events, casting doubt on his claims of ignorance.

The archbishop, 61, was working abroad in 1982, when an internal investigation by an influential Christian charity supported allegations of sadistic practices by John Smyth, a prominent lawyer and evangelical leader who ran the camps.

The results of that investigation were never made public, and the allegations were dismissed when they were first reported to the British police in 2013 because Mr. Smyth had moved to Africa and was no longer in the country’s jurisdiction. It was not until Channel 4 news disclosed the accusations in a report earlier this year that a criminal investigation was started.

Priester will “Zeichen” im Bus gesehen haben


October 13, 2017

By Carlo Kass

[The priest Emile was accused of raping a 14-year-old boy on a pilgrimage to Taizé. The priest admitted it from the outset, but claimed that the victim had initiated the sexual acts. The priest was acquitted in the first instance, the victim appealed, and the case is now before the appellate judges.The appeal process has been underway since Monday.]

Der wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs angeklagte Geistliche Emile A. war in erster Instanz freigesprochen worden. Ende 2008, Anfang 2009 soll er einen damals 14-jährigen Jungen bei einer Pilgerfahrt nach Taizé vergewaltigt haben. Der Fall landete nun erneut vor den Berufungsrichtern.

Ein kurzer Rückblick: Der damalige Pfarrer vom Belair war zwar von Anfang an geständig, behauptete aber, dass das Opfer die Initiative zu den sexuellen Handlungen ergriffen habe. Während seiner Aussagen änderte der Angeklagte in erster Instanz sechsmal seine Version, während das Opfer bei seiner ersten Schilderung blieb.

Am Ende der ersten Verhandlung forderte der Staatsanwalt sieben Jahre Haft, doch der Verteidiger Me Gaston Vogel setzte sich mit seiner Forderung nach einem Freispruch durch.

Abuso eclesiástico: Justicia mendocina declaró inconstitucionales dos artículos del derecho canónico

La Izquierda Diario

October 14, 2017

[Ecclesiastical Abuse: Mendoza Justice declared unconstitutional two articles of canon law.
The decision of the judge was in the context of a trial against the Salesian Order, accused of hiding information from a victim of abuse by the priest Raúl del Castillo.]

[See also the entry for Father Raúl Del Castillo in BishopAccountability.org's database of accused Argentine clergy.]

Le decisión del juez se dio en el marco de un juicio contra la Orden Salesiana, acusada de ocultar información a una víctima de abuso por parte del cura Raúl del Castillo.

Este jueves se conoció la sentencia en el marco del juicio que mantiene la Red Contra el Abuso Sexual Eclesiástico, contra la Congregación Salesiana, de la provincia de Mendoza. La acusación contra la orden tiene que ver con el ocultamiento de información a la víctima de abusos por parte de un cura perteneciente a la organización, Raúl del Castillo.

Según contó a La Izquierda Diario el abogado miembro de la red contra los abusos esclesiásticos, Carlos Lombardi, el juicio se ganó en primera instancia, lo cual es muy importante además, "porque el juez declaró la inconstitucionalidad de dos cánones del código canónico".

[Te puede interesar: Los crímenes de la Iglesia]

"La sentencia que obtuvimos corresponde a un juicio muy similar a que le ganamos una vez al arzobispado de Mendoza en el caso de Iván González. Este caso es el de Esteban Córdoba contra la Orden Salesiana" comentó Lombardi y agregó que "no solamente le otorgan a este chico la indemnización que corresponde por la no participación procesal, por haberle lesionado la garantía de defensa en juicio dentro del proceso canónico. Además el juez declaró la inconstitucionalidad de dos cánones del código de derecho canónico, el 1717 y el 1719, algo que nunca había pasado. Esos cánones hacen referencia al procedimiento canónico, que está amparado por el secreto pontificio aun respecto a los denunciantes".

El silencio tiene su costo


October 14, 2017

[A Mendoza court ruled that the Salesian Congregation of Don Bosco was wrong to withhold information from a victim and must therefore pay the victim 80,000 pesos."This ruling is fundamental because the magistrates ruled that the human right to information prevails over canon law," said Carlos Lombardi, lawyer for the complainant.]

[See also the entry for Father Raúl Del Castillo in BishopAccountability.org's database of accused Argentine clergy.]

En 2008, un hombre denunció que un sacerdote había abusado de él en un colegio de Mendoza. La Iglesia abrió una causa canónica, pero nunca le brindó al denunciante información al respecto. Ahora, un fallo judicial ordena indemnizarlo por ese secreto.

La Congregación Salesiana debe indemnizar a un ex alumno por un abuso sexual

El Tribunal N°2 de Gestión de Justicia Administrativa de Mendoza condenó a la Congregación Salesiana de Don Bosco a pagar una indemnización a un ex alumno de la escuela de la capital provincial, quien había denunciado por abuso sexual a un sacerdote de esa institución religiosa. En 2008, la víctima acudió a la justicia penal y a la Congregación para acusar a Raúl Del Castillo –quien hasta el año pasado daba misas en Paraguay– por abusos tanto en el colegio como en una parroquia de la ciudad de Maipú cuando él asistía a la secundaria del colegio. Durante años, tanto la Iglesia como en Tribunales no le brindaron ninguna información a la víctima. Ahora, el juez Juan Pablo Civit multó con 80.000 pesos a la Congregación por haber privado de la información durante el proceso canónico. “Este fallo es fundamental porque los magistrados dispusieron que el derecho humano a la información prevalece por sobre el derecho canónico”, sostuvo a PáginaI12 Carlos Lombardi, abogado del denunciante. En otro fuero de la misma justicia mendocina, el penal, la causa por abuso fue archivada.

En 2011, E.C. –su identidad permanece bajo reserva– llegó temprano al Tribunal Interdiocesano de Mendoza. Allí lo esperaba un inspector provincial de los Salesianos, Reinaldo Godino, y otro sacerdote de la Congregación. En la reunión, el joven esperaba noticias sobre la denuncia de abuso sexual que había presentado, tres años atrás, en la sede Salesiana de Córdoba. La víctima quería cómo continuaba el proceso canónico, si habían podido dar testimonio algunos testigos y cuál era el destino de Del Castillo, el sacerdote denunciado. Nada de eso sucedió.

'Pack of hyenas': how Harvey Weinstein's power fuelled a culture of enablers

The Guardian

October 13, 2017

By Rory Carroll and Sam Levin

Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment and assaults did not occur in a vacuum, say industry figures: many around him were complicit or turned a blind eye

‘Anybody is a potential enabler if they work in that industry,’ said the author of a book discussing Weinstein’s rise.

It was Harvey Weinstein’s most ambitious production. A storyline stretching over 20 years with a rotating cast of actors, multiple locations across the US and Europe, a disciplined crew of assistants, producers and fixers, savvy dealmaking, and a publicity machine like no other.

But this was not The English Patient, Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love, The King’s Speech or any other of his films that earned more than 300 Oscar nominations.

It was a shadow production, an inverted version of Hollywood that leveraged entertainment industry might into an alleged spree of sexual harassment and assaults, including rape, and into a methodical way of hushing it all up with payments, threats and non-disclosure agreements.

Facilitators included colleagues and associates who set up meetings under false pretences and teams of lawyers and publicists who suppressed complaints.

It was a system of abuse involving some of the most famous people on the planet, in which success was measured not in awards or fame or box office revenue, but in silence.

Weinstein, 65, clenched his films in a tight grip but lost control of his shadow production when the New York Times published accounts of harassment and assault, prompting a cascade of other reports that led to Weinstein tumbling into disgrace, joblessness and possibly jail. Police in London and New York have opened investigations.

Weinstein has made an apology in vague terms for his behaviour but denies any accusations of non-consensual sex. He is a pariah – fired by his company, dumped by his wife, denounced by a roll call of stars and top politicians who used to defer to him for jobs and donations.

A vertiginous fall. But attention is shifting to those who were complicit, turned a blind eye, might have known or should have known – the assistants, producers, fixers, executives, publicists and lawyers who surrounded the co-founder of Miramax and the Weinstein Company.

“We’re all used to predators working alone, but when they band up like a pack of hyenas, that’s a whole other ballgame,” said Zoë Brock, a model and writer who accused Weinstein of making unwanted sexual advances.

“There are enablers all over the place,” said Jeff Herman, an attorney who represents sex abuse victims and is investigating options for some of Weinstein’s alleged victims. Predators’ companies often facilitated abusive encounters masquerading as work meetings, he said. “Sending limousines to pick up the victim, making flight arrangements. These guys aren’t making their own plans, making reservations.”

Other industry figures agreed, saying that transactions conducted amid sunshine, palm trees and dazzling smiles often concealed darker agendas.

The French actor Florence Darel told Le Parisien that she had repeatedly resisted calls to see Weinstein alone on different occasions but that her agent had insisted she must meet him. “Why do agents send women actors to predators?” she said. “Why are we supposed to go to meet producers in hotel rooms?”

Sex abuse in Hollywood required wider complicity than abuse in the Catholic church, said Lorien Haynes, a Los Angeles-based writer who worked on An Open Secret, a documentary about abuse of underage boys. “It’s even a little more insidious with Hollywood because men and women are involved.”

Peter Biskind, the author of Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance and the Rise of Independent Film, a 2004 book chronicling Weinstein’s rise in the 1990s, said facilitators ensured the alleged sexual abuse ran smoothly. “It does seem that way. They refined their technique.

Big business of change

Newcastle Herald

October 14, 2017

By Jeff Corbett

It's been all over the Hunter's media – on the front page of this newspaper and on our television screens – that the new Anglican Dean of Newcastle wants her church to be a safe place, and that's a heartwarming sentiment.

What she means is that she is hoping the Anglican church in the Newcastle region will no longer be the hotbed of paedophilia that was exposed in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, that Anglican clergy will no longer be free to sexually abuse children, that Anglican leaders will no longer protect the abusers or at the least turn a blind eye to their clergy preying on children.

Dean Katherine Bowyer's hope is delivered with a smile, of course. As the city's new Anglican Dean she uses all the right words: courage of the victims, respect, vulnerability, humbling, deeply sorry.

Ottawa let Catholic Church off the hook for millions in residential school compensation

APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network)

October 13, 2017

By Paul Barnsley

[See also the April 2016 Globe and Mail report on which this article is based.]

The source of an April 2016 Globe and Mail report outlining a mistake by federal government lawyers which allowed the Catholic Church to escape paying $21 million in obligations to the Residential School Settlement Agreement, now says that number is actually millions of dollars higher.

Ron Kidd, of Vancouver, said that of the $54 million various Catholic Church entities had agreed to pay, $37,875,660 has not been paid.

Kidd is a former provincial tax auditor, self-appointed church watchdog, and gay rights activist. He has a history of successfully leading anti-discrimination cases that trace back to the early 1990s.

There was a strong reaction to this priest's words on last night's Late Late


October 12, 2017

By Anna O'Rourke

"Finally, a priest that talks sense."

Fr Joe McDonald was a guest on last night's Late Late Show on RTÉ and gave viewers an alternative take on the Catholic Church.

The Ballyfermot-based priest appeared to promote his new book, Why The Irish Church Deserves to Die, and spoke about welcoming gay people into the church.

"They (the church) have used words like evil and disordered and so on and priests listen to those words and say we know what they meant, and we do... the problem is how it's heard.

"If all we can offer to the young gay man and all we can offer to his parents is fear and censure... then we should shut up - we should get off the stage.

"I want people to know that in St Matthew's in Ballyfermot, and other churches, they are welcome, they are welcome to be an active participant part of the community. We're supposed to love and cherish them."

Fr Joe also shared his story of sexual abuse, having been victimised by a local priest who was over the altar boys and a number of kids' activities while growing up in West Belfast.

He explained how he and other victims were taken advantage of by the abuser.

"It went on for three or four years, from the age of seven or eight.

"I think the manipulation of it is extraordinary... There were two of us that were abused by him. He used to say to me: 'if your mother knew about this, she'd die'.

"To my friend, he said 'if your father finds out about this, he'll kill you'. If he said to me: 'your father will kill you,' I'd laugh - my father wouldn't kill a fly. That was the cleverness of it and that's how he shut us up."

The Story Behind ‘Spotlight’ Has a Lot to Say About Journalism

The Wire (India)

October 15, 2017

By Beena Sarwar

Behind the glamour and awards lies another story, about the importance of documentation, synthesising information, consistency and follow up.

Hearing Walter Robinson talk about the process behind the most well-known investigation by the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team that he led, I’m struck by some universal truths that emerge from his reflections.

The Oscar winning feature film Spotlight (best picture, best screenplay, 2015) is based on the story of how Robinson’s reporting team in 2002 exposed the Catholic Church’s cover-up of child sex abuse by its priests. The Globe won a Pulitzer in 2003 for public service for its coverage of the issue.

But behind the glamour and awards lies another story, about the importance of documentation, synthesising information, consistency and follow up. That is the first truth I take away from the wide-ranging talk by Robinson, now the Globe’s editor at large.

In June 2002, the Boston Globe published a book, Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church, based on the reports published until then. The following year, Robinson hammered out a 2,000-word piece “within a few hours” for Harvard’s Nieman Report (March 2003) outlining what lay behind his team’s string of over 900 reports by then.

The Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) published a 22-page case study in 2009 about the journalism involved in this series. The author was young novelist and freelance writer David Mizner. A couple of years later, while discussing the possibility of a film based on one of his novels with Hollywood producers Nicole Rocklin and Blye Faust, Mizner pitched the idea of a film based on his CJR report.

The enthusiastic producers flew to Boston. The Globe journalists, initially somewhat bemused and wary, gave the young filmmakers rights to their story and agreed to work with them. They didn’t expect much to come of it.

October 14, 2017

Ex-Lexington pastor accused of abusing 2 children

WBKO-TV (Channel 13)

October 13, 2017

A former associate pastor of a large Kentucky church has been accused of sexually abusing two children.

Citing court records, news outlets report that 63-year-old Reid Buchanan was arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of sexual abuse.

Buchanan had worked at St. Luke United Methodist Church in Lexington from July 2016 to August 2017.

Kentucky Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church spokeswoman Cathy L. Bruce said Buchanan was immediately relieved of his duties and suspended when the church learned of the allegations in July.

Bruce says the alleged abuse did not take place on church grounds or at church events.

Buchanan pleaded not guilty to both charges in court on Thursday.

Op-Ed: The ’70s and Us

The New York Times

October 14, 2017

By Ross Douthat

“I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different,” Harvey Weinstein wrote in his awful pseudo-apology, just before the fake Jay-Z quote and the promise to go to war with the N.R.A. “That was the culture then.”

Everyone has made sport of this line, but give the devil his due: In certain ways sexual predation actually was the culture in the years when Weinstein came of age, in the entertainment industry and the wider society it influenced and mirrored.

There is a liberal tendency to regard sexual exploitation as a patriarchal constant that feminism has mitigated, and a conservative tendency to regard it as a problem that’s gotten steadily worse since the sexual revolution. But a corrective to both assumptions (my own declinist ones included) is worth noting. When it comes to Weinsteinian behavior and related evils, things probably haven’t ever been as bad in modern America as they were for a time in the 1970s. And if you want to understand our own era’s problems, the specific ways that things were worse back then are worth remembering.

You can remember some of it with ’70s statistics: Never so many divorces, never so many abortions, a much higher rate of rape, an S.T.D. crisis that culminated in the AIDS epidemic.

But some of it is better grasped through anecdote and social history — particularly the extent to which the ’70s saw the drug-enabled exploitation of kids on a grimly horrifying scale.

As Matthew Walther pointed out recently in The Week, much of rock and roll’s groupie culture was a spree of statutory rape, with the gods of rock as serial deflowerers of girls not much older than Dolores Haze. In the same era’s anything-goes Hollywood, Roman Polanski had good reason to regard sodomizing a 13-year-old as what they let you do when you’re a star, or even when you’re not.

Yes, that was the entertainment business, always sordid and permissive — but the same pattern showed up all over, from posh prep schools to the Roman Catholic Church. The abuse of children by pedophile priests is an ancient problem, but something new happened in Catholicism between 1960 and 1980: The prevalence of pedophilia stayed about the same, but suddenly the rate of priests groping and seducing and raping teenagers shot way, way up. As went Bowie and Zeppelin, so went the most putatively-conservative institution in the country.

Bishop of Mackenzie-Fort Smith diocese moving on after 4 years


October 14, 2017

Bishop Mark Hagemoen has been appointed the Bishop of the Saskatoon diocese

After four years of service, the head of the Mackenzie-Fort Smith diocese in the Northwest Territories, Bishop Mark Hagemoen, is moving on.

Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Mark Hagemoen to serve the diocese of Saskatoon beginning at the end of November.

"I was very surprised," Hagemoen said about the news of the move, which he called bittersweet.

Hagemoen, who was born and raised in Vancouver, serves on several committees of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, including the Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council and the Northern Bishops Council.

Hagemoen dealt with many sensitive issues during his four-year tenure in the North, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report on Canada's residential school system, assisted death legislation, and the onset of an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Hagemoen calls the aftermath of the TRC's report a "time of challenge and blessing."

"My hopes for the diocese is that we can continue to realize many of the calls to action that focus on raising up Indigenous leadership," he said.

Among its calls to action, the TRC called on the Roman Catholic Church to apologize for the abuse students suffered at church-run schools, as well as educate new clergy and congregations about the role it played in colonizing First Nations, Inuit and Métis children

Ex President of Vatican Hospital Convicted of Abuse of Office


October 14, 2017

By Philip Pullella

The former president of a Vatican-owned hospital in Rome on Saturday was convicted of abuse of office for diverting nearly half a million dollars of funds to renovate a top cardinal's luxury apartment.

The Vatican court, a three-judge panel, gave Giuseppe Profiti a one-year suspended sentence. The prosecution had asked for three years for the former head of the prestigious Bambino Gesu hospital.

It also reduced the seriousness of the charge against Profiti to abuse of office from the initial embezzlement. Massimo Spina, the hospital's treasurer, was acquitted.

Testimony at the trial, which began in July in the city-state's courtroom, again exposed lack of transparency in the financial handling of Vatican assets in Italy, where it owns numerous institutions and much real estate.

Profiti and Spina were charged with spending 422,000 euros ($481,000) in 2013 and 2014 on refurbishing the large Vatican retirement home of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Holy See's former number two.

Lawsuit accuses Columbia’s First Baptist Church of history of covering up child sex abuse

The State

October 13, 2017

By John Monk

A Richland County lawsuit quotes numerous sexually explicit text messages that a First Baptist Church youth worker allegedly sent to a boy in a church program, adding church officials did little or nothing for years while the worker sexually abused the youth.

That inaction is part of the downtown Columbia church’s history of failing to take action against potential molesters, the lawsuit alleges. The boy, now 17, was about 11 when the abuse began, according to the lawsuit, filed in Richland County Circuit Court this week.

Because of the assaults and touching, the youth suffered personal injury and “severe emotional distress,” the lawsuit alleges, asking for a minimum of $150,000 in damages.

Catholicism Slips In Popularity In Ireland

Opposing Views

October 13, 2017

By Allison Stutzka

A recent census report from the Republic of Ireland has shown a trend in religious affiliation with citizens identifying as 'no religion' steadily rising and the previously reigning religion of the country, Catholicism falling in popularity.

According to NPR, Pope Paul VI called Ireland the most Catholic country in the world back in 1946. The current census reports and political choices of the public have shown that statement to be losing it's credibility over the years.

The proportion of Catholics in Ireland fell by almost six percentage points between 2011 and 2016 when it stood at 78.3%, while the number of those saying they had no religion increased by 74% reports RTE News.

Those identifying as unaffiliated is expected to continue grow in popularity as a crossover of population between Europe and North America continues according to Pew Research.

In an interview conducted by NPR in 2015, the decrease in Catholic affiliated citizens can be correlated to the rise in scandals from the Catholic church involving the abuse of young children, women and sex scandals. Ireland was once referred to as the most catholic country in the world, however with the recent statistics and controversy, the number of unaffiliated is rising.

Netflix is having a Catholic moment. Here’s your guide on what to watch.

America Magazine

By Eloise Blondiau

October 13, 2017

In September it was announced—to a flurry of heart emojis on America’s Facebook page—that Netflix will be producing “The Pope,” an original feature film starring Pope Francis’ doppelganger Jonathan Pryce (“Game of Thrones,” “Pirates of the Caribbean”), with potentially Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict.

Although the announcement caused a stir, this is not the first time Netflix has jumped on the Catholic bandwagon—it is not even the first Pope Francis biopic the streaming service has made available to its audience. “Call Me Francis,” first released in Italy in 2015, follows the life of Jorge Bergoglio in his younger years.

And it’s not just “the Francis effect”; Netflix has a goldmine of content featuring Catholic characters and subjects. In 2017 Netflix released “The Keepers,” an original true-crime documentary that explores the mysterious and tragic murder of a religious sister in Baltimore nearly five decades ago; “Juana Inés,” about the 17th-century Mexican nun Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (the so-called “first feminist of the new world”); and “Father Brown,” a mystery series based on G. K. Chesterton’s short stories.

America has compiled a list to help you find all the Catholic entertainment you’ve been looking for but didn’t know was there. (Disclaimer: Not all the content listed here takes its Catholic themes as seriously as others.)

Columbia church named in lawsuit involving sex abuse of minor

WACH-TV (Channel 57)

October 14, 2017

By Kristen Schneider

The First Baptist Church of Columbia, as well as multiple employees, is named in a lawsuit where a minor alleges sexual abuse from a church group leader.

The victim, 17, and his parents filed the suit on Tuesday. The defendants named include the church, Andrew McCraw, Wendell Estep, and Philip Turner. According to the documents, McCraw was a youth assistant mentor and small group leader at the church. Turner oversaw McCraw as the Student Minister of First Baptist Church. Wendell Estep was the Pastor at First Baptist Church of Columbia but recently resigned.

According to the lawsuit, the victim, referred to as "Joel Doe," joined the church's Small Group Program when he was 11-years-old, and Turner assigned Doe to McCraw's group.

The suit goes on to say that, over the next few years, McCraw spent large amounts of time with Doe outside of the church, such as taking Doe to see movies and eat dinner; according to the documents, "during this lengthy period, Defendant McCraw gradually escalated his inappropriate and illegal activity." This included a sleepover where McCraw and Doe slept in the same bed.

LAWSUIT: Church employee at First Baptist Church of Columbia accused of sexual abuse of minor

WIS-TV (Channel 10)

October 13, 2017

By Tanita Gaither

A civil suit filed this week in Richland County 5th Judicial Circuit alleges that a 17-year-old was sexually abused over several years by a First Baptist Church of Columbia employee.

In the litigation filed on Oct. 10, a minor referred to as Joel Doe, and his parents, Jane and John Doe, are suing First Baptist Church, the pastor, Wendell Estep, youth assistant mentor and assistant small group leader Andrew McCraw, and church student minister Phillip Turner in a sexual abuse accusation.

The suit claims that McCraw had inappropriate contact and communications with Joel Doe, which included sexually-explicit text messages and social media communications, dinners alone, and sleepovers where no other children or adults were present.

Furthermore, the suit alleges that Estep and Turner knew about the abuse but did nothing about it, failing in their duty to report the abuse.

RVC Diocese to compensate church abuse victims

Long Island Herald

October 12, 2017

By Ben Strack

The Diocese of Rockville Centre notified victims last week of a fund that is being set up to compensate survivors of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, in an effort to repair some of the harm caused by such cases, which have plagued the Catholic church in recent years.

Called the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, the fund will offer money to victims as determined by program administrators, according to a letter by Mary McMahon, director of the diocese’s Office for the Protection of Children and Young People, which was sent to survivors.

“…While no amount of monetary compensation could ever erase or undo the unimaginable harm suffered by victims of child abuse,” the letter states, “it is the sincere hope of the [Diocese of Rockville Centre] that those who have been alienated and distanced from the Church as a result of any abuse committed by [diocese] clergy will be empowered to begin the journey toward reconciliation with us.”

Priest acquitted in rape case

The Hindu

October 12, 2017

By Nirnimesh Kumar

Court says testimony of victim not of ‘sterling quality’

Observing that “the testimony of the prosecutrix does not appear to be of sterling quality,” a Delhi court has acquitted a priest of rape charge. The accused, Pandit Shiv Dutt Sharma, stayed near the house of the victim.

“The testimony of the prosecutrix does not appear to be of sterling quality. There are embellishments and exaggerations in the testimony of the prosecutrix which go to the root of the case. The things appear to have not happened in the manner they have been projected,” Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain said while acquitting the accused, Pandit Shivdutt Sharma.

The woman, in her complaint lodged at the Jaitpur police station in south Delhi, alleged that the accused had sexually assaulted her at his house when she went to meet him to get an auspicious date for the marriage of her brother’s so

Ex-priest to stand trial for historic child sex offences

West Sussex County Times

October 12, 2017

By Jennifer Logan

A former Church of England priest accused of historic sex offences against a young girl in Warnham will stand trial.

Brian Spence, 78, also known as Macduff, a former Church of England priest, of Sutton Road, Shrewsbury, is alleged to have committed four offences of indecent assault on a girl aged under 12 more than 30 years ago.

He pleaded not guilty to all offences and appeared at Lewes Crown Court yesterday (October 11) for a preliminary trial preparation hearing.

The trial has been set for May 21, 2018.

Pope accepts resignation of scandal-hit Indonesian bishop

La Croix International

October 12, 2017

By Ryan Dagur, Jakarta and Ferdinand Ambo, Ruteng

Bishop Hubertus Leteng of Ruteng was accused of misappropriating church funds and keeping a mistress

An Indonesian bishop who was accused by his own priests of misappropriating church funds and keeping a mistress has stepped down from his post.

The pope accepted the resignation of Bishop Hubertus Leteng of Ruteng on October 11 and appointed Bishop Silvester San of Denpasar on Bali Island as apostolic administrator until a new bishop is appointed.

Father Fabio Salerno, the Holy See's ad interim representative in Indonesia, asked priests to work with the apostolic administrator in a spirit of brotherhood, unity, and harmony.

Father Agustinus Manfred Habur, the bishop's secretary, said Bishop Leteng was given 10 days to prepare his move from Ruteng. "However, where he will be moved to is the secret of the Vatican," he told ucanews.com.

The Vatican did not detail reasons for Bishop Leteng's resignation.

However, it is believed to result from a conflict culminating in June with 69 clerics submitting letters of resignation as episcopal vicars and parish priests.

New allegations raised against Mannetta, Brouillard

The Guam Daily Post

By Mindy Aguon

October 13, 2017

An encounter with a priest in Talofofo in 1985 resulted in a teen boy quitting church and living with humiliation and embarrassment, according to the latest lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of Agana and defrocked priest Andrew Mannetta.

A.J.B.W., 46, who used initials to protect his privacy, alleges he was sexually abused by Mannetta while helping the priest clean outside the rectory of San Miguel Catholic Church.

Boys in the village often played at the old basketball court near the parish and Mannetta would seek their help to clean around the church.

One day A.J.B.W. was summoned to help the priest clean outside the rectory. The lawsuit states Mannetta asked how the boy was doing in school. A.J.B.W. told him he was doing well but that he didn't go to school that day because of a stomachache.

Reporting revives bad memories of contentious amnesia theories

The Weekend Australian

October 14, 2017
By Warwick Middleton, Martin Dorahy, Michael Salter

Recent reporting by Richard Guilliatt has raised questions about the credibility of adults reporting child sexual abuse (“Those Events Never Happened”, The Weekend Australian Magazine, October 4-5). Underlying this and other ­articles in The Australian has been a sense of unease or outrage about the accuracy of memories of ­severe abuse being retrieved after a period of being forgotten by some traumatised individuals.

Reading these articles, there is the feeling that we have stepped back into the past century, ­before science had a solid understanding of the effects of trauma on memory. The early to mid-1990s saw the rise of terms such as recovered memory therapy to characterise mental healthcare for sexually abused people as stirring up false memories of traumatic events.

Activists promoting this view lobbied the Victorian health minister at the time, Bronwyn Pike, into launching an inquiry examining the extent recovered memory therapy was practised in Victoria. The inquiry reported in 2005, finding that the term was not used by health professionals but was being used by lobby groups for political purposes.

October 13, 2017

Missbrauch: Bistum veröffentlicht Gutachten

Norddeutscher Rundfunk

October 13, 2017

By Florian Breitmeier

[Summary: A report has been released on allegations of sexual abuse by Bishop Heinrich Maria Janssen of the Hildesheim diocese and a Jesuit, Peter R. The report was prepared for the diocese by the Institute for Practice Research and Project Consulting in Munich. See also the Institute's project description.]

Das katholische Bistum Hildesheim stellt am Montag um 11 Uhr das Gutachten zu den Missbrauchsvorwürfen gegen den verstorbenen Bischof Heinrich Maria Janssen und den pensionierten Priester Peter R. vor. Das rund 250 Seiten umfassende Dokument wurde vom unabhängigen Institut für Praxisforschung und Projektberatung in München verfasst.

Vorwurf sexueller Gewalt

Der Vorwurf sexualisierter Gewalt gegen den 1988 verstorbenen Bischof Janssen wurde im Herbst 2015 bekannt. Ein ehemaliger Messdiener hatte sich an die Kirche gewandt: Janssen habe ihn von Ende der 1950er- bis Anfang der 1960er-Jahre regelmäßig sexuell missbraucht. Das Bistum hielt die Schilderungen des heute rund 70 Jahre alten Mannes für plausibel und leistete 2015 nach Prüfung entsprechender Aussagen eine Anerkennungszahlung für das erlittene Leid. Als ein juristisches Schuldeingeständnis wollte das Bistum dies aber ausdrücklich nicht verstanden wissen. Später wurde das Bistum unter anderem dafür kritisiert, es habe mit der Zahlung das Ansehen des beliebten Bischofs beschädigt, ohne die Entscheidung aufgrund konkreter Beweise rechtfertigen zu können.

Auch Priester Peter R. beschuldigt

Im zweiten Fall wurden verschiedene Vorwürfe des sexuellen Missbrauchs gegen den pensionierten Priester Peter R. erhoben. Zuletzt von einer jungen Frau und deren Mutter, die beide angaben, als Kinder bzw. Jugendliche von Peter R. sexuell missbraucht worden zu sein.

Pastor Jimmy Hinton Resigns From Church Protect, Organization That Fights Sexual Abuse in Churches

Christian Post

October 5, 2017

By Leonardo Blair

Pastor Jimmy Hinton of Somerset Church of Christ in Pennsylvania announced Wednesday that he has officially resigned from Church Protect, an organization he founded with veteran clinical therapist Jon Uhler to help churches prevent and report sexual abuse.

"It is with sadness that I announce my resignation with Church Protect. There were some recent events that occurred which I personally felt were not at the heart of the mission of Church Protect and my conscience would not allow me to remain," Hinton said in a statement on his Facebook page.

According to Church Protect, the organization was launched after Hinton found out that his father, a former minister, is a pedophile.

"God allowed Jimmy's path to intersect with Jon Uhler and a partnership was born. Jon has over 20 years of counseling experience working as a clinical therapist, has worked extensively with survivors of child sex abuse, and has over 10 years of experience working with sex offenders who are in prison," the organization said.

* * *

According to Church Protect, more than 90 percent of pedophile say they are religious, which make churches attractive to sexual offenders.

Former pastor of large Lexington church charged with sexual abuse of teens

Herald Leader

October 12, 2017

By Mike Stunson and Greg Kocher

A former associate pastor of a large Lexington church has been charged with sexual abuse of two teens, according to court records.

Reid Buchanan, who worked at St. Luke United Methodist Church from July 2016 until August of this year, was arrested Wednesday by Lexington police. Two minors accused Buchanan, 63, of touching them inappropriately multiple times, starting when they were younger, according to a complaint warrant filed in Fayette District Court.

The abuse of the youngest victim allegedly began two years ago. She didn’t come forward until a recent incident.

Abuse of the other victim began many years prior with the latest incident in April, according to the complaint warrant.

Buchanan denied any wrongdoing, according to court records.

Sexueller Missbrauch: Das organisierte Tabu der DDR

Zeit Online

October 11, 2017

By Doreen Reinhard

[Summary: Renate Viehrig-Seger participated in an open hearing on 10/11/17 in Leipzig devoted to the taboo subject of sexual abuse experienced by children housed in institutions in the former East Germany. The hearing was part of the Independent Commission on the Elimination of Sexual Child Abuse.]

Sexuellen Missbrauch durfte es offiziell nicht geben in der DDR. Dabei gab es Tausende schwere Fälle – in Familien, in Kinderheimen und Jugendwerkhöfen des Systems.

"Bis zu meinem elften Geburtstag war meine Kindheit ganz okay", sagt Renate Viehrig-Seger. "Mal abgesehen von der Prügel, die ich immer wieder von meinem Vater bekam." Gewalt und Missbrauch zogen sich durch ihre Kindheit und Jugend, so heftig, dass sie ganz eigene Kategorien für das Ausmaß entwickelt hat.

Renate Viehrig-Seger war ein Kind der DDR und in der gab es so gut wie keine Chance, dass Tragödien wie ihre an die Öffentlichkeit gelangten. Dass ihr irgendwer zu Hilfe kam. Geboren ist sie 1959, aufgewachsen mit zehn Geschwistern, einem aggressiven Vater und einer Mutter, die vor allem weggeschaut hat. Als sie pubertierte, waren ihrem Vater Schläge nicht mehr genug. "Er holte mich nachts ins Wohnzimmer, um mich anzufassen. Im Raum daneben lag meine Mutter. Als sie ins Wohnzimmer kam, schnauzte mein Vater sie an, dass sie abhauen soll."

Renate Viehrig-Seger suchte Hilfe bei Ämtern, aber niemand glaubte ihr. Sie begann, zu verzweifeln. "Ich wurde rabiat, habe geklaut und über die Stränge geschlagen." Immer wieder versuchte sie, von zu Hause abzuhauen, aber jedes Mal wurde sie von der Polizei wieder zu den Eltern zurückgebracht. Irgendwann sagte ihre Mutter: "Es reicht, du gehst ins Heim."

Zunächst war dieser Weg für das Mädchen eine Erleichterung. "In dem Kinderheim, in das ich zuerst kam, gab es Ordnung, Sauberkeit, Struktur, so etwas kannte ich von zu Hause nicht." Bald darauf wurde sie jedoch in den Geschlossenen Jugendwerkhof Torgau verlegt, der zu den schlimmsten Institutionen des Staates gehörte, gedacht zur "Umerziehung" nach sozialistischen Maßstäben.

Insgesamt 474 staatliche Kinderheime gab es in der DDR. Davon waren 38 sogenannte Spezialkinderheime und 32 Jugendwerkhöfe, in denen jene Heranwachsenden verwahrt wurden, die als schwer erziehbar und verhaltensauffällig galten. Viele Kinder und Jugendliche haben dort die Hölle erlebt. Im Jugendwerkhof Torgau wurde auch für Renate Viehrig-Seger alles nur noch schlimmer. "Ich habe dort nächtlichen Besuch vom Direktor bekommen, der mich vergewaltigt hat." Als sie einem Erzieher davon erzählte, bekam sie auch dort keine Hilfe, stattdessen zwei Tage Arrest, weil sie Lügen erzählt habe.

Ex-friar accused of sexual abuse in Santa Fe quits Arizona health care job

Santa Fe New Mexican

October 12, 2017

By Andrew Oxford

[Note: This article provides a link to a 3/31/15 lawsuit John Doe N v Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and Franciscan Friars alleging abuse by Br. Dennis Huff OFM. See also the BishopAccountability.org database entry on Huff.]

A top administrator at a health care organization in Arizona has resigned amid allegations that he sexually abused students at the St. Catherine Indian School in Santa Fe while serving as a Franciscan brother there 40 years ago.

Dennis Huff stepped down as behavioral health services administrator at Native Health, a nonprofit that primarily serves Native Americans, late last month after the Archdiocese of Santa Fe listed his name among 74 clergy and members of religious orders accused of sexually abusing children over the last half-century.

Huff’s resignation decades later and hundreds of miles away marks just the latest twist in the long unraveling of a scandal that has gone to the heart of the Catholic Church in New Mexico, where priests from around the country who were known to prey on children were sent for “treatment” and where officials are accused of covering up abuse for years.

The Phoenix New Times reported earlier this month it had received an anonymous letter sent to Native Health’s CEO in mid-August, disclosing that Huff was accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing students at the now-shuttered school.

False hope for Md. childhood sexual assault survivors

Baltimore Sun

October 11, 2017

By Joanne Suder

At first glance, the newly enacted Maryland law that extends the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse from age 25 to age 38 appears to offer hope to individuals who, for any number of reasons, are psychologically unable or unwilling to seek a remedy for the horrors they experienced as children until they are well into adulthood.

That’s not how it worked out, however, and at the very least this law delivers false hope. House Bill 642 instead dealt a stealthy and significant win to the Archdiocese of Baltimore — and any other employer that has allowed perpetrators under their purview to persist in terrorizing children.

Here’s why. Although the law extends the statute of limitations from age 25 to 38, it adds an onerous requirement: Victims older than 25 who sue a rapist’s employer must now meet the notoriously difficult-to-prove gross negligence standard. Before this law, a sexual-abuse victim had to demonstrate ordinary negligence by the employer. What the new law means is that older victims suing potentially culpable employers, such as the Archdiocese of Baltimore in the priest-rape cases, must prove that the employer was acting with thoughtless disregard for the consequences without the exertion of any effort to avoid them.

Therefore, schools or camps or other organizations that purport to care for children, but allow abuse under their noses, can get off the hook and avoid compensating victims because proving gross negligence is just too hard. Maryland's courts describe this standard as “an amorphous concept, resistant to precise definition.” Unfortunately, Maryland court history is riddled with cases stating that even the most egregious conduct that meets the negligence standard would not pass the gross negligence test.

Judge orders release of info from clergy abuse lawsuits

Albuquerque Journal

October 12, 2017

By Olivier Uyttebrouck

[Note: See BishopAccountability.org database entries on Griego, Sigler, and Perrault.

A wide variety of church documents and other records filed in clerical abuse lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe will become public Wednesday under a ruling handed down by an Albuquerque judge.

District Judge Alan Malott approved a request from a television station to unseal court records related to three former priests who have been named in dozens of lawsuits dating to the 1990s. The former priests are Sabine Griego, Jason Sigler and Arthur Perrault. Perrault has fled the country.

Malott said he delayed public disclosure of the records until Wednesday to allow parties in the case to consider whether to appeal the ruling. An attorney for the archdiocese did not reply to a phone message Thursday.

In his order, Malott rejected the archdiocese’s objection that public disclosure of court records would endanger the church’s right to a fair trial. The church no longer denies that priests sexually abused young boys and girls in their parishes, he wrote.

The Catholic Church knew he was an abuser, but helped him get a job in public schools

Los Angeles Times

October 13, 2017

By Rick Anderson

[Note: See also BishopAccountability.org's database entry on Irish Christian Brother Edward C. (Chris) Courtney.]

Seattle - Time and again, the record shows, Brother Edward “Chris” Courtney was accused of child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic schools where he taught, and the church responded by moving him to another jurisdiction.

That makes his case similar to those of hundreds of other priests and brothers who committed sexual abuse before the problem exploded into national consciousness more than 15 years ago.

What sets Courtney apart is this: According to a lawsuit settled last week in Seattle’s King County Superior Court, he was ultimately shuffled off to a public school, where he continued to commit sexual assault.

Courtney, now 82 and retired in Hawaii, was a member of the Christian Brothers religious order who has been accused of assaulting at least 55 boys during his three decades as a Catholic school educator in a variety of jurisdictions from New York to Seattle.

It was in Seattle, where he served as principal of a parochial school, St. Alphonsus, that his Catholic school career came to an end after allegations of groping. Catholic and Christian Brothers officials then wrote letters of recommendation to the state school system and, ignoring a legal requirement, never reported his history of sexual assaults. That omission allowed Courtney to obtain his license to teach in public schools, where the assaults continued, according to the lawsuit and criminal court records.

Lawsuit: Priest fondled boy who complained of stomach ache

Pacific Daily News

October 13, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

Former priest Andrew Mannetta allegedly fondled a boy around 1985 or 1986, in Talofofo, after telling the boy he would help his stomach pain go away, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court on Friday afternoon.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents only as A.J.B.W., was about 14 or 15 when Mannetta allegedly sexually molested and abused him during a break from cleaning the outside of the San Miguel Catholic Church rectory, the lawsuit states.

A.J.B.W., now 46, is represented by attorney David Lujan. He demands a jury trial and $5 million in minimum damages.

One day, while hanging out around the Talofofo parish, A.J.B.W. told Mannetta that he didn't go to school that day because he had a stomach ache, the lawsuit states. The priest invited the boy inside the rectory for a drink and asked about the area of his stomach that was hurting, the complaint states.

Mannetta asked the boy to sit on his lap so he could massage his stomach to help the pain go away, the lawsuit states. Mannetta then molested him, the complaint states.

October 12, 2017

Man lernt damit umzugehen, dass der Staat immer Recht hat

Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk

[Summary: The Independent Commission on the Elimination of Sexual Child Abuse held a public hearing on October 11, 2017 in Leipzig on child sexual abuse in the former East Germany. Survivors spoke about their experience of this taboo subject. With video report and comments.]

Missbrauch von Kindern und Jugendlichen - das gab es in der DDR offiziell nicht. Doch viele Jahre nach der Wende zeigt sich ein anderes Bild. Auf einem öffentlichen Hearing in Leipzig erzählen Betroffene am Mittwoch aus ihrer Jugend, die geprägt war von Gewalt.

"Ich bin als Säugling bis zum 18. Lebensjahr in Einrichtungen aufgewachsen, die der Umerziehung galten. Im Prinzip konnten die mit einem tun und lassen, was sie wollten." Wenn René Münch diesen Teil seiner Lebensgeschichte erzählt, bekommt man als Zuhörer zwangsläufig einen Kloß im Hals. Bis zu seinem 18. Geburtstag musste er einiges über sich ergehen lassen: Berührungen von Erziehern im Intimbereich und auch sexuelle Übergriffe von älteren Heimkindern, Erziehern und dem Mann seiner Mutter.

Über seine Erlebnisse spricht Münch erst seit 2012. Als er mit der Aufarbeitung seiner Geschichte beginnt, ist er 51 Jahre alt. "Über die Heimerziehung spricht man, aber dass dort auch sexueller Missbrauch stattgefunden hat, darüber spricht man nicht. Das liegt aber auch an uns Betroffenen. Man muss die Hemmschwelle überschritten haben. Ich habe gesagt, damit muss man an die Öffentlichkeit gehen. Denn das sind Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit. Und man leidet auch das ganze Leben drunter."

"Der Staat durfte nicht beschmutzt werden"

Die Geschichte von René Münch ist längst kein Einzelfall - obwohl es Missbrauch in der DDR offiziell nie gegeben hat. Erst seit 2010 bekommt diese Fassade erste Risse. Mittlerweile hat eine Aufklärungskommission die Arbeit aufgenommen, um Betroffenen von sexuellem Missbrauch in der DDR Recht und Gehör zu verschaffen. Mitglied der Kommission ist auch die ehemalige Familienministerin Christine Bergmann. Nach einem Jahr Arbeit stellt sie fest: "Das Thema sexueller Missbrauch an Kindern und Jugendlichen war in der DDR weit mehr und länger tabuisiert als in den alten Bundesländern. Egal ob in der Familie oder in Heimen. Es passte nicht in die heile sozialistische Gesellschaft. Der Staat durfte nicht beschmutzt werden."

Five things Hollywood could learn from the Catholic Church after Harvey Weinstein

America Magazine

October 11, 2017

By Jim McDermott [S.J.]

Living in Los Angeles and watching the cascade of horror that is the unraveling story of Hollywood uber-exec Harvey Weinstein and his abuses of women, I have had a strange sense of déjà vu. I was a seminarian studying for the priesthood in Boston in January 2002 when The Boston Globe began publishing its astonishing series of articles on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Those reports began a lot like the Weinstein story, with allegations surrounding one man, John Geoghan, who had been committing horrific acts of abuse for decades throughout the Archdiocese of Boston.

I suspect the Weinstein story is just the beginning of a much larger set of revelations about abuse and power in the entertainment industry.

I suspect the Weinstein story, too, is just the beginning of a much larger set of revelations about abuse and power in the entertainment industry. And 15 years into the Catholic crisis, having witnessed the choices the institutional church has made (some of them disastrous), I suspect there are things that Hollywood could learn from that experience right now. Here are five that come immediately to mind.

1. It’s all going to come out ...

2. There is an even bigger issue you have to face, and it is everyone else ...

3. When cultural expectations change, they change overnight and with no tolerance for the allowances of the past ...

4. Changing the rules is not the same as changing the culture ...

5. Reap the whirlwind ...

Catholic Church 'hiding behind the law' over historic abuse compensation claims

ABC News Online

By Louise Milligan

A man who was raped and beaten by priests and brothers as a 12-year-old says he felt like a beggar when he asked the Catholic Church for money to pay for medical bills for treatment of the mental and physical illness he suffered as a result of his abuse.

Russell Clark is just one of many survivors of abuse who signed deeds of release, which prevent them from taking further legal action or requesting more compensation.

He was repeatedly raped and knocked unconscious as a schoolboy by priests and brothers at Salesian College in Adelaide in the 1960s.

"You'd go to bed at night crying and scared, you lived in terror," Mr Clark told 7.30.

"Because you knew that if you said anything, they'd just beat you up."

Catholic Church bodies are under fire for sticking to this and other historic settlements, signed with survivors of clergy child abuse for "pathetic" compensation sums despite the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses To Child Abuse and the church's own bodies recommending they be scrapped in light of changes to the law.

"People in the past, hundreds of thousands of them, have had to sign these deeds for pathetic amounts of money — $20,000, $30,000, $40,000," lawyer Judy Courtin, who represents dozens of clergy abuse survivors including Mr Clark, told 7.30.

By contrast, in 2015 the Victorian Supreme Court awarded its largest ever damages payout to a survivor of institutional abuse — in this case, in an Orthodox Jewish school — for $1.2 million.

Missbrauchsskandal in Bad Münstereifel: Erzbistum Köln zieht beschuldigten Priester ab

Kölnischen Zeitung

[Summary: Just a month after the presentation of the final report on sexual abuse and ill-treatment at the Collegium Josephinum in Bad Münstereifel , the Cologne archdiocese took the last accused priest out of active duty. This article also describes the abuse experience of survivor representative Werner Becker, and his disagreement with the archdiocese at the time the report was released. See Claudia Bundschuh's report, Sexueller Missbrauch, physische und psychische Gewalt am Collegium Josephinum, Bad Münstereifel.]

October 11, 2017

By Martin Wein, Christoph Meurer, and Jörg Manhold

Bad Münstereifel/Rheinbach - Knapp einen Monat nach der Vorstellung des Abschlussberichtes über sexuellen Missbrauch und Misshandlungen am Collegium Josephinum in Bad Münstereifel hat das Erzbistum Köln auch den letzten beschuldigten Priester aus dem aktiven Dienst genommen.

Dabei dürfte es sich um einen Geistlichen handeln, der 1982 nach sexuellen Übergriffen in Bad Münstereifel versetzt worden war und anschließend noch einmal die Stelle wechseln musste. Er hatte zwar zuletzt keine eigene Pfarrei mehr, zelebrierte aber noch bis vor fünf Wochen Messen, Hochzeiten und Beerdigungen im Rhein-Sieg-Kreis, wo er auch wohnte. Gegenüber der Gemeinde wurden gesundheitliche Gründe für den Rückzug genannt.

Opfervertreter Werner Becker war selbst Opfer

Aus „personal- und persönlichkeitsrechtlichen Gründen“ könne das Erzbistum keine Anfragen zu bestimmten Personen beantworten, sagte Pressesprecher Christoph Heckeley. Dass unter Verdacht auf sexuellen Missbrauch stehende Priester mitunter noch viele Jahre seelsorgerisch tätig seien, liege allgemein daran, dass man zunächst den Hinweisen nachgehe. Falls diese konkret genug seien, seien personalrechtliche Konsequenzen möglich. Es müssten aber bestimmte Voraussetzungen erfüllt sein, teilte Heckeley mit.

* * *

Opfervertreter Werner Becker hatte von 1959 bis 1961 selbst das Schulinternat des Bistums in Bad Münstereifel besucht. Als Schüler der Obersekunda (Jahrgang 11) und Unterprima (Jahrgang 12) habe er damals als 18- beziehungsweise 19-Jähriger im dortigen Großen Haus gewohnt. Während dieser Zeit habe er sich vom damaligen Direktor, einem katholischen Priester, ständig beobachtet gefühlt. „Es gab keine Privatsphäre. Ständig stand jemand in deiner Zelle.“ Mindestens einmal in der Woche habe ihn einer der Betreuer gegen seinen Willen zu sich herangezogen, ihn gekniffen und auch an den Geschlechtsteilen berührt.

Dazu kam die Gewalt, die nach Beckers Einschätzung bei einigen der Täter eindeutig „sadistische Züge“ gehabt habe. Ein Großteil der Betreuer habe sich daran beteiligt. Tritte in den Hintern und Schläge ins Gesicht, die zu Wochen langen Ohrenschmerzen führten, seien wiederholt vorgekommen. Der Aufsicht führende Priester habe regelmäßig mit einem schweren Schlüsselbund nach den Schülern geworfen.

50,000 Euro Schweigegeld für Missbrauchsopfer in Rheinbach


October 11, 2017

By Martin Wein and Jörg Manhold

[Summary: Professor Werner Becker, representative of survivors in the abuse cases at Collegium Josephinum in Bad Münstereifel, says he also knows of three victims of abuse at two Rheinbach boarding schools, Sankt Albert and Hermann-Josef-Kolleg (later known as Vinzenz-Pallotti Kolleg). Becker has a sworn declaration of one of the victims, stating that the Pallottine Order paid him 50,000 euros in return for a promise of secrecy.]

Rheinbach - Am Rheinbacher Konvikt des Pallottiner-Ordens gab es Anfang der 1960er Jahre mindestens drei Fälle des sexuellen Missbrauch. Ein Täter soll sein Opfer mit 50.000 Euro abgefunden haben.

Die Debatte um Missbrauchsfälle im Collegium Josephinum in Bad Münstereifel hat auch neue Erkenntnisse im Hinblick auf die Pallottiner in Rheinbach gebracht. Der Bad Münstereifeler Opfervertreter Professor Werner Becker ist allerdings an mehreren Stellen ungehalten über die Informationspolitik der katholischen Kirche. Er selbst war in den in Bad Münstereifel Opfer von sexuellen Übergriffen geworden.

Jetzt erhebt er Vorwürfe, dass der Pallottiner-Orden, bei dem es Anfang der 1960er Jahre mindestens drei Missbrauchsfälle in den beiden Rheinbacher Internaten „Sankt Albert“ und „Hermann-Josef-Kolleg“ (das spätere Vinzenz-Pallotti-Kolleg) gegeben hatte, einem Opfer Schweigegeld gezahlt habe. Becker berichtet, ihm liege eine eidesstattliche Erklärung des besagten Opfers vor, der zufolge der Provinzial des Ordens ihm 50 000 Euro im Gegenzug zu einem Schweigeversprechen gezahlt habe.

Konkret habe es im Jahr 2009, noch vor dem öffentlichen Bekanntwerden der Fälle, eine notarielle Vereinbarung zwischen dem mit dem Vorgang beauftragten Pallottiner-Pater Norbert Possmann und dem Opfer gegeben, die einerseits die Zahlung von 50 000 Euro vorsieht und andererseits im Gegenzug „Stillschweigen über die Sachverhalte des Vergleichs“ verlangt.

Lawsuit: Priest takes boys' nude photos, abuses them during scout lessons

Pacific Daily News

October 12, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

[Note: See BishopAccountability.org's database entry on Fr. Louis Brouillard.]

Father Louis Brouillard allegedly took nude photos of boys, and groped and touched their private parts during swimming at the Lonfit River and Ypao Beach around 1975 or 1976, a lawsuit filed Thursday afternoon in local court states.

The latest plaintiff, identified in court documents only as G.E. to protect his privacy, said Brouillard, on numerous occasions, would fondle him in the water and then instruct him to sit on the priest's lap after swimming to be fondled again.

At the time of the alleged sexual abuse and molestation, G.E. said he was a Boy Scout and attended the Barrigada parish. He was about 11 or 12, the lawsuit states.

After church, he would visit the parish for regular Boy Scouts meetings with Brouillard at the priest's office and in the church basement.

G.E., now 54 is represented by attorney Michael Berman. His lawsuit states Brouillard would swim naked with the boys, whom he instructed to also swim naked.

The lawsuit states Brouillard would grope and touch their private parts, as well as take their photos while naked, without their permission. The complaint states Brouillard would reward the boys afterward, with trips to McDonald's or King's Restaurant.

Resignations and Appointments

Holy See Press Office

October 11, 2017

[Note: The Vatican no longer cites the canon (can. 401.1 and 2) that governs the resignation/removal of a bishop. Until September 2016, a canonical citation was a standard part of the Holy See's announcement. See, for example, the 4/21/15 announcement re Bishop Robert W. Finn. For more examples of canonical announcements, see BishopAccountability.org's Bishops Accused of Sexual Abuse and Misconduct: A Global Accounting.]

Resignation of bishop of Ruteng, Indonesia, and appointment of apostolic administrator sede vacante ed ad nutum Sanctae Sedis

The Holy Father Francis has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Ruteng, Indonesia, presented by H.E. Hubertus Leteng, and has appointed H.E. Msgr. Sylvester San, bishop of Denpasar, as apostolic administrator sede vacante ed ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the same diocese.

Indonesian bishop resigns amid embezzlement, affair accusations

Catholic News Agency/EWTN

October 11, 2017

An Indonesian prelate resigned Wednesday as Bishop of Ruteng amid mounting concerns surrounding an alleged mistress and reportedly stolen funds.

Bishop Hubertus Leteng, 58, was accused of borrowing $94,000 from the Indonesian bishops’ conference, as well as $30,000 from the Diocese of Ruteng.

Leteng said the money was being used to fund a poor youth’s education, although he failed to give any further details or information, according to Ucanews. He was additionally criticized for reportedly taking a mistress – an allegation which Leteng called “slanderous.”

In June, more than 60 priests of the diocese resigned from their assignments in protest of Leteng’s administration of the diocese.

A year earlier, 112 of the diocese's 167 priests had signed a letter of no confidence in Leteng, citing their suspicions of financial mismanagement and incontinence.

Indonesia bishop resigns in finance, mistress scandal

Associated Press via Washington Post

October 11, 2017

[Note: See the earlier UCAnews reports Vatican investigates bishop's money, alleged mistress and Vatican investigator wraps up cash, mistresss probe. See also Catholic Hierarchy's entry on Bishop Hubertus Leteng.]

A Roman Catholic bishop in Indonesia has resigned following reports that he had a mistress and siphoned off more than $100,000 in church funds.

Pope Francis on Wednesday accepted the resignation of Bishop Hubertus Leteng of Indonesia’s Ruteng diocese. The Denpasar bishop, Monsignor Sylvester San, will run the diocese until a permanent replacement is found, the Vatican said.

Local Indonesian media and the Ucanews agency, which covers the Catholic Church in Asia, reported that dozens of priests resigned en masse in June to protest Leteng’s administration.

The Vatican sent an investigator to look into their allegations that Leteng had a mistress and secretly borrowed $94,000 from the Indonesian bishops’ conference and another $30,000 from the diocese without accounting for it.

According to Ucanews, Leteng said the money was used to finance the education of a poor youth, though he declined to provide details. He called allegations he had a relationship with a woman “slanderous.”

The Vatican didn’t address the scandal or explain why Leteng was retiring early. The Ruteng diocese made no mention of the allegations in its announcement of Leteng’s departure Wednesday. Bishops normally submit their resignations when they reach age 75. Leteng is 58.

23 Women Accuse Former Queens Priest of Abusing Them as Children

New York Times

October 11, 2017

By Sharon Otterman

A former teacher at a Catholic school in Queens who said she had reported the sexual abuse of seven female students by a priest in 1991 now claims that the Diocese of Brooklyn covered it up for more than a decade, allowing more girls to be abused.

The teacher, Linda Porcaro, said on Wednesday that she is coming forward now because the victims, on whose behalf she was speaking, are ready to seek justice. Over the last two months, 23 women who said they were abused by the former priest, Adam Prochaski, have become clients of the lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, who was portrayed in the Oscar-winning film “Spotlight,” about clergy sex abuse. Most of the women’s claims have been referred to the police.

Mr. Prochaski was based at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Maspeth for nearly 25 years. He is accused of abusing the girls between 1972 and 1994, when they were between the ages 5 and 16.

In New York State, no criminal or civil litigation can take place for most child sex abuse crimes after a victim turns 23. But an exception can be made for rape. The New York Police Department was investigating whether any of the recent allegations qualify for prosecution, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney’s office said.

October 11, 2017

A leading advocate for survivors of childhood sexual abuse is Penn's latest 'professor of practice'

The Daily Pennsylvanian

October 10, 2017

By Lucy Curtis

Marci Hamilton, a 1988 Penn Law School graduate and a leading advocate for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, has just been hired as Penn’s third "professor of practice" in the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program in the College, according to an announcement by the University.

Practice professors are subject matter experts from outside of the world of academia, brought in to teach real-world applications of theory. The position is non-tenured and involves a term of three years for an associate practice professorship and five years for a full professorship.

Hamilton, who is also a scholar on church-state relations, will be teaching a seminar on law, religion and politics.

"I loved going to Penn’s law school -- it was a formative part of my career and it’s nice to be back," Hamilton said. She formerly served as the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.

Hamilton is the founder, CEO and academic director of CHILD USA, the first research-based nonprofit think tank dedicated to preventing child neglect and abuse. Hamilton has dedicated her professional life to supporting victims of abuse. She is also the author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated book, “Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children.”

Las Cruces Youth Pastor Accused of Child Sexual Exploitation

The Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report

October 10, 2017

Federal authorities say a youth pastor from Las Cruces is facing child sexual exploitation and pornography charges.

They say 30-year-old Stephen Mendoza Arellano made his initial appearance Tuesday in federal court in Albuquerque.

He's being held on a criminal complaint charging him with attempted production of child pornography, enticement of a child to engage in sexual activity, and travel to meet a minor to engage in sexual conduct.

Prosecutors say the alleged crimes occurred between May and August of this year and involved a 15-year-old girl in El Paso, Texas.

Dark Canyon: Trust and Betrayal in the Northern New Mexico Church

KSFR (Santa Fe Public Radio)

October 11, 2017

By Ellen Berkovitch, Rita Daniels & Hannah Colton

[See also earlier features in KSFR's Dark Canyon investigation: Sexual Abuse and Secrecy in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. Part 1; and A Follow-Up Interview with Bishop Accountability President.]

For the second feature-length installment of our series, our reporters go to Northern New Mexico where Catholicism has been a central part of life for centuries, since the Spanish conquest of New Mexico. The list of 74 credibly accused priests, brothers and deacons released by the Archbishop last month names more than a dozen priests who served the parishes in the Taos area.

St. Francis de Asis church in Ranchos de Taos is Rita Daniels begins the story. Ellen Berkovitch picks up from there with an exposition of all that is known about the 22-year of Father Michael P. O'Brien in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

Listen [Link to Audio]

Next time when our series continues… One of the priests whom the Brad Hall law firm calls one of the most prolific abusers, Fr. Sabine Griego—is still alive. He’s been laicized but he’s still living in Las Vegas NM among many of the people who reported him for abuse.

Australia's top bishops visit Vatican for talks on restoring trust

Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

October 10, 2017

By Carol Glatz

The top leaders of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference and chair of the church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council met with Vatican officials to discuss issues emerging from national investigations into the abuse of minors.

"Topics covered included the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the relationship between the church and society at large, the restoration of trust, and greater participation of the laity in decision-making roles in the church," the Vatican press office said in a written communique Oct. 7.

The bishops' delegation met Oct. 5 with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state; Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Vatican foreign minister; Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; and Archbishop Giacomo Morandi, secretary for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Liberal Hollywood destroys any credibility it had left

Conservative Review

October 11, 2017

By Steve Deace

In the immortal words of the great prophet Dave Chappelle, “You played yourself.”

From this time forward, when any insipidly sanctimonious Hollywood star comes forward to lecture us on Marxist agitprop masquerading as do-gooderism, the rest of America that does most of the living and dying around here can simply dismiss such virtue signaling with the following two words: “Harvey Weinstein.”

How ironic is it that in 2016, Hollywood deservedly awarded its coveted Best Picture award to the fantastic movie “Spotlight,” about the journalistic quest to break the long-hidden child abuse scandal within the Catholic Church — when many, too many, of those in attendance at the Oscars that evening were knowingly concealing a sexual predator of their own, masquerading as a movie mogul.

In fact, the “Los Angeles Times” wrote a feature about those 2016 Oscars and how rare it was for the “Diet Coke swigging, chain-smoking master” (as they described Weinstein) to be shut out from Hollywood’s biggest night. Absent from that piece was any mention of how Weinstein turned the already infamous casting couch into his personal hunting ground.

London priest 'sex abuse victim' had 'nightmares'


October 11, 2017

An alleged victim of a senior Roman Catholic priest has told a court he was haunted by "nightmares" of the sex abuse he suffered as a boy.

Laurence Soper, 74, the abbot of Ealing Abbey from 1991-2000, was headmaster and senior priest at St Benedict's School in Ealing, west London.

He is on trial at the Old Bailey where he denies 19 charges of child sex abuse against 10 boys between 1970 and 1980.

The boys allege they were subjected to sexual touching and beaten with a cane.

The witness told the court he would get "flashbacks" and "nightmares" about Mr Soper.

"It's a nightmare that is waking me up at the moment. I wake up absolutely soaking in sweat and the bed is wet," he said.

Archbishop Byrnes still needs approval from Rome to sell RMS property

Pacific News Center

October 11, 2017

By Janela Carrera

Archbishop Byrnes has indicated that the property could be worth between $2 million to $7 million.

While the closing of the disputed Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Yona may be a done deal, the sale of the property isn’t yet a guarantee.

Last week, Archbishop Michael Byrnes announced that, in consultation with various church organizations, such as the College of Consultors, the Archdiocesan Finance Council and the Presbyteral Council, the RMS will be closing down by the end of December.

Archbishop Byrnes also acknowledged that the closure of the seminary is being done, in part, in anticipation of the sale of the property next March or April. The funds will then be used to settle dozens of sex abuse claims filed against the church in court.

Priest acquitted in rape case, Court rejects woman's claims

The New Indian Express

October 11, 2017

Refusing to rely on the statement of a woman that she was raped and assaulted by a temple priest, a Delhi court has acquitted him observing that things do not appear to have happened the way they were projected.

Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain said though in rape cases conviction can be made on the sole testimony of the victim, in this case the woman's statement was "exaggerated" and led to doubts on the veracity of her evidence. Therefore, it is not safe to rely on her "uncorroborated version".

The court relied on the priest's version that he was assaulted by the woman on an assumption that he had a role in breaking the engagement of her son.

Lawsuits: Brouillard took advantage of ‘childhood and innocence’

The Guam Daily Post

October 11, 2017

By Mindy Aguon

[See also the entry for Brouillard in the database of accused U.S. priests on BishopAccountability.org.]

Four new clergy sex abuse lawsuits, seeking a total of $25 million in damages, were filed in the Superior and District Courts in the last week against Louis Brouillard, the Archdiocese of Agana and Boy Scouts of America. Brouillard took advantage of the altar boys' "childhood and innocence," court documents state.

Three cases filed by attorney Michael Berman on behalf of his clients, F.M., P.P. and R.G., in the Superior Court of Guam seek $5 million in damages each.

The alleged abuse occurred while Brouillard was a priest at the San Isidro Catholic Church in Malojloj, San Vicente Church in Barrigada and the Tumon parish in the 1970s.

F.M., who is now 49, alleges he was subjected to sexual abuse by Brouillard when he served as an altar boy at the Barrigada and Tumon parishes when he was 10 to 17 years old.

The lawsuit alleges Brouillard forced F.M. to shower with him and sexually abused the boy on church grounds, during Boy Scout swimming outings and in Beroun, Minnesota, where the priest relocated after leaving Guam.

Commentary:Vatican’s Double Standard on Child Abuse


October 10, 2017

By Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.

Clerical sex abuse will continue until Church confronts problem of homosexual bishops and priests

Critics are noting Rome's apparent double standard in addressing child abuse in the wake of last week's Vatican-sponsored, three-day conference on child pornography, while seemingly protecting a priest who's wanted for allegedly trafficking in child porn.

At issue is the Vatican's use of diplomatic immunity to shield from civil prosecution a priest, Msgr. Carlo Alberto Capella, who's wanted by Canadian officials for his alleged involvement in child porn. Capella, a Vatican diplomat formerly stationed in D.C., was abruptly removed from his post when charges surfaced alleging he downloaded child pornography.

Canadian officials accused Capella of downloading child porn from a parish computer over Christmas last December. After U.S. authorities brought up similar charges in August, Capella was immediately recalled to Rome. The Vatican refuses to come forward with any information on the case and refuses to extradite Capella for civil prosecution. The Vatican is investigating the case and may try Capella in ecclesiastical court.

St. Louis priest settles part of civil case against accuser and SNAP

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

October 10, 2017

By Robert Patrick

A Roman Catholic priest has settled part of a federal lawsuit he filed against the mother of a boy who accused him of abuse, the group that supported the accuser and police, court filings Tuesday say.

In a filing in U.S. District Court in St. Louis, a lawyer for the Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang wrote that the case had been settled with Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, and SNAP officials, and that Jiang and the mother of his former accuser had “reached an agreement in principle.”

The formal dismissal of that part of the case should be filed before Oct. 23, Jiang’s attorney Neil Bruntrager wrote.

Bruntrager declined to comment Tuesday. Lawyers for SNAP did not return messages seeking comment.

Convicted priests still getting pensions and medical benefits


October 10 2017

By Connie Leonard

[See also the entry for Hemmerle in the database of accused U.S. priests on BishopAccountability.org.]

Louisville area priests convicted of molesting children in a court of law are still getting money and benefits from the Catholic Church.

What message is it sending?

Victims of priest abuse maintain that's a question parishioners should be asking their Catholic church leaders, to make sure their children and others are protected.

Priests, like Father Joseph Hemmerle, may deny heinous acts against children. "I'm innocent of all these charges," Hemmerle told a judge after being convicted by a Meade County jury.

Victims say that's what makes them so dangerous.

"As far as I'm concerned, the guy is a huge threat to other children," said Hemmerle molestation victim Michael Norris. Norris recently found out that because the crime occurred when he was 11, before 1980, the old rules apply and Hemmerle will be eligible for parole in 2018.

"I think it's absurd," Norris said. But he contends what's more absurd is that even though Hemmerle is a twice convicted pedophile, the Archdiocese of Louisville hasn't begun the process to remove him.

Matt Flynn announces gubernal candidacy

The Daily Cardinal

October 10, 2017

By Will Husted

Former Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Matt Flynn announced Tuesday he will run against Gov. Scott Walker in 2018.

A former lawyer for the Quarles and Brady firm, Flynn looks to reverse the fortune of past campaigns for public office. Flynn encountered unsuccessful bids for the U.S. Senate in 1986 and 1988 and for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978 and 2004.

Flynn announced his candidacy in a video in which he states he “cannot stand by and watch our democracy be destroyed,” adding that “Scott Walker is destroying the Wisconsin way.” He additionally asserted that Walker is controlled by “big, strong corporate donors" and that Walker has been “taken to the cleaners” in the $3 billion Foxconn deal.

Flynn joins a long list of Democratic hopefuls in gubernatorial campaigns that include State Superintendent Tony Evers, businessman Andy Gronik, government reform advocate Mike McCabe, state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma, and state Rep. Dana Wachs, D-Eau Claire.

Spokesperson for the Republican Party of Wisconsin Alec Zimmerman has called Flynn a “dirty defense lawyer” who supports interests that “prey on Wisconsin families.”

“Flynn’s record [of] strong-arming victims of sexual abuse proves Wisconsin families cannot trust him,” Zimmerman said in a statement, referencing a sexual abuse case Flynn worked on for the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Chief judge grants Apuron's request for more time in sex abuse cases

Pacific Daily News

October 11, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood on Wednesday granted Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron's request for more time to file his objection to a recommendation that sex abuse lawsuits filed against Apuron by former altar boys should not be dismissed.

Four lawsuits alleged that Apuron sexually abused or raped altar boys in the 1970s while Apuron was the parish priest in Agat. They are among 131 clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed so far in local and federal court, and Apuron is the only one that's not pursuing mediation and out-of-court settlement.

Apuron's original deadline to file an objection was Oct. 11, but the chief judge extended the filing deadline up to Oct. 25 as Apuron requested.

Attorney Jacqueline Terlaje, counsel for Apuron, asked for additional time, citing complex constitutional law issues that District Court Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan addressed in his Sept. 27 report and recommendation.

Manibusan recommended that the chief judge not to dismiss the lawsuits against Apuron because the claims are not time-barred and do not infringe upon the archbishop's due process rights.

October 10, 2017

Another sex abuse lawsuit filed against church

PNC News First

October 10, 2017

By Janela Carrera

As the Archdiocese of Agana continues to wait on word regarding the fate of Archbishop Anthony Apuron, more lawsuits are being filed against them.

The latest lawsuit was filed in District Court by a 49-year-old man with the initials H.A.W. who claims he was molested by former Guam priest and Boy Scout Scoutmaster Louis Brouillard.

H.A.W. says it happened in the late 1970s when he was between the ages of 8 and 10 years old. While H.A.W. and other altar boys waited for CCD classes to start, the lawsuit states Brouillard would invite them over to the convent and sexually assault them.

H.A.W. is being represented by Attorney David Lujan and is seeking $10 million in damages.

Sacerdote denunciado por acoso sexual enfrentará juicio oral


[Priest denounced for sexual harassment will face oral trial: The case of the parish priest accused of sexual harassment of a young woman in the youth ministry, will go to oral and public trial, by resolution of the Court of the city of Limpio.]

El caso del cura párroco acusado de acoso sexual a una joven de la pastoral juvenil, irá a juicio oral y público, por resolución del Juzgado de la ciudad de Limpio.

October 5, 2017

La jueza Elsa Ydoyaga, encargada del proceso, con base a todos los antecedentes recabados de ambas partes, tomó la decisión de elevar el caso a juicio oral y público, que fue tomada con conformidad por parte de la víctima, así como del acusado.

El Padre Silvestre Olmedo estuvo acompañado de una gran masa de feligreses que afirman que el hecho no ocurrió y que en esta instancia se podrá demostrar su inocencia. Así también, un grupo de mujeres realizó una manifestación fuera del Juzgado mientras se resolvía la dirección que tomaría el proceso, según reporta Última Hora.

Cura va a juicio oral y público


October 5, 2017

[Google Translate: The case of the priest Silvestre Olmedo, who is accused of allegedly harassing a young woman, was brought to trial by the judge Elsa Idoyaga. The judge determined that there are elements to bring the case to trial.]

El caso del sacerdote Silvestre Olmedo, quien es acusado de supuestamente acosar a una joven, fue elevado a juicio oral y público por la jueza Elsa Idoyaga. La magistrada determinó que existen elementos para llevar la causa a juicio.

Luego de la audiencia preliminar, la jueza Elsa Idoyaga informó esta mañana sobre la decisión de elevar a juicio oral y público el caso del sacerdote Silvestre Olmedo, expárroco de Limpio. La imputación de coacción sexual contra el religioso tiene una expectativa de pena de 10 años de cárcel.

Idoyaga manifestó que el Ministerio Público rechazó la pericia psicológica que solicitó la defensa técnica debido a que la joven no puede ser doblemente victimizada. La defensa planteó sobreseimiento definitivo, pero la magistrada analizó y determinó que sí existen elementos para elevar la causa a juicio oral por el hecho punible de acoso sexual, informó la corresponsal Rocío Portillo.

'He took my innocence': Victims describe toll of ex-bishop's abuse

Deseret News

October 10, 2017

By McKenzie Romero

Mapleton man sentenced to up to 20 years in prison

PROVO — When they turned to their LDS bishop as vulnerable teenagers, two young men told a judge Tuesday that they instead became victims of a sly sexual predator who isolated them from their families and left them buried beneath guilt.

Erik Hughes, 51, was sentenced to at least one and up to 20 years in prison Tuesday, ordered to serve concurrent terms of one to 15 years for two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony, followed by a consecutive term of up to five years for witnesses tampering, a third-degree felony.

A recommendation for the sentence was agreed upon when Hughes pleaded guilty as charged in August, just two months after his arrest. A spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has said Hughes was immediately removed from his position when the allegations became known.

Priest withdrew money and 'went on the run in Albania after being accused of sexually abusing schoolchildren'

The Daily Mail

October 10, 2017

By Abe Hawken

Father Laurence Soper, 74, was a former abbot of Ealing Abbey in west London

Soper then skipped bail and flew to Kosovo when he was accused of sex offences

It is claimed the Catholic priest caned pupils to give himself a thrill at the school

A Roman Catholic priest withdrew £182,000 from his Vatican bank account and went on the run in Albania after he was accused of sexually abusing schoolchildren in the 1970s and 1980s, a court heard.

Father Laurence Soper, 74, a former abbot of Ealing Abbey in west London, skipped bail and flew to Kosovo when he was accused of sex offences including buggery and indecent assault on boys under 16, it is said.

Number Of Abuse Allegations Against Queens Priest Are Growing

WCBS-880 (CBS Radio)

October 10, 2017

The number of sexual abuse allegations against a Catholic priest in Queens is growing.

Twenty-three women now say the former Rev. Adam Prochaski abused them as children when he served at the Holy Cross parish in Maspeth from the early 1970s to the mid 1990s.

The alleged victims are being represented by Mitch Garabedian who was portrayed by actor Stanley Tucci in the Oscar-winning 2015 film “Spotlight.”

He believes the Brooklyn Diocese covered it up.

“There’s no doubt in my mind he was open and notorious,” he told WCBS 880. “He would sexually abuse children in the hallways.”

The parish has a large Polish congregation and Garabedian said many of these victims were first generation immigrants.

“I’ve heard that Father Prochaski used to help children get into the country and once they got into the country he sexually abused them,” Garabedian said. “He had a scheme going on and the supervisors were turning their backs and it was all about secrecy.”

Prochaski was suspended in 1994 and left the priesthood in 1995, but the official Catholic directory shows he was absent or on sick leave through 2002.

Bullies among clergy caused fall of Catholic Church in Ireland, says priest

The Irish Times

October 10, 2017

By Patsy McGarry

Bullies among clergy contributed most to fall of Catholic Church in Ireland, says priest

A general failure exists to respect individual in Rome and within religious congregations

The bullying of the people by some clergy played a greater role in Catholic church decline in Ireland than clerical child sexual abuse, a leading Dominican priest has said.

“They had little or no respect for individual people – and not just for minors,” said Fr Tom Jordan, editor of Spirituality magazine.

Referring in the current issue to a remark by an unnamed “acute observer of the church in Ireland,” he said “the failure of the church in recent times was due not so much to the abysmal behaviour by some clergy in sexually abusing minors but that some clergy were bullies.”

One of the glaring deficiencies of church practice in recent times was the failure of leadership to respect the individual.

“Consider the number of priests silenced or removed from office because of their expressed views, and without being afforded an opportunity of defending themselves.”

Wisconsin gov. candidate Matt Flynn defends his work on priest abuse cases

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

October 10, 2017

By Daniel Bice

As he made his formal announcement to run for governor, former Democratic Party Chairman Matthew Flynn defended himself against charges that he was overly aggressive in representing the Archdiocese of Milwaukee against victims of sexual abuse by priests.

Specifically, Flynn came under attack for moving to collect $4,000 in legal fees from an alleged victim who lost his case. Also, Flynn is accused of telling a lawyer for several abuse victims that the archdiocese would "throw a crumb to your clients if you drop these cases.”

"Baloney!" Flynn said in response to the "crumbs" statement in an interview after his announcement in Glendale on Tuesday. "I never said that."

Flynn is one of eight Democrats seeking to challenge GOP Gov. Scott Walker next year.

This week, Peter Isley, Midwest director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, called into question whether Flynn should be running for the state's highest political post.

Isley said the primary duty of any governor is the protection and safety of all state residents, especially children. But Isley said Flynn's record doesn't suggest he would be the best person to do this.

"For some fifteen years, Matt Flynn was the chief corporate lawyer for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee during the height of the widespread and systematic cover up of thousands of sex crimes against children by dozens of sex offender priests," Isley said.

Comenzó en Río Negro el juicio a un cura acusado de abuso sexual

El Diario

October 6, 2017

[Google Translate: The trial of a priest accused of sexual abuse began in Rio Negro, in the city of General Roca. The parish priest was accused of sexually abusing a minor ... in 2010, when the victim was 14 years old and the parish priest, Juan José Urrutia, was at the head of the Santa Catalina Parish of Allen.]

El cura párroco acusado de abusar sexualmente de un menor de edad comenzó a ser enjuiciado a en los tribunales de la ciudad rionegrina de General Roca. El proceso se llevó a cabo a puertas cerradas.

Si bien sobre el caso existe un fuerte hermetismo judicial, se supo que el hecho juzgado habría ocurrido en el 2010, cuando la víctima tenía 14 años de edad y el cura párroco, Juan José Urrutia, estaba al frente de la Parroquia Santa Catalina de Allen. Al religioso se le imputa el delito de abuso sexual con acceso carnal por aprovechamiento de la inmadurez sexual de la víctima.

Trascendió además que durante el proceso no habrá querella. La acusación está a cargo del fiscal, Andrés Nelli. La defensa del sacerdote acusado tendrá el patrocinio de los abogados Jorge Crespo y Guillermo Leskovar Garrigós. Según dio a conocer el Diario Río Negro, en la lista de testigos citados a declarar en el juicio figuran varios vecinos de Allen. También trascendió que la víctima y su familia se fueron de Allen hace ya un tiempo.

Santa Sede suspende a sacerdote acusado de abuso sexual contra 15 mujeres en Constanza

El Nuevo Diario

October 6, 2017

[The Holy See has suspended Juan Manuel Mota de Jesus (“Jhonny”), a priest accused of sexual abuse against 15 girls and women in Constanza.]

La Santa Sede despojó de sus atribuciones como sacerdote al padre Juan Manuel Mota de Jesús “Jhonny”, acusado de abuso sexual contra 15 mujeres en el municipio de Constanza, en La Vega.

La información fue ofrecida por el canciller del obispado local de La Vega, reverendo Fausto García, a un programa de televisión de Santiago, quien manifestó que la Santa Sede tomó la decisión tras ponderar las denuncias de 15 mujeres la cuales sostienen que fueron abusadas sexualmente por el sacerdote.

Las violaciones las habría llevado a cabo el suspendido cura mientras se desempeñaba como párroco de la iglesia principal del municipio de Constanza.

En el marco de una entrevista, el reverendo Fausto García manifestó que desde hace varios días, desde la Sede del Vaticano al país llegó una comunicación suspendiendo al cura.

New CCCB President outlines vision for future

Vatican Radio

October 9, 2017

Bishop Lionel Gendron of Saint-Jean-Longueuil was elected President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) at the end of September.

Bishop Gendron, who will serve a two-year term, has been vice president of the CCCB since 2015.

He spoke to Linda Bordoni about the main points discussed during the plenary during which he was elected and about his vision for the Church in Canada in the years to come. [Link to audio] ...

... Another important theme at the plenary, Bishop Gendron explained, are the issues pertaining to the request for an apology by Canada’s ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ (TRC) regarding the First Nations and the question of the residential schools, most of which were run by the Catholic, Anglican and United Churches.

Gendron explained that the TRC is asking different things from different Churches and the Catholic Church has been responding.

“One of the requests of the TRC is the visit of the Pope to Canada (within the year) to ask forgiveness for what has been done in the residential schools” Gendron explained, pointing out that this is not easy because in Canada one is liable to be sued for something like this.

So, he said “right now – the spirit is always working in the Church – there is a new shift, a new vision: instead of being there to respond to the TRC, and instead of answering the government that is insisting on that point, our mission is not to answer the TRC or the government, but to answer according to the Gospel”.

Pope Urges Global Response to Protect Children From Pornography, Online Abuse

National Catholic Register

October 9, 2017

By Edward Pentin

[See also the full text of the Pope's remarks.]

Four-day ‘Child Dignity in the Digital World’ conference brought religious and secular experts together to tackle a host of digital threats.

In the face of extensive online threats to minors, especially internet pornography easily accessible to millions of children worldwide, Pope Francis has cautioned against a sense of paralysis, urging leaders from various sectors to “join forces” to find the “right means and approaches needed for effective responses.”

Speaking Oct. 6 to a group of religious and secular experts from around the world in Rome to attend a four-day conference on the theme “Child Dignity in the Digital World,” the Pope said, “We have to keep our eyes open and not hide from an unpleasant truth that we would rather not see.

Second boy claims priest brought him to Minnesota for sex abuse

Pacific Daily News

October 10, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com

[See also the entry for Brouillard in the accused priest database on BishopAccountability.org.]

Four new clergy sex abuse lawsuits were filed in local and federal court, including one by a second former altar boy who said priest Louis Brouillard paid for his summer trip to Minnesota and sexually abused and molested him.

The lawsuit states that Brouillard forced the boy to engage in sexual activity with another boy during the trip.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents only as F.M. to protect his privacy, said in the complaint that Brouillard sent for him and his friend.

Brouillard, now 96 and is living in Minnesota, was a Catholic priest on Guam from 1948 to 1981.

F.M.'s friend, with the initials F.S.L. based on court documents, filed a lawsuit Sept. 26.

Catholic Church struggles to erase stain of child sex abuse

October 7, 2017

By Santiago del Carril

Pope Francis admits the Church has not done enough to tackle the abhorent acts commited by some members of the clergy. The Vatican and the Argentine Synod say they are taking steps to tackle the problem. But survivors, victims and experts warn that some inside the Church are resistant to change and that many cases still go unreported.

In the Roman Catholic Church, they can no longer ignore the elephant in the room.

Growing public awareness of sex abuse offences committed by members of the clergy – in part aided by bombshell cases that have revealed scandalous attempts to cover-up the crimes and critically acclaimed movies addressing the topic, such as Spotlight – is piling pressure on the Church’s leaders, forcing them to act.

Yet experts consulted by the Times warn that some inside the Church remain resistant to change and that many abuse cases still go unreported.

Both the Vatican and locally, the Argentine Synod (Argentine Catholic Episcopal conference), have said they are taking steps to combat the rape and molestation of victims by members of the clergy, forming commissions to create policies on how to investigate these cases, protect minors and future potential victims.

Australian Church Facing Biggest Crisis in Its History, Says Brisbane Archbishop

The Tablet

October 9, 2017

By Christopher Lamb

The archbishop said the Church had been 'shaken to the core' by the abuse scandal and today was being called to a 'greater authenticity'

A leading Australian bishop says the Church in his country is facing the biggest crisis in its history after taking part in talks with the Vatican over how to address the problem.

The Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, who is Vice President of the Australian Bishops’ Conference, told The Tablet that he and fellow bishops were in Rome to discuss the fallout of the clerical sexual abuse crisis, and how the Church will adopt a new approach. This, he says, will look at how to include women in positions of “governance”.

High on the agenda at the Vatican summit was Australia’s Royal Commission inquiry into how institutions handled child sexual abuse. This has seen the Catholic Church facing unrelenting criticism for its response to the scandal. The problem has been magnified after the Australian police’s decision to charge Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican treasurer and former Archbishop of Sydney, with historic sexual offences.

Equality loophole ‘allows culture of abuse’ at church

The Times

October 9, 2017

By Kaya Burgess

The Church of England should be stripped of its exemptions under the Equality Act to help it to stamp out a culture of abuse, homophobia and sexism, a serving bishop has said.

Under the 2010 act, the church as a religious institution has special permission to insist that those it appoints are Christians, but can also discriminate over sex, sexuality, marital history and gender identity if they conflict with “strongly held religious convictions”.

These exceptions should be scrapped, the Bishop of Buckingham has told The Times, for the established church to adhere to the law of the land. This includes allowing priests to conduct same-sex weddings, he said.

The Right Rev Dr Alan Wilson, 62, also set out seven failings in the church’s safeguarding policies, warning that despite “good intentions” they did not provide survivors with enough protection from abuse.

The Archbishop of Canterbury faced a protest from sexual abuse victims outside Canterbury Cathedral last week.

Legionaries of Christ chief reveals his two children

The Australian

October 10, 2017

By Tom Kington

[Note: See also the Legionaries' announcement and Turrión's letter.]

A powerful order of Catholic priests hit by revelations that its founder had a secret family and abused children has now ­admitted that the head of its Rome seminary is the father of two children.

The Legionaries of Christ said Father Oscar Turrion, a 49-year-old Spaniard, would leave the priesthood.

It released a letter in which the priest asks “forgiveness for the scandal ... forgiveness for my bad example and the negative witness I have given”.

The order said Father Turrion, who supervised men studying for the priesthood in Rome, was replaced after he admitted in March that he had a daughter.

Last week he confessed that he had also had a son with the same woman but had kept quiet due to “weakness and shame”.

He had not used church funds to support his family, he added, relying on donations from friends.

The priest said he had “lost his grounding” and started a family at the time when the first scandal emerged involving the order’s founder, Father Marcial Maciel, having fathered children.

Expert 'shocked' at lack of awareness about online abuse

Catholic News Agency

October 9, 2017

By Elise Harris

(CNA/EWTN News).- At the close of a Rome conference on child protection online, a leading expert in the field said that while the statistics are well-known, he was surprised by the lack of awareness about the problem.

He added that all sectors of society need to take a more pro-active approach to the difficulty.

“If you study this field and if you work in it, you know about the numbers. I am more amazed about the lack of realization in many people about the scale of the problem about which we speak,” Fr. Hans Zollner SJ told CNA Oct. 7.

President of the Pontifical Gregorian University's Center of Child Protection (CCP) and a member of Pope Francis' commission for the protection of minors, spoke to CNA at the close of a four-day conference on “Child Dignity in the Digital World."

Number of women accusing Catholic priest of sexual abuse rises to 23

New York Daily News

October 9, 2017

By Graham Rayman

The number of women alleging they were abused as children by a Catholic priest in Queens has swelled to 23, the Daily News has learned.

The accusers of former Rev. Adam Prochaski, ranging in age from 39 to 57, say the priest abused them in the Holy Cross parish in Maspeth between 1972 and 1994. The women were between 11 to 16 years old when the abuse allegedly took place.

Mitchell Garabedian, their lawyer, said he’s been contacted by women now living in six states, as well as Canada and London. When he first came forward with the allegations, there were 15 accusers.

“Many of them claim he abused them for years in the school, the church, the rectory, and some were abused in his car,” Garabedian said.

“The police are investigating this matter. I have forwarded many of my clients’ names to them and I am informed they are interviewing my clients.”

October 9, 2017

The next domino falls: Rockville Center NY

The Worthy Adversary

October 8, 2017

By Joelle Casteix

The Catholic Diocese of Rockville Center, NY has announced an Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Plan. These plans, administered by Ken Feinberg and funded by the individual dioceses, aim to compensate victims for abuse. You can read more about them in my four-part series here.

Victims of sexual abuse in the Long Island Catholic diocese of Rockville Center began receiving letters last week. I predicted this back in July.

Like the other plans in the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn, victims receiving letters are in “phase one.” These are men and women who have previously come forward to the diocese to say that they were sexually abused.

Rockville Center, however, is a very unique place.

Der Pädophiliefall „Anneke“ in Belgien

Katholisches: Magazin für Kirche und Kultur

October 3, 2017

By Ferdinand Boischot

[Summary: Review of the case of "Anneke" a survivor of abuse perpetrated in 1995 at St. Idesbald, a special school in Roeselare, Belgium, run by the Broeders van Liefde (Brothers of Love). Brother Emiel Ceustermans, who was accused of the abuse, was sentenced in 1999 and died soon thereafter. The case unfolded against the background of the Dutroux affair. The article also summarizes subsequent events, including the cases of Cardinal Danneels, Abbot André Vanderlyn, and Abbot Robert Borremans (misidentified as Roger).]

Anneke war ein leicht geistig behindertes Mädchen aus Westflandern (Belgien), 8 Jahre alt, das in die Sonderschule St. Idesbald der karitativen Kongregation Broeders van Liefde (Brüder der Liebe) in Roeselare zur Schule ging.

Der Fall „Anneke“

In November 1995 merkte ihre Mutter (Frau Ria C.) plötzlich schwere Verhaltensauffälligkeiten. Anneke wurde sehr traurig, grundlos aggressiv gegenüber ihren Geschwistern, hatte Unterleibsschmerzen, bekam eine Vaginitis, litt plötzlich unter Bettnässen und hatte ausgeprägte Angst vor der Schule.

Das Mädchen wurde ärztlich und psychologisch untersucht, ohne Anhaltspunkte für eine innere Krankheit oder familiale Störungen.

Anneke wurde in den nächsten Wochen noch verstörter und ängstlicher und fing plötzlich an, ihre Mutter immer wieder über den Phallus zu befragen. Ihre Mutter wurde hellhörig.

Anneke vertraute sich ihrer Mutter an. Bei einem Gang über den Schulhof, an der Hand der Mutter, zeigte sie eindeutig den 78-jährigen Bruder Emiel Ceustermans, als Übeltäter an.

Ceustermans war im Alter von 12 Jahren als „Juvenist“ zur Kongregation gekommen. Er trat der Ordensgemeinschaft bei und war langjähriger Erzieher in den Sonderschulen der Broeders van Liefde. 1993 ging er in den Ruhestand und arbeitete als Gärtner an der Schule des MPI (Medizinisch-Psychologisches Institut) St.-Idesbald in Roeselare.

Die Mutter nahm sofort Kontakt mit dem Schuldirektor, Broeder Herman, auf, der abwimmelte. Der Direktor speiste die Mutter ab mit der Aussage: „Liebe Frau, Kinder fantasieren und die Eltern fantasieren mit“.

Fabian Vordermayer ist nicht mehr Pater


October 6, 2017

[Translation: Dr. Fabian Vodermayer can no longer call himself "Father". He was expelled from the Benedictine Order of the Melk Abbey. Once he was a popular priest in Traiskirchen, later he was condemned for sexual abuse by a minor, which he still fights to this day. In September his book Merciless appeared.]

Traiskirchen/Melk - Dr. Fabian Vodermayer darf sich nicht mehr als "Pater" bezeichnen. Er wurde aus dem Benediktiner-Orden des Stiftes Melk ausgeschlossen. Einst war er ein beliebter Priester in Traiskirchen, später wurde er wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs eines damals Minderjährigen verurteilt, was er bis heute bekämpft. Im September erschien sein Buch "Gnadenlos".

Up to 50 witnesses could be called for Cardinal George Pell's committal hearing

Sydney Morning Herald

October 6, 2017

By Adam Cooper and Tom Cowie

Up to 50 witnesses could be called and a "voluminous" amount of evidence discussed when Cardinal George Pell, Australia's highest-ranking Catholic official, faces a committal hearing next year on charges of historical sex abuse.

Cardinal Pell, 76, who has vigorously denied all allegations of sexual abuse, returned to Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday for a 20-minute administrative hearing.

The court was told 50 witnesses could be called at a four-week committal hearing – which will determine whether he stands trial – which is due to start on March 5.

Some witnesses will be former choirboys and are to be cross-examined over what allegedly happened in St Patrick's Cathedral.

In legal discussion, the cardinal's high-profile defence barrister Robert Richter, QC, said the prosecution case comprised "an awful lot of witnesses", and said the amount of evidence was "voluminous".

Cardinal Pell was charged in June with historical sexual offences involving multiple complainants. Details of the charges are yet to be revealed.

Woman sexually abused by school chaplain awarded 210,000 Euros

Irish Examiner

October 9, 2017

By Ann O'Loughlin

A 28-year old woman who was sexually abused by a school chaplain and teacher in the South East over a period of two years has been awarded €200,000 by the High Court.

Mr Justice Robert Eagar also commended the bravery of the woman in bringing her claim as he awarded a further €10,000 in aggravated damages.

He found the former chaplain had wrongfully physically and sexually assaulted, falsely imprisoned and sexually abused the woman who was only a transition year student at secondary school when the abuse began.

* * *

In the case which lasted 34 days the woman gave evidence of how between 2005 and 2007 she was abused and subjected to sexualised behaviour by the Catholic chaplain and teacher in her secondary school.

She said on a school trip to Gambia when she was 16 years of age, the chaplain invited her and another student to sleep in his bed with him. She said the chaplain first kissed her after she turned 17 and the sexual element between them progressed and they had oral sex about 35 times.

On a youth trip to Cologne, Germany to see the Pope, she said they had oral sex and also in the chaplain's school office, his bedroom, car and the school oratory.

The woman had also sued the school in the South East where the man was a chaplain at the time.

She also sued the local bishop.

Mr Justice Eagar, finding the school vicariously liable, said the failure of the school to adequately monitor the behaviour of the chaplain allowed for the inappropriate relationship to develop into an abusive relationship.

Priest held for sexually abusing minor girl inside church in Kerala

The Hindu Business Line

October 9, 2017

A Kerala priest was arrested today for allegedly sexually abusing a 10-year-old school girl inside a church, police said.

The crime took place yesterday when the victim had gone to the church for taking Bible lessons, they said.

The accused, Fr Devaraj (65), of Kandanthitta CSI church will be produced before a magistrate later in the evening.

A case under POCSO (Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences) Act and section 376 of IPC (rape) has been registered against the priest, police said.

Church 'failed' over Sussex abuse priest Jonathan Graves


Concerns about a former Church of England priest who tortured and sexually abused two boys in Sussex were first raised two decades ago, a BBC investigation has revealed.

Jonathan Graves, of Eastbourne, was jailed last month for sex offences in the 1980s and 1990s. He was arrested in 2013 and charged in 2015.

One mother said she raised concerns in 1997 but the church did nothing.

The church said bishops would meet to examine the issues raised by the BBC.

The woman who reported Graves, said: "They let me, my children, and countless other families down."

Irish missionary priest calls for foreign travel ban on paedophiles

Irish Times

October 8, 2017

Irish missionary priest calls for foreign travel ban on paedophiles
Nobel Peace Prize nominee says ‘international and Irish sex tourists... coming here raping our children’

A four-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee has called on developed countries to ban paedophiles and suspected sex offenders from foreign travel in the same way as suspected terrorists.

Father Shay Cullen, an Irish missionary who has been rescuing street children in the Philippines since 1974, said hundreds of thousands of sex tourists travel to the country from Europe, including the UK and Ireland, the US and Australia.

The Columban priest missed out on the Nobel prize last week, but praised the decision to award it to a campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

“The whole moral fabric of society and protection of human rights and the dignity of women and children is breaking down,” Fr Cullen said.

“One thing right now I would say to any government is to pass a law that would ban all convicted sex offenders from travelling abroad. That would be a very good thing they could do.”

Ireland to be first in Europe to cancel passports of paedophiles

Irish Examiner

October 7, 2017

By Nick Bramhill

Ireland is on course to become the first country in Europe to cancel the passports of convicted paedophiles in a bid to prevent them travelling overseas to offend again.

Earlier this year Australia became the first country in the world to introduce strict legislation to clamp down on sex offenders leaving or attempting to go abroad.

Now Ireland looks set to follow with draft legislation expected to be introduced later this month, which would pave the way for this country becoming the first European nation to make it illegal for convicted paedophiles to travel overseas.

The campaign is being spearheaded by Fr Shay Cullen, the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Irish missionary who runs the PREDA child abuse charity in the Philippines.

The Dublin-born priest said a move to prevent registered sex offenders from travelling abroad would particularly benefit developing nations, such as the Philippines, where sex tourism and child prostitution are rife.

He said: “It is a grievous crime for anyone to travel abroad to commit child abuse. Legislation was passed in Australia, but we want other countries to follow, and Ireland to take the lead in the EU on this.

October 8, 2017

Recent rector of a Legionaries of Christ-run seminary fathered two children

Catholic News Agency/EWTN

October 6, 2017

[Note: See also the Legionaries' announcement and Turrión's letter.]

The Legionaries of Christ announced Friday that Fr. Óscar Turrión, who was of the Pontifical International College Maria Mater Ecclesiae until earlier this year, has fathered two children and intends to leave priestly ministry.

Fr. Turrión had been rector of the seminary since 2014, and a formator there since 2007.

“As those responsible for an institutions that is dedicated to the formation of candidates to the priesthood, we are conscious of the impact that the negative example of a formator and rector has on them and the Christian faithful,” the Legionaries said in an Oct. 6 statement.

“We are deeply saddened that the recent history of our congregation has quenched the fervor of some of our members. We are firmly committed to accompanying our brothers in moments of difficulty. Likewise, we reiterate our commitment to the path of renewal that we continue to follow led by the Church.”

Mater Ecclesiae was founded in 1991, and is operated by the Legionaries of Christ.

Pope names Florida priest auxiliary bishop for Orange, California

Catholic News Service

October 6, 2017

Pope Francis has appointed Father Thanh Thai Nguyen, a priest of the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida, to be an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Orange, California.
The appointment was announced in Washington Oct. 6 by Msgr. Walter Erbi, charge d'affaires at the Vatican's nunciature in Washington.

Born in Vietnam, Bishop-designate Nguyen, 64, fled the country in 1979 by boat with his family and spent 10 months in a refugee camp in the Philippines before arriving in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1980. After brief studies at Hartford State Technical College, he became a math and science teacher in Hartford public schools.

In 1984, he joined the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, studying at Merrimack College and the Weston School of Theology, both in Massachusetts. He was ordained to the priesthood May 11, 1991.

Letter from Mary F. McMahon Regarding the Rockville Centre Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program

Diocese of Rockville Centre via Newsday from Attorney Mitchell Garabedian

October 2, 2017

By Mary F. McMahon

[Note: This posting provides an easier download of a PDF of the letter, previously posted by Newsday and included on Tracker.]

As Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, I understand the sensitivities of people who have survived abuse. With that in mind, I am writing to advise you of the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program the Diocese of Rockville Centre (“DRVC”) will be initiating in the upcoming weeks (the “DRVC IRCP”). This letter will provide you, in advance, with information you may find helpful when the program is announced.

As you may recall, in October 2016, the New York Archdiocese implemented its IRCP; a two-phase program for survivors of clergy sexual abuse. This past June, the Brooklyn Diocese made its IRCP available. The DRVC is now preparing to offer, in October 2017, the DRVC IRCP to survivors of sexual abuse by DRVC clergy. As the DRVC prepares for the initial phase of the DRVC IRCP, I want to advise you of some details of this program in order to provide you with certain important information and in the hope of allaying any concerns you may have.

Later in October, shortly after the DRVC announces the program, you will receive information in the mail, including instructions for submitting a claim, from the administrators of the program: Mr. Kenneth Feinberg and Ms. Camille Biros. This information will be sent to you because at some time in the past a report of inappropriate sexual conduct by a member of the DRVC clergy was made to the DRVC and your name was associated with this report. Please be assured that your participation in this program is completely voluntary and, subject only to the special circumstances that will be clearly outlined in the DRVC IRCP Protocol (such as any required reporting to the appropriate District Attorneys' offices), will be kept strictly confidential All information any claimant provides on the claim form will be mailed directly by the claimant to Mr. Feinberg' s office.

Lawsuit: Abuse occurred in 2006

Guam Daily Post

October 7, 2017

By Mindy Aguon

A 23-year-old former altar boy is the latest victim to come forward alleging he was sexually abused by a Capuchin brother assigned to the Agana Heights parish in 2006.

J.C.M.P., who used initials to protect his identity, filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Capuchin Friars and Vernon Kamiaz.

The lawsuit alleges that Kamiaz sexually abused J.C.M.P. when he was 12 years old. Kamiaz allegedly was a Capuchin brother who was actively involved with training the altar boys.

One day after Mass, Kamiaz asked J.C.M.P. and his brother to help him clean up around his house, according to the lawsuit. The complaint states J.C.M.P. agreed because they looked up to Kamiaz as a trusted mentor and friend and he was also a friend of the family.

$50M suit filed against ‘sexually violent’ ex-priest Daniel McCormack

Chicago Sun-Times

October 6, 2017

A lawsuit filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court seeks more than $50 million in damages from convicted child molester and defrocked priest Daniel McCormack and the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The plaintiff, identified only as John Doe, developed a “trust relationship” with McCormack while playing on a basketball team the pastor coached at St. Ailbe School, 9037 S. Harper Ave., according to the suit. After graduating in 1998, the plaintiff continued playing basketball at St. Agatha’s Parish, 3147 W. Douglas Blvd., where McCormack was a pastor.

The suit alleges that McCormack sexually assaulted John Doe on one occasion —sometime between 1998 and 2000. The plaintiff didn’t recall the sexual abuse until the summer of 2017, according to the suit, which claims his memories were repressed and/or suppressed.

$50M Lawsuit Filed Against Former Chicago Priest

Associated Press via U.S. News and World Report

October 6, 2017

A lawsuit seeking more than $50 million in damages has been filed against the Archdiocese of Chicago and a former priest who was convicted of child molestation.

The lawsuit filed Thursday says the alleged victim developed a "trust relationship" with Daniel McCormack while playing on a basketball team he coached. The lawsuit alleges that McCormack sexually assaulted the person, identified only as "John Doe," on one occasion, sometime between 1998 and 2000. It says memory of the abuse had been repressed until this summer.

The lawsuit also alleges that the archdiocese was aware of McCormack's sexual misconduct, but still ordained him.

Rector of Legion-run seminary leaving after fathering 2 kids

Associated Press via Washington Post

October 7, 2017

By Nicole Winfield

The Legion of Christ religious order, stained by revelations that its founder sexually abused seminarians and fathered several children, is facing a new credibility scandal: The rector of its diocesan seminary in Rome is leaving the priesthood after admitting he fathered two children of his own.

In a letter released by the Legion on Saturday, the Rev. Oscar Turrion said he fell in love with a woman a few years ago during a time of turmoil in the Legion, fathered a son and, a few months ago, a daughter.

Turrion, a 49-year-old Spaniard, had been rector of the Pontifical Maria Matter Eclesiae International College since 2014. The institution is a residence for diocesan seminarians who study at Rome universities. Currently some 107 seminarians live there, most from India, Latin America and Africa, down from about 200 a few years ago.

The issue is particularly delicate given the international diocesan character of the seminary: Bishops entrusted their seminarians to the Legion to provide them with a wholesome living environment while they completed their studies.

Communiqué regarding the former rector of the Pontifical International College Maria Mater Ecclesiae

Legionaries of Christ

October 6, 2017

[Note: Includes link to an English translation of Fr. Óscar Turrión's letter.]

1. Given the publication of news regarding the former rector of the Pontifical International College Maria Mater Ecclesiae, Fr. Óscar Turrión, LC, we offer the following chronology of events. Fr. Óscar has written a personal letter in which he acknowledges the fact that he has
fathered children, apologizes, and requests prayers.

2. On March 27, 2017, Fr. Óscar Turrión informed the superiors that he had just had a
daughter and asked them to maintain confidentiality. Upon learning of this, his superiors
proceeded to ask the Holy See to appoint a new rector of the seminary, who began his term
in August.

3. For his part, Fr. Óscar asked permission to live for a time outside of community to reflect
and pray. His major superior granted this permission, according to the can. 665 of the Code
of Canon Law, with the restriction of not exercising public priestly ministry.

4. On October 5, 2017, Father Óscar Turrión acknowledged that he had had another child
with the same woman a few years ago. He also expressed his intention to leave priestly
ministry and to ask for the dispensation from the obligations contracted with ordination.

Nuevo escándalo en los Legionarios de Cristo

El Sol de México

October 7, 2017

Nuevo escándalo en los Legionarios de Cristo: rector de seminaristas tiene dos hijos
El reverendo español Oscar Turrión confesó ser padre de dos hijos y dejará el sacerdocio

By Jorge Sandoval G.

[Summary: Report on the removal of Fr. Óscar Turrión LC from leadership of the Legionaries' Rome seminary, College Maria Mater Ecclesiae, because he had fathered his second child. This article provides useful canonical and other detail.]

Rome - Nuevo escándalo en los Legionarios de Cristo. El deplorable ejemplo del padre Marcial Maciel, fundador de esta Congregación creada en México en 1941, al parecer sigue cundiendo entre los miembros de esta orden religiosa, no obstante el periodo de “purificación” impuesto por el Papa Benedicto XVI, de frente al que fue considerado un escándalo sin precedentes en la historia moderna de la Iglesia católica. Maciel abusó sexualmente de seminaristas y tuvo varios hijos.

Ahora el protagonista es el reverendo español Oscar Turrión, de 49 años, rector en Roma del prestigioso Pontificio Colegio internacional “Mater Ecclesiae”, quien confesó ser padre de dos hijos.

Marcial Maciel abusó sexualmente de seminaristas y tuvo varios hijos. Foto: Reuters
He aquí la cronología de los hechos, según un comunicado de los Legionarios de Cristo:

El pasado 27 de marzo, Turrión informó a sus superiores que “acababa de tener una hija”, solicitando permiso “para vivir un tiempo fuera de la comunidad para reflexionar y orar”.

En base al canon 665 del código de Derecho Canónico, sus superiores se lo concedieron, pero “con la restricción de no ejercer el ministerio sacerdotal en público”.

Legionaries of Christ hit by new scandal as priest fathers two


October 7, 2017

By Philip Pullella

The Legionaries of Christ, a Catholic religious order which fell into disgrace after the discovery that its founder was a sexual abuser with a secret family, has been hit by fresh scandal with revelations that the head of its Rome seminary fathered two children.

The order said in a statement late on Friday that Father Oscar Turrion would leave the priesthood. It also released a letter by Turrion in which he asks “forgiveness for the scandal ... forgiveness for my bad example and the negative witness I have given”.

The Legionaries is a conservative order of Roman Catholic priests. Turrion was rector of the Pontifical International College Maria Mater Ecclesiae, a seminary for men in the order studying for the priesthood in pontifical universities in Rome.

The Legionaries said Turrion, a 49-year-old Spaniard, told his superiors in March that he had just had a daughter. A new rector was appointed and Turrion was ordered not to practice his ministry publicly.

October 7, 2017

Celebrated Church of England bishop accused of child abuse 'will have his good name restored' by an inquiry

The Daily Mail

October 7, 2017

- Official review will criticise Church investigation into Bishop George Bell
- Bishop Bell was praised for speaking out against Hitler in the 1930s
- But Church said he has sexually assaulted a child on the 'balance of probabilities'

A celebrated bishop whose reputation was destroyed when the Church of England labelled him a paedophile is set to have his good name restored, The Mail on Sunday has learned.

An official review of the handling of abuse allegations against the late Bishop George Bell will criticise the original Church investigation as flawed and unfair, it is understood.

Bishop Bell the wartime Bishop of Chichester who died in 1958, was praised for speaking out against Hitler in the 1930s – and he was granted the Anglican equivalent of a Saint’s Day, an annual commemoration.

But to the fury of devotees, his character was blackened when the Church declared two years ago that ‘on the balance of probabilities’ he had sexually assaulted a child in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Utah quietly withdraws from FLDS UEP Trust fund

Deseret News

October 6, 2017

By Pat Reavy

Utah has quietly withdrawn from the $110 million United Effort Plan trust of the Fundamentalist LDS Church.

Saying that the state's "objectives have been achieved," the Utah Attorney General's Office on Friday confirmed that it had removed itself from the UEP Trust, which holds most of the property and homes in the twin border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona.

The UEP Trust was created by the FLDS Church in 1942 on the concept of a "united order," allowing followers to share in its assets. But the state of Utah seized control of it in 2005 amid allegations of mismanagement by FLDS Church leaders including Warren Jeffs, who was later convicted of child sex abuse and is serving a life prison sentence in Texas.

Capuchin brother accused again in clergy abuse lawsuit

Pacific Daily News

October 6, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

A lawsuit filed Friday in federal court states that clergy sex abuse on Guam happened as recently as 2006 or 2007, when former Capuchin brother Vernon Kamiaz allegedly molested an Agana Heights Parish altar boy.

Most of the clergy abuse suits filed so far - nearly 130 - allege children were abused decades ago, from the mid-1950s to the early 1990s.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents only as J.C.M.P. to protect his privacy, said in his lawsuit that Kamiaz was actively involved with training altar boys at the Agana Heights Parish and was also his neighbor and family friend.

J.C.M.P. was 12 or 13 when the alleged sex abuse happened, his lawsuit states. He is now 23.

J.C.M.P. is represented by attorney David Lujan and demands $5 million in minimum damages.

Attorney Gloria L. Rudolph, of the law firm of Lujan and Wolff, confirmed that J.C.M.P. is the youngest to file a clergy abuse suit.

'The Keepers': Baltimore news station uncovers lost video that could answer questions about case


October 6, 2017

By Christian Schaffer, Scripps National Desk

(WMAR) - A video that could hold vital answers to questions posed in Netflix’s true crime documentary “The Keepers” has been found in the archives of a Baltimore newsroom.

Journalists at WMAR in Baltimore — one of our sister stations— have uncovered video of Catholic Church documents being dug up at a local cemetery in 1994. The video, which shows black plastic bags and papers at the bottom of the a deep hole in a Baltimore cemetery, confirms the existence of documents discussed on “The Keepers,” and gives new insight into what Father Joseph Maskell hid amid accusations of sexual abuse.

“The Keepers” investigates the murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik — a teacher at Archbishop Keough High School who was killed in 1970. It also looks into allegations of sexual abuse by Maskell, a former chaplain at the school.

According to “The Keepers,” Maskell ordered dozens of boxes of documents to be buried at a local cemetery in 1990 — documents that activists say contained proof of sexual abuse of minors.

In August of 1994, the boxes were dug up. The WMAR video shows that among the documents that were buried is a version of the "Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory,” or MCMI.

Australian bishops at Vatican discuss 'restoring trust'


October 7, 2017

A delegation of top Australian bishops held meetings at the Vatican this week to discuss topics including the “restoration of trust” in the country where its senior Catholic Church figure is facing allegations of historical sexual offences.

The Vatican disclosed the meetings in a statement on Saturday, a day after Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s economy minister, attended a hearing in Melbourne over the allegations.

Pell, who has denied all accusations against him, has taken a leave of absence from his Vatican post to defend himself in his native Australia.

Compensation for uprooting indigenous children: Canada to pay $640m

Agence France-Presse via The Daily Star

October 8, 2017

An estimated 20,000 indigenous children taken from their families starting in the 1960s and placed for adoption or fostering will share in a Can$800 million (US$640 million) payout, the government announced Friday.

The so-called "Sixties Scoop" saw them placed with primarily white middle-class families in Canada, the United States and overseas.

In recent years, as the children grew into adults and became aware of their past, several lawsuits and class actions were filed over their loss of aboriginal identity, claiming in court documents that it resulted in psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, unemployment, violence and suicides.

"People affected by the '60s Scoop have told us that the loss of their culture and language are among the worst kinds of harm that they suffered," Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett told a press conference, flanked by Scoop survivors.

"That is why our government is responding directly to remedy the ill-advised (policies) of the past."

With new information, new questions arise in Aurora priest sex abuse case

Aurora Beacon-News / Chicago Tribune

October 7, 2017

By Hannah Leone

[See the entry for Pedraza-Arias in BishopAccountability.org's database of accused priests.]

New disclosures are raising questions in the case of an Aurora priest charged with sex abuse whose trial has been repeatedly delayed while he faces deportation.

"I know the state wants to keep this trial on the calendar," Kane County Circuit Judge Linda Abrahamson said Friday. "But this recent disclosure is like an atomic bomb."

Alfredo Pedraza-Arias, 51, has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, which allege that he sexually abused two girls at Aurora's Sacred Heart Church between 2012 and 2014, when both girls were younger than six. He appeared in custody in the courtroom Friday, along with his attorney, David Camic; Assistant State's Attorney Reagan Pittman; a representative from the Rockford Diocese; and a Spanish translator.

Abrahamson said the trial, slated for November, may be affected by whether lawyers have access to a man who investigated the case for the Kane County Child Advocacy Center.

New material disclosed last week includes notes about interviews the investigator conducted that weren't turned in when they should have been, Camic said.

Pope Francis commits the church to protect children from abuse in the digital world


By Gerard O'Connell
October 6, 2017

Pope Francis today committed the Catholic Church to work “effectively and with genuine passion,” in close association with lawmakers, police authorities, technological giants in the field of social communications and other actors in civil society, for “the effective protection of the dignity of minors in the digital world.”

He offered this commitment in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall when he addressed the 140 participants from the first world congress on “Child Dignity in the Digital World” that was held at the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University, Oct. 3 to 6.

He did so in response to its “Declaration of Rome,” a 13-point call to action, which was read to him at the audience by Muireann O’Carroll, a 16-year-old Irish girl, representing the “digital natives” generation.

Victims seek justice for former Maspeth priest’s sex abuse

Queens Times Ledger

October 6, 2017

By Mark Hallum

Up to 15 victims have come forward accusing a former Maspeth parish priest of sexual abuse.

A former Maspeth priest is under investigation for the sexual assault of up to 15 girls between 1973 and 1994 with the help of Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who was depicted in the film “Spotlight. Additional women are coming forward.

During the time Father Adam Prochaski was with Holy Cross parish school at 61-21 56th Rd. , Linda Porcaro, a teacher who was close to the matter and the whistleblower in the case, claims the priest had assaulted numerous girls between the ages of 5 and 16 and was known to use physical intimidation on the boys in the school.

“He was mean and intimidati­ng,” Porcaro said in an interview with TimesLedger. “He was very large, he towered over me ... He was about 6-foot-4, he wasn’t slim, He wasn’t overweight, but he was built and to a child that’s already very intimidating. I know he was rough with the boys, I saw him with the boys.”

Missbrauch: Das lange Verschweigen der Kirche

Main Post

October 6, 2017

Abuse: The long silence of the church -- In 2002 a priest in the diocese of Würzburg went astray with a boy. Now it is confirmed that the man had already abused an altar boy in 1993.

Hiding reality of sexual abuse a grave mistake, Pope acknowledges

Agence France-Presse via ABS-CBN News

October 7, 2017

Pope Francis on Friday urged the world, including the Catholic Church, to face up to the devastating effects of online sexual violence on young people, including extreme pornography and sexting.

"We have to keep our eyes open and not hide from an unpleasant truth that we would rather not see," Francis said at a gathering of technology executives and health professionals at the Vatican.

Alluding to the pedophile scandals that have rocked the church, he added: "For that matter, surely we have realized sufficiently in recent years that concealing the reality of sexual abuse is a grave error and the source of many other evils?"

In a speech about protecting the dignity of children in the internet era, Francis warned of the spread of extreme pornography, sexting and online bullying as well as sexual exploitation, trafficking and the live-streaming of rape and violence against children.

Four-week court hearing for Cardinal Pell

AAP (Australian Associated Press)

October 6, 2017

A four-week hearing in March will determine if Cardinal George Pell stands trial over historical sexual offence allegations involving multiple complainants.

As many as 50 witnesses will give evidence during a hearing that will determine if Cardinal George Pell stands trial on historical sexual offence charges.

The highest-ranking Catholic official to be charged with sexual abuse has appeared in court for the second time, again for a brief administrative hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

The case will return to the same court for a four-week committal hearing beginning on March 5.

A magistrate will then decide if Pell stands trial in the Victorian County Court over the charges involving multiple complainants.

The defence will argue some of the allegations, those involving Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral, could never have happened.

Suburban NY Diocese Plans Compensation in Sex Abuse Cases

Associated Press

October 7, 2017

A Roman Catholic diocese in suburban New York is creating an independent compensation program for people who were sexually abused by priests.

Newsday reports the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island sent letters this week to people who previously have filed complaints.

The diocese is the eighth largest in the United States with an estimated 1.4 million Catholics.

The compensation program will be modeled after ones established in the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn during the past year.

Victims deemed eligible for financial compensation must agree not to pursue legal action against the church in the future in order to collect.

Rockville Centre's program could involve dozens of cases of alleged abuse, some dating back decades.


Former Catholic priest facing trial accused of 19 historic sex abuse charges at Ealing school


October 4, 2017

By Emily Pennink and Katherine Clementine

Father Laurence faces 19 historical sex charges, including beating with a cane

A former Catholic priest in Ealing has gone on trial for allegedly sexually abusing a string of pupils at a boy's school.

Andrew Soper, known as Father Laurence, faces 19 historical sex charges relating to 10 former pupils at St Benedict's School.

The 74-year-old former abbot has denied the offences of indecent assault, indecency with a child, and buggery allegedly committed in the 1970s and 80s.

The boys, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were subjected to sexual touching and beaten with a cane, according to the charges.

This victim was sent to live with a priest as punishment. Then the priest molested him.

Pacific News Center

October 5, 2017

By Janela Carrera

The lawsuit names former priest Father Andrew Mannetta.

Guam – Another sex abuse complaint was filed in Superior Court against the Archdiocese of Agana, naming former Guam priest Father Andrew Mannetta as the alleged perpetrator.

The lawsuit is brought by a a 46-year-old man with the initials G.E.J. who claims Father Mannetta sexually abused him when he was about 14 years old at the San Miguel Church in Talofofo.

According to the complaint, G.E.J.’s parents sent him to live with Father Mannetta because he was rebelling against his parents.

G.E.J. says that on several occasions Father Mannetta ordered him to lie on his stomach and then would rub his buttocks and legs while watching television. Every time this happened, G.E.J. says the priest inched closer and closer to his genitals.

G.E.J. says this happened about 10 to 15 times before he left the rectory and finally returned home.

Pope meets French cardinal accused of paedophilia cover-up

Agence France-Presse via The Guardian

October 5, 2017

Pope Francis met Thursday with French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who is awaiting trial over allegations he covered up for a paedophile priest in his diocese.

It was the first time Francis has met with Barbarin, the Archbishop of Lyon, since the cardinal learned last month that he would have to appear in court in April in connection with priest Bernard Preynat’s abuse of boy scouts in the 1980s.

Public prosecutors ruled last year that Barbarin did not have a case to answer but he and six other co-defendants have been directly indicted by some of Preynat’s victims. A judge ruled last month that the case could proceed.

Barbarin, 66, faces a potential jail sentence if found guilty of failing to act immediately and appropriately when one of the victims reported Preynat to the Church in 2014, demanding he be sacked.

Holy See Press Office Communiqué: Meeting of the leadership of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in Rome, 07.10.2017

Holy See Press Office

October 7, 2017

The leadership of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference met this week in Rome with officials from the Secretariat of State and various offices of the Holy See for a wide-ranging discussion concerning the situation of the Catholic Church in Australia at this time.

Topics covered included the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the relationship between the Church and society at large, the restoration of trust, and greater participation of the laity in decision-making roles in the Church.

The Australian delegation was comprised of the President of the Conference, the Most Rev. Denis James Hart, Archbishop of Melbourne; and the Vice-President, the Most Rev. Mark Benedict Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane; accompanied by Justice Neville John Owen of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council.

The main encounter took place on Thursday, October 5, with the Cardinal Secretary of State, His Eminence Pietro Parolin; the Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher; the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, His Eminence Marc Ouellet, P.S.S.; and the Secretary for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Giacomo Morandi.

Australian Delegation Travels to Rome Amid Sex Abuse Scandal

Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report

October 7, 2017

The Vatican says that leaders of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference have traveled to Rome to discuss "the restoration of trust" amid a sex abuse scandal involving Australian cardinal George Pell, a top adviser to the pope.

The Vatican announced the delegation's visit this week in a statement Saturday, saying key Australian church leaders met with top officials including the Vatican secretary of state and the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, which is the Vatican office that processes all cases of priests accused of sexually abusing minors.

The extraordinary meetings in Rome come months after the Vatican released Pell to return to Australia to face charges in the decades-old case. Pell, who took a leave of absence as the Vatican's financial czar, denies the charges.

Diocese launches compensation fund for clergy abuse victims

News12 Long Island

October 6, 2017

The Diocese of Rockville Centre is launching a fund to compensate victims of sex abuse by clergy.

The Diocese sent a letter to victims notifying them of the settlement program. It's called the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.

Victims who accept settlement money must waive their right to bring their cases to court.

The compensation fund is aimed at bringing closure to dozens of cases of alleged abuse by clergy that, in some cases, date back decades.

Settlements range from $100,000 to $500,000. Attorneys for clergy sex abuse victims say while accepting a settlement under the fund may help victims, it effectively hides the truth.

"In essence, they're paying people off," says attorney Mitchell Garabedian. "It's saying to these people, 'Here's some money. We're not going to list publicly the names of the predator priests. We just want you to go away.'"

It is unclear how many letters were sent out by the Diocese of Rockville Centre. A spokesman for the diocese says a formal announcement about the fund will be made in the near future.

Diocese of Rockville Centre's letter to those who have alleged clergy sexual abuse


[This is a letter to a survivor from the Rockville Centre diocese's Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Young People. It was published on October 6 in Newsday's Letter: LI Catholic diocese creates sex abuse compensation program.]

Letter: LI Catholic diocese creates sex abuse compensation program


October 6, 2017

By Bart Jones, bart.jones@newsday.com

The Diocese of Rockville Centre is creating an independent compensation program for people who were sexually abused by priests — the latest effort in New York to bring closure to a horrific chapter in modern Catholic church history.

The diocese this week sent letters to those who previously have filed such complaints with diocesan officials, according to attorneys representing some of them. Newsday obtained a copy of the letter Friday.

The program will be modeled after similar ones established in the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn during the past year.

Under those programs, victims deemed eligible for financial compensation must agree not to pursue legal action against the church in the future in order to collect. Rockville Centre’s program could encompass dozens of cases of alleged abuse, in some cases dating back decades.

In a statement to Newsday, Sean Dolan, a spokesman for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, wrote, “In the interest of providing survivors with advance notice of our impending Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, the Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Young People sent a letter advising them of what would be occurring. A formal diocesan announcement will be made in the near future.”

Clergy abuse happened as recently as 10 years ago, lawsuit claims

Pacific Daily News (USA TODAY Network)

October 6, 2017

By Haidee V. Eugenio

Some of the sexual abuse that more than 100 children on Guam are alleged to have suffered at the hands of Catholic clergy happened about 10 years ago, not in the more distant past as most lawsuits have claimed, according to a new suit filed Friday in federal court here.

Most of the nearly 130 lawsuits filed so far have said children were abused from the mid-1950s to the early 1990s.

But a 23-year-old man, identified in court documents as J.C.M.P., alleges that Vernon Kamiaz, a Capuchin brother involved in training altar boys at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Agaña Heights, molested him in 2006 or 2007. Attorney Gloria L. Rudolph, of the law firm of Lujan and Wolff, confirmed that J.C.M.P. is the youngest to file a clergy abuse suit; USA TODAY does not use the names of potential victims of sexual abuse unless they consent to being identified.

October 6, 2017

Statement: Victims group blasts Vatican abuse summit

SNAP, the Survivors Network (SNAPnetwork.org)

October 5, 2017

Recent cases show epidemic of child pornography and cover-up in the church

Church should be target of global response, not leading it, group says

Today, the world’s largest support group for men and women sexually abused in the Catholic Church is criticizing a Vatican summit aimed at exposing child sexual abuse on the Internet.

"If the Vatican is so dedicated to punishing people who use the internet to exploit children, the first thing they need to do is fix the problem within the church. Then they must punish their own bishops who covered up for men who made, uploaded, viewed or distributed child pornography,” said Barb Dorris, the managing director of SNAP, the Survivors Network (SNAPNetwork.org).

“And there is the obvious: they must turn over Msgr. Carlo Capella to civil authorities in the United States and Canada. Anything less than that is smoke and mirrors,” she said.

Msgr. Carlo Capella is a Vatican diplomat who was recalled to the Vatican last month when U.S. authorities accused him of possession of child pornography. Last week, Canadian officials issued a warrant for his arrest on child pornography charges there.

The three-day Child Dignity in the Digital World Conference concludes October 6, 2017 at the Gregorian University in Rome. The event has brought together world leaders in digital media, according to media reports. However, the epidemic and cover-up of child pornography, SNAP says, is a big problem in the Catholic Church:

Ex-Maspeth priest molested girls: lawyer

Queens Chronicle

October 5, 2017

By Christopher Barca

More than a dozen women have come forward in recent weeks to accuse a former Maspeth priest of molesting them as children decades ago.

Prominent attorney Mitchell Garabedian told the Chronicle in a Tuesday interview that 15 women claim that former Holy Cross Church pastor the Rev. Adam Prochaski sexually abused them at some point between 1973 and 1994.

“Father Prochaski was sexually abusing innocent children for more than two decades,” Garabedian said. “My clients are very courageous for coming forward.”

According to the Daily News, which broke the story, Prochaski was first assigned to Holy Cross in 1969. Garabedian said the abuse began four years later and occurred not just at the church, but at the parish’s now-defunct school and other locations.

“Sex abuse happened at school, in Holy Cross Church, in the rectory next door and in some of the children’s homes, as well as the father’s,” the attorney said. “In many cases, his abuse was open, notorious and in plain view.”

The ages of his alleged victims, many of them Polish immigrants, ranged from just 5 years old to 16, he added.

The allegations finally graduated from whispered rumors in 1990, when former Holy Cross teacher Linda Porcaro said seven of the priest’s alleged victims told her what had happened to them.

Pope Francis Says Tech Companies Should Protect Children From Sexual Exploitation, Cyber Bullying


October 6, 2017

The Pontiff argues filters and algorithms are not enough.

Pope Francis told executives of leading internet companies on Friday to use “their great profits” to defend children from sexual exploitation and other dangers lurking online.

The pontiff, speaking at a conference in Rome, said the Catholic Church needed to accept responsibility “before God, victims, and public opinion” for its own sex abuse scandals, but wanted to share the lessons it had learned.

Speaking to participants including representatives from Facebook (FB, +1.67%) and Microsoft (MSFT, +1.37%) , he said social media businesses had to do more than set up filters and algorithms to block harmful content.

The 80-year-old pope spoke out against the spread of extreme pornography, the dangers of so-called “sexting” between young people and between adults and children, and cyber bullying, calling it “a true form of moral and physical attack.”

PNG Catholic priest accused of sexual misconduct

RNZ (Radio New Zealand)

October 6, 2017

Police in Papua New Guinea are investigating the conduct of a Catholic Priest, who is accused of sexual misconduct.

The Milne Bay police chief, George Bayagau, says an investigation has been launched after 16 girls complained about the priest's inappropriate behaviour.

Mr Bayagau told the Post Courier that officers from the sexual violence unit are investigating, although he refused to go into further detail.

The priest works as a chaplain at a local secondary school.

A Catholic Church investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Pope pledges church commitment to fight child abuse on- and offline

Catholic News Service

October 6, 2017

By Cindy Wooden

Acknowledging how often the Catholic Church failed to protect children from sexual abuse, Pope Francis pledged "to work strenuously and with foresight for the protection of minors and their dignity," including online.

"As all of us know, in recent years the church has come to acknowledge her own failures in providing for the protection of children: Extremely grave facts have come to light, for which we have to accept our responsibility before God, before the victims and before public opinion," the pope said Oct. 6.

Pope Francis: 'painful' failures help Church lead in protecting minors

Catholic News Agency

October 6, 2017

By Elise Harris

On Friday, Pope Francis told a group of religious and secular experts from around the world that protecting minors against increasing online threats is a serious new concern, and one in which the Church can be a leading voice given the experience gleaned from past mistakes.

“As all of us know, in recent years the Church has come to acknowledge her own failures in providing for the protection of children,” the Pope said Oct. 6. “Extremely grave facts have come to light, for which we have to accept our responsibility before God, before the victims and before public opinion.”

Because of this, “as a result of these painful experiences and the skills gained in the process of conversion and purification, the Church today feels especially bound to work strenuously and with foresight for the protection of minors and their dignity, not only within her own ranks, but in society as a whole and throughout the world.”

The Church can't even attempt to “do this alone – for that is clearly not enough,” he said, but she stands ready by “offering her own effective and ready cooperation to all those individuals and groups in society that are committed to the same end.”

In this sense, he said, the Church adheres fully to the goal of putting an end to “the abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children” that was set by the United Nations in the 2030 Sustainable Development agenda.

Pope Francis: speech to World Congress on Child Dignity in Digital World

Vatican Radio

October 6, 2017

Pope Francis addressed the participants in the World Congress on Child Dignity in the Digital World. Hosted by the Pontifical Gregorian University and its Centre for Child Protection, the four-day event brought together different government and police representatives, software companies, religious leaders and medical experts specialized in the impact of on-line abuse. Below, please find the full text of Pope Francis' prepared remarks, in their official English translation.

... I thank the Rector of the Gregorian University, Father Nuno da Silva Gonçalves, and the young lady representative of the youth for their kind and informative words of introduction to our meeting. I am grateful to all of you for being here this morning and informing me of the results of your work. Above all, I thank you for sharing your concerns and your commitment to confront together, for the sake of young people worldwide, a grave new problem felt in our time. A problem that had not yet been studied and discussed by a broad spectrum of experts from various fields and areas of responsibility as you have done in these days: the problem of the effective protection of the dignity of minors in the digital world. ...

... We know that minors are presently more than a quarter of the over 3 billion users of the internet; this means that over 800 million minors are navigating the internet. We know that within two years, in India alone, over 500 million persons will have access to the internet, and that half of these will be minors. What do they find on the net? And how are they regarded by those who exercise various kinds of influence over the net?

We have to keep our eyes open and not hide from an unpleasant truth that we would rather not see. For that matter, surely we have realized sufficiently in recent years that concealing the reality of sexual abuse is a grave error and the source of many other evils? So let us face reality, as you have done in these days. We encounter extremely troubling things on the net, including the spread of ever more extreme pornography, since habitual use raises the threshold of stimulation; the increasing phenomenon of sexting between young men and women who use the social media; and the growth of online bullying, a true form of moral and physical attack on the dignity of other young people. To this can be added sextortion; the solicitation of minors for sexual purposes, now widely reported in the news; to say nothing of the grave and appalling crimes of online trafficking in persons, prostitution, and even the commissioning and live viewing of acts of rape and violence against minors in other parts of the world. The net has its dark side (the “dark net”), where evil finds ever new, effective and pervasive ways to act and to expand. The spread of printed pornography in the past was a relatively small phenomenon compared to the proliferation of pornography on the net. You have addressed this clearly, based on solid research and documentation, and for this we are grateful. ...

... Very appropriately, you have expressed the hope that religious leaders and communities of believers can also share in this common effort, drawing on their experience, their authority and their resources for education and for moral and spiritual formation. In effect, only the light and the strength that come from God can enable us to face these new challenges. As for the Catholic Church, I would assure you of her commitment and her readiness to help. As all of us know, in recent years the Church has come to acknowledge her own failures in providing for the protection of children: extremely grave facts have come to light, for which we have to accept our responsibility before God, before the victims and before public opinion. For this very reason, as a result of these painful experiences and the skills gained in the process of conversion and purification, the Church today feels especially bound to work strenuously and with foresight for the protection of minors and their dignity, not only within her own ranks, but in society as a whole and throughout the world. She does not attempt to do this alone – for that is clearly not enough – but by offering her own effective and ready cooperation to all those individuals and groups in society that are committed to the same end. In this sense, the Church adheres to the goal of putting an end to “the abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children” set by the United Nations in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Target 16.2)

Former abuse commission member Collins expresses concern over group's restructuring

National Catholic Reporter

October 5, 2017

By Joshua J. McElwee

The clergy abuse survivor who resigned in frustration from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors last March has expressed concern about a proposal to restructure the group so it no longer includes direct involvement of survivors.

In an interview with NCR, Marie Collins said she worries the possible change to put survivors on a new advisory panel separate from the commission might mean they are not consulted on every issue the group considers.

"I feel it is a backward step," Collins said in an email conversation Oct. 3.

Cardinal charged with sex offenses jeered at Australia court

Associated Press

October 6, 2017

By Trevor Marshallsea

SYDNEY (AP) — Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Catholic official to face sex offense charges, was jeered by protesters as he made a court appearance in his native Australia on Friday in a case that has rocked the Vatican and placed scrutiny on the pope’s stance against abusive clergy.

Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic and Pope Francis’ top financial adviser, Pell entered the Melbourne Magistrates Court flanked by police and media as a small group of placard-waving protesters yelled from the sidewalk. He did not react to the hecklers.

The 20-minute hearing focused on planning for the committal hearing starting March 5 that will determine whether he goes to trial. As many as 50 witnesses could be called for that proceeding, expected to last a month.

Pell, who remained silent throughout, has been charged with multiple offenses involving multiple complainants. The exact detail and nature of the charges have not been disclosed to the public, though police have described them as “historical” sexual assault offenses, meaning they are alleged to have occurred years ago.

Pell through his lawyer has vowed to fight the charges. The 76-year-old cardinal has taken leave from his position as Vatican treasurer to return to Australia and defend himself. He has not been required to enter a plea in court, though his attorney said at his first court appearance in July that Pell intended to plead not guilty.

Pell’s attorney, Robert Richter, told Friday’s hearing at least one of the allegations could not have happened.

“We propose to demonstrate to Your Honor that what was alleged was impossible,” Richter told magistrate Belinda Wallington.

Today’s brief hearing centered on which witnesses would be cross-examined at the committal hearing, and touched on a factor likely to feature prominently in the case — the memories of witnesses speaking about incidents alleged to have occurred up to several decades ago.

Richter pointed out one witness had given police a “vague” statement. Wallington noted the man was age 11 at the time.

“We’re dealing with historical events. Memory’s not static,” Wallington said.

The magistrate refused Pell’s lawyers permission to cross-examine five witnesses they had hoped to question, but granted permission for them to cross-examine dozens of others at the committal hearing, saying it was appropriate to allow those witnesses’ memories to be “further explored.”

Pope denounces porn and corruption of kids' minds, bodies

Associated Press via Miami Herald

October 6, 2017

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis on Friday denounced the proliferation of adult and child pornography on the internet and demanded better protections for children online — even as the Vatican confronts its own cross-border child porn investigation involving a top papal envoy.

Francis met with participants of a Catholic Church-backed international conference on fighting child pornography and protecting children in the digital age. He fully backed their proposals to toughen sanctions against those who abuse and exploit children online and improve technological filters to prevent young people from accessing porn online.

Francis said the Catholic Church knew well the "grave error" of trying to conceal the problem of sexual abuse — a reference to the church's long history of cover-up of priests who have raped and molested children around the world.

He said an international, cross-disciplinary approach was needed to protect children from the dark net and the "corruption of their minds and violence against their bodies."

Using terms that are certainly new to papal lexicon, Francis denounced "extreme pornography" on the web that adults consume and the increasing use of "sexting" and "sextortion" among the estimated 800 million minors who navigate the internet.

"We would be seriously deluding ourselves were we to think that a society where an abnormal consumption of internet sex is rampant among adults could be capable of effectively protecting minors," he said.

Vatican Finance Chief George Pell Faces March Hearing Over Sex-Abuse Charges

The Wall Street Journal

October 5, 2017

By Robb M. Stewart

Australian court allows lawyers for the cardinal to cross-examine witnesses named by prosecution

Lawyers for Cardinal George Pell, one of the most senior officials in the Vatican, will cross-examine dozens of witnesses called by prosecutors accusing him of historical sexual offenses in Australia.

Cardinal Pell, who is Pope Francis’ finance chief, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Friday for a 20-minute procedural hearing. Magistrate Belinda Wellington agreed to a four-week committal hearing from March 5, during which the court will decide if there is enough evidence to progress the matter.

Pell to make case for abuse charges as ‘impossible’ at March hearing


October 6, 2017

In a court hearing on Friday, an attorney for Australian Cardinal George Pell described abuse charges against the 76-year-old prelate as "impossible." A four-week hearing has been scheduled beginning next March 5 to determine if the claims of "historical sexual offenses" against Pell are sufficient to proceed to a full trial.

Cardinal George Pell made his second appearance before an Australian court on Friday, with his defense team saying it wants to call some 50 witnesses in an effort to demonstrate that claims the 76-year-old prelate committed “historical sexual offenses” are impossible.

A four-week hearing has been scheduled beginning on March 5 of the next year to hear the evidence and determine whether the case should proceed to trial.

Legal observers in Australia say they assume Pell will have to stand trial, since roughly 95 percent of cases at the Magistrate’s Court level proceed to trial. Moreover, in a politically sensitive and high-profile case such as this, cases are rarely terminated at the preliminary stage.

Also at the March hearing, magistrates will decide which, if any, of the charges will proceed to trial, whether they will be tried together or separately.

Cardinal George Pell to face four-week court hearing over alleged historic sex assault offences

The Telegraph

October 6, 2017

By Jonathan Pearlman

Cardinal George Pell, one of the most powerful figures in the Vatican and Australia's most senior Catholic, will face a four-week court hearing next March over alleged historic sex assault offences that his lawyer described as “impossible”.

The 76-year-old, who has strongly denied any wrongdoing, attended a brief procedural hearing in Melbourne but made no comment.

The court has ordered a four-week committal hearing to begin on March 5.

The court heard that at least 50 witnesses will be called, including some who were choirboys at the time of their relevant evidence. Five witnesses were disallowed.

Top Vatican adviser Pell's hearing date set, dozens of witnesses planned


October 5, 2017

By Lucie Morris-Marr and Ben Westcott, CNN

Dozens of witnesses are expected to give evidence when Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell faces an Australian court again in March on charges of historic sexual assault.

One of the most senior figures in the Vatican, Pell appeared at Melbourne Magistrates' Court Friday after he was charged by detectives from Victoria Police in June.

He is fighting multiple allegations of historic sexual abuse, although the details of the charges have not been made public.

His barrister Robert Richter QC already told the court in the first hearing in July his client would plead not guilty.

Cardinal George Pell in Melbourne court over historical sexual offences


October 6, 2017

Guarded by a ring of police, Cardinal George Pell has been heckled outside the Melbourne Magistrates' Court where he appeared for a brief mention of his case.

A frail-looking Pell, 76, left the court building on Friday morning with his barrister Robert Richter QC and a band of police, who accompanied the pair to the lawyer's office amid a media frenzy.

As he made the slow walk to and from court, Pell was heckled by protesters but didn't react.

Police had cordoned off the court entrance early in the day and blocked part of the road outside.

A line of about 30 people - mainly media - waited for hours to secure a seat in the courtroom where the third most senior Vatican official's committal mention was heard.

There was no sign of Pell supporters, but some victim advocacy representatives turned up, a few holding signs.

"It doesn't matter how high up the tree you are, it doesn't matter how much access to money you have, no one is above the law," Brian Cherrie said.

Cardinal George Pell appears at Melbourne Magistrates' Court to fight historical sexual offence allegations

ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

October 6, 2017

By Emma Younger

Cardinal George Pell will face a four-week committal hearing next March as he fights historical sexual offence allegations, some of which are impossible, according to his legal team.

Australia's most senior Catholic cleric has faced his second hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court, after he was charged by Victoria Police detectives in June with offences involving multiple complainants.

The exact detail and nature of the charges have not been made public.

Cardinal Pell strenuously denies the allegations.

Cardinal Pell's defence barrister, Robert Richter QC, said his team will aim to prove some of the allegations made against his client could never have happened.

"We want to demonstrate that what was alleged was impossible," he told the court.

Magistrate Belinda Wallington refused Mr Richter's application to cross-examine five witnesses, but approved all others.

The court heard the prosecution's brief of evidence was "voluminous".

The hearing lasted about 20 minutes and mainly dealt with administrative matters.

The court heard about 50 witnesses will give evidence at Cardinal Pell's committal hearing, which will determine whether there is enough evidence to commit him to stand trial.

October 5, 2017

Erzdiözese Wien verstärkt Prävention bei Kindergruppen

Archdiocese of Vienna

October 4, 2017

[Summary: The Archdiocese of Vienna has released a brochure (31 megabyte download), "My Safe Place," providing guidance on preventing violence and abuse in church youth groups.]

Umfangreiche Broschüre mit Reflexionsfragen und Checklisten für Gruppenstunden und mehrtägige Veranstaltungen - Kardinal Schönborn: "Kirche soll ein sicherer Ort sein"

Praktische Hinweise für eine bessere Prävention von Gewalt und Missbrauch in kirchlichen Kinder- und Jugendgruppen liefert eine neue Broschüre der Erzdiözese Wien. "Mein sicherer Ort" heißt die 68-seitige Handreichung, die sich speziell an ehrenamtliche Gruppenleiter richtet und in den nächsten Tagen in 3.000-facher Ausführung in die Pfarren versendet wird. "Kirche soll ein sicherer Ort sein", betont Kardinal Christoph Schönborn im Vorwort. Die Broschüre solle alle in der Kirche Tätigen unterstützen bei ihrer Bereitschaft zu "Präventionsarbeit und auch Reflexion dessen, wie Kinder- und Jugendarbeit in den Gemeinden und Gruppen gestaltet wird", so der Erzbischof.

Wo in der Kirche Missbrauch durch Geistliche, Priester oder Ordensleute geschehe, könne dies zur "Gottesvergiftung" werden, mahnte der Kardinal mit Blick auf die Missbrauchskrise nach dem Jahr 2010. "Missbrauch verstellt oft für ein ganzes Leben den Zugang zu Gott, der mit uns ist und der uns befreit". Die Kirche sei verpflichtet zur "Umkehr", zur Aufarbeitung ihrer Vergangenheit und auch dazu, "uns aktiv und engagiert für die Prävention von Missbrauch und Gewalt sowie für den Schutz der jungen Menschen einzusetzen, die uns anvertraut sind".

Die Broschüre setzt an der bereits seit vielen Jahren laufenden Präventionsarbeit der Katholischen Jungschar an, ergänzt um die Expertise von diözesanen Präventionszuständigen und Fachleuten. Ziel sei es, "den Blickwinkel des Gewaltschutzes in die Arbeit mit Kindern und Jugendlichen einzubringen", erklärte die Leiterin der Stabsstelle für Missbrauchs- und Gewaltprävention, Kinder- und Jugendschutz der Erzdiözese Wien, Martina Greiner-Lebenbauer, im Interview mit "Kathpress". Auch die Themen sexuelle Übergriffe und Gewalt, Nähe und Distanz, Macht und Machtmissbrauch, Sexualität und das Verhalten in Verdachtsfällen werden im Druckwerk angeschnitten.

Victims can lose all memory of child abuse, says judge

The Australian

October 2, 2017

By Richard Guilliatt

The head of the royal commission into institutional child abuse has declined to respond to criticisms that it is endorsing controversial “repressed memory” counselling techniques but says he has seen direct evidence that victims may have complete amnesia of their trauma.

Judge Peter McClellan told a conference of psychotherapists in Sydney on Saturday that he had been “somewhat startled” while leading the inquiry to meet abuse victims who have no memory of their childhood trauma.

“I have sat with people in private sessions … when we know that that person has been abused by someone and the perpetrator has confessed and been convicted, and the victim has no memory of that abuse having occurred at all,” Justice McClellan said.

The Weekend Australian revealed on Saturday that experts in the field of trauma and memory were critical of the commission for endorsing “ethically dubious” counselling ideas that they say are identical to the repressed-memory therapy of the 1980s and 90s, when a rash of false and bizarre allegations of abuse were made.

Justice McClellan said he would not comment on the criticisms, which centre in part on the commission’s endorsement of the counselling guidelines of Cathy Kezelman, a high-profile activist who says she was sexually abused during her childhood by her father and a pedophile cult led by her grandmother.

The Weekend Australian revealed on Saturday that Dr Kezelman’s mother and brother repudiate her claims, and her psychologist was investigated by the Psychology Council of NSW. Dr Kezelman, who is president of the Blue Knot Foundation and sits on the expert panel devising the $4 billion redress scheme for victims of institutional abuse, denied at the weekend that the counselling guidelines she co-wrote advocated the retrieval of repressed memories.

Fairfax Media quoted her as saying it was “totally false” to suggest her repressed memories were triggered by her psychotherapy, because the memories began emerging when she was at home, not while with her therapist.

Dr Kezelman was scheduled to introduce Justice McClellan at Saturday’s conference but did not appear because of illness. The judge has previously called her an “old friend” of the commission and said her knowledge exceeded that of many judges and bureaucrats dealing with child abuse.

In his speech, Justice McClellan alluded to an address he gave 11 years ago that contained cautionary words about the repressed memory phenomenon, whereby adult psychotherapy patients recover memories of entirely forgotten child abuse. In that earlier speech, he noted that these memories could be false, citing scientific research.

On Saturday, Justice McClellan said the royal commission had commissioned a wide range of experts, and its research indicated memory was constantly refined and reconsolidated. Some adults could not recall their trauma in detail or at all, which could present problems when dealing with police or seeking compensation.

More than 7500 people have told the royal commission they were abused in institutional settings, and all will be eligible to apply for compensation payments and subsidised counselling under the federal government’s proposed redress scheme for victims. The maximum individual compensation has been set at $150,000.

Justice McClellan said counsellors employed by the redress scheme should have expertise in dealing with complex trauma.

The judge’s speech was preceded by a presentation from Joan Haliburn, a psychiatrist at the Complex Trauma Unit at Westmead Hospital, who said at least half of her patients had no memory of their trauma before entering psychotherapy with her.

Mum rejects Cathy Kezelman’s abuse claims

The Australian

October 4, 2017

By Richard Guilliatt

The elderly mother of child abuse activist Cathy Kezelman has broken her silence to reject her daughter’s claims of sexual abuse at the hands of her father and a paedophile cult.

In a letter to The Australian today, Lusia Puterman says the abuse her daughter alleges could not have occurred, describing her late husband as a loving man who “cherished his daughter”.

Dr Kezelman, whose expertise has been endorsed by the royal commission into institutional abuse and who sits on the advisory panel of the government compensation scheme for abuse victims, underwent psychotherapy for nine years and recovered repressed memories of extreme sexual abuse by multiple members of her family.

The Weekend Australian revealed on Saturday that leading experts in trauma and memory were critical of the royal commission for endorsing Dr Kezelman’s counselling ideas, which they said were potentially harmful and contravened the best-practice guidelines of major health bodies.

Mrs Puterman, who is 94 and lost her parents in the Holocaust after fleeing the Warsaw ghetto at 19, writes that she and her daughter were best friends until 1998, when Dr Kezelman entered psychotherapy following a breakdown and began experiencing repressed memories of abuse.

She says her daughter became distant and, without explanation, eventually stopped seeing her and that regular contact with her grandchildren ceased. She says she was further hurt in 2010 when her daughter published a memoir, Innocence Revisited, which detailed her allegations of abuse.

In her book, Dr Kezelman wrote that she had no recollection of being sexually abused until she began psychotherapy at 44, and that she developed a multiple-personality condition and remembered a decade of childhood abuse, including rapes by her ¬father and torture by a paedophile cult led by her grandmother.

Mrs Puterman says the allegations “stem only from Cathy’s mind” and it would have been impossible for such abuse to occur without anyone noticing. She says, however, she loves her daughter and has had email contact with her in recent years.

The commission has twice called Dr Kezelman as an expert witness and its chairman, judge Peter McClellan, has commended her expertise and appeared with her at public events.
Her counselling guidelines have been widely distributed and are quoted in the commission’s report on the proposed compensation scheme for victims.

Dr Kezelman was quoted at the weekend saying “traumatic memory is implicit, and mainly unconscious; it manifests in the body and via behavioural re--enactments rather than words”.

Child safety leader sees not just Church’s dark past, but game-changing future


October 5, 2017

By John L. Allen Jr. and Ines San Martin

Baroness Joanna Shields, an American-born expert on internet safety and child protection who's now a member of the British House of Lords and a former UK Government Minister, says that when she looks at the Catholic Church and child welfare she doesn't just see a mixed past but a potentially game-changing future: "When the pope speaks, people listen," she said.

Rome - For Catholics who’ve lived through the carnage of the Church’s clerical sexual abuse scandals, put the words “Vatican” and “child safety” into a sentence, and inevitably, understandably, the mental associations are with where Catholicism has failed.

Someone like Baroness Joanna Shields, however, brings a fresh set of eyes. One of the world’s leading experts on child protection, she’s hardly unaware of the Church’s mixed record. However, when she looks at Catholicism today, what she sees isn’t so much the problem but a potentially key ingredient of the solution.

“When the pope speaks, people listen, especially young people,” Shields said. “I think a lot of young people are really into how he connects with them. His Ted Talk, for instance, I thought was extraordinary. He talked about technology, and how it would be great if technology empowered everyone equally.”

“Well, just adding to what he said and his wisdom, I think it’s equally important that technology protects everyone equally,” Shields said on Wednesday.

Shields, born in Pennsylvania but today a member of the British House of Lords and a former UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security, is the founder of the WePROTECT global alliance, led by the UK government and supported by over 70 countries, 30 technology companies, and NGOs to combat the global crime of online child sexual abuse and exploitation.

Statement on Child Dignity in the Digital World


October 5, 2017

The Vatican conference on Child Dignity in the Digital World has just concluded its speeches and workshops. There will be a reception this evening, and then a papal audience tomorrow, during which the conference’s Final Declaration will be presented to Pope Francis.

During the conference, Msgr. Carlo Capella has been the elephant in the room. The Vatican diplomat is the subject of an international child pornography investigation, yet he is being harbored by the Vatican while the conference about child abuse images/child pornography and related problems proceeds.

To my knowledge, none of the participants has confronted the ironies of this situation, certainly not Cardinal Pietro Parolin. He dealt briefly with the “very painful” matter of Msgr. Capella before the conference, and then in his keynote address invoked the “tragic reality” and “extremely grave facts” of the Catholic abuse crisis, mentioning them as qualifications for the Vatican’s hosting the conference: “We want to share the experience we have acquired.”

Cardinal Parolin went on to cite the Holy See’s “adherence” to the Convention for the Rights of the Child. Yet in its Concluding Observations (2014), the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child stated:

“The Committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, nor taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have enabled the continuation of sexual abuse by clerics and impunity for the perpetrators.” (para. 43)

New Hampshire front at Rome’s child safety summit: ‘We can do something!’


October 5, 2017

By John L. Allen Jr.

At an Oct. 3-6 summit at Rome's Gregorian University, with the support of the Vatican, on efforts to keep children safe in the digital world, there's been a lot of talk about the massiveness of the challenges. In that context, speakers from New Hampshire have provided a badly-needed dose of hope, insisting that data show smartly-crafted and long-term programs to help children actually do make a difference.

Rome - New Hampshire is the lone state among the original 13 American colonies in which no Revolutionary War battle was fought, but militias from the “Live Free or Die” state did play key roles in several turning points in the struggle for independence, including helping the Continental Army win the Battle of Saratoga.

Perhaps that background helps explain why the New Hampshire contingent at an Oct. 3-6 summit at Rome’s Gregorian University devoted to “Child Dignity in the Digital Age” has been the most emphatic voice of optimism, insisting that the struggle against child abuse and exploitation online is not only a battle that can be fought, but it can be won.

From the beginning of the conference, one strong thrust has been to sound alarms about the massive dimensions of child abuse online.

Tim Morris, Executive Director of Police Services for Interpol, told participants that the “incidents” the global law enforcement agency flagged in 2016 - meaning a lewd comment on-line, an upload of offensive material, an attempt to lure a young person into sexual situations, and so on - amounted to 2.3 million on 15 notorious websites they monitor.

In the first eight months of 2017, he said, Interpol has already logged 3 million incidents.

Vatican conference focuses on dangers ‘dark web’ poses to children

America Magazine

October 2, 2017

By Gerard O'Connell

“Technology is transforming childhood beyond our recognition. It’s a challenge that transcends boundaries, and the only way we can respond is together,” Baroness Joanna Shields told a press briefing in advance of the first ever world congress on “Child Dignity in the Digital World,” which opens tomorrow, Oct.3, at the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

“Technology has no boundaries. Evil has the same access as good has,” the baroness, who is the founder of WePROTECT, added. Up to now, she said, we have tended to praise the great contribution the internet has made to humanity, and the horizons it has opened; but, she said, we may have been too uncritical, given the risks and dangers that we now see it presents to children. She believes this pioneering congress can help to strike a better balance. “It’s not about scaremongering,” she said; “it’s about alerting the public, so that parents understand the world their children are growing up in. It’s about protecting children from abuse on the internet.”

“It’s not about scaremongering. It’s about protecting children from abuse on the internet.”

Dr. Ernie Allen, another speaker at the congress, pushed this point home by emphasizing the fact that “the internet has changed the very nature of this problem—the abuse of children.” He told America that this is particularly true of “the dark web” which “was set up by the U.S. government for good purposes” and which he agreed with. One of the aims “was to protect the privacy of political dissidents during the Arab Spring, to protect them from retaliation by repressive regimes, or Turkey or other big ones,” he said. But, he commented, “the problem is the unintended consequences of this. When you develop something like that, you cannot limit who can use it, and so today it is being used by traffickers [of drugs and humans], arms dealers, terrorists, pedophiles and others.” In other words, the dark web has become what some authors (though not Allen) have called “the badlands of the internet.”

Church more aware of crime, harm of child abuse, Vatican official says

Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

October 4, 2017

By Carol Glatz

Child abuse is not only a crime, it is sacrilege, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, said at a world congress promoting the protection of children online.

"The church has become increasingly aware of the harm experienced by victims, of their suffering and of the need to listen to them," he told an international assembly of more than 100 top experts and leaders in government, law enforcement, nonprofit organizations and technology, who are working in child protection.

Action must be taken to "heal wounds, restore justice, prevent crimes" and establish a culture of "real safeguarding" so children can grow up healthy and safe, Parolin said Oct. 3 in a keynote address opening the four-day gathering.

"Fortunately, with regard to the church, this is already happening, in various institutions and regions, even when society in general has not yet developed the necessary awareness," he said. "These efforts, however, must continue, must be expanded and deepened with clarity and firmness."

"To disparage infancy and to abuse children," he said, "is for the Christian, therefore, not only a crime, but also -- as Pope Francis has stated -- sacrilege, a profanation of that which is sacred, of the presence of God in every human being."

The congress, "Child Dignity in the Digital World," was being held as the Vatican was investigating accusations that one of its foreign diplomats had violated laws relating to child pornography images.

Lawsuit: Priest abused boy daily

Guam Daily Post

October 5, 2017

By Mindy Aguon

A former Guam resident alleges he was subjected to daily sexual abuse while required to live with a priest at the San Miguel Church in Talofofo in 1985.

A lawsuit, filed by G.E.J. who used his initials to protect his identity, named Andrew Mannetta.

The Bremerton, Washington, resident alleges that when he was 14, he rebelled against his parents and ran away from home for a brief period.His parents made arrangements for G.E.J. to live with former Guam priest Andrew Mannetta at the church for two weeks.

Mannetta was the parish priest at the Talofofo church. The civil complaint, filed in the Superior Court today, alleges the priest subjected the boy to daily sexual abuse by forcing him to lie on his stomach as the priest rubbed the boy’s thighs and private parts.

When the boy tried to move away from contact, Mannetta allegedly grabbed him and threw him back on his stomach, court documents state.

Archdiocese of Agana blamed

The lawsuit alleges Mannetta was grooming G.E.J. for an increased level of sexual abuse including penetration.

G.E.J.’s attorney, Anthony C. Perez, alleges the Archdiocese of Agana knew or should have known of Mannetta’s “heinous and despicable conduct” and failed to take any steps to warn its parishioners of the risk of harm to children.

Perez said the archdiocese had a practice and pattern of harboring child abusers and protecting their identities.

Lawsuit: Boy sexually abused daily while living with priest

Pacific Daily News

October 5, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

After former altar boys tearfully went public with allegations, a law was passed to open doors for lawsuits against the church, clergy and others.

A 14-year-old boy whose parents thought it would be best for him to live with a Catholic priest after he ran away from home was sexually abused daily by the priest for about two weeks, according to a lawsuit filed in local court on Thursday.

Former island priest Andrew Mannetta allegedly sexually abused the plaintiff, identified in court documents only as G.E.J. to protect his privacy, at the rectory adjacent to San Miguel Church in Talofofo in 1985.

G.E.J. is now living in Bremerton, Washington. He is represented by attorney Anthony C. Perez.

In the lawsuit, G.E.J. said he was born and raised in a family that was devout Catholic. The lawsuit says in 1985, when G.E.J. was about 14 years old, he rebelled from his parents and ran away from home for a brief period of time. That's when his parents thought the boy would benefit from staying with a priest.

"While living with Father Andy, plaintiff was subjected to daily sexual abuse," the lawsuit says. "Father Andy would order plaintiff to lie on his stomach on Father Andy's bed next to Father Andy while watching television."

Vatican Shines Light on Child Abuse as Claims Against Priests Persist

New York Times

October 5, 2017

By Jason Horowitz

Vatican City — For a church hierarchy excoriated for decades over the sexual abuse of children in its trust, hosting a conference this week about the spreading scourge of online child pornography was an opportunity to strike a positive note about the Vatican’s role in protecting minors.

“Yes, yes, yes,” said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, when asked Tuesday night at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome if the Catholic Church could lead a global response to the problem.

But in an awkward confluence of events, the four-day congress, Child Dignity in the Digital World, is taking place mere weeks after the Holy See recalled Msgr. Carlo Capella, a church diplomat in the Vatican’s Washington Embassy, amid accusations that he had possessed child pornography.

It was just the latest of the abuse accusations against priests that have dogged the church around the globe for decades even as it has promised to punish predators and protect the preyed upon. Advocates for the victims have questioned the church’s commitment.

Last week, as organizers prepared for the congress — with its keynote address by Cardinal Parolin, the second-highest-ranking official after Pope Francis; blanket coverage by the church’s news media; and a papal audience with Francis on Friday — the Canadian police issued an arrest warrant for Monsignor Capella. He was accused of distributing child pornography during a Christmas visit in 2016 to Ontario.

Vatican needs boots on the ground to promote child safety, expert says


October 5, 2017

John L. Allen Jr. and Ines San Martin

American Monsignor Stephen Rossetti is one of the key participants in the Oct. 3-6 summit at Rome's Gregorian University on "Child Dignity in the Digital World." He's been involved in anti-abuse efforts in the Church for years, and he has some concrete advise to offer.

Rome - Very few people in the Catholic Church, at any level or in any place, have a deeper experience of the clerical sexual abuse scandals and the broader effort to promote child safety than American Monsignor Stephen Rossetti, a former president of the St. Luke’s Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland, and a key adviser to virtually every anti-abuse initiative in the Catholic Church.

Thus when Rossetti speaks, people tend to listen. He’s part of the scientific committee organizing an Oct. 3-6 summit at Rome’s Gregorian University on “Child Dignity in the Digital World,” and he’s got a clear message about what would constitute a serious commitment from the Vatican coming out of this high-profile event: Boots on the ground.

“You need people doing this 24/7. People who are actually collaborating with UNICEF, with the United Nations, with Interpol,” Rossetti said.

He said one logical place for such a dedicated team within the Vatican to be located would be the Secretariat of State, typically the Vatican’s main policy-setting organism, because, among other things, “it’s international,” meaning that it deals with global diplomacy.

Rossetti spoke to Crux on Oct. 4, during the Gregorian conference.

Child safety summit reflects Pope’s ‘extraordinary’ power to convene


October 4, 2017

By John L. Allen Jr.

Look around at the lineup at an Oct. 3-6 summit at Rome's Gregorian University on "Child Dignity in the Digital World," and it's a host of experts from the biggest outfits in their various fields -- Harvard, Interpol, Facebook, UNICEF, Microsoft, and so on. It's the cream of the crop, and it's another illustration of the Vatican's unique power to convene, since basically nobody can say no to an invite from the pope.

Rome - Ever since the collapse of the Papal States in 1870, the Vatican has had to make its way in the world as a “soft power,” relying on moral authority and the pope’s massive bully pulpit to move the ball on matters it perceives as priorities.

That soft power takes many forms, but one is on especially clear display this week at Rome’s Jesuit-sponsored Gregorian University: The power to convene.

One of the near-universal truths about the Vatican’s role in the world today is that virtually nobody can say no to an invitation from the pope. You can put together almost any sort of event you want, from a study of artificial intelligence to a symposium on punk rock in the 1980s, and if it comes with the promise of face time with the pope at some point, the world’s leading authorities on the subject inevitably will show up.

That’s not the only reason they come, of course - they come because they’re passionate about the subject, because Rome is not the worst place to spend a few days, and because they’ll see valued friends and colleagues who plow the same furrows. Still, however, it’s fair to say that the magnetic attraction of the pope doesn’t hurt.

Oct. 3-6, the Gregorian is hosting a major international summit titled “Child Dignity in the Digital World,” devoted to the effort to combat child abuse and exploitation online, especially the so-called “Dark Web.” It’s a vast region of the internet, perhaps the overwhelming majority, which is anonymous and designed to be impossible to detect, where 80 percent of the traffic is believed to be driven by child pornography.

Church more aware of crime, harm of child abuse, top Vatican official says

America Magazine

October 4, 2017

By Gerard O'Connell

“We must work to take control of the development of the digital world, so that it might be at the service of the dignity of minors,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, said in his keynote address at the opening of “Child Dignity in the Digital World,” the first world congress focused on addressing the dangers children and adolescents face on the internet.

Addressing the 140 participants from all continents at the Oct. 3 - 6 congress, at the Gregorian University in Rome, Cardinal Parolin said everyone present knows that “the sexual abuse of minors constitutes a very vast and widespread phenomenon.” Over the past few decades, he acknowledged, “this tragic reality has come powerfully to the fore in the Catholic Church and very grave facts have emerged.”

The church has become “progressively aware of the harm suffered by the victims” and of the need to listen to them so as to find ways “to heal the wounds, re-establish justice, prevent crimes” and to develop and consolidate “a new culture of child protection,” he said.

The congress was being held as the Vatican was investigating accusations that one of its foreign diplomats had violated laws relating to child pornography images.

Italian Monsignor Carlo Capella was recalled to the Vatican from his post at the Vatican nunciature in Washington, D.C., after the U.S. State Department notified the Holy See of his possible crimes. Police in Canada also issued a nationwide warrant for the monsignor's arrest on charges of accessing, possessing and distributing child pornography while he was visiting Canada.

The Holy See and Its Commitment to Combatting Sex Abuse Online

Vatican Radio

October 4, 2017

By Cardinal Pietro Parolin

[Note: The available URL for this speech is defective. We link to the Google cache of the Vatican Radio webpage.]

(Vatican Radio) Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin on Tuesday addressed the Child Dignity in the Digital World world congress being held at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University this week. In his speech to the conference the Cardinal spoke about "The Holy See and Its Commitment to Combatting Sex Abuse Online".

Please find the English translation of Cardinal Parolin's speech:

Dear President of the Senate, Your Eminences, Excellencies, Dear Father General, Ambassadors, Father Rector, Academic Authorities and Professors, Dear Friends, I thank you for inviting me to speak at the opening of this important Congress, thus allowing me to convey the greetings and appreciation of His Holiness Pope Francis and of the Holy See for this initiative. It is an event that is hosted and organized, along with other laudable events, by a prestigious Pontifical University.

I greet the distinguished persons and institutions who are participating in this initiative, and I express my gratitude to all those who have contributed concretely to the organization and planning of this Congress. Above all, I wish to express my appreciation for having chosen the topic that will be discussed: the dignity of the child in the digital world. The majority of you, who have worked for a long time in this field, are well aware that the sexual abuse of minors constitutes a vast and widespread phenomenon. Over the past few decades, this tragic reality has come powerfully to the fore in the Catholic Church and extremely grave facts have emerged. The Church has become increasingly aware of the harm experienced by the victims, of their suffering and of the need to listen to them, in order to work on various fronts; these include: a wide range of interventions which must be carried out in order to heal wounds, restore justice, prevent crimes and form educators and persons who deal with minors, with a view to spreading and consolidating a new culture of child protection – a real safeguarding – that effectively guarantees they can grow up in a healthy and safe environment. This is a task requiring deep human care, competence and tenacity; experience tells us that where this commitment is consistent and continuous, the fruits that will come of it are positive and encouraging. The Church’s effort in this sense, even when society in general has not yet developed the necessary awareness, must continue, must be expanded and deepened, with clarity and firmness, so that the dignity and rights of minors may be protected and defended with much greater attentiveness and effectiveness than was done in the past. In this venue, we want to share the experience we have acquired, so that it may prove useful for an ever greater good, thanks to collaboration with all of you. The world into which human persons are today born and raised is characterized, ever more deeply and pervasively, by the development and ubiquity of new communications technologies and new instruments for their use. Handheld phones and tablets and other devices have come to be part of the daily life of an ever greater number of people; these users are ever younger, so much so that we can speak of the young generations as “digital natives.” This has spread to every part of the world, reaching even areas where economic and social development are as yet inadequate and uneven.

The phenomenon is now global and so we speak of a “digital world.” We now realize that, supported by ever greater evidence, the scourge of offenses against the dignity of minors, as with so many other dramatic problems in today’s world, spreads through and aligns itself within the new parameters of the digital world. This plague meanders and infiltrates along a labyrinth of paths and through deep, hidden layers of reality. The digital world is not, in fact, a separate part of the world: it is an integral part of the unique reality of the world. Minors who grow up in it are exposed to new risks, or rather, to old risks manifested in new ways; and the culture of the protection of minors that we want to spread must be sufficiently able to address today’s problems. Looking at our contemporary world, Pope Francis continually reminds us that the forms of abuse and violence against minors proliferate in an interwoven manner: the traffic of minors and of human persons generally, the phenomenon of child soldiers, the absence of even the most elementary education, the fact that small children are the first victims of hunger and extreme poverty. On the day dedicated by the Church to the memory of the Holy Innocents, Pope Francis wrote: “We need the courage to respond to this reality, to arise and take it firmly in hand (cf. Mt 2:20)… [We need] the courage to guard this joyfrom the new Herods of our time, who devour the innocence of our children. An innocence stolen from them by the oppression of illegal slave labour, prostitution and exploitation. An innocence shattered by wars and forced migration, with the great loss that this entails. Thousands of our children have fallen into the hands of gangs, criminal organizations and merchants of death, who only devour and exploit their neediness” (Letter to Bishops, 28 December 2016). In all these situations, the horrendous reality of sexual abuse is nearly always present, as a common aspect and consequence of multifaceted and widespread violence that ignores all respect, not only for the body, but more so for the soul, for the profound vulnerability and dignity of every child, of every young boy and girl of whatever nation. And so we recognize the challenges, but realize too that even though we have learned a great deal with respect to this phenomenon, it remains important to understand it ever better, and, more than anything, to continue to make our understanding of the phenomenon accessible to all those who promote the protection of the rights of minors. Only in this way can we effectively fight the battle to protect minors in our digitalized world. The phenomena we observe reach levels of shocking gravity; their dimensions and the speed with which they spread surpass our imagination. Here then is the second reason for my appreciation of the method employed by this Congress: calling together representatives from the various fields of scientific research as well as those who are actively committed to the protection of minors; representatives of leading companies in technological development and communications characteristic of the digital world; those responsible for the common good of human society; legislators, politicians, and law enforcement agencies called upon to combat crimes and abuses; religious leaders and leaders of civil society organizations committed to working for minors. Like some of the other speakers, I too want to insist on a distinguishing characteristic of this assembly, one that makes it new and even unique, namely: establishing a dialogue between the many competent and meritorious people who have made their own the cause of defending the dignity of minors in the digital world. They are doing this by channelling their energies towards a shared commitment in order to overcome the sense of disorientation and powerlessness when faced with such a markedly difficult challenge, and to help us to intervene creatively. Once this basic strategic territory has been identified, we must work to regain control of the development of the digital world, so that it may be at the service of the dignity of minors, and thus of the whole human race of tomorrow. For the minors of today are the entirety of tomorrow’s human race.

Following the research and understanding of these problems there must come a commitment and a far-seeing, courageous endeavour on the part of all of us here present; there must also be an appeal for the cooperation of every person in a position of responsibility, in the various countries and sectors of society. Perhaps I may be permitted to offer some further reflections, which I propose for your consideration. The demographic development of humanity is particularly rapid in many countries where economic and social progress is still lacking or uneven. Hundreds of millions of children and young people are growing up in a digital world within a context that is still largely undeveloped. Their parents and teachers may not, perhaps, be culturally equipped to accompany them and help them to grow up in this world, whereas their political leaders will often not know where to begin in order to protect them. We have a responsibility to these children too, as do the companies that promote and drive the development of the digital world. With its international, global and interdisciplinary perspective, this Congress must take responsibility for those minors at the world’s “peripheries”, of which Pope Francis continually speaks: peripheries that are in geographic areas of greater economic poverty, but that are also found within wealthy societies where there is considerable human and spiritual poverty, loneliness and a loss of the meaning of life. It is not by chance that it is minors in all these peripheries who are the preferred target of networks of exploitation and of organized online violence on a global scale.

Both in society and in the Church, there has always been insistence on the primary responsibility of the family and of the school in guaranteeing minors a sound education so essential to the protection and promotion of their dignity. This still very much applies today and every effort must be made so that parents and educators may be increasingly able to undertake their duties, even in the face of risks and challenges from the digital world. There is, however, no doubt that in the modern context their ability to influence the formation of young generations is proportionately far less than in the past, and is often frustrated and overtaken by the continual wave of messages and images that come to even the smallest children through countless open avenues provided by the new media. For this reason too, responsibility towards young generations must be shared fully by all the sectors of society that you represent. Finally, we find ourselves hosted here by an institution which depends on the Catholic Church and which is thus particularly attentive to the moral and religious dimensions of the life and development of the human person. I hope that your work may be able also to integrate these perspectives into the shared work of reflection and commitment, and that from them you may draw vigour, inspiration and motivation. For the rest, all of us surely agree on what is affirmed in the second principle of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child, namely, that every child should have the means “to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity”. Moreover, as John Paul II affirmed in 1990, on the occasion of the World Summit for Children, we stress “the need to do much more to safeguard the well-being of the world’s children, to enunciate the rights of the child and to protect those rights through cultural and legislative actions imbued with respect for human life as a value in itself, independently of sex, ethnic origin, social or cultural status, or political or religious conviction” (Letter to J. Pérez de Cuellar, 22 September 1990. The Holy See adhered to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990). The minors of whom we speak and whose dignity we wish to defend and promote are human persons, and the value of each of them is unique and unrepeatable. Each of them must be taken seriously and protected in this ever more digitalized world, so that they may be able to fulfil the purpose of their life, their destiny, their coming into the world. The destiny and the life of each of them is supremely important, precious in the sight of human beings and in the sight of God. According to Scripture, every human being is created “in the image and likeness” of God. According to the New Testament, the Son of God came among us as a vulnerable child, and in needy circumstances, assuming both the fragility and the hope for a future that are intrinsic to an infant.

To disparage infancy and to abuse children is for the Christian, therefore, not only a crime, but also – as Pope Francis has stated – sacrilege, a profanation of that which is sacred, of the presence of God in every human being. The forces that drive the technical and economic development of the world seem unstoppable and, as we know, are perhaps often determined and driven by economic and even very powerful political interests, which we must not allow ourselves to be dominated by. The power of sexual desire that dwells in the depth of the human mind and heart is great and wonderful when it advances the path of humanity; but it can also be corrupted and perverted, to become a source of suffering and unspeakable abuse: and so it must be elevated and directed. The sense of moral responsibility in the sight of humanity and in the sight of God, the reflection on the correct use of freedom in the building and orientation of a new world and in learning how to live in it, are thus absolutely necessary and fundamental for our common future. You have come together here to address one of today’s most important and urgent issues for the journey of humanity. I hope that the living sense of the beauty and the mystery of human persons, of the greatness of their vocation to life, and thus of the duty to protect them in their dignity and their growth, may inspire your work and bear concrete and effective fruit.

October 4, 2017

Vatican to Host Youth Summit to Hear Doubts, Criticism

Associated Press via New York Times

October 4, 2017

Pope Francis wants to hear firsthand from young people about their "doubts and criticisms" in the run-up to a big meeting of bishops on how the Catholic Church can better minister to young people today.

The Vatican said Wednesday it would host a summit of young people from around the world March 19-24 as a preparatory meeting to the synod of bishops later in the year. As well as young Catholics, other Christians and young atheists have been invited to the event.

Vatican Urges Online Protections for Kids Amid Porn Scandal

Associated Press via U.S. News and World Report

October 3, 2017

By Nicole Winfield

The Vatican secretary of state urged law enforcement agencies, governments and social media sites on Tuesday to take responsibility to protect children from online sexual abuse and exploitation — a statement that came even as one of his diplomats is caught up in an international child porn investigation.

Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said the case of Monsignor Carlo Capella was "very painful" for all involved.

Parolin said the Vatican was treating the Capella case with "utmost concern, utmost commitment" but also confidentiality to protect the integrity of the investigation. He spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a Catholic Church-sponsored conference on protecting children from online threats.

Canadian police have issued an arrest warrant for Capella, accusing him of accessing, possessing and distributing child pornography during a visit to an Ontario church over Christmas. He is now in the Vatican after being recalled from the Vatican's embassy in the U.S.

Vatican prosecutors have also opened an investigation into Capella's actions.

Parolin — Capella's boss — headlined the opening of the four-day conference on protecting children online that has drawn leading researchers in public health, Interpol, the U.N., government representatives as well as executives from Facebook and Microsoft.

Cardinal Parolin: When protecting kids in the digital world, don't forget the peripheries

Catholic News Agency/EWTN

October 3, 2017

By Elise Harris

In the keynote speech at a conference on protecting children in the digital world, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said child safety is one of the most urgent issues of modern times, and stressed that children on the global “peripheries” shouldn't be forgotten.

In his Oct. 3 speech, Parolin noted that technological and cultural change “is particularly fast in many countries in which social and economic progress are still very limited and unbalanced.”

Thousands of children are now growing up in the digital world in vastly underdeveloped nations, he said, which means their parents and educators “will no longer be culturally equipped to accompany them and help them grow in this world, while their governments often don't know where to begin in protecting them.”

“We are also responsible for these children, and the businesses that promote and push the development of the digital world are also responsible for them,” he said.

Given the international and interdisciplinary approach of the conference, Parolin stressed that the participants themselves “must take responsibility for those peripheries of the world of which Pope Francis continually speaks.”

Top Vatican official says ‘tragic experience’ on sex abuse helps Church lead


October 4, 2017

By Inés San Martín

At the opening session of a major conference at Rome's Jesuit-run Gregorian University on the protection of children in a digital world, the Vatican's number two official, Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said the Catholic Church's "tragic experience" with clerical sexual abuse allows it to be a leader in the fight against child abuse in other arenas.

Rome - Addressing a group of experts gathered in Rome, including representatives of Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, Pope Francis’s right-hand man said on Tuesday that the Church’s tragic experience with the sexual abuse of children, “this reality [that] has come powerfully to the fore in the Catholic Church,” allows it to help lead the fight in other arenas.

“In this venue, [the Catholic Church] want[s] to share the experience we have acquired, so that it may prove useful for an ever greater good, thanks to collaboration with all of you,” Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin said.

Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, was one of two keynote speakers at a conference titled “Child Dignity in the Digital World,” being held at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University Oct. 3-6. It’s organized by the university’s Centre for Child Protection (CCP), a UK-based global alliance called WePROTECT, and “Telefono Azzurro,” the first Italian helpline for children at risk.

“We recognize the challenges, but also realize that even though we have learned a great deal with respect to this phenomenon, it remains important to understand it ever better, and, more than anything, to continue to make our understanding of the phenomenon accessible to all those who promote the protection of the rights of minors,” he said.

“Only in this way can we effectively fight the battle to protect minors in our digitalized world,” Parolin told the gathering. “The phenomena we observe reach levels of shocking gravity; their dimensions and the speed with which they spread surpass our imagination.”

Parishioner suing former Manitoba Anglican priest for alleged sexual exploitation

CBC News

Parishioner suing former Manitoba Anglican priest for alleged sexual exploitation
Brandon bishop 'horrified' by allegations, says he demanded priest’s resignation

October 4, 2017

By Vera-Lynn Kubinec and Katie Nicholson

A woman who was a parishioner of an Anglican church in western Manitoba is alleging she was exploited and sexually assaulted by her priest for years, after he manipulated her into a sexual relationship.

The woman is suing former priest Nigel Packwood and the Anglican synod of the Diocese of Brandon.

Packwood "initiated and maintained" an illicit and long-standing sexual relationship with the parishioner, says the statement of claim filed Sept. 19 in Winnipeg.

"Rev. Packwood exploited and misused the power, authority and discretion conferred upon him by the Diocese to gain access to confidential information about [the plaintiff] and her circumstances and to initiate and maintain illicit intimate sexual contact with, and to manipulate, control and sexually exploit [the plaintiff] for his own personal sexual gratification," the claim says.

Danish priest made sex videos with teenager

The Local

October 4, 2017

A 47-year-old priest used promises of trips abroad to persuade a 16-year-old boy to have sex with him, Holbæk City Court heard during the former clergyman’s trial on Tuesday.

The priest met the 16-year-old on gay dating site boyfriend.dk, writes news agency Ritzau.

Pretending to work for the army, the priest began speaking to the teenager, who is from Jutland, the court heard according to Ritzau’s report.

The former priest at the Tømmerup Church is currently on trial at Holbæk City Court, accused of sexual misconduct with 12 children between the ages of 12 and 17 years.

He was initially arrested in June 2016.

He recorded sex with the 16-year-old boy several times, the court heard during proceedings Tuesday.

Guam's day of reckoning after decades of sex abuse

National Catholic Reporter

October 4, 2017

By Anita Hofschneider

Chalan Pago-Ordot, Guam — B.J. pushes aside the ferns as he approaches the edge of the muddy river in central Guam. Hunched over and carrying a cane, he is looking for the spot where he was tied to a tree decades ago. Mosquitoes descend ferociously with every step he takes. Apart from the gushing water, the jungle is quiet.

"Look, if you yell, nobody can hear you," he says. "Or if anything happens to you, nobody will know."

The river looks completely different from that day 46 years ago when B.J. says he was raped repeatedly by Fr. Louis Brouillard, a priest and then-Boy Scout leader. B.J. was only 11 years old, and remembers the water was calm. The trees weren't pressed so hard against the water's edge.

"He had me strapped to one of these trees like this," he says, pointing to the trees next to him. "He went down there, right, and then he started to slowly swim back here, right, and he got up here to me, right? That's when everything changed."

B.J. is one of more than 100 men and women who have filed lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Agana on Guam alleging abuses that occurred between the 1950s and 1980s.

Sex abuse scandals have roiled archdioceses throughout North America for the last two decades. But only in recent years has the church in this small, intensely Catholic U.S. territory begun confronting its own legacy of abuse.

The magnitude of the claims is staggering. According to a recent USA Today analysis, Guam, with a population of only about 160,000, has a per-capita rate of abuse claims more than five times higher than in Boston. So far, 16 priests have been accused of sexual abuse. About a third of them are deceased and some have left the priesthood. One was defrocked.

October 3, 2017

Expert says Vatican botched response to child porn suspicions about envoy


September 28, 2017

By John Allen and Claire Giangrave

German Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, who leads a child protection center at a Roman university and serves on a papal commission advising Francis on reform, says the Vatican should have been more transparent about recent reports that an envoy at the papal embassy in Washington, D.C., is part of an investigation for possible involvement in child pornography, seeing it as part of an going struggle to be more "up-front."

ROME - Arguably the Catholic Church’s leading expert in the fight against child sexual abuse believes the Vatican dropped the ball on a recent case in which a diplomat at the papal embassy in Washington, D.C., was flagged as a possible suspect in a child pornography investigation, saying, “This should have been handled differently.”

“I really don’t understand this type of reaction [from the Vatican], and I’m pretty sure the American bishops were quite upset about how it was handled,” said German Jesuit Father Hans Zollner.

Zollner heads the Centre for Child Protection at Rome’s Gregorian University and is also a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, a body created by Pope Francis to advise him on the reform effort and led by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston.

Zollner called the way the recent case has been handled “tragic” and “unprofessional.”

Pédophilie : l'Eglise tremble avant le procès du cardinal Barbarin

LYON (France)

September 28, 2017

By Philippe Clanché

Jugé en avril prochain pour “non-dénonciation d'agressions sexuelles sur mineurs” commises par un de ses prêtres, l'archevêque de Lyon, trop sûr de lui, incarne l'impuissance de l'institution religieuse à faire face publiquement à un mal qui la ronge.

Philippe Barbarin prêchait (la bonne parole bien sûr) aux futurs prêtres en soutane de la très classique communauté Saint-Martin, dans la Mayenne, lorsqu'il a appris en ce 19 septembre une contrariante nouvelle. Le cardinal-archevêque de Lyon doit comparaître devant la 6e chambre correctionnelle du tribunal de Lyon, du 4 au 6 avril 2018, pour « non-dénonciation d'agressions sexuelles sur mineurs », des faits commis par un prêtre de son diocèse, Bernard Preynat. Comment une affaire aussi ancienne peut-elle aujourd'hui faire vaciller la star de l'épiscopat français ? Et faire trembler, par ricochet, tous les évêques, qui paniquent à la perspective de découvrir une brebis galeuse parmi leur troupeau…

News Release: Jehovah’s Witness Sexual Abuse Class Action

TORONTO (Ontario, Canada)
Law Firm of McPhadden Samac Tuovi Haté

October 2, 2017

For Immediate Release

Jehovah’s Witness Sexual Abuse Class Action Toronto law firm McPhadden Samac Tuovi Hate announced today that it had commenced a class action in Ontario against 3 Jehovah’s Witness organizations, one in Canada and two in the United States.

The amount claimed on behalf of the former students is the sum of $66,000,000.

The case has been brought on behalf of current and former Jehovah’s Witnesses who claim they were sexually assaulted by Elders of the organization. There is also a class of claimants composed of those who allege that when they were children they were sexually assaulted by adult Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The action has been commenced on behalf of all those affected, regardless of where in Canada they reside.

While the name of the proposed representative plaintiff has been disclosed in the Statement of Claim, a discreet and confidential claims process whereby the identities of other claimants are not disclosed will be sought.

$66M class action sex abuse suit filed against Jehovah's Witnesses

TORONTO (Ontario, Canada)
680 News

October 2, 2017

A group of alleged sexual abuse survivors from across the country have filed a $66-million class action lawsuit against the Jehovah’s Witness, CityNews has learned.

The suit accuses the religious organization of having rules and policies that protect child sex abusers and put children at risk.

“The organization’s policy and protocol for dealing with allegations of sexual abuse is seriously flawed, and results in further harm to victims of sexual abuse and results in legitimate allegations of sexual abuse going unreported,” it alleges.

“This is an issue that the wider community should be concerned with, and not just Jehovah’s Witnesses,” says Tricia Franginha. She says her first 14 years of life as a Jehovah’s Witness were filed with sexual abuse.

“As a result of their procedures, when abuse allegations come forward, these sexual offenders are left at large,” Franginha says. “As most people know about Jehovah’s Witnesses, they are the ones who come to your door on Saturday mornings, when your kids are home, and for all you know, that person has offended more than once.”

Oregon Court of Appeals upholds pastor's child sex abuse conviction

The Oregonian/OregonLive

October 2, 2017

The Oregon Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a pastor sentenced to prison for sexually abusing a girl who grew up in his Happy Valley church.

The court affirmed the conviction of Mike Sperou without opinion on Wednesday, records show. A Multnomah County jury convicted Sperou in 2015 on three counts of first-degree sexual penetration of a person under the age of 12, and he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

He's being held in the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, and records list his earliest release date as December 27, 2032.

In 1997, seven girls complained that Sperou, co-founder of the North Clackamas Bible Community, had molested them. No charges were brought because the girls' stories were inconsistent or vague. The allegations came on the heels of a split in the church, leading to the exit of several families.

Church hosts conference on Child Dignity in Digital World

Vatican Radio

October 2, 2017

Child Dignity in the Digital World is the title of a world congress being held at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University this week. Among the key note speakers is the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and the meeting ends with a papal audience on Friday.

Ahead of the opening session, organisers held a press conference to highlight the urgency of this global challenge of protecting children from on-line abuse.

Listen to Philippa Hitchen's report:


The secret, scary world of children being groomed, abused and radicalized on-line was the subject of a short video shown at the press conference on Monday. It featured seven boys and girls, from toddlers to teens, talking about how easy it is to fall prey to internet paedophiles, traffickers, bullies or recruiters for extremist organisations.

It was a sobering start to this World Congress, which brings together top researchers, government representatives, law enforcement officials, software specialists, NGOs andreligious leaders.

Salina Catholic Bishop moving to Arizona

KAKE News (Salina KS)

October 3, 2017

SALINA, Kan. - Some Kansans might dream in winter of moving to Arizona. Now a Kansas Catholic leader is doing it - but not to retire.

The Vatican announced Tuesday that Salina diocese Bishop Edward Weisenburger is being transferred, to become Bishop of Tucson. He will be installed November 29, to replace Bishop Gerald Kicanas. Kicanas was required to resign upon turning 75.

Weisenburger, 56, has served in Salina since May 2012. A statement from the Salina diocese praised him for working in the acquisition of Manhattan's hospital by Via Christi-Ascension, as well as "efforts to shine a spotlight on the cruel abuse of the poor at the hands of the predatory ('payday') loan industry."

Tucson's diocese is much larger than Salina's. The Tucson area has about 450,000 Catholics as opposed to 44,000 in northern Kansas.

Pope transfers Salina Bishop to Arizona

Salina Post

OCTOBER 3, 2017

Pope Francis has transferred Bishop Edward Joseph Weisenburger from the Diocese of Salina to the Diocese of Tucson, Arizona, according to a media release.

The Holy See made the announcement Tuesday in Rome. Weisenburger was notified last week by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Pierre Christophe, that Pope Francis was entrusting to him the pastoral care of the good people of the Diocese of Tucson.

Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas, sixth Bishop of Tucson, submitted his resignation in accord with Church law upon reaching his 75th birthday. He will serve as the administrator of the Diocese until Weisenburger’s installation. Weisenburger’s appointment comes more than a year after Kicanas’ offered his retirement. In light of Kicanas good health and exceptional service, it is not surprising that the Holy See extended his tenure for an extra year. Weisenburger stated “I am humbled to follow in the footsteps of a shepherd who has served graciously and generously for many years. Bishop Kicanas has served in many national capacities for the Catholic Church and is highly esteemed. Knowing that he will continue to reside in our Diocese is a great comfort for me and a blessing for our people.”

Australian Abuse Report Deeply Flawed

Catholic League

October 3, 2017

By Bill Donohue and Rick Hinshaw

[The report to which this blog post refers is Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry Reports, by Desmond Cahill and Peter Wilkinson, RMIT University, Australia.]

The following analysis is the work of Catholic League president Bill Donohue and Catholic League director of communications Rick Hinshaw; Donohue has a Ph.D. in sociology and Hinshaw has an M.A. in political science:

On October 6, Cardinal George Pell will appear in a Melbourne court on trumped up sexual abuse charges. The media will no doubt turn its attention to a report issued in August by the Centre for Global Research at RMIT University, Melbourne, “Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church.” It offers what it calls an “interpretive review of the literature and public inquiry reports” on the subject. Its reach is wide: it offers biblical and historical analysis, and covers many nations.

By any measure, the report is deeply flawed and highly politicized. It is also poorly edited—the exact wording on various subjects is repeated several times. Quite frankly, it is one of the most sophomoric attempts to deal with the issue of clergy sexual abuse ever published.

Church report: Decision reached in Guam archbishop's Vatican trial


October 2, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com

[See the summary of the case against Apuron in our Bishops Accused of Sexual Abuse and Misconduct: A Global Accounting.]

HAGÅTÑA, Guam — A decision has been reached in Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron's Vatican trial, Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes said Monday, but it is still awaiting the judges' signatures.

Tony Diaz, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Agana, said the decision — known as a sentence — has three elements. The first is the specific charge, the second is the specific verdict — guilty, not guilty or not proven, and the third is the penalty.

Diaz said Byrnes has only been notified that there is a decision, but he does not know the specific charges, the verdict or the penalty, if any.

Diaz said the Archdiocese will share whatever information they get from the Vatican as soon as they get it.

Former altar boys have accused Apuron of sexually abusing them in the 1970s. They have filed lawsuits against Apuron and the Archdiocese.

Amid child porn scandal, Vatican backs push for child safety online

ROME (Italy)

October 3, 2017

By John L. Allen Jr.

As the Vatican deals with criticism of its handling of the case of a papal diplomat recalled to Rome from Washington facing allegations of child pornography use both in the U.S. and Canada, it's backing a major summit at Rome's Jesuit-run Gregorian University this week designed to tackle the growing problem of child vulnerability in an internet age.

ROME - On the heels of its own child pornography scandal involving the computer of a papal diplomat, the Vatican is lining up behind a major summit this week at Rome’s Jesuit-run Gregorian University devoted to the broader theme of keeping children safe in an internet-saturated age.

Titled “Child Dignity in the Digital World,” the Oct. 3-6 conference brings together leading experts on child protection, law enforcement officials, executives of Internet and social media companies, NGOs, and others, to discuss how to promote child welfare online.

The idea is for those various players to hammer out a plan of action, which will be presented to Pope Francis on Friday when conference participants meet him in an audience.

Judge orders Montana Catholic diocese to update court on settlement plan

Great Falls Tribune

October 2, 2017

By Seaborn Larson, slarson@greatfallstribune.com

A U.S. bankruptcy judge last week ordered a hearing intended to map out the remaining settlement proceedings between the Great Falls-Billings Diocese and the 86 victims claiming they were abused by eastern Montana priests through the 1900s.

Last month, settlement negotiations ended after a two-day session without resolution. The impasse reportedly came as the parties disagreed about whether or not certain church assets are available to the settlement fund.

In the order setting the Nov. 2 hearing, Federal Bankruptcy Judge Jim Pappas asked the diocese to provide a summary of the church's income and expenses since it filed for bankruptcy in March. Primarily, the judge hopes to discuss "the factors leading to the filing of this Chapter 11 case; (the diocese's) objectives in the case, and the means by which (the diocese) hopes to achieve those objectives." The hearing also gives the diocese a chance to discuss any other topic of significance that affects the bankruptcy case.

The diocese has argued that certain assets are being held in trust for the parishes, and are therefore exempt from a settlement fund the diocese promised to create for victims when it filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 31.

Pope names Cardinal Burke a judge on Vatican supreme court

Catholic News Service via thecatholicspirit.com

October 2, 2017

By Cindy Wooden

Pope Francis has named U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke a member of the Apostolic Signature, the Church’s supreme court, which the cardinal headed as prefect from 2008 to 2014.

Members of the Apostolic Signature serve as judges in the cases, which mainly involve appeals of lower-court decisions or of administrative decisions by other offices of the Holy See.

The appeals involve everything from challenges to the decisions of marriage tribunals to recourse against the dismissal of a religious, the transfer of a parish priest, the restriction of a priest’s ministry, removal of ministerial faculties, renovation of a parish church and dismissal from a teaching position.

Cardinal Burke’s nomination was met with surprise in some quarters because he continues to speak publicly about issuing a formal “fraternal correction” of Pope Francis over the pope’s teaching in “Amoris Laetitia,” his exhortation on the family. But the public criticism of the pope did not prevent Pope Francis in late 2016 from naming Cardinal Burke the presiding judge in a church trial investigating allegations of sexual abuse leveled against Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of Agana, Guam. The results of the investigation and trial have not been announced.

The Most Offensive Street Name in Dallas

D Magazine

October 2017

By Tim Rogers

How this happened is still unclear. What should happen next is not.

[See also BishopAccountability.org's resource page about Grahmann's handling of the Kos case. Grahmann was bishop of Dallas from 1989 to 2007.]

A newcomer to town wouldn’t give it a second thought. Off West Jefferson Boulevard, in southwest Dallas, between Dallas National Golf Club and Cockrell Hill, there’s a small working-class subdivision called Santa Clara. The entry road is called Via Bishop Grahmann. What could possibly be remarkable about that?

Charles Grahmann served as the sixth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, from 1990 to 2007. It was on his watch that a jury in 1997 found the Diocese guilty of gross negligence, conspiracy, malice, and fraud in trying to hide the heinous acts of a child-molesting priest named Rudy Kos. One of Kos’ victims committed suicide. The jury returned the largest clergy-abuse verdict in history, nearly $120 million (later reduced). On the witness stand, Grahmann claimed to have no knowledge of the abuse. Here’s how the jury forewoman described Grahmann’s attitude to the Dallas Morning News: “It looked like he was bored to death and thought he was above it all. I don’t know how you can be in that much denial and have that much evidence.” As the full extent of Grahmann’s culpability was laid bare, the News and D Magazine, both owned by Catholics, called for his resignation.

That is the man whose name the street bears. How that happened remains a bit of a mystery. The land that Santa Clara now occupies once belonged to the Cockrells, one of the founding families of Dallas. It changed hands over the years and eventually came into the possession of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity and Refuge, who still have a convent a little ways to the north. From them it passed to a number of owners, until a developer called Lennar Corporation, through a subsidiary named NuHome Designs, bought it. The land was platted in 2000, just three years after the Kos trial.

Diplomat's recall not unusual, but justice must be served, says expert

Catholic News Service

October 2, 2017

By Carol Glatz

ROME (CNS) -- The recall of a Vatican diplomat suspected by U.S. authorities of having a connection with child pornography reflects normal international protocol, but the suspect must be put on trial and receive punishment if found guilty, said a key organizer of a world congress on child protection.

"Due process has to be followed. If there is a case and if the person is found guilty, then he or she needs to be punished, whoever that is," said Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, head of the Pontifical Gregorian University's Center for Child Protection, which is hosting a world congress on protecting minors from online abuse, violence and exploitation.

The Oct. 3-6 congress in Rome came on the heels of the recall of Italian Msgr. Carlo Capella from the Vatican nunciature in Washington, D.C., after the U.S. State Department notified the Holy See of his possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images.

Judge finds probable cause to charge priest with sex assault

NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

October 2, 2017

By Justin Zaremba, jzaremba@njadvancemedia.com

GUTTENBERG -- A hearing has found probable cause for the filing of charges against a Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting a young parishioner two decades ago.

Probable cause was found for charges of first-degree aggravated sexual assault and second-degree sexual assault against the Rev. Michael "Mitch" Walters on Wednesday, according to an official with the Guttenberg court. The case was then transferred from the municipal court up to the Hudson County Superior Court.

A criminal probe into Walters was first announced in 2016 by Road to Recovery, a Livingston-based group that advocates for victims of clergy abuse. Walters, the group alleged, molested a boy at the St. John Nepomucene Parish in Guttenberg in the 1990s.

Months earlier, Walters was removed from ministry at the Our Lady of Sorrows church in South Orange following allegations he molested children at St. Cassian's Parish in Montclair in the early 1980s.

Longtime Native Health Staffer Out After Sex Abuse Allegations Surface

Phoenix New Times

October 2, 2017

By Antonia Noori Farzan

Dennis Huff, the longtime head of behavioral health services at Native Health of Phoenix — which primarily serves the urban Native American community — has left the organization amid allegations of sexual abuse of students at St. Catherine's Indian School in Santa Fe during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Last month, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe included a person named Dennis Huff on a list of 74 clergy members who had been "credibly accused of sexual misconduct over the last several decades," according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

On Tuesday, September 26, when Phoenix New Times first contacted Native Health to ask about the accusations, Huff was identified on the nonprofit community health center's website as a member of the leadership team, with the title of behavioral health services administrator.

Two days later, Huff was no longer listed on the website. Communications coordinator Susan Levy wrote in an email, "Regarding your inquiry, Dennis Huff is no longer employed at Native Health. Our policy is not to release any information regarding current and former employees, except dates of employment."

On Friday afternoon, Walter Murillo, Native Health's CEO, shared the following statement:

"Dennis Huff was hired by NATIVE HEALTH in 1992, and served as an exemplary member of our administrative staff. Recently, NATIVE HEALTH received an anonymous letter with allegations against Mr. Huff involving events said to have allegedly occurred prior to his employment with our organization. NATIVE HEALTH requires all employees to pass a rigorous background check and we are not aware of any complaints during Mr. Huff’s employment, nor are there any disciplinary actions reported by the State of Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners. Mr. Huff was required to maintain a criminal background check card, which was monitored and maintained by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, for the length of his employment with us. Upon learning of the allegations against him, NATIVE HEALTH initiated an internal process to determine the best course of action, culminating in Mr. Huff’s decision to resign. During that time, Mr. Huff continued to serve in an administrative role only, with no direct client contact. NATIVE HEALTH regularly reviews our policies, procedures, and practices to ensure that we remain true to our mission providing holistic, patient-centered, culturally sensitive health and wellness services to all people."

In 2014, a lawsuit filed in New Mexico district court alleged that Huff, then a Franciscan monk at the now-defunct St. Catherine Indian School in Santa Fe, had sexually abused a 15-year-old boy living in the school's dorms back in 1976. After a settlement conference, the case was dismissed in February at the plaintiff's request.

In January 2016, a little over a year after the lawsuit was filed, Louie Toya identified himself as the "John Doe" in the case. Toya, a member of Jemez Pueblo, told the Albuquerque Journal that he had run away from the school after the alleged rape occurred and gone on to struggle with alcoholism for most of his life.

According to the complaint, Toya also suffers from "delayed PTSD symptoms, embarrassment, humiliation, destruction and loss of faith, loss of sexual capacity and intimacy, loss of self-esteem, depression, anger issues, nightmares, and other damages" as a result of the abuse.

Toya's attorney, Levi Monagle, whose firm has filed more than 70 lawsuits against priests from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, couldn't confirm that the Dennis Huff named in the lawsuit was the same individual formerly employed by Native Health.

"The Dennis Huff in our case did spend time in Arizona in various capacities," he acknowledged. "If it is the same person, I find it very troubling."

Eric Morrow, who represented Huff in the lawsuit, declined to comment on whether his client had relocated to the Phoenix area. Directory phone numbers listed for Huff were either out of date or not in service.

However, a 1997 article in the Albuquerque Journal, archived on a website documenting sexual abuse in the Catholic church, noted that Huff had left the order and was believed to be living in Mesa. At the time, Huff had just been accused of sexually abusing another former student, who had been at the school between 1980 and 1983. (The former student submitted a complaint to local police, but Phoenix New Times was unable to locate any records suggesting that charges were ever filed in court.)

October 2, 2017

Opinion: Attacks on the credibility of abuse survivors are not justified by research

The Guardian

October 1, 2017

By Michael Salter

New science of trauma and memory has shown that the assertions of ‘false memory’ advocates are exaggerated

For a quarter of a century, the concept of “false memories” has provided a scientific fig leaf for sceptics of child sexual abuse allegations.

The “false memory” argument is deceptively simple: children and adults are prone to invent false memories of child sexual abuse that never occurred, particularly if encouraged by a therapist or some other authority figure.

So-called “recovered memories”, in which adults recall sexual abuse in childhood after a period of amnesia, have been a particular focus of disbelief.

In fact, scientific studies find that children are far less suggestible than we have been led to believe. Brain imaging studies have identified the neurological mechanisms involved in the process of forgetting and then recalling sexual abuse as an adult.

Delayed disclosure and amnesia are now understood as normal coping mechanisms in response to abuse.

Pastors told to report cases of child abuse

New Vision

October 2, 2017

By Luke Kagiri

Bagonza said there are some pastors who tend to hold on to cases of child abuse as spiritual cases in churches.

Born-Again pastors in Uganda have been advised not to spritualise child abuse cases, but to always report them to Police and concerned authorities.

This was revealed by Bishop Charles Bagonza, the overseer of the Pentecostal Churches of Uganda. Bagonza said there are some pastors who sometimes tend to hold on to cases of child abuse as spiritual cases in churches.

“Any issue or case of child abuse or any form of violation should not be handled in church, but should be reported to the relevant authorities,” he said.

Bagonza was on Saturday addressing the faithful at Mityana Pentecostal Church in Busimbi, Mityana municipality, at an event to mark the closure of the four-month prayer campaign dubbed ‘The DOVE 120’ (Days of Victory Ever).

Jeff Anderson's firm to fund law school's Zero Abuse Project

National Catholic Reporter

October 2, 2017

By Brian Roewe

[See the 9/14/2017 news release by Jeff Anderson & Associates about the launch of the Zero Abuse Project.]

A $2 million gift from a leading firm in sexual abuse litigation seeks to turn a Minnesota law school into a national training and resource center for child abuse prevention and response.

The donation, from the firm Jeff Anderson and Associates, will create at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, what is called the Zero Abuse Project. The effort will educate and train lawyers and other professionals in the skills necessary to recognize signs of child abuse, how to better work with people who have experienced such trauma, and ultimately how to advocate for an end to child abuse through courtroom litigation and legal reform.

"Our law firm is making this commitment in the hopes that people don't need to contact us in the future," Jeff Anderson, whose office is also based in St. Paul, said in a Sept. 14 press release announcing the project.

Rushville church at center of child sexual abuse allegations


September 29, 2017

By Vi Nguyen

RUSHVILLE, Ind. — Neighbors are responding after learning about allegations of child sexual abuse at a church in Rushville.

Police executed a search warrant last week at Rushville Baptist Temple Church at 1335 North Spencer Street as part of their investigation.

Police said they are looking into allegations of child molestation and began looking into the church several weeks ago after a woman told them her young daughter was a victim.

During the course of their investigation, police said another woman came forward and said the same thing happened to her as a young girl nearly 30 years ago.

Vatican No. 2 opens online abuse seminar amid porn scandal

The Associated Press via WRAL.com

October 2, 2017

By Nicole Winfield

The Vatican's secretary of state is headlining an international conference on protecting children from online sexual abuse and exploitation, weeks after he recalled one of his diplomats who was caught up in a U.S.-Canadian investigation into child porn.

Organizers said the arrest warrant issued for Monsignor Carlo Capella showed the need for the conference, which opens Tuesday and ends Friday when participants bring a set of proposals to Pope Francis.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin will deliver the keynote address on "The Holy See and its commitment to combatting sex abuse online." Panelists include leading researchers in public health, law enforcement, government as well as executives form Facebook and Microsoft — evidence of the across-the-board realization that the digital age is bringing exponential new threats to children.

"The risks are everywhere. It is not a western problem," said the Rev. Hans Zollner, conference organizer and head of the Center for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Catholic Church's leading research and education center on sexual abuse prevention and child protection.

Archbishop of Canterbury accused of hypocrisy by sexual abuse survivors

The Guardian

September 30, 2017

By Harriet Sherwood

Comments follow Justin Welby’s criticism of the BBC over its handling of the Jimmy Savile abuse cases

Survivors of sexual abuse by Church of England figures have accused Justin Welby of “breathtaking hypocrisy” after the Archbishop of Canterbury criticised the BBC for the way it handled abuse by Jimmy Savile.

Welby said the BBC had not shown the same integrity over accusations of child abuse that the Catholic and Anglican churches had.

In a statement, six survivors of abuse by powerful church figures rejected Welby’s comments and said the record of the church and Welby himself was one of “silence, denial and evasion”.

Justin Welby accuses BBC over Jimmy Savile abuse victims

The Guardian

September 30, 2017

By Jamie Doward and Harriet Sherwood

Archbishop of Canterbury faces backlash after claiming broadcaster showed less integrity than church in tackling scandal

The Church of England and the BBC engaged in an extraordinary war of words on Saturday over their responses to sex abuse scandals within their ranks.

The dispute was prompted by criticism of the BBC levelled by Justin Welby for its response to the Jimmy Savile crisis. The archbishop of Canterbury said the BBC had not shown the same integrity over accusations of child abuse that the Catholic and Anglican churches had.

The BBC’s religious affairs correspondent, Martin Bashir, responded by listing cases of alleged sex abuse within the Anglican church, adding that Welby’s comments reminded him of the passage in the gospel of St John in which Christ says “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”.

Survivors of sexual abuse by CoE clerics accused Welby of “breathtaking hypocrisy” after his criticism of the way the BBC dealt with the many cases of abuse carried out by Savile.

Anglican church failed to pay child sex abuse survivor agreed $1.5m settlement

The Guardian

September 29, 2017

By Christopher Knaus

‘It’s extremely hard,’ says abuse survivor, who was forced to take church back to court to obtain payment

The Anglican church failed to pay a child sexual abuse survivor an agreed $1.5m settlement, prompting allegations it has treated him with disdain.

The church, however, says the failure to meet Thursday’s payment deadline was inadvertent, and urgently moved to transfer the money after being alerted to the error on Friday.

The survivor, who asked for anonymity, sued the Anglican church’s Brisbane diocese in late 2015 for horrific abuse he suffered at St Paul’s school in the 1980s, at the hands of convicted paedophile Gregory Robert Knight.

Opinion: Pope Francis is no heretic

The Globe and Mail

October 1, 2017

By Michael W. Higgins

Michael W. Higgins is a distinguished professor of Catholic Thought at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. He is the co-author of Suffer the Children Unto Me: An Open Inquiry into the Clerical Sex Abuse Scandal.

Evidently, the last time anything like this happened was during the reign of Pope John XXII in the year 1333.

It doesn't happen that often, so when it does, it is a matter of note.

The fuss in Catholic conservative circles, and the unwelcome stress it has created in the Vatican of Pope Francis, is the letter Correctio filialis de Haeresibus Propagatis or Filial Correction of Pope Francis for the Propagation of Heresies. Traditionalist groups have a sacred bond with the Latin language – the onetime lingua franca of the Roman Catholic Church – so everything, admonition, indictment, or apocalyptic screed appears in the mother tongue.

The Correctio is more than an historical oddity, a fervent initiative launched by scandalized Catholics keen on getting the Barque of Peter steered in the right direction again. It is a shot across the bow and should be read as such and not dismissed as the rantings of a disaffected crowd of ultra-conservative Catholics horrified by the "untoward" actions and musings of a Latin American pontiff who does not play by the rules of orthodoxy.

New mediator in settlement talks

The Guam Daily Post

October 2, 2017

By Mindy Aguon

A new mediator has been agreed upon by the parties in more than 100 church sex abuse cases.

Attorney David Lujan, who represents the bulk of the plaintiffs who have alleged sexual abuse by members of the Archdiocese of Agana and the Boy Scouts of America, confirms retired federal Judge Michael Hogan will not be the arbitrator for the church settlement discussions.

“One of the groups didn’t want Hogan and